Saturday, October 30, 2010

Allowed for Now

My kids are using two of the blankets from my bed to slip and slide across the living room floor. It's a problem because:

1. I don't really want my blankets to get dirty.
2. This seems a little dangerous.
3. There is a decent chance that something of mine will get broken.
4. They are loud.

But I'm allowing it because we're having a Halloween party tomorrow and I have stuff to do. Two blankets seems like a minimal amount of mess (unless something breaks, but life is about taking chances) and they are entertaining each other. This is one of little kid's least dangerous ideas, so I'm going to let them slide.

(I'm only on the internet to get a recipe real quick. I swear. I'm not also checking Facebook, my email, my blog and a few of my favorite websites. At all.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


One of my major problems this week is severe back pain.

It's like one of my hips (or maybe my whole pelvis? I don't know anatomy, something is fucked up--that's as technical as I can get about it) is crooked or out of place and I'm in terrible pain. When I cough or sneeze, I have to brace myself and I feel like I'm going to pass out because it hurts so bad. It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, it hurts to lie down, it hurts to walk. It hurts all of the time.

When I have to drive, I stand and stare at my SUV with trepidation, knowing that getting up into it is going to make me want to throw up. Last night as I was lying in bed, it was so impossible to find a comfortable position that I wanted to cry.

I was looking for an affordable solution online last night and encountered the web page of a fat, gray, 70-some year old man with a handlebar mustache who gives free nude massages on his back porch. He likes to be nude when he does the massages. And my first thought was, "Looks legit. I wonder if he could help my back."

Seriously. I would do anything for it to stop hurting.

Including allowing a creepy, nude senior citizen to rub my naked body.

For real. It's bad.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Disorder

Being little kid's mother is like having a small, destructive shadow that sings Happy Birthday all day long, argues about everything and is constantly trying to touch your face.

It's a lot like mental illness.

Maybe Motherhood should be listed as a disorder in the DSM-IV.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Parenting PSA

I have shared a lot of good parenting tips with you throughout the years. Mostly about what not to do, but still, that counts as valuable information.

So as your honest friend and trusted adviser, I feel obliged to share my latest and most important discovery with you:


Now wait for it--hear all of those people disagreeing? Those people tsk tsking and saying that's not true and that volunteering is rewarding and fun and totally worth it?


Reading books is rewarding, fun and totally worth it. Going to the beach is rewarding, fun and totally worth it. Getting a pedicure is rewarding, fun and totally worth it. Shopping without kids around is rewarding, fun and totally worth it. Hanging out with your own kids is rewarding, fun and totally worth it.

Dealing with other people's kids for free? Not so much.

Yeah, you have to do something if you want to be a good mom. So show up for the class parties, donate some paper plates (if you bring Zoo Pals you'll be an instant celebrity) and call it a day.

You'll be the tannest, smartest mom there.

And I know--a lot of you will have to learn the hard way regardless of this Public Service Announcement because that's how you roll but eventually you will think back to this post, know that I was completely right and go to great lengths to keep your phone number away from the PTA directory in the future.


You know how I was promising and promising you all last week that I was really super, duper happy and my depressing temporary blog layout change didn't reflect my personality at all?

Well, once again, God must read my blog because He went ahead and put a quick end to the happiness. The grand culmination of Hell Week being that my laptop is now one giant, virus-infected paperweight--and that's the least of my problems.

(Even though I feel like I'm missing a limb without it and that is a pretty big problem.)

I have floors to mop for my nerd herd meeting this afternoon and no laptop to sit around on all day, so I can't even tell you that Big Kid is worried about his cholesterol or that little kid's snail collection is loose in the house.

You better miss me terribly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday's Trip to the Grocery Store

"Mom, I keep thinking of something really disgusting and it makes my stomach hurt," Big Kid said.

Sigh. "That broken egg over in the refrigerated section? I'll tell them it's there and a store employee will deal with it. We didn't do it, it's not hurting anyone, think of something else."

"No. Something in school that happened."

"What happened in school? Maybe if you say it out loud, your brain can stop thinking about it."

"Okay," taking a deep breath. "In music class, our teacher is making us," another deep breath, furtive glances around to see if anyone is listening. My heart starts racing, "sing this goes Skinnamarink a dink a dink, skinnamarink a doo, I looooove you." I joined in and sang the rest of it because I know this one. He looked surprised.

"Okay, and?" I asked. "What was disgusting?"

He looked at me in disbelief. "It's not even February!"


"Singin' a song about lovin' people in October?! Come on, mom. You know that's weird!"

"You're weird. I love you in October. I don't see the problem with this."

"Have you heard the song, mom? How it's all, like, in little kids' voices? You don't know what you're talking about. It's disgusting! I don't feel right singin' it and you said I didn't ever have to do anything I felt uncomfortable with or thought was inappropriate, so I just pretend to sing. But I wish my music teacher could just sing somethin' else!"

"This is one of your weirdest things ever, Big Kid. I don't really care if you sing it or not but there is nothing inappropriate or uncomfortable about this, really."

little kid, upon realizing that our attention had been diverted from him for more than 60 seconds, began to make smooching sounds at Big Kid.

"Mom, he's making gross sounds at me because he knows I don't like that song! Make him stop!"

"little kid, please stop."


"Aaaaah! He's trying to kiss me now. Mom, mom, he's not listening to how you told him to stop. little kid--this is not appropriate! You will get a time out for this! Mom, mom, tell him he'll get a time out."

"Seriously you two, stop it. Act like gentlemen in this grocery store or else. I am not kidding, don't test me today."


"LITTLE KID!" said Big Kid and I.


"little kid, get off of me! Stop kissing me!" Big Kid shrieked.

"That's it, I'm taking your men away when we get home."

"NOOOOOO! Mama, no! I promise I stoppin' now. No more kissin' my bubby. NOOOOO!"

"No, you got several warnings. If you want them back, you'll be good."

"Mom, the smooching wasn't that big of a deal. I don't think you should take his men."

"No, he needs to learn to listen. Please don't get involved."


Big Kid gave me a dirty look. "little kid, you can have Zumby." (His favorite, most beloved toy.)

"Big Kid, he's in trouble for harassing you! You shouldn't reward him."

"I don't think you should take his men away though."

"You are not the parent! This conversation is over, you two are out of control."

"Bubby...Zumby isn't enough toys for me," said a sniffly-nosed little kid. "I needs lots of toys."

"I know, little kid. I'm so sorry. You can have all of my toys."

"WAAAAAH! What if mama takes those away? I want my men!"

"I have $75 saved up and I will buy you all new toys, little kid! Don't worry, we're brothers and I'll help you."

Despite wanting to beat both of them right there in the middle of the grocery store, it was pretty sweet to see that Big Kid can even love his little brother in October.

(See why I hate grocery shopping?)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Today was the first Odyssey of the Mind meeting with my group that I affectionately call the Nerd Herd (don't tell their parents). I am super duper tired. I *want* to talk to you all, I just can't get my brain going fast enough to make it happen.

So, here's some other stuff:

Rare and unusual historically significant photos
Harry Potter's Butterbeer cupcake recipe
On books
Funny cat kick
Solving world hunger
Baby owl
Real life time capsule
13 bizarre lakes
Go home, dad
It's fall, fuckers

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall of Giants

This may be a long shot, but has anyone read Fall of Giants by Ken Follet?

I loved Pillars of the Earth and liked World Without End, but I'm in the mid 200s page-wise with this book and I don't know whether to give up now or forge through to the end. It's a 700+ page book, so if I'm going to quit I'd rather do it soon.

There is WAAAAAAAAAY too much political/war-related discussion going on in the book right now. It was interesting at first but now I'm sick of it and they aren't even at war yet.

So, is there anyone out there with advice for me? Maybe? Please?

Doctor's Husband

Big Kid is a saver, not a spender. He hoards every dollar, putting it in his money pouch, counting after every addition. He's got about $75 right now.

"What are you saving for?" I always ask. He never has an answer.

But the other day he asked me, "Do you know why I save all of my money?"


"For college," he said with a sweet, shy smile.

"College?!? Wow! What a good boy you are. Daddy and I put money aside every month so you can go to college, though. We're going to try to pay for that for you."

"Yeah but college is expensive, mom. I can't let you pay for the whole thing!"

"That's seriously like the sweetest thing I've ever heard, but you can spend your money on something nice if you want! We'll handle college, really."

"Well then, I'm saving it to buy myself something nice when I'm in college. Just in case."

Knowing Big Kid, he'll probably be driving a Bentley by the time he's in college.

And I'll wish I'd let him pay for college himself.

Poor guy has a sensitive stomach (a sensitive everything, really) and was cringing and pale the other day when I was telling little kid the story of how I got stitches when I was a little girl.

"MOM!! I never want to hear you say the word 'stitches' ever again. I can't handle it. I just wanna barf right now."

"Big Kid, you better marry a girl with a strong stomach or you're going to have a hard time when you're a daddy. Hey, you should marry a doctor! That would be great, then you could trust her to take care of you and your children's health and she could deal with sick and yucky stuff."

He thought about that from the back seat. "Yeah," he said hesitantly, "How would that work though?"

"What do you mean?"

"Will my wife already have a job when I marry her? Can you just marry a doctor or do I meet a girl and hope she wants to be a doctor? Do you get married before college? Does everyone's parents pay for college?"

I could almost see him calculating the student loan costs of a medical degree in his 7 year old head.

"You get married after college, after you have a job and when she's already a doctor."

"Good idea. I'm gonna do that."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time Tests

I'm volunteering in Big Kid's class this year and his teacher has me helping the kids with math.

This is funny since my math abilities are near a second grade level.

What's not funny is how annoying these little bastards can be.

Every week, no one has a sufficiently sharpened pencil. I come in at 1:50...what do they write with prior to this? I have to make them do time tests in small groups, where they have 2 minutes to do 40 problems (these tests were the bane of my 2nd grade existence, so I feel for them) and at least half of each group tries to cheat by starting the test before I say they can. Then they deny that they have started when I call them out on it--I'm sitting right there, little cheaters, I can see you.

A couple of them just flat out don't listen. Ever. At all. They especially don't give a rat's ass about the 2 minute timed tests. When the teacher sees me trying to reason with them, she gives me this laughing "Do you see what I deal with?" smile--and doesn't intervene.

And I don't blame her because I only see them an hour a week and if I could escape them for that hour, I would too.

She's got to be medicated. How else could she stand it?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Zero Gravity

Big Kid just came into my room, eyes watering and lip trembling, to tell me in a breaking, squeaking little voice that he's scared.

"What are you scared of?" I asked.

"That gravity will go away," he cried.

He's so worried about it he can't sleep and he never wants to watch his favorite science show again because they showed astronauts in zero gravity and it really upset him. This wasn't a getting-out-of-bed tactic either, homeboy was genuinely afraid gravity would cease to exist and his stomach was hurting over the thought.


Gravity? Seriously? One of the few things in the world that you can count on?

He came home from school the other day highly disturbed about a poem they had read about a baby eating a microchip and catching a virus. He couldn't stop thinking that the baby could possibly be deleted this way and he thought I should call his teacher and suggest they not read poems like this anymore because it could really freak kindergartners out. (I declined on making that call.)

Although comical in a "What in the world?" kind of way, I'm worried that his little brain is wearing him out. He's been dealing with some anxiety issues lately; he got in trouble with us (hardly, he really never gets in trouble) for slacking off in school a bit and became so stressed out over it I was afraid his teachers would think we were beating him.

Gravity may be here to stay, but I do worry about him keeping both feet on the ground.


We're going back to the old layout for now. It's easier than figuring out something new or convincing everyone I haven't gone emo. I liked the simplicity of the gray one but not if it will change the way you all read.

Do I look happier already?


Okay, since the layout change people are claiming I sound monotone or depressed. I swear I am not monotone or depressed!! See those exclamation points? Are those the exclamation points of someone monotone or depressed? No!! No, they are not!

I think everyone is more influenced by page design than I had previously thought. I don't know what I am going to do with you all. Apparently a girl cannot possibly be content without a bright pink header or the word Fuck in her tagline. FINE!!! I'll work on a new header.

I do have a typical Ashley awkward situation to share with you. Big Kid's school does this Odyssey of the Mind program; I guess it's like an extracurricular team brainstorming project thing (pretty sure that's the official description.) He wanted to do it last year but I went to the meeting and the whole thing sounded pretty boring; weekly meetings, seminars and conferences, blah blah blah. But this year he's showing signs of being bored in school so I thought it would be good for him to be forced to use his brain and work closely with others.

So I went to the meeting and it still sounded pretty boring but I figured he'd like it. To sign your child up, you had to offer to volunteer and you had to choose 2 possible positions from the list. The list included things like being a coach, co-coach, judge or worker. I didn't want to be a coach, co-coach or judge because they required a day's worth of training an hour or so away, so I oh so cleverly indicated that I wanted to be a worker and that I'd be willing to be a co-coach but wouldn't be able to attend the training.

Ha! I thought for sure they would realize that I am not the woman for the job.

Well, to make a long story short, I somehow have ended up as the coach and the freaking meetings have to be at my house every week. AAAHHHH!!!  They call me and the other coach co-coaches, but I'm the one who the coordinator calls and who gets all of the forms to fill out and who has to call people and coordinate things. I don't know how this happened. I never really agreed to it--that coordinator is smooth. The meetings can't be at the school or library because things have to be constructed and painted and stored. My house seemed like the obvious solution since I live so close to the school. Oh, freaking joy!

So I'm now the coach of something I am unable to even describe correctly. And I have to let a bunch of weird little kids and their weird parents in my house every week (the parents will be dropping them off, but still.) One of whom is the Neighborhood Mom who lives across the street. Remember the one who asks every single time she sees me if we're renting or if we own the house and if we plan on buying? She came over this morning to invite the kids to play and asked Mr. Ashley again. Isn't that weird?? She also invited us to bring chairs over and sit outside with them and hang out. Which is really nice, but after Bus Stop Mom I'm afraid to have friends within walking distance, and now I'll feel bad if I see them out there and don't feel like bringing chairs over and hanging out.

That sounds awful, doesn't it? I am pretty awful. But we'll probably end up being friends since I will be having her child over weekly.

I am definitely not the sort of person who should have a team full of kids in her house and under her supervision on a regular basis.

Fuck. How did I get myself into this?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Don't Worry

My site hasn't been taken over by the most boring hackers ever. It just got what may be the most underwhelming makeover in internet history.

I've been tired of the header for a while now but never know exactly what I want to change it to, so it's always on my list of things to procrastinate about. But the new blogger template I wanted to use required a different sized image up top. Since I no longer have photoshop, any money, or any ideas, I just went with something simple and easy until inspiration strikes.

The plan is for it to be temporary, but I wouldn't hold your breath for any rapid changes if I were you.

Just wanted to let you know since I'm sure you were all really worried, like maybe some monochromatic terrorists are holding me and my blog hostage. Nope. Maybe we'll get some colors and swirly designs and patterns and widgets and columns and such one day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good News

Remember That Job that I interviewed for and didn't get? And didn't want, but was hurt and offended not to receive an offer?

Well, the person who did get the job was on the morning news today and we can all rest a little easier knowing that I'm prettier than her and probably funnier, too. Also, she has a very nasally voice.

She is better qualified, but while she was an hour away at the crack of dawn making money and awkward small talk with some douchebag morning show host, I was sitting on my couch in my pajamas drinking coffee, critiquing her performance and being grateful that I have better hair.

And isn't that what life is really all about?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Work, work and more work

"little kid, can you please put all of the chairs back where they belong? Not in front of my bedroom door."

"I can't, mumum. I gotta wook."

"You have work? Can you put the chairs up before you go?"

"Not really. I gots wook, wook and more wook. So I can'ts. You can just push the chairs to a side when you wanna get in your room!"

"That doesn't work for me. I need you to put them back where they go."

"Uh....maybe when I's done wookin'. My job is more important 'an some chairs."

This is when I want to scream, "YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING JOB!!!! YOU MAKE IT ALL UP!! CLEAN THIS MESS UP BEFORE I LOCK YOU OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!" but I would never do that, of course.

Earlier today he took a full roll of toilet paper, placed it in the sink, drenched it with water and then sculpted it into a volcano. When he heard me coming to check on him, he tried to shove the gigantic mound down the sink drain which did not work and clogged the sink. There is no clear answer as to why he would do this.

Supposedly there's a lady at his work who wears a pretty dress and has a magic rag that makes everything sparkle all of the time. She keeps their offices really clean and she lives on the job site. I asked if she could come visit here, but she won't because she has heard how rude I am to little kid. I suggested that maybe he should see about living on the job site too and he was highly insulted.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mom's Makeover

little kid likes to play with hair clips and barrettes (isn't that a weird word? I just had to check it twice) and he especially loves to put them in my hair. He used to put them in his own hair but Big Kid gave him hell about that so he quit.

I was indulging him in his passion for hair dressing today, lying on my stomach and reading from my laptop as he fluffed my curls and attached about 15 clips to different clumps. It felt good; he even rubbed my neck and shoulders a little. I felt pretty and loved.

After trotting back to the bathroom, he reappeared with a blush brush and giggled as he tickled my arm with it. I laughed too and told him that I was having a nice makeover. Then I asked him to put my blush brush back where he had found it.

He returned, approaching me from behind and laughing as he leaned over me on the bed. I felt a cool, tingly little plop in the center of my head. I raised my hand to my hair and found...a small mountain of mineral foundation, spilling down my shoulders and onto my sheets. There was a trail of it from the bathroom to my bed and it was spilled all over the sink and counter.

I had no more mineral foundation, a huge mess to clean up, an oddly flesh colored scalp and dull, powdery hair.

And that concluded my makeover.