Wednesday, April 27, 2011

That's Better

Someone has bitten someone, someone else has been bashed over the head with that tin of Mario mushroom candies pictured below, someone's been in time-out, I've read a book out loud about the lost city of Atlantis, someone was called a cry baby, right now someone is crying because I won't help them make a pirate map complete with wax seal and I'm the meanest mom in the whole world! 

Looks like we're on the mend! 


These 2 super fun baskets sit practically untouched on my coffee table:

because both of my kids have the stomach flu. 

Like on Christmas and like on New Years.

(OKAY GOD, I WILL FIND A NON-CRAZY CHURCH AND I'LL GO--OKAY?? Can we be cool now? Getting all freaking Old Testament on me here.)

The anniversary was a false start to it all. Just a prequel. People were slightly quiet and pale the next few days but seemed fine. Easter night I went to sleep thinking, "You just ate too much Easter dinner. When you wake up, you won't feel like throwing up anymore so just go to bed."

Then I woke up at 5am as Mr. Ashley prepared to leave town and Easter dinner was back, just like Jesus.

I cleaned up and crawled back into bed and told little kid that no, I couldn't blow up a punch ball. No, I didn't feel like talking about piranhas anymore. No, you can't eat the chocolate bunny for breakfast. No, I cannot blow up that punch ball. No, I don't want you to sit on my back as I sprawl out on the bed. No, please don't slap me on the stomach repeatedly and say "That's a good mama. THAT'S A GOOD SICK MAMA. POOR MAMA!" at increasing frequency in my ear as I lay there halfway between asleep and awake. No, I CANNOT AND WILL NOT BLOW UP THAT PUNCH BALL AND IF YOU ASK ME ONE MORE TIME I WILL GET UP AND GO OUTSIDE AND THROW IT AWAY IN THE GARBAGE BIN. Yes, you can have the chocolate bunny for breakfast. Yes, you can pour yourself some juice all over the counter. Give me the punch ball, give me the punch ball right now!! NO I AM NOT GOING TO BLOW IT UP--all punctuated with dry heaving and cold flashes.

I seriously thought about pinning a check to his shirt with a note and dropping him off at school for the entire extended care day (they don't allow that) because I doubt they would've called the police and it would have been worth it. I love him but, damn, he is no fun during the stomach flu.

Now they're both throwing up on floors and mattresses and having major potty problems and that's even less fun. Yesterday I had a raging fever and headache and was scrubbing toilets and wiping puke off the ground and changing sheets and pillowcases. I have been inside of the house for most of a week. The house does not smell good. The laundry may actually fall over on one of us and cause injuries. It's not a good scene.

And my poor sick boys. One has fallen asleep watching a documentary about treasure and the other is quietly reading a comic book, all toys and candy ignored and forgotten.

So, who wants to place bets on Mr. Ashley being sick in time for the anniversary cruise?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perfect Ten

I've been married for exactly 10 years today.

I could tell you about the good parts. Or I could tell you about the bad parts. (There have been more good parts than bad parts.) Or I could tell you about our celebration.

We decided to take both children out with us tonight. We're celebrating alone with a 2-night Bahamas cruise on May 1st thanks to an awesome deal though Groupon, so we decided to treat the children to a night out at the Japanese Steakhouse we had gone to on the night Mr. Ashley proposed.

As soon as the Japanese chef appeared, one of our children started complaining about stomach problems. I offered to take this child to the bathroom, certain the problem would clear up quickly.

Soon I was standing in a bathroom stall, suffocating from the unholy stench, head leaned against a red lacquered tile wall, reminiscing about where I must have been exactly 10 years ago as said child grunted and moaned and groaned and chased several grown women out of the ladies' room. "What would 10-years-ago-today-Ashley have said if she had known that in exactly 10 years she'd be living an unglamorous life, stuck in a stinky bathroom stall, embarrassing herself by loudly asking if everything was coming out okay?"

"Are you almost done?" I asked, praying for a yes.

"I'm nowhere NEAR done."

I laughed inside. I stuck it out. I ignored the ladies that suddenly decided they no longer needed the ladies' room.

Then we got back to the table. Our food was cooked, the chef was cleaning up. "We'll be right back, we're going to the bathroom," Mr. Ashley said, holding the other child's hand. They stepped out into the hallway as we sat down at our ultra-low table. I looked over in time to see child #2 blowing chunks EVERYWHERE--the bus boy and Mr. Ashley staring in horror as vomit sprayed down the hallway.

I cleaned up what I could with my napkin as the other patrons pretended it never happened. I was left with no napkin. The bus boy tried to vacuum the puke up with one of those sweeper things. The sight of that made me gag.

Mr. Ashley appeared moments later with soaking wet pants, reeking of vomit, shoving his money clip at me and telling me to tip well.

I requested to-go boxes.

I packed up the most expensive to-go meal in the history of to-go meals.

We laughed. Because what can you do except for laugh?

That's what has kept us going for the last 10 years and what will keep us together for the next 10.

Puke, poop and laughter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I watch survival and wildlife shows every morning. Not because I enjoy survival and wildlife shows (because I don't) but because little kid watches Survivorman and then Jeff Corwin, River Monsters or a nature documentary every single morning. I'm pretty sure he's seen every single Survivorman on Netflix and now we're going back through them. We watch so many of these shows that they all start to run together for me and I have no idea who is who or what exactly they're doing out in the woods.

"Is Survivorman's name Bear Grylls? Or is that someone else?"

"No. 'vivorman is just 'vivorman. Bear Grylls is a whole 'nother guy. We don't watch him like we watch 'vivorguy 'cuz Bear Grylls is always eatin' bugs and drinkin' his own pee. I kinda think he likes to eat bugs 'cuz 'vivorman's urvivin good and he's not eatin' bugs all day. You seen Bear Grylls drink his pee one time and you didn't like it, you 'member? I don't like it either so we watch 'vivorman 'cuz he's not needin' to drink his pee to urvive. Bear Grylls needs to learn to make some sort of water bucket, like wif a suitcase bag or a big giant leaf. Sometin' to catch rain in so he's not drinkin' pee. He should watch 'vivorman! But he might like drinkin' pee and eatin' bugs, I don't know."

Gross. If I had to be stuck in the woods with Bear Grylls or with little kid, I'd pick little kid.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daniel Tosh

I think Daniel Tosh is so cute and funny. I cannot watch Tosh.0 without saying "Daniel Tosh is so cute and funny!" He just completely cracks me up, even something as simple as a well-timed smirk from him can get me laughing out loud. His comedic timing is dead sexy.

Mr. Ashley is completely sick and tired of hearing how cute and funny Daniel Tosh is (and he's not home right now anyway) so I just had to tell all of you instead.

No School Zone

"I want little kid to learn to read before starting kindergarten so I was thinking we'd play home school when school's out," I told Big Kid today.

"Oh, wow, that would be good if he could learn to read! We can do flash cards with him! I'll do that."

"I want you to be learning some stuff, too. Not doing worksheets! But projects, presentations, experiments, field trips and reports--fun stuff!"

"Okay, cool. No worksheets, though."

"Nope. Good! We'll make it an educational summer," I said with excitement.

"Oh wait--you think this is happening in the summer time? 'Educational' and 'Summer', is that what you just said?"

"Yes. When school's out."

"Oh, no. No sir. I can't believe you're even sayin' that. No school at home when school's out. Words like 'educational' and 'summer' don't even belong in the same sentence together, mom, and you know it."

I do know it, but it was worth a shot.

I'll just have to be sneakier about the educational part.

Monday, April 18, 2011

This Little Light of Mine

This is my little Palm Sunday boy.

He totally rocked "This Little Light of Mine" and something that went like "Ho-ho-ho-ho-sanna" but I have no idea what else they were saying.

When I told his teacher on Friday that I was looking forward to it, she had mentioned that little kid was one of their best singers and that they put him front and center to feature his talents. She said this with all seriousness. Based on what I had seen of the performance at home, this was a cause for concern.

But he was happy but serious up there, cute as can be, loud and proud, shoulders back and looking straight ahead, waving his little palm frond and holding up his little finger candle. It was pretty precious.

I laughed and was full of pride but didn't cry. Maybe because he's still little (getting big, but there's a good chance he'll voluntarily be my baby for the next 26 years or so). Maybe because it was short. Maybe because we sat next to a crabby old lady who kept giving Big Kid the stink eye for daring to exist. Quite possibly because the pastor kept calling us all terrible sinners. And I agree--I AM a terrible sinner. But reminding me of that fact frequently is not the best way to get me to volunteer my Sundays to hang out with you.

Dude was all doom and gloom and smugness and spoke in a monotone voice. He accused everyone there of worshiping the false gods (with a lowercase g, he clarified) of computers and smart phones and drugs and coffee and alcohol and sex. Awesome of you to equate coffee, cell phones and computers with drugs and alcohol and sex, Pastor; between you and the DARE program I will never get a guilt-free trip to Starbucks in this house ever again. I'd also rather he hadn't said the word "sex" 8-9 times in front of a congregation full of preschoolers, little kid has no idea any such thing exists and I was trying to keep it that way for a while. But thanks for introducing the topic on Palm Sunday after his performance of "This Little Light of Mine".

We snuck out during Communion after he told us we'd go to hell if we accepted it without truly believing and that he'd like to speak to everyone who chooses not to accept it after the service. Yeah. No thanks. I've had enough. Out in the parking lot we found the other preschool parents who all pretty much agreed we'd be seeing each other in hell by his definition. Him and his congregation of 47 (seriously, that was last week's attendance at the 11am service) are going to be awfully lonely up there in their version of heaven.

He did this at the Nativity service too--spent the entire time telling us how the only time his church was ever packed was Christmas Eve and how he didn't want to hear how we all worked hard 5 days a week and wanted to spend time with our families on the weekend because church was a perfectly fine place to spend time with your family.

Okay, guy that works 1 day a week.

And you know, I don't even really disagree with that message, just the timing and delivery. Here you have a whole audience of misty eyed preschool parents who may not regularly attend church, here's your chance to get their attention, and you spend the whole time insulting them for the times they haven't come or because they like their iPhone?  The reason his church is never packed is because he's condescending and rude instead of warm and loving. People like him make other people scared of God.

I just wish he would have actually discussed Jesus and Palm Sunday and let this little light of mine shine a little brighter a little longer.

Because if that's not proof of a higher power, I don't know what is. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Musical

Today was Big Kid's 2nd grade spring musical. He was a carrot:

I dreaded going, like I dread all school events. I looked forward to seeing him in the carrot costume but could have skipped the rest.

But as I sat there and watched him and the rest of the awkward, squeaky-voiced, not-quite-big-but-not-quite-little 2nd graders, I cried like a crazy person. And the spring musical wasn't a dark comedy or anything.  I was silent and didn't make a scene but I could not stop the tears from coming. I didn't want to cry! I was highly concerned about my eye makeup! I don't think other people were crying!

I was filled with happiness and not sadness (thus the confusion about the non-stop water works) but I just couldn't believe he was in 2nd grade going into 3rd already, and he was so stinking cute up there, and I just wish I could freeze time forever and be subjected to a lifetime of terribly out-of-tune musical productions in rooms full of pushy parents with cameras for the rest of eternity, as long as I could keep him little.

I'm so proud I made that.

I wish I could keep him (with me) forever.

I've never cried over a carrot before.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today I Learned

Today I learned that little kid can reach the very top shelf of the cup cabinet if he's really determined and has a bar stool.

Today I learned that little kid can open child-proof tops.

Today I learned the number for poison control and that they are very nice.

Today I learned that if you're a child you get a private room instead of one of those bullshit "hall beds" for your E.R. visit.

Today I learned if you drink an undetermined amount of Children's Benadryl, you will be lying in the hospital for hours for observation.

Today I learned that even an overdose will only barely slow little kid down, and only very temporarily.

Today I learned that little kid still cannot be trusted long enough for me to shower.

It was a very expensive shower.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Big Kid just came home with the following essay:

How My Parents Help Me Grow 
My parents take me many places and make sure I have fun. They teach me in alot of ways. They teach me math, reading, scince and much more. My dad teaches me how to borrow and carry. My mom lets me choose books so I can get smarter. I had alot of fun in the past 7 years and its because of them.

I need to teach him that a lot is two words, but isn't that so sweet? Things like this make it all worth the trouble.

He also chose an important person to draw a portrait of in art class and he picked Bill Cosby--a young Bill, from the Fat Albert days. I don't know why but I think that is so freaking cool.

Freaking Florida

I am really alarmed with Florida recently.

Our governor is a crook. And I don't just mean as a politician, homeboy is a criminal and I'd think the same thing if he was a member of my political party.  He was CEO of a company that was charged with 14 felonies and agreed to a $600 million fine for Medicare fraud. He frequently endorses policies that benefit a $62 million investment he still has (in his wife's name, he claims this makes it not a conflict of interest....). He wants state employees to start being drug tested--fine, but he happens to own a chain of businesses that do drug testing and this would cost tax payers $23.5 million a year. Yet he just made deep cuts to programs that benefit the severely disabled because we can't afford them.

We have legislators that can't bring themselves to say or hear the word "uterus" but feel obliged to make decisions about other people's.

We are trying to base teacher pay on student performance. The same teachers we force to deal with teaching to the FCAT standardized tests. The same teachers who have already had their salaries and budgets cut repeatedly. In theory it's a fine idea, but I'd like to see some of these politicians volunteer in the classroom before making this decision. There are at least 3 kids in Big Kid's class that if my pay was based on their performance, I'd be praying nightly for their disappearance.

The FCAT is destroying education, by the way. Big Kid, who has a deep love of learning and has always loved school, is sick to his stomach every Sunday night because he dreads going to school and doing worksheets all of the time. They are little form-filling factories--it is boring and stupid and I don't blame him for hating it. It's sad. His teacher hates it too and fondly remembers the days they had time for science experiments and projects in class. Big Kid will do great on the FCAT, but he'll probably hate school forever now.

I could go on...and on...and on. I have been seriously considering and researching moving. I just need to figure out if I could live without our beaches (and I need to convince Mr. Ashley, I guess.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


So I'm just slapping some links together and calling it a post!

Inner voice
2 Questions
Wish granted
My version of heaven
Family decals
Happiness graph

(I just realized these are rather depressing as a group, that wasn't intentional and/or is not a reflection of anything. I don't think.)