Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Prison Reform

I am going to help balance the federal budget and reduce crime everywhere by recording the sounds of little kid eating an apple and broadcasting it on loud speakers for people in prison 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It should take about 4 hours before everyone realizes the error of their ways and will never risk breaking the law again, for fear of having to hear the apple slurpingcrunchingmoaningcrunchingslurpinggruntingscrunchingsnortinggaspingslurping sounds ever again. It also takes about 30 solid minutes to finish an apple and then he has to suck the juices from his fingers. He likes to eat about 3 apples a day.

Oh. My. God. It makes me want to kill kittens. And ban fruit from the house.

Maybe I'll get myself into prison because those people have to have better eating manners than little kid.

Friday, May 27, 2011


The other day we were out in public and little kid wormed his hands up under my shirt to warm his cold little hands on my back.

"little kid, do you think you could NOT lift my shirt up in public so that everyone sees my bare belly? Please?" I asked, jerking my shirt back into place.

He started laughing really hard and I was annoyed he wasn't taking me seriously when he said, "Mom! You's got a human bein' belly! Not a bear belly!"

It's hard to stay mad at that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Popular Demand--

(Okay, only one person requested this but it was a really good idea.) 

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Sitter

When I asked Big Kid if he wanted to attend Vacation Bible School with little kid and learn more about God and Jesus, I was met with an emphatic, "NO!" 

I signed him up anyway, figuring he may have a change of heart. 

Then I asked if he'd like to check out a church where his friend's dad is the pastor. 

"Please don't make me, mom. I really don't want to." 

I thought he was reluctant to give up a weekend day and decided to revisit the subject when summer came. 

This morning the boys were talking about having babies and getting married (a big topic of conversation around here, I have no idea why) and Big Kid asked, "How do you go about gettin' a lady to marry you anyway? Like, what do you have to do to be married?" 

Before I could answer, little kid said, "I know! You's gots to buy her flowers. First you pick the lady, a course. And then you buy her da flowers and you ask her if she wants to marry you. Then you go to the church and you gib her the flowers and then--WALLAH!--you's married!"

"Oh no! Ugh," said Big Kid, sounding disgusted. I thought he was grossed out about purchasing flowers when he continued, "A church? You have to get married in a CHURCH? Maybe I'm never gettin' married." 

What the heck was going on with him and church, I wondered. Did his Jewish preschool upbringing ruin him on Jesus? Was he mad that the Lord had him going for 3 more weeks of school instead of 2 or for some other ridiculous reason? (He blames everything on the Lord. I hear "Why Lord?!" at least twice a day.)

"Big Kid, you don't have to get married at a church. People get married at the beach, at museums, at gardens, at the courthouse, in backyards, in Las Vegas--wherever. But what is your problem with church? You're really anti-church lately and I'm wondering what the deal is, do you have any questions I could try to answer or would you like to read the Bible so you understand it more?" 

"Phew. No. I'm NOT gettin' married in a church! I hate all of the standing." 

"...so you hate organized religion because they stand up too much? That's your only problem with church?" 

"Pretty much."  

I blame the Lutherans. They do stand up an awful lot. 

I am slightly concerned that he thinks he'll be sitting through his own wedding, but I guess that's my future daughter-in-law's problem. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Zoo

I went to the Miami Zoo on Thursday with a new friend. Long-time readers will know that this is a big step for me--that I'm wary of making new friends, little less getting into a car with them and driving around the state with a bunch of kids.

We had a great time. She's really nice and she's a great parent, she seems normal. I'm shocked that she likes me.

We had an awesome day. The kids got to feed giraffes:

This could have been an amazing photo. Even the giraffe looks disappointed in how it turned out.

But this one...this one is pretty amazing:

See the crazy eyes? That's what happens when I say, "One more, this time with your eyes open!"

See the "Breeding for the future" sentence and the picture of the two kimodo dragons mating behind him? (Click to enlarge.) That's what happens when mom doesn't check the background.

AND that's why this is my new favorite photo.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Scheduled Snuggling

Big Kid loves to snuggle little kid. Despite loving to snuggle, little kid also likes to deny Big Kid the pleasure of cuddling because he's difficult like that:

"Bubby, will you snuggle me?"

"Um, sorry...I only 'nuggle in a morning times."

"But could we just snuggle a little before bed time?"

"No. Maybe in a morning time."

The next morning.

"It's morning now! Now will you snuggle with me, little kid?"

"Uh, what day is it today?"


"I don't 'nuggle on Tuesdays."

"First you don't snuggle at night, now not on Tuesdays! When do you snuggle? It makes me sad you won't snuggle me."

"What day was yesterday was?"


"I 'nuggle on Monday. Monday mornings. That's all."

"So I have to wait until next Monday?"

"Yep. Sorry. That's the 'nugglin' day."

"Bub, you're just being mean. There's no reason you can't snuggle me today."

"Dere is nuttin' I can do about it, brudder, Monday is 'nugglin' day and today is not Monday. You's said so!"

I have since given Big Kid permission to lie to little kid about the day of the week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Situation

For some odd reason, we call little kid The Chooch. I don't know why, I could trace the long line of bizarre nicknames until I got to what started that but the basic story is that we worked really hard to find names for our kids that weren't ridiculous and couldn't be mocked too badly and then we began calling them ridiculous nicknames and mocking them ourselves. That wasn't part of the plan, but whatever.

When the show Jersey Shore began, we started noticing some similarities between The Situation and The Chooch. The sweet-talking, the busy-bodying, the belly-showing, the lady-loving, the self-admiring, the persistence, the noise level--this isn't a role model we want for our 4-year-old, we just happened to notice that they are (unfortunately) kind of alike. We jokingly started referring to little kid as The Choochuation on occasion. It was totally funny.

Until he started calling himself The Choochuation.

Now, not only do I have to deal with sweet-talking, busy-bodying, belly-showing, lady-loving, self-admiring, persistence and noise but I have a 4-year-old walking around yelling, "YOU CAN'T TALK TO THE CHOOCHUATION LIKE THAT!" and "That's just how The Choochuation rolls!" whenever I try to discipline him.

I hope to God that his preschool teachers can't understand what he's saying.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Note from Mom

"Mom, you have to write my parent letter tonight. It's the last one because school is ending soon."

"Oh, okay. I'll be sure to do that."

"Hey, mom?"


"Promise me that you won't ever ever ever ever mention www.dancingmoms.com in any of these letters."

"Big Kid! Come on! You know I would never do that, right?"

He stared at me, unsmiling and completely silent, obviously not so sure I wouldn't do that.

"I'm actually thinking I'll wait until the year-end party and put it up on the big screen so all of your friends can see the website itself."


"In fact, I'm going to make hologram cards of myself dancing for your friends to take home. You know, like the type where if you move them back and forth it looks like the person on the card is moving? So your friends can give them to their moms in case they want to upload some videos..." I had kept a very straight face until the end and then I laughed so hard (at myself) that I got a cramp in my side.

I'm a terrible mother.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No Means No (no, really!)

I just had the following conversation with little kid:

"Can I have a popsicle?"

"No, you just had a sandwich and dinner is soon. You had a popsicle before lunch."

"So, you's saying that I can never eber have a popsicle again in my whole entire life?"

"Uh, no. I'm saying you can't have a popsicle until after dinner."

"Please, princess. My most beautiful princess. Just one popsicle."


"Look at you! I need a little 'spect. You always wantin' me to 'spect you but I am not seeing any 'spect coming from you to me."

"Oh please. I don't respect you because you can't have a popsicle before dinner? You are ridiculous. Go play."

" Mom, do you want this to be over wif or not? This could all be over wif if I could have one popsicle before dinner."

"Absolutely not and you are getting a time out if you ask me one more time. There will be no popsicle, little kid. I'm done with this. I won't have you blackmailing me for a popsicle."

"For your little papa? Your baby? Your wittle tiny baby who wants a popsicle, pretty pretty princess?"

"Go to your room."

"Oh I see. You just hate me. Yep, I'll be in my room, not gettin' no 'spect from you and not any popsicles eber again in my whole entire life."

"Okay then."

"....just one?"


You know that sweet Big Kid that I enjoy torturing?

I just found out he has an IQ of 154. Literally off the chart that the school printed up for me. Einstein had a 160 IQ.

As they presented this information, they sat across the conference table from me in a line beaming with joy as if they were about to give me a free car. A few people were late to the meeting and came in asking for updates, "Who are we here for again?"

"Ms. Ashley's Big Kid."

"Oh. What was the score?"

"154." Grin.



"Really? 154??"


Grins all around.

The county's head school psychologist told me that they were advised never to use the words "Highly Gifted" when talking to a parent but said he felt it was imperative in this case that I knew he was "Highly Gifted"--not just intelligent, not just gifted but extremely unique in his giftedness. I hate that word, by the way, makes me roll my eyes so hard, but it was hard not to jump up and down like a winner on the Price is Right. I maintained my composure because I'm pretty sure moms of geniuses don't jump up and down like maniacs.

But even though NOTHING has changed from this morning, when I was dancing in the kitchen just to irritate him, I feel enormous pressure suddenly. I feel like I am failing him. I feel like I don't know what to do with him. He's probably smarter than every person in that meeting this morning but WE'RE the ones coming up with a life plan for him?

I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I need a shirt that says "MY KID HAS AN IQ OF 154" but that's as far as I've gotten in terms of a life plan.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Troll Mom

Big Kid hates to hear me sing or see me dance. He cringes and begs me not to and any time I turn up the radio in the car, he mentions that he hopes I don't get this song stuck in my head.  He did a "Time" Mother of the Year parody magazine at school for my Mother's Day gift and in the blank for "Favorite song to hear your mom sing" he replied "????????????????????????". To be fair, I am terrible at singing and dancing.

But it's like I'm forbidden to show any signs of joy or fun in my own home so I often disregard his disgust and sing and dance anyway.

The other day I was dancing in the kitchen and he asked, "Could you not dance?"

"No! You can't stop me from dancing! I'll dance if I want to."

"MO-OM! Grrrrrrrrr. Mom. STOP IT! Please quit."

"I'll never stop. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to start a website called www.dancingmoms.com. It will be moms dancing--oh! Moms could upload videos of themselves dancing. We could show all of your school friends so they will tell their moms!"

"MOM! That. Is. Not. Funny. You're joking. I...I wouldn't allow it...."

"You can't stop moms from dancing and everyone loves dancing moms. It will be fun, Big Kid!"

"Okay. All right. Look, mom. There's nothing wrong with moms dancing but there's no reason to make a website about that. I'm not tellin' you 'cuz I don't like your dancing, I'm just saying it's definitely not a good idea for a website. It's just not that good of a idea."

"I bet everyone told Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook was a dumb idea! Dancingmoms.com will be the next Facebook!"

"Oh my--mom, it's nothing like Facebook. You're not Mark Zuckerburger. Who wants to see moms dancing? You won't do it. You probably can't even get dancingmoms.com."


He was initially horrified...but then slightly amused.

(I think he's humoring me so I'll stop.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day or Something

Happy Mother's Day!

On Friday little kid sadly informed me that he had no gift for me because he hadn't finished his at school.

"Oh, that's okay! You can just do extra nice things for me on Mother's Day!"

"Uh, no, I'll just hurry up and make somethin'. 'Cuz I'm not really wantin' to do extra things. Oh, you know what? I do have a present for you! I just bemembered."

"Oh good."

"It's a song. I have plans to sing you a song. I'm not tellin' you what one though. So nows I don't even gots to make nuthin'."

"Yeah, okay. Sounds great."  (It was a good song, for the record.)

By 9:30 this morning little kid announced that he was sick and tired of Mother's Day, that the entire day had been about me and that he was finished with it already.

By 10:30 Big Kid announced that he did NOT want to go to the beach. He suddenly hates the beach. When he said he wanted to do something fun with me, he did not mean the beach!

We went to the beach anyway and everyone had to suffer through.

We got home from the beach and watched Survivorman, only after I flat out refused River Monsters.

For dinner Mr. Ashley made me (delicious) country-fried steak, mashed potatoes and green beans and the kids made gagging noises and fought the whole time we tried to eat. They were disappointed I chose such terrible food.

I've tried several times to explain the concept of Mother's Day to them and have threatened to commandeer their birthdays like they tried to take over my Mother's Day. They're not that worried about it though.

I love them for making me a mother,  but I'm looking forward to bed time tonight!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I had a list of links complete with commentary for you all to enjoy while I'm on my cruise but I brilliantly deleted them all. So here's a really condensed version:

Baby: (Warning, tasteful nudity)

Half brothers meet


Times are tough

Cats: My cat loves doing this to Mr. Ashley and it cracks me up. She will not come in unless he flattens himself between the door and wall out of her sight.

Insane internet drama: Article, article by an involved friend, victim's blog,  youtube video of hoaxer

Marwencol: Super interesting, watch the documentary on Netflix instant watch.

Pencil vs. camera

Then I remembered

Bits o' truth

Mourning chimps

And I'm out!

(This has not been proofread and I'm leaving right now, so you're out of luck on any errors or typos.)