Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mouse House Creations

One of my cutest and craftiest friends is having a wreath giveaway on her blog. You should go enter and get you a wreath (except don't really win the wreath because I want to). Then you should look around at how talented and adorable and creative she is--it will make you want to puke. But then you'll remember me telling you that she is seriously one of the sweetest, funniest, coolest people and despite my near insane envy over her house/sewing/decorating/cute daughter (her son is cute too but I have two of those) she's impossible to dislike. Seriously impossible. (Which would be another reason to hate her if such a thing was even possible).

So go say hi to her and good luck winning (but not really).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wake Up Call

Every single morning, little kid crawls into bed with me and curls his little body around mine. He snuggles himself into me and kisses my cheeks and forehead and brushes my hair away from my face and quietly talks about how he loves me or how I'm such a good mommy (the best he's ever had!) or this painting on the wall in front of our bed that really confuses him.

Lately my cat goes into his room and wakes him up by purring and kneading his tummy with her paws, so she accompanies him as he relocates into my room and she purrs and rubs her face on both of our faces and walks back and forth between us, stopping to curl up on our chests and gently sniff our eyebrows and eyelashes (no idea what her deal is with this, she's done it forever).

Then Big Kid usually joins us for a quick cuddle. This is more likely to happen on school mornings but I will happily take what I can get.

And as I'm literally loved awake every single morning, I can't help but think of how lucky I am and how I never want them to grow up and leave me.

Even if it means never sleeping in again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Go Read

Kind of anti-climactic since we're well into 2012 and all but it's time for an Ashley's book of the year post!! (Yaaaaaaay, you all cry!)

2011 was a good reading year.

I loved The Hunger Games . I hate young adult anything, I hate anything futuristic/unbelievable, and I hate series but I completely loved these books. I read them in just over a weekend, I couldn't put them down. But they don't win.

I also loved The Night Circus . This was the last book I read in 2011 and you would think it would win because I have book amnesia and forget everything I've read, plus this was a magical, creative, interesting, beautifully-written book. But it didn't win.

The book that wins, and I barely even remember it, was Same Kind of Different As Me . This was a powerful, moving, sweet book. I hate books where I feel they are trying to emotionally manipulate me and I thought this would be that kind of story. I only bought it was because it was on sale. I really enjoyed every page of it though and when I finished it I was so impressed that the author had put together such a wonderful story with such real and lovable characters...and then I read that it was based on a true story. That really blew me away. I was impressed with it as fiction, it's even more lovely knowing it was real.You should read it, it will make you feel good.

And although it's embarrassing to admit, I have to give a shout out to Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home. I rolled my eyes at its ridiculous length and it's Martha-esque advice (have dark colored wash cloths embroidered with the word 'make up' so guests know which cloth to use to remove theirs. Haha, yeah. Or I could just continue not having guests because that works too) but she did have some interesting and helpful advice on organizing and cleaning things and whatever else (I don't know because I forgot all of it). I really need to own this book. I asked if I could renew it at the library and the librarian said, "You're the only person who has ever checked this book out, you could probably keep it and no one would notice" but I know the library WOULD notice because they are mean and evil and on top of their game.

So there we go. We are officially done with 2011 and I'm not all that sad to see it go.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Won't You (Not) Be My Neighbor?

My new neighbor kid is really annoying.

She's 6 and she's really cute to look at...but such a jerk to live next door to.

She knocks like the police. With an insistent persistence that will not go away if you ignore it. At all random times throughout the week. I tell her to go away 9 times out of 10 but she will not be deterred. Once I went outside and told her the boys were riding bikes with their dad.

"Well, when will they be back?"

"I don't know, probably soon. Keep an eye out. From your own yard."

"Well, can you call them?"

"Um, no."

"Can I call them?"

"I don't think he has his phone."

"Imma just gonna yell."

"Okay, do it from your yard."

I went back in and heard her screaming little kid's name for the next 10 minutes. When the boys pulled back into the driveway, she marched over with her arms crossed and confronted them. "Where have you been?!?!" she asked angrily.

"Riding bikes."

"Well, I was calling you!! Didn't you hear me calling you? Geesh. I could've gone too."

Also, someone "accidentally" gets hurt whenever they're playing. And by someone I mean my kids and by accidentally I mean a tennis racket to the face or whatnot.

She also likes to come over and leave a bunch of junk in my yard (she will never play in her own damn yard). She was stringing up pink construction tape across my banyan trees on Christmas eve when I went out and told her to knock it off.

"We're having company tonight, so I don't want that there."

"No, it looks good. I'm decorating for you." She replied.

"I don't want it there and I don't think it looks good."

"It does look good."

"Okay, but I don't want it there."

"Oooookay," like I'm the asshole, "Well, you can easily take it down. Just pull it all down when you're done with it."

"No, you can easily take it down." Stare-off. She did but she was pissed.

The other day they were collecting sticks, boxes and other debris to build a fort in the side yard when Mr. Ashley went out there to ruin their fun.

"I don't want all of this in my yard, you guys need to clean it up."

"We are building a fort!!" She explained, like he was a total dumbass.

"Yeah, well I don't want to clean up your fort, so take it in your own yard."

" YOU'RE the one that ruined the last fort! Mmmhmmm."

Sometimes she'll bring over half a cookie to share with little kid, in her grimy little hands usually with dog hair attached. I let him eat it and then tell her to go home. I never let her inside.

Still better than the last neighbors because her mom isn't annoying (other than letting her kid harass us and I'd probably let her roam the streets too if I had a kid like that.) We have a mutual agreement to smile and avoid long conversations and it works out well for both of us. I don't even know her name, and that's fine.

I was feeling a little hurt because the across-the-street neighbor goes to great dramatic lengths never to face in a direction where our eyes may meet. I've lived here since September and never gotten so much as eye contact or a head nod from her. Sometimes when I see her trying to crab walk to her mailbox to avoid eye contact with me, I want to shout, "DON'T HURT YOUR NECK ON ACCOUNT OF ME, I DON'T WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND EITHER!!!"

But at least her kids aren't pounding at my door at 9 am on a Sunday morning, I guess.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Overheard from the Shower:

"Here's the soap, bro."

"little kid, I don't think we can use this. This soap says it's for men."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Box Man

little kid started a cardboard box collection over the holidays. He inventoried and organized and stacked and assigned purposes for each box and there were boxes all over the house for a while. Finally I pointed out that some of the boxes were going to have to go.

"These are, like, perfectly good boxes."

"I'm not saying they're not, we just don't have room for them or a reason to keep them."

"Uh....we could store things in them. Duh," he answered, frustrated over my inability to see the advantages in having 15 assembled cardboard boxes on hand at all times. "Just put things inside the boxes!"

"That's a good idea. I'll have your dad take them to storage for you."

"See? It is a good idea. The boxes will store stuff in storage."

"Perfect," I said, looking forward to putting the boxes in "storage".

"When I'm growed up, I'm keepin' all my boxes with me all the times."

"Where will you put all of those boxes, though, if you keep every single box forever?"

"In my room."

Picturing myself on a future episode of Hoarders with him and a house full of boxes, I pointed out that his future wife might not want a bedroom full of boxes. "Your pretty wife might want a pretty bedroom," I pointed out.

He considered this for a moment, obviously still perplexed that his love of cardboard boxes isn't universal. "So...she won't like the boxes?"

"Maybe not. Probably not."

"Well....we'll work it out." He said with complete confidence.

Yeah. I'm sure she'll put the boxes in "storage" too. Which will work out fine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Lie

I caught Big Kid lying today.

In the past, his lying was always accompanied by a completely ridiculous face which was a dead giveaway. As he's matured to the wise old age of 8, the "lying face" has been toned down but the look of complete gut-wrenching guilt is still prevalent. It works out well for me, although he rarely lies and he almost never gets in trouble.

But once a month we have a mother/son "book club" meeting where we grab a drink and sit somewhere and discuss what we've recently read. Today was our most recent, and I recalled seeing a book I thought he was talking about and asked if it belonged to the library. He was evasive but seemed visibly relieved when I mentioned seeing it in the book basket at home.

And then when we got home I saw an email from his teacher saying that it was a classroom book that he borrowed and that had been missing since right before winter break, and that he had tried to pay for the book with his own money that day. When she realized he most likely hadn't told us about using his money to pay for the book, she decided to email and ask me to help him look for it.

I confronted him and asked what had happened and he instantly confessed that he thought he lost the book and took his wallet to school and left $10 on the teacher's desk to cover the cost of the book.

I pointed out that he should have told us, and could tell us anything, and he said he felt guilty about losing the book and it was his problem so he was going to take care of it. I also pointed out that he is relatively rich (Big Kid is a saver. To an almost ridiculous degree) and had he lost his wallet, we would have bigger problems than a lost book.

Despite the omission of truth...goodness, am I proud of that little liar.

May our problems always be as big as trying to use his own money to pay for a book he's lost.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Aid

"little kid, I said to bring me a damp napkin!"

"Mom, I brought you a damn napkin! Here is your damn napkin!"

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Catch Up

I know we're all over Christmas already but I just can't skip it in the Story of My Life, sorry. So here's the condensed version of the wrap-up.

What Harold did (in no particular order because I'm extra lazy after all of this "winter break"ing with the kids):

He wrote on mirrors.(Not a fan since I hate cleaning mirrors.)
He showered.
He painted their noses red a la Rudolph. They were not amused and Big Kid wouldn't allow a photo because he was afraid I would put it on my blog. When little kid heard that he volunteered for a photo as long as I promised to put it on the blog.

Took a ride on the ceiling fan. 
Decorated with some lights.(It looked pretty dumb, he has no sense of decor.)
He replenished the advent calendar since I ate all of the advent calendar chocolate (no lie). 

 He enjoyed a burger and fries in the Christmas village. 

 He set up the Christmas train around the tree on the morning of Christmas Eve. (little kid gasped with wonder and joy when he saw this.) 

 He put on his Christmas sweater and joined us for Christmas eve. 

All in all, it was a very nice visit and we will mark that he was mostly good on our elf survey satisfaction form (honestly, this time). I think I heard the elves will only be coming for 2 weeks next year due to a shortage of workers at Santa's Village, and that's really too bad because we enjoy having him.

The note Harold left said: You boys are fun, I like it here, I wish I lived with you instead of reindeer. As you know, I'm not naughty. I'm nothing but nice, so I must get back to work, and the snow, and the ice. Thanks for the marshmallows, the memories, and oh-so-much joy. And also, please, do enjoy this new toy. (Mom and dad, don't be mad, I promise it isn't really that bad.)

He brought them laser tag--I usually don't do gun-type toys but since a magical Christmas elf brought them, I'm going to allow it this one time.

And here are people getting their favorite gifts:
 A Kindle Fire for lucky Big Kid.

And Cruncher the dinosaur for little kid. 

Oh, also, here is a photo of the Ugly Seagull's holiday entry. I did that all by myself, including getting out a tall ladder and climbing to the top, and carefully measuring strings and hanging those hanging ornaments. This is a big deal. I'll be sad to take them down (that's why I'll make Mr. Ashley do it).

Phew, am I glad we got that over with!! I've never been so on the ball for Christmas before; presents were wrapped ahead of time, house was spotless (for less than 24 hours) and holiday cheer was spread all around....but I needed a good week to week and a half long break after all of that non-procrastination. 

Now, I just have to name my favorite book of 2011 and we'll officially be done with last year! (But I'll do that later).