Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Say No

"I'm clipping this money together to buy drugs with it," little kid said out of nowhere the other day. (Fantastic!)

"Drugs??" I asked in horror, because he loves to catch bugs and I was sure I misheard.

"Yes, this is my drug money."

"What are you talking about?? You don't do drugs!" I seriously have no idea where he got this.I am not proud.

"Bro, I want to buy drugs from you but I don't have any money." Big Kid said. Yes! Big Kid! Rule Follower Extraordinaire.

"Guys, seriously, this game isn't cool. You have to stop."

"Why isn't it cool? We're not really buyin' drugs."

"We don't pretend to buy drugs. We don't do drugs. Ever. Not even pretend." (I really wanted to throw in a "Drugs are bad, mmmmkay," Mr. Garrison-style but this is serious business and they wouldn't get it anyway.)

little kid looked at me for a moment, the wheels in his head obviously turning. "Well, ya see, mom, I invented a new drink that's a drug."

"That won't work either. You're not allowed to pretend to do drugs just like you're not allowed to pretend to smoke cigarettes or kill people."  (Because smoking cigarettes and killing people are near parallel offenses in my world).

"Oh, It's not really a drug, it's an, uh, um, energy drink, and I named it 'The Drug'".

His persistence is astounding, he just never gives up ever. There's always a reply waiting in the wings.

"What?" he asked as I glared at him.  "It's a good name. You can't tell me I can't name my mesperiment that. I can name it whatever I want.." He then turned to Big Kid and said, "So bro, you want to buy Drugs? It's a drink. Not the type mom doesn't like. We don't do those drugs!"

He's 5. FIVE. 5! In kindergarten. Living a (fairly) normal life with (fairly) normal (halfway) respectable people. Why are we already arguing about him selling drugs?

And who would think Big Kid would want to buy some??

Monday, May 28, 2012

Missed Bullet

"When I grow up, I think I'm going to name my baby boy Orville," Big Kid announced.

"Orville?" God, we eat too much popcorn, I worried.

"After Orville Wright. I really admire him."

"Oh. What's his brother's name? Do you admire him?"

"Wilbur? Sure, I admire them both."

"Wilbur? Nevermind. Hey! You've always really admired Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin's nice! Or Theodore Roosevelt. We love him! I could do Theodore but, boy, Benjamin sure is a snazzy name."

"Oh yeah, Benjamin! I like that! But what should I name a girl baby?"


Friday, May 25, 2012

Peace and love

About 5 minutes before leaving the house today, we remembered it was 70s day at school. Remember how embarrassed I was when Big Kid wanted to be a pimp (to be fair, the costume was labeled "Mack Daddy") for Halloween in kindergarten? That shit came in handy all these years later!

On the way to school I mentioned how funny it would be if it wasn't really 70s day. This sparked total panic in Big Kid, who continued to panic when we pulled up and he saw all of the kids who forgot it was 70s day. I pointed out that some hadn't forgotten, but the looks on the faces of the parents who didn't know what was going on were priceless when my boys hopped from the car and strolled to class.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Big Brother

 little kid's message to Big Kid:

Hater is going to hate...or hatter is going to hat, tough to tell.

 The drawing is of Big Kid with a mustache. From what I've been told.

(THIS is why Big Kid doesn't like little kid using the white board.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Leave it to Beaver

little kid got a small stuffed beaver from his class treasure box recently.

He named it Justin Beaver.

I cannot even tell you the fun Mr. Ashley and I have had since Justin Beaver's arrival. Much talk of having beaver fever, taking your beaver to bed, stroking the beaver, asking each other if we love the beaver, keeping your beave on a leash (because little kid does attach a leash to Justin Beaver for walks) and much more inappropriate innuendo.

Let's hope by the time my kids learn what beaver is slang for, they've forgotten about Justin Beaver.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Closet Miracle

Want to hear something incredible?

Within hours of writing my post yesterday, I was reunited with Kate.

As soon as I saw her name in my gmail inbox with the email preview of "I am the author of the comment cited in today's post" I got goosebumps all over and tears in my eyes. Even more amazing, she saw my post within hours of a very big, scary, emotional life change and felt less alone after reading it. She was as flabbergasted that I kept a comment of hers for 4 years as I am that she saw my post  4 years later.

I cannot even tell you all how many times over the past 4 years I've almost written that post, how many times I've felt guilty for not writing that post, and then yesterday morning I sat down to write something else and almost against conscious thought began writing about that comment finally. And it happened to be the day she needed it most.

This is majorly one of those meant-to-be kind of things for me, one of those small pieces of personal evidence that there's something else out there watching out for us and lining up destinies. The intensity of our exchange is difficult to convey without copying and pasting; Kate is a fantastic writer and a good person and I feel so blessed that she left that comment 4 years ago and that it resulted in both of us feeling less alone in the universe 4 years later.

It's really hard to put into words. Mr Ashley was looking at me like "WTF?" as I sat on the couch with tears running down my face trying to explain it to him. Big Kid made fun of me for crying.

So you'll just have to take my word for it on how much this interaction/coincidence/divine intervention meant to me and my life.

(and NOW we're done with the cheesy stuff. I swear. Probably.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank you for being a friend

In March of 2008, someone named Kate left me the most lovely comment. She asked me not to publish it so I didn't and won't share it verbatim here in case that still stands. She mentioned how she was going through some difficulties in life and struggles with herself and anxiety and how my habit of editorializing my own quirkiness has given her strength and happiness and how much she appreciates my doing so. I was never able to delete it, so it has sat in my comment inbox for all of these years, quietly reminding me of why we're here whenever I forget.

I do have paralyzing moments of wondering what we're doing here together. I get writer's block wondering why the hell any of you would care what's going on here. I get stage fright wondering why the hell I would choose to share my boring life with hordes of strangers. I get worried that I share too much or too little or of being judged in real life (because not letting real life people know has failed miserably--meaning about half know and the other half may find out at any time and wonder why they never knew). I get insecure over the unspectacularness (I invented that word) of me and my average little family.

And then I see Kate's comment again and feel good about the people I may have accidentally helped along the way, even if it's just with a smile, and I remind myself that I'm recording my life story and hope that my children appreciate its existence one day. I think of Kate probably every day, someone I have literally had no personal contact with since there was no way to reply to her comment, and how she couldn't possibly guess how that one innocuous comment has kept me going through the years.

And although Kate is the poster child of good comments, so many of you have touched me with your words and with the fact that you reached out in some way, or even that you are there. Every time someone comments that they've just read the entire blog from start to finish I am in complete awe (and concerned about your lack of quality reading material) and go to bed that night thinking of their comment (and of the fact that I myself have never read the blog from start to finish...I never re-read it at all, due to aforementioned stage fright). Whenever one of you who have been around for years drops by, I feel like I've been reunited with a long lost friend and am so flattered that you're still out there. Whenever someone new announces their arrival and pleasure at having found us, I am happy they're here and surprised that they took the time to convey their delight.

And I mean to reply to every comment and to reach out to every reader, but I have a short attention span, I'm lazy, and I often read my comments late at night or over the phone and vow to respond the next day and then forget. So, I'm sorry, and thanks to the Kates of the world for being here, and please excuse this cheesetastic interruption of our regular entertainment.

(And I swear this isn't a tactic to guilt you all into commenting more frequently....)

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Much to Big Kid's horror, I've been finding a lot of good stuff in people's trash lately. Don't worry! I am not actually digging through garbage bins (Big Kid asked this right away), but if I see something nice out at the curb on large item pick up day, it's mine.

I've gotten a completely adorable shabby chic, hand painted children's table and chairs (shabby chic on purpose, not just junky) , the perfect sized low table to put little kid's play castle on in perfect condition, and the exact wire shelf I was about to buy at Lowe's for $30 for my laundry room. I have no shame and feel fortunate that my neighbors throw away perfectly good stuff that I need. I'm RECYCLING, I tell Big Kid.

Anyway, my latest treasure was a small red metal toolbox that I thought would be cute to contain little kid's many treasures. Much to his delight, it was full of old tools with wooden handles, mostly screwdrivers and random bits and pieces. After a reminder about tool safety and being careful, I let him keep them. (He much admires my garbage treasure hunting ability so he was my favorite at that moment).

But within one hour he threw a screwdriver at Big Kid and I had to take the tools away and then everyone was fighting with each other. He was particularly angry at Big Kid, the victim of the screwdriver attack.

"I had to tell her, bro. I can't have you throwing tools at people. You threw a screwdriver at me! If you saw someone rob a bank and you were the only one who witnessed it, wouldn't you tell someone?" Big Kid implored.

"Nope. No, I would not."

"You would!"

"I wouldn't, it's between the bank and the robber. I might ask the robber for some monies for not tellin' but I wouldn't tattletale. I'm no tattletale!!" little kid insisted.

(He most certainly is a tattletale.)

"What if you saw a bad guy beating a hobo with the Bible? You'd tell." Big Kid asked.

"Nope." little kid answered with certainty.
"Well, that's wrong. Sometimes you have to be a tattletale, like when people are throwing sharp rusty tools at other people."

"You're the worst brudder ever. You got my tools taken away for nothin'!"

"It wasn't nothin'! You threw a screwdriver at me! What kind of brother does that make you?"

"You told. That was worser of you."

Big Kid continued to beg for forgiveness for having a screwdriver thrown at him until I forced everyone outside and poured myself a glass of wine.

I should never have taken that toolbox out of the trash.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yes Ma'am

Whenever little kid is in trouble, he sends me a note. The notes are hilarious because he can't really spell at all and I'm the only one who can understand them. I've been meaning to scan them all for you for a "letters from little kid" post but the scanner is like 10 steps from the couch and it would involve button pushing and whatnot, and I'm extremely lazy.

Anyway, he just got sent to his room for saying "Yes ma'am" to Mr. Ashley in a sarcastic tone in front of the neighbor kid. I received the following note scrawled in purple crayon on a small, ripped out notepad paper:

mad me
sod lik
e a dok

I'm pretty good at this but this one had me stumped so I had to call him from his room to translate. He explained that it said "Your husband made me sound like a dork," and with great indignation he told me how wrong Mr. Ashley was to embarrass him in front of the neighborhood, the neighbor kid, the neighbors who were outside, and all of the golfers at the country club and how I was to call Mr. Ashley right that second on my phone and tell him to never do it again or he wouldn't be completing his time out. .

I explained that his "Yes ma'am" made Mr. Ashley feel the same way and he claimed it was an accident, even though he frequently has done it on purpose and has been told to stop. I told him I didn't believe him and to go finish his time out

And then I laughed about him feeling like a dork in front of the neighbor kid because he's made us feel like dorks in public many, many times..

Update: I just received a wadded up note in a red envelope that says:

I love you.
I am sre.
I love you so mock.
I love you.

and he drew a picture of him and I holding hands.

That made me feel bad for laughing about him feeling like a dork.

But not bad enough to let him out of time out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I heard a faux ad on the radio that said:

"Give mom what she really wants for mother's day this year--leave her the F alone!"

and laughed so hard I almost got in a car accident.

I hope you get what you really want for Mother's Day this year!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Summer Bucket List

The boys are ridiculously excited about summer (I am too, but that should only last about a week) and have created a summer bucket list. We're also singing the annual "Summer of fun" family jingle already, just so we're completely ready for the summer kick-off party (which only includes the 4 of us, but still.) It's going to be a busy and...interesting few months. The list includes:

Print summer checklist
summer kick off party
ice skate
find shark teeth
learn about Greek myths
watch old episodes of the Muppets Show
make a working volcano
make and eat ice cream
make huge dominoes trail to knock over
Design and print custom summer bingo game and play
make biggest sheet tent city ever
go to free/$1 movies
go to a museum
make cookies
play Monopoly
beat/play video game together
read 100 best video games book
learn about Egyptian gods and plasma (body and technical)
complete a logic book
Make a working CAT-apult (cat shaped, with one paw that will throw catnip bombs)
Kids learn to kayak
Paint blank canvases
learn to throw cast net
Skunk Ape expedition in Everglades
drink from a coconut
host outdoor movie night
get art book
Go fishing
buy unusual object
have little kid teach us song with all the presidents
see kitties/pet store/gram's work
go to zoo
Read Frankenstein
learn about Benjamin Franklin/Teddy Roosevelt
Study different inventors
Rent beach house
Go tubing
See and discuss some sculptures
Go to Cocoa Beach and learn to surf
road trip with friends
Complete everything on list and celebrate with frozen yogurt celebration

At least 2-3 new items get added to the list daily. Sometimes I "forget" to add things, because I'm "forget"ful.

(and because it's already a pretty long list....)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Virtual Book Club

I'm way behind on keeping you all up to date on what I'm reading. And I'm sure you're all dying to know, it's probably making you insane that I have no handy dandy widget over there on the sidebar to share my 2012 book list with you all. (Maybe I'll do that today but I may go to the beach instead.)

I've kind of fallen off the book bandwagon because so many books suck lately . Do they suck more, or am I pickier as I get older? Not sure but it's been more of a chore than it should be.

But I have to share some stuff with you and I have to urge you to read these all for different reasons:

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal : This book was brilliant. It was seriously the funniest, most clever book I've read--ever? I was trying to put a time frame on it but I really can't think of anything that tops it. It was a smart, interesting kind of funny; irreverent but not disrespectful. It's the fictional account of Christ's first 33 years (or whatever, I read it around Easter) that weren't accounted for in the Bible, told through the voice of his candid, real, hilarious childhood friend. I loved it. If I read it again, I'd probably find funny stuff I missed the first time, it's so many layers of clever.

The Book Thief : Man, this was a good book. The writing was really different but it was beautiful. It's narrated by Death, who takes an interest in a young girl during World War II when he sees her steal a book and then continues to notice her as he comes for people in her life. It's sweet and poignant and well-written. I read a brief snippet of it to Big Kid who is desperate to read it now, but it's too intense for him. I love that he recognizes good writing, though. I really liked it.

Right now I'm reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and I only got it because it was on sale in the Nook store. I don't like anything that is blatantly trying to emotionally manipulate me (even though that's the purpose of a good book) and I don't like anything related to 9/11 and I get snotty about books that become movies (I'm too cool for them or something? Not sure.) But I cannot put it down. The main character has such a great "voice", the writing is fantastic, the pace is fast, the characters are rich and real and I very much want to know what happens. It is short and so hard to put down. And I do want to see the movie.

I read other stuff that sucked that I'll add to the widget that I'll make one day but these three are not to be missed. These 3 will make it difficult to choose a Book of the Year in December (or January or whenever I finally get around to it...) and it's only May right now! There are many hopefully good books left to be read.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boob Job

We were watching Survivor the other night when Big Kid read out loud that Tarzan was a plastic surgeon.

"What's that?" little kid asked.

"It's a type of doctor who changes the way people look." I answered.

"What do you mean? How can he do that?"

"He does surgery to change people's chins or noses or eyelids or suck fat out of places or even give people boobs," I told him.

"I want boobs! Are you serious? I could get boobs from a doctor? I totally want some! I'm doing that!"

"You can't do that!" Big Kid protested.

"I love boobs, bro. Mom, could a doctor give me boobs?"

"I guess. That would look weird, a man with boobs."

"I'm gettin' 'em," he said definitively. "I really like boobs."

"I like boobs too," Mr. Ashley said, coming from the kitchen having missed the beginning of the conversation.

"Good, little kid's getting some. He's learned about plastic surgery and wants some of his own."

"Well, that's taking it to a whole 'nother level."

"I'm going to blog about this and one day you'll be embarrassed about it." I promised.

"Yeah but I am getting boobs." He promised back.

(because I'm open minded like that and don't really think he'll get boobs.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today I bought some wine to celebrate Friday. I don't know why I like Fridays, since my life is pretty awesome during the school/work week (since I do neither) but I guess it's a habit. I also bought $165 worth of other groceries. And then my debit card was declined because apparently someone in California tried to spend $500 at Target with it yesterday. So the store employees treated me like a pain in the ass (because I was) and didn't seem to believe/want to hear that I had plenty of money in that account. I almost cried. And then the fear of public crying had me even more upset.

I finally got it straightened out and I was looking forward to my wine when I realized it's not Friday at all.

So now I have to celebrate Thursday instead, and Thursday has kind of sucked.

I wonder if the person in California pretending to be me was trying to buy an ipad. I've always wanted an ipad.

Big Kid Gets Real

little kid was just up in Big Kid's top bunk, which is against official Big Kid rules. He wouldn't come down and Big Kid was livid. He tried to appeal to his sense of safety, "You will fall down and crack your head!" and "I think you have disrupted the ladder, you know it's not safe to mess with the  ladder," but little kid has no sense of safety. Then he pointed out his issues with little kid's hygiene: "You smell like bad cheese, I don't want you on my bedding!" and "I am not kidding, that's where I sleep, dude!" in a pleading voice but little kid has no regard for clean sheets.

Finally at the epitome of fed-up, he shouted,"You come down right this instant! It is a REQUIREMENT! A REQUIREMENT!! DO YOU HEAR ME RIGHT NOW?"

(A requirement? Really, Big Kid? I LOL'ed and I'm pretty sure little kid did too.)

little kid, always cunning, said, "I can't come down if I probly disrupted the ladder. Do you want me to die?"

"I don't want you to die! I just don't want my sheets to smell like cheese!! Now I don't know what to do--WHY did you disrupt the ladder?!? Why are you up there at all??"

I could tell Big Kid's distress was genuine at this point, I was slightly worried that the ladder may have been disrupted (it hadn't) and it seemed like nothing interesting was going to be happening henceforth so I did finally go in there and yell for little kid to come down. Because I'm a good mom.

And I might even change Big Kid's sheets since little kid does smell a bit like bad cheese.