Friday, August 24, 2012

Dear little kid,

You're a bad ass.

I know I shouldn't write that because I shouldn't read it to you as I traditionally do the birthday letters; your young ego probably can't handle the confirmation and you're not supposed to call first graders bad asses (to their face), I'm pretty sure.

But there's just no other good description of the force that is you. You shine with confidence and charisma, you live and love fearlessly, you explore and examine the world with certainty. You're incredible. You're a sponge for information and a finder of lost treasures and an enthusiast of the mundane like bugs and sticks and rocks.

You are also so sweet. The other day I kissed your face and you told me that you get tears in your eyes when I do that. This morning, before you were even fully awake, you asked me to wake your brother so you could get a birthday hug and kiss, it was foremost in your mind. You hug and hold hands and snuggle with intensity. Sometimes I call you my parasitic twin...but every day I know I am blessed beyond measure to have such love in my life.

And such adventure! Who else would see 10 mythical skunk apes during our short skunk ape expedition in the everglades? Who else had to fight off herds of unseen stingrays at the beach house? Who else creates elaborate traps of rope and string to catch whatever may creep through our living areas? You find adventure in everything and that is so admirable and interesting, I am convinced the world must be a brighter place through your eyes.

And ours is a brighter place because you're in it.

Happy 6th Birthday, little kid. Thanks for the love, the hugs, the laughter, the tears, the adventure, the dirt and those little containers of captured bugs I find everywhere. Thanks for being you.

I like you, I love you and I'll always protect you,

(PS I could live without the bugs.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lunchbox comics

Now that the Big Kid's in 4th grade, he's too old and cool for everything. It's been strongly hinted that I shouldn't touch him at all in public. It's been suggested that maybe it's unnecessary for me to run up to the bus excitedly in the afternoons, that I could wait calmly in our yard. And he's officially too old for notes in his lunchbox.

So I settle for fist bumps, and waiting for him to come to me, and printing comics out for his lunch box.

Here's the one I included yesterday:
(Just in case anyone's wondering how he got so weird.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yoga People

So I went to yoga today.

I have been on a quest for a while now to find athletic activity that I do not despise. Kayaking was awesome, but I'm not strong enough to get mine on or off the top of my truck by myself, so it's always an ordeal. And the actual activity is best when drinking, which you generally aren't supposed to do during exercise, from what I understand. It has become mostly a social activity for me, which is still great but doesn't count as exercise. I've decided I want a paddle board, which won't solve any of the problems listed above but let's pretend it might.

I started jogging on the beach and that was great but mostly only the beach part, not so much the jogging. And then it got so freaking hot, I decided anyone who would subject themselves to that on purpose is flat out insane, so I stopped that until the air contains more oxygen than moisture. (That was my scientific reasoning behind this decision). I did just buy new running shoes though.

Several months ago I decided I was going to be a yoga person (are they called something? See, I haven't even gotten that far). So I pinned some stuff on pinterest and stopped by Lululemon a few times and talked about yoga a bit with some people who sometimes do yoga and today I finally got around to going at our local parks and rec center.

I loved it! Not a lot of jumping and flopping around a la Jillian Michaels (I quit her forever. I've said that before though) and I could see how it could be relaxing.

My particular class was not so relaxing because my adorable, true blue yoga person yoga teacher likes to sing. Like, a lot. More like yodel.

And this is great, good for her for feeling inspired and free enough to sing all of the time like that. That's awesome. And she clearly likes the music. It must feel good.

But it's a bit annoying when I'm balancing precariously on one foot with my arms outstretched trying to find this center of balance she keeps preaching about, to have her burst spontaneously into song. Indian music, which is lovely...but still. Shut up already. Especially during the end part where we just lie there and relax. Come on.

And although I told her I was a beginner, she didn't seem to understand that I wasn't just born with an ingrained understanding of what vinyasa bala hare krishna upward baby cobra was, she would just say this stuff and everyone would do it and when I'd look to see exactly what it was we were doing, she'd calmly and soothingly tell me to relax my neck. About 400 different times. It made it rather hard to relax at all.

She was wearing yoga pants that had probably been washed a ton of times and when she was doing downward dog, you could see EVERYTHING. Which was hilarious. And also made it difficult to relax my neck.

So yoga was funny and I felt like I was good at it, unrelaxed neck and all. I think I will go ahead and be a yoga person, I am just going to look for a different instructor. But maybe sometimes I'll go back for a laugh.

Now I need a paddleboard so I can start doing paddleboard yoga.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Me Again

Today was my first full day of freedom again.

It was wonderful.

I sat in silence. 

I watched trashy tv.

I went to the bathroom without anyone banging on the door.

I talked on the phone.

I took a shower without having to stop even once to find out if screaming in the house was related to playing or a break-in and murder. 

I ate hard boiled eggs and only had to peel the ones I was going to eat.

I ran errands and then stopped in Home Goods. For the hell of it. And not one person there asked me when I'd be ready to go home. Or for me to take them to the bathroom. I just looked around. It was pretty amazing.

At first there was a sort of urgency to do "something" that wasn't possible before with them around (gambling? strippers? drugs?) and then as the day stretched before me, I started to miss them a little (but not a lot).

Then they came home and I was reminded that I get to do all of that again tomorrow, with some yoga and solo pool time added for good measure.

Life is good.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Impersonator

I met with the boys' new principal today. I was very nervous because I am not "that" parent and don't particularly like "those" parents, for the most part. But my kids are the most beautiful, special children in the world and require special accommodations, naturally.

I feel very accomplished now that it's over though, like I successfully impersonated an adult-- when will I start feeling like a real grown-up? I'm 33 and have 2 (bigger) kids and many life experiences, yet  managing to act like a serious grown-up in a meeting still feels like a triumph to be celebrated.

(And now I'm belittling my own accomplishment of subterfuge. Do you see how tiring it is to be this neurotic?)

Sometimes when driving around in my SUV, I have startling moments of self awareness, like, "What the fuck am I doing driving 4000 pounds of steel around with my kids in the back like it's no biggie? Singing 'Call Me Maybe' while doing 50 miles per hour on a narrow strip of asphalt with a bunch of other distracted idiots driving thousands of pounds of metal too? Who thought this was a good idea?!"

And people even dumber than me are permitted to do this too, that's truly scary. 

I think that about parenting all of the time, when I have those crippling moments of self-doubt that pop up about decisions: "People dumber than me do this every day," I think and then I just do what I think a smart person would do. It's both a comforting and terrifying thought.

So, I don't know, don't tell anyone but I'm pretty sure I'm not actually a certified, qualified, real live "grown-up" since I feel deceitful when I actually manage to pose as one.

I'm pretty sure I'm also officially "that" parent now, or pretending to be one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Big Kid,

See this?

9 years. 

 I have been blessed with 9 brilliant, beautiful, thrilling, fascinating, sweet, wonderful years with this amazing human being. 

While my heart feels hairline fractured by the thought that time is racing by and trying to snatch this fantastic boy from me, I feel fortunate (exhilarated, even) that I made this person and get to spend a lifetime with him.

I keep threatening to lock you in the garbage closet because I'm pretty sure you could never turn 10 that way, and although it's tempting, I'm so curious to witness the man you will become that I could never do it.

Well, maybe I could do it if it was really an option.

Happy birthday, Big Kid. There are no words, but that will never stop me from trying.

I like you, I love you, and I'll always protect you,


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Magic Mike

I never did review Magic Mike for you all and now that so much time has passed it seems unnecessary but I'll document it for history's sake.

To summarize, the plot was hilariously stupid and the effects they used to try to make the film feel edgy and interesting were just plain stupid. And I wasn't even in to Channing Tatum.

 Until 2 minutes in when I saw his butt and then I was a fan. It was $11 well spent.


And I like the way he dances. Like, really like it a lot. So much so that I may be planning to force Mr. Ashley to learn how to do that. Chippendales have to have some training videos, right?

I had fun with my new friend and as always, was more normal and comfortable than I expected myself to be.

I will probably watch it again when it comes out on DVD. 

For science's sake.

Due Dates

"How many days 'til my birthday?" little kid asked Mr. Ashley this morning. (Despite having been over this about 46 times per day since the end of July.)

"17 days." He answered.

"How many 'til my brudder's?"

"Your brother's is tomorrow."

"That woman!!" little kid muttered angrily.

"What woman? What are you talking about?" Mr. Ashley asked.

"My mom!"

"What about her?"

"I don't know why she borned my brudder first! My birthday should be first! I don't know what I'm going to do with her."

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My kids just helped out by unloading the dishwasher.

Except the dishes were not clean.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot and Cold

little kid just confessed that every time I take a shower, he flushes the toilet a few times so I have no hot water. He relayed this information while laughing hysterically at his cleverness.

This would explain why no one else seems to run out of hot water as quickly as I do. But why? Why would he do this to me?

I swear this kid has been ruining my showers one way or another for almost 6 years now.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Deep Fried Meat

I feel strongly about the recent Chick Fil A boycott and demonstrations of support because I feel strongly about equality...but at this point I'm ready to block everyone on Facebook who mentions it.

I saw this posted somewhere though and literally laughed out loud; I'd share it on Facebook but I would be breaking my own rule. (So you get it instead):

I wish he was my Facebook friend.