Friday, June 28, 2013

Moving Pictures

Google automatically uploads my photos from my phone for me. I don't necessarily approve of this because it feels risky, but they promise those photos are private until I share them and I'm really too lazy to figure out how to make it stop so I'm going to attempt to embrace it.

Anyway, I accidentally discovered that if I take a series of shots in a row, they make them into a .gif for me!

Here's tonight's sunset:

Here is little kid at sunset a few days ago:

And here are my boys (all 3 of them) playing in the creek on vacation:

This is a recent discovery so stay tuned for lots more of this since it endlessly entertains me!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Personal Space

I love my kids.

I'm sure you know, but I feel like I have to preface what I'm about to say with that statement--and that's always a good sign of what's to come.

I'm also very physically affectionate with them and I like that most of the time. Mr. Ashley claims to sometimes feel claustrophobic just looking at the three of us. I am very popular in all ways here and that is sweet and flattening--I mean, flattering.

That being said, you know how when you see a portrait of a primate trainer, they always have a bunch of orangutans hanging from them and they are forcing a pained smile?  You know they're hot and they have huge smelly monkeys hanging from them but they need to smile so they smile.

That's me this summer.

As my boob is sandwiched between a pointy elbow and someone else's knee, and stinky hot breath is enveloping my face and I have sweet murmurings of Minecraft being blasted inches from my ear, I think, "I am about to totally lose my shit here." Then I think, "You are lucky your kids are this old and still love you this much! Big Kid will be an adult in just the same short amount of time you've had him already! You're NOT going to lose your shit, you're going to sit here and you're going to like it."

Rinse and repeat about 12 times a day.

We just bought that beautiful Henry sectional from West Elm and I was worried because we haven't bought upholstered chairs for additional seating. But it turns out we don't need additional seating or a sectional because we share one couch cushion. Whether we all want to or not. I've had to stop writing this four times because little kid can read now so it's like I have the NSA x 2 looking over my shoulders at everything I type.

We're going bowling later this afternoon and I hate bowling. I hate everything about bowling. I hate the shoes, I hate the finger holes in the balls, I hate the noise, I hate the lights, I hate the arcade games my kids beg to play and also, my kids suck at bowling.

But just the thought of sitting in my own chair by myself for a few hours has me eagerly anticipating it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

That time I was an idiot again

I did the stupidest thing ever this morning.

I woke up and went to hot yoga. (No, wait, this is actually not the stupid part.)

Next to me was one of the employees of the yoga studio. As you all know, I volunteer there. As you may or may not know, I still feel like a socially awkward penguin there and am convinced a few of them hate me even though that's probably not true. She's one of those people though--never smiles, never talks to me, and keeps it as short as possible if she has to.

I remembered during my last shift, a yoga teacher and I were looking through her Facebook pictures and she showed me one of a cute pregnant lady doing paddleboard yoga and said the name of this employee. I latched on to a reason to speak to her next time and was excited that the opportunity presented itself.

After an unbelievably intense session of hot yoga, where our sweat literally rained down upon the floor and we were all soaking sweat and shaking but feeling proud and euphoric, I turned to her and said, "You are an inspiration!"

She smiled but looked confused.

"Doing this pregnant!"

And she said, "I am not pregnant," as her face, and my heart, fell.

I went on to assure her that she didn't look pregnant (although maybe a little) and explained what led me to say that. Her face softened and she assured me that there were many people with her name, but I clearly ruined the day for both of us and went ahead and gave her a reason to hate me.

So now I have to quit yoga, right?

And people.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Cause of Death

If I die today, please make sure the coroner lists the cause of death as:
6 year old creating video game soundtracks with synthesizer.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Time

So it's been summer for eleventy billion years now. Have summer days always been this long? I swear I look at the clock 6 times a day thinking that it must almost be time for dinner and it's never anywhere near time for dinner.

A minute ago, both kids were fighting on the other end of the sectional. There was some slapping and shoving involved. I'm so over it already that I only bothered to remind them to keep it over there on their end.

That was followed up by declarations from each that the other was ruining their life.

"Six years of nothing but straight torture!" Big Kid insisted. "Nothing but misery and pain."

I rolled my eyes, ignoring them both.

"HE IS RUINING MY LIFE! MOM! HE DOES NOT LOVE ME! HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE BUT HIMSELF," little kid shouted as he was sent to his room for smacking his brother for saying the dog was dumb.

I've made like 952 lunches somehow and it feels like we've been stuck in the house for 2.5 years. Each day feels like it will never end, which makes me suspect that summer may never end.

I guess I'm going to take them down to the pool again.

And try not to leave them there.

Fraidy Cat

The other day Mr. Ashley was playing with the boys in the driveway when Big Kid turned to him and said, "little kid is such a pussy."

Mr. Ashley almost fell over dead from shock.

"Big Kid!"

"What?" He seemed genuinely confused.

Mr. Ashley lowered his voice to a whisper. "Do you know that word is slang for a woman's private area?"

Big Kid immediately paled and began stuttering. "No! Oh, I--I, no! No! I thought it meant 'fraidy cat!"

"Let's just pretend it never happened, okay?" My husband offered.

They both came in looking sheepish and aghast. Mr. Ashley pulled me into the bathroom to relay the story back to me and I had to stay in there for a few extra minutes so that no one would witness my hysterical laughter.

Thankfully, little kid missed the whole exchange.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From Around the Internet

Photos from a recently discovered 1200 year old underwater Egyptian city 
and another article about it

An incredible bit of serendipity (link fixed!)

India bans captive dolphin shows

Dolphins have names for each other

A badass, vengeful, woman pirate

Julianne Moore recreating art

The real Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin

Study reveals what makes us happy

40-year-old sealed garden bottle

and my kind of parenting advice:



I just mentally tuned in as the kids were playing a video game and heard little kid saying what sounded like, "Eat my penis!" over and over again.

"WHAT IS GOING ON?! I can't even! Go sit on your bed, I cannot even believe--" I was floored. I could not even believe my (sometimes) sweet 6-year-old would dare say that.

He looked shocked and upset. Big Kid interrupted, "Mom, what are you talking about? What are you--? He didn't...?"

"I HEARD him. What he kept saying! 'Eat my...'" I couldn't believe Big Kid was taking up for him, and was about to send them both to their room.

"Peanuts? He's shooting peanuts at me--his character. It's a monkey."

I looked up at the screen. His character was indeed a monkey that threw peanuts. Shit. Shit shit shit.

"Oh. Carry on then."

They both stared at me.

"Sorry." I offered.

"What did you think he said?" Big Kid asked.

"I don't know. I didn't really hear. I could just tell it was aggressive..." I tried.

"Oh. I thought you thought he said 'penis'."

"Maybe you guys don't even need to play this game."

They both stared back at me, faces full of confusion and a bit of incredulity.

"Because of peanuts?" Big Kid asked.

"I don't like shooting. Are you going to play or talk about playing? You can go back to playing. Sorry I misheard. Don't be repeating things loudly or whatever."


Not my best work.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tomorrow or Monday

Each night before I go to bed, I sit and think of all of the things I'm going to start doing differently.

The next day I'm going to start doing 100 sit-ups a day, serving perfectly balanced meals, spend less time online, start writing an amazing novel, contact the half a dozen friends I miss. I rally with the hope of each new day, positive that tomorrow (or Monday...because Monday is a good starting day) will be the day I start doing everything perfectly.

Obviously, it never happens.

Don't get me wrong, I'm closer to that mythical Woman I Want To Be than I've ever been in my life. I have been happy and healthy, doing yoga and paddleboarding, being social and pushing my own awkward limits, making new friends (you know how weird I get about that), writing more and being more organized. I am a better person lately, but there's still all of that other stuff, that I want to do but obviously kind of don't want to do since I never do it. I'm a little bit afraid that there will always be "all of that other stuff" even if I accomplish a lot of the ever-evolving list of small ambitions.

 I've decided in the last two days to become a REALLY good cook (I'm skipping learning to cook entirely, going straight to master chef despite my inability to safely handle knives) and to learn Spanish (I took 3 years in high school, was in the Spanish National Honor Society, and have been to Mexico twice. So I'm sure a summer of thinking about it before bed will be the catalyst for change that I've been awaiting).

I don't even really like food or Spanish.

Also, those 100 sit-ups? I'm on it. Tomorrow.

So, we're what? Not even 2 official days into summer (although my vacation with them last week counts) and I'm already suffering from extreme boredom and delusions of grandeur.

Win some and Lose Some

little kid is incredibly competitive.

I played checkers with him while on vacation, and in spite of only having played once with his brother, he was incredibly cunning and calculated about each move. He used words like "retreated" (or wetweated) and "defense tactic" and could predict moves I hadn't even considered. It was like playing with an experienced war general. I was impressed.

When it became clear that I was going to beat him, he made the grand and noble decision to "let me win," purposely sacrificing his pieces so we could "just end it." He then congratulated me for winning and pointed out again that he had let it happen and that he was feeling particularly nice that day. "Do you think it was genewous of me?" he asked.

Yeah, okay. Whatever. I won.

Everything is a competition though, including the contest for my affection. If I am snuggling the cat and saying that she's the best cat ever, he asks, "What about me?"

This is not a child who is denied affection in any way. I am physically and emotionally very close to them constantly. Constantly. Some days claustrophobically so. Also, he's not even a cat. Making him a clear loser for the "Best Cat Ever" award. I always assure him that I love him too but often point out that it's okay to let something or someone else have a moment of the spotlight.

One day I was commenting on the softness of our dog's nose, and I swear to you, he said, "I have a soft nose, too! My nose is softer than Murphy's."

I know it's absurd but I couldn't agree and insisted that no, I thought Murphy's was softer.

His insistence intensified--now he not only had the softest nose in the whole house, but also have I felt his hands? Murphy doesn't have the softest hands, that's for sure. He was like a defense attorney, hammering home the evidence that he had an extremely, extraordinarily soft nose and then also his hands of magic velvet.

I kissed Murphy on the head and told him he had such a soft nose, maybe the softest nose in all the history of the world; Murphy looking kind of worried and confused but also pleased to be involved.

"But my nose is softer!" little kid had to add.

Since then, it has become a running joke in our family. When little kid interrupts someone's excited story at dinner to talk about Minecraft, I tell him that yes, he has a very soft nose too. When he pretends to accidentally nudge the cat off of my lap so he can make more room for himself, I tell him not to worry, that his nose is soft too. When he wedges himself between me and Mr. Ashley, I turn to Mr. Ashley and ask if he knows how very soft little kid's nose is? Has he heard?  When he's ridiculously sad over an imagined familial slight (we are incredibly dramatic at 6), I assure him that he shouldn't worry, his nose is almost as soft as Murphy's.

Some days out of nowhere, he will ask, "Is my nose softer than Murphy's nose?" and some days, depending on my mood, I let him win the battle for the softest nose.

And some days I tell him it is certainly not, and that it is Murphy's turn to have the softest nose in the house for a minute. Because you can't always win.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dictator Director

The children are trying to film a webisode about Soviet Russia. (I think it's a comedy.)

This is a huge problem because little kid doesn't understand Soviet Russia. (To be honest, I'm not sure if I get it either.)

Also, Big Kid seems like hell to work for--dude, has a vision. A very specific and confusing vision.

I'm trying to figure out how to secretly film the planning and filming of this webisode because I promise you that it's funnier than the actual webisode itself will be.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Let Them Eat Cake

I survived the wedding with good hair and without any 3rd degree neck burns, so I would consider it a success. 

 It was a very traditional Southern wedding and little kid was confused by the presence of two cakes. 

"One is the groom's cake, it's a tradition in some places. So, the big one is the wedding cake that they both picked and the fishing one is the groom's cake," I explained. 

He looked perplexed and a little irritated. "So everyone has to share tiny slices of the wedding cake, and the groom gets to eat his own cake? That doesn't seem right. How's he going to eat that whole cake?" He was disgusted, if not slightly envious. 

They were the greatest ring bearers in the history of weddings (which is easy to say since most ring bearers do a mediocre job, at best).