Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Saturday was my birthday.

I am 36.

We went to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate -- the same place we went for my anniversary a few years ago, when one child had a major bathroom incident and the other projectile vomited all over our shared table. We left abruptly (because, really, that's all you can do when a waiter is trying to clean up your child's vomit with a handheld floor sweeper) and it was not a good day.

"I remember this restaurant. Is this the place you took us to on the night you decided to ban us from anniversaries? Because NATURE happened?" Big Kid asked, obviously still pissed.

"Yes. They probably have 'wanted' posters of us up in the kitchen. We only dare return now, years later."

"It wasn't our fault. It's totally unfair we can't come to anniversary dinners."

"Totally unfair I had to live through that. No one better puke tonight."

And no one puked. They loved the dinner show. Big Kid is a total foodie and was awe-struck by the array of food before him. They were wonderful conversationalists and interacted easily with the strangers seated among us (a difficult task even for me.) They were fun to be around. It was a great night.

I took this picture of my little family before we left and when I saw it, I had a sharp intake of breath. Literally. It felt like my heart stopped. THIS is mine. Even with all of my mistakes and regrets and heartaches and bad days, I have all of this:

I am so lucky.

Although I usually cry on every birthday, I didn't this year because life is so good. So freaking hard and impossible to control and it hurts and yet it's so beautiful and amazing and abundant.

I think 36 is going to be okay.

It's got to be better than 35 was, right?

And for the record, despite the successes of Saturday, I'm still not inviting the kids on anniversary dates.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yes and Yes

"That would be amazeballs," I said to my husband in conversation, in an annoying way on purpose like when I say adorbs.

(Don't worry, I don't do this often. He knows to ignore it completely.)

"Mom, did you just say amazeballs?" little kid asked. I was surprised he had heard me. There's really nothing that rhymes with amazeballs so I had to confess.

"Yes I did. You probably shouldn't say that, though."

"YOU probably shouldn't say that! Amazeballs? Mom, let me give you a clue, you should never use the words 'amaze' and 'balls' together." He used his hands to create categories for the words 'amaze' and 'balls' as he spoke; 'amaze' clearly went here and 'balls' clearly went over there. "Trust me on this one. Amazeballs. You've got to be kidding me, mom."

He's going to repeat it somewhere that will embarrass me horribly, isn't he?

(I'm really screwing up this whole parenting thing, aren't I?)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scorpion King

"Go to bed, you two, I'm not telling you again!" I heard Mr. Ashley insist. "little kid, were you just trying to show me your butt?"

"No, that was my scorpion."

"Your scorpion??"

"Scorpion pose."

"Oh please. You're not going to show me your butt and then pretend to be a yoga master. Get it into bed."

For the record, this is the closest either child has come to actually doing yoga.

(and scorpion pose would actually be a very difficult way to show your ass, so I haven't taught them very well.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book Traitor

"At the rate I'm reading, I might have to make up with the library," I announced while perusing Amazon.

"Are you mad at the library again?" Mr. Ashley asked.

"I never stopped being mad at the library. They're assholes. I'm sick and tired of them oppressing me."

He started to laugh in a way that I didn't like. "So you think this is a library problem and not a you problem?"

"Of course it's not a me problem! This has been going on for YEARS."

"Yes...that's my point. This has been going on for years. So you think this is all the library's fault?"

"I don't think there's any doubt this is their fault since they are the jerks."

Then he laughed so hard he was semi-hyperventilating, in a way that makes me think he's on the library's side in all of this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Boyhood: the review that wasn't

I saw the movie Boyhood today. A friend suggested a midweek matinee, which seemed as illicit as a visit to a strip club for some reason. When we figured out that the movie was close to 3 hours long, we panicked for a minute over whether or not this would interfere with bus stop time and decided we had to do it anyway and that my kid could go home on the bus with hers to buy us a few additional minutes.

The movie was filmed over the course of 12 years, using the same actors so you actually watch the boy grow up. You also watch him have a very common, kind of sad (fictional) life with normal struggles like divorced parents and dealing with the aftermath of the careless things adults say and do.

There's no real plot, his life is the plot but there's no climax. Despite this and its length, I wasn't especially eager for it to end, even though I don't think it needed to be quite so long. I liked it but I don't exactly know why. It might have been the mom in me, though. I found myself getting emotional at times that seemed odd -- the boy and his dad discussing Star Wars, someone wishing him a happy 15th birthday, him kissing a girl. I kept thinking back to the first version of him that we had seen, the youngest him. It was hard to watch him go through hard things that happen in life, I felt for him like you do a well-defined character in a book.

I also loved the time capsule-like quality to it. They were great with details because they weren't recreating anything. The music was perfect.

But I also recognize that it might have been boring as hell for others. I even found it kind of boring but in an enjoyable kind of way...the luxury seating and long escape from real life might have helped.

So, have I done a good job demonstrating why I'm not a movie reviewer? I liked this movie but I don't know why I liked this movie. I'm glad I saw this movie in a cushy theater but I wouldn't necessarily recommend that others see this movie in a cushy theater.

I had a great day despite all of this confusion, though. I also fully recognize the irony in me enjoying an escape from parenting by watching some other kid grow up for a few hours.

But anyway, we're going to do this whole matinee thing every month, like a book club for lazy people who like to eat popcorn and candy for lunch and sit in comfy chairs in the dark.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Real Life Mermaid

"There's a mermaid tail on the yard sale site for $80, which I think is an excellent investment," I told Mr. Ashley.

"It is absolutely not. No way," Mr. Ashley replied, because his job as full-time fun killer requires him to reply as such.

"Big Kid, what do you think? What if I had a mermaid tail for a bathing suit?" I knew my chances were better with little kid, but he wasn't around. Big Kid is a fan of quirky, though, so I thought there was a slim chance.

"Big Kid, imagine your mom at the beach dressed like a mermaid," Mr. Ashley interrupted.

He didn't even need a moment to think about it. "That would be the worst possible scenario. Sorry, mom, but no."

"Well, I wouldn't wear it at the beach, that would be ridiculous. For lazy rivers and the pool and grottos and such. Maybe short trips to the beach."

"Yeah, no."

And that's how these people killed my dream of becoming a mermaid. 


Last night at homework time there was some controversy over whether or not some homework could or should be saved until morning. Mr. Ashley said no, so it wasn't.

"I can't believe you were going to wait until morning to do the rest of your homework! Good thing you're doing it tonight, you would have been miserable in the morning." Mr. Ashley pointed out.

"I'm miserable now." Big Kid quickly retorted.

I laughed, really hard, which apparently was not all that helpful.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Worth It

"If you mess with me, you will pay the price," little kid told me, as we joked around in the kitchen.

"Oh, trust me, I have PAID the price--my body, my sanity, my freedom, my ability to use the bathroom alone, my money, my quiet, the last bite of all of my desserts AND my beauty."

"You still have your beauty," Big Kid offered when I finished my list.

"You are beautiful," little kid added. "And incredibly offensive. Seriously offensive, mom."

"Aw, you guys were worth the high price. I'd do it all again."

(Not, like, with another baby because I did learn my lesson there but if a time machine took me back to the past, I would have kids again if I could guarantee that they would be these exact same kids.)

"You're still offensive."

"I'm okay with that."

I really only even heard the beautiful part. They think I'm beautiful!

Man, maybe I should have had more kids.