Sunday, December 28, 2008

Taste The Rainbow

I love the movie Juno.

I like it so much, in fact, that I find myself randomly using words/phrases from the movie.
"You're the cheese to my macaroni."
"Thundercats are gooooo!"

And then of course, there's my personal favorite:
"That's one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskittle."

It seems I use the word 'homeskittle' a lot - especially when driving, as an alternative to my favorite *ahem* more colorful expletives.

Hey, there are some things I just don't want my kids saying at school. Especially a Christian preschool.

A few nights ago we took the kidlets to see the Christmas lights at McAdenville (locals will know what I'm talking about). Of course we were in gridlock traffic, so we had all the windows (and moon roof) open so the kids could hear the music.

Bad idea.

It seems a rather sizable recreational vehicle was blocking my four year-old's view of a particular display. I became aware of this when I hear an indignant voice from the backseat yelling "Out of the way, homeskittle! You're blocking my view!" "Go. Move, homeskittle!"

Bear in mind that our windows were wide open, as were the windows of virtually everyone else driving through.

Man, are kids a loud, unabashed mirror view of your actions or what?!

I might have been mortified if I hadn't been too busy trying to regain composure after my mostly silent fit of laughter.

Amendment:

I feel compelled to amend this wonderful, insightful piece of literary genius upon the realization that I'm kind of a dipshit. Apparently the line from Juno goes "This is one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet." That is all.
I won't change the story because, well... I like my way better. :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

How To See The Continental US (In Just 10 short days!)

You too can have a trip around the Continental US for the price of one plane ticket! This is not a joke, nor is it a scam. With just two easy steps, you too can set foot in up to FIVE US states per day!

Sounds pretty cool, right? In fact, you might be wondering just how one might accomplish this.

It is very simple. Fly Continental Airlines... and have a layover in Newark, New Jersey.

Done! Ten days later, you've seen every state possible.

I was taken on this little trip against my will, and escaped after being held hostage for one day. In that one day I visited (and I use that term loosely) Nebraska, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and finally back home to North Carolina. Yes folks - 5 states in 12 hours.

The trip from NC to Nebraska (and vice versa) is roughly 3 hours long when traveling with no layovers. Unfortunately, Charlotte doesn't fly directly into Omaha, which is where the fun comes in.

All was going well until our pilot suddenly informed us (after boarding and being seated) that we would be sitting on the plane for over an hour, because Newark had a ground stop in effect, and we wouldn't be able to land when we got there. OOOKK.

Eventually we take off, and all is good. Until our plane was denied landing privileges upon arrival. Supposedly a 30 minute ground stop. Nice. The pilot gets on the intercom and says "Oh hey guys... we have a thirty minute ground stop, but don't worry. We've got enough fuel for 30 minutes, we're just going to circle around." The 30 minutes come and go... pilot says "Oops! Been extended another 15 minutes." (Note that he previously told us we had just enough fuel for 30 minutes.) Finally the pilot says "Bad news. (just what you want to hear when you are many thousands of feet above the ground) The ground stop is still active - we are flying into Allentown, PA so that we don't run out of fuel. We'll keep you posted."

I feel I should mention now that I was flying with my brother.
My brother who is scared shitless of flying.
I look over and he's got his eyes squeezed shut, trying to stave off a panic attack.
Greeeeaaaat.

Anyway, we get fuel in PA, and eventually land in Satan's lair (aka: the Newark New Jersey airport). Unfortunately, we had already missed our connecting flight (obviously!).

No big deal right? Just get the next flight out.
Wrong.

The next two flights on Continental into Charlotte were booked solid. We just missed the one on USAir. Fab. So the ticket agent says "We can put you on standby tomorrow, but I can't guarantee anything."

W.T.F.

OK, if we were some scatterbrained, lazy-ass people who missed our flight because we were screwing around, that's one thing. But it was THEIR FAULT, and oh well... we don't know when we can get you out of here. I don't think so.

Finally we finagle a flight into Greensboro (1.5 hours from our destination) and have to have friends pick us up at 11:30 pm). And what did we get for our trouble? Two $12 'meal vouchers'. Meal vouchers my ass. That $12 paid for one (nasty) ham & swiss on rye, one soda, and one banana. Woo hoo! That more than makes up for having more than FIVE hours added to our total trip time!

Needless to say, I'm not sure who I am most pissed at - Continental Airlines, or Newark, NJ as a whole.

I'll let ya know.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Had A Dream...

Yeah. Not that kind of dream.

No, lets just say that my dream was a bit more on the *ahem* interesting side. In fact, (to be honest) I'm a little scarred. *sniff*

Given my obvious state of mental anguish, of course I had to unload my burden on my dear, long-suffering husband this morning. (Yeah, because hearing about your wife's perverted dreams is a HUGE hardship, donchaknow?) Well, it was all good until a little person with a rather BIG set of ears walked in, mid-tale.

See, I have these two friends... lets call them Smeather and Smatty. Well, Smeather and Smatty starred in my dream last night... and while the dream wasn't particularly explicit, and *I* wasn't involved, it was odd enough that I had to get it off my chest (in as vague a way as possible, what with kids being around and all. The full-on descriptives would have to wait).

So as I said, Miss HearAPinDropInAlaska walks in and promptly picks up on a name she knows and asks a very thought-provoking question:

"What DID Ms. Smatty do with Ms. Smeather's clothes, Mommy?"

That's right, I was busted.

As I tried to formulate an appropriate, PC answer, I swear I hear a muffled snicker from across the room.

You wait buddy. Your day is coming.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Al Rescate, You Blockhead!

I fancy myself a pretty decent parent.

Hey, shut up. I do the 'good parent stuff', and sometimes I even pretend to be excited about it.

You know the drill - limit exposure to trashy TV, violent cartoons, Eminem, play Candy Land, and try to tone down the more 'colorful' words you used to favor. That sort of thing.

But after four years of watching PC kids' shows, I have something to say:

[GRUMBLE]
Kid's TV nowadays is pure crap. Crap, I tell ya!

Whatever happened to anvils and long walks off a short cliff?
Where's the potty humor and gratuitous violence?

This world has gone to hell in a handbasket!
[/GRUMBLE]


Well, I'm done with all the hooey on Nickelodeon these days. Whatever happened to really GOOD shows like You Can't Do That On Television? Now that was a quality kid's show.

It was after that revelation (and the conviction that the likes of Dora, The Backyardigans, and The Wonderpets will be the downfall of Western civilization) that I decided it was time my kids became intimately acquainted with some of the favorites from my childhood.

A parental sanity-saving move, if you will.

Because I was in good-parent mode at the time, I did not choose anything that might put me out of the running for Parent Of The Year, such as Road-Runner cartoons, old-school Scooby Doo, or Ren and Stimpy.
That would be bad, doncha know?

No, instead I opted for a classic, wholesome collection of holiday movies, and unearthed my Charlie Brown DVDs. (All the while feeling smug and confident that not only would I not have to hear "Vamanos! Al rescate!" anymore, but that I would (like a 'good' Mother) be reviving a great Holiday tradition from my generation.)

"You BLOCKHEAD. I am NEVER going back to school!"

Yeah. After a few days of Charlie Brown movies, my 4 year-old hit me with that gem (picked up from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown respectively).

Perhaps I'll leave the 'quality programming' to the fine folks at Nickelodeon after all. Anyone know if Double Dare or Clarissa Explains It All still comes on?

Because that? That would be sweet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Walk Of Shame

I recently became re-acquainted with an old friend... a friend I haven't visited in some time, and can't really say that I've missed.

The walk of shame.

Go on, I'll take a quick break for you all to pull your minds out of the gutter. Given that we're not in college anymore it's a pretty safe bet that 'The Walk Of Shame' has taken on a slightly different meaning than what some of us *cough*whores*cough* might be used to.

Yes, these days that humbling walk has a lot less to do with beer goggles, and a lot more to do with all those missing brain cells we wantonly disposed of in our University years.
Well, most of the time anyway....

So anyway, yeah.
The Walk Of Shame is still mortifying, but pretty freaking lame these days if you ask me.

Nowadays I find myself slinking miserably down the aisles of my kid's preschool upon discovering that:

a) I've forgotten my youngest child's snack two days in a row.
b) It's picture day and my oldest is dressed inappropriately.
c) Due to a 'clerical error' (totally not my fault!) I don't have the snack I was supposed to bring for 15 kids.
d) All of the above.

You can guess the answer to that one.
Yeah, all in the same day. Go me!

You know you have lost your last sliver of coolness when this mortifies you more than the time you drunkenly extolled the virtues of vibrators at your Husband's work Christmas party.

The shame was so great that I almost expected to hear someone say "Hey, didn't I see you walking through the quad at about 2am? And weren't you wearing that yesterday?!"

Hey. There's something to be said for a healthy dose of paranoia after all...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

All The Little Ants Are Marching...

So, my sister thought it might be a good idea to get an ant farm for my oldest daughter on her birthday.

Yeah. I know what you are thinking.
HOW could I not have known? What the hell was I thinking? I mean, really... my kids can make a weapon out of a marshmallow, and could sustain head injuries in a rubber room.

But me being the educational toy favoring, biology geek, love-of-learning fostering (*cough*delusional*cough*) parent that I am, I thought this to be a tremendous idea. Score one for sis!

Well... that was until I found out that you have to mail off for the ants. And that they will only ship said ants between approximately 60 and 68 degrees... temperatures we have roughly 2-3 weeks out of the year. So we waited. Then we waited some more. Ho hum.

Finally! 2 months later our ants arrive.

2 hours later, several are dead. Whether this was due to travel shock and upheaval or toddler shaking, we may never know.

We had fun for a few days watching the ants systematically move their (ever increasing) dead into one corner of the farm. Good times! (Especially when said older daughter asks repeatedly "Mommy, what's wrong with those ants?" "Mommy, how come that ant doesn't have a head?")

Then the real fun happened....

A few fateful days later I was minding my own business, cooking a healthful, nutritious meal (all right, all right, shut up) for my lovely family when I was treated to two tandem blood-curdling screams. It seems my younger daughter had the ant farm in her possession... not only that, but she had somehow managed to free the ants from their green-gel prison.

And how did the ants react to their freedom? How did they repay their liberator, you might wonder? Well, they bit her, that's how. Ungrateful little bastards.

Upon discovering this lovely scene, instinct kicked in. That's right - I started stomping on the black buggers.
Hey - it's just what you do. It's practically Pavlovian... see ants = stomp. Personally, I felt that my plan was a pretty good one at the moment. That is, until my husband rushes in with a pair of tweezers shouting "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? STOP! I CAN SAVE THEM!"

True to his word, he managed to get half of them back into captivity, along with what turned out to be a rogue ant.

After all that drama, the rogue ant killed the rest of the colony. Today he still lives, like a big black king among the dead and the ruins of what was (for a few days) a bustling ant city.

The moral of the story?
Save your $14.99. Go kick an anthill - you'll get the same results.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Apple Got a Running Start

I grew up socially awkward.

I know, I know... you can't believe it, right?! The chick hiding behind the blog was socially awkward once upon a time - what a concept!

Given that, obviously my big fear was that I would spawn a couple of tiny anti-social creatures. That upon greeting the world, my children would scream blue murder, kick the doctor, and promptly attempt to return to the womb where nobody could bother them.

Luckily, my nightmare was not realized. The girls cared only about three things: eating, sleeping, and pooping. Life was good.

Then came preschool.

The anxiety, the worry, the twist in my gut. Terrified that somehow both my girls were destined to be socially awkward, and star in a tiny fruit-snack fueled version of "Mean Girls"....

I'm not saying that I'm not still heart-stoppingly terrified of this, but man did yesterday relieve some of my anxiety! I observed my oldest in the mall play area rounding up kids for a game of chase, taking control, greeting new kids, and holding her own with (aka, pinning down) the boys.

There's hope yet!
Apparently my kid is confident, as well as strong. (woo!) I wonder if I could track down my old bullies? I'll sic my kid on their asses.

Apparently every once in a while apples DO fall far from the tree. On this end I hope they've both fallen into a completely different orchard. Hell, maybe they can teach me to come out of my cave more. :D

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Through The Looking Glass... Or Something Like That.

This is why I love having girls - sometimes life takes on a Fairy Tale quality.

Just when you think you know exactly what the cheeky munchkins are up to, they surprise you with a little make-believe magic. You walk in ready to lay the smack down, and you find this:



And this is precisely the scene I happened upon yesterday.

Instead of a preschool reenactment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, I find something completely unexpected and mind-boggling.
There was a Birthday celebration in progress. (And I was not invited... as is evidenced by the lack of essential party materials. I mean, where's the cheesecake? Where are the 'spirits'? Yeah. I rest my case.)

Just whose birthday was it, you might wonder? (And who could blame you, what with the conspicuous absence of a Birthday hat and all?)
Well, I'm disappointed to report that this is still a mystery.

(Although I suspect that Sammy (grey striped cat) is the lucky recipient of this show of goodwill. I say this because she looks as though she's passed out drunk in the Birthday cake. Now that's a good time.)

Some days I feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole... everything seems a bit new and bizarre, and what you find when you arrive is surprising and fun. (Well, if I were INVITED, that is. Humph.) There are tea parties, stories, games, illogical questions, and topsy-turvy living in my life - much like Alice's trip through Wonderland.

Wonderland is generally amusing, but if that mean-ass Queen of Hearts shows up here, I will split the scene and leave her to referee my kids for a few days. She could stand to learn a trick or two from the Masters.
Bwaaahahhaaha!

You'll know she's arrived when you hear "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" echoing across the country.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Words To Live By...

I think most of us used to be normal once upon a time, and might have possibly had normal conversations. The memory is dim, but I think I once fit into that category....

Since I became a parent, though, the transcripts of my daily conversations (if you can call them that) read like a Mad Libs page. Honestly. I couldn't come up with more bizarre statements if I tried.

** The potty seat is not a hat!
** We do NOT eat kitty food.
** Mommy's lipstick is not candy!
** We don't put panties on our heads... they are for bums.
** NO! The kitty does NOT want to go on the Sit 'n' Spin!


And of course, there's my personal favorite.
"NO! Put that back right now! We do NOT steal money from the kids with Leukemia!"

Yes, I actually said that.

We were just finishing a leisurely dinner with family at a local Chinese buffet (some of you will know what I'm talking about - the Golden Dragon near Target) when 'the incident' occurred. I looked up and found my little one up on a chair, pilfering a quarter from the Leukemia Foundation Card in the lobby. (You know, the nifty ones where you insert a quarter into the little carved out slots.)

I said the first thing that came out of my mouth... and said it fairly loudly. The busboy was cracking up, my kid was looking shell-shocked, and I just wanted to disappear.

Of course, now the sheer absurdity of my statement amuses me.

Like, OK... steal from the kids with Down Syndrome, steal from the ones with Spina Bifida, who cares? But steal from the kids with Leukemia and you're going DOWN.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wait.. Which Way to Hair and Make-up?

Bows, bags, designer clothes, matching ensembles, pristine hair... all were present and accounted for yesterday.

Oh no, not on me.
No, I didn't skip off to Milan for a fashion show either.

You see, yesterday was the first day of preschool for my kids.

The group hanging out by the front doors looked relatively normal from far away... but as we got closer I started noticing things. High-end boutique outfits matched with pricey, dainty shoes, custom hair accessories, and monogrammed everything. And that was just the children.

My kids arrived dressed in stuff from the Gymboree outlet, and Target.

Go me!

I almost felt as though I should apologize to my children for my horrendous misjudgment of the situation. You see, *I* was under the impression that kids played rough, painted, used playdoh and markers, and messed around with glue in preschool.

Today my suspicions were confirmed when upon picking up my oldest daughter, I noticed a large amount of dried glue on her forearm.

So apparently I did not completely misjudge the activities one might expect to occur at a preschool. For a second there I thought I had accidentally enrolled my girls in finishing school, or the Barbizon Modeling school. (I'm still suspicious of the latter, and will be keeping an eye opened for any Jon-Benet Ramsey look-alikes on campus.)

Given that my personal vision of preschool seems to fall into line with the actual curriculum, I am left with the following conclusions from which to choose:

a) These people must have some super-duper secret stain remover in their arsenal, making it feasible to send their kids off to paint/play in the sandbox/make 'art' in designer duds.

b) They are all excellent seamstresses, and can whip up a handmade designer replica in 5 minutes when there's a bit of 'slippage' with the old tempera paint.

c) They can afford to replace designer outfits at a staggering frequency.

d) They have gone clinically insane.

I won't tell you which option I suspect, but I will say this: it rhymes with 'bee'.

If I get my kids' shoe laces or socks monogrammed, somebody call for help. It means they've gotten to me... and I don't want to be taken to their leader.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Irreverence

The Ten Commandments are pretty nifty, right? I mean, where else is someone going to give you an exact list of Dos and Don'ts by which to live your life?

Oh yeah. Your parents, that's where.

We're given these hedonistic little buggers we refer to as children, and a nifty list of things to program OUT of them. (Oh yes. It is my belief (based on personal experience) that the OPPOSITE of almost all of the Ten Commandments is present from birth.)

You shall have no other gods before me
Unless by 'God' this means fruit snacks or M&Ms (both of which they'll fight to the death for), then we're actually probably good here.

You shall not make for yourself an idol
Barney. Spongebob. The Wiggles. Need I go on? Any parent who has been subjected to a Spongebob marathon, or The Backyardigans Live! will tell you that these pint-sized peeps definitely have idols.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
Is CAUSING wrongful use of the name of God the same thing? Because if so, guilty as charged! "Oh GOD!" or "Jesus Christ!" (followed by a groan) is a common refrain in this household.

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
There is NOTHING holy about getting up at 6am on the Sabbath (or any other day for that matter).

Honor your father and mother
Excuse me while I pick myself up on the floor and attempt to stop laughing. I don't think the words kick, terrorize, and otherwise drive insane were featured in God's definition of 'honor'.

You shall not murder
Uh oh. I knew it was a bad idea to let the little one near those ladybugs. *gulp*

You shall not commit adultery
Dear God, I hope this one doesn't come up anytime soon, or else I'm really screwed.

You shall not steal

Riiiight. See 'She's a Rogue' for more information on this lovely commandment, and how certain folks snub it.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Puh-lease. "It was SISSY!" (when she's napping) "Dad said YES!" (when he's in the shower)... you get where I'm going with this.

You shall not covet your neighbor's house
If playhouses count, we've got that covered.

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
I don't know many 2-4 year-olds that have wives (at least not of the living/breathing variety), but if they did I assure you, it'd be an issue.

Given that most of these are offended against at least once a day by one (or more) of my children, it's safe to say that this is going to be a looong road.

Christ. (Gah, now I've done it - and I can't even blame the kids) I hope their 'issues' don't count against my eternal rewards. If they do, when you add in my own contributions, I'm screwed.

I guess I'll have to live in the afterlife's ghetto... down where the roads degrade into brass.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frijoles Estúpidos

Mexican Jumping Beans.
I think they must be a rite of passage of sorts. I mean, who among us has not owned and marveled at the little plastic box of inexplicably hopping bean fragments?

I had them as a child. I lost them as a child.

Logic dictates then that I should have seen what was coming when my brother handed Anna her very first tiny plastic box of Mexican Jumping Beans. Of course, she was immediately madly in love with the little mysterious critters, and insisted on taking them everywhere with her.

Therein lies our problem.

Apparently Mexican Jumping Beans are great cuddly bedtime companions too, did you know? Yeah. Me either. But apparently somewhere in the mind of a four year-old they are the ultimate in bedtime companions.

(I just hope I can convince her of this when she's a teenager. Who needs boys!?)

And... who needs sleep?
Apparently not me. Said four year-old thought nothing of waking me at 4am screaming "MINE BEANS! MINE JUMPING BEANS ARE LOST, MOMMY!"

*Groan*

Luckily the little buggers are rather loud and obnoxious for such little beasts. *Click Click Click Click*

Thankfully they were only under her pillow. With my two year-old's habit of ingesting virtually anything in her path, it's a wonder she's not *Clicking* as we speak.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lullaby and Goodnight...

"It's the middle of the dark!"

Yes, you cheeky monkey. Yes it is.
So tell me... why in the holy hell are you awake? It's 5 *freaking* 30 in the morning!

5:30 am is not my best time of day by far.
I like sleeping. If I had my way alarm clocks would be banned, and there would be a mandatory naptime from 12-2 every day. Given this irrefutable fact, of course it stands to reason that I would birth an early riser.

Go me!

*YAWN*
It's gonna be a loooong 18 years.

Monday, August 25, 2008

At Least I Look Good In Brown

I should have seen it coming.
After all, there were signs.

The African Violet that shriveled up and died after a week on my windowsill as a child.
The calla lilies that survived only a few months in my home.
The lavender plants and canna lilies that failed to thrive.
My husband's plant that he'd had since puberty (that incidentally hung in for a record 7 years with me) finally capitulating, succumbing to a grim fate as compost.

And the biggest sign of all - the fact that (despite a valiant effort) I just could not hack Botany class in college.
Could. Not. Do it.

I am lacking any real understanding of why I imagined this little scenario (one involving more blind hope than skill) playing out any differently. Although most people that know me wouldn't exactly peg me as an optimist, I must be to have imagined a lush thriving plant dripping with juicy tomatoes. (Well, that, or maybe I'm just really dense.)

Alas, as any logical person would suspect, my track record remains unblemished. I officially have a brown thumb. Lest you doubt me, I present to you my latest attempt at nurturing a small part of nature's bounty:



You will note that one stoic little tomato has held on tenuously, even as the stem of the plant withers away and bugs gnaw at its flesh. Now that's dedication.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Transitions

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
~ Emily Dickinson

That's one of my favorite quotes, you know. It's currently my email signature, because it reflects my own thoughts on life so completely.

Living is so startling - so fraught with changes, transitions, experiences, that an introspective and self-examining person has little time for be anything else. Just living is all-consuming.

This is my curse.
I categorize, I examine, and define life by transitions.

I imagine that others do it too... at least some, anyway.
If I stop to think about it, I realize that most people can (pretty much immediately) rattle off events that categorize their lives. Things such as:

When you truly felt autonomous - like you had a life outside your family. (1995-1996. Yeah. I was a late bloomer.)

When you had your heart crushed so fully you thought you would never recover. (1989, when I lost my brother Tony.)

Your first experience with non-familial love. (See #1)

The 'College Years' or experimental years. (1998-2001) Fun times... what I can remember of them anyway. :D

Your first experience living away from home. (1998-1999)

When you first feel like a 'real' grown-up. (2000)

Marriage. (2001)

When it hits you that you really *are* a parent. (2004)

I must admit though, after that things start to get a bit fuzzy and blended together. Kids have a tendency to stop you in your tracks, to make you so consumed with them that your own life takes a back seat. At least it does with Mothers. I wouldn't know about Fathers, given that I'm missing one key part preventing me from ever experiencing that side of things. (tee hee)

I mean, obviously there have been transitions since I became a Mother, but I can't really think of them right now. (Sleep deprivation tends to do that to a person.) It's as though parents define their lives in two large parts: Before Kids and After Kids.

So OK... I suppose I'm right on track after all, huh?
Because those are definitely the BIG categories everything gets put into.... And yes, sometimes I mourn the part of life I've left behind... but I have so much to look forward to. This time, like all others, is fleeting. I can't wait to see what lies ahead. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Google Image Game

So, I'm bored and killing time and I'm going to make you all suffer with me. Ya know those chain emails and 'games' that are supposed to be fun, but are really just an excuse to be completely self-absorbed and talk about yourself incessantly without really talking? Well, I like those. I was bored, I saw one, and so here you have it.

(OK, so I left out a couple of things that either weren't relevant, or that I didn't want to include. I have faith that my millions of readers will eventually get over this.)

Here's how it works:
For each thing listed below, type YOUR answer into Google image search, then choose your favorite image from the first three pages. Don't worry if the image is not really what you meant in your answer. The stranger the better!


First name:
(Let me preface this by saying that all the Google Image results for 'Jennifer' were either skeevy, or downright weird. I eventually chose this one because I like John Mayer. And yes - Jennifer Aniston's headlights are totally on.)


Middle name:

(Not weird, but pretty.)


Last name:




Age:


Place you'd like to visit:



Favorite place to be:


Your college degree:
(How many Psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?)


Grandmother's name:



Where you grew up:



Name of childhood pet:


Your first job:

(Yes, that's right folks. It's not just a hokey movie title - Winn Dixie was a way of life for those of us in the South. At least half of everyone I knew growing up had their first job there.)


Favorite food:


Favorite color:


What you are doing right now:
(OK, so I was just playing Wordscraper on Facebook. You got me.)


One of your bad habits:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Good Day For Duct Tape...

One down, one to go. (Preschool home-visits, that is.)

Ella's home visit was today, so I got to play hostess to the two lovely women who will be corralling my unruly 2 year-old two days a week for the next (blissful) 9 months.

Our visit with these lovely ladies was... well, interesting to say the least.

Every two minutes I wanted to apologize and swear on a stack of bibles that I don't have the most horrendously misbehaved children on the planet and that sometimes they can be downright enjoyable!
I fought back the urge, though, due to the likelihood of my protestations being met with hysterical laughter.

They were so freaking wild.
In fact, to say that is actually an insult to wild animals.

The teachers probably went straight home for a few hundred Hail Marys (or whatever the Presbyterian equivalent is) and a double shot of vodka.

Thankfully, though, Grammy (aka: Mom) was around to help. She offered her services again to me as she was leaving - for another time. My reply? "That's nice, thank you. But what I could really dig is a Valium. I don't suppose you have any hard drugs upon your person?"

Eh, well. Wine will just have to do.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

She's A Rogue...

My child is an outlaw.
A criminal.
A petty thief.

That's right folks. At the ripe old age of four, my child has committed her first misdemeanor. (I'm so proud. *sniff*)

Just yesterday we were driving away from the Evil Empire (aka: Wal Mart) having had an uncharacteristically lovely shopping trip, when I spotted the contraband upon her person. It took a moment for the reality of what I was seeing to hit me - my daughter was happily clutching a tacky, hideous postcard extolling the virtues of our great state. A postcard that I did not shell out any cash to procure. And given that the four year-old in question is broke as a joke (and doesn't know how to use the self-scanner register), I can only assume that she shoplifted it.

Of course, like any good Mother I gave a 'talk' about why stealing tacky postcards is wrong, and why we don't do such things.

I mean, damn. If you're going to steal, get something nice and shiny for Mama. :D We're going to have to work on the poor child's taste if she ever hopes to make a lucrative career of this - after all, I hope to have her hotwiring Beemers before her sixth birthday. We're off to an abysmal start, methinks.


The contraband - Exhibit A: (Details of tacky postcard changed to protect the innocent (and not-so-innocent)).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Love Hurts, Love Scars, Love Wounds, and Marks....

Remember when the productivity and/or difficulty of your day was once measured with raises, pink slips, and late nights? (Oh yeah - some of you are still there.)

Oh, I remember. *wistful sigh*

When you become a parent, (especially if you are the SAHP) your day is measured in an entirely different way. At the end of the day you take stock of your maladies to determine whether one glass of wine will do, or if you'll need the whole bottle.

For instance, tonight:

Whining leading to massive headache? Check.
Yelling (me) leading to sore throat? Check.
Chasing mischievous two-year old, leading to exhaustion? Check.
Rotten, trouble-making children leading to discovery of actual GRAY hair? Check.

** I think I deserve bonus points for the bruised shin I suffered earlier. Sure, it wasn't out of malice, but rather the casualty of some good-natured roughousing... but still.

Anyway. Obviously today was an interesting day (there are several other words I could insert there that would be more accurate, but they're a bit 'colorful', so we'll let interesting stand, mmmkay?)

And really, the details aren't important.
What's important is the message: Parenthood is not for the weak.

If you faint at the sight of blood, or tear up over a splinter, head down to CVS right now. You'll be wanting to spend a lot of time perusing the 'Family Planning' aisle.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Like Pavlov's Dogs...

Kids are so trainable.

No no no... stop laughing. It's true, I swear.
There's just one slight problem - they never 'train' in quite the right way.
They generally 'train' in a way that will
a) embarrass you
b) mortify you
c) crack you up.

You all know what I'm talking about.
They are like Pavlov's dogs... only in a perverse backwards way, specifically designed for maximum humorous/embarrassing impact.

Case in point:
Several weeks ago, we had to have some electrical work done.
At 9am, the doorbell rings, and my oldest daughter (just shy of 4 years old) rushes to answer the door. I round the corner just in time to hear her say to the electrician "Hey, man! You got a pizza for us?"

Yeah. She did.
I think we eat too much takeout. Just a hunch.

Like a cuter version of Pavlov's dogs, she assumes that any time the doorbell rings and there's a stranger on the doorstep, they will have pizza for us.

All that was missing was a collar and a string of saliva grazing the floor.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Can You Smell That Smell? The Smell That Surrounds You....

Sometimes having an (almost) two year-old can be a mortifying experience. (Can something be both mortifying and hilarious? Because that is truly how I would describe the following...)

My girls and I were perusing the racks at one of our favorite places to bargain-hunt on Friday... all was well until we decided to hit the Women's Clothing department.
There, as luck would have it, we walked in right as a woman in our path committed a heinous indiscretion.

That's right, she farted. Let one rip.
And not just that, but it was deadly... truly heinous.

And right as we walk into the heinous cloud of stench, my two year-old decides to have a moment of perfect clarity....
She looks directly at the stink-machine in question, grins widely and says "HELLO, STINKY! HELLO, STINKY! HELLO, STINKY!" at least 5 times in a row.

Have you ever seen a person nearly die from simultaneously trying to sink into the floor and contain paroxysms of laughter at the same time? No? Well, it's not pretty.

It got even worse when we passed the same woman some 20 minutes later, and said two year-old looks right at her again, smiles, and says "HEY STINKY!".

I'm going to croak.
I'll either die of embarrassment or laughter.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

DeadAndy Strikes Again!

I freaking hate GERD. I hate it, I hate it, I HATE IT!

There. I feel better.
OK, so not really. If it were that easy I wouldn't have been downing (nasty) Carafate four freaking times a day for the last 11 days, alongside my double doses of Nexium.
Yummy.

Seriously though, this is quickly becoming my DeadAndy.

What's a DeadAndy, you ask?
Let me go ahead and put you out of your misery with a nifty little definition from UrbanDictionary.com:

DeadAndy
1) To use a {nonexistent person/person you don't actually know who suffered misfortune/dead person you don't actually know} to seek attention from others.

2) creating non-existent drama/misfortune in your own life to seek attention.

3) bringing up the same personal topic over and over again throughout daily conversations.

Examples of use:
1) "Don't go getting all deadandy on me now."

2) "Jill is such a DeadAndy with her fake illnesses."

3) "Talking about my boyfriend is my deadandy."


So there you have it.
My DeadAndy. And now that everyone knows it, I'm taking it as license to bitch about it as much as I want! (evil laugh)

This GERD crapola has been ongoing for about a month now. Constant nagging heartburn, punctuated by stomach pain and shortness of breath (at least if feels that way, but apparently it's just because my esophagus is massively inflamed). I can't eat ANYfreakingTHING. Everything gives me heartburn.

My Doctor thinks I may have an ulcer contributing. Asked me if I've had an unusual amount of stress lately.

Are you kidding me?! (lol)
Well... no. I'm a stay at home mom, so what could possibly be wrong? After all, I sit on my ass all day watching Jerry Springer and eating bonbons.

Yeah. Think again.
Stress... hmm. I suppose coming into contact with my 27 years absent father could count as stress. As could finding out about 3 siblings I never knew I had. Add that to my general feelings of inadequacy and slight discontent with my current 'job', the fact that my kids seem to have been stolen and replaced with little devils, and yeah... there's stress.

I mean, sheesh. I've always had physical manifestations of emotion/stress, but this is ridiculous. I've had to give up WINE for chrissakes. WINE.
And soda. (sniff) And that's just the tip of the iceberg....

So if you happen to meet me out and about, rest assured - it's not you. I'm incredibly foul due to lack of caffeine and an extreme overload of inane questions from toddlers.

GERD be damned... hand me a Coke before someone gets hurt.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Trail Mix

It's been a long time...
But I have an excuse, I swear!

What's my excuse, you ask? It's that I'm big stinkin' slacker, that's all.

Now that we've established that I suck, I'll move on with what will likely be a random hodge-podge of things, seeing as how I haven't updated for freaking ages.

So... spring has arrived.

Unfortunately, so has the Poison Ivy. I have recently taken up gardening, and everyone in eyeshot of me knows it.... It would be hard to miss, considering that I look as though I've come down with some particularly messy version of the plague.

People have begun to unconsciously back away from me, all the while shooting me wary looks, as though the rash might jump from my neck and attack them. Well hell... let's face it, nobody wants to look like they've come down with the measles and chickenpox simultaneously.

Excuse me while I scratch myself into oblivion.

In other (non-gross and/or puss-filled) news, the countdown has begun! I (along with many others) are waiting less than patiently for the arrival of a new lump of cuddly flesh.

My best friend's baby, the cutie-pie dubbed Matthew, is now late. The wee bugger was due to arrive on April 10th, and has yet to make his grand entrance.

I see he's taking after his Mommy already. (Don't hit me.)

That was a nice little detour, wasn't it? Now, back to me. :D
A few weeks ago, I got a haircut. I quite like it... but since I've gotten it, I've been getting carded again. Which, of course, makes me wonder if perhaps it's a bit 'young' for me.

I have no desire to be *that* woman.

We've all seen her... the one with the haircut far too young for her, in clothes far too tight and trendy for her age. The one that despite her massive muffin-top, insists on wearing the skin tight fashions of someone 20 years younger.

Anyway, here it is. A picture of the hair, because I'm vain and need validation. (lol) OK, not really, but I never post pictures, so eh... why not?



Saturday, March 8, 2008

You Want Fries With That?

Dear local McDonald's manager,

The drive-thru is a brilliant invention, it's true. I have availed myself of this wonderfully convenient, time-saving perk on many ocassions - I'm all about anything that coddles my lazy ass.

That being said, as a long-time fan of drive-thru services, it pains me to have to give today's experience a huge thumbs down. :( Tsk, tsk. I am so *NOT* lovin' it.

I understand that mechanical issues occur that can sometimes make the speaker system sound completely unintelligable... hey, that could happen to anyone, right? What I do not understand is why (without fail) every time your speaker is wonky, just to compound the problem, you put someone whose only English phrase is "Do you want value size?" at the window.
Oy.

It would be entirely too humorous if *I* wasn't the jackass leaning out my car window, screaming my order over and over again at the speaker, because I cannot understand the unintelligable questions coming from the staff member on the other side of the 'magic box'. In fact, if it had been the guy in the blue Honda in front of me (who had a very simple order, damn him!) I likely would have laughed until I cried.

So... on behalf of the other drive-thru patrons of McD's #578 today, thanks for the entertainment. Nothing like lunch *and* a show while you wait.

If it weren't so funny (in a pathetic way), I'd probably be pretty pissed....

Sincerely,
The sideshow act

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why Am I Staring At This Zebra?!

I will not act like a love-sick teenager and ask if he's said anything about me.

REPEAT:
I will not act like a lovesick teenager.

What is it about life that even when you don't want someone, you want them to want you?!

Now, don't get your panties in a bunch - I'm a married woman, and I don't swing that way. I am talking, of course, about my 'father' and the emotions I struggle with.

Yes, that again.
Yes, I'm still talking about that.
No, I'm probably not going to stop anytime soon.

Now that we've got that covered....
Even though I don't want a 'relationship' with him, I wish he at least seemed to care. (I know I sound like a petulant child, but I'm OK with that... you see, deep down I AM a petulant child.)

I regularly speak with my half-sister, and sometimes have to pinch myself to keep from asking the dreaded question - "Has he mentioned me?"

It's pathetic. I know it's pathetic, but for some reason I can't help myself.

Eh, it just stings a little.
It hurts to realize the truth... and (to me) it seems the truth is that after all these years, he still doesn't appear to care very much, if at all.

Bah.
Double bah.

Screw it. The sooner I realize that a zebra's stripes don't change, the better off I'll be. Right?

Monday, February 18, 2008

You Know You Love Me...

Just because I want to post, but don't actually want to 'write' anything. (lol)
So here it is: For everyone who has ever wanted to know everything about me, but was too shy to ask. (Ha!)

My obligatory 2008 'About Me' email forward/survey:

1. What is your occupation? Stay at home Mom.
2. What color are your socks right now? White.
3. What are you listening to right now? Whining
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A cookie. (Chips Ahoy, to be exact)
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes.
6. What color would you be, if you were a color? Blue.
7.Last person you spoke to on the phone? My sister Marie.
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes.
9. How old are you today? 30
10. Favorite drink? Boring drink - Mountain Dew, currently. Alcoholic - wine.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? God, yes!
13. Pets? 2 cats, a turtle, and numerous fish.
14. Favorite food? Pasta or Mexican food.
15. Last movie you watched? Juno.
16. Favorite Day of the year? The first day it's warm enough to swim!
17. What do you do to vent anger? Cry. Sometimes yell, but mostly cry.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Art supplies, Make It and Bake It Oven.
19. What is your favorite, fall or spring? Spring!
21. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry. (Allergic to cherries)
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? I don't usually forward these.
23. Who is most likely to respond? See above.
24. Who is least likely to respond? See above.
25. Living arrangements? I live with my husband and two toddler/preschool-age daughters. HELP!
26. When was the last time you cried? A few days ago.
27. Who is the friend you've had the longest that you are sending this to? I've already read two billion of these, so I'm unlikely to pass it on.
28. Who is the friend you have had the shortest that you are sending this to? See above.
29. Favorite smell? Warm chocolate chip cookies.
32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese.
33. Favorite Car: I like my car - a Volvo S60 2.5T.
34. Favorite cat breed? Hypoallergenic, hairless ones.
35. Number of keys on your key ring? 4, I think.
36. How many years at your current job? 4
37. Favorite day of the week? Friday - The END!
38. How many states have you lived in? 2

Monday, February 11, 2008

Closing Time

Perfunctory.

Perfunctory is the perfect word to describe what a conversation is like with someone you haven't seen or spoken to in nearly 27 years.
What on earth do you say?

I didn't know either.
That's how my estranged father and I ended up talking about the weather, carpet... and anything else *but* what has transpired in the last few decades.

Oddly, though, I'm not disappointed, because I wasn't expecting anything.
In all likelihood will not talk to him again - I don't see the point. There's nothing he could say now that would matter, and I don't want a 'relationship' with him.

It was just a very strange experience. Strange, and pretty much a non-event for the most part.

But it's done. I can close up shop, I think.

Onward we go....

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Do NOT try this at home.

Ever seen a skunk with a red stripe?

Yeah. Me either.
Until Monday.

I'm walking through the store on Sunday, when something catches my eye.... YES! That's it. The end to my boring brown 'Mommy-Do' is at hand - I can almost taste it... I'm going to look great!
And with that, into the cart goes an at-home highlighting kit.

I know, I know... if this were a horror movie, now would be the part where the bimbo running in stilettos breaks a heel and gets killed. You want to scream at the TV "Take the &$#% shoes off and RUN, you dumbass!"

But alas... I was alone, save for a three year-old, so there was nobody there to slap me back into reality.

It was bad. Very, very bad.
It looked like a skunk/Ronald McDonald hybrid. Disturbing is one word that comes to mind....

After another dye purchase, and some serious re-processing, I managed to tone it down enough to possibly go back out in public someday.
If I invest in a few good hats, that is.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In The Eye Of The Beholder...


Awww.
*
What do you mean, what is that?
It's me. Surely you can tell.
*
A few days ago my little princess comes running up to me with a picture she drew and exclaims "It's you, Mommy!" I was touched, and so very proud. She loves me enough to draw me... awwww.
*
Then I showed my husband, and the 'Mommy goggles' came off.
My child has quite the imagination.
*
I wasn't quite sure what to make of the picture after my initial giddiness over her artwork.
*
I'm not certain what I should be more concerned about - the fact that I have two sets of eyes? Or maybe that I appear to be trapped in a bubble/stomach/ball with a tiny, scary-looking mini-me....
*
At any rate, I do dearly hope that my child was taking artistic liberties.
Move over Picasso... there's a new kid in town.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Disappearing Ink

So lately I've been completely immersed in a new project - documenting my family's history and researching my lineage. Overall it has been an exhilarating experience - like discovering alcohol for the first time (or first discovering sex - you want to do it all the time).

There's a big blip on the horizon, though, that's threatening to rain on my parade - and that would be my freaking 'father' who hit the door headed for splitsville 27 odd years ago.
*sigh*

The man is impossible to find. Impossible.
Nobody knows anything, it seems, and my maiden name was likely an alias.
Niiiiiccce.
He still manages to screw things up, nearly 30 years later. Man... he's good. And here I thought he was a useless hack - apparently he is good at some things. So good that I can't find squat on him.

But if I do ever manage to track the bastard down, I am SO putting a hex on his ass. (insert evil laugh)

Hey, I believe in fair warning, after all.

Monday, January 7, 2008

You Need To Drop A Few....

I knew it was going to happen.
Even before I made the Big Mistake, I knew it was going to happen.
A little niggling thought in the back of my head said "Don't do it, Dawn! The minute you sit down at the table, the little vultures will be on your pizza like white on rice! Don't do it!"

I did it.
I took my (individual sized) DiGiorno pizza and sat down at the table with the kids, who (until then) were dining happily on hot dogs and macaroni and cheese.

Then all hell broke loose.

I was treated to a non-stop refrain (in stereo) of "I want pizza!" "Pizza, Mommy!" "I want some pizza!"

The kicker? They don't even like pizza.
But since I'm eating it, it must be a wonderful, magical, NEW kind of pizza that they just can't live without.

Riiiight.

True to form, I parted with a slice and split it between the wild-eyed animals on either side of me... they were scaring me. I thought that at any moment they would break out of the chains (or booster belts, but whatever) that bound them and leap for my jugular. They would not be appeased otherwise.

The pizza ended up with half the cheese missing, and it's final resting place was... (*drumroll please*) the garbage can.

*Sigh*

My kids are the best freaking diet program in the world.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Never Trust A Cute Kid

Moon sand is the devil.

And I don't mean that in a trivial way.
I'm no stranger to a good mess - I've painted walls with a three year-old and finger painted with chocolate pudding... And really, I thought it couldn't get much worse.

Then came the damned Moon Sand.
The happy little kids and the booming, chipper announcer in the commercials make it look like such wholesome, good clean fun. "It's Revolutionary! Hours Of Fun!" So of course, I had to get some for Anna for Christmas. I scoffed at the idea that it might be 'messy'. Messy? Who cares? Show me a person with a toddler who ISN'T used to messes!
*Pfft*

I have no problem saying that I was woefully mistaken.

What the booming announcer doesn't tell you is that you need a freaking snowblower to clean this crap up when the kids are through. It's like inviting the Atlantic Ocean in for a playdate - that's how much sand ends up all over your floor.

Mr. Announcer Man also failed to mention that for two weeks after your first (and unboubtedly last) experience with Moon Sand, you'll still be finding the stuff in completely inexplicable places. (In the cat food bowl, inside of diapers, under the bed, etc.)

Bad.
Very very bad.

I let them play with it for roughly ten minutes at the kitchen table before panicking, taking it away, and banishing it to the art closet where (I hoped) it would stay for all eternity.

Then tonight the kids get a late Christmas present....

You guessed it - Moon Sand. Moon Sand that Anna is already insisting on breaking into first thing in the morning.

Pardon me while I scream.

And to think, my Mom bitched about Play Doh....
Amateur.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

How can it possibly be 2008 already?!
I swear, it seems like yesterday that I was ringing in the year 2000 with booze and fireworks, and here I am 8 years later wondering what the hell happened! (lol)

Everyone always said that the older you get, the faster the years go by. And damn it - they were right! It's one of the huge indicators to me that I'm definitely NOT quite as young as I feel. (Well , that and the gray hairs I viciously yank out every couple of months.)

Gray hairs. GRAY HAIRS. Can you believe it?!
Before long I'll be yelling at random kids to "Get the hell off my lawn!" and will start hearing things like "Hey old timer, watch it. You wouldn't want to break a hip on that water slide." from smart-ass teenagers.

Kids today. *grumbles*

So yeah. The years are flying by lately, and 2007 was no exception. The rugrats have kept me on my toes and exceptionally busy, and I suspect that won't be changing anytime soon....

So goodbye, 2007 - here's to another year of craziness, another 20 gray hairs, and a box of Clairol (that is undoubtedly in my future).
Hip, hip, HOORAY!

Happy New Year, everyone!