Jul 28, 2009

my time for oggling

I'm going on a dream vacation to Italy. We leave thursday. And by we, I mean: myself, my pregnant sister and my mom. Because I decided that it would be awesome to go somewhere foreign and be oggled by suave Italian men while eating gelato in an outdoor cafe surrounded by some ancient naked statues (except we'd probably feel more comfortable sitting by the statues that have little fig leaves covering their crotches.)

On this dream vacation we will all be effortlessly hot. And also speak Italian. Fluently. Because that's part of the deal.

And it's all happening thursday.

Because I said so.

And that should be enough to make our dream Italian vacation a reality.



Have I ever told you that I'm writing a book? (A dumb one.) Some days I sit down and write a whole stinking chapter thinking I'm the funniest person alive. And then I sit back down the next day to reread my funniness and instead of patting myself on the back I just end up smacking myself in the forehead because it is all so incredibly stupid.

I'll let you know when my book hits the shelves...........here's a hint: NEVER.



I've been reading a lot of novels lately. Because I figure if I can't write my own, there's no reason I can't completely ignore my children and shut myself up in a book. And I have a little secret that you can't tell my husband: I bought "Miss Delacourt Speaks her Mind" online, and it arrived today!!!!

I'm excited because Husband has been saying for months that I can't have the book because, "Why buy books when you can get them at the library?" Yeah, well our library stinks, and they don't even have a copy of that book in circulation within 150 miles of here. Stupid library.

Once, a few weeks ago, I had talked him into letting me go to Barnes & Noble to get it. Actually it went more like this, "I'm leaving, and I am not coming back without a book. GOOD BYE!!" And then there was door slamming and loud hard rock played in the car the entire way to the store. (One of those days.)

Except that they didn't have it at the store, but I didn't want to go home empty handed and I ended up having to get a clearance Stephen King book, which was, by all accounts, a complete waste of money.

So then a few days ago someone inserted some money into my Swiss bank account. (The one that Husband has no control over.) It's always good to be linked to the mafia when they deposit $30 into my account every six months - it makes blowing up that national monument so worth it.

Yeah, I'm not really linked to the mafia, and I wouldn't even know HOW to blow up a monument if I had been commanded to do it (I'm sure you didn't figure this out on your own.) However, I do have an account that Husband doesn't control - even if it's not in Switzerland. It's just that usually this account is totally empty, so the $30 was mostly a miracle, and I ordered the book.

When I'm done reading it, I'm totally posting my review. And it will be good - I just know it. Because sometimes the author, Heidi Ashworth, reads my blog, which makes me feel like a celebrity, therefore the book must be amazing.

Jul 23, 2009

the pretend parents are dead

You know how some kids will pretend to have an invisible friend? My six year old has had one of these for 3 1/2 years - the same friend. And not only has she stuck around to win an award for "longest surviving invisible friend" but we also know everything about her family.

This invisible friend, Gootka, has a little sister named Geesie, and a little brother named Austen. I really don't know how Austen ended up being the only child with a normal name. Also, her mom is from Mexico, and her dad is a blond American. And when I was on bedrest with Number Four, Gootka's mom died. And then Gootka, Geesie and Austen had to go live in China with their grandma. But not the real China, just the one that's around the corner....is what I've been told.

Once when Two Bits (my six year old) was younger, and Gootka was still new we had this conversation:

Me: What are you doing?

TB: Playing cricket.

Me: Cricket? Really?

TB: Yeah, this is the bat, and then I have to hit these sticks.

At this point in life we didn't know much about the sport of cricket (to be honest, I still don't.) In fact, I remember being appalled that she even knew it existed. So I asked her where she found out about cricket. Her reply?

"From Gootka."

I was a little creeped out thinking that perhaps she had made friends with some kind of English ghost child. But then I remembered that Gootka isn't an English name, and that Grover had talked about cricket on Sesame Street.

Although Gootka doesn't come around nearly as much as she used to, my daughter is still exercising her imagination daily.

Like today.

She was explaining the scenario to Opie so that he could play along:

"Ok, so you're a baby puppy, and I'm a girl, and our parents died and then our house burned down, so now we have live outside until the builder fixes the house. You can sleep here."

Usually imaginative play involves a baby, or a puppy, or a baby puppy. And most often than not the parents have to be dead. I don't know why. But it's always with dead parents.

A couple times I've said, "Hey guys, I'm right here! Why are your parents dead, if I'm right here?"

Two Bits usually reply is, "Our pretend parents. Sheeesh, Mom."

And then they usually run (or crawl or scamper, depending on what animal or age they are pretending to be) to go live in the woods/train/whatever. Sans parents.

I'm trying not to be offended.

On a completely different note, last night my boys would not go to sleep for TWO HOURS after I put them in bed. And they don't do "not going to bed" quietly. They do it loudly. Very VERY loudly. So finally I told them that if they didn't go to sleep I was going to come in their room and take away all of their toes.

Apparently my boys aren't too attached to their toes, because the threat didn't work at all.

Jul 20, 2009

bugs crawling in places that should never be seen in the wild

I have a complaint. Which is wierd since I never complain. (It's easier just to play along...)

Why do summer activities always involve camping?

Family reunion? Oh hey, let's go camping.

Ward activity? Oooh oooh, camping.

Husband suggestion #247? CAMPING.

Why the camping? Really? Who actually enjoys it?

The way I see it, you drive until you hit a road that isn't paved. And then you keep going. So then your car gets completely covered in dust and/or multiple flat tires. Or, heaven forbid, you have to stop and then hike to your final destination. (shudder.)

Then you get there. And by there I mean you get to some land that is sort of flat-ish, hot-ish and totally bug-ish. And don't think that the mesquito repellent you brought is really going to keep all of those bugs away. So you can just plan on worrying about which of the mesquitoes that have sucked your children's blood were carrying West Nile Virus.

Upon spraying every inch of every man, child or person, plus the surrounding air with deet, you get to set up camp. In the flat-ish-est spot, which is also usually the dusty-ish-est spot as well. Because no one wants to lay on weeds or rocks. Because guess what? We're all sleeping on the ground tonight. Whoooo, killer fun. Who wants a bed?

It's only a matter of time before the absolute worst part of camping happens. And that's when someone has to use the loo. Except that you're camping, and therefore a loo/toilet/hole in the ground isn't an option. And since I, nor probably my 6 year old daughter, has perfected the whole "squat and pee" thing, you must find something to pee ON. Like a fallen log, or a rock, or maybe a really soft yet sturdy bush (although I wouldn't recommend the bush.)

And while you're "conducting business" on this rock/log/bush any number of creeping, crawling or flying insects has access to areas that should never be exposed anywhere other than a properly plumbed and enclosed facility. Which is scary when you think about it. Really really scary. Because having a bug crawl up your crack is probably about 20,000 more likely to happen than coming across a grizzly bear while camping.

Plus, I haven't even mentioned the fact that you will be outside the entire time you're camping - which equals immeasurable amounts of allergic snot and/or sinus closure. Plus the sneezing. And the itching, water pouring eyes that turn bright red in a matter of 1/2 an hour and then remain that way until you've been home for 3 days. Because no amount of Zyrtec or Claritin D is going to be able to fight the fact that you're 100% immersed in cursed nature.

I could go on about how cooking over an open fire is practically impossible, but I think I have probably made my point. Even though I didn't mention how hard it is to get anyone to sleep while on the ground. And I didn't even bring up how fun it is if someone gets the stomach flu, or food poisoning, or heat exhaustion, or a headache, or anything else that causes puking. And I won't even go into the area of unexpected rainstorms, or washing the smoke smell out of every single item you took with you.

So let me ask again, why do summer activities always have to involve camping? For the next family reunion/ward activity/husband suggestion I nominate a luxury spa.

Jul 14, 2009

a certain kind of vanity

I'm pretty sure I'm vain.

But not in a "look at me, I'm pain-inducingly beautiful, and holy cow my butt looks good in these jeans" sort of way. My kind of vanity is different - I think that people care.

Let me clarify.

A few days ago I was picking some stuff up at Costco. (Sans kids, which was glorious.) And as I'm waiting in the checkout line I see that they have big cartons of Viactiv caramel calcium chews. This is great because I was just thinking the day before how I should really be using something like this because milk and I don't really hang out that much, and seeing as I don't think Osteoporosis sounds like killer fun, preventative measures should be taken.

So I take a couple side steps from my basket in line to grab a carton.

And then I realize that at the top of each of the 972 cartons in the mondo Costco sized stack has a pink strip with the words: "New Breast Health Information!" And a crowded Costco full of people just saw me grab one. So now everyone within a 20 foot radius has got to be staring at my breasts, naturally.

It took a good few minutes of inner dialogue to convince myself that NO ONE CARES.

See what I mean about being vain?

This has actually been a life long thing for me. I think my imagination thought that my childhood was too dull. Because I would entertain myself by pretending that my parents had put hidden cameras around our house, and swapped out the bathroom mirror with two-way glass, just to make sure I wasn't an evil double agent or something. I'm not sure who would have been on the "evil" or "good" side of this scenario, seeing as there wasn't anything to take sides for, but being covert while taking a potty break had a tendency to at least spice things up.

Sometimes I would crawl into the bathroom so that the two-way mirror wouldn't even know I was there (because apparently two-way mirrors have sensors to human activity or something, since I was also pretty sure my parents were busy most of their waking hours.) But sometimes I would be feeling saucy and dangerous so I would put on a show for the mirror, always trying to fool it into thinking I was doing something opposite of my real reason for being in the bathroom.

I was also pretty sure that if I hid in the pantry none of the hidden cameras could catch me on tape. It was probably a pretty foolish plan, since if I were to plant cameras in my house now I would probably want to see which kid was sneaking into the chocolate chip stash.

Once I got old enough to get bored with thinking my parents were spying on me I just broadened my imaginational scope and decided that there had to be a secret Russian (or American, or possibly just the boys on the other side of the block) agency that needed to gather information on my incredibly important life.

I got really good at secretive wedgie picking and nose blowing - because those were things that I knew I wouldn't want Russian Agencies (or the boys on the other side of the block) to see.

Once my obsession with being spied on ended I just switched over to this whole public awareness thing. I used to hate buying deodorant, and thought it had to be the most embarrassing item to purchase in any store, because the clerk and anyone who happened to see my cart will know that I sweat. But then my mom stopped buying "Lady's Days" supplies and I really learned the value of an embarrassing purchase. But of course, in my world, every other human being (and possibly a couple of bugs) in the store would KNOW that I use tampons (which was considerably devastating.)

I've pretty much gotten over that now though. Although I have periodic episodes of thinking people are staring my boobs. And I still check every single restroom for a two-way mirror, because you never really know for sure. And I hate buying pregnancy tests, because the checker is going to know what you did to need a pregnancy test (as if the 4 kids in line with me didn't already give that away.)

So if you happen to meet me someday, at say Costco for example, and I quickly hide either a package of tampons, deodorant or a carton of Viactiv, it's just because I know you're part of that secret Russian agency that has been spying on me for decades.

Jul 10, 2009

kind of like Jane Austen, but trampy

So I have to admit that I just read my first Harlequin Romance novel. And first of all, I have something really important to say about it:

I. WAS. DESPERATE. Clearly.

And apparently the grocery store down the street is not the place to find good literature, unless you desire blood, crime fiction or sex. And I just wasn't in a blood mood (one can only read so many cheesy wannabe vampire stories and every other cover had some kind of dripping red artwork which didn't exactly call out "I'm wholesome and not at all disturbing, read me!") Oh, and the crime fiction? Not my thing, too real life-ish, I get paranoid, husband threatens tranquilizers.

So I had a few choices for my first HQ novel, and I actually took the time to pick one specifically in an effort to at least get something with some sort of intellectual plot. (I'm not saying this book achieved the whole intellectual thing. Not that it was without plot, just that the plot was rather lacking until it came to naked body parts - or parts that wanted to be naked, which took up a lot more of the book than the actual nakedness.)

It was a late 1800's high end society based book. Kind of like Jane Austen, but trampy. It involved two murders, ancient tax laws, a highway woman, a couple of dutchesses, an illegitimate child, loveless marriages, grazing sheep and one of the main characters was a handsome muscular man with tousled blond hair and beyond natural abilities at pleasing women in bed (or couch, or wine cellar floor....whatever.)

That's the last time I buy a book at the grocery store down the street. Next time I'm heading straight for a Barnes and Noble.

Jul 7, 2009

in which I prove the horribleness of my parenting (again)

If there has been any doubt that someone should cart my children away to better homes (RIGHT AWAY) I have something to admit that can really send the CPS knocking on my door (or a couple of enraged old women.)

Whenever my kids (or husband) asks what's for breakfast/lunch/dinner and I either don't know or I know the answer will envoke groaning, I always answer, "Poop on a stick."


A horrible thing for a parent to say to a child, I know. (I can hear those old ladies cringing right now.)

But it gets better.


Yesterday I finally served it:

At first I added the raisins for nutritional value (and because raisins stick great to peanut butter and taste better than cheezits in this particular combination.) Then I thought of a really great poop comparison for them.

I must admit it's not my most mature thought. Are you ready for it?

The raisins are flies (because flies love poop, you know?)

Yeah, immature.

Because serving my kids "poop on a stick" was the most adult thing to do in the first place.

Jul 6, 2009

awesomes

You know what's really awesome?

PBS Kids
laptops
and
foam swords from the dollar store (when not being used at attempted but highly unsuccessful mutilation of ones opponent of course.)

Here are few other things that could make the list on any given day:
-balloons
-bubbles
-squirt guns
-Dora on DVD (and volume control to quiet her yelled commands)
-while we're on the subject - PORTABLE DVD PLAYERS - oh yeah
-string cheese
-colored marshmallows
-popcorn
-a meal consisting of string cheese, colored marshmallows and popcorn
-mega-absorbing diapers
-mindless yet entertaining literature
-an entire day free from children, work and chores (this one is hypothetical, of course, since I have yet to experience it)

I'm sure I could list more, but the foam sword is no long magically interesting, and I'm getting multiple demands for colored marshmallows. So I'm just going to include one more of my favorite awesomes (which is a word when you refer to it as a noun - which I am):

NAPTIME

Jul 1, 2009

shnookums-pie

I have 14.7 minutes to write this post.

Because Husband turns THIRTY today, and we're going on a real live date. Dinner AND a movie. It's been awhile folks.

So you know my son? Monkey?


Yeah, him. He looks like a long-haired, sweety-pie, shnookums-poo darlin', no?

HE'S NOT.

We go outside. Out front. No fence.

Two seconds into it Monkey runs full board into the street, and I'm holding a squirmy one year old on the grass. Thank goodness we live on a slow street.

We go outside. Out front. No fence.

Two seconds into it Monkey takes off in stealth. I find him on our neighbor's front porch, hanging out in a chair. We don't know these particular neighbors yet. I'm just wondering how many times he rang their doorbell before taking a seat.

We go outside. Out front. No fence.

Two seconds into it Monkey spies our other neighbor's ornamental lawn lights. He tries ripping one out of the ground. It starts wiggling before I can nab him and shove him back through the door.

So outside just isn't working out.

We're inside. I'm cleaning, because we have so many ants here it's like there were no other place for them to hang out. In the world. Two seconds into this ant raid I look over at Monkey thinking, "Hey he seems shorter."

Probably because he had taken out the floor A/C vent and jumped into the open duct.

Yeah, he's a long-haired, sweety-pie, shnookums-poo darlin'.