Sep 23, 2013

homework grievance

I have beef with homework.  I don't like it.  I know that some homework is necessary, but the amount of homework my kids have to do it ridiculous.

I especially hate kindergarten homework.  I think it's unnecessary.  And, frankly, it just makes me mad.

Number Four's kindergarten teacher sends home a weekly homework sheet with two small activities to do every day, plus we are required to read 20+ minutes every single day of the week.  I have nothing against reading or the small homework activities, but sometimes we are busy, with stuff like, you know, LIFE, and we don't have time to devote to writing the letter H 20 times and drawing something that rhymes with rat.  And maybe we only read billboards on the freeway that day, because, you know, LIFE.

This kindergarten homework could be tolerable, and we could make up the missed assignments on less busy days, but the teacher is also sending home "bonus" worksheets that she expects my daughter to do. 

Last week she sent home five double-sided math worksheets straight out of the Common Core workbook.  These would be the worksheets that she, as a teachers, is required teach and complete IN CLASS, but apparently the teacher doesn't do that?  Not to mention, it was five, FIVE, worksheets, double sided.  For a kindergartener.

So last week I refused to make Number Four do those "bonus" worksheets.  She just turned them back in at the end of the week, not done.

She just came home from school today.  Now she has the new week's homework activities, four new double-sided "bonus" worksheets, and a note that says "Please finish your math from last week!"  Plus another note about how we forgot to write down her reading on the paper AND online, so guess what?  It doesn't count.

And did I mention that we also have to list each and every book we read this month?  Because it's not annoying to list the ten books that you can fit into ONE 20 minute reading session (times 30 for each day of the month she's required to read).

And I haven't even mentioned the other kids' homework amounts.  After spending all day in school, they have to come home and spend another hour doing school work.  And then if we have soccer practices, or dance or, heaven forbid, ERRANDS, they never get a chance to just chill or do normal kid stuff like play outside, or do chores, or see how far they can jump out of the neighbor's swing onto the trampoline. And kids should be able to do these things daily.

So yeah, I pretty much hate homework.

Sep 20, 2013

I think I just saw a shadow move in the basement....

I have an intense fear of basements.  It's illogical at best.  (Certifiable at worst.)  I know I shouldn't be afraid of them, but basements, as a whole, creep me out.

I lived in a basement bedroom for most of my childhood years.  I was afraid of them back then too.  But I figured that once I became an adult I would be impervious to such things as basementophobia.  What I didn't count on was the fact that being a grownup is pretty much like being yourself, but old.  So I'm still mostly terrified of basements.

I can usually get over it and go downstairs as long as it's not dark.  Or if I'm home alone.  And if I'm home alone after the sun sets, you can pretty much put money on my NEVER going into a basement.

At our last house, our 1930's house, I didn't like the basement because the original owner was down there.  He was a crotchety old dude with boots and a hat, and possibly overalls.  Of course he wasn't REALLY in the basement.  But in my mind he was.  Mostly I thought about him in the tiny bedroom down there.  Because, naturally, being the spirit of the deceased home owner he would choose to hang out in the darkest and smallest rooms of the whole house?

At first, in my brain, this old guy ghost didn't like us.  But I made my kids sleep in the basement anyway.  Because a fear of basements isn't something I talk about with my kids.  In fact, it's a well guarded secret that I deny on a daily basis.  So, say one of my kids is whining about not wanting to go down there alone, I can just say, "Oh please, it's JUST the basement.  It's TOTALLY FINE."  When really I'm thinking, "Well, I'm not going down there alone, and someone needs to put this away."

After we lived in our 1930's house for awhile the crocheting old man ghost started to like us.  Because my family is amazingly endearable.  So after awhile that basement seemed less scary.  (Except that's also where the spiders liked to hide, but that's a whole other phobia altogether.)

When we moved to our current home I wasn't too worried about the basement.  It's unfinished down there, but we've made it quite liveable/useable.  No one has to sleep down there, but we go down there multiple times a day. 

Except after awhile my brain decided that there's the ghost of a little girl down there.  Because, WHY NOT?  This girl ghost has a corner she likes to hide in.  And, because my brain likes to come up with the creepiest possible scenarios, sometimes she likes to follow me up the stairs.  But not at normal human speed - she does that horrific ghost speed thing where they'll stand at the bottom of the stairs, and then suddenly they're RIGHT BEHIND YOU at the top of the stairs.  And I think about this MUCH MUCH TOO OFTEN. 

I know that there's probably absolutely no ghost girls in our basement, or following me up the stairs, or creeping around in dark corners.  But my imagination is never ever dormant.  It's just there, always coming up with new ways to freak me out.  (If there was a contest on who's brain was the most creative at finding ways to scare it's owner, I would be a top contender.)

And besides, tonight when husband needed to iron a shirt, he got a couple steps down the basement stairs when he stopped.  I asked him why and he said, "Because I think I just saw a shadow move down there."  AND HE WASN'T EVEN JOKING.

So I pretty much won't ever be going in our basement again.  I really hope one of the kids picks up a love of laundry, because the washing machine is down there and I'd really hate to never have clean clothes again.

Jun 25, 2013

Why I'm writing this post at 2:40 AM

I always have to pee right before I go to sleep.  Sure, I go just before going to bed.  But then I just lay there, for hours, NOT SLEEPING.

Insomnia is awesome like that.

I can be completely dead tired, but I still just lay in bed, in the dark, with my brain in squirrel mode.  NOT SLEEPING.

And then finally, FINALLY, my brain will be like, "ooh, sleep, yeah...." But then guess who wakes up?

My big fat jerk bladder.

Because suddenly it's like, "Whoa, remember that swallow and a half of water you had at 10:00?  Hey, let's go to the bathroom!"  And it's not like you want to ignore that knd of urge all night.

So then I stumble the five steps into the bathroom, which jiggles my brain awake a little.

And then I remember that I like to think about ghosts whenever I walk near the stairs at night, which scares my brain awake more.

And then I have to turn on the light to make sure there are no giant spiders lying in wait for me behind the toilet, which pretty much is the final brain waking trigger.

So that stupid "final" trip to the bathroom combined with my insomnia prone brain means that I'm literally laying bed with my iPad typing this blog post and hoping that I don't drop it on my face while laying on my back to spell check everything.

Because dropping an iPad on your face kind of hurts.  And it would be pretty embarrassing, you know, if the entire world weren't already asleep, but watching me instead.

And now, dear friends, I'll probably peruse pinterest some more, until my brain decides to turn off again, all the while hoping that my bladder doesn't decide to wake up again before morning.

Jun 10, 2013

my medical condition

I just wrote this in an email, but because I think I am hilarious beyond reason I thought I'd post it here too:

I have been suffering from a serious medical condition the past few weeks.  The medical term for this condition is Lazeeassitis with severe Motivational Deficiency.  I've been looking for treatments everywhere - the movie theater, McDonalds, at the bottom of a Doritos bag, in the game Candy Crush, and I've even been reading a series of paranormal teen fiction, but I just can't seem to find anything that will cure me.  I've been thinking about seeing a specialist about it, but no one makes home visits these days so that's out.  Perhaps it's terminal and I'll just have to lay around sipping cherry coke while watching Netflix until I die.  

Goodbye cruel world......

May 31, 2013

the time our house exploded

Once upon a time, last friday at 3:00 in the afternoon, my house exploded.  Kind of.  It all happened like this (imagine that your vision is suddenly going into wavy lines and you hear a harp as I take you into my flashback):

I was letting Two Bits have a sleepover.  Which is huge.  Because I am anti-all-things-sleepover.  But one of her best friends is moving, and she's never had best friends before, plus her birthday is coming up in a little over a month, and her other party idea was buying everyone a build-a-bear with all the clothes and accessories which made my bank account curl up into the fetal position and whimper a little.

Two Bits and her two best friends walked to our house after school that day.  Fridays are short days here, so they all showed up by 1:00 PM.  By 2:55 PM they were devastatingly bored.  Because that's what my kids do best when they have friends over.  So I decided to set up our badminton net for them in the backyard.

One thing you need to know about our backyard - it has tree problems.  There are big trees back there, and during the winter lots of branches broke from the weight of the snow.  I've asked our landlord to get them taken care of so that they don't randomly fall from the precarious position in which they are dangling from on high to crush one of my offspring, but it just hasn't happened yet.

The next door neighbors also have a few tree problems.  They've also been doing major work on their backyard.  So, last friday, as I was setting up a badminton net, while a bunch of kids that weren't all mine watched, the next door neighbor's contractor took down a branch that took down another branch that fell on our power line that ripped the weather head off the back of our house that fell to the ground in a shower of sparks that lit the grass on fire that shot an electrical current into our breaker box that exploded and filled our basement with thick smoke and fried our living room outlets and took out multiple electronic devices around the rest of the house including our furnace and a tv.

It all happened fairly quickly.

Right after everything came down, and the sparks started flying, the contractor ran into our backyard to find me standing there slack jawed and surrounded by kids.  He stamped out our grass and yelled for the kids to stand back. 

It took me a second, but I recovered from my shock and ran inside to make sure everything was ok in there.  I heard the smoke detector going off in the basement so I ran down there to make sure nothing was on fire.  It was pretty hard to tell though because the smoke was so thick that I couldn't see or breath.  But I was pretty sure there were no flames so I ran to the window and killed half of my lungs getting it open.

At this point in the story, as I was telling it to my mother, she said, "You ran into the basement TOWARDS a potential fire?"  But isn't that what people do?  The really dumb people.....

The next part of the story gets kind of boring because there were lots of phone calls made and lots of watching the contractor run around frantically.  But we got the power company to come sever the fallen line since there was still partial electricity going into our house, which may or may not have caused real fires, or something.  Then the contractor got us a hotel reservation (I requested the one with a water slide) and by around 6:30 we packed up our four kids, and the two extra kids, and headed off to the hotel.

Of course it wasn't all smooth sailing after that.  There were a bunch of small, yet super annoying, instances that occurred.

We stopped off at Little Caesars pizza because they have the "hot and ready $5 pizza" thing, but they weren't "hot and ready" like they claimed so I got to sit in the car with all the kids squished and cranky for 20 minutes while we waited.

There was a problem with our hotel reservations so when we showed up we didn't have a room.  So we made the kids stand around in the parking lot and eat pizza while it got figured out.  But it took a little longer than pizza eating, and it somehow that extra 20 minutes in the car made the kids super energetic so I had to reel in their crazy with a game of Simon Says where I was Simon and I said for them to pretend to be statues, and dirty socks, and road kill, just so they'd stop screaming and running in circles.

The hotel didn't have adjoining rooms, so I got to spend the night with 3 fourth graders, after my patience had already been tested beyond my personal best limit.  By about 11:30 I told them that they had to sleep, and I turned out the light, and said, "SHHHHHHH" a lot.

The next day we went swimming, but that got boring after about an hour.  So then we went to the aquarium, because it's not like you can contain six kids in a hotel all day (and we had aquarium passes for our family, so it was the cheapest thing we could think to do).  After that we went to McDonalds and got 40 chicken nuggets and 3 drinks (we're so cheap that it's embarrassing) and we let the kids play for another 40 minutes. 

Then we tried to drop off the extra kids.

But their parents weren't home.

So then we got to hang out at our house, that had no power, until their parents got home.  But, by that point, I was just.....YOU KNOW.....   So I said that I "had to check on the neighbor" because I just wanted to go somewhere away from all the kids for a few minutes and talk to an adult.

It was about 4:30 when we finally took Two Bits friends home, and things started getting a little better.  Very slowly.

The stay at the hotel was long because they needed permits and inspections that weren't happening on Memorial Day weekend, but by sunday night we were in adjoining rooms so we were able to have a kid side and an adult side and that helped.  On monday and tuesday evenings we had people from church feed us, which was nice (fast food burgers and the bagels we smuggled from the free breakfasts were getting old).  And we were back in our house, with some power, by wednesday morning. 

Of course, it was when we got home that we realized how many things had been fried.  Like every outlet in the living room.  And the light on the ceiling in the girls' bedroom.  Plus a tv, 2 small stereos, and our furnace.  But the contractor has been very helpful and quick through the whole process (if it weren't for that pesky 3 day holiday weekend, we would have been home sooner) and everything is fixed or will be replaced by monday.

So, basically, our house (sort of) exploded, we were all safe, nothing was permanently damaged, and we got to spend 5 nights in a hotel with a water slide.  GOOD TIMES.

May 20, 2013

I'm Awkward and Have No Friends

I find that I'm not really fitting in lately.  Ok, rewind, I have never really felt like I exactly fit in, ever.  I've always been a little awkward.  But lately, it's been much more apparent.

We moved to our current abode last October.  And I know that's not an incredibly long time to live somewhere, but long enough to make a few church friends, right?

Today we were at the public library catching a puppet show and checking out some books.  As we were looking at Star Wars graphic novels a kid came up to Monkey and goes, "Hey, I know you!"  And then he proceeded to tell us all about how they're in the same class at church.  Monkey was super shy, but this kid went on and on and on.

Then the kid goes, "MOM - come over here, I know them!"

So then his mom comes over.  Obviously she goes to the same church as us.  Since October.  And she's like, "How do you know them?"  And then I tell her that they're in the same church class.  And honestly I didn't know her kid, so it was totally ok with her not knowing Monkey.  But then she said, "Oh, how nice....."  and had one of those obvious fake smiles plastered to her face where you could tell she was trying to think of an excuse to leave as quickly as possible.

I'm not good at the obvious fake smile.  Or perhaps mine is just much MUCH too obvious, which would make me an expert?  I dunno.  Either way, I decided that it would be best to just go back to looking at Star Wars books and make it easy for the church lady to go away.  Which she did.

And that pretty much sums up all the local interaction I've had here.

The only person I can exclude from this is my next door neighbors.  Not the drunk guys who live on the other side of our duplex (who just moved anyway) but the one in the house next to that.  Those people are pretty cool.  And our kids play together outside pretty much every day.

But I think I scare them.

I have to work a lot.  Which means that I sit at my computer lots and lots and lots.  So I don't talk to them too much, even though they see my kids daily.  But then when I do actually have a conversation with them, it's been so long since I've had adult social interaction that I turn into a 3 year old and questions start spewing out of my mouth like this: "What are you doing?  How long does that take?  Is it hard?  Your living room is fabulous, what did it look like before you remodeled?  What about this light, was it there before?  Oooh, look at your kitchen - did you do the subway tiles yourself?  That's awesome.  Where did you live before this?  When is your daughter's birthday?  Do you have a dog?  How long have you been married?  What color is your toothbrush?"

Also, sometimes I forget that some people aren't ok when I forget to use filters.

I think I need to take a class where everyone just has to sit around and practice "polite conversation".  Or if there was a class called "People Skills for Beginners" I might be able to learn something.  Maybe then I could perfect my fake smile. 

And then, just maybe, I'll be able to fit in better here......

May 17, 2013

The Magic Assembly

A couple days ago the kids were talking about an assembly they had at school.  We were all sitting around the dinner table, and the story came out in pieces as they ate.  So, originally, I thought things occurred like this:

All the classes were sitting in the gymnacafetorium, ready to watch The Amazing Whatever-His-Name-Was Magician.  Which was probably a big relief from all the school work that never occurs in May anyway (is it just me, or does the last month of school seem like a complete waste of time?). 

At some point during the show, the magician's dove escaped from some unknown hiding place and starting frantically flying around the room.

I imagined lots of flying, and a totally flustered set of adults trying to catch said bird.  All the while, in my mind, the magician was standing on stage feeling like a total hack.  I mean, what kind of crap magician can't contain his hidden dove before his "watch how I make this dove appear out of thin air" trick?

So the bird swoops around the gymnacafetorium while teachers and the principal chase him, and finally, after all that drama, the dove swoops down and lands on the little blond head of a kid in Opie's class. 

Everyone is shocked that the bird has landed on a student's head until another kid in that class holds out his hand and, with the magic touch of Radagast the brown, gets the bird to slide onto his fingers.  Then he calmly walks the bird up to the magician, who is now so horrifically embarrassed that he has to immediately pack up and move to a foreign country.

And that's how the story went in my head, after hearing the tidbits of information from Opie and Two Bits, in between their bites of tuna casserole.

However, it turns out it wasn't that exciting.  I asked questions and we got the actual story out of it.

Apparently the dove didn't escape while it was supposed to be hidden.  The magician had just done his "dove appearing from nothing" trick, and when the kids applauded the dove got skittish and took flight.

Apparently the dove did NOT fly around the room with a group of frantic adults chasing after it.  In fact, I guess there was very little drama.  The dove fly straight from the magician's hand to the unsuspecting head of a 2nd grader.

The kid who got the bird off his classmate's head must have had his own birds, because he apparently knew what he was doing.

And, apparently, the magician finished his show and was hardly embarrassed at all.

So, basically, the point of all this is: things always play out much better in my imagination than they do in real life.

The end.

May 9, 2013

a letter to my nemesis

Dear Evil Shower Curtain,

You think you are sooooo clever, don't you?  That you have it all worked out.  That you can defeat me.  But let's think about this logically - do you really think you can beat someone with my abilities and mental prowess?  ha ha ha. Your confidence is humorous.

I am on to your plan, evil curtain of fear.  I know how you mock me with your attractive fabric - the fabric you use to shield my vision from the rest of the bathroom.  Do not think you can fool me - I KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.

I know that you're hiding serial killers in the tub when I have to pee at night.  I know these killers have knives or deadly ninja throwing stars.  And I know that you think you're tricky when I pull back the curtain at lightening speed to find the tub empty.

I don't know where you're putting the assassins, but I will figure it out - that you can be sure of.

I know that when I'm showering you like to invite the satanic girl from The Ring to spy on me.  I know that you wait for me to turn around to shave my legs or rinse the shampoo out of my hair, and then have her creepily pull the curtain back in the bottom corner of the tub so that when I turn around again I'll see her evil little face looking at me.

Don't think you can surprise me.

I also know that you are in league with the spider king - I know that he sends his legions to infiltrate the shower just to catch me unaware and vulnerable.  But don't think that I can't reach for that can of aerosol hairspray that I keep handy just for the gluing of the crawling demons to wall.

One of these days I will vanquish you shower curtain, and you will no longer be able to to torture me with your campaign of paranoia.  Possibly I will just enlist the help of your benign cousin, the clear plastic shower liner.  He may be your ghetto relative with no sense of style, but with his help I would be able to see all parts of the bathroom at all times.  And then I could forever banish you to the nether regions of the hall closet.  And what good is your power there, hmmm?

Mwaha haha ha ha ha ha ha h aha HA.  You better start watching your back.

Sincerely,
Your Greatest Foe

May 6, 2013

garbage from my sleeping brain

I think dreams are rubbish.  Well, ok, I don't know about YOUR dreams.  They could be absolutely amazing and insightful.

You could be one of those people that have other worldly knowledge planted into your brain during your unconscious hours.  Or the kind of who seems to work out all their waking struggles through a good dream sequence.  Who knows, maybe you just dream about math - not exactly earth shattering, but still falling in the spectrum of "intelligence".

My dreams, however, are more like this:


Figuratively speaking, of course. (Spongebob rarely graces my sleeping brain, which is starting to make me wonder - why don't I dream in cartoon?)

The other night I was having one of those dreams where you just bounce around the whole time, and nothing really links together.  Like there I was eating french fries and I couldn't for the life of me get my fry to land in the fry sauce without splattering all over my boobs.  And then, the next thing I know, I'm sitting in a public library where a huge shipment of second-hand shoes shows up.  And then I spent the next fifteen minutes of my dream locating matching pairs of shoes for a homeless boy who likes Converse.

Plus remember that one time that I dreamed that I was dating a Kid Rock look alike straight out of prison?  Or the time that I had to save my kids from a basiliskamander over and over?

So you just go right ahead and keep dreaming about important things, or messages from beyond the veil or whatever.  And I'll keep having the kind of dreams that belong in a trash receptacle, or the mind of a mental patient.


Apr 10, 2013

birds are the most annoying creatures on this planet

Once upon a time some birds moved into our ceiling.

"Your ceiling?" You say, "Surely you mean something else?"

To which I reply, "No, I mean ceiling.  And don't call me Shirley."

The birds have made a hole is the house just above my bedroom window which allows them easy access into the ceiling.  At first different birds tried to lay claim to the new nesting territory and chaos ensued.  One time Two Bits compared the noise to a squirrel and a bird killing each other, so I had to calm her nerves by stating that squirrels aren't stupid enough to challenge a pointy-beaked, crazed feather duster over something as gross as our crappy duplex.

Things were just getting ridiculous.  The bird world rumbles that were occurring above our heads were enough to make the Sharks and the Jets dismiss any feelings of prettiness from Maria.  In the end, however, the finer sex overthrew all conflict and now we're hosting a birdy love shack.

I don't know if this particular species of bird only have one mate per season, but what I can tell you is that they are obnoxiously loud when thoughts of little baby birds are on their minds.  And it's practically ALL they have on their minds these days.

The last thing we need is a nest of baby birds in the ceiling.  A couple years ago we made the mistake of letting birds get into our grill, and I can't even convey the noisiness of those stupid birdlings.  Not to mention the territory issues that made it impossible to go in our backyard.  And not only that, but did you know that some birds will still live with their parents even after they're fully grown?

It is true, I tell you.

Because when I finally worked up the courage to open the lid of our grill, effectively exposing the nest, about five adult size birds came flying out at my head, and I had no choice but to run into the house screaming and ducking.  And then I had to hose bird poo off our grill for the next 3 hours and eventually just lit it on fire.

So we keep trying to get rid of the ceiling birds.  Every time I hear them getting it on I pound on the walls, or pick up this big roll of paper I have next to my desk and smack it against the ceiling.  This used to scare the them off, but now they're just like, "whatevs, stupid human".

A couple weeks ago Husband put vinegar into my huge super soaker water gun and sprayed the bird hole with it (the hole is pretty high on the house, so we needed to pull out the big guns, so to speak.).  It seemed to work for awhile.  But then I guess it stopped smelling or the birds just got used to the stench.

And now we don't know what to do.

Our landlord isn't very "hands-on" so I'm pretty sure telling her about it will not solve the problem.

Husband keeps suggesting we buy a BB gun and shoot any and all birds within a 2 block radius of our house.  But that seems a tad excessive.

So tell me, my awesome gentle readers, how does one annhiolate all birds in existence?  Or at least the ones nesting in my bedroom ceiling?

Apr 8, 2013

not my best idea


It's been raining all day.  But when it came time to pick Monkey up from kindergarten I didn't care about the weather.  I thought, "Oh yeah?  Forget you rain - we have these things called UMBRELLAS!"

And then Number Four and I left to walk to the school.

The first thing I quickly noticed was that a four year old yielding an umbrella makes not a pleasant walking companion.  She was whacking me all over the place with that thing, because instead of watching where she was going she kept looking up at the center of the umbrella or down at her feet.

The second thing I noticed was that a day of downpour equals overflowing curb gutters.  The flow of water was so wide that I had a hard time spanning them in one giant stride, and with a couple of little kids in tow we might as well have been crossing a river. 

We made it to the school, got Monkey, and walked most of the way home with about as much annoyance as you can imagine in those particular circumstances.  But then things got much more annoying. 

We had just gotten over the gutter on one side of the road.  Which meant that I had to close my umbrella, straddle the thinnest part of the gutter and then lift my kids, one at a time, over the flowing water.  Not only is straddling a 3 ft wide flow of rain water not the easiest thing for a fat woman to do, but umbrellas went flying in the little hands of their lifted occupants.  And I don't know about you, but I don't especially love getting a facer from a drenched umbrella.

We had just got onto the street, and just because we're lucky, a car turns the corner down the block and starts heading towards us.  And this car is not going slowly (even though we were on a residential road in a school zone - obviously that car was being driven by a jerk).  So I was trying to quickly cross the street and lift the kids over the even wider expanse of running gutter water on the other side. 

And then my kids decided to act like they'd never been on a road before.

Instead of waiting on the side of the road so I could hurry and lift them to safety, both kids start running in opposite directions.  And by the sound of it, the car behind us isn't approaching any slower, and it was getting close (the jerk). 

This only left one option: I grabbed onto whatever part of my kids I could reach, dragged their unwilling little bodies to the side of the road, which required the excessive umbrella combat, and threw them onto the sidewalk ignoring my own, now soaked, feet.

And the car zoomed past us.  (HUGE JERK.)

And that is why next time it's raining, I will be driving.


Mar 28, 2013

things I am tired of saying

There are certain things that I must say multiple times a day.  These things are not things that I choose to say, but most definitely the things that need to be said.  But I still get tired of saying them.

This one is the bane of motherhood:
I used to threaten stuff like "clean up or I'll sell all your stuff to gypsies!"  or "clean up or you'll never eat cheese again!"  But the kids never took me seriously.  So now I have to get real.  And no iPad privilages for a week?  Life doesn't get much more real than that.


This is something I say every single school morning:
The Monkey still has a hard time doing things for himself.  And we never get out of bed with enough time to leisurely get ready for our day.  We're not morning people, we're "hit snooze at least 7 times and then get angry at the sun for shining" people.  So when there is only 3 minutes until people need to be leaving, and the Monkey is still standing there stuck halfway into a shirt and pantless, it's up to me to get him put together.  And for some reason he thinks that he can go all floppy fish noodle on me, requiring me to shove his foot in his shoe for him.  It's super really obnoxious.  Because he's a six year old human being and not a floppy fish noodle for crying out loud.


I get really REALLY tired of this daily conversation:
I seriously loathe making dinner.  Because first you have to think of something to make.  And then you have to make sure you have all the stuff you need to make it.  Then you have to change tactics half way through when you realize that you are, in fact, missing multiple ingredients.  Then you have to spend an hour in the kitchen figuring out healthy side dishes and stirring things on a hot stove.  Then you have to dish it up for everyone on the right colored plates in the right proportions and serve it with the right utensils.  Then you have to sit at the table while every wails and moans about how disgusting the food is.  And I find that no matter what the dinner is, at least one of the kids is going to hate it.


As much as I hate saying all those things, this next one is the number one most abhorred utterance that I am required to declare once, if not seven times, a day:
I don't know what kind of logic makes a human being think it's ok to leave putrid floaters in the bathroom.  And why am I ALWAYS the one to discover such repulsive offerings?  I wonder sometimes if the kids do it on purpose.  Most likely though is that my children are disgusting creatures of habit that are much too distracted by legos and scooters to bother remembering to flush.  Which really makes me wonder about hand washing.


And those are some things I'm tired of saying.  What about you?  Do you have anything great (greatly annoying, that is) to add to the list?

Mar 14, 2013

All Hail the King of Goosebumps

Did I ever tell you about the time Opie got a goosebump the size of an actual goose egg?  I was looking at pictures from a few years ago and was reminded of how truly colossal it was.

A little back story first:

Opie used to have a giant sized head.  He has since grown into it a little bit.  But from about the time he was 4 months old to like yesterday his head was just too big for his short little body.  So he used to always bump it into stuff. 

ALWAYS.

We could barely get a goosebump healed before he would get a brand new one.  So basically, we had a stash of kid sized ice packs and I got good at looking for signs of a concussion.

Now back to the story:

It was March of 2010, and it was starting to get all warm and nice outside.  I'm pretty sure it was a saturday morning because I ditched the younger kids to take Opie and Two Bits on a bike ride to the neighborhood park.  So Husband must have been home.  Or something.

The kids still had their bike helmets on while they played on the playground which, at the time, did not seem like a big deal.  Helmets are supposed to keep heads safe, right?  That's what I thought.  And then Opie decided to jump off a platform and land in between a couple of metal bars.

Normally, I think he probably could have squeezed between those bars.  But at that moment the width of his big head combined with the girth of his helmet slammed his forehead into one of the metal bars with a fairly decent amount of force.  And this was the end result:


And this was after ice packs and laying down.  (Except that before that we had to get all the way home with a screaming Opie - so the whole neighborhood heard about it.)

The goosebump lasted weeks.  It ever so slowly shrank and changed colors.  And eventually it melted down into his eyes so he had double black eyes for awhile too. 

But even after a massive conk like that he still didn't have a concussion (he never has).  So maybe his head was so big because his skull is twice as thick as a normal person's?

At any rate, it was a pretty amazing goosebump.  And I love it when my kids' injuries make random people stop and stare....and probably wonder if I beat him.  And then I just want to yell, "I was being nice - WE WENT TO THE PARK, OK?!!!" 

And Opie wasn't very happy about it either.

(This was about 10 days after it happened.)

Mar 4, 2013

what to read.....?

I haven't been reading as much lately as I used to.  Not that I don't like to ignore the things I should be doing by doing something more entertaining.  Because I do like to do that.  It's just that with the few books that I've actually attempted to read I don't make it too far before getting  bored.

sigh.

I don't know if my attention span has gotten shorter, or I just haven't found the right books.  It's probably the first one.....but let's pretend that it's not really my fault.

What I think the problem really is that I used to never read.  EVER.  Because I just didn't like to.  And I was pretty busy doing other stuff.  When I was in high school I thoroughly believed in Cliff's Notes and excellent guessing on multiple choice tests.  I'm pretty sure I read only one book from cover to cover during my whole teenage career and it wasn't even for school.

This is where you're probably thinking I was a horrible student.  On the contrary, I graduated with high honors and a full ride scholarship.  Because I was ever so good at guessing on multiple choice tests.  And also, I think my high school was fairly lacking in the whole "we challenge our students" arena.

So now that we've that cleared up let's talk about books again.

I didn't start reading for fun until I was put on bedrest with my last pregnancy.  That was before I knew about Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Instant Video.  We didn't even have cable.  So yeah, I read lots and lots and lots.

And then I kept reading after that because I realized that I actually do like to read.

But then I kind of just stopped reading again.

I think I got busy doing other things again.  Plus I realized my deep and unending love for streaming.  But I want to get back to reading, because I sort of miss it.  And the other day my internet was dead for multiple days in a row and I almost died from the withdrawals.

Is it sad that I can't go for a few days without streaming?  Or would that fall under the "pathetic" category?

Either way I think I should start a new book.  And I've decided to read this:


I liked the style of writing JK Rowling used in all the Harry Potter books, so I'm hoping that I like this too.  And if I get it through the Kindle app on my phone then possibly I'll actually read it the next time I find myself with a little free time.   Maybe.

We'll see how it goes....

Shop Amazon Books - New J.K. Rowling - The Casual Vacancy

Feb 23, 2013

dear pinterest, you're a jerk

I have beef with pinterest.  I mean, I LIKE pinterest, and if you check you'll see that I have about 500 boards and 7 million pins, but lately it's just gotten annoying.  I feel a little like it's trying to boss me around, or make me feel guilty, or judge me from a distance.

For example, according to pinterest:

We should tell our girls 25 certain things before they turn ten, because there is no possible way they can live to age 11 without it.

If you didn't take certain wedding photos you shouldn't breath the same air as the rest of us.

Your living room should have at least one black and white photo collage wall, and if you don't have anything with chevron in your house you might as well live in a cardboard box.

There are 17 specific things that moms MUST do with sons because "they are SO important" and no one would know how to raise a son without this amazing pin. (How did our ancestors cope?)

You can feed your entire extended family for 7 years with $100 worth of groceries and a crockpot.  And it's all completely healthy.

Never ever "waste" your toilet paper rolls, because the fact that it has already held the toilet paper and can be easily recycled is just not enough.

Doing your hair in a unique and different way every single day is the ONLY way to have hair if you care at all about being a human being.

Choose one of 47 different recipes for homemade laundry detergent, body wash, febreeze, deodorant, toothpaste, toe jam remover, cough syrup, and motor oil.

You should love your abs more than any kind of food or you're just a disgusting lard butted waste of space.

When introducing a new baby to older siblings you should put lots of effort into it for the kids' sakes, because pushing a human being out of your body wasn't enough work.

You should never ingest anything that's not organic/vegan/home grown, unless of course it's named "better than sex" anything, or my personal favorite "crack" whatever.  (Just because its your favorite recipe doesn't mean you should call it "crack bread" or "crack brownies" or "crack scrambled eggs" - that is just stupid.  And extremely ignorant.)

A baby cannot possibly sleep in a boring regular room - if the nursery is not color coordinated, sophisticated, and somehow turn the closet into something completely useless, then you are doing it wrong and your baby will suffer horribly.

There are more, many many more, but all of these things probably won't stop me from participating in the pinning frenzy, even if they sometimes make me want to leave snide comments on random people's boards.  However I am going to start caring a whole lot less about how my house looks, and what I do (or do not do) with my kids, and if I toss toilet paper rolls without even a smidgen of guilt.

So go ahead Pinterest and judge me from afar.  I pretty much don't care.

Feb 15, 2013

submit suggestions here

I'm attempting a life makeover.  It's kind of not that easy.  But it's not like I'm changing everything.  Just mostly stuff like priorities, sleeping habits, and other small things, you know,  like my name.

I'm actually looking for name suggestions, if you have some.  But there are some rules:

1- It can't be boring.  I've been "Melissa" for a long time now, and I have to say that it's really not a name that impresses a classroom full of second graders.

2- It can't use the letters U or Y.  Just because I've decided not to use them.  And I'm still iffy on using a K.


3- The name should symbolic of something magical.  But not anything nerdy.  Just because I believe in unicorns and a secret underworld full of lizard people doesn't mean I'm a dweeb.

4- It has to be at least 3, but no more than 7 syllables.  Let's just say I want it to be a mouthfull.

I'm also thinking about a blog redesign.  Like, maybe if it's pretty, it will be easier to get back to sharing my inner most thoughts here?  And also because a life makeover means changes have happened and I need to update things anyway.

However, I'm not sure what kind of design I want to go with.  I'm thinking maybe something super simple though.  Partly because I'm in a simplicity mode, and partly because I'm too lazy to do something complex.

What do you think?

Feb 13, 2013

migraines are like that one annoying friend you have

I used to get migraines all the time.  But then I got really good at figuring out my migraine triggers and how to cut one off before it really ever started.  But the thing about migraines is that they're like that one annoying friend that stops by for visits even when you make up a myriad of excuses to get out of it.

It's like my migraines miss hanging out or something, so they insist on paying a visit.

If migraines could talk they'd say something like, "Hey girl, it's been so long since I've given you double vision and vertigo that I just thought I'd stop by and make you barf.  This so much fun!"

Migraines would probably have really nasaly voices too, just to be extra obnoxious.  And fish breath. And if they had fingers they'd probably go around your house turning on all the lights, and then they'd pinch your kids just to make them scream.

And you know how, just like that one annoying friend, migraines stay waaaaay too long?  Or they threaten to make a reappearance so you just have to lay there and play dead, hoping they'll just get bored and go away?  I really hate that.

Some people can just ride out their migraines and then be fine in a few hours, or the next day, or whatever.  But not me.  The only way to get rid of mine is to go full-on drug lord and swallow my weight in pain killers.  And then I have to lock myself in a lightless, noiseless, smell-less room and fall into a drug coma for awhile.

My methods usually work, although not always.  Because sometimes my migraines like to have sleepovers.  And even if it does work, I always have to deal with the next day drug hangover, which usually involves a completely different kind of headache.

It's all just superbly annoying.  And completely unnecessary, you know what I mean?

Feb 4, 2013

breath, roots tech, other stuff....

Right now my breath tastes horrible.  I can only imagine how bad it smells.  I wonder if I could actually kill small mammals with it?  But finding out would require locating a small mammal, and I think I'm just going to brush my teeth instead.

So guess who's going to Roots Tech this year?  With a press pass?  ME.  I'm really excited because I hear that it's awesome there.  And they just announced that Syd Lieberman is going to be one of the thursday morning keynote speakers, and I really really like him. 

I think you guys should all come with me to Roots Tech, so go and get an early bird ticket before the 15th.  Because cheaper is always better.

Did you know that you can't lodge an official complaint to the USPS?  At least they wouldn't let me.  I was really mad at them because I ordered a white suit for Opie's baptism last weekend, and I paid for express shipping so we'd have it a few days before we needed it.  And then THE USPS LOST IT and we had to call 3 different post offices, and talk to about 7 different people, and then finally got someone nice who found it and let us pick it up about a half hour before we left our house for the stake center.  And they wouldn't even put my complaint on record.  I'm totally using FedEx from now on.

Since it's been so snowy and cold lately Husband has been taking the car every day instead of the bus.  So he's also in charge of picking Monkey up from kindergarten.  But it's finally warming up a teensy, so I get the car again, and I've decided to break the parking rules at our school.  They want parents to just parallel park along the side of the road, which isn't super easy because it's a dead end street with sporadic sidewalks and mounds of dirty snow. 

And not all of us are good at parallel parking anyway.

So I used to leave the house really early just so I could get a spot before everyone else came.  Which was sort of annoying.  And not always possible.

But they also have a turnabout for buses.  Except that there is ONE bus and whole lot of turnabout.  So now I just leave my house at the right time, and I park behind the bus.  Even though that's breaking "parent parking conduct".  It's super awesome, because I don't have to deal with any other cars.  Because apparently I'm the only one that isn't bothered by breaking stupid rules.

I wonder how long it will take before someone tells me to stop?