Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Worm is saying colors now

Look out Huck, Worm knows some colors.  He has a few more days to become "as smart a baby as you were". 

I think the difference is that Huck loves to be correct.  He is a people pleaser so he loved calling out the right color or naming the picture on the flash-card.

Worm is his own guy and could care less if you are impressed with him. Chances are good that he is unimpressed with you.  He prefers to ball up the flash-cards and see how far he can throw them.

So I'm blogging on New Year's Eve

It's not like Truck and I couldn't go out.  We have excellent childcare options.  We are not friendless losers.  The truth is we are lazy.

Going out is hard work.  Going out on a weekend is really hard work. Going out on New Year's Eve requires militaristic strategy, outfits that look cool or hot (whatever temperature you wish to convey), way more money than anyone with kids has one week after Christmas, and hours worth of entertainment plans (because going home before midnight because you are bored is pathetic).... basically its a pain in the ass.

I like lists.  So here are some reasons I don't like New Year's Eve.

  1. Champagne doesn't taste as good as it looks. There should be a law that all food and beverages must taste as good as they look.
  2. Paying more money for less menu options because I am eating out on a holiday is insulting. Free champagne does not make it better (refer to #1)
  3. Crowds make me uncomfortable at best, panicked at worst.
  4. Drunk strangers are not amusing (unless they fall down).
  5. It is cold on New Year's Eve.
  6. Midnight is really late.
  7. It feels like a fake holiday.  I mean what are we REALLY celebrating? Minutes, hours, days... they all pass without note.  Time marches on, get over it.

Okay, I am slipping from droll to cranky.  That means its time to hang it up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

So my kids had the first of their four Christmases this weekend

Every year, our first Christmas is with Truck's dad and his wife.  They are Grandpa and Grandma to my kids, so that is who they will be in this blog as well.  We have a lot of grandparents so I will go ahead and line them out here like a little cheat sheet.

Grandpa - Truck's dad
Grandma - Truck's stepmom
Coco - Truck's mom
Big Jim - Truck's stepdad
Didi - My mom
Dida - My stepdad
Big John - My dad

Okay, now you can refer back to the December 22nd post if you ever get confused about which grandparent I am referring to. 

Anyway, our Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma happens to be my favorite Christmas celebration.  Every year we go to a cabin at a local state park the weekend before Christmas. All in all, it is the most relaxing time of the holidays, sometimes it is the most relaxed I am all year.

I am not sure why it takes a small cabin filled to the brim with family and food to make me relax.  Its the type of setting that would normally make me crawl out of my skin.  You can't really get a minute to yourself and there is stuff  everywhere.  Any other time I would be straightening, cleaning, griping and generally freaking out about once an hour.  But not at the cabin.

So I was thinking about why the cabin is so great.  I wondered what everyone else would answer if I asked?

Grandpa would say it was the location.  He loves the woods and hiking.  However, it is having us all right there with him that is the true appeal for him.  

Grandma would say it was the company.  She is the nicest person I have ever known.  If you could always say the kindest thing in any situation and REALLY MEAN IT, you would still not be half as nice as her (as she? grammar ain't my strong suit).

Jo would probably say it was being with the kids for a long enough chunk of time to make a real connection.  She normally sees them in short bursts and not as often as any of us would like. The cabin is a special time for her and Huck.  I'm sure it will be for her and Worm too, but Huck might be loathe to share her.  Check back this time next year and I'll tell you how it went.

Huck would say something silly like "Shiver me bricks, there's a parrot on me liver" (Sorry, had to throw that in for Jo).  Really it is the attention he loves.  He gets to help make pancakes, decorate cookies, make crafts, hike to the playground, play endless board games.  He gets gifts too, but they hardly blip on his radar.

Worm would say "Cookie, Tif, Mama, Jack, Daddy, Uh-Huh!"  

Truck would say that he hates the cabin and wants to drop the tradition.  He is a big ol' poop head and he would miss it if we stopped.

It was harder for me to pin down my feelings.

Part of the allure for me is that my kids are not on "Mama do it" mode at the cabin. Every adult is at their beck and call so they turn to whoever is closest instead of automatically running to me for every want and need.  Sitting on your butt watching someone else cut up your kids' food, wipe their noses, give them baths and play with them is FABULOUS.

Also, there are large quantities of food.  It is hard to freak out when your belly is so full of cookies that you will puke if you try to scrub a dish too vigorously.  Lots of food ups the relaxation factor exponentially for me.
But really, its the little things that add up to the whole experience that make the cabin the real beginning of Christmas for me.

  • We have a live cedar tree every year that is just like the one from the Charlie Brown Christmas.  It starts out small and sad.  Then we decorate it with popcorn strings, paper chains and various other handmade treasures and suddenly it is gorgeous.
  • We stay in our PJs as much as possible.  If the weather permits, we go on a hike.  I have been known to put on a few clothes over my PJs and set out for the hike.
  • No one cares if you eat a cookie at 8 a.m.
  • Someone will always play a board game with you if you ask.
  • There is a fireplace.  I have a fireplace at home. I hate it.  I never use it.  I love the fireplace at the cabin.  Maybe because I don't have to tend the fire or clean the ashes.
  • There is a TV, but we hardly watch it.  I love not having the TV on.  Even Truck & Huck leave it off most of the time. This is baffling to me.  In a house full of toys, Huck wants to watch TV.  In a tiny cabin with not much to do, Huck could care less about the TV.
  • When I get up at the crack of dawn, I am still not the first one up.  I am the first one up every other day of my life.  It is nice to know someone else is stirring.
  • When I go to bed, I just lay down and go to sleep.  No watching TV until my eyes get heavy. No playing a computer game until my fingers cramp on the track pad.  I just get tired and get in bed.
  • Someone else cooks the food.
  • I am not the only one doing dishes.
  • The view out the window is beautiful.
  • The view around the corner is even more beautiful.
  • The view over those hills is breathtaking.
  • If I want to stay in and ignore the view, no one minds.
  • I get presents that are consistently thoughtful and useful.  I don't mind frivolous presents. but I prefer something that I will use and be thankful for often.
  • I don't have to sweep the floor.
So, my Christmastime has begun with a lot of small special things that add up to a magical experience.  Hope yours has too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So I almost told a stranger to Eff off

Worm and I were in the check out line at Toys R Us the other day and he was playing with a tube of lip balm.  The lady in line behind me says "Oh! He has the top off that!"  So I explain that lip balm is his favorite toy and taking the top off & putting it back on is part of the appeal. She then says "But aren't you afraid he is going to put it in his mouth?"  I told her that he was past the mouthy stage.  

This is the point where she needed to drop it.  

I understand her concern.  I sometimes express my concerns to strangers about their kids, but I try to just be informative, not preachy.  I would have stopped with "Oh! He has the top of that." If the parent indicated prior knowledge of this, I would let it go.

She just can't let it go.  She says "You really need to take that away from him".  I say "Here, let me show you what will happen."  

I take the lip balm and he freaks.  There is no build up.  He goes from zero to snot flying in 2.4 seconds.  I give it back to him, he is fine.

She says "He'll get over it."

At this point I am DONE with the conversation.  Here is what I said to her in my head.

You don't know me.  You don't know my kid.  You don't know that he will scream for an hour and a half or longer if I take away something he wants. I assume longer because an hour and a half is the longest I have ever waited him out.  I understand that lip balm is a choking hazard. It is a risk I have chosen to take, so SHUT THE EFF UP YOU NOSY, HOLIER THAN THOU, SELF-APPOINTED LIP BALM POLICE.

Out loud I said "Thanks for your concern."

So I have a new make-up essential

Thanks to Worm I have rediscovered Cherry Chapstick.  

Worm is an odd little guy.  Most kids have a comfort item or items.  Huck's is playing with hair and stuffed animals.  Worm's is lip balm.  He loves to carry around tubes of lip balm.  It started with Burt's Bees so he calls it "bee".  

He has always liked to manipulate tiny objects and remove and replace the top off things, so bee is his dream item.  Funnily enough, he doesn't want to wear the bee.  He mostly just likes to smell it.  I just count myself lucky that he is past the putting everything in his mouth stage.  I do still worry that he will put the little cap in his mouth, but not to the point of distraction. I have a little post about this too so stay tuned. 

I am always on the look-out for a good deal on lip balm because we lose at least a tube a day. Sometimes we just lose the cap, but it is all or nothing for him.  Burt's Bees is too expensive to give to a toddler, so I switched him to Chapstick.  You can get a tube for about 79 cents if you bargain shop, 99 cents if you just need to grab one anywhere. The other day I found a pack of four Cherry Chapstick for 2.99 (less than 75 cents each!). Worm was elated, he loves the scent. 

Turns out Cherry Chapstick is pretty flattering on me.  I am really fair skinned so the light pink color looks natural on me.  Plus it is just a little shiny.  I like lip gloss, but sometimes it can look like you just ate a fried chicken leg and didn't wipe the grease off your mouth. 

Anyway, thanks to Worm I have a new lip product and I can always find it when I want to put it on because I will have at least three tubes in my possession at all time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So I tried to take Christmas pics of the boys

I had this idea in my head of what our holiday cards would look like this year.  Huck & Worm in front of the tree wearing matching PJs hugging matching gingerbread men pillows. I can't describe to you how far off I was.  I can only embed 5 photos in this post, there are about 20 and they are all NOTHING like the picture in my head.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

So I just re-read my posts from this morning

Apparently I had a fixation with poo this morning.  Sorry.

So I have made my first big error in Worm's parenting

After six years, the mistakes I have made with Huck are innumerable. You cannot be a parent and not make at least one child rearing mistake per day.  Second guessing yourself is just part of it. Most have been minor, overall I'm a good mama.  But there are a few that stand out in my mind.

  • Letting him sleep in our bed until he was 4&1/2
  • Spanking when I was angry (felt like crap, will never happen again)
  • Not taking a breath and counting to 10 before yelling (feels like crap and I still do it all the time - yelling is a HARD habit to break)
  • Not making him play outside more

I could go on forever, but you get the idea.

With Worm I have experience on my side, so I have been able to avoid repeating most of the mistakes I made with Huck in his first 19 months. However, I inadvertently screwed up and I am going to share this mistake with you now.  Forewarned is forearmed and all.

I very often call him Mr. Poo.  This morning he saw a picture of himself, pointed to it and said "Dat Poo!" 

My baby thinks his name is Poo.  I suck.

So I am done wiping Huck's butt

He is 6 years old, I am done.

It started because he used to suffer from frequent constipation.  I was in there already (offering encouragement or sometimes consolation because it was painful for him to poo - yes it was very sad) so I did the wiping to make sure his sore bottom was getting good and clean.  Nothing like an itchy butt to ruin a kid's day.  

Actually, that's not true.  Itchy butts don't phase kids, they just scratch them no matter where they are.  So let's rephrase: Nothing like an itchy butt to embarrass and/or disgust your mama.

So now when Huck is finished going he yells "I'm done" and then waits on his throne for the royal butt wiper to appear.  

I asked him what he does at school and he said "Wipe my own bottom, but I don't think I am very good at it".  Hmm, that would explain the skid marks.

So I gave him some pointers and told him I would not be wiping his bottom anymore.

Then Worm filled his diaper and came straight to me saying "poo-poo!" Nothing like job security.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

So I checked my email this morning

This morning I realized I hadn't checked my email in several days.  So around 6:30 a.m.  I set up the boys with milk, powdered sugar donuts and a really annoying TV show.  I figured this would buy me about half an hour.  

Five minutes in I hear Worm start to giggle every thirty seconds or so. Yippee!  They are entertaining each other and leaving me alone. 

After a few minutes of this it hits me: What could be that funny?

I silently sneak through the house to peak at them without being seen. HOLY CRAP A BAG OF POWDERED SUGAR DONUTS HAS EXPLODED IN MY KITCHEN!

Huck has been giving Worm donuts. Worm is not eating these donuts. Worm is pulverizing these donuts.  He is making donut confetti.

In return for seven minutes in front of the computer I got two minutes of griping at Huck, three minutes of wiping down the table, four minutes of wiping down the baby, five minutes of sweeping the floor, six minutes of wiping off the walls and blinds.  Twenty minutes.  So. not. worth. it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Worm left a trail of popcorn chicken through Wal-Mart this morning

I can't expand on that other than to say I really did think he was eating A LOT of chicken for  8:30 a.m.  I didn't realize he was Hansel & Greteling it until we got to produce and the man stacking the bananas started following me and leaning over every few feet.  I was just about to accuse him of being some kind of perv when I saw what he was doing.

In case you are wondering why I bought Worm popcorn chicken at 8:30 a.m. - I blame Grandpa. He takes Worm to Wal-Mart on Tuesdays a bit closer to lunch time and they snack while they shop.  Unfortunately for me the chicken is now a requirement.  We walk in the door and Worm begins saying "Yum, yum, yum, yum" and pointing at the deli.  If I don't head for the deli the yums get progressively louder.  I am not sure what would happen next.  Ear splitting shreiks of YUM is my breaking point.

So it took a mention of the DVR to get Truck to comment on my blog

Honestly, I wasn't even sure he read it.  He lives with me.  I guess sleeping  here 3 or 4 days each week and making the money that pays for my mama-rific lifestyle (read: multiple trips to Wal-Mart each week and new jeans when my two rotating pair get ripped or painted on) counts as living here.  Anyway, he lives with me so he gets enough of my odd logic and flight of thought (yes Huck gets it from me) in person.  I figured reading the blog when he was away from me might be a bit like breaking into jail.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So I spent entirely too much time with my DVR today

Last night Huck was watching a holiday cartoon right before bed and had to miss half the show because I am strict about bedtime.  So today I decided to make it up to him by finding another showing of the same movie and setting it to record.

I found the show without issue, but setting it to record was not so easy. Our DVR was full for the living room TV (and I don't want to set a precedent of recording his stuff in the master bedroom or the office).  So I sorted through the recorded shows to make a little time.

What the heck!

It seems that men hold onto recorded TV much like they hold onto old stained & ripped underwear. Apparently it has to be a show that was watched three years ago, cancelled two years ago and has a deceased lead actor before they are willing to part with it.

Truck, when you get home, please clean out your underwear drawer and your DVRed shows.


So I am adding a new feature

Because Huck is so darn funny and very often profound, I am devoting a sidebar to him.  It is called Considering Huck.  I hope you enjoy my brilliant boy's musings as much as I do.

So I was trying to figure out a name for the postings of Huck's random thoughts

Do you remember a segment on SNL years ago called "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy"?  It would always start with an announcer saying "And now its time for deeeeep thoughts by Jack Handy".  Then the deep thought would scroll up the screen in front of a sappy nature picture while a completely earnest guy would say the scrolling words as if he were just then thinking them.  I am now going to Google it and see if I can find some of these deep thoughts....

Okay I'm back.  

Holy Copyright Batman! There is a website called www.deepthoughtsbyjackhandy.  Maybe you already knew this and are now laughing at my ignorance.  

Anyway, I don't wish to piss anyone off, so go to the website to view the deep thoughts because I can't post them here without permission.  They are really funny so its worth wasting a few minutes of your computer time.

My point is, I would like to give a similar name to Huck's random thoughts.  I don't want to go with "Deep Thoughts by Huck" because I might be a hack, but I'm not THAT bad.  Also "Huck's Random Thoughts" feels generic to me.  I am open to suggestions, any deep thoughts out there?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

So Huck has had some more random thoughts

Random Thought # 1
We got an alarm system installed.  Truck thinks it is for peace of mind because he travels a lot. However, you and I know its to protect me from the heater repairmen mob. 

The ADT installation man ran a test alarm so we would know what to expect during a true emergency.  IT WAS THE LOUDEST EFFING THINK EVER!  Holy Cow! It ran for less than three seconds but my heart was still pounding ten minutes later.  Huck promptly declared that it sounded like a squirrel caught in a run away vacuum cleaner.

Random Thought #2
Huck has now entered that age where his memory is officially better than mine.  Prior to now, I would talk about something that we did a year or two ago and it was likely that he wouldn't remember it.  Our roles have officially reversed.  

I remember that happening with me and my mom when I was a kid.  I would talk about something we had done and my mom wouldn't really remember it.  At the time it was baffling to me.  How could she not remember something that was so clear to me?  Sorry, mom, I understand now. 

So Huck and I had one of these moments where he is describing something and I have no memory of it.  Finally I say "Baby, I believe that it happened, I just don't remember it." Without missing a beat he says, "You should have had more coffee this morning."

Random Thought #3
Today on the way home from school he asks "Do you ever have that feeling inside of you that feels like the very first minute God made you?" 


When did my 6 year old become a 17th century philosopher?

So we talked about this feeling for a minute and the best I could understand was that he had a strong feeling of self-awareness earlier in the day.  He said that he was in the cafeteria and he had a feeling like "he probably felt when God first put his brain in his body".

I'm sure it is age-appropriate to experience that kind of self consciousness, but I feel his verbalization of it is advanced.  The fact that he could describe that feeling at all is impressive to me.


So I know I suck

SORRY!  I have excuses for why the posts have been absent.

  1. Worm had the croup.
  2. I had the croup too.
  3. Truck has been home a lot and is always in the office.
  4. I have had a lot of shopping to do.
  5. Nothing funny has happened lately.

Okay, I will now try to get back to my daily schedule.

Monday, December 1, 2008

So I just had an AHA moment!

I have been struggling with a blog nickname for my sis-in-law.  I reference her often, so sis-in-law is getting to be as annoying as the word hubby was.

In an earlier post I mentioned she is the one who suggested I use characters from books I love for nicknames. This is how I came up with Huck & Worm (Huckle Cat & Lowly Worm from Richard Scarry's children's books).

Anyway, I was just about to shut down the old ibook when it hit me!  She IS my sister.  I love her as if she were related to me by blood.  So, what is my favorite book about sisters?  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, of course.  Who is the COOLEST of all the sisters in that book. Jo, of course.

So here is to Jo, the best sister I could ever ask for!

So I noticed I need to post a new picture

The pic of Huck & Worm in the wagon was taken the Sunday before Thanksgiving at a random relative's house.  I say random because this relative is Truck's, not mine.  Both Truck & sis-in-law didn't quite know whose house we were at.  At lease I knew whose house it was and knew her by name!

It was crowded and Worm was antsy so G'pa took him outside.  After a bit Huck & I went looking for them and spotted Worm sitting in this wagon under a pecan tree.  That baby was eating pecans as fast as G'pa could hull them (Is that the correct verb?  Do you hull a pecan?). Huck tried a pecan but spit it right back out.  This is because if one boy likes a food the other one hates it.  It is truly spectacular how different they are in demeanor & tastes.

Anyway, Huck got in the wagon and I took about a quintillion photos.  None of them were great.  The perfect little setting & they just wouldn't both look at me & look happy at the same time.  

Now that I have two kids, my life will be forever split in two.  One is happy, the other is cranky. One looks left, the other looks right.  One loves cream cheese, the other thinks its gross.  One is laid back, the other is stubborn.  One is the smartest most adorable kid on the planet, so is the other.

So that last post made me remember something funny

The other day the boys & I were out shopping with my sis-in-law & mom-in-law.  Huck was whining about something I was saying no to.  He asked why I got to make the rules and I said "Because this ain't a democracy." Then for good measure I yelled "I am the czar!"  He replied "You are bizzare?"  

Needless to say both sis-in-law & mom-in-law piped right up with a resounding "YES SHE IS!"  

Yes, I am.

So the poll results are in

If you have been following the "hubby nickname" poll then you know that Dumptruck was the winning nickname for my hubby. 

Here's the deal.  I can't call him that.  I have my reasons.  Oh?  You'd like to hear them. Okay, but keep in mind this is my blog so my reasons are completely self serving.  If you don't like it....... hmmmm...... don't care.

  1. I have to live with him.
  2. He financially supports my fancy shoes and party dress habit.  Okay, so its more like a ballet flats and nice jeans habit, but he still foots the bill.
  3. Would you enjoy calling the person you sleep with ANYTHING with the word dump in it?
  4. Didn't think so.
  5. Christmas is coming and he has been know to give thoughtful and slightly extravagant gifts.
  6. I told you the reasons were self-serving.
So I am compromising.  Hubby's nickname is officially Truck.  This is a good choice (if I do say so myself) on multiple levels.  It is still reminiscent of Dumptruck so my readers won't feel too slighted.  If you know him (and I don't think I have any regular readers who don't) you might agree that it kind of suits him.  It goes well with the kids nicknames (Truck, Huck & Worm - my boys!)  Plus his name actually starts with a T.  Actually no it doesn't.  His name is a nickname!  I am now saying "Whoa, dude" in a Keanu Reeves voice.

Anyway, as I often say to Huck, this ain't a democracy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So I am really behind on my posts

Sorry, I know I owe you something long & chatty for being a loyal reader, but it may not happen today.  My brain is still recovering from the mediocre school carnival.  It was an adequate success, by the way.

What is currently on my mind is a note a got in the mail today.  It is from a teller at my bank and says "Jennifer, Thank you so much for stopping by.  It's always a pleasure. R Zachary -Teller-"

I think I will reply.

Dear Bankers, 
I realize your note was an attempt to personalize my banking experience. However, I switched to online banking in order to DEPERSONALIZE my banking experience.  I go to the bank once a month to cash a particular check that doesn't arrive via direct deposit.  I do not have a personal relationship you because I do not want one.  I did not feel appreciated when reading your note.  I felt creeped out.  Please go back to ignoring me.  
J Collins

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So I have been vindicated part two

In a nutshell here is my Heater and Air Conditioner Repairman Conspiracy Theory:

They break your heat when they come to fix the air and then they break the air when they come to fix the heat.

On November 10th I called a repairman to fix our heat.  Before he arrived I posted my theory. Big mistake.  They must have seen my post because they sent over a repairman who reminds me of my Papaw (God rest his soul).  How could I possibly not trust my Papaw?  This is how they get you!  I have fallen right into their trap.

So Papaw reports that he cannot duplicate the problem I am describing (this is repairman for "you are an idiot").  He believes that it must be the control panel which will cost $250 plus labor and tax.  I am cold.  I say "fine".

Then the heat stops working again.  Conveniently on a Friday night so we have to go all weekend without heat.  I decide the heat & a/c mob is more pissed off than I originally thought. I resolve to be more wary of Papaw this time.

Crap!  He is super nice and apologetic and returns my check for $306 to me un-cashed so I can void it.  I decide my theory might have been wrong.  Such a sweet old guy!

Papaw tries another part, but it is not quite the right part for my heater model.  He says that he "shoehorned" in a pressure switch and if it works consistently he will order the correct one.

The heater works fine for many days.  I decide I really was wrong.  I almost post a retraction.

Papaw returns today to remove the "shoehorned" in part and install the correct part.  I happily write him a check for $196.  I am HAPPY to spend $196 because it is significantly less than $306. That should have set off some warning bells for me, but I was trusting Papaw.

About 4 hours after Papaw leaves with my $196.... the heat stops working. I am kicking myself. Why did I not question the un-cashed check?  Its like it was planned!  Should I call some people to report my schedule for the next couple of days in case I turn up missing?

When I call the repair place they say that they don't have any experienced guys available currently.  Because my "problem has been ongoing" I am given the option to wait for Papaw to come tomorrow or I can have a less experienced guy right now.  I am not really trusting Papaw or his kind so I take the newbie.

Newbie shows up 20 minutes later (some sort of repairman record I am certain).  He has a pierced lip and visible tats.  It is 38 degrees so visible tats in that temp means in the summer he probably looks like a piece of scratch paper after a budget meeting.  I am comforted by his appearance after being burned by Papaw.

So I explain the entire saga to Newbie as matter of fact as I can.  I certainly don't want to tip him off that I am onto the game.  He says there is a rod that sometimes acts up in the cold weather when you have a digital thermometer.  I am glad to hear he has a theory.  I love a good theory.

Ten minute after he ascends to my attic, the heat kicks on.  Ten minutes after that he pops down and gives me a full report.

He says that the rod was fine and at first he was not sure what the problem could be but then he poked farther into the machine and noticed...........................wait for it........................................ 



He explained there was a wire that someone had pulled loose and then stabilized back with tape and a twist tie rather than really repair it.  It was not always connecting properly, hence the occasional working heat.  He said that he properly repaired it and that should do the trick. I went so far as to confirm that there were no pieces of twine, bread ties, electrical tape or chunks of chewing gum acting as parts in my heater.  He gave me an eyebrow raise, but he answered the question with "No, not to my knowledge."  In my head I am screaming I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

He assured me that he would clarify in his report that the new pressure switch for $196 was probably not necessary.  I guess I will be hosting a final visit from a repairman to remove the new pressure switch and put the old one back on.  I pray they send Newbie back because he apparently has not been inducted into the repairman secret society yet. 

Maybe I should ask him to take a look at the a/c while he is up there.


So I have been vindicated

If this is your first visit to my blog, or you are a regular reader with a bad memory, please re-read the November 10th blogs.  Actually, you can skip the Tootsie Roll rant (unless you too think TRs suck, then go ahead and peruse that one for fun).  The post you should re-read is titled "So I am a Crackpot."  Go ahead and do that now, I'll wait...

Actually, I have to go do some stuff now.  You have about four hours to get to that and then I will make a new post explaining my glorious vindication!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So I really want a beer

My kids are in bed.  I cannot leave the house. I am pretty sure it is illegal to leave your kids home alone when they are sleeping (or awake, of course!).  Even if it were not illegal to abandon your children for beer, something in me cannot leave my kids alone while I make a package run.

Making a package run is what we called going to the liquor store when I was in high school. I went to school in CT and in some parts of New England they call the liquor store a "package store".  Once a boy tried to impress me by bragging that he could get all the liquor he wanted because his dad owned the package store. I had images of the kid breaking into the local Fed Ex and ripping open boxes until he found a potent potable.

I have always had mixed feelings about the phrase "package store".  On one hand it does sound less crass than liquor store.  However it is ambiguous enough to lead some folks to think you're acquiring a package of something infinitely worse than booze.  

Generally I just say what I mean and call it the liquor store.  But on nights like this when I want a beer and cannot have it for reasons of legality (just like high school!) it is the package store.  I cannot make a package run because my kids are in bed.  I will not make one tomorrow because I will not think about drinking a beer until my kids are in bed.  I will not make one Friday night because I will be PTAing it up at the Harvest Hoedown.  I will not be able to drink another beer until the Huckle Cat & Lowly Worm have moved out of my house.  Being a mama rarely sucks, but tonight is kind of does.

I'm going to go kiss my sleeping babies to cheer myself up...

So its time for Random Thoughts from Huck

On the way to school Huck breaks through the Wiggles DVD and says "Does Santa speak baby so he will know what [Worm] wants for Christmas?"  I say "Of course!"  He then says "Yeah, but does he speak Japanese?"

What?  Where did Japanese come from?  We don't know anyone who speaks Japanese.  In fact, we don't even know anyone who looks Japanese. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

So I was dying to hear what Huck had to say about his sub

When I picked Huck up from school today I immediately asked,"How was your sub today?"  He said, "I think he was stressed out."

I had to work so hard to hold my laughter in that I think I killed a few brain cells.

So I said "Really? What makes you think he was stressed?" Huck says, "Well a couple of times he went HEY!! in a really annoyed voice."

He also explained that Mr. Sweaty told them they were going to "mix things up a little today". "They were REALLY mixed up", said Huck.  He also reported that the only time Mr. Sweaty wasn't stressed was at recess.  So I asked if that was because he had fun playing with them at recess.  Huck said, "No, I just didn't see him that much at recess."  

That time I did blurt out a laugh before I got myself back under control.

I know I shouldn't take this much pleasure in what was obviously a very tough day for someone else, but I am.  It didn't hurt Huck to have an unproductive day.  And I suspect it was quite a learning experience for Mr. Sweaty. I am guiltlessly going to enjoy the mental picture of Mr. Sweaty cowering behind a tree while 19 kindergardeners run around the playground.  I hope he is back tomorrow!

So I stuck around at the school a bit because Huck has a sub

This is not the first time he has had a sub, but this is the first time I felt worried about the sub. Actually, let me clarify, I felt worried FOR the sub.  

I generally pop into Huck's class around 8:05 after his teacher (Miss J) has had a few minutes to get everyone settled.  She usually can spare me a few minutes to chit-chat at this time because the kids are pretty subdued and are all sitting quietly and working at their tables.  This morning it was chaos!

When I walked in, I saw a large man with a terrified look on his face and sweat running in buckets off his head.  Without even asking if he minded, I dived in.  

First I took a head count. There are currently 19 kids in Huck's class.  Out of 19 kids, 4 are sitting and working at their tables (Huck was one of these because he is an unequivocal rule follower).  Three are in the hallway, lingering at the water fountain.  Two are standing outside the bathroom, one is in the bathroom.  Two are fighting over a notebook.  One is crying.  Three are playing with the toys that are designated for certain times of day (8:05 is not one of these times).  Two are in the book nook.  And one is nowhere to be found, I shall now nickname this kid Nomad.  He and Huck are big buddies so he is likely to be a blog regular.  

I immediately break up the fight by taking the notebook away. Then I pop right back out the door to round up Nomad.  I know these kids pretty well so I had a good idea where to find this one.  He was right where I expected him to be, so we head back to the classroom. By now the crier has calmed down and the water fountain and bathroom kids are all back in the room.

Next I summon my very best Miss J voice and loudly say "Boys and Girls!  One two three, eyes on me!"  I have heard her say this about 100 times already this year so I know it works.  It does and 38 little eyes are now trained on me.  CRAP! Now that I have their attention, what am I supposed to make them do?  

So I look at Huck and shoot him a "help me!" look.  He just opens up his poetry folder and starts coloring.  So I say, "Everyone sit down and work on your poetry folders.  I am going to pick whoever is the quietest and they can be it for the quiet game."  Mr. Sweaty looks at me like I have fallen straight from heaven into the classroom.  So I pick a quiet kid and they get started on their game.

Now I have a minute to talk to Mr. Sweaty (and show him where the paper towels are because when I said the sweat was running in buckets I was not exaggerating).  Turns out he has never subbed before.  Gee, really? He was called in because Miss J's daughter had an unexpected medical emergency (nothing life threatening, but still kind of serious).  He was trying to do the lunch count when I showed up, but he has just realized he didn't do it quite right and needs to correct his mistake. 

He has asked each kid if they want option 1 (hamburger), option 2 (chicken sandwich) or have brought a lunch box, and has dutifully written a 1, 2, or LB on each little hand.  However, he didn't record the count for the cafeteria ladies.  

Now that he can reasonably get everyone's attention he mops his dripping brow and says "If you chose option 1 raise your hand."  No one raises their hand.  So I say "If Mr. Sweaty (I didn't actually call him that) wrote a 1 on your hand, hold it up so I can see it."  This time 14 little hands go up.  Teaching certificate or not, grown men just don't know how to think like kids.

Nomad is trying to leave the class room again, so I call to him and say "Do you think you could come show Mr. Sweaty how Miss J chooses the class leader and table helpers each day?" Mr. Sweaty and Nomad seem happy with this assignment and they head to the front of the room.  

Meanwhile I round up Worm (who has been surprisingly good this morning) and start to head out.  But on the way out the door something hits me.  I go back in and call to Mr. Sweaty "Hey, the thermostat is on the wall by the sink, partially hidden by the paper towel holder."  I think he would have hugged me if it wouldn't have been completely inappropriate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So a stranger read my blog

How AWESOME IS THAT?  She googled "Sirius 6116 is gone" and found my blog!  She left me a comment about her dismay at having to resort to the sucky kids music channel.  I tried googling "Sirius 6116 is gone" myself and it worked.  It was the third site on the list.  It is weirdly validating.  

So here is a personal note to my unknown reader: Lisa, if you ever read my blog again, thanks!  I do think we should do something about getting Kid Stuff (Sirius 6116) back on dish network. Maybe we could stand outside their windows with boom boxes and blast toddlers singing The Wheels on the Bus until they pay attention to us (anything John Cusack did is cool and worth trying).  I have some particularly annoying children's CDs that would drive any programming director screaming from the office.  If you want to work out a strategy let me know.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So I extended Huck's bedtime ritual considerably tonight

My kids go to bed early.  Worm at 6:30 and Huck at 7:00.  I realize this is not the norm, but it is necessary for their health and my sanity.  Tonight I didn't make it out of Huck's room until 7:28.  That probably sounds like no big deal to you, but it REALLY is.  

He is 6 years old.  6 year olds need 12 hours of sleep a night.  He will wake up no later than 6:30 tomorrow morning no matter what time he falls asleep.  Since we instituted the 7 p.m. bedtime he has been a noticeably happier & healthier kid.  He truly does not get sick as often.

Worm gets 12 hours at night and at least 2 during the day.  He is 18 months old and has never been on antibiotics.  I have only taken him to the doctor one time outside of well baby visits. I thought he had an ear infection, turns out he was just teething really early.

Sleep is vital for kids, people.  If your kids don't get enough sleep consider changing that.  The long term benefits are worth the short term hassle. You are not doing them any favors by letting them stay up late. The key is consistency in your routine starting as early in the day as you can.  Our consistency starts at 3 p.m. for Huck (I keep Worm consistent all day since he still naps).  We do pretty much the same thing at the same time from 3 p.m. until lights out, even on weekends as best we can.

Anyway, we hit a snag tonight.  After we brush teeth I turn Huck's TV to channel 6116 Sirius Kids Music, we listen to this while we read books and I leave it on all night for him.  But tonight it WASN'T THERE!  There was no channel 6116!  

He began to cry.  Huck in crying mode, especially at bedtime, is very hard to recover from.  It can last hours if you don't nip it in the bud.  I scurried around and found an alternate kid music channel.  Then, to distract him I read two chapters from a new book and two chapters from another new book (he likes to have several stories going at once just like me).  He is not stupid. He can hear the music in the background and he knows it sucks.  It's the kind of music that gives kid music a bad reputation. He may not be sophisticated, but he knows crap when he hears it.  

It is now 7:14 p.m.  Normally I would do the kissing & hugging thing and walk out of his room, but he is on the verge of tears.  So I lay down next to him and we tell each other a silly story.

It is now 7:25 p.m.  He is looking iffy and I think I hear Raffi coming from the T.V.  Raffi?  Is this 1983?  Okay, I cannot let my kid fall asleep to "Baby Beluga".  Seriously, I consider it child abuse.  So I do the unthinkable, I let him play with my hair.

It is now 7:28 p.m.  I cannot take the hair twirling any longer.  Three minutes of having my hair messed with is like three minutes of the emergency broadcasting test signal.  I just pray for it to be over from the first second and it never gets any more bearable.

I peel myself away and assure him I will figure out a solution.  I suppose I will call Dish Network tomorrow and see what happened.  I hope the channel is not gone for good. We have considered switching back to cable in the past.  If there is a decent kids music channel on their line-up they will probably have a new customer by the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So I had a funny conversation with Huck

Huck thinks like me.  He has odd logic, flight of thought, wild theories and I LOVE IT!  

Tonight at dinner he says, "Rhinos always look like they are smiling, even when they frown." Then he demonstrates a rhino frowning (see photo).  I never realized how hard it was to frown with the upper half of your face and smile with the lower half.  You read lines in books that say something like "the smile didn't reach his eyes." Previously I would have thought of that as just an insincere smile.  Now and forever I will think of it as a Rhino Smile (also a good nickname, any takers?)

So I checked the poll again

I think that more than 2 votes per visitor have been allowed.  It is now up to 12 votes and I am pretty sure I don't have 6 regular readers.  It looks like Dumptruck in pulling ahead.  All I have to say is: Hubby, you must have made my readers really mad at some point.

I would like to point out I did say hubby could suck up to me and I would ignore the poll results and go with the name he prefers (Catfish - whiskers, white belly, smells gross - I think it suits you).  In case you need help, here are the things that qualify as sucking up to me: Buying me those Ugg sweater boots (light brown NOT purple), buying me an awesome new laptop, unexpectedly taking me out of the house without the children (and I don't mean a tour of the backyard - I mean you plan childcare and take me somewhere for several hours or even days)... oh hell, I would settle for a six-pack of Sam Adam's light and box of Hot Tamales.  This is why I should never run for public office.  

Since the poll ends before Christmas and hubby is not likely to do these things I am tempted to drop the poll and begin calling him Dumptruck.  However, I will keep it going.  I suspect my two regular readers will continue to skew to results toward Dumptruck.  At least I am giving him a chance.

Monday, November 10, 2008

So I'm still feeling like a whack-a-doodle

Worm did give the heater repairman the baby evil eye, so there's still hope for him.

Apparently the repairman underground knows I am on to them.  Today our "control panel" needed to be replaced to the tune of $300.  I am afraid to say more for fear they will sneak in at night and switch my clean filters for dirty ones.

If I start finding Tootsie Roll wrappers strewn about my yard I'll send out a secret signal to let you know the kids and I have moved to a safe house.  All I can say is it is located in a moderate climate where space heaters and box fans will get you comfortably through any season.

So I fed Worm a Tootsie Roll

He likes them.

So I am a crackpot

If you didn't already think I was cracked after the Tootsie Roll rant, let me convince you of my whack-a-doodleness with my "Heater/Air Conditioner Repair Man Conspiracy Theory".

Every winter when we first turn on our heat, it does not work properly.  I call a repair man.  He fixes a "loose wire".  It works perfectly.

Every summer when we first turn on our A/C, it does not work properly.  I call a repair man. He fixes a "loose wire". It works perfectly.

So I now think that all the heat & a/c repair men in Northwest Arkansas have a racket where they mess with the a/c wires when they fix the heater and then mess with the heater wires when they come back to fix the a/c.

Anyone want to come live with me on my compound?  I have a bunker full of semi-automatics and a pitcher of electric kool-aid.

So I was thinking about Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls suck.  

When I sorted the halloween candy this year, I divided it into two piles.  

Chocolate and everything else.  

When Huck saw this he said there was chocolate in the wrong pile.  I went to investigate and he indicated that there were Tootsie Rolls in the non-chocolate pile.  I explained that Tootsie Rolls are not chocolate, they are just chewy things that are supposed to be chocolate flavored.

Funnily enough, I had the exact same conversation with hubby a few days later.  Is it a male thing that they don't know the difference between chocolate and weird poser candy?

Here is why Tootsie Rolls suck:
- they pretend to be chocolate, but they aren't creamy and delicious
- they pretend to be caramels, but they aren't buttery and delicious
- they look like cat turds 

What has brought on this Tootsie Rolls rant you ask?  

The halloween candy is all picked over and there is no more chocolate.

So I hung out at Huck's school again this morning

Do you remember a few weeks ago (October 28th to be exact) when I described my days as having a quiet rhythm?  Throw that out the window. Worm has marched fully into toddlerhood and I believe it will be an entirely new experience for me.

Let me describe Huck as a toddler: reasonable, easy-going, quiet, cuddly, kind, polite, communicative in a way even strangers could understand. Are you rolling your eyes yet? Seriously, he was soooooo easy.  That's not going to be the case with Worm.

If you have been paying attention you know I frequently hang out at school in the morning doing odd jobs for the PTA or Huck's teacher. Usually Worm sits in his stroller, eats snacks and watches all the activity. But recently something clicked with him and he realized that screaming, crying and kicking are a good way to get out of the stroller.  Had I known I was setting a precedent, I never would have let him out of the stroller at school.  But that pig is already a BLT, so there is no sitting in the stroller at school now.

So what happened this morning that is blog-worthy?  I enjoy making lists, maybe it will be less painful to recount if I do it as Worm's TO DO list. Keep in mind, this list is only for 7:45 to 8:45 a.m.

1. Throw brand new hat down in parking lot.
2. Get mad when wheeled back out into cold to retrieve hat.
3. Immediately say down, Down, DOWN, DOOOWWWNNN! upon entering building.
4. Continue to scream DOWN while mama navigates crowded halls with stroller.
5. When allowed out of stroller in Huck's classroom, scream NO at anyone who comes within three feet of me.
6. Empty drawer full of blocks onto floor.
7. Rip open ziplock bag of crayons while mama puts blocks away.
8. Color on table with crayon.
9. Scream when mama takes away crayons.
10. Holler NA! NA! NA! when mama opens supply closet to get replacement ziplock (he knows the snacks are kept here).
11. Get a snack from Huck's nice teacher.
12. Pull books off bookshelf.
13. Say DOG and very sweetly hug stuffed dog (not everything on this list is horrible).
14. Take someone's pencil.
15. Panic because cannot see mama. Insist that mama pick me up and holler BYE-BYE repeatedly until she leaves the classroom.
16. See water fountain, squirm to get down and play in fountain.
17.  Play happily in fountain for five minutes while mama conducts PTA business.
18. Realize I am very wet from playing in fountain and decide this is unacceptable.
19. Toddle to mama and insistently say BAH, BAH, BAH while patting my diaper.  
20. Confuse mama when she checks my diaper and sees it is clean and dry.
21. Continue to say BAH until mama realizes that I am using my "change my diaper" signal to mean "change my entire outfit, it is wet".
22. Settle for mama removing my wet sweatshirt.
23. Head back toward water fountain.
24. Get really mad and throw temper tantrum when mama won't let me near it.
25. Need another snack, and my cup, and a pen, and a rubber band, and the box tops for education collection container, and some coffee stirrers, and my favorite toy car, and whatever is in this trash can, and the other pen that mama is writing with, and a pencil instead, and these boxes of cereal in this cabinet, and that kid's book, and that kid's animal crackers, and NO I DON'T WANT BACK IN THE STROLLER.
26. Kick and hit mama.
27. Very sweetly babble to myself and push my stroller around in the lobby.
28. Try to put my fingers in the paper shredder.
29. Find the on button for the paper shredder and try again to put my fingers in.
30. Lose interest in paper shredder now that the school principal has unplugged it.
31. Need another snack.
32. Say no to all snacks mama offers.
33. Decide to wonder down the hall to find Huck (or possibly just looking for better snacks).
34. Bang on Huck's classroom door while yelling his name.
35. Hang out in Huck's classroom while mama reads a story to the big kids because the teacher has a sick child of her own to deal with and needs to call the doctor's office.
36. Play with dry erase markers much to the amusement of big kids.
37. Write on my beautiful blond hair with black marker.
38. Throw fit when mama takes away marker.
39. Climb on chair and bang computer keys very loudly.
40. Get down, sit with big kids, listen to story for 30 seconds.
41. Go to supply closet and yell NA! NA! NA!
42. Allow Huck's teacher to hold me while mama finishes story. Act very sweet and lay head on her shoulder.
43. Throw fit about leaving Huck's classroom.
44. Try to make a break for the water fountain.
45. Completely stiffen body in a way that makes it impossible to put me in stroller.
46. Very sweetly walk to car holding mama's hand.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So I can't think of anything to post

I had a pretty full weekend so you would think I could pull a story or two out of it, but I just can't think of anything witty, funny or even interesting. I guess I'll just get started and see what comes out of it...

Crap, I just wrote two paragraphs, read them, dozed off because they were so boring, and deleted them.  Apparently I am not going to be blogging about my weekend.  Maybe I could explore some other topic that has been on my mind.  Mind too cold....want to take warm bath....need to read books....

Sorry folks, ain't happening.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Basically, re-read yesterday's Sam's & Wal-Mart posts. Now add being accosted by pushy kiosk salesmen and replace Worm's breakdown with Huck's breakdown (Worm had one today too, but it was minor by comparison) . Okay, that's it. I just had the exact same day two days in a row. 

I know that you visited the blogosphere for a funny little story about my day, but I just can't relive it. I am going to just go to bed now and start over again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So I comment on my readers' comments

If you comment, I will read it and usually comment back.  Bring it on, I can take it.  If I couldn't, I wouldn't be doing this.

So I made a list

I LOVE to make lists. Imagine my joy when I saw that I could add lists to the margin of my blog! I also love to read, so my first list is about books. Feel free to comment on what I am reading and suggest books I might enjoy. I also love suggestions.

So I did a little cleaning in the kitchen of the teacher's lounge

As you know I braved both Sam's Club and Wal-Mart yesterday in order to purchase pots & pans for the teacher's kitchen.  This morning I merrily brought them into the school and decided to wash and put them away so everyone would know they were there for them to use. However, on closer inspection of the kitchen, I could not in good conscience wash any item in it until I did a bit of washing of the actual kitchen.  

There is a "keep the kitchen tidy" schedule that rotates to a new group of faculty each week. But I have worked places with this sort of schedule and I find that unless it is only ONE person's responsibility at a time it doesn't really get done.  I am a take charge kind of person and I also don't mind doing a bit of grunt work when necessary, so I think keeping the kitchen cleaner will be my gift to the teachers this year.  

Let me just say that I am neither a neat freak nor a germaphobe, but I don't want to be grossed out by my surroundings either. There are a few folks who really don't mind clutter and dust and that's okay with me, but understand that when I come to your house I will probably clean something.  I am not judging you, I just need to do it.  My sis-in-law (still need a nickname) recently said "If a gorilla was in the middle of my living room floor but I could still walk around it, I would leave it there forever."  She is not exaggerating and my hubby is just like her.  They were raised in a clean house, it just didn't stick.  Okay back to the teacher's kitchen...

It was adequately clean, however, I refuse to wash dishes with a sponge that USED to be yellow or a dishrag that smells like vomit.  Yes, it really did, and I did not have to actually sniff it closely to determine this.  Luckily there were fresh sponges, so problem solved.  Except that the dishtowel was printed with a dark pattern so I couldn't tell if it was clean or not.  Based on the state of the dishrag, I decided not to use the towel for drying. No sense in washing with a clean sponge only to dry with a possibly dirty towel.  No problem, I found paper towels.  Time to wash the pots...

Uh-oh, the sink is a bit grubby & the countertop under the dish drainer is definitely funky.  So I find some bleach, wipe out the sink, clean the dish drainer and wipe the counter top under the dish drainer.  NOW I can wash the pots & pans.

Needless to say, I brought the vomit dishrag and questionable dishtowel home with me to run through the laundry (or burn if they don't smell better). Tomorrow I am going to take a look at the coffee pot and microwaves and bring some back-up rags.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So I went to Wal-Mart

I said to stay tuned.  After his trip to Sam's, Worm slept for over three hours!  That would explain how I had time to actually blog about the trip to Sam's.  

Because he slept so long, there was not time to hit Wal-Mart for the pots & pans before Huck got out of school.  That means I got to take both boys to Wal-Mart, oh joy.  

First let me just say that Huck hates Wal-Mart.  I'm not sure why because he always comes home with a toy or candy. Nevertheless, he hates it.  When faced with a task that I know he is not going to like, I try to trick him into liking it more by giving him some choice in the matter. For example, do you want to wear the khaki pants or the grey pants (because sweatpants & jeans are not appropriate)?  Do you want carrots or tomatoes with your dinner (because you haven't eaten a vegetable in four days)?  So when he got in the car I said, "We are going to Wal-Mart!  Do you want to go to the close but not nice one or the further one that was just remodeled?"  He replied, "What's the difference?"  Crap, he is figuring out the trick choice thing.  I should be proud of his intelligence, his Daddy still falls for it sometimes.

I decided we should go to the nice one.  This time I am on a mission, I vow to not leave that store without pot & pans.  

The first thing Huck wants to do is go to the toys.  Meanwhile Worm begins saying NA! NA! NA!  If you have been keeping up, this means snack. Unfortunately he depleted my snack supply while in the after school pick-up line.  So we veer toward the food section and grab a bag of dried strawberries & bananas and rip that sucker open.  Okay, on to housewares!

But wait, toys is before housewares.  "Can't we just look at stuff for my Christmas list", asks Huck.  Oh, what the heck.  So we turn toward toys and I remember that we have a birthday party this weekend and a baby gift we never bought.  Okay, toys is a good idea, right?

Immediately Worm begins to yell MO MO! (Elmo) Sure enough, there is Elmo Live, the exact toy Worm is already getting for Christmas from one set of Grandparents.  So we go to check out Elmo Live and Worm is thrilled with it.  Unfortunately he is not thrilled to be pulled away from Elmo.  Huck is two aisles over, which completely freaks me out and now Worm is screaming MO MO and is working up to real tears that will include snot and hitting.

I catch up with Huck who informs me he has to go poo, now.  So I wheel the still empty cart (except for the half eaten bag of na), screaming toddler and desperate boy to the front of the store and park in front of the restrooms.  Huck then informs me that he will not go in the women's restroom, he will just "hold it".  Holding it is a bad idea for him because it might be three days before that poo decides to make a second showing.  I relent and walk him as far into the men's room as I can without scandalizing myself.  The entire time I say LOUDLY "I'll be right outside the door.  Don't talk to anyone.  Don't even wash your hands, I have antibacterial stuff (gross I know, but those extra few seconds in the bathroom will take years off my life)."  I then stand outside the door and stare at the pictures of  abducted children.  Longest five minutes of my life.

Meanwhile Worm has gotten over Elmo so we head back to toys.  Yes, back to toys.  At this point I realize I have to get the gifts now or relive this experience again in a few days.  So we manage to bypass Elmo and get the gifts in the cart without further incident.  Then I decide that Worm needs flash cards because his vocabulary isn't as big as Huck's was at this age (for the record, Huck had the vocabulary of a three year old at 18 months, he was a freaky little blabber mouth).  Then I decide that Huck deserves something too because, so we get a 100 piece pirate puzzle.  Then I realize that a cool puzzle for Huck and flashcards for Worm isn't fair, so we head to the cars.  Worm likes Lightening McQueen from the movie Cars, so he gets a little matchbox sized Lightening McQueen.  Then I see these adorable red cowboy hats and Worm says "HAA" (hat).  He is actually willing to wear the hat, so I get two.  Harvest Hoedown is the elementary school's big carnival and they need hats for this, right?

Alright, we're done, let's head home.... WAIT!  Pots & Pans!  Yes folks, I almost forgot the pots and pans.  But I didn't.  They are in my car and the fabulous teachers at Huck's school will be able to heat up their lunches without all waiting in line for the microwave.  Good thing I'm really not that busy.

So I went to Sam's Club

Worm and I went to Sam's this morning after dropping Huck off at school, hanging around the school office to see what's up, and then going to the bank to get my name on the PTA bank account.... the pieces of my plan are falling into place, they know me now & have given me access to their funds, taking over this school will be a piece of cake - insert evil laugh.  

Okay, back to the trip to Sam's.  First I have to say this: if your membership to Sam's is not a business membership, figure out how to get one.  You get to go early when the lines are short and the cashiers are cheerful (seriously, those cashiers are pretty moody come three p.m.). They also provide coffee & little muffins for the business shoppers, score! Plus the food hander outers are all fully stocked - vital when at Sam's with children.

So I went to Sam's to get a set of pots & pans for the teacher's lounge (there is a stove, but no pots, go figure).  My newly acquired PTA checkbook in hand, I was ready to get those teachers some vessels to heat up their soup.  

But first I had to check out the Christmas items.  Look, a cute gift-wrapped box of truffles that would be just perfect for a hostess gift or last minute exchange, so it goes in the cart.  Okay, on to the kitchen aisle... wait, Worm sees food being handed out... we are now in the food section, might as well have a look around.  Hey, True North has a new snack with dried cranberries and almonds.  I love cranberries & almonds, lets get an institutional sized bag of those!  Now, what was I here for, oh yeah, pots. Let's cut through the clothes section to get there faster.  Hey, that sweater is kind of cute.  Nope, too scratchy.  Hmm, an orange jacket, I love orange, nope too boxy.  Wow, these jeans are a great price, ten minutes later my size cannot be found.  Crap, why did I come to Sam's?  Wait! Diapers!  Must go back to other side of store for giant box of diapers.  Uh-oh, back in the food section & Worm is hollering NA (snack) and pointing at a guy with some sort of shrimp appetizer.  Worm doesn't care that it is 9:30 a.m., anytime is NA-time.  He tastes the shrimp, he thoughtfully chews the shrimp, do you see where this is going? Yes sir, he spits the shrimp down the front of his shirt.  Nummy.  Now he is hollering CUH (cup) because he wants the shrimp taste out of his mouth, but he has already drained the cup I brought.  Must get Worm a drink before his yelling enrages the cheerful cashiers so we hunt down a water fountain...

To make a long story slightly less long I will cut to the parking lot.  After loading the diapers, cranberry-almond snacks and truffles into the car I realize I have not purchased any pots & pans.  Looks like we are headed to Wal-Mart after nap.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So I have been spending more time with the hubby than usual

First I have to apologize for getting behind on my blogging.  The thing is, hubby has been home a lot lately which means he is in the office.  For some reason I can't put my thoughts together when he is in the room with me.  Yes, even after twelve years, his presence is a distraction to me.  He is here now, watching election results, so I am sorry if this post turns out sucky.

Because he is in the room, it is only fitting that I recount a hubby story....

One night a few weeks ago I was ready for bed, but when I entered our bedroom I was faced with a mountain of forgotten unfolded laundry.  So I hollered to hubby & asked if he would help me tackle it so I could go to sleep.  He agreed and we set to work.  However, after only a few minutes he walks away.  So I ask: "what gives?" He explains that he had pulled out all of his stuff and already put it away, so he was finished.  I immediately jump in with my argument: but most of what you wear goes to the dry cleaners, of course most of this is my clothes.  I close with the certain guilt inducing "I have washed and put away almost every piece of laundry this family has had for 12 years, don't you think it is unfair of you to refuse to put away my clothes." His answer: "Yes it is unfair of me not to put away your clothes." Then he leaves the room.  And I just let him.

So, am I a doormat?  Maybe.  A realist?  Usually.  Storing this incident in my mental "crappy stuff you do" file to pull out during an argument three years from now?  Duh, I'm female.  No really here's the deal.  He works and I stay home.  Period.

Still writing me off as a doormat?  Okay, I'll explain where I'm coming from.  Lets go back about seventeen months to the day I decided I could not work outside the home and maintain my sanity.  

The day Worm was born, hubby received a promotion that took his travel schedule from heavy to "wow, the baby has changed so much since I last saw him".  A month later Worm was smack in the middle of a big ol' love affair with nursing, yet not a big fan of sleeping. I  had not slept more than two uninterrupted hours since he was born and I was facing returning to work.  With no preamble, no prior discussion, and no room for debate I announce "I have decided I can't go back to work."  Hubby just looks at me and says "Okay."  

There was no discussion about what expenses we would cut, no budgeting the necessities to stretch our dollars, no re-delegation of household duties, and no timeline for my future return to work.  He just jumped right on board and said we would make it work.  I know he was terrified to be a single income family, but he put those fears aside because the kids and I had a need.  Never once has he indicated to me that he is not 100% on board with the way our family is now structured.

He now works 80 hours a week at a job that makes enough money to comfortably support four people, but misses all sorts of cool things in his kids lives.  I now work 80 hours a week at a job that I can rarely take a break from, but I get to experience every wonderful nuance of my kid's lives.

So is it fair that he didn't stay and help put away all the laundry?  No.  But would it have been fair of me to lob a laundry basket at his head?  No.

It is never going to be fair.  One of us will always be getting the short end of the stick.  The point is we are both still holding on to the same stick so when we get to wherever our lives are going, we will get there together.

Got to go now, the laundry's piling up.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So I decided to just post the individual pictures that I was going to slideshow

Worm found Huck's wrist bands from tee-ball and brought them to me saying "Whoo-ah". Whoo-ah means shoe in Wormainian.  So I put them on his feet & he had a blast wearing them.  Then Huck put them on.  Worm thought this was funny so he did what any little brother would do to show his appreciation, he knocked Huck over and sat on him.

So I spent entirely too much time trying to put a slideshow on my blog

As you can see, I was not successful.  Anyway, I spent so much time messing around with the slideshow thing that I don't want to sit in front of the computer any longer.  Also, I didn't leave the house or even shower today so my trove of incidents to blog about is a bit dry.  PLUS, I am spiraling into a depression that my poll has held steady at 5 votes for a full day.  I can only hope that my readers are waiting to catch up on my blog and place their vote while at work.  That really is the proper way to enjoy my witty humor, while you are supposed to be doing something else.  It makes me seem funnier.  

Tomorrow hubby & I are going to do some early voting.  I suspect I will get a good story out of it. I will try not to disappoint.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So I checked my poll results

I got really excited because it showed 5 votes.  I really didn't think 5 people read this.  Then I realized one vote was my own.  Okay, so four is still good.  Then hubby admitted that he had been able to vote twice.  Okay, three is respectable.  Then I considered that one other person could have voted twice as well.  So basically two people read my blog and one has to because he is legally obligated.  It was actually in our wedding vows: "Twelve years from now your wife will start a blog, do you vow to read it?".  He replied "It's 1996, I have never heard of a blog, but sure what the heck, I do."

Anyway, Catfish is winning based on hubby's double votes.  I'm cool with this, but if you're not get some other people to log in and vote.  I don't have to know if they actually read it or not, I will assume they did and my ego will be boosted.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So I'm adding a poll to my blog

Please help me nickname my Hubby.  

Hubby, I know you will read this eventually, so you may vote too.  

Note to Hubby: bribery can tip the scales in your favor.  If you have a strong nickname preference commence with the bribery.

Must get new nickname soon, the word hubby is now annoying the crap out of me.

So I am posting again

Now that I see the photos on the blog, I realize my next step should be to learn how to add a slideshow of photos instead of individual ones.  Maybe in a few days after I recover from the field trip and Halloween....

So I volunteered to chaperone the kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch

I am BEAT!  I have not had time to fully process my thoughts today and I am too tired to do it now.  I do have some photos of Huck & Worm playing in the leaves at Grandpa's.  I am posting those in lieu of writing in hopes you will be appeased by the cuteness.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So I searched the web for a perfect picture to go with my kids' new nicknames!

My brilliant sis-in-law, nickname yet to be determined, suggested that I give nicknames from books I like.  SO SMART!  It seems appropriate that my kid's nicknames come from children's books.  When I was little I loved Richard Scarry's books.  In fact I loved them so much that I nicknamed (yes there was a time in my life that I was a fearless nicknamer) my first boyfriend Huckle after Scarry's Huckle Cat.  Okay, so I was in kindergarten at the time and he was only my boyfriend because we had the exact same birthday, but calling him Huckle was a true sign of affection from me.  So from this day forward my kid's will officially be:

Oldest Boy, age 6: Huckle Cat - will probably shorten this to Huck 
Youngest Boy, age 17 months - Lowly Worm (Huckle's best friend) - will probably shorten this to Worm

Please see the photo of Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm for which  I tediously searched the web. Finding the photo really clinched the nicknames for me.

Stay tuned for future literary based nicknames.  Did I mention how smart my sis-in-law is?

So I sat in the after school pick-up line longer than usual

I'm sitting in the carpool line eating Hot Tamales (my favorite candy if you are looking to buy me a treat) & rockin' out to a new Wiggles DVD when it occurs to me that I have just signed myself up for three or four more years of the Wiggles. Introducing C to the Wiggles was not one of my more brilliant mommy moment.

Anyway, this new one has the replacement yellow Wiggle on it.  He is Sam Wiggle and I was very nervous about him.  Not that I have any great love for the former yellow Wiggle, Greg, I just have bad feelings from the 2002 Blue's Clues host switch from Steve to Joe.  I now have trust issues with children's programing.  Blue's Clues was never the same for me after Steve left.  You could watch Steve and know that he was fully aware of the absurdity of his job.  He seemed quirky and like he would be funny in a very adult way outside of his job.  Like Bob Saget during his Full House years.  Joe, however, creeped me out.  He was too sincere.  It is not normal to be that earnest while pretending to talk to an audience of toddlers and a blue dog about shapes and colors in front of a green screen.  Steve always had that look in his eye that said "I know this is a crappy gig, but I'm raking it in once we syndicate."  Joe just seemed mildly retarded by comparison.

So I was all prepared to hate Sam Wiggle.  But, I don't.  His voice doesn't sound like he is imitating Greg, which is good because that never works, even toddlers know the difference. Also he he younger than the others. Unless you are Mister Rogers or Captain Kangaroo you should not be a children's entertainer once you hit social security.  Curmudgeon does not make for warm & cuddly viewing.   

The youth of Sam Wiggle did give me something new to worry about.  Will they be replacing each Wiggle one by one as needed?  Sure they did an okay job replacing Greg, but there are 3 more Wiggles to go.  They may not get it right each time.  I'll have to go through this again when Murray gets arthritis & can't fake play his guitar anymore.  And what about when Anthony tops 450 and develops diabetes because he loves to eat.  Then there is Jeff, who is always falling asleep, that dude is going to be the next to go for sure.  Falling asleep frequently and without warning is a symptom of some pretty scary shit.  Will my suffering never end (this is my blog and it is supposed to be self-referential, so, yes, my suffering is the main point here)?

Maybe I should try to switch C to The Backyardigans.  Animated just seems safer for me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So I spent all afternoon at the elementary school

I mentioned earlier that I was going to read to J's class (just can't hang with aforementioned nicknames).  Those kids love me and so far the feeling is mutual.  I figure I need to get to know them now before they become little thugs that I want to keep my kid away from.  I'm not kidding.  Look around any kindergarten classroom in America and you will find some kids that are going to be shitty teenagers.  I'm not claiming my kid won't be one too, I just want to know whose name to raise an eyebrow over in a few years.  Aside from that, I really do like to read to those little boogers.

Several weeks ago I volunteered to make a big sheet for all the kids in school to sign tomorrow as part of drug prevention week.  They sign the sheet as a pledge to be drug free.  I have no artistic talent whatsoever so it took me forever and isn't as cool as I envisioned.  Whatever. After it was finished, I ended up staying until school let out helping get the PTA newsletter copied, stapled and distributed to the entire school.  I'm really not that busy (plus C spends Tuesday with Grandpa), so I didn't mind helping. 

What I DID mind was the other people who stood around and watched me work and didn't offer to help.  Really?  You came to hang out in the workroom of your kid's elementary school and watch other parents work.  I thought my life was boring and slightly pathetic (quiet rhythm is really just my euphemism for boring & pathetic) until I saw these folks.  This is my first year as a school mom so I don't want to start off on the wrong foot with anyone.  In other words, I kept my pie hole shut, but I really wanted to say something.  Chances are I could have just said, "hey here's two stacks of paper, will you please sort and staple them?"  But I didn't and so now I am just going to bitch about it after the fact.  Sometimes I'm like that.  

So I thought I'd start a blog

I have about 40 minutes to start this thing up before I have to head over to the elementary school to read to Jack's class.

Okay, so I think I already broke a blog rule.  Aren't you supposed to nickname everyone in your blog to protect their identities?  Here's the deal: I'm not much of a nicknamer.  I call my hubby typical stuff like babe.  I call my kids silly stuff like sugar-booger.  Overall, not creative or even descriptive as far as nicknames go.  

Jack & I have been playing a little game at bedtime where we think of alternate words for things and then try to have conversations using only our alternate words.  Mostly we just start cracking up so the conversations haven't gotten too far.  For now I will use our alternate names for everyone.  This is to protect my family's identity from the tens of thousands of people out there who are sure to read my blog .... yeah.

Oldest child, boy, age 6: Jaguar
Youngest child, boy, 17 months: Carrot
Hubby, age 38: Dumptruck
Me, age 35: Milkshake

When Dumptruck first heard his nickname he was not at all flattered.  Gee, really?  Also, Carrot actually hates carrots, Jaguar is a very slow runner & not at all sneaky (wouldn't a real Jaguar be both?) and I am lactose intolerant.  All-in-all, these nicknames SUCK IT!  So lets consider these my "working nicknames" and move on.

So what am I supposed to write now?  I guess I could try to explain the name of my blog: I'm really not that busy.  Honestly, I'm just really not that busy.  Most of my days follow a quiet rhythm.  I have the usual morning & evening flurries of activity, but in between things are pretty mellow for Carrot & me while Jaguar is at school.  

Okay I feel stupid writing those nicknames and promise to work on better ones.  If you are reading this and know me personally - who am I kidding, why would you be reading this if you didn't know me personally?  Anyway, dear reader, if you are a nicknamer please help me.  Send nickname suggestions for my hubby & two boys to my email.  I promise to give you credit.  However I will have to give you a crappy nickname in the blog in order to give you credit unless you suggest your own nickname or give me permission to use your name.

Back to the blog's name.  Where was I ... quiet rhythm, flurries of activity.... yuck, I need to work on my prose.  Anyway, I am not one of those over-scheduled, always on the go sort of moms.  I like to say that I am well balanced, but quiet possibly I am just a lazy ass.  I'm sure I will explore this in excruciating detail in many blogs to follow.

Got to go, time for a break in the quiet rhythm.