Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I Learned This Year

Reach your goal - even if it's at a tortoise pace. It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don't stop. I'm talking about paying off debt. I'm talking about losing weight. I'm talking about cleaning out your basement. You don't fail until you stop. So just keep going.

Be who you were meant to be - everyone else is taken. Eat on the couch of you want to. Sing in the rain. Return items you simply do not want. Cry during Sex in the City re-runs (you know, when you finally realize Aidan isn't coming back. Again.). If you want to eat soup every day for lunch, do it. If you want to draw comic books, write music and perform in plays, do it. If you want to stay home and perfect the art of motherhood, do it. Just be who you were meant to be. You'll be happier. Trust me.

Don't blame life. Life really is simple. It's the self-discipline that's hard. You already know the lessons: Be kind to one another. Don't hurl insults at other people - it's mean. Work hard. Pay your bills; it's your debt. Don't spend money if you don't have it. Show up on time. Give 100%. Be honest. Don't lie. Don't steal. Don't blame everybody else. Own your decisions.

Pepsi does not satsify my caffeine withdrawals nearly as well as Coca~Cola does. It may be purely a subconscious, self-fulfilling prophecy, but when left with a mad headache and a can of Pepsi I end up unsatisfied and frantically searching for a Coke. Sometimes that's just the way it is.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Technical Writers Saved Our Laundry

Thank God for Technical Writers. The manuals for the new washing machine and dryer were so idiot proof Big V and I had no problem with the installations. Well, except for the part where we realized the two hoses for the hot and cold water were actually had the words hot and cold printed directly on the hoses after we had hooked them up (to the wrong pipes). We had to take the hoses off and switch them. Oh, and also the part when we got to the very, very end of the washer installation and we thought hmmm, maybe these rubber ring thingy-s are supposed to go on the inside of those hose connection thingy-s and we had to take the stupid hoses off again and put the rubber ring thingy's inside the connection ends. Something about stopping water leaks or something. But I'm sure this was all operator error and not the fault of the technical writer who wrote the manual.

We weren't discouraged because it only took us 14 hours to install the washer so we thought how hard could the dryer be? I mean, anyone can convert a gas dryer to an electric, right? Two days and a bunch of colorful language later we did, indeed, have a dryer that worked. The gas was capped off, the wires connected, the dryer plugged in without any electrocution - in a way it was kind of a let down, but we did it. We did it on our own. Without calling for help. And without needing to kill each other. Sure, there was a point when I considered it... right around the for the love of god just screw the stupid green wire to the stupid green post like it says in the stupid book part, but then I just took a deep breath and told myself calm down, don't do anything rash - you know there's no way you're going to be able to drag his dead, lifeless body up a flight of stairs and into the trunk of your car without help. And, let's be honest, I can't get the kids to pick up their shoes much less lift a finger to help dispose of a human body.

Thank God there were pictures in the manual. I showed Big V the sketches (after I color coded them with handy-dandy colored pencils), he believed me, tightened the wires and lived happily ever after.

Everything works great - except for the whole draining of the washing machine part, which is kind of an important part when you think of it. See, we've got one of those old basements with do-it-yourself plumbing fixtures. And since the people who owned the house before us were more focused on alluding the authorities and warring with the county SWAT Team, the do-it-yourself plumbing is really, really neglected. So much so that the washing machine empties into some sort of contraption which I can only assume is an antique laundry sink that doesn't actually drain. Instead the sink overflows forcing the water to find its way to the floor drain via slanted cement flooring. I'm thinking of just attaching a bunch of hoses together and snaking them through the basement and stuffing it directly into the floor drain. It seems to be the next logical step. I hope there's a manual for that.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Crazies & Washing Machines, too!

Holidays can be crazy. Insane even. Especially if you surround yourself with insane people, which I strongly suggest you do because it gives you plenty of blogging material.

This weekend we met Byron. I believe Byron fit in that overall insane category, but he was one of those funny insane people as opposed to the eating human flesh for Christmas Dinner at the Dahmer's type. Byron lives with his sister. He has another sister, too, but he doesn't live with that one. The sister he does live with has three kids and they're kind of like teenagers. (He doesn't know their exact age.) Anyway, when they clean their rooms they just throw their clothes in the basement laundry room and some of the clothes hasn't been worn and is actually still folded. This happens at our house, too, but I didn't tell Byron that because it was twelve degrees outside and he was supposed to be lifting a washing machine into the back of our truck and not chit-chatting about how right now he sleeps on the couch but pretty soon he's going to have his very own room.

The reason Big V and I were standing outside listening to Mr. Talks A Lot is because we had to purchase a new washing machine. Either that or go to the laundromat. And I have a love/hate relationship with the laundromat ever since some lunatic in a fur hat came running in yelling at everyone that the washers were full of radioactive energy that the government installed to try to kill off all the people and the only way to survive was if we put aluminum foil around our necks, which he happened to also be sporting. I didn't happen to have any aluminum foil with me so I avoided eye contact, but it didn't work. Eventually he came up to me ranting about how my insides were frying right now this second and can't you feel your organs sizzle? and I was all Is that real fur? Because I don't think PETA would appreciate that.  So, even though I love how all the loads get done at the same time at the laundromat, it was either a new washer or invest in several rolls of foil.

Lucky for us Big V is a hotty and the chick in the appliance department was all this washing machine is on sale at one hundred dollars off, but for you I'll take an additional $75 off the sale price if you haul it away yourself and he was all I am a strong man with a big truck; thank you for the completely undeserved deal and I was all don't forget about me! I can use my military discount for an additional ten percent off and the appliance department chick was all do you hear something? and Big V was all that's just the rippling of my muscles so in the end we got it for a really good price.

I guess the catch was standing outside on the frozen tundra of a big box parking lot while Byron casually leaned on the side of the box telling us about his family history for a good half hour before he'd consider helping lift the darn thing. Did you know his brother collects dice? He has hundreds and hundreds of different colors and sizes and he keeps them in glass jars so you can see them all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tortilla Torture

The Bean wanted to bring a plate of those pickle-ham-tortilla roll-up appetizers for our family's Christmas. So I put her in charge. Because it's important for kids to get a sense of accomplishment. And by "kid," I mean a 15-year old oh-my-goodness-in-less-than-three-years-she-will-be-considered-an-adult-and-can-legally-defend-our-country kind of child. Plus, I was at work and couldn't make the pickle-ham-tortilla roll-up things at the office in a way that made people believe it was actually part of the "and all other duties as required" clause of my contract. Of course I told her to call if she had any questions....

Bean: Mom, I can't spread the cream cheese on the tortilla. It's too hard.

Me: Put it in the microwave for fifteen seconds.

Bean: Fifty?

Me: Fifteen.

Bean: Fifty?

Me: Fifteen.

Bean: Fifty? Or Fifteen.

Me: Fif-teeeen.

Bean: Oh, I thought you said fif-teee.

Me: No. Fif-teeeeeen.

Bean: Okay. But I'm not going to stand in front of the microwave. They say the radioactive waves can give you super powers or something.

Me: That's fine, stand to the side.

Bean: So, how much of this am I supposed to spread on the tortilla?

Me: Um... do it like you're buttering bread.

Bean: But I like a lot of butter on my bread.

Me: That's fine.

Bean: But not everybody likes a lot of butter.

Me: Then put on less.

Bean: It isn't sticking.... This is kind of hard.... Ok. Now what?

Me: Put ham on it.

Bean: Hold on; I have to open the container. ....
.....
.....

Bean:  .... How do you open it?

Me: You can use a knife or a scissors or kitchen shears, which is a fancy word for scissors....

Bean: It's not opening. What's the point of sealing this so tight?

Me: So it doesn't spoil. Is it open?

Bean: No. I can't get it open.

Me: Go get a hacksaw...

Bean: (yelling towards the background) "Hey, V! My Mom says I need a hacksaw!"

Big V: (yelling from the background) "I've got one downstairs - hold on and I'll go get it!"

Me: NO! IT WAS A JOKE! NO! YOU do NOT need a HACKSAW. Just, please use the scissors.

Bean: Ugh. Finally I got it open. That's just ridiculous. Ok. Now what.

Me: Put your ham on it.

Bean: How?

Me: Use your hands if they're clean.

Bean: No, I mean, where does it go?

Me: Just lay the slices over the tortilla to cover all the cream cheese.

Bean: But the ham is too small. It doesn't cover it.

Me: Then put two slices on it.

Bean: Huh?

Me: Imagine the tortilla is a brain scan. Imigine the center line that divides the hemispheres - now, lay one slice of ham on the left hemisphere and one slice of ham on the right hemisphere.

Bean: Oh! That makes sense. ... Ok, my brain is done.

Me: Oh, goody. Now wrap the pickle.

Bean: How do I do that?

Me: Just, I don't know - put the pickle down and wrap it up.

Bean: Where do I put the pickle?

Me: At the bottom of the tortilla.

Bean: It's so small.

Me: Take two pickles and put them end to end.

Bean: Huh?

Me: Ok. Do you know the game you play with the little kids and you put your index fingers together - touching like in ET? And you say, "Break the pickle...."

Bean: Oh, yeah!

Me: Pretend the pickles are your fingers and make them touch.

Bean: Ok. Got it.

Me: Now, roll the pickles up like you're wrapping up a dead body in a floor rug.

Bean: It's not sticking. The body's going to fall out.

Me: Use some cream cheese as a paste on the end flap of the tortilla. That should seal it shut.

Bean: I just want you to know I will never go to culinary school because I can't put a pickle in a tortilla.

... based on the photo she sent me via text, I fear she may be correct...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hanes Revenge

If Big V has one problem I would define it as Hanes T-Shirt Addiction. As in the man had 68 plain white t-shirts that he wore. All the time. Every day. Rain or shine. You could always count on Big V in a plain, boring, white, t-shirt.

Except it wasn't the "sexy man in a white t shirt" image you're thinking about. (Or the particular image I happen to picture...)


Big V's shirts were stretched out. And kind of grayish. And covered with stains because he wore them to work. And also after work when he would eat buffalo wings and barbequed ribs and spill sauce and wipe his fingers on the bottom hem. 

Since he wore a plain, stretched out, grayish-white, stain covered t-shirt every day people assumed he only owned one. Except he didn't. He owned many. Far too many for any one normal human being.

Enter me.

Like a stealthy ninja in the middle of the night, I took every single white t-shirt I could find and got rid of them. All 68 of them. (Don't worry; he took to wearing any number of his thousands of fire department and sports team t-shirts he had been avoiding.)

Now - many, many months later he approaches me: Didn't I used to have a bunch of white t-shirts?

Mmmm.... I don't know? Did you?

Yeah, I could've swore I had some.

Huh? Did you check your closet?

That's so strange....

I'd say.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Christmas List

A washing machine. That drains.

A dryer. That dries.

New tires for the car. Non-bald ones.

And for the dippy lady who works at the eye doctor's to recode the stupid medical procedure for my daughter's wonky eyeball to something other than "standard office exam" so my insurance company will actually pay the claim already.

That is all.

Well, that and also a Tiffany blue tea kettle.

Make every morning Breakfast at Tiffany's with
Martha Stewart's Blue Enamel on Steel Tea Kettle.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scaling Back Christmas

In the booming economy my kids got something like 417 gifts each for Christmas. Now we're poor and I'd rather pay for heat so I needed a way to let them know that they'd be having a scaled down Christmas without coming across like the grinch. So, I told them Jesus only got three gifts for his birth and that His birth is what created the holiday in the first place and what makes them think they're better than Jesus that they should get more gifts than he did?

They pitched a fit but only until I explained frankincense and myrrh were some sort of herb and if they didn't watch it they'd be opening up basil and dill weed come Christmas morn.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Great Go Fish Christmas Tag Program of 2010

Of course my kids are going to compare the gifts wrapped under the tree. For hours each day they will compare, brag, cry, get upset, do cartwheels, jump around or stomp, all in the name of gift giving. The bigger the gift, the bigger the brag... and the bigger my headache becomes.

And so it is with much excitement I announce the Great Go Fish Christmas Tag Program of 2010!

The gifts do not have names on them. Instead, they are adorned with half of a fish pair from the commonly recognized card game Go Fish. One present has a card attached depicting a narwahl. Another a clown fish. And another a sand shark. Come Christmas morning each child will have an envelope holding the other half of their fish pairs. Pull out the sand shark - go find the matching gift! I'm thinking it will add a fun spin to the Christmas morning events.

I'm also thinking I may just be a genius.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just Another Day at the Office

Me:  Hello. How can I help you?

Woman on Phone:  I'm going to subpoena your coworker.

Me: Um. Okay. Is there anything else I can help you with?

WoP: He needs to testify at my trial and tell the judge my life was in danger so I can get my two thousand dollars.

Me: Okay. I'll let him know.

WoP: Because I'm suing my landlord. And he said someone was moving in there.

Me: Who said someone was moving in where?

WoP: My landlord. He said people were moving in to the apartment so I have to remove the mailbox.

Me: Do you live in the apartment?

WoP: No. I moved out. But now he said other people are moving in there and so I have to remove the mailbox.

Me: Whose mailbox is it?

WoP:  Mine. Ninety-nine percent of the people are too scared to put in their own mailbox; they just get their mail at the Post Office, but they don't have to. This is America and you can get your mail delivered if you want it.

Me: It's your mailbox and you moved out and now your landlord has asked you to remove your mailbox. Since you don't live there anymore. Do you want the mailbox?

WoP: Yes! Of course I want the mailbox - it's mine! I still get my mail there.

Me: You still get your mail delivered to the mailbox where you used to live but don't live any more? When did you move out?

WoP: About a month ago.

Me: So, it's your mailbox. You want it back. You don't live there. But you don't want to take it?

WoP: I want to leave it until the court case is done.

Me: Oh, yes. The court case. What is the court case?

WoP: Well, I'm suing because my life was in danger. He gave me my security deposit back but because my life was in danger he should pay me more. He got mad at me and said he'd give me a hundred dollars, but my life is worth more than that.

Me:  -- right.... two thousand dollars.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cinderella Syndrome

Setting:
evening; the basement, where the children had been banished hours earlier with strict instructions to clean the playroom and unearth the carpeted floor.

Characters:
The Bean, 15 - in the playroom, barking orders at her sister.
Dotter, 9 - also in playroom, goofing off and being generally uncooperative.
Mother, 27 (don't question the age, people, it's really not that important) - enters basement to do some much needed laundry.

Scene:
As mother juggles dirty laundry she spies The Bean walking by obviously hiding something, because, really, who walks sideways up a set of stairs with their back to their mother? Hello, red flag! Mother, sensing deviousness, pounces on the now alone, innocent, younger daughter:


Mother:  What was she carrying?

Dotter: Huh?

Mother: The Bean. What was she trying to hide from me?

Dotter: I don't know. Something in a bag.

Intent on getting to the bottom of things, Mother waits like a silent ninja for the unsuspecting child to return.... and when she does:

Mother: What were you carrying?

Bean: Huh?

Mother: Up the stairs. What were you trying to hide from me? (Crosses arms.)

Bean: Oh. That. Uh. It was a bag.

Mother: What was inside the bag that you didn't want me to see?

Bean: Oh. Um.  (nervous forced chuckle) That. Well. Do you remember beginning of Freshman year?

(Mother narrows eyes.)

Bean continues: Well, you told me to do the dishes and I got mad at you because I didn't think I should have to do them and you were like there's only five bowls and a handful of spoons but I still didn't want to do them so I put all the dirty dishes in a bag and brought them down here and hid them in the closet in the playroom.

(Mother wonders for a brief moment if she has somehow slipped into a parallel universe where nothing makes sense.)

Mother: Let me see if I understand this.... over a year and a half ago I asked you to wash a minimal amount of dishes, but instead of actually washing those dishes you decided it would be easier to throw the dishes into a plastic bag and hide them in the deep recesses of a closet in the basement in the hopes rodents and other wildlife would infest our home and feast on the crusted food that was laying around.

Bean: Well, when you say it that way you make it sound stupid.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Babies Versus Teens (Guess who wins....)

Twenty years ago, in an attempt to deter young people from getting knocked up at a young age, our high school required teens to carry a hardboiled egg around for a week. For some reason the staff felt I may need an extra push in the right direction, therefore I was handed the responsibility of "twins." One egg I named Melchizedek Barron and the other I named something far less impressive since I have no idea to this day what it was. For a week I drove around with the eggs nestled in the cup holder of my sporty blue, two door Pontiac Grand Am, rocking out to Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex."

What they should've done is made me spend every waking minute with a teenager.

Babies are cute. And cuddly. And they smell good if you wash them on a regular basis. Teenagers are moody and hormonal and either don't use enough deodorant or spend in excess of ninety-eight minutes hogging all the hot water so that when you want to bathe all you get is a shrugged shoulder and a not-so-convincing sorry, which doesn't make up for the freezing temperatures you get to enjoy in your shower. Have you ever tried shaving your legs in icy water? The good news is you don't need a lot of band-aids because the blood congeals quite rapidly.

Babies smile and giggle when you sing made up song lyrics as you're dancing in the kitchen making spaghetti for dinner. Teenagers condescendingly ask if you know how ridiculous you look and point out you don't know any of the words and oh my god? Seriously? Spaghetti for dinner? Again?

Babies hug you and snuggle up tight next to you and never want you to put them down. Teenagers visibly cringe if you get too close. And make you drop them off two blocks away from their desired destination for fear someone they possibly kinda, sorta are acquainted with (but don't really know, because they think they saw them once about seven weeks ago in line at Starbucks but can't be sure) might see the two of you together and the world will come to a screeching halt and nobody will ever be friends with them again because you are so unbelievably embarrassing as a parent.

Babies think you possess exceptional intellectual ability when you turn the kitchen faucet on and water comes out. And they still think you're a genius when you turn it off. Teenagers know everything. About everything. All the time. So you don't have to tell them - in fact, just don't speak. Ever. Because they know.

If you have a teen, or are a survivor of the teen years, you get what I'm talking about. A hard boiled egg is just not going to do it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Conversation in Text

Last night I received a text from my older, wiser sister. But only older by 16 months. And only wiser by 16 points on the ACT. (Lies. I don't really know the ACT difference. At this point in my life I'm not even sure I've ever taken the ACT.) (I am, however, certain I took some military test that told me I'd be perfect as some sort of small weapons mechanic-y person. I took that to mean the test was bogus and the Army just needed someone to fill some slots.) (I went into a position where I did administrative work.) (But I digress.)

Here is our texted conversation:

Sister:  It's the 'damn, I washed another kleenex time of year'. Third load of laundry I've had to pick pieces off while I fold. And no one to blame but me.

Me:  That's exactly why I'm a staunch proponent of using sleeves.

Sister: I don't know why I put them in my pocket anyway. I grab a new one almost every time and end up emptying my pockets because they get too full.

Me:  Shove them up the cuff of your sleeve. When you take the shirt off it'll rain tissue. Use enough and they'll work their way up to your chest.

Sister: lol

Me:  Make sure you stuff kleenexes equally between both sleeves... you could end up half 36DD and half 36A.

Sister:  Of course, at first I'll just look like Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live.

Me:  Then we could record video of you and post it to YouTube. We'd totally be considered cool.

Sister:  Did you run that by the girls (aka "cool police") because I'm thinking you might be wrong about that.

Me:  Have you seen some of those videos that go ridiculously viral? Uneven boobs would totally take the pubescent market.

***

... and this is why everyone should have a sister to talk to...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Tis the Season

If I were President of the United States, I would make it mandatory that all cell phone alarms have a minimum 9-minute snooze because this four minute thing my new phone is doing is just not fair. I've started setting five separate alarms to go off at 9-minute intervals so I can just turn the alarms off and not depend on their stingy snooze.

My plan was foiled this morning when the babysitter called saying something about massive vomiting, digestive parasites and  possible cholera, so guess who had to wake up that very second to track down a child sitter pinch hitter? No snoozing for me. Luckily, our Martha Stewart/Betty Crocker back-up was available which made me think (1) Thank God for this gracious woman, and (2) I totally could've slept for seven more minutes.

All was not well when I went to wake the baby, who looked at me with one eye open ala pirate style due to the fact his other eyeball was crusted over with a gunky puss. Then he smiled this cute little adorable smile and all I could think of was dear god, he looks like a mangy barn cat.

"Come, Dotter," I called to the 9-year old. "Come grab your brother from out of his crib."

"But you're right there," the ungrateful child answered.

"There's no way I'm touching him. He's got mange. Now, take him out before Santa sees what a poorly behaved child you are and all he brings is coal."

Who says the Christmas Spirit is dead?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Up My Dose of Cipro, Please

I was putting a file away at work when I got a paper cut. I immediately contacted the proper personnel to file a workman's comp claim but they wouldn't do it. Instead I was offered some antibacterial wash and a band-aid. I made them pinky swear that if this gets infected and my finger needs to be amputated they'll backdate a claim. I'm not messing around here, people. Infections are serious.

By they way, when I was writing this I couldn't remember the word "amputated" (probably because the infection is already rapidly attacking my brain cells) so I googled remove finger and was somewhat traumatized by the first site suggestion which provided the following detail:

Ever wondered what two colliding
high-strength magnets would do to a lime?
What about a finger?

There is no way I'm clicking on that video. As if I don't have enough things in this world to worry about, now I have to make sure to teach my children to stay away from high-strength magnets because they could smash your finger and it'll get all infected and then you'll die. Which is exactly what is going to happen to me if this paper cut gets infected.

Which reminds me, I need to clean the house and get all my affairs in order because I don't want my family digging around my house after I'm gone.

Sister: What the hell are these? Are these underwear?

Mom: I don't know, isn't there supposed to be elastic somewhere?

Me, From The Beyond: I bought them after my c-section when I had that horrible infection and was super bloated -- I only kept them in case I had another baby and another bad c-section reaction!

Roma Downey: They can't hear you. You've died and I'm here to take your soul to Heaven. But before I do, I'm forcing you to watch uncomfortably while your loved ones look through all the things you thought would always be private.

Mom: What do you suppose this is?

Sister: PUT THAT DOWN! It's unsanitary!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh, Just Wear a Patch, Kid

Apparently someone (or something) has been socking my 9-year old in the eyeball causing an inflammation and bruising situation that requires medicated eye drops and multiple visits to the eye doctor. Which wouldn't be too bad if I suddenly hadn't gone all anti-hoarding and held on to the medicated eye drops as opposed to tossing them in the trash last week. I have cough medicine that expired 3-1/2 years ago yet I toss the drops. I know I make no sense.

Eye appointment looming I toss a bottle at the toddler and attempt to find his shoes. The kid owns exactly one pair of shoes. Do you want to know why my kid owns only one pair of shoes? Because he's not my first born. The first born had thirty-eight pairs of shoes to choose from at any given time. The third born child is lucky he gets shoes at all. But because the clock is ticking and the I-need-to-arrive-twenty-minutes-before-my-scheduled-appointment-or-I'll-implode 9-year is twitching I cannot locate the shoes. It's two degrees outside and I have no shoes for the baby. Whatever. He's got socks. Toss him in the car seat and let's get going.

So I drive the twenty minute route with precise countdown commentary:

"It's eleven forty-three. My appointment is at noon. That's in seventeen minutes."

Turn left. Slip through a snow drift.

"It's eleven forty-five. My appointment is at noon. That's in fifteen minutes."

Darn it. A red light.

"Is the baby asleep?" I ask, thinking maybe, just maybe, we can talk about something other than what time it is.

"No. He's drinking his bottle. It's eleven forty-seven. My appointment is at noon. That's in thirteen minutes."

For the love. Who taught this child how to tell time?

The eye clinic is busy. Crowded. There are hundreds of people. Okay, maybe six. But it felt like hundreds because there are only four chairs in the waiting room and I am not in one. Instead I am standing against the wall with a wriggly baby and a time conscious tween.

"It's past noon. My appointment is at noon."

It's a thousand degrees in here. Perhaps only 68, but when you're wearing winter gear indoors you cook quickly. We cannot get in the exam room quick enough.

Yep. It's inflamed. Yep. It's red. Yep. Let's get a new prescription for the drops you threw out. "You could probably keep these for a while," the doctor tells me. "Just in case."  Right. Great idea.

And then, the words that would change the course of our day: "I just want to dilate her eye and take a look; make sure nothing's going on in there."

Did you know they make you wait twenty minutes for your eye to dilate?

This is what will happen in twenty minutes:

The toddler can no longer sit still. He will demand to get out of your arms and walk into every slushy snow puddle left by the entry door. Which means his socks will get wet because you are the mother who doesn't have shoes for your kid. And then he will become uncomfortable because his socks are gross and wet and he will take them off because who wants to walk around in goopy socks?

The toddler will then explode. Literally. He will experience a bowel movement unlike any you have ever seen. And it will smell. Very, very bad. So you will throw the toddler in the lap of your 9-yr and tell her to hang on while you run out into the parking lot to grab the diaper bag out of the car. And your 9-yr old will begin to panic and cry because she doesn't want to be left alone (too many strange people) and you will not be one of those patient mommies who comfort and reassure your scared child; no, instead you will become one of those seething, talking through your clenched teeth kind of mommies: Just hold on to him for twenty seconds while I get the damn bag.

And you will race out to the car. And search it. And look in the front seat. And the back seat. And in the trunk for good measure. But, guess what? You won't find the diaper bag because, guess what? It's sitting on the floor of the garage where you put it when you had to wrestle the toddler into the car seat.

So you will go back inside the waiting room where the 9-yr old is fighting back tears while she fights the squirming toddler who is turning various shades of red and purple because he is not happy he has been restrained for the past thirty-eight seconds, and you will take hold of the toddler and look at the 9-yr old and shamefully admit there are no diapers to be had and the 9-yr old will look at you in horror and disbelief at the exact same moment the toddler decides to vomit the full volume of the bottle he consumed not too long ago. And now, in addition to the baby manure stench, there is a rancid spoiled milk odor filling the air.
Thank God the doctor beckons as you're wiping up curdled milk from her carpet with the festive box of Puffs Plus and avoiding the disgusted stares of those around you. Nothing in the eyeball. (I waited in the hall with the stink kid.) Got my prescription and hightailed it out of there.

But do not fret. All was not in vain!
I got this super cool picture to remember the day:

Friday, December 3, 2010

Well, will ya look at that?

I'm amazed by the little things in life. Like the fact that the woman who watches Cletus the Used to be Fetus told me he likes to eat apples. Even the skins. And I'm all you can't feed a kid with four teeth an apple with skins! He'll choke and die! What is wrong with you, woman? And she looked at me like I'm some sort of crazy person as she whipped out a cheese grater and an organic Golden Delicious and proceeded to explain the mush in the bottom of the bowl is much better for the baby because it's all natural and there's no bad stuff added. And he ate it. Micro-mushed skins and all.

And how I can leave a very clean house and in less than two hours come back to a complete disaster, wondering why there are a pair of jeans dumped in the bathtub and a glass of milk, a 12-volt battery and a vacuum cleaner bag surrounded by metal clothes hangers on the living room floor.

Sometimes it's best not to wonder... easier just soak in the awe of it all...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a LOT Like Christmas. Right?

The Blessed Family has been incarcerated.

Visiting hours are on Wednesdays from 4pm-6pm and Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. Positive ID is required. Please note you must be on the visitors list. If you aren't on the visitation list you will not be allowed access to visit the inmate. God Bless, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays.


I suppose it is possible the plexiglass containment is for their own safety. Why people take off with the Baby Jesus from these displays I'll never understand. I think the lamb would be funnier. Look, Margaret! There's a lamb in our shower! That would totally make someone come running. But hey, check out Baby Jesus in our tub! just gets you Really, Henry? Baby Jesus? Go put that thing back in the park.

In other news, I'm contemplating becoming an Amish Jew because I'm tired of chasing the kid who keeps turning the TV off and knocking ornaments off the tree.


My 15-month old has learned how to turn the television off. And on. And off again. And on again. And off. And on. And - annoyed yet? Yeah, I thought you'd understand. When he's not flicking the tv on and off he's running over to the Christmas tree to shake the ornaments off. Don't bother telling me that any mother in their right mind would make sure the ornaments are on the upper half of the tree because they are. The problem comes in the fact that we don't have what one would consider a normal Christmas tree. Instead of an evergreen we decorated an artifical ficus, thus the natural, prickly, needled buffer along the bottom is missing. The kid can easily get his grubby little paws around that tree trunk and shake the sucker until things start dropping. If ever we're stranded on an island I'm sure he'll succeed in the coconut grab but until then someone needs to stop the little monkey. I leave that to Dotter. Here's how she keeps him occupied (although unsanitary, it seems to work):

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...