Monday, October 31, 2011

And gay people can't get married....

72 days ago, Kim Kardashian got married to Kris Humphries in a wedding that was estimated to cost more than $10,000,000.

She filed for divorce today.

First of all, I have to say that, no I don't get all my celebrity news from TMZ.  Though this link is from that website, the story has broken nationwide.

Second, I have to admit to the fact that Keeping Up With the Kardashians has in the past been a guilty pleasure of mine.  Mostly because Khloe is unbelievably hilarious.  That, and they make me feel normal, which is pretty damn hard to do.

Third, I take issue with any family that leeches off the fame of one person, especially one who's really only famous because she was in a home-made porno a while ago.  Yes, their dead father was one of OJ Simpson's defense attorneys, BUT that isn't what made Kim famous.  Trust me on this one.

Fourth, $10 Million dollars?!?!?!  Seriously?  Talk about excessive.  Yeah, the whole shebang was pimped by the E Network for ratings and all, but seriously???  NO one needs three different one of a kind Vera Wang couture gowns.  I don't care who you are.  Kate Middleton only wore two dresses when she married William, and she became an ACTUAL princess that day.
I don't care how expensive your ring is,
it won't keep his pants on.
Fifth, I have a really hard time believing that  Kim was stupid enough to believe that professional athletes are loyal to their wives.  (Okay, maybe a few of them are....but most of them aren't).  She sure dated enough of them before this....she should have known that the odds were stacked against her.

Sixth, 72 days?  I know that in my marriage, 72 days in was very much still in the honeymoon stage.  Hell, we were there for years.  If you are so unhappy that you can't fathom trying to work it out in less than 3 months, maybe you should not have rushed into it in the first place.  Just sayin.

This whole situation is a mockery of marriage, orchestrated for television ratings.  We live in a country that allows this to happen in every state in the union.  Straight people can make horrible choices, get married and get divorced and call it good.  They can rip everything that marriage means to shreds, destroy any sanctity of the bond, make it a sham.  Even sell the rights to a cable TV channel.

But, we tell entire segments of society that they can't commit to life-long partners just because they are the same gender?  Seriously?

Straight people: YOU DON'T HAVE MARRIAGE FIGURED OUT.  STOP PRETENDING YOU DO.

There is something really freaking wrong with our country if this is okay.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Karma Police

Sorry I haven't written here today.  Been busy.  Crazy busy.

Halloween, four kid, parade, girl scouts, raging party kind of busy.

Good busy.

Still in a mostly good mood.

And, I've got more reasons than I did a few days ago.

Karma.

I seriously love karma.

That's all I've got for now....stay tuned for tomorrow.

I've got a new rant I'm working on.  You.will.love.it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Adventures in Wonderland

We started planning this year's costumes before last Halloween had even ended.  We really are those people.

I keep waiting for the year when Aidan won't want to play along, when it won't be fun anymore to dress up like the rest of the family, when he'll want to be a gory zombie like most of the kids his age seem to want.  Of course, I think that every year, and every year we end up with a full blown Halloween ensemble.

My husband is really hoping we let him pick the theme next year.  After being a Flying Monkey, Woody and Tweedle Dum, maybe I should let him.  What do you think?

This year, we went with Alice in Wonderland.  You'd think we might start running out of ideas for six themed costumes, but no.  We've already got a working list for next time.

We're about to head out the the city's Halloween parade, so this has to be short.  Here are the costumes, hope you enjoy laughing at us!  We had a great time creating them this year.

I do have to give a huge shout out to my mother in law for making the girls dresses and AJ's vest....me thinks I've brainwashed her a little about all this Halloween nonsense.
The White Rabbit, Alice, The Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee

The Mad Hatter

The White Rabbit

The Queen of Hearts

Alice

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy

I've been really happy for the last couple of days.

I think it's the impending holiday.  I really love Halloween.  Maybe even more than all the other holidays anymore.

Or maybe it's the fact that I realized at some point this week that I have to let shit go.  I have to accept the fact that I can't change other people, make my peace with it, and move on.  I have to allow myself to be happy, no matter what else is going on in my monumentally messed up world.

Yesterday, while the small child was at school, I had an hour or so to myself.  To enjoy the winter beauty everywhere.  I took my camera with me, and loved every single second of it.  I love Colorado.  Crazy to think that just a few days ago it was 80 degrees and Tom was out front washing the cars with the kids in swimsuits.

Here are some of the pictures I took yesterday.  Even still, I'm not sure they do this magnificent place I live adequate justice.







I sat in my favorite park in town and listened the the calm rhythmic sound of the leaves falling from the trees, and the snow coming with them.  It was amazing.  I am grateful that I gave myself that time.  I needed it.

After I picked the kids up from school, I knew I wanted to share it with them. But something happened along the way.  For a moment yesterday, my heart stopped.

On one of the main roads, where an intersection has been made dangerous because the power is out, and the lights aren't working, an accident happened right in front of us.  About 6 cars up, an SUV just exactly like the one my husband drives hit a bus.  The airbags deployed, the fire truck and ambulance arrived while I sat and waited and prayed.  I couldn't see the license plate from where I was.

Please, God, let it not be him.

Just like that, stopped in my tracks by crippling fear.

It wasn't him.  Thank you.  I said a silent prayer for those involved as we made our way past the scene.  Told the kids to pull their seat belts a little tighter, and we went on.

We got to the park, and it wasn't easy to get Ashley over the snow and leaves and fallen branches, but we did.  We huddled under the shelter and I hushed them all.  Be still and listen.

Can you hear that?

The tiny leaves falling from the top of the old oak tree.  The rustling of the snow falling from the branches.  The squirrels hopping from branch to branch.  The water dripping from the tips of the icicles.

Just listen.

We shared a moment, and I hope that they could see and hear what I did.

Happy.

Also, happy birthday to the guy I'd still choose, even after all these years.  I love you, honey.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Costumes, and other ways to humiliate your children

AJ had his first Halloween party at preschool today.


Let the Halloween festivus begin!


We take our Halloween seriously around here.  Very seriously.  We even had a practice run with the costumes last night.  Totally not kidding.

I love Halloween.  For all kinds of reasons, really.

I love that it's not encumbered with all the emotional baggage that comes with the other holidays.

I love that it's a day (or a week, as it seems to be), where everyone, kids and grown ups can live out a fantasy, pretend they are someone else, imagine.

I love that it's perfectly acceptable to scare people for no good reason.

I love that it's just fun.  No drama involved, no expectations of gifts, no marathon baking required.

I love that people just give you candy.  

I love that you get to subject your children to a costume of your choice for at least a few years.  Mwhahaha.

That last one....someday I'm going to get in trouble for it.  

I have this habit of embarrassing my kids with costumes.  Isn't that why we have them, at least in part???

When Aidan was 18 months old, we dressed him up as Dumbo.  Not just any Dumbo, though.  The super deluxe plush costume with huge floppy ears and everything.  He looked like a giant stuffed animal, and was completely adorable.  
Told you he was cute.
Thing is....he HATED that costume.  The first time we put it on him, he dissolved into a pile of tears, curled up in the corner.  He cried every time we put it on him, refused to sit up or stand at all.  It was like he had no bones inside his body at all, totally flopping around.  

I took him to a Halloween party with one of the playgroups, and only after he saw that other kids there had been subjected to the same torture that he had did he deal with it.  His best friend at the time was dressed up as a stuffed giant cat.  I think there was a spider there too, but I'm not sure.  It's been a while.  

It was seriously the toddler equivalent of this:

Damn, they got to you too???

Of course, once he realized that being adorable in that costume and ringing doorbells got him candy, he was all for it.  

Aidan laughs whenever he sees pictures of that Dumbo costume, then asks me why???? This year is one I'm going to pay for eventually too.  AJ.

Soon, you will all understand why.  His costume is adorable and all, really it is.  But I just know that someday he's going to be like REALLY, MOM?!?!?!

It'll make more sense when you see it, and it makes a whole lot more sense when he's with his sisters and brother.  

As for now, suffice to say that I have succeeded in torturing another of my children.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dumped On

So we got dumped on last night.  In more than one way.

Life is beautiful.

Really.  It is.  Sometimes you just have to say it over and over and over again to make sure it sounds good, then pretend like you've convinced yourself of it.  I've found that vodka helps.

Whatever.

We did get dumped on though, and a lot.  I'd guess there is about a foot of snow out there already.  The heavy, wet, ass kicking kind of snow.  Where you shovel the sidewalks and marvel at your chiseled upper body afterwards.

I actually had help shoveling today.  Tom did most of the driveway.  I know!!!!!!!

Seriously, people, write this down.  This day will be forever known as the day Tom started to dig himself out, literally and figuratively.  

I looked out the window at the yard this morning to see this.
Autumn blaze maple
My maple, weighed down by the snow.

After I got the kids to school, I went out to inspect the damage and try to knock the snow off the branches.   Just getting out there was a chore.  It's at least a foot deep, and I'm not a tall person.  It's a good thing that there wasn't anyone out there to watch me trying to walk through it.

I probably looked more like a garden gnome than I'm comfortable admitting.

As soon as I got close enough, I could see that the tree is probably not salvageable.  The trunk is split right down the center.  I tried to hit the branches with the shovel enough to get the snow off, but couldn't reach most of them (see prior comment about me looking like a gnome).

I gave up on the maple after a while.  At this point, I'm just hoping the branch overhanging the fence doesn't do any damage.  I couldn't knock the snow off that one.

I moved over to the blue spruce (also know as the Christmas tree in the backyard).  I started shaking the branches to get the snow off.  By then, AJ had lost interest and was in the house.  He'd stripped off his snow attire and was standing by the sliding glass door naked as a jaybird.

I hit the highest branch I could, my boot got stuck, and half the snow on the tree came dumping down on my head.  If I had been wearing a coat, it wouldn't have been so bad, but I wasn't.  My coat is somewhere in the basement. Otherwise known as the black hole of my house.  Need to work on that.

In the meantime, I got a ton of snow down my shirt.  Oh yes, all the way down in there.  Turned to see AJ laughing hysterically at me.

I gave up.  Accepted my gnomeness.

I started my trek back to the house, made more difficult by the fact that I was now halfway buried in the snow.  I was dusting off the snow and leaves covering me.  I opened the door and he asked why my hair was white.

Then I threw a snowball at his naked little behind.

Let this be a lesson : don't taunt gnomes while naked.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Front or Back?

Honestly, get your minds out of the gutter!

It's just a title, and it could refer to a million different things....but I know where my readers are going with it.

There's a reason I like you people.

What this post is actually about, though, is something else entirely.

We had to go to school last night.  The older two kids are in the school's choir, and they were scheduled to sing...which is basically a way of putting butts in the seats to listen to whatever the principal wants to say.  Which incidentally, wasn't much.

Meetings like that entertain me a little.  Basically it's just a way for the principal to pat herself on the back and pretend to stay in touch with the parents. Tell all the parents that every stride they made in reading last year came at the expense of the math test scores, which is something that most of us already knew.

I've seen the scores, I knew there was not going to be anything of earth shattering importance shared last night.  It was fluff.  Fluff we had to go watch because the kids were singing.   And dinner was free, so that helps.  Especially when you have a herd of small people to feed.

You want to wow me with a speech?  Tell me how you can teach a school full of kids to read without sacrificing math and every other subject.  I might be interested then.  I might even sit somewhere other than the back row.

That's the back I was talking about in the title.  I'm a back row kind of girl.  Always have been.  Don't get me wrong, I always did well in school....I was just always the obnoxious girl in the back too.

I got kicked out of Catholic school for taunting the nun who was my teacher in fourth grade.  For reals.  Just because you are wearing that outfit doesn't mean you can teach math.  She was wrong, I simply pointed it out.  I provided an educational service to my classmates, and got shown the door.  Yep, even at nine I was snarky.

I actually just wished a law school classmate happy birthday today, then reminded him to count the "ums" in every possible setting in life.  We kept a running tally in one class, that teacher had no idea how much we laughed back there.  I think we stopped counting after she hit a hundred times in less than an hour.

Which are you?  The dutiful, attentive person sitting in the front row, making it look good but bored to tears?  Or are you the one hanging out in the back row, stifling your giggles and counting the minutes until the free food shows up?  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Punishment

I have this little boy.

He is wicked smart, too strong for his size and adorable.

It's a good thing he is cute, because he's manipulating the hell out of his mother lately.

His most recent way to figuratively kick me in the mom shins is to punish me for lolly gagging in the morning.

He's been potty trained for a while.  Hardly ever has accidents at all, even when he wakes up from his naps.  He's doing so well that we've briefly contemplated a day when we can stop buying diapers all together.  He still wears one at night, just in case.

That one diaper a day, though, it's enough to punish me.

Most days he gets up and gets himself dressed without incident.

Then there are the other days, days like today.  Days where he has no interest in removing his pajamas, which are almost always days that I'm having a hard time getting going.  This morning, I threw him in the car, him still in his PJ's, to drive his sister to school.

One of the many things I have committed to doing is helping to change the sign out front of the school every Monday morning.  Which is normally fine.  He makes faces at me and licks the inside of the windows and waits as patiently as a three year old can while I'm making faces back at him and changing the sign.  Today, he decided to punish me though.

He didn't want to wait in the car today, making faces at me (I'm literally like two feet away the entire time, so don't get all CPS on my ass).

And he was wearing a diaper.

When I was done, he had unbuckled his car seat and was sitting in the back row of the van, in the only place I can't reach him from the door.  The odor was immediate and overwhelming.  He laughed, then said I pooped in my pants.  More giggles.

You think you can leave a diaper on me and force me to be bored for a few minutes???

I'll show you, Mom.

I'll show you.

Now, wipe my butt woman!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Funny thing is...

I'm apparently really funny right now.

Which is strange, honestly.  There isn't a whole lot of stuff in my life that's even remotely funny, certainly not in any kind of funny ha ha way.

I know that laughter is a coping mechanism in my world, and either I've been coping extremely well, or I'm just this close to being admitted to the loony bin.

The last week or so, there has been some really funny shit here.

Makes me think about this quote by Erma Bombeck:

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.

It's true.

I'm not one to wallow in my misery.  I don't like to have pity parties.  They just aren't any fun.  I don't want to become that friend....you know, the one that constantly has something terrible to bitch about.

I mean, I do have plenty of things to bitch about.  And there are a few lucky people who get unloaded on.  For that, I am sorry.  I guess the good news is that my unloading on you could only be taken as a sign that I like you, I value your friendship and most importantly I trust you with the information I am giving you.

Trust is hard to come by in my world these days.

Alright, enough with the psychoanalysis bullshit already.

I haven't written many stories about AJ this week, and it's not because he's suddenly transformed into an obedient child who never gets into anything.

It's because I've been saving this one.

The boy has this habit of waiting until I am on the phone about something really important to do crazy things.  This week, while I was in the middle of a very important conversation with a government official and couldn't engage the child in verbal battle, he laughed at me and slammed the bathroom door shut.

I covered the receiver as best I could, and asked him what he was doing.  He said he had to go potty.  Fine.

I quickly got out of the bathroom, because, well, when you are talking to actual government officials, you shouldn't obviously be in the echoing confines that only a bathroom can create.  Gross.

He hopped off the toilet and slammed the door again.

Little monster.

I could hear him getting into something, but was essentially powerless to stop him.  Damn long winded bureaucrats.

Just as I finally hung up the phone, I heard the flush.

As I opened the door, the water was about the crest the rim of the bowl.  Ahhhhhhhh!

It was full.

And not just of the normal half roll of toilet paper the child likes to use.

He'd gotten out the box of tampons, opened every.single.one. and thrown them in there.  He sat in the corner of the shower giggling from his toes, his hand crammed in the empty box.
I'm here to clog your toilet, bitches!

He'd even opened the instructions, pretended to read them.

Which just begs the question....why do they feel compelled to put a huge insert of instructions in every box of tampons?  I mean, really...once you figure it out, it's not like you've ever going to need to revisit that lesson.  Shit, where does it go again?

Oh wait, let me read these instructions...

It took two days to get the toilet completely unclogged.

Never trust a boy with a box of tampons.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The List

Everyone needs friends, this is true.

Everyone needs people they can talk to, people who have shared situations and can relate.  People who have children the same age and understand the realities.  People in the same careers or who have the same interests.

No man is an island, or something like that.

What I'd like to encourage for you here today is to have at least one in case of emergency friend.

And no, I'm not referring to the friend who can pick up your kids if you get stuck waiting for the train (you local people will totally get why this is legitimate LOL).

I'm talking about a friend who can take care of the list.

What list, you may ask?

The list of things that you wouldn't want anyone to know about if something happened.  The list of things that need to disappear in case you end up in a coma or paralyzed or dead.   The what if we are both in an accident or a plane crash or whatever and someone has to sift through our dresser kind of list.

You know....

that list.

Now, I'm not going to pretend for even one second that I have nothing to hide in my house. I do.  Shhh.

We all probably have something that we wouldn't necessarily want our kids to find or have the well-meaning family member come across when they are cleaning out the closet.

Maybe you have a secret shrine to Milli Vanilli.  Maybe you still play with action figures.  Maybe you have an S&M room in your basement.

I'm not judging.

I don't know how y'all get your freak on....but I'm sure that we've all got at least one thing that should be discreetly removed from the house before it gets "found".

And for that, you need a friend who will solemnly swear to take care of the list.

If you don't have one, get one.  For reals.

I may not be able to save your ass from impending doom, but I'm here to help keep your reputation intact. You are welcome.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh crap, I'm not packed yet.

I love religious zealots.

Really, I do.

They are a constant source of entertainment in my life.

Maybe I'm just super jealous because I don't have a direct line to the big guy upstairs and am obviously not privy to all these dates of supreme importance.

In case you didn't know, the world is ending today.

Again.

Like it did in May.

Or not.

Yep, same dude.

I'm sure that people who actually believe him will insist that I'm going to burn in hell, be subjected to eternal damnation and all that.  The end of days is here, and only the true believers will ascend.  All that.  Whatever.

I hear they have lovely hand baskets where I am going.  Which is good.  I like purses.

How Harold Camping even has followers at this point is mind boggling to be honest.  He's like the religious equivalent of the really hot weather girls on the TV stations in Southern California.   (Seriously, I'm not kidding....those of you who've lived in So Cal and other parts of the country can vouch for the HUGE difference.)  Enough people are just going to keep watching to see what he does, regardless of whether he's ever right or not.

If the crazy old man wants me to rally behind his beliefs, he's going to have to switch it up a bit.  Stop focusing so much on the end of the world.  Aim lower.  How about just deciding that 2011 is over?  That idea is one that I could get behind.  I might even make obnoxious signs and recruit people.

Hell, I'd paint it on the side of my car if would make it true, drive around all crazy like having people point and stare at the freak with the tricked out minivan.

I'm over this year.  It has sucked from the very first day (even the very first second) all the way clear through to now.  It could end today and I would really be okay with that.

Guess I should start making my signs proclaiming the end of 2011.

On second thought, I'll wait until tomorrow.   No point making signs for my cause just yet.  Harold Camping could be right this time.  Anything is possible, right?  The world is supposed to end today.

And I'm not even packed yet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Catchy, but offensive as hell...

Welcome to rant week.

Apparently, I am all kinds of pissed off these days.  I've got reasons, and lots of them.  Real ones, even.

Of course, knowing me, I am not actually writing about the things that have my panties in a wad the most, so I'm singling out the other things that chap my ass one at a time.  Up today, music.

I've written about a few songs in the past that irritate the hell out of me, this is true.  It's not my first trip to this rodeo.

Lately though, I have noticed a really disturbing trend in music.  I don't know if anyone else has, or if it is just me and my short fuse getting all lit up about it.  Either is equally plausible.

I've been in a really bad mood lately.

I know that I haven't quite boarded the crazy train yet because I've talked about both of these songs with my husband.  He knows how much they irritate me.  He knows that when they come on the radio, it's just better if he changes it quickly before the smoke starts coming out of my ears.

There are always a few songs on the radio that manage to mislead people about what they are really about.  The one that comes to mind right now is Foster the People's Pumped Up Kicks
This one tricked even my husband, but he is notorious for falling for a catchy beat.  He thinks all songs that sound happy must be so, especially if one of the choruses is whistled!  No, not so much.  This song isn't a happy one at all, it's about the gun toting revenge of a kid who's been bullied.  Me?  I love this song.

Songs aren't always what they seem.

The two that are currently pissing me off are both in heavy rotation on the pop stations.  They have nothing to do with schoolyard anger, and they aren't hard to interpret at all.

A decent amount of music has, for decades at least, been in large part about the sexual attraction between people.  This isn't news.  What I'm noticing though, is the blatant offensiveness of the lyrics, getting worse and worse and worse.  Misogyny is okay as long as it's got a catchy beat, right?  Or maybe it's not misogyny if it's intended to be a compliment, even if it's the most ass backwards compliment in the history of time.

The first one is Jason Derulo's It Girl.  This song seems to be a flattering one, sung about the girl he wants to be with forever and all that.  I just struggle with this part (which is sung repeatedly throughout the song):

You could be my it girl, 
baby you're the shit girl, 
loving you could be a crime, 
crazy how we fit girl, 
this is it girl, 
give me 25 to life.

Wow.  If I was the girl he was after, I'd be so flattered.  I mean, what is more romantic than being compared to feces?  And who doesn't want their future relationship held up to the mirror of a prison term?  Crazy thing is that I'm sure this guy has women throwing themselves at him daily.  Barf.

Higher standards, ladies, for the love of God.

The other song, the one that grates on my nerves even more is Better with the Lights Off by New Boyz, featuring America's favorite girlfriend beater, Chris Brown.  Apparently, if you can entertain the masses, domestic violence can get wiped off your reputation almost immediately.  Amazing how that works.

This song is another backhanded compliment, so I guess it's only appropriate for it to be sung by a guy who has this pesky habit of hitting his girlfriends.

The line that makes me want to kick my radio?

Hey, shorty, I hope you don't take this the wrong way,
But you look better with the lights off.

Seriously?????  WTF is wrong with people?  I've never met a woman who would take that anything BUT the wrong way.

Maybe if more of us start changing the station when these horribly offensive songs come on, they will stop playing them.  Maybe if we demand better things for our daughters to listen to, they won't make the mistake that all the women throwing themselves at these performers are doing.  Maybe our society shouldn't be so quick to forgive acts of violence against women just because the offender can sing.

I didn't include links to these songs intentionally.  They don't deserve anymore views on YouTube because of what I've written here today.  

Period.

Just because it's catchy doesn't make it okay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mortal Combat

I'm sure there are many of you out there who don't watch Big Bang Theory.  I have to ask you why.

First of all, it's freaking hilarious.  The writers for that show are easily some of the most talented in the business.  It's one of those shows that you literally cannot leave the room or get distracted, because you will miss some joke with a two minute build up.  The actors on the show have great chemistry and fantastic comedic timing.

Plus, it's a dorky show about a bunch of dorks, and in my world, that makes it awesome.

In a recent episode, Sheldon was confronted yet again by his nemesis.

You have to watch the show to get why this is funny....but trust me, it is.

The fact that Sheldon has a nemesis is funny all in and of itself, but even funnier is his description of his list of mortal enemies.  The one he started compiling when he was 9 years old.  His list has a decent amount of flexibility in it, meaning that just because someone becomes a mortal enemy does not mean they are destined to remain on his list forever.  Some people get on the list for silly reasons, some for legitimate ones.

Made me think.

I've got a list.  We all do.

I know that hating someone isn't a terribly productive emotion, but in my life right now it's serving a really useful purpose.  The simple truth is that there are people in this world who fall more into the category of villain than others.  Not everyone is nice or honest or truthful.  Friends turn on each other and do unimaginable damage in the process.  Sometimes people change sides and become mortal enemies, even if they once were best friends.

I've added some people to my list lately.  One of which used to be a very good friend of mine.  Someone that a handful of you reading this know in real life.  Someone that I really should in good conscience warn some of you about because of what she has done.  This someone has no hope of redemption.  She's never getting off that list, of that I am certain.

I actually tried to remove her from the list through a good faith showing on my part.  Turns out, she was lying and hiding and deceiving behind my back even while pretending to be grateful for my forgiveness and friendship again.

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice....well, that just isn't happening.  Ever.

Over the years, I've removed a lot of people from my list.  These new additions aren't ever getting scratched off though.  If they are smart, they will never attempt to have anything to do with my life ever again.

In the words of my college roommate and one of my favorite people in the world,

They pissed off the wrong bitch.

Trust me when I say that you don't want to piss me off.

What about all you out there?  Will you admit to having a list?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Snarky Prayer Request

Now, before y'all get thinking that I'm actually asking for a legitimate prayer request, stop.  :)

I'm so not that person.  I might ask for good thoughts or good vibes or good juju or whatever, but I rarely ask for prayers.  I'm just not that person.  Don't anticipate ever being.

But I do need all of you to send me whatever you've got for tonight. Seriously.

The girls entered the school's talent show.

I'm thinking the term "talent" is used a little too loosely.

The rehearsal was yesterday, and just because of the way the day went, I ended up sitting through the whole thing.  Because who doesn't want to be subjected to that kind of torture two days in a row?

Wow.

I have to wonder if our society's everyone is a winner mentality has just gone too far.   Not everyone has a talent, and really....that is okay.  I can juggle, which is something most people can't do I suppose, but I've never felt compelled to show it off to a reluctant crowd before.

Sure, there are handful of acts entered in the show that demonstrate actual abilities and dare I say, talent.  Some that are adorable and make you appreciate the amount of effort they've put into practicing.  Some kids that you know are taking a huge risk by putting it out there.  Then there are the teachers that enter, and for them, a standing round of applause.

I know my ass ain't ever getting up on a stage unless it's a dimly lit karaoke bar, and I've been drinking.  A lot.

I guess my point is that just because you can sing about half the words to some popular radio song (which may or may not be appropriate for little kids to be singing in the first place), doesn't mean you have an actual talent worth showcasing.

And I'm not sure a Ke$ha song warrants interpretive dance.

Wish me strength....it's going to be a long night.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crossing Fingers

This fall hasn't been kind to Ashley.

First she broke her foot, her soccer season ended before it started.  She's missed out on all kinds of fun things, been unable to go places she wants.   She can't run and jump and dance and twirl.  She can't kick or hop or even walk.
I hope, I hope, I hope she is almost done with this.
Though she got her cast off last week, she can't bear any weight on her foot at all now.  The bone is healed, but there's something else wrong.

We don't know what it is.

At first, we all thought it was just fear.  That she was afraid to try and use her foot, that it felt funny and strange from being in a cast so long.  Never having broken a bone myself, I can't really understand, but I've been told the bones feel squishy, the muscles tight and weak.

We tried and tried and tried to get her to attempt to use it.

She can't.

Her ankle is visibly swollen and bruised.  Her doctor is afraid there is now damage the the structure of her ankle.  The MRI scheduled for today.  She already has her mind made up that it's bad and she will need surgery.  I hate the fact that my mind has already wandered to the same place.

We could use some positive thoughts.  It's going to take a while to get the results, and the waiting is the worst part.  Here's to hoping it's nothing too serious.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Faster

Yesterday was one of those non-stop weekend days.  The kind of day that happens with enough regularity here that we know we have to appreciate the days that aren't that way.  I know I have years of these days to look forward to.

I had a meeting, Ally had a soccer game, I had to run a bunch of errands in the middle then spend the rest of the day/evening at Aidan's swim meet.

If you've never been to such a sporting event, they are an interesting place to people watch.

Swimming is essentially an individual sport.  Sure, they swim in team relays, but most of the events are individual.  The kids in these meets swim with recreational leagues and it's what I'd refer to as psuedo-competitive.  There are ribbons for placing and cheers for the winner and all that, but the vast majority of the kids there aren't going to be winning any race.  They will be glad to take home their 4th or 5th place ribbons, and the chances are that their parents are the ones screaming the loudest.
Showing off the event numbers
It is such a different experience than anything with team sports.

Because of the underwater nature of most of the events, it was a bit of a culture shock to me that there were so many people, parents and coaches, that yell rhythmically with every stroke.  The fraction of a second that the swimmer's head is high enough out of the water to hear anything, people are yelling.  Different strokes yield different cheers, different words of encouragement to be yelled, different instructions to the swimmers.

The most moving times of the meets are when someone is struggling to make it to the end.  When all the other swimmers have long since since touched the wall and the last one is barely halfway across the pool.  That's when the cheers get louder, the entire crowd starts to encourage, parents clap and smile through their tears of pride.  Universally, the look on the face of that last swimmer is joy.  Never disappointment at finishing last, but pride for finishing at all.

The kids swim against the clock, not each other.  They try to do better than last time.  Winning doesn't matter.  

If only these lessons could be carried to other parts of their lives.

If only every parent could celebrate the fact that their child just tried.

Aidan had been on my case for a few weeks to get him a new suit.  The boys wear tight fitting bike short looking suits.  He had a suit from the last time he participated in swim team, but he's a whole lot bigger than he was then.  He looked more like a stuffed sausage, and I was starting to fear that his body might actually be cut in two from lack of circulation.

I obliged.

We went to the sporting goods store before the meet yesterday.  I was intent on getting him the cheapest suit possible...which is hard now that he is in the men's sizing.  The cheap kids stuff doesn't fit anymore.  I found a solid blue one and tried to talk him into it, but he was eyeballing the display suit.  The black Speedo one with the gray and royal blue racing stripes down the sides.  He looked at me and just said, "this one will make me go faster, Mom".  It's hard to argue with that, even if it does come with a price tag $5 steeper.

And it did.
Exhausted and proud of himself
The color of his ribbons don't matter.  He went faster.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Don't you hate it when...

You realize that you are in the room all alone and you are still watching The Power Rangers?

You unintentionally sing along to Justin Bieber songs?

You eyeball the M&M's wedged into your preschooler's car seat and momentarily entertain the thought?

You find a new place that your three year old colored on the wall?

You have to ask how long that apple core was under the couch?

You find a clogged toilet that no one told you about?

You have seen every episode of iCarly and can identify new ones immediately?

You put the last load of laundry in the washer and someone spills something literally within seconds?

You finally get around to mopping the floor, only to find little footprints on it when it's dry?

You hide the good Halloween candy and someone else finds your stash?

You stock up the pantry at Costco and all the good snacks are gone in less than 2 days?

You volunteer to do something else that you know you don't have time for?

You realize it's 4pm and you haven't eaten anything or gone to the bathroom all day, even if you've prepared meals and wiped other people's butts?

You finally take a shower only to get out and realize someone dumped a bottle of shampoo on the carpet?

I could go on for pages....we all could.  Ahh, motherhood.  Ain't it grand?

Friday, October 14, 2011

He said what?

Sometimes kids say things they shouldn't.

Sometimes it's when they are pretending to be parrots and just repeat everything they hear. My eldest daughter once yelled at the f***ing dogs when she was just over two years old.  Trust me when I say that isn't exactly the kind of thing you want coming out of the mouth of your cherubic little angel.  What's most important, though, is that she used it correctly.  I mean, really, if they are going to pick up your their father's bad habits, they should at least do it right.

As an aside, why is it that kids never seem to hear what you are saying to them 90% of the time, but the instant you say anything involving a cuss word, they retain every piece of your statement?

Sometimes it's when they are trying to be cool and impress their friends at school.  So long as your child isn't the first one in the class to drop the f-bomb, you can continue patting yourself on the back.  ;)

Sometimes it's just a force of habit....they've heard someone else respond to a similar situation with the same words so many times that it just becomes an automatic reaction.  A friend of my youngest daughter's did this in preschool once.  He'd dropped something and immediately stomped his foot and muttered dammit under his breath.  I thought the teacher was going to pee her pants.  Hi.la.rious.

Sometimes it's completely unintentional though.  Sometimes the kid isn't meaning to say any bad words at all, it just sounds that way.  When Ashley was little, we used to make her ask for a fork at every meal then giggle when she asked for what sounded like something else entirely.

AJ did it a few days ago.  Ally was playing teacher, forcing him to follow her around with a pencil and paper. She insisted that she was teaching him math, and he seemed to be complacent enough to play along.   Tom and I were helping the other two with homework when AJ exclaimed joy with what he'd just learned.  He was so proud.

He came running over to us, with a grin as big as he's ever had.  Held up his paper and proclaimed:

Me write shit!!!

Of course, what he meant to say was I wrote a six.  But whatever.  Didn't come out that way.

Holy crap kids are funny sometimes.
He'd never say it intentionally,
he's an officer of the law.
At least this time, he didn't mean to say it.  I know that day will come.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not sure that's it

There is a new art teacher at school this year.  Having had a kid at this school literally forever with the same teacher, it's taking me a little while to get used to the change.

Change is good, and healthy, and important for kids to get used to.  Life rarely stays the same.

One of the things the new teacher is working on is drawing.  Portraiture in particular.   Which, I happen to think is great....but I am showing my artistic bias here a little.

Aidan came home from school a few weeks ago saying that he had to get a black and white picture of someone to take to school.  They were going to attempt to draw the image they chose.

After some time to think about it, he settled on Michael Jackson.
The picture he chose.
Not sure why...but it could have something to do with the fact that we spent a good part of the summer teaching the boy about music history.

We looked online for a while and found a black and white head shot of the King of Pop.  Printed it out, and he took it to school.

Disappointed, Aidan brought it back that afternoon, put it on the counter and said he had to find another picture.  He couldn't use this one.

Why???

The teacher told him that the picture was too dark.

Really???

I snorted from laughing so hard.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Panic at the Fall Festival

I had to seriously laugh out loud when I was watching the news last night.

Apparently, some family decided to head out to their local farm for the fall festival.  Fun, hay bales, dirt and getting charged for everything including the corn the farm already feeds to it's own animals.

I swear we can't go to one of those things without dropping close to $100.  The worst part of that is that we are cheap, and it seems like we are constantly telling the kids that they can't buy this or have money for that or feed this animal.  At the most we end up walking away with one tiny pumpkin to show for it.

One thing that we do every year, which provides hours of entertainment, is wander around the corn maze.  Every year, we enter the maze with good intentions.  We will find the strategically placed stamps and navigate the entire path correctly.  We will find our way out of the maze without incident before dark.  We will have fun and not freak out.

Then, every year, we get lost.

Really lost.

I have a ridiculously good sense of direction, and Tom has hiked 50 miles at a time through the wilderness without getting lost.  We should be able to get out of a damn corn maze.  But no.

It's so bad that last year we vowed to stay in the first row, fool the kids into thinking we'd walked further.  We planned to just walk back and forth in the same row for a while so it seemed legitimate, and the kids weren't disappointed in their corn maze incompetent parents.

I think we were stuck in there one year for over two hours.  I wish I was kidding.  We have to make sure we go early enough in the day that we've got hours of daylight to work with, just in case we get lost again. And bring lots of water.

We figured out a long time ago that when the panic starts to set in, just head west.  Corn rows be damned, we will go through them if we the kids start freaking out.  Oh yeah, we are those people.  The ones that emerge from the corn maze exhausted and grateful to be out, practically kissing the ground when we make it to the exit.  Except it's farm ground and you can't kiss that shit, literally.  It's nasty.

It's almost comical now.

Which is why the story on the news last night was so damn funny.  This family got stuck in a corn maze.

And they called 911.  Because they feared for the safety of their children.  It was getting dark, and everyone knows that corn mazes are haunted in October, right???  Soon the grim reaper would be patrolling the rows, looking for tiny people to torment.

Turns out they were only about 25 feet from the exit when they were found.

I know, right?!?!?!?!

At least their kids are young enough to be mostly unaware of the fact that everyone in the country is laughing at their parents right now.

We've been lost, stuck in those crazy mazes for hours, but we've never been desperate enough to alert the authorities.  Whew.

At least we aren't that bad.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He doesn't even know who Barney is...honest

I think my son is going to grow up to be a famous artist.

Either that or he'll be arrested for spraying graffiti somewhere.

I've written before about his deep love of coloring.  The kid seriously makes the most intense coloring face I've ever seen.  It's not just crayons, though.

He can get caught up in the moment with any artistic medium it seems.  One time, he found his sister's stash of nail polish then proceeded to spend over an hour painting his father's toenails six different colors.

If only I had the pictures to prove it.  ;)

There is the infamous yellow incident from a while back, where he found a yellow marker after taking a nap and used it to decorate his sister's room.  He also decorated his napping sister, which completely freaked her out when she woke up.

And then there is yesterday.  Ahhh, this child.

I have to hang on to the admittedly irrational hope that he will someday do great things in the world of color.  That someone will find a way to help him harness his love of all things artistic.  That he will manage to stay out of jail when he gets in trouble for painting the things he's not allowed to.

I put him down for a nap in his room yesterday.   Generally I am a complete pushover and let the child fall asleep on the couch because it's just easier than fighting with him.  Yesterday, though, I was trying to clean the house and I needed him to go upstairs to sleep so I could continue trying to locate my carpet under the mess.

He insisted that I read him two books, then laid down and closed his eyes.  I closed his door, waited for a few minutes to make sure he was actually asleep, then returned downstairs to clean some more.

Fifteen minutes later, of course while I was on the phone with someone that I actually needed to talk to without kids in the background, he reappeared.  Scooting his way down the stairs, he was grinning.  He got to the landing, and I'm sure my face reflected abject silent horror when I realized what he had done.  I couldn't deal with him immediately because of the very important grown up phone call that I still had to finish.

He, sensing my inability to ask him what the hell he had done, decided to parade around the living room.  He sang a made-up song about what he'd done.  Climbed up on the coffee table and did a little shimmy dance.

I hung up the phone and tried really hard not to laugh.

He was purple, from head to toe.  Even between the toes.

Clearly he wasn't sleeping up there.  I started trying to clean him up and the phone rang again.  It was the school, and I had to pick Ashley up.  No time to wash the grape-colored child.

Tom got home and wanted to know what had happened.  I told him the story, he asked if I'd surveyed yet for other damage.  I hadn't.   I knew that there was more, there had to be.  He couldn't have colored himself that purple without decorating something else too.

To be honest, I didn't really want to know.  I already have a room to repaint up there from the yellow incident.  A few minutes later, Tom came down shaking his head.  AJ colored  his bed, the walls, his dresser. And.it.wasn't.coming.off.

Stupid cheap markers.  The culprit was located, without a top, under AJ's bed.

Fantastic.

I guess it was about time to repaint the upstairs anyway.

If there's any consolation, it's that AJ is still purple.  In spots.  Pink in others, blue in some.  I washed and washed and washed him, but it's not coming off.

He has to walk around looking like this a while.

It might work as a punishment if he wasn't so damn cute.

That face....that one right there....it's the only thing saving his life some days.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Maternal Wisdom

Sometimes when I am out in public I forget that other people can hear me.

Most times, I am reminded of the fact that I really don't exist in a soundproof bubble when some stranger starts laughing at me.

I am here for your entertainment, of course.

Friday was one of those days.

I had to pick up the kids a little early from school, which is really a story all in and of itself.  You see, my children are completely and totally lacking in the urgency department.  I told them before school that we would have to meet Tom at the doctor's office in case he was forced to dope himself up on painkillers when the doctor started poking his arm.  I was at school anyway for an assembly that I totally didn't need to be present for.

Incidentally, I love my children.  Really, I do.  But sitting through assemblies at school under false pretenses is just mean.  Ally swore up and down that her class was hosting this time, and rather than investigate myself, I just believed the child.  I woke AJ up early from his nap and endured over an hour of his whiny inability to sit still and be quiet for nothing.  Ally's class wasn't hosting, none of my kids won awards, and I really didn't need to be there.  Which is awesome.  Glad I woke the beast for that.


So, anyway, I was at school anyway.  Pulled all three of my oldest aside after the assembly to remind them to get their stuff and meet me in the office so we could leave.  I didn't walk out the door with four children for another 15 minutes, only about 2 minutes before the bell rang.  You know someone forgot something, someone had to go find their lunchbox, two someones had to pee, then someone realized she left her brand new sweater on the playground and had a damn fit in the middle of the hallway until I granted her permission to go look for it.  Of course she didn't find it.

So much for leaving early.

We finally got in the car as the bell rung, and I announced my strategic plan of bribery.  If they could all behave at the doctor's office, I would stop and get them ice cream after.  Those of you with more than two children already know that it is impossible for all of them to ever behave in a doctor's office.  It helps encourage the bad behavior when you are forced to wait for half an hour, then get crammed into an exam room barely big enough for 2 people.

They didn't exactly behave, but they didn't burn down the place either...so I figured what the hell?  I'd be nice and we would get them ice cream.

Tom took half the kids, I had the rest, and we met across town for ice cream.

Again, they mostly behaved while eating said ice cream, but that's about my threshold of normal these days.  After she was done, Ally had to pee again (even though she just went).  Ally always has to pee.  She's got the smallest bladder in the history of mankind....and she's a bathroom tourist.  Tom took the rest of the kids and left, while I waited for Ally to be done.

Upon exiting the bathroom, she immediately realized everyone else had left with Dad.  And she was stuck with mean old mom who'd just bought her ice cream.  The whining began, and I just kept walking and ignoring her.

We got to the parking lot, and Tom hadn't left yet.  She begged to go with them.  Nope.  Sorry, honey....you just have to come with me.  She proclaimed in her angry voice that it wasn't fair!!!!

We walked past the store manager, outside on break, as I told her in my sugary sweet mommy voice (you know, the condescending one you use when you're annoyed with your spawn)...well, you know what, sweetheart?  Life's not fair, it's never going to be and you might as well just get used to it now.

Insert giggles from stranger.

I'm here all week, tip your waitress.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It's a bitch getting old

By now you all know that my husband broke his arm about a week and a half ago riding (okay, really after falling off of) a Ripstik.

Oh, the jokes people have told at his expense.  And the funny questions he has been asked....

Were you over the weight limit?
Did you know how to ride it?
What were you thinking?
Just couldn't be taunted by a child, huh?
Gonna do it again?

He went back to the orthopedist for the second time Friday.  They retook the xrays, took the splint off, and in came the doctor.  He poked and prodded and bent and straightened and turned and twisted.  I could tell the waves of pain induced nausea were hitting Tom all over again.

The good news, he said, is that the bone was in the right place, it appeared to be healing so far just fine.  The bad news....Tom is old now.  Getting old comes with crappy side effects.  In this case, to leave his arm in the splint or cast would allow the bone adequate time to heal properly, but would irreversibly affect his range of motion.

Kids can recover that kind of stuff just fine....but the older you get, the harder it is.  It's a trade off between letting the bone heal and retaining the use of the arm.  Sweet.

Tom walked out of the office in disbelief.  No splint anymore, no protection for the still very broken bone.  And, he has to start using the still very broken arm now.  In the doctor's words, we can give you pain medication, but we can't make your arm work right again once the range of motion is gone.  Welcome to old age.

He's been walking around a little paranoid about the kids running into it now that there is no protection around  it.  Sleeping is complicated again.  And he can already see what the doctor meant.  He's been using the arm again, working on simple things like making fists, bending and straightening his elbow.  It's tight and sore and just doesn't want to do what he tells it to.

He moves a bit like a slow motion robot.

The funniest and weirdest thing is that his hand seems a little bit detached from the rest of his body.  He doesn't have immediate control over it, every move is deliberate and guarded.  The first few days, it was like he was waving around a fake hand on a stick, touching people with a prosthesis instead of an actual hand.  It's a bit creepy, truth be told.
His hand isn't a whole lot different than this one at the moment.

At least it's October, a good month to be carrying around what acts like a fake appendage.

He'll get the full use of his arm back eventually, but it's going to be a while.  The bone won't be healed for another month or so at least.  And it's going to hurt like hell until then.

It's a bitch getting old.

You'd think he learned his lesson, but no.  He can't wait to get back on the board.  Sigh.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Like Clockwork

I promised on my Facebook page yesterday that I was going to write about bathroom humor.  I didn't warn everyone who reads this though.  Maybe you should go follow me there just in case you'd like a heads up when I'm going to write about something gross.  Here's the link...http://www.facebook.com/debie.hive

Oh, and if you want to share my page with like everyone you know that would be great too.  :)

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand.

Not that I believe for one second that any of you actually care about the bathroom habits of my oldest child...but this story (and lesson) is funny.

Besides which, I warned the child that if he did it again, I was writing about this.  He did it again.  So you see, it's totally not my fault for embarrassing the hell out of him.  He could have changed his fate, but he chose poorly.

Mwhahahaha.

A little background: My kids have chores.  All of them.  Even the three year old.  There are too damn many messy people in this house for me to keep up with it alone, so I force them unwillingly to help.  Truth be told, most of the time I am nice and let them slide a little more than I probably should.  When the house starts to resemble the aftermath of an F5 tornado, I have to crack the whip though.  My scary mommy voice comes out.  You wouldn't like my scary mommy voice.

One of Aidan's occasional chores is emptying the dishwasher.  Yes, just emptying.  I tried for a while to get him to load it, but I just gave up on that one.  Some tasks come with too steep a learning curve for that child, and I just don't have the time or patience to re-wash entire loads of dishes.

So, all he has to do is empty it.  Here's the thing....he always, always, always has to stop mid-task for a break.  You can set a watch by it even.  He'll get halfway through taking the glasses out and go running out of the kitchen.

Then he'll be gone for 20 minutes, minimum.

Seriously, my dishwasher has a laxative effect.

He always leaves the dishwasher wide open, too.  It's to the point anymore that if it's left like that, I know where he is and what he's doing.

"Hey, Aidan....what'cha doin?"

"Moooooooom"

I know that in the beginning, it all started as a chore avoidance technique.  He is a master in this art.  First few times, I finished emptying it without figuring out the game.  Then one day, I was on to him.  Knocked on the door and told him the dishes could wait...just make sure you washed your hands when you were done.

Yesterday, the look of disappointment on his face was obvious.  I really did not finish his chore.  He really had to still do it.  I told him I knew what he was up to.  He swore, of course, that he really had to go. Sure you did, honey.  Wink, wink.  I guess he also doesn't realize I know he has a stash of comic books in the bathroom.

If you're ever constipated, just stop on by.  My dishwasher has magic powers, I swear.  Just ask Aidan.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I think my son is part demon

No, really.  

This kid freaks me out sometimes.  

Like after we hogtied him with painter's tape a while back and he became obsessed with taping mommy up

Note to self: maybe hogtying the child was a bad idea in the first place....

He's a funny, happy kid who is perfectly content to run around and play all day.  He is loving preschool and making friends.  My initial fears about him having a hard time adjusting to the school environment haven't come true.  He's thriving.  

He loves to color and is trying to master the ABCs.  He's almost got the hand motions down to make the itsy bitsy spider, but usually ends up laughing halfway through the song.  

He climbs in bed with me most mornings, gives me a kiss, and says, "hiiiiiiiiii, Mama".

And yet, I think he's part demon.

Not really, of course, but if you saw him make his angry face, you would suspect there was something very wrong with this child too.  

I've been trying for a few days to get a good picture of his angry face, and he always laughs too much for me to get it.  The last few days, he's made this face all through dinner.  He can eat with it, talk with it, even laugh with it....which just makes it more mysteriously evil.  
Really not doing his angry face justice.
For the longest time, I wondered where the heck he found this face.  How could he even contort his facial muscles in this way.  Then I realized it.

He's his father's son.  This is Tom's angry face too, bulging forehead vein and all.

Now we all just laugh at both of them when they make it.  Kinda takes away the scary.  ;)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Arrived

Outside right now, the winds are blowing.

The air has that distinct fall smell to it, the colors are bold and bright everywhere.  The streets filled with swirling leaves.

The first winter storm watch of the season posted for the mountains already.

The crock pot is out and has assumed it's position on the counter, ready to be put to work a few times a week.  The kids actually requested soup a few days back.

The pile of costume accessories has grown and grown and grown, now taking over the entire formal dining room table.  The kids are on my case daily, begging me to put up the Halloween decorations.

I made two loaves of banana bread, knowing they'd be gone in less than 24 hours.   I'm craving something pumpkin flavored.

Summer has left the building.

Fall has arrived.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

little joys

I've had to remind myself to remember to smile lately.  To enjoy life, to laugh.

It's funny though, you don't really have to try hard to remember what this is all for.  Why we are all here.  Why it's worth fighting for the things that matter.  Why time is the most important gift you can give anyone.

A thousand miles away, my brother is probably sitting on his couch completely content with a brand new baby girl wrapped around his finger.  He spent the morning playing with his boy, who not so long ago seemed so small...but is now this big kid in the house.

Last night I watched my oldest son attempting to master the butterfly stroke at swim practice.  He laughed and splashed and worked hard.  About halfway through the session, he looked up at the stands, glanced around the room and caught my eyes.  A huge grin on his face.  Sometimes all you have to do is be there.  I don't think enough people understand that.

I wandered into my eldest girl's classroom this morning just to give her a hug.  Someday she won't want her mom around anymore, but for now it's pretty awesome to see her face light up just because I'm there.

Ally crawled in bed with me this morning, and asked me if she could still be my Snugglebug.  I used to call her that when she was about AJ's age.  Every morning, without fail, she'd be snuggled up beside me for a bit.  At some point, she stopped doing it completely.  Until today.

AJ woke up from his nap a little early today, so I took him to the park.  He begged me to push him higher, pleaded for just one more trip down the slide.  Climbed to the top of the frog and asked me to take a picture of him.  He really is such a happy kid.

If I ever need reminding of what joy is, all I have to do is take a little boy to the park and set him free a while.

This is why everything else is worth it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gratitude

I've been meaning to write some thank you notes for a while now.  A long while.

I'm usually good about these things, but lately I've been more than a little bit scatterbrained.  It's not an excuse, just an explanation.

Through the course of events in the last few days, I've had to make a lot of choices in a hurry.  I've had to do things I never thought I would.  And I have had to bring someone home.  My father's ashes are here now.  Not forever, and maybe not for long, but for now.

I know that it sounds strange, but just having him here has been calming.  I slept soundly last night for the first time in what seems like forever.  He's still doing his best to tell me that everything is going to be okay.  And he's reminding me to take care of the things I've been putting off.  The things that he would want me to get done.

The thank you notes that are now almost eight months overdue.  The ones that I dreaded writing, but knew I had to.  Yesterday, the pen seemed to find it's way through the words without my help at all.

There are a handful of people who helped my father in ways that they need to know.  That I'm afraid they may not understand without me thanking them properly.  I hope that my words communicate that to them all.

Though there are many things this morning uncertain and unknown, I have been blessed.  My father was blessed.  And I am grateful.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wednesday's new purpose, and other signs of dorkdom

I'm sure that there are at least a handful of you who already know what I'm talking about.  Who understand the relevance of Wednesdays.

Those of you that either live with a dork, or are one yourselves....you know.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, so they say.

For the rest of you, I'll explain.

My husband, and by extension my children, like comic books.

I know.

Now, don't misunderstand me.  We don't have any hermetically sealed rooms full of obsessively organized plastic encased pristine first editions.  It's not that bad.

Tom really didn't admit his dorkish love of comics until Aidan was old enough to read.  By then, he had a perfectly legitimate excuse to buy them.  They were for his son.  Right.

A while back now, DC Comics decided (in their complete geniusness...which is completely a word because I said so) to write new stories about all the superheroes our generation grew up on and loved.  This isn't a whole lot different than the resurrection of Monchhichis, My Little Pony, Transformers or any other toy we loved as kids.  It's marketing genius.  Hook the parents, convince them to teach their kids to love the old characters, and reap the profits.

Cha-ching.

I didn't understand what the big deal was...but Tom took his lunch break the first week the new editions were released to head to the comic book store.  Had to go the first day. Up first, Justice League.  He read it in the car, practically giddy with excitement to share it with the kids when he got home that afternoon.

Since then, every Wednesday is release day.  Dork Wednesday, as it's known around here. The day that the kids, all of them, large and small, anticipate with joy.  What's coming out this week?  The girls were chomping at the bit to get their hands on the Wonder Woman and Supergirl comics last week.

Incidentally, we've argued about how sexist comics are.  I mean really.....they had to give Wonder Woman an invisible plane????  Seriously????

Anyhow, for whatever reason, last week Tom couldn't get to the store on his lunch break.  He had to go after work.  He came home, insisting that the after 5pm crowd was way different than the lunch crowd.  The people (I assume guys for the most part) in there during the day were closet dorks.  Dads claiming to buy the comics for their kids.  The ones who just happened to casually stroll by the store on release day totally by coincidence, wink, wink.  The comic store patrons there after 5pm owned their dorkness.  Embraced it, even.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.  ;)

These comic books are selling out everywhere.  I guess there are a lot more dorks out there than I thought there were....or at least they are coming out of hiding on Wednesdays.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

As Good As It Gets

Well, for now, anyway.

The last week has been, for lack of a better word, insane.

There really is no way to describe it in any other manner.

I didn't write anything earlier today because I was busy cleaning up another mess that was left for me to deal with.  Again.

That happens a lot.

I don't really have much clarity to my thinking anyway, and I know that I probably won't for a while.

In the middle of the chaos, though, there have been moments of joy.  Moments of laughter.

Moments that remind me that it won't always be this way, that it can't always be this way.  That things will calm down eventually.

It makes sense to me that at the moments in my life where I lost someone, a new life entered the world.  Lends some credibility to the idea that there is indeed a circle of life.  That we are all somehow connected.  That there is always hope.

There is always hope, and when you least expect it sometimes, there is laughter.

We took the kids up to the mountains for a little while this morning.  We wanted to see the colors, we wanted to get a peek at the elk as they came down for mating season, but mostly we wanted to get away from everything else, even if it was only for a little while.

In Estes Park, the town below the national park, this weekend is Elk Fest.  A huge celebration of the change of the seasons, and the focal point for the annual spectacle the elk are.  Seriously, they take over the entire town, even the golf course.

Driving around the park, we weren't seeing the elk like usual.  Most years at this time, they are everywhere and impossible to miss.  This time, the few we did see were far away.  A little disappointed, the kids searched the meadows for more.

From the back seat, I hear my eldest daughter's explanation for why the elk weren't out.  Why the meadows were empty and the roads weren't lined with tourists and photographers.

The elk must have been invited to the party.  You know, Elk Fest.

Only Ashley...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hope

In our darkest times, we all need hope.

Today, it's found.

This morning, I send my love to all those who hurt and mourn and cry.  The life of a magnificent woman will be celebrated here shortly.

This morning, I send my love to my mom and my uncle.  Though I don't know what the future holds, I wish us all the peace and strength we will need.

This morning, I send my love to my brother and sister in law.  I love you both.

That is where hope resides.

Life.Goes.On.

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