Monday, February 28, 2011

My Kid Got to Hold a Walkie Talkie - That Makes Him Important

Somehow, my kid got to be Principal for the Day today.

I actually do know how he got it. Let's just say it was a Silent Auction bid gone bad thanks to his little brother's meltdown at the school carnival. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

There's probably no kid more appreciative of brief power trip than Ryan. Because of course, he got to wear a tie AND a sport coat. Not that it was required, but I paid good money at Kohl's for that jacket and I wanted him to get another wear out if it before he moves into a size 7.

Our day started with an early wake up call since important school drop offs are done by ME and only me. This is because obviously, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Plus, there would be some picture taking involved.

Ryan got up, ate with lightning speed and went up to put on his fancy clothes. Chaos ensued as he refused to wear a belt and tuck in his shirt.

"Ryan, you have to tuck your shirt in because I don't want your principal thinking that your mother is too stupid to tell her kid to tuck in his shirt."

"COME ON MOMMMM! We're late." Actually we weren't late, it just seemed that way since he got ready at a normal pace this morning which is unprecedented.

So off to school we went, battling the parent drop off line and finding a parking spot. Because we were now ...late...I grabbed his arm and dragged him in to the office where he was told to go to the Media Center "right now" for the morning announcements. I watched from the office while all the tardy kids filed in to get their "slips" to go to class. Poor tardy kids.

Here's Ryan sitting next to a 5th grader and his principal. Notice his posture and attention span steadily dropped after hearing about the weather, cafeteria menu, Black History Month and Boxtops for Education.

In the middle he began doing something funny with his mouth and by the end he was nearly comatose.

But alas, his energy was restored when he came galloping back into the office (where I was waiting because I hadn't taken any pictures of him) carrying a walking talkie and a lanyard full of keys with his principal in tow. Now we're talking!!! KEYS!

Mrs. A lets the kids decide what they want for lunch.

He picked McDonald's (shock of the century). Awesome! It's been 5 whole days since he was there and he's long overdue. Whew! She tried to talk him into Chik-fil-A, but he wasn't having it.

So I waited (in bed with a fever and a sinus infection) for him to get home to tell me about it after his dad took him for the haircut he should have gotten BEFORE the big day.

According to Ryan, his morning was spent "tying up pencils."  He used rubber bands since he can't tie...

They visited his classroom where the kids referred to him as "Mr. Ryan."

And he got to ride in the elevator for the first time. I didn't even know the school had two stories...

But the highlight of the day was when he got to "do dismissal."  Since I wasn't there, he recreated it for us at home. We didn't understand much of the mumbling, but you might be able to decode "bus loop" twice.  The end is the best. I don't think he did that at school.

However the most important things to point out are these: This was his first trip to the principal's office (I confirmed for good measure) AND they're letting him go back to school again tomorrow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Curing Cancer, World Peace and Stuff Like That...

This is an actual conversation I had with my husband this week as we watched The Hangover together for only our second time.

In the following dialogue, I will be referred to as "Me" and he shall be called "Clueless."

Me:  "That is the cutest little baby."

Clueless:  "That's not a real baby it's a robot."

Me:  "What the heck are you talking about???"

Clueless:  "It's not a real baby. It's an E.T. robot."

Me:  "What is an E.T. robot???"

Clueless:  "E.T. was a robot."

Me:  "I know that!!!  Oh, my gosh. This isn't the first time we had this conversation."

Clueless:  "When did we talk about this before?"

Me: "The last time we watched The Hangover and you tried to tell me the baby was a robot."

Clueless:  "I don't remember that, but its a movie robot like E.T."

Me:  "Why would they need a robot? They could just get a real baby!!! Maybe it's a doll for the breastfeeding scene, but its definitely a real baby in the car."

Clueless: "It's a robot."

Me:  "NO IT'S NOT A ROBOT!  Oh my gosh! It's a real baby."

Clueless: "Whatever..."

I found a few photos that might help you decide whether YOU think he's a robot or not. I took the liberty of doing a little photo editing.

Now this very cerebral conversation rivals the heated debate we had over which Kardashian sister was the hottest. I said it was Kim (clearly because she makes exponentially more money for...being HOT and nothing else).

And he said Kourtney. Seriously, who says Kourtney? All we could agree on was that it wasn't "the ugly one married to Lamar Odom."  Disclaimer: I don't feel bad for saying anything nasty about stupid people.

Although, we do agree on one very important topic:  Suite Life on Deck is much better than The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. 

Solving the world's problems, one issue at a time. No need to thank us. It's just what we do.

Go over there and become a Facebook liker. No pressure though. I won't be mad if you don't. Right Paige?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Well, Isn't That a Splendid Idea!

"Mommy, can we get a little sister?"

"NO. Wanna know why?"  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We Haven't Been Banned from Costco Yet...and there's video

My life is not glamorous. We do very little that would qualify as cool.

And what does an "exciting" Saturday consist of?  A fun family trip to Costco of course!

You know, Oprah did an episode about this. She got a cashmere sweater. I got grapes.

And so begins our adventure. 

Since hungry kids do not add to the allure of bulk warehouse shopping, we got in line to purchase hot dogs and pizza only to realize that like 25 times before, we do not have enough cash. We never carry cash. Stupid Costco. So we scrapped together $8 plus $2 to get enough for the food.

"No Ryan, you can't have a Churro. Maybe after lunch."

Then we sat down with these old people.

L to R: Herman, Lester, Ethel, Irma, Francine, Rose, Albert and Dorothy. 
So there I sat, divvying up the pizza and hot dogs while the two big boys went to get soda.

Ryan mixed Sprite and Coke and enjoyed every bit of it.

Justin and Katy Perry (her nickname for today, more on that later) had to share a lemonade to which Justin protested.

Justin smeared ketchup all over his face.

And Katy Perry did something gross with her hot dog that disgusted her father (see photos below)...

45 minutes later we headed out to buy some crap.

After trying out the 3D TV (which I'm now obsessed with) we took the typical route down the small appliance aisles like we always do.

I don't know why we always do...we never buy any. But as usual, Ryan suggests the first purchase of many. A very useful, yet large popcorn maker.

"That would be a 'NO', Ryan." Like we've got the $49.99 and extra counter space for that.

"This is the most boringest day ever." Why yes Ryan, I'd agree.

But wait, it's about to get interesting...Justin gets his elbow (yes, elbow) stuck in a cup from lunch. And then he started shrieking. It's amazing we've gone this long without an elbow getting stuck in a cup. I'm sure that happens a lot.

And here's where they insisted on sampling the orange juice and I felt obligated to justify allowing it by pretending that they'd never had orange juice before.

"Oh, this is really good. What's it called? Orange juice? Is it made out of oranges? Vitamin C you say? What aisle is it in? We're definitely gonna go buy some. Yay!" 

"Can I get my Churro now?" And a trip to Costco would not be complete without Ryan having to walk on this thing, thus annoying every adult in the meat section. Notice that he's got his arms inside his shirt which doesn't help his balance much. "Can we get my Churro now?"

But what made this particular Costco trip especially fun was that our girl was singing her rendition of Katy Perry's Firework the entire time. The entire time. I mean the WHOLE time. Note: Other than the tune, none of what comes out of her mouth is recognizable.  This was my favorite one.


But this one is good too...because she tugs on the camera like an animal


And then we passed the playhouse. Evil Costco people putting it out on the floor so you have to stop and let your kids play in it or endure constant whining. Ryan put the lid from the play grill on like a hat and kept saying that he was in the army and "GET DOWN!" He probably caused a few WWII flashbacks. "Can I get my Churro now?"

Then finally after standing in a 10-cart-deep line (where the woman next to us was griping the entire time), we made it back to the car about $200 in the hole.

And we forgot the Churro...

Oh, and we could use more Facebook likers...I'll stop asking someday. It's easy, click over there on the left. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Love Spunky Red-Headed Orphans at Our House

To commemorate our family's 92nd viewing of Annie (that's just an estimation), I'm posting my all-time favorite video. I figured this was a better option than dying you-know-who's curly hair red. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Curse You Saint Valentine and Walmart!

As I sat down last night with my son to do the Valentines that we'd procrastinated on all weekend, I reminisced about the thought and careful review conducted when I made purchase.

Rewind to two Sundays ago standing in the Valentine aisle at our Walmart.

Saying that this is not my favorite place is an understatement, but I opted to pick up groceries there specifically so I could choose from a wider selection of Valentine's crap. 

I was almost by myself (I had the little one with me who doesn't say much) and in 1.2 seconds I spotted some Mickey and Minnie Valentines with lollipops. My kid is a Disney fanatic to the point of obsession. I toyed afterward with the idea of picking up a box of something sprinkled with a little more testosterone like Transformers, but I know my kid - this was a slam dunk. His male classmates will think these are lame.

BUT before I committed to this particular box of Valentines I did the critical research that any good parent trying to spare their child serious long-term emotional damage would do. 

I flipped the box over:
32 Cards in the Box
4 varieties of cards (and this is important): "You're Neat," "Friends Forever," You're Cute," "Teacher You're the Best"

I did a little computing. Mathmatically, assuming that there are equal numbers of each variety of card in the box, there will be enough "You're Neat" and "Friends Forever"cards in the box to avoid the dreaded "You're Cute" card because NO FIRST GRADER WANTS TO BE TELL ANYONE THAT THEY ARE CUTE. EVER!

I'm such a conscientious parent. A few bad experiences of my childhood helped me help him dodge that bullet. I think I once had to tell someone via Valentine that they are "cool" and they weren't. Gasp!

So last night we open up the box: "Friends Forever," "You're Cute" and ......."2 Cute."  What happened to the safe "You're Neat"?

Mayday Mayday!  The math doesn't work out and somebody is going to have to be CUTE. Gross!

And worse, they used that annoying number-instead-of-letter thing. Who do they think they are, Prince? Damn Walmart and their bad product labeling. Stupid Prince! 

So I sprung to action and provided the following strategy:  The "Friends Forever" ones have to be for the boys because you can't tell them they're cute. There will be some of those left over for the girls and I actually counted them out for him.

Two girls were going to have to be cute. Ewwww!

So since I've been cajoling him for weeks to just finally admit that he likes Katherine P., I ask him in a very soothing voice. "So, if you have no choice but to give one of these kinds of cards to two girls, do you know who you'd want to give them to? Maybe Katherine???"

At this point, he gives me the dork look where his eyes roll back in his head, looks up to the ceiling, blinks his eyes and tries not to smile. "Don't even GO there," he says and actually hits me.

Then the impossible happens. Rather than caving to his mother and admitting that he likes Katherine by giving her one of two Cute-related store-bought Valentines, my son, always the diplomat gave every single girl in his class a "Cute" card.

I was disappointed that there was no clear Katherine revelation today and that every girl would be cute (even the ugly ones), but a bit proud to see what he was willing to do to keep his love a secret.  How Shakespearean of him.

Doesn't matter, he's going to get in the car after school and he's going to tell me he ate with Sam and Katherine today.  AND I'm going to throw in a question about how he might like her, and he's going to make the dork look that I see in my rear view mirror every afternoon. 

What's important is that Katherine got a "Cute" card.

And hey, go over there on your left and Like our Facebook page. I need more LIKERS.  

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Very First Restaurant Review

NAME:  No Name (I've asked several times)
ATTIRE:  Sloppy Chic
CUISINE:  Playroom Eclectic

Let's cut to the chase, Zagat's is not going to be visiting this dining establishment any time soon.

Pickled peppers
Burgers (made to order)

Although the menu is rather limited, the sassy blonde waitress is perfectly willing to add to the menu at whim.  You want chicken?  Sure! You want a milk shake?  Sure. Just don't expect the waitress to bring it back to you because she walks into the other room and starts watching Wonder Pets.

In fact, when my dining guest ordered lobster he was asked if "he wanted the full set."  We were eager to see exactly what a "full set" of lobster consisted of, but alas, our order was never delivered.   

It's quite possible that there would be a higher level of customer satisfaction if this restaurant had a policy about requiring the servers to write down the patron's order, not just walk around with a note pad that's not even really a note pad.

I have visited this place before with my son at which time I was informed by the pushy blond waitress that "there is NO KISSING in this restaurant."  So therefore Restaurant No Name isn't the place for Valentine's Day.  

In fact, this waitress shows up even when you're NOT at the restaurant, like let's say for example - IN THE BATHROOM. You can politely decline to place your order, but she pretty much insists and then you're on the hook to chew some invisible pickled peppers within a few seconds.

However, it is a nice touch that she bows at you when you have completed placing your order. Perhaps her last serving job was at Mr. Chen's Hunan Palace.  

My guess is that this is a family-run establishment because the waitress, chef and busgirl all look exactly the same.

Luckily, this place does have some healthy alternatives.  The plastic fruit is locally grown and organic.

Oh boy, the Board of Health is not going to be happy with this.  Bare feet in the kitchen, food on the floor - that Captain Hook?

This guy is a regular.  I think he keeps coming back because the waitress threatens him or calls him sweetie. Notice he's eating the fruit that was on the floor next to the dirty bare feet.

In all, although I wouldn't recommend the food, atmosphere or service you have to admire the spunk and perseverence of the server. Not to mention - did you see her necklace???

Hey kids. If you liked this post, please feel free to share it on FB so others can share in my joy... Button is right under here. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

That lil' one - he don't talk so good

If late speaking is truly typical of a third child, then Justin is an overachiever. 

There are really two possible explanations: 1) let's just call our family "communicative" and he can't get a word in edgewise or  2) he's too busy perfecting his grunting, squealing and angry-pants look to focus on what we English speakers call "words." He's actually mastered a few angry-pants looks though. He's a delight.

When he turned 2, he was discharged from his speech therapist Miss Melanie's weekly appointments (Go Justin!!!).  Yet still there is almost nobody that can understand most of what the poor kid says...

Make that nobody, but his sister.

Crap.  Evidently, Stinkerbell (her nickname for today) has a higher success rate for translating whatever the heck that kid is trying to say than the rest of us, thus making this talent a dangerous commodity.  She's 4-year-old the Anne Sullivan to his Helen Keller.

Not to mention that it's completely ironic considering that although we can understand her words, most of what she says makes no logical sense - tonight she tried to tell me a shower puff was called a "salad."

For example, last week in the car Justin exclaimed something that sounded like Blibbity-scubuu-lalaflippy (yes, that's an exaggeration for dramatic effect, did you like it?)  I was at a complete loss.  He barked blibbity-scubuu-lalaflippy at me twice before Stinkerbell told me in her most exasperated voice "Mom, he wants you to roll down the window."

She was right.

Fast forward to this morning with the two of them are at the breakfast table while I attempt to get the three of us out of the house with matching shoes, two lunchboxes and a purse.

Here's how this went: 

"Uh wolling wipp." - this is actually what he said


"Uh wolling WIPP."





You see where this is going.  I felt so bad for the kid. His mother is clueless and she's never going to figure this out as well as his sister can. 

And although I still didn't understand him I flashed him my best toothy motherly smile and nodded my head knowingly.

Ahhhh. That's better. And he gave me his best relived thank-goodness-she understands me smile.  Like this.

And just as I was reveling in my bonding moment Stinkerbell chimes in:  "JUSTIN!!! I TOLD YOU NOT TO TELL MOMMY THAT!"

See, she really does understand him. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Do This Because I'm Stupid

My Paul Simon CD has a scratch on it. 

I am completely and painfully aware of this. 

It has been this way for 6 years and I know exactly where on my CD the scratch rears its ugly head. 

Yet several times a year, mostly on my drive to the office, I pop in Paul for the effects of his musical Prozac.

Please take a moment to enjoy this photographic representation of how how I feel about this CD.  

Why do I do this?  I have no intention of listening to it through the skip which starts 2/3 of the way through Kodachrome.  I do this because there is honestly a part of me that wholeheartedly believes that somehow, some way, by the grace of God my CD player is going to completely ignore the skip this time. I'm going to get lucky today and my favorite song is going to be played to completion.  My fingers are crossed, "Today is my lucky day...oh, no it's not, maybe next time." 

Why do I do this to myself?  

Because I am stupid.  Plain and simple.  I'm stupid.

I have a part of my brain that believes in life's impossibilities and continues to do the same things over and over expecting different outcomes.  This is the same portion of my brain that actually believes that the one time a decade I purchase a lottery ticket that I'm really, really, really going to win. Seriously – really.

This part of my brain plays nicely in the sandbox with the altruistic part of my brain that helps me divvy up how much of my windfall my family members will get and the part that calculates the "I'd be happy with $X million so therefore if 6 people play the same numbers, I'll still be rollin' in it" figure.

Sadly, my brain malfunction (or illness if you will) surfaces other times as well.  Here's a sampling:
  • "Hey, I'm going to make a recipe out of a magazine. I'm sure they'll all eat it. Mmm. Spinach!"
  • "I'm going to walk up stairs. I'm sure Kim Kardashian (her nickname for today) isn't into my makeup or lotion or jewelry or handbags or her brother’s Kooky pens or God forbid the scissors again."
  • "Today, the kids aren't going to ask for the non-maneuverable race-car shopping cart at BJ's. Let's give it a go!!!"  
  • "Hey!  Let's sign Ryan up for soccer again.  I'm sure he acquired an interest in sports by osmosis over the last few months and this time he won't ask his coach if squirrels are nocturnal in the middle of a scrimmage."   
  • "Let's go to Disney again.  I'm sure Justin will be perfectly pleasant this time and they'll eat the $100 worth of food we buy and Ryan won't ask for souvenirs."

I could go on. Believe me.   

For now, I will bravely deal with my illness like the trooper I am because I don't think there is a cure in sight. 
I'll leave scientists to do more important work like curing cancer and inventing the Child Mute Button (insert sounds of singing angels here).  Because I swear, by the grace of God, I really, really do believe that someone is going to invent that.  Fingers crossed! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Sharp Dressed Man (kind of)

I can always tell when I'm being set up.  It's usually when The Big One puts on his sweet voice, makes the innocent face and starts the dialogue with "Mommy." The first sentence is the appetizer and then he launches into the full course. 

"Mommy, next week is special because it's Valentine's Day, which is a holiday." (the appetizer)

"Can I wear my tie to school since it's a holiday?" (the main course)

To my son, the importance of an event is signified by whether or not people will be wearing ties.  His tie is of the clip-on variety and has a pen mark down the middle.  A Target purchase for a legitimate tie-worthy event that I can't even recall at the moment. 

The Tie (as we'll call it) surfaces about every two or three weeks, usually on a Saturday and almost always as we're rushing out the door when he thinks I won't notice.  Naturally, I don't want to be the mom toting around the weird tie-wearer so I put the kibosh to it 99% of the time.  He relents...because he knows.  

The Tie's most recent appearance was last Saturday as we were headed out to a birthday party with video games, go-carts, laser tag, bad pizza, antibacterial hand gel, blah blah. 

"No WAY! You'll be the only kid with a tie on."

"But Mom, how is everybody going to know that I'm the Fun Party Guy if I don't wear a tie?"

My favorite appearance was two Christmas Eves ago I made an attempt to have him do just one measly little thing independently after I had slaved over dinner all day. Hoping for a Christmas miracle, I sent him upstairs to get dressed by himself 15 minutes before guests were arriving.

Several minutes later, he sauntered down the stairs, proud as a color blind, socially inept peacock.  Brown shoes, white socks, khaki shorts, blue button-down shirt (mis-buttoned and cuffs open of course) and naturally - The Tie.  In addition to this visual atrocity that I literally laughed over for two minutes before I regained composure, he was also wearing the biggest, most beautiful smile I'd ever seen. I gave in to The Tie this time. It was Christmas after all.  But you better believe photos were taken for his senior yearbook and to give to his future wife. 

Last May, he was chosen to be the May Day prince at his school. I told his teacher that there was no better kid for the job because this was probably the only kindergartner in the entire school that actually appreciated every chance to dress up.  AND GET A NEW TIE. 

So back to this morning:  "Yes Ryan.  You can wear your tie on Valentine's Day.  By the way, you know, today is Groundhog's Day." 

"REALLY???!!!  That's a Holiday!  Can I wear my tie?"