Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Evolution of Bratty Natty

We're getting to the point where life here is simply "easier" than it used to be. It's less frantic and honestly more enjoyable.

We had a few rough years for a while, popping out our third kid when the oldest was just turning five. That's a lot of little kids to have at one time. The biggest wrench in the works (other than an unexpected #3) was Natalie's..."personality." Sweet baby Jesus, that child really tested my patience.

Luckily for the entire human race, whatever got her diaper in a bunch ran its course. We're past that now at least until she becomes a teenager, but those dark days still come up in conversation. Nobody who has recently met my daughter can believe that this mild mannered, shy little girl could have ever been a holy terror. "What? Natalie? She's the sweetest thing ever! How bad could she possibly have been?"

It's not something that I've ever really been able to accurately articulate. She just WAS. And although 99% of the exact details of constant crying, whining and trouble-making have been forgotten, the nicknames "Spawn of Satan," "Demon Seed" and "Bratty Natty" were warranted. I promise.

I was going through some old photos when it finally hit me: The story of Natalie's early years isn't one you have to HEAR. It's one you have to SEE.

So with that, I offer you thee picture. This one single photo perfectly sums up the first two years of her life. Look at the angst on her face. Can't you just hear the grunting, whining sound she was making? Are your ears bleeding?

She was always pissed off and wanted something...anything...we just hardly ever knew what it was. In this case it was the camera. But in the event that you don't believe me here are some more. And this is literally just six weeks worth. 

What a delight!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Kindred Spirit, Marianne

Sometimes we just need to be liked.

Take my friend Marianne over at We Band of Mothers for instance. But I don't just like her, I love her. She's hilarious. She's freakishly tall, has a self-described hairy "monkey neck," and can't figure out either Twitter or Pinterest. 

She claims she is a tragedy in the making. Let me add that she's also mucho dramatic!

Despite this, Marianne co-authored the book Epic Mom which will be coming out this December:

Sadly, Marianne is currently suffering flashbacks to junior high and in need of an ego boost.  She tells me her 8th grade badminton "partner" was always the default gym teacher. Nobody wanted to play badminton with the giraffe girl.  

In the spirit of the holidays, please consider throwing the book a Facebook Like.  It may even result in a free book as Marianne is giving out one free copy for every 100 "likes" until she reaches 1,000 (which she estimates to occur in the year 2052).

She thanks you in advance for any act of kindness, compassion, or downright pity.

She's not too proud to welcome a little pity.

Or cake.

Best wishes to Marianne on the launch of her new book!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Being in the Middle

It's been just over a week since I woke up and switched on the TV to see who won the presidential election. I was just too tired and stressed out to make it the night before and when I went to bed it was anyone's game. My own state still had them both neck and neck each hovering around 49%-ish.

I got Ryan and Nat off to the bus and as usual, climbed back under the covers for 30 minutes of not-ever-really-sleep until I had to wake Justin. Today, he walked in and stood in the doorway. Both his father and I sat up and simultaneously silently raised our respective sided of the covers, inviting him to join us. We waited while he looked at us, pondering his two options.

And in that moment as I lifted the covers so he could climb in, it hit me: Much like the entire country just the day before, there Justin stood with a decision to make between two potentially snuggly (read: competent) candidates.

"I want to be in the middle," he said as he scaled the foot of the bed very diplomatically. He crawled up and proceeded to climb under the MIDDLE of the covers. Nicely played kid!

I totally got it. For much of the election I was right down the middle too. Like Justin, I didn't really want to choose because both candidates had merit, strengths and weaknesses the other didn't have. Like many Americans I sided with one candidate fiscally and the other socially. It was a tough choice and "in the middle" was a comfortable place to be. But alas, presidents don't win elections when the entire country is in the middle. So I went with the snugglier candidate and scooted to one side.

Justin was now in the middle, just like I was with the election. Laying flat on his back with a parent on either side of him, it was time to pick sides.

He slowly turned over to the less-hairy, less sweaty parent, the one who smelled like green tea lotion.

And since that candidate was chosen, she set out to do the best job she could possibly do during her term, just like we hope the President will do now. In this case the "term" was only another 5 minutes. Then the winning candidate shoved her voter out of the bed and told him to put his clothes on. It was time to go to school.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

There Were Costumes, Candy and a Dog Dressed Like a Lion

Hey! Yesterday was Halloween. So here are some pictures.

I took a day off work to attend classroom parties with Mike Wazowski and then clean our House of Horror and Dog Hair to host a bunch of people.

I know it's wrong to ever say you have favorite kid (which I do not), but if I ever did yesterday it was definitely the one who dressed up as his mother's favorite book character and totally rocked it right down to his out of place hair and perfect wand technique! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Dog on the Blog

Last weekend we found ourselves all in the same room for once watching Disney's new show Dog With A Blog.

This is not a review, but I will say this: Talking dog + over-used smartass kid actress we've seen in bit parts on other Disney shows finally got her own show. Enough said.

And while we were watching, our dog Bruce was just glaring at me, clearly pissed because his numerous requests to simply post on MY blog (as opposed to having his own like Stan the dog in the show does) fell on deaf ears. Now I feel bad.

Well fine Bruce, here you go. Post on my blog. Go for it.

So without further ado, here's our dog Bruce.

Hello My Mom's Readers,

It's me, Bruce. I've been begging for months to get a little gig on the blog, but Mom kept saying "no." I think she got an idea that we might get rich now that she saw that other dog with his own TV show. Too late dumbass.

Anyway, typing is really hard! Opposable thumbs are way underrated.

Now I finally get to introduce myself! I'm #6 in this family. Justin arrived after me. I'm lucky to even be here. JakeRyan scammed my mom three weeks after my predecessor died (he claimed he was going to help Uncle John move a dresser) and just showed up at the house with me. She was totally pissed, she said the F-word, but couldn't turn me away once we told her how the selfish bitch (and I'm not talking about a female dog) that had me first was getting rid of me. Mom and Dad guess it's because I have bad hips.

For 11 months of my life my name was Brewski, but when I moved here my mom thought that was crass to have a dog named after alcohol. Since she doesn't believe in changing dogs' names, she shortened it to Bruce. It's really awkward when we meet a human with the same name. There was one time when the pest control guy thought she was screaming at him and telling him to be quiet. Other than that it's only been him and the guy around the block. That guy's dog's name is Martini. I'm sure Martini doesn't run into humans with that name. Irony: that dog is named after alcohol. I'm also known as Brucie-poo and Brucie the Wonder Dog.

Most days I feel like a piece of furniture around here. This is possibly because I'm actually the size of a coffee table and I don't get a lot of attention. I'm not fat, I'm just big-boned even though the vet put me on special food for large-breed inactive dogs. I weigh the same as my mom, but if anybody ever called her "large-breed" they'd get hurt.

A typical day for me begins with a walk to the bus stop, a jaunt to the back yard for my first of three human-sized-craps, then I take a nap on the floor of Mom's office. I like to snore while she is on conference calls. Then I watch as she Swiffers up enough of my shedded hair to make a Yorkie.

Last week Mom slipped in my slobber on the tile and that's all I have to say about that. Who am I kidding? It was hilarious!

OK, I'm outta here. Stay tuned for the next installment of Bruce on the Blog (I just made that up) where I tell you how I got a hole under my tongue and it cost $1,000 at the vet to fix. Well that was pretty much that whole story...but Mom has video.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Unspoken Halloween Rule" Edition

Now that I'm an adult, I can appreciate Halloween as a little kid's holiday. I host about 30 people at my festively decorated house and have a little party. JakeRyan puts lights in the yard and all.

Having my own children has slowly brought me around and I no longer hate Halloween as I did for most of my life. For years I was a Halloween Scrooge because I never, not even once, had a costume of my own choosing as a kid.

Still, I have one pretty big Halloween pet peeve: Teenagers past reasonable trick-or-treating age walking around in huge packs in half-assed costumes (think T-shirts or just a crazy hair-do), ringing people's doorbells for candy. I was in 8th grade the last time I trick-or-treated. I was 13 and felt like a huge moron mingling with my three classmates among a bunch of little kids dressed as Care Bears and Ninja Turtles. 

Although I'd never turn a teenager away (mostly because they are also now big enough to kick my ass and that would totally ruin the holiday) I have an unspoken rule. See below. - Simple Rule: If your boobs are bigger than mine you're too old to be trick-or-treating at my house. Keep walking.

I just think if they're old enough to have a job in which they can earn their own money to BUY THEIR OWN CANDY, they're too old. 

I think as a candy-giver it's awesome when a little princess walks up and you can tell her how beautiful she looks. Or a kid in a super-hero costume who thinks they're a total badass - awesome! Or even a 1-year-old who is too young for the candy anyway... But a teenager in a Halloween t-shirt? I'd love to tell them to pound sand. "Here, have 75 cents worth of candy that I paid for with my hard-earned money. Would you rather I just give you the cash so you can put it towards your next iTunes purchase?" Or better yet, they can have candy if they can give me a good explanation of why this candy wasn't important enough for them to bother with a real costume. And please don't get me started on the Slut Suits. I can't take it.  

There are, perhaps a few exceptions to this rule. Maybe if you were escorting little kids or if your own parents were with you maybe. 

So I ask you: How old is TOO OLD to trick-or-treat?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Giant Urinal" Edition

I recall my grandfather once referring to a public pool as a "giant urinal" and that colorful, yet revolting, comparison pretty much solidified how I would feel about them for life. He was a wise man.

JakeRyan and I took the Suitcase Kids to a 100% kid-geared hotel in Orlando for the weekend. We chose it because of it's giant 4-level water play area with several big slides, yadda yadda. As the kids darted away to begin their day of chlorinated play, I screamed the obligatory "stay together" knowing darn well they wouldn't. Within 5 seconds, I was lucky to still have sight of one of my children. It was Justin, the shrimpy kid whose height was being measured by a lifeguard for the first of 100 times that day.

There I was, standing in ankle-deep water with my dry bathing suit cover-up still in it's rightful place, slides in front of me, pool behind me. I needed to make a move. As much as I wanted to be a cool mom and join in, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. My feet were already contaminated and that was enough for me. I might have imagined my grandfather looking down on me from heaven (this is arguable) muttering something about Fromunda Cheese. (Google it)

I politely observed the kids going on and off slides from the ground as JakeRyan (who happened to have stitches and was forbidden by his doctor to swim at the time) dutifully walked up the steps and kept watch from a few levels above. He knows a losing battle when he sees it.

I maintained a solid stance, eyeballing and scrutinizing every person I saw, kinda like my own little Mean Girls movie in my head. Eww. Gross. She shouldn't be wearing that bathing suit. Is that a sweater or his back hair? Dear Lord, you just look dirty...

And all the people I watched were being sloshed by water. Water dripping over every inch of their bodies going back into the same receptacle that feeds the slides my kids were loving. 

And then before I knew it, the kids ran right past me into the pool. EWWWWWWW! Sharing the same water as those...PEOPLE!

Side note:
I used to try to deter the kids from drinking bath water by calling it "Butt Soup." I explained that butts are dirty and they're sitting in water, thus Butt Soup. It was pretty effective.

This was a colossal pot of Butt Soup! Nobody was swimming in this pool. They were just sitting there festering. It was a giant bath tub and all of their juices were being combined. I wouldn't get in to investigate, but I'm sure there were plenty of loose hairs floating in the film of sunscreen and e coli at the top of the water.

In my defense, I would have totally gone for a dip if none of the following people got in:
  • People who sweat
  • People who urinate
  • People with dirty feet
  • People with dreadlocks
  • People wearing bandaids
  • People who SHOULD be wearing a bandaid
  • People with green snot dripping from their nose
  • People with balls of deodorant in their pits
  • Oh God! Anyone with balls! 
  • People who suck in pool water and spit it out, thus having spit bubbles on their chin
  • People who have recently touched their own crotch
  • People who have recently touched someone else's crotch
  • People who might fart in the pool thus making it a jacuzzi
  • The mother who used her own hand to wipe her kid's green snot - this was me. I did that.
"Are you coming in Mommy?"

"Nope. I'm good." 


Friday, September 28, 2012

For Special Occasions

On the desk in my office, stacked between a wooden puzzle and a camera charger, is a mammoth, yet rarely-used package of craft foam. It sits there each day, staring down at my children, calling the kids' names and taunting them.

"Come here Natalie. Play with me. Pay no mind that I cost 100 times more than paper. I'm more fun. All the nice Mommies let their kids use craft foam. Your mother is a monster. Come over to the dark side Natalie!" 

This package came into my life about a year ago as I walked through Michael's. It had a purpose. It was for me, well kinda for me, but at the very least it would be on hand in the event that the kids would need it for school. I justified the spend (I think it was around $15) because it was for special occasions. I repeat: FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS!

This week, Natalie was home sick one day (not a special occasion). She walked in and pointed at the package...

"Mommy, can I draw on those?

"No, just get some paper."

"But I want one of THOSE."

"They're not to color on. They're expensive."

And then she put me on the spot:

"But then what ARE they for???"

Crap. And at that moment, I felt shame and disgust with myself because I didn't actually want to reveal to my daughter, my own flesh and blood, the dirty little secret of what my craft foam was for. Because after all, it was completely moronic and what if she ever told anyone... 

Thinking quickly, I remembered that the next day was my birthday, which qualifies as a special occasion. So I showed her what the craft foam is for.

We bonded that day over making tiny little hats for a Mike Wazowski. I let her make the polka-dots. Because I'm a giver.

I also let her pick one sheet so she can play with it. I know, I'm a true humanitarian. But I swear if I ever catch her getting into my stash, I'll cut her.

Speaking of "cutting" - anyone want some "salad."

What a waste.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just Like the Old Days

It's been a few weeks since this new school year started and it's very evident that something is missing from my life.

Last year, I'd wake Ryan, get him ready for school and then he, Brucie the Wonder Dog and I would walk four houses down to the end of the block and wait for the bus...alone. It was by far my favorite part of the day despite the fact that it was much earlier than I prefer to get up.

Mornings in our house are notoriously chaotic and Ryan's inherent lack of focus and inability to follow instructions don't help. Even though he's had the same schedule for a few years now, he still manages to walk down the stairs without shoes...almost every day. Like TODAY is going to be the day they stop making shoes required at public school. Teeth brushing is a crap shoot. I just hope for the best while I rush to make three lunches and remember who likes which snack foods. "Get your backpack. Do you have your folder? You're forgetting your lunch box. Jesus Ryan!"

But after we'd jingle Bruce's collar for him to come running to the door to escort us to the corner, the door would close behind us and things would settle down. We'd walk down the street, often holding hands (because he still doesn't think he's too cool to hold my hand) and I'd remind him of important things for school that day, discuss the day before or just chit chat. We'd sit on the neighbor's planter with our heads turned left so we could jump up when the bus came, simply talking about the birds or the neighbors or nothing at all. Just me and my first born. No brother, no sister. Just us. The bus would arrive, he'd get on and I'd stand there waving at the whole bus because I could never tell where he sat through the tinted bus windows. I waved anyway because I knew he could see me.

On the last day of school last year I realized it. It wasn't going to be the same again.

Natalie started Kindergarten last month and now there are four of us walking to the corner together. With the addition of the 4th wheel, hand-holding has been replaced by bickering. Quiet talks are now small talk with the new girl who moved in on the corner. Kay. The most annoying kid you've ever encountered at 7:15 in the morning. Kay, who finishes most words with an "A" sound. Like "park" is "parka." Drives me nuts. Yesterday I wanted to reprimand him for cutting his own hair when I noticed it on his collar as I went to kiss him goodbye, but there was Kay, glaring at me. I'm begrudgingly adding my own kid to our special time, but I'm not digging the addition of a neighbor kid. Call me selfish. 

Today Natalie was sick so it was just Ryan, Bruce and me again. It was nice. "Just like the old days, isn't it, Ryan? No Natalie...and look, even Kay isn't at the bus stop!" And today, like many previous days, he got on, I blindly waved and the bus pulled away. I started my walk home with a little empty space in my heart, happy to have had one day like it used to be.

Then Kay ran out of her house. "Wait bus!!!" And then she started crying. There were no cars in her driveway and I knew her parents were already at work. "Hold on Kay, let me go get my keys..." So Kay and I had a little quality time-a. Driving her to school is the price I'll gladly pay to have one 'good old day' back.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Things They Can’t Say: My Suitcase Full of Tricks

Today, I have the distinct pleasure of NOT being on my own blog. Let's be honest, I haven't been here much lately anyway. I miss it. 

Shell, who writes the awesome blog Things I Can't Say, was kind enough to ask me to post there while she's away doing something that very important, disciplined bloggers get to do. In the unlikely event that you don't know Shell (who doesn't?) go read what I wrote and check out some other posts. May I suggest anything with pictures of her three boys? They're really cute.

I'm not going to TELL you what my post is about. Go see for yourself. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Pinterest is Not For Spam" Edition

Hey Pinterest users. Me again. Have you seen the pin for Best Jobs in America? Of course you have! Spammers have been posting the heck out of it for over a week.

This week my Pinterest (and loads of other people's too) was hacked by spammers actually creating boards on our accounts and pinning the same pin over and over about the best jobs in America. My friend Erin mentioned it to me because she knew I'd never use Pinterest for something as lame as helping other people find a job. As if!

The offending pins look like this over on the right.

Spammers: Please leave me alone and let us keep our Pinterest boards pure with 54 DIY projects of things we can do with old dressers, how to clean jewelry and crockpot recipes our kids will never eat. 

So to voice my disapproval, I made this. So maybe I could pin it.

WTF Spammers? Stop please.

So everyone go check your Pinterest. If there's a board there that you didn't create, delete it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lots of Sweating and Heavy Breathing

This weekend JakeRyan and I celebrated our 12th anniversary.

We didn't commemorate it by going out to dinner or doing anything special. It was pretty much run-of-the-mill until later in the evening when we tried something "new." I'm talking about action we've never experienced before.

We even made a video. JakeRyan came up with moves I haven't seen in our entire relationship. There was heavy breathing and lots of sweating. There were multiple exclamations of "woo" and "oh yeah."

And because I have nothing to you go. This is how we keep the love alive. Back off ladies - he's ALL MINE.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Alright Isaac, Time to Ship Out - We've Had Enough

Hey. Me again. Yes, writing about this stinking storm again. My gosh, it's been hanging out way longer than we've ever seen for a tropical storm. Every time the phone rings I think it's going to be God calling to tell me to gather up two of every animal which totally sucks because I only have two male dogs and a geriatric fish. Who am I kidding? God would never call on me for anything. Very unreliable. 

We've had torrential rain on and off for two days. Like ON for 59 minutes, off for one. School will be canceled again tomorrow and I'll be boarding my once-canceled flight to Tampa for a second try (which as of right now is still a go!).

Why is school canceled, you might ask? Flooding. No real damage, just floods that are impassable for people who don't drive monster trucks. I'm not keen on attempting it in the morning in the minivan, but I'll do anything out of loyalty to my company (threw that in there because I know some of my colleagues read my blog. Somebody put in a good word for me.) Really, I'm excited to see my co-workers!

You know the rest: Cooped up kids, husband with terrible judgement, stupid inflatable boat from Aunt Lisa, dog who will do anything as long as the kids are there, me grasping for anything to blog about, yadda, yadda.

What? You thought I'd leave Mike out of the fun? Never!

And again, friends up in Louisiana, I hope Isaac weakens. STAY SAFE!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Isaac Isn't Just the Bartender on the Love Boat

We're South Floridians, practically natives, so tropical storms and hurricanes aren't anything new to us.

Today, we experienced nothing more than some nasty feeder bands from Tropical Storm Isaac, the tricky little bugger that hopefully will only go down in history for cutting the Republican National Convention in Tampa short. Fingers crossed that it miraculously weakens...

Shortly after I helped JakeRyan take the canopy off our brand new gazebo, I let the Suitcase Kids come out and party in a really fun puddle that had accumulated on the back patio since it the rain was taking a break and there was no thunder. Notice there is a pool in the background? Gallons and gallons of water don't hold a match to a couple of dirty inches of the stuff hanging out where it isn't supposed to be.

And there I stood under the patio roof, snapping away while screaming at them to not splash too close to me or they'd get water on my lens. I even multitasked by having a conversation with a co-worker regarding our trip tomorrow to work the convention in Tampa. Yes, I'm working it. 

You know what else is totally underrated (in addition to the pool)? Clean water from inside the house. I wish I could say that the water Justin is spewing in the next photo was a result of him standing there with his mouth open to the sky for 10 minutes collection the drizzle. On the contrary. Why work hard when you can get down on your hands and knees and slurp up water than your siblings and your DOG have been playing in?

It wasn't just Justin, the others did it too as you can see in the photo below. Yum! I told them to stop at least a dozen times before I figured if I can't beat 'em I might as well photograph it for future blackmail. In fact, I didn't get them to stop until I pointed out how close the puddle was to a big pile of Brucie's poop and said that the rain was washing poop into the water that they were drinking. A little poop fear goes a long way.

To all my friends up in the gulf states and on Florida's west coast and the panhandle - STAY SAFE!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Five Elements of Horrible First Day of School Photos

Poor child #3. In a minute I might even remember his name. Oh yeah, it's Justin.

Today was his first day of Pre-K. In my own defense, it wasn't his real first day. He went to the same school last Friday. Same classroom. Same kids. He got a new teacher who he's seen on the playground every day for two years. So really it was no big whoop.

School started at 9:00 and at 8:50 we were still upstairs. "Justin, brush your teeth." Ali glances at the clock. Oh shit. We're late. "Never mind. You're going with stank breath. Way to impress Ms. Maureen on the first day..." With this, my child who HATES to brush his teeth insisted that today was the day he was turning over a new oral hygiene leaf. I agreed to let him meet me downstairs.

I yanked him out the door and shoved him in front of the traditional First Day of School Picture Tree and began snapping the worst photos in the history of rushed-non-real-first-day-of-Pre-K photos.

This one was particularly good. So I present to you the Top 5 Elements to Screw Up A First Day of School Picture.

1. Large 48-hour-old knot on the forehead. Friday night, six hours before his 4th birthday. Justin had a freak "Standing Accident." One minute he was standing there, the next minute he hit his head on the tile. Just like that. I wish I could come up with a better story. This picture doesn't do justice to its beautiful purple and green tones.

2. Eyes closed. It wasn't very sunny out. I swear he did it on purpose because half of the pictures from the morning are like this. It's like he closed them in exasperation from the 32 previous seconds of picture taking.

3. The grill. Do you call this a smile? What is it? Looks like he has a bad taste in his mouth and he doesn't want to shut it. So yes, he purposely jutted out his bottom jaw and bared his teeth. Luckily they were newly brushed. Probably the best brushing of his career.

4. Water spots from brushing his teeth. This shirt was actually the result of a wardrobe change. The brand new t-shirt he got for his birthday did not fit him to his pint-sized satisfaction, so I had to throw him in a hand-me-down golf shirt from his brother. In fact one of those water stains is a real stain.

5. Toothpaste. But of course. By the time I noticed we were already outside. Door locked, the whole bit. The toothpaste shirt would have to do. Plus, who am I fooling? We've been at the school for two years. The bar is already set low. What harm will a little toothpaste do at this point?

SO - Let me see your WORST First Day of School Pictures. Post them to the blog's Facebook page and I'll give a shout-out to the particularly awful ones. Won't this be fun?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's a Flying Rip Off, That's What It Is.

Do you know what this item is?

STOP!!!!! Do not say "a Frisbee." I'll save you the time, it's not a Frisbee. JakeRyan guessed that too.

It is, in fact, a Captain America flying shield. A FLYING SHIELD! Not a Frisbee, which is why Toys R Us can get away with charging $10 for it. I repeat: not a Frisbee.

Yes, it's shaped like a Frisbee, it's about the size of a Frisbee, has a handy little lip-thing that you can hold on to like a Frisbee, but it also has a piece of elastic on the back so your kid can stick his arm through it. Therefore it is a Flying Shield. Elastic = Shield. 

So for those you nerds that are doing the math in their heads, manufacturingly speaking (yes, I made up a word) that's about $1 for the Frisbee shield part, and $9 for the elastic.

My favorite part is the area of the packaging that says "The Shield Really Flies!"


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Beginning of a Hoarder" Edition

WTF? Seriously...WTF Ryan?!?! I just don't even know where to go with this. Are YOUR kids this weird? Please make me feel better.

And now the answers to the obvious questions:

Answer to question #1 - Broken pencil leads of course... I mean COME ON!

Answer to question #2 - More than 60. Evidently from regular pencils, thick ones, thin ones, even mechanical ones.

Answer to question #3 - Hidden in the teeny, tiny, little pocket of Ryan's backpack. I found them as I was putting it in the wash to get ready for school. How long did it take him to get this many?

Answer to question #4 - WHO THE HELL KNOWS? I asked him, he doesn't even know why.

He's been doing this his whole life. Pants pockets have been filled with rocks, mulch and acorns. Most of which I was able to intercept before they made it into the washer.

But broken pencil leads? I am at a loss.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Raise Your Hand if You Like to Waste Time

Oh shut up. Yes I'm a blog-neglecting whiner, I know it, but this week was a little sketchy with a bunch of sick kids. Good news is that I have two half-written posts just waiting for the spirit to move me and put more words into this little brain of mine. Of course that's assuming that you actually think a new blog post by Ali is "good news" as opposed to "who the hell gives a flying fig?"

Anyhoo...yesterday I was sitting at my computer putting Natalie's new song from hip hop class on my iPhone (yes I was) and decided to clean some of the 1,300 pictures I'd saved. And then I made a collage of a bunch of really old ones. Because what else would a busy mom do? Certainly not fold laundry or do dishes. Collages are funtastic!

So here I am sharing it because I certainly don't ever inundate anyone with pictures of my kids.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting and Screaming and Biting

On Saturday evening, I posted this cheery little ditty as my status on Facebook:
"Will someone please come pick up my kids? Please. Pick them up and take them far, far away. Just until bedtime. Bring ear plugs." 

One minute later, my friend with a newborn (her first, obviously) posted this: 
"Saturday night at home with my favorite girl. No place I would rather be! xoxo" 

Geez. What a rookie! All I could think to myself was that I'd love to see what she posts on this very night five years from now. No place she'd rather be? Bwaaahahaha! I can only think of a few places I'd like to be LESS than at home with these kids. Like Walmart when they have a sale on Crisco. Or a port-a-potty at a Dave Matthews concert (which I was 24 hours earlier). Or on a plane with a drunk man that invites me to his house in the Bahamas when I was 8 months pregnant. True story. 

Within a minute or two she got four "Likes." How sweet. All I got was a response from my friend Lisa offering me her three boys under the age of three. My response: "Lisa, I'll keep mine before I take yours. When the going gets rough I think 'at least I'm not Lisa.'"

So there I was griping on Facebook about how annoying my kids are while my friend, probably gazing longingly at her new daughter that very moment was over the moon with joy. Now I feel like worst mom on the planet.

It was interesting to see how one mom's Saturday night at home cursing the day she ever decided to procreate is another mom's best moment of her life. Whatever. 

In my own defense, dear Lord, I had a lonnnng day. JakeRyan fished in a tournament and I was alone with three very rowdy Suitcase Kids from the moment they woke up until JakeRyan got home exhausted at 7:00. Translation: no help. I don't know how stay-at-home moms do it. Worse yet, stay-at-home moms with more than 3 kids. Or any kids still in diapers. There was hitting, screaming, screeching, scratching, kicking and crying. Oh God the CRYING! And fighting, yelling and destroying stuff.

Before it was even lunchtime I had pulled out paint and let them be artists. Little fighting Monets who complained that the other one's paint was better than the others. Little Picassos that needed their water dumped every two seconds.

If they were within two feet of one another someone was being touched. If someone (and by "someone" I mean Natalie) was being touched, she made a sound like her brother poked her with a hot dagger dipped in hydrochoric acid. Yes, it was that pleasant. 

3:00 rolled around and we walked out to the driveway for a jaunt to the grocery store. NOTE: I used the words "jaunt" and "grocery store" in the same sentence. So yes, a cart full of kids at the store would be more fun than I was having at home. Unfortunately, when we got out to the minivan the car seats we'd removed the night before were still out and I can't put them in back in the house we went for more hitting, screaming, screeching, scratching, kicking and crying.

Lather, rinse, repeat until bed time. Just gotta make it to bed time.