Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Good Self Esteem or Totally Delusional" Edition

This morning I opened Ryan's school folder just before he sat down to breakfast. In it I found an assignment that his class did yesterday with the guidance counselor. 

Each one of the petals on this flower has something positive Ryan said about himself. I love assignments like this.  Good self esteem is so important and luckily not a problem for Ryan. 

So I read a few of them:
  • "I am fun." - Yep, a party animal.
  • "I Rock!" - I completely agree. 
  • "I smell awesome." - Most of the time, yes.
  • "I am respectful." - In comparison to your brother and sister, yes. 
  • "I am fair." - Clearly he was grasping at things to say.
  • "I am pie." - Pretty sure that's not what he wrote, but I can't read his writing through purple crayon. 

And then I saw it: "I am smoking hot." 

Oh my gosh, did he really??? He did. 

I asked him about it and he refused to discuss it with me. Perhaps it was the fact that I burst out laughing when I saw it.

So like the supportive mom I am, I decided to give him a little encouragement. I often write nice messages on Post-it notes and stick them in with his sandwich. Here is today's:

As his mother, I'm not sure that I can weigh in on whether I agree with this or not. If you've got an 8-year-old daughter maybe you can ask her what she thinks. Here he is today eating his Frosted MiniWheats. What do you think? Is he "smoking hot?"

How about filling his water bottle for his lunch box? "Smoking hot?"


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There's Never a Tranquilizer Gun When You Need One

I could simply tell you that the highlight of my day was when Justin kicked off his Crocs and walked dangerously close to goat pee in the petting zoo, but that would be too easy. Let's back up so I can tell you how we got here.

On Sunday, we took the kids to Lion Country Safari, a drive-through safari park with a second amusement park at the end. I LOVE this place and I have since I was little. Personally, I'd be perfectly content driving through and looking at the animals from the comfort of my air-conditioned car all day long. My husband, JakeRyan and I were the people who stopped and looked at every single animal, could have spent hours staring at lions and talking about how big rhinos are.

Unfortunately, the wildlife INSIDE the minivan with us had other ideas.

Cruising along at 8 MPH and out of their native habitat of having to sit in car seats, my three were on the loose crawling all over the seats and looking for their next kill. "Kill" translates to grapes, chips and string cheese in the cooler at my feet because it had been exactly 42 minutes since they finished breakfast. These kids can sniff-out a juice box from a mile away.

In fact, they were so excited to be able to eat in the car that they completely ignored a perfectly good zebra fight happening right next to us. Who needs to see three male zebras jumping all over each other when there are Cool Ranch Doritos on hand? Seriously, look at those bad boys. It was awesome! And the zebras weren't hurt of course.

After singing the Veggie Tales Water Buffalo song several times and looking at rhinos, giraffes and 7,000 what-we're-calling-gazelles, we were in the theme park part.

Ryan dislikes birds. A lot. However, the rest of us like them, he's 8 and needs to suck it up. He pouted in the Lory feeding experience because they were "creepy and their eyes were red." Natalie and Justin loved it. So they win. (Note: I was showing him these pictures yesterday and turned to him and squawked as loud as I could. He hates me.)

So let's get this straight, scared of a tiny bird, not scared of feeding lettuce to a HUGE giraffe.

We moved on to the petting zoo where here we fed goats. Feeding had to be done through the fence (nobody wants a goat knocking their kid over just to get some lettuce), but you could also get in and pet them. I had walked in the fence with Ryan while JakeRyan stayed out with the little kids. As soon as Justin stepped in, he got some sand in his Croc mayday mayday and kicked it several feet away. So yes, I watched my kid walk with one shoe through a petting zoo. And no matter how good a job they did cleaning it up, there is still no denying what gets dropped and dribbled there all day long. Like a super-hero, I hoisted him up, passed him over the fence to his dad who then promptly passed him back when I ran around to do a hearty foot-washing. 

When alas I was exhausted, JakeRyan took them into the Safari Maze, which was simply a maze of ficus hedges with one way in and out as far... as I could tell. Foreshadowing. I sat on a rock right outside that entrance/exit. The Safari Maze was right near the Toddler Train. Foreshadowing. 

For those of you not familiar with ficus hedges...they tend to get a little sparse at certain times of the year, like March. 

"Whose child is this???" Called the voice of the attendant of the toddler train.  I couldn't believe the shocking resemblance to Justin that this kid had. I'm guessing his negligent father let him run amok in the maze without noticing a 3-year-old shimmy his way through the hedges, get in line and jump on the Toddler Train by himself. And fasten the seat belt. Doesn't that kid look just like Justin? I saw it in my peripheral vision. Although the Shrub Shimmy Incident wasn't on MY watch, I was the one who did the walk of shame over to the ride to supervise. And incidentally, aren't those other kids REALLY BIG TODDLERS? 

So, the lesson learned: Bring a stoller to Disney in a few weeks. 

Here are a few more photos. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Blades of Glory" Edition

A hundred bucks if you can guess where I went yesterday. I know that one person will guess correctly so I'll take the offer back before anyone can speak.

I went ice skating. I very "Motherly" of me.

Don't shut down this blog post until you scroll down to see my triple lutz. 

It's Spring Break, I took a vacation day I went with Ry-guy with a few of his friends and their moms. Sadly, my kid only inherited my "whining gene" and not my "skating gene," (I was quite the shuffler back in the roller-skating days). He very dramatically went out there and took teeny-tiny-baby steps, fell a few times and theatrically faked a few injuries worthy of a traumahawk and an Oscar.

What's he getting at? Sam's mom had let him get one of those ice-skating-helper-bar things. I refused to let Ryan have one. I happen to think these are only appropriate for pre-schoolers.

Evidently "Man Up" isn't a command that children respond to at ice skating rinks very well and $3 later he had his bar. He's paying me back by the way.

Another thing he doesn't have that I do is a pair of gloves. Florida kids don't really need them...until they go ice skating. Note to self for next winter. I let him wear mine.

The other moms didn't want to skate so I tossed my purse and mack-daddy camera (that I still don't know how to use properly) to Sam's mom. She has a real name, it's Gail.

We like Gail. She was amused by my attempts at "figure skating." She even snapped a few blurry pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I was too scared to lift my leg past my knee because I had a 100% no-falling record that I wasn't going to break showing off.

So what's the WTF about this story you ask?

Haven't you noticed that ice skating makes my butt look big? WTF?!?!?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Green Hair and the Kid Who Spit in the Bounce House

It's a well-known fact that I love St. Patrick's Day. No gifts + No real costumes = WIN! 

The kids get their hair sprayed green and they're happy. 

We have a parade locally, we go every year. This year however, dance class and Ryan's first soccer game threw a wrench in the works. 

Long story short, we got there too late to get a good spot. We got a few square feet of sidewalk behind a dozen people with folding chairs none of which offered to let the kids in front of them until it was too late. Complaining ensued. After the 42nd fire truck we called it a day and went home. You can only listen to bagpipes for so long. Lesson learned. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all.

Sunday held a Pump It Up birthday party. A new experience for the five of us.

We started by watching a brief, yet cheesy safety video where the rules were laid out. "How many riders on the slide at one time?" In unison: "ONE!" So one rider on the slide at a time. Foreshadowing. 

Door opens, 3 Suitcase Kids haul ass up the ladder and go down the slide at one time. Justin emerged with a bloody nose. Ryan's fault.

I have finally reached a point where my kids are a little bit bigger so they don't need constant supervision at a place like this. Luckily I was giving 1/3 of my attention to Ryan right at the point where I watched him actually spit in the bounce house. I saw it with my own two disbelieving eyes. I dragged his ass out and walked over to my purse where I handed him a reusable grocery bag and made him get back in and clean it up. No, I didn't have any tissues. Nasty little heathen. 

But perhaps the high point of the day was watching my husband JakeRyan tell his old buddy Ian a story that according to him I "didn't want to hear." So instead of partaking in the conversation I stood back and snapped pictures. 

Pretty animated. He loves Ian more than me. 

And you know what we did this weekend. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "Clearing Out the Baby Stuff Sucks" Edition

We're having some work done on the house so naturally my husband JakeRyan is in super-duper annoying organizer mode. And like the heartless ass-hat he is during these jags, he once again pleaded with his hoarder wife to donate the 15 baby blankets we had collecting dust in Natalie's closet. Jerk.

"I just can't bear parting with these," I said. "Somebody spent a lot of time knitting them."

"Who?" he replied. Dead silence... 

"I don't remember. I think Mrs. O'Riordan, but that's not the point." So the blankets got donated.

Ryan wanted to see what was in his baby box so we spent a few minutes sifting through hospital bracelets, first locks of hair, his first blankie, stuff he made in preschool and a teeny tiny pacifier. His box was chock-full. First kid.

Natalie's box had a little less, but mostly the same stuff, a little bikini and a old crusty hot pink pacifier.

Of course, being #3, Justin's box was nearly empty. It was pitiful. We put some stuff in. I hope it was his.

After an hour of this I was feeling uncharacteristically sentimental. Packing up baby stuff is HARD when you know there are no more kids for you. Hooray! So in an unprecedented move, I got up and walked into the other room, hugged my husband and made a little sound like a whining puppy. I also may have also jutted my lip out all sad-like. Not that he saw me because my head was buried in his big hairy chest. He had a shirt on, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to harp on his Sasquatch-ishness. 

"What's wrong with YOU?" he asked.

"Wah, I'm sad that we're never going to have any more babies."

"Well if you turn around now you can at least see your 5-year-old daughter sucking on a pacifier."

And yes, it squashed my baby fever really quick. That thing has been sitting in a baby box for over 3 years. Gross!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Loss of My Size 0 Butt...And My Dignity. Thanks Kids!

Ah, 17-year-old Ali. You sweet naive idiot.

The photo here was taken in my BFF Meredith's room just prior to Grad Nite at Disney. I know, you love my did I. It was size 0. I bought it at a store called "Fancy Teen." This may come as a surprise, but I no longer wear a 0 and Fancy Teen went out of business. 

I remember getting my photos back from Walgreens (when we used to actually PRINT them) and asking myself "What the hell are you doing? You look like a moron who has to poop."

But on to my point: 17-year-old Ali had dreams. Aspirations. Actually, she didn't, she just thought she was going to be rich and not have to work very hard for it. "Corporate Journalism" sounded like a prestigious major for one semester.

Soon Ali realized that she wasn't that smart after all (that 2.5 high school GPA wasn't doing her any favors and her 5 foot 4 stature eliminated the idea of being a super model) and that she was probably going to settle for being a normal person dammit.

Ali assumed she was going to have kids, but didn't know that kids are not simply cute little mini-me's, but in fact they are unsuspecting little germ magnets capable of eliciting fear from even the most collected woman on earth. Picky little chicken nugget eaters with super-human eyesight so they can tell you that you have hair growing on your face. Little late night room-dropper-inners who will wake you up at 3 a.m. because you "forgot to give him his lovin'." OK, that was actually quite adorable. 

Yet if all else failed, 17-year-old Ali's life was at least going to be dignified. Dignified I say!!!

HA! Today's Flabby Ali is here to testify that when you have kids and a family, dignity goes out the window.

I am a shell of my former self. The Voldemort of motherhood if you will. A baby took all my power and it's been a real pain in the ever-expanding rump to regain it.

Here are just a few things that Flabby Voldemort Ali has uttered in the last week that would have completely appalled  17-year-old Ali :

  • "Who tied up the toilet paper?"
  • "Stop singing into the shop vac, it's filthy."
  • "You know you just wiped your face with the sponge your dad just cleaned the sink with?"  
  • "Sorry about the ground beef."
  • "Get Mike Wazowski out of your mouth."
  • "Well you gotta chop it off. The bus is gonna be here." - yes, bathroom talk. 
  • "Ahhh! Don't poke me with that pickle!" - No, this wasn't my husband, this was Justin and it was in fact a real pickle. Get your mind out of the gutter. 
  • "No, I'm the mother of a kid with a smelly poop hand."
  • "Why are the girls from Good Luck Charlie on Shake It Up?"
  • "I'll give you a piece of paper when you tell me why you're not wearing underwear."
I haven't gotten through to the last Harry Potter book yet, another ugly side effect of having kids. But I have a pretty good idea what's going to happen to Voldemort. And yeah, most days I feel like that's the direction I'm headed too. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "What the Ef...ron" Edition

Dear Incompetent Person Who Chooses What Books the Library Stocks:

I have a complaint. I'll get to it in a minute.

If you watch your surveillance videos from last Friday evening, that boy in the children's section, laying on the floor of the biography aisle sobbing while his mother shouted "How about Rembrandt? What about Sacajawea? But you love Harriet Tubman!" - that's my son Ryan.

He has a school project to read a biography and do a report on a famous person. Since we refused to let him do yet another report on Walt Disney (holy overkill), we let him choose the next best thing: Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, Sesame Street and pretty much every other non-creepy puppet.

So naturally, I was shocked when your online catalog said that there was ONE children's biography on Jim Henson in the entire county. Shameful. Our branch didn't even have a copy. I requested it, it wouldn't get to us in time. We're screwed. Thanks a lot.

Last Friday I went to the library with my son (whose heart was reeeaaallly set on Jim) to pick out another person. For 30 minutes I went through your shelves with my head cocked to the right, reading names in alphabetical order tossing out option after option. I got through A, but by the time I was at David Beckham ("You should write about him, he's got a hot wife.") he was full-on crying. And for the record, he's not a cry baby, EVER.

Personally, I made it through to letter E before I completely lost my shit. In between Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein biographies there sat the adorable Zac Efron. And not only one bio on Zac...but 5 different Zac Efron bios.
For those of you who lost count:
- 0 biographies on Jim Henson, the guy who created the multi-billion dollar Muppet empire in our library.
- 5 biographies on Zac Efron, the kid from High School Musical...and some other things. Zac, if you're reading this, you're on my "list." Call me.

I got home and went back to your online catalog. Just so you're have over 100 copies of books about Zac Efron in your county library system. You know how many are currently checked out? ONE!

You have 13 copies of books about Jim Henson. TWO are checked out.

Now I'm no math whiz...

You also have biographies on nearly every American Idol contestant (Elliot Yamin? REALLY?), but my personal favorite was Jamie Lynn Spears who is famous for being Britney Spears' knocked-up teenage sister. WTF?!?!?

If this is a representation of where you think the interests of our kids are, I'm scared.

And in case you were wondering, he went with Alexander Graham Bell, a person who invented something almost as important as the Muppets.