Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Scream, You Scream. We All Scream When Mom Makes Us Eat Zucchini

Last Monday, on my husband JakeRyan's birthday (that is important) I posted a question to this blog's Facebook page:

3 kids served zucchini. 3 kids told that if they eat it we can go for ice cream. 1 kid ate zucchini. Solve the argument: Am I allowed to just take the zucchini eater and leave the others home?

Let me put this in perspective (because I'm obviously a zucchini expert as I proved here). I cut the zucchini in slices and cut those in half. I gave each child three measly pieces of vegetable. So I'm talkin' 1 1/2 whole rings of zucchini. Is that a lot to ask? Let me answer that: NO!

My intelligent child finally shoved all three pieces in his mouth at one time, chewed them up and swallowed them as if I had fed him excrement. Hey, I didn't say anyone had to like them. Just eat them.

And at the opposite side of the table, my two dumb children pitched a fit and cried after they were given numerous opportunities to suck it up and eat the damn zucchini, thus ruining their father's birthday dinner.

Then, just like Claire Huxtable my parenting role model would do, I took my plight to Facebook.

I got 30 replies which is no surprise because my blog readers obviously feel bad for me because I'm completely inept when it comes to raising my children. To paraphrase, most of them said "Heck yeah, Ali. You're such a wise mother. You should totally take your good child to get ice cream while those ungrateful little heathens sit at home dying of starvation." Paraphrasing. But yes, most people said it's a good lesson. My favorite reply was this one:

Brilliance - plain and simple. That "Like"? Totally from me. 

There was a great deal of ceremony in preparing Ryan for the trip. "OK, Ryan. Since you were the ONLY kid to eat his zucchini, YOU are going to get yummy, yummy ice cream." An uproar of epic proportions ensued. Two children turned red and there might have been a flying fork. 

But he likes to do because he's a monster...JakeRyan reminded me that it was in fact HIS birthday and he wasn't going to be left at home with crying children on his birthday. Shit. Natalie shoved her zucchini in her mouth and got in the minivan. Notice I didn't say she actually chewed it. I'm sure she spit it out when we got in the parking lot. And here's the iPhone evidence of how the night went. 

I hate birthdays. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Banana Split Party for A Different Ryan

It's been a rough week around here. Just rough. With the exception of my perfect child, Ryan, the kids have been a major pain in the butt. Attitudey daughter, defiant preschooler, the whole bit. 

And when my kids give me grief, I become a bit of a monster. I'm a mean Mommy. 

Yesterday I came across the story of another Ryan. A little monkey who doesn't have very long to live and it broke my heart. Read about him here. And watch this. And check out this Facebook page. When you see this child's face you will melt. 

Rather than sending little Ryan cards and stuffed animals, his very strong mom said this:  "Go out and create a memory with your kid. Throw a banana split on the table for dinner. Wouldn't you remember having banana splits for dinner one night when you were a kid?"

So in honor of Ryan's mom Diane that's exactly what I did. I know that Diane would give anything in the world to have the week I'm having with HER Ryan someday. But sadly she's not going to get the chance. Who am I to overlook such a wonderful gift?

She was right. The kids totally freaked out. Check out their faces when they saw what I made for dinner. Heck, I didn't even make Natalie eat the much-hated banana. Totally worth it!

And I hope you all succumb to peer pressure and sugar your kids up in Ryan's name.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let Me Ass You a Question

As the cousins sat lined up in the pool, annoyed that they had to stop playing to get their pictures taken, I stood across the way graciously waiting my turn to have them divert their attention to me. I know these children and I also know the probability of having more than 75% of them looking at the camera at the same time is about as likely as me growing a pair of 34DDs as I approach my 37th birthday.

Finally, somebody yelled "make a silly face" to which most of the kids obliged. But not Natalie. It's never 100%.

Later that night Natalie sat on the arm of my chair as I popped the memory card into the computer so I could show her the pictures I took.

As she looked at the group shot, unprompted she offered the following explanation: "I didn't make a funny face because I didn't want to be an ass."

In the spit second it took both of us to digest what word she had used (a semi-bad word completely inappropriate for a child, but acceptable for adults as a not-real curse word when used without the word "hole"), we realized the following:

Natalie realized that she just said a bad word and may have gotten away with it.

I realized that my child just said a bad word...but wait! She understands what an "ass" is and this is good because in the long run I don't want her to make one of herself, especially in photos, right?  Praise the Lord! My daughter knows the definition of "ass"! As well she should living in the same house as her father. 

And to sum it up:

But rather than stating the obvious reason as to WHY I don't want her to be an ass I'll tell a little story.

A few years ago when Facebook was all the rage, we knew several young women having what we'll call "a lot of fun." Let's just say they were well-hydrated and armed with a camera.

Every day my prudish 30-something-mother-of-3 self would get on FB and find photos of the previous night's galavanting in my newsfeed. One in particular liked to stick her tongue out. A lot... in more than half of her pictures except for the ones where she was making the duck face. Don't know what Duck Face is? Click here. She might have had her tongue out in the one where she was peeing in a sink and in the several when she looked like she was about to kiss her girlfriends.

And to be honest, I really worried what other people thought about her because I like her so much.

As an old person, I just couldn't figure this out. I painstakingly judged my own photos to make sure I didn't look like a moron before I posted them. I totally care what people think of me. Why was this concept hard the young'uns? Then it occurred to me that most likely nobody ever said anything to them. Perhaps: "Maybe you should see a doctor about that tongue problem." Or "Do you eat a lot of spicy foods or something?" "DO YOU REALIZE YOU LOOK LIKE AN ASS?"

I completely feared that some day my own child would do the same. 

So that, my friends, is why I allowed Natalie to get away with saying "ass." Isn't that the most amazing end to a blog post ever. Nothing flashy. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Throw Your Kids in the Air...

I'm trying a new thing on my blog. It's called "Posting Absolute Crap and Seeing How Many People Continue to Visit." So if you're here, THANK YOU.

Sadly, as ballsy as this little blog is, it hasn't been able to beat out JakeRyan's bronchitis (rendering me a single mom for a week), a business trip (yes, I'm still milking that one) and most importantly a visit from out-of-town relatives.

Last weekend, my brother, sister-in-law and niece visited from Chicago for the baby's baptism. JakeRyan, the World's Worst Catholic was the godfather. But not the real godfather since he doesn't actually go to church. He was the stand-in. A witness?

So I'll spare you baptism pictures and shower you with fun action shots from Sunday in the pool with Uncle Jeff & PopPop. We got through an afternoon with nobody slamming their head on the side of the pool! Not necessarily a huge accomplishment, but something that will happen one of these days.

From now on (translation: today) pictures of kids aren't cool unless they are being hurtled in the air.

And can't leave out a cute picture of the baby:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

WTF Wednesday - The "No Longer Cool as a Cucumber" Edition

I know how much you love blog posts with video. Stick with me...or scroll down real fast.  

I began writing this blog over a year ago at a time when I thought the spontaneity of my life was interesting and all of the whacky goings-on in the Suitcase House were worthy of sharing. I wanted other people to see a real person, who is living through her "How the hell did I get here?" years and realize it wasn't all that bad. Hmmm.

I used to be (sorta) cool. I occasionally went out to dinner. I'd say my clothes were at least above average on the style bell curve. I had witty things to say. I could actually hold an interesting conversation that didn't include my sales pitch on how you REALLY can't taste the spinach in a green smoothie or recipes I've tried in my crock pot.

But tonight, I had what Oprah would call an ah-ha moment: The former Ali is gone. She might be hiding in the belly roll that flops over my shorts. This new Ali is lame and boring.

This evening, I left the kids with their sick father to go to the grocery store for bread and milk. I feel compelled to say "a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter" here. Children of the 80's! Who's with me? Sesame Street in the HOUSE! 

So the grocery store... I'm wearing my hair in my regular pony tail, no makeup other than a half assed swipe of lipstick I put on in the parking lot. I had my glasses on because I'm too scared to wear my contacts because we've been infested with pinkeye this week. YES, my life is that awesome. My get-up was topped off with a green tank top with my bra straps showing and a pair of khaki shorts I bought at my favorite boutique, Costco.

And here, my friends, is where I hit an all time low. I am a dork. No getting around it. Why I felt compelled to embark on this conversation and impart my infinite wisdom on a disinterested, yet polite participant, I do not know.

But rather than telling you what happened, I had Ryan recreate it with me for your viewing pleasure. Let me set the scene: Publix at 8:00 p.m. Ali enters the express lane with truly less than 10 items (a departure from the 12 I usually try to sneak through). Check out boy looks like the chubby kid from Two and a Half Men.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Come Hell or High Fever, The Show Must Go On!

While the drama on the outskirts of the Suitcase House continued, I left for a three-day business trip to Texas right as the kids began running high fevers and coming down with strep. So although I work from home and only travel a few times a year, they are so skilled in scheduling their illnesses at the worst possible times, they were successful in keeping their dad out of work for a whole week!

When I got home, the #1 priority (other than making sure our kids didn't perish or suffer brain damage) was getting Natalie to her dance recital on Saturday afternoon. She woke up with a 103 fever and gagged up two doses of her yucky antibiotic that morning.

Yes, I am THAT mom. The poor kid had been to dance class nearly every Saturday since January. She'd worked hard. And not only did I have $75 worth of recital tickets in hand (that I had already decided JakeRyan would be scalping if we didn't go), but I had another $100 invested in her dance costume. And unlike the boys (who were wieners the entire week), she kept saying she was OK and didn't feel that bad at all. We were touch-and-go for a while, but 90 minutes before the show started we decided to pull the trigger and take her. We gave her the yummy purple Tylenol and hoped for the best. The show must go on.

We piled her half-sick fan club into the minivan and headed across town. Pop Pop stopped for flowers on the way. And the boys...they were exactly as you'd imagine two brothers would be when forced to go to their sister's dance recital while they were sick. Ryan took to counting down how many numbers we had to endure before Natalie was on. "Only 5 more to go!...Only 4 more to go!" Justin was just totally restless and annoying until in a moment of silence I heard snoring.

And that, my friends, is how you get a three-year-old to nap.