Sunday, August 30, 2009

Enger Park

Kira said, "It looks like a good day for a picnic!" and she was right, so I made them do chores, (using the picnic as leverage) and then we went to Subway and got food and then went to Enger Park.

It was a beautiful day! We walked around the gardens and looked at the beautiful flowers and weird people, and then we headed to the tower.

We like this tower because it looks like a dungeon. I don't know why, since a tower is really the opposite of a dungeon, but it does. Maybe it's the bars on the windows. There are bars on the windows of the lowest levels, but no bars on the windows at the higher levels. Why would that be? Weird.

We climbed the tower and looked at the view for a while.

Then I came down because it was cold up there. This pic is of the kids way at the top. You can't really tell it's them and if I knew the picture would have been this unclear, I would have just taken a picture of the kid who was posing for me during the ten minutes I was waiting for Sam and Kira to LOOK DOWN AT ME and said it was them.

Then we went to see the big Japanese bell that was given to Duluth from our sister city in Japan. I wonder what we gave them?

Sam tried to get Kira to stick her head in the bell while he rang it. She didn't do it. There may be hope for her yet!

Then we walked back through the gardens. It was so nice! Doesn't he look happy?

Kira posed like this and insisted I take a picture.

This was what they call a "teachable moment" for Sam. In nature, it's never a good idea to stick your face into a dark hole. This was seconds before a raccoon mauled him. Just kidding. Nothing happened. Teachable moment wasted.

Holy Crap

I've been watching YouTube all day and you are not going to believe what I have learned. It's hard for me to say, because it's such bad news, so I'll just come out with it. You better sit down.

The world is going to end on December 21, 2012.

You have three years. That's it.

I watched a show that *scientifically* proves it. First of all, Nostradamus predicted it. Enough said, am I right? But wait, there's more evidence than that. The Mayan calendar, which was a way way more accurate calendar than the one we use now (why don't we just use the Mayan calendar?) ends on December 21, 2012. Just ends. Also an old Roman oracle said that the world was going to end, and she was right about a lot of other stuff. She huffed cave gas that gave her special powers, so it's got to be true.

Why is the world going to end? Lots of reasons, listed on this website, but mostly because the Milky Way's black hole, the sun and the earth are all going to line up and you know what that means! If you don't know, I'm not gonna tell you! Just know this, it's B A D. I personally think it will be number 15, Time Travel Error. Someone from the future ventures into our past and causes a conflict in the space-time continuum. You know, like in Back To The Future when Michael J. Fox went back in time and almost caused his parents not to hook up, and then had to make sure that his parents hooked up (gross) or else he would disappear, limb by limb. Exactly like that.

So, my friends, what are you going to do to make the last three years of your life the most awesome three years ever? Mitch and I are going to get lots of credit cards and go completely nuts. Mama's getting a karaoke machine!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Couch Anchor

What a waste of a day. I had big plans; get up early, exercise, do some life-improving, be a kick-ass mother. It did not happen that way. The alarm went off and I shut it off and went back to sleep. I got up and did NOT exercise. I just couldn't make myself do it. Then I watched a show on YouTube about how the palm islands in the UAE were made. Super interesting, but what a waste of energy and resources. I'd love to go there and see it some day, but also, in my lifetime I bet I will see news footage of some storm that totally wipes them out.

After my YouTube watching, I took a shower. Not because I'm particularly dirty, but because my house is about 50 degrees and my feet were dead and needed some hot water to encourage circulation. (Yeah, I know exercise does the same thing! Keep it to yourself!) Then, in order to at least say that I did something productive, I threw a roast in the oven. It smells heavenly.

Then, being that I'm now interested in Arabia, I started to watch the Lawrence of Arabia video (Which, if said in a nasal Minnesota accent is called Loorince of Araybia. [come on, more nasal than that!]) that I've had for years but have never really watched. It was good until the kids came in and said, "What are you watching, Star Wars?" I said, "Why would you think it was Star Wars?" and Sam said, "Because it's really sandy and everyone is wearing girl-robes." Oh. Of course. So I only watched the first half.

Now I'm trying to think of something productive I can do. Mow the lawn? Nah, too cold out. Make my bed? Why would I make my bed now, that's a stupid idea! Maybe I'll read. Meh. Maybe I'll just sit on this couch and stare.

Let's see what else is on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kira caught another bird

Kira caught a chickadee in the yard today.

How is she doing this? When I asked her she said, "I'm going for the stupid birds with the small heads because they always come back." She caught two hummingbirds yesterday. She said one was hovering, and the other she sort of clapped. Now that she knows she can do this, she keeps doing it, and she's getting better.

What do I do now?

I've been feeding the poor birds all summer and there are tons and I like them and don't want them to get hurt, but I also don't want Kira in the house. I told the wonderful internet my problem and I came across a solution:

The Kittywalk Play Enclosure. Perfect solution! Thank you internet! Here's what the website says the benefits are:

*Cat (or Kira) can relax in the fresh air
*Eat grass
*Chase bugs
*Watch birds
*Enjoy the sunshine

The birds will be so happy!

I've got the dizzies

I am having another minor bout of vertigo. I had it last year and it was major. I could hardly stand up and I was nauseous and throwing up. I went to the doctor and she gave me anti-nausea pills and a motion sickness patch. They made me fall instantaneously asleep which was sweet relief unless of course I had to drive anywhere. She also told me that the cause of it was particles of stuff that glom on to the free-flowing cilia in the inner ear and then when they can't free flow because of the crud, they send messages to your brain that say, "THROW UP! NOW! DO IT! THROW UP!" It lasted for about 4 days, so I stumbled around and forced myself to stay awake and I got through it, but it was misery. (Actually, day 1 was kind of fun before the nausea hit. Like going to the fair.)

The doctor also told me that physical therapy has proven effective. The therapy is sitting on your bed and throwing yourself from side to side as fast as you can, and throwing yourself backwards as hard as you can, in order to free the cruddy stuff sticking to your cilia. This time the vertigo isn't so bad, I think because as soon as I felt the first waves of dizziness last night in bed, I sat up and threw myself backwards about ten times. Mitch didn't know what the hell was going on, but whatev, I think it works. This morning I sneaked out to the trampoline in order to jump the crud free, but Kira spotted me and insisted on jumping with me. I didn't want to lose my front teeth on her head, and then be toothless as well as dizzy, so I declined her generous offer of trying out her trick for "making me bounce super high."

Later Mitch is going to help me by pushing me around on the bed really hard. (Don't be a perv! It's physical therapy!) He can push me a lot harder than I can throw myself so I think it's more effective. I bet abused wives never get vertigo. Silver lining! (I already regret writing that. I'm sorry.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They call me Mother Nature

Look at my garden! I actually grew stuff! And I can eat it! I'm stunned with my productivity.

Just look at this beautiful carrot. Bugs Bunny would be happy to have that, don't you think?

Here's a teensy tiny cucumber.

Can you spot the pea? How about the tomato?

In other food-growing-in-the-wild news, Mitch found a berry in the woods the other day, and being the responsible outdoorsman that he is, he looked it up before he ate it. It was called a Watermelon berry. Sounds delicious doesn't it? He thought so. He ate it. After he ate it he experienced what he described as a "burning colon sensation" and he thinks they should be renamed "Eat-me-nots."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer vacation needs to be over now

Sam just ran through the living room wearing a helmet, (???) laughing hysterically, and Kira came chasing him shortly after, also laughing hysterically and yelled out, "I'm gonna break your skinny neck!" This is how they act when the are "getting along."

This morning Kira caught a hummingbird. Out of the air. She brought it in to show me and get a picture, and then as she was taking it back outside to let it go she said to Sam, "Let's see if we can make it suck on some flowers!" I'm sure that hummingbird can't wait for school to start either.

(I made sure they let it go without force feeding it flower juice)

"Hey Lady, when does school start again?"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sam's Dilemma


School is starting soon. Here's is Sam's 7th grade dilemma: Shave his perv mustache and sparse peach-fuzz beard off before school starts and risk being the only "baby smooth" kid in school, or leave the hair and be the only swarthy one.

I say nobody will notice either way.

I can't stop laughing at this

Catch Fail

Read the Label!

I woke up with a headache this morning so I went to take some painkillers and guess what I almost took? My dog's worm pills. The bottles are the same size and shape and were right next to each other in the cupboard. I'm so glad I figured it out in time, for the following reasons:

1. I don't think worm pills get rid of headaches.

2. They were expensive and then I'd have to go all the way to Wisconsin and buy more worm pills.

3. I might actually have a tapeworm who has been living a quiet existence, in perfect balance with me, and those pills might have dealt it the death blow and then I'd see that a person can't really eat as many calories as I eat (without a tapeworm) and not gain unbelievable amounts of weight.

4. I'd have to worry about how a dead, morbidly obese tapeworm gets expelled from its host.

Thankfully, I took the tylenol, so Tapey and I are healthy, happy and soon to be headache free!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wizard of Oz

The kids and I read The Wizard of Oz this summer. They have never seen the movie and I thought it would be nice to read the book before they saw it. We finished the book last night and watched the movie tonite. It was so great to see it again! I don't think I've seen it since I was a kid so it felt sort of nostalgic to see it now. The kids thought it was good, they said, but while they were watching it I wrote down some of the things they said and I don't know if they are going to remember it as being all that good. Here's some of the things they said:

"Oh my god, is this a musical?"

"That scarecrow scares the crap out of me."

"That wasn't in the book." (x's 50)

"Another song?" (x's 10)

"If it was me, I'd make the tin man into a boat."

"How old is this movie?"

"Do you think all the people in this movie are dead now? I bet they are."

"I'm sure the dog who played Toto is dead!"

"The lion is creeping me out."

"Well, crying sure solves a lot of problems in this movie."

"Another song is coming. I can tell."

After the scarecrow comment, I thought I should start writing them down. I'm glad I did.

I remember being really scared of the flying monkeys when I was a kid, and also feeling horrified when the witch told Dorothy that when all the sand in the hour glass fell, she was dead. That was scary back then, but this is what is going to give me nightmares tonite.

The Lollypop Guild. Are these supposed to be adult munchkins? Because they are not adults. They are creepy, creepy children, in skin wigs and torn, disturbingly high waisted pants, talking out of the sides of their mouths. The one on the left is the worst. What's wrong with that kid?!

Worm Pills and World Domination

When Kira was four she declared to us once while we were in Superior, that she is the boss of all of Wisconsin. She was four, it was funny, so we told her okay, she was the boss of all of Wisconsin. Ever since then she gets belligerent and bossy whenever we go to Wisconsin. She usually tells us we have to go have ice cream at Culvers (okay with me!) and that we have to go to Dan's Feed Bin, a farm store that sometimes has big tubs of live baby ducks.

One time Sam got jealous of her power and said he wanted to be the boss of somewhere so we told him he was the boss of West Duluth. He was happy with that because we go to West Duluth about as much as we go to Superior. Pretty soon he figured out that West Duluth is just a town, and Wisconsin is a whole state, and he said he wanted to be the boss of a whole state, so we gave him Florida. Then Kira complained that he got to be the boss of two places so we gave her France.

Today we went over to Superior because I had to get my grotesque pig of a dog worm pills at Dan's Feed Bin. (Turns out Wisconsin is pretty lax when it comes to making what is usually prescription dog medication, OTC medication.) Normally I wouldn't say my dog is a grotesque pig, but why, WHY does she have to eat rabbit turds? Aren't border collies supposed to be smart? There are huge amounts of rabbit droppings under the pine trees around our house and she gorges herself.

As we were crossing the bridge and Kira was being obnoxious about being the boss of Wisconsin, Sam, who is twelve years old and has been the boss of Florida and West Duluth for at least 4 years, finally said, "Hey.... I don't really think it's fair that Kira gets to be the boss of the state we live right next to, and I get Florida. We've never been to Florida. Are we ever going to go to Florida? (no) And why does she get a state and a country, and I only get a portion of a town, and a state we never go to?" By this time we were in Wisconsin so Kira ordered him to shut UP, and me to go to Culvers. Sam didn't give it up though, so to make a long, ridiculous story short, he is now the boss of Florida, both of the Dakotas, West Duluth, and also a few blocks east of West Duluth. I think this is their plot to take over the world.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This weather makes me want to kill someone

Hi all! I'm feeling homicidal today! Yay for me! It's raining just enough that I can't (in good conscience) tell the kids to GO OUTSIDE! like I did yesterday when it was also pouring rain. I made them put on their rain gear and then I barricaded the door for about a half hour. Sam stayed out longer and when he came in he was soaked. He said it would rain down his neck-hole whenever he lifted his head. So the poor boy had to play in the pouring rain all the while looking down to protect the vulnerable neck-hole. It's misery!

I just want to sit outside and start a fire and read a book, or even weed my garden, and the lawn is in need of a good mowing. But can I do any of those things? NOOOOO. Because it's raining NONSTOP again today. And it's cold. My feet are like ice blocks.

To keep myself from committing a felony and breaking a commandment, I am going to keep myself busy this afternoon by cooking. Oh my god, I'm looking forward to cooking. This is a first. Actually, I'm not looking forward to it. It's just that the other options for things to do while imprisoned inside the house are less pleasant than cooking (pay bills, track down that weird smell in the basement, re-teach Kira to read after her two month reading strike). I should have stopped at a liquor store while I was out grocery shopping. Oh, wait a minute! I have a full bottle of pineapple rum in the freezer. I can do shots of that while I make bran muffins and spare ribs to keep my mind off the fact that I'm touching raw calf ribcage (gross), and that I have bills to pay, smells to track down and a child to remind how to read.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What to write about today.....

Kira and I are sitting here on the couch, while it is going the 5th consecutive hour of rain and cold, and we are trying to think of today's topic for the blog. Here are her suggestions:

1. How annoying Sam is

2. How mean Sam is

3. How we made blueberry muffins

4. How selfish Sam is

5. How Sam steals people's wool socks and hides them in his drawer when other people have really cold feet and could use a pair of wool socks.

So, are you seeing a theme here? What a fun day we have been having!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I think Sha Sha is putting poison in their Long Island Teas

Not that they weren't drinkable. They were. I just had horrid, wake-up-sweating nightmares the whole night that I drank them. Let me back up a little bit. It was the annual girls, (I mean "girls") camping trip weekend. We go to Rainy Lake and camp (I mean "camp") and we usually spend some time at Sha Sha Resort. Sha Sha has new owners and the girls and I think they might be using some kind of cheap, pschydelic alcohol because I wasn't the only one who had nightmares.

I dreamt that there was a huge population surge in these vicious turtle/lobster animals. They were about as big as snapping turtles and they had huge lobster claws and they could shoot their incredibly long arms out and grab things with their claws or wrap their arms around things. They would chase people, and if they got really pissed off they would stand on their hind legs and flare their shell out and expose their disgusting little alien bodies, while stalking you and hissing. It haunts me.The camping weekend is a lot different now than when the tradition started. We used to use tents and pack tons of coolers full of alcohol, and maybe one little playmate cooler with hot dogs, and a watermelon (watermelon with a bottle of everclear in it). Now we stay at a gorgeous cabin that has air conditioning, toilets, a bedroom for each of us, a sauna and there is tons of wonderful food. We used to talk about .... god, I don't even remember what, but there were lots of dares. Now we talk about kids and husbands and what vitamins we take and we go to bed before midnight.

It was super fun and I can't wait until next year, but no more Long Island Teas, please.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I think Sam is a Yeti

We've had kind of a cool summer and I, for one, have really been wanting some warm days. Well, we got some. It has been in the upper 80's this week. Heaven! Except I've noticed my poor son wilts when it gets over 70 degrees. He gets listless, tired, sweaty and burning hot to the touch as soon as it gets warm enough for me to take off my slippers. I think his blood must be as thick as syrup (because, yes, that IS the medical explanation for not being able to tolerate heat; thick blood. Look it up!) He stays inside from about 10 in the morning until 7:00 at night. He hunkers in the basement, or lies on his bed and reads. At 7:00 (after Knight Rider) he goes outside for what he calls his "prime time," and stays out until the bugs drive him inside at about 9:00. Then in the morning he gets up early and spends a few hours outside until the heat (75 degrees) drives him into the house to pant the day away. He can't wait for winter. Makes me wonder if he's really my son.

Sam's dream home

Meet my daughter, Colonel Klink

Kira told me that if she ever has to get glasses, she doesn't want glasses, she wants "one of those thingies that you hold with your eyebrow and your cheek" (monocle.) I told her that usually it's both eyes that need correction, and she said, "Yeah, so I'll get two of them." I tested her out with some quarters to see if she could hold monocles in. She can. Can you imagine how many times she'd come home from school and say, "I lost another monocle today," or "My monocle broke when I was running around the playground (like a maniac) and so-and-so stepped on the pieces and had to go to the doctor because she had glass embedded in her foot. Her mom wants you to call her," and then I'd say "Dammit Kira! That's the 5th monocle this month! I'm not made of monocles you know! Now go to your room!"

No, I think if, heaven forbid, she ever needs glasses, I'll get her prescription goggles. They seem pretty durable. I had to get glasses in second grade because I'm SO nearsighted. I thought for sure my mom would make me get cat-eye glasses and I'd look like a total dork. But she didn't make me get the cat eyes. I got to pick what kind I wanted so I got some huge ones with sun-darkening lenses. I didn't look like a dork at all.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My computer is a needy drama queen

I was sitting here, minding my own business, watching LOLcats videos on Youtube, and my computer made a tiny snapping noise, and then went black. I picked it up to see what was wrong and it was hot. Really hot. Then I got to thinking, "Oh my god, ...what if my COMPUTER IS BROKEN!" Calm down, there are other computers, I told myself, and if all else fails, I have my iPod that can browse the web. (I love you iPod) Then I started thinking about all the information I have accumulated on this computer over the last few years. TONS of stuff. Pictures, music, videos of the kids that can never be replaced. Like the time I told them they wouldn't get lunch unless they danced and sang the chicken noodle soup song in front of the camera. Oh, wait a minute, I have that on facebook. And I have most of my really good pictures on my iPod. And the good kid stories are on this blog, and on the main computer in Mitch's office. Then I thought, so what if the stupid computer wants to break! Go ahead! I don't need it anyway! And I stomped downstairs to stem the panic with a little TV.

After a cooling off period, I came back upstairs. The computer was cooled off. I was cooled off. I turned it on and it worked. No problems. Just a screen that said, "The system shut down because it got too hot because it was sitting on the couch and couldn't vent properly, and if you really cared about it at all, you would take better care of it, like you take care of the PRECIOUS IPOD that you love soooooo much. And would it kill you to take it places every once in a while? The Coffee Cabin? The library? You know, like the old days. All it ever gets to do is sit around here and stare at the same four walls. And since we're finally having this chat, what is with all the Facebooking? Get a life! And clean the system's damn screen. How is it suppose to see anything with all this filth on it!? You better start treating the system better or the system will show you, and show you good! The system is going to bed!"

I said, "Whatev," got a disc and backed up all the important stuff. Then I tried to go on Facebook, and what do you know, it isn't working! The "server" is down. Yeah, right, the server is down, I can get Facebook on my iPod! Isn't it the same server?

I have never had a fight with a computer before, but I can tell this is going to get worse before it gets better.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Movie Reviews

Last week, while the kids were gone, I rented a bunch of movies. Nothing all that great, but entertaining, I guess. I'd like to talk about a few today, and if you liked these movies, let me just say right away, I'm sorry for making such fun of them. I'm not making fun of you. (even if you have horrible taste in movies)

Gran Torino
I heard this movie was really good and a "must see." I kind of like Clint Eastwood but this movie was weird. He's an old crabby bastard living somewhere in the Midwest in a neighborhood that used to be populated with "whitey" but now is decidedly more diverse. The movie starts at his wife's funeral. He killed her with an ax. Chopped her head clean off! And it was an open casket! Gross! Just kidding, he didn't really kill her with an ax, but I don't know how she died. Something expected I suppose. Maybe he killed her with an ax, but that's not really part of the plot. I wasn't really paying that much attention at the beginning. Stop worrying about how she died! That's not the point! Anyway, he's disgusted with his sons and his grandchildren because they are all assholes, because like that old saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

This tree

There is a Hmong family that lives next door and he begrudgingly makes friends with the teenage daughter (that's not at all creepy) and she invites him over for a barbeque and guess what? The old racist bastard likes the Hmong people! And the Hmong like him even though he calls them slants and "slopes." (I never heard that one before. You're never too old to learn new racial slurs!)

The title is not a French name for something important to make you feel ignorant and uni-lingual, (I just made that word up) like I thought it was; it is the name of a car that old bastard Clint has in his garage. It's a 1972 Gran Torino and the kid next door tried to steal it before he got all buddy-buddy with Clint because an Asian gang was trying to recruit him and get him to join their gang. (The kid, not Clint. But hey, that would be a good movie!)

Clint grumbles and talks in a strange "Dirty Harry" voice throughout the entire movie which is very distracting, and then the weirdest thing about the movie (I won't spoil the end in case you want to see it) is that during the credits the music is Clint Eastwood singing in that weird voice and I think it's a love song about the Gran Torino! What!?

Lesson: Gran Torinos are kick-ass and valuable no matter how ugly and old they are, and Asians love when you mispronounce their names and when you call them by racial slurs.

The Dark Knight
I have to admit I haven't seen a batman movie since Michael Keaton was batman and Prince sang the theme song (Vicky Vale, vic vic vic Vicky Vale), and Danny Devito was the Penguin that gave me many-a-nightmare.

I thought Heath Ledger was fantastic, but too scary. Convincing seriel murderers are a little too dark for a comic book movie. The stories he kept telling about how he got the scars on his face made me want to curl into a fetal position and pee my pants.

Other than Heath Ledger the best part of this movie was the funny parts. .... Oh, it's not a comedy, you say? Yes, I think it was. A very very dark comedy. First of all, what is with Batman's crazy growly voice? It was hilarious! I couldn't hear anything he said past about the first four words of any of his sentences because of my uncontrolled laughter. The other funny part was when he said he wanted a new suit because he couldn't turn his head in the suit he's been wearing FOREVER. I've missed 15 or 20 of the batman movies that have been made since Michael Keaton was batman, and that was funny in the first one! You'd think that would be a huge disadvantage for Gothic (Gotham?) City's most important crime-fighter, not being able to turn your head. At all. Bruce Wayne is the richest man in the entire world, and he didn't think of fixing that little glitch 20 years ago? Funny stuff! But now that he has the new suit I will miss watching him move around using only his waist joint.

I also saw Confessions of a Shopaholic and it was horrible. I got it because I read the book and the book was kind of funny. The movie isn't. That's all I will say about it. It was that bad.

Okay, this post is too long already. Gran Torino was the best of the three.
Thanks everyone for responding to my post questions yesterday! I LOVED reading all your answers and so did everyone else who reads the blog. If you still want to respond please do!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What makes you happy?

Okay, I know this blog is total fluff, but sort of in the "mommy blog" genre. I heard a speaker on NPR today and it really has me thinking a lot about being a parent so I'm going to tell you what it was and what it has me thinking. It's parenting-related. Ready! Here goes!

The speaker was Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert and he was speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival earlier this summer about the brain, and how he has taken a scientific approach to studying happiness. He wrote a book called Stumbling on Happiness.

He said that according to our culture, what we need to be happy is marriage, money and children. He decided to test that to see if it was actually true. Turns out that married people are happier than single people, (and wealthier, and healthier. Men especially.) Money matters to an extent. You need to have enough but after a point, it doesn't really matter to happiness that much.

The interesting question is does having children make people happier? He said not really. They followed parents around and rated their happiness during different activities throughout their days. Women were happiest talking with friends and eating. (No kidding, that's what he said!) They were less happy doing housework and grocery shopping, and when they interacted with their children they were about as happy as they are while they are vacuuming. VACUUMING! (I don't know about you, but vacuuming is not that fun, but it does kind of make me happy after it's done. I'm very happy when I empty the canister and see the three pounds of dust bunnies I've vacuumed up.) He said that the least happy times in a marriage are when kids are really small, and the happiest times in a marriage are after the kids leave. I said, "WHAT!" and as if he heard me, he said, "I know, you can't believe it and I'll tell you why."

He said that parents convince themselves that they are completely fulfilled by raising children because it's such a huge investment. He compared it to buying Armani socks. He said if you are going to drop $250 on socks, you are going to convince yourself that they are the best dang socks in the entire world even though you're a total sucker who just paid $250 for socks. Raising children is the same way. It's a huge investment so we fool ourselves into thinking that we love it and it's the best, and we brag it up and we try to convince everyone to do it. We do this to such a degree that we even let it play games with our memories. Like for example, if you're spending the day with your five year old, it's mostly drudgery, but that three seconds when they hugged your leg and said, "I love you so much," made the whole day seem wonderful and happy. You forget about the complaining and boredom and loneliness, and all the other icky parenting stuff (He didn't say "icky") and convince yourself you were as happy all day as you were during those three seconds.

I thought about this and thought about it. My kids just came home today after being gone for a week. I missed them SO MUCH by this morning that I was watching the clock waiting for them to come home. After I saw them and hugged them and talked to them for about a half an hour, we were back to normal. I was saying things like, "Quit picking at your sister!" and "FLUSH THE DAMN TOILET!" And I can pretty much guarantee that if Dr. Gilbert asked my how happy I was when I went into the bathroom and saw a gigantic unflushed turd, I would have said that I wasn't all that happy. Probably comparable to finding out I have a cavity.

I guess parenting is sort of like being a drug addict. You'll put up with a lot of garbage because you know eventually you'll get your next big high. And then you make it last by writing it up on a blog.

So, my friends, what do you think? Does having kids make you happy? If you don't have kids, would you consider yourself happier with kids, or are you pretty darn happy without them? I'm pretty happy. I think I'd be just as happy without kids though. (I know, that's a total taboo thing for a parent to say, but I think it's true. I mean, now that they're here and I've gotten to know them, I'd be pretty sad if they were gone, but if they were never here, I'd be okay.) Do you think marriage makes you happier? I think I have to agree with that one. There's nothing as great as being with someone every day who understands you and thinks your cute and funny even though you're not all that cute anymore, nor all that funny. (I made Mitch laugh last night by making spit bubbles. Not many other people would laugh at that. Except babies.) I can't wait to READ YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! (hint hint!)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dog sweaters, you know you want one

Maisy, freshly brushed....


a BUCKET of fur...

a spinning wheel...


Beautiful Christmas gifts!

I can't actually make sweaters though, so be expecting a blanket, or placemats, or something else that's square.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Things I destroyed or debauched in my week of kid-free destruction and debauchery

1. Getting up early

2. Doing anything in moderation

3. The self esteem of all of my facebook friends who play Typing Maniac.

4. Hygiene

5. TWO huge bags of Stacy's Pita Chips (Stacy, whoever you are, you are a fricking genius)

6. Sensible portions

7. The idea that only "doctors" can successfully cut things off your body. (My new motto - "Dermatologist Shmermatologist")

8. Whatever was left of Mitch's innocence

9. My hair

Come home, kids! I miss you!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 6 without the kids

Does this look like a flesh-eating-bacteria? I am pretty sure this tiny blemish on my pinky is from bacteria and I'm pretty sure it's flesh-eating. It's small, I know, but everything starts small. I think I caught something early and now I don't know if I should go to Urgent Care, or directly to the emergency room. Maybe I should just dig it out myself. Or maybe it's just a blister. I'd feel kind of stupid if the doctor laughed at me and said, "Go home idiot." But I bet people who have lost half their torsos to flesh eating bacteria would encourage me to GO! I think I'll do a little home-exploratory-surgery. While I'm at it, I have this thing on my leg.... I think if I had a blade sharp enough I could take care of it. But you don't have a license to practice medicine, you say? I've watched a LOT of ER and I know what I'm doing! I am going to go look up "medical supply stores" in the yellow pages and see where I can buy a scalpel. Wish me luck!

Day 5 without the kids

Today I sat in a chair on the deck under the pretense of reading a book, promptly fell asleep and stayed that way until my back was crippled, and my mouth was like the desert, indicating to me that I was slack-jawed and snoring.

I haven't made my bed, or done any dishes, or picked anything up. I also have eaten so many pita chips that my stomach hurts, which is an interesting contrast to the excruciating back injury from sleeping in a lawn chair. I may have to be put into traction at least until I digest these damn delicious pita chips.

I need the kids back. What will happen to me when they move out?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kitty fix

This is day 4 without the kids and I'm starting to miss them. The first three days I was gleeful. That was the only word for it. Glee - ful. Nobody making messes right behind me as I cleaned up, nobody complaining, nobody bugging me to entertain them. But now I'm getting lonely. I might go to Animal Allies today to pet some cats. That always makes me feel better. I'd have a cat if it wasn't for Mr. Allergic (Mitch).

When we were first married he told me he was allergic to cats. "Yeah, right" I said. "If you don't want to get a cat just say it, and we won't get a cat, you don't have to feign illness, for pete's sake." Drama queen.

A few years later, when I was working as a teacher, I was walking through the parking lot on my way to my class. I think it was November, anyway, it was COLD. I heard what I thought was a baby crying so, of course, I looked all over the place, and I found a cute little cat crying under a bench. I had my own portable building where I taught, and it was just my 20 students, another teacher and me, so I brought the cat in out of the cold. The little kitty was so grateful and happy to be warm. The kids LOVED her and she turned out to be a great calming influence on our class. PERFECT, I thought. Then two days later when school started, a kid who had been absent for the past several days came in, sniffed the air and said, "Is there a cat in here?" I said, "YES! She's our new class pet, isn't she cute?" and I picked her up from under my desk and hugged her. The kid said, "I have to go home and take my pills." Apparently he was deathly allergic to cats and had to race home before his throat totally closed shut.

The kitty had to go, so I decided to take her home with me. I knew Mitch didn't want to have a cat around, but he could put up with it for a few days. Just in case he was telling the truth about the allergies, Sam and I gave her a bath. Now she was all fresh and clean and perfect. Sam and I couldn't take our eyes off her! She was so cute and so funny and sweet and playful.

After a few hours of playing with our new pet, I happened to glance over at Mitch. Mr. Passive Aggressive was puffy. No, that's not nearly descriptive enough. He was swelled like I've never seen anyone swell. His hands were round, like pin cushions. His eyes were almost completely shut. I said, "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU ALRIGHT?" He said, "Well... it's getting kind of hard to breathe." I said, "Why didn't you tell me this was happening?" He said, "I did tell you. When we first got married."

I called my friend and asked her if she could take the cat. Thankfully she said she would. I dropped Mitch off at the hospital (drama queen) and then regretfully brought the cat to my friend's house. I still miss her, and now that I know I absolutely can't have a cat, I kind of want one, so every now and then I go and pet cats at the animal shelter.

Then I come home and rub my shirt all over Mitch's pillow. He's not the only one who's passive aggressive.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Okay, okay, I just read a blog I read regularly and the blogger complained that the "mommy bloggers" aren't really "writers" and a lot are out for cheap laughs (guilty!) and blogola (like payola, but for bloggers. I haven't caught that train). She made me feel a little guilty because I re-read my last post and the gist of it was how I secretly have NOT farted on my husband's head while he sleeps. That is the definition of cheap laughs. The fart joke, it never fails. Unless you're mature, which I'm not.

So today I thought I might try to redeem myself by posting something I wrote a long time ago that is more in line with "writing" than "blogging." (Maybe this will get me some blogola!)


I am thirty-one years old and I have pinkeye. I had completely forgotten about this disgusting disease since elementary school, and now I have it.... in both eyes. It is extremely contagious; children have passed it from eyeball to eyeball for generations. My two-year-old daughter, Kira, got it recently, and the very moment the infection invaded her little body, she launched a nonstop campaign to touch my eyeballs. Could a seemingly sweet and innocent child be that devious? Judging from my runny, bloodshot, rabbit-eyes, yes.

Pinkeye is generally limited to children, much like static electricity. Go to any McDonald’s Playland, and you will see dozens of children with their hair electrically plastered to their little faces. Since I have had children I am a chronic sufferer from static electricity as well.

I brought the kids to the grocery store yesterday and discovered a new shopping cart. It’s just like a regular cart, except the front is a big toy truck. Two kids can fit into the cab of the truck and pretend to drive around the store. My five-year-old, Sam, climbed in and was nagging me to get going. While he was bugging me, I tried to install Kira in her side of the truck all while issuing instructions: “Watch your head..... bend your legs..... Kira, bend your legs......Kira, bend BOTH legs..... sit, sit down.... bend ... Oh, don’t cry, I told you to bend.”

When we finally got rolling I noticed that we were all full of static electricity. The kids’ hair was stuck to their faces and sticking straight up to the roof of the truck. They suffer with this from November until May, so they don’t even notice. I, however, am a little self-conscious. Every strand of hair on my head was stuck to my face. I’m sure I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t think the other shoppers in the produce department would have appreciated watching me lick my palms to smooth out my hair. So in the interest of sanitation, I looked ridiculous.

I soon discovered a design flaw in the shopping cart. The handle was metal with a piece of plastic attached with metal screws. Since I was so charged with electricity, about every two steps I got a horrible shock.

Another flaw was that I couldn’t reach the kids. When I stopped to get tomatoes, Kira hurled herself out of the front window like a lemming off of a cliff. She repeated this every time I stopped the cart. When I told my husband about it, he smirked and said smugly, “Well, why didn’t you buckle her in? I’m sure there are buckles.” I had to remind him that Kira simply cannot be restrained by conventional child restraints. In fact I don’t think there is a restraint of any kind that could hold her, not without violating some of her civil rights, anyway.

This shopping trip was quite a challenge. Between trying discreetly to get control of the static cling in my hair, scooping Kira up after she hurled herself from the front window of the truck in every aisle, and dealing with the constant, jolting, electrostatic shocks I received from the handle of the cart, I was happy to leave.

When we got home I unpacked the groceries and collapsed into a chair. I watched as my darling son discovered the scientific technique of shuffling his feet on the floor to charge himself up, then administering a painful shock to his unsuspecting sister. She looked so pathetically cute with her little pink eyes and her hair stuck to her head as though it was painted on. Sam shocked her a few times, then she shocked herself a few more times. Then I could see her taking stock as she realized that she had yet another weapon in her arsenal. She looked to me and saw me relaxing. I knew I would be her next victim, but I thought I could take it. However, not only did she shock me, but she managed to distract me with one hand, and shock me directly in the eyeball with the other. That was probably the exact moment I contracted the pinkeye. She did it all in one stealthy poke. Devious? Oh yes.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Destruction and Debauchery

My in-laws took my kids to the cabin for the WEEK! The theme for Mitch and me this week is "Destruction and Debauchery!" (read it like you're the devil)

So far we haven't destroyed or debauched anything unless eating a breakfast at Bridgeman's named the "Heavy and Hearty" could be considered debauchery.

I don't know what we will destroy (other than healthy eating habits) while they are gone. Whenever they leave for a few days I always think, "Hmm... what should I eat while they are gone that I would never consider eating when they are here?"

I know, if I was a spice, I'd be vanilla.

Maybe we'll enter a Wife Carrying Race. ...No, you shut up, it's real!

If so, perhaps I should have made a better breakfast choice. Sorry Mitch!

Mitch says no to the wife carrying, he says he doesn't trust me not to fart on the back of his head. To which I say, "Good thing you're such a hard sleeper!" Just kidding. That was gross. I've never done that. MITCH, I HAVE NOT EVER DONE THAT!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rainy Day Fun

Kira had a sleepover with her cousins last night. They were going to sleep in the camper, but of course, it was pouring rain when bedtime rolled around so they all stayed in Kira's room. When they got up this morning it was cold and windy and rainy AGAIN and they were getting tired of cartoons so I got out my trusty entertaining book to look for ideas:
I Like You, Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris. It's a great book with fabulous crafts and recipes. I got this great idea for a card which I gave to Mitch a few years ago.

It's just the front cover of a box of LandOLakes butter, but notice the flap? I wonder what's under there???

Oh my goodness! (Actually, it's just her knees cut from the other side of the box, but you thought it was her boobs. That's just how your mind works. Interesting.) Mitch loves it.

Back to this morning. I gave each kid a pair of googly eyes and told them to come up with something clever. They did.

Rory found a picture of her sister!

Kira named this guy "Mr. Chub" (???)

Sam calls this "Mr. Sewy"

Harry Potter says, "Voldemort's a real bastard!"

Oh Swampy, you're so handsome!