Monday, April 30, 2012

Play It Again, Sam.

My to-do list is now about eight miles long, so I will have to leave you guys for a while until I can see the top of my desk again.  Oh, and I need to feed my kids dinner at least a few times this week (and some clean undies would be nice, too).  With Mother's Day fast approaching I hope all you mothas are making your lists.  I am going to re-cycle this pre-Mother's Day post that still makes me laugh.  I hope to be back soon. 

Healthy Diet and Exercise, or EAT THE CAKE FIRST!

As many of you know, I am going through a crazy-a$$ midlife crisis which at any given moment can range in depth and proportion but for the most part is centered around, "I need to workout like a mad and crazy woman so that I can have a healthy body which may not look great, but that down deep is muscled and toned, and I need to change my eating habits from things that taste great to things that are good-for-you."

I said this is a "mid-life crisis" which I will clarify by saying:
1. I am not even sure what that means, and
2. I am realizing as the days pass that it is irrational on some levels.

Why? Nothing profound and requiring years of therapy. It is quite simply difficult to understand and irrational - because I have four kids.

Yesterday: Case in Point

5:40 - Alarm rang
6:00 - I was up. Head ached from lack of sleep and no IV for my coffee.
6:45 - Peeps were up, breakfast was underway, lunches were being packed.
7:15 - We headed out the door a full 15 minutes early because I was dreaming of a pre-ZOO FIELD TRIP WITH MY NINE YEAR OLD BOY workout. HUH? Yeah, I know. Irrational on some level.
7:30 - I was back home and promptly popped in the Reebok girl with whom I planned on "stepping" for 35 minutes.
7:30 - 8:00 - I stepped, got sweaty, stopped (yes, stopped) a few times to help a two year old pee and poop, I thought about the million things that had to be done before I could drop said two year old off at MDO and get on to the field trip.
8:00 - I said good-bye to my stepping friend early because I was then feeling a little frantic about what had to be done. I promised myself that AFTER the zoo field trip when I was fresh and perky (???) I would finish my workout or do an additional workout with KK (can you see irrationality rearing its ugly head?).
8:00 - 8:50 - I ate a bowl of healthy oatmeal and a banana, fixed a healthy lunch for myself for the zoo (two homemade California rolls, one two day old apple, water, and trail mix with just a little dark chocolate in it), fixed "lunch" for my two year old who never eats anything anyway, got her dressed, cleaned the kitchen, put in a load of laundry, brushed and fixed her hair, showered, got dressed, packed everything twice after the two year old was helping me and unpacked it all.
9:00 - I was on my way to the zoo.
10:00 - I ate the trail mix because I was starving.
10:45 - I ate the rest of my son's heavily buttered and salted popcorn to "lighten my load" because popcorn is heavy.
11:30 - We broke for lunch and I ate the California rolls. Note to self: these are only yummy when they are fresh. And I attempted to eat the apple which was mealy.
11:30 - 1:30 - I walked around the zoo and resisted the urge to buy an ice cream.
2:00 - 2:30 - I picked up baby, did a frantic thing at home that we like to call, "get-kids'-stuff-ready-for-piano-lessons-prep-for-a-quick-yet-healthy-dinner-which-has-presumably-been-planned-load-up-the-Yukon-and-take-off!"
2:50 - My two girl children bounded into the Yukon with Mother's Day Cakes that they had made at school. I am pretty sure that's when my mouth started to water and I realized I was starving.
2:50 - 5:45 - Kids complained about no snack, they completed their piano lessons, and I tried to focus while dreaming of how I could justify eating cake for dinner AND eating the Mother's Day cakes four days before Mother's Day.
5:50 - Hubby called and asked what was for dinner. I said, "Biscuits? And........Mother's Day Cakes?"
6:00 - 6:20 - We arrived home to an unplanned dinner. Chaos ensued. Backpacks flew, kids rushed to "talk" to dad, I frantically heated up a serious modge-podge of leftovers (including biscuits), and we unwrapped and examined both cakes. We all dutifully ooed and ahed over the cakes.
6:25 - I got out a fork.

All my kids exclaimed, "MOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING???"

I quietly said, "I am eating the cake."


I quietly said, "It's MY cake and if you be quiet I will give you some before your dinner, too."

Silence ensued, I ate my cake and there went my healthy diet.

Later when all the peeps were in bed, hubby was at the gym and I was WAY too exhausted to workout with KK or the Reebok girl. I blog-surfed and was in bed by 10:30.

And that is how the exercise went.

Healthy day, my friends. Cake is on the menu for breakfast this morning and may just turn into lunch. :o)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Pa-gina Dialogue

So, my good friend Lana was here the other evening drinking beer and shooting the $hit.  We were outside watching the older kids play and Girl 3 (Baby - age THREE) was tooling around nearby with chalk (which is kind of like the devil's work because it leaves its mark every-freakin'-where).  Girl 3 asked me and Lana to chalk with her.  I hate chalk, so I declined.  But Lana kindly said, "I'll draw a chalk outline of you.  C'mon.  It'll be fun!" 

Now, Girl 3 already has a penchant for Things She is Too Young For And Doesn't Understand (for example, just yesterday when someone asked her where her other baby was she said, "She's dead.") so I was a tad bit skeptical that Lana should be doing a chalk outline of Girl 3's body.  But, I didn't want to get chalk all over myself so I gladly watched quietly while Lana had Girl 3 lie down on the driveway and traced her body all CSI style.

When Lana was done Girl 3 promptly got up to admire her chalk outline and I said, "Great!  Now all you have to do is commit a crime, get shot down in our driveway for your crime related offenses, and our work here is finished!"  Just kidding.  I didn't say that.  Out loud.

Girl 3 got up and admired her drawing and Lana said, "Okay.  Now get to work coloring it in!"

When Lana said that, any doubts I had about the appropriateness of the activity dissolved because baby quickly got to work chalking and Lana and I resumed our beer drinking.

Lana had to leave shortly after that and a while after that hubby came outside to sit with me.

By that time, Girl 3 had colored her whole body in and proudly came over to hubby and I and loudly announced, "LOOK GUYS!  I'M DONE COLORING MY BODY AND MY PA-GINA IS PINK!" 

Now, let me just say that I am not one of those moms that calls private parts by their non-anatomical names.  For example I had a friend who called her boy's Johnson a "chicken" from the time he was born.  Seriously?  A chicken?  Tell me that kid's not going to need therapy.  And, possibly be a vegetarian.  No, I have always called these parts by their names (well, kind of).  I call the boy's a "penis" and I call the girl's a "vagina." 

Now, I have encountered a little resistance to this practice from other mom friends who are OB/GYNs.  (Just kidding.  I am not friends with any OB/GYNS - except my own.  My friends just act like OB/GYNs sometimes.  Apparently.)  These OB/GYN acting friends get even more technical with the girl part and call it a "labia."

I don't do that for two reasons.  1.  I absolutely abhor that word "labia."  It just sounds awful.  And I hate the "minor" and "major" even more.  Are we playing fuc&ing music here?  2.  Who cares once you are down in that nether region what the hell it's technically technically called?  3.  (okay three reasons) I think "Vagina" covers the entire region nicely and it, more or less, rolls off the tongue.  (Ha!  I said, "vagina" rolls off your tongue.  Hubby would be so proud.)

Back to my post - which, if you don't remember was about CSI chalk drawings - so, baby runs back to hubby and me and screams that her PA-GINA is pink!  I immediately gag on beer and hubby glances up from his iTouch and says, "WHAT did she just say???"

"Her pa-gina is pink."

Hubby said, "Oh my GAWD.  Fabulous."  I don't think that's what he really said, but that's how it translated.  Close enough.


I think hubby died then.  Then when he came back to life I think he said, "Make her stop," weakly through his snorts of laughter.

While I said, "Oh, I can't wait for her to go school and say that."

While Baby continued to scream for the neighbors and everyone to hear, "DADDY COME SEE MY PINK PAGINA."

How beautiful is this, guys?  We have gone from What the Focka? to The Pagina Dialogues.  Perfect.  Our lives are complete.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I can die happy today. But, if not I guess I'll just catch up on laundry.

Cross this off my bucket list:  I "met" The Bloggess.  Insert huge slightly insane grin and wild laughter.  And I also met and photographed Copernicus and Juanita:

I am still pee pants excited that last night we met Jenny Lawson.  She read a hysterical chapter from her new book:  

See how mine is different from the ones on the shelf because it has my NAME on it?  *giddy smile*

If you are not familiar with Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), you really should be.  She is an absolutely funny gal with a genuine heart.  And that is why I *might* be in love with her.  Oh, and buy her book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened because you will laugh so hard you will need to wear Depends and also Jesus recommended the book.  He says so on the back cover.  So, that's really good, right?

I had planned all these smart things to say to her when I finally got my three seconds with her.  Instead I just gazed at her and mumbled something incredibly obvious and ridiculous like, "Um, ah, I really like your blog.  Um, ah.  And you're so funny.  Uh-huh."  And she was incredibly graceful and looked at me with quiet patience and a lovely smile.

Now I am going to recover by doing some laundry.  And, oh, if I die today - it's okay.  Mission accomplished.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Genius Book of World Records (because it's that good)

In my cast of characters otherwise known as my kids, Boy (age 10) is delightful (and by "delightful" I mean that if you listen long enough something beyond hysterical is bound to come out of his mouth).  For what's left of your weekend pleasure, I leave you with these gems.

1.  Boy:  Mom, how do they make the actual records for the Genius Book of World Records?
Me:  Do you mean the Guinness Book of World Records?
Boy:  Yeah, I guess..........Wait.............No, the GENIUS Book of World Records..............Wait...........So, it's NOT called the GENIUS Book of World Records?
Me:  No.  It's actually called the Guinness Book of World Records.
Boy:  Are you sure?
Me:  Um, yeah.  Pretty much.
Boy:  Wait.  Let me go get the book.
Boy (with the book in hand):  Oh my gosh.  You're right!  It is the Guinness book of World Records.  (Pause.)  Well, that's dumb.  It should be the Genius Book of World Records because all the people in this book are clearly geniuses.

Point well taken, grasshoppa.

2.  Boy:  Mom (as I am washing dishes, supervising the Mischievous Girl 3, and watching my dinner so that it doesn't burn), what word is this 'taemaule?'  Wait.  That might be 'taemalaw?'  No.  I think 'taemale.'  What word is that.  Taemale?
Me:  Hmm.  Spell it for me because that is not a word I know.
Boy:  T-a-m-a-l-e.
Me (incredulously):  Tamale?
Boy:  Oh, yeah.  Tamale!  Because it says they ate them.  So, yeah!  That works.

No bother that we are Hispanic born and raised and eat tamales on Christmas, New Year's, Cinco de Mayo and Diez y Seis de Septiembre.  Oh, and he loves them.  My Mayan/Aztec/Inca ancestors *might* be rolling over in their graves.

3.  Boy had gone to practice baseball with a friend of his.  Upon returning, Boy and his dad were talking about it. 
Dad:  So, how was it?
Boy:  Good.  We had fun.
Dad:  You don't have a mitt, do you?  We probably need to get you one.
Boy:  Well, it was okay.  I borrowed one of theirs.
Dad:  Ah.  That was really kind of them to let you borrow it.
Boy:  Yeah, well, it didn't really matter.  I only caught one ball in the whole two hours.  Turns out baseball's hard.


4.  Boy child has a school issued recorder that he has been diligent about practicing every day (usually multiple times a day to the delight of his parents).  I am really proud of the way he has progressed and practiced all on his own without any prompting from me (although I must say some days I want to poke my eyes out with sharp sticks due to the fact that I hear the same song 15,000 times).  So, after about four months of playing the recorder (and four and a half years of playing the piano - reading music accomplished) Boy child and I have this conversation:

Boy child flies down the stairs and says:  OH MY GOSH, mom.  GUESS WHAT. 
Me:  What?
Me:  Wow.  That's great.  Did you just figure it out?
Boy:  No.  I found it in one of my piano books and played it from there.  Did you know that you can do that?  You can use piano music to play a recorder???
Me:  Really?
Boy:  YES.
Me:  Wow.  You should tell Ms. J. that tomorrow.  I think she would be fascinated.
Boy:  Yeah.  I think I will.

Tell me again.  We have paid for four and half years of piano lessons from a pristine teacher, with an amazing resume, and Boy Child has excelled at piano and he just now figured this out?  This kinda made me want someone to shoot me. 

I love that boy with all my heart.  He gives me some good laughs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What the focka?

I hate Dora the Explorer.  I hate watching the show and I hate reading the books.  In case you have never had the literary pleasure of reading Dora books, I'll take a minute to sum it up.  The plots revolve around doing some ridiculous task (reaching star mountain to get a mermaid's necklace back in order to save the environment from a trash dumping octopus - oh and while you're at it - speak really elementary Spanish in a way that will apparently confuse the $hit out of kids), answering a multitude of stupid questions bilingually, chanting an annoying "Swiper no swiping" at some character who (for no good reason) always tries to steal Dora's $hit, and eventually having a Fiesta! with all the friends.  If this doesn't make much sense to you and you are slightly annoyed, I have done a good job explaining the books.

Despite the fact that I hate Dora, we own about 10 Dora books.  When you hate 10 books and own about 1000 books total, odds will have it that every time your three year old wants a book it will be one of the 10 that you hate.  So, that is why I end up reading a lot of Dora and I now know it *could* be how my kid learned the F word.

The other night before bedtime, Girl 3 and I laid down in her bed to read Dora and the Stuck Truck (you can guess the amazing plot for that one).  Now, in case you didn't read this post of mine back in January you may want to go back and read it because this is in a sense a post script.  If you don't want to go back and read it:  Girl 3 (age 3) likes to say something that sounds like "focka" when she is saying things that start with the letter "F."  We don't know why she does that, she just does.  We have tried exhaustively to figure out what she is trying to say, and we still don't know.  It can be a little embarrassing and a whole lot funny. 

Fast forward to the other night when we were reading Dora and the Stuck Truck. 

Every single time I asked her the questions in the Dora book she would say loudly and with great enthusiasm and anticipation, "Focka?"  It was horribly confusing and absolutely hysterical because it went something like this:

Me:  Can you count Dora's trucks with me?  How many are there?

Girl 3:  Focka?

Me (trying not to giggle):  Do you see something in the backpack that can light the way to find the trucks?

Girl 3:  Focka?

Me (chuckling a little out loud):  Can you match the shapes up so we can cross the bridge over the river to get to the stuck trucks?

Girl 3:  Focka?

Me (dying):  Can you say 'Swiper, NO SWIPING!'

Girl 3:  Focka?

Me (trying desperately to maintain what was left of my composure):  Let's say it now in Spanish!

Girl 3:  Focka?

Now, my three year old is no dummy, mind you.  In fact, right here on this blog, some people have said she might be of higher-than-average-IQ.  So, I still cannot figure out why she was just repeating this one word as a question, sure that it was what she was supposed to say.  It was like some sort of Dora monster ate my child and she thought "Focka" was either the magic answer to Dora's woes, or some sort of Spanish word. 

I have since hidden all the Dora books, but I am greatly relieved to know that apparently the F word incident wasn't my fault after all.  It was Dora's.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Apparently I am speaking a language no one else speaks.

It's Monday, I'm in a post-Christmasy-pre-summer funk (yes, I realize we are four months out from Christmas, so it may be a post-Easter funk) so this is going to be a short hodge-podgy type post.  I'll make it up to you when I am in better spirits.

In case you missed it:

1.  I no longer speak English, apparently.  Or, my kids all suddenly need hearing aids.  My kids have taken to not listening to a word I say.  Really?  Why do we have school after Spring Break?  I am miserable.  They are miserable.  We've missed the morning bus 9 out of the past 10 school days. 

It's just a sad case of I Want School To Be Over And It's Not.  I am not motivated at all to supervise homework.  And, you can imagine how enthusiastic the kids are about doing it.  Behavior has gone straight out the window (mine and theirs).  This morning lying in bed I actually thought, "How bad would it be to not take them to school today?" 

If you are Super Nanny, by all means feel free to give me some advice.  Lord knows I am not, nor will I ever be, in the running for Mother of The Year.  An outsider looking in *might* say, "That woman has lost all discipline in her household.  Send help."

2.  I am slowly forgiving Netflix.  Hubby and I recently watched Winter's Bone and True Grit - two movies I've wanted to see since they came out.  I loved both of them. 

True Grit.  Wow.  If you love the Coen brothers and Jeff Bridges, you are going to love this movie.  If you are not into that - skip it.  You won't like it or understand it.  Amazing acting and cinematography.  The Coen brothers have their usual way with dialogue and stark realities.  Jeff Bridges plays a drunk with all the nuances that he usually has when playing his characters. 

Winter's Bone.  I loved it, but I understand that it is not a movie for everyone.  It's about a girl who goes looking for her meth-cooking dad in order to try to make him appear for his court date.  It was kind of like Deliverance meets Trainspotting.  I liked the "mystery", the no-sugar-coating depiction of this kind of hard life, and the excellent acting.  The ending wasn't too bad, either.

3.  I said I was slowly forgiving Netflix.  Here's my continuing beef.  Can we have some decent movies for kids?  Please?  Sheesh.  I've watched some doozies in the past few weeks and I am sad to say that I don't even remember their names.  The Spy Who Ate My Mother?  The Spy Next Week?  Everyone Is A Freakin' Spy?  My Mom Hates Spy Movies?  Seriously? 

Why can't there be more of this:  Shaun the SheepGnomeo and Juliet, Penguins of Madagascar?  Because I love that $hit.  Please, save me and if you know a great kid movie (ages 7-10, that doesn't have bad words, excessive violence, drug use, or spies) send it my way.  Before I am forced to stab my eyes out with sharp sticks while watching a spy.

4.  Cathe might not be an actual real person with real muscles that ache.  I mean I knew she was strong and all after doing Drill Max for one year.  Now, I think she might be a robot.  This woman can balance her body on her hands and then extend her legs out forward.  Yeah.  She is  a contortionist with muscles bigger than most men. 

It turns out Yoga and Pilates are like a form of torture and (I realize these two points are totally unrelated) I might be the only person in the world who can actually gain weight in my ABS while doing an Ab Circuit.  YEESH.  The DVD makes me eat.  It's true.  I thought I would be getting back with you with all the pounds and inches I'd lost.  Sadly, I am just here to tell you that my stomach might actually be bigger and I am ravenous all the time.

5.  Like I said, I've been in a serious funk lately.  If I don't post for a while - that's why.  Luckily I have the internets to make me laugh.  This little gem brought me huge snorts last week when I was feeling blue.  It came from a blog I enjoy a lot and have stalked for a while.  Thanks, Average in Suburbia!  It is NOT for the easily offended.  But, then again, if you are The Easily Offended, you may be in the wrong place.

Have a happy week!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

But can you juggle fire on torches while standing on your head?

Remember when Girl 1 didn't make the Student Council and then remember when she found out that we're not Jewish and boobs eventually stop growing?  Well, today was another one of Life's Disappointments.

A few weeks ago Girl 1 became curious about when her brother tried out for their school's Talent Show.  I thought this was unusual because Girl 1 seldom acknowledges the existence of her brother unless it's to punch him in the face after he's tortured her.  She was suddenly asking all kinds of questions such as:  What did you play on the piano again?  Did you make it?  Was it hard?  Were there judges?  To which he answered (respectively):  I don't know.  Yes.  I don't know.  I don't know.

It became crystal clear why she was so curious when I found a flyer in her backpack announcing the try-outs for the school Talent Show. 

Now, I don't want to sound cynical (but, I am), but my kids are not America's Got Talent worthy.  We don't dance, we don't sing, we don't breathe fire, we don't juggle, we can't put our legs behind our heads while eating an apple (at least I don't think we can), and we generally don't have any kind of talent that could be performed on a stage (unless people would want to see persistent and obnoxious teasing followed by hair-pulling, biting, and excessive punching). 

Boy Child performed two piano pieces during what I think might have been the school's first talent show a few years ago when there were virtually no Talent Show Rules.  He did really well and although I was like a peacock beaming with pride, my pride was dulled somewhat by the horror of having to listen to far too many girls eek out the words (off-key) to some vomit-y Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift songs. 

So, because of my vast past experience, I think I held the flyer up and casually announced, "Looks like it's Talent Show time, kids.  Any takers?" fully expecting that no one would want to do it, least of all Girl 1.  As often happens in my life, my children defied me and Girl 1 promptly and enthusiastically proclaimed, "Yes.  I am trying out.  I am doing it."

"What are you going to do?" I said (shocked, but quickly recovering).

"Piano.  I am going to play two piano pieces."

Okay.  So, I don't like to brag about my kids (in fact, when moms do that I really want their kids to immediately pick their noses and eat it), but my kids can indeed play piano.  We have taken years of painstaking lessons, practiced till mom's ears were going to burst, and now we can play us some piano.  We have won awards, been invited to Important Piano Shows (albeit not the dueling kind), traveled out of town, and other stuff that signifies (if only to me) that we are Piano Players.  (And by "we" I mean "them.")  (By the way, this doesn't count as bragging and my kids are probably picking their noses and eating it right as I type this.) 

So, I calmly said, "Okay."

I filled out the necessary paperwork and Girl 1 was assigned Thursday for her try-out period. 

It seemed that simple.  But, as you well know, nothing is ever that simple.

Tuesday before her try-out an ominous note came home that said (and I might be paraphrasing), "The talent show is going to happen during a PTA meeting (which are poorly attended, unless we have kids performing in which case there is no parking and standing room only) and since humans can only watch kids lip-sync to Taylor Swift before vomiting for two hours, we have to somehow limit the number of performers.  Due to the 6000 kids that want to be in the talent show (and the fact that we know all these kids can't have genuine talent), we are going to have a Process of Elimination." 

Now, due to the fact that sometimes Girl 1 doesn't give me notes out of her backpack (oh, the horror), I am not really clear on when all these notes came home.  So, as usual, this may or may not be fully accurate.  But, it's my blog not an FBI interrogation, so I really don't have to care about accurate facts and timelines. 

The important thing is - here's how it mostly went down after that:

All week she practiced her pieces diligently (well, kind-of).

By Thursday she had memorized the music and could play them perfectly and with no mistakes.

She left for school Thursday a happy, well-adjusted child with high self-esteem (well, as well-adjusted as you can be and still live in this family). 

Her father and I were, on the other hand, terrified.  I had explained to her that she might not make it to the finals ("What is this America's Got Talent???" were her words when I first explained the Process.  Me:  "Well, no I really don't think anyone is going to win a million dollars and go to Vegas."  Her:  "Then why do they need a process???  It's just about talent, right?"  Me:  "Well, presumably.").  But, I still wasn't quite sure she realized there was the possibility she might not make it.  This *could have been* evidenced by her giddily skipping out the door Thursday saying (slightly condescendingly), "I can play my pieces, mom.  I am prepared.  I am going to be in the Talent Show."


I picked her up Thursday and she was beaming.  I said, "How'd it go?" 

"Great.  I didn't make any mistakes.  I played really great."

"Perfect.  I am so happy."

"They are going to tell everyone tomorrow if they made it and can be in the talent show.  But don't worry!"

*Huge sigh.*

Hubby and I reminded her again that it was a process and since 6000 kids tried out and only 20 kids could make it - some of the kids were not going to make it.  Simple math......Nothing to do with talent.

Friday I picked up the kids.  She came slinking to the car, threw herself into her seat, sighed heavily, and eeked out, "I didn't make it, mom.  I'm not going to be in the Talent Show.  Only two kids in my class made it.  Only two kids in my class have talent."

There wasn't as much drama as I expected.  She was kind of resigned to the fact that doing back-flips might be more stage-worthy than playing two piano pieces with perfect precision and timing.  Hubby and I tried our best to explain why a Talent Show sometimes has very little to do with one child's actual talent.  (That was kinda similar to explaining why there is lots of food in Africa but all the people are starving.)

I can't decide whether I am happy she's weathered another of Life's Disappointments and come out on the other side, or sad because she's lost a lot little of her spunk and innocence.  She seems to have fully recovered by today. 

I am another story.  I *might* have a little anger and resentment built up inside me.  I *might* be very jealous and bitter a little jealous of the singing, dancing, juggling kids who can contort and do back-flips.  Some of the wind *might* have gone out of my sails.  Today sad *might* be winning.

Either way, we are totally spending all summer working on juggling.  And we might just start with fire.  Damn it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Computer (loudly and impatiently): Mother's maiden name??? Me (silently sobbing): I don't freakin' know.

It's come to my attention that I Am Getting Old, or the internets is gettin' too much for my brain to compute.  Remember (or maybe you are too young to remember, in which case:  I hate you) when the only password you had to remember was the password to your debit card?  Then remember when you started to have to remember a few more passwords (to your email account, then to maybe one online account that you initiated)?  So, to make things easy on yourself you just used the same password for everything?  Then remember when The Experts told you that you could die by making all your passwords the same?  Well, I don't think they said you could die, but that you could have everything down to your underwear (and possibly your kids) stolen from you by people who learned your one password.  Remember that?

So, then you decided to get creative with all your passwords (and by now you have like a bazillion passwords for everything from the lock on the pantry door to your kids' school lunch account).  THEN, remember when The Experts tried to help us by giving us hints for our passwords like:  your first dog's name, the first guy you ever kissed, the year you drank your first Cheap Liquor, your mom's best friend's aunt's maiden name, your elementary school P.E. teacher's name, and your favorite color?  Then remember when the internets started telling us to "strengthen" our passwords by adding Chinese symbols and the numbers in Spanish? 

Now, if you are like me, you have eighty-five million passwords (none of which you remember at any given time) to various Important Things (like my own blog), AND you still have to remember your phone number, your cell phone number, your social security number, and when you last washed your hair??? 

For the love of God.  When will it stop?  I am terrified of someone (a computer or an actual person) asking me:  Mother's maiden name? and I will be frozen in time, muttering something like this while the men in white coats haul me away:


Monday, April 9, 2012

Post-Easter Recovery

I hope your Easter was blessed and that you practiced self-control by not eating ALL your kids' Easter candy.  Here's my wrap-up:

1.  Leo went to his new home (thankfully, not in the sky) with this Amazing Guy.  Since The Reptileman is a bit of a celebrity here, it was really kind of him to take a few minutes to chat with my kids about school, the pets he has, and Leo (we did get positive confirmation on gender, and you do, in fact, examine a hidden nether-region part).  Leo is a Russian tortoise and we are sure he will be delighted with his new playmates:  Priscilla, Elvis, and Bob.  Local Readers:  If your kids are into reptiles and amphibians I highly recommend this guy for a birthday party.  Or, if you make Important Decisions at your kids' school, for God's Sake, get this guy to come and do a presentation.  You might be able to meet Leo in person (in tortoise?).

2.  We celebrated successfully completing our pantry challenge by eating at Spicy Ginger.  You regulars know how much I love this place.  Well, they may have made me love them more.  When my kids were noisily clambering for dessert!  ice cream!  candy! they gave them CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS instead of fortune cookies.  Brownie points!  If you are local and like Asian food, you really must put this place on your To-Go list.

3.  My in-laws (love my in-laws) invited all my kids to go swimming at their hotel on Saturday night.  Best part?  Hubby took them all.  I stayed home.  Alone.  With my two friends I don't see often, Peace and Quiet.  It was like an Easter miracle.  Thank you, in-laws and hubby.

4.  My MIL brought us five dozen cascarones. 

If you are not familiar with cascarones, they are confetti filled eggs (real eggs are blown out and filled with confetti).  They are cracked over unsuspecting person's heads.  This is quite possibly one of my favorite Easter traditions.  They are not allowed to be cracked inside my house, but since we had five dozen, residual confetti is everywhere.  (And I'll let you use your imagination when I say everywhere.  It's kind of like sand at the beach.)  I will be spending a good part of the day vacuuming glittery $hit out of everything.

5.  The girls really did an outstanding job on the cookie decorating.  Me, not so much.  It seems my cookie decorating skills are just taking a nose dive (that wave is me saying good-bye to my Famous Cookie Maker dreams).  I made two or three in this photo.  The girls and hubby are responsible for the rest.

6.  I started the Cathe's Ab Circuit last week.  I was feeling all proud the day I worked out:  "I'm not as out of shape as I thought!"  Then I woke up the next day.  It was like someone (named Cathe) had beat up my neck, legs, sides and stomach.  I couldn't really move for a good two-three days.  It's going to be a long, if not impossible, road to a six-pack.  I may have to settle for a less wiggly jelly roll. 

7.  I really love Easter.  I really hate Easter egg hunts.  I hate the way some parents behave like it's some sort of life or death mission, I hate that I read in the paper (and got stuck in the traffic) that a freakin' helicopter dropped eggs at one local hunt (WTF?), I hate the whiny kids (usually my own), and I hate it when the kids bring home all the crap that's in the eggs, or if it's candy I hate being tempted more than I already am.  This was the first year Girl 3 was cognizant enough to actually participate in her hunt.  She was the first one out the door and she promptly picked up two eggs.  Then, she did what truly appalled me.  She opened both eggs, didn't like what she saw, closed them both back up and threw them back out into the school yard.  BLECH!  In one fell swoop she increased my hatred for egg hunts.

I do like having an Easter egg hunt in my own backyard and we have done that since Boy Child was a wee one.  This year we decided to just cut all the crap and fill them with money.  We make it really hard (in fact, this year we lost two of the eggs - I had been drinking wine all day - hubby as far as I know had no excuse) and we allow no whining or you forfeit your eggs.  Now, here's the great part.  After the hunt, Girl 1 suggested we have a hunt next year in which the kids will hide eggs for the parents.  Great idea, we said!  I promptly suggested filling the eggs with the kids' dollar bills - collected all year long!  I *can't remember* if the kids agreed.

Start saving, kiddos.  Next year's hunt:  Here I come!

Friday, April 6, 2012


In case you are living under a rock somewhere, or you are just diametrically opposed to Pinterest, I pinned this GEM today and will also share it with you here.  I am confident that The Higher Power has an awesome sense of humor.

Some called it sacrilege.  I called it damn funny and absolutely true.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My advice to you: Seek advice. (You're welcome.)

As I write this post I am listening to this radio show about the lottery.  Here's what I am thinking:

1.  I am going to assume that none of the ten people that read my blog won the Mega-Gazillion Record Breaking That'salottafu(%ingmoney lottery.  But, since not all the winners have come forward, I guess it's still possible.  So, here's the thing (and, I'm just going to be forward and upfront with this):  If you won and you are reading this, can you float me a loan?  For God's sake, you have like 151,800 MILLION dollars.  I won't be greedy.  All I need is about $6,000.  Okay, just thought I'd get that out of the way.

2.  Sandra Hayes really makes me jealous (good thing I did not give up jealousy for Lent).  Not only did she win the Powerball lottery in 2006, she went on to write a book entitled, How Winning the Lottery Changed My Life.  Jealous.  And a teensy bit ticked off.  The jealous part:  I want to win the lottery AND I want to write a book.  The ticked off part:  Let me promise you and be clear with this, faithful blog readers, when I write my book I will have a more creative title than that.  Good grief.  Really???  And she has more money than GOD???  Is she just taunting me?

3.   Stephen Martino, Maryland Lottery Director, says that "their" advice to lottery winners is:  seek advice.  I like that.  My advice to you is:  Seek advice.  Nice touch, Stephen.  Apparently he is wise like a turtle (more on that later).  Frankly, I am stealing that wisdom gem.  In fact, I already did.  And, I will use it in the spoken word at my first opportunity today (probably to my kids or hubby).  Thanks, Mr. Lottery Director.

Okay, now on to my real post for today.

Today is going to be a hodge-podge of things that I have been wanting to tell you.  There are quite a few - feel free to treat it like a menu (but just know that I am kind of like Rachel Ray, so you might not want to skip anything).

1.  I had a revelation (huge - kinda like a biblical one) yesterday.  I went to pick up my kids at school and there is a woman in the office who reads my blog (shocking, I know).  We are not close friends, but I like this lady (and not just because she reads my blog).  For the purpose of this post I am going to call her J.A. (the A. stands for amazing because she has the willpower of God).  We chatted a few seconds and she told me she had read this post.  To which, of course, I said a huge thank you.  BUT (here's the great part), not only did she read the post she CLICKED THE LINK and read my awesome nieces' post. 

Now, it's kind of hard to blog when you are a little person like me.  Not hard like working on World Peace, or fighting the war, or feeding the masses of starving people in the world, or working in customer service at Wal-Mart.  Okay, so maybe it's not hard.  I just sometimes wonder (and possibly hubby *wonders* too):  to what purpose am I blogging?  I'd like to think I know, but I really don't.   And sometimes this not knowing can lead to frustration, drinking, and just wanting to end my blog.  I spend a lot of time researching what the heck I am doing and why I am doing this (hubby calls this procrastinating, not researching???) and reading posts like Why I Blog.  Well, I am here to tell you I have figured it out. 

J.A. went on to tell me that she had really enjoyed my post and gotten some recipes off my nieces' blog that she was going to try.  Her words, "Thank you!"  That's when the light bulb went off:  I blog to help others, people!!!  I know now.  I blog to help YOU.  Now, here's the thing.  I am not an expert on anything!  I'm not a great mom, cook, cleaner, DIYer, or blogger.  But, I am so happy that I have helped you to be a less perfect mom (because I am such a slacker), given you a recipe that was edible and cheap, taught you how to not-really-clean, made something and posted a photo so that you could be more proud of your DIY stuff, or made you snort, or hooked you UP!  That makes me supremely happy.  So, J.A., if you are reading THANK YOU!  You made my day and have given me a reason to forge ahead.

2.  Many of you (I think two) have emailed me to ask me about Rocky/Bulwinkle/Yerle/Yentl/Leo the hermaphrodite tortoise that we considered adopting.  I have great news on that front, too (with all this good news I might get struck by lightening today).  Leo is going to live with the amazing Reptileman.  Really, how this came about is too detailed for me to post.  But, suffice it to say it was kinda like when Jesus split the fish and bread and all that.  Rocky is kind of growing on me.  He's like me in a lot of ways:  he sleeps a LOT, he appears to be somewhat lazy and ungrateful, he doesn't like people (especially when they are holding him), he likes to be free to roam, he sometimes has a hard time communicating his needs, he needs exercise, but doesn't appear to really like it, and apparently he is very wise.  Despite our kinship, we cannot keep him, and Reptileman and his wife are AH-mazing.  I know Shelley (that name just came about yesterday - good grief - this tortoise needs therapy) will be well cared for and love her/his new home.  Thank you, Reptileman. 

3.  Today is the last day of the The Great Pantry Challenge.  Upside:  We did not starve, we learned some lessons, and we are going out to eat tomorrow.  Our menu this past week:  Friday - yucky vegetable tacos, Saturday - fabulous BBQ chicken, Sunday - yummo spinach/cheese enchiladas, Monday - tacos, Tuesday - leftovers, Wednesday - meh pasta and pizza, Tonight - leftovers.  Not bad, eh?  The only really awful meal was Friday and I take responsibility for that.  Lessons learned:  do a better job of seeing what I have on stock before shopping, and when you have mystery squash in the fridge make sure you know what it is before throwing it haphazardly in a recipe.  Downside:  I still managed to GAIN WEIGHT???

4.  So, speaking of gaining's almost swimsuit season.  I dread it.  Am I pear shaped or apple shaped?  Do I need breast augmentation or a tummy tuck?  Am I a 4, or a 6, or an 8?  Are my boobs -5 or -10?  Do I want a one piece or a two piece with a large cover-up (and possibly a sun hat)?  Here's the thing.  I know my problem area.  It is my stomach (which extends beyond my boobs on a bad day).  I hate to workout, but I do.  Nearly everyday.  I workout so that I can continue eating and drinking.  But, it's high time I tackle the real issue and here's how I'm going to do it.  I bought this DVD.  I already do Cathe Boot Camp, Jillian Michaels, and I run, but now I am focusing on my stomach.  It looks super painful, nearly impossible, and a little sadomasochistic.  So, wish me luck?  And, if I don't post for a while it's because I am too sore to move or have coherent thought.

5.  The girls' room is shaping up marvelously.  The amazing seamstress that is helping me brought over the drapes yesterday.  I kind of wanted to kiss her.  They are superb and I love them.  The new ceiling fan is going in this weekend and I promise to have photos very soon.

Thank you guys for reading my blog.  If you know someone who needs my help (in the form of:  Slackermomways, DIYou're Kidding, recipes that might work, or just some good snorting) by all means, send them my way.  Have a really great weekend and Easter.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I answered the doorbell, and that is how THIS happened.

Before you say, "YOU DID WHAT?  WHAT THE FURCK?"  I have a simple explanation.  I answered the doorbell and it went quickly downhill from there.

If you are a regular, you know that Girl 1 has wanted a pet since she was conceived.  The pets she has wanted have ranged from unicorn to dog to turtle.  Yesterday her dream came true. least until we have a Plan it came true.

So, here's how it mostly went down.

We were sitting around minding our own furcking business when our sweet 10 year old neighbor girl from up the street came knocking on our door.  That itself is hardly strange.  It happens nearly everyday.  Either the neighbor kids find their way down here and knock on our door, or my motley crew finds its way up the street to drive the neighbor bat$hit crazy.  (Yes, there will be a lot of mock-profanity in this post because frankly there is a lot of mock-profanity welled up inside me right now.)

What WAS strange is that she was holding this in her hands:

Meet Rocky/Yertle the Boy/Girl Turtle/Tortoise.

I think what she said (through wild, deranged grinning) was, "Did you guys lose a turtle?"

Now, my immediate thoughts were many and went through my brain like a semi-automatic weapon shooting off rounds: 

First thought:  Hell no it's not ours.  Did you think I went furcking NUTS and got the kids a turtle this weekend and then came to my senses and let it out
Second thought:  CLOSE THE DOOR so that none of the kids see the turtle. 
Third thought:  Start speaking Spanish to confuse her and maybe she'll go away on her own. 
Fourth thought:  Start telling lies.  About anything. 
Fifth thought:  CLOSE THE DOOR.

Then (while I had sat there silently thinking these thoughts) my kids came to the door and I was screwed.

Back-up was called in the form of our neighbors who have a menagerie (not to be confused with a menage a trois) at their house to determine what kind of turtle it is.  That was helpful.  Here's what was determined:

1.  It's probably a tortoise because its feet are not webbed and it hated the water when the kids submerged it.

2.  Turtles and quite possibly tortoises hate to be held.  It was held and carried by children for about five hours last night and due to that trauma (presumably) it slept all day today.  Or, it's just really lazy.

3.  It's not a snapping turtle because our neighbor tested it to see if it would snap.

4.  So far it eats, leaves, lettuce, raspberries, and carrot.

5.  The Internets and our neighbor said it would also eat apples.  In this way it is like a horse.  Except you can't ride it, it's not useful, and you can't pet it.

6.  Turtles and tortoises carry salmonella (a fact I already knew and use to my advantage regularly and without hesitation) which is why it is not a good idea to pet it or carry it.  Within seconds, the three year old pet it and then immediately sucked on her hand.  I just knew death was imminent.

7.  It *might* grow to be large enough to ride.  But, that would be weird and kind of uncomfortable.

8.  It doesn't appear to like it's tank (borrowed from the menagerie neighbors) because it spent a good part of last night (while I was trying to watch TV) loudly banging it's head on the glass.  PTSD?  Or just ungrateful bastard?

9.  The girls have watched it with a fascinating love, and curiosity usually reserved for sleeping infants.

10.  The sex of a turtle (or tortoise) can be determined by pulling up some nether-region part.  Who cares?
11.  "Salad" has been taken off the Eat From the Pantry  Challenge menu.

12.  It's been named.  I think "Rocky."  I wanted Yertle.  Apparently no one knows Dr. Seuss.  Really, people?

13.  Tortoises (and possibly turtles) can live to be 8000 years old.  Really?  Right now it looks like its about 300 - give or take.

Now, before you send me Congratulations on Your New Addition cards, here is The Plan So Far.  We think it is possibly a tortoise and not native to these here parts.  So, if we were to take it out back to the creek it would probably not survive too long.  Although I am an avid non pet-lover I do not want the blood of this damn turtle/tortoise on my hands.  Therefore, we have decided to take it to a pet store to determine what the hell it is and we will go from there.  Meanwhile, it is sitting atop my sewing machine in a tank eating all my salad and making insufferable noises while I blog and watch TV.  Damn him/her.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I think I have told you many times that Boy Child (age 10) is a drama king.  We regularly call him The Boy That Cried Wolf.  He screams Bloody Murder when he gets a paper cut and also when he knocks his front teeth out (true story, never been blogged), so it's really hard for us parents (and siblings) to respond appropriately (whatever the hell that is) when he comes screaming around us that he's hurt.

We have told him countless times that these antics are working against him, but he continues.  Now, I know when this antic can actually work in his favor

Last night before bedtime I was in Girl 1's bottom bunk (which, by the way, makes me a little crazy because it has shown me that I am indeed CLAUSTROPHOBIC) waiting on Boy Child to finish brushing his teeth so that we could all say prayer together.  Girl 2 was quietly reading in her top bunk, Girl 3 was already tucked in in her own room, and Girl 1 and I were quietly talking about our day when all of sudden Boy Child hurled through the door screaming, "OH MY GOSH!  MY FACE!  MY FACE!  ARGHHHHHHHHHH!  IT HURTS SO BAD." Girl 1 and I slowly looked toward him (after glancing at each other a glance that said, "Now, what's he gone and done???") and we saw him dramatically clutching his face with both hands so that we couldn't really see his face. 

As he continued to scream the same thing over and over, Girl 2 said slowly and calmly, "What happened?"  To which Boy Child screamed, "I HIT MY FACE!!!"  He removed his hands and this is what we saw (well, kind of):

At that point I became alarmed and said, "WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?"  To which he dissolved into laughter, hit the floor, and between gasps of reckless giggles said, "FAKE BLOOD, MOM.  FAKE BLOOD!!!!!!!  APRIL FOOLS!!!!!"

Nicely done, Boy Child.  Nice element of surprise, nice macabre touch.  I have decided to start my April Fool's 2013 planning now.