Thursday, April 17, 2014

$5 Books!?! Party Favors For Everyone!!

It's my birthday this week, and guys? I even already got a birthday present!!

NEW SHOE BUTTERFLIES!

And they totally made me "super duper alley ooper flooper cooper fast" on my run this morning as their wings glittered, flittered and fluttered in the spring breeze! That I created. With my super fast running. Obviously.


And, except for an evening of babysitting Mabel has offered up to Jon and I like a rare and beautiful pearl made exclusively of rainbows and coffee beans (two of the most beautiful elements in the world), the butterflies probably would have been the highlight of my week. Would have been, if not for a recent conversation between Mabel, Belinda, Geraldine and myself:


Belinda: I'm so excited for your birthday!

Me: You are? Why?

Belinda: Yeah! We're going OUT! And we're doing karaoke! (high fives Geraldine)

Me: (looking quizzically, yet startledly, at Mabel) We are?

Mabel: (with her "Belinda's serious" expression, which really shows up around her eyebrows) Yep. Remember? We talked about it at Katie's birthday party?

Me: (in my crapazoidal voice) WHAT!?! Dudes. I was all jazzed up on roller skating and cupcakes that day, I don't remember any of this.

Mabel: (in her serious voice) And I am not singing.

Belinda: You're singing, right Martha? It's your birthday, you have to! It's going to be so fun!

Me: (mentally rubbing my forehead in distress while silently mumbling criminy...criminy...criminy...) I am. So not singing. But...  we could still go out or something? That could be, um, fun.... Ooo! We could go to a museum!

Belinda and Geraldine: Hahhahahahahaha!

Mabel: Um, guys? She's serious.

Me: (getting excited) It would be without all the children!!!

Mabel: Oh! It wouldn't take that long, then! We could still-

Belinda: (In her I've been to a museum with Martha before voice. It sounds, tired,for some strange reason.) No. It will. Don't you remember the museum in Roslyn last summer?

Geraldine: Oh my gosh, yes!

Me: Oooo! That was a cool museum! I need to go back there someday, I didn't see half of what they had on display!

Mabel: No, I didn't go. I was dropping the guys off for mountain biking. Why?

Belinda: It took for. ev. er.  Seriously! Forever! And it only had one room!

Geraldine: Yeah. I like museums, but, not that much.

Me: But! The whole town-

Geraldine: Of 900 people

Me: (ignoring Geraldine, because, the Donner-Reed Party only had 87 people and everyone agrees that was interesting) -donated stuff to the museum. Stuff they'd used! Stuff they brought when they traveled across on the Oregon Trail! Things they had made! Everything in there had a story! And all those handwritten interpretive signs.... It was just so, so, so awesome. (cue dreamy history look here)

Belinda: Yeah. No museums.

Geraldine: (looking up from her phone) What if we get a hotel room and make a night of it?

Me: (snapping out of my historical interpretive sign revelry as visions of hairdryer balloon tennis are lobbed directly into my brain by Geraldine) LIKE A SLUMBER PARTY!!

Geraldine: (slowly) Sure... We don't have to go to karaoke. (searching her phone) Hey! What about this? There's a hotel and the bar is also a bookstore. That sounds like something you would like, Martha.

Me: (carefully. cautiously. checking.) And, you guys, will go with me?

Everyone: Yeah. (too quickly, probably because they're relieved I gave up on that museum idea) It's your birthday.

Me: (striking like a blacksmith from the days of old Roslyn) OK! Let's book it! (pun, completely, intended)



Dudes! Do you know what this means? For my birthday I totally get to hang out in my pj's while reading $5 books in the hotel bookstore/bar-whatever-thing, interspersed with rousing matches of hairdryer tennis!

Hey! Geraldine, Belinda, and Mabel! Don't forget to pack your running shoes! My Shoe Butterflies and I just thought of a great 8 mile route we could do! You guys throw the best birthday parties!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Because Some Things Need To Be Set Straight

In my defense...

Listen, Random Mom at The Park, I wasn't trying to steal your untended cupcake. There was a crow. And it totally framed me! And, sure, I looked guilty standing there holding your cupcake without a bird in sight, but I'm serious. Blacky the Crow is like that. I've read Thornton Burgess, so I totally know.

In my defense...

Last Wednesday? On those hill repeats? I ran past that donut shop, like five times, before crashing through the doors, throwing all the money I had stashed in my running belt at the person behind the counter and demanding ALL THE DONUTS! Five. Times. People.

In my defense...

I meant to run the whole seven miles I had scheduled for this morning, but my large colon had other ideas. Or, maybe I should say the bean laden nachos I had for dinner two days ago, after making their slow slide through my large colon, had other ideas. Eh, either way, after that pit stop at the coffee shop, obviously I needed to walk the last .78 miles home. Otherwise, you know, my coffee would have sloshed all over that deliciously scrumptious almond croissant I was stuffing in my mouth.

In my defense...

Ellie has been particularly interested in how bodies work lately. Specifically, about how that bright blue frosted birthday party cupcake turned her tut-tut such a "really cool color, Mommy!" So, we pulled out some old diagrams, albeit for a much less stressful reason, and have been tracing the maze that is the large and small colons of our bodies. I'm hoping we move onto muscles soon. The show and tell component has to be a wee bit more, um... public friendly?

In my defense...

After school that one day, when I said that Katie was an annoying baby, I.... Well... OK, look. She kinda was. She never slept. She refused to play with other children until she was almost three. She talked really early and kept asking me all these questions. All the time.  And, did I mention that no sleep thing? Because, as an introvert, I kinda need a brain reset time, and when babies give up taking naps at, like, 9 months old, there is no. mommy. brain. reset. time.  And, down that road, as King Lear said, madness totally lies. Including babies, no matter what kind of cute mumbo jumbo they try to work on us with their adorable large heads and chubby arms that yawn and stretch and rub their eyes. They ain't falling asleep. They just want to see you try to put them down for a nap. Babies. They're completely full of it.

In my defense...

I thought Ellie was an annoying baby too. Because of the whole sleep thing. Which, she would do during the day, but at night? Nothin'. You try living on a collected four hours of sleep a night for six months straight. It's really hard. Dudes, the children may have seriously killed off over half my brain cells before they reached the age of three. Both of them.

In my defense...

Clive lent me Just A Geek by Wil Wheaton last week. And, while I'm only half way through it, what I'm getting from the book, is that Wil wants me to be more real in my blog posts. Meaning, I should quit taking prat falls at my kid's birthday party* and write about real stuff. Write about how I find babies annoying, or how I miss my aunt who passed away from liver disease a few weeks ago and, crud, now I'm all sad again, and there's probably, some other deep stuff that I need to dig up and share around like that. So, if next week, you read a melancholy post about a giraffe patterned wide tooth comb that was given to me when I was six, you can blame Wil Wheaton. I do.

*Although, that totally happened. For realsy.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gratuitous Use Of Technology To Brag About My Kid's Gradual Change In Her Cellular Structure

My kids are upstairs, in the midst of a play date right now.  A good mother would probably have 1) scheduled this type of thing 2) served an organically made snack or at least whittled carrot slices into shapes of stars and hearts and probably also 3) roller skated calmly and gracefully at her daughter's birthday party last weekend.

Instead, I 1) didn't, and simply rudely accosted one of Katie's classmate's mother in the school parking lot, 2) noticed that Katie's friend was divvying up some fruit snacks she probably rummaged from her lunch box, so, out of guilt, I threw some cheese sticks in the middle of the table and 3) last week, totally barreled into the rink, hopped up on cupcakes and nostalgic Michael Jackson songs, wobbling on ankles that hadn't seen a quad skate since the age of 10, and squashed Katie like a pancake within minutes.

Don't worry, people. She's totally fine. I mean, it's not like you make it to the age of seven with a mother like me and not toughen up a bit, you know? Although, there was some bruising involved. I mean, Katie should probably work a little harder on actually growing that exoskeleton I keep suggesting. Kids, man, they never listen to their elders.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm All Talk About That Peeing Thing. For Now, Neighbors. For Now.

So, the other day, I was driving around my new Seattle neighborhood and realized that no matter what street I tried to drive down, no matter what time of day it was, the fact that people around here park on both sides of the street, turning perfectly good two way sized streets into one way sized streets while still driving on them like they're two way streets, I was constantly re-enacting that scene from Footloose.

You remember the one.


Yeah. That one. The scene where Kevin Bacon's stupid boy hormones get him caught up in a game of chicken with 18,000 pound tractors. Then, fate steps in and Kevin's shoelace gets caught (meaning he can't get his foot loose....) and bail out like a sane person would, so he ends up flipping the other tractor and his romantic antagonist into a nearby irrigation ditch. Which, in the end, will win Kevin the heart of the red booted maiden with the pre-Disney movie but not pre-Hans Christian Anderson name. Because, obviously, he's a classic hero with mad dancing skills.

Yep. Driving around here is exactly like being stuck in a temporal loop of Footloose Tractor Chicken. Well, exactly, except they replaced the farm tractors with Prius's and the boom box blaring Bonnie Tyler with gigantic cups of coffee.  And, instead of launching my antagonists into a nearby irrigation ditch, I bail at the first opportunity (because, duh, death!) and never win anything. Which, come to think of it, is probably why people keep parking in front of my house causing me to troll the streets looking for a spot wide enough to park a semi, because not only am I a horrible contestant in the Temporal Loop of Footloose Tractor Chicken, I also lack basic parallel parking skills.

And, really, once you take into consideration deja vu, 20/20, foreshadowing and all those other literary type elements, I probably should have realized my lack of chutzpah in racking up Chicken points was why the parking space in front of my house was always claimed. Because, you know, of that old saying penned by Howard Pyle. You remember, that classic saying everyone learned while reading Robin Hood under a blanket with a flashlight after bedtime? The one that goes, "Faint heart never won fair parking space in front of thy house no matter how many times thou sayest at the toppest of thy voice "Dudes! 'Tis my space! Verily, I peed in it, I trow!*"

Or, you know, something like that....

Point being, the lessons we learned from Footloose and Robin Hood still apply today.  People with chutzpah don't have to pee on public streets to claim their parking space. They just need to turn up the Bonnie Tyler and earn it.

Now, where did I put my tape deck?




*To paraphrase.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Down The Rabbit Hole But At Least There Are Girl Scout Cookies Down Here

You know how everyone says, "Running is Cheaper than Therapy"?

Well, my car does at least:


Yeah. I haven't been attending my sessions lately.

(siiiiigh... shoulders droop... arms go all spaghetti... flop on floor... flail legs... cue up the Phillip Glass...)

Because...



I'm pretty sure Power Point was invented to enable adults to whine more sophisticatedly.

Plus, Girl Scout cookie sales started. And I volunteered to be Troop Cookie Manager. Because, apparently, it's a hereditary affliction.

However, while I've been hunkered down in my rabbit hole, wiping Do-Si-Do crumbs off my face, I've also neglected to publish the answers to my Attempted Metaphorical Globe Balancing Quiz, which, when whining about how Blogger doesn't have an upside down font so I could have added the answers to the bottom of the original post Katie said, "You could just write it in mirror language, like in Alice Through the Looking Glass." And I thought, "Dude.  I should consult smart people about my blog more often! I wonder if she knows how to fix my comment section problem." But then Katie disappeared behind her Lewis Carroll book and I realized I'd lost her to her own personal rabbit hole.

So, haul that computer into the bathroom and hold it up to the mirror and because the answers are below! And, bonus? You can totally count it as your strength training for the day.

------------------------------------------

1.  How many Benjamin's would the outfit on the left have set me back?

Answer: !01 snimajneB  .trihstaews, mu, yarg evod ylevol taht rof 005$ revo uoy sevael taht strohs llabteksab fo riap a no 005$ dneps ylno uoy fi esuaceB

2.  Wobbly Octopus Biscuits are:
Answer: .ni dexim, senob supotco eb ot, iloccorb dna, ylbbow ti ekam ot, eseehc htiw, stiucsiB .suineg yraniluc gningier ruo si eillE dnA

3. Did this scene from My Three Sons play in my head when reading Trader Joe's description of their Coffee a Cocoa?
Answer: .eurT .oG-oG-A salguoD eht ta gur a tuc erus nac eibboR esuaceB

4.

Answer: .ti no drazil a htiw puc eeffoc a s'tI  .retnec ytinummoc lacol eht ta koot I snossel yrettop ylkeew 7 fo tluser eht si sihT .seY .zlliks citsitra dam evah I

-----------------------------------------

Whew! Good work people! Two more reps and you're done!

Or, you know, grab your own box of Girl Scout cookies and meet me down here in the Rabbit Hole. I still have Phillip Glass spinning on the Hi-Fi.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's About Trying And Experimenting And Being Creative. And, If It Doesn't Work Out, You Can Always Blame It On The Wobbly Octopus Biscuits

Both girls are down in the basement, happily building a car out of the now empty grapefruit box my parents shipped to us for Christmas from Arizona. They are working together. They are not fighting. (OK, there was a little fighting. But none for at least the last five minutes! OK, fine, two.) The tools they have chosen are two pairs of kid scissors, a glue stick, and from the sounds bouncing up the stairway our beach ball that looks like a globe. Truthfully, I have no idea how the beach ball helps them in the build of the car, but, heck, who am I to squelch the creative process?

Then, while sitting in the kitchen, gulping my coffee, I thought, "Dude! It's quiet, ish. This would be the perfect time to work on that blog post about basketball shorts, cocoa infused coffee from Trader Joe's, my new coffee cup and those Wobbly Octopus Biscuits!"

Which seemed like a great idea!

Until I read what I'd previously written.

And it was crap.

I was tempted to blame it, unfairly, on the Wobbly Octopus Biscuits, but then, after sneaking down to peek at the grapefruit crate car progress in my basement, I was reminded that, sometimes, it's not quality that's important, it's trying. And experimenting. Being creative. Just plain working on an idea, implementing it, seeing if, maybe, this time you can get it to balance on top of a beach ball globe as you sing the "Continents Song" you learned in Kindergarden over and over and over. Which, obviously, while sitting up here in the kitchen I'm speaking about metaphorically, but is being taken quite literally down in the basement. (And in my head, because, that song it totally stuck in there!)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Attempted Metaphorical Globe Balancing #1:

We receive quite a bit of junk mail addressed to "Or Current Resident" at our new house, including the February edition of the Nordstrom catalog. Which, through the power of marketing, modeling and other evils, suggested I buy the outfit on the left.

This is Nordstrom's, so, exactly, how many Benjamin's do you think this outfit, not including the shoes, would set me back?

A. 2
B. 5
C. 8
D. 10


Attempted Metaphorical Globe Balancing #2:

Ellie requested Wobbly Octopus Biscuits for dinner the other night. Are Wobbly Octopus Biscuits:

A. biscuits, with tiny baby octopi mixed in
B. biscuits, with cheese, to make it wobbly, and broccoli, to be octopus bones, mixed in
C. biscuits, covered with cheese and rainbow colored sprinkles
D. not really biscuits, but a soup made from refried beans, potatoes and carrots


Attempted Metaphorical Globe Balancing #3:

True (T) or False (F)

When reading Trader Joe's description of their Coffee a Cocoa in the Fearless Flyer this scene from My Three Sons was playing in my head.


Attempted Metaphorical Globe Balancing #4:


A. This is an awesome coffee cup Ellie made for me in her Parent and Me pottery class.
B.  This is an awesome coffee cup Katie made for me in her No Parents Allowed Kids Only Pottery Class.
C. This is the result of 7 weekly pottery lessons I took at the local community center. It's a coffee cup with a lizard on it.
D.  This is a coffee cup I found at the local thrift shop. HOW COULD ANYONE GIVE AWAY SUCH AWESOMENESS!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

Want to attempt some metaphorical globe balancing too? Leave your answers in the comments section below! Extra points if you sing the "Continents Song" at the same time. LYRICS BELOW!!


North America, South America, 
Europe, Africa, Aaaaaasia! 
Don't forget Australia! 
Don't forget Antaaaaarctica! 
Then repeat. 
Again. 
And again. 
Seriously. 
You're not done yet.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Skipped Number 8 Because One Should Not Have R Rated Conversations With Siri

It's likely that, if I'd been a true blue and green member of the Seahawks fandom, instead of just a wannabe in it for a cheap cup of coffee, I'd have realized that last Wednesday was the worst day in the history of all interstate road travel to schedule a meeting that resulted in having to drive a car through Seattle. Like, over 700,000 people standing in freezing weather watching football players being transported past Pike's Place in a fleet of amphibious WWII era vehicles named after a common waterfowl worth of bad idea. In my opinion. Either way, it is quite large.  It also meant that I was stuck in the car. For a really long time. With only Siri to talk to. And she was being particularly stupid that day with her note takings. So, in honor of the 12th man parade (which, still, no one will explain the historical significance of) I typed up

Siri's Top 12 Worst Understandings Over 70 Miles Of Freeway Through Horrible Traffic
Without Any Explanations 
Because I Don't Remember What I Was Trying To Say
Although I Did Give Siri A Chance To Explain Today
Because I'm Nice Like That


1. D is for dancing. 

Siri's: I don't see any places matching "D is for dancing". Sorry about that.
Me: Do you even like dancing?
Siri: This is about you, not me.

2. What is the significance of the cat?

Siri: I didn't find anything for the significance of the cat.
Me: Did you even try?
Siri: Now there's a good question. Now, where were we?
Me: What is the significance of the cat?
Siri: I did not find anything for the significance of cat. Search the web?
Me: Ok.
Siri: (Searches web)
Me: (waiting, glancing, sighing) Siri, you found absolutely no results! It's like you're not even trying!
Siri: Is that so?
Me: Yes!
Siri: That's what I figured.

3. The car inside your finger. Is there a filming of Matt Matt I did not know about?

Siri: I found six auto dealers.
Me: I don't want to buy a car.
Siri: Ok then.
Me: I still want to know about the car inside your finger.
Siri: I found six auto dealers.
Me: Siri, I still don't want to buy a car. How about, is there a filming of Matt Matt I did not know about?
Siri: (shows me the nearest car dealership on the map)

4. Beat up car to the side you'll anchor in price. Cut off Muckler behind. Is there a free Delmayne of bad?

Siri: (indignantly) I'm just trying to help you.

5. Butt based traffic today.

And then Siri showed me a map of the traffic. And you know what? She was right. Because days later people are still queued up to leave Seattle.

6. Very taking notes.

Siri: I found all of your notes.
Me: Can you read them all to me?
Siri: I can if you update to the latest version of iOS.
Me: Well, crapazoidal, I don't know how to do that. She totally just called my bluff!


7. U-Haul behind me Rathbourne iPad.

Siri: I'm not sure I understand
Me: U-Haul behind me Rathbourne iPad.
Siri: I'm not sure I understand
(That. 12 more times. (And, yes, I kept track.) Then Siri gave in and offered to look up "U-Haul behind me Rathbourne iPad" in my address book. But she didn't find anyone with that name. Ooo! Thought! Anyone want a new nickname?)

8. Deleted. On purpose. Also. Related: Do not ask Siri to take a note regarding any type of trucking business with children in the room. 

9.  Having Siri take notes for me in the car and listening to her messed up. It's rather distracting from the heavy traffic due to the Seahawks game this afternoon it, Doneghan! Get the parade! My mistake. A parade because they won the game which was last weekend. 

Siri: I created your note.
Me: What? I don't want you to take a note. I want you to explain the meaning behind the note.
Siri: Ok. I created that note.
Me: Siri, no. Stop taking notes.
Siri: Ok. I created that note.
Me: (face palm)

10.  I hate steak salad sandwich coffee. Angle blueberries down for lunch.

Siri: I see. Noted.
Me: Where did you note that?
Siri: I don't know. Frankly I've wondered that myself.
Me: So, do you hate steak salad sandwich coffee too?
Siri: I'm afraid i don't know the answer to that.
Me: Have you ever tried steak salad sandwich coffee?
Siri: Who me?
Me: Yes, you.
Siri: You?
Me: Seriously!?! It's "Couldn't be" Siri. Geesh!

11.  Note that on my phone before it blows up. For, I get to blowup like Mommy Lichtenstein up at 11!

Siri: I couldn't find any blood banks.

12. 12 Maneos the Hawks! Go Hawks! Game! Football with the football! I don't know anyone here!

Siri: I am searching the web for " 12 Mancos the Hawks! Go Hawks! Game! Football with the football! I don't know anyone here!"
Me: What? Without even being asked!
(And then she took me to this webpage.)
Me: Dude! A book written by a gunrunning poet? I need me a trip to the library!
(And then Siri mapped the nearest library. Because she's helpful like that.)