Thursday, December 19, 2013

NEWLY UPDATED!!: Indiana Jones ACTION FIGURE! Now With More Phrases!

In honor of the holiday season I made this video with the naked Indiana Jones action figure I found at the salon while waiting for the kids to get their hair cut.

But, since I run a family blog, I made him put his clothes on first.

And, obviously,  by 'in honor of the holiday season' I mean, "Dang! Do you know how much stuff I still have to get done!?!"

Apparently Indiana Jones hates Apple products, and possibly all technological mobile devises, which, let's face it makes him even awesomer than he was before, so, I'll just leave the video link right here.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Office Party Survival Tips You Can Actually Use

You know what's not useful? Lists people post on the Internet around the holidays entitled "How to Survive The Office Christmas Party in 12 Easy Steps". First off, 12 is way too big of a number of steps for my caffeine* ravaged brain to handle. Second, they all seem to offer useless advice like "You have to go" and "Ask people questions" or, my favorite, "Don't photocopy your butt", because, Dude, hasn't every sitcom in the world addressed this party faux pas like a thousand times? So, I'm making my own list.  Because it's Christmas, and I stupidly followed all those bossy people on the Internet's first tip of "You have to go" and attended Jon's work party last weekend, and, really, what else was I supposed to do there?

Rule #1: Dress fancy.
And fancy has rules. Apparently. For instance, items on the "approved fancy list": 1) your grandmother's art deco necklace, 2) dresses you didn't buy in 1999, 3) heels.  On the other hand, items on the "not approved fancy list": 1) the comfy sweater your aunt knitted your grandpa in 1972, 2) your jumping jack Santa pin you've had since you were six, 3) TURKEY! hats, 4) anything you wore to the holiday party last year, 5) running shoes. In other words, I had to go shopping this year. Because Mabel, Geraldine and Belinda made me.

Rule #2: Brush up on your baby sign language.
This is especially useful if it's one of those lame office parties with like, music and a dance floor and stuff, because communicating to your spouse that "shoes hurt" and "want cookie"  is a lot less embarrassing if you don't have to yell.

Rule #3: Wear a slip.
Seriously, get one, even if you have to rip the last slip JC Penney has on their shelves out of a 90 year old woman's hands.  Because, eventually, sometime during the night it will totally cover your butt.  Literally.  Because of science. And wool coats. And because, inevitably, the restroom will be located on the complete other side of the bar. Where all the people are. That you have to walk past.  Because of science again, or really psychology, which is "almost real science" according to Jon.

Rule #4: Pack extra panty hose.
Also, I shouldn't even have to say this, but, it's totally true.  Because you never know.  

Rule #5: Bring one of those over the door restroom hooks.
Because washing your hands with your purse, coat and scarf clenched between your knees while balancing on three inch heels is hard.  Plus, when women walk into the restroom to find you splayed against the wall, heels askew, coat dropped on the floor, scarf between your teeth, giggling, and insisting "I haven't even had my one glass of wine yet!" they totally don't believe you.  At. All.

I did think about making my list all even and adding a Rule #6 about how to converse easily with people you don't know in holiday party situations. But, after spending the night making socially awkward hand gestures, mooning everyone, and finding myself practically sprawled on the restroom floor, it was probably best the DJ was too busy bustin' the Christmas tunes to really have a chance to engage people in conversation, so we left. Plus, it was like 9:30 and the coffee carafe was empty. Strangely enough.

*Fun fact: I only drank coffee in actual coffee shops before I had kids.  So, if you think about it, having kids basically drove me to drink.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

UPDATE: Teach Your Children Well, Because We All Know I Didn't Learn It The First Time Around

I was never very good at math. In fact, teeeeechnically, if you insist on using a traditional grading system,  I never learned my 6, 7, and 8 multiplication facts. And I only passed my 9s because my best friend taught me that finger trick, which, has seriously, been invaluable in my day to day life. And really, I'm not sure how I actually passed third grade math, let alone earned a college diploma in Elementary Education that says I'm competent enough to teach the subject.  So, you can imagine my absolute delight when on the day of my marriage to Jon I realized that not only did I marry a pretty awesome guy (yadda, yadda, insert heart warming mushy gushy stuff here) BUT I now had my own live in human calculator! The bliss! The joy! Never to have to figure out how much to tip a server again! Never have to add fractions while doubling recipes! Percentages! Areas! Averages! Means! Exponential Models! Periods of a periodic function! Directrixations of parabolas! FOCAL RADII! The idea of all that bonus marital mathematical freedom was absolutely intoxicating!

And short lived.

Because, apparently, Jon doesn't appreciate random equations being verbally lobbed into his "internal intellectual space". He also doesn't appreciate it when I try to pass off phrases I make up, like "internal intellectual space" for example, as something he's said. However, if I've learned anything in this past decade plus of marriage, it's that it's all about compromise. Jon.

I'm sure you can imagine, and sympathize with, the awkward social situations I have had to, literally, struggle through these past years. And, no, your imagination is not exaggerating, it has been that bad. But, then, at the store yesterday, as I was hoisting on my grocery filled backpack (with a very womynly grunt)  and wondering how heavy it was and dreading the tediousness of all the math I would have to do by myself when I got home, adding up the weight of each and every item, I realized, dude, this is what I had kids for!

So, when Katie got home from first grade, I had this SUPER FUN MATH PROJECT waiting for her on the kitchen table:

Mommy and Eleanor went to the store to buy groceries.  When mommy checked out and loaded all the groceries in her backpack she said, "MAN! This backpack must weigh 637 pounds!" Was mommy right?  If not, how heavy was her backpack? Use the table to solve the problem. 
And, with a smile, that girl sat down at the table and totally figured it out!   

Dudes. I'm soooo getting that human calculator!

You know the old saying, "A calculator doesn't make you smarter, just prettier"? Let's just say, I used a calculator to check Katie's work and my eyes looked completely amazing while doing so. My hair was shiny and bouncy too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Kids Woke Up And It's Not Morning Anymore But I'm Posting This Anyway BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO!

It's morning. Here I sit, sunlight ACTUALLY peaking through the Seattle cloud cover (I know! Gasp!), dishwasher still loaded, laundry sitting in piles by the washer, still to do Thanksgiving shopping list ripped, crumpled and left carelessly under the kitchen table because Ellie needed it to, wait... no, she said that, um she wanted... you know, I don't know, it's still readable so, whatever, it's all good. I was going to pretend that my coffee wasn't even brewed yet, to lend, you know, credibility to the whole early morning things left undone montage I had going on here, but, then, as I  paused to bolt back the dregs of my first cup I realized, dude, one, you're trying too hard and two, no one with even the most basic understanding of  the editing process is going to believe that I've been up for longer than 10 minutes without a cup of coffee in my hand.  Unless I'm running. Because running and hot coffee don't go together. At all.  Because of all the sloshing the boiling hot liquids like to do even if you run with your green travel mug your mom got you for Christmas that has a really good lockable sippy top. Not that I've tried it.  More than once. Twice. OK, fine, maybe just that whole first month of November after we moved to this cold and rainy state. In my defense though, it was cold. And rainy. And cold....


As I was saying:

The sun is up, kinda, I'm sitting on my butt,  I'm not unloading the dishwasher or doing other stuff but I've made coffee and I'm drinking it, you know, blah blah blah, enjoying the quiet house, blee blee blee, there is a peace when little bodies are sleeping, yada yada.

And? Cue the pitter patter of little demanding feet in 5,









------that's weird----------

(Looks over shoulder) Dude! I think they're still sleeping!

Ok, look, don't get me wrong here.  I love my children.  Heck, it's Thanksgiving tomorrow, obviously I'm even thankful for them too.  They're fun, beautiful, hard working, imaginative, helpful, kind little girls.  I mean, they're sooo way better than any other kid in our entire whole world wide universe and all the others including z8_GND_5296!  You know, that universe way over there. (points really far away)

Dude! Seriously? Just step away from the very sharp ornamental pitchfork you propped artistically by the pumpkins and sheaves of wheat by the front door. Obviously I didn't mean your kids (places hand over mouth) I meant their kids (gestures with eyes, pretends to be a ventriloquist) over there. Plus? Impaled entrails don't usually go over as well with guests before they stuff themselves silly on sweet potatoes encrusted with a generous oozing of marshmallow...pustules.

(Insert awkward pause here while readers nod agreeably and reassemble their Thanksgiving Day displays. Or watch a video by The Original Schnickelfritz Band. Potato, Potata.)

Whew. Glad we cleared that up. Can we get back to talking about the awesomeness of my children now?

Because, dudes, Katie and Ellie are very excited for Thanksgiving and have written their own "List of Things She's Thankful For". They even made me do it. And. Yes. I'm going to share them with you. Because it's Thanksgiving and THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO!

Oh, and, yeah, it was totally Katie's idea.  How could you tell?

Ellie's List Of Things She's Thankful For:
Sweet food to eat
A house to live in

My List Of Things I'm Thankful For:
Dry mornings for running
Hot coffee
Good books

Katie's List of Things She's Thankful For:
A cheetah jumps
A giraffe eats
A rhino sits in a tree
A lion roars

Wait! A! Minute!  Katie didn't tell me I could write a humorous poem about a rhino climbing a tree and then accidentally falling on top of a lion! Dude. That kid is holding back on me.

In the spirit of THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO Thanksgiving, you should add your list of things your thankful for in the comments. Or write a poem about a flamingo. Because apparently, according to Katie,  that's totally fine too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Would Have Named Them Mr. Pickles And Anne Of Cleves, Respectively, But, Apparently, I'm Raising My Children In A Democracy

I've been lonely since we've moved.  Which, with the overly numerous references to the collected works of LM Montgomery in my blog posts lately should catch none of you by surprise.  I miss having "bosom friends"*. The kind of friends that I run into randomly at the grocery store, or get together with for cupcakes after picking Katie up from school, or wait in line with for the midnight showing of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (I'm beyond your judgement, mock away!) or meet up with at 6am for a nine mile run on a Saturday morning, you know, the awesome kind of friends.  Sigh.... In an I'm-eating-my-feelings-but-it's-kinda-ok-because-I-ran-hills-this-morning related note: it's a good thing Ellie talked me into buying this ginormous box of Cheez-Its because her Halloween bag is completely out of Recess Peanut Butter Cups. Because she's... um, you know, piggy like that. Also? That last sentence is what God invented grace for.  Just sayin'.

But, dudes, just this last Monday? Mabel came for a visit and I got to pretend for a whooole day that I have a friend who lives close enough to help me use my coupon for a free inflatable fruitcake.  A friend who didn't once ask "What are you going to do with a free inflatable fruitcake?" (It was more like, four times. But what ever.) And the answer is tons of things. Obviously. I mean, IT'S A FREE INFLATABLE FRUITCAKE! The question should be more like, what can't you do with a free inflatable fruitcake?

Because free inflatable fruitcakes are full of the awesome.  
But seriously, we had a wonderful visit filled with coffee, conversation, card games, playing with Katie and Ellie at the park, Elvis French Toast for lunch and, the assortment of candied fruit sprinkled on top that totally made the day? A free inflatable fruitcake. Oh. And an inflatable flamingo.  So the fruitcake didn't have to be lonely after Mabel finally went home.

Who, apparently, is a bit of a prima donna. I mean, dude, it's like she doesn't even want me IN the photo!
And, that evening, after a quick naming contest, Boa the Flamingo and Ela the Fruitcake joined our family. Seamlessly.

Friendship. It's a beautiful thing.

*NOTE: The term "bosom friends" doesn't sound silly when you say it with an early 20th century literature accent. Or while dressed as Tom Hanks in drag.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Possible Premeditated Pedestal Tipping

The other evening I was literally ambushed by this conversation with Ellie:

Ellie: (walking into the kitchen as I'm cooking dinner with that serious look on her face, you know the one, the one she uses when she yells, "SWIPER NO SWIPING!" while watching Dora) Mommy? I pretty much only like Daddy.

Me: (continuing to slice apples, because I'm unflappable like that) You do?

Ellie: (crossing her chubby little arms over her chest) Yeah.

Me: (going there) Don't you like Mommy? (because, really, why wouldn't you)

Ellie: (without a pause) No. Not very much.

Me: (arranging the apple slices on a plate to look like flower petals) Why is that?

Ellie: (uncrossing her arms, hands balled into fists at her side) Because you button my top buckle on my car seat and I like to do it!

Then she stalked out of the room.

Later that weekend Ellie had this conversation with Jon while I was eavesdropping in the other room:

Ellie: (sweetly cuddling up to Jon on the couch) Daddy? I love you.

Jon: (leaning over to kiss Ellie's head) I love you too.

Ellie: (in her explaining voice) But I don't like Mommy. Not very much.

Jon: (in his explaining voice) Oh! But I do.  I think she's very nice.  She does many nice things for us and loves us very very much.

Ellie: (looking at Jon through squinty eyes as if he'd just told her he thought Dora The Explorer was boring) Ohhhh....

Then she scooted herself off the couch and left the living room. She may have walked backwards.

Me: (poking my head around the corner to look at Jon) Dude!

Jon: What?

Me: Aren't you even curious!?!

Then this morning, in the car, on the way home from swim lessons, I had this conversation with Ellie:

Ellie: (matter of factly, with just a tinge of wistfulness) I like to be with Daddy a lot.

Me: (reading the foreshadowing on the wall) You do, huh?

Ellie: (with all the love she can muster from her 30 pounds, so, obviously that means she needs to use her "outdoor voice") YEAH! A LOT!!

Me: (going there. yes, again.) Do you like to do things with Mommy?

Ellie: (without a pause) No. Not very much.

Me: Don't we do fun things?

Ellie: (again with the pauselessness) No.

Me: (in my "Oh no she didn't" voice) Didn't we play salon this morning and Mommy let you brush her hair and put in all these barrettes? Didn't we then play UNO MOO and you won, right? Then, I'm pretty sure, we read like five library books in a row all before going to swim lessons. Wasn't that fun?

Ellie: (like a robot, people, a Daddy-Is-The-Bestest-Thing-EVER-Nothing-Can-Compare-To-His-AWESOMENESS Robot, but with feeling) No.

Me: (my brain mumbling something about water and ducks) Why? What do you like to do with Daddy?

Ellie: (lighting up like Christmas! Like. Christmas. People. There may have been jazz hands.) We play marble track! I like to play MAAAARBLE TRACK!

Me: (with a large snort) So, what you're telling me is, that if I play marble track with you I'll be able to push Daddy out of that top tier of popularity? Then you'd like Mommy just as much as Daddy? That's all it would take?

Ellie: (pausing. thinking. pausing again. proceeding, with caution.) Yes. Because that would be fun.

Oh my goodness, guys!! Acclaim! Adoration! Approval! Favor! Esteem! The Eternal Regard and Renown of a three year old! All there for the taking! So tempting....

Me: You know what I think we should do when we get home, Ellie?

Ellie: (hopefully) What!?!

Me: Night night naps.  Because Mommy is quite tired. (And then I faked a yawn.)

Eh. Eternal regard and renown is overrated anyway.

Friday, November 1, 2013


There is a quote by Anne Shirley going around the PinINterest universe that says, "I'm so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers". Maybe it's my incessant reading of every book, short story and poem LM Montgomery has ever written these past few weeks* that has me agreeing 756,368,646.02% with LM (after all our late nights through the years, obviously, we're on a first and middle initial basis) or maybe it's because there is nothing like spending the weekend nestled deep in the autumn hued woods of rural Ohio with three beautiful women that have graced my life with their friendship since I was an awkward gangly teenager. Just! Like! Anne! Shirley! (squee!!

OK. I'll stop now. But, really, mostly because when I tried to write an achingly beautiful tribute to my " Most Best Bestest Besties" by incorporating the imagery of an Ohioian fall it came out sounding like one of us had an incurable disease and only had three months to live.  Because, apparently, the imagery of fall is depressing. Who knew!?!

See, while growing up in the desert I viewed fall as an awakening, an oasis, a  promise of the blossoming of life! However, when you try to switch environmental habitat imagery you have to substitute out word pictures like "migratory birds, welcomed home by the cooling temperatures of the desert, flit in and out among the prickly pear fruit" for "leaves, cold and brown, crunching beneath our footsteps". And, you can totally tell where that would lead, right?  Exactly.  Straight to my kid's Halloween candy stash for just one more Recess Peanut Butter Cup hit. Because peanut butter and chocolate is like heroin, people.  Heroin.  And, remember, this is coming from a woman who has never taken illicit drugs in her life. Although... I did read all four books of Twilight....

Anyway, if I kept waxing poetic I'd never get to tell you all that:


But, probably only because I had the nerve to waltz around rural Ohio dressed in my vegetarian costume. You know the one. The one with the vintage 70s style dress, boots and yellow tights? Exactly. That one.
Or that:


And I'd never be able to work in how:


Because, dude, what kind of farmer uses a silo that looks like this?
An alien farmer, that's who.
And, obviously the time:

WE ACCIDENTALLY TOOK A BABY INTO A BAR AND SOME GUY GAVE US HIGH FIVES! Because, really, how else are you going to bow out of that gracefully? Also? Bars in Ohio should be, like, way better marked at 5pm. Just sayin'.

Of course:


However, on reflection, he may have looked a bit silly without being juxtapized next to the alien silo.
But, then again, who doesn't?
And, I don't mean to be overly poetic or go off quoting LM Montgomery again by saying "True friends are always together in spirit." But with these women? I'm in it until the end with them.

And now we have the "MOST BEST BESTEST BESTIES" bracelets to prove it.

*Because it makes me feel romantic, and beautiful, and winsome and all those other words late 19th early 20th century writers like to use.  So, shut up about it.

PS Please ignore my rudeness. I'm just utilizing an obviously unpoetic literary phrase to push you away and pretend I don't have ushuy gushy mushy feelings.  See, I totally just did it again.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

And The Winner Is....

It's Wednesday! You know what that means, right? Yep! Today I get to reveal the winner of last week's photo contest!!!

Which I realize I totally could have called, like, a week ago, but a Really Real Contest has to have rules.  And prizes. And allow me two whole weeks of blogger content, otherwise I'd have to write about the party I went to this last weekend dressed as the "Embodiment of the Romanticism of Death" where I won first prize in the costume competition. (That no one else entered.) But, I, didn't actually get a prize because, apparently, the whole point of the party was to get together and write our living wills, not dress in an old bridesmade dress with LM Montgomery quotes pinned all over the skirt. And, yes, I realize I'm complaining about the lack of prizes handed out at a party dedicated to talking about when you want your loved ones to pull the plug on your life support machine.  And, yes, I do realize that the prize for death is heaven, and, all that, blah, blah, blah.... But, I mean, let's face it, I'm the mother of small children, I'm kinda over the whole patience/delayed gratification thing. I need me some pumpkin cookies to tide me over until I get to that huge library in the sky. Truth people. Just plain truth.

Speaking of truth, Shannon Reads totally blew everyone out of the water.  I mean, technically, she didn't get all the books correct, but the shear knowledge of children's literature she entered into the contest with was AMAZING! So, sometime, in the next 5-10 business days*, Shannon, you should be receiving your prize of a box of mac and cheese and a random pumpkin item from Trader Joe's in the mail!

And, for those of you who are wondering, here are the correct answers from last week's contest!
Pic 1
Correct Answer:
 Um,  see, I was just going to give the prize to the first person who guessed Twilight. Because  I thought it would be funny.

Pic 2
Correct Answer:
Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day

Pic 3
Correct Answer:
I, um, actually, don't know the correct answer....

Pic 4
Correct Answer:
OK, look.  I never read robot books when I was little. I thought sci-fi was stupid. So, I don't, actually....

Pic 5
Correct Answer:
Tootle by Gertrude Crampton

Pic 6:
Correct Answer:
I grew up in the deserts of Arizona a book about tugboats was basically sci-fi in my eyes.  So....

Pic 7
Correct Answer:
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Pic 8
Correct Answer:
See, I thought it was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, but, after a quick internet search, I now realize that it can't actually be The Giving Tree because that had a boy character, and, well, that statue isn't.... 

Pic 9
Correct Answer:
Look.  I learned about The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien from a  couple of 5th grade boys. Who I were in the class I did my student teaching with. So, let's just face it. I have no idea what book this is.

Pic 10
Correct Answer:
The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L Frank Baum, mostly because, as a kid, I thought  Around the World in 80 Days was boring. 

Pic 11
Correct Answer:
I thought, maybe, Batman?
But, really,  I was hoping you all would come up with  a more literary type answer. 

Pic 12:
Correct Answer:
Huh.  Dude.  I've even read that one! 

Also? 10 zillion quadrabizical points to those of you who don't mention in the comments that I ran a contest without knowing the real answers.

*FYI Friday and Monday don't count as business days.  Mostly because I'm lazy. And I need to psych myself up for the car trip, because, DUDE! did I tell you about that!?!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Through No Effort Of My Own I Have Acquired A 12 Cup Coffee Maker. This May Not Be Helping.

I can't do it, guys.  I seriously can. not. do. it.  I mean, sure, maybe before I loaded Ellie up in the car and drove a mile (ONE MILE, DUDES! THAT'S IT!) to the nearest Trader Joe's* I could have written the soul searching, hard hitting expose on lying parents and wrapping paper I had planned, but, now? There's no way.  All I can think about are two way streets made into one way streets because of parked cars but are really still two way streets, cutting off people driving in, what I thought, was a dedicated the bike lane, six way intersections regulated by stop signs where pedestrians have the right of way and there is always someone crossing one of the streets messing up any type of turning order I thought I figured out, Siri, or whoever it is who lives in my cars' GPS, spewing out directions like, "Turn right here" when I'm  not only in the middle of an intersection but also in the left hand lane, and, me, hands clamped to the wheel, eyes wide and darting from side to side, Ellie in the back seat yelling things like, "Mommy! Look! Look! Over there! I see an E! There's an E in my name! Mommy! Mommy! Why did the pumpkin cross the road? Because he's a roller bowler! Ha! Ha! Is that funny, Mommy? Is it?" while a small rivulet of mucus drips from my still stuffed up nose and I whimper, "I can't do it.  I can't.  I didn't play video games when I was a kid.  I don't have the reflexes to compete with you all."

So, instead, this week's blog post comes with a contest!  That I put together at the nearby park.  That I can walk to.

So, grab your seasonal mug of pumpkin flavoring, curl up with your coziest blanket, and see how many children's books you can identify from these 12 statues that are scattered around the perimeter of my neighborhood playground!

To enter, just list your guesses in the comments below! The person with the most correct answers will win bragging rights among children's librarians and elementary bookworms alike! A box of macaroni and cheese! And! A random pumpkin flavored product, because, Trader Joe's has found my seasonal kryptonite.

Pic 1
Or: The Easy One

Pic 2
Or: Good Dog!

Pic 3
Or: Stilts, Like High Heels, But More Practical

Pic 4
Or: Insert A Dr. Who Reference Here, But I Don't Watch Dr. Who So I Won't

Pic 5
Or: Choo! Choo!

Pic 6
Or: Toot! Toot! (And all the preschoolers giggled!)

Pic 7
Or: Tall House

Pic 8
Or: Reach For The Stars, Unless You're Really Hungry Then Just Reach For An Apple

Pic 9
Or: A Dear Doggie! Said Dora, Daughter Of Duke David

Pic 10
Or: Not Held Up By Helium

Pic 11
Or: Count Them! One! Two! Three! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Pic 12
Or: If I Had Wings No One Would Ask Me Could I  Fly
Now, you may be wondering if this is a really real type of contest, and, since I just used the term "really real" who can blame you, and if so you wouldn't be the first because I wrote a whole blog post about that once. You can find it here. 

*Because marketing works, stupid Fearless Flyer writers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taken Directly From How To Win Friends And Influence People

Do you know this person?

The parent who, instead of hiring a babysitter, hauls each and every one of her children to curriculum night at school, including the one who isn't even school age yet.  Then, instead of providing her children with quiet, constructive activities such as a Dora the Explorer coloring book, lets them run amok among the classroom library, pulling out books willy-nilly, including the chapter books THAT THEY CAN'T EVEN READ YET!

Then, as if that's not bad enough, they have the audacity to show up late, so that they disrupt the whole classroom of responsible, on time, well mannered, professionally dressed (meaning not wearing yoga pants) parents as they file through, like a mini Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Because Ellie refused to leave her blue Pancake House balloon at home.

Finally, the whole extended family will settle at the back of the class, and, you will take a deep breath, knowing that the worse is over. And then. You smell. Something. You will, surreptitiously, look around, wondering exactly which nicely appointed foot it could be coming from, then, notice the mother of the whole disruptive parade walking out of the classroom holding in one hand an old, worn out holey running shoe with, um, shoe butterflies? on the toes, only to quickly return in her stocking feet.

Finally, you will  once again be able to focus on the teacher while noting the next topic of order on the agenda, only to be distracted, once again, as you hear from the back of the classroom someone stage whisper, quite exasperatedly, "You have got to be kidding me!" And the same mother of the disruptive parade will stalk out of the classroom again, the smell of dog tut-tut wafting behind her. Literally. Because, apparently, she sat in it too.

Then, you will think, "Good.  Maybe she'll be in the restroom long enough for us to get some serious questions answered." But, unfortunately, the girls restroom where she fled in sanctuary will be in the same hallway, and, while it lacks a proper door, the traditional design of tile and porcelain does create AMAZING acoustics!  And because of which, you will be able to hear each and every stage of emotional progression from frustrated sighs to quiet chuckles to a giggly spoken "Dude! It's like an olfactory whoopee cushion back here!"

And, because she has no shame, or, maybe, really, anywhere else to go, considering she's shoeless, she will come back into the classroom, and, try, to act like a responsible parent by taking notes about the Social Studies curriculum.

Then, after the whole family (and balloon) has finally paraded, once again, out of the classroom, book piles and meeting notes carelessly left behind them, you will notice that, on the volunteer sign up sheet for all the classroom activities for the year, she signed up once. To bring juice boxes.  In February. Probably because napkins were already taken.


In my defense, I never once mentioned my imaginary snot statue dedicated to Sandy Hawkins. Not. Once.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Consumption: It's A Genteel Disease

Top Ten Things I've Been Doing This Month Instead Of Sculpting A Life Size Statue Of Sandy Hawkins Out Of My Own Mucus, Not Because Of Lack of Mucus Production You Understand, But Because It Would Be Gross. And I Lack Storage Jars. But Mostly The Gross One.

10.  Nicknaming Ellie, Ruby Gillis, because whenever we go out in public she likes to cough, genteelly, into her elbow. And, because, it's now October and I'm allowed to make obscure literary references in all my macabre jokes.

9.  Researching the word "conkers" that I heard on Kipper while waiting to pick up Katie at school instead of talking with all the other parents.  Because I already talked to the checker at the grocery store that day and I'm completely out of small talk subjects.

8.  Meeting new neighbors and making awkward comments about toilets and toilet drains.  Why? Dude. You read number 9, right?

7.  Pushing Ellie's tricycle with my foot to make it go faster, while yelling, "Nitrous oxide!", as we race to pick up Katie from school each afternoon and wondering how long it will be before I'm recruited by the Seahawks like Tony Danza in The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon.

6.  Researching the gangs of New York and warning Jon to stay away from anyone giving someone bunny ears during his trip for work. Because history repeats itself. And because that's how the members of the gang, The Dead Rabbits, identified one another in that Martin Scorsese movie.

(Unrelated note: I've never seen more than two minutes of Gangs of New York (Dudes! That movie was scary!) but this totally sounds like a legit gang sign that people would use in the late 19th century. Obviously.)

5. Swirling our over abundance of CSA zucchini into each and every item that comes to the dinner table.  Secretly, because, apparently, I'm the only one in the house who actually likes zucchini. We're having refried beans for dinner tonight. *wink*wink*

4.  Running exactly 2.15 miles. Once. A week ago.  Then cursing all the non-existent gods of sickness until I was blue in the face. Which, truthfully, with my amount of chest and head congestion took only about one minute, or 30 seconds if I'm walking up the stairs.

3. Signing up for a 10K at the end of November, because, sometimes, you have to show those non-existent gods of sickness who wears the TURKEY! hat in the relationship.
I do, non-existent gods of sickness. I. Do.
2.  Brainstorming vegetarian flavored swear words:

  • Bologna
  • Haggis
  • Pigs feet
  • Turducken

1.  Writing this list.  Because I'm sick. And because, apparently, my head can only do one thing at a time, and right now it's totally obsessed with mucus. Seriously, even if I start now, I could still make that statue.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Post Contains Necessary Information That Will Make You Cry So I'd Recommend You Skip That Part But The Post May Be Confusing If You Do So Perhaps I Should Just Say (In My Best Pretending To Be British Accent Which Isn't Very Good) Stiff Upper Lip And All That Cheerio My Good Buddy Wearing Bobbie Socks. As They Say, Even In The UK, On PinINterest: Nailed It!

Lately, I've been tucking my brain away into a world consisting of wizards hunting horcruxes, terminally ill senior citizens driving Route 66 in their RV and a homebody named Pat who lives in a house named Silver Bush on Prince Edward Island. (The fake psychologist in me is having a field day.) But, this morning, while on my second third fourth third-ish cup of coffee Ellie took herself up to her bedroom and put herself down for a nap.  Completely unencouraged.  And, I looked left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, and over my shoulder a zillion times (Because of the coffee. Obviously.) and realized I was all by myself.  Katie has left for school.  Jon has taken himself to work.  And it's just me and a dwindling supply of coffee in the kitchen.  And I realized, I should probably tell a story on my neglected blog. A riveting story! A heart warming story! A story to make you cry! A story to make you realize how much you love your family! Friends! Pet iguana! But, maybe I'll save that for a different personality in a parallel  life line and write about meeting famous people on their bicycles instead.

Yeah.  I think I'll do the bike one.

Necessary Back Story Type Information You Need In Order To Understand The Fore Story That I Don't Want To Dwell On Because It Makes Me Sad. And Lonely. And Causes My Mind To Trail Off Into A Well Written Book With Strong Plot Lines And Characterization:

We used to live in one town in the Pacific Northwest.  Two weeks ago we moved across the Sound into a neighborhood in Seattle.  None of my friends wanted to be packed in boxes (even when I told them I'd line the boxes with plenty of cushy Styrofoam peanuts) so I had to leave them behind. Sometimes, as the late summer sun sinks below the horizon, I walk outside my new house, in my new neighborhood, turn slightly to the west and wave a sad little wave in their general direction while a single lonely tear wanders in a wanderly type fashion down my russet apple cheek.  (Related Note: LM Montgomery is a genius. Sad writing is hard.)   

The Fore Story That Contains Less Crying:

So, as you know we recently moved ourselves over to the Big City! The City That Never Sleeps Because Of Caffeine Overload! The Emerald City Of Constant Rain and Humidity! The city, by the way, where, apparently, famous people live.  Who I don't recognize. Because, well, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time completely understand why.  For those of you new here, I direct you to the Hair Stylist Episode.

Me: (leading Mabel and Belinda on a walk around my new neighborhood, not because I kidnapped them and taped them into extra large packing boxes with a cushy amount of Styrofoam peanuts, a few bottles of water and some Cliff Bars. And most importantly, hygienic wise, a chamber pot. But because they came to visit. And because they're scrappy fighters.) The park is over there and we should (turning in circles, noticing man on bike checking his cell phone, ignoring man on bike) take a right at the corner.

Belinda: (half a block from said corner) Dude. That guy looked like Dave Mathews!

Mabel: He did! I thought he looked familiar!

Me: He's supposed to live in Seattle around here somewhere.

Belinda: (looking at me with her "Is that a load of tut-tut?" stare) Did you make that up?

Me: (pretending to be insulted, because, really, she has a point) NooOOOoo.

Belinda: (pulling out her phone to check my truthability)

Me: So, is he the guy that plays the harmonica?

Mabel: What!?

Me: You know.  The overweight guy, I mean, rock star, whatever, who plays the harmonica? Isn't that Dave Mathews? Because that guy was not overweight.

Mabel and Belinda: (staring at me with their, "She did not just say that look" which usually means I've kerfuffled, again, in the pop culture category of knowledge)

Mabel: (with a well practiced sigh) That's  the lead singer from Blues Traveler. I can not believe you mixed the two of those up!

And they alternately giggled at me and checked their phones for information on Dave Mathews whereabouts for the rest of the walk back to my house.

So, ten minutes of research and a found article on Wikipedia later I've decided that if, while exploring my new neighborhood coffee shops, grocery stores and parks you introduce yourself as:

Zaid, Dustin, Sherman, Jeff, Harry, Brian, Fred, Anomie, Christopher, David, Terry, Mike, Robert, Ed, Peter, Charles, Matt, Dyan, Neko, JR, Michael, Dale, Nick, Kathryn, Cameron, Chris, Jim, Mark, Rob, Anna, Brendan, Neile, Nicola, Caren, Gary, Leland, Matt, Jerick/Jinkx, Jenni, Tom, Jane, Russel, Quincy, ST, Michael, Sascha, Jon, Jayne, Gary, Jason, Kyle, Jim, Rose, Joel, Patrick, Marni, Krist, Bill, Yuki, Susan, Jonathan, John, Ron, Gary, Don, Ryan, Ann, Bill, Dan, Howard, Ross, Tom, Alex, Neal, Mack, Ichiro, Robert, Geoff, Lauren, Earnest, Eddie, March, Jim or Dave

I will, surreptitiously because I respect your right to famous anonymity, take a pic of you with my phone and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #MeetingFamousPeopleAllOverSeattle! Because, according to mathematical probability and an infinite amount of monkeys on typewriters, I'm bound to be right sometime.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Optimism Learns To Ride A Rainbow Bike. Almost.

Ellie begged me to put the training wheels on her new (to her) "rainbow bike" today.  So I did.


I may have done something wrong.

Reeeeaaaallllly, it all depends on if you're a glass half full or half empty kind of person.

Guess which kind Ellie is:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sound Bite From The Backseat Of My Car

We had to pick Jon up from the ferry again yesterday because he's still sporting the five stitches in his knee and a cane. (But not a bow tie, because the man refuses to take my fashion advice.) However, picking Jon up does give him a chance to talk with the kids about their day, because their car seats make excellent captive audience... devices.

Jon: So, what'd you guys do today?
Katie and Ellie: (in unionism, with their noses stuck to their books) I don't remember.
Me: (under my breath) Seriously?
Jon: (using his most excellent Jigsaw Jones detective skills) Are those new books? Was today library day?
Katie: (looking up, eyes slowly coming into focus) Oh! Haha! Yeah! See! (holding up her book) This is Cheryl! She's a Christmas fairy and Jack Frost stole her magic tree! Rachel and Kirsty need to help her get it back or Christmas won't be any fun!
Ellie: (yelling, because that's where her volume button is stuck at) Yeah!  And this is Should I Share My Ice Creeeeeeeeeam? Gerald wants to share his ice cream with Piggie. (Louder, because it's possible) I LIKE ICE CREEEEEEEAMMMMM!!!
Jon: Wow! Anything else?
Katie: (nose glued to her book again, because, oh my goodness! will Rachel and Kirsty be able to save Christmas!?!?! Spoiler alert: They do.) No. We didn't do anything else today.
Ellie: (yelling, because, you remember, that whole volume button thing) We went to swim lessons!
Katie: (vaguely, with some words) Oh, yeah..we...
Me: (incredulously) Really? Nothing? Wow.  Okay dokay then....
Jon: (turning toward me) Soooo what did you do today?
Me: Dude! The Son of the Reptile Man was at the library today and (at Ellie volume, because it's hereditary)  I GOT TO HUG A REAL LIVE ALLIGATOR!
Katie and Ellie: (not removing their unionistic noses) Oh, yeah.  I did too.

My kids really need to sort out their priorities.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jon Received A Jar Of Homemade Pickles For His Birthday, But Apparently He Needed More

So, I had this conversation while sitting in a park at the foot of a mountain this weekend:

Geraldine: (calling out as people start rolling in on their bikes) Hey! How was the mountain bike ride, guys?
Bertram: (while running off to push kids on swings, because, obviously, mountain bike riding isn't tiring enough) Good.
Clive: It was awesome!
Harold: Yeah. But, Jon is going to need some stitches.
Mabel: What?
Harold: Yeah. He took a fall. He didn't want us to tell you.
Geraldine: Are you being serious?
Me: (sitting patiently, because, seriously, I can't tell, I mean I played poker with Harold last night and lost every single one of my pretty pretty chips (arranged into flowers on the table in front of me) because his poker face is just that good, I mean, it obviously isn't my lack of poker chip arranging skills)
Clive: He took a pretty big fall. His knee is all messed up.
Me: Where is Jon?
Harold: He's back at the cars, washing up his knee.
Me: (picking up my purse, abandoning my children into the responsibility of four adults I trust enough to give fake old people names) Well crapazoidal.
Belinda: Where are you going?
Me: To the car. If I'm not there, Jon's just going to drive himself to the emergency room.

One bucket of iodine water later, a stop at the park to show off Jon's knee to the kids (including the ones we didn't know, like a circus side show) and a play by play of the accident while in the car later, we were settled into a room at the local urgent care where I had this conversation with Jon while waiting for the doctor:

Me: How you feeling?
Jon: Fine. It hurts, but, I'm OK.  My phone is dead though.
Me: Here, I'll put it in my purse.
Jon: (hands it over, we sit in silence for 30 seconds) I'm bored.
Me: So, it's not the fact that you have a gash that goes down to the knee cap that's bothering you right now, it's because you have nothing to do?
Jon: (wincing, from boredom, not pain) They could at least have their conversations in front of me.  I'm interested too.  Do you have anything to read?
Me: (searching through my mom purse) No, no books, I left them in the car. Let's see, I have a fuzzy worm on a string, a package of wiki sticks,  crayons, a coffee sleeve aaaannnnd! (pausing for greater dramatic effect as I pull my last option out with a flourish, and, obviously, jazz hands) PURSE BEAR!
Jon: (emphatically) No.
Me: But Purse Bear is cute!
Jon: (emphaticeding) No.
Me: She has a bow on her head!
Jon: (emphaticaliciously) No.
Me: You can make her dance! See! (Purse Bear cuts a jig) Look! She's entertaining!
Jon: I think I'm good. Thanks though. (Re-reads the sign on proper sneeze and coughing etiquette, then sighs. From boredom. Again.)

Five stitches and one tetanus shot later we went out and bought Jon a cane. Because nothing says, "Happy 37th Birthday!" like your very own old man accessory.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Knowledge: It's A Dangerous Thing. Especially If You Knowledge Like Newton Did.

So, it's another week of summer school for both (BOTH!!) girls, and, while I contemplated all the wild and crazy suggestions you all threw out last month (going to the bathroom by myself, reading, running, sleeping, skydiving, showering...) which were all stellar suggestions, and ones I should probably do (especially that shower one) buuuuuut...I'm not.  Because my need to sit in a noisy coffee shop, slightly (1) unshaven legs tucked discreetly under the table, typing letters onto a screen, swilling coffee, and basically avoiding all sorts of responsibility (which no one here will notice, as long as I keep my elbows below shoulder level, because I actually DID do that run thing, but only before I had to drag the kids out of bed this morning) is overwhelmingly attractive.  And I'm totally talking eating-an-almond-croissant-while-swilling-back-my-plain-latte-attractive.  So, you know, obviously, something I'm completely powerless to resist.

However, now that I'm here, and you're here, and we're both sitting, reading all the letters as they form words by jumping from my keyboard and gluing themselves directly onto the actual Internet, I realized that I should probably have a topic for this blog post.  Preferably one that is world changing.  But then, I realized, this lady already did that, and so, technically, now I'm free to rant about the quote I saw on the marquee of the auto mechanic shop this morning. SCORE!! (Add awkward sitting by myself in a coffee shop doing an actual fist pump here.  Don't worry it matches the crazy mumbling to myself that I'm also doing.)

"All great discoveries were made by accident"

Really? All? No hard work? No thought? No planning? No scientific process when into any of them, Auto Mechanic Shop?

Now, before you all start yelling out things like:

"Dude! What about Frank Epperson? He was only 11 when he accidentally left a cup with powdered soda and water with a stir stick in it outside when he went to bed. The next morning? He woke up as the inventor of the Popsicle!"


"Chocolate chip cookies, Martha.  Mrs. Wakefield totally thought they'd melt and make her cookies all chocolaty. But! They! Didn't!"


"What about Percy LeBaron Spencer, the inventor of the microwave who worked for the Raytheon Company, when he walked past that radar tube the chocolate bar he had in his pocket melted. No one, Martha. No. One. Melts a perfectly good chocolate bar in their pants pocket when they could just eat it instead! Duh."

Geesh! Settle down people. I mean, if it was just me, I'd totally agree with you, especially on a cool fall day, sitting on the porch swing, cup of tea in one hand, warm gooey chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven in the other.  However, Sir Isaac Newton disagrees with you. Vehemently.  Seriously, just ask Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Or Robert Hooke for that matter.  Oh wait.  You can't. Because they're both dead. Yeah. That's right. Dead. Now, I'm not saying Newton had anything to do with that, but what I am saying is that historical facts do not lie and the facts clearly state that Hooke died in 1703, Liebniz in 1716 and Newton? In 1727.  Plenty of time to cover up a few... indiscretions....

You see, lately, I've been making Katie check out one biography from the library each week (in an attempt to assuage the deluge of fairy/Geronimo Stilton/Animal Ark books that make their way into her library bag) and recently she chose Giants Of Science: Issac Newton by Kathleen Krull. And we read it.  (Related note: a few pages in I realized some of the subject matter may be a bit too much for Katie, and it turned into a read aloud so we could discuss his, um, how to say this nicely? (I can't) his craziness. But, it did prompt me to preview the first chapter of Krull's biography of Marie Curie, which we also had checked out, and, yeah... pogroms. Soooo that one definitely moved to "Mommy's Reading Shelf".) But I thought the book on Newton was fascinating!

I found out all sorts of stuff about Newton! How he hated sharing with other scientists (I mean, like a lot, a really really huge a lot), but kept meticulous notebooks describing absolutely everything he researched and discovered. How his invention of the reflecting telescope started with poking sharp sticks into his own eyes to see how his vision changed, and yet he somehow never went blind.  How more work was put into that whole apple/gravity thing than most cartoons illustrate. And, not one of his discoveries, not calculus, not the laws of motion, nor universal gravitation, anything, came about by accident. Not. One.

And, it's not just Newton, my misinformed Auto Mechanic Shop. Mr. J. Edwards agrees with me too:
"Discoveries are not made by accident, as it is often assumed, for, unless a man's mind be provided with precise and suitable conceptions, by which facts may be analysed and connected, they can never become the materials of exact knowledge; therefore I wish to impress upon you the importance of giving men a special education to enable them to become successful investigators."(2) 

So, may I suggest this quote for your marquee instead, Auto Mechanic Shop?

Don't poke sticks in your eyes, I already scientificated that.
Go discover your own stuff.
Sincerely, Sir Isaac Newton.

It's much more historically accurate.

 (1) Not slightly.
(2) Edwards, J. "On Research in Relation to Medicine." The Student's Journal and Hospital Gazette, January 27, 1883.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Messing With Your Sister When She's Tired And Stressed Out Is Tons Of Fun! But Only If She's At Least 300 Miles Away

There I was, halfway through a post that included this:

Oh my gosh, Becky,  I look, like, fifteen years younger. Totally.
And, obviously, this:

It's a chihuahua driving a truck. But I have no idea how he reaches the pedals.

 And, of course, this little culinary delight that I made for dinner:

In which I substituted a warm bed of kale for the salad greens. Then served at our family vacation that included everyone from my 10 year old real cow hamburger eating nephew to my 93 year old grandmother.  Also, it may be the last time my sister puts me in charge of any family reunion meals. In my defense, it wasn't vegetarian haggis. This time.
And a rant about how disappointing these turned out to be:
Because they totally lost the taste test SMACKDOWN with the Lays Dill Pickle chips. By, and I'm just ball parking figures here, at least a thousand quatabazillion times infinity points. Also, I didn't have to eat any dill pickle chips to come up with that score.

But then my sister, on the road home, cozily tucked into a caravan that included our parents, grandmother and her 10 year old son, texted me this:
I'm ready to be home.
Which, no matter how happily and lovingly you tell me you get along with your family, eventually, after a certain number of miles and one too many Harry Belafonte CDs*, is just plain true.  However, it did prompt this textversation. But, mostly because I'm weird. (At least that's what my nephew George says.)

Sister:  We made it to Beaver. Stopping for the night.
Me:  Hey! Didn't we stay in Beaver once on our way home from Colorado? We ate at that Denny's the next morning? Or was it the trip with Jon and Zorra?
Sister: I don't remember.  I don't see a Denny's @ the exit we got off on. Exit 112.
Me: Dude! I remember that exit! It had a huge buffalo in a purple tutu revolving on a replica of a Victrola, right?
Sister: Ummm, no?
Me: Huh. Totally thought that was the exit.  Maybe it was 114? 116?
Sister: Are u being serious?
Me: Obviously.  Hey! Ask the people at the restaurant about the buffalo.  It must be around there somewhere!
Sister:  I'm not asking the people @ the restaurant.  When we leave tmrrw i will look around.  You're crazy.
Me: Mom would do it.
Sister:  You just made me embarrass myself because I guffawed really loud.
Me: Ask about the buffalo.  It'll totally cover that embarrassment up.

Then later that evening:

Sister:  Mom asked about the purple buffalo & they gave her a very weird look & said you must be thinking of another town.
Me:  Maybe it was Cedar City? Or St. George? Can you ask for me?
Sister: No way :), look it up on your "smart phone" :)

And, then for the next two days she refused to ask about the giant rainbow trout wearing roller skates in Jacob's Lake, or the giant lumberjack wearing a purple tutu in Flagstaff, or even take a picture of the pink javelina wearing a purple tutu in Sedona that I KNOW is there. Probably. Kinda. Ok, fine, theoretically, if were're being all technically mathematically scientific.

Then, hours before she made it home, and just after I texted her like twelve times in a row without a response then told her to quit texting me because I was in church, my phone lit up with this text:

Sister: We stopped in Cordes Junction for lunch.  No, we did not see anything w/ a purple tutu.
Me: Are you preempting me?
Sister: Involuntary telepathy.

Touche' awesome sister. Touche'.

*This was a wild guess, based on many family road trips as a kid.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Powells: Like Heaven, Only Warmer

In a few weeks, Jon, Katie, Ellie and I will be wedging ourselves into the car between a Costco size box of Z-bars, the whole Redwall series, a giant bag of carrot sticks (because I'm a freaky vegetarian), two hot and sloshing travel coffee mugs and one My Little Pony on steroids (because, dude, my My Little Ponies were never this big*) named Pinkie Pie that says "Hi! I'm Pinkie Pie! Let's have a party! HahaHA! Isn't it exciting! Aren't you excited? Are you? Are you?" in an annoying voice that Ellie absolutely loves because she got it from her best bestie for her third birthday.  (Yes. That glare was for you. Geraldine.) We will then peel out of our neighborhood, windows down, Dora the Explorer CD blaring while yelling, "ROAD TRIP!" at the top of our lungs. Probably a lot.  Because that Dora CD is driving me completely insane! (Side note: Singing along with all the songs on a Dora CD like you're the star in a Broadway musical DOES NOT make it less annoying. It just helps you memorize the words that much faster. Which makes Jon smack you in the middle of the night because you're singing them in your sleep. Again.)

And, while, technically, we're not vacationing in Portland this year, we have found that Powell's is, literally  on the way to every place in the continental United States of America.  And possibly Hawaii. So, we'll stop there, our own little piece of heaven on earth.  Which reminds me of a story:

Once upon a time, when I lived in the land of the Arizona desert, I went to Sunday school.  Which, I did on occasion, when I wasn't out camping in the desert, watching tarantulas as they lazily crossed a dirt road, spotting horny toads camouflaged amongst the sun bleached rocks, and petting cacti. (But only the saguaro, barrel and prickly pear, never the cholla because they. Are. Evil. And stupid. And mean.  And rudely  misrepresent themselves as cute and teddy bear cuddly while they most assuredly are not. Also, it's really hard to get cholla stems out of your pony tail.) Anyway, there I was one summer Sunday, eight years old, sitting in my Sunday school class, shivering in the air conditioned room, when the teacher told us that, today, we would be learning all about what heaven was going to be like. And then she began, imparting her heavenly wisdom to us like a Buddha on a mountain top.

It was going to be beautiful, she said. There would be fruit trees! (Great, I thought, I love grapefruit!) There would be a stream! (Cool! Water bugs! Creek walks!) Birds and flowers! (Cute little cactus wrens! Saguaro blooms!) A light breeze would blow through the flower scented air and, (and here she paused for full dramatic effect, while each and every one of us, perched on the edge of our cold plastic chairs, leaned in just a little bit further) it would be 65 degrees all the time!

What!?!  I thought, flinging myself back in my chair, crossing my arms in disgust.  I don't think so lady. Uh. Uh. There is no way I'm wearing my stupid purple snow coat in heaven.  And, wait a minute. I would have to wear pants. Pants!?! Are you kidding me!?!

And that's when I decided when I died I would have this conversation with Jesus at the Pearly Gates:

Jesus: Welcome to heaven, Martha!
Me: (awkwardly shifting from one foot to the other) Well, see, here's the thing, Jesus.  It's not that I don't believe in you and God and all that, but, um, I don't want to go to heaven.
Jesus: (shocked) But-
Me:  I don't want to hurt your feelings or anything, but it's too cold here.  I think I'd be happier someplace warmer. Like in hell.
Jesus: (looks sad)
Me: But, I could visit you, you know, sometimes, if I got hot or ran out of popsicles or something.

And then I would turn around and skip off to my warm and fiery hell where I got to run through sprinklers, eat popsicles, wear shorts and never ever not ever be cold. And Jesus would be sad, but he'd understand, because he didn't like wearing his snow coat either, but he had to, because his dad said so.

The End

That's a real coffee cup people! A REAL COFFEE CUP!
 You remember your My Little Ponies, it's gotta be steroids, right?

Monday, June 24, 2013


So, I just dropped both (BOTH!) girls off for summer school! Because:

1) summer school is the best thing ever, especially if you just turned three and have been asking to go to school every day because you're "A BIG GIRL NOW!" Which you say in your big girl voice.  Which is loud. Because those words are totally synonyms when you're three.  Even at the library.

2) the theme is Prehistoric Agriculture and the Subsequent Extinction of the Tyrannosaurus Rex Due to Teeny Tiny Arms* . Which makes sense because if a T-Rex can't do this:
there's no way he could use the appropriate gardening implements in which to cultivate that first fig grove.

3) Mommy wanted some time alone.  By herself.  To do wild and crazy things., well, you, um, well, there's...or...maybe.... (drifts off, vauguely thinks about searching for "old dresser ideas" on PinINterest. Again. Because, apparently, old dressers are the Transformers of the furniture world***.)

And, after wracking my brain for the wildest and craziest activity I could think of to do in two and a half hours, I ended up in Starbucks drinking coffee. Because my caffeine addiction was calling. Again.

So, here I sit, a trio of trim silver haired ladies sitting in front of me drinking smoothies and comparing pictures from their European cruise. And behind me? A group of mothers with their toddlers, who are way more stylish and color coordinated than I ever was at that stage of my life.  Also, their coffee cups are too small.  Which is causing me to secretly envy, resent and pity them at the same time while knocking back giant swigs of my triple shot plain latte.

I have four more days. 10 more hours.  600 more minutes.  What wild and crazy thing do you think I should do with them?

*Or alternately, Let's Let the Kids Dig in Dirt and Pretend to be Paleontologists and Plant Seeds at the Same Time Because They're Dirty Already Anyway.**

**Or, alternately, Gardening and Dinosaurs.  But that name isn't as interesting, obviously.

***Kitchen Island, Elegant Entry Bench Seat, Shoe Rack, Bathroom Vanity, Craft Organizer, Sideboard, Wine Cabinet, Entertainment Center, Changing Table, China Cabinet, Open Shelving, Planter, Bookshelf, Desk, Dress Up Closet, Play Kitchen, Lego Storage, Patio Bar, Dollhouse, Potting Bench, Headboard, Laundry Sorter, Christmas Village Display, Dog Bed, and my favorite:
Chicken Coop

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Brain Washing Is Working!

So, this morning, as I was brushing my teeth and ignoring the happy* cries, clumps and don't-touch-that-it's-mine! from downstairs (In the interest of good oral hygiene of course.) I stumbled across the fact that it was National Doughnut Day! And, since I missed out on National Running Day, there was no way I was missing out on this too! So, I chucked my toothbrush over my shoulder and had this conversation with Katie and Ellie:

Me: (yelling down the stairs) Hey! Guys! Come here!
Katie and Ellie: (as they come running) What?
Me: Did you know that it's National Doughnut Day!?!
Katie: (skeptically) It is?
Me: Totally.  Aunt Ginger said so on Facebook, so it must be true!
Ellie: Do we get to eat doughnuts!?!
Me: Yes!
Ellie: (runs excitedly in circles, yelling) YAAAAaaaaAAAAaaaaYYYYY!!!!!
Katie: (walks away, picks up book, comes back and starts reading out loud) It says, Mom, that we should "Start the day with a good breakfast: It'll give you energy! Try not to eat too many chips, fried foods, candy, chocolate, or other sweets, when possible. They are difficult to digest and usually don't have the nutrients your body really needs!**" So, I don't think doughnuts are a healthy breakfast for us.
Me: (pausing. thinking. realizing. ignoring.) Go get your sweater kid because It's NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY!!!

Then I made them do the official doughnut dance. While singing the official National Doughnut Day song. With streamers.


**Stilton, Geronimo. The Mouse Island Marathon. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2007. Print.