Saturday, March 27, 2010

We have an alarm system..........or at least a sign that says we do

So, I realize it is probably a security risk to announce prior to leaving that we are going on a small trip here on my blog. What, with the thousands of folks who read it an all. (Hello out there to both of you). Still- perhaps there is someone who has just been tuning in, waiting for the chance to bust into my house and rob us blind.

So I got all worried.

But then I looked around. What in the heck am I worried about. In fact, in an effort to keep my house from being ransacked, I decided to box up the good stuff for you. That way you can just grab it and go. You're welcome.

First in the box- our DVD player. It's a real gem, let me tell you. It's one of the first made, well one of the first made that we could afford that is. It doesn't always play and we can't find the remote- but if you just shake it a little you can usually get it unstuck. I'm throwing in the other DVD player we bought at a yardsale for $2 as well. Similar problem with it, only it SQEEEEEEALLS as well.

Next up- my pampered chef chillzanne deviled egg dish. That thing was like $50 so it has some REAL value. Or it did before the lid got cracked, but you could probably still score a smooth buck for it. Heck, how bout I just put a dollar in the box and keep the egg dish? I'm kind of partial to it.

Fine electronics up next. Help yourself to the stereo. The only thing that actually works in the entire 3 piece system is the CD player- and that's hit or miss. Let's see- what else.............. oh- the cordless phone. That's a big one in our home. Of course, I can't actually find it right now so I will just throw in the old one that only works for like 30 seconds before the battery goes dead. Just keep your conversations to a minimum and you'll be fine. But the answering machine on it does work- but really, do burglars have answering machines???? Whatever. I'm not putting in our alarm clock. We really really need it, and it's like 20 years old and a $10 version anyway so I'm sure you don't mind. But I have put in Sam's electronic drum set, although not worth much I will not be sad to see it go.

Televisions. You have so picked the wrong house. See- we don't buy into that whole flat screen digital non-sense. Just a passing phase. Nope, all of ours are the size of small buildings. Hope you brought a back brace.

Video Gaming Systems- I don't want to give away all of our family secrets, but upstairs there is a Super Nintendo circa 1995 with Donkey Kong Country. If you're big in the flea market circuit your sure to score big with that one. Probably a fiver. I'm too lazy to actually walk up there and get it to include in the box, but help yourself, okay.

What does every burglar dream of- jewelry. Unfortunately anything with any value I am actually wearing so you won't find much here. But I did throw in all of the single earrings that I now own, maybe you can find the other ones? And just so you are not totally disappointed, I have included Emily's collection of Puppy in My Pocket rings and a pop bead necklace. We don't want you to leave empty handed.

Computer equipment- here sits a 7 year old desktop. Probably not worth hauling it to your car, but to me it is my only connection to the real world- so please spare me and leave it alone, will ya?

I have put in my bath and body works candle- those things are like $20.

In the box you will also find a box of cranberry jello, a can of spaghetti and meatballs, a partially used stick of deodorant (can't stand the smell personally- but maybe you'll like it), a jar of Frank's hot sauce, a bottle of bubbles, two candy canes and a pirates of the caribbean motorized toothbrush.

If you should desire, you can load up all of our family heirlooms into the minivan in the drive way. Never mind that it has 198,000 miles on it and a check engine light that is always on. The thing runs like a champ and it has a half tank of gas in it. If you are lucky, there might even be a partial case of mountain dew in there- but don't tell my husband I told you that.

My only condition, since I am like giving you a map to all of our family jewels, is that you take the washer and dryer. I would like a new set, one that actually works, so that will surely encourage us to buy a new set. Oh- and the stainless steel trash can, take that too. The pedal broke and I would love to get a new one of those as well. And the comforter off of my bed, I've been dreaming of maybe changing things up in there and this might just be the ticket.

And while you're here, throw some water on the house plant will ya? Load it up too if you want. It's more of a commitment than I was prepared for.

Feel free to whatever is left in the fridge- but sign the waiver on the counter first. I will not be responsible for whatever happens if you actually eat the items that are in there.

Friday, March 26, 2010

hi ho........hi ho...............

It's hard to believe it has been three years now. Three years since I innocently uttered the words "Dan- I can go back to work and take the kids with me- it will be awesome".
For all intents and purposes- it is rather awesome. My schedule is uuuuber flexible and for the most part I can just work when I have time. Except this time of year that is. With the show coming up rather quickly- the list of items 'to do' is growing by the minute. But that is not the point here- the point is what happens when you take the kids to work with you.
I lack what it takes to take more than one at a time, except when I am the only one in the office. When it's just me- like in the evenings- I'll take whoever because the only person they can annoy with their fussing and screaming is, well, me. But during the day, I try and keep the chaos to just one kid.
Emily is a walk in the park. She is content to set up shop on an empty computer and play her Webkinz, or grabs a clipboard and draws. Occassionally she gets to shred some papers. She is a happy girl.
It's Sam that creates a bit more confusion with his presence.
I find myself saying things like..................
'Watch your step'........................... (although watching the gals in the office hurdle the coffee table is rather amusing)
'I'd offer you a chair but'......................
and 'turn that down'.
I say I'm sorry a lot. But the gals I work with don't really seem to mind. At least they say they don't.
But again- they have doors to their offices and they just shut them. Me, well I have to hold my hand over the receiver of the phone while trying and sign 'BE QUIET MOMMY IS ON THE PHONE' to my small blonde wonder.
And sometimes, I must admit, I loose my cool. Like when he is sitting on my desk, on top of a report that I'm trying to work on, begging me to help him build a fort. Or when he spills his root beer- again (emily spilled a drink on my desk once- disaster!). Or when he is climing up the back of my chair and using my hair as a handle so that he can play with the dangly airplanes above my head. Somedays I would just like to focus like on actual work instead of who just flushed what down the toilet. But for the most part it is all good.
This works until we start to have actual people in the office. Then Sam will get to spend some time with Grandma so I can actually go to work and not have to mess with the sofa cushions.
Just like everything else, I'm sure someday going to work by myself will feel lonely. But today I can't see that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's time to have 'the talk' aka my husband and I are idiots

So- while on my ever relaxing time away from family girls weekend- I managed to talk about my family like 80% of the time. What can I say, it's all I've got. That and a few random newsy things I learn when I power up internet explorer.

I mentioned that a few months back I got all cool mom and thought I would see if it was time to have 'the talk' with allyson. After completely hyperventalating and breathing in a bag while praying and sweating upon just thinking about talking to her about this, I casually say to her (while in the car so I can avoid eye contact) "So- what have you heard about s e x?"

She responded with a complete dumb look and said 'what?'

I felt like I'd walked in a landmine. I was thinking she'd probably heard something, and now I know she hasn't, but I brought it up and opened the door- that stupid stupid door and she's all what?

So I did what I had to do. I totally changed the subject and embraced the fact that she is still a baby and all she needs in this world is her bicycle and a cartoon and she's good.

As I explained this to the gals in my car- Terri turns around and as serious as the day is long looks me right in the eyes and says "And you believed her?" She has one child. I have three. And yet her wisdom is years beyond mine- she's obviously better at this parenting gig even though she is two shy of my clan. So- in addition to realizing that I am a moron- I thought maybe I should revisit the subject with Ally.

So, I brought up the subject again. But this time, when I asked her, her face was screaming 'oh I totally know something' while her mouth said 'nothing'. And I knew it was time to have the talk. Right there, right then. So I told her we would talk about it tomorrow- you know after I have time to look up every possible article about how to have this discussion with your own child without passing out.

But Dan said that he would put the two little ones to bed and come out and we could all talk about it for a few minutes.

Turns out, one of her friends shared some info with her. Being as mature as I am, I asked her if it totally freaked her out (it did me when one of my friends shared her wisdom). She said it did.

So we talked for a while about love, and commitment, and how that 'special hug' works. Boy parts. Girl parts. Where babies come from. Why she has periods and where her body stores it's eggs.

Wheh, glad that is over.

Yeahhhh- not yet. From my husbands mouth spews this fabulous bit of knowledge "Allyson- you may hear your friends talking about hookin up. Hookin up is when................................." If looks could kill- HE WOULD BE DEAD. I stared at him with my wide open eyes wishing beyond wishes that if any time in my life lasers could shoot from my eyes- that this would be the time. No dice.

I was not prepared to dump it all out there- especially not like that.

So I waited for him to finish and then explained that if she chose to partake in this fabulous physical expression of love prior to marriage- her hair would begin falling out until eventually she would be compeltely bald. So it's best to wait until she's married. And then I took another shot- because something had to curb the ever increasing rising blood pressure I was experiencing.

So- after we made it through that whole hookin up disaster mess, I asked her if she had any questions for us. And she did. Score one for us- the lines of communication are open.

'Can someone get pregnant without doing it?' My instant response- No. If someone is pregnant, they have had sex. Except for that whole Mary Jesus Immaculate Conception thing- and we retalked about that story for a moment and how surprised Joseph was when Mary was pregnant. And how she didn't loose her hair because technically she never partook of the S word.

But then it happened again. Wisdom began to spew from Dan's mouth. "Well- it is technically possible. See boys get around girls and they can get excited just by hugging you and then they- well- do you know what semen is? It is....................." I have no idea what he said after this as I just chugged the rest of the bottle and curled up in a ball in Allyson's lap.

But the outcome of the whole thing is that Allyson and I are both afraid to sit on public chairs- or hug boys- for fear of pregnancy.

Good one. We suck at this parenting thing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Do not SCREW with me........I mean it.

My family is preparing to take a little spring break. As in- away from our home. Now- those of you who are, well, men are probably all giddy and excited days before your departure. And those of you who are, well, children are as well. But the women in this scenario- not giddy (but still kind of excited- in a far off land kind of way).

Why is that you ask?

Well, let's just see shall we.

We as a family have invited 4 living, breathing creatures into our home (if you don't count the one houseplant I weekly try to keep from murdering). And they need to find someone to care for them while we are absent. Which means we have the clean them and trim them and wash their homes so they look well tended for. You know- like you do with your kids before you drop them at a sitter. And the we in this story is me. I just finished wrestling a 60+ pound beagle in and out of the tub and scrubbing a gold fish bowl. I am not in a laughing mood.

Then there are the clothes that need packed. Which first means they have to be washed. Probably this is overstatement, as most of the clothes in the dirty basket were only on bodies for like 2.5 seconds before they were removed and thrown in the basket- versus being placed back on the actual hangar since they are technically still clean. Change that to were- because after laying in the basket for a couple days up against the actual dirty clothes they now carry an aroma.

And we (again, me) have to wrestle the suitcases out of the attic.

And then fill them with hopefully clean clothes. And night time diapers- which we are out of so we (me again) will have to go buy some more. And floaties. And swim suits (which is practically impossible since Emily wears one at one point or another). And lotion. And benedryl. And motrin. And ear drops. And shoes. And flip flops. And hairbrushes. And Xanex.

Don't forget the picnic and snacks. Which will involve a trip to the store. Another one- you know after I run out to get night time diapers because I'm REAL coordinated like that. And drinks. Crap, another trip to the store.

Now just a few brief items on a checklist- like taking care of commitments at church, work (which means making up the time I'll be gone spring break this week), the room party which is this week (ee gad), buy a birthday present for Sam's first friend party which is also this week, fill out school walkathon forms due this week- 24 per kid- that's 48 for those of you mathmatically challenged (expect to get one in the mail by the way), take care of purchasing easter stuff because it is like the minute we return, and then our actual physical house. Aaaaaaack, the house.

I love to go on vacation just because it always feels so good to come home. Especially to a nice and orderly house. Keep in mind, in order to experience that I have to hurdle the children when the van stops in the garage to be the first one in- because it only lasts for like a breath once they return and dump their shoes, jackets, bags, purses, crap all over the place and rummage the fridge for a snack immediately upon entering.

But in order to have that moment of heaven upon returning- it means I must actually, you know, clean it. Bluck.

Better start in the bathroom- it smells like a giant wet dog and is covered in globs of wet dog hair.

There is another purpose to this mad cleaning before leaving for a trip though. I always worry about something happening while we're gone and someone having to come into my home. And having them think we are pigs. The we- that would again be me- because I'm the one responsible for cleaning. It's kind of like the 'always wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident' thinking. I would hate to have folks gossiping over my casket about what a filthy mess my house was. At least if I leave it clean, all they will have to talk about is how jam packed every single closet was with a jumbled mess. That I can live with.

Despite the overbusy-ness of this week, I am looking forward to some downtime with these crazy yahoos who I call my family. Although, if I don't quit being so crabby, I'm afraid the feeling might not be mutual. Looks like I better unpack the Xanex and partake now. Which won't be a problem, since I haven't actually began the physcial packing part : )

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Meet me in St. Leuy..............

Louisville that is.

I am blessed with a great group of friends, most of whom all I either attend church with or met at church in some fashion. And every year as many of us who can make it head out of town together. This was our weekend.
I wasn't able to get a group shot of everyone this year- but here is everyones behinds. Somehow it seemed so cool to see everyone walking down the street chit chatting- what can I say.
We spent some time walking around looking at really old houses in downtown Louisville. Tour Guide Vicki read us interesting information about them. Two of the gals own really nice cameras and they totally know how to use them. I have to wonder what on earth Terri was photographing as she laid across these steps. I just basically was along for the ride- snapping pictures haphazardly here and there. Chatting up a storm.

This was such an awesome awesome tree. Looks like it has spirits or something. I almost broke out into my rendition of Pocahontas- but thought better of that decision.
Our hotel was down the block from The Love Boutique- which even offers peep shows. I didn't know places like this were really around. I'm very cultural, so I wanted to share this. Even if no one would pose in front of the sign.

We ate dinner at a very upscale restaurant. We all wore jeans and were completely out of place. But the laughter at our table made up for it and we really enjoyed our entirely overpriced pasta.

Then we went to see a play. Like a real live play. With actors from New York. Who were in Broadway productions.

And we laughed, talked, shared, and enjoyed. And we all had a few drinks. And then I polished of a margarita the size of my head and giggled the whole way home. Classy.
And I am grateful to have these ladies in my life. And I am grateful to have the other ladies in my life who couldn't come with us. But mostly, I was grateful for the time to sneak away, and have these people to come home to...................
(envision a picture of Dan- I forgot to snap his picture- but I was still glad to come home to him)

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's the least you can do........and apparently it could be a felony?

It's US Census time.

I know this because two months ago I began seeing ads telling us it was coming and to fill it out.

Then a month ago I got a letter letting me know that we'd be getting another letter and we need to fill it out.

Then I got the other letter- sure enough just like they said- the one with THE survey. It wanted to know who all was living in my house on April 1st. But it wasn't April 1st.

But I didn't want to go to jail because I set it aside until April 1st and forgot about it- like everything else in my life.

So I filled it out- in March. Probably everyone will still be living here, and I don't plan on taking in any bums- so I think it will work out.

And then I got a postcard today, reminding me to fill out the survey. And thanking me if I already did. But again- still not April 1st.

Happy US Census Year!

Wonder how much we are spending on all this Census stuff? We can facebook and tweet and answer emails at stop lights- but this has to be filled out on actual paper and mailed- as in with postage? Seems like there should be a better way. Maybe a barcode on our behinds that we just swipe across the scanner at Kroger or something?

Friday, March 19, 2010

People Watching 101

There simply is no better people watching than at a parade. I'm sure I've provided some amusement to other people as well.
I can only imagine.

Anywho- check out these socks. She probably thought no one would notice they were Christmas, because they are green. But I noticed- and I documented it.

And this poor girl. Here we all sat along Meridian Street in coats and hats and gloves and wrapped in blankies and here she is strutting around dang near nekkid. She had to have been FREEZING!

In the parade there were lots of newscasters, the Colts and Pacers mascots, the Kool Aide punch bowl, the CoCo Puff bird, but no parade would be complete without Billy the Kidney.

A real live, high fivin' internal organ. Genious marketing people.

So- in order to get the primo spots directly on the curb along Meridian Street on the parade route you must get up pretty early in the morning people. Not really, it just felt good to say that. But we did in fact arrive an hour before the parade began to secure a spot so the kiddies could see. The sun wasn't shining on us yet- so we basically just sat there as traffic whirled up and down the road, wrapped up in blankies and sipping starbucks cocoa. But it was worth it when the parade began.

Every year this happens. It cracks me up. Someone will tap on my shoulder and say 'I have a child and they can't see- can you make room for them up there'. It always makes me feel like I am being rude, by hogging up the front rowness. Until I realize we have hypothermia from securing said front rowness. But I never point that out, instead we make room. But some year, I will point it out. I will declare that they too should have dragged their hind ends out and camped on the street corner if they wanted their kid to see. No I won't. Probably.

Anyway- twice this happened. Once with Christmas sock woman. And then another time.

Let me introduce to you Trey. Cute little boy- despite his mother. He was little, like maybe threeish. From the minute this little man sat down beside us- his mother began screaming from behind us (while hanging and leaning on my stroller I might add) "Put your hand out Trey- Trey- Trey- put your hand out. There Trey, there, get it, get one, put your hand out. Get some candy Trey, Trey, Trey." This little kid was filled with amazement as he sat and watched the bands, the people, the vehicles- clearly he did not give a flying doodie about candy. But no- the coaching continued the.entire.parade. People were hurling candy at Trey, he was not picking it up (thankfully my children were willing to flock over there and scarf it up- we wouldn't want to litter the city- my kids are givers like that) he was busy watching the parade. His mother kept sighing and screaming. It got to the point that I was laughing so hard that I couldn't keep it in. Every time she would shout 'Trey' I would laugh- out loud. It was like a comedy routine or something. "Trey- Trey- Trey- get ready, put your hand out, Trey- go go go go go go go Trey go"

I kid you not, after all of this coaching, this poor kid jumped up and began running- full force- straight down Meridian Street. He had no idea where he was going, but in an effort to shut his mother up, he decided to go go go go.

I thought I was going to die. This is a picture of his mother after she ran him down and was walking him back. The kid was confused as heck, you could see it on his face. He had no idea what she was screaming at him, and he was just trying to do as she said.

Eventually little Trey got it. He quit focusing on the awesomness of the parade and all the colors and noise and only focused on candy and filling his hat with it. His mom was finally happy.

We humans, I tell you. Nothing like a parade to bring out that greed monster.