Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Would like to add one more thing to my list of things I'm grateful for: heated car seats. Even though it was 75 degrees just the other day and I spent most of Thanksgiving break walking the neighborhood in shorts, it's freezing today. Snowing. Spitting. FAH. REEZING. It's still November! Okay, this is not going to turn into a weather post, I promise, just had to vent for a moment. [full body shiver]

I bought a fuzzy blanket today. Ooh, still kind of on that topic, aren't we? Let me try again.

Hmm. It turns out that the weather has impeded my thought process. Body focused on staying warm. Will check back when defrosted. Must go search for Baby Jesus....he appears to have gone rogue again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ho ho ho...

As is tradition, as soon as the turkey is put into the fridge, the Christmas decorations must come out. I'm a big fan, though, of removing all of the fall decor before bringing out the jolly. The mixed messages of my neighbors this week have been confusing at best....four large pumpkins on the porch, a harvest mailbox jacket...and poinsettias, candy canes and Christmas lights.

I shook it off and plowed through my own boxes of joy. It took most of a day, all told, to get the big stuff up and running, primarily because I spent hours smacking small hands and uttering statements resembling the following:

1. "Put Baby Jesus down! He is not a toy!"

2. "Balls are for hanging, not throwing! Hang it! Hang it!"

3. "Pigpen, you can't put all the ornaments on the same branch. Stop moving the ones I already hung. Get off the ladder. "

4. "Stop touching Baby Jesus!"

5. "No, God isn't in the nativity scene. No, that's a wise man. No, that's a sheep. Where's God?" Sigh.

6. "GUS! What's in that stocking? What's he eating?!  Get his head out, he's stuck. Ohhhh, gross. Last year's Reeses."

7. "No, God and Santa are not the same. Why? Because. They aren't."


9. "Stockings aren't really socks. No, really they're not. Get them off your feet. Now."

10. "No, Christmas isn't tomorrow. It's a whole month away. A whole month of this fun."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Obligatory Thanksgiving Post

Obviously, I'm grateful for the usual stuff. But I'd like to take a look at the top ten things I don't think would appear on someone else's list.

1. My Chi. Yes, it's first. It's THAT important.

2. Flip flops. A year round item, less optimal this time of year, but still indisposable.

3. Sunshine. I have to see it to be totally happy. Cloudy days are a buzzkill.

4. YMCA Childcare. My kids actually like it, and I am in good shape and less stressed.

5. My library card. Free books. No brainer.

6. My toaster oven. At least 50% of my "cooking" takes place in this bad boy. And I can have instant tasty nachos in a flash.

7. The DVR. Without it, my children wouldn't be so confused by commercials or the concept of live television. Without it, there is no way I would remember to watch shows. Probably ever.

8. My 7th grade "computer" teacher. While I did master that Apple IIE, I also learned how to type. Fast.

9. Cataract surgery. Hi, I'm 80. But I can see again.

10. My sleep mask and my body pillow, Phil. Good sleep is the gift that keeps on giving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

King Gus

Wanting an update on the Gus, are we? I'm so glad we've stuck to our roots around here. Let's see. The dog's most recent escapade involved the sixteen pound bag of dog food that I purchased last week and placed in a "safety zone" atop my dryer. [Relevant note: Gus weights approximately twenty-two pounds] Imagine my surprise when I arrived home from picking up the kids to find that Gus had pulled the (16 pound!) bag down from the dryer, dragged it into the family room, cleverly opened the bag and eaten his fill of it. He lay sprawled on the carpet, legs akimbo, tongue lolling from mouth as his tail lazily wagged as if to say, "I got your dryer. What else you got, Ace?" He's been on a strict diet for ten days now. He no longer looks as though he might burst at the seams.

His favorite delicacy of late is Crayola crayons. He does not discriminate based on color, wrapper or location. Any crayon will do. Our yard boasts the prettiest selection of dog poop of anyone's around. Children line up at the fence in hopes of catching sight of a rainbow nugget. I hear they are trading them on the school bus black market for silly bandz. Word on the street, for realz.

Finally, Gus has developed the same distaste for Pigpen that he held for Piglet back in the day. I found this old post written by Gus the last time this phenomenon occurred. Of late, he's taken it to a new level. Gus is an older, wiser beagle this time around, and he's become somewhat...jaded. His eyes narrow when a child approaches and he cringes slightly when a wee hand gets too close, wincing at the touch. He would never think of hurting one of my darling children, but he's definitely learned to communicate. Unfortunately, his primary form of communication is urine. When we moved here, I recall Gus dropping a deuce in Piglet's doorway after a particularly active day of pestering. But now? He's using Pigpen's bedroom like a litter box. The dog now pees in there at least once a week. Just in Pigpen's room. Which is upstairs. Where Gus never goes. The dog is smarter than people give him credit for.

I don't think Gus will ever surprise me. It does, however, anger me knowing that right now he is burrowed under the covers of my neatly made bed showing me who's boss. All of the furniture in the family room is occupied by people....the audacity of my family to sit upon his thrones. Clearly, Gus wears the pants around here. At least someone is wearing pants.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pants, Klass and Gravity

Y'all, I have the CRAZIEST story to tell you! I have spent the last six weeks kidnapped by pirates! I mean, you know that I would never bail on my beloved blog for six weeks without an extremely valid excuse, right? So, there were these pirates. Well, they were more like bandits. Yes, bandits! With masks and angry voices. Well, maybe closer to gypsies. Yes! I was held hostage by a band of gypsies who took up with the carnies from the local fair back in October. And I tried to give them my children, but they refused to take them and they TOOK ME INSTEAD! Do you know what it's been like living on the lam? Moving as weary nomads from county to county? All I could think about the entire time was you, my dear readers. Your plight, not mine. I suffered for weeks....angst filled weeks! Lucky for you, I escaped. Just today, in fact. Tuesday, it is, too.....we know that all weird things happen on a Tuesday, right?

Okay, that's clearly a lie. All I've got here is that I think my children are slowly eating my brain. They are getting smarter and I am getting dumber by the day. I can't remember how to use big words, much less string sentences together in a meaningful way. I'm having to look up recipes to cook from and use a dictionary to write. (Unrelated sidebar: Go to dictionary.com, type in "manure" and click on the speaker icon. It's totally worth your time.) It's all very sad. So expect this to be random. In fact, to aid my poor, struggling brain, it will be in list format.

1. Pants. I want to talk about pants. As in, why will boys not wear them? Personally, it has never crossed my mind not to wear pants. Get out of the shower....PUT ON PANTS. That's just what I do. It's how I roll. But around here, that's just crazy talk. First of all, underwear is never, ever a given. I have to actually look down my children's drawers before they leave for school to make sure they are not going commando. At least once a week, someone is sans underwear. If they are wearing underwear, it's often on backwards. I let this go...not my problem. But pants?! I firmly believe in the wearing of the pants. Especially when I can't be sure I'm there everytime someone needs something wiped. I won't go into detail about the poop that I had to clean off of Piglet's bedding last week. Just trust me, it wasn't good.

2. My imaginary basement room. I'm kind of excited about fixing up a room in my basement. It's a room we haven't really used since we moved here. It's windowless and cozy and kind of a strange size and I want to turn it into a comfy little den of sorts. A TV, some comfortable couches and maybe a little bar. Not a real bar, like a furniture kind of bar. Something so my friends don't have to put their wine bottles on the file cabinet like we do now when we're keeping it klassy. You know, next to the FM radio with the big antenna, under the flashing Icehouse sign. Beside the futon. Near the pyramid of beer cans. I can't stop. You get the picture.

I'm thinking something maybe like this:

Verona Bar | World Market

But maybe a smidge bigger and taller. Won't that be fun? Right now I'm only up to paint colors, but it's fun to plan out. Next up: PILLOWS AND WALL DECOR. Hold onto your hat.

3. The last completely unrelated topic was my trip to Kohl's last night. I don't generally frequent Kohl's in the evening hours, but I had little dilemma that involved $30 in Kohl's Cash that I wasn't going to let go to waste. It was a quick jaunt through the store to find what I wanted, but things went sour in the check out line. As it turns out, I was $2.44 short of spending all of my cash, and you know I can't let that slide. My fatal error was reaching for a roll of wrapping paper to even out my total. Did you know that removing just one roll of wrapping paper from a box holding the rolls upright can cause gravity to launch an unstoppable chain reaction of toppling wrapping paper boxes? True story. The box holding my roll toppled to its side, taking out the next two boxes of wrapping paper, the third of which collapsed atop the rope indicating the line for checkout, which subsequently brought down the two poles attached to the rope.

*crickets chirping*

Yup. That was me. Last night at Kohl's. So awkward.

So there you have it. I hope you feel completely caught up on my life. I will try to fill in a few gaps if I can get back to writing more regularly. My brain definitely needs the exercise. Throw me a bone and let me know if you're still out there. Maybe I should go back and pick up Halloween in there somewhere. Next time.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Ca$h Money

Okay, okay, okay. Sorry I've been MIA on the blog, but WOW. September sort of exploded. September has been a wild few weeks of baseball and school starting and coupon menus. Colds and allergies and catching up on everything I couldn't do over the summer. Appointments, appointments, appointments. Did I mention that Gus ate an entire box of Vanilla Wafers? Well, that was just yesterday, but still. Oh, and then came the neighborhood yard sale.

Yard sales are sneaky things. When the idea comes up, it seems like a really great and fairly simple concept. Then you get neck deep into pricing and sorting and dealing with the crazies and you remember why last time you said you would NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

People who yard sale (as a verb) are a unique breed. There is a vulturous quality to these folks that is just not present in regular people. Large signs at the neighborhood entrances state boldly in big black letters that the sale begins at 8am. This apparently means that they can start trolling the streets at 7:15am jacking up traffic and leering into garages.

I learned a few new things at this yard sale:

1. If a strange man reaches for your calculater and starts to do number tricks, look away. Better yet, find something busy to do. Something, anything. And do something while you wait.

2. Yes, that really was a Members Only jacket. And the Reeboks were originals from the 80s as well.

3. If, perchance, a woman saunters up your driveway wearing a mini skirt and high heeled scrunchy boots, you're probably going to have to see her plumber's crack too. Trust me on this one.

4. An exceptional number of yard salers utilize Blue Tooth technology. Not in a "checking in with a dealer to see how valuable your stuff is" kind of way. More in a "this is my accessory and this is how I work it" way. Related: Gospel ring tones are more common that one might think.

5. If you are to pack up all of your remaining items for charity, tie the clothes into bags and neatly arrange this donation near your house, this does not mean you have actually closed your sale. What this means, in fact, is that if you are to drive across the neighborhood to deliver a piece of furniture to someone, you will return to your home five minutes later to find your driveway swarming with people digging through your donation pile. Checking out what's in your garage. Eating your Rice Krispies and wearing your bathrobe. There is something very wrong with people.

6. People are bananas. You can be offering to sell a $40 unused brand new in the package blender for $2.00 and they will offer you a quarter. And argue about it. And make you question your reasoning in pricing something so outrageously high.

Soooo....that was an unusual two days. The whole concept of spreading your old, ugly, often embarrassing house rejects about your driveway for public viewing seems like a bizarre thing to do in the first place. And yet - all up and down the street, there we were. Did we really think somebody would want those Happy Easter candles with the Easter one missing? The green pillows with strings hanging out? My rusty polka-dotted lounge chair? The bottles of Dulcolax? OH, BUT WAIT - THOSE SOLD. My box of hair color for men did not.

Such a strange concept, the yard sale. If you hear of me thinking about doing it next year, please refer me to this post.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Oh, look.....dirt!

After reading this post and laughing hysterically for approximately two days, I was moved at baseball practice today to begin taking mental notes on what is going on in the head of my almost-five-year-old during his second baseball practice today. I imagine it went something like this as a series on thoughts:

1. Look at all that dirt!
2. Hey, where's my friend?
3. Hey! Pigpen's playing with toys! No fair!
4. Why am I here again?
5. This dirt remind of ant hills.
6. Holy crap! What if there's ants in my shoes?
7. My foot hurts.
8. I'm hungry. I'm getting a drink.
9. What coach?
10. Oh. It's my turn. What are we doing?
11. My feet are stinging. I think I have an ant bite.
12. Ooh! I can twirl with this bat! Wheeeee!
13. Whoa. I feel sick. Is it my turn?
15. Why is this guy throwing balls at me?
16. This helmet is hard.
17. Ooh! That's a funny sound.
18. I need to tell my friend to knock on his helmet.
19. Where's my friend?
20. This dirt is fluffy. I wonder if I can make a pile?
22. I hit one with the bat. Whew.
23. Run where? What? Why?
24. This base is soft.
25. That kid is chasing me!
26. What is second base? Huh? WHAT?!
27. Hey! Cleats make patterns! Where's my friend?
28. It's like rainbows.
29. It's cloudy today. I wonder what's for dinner.
30. Pigpen is eating AGAIN! No fair!
31. I'm thirsty.
32. I want to blow on this dirt.
33. Why is it so soft?
35. This base is soft too. Jump. Jump.
36. I like how the dirt puffs up when you jump on it.
37. What happened to my glove?
38. Where is Pigpen? Does he have stickers?!
39. I'm not having fun.
40. Where's my friend going?
41. He's going to his mom! I'm going too.
43. I'm thirsty.
44. I need my hat.
45. This one doesn't knock as good.
46. What do you mean no kicking dirt?
47. Coaches are mean.
48. This ball is slippery.
49. Where's my friend?
50. I'm chasing him! Catch the ball!
51. Ooh, cleats are tricky.
52. This dirt feels good.
53. My feet sting.
54. Oh, no, Pigpen is NOT eating my string cheese!

Et cetera. It's no two year old train of thought, but it's pretty much all Piglet could talk about today. I'm not sure baseball is a) for him or b) for me. Let's wait and see.