Convos with the Kiddos: Part Four

6:  I hurt my arm at school today.

Me:  How did you do that?

6:  By playing so powerfully.  I’m one of the most best players.

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Hubs to 6:  How many kids are you going to have?

6:  800,000.  61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66 . . . Elizabeth1, Elizabeth2, Elizabeth3, Elizabeth4 . . .

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Talking about a kid at school:

6:  If we were born on the same day, since we were born at the same time, we would be twins!

I had to explain to him that that is not quite how “twins” work.

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Closing his eyes and tilting his head back and forth:

Me:  What are you doing?

6:  I’m doing exercises.  And I have a girl in my head doing it with me.  She does it and I follow.

Me:  Who’s the girl?

6:  Just some random kind of girl.  I can’t even see her face.  Just her pink suit.

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Re:  The Northern Lights

6:  It’s like when you go through the second part of the car wash.  Or like all the colors of the monkeys jumping on the bed game.  Except for orange, of course.

Of course.

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Talking about a girl in the neighborhood . . . and another boy:

6:  That’s her boyfriend.

Me:  Wow, there are a lot of dating kids in this neighborhood.

6:  Yeah, and I’ve wanted to go play with them, but every time I do, they just play with each other.

I’m just gonna let that one go . . .

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6:  I wouldn’t want to jump out of that helicopter into those mountains.  Cuz that could really hurt your back!  Unless the mountains had cotton balls on them.

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6:  Who is another superhero besides Abraham Lincoln?

Me:  Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a superhero.  He was a president.

6:  Yes he was!  He ended slavery.  If not for him, there’d still be slaves and that would be a bad thing.  Also, firefighters are superheros because they save people.  They are real life heroes!

Now how exactly can I argue with that logic?  Vampire hunter AND superhero!

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Me:  Eyelashes protect your eyes.

4:  OR . . . they can protect them from monsters.  Like if monsters run up to you.

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Watching Dancing with the Stars . . . of course.

4:  Are the girl with the white dress and guy with the black shirt married?

Me:  No, they just dance together.

4:  But she’s wearing a married princess dress!!!

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4:  Do you know where the angry birds store is?

Me:  No, do you?

4:  Well, maybe it’s in the last part of Maryland.  Or Hawaii.

At Least It’s Not Towels

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to be in the presence of greatness.  Not only in the presence of, but I was actually able to hear, see, speak to and even give gifts to the Greatness. 

Of course I am speaking of the great and powerful Oz  Bloggess!!  Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, who recently wrote a book entitled Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, has been #1 on the New York Times best seller list for a full month, and has been on a book tour for the past couple weeks/months.  Her first leg of the tour was so successful, as was her book, that she added a second leg.  And that second leg just happened to have not one, but two stops in my home state.  First stop, Gaithersburg at a Book Festival, and second (and last tour) stop was in Annapolis at a Barnes & Noble. 

Once I discovered that The Goddess would practically be in my backyard, I contacted my fellow MD-er and homegirl, Thoughtsy, and we coordinated as to which day we should go stalk see The Bloggess.  We decided to go on Sunday to Annapolis. 

Thoughtsy and I both got there about 2 hours before the event, wanting to make sure we got good seats and a ticket to get our books signed (you had to have the book in hand and physically be there to get a ticket to have her sign your book).  We didn’t need to be quite so early, as there were only a small handful of people there at that point, and it only got really filled up right before the event started.  But it was good that we were early, because it gave us a chance to sit in the 4th row and we also got to chat and catch up with each other for a bit.  Always a plus!

While we were waiting for Jenny to arrive, I walked around the area and noticed that someone working at the store must have been a fan of The Bloggess and her book.  They had put a couple really cute things around the area that were reminiscent of Jenny’s blog posts and things she had mentioned in her book.  The first were the cut out puppets posted all around:

Jean Louise

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Juanita Weasel

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Beyoncé

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. . . Mother Fucker!

Then there were some references from her book:

Snausages and a Fork!!

Portlandia blog post call back:

And then my absolutely favorite thing that they did . . . reserved a seat for the elusive and difficult, Nathan Fillion (with twine!):

Just in case . . .

You know . . . because of all the places that Nate might finally show up and cooperate with Jenny’s insanity plea, the most likely place would be on a Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, MD.  Sure, why not?  (When Jenny saw this, she was actually quite tickled that they had this set up.  It was pretty hysterical).

So, after our dedicated and selfless waiting for the Queen of all Blogging, she finally graced us with her presence.  While we were waiting, the area had filled up to max capacity, and upon seeing the shit ton of people who had showed up for her, Jenny’s first exclamation was:

Holy Shit, there’s a lot of people!  I shouldn’t have said Holy Shit.  Especially not right next to the age 0-2 section.  Hi kids!

So, that started us off with quite a bang, wouldn’t you say?  She then warned us that if it seemed she was acting strange, it wasn’t because there was something wrong with her.  Nor had she imbibed a bit of liquid courage prior to her appearance:

I am on A LOT of drugs.  My doctor told me she had something for me that all the singers and performers and other people who go on tour, who have anxiety, take all the time.  “Is it cocaine?” I asked.  “No, it’s BETTER than cocaine!”  So, I just want you to know that I’m not drunk.

Then she began her reading.  She read the chapter of her book about almost ODing on laxatives.  And it was hella funny in the book, and ten times funnier to hear her read about her own experience.  When she got to the part about how she had taken a bunch of laxatives, and then went to get a large Frappuccino, there was giggling from the crowd.  At that point she stopped for an aside:

See?  You guys get it.  Nobody told me that coffee was in fact a laxative.  No idea.

In the chapter, she also mentioned how she tried to counteract the effects by taking a dose of Pepto, and the only thing that did was turn her tongue black.  Another aside:

I thought that happened to everyone, but people were like, “what are you talking about?”  Apparently it only turns 1 in 6 people’s tongues black.  How do I know it’s 1 in 6?  Because Pepto contacted me.  THEY WERE NOT PLEASED.

At one point in the story, she reads the part where she yells:  “I HAVE DIARRHEA.”  She commented on her reading this part out loud at B&N:

I just yelled, “I have diarrhea” in a crowded store.  The people at Starbucks over there are like WTF?  Sorry!  That probably didn’t help sales.

Once she was done reading the chapter, she opened it up for a Q&A session.  One of the first questions was why she wasn’t wearing her confidence wig . . .

I’m on a lot of drugs, so that’s my confidence wig.

Surprising even myself, I found MY OWN hand raised in the air to ask a question (I guess Jenny brings the extrovert out of me!), and asked her, “has Nathan Fillion contacted you yet?”  (My girl, Jen e Sais Quoi, would be so proud of me!). To which followed one of the greatest responses of all time, ever (what?  I’m not biased!):

No, he hasn’t.  Although, I’ve met people on the tour that work with him and they said they have asked him and he’s just like, “no, I’m just not gonna do it.”  Even though I have faith in Nater Tater, I’ve decided to focus on a more attainable person . . . Barack Obama.  I tweeted him, and was like, “hey, I’ll be in your town.  Let’s make this happen!” but no response.  Although, I did hear back from some people that work for him, and they said, “no promises, but we’ll see if we can make it happen.”  How awesome would that be??  A picture of Obama holding twine, all “what’s your problem, Fillion?”

Following the Q&A session, we all lined up to get our books signed by Jenny.  Both Thoughtsy and I had not only brought books for her to sign, but we had also brought presents!  I had picked up a card and figured, since we had plenty of time to wait, that I would be able to come up with the most perfect and wonderful things to say to Jenny in the card.  Well, while the card I got was perfect (it had Wonder Woman on the front!), what I wrote ended up as a rambling, long-winded mess.  Oh well . . . she’ll just think I’m nuts.  Won’t be the first time.

The presents I got for her were a little touch of MD.  I bought some items that she would only find in this state . . . Berger’s cookies and Old Bay.  I also got her a bottle of wine from Linganore winery, which is a MD winery.  (Also note, it is the first wine that Thoughtsy and I shared together at the Ren Fest all those many months ago.  Ahhh, memories).  And then, of course, I just couldn’t resist also getting her a bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine.  Only the finest for the great Bloggess!!  🙂

The line went very quick, as they were moving people along quite briskly.  It was sign, picture, see ya!  When I got to her, I asked her to sign my book and also something else.  Her handler (who was really the one moving everyone along), messed the whole thing up, but I wasn’t going to complain.  However, after I had asked her to sign multiple things, I said that to make up for it, “I have presents!!”

I gave her the bottles of wine saying, “this is booze,” to which she replied, “oh, bless you!” and when I told her one was Strawberry Hill, she said, “that’s my favorite!”  My response:  “I know.  Because I’m stalking you.”  She giggled at that.  I made the Bloggess giggle.  Score!

I then assured her that I was not actually stalking her (I’m not even sure why I said that!).   I then gave her the other part of the gifts and proceeded to get my picture taken with her, which turned out pretty well, I must say.  Although, I am a bit remorseful about the fact that I was standing that close to her and never got to touch her!  I should have asked for a hug.  But, I was close enough to smell her hair.  I didn’t, but if I was a weirdo and into that kinda shit, I totally could have.  (Actually, I told Thoughtsy that I had an idea that I would ask if she would get up and I could sit there and act like I was signing the book to her, while she was standing next to me, but that just never ended up happening.  It all moved so fast and they really were trying to get people moving through there quickly.  Oh well).

The Bloggess wrote MY name. Swoon!

So, I guess you want to see the picture of me with the Bloggess, huh?  I’ll warn you . . . it is magnificent.  I don’t want you to be all jealous of how amazingly beautiful I am, or how regal both of us look.  You’ve been warned.

Me and the Bloggess!!

I admit it . . . I doctored that photo a bit.  Jenny was not really wearing a crown.  But I thought she should have one, no?  Being blogging royalty and all.  Everything else is photographically accurate.

Oh wait!  I forgot to mention . . . she brought Copernicus!!  She’s using him as a drink holder on the tour.  I got a picture, but it’s really blurry, so not the greatest.  You can get the idea, though:

But wait!  That’s not even close to all.  I know, you are probably exhausted from this hugely long post . . . but this is for YOU!

I had previously bought some stickers from Jenny’s Zazzle store, and totally forgot I had them until I planned to go to this signing.  When I realized they were just sitting there, I thought, “maybe I can get Jenny to sign these and give them away!”  So, that is what I attempted to do.  What actually happened was a whole fluffermaroo involving her handler only wanting her to sign ONE, and me asking if she could sign each because I was planning a giveaway, and her very kindly doing it, but misunderstanding when I asked her to sign across each one, and her just signing across the whole thing.  Then she tried to fix it by signing each one on the line.  Sigh.  Anyway, she was very gracious, and it was my fault for not being more specific, but it didn’t quite end up as I had planned.  But here it is . . .

Anyway, this is what I am giving away:

One sticker, with Jenny Lawson’s signature on the LIFETIME MEMBER signature line.  Still pretty rad, huh?

The regular rules apply (do one of these things):

1.  Like my Facebook page (see all the way up at the top right of this page —^).

2.  Follow my Blog (also up up up top there on the right).

3.  Comment on this post.  Tell me your favorite part of her book.  Or tell me your favorite blog post of hers and why.  Or tell me what you would do if you met the Bloggess (something creative).  Or if you have met the Bloggess, what happened?  Was it magical?  Or . . . if you know either Nathan Fillion or President Obama . . .  figure out a way to get them to take a picture of themselves holding twine (or get the Bloggess face time with either), and let me know if you can do this!!  🙂

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Check out Thoughtsy’s post about her experience with the Bloggess as well.

My Chemical Romance

I’ve been struggling with a problem for years.  There is a substance that I just cannot escape.  I can’t go a day without it.  Sometimes, I even need another hit in the afternoon.  It is all consuming and I cannot hide this shameful secret any longer.  I think I am finally ready to admit to my weakness . . . my unrelenting need . . . my addiction.

Hello.  My name is Misty.  And I am . . . a coffee-holic! *

It’s true.  I am a slave to the allure of the caffeine deliciousness found within that sweet sweet elixir of ground and brewed drugginess.  I want it.  I need it.  I cannot function without it.  But, I am oddly ok with that.

Yeah, that right up there?  Is totally me without my coffee in the morning.  My poor family has discovered the perils of conversing with me in the AM prior to the occurence of my first cup of java being ingested.  Even then, it’s probably safe to give me a little space and a bit of time for the caffeine to begin flowing through my veins.  Really, for your own safety, it is a must.

Every single morning, I have a cup of coffee.  Sometimes it is brewed in my very own coffee pot at home.  Sometimes I stop at the Mecca of all coffee (no not Starbucks, pfft!), Dunkin Donuts, where I get myself a Caramel Iced Latte to start my day.  Once I have consumed the delicious Juan Valdez kissed concoction of wakeyness that is my coffee/latte, then I feel safe to interact with other humans without fear of accidental murderings occurring.

I freely admit that I am addicted to the gods of caffeine.  I cannot get through the day without at least one cup of coffee.  I once, out of necessity and sheer extreme lateness, had to go an entire morning while dealing with court insanity, without any coffee.  It was not pretty, people.  That’s all I’ll say.  I need that first cup of coffee and I need it immediately upon waking.

Actual 12″x16″ metal sign in my office.

I used to be ok with just that one morning coffee to get me through the day.  As long as I had that early morning caffeine infusion, I was good to go.  But recently, I have found myself dragging in the PM, and more often than not, I need another java jolt to get me through the rest of my day.

True story.

The problem with this newfound resurgence requirement . . . well, it is shameful.  I have a deep dark secret that I am finally going to reveal here to all of you.  They say confession is good for the soul and all that crap, right?  Alright then, I am going to unburden myself of this as of yet revealed secret shame and hope to be all joyously uplifted from the burden of this revelation.  Please be kind and try not to judge.

My secret is . . . I can’t make coffee.  Now, before you think I’m all lazy and just want other people to make coffee for me, nothing could be further from the truth.  Ok, so maybe it’s a little close to the truth.  I am in fact lazy.  And I do love when someone else makes coffee for me.  But the real issue is that I really want to be able to make my own coffee, but just do not have the skill.  I regularly have to make coffee in the morning as my husband travels a lot.  When he is home, he makes the coffee.  He makes good coffee.  When he is travelling, I make the coffee.  I make horrible coffee.  But it’s having coffee vs. not having coffee, so I make it and drink it anyway.  Blech.  No matter what combination of grounds to water I use, it always turns out . . . wrong somehow.  Too weak, too bitter, too strong . . . always practically undrinkable.  And sometimes I even get grounds IN the coffee, and I have no idea how that happens.  It is like some sort of mental block or handicap that I have.  (I am so ashamed!).

This also becomes a problem when I find myself in need of a resurgence of caffeine in the afternoon.  We have a coffee pot in the office.  I am also surrounded by no less than 3 coffee shops within a 2 block radius of my office.  However, sometimes I am just too busy to run out to get coffee and I want a cup while I’m in the office.  There is also the money factor.  I can’t just keep spending $3-$4 every single day on coffee.  I’ve done it.  It gets really expensive, this habit of mine.  Probably cheaper than crack, but maybe not by much.

What this leads me to is the need to ask my secretary, almost every day, to make coffee for me.  And I am just not that type of person.  I am not one of those bureaucratic assholes that makes his secretary wipe his ass for him.  I am extremely self sufficient at my job, with my secretary only doing the most basic of word processing and docket prep duties for me.  Luckily, she is rad as shit and doesn’t mind when I beg her to supply me with my drug.  But I hate being that cliche attorney asking their secretary to make coffee for them.  It is shameful, really.

MY office supplies (mug courtesy of Allie Brosh of Hyperbole & a Half . . . I miss her!).

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But, this is the one I REALLY want (ahem . . . I love presents . . . ahem).

In a previous life, I was a legal secretary.  I know how it feels to have a demanding and unreasonable (usually lazy as balls) attorney as my boss.  I once worked for one such example of douchenuggetry.  He was  such a massive waste of space and lazy piece of crap that he would call me on the intercom and tell me (not ask me, mind you) to go get him a soda.  So, I would have to stop doing whatever work I was doing (work for him), to run down the hall, grab a soda, and bring it to him in his office, which was 3 FEET AWAY FROM MY DESK.  It’s not like I was down the hall, or the refrigerator was under my desk.  Even then . . .  In fact, he was probably actually closer to the fridge than I was.  But that was inconsequential.  The important part is that I worked for him, and I was expected to do his bidding.

I vowed to never be that kind of boss that expects people to do basic things for me, things that I can do for my damn self.  And I never have been . . . until now.  I am now that boss that makes her secretary (although I do ask her super nicely) to make me coffee.  Something that I damn well could do all on my own.  I just really don’t wanna drink my shitty coffee.  Nor do I want to subject the other coffee drinkers in the office to that brand of awfulness.  It is just inhumane, is what it is.  Really, I’m being selfless in my thoughts of others and protecting them from my horrible coffee making skills.  Right?

Ok, fine.  I’m completely selfish and I just want some good coffee.  Is that so wrong?

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What is your addiction?  What item can you not get through the day without?  Any secret shame from some basic task that you Just. Can’t. Do?

* No offense to any groups that meet for counseling or addiction management.  This is all in jest, of course.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Well, that might be overstating it just a tad.  But, I am starting to feel mostly back to normal, and since the last few posts were dwelling on so much woe is me downer type stuff, this post is going to talk about some of the fun things that have happened lately. 

And what could be more fun than getting presents!!!  Yep, not only did I get a few rad things last week, but I am passing on the joy of presentsing to you!  (It is too a word).  That’s right . . . if you can make it all the way to the very end of this post, and slog through all the self-congratulatory bullshit joyousness, then you can also feel the heart swelling feeling of being gifted upon.  So, stay tuned!

A few weeks ago, I entered a giveaway contest on another blogger’s site.  It was Mandi‘s birthday and she was giving away some prizes in honor of the festivities.  All you had to do was write a poem or limerick or haiku or something.  Well, of my many gifts and skills, poetry has never been one of them.  So, as much as I love me some Mandi, I basically told her to fuck off with her poetry (with love!).  But, she guilted me into at least trying.  So I did.  Pretty unsuccessfully, I might add.  But, despite my poor efforts at Wordsworthing . . . she ended up just picking names out of a hat (her husband did, actually).  And, since my odds were 1 in 4 . . . I won!!  So, last week I received my bounty.  This is what she sent to me:

It says:  I have a very busy day of being stunning.  Yeah, so obviously this mug was made for me, right?  🙂

Oh, but that’s not all that was in the package.  I also got this kick ass magnet.  And y’all know how much I love me some magnets . . .

Yay, fun side! (Mmmm, pie).

And the flipside:

Mean side, boo!!

So that was definitely a fun treat to get all that good stuff in the mail.  I love mail!!

The next fantastic items I received actually arrived on my husband’s birthday.  Birthday for the hubs = presents for me!  Huzzah!  Really, it’s as it should be, no?

The first was not really a present, since I ordered it myself and was expecting it.  However, based on shipping expectations, I didn’t think I would get it until this week.  I was so very pleasantly surprised that it came so early:

Guys.  I cannot stress this strongly enough:  YOU MUST GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!  This is a hysterical biography!  If you have been living under a rock and don’t know either a) who The Bloggess is, or b) that she wrote a book, then really there might not be any help for you at all.  But . . . if you know all of that (as you should!) and just haven’t gotten around to it or are waiting for the paperback version (that was totally my excuse at first), you must put away all childish thoughts and run to your local B&N/Target or order it immediately from Amazon!! 

I have never laughed so hard or as vocally reading any book in my entire life.  And that is really saying something y’all, since I am not only a voracious reader, but was an English Lit major in college.  I have read a lot of books in my life, is basically what I am saying.  And this one gave me cramps in my stomach from laughing so hard and so long.  I got pissed at one point because I was laughing so hard that tears started impeding my vision and I could not read the next sentence, and that really bugged me because I needed to see what on earth she was going to say next!  That is the sign of a good book, y’all.  Read it NOW. 

It took me four days to read it, and I probably could have done it in one sitting if I didn’t have silly things like the hubs’ birthday, work, kids, chores . . . basically stupid life holding me back from this brilliance.  (There is a very good reason that I needed to get the book and read it relatively quickly as well, but I’ll get to that in an upcoming post next week).

The next item that I received was not expected, but also arrived on the hubs’ birthday.  This was from my friend and sister wife, Jen, who said she was just thinking of me and decided to send something to brighten my day.  Well, brighten it she surely did.  The first awesomeness was the card:

This is SO Jen.

I mean, really.  Obviously bacon would trump any thoughts of anything else!  But the best part was the gift that came with the card:

Seriously . . . what could be more rad than knee-high bright green socks with the word PORTLAND written all up each side?  And truly, when you think of me, how do you not imagine me wearing these socks?  🙂

When I wrote to Jen to thank her for the gift, I told her that I was starting to envision a huge secret closet in her apartment that was just filled with Portlandia souvenirs and memorabilia that she would hand-pick from and send to her friends when they were feeling down, just to make them smile.  I have to tell you, she did not deny the accusation.  Hmmm, I’m starting to suspect some type of C.S. Lewis wardrobe action happening here, perhaps . . .

And lest you think that I could possibly resist trying on these bad boys . . .you obviously don’t know me.  And for your viewing pleasure . . . my modelling of these fine examples of hosiery:

I would never deny you all of such a brilliant display of sock modelling.  And why yes, I do know how sexy my leg is, but I thank you for noticing, just the same.

Then, of course, there was Mother’s Day, where I received some lovely gifts from my kids/husband.  My oldest actually made this for me in school:

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And then there were the gifts:

Love monkey

My oldest purportedly picked out this monkey for me at the mall.  Love it!

Ahhh, now we’re talking!!  How well do my kids (the hubs) know me!!  Mommy drinks cuz you’re bad!  (Kidding kidding . . . mostly).  The only thing missing was the bottle of Tequila.  I’m not really sure what the hubs was thinking.  Except maybe “it’s inappropriate to take your 6 year old to a liquor store to buy booze for his mommy?”  Nah, that can’t be it.

These were fun little things.  Especially that voodoo doll.  Hmmm, I’m thinking that just might come in handy at work!  Who wants me to plan something, again???  :p

This was more a gift from the hubs than from the kids, even though they gave it to me.  It has my birthstone (amethyst) and the stone of the month in which we were married (October . . . not sure what that stone is).  See what I  mean?  If it was more from the kids, I would think it would have their birthstones.  But it is really very pretty.  I have another amethyst necklace I got for my birthday that I haven’t worn yet.  I need to get some amethyst earrings or something, cuz I don’t have anything to match these things.  I don’t even have anything heart-shaped.  Hmmmm . . . . .

And of course this very pretty mini-rose plant that my youngest informs me “we got from Giant.”  Ahh, all the best roses come from Giant!  🙂

So, really, in the last week, I’ve kinda made out.  Both the wonderful gifts from my blogging buds, a fantastic book, and the very generous and thoughtful gifts from my kids/hubs.  I am a very lucky girl.

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Hi.  Still there?  Haven’t run away screaming from this super long and incredibly self-involved post yet?  Still waiting for your chance to win something?  Well, here it is!!!

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Even though the pic does not do it justice, this is an awesome iPhone cover that looks just like a cassette tape.  What’s a cassette tape you ask?  First, if you are asking that, you are not old enough to be on the internet, so go take a nap and drink your bottle and leave this to the grown-ups.  And second, it was a piece of plastic filled with this film type thing wherein music was imprinted, and you would put it into a player and listen to about 30 minutes or so of music before the tape ended and you would have to eject it, flip it over, and then play the other side for about 30 minutes.  It was truly magical.

If you don’t have an iPhone, this is not going to mean anything to you, obviously, so I have something else for the rest of you:

Basically, you can choose which one you want.  Even if you do have an iPhone and like this notepad better.  If you win, you get to pick the prize.

Ok, so here’s the rules . . . in order to win one of these fab prizes, you must do one (or more than one) of these things:

1.  Like my Facebook page (see all the way up at the top right of this page —^).

2.  Follow my Blog (also up up up top there on the right).

3.  Comment on this post.  But not just any comment . . . I want you to tell me something that has made you happy lately.  Something unexpected that brightened your day.  Based on the comments I received on last week’s post, it seems that I am not the one who is dealing with the blues lately.  But everyone has something that momentarily brightens their outlook for just a brief time.  Even if you do return to the funk afterwards (but hopefully not).  Share what it is that has recently made you smile, even if only for a moment.

I will pick a name in a couple weeks.  Or make my kids do the dirty work for me, as usual.  I mean, what good are they if they can’t take the brunt of all the loser’s ire, right?

Back on the Horse

Ok, guys.  So . . . I’m still not exactly feeling up to this whole blogging thing as of yet, but I’m gonna try to jump right back in.  Hold on tight, everyone.  This may not be pretty.  (And I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a rambling mess, so there’s that!).

In the last week or so, my family celebrated two major milestones.  Both my youngest son’s 4th birthday, and my husband’s fourty-somethingish birthday.  Their birthdays are one week apart, and most years, the hubs’ birthday falls on, or very close to, Mother’s Day.  So, suffice it to say it’s a busy time in the ole Laws household.

For my little one’s special day . . . which actually turned into more of an epic marathon of a special week . . . there was much celebration.  It started with merely getting cupcakes for his class for the day before his birthday (as he would not be at school the day of, what with Dad taking off work and whisking him away for a fun-filled day at the zoo!  In case you’re wondering . . . Mom didn’t go because she was due in court all day.  Boo!).  Then the next day involved mom going to the store to order the cake for his actual birthday party, which would happen on Saturday.  Mom waited a little too long to get to the store and order the cake.  But the store we order from is usually pretty good with their turnaround time, so mom was hoping this wouldn’t be a problem.  Ha!  Silly silly mom.

When I stopped by the store after work, the normal bakers had left for the day, and I was left to place my order with the fill-in new boy.  Unfortunately, New boy (NB) really didn’t have a clue about cakes, baking, ordering or life in general it seemed.  So, I asked if I could have a cake by Saturday.  Nope, all booked.  Well, how about if I get it Friday?  Are you all booked Friday?  Turns out, they were not.  Score!  Ok then, I would like to order this Spiderman cake.  NB:  Ok, let me check . . . . . nope, we don’t have the Siderman in the store.  Me:  Sigh.  That figures.  Lightbulb!!  Ok . . . let me call the other store down the road and see if they can do it.

So I called the other store, and I’m told they are out of cakes until Saturday.  That’s right, you heard me . . . a bakery that has no cakes.  Not “we are all booked” or “we can’t do your cake” but OUT OF CAKE.  Really not understanding that concept, but trying to move on, I asked the guy if they have the Spiderman, and if so, is there any way they can give it to me so this store (who does have cake) can use it as the decoration.  The guy says he would have to call his boss.  So I give him my number, and he calls me back within 5 minutes, telling me that his boss said they could just give it to me since this other store is going to use it, and I just need to come pick it up the next day.  Yay!

Ok now, back to NB . . . Me:  Can you make this design if I supply the figure for the top?  NB:  Um, gee, well, huh.  I don’t really know.  Me:  Can you call your boss like the other store did and ask?  NB:  Well, I don’t have her number and can’t do that, but maybe if you go up front to the service desk . . .  Fine.  So I went up to the service desk, where I explained the whole scenario and tell the lady what and why I need it, to then find out that she also can’t call, and instead tells me to call the store and talk to the baker early the next morning.  At this point, I have been in this store, trying to just order this cake, for almost an hour!  And I still don’t have a cake ordered when I finally leave the store.  Sigh.

The next morning, as I was instructed to do, I call the store and speak to a bakery manager who assures me that not only can they do the design, but she found a Spiderman in the store that they will use.  Huzzah!!  So, I order a quarter sheet cake because she tells me that it will feed 25 people, and I’m only having about 12 kids + a parent each at the party, so that should be fine, right?

Ok, so then comes the day of my son’s birthday.  I’m in court all day while he and Dad are at the zoo, but when I come home I make him a special dinner (I told him he could have anything he wanted . . . this was the menu:  Broccoli, pizza, chicken and tater tots), plus we had presents for him to open and a small cake so we could sing and blow out candles on his actual birthday.

Next day, I call back to the bakery to find out if I can double the cake order, realizing that I’m going to need a bigger cake, now that 3 more people RSVP’d at the last minute.  They are family so technically I can’t kill them.  Yet.  This is when I find out that the store had already made the cake.  On Thursday.  For me to pick up on Friday afternoon.  O-kaaayyyy?

This is when I remember having seen a cupcake cake, that looked like a lion, at the other store (the one I called and had the Spiderman held for me), where I stopped the night before to grab some balloons before going home to celebrate my son’s birthday.  I called the store, again, and talk to a guy who is disbelieving that I saw that cake at his store, as it is a special order.  “Are you sure it was this store?”  Dude, I’ve been to 3 different stores in the last 3 days, and have to go to another one again tonight.  You would think I would be deliriously confused by now, but I actually know what I saw and where I saw it.  Can you check?  The guy was still trying to convince me that I probably saw that at another store because they don’t have those on display to sell to the general public.  As I’m getting frustrated with this asshole, I finally finally convince him, for the love of all that’s holy, to just GO CHECK.  So he does . . . and comes back saying “huh, you’re right, it is there.”  FOREHEAD SLAP.  So, I ask him to hold it for me, and I call the hubs.  “I have 2 cakes to pick up tonight at 2 different stores.  Please pick one and go get it.”  Which thankfully he did.

That evening, I made sure I had enough gift bags, all the plates/napkins/tablecloths for the party the next morning at the jumpy bouncy kid’s place that the party was being held at, and generally made sure I had all my shit together for the next day.  Oh, did I mention my oldest had a Lacrosse game prior to the party?  Yeah, so . . . that.

The party went off without a hitch, pretty much, so that was nice.  But lest you think that was the end of the celebration, you would be sorely mistaken.  This is when I had to start cleaning up my pigsty of a house because the next day was when all of our family members would be invading our home for cake and ice cream for my son.  Oh, yeah.  And another cake needed to be bought (actually, I had already bought a plain sheet cake and then just decorated it myself with “Happy Birthday 4” in icing . . . this was the easiest cake yet).

So, once all of those festivities were over, I had half of 4 cakes left in my house, and an exciting week of work ahead of me!  Oh joy!!  Luckily, any food products, especially dessert type things, brought into my work, immediately get consumed, so I wasn’t worried about those leftover cakes at all.

But once that was all over with, I had to get ready for my husband’s birthday, which I thought we would celebrate on the actual day, but according to him it was his “birthday week” starting Monday, so pretty much FML.  Although, luckily, we did not have to continuously celebrate his birthday for the entire week.  Just the day of, with cake/presents and then I took him to a movie the next day to celebrate (I offered to take him to a nice dinner but he declined, stating dieting reasons).  The movie was The Five Year Engagement, by the way.  It was just meh.  Definitely don’t waste your money in the theater.  There were a few laugh out loud parts, but it wasn’t great.  I would say it’s a wait until video movie, at the very least.

Anyway . . . so now I’m just tired and pretty worn out from all the running around and celebrating and hoopla and festivities.  I need a break.  At least my oldest’s birthday isn’t for another month.  Yay?

Won’t You Take Me To . . .

. . . Funky Town.

As y’all may have noticed, I have not been blogging at my normal rate as of late.  I am currently in a funk.  I am feeling down, and stressed, and tired and just plain worn out.  And when I get to feeling this way, there is just no funny.  I have plenty of ideas in my head of things to blog about, but all of them somehow either seem boring to me, or would end up with me ranting about something.  And really, that is no fun for anyone, right?

I feel dumb and selfish for walking around being all “woe is me” when no less than 3 friends are dealing with major physical ailments that they are rallying around like troopers.  While there is really nothing “wrong” per se in my life.  Regardless, I am still in this weird funky place that is holding me down and making me substantially less witty and entertaining.

Anyway, just wanted to catch you guys up on why it’s been quiet around here lately.  I’m not sure when I’m gonna get over this non-blogging hump, but I promise I will try my damnedest to get back to my hilarious, witty, thought provoking and highly entertaining ways!  (Where’s the sarcasm font when you need it?).

The Rules of Dinner

I have previously discussed in this post, how dinnertime in my house is the least enjoyable time that I spend with my boys each day.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Mostly, my kids are extremely well-behaved, excellent listeners that really do try to be good and follow the rules.  Especially my oldest.  He is the most rule adhering, good boy I think I’ve ever known.  Sometimes to a fault.  Especially when he’s telling his younger brother all the things he is doing wrong, and then, inexcusably, moves on to telling his MOM how she is breaking rules.  Hush, kid.  Go play.

The one exception to this good behavior (and don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those delusional “my kids are perfect” moms.  They are hellions, just like all other kids can be, but mostly they at least try to be good) . . . is dinnertime.  Their personalities alter into some sort of Jekyll/Hyde morphation that is truly remarkable.  One minute they are sweet, loving, hugging, listening, good boys.  Then, the next minute, it’s dinnertime.  They sit down at the table, and for some reason turn into little monsters.

Now, lest you think this is some sort of instant personality change, all hulk-like “you wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry” type of thing . . . no.  It is gradual.  That is why it’s so frustrating.  They start off relatively well-behaved.  Usually, they start eating their dinner when they sit down at the table.  All is good for a few minutes.  Then, I find myself having to remind them of certain rules.  Telling them to take bites, don’t talk with your mouth full, no singing, put your feet down, etc.  Until about 20 minutes in, and it starts getting real, y’all.

It is especially frustrating on those evenings where the hubs is travelling, which is often, so that I am the only one sitting there with the boys.  Usually, towards the end of dinnertime, something happens that is hard to watch.  They transform into these giggling, goofy, deaf children, that unfortunately start playing off of each other’s silliness.  And, no matter what I say or do (except for extreme yelling, which I try to avoid), they cannot be stopped.  It is a continuous loop of craziness and non-eating and it drives me batty.

Such was the situation at last night’s dinner.  It was well into our eating time, and they both had lots of food left on their plates to eat.  I found that I repetitively had to remind them of pretty much every single rule that we have about eating and what not to do/what to do at the table.  I was tired of it.  And then the craziness and mirror image goofiness began, and I just had enough.  So, I decided to make a list.  A written list.

My boys know the rules.  They were always unwritten, but I tend to have to remind them pretty much every night as dinnertime deteriorates into playtime.  So, last night, I decided that they should not remain unwritten.  Instead of constantly having to say “stop singing,” or ” take a bite,” I would just point to this list and say “Number 3!”  So I started writing.  Here is what I have come up with so far (with help from my kids, who know these rules probably better than me):

The Rules:

(These are in no particular order, but just written as I thought of them, or as they did, is more like it).

1.  NO SINGING.  If they are singing, they are not chewing.  This happens A LOT.  There is a reason it is the first rule I wrote.

2.  NO DANCING.  The amount of times they have been flailing around in their chairs and knocked over their drinks, is beyond calculation.

3.  NO SHENANIGANS.  This one made them laugh, but they were in their manic phase, so it didn’t take much.  This is just a general all encompassing one that covers the craziness that ensues about mid-meal.

4.  NO TOUCHING YOUR FEET.  My youngest is apparently practising to be a circus performing contortionist for when he is older.  He is somehow always holding his feet all the way up toward the table.  It is gross, and I have to tell him to stop no less than 3 times a night.

5.  LEAN OVER.  The amount of food that falls in my kids’ laps could probably feed a hungry 3rd world country.

6.  NO LOUNGING.  This drives me crazy.  It’s when they are act like they are sitting in a barcalounger, rather than at the dinner table.  This goes along with the previous rule #5.

7.  CHEW WITH YOUR MOUTH CLOSED.  You would think that this would be a pretty basic rule, right?  Well, I don’t really care all that much about the fact that I can see the food in their mouth as they are eating it.  Yes, it’s gross, but if they are eating, I’m happy.  Not to say that I don’t try to instill in them that chewing with your mouth open is rude, but I’m picking my battles here people.  And it is this one:  It’s the incessant and non-stop talking that occurs all throughout dinner that I am trying to prevent.  If they are eating and have to keep their mouth closed, no words escape either.  Ahhh, peace.

8.  NO TALKING WITH FOOD IN YOUR MOUTH.  As I explained above, this is the route of all evil in my house at dinner time.  The talking leads to jokes, which leads to giggling and laughing, which leads to the eventual spitting of food across the table.  It is not pretty.

9.  IF YOUR MOUTH IS EMPTY, TAKE A BITE!  This is the loophole they attempt to create with the talking.  They finish their bites and then start blabbing on with the words and sentences and questions, ad nauseam.  So, once they swallow, they have to put food in again.  You would think that this should remain an unspoken rule, since isn’t that the point of dinner?  To take bites.  To put food in your mouth when it’s empty.  Ha!  Novice.  You would think that if you don’t have kids of your own, perhaps.  Or if you have perfect angels who scarf down all of their food like starving artists.  But, this phrase:  TAKE A BITE.  This is the thing I probably say the most every single day of my life.  Every day.  I so want to not have to say it and just have them do it.  I’m not holding my breath, though.

10.  NO WATCHING TV.  This isn’t a problem we have since we normally turn off the TV.  But every now and again, we have it on for some purpose, and it is directly behind my youngest.  So, he basically just turns himself around to watch whatever is on and stops eating.  It’s like he can’t help himself.  He is drawn to the pretty moving pictures on the big square screen.

11.  NO TURNING AROUND.  See Rule #10.  This also applies to my oldest who will turn towards the kitchen proper to talk to me or his dad if we are doing something in there instead of sitting at the table.  We’ve had to tell him to turn around to eat numerous times when we are behind him.

12.  NO MAKING FACES.  This is the crux of the dinnertime shenanigans that I previously mentioned.  The boys start making silly faces at each other and play off of the other’s silliness until dinnertime devolves into craziness.  In extreme cases, I’ve had to remove one of them from the table so they aren’t facing each other and made one eat at a separate area facing away from the table.  I’m hardcore like that.

13.  KEEP MILK AWAY FROM THE EDGE OF THE TABLE.  This follows along with that whole dancing thing.  No matter how many times I say it, my youngest can’t seem to get the concept of not setting his cup right on the very edge of the table after he takes a drink.  Thus ensuring that one random movement of his arm will knock that sucker right over and have me scrabbling to sop up milk that is now spreading all over the table, the floor and my son.

14.  NO GIGGLING.  Now, you might think this is harsh.  I mean, they are young boys.  Am I saying they can’t laugh?  What am I, some sort of humorless monster?  At dinnertime . . . YES, YES I AM.  The giggling is usually a result of #12 and it just goes completely downhill from there.  Once the giggling starts, all semblance of normalcy and eating ceases and it is usually around that time that mom completely loses her shit and becomes unhinged.  Do I love the sound of my children laughing?  Absolutely!  It is one of the most precious sounds in the world to me.  Do I want to rip off their heads and scream down their throats until they cease making that eternal racket at dinnertime?  Yep, that, too.  Hmmm, maybe I’m discovering the root of this Jekyll/Hyde syndrome of my boys . . .

15.  NO PLAYING WITH UTENSILS.  It’s a wand!  It’s a sword!  It’s a comb!  Oops . . . it’s on the floor.  Instead of waving their forks and spoons around in the air after taking a bite, they need to put those suckers down on the plate.  Nothing makes me madder than having to fetch new forks/spoons because they are playing with theirs and they drop them on the floor.  Well, nothing except for that eternal giggling, I guess.

This list is by no means all-encompassing, as I’m sure I will be able to add more to it each night.  But this covers most of the major issues we have at dinnertime every night.  And lest you think I am too harsh or militaristic about this whole thing . . . why don’t you come on over for dinner one night?  I guarantee you will be changing your tune soon after around the 40 minute mark.  They have brought lesser (wo)men than you to their knees!  Bring it.

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So, what do you think?  Too harsh?  Not harsh enough?  Go ahead and judge me.  I’m game.

What are your mealtime rules?  Did I leave anything out?  Wanna add to the list?  Feel free.