Pepe le Pew Pew

Little boys are something.  At least mine is.  You can always see the gears turning.  Maybe that’s why he is obsessed with gears.  And don’t you know I’m paying the price for showing him I can make gears out of PlayDoh.  Now, if Felix had his way, I’d be a one-woman PlayDoh gear sweatshop.

The possibilities are endless with any and every object.  No toy is used for its intended purpose, or at least not only for its indented purpose.  He leaves intricate contraptions everywhere he goes.  His teachers have shown me catapult-type machines when I pick him up, which is amazing as I don’t know where he would have seen that.  And trust me: I would not demonstrate something like that to my diabolically-creative son.

Recently he’s started “pew pew”-ing all of us.  He doesn’t have a toy gun, other than some bubble guns we bought the kids after the fact.  He makes a vague hand gesture when “pew pew”-ing but it’s not the traditional finger gun.  Sometimes he’ll brandish a Lego gear/wheel/stick contraption.  But the intent seems to be clear: if he’s vexed with you for any reason, you’ll be pewed.  

While camping, he used Stella’s crayons to make a “pinching contraption.”

It’s about the most non-threatening thing I can think of, the pewing.  I just wish I knew its origins.  The most violent thing the kids watch is SpongeBob, and I can’t recall seeing any firearms in Bikini Bottom.

I got pewed at “breastfast” this morning because I wouldn’t give him any “messert” afterward.

Mt. St. Melons

On Friday afternoon, I picked Stella up early from her final day of kindergarten with the Harpy.  The plan was that she and I would head home, finish packing for our camping trip, and wait for Will and the Dude to return from work/play school so we could leave.  The camp ground was only about 40 miles away, so the drive wasn’t bad at all.  Oui Oui et al left earlier to check in, so the cabins would be open and ready.

And note: I always thought cabin camping was for dweebs.  Then I had small kids. For the record, we do intend to take them “real camping,” perhaps late this fall/early winter when it ceases to be 800 degrees outside.

My husband has ADHD.  This means, among other things, that his concept of time is “different.”  He basically has his own personal wormhole causing the loss of hours at a time without him being conscious of it.  The wormhole got him Friday. I finally grabbed Felix myself and left with the kids.  It sounds cold, but I had cold food in the car melting, not to mention my patience as the kids became more impatient to leave.  It was a good call.  He got to finish what he was doing without me getting violently pissed, and the kids got to eat their dinner at the camp.  He didn’t roll in until well after dark.

It was a good trip.  We all agreed another full night/day would’ve been nice.  The park has a splash pad and playground for the kids and some great hiking trails.  My kiddos really enjoyed the nature center.  I may have to get Felix some turtles at some point.  He was smitten by them all – even the big ugly alligator snapper.The park was crowded.  That was a downer.  When I go camping, I don’t want to see or hear any of my fellow men.  We saw and heard lots of them.  Them’s the breaks, I guess.

An awesome fellow blogger suggested Japan Crate. a monthly box of mystery snacks and treats. I brought it with us.

The idea is that we all try each thing.

Felix was unsure about a gummy strip that reminded me of grape-flavored perfume. He ended up eating 75% of it.

I woke up Sunday feeling poorly – even more poorly than I felt Saturday morning after celebrating no more Harpy in my life and staying up later than I have in about 7 years playing Cards Against Humanity.  That game is a hoot.  Anyway, I felt like I had a bad head cold coming on on top of a pulled muscle/pinched nerve in my left neck and shoulder.  Luckily the trip home was easy and everyone seemed content to chill out for the rest of the day.  Both kids were even ready for bed early, which was great because it was Sunday night and Game of Thrones.

Ten minutes before showtime, we heard the unmistakable sound of puking kid coming from Stella’s room.  Dammit.  

To be fair, her appetite had been low all day.  She had some eggs at breakfast. But otherwise she had only wanted watermelon all day.  She also wanted buttered spaghetti for dinner.  With watermelon.

I think it’s safe to say my daughter doesn’t chew spaghetti.  This stuff looked like it had not actually been eaten, if you could overlook the watermelon concretions located between the strands of pasta.  This was the most solid vomit I’ve ever seen.  It was almost hard to believe.  It was like she was reverse eating.

Will and I cleaned her up and re-installed her in bed with clean blankets and a bowl.  We got to watch Thrones (holy crap!) and there were a few more stomach upsets throughout the night.  It was a long one.

Today has been a girls’ sick day.  She seems fine – just tired with no appetite.  I’m on ibuprofen, Mucinex, and a heating pad.  We shall live to fight another day.

But hell no, I’m not dishing up watermelon and pasta again for a very, very long time.


Fun Friday, Four Facts Survey

I was nominated to participate in a survey by a fellow blogger, Anxious Mom .  Since she’s always shown me lots of blog love, and since I’m exhausted by the demonic weather we had rumble through last night, I figured this was a good topic to explore today.

Yeah. This was gnarly.

Yeah. This was gnarly.

The questions are as follows:

Four names people call me other than my real name: Bob, Mommy, Mama, Wife (super creative, I know)

Four movies I have watched more than once: (ooooooo how to choose?) Poltergeist, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, The Empire Strikes Back

Four books/authors I’d recommend: (I should note that since spawning I have NO time to read)

  • The Game of Thrones books – except the last one.   Didn’t like that.
  • St. Exupery’s The Little Prince
  • I really do/did love Steinbeck
  • (Don’t laugh) My ancient invertebrate paleontology text from college

Four places I have lived: Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana

Four places I have visited: Toronto, Boston, New York, Vegas

Four things I’d rather be doing right now (it should be noted I’m at work):

  • Drilling through the back of my hand
  • Gouging out  my own eyes
  • Giving myself hundreds of paper cuts
  • Having dental work done, sans anesthetic

Four foods I do not like: shrimp, gluten-free cake (I mean come on, really.   That isn’t cake.), really stinky cheeses, sauerkraut

Four of my favorite foods: Tom kha gai soup, pho, spaghetti with marinara, eclairs

Four shows I watch: Game of Thrones, Ink Master, Gotham,  Top Chef

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  • Today, my daughter’s last  day of kindergarten with the wretched Harpy

    Someone's ready for summer

    Someone’s ready for summer

  • Camping this weekend
  • Thanksgiving at the beach with my mom
  • Halloween/Xmas with my kids, as that shit just gets better every year

Four things I’m always saying:

  • “No”
  • “Dammit”
  • “Stop it”
  • “How many mommies do you have?!”

Now the hard part: the nominations.  Unfortunately, Anxious Mom and I have a rather incestuous blog relationship.  Many of the folks she’s nominated are ones I would have as well.  I can tap a few, who are under no obligation to participate:

Cookie   (She is hilarious!)

Merber  (Sometimes poignant, sometimes good for a belly laugh.)

Nerd in the Brain   (Be patient.  She’s under some construction right now.)

And my grumpiest of pals, Bitter Ben

I love all of you guys (including most of Anxious Mom’s list).  Seriously, I have way more blog friends than I do IRL.  Have a swell weekend.

Gratuitous Dude shot with his Larva toys

Gratuitous Dude shot with his Larva toys

And Then There Was Won

One day of school left.  I feel like Andy Dufresne coming out of the sewer pipes of Shawshank.  We have been delivered.

That being said, while I  am celebrating the end of this year,  I am also immensely grateful that there wasn’t a “graduation” ceremony.  I hate graduations. I didn’t want to go to my own.  The only thing worse than graduations are funerals and probably open-heart surgery.  Who was the dolt who said “How can we reward scholarly-type people for sticking to the program and supposedly becoming experts on some random shit?  Oh! I know!  Let’s cram them together in the most uncomfortable seating we can get our hands on, make them wear the stuffiest robes made of non-breathable fabric we can find, put a rigid square on top of their heads, and then force them to listen to the most boring speakers in the northern hemisphere!”?  And I want the identity of the bigger dolt who decided that high school and university graduations weren’t enough, that families should be forced to participate in “graduations” at the end of kindergarten, elementary, and middle school?

That all probably makes me sound like an asshole.  But as much as I love my children, I hate that kind of merde.

There was an “awards ceremony” honoring kindergarten and first grade students yesterday.  I didn’t go, as what’s the point?  The Harpy certainly is not going to recognize Stella for anything positive.  It turns out, each kid was called down and given a certificate.  So I missed that.  Fortunately my Daisy Scout co-leader was there and grabbed some pics for me.  So that’s a win!  Not only did I dodge a boring ass ceremony/graduation-type thing, I got cute pics to boot.What are your thoughts on graduations?

Everybody Dirts

Kids = dirt and filth.  It’s an unmistakable fact.  Despite this, I try to only bathe them every other day.  I just hate bathing them.  Even though it’s a bit better since I started separating them, it’s still damn messy.  Now it’s just more time-consuming supervising two bath events rather  than one.

I bathed my son last night.  Stella “didn’t want to get wet,” so she promised to shower tonight, sans complaint.  That being said, tonight should have been a breeze: it was an early dismissal (TWO MORE DAYS), so after chilling this afternoon, watching Ink Master, and staging dinner, I could run out with Stella to grab the dude, put her in the shower when we got home, and finish dinner.

Things didn’t work out that way.  When I arrived at his school, his scalp was loaded with sand and glitter – about a 50/50 ratio.  Dammit.  It really was just too much to ignore.  At that point I threw caution to the wind and gave him one of his most favorite things: frozen blueberries.  The kid will eat them by the pint.  Too bad he looks like a smurf when he’s done.  No matter.  Since he needed to cleanse himself of the scalp full of sparkly sand, what harm could come from blueberries? Yeah.  I’m a genius.  There’s a purple ring around my tub and minuscule dunes comprised of sand and glitter all over the bottom.

I did sweep my floors.  I had to.  Sand was everywhere from when I took off his diaper, exposing a butt so covered in sand it almost looked like a pasty sugarplum – a stark contrast to his livid hands and face.  So at this point, my children and floors are semi-clean.  My kids’ tub most definitely is not.  

There are no winners here.

Nothing Else Scatters

Random fragments, ’cause it’s that kind of week.

  • There’s a really mean girl at work.  There’s only about 4 people she’ll talk to.  The rest of us?  She ignores all friendly “good mornings” and refuses to hold doors for people, even if their hands are full.  We call her “Cold Spot” and we all shiver violently when she walks past.
  • I grew this crazy fused Siamese squash.  Felix made it a Precious.
  • There was major squash drama when I spiralized and subsequently cooked Siamese Squash Precious.  Observe the transition of emotions:
  • I really need to clean my house.  I don’t see it happening.  
  • Crispi -my mother – sent me a Paper Clouds Apparel Logan shirt for Mother’s Day, and it finally arrived.  I’ve wanted one for ages!
  • Three more days of school.  She came home early today after splash day.
  • I think my next tattoo may be that of a mermaid shooting a harpy out of the sky.  My artist friends out there, please feel free to draw that up.  I will consider all entries.
  • I stopped for Thai food yesterday while on the road for work.  I ordered a Thai beef salad, medium spice.  Medium spice my ass.  My mouth still feels brutalized.  It was like brushing your teeth with sulfuric acid.
  • Game of Thrones.  Game of Thrones.  That is all.
  • I’m really proud of the curtains I made for my kitchen.  They actually look like someone with a modicum of sewing knowledge made them.

So what’s up with all of you?

The Dad Hatter

We just spent the past 4 days with my dad and stepmother.  They live roughly 19 hours away, so to say the least we don’t see them often.  And I hate that. I never thought too much about it until I had kids.  Sure, I would miss them.  But having family miss your kids is another matter.  You want them to know each other – to experience things together.  And no one is better at worshiping at the altar of your kids than their grandparents.IMG_8198

We didn’t do much, as far as getting out and having adventures.  We ate at a lot of restaurants.  By the end, the kids were starting to complain.  Felix won’t even look at a French fry right now.  The kids did get to enjoy the hotel pool where my dad and stepmother stayed.  Felix got to spend a day with Donut, although my new policy is that he’s allowed to hang out with Donut until the swimming day is over.  At that point, Donut gets safely stowed away until the next swimming day.

The Dude and Donut

The Dude and Donut

We managed to squeeze in a car wash in between restaurants.

We managed to squeeze in a car wash in between restaurants.

My son got so excited one day he bit the merde out of my shoulder.

My son got so excited one day he bit the merde out of my shoulder.

It was a nice visit, although it’s nice to get back to normal.  Certainly my digestive system is grateful to be back on our usual fare.  There’s a lot of transitions now.  Things are in flux big time.  Today is Stella’s last full day at school.  Daisy Scouts are over with until August.  This much-anticipated visit with my dad is over.  We’re supposed to go camping this weekend with Will’s folks.  Stella’s summer camp starts soon.

My garden is already producing produce!

My garden is already producing produce!

Aaaaand a carousel ride at the mall

Aaaaand a carousel ride at the mall

Grandparent visits = new duds

Grandparent visits = new duds

I’m ready for some major down time.  Are y’all as busy as we are?

Home on the Rage

I did something today I’ve never done in my professional life; after sitting at my desk for an hour, I decided I was too angry to be at work.  So I left.  I spoke to my immediate supervisor.  He was cool.  He understood.  The things making me so incredibly angry and resentful are beyond his control.  But I decided today I just could not do it – sit there and be civil and pretend.  Fortunately, between telecommuting, some personal days scheduled, and field work, I really won’t have to be there much for the next couple of weeks.  That’s good.

After I got home, and in between episodes of Outlander I was binge-watching in my grumpy state, it hit me: twice in 24 hours I lost my merde.  Between unloading at the school yesterday and abandoning my post in disgust this morning, I have exhibited more emotional response than I typically share outwardly in several months. I usually stay buttoned up pretty tight.  That’s also a huge reason why I keep this blog.  It’s a massive outlet for someone like me, rather emotionally repressed.

The odd thing was/is, I didn’t/don’t feel bad about it.  It’s oddly liberating.  Sure, I wish I could have been a bit more organized and structured yesterday – there were things I wanted to say that flew out of my brain – but I think a lot of y’all were right: at that point, only signs of true suffering could adequately get their attention.

And thanks for that.  All of you out there that commented either here or on Facebook.  It meant the world.

I’d like to say that this is a new me – a me that is free to tell people to piss off when necessary.  I’d do it with class, of course.  Realistically I’ll probably go back to my natural state: hating to be emotional, hating to yell, hating conflict and avoiding it at all costs.  But I hope to remember this feeling.  It is empowering even if only for a moment.  And maybe next time it won’t take ages before I rise up and let loose if someone tries to crap on my kid(s) or myself.

Yeah, don’t piss off the crazy lady.

Dump Roast, or Meet and Potatoes

Hi.  How’s your Tuesday?  Mine could be better.  Early this morning I arrived at Stella’s school for a meeting.  I thought this meeting was going to be between myself, the three different first grade teachers, and the principal so that we could find the best fit for Stella next year.  I also had a plan: I was going to have a private word with the principal to share some of my thoughts about the Harpy.  I was going to be respectful, logical, and icy.  

My plan fell off the rails when I realized this was an ambush.  The guidance counselor and the Harpy were also present.  The Harpy was her usual self.  “I would not have known your daughter was medicated if you hadn’t told me.”  (I wouldn’t have known you weren’t a walking asshole if it weren’t for your glasses.) “In her reading comprehension tests, she’s only answering concrete direct recall questions.”  (Um.  She’s 5?  I wasn’t aware 5 year olds were expected to decipher the hidden meaning of Pete the Cat. What are those cool blue magic sunglasses a metaphor for?)

The good news:  all 3 of the first grade teachers seemed awesome.  One in particular has a rock star reputation.  She asked good questions.  She took notes.  I may go purchase a chicken to sacrifice such that we pleaseohpleaseohplease get her.  After the teachers left to get to their classes, my plan further derailed.  I got emotional.  I unloaded.  I almost ugly cried to the principal  and guidance counselor.  All of my calm methodical thoughts and observations were out the window.  I said the Harpy had been nothing but adversarial since the first day.  I said I’d never heard the Harpy say one positive thing to or about my kid.  I said there was no way I wanted that woman anywhere near my son when it’s his turn.  I said Stella had been deserving of an invitation to the “most improved ice cream social” based I her behavior charts, but never got one because the Harpy was certainly not going to champion her cause.  I said that if preferential seating was placing Stella right by this other little boy who is like my daughter after 12 espressos then something was terribly wrong and bad choices were being made for BOTH kids.  I said I thought the Harpy was burnt out and was merely phoning in her job at this point.  I was a F’ing mess.  I hate that.  That was so not how I wanted to do that.

These kids deserve better. All kids deserve better.

The principal listened.  She’s a professional.  She can’t throw her staff under the bus.  I get that.  She apologized, and acknowledged that for whatever reason, the Harpy and I had gotten off on the wrong foot and never recovered.  I thanked her for her time and support and said I had every belief that next year would be much better.

I still hate that I missed an easy pop fly.  I should have handled that better.

What I did right: I was never disrespectful in meetings.  I never spoke ill of the Harpy in front of my daughter.  I did my best to back up their plays here at home with the honest acknowledgment that my daughter is difficult.  I championed the hell out of my kid.

8 more day, y’all.  I can do this.

Freud Green Tomatoes

As I got to the office this morning and turned on my computer, Google informed me that today is Sigmund Freud’s 160th birthday.  I think we can all agree that old Siggy missed the point on many of his ideas, but you have to give the guy credit for being a trailblazer in the world of crazy.

There seems to be a lot of extra crazy in the world these days.  I’m not even talking about the horrendous stuff you see on the news: wars, murders, wildfires, elections.  I’m talking bona fide mental illness.  While I was home yesterday safely telecommuting, it seems some old black dude showed up in my office’s conference center, unbuttones his shirt, dropped trou, and put his hands against a window while he screamed for a long time.  He scared the stuffing out of one of our administrative assistants.  Not cool, old naked black guy.  Not cool at all.  It turns out another crazy young black guy came and did the same thing a week ago, only he managed to keep his pants up.  No, I don’t work at 55 Central Park West.ghost

Today has started off crazy.  I woke at 4:30 to pee, and found my son asleep on the couch buried in pillows.  No biggie.  That’s not crazy at my house.  I curled up on the loveseat to minimize disruption when the alarm went off.  I shouldn’t have bothered.  Stella joined me about 15 minutes later.  As I was fumbling in the dark for an extra blanket, I felt that tell-tale wetness that can only be cat piss.  Dammit dammit dammit.  I really am ready for at least one of these animals to complete this leg of the circle of life.

Cat piss cleaned up, the next 35 minutes were a swirl of refereeing my children, as Stella was deliberately provoking Felix by snatching away the Precious du Jour – in this case a tiny plastic purple bucket filled with tiny shells.  Stella has decided that taking meds is helpful but for chumps.  We don’t do the capsules anymore (due to gagging), and she’s decided that the tiny white spheres within the capsules are no good either.  The damn things don’t help matters by not dissolving and sinking like stones to the bottom of a glass of chocolate milk.  I guess my next approach will be mixing the white spheres in ice cream.  But y’all know how that goes: you can’t give just one kid ice cream, even if it is just a spoonful.  Dammit dammit dammit.

Not one of my children cared enough to give me a hug or kiss goodbye as I left this morning.  That is kind of crazy.  I normally get shown a bit more love than that.  My husband is driving me crazy with his crazy – anxiety over having to select furniture for his new office.  Do you know what I would give to have a proper office with anything other than drab gray cubicle walls shared with an asshole who cuts his fingernails at work and gets more personal phone calls in a day than I did during my entire teenage existence?  I love my husband, but sometimes he needs to shut the F up.  I haven’t even had coffee yet.

But it’s Friday.  I’m going to try to dust the crazy off and move on.  Now I just have to decide who to let out of the box today – Id or Superego.

Happy birthday, Sigmund.

Just a typical day at the office

Just a typical day at the office