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WTF Tapas

Lately L wants to know not only what animal he is eating, but what part of that animal. He became upset yesterday over ham. Not because he was sad that he was eating pig, but because he was sad that the pig’s face had been removed.

Along these lines, when he asks what animal he’s eating, he checks to make sure he understands by doing an impression of the animal.

“What aminal is this from?”

“That’s chicken.”

“As in bok-bok chicken?”

“Yes, as in bok-bok chicken.”

These conversations have permeated S’s consciousness and now whenever she eats anything, she says “bok-bok” and does spastic chicken flapping with her arms.

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One of S’s favorite songs is Wheel’s on the Bus. Her favorite part is the horn going “toot, toot, toot” complete with horn honking motions. In our house, toots, and tooting have a whole ‘nother meaning. (Can you see where this is going?) Whenever S passes gas, she excitedly acts out honking a bus horn and shouts out “toot, toot, toot!” It’s so cute, it makes me just want to feed the kid beans.

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I’ve mentioned before that S has nothing interesting to say, and yet she talks constantly. I’ve tried explaining to her what ought to be said aloud, and what is not interesting enough to say. For example, while driving in the car in the afternoon, it is not necessary to observe, “Me no see moon.” One need not list all the things one does not see at a given time. I answered, “Me no see elephant.” She is not learning.

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Conversation with T at 6 AM this morning (we aren’t the happiest people at 6AM):

me: I ordered S her own clock so she can know when it’s morning.

T: What? Why?

me: What do you mean why?

T: Can’t we just rig one?

me: Rig one? With paperclips, weights and rubber bands? WTF are you talking about?

T: No, I meant with a lightbulb and a timer.

me: OMG, you’re a crazy man. She can have her own clock. She’s her own whole person.

S: Ya! Me me own person! Me me own person! Daddy, me me own person! Me me own person! Me me own person! Daddy! Daddy, me me own person…

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me to T: Maybe you could take L to the market with you and he might S-L-E-E-P in the car.

L (extremely excited): Does that spell “guns in the car”?

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There are days that I just don’t want to be The Mommy. I’m tired. I don’t want today to be all about the kids. Feeding the kids. Dressing the kids. Hearing the constant whines of discontent. Can’t there be a day when they are not discontented? Can’t they go from full to hungry without whining about it? Can they be bored without whining? Cold without whining? Hot without whining? Considering the tone of this paragraph by their mother, the answer is probably not.

This past week of displacement, poor sleep, missing my regular life and schedule has taken its toll on me. Yesterday we were all so happy to be home. S took an extra long nap in her own crib. T and L busied themselves trying to clear the yard of our fallen trees. Home itself was a novelty, so we all self-entertained. It seems that the novelty has worn off by this morning.

The living room that was tremendously clean yesterday is now covered in couch cushions, books, toys and food debris. The kitchen table has remnants of several breakfasts and snacks. Bags have not been properly unpacked and instead overflow their innards in the entry way and each bedroom. The restless, nervous anxiety of what are we going to do with the rest of the day??? has set in.

On our own, T and I would just do whatever. It was so easy. But with kids, it seems like something has to happen. We have to go somewhere, do something, plan something entertaining, enriching, exhausting. We can’t just hang out around the house, maybe run a couple of errands, take a nap, etc. A Sunday just isn’t what it used to be. Without the entertainment, enrichment and exhaustion, the kids just circle us like hungry hyenas. Each taking a turn at pouncing with a complaint or tantrum. On tired days like today, they’re more like vultures. They know I’m near my end, and they’ll wait. Creeping ever closer, attentive. I cannot shoo them away to play on their own.

I know that there are kids out there who can entertain themselves. Who can play together for more than 3 minutes without blood shed or tears. There are kids who can sit for hours doing crafts. So why didn’t I have a couple of those kids? The only thing that can occupy my kids for any length of time is destruction of my house. Purposeful destruction with the end goal of getting a parent angry and involved.

They’re outside now with T. Soon they’ll be in demanding hot cocoa and T will hand the unwanted parenting baton to me.

Kids, it’s Sunday for goodness sake! A day off. You are my job every other day, so today I get to rest from you. Get your own food. Find your own freaking socks! Figure out a way to put your own underpants back on after peeing, or just skip them altogether. I don’t care! Also, if you are strong enough to get the cushions off the couch, I know you are strong enough to put them back on. Don’t give me that bs. No, you are not hungry, just bored. Go play. You are a child. Outside are a couple of acres of fallen leaves, snow patches, woods, swings, bikes, scooters, balls and so much more! Figure it out already and leave me alone!

OK. I can feel the outdoor activity coming to an end. Someone is crying. My time here is done. Regardless of how much I don’t want to, I will not put on my own coat and boots and join the family out there. Sundays just aren’t Sundays anymore.

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S has memorized the How To Be An Annoying Younger Sibling Handbook. Hell, she may have revised the thing, adding new chapters such as “Sitting on Big Brother’s Head – Appropriate Situations to Employ This Most Dangerous Tactic,” and “When Hurting Yourself is Worth it in the Spririt of Getting Big Brother in Trouble,” and “Let’s Make Sure Mom Drinks Tonight.” My sweet little girl pulls hair, claws eyeballs and puts her own fingers into L’s mouth for him to bite. In her defense, she only does this stuff when she’s bored. And she will handle a whole minute of boredom before resorting to these measures.

She’s most bored when L watches TV. This is problematic for me because I plug L into the TV when I have something to do. Like cook dinner, make a phone call, or not kill him. So while I’m super busy cooking, talking on the phone, or not killing, S is in the other room stirring things up. She’s instigating a monster, and she knows it. She will sit on his head, (keep in mind, she’s usually not wearing anything on her bottom half,) pull his hair and claw at his eyes until he retaliates. In his defense, he has a HUGE tolerance for this type of crap. I have seen him watch an entire Wild Kratts with his sister on his head. When he does retaliate though, he does so with gusto. A swift twist, push and throwing maneuver and S is thrown from the couch altogether. He may leave it at that, or he may leap down after her and then the two are a blur of legs and arms as they wrestle it out on the floor.

L weighs 45 lbs. S weighs 23. Fighting is in L’s DNA. S doesn’t stand a chance.

This morning, L is plugged into a movie while I try to pack up all of our stuff as we can finally head home after a week of living with my parents. We have our electricity back and I can’t wait to get back to our normal lives. S does not want to watch a movie. So, naturally, she grabs a handful of eyeball. Like a pitbull, once she’s latched on, nothing can get her off. L is screaming and I’m yanking on S but she’s glued onto that eyeball. I finally free L from her clutches and put S into a time out. She does not stay in time outs so I am re-putting her in the corner again and again and then something strange happened.

A man came in and scooped her up. He gave her a hug and asked her if she will promise to be good. Through pathetic fake tears, she promises. He then releases her back into her freedom. WTF? Who is this man? He looks like my dad, but can’t be.

When I was growing up, my dad was the scary one. When we were naughty we quickly asked our mother, “Please don’t tell dad??” I think he still doesn’t know about the brand new ski jacket I lost in the 5th grade. (Sorry, Dad.) So who’s this softy letting my daughter out of her time out? I could have used this guy 30 years ago.

I guess the moral here is that we all have to wait about 30 years. Then when our terrible children have terrible children of their own, we can do whatever the eff we want. We can be the nice guy if we used to be the mean guy. We can give them Sugar Puff Honey Crack O’s for breakfast and then give them back to their parents. We can babysit and keep them up way past bedtime. All this is to say, that one day, we will have our revenge. Good things come to those who wait.

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We got nearly 2 feet of snow between the 29th and 30th of this month, which is October in case you’ve become disoriented. It’s funny that I never dreamed of a white Halloween. Never really thought about it before. And to be honest, it’s beautiful.

In the beginning...

The snow is of the heavy, wet variety and it’s piled on the trees and every surface in thick, white pillows. The problem is that it’s October and the trees weren’t quite ready for those pillows. With their leaves still on, the poor trees are bending, bowing and breaking under the weight of the snow.

Broken trees = broken power lines = no power anywhere near me = no heat, no running water, no coffee.

This is still early on. Around 4PM on Saturday.

We did try to make the most of the situation though and had a great time playing in the snow as it fell.

Superman-Jack-O-Lantern-Snowman, naturally

Then night fell on us and with it a few trees, several branches and any hopes I had of sleeping. I made several middle of the night rounds with my flashlight in my freezing house checking on the trees outside. At 2AM I got T out of bed to help me shake off a tree that was resting on our back deck. A few good shakes and it sprang back up, only to lean against L’s window.

Morning came, and with it two extremely excited kids and a few extremely tired adults. Did I mention the no coffee thing? Also, there might have been some hot buttered rum the day before and a fair amount of red wine. (Hey, we had to keep warm!) We had our work cut out for us.

My nerves were fried and I was too frazzled, tired, and busy to take the pictures I should have. Like the picture of the huge old tree that fell down at some point in stealthy silence, about 6 feet from our house. Had the tree’s trajectory been a degree or two different, L’s room would have been crushed. I did take a couple on my phone though.

Back deck, sheltered from snowfall, in the morning

Pumpkin-Head Snowman after we unburied him in the morning

Holy Sh!t

I did learn some things though. Like just about anything, the crappy stuff related to an October snowstorm can be broken down to a top 5 list. So, here I give you:

The Top 5 Craptastic Things Caused by an October Snowstorm:

5. One is not prepared and has not yet removed the snow blower from its storage space under the back deck. It took lots and lots and lots of shoveling to get to that thing.

4. One is not prepared and has to dig out winter clothes from their storage place in the dark basement, by flashlight, helped by super-excited-to-play-in-the-snow-and-bonkers-wildly-excited-to-be-in-the-cold-dark-basement-with-flashlights kids.

3. No electricity means it’s dark. Very dark. Darkness and flashlights at bedtime with small children causes exceptional hyperness, excitement and fear.

2. No heat. It’s cold. Turns out our fireplace is purely decorative and supplies no heat to the house whatsoever. Last I checked on Sunday afternoon it was 55 and dropping inside.

1. The worst thing about it by far was the lack of running water. We have our own well, so no power = no water = no flushing, no washing. That expansive dinner we made on Saturday before the power went out? Hello piles of dirty dishes, bowls, pots and pans that can’t be washed. Those giant poops that my kids make? Still in the toilets waiting for a flush. YUCK!

By late afternoon on Sunday we had enough. We packed ourselves up and escaped to my parents’ house a couple of hours away. Our power is due to be restored at 11:45PM on Thursday, November 3rd. Until then we’ll stay here where it’s warm. On Friday, I will have to face a house full of old dirty dishes, a fridge full of rotten food, and those toilets.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of Kate Takes 5‘s listography posts, but this one has caught my fancy. As a blogger, I am slightly obsessed with my site’s statistics. How many page hits have I had? What links do people click on from my site? How to people find me? Although I can’t see any identifying information about who clicked on what, I can see how many people came from X site, how many people found me searching for X, how many people voted for me at Top Mommy Blogs or Babble (ahem), etc. So without further ado, I give you:

My Top 5 Keyword Searches of all time (excluding blog name):

  1. Charlie Sheen YoungThis post is really about make-up and aging. Charlie Sheen is a hot ticket in the world of SEO. Using his photo was actually one of my very few deliberate uses of SEO. It works. Generally I choose content over optimization though, SEO be damned!
  2. Terrible Mom – Thank you, thank you very much. Am I psyched that I come up on the top of a Google search of “terrible mom“? Kind of, yeah. If the person searching is a mother feeling inadequate, I am happy to provide a soft landing place for her to realize that she’s not alone – I suck too.
  3. Mom Exposed – this one actually leads people to the same post as #2, but it is an entirely different group of people doing the search. The people typing this into their browser are looking for websites where “moms” actually expose themselves. I get a few other porn searches that lead people to my blog. I think it’s funny that a person seeking porn is so easily diverted by a mommy blog.
  4. Missing Spoons – I guess this is a common problem! But what are people hoping to gain from searching online for their missing spoons?
  5. Annoying Questions – Another common problem I suppose. Again I’m left wondering why people are searching online for this? Do they not have enough annoying questions in their lives? Are they looking for annoying conversation starters? Or are they checking to make sure their children are developmentally annoying enough?
No matter how people find my blog, I’m happy to have you all here. If you like this post, check out the other blogs participating in this week’s Listography.

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Conversation over dinner the day after I came home from my spa weekend, proof that T watched hours Food TV with the kids while I was away:

L: Mommy, this is so good!

me: Thanks, L, glad you like it.

L: The pasta is cooked perfectly. And I love how the sauce is sweet and peppery at the same time. It tastes really good in my mouth. (This is all said with utmost seriousness, like a bona-fide food critic.)

me: Wow, thanks, L. That’s a really nice complement.

L: Yes. The sauce is very complemented.

On another night:

“All this flavorment is so great and awesome! I love the flavors and the, like, YUM.”

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S is fully potty trained. Yay! She now drops trou wherever and whenever she needs to pee. I have to keep a steady eye on this. Middle of the playground? In the library? Supermarket? Some places are better than others for this. Also, she is very independent and doesn’t always tell me when she’s going to go. I was outside with both kids and naturally paying attention only to my iPhone. I look up and S is running around with pants around her ankles. Soaking wet pants around her ankles. She’s not good at aiming, or pulling pants up apparently, but she’s perfectly willing to pee on the grass. Atta girl!

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Conversation in the car:

L: Mommy, did you know that peregrine falcons eat their own poop?

me: Really? Is that true? Did you learn that on Wild Kratts?

L: Yep. They eat it because they don’t have any other food.

me: Huh.

L: I mean, they have food. But they don’t have any money.

me: Peregrine falcons don’t have any money?

L: In their whole country there’s not enough money to buy a car to get the food home from the store.

me: And that’s why they eat their own poop?

L: It’s to survive.

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The fact that S blows kisses to me when she says goodbye has lost a little bit of its meaning ever since I saw her saying “bye-bye pee-pee” and blowing kisses towards the toilet as she flushed.

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I’ve mentioned before L’s favoring T over me. Nothing has changed on this front. On a recent Friday night L said to me at bedtime, “Daddy’s getting me up tomorrow. Can you please sleep or just stay in your room for a long long time?”

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S is proudly showing L all of her “artwork.” Instead of ignoring her and paying attention to the movie he’s watching. He hops off the couch and sits down in front of S. With each piece she displays, he exclaims, “It’s wonderful! That’s so beautiful! You made that?”

Heart melts. In moments like these I can almost (almost) forgive him for teaching S to say “Mommy is a stupid idiot.”
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Ahhhh, the Spaaaa

I’m tired. Not in the usual way though. I’m tired from staying up late and laughing too hard. I’m tired in a wonderfully refreshing way because I spent a weekend at a SPA with FRIENDS, WITHOUT KIDS! Somehow, it seemed appropriate for me to crash someone else’s girls weekend. This is out of character for me, but it felt like the right thing to do and I’m so glad I did.

The number one most awesome and unexpected thing (from a long list of awesome and unexpected things) to come from my blog is the relationships I’ve formed with a handful of other bloggers. I count these women among my friends, even though I have not met all of them in ‘real life.’ Kim, from Let Me Start By Saying is one of these bloggers. I don’t remember how our online friendship started, how we first found each other, but I was lucky enough to meet her in person at a blog conference. She is a tall, blonde, coffee-guzzling, hilariously funny, snarky, camera-wielding, lovely, moderately obscene soul mate for me who I couldn’t possibly not be friends with. So when she extended the invite to join her and her friends on their annual spa weekend, I jumped at the chance.

Over the course of 2 days the following things may have happened:

  • 4/4 of us had a face drawn on our chins with eyeliner. We may have then performed various solos and duets while upside-down wearing a pillow case over our heads, (What? That’s totally normal,);
  • 1/4 of us peed in her pants;
  • 4/4 of us fell on the floor laughing;
  • 1/4 of us took off her pants in public, twice, unrelated to the aforementioned pee incident;
  • 2/4 of us found ourselves running from compost;
  • 1/4 of us got I-love-you-drunk and spent hours looking through all of the photos of her kids on her phone;
  • 3/4 of us did not;
  • 4/4 of us ate, drank, and were merry.
I feel all filled-up in a way I haven’t for a long time. I feel calibrated. I have a song about clavicles stuck in my head. I gained 3 pounds and yet I feel lighter. I have two new friends who I have inside jokes with. And I have a video of a couple of chins singing “Mahna-Mahna.” “What’s that?” you say? I’ll let the professionals show you:

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