Monday, November 11, 2013

Momnesia Strikes Back

Things I Forgot Today:

Brush my teeth. (Chewing an entire pack of Trident White with Micro Crystals is just as effective, right?)
Write Morgan a note to stay after school for Brownies. (I did finally remember to call the office at 10:30 this morning to tell them despite the fact that I told Morgan I would call them when I put her on the bus this morning.)
Tell my sitter Morgan won’t be coming home on bus because of Brownies. (Which I only remembered after starting this list of things I forgot.  Yes, I started the list this morning, so that I wouldn’t forget all the things I had forgotten.  It makes sense.)
Pick my employee badge up off the kitchen counter before leaving for work. (I just had to go back and edit that sentence because I had felt the need to capitalize Employee Badge.  Why?)

None of the above is probably as bad as forgetting to go my brother’s Halloween party.  But, damnit, that’s why Evite was invented! Stop texting me shit!

To be fair, even when I “remember” I have to do things, I usually put them off for more exciting things like FAS91 standard costing walk throughs (so I keep getting paid) or cleaning out my DVR (so I can make sure that future episodes of Sleepy Hollow are able to be recorded even though its one of the few shows I typically watch live) or looking up how much a picture of a dead president is worth on eBay (so I can stop getting paid for ass numbing FAS91 walk throughs).

To illustrate, I have a list of personal “to do” items tracked in a notebook I use to manage my work projects.  (Yes, I hand write things in a notebook despite the many technological advances that society has made.  If I don’t write it down, it means you never asked me to do it.)  The majority of these personal items may or may not have been placed on this list at the beginning of the summer…2012.  (Kidding, it was this summer, but now it doesn’t seem so bad, right?)

Order contacts.  (Quite frankly it was a miracle that I actually finally got my eyes examined in order to obtain the most recent prescription.  I currently still occasionally wear the free pair that was given to me to try out.  In May.)

Swim lessons.  [Timeline of events:  Five Seasons closed prompting my need to find a new swim instructor (April).  Swim Team started, delaying my need for a new swim instructor (June).  Swim Team ended without finding a new swim instructor (August).]

Indian Princesses.  (First two events of the season conflicted with plans we already had.  Can I still sign Zoe up?  Is there anything even left to do?  Worst mom of the year.  I asked her to pick between Daisies and Indian Princesses and then I pull this crap.  Only thing I have going for me is that she has completely forgotten about it, too.)

Tour de Bay wrap up.  (Hey, this just ended on Labor Day.  I’m actually not that far behind.  Rest assured I will have everything settled before Memorial Day 2014. Or I will have Emmie do it.)

Instagram photos.  (This was originally for me to upload all my Instragram photos into an app that will allow me to print them at Walgreens, but really can apply to any and all photos still housed on my phone.  It goes without saying that I will lose my phone before this actually happens.  So it’s a good thing that I post to Facebook.  Constantly.  You’re welcome.)

In related picture news…Order photos.  (Girls had a great session with a new photographer.  In August.  Turned out cute and I did make small prints at Walgreens right away.  But then I kept changing my mind on which ones I wanted to choose larger prints to have framed.  Next time I’m going to tell the photographer to only send me the best three pictures so I don’t have to make decisions.)

Morgan vision test.  (Guess what?  I scheduled this today!  And I’ve only had the note from the school vision screenings for less than a week! Check, check, check.  Okay, that only get’s one “check.”  I was just trying to make myself feel better.)

A note to fellow Kindergarten and 3rd grade moms.  Or at least the ones that are more organized than me.  If you could just at all times assume I don’t know what the fuck is going on, and send me reminders, that would be awesome.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Child

You know a family trip is always good fodder for blogs.   I could go on for paragraphs about the woman on the plane that asked Scott not to recline his seat because he was "invading her space."  Or the classy hotel rooms that still have analog televisions and can't even bother to comp you a lousy muffin for breakfast.

And then there was the Zombie Apocalypse.

But really we just had an amazing weekend with friends and family in Denver, CO for Matt and Robin's wedding and I refuse to taint it with my cynicism and hunger for brains.

Instead...I give you a little look into all the festivities as seen through my five-year-old's camera lens.  All these pictures were taken by her.  There were 68 pictures in total.  Here are the best of the best.


the happy couple

flower girl and groom

parents of the groom

reader and bridesmaid

niece of the bride and official ring bearer escort

best man


bride (she'll love that one)



groom's family

groom and father

selfie with sister of the groom


jesus...sorry, groomsman




decorations in the cocktail tent

shoes she wants

cousin of the groom


best man and father of the groom

selfie with help from aunt kelly

her drink





(the above emotions were under the direction of the photographer.  you're welcome, kel and jay)


bride and some guy who's brains got eaten by zombies

find the banjo player

pastor larry


ring bearer

Wishing all the best to Matt and Robin.  It was so special to be involved in your day and meet new friends and family.  A beautiful ceremony and a couple great parties!  

"Once in a while, right in the middle of life, love gives us a fairy tale."

Here's to happily ever after.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hello...Is It Me You're Looking For?

Things That Have Pissed Me Off Since We Last Spoke:

Any extreme shift in weather.
Puppies destroying my gladiolas.
Getting up to go to work.
Being at work.
Talking about work at home.
Third grade math homework.
The existence of laundry.
Anything to do with the bobbin on my sewing machine.
DJ Madison on Sirius Alt Nation.

Things That Have Made Up For The Things That Piss Me Off:

All the awesome fall days we have had before the official start of fall.
Puppies wagging their tails so hard that their whole butts shake.
Leaving work.
Getting notification of an etsy sale.
...there is nothing that makes up for the existence of laundry.
Finishing a sewing project. Even if I may or may not have made a slightly important miscalculation.
DJ Archie AKA "The Black Mr. Rogers" on 87.7 in the morning.

I'm not kidding.  That is his name. You can look it up.  From a technical standpoint he is not that great a DJ, but he makes up for it in sheer randomness and moxy.  Whatever they pay Madison over at Sirius should be siphoned over to him because when she speaks I want to reach through the radio and pull out her vocal chords.  Maybe it's just me.

In other news...

I have become the official pace setter for the bus stop.  This is due to the scientific fact that the speed of walking for third grade girls is directly disproportional to the speed of their chatting.  I thought that after week one I could just let them walk by themselves, but I'm pretty sure if I don't walk with them halfway, they won't even make it to the end our block let alone the bus stop before transportation arrives.

In way other news...

I shop at Goodwill and I'll tell you why.  People throw away nice things.  But also, because it is my best bet for grabbing a flat sheet with big flowers on it made popular in the 70's that I can turn into a quilt or a shopping tote.  Yellow is my favorite.  And yes, I am aware that Goodwill is not a charity.  The CEO is raking in millions of dollars a year.  He's not hiding it, people.  Get over it.  Go to Salvation Army with your principles (or principals - it's my first day back, give me a break).

So yesterday I am at Goodwill in North Olmsted and I notice that one of the employees is helping another employee who happens to have special needs.  The older employee is being really sweet, making whatever their task was almost into a game and I think, Wow.  For all the grief this place gets, how great is it that they have given this person a place to go and a sense of accomplishment?  And how great is this other lady for being so patient even though it is probably making her task ten times longer than it usually is?

...And that is why I even noticed what they were actually doing which was just going through the racks of clothes and Employee 1 would ask Employee 2 what color the tag was.  Based on that color they would leave it or put it in a cart.

Then I noticed the "color of the week".  If a tag is Pink, you get that item for $1 instead of the price on the tag.  If the tag is Green, you get 50% off.  I realized that every time they came to a Pink one they were putting it in a cart to take it off the rack.  Seriously?!  My lack of faith in humanity is restored.  But I did manage to grab a Pink-tagged dress for my Halloween costume before it was whisked away. Booyah!


If anyone needs me I'll be busy perfecting my water bowl cover prototype made specifically for dogs with droopy ears.  That is the scientific term.  The following sketch is copywrited (copywrote?) and on file with the US Patent Office.  I turned down a million dollars from the Swiffer guy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Right Stuff

The morning after I posted my previous blog I was reminded what Archie meant.  It is pretty funny, but it will keep. 

Right now…

...from the eyes of a 39-year-old mother of two with limited concert experience outside the Dead/Phish/DMB crowd with the exception of an N*SYNC concert over TEN years ago (holy shit, has it been that long?). 

Sidebar: N*SYNC doesn’t count because we were older than most of the audience and therefore unable to be rude.  And we had not so good seats.  And we were still young enough to be ashamed of ourselves. 

At some point in the evening, once NKOTB came on stage, I decided I better start taking notes, because I wasn’t sure I was going to remember anything other than the ringing in my ears.  Here is a transcription of those notes…

Bon jovi dead or alive
Do French kidsin
Joey please don’t go
Jordan need a fan
Jn singing for the first time ever
Jrdn kiss
Do. It’s getting hot in here
Dirty dancing
Do throws shirt.  Biscuit
I do t care cat I live it.

Surprisingly enough, this all makes perfect sense to me.  But I have to back up a little, because the evening started well before this with the following facebook status “I feel like I’m getting ready for the prom.”  

Do you remember that feeling?  Waiting for that big photo op in someone’s parent’s back yard.  Putting on more make up in one night than you wore for the entire year combined.  Refraining from putting your hair in a ponytail.  Okay, I may have been a bit of a tomboy.

After lengthy debates around transportation, hotel rooms, and next morning obligations, we chose to take a cab downtown at 5 pm – two and a half hours before the show started – in order to grab dinner and drinks prior to entering the arena.

Clearly, we were not the only people with this plan.  Clearly. 

It is hard to describe this scene with unbiased accuracy. Because I would like to call every woman other than ourselves a hoochie.  However, I do know other people who attended the show that don’t fall into this category, so I probably should give some of these females the benefit of the doubt and assume they just wanted to get some liquor into them the same as me.

Since each restaurant on the street was bursting at the seams (including an HOUR wait at Corner Alley – why?  why would you wait that long at a bowling alley?) I made the executive decision to head towards the casino where we enjoyed our drinks two at a time after our B-Spot burgers and counted how many people were walking around with little Cuisenart hibachi grills????

Here is where I want to let you know that NKOTB concert goers fall into three categories of fashion:

Message Tees – either a concert t-shirt they have kept since the 80’s or a handmade job commanding “Donnie give me some grown man love” (not making that shit up).

Too Cool for School – the beotches that come dressed like they are clubbing (which I guess technically they could have been).  If you can pull it off, more power to you.  I just can’t imagine going to a concert in stilettos, minis and cleavage (well, maybe cleavage).  Perhaps that’s the hippy chick in me.

Just Trying Not to Look 40 – This would be my group.  Let’s just say some are more successful than others.  (I will admit there is an extremely small minority that can actually somehow look cool.  I’m pretty sure it’s not me.)

Once we felt ready (read: had consumed four drinks each) we walked back to the arena where Boys II Men had started playing, grabbed two beers each (basically, everything came in pairs for the evening in case that wasn't clear) and found our seats, which were twelve rows up behind the chairs at center stage.  This.

And technically it really WAS like prom because I’m pretty sure Boys II Men ballads were a requirement at ours.  I also gave G the “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” single cassette tape as a graduation gift.  Classy.

I am pleased to report that I apparently do not know a single 98 Degrees song (no, I do not know how to get the degree symbol on my keyboard, is there a special code?).  This is in spite of the fact that I actually own Nick Lachey’s solo album and watched Newlyweds fairly religiously.

The best part of this act though, is when they brought four “lucky ladies” on stage and each band member took turns singing to them.  One of them was seriously heading into an 1800’s fainting spell and I feared she’d break her neck falling off the bar stool.  I hope one of her friends had a paper bag for her to breathe into after Nick got to her.

And then…the moment we were waiting for.  After I peed for the five hundredth time.  OH!  I almost forgot.  All restrooms were changed into Women’s.  Well, I’m sure they left a couple Men’s but we walked into the closest one and I couldn’t believe it only had four stalls, but then I looked around the other wall and there was a row of urinals.  HA!

It is pretty much a blur for the remainder of the night so I’m proud of myself for taking those notes which probably start about halfway through the NKOTB set when they had their band on the center stage and occasionally slipped into doing covers, including what you thought was going to be Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” but thankfully turned into something else, Joey singing George Michael’s “Faith”, Jordan singing Prince’s “Kiss” and Donnie doing Nelly’s “It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here” (of course he did).

And of course somewhere in there is D Dub having a make out session with some chick in the VIP area. (Do French kidsin, according to my notes), Joey Joe belting “Please Don’t Go, Girl” in slightly lower key than the original, Jordan in his traditional video stance that requires a fan to be blown at his billowing shirt and…wait for it…

Jonathon Knight SINGING.  If you are friends with me on facebook and braved playing my YouTube video of this rare phenomena, you already knew that.  For those that don’t understand the significance…Jon does NOT sing solo.  EVER.  And he cannot dance his way out of a paper bag.  He was basically in the group so there was never a tie when they voted on something.  And to look pretty.  And to pretend to be straight with Tiffany so they could have a love child that now works in my department.

At some point near the end of the show D Dub tears his shirt off and throws it into the crowd.  Riots ensue.  Biscuit gets involved.  (Biscuit is the name of the bodyguard that was in their cartoon.  Yes, I know this!)  Donnie is oblivious to the mayhem he creates.

Further insanity rages when the rap portion of “Games” is upon us (which I still pretty much have memorized thankyouverymuch).

And you may be wondering what “I do t care cat I live it.”means?  But it was really just them playing the song “I Love It” while they got ready for the “Hangin’ Tough” finale.  Not even sure why I felt the need to note it, although I do recall having to seriously pee again at that point.

And then it was over.

Depression. Sets. In.

Back, huh, stronger than ever, you think we'd sever? 
Never, we're too clever to be taken down clown 
By your ignorant state of mind, I ain't blind but 
Every time I look I find you dissin' a mission that 
Strictly be righteous, we gotta fight this so now I think I might just 
Take a stand, man, like never before, and I'm sure 
That we'll endure so now it's time to even the score 
I hear you knocking me but you ain't shocking me 
'cause jealousy is telling me that you're just jocking me 
So keep on talking skee, with pride I'm walking see, 
Because on anybody's block is where I'm gonna be rockin' gee. 

For real, yo!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time Warp

Just when I thought I had lost the will to blog...we went to Skate World.

And then twenty-seven other things happened to prevent me from blogging.  And then there was The Package and I knew I desperately needed to document that experience for posterity.  And then forty-six other things happened.

But now I'm back.  What am I skipping over in my month-long hiatus?  The end of my Early Childhood PTA tenure, Zoe's preschool graduation and birthday party, starting a new website for our salvage hobby, taking the girls to see Iron Man 3 after bed time, and a shit ton of soccer (official measurement).

I also wrote down in my blog notes the word "archie".  What the hell is that?  I have no idea.  Maybe I can't read my own writing.  All I can think of when I read that is Archie comics with Betty and Veronica.  I hope it's not something important.

Anyway, back to Skate World.  Yeah, I'm actually going to postpone The Package post for the moment and hopefully I get to it before next month.

Skate World should have been like a coming home to me as I headed out to Lorain County.  Even though I probably frequented the Skate LAND rink out in the boonies of Oberlin more often, it was pretty much the twin to this Skate World and there was definitely a rush of nostalgia.

Followed closely by a wave of nausea and a strong desire to shower.

It is sad to say I've grown quite accustomed to my little bubble of suburban middle class life from the moment I stepped onto my college campus.  Even though I spent three years in the armpit of Ohio (AKA Toledo) and then my required stint in Lakewood, I've been tucked in nice and cozy in Small Town, USA for going on seven years, which is really just a more "mature" version of Miami U.

So here we are for a roller skating party in something more along the lines of Napoleon Dynamite.  The smell of sweaty feet is a little over powering.  The feel of shag carpeted walls and grimy waxed wood makes me wonder if I should have gotten the girls an extra vaccination before this expedition.

It does not help that there was about 200% humidity in the air, reducing every surface to soggier versions of themselves, including my epidermis.

I am not exaggerating when I say this is how I left the place in 1984.  The only thing missing is an epic hair band ballad blasting through the speakers.  (I think they might have actually been playing an Alt Rock station).

Morgan immediately rolled up the pants she had on over her knees.  No slave to fashion, that one.  Zoe on the other hand, was ready for a roller derby.  If that is, she had any ability to skate whatsoever.

So I spent the next two hours attempting to guide fifty pounds of sweaty limbs and torso around a rain forest condition rink on the most hideous brown skates known to man.  Why brown?  Why not black?  Why did the 70's insist on orange and brown as their theme color?

Since this all happened over a week ago, I guess it is safe to say we haven't come down with diphtheria, gangrene or fleas.  Additionally, we didn't break any bones.

When we first tied the skates I gave the warning "Remember, this is how Barbie broke her arm last week.  Try to fall on your butt, not your hands."  I really need to stop handing out flip advice to Morgan, because she immediately slid into panic room melt down.  

But guess what?  Despite all of the above, we all had a great time.  I'm just going to make a note that roller skating is NOT a summer downpour activity.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Kentucky Derby Handicap

For those of you tuning in to read (A) a rant, (B) adorable anecdotes concerning my offspring, (C) incoherent rambling or (D) all of the above, you may now stop reading.  Because this year, I'm putting my Kentucky Derby handicap commentary down in writing.  To be fair, incoherent rambling may be involved.

Disclaimer:  I have not actually picked a Derby Winner since Real Quiet in 1998.  (I may have picked Big Brown in 2008, but I don't think so.)  Also, the Derby is notorious for doing the exact opposite of what everyone thinks it will do.

Disclaimer #2:  The field hasn't actually been set yet.  This is just based on who has enough points to be in it this year.  P.S. The point system is about as screwed up as the electoral college and biased against fillies.  Shocker!  Hey, I did end up ranting!

This is based on ESPN's top ten picks as they rank them (not me).  I probably should go with the Daily Racing Form but it's not that different and it's easier to find things on which is a crime. Am I allowed one more caveat, or have I used those up?  Most of these horses don't actually have jockeys yet.  It's kind of crazy, but a lot of them had the same rider, so now we have to wait to see which mount that rider chooses.

1. ORB - Won the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby.
Why I Don't Like Him:  He's still in Florida.  I don't like any horses who haven't gotten their butts to Kentucky yet.  Travel is stress.  Stress is not good.  Reason #2, Velazquez rode him in both his wins and Velazquez is sticking with trainer Todd Pletcher in the Derby and riding Verrazano.  I trust Velazquez more than I trust ESPN and the crazy point system.

2.  VERRAZANO - Won the Tampa Bay Derby
Why I Don't Like Him:  I don't give a whole lot of credit to the TB Derby as a prep race, but other than that, I don't have a whole heck of lot of reason to dislike him. Just don't see it.  He will probably win.  Velazquez obviously thinks so.

3.  REVOLUTIONARY - Won the Louisiana Derby
Why I Like Him:  So Costellano picked Normandy Invasion instead, but Calvin Borel immediately picked Revolutionary up.  Great jockey (had won the derby 3 times in recent years) and great trainer (Pletcher again).  Also, he's in Kentucky.

4.  NORMANDY INVASION - 2nd in the Wood Memorial
Why I Like Him:  Seems odd, since he didn't win a single prep race, but Javier Costellano picked him over Revolutionary and as I previously stated, I trust jockeys.  He will also get two workouts in Kentucky prior to the Derby. However, this is pretty much just a gut feeling.

5.  GOLDENCENTS - Won the Santa Anita Derby
Why I Don't Like Him:  The SAD is a fantastic race.  But there were only nine horses in it.  It was completely clean.  And this horse is still sitting in California.  Won't even look at him.

6.  ITSMYLUCKYDAY - Won the Holy Bull Stakes
Why I Don't Like Him:  He's still in Florida and doesn't plan on getting to Kentucky until the 26th.  Otherwise, just not impressed.

7.  OVERANALYZE - Won the Arkansas Derby
Why I Don't Like Him:  He came in 5th in the Gotham.  See below.  He is already in Kentucky though.

8.  JAVA'S WALK - Won the Blue Grass
Why I Like Him:   I have a soft spot for the Blue Grass despite no horse winning from that prep races in eons and it being a synthetic track.  He also came 2nd to Verrazano in the Tampa Bay which was his first race.  He's only raced twice.  He's really fresh and already in Kentucky.  Also, you should see how wide he had to make that final quarter turn and still won.  Yeah, I have to say I'm leaning towards this guy.

9.  VYJACK - Won the Gotham
Why I Don't Like Him:  Who the hell cares about the Gotham?  No one.  That's who.  He came in 3rd in the Wood and now has mucus in his lungs that he's receiving treatments for.  How is this horse even in the top 10?  The only thing he currently has going for him is jockey Garrett Gomez.  Mark my words, Gomez will not be riding this horse in the Derby.

10.  WILL TAKE CHARGE - Won the Rebel Stakes
Why I Like Him:  Trainer D. Wayne Lukas (racing god) had him skip the Arkansas Derby to stay fresh, which is a decision I like.  One of the horses already in Kentucky.

So here are my Early Picks:
1. Java's Walk
2. Normandy Invasion
3. Revolutionary
4. Will Take Charge

And here is my long shot.  Oxbow.  This horse does have enough points to be in the Derby.  He has finished no less than fourth in the four graded stakes he has entered, including a second place finish to Will Take Charge in the Rebel.  Also trained by Lukas.  He had Jon Court aboard when he won the Lecomte and Mike Smith in the Rebel.  Great jockeys that will definitely be riding someone in the Derby.  Here is the interesting fact. has Gary Stevens listed as his jockey.  Um...Gary Stevens has been retired since 2005!  If this is for real and Stevens (my second favorite jockey behind retired Jerry Bailey) really gets on him, there is no way I wouldn't put money on that horse.  Gary Stevens could be living in a retirement home and just come out of a coma and I would put money on him.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere

No, this is not a post about our fantastic weather.  Yet.

I never thought it would be essential to read the directions on a bottle of water before opening it, but I'm here to tell is.

We stopped at the gas station before preschool this morning and Zoe came in to grab something to drink with me.  She chose a bottle of flavored water for herself, which I thought was very responsible since I grabbed a Coke Zero.  (I don't drink coffee. Stop judging.)

I have never heard of this water before. 9-89 On Demand.  It has 9 vitamins, 84 ironic minerals (okay, it's ionic, but I have no idea what that means) + 5 Electrolytes.  Shouldn't it be called 9-84-5?  Or just 108?   I don't get it.

Apparently it is made with Stevia and Himalayan Sea Salt.  I'm supposed to visit if want to know more about what this means.  I'll pass.

At the top of the bottle it says "Smile after opening and also refrigerate."  Hmmm...a little too perky of water if you want my opinion.

So we are driving back down the road and I'm trying to open the bottle (yes, this is how I'm going to eventually die).  It's a huge cap and that sucker is on there tight.

And then the top portion of the cap comes loose.  Hey, guess what?  The flavor is in the cap separate.  And it is now dripping down the outside of the bottle, through my fingers, onto the steering wheel, the seat and my pants.  (Good thing I'm still in my awesome maternity leggings.  To be fair they aren't ACTUALLY maternity leggings, I just happened to buy them when I was pregnant. So now you know they are eight years old.  And you also know that I am extremely fashionable.)

I manage to direct most of the flavor into the actual water at this point, but my hands are sticky and because the flavor was...wait for it...GRAPE...I have reddish-purple liquid all over the place.  I'm not going to lie, it looked very much like blood.  On the seat.  Between my legs.  Fabulous.

Quite out of character for me, I actually had two napkins in the car and was able to clean the bottle up enough to let Zoe try it.  I tried it too.  It was okay for grape flavored water.  I prefer Kool-Aid.  She liked it enough to remind me to put it in the refrigerator when I got home and save it for her.  Got it covered, kid.

As I set the bottle on the counter I notice one whole side of it reads in big letters and helpful pictures "Twist cap clockwise to release the fresh vitamins and minerals.  Then twist cap counter clockwise to open." Things that would have been helpful to know YESTERDAY, to quote Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer.

This is your public service announcement for the day.  The More You Know.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Morgan, Age 8

This morning I asked Morgan if she felt any different now that she is eight.  She said she thought her legs seemed a little longer.  Oh, dream on, my little vertically challenged gene pool.

I feel like Morgan did a lot of "growing up" this year.  And I'm a little worried that those quotable gems that only come in the formative years are going to come fewer and farther between for her.  But instead of dwelling on the loss of innocence, I'm going to try very hard to appreciate the fact that she's getting smarter than me.  And since she hasn't asked for a training bra yet, I'm marking this year in the "win" column.

Here are Morgan's favorite things - Age 8 (AKA the year technology threw up in my house).

Best Friend: Annie
Movie: Oz, The Great and Powerful (good things we saw it yesterday)
TV Show: Ocean Girl and H2O 
Toy:  Pooh Bear and Beluga
Book:  The books you made of pictures of vacation.
Color: Emerald
Song: I Believe (from Mirror, Mirror)
Food:  Ribs and meat (that's my girl)
Dessert: Frozen banana with chocolate over it  (that's Scott's girl)
Thing to do as a family: Play games
Thing about Zoe: I like her personality
Thing about Mommy: Because you're my mom (so basically she has to like me)
Thing about Daddy:  Because he's funny
Things about Thea's (sitter):  Playing with my friends and hanging out with her

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Artist that just does stuff at home.  And then a teacher that does stuff at school.  But I don't want to be an art teacher.  I just want to do art in my free time.  (What is this "free time" you speak of?)

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'd Like to Thank the Academy

I received a blog award.  Crazy, right?  Most of you can’t bother to write a single comment to let me know you’re out there.  Stalkers.  Anyway, I “met” Jenn at Random Lunacy last year, when I made a half-ass attempt to get more readers by finding other blogs to follow and comment on.  It did not last long, and Jenn and Chris are the only two people I stuck with.  Jenn’s my idol because she actually self-published a book.  And it was great!  I read it.  I have it if you want to borrow it, but you should buy one yourself because it’s important to support self-publishers.  She’s also from Boston, so there is a lot of love for The Package between us.

Anyway, she graciously bestowed this Liebster Blog Award on me, which is meant for bloggers with smaller followings.  The only issue I have with accepting this award is that one of the rules is to pass it on to 11 other bloggers and I don’t really follow anybody else that fits this bill, because I am lazy and just end up following people that Jen Lancaster and The Bloggess follow.  But I can at least go through with some of the requirements of acceptance.

So, thanks, Jenn!

The rules:

1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award and display a link back to their blog.
3. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Answer 11 questions that the presenter of the award has asked you.
5. Nominate 11 new bloggers with fewer than 200 followers that you want to pass the award on to.
6. Ask your nominees 11 questions.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I’m a middle child, but you probably knew this based on how I scream for attention.
  2. In order to correctly spell the word restaurant I have to pronounce it in my head like it’s in Spanish without the e on the end.
  3. At 5’4” I’m too tall for my dream job as the Alice face character at Walt Disney World.
  4. Who am I kidding?  All those kids would drive me bat shit crazy.
  5. The first words I ever uttered directly to Scott were sarcastic.  “Next time, don’t talk so much.”
  6. I am the female version of Chandler Bing.
  7. I hate being told I HAVE to do something.  (Be an OSU Fan, Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Avoid Red Dye #40) So much so that I will actually do the opposite.
  8. I’m a Political Science major and I would have to Google to find out what number president we are on.
  9. I sometimes end sentences in prepositions and don’t bother to figure out the correct way to say it.
  10. I’m addicted to movie trailers.  The kind that you watch before movies, not the kind that have wheels on a movie set.
  11. One of my favorite quotes of all time, which is befitting this blog…”Is it that hard to make us look cool?!” – Jeff Bebe (Almost Famous)

11 Questions From the Presenter Answered

1. What’s your earliest childhood memory?

Nobody believes me when I say my earliest memory was of our multi-family vacation to Canada.  Mainly, they don’t believe me because I was two.  They think I just remember things I was told, like Pam breaking her arm and some basketball ending up in the oven.  But I have one memory that is all my own, that nobody could have told me about.  Waking up in the room I shared with my Aunt Cereal (Cheryl) who was not technically my Aunt yet.  I guess it’s more like a feeling than a memory, because my Aunt Cereal was probably my favorite person in the world beyond my immediately family.  It’s very hazy, with an Instagram 1977 filter on it, even though it was 1976.

2. What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

Anything with corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors.  Bonus points for marshmallows.  Top 10 in no particular order: Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Cocoa Puffs, Trix (Just realized that this rhymes with Kix which was the same cereal without the above required ingredients and therefore disgusting.  Seriously, how did I just now notice that?), Honeycomb, Golden Grahams and Cookie Crisp.

3. Do you remember your third grade teacher’s name without looking it up?

Apparently not, because I thought it was Mrs. Woodrum, but when I inquired of the girl with the freakish memory she informed me it was Mrs. Vincent and Mrs. Woodrum was the name of our 5th grade Reading teacher.  Regardless, they were both like soft little granny angels.  In contrast to my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Bates who was every evil teacher scenario that her name implies.

4. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?

If I have to answer, too cold.  But I seriously object to the lack of a “just right” option.

5. Have you ever traveled outside your own country?

Caribbean Cruise that included Mexico.  And then there is Canada.  In addition to my first memory on record, I went several times during the course of my E&Y career, one of which almost got me deported back to the US, because we didn’t have work permits.

6. Where do you think would be the scariest place to discover a body?

Okay, the first thing that came to my mind was “in bed beside me”.  Sorry, Scott.  But it is one of the places you would least suspect.  I mean, it’s not AS scary to discover a body in a haunted sanitarium, because you kind of expect to find one there.  Am I right?

7. What’s your favorite book and why?

Seriously?  Why not just ask me to tell you which child is my favorite? (I might have stolen that from somewhere.) I guess if we go by shear number of times I’ve read it…Are you there, God?  It’s Me, Margaret.  Actually, just writing that makes me want to go read it again as a pushing-40-year-old and see if it’s still as perfect as it was back in the day.

8. What is your name?

Anna.  Anna Marie (when I’m in trouble). Annie.  Anna Banana.  Nannie.  Kirschner.  Chuck’s Little Sister.  Amy. Actually, I answer to almost anything that starts with an A.  Most notably, my alias Amy Rogers, who’s social security number is mine backwards.

9. What is your quest?

To save the planet from the evil emperor Zurg.  Wait.  That’s Buzz Lightyear.  To write a book that makes enough money to pay for the years of therapy my kids are going to need.

10. What is your favorite color?

Burnt Sienna

11. What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

One point twenty-one gigawatts.

Now that that’s over…I know precisely one blogger who writes consistently enough that I could bestow this upon her.  Her site has 71 followers (double me, by the way), but on the other hand, her facebook page has something around 5000 likes, so I’m not QUITE sure she qualifies.  Anyway, her blog’s only been around a year, so she obviously doesn’t need my help in attracting readers, but if you make your way over to Fit and Healthy, tell her I sent you.  I pray that one day her enthusiasm will stick with me for more than 8 hours.  Debbie, if you are so inclined, feel free to pass the award along.

These would be my 11 questions.  Anybody could answer any of them in the comments section here or on facebook. Anybody?  Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?  You don’t have to elaborate like I did.

  1. What’s your sign?  Follow up.  Do you match your sign’s characteristics?
  2. What is the best OR worst vacation you ever went on?
  3. What movie can you watch multiple times without ever tiring of it?
  4. What song is currently in your queue?
  5. What is the best present you ever received?  (And don’t say something cheesey like your kid or your spouse)
  6. Are you a Mulder or a Scully? (For those that aren’t X-File versed, do you believe in extra-terrestrial life?)
  7. What would be your last meal request when you are on death row (Which you totally don’t deserve to get, by the way. I mean, you KILLED somebody!)
  8. You have to put three things in a time capsule that will explain who you are at this moment in time when someone digs it up 50 years from now.  What would they be?
  9. Name something important that happened the year you graduated from high school.
  10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you that you are willing to share?
  11. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Go To The Mattresses

Just a quick update on the start of my work day...

One.  It's still f-ing cold outside.  (And no, this statement of fact does not prohibit me from complaining about the seven-levels-of-hell hot it is in July.)

Two.  Speaking of hell.  Elevator ride to the 11th floor.  No, I don't think it's cute that you both hit different floors and then decided to get off on 10 instead, causing two unnecessary stops along the way.  Apparently, you think this is adorable.  Apparently, you and the two other Chatty Cathy's that insist on holding their conversation at one decibel level higher than you are "morning people".  Apparently, you have not read my elevator manifesto, which includes, "Thou shalt not speak until after 10 AM." and "If thou presses a button, thou better get off on that god damn floor."

Three.  Arrive at my desk to find what appears to be the equivalent of a bloody horse head under my sheets.

I'm not sure what offer I have refused, but just know that in the grand scheme of things, I am the Godfather. Sleep with one eye open, my wee lambs.

(And yes, Little Miss Sunshine is ironic.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, G

Author's Note:  I wrote this two weeks ago while feeling nostalgic and decided to hold on to it for G's birthday.  You're welcome.

Countdown to The Package: Two months and nine days.

You may be wondering why a seemingly normal individual such as myself (okay, normal is loosely defined in this instance) maintains such a giddy, juvenile attachment to a boy band I couldn't even admit to liking for fear of public stoning back in the day when they were actually relevant (and relevant is also loosely defined in this instance). 

And though I would rather have stuck a fork in my eye than be seen at one of their concerts back in 1990, I am not hesitating to openly and publicly humilate myself on this blog, facebook, and potentially the windows of my car while driving down I-90 on June 9th.

Scott's humoring of these forays back to the sixteen-year-old version of myself that he never knew rank way above a reasonable level of expectation. Considering he has already endured me attending 2 solo Joe Mac and 1 solo Jordan Knight concert (from as far back in the room as possible to hide my shame) in addition to the NSYNC Celebrity Tour.  It seems to be his cross to bare (or bear?).

So hear is the only explanation I can offer...

NKOTB = D&G (not Dolce & Gabana in this scenario)

D&G = Just about every weekend from age 14 - 18 in the living room of D's parents home; drinking Pepsi from glass bottles, making mini pizza's from english muffins; writing fictional love stories one level below Sweet Valley High quality; having Dream A Little Dream, The Lost Boys, and Young Guns on continuous VCR loop; and jumping over "the line of insanity" which was actually a seam in D's mom's living room carpet.  (Also, I think I just made appropriate use of a semi-colon.)

High school weekends = Getting in D's car at 2 a.m. (G always in shotgun) and driving with the windows down no matter the temperature outside while blasting the Dead Milkmen and plotting out how quickly we would get out of Dodge after graduation. And driving back home once we ran out of things worthy of shouting about, because we couldn't talk in normal voices with the windows down.

2 a.m. car rides  = A feeling of contentedness that, despite the fact that grades 7 - 12 were the most awkward of my life, I had one place I could go and feel completely accepted.  I mean, they may have given me the nickname White Bread, but at least I knew they didn't care that I was.

Sure there have been other times in my life, and there have been and continue to be other people in my life, that make me feel that way, but that was the time I needed it the most.

So later when you see incriminating pictures of me Hanging Tough, rest assured I'm just reliving that moment in the fall of 1990, when I went for a red Topaz joy ride with my two best friends and breathed cold air into my lungs until I was shivering and wouldn't have traded that moment for anything in the world.

Monday, March 11, 2013

So You Think You're Ready for Kindergarten

Going through the Kindergarten Registration packet is a little less daunting the second time around, but no less annoying.

First and foremost, the amount of repetitive information is staggering.  You know, there is this change management rule that says you have to repeat something seven times before it really sinks in...I don't think that should apply to this packet situation. Just the one page with important dates would have sufficed.  Don't keep throwing out random dates on other pieces of paper that I have to reconcile to the Important Dates page.  (Because, yes, I'm an auditor, and I reconciled them.)

Also, you may think it is 2013, but filling out this paperwork is like stepping back into 1980 before they invented computers, dot matrix printers, and the Internets.  I had to write our address EIGHT times.  THREE times on the SAME paper.  I had to write MY name TWELVE times (not counting signatures).  This better be part of the modernization program our taxes are going towards this year.  Seriously, it's easier to pay taxes than to sign your kid up for kindergarten.

Also, the rest of the world has gone paperless, we don't get "utility bills" anymore for proof of residency.  Okay, I do.  But I'm sure there are people that are more green than I am.

Mixed messages.  On one pages it lists all the things you MUST bring with you in order to register, but then two more pages in it gives you the same list, in a different order and using different terminology and then tells you to just have it all in by August 9th.

Note to first timers:  This August 9th thing is helpful for the health and immunization records.  In case you are like me and have kids with late spring/early summer birthdays and your insurance won't cover more than one well-visit in the same 12-month period, it doesn't make sense to have the doctor fill out all the paperwork now, just to have them update it again in two months when you actually go in for a check up.

In contrast to the overload of repetitive information, there are little tid bits that lack any clarity. For instance...Birth Certificate.  Okay, is that a copy?  A certified copy?  Do I have to go stand in line at Vital Statistics for an official duplicate?  Hint: None of the above.  You have to bring your original and they make a copy of it while you are there.

Now here is where I admit the number of times I started to write my name instead of Zoe's...three.  And the number of times I mistakenly marked her as "male" (in my defense, the lines were confusing).  There's no prevention for user error. 

Number of times I felt guilty...when they asked when my child reached certain developmental milestones and I had no fracking clue because she is my second child and therefore there is no record of ANYTHING.  You have my best guess, people.  All I know is that she took twice as long to talk and half as long to ride scooter as my oldest.  But my oldest spoke early and still has no large motor skill coordination.  So if you average it out, it's average.

Sidebar: I'm mildly offended that they always ask for the father's information first when you know damn well it is the mothers that are filling it out and we are the first ones (with exceptions) that are going to get a phone call if something goes wrong. 

Okay, so it took less than a lunch hour to get it done, so who cares?  (Well, me obviously, because I could have been reading Entertainment Weekly's recap of Once Upon a Time or sending more links of puppies to my husband.)

But just in case you have everything ready and get through this week and think you are in the assured you will get another packet of information at the Kindergarten Open House (not an Open House) in which you will need to write down your address and phone numbers at least three to five more times.

And, oh shit, I completely forgot about Safety Town.  (Which may explain why my kids and I rode our bikes to the playground yesterday without helmets.)  I seriously need a carpool situation for that one.  Calling all SAHMs that want another kid for two weeks.

FYI - to any BV moms going through this for the first time...the alternative transportation sheet is stapled to the back of the transportation packet...get it in early so you know you get your correct bus information this summer.

Now all I have left to do is convince the school I need to be in AM Kindergarten when I clearly live in the PM zone.  Oh, and convince Zoe that she does, in fact, want to attend.  No problem.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Author's Note: Remember that book?  I just bought a copy to put in Morgan's Easter basket this year.  I loved that book.  Also, for the first time in a long time I have THREE blog topics in my head.  But two of them are more Letters to the Editor - esque where as this one is shit that is actually happening to me.  For real.

I believe it has been stated that we live in a century home.  Which is all sorts of wonderful in a Rehab Addict kind of way.  But one of the charms of a century home is that they are not as hermetically sealed as new construction.  Read: the vermin can easily get in.

In the past we have had a mice influx at two points of any given year that we typically have dealt with using traps - the loud snappy kind that ring out the satisfying death toll: when the first frost hits and when the spring rains flood any remaining outdoor populations.

But since we have had HoHo, we have been happily vermin free indoors.  Outdoors, we see the fruits of his labor displayed in attractive sacrificial alters to the gods of food and potential couch time.  This fall, HoHo had so successfully eradicated the mice and chipmunk population he had moved on to birds, including most notably a large pesky male Cardinal.  Impressive. (Actually, just before I left for work this morning, I found him perched on the radiator virtually growling at a Cardinal in the bush outside. He hates those bastards.)

Last winter, HoHo was not allowed in the main living area.  Partially because Scott and I are somewhat allergic (him more than me) and partially because we felt it would be a personal affront to Potter who was not a fan of the feline persuasion despite the fact that he couldn't see him.  So he spent his winter between the basement and the garage. 

With Potter gone, our tender little heart strings have succumbed to his affectionate companionship. 

That, and we have gotten really lazy about catching him after he has sneaked through the door for the hundredth time.  He's like Houdini.

So he spends most evenings entertaining himself with running up and down the stairs as fast as he can twenty times in a row, being carted around like an awkwardly held baby by Zoe, placed up in Morgan's bed where he stays for no more than five minutes before taking the second story leap to the floor, and joining Scott and I on the couch.

If he happens to be awake when I go up to bed, he follows me and we compromise about which quadrant of the bed he can inhabit.  If the girls have left dirty laundry on their floor, he might abandon me for that.  Otherwise, he slumbers on the couch.  And we don't hear a peep until morning when Scott gets up. 

Now, he doesn't bother Scott (that I know of).  He waits until I place one foot outside the bed and comes prancing from his look out at the top of the stairs mewing like he hasn't had a meal in the last 48 hours.  So no matter what time it is, I have to go all the way downstairs to put food in his dish or I won't have a moment of peace.  Then when he's done, he comes to find me mewing like he's had to cross his legs for 48 hours, despite the basement litter box, and I have to let him outside.  I suspect he thinks he is part dog.

Last night...2:30 AM...

I awaken to this ungodly cross between a cry and moan.  A consistent siren of a wail that seems to be getting closer.  Well...this is new.

And then I jump out of bed and sniff the air for smoke because I remember some news story about a cat that saved a family from being burned alive in their own home.  No smoke.  Just wailing.  He sees that I'm up so he turns around and goes back down the stairs, wanting me to follow him.

Timmy better have fallen into the god damn well.

So I get to the bottom of the stairs and he is now hunched over on the rug.  Are you kidding me?  You called me all the way down here to watch you puke up a fur ball?  I switch on the light and lean over him closely, because I don't have my glasses on and am legally blind.


"What is it?" I hear Scott yell from the bedroom.

"He caught a HUGE mouse!"  I mean this was not your ordinary mouse.  It was a cross somewhere between your average mouse and a small rat.  And I am not afraid of mice.  In fact, I once put on a garden glove and picked up a mouse that had fallen into the dog food container and released it into my backyard.  Then I hear a squeak.  "He hasn't killed it yet!"

And then what happened?

He let it go!  It all happened so quickly, much more quickly than I can tell if I want to add anecdotes, that I may have confused his cat equivalent of night vision goggles when I turned on the light and the mouse bolted into the dining room.  He cornered it a few more times but after about a five to ten minute chase, the mouse finally escaped into the fireplace.

So which of the following scenarios is better?

Knowing that there is a live mouse in your home while you are sleeping (which frankly, we have always assumed anyway) or waking up and swinging your bare feet out of bed to step on a furry little body?  Because I can only assume he was bringing ME the mouse to show me how awesome he was.  I mean, he probably would have sat there until it suffocated and then left it either on the floor or potentially brought it all the way into bed.

So everyone went to work this morning.  If HoHo's job isn't done by the time I get home and there isn't a large mouse cadaver on my threshold, the traps are coming back out, people. 

Fierce Creature

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dog, the Leprechaun, and the Wardrobe

Our girls pretty much had the opposite reactions than I would have expected to our dog passing this winter.  Morgan and Potter had always just occupied the same space, where Zoe was all about giving him treats and laying on top of him like a throw rug.

So I was a little shocked at how inconsolable Morgan was when we told her. And she was prone to bouts of melancholy for at least a couple weeks afterward.  Even today, she told me she misses seeing him in the back hallway when she goes to get her coat.  Zoe, on the other hand, simply asked if we were going to get a new dog that day and name it Potter.

Now Morgan is ready for another Saint Bernard, which I'm somewhat opposed to.  I know plenty of people that are loyal to a certain breed, but I have a hard time "replacing" my pets.  I could also never have another Collie, which is the dog I grew up with. Scott, however, I think will be easily persuaded to get a Saint Bernard as long as it is a short haired variety.  I'm thinking of giving the girls the option of two greyhounds vs. one St. Bernard in the hopes that having their "own" will lean them in the other direction.

Just this weekend, I had the following conversation with Morgan after leaving a house that recently got two new dogs.

"I think we should get another Saint Bernard.  Or maybe a Bulldog.  I like those.  And if it was a French Bulldog it could wear a beret.  Or if it was an artist Saint Bernard it could wear a beret, too."

"Do you know a lot of artist Saint Bernards?"

"No.  But Potter was pretty messy and that is kind of like being an artist.  And then we could get him a little coat that has paint splatters on it, like painters wear."

Why do I have the feeling that I am going to end up with another Saint Bernard?

* * *

Morgan recently spent an afternoon at the Nature Center learning about the Wonders of Water, during which they must have talked about rainbows, which coincidentally lines up nicely with the skit she has been writing with a group from school around throwing a birthday party for Roy G. Biv.

"Do you think the first person to discover a rainbow was surprised to see indigo?  I wonder who discovered the first rainbow.  I bet it was a leprechaun."

Of course it was.

* * *

Me:  We need to go to Target for some cleaning supplies and I need a Valentine's Day card for Daddy.
Morgan:  I am GREAT at picking Valentine's Day cards for Dad.  I think we should get one with a dog in a swim, a dog in a bikini...a dog in a pink and red bikini.  Because adults have a good sense of humor.   You just need to get it out of them.

* * *

One of our major Storage Wars projects is coming to a close.  This would be a corner hutch that has been installed in our living room.  When Zoe asked Scott what it was, he told her it was something like a wardrobe and then convinced her when he was done, he would make it magical and it could take her to Narnia.

So for the past few days, Zoe has been asking Scott when he's going to put the magic in it and he told her she needed to wait for the face plate he was going to install over what used to be a hole for a light switch.  He then went to Thing Remembered and got the plate engraved with the words "To Narnia".  It looks pretty cool.

Guess who is not happy?  A little girl who put herself inside a wardrobe and stepped right back out into the living room.  I do have her sold on the fact that the wardrobe only works if Aslan needs her to come to Narnia, but that she can pretend it takes her there instead.

She tries the wardrobe every day.  I think I'm going to lock her in there for a while and then redecorate the living room to look like the lamppost in the woods.

Sidebar:  When you spill some of the rustoleum paint you are using to clean up the radiator cover on your finger tips, you should not try to quickly get it off by scrubbing your hands with soap and water in the sink.  This only spreads oil-based paint over BOTH of your entire hands.  Also, be sure that you actually have paint thinner or turpentine on hand when using oil-based paint and not assume that you are not going to spill paint on your hands.  Also, nail polish remover would have worked if you had more than an amount to soak one cotton ball.  Also, your hands may look a little "red" after you pour a substance called "Oops" directly on them.