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2006 May

Cinco de Mayo Cumpleaños Para La Señora Loca*

May 5, 2006

1974 Birthday

Happy Birthday to Me,
Oh how can it be?
That I’m even closer
to turning forty.

I Don't Know Where To begin

Just so you could fully appreciate the dress. Oh how I hated that dress and how I cried on my birthday because I was going to have to wear it. My mother still brings up how beautiful it was. Yeah, if you were blind maybe. I look like one of those bobble head statues.

1974 also marks the last time in my life that I have had short hair. My mother still brings up what a beautiful haircut it was. She said it brought out my eyes. Yeah, because what else would people be looking at, they were trying to avert their eyes from the travesty that was my “hair do”

No, I’m not the least bit bitter about my childhood.

And for my birthday my husband bought me a pair of gardening clogs. They haven’t actually arrived yet, but he did show me the online receipt that he ordered them. So that is definitely an improvement over never getting a present. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

*I have no idea if that is correct. But I always feel very Mexican on my birthday and walk around rolling my rrrrr’s … well as Mexican as a blonde** haired pasty white girl of German descent could possibly ever feel.

** Shhhhh, only her hairdresser knows for sure.

Posted by Chris @ 12:04 am | 66 Comments  

Three Thursday Thoughts

May 4, 2006

There is nothing better than waking up and coming downstairs at 6:30am and being greeted by your seven year old. Your adorable seven year old, who is standing on a stool at the kitchen counter and who informs you that he has made a pot of coffee. And upon further questioning you discover that it has made it correctly.

That is why he gets to wear the “I’m my mother’s favorite” t-shirt today with the “Mom loves me best” baseball cap and “I am the cutest” wristband.

And when he learns to serve it to me in bed, he’ll get the “Favorite Kid” permanent tattoo.

******

On to more important things.

What exactly is the protocol for buying fundraising crap that the children of your friends or co workers are selling?

Theoretically speaking, if you buy some cookies, or wrapping paper, or frozen pizza dough, or support someone in a walk-a-thon thing, or several of the above for the same theoretical person, is there an assumption that they will buy a tub of frozen cookie dough when your kid is theoretically selling it?

Furthermore, if you have the theoretical cookie dough sheet in your office and said fundraiser hog person comes in to the office to remind you that they are doing a walk a thon thingy, yet they decline to buy the cookie dough from you….

What would the proper theoretical response be:

1) Stammer uncomfortably, being non-committal and avoid said person for the next week or so until their walk is over

2) Say, “I don’t fucking think so.”

3) Give the $25 anyway, but stew about it silently and vow not to buy anything from said person again… until the next time they ask.

I think it is obvious which one I would say, and also equally obvious why I don’t work in an office.

Why do we have to have these stupid fundraisers anyway? I’m not talking about the cancer walk a thons and things of that sort, to me those are in a separate category. I’m talking about the endless school, scouts, sports fundraisers where you hit up your friends and neighbors for overpriced crap so that a small percentage goes back to the school, troop, team, whatever.

I am totally willing to contribute more money to my children’s activities if it means we can all stop with this. I don’t want over priced wrapping paper, stinky candles, or a tub of preservative laden cookie dough, which by the way you should totally buy from me, theoretically.

******

To wrap up this post, I’ll leave you with a snippet of a conversation I overheard between my 5 and 7 yr olds.

“Sword swallowers are not idiots. They are very talented.”

“No, they are idiots. Anyone who sticks a sword down their esophagus is an idiot.”

“Yeah, but they are cool.”

“Yeah, you’re right. But you can be cool and an idiot too.”

“A cool, talented idiot.”

I am glad we cleared that up. Tune in next time where they wax philosophical about why Kermit the frog is no longer on Sesame Street.

Posted by Chris @ 9:14 am | 50 Comments  

People, They Are The Reason I Stay Home

May 3, 2006

Just when I think I have run out of things to blog about, I leave my house and come into contact with the world.

Yesterday we went to Old Navy. Like most of the rest of you I’m sure, I got the promotional coupon in the mail this week with the plastic bag. Everything you can stuff in the plastic bag for 20% off. I have used this coupon deal, well every single time it comes.

Never have I actually had to stuff the things into the bag. As a matter of fact, I have had them give the bag back to me in case I wanted to shop more before the promotion was over. And if you shop online there obviously is no physical bag to stuff.

So keeping that in mind, we wandered through the store gathering up the poorly made clothing and feeling good about our part in supporting overseas child labor. When my little children complained and their knees began to buckle I said, “You think you are tired of walking around this store… just think about poor little Manish in India shackled to the bench sewing his fingertips to the bone so that you can have a t-shirt with a smartass quip on the front. Yeah, think about that and we’ll see who is tired.”

Once we felt that we had sufficiently perused every aisle of the store and had left no shirt pile unturned, we went up to the cash register.

I piled all my mounds of clothing onto the counter and she began ringing them up. After the first few items she asked if I had an Old Navy charge. I told her that not only did I have an Old Navy charge, I had my promotional bag.

She looked at my pile of stuff and said, “You can only have the 20% off of the items you can fit into the bag. And there is no way you can fit all of this into the bag.”

“Huh? What?”

She informed me of the new stricter promotional rules, though I am unable to tell if they are in fact real rules or she is just on a power trip. I suspect the latter.

“I could fit all of this into the bag. It just seems sort of stupid.” I said.

“There is no way you can fit all of this clothing into this small bag.” she said, arms crossed.

“Yes, I could.”

“I seriously doubt it.” Her smugness is killing me.

“Is that a challenge?”

“I’m just saying. You will only get the 20% off of the items that are in the bag.” At this point there was a line forming behind me. And I felt my blood pressure rising and my face turning red. I wanted to grab the bag and tie it over her head for a few minutes. And then smack her head against the counter a few times for good measure.

“Well, I am not buying anything that I can’t fit into this bag. So if you want to stand there while I take each and every item and make it fit in here, we can do that. But I hope you realize I have seven children here who would like nothing better than to sample every lip gloss and hand lotion, bounce every ball, and play fetch with the dog toys. It’s not going to be pretty.”

“Those are the rules.”

“Well, alrighty then.” I reply.

And so I began. First I asked my eldest son to remove the hangers from his six pair of huge man sized shorts. Which he did with much embarrassed sighing. Oh the mortification of having your mother even speak in public. I begin the folding and rolling of clothing. And the stuffing into the flimsy plastic bag.

At one point my oldest son told me that I shouldn’t be doing it that I am breaking the spirit of the rules. They have rules for a reason, Muh-om. I told him to remember those words next time he is fighting with me over some rule he has broken and thinks is stupid. After a few more minutes of him pleading the case of Old Navy, I informed him that his clothing will be going into the bag last and I hoped there would still be room. Because God knows I wouldn’t want to break those rules and stretch the plastic bag at all.

As I neared the end of the bag stuffing extravaganza, the kids, minus one, were cheering. “Go Mom! Go Mom!” And once I stuffed the final pair of flip flops into the bag I high fived all my kids, minus one, and we all cheered, well except for the one standing near the exit door pretending he was there shopping all alone.

The woman at the cash register was suitably impressed. And she tried to explain about the rules to me again and how she was just following them. But my lack of eye contact and non committal “whatever” brought that conversation to a speedy close.

And just what did I stuff into that little bag:

3 size 2T tshirts
2 size 5T tshirts
10 size boys XL tshirts
7 pair of boys size 14 shorts (6 of which were denim)
3 shirts for me
2 pair of denim capri pants for me
1 pair of yoga capri pants for me
6 pair of flip flops
1 pink baseball cap

and a partridge in a pear tree.

Posted by Chris @ 6:45 pm | 89 Comments  

Is He A Mom?

May 2, 2006

If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky.

I wasn’t going to write about the new “club” website, for a variety of reasons, mostly related to the fact that Andrew Shue and Meredith Viera sent me an email which basically said, you suck! go away! no soup for you! Those might not have been their exact words, but that was the gist of the email.

And so, I resolved not to like the new club thing, but then the more I read about people I actually like that have gotten the jobs, the more my resolve has weakened. Jenny is so hysterically funny, that I am sure I’ll have to read her new blog just because of that.

And Jenn, she is going to be writing about life with tweens. And I have a tween. And yesterday we both agreed that tweens are at their cutest when they are asleep. Maybe she’ll have ideas on how to harness the tween power for good, or else how to make them sound more appealing on ebay. Maybe she will give me insight into how a child who is so smart can not find a damn thing in this house, or his bedroom.

Or why we have to use that word tween. I hate it. It sounds way too nice for this bad attitude, eye rolling, know it all and don’t you forget it age. I think royal pain in the ass would be a much better moniker. The world royal in deference to their own personal belief that they are in charge. I like the way that blogger spell check suggests the word twine instead, because I’d like to tie him up with twine some days.

I don’t begrudge anyone their job. I am sure that they will all be great at what they are writing about. But I am left with the thought that perhaps Andrew Shue and Meredith Viera found out I have never watched an episode of their respective tv shows.

But Lucinda gave me a perfect post award. perfect post And that was nice and made me happy. It was for my BREEDER!!!1! post. Which, btw, if you really want to buy a tshirt you can by clicking on them. They are customizable (is that even a word?) which mean you can, you know, customize them to suit yourself. Really, chris, is that what that means?

Moving on.

Today I am going to torture myself by going to Old Navy with my children, including a surly 11 year old who will be hell bent and determined to not like a single thing that I suggest. All last week I asked him to please go through his room and look for his summer clothing so that we could figure out what, if anything, still fits him.

He came down several times telling me that he had no summer clothes at all, not one t-shirt, not one pair of shorts… nothing. And my questions about what could have possibly happened to all his clothing were met with eye rolling and exasperation.

Yesterday I went into his hovel bedroom to turn off the light, because at 11 years old he still hasn’t mastered the light switch. It is such a complicated apparatus after all. I happened to glance into his closet. There amongst the rubble spilling out, were a huge pile of his summer clothes, folded neatly on the shelf where I must have put them in the fall.

It turns out that not a single item of clothing fit him. I can’t believe how fast he is growing. Or how much food he is eating. He even eats stuff he doesn’t like simply because he is hungry. People had told me that one day my sons would eat everything that wasn’t nailed down and that I would need to get a job just to keep my boy posse in snacks, but I thought they were exaggerating. Turns out they weren’t.

And I hate having to tell my boys, sorry no more snacks for you. It is Mommy’s fault for never having watched Melrose Place. I’m sorry, perhaps you can go graze in the yard we do have a lot of overgrown grass that might be tasty.

Updated to add:
I have NOTHING against the moms who took the clubmom jobs AT ALL. In fact I really like all of the women that I know of who have accepted the jobs. And while I’d like to act all superior and like I didn’t really want the job, the fact is that they turned me down and I am disappointed, more than I would really ever let on. It’s much easier to throw rocks at their clubhouse and pretend I don’t want to be a member.

But truthfully, if Andrew Shue called me up, or emailed, or had one of his henchwomen, like Meredith, email, I would totally netflix every episode of Melrose Place and maybe even wear a pink sweater set and strand of pearls while I blogged. I have seven kids to put in braces, one after another. Oh and who am I kidding, lots of shoes that would love to live in my closet aka Club Shoe.

So while I appreciate everyone’s supportive comments, please tread lightly so as not to cause hurt feelings.

But did you see over there in my sidebar… I have an ad! So click on it or something.

Posted by Chris @ 7:29 am | 33 Comments  

Maybe He’ll Get Lucky On Father’s Day

May 1, 2006

This weekend I totally earned my gardening clogs and maybe some sort of toolbelt, though I don’t really want one of those because who needs the extra girth of pockets hanging down your rear.

I also scraped and painted the front of the house this week, painted a section where Rob hung up new clapboards, sanded and repainted the front door, and installed a new doorknob. So all you thieves out there, you have missed your chance. I now have a front door that can lock. And a key! For my house! What a novel idea!

To be honest there is nothing to steal at my house other than toys. Unless someone is dying to have a 19inch television with a missing on and off button. In which case, have at it. Please take away the unique joy we have at having to plug and unplug the tv everytime we want to use it.

Rob and I have this ongoing “conversation” about who does more around the house:

Me: Boy, I’m exhausted from all this gardening.

Him: You? But I did all the work.

Me: Well I supervised and told you where to put everything.

Him: But I actually did the digging of the holes!

Me: Only because you didn’t like how I was digging them!

Him: You were doing it wrong.

Me: Well, I went to Home Depot on a weekend(!!!) and bought all the plants, WITH the baby.

Him: Well I stayed home with SIX other kids and raked the entire backyard.

Me: Well, I brought He-Who-Runs-Into-The-Road-The-Moment-Your-Back-Is-Turned so that you could rake.

Him: Well, I went to work and earned all the money for you to buy the plants and whatever else it is that you couldn’t live without and bought at the store.

Me: I stay home and take care of your children so that you can go to work and earn money

Him: Do you think I’d work this kind of job if I didn’t have a family to support?

Me: Well, I put that plastic edging thingy in the ground and poured the bark mulch in… and …and …and I painted and put on the new door knob!

Him: But those things aren’t gardening!

Me: You want gardening clogs, don’t you? That’s what this is all about. You want some cute gardening clogs.

Him: Yes,that is it. You have found me out.

The Big Not-Really-Yellow House

I did have to tell my kids that just because it’s called a kick plate, does NOT mean that you kick it. Even though I don’t particularly like brass, I decided to embrace the brass once I discovered how much a new front door and sidelights would cost.

I also bought a number plaque so now people will be able to find my house, though I think looking for the house that looks like Toys R Us vomited on it’s lawn is much easier to spot than a small plaque.

Front Door

Posted by Chris @ 6:52 am | 38 Comments