Little Guy Entertains

It is truly a bright spot in the day of the life of a stay at home mom to realize the pure entertainment value your children provide is worth all the stress and less than pleasant circumstances life brings.

Take the other evening for example. I hear little guy shout; "Help! I'm trapped!" I run to his room expecting to find the worst; did furniture fall on him? (even though everything is bolted to the wall). Did he wedge himself "Winnie the Pooh" style in a tight spot somewhere? But nothing horrible had occurred. This is what I found;

 

 

trapped 

He'd tied himself to a little chair with a Hawaiian lei while wearing his pirate banana and robot jammies. (Straight from the files of; "I can't make this stuff up!")

Then just last night this happened; I'm lounging on the sofa checking email on my phone when he strikes this pose right in front of me and says "Take a picture". I immediately went into camera function to get this awesome shot:

 

princelittleguy 

And at this point, he starts calling me Princess Mommy.

Need I say more?

Summer of Specialness

Hooray, it’s summer! With summertime comes an increase in blog readers. Well, some blog readers anyway since they have more free time during the summer. One such person happens to be a very special reader, aka “Special Reader”. You all remember her, right? If not, be sure to catch up on all the hilarity by clicking on any of the  “Special Reader” posts under the favorites on the left.

SR’s continued visits to my blog are even more intriguing to me now that there is no other possible reason she could be reading my blog other than for the pure entertainment value it provides which loosely translates into; “she likes me!” Or at least likes reading my posts. Why do I say there is no other reason? Well, back when she discovered this blog, we were still embroiled in numerous court battles involving Teenager’s care and custody. Naturally, hitting on the blog of someone you’re attempting to take child custody and support away from can be a goldmine. Or rather it could be if said blogger both engaged in and mentioned things that could be helpful to that cause. You know, like I run a meth lab, have concocted an elaborate money-making scam or am a stay-at-home-mom by day and hooker by night. Of course none of those things are remotely true, but I’m sure she was hoping!

So back to why she could only be reading now for my witty prose; since Teenager has now both hit the age of 18 and graduated from High School this means SR’s husband, aka my wasband, is no longer required to support his son in any way (sadly, “no longer required” to him translates into “no longer will”.) Now that child support and shared child custody has officially ended and SR can’t be a thorn in my side in any way, shape or form there is nothing left but her intense interest and curiosity in my life as a reason to read my blog. Of course, I completely understand this because yeah, I’m pretty entertaining, if I do say so myself!

I would never want to take away from Special Reader’s specialness, so every now and then I feel compelled to a write an amusingly sarcastic “tribute” to her. Though I’ve mentioned very little about SR’s specific specialness (in this case “specialness” translates into mean-spirited, evil and illegal crap she’s done over the years) some of you may be wondering how I could possibly hold my tongue and not let her have it on this blog since I know she’s reading it. Well, I’d like to think it’s because I’m trying to be the “bigger person” and while that may be partially true, I also fully believe Karma can be a real *&$#! and if she hasn’t already experienced some form of retribution in some area of her life I have no doubt she will. Of course, there are other things I’d like to tell her, too, like how to use Twitter (HINT: you have to actually have followers and perhaps also follow some other people, otherwise you’re just writing notes to yourself in cyberspace.) But you know, some things she’ll have to come to on her own. It’s more special that way.

We actually left town

So, this past weekend we left the kids behind and got out of town. This is a momentous occasion because we haven’t gone anywhere together overnight since the little guy was born. It was more than due time. The reason for the occasion was quite momentous in itself; a high school reunion; the hubby’s 30th to be exact. With complete faith in Teenager to hold down the fort, and neighbors on alert and lookout in case of emergency along with plenty of typed instructions we headed out. The Reunion was held out of town (and quite a ways from where hubby actually
went to High School.)

 Snow on the ground on the way Entering Reno
The hubby had a great time connecting with old HS buddies and plenty of the girls raced up to hug him. He was told how he "hadn’t aged and still has the same face." Yep, that’s my hubby, alright! Sadly, we neglected to have anyone snap a photo of us with our phones so we’ll have to wait to see the official reunion pics the photographer took, but we looked pretty good! I actually found a dress to wear that was in the “Hey, it doesn’t make me look too fat!” category. We had a great time and actually made it all
the way to ten after 11:00 at the evening event.

Dance floor Ballroom
Apparently there was even an “after-party” and I guess this wild bunch pretty much closed down the bars. Considering it’s a “wild night” for us to even make it past 10pm we thought we were really blowing it out. It was tough to sleep knowing my kids were not there…and no snuggles with the little one before night time. But I made it through and even had fun. And yes, we need to get out more.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the little guy seemed to do fine until he realized it was dark and there was no Mommy & Daddy story and snuggle time. He made it through with his big brother, but gave us quite an earful on the phone the next morning about how we needed to “come home now”. He seemed to forgive us once we made it back to town Sunday afternoon and took everyone out for frozen yogurt.
Frozen yogurt

Lines by Little Guy

Upon seeing someone with a facial piercing;


"Mommy, that person has a nail in them."

Lines by Little Guy

As I was preparing to give little guy a haircut, he gave me the following instructions;

"Just a little off the sides....and don't make me look older."

Graduations and Celebrations


It’s quite a surreal moment to see your child, in my case my first born, graduate high school. It also adds an interesting element to drop off your toddler at childcare on the way to the ceremony, but that’s beside the point.

The graduation festivities were full of excitement and emotion. It was very moving to see hundreds of high school seniors march onto the football field while Pomp and Circumstance played over the loudspeakers. I was full of pride to see Teenager walk onto the stage to be handed his diploma and realize all that has gone into this moment; the past 18 years of his life. I am so proud of him and what he has become and full of hope for the future and what he has yet to become.

As our family was cheering for him on the Home side of the stadium, Teenager had one more guest across the field on the Visitor side; his father. In a phone conversation with Teenager a few weeks earlier, his father had asked about graduation tickets. Since we did have an extra due to some family members that were unable to make it I decided to be nice and give it to him; at least he had the desire to see his child graduate even if his contributions in the last several years towards getting him to that point were none. To be honest, I was pleased he wanted to see him graduate (and thanked him for coming) and was able to put aside the annoyance of having of course paid the entire cost of his graduation.

Ironically, the following day when the new grads were asked to go to the Admin office to pick up the official copy of their diploma (they hand out empty covers at the ceremony) Teenager ran into his father doing the same thing. His father explained that he needed to get a copy of his diploma to prove he’d graduated so child support payments could cease. Of course, just because child support is no longer due when a child graduates high school, it doesn’t mean the kid no longer needs to be supported. Naturally, his father takes it entirely for granted that I will be the one to continue to do so, as I’ve done all these years. And because I know the obvious questions, let me just say the answer is “no” to both; “Will he be providing help towards colleges?” and “Did he at least give Teenager a graduation gift?”

One of many, many negatives from the prior shared custody arrangement years ago was this little gem; Teenager would be over at his father's house for the weekend and would hear comments about how hard it was for them to pay child support and how they couldn’t wait for it to end so they could get a new truck. I can’t help but think now about how his father and of course “Special Reader” must be celebrating heartily over their increased income and being “rid of that payment forever”. Naturally, their increased income means our decreased income, with of course no decrease in costs as we still have the same kid to care for not to mention now send to college. But I’ll tell you what, every day I get to look at my son and see him continue to do great things with his life and feel the joy that comes from seeing all he’s accomplished and what he's become and know that I had at least a small part in it.

And that is a reason to celebrate.



Conversations with Hubby

While out for our morning walk with the little guy in the jogging stroller I noticed that each time Daddy went over a big bump little guy would kind of partially fly into the air (partially because he was belted in). It was quite a spectacle since all his limbs would go straight up as if he were about to fly out of the stroller. The following exchange took place.

Me: OMG! Take it easy on the bumps, Honey! Little Guy looked like he was going to take off!

Hubby: Relax dear, he’s strapped in. He’s doing that on purpose!

Me: Oh. So he’s just being overly dramatic about it is what you’re saying.

Hubby: That’s exactly what I’m saying. He is your kid after all.

Me: Ha! Like you don’t have a flair for the dramatics yourself?

Hubby: Well, yes, but you’re the Queen.

Me: At least you admit I’m the Queen of something.



Conversations with Little Guy: Saying Goodbye to Brother

We have a little routine around here when we say goodbye to each other. My standard has always been to add “be careful!” followed by any number of other cautions according to the situation. One day I half jokingly told the Teenager (who walks a fair distance to school) to “watch out for bad guys”. Little guy being observant as he is, took this info and formed it into his own understanding, which became obvious in this morning’s exchange:

Teenager:  Bye Mom, bye little guy.

Me:   Bye Teenager, have a good day, be careful!

LG:   Bye Buhbuh! Watch out for ghosts, and bazombies and   coconuts!

Teenager:  Coconuts?!

LG:    Yeah, if you see a coconut, shout “Coconut!” and then jump over it and you will be safe.

Sounds like a Scooby Doo episode combined with a Mario Bros Wii game! It’s a new video game in the making right there.

Conversations with Little Guy: Shipping Supplies -w/ Hilarious Video

So, little guy was playing in his room when we heard him yell out for Daddy. I heard a muffled little voice say something about being trapped. Daddy ran back while I looked in the monitor (yes, we still use it) to observe a scene that about had me rolling on the floor with laughter. The hubby cleverly videoed this whole thing and the dialogue is priceless as well. Turn your sound up to hear little guy. Here you go!

Cars, Horns & Husbands

Readers may have heard me joke about the hubby’s first car a couple times in previous posts here and here. We’ve recently discovered his current car, referred to as the old “bucket o’ bolts” is actually older comparatively than the car he drove in high school. He thinks that’s pretty ridiculous and I must agree.

There are numerous things wrong with this car from the A/C being out to some weird electrical issues. On top of that it smells like “old car”. Well, now this thing has a new problem. It seems there’s something wrong with a connection somewhere which causes the alarm to go off on its own and the horn starts honking. Naturally, we discovered this new “feature” at 3am on a weekday morning, along with several of our neighbors. The first time it happened, hubby stumbled out front in his boxers to turn the thing off thinking it was just a fluke. After settling back into bed, it went off again. Rinse and repeat a couple times and he finally disconnected the battery; a task he now must do each and every time he drives his car.

This reminds me of a similar car issue in my prior marriage. While I’ve never actually shared stories from past including the wasband here, I’ll go ahead and share this one. Flash back to my twenties living in Provo, Utah. We were the typical poor, starving student family and had only one car; a crappy one. I had purchased this thing brand new but made a very poor choice and after only a few years it had more problems than you could imagine. The most memorable was the bizarre electrical problem that made the engine stop. The car would just suddenly stop dead in its tracks. We’d had it looked at by mechanics at length on two separate occasions and they couldn’t figure it out. One day while out driving, we accidentally discovered that if the engine started to cut out on us and we honked the horn it would keep going! So until we finally got it fixed we actually drove around town honking like idiots just to be able to stay moving on the road. Of course, this was Provo, Utah so I can assure you that our odd vehicular behavior was hardly the wackiest thing going on around there. Oh, the memories!

Back to the present day, with the hubby’s car honking issue. We had an appointment yesterday right after he got home from work so I had just gone out front to meet him and get in our other car. I watched him pull up, hop out of his car dressed in his nice work clothes, grab a towel and pop the hood to disconnect his battery. I was chuckling as he came over to get in our car to leave and said; "At this point, with all that’s wrong with that car the only things missing are one of those special stickers in the back window for not being able to pass the Smog Test and some Bondo on the doors!"

And that folks is one of those life lessons about finding the hilarity in everything.

Spring Organizing

Spring has finally sprung and with it the increased desire to get things done around here. As I shared in my last post regarding the big office clean up, we have a long list of “projects” we’re attempting to tackle. Everything from new household projects to basic de-cluttering and organizing. Once again, I admit that even with a background in helping others with residential organizing it’s still a struggle for me personally to keep things as organized as I would like them. There are lots of contributing factors to this but the big three (which in my experience apply to many of us) are:
  • 1) Not having homes & systems established for the various items in your home
  • 2) not taking the time to use the homes & systems once you’ve established them
  • 3) Having too much stuff!
#3 is the biggest of all and always has been in my opinion. When I was in the organizing business I told my clients that the act of organizing itself was a piece of cake compared to the task of eliminating excess. Once you’ve whittled down your belongings to a manageable level, they can practically organize themselves. But if you attempt to “organize” your items before you de-clutter and purge it’s much like putting the cart before the horse.

We’ve found it a challenge to find places for everything within our home and it’s been an ongoing task to come up with solutions. My prior post described how we were able to utilize a large armoire that was no longer in use for storing our projects and in process, shop items for Etsy and other eBay items to be sold. A little over a year ago, constructing a pantry provided the much needed home for our food that previously took up all the cabinets that were needed for dishes and serving ware.

Our newest organizing challenge is the master bedroom closet. While we are at least fortunate enough to have a walk-in closet filled with shelves & double rods, it’s sadly very small and does not house everything without some serious cramming. I hear that in many marriages it’s not uncommon for the husband to keep his clothes in a spare closet in a guestroom or hall, however not only do we not have a spare closet anywhere I couldn’t bring myself to make my hubby get dressed in another room. When we did our seasonal clothes switch (absolutely necessary unless you have a huge closet where you can keep everything out at once!) I realized I needed to get ruthless about paring down my clothes. So far I’ve managed to fill two huge bags to give to charity! Among the first items to go were several pajamas and nightgowns that the hubby has complained about for years. Let’s just say they were the type that would have made Laura Ingall’s very proud. I’m hopeful that with more purging and some great creative ideas I’ll be able to get our Spring/Summer wardrobes set up in the closet in such a way as to be able to actually see and retrieve them without swearing. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Tackling “The List” & Tales of Household Organization

Around here it’s well known that the hubby feels his “Honey-Do” list never ending. Of course, he’d be right about that. The mile-long list of home improvement projects, or let’s call it what it really is; “Crap we have to do to keep the house from falling apart” is something that a lot of households get overwhelmed by. Of course, it’s not just actual house fixes, a lot of it is organization. As you may recall in another life, pre-baby (well, pre-baby 2, post baby 1) I had an organizing business. I’ve said many times, including in this blog, that staying organized is something I still struggle with as it’s a constant work in progress. I certainly know how to get organized and can come up with any number of creative ideas for organized living, but it is definitely work. Things tend to creep up on you when you’re not paying attention.

Take our office for example. Since we don’t really use it much as an office any longer we inadvertently ended up with one of those “catch all” rooms. First, it was shoving in the play kitchen that although little guy still plays with, there are times we’d like it out of the middle of our family room, such as for my recent birthday celebration. Then there are the things we are actually trying to get rid of via eBay; the irony here is that even when de-cluttering you can actually end up with more of a mess while attempting to eliminate stuff! Between all that and several vintage items from our Etsy shop mingled with a few works in project the office was becoming a disaster. And just because I love my readers and am not afraid to “put it all out there” I’m actually showing you a picture of this mess! 
 OfficeB1 OfficeB2
So, we decided to get serious about this and spent last weekend working on it. Here’s what we did; we started with the ol’ pull everything out maneuver (which meant our entire front room was covered in stuff!) and after working all day Saturday, we ended up with one huge bag of trash, several things to eliminate and along the way discovered a surprise solution that solved two dilemmas at once! As readers may recall, we redecorated our home and sold many of our antiques. We successfully sold all the large pieces but one, our French armoire. Once everything was re-decorated and furnished it became the elephant in the room because it no longer fit anywhere. After months of having it block the double doors to the office (there’s another door around the back side of the room) the hubby realized that since we couldn’t seem to sell it and we didn’t want it sitting in the living room any longer that it would be perfect for storage of “projects in process” in the office! He was right, it’s the perfect solution and it’s already outfitted with three shelves. We managed to get it in the office after some partial disassembly and reassembly and its now acting as a very fancy storage solution!
OfficeA1    OfficeA2
Of course, the overall moral of the story here is “never let it pile-up”. Ha! This was definitely an eye-opening lesson in realizing how bad things can get when you let them go vs. how much easier it is to manage to when you have systems in place and do the maintenance to keep things up little by little.

And in closing, I thought I’d share with you this accidentally hilarious photo I took while the hubby was painting.
213
The explanation here is that he is painting our new family room wall, a room which was previously used as our dining room that had large iron wall art that held wine bottles. When he removed the iron pieces he set all the empty wine bottles on the table, making it look as though he’d been throwing back a few while on the job!

Conversations with Little Guy: Speech

First of all, I wanted to report that it appears Little Guy is completely caught up with his speech which of course is great news. During his final sessions in speech therapy the therapist tells us she’s now working on things that are past his age just to have things to work on.  One of things she says he’s not yet really expected to be able to do quite yet is correctly produce the “L” sound in words. This was evident in a recent conversation he had as Daddy was getting ready for work.

LG: Daddy, I want to go to work with you!

Daddy: No LG, you can’t come with me, but you get to stay home with Mommy!

LG: I want to go to work with you! I can work, let me come to your work!

Daddy: I’m sorry, but you can’t. We have Labor Laws.

LG: Daddy, what’s “Wabor Waws?”

Being Happy to be Me at 43

This month marks my 43rd birthday. I haven’t been a fan of my birthday past my late teens. I tend to get caught up in the old “another year older and…..?” it’s that “and” that gets me. And what? “What did I accomplish in this last year?” I say to myself. I know I set my expectations entirely too high..it’s the perfectionist in me and something I try to focus on taming a bit.

There are things I would like to accomplish and I know some of those things are at least doable with supreme effort and fierce determination. There are other things that rely heavily on luck; such as being at the right place at the right time, a blog post going viral, a publisher offering me a book deal….things like that. (You know, those “pie in the sky” type of things. The things on my Vision Board that I’m not sure really coincide with realistic thinking.) It’s when I realize that those are things that may not happen (I don’t like to say probably won’t because after all, you have to have a positive attitude, right? I’m thinking of the old “if you build it they will come” philosophy) that I can start to see the need to just go with whatever is happening; whatever is presenting itself and is right in front of me. At this moment, that would be a kitchen that needs cleaning and some laundry that needs folding, but hey, I am a stay-at-home-mom after all and this is part of my life.

In examining that life, there is quite a mixed bag of emotions or as I like to call it; the happy, the crappy and the ridiculous. Time tends to fly by faster the older we get, as I can’t believe it’s already been three years since I wrote the post Warning: Opinions Ahead on the heels of my fortieth birthday. While I can look over forty three years and think there are some things I perhaps wish I’d done differently as well as things I wish had happened differently, I can also look at the flip side of those things and realize that some things do happen for a reason and may end up with positive results later on down the line. Take the kids for example; yes, it’s amusingly ridiculous that I have two sons with a near fourteen year age gap. It’s even more ridiculous to realize that as one starts college the other will start Kindergarten. But while things like not having siblings closer in age to play and go through school at relatively the same time could be looked at as drawbacks, the flip side of that is having an older son who can often be available for babysitting on Date Nights and who’s actually old enough now to pick up his brother from school or daycare should the need arise. And it’s heartwarmingly adorable to see how close those brothers are and how much they share in common despite the age difference. Of course once they’re both grown the age gap won’t matter much. In the meantime, it’s so fun to see Teenager set up an elaborate train track for his little brother and to see both little guy and his big brother enjoy a Disney movie together and laugh at the same things.

Of course there are other things I’m still trying to figure out but as the saying goes, “life isn’t the destination, it’s the journey.” Now while that statement would make a fitting closing line to this post, I can’t stop here. You see, that statement holds a lot of meaning for me. I’ve been a person who in many aspects was more focused on the end result than the process of getting there. There’s part of that I still struggle with to some extent; the old “It’ll be great when…..(fill in the blank)” and then I remind myself that the journey is so important and being fixated on an end result can be counterproductive to the joy of living. Not to throw in too many clich├ęd sayings but I can’t help but think of “Life is what happens while we’re making other plans”. I’ve previously been guilty of not enjoying the journey of life and really try to not fall into that trap. I think it’s a shame to live life for some “end result” and have that be all one is thinking about and working on in life while failing to truly enjoy the here and now. I believe in living and enjoying life now because “now” is what we have. As a disclaimer for those who might think I’m suggesting living life haphazardly, or to toss out another quote; “Eat, Drink & be Merry for tomorrow we may die” that’s not it, it’s a lot closer to “stop and smell the roses”. I think about things like using the good china for more than just holidays, dressing up for more events than just those that require it, and making the effort to spend quality time with friends and family and truly enjoy their company rather than simply going through the motions of obligatory visits and events.

So along with the concept mentioned in my prior post regarding the Gratitude Board , I intend to put my focus on what’s happening in the here and now and continuing to find the joy (& hilarity!) in everyday life. As always, you’re invited along for the ride. I have some more personal posts planned in the upcoming weeks and months and am looking forward to sharing more with my readers.

Future Dreams and Current Gratitude

A few months ago I set out to do a vision board; one of those things where you use pictures as representations of things you would like to have and happen in your life. I think this is a great idea and it makes a lot of sense to create a “vision” you can refer to in a tangible form. But then I got to thinking, how much of this is too much wishful thinking and not enough reality? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s not okay to dream because I think we have to dream to some extent. But I pondered what percentage of dreaming to what percentage of current contentment makes sense in one’s life.

Then it hit me, what if I did something similar in a reverse manner? Well, not making a board of things I don’t want, that would be pretty counterproductive. But what about making a board of the things I do have that I am very glad I do; a Gratitude Board. That way, I have tangible images to refer to in helping me remember what I have and how grateful I am for those things. For instance, one thing on my Vision/Dream board is being a size or two smaller. But on my Gratitude Board I have being thankful I’m the size I am since I could be a size or two bigger. You see? Along the same lines, this doesn’t mean I've stopped wanting a larger kitchen, but in the meantime, I'm learning to enjoy the things we’ve done to make it work a little better (remember the awesome pantry?) and look a little nicer (a cabinet re-do is coming this spring!)

These are just a couple examples of many, but I thought I would share this little epiphany with you. Maybe it’s just me waxing philosophical, but it seems like until we’re truly appreciating what we already have and are being genuinely thankful for those things, getting more or having better may not be in the cards. I intend to share more of this with you throughout the year as this little experiment of mine manifests itself in real life. I’d also love to hear from you in the comments below about what you think, so feel free to share!

And Speaking of Brothers

I’d forgotten about this little gem I wanted to share with you, but there would have been no way to really work it into my prior post.

So, you would think that not having two little ones and instead having one little one and a really big one there’d be virtually no squabbles or brotherly torture. You would think, but that would not be entirely true around here. Making up for lost time I suppose, Teenager has found numerous ways to irritate and otherwise lovingly torture his little brother. I just discovered one of these recently.

Teenager was getting little guy a yogurt and was headed over to the table with it along with a spoon. Little guy starts getting upset and saying; “No, no nooooo!” when I asked what in the world was going on. Teenager, now laughing, explained that for some time now whenever he got his brother a yogurt he would pretend to just about put the spoon into the cup because he’d discovered a while back that little guy wanted to be the one to put the first little “stab” into his yogurt. So of course, his little brother would get very irritated if he thought his big brother was going to be the one to get to do it. A wee bit mean? Perhaps. Amusingly cute? Absolutely.

Coming Soon to a Restaurant Near You

Since kids are off school this week for President’s Week aka “Furlough week”, we’ve been spending some quality time together.

The other day little guy had a little friend over and the two of them were having a blast playing “restaurant”. The kitchen LG got for Christmas two years ago is still a huge hit. The hubby and I were sitting in the living room and the kids would come over to take our order and then go over to the play kitchen to make it. The best part was when we asked what the special was. LG responds; “Chicken BaBomb!” Intrigued by this new creation (sure to be the next big culinary hit) we asked questions. We were told it’s very spicy (hence the “bomb” part of the name) and preparation involves some form of meat tenderizing with one’s feet. The whole scenario was hilarious.

When LG took his big brother’s order, Teenager ordered the Chicken BaBomb only to be told by LG that they were out of that. (Isn’t that the way it always is?) Teenager insisted on speaking to the manager. LG yelled over to his little friend in the kitchen; “Manager! We have a pwoblem ober here!”

At the end of our meal, we were offered “buzzert”. Another example of hilarity and cuteness colliding.

The Grocery Cart of Shame

I realize you all may be tired of hearing my tales of weight loss antics, but I’m going to tell you another one anyway. There’s good news though! This one’s funny rather than sad and pathetic. Well, okay, it’s a little pathetic, but therein lies the funny.

First, I’d like to report that after my record weight gain a few weeks ago, I have managed to take those pounds off. Now I need to work on taking “new” pounds off, instead of the same old pounds that I’ve lost over and over again. *sigh*

So, onto the story. The other day I popped into a favorite food store of mine to pick up a few specialty items. I wasn’t there to get much and I couldn’t get anything perishable because I still had my regular grocery shopping to do afterwards. Yes, I generally go to several stores; it’s just how I am. I was checking on some wine the hubby had wanted me to try to locate and they didn’t have it. Then I found some of my favorite cookies and put a package into my cart.

Now let me explain about me and cookies. If they are cookies I like, I have no self control. If I purchase a package of cookies, I make reasonable attempts to take a couple and be done with it, but more often than I’d care to admit my cookie eating habits involve a “row” or a “sleeve”, if you know what I’m saying. I had convinced myself that I still needed to purchase the cookies because they don’t often have them and they were a great price. Yes, I’m justifying this all over the place.

But here’s where it gets tricky. At this point I have nothing else in my cart. Just the cookies. Then a couple aisles over I spot a fellow Weight Watcher’s member. A thin one, too, I might add. At this point, you may as well cue the theme music from Mission Impossible because now I’m stealthily trying to figure out how to make it to the checkout aisle without my WW friend spotting me. With a package of cookies. And nothing else. I start thinking of other things I need to throw in the cart so at least I could conceal the cookies and I can’t come up with anything. I probably spent a good ten minutes on my plan to make it out of there unseen and with my cookies. And yes, I can fully see the ridiculousness of this whole scenario…..well, now anyway. I finally decided this was clearly fate intervening of my behalf and I put the cookies back. Am I proud of myself? Well, not terribly, no. Because I think we can all see that the humiliation of being caught with the cookies was the motivating factor here. But nonetheless, I will go without cookies this week. And that’s a good thing.

Home Improvement

We’ve been busy around here with numerous home related projects. My regular readers are familiar with the RRR Projects posts and I’ll have a few more of those coming up here soon. We’ve been on a major home re-do kick here and have made some impressive changes. Our most recent project however is painting the interior of the house. This of course involved not one, not two, but many paint samples. We were having a hard time discovering a color we really loved and had it narrowed down to two colors which are right next to each other. But we still felt one was too light and the other too dark; leave it to us to be difficult like that. So we went down to the paint store and asked them if they could make us something right in between the two colors. They did, and thankfully it was perfect. The hubby was overjoyed with the fact that he could finally start painting and get rid of our ridiculous patchwork wall.  005

Before he started painting, I decided to clean out the hall closet. Some items I uncovered were; the sheet to Little Guy's pack-and-play that I sold about two years ago, my granny sandals I wore when pregnant because no other shoes fit and the sad discovery of Murray’s leash. But the best discovery was this gem; a brand new, still has the tags on, fishing vest from Eddie Bauer. Beyond the fact that he bought this long before we were ever married and he's never gone fishing since we've been married is the hilarious realization that it makes him look like the main character of one of our new favorite shows; “$#*! My Dad Says”.

 

 

001 

You’ll have to exscuse the messy hair and unshaven face. The guy’s been painting all day.

Learning the same lessons over and over

 

I’d like to briefly discuss a particular lesson I’d really like to not continually re-learn. That lesson would be the one about not going off the wagon, so to speak, in regards to my food choices that ends up in a weight gain. You know it’s bad when you step on the scale and your WW leader exclaims; “Whoa, what did you do this week?!” Yeah, it’s that bad. Let’s just say if they gave an award for weight gain a one week I’d be a big winner. Of course, I’d much prefer to be a big loser, pardon the pun.

So here’s the thing; I could list lots of excuses for letting my weight go up instead of down, but ultimately it all boils down to not properly planning for the right food choices and simply eating beyond what I should be. Like I say; “Weight loss requires planning. When I fly by the seat of my pants, it means I’ll need bigger pants”. But while we’re talking about excuses I do have to address one little thing I really am having an issue with. Weight Watcher’s decided to revamp their program, effectively making the old points system null and void and starting out with the brand new PointsPlus system. The thing is, they’re still calling it “points” but yet they aren’t really points as we’ve come to know them. The points values for numerous foods have gone up, in many cases doubling and tripling the former points. Oh sure, they tried to make us feel better about it because we get “more points" in a week, but if you do the math, we don’t get anywhere near the amount of points that would cover the points that foods have increased to. And that’s a hard thing to adjust to. In addition, I have yet to go through everything I normally eat, recalculate all the new PointsPlus values and plan my meals around that new information. Of course that sounds like it would be pretty important to do, right? Yes, I must get on that. Because I am really, really tired of not fitting into my pants.

That Darn Cat

Originally, this was going to be titled “Conversations with Teenager” until I realized he had a very small part in the actual conversation.

Ever since our dog Murray left us, one year ago this month in fact, the cat has been difficult to deal with. She frequently wants in and then wants back out. As previously mentioned, we cannot have a pet door or we’ll be dealing with live critters in the house (mice, lizards and snakes) along with the occasional dead bird and associated feather mess. So we deal with the whole in and out thing. The rule is she has to be “out” when we’re gone. She knows this and tries to get around it by this little maneuver; she “camps out” at the front door stealthily, knowing I’m about to leave at any moment. This morning’s attempt at gaining entry was straight out of a comedy routine, though at the time I failed to see the humor. I was ready to head out with Little Guy, wearing my coat, car keys in hand and loaded down with my travel coffee container, water bottle, purse, and assorted bags of things I was taking with me. I open the door and the cat darts in and zooms past me at lightning speed. A somewhat unfortunate word may have escaped my mouth as I took off chasing her. She darted down the hall, at first trying to break into the Teenager's room. When she found that door closed she turned around and headed back down the hall towards the dining room and hid underneath the table. As I was screaming like a lunatic, gently trying to coax her out, I noticed little guy was standing by the front door laughing at this whole scene. I finally managed to get her out from underneath the table and chase her towards the back door where I was able to boot her out.

When Teenager arrived home this afternoon, I relayed the tale of “What your @%&! Cat did” only to have him also laugh hysterically at his Mother’s ridiculous tale. The kicker was his comment at the end of my story; “Well, you would have been able to chase her down a lot sooner if you’d put all your stuff down!”

I hate it when Teenagers are right.

New Year, New Feature

Long before the show, the book and back before I even heard of and started the following the author of the hilarious Tweets that kicked off “$#*! My Dad Says”, I often thought I should be sharing my own hilarity in the stuff that my 82 year old mother comes out with. So I decided I need to start a new feature here on the blog, titled “Stuff My Mom Says”. To kick this off, I need to share a little back story with you.

The Teenager has been trying for some time now to get a job. He’s had no luck finding anybody within walking distance (he has no car yet, one of the reasons he wants to get a job) that would hire him. With the economy the way it is, a lot of the “teen” type jobs have been going to the adults. Furthermore, many businesses nowadays don’t want to hire the teens and are requiring them to be at least 18, and he only just recently had his 18th birthday. He’s still finding many places simply not hiring.

So, during a phone call with my mother, she inquired about Teenager’s recent attempts at obtaining employment. I stated that he’d just put in another couple of applications, but so far had no luck. She’d asked about what types of business he’d applied to and I told her mostly food places and a couple retail stores. She then suggested the following; “You know, ‘Service Stations’ and ‘Garages’ are always looking to hire young people.” It was all I could do to not bust up laughing. Poor Mom, I don’t know the last time she went to get gas in her car, but she must’ve taken a time machine back to the 1950’s.

50s gas station
Back to a time when “young people” actually worked at "filling stations" that had "garages" and actually provided "services". As I’m trying to hold back my laughter all I could picture in my mind is Goober from the old Andy Griffith Show working at Wally’s Service Station.

Christmas Un-wrapped: 2010

This year’s gifts for Little Guy included some Scooby Doo items, as previously mentioned. He was thrilled to get an actual Scooby Doo stuffed toy, which he got to open Christmas Eve. Christmas morning he found Santa had left him a Scooby Doo Mystery Machine by the fireplace. He later told us he was happy with his Mystery Machine but had told Santa he wanted a big one. His daddy replied; “You got a big one; see it fits all the characters inside and had the ghost computer, ghost trapping net, and all kinds of things in it!” To this little guy replied; “No, I meant a big one, that our whole family can drive around in!” Of course.
Little guy also got camera suited for his age. So far, we have about 100+ pictures of Scooby Doo, the Mystery Machine, and some unfortunate photos of family members who would rather have not had their picture taken.
The teenager got some technical gadgets and gizmos and so far his favorite appears to be a version of the old fashioned erector sets where you can make a vehicle of some sort complete with a motor. He’s kept himself pretty busy with that as well as playing “Scooby Doo” with his brother.
The hubby seems happy with his mundane gifts. I kept it simple this year and bought him some shirts in basic colors so as to avoid prior year’s catastrophes with oddly colored periwinkle pants and other such atrocities.
Perhaps the best gift of all was the gift the hubby gave me. When I opened the box, this is what I found inside:
iphone case
I laughed hysterically thinking he’d fashioned a redneck iPhone case! He said actually it was just an “IOU” for getting me an iphone case. Still hilarious, nonetheless.
Here’s a little slide show of some of our family’s holiday festivities.

Slide Album: Christmas 2010

 
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I’m looking forward to a brand new year and have planned some creative and intriguing posts in the upcoming months.

Un-Recommendations & Funny Bathrooms

Since we have an Internet presence and have recently been on the receiving end of some very poor customer service the hubby and I thought this would be a good place to share and vent. Kind of like when Heather Armstrong of Dooce went postal on the Maytag folks. But not quite.

So, let me tell the back story of our products. A while back we decided to research bidet attachments for standard home toilets. I’ve always wanted an actual bidet and frankly am surprised they aren’t more prevalent here like they are in Europe. But the awesomeness of bidets is not what this post is about. Real bidets require extra bathroom space to install them and even bidet toilet seats require electricity, something not available in the water closet areas of either of our bathrooms. So our research led us to a product that attached to the toilet, had its own water hose and required no electricity. At an affordable $100 price tag, we bought them for each bathroom. The hubby was able to quickly and easily install them and they worked great. Then as time went on, specifically about a month or so after the warranty ran out, we had problems. One of the units had the “arm” that attached it to the toilet break. Sadly, that part is plastic and not replaceable. We asked. The other unit in the hall bathroom had another problem. The spring that is supposed to retract the nozzle back underneath the rim of the toilet stopped automatically doing its job. This meant that when anyone bumped into the lever (which is positioned right outside the toilet seat) it would remain in that position; a position that caused it to shoot water into the air. This event occurred whenever we’d brush by the side of the toilet to start the water for the little guy’s bath. It also occurred when other toddlers were visiting for playgroups resulting in some serious flooding. And perhaps most amusing of all, it occurred whenever Daddy was in the bathroom giving little guy his bath and little guy thought it would be loads of fun to squirt Daddy. Good times, my friends, good times.

But the bottom line here (pun shamelessly intended) is that we have two malfunctioning bidet attachments that are not repairable. Apparently the company must have determined that making an all plastic unit that’s not repairable is not a great idea and recently started making all metal units. Of course these units cost nearly twice the price of the older models. When we contacted the company about our problem the most they were willing to do for us was to give us a $20 discount of the cost of the new metal units. After further conversations with the company pointing out that would mean our spending an additional $300 over and above the $200 we’d already spent with them they basically said “too bad.” Naturally, we’re not willing to spend that kind of money nor would we consider doing business with a company that does not stand behind their products or make any reasonable compensation towards customers who’ve spent a significant amount on now faulty products.  The offending company is called The American Biffy Company at www.biffy.com. Again, this is very much an un-recommendation to do business with these people. As far as bidet attachments themselves go (when operating properly) I cannot recommend them enough! We’re currently researching new options for replacing these units so if any readers out there know of any good options for us to try, feel free to share them with us! In the meantime, we’ll just be trying not to flood our bathroom.

A Very Scooby Christmas

As my blog readers and Twitter followers are aware, little guy has a Scooby Doo obsession.

I think it all started back when we all suddenly saw Teenager’s startling resemblance to Shaggy. Things took off because of course Teenager had to introduce his little brother to the classic Scooby Doo shows which are available thanks to On Demand TV viewing. Since little guy is rarely afraid of anything and loves Halloween with all the monsters, ghosts and “scary guys” he is enthralled with the shows.

Things progressed from there to the point that he now refers to both the family car and Daddy’s car as the “Mystery Machine”, the latter being especially hilarious since, as the hubs puts it; “It’s a mystery whether or not it will start.” Then he insisted upon calling his parents Fred and Daphne, although it’s hard to complain about that one since for a while I was Velma.

So, after hearing him call his little stuffed puppy Scooby Doo for the last few months we decided it might be time to get the kid an actual Scooby Doo for Christmas. Along with this, I hear Santa may be bringing him a complete set of figures of all the Scooby gang along with a Mystery Machine. We are really hoping this will mean we can go back to being Mommy and Daddy.