Posts Tagged ‘Family’

It started with a simple desire to do a little cleaning while the tallish minion was in school, and the smallish one was on vacation with his dad. Nothing major, just a little Spring Cleaning without their input and hysterics when I tossed half of the 137 stuffies in the donation bag and threw out a few dozen Happy Meal boxes.

It ended with a destroyed kitchen, a pickup with the bed overflowing, and a storage room emptied and repurposed. Throw in a sprained knee, 9 new bruises, and a sore back. Add the help of two WONDERFUL friends.

The ultimate result was that the minions’ shared room became the tallish one’s room, and the storage room became the smallish one’s room. He finally has a room of his VERY OWN, and the video I have of him screaming I LOVE IT is completely worth the hassle.

I thought I was done for a while, except for the storage stuff purged into the kitchen and the poor truck that needed emptied.

I was wrong.

The first night gave me a new respect for nurses in nursing homes where each grumpy patient has a call button. One needed medicine, the other chocolate milk. While I was in the opposite room, Orange Kitty decided to somehow unplug the smallish one’s TV. Screaming ensues.

While I’m fixing the TV, the tallish one shrieks from her room. The medicine I’d just given her included some oil for an ear infection, complete with cotton ball. The panic was…”my cotton ball just got lost down my ear and is stuck in my throat.”

Ummm…

I fished the cotton ball out of her sheets, assured her that cotton balls will NOT travel from her ear to anywhere else inside her. This was about the time something touched the back of my knee.

I screamed, she screamed, and her little brother bolted, yelling “I just wanted night-night kisses!!!”

Sometime a couple hours past bedtime, I finally peeked in on two snoring minions, in their own beds, in their own rooms. It was a tough decision not to take a photo of each, because they were just too darn cute…I’m pretty sure the flash would have woken them up and worn out the cuteness real quick.

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Travelling with minions is not for the weak. Murphey, or Newton, or whichever smart guy of the olden days said “whatever can go wrong, will,” nailed it.

I took a trip this past week to Corpus, with some friends and of course the tallish and smallish minions. They loved it, I loved it, I’m pretty sure I’ve dissuaded at least one friend from ever having kids…and I learned a few travelling lessons along the way.

Be sure you pack at least one backpack of “things to do” for each child. A shared bag of entertainment is unacceptable, and not nearly big enough. You need, at a minimum, gadgets with apps, chargers for said gadgets, coloring books and crayons, games, a digital camera, something that plays music…and be prepared to still have to give up your cell phone.

The trip WILL take twice as long as you plan. Takes 11 hours to get there (and you know this because you’ve done it more than once)? Nope. Better plan to get there in about 24, including camping out at a budget motel somewhere along the way, parked next to a pedophile van, trying to dissuade your friends from telling ghost stories about haunted motels.

Avoid pizza places. They ALL have games and money-sucker machines that are irresistible to minions.

Bring trash bags. You’ll discover a ton of different uses, besides the fact that 2 minions on a road trip can create more trash than a family of 4 in a week. It WILL rain, and you can put your luggage (suitcases and all) in big trash bags for the back of the pickup. Put extra pillows and blankets in one, because there will be some point on the trip that it will become necessary to create one giant pallet full of sleeping little ones in the back of the cab.

…wait. Everyone travels in a pickup, right?

Then, you should also brace yourself for the music. No matter that there are 2 tablets, an mp3 player, a couple of iPods, and 14 pairs of earphones floating around…you WILL be giving up radio rights. You WILL be listening to Kidz Bop for hours on end, and you WILL memorize the Gummy Bear song before you get home.

When you’re at your destination, driving around exploring and taking photos, the local police will pull you over for making a sudden uTurn for a shot of the Shrimp Crossing sign you just spotted. And when said cop hits his lights, your minions (who have memorized Despicable Me 2) will “be a siren” for him by yelling “beedo, beedo, beedo…” until you threaten them with jail time. Thankfully, lots of cops in touristy towns are pretty patient with tourists.

…or they feel sorry for the poor idiots hauling around the Beedo Kids.

You’ll also need snacks. 37 bags of chips, 20 suckers, a container of trail mix, some doughnuts, crackers, apples and bananas, and assorted cookies. You have to resist the temptation to mix sedatives into the snacks. It’s frowned upon…although I’m not sure I understand why.

I also don’t understand where this new gray hair suddenly came from…

It’s that time of year again. The time the tallish minion shows up waving around the much-anticipated Little League form. Time to bust out the Barbie bat and pink glove, locate a handful of the 137 practice balls that are floating around here somewhere, and get our big girl panties on…because “there’s NO CRYING in baseball.”
That’s my mantra through March and April every year…and by May, I give up because I’m usually crying by then, too. The minion thinks that baseball is the greatest sport ever for the first few practices and about the 3rd game. Then, someone gets stung by a bee, sunburns, or gets sore and tired of running, and suddenly it’s all my fault for signing her up for baseball yet again.
THIS YEAR though, it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Pun intended.
The smallish minion has been telling me for two years that “Momma, I big enough to play batheball.”
This year, he is finally big enough for real. And a hand-me-down Barbie bat just ain’t gonna cut it. So, I am in search of a Batman bat, which I am pretty sure they don’t make, and a smaller than extra-small glove, because the smallish minion is tiny.
He also wants real baseball pants, which I am pretty sure don’t come in toddler sizes; and cleats, which I am pretty sure would land someone in the emergency room somehow. He has allowed that in the absence of cleats, his new (smooth-bottomed) cowboy boots shall work nicely.
I’m not sure who his coach will be this year, but I hope it’s someone with the patience of a saint. I coached the last two years…and I am now braving the world of single-parenting with an extra job and an EMT class. So when I was asked to coach again, I laughed and laughed. Then I ran.
So, whoever tackles the role that resembles herding Patriot-clad cats has my respect, and my sympathy. I guess I should warn them that my son is a leftie…
BW Set 5

My son has a radar…

There is apparently a silent alarm that goes off somewhere in his little head when the following happens:

  • Mommy sits at the computer
  • Mommy has a deadline looming in the very near future
  • Mommy thinks he is asleep and runs a bath
  • Mommy kisses daddy

This alarm sounds and immediately spurs him into action…it is suddenly time to either have a walleyed hissy fit or climb something. If the alarm sounds after bedtime, it is his cue to come running out of his room like a banshee on cocaine, careening across the hardwood driving a popcorn popper machine with an Easter bucket on his head.

This is what I deal with every minute of every day…even “at work.”

…an amazing occurrence, considering that both are hidden at least 5 feet from the floor every night as a part of the bedtime ritual. The bedtime ritual that includes 4 hugs, 3 “I lub you’s”, and 2 kisses on each cheek (ours and his).

The Deadline Radar is the worst, especially considering that my “office” is in the living room. Working from home is great in theory, and to those who argue that I “am so lucky” are right in that I don’t have to pay $45 a day for childcare. However, have you ever tried to complete a college-level essay on dental procedures with a two-year-old IN the chair behind you, drawing on your neck with a Sharpie and playing Angry Birds on your ringing cell phone?

It’s no wonder I’m crazy…

Any of you work from home? What are your coping mechanisms?

There are a few things that They forgot to tell me about having a kid in school. Now that my oldest minion is in first grade, the school supply list is apparently an important thing…and quite specific. They also neglected to mention that as fun as school supply shopping sounds, it’s not for the faint of heart.

By the way, They are the same They who forgot to send home my owner’s manual when I left the hospital with my newborn minions…

A few days ago, I took my daughter shopping for school supplies…realizing too late that I’d arrived at Wal-Mart at 5pm on a Friday, and not just any Friday but the last one of the month a week after school supply lists were released.

So I was in Wally World with a few thousand other people on the same mission I was. I stood in a knot of people vying for the last Batman Backpack, thanking the powers that be for giving me a girl…there was an abundance of Hello Kitty.

She was worried about being the only child in class without all the “right” stuff. It reminded me of a conversation I’d had with her midway through Pre-K, where she informed me that she needed some Sketchers. I’d replied that she had tons of shoes in every style imaginable.

“But MOM,” she wailed, “do you WANT me to have no friends!?”

I was catapulted back in time to somewhere in junior high to the day I realized I was the only one in class without the socially-required shiny new Trapper Keeper. She got the Sketchers, and I’ve wondered since why that particular Tween-angst vice had to start so early.

Couldn’t they wait until junior high or even high school to start worrying about these things??

Thanks to my own sympathy in the situation, we spent two hours in Wal-Mart last week, searching out the perfect supplies. Who knew that something as simple as a spiral notebook would require ten minutes of pondering what might be coolest this year?

I spent a couple minutes explaining to some clueless woman that the “2 8CT Crayons” on her list meant “two boxes of crayons that have 8 in EACH box” and not some special new-age Crayola 2.0 that the stores must have sold out of.

I dodged 6 children under the age of 4 (Where is your mother!?), and one Yorkie (Seriously, in Wal-Mart?).

There’s a bruise on my hip from the third shopping-cart hit-and-run.

Half my paycheck disappeared across a pile of supplies that I can’t imagine are absolutely necessary. I mean, come on…zip-lock bags have been on the list since Pre-K, and my child has come home with something in a baggie maybe twice. 20 or so kids in class, the boxes all contain around 20 bags, so what are these teachers doing with the 400 zip-lock bags each year???

I also learned an important lesson. When it was all over, and I was scrubbing my hands with Germ-X in the parking lot and wishing I had bought some aspirin, I looked over at my daughter’s beaming face and realized something…it was totally worth it.

 

Originally printed (by me!!!) in the Briscoe County News.

www.briscoecountynewsonline.com

Hello, Blog!! Been a while!

Yeah, yeah…I know. I am a neglectful blogger, but life has been hectic and crazy. Want some updates?

Well, when I logged back in I found that I still have quite a few visitors (thanks y’all!!!), and some new peeps who’ve found me in search engines. I just had to click over and see some of the search terms that they’ve used to find me…

And found a GREAT addition to my Odd-and-Crazy Search Terms archives:

“Shake me like a monkey”

Yep. Someone typed THIS into their search engine and it brought them to me. I’m pretty sure this one scares me more than my Bandaid-Butt fans. At least I know which post brought those guys to me.

But when did I ever write a post about shaking monkeys??? Literally or figuratively!?

Freak.

So what else has been going on?

I coached a tee-ball team. By accident (although I had a blast with a great little group of guys and girls)…

See, I checked “yes” on my daughter’s sign-up form, stating that I would be willing to help out and volunteer. I figured I’d be asked to bring some snacks to a game or two, and maybe sign up as team mom for a few games or practices.

Ooooh no…they called me the next day to let me know I’d been “given” a team. At least the rules for tee-ball are pretty lax. My softball playing years didn’t exactly prepare me for explaining the fundamentals to a group of 4-5 year olds.

And I never got to sing and dance in the outfield when I played.

Another high-light of the last few weeks…my husband launching us into a whole new realm of Redneckery.

There was a Rattlesnake Rodeo his peace officers’ association decided to hold. They needed snakes of course. In lieu of buying snakes, they handed a catcher out to the officers in the area and told them happy hunting. (we do live in West Texas, but still…)

So the Guru comes home one day with a lidded (thank God) 5 gallon bucket, a 4 foot long catcher stick, and a shit-eating grin.

“Honey, look what I caught! There are four of ‘em in here!!”

 This began the scramble to find something of an appropriate size and secure enough to hold multiple live rattlesnakes until they could be taken to the event.

After some digging, he comes up with a white plastic barrel (with no lid), a metal-grate lawn table, my concrete stepping stones, and a handful of bungee cords.

I was concerned.

It grew as he dumped the snakes into the barrel, placed the tabletop on the top of the barrel, and weighted it down with the stepping stones.

Then he bungeed the whole thing to a tree in the front yard… ”So the dogs won’t tip it over.”

Great. I took that moment to come to the computer and put out an APB (via Facebook, of course) to anyone who had a cage of some sort that might be a little more secure than the Guru’s Bucket-O-Snakes.

My cousin’s girlfriend (Dude, MARRY this one!!) saved my sanity by donating a rabbit cage to the cause. I reinforced it with metal fabric and forced the Guru to take it (and the snakes) to our kennels…which thankfully are about a quarter mile from the house.

In the meantime, he did attempt to make it safer for trespassers by using a magic marker and marking it with “DANGER: LIVE RATTLEBUGS!”

Although, if someone HAD come up to burglarize the house, we’re probably the only ones around who had guard-snakes in the yard…

Has anyone else reached any interesting levels of Redneckery? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

This video has been a hit all over Facebook and probably everywhere else on the web today. I had to share it because I think I found my new Parenting-Idol.

This man needed a way to get through to and make a point to his rebellious teenage daughter…something that would wake her up and maybe, just maybe, teach her a bit of respect.

He succeeded.

This is an awesome video…If you have a teenager, or an almost-teenager, tie them to the chair and make them watch this all the way through to the end.

I must say that I would never have thought of this approach, but when my kids are teenagers I will certainly leave this as a possibility.

While most comments I’ve read are from people who wildly approve, there are a few who think it was too extreme…

For those…

  • This man found a way to discipline his daughter without any form of abuse.
  • Grounding her and taking away said laptop apparently didn’t work…he tried less extreme avenues of getting through to her.
  • Teenagers are notoriously bull-headed and sometimes need a wake-up call. I know I did.
  • She publicly humiliated, berated, and disrespected her parents…the punishment should be equally public. I think this was fair and very “eye-for-an-eye.”
  • The girl deserved an ass-beating…this was mild. 😉

So, that said….Go Laptop-Shooting-Dad!

There were also some great comments and insights in a public interview on Super-Dad’s facebook page. He answers some questions about why he did this, what message he intended to send out, and other things. It’s also definitely worth reading…the interview was apparently done by the Toronto Star…

http://www.facebook.com/tommyjordaniii

Lots of people have asked me where I got the rant about restaurants and other places moving towards banning kids.

I read several before I got mad enough to come on here to suggest a ban on creepy uncles and generally vent about people who cannot handle the fact that there might be kids in public places…but here are a couple of the articles that sent me into my self-righteous Momma-is-Mad tailspin.

The No-Kids-Allowed Movement is Spreading

Stop Discriminating Against My Kid!

Restaurant Bans on Kids

BTW, I do think that people should teach their kids some manners and actually watch them in public…even I get a little upset at the never-been-disciplined kids who are released into the wild of a Wal-Mart to fend for themselves and crawl under bathroom stalls.

However, I have seen adults do the same (sadly that is completely true), and they’re all still free to roam the grocery store commenting on the tampons in your cart and running you down with their own…

I also don’t take my kids to a nice restaurant on a Saturday night or an R-Rated movie anytime. Most parents actually do show some discretion…heathens that we are 😉

How does everyone else feel? Am I the only one who would have a hissy fit if I got kicked out of a grocery store or fast-food joint for having a child with me on a random Tuesday afternoon?

OMG. I really thought I was beyond being shocked by the general masses…

Apparently not.

There are stores, malls, and restaurants now offering “child-free” hours, days, and even weekends. They’re catering to people seeking peace and quiet when they venture out into public.

Seriously, people???

Yeah, I get it. Kids can be annoying. They’re loud, sticky, and sometimes smelly.

So is your uncle. Can we ban him from the next table so that he’ll quit leering at me when I lean over to wipe a booger off my toddler’s upper lip?

Hey, we mommies aren’t petitioning for a ban on grumpy people who like to scare the bejeezus out of our kids for daring to smile at a stranger!!

Any of you childless peace-seekers ever consider that the frazzled mom who just ran over you with her basket and contaminated your sneakers with kid-kooties might just be trying desperately to get her groceries, get home to feed her kids, and get in bed herself in time to wake up and do it all again?

Try stepping aside and letting her pass. Try saying “excuse me.” Try not standing smack in the middle of an aisle considering the possible consequences of spending 8 cents a pound more on the “new better clumping” kitty litter for 45 minutes.

This just might be her ONE free hour in the day to do the shopping between naps and meals…and you want to ban her from the freaking store so you can hear the “clean-up in aisle seven” voices more clearly?

Afraid you might have to battle for the aisle with a person pushing *gasp* a stroller? Again, step aside and share the aisle.

That family trying to scarf down a meal with their kids at the next table might actually be trying to enjoy their first dinner out in months, and they just can’t afford the meal and a sitter on the same paycheck.

If you want peace, shop at midnight and glare at the people running the floor buffers. If you want quiet, shop with your iPod. If you want to not be near the breeders, stay home and buy your crap on eBay.

And to the stores who think this is a great idea…consider this. People with kids spend more money on stuff and don’t linger in restaurants…they have better things to do than occupy a table for hours pondering the best way to piss off other people.

Just sayin’.

I’m wondering what my son is going to think in the morning when he wakes up and discovers he has Sharpie marks around the fingers of his left hand…

Yes…Sharpie. The permanent marker that I have forbidden both my children from touching because they are…well…permanent. Sort-of.

See, I was working on taking some photos of completed craft projects from my kids Krafty Kits.

Since the Climber is too little to make his projects on his own, I’ve been putting them together for him, and then letting the Diva use them as examples to make her own. The Climber “redecorates” his quite happily while she works.

Everyone wins.

This time, though, I decided to go ahead and get December’s projects ready to photograph so that my mom could use them for advertising.

I decided this while the kids were fast asleep.

Everything was going great, I was channeling my inner child while the Guru watched Storage Wars and plotted the demise of the competition at the next auction we attend…until I got to the cute little googly-eyed Rudolf in the Kit.

Rudolf with his stolen-handprint antlers.

The googly-eyed Rudolf that requires the shape of tiny hands to create his antlers…

I stared for a moment at my own hand while contemplating my free-style drawing ability. Neither possibility was going to be flattering for the foam reindeer.

In a flash of inspiration and with my semi-willing accomplice in tow, I snuck into the kids’ room armed with a piece of paper and a marker.

Tip-toing in time to the SpongeBob theme song playing softly in the background, I crept to my son’s bed and eased his little hand out from under Raffe (stuffed giraffe that MUST accompany bed and nap times).

There in the dark, with my husband holding the paper and trying to get the limp little hand to lay flat on the paper that was shaking from his almost-silent laughter, I snickered my way through a rough outline of a little hand. The whole thing was ridiculous and we kept cracking up in those stage-whispers that are always somehow deafening in a quiet room.

About the time the Climber stirred and re-claimed his hand to grab Raffe again, we couldn’t hold the laughter anymore and had to bolt.

After laughing in the hall for a few minutes, I had a thought that sent me into hysterics again. I couldn’t explain what was so funny because I couldn’t breathe!!

The only answer was to grab a flashlight and creep back into Never-land to show him what was so much funnier than our secret mission had been.

Sure enough, there wrapped around Raffe’s neck, was the tiny hand…each finger with a line of black around the edge.

I sort-of expect to wake up in the morning and discover that my son has added “what the hell???” to his growing vocabulary…