I'm really not that busy

Finding hilarity in the mundane since 2008

Monthly Archives: December 2008

So Worm is saying colors now

Look out Huck, Worm knows some colors.  He has a few more days to become “as smart a baby as you were”. 

I think the difference is that Huck loves to be correct.  He is a people pleaser so he loved calling out the right color or naming the picture on the flash-card.
Worm is his own guy and could care less if you are impressed with him. Chances are good that he is unimpressed with you.  He prefers to ball up the flash-cards and see how far he can throw them.

So I’m blogging on New Year’s Eve

It’s not like Truck and I couldn’t go out.  We have excellent childcare options.  We are not friendless losers.  The truth is we are lazy.

Going out is hard work.  Going out on a weekend is really hard work. Going out on New Year’s Eve requires militaristic strategy, outfits that look cool or hot (whatever temperature you wish to convey), way more money than anyone with kids has one week after Christmas, and hours worth of entertainment plans (because going home before midnight because you are bored is pathetic)…. basically its a pain in the ass.
I like lists.  So here are some reasons I don’t like New Year’s Eve.
  1. Champagne doesn’t taste as good as it looks. There should be a law that all food and beverages must taste as good as they look.
  2. Paying more money for less menu options because I am eating out on a holiday is insulting. Free champagne does not make it better (refer to #1)
  3. Crowds make me uncomfortable at best, panicked at worst.
  4. Drunk strangers are not amusing (unless they fall down).
  5. It is cold on New Year’s Eve.
  6. Midnight is really late.
  7. It feels like a fake holiday.  I mean what are we REALLY celebrating? Minutes, hours, days… they all pass without note.  Time marches on, get over it.
Okay, I am slipping from droll to cranky.  That means its time to hang it up.

So my kids had the first of their four Christmases this weekend

Every year, our first Christmas is with Truck’s dad and his wife.  They are Grandpa and Grandma to my kids, so that is who they will be in this blog as well.  We have a lot of grandparents so I will go ahead and line them out here like a little cheat sheet.

Grandpa – Truck’s dad
Grandma – Truck’s stepmom
Coco – Truck’s mom
Big Jim – Truck’s stepdad
Didi – My mom
Dida – My stepdad
Big John – My dad
Okay, now you can refer back to the December 22nd post if you ever get confused about which grandparent I am referring to. 
Anyway, our Christmas with Grandpa and Grandma happens to be my favorite Christmas celebration.  Every year we go to a cabin at a local state park the weekend before Christmas. All in all, it is the most relaxing time of the holidays, sometimes it is the most relaxed I am all year.
I am not sure why it takes a small cabin filled to the brim with family and food to make me relax.  Its the type of setting that would normally make me crawl out of my skin.  You can’t really get a minute to yourself and there is stuff  everywhere.  Any other time I would be straightening, cleaning, griping and generally freaking out about once an hour.  But not at the cabin.
So I was thinking about why the cabin is so great.  I wondered what everyone else would answer if I asked?
Grandpa would say it was the location.  He loves the woods and hiking.  However, it is having us all right there with him that is the true appeal for him.  
Grandma would say it was the company.  She is the nicest person I have ever known.  If you could always say the kindest thing in any situation and REALLY MEAN IT, you would still not be half as nice as her (as she? grammar ain’t my strong suit).
Jo would probably say it was being with the kids for a long enough chunk of time to make a real connection.  She normally sees them in short bursts and not as often as any of us would like. The cabin is a special time for her and Huck.  I’m sure it will be for her and Worm too, but Huck might be loathe to share her.  Check back this time next year and I’ll tell you how it went.
Huck would say something silly like “Shiver me bricks, there’s a parrot on me liver” (Sorry, had to throw that in for Jo).  Really it is the attention he loves.  He gets to help make pancakes, decorate cookies, make crafts, hike to the playground, play endless board games.  He gets gifts too, but they hardly blip on his radar.
Worm would say “Cookie, Tif, Mama, Jack, Daddy, Uh-Huh!”  
Truck would say that he hates the cabin and wants to drop the tradition.  He is a big ol’ poop head and he would miss it if we stopped.
It was harder for me to pin down my feelings.
Part of the allure for me is that my kids are not on “Mama do it” mode at the cabin. Every adult is at their beck and call so they turn to whoever is closest instead of automatically running to me for every want and need.  Sitting on your butt watching someone else cut up your kids’ food, wipe their noses, give them baths and play with them is FABULOUS.
Also, there are large quantities of food.  It is hard to freak out when your belly is so full of cookies that you will puke if you try to scrub a dish too vigorously.  Lots of food ups the relaxation factor exponentially for me.
But really, its the little things that add up to the whole experience that make the cabin the real beginning of Christmas for me.
  • We have a live cedar tree every year that is just like the one from the Charlie Brown Christmas.  It starts out small and sad.  Then we decorate it with popcorn strings, paper chains and various other handmade treasures and suddenly it is gorgeous.
  • We stay in our PJs as much as possible.  If the weather permits, we go on a hike.  I have been known to put on a few clothes over my PJs and set out for the hike.
  • No one cares if you eat a cookie at 8 a.m.
  • Someone will always play a board game with you if you ask.
  • There is a fireplace.  I have a fireplace at home. I hate it.  I never use it.  I love the fireplace at the cabin.  Maybe because I don’t have to tend the fire or clean the ashes.
  • There is a TV, but we hardly watch it.  I love not having the TV on.  Even Truck & Huck leave it off most of the time. This is baffling to me.  In a house full of toys, Huck wants to watch TV.  In a tiny cabin with not much to do, Huck could care less about the TV.
  • When I get up at the crack of dawn, I am still not the first one up.  I am the first one up every other day of my life.  It is nice to know someone else is stirring.
  • When I go to bed, I just lay down and go to sleep.  No watching TV until my eyes get heavy. No playing a computer game until my fingers cramp on the track pad.  I just get tired and get in bed.
  • Someone else cooks the food.
  • I am not the only one doing dishes.
  • The view out the window is beautiful.
  • The view around the corner is even more beautiful.
  • The view over those hills is breathtaking.
  • If I want to stay in and ignore the view, no one minds.
  • I get presents that are consistently thoughtful and useful.  I don’t mind frivolous presents. but I prefer something that I will use and be thankful for often.
  • I don’t have to sweep the floor.

So, my Christmastime has begun with a lot of small special things that add up to a magical experience.  Hope yours has too!

So I almost told a stranger to Eff off

Worm and I were in the check out line at Toys R Us the other day and he was playing with a tube of lip balm.  The lady in line behind me says “Oh! He has the top off that!”  So I explain that lip balm is his favorite toy and taking the top off & putting it back on is part of the appeal. She then says “But aren’t you afraid he is going to put it in his mouth?”  I told her that he was past the mouthy stage.  

This is the point where she needed to drop it.  
I understand her concern.  I sometimes express my concerns to strangers about their kids, but I try to just be informative, not preachy.  I would have stopped with “Oh! He has the top of that.” If the parent indicated prior knowledge of this, I would let it go.
She just can’t let it go.  She says “You really need to take that away from him”.  I say “Here, let me show you what will happen.”  
I take the lip balm and he freaks.  There is no build up.  He goes from zero to snot flying in 2.4 seconds.  I give it back to him, he is fine.
She says “He’ll get over it.”
At this point I am DONE with the conversation.  Here is what I said to her in my head.
You don’t know me.  You don’t know my kid.  You don’t know that he will scream for an hour and a half or longer if I take away something he wants. I assume longer because an hour and a half is the longest I have ever waited him out.  I understand that lip balm is a choking hazard. It is a risk I have chosen to take, so SHUT THE EFF UP YOU NOSY, HOLIER THAN THOU, SELF-APPOINTED LIP BALM POLICE.
Out loud I said “Thanks for your concern.”

So I have a new make-up essential

Thanks to Worm I have rediscovered Cherry Chapstick.  

Worm is an odd little guy.  Most kids have a comfort item or items.  Huck’s is playing with hair and stuffed animals.  Worm’s is lip balm.  He loves to carry around tubes of lip balm.  It started with Burt’s Bees so he calls it “bee”.  
He has always liked to manipulate tiny objects and remove and replace the top off things, so bee is his dream item.  Funnily enough, he doesn’t want to wear the bee.  He mostly just likes to smell it.  I just count myself lucky that he is past the putting everything in his mouth stage.  I do still worry that he will put the little cap in his mouth, but not to the point of distraction. I have a little post about this too so stay tuned. 
I am always on the look-out for a good deal on lip balm because we lose at least a tube a day. Sometimes we just lose the cap, but it is all or nothing for him.  Burt’s Bees is too expensive to give to a toddler, so I switched him to Chapstick.  You can get a tube for about 79 cents if you bargain shop, 99 cents if you just need to grab one anywhere. The other day I found a pack of four Cherry Chapstick for 2.99 (less than 75 cents each!). Worm was elated, he loves the scent. 
Turns out Cherry Chapstick is pretty flattering on me.  I am really fair skinned so the light pink color looks natural on me.  Plus it is just a little shiny.  I like lip gloss, but sometimes it can look like you just ate a fried chicken leg and didn’t wipe the grease off your mouth. 
Anyway, thanks to Worm I have a new lip product and I can always find it when I want to put it on because I will have at least three tubes in my possession at all time.

So I tried to take Christmas pics of the boys

I had this idea in my head of what our holiday cards would look like this year.  Huck & Worm in front of the tree wearing matching PJs hugging matching gingerbread men pillows. I can’t describe to you how far off I was.  I can only embed 5 photos in this post, there are about 20 and they are all NOTHING like the picture in my head.

So I just re-read my posts from this morning

So I have made my first big error in Worm’s parenting

After six years, the mistakes I have made with Huck are innumerable. You cannot be a parent and not make at least one child rearing mistake per day.  Second guessing yourself is just part of it. Most have been minor, overall I’m a good mama.  But there are a few that stand out in my mind.

  • Letting him sleep in our bed until he was 4&1/2
  • Spanking when I was angry (felt like crap, will never happen again)
  • Not taking a breath and counting to 10 before yelling (feels like crap and I still do it all the time – yelling is a HARD habit to break)
  • Not making him play outside more
I could go on forever, but you get the idea.
With Worm I have experience on my side, so I have been able to avoid repeating most of the mistakes I made with Huck in his first 19 months. However, I inadvertently screwed up and I am going to share this mistake with you now.  Forewarned is forearmed and all.
I very often call him Mr. Poo.  This morning he saw a picture of himself, pointed to it and said “Dat Poo!” 
My baby thinks his name is Poo.  I suck.

So I am done wiping Huck’s butt

He is 6 years old, I am done.

It started because he used to suffer from frequent constipation.  I was in there already (offering encouragement or sometimes consolation because it was painful for him to poo – yes it was very sad) so I did the wiping to make sure his sore bottom was getting good and clean.  Nothing like an itchy butt to ruin a kid’s day.  
Actually, that’s not true.  Itchy butts don’t phase kids, they just scratch them no matter where they are.  So let’s rephrase: Nothing like an itchy butt to embarrass and/or disgust your mama.
So now when Huck is finished going he yells “I’m done” and then waits on his throne for the royal butt wiper to appear.  
I asked him what he does at school and he said “Wipe my own bottom, but I don’t think I am very good at it”.  Hmm, that would explain the skid marks.
So I gave him some pointers and told him I would not be wiping his bottom anymore.
Then Worm filled his diaper and came straight to me saying “poo-poo!” Nothing like job security.

So I checked my email this morning

This morning I realized I hadn’t checked my email in several days.  So around 6:30 a.m.  I set up the boys with milk, powdered sugar donuts and a really annoying TV show.  I figured this would buy me about half an hour.  

Five minutes in I hear Worm start to giggle every thirty seconds or so. Yippee!  They are entertaining each other and leaving me alone. 
After a few minutes of this it hits me: What could be that funny?
I silently sneak through the house to peak at them without being seen. HOLY CRAP A BAG OF POWDERED SUGAR DONUTS HAS EXPLODED IN MY KITCHEN!
Huck has been giving Worm donuts. Worm is not eating these donuts. Worm is pulverizing these donuts.  He is making donut confetti.
In return for seven minutes in front of the computer I got two minutes of griping at Huck, three minutes of wiping down the table, four minutes of wiping down the baby, five minutes of sweeping the floor, six minutes of wiping off the walls and blinds.  Twenty minutes.  So. not. worth. it.

So Worm left a trail of popcorn chicken through Wal-Mart this morning

I can’t expand on that other than to say I really did think he was eating A LOT of chicken for  8:30 a.m.  I didn’t realize he was Hansel & Greteling it until we got to produce and the man stacking the bananas started following me and leaning over every few feet.  I was just about to accuse him of being some kind of perv when I saw what he was doing.

In case you are wondering why I bought Worm popcorn chicken at 8:30 a.m. – I blame Grandpa. He takes Worm to Wal-Mart on Tuesdays a bit closer to lunch time and they snack while they shop.  Unfortunately for me the chicken is now a requirement.  We walk in the door and Worm begins saying “Yum, yum, yum, yum” and pointing at the deli.  If I don’t head for the deli the yums get progressively louder.  I am not sure what would happen next.  Ear splitting shreiks of YUM is my breaking point.

So it took a mention of the DVR to get Truck to comment on my blog

Honestly, I wasn’t even sure he read it.  He lives with me.  I guess sleeping  here 3 or 4 days each week and making the money that pays for my mama-rific lifestyle (read: multiple trips to Wal-Mart each week and new jeans when my two rotating pair get ripped or painted on) counts as living here.  Anyway, he lives with me so he gets enough of my odd logic and flight of thought (yes Huck gets it from me) in person.  I figured reading the blog when he was away from me might be a bit like breaking into jail.

So I spent entirely too much time with my DVR today

Last night Huck was watching a holiday cartoon right before bed and had to miss half the show because I am strict about bedtime.  So today I decided to make it up to him by finding another showing of the same movie and setting it to record.
I found the show without issue, but setting it to record was not so easy. Our DVR was full for the living room TV (and I don’t want to set a precedent of recording his stuff in the master bedroom or the office).  So I sorted through the recorded shows to make a little time.
What the heck!
It seems that men hold onto recorded TV much like they hold onto old stained & ripped underwear. Apparently it has to be a show that was watched three years ago, cancelled two years ago and has a deceased lead actor before they are willing to part with it.
Truck, when you get home, please clean out your underwear drawer and your DVRed shows.

So I am adding a new feature

Because Huck is so darn funny and very often profound, I am devoting a sidebar to him.  It is called Considering Huck.  I hope you enjoy my brilliant boy’s musings as much as I do.

So I was trying to figure out a name for the postings of Huck’s random thoughts

Do you remember a segment on SNL years ago called “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy”?  It would always start with an announcer saying “And now its time for deeeeep thoughts by Jack Handy”.  Then the deep thought would scroll up the screen in front of a sappy nature picture while a completely earnest guy would say the scrolling words as if he were just then thinking them.  I am now going to Google it and see if I can find some of these deep thoughts….

Okay I’m back.  
Holy Copyright Batman! There is a website called http://www.deepthoughtsbyjackhandy.  Maybe you already knew this and are now laughing at my ignorance.  
Anyway, I don’t wish to piss anyone off, so go to the website to view the deep thoughts because I can’t post them here without permission.  They are really funny so its worth wasting a few minutes of your computer time.
My point is, I would like to give a similar name to Huck’s random thoughts.  I don’t want to go with “Deep Thoughts by Huck” because I might be a hack, but I’m not THAT bad.  Also “Huck’s Random Thoughts” feels generic to me.  I am open to suggestions, any deep thoughts out there?
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