Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My husband is a murderer.

He killed my pet.

My adorable, wonderful, useful, punctual pet.

And he did so intentionally and with malice.

I had a pet spider. It was an awesome spider. I know that some of you are squeamish about spiders and I will try to respect that by not posting a picture of my spider.

That ^^ isn't my spider, so it's all good. I wouldn't want to freak Tami out because, you see, I care about her so much.

Anyway, my spider was awesome. Every evening he would come out and build a web on the outside of my screen door under the porch light. And he would sit there all night catching the annoying little bugs that would wander onto my porch. I was un-bugged and i was happy.
Taryn and I spent about 20 minutes one day watching from inside as he spun his web. It was really fascinating.

And then, every morning, my spider would be gone. He cleaned up his web and went away for the day, returning nightly to keep pesky bugs away from my porch.

And then...

Chris killed him. MURDERED him. Intentionally. Purposefully. In cold blood and with no remorse.

I was sad :(

And now... do you know what happened?

A truly horrific mutant spider with spikes has taken up residence on my door. Spikes!! Can you believe that shit?!?

It looks like a mutated crab/scorpion/spider lovechild and it is appalling.

And do you know what ELSE has happened?

It has all allowed me to make this ridiculous post that will totally have Tami's skin crawling for the rest of the day :)

The end.

True story, though. Really.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Comin' Atcha

I have over 100 blog posts from another site that I will be moving over here pretty soon. Most of them pertain to my kids, my family, my life. Some of them are funny, some are thought provoking. Some are even about YOU, as I stalk you occasionally.

Anyway, the site I was using to post and store these has decided to be completely stupid and stuffed with corporate greed, so I'm moving my posts here. Some of you may have read them already. If you haven't, you really should. I used to be funny. No, really.

So, some time soon I'll be adding another page to this blog. I have no idea what I'll name it, but whatever it's called it will essentially be the CM archives.

The Abbreviated Camping Trip

I took the kids camping earlier this month. By myself. Because I'm a slow learner.

Here's how I remember camping: hiking, playing in rivers, s'mores, helping to make a fire, staying up late, playing in the woods. All fond memories. And do you, dear reader, know why I remember those things and only those things? Because I was never the responsible adult before. I've been an adult, even one of the responsible ones, but never THE responsible adult. And let me tell you- it is significantly less fun being in charge. 

We decided (okay, I decided) to go to a family campground rather than just finding random wilderness. And I'm glad we did. The campground we chose had tent sites in the woods with an easy hike to restrooms, a pool, and... other stuff. Tayler has some sort of weird fear of natural bodies of water, so the pool was for her benefit. 

Anyway, we got there early and began set-up. I did this:


And the kids did this:
I have no idea why this shot was necessary.
And finally, we (I) accomplished this:  

I was impressed too.
Then we went to the pool, where we learned that 2+ years of swimming lessons for Taryn was completely and utterly pointless. Retained nothing, that one. We went on a wagon ride and got sprayed with giant hoses and maniacal children with squirt guns. We swam some more. And then we went back to our camp for some dinner. At least, that was the plan.

I set up the fire pit. I lit the fire. We watched the fire go out. Repeat for 3 hours.

Around 9:00pm I figured the kids were probably starving to death and I decided to beg for help. The guys at the next site were drunk and spoke very little English. That's typically how it goes for me. Anyway, they were very nice and they dumped a completely unreasonable and possibly insane amount of accelerant on our wood. Then they lit it. And we had fire. Then they walked away and the fire went out. Repeat 3 times. I'm not kidding at all. These poor guys were looking at my hungry kids and accepting responsibilities that weren't theirs and trying their damndest to get that fire lit. It simply wasn't happening. So we used their fire to heat up a few hot dogs and called it a night. I was pissed. Not at them, of course. At myself and my inability to do what freaking cavemen could do.

The next morning I got up early and blurrily realized that fire was necessary for coffee. The battle began anew, but this time I was victorious on the first try. I sang, danced, and acted a fool. Because I had coffee. Which I drank from this, as a celebratory measure-

Because it's awesome. And I forgot a coffee cup.
My celebration roused the smallest child so we made s'mores. At 9am. Breakfast of champions.
See that smoke? It's from my FIRE.
Once we were all up and dressed we decided to go for a nature walk. Taryn often insists on collecting "nature" for a "project". Why? Because the small child has learned that by simply replacing random words in her requests with educational sounding words, she can convince me to drag logs and effing boulders around a freaking forest. So, yeah... Anyway- our nature walk:

Somewhere in here is the spider that bit Taryn. Good luck.

Bringing drama to the wilderness.

We swam some more, wandered around, and I made another fire (on the 1st try thankyouverymuch) and cooked steaks for dinner. I also burned my finger. Let's call it an educational experiment, shall we?

After dinner we planned to swim some more and then play with glow sticks and some kind of chemical that makes the fire turn colors. You know, the fire I can now build? Yeah, that.

But none of that happened.

Why? Because there was a mutiny.

My husband- a decidedly anti-nature kind of person- arrived on the evening of day two. He was willing to spend one night with us in a tent. I take what I can get. So he arrived right as we were finishing dinner. And as soon as he arrived those wimpy children started pestering him to take them home, to civilization (in this particular case, civilization turned out to be Friendly's for sundaes). And of course, he's the dad and these are his princesses, so...

We broke camp.

We drove home on the winding, accident heavy country road at night. We arrived on the edge of town just in time for the city workers to set up a barricade and a detour. Awesome. So we detoured through the most heavily populated part of town where literally hundredsof people were out on the streets.

We'd come right into Heritage Day. That's my town's special version of 4th of July. You see, we're entirely too elitist to share the festivities of the 4th with the rest of our nation so we made our own, celebrating our town's heritage on a different, yet suspiciously close to the 4th date. If I haven't yet mentioned it, let me do so now- I hate where I live.

Anyway, we drove straight to Friendly's because that is what the princesses had demanded. I was filthy, muddy, and I smelled like a strange combination on bug spray, chlorine, and wood smoke. I'm sure others felt priviledged to share their dining area with me.

And that was that. But I got these pictures too and I kinda dig 'em so there's a plus.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gettin' My Shit Together- Weeks 1 and 2

Oh... this poor, neglected blog. It's withering. Dying. I'm so very flighty...

Anyway, I'm now on a mission. My life is not the life I wanted. It is not the one I asked for or ordered. And since no one seems to know the correct department for exchanging lives, I'll just have to spruce up this one.

This will be a many step process, attempted in 2 week segments. These first two weeks (beginning today, dammit, no matter how stupidly tired I might be after work) are all about me and my marriage.

My marriage is in a constant state of iffy. We're not happy. We're not necessarily unhappy either. It's just kind of a blech, unfulfilled place to be. And it's time to change all of that.

As for me, I'm not who I want to be. I used to be adventurous, fun-loving, outdoorsy, athletic (while completely shunning all official athletics). Now I'm just... mom. It's very boring just being mom and nothing more.

In the next two weeks I will, under threat of constant harassment by those who love me most... or at least put up with me most often-

* Go to the gym at least 3 times each week. Because I am weak and soft. And I do not enjoy being weak and soft. And because it will now be the time spent with my oldest who is also now my official gym buddy.

* Hug my husband daily. How does something like this fall by the wayside?!?

* Spend less time tolerating the company of neighbors and more time enjoying the company of my husband. Outside watching the kids play, inside watching a show, wherever.

* Force that darling husband of mine to sit down and eat dinner with us. No, he doesn't want to but the fact is- it keeps him connected and he's always happier when he does. A clear example of 'Mama knows best'.

* Read. A lot.

* Pay attention to what my husband wants but isn't asking for. That's code for 'have more sex'. Guaranteed.

* Start boxing on the weekends. Because it's awesome and- let's face it- I'm sort of aggressive.

The kids have a million little friends in the neighborhood. Tayler has a constant companion (usually in my house) and Taryn is at Pre-K all day. They have friends everywhere. They play all day long and any time spent with me- their mother- is perceived as punishment anyway. So for the next two weeks, they can taste freedom. Let them run around outside all evening. Let them spend every waking moment with their friends or cousins. That's perfect. Because these 2 weeks are all about me and my marriage.

I promise to continue feeding and watering the children.
Immediately following this 2 week attempt at being a more fulfilled person in a more fulfilled marriage, my little family is going camping. Which is perfect because the next 2 weeks will focus on continuing what I'm doing here and adding two more things... one of which is My Kids- focusing on their schedules, and behaviors. Which is really awesome because it means that I could, in theory, turn our camping trip into wilderness boot camp. You know, if the need arises. Or just if I feel like it. Because being just a mom is kind of boring. But being a mom with a sense of adventure can be very entertaining :) But mostly just for me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life As *I* Know It.

It's a mess. Not like "catastrophic how ever will we survive?" mess, but more like "ew, what happened here?" mess.

I kinda like it that way. On a subconscious level.

The older child has loose eyeballs. I should have them checked out by a doctor, I think. They just roll all over in their sockets every time I talk to her. "Kid, you need to clean your room." *roll* "Hey, can you help your sister?" *roll* "What the hell is wrong with your eyes?" *roll*

The younger one needs an exorcist. No kidding. I'm not a religious person, per say, but the child appears to be possessed. "Other kid, you need to clean your room."  "Okay mommy." And then the room goes from What The Hell Happened Here? status right to Motley Crue Partied Here And Charlie Sheen Went Ape Shit And Vikings Pillaged As Well status. How does a preschooler flip a mattress across the room?!?

I'm going back to school. Because I thrive in chaos, I guess. Working full-time at a homeless shelter for next-to-nothing pay isn't nearly exasperating enough so I have to add some full-time classes on top of it.

And it's Spring, so the crazies are out. Does that happen in every town, or is mine special? Spring brings out the crazy people around here. Maybe mental health workers all just say "Fuck it." in the spring and open the doors. I'm not sure what happens, but there are definitely more crazy people around in Spring. Like Friday, for example- a scruffy, unkempt guy came into my work and began spitting on the floor. Not 'haaaaack- ptoooie' spitting, just little 'pffft' spits. So I asked him "Um... what's up? Why are you spitting all over the place?" And he says "This place! Disgusting! Eeech! *pffft*". Now I don't know what you would have responded with, but I felt a sense of camaraderie with the guy. After all, this is my work. So "Yeah, I know. It's awful, right?" Apparently that was exactly the right response because he looked up and said "You get it." And indeed I do. I absolutely get it. I don't even need to know what 'it' is, really. I'm on board. So I asked him to walk with me. We went outside and down the block. I showed him the town fountain. He thought it was a great waste of water. And once he began his crazy tirade on the wastefulness of our nation, I quietly walked away. Because he's crazy, you know? I don't want to be associated with all that. Instead, I went to the alley for a cigarette break and watched the regular crazy guy (regular as in known to me, not regular as in this is perfectly acceptable) yell at the phone pole. Because that's a more acceptable crazy. Mostly because it doesn't involve me at all.

I have to build furniture today. Somehow I decided that the easiest way to control my life while being a full-time employee/student/mother of two was to organize things first. But I can't just do that. I have to take stock, rearrange, re-rearrange, overhaul and then organize. This applies to everything- important papers, furniture, storage spaces. Everything. I cannot possibly go back to school if Tayler's kindergarten papers are mixed in with her 5th grade report cards. How could I? It would be madness! Remember now- degrees of crazy. I'm a fairly low degree. Safe enough. Anyway, I have to build (yes, build. Nothing in the store is exactly right) a new entertainment stand to hold all that crap. That has to happen so that I have room to move the turtles and their tank to a different wall. And that has to happen so that I can move a couch to yet another wall (Just wait. This actually does pertain to school. Eventually.) And that has to happen so that I can move the file cabinet to a corner near electricity. And that has to happen so that I can set up a desktop computer and a printer. And that has to happen so that I can print stuff for school. See? Obviously I need to build furniture.

That's how it goes around here. Project Of Necessity requires me to first do Projects numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 Of Frivolousness. Yes, I left out 5 and 6. I leave those out on purpose so that I can bitch about them later. Shut up- do I tell you how to run your life? Do I?

So in the end I have unruly children, a job full of crazies, disorganized and slightly insane methods of organizing, and entirely too much on my plate.

This is what I would call a Good Day. Why?

Because it's Spring.

Did I mention crazies come out in Spring?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Apparently I will never grow up.

I am fairly successful as an adult. I work, I pay my bills, I raise my kids relatively well. Soon, I'll even be going to school on top of all that.

But sometimes... I just can't hack it. All of the adult just kinda oozes off of me and I become this overgrown child- acting impulsively, giggling uncontrollably, being ridiculous.

Not surprisingly, this tends to happen when the brothers congregate nearby.

Earlier this week, I found myself in these circumstances. There was a strange series of events that led up to my inner child breaking free. It started when I got home from work (see? Responsible adult.) to find my youngest brother, who lives with me, out front working on his car. He stood up to say hello and I saw his charming face... covered in a giant scab. It was lovely.

Pictured: Bad Idea.

Truly beautiful. He didn't want to tell me what happened... which means he got drunk and decided to spar with someone. Judging by his face, they sparred on concrete. And he lost.

I guess my laughter (what? That's what sisters DO) was distracting to him because when he finished with his car and took it for a test drive, it went badly. Mostly because he put the tire back on but didn't tighten the lug nuts. I imagine his tire damn near fell off as he turned the corner, but I didn't ask. he was busy running toward a tire iron.

After that he was feeling the need to one-up me. But genetics requires that he not act rashly but rather plot his revenge. It's a family thing.

Later, we had a run-in with an old acquaintance who had clearly had a psychotic break of some sort. Very interesting, that. And after that we decided beer was required and deserved.

Somehow... some things got set in motion. For whatever reason I decided my old ass could wrestle with my black belted brother who outweighs me by who-effin-knows-how-much and actually have some sort of success with that. All I got was pinned. Oh, and a Wet Willy. I got that too. Then we found glow sticks. And we broke glow sticks. And I decorated him with the glowing (probably toxic) weirdness inside. I got more Wet Willys for my trouble. Then we found this:

Pictured: Worse idea.

 I'd bought these for my daughter's birthday party. But since they were here and not being used... yeah. We played. I have never before been in any sort of situation that had me knocked on my ass as consistently as this situation did. And never with as much ridiculous laughter. And I also got... you guessed it- Wet Willys.

I should probably mention that by this time it was roughly midnight- on a school night- and we were still outside acting like idiots. Loud idiots. Loud, intoxicated idiots.

I'd like it noted that I held my own in Body Bopping. I may have been knocked on my ass, but I wasn't alone in that. A fact I made sure to point out at least 4,742,673,395,038,378 times.

The next morning I took my battered self back to work. Like a damn ADULT, thank you very much.

And then, the very next day, we were engaged in a war to see who was the best Ripstick rider.

He is. And that pisses me right off.

The Ripstick and I have a history, damn it. A long, painful history involving fractured elbows, blood, and near misses in traffic. It took me an entire freaking month to get that damn thing to work right and this child just jumps on it like it's nothing.

There will be a rematch.

Oh, yes... there will.

Translated, that means I plan to injure myself severely in the name of ridiculous pride.

Should be fun.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Girls, Girls, Girls!

This isn't even almost what you think it is.

Really, it's not. This blog contains no nudity, no gratuitous crotch shots, no pole dancing, not even any Motley Crue (and thank god for that).

What this entry IS about is pre-teen girls. And the chaos they bring with them in their cute little purses.

This is my oldest daughter, Tayler, in the red:

Her friend is not actually blurry.
Last week, she turned 12. And to celebrate she had a party at a local ice skating rink followed by a small gathering at our house.

And by small gathering, I mean that approximately 4,000 people crammed into my tiny house where the single activity seemed to be "Be loud."

This was supposed to be an outdoor cookout. But it rained all day because the universe feels I need yet more punishment for whatever the hell I did in a past life. So, yeah... rain.

Into my house crammed myself and my husband, two of my brothers, my sister in law, Chris' sister, my cousin, my mom, Chris' parents, and two family friends. Plus the aforementioned 4,000 kids who ranged in age from 4 to 13.

The older girls went upstairs to Tayler's room where they did whatever it is that pre-teen girls do. With glitter. The younger children stayed downstairs where they found the screaming rocket balloons, air horns, and silly string I had bought back when I intended to toss these kids outside. The rocket balloons were created by evil forces. Adults turned every possible shade of red and purple trying to get the damn things to blow up. And the point, of course, was for the kids to let them go and watch them shoot all over the place, immediately followed by the need to blow them up again. I got smacked by a few adults because I was dumb enough to buy the balloons.

Eventually everyone was fed, cake was cut and presents were opened. A better parent would have photos to insert here. I am not that parent.

Then the guests who valued their sanity began to leave. That left me and my brothers and husband. The girls came downstairs. And what happened next...

My husband has hooked our home PC to the TV. Yes. So that all computer thingies can now be done 1000 times larger. Somehow this is important to male people. Anyway, this is what the girls decided to use to watch videos on YouTube. They started off shy. Most of the girls spend enough time in my house that I can comfortably yell at them or make them do things for me, but a few were newcomers. So the music started off appropriate. Slowly, it became louder. And more profanity-laced. Then they decided to listen to sad music.


Because- and I'll admit I get a little lost here- apparently it is a cool girl thing to sit and listen to sad music until you cry, then run to another room (still sobbing) and wait for all the other girls to come find out why you're crying. Then you all cry together. Then you go into sobbing dramatics prompting parental intervention. then you calm down. Repeat.

I was baffled.

My brothers, being helpful sorts, thought that discussions of dead kittens might help. It did not. Then one brother decided to videotape my daughter acting a fool to be used against her at a future date. Good decision, there.

The crying went on for *entirely too long*. Then they switched to listening to music that I would not normally approve of. But I said nothing because I was just so happy the crying was done. Then they all reapplied their make-up and began to call boys. Then they fought and my daughter told them all to go home. Then they made up and she decided to let them stay. Then they hugged. Repeat X 5. Then they ate every. single. edible. thing. in my house. Seriously.

My brothers left, my husband went to bed.

I put the young child to bed.

Then I sat and waited for the girls to crash. Which they did not do until SIX-FREAKING-A.M.

Of course, that small child was up at 8 and went about waking everyone else up.

At noon some other parent called and offered to drive them all to the park so they could play- excuse me, I mean "hang out"- there for a while. I saw my out and took it. When that poor, poor mom arrived I basically shouted "Tag!! You're it!!" and ran away.

But, of course, there was park drama as well and I ended up having to go out to the park and collect my daughter (who now hates all her friends) and bring her home. Where she immediately called all her friends (who she miraculously no longer hates) and invited them back to our house. Luckily they were too tired to walk, because I had absolutely no intention of answering the front door.

I'm not sure where the term "sleepover" comes from, but it was most certainly not coined by any parent who has actually suffered through one. There was no sleeping. It should be called a Loudy-GiggleOver. Or some witty thing that non-sleep-deprived types could think up for me.

My house is trashed. There are food wrappers and glitteriness, and jewels everywhere. I found a pizza box under my couch. Some person's shoes are in my hall. I'm not sure how that person got to the park without them, nor do I care.

I have no idea what boy sleepovers are like. I imagine them as being fun, rousing times involving war games, video games, and junk food. Maybe a sport. No glitter, no make-up, no calling the opposite sex. And certainly no sobbing for hours over NOTHING.

This morning. on my way to drop Taryn off at Pre-K, she asked me...

"Mommy? When can I have a sleepover?"