Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Based upon the rating of the entry below this one, I'm not sure a junior high kid should be anywhere near my blog. (Sigh)
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By the way, does this mean it's written so well that it's easy to read, or it's written with junior high-level skills? Maybe the fact that I'm confused speaks for itself. (Sigh again)

What the...??!!

This rating was officially based upon the use of the following words: crap, sexy, shoot and poop. It told me so. All I can say is: My, my, aren't we sensitive? Oh, and also: I'm certain I've used stronger words than these. Still wasn't expecting this rating! Come on, Man, I can't be that bad... right, guys? Right? ...guys?

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Got Milk?

I'd like to quickly share a moment I experienced yesterday evening. I'd spent the day baking cookies to give out for Christmas. Jesse swiped one off the counter, and then, being the gentleman he is, grabbed one for his brother, who I happened to be nursing. Jes walked up with the cookies and after a half-hearted lecture from me about asking first, he gave one to Gabey, who delightfully accepted. Gabe sat up on my lap, facing me, and proceeded to happily consume his treat. After a couple seconds he apparently got thirsty, so he leaned forward and latched on for a couple gulps, then went back to his food. Then more to drink, and back to eating again. And it went on like this! I didn't know what to do- I was speechless! (For once.) Need a little milk to go with that cookie, Son? In that moment I was nothing but a cow. Mooooo. Glad I could help out, Kid. Not.

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Hooray! Matt's back and it's time to celebrate. We were finally able to go pick out a tree and pour on the Christmas cheer. We wrestled on whether to endure the frustration and migraines of re-setting up the fresh, tipped-over Christmas tree seven times a day, or to commit the eternal sin and assume the disgrace of the plastic, fraudulent version. After dealing with denial and the other stages of grief, we finally caved and decided we would bring shame to our family, knowing full well that from henceforth our names would be spotted forever. But for 23 bucks, screw it- an artificial tree it is! Ultimately it turns out we're both lazy and cheap. Who knew? (That was rhetorical, so shut up.) It's not even one of those well-disguised, somewhat realistic trees that almost fools you into believing. Rather, the designer of this particular tree was going for the illusive, "Unmistakably Bogus" effect. We decided to dive right in and embrace our shabby, synthetic celebration. Instead of traditional ornaments, we hot-glued hooks to the backs of "fun size" candy bars. (By the way, who do they think they're fooling, calling them "fun size?" I think we'd all admit that those dinky jokes are nowhere near our idea of a "fun size" piece of chocolate. Anyway...) Naturally, with these unique ornaments, we knew right away that we'd need LOTS of them. Now fully bedecked, our pitiful "tree" looks as if it's about to collapse under the weight of the ninety bags of candy we wired to its pathetic branches. Snickers, M&M's- (peanut and original), Twix bars, Reese's peanutbutter cups, Milky Ways, Hershey kisses- (two different kinds), and the standard Hershey's assortment of Krackle, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and Mr. Goodbar. An impressive lot, to be sure. This poor, miserable tree may not make it to next year. But despite how sad it looks, at least it's appetizing. And pre-lit, if you can believe that (for 23 bucks!). Matt even made a beautiful Twix angel for the top. (I told him that was a little much, but like I'm in charge of anything.) You're probably wondering how I plan to keep the children from stripping the tree clean of its goodies. Well the answer is simple. I don't know. But so far (two whole days now) it's gone surprisingly well with Jesse. He likes to take the "ornaments" off and rehang them, but I haven't caught him yet with a chocolate mustache. Gabe is another story. He's more than happy to nearly yank the tree over in order to pull off one of its irresistible sweets. Often I catch him and prevent the theft, but once in a while he'll walk up to me with a goofy, proud, giddy smile, covered in brown drool, and his tongue will push a chewed foil wrapper out onto his shirt. I admit it; I laugh. It's funny. And gross. But still funny. I just hurry and clean him up before Jesse sees and demands a treat of his own- (I'm trying to convince him to take a break and eat actual food once in a while). Then I follow the trail back to the scene of the crime and scrub the syrupy chocolate slobber out of the carpet. (Seriously, what would I do without the steam cleaner? Every surface in the house would be incurably sticky forever.)
I've already been authorized to play a small amount of Christmas music, mostly while Matt's at work, but a little bit even when he's at home. If ever there ever was a real life Scrooge, Matt would shame him with his detest for Christmas-everything. He can tolerate a tree (for about ten days), and will even put up with a little Christmas music- on the actual holiday. Not the day after Thanksgiving, not Christmas Eve, not any other day (with the one exception of hymns at church. I think even he thinks it sounds pretty coming from the chapel). Anyway, he's been really good about it this year, enduring much more cheer than usual. I think we both feel obligated to participate more in the festivities this year, now that Jesse's old enough to care. Last year Matt humored me and took me to a very rural tree farm that was run by a tiny, ancient man, who I really wanted to pay for his efforts. So Matt lovingly but unhappily indulged me, and boy did that turn out to be a disaster. I didn't think we'd ever overcome the catastrophe. The little old man was very nice, and very senile, and very opinionated. We tipped him huge and brought home what I refered to as our Christmas Bush. We took the one the little old man insisted was the best we'd find in the eastern U.S. It was the only breed he grew. The thing was horrible. Shaped like a horizontal shrub with a tiny peak at the top, this disease of a plant was hideous, terribly-scented, and actually drew blood if you came within three inches of it. That was a real problem, with a curious 18-month-old running around. The pricks the bush gave you were not only deep, but were coated with some hellish oil from the needles that would cause your skin to redden and swell in unbelievable pain, and you couldn't wash the stuff off with turpentine. I've ventured now as far down memory lane as I can allow myself to go, otherwise the nightmares will start up again. My point is that our experience couldn't have been much worse last year, especially when coupled with the fact that after two days without the use of toilets, we were forced to spend our Christmas money to have our septic tank pumped. I really have to move on now or the terror will envelop me again. Now you understand why I've been so pleasantly surprised at Matt's nearly-delightful attitude this year; I simply didn't think he'd ever get over that fiasco. This year things worked out that the day we set up our tree happened to be Matt's birthday, but he was a great sport about it and even seemed to enjoy the whole production. I've found that I'm also enjoying this season much more than I usually do. My anticipation of the kids seeing their gifts on Christmas morning is practically keeping me up at night! I've spent time almost every day this last week driving someplace to pick up some special item for the boys. (That yard sale website is a life-saver!) And it's been fun, too, to try and keep it all a secret from the kids and not let them see their presents. There have been a couple of close calls that actually got my heart rate up. That's how invested I am. I know it's silly, but I can't contain myself. And it's been so funny to watch J's reaction to the different experiences that come with the holidays. Of course the biggest event so far has been the discovery of the Grinch. We've been reading it every night before bed for a couple weeks, and a few days ago Jes had his first encounter with the movie. We caught it on tv about halfway through, and J was so excited that he totally FREAKED OUT everytime the camera panned over to Whoville and "Drinch" wasn't in the frame. "Where Drinch go? Where Drinch, Mama?!!! WHERE DRINCH GO???!!!" The commercials were life-ending. It was hilarious; he was just hysterical. His grandma and Grandpa sent the dvd of it out here and he watches it as often as I can be persuaded. Unlike other children, Jesse loves the Grinch himself. He does not side with the Whos; he wants the Drinch to take all their toys and keep them. It's to the point now that when it gets to the part in the movie when the Grinch turns nice, Jesse loses interest and walks away. I'm not even kidding. And he has a crush on "Loo Who," as he calls her. Did you guys know that the Grinch movie is only 26 minutes long? When I was a kid it was about two and a half hours. I'd bet my life on it. Anyway, this year, Christmas at our house has been awesome, and we're not even there yet. Our tree may look like a wretched pile of garbage and our son may be rooting for the villainous foe of the season, but who cares? We're having fun. Hopefully someday we'll celebrate things a little more traditionally, and the kids will appreciate the "Reason for the season," but for now, screw it. We like things messy. It's just our way.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

While Daddy's Away

Let me paint you a quick portrait of our house while Daddy's away. First of all, Matt is the only thing we talk about when he's out of town. I'm constantly bombarded with questions like, "Where Daddy go? Where Daddy? Where Daddy go? Where Daddy go? Where Daddy?!" Then we progress to the "I want Daddy" phase, and from there we venture into "Want give Daddy cup of water. Want give Daddy kiss. That Daddy's shirt right there. Want see Daddy's gun. Want go walk with Daddy" territory. At lease I don't have to wonder if they miss him. Lately Matt's been in places where he can at least call us. Jes gets on the phone to relay such important bulletins as "Jes go potty," and "Jes eat chocolate," and "Baby sleeping." Throughout each day there are inevitably five or six thousand moments when I wish Matt was here for this. Such instances range from Gabe learning a new trick, to Jes learning a new bad word, or poop somehow ending up, yet again, someplace it does not belong- (and you wondered why we own a steam cleaner). Sometimes daily pleasures as simple as the grippy slap of Gabe's bare feet on the kitchen floor cause me to wonder why on earth we're out here doing this, apart from one another. Whatever the reason we chose to come (who can remember?), we're here, and even when it sucks, I know we're in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. And there's comfort in that. Besides, in a matter of days, Matt will always come back to revel with me in the delight of a toddler who sneaked away with a five pound bag of candy, or a newly- walking baby who must open and close every cupboard door because he can. And in the meantime, I can tell Dad about the latest unloading the bookshelves and throwing everything into the toilet stages and the defiant I Don't Have to Listen to Mom Cause I Don't Wanna struggles that arise. Dad always listens intently, filled with jealously as I relate stories about Jesse stopping in the store to squat into a very conspicuous diaper messing, or Gabe diving head-first into the breasts of a large woman at church. Not too surprisingly though, there is the occasional episode Matt is not exactly disappointed to miss. These events transcend the world of pooping and groping and exist within the realm of ingesting revolting material and any scandal involving regurgitation. The man's a lightweight. Let me close with this: our lives are messy, sometimes downright horrific, but it's our life. And we love it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Guess I'm Feeling Bloggy

Hello all. Ok I know, that last entry was a mess. Type-o's, wording mistakes- oh well. Apparently you've forgiven me cause you're obviously back for more. [Gabe's sitting on the floor right now, 100% nude. He just had a bath and I'm letting his hiney air out to clear up his rash. It's a risky business, but a necessary one. That kid is so cute. Even his armpits.]
Anywho, let us resume the ongoing saga that is my life. Wait. Before I go any further I have to comment. If you are guilty of the following evil, please skip forward and read on as though I didn't just tear your heart to shreds. Then, keep it to yourself. I'll never know you committed the crime, so let's avoid the awkward, "Donna you're a heartless hag and you hurt my feelings" / "Well then you're both tacky AND sensitive" conversation. Now, to the sin. I just can't understand why on earth someone would PAY MONEY to erect an enormous monstrosity in their front yard to celebrate the season. You know what I'm talking about, the giant inflatable things people put up that are supposed to resemble a giant snowman or Santa Claus or one of those Christmas snow globes with a little scene inside and authentic styrofoam snow blowing around. Ok. Now I'm all about expressing your enthusiasm for such a meaningful and fun holiday. But must it obstruct the view of your entire block as viewed through Google earth? Are these "yard ornaments" supposed to fool strangers into thinking that yes, actually, Santa is on your lawn at this very moment, just stopping to wave at motorist passersby? Are these homeowners on the campaign committee for some Christmas Mascot election I don't know about? Perhaps they're just trying to show support for their candidate of choice. I really don't know. But I do know this. If my neighbor got one of those I'd hit my local Wal-Mart to invest in a pellet gun. Surely there are other Grinches like me out there who would like to put into the works some sort of legislation to prohibit such atrocities. And while we're at it, let's do away with size 24+ bikinis, men's toupees, and anything that could be misconstrued as a leg warmer. Oooh! And those "skinny jeans" that look like the butt portion is sliding down the legs, and girls wear them with flats, as if they're in some How to Make an Attractive Person Look Really Bad contest. I guess this is all a sign that I'm old and officially out of style. (As if I was ever in.) And sorry, but unless you are three or younger, those skirts that are just multiple layers of ruffles, you know- that barely cover your butt, well they're not only age-inappropriate, but also make you look like a particularly cheap bimbo. Find another way to show off your sexy (or sometimes, unsexy) legs. Wow. I've really gotten off the subject. Back to... well, me.
A couple days ago Gabe came to me without pants or a diaper and peed on my foot. Conversely, Jesse came to me today without pants or a diaper, with poop all over his behind, and laid directly onto the floor, choosing to be more hands-on (or, cheeks-on) in is approach to defiling the carpet. It's not normally like this around here! Well, not to that extreme. My children don't usually run about the place with nary a covering to catch their nasties. Maybe that's the theme of the week and I just missed the memo. Whatever the case, I'm gonna have to make some changes around here. Perhaps I should begin with diapering my naked Gabriel, now that his butt is sufficiently dry. But seriously, he doesn't normally run around like this. I do diaper and dress my children! It just doesn't always stick. What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hope You're Feeling Random.

There are just too many bulletins, so I'm not gonna get all creative on how to weave them all together; I'd never get through the material. So here I go, in no particular order.

The first question is this: Will I really go to Hell for wanting to sell a child on the black market? And if not, who would I need to contact to arrange the deal? I wonder how much he might go for... On second though, who cares? Riddance is the real purpose here. The poor carpeting in our front room has been the pitiable and unlucky recipient of the worst kind of surprise. What is it, you ask? Well it's at least eight mucusy puke piles, all delivered in the last three days. No exaggeration. If it was my kid doing this I'd flush him down the toilet, but first I'd fill the toilet with rotten, regurgitated food so he'd have to live in the sewer amidst an environment like the one he created in my living room. Is that overboard? My heart is vengeful. Somewhat disappointingly, my mind intercedes. Oh, if life were a fairy tale...
(By the way, for any of you who've been living under a rock, the kid I babysit makes himself throw up when he doesn't get his way. If I were the sort of person who called people names, I might use terms like manipulative, spoiled, unholy nightmare... I'd better stop. I also should note here that the boy has many more attractive attributes. This is just the one that festers to the top of the list after three days of scrubbing dank, putrid bile. I swear I actually like the kid otherwise.)

Anywho, in other news, Jesse loves the movie Cars, and to keep him quiet on the plane to Utah we got him a little Lightning McQueen, and Mater, and one of the field tractors. The other day Jes called me over to watch what he was doing with his cars. He had the tractor tipped up on its back side. He told me he was tractor tippin'. (Haven't seen it? Rent it. If you have kids.) The kid knows even the tiniest details of that movie. He's so smart it's annoying sometimes. You know how first time moms brag on and on about how smart their babies are? (Ok, maybe we all do this a bit.) Well if they knew what they were doing, they'd pray for their next child to be a little less intelligent. Think about it, why the h*ll would you want a genius kid anyway? Show me a kid who's entertained watching the dust in the air, and I'll show you a mother who runs her own life. Seriously. Unfortunately Jesse's so freaking tricky he was able to convince me that he'd turned over a new leaf and was suddenly a sharing enthusiast. These past few days he's given countless cookies to Gabe. And this was a really big deal, cause Jesse goes absolutely insane over cookies. (You could say he's a cookie monster. Ok. I know I'm not funny.) Anyway he would ask for one for himself and then say, "Give Baby cookie," and I'd hand him one for his brother. I was suspicious enough to check with Gabe the next time I passed him to be sure he actually received the cookie. Had I been wise enough to actually watch Jesse deliver the cookie to Gabe, I'd have caught on a lot sooner that Jes was taking a huge bites of the cookie before handing it over. He left nothing but a narrow crescent for the baby to eat. After I wised up to his scheme I started handing cookies to Gabriel myself, so Jes would wait till I was distracted and take it and stuff it into his mouth before Gabe could even protest. Again I ask you, what would be easier? A smart child or a simple one?

Life around here is hazardous. Yesterday I got kneed in the ear. Don't ask how, cause I don't even remember. It isn't that unique an experience for me. Boys, boys, boys! A couple days ago I was trying to cut Jesse's hair without the help of his dad to steady J's head (I totally butched one side, by the way), so I gave him the spray bottle and a towel to soak while I worked. Part way through the haircut Jes jumped strait up in the air and screamed, "Oooohhh! I killed the bug!" and sure enough, there was a tiny bug curled up in the towel trying to wait out the storm in a tight bundle. It felt kind of nice, at least I wasn't the only one experiencing stress at the hands of this kid. He's also back on the kick of calling me by my name rather than "Mom," or "Mama." It doesn't really bother me, but it does throw me off when I hear something like, "Donna, wipey nose!" (wipe my nose) or "Donna, please change dipey!" (diaper). I just don't expect someone who calls me by name to be requesting I come into contact with such personal areas- (Adults just are not generally that friendly). Speaking of names, you wanna know something weird about southerners? They all call one another "Miss Whoever" and "Mister Whatshisname." Neighbors, acquaintances, everyone- regardless of age. My neighbor who is like forty years older than me calls me "Miss Donna." It kinda hits me funny when I hear that cause that's what my two-year-olds called me in my Mommy and Me class when I worked for the YMCA. I just can't get used to hearing it from grown-ups. And I never remember to address other adults that way. I'm sure they all think I'm horribly rude. Eh, what can ya do...
Back to Jesse's weirdnesses. The other night, at like 11:00, I still hadn't managed to get the kids into bed (one of those complicated nights). So I laid Gabe down for a fresh diaper and realized that he'd pulled yet another undetectable stealth poop and now had a rash. For my sweet Gabriel the only way to get rid of a rash is a bath. No wipes and cream crap, just a bath. Since it was so late though, I didn't want the hassle of the whole routine so I threw him in the sink, scrubbed him up, and took him into the bedroom to dress him. When I went back to the kitchen to drain the sink I found a bare naked, tightly-folded giant sitting in the water, playing with a measuring spoon. That's right, the Jess man. I'm starting to think I may have been abducted and impregnated by alien beings. It would just explain so much. You know what- let's just list some of J's characteristics that, at least in my opinion, are a little eccentric. (1) When I pour him a bowl of cereal, the first thing he does is dunk it all under the milk. This particular feature must have been either inherited or learned from his father. (2) Jesse will stop at nothing to get chocolate or cookies, and I won't even tell you what he'll do for chocolate cookies. (3) He practices giving Gabe liquid Tylenol -or "purple," as we call it- with the pump he pulled out of the baby wash container. He also uses the pump to "wash" each individual toe, of everyone within his reach, but when he does this he uses the straw end of the pump. (4) He likes buses. (As in the plural of bus). There's nothing like a good bus. The guy lives for buses. Whatever, dude. (5) Something about flying in an airplane brings out his extensive vocabulary of all things explosive. And guns. And he gets very loud on planes, always waiting till takeoff to begin ranting about bombs and BOOM and shooting. What a lovely attribute. It's charming. (6) The kid just can't enter or exit a room without SLAMMING the door behind him. This poses a problem because he's usually followed closely by his little brother, and one of these days somebody's gonna lose a couple fingers. Good luck, Gabey! Thus is the plight of the younger brother. And the cycle continues. (Just ask Caleb. He'll tell ya.) We do our best to prevent it but with Jesse, tormenting/ injuring Gabe is an art.
Okay, so this blog entry is no masterpiece. It's not done. And it's not proofread. But thanks to the lunatic ravings of a witch named Katey, I'm posting it anyway. You may direct your complaints to her at the following address...