Monday, December 6, 2010

Pictures From Hell - A Holiday Photo

"...Hallelujah! Holy Shit! Where's the Tylenol?!"
Clark W. Grizwold

I wanted to take a nice picture of my kids for a holiday card. That's all.
I didn't want to chisel their likeness into stone. I didn't want them to sit and pose while I painted a reproduction of the Nativity. A sweet photograph of my offspring grinning merrily at the camera was all I was looking for.

The dog was not in the room, Sugar Daddy wasn't mugging for the camera, no cats were running in and out of the room chasing one another or their tails or an imaginary mouse. It was just the spawn, the tree and me and it went something like this:

Sam, sit there for a minute and let me check the lighting for this shot. *click*

Okay, that's not bad. That's All That and a bag of - can we lose the bag of chips, please? Thanks, honey. Okay let's try it one more time. Ready? Say "Cheese".
Sam: "CHEESE." *click*

*sigh* Dammit! Go away, John!

*enter rest of spawn*
Okay, is everyone ready? Good.
1, 2, 3. *click*

Good! Now, Samantha, when you say "cheese", can you sit really still? You were a bit blurry in that one. Let's try again, but this time when I say "3" everyone freeze.

1, 2, 3. *click*

No, Sam. Not REALLY "freeze". Just smile and sit still, okay? Again... 1,2, *click*


I was trying to be sneaky about it. I guess that didn't work. Just look at me and smile, will you? *click*

"She farted! GROSS, SAM! MO-ommm!"

Samantha, sit. STILL.
Madison: "Ha ha, you got in trouble! H
a ha! UNGH!"

Lily, thank you for continuing to smile throughout this incredible mayhem.
Okay, people. Let's just work with your hyperactivity and try a crazy picture. Shall we? Let's give it a whirl.

1, 2, 3 *click*


Nope. Okay, bad idea. And you all still have to sit relatively still.
Again...WAIT! STOP! Samantha, sit still! Girls, stop TICKLING HER, THAT DOESN'T HELP!


And then Lily had had enough.*click*

Where the hell are your sisters?! Oh, good Lord.

Lily! Stop choking your sister! Get back over here and let's just DO this damned thing before I completely lose it with you people!! NOW SMILE!!
Really, Sam?! Now you're incapable of smiling?! After all that?!

Oh, forget it!! I'll work with whatever else I've got! Get out of my sight!! Go to bed NOW, all of you!!! THERE WILL BE NO CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR!!!

Please note: 
**When the children were nestled all snug in their beds, their adventure but a memory, I cleared my head and transferred the carnage from camera to computer, I think I managed to piece together a holiday photo that truly captures their essence:

So yeah. Happy Holidays and all that junk. :P

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree - The Battle of The Green Giant

While I set up the tree with the kids, enjoy my story from last Christmas:

My Christmas tree is assembled, the lights are on, and the pepper-berry garland is in place. The ornaments are already beginning to go through a series of trips to various boughs of the tree (as I rearrange them daily) and should reach their final destination on or by Christmas Eve. That is when I shall take one final look at my masterpiece and exclaim, "That's as good as it's ever going to get!" And then resolve that next year it will look even better. :)

I was off to a slow start in filling up my cup of Christmas Cheer this year, but I finally managed to get around to that tree. For those who go the "real" route, getting the family Christmas tree can be a lively excursion - loading all of the kids into the minivan and driving out to the country. Crouched on the snowy shoulder of a dirt and gravel road, knees numb from the cold, you nearly freeze your "aspidistra" off sawing for dear life while the kids keep an eye out for Johnny Law! Of course, the less adventurous folk buy one from a tree lot. I, on the other hand, head to the lowest level of my do battle. To take but one prisoner.

This is my tale....

For eleven long months, my artificial tree has sat dormant in the "Basement Du Frigidaire", waiting under boxes of Easter decorations, old baby clothes, and furnace filters. It waits by the broken lamp, smelling faintly of cat litter, rust and cinnamon candles, for the day to come when I would once again free it from the evil clutches of The Roughneck Tote of Entrapment.

Last weekend that day had arrived. I headed down the narrow and dark basement steps (Note to self: change basement light bulb), holding onto the railing every inch of the way. I pushed aside the clothes basket blocking my path. Pausing for a moment to pay homage to the beloved baby swing that had served us so well over the years, I headed for the tote that contained the beast. I could sense its fury as I began to unearth it from the pile of rubble set atop the mighty tree. It sought the warmth and freedom of the main floor, but in order to get those luxuries it must first bend to my will. I knew it would not leave this place easily.

The Tote of Entrapment bulged at the sides, barely able to contain the incredible mass of the tree. It was secured with duct tape to reinforce its hold and still the tree threatened to break free. Grasping the end of the box, I surveyed the path back to the stairs. It looked clear. I gave a great push and felt the muscles in my legs cinch tight, but the tree didn't budge. I recovered quickly and moved around to the front of the green plastic sarcophagus to see what was impeding my progress. I saw there was a length of two by four under the Tote of Entrapment. Mumbling my frustration into the dank basement air, I dislodged the board and returned to my position behind the box. With another forceful shove I felt the box move smoothly toward the bottom of the basement steps.

I wrestled with the enormous tree, lifting and pushing and lifting and pushing every step of the journey. Near the turn at the top I caught my sleeve on the railing and for a moment I lost my grip on the monstrous, tree-filled box. I felt the tree slide backward. "No!", I cried. I could see I was close to the end of my battle. I couldn't give up now. I wouldn't give up now! Like a laboring mother who has just learned that her baby's head is crowning, I gave one more fantastic push and the tree sprang forth into the kitchen. Carried by the momentum of that fierce push, I charged through the kitchen and dining room yelling a war cry that sounded something like this, "GETOUTTATHEWAYGETOUTTATHEWAYGETOUTTATHEWAY!!!"

At last the battle was won! I was triumphant! I danced jubilantly around the living room while my children sang my praises and my dog cocked his ears, turning his head to one side. The children helped me to unfasten the box that held the tree captive. It burst out of the Tote of Entrapment with the same sound heard when opening a new two liter of pop. Freed from its plastic cage, we set it up in the corner of the living room where it now stands, obediently holding up strands of lights and brightly colored ornaments on its "lifelike" boughs.

Once again I have tamed the mighty beast. Another year...victory is mine!!

Behold awesomeness of the Green Giant:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black and Blue Friday - a poem

Twas the dawn of Black Friday, and in front of the store,
The people had camped out all night by the door,
Their bottoms were nestled in frozen lawn chairs,
As they peered through the glass, plotting what would be theirs.
The veteran shoppers were dressed for the weather
Eyeing new blood, as they huddled together,
When toward the glass doors an employee came near,
With a key in his hand and his face filled with fear
They watched him approach, with their eyes opened wide
He unlocked the door and then leaped to the side.
Like antelope, torn from their watering hole fun,
When the lion creeps nearer, break into full run,
So into the store the patrons did dash,
With lists miles long and buttloads of cash.
More rapid than eagles, they grabbed at Wii Games
They pushed, kicked and called one another foul names.
The Black Friday shoppers went straight to their works,
They prided themselves on behaving like jerks.
They said, "Puck your mother!" (or words of that sort)
As shopping became a full-contact sport!
Black Friday peeps, know this as you roam-
You're fighting without me, I'm staying at home!

Monday, November 22, 2010

They Stole My Snapper!

Sugar Daddy went out to the garage to check out our snow blower to see if it needed any sprucing and primping and oiling and whatnot before it was called back to active duty this winter and discovered that it. Was not. There.

Someone has hijacked our Snapper.

As luck would have it, this story ran in the paper a few days ago.

We may have to pick our snowblower out of a line-up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Commercialism and Totinos Pizza Rolls

A common theme voiced throughout the fall and winter months is that we're all sick to death of the commercialism that the holiday season brings.

So my question for you is this: What can you do or do you already do to counteract the commercialism brought into our homes via television, Internet and written media? How do you make the holidays about something other than "what am I getting" and "I want that"?

I know for my family, we use it as a time (at least for our nuclear family) to be together, showing each other how much we value one another and enjoying the season for its beauty. We love the snow, the cold, the perfect blue sky (on those days when the sky is blue and perfect), the lights, the warmth of the house, seasonal foods, etc.

We have our own family traditions like lighting a red candle in the middle of the dinner table throughout December. While we enjoy our meal together, we go around and tell one great thing that happened to us that day or something that made us smile and made us feel blessed. This year we are planning to open any cards we receive at dinner as well.

Each year my girls and I watch the movies I grew up with...all those wonderful Rankin and Bass productions, George C. Scott as everyone's favorite crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge and of course my Emmet Otter and his holey washtub.

We got hooked on The Polar Express a few years ago and every year we fall into making fun of the commercials we see. (I guess that's our way of working commercialism in as a source of amusement, no?) Last year it was a Totinos Pizza Rolls commercial. It stuck with us all year long and still brings a laugh every time someone mentions them. So I guess for us, in a way, we prefer not to have our holidays commercialism-free, as some of our holiday traditions are the direct result of commercials!

While the holidays do find us huddled around the warmth of the flat-screen TV for a large portion of December, they also bring us together to be entertained and laugh with each other and that doesn't cost a thing.

What do you do to make the holidays more about you and your family and less about the gifting?

Friday, November 19, 2010


That's where I volunteered this morning.

It was Sam's kindergarten class, which one of her classmates pronounced "kingerdargen". He was adorable.

I get such a kick out of their reactions to new smiling faces. Some recognized me and were super excited to see me again and a few had to first stare at me with blank looks on their little faces. After a bit, even the skeptics decided I wasn't rabid and then proceeded to compliment me on my earrings and ask umpteen questions about "those things in your ears" (my hearing aids). For a minute there, I WAS "show and tell".

As I was leaving, Samantha came to give me a hug and the rest of the class followed her. I was bombarded with hugs from 24 little five and six-year-olds!

I'm totally going back on Monday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dear Corporate Maven on your way to work,

As I saw you stopped behind me at the light this morning, a short film ran through my mind...starring you. I imagined you parking your Lexus in the lot, grabbing your Starbuck's Morning Fix, adjusting your sunglasses and walking in to your job.

I thought of how many people's lives you would touch today.

Maybe you work at a bank where you would be granting someone's loan, making all their dreams of opening their own bait and taxidermy shop come true. Maybe you'd be turning down that loan on the basis that the 1974 AMC Gremlin they drove up in can no longer be considered collateral.

Perhaps you're in real estate and you were on your way to a very important closing that would pay for another month or two of driving that luxury sedan or nearly pay for your youngest child's first year at the University.

Maybe you're one of the administrators at the hospital and you were on your way to meet with your fellow administrators and discuss important things like whether or not the new hospital security cars should be white and blue or blue and white.

The light changed then and we parted company, you headed to the East and I headed to the South.

So, dear madam, wherever it was that you were going at 8:00 this morning, drive safely, do a terrific job and please know that you looked fabulous!

...and I saw you picking your nose.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Human Dominoes!

I have an idea for a novelty product and I want your opinions on it. I've already written this idea down and documented it, so if I see it on the shelves, I'm suing your asses. ;)

When you're standing in the mile-long line at Barnes and Noble this holiday season, bogged down with gifts for others, back aching, feet swollen, serious dent in your wallet, think of giving the person in front of you a nice big shove.

Are you imagining it?

Now we all know the lawsuits we would incur if we really did this, so I propose a way to get the same satisfaction of pushing people down, without the annoying jail-time, community service, anger management classes and courtroom drama.

Yes, that's right. Human Dominoes...people-shaped Dominoes painted with little packages and frowns. Line 'em up and knock 'em down!

I'm trying to figure out a way to put a teeny sound-chip inside so that when they fall they make shouts of alarm and disgruntled noises like real people.

They could be sold in sets of twelve (standard), sixteen (long line) or twenty-four (ginormous Black Friday line).

So who's in?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Parenting Fail #29

We used to watch Friends, right? Right. And remember the scene where Monica divulges the information about Chandler's third nipple? His response? forward (or backward to 2000) and picture me in the grocery store with a 12? 13 month old Madison who wants me to buy gummies she finds in the ever-so-crowded bread aisle. I said no. She said, in her loudest baby voice, "You BITCH!"

Mistake number one was letting the parrot-child watch Friends with us. Mistake number two was saying "WHAT?!" after she said it the first time.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sugar Daddy Is The Mac!

My husband works at a pet store. People drop off animals to pet stores all the time. Either they can't take care of them anymore or someone has died and they didn't know what to do with the small they take them to Sugar Daddy. They frequently get guinea pigs. (This is a relevant point, I promise.)

When we went to conferences a few weeks ago, Lily's class pet, a guinea pig named Snickers, was sick. He was already way past the expiration date as guinea pigs go, and it wasn't looking good. So John offered to bring in a guinea pig for the class if Snickers didn't pull through.

Lily came home with a note from her teacher the following Monday: "Snickers has met his demise. Please put me on the guinea pig watch list. Mr. A"

Snickers, bit the big one.

This week, a customer came in with a guinea pig named Bugsley.

Bugsley is now sitting on the table in my dining room where all the children can ooh and ahh over her and the other beasts of the house can scrutinize her and make her thankful that she lives in a cage that requires opposable thumbs to open.

Tomorrow morning, Lily and John will be bringing the new class pet to school where she and more than 24 fourth graders will live happily ever after.

Behold the Pig of Awesomeness:

Samantha (5) drew a picture of our houseguest:
The resemblance is uncanny, isn't it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's the first day of school!!

I just dropped the kids at their respective schools and took Sam to her "testing day" which was just a fifteen minute readyness test to make sure the kindergarteners know most of their ABD's and can count to twenty.

Tomorrow is the big day for the littlest elementary schoolgoers. They always look like they get smaller every year. Line them up next to those incoming fifth graders and they are positively dinky.

Of course, Madison started junior high this morning, so she and her Got Too Big For Our Elementary Britches Classmates are back down to the bottom of the Totem Pole. It's so cute to see them with their cocky grins and super-stylin' jams when I know that come first period they're all going to have that look of fear in their big-as-saucers eyes.

The only one I'm sad for right now is Lily. She got the teacher she really wanted, but her bestie went to another school and she discovered this morning in line-up that three of last year's Most Dreaded are in her class again. :( Poor Lily. She just can't catch a break. I can only hope that those Most Dreaded have changed a bit over the summer. *sigh*

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This post is so lame it doesn't get a title.

Tis the season once again for SuperFun PoolTime and backyard barbeques. It's time for Iowa corn on the cob and marshmallow roasting and waterlogged kids acting like lunatics until they burn off the sugar high.
Fresh corn on the cob is a summer treat for us and we got to enjoy that ritual recently. It's amusing to see/hear what goes into Corn Night. It's a lot of shucking and boiling and buttering, followed by:
*nibble nibble*
*gnaw gnaw*
*toothpick, toothpick*

Oh. I mentioned SuperFun PoolTime, earlier. Oh, yes. We do love that pool. We have a rule that the kids seem to be able to follow pretty the best of my knowledge. That rule is NO PEEING IN THE POOL.
We don't require you to go inside to use the actual facilities, but we don't want to swim in your warm spot or or walk through your little puddle on the way back into the pool, so if you have to pee, do it in the side yard.

Poopers go inside.

And this: why I'm glad I don't have boys.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

SugarPackets: The Meaning Behind The Name

((EDITED TO ADD: The blog name may have changed, but my love for Tamara hasn't. This story is still worth reading and very much worth remembering. Long live the SugarPacket!)

Did I ever tell you the meaning behind my blog name of SugarPackets?

I didn't think so. It holds a place dear to my heart. I share it now.

Tamara is one of the best friends I've ever had. I will tell you the story of how we met and became friends and you will fall in love with her and a little more deeply in love with ME (which is always important).
Years ago, I was a nail technician. I was working with a client and Tamara was having her nail appointment with the technician behind me. My client and I were chatting and laughing and having a lovely time. Tamara's tech was saying next-to-nothing and Tamara found herself eavesdropping on my conversation with my client. (This is easy to do, as my voice tends to project.)
She went home to her fiance, Kevin and told him...something.
She broke a nail two days later and came in to have it repaired...with me. Kevin came with her. In the course of our ten minute appointment, she kept looking back at Kevin and exchanging a "look" with him. I went to ring her up for her repair and when I returned I heard Kevin say, "Will you just ask her, babe?"
*serious look from Tamara*
"Erika? Will you be my friend? I think you're really awesome and funny and I'd like to hang out with you."
*jaw drop* How could anyone say no to that?! She's wonderful and she thinks I'm wonderful too!
That was...*counting*...fourteen years ago.

When Tamara and I talk, we have so much to say to each other that we have to be reminded of the stories we want to share. If we don't, our time together will come to a close and we'll have forgotten to share that super-incredible story of awesomeness and that just won't do.
We found a solution. Well, SHE did.
We were having lunch together...way back when we lived a mere twenty minutes from each other. *sigh* She lined up a few of the restaurant's sugar packets on the table in front of her. Each packet represented a tale. Sugar packets! It's ingenious!
We'd "ante" them up like poker chips when we needed to remind ourselves of a topic we wanted to discuss. It's become sort of a "thing" we do...and it's caught on here with a lot of friends. Of course, we don't always have access to ACTUAL packets of sugar at all times, so it's become a verbal placeholder over the years. My husband, my mother, friends and friends' friends as well, will now say, "Sugar packet", and when one story is finished or one topic exhausted, the Sugar Packet is retired back to the invisible caddy on the table and another "sugar packet" is ante-ed up. We don't have to interrupt or forget that we had something to say and if we happen to go off on a tangent, we come back to the Sugar Packet at hand.

And that, gentle reader, is the story of the origin of Sugar Packets.
Ooh! Sugar Packet! Remind me to tell you the one about Tamara and the garlic pizza!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Vegetable Torture: The Asparagus Story

I saw a friend's FaceBook status about broccoli this morning and I remembered the first time we tried asparagus. Because, you know, that's just how my mind works.

Asparagus. Yeah. It was canned. *bleck*

It was mushy. *double bleck*

I gave everyone a little taste on their plates at dinner. Sugar Daddy knew he wasn't going to like it and I think as soon as it touched his tongue he spat it back out never to allow that slimy green thing admittance to his mouth again.

The oldest and middle children definitely didn't care for it, but managed to choke it down with only minor grumbling.

Samantha, who was somewhere around 8 months old at that time, seemed to really like it. Most of her other food was of the same consistency as this canned monstrosity, so it stood to reason that she'd take to it better than the others.

After finishing her own helping of green muck, I offered her my share. That's when the reaction changed. She took a bite of the asparagussy goodness and then suddenly shrieked loudly for about twenty seconds. Whatever it was, fixed itself. So she took another bite.

More shrieking.

Another bite...more shrieks.

I thought, What the hell is with you, young lady?! I've never seen such a strange reaction to a vegetable in my life. She loved it, but she'd scream after each bite. What gives?!

It finally dawned on us later that evening that Mommy's Green Asparagus of Muck had PEPPER on it.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Just Like You, Only Better -

My conversation with Samantha tonight before bed went something like this:

"Mom, when I grow up I want to be just like you."

"You do?"

"Yeah. But I don't want to do the stuff that you do."

"What kind of stuff do you mean?"

"Well, like I don't want to drive or cook because I don't want to flip the car over or burn myself."

"Oh. I understand. Well, don't you think you'd learn how to do those things when you grow up?"

"No. You can still do it."


"Thanks, Sam."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I got a text about a friend this afternoon that made my heart plummet into my shoes.

I had been getting the house ready for a birthday party for my daughter Lily and a visit from my friend Jennifer, who was coming up from Alabama on Tuesday.

Funny thing about this friend. We've never actually met. We've been online friends for...*counting on fingers* to three years now! We've never been in the same state at the same time until we spent some time in the state of shock this afternoon.

The text came from a mutual friend of ours (another friend who is dear to me, even though I've not yet met her in person) and she told me that Jennifer believed her house was on fire. Now before you freak out, she and her family were safe at a neighbor's house when she phoned our friend Katie (who then sent me the heart-stopping text). Lightning struck her house and started a fire in the basement/laundry area. She was in the process of turning the air conditioning off when her son noticed the smoke.

I had gone from preparing my house for Jennifer's visit, to praying that she would still have a home. She had gone from preparing for her trip while weathering a storm, to fleeing her house with her three children, the rain!

I know how frightening that must have been for all of them and how lucky they are that no one was hurt. I can imagine a much worse outcome had this storm hit in the middle of the night. *shudder*

I may not be seeing my friend this Tuesday, but the good news is that there will be another opportunity. For that, I am truly thankful.

Love you, Jeffy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coming full circle...I wanna be a hippy.

It's funny, isn't it, that we're still such a young species?

Think of the simple act of feeding our babies. We went from using our bodies the way they were designed to be used, to the convenient (which really wasn't more convenient) way of feeding our offspring. We tried to get them to sleep through the night so we could have a little more rest because we've taken on too many things and forgotten that we were supposed to protect the species FIRST. We rushed their development and their milestones in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses and their superfreak kids. We signed them up for violin and gymnastics before they could hold a bow or turn a somersault or even utter the words, “Mom, you’re an idiot. Let me grow at my own pace”. We neglected to feed their brains and hold them because, well…there were strollers and carriers for that stuff and the baby was just too darned heavy. *whine*

Slings and cloth diapers and breastfeeding were for hippies. Now everyone wants to be one.

Honestly, I’m ashamed of how many disposable diapers I added to the city dump. I regret not learning that there was a better sling out there somewhere. The strappy, uncomfortable thing I had only got used a few times and I know if I had acquired something more like the Moby wrap, I would’ve used it a lot more. I don’t regret breastfeeding my babies for a long time, but I regret that it was something that I just fell into and not something that I educated myself about.

Hippies are the greenest of the “greens”..the crunchiest of granola. It’s become something to strive for: breast is best, first do no (more) harm to our planet, raise curious, caring, questioning children to follow in our footsteps and make our world a better, cleaner place.

Now, after discovering that many of our conveniences weren’t such bright ideas we're back to the natural way again. Well, we’re learning, anyway. It’s like we're on the verge of coming full circle as humans.

Do you suppose that one day we’ll all stop multitasking and rushing and poisoning ourselves for the sake of “convenience” and finally really “get it”?

Hippies rock.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Double Coupon Day Comes For Jose and the Prophylactics

It was a Friday night, the young'uns were at a sleepover and The Man and I had the house all to ourselves. I got a phone call on the way home. It was The Man. He asked me to pick up a few things for our evening without the kids. No problem, said I. I'm a grown-up-type person. I can buy stuff.
I normally don't get embarrassed about buying the more personal items. I buy maxi-pads and toilet paper all the time and I'll bet a million dollars that the ladies behind the cash registers have used both at least once. (I can't speak for the gentlemen.)
It's easy when these products are put on the conveyor belt with a few friends to keep them company. I tend to have about a dozen other things on the belt that help draw the attention away from the economy sized package of birth control. "Let's see, I need socks...(this giant box of rubbers)...and Pez! Yep, that's all for today."
It works for me. The box doesn't call attention to itself and practically sing to the rest of the store, "Guess who's getting lucky tonight?!" However...
When you show up with Trojans, K-Y, and a big bottle of Jose Cuervo, at the checkout, everyone KNOWS what you're doing with your Friday night. Of course, when you make this purchase at the express lane, the question that begs to be asked is "Will you be able to wait until you get to the car?"
The Barely Legal To Drink kid standing next to me with his OWN prophylactic/alcohol power duo in hand, caught my eye for an instant before he resumed his intense study of the floor tiles. I wish I could say I was cool enough to at least wink at him and tell him to have a great night. Alas, I was not. I merely turned six shades of red as I made my purchase, remembering my frequent shopper card and a "$5 off a $25 purchase" coupon. (Score!)

Oh, yeah. That's dead sexy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Indecent Proposal.

This is an older piece, but it still makes me giggle.

At bedtime tonight my three-year-old says, "My bottom hurts."

Me: "It does? Why?" (I know the answer.)

Three year old: "Because I didn't wipe it enough."

Me, nodding, "Oh. Well, what should we do now?"

"Make it better," she says.

"Okay," I reply, "Can you bring me what I need?"

"Yes! Shoo-were! I'll get the Andy Owntment!" (That's A&D Ointment to anyone over the age of three.)

"Okay, sweetie. Hurry back."

Time passes and as I finish tucking the older two into their beds, Three-Year-Old enters the room without the miracle-working, bottom-soothing, baboon-butt cure-all.

Me: "Samantha, couldn't you find it, honey?"

Three Year Old shrugs and says, "Well, I found THIS."

*cue giggling from the other two*

I look at the older girls sternly for a moment and then back to Three-Year-Old.

"What will that do?" I ask.

"Fix it," she says, clarifying, "Tape it." (Her tone seems to imply that Mommy is completely daft...Really, Mother.)

*raucous laughter from seven and nine year old roommates*

"Oh, I see. Well, honey, we can't fix bottoms with tape...


...and that's a CASSETTE tape."


Monday, April 12, 2010

And the Truth Shall Set You Free (Even Though You Smell Like Pee).

Fade in: My living room. Picture me cuddling with my seven year old and my nine year old daughters. Enter husband, wearing serious face.

"Honey, you'll want to come see this."

Me: *sigh*

I followed him to the kitchen, where my husband, soul-mate, sugar daddy said, "That's pee on the floor," as he made a grand, sweeping gesture with his hand. Yes, indeedily, it certainly was pee, and a good portion of the kitchen floor and a step-stool were covered with it. The dog hasn't hosed down a room like that in some time and quite frankly, the husband hasn't either. I knew who the culprit was by the fact that the dog wasn't the only pantless one in the kitchen. I looked at the guilty three-year-old Samantha and said, "Sam, did you pee on the floor?" She said, "Yes, but I said I was sorry." This surprised me (marking her territory on the linoleum, not her apology) and I asked her why she would do that. Sam looked up from cleaning her mess like a miniature Cinderella and said, "Well, I had to GO." ...Um...Yeah. Okay, that served me right for asking a three-year-old to explain herself.

Fast forward five minutes.

Back to the kitchen to refill my water. Seeing the monster of a dog, I give him a pat on the head as I pass. His head is damp. Wha...? *double take* "How did your head get...Oh, no." I smelled his furry melon and sure enough, that unmistakeable odor reached my nose. Lovely. Just lovely.

"SAM?!" *walks quickly to the living room where Sam sits watching t.v. with her sisters*

"Why is Brinkley's head wet?"

"He got it wet," said Sam.

"Yes, I know, but HOW did he get it wet, Samantha?"

Child makes up story quicker than you can blink..."He put his head in his water bowl."

I said, "No, his head is wet on TOP. How did that happen?"

Oldest sister Madison pipes up, "Sam, if you tell the truth you won't get in trouble." (Yes! Good thinking, Madison. That's how we'll get it out of her! I was just about to get the folding chair, rubber hose and a VERY bright light.)

Sam confesses. "Yes, I pee-peed on the doggy's head." (Mommy hides behind a pillow, giggling silently, thinking "Remember, you're her mother. Laugh later.")

"WHY did you pee on the dog's head?"

Sam, very matter-of-fact, shrugs her shoulders, explaining, "Because it was kinda FUNNY."

Note: Sam has apologized to the dog and promised not to pee on anyone ever again. Madison and I have recovered from our fits of laughter out of Sam's earshot and the floor and dog are once again, clean and pee-free. Thanks for your support.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

NO means "NO" - A Lesson In Self-Control

Pizza seduces me. It tempts me with its slightly browned cheese and its rich and nommable tomato sauce. It whispers, "Eat me" and without hesitation I do. I can't help myself.

I was having a(nother) piece of pizza at dinner tonight, despite the annoying little voice that said,

"No, Erika. Put that back. You don't want another slice."

I ignored that voice and went for the second helping:

"Add more crushed red pepper! Mama-Mia, I like-a the spicy pizza!"


Yes. In my fevered frenzy of seasoning, the smallest particles of (really) crushed red pepper caught the wind of the ceiling fan and...I peppered myself.


After about ten minutes of flushing my very sore, very red eyes under the bathroom faucet and cursing the employees of McCormick Spices and their offspring and their offspring's offspring and anyone who knew their offspring's offspring, I spent another ten minutes enduring watery eyes and an uncontrollably runny nose. I now understand what it is that pepper spray will do to an assailant.

I have learned my lesson. If I insist on forcing myself on the pizza, I MUST NOT ARM THE PIZZA. (Clearly, I was asking for it.) Better yet, I should steer clear of that Italian-American tease and never think of it again.

"NO" means "NO". I get that now.

I guess I didn't really want that piece of pizza after all. Now that I think about it, it probably had a parasite in its pepperoni.

(Ah-HA! Did you see what I did there? I rejected the pizza, it didn't reject me. I dumped it first, therefore I win. Humph!)

*quietly* Slut.

Some Other Stuff I Wrote