Monday, December 31, 2012

Naughty by Nature

The kids and I have been spending this week at my parents’ house.  They live in a small town and they have a wooded area behind their house. This often provides opportunities to see wild life up close that we wouldn’t see in our area of suburbia.

This morning Hudson had come down early in the morning and was spending some time with my mother.  As I was coming down the stairs with Kenzie, we saw two deer out front in the neighbor’s yard.

“They look just like reindeer!”, yelled Hudson.

Mom got him a pair of binoculars so he could watch them a little closer.  Kenzie stood on her tip-toes to see them.

The deer chased each other around a tree.  They frolicked and jumped at each other.  We all “aww”-ed over their cute white tails.

Then one deer humped the other deer and that was the end of that.

One of the deer pre-coitus

Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo Friday: Put your heads together and act naturally

Guest Post from Ann

I've got two photo tips that seem super-awkward, but they really do go together - and I gave them both away in my headline. It's one of the oddball truths of photography that people whose heads are close together look like they like each other. It's not usually awkward if you have an adorable little munchkin to snuggle, but sometimes it is a little uncomfortable with adults (but, darn it, it works). My second tip is that posing is fine, but the best photos usually come when you're acting like yourself. 

Major thanks to my husband for taking the photo of my daughter and me in the snow on Christmas. It's my favorite.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Awkward Christmas-All in the Family

This right here is why I love my family.

They know that life is too short to take it too seriously.  They know that sometimes you just have to put on some footie pajamas, act the fool, and have a little fun.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Awkward Christmas

Some people drink hot cocoa and watch movies on Christmas Eve.  Others talk their brothers into wearing footie pajamas and taking awkward family photos.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I May Have Stolen a Meat Thermometer While Doing a Good Deed

Tonight I went to finish the last of my Christmas shopping.  My in-laws took the kids for the night so I could get everything done and not have to wheel a stroller through the mall.

I bought my last item at Toy’s “R” Us.  I braved the mall.  Now I had only one last item on my list.  A meat thermometer.

I stopped at Target on the way home and in a display of amazing will power walked to the Express Lane with my one lone meat thermometer.

There were two people in front of me.  A young man, with what I think were his roommates, was paying for his groceries.  Well, he was trying to pay for his groceries, but his card got declined.

The cashier looked apologetic and said, “I’m sorry…”
She put his groceries aside and he went to Guest Services.

I thought how this was just like one of those Facebook stories that gets shared all the time about someone paying for someone else’s groceries.   If he came back and his card got rejected again, I would be that person today.

The woman in front of me paid and he came back.
“You ran it as a credit card and it was supposed to go through as a debit.”
“Oh, okay…I’m sorry” the cashier said and ran everything up again.  Again his card got declined.

“It says to contact your bank.”
Just as she started to put his things back, I said “Wait!” and I swiped my card.
 He looked at me stunned and said, “Oh man…thank you.”
“Merry Christmas.”

I would like to think I just did a good deed and didn’t give it another thought, but I am not that good of a person.  My thoughts we’re more like “Heeellls yeah!  I just did a good deed.”  This is probably what led to the next part of this story.

“That’ll be $11.45”, said the cashier as she was putting the meat thermometer in a bag.
“I don’t need a bag”
She pulled the thermometer back out and handed it to me.  As I was walking to the door one the man’s roommates yelled, “Thanks again!”

I got in my car thinking of some Christmas fantasy where the young man pays it forward.  In my version, he opens a center for under-privileged youth and later remembers the pivot point of his life being the day the nice lady at Target paid for his groceries and reminded him of humanity’s goodness.

Wait…Ooooohhhhh shit…I’m not sure I actually paid for the meat thermometer.  Now my mind was racing because I could only remember swiping my credit card once.  Oh my God, what if I just stole a meat thermometer from Target after doing a good deed!  I probably set of a chain reaction where the person behind me ended up paying for my item.

Now in a panic, I checked my credit card as soon as I got home, but it hadn’t cleared yet.  What is the proper etiquette when one has accidentally thieved a meat thermometer in the name of goodwill?

As I am thinking about this, it occurred to me that I did not use my bankcard, which is the account I checked, but my Discover card.  I log in and sure enough there is only one charge from Target.

I called Eric at work and confessed my crime.
“Just go back tomorrow.”
I couldn’t wait that long and I checked the Target website to find out by some Christmas miracle they are open during the holidays until midnight.  It was now 11:20.  I grab my coat, shove the meat thermometer in my purse, head out, and lock the door behind me.  This is a problem, as I did not grab my keys.

Well fuck.  I apologize for the cursing, but this is really the only proper response when one has just found out that they negated a good deed by stealing a meat thermometer and then locked themselves out of the house.  I was now thinking of how I was going to have to call my husband at work again and explain how his wife is not only a thief of small kitchen gadgets but also a dumbass that has just locked herself out of the house.  Then it dawns on me that we have a keypad on our garage door.  It also dawns on me that I have stooped to an all time low in the history of dumbass-ery.

It was now 11:30.  I grab my keys and race to Target.  I was hoping that the same cashier would be there but she was not.  I headed to Guest Service where I confess to my crime.  While I am telling the cashier this story I realize I probably could have just gone through the regular line and pay like a normal non-crazy person and avoided the confessional, but I felt weird about pulling a meat thermometer out of my purse that I have carried into the store.  I felt like this need some explanation.  Before you tell me the rational solutions to this like, “Hey, why did you put the thing in your purse in the first place?”, I will remind you that you are talking to the same person who in one hour has managed to steal a meat thermometer and lock, but not really lock, herself out of her house.

In conclusion, I righted my wrong by paying for my unintentional thievery.  It will be a while before I recover fully from my idiocracy.  Wish me well.

Have a merry Christmas.  Do a good deed.  Try not to steal anything in the process.  Definitely, don’t imaginarily lock yourself out of your own house.

The ill-gotten meat thermometer

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Don’t Pat Yourself on the Back Too Soon

Sometimes I think I’ve got this parenting thing mastered.  I had an “I’ve got this down” moment at the gym the other day.

I had finished working out and was picking up the kids from the childcare area.  I was changing Kenzie’s diaper when one of the daycare workers came up to me as I was coming out of the bathroom.

“I just wanted to tell you how wonderful Hudson is.  I asked him if he wanted to play with the Legos and he said 'no, thank you'.  Then later he helped me clean up.  He always says please and thank you.  He just has the best manners and I just wanted to tell you that you have done a wonderful job.”

I thought to myself, I am doing a good job.  Yes, they act up.  I can’t get Hudson to try any new foods or remember to flush to toilet, but in the grand scheme of things my kids are sweet, considerate, well-mannered human beings.

I walked out holding their sweet little hands feeling, finally, like maybe I had been going a good job this whole time.  We waited for another daycare worker to buzz us out.

“I had to tell Kenzie about 5 times not to climb on the table.  Every time she looked at me like she knew exactly what I was saying, but she did it anyway.”

Sometimes I pat myself on the back too soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Photo Friday: The dog deserves it

Guest Post from Ann

This is a tribute to the unsung heroes of the household, dogs. Everywhere I go without my two pugs, I wish they were there to clean up. Which makes it sound like I am horribly messy and lazy. Which is pretty accurate. (I recently realized that I had walked around all day with a tiny yogurt-y handprint on my sweater, courtesy of my daughter at breakfast.)

Anyhow, this is my way of encouraging you to get your dogs into some pictures. Get down on their level and capture the things they love. I'm thinking more them playing with a Frisbee or some kids, rather than throwing up on the rug in the living room, but that's up to you. (A side note to ponder: Why can dogs not vomit on tile?) It's easy to forget about our four-legged friends when it's time for pictures, but we shouldn't. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Day I Beat Target

Today I have done something that will go down in history.  My children will tell of this legend for years to come.  They will then tell their children, who will tell their children until the children say “yeah, yeah, we’ve heard this one before” and go back to playing on their iPhones or holograms or whatever thing children in a 100 years will play with.  The tale will be of how one of their ancestors beat Target.

It was a brisk afternoon.  I loaded up in my trusty Acadia and made the long 1 mile trip to Target for chicken and milk.  I pulled up in the parking lot where that red eye stared at me.  Taunting me.  I stared right back, jutted out my jaw and said, “Milk and chicken.  That is all today.”  The red eye laughed, knowing I would not get out that easily.

That red demon started its assault right as I walked by the health and beauty aisles.  But I said no.  No, I will not buy yet another shade of nude lipstick that is just a little more pink, slightly lighter, than the other 12 tubes of lipstick that I already own.

The bull’s-eye raised his eyebrow knowing now that it had met a worthy opponent.  “Ahhh…a fighter I see.  But have you seen that Nieman Marcus now has a line here?  Designer clothes at reasonable prices.”  Oh, you are cruel you red-eyed devil!  But I said no.

I ran back to the dairy section where I was assaulted by kitchen gadgets that I don’t know how to use, but am sure that I will need one day when I suddenly decide to make cake pops or need stemless wine glasses.  But I stopped.  I said no.

Defiant, I got my milk and my chicken breasts.  Triumphantly, I walked to the glorious land of flowing conveyor belts and fast-moving carts.  The express lane.  I paid for my milk and chicken and shook my fist at that red eye.

Not today Target.  Today I will resist your t-shirts and cardigans.  I will resist your nailpolish and kitchen doo-dads.  Today I have more will power than crap I don’t need from Target.  Today is the day I beat Target.

Whatever you do, do not look it directly in the eye.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Protect Those Elbows, Ladies

Sometimes I am left speechless by my son's questions.  Sometimes by how deep and thoughtful they are.  Sometimes because they are really, really strange.  Before I tell you about this most recent one I have to give you some history.

When Hudson was about 3-years old we were playing in his room one day.
“Mommy, you have elbows in your shirt.”
“Yeah, you have elbows in your shirt just like Grandma.”

If you’re still confused as to what he meant by elbows, check out Madonna circa 1990.
She had some really pointy elbows.

Now that we’re clear on the definition of elbows, fast-forward to Hudson present day, 5 years old.  The kids were dressed.  I was in my closet changing out of my pajamas so I could drive Hudson to school when he came in and said, “Mommy, that’s long bra you have on.”

I was wearing one of those tank-tops with the bra built in.
“It’s not a bra, buddy.  It’s just a shirt.”
“Well, what’s in your shirt that keeps people from playing with your elbows?”

It appears that for the past couple years ever since he was aware that girls have something in their shirts that boys don’t, he has thought that the purpose of a bra is to protect yourself from people that may want to play with…ahem…your elbows.

Thankfully by the time I composed myself, he lost interest in the answer.  This is fortuitous because I still don't have a good one.

So you have been warned ladies.  Be careful out there.  I here there are people that can take off those elbow protectors one-handed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Ode to the Starbuck's Lady

How to describe yesterday’s grocery store trip…hmmm.  The words “fucking awful” come to mind.  I don’t know if you know this, but those sliding doors at Target are not only the entrance to a store, but also an opening to all the anguish that exists in a two year old's soul.

Kenzie was perfectly fine until we walked trough those doors.  Then suddenly everything was wrong in her life and she had a complete meltdown.  I headed straight for the Starbucks counter to increase my caffeine levels because when your children are falling apart in front of you, a little caffeine never hurts.

I had just ordered my cup of coffee when she ran away from me back to the entrance and threw herself on the floor, belly down, and preceded to have a tantrum.  I tried to get her to sit in her chair for a snack.  I tried to get her to drink her milk.  Nothing helped.

Enter an angel named Wendi dressed in a Starbucks apron and hat.  With a smile on her face she started calmly talking to Kenzie who amazingly had quieted down.

“I have a 7-year old so I understand”, she said.

Kenzie reached out her little arms and Wendi picked her up.  She played peek-a-boo.  Kenzie laughed.  Kenzie tried to give her some of her milk.  Wendi played with her and Hudson for a little bit, chatted, and then went back to work.  And the storm had passed.

Later that evening, I was telling Eric this story.  I looked at Kenzie and said “You wanna tell Daddy why you decided to throw a fit at Target today?”
Clear as day and suddenly articulate she answered, “didn’t wanna go in.”

Anyway, thank you Wendi from Starbuck’s.  Thank you for bringing a bit of calm at moment when I thought I might lose my mind.  They say it takes a village.  A village with a Starbuck’s.  And really, is there a village left that doesn’t have a Starbuck’s?

Now serving childcare with that tall cafe mocha.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Photo Friday: Christmas pajama edition

Guest Post from Ann

I'm working on my first round of photos for any holiday greetings that I may (or may not, considering my track record) be sending to our family and friends. New Year's is a holiday, right? So far, this is my favorite. I'm thinking of doing something super-fake and silly with the background and possibly adding our pugs. My husband suggested a ferret Nativity scene.

Or maybe I'll be inspired to do something less bizarre - my husband would argue less awesome - than that. I am loving the lights and ornaments in some of these Plus, it would be great to put our lights and ornaments to some kind of non-dust-catching use, since we haven't actually put up a tree at our house. We'll see what next Photo Friday holds...

In the meantime, five quick tips for shooting Christmas photos.

1. Shoot at a time when your subjects (be they people, pugs or Nativity-scene ferrets) are well-fed and happy. Bribe as necessary.

2. Watch your backgrounds. You don't want people to be looking at stuff in the background and going "What the heck is that?" Ideally, my background would have been a little more festive than my dead lawn, but at least it's not taking away from my subject.

3. If you're going outside, it's probably best not to go in direct sunlight in the middle of the day (crazy shadows are not the amateur photographer's friend). The first and last hour of sunlight are good times to try. (Plus, pajamas might make for a cute picture and being outside in pajamas might cheer up reluctant kiddos. Might.)

4. Keep it simple. One prop is better than 13. And one ferret is definitely better than 13.

5. Have some fun. Sometimes the photos where you're goofing around end up the best and the most like you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How My House Gets Destroyed In Under An Hour-A Theory

Once every two weeks I have my housecleaned.  Every two weeks for a glorious few minutes I bask in the cleanliness that is my house.  Enter my children and within an hour the house is a wreck again.  I have a theory as to how this happens so quickly.

First my daughter eats a bowl of cheerios in the living room.  The Cheerios migrate under the couch where they have a massive orgy and multiply.

Hudson goes to use the bathroom where his bladder expands to hold one thousand gallons causing him to pee on every wall in sight.

Then the two of them go up to the playroom to play.  They are joined by a band of feral children who each have a pet monkey.

Now the Easter bunny, who has Alzheimer’s and is pissed about being upstaged by Santa, comes and smears egg yolk on the stairs.  Instead of chocolate, he gets confused and deposits sippy cups filled with old milk under all the furniture.

We sit down to eat dinner.  The kids smear their dinner all over their side of the table.  Invisible children sitting on the other end of the table do the same.

Now it’s bathtime.  The kids change out of their clothes.  The underwear fairy comes and sprinkles dirty underwear all over the house.  She does the same with the socks.
The kids invite Storm from the X-men into the bathtub.  She summons a hurricane, covering the bathroom in water.

Somewhere in this my dog develops an acute case of alopecia during which he must rub himself on every baseboard in the house.

I don’t know.   It’s just a theory, but I think this might be what happens.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Totally Bitchin' Christmas

Last week I went to see Trans-Siberian orchestra in concert which is, yes I’m going to use these words, a bitchin’ show about Christmas.  Whoever came up with the idea to make a rock opera about Christmas is either crazy or a genius, but since it’s pretty successful I guess it’s the later.  Anyway, I’ve been playing the piano for about 2 years now and the show got me thinking about how I could be more awesome without actually practicing so here are some things I think I need to do.

I’ve really got to learn to head bang.  Is this something that must be practiced because I’m pretty sure if I tried it I would fall over and maybe throw up after a few minutes.  These people however managed to do it constantly.  Even the lady playing the flute managed to do a backbend.  I don’t think I could do it playing the recorder, which incidentally would be pretty lame.  I’m going to have to have a talk with my piano teacher about why she’s been wasting my time trying to teach me the B-flat major scale when I could be learning to rock.

Secondly, I need flames.  They’re just cool.  I think even the Hokey-Pokey could be pretty badass if I had a flamethrower strapped to the piano.  It may also change my mind about participating in the Christmas recital.  Also if anyone is still looking for a last minute Christmas idea for me this one has a squeeze valve and ships in time for Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On This Day 5 Years Ago

On this day 5 years ago, I was standing in my in-laws bathroom while my mother-in-law held a flashlight, trying to determined if I just peed on myself or if my water just broke.  If you ever find yourself in this position, just throw “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” out the window because shit is not going as planned.

I can explain part of this.  I was in my in-laws bathroom because we had just moved to Tulsa and we’re living with them while our house was being built.  My mother-in-law was holding a flashlight because we had just lost electricity about an hour prior to this episode thanks to the ice storm of 2007.  What I can’t explain is why I thought staring at the bathroom rug with the flashlight was going to help determine if that was pee or amniotic fluid.  Like at some point I was going to channel my inner CSI and say “Based on it’s reflective nature I’d definitely say that that is pee.”  Turns out it wasn’t.  The following contractions kind of settled the argument.

“Randy, get the car!  Sabine’s water broke!”
“You’re shittin’ me.”

I called Eric, who had battled the ice and finally made it to work, to tell him the news.
“You’re shittin’ me.”
The Brown men are nothing if not wordy.

We loaded up and my father-in-law dodged fallen trees to get us out of the neighborhood.  We made it about a mile up the main road into town only to have to turn around second to a fallen power line.  Thankfully my father-in-law has a navigation system in his brain and was able to get us around the obstacle and back on track…only to find out that every traffic light for the next 8 miles was out.  As my contractions got stronger, he started passing people in the left turn lane (which I think he secretly enjoyed).

My mother in law was in the back seat, hands clenched, “Randy, Randy, Randy, Randy… RANDY!”
He replied, “Just stick your head out the window and make siren sounds.”

An hour later we made it to the hospital. Eight hours later and six hours ahead of schedule, my son was born and would forever change my world.  Not just because he made me a mother, but because he made me a better person.  He taught me to roll with the punches.  He taught me that people are basically good and people won’t think you’re a horrible mother because you’re kid just threw a tantrum in the bread aisle.  He taught me that sometimes a hug and kiss really can make everything better.  He taught me to appreciate the small things and how to run in the rain.  He taught me not to expect perfection from anyone including myself.

He has not yet taught me to appreciate the sound of an accordion, but based on how much he has played it since he received it at his birthday party, it looks like he is trying.

Happy Birthday, Hudson.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Friday: The evil Santa twins strike again

Guest Post from Ann

I spent the last two weekends traveling from Texas to Oklahoma and back, so I haven't taken as many photos as usual. But I did take this one, which cracks me up. The kid loves a tree (though, er, we don't actually have one of our own up). 
The photo's technically imperfect, but frankly, my dear, I blame the evil Santa twins.  Now that I mention it, I write a lot of event listings featuring Santa for my job at this time of year, and I've typed things like "breakfast with Satan" and "visits with Satan" several times already. Coincidence?
And now I'm off to watch that Fonzie-as-the-Christmas-uncle movie.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tis the Season for A-Holes

The season of giving sure brings out the inner asshole in Toys "R" Us shoppers.  Here are just some of the things I witnessed during our Christmas shopping excursion.

I saw a lady in a Mercedes back in to a car and leave without stopping.  In her defense, she was old and it is possible that she didn’t even know she hit a car.  Because we all know old people can’t drive.

I saw two women, mother and daughter I think, arguing with a clerk over a discount.  The same duo then had a yelling match in the parking lot.

“You’re not going to help me carry this stuff!  Are you serious!”

It was kind of like the human equivalent of one of those national geographic videos where the two rams lock horns except with camo and Virginia Slims.  Ok, so they weren’t really smoking Virginia Slims but they looked like the kind of people that might when they got home. One was wearing camo though.

As I was waiting to check out another lady with a full shopping cart was on her cell phone bitching about the wait.  When they switched clerks right before my turn I thought she was going to come unglued.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Did everyone forget what Christmas is all about?  I’m pretty sure if Jesus was waiting in line waiting to pay for the life-sized Justin Bieber cutouts he was buying for all his disciples he…well, he would probably be questioning their taste in music and maybe singing “Baby” under his breath, but he would definitely not be cursing the Toys “R” Us clerks.

I thought about being the bigger person and letting her go ahead of me.  Maybe she'd be so moved by my kindness, she would remember the true spirit of Christmas and apologize for her impatience.  Then I remembered that she’s an asshole and I’m not Jesus.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Dangers of Outerwear

Winter coats should come with some sort of warning about the dangers to small children.  We had a close call with outerwear tonight.

Eric and I were in the living room watching an episode of “Big Bang Theory”.   The children were snug in their beds except for Hudson having to come down occasionally to ask for a drink of water, ask what happened to his fishing hat, inform us that his sweatshirt no longer fit, ask us to explain the economic downfall of Greece.  After a several trips downstairs, things were quiet for a while and we started the show again.

That’s when the screaming started.

I ran upstairs thinking of what horrible scene might be waiting for me and imaging what awful things could happen to a 4-year old.  Nothing could prepare me for this scene.

“Hudson, what’s wrong?!”

He was laying in bed next to his winter jacket, tears streaming down his face.

“I got stuck in a coat.”

Son, there comes a time in every man’s life when he will face adversity and come out stronger in the end.  Tonight you persevered and freed yourself from a jacket.  Today outerwear; tomorrow…the world.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Halloween

It’s easier to say “I’m such a bad mom that…” and go on to make some joke where everybody laughs over your parenting fail that we all know in the grand scheme of things makes no difference in how your kids will turn out.  It’s much harder to admit “Sometimes I’m a bad mom” and really feel it.  No joke to follow.  Today was one of those days.

“Hudson, do you want to make banana bread with me?”
“I don’t like banana bread.”

He went to the cabinet and pulled out the box of funfetti Halloween cupcakes.
“Let’s make these.”
“Those are Halloween cupcakes.”
“All the time we were going to make it and everyday after school we ran out of time and I had to go to bed.”

Ouch.  Somehow in all the hustle and bustle of grocery shopping, cleaning, needing to check Facebook/e-mail, you name it a whole holiday passed us by.  Somehow even though I say my family and my children are the most important things in my life, my actions didn’t show it.

It would be easy to make fun of the fact that Hudson and I made Halloween cupcakes while he was wearing Santa PJ’s.  It certainly is funny.  But I’m not going to do that today.  I will make the joke about the things that don’t matter.  The fact that Hudson wore the same pair of socks two days in a row or that Kenzie went to daycare with Nutella in her hair won’t make a difference in the long run.  I try to keep my sense of humor about those things.  However, I didn’t take the time to do something that was important to my son and that does matter.  I will strive to do better.

However, I won’t go the other extreme either.  I won't let this define me as a person and as a mother.  I will only go as far as to say that "sometimes I am a bad mom", not "I am a bad mom". Sometimes I am a bad mother because I am always human.

I hope today I made up for my shortcomings.

Merry Halloween, everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Long Story Short, I Did Not Get A Monocle For My Birthday

In honor of my birthday, I decided to become a little near-sighted. It’s really not a dramatic story of getting older and suddenly I’m having to hold my books at arms length to read.  I started getting a headache and felt like I was squinting every time I went to the store or driving, so I decided to go to the eye doctor for the first time in my life.

I actually felt guilty about this.  When my husband is asked to read the smallest line on the eye chart his response is “What eye chart?”. I wasn’t sure my problem wasn’t just that I had dry eye.  What business did I have wasting the time of the good doctor when people like my husband can’t tell you how many fingers are being held in front of their face?

Anyway, it turns out I was just a little near-sighted just in my left eye.  If people that wear glasses are seen as smarter because their vision loss is a result of reading so much, I’m not sure what this says about me.  I think it means I spend to much time staring at things on the top shelves at Target…ummm, with just my left eye.

So really, since it’s just my one eye I could theoretically get away with a monocle.  I think I would be the ultimate hipster.  I would even consider getting a pocket watch to go with it.  Looking like a 19th century train conducter would be totally vintage chic.  The first thing I would do would be to go to my local coffee shop and say, “Suck it hipsters.  I’ve got a mothafuckin' monocle.”

But alas, I just got boring old glasses.  Because in the end I probably wouldn’t be the hipster I think I am.  I would just be the jackass that walked into Eyemart and asked for a monocle.

But now that I think about it, if I wore an eye patch over my right eye it would strenthen my left eye, right?  Game on hipsters.  Game. On.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Everybody Has A Christmas Song

While listening to the Christmas radio station the other day, I came across this gem.

The Eurythmics have a Christmas song?  Then came Barenaked Ladies "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and then Bruce Springsteen "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". 
Does everyone have a Christmas song?  I decided to find out and thought of a music legend with a voice most unlikely to lend itself to Christmas music-Bob Dylan.  And I found this.

Ok.  How about Snoop Dogg?  There is no way that Snoop Dogg ever recorded a Christmas song.

Alrighty then.

Hmmm…I know Insane Clown Posse.  They dress up in make-up.  They’re scary.  They recorded a Christmas song.  Wait.  What?  That’s right.  Ok, so the first line is “Santa Claus can suck my balls”, but still it’s a Christmas song and it's by Insane Clown Posse.

I dare you.  Try to find someone without a Christmas song.  Everybody, I mean everybody, has a Christmas song.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday: C'mon, get appy

Guest Post From Ann

Remember the video for A-Ha's "Take On Me?" That's the one where a pencil-sketch dude pulls a woman into a comic book and they are chased by dudes with pipe wrenches (because no weapon is more menacing than a pipe wrench). Anyhow, that video is what the Sketch Up function in the Paper Camera app reminds me of. You can see cartoon and painting effects in real-time, as you take videos or photos, or you can add them in post-processing. It costs $1.99 on Android and 99 cents for iOS, and it's quite the fun time-waster.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Christmas Horror Story

Ever since we put up our Christmas decorations, we have unknowingly released evil into our house.

 The evil dancing Santa twins.

Kenzie was the first to notice.  Every time they sang their haunting song and swayed their animated plastic hips to the dance of the devil she would run crying.

Then bad things started happening.  The first was the breaking of two Christmas train stocking hangers.  It didn’t happen spontaneously.  No, evil dancing Santa twins are more subtle than that.  They waited until Hudson was playing with them.  They then taunted me by placing a “For Decoration Only.  Not a Toy” sticker on the bottom.   Touche evil dancing Santas…touchĂ©.

Next, they forced me to watch a bad romantic Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.  I tried to turn my eyes, but the force of the evil dancing Santa twins was too strong.  Against my will, I watched a second bad romantic Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.   I tried with all my might to do something productive, but evil dancing Santas said no…you will sit here and watch little Johnny find a new daddy just in time for Christmas.

Christmas ornaments started to fly off of the tree.  I asked my children why there was a broken ornamaent but they both said they had nothing to do with it.  Only evil dancing Santa twins could be responsible.  In their evilness, they tried to make me think that innocent children could be to blame.

It is told that the evil dancing Santa twins are to blame for other Christmas travesties such as fruit cake, socks and underwear as Christmas presents, and any Christmas song performed by either the Eurythmics or Barenaked Ladies.

 Kenzie tried to make a talisman to ward of their evilness.

However, despite our efforts, things have taken a turn for a worse.  Hudson has been possessed by their evil Christmas spirit and now chases his sister around the house with evil dancing Santas, laughing manically while Kenzie runs in terror.

I would do something about this but the evil dancing Santa twins are forcing me to watch another movie starring Henry Winkler as the uncle who reminds his workaholic niece about the spirit of Christmas.  Please, if any one is listening, come help.  And please bring some more Bailey’s for my hot chocolate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parental Scorecard

Benjamin Franklin is one of my idols.  One of the reasons I admire him so much is that he was constantly trying to better himself and was a forefather in the self-help movement.  He was also a forefather of the sex advice column but that’s a whole other blog post.  Franklin dedicated himself to living a virtuous life…other than that time he fathered an illegitimate child.  He kept himself accountable by using a chart listing the 13 virtues and the days of week.  At the end of the day he would review these 13 virtues and put a mark by ones he felt he had not lived up to that day.   I’m wondering what day of the week had a check mark by “Don’t father an illegitimate child”.  Anyway, Franklin has inspired me to try a similar system of score keeping for parental wins and fails.  Here’s what one day would look like…

Gave Hudson a hug when he whined for cereal and chocolate milk first thing upon awakening.  No meltdown.  +1

Meltdown over Hudson whining for cereal and chocolate milk first thing upon awakening.  -1

Told Hudson we could do anything he wanted this afternoon and he chose going to the bookstore.  Have instilled love of literacy.  +1

Realize now that I have brainwashed Hudson into liking the bookstore with purchase of cookie and chocolate milk from cafĂ© at the end of every trip.  -1

Kenzie successfully sat in time-our for two minutes without attempt to run away.  This is a result of my spectacular parenting skills. +1

Kenzie trying to eat fishing game pieces repeatedly (leading to previously mentioned time-out) result of lack of proper parental supervision.  -1

Let kids eat hot dogs and chicken McNuggets both on the same day.  -1

Made homemade cheese crackers with Hudson +100

(At this point you may be thinking the scoring seems kind of arbitrary, but look, I didn’t make up the rules.  I just follow them.)

(Yes, ok, I totally made them up.  I refer you to Day of Eating Awesomeness where I do what I want.)

Lying -100

Realize Hudson wore the same pair of dirty sock 2 days in a row.  -1

Remembered to change his underwear.  +1

Read Kenzie a bedtime story, sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, kept Kenzie from eating bedtime story +1

Hudson picked the longest bedtime story he could find and I read the whole thing without skipping parts.  +1

Snuggled one extra minute +1

If you’re keeping score, I’m slightly ahead.  In this game, I’d say that’s good enough.   I’ll consider it a win.  It’s a win because I say so and I do what I want.

It's a good book.  You should read it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Liquor is Hard for a 4-Year Old to Say

When Hudson was about 2-years old, we often had this conversation with people who came over and happened to look in his toy box.

“Is that…a catheter?”
“No, that would be weird.  It’s a Blakemore tube.”
“A what?”
“A Blakemore tube.  It’s used to control upper gastrointestinal bleeding.”

It was one of those weird side effects of having parents that work in an emergency department.  For a while it was his favorite toy.  I’m telling you, Blakemore tubes are this year’s Tickle Me Elmo.

Working in an emergency department doesn’t exactly explain why we had the thing in our house though.  We’re known to have sutures or Dermabond.  This makes sense.  We have two kids.  They get cuts.  I’m hoping we didn’t think our kids would turn into alcoholics and develop GI bleeding.

It may, however, have been foreshadowing for the fact that my in-laws now own a liquor store and have started chapter two of weirdness as a result of a family members occupation.  On the way to school one day, we passed my father-in-law on his way to the store.

“Papa, must be on his way to the….oilielor store.”
“You mean liquor store, Hudson?”
“Yes.  Liquor is really hard for a little 4-year old to say.”

Yes, it is son.  As it should be.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Children's Books Can Be Creepy, Part 3

Welcome back for our last installment of story time!  If you enjoyed reading about child labor, child abuse, smoking and prison you will love today’s selection, “Madeline” also known as “A Primer in Munchausen Syndrome”.  It is about a lovely little school in Paris with a happy little girl named Madeline with her happy little friends.

 Ok, well…sometimes life sucks.  The French are just open with their children about life’s suckiness.  At least it’s not like someone dies.

They just get terribly ill.

And what a great word-appendix!  Let’s name some other fun A-words such as anus, anarchy, and antichrist.

See children, there is a great lesson to be learned here.  Get sick, get cool stuff.

We can only hope for the follow-up book where Madeline uses her scar to convince her friends that she was shanked by Curious George in prison.

Like these little girls, we should all strive to be like Madeline.  You could study, do well in school, and work hard.  Or you could just have a major surgery and get people to bring you stuff.

Now go to sleep and have sweet dreams about what organ you would have removed if given the chance.