Monthly Archives: October 2009

A Halloween Tip

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It’s fine if you are handing out treats – really, it is. There are valid reasons not to. It can be a pain. It’s tiring. It costs a lot of money these days (especially in this neighborhood that gets several hundred kids every year). So I won’t judge you if you aren’t participating.

HOWEVER….If you aren’t handing out candy on Trick or Treat night, hanging around outside in your yard raking leaves? Just makes you seem like kind of a douchebag.

Just a tip.

Thursday Thirteen: The Girl edition

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In honor of today being The Girl’s sixth birthday, my Thursday Thirteen will be about her today.

Thirteen of The Girl’s Greatest Hits:

1: October 2009:

(OK, I just posted this the other day, but it’s funny) – My aunt and cousin were in from Virginia recently and my other aunt decided to have an early birthday cake for the girl and another cousin while they were here. Among other presents, the girl got a gift card and some cash. While my boy and the little birthday boy were playing with one of his new toys – something loud and annoying – they decided to focus their annoying on the girl. She started to get mad and came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, Brother is being mean. I don’t have to share my gift card and money with him, do I?” I told her that they were hers and she most certainly didn’t have to share them. This made her happy and she marched back into the bedroom to inform him that he gets nothing. Of course, they boy didn’t care and continued to annoy her until a few minutes later when she came back into the kitchen with an evil gleam in her eye and in the sweetest voice asked me, “Mom, when we go shopping with my gift card and money, can brother come?” Sure, baby. “Good. I want him to come and watch while I spend it and HE GETS NOTHING!!!” Ahh….Grasshopper, I have taught you well.

2. October 2009:


“Hey Mom, you know what’s weird? We had two Gavins in Pre-school, and we have two Noahs in Kindergarten. We’ll probably have two Franks in 1st grade.”

3. September 2009:


My aunt just asked the girl what she is learning in school and she replied, “The nature of buttocks.”

4. July 2009:

The Girl: “Mom, I’m going to the school dance (whispered: we’re pretending, OK?), so do you think I should go in a taxi or a limbo?”

5. June 2009:

Me: That’s a pain in the ass.

The Girl: You shouldn’t say that.

Random relative: Yeah, you should say pain in the butt.

The Girl: No – you should have said that balls thing.

Me: That’s a pain in the balls?

The Girl: Yeah, but that other word…Ssss…Scr….Scr…

Me: Scrotum?

The Girl: Yeah! You should have said, ‘That’s a pain in the scrotum!’

Random relative: Oh my God.


6. June 2009:

The Girl: There’s something I want to say.

Me: What?

The Girl: I can’t say it.

Me: What??

The Girl: Can I just say it once?

Me What??

The Girl: Asshat! Asshat, Asshat, Asshat!

Me: Are you done?

The Girl. Yeah.

7. June 2009:

The Girl: Those old men were looking at me! (talking about 2 old men sitting on a porch as we drove by)

Me: Oh yeah?

The Girl: Yep. And I heard one of them say…um…‘That little girl looks so cute.’

The Boy: What?

The Girl. OK, I totally made that up. But they were looking at me.

8. March 2008:

Me: “Bean – why is the dog barking? Can you look and see if someone is coming”
The Girl: (To me)“OK, Mom”…(to the dog) “Stop barking! There’s no one coming, you jackass

9. February 2008:

Last night, the girl handed me a piece of paper and a pencil, said, “Write a letter for me”, and dictated – word for word – the following:

Dear Troy,
I love you. I’m going to kiss you. I love you.
Love,
Bean

10. May 2007:

A conversation in the grocery store:

The boy: “Mom, where’s the turkey you got?”
Me: *ignoring boy while I speak to the deli worker*
The boy: “Mom! Did you get turkey? Where is the turkey?”
The girl: Hey! I know where the turkey is!!
The boy: “Where?”
The girl: “In your ass!”

11. Feb 2007:

Girl: I spelled you with my stickers.
Boy: That doesn’t spell my name. (said while implementing “the silent ‘duh'”) That spells HSKTJB!
Girl: I spelled you! It spells Stupid!
Boy: Moooommmm!

12. Feb 2007:

Boy: You stink.
Girl: You stink.
Boy: You smell like poop.
Girl: You’re made of poop!
Boy: You’re made of farts!
Girl: You’re made of farts! And boogers!
Boy:………
Girl: Aaaaaannnnnd, you’re made of girls!



13. July 2006:

*various crunching, crinkling, banging sounds from kitchen*

Me: “Beansie! (girl nickname) Get out of the kitchen!”

The Girl: “I’m not in the kitchen”

*bang crinkle crunch pop.*

Me: “What are you doing?”

The Girl: “Nothing.”

* pop crinkle bang crunch.*

Me: “Beans, Are you in the kitchen?”

The Girl: “No!”

*crinkle crinkle bang crunch*

Me: “Brother!”

Brother: “ ”

Me: “Brother – what are you doing?”

Brother: “ ”

*crunch bang crunch crinkle*

Me: “Beans – you’re in that kitchen, aren’t you?”

The Girl: “NO!”

Me: “Brother, are you in the kitchen?”

The Girl: “BROTHER’S NOT IN HERE, EITHER!!”

13. November 2005:

The girl has a new catchphrase: “Oh my dammit!” (with the emphasis on the dammit part). I have never heard anyone say that before, so I don’t know where she got it. Either she heard it elsewhere or she’s as adept as her mother in the Creating New Ways to Curse department. Whatever, it’s now her favorite expression of emotion. Sometimes she uses it in context, like, “Oh my dammit, I dropped my pocable! (popsicle)” or “Oh my dammit, the dog ate my chicken finger!” And sometimes it’s just a general exclamation like, “Oh my dammit, Dora’s coming on! ” Now given my love of profanity, all I can say is that it must be genetic. And of course, if it is genetic then I had to get it from somewhere too and am thus innocent. I think I’ll blame my mother.

13: November 2005

She’s also getting smart in the Get Your Brother in Trouble department. When we were getting ready on Sunday, she was in the boy’s way and he gave her a gentle push out of his way. She started to fake cry and when I asked what was wrong, she told me “He called me Butthole”. I said, “He did?”, and she said, “Yeah. And he went chhrrcchhh (this “crunching” sort of sound effect was accompanied by a bizarre neck/shoulder cringe/shrug) on my ear!” Now, I was right there when it all went down and I can attest to the fact that there was no butthole-calling or ear-chhrrcchhh-ing.

We’ll just go ahead and pretend that I didn’t have three 13s, OK?

Random Tuesday

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This a crazy busy week. We have parades, and a birthday and trick or treat and parties and I can’t think straight. So it’s all random nonsense today

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I’m in computer hell. Remember when I came home from vacation in August to a completely infected laptop? Well, I still haven’t gotten that fixed. Mainly because mr b is laid off and we can’t afford it, but also because I have my work laptop that I take home every night, so I haven’t been without a computer. Until yesterday, when I went home, turned it on and…nothing. I NEED A NERF COMPUTER!

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The girl and the boy will both be in the Halloween parade on Wednesday. The boy with the marching band and the girl with her baton group. The marching band dress up in costume for the parade and the boy will be dressing as a hippie. I should probably be embarrassed to tell you that his costume consists of my clothes. As in, actual clothes that I actually wear. From one of my tie-dye shirts and my hand-painted Grateful Dead jean jacket to my fringe-y, suede footwear. I’m a fashion icon. Hey – at least the little round orange-lens Lennon glasses are only replicas of ones I used to wear. Baby steps, people.

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The girl’s baton group will be wearing sweatsuits, since it’s too cold for their normal marching uniforms. A couple of weeks ago, they passed around a paper to take orders. A blank piece of paper, where they asked what size you needed. So, I put down a 5 pants and a 6 top. Well, apparently, they ordered them and discovered that the sizes were a little different, so instead of letting us know and decide what size we wanted, they made the choice for us. So the girl had a 6-8 top and a 2-4 pants. Awesome. I don’t understand why in the blue fuck they didn’t check out the company’s sizing chart first, and then have us choose from those, instead of just passing around a blank paper and saying, write down the size. Admittedly, a 6-8 would be too big in the pants (the shirt is fine), but I could have altered them. Instead, the 2-4 are short. Luckily, they have a giant rise and while they won’t be floods, they’ll hang down like harem pants. Hammer Time! Plus – the 2-4s didn’t come in red, so the few girls who ended up with that size will be in white instead of red. Why, oh why are people SO FUCKING STUPID?

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My aunt and cousin were in from Virginia recently and my other aunt decided to have an early birthday cake for the girl and another cousin while they were here. Among other presents, the girl got a gift card and some cash. While my boy and the little birthday boy were playing with one of his new toys – something loud and annoying – they decided to focus their annoying on the girl. She started to get mad and came into the kitchen and said, “Mom, Brother is being mean. I don’t have to share my gift card and money with him, do I?” I told her that they were hers and she most certainly didn’t have to share them. This made her happy and she marched back into the bedroom to inform him that he gets nothing. Of course, they boy didn’t care and continued to annoy her until a few minutes later when she came back into the kitchen with an evil gleam in her eye and in the sweetest voice asked me, “Mom, when we go shopping with my gift card and money, can brother come?” Sure, baby. “Good. I want him to come and watch while I spend it and HE GETS NOTHING!!!” Ahh….Grasshopper, I have taught you well.

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Finally, in camera news – I tried another lens on my camera and it worked, so it looks like the camera body is fine and I just need to replace the lens. Thank God! Also? Excuse to upgrade my lens! Yay!

When I was growing up, my dad always had good cameras and he taught me to use them young. As soon as I could hold a camera, I had one of my own, but I had access to my dad’s Nikon, telephoto lenses, external flashes, tripods, etc, whenever I wanted. I learned about f-stops and light meters before I learned my multiplication tables. So I wanted to do the same with my own kids.

Both of them have their own cameras, but I let them use mine whenever they want (in my presence, of course). The boy has a whole shelf of ribbons and trophies from photography contests, and has even won at the regional level. So, naturally, now that the girl is old enough, she wants to participate, too. I have been taking her out and letting her photograph whatever she wants. People often see her using that big camera and chuckle, thinking she’s just playing. Or they express disbelief that I am letting her. I have had people ask me why I let her use my good camera like that.

Well, here’s why:

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I swear, this isn’t a post about being sick…

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Because, oh GOD, do I hate blog posts about being sick. But I gotta say – I’ve been sick. The kind of sick where you have to stop and rest walking from the living room to the kitchen (in a relatively small house). And if there is no furniture en route – like when heading down the hall to the bathroom – you just lay down on the floor and moan. I’m talking crying sick. Yes – I actually cried yesterday because I felt so bad. Don’t worry – no H1N1 or anything like that going on – just the worst cold in the history of colds.

And now I’m done talking about being sick. I only mentioned it because I wanted to use my illness and subsequent medications for the HUGE brain fart I had today. For the past several days of being sick, I kept thinking that I really needed to feel better by today because we had my little cousin’s birthday party at the zoo, plus we were going to be meeting friends afterwards. So I have spent the past week shoving zinc up my nose (zycam, anyone?) and drinking tea and taking approximately 67 different cold remedies to try to get well by today. And although yesterday I felt like I was actually going to die any minute I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. Well, not good exactly, but not sick. More like “leftover” sick. Like when you get run over y a bus and the next day you feel “leftover” injured. Like that.

But I was upright, not completely coughing up a lung, and I didn’t have to stop and rest on a 20-foot walk, so I figured I was good enough to go. So I got out of bed at 7:30 am, showered and got ready. Then I took any cold medicine that wouldn’t make me drive off a bridge, woke up the kids, got them fed and ready and we took off on the hour-long drive. We got to the zoo, parked, walked, and fought 200 rude Amish people to get up the stairs to the gates (not that Amish people are generally rude – just this group).

I told the girl at the gate that we were there for a birthday party and she looked at me like I was speaking in tongues and said. “Do you have tickets?” “No – we just got an invitation that said to tell them at the gate.” “But you still need to pay admission.” “Um..no – it’s included in the birthday party.” “I don’t think so.” “Yes. We don’t have to pay. It’s part of the party.” “Hold on.”

And I waited. And waited. And waited, while she talked to the other twit in the box. And just as I was thinking about what a complete idiot this chick was, she came back and said, “You’re right – you don’t need a ticket.” But before I got to bask I the glory of my RIGHTNESS, she said, “But…um…that party is tomorrow.

DOH!!!

I blame the meds.

Fro Party

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I met mr b at work. I was 21, finishing school, and needed something part-time to make ends meet. I saw an ad that a local restaurant was hiring and the next day I was officially a waitress. My first day of work, I learned that the staff generally hung out in the bar after work and had a few drinks (Or more. It turned out to be the shittiest and yet most fun place to work). I wasn’t planning on staying, since I didn’t really know anyone yet, but one of the waitresses, Kay, called me over. She was about 20 years older than me, and very sweet. I figured what the hell and decided to stay for a drink (or more). We did the same thing the next night. And the next. And we became friends really quickly.

We talked about a lot of stuff – her kids, my school, her day job, my love life. Or lack thereof, I should say. I was feeling pretty jaded about guys at the time. Between the longish-term asshole who broke up with me when he was turning 21 so he could go out and fuck around, the too sweet, bad sex rebound guy, the jackass who just disappeared, and the ten-thousand idiots I was meeting in bars every week, I was ready to swear off men forever. I said as much to Kay and she said five words that changed the course of my life. She said, “You would love my brother.”

It turned out that he worked there part time, too, but he was on vacation. She spent the next week telling me all about him – how great he was – smart, good-looking, about how we had similar interests and tastes. I fell for him a little without even meeting him. In the meantime, she was calling him every night and telling him all about me.

I was anxious about his impending first day back on the job – excited, but nervous. And then, the night before he was due to come back, she said, “Oh, I finally remembered to bring you a picture!”

And then…

Oh GOD, and then she handed me a photo of him from 1978!

And even though I could clearly tell that it was an outdated photo, it wasn’t enough for me not to feel the horror at what I was seeing. Weird, tight pants. Giant lapels on the shirt. Huge afro. Tinted aviator glasses. PORN-STACHE!!!

I gave her something very similar to “Present Face” and said, “Uh…um…so…uh…WOW! He’s um…really cute!”

And then I thought about quitting immediately.

But I needed the job, so that was out. And eventually I decided that since I was pretty much striking out in the love department, that even with his stache/fro ensemble, he couldn’t be any worse than the flaming dickheads I’d been meeting and I figured I’d give him a chance. Obviously, he turned out not to be the freak that I was expecting and the rest is history.

The story is pretty famous among our family and friends and the photo is notorious. So for his 50th birthday party, I got a photo album that holds one photo per page and has a space for an inscription. And I found a giant, light brown afro. And I made porn-staches out of felt (buying them would have cost a fortune). And I took a photo of every single guest wearing them, and had them sign the book.

It was a blast.

Me:
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The kids:
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My 90 year old grandma:
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My 8 month old cousin:
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My insane friend in what is my favorite (though censored) photo:
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Some of the many, many more:
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Fuck-Me Cheese

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On Sunday, the girl had a birthday party for a friend. Thank goodness it was a late afternoon party, since we had mr b’s 50th birthday party the night before and there was some serious ass-dragging going on. But we somehow managed to get ourselves to the party on time, and I managed to stay upright, and not punch anyone the entire time. What’s that? It doesn’t seem like an accomplishment to not punch anyone at a child’s birthday party? Well, I forgot to tell you the party was at Check E Cheese.

Ahhhh, now you understand, don’t you? Hungover at Fuck Me Cheese: not so fun.

The party was for a friend from day care. She is the daughter of an old friend’s sister. I’ve talked about my friend Tammy before – she died in 1992 of a brain tumor. I usually re-post my story of her every year on her birthday and this year, I was in the middle of my own crazy and I missed it – I thought about it a few days before and then forgot. I was on my way to the party when I remembered. I felt bad, though I guess it’s more about not thinking about her that day than an actual blog entry. It happens, though – she’s been gone almost as long as she was alive. It’s hard to imagine what she’d be like today. I’d like to think we’d still be friends, that we’d have kids who played together.

I got to the party and saw her sister, and then her mother, and then another sister and a cousin and it hit me. They all look so much alike. I can look at them and imagine what Tammy would look like today. I had to fight back tears. It’s a weird thing to feel grief for someone and then think, damn, I can’t let myself show it, because who am I to grieve – my grief can’t compare to theirs. But it’s still there. It’s still mine.

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OK, on to other things – like the assholes at Fuck Me Cheese. Good lord. I understand that your kids drive you crazy. I understand that you need a break. Believe me – I UNDERSTAND! However, just because the insane mousehouse has the hand-stamping kidnapping prevention does NOT mean that your child should just run around completely unattended. There was one little girl who latched onto the girl in the games area. She only had a couple of tokens left to the girl’s full cup. When she ran out, the girl was giving her some (because she is a rocking, make-your-mom-proud, OMG-my-kid-is-awesome sharer), but this kid wouldn’t quit. She wanted tokens, tickets, whatever. She wanted to play this game, not that game. When the girl had finally had enough and wouldn’t give her more tokens, she looked me square in the face and demanded more. “I need more tokens!” I told her she needed to go ask her mom or dad. She said, “They don’t have any” Well, I’m sorry then kid. Where the fuck were her parents? This went on for over an hour and I never once saw an adult anywhere near this kid. Not once.

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And let’s talk about the hand stamp system. When the girl and I left, you couldn’t even read the hand stamps anymore, after washing our hands a bunch of times. And yet, they let us out. There was no way they could tell for sure that the girl belonged with me. So Mr and/or Mrs. I Need A Break From My Kid need to step up their give-a-shit a little.

And she was the only one. During my two and a half hours there, I had to help a kid get strapped into a ride, help a toddler off of another ride, get an employee to fix a game for another kid, stop not one, not two, but THREE insane children from throwing skee balls instead of rolling them. Also – seriously – skee-ball for toddlers? Worst idea ever. I watched multiple children almost get their skulls cracked open by the flying spheres of death.

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Sadly, Fuck Me Cheese wasn’t the worst experience of my weekend. No, that would be reserved for the girl jumping on me and knocking my camera to the cement floor. The lens popped off and won’t stay on properly. Awesome. I’m heartbroken over it. I love that camera. I mean LOVE it. It’s not the best camera, but it’s the best one I can afford, and I saved and bargain shopped for a long time before I got it. And I’m not sure I can afford to have it fixed – or if it’s even possible. I know I can’t afford a new one. But damn it, I need to do something, because it’s my one “thing.” I don’t like fancy jewelry. I don’t buy designer purses or shoes. I don’t spend money on clothes. I’m not a gadget lover. I get my books free from the library. I don’t care about new, fancy cars. But I ADORE my camera.

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I can’t wait to get some photos up from the party (pre-camera/heart break). I didn’t take any candid or party photos, but I did take ones of every guest wearing a special Make Fun of Mr B Getup. It was awesome. More on that later.