If you’ve read much of this blog, or if you know me irl, you are well aware that cleaning is my least favorite thing to do on the planet. Seriously. When I told DH I was going to be working on the Homemaking Channel for Blog Nosh Magazine he actually laughed and said “well, maybe you’ll learn something.” (Don’t condemn him, it’s no worse than I thought myself AND he helps around here way more than most husbands!)
Anyway, DH took the boy to t-ball awhile ago and I decided to stay home and try to accomplish something. Something immensely productive. I needed to clean the family room. This is the room where the boy and I spend most of our time during the day. Many of his toys and craft items are here, and my work stuff is all here. This fact will be important later – I work sitting in the middle of the couch with all my shit stuff spread out around me. (Mostly because my desk is too cluttered to actually work at. Sigh.) You might already know, but I am a freelance photo editor. That means I always have manuscripts, layouts, pens, highlighters, a water bottle, a coffee mug (well balanced of course), paper clips, date planner, etc. next to me at all times. Yeah, on the couch. It drives DH crazy because he can never come sit next to me. I digress.
I needed to clean because I have overnight company coming it was dirty. As I’m vacuuming it occurred to me that someone might need to sleep on the couch later this week, and god forbid someone might pull the cushions off of it. So I bit the bullet and decided to clean under the cushions. Oh. My. God.
Needless to say I am sitting on a very clean couch as I type this.
Confession time. Here is the horror list of what I found, not including Hershey Kisses wrappers just regular trash.
Popsicle sticks. At least 20 of them. Now one or two and it wouldn’t haven’t even made the list. But 20?
Pens, highlighters, markers. A good thirty or so total. This is the part where you say, “You dumb shit, you work sitting on your couch. What did you expect?”
Crochet hooks. Three of them! This is why I stopped crocheting last winter, I couldn’t find any hooks.
A pot holder. Yeah, really, a Christmas themed pot holder.
White-Out. A whole bottle, luckily closed up tight.
A cordless phone. (!) Apparently the back of the couch has this really deep area that I’ve never seen before. I’ve been looking for this phone for, well, let’s just say a long time. I’m trying to charge it up now, to see if it still works.
Paperclips and binder clips. Too numerous to count. I was going to buy some more this weekend. Now I don’t have to!
Post-its. Cute little pink ones.
Rubber bands. The office kind and the hair kind. Those are never going in my hair again. At least I can wash the barrette, and little tiny hair clips I use when I when my hair falls in my face that I also found.
Legos. Legos, Legos, and more Legos. And various other toys. Like a fake cockroach. I really hope it was fake. (Kidding! We don’t have cockroaches in NH, we have ants. Lots and lots of ants.)
My library card. That’s a good thing, I have overdue books.
I’m pretty sure I deserve a second cup of coffee for all of that. Or a nap. Or a cleaning lady.
Editor’s Pick by Catnip at Catnip and Coffee. It feels strange to put one of my own posts up here, but I thought after all of these Editor’s Picks that I’ve made, you might like to know a little more about me and this post pretty much says it all. Now if you’ll forgive me, I’m supposed to pimp my feed and my tweets! And by the way, my company that weekend did in fact pull the cushions off the couch!
The ability to put a child down to sleep for the night is one of the most important skills one can attain as a parent or babysitter. It is also the most elusive one.
Let’s start with bathroom stuff. First up: go to the bathroom. No, not you, though with the amount of time this operation will take, you may want to consider it first.
Get the child to go potty. Plan to run water in the sink for the child to spur her imagination — at least enough water to wash a Suburban with. Don’t be at all surprised if child announces a secondary plan, for which more time and toilet paper will be necessary.
After the toilet is flushed, the child will attempt to escape, but you must INSIST that the child first wash her hands. This usually involves at least as much water as you ran to make her tinkle, and about a quarter of that will end up on the counter and floor.
Before the child can run away, grab her by the waist and say, “Time to brush your teeth!” as brightly yet firmly as you are able with a squirmy, uncooperative and toothbrush-hating child in your grasp. You must let go long enough to uncap the toothpaste. After you’ve experienced once or twice chasing your child through the house while forgetting you have uncapped toothpaste in hand, you’ll be smarter and have the toothbrush loaded and ready to go while she’s washing her hands. This works even better once she has become territorial about the toothpaste, insisting upon doing the squeezing herself. (Don’t sweat the mess; you have to mop up after the hand-washing anyway.)
I like to allow the child to brush her own teeth, emphasizing “Don’t swallow the toothpaste — spit it!” about every five seconds. Plan to be spat upon. It also helps to pick a funny little tune to la-la while you brush her teeth: a personal favorite is the theme music to the old Benny Hill show, Yakkety Sax. This will not be your child’s favorite, however.
Once the bathroom is staged for a hose-out, it’s time to go back to your child’s room to get her dressed. “Clean fresh undies first!” is the rule at our house. Selecting the perfect pair of Cinderella or Barbie panties will take your child about as long as an Act of Congress. If your child is still in diapers, thank your lucky stars . . . unless, of course, the diapers have cute cartoons on them, which the child will want to pick from. In that case, Congress is in session again.
Jammies are next. We keep ours under the pillow, but I warn you that the child will NEVER remember this fact. She will empty her jammie drawer if you’re not paying attention, digging through to find her favorites.
Once the child is in bed — FINALLY — it’s time for the entertainment portion of our show. We usually have one book per child, and, of course, each child gets to pick her book. Expect tears. If it’s too late for reading, we at least have songs. Lights out, and each girl gets to pick two, three, or four songs, depending upon available time. We have a large and varied catalogue from which to select our songs, but they rarely fail to include at least two Christmas songs. All year round. Get used to it. They will NOT be dissuaded.
Goodnight hugs are next, but don’t be surprised if over time you develop a ritual from which there must be no deviation. For instance, we start with a Big Fat Hug, then a Big Fat Kiss. Then there must be a Pat-Pat-Pat on the head (Pat-Pat-Patent Pending). On silly nights I may throw in a Zrrbbtt or two, which is just a tummy raspberry. Then a Nose-Nose-Nose, which I called an Eskimo kiss when I was little. Then a One Big Eye, for which you place foreheads and noses together so you are each staring at a cyclops up close. You must chant “ONE BIG EYE!” as you do this, or it doesn’t count. If there’s really a lot of time, you can throw in a Reach For The Sky, which is really just underarm tickling. Then the ritual closes with a Hardware Store, which Uncle Mantel Man invented. Place the palm of your hand on the child’s head, and vibrate it like a paint can shaker at Home Depot. Hardware Store. Oh, and you have to yell, “Hardware Store!” as you do this.
Plan for several extra hugs and kisses. Say goodnight and leave the room.
But you’re not done yet. Oh no — now comes the litany of complaints. “Mama, you forgot to turn on the night light!” After this faux pas is corrected and you’re comfortably engaged in your next activity, you’ll hear, “Mama! I want a drink of water. You forgot my drink of water!” So you trudge to the kitchen to wash out some cups; take care to drop in an ice cube because you don’t want to forget the ice cube. Trudge trudge trudge. “Thank you, Mama. Mama? Did you remember the ice cube?”
So you think you’re home free? Well, you’re not. Not unless your child has a better memory than my two girls’. “Mama? I want a toy.” Now, it’s best to establish strict rules about the number of toys your child is allowed to sleep with. When I get lax they climb all over me, so I have to hold firm at TWO TOYS. Find a number and stick to it. 25 is a number, but unless you have gifted your child with a California king bed, sleeping with 25 toys is not realistic. No, our rule is two toys. And nothing with sharp edges. As fun as it may be, you just can’t sleep with that school bus, Sparky.
I didn’t address bath time, which has its own set of joys and sorrows. These are the basics, but I’m sure you’ll find your own variations. You’ll find yourself yelling sentences you couldn’t even have composed BK (Before Kids). Sentences like, “If you kick the wall ONE MORE TIME I’m gonna CLOSE THIS DOOR TIGHT!” or “Stop singing or I’ll CLOSE THIS DOOR TIGHT!!” and even “Santa Claus is DONE watching you! He’s SICK AND TIRED OF THIS and he recommended that I CLOSE THIS DOOR TIGHT!!!!” Find the threat that works and stick to it.
Some variations we’ve gone through include “Pretend To Sleep On Me, Mama,” “I’m Scared That The Owl Will Get Me, Mama” and the current “Please Play ‘Route 66′ And ‘Mona Lisa,’ Mama.”
That’s all. It’s a cinch, right? Oh, excuse me; gotta go. Someone needs to go to potty again.
Editor’s Pick by MommyTime at Mommy’s Martini. Foolery is often a laugh riot, largely because she is so startlingly observant about the little quirks in people. When she’s not writing about her daughters (in fact, less than a quarter of her posts seem to feature them), you will find her writing about everything else under the sun — from tutorials on Carmen (yes, the opera) to the wildly ridiculous Nick Asshat series, each post featuring at least one fabulous image of a donkey in a hat, and each resonating with the humor and pathos of dating The Worst Boyfriend Ever (her description, not mine). I love reading Foolery both for her humor and for the way that she manages to stay so true to her own voice: when she’s serious, you know it’s important, and when she’s funny, you can snort with laughter unabashedly. Do yourself a favor, subscribe to Foolery now.
How do you define a parent? Of course, there’s the biological way, but if our celebrity counterparts have taught us anything this year, a forty pound DNA match and Bugaboo stroller a true parent does not make.
No, to be a real parent you need to get into character a tad more (ironic isn’t it?). How do you know when you’ve successfully crossed over and truly embraced the biggest role of your life?
Here’s my list:
You don’t know what you’d do if they never invented the phrase “we’ll see.” Who is the genius who thought of this? He or she should get a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. It’s the platinum card of our parental phrase arsenal. Why? Because it allows you to defer the “no” (and the whining) to a later, more convenient time or locale. When a request is made, the answer “we’ll see” is a win-win. The child holds onto the hope that this request may still be granted, and therefore withholds all protest. The parent buys extra time, during which the child may forget about the request altogether, or you’ve made it home, where whining can be sufficiently contained.
Your currency reference shifts to Bionicle (or other) toys – In my younger days, the CD served as my go-to currency reference. “What? Sixty bucks for this shirt? I could buy like four CDs with that!” As I got older, it became rounds – “Aw man! I could have bought at least five rounds with that. I’m never playing blackjack again!” Now that my transformation is complete, my money bitching resembles something more like this: “What? $3.30 a gallon? That’s like 1/3 of a Bionicle!”
How the ‘New Rich’ Live
3. Your criteria for what determines a good restaurant changes—it used to be “Oh, they have a great Chilean Seabass, I’ll make a reservation.” (Chaya… *sigh*). Now it’s “They give you a new box of crayons and you can draw on the table! We’re there!” (Macaroni Grill) or “They have big booths so Marcus won’t bother people. It is decided.” (Outback).
4. You shake your head and mutter “punks…” as you walk by Emo kids loitering in Old Town Pasadena – oh, sorry, that was for my “How to Tell if You’ve Become a Grumpy Old Dude” list.
5. You know what this week’s happy meal toy is (for those of you playing at home, it’s Star Wars toys).
6. When you make your dinner selection at a restaurant, you think about how it pairs with what your kid ordered because you know you’ll be stuck eating half of it. Hmm… should I go with the Steak au Poivre and Chicken Fun Fingers? Oh, you’re ordering the Git Along Little Hot Doggies? Maybe the Cedar Plank Salmon might be a more appropriate complement.
7. You not only know what channel Noggin, Playhouse Disney and Cartoon Network are on, you can punch those numbers on the remote by feel without lifting your head off the pillow on a Saturday morning.
8. You get Wiggles tunes stuck in your head during meetings at work (“Bowwow! Bowwow! Bow wow wow wow, do you give a cow a bone? No! Give a horse a bone? No! Everybody knows you give a dog a bone!”).
Get thee out of my head Greg Wiggle!!
9. The first thing you do at the supermarket or Best Buy is make a mad dash to the shopping cart area to snag a racing car (Why do they only have five? That’s just mean!).
10. Your child becomes your new social litmus test. You dislike people you would otherwise be okay with because they don’t adore your kid; you like people you otherwise might not get along with because they love your kid (there must be something right with them).
11. When you’re crossing the street with your friends, you reflexively extend your arm out in front of them when a car passes by.
12. You’ve become really good at cutting fruit.
13. You get sympathy anxiety for complete strangers when you see their kid throwing a tantrum at Target.
14. The new “best feeling in the world:” after you’ve successfully put your kid to bed.
I’m sure there are a lot more, but my train stop is coming up. I’m sure I missed a whole bunch. Feel free to comment on this post and add your own. I’d love to see them! What makes you think yes, I have truly crossed over?
Editor’s Pick by Nicole at Soapbox Mom. One of my favorite bloggers, Jim at The Busy Dad Blog, writes with passion, humor and humility as he captures the essence of family life with a young son. He would simply say that he provides a “look at parenting through testosterone-tinted beer goggles.”
I go to the gym at least twice, and usually three times a week now. It’s enough of a habit that I feel okay telling you about it. I’m not about to quit any time soon, even though some of my gym co-members are odd and frightening. I have to tell you about one in particular.
To the casual eye, she is young, thin and blond. She has an unmatched dedication to the gym, and is always there when you arrive, and still there when you peel yourself out of the leg press and crawl off to the showers. She hangs on to the machines with cruel strength, works them in strange positions, and glistens from head to foot. Her concentration is magnificent. She must be, you expect, a specimen of physical perfection.
In time, you become accustomed to her presence. She only takes the elliptical machine marked “C.” She is always there, reliable. You call her Elliptical-C. You immerse yourself in your own workout, switch your iPod from Joss Whedon’s latest musical hit to Black Sabbath’s Sabotage, feel a surge of energy, and move past the 20 minute mark on your own elliptical machine.
Only when you achieve a certain level of physical exertion and mental focus do you begin to glimpse the truth of Elliptical-C. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice an anomaly. There is a strange convergence of details in your mind. They form up gently, but clearly, in your focused mental state.
Elliptical-C is not human. She is the Elliptical-C creature. She uses the elliptical C machine to send communications to her fellow creatures, who are trans-dimensional space creatures of immense age, intelligence, power, and malevolence.
The elliptical machines have two handles that move, and another two that are stationary. Elliptical-C uses all four handles simultaneously, and absently taps at the control panel with an entirely separate set of appendages.
In an uncharacteristic miscalculation, the elliptical machine Elliptical-C selected as her communications vehicle is restricted by the gym administration to 30 minutes per person per use. Elliptical-C uses nefarious tactics to maintain control of her communications vessel. She signs the machine out for 30 minutes starting 30 minutes from the time she starts on the machine, hogging it for a full hour at a time! Evil. She also uses the same hypno-prowess she uses to disguise her true alien appearance to force co-members to sign the machine out again, and again, and again.
The Elliptical-C creature’s goals and intentions are not for us to understand. It may be that humanity plays an unwitting role in some ancient trans-dimensional interstellar war, currently raging. Or it may be that Elliptical-C is an agent of an alliance of Elliptical-C creatures, gathering intelligence as her masters draw their plans against us.
I’d rather think that Elliptical-C is the only one of her kind on Earth, lost on a strange planet, compelled by circumstances to dwell in a world of fitness. She goes to the gym Earth day after Earth day, calling out to her fellow creatures, bleating not frantically, but persistently, unrelenting in her final hope that one day – one Earth day soon – her mate will arrive, and release her from the elliptical machine marked C.
And when her mate arrives, she will eat him like the praying mantas Elliptical-C monster that she really is.
Editor’s Pick by Fitarella: Liz is fluent in Klingon and lives on a planet far, far away with her Stepford husband and two genius babies. Check her out at Three Bright Stars and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of her out-of-this-world articles. She is giving away a free trip to Mars, so hurry up and go enter now! You can find the original post here.
After fourteen seasons and twenty-two Emmys, the popular medical drama E.R. is planning its final episodes which will air next February, prompting Bossy to say, “Wait—E.R. is still on?”
It’s been many years since Bossy watched this show—but in case you’ve never seen it, here is everything you need to know:
And then there’s this guy:
He’s Dr. John Carter, and at first he was snot-nosed from a wealthy family, but then he was snot-nosed from a heroin addiction, except no one knew he was a heroin addict even though his skin was slowly turning grey, and he was accidentally killing patients.
Dr. John Carter dated lots of girls, kind of like Bossy’s husbandbefore they were married. Other similarities between youngBossy’s husband and Dr. John Carter: they look alike.
Next we have her:
She’s Dr. Kerry Weaver, even though Bossy thought her name was Cary until two seconds ago. What makes Cary Kerry a unique television character is the fact that she walks with the aid of a leg brace and crutch due to her physical disability. Unless the actress Laura Innes walks with the aid of a leg brace and crutch, in which case there is nothing unique about Dr. Kerry Weaver.
Which finally leads us to him:
He’s from Top Gun.
Every Thursday at 10 p.m. these doctors save lives while flirting over patient deathbeds. The end.
Editors Pick by Catnip at Catnip and Coffee. When I think of blogs and entertainment in the same sentence there is one woman that comes to mind first: Bossy. She’s super funny, has mad Photoshop skillz, and, well, she’s Bossy! Of course, I picked this post because the fall season is beginning, but all of her writing is worth the read. While you’re over there getting lost in her archives, don’t forget to subscribe to her feed!
Yesterday someone asked me how to deal with trolls and haters. I have no damn idea.
Trolls are just like you and me. Only shittier. Or more honest. Or likely to murder gypsies. Fuck, I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader. I don’t know the motivation of everyone reading your blog but what I do know is that in real life you come across assholes and weirdos and someone out there is selling computers to these people. People like the guy who left me this comment:
“I was right, you aren’t that hot. Damn.”
I didn’t mind that some stranger thought I was un-hot but what was disconcerting was that in the photo the guy was referring to? I was seven. And totally hot.
Holy shit, y’all. “Your.” This is a real fucking comment. I laughed so hard I woke up the dog. Who’s been dead for 4 years. That’s not to say that it doesn’t suck when people write shitty things about you because it does. Like recently I accidentally fell into a shitstorm and I was all “PEOPLE ARE WRITING HORRIBLE THINGS ABOUT ME!” and my friend Karen was like “O-o-oh. You mean the stupid people. You’re supposed to ignore those people. Because they’re stupid.” And I did. And it was fine. But when it’s happening it’s not quite so easy to just ignore it and then you get sucked into the everyone hates me/I’m not popular/I never get any comments shame spiral and that’s why I created these cards for people who are dealing with this kind of crap:
Meh. They’re not all gonna be winners.
I guess what I’m saying is that trolls can actually be a good thing. Yes, they’re evil but they’re also entertaining. That’s why they’re in so many children’s books. I mean, that Billy Goat Gruff story would be pretty boring if it was about a kindly old homeless dude under the bridge who gave out Jolly Ranchers and compliments to the billy goats. I wouldn’t read it. Look, I don’t know why trolls are the way they are. Maybe they’re bullies who never grew up. Maybe they were picked on in high school and think this will even the score. Maybe they’re right and you actually are the anti-Christ. I don’t know. But what I do know is that in a way trolls are kinda good for everyone. Except goats.
PS. If you are still depressed about getting nasty comments you should email me and I will tell you that whoever is fucking with you is a lunatic. And also you should watch this. Because it’s awesome.
Comment of the day: You are totally hot in that picture. Pa would be able to put his hands around your tiny waist for sure (remember how in Little House on The Prairie Laura was ALWAYS FREAKING TALKING ABOUT HOW SMALL HER MOM’S WAIST WAS GET OVER IT ALREADY YOU ANOREXIC-WANNABE PRAIRIE PSYCHO?…. ahem. I have some unresolved issues there. Also I typed “Hose” instead of “House” and that was funny, because I am a 12-year-old boy.*)
*not really. 12 or a boy, I mean. It was really funny ~ Superblondgirl
Editor’s Pick by Megan from Velveteen Mind: I broke our own rules in order to share this post with you, as it isn’t even off of Jenny’s front page, yet. I thought it was the perfect introduction to her sense of humor, hilarious Photoshop tricks, and ability to find completely crazy YouTube videos, a skill which will come in handy as our YouTube Channel Editor. Consider yourself warned: the first time I read The Bloggess, I stayed on the site for hours, reading her archives and crying laughing.
She gets tons of comments, which you will see on her original post, and they are usually just as entertaining as the posts. A truly vibrant member of the blogging community, she chooses one of her favorite comments to tack onto the end of her posts as she moves on to her next one, so be sure to dive in and let her know what you think! Don’t forget to subscribe while you are there, because you won’t want to miss an ounce of her awesome.
Baseball, politics, film, cooking, eating, organizing, Viggo Mortensen,
aquariums, god only know what you are into. I’m betting that if we
could start in the part of your brain where your love of whatever it is
you love resides and follow the sparking and frayed wiring past where
it crosses the blue synapses and the firing yellow connections and that
knot of red wire, we would find a glowing hotspot in your neural
network that’s throbbing and straining to break through a zipper.
Oh my god. What is this? OH MY GOD?!?!? Who is taking pills? I will not survive these high school years, I won’t.
is it, speed, painkiller, what? I’ve never taken anything that looks
like that. What am I going to do? I need to sell this house and
homeschool these kids in Idaho until they are 21.
Crap. I need
to go to the pill I.D. website and describe this thing and find out
what it is. Then I’m going to track down the dealer and go freaky
bloody Kill Bill ninja MILF-on-fire lioness on his pathetic dealing
skanky existence. Who would sell pills to kids?!?! I’m going to pluck
out his eyeballs.
(I reach down to pick up the pill. It feels
somewhat soft, like a soft gel pill. I bring it close to my face to see
if it has any markings, and I can smell it. It smells like cotton
Pill identified: squashed mini jelly bean.
Oh my god, they are slobs but I love them, they are such good kids. I love my sweet sweet babies!!!
Editors Pick by Megan from Velveteen Mind: One thing that I would occasionally forget about Deb on the Rocks is that she is a mom. That’s precisely why we warmly welcome her voice to Blog Nosh Magazine because I absolutely admit to stereotyping lesbians as single swingers on occasion. Don’t you love assumptions?
Check out the original post and be sure to click subscribe, because you won’t want to squander this chance to stop being an ignorant bigot like me. However, to be fair, she does write a lot about sex… In other words, why on earth are you not stalking her blog already???
Editor’s Note: BusyDad is a master of parody. If you’ve never heard of or seen the show Iron Chef, this brief explanation will give you some background on what follows.
If memory serves me correctly… my newest Iron Chef began his tutelage under legendary Iron Chef BusyDad in the summer of 2005. His journey into the culinary world began in BusyDad’s kitchen, honing his creativity by finding ways to turn every kitchen utensil into a gun or a spaceship.
As his apprenticeship progressed, this would-be chef cut his teeth by helping his master cut green beans. With a butter knife. Perhaps his actual teeth may have been a more effective tool for this, but an important lesson was learned. Dull tools sharpen the mind. And sharpen his mind he did, along with his craft. Known throughout culinary circles as the catalyst for the “kid gourmet” movement, Fury has dazzled critics and playgroups alike with his “rad” interpretation of traditional fare.
Today, I welcome him to Kitchen Stadium as my newest Iron Chef. As this is his debut battle, and seeing as he can’t reach the faucet, I have decided to bring his master, Iron Chef BusyDad out of retirement today for a
very special tag team edition of IRON CHEF.
AND NOW, TODAY’S THEME INGREDIENT… FLOUR!
* * * *
Fukui: Oh! the Chairman has thrown us a curveball today by picking flour as the theme ingredient! So basic, yet complex! Yes, yes. Let’s go to our commentator on the floor, Ohta for some play-by-play.
The common denominator of first-time pregnant women is not distended
bellies or compromised bladders. It is not the fear of another human
being exiting their body. Instead, they pursue one goal – preparation.
Whether it’s stocking up on diapers or painting a nursery in a soothing
color, these gals feel the need to prepare for their new arrival. For
me, it was childbirth classes…
We are at the hospital’s four-session course about childbirth. The room is chock full of rotund ladies and their husbands.
nurse who is teaching the class has grown children. I’d prefer to talk
to someone who carries recent scars… I mean memories… of the joy of
childbirth. To chafe me even more, she is wearing a waist-cinching
belt. I don’t think anyone in this room can imagine fitting in a belt
again. This woman is cruel. I want to run her over with my car.