Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ism of the Day

"Mom, come see Oscar!"

"Why, what did he do?"

"Nothing, look what we did!"

"Oh my goodness.  I guess you gave him 'the force'!"

"No!  Yoda is, like, a Jedi master.  He's always had the force.  Come on, Mom."

A snack today I guess you do not want...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Who, What, Where, When, Why, WHY, WHY?!?

Every mother knows (and dreads) the question phase.  This period of time punctuated by incessant, irrelevant questions is a child's equivalent of psychological warfare-- the only tool at their disposal capable of rendering a parent mentally incapacitated without the use of narcotics or a 2x4 to the temple.

Thankfully, this phase seems to pass as kids' language progresses and they mature enough to understand "why" things happen, "why" people act the way they do, and "why" Mommy drinks so much wine at night.

Adler only has a few words at this point-- few enough to still be novel and cute yet he remains fickle in handing those words out.  But in a year or so he will be a full-blown toddler, full of attitude and sticky fingers and above all, questions.

I have seen the writing on the wall, and it says "WHY".  I just didn't expect the questions to come from Cael first.

 "Mom, what does the garage door do?

"What do you mean, Cael?  It goes up and down."

"Yeah, but what does it do?"

"It opens and shuts."

"I know that, but why does it do that?"

"To close the door, dude.  To protect our things."

"But why?"

"Because we don't want our things damaged or stolen."

 "Well, duh, Mom.  But why do you need the garage door for that?"

"For all of the reasons I just listed, Cael."

"Ugh, come on, Mom. What does it DO?"

He was just as frustrated as I was.  At eight, his brain is starting to think on a higher level.  I just wish I knew what the hell that level was.

"Look, I really want to be helpful for you, but I'm not sure what else to say.  The garage door moves up and down to open and shut the garage.  I want it open when I need to get in or out, and I shut it when I want to protect our things.  I use a door because a tarp or a blanket wouldn't do a good enough job.  Does that answer your question?"

"Just forget it."

What more could he want to know?  Was he looking for an engineer's detailed explanation of the chain and motor system that propel the door?  Did he not grasp the fact that, were the door a wall, the cars couldn't get out?  Or was this not about the garage door at all, but a metaphor for our ability, as a people, to open and close ourselves off to one other at the mere push of a button?

 I really didn't understand his level.  But I'd tried, and I'd done my best.  Unfortunately, this time my best wasn't enough.

"I'm sorry, man.  I just don't know what else to say."

"I'll just ask Graham.  Graham?"


"What does the garage door do?"

"It makes a sound like 'eeeeeghggggrrrrrh'."

"Yes!  Jeez, mom.  It wasn't that hard."

Take your time, Adler...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Things My Family Looks Like

Remember this entry from June of 2014?

Perhaps it was my post-natal brain making bizarre connections between my newest addition and actors from "The Princess Bride", but many of you found it funny nonetheless.  And maybe I need to invest in some pregnancy tests, but I've started  to notice some similarities again.

Like this surprised stingray...

Photo credit here.


Or James VanDerBeek's famous crying meme...

Photo credit here.

Or Jack Nicholson exclaiming "Here's Johnny!"...

Photo credit here.

But it's not just Adler.  I see it with my other boys too.

Is it just me, or does angry Cael look like Donald Trump?...

Photo credit here.

Or Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire?...

Photo credit here.

Doesn't Graham's sunscreen 'do resemble this inappropriate scene from "There's Something About Mary"?

Photo credit here.

Or Ariel from "The Little Mermaid"?

Photo credit here.  

Even when they're asleep, they can't escape looking like these two frat guys in an embarrassing position...

Photo credit here.

Perhaps I think I see glimpses of my boys everywhere because they are simply too young to have truly developed their own style and appearance that comes with age and experience.

Or then again, maybe not...

Photo credit here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Baby Fever Antidote

When we left off last June, Adler had just turned one and life was good.  Unfortunately that's also the phase when "baby fever" creeps in.  As a mother, you're sleeping through the night again, your little one has learned to crawl or walk and is gaining some independence, and as you start to feel your humanity returning, you immediately begin to long for a newborn, because mothers are nothing if not gluttons for punishment.

But if you're lucky, you can resist the pull of that infant smell and newborn snuggles, because when your child reaches 18 months, you'd enthusiastically trade in that same child for 15 minutes of silence or your missing tv remote.

Can you guess where we are now?

Adler is about 20 months old, beautiful, smart as a whip, and more difficult than the Statistics course I bombed in college.  It's not just that he is so stubborn, but that he is stubborn about the strangest things. 

No, hand sanitizer would not make a good sauce for your chicken.

Sorry, tonight's bath will not take place in the fireplace.  Too ashy.

You're right, the tweezers are shiny, but I'm not willing to pluck your arm hairs.

Since his life is fraught with constant frustration thanks to his overbearing mother, Adler's only course of action is to rebel in response.  And when his persistence is coupled with his quick mischief, I spend all of my-- 

--Hey, Adler, you get down from there!!

For the last couple of days, my son has taken every opportunity, every second out of my sight, to solidify his position as the baby of the family.  If he can misbehave my "baby fever" away, he can hoard all of the snuggles and attention.  Therefore Adler is currently on a troublemaking bender, getting into all things off limits.

I wouldn't let him eat from the bacon grease cup, so he threw a fit on the dining room table.

I thought it best for him not to wind his baby monitor cord around his neck, so he broke into my bathroom and drew on his face in eyeliner.

And finally, when I dared to suggest he change out of a stinky and wet diaper, he silently ran off, prompting a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse bedroom, bathroom and closet in the house, only to find him rounding third base with the dog.

So at the end of each night, when my boys are finally asleep and the house is quiet, I collapse onto my bed and look forward to a few moments of silence, and some time to myself to take a bath or watch a show.

And then I remember that the remote is still missing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Like everyone else in the country, I've been swept away by Lottery fever.  With the jackpot rounding out around 1.5 BILLION dollars, we had virtually no choice but to buy a ticket or two.  Can you imagine what a billion dollars could do to my small town's economy?  It would be irresponsible not to do my part.

But since lottery winners are famously plagued with financial and familial drama, I think it would be best for me to lay my plans out clearly on this, the last day of my former, middle-class life.  You know, because it'll be harder to reach me tomorrow when I'm on the island.

After setting up my family with whatever they need, things like Snuggies decorated with cats and seats on the first commercial space flight, first order of business is investing a major part of my winnings toward improving the Do Not Call Registry-- not only because the political cold calls and Robocall messages make me shiver whenever my phone rings, but because I don't need anyone I ever met pandering for money.

No, I won't pay for your hair plugs, and I don't want to host a Bernie Sanders rally.

Next up, I will have the opportunity to give my boys some of the finer things in life.  For me, those things would come in a Tiffany's box, but I am always surprised by what my kids find appealing.  So, this morning over breakfast, we had a discussion about what they would like to do with their share of the jackpot.

First I asked Cael.

"What would you want first?"

"A guinea pig, since Santa was mean and didn't bring the one I asked for."

"I hate to break it to you, but even if we won the lottery I still wouldn't want a guinea pig in the house."

"Then I change my answer.  I'd buy a person to live in the house and take care of my pets.  Or give you two million back to let me keep him."

On second thought, the first thing I need is a lawyer.  Maybe Graham will be less conniving.

"What about you, Bubba?"

"I just want the dillion dollars."  One more day, little man.

I asked Adler what he wanted, but I'm not sure how to go about obtaining a "tikatikatika pppffttth".  I'll check Amazon first-- they sell everything.

Good luck to all of you out there with your own tickets in hand.  While none of us have a realistic chance, there's nothing wrong with dreaming.  But in case you are one of the lucky ones, could you do me a favor? 

Don't get a guinea pig.  I'll never hear the end of it.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Let me start with an apology.

I'm sorry.  I haven't posted on the blog since June, and that lapse was definitely not due to a lack of things to say, but rather a lack of motivation.  For the last 18 months, it seemed that fewer people were reading, and while the purpose of this blog was never to garner attention, I have to admit that the amount of effort put in felt seriously out of balance with the return on my investment.  What point was there in writing, editing, planning, photographing, and documenting the goings on in our household if not for the vanity of likes and comments?

For the joy of sharing my family, I mean.  Yeah-- um.  That's it.

So instead of posting, I spent that free time doing laundry when the sun was actually up, tickling and tackling my now very active toddler, and achieving a level of mastery on the Piano Tiles 2 app that I thought previously impossible.  Achievement, people.

But here's the thing.  I like writing.  I like the blog.  And as much as I've enjoyed the break, I don't want the last four and a half years worth of memories to disappear by way of Grumpy Cat and the double rainbow guy.

So this is my official New Year's resolution: I want to post regularly again, hopefully around twice a week.  Perhaps striving not to post every day will make this feel more like fun and less like cramming for a final in college that I should ace because the material is about me and organized by me, yet I bomb because I was up until 2 am.

Twelve years ago I could have blamed some Boone's Farm and a sorority party.  These days I point to six loads of towels and "White Collar" on Netflix.

For your part, keep me honest.  If you don't see me for a week, acceptable methods of reaching me include sending strongly worded messages via the comment section, my Facebook page, FB messaging, my personal email or cell number (if you have the number) and barbershop quartet. 

Stay tuned.