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Sunday, August 28, 2011

What the $&!@ was that?????

I've lived in my house for six years now, and I really love it.  A lot of blood, sweat, and tears were put into taking this house from the 1980s, with its peach paint, red and gold flooring, and blue carpet, and making it an updated, comfortable home.  The house didn't need major renovation, just a good amount of updating.  A smart choice for first time home buyers.  The house has a great yard, an ample basement, and a family-friendly layout.  Sounds like I'm trying to sell it, but I'm not.  Unless you want to buy it?  Huh?  You wanna? 

The one thing that wasn't really taken into consideration: location.  It's about 20 minutes round-trip to go the grocery store, and a good 15 to 20 minute hike to the expressway.  May not sound horrible, but I grew up in the burbs people.  I want an expressway two streets over.  And a Walgreen's on every corner.  Now, I've gotten used to not being in "town," but I still haven't gotten used to the neighborhood.  You see, it's well . . . entertaining.

For instance, once a year, our village (yep, it can't even be considered a town) has a Hogs & Harleys "festival."  (I.E. pig roast and beer tent.  Lots of bikers.  You can get a tattoo out of a bus.  And the people.  Oh, the people.)  Well, this year, we had our first parade.  I had no idea that there was going to be a parade until I heard fire sirens and looked out the front window.

Sorry about the quality.  I didn't want to miss the action!
I saw three fire trucks in a row.  I thought, "Oh, a parade!"  It made sense because the pig roast goes to benefit the local fire department.  But, after the three fire trucks, shit got crazy.  What came after the fire trucks?  1.  An old lady driving a four-wheeler.  (Couldn't get a pic in time.  Sorry.)  2.  Tractors.... quite a few of them actually.  3.  Two fat kids throwing candy.  4.  An old car.  5.  A 1993 Impala.

Best.  Parade.  Ever.

Oh look.  Tractors.


Now, normally, I would have been shocked by this.  I would've said (probably aloud), "What the $#!@ is this?  What the hell is that?"  But, you see, I'm accustomed to things like this now.  In fact, this is probably one of the least interesting things I've seen out my front window.

You see, a makeshift hillbilly parade is not nearly as interesting as:

1.  A man riding a four-wheeler (driving at a fast speed) carrying a baby in one hand and a puppy in the other.  I shit you not.

Take one baby, and one four-wheeler . . .

Throw in a puppy for good measure . . .
And that all equals AWESOMENESS.
2.  What could be better than that, right?  Well, I think I can top it.  Maybe.  This time, we'll take a girl with a broken leg in a wheelchair, being pulled by a rope attached to a lawn tractor, and . . .  drum roll please . . .  carrying a 30-pack of beer!

Not into four-wheelers?  Just get your lawn tractor!

Fresh out of babies?  Grab some beer!
Broken leg?  Wanna get out of the house?  I have an idea . . . 

I'm not even going to get into the number of people that use golf carts to "stroll" around the neighborhood on a daily basis . . .
Just going for an evening stroll . . .

So, people, the important lesson here is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  Unless you want entertainment . . . then buy my house!

http://freefringes.com/2011/08/30/lovelinks-21-open/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Working is a lot of . . . work.

I returned to work this week, and by "returned" I mean I started a new job and had to go to meetings/orientations/trainings two weeks earlier than I had planned.  Somehow, over the past three months of staying home, I had forgot how exhausting it is to be a working mom.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that being a working mom is harder than being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) or a WAHM (work-at-home-mom), it's just different.  My profession allows me to be a working mom most of the year, and a stay-at-home mom some of the year.  So, I get a glimpse into both worlds.  I would argue that they are equally difficult.  The difference lies in the difficulties.

I could probably talk for quite awhile on the difficulties of both, but for now let's just focus on working mommyhood.  Two words:  It's exhausting.  And by that I mean it is just physically tiring.  You see, I took this new job thinking it would give me a more flexible schedule, I would have more time with my son, and it would ultimately simplify my life.  Well, if by simplify I meant:  be a ton of work, force me to enroll in more graduate courses, added 30+ minutes to my daily commute, learn a new curriculum, learn an entire new educational system, attend multitudes of meetings and trainings, then this job is super simple.  In the long run, I know it will pay off, but right now, it's overwhelming and exhausting.

You see, here's the thing about me:  I need like to do a good job.  In fact, I don't understand the word mediocre.  It just doesn't register for me.  Add that to the fact that this is a job I want to keep, so I have to make a really good impression so they (hopefully) renew my contract, and well, let's just say I'm not sleeping all that well.  Did I mention the part where, about a month ago, I thought getting a puppy was a good idea?  Yeah.  I know.  You told me so.  I didn't listen.  You're right; I'm wrong.  Screw you.

So, when I'm in working mode, I feel like I'm treading water in the middle of the ocean, during a hurricane, with one leg chained to a concrete block.  And there's a shark gnawing at my arm.  I have to make a list just to remember to do things like return a phone call.  I get up early (4:45 a.m.), hoping to have fifteen minutes in the shower without the dog jumping in or Gavin interrupting.  I quickly feed myself and the dogs before I begin drying my hair, getting dressed, and fighting the "wake up, go potty, get dressed, and eat your breakfast" battle with Gavin.  Sometimes it goes well; sometimes we're late; sometimes I make a lot of threats; occasionally there are time-outs.  Okay, often there are time-outs. 

I'm in a rush to get to work.  I'm in a rush to drop off at daycare.  I teach my classes.  I eat.  I rush to pick up at daycare.  I drive home.  And guess what?  The weirdest thing .  . . dinner didn't magically appear when I walked in the door.  Strange, I know.  Also, I noticed that the clothes didn't wash and fold themselves, Arnie didn't clean the bathtub, the vacuum (which is clearly not enchanted with a spell) didn't vacuum the carpets for me.  And, the damn lawn keeps growing despite my numerous efforts to kill it.  (So, as you can see, I'm totally prioritizing by choosing blogging instead of attending to my house.  Take that, responsibility!)  To add to that, the puppy has a ridiculous amount of energy that I have to exhaust or he takes it out on my shoes. 

So, after dinner has been made, eaten, and cleaned up, there's time for 30 minutes of playing outside.  Then it's bath, books, bed (for Gavin, not me).  Time to relax?  No.  time to sit on the couch, drink a cold beer, and watch the ball game?  Ha!  Time for laundry, cleaning, bill-paying, dishes, making lunches?  Ding, ding, ding!   I'm not saying that these things don't happen when I'm a temporary SAHM (and truthfully, I'm more of a WAHM because I teach online classes during the summer); it's just that they happen every night when I'm a working mom.  Every.  Single.  Night.  It's 8:36 p.m. right now, and if I didn't have stuff to do (once I'm done writing this) I would totally consider going to bed.  (Which means that I would wake up at 2:30 a.m., and that's just silly). 

Wait?  What's that?  You're done listening to my whining now?  Okay, I'll stop.  Why isn't this super incredibly funny?  I'm too freaking tired.  But, I'm off to spray a bees' nest.  So, I'll let you know how it goes when I get stung to near-death!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Anatomically Correct . . . Sorta

Kids sure are inquisitive, huh?  Always wanting to know what's this? and what's that?  It's cute, for the most part.  Gavin started asking questions (especially WHY?) very early.  What's that Mommy?  A cloud.  Why?  Um, it just is.  (I used the "it just is" justification for as long as I possibly could . . . so like three months).  I've gotten used to answering all of Gavin's questions:  What are we doing today?  Why do dogs poop outside?  Why can't I have chocolate milk for dinner?  Why do I have to go to bed?  Why can't you fly like Buzz Lightyear?   But lately, his line of questioning has become . . . uncomfortable.

image c/o bateslabelservice.com
You see, the thing about being a parent is that you don't really have a lot of privacy.  Gavin has no problem running into the bathroom, tearing back the shower curtain, and showing me how he's just drawn all over himself with marker (or cut himself with scissors, or opened 16 packages of fruit snacks and shoved them all into his mouth, or put shorts on over his pajamas, or put the dog in a trash bag).  He also thinks it's totally acceptable to come in when I'm going to the bathroom to proclaim that he's come up with a plan for today.  (His plans usually go something like this:  Okay, how about we watch Toy Story, eat waffles, rollerskate, and go to the store and get candy.  Does that sound like a good plan, Momma?  Great plan; exactly what I had in mind.) Short of locking the door, I've yet to come up with a foolproof way for him to understand that Mommy likes to be alone in the potty.

Well, now that he's getting older, and clearly more observant, he's started asking me all sorts of questions that I really don't like.  It started innocently enough one day when he picked up one of my bras, wrapped it around his belly, and said, "What this for?"  My response: It's for girls.  I'm not really sure how to explain the concept of a bra to a three-year-old.

Image c/o journeywoman.com
Unfortunately, his questions and observations didn't stop there.  One day, he barged in while I was getting out of the shower, stopped, cocked his head to the side, pointed to my chest, and said, "Mommy, what are those?"  I admit - I froze.  My hands got a little clammy, I stuttered and mumbled for a second, and then finally said, "Hey, um, yeah, isn't Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on?"  Ah, the art of distraction.

I've had to use this many, many times.  For instance, one time Gavin extracted a tampon from the bathroom drawer, brought it to me, and pointed it at my face like he was accusing me of something.  "Mommy why do you have this?"  Hey, did I give you a cookie yet today? (Snatching tampon and throwing it behind the couch.) Let's go get a cookie!  If I can't explain a bra, there's no way in hell I'm explaining a tampon.  Seriously, I don't see any other way to deal with this problem than to avoid it.  I am not ready to explain the concept of a tampon to anyone, let alone my toddler.  I momentarily considered saying it was a big Q-Tip, but I can only imagine the types of problems that could cause further down the road . . .
Can I tell you how scary it was to google "tampon?"


Now, I know that I should be anatomically correct and tell my kid the proper names for body parts, but then I have to deal with situations like the time he yelled "Penis!" in the grocery store over and over (I can just imagine him doing the same thing but with "Vagina!"), or the time he asked (in public) "Where are your nipples, Mommy?"  Uh, nipples?  I have no idea what you're talking about . . . do you want to go to the toy aisle? Yes, let's go to the toy aisle!

Toddlers are curious, and they want to know about their world.  I'm just not ready to start discussing lady parts with my kid just yet.  Or maybe ever.  He's not going to stop liking cookies anytime soon, so that should buy me some time . . .

If you liked this post (or any of them, really.  Or if you're someone who expects a Christmas gift from me) please click on the button below to vote for my blog on the Parents Best Blog Awards!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parents Choice

My blog has been nominated as a "Funny Mom Blog" for Parents Magazine.  Click on the button below to vote for me!!!!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why I'll Never Be an "Extreme" Couponer

Every time I log on to Facebook or check out blogs on Google Reader, I see no less than five posts about how much people saved shopping with coupons.  "Look at all this stuff I got for only $52.17!  I saved $87.91!"  Wow, that's a lot of stuff.   Upon further inspection, I notice that a lot of stuff is the same.  Huh.  You bought 16 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios?  Yes!  They were on sale for $2.99 and I had a $2.00 off coupon, so they were only $0.99 each.  Awesome.  But, where are you going to put them all?  And, I hope you like Honey Nut Cheerios, I mean really like them, because you're going to be eating that shit for months.

Or, "I got 16 packages of razors, 12 razors in each package, for FREE.  They were on sale at Rite Aid for $1.99, and I had a coupon for $1.99!"  Wow, that's 16 times 12 . . . 192 razors.  Your legs must be freakishly hairy.  Or maybe it's your armpits.  Either way, I'm concerned.  

Image c/o insidesocial.com

I also like the ones that go something like this:  "Okay, so I spent three hours cutting coupons, scouring the sale ads, and making my lists.  But, after 25 coupons and four stores, I saved $48."  Okay, so just to clarify... you spent three hours cutting coupons and looking at sales ads.  Then, you had to make lists of what to get at each store.  After all that, you still had to go to four separate stores?  How much did that cost you in gas?   And how long did that take you?  Is eight hours of your time worth $48?  And how many rolls of paper towel did you come home with?  Do you run a daycare because that's a lot of animal crackers?

My favorite ones though are where people complain about other extreme couponers.  "I went to the store twice, and that crazy bitch bought out all the deodorant both times.  Both times!  So, I made sure to go back the next day, right when they opened, and I bought all thirty packages of deodorant so she couldn't buy anymore."  Um... wow.  Yeah, that lady is pretty crazy for going to the store to buy a whole bunch of deodorant.  You?  Totally sane.  Oh, and justified in your actions.  Really, seriously.  Also, did you know they make prescription deodorant for really sweaty people?  Just checking because maybe you want to look into that?

Look, I'm not bashing people who do this (just laughing with them or something like that), I'm just saying that it's not for me.  I mean, I get hives just looking at clearance racks.  Oh, look a clearance rack.  Uh, nothing's in any sort of order.  Is there some kind of system . . . why are all these different sizes mixed together . . .  Oh, I like this top, but it's not my size.  I'll just sift through rack one of twenty . . . oh goodness, is that a rash on my arm?  They're all messy and crowded.  I don't feel like sorting through forty racks of clothing to find something I like in my size.   There's no order, no system - it's just pure chaos, and it makes me nauseous.  I'm happy just buying something on sale, from the sale rack, which is neat and orderly and all the sizes are clearly labeled and they go in increasing order.

Image c/o fotosearch.com

The idea of having to fight people, or get up at the crack of dawn, to get an item on sale also makes me queasy.  Oh, I clip coupons.  And then I forget them at home.  Or, they expire before I remember I have them.  Or, I accidentally spit my gum out in them.  I guess it just takes a certain kind of person to be an extreme couponer, and I just don't have it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Chill Out, Momma

Yesterday, I took Gavin to a Tigers game.  It's our second game together this season, but it was his first night game.  I've actually been to the stadium three times this summer, but somehow I manage to get lost every time.  Well, not lost exactly.  I take the wrong exit, turn the wrong way, and end up on a street I don't want to be on.  The funny thing is that I take the same wrong exit, turn the same wrong way, and end up on the same wrong street.  Every.  Single.  Time. 

Gavin had been fast asleep in his car seat right up until the point where I was taking the wrong exit.  (It's a good thing he slept, too because, as luck would have it, there was a major traffic jam on the drive there.  I love traffic.)  Just as I'm figuring out that I once again took the wrong exit, Gavin starts chanting, "I wanna see the baseball game.  I wanna see the baseball game.  I wanna see the baseball game."  So, I turned around and said to him, "Okay, honey.  I need you to be quiet for just a second.  We're lost, and I have to figure out where to go."  (Oh, and I really did say this calmly, which is weird because normally traffic plus getting lost makes me want to punch the driver in the next car.  Road rage?  Me?  No!)

His response:  "Mommy, you just chill out.  You just be quiet for a minute so I can figure out where to go.  Hmm . . . (dramatic pause) . . . I think that you should go left and then right.  Go left and then right, okay, Momma?"

So, I said, "Okay, Gavin, I'll go left and then right."  Except that I couldn't go left because I was on a one-way divided highway, but whatever.  I just wanted him to be quiet.  And why do I have to chill out?  I'm not even worked up!

But, he didn't stop.  "So, you just chill out, Momma.  It'll be okay.  Go right and then left and then we'll be at the baseball game.  Okay?"

Okay, Gavin.  So, the good news is that we made it to the game in plenty of time.  (FYI, we went right and then right.  Not left and then right.  He didn't notice, though.)

However, this brings me to another issue: vendors.  Not the people that walk up and down the aisles screaming, "Ice cold beer," or "Hot dogs!  Get your hot dogs!"  No, I'm talking about the concession stands.  Why can't every concession stand carry the same stuff?  Why can you only get cotton candy at this one and corn dogs at the other one?  What if I want corn dogs AND cotton candy?

Well, that was exactly my dilemma yesterday.  I wanted nachos.  Gavin wanted a corn dog and fries.  He wanted fruit punch.  I needed a beer.  Could I stand in just one line and get everything?  No.  I had to go to three separate vendors.  Three.  First, I got the nachos and the drinks.  Then, I got the beer and the fries.  All I needed was a corn dog and we could make it to our seats without disaster.  But, no, that would be too easy, now wouldn't it?  You know what would have been really easy?  If one place had everything.  That would be easy.  Which is probably exactly why they don't.

So, I'm standing in my third line, holding a drink/food carrier with the nachos, fries, and drinks.  Of course, Gavin can't just stand there patiently; he needs to demand sips of his fruit punch and bites of french fries every 30 seconds.  At one point, he decided he would just help himself to my nachos.  He reached his hand up, and where did it go?  In the cheese.  Right.  In.  The.  Cheese.  Oh, I had napkins.  Under the nachos.  But, I couldn't get them because I only have two hands.  (Weird, I know.)  Luckily, the guy in front of me grabbed some napkins and handed them to Gavin (all while giving me an "Oh You Poor Thing" look).


All in all, despite the melted chocolate on my shirt and the floor of the car, it was a good time.  I look forward to our next game, and getting lost again . . .


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Autonomy is Awesome(ish)

Read any parenting book or pick up any parenting magazine, and you're bound to find a discussion of how important it is to make your toddler feel autonomous.  Autonomy is supposedly the super secret to getting your child to behave and grow up normal - you know, with self-esteem and good behavior and a sense of self and all that stuff.  (Now, if you're not familiar with "autonomy," it's basically a fancy word for "I'm my own boss.")

Well, guess who's read all those books and articles?  This girl.  And what did I learn?  That in order to help your toddler develop autonomy, you're supposed to give them choices.  Lots and lots of choices.  These choices will boost self-esteem, create a feeling of independence, and help improve behavior.  See, you give kids lots of choices so that way, when you need them to get-your-shoes-on-right-this-second-because-we-were-supposed-to-leave-thirty-minutes-ago-and-I-don't-really-have-time-to-argue-about-which-shoes-you-wear, they will say to themselves, "Hmm, Mommy usually gives me choices all day long.  But today, Mommy's in a big hurry.  So, I'm going to cut her some slack and just do what she says.  You know, because she hardly ever just tells me what to do without giving me any say in it." Got it?  Good.

I'm not exactly sold on all of that behavioral stuff, but I do know that Gavin likes to have choices.  And, at this point, he's grown pretty accustomed to choices.  If I took them away, I'm pretty sure he'd start a riot.  (Or just write all over my walls with a Sharpie.  Same thing, right?)  Unfortunately, I've found that giving choices doesn't always go as I planned.

Example #1:
Me:  Gavin, do you want string cheese or yogurt?
Gavin:  I want fruit snacks.
Me:  That wasn't one of your choices.  Do you want string cheese or yogurt?
Gavin:  How about I pick something on my own?
Me:  Do you want string cheese or yogurt?
Gavin:  Do we have any chocolate milk?

Example #2:
Me:  Gavin, do you want to watch baseball or Sponge Bob?
Gavin:  How about you put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on?
Me:  Mickey isn't on right now.  Do you want baseball or Sponge Bob?
Gavin:  Ummm . . . . how about Toy Story?
Me:  Baseball or Sponge Bob?
Gavin:  How about Lightening McQueen and Toy Story?

You see, it's not that he doesn't understand that I'm giving him choices, it's that he wants more choices.  In fact, he would rather to choose all of the choices he gets.  Not quite the way it's supposed to go, I think.

My second problem revolves around the fact that you're only supposed to give kids choices that you're willing to accept or are actually feasible.  For instance, you can't say to your toddler, "You can either get in the car now, or you can stay home alone," unless you want protective services to come a-knockin'. I tend to fall short in this area.  (Not the leaving my kid home alone part - just to clarify.)

Example #1:
Gavin, you can either stop crying, or I can cut your arm off with a butter knife.

Example #2:  
Gavin, you can either pick up your toys, or I can karate chop you in the throat.

Example #3:
Gavin, you can either listen, or I can throw Buzz Lightyear out of the car window so that a semi-truck runs him over.

Example #4:
You can either have pizza or a knuckle sandwich.

Example #5:
Gavin, you need to stop screaming, or I'm going to feed you to a lion.

You see, these are not considered acceptable choices because a) I don't really assault my son with butter knives, b) I rarely karate chop my kid and never in the throat, c) I cannot guarantee that I could time it so Buzz would actually get run over by a semi-truck, d) I'm fresh out of bread so the knuckle sandwich is out, and e) my lion ran away.

So, I'm still working on the "reasonable choices" thing.

My third problem is that sometimes I let Gavin have free reign over things (like picking out his own clothes) rather than providing a set of choices every day.  This creates a problem when he wants to wear his Buzz Lightyear pajamas to daycare, and he thinks this is totally fine because I told him to get dressed and, well, he is dressed isn't he?




But, don't you worry.  One day, I will figure this all out.  Then, I will write a book about it, millions of parents will read it, children across the world will suddenly be perfect angels, and world peace will abound.  Or something like that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Because of Sh*t Like This

I started blogging a while back for a few reasons - mostly to help keep me sane, a little to get stuff off of my chest, partly because writing makes me feel better, and also because it's a way for me to capture all of the crazy/funny/awesome things my son does.  See, if I write it here, I can look back on it and remember all of these things . . . like the numerous conversations we have that never cease to make me laugh . . . that normally I might forget.

The following is one of my favorite conversations I've ever had with Gavin.  Seriously. 

Let's set the scene:  Gavin and I are on our way to a birthday party for a little boy named Keygan who is turning one.  Problem:  Gavin also has a cousin named Keegan (who, consequently is 10ish - I say 10ish because I can't remember right now.  I'm a bad aunt.  Sorry.)  Note the different spellings?  But they sound the same, right?  They're called homonyms.  Or, like a lady I used to work with: HOMO nyms.  Yeah, that's America's future right there!  Anyway . . .


Me:  Gavin, are you excited for this birthday party?

Gavin:  Whose birthday is it?

Me:  We're going to a party for a little boy whose name is Keygan.

Gavin:  Oh, Keegan.

Me:  Keygan is going to be one.  He's just a little baby.

Gavin:  (clearly confused)  Did he shrink back down into a little baby?

Okay, so let me just clarify.  Gavin has this idea in his head that if I feed him baby food and buy him a bottle from the grocery store, he'll shrink back down into a little baby.  Why?  Because I'm always telling him that he's getting too big for me to carry.  So, he figures if he "grows back down" into a baby, I can still carry him everywhere.  Cute, but also weird when he asks me to purchase bottles and baby food at the grocery store.  He really thinks it will work.

Me:  No, this is a different Keygan.  There are two Keegans.

Gavin:  (unconvincingly)  Oh....

Me:  Here we are, at Keygan's  party!

Gavin:  Where's Jeremy? (Jeremy is the dad of Gavin's cousin, Keegan).

Me:  He's not here.  This is a different Keygan.

Gavin:  But where's Jeremy?  Does Keegan have two houses?

Me:  No, Gavin, this is a different Keygan.  There are two Keygans.  A baby Keygan and a big Keegan.

Gavin:  But where's Jeremy?  Where's Keegan's other house?

Alas, no matter what I said, I couldn't get him to understand that there were two different people named Keegan.  During the course of the birthday party, Gavin continually asked me where Jeremy was and where Keegan's other house was...

A few days later, he saw his cousin, Keegan, and he said, "I saw you the other day when you were a little baby."

You see, writing this down means that in five years from now, I'll remember this.  I'll remember my son's innocence and his crazy perception of the world, and that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No More Movies, Kid

So, I have a problem with children's movies: they teach kids naughty, naughty things.  Correction: they teach my kid naughty, naughty things.  Now, I don't want to be a fun-nazi, but pretty soon I'm going to have to ban Gavin from watching any children's movie or television show if his behavior continues. 

It should come as no surprise to you that Gavin loves Toy Story.  He asks to watch either Toy Story or Toy Story 2 at least 4.5 billion times a day.  (Don't even get me started on Toy Story 3 and the creepy monkey, the evil CareBear, and the 30-minute death scene. So not a kid's movie.  I'm still having nightmares about it.)  He's pretty much obsessed with Toy Story, and my house looks like Toy Story vomited everywhere... but that's besides the point.

Initially, I thought it was "cute" when he started acting out the scenes from the movie with his little Buzz and Woody action figures - saying things like "To infinity and beyond" and "There's a snake in my boot" . . . but it quickly went downhill.  It started out with small things:  One day, I heard him call the dog "stupid" because someone in the movie calls their dog "stupid."  I quickly addressed this by telling Gavin that we don't say "stupid," and if he does say it, he will go in time-out.  (Ironically, it turns out that I say "stupid" about 100 times a day.  How do I know this?  Because every time I say it, Gavin's right there saying, "Momma, don't say stupid.  Don't you say that ever again."  Sorry, Gavin.  Damn it!  Interestingly enough, I don't get in trouble for swearing.)

Recently, we've had a problem with Sharpies.  No matter where I hide them, Gavin finds them.  What does he do with them?  He writes all over Buzz's and Woody's faces.  Why?  Because in the movie, Andy writes his name on Buzz's foot, and there is an "out-takes" scene in the movie where Woody draws a mustache on Buzz's helmet.  So, consequently, all of the Buzz's in our house now have mustaches (and much, much more).  I tried to explain to Gavin that we don't write on our toys (which makes it sound like I have toys.  But I don't.  Don't even go there.).  His response: "But in the movie, Andy writes on Buzz."  Oh, okay. I'll just let you continue to ruin your toys then.

Buzzes + mustaches.


Now, you're probably thinking, "Oh, that's not so bad.  A little marker on his toys.  No big deal."  Well, that's not the end of our little tale.  About two weeks about, my basement flooded - like two inches of water, total disaster flooded.  I had been downstairs with the shop-vac for over three hours, since 5:30 a.m., when suddenly I heard screaming from upstairs.  (I made Gavin stay upstairs and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I cleaned up the basement.)  I raced upstairs, and there is Gavin, sitting on the kitchen table, holding his finger, a pair of scissors at his side.

Gavin:  Mommy, I hurt myself.

Me:  What did you do?

Gavin:  I cut my finger with the scissors.  I have an owie.  I didn't like that.  

Me:  You know you're not supposed to touch the scissors.

Gavin:  But it hurts, Mommy.

Me:  What were you doing?

Gavin:  I cut Woody's arm off.

Why, you might ask?  Because in the movie, they cut Woody's arm off.

Poor Woody.


Now, it's not like this was the first time he had attempted this.  In fact, he had tried a few times.  But, no matter where I hide the scissors, he seems to find them.  If I hide them on top of the fridge, he gets a chair, crawls up on the counter, and gets them off the top of the fridge.  He's naughty and resourceful.  However, this time, he was actually able to cut Woody's arm most of the way off.  Sigh

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Told You So. . . .

Sorry about the numerous dog posts, but Arnie continues to slip further into insanity, and it's only fair that I document it.  Previously, I've mentioned Arnie's fears, including that of his water bowl.  Well, it appears that he has taken this to a whole new level.

Lately, we've been getting a lot of rain.  Arnie has decided to use this to his advantage and take up a new hobby: hunting.

He searches high and low for his prey, leaving no stone (or in this case plastic toy) unturned.  He's spent more time in the backyard this past week than he has spent out there in the past year.  He is a ruthless hunting machine, dedicating all his time and energy to his task.

His victim: water.


The hunter searches deep in a plastic container.

He'll even look in a cone . . .

Plastic toys usually bring a good bounty.

He'll even go so far as to look in a crate.

I guess the water bowl doesn't provide enough of a challenge.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Please Stop Saying . . .

A few days ago, I was reading a post by Laura at Catharsis, and it triggered a memory that I had buried deep in the recesses of my mind.  Was it because the memory was traumatizing?  Was it because I was so emotionally scarred by this event that in order to survive without having a nervous breakdown my brain had to store it far, far away so as not to further damage my psyche?  Nope.  It's actually pretty freaking funny.

For our journey, I'll take you back in time about a year ago, and we'll return to one of our favorite settings - the grocery store.  As you may know, all sorts of naughtiness takes place at the grocery store, and this day was no exception.  At this point in time, Gavin's vocabulary was rapidly expanding.  He was constantly asking what things were, and then he would point them out to you in a questioning way.

For example:

Gavin:  Mommy, what's that?
Me:  That's a light bulb.
Gavin: (a few days later at the store): Is that a light bulb?
Me:  No, that's a screwdriver.
Gavin:  Oh, a screwdriver.  (5 second elapse)  Is that a light bulb?
Me:  No, that's a hammer.
Gavin:  Oh, a hammer.

And on and on and on.

So, on this particular day, we were at the grocery store, and we were buying a gift bag and a card.  (I can't even remember what for at this point.)  Out of nowhere, Gavin points to a red gift bag and says:

Mommy, is that a penis?

What?  What did you just ask me?  Now, you're probably thinking, "Oh this is one of those stories where she thought he said penis, but really he said something else that sounds like penis, right?"  Well, I dare you to think of any words a two-year-old would know that sound like penis.  Uh huh.  See what I mean?  There's no mistake here.  He asked me if the gift bag was a penis.

My first reaction:  What did you just say?

Gavin's response:  (a little louder this time)  Is that a penis?

Me:  (smirking and trying not to laugh)  No.  Stop asking me that.

Gavin: (who clearly noticed my smirk):  Is that penis, Mommy?

Lady a few feet down the aisle stares.

Me: (chuckling now)  No, stop saying that.

Gavin:  Mommy, is that a PENIS?

Me: (laughing harder) No, Gavin.  That's not a penis.  Stop it.

A few more shoppers look at me questioningly. 

Gavin: (huge grin on his face now)  MOMMY IS THAT A PENIS?

Me: (laughing so hard I can't even tell him to stop) 

Now, if I were a model parent, I would have been able to put on a straight face and sternly tell him to stop yelling 'penis' in the store.  Alas, I am  not.  It took me a few minutes to get it together enough so that I could distract him with something so he'd stop asking me if everything in the store was a penis.  I'm sorry.  I'm sure it offended people who heard his shouting, but it was funny.  Like, really funny.  And I couldn't stop laughing.  In fact, I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.

Where he learned 'penis' from, I don't know.  He was potty-training at the time, so maybe one day he asked either me or his dad what the thing was called that he peed from.  We had always tried to teach him the "correct" word for everything.  But, who knows.  Maybe we should have thought of a funny or cute name for it, but that just seems creepy to me.  Hey, look at my tallywhacker.   Hey, this is my pee-pee.  You live, you learn, right?  In the meantime, I'll just chalk it up to another funny grocery store trip.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Nonsense

Nonsense #1:
Gavin:  Mommy, I'm hungry.

Me:  Did you eat all of your pancakes?

Gavin:  Yes, and I'm still hungry.  I think I want some Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  (To harass the beagle??)

Me:  Okay, I'll get you some.

I go to the kitchen and put some Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a bowl, without even looking at what color it was.

Gavin:  (looking at the bowl in disgust)  But, I don't think I'm a girl, Mommy.

Me:  (looks at the bowl, notices it is pink)  It tastes the same in a pink bowl. 

Gavin:  (sets the bowl on the table, refuses to eat out of it)  I'm not a girl!

Me:  Fine.  Starve.  (Which, wasn't true.  He just ate a whole plate of pancakes.)

Nonsense #2:
Gavin somehow found this on YouTube.  Yes, he knows how to watch videos on YouTube.  It's the new object of his affection. 

And guess what?  It's not made anymore.  Anywhere.  But, I can buy it for $85 on ebay...


Nonsense #3:
No, this will not be replacing the cowboy hat . . .



Nonsense #4:  
Well, this is one way to stay cool, I guess.