Monday, April 30, 2007

My Head Is Killing Me

Literally. Apparently, all of my ailments of late can be traced back to my head. From stressing out to clenching my teeth, the fact that my neck is out of alignment and the upper portion of my cervical spine tilts the wrong way, adding 20 pounds to the weight of my head, not to mention the fact that we sleep on a 20-something year old mattress. All of the above is why I can't feel my finger tips anymore, and why I feel like someone has a vise permanently gripped onto my funny bone.

In my efforts to solve this problem, I have been on no less than 6 doctor's visits over the span of a week: Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Certified Massage Therapist, Neurologist. They all have conflicting ideas as to what it is exactly (skeletal/ muscular/nerve)that's causing the pain, each one insisting the problem lies within their area of expertise. They at least do all agree that whatever it is generates from the head/neck/upper body region, they just all attribute it to different causes. Fun with docs!! I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow morning, so that should be nice and claustrophobic, and then I'm scheduled for a multitude of follow-ups, so I'll be sure to keep you guys posted.

You'd think with all this medical attention I could get some sort of pain medication, but so far all I've been prescribed is Neurontin, the neurological drug that controls seizures and convulsions. Now Honey and I have something else in common! Soon, I'll be talking to dolls and challenging the toaster to a fight. I'm actually very excited.

Jax and Ry go to the ENT tomorrow morning, to check on Ry's lack of hearing and Jax's raging infection. I'm really looking to forward to that one, as well. Can't wait to hear what type of surgery they'll insit we schedule asap.

Jaxson is still waking at night, though not as often, and now it's gotten to the point where it's really kinda funny. The dude (all ultra-thick 30 pounds of him) blockades himself against his door during his wailing fits, which is where he inevitably ends up sleeping until I go to move him, which is a dance of it's own, where I find myself cracking the door just so, enough that I feel the dead weight of his meaty little frame, but not so much that I pinch his arm or leg under the door. Then I have to get down on all fours, and maneuver my hand through the crack and back around in an attempt to nudge him away enough that I can slide in without smushing him, which is continually becoming an even bigger ordeal seeing as how I've gone ahead and managed to add 8 pounds to my meaty little frame over the course of the past month.

Once all is said and done, I feel super-triumphant, until I accidentally step on his head in the dark and then the whole high-wire act I just performed is rendered pointless. Such is life in our house.

Ryan had her dress rehearsal in acting class today, and she did a great job, except for the fact that she kept her costume pulled down over her head and when she did look at us, she did so with her tongue sticking out. She knew her lines and her cues, but we didn't really hear them as she whispered most of them and Jax was laughing and pointing at her, yelling "Funny!" the whole time.

And it was. It was.

Friday, April 27, 2007

New York, New York

A funny thing happened on the way to the mad house...

I gave my friend Angie a purse I'd bought in New York, and when she went to use it the other day, she CAMERA!!! Apparently, I had put it inside the purse for safe-keeping. I am so smart.

Anyway, you can check out the full collection of pics here.

Meanwhile, I took some great video of Ry at her Spring Performance yesterday, but I've got to charge the camera so I can upload them. If it ain't one thing, it's another.

Stay tuned...I have lots of funny stories of my escapades with "doctors", Jaxson, and this horrible pain that just won't go away.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Earth Father

I pride myself on being as "green" as possible. You know how I love my organics, and my non-toxic earth-friendly cleaning supplies, but I was outdone this past Earth Day by Shawn, who decided to plant a sweet little oak tree in the gaping privacy-hole through which the perverted minister who lives across the way likes to peek at me while in my undies making breakfast. But that's neither here nor there.
Shawn planted a tree!! Woohoo!! And in the time-tested tradition of photo-documentation, we have decided to map the growth of our 3rd child along with our other 2, as seen below:

(The tree is that sickly little skinny thing Jax is itching to yank out of the ground, in case ya didn't know...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Off-Topic Tuesday

(Yes, I do realize how dangerously close I'm getting to using cute catch-phrases for all the days of the week on this blog. I have contacted the necessary officials and the matter should be cleared up shortly.)

Anyway, I was listening to Air America this morning (aaghh! run & hide -- chunkyrhino is LIBERAL!), and while I usually stay away from politics on the blog (which as those of you who know me understand how hard that is for me, but also how necessary; heart attacks run rampant in my family, no need to stoke the fire) I felt compelled to write a little about a topic they were covering this morning.

Actually, it's not even a political issue per se, just a national issue, and one I'm surprised hasn't surfaced on a national level earlier.

The talk show host was mentioning an email he'd received from a listener who also happens to be a commander in the Armed Forces, commenting on how although he understands and supports the rationale behind the national show of support for the citizens who lost their lives last week at VA Tech by flying the flag at half mast, he is confused as to why no one flies their flags at half mast every time we lose a soldier overseas in the never-ending pissing game that is the war in Iraq.

I was awestruck at what a simple yet symbolic act this would be as a way of showing support for our troops, and flummoxed by the reality that no one has done this sooner, at least not on a national level.

Why not? Why not show the same support to the kids who lose their lives on an almost daily basis, fighting in the name of our country? I'm not sure why it's not already put into practice, but I don't see why we can't start now.

Let's talk to our employers and the places of business we frequent who fly the flag and request that they honor our fallen soldiers from now until the end of the war ( no timetables, please -- we wouldn't want to put any pressure on the "Decider") by flying their flag at half-mast. Let's start a grass-roots movement! (YeeHaw!!)

It might not be huge, but it's doable. It's something. And it's (gasp!) NON-PARTISAN. Red, Blue, Green...we all understand the sacrifices being made, let's at least unite by honoring them, without worrying about which side is right or wrong.

Otherwise, what's the point?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sister Mary Ryan

I thought it was bad when I picked the kids up from Angie's the other day (she was watching them for me while I visited an acupuncturist/chiropractor about my injury) and she told me she caught Hunter and Ryan smoochin' on the front porch. The same Hunter who we found with Ryan in her closet while she was naked. Yep, that one. I adore that kid, so I guess if there's any boy she should betrothe herself to through her acts of "love", he'll do just fine (and believe me, I do mean betrothe).

But then I found out she was flashing her girlie-parts to Hunter and his brother Jayden on the porch, as well. And now I'm considering sending her to nunnery. And no, I'm not kidding.

I am mortally freaked out, and it's taking all my strength to keep from showing my freaked-out-edness, so as not to "make a big deal" of it.

I was the prude of prudes, terrified of kissing, even in college -- I was just insecure and scared, scared, scared. This must be something she gets from her sexually-promiscuous father, who is away at work so much that unfortunately the act of disciplining her for this type of behavior lies on me, the one who for years masqueraded her ginormous chest so as not to give boys any reason to pay her any "dirty" attention. And I do mean "dirty".

I am seriously hyperventillating, and checking out everything from The Sound of Music to The Flying Nun, in a last-ditch effort to save her from what is surely the path to stripperdom and prostitution. Seriously. Seriously.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bedtime Story

These days, the only time I can get Ryan to be nice to Jax is generally if he's hurt himself and she decides to Florence Nightengale him, or when it's bedtime and she wants to take over as "Mommy". Hey, I'll take it where I can get it, so I'm happy to let her take over. Especially when I get to hear stuff like this:

Ryan had picked up one of her old books, "Hush Little One", and decided that that would be the book she would read to him this evening. After asking me the name of the book, she went about the task of "reading" the pictures:

Ryan:"And the birdies hush, and the rabbits hush and the deer hush, and now Jax you hush, too.."

to which Jax replied, "...three."

I may be the only one laughing, but I don't care.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Circle of Life

Okay, so here we are again, illness dumped on us like the tons of chains cascading on the bad guys in that movie of movies, "Twins".

Shawn's down with strep, the kids have genetic diseases lurking all around, and now I've got nerve damage that would take your breath away.

Seems like we just can't resist bringing it on all at once, huh? There's got to be a hidden meaning or something in that. I've just removed myself from some major drama, thinking I would be able to breathe and relax and enjoy life more, only to open the door to this mess.

I know one moved out of the way to make room for the other, but would it be a crime to ask all of the wolves to just take a vacation for a month or two? Would that be so bad? I hear Hawaii is beautiful this time of year.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lil' Miss Ryan Had a Farm...

Over dinner just now, Ryan up and declared, "Whew! I sure am tired from milking that cow!"

"What cow?"

"The one in the backyard."

"ummm, is this an invisible cow?"

No, Mom. Look at the treehouse. I pretended the top part was the cow's body, the posts were its legs, the rope hanging down in the middle is the cow's weiner--"

"You mean tit?"

"Yeah, whatever. The sit and spin was the stool and I used the pot from the crawfish boil to catch the milk. I've even got my trusty milking boots (proudly displays rainboots)."

Ilooked outside, and sure enough, there was the sit'n spin, and the pot under the rope, and you know what? It took a minute, but I could TOTALLY see Bessie out there just waitin' to graze...

Fun with Neurofibromitosis

Right, so remember how I told you at the kids' doctor appointment they were comcerned with their cafe au lait spots (nee "birthmarks")? Well, just in case that wasn't enough to stress a mommy out, let's just take it to the next level, shall we?

Got a phone call from the ped yesterday saying that due to the fact that even though the disease may not run in the family, the gene can mutate or something, so they want us to go ahead and see the geneticist, except be warned: "she's kinda cold, not at all "warm and fuzzy", and we have a really hard time getting her notes from patients we refer, so after you see her, could you call us and tell us what she says?

"And by the way, the disease can also cause nodules to grow on the eyeball, and since Ryan had trouble with her vision screening, why don't you tale her to an Opthamologist rather than an Optometrist so they can really check out her eyes and see what's going on."


Monday, April 16, 2007

Well There You Have It

We took the kiddos to their 5 and 2 yr appointments today, respectively.

Ryan did amazingly well with her shots, but they can't figure out why she doesn't have full hearing in her right ear, or why she and Jax have so many large, light-colored splotches on their bodies. Apparently, that's a symptom of Neurofibromitosis, although Shawn says "we always called 'em 'birthmarks'". Regardless, they're a mystery.

Speaking of which, the mystery of Jax's "stinky ear" has been solved. Seems it's nothing more than a big ole nasty raging ear infection. Which is what Shawn has been predicting for about the past 2 months. Which means if this thing is a nasty monster, it's fault for dismissing the ear infection idea. Which means you can mark me up even higher on the MOTY list.

Apparently, Shawn never speaks his appreciation of me because I don't do anything to deserve it. The clothes he needs never seem to be clean, nor is the house; I can't get Ryan to stay in her bed or stop talking back; I rely on take out much more than a stay-at-home mother should; and now to top it all off, his instincts regarding the kids' health are better than mine.

It's lucky that I come equipped with a vagina, or he might as well just put me out with the rest of the unused crap we throw away twice a week.

Too much going on. Head close to explosion.

Yikes! Looks like I'm not as good at keeping up with this albatross around my neck, um, I mean, blog, as I want to be! Sorry, Chaika!

We had such an insane week -- one of those that you know must have been bad because nothing actually got done and you can't remember half of what you did.

Let's see...Wednesday, I eliminated Jax's naps, and the sky came crashing down.

Thursday, we went to the Round Rock Express Game, but only after I screamed for an hour at Shawn due to lack of sleep and his preference to go play golf over coming home to relieve me for a much-needed nap (see Wednesday) and the stress of finding all the red permanent markings Jax had drawn on the walls, stairs, furniture, decor, etc...

Friday, Shawn was off from work, and spent the day mulching the lawn while I mopped the floor, cleaned the kitchen, and scrubbed the bathrooms. We finally managed to get to dinner around 8pm with Nana and Shawn's Uncle Kevin, a dinner that started out lovely but ended in a freezing monsoon.

Saturday was Jax's birthday, and Shawn and I stupidly decided to celebrate with a crawfish boil. In 57 degree weather. For the first time. Long story short, after waiting 3 hours for the pot to boil outside, we finally decided to bring the boil into the kitchen and played musical pots with the 37 pound of crawfish we'd bought. Once we finally got everything cooked, the meal was great, though we'd lost 1/4 of our guests and had to eat huddled over the table, shrouded in fleece and sweatsuits. Nevertheless, Jax had a great time, got way too many gifts, and finally slept somewhat through the night (only woke up at 5:30!!).

Sunday was Fredericksburg with Shawn's family, where every store we wanted to visit was closed, but we did manage to spend ample time in the local brewery, where Jax entertained all with his rebel ways and new mowhawk (yes, I did!)

Today we've got shots for both of them, so I'm certain you'll have a much more humorous post to look foreward to this evening.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Unabashed Product Placement

Some new stuff at shopchunkyrhino -- check it out, and for the Love of Lucifer, give me some feedback!
(I, for one, think the she-skull baby looks like she's got a 5 0'clock shadow, but Shawn thinks it looks great...)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ranch is the new Crack

For Jax, anyway.

I thought I was bad, using Ranch as my dip of choice for every chip imaginable. I could eat the stuff on anything, and in fact, was known to put together a tasy cure for my midnight munchies in college: croutons and ranch in a bowl (don't knock it til you've tried it).

But I am Nothing, NOTHING compared to my son. I took the kids to Chili's tonight for our own little date night (Daddy's working), and as always, we ordered chips &Ranch, with extra Ranch for Jax. Now, I knew he had a liking for the stuff, but I had no idea how far his addiction goes until I looked over and saw him dipping his crayons in it, then sucking it off.

Laughing, I pulled the crayon away and handed him a chip instead, thinking what a cute little side entry it would make in my next blog post, when I turn to him again and *choking back gag reflex even as I type* found him drinking the Ranch straight out of the ramiken.

I shudder. I don't recall o.d.'ing on the stuff while he was in the womb, but I must have done something wrong, because that ain't right.

The Mommy Drew Mysteries

Do you moms ever feel like you are a real-life detective, solving mysteries left and right on a day-to-day basis? Just last night, as I embarked on the "Search for the Refrigerator Leak", I realized how many of these mysteries I find myslef "solving" everyday.

Just yesterday, there was "The Case of the Missing Binky" (a recurring episode in our household), not to be outdone by "The Mystery of the Broken Toy", or "The Case of the Wayward Husband Who Can't Put His Dirty Clothes in the Hamper".

I swear, we moms could unite and start our own detective agency, kinda like "The Babysitters Club", but without all the crimped hair and day-glo clothing.

Who's in?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Discipline Dilemma

So, Shawn grounded Ryan yesterday for lying. That's our #1 no-no here at Casa de Dysfunction, so I was totally behind his decision to punish her until I found out he grounded her for a week, and was very explicit in laying out the terms of the grounding:

1. No TV
2. No Playdates
3. No books at bedtime
4. No songs at bedtime (the child cannot fall asleep without listening to her radio at night)

Fuckwah?? Hello! Mr. Mom, next time you decide to interfere could you check with me first?? You don't see me running to your restaurant and firing every bad employee I see, do you??

No TV for a week? Fine, I can work around that, we watch too much as it is. No books at bedtime? Again, it makes me a little sad, but okay. The song business? I feel her pain, but she shouldn't have lied, so maybe as she's laying up in her bed, counting crayon marks on the ceiling, trying to fall asleep, she'll actually spend some time thinking about why she's got no music, and hopefully that lesson will stick with her. Fine.

But NO PLAYDATES?? Who do you think I am, Ghandi?? My week is managed through playdates -- I network via playdates, the way you guys "make deals" on the golf course. I work two child-based side jobs, how the hell am I supposed to do that when you've forbidden my child from playing with other kids for a week?

Exhibit A: The Morning Meeting Playdate: This occurs when I need to meet for Mommy and Me, and instead of begging or (gasp!--paying) for childcare, I arrange a meeting/playdate so the kids are occupied while the mommies do business. Which, FYI, I've got one this very morning at 10 am AT OUR HOUSE. Your answer? "Keep her in her room while the other kids are here." Fine, but what you also don't understand is that she's my Social Director. She keeps the kids going so we don't have to break every 5 minutes to give them ideas on what to play next. Good one, Dad.

Exhibit B: The New-Mom/ Friend Playdate: Do you not remember me tellng you I was looking forward to having a playdate with the new people we met at McDonald's last week? The one who has more in common with us than any other kid/parent combo we've yet to meet? Yeah, that one. Looks like that's out the window...

Exhibit C: The Cocktail Hour Playdate: No, we don't drink at these (but that's not a bad idea...), but they do provide the benefits we used to reap from those alcohol-induced gabfests where we girls hash out all the troubles with you men, and that, my friend, is invaluable time spent - invaluable.

So you see, not only have you grounded our little fibber for the week, you've also grounded me, and let me tell you, I'm not that happy about it, and you will be hearing from my lawyer, Mr. Jaxson T. York. Good luck with that one.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cooking with "Kiki"

Right, so I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my once-upon-a-time cooking show host alter-ego, Kiki. Turns out Cooking with Kiki is about as entertaining as Cleaning with Children...

My grandmother handed down one of her old French Acadian cookbooks, and after allowing Shawn to peruse it, he got his heart set on having Crawfish Pie. "Not a problem," I say, "I'm 1/2 Cajun, it should come naturally." That, and I have the recipe, which you would think should be enough.

You would think.

I have this funny little habit of reading (aka:skimming) everything very literally, not always using that tool most handy to cooks around the world: common sense. So I get to the store and proceed to the Seafood counter to purchase 3 lbs cooked crawfish. Not because it calls for 3 lbs of crawfish, but because I also have a funny little habit of not fully reading (aka:skimming) recipes before I shop, and thus have misunderstood 3 cups to mean 3 lbs. Please don't ask.

Fine fine fine. But wait -- it's Good Friday -- they're all out of cooked crawfish, and Amy gets suckered into buying the uncooked kind instead. You know, the LIVE, creepily, crawling, bugging little-eyed mudsuckers that my sisters and I used to watch, fixated, as they boiled to their demise in our grandfather's huge boiler. Those uncooked crawfish. Ryan about shit herself.

She's not yet been totally inaugurated into the Cajun family history, and as of yet, is still a bit unfamiliar with the cuisine and the fun it entails. No time like the present for a good history lesson, right?

So I excitedly order 3 lbs of the buggers, completely disregarding the fact that I've never personally boiled crawfish before (there must be instructions somewhere that I can skim, no?), and carry on with my shopping list.

Next up is "a bunch of shallots". Hmmm...I'm pretty certain shallots are onions, I think they may look like chives or leeks, so I make my way to the produce section. And I'm looking, I'm looking, I'm shallots listed on any of the signs...I could ask the produce guy standing right next to me, but that would mean admitting I don't know something, and that is not allowed in the make-believe world of "Kiki". So I turn around and peruse the bulbous-onion side of the produce section. Ah, yes! Right there, little mini-onions labeled "Shallots" -- except, wait, there are two bins with different sized mini-onions, but only one sign above them. Which do I get? The baby one or the bigger ones? And what constitutes a "bunch" of these things? Christ on a Cracker, I guess I'll just have to get some of each and cross my fingers. (That's usually a good plan when cooking.)

Luckily, I have my wits about me enough to grab some boil seasoning before leaving the store, and arrive at home ready to fly my coon-ass colors.

Woopsie Poopsie, I just realized that the recipe called for 3 cups, not 3 lbs...and how do I know how many cups 3lbs of uncooked crawfish will yield?? What if we have a huge influx of unused boiled crawfish just lying around?? And, do you think they could possibly have had pre-cooked, pre-packaged crawfish meat somewhere in the store, and I just didn't look hard enough? Hmmm....

Anyhoo, here I am trying not to flip over this tiny snafu, ignorantly thinking we can just eat the rest of the boiled crawfish, not taking the time to even attempt to Google the conversion of pound live crawfish to cups cooked. I'm a rebel that way. It gives you guys something to laugh at.

I go about boiling the mud-spitters, completely ignoring the instructions to rinse in cold water and salt to make sure they're nice and clean...that probably only pertains to the real Cajuns who pull their own crawfish out of the ditches and swamps, right? Yeah, probably.

Okay, perusing the recipe, and, huh. Time to pay the piper regarding the whole "bunch of shallots" business. I know! I'll call Mom -- she'll know.

(10 minutes later)

Some help she was. she couldn't answer one of my questions. Cajun-smajun. Fine, I'll just Google "bunch of shallots" and see what I find.... Okay, here is a whole mess of them grouped on a vine-like thing like grapes, but surely they can't mean all those onions. Let's see..oh, wait -- here they are! And whaddya know -- they're just like green onions, but with little white bulbs at the end. Slap my mouth and call me Fred, my initial instinct was right! Too bad I didn't follow it, guess I'll just send Shawn to get some at the store. That should only take AN HOUR.

Right. So, the crawfish are ready for me to de-meat them. Unfortunately, I boiled them for 15 minutes, which is about 10 minutes too long, so even if we had enough to eat straight out of the shell, they'd just be nice and soggy, and no one wants soggy crawfish. Also? 3 lbs of crawfish yields ONE CUP of meat. Yikes. The recipe calls for 3 cups. Oh, well. Live and Learn.

I'm not giving up! I'm not giving in to this screaming banshee in my head telling me what a failure I am! I've just spent 3 hours prepping the ingredients for this damn thing, and we will eat it whether we like it or not!

Fortunately, everything is better with Cajun spices and salt and pepper, and although it turned out to be more of a crawfish-flavored rice pie with crawfish bits included, it was still good. Plus, now I know all kinds of things I didn't before -- like what shallots are and the conversion from pounds to cups of crawfish, and you can't just learn those things from, say, the Internet or--oh, wait....Never mind.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Cleaning with Children

First of all, that's a paradoxical statement if I ever heard one. Second, I never knew how fun it could be, given you use the correct materials. Clarification? Non toxic, organic, Greenpeace -certified cleaning crap.

I love the Method cleaning line at Target. Not because I'm hell-bent on being earth -friendly (although I am), not because I'm worried about the health of my kids (although I am), but because the packaging is so pretty! I love the sleek design, the scented window cleaner, and the wood wipes work wonders on my otherwise uncleanable wood floor(plus, when I'm done with the bottle, I can take the wrapper off and use it for something else -- what, I'm not sure, but it will most likely come in handy some day...)

That said, after yesterday, I love them even more for the one reason I should have loved them in the first place : non-toxic. Why? Well, you would sing the praises of non-toxic cleaning supplies, too if a)your 2 yr-old excitedly licked the dinner table every time you sprayed it with the all-purpose kitchen cleaner, and b) amidst lectures and warnings to only use the wood wipes on the wooden table, you turn to find your 5 yr old wiping her face with one of them.

Like I said: it's all about the non-toxic, baby.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

...And the Band Played On (aka "What the Hell Wednesday")

Shit just keeps gettin' better on our end, peeps. Took Jax with me to Ryan's kindergarten registration, and now I'm pretty sure we'll all be blacklisted there from now until eternity.

He did okay at first, sucking on the lollipop that they attached to a balloon for him, following the BIG BOYS around, chattering and nodding his head. I was amused to the point of literally being tickled, until he took off for the janitor's closet, and they started bringing the students in for lunch, which meant we had to get up and get out.

Not quite through with my paperwork, I gathered everything up, chased him away from the mop bucket, and herded him onto the cafe-gym-itorium stage where I attempted to coax him to calmness with crayons,. I should have known better, and am constantly amazed at how naive I am when it comes to my son. Of course he's gonna start marking the stage, of course, he's gonna see how far he can jump off the stage, of course, he's gonna let his balloon go and then scream until I climb onto a chair to retrieve it. And this is only 30 minutes in.

We finally make our way to the real line, which is oh, about 12 people deep and serviced by only 2 office staff. In other words, we were looking at a wait. I'm used to this, I don't even blink when he runs around in circles, or puts his feet on the wall, or shock of all shockers -- tries to grab more balloons from the rainbow jungle they've got set up right on front of us. Not even a blink from me, until the elementary mommy mafia start in on him, staring, whispering, laughing...Still, I barely bat an eye. He runs, I chase. He grabs a balloon, I take it back. He heads into the front office to massacre their files, I push them back in an orderly fashion. Same old, same old.

Or not.

At first, all the parents in line are chuckling along, marveling at what a "wonderful ball of energy he is", but then, when he actually puts one of the wrapped lollipops in his mouth, the facade cracks. "Why don't you just give it to him," Mommy Mobster #1 sneers, "he's already put it in his mouth anyway, we can't hand it out now."

"Oh, sorry", I mutter, all at once cut down by her tone and glare. So I unwrap it, hand it to him, and sit him against the wall next to me, where he lasts all of 3 minutes before heading off down the hall again. This is when Mobster #2 approaches me, wielding crayons and paper. Bless her stupid little heart. "Thanks," I smile, thinking, "yeah, right."

I make an effort anyway, sit him down at the wall, put the crayons in his hand, and point him towards the paper. Not 5 seconds after I'm back in line, he's attacked the floor with crayola, and has his feet banging against the quintessential elementary sound-proofing attempt: the carpeted walls. The Mommy Mafia is sitting on the other side of said wall, and all 3 of them quickly come about to see what on earth could be causing such a ruckus. Hmmm, I wonder...

Right about then, Mobster #2 grabs one of the office staff, whispering and pointing in my direction, coming up for air to glance at Jax and say, "We're going to go ahead and move you up in the line so you can get him out of here." Great, just what I need. As if I'm not annoying enough with my own personal little Tasmanian Devil by my side, now I get to cut in front of all the other tired parents who've been waiting longer than me. Perfect.

So up we go, Jax trotting along, me walking with my eyes downcast, mumbling apologies. Then? Well, then they make me wait at the front of the line while the Office Gestapo finishes with the previous parent. So now I get to stand there in front of my child's peer's parents, as they burn my face into their brains, remembering me as the ONE WHO CUT. That should help us make friends.

Meanwhile, Jax hasn't taken a beat -- he keeps right up, attacking the copy machine, being shooed away by Mommy Mobster #3, lurching at balloons that they have left everywhere, dumping crayons all over the floor. So here I go, chasing him around this 12x12 room, making a complete fool of myself as a parent and a human being, giving the people I've pissed off even more ammunition to use against me, when my friend, who I've also cut in front of, but in the worst way -- she was the next in line -- asks me if she can take Jax for me.

I have great friends. I really do, and most of them are always willing to try and help out when needed, but the problem is, I want to keep my friends, and with Jax, it's a crap shoot. I tell her that it's okay, I'll just hold him while I wait, but then he starts hitting me, and rather than spank him and scream, which, you know, is what I do, I look at her and hand him over. So now, not only have I cut in front of her, I've now handed her Satan's Minion to hold while she waits even longer.

Finally, it's my turn to face the Gestapo, and if you thought the staff at the DPS was bad, you need to visit the office staff on kindergarten registration day. If I hadn't already been pissed off at everyone around me, I actually might have been scared. She pulled one of those, "I'm so irritated I can't even talk to you, I'll just gesture until you figure out what I want" moves, which I love, and which really just sealed the deal for me right then and there. All I needed from her was a snap in my direction, and we would be researching Private Schools right now.

Once she finished assassinating our records and my dignity, I moved over to the nurse, ready to get outta dodge, only to be told that Ry still needs one more MMR. Another point for MOTY!!!

I get all the instructions, and then she mentions that if I want to stop by the PTA table to buy supplies early, I am welcome to. Sure, then maybe we'll all get naked and dance the hokey-pokey.

I walk off, eager to grab Jax and get home so I can discipline him properly (relax, I just put him to nap), when the PTA Gang starts calling out, Ma'am! Ma'am, wait!" I turn with a look that can only be described as :ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?? I'd just stood in front of these yahoo's for 20 minutes, chasing down Jax, and now they think I want to subject myself and the rest of the room to more torture? Are the masochists?? I had been on the fence about joining the PTA, what with all the cattiness and gossip I so abhor (outside of my family and friends, that is), but I'm pretty sure that after today, I'll be declining any invitations they may absent-mindedly extend.

Next year's gonna be a hoot, I can just FEEL it.

Bad Mood Dude

Oy vey. I'm not sure if it was the 10:30 pm fight with Shawn last night (I moved his sock drawer without asking him -- ladies, this is a bigger deal than you think - BEWARE), the midnight dealings with both my kids, or the fact that due to both of the previous incidents, I ended up sleeping on the couch. Whatever the reason, Mama Ain't Happy...

Already inundated with trying to get the house back in order ( you'd think it would be easier, but then again, you don't have a Jax ), having to register Ryan for preschool, setting an appointment with the radio sales people for Mommy and Me, figuring out when we'll be able to meet for Mommy and Me, seeing as how we all have kids and no free time, an A/C that's broken AGAIN, and having to get Ry to and from school this morning without murdering anyone, the last thing that needed to come across my desk was the email from a woman whose belongings I have because 1)she left them where I was mistakenly, 2) she didn't come get them from their original location when she said she would, 3)I'm way too nice and agreed to hold them at home for her.

Apparently, she lives on the other side of Austin from us, which means she's, like, 15 minutes away*massive eyeroll in progress*, and feels that's too far to drive. So she's been asking me to hand over the stuff to Shawn to take to work 'cause it's right by her house. He doesn't want to do it because he's Shawn, and cannot be bothered with mundane Mommy-shit, and I really don't want to make him because it's a $4 bag of crap that she should just get off her keister and come pick the shit up for the love of all that is holy.

Let me be clear: I do not know this woman from Adam. I was doing a favor for a virtual stranger, who can't read instructions and screwed up, and now it has come back to bite me in the ever-growing ass. Last week, when Shawn declared his unabashed non-willingness to help me out, I told the woman that he would not be at his location for the rest of the week, suggesting she pack up her mini-van and drive the 15 miles to my house to pick up the items. That was Wednesday of last week. Since then, I'd heard nothing until today, when I finally received a one-line reply stating: "Will he be there this week?"

So now I'm just right there at the edge of "let's go wield a large rifle and hunt a bitch down" (please know I'm kidding -- this is not a threat on someone's life -- sheesh), and I don't know how to handle the situation. Should I lie and say that he won't be there the rest of the year, that the Texas-based BBQ establishment has setup digs in Namibia and he'll be away for a while, or should I just tell her to suck it up and come get them from me, I dare you, or should I turn the other cheek and just ask for her address and deliver them myself?

I know what I should do, but when does "turning the other cheek" turn into " becoming a doormat"? WHERE DOES THE MADNESS END???????

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


This is how Jax says "water". Since so many of you commented to me on how funny it is that Jax only says "truck" instead of "car", I thought I'd throw a few more at ya:

Yesterday Shawn was talking to one of his "workers" (as Ryan calls them) in spanish on the phone, and there was Jaxson right next to him, "yidda bolah boody abba nana..." I hate to admit it, but his version of Espanol sounds better than mine.

Also, Ryan and I were writing Thank-You notes from her birthday (I made it within a MONTH -- I really should get a ribbon or gold star or something), and the last one was to Emma and Addie who live next door. To preface, we had been outside the day before playing with the girls when Ryan "accidentally" spit water on Emma (she insists it was accidental, but as you can plainly see by my ubiquitous quotation marks, I have my doubts). Anyway, there we were making out the cards, she dictating while I wrote. Here's how the card went:

'Dear Emma and Addie,

Thank you for my present. My Daddy plays with it all the time in the bath. J/K I love you guys. You are my very best friends ever. I'm sorry I spit on you, Emma. '

Unfortunately, I think it was one of those events where you really had to be there and hear the connotation in her voice, but let me just say that she had Shawn spitting water himself when he heard that one.

I just went to get the kids' birth certificates (under 2 years for Jax -- again, someone send me a cookie or something!), and while trying to coax Jax into obeying while waiting in line, I bribed him with some chocolate-covered altoids. He loves those things, but has a nasty habit of holding them while sucking the chocolate off, resulting in getting more chocolate on his hands and face than in his mouth. I usually don't sweat this, since by now it all just blends in nicely, but when he went diving hands-first for the newly-printed $22 birth certificates, I quickly removed him from the counter, only to turn around and watch him attempt to attack the other unlucky line-waiters with his hands, crying "Methy, methy!!" (that's messy, messy for you toddler-impaired folk.) You never saw a line of people disband so quickly -- the armed guard should use him next time the have to break up a rally.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Invisible Children

Menana had her 15 minutes of fame last night. Our local cable news station interviewed her and her students on the work they've been doing to support the Invisible Children campaign. I'm so proud of her -- and she looks cute, too! Check it out here, then check out our Invisible Children products at shopchunkyrhino -- you may not want to buy, but someone you know probably will, so send it along!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

This One's For Chaika

Normally I would attempt some funny but inappropriate April Fool's Post, but my dear friend Chaika, whom I did not call for her birthday, regardless of the fact that it's 5 days before mine and she traveled all the way to Austin this weekend to celebrate MY big day, has demanded that I post every day, rather than this once or twice a week bullshit I've been eeking out the past couple of months. So, out of pure Catholic guilt and because I love her and because I miss you internet people, I will be posting from now on. For the next month, anyway.

Anyway, my Big 3-0 came and went without a hitch: we partied with Ragweed and Robert Earl Friday night (despite babysitting snafu's and reported tornadoes), Shawn took Jax and me to breakfast on my b-day, followed by a shopping spree, Ry came home from her friend's house, we all took a 2 hour nap, got up and drove to the lake to greet my party guests and my bed-ridden mother. The woman is a Saint (or a Martyr, depending on which of her children you are talking to -- she insisted we carry on without her, stating that all she needed was to be able to hear us having fun in the next room; that would be enough for her. Christ on a Cracker.)

Anyway, we had a wonderful time, but truly showed our years by all turning in before 11 pm. Some people are SOOO Lame.

So now it's back to the grind, attempting to find time to clean this monster of a house while playing with the kids, exercising, making dinner, fixing the yard, updating chunkyrhino, and designing new tee's. Phew. On top of that, Ninny has knee surgery tomorrow, and I will be happily accompanying her home. Wish her luck and send your love to Big Daddy, who we think has managed to contract the disease that had Menana waylaid all weekend long.