Saturday, June 30, 2007

I Triple-Dog-Dare You

--to find anything more repulzive than coming home and finding that your dog has been eating your son's poopy diaper from the trash.

In your room.

Next to your side of the bed.

It's like my decision to buy that Bissel yesterday was a sign from God.

Speaking of bargains, I also scored some pretty cool cheap-o toys at Target, too. I'm telling you, the best place and time to stock up on birthday gifts is at the end of each season -- especially Christmas and Summer -- you can get so many good toys for soooo little. Am I right, ladies??

I'm not ashamed of my cheap-gift-buying status. Toys are expensive as shit, y'all, and we have a LOT of birthdays. Not that I personally haven't always been like this.

I once famously gifted both my sisters with random-shaped cut out posterboard with pictures and hlitter glued on for Christmas. To be fair, it was my freshman year in college, and I had not yet discovered credit.

Since then, my home-made gifts have upgraded to handmade cards and personalized scrapbooks. I'm not the only one -- another friend does embroidery, so every birthday she gives a beach towel with their name embroided on it. Granted, hers takes actual skill, but gimme a break, here.

Actually, lately I've moved up a bit and have started sending our chunkyrhino items as gifts. (You're welcome, Elisa and Kellie!). Is that horrible? Am I using a friend's special day to self-promote? Probably, but what the hell?? I think they're cute, and if they don't, do I really want them as a friend? I mean, really?

Or is it worse to get a real toy, but one that was purchased at clearance price? I don't know what other Moms think, but I could care less what your kid gives my kid. Most of it I just end up selling, anyway. Sorry if that smarts, but I'm trying to open up an honest discussion, here. I mean, I know some of those moms shop discount like us (Hi Ang!!), so do they care if they know you are giving their kid a discount gift (Hi Ang!)?

I hope not, cause if they do, Ry and and Jax are gonna be missing out on a LOT of invites.

Weekend Update

It's not quite 8 am here yet, I've been up since 6:15 (with both kids, one of which slept on top of me, the other woke up with a bloody nose), so my brain has yet to clock in. Therefore, this entry will be entirely uneventful, full of details no one cares about, but which are the only things I can think of right now.

My planned trip to the grocery store yesterday did not yield the results I was hoping for, so this morning we will be heading out again to try to complete the list. All I was able to cross off yesterday was "Large Ziploc Bags" -- don't ask. (I did, however, get a Bissel PowerBrush Spot Cleaner on clearance for $20!!)

After the grocery store, it's on to the gym where I can sweat away some of the guilt I've been feeling over my flabby tummy.

Then it's home for an early nap before we head to Chuck E Cheese for a birthday party, and then into Austin for a wedding. With the kids. This should be fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ann Coulter is a Whore

She is. She's a shameless attention-seeking whore. I know. I'm one, too, I just have more class (okay, even I can't keep a straight face ) and integrity than she does. No, but really. I hardly ever make fun of other people's dead kids.

Wouldn't it be awesome if just once she gave a really legitimate argument on the issues? How cool would that be?

Although, I am finding humorous the names she opts to use when she publicly defames her victims. I've been locked indoors the past 3 days with Ryan and Jaxson, and I think I have some viable options for her:

1. Poopoo Head (obvious, I know, but must be mentioned out of sheer volume of times it's been used here)

2.Dumb Face

3. Syphilis Cum-Bubble (oh wait -- that's mine for Shawn)

4. DoodyBrain

5. Stupid Butt

6. Vaginal Blood Fart (No, sorry -- one of Shawn's.)

Anyone want to place a bet???

Menana the Humanitarian

So you guys know all about my Mom, right? Biggest Bleeding Heart Liberal you ever did meet (how do you think I got this way?). Remember back when we were kids and Michael Jackson and all the stars did the Aid for Africa stuff? Every time those guys were on TV, there was Mom, sobbing. Remember Baby Jessica? Sobbing. Even now, she is active in human rights, heading up the Invisible Children project at her high school.

But even Gandhi has an off day. And thus, so does Menana.

She and my Dad had been traveling across Texas and living in hotel/motel state for the past 2 weeks, partly because they drove down to visit her Dad, and partly because they're having their home remodeled, and have thus been displaced. The home improvement project has taken longer than they were expecting, making life thoroughly unpleasant for both of them, but most especially Menana, who is balking at the fact that etiquette required them to accept a friend's offer to stay at their palatial villa while they are out of town, to give Mom and Dad some relief from the Marble Falls Inn. Some people.

When I called to check on her yesterday, she was at her own house in the only room not being worked on: the storage/office/gym room next to the garage. The one without a/c. Sweating and watching Law & Order because she just doesn't feel comfortable in other people's palatial villas.

So this morning, when I awoke to non-stop news reports that massive flooding had attacked Marble Falls overnight, leaving people stranded, roads flooded, etc, I called to see how they were doing.

"Oh, we're fine. We're on our way to check the house now. The creeks and rivers are just rushing -- it's crazy!! I really hope the tile guy can get back out here today to finish, he only got halfway done yesterday." All in one breath. Just like that.

Like I said, Menana the Humanitarian.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rude Awakening

So last night we're having dinner with our neighbors, one of which is a HOA Board Member with Shawn. During some incredibly exciting discussion about the association's finances, someone mentions that a lot of the $$ is dribbling out to the woman who "cleans" the facilities 3 times a week at the neighborhood pool. Irritated at the lack of service and astonished at the amount of money paid, Shawn quickly suggests that maybe I should do it, if it means more money every month.

*counting to ten*

On that note, don't forget to visit our online store for all your summer wedding and baby gift needs.


I know. I'm the laziest blogger on Earth. The time it takes to plug in the camera, transfer pics and type up funny-ish blurbs could just as easily be spent playing, watching a movie or sleeping -- all of which I opted to do yesterday rather than blog. It was raining cats and dogs, Shawn is still off of work, and we were just having fun with the kiddos. Sorry!!

Anyway, here's how it all went down: In an effort to stretch the Almighty Dollar, I found a Rodeway Inn in downtown San Antonio for $75/night. According to the 2-starred reviews I read, as long as all you wanted was a bed and a hot shower, then you would be okay. Huh.

The place is literally adjacent to I35, which meant police sirens and ambulances all through the day and night -- much to our kids' delight. The shower sucked balls, the built-in hairdryer didn't work and the bathroom vanity light didn't work. We were officially staying in the ghetto.

The kids loved jumping on the beds, watching out the window for the aforementioned sirens, and playing with the in-room safe, so I guess the sacrifice to our safety was worth something.

We spent Friday evening on the Riverwalk, planning on hiking from one end (the mall) to the other (Dick's Last Resort) to eat, but then rain hit and we were stuck with either Steers and Beers or Chili's. Wanting to do something out of the ordinary, we opted for Steers and Beers.

The place was empty (a bad omen, no doubt), and while we were waiting for our hostess to appear, Ryan climbed up on the stool behind the hostess stand and started goofing off. We quickly told her to get down, just as the hostess was walking over, and as she was trying to get down and out of the way, the hostess showed up, glaring at Ry, shoving her out of the way with her large behind. "Table for four?" she asked.

"Nevermind", Shawn and I muttered at the same time, both pissed at the audacity of this bitch and both thinking the same thing: we would never darken the doors of this heathen-run establishment again. I'm sure the girl was very remorseful, seeing as how the minute we walked out, a party of 12 walked in. Whatever. If you don't have your principles, you have nothing. And our No.1 principle is "Don't Fuck With Our Kids"

Chili's it was. Not that we don't love and adore a good Chili's meal, but we eat there all the time, and so were not that excited about spending a fortune there just because it was adjacent to the river. But we sucked it up and got a table anyway. It sucked. The server sucked, the food was not up to par, and the entire meal was endured surrounded by tables of high school cheerleaders. Jax loved it. I did not.

We made it through dinner, left a shitty tip, and headed back to the mall for ice cream and sight-seeing. There was a great little woodwind group playing music, and we happily pulled up a seat to watch and listen. Ryan decided immediately that her one souvenir from the trip would be a wooden recorder being sold by the music group, a choice I knew she would regret but was obliged to buy her anyway, when she insisted that she understood the meaning of "only one gift" and that this was, in fact, the one gift she wanted.

Jax just danced. Oh, our little ham. He had a great time goofing off to the music, until he saw someone put money into the large pot sitting in front of the stage, and all his attention turned toward getting some for himself. Which he did with much gusto. The crowd loved it. The performers, not so much. (I made sure to empty my change purse into the tip pot as I grabbed Jax away, thank you).

We decided it was as good a time as any to make our getaway, and so we all headed back to the truck, and then spent the next 45 minutes getting lost in downtown San Antonio, trying desperately to find an on ramp to I35. Remember how I said our hotel/motel was in the ghetto? I was wrong. The ghetto was a few miles south, an area we grew quite familiar with that evening.

We finally made it back to the Rodeway Inn, and snuggled in bed listening to the people upstairs throwing bowling balls on the ground until we drifted off to restless sleep.

Eventually the morning came and we headed to SeaWorld. Being the people-hater I am, I have to say that despite the large crowds, rude people, and annoying intermittent rains, we really had a great time. Ryan and Shawn rode "Journey to Atlantis", Jax stood by the fence and got soaked, and I caught it all on video. Shawn and Ry didn't get half as wet on the ride as Jax did standing next to it, leaving Ryan insisting that she needed a turn to get soaked. We tried to warn her. There she was in her cute little dress, no swimsuit to be seen, begging us to let her get drenched. It's not that we didn't want her to do it, we just know Ryan. She needs to be comfy. a dripping wet jumper does not make for a comfy outfit. Nevertheless, she insisted and so we stood aside, waiting for reality to soak in (pardon the pun). Not 5 minutes later, she cam running over to us, drenched from head to toe, complaining about being cold and wet. I'm pretty sure the words, "We told you so" were uttered.

We wrapped our dripping wet children in a towel and headed toward a cafe, searching for a decent meal to appease our grumbling tummies. 30 minutes and $34 later, we were sitting around our meals of crap-ass fast food, scoping out our next destination, which would be Shamu. We all needed a little boost, and were hoping an enormous trained Killer Whale would do the trick.

It did. We sat close enough to see everything, but no so close that we got caught in the Splash Zone, the kids were enamored and Shawn and I had a pretty good time, too.

Seeing Shamu led to a whole new Ryan-centered battle: she hated the wooden flute we bought her yesterday, and absolutely needed a whale-fin necklace and stuffed Shamu. After several minutes of arguing, I gave in and bought one of each for the kids, but not before Ry tripped on the stairs and cut herself, sending us to First-Aid where she got the kind of treatment that attention-seeking drama queens like she and I feel we deserve every day.

Next was on to "Pirates 4D", and another 45 minute wait. The 15 minute film was cute enough, but Jax hated getting sprayed with water and wasn't that happy about the air blowing in his ears as "bees" flew by, either.

By the end of that ordeal, the skies were producing a pretty steady drizzle, so we headed back indoors to the penguin exhibit which has just totally been ruined by "Happy Feet". All I could do was watch the little bugger sullenly, making guesses as to which ones had already gone loony, and which ones were on the verge.

Luckily, that little guilt-fest was not long-lasting, and we made our way to the Mommy and Daddy zone, otherwise know as the Brewmaster's Hospitality House. There really is something to be said about visiting an amusement park owned by the nation's largest brewing company.

Half an hour and two-free-beers each later, we took our load over to the Dolphin Zone where Ry and Jax tried desperately to touch the dolphins, and grumbled at the fact that Shawn and I would not buy $5 worth of fish for them to feed to the dolphins. I was grossed out by the though (and the long line) -- Shawn just refused to pay them to feed their animals. He's very principled that way.
After the dolphins we ended our SeaWorld adventure in the Shark house, where Ryan could live forever watching the fish, but where I grow bored within 2 seconds of walking through the doors. I am nothing if not a mother who sacrifices her own happiness for her childrens'.
Anyway, we found ourselves back at the Riverwalk that night, opting for *hmmm* Sea Food at Landry's, where we received almost as warm a welcome as we received at Steers and Beers the night before. We did sit River-side, though, and the kids had a great time shouting and yelling to the people on the tour boats (she desperately wanted to join them, I said it was too boring, she spent the rest of dinner pointing out all the people's smiling faces), and making faces at people looking down from the street above.
We made it safely (and quickly) back to the room, and turned in once again to the soothing sounds of sirens and stomping.
Sunday was originally planned to be Schlitterbahn day, but the weather turned on us and we ended up saving the waterpark for another day. Instead, we headed to Market Square, where Ryan managed to finagle yet another gift (Mexican doll), Shawn got bored, and we all got wet.
Don't you all want to vacay with us? Aren't we just as fun as a barrel of monkeys???

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ryan's Nighttime Prayer

"Dear God, I am so sorry that you have to work all the time answering prayers and that you never get to sleep. Maybe one day you will when all the people are dead -- then you'll get to rest so you can be strong to fight the devil and keep him away from us and all that other stuff. Amen"

(check back later for stories and pics from our San Antonio vacation. Here's a teaser: Rodeway Inn, a tip-stealing Jax, and maybe NOW Ryan will take our advice...)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mental Hospital

--Head nut speaking.

We are in crisis mode, scrambling to plan a new vacation for the next 3 days.

We found out yesterday that the beach house in Corpus was without water or power, but were waiting to see if things got better this morning. Guess What?

So now we've got the cheapest hotel within walking distance to the Riverwalk booked for 2 nights, and are at an impasse on how and where to actually spend our time and money.

Our travel budget for this trip was not intended to include room and board, sending me into a budgeting craze (coulda used ya on this one, Ninny), locking myself to the computer, searching for coupons, promo codes, and mapquesting the closest liquor store to our hotel.

I think we've narrowed down the itinerary, but still have nothing really planned.
Yeah. That sounds right.

We know it's a toss-up between Schlitterbahn, Fiesta Texas and Seaworld. Anyone with a promo code or season passes they're not using this weekend could easily end up making the decision for us. I'm just sayin'...

In the meantime, I'll be laboring over which small attraction to fill Friday with -- juggling between the SA Children's Museum, the Buckhorn Saloon, and, God help me, my former place of employment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

In which I am blown away at how quickly this happened

When did I lose control? Where is the mother of days like these and this one?

I just spent 10 minutes vacuuming the kids' rooms while they attacked me with legos from the hallway, laughing at every menacing threat I could concoct.

When did I become the loser substitute teacher...the old lady who lives with 12 cats...Gil Buckman?

I'LL tell you when. It was when we decided not to spank our kids (the real kind of spanking -- with belts and all) like we got when we were young. Why is that? I'm not scarred from the whuppin's, I don't have issues with my parents -- what makes me so against beatings, uh I mean, spankings?

If I'm honest with myself, I'm just tryng to impress the Parents Magazine mommies who do everything by the book. I'll bet we wouldn't have quite as many scarred walls, broken pieces of furniture, destroyed antiques and heirlooms as we do had we opted to take the spanking route in the first place.

Then again, there's really no way I could go through with it. I'd probably screw up and let the belt go all loose and not slap correctly, then I'd have to try again, at which time I'd also likely fail, and by then they'd have already left the room. aaaarrrggghhhhhh.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Am I the Only One...

...who is too tired to chase her 2 yr old through the parking lot while he runs after a bird, so she sends her 5 yr old to do it instead?

...who does everything possible to ensure that the house stays clean for as long as possible by cleaning the entire thing right before leaving for vacation?? Again, nothing to do with coming home to a clean house -- I just really need to be able to know the house was clean for 3 days straight.

... who would rather flop out of a bikini than wear a one-piece?

... who is seriously wondering if it would just be easier to get a job and send the kids to day-care?

Surely not.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Feast

Since the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, we decided to celebrate Father's Day by eating. All day long.

First course: Cinnamon-Blueberry Muffins with Fresh Strawberries and Coffee

Second Course: Cajun-spiced Chicken Fettucine

Third Course: Bacon-wrapped Fillet Mignon with Baked Potatoes and Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

Did I mention I'm starting a mini-catering biz?? Anyone hungry??

Naturally, we let Shawn park himslef in front of the tv all day, watching the Astros win and Tiger lose, but we did take a break in the middle there to haul the kids to the pool. It was so much fun, getting in the water...and then it started pouring. Which was fun, too, until we gave up and tried to get the kids out of the pool and Ryan went all Mommy on us, yelling and screaming and throwing a fit. What really sucked was that by the time we'd gotten back home and changed, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.

God's little Father's Day present for Shawn: more TV.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This should be fun

I'm sure the image of me climbing through the playscape at the Y, chasing Jax into the ball pit, slipping and falling into the balls as I desperately tried to grab him to pull him out would have been funny had my entire morning plan not just been wiped out by the fact that men were working in the locker room and I couldn't take the shower that our schedule hinged on.

Apparently, no longer being on Prozac has hindered my ability to adapt to change. I feel a MOTY award coming on!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two-for-One Wednesday

Another post? Heh. You should have been in the car with Jax on the way home from dropping Ry and her friend off at acting. After 10 minutes of straight "why's" from Jax (what the "why's" were regarding, I have no idea), I stated "No more questions, Jax."

Guess what he said?


badumbum, ching.

Then we pass one of Shawn's restaurants and he starts screaming"My Daddy! My Daddy!" So I say, "What's Daddy's name?" And he goes, "Shit!" I'm pretty sure this has happened before...

And finally, we've arrived home, I've come up to my room to check email, he follows and shuts the door on the dog, laughing, getting down on his tummy so he and Lola can lick each other through the 1/2inch of space between the carpet and the door.

Now? Well, now he's climbed up on the giant chair behind, pulling my waistband-fat out and watching it snap back (snap, jiggle, whatever) and yelling, "Funny! Funny!"
Whatever this kid is on, I would like some as well. That is all.

Why Am I Not Surprised??

To find out that yes, Ryan is playing Ariel in her acting camp's production of the Wizard of Oz, and that she has lines with Harry Potter. It's like all the stars in her tiny little universe are aligning, as if every moment she's spent the past 5 years pretending to be Ariel, talking with imaginary Harry, and obsessing over the Wizard of Oz have led to this penultimate moment in time.

What? Too much pressure?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Cinderella Story

Hoooweee. Summer is definitely on a roll. Spent part of the weekend at the lake, playing, sunning, swimming, and, yes, TUBING!! Both the kids rode the tube behind the boat with Shawn, and they had a blast. Ryan immediately went into "faster" mode, triggering long-forgotten memories of my sisters and I screaming the same thing from our skis and tubes. I finally got over my blubber-like body issues (the large life jacket helps)and jumped on with Shawn, and didn't stop laughing the entire time.

We headed back yesterday, taking the Honda in for a tune-up (something about an exhaust leak which caused us to fail or inspection. oops)and whddya know? We need a new catalytic whatchamacallit! Even as he said those words, I could just see our savings deplete to zero, until he pointed out that ours was still under warranty and would be fixed for FREE!!! Holy shit -- am I living someone else's life? Have I magically switched places with Paris Hilton, enjoying her endless run of good luck while she takes some massive helpings of the shit I'm consistently dealt? Probably not, but who cares?? I scored something free!!

Meanwhile, they've lent me a sweet little Ford Fusion, which is surprisingly very cool. Leather seats, sunroof, wood paneling, cd player - I swear, I must have died and gone to middle-class heaven. It's only ours until this afternoon, but you can bet your sweet ass we've been taking full advantage. We broke it in on a journey to the grocery store yesterday, fidgeting with the gadgets, examining the extra-large trunk, sniffing the leather... And today we're taking it on a carpool test-drive, picking up Ry's friend to take them to acting camp (where we've been informed by Ryan that they are performing the Wizard of Oz, and she will be playing Ariel. I 'll confirm/deny this rumor on Friday.)

Anyway, rather than be bitter about the fact that we're over the moon about a middle-class car we can't afford, we've decided to just enjoy the taste of luxury while we have it, which will be until 2 pm today. Then the spell breaks, our chariot turns back into a pumpkin, ummm, Honda, and we got back to wearing rags and playing with mice. Or something.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


God, living with a 2 yr old Elmer Fudd impressionist is the best! So many inflections, so many tones...

There's the super-excited "ALWIGHT!!!!!" we get when he's told to go get his shoes so we can go for a walk;

There's the eyes shifting, head cocked, shoulder shrugged, big sigh "AAAHHHlwight" which usually marks our victory in getting him to pick up something;

And then we have the very short, very succinct, very furrowed-brow "alwight" when he finally gets the picture that if he doesn't stop trying to maim the dog, he will be spending the next 2 minutes in time out. I think that's my favorite.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

INSANITY: The act of doing the same thing over and over again, always expecting a different result...or something like that

Things are moving right along as normal at our house. Hours spent cleaning. nothing to show for it. I did go through Ryan's closet a few days ago and totally pulled a Mommie Dearest, putting every toy, doll and dress up article into large trash bags, declaring her null and void on the toy front.

Of course I wasn't going to throw away all that stuff, but something had to happen -- things were getting broken, going missing...So yesterday I took the kiddos to IKEA, got a ton of organizational stuff, and went to work. The hanging toy-net thingy fell off it's hook under the massive weight of all her barbies, so some of those had to go. The make-shift drawers I bought (corrugated plastic and balsa-wood) will not fit all her dress-up gear, so something will have to go from that pile as well.

Is it just me, or is IKEA really just an exercise in insanity? First, their shopping carts are on some seriously screwed up casters, which makes pushing them through the store an exercise in itself. Then, everything is priced so well, you just end up throwing 30 $2.99 items into your basket until you to come to the end and realize you've racked up $100 worth of crap, finding yourself stashing unwanted things here and there as inconspicuously as possible, because if you really had to walk all the way back to replace every item you didn't want, you'd never leave the damn place. They really should have a " Point of No Return/Last Look" area like we used to at Mommy and Me, where you had one more chance to peruse all your items before checking out, and the ones you didn't want could just be stored on a nice little table for slaves to put back on the shelves for you. That way, at least they wouldn't end up going to pick up a large piece of furniture for a customer, only to find 3 hooks, a sheet set, and weird-ass looking kiddie chair where the furniture was supposed to be. I'm just sayin'...

Then you get your crap home, and here's where they get you -- it's a pain in the ass to put together their gflorified science-fair projects (remember tose balsa-wood contraptions that could hold like 250 lbs?). Mainly because the packaging is almost always missing a part, the pieces don't always fit quite right together, and who in the hell can understand those picture directions? Am I 5? Hmm...maybe I should get Ry to do it....

Anyway, I'm still in the midst of putting together the crap-ass drawer unit I was so happy to find, and even as I sit here cursing IKEA, I know that I'll be back within a month, searching for new things to buy, damning the wobbly baskets, mispronouncing the names of, uh, everything, and stashing unwanted items in the most unlikely places. Like I said, it's an exercise in INSANITY.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Crap...Are we at that stage already???

Ryan's been asking lots of questions lately, questions I am no longer able to skirt around, either. The kid can put some shit together, which means no more made-up-to-make-me-laugh answers anymore. Luckily, she's pretty good at coming up with some of her own.

Ryan: "Mom, how does God make lightning? Does he just get a lot of flashlights together and then turn them all on at once?"

Mom: "Why, yes. Yes, He does."

No one said anything about not going along with her make-me-laugh answers, right?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Hey Look -- It's 'Have a Laugh at My Expense Friday!!'

I punched myself in the nose during kickboxing today. True story. Not some little graze, either. I actually had that tingling pain when you can feel the cartilage move. That kinda punch.

What can I say? I've got a mean right hook...