Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't You Put Me On the Back Burner

I've tried not to be overly bitch-y and complain-y because I get it: most people don't want to hear that shit. We want to live in a world with happiness and joy and relaxation with no mentions of Wood Rot Under the Dishwasher and Oh My, My Kitchen is Flooding. Again.

But, you know, when that stuff happens the not-overly-bitchy-and-complainy go straight out the window and lo, here I am.

My dishwasher flooded the kitchen a couple of weeks ago so I was a diligent homeowner. Upon putting on my Big Girl Panties I called the repair center because extended warranties? They rawk.

It took over 48 hours for Sears (hi Sears! you're adding this to my case notes, right?) to send someone out to fix it. Grumble, grumble but okay.

The tech came out, nice as can be, and ran all the diagnostic tests on the dishwasher. Grunts and hmmms escaped from his mouth and I sat here working away, trying to Give The Poor Man Some Space all the while being Miss Nosy Body.

Finally, finally, he figured it out. The dishwasher had a hole it in. A hole.

Not where a knife was, no, it just wore away after the long four years of hard service ::cough, cough:: and everyday use.

He needed to order a new tub (also called a basin also called something else which I can't recall because COME ON I'm not a dishwasher repair fix-it person) and he'd be back in a week to fix it.

In a week when the part would be in and he and another person with him would pull the dishwasher out, tear it down, put in the tub and rebuild the whole thing back together in the course of "two to there hours."

So I put on another pair of Big Girl Panties and set-out to wash my dishes because at that point? After 48 hours? The only dishes that were clean were Aaron's from college packed away in the basement.

Now, this is a good time to interject that we've had this dishwasher for just over four years. In the course of these four years, we've had over $2,000 worth of repairs on it (and was later corrected that that figure was just for the past 18 months) prior to this experience. And the tub alone cost (our warranty) over $500.

So! Yes! Look at me! Being an adult! Washing dishes by hand! Not bitching! Not complaining! Takin' care of my family!

Then, the secondary part for the dishwasher comes that next Monday (day eight of broken dishwasher-ness). But the tub? The tub doesn't come.

So I decided to Act Like An Adult and call Sears to get the tracking number, so if my appointment needs to be rescheduled it can be.

And then Sears tells me my part? Is on back-order at least until December 30th. At least another 10 days away. And they knew this for five days. And I wouldn't have the part on the 30th, they'd just maybe have more information.

And at this point, my dear friends, is where I went internet ghetto.

"This is unacceptable! Mah dishwasher cannot be broken for that long!"

Yes, pronounced and properly spelled: "mah" instead of "my."

That look in your eyes? I hope it is pride.

So I got passed to a "manager" who refused to help me because as the terms of my warranty states, only on the 4th service call within a 12 month period will Sears consider replacing my unit. This was only service call number three in 12 months.

Lisa #79846 at 1-800-4-My-Home told me that no one in the company is above her. She is the manager of everything. And no, she would not transfer me to her boss, she would not transfer me to an associate and no, there was not a damn thing I could about this situation.


You sure about that?

Not a damn thing?

Not even Twitter?

Because guess what I did.

Oh yes, I totally went all Heather B. Armstrong to Sears on Twitter.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I was mostly working our my aggressions. Considering it was the week of Festivus and Christmas and I'm not well known on the internets I didn't actually expect a reply.

But a reply I received.

The next day I received a call from the Executive Department and oh hey, they would like to replace my dishwasher. Would that work for me?

Um, yes. Yes, it would.

Granted, it would be another week, but the part is now scheduled to be back-ordered till January 5th, at which point they'd have a new date of back-ordered-ness.

So we arranged the details, Aaron and I danced around the kitchen and for a split second I felt like Someone Important.

(Dude. I twittered a free dishwasher. How kick-ass is that?)

Two days later, though, that part? That was on back-order for more than a week? Arrived on my doorstep. Sears let me choose to fix or replace the until ("replacement would be lovely") and yesterday our new dishwasher was installed.

And that part? On back-order? Is sitting in my garage indefinitely. But it's a small price to pay for the boys to recover from the food allergy contaminations.

In closing, I would like to say YAY for Sears to listening to customers on Twitter and insuring their complaints get addressed.

And a BIG FAT BOO for ever letting this situation escalate to a point where I had to go to Twitter to complain about you.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Now You Know, You Got My Back Against the Wall

My dishwasher broke.


An hour after Aaron left on his business trip, it flooded my kitchen. And I mean, it flooded my kitchen.

So I've been doing dishes by hand, which is incredibly difficult considering I eat dairy, the kids are allergic to it, and to eradicate the proteins the water has to be ridiculously hot. Of course, it's never hot enough, so I've crossed my fingers and hope for the best.

Double-hoping the dishwasher repair person gets here soon considering someone should have been here two hours ago.


While we're complaining, my tire is flat and requires constant moderation. The cable box is on the fritz, which wouldn't be a big deal except it causes my boys to whine and I don't handle that well. And I can't seem to be warm in the van - I'm in total denial about potentially needing to have the heater fixed. Goodness.

On the upside, my holiday shopping is nearly complete so now I can focus on wrapping and baking.

Well, baking as soon as the dishwasher is fixed.

Edited to add: Well, nevermind about that holiday baking. They are ordering a new part - a new basin, because ours has a hole in it - and the soonest the dishwasher will be fixed is a week from today. Kenmore hates me.

Additional side note: And the hole isn't anywhere logical, it was a weak part that just wore away. Who else could this possibly happen to other than me? And at a time like this? Geesh.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Me and You, Tell Me What We're Gonna Do

So, really, it should come as no surprise to anyone that not only have I not posted pictures from the Lego calendars, but we're even behind on opening the Legos. Right? Right.

Because if there's anyone in this world who wishes for time to stay still, who digs her heels deep into the earth and screams stop, it's me. Right? Right.

And yes, we have a tree up - but only thanks to Aaron, who fandangled the whole operation without a massive Airing of the Grievances (small wonders never cease) but any additional completion has been halted by a bickering of Who Hangs Lights Better And I Do Believe It's You.

Which causes me to think, you know what sounds good right now? A cake. I'm going to ignore this whole business and make a cake. And honey? Go buy me a larger size pants while you're out, mkay?

So, yes. Broken record: I am behind. Woe is me. Boo hoo.

But! I am trying. I want my two-sizes-too-small heart to grow. So in the boys' room...

Squee! Wee felted lights! The holidays are migrating beyond the living room!

(And no, sadly, I did not make these myself, I purchased them from Cakies.)

(Because if I don't make something myself, it's better to support other crafty mamas. Right? Right.)

So now I have two boys whom I've promised lights on the tree tonight, pinky swear and I mustn't fail.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Goddamn Those Ideas in Your Head

This morning I woke up crying. Big snot-filled hiccup-y crying with the need to curl up with Aaron.

Because I had a bad dream. A nightmare, actually.

Aaron and I were talking, he was working on a toilet in a room I didn't recognize. We were laughing and getting along and he was talking about how awesome his new girlfriend is.

And me, with my constant strive to be a Grown Up, stated things sounds like they are going so well, they may do the deed soon.

To which he replied, "Oh, we already did. And it was awesome."

Fuck my life.

Just then, his girlfriend called us downstairs (we were in her house, apparently) because she wanted me to help her and her family come up with their Black Friday shopping game-plan.

I oppose Black Friday. I never shop on Black Friday. Unless it's to get a latte.

So she sat me down and wanted to make a list of what they needed to get. And to correlate it to the store's map.

Then, when I was done with said list, she wanted me to decorate it with glitter glue and stickers. Because it needed to be "pretty" she said.

All day I've been upset at the sheer notion that Aaron and I would somehow be divorced and he would be dating someone else. But the fact that happened in my dream and he was dating a chick who shopped on Black Friday and decorated lists with glitter glue and stickers is just beyond comprehensible.

I mean, what the fuck was he thinking? Dating a girl who shops on Black Friday and decorates lists with glitter glue. He must be out of his goddamn mind.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time, Didn't I?

Thanksgiving was fabulous.

gluten-free cheesecake with chocolate glaze & sour raspberry sauce
and the best gluten-free pumpkin pie ever

Kylie waiting for the family walk

family games

I'm certainly having problems accepting it's nearly December. What do you mean I should put my tree up? I've been chastising neighbors and friends for hanging lights and decorating and now I'm expected to participate in that behavior?

Screw that.

Oh wait, I have small kids. Nevermind.


At least there's one thing I'm totally looking forward to (and if you're extremely crafty, please overt your eyes), our Lego Advent Calendar.


But wait! There's more!

Because I'm fanatical (and batshit crazy), I found another set (like last year) that's not available in the States. Unfortunately, calling Lego and promising someone a blow job didn't get me the set (don't you look at me like that, I said I was fanatical) so I made multiple calls and begged and pleaded and then we received a package from our friend in Germany.

Oh, yes he did. He sent us the Pirate Advent Calendar.


I'm hoping to enlist Griffin's and Darwin's imaginations in the story telling this year. So please do brush up on your Star Wars, Pokemon, Bionicle and Bakugan references. You're gonna need 'em.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You Must Use the Force

Ohai. I can haz blog, yes?

Despite my silence, or rather - because of it, I'm mentally prepared for Thanksgiving.

Please note I said mentally prepared not physically prepared. Walk into my home right now and you'd trip over eight loads of laundry. But damn, I am ready to eat me some turkey.

Every year I prepare all the holiday meals. Thanks food allergies! I get to OCD the hell out of the what we eat!

All kidding aside, I do love me some cooking so it's actually a treat for me to cook this much. I know, either I should share these drugs or the prescriptions not quite right - correct?

In any case, my parents are bringing cranberry stuff. Yes, cranberry stuff. Just cranberry stuff.

Whereas I am making veggies with dip, the turkey, gluten-free dairy-free dressing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, spinach salad and corn. My dad would through a hissy fit without the corn.

For dessert, gluten-free (ha! oh please, IT'S ALL GLUTEN-FREE) pumpkin pie, cheese cake and chocolate chip cookes.

So, yes. I've mapped it out. I've completed two rounds of grocery shopping (hopefully only one more to go!) (don't look at me like that, I said "hopefully") (are you trying to tell me you don't have to go to three different stores to get your food?) and start tonight. Yes, tonight.

So, if any of you want to come over and vacuum and mop and put my laundry away I'd greatly appreciate it.

Alternate post title: Kiss a Wookie, Kick a Droid, Fly the Fuck On Through an Asteroid

Guess how many of my family members have this song memorized?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stop, it's too Late, I'm Feeling Frustrated

This weekend Darwin asked me what super power I wanted.

I want to freeze time.

You want to freeze time?

Yes, I want to freeze time. I want to pause everything and clean the house. Or scrapbook. Or nap.

Where'd you get an idea like that, Mom?

From an '80's sitcom. Duh.

Doncha wanna be ElastiGirl instead Mom?

Well, although I appreciate her awesomeness, I'd rather stop time.

And it's true, time is just flyin' by. I know people say this all time, but it's true. And I'm struggling to keep up. I want to keep up, but I'm not.

I want lots and lots of things. Clean house. And organized house. Handmade things. A finished quilt (cough, cough, nudge, nudge). Time to play family games.

And it's a tired, broken record. And I'm trying - really I am. I'm not nearly as down as I'm certain the post sounds. But it would be damn nice for my fingers to realize it's November and stop typing October all over the place.

And if I could give Aaron a superpower it would be to grow an un-scratchy beard. And not having hoarding issues. And get shit done lightening fast.

Yes, in that order.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Like to Take Each Step One-by-One

The trees have decided to be massive bitches and release all their leaves.

Yes, trees are female. Or, at least, mine are. Because "bitches" sounds better than "bastards," that why.

We're making the most of autumn, but we have our air conditioner running (the hell, right?) and the sun has been shining so it feels more like Summer v2.1 than autumn -- I'm certain we'll get an ice storm soon, so Kansas can show us who's boss and all that jazz.

But for now, we're chasing bunnies and rolling in leaves.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

If You'll be My BodyGuard, I Can be Your Long Lost Pal

A quick stop to the thrift store looking for a replacement lid to my favorite casserole dish (broke months ago and I still cannot find a replacement, sniff) turned into rummaging through the children's books.

Which resulted in a huge bag of books for five dollars - way less than one book at the book store would have cost.

And look! Quiet children! 'Tis a miracle!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Cherry Ice Cream Smile

It's too early for me to be PMS'ing but there you go - I'm pissy. Pissy mckpisserson and I'm not quite sure why but I am.

I'm feeling a bit like this...

And a good bit like this...

With some of this kicked in for extra flavor:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And Different People Have Different Needs

Last week I came down with this amazing crap, because really, it was some amazing crap of flu ickiness that resulted in an eight-day fever.

So the only thing I can really remember over the past eight days is making fun of Kylie's latest stuff toy.

A beaver.

Of course I had to buy her a beaver. I mean, really, wouldn't you be disappointed in me if I didn't?

So I'm sure you can think of a slew of comments to add, but we keep telling Kylie not to get too excited by the beaver. She's really showing that beaver who's boss. Look how far she can get her tongue in that beaver.

And my personal favorite, best be careful to love the beaver, Kylie. It may just magically disappear if you do not.

Oh, and I bought her a sweater.

See? I told you all I've been running a fever for eight days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oh No, You Boys'll Never Care, No, You Boys Never Care How the Girl Feels

The other day I picked the boys up from school and noticed something about Griffin across the parkway (wish I could call it a quad, can I call it a quad? calling it a big ass sidewalk seems dumb).

Half his face was missing.

Now, okay, I get it: I'm a drama queen. Duly noted. But! Half of his face was missing. Which resulted me in yelling, in front of 500 bazillion young, impressionable minds, "Griffin! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?"

"Happened to WHAT, Mom?"


"Oh, I fell."

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Stop freaking out."

"Oh, I'm not freaking out."

"Yes, you are. Quit it."


"I just got it dirty."

"No, you didn't. Did you see the nurse?"

"Yeah, she washed me up."

So, after a call to the doctor's office, a call to the school nurse, a call with the doctor and consulting a shoe salesman (much prettier than Al Bundy, I might add). I decided to take him to the ER for a possible concussion.

Dude, after what happened to Darwin I have become this overprotective mother hen who's all hyper-sensitive to head accidents. I know, I know, that was horrible, awful, unfortunate accident but it create some kind of crazed monster in me of protecting my baby's heads at all costs.

So, yes. I full intended to take Griffin to the ER because! He could have a hematoma! It could pinch off some special nerve and damage him! HE COULD DIE!

And I called Aaron. After all, he needs to know our son is going to die, right? Right.

Well, okay. So Aaron talked me off that ledge. Aaron's idea? Motrin. And a mirror. So Griffin could see I'm not a crazy lady. Then a grown-up drink for me to calm my shit down.

After all...

... he only scratched it on pavement.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

So if You're Feeling Low Turn Up Your Radio

A couple of weeks ago I got a call to participate in a survey. Normally I take full of advantage of having an advertising degree and work in advertising and be all yeah, no, I work in advertising ::click:: whenever I get such a call.

But this time, this time, they mentioned it was about music before I even had an opportunity to be bitchy.


"Yes, music. We're doing a survey for radio stations..."


"Um, great. So I have a few questions..."


"Yes, ma'am, you did. Does anyone in your household work in the advertising field?"

Gawdamnitdamnitdamnit. Sigh. "Yes, I do - but! It's on the internet! With blogs!"

"It what?"

"Is on the internet. With blogs. Totally unrelated to the music field." Squee!

"Um... hold, please." ::pause:: "Could I ask you a few questions?"

So after I answered the questions and she decided I could totally participate, I was told to expect a call in the next few weeks.

Last night, the call arrived.

"Okay, ma'am. We're going to play a part of a song for you and you need to decide how to rate it. One is unfamiliar, two is hate; three is don't like, four is tired of it; five is neutral, six is like and seven is favorite."

And then it went like this....

easy, favorite

easy again, favorite

duh, favorite

(and where's my goddamn "omg, this kicks ass!" button?)

like (whew, I bet they were starting to think I wasn't paying any damn attention)

FAVORITE (but kinda old. seriously? shouldn't you be asking me about new stuff?)

"Hey Griffin! They're playing Franz Ferdinand!" "Favorite it, Mom! FAVORITE IT!"

Favorite. Like, duh. Totally.

My poor seven button is gonna break at this point.

And then they played Creed. And honestly, I was going to embed it. But then I couldn't do that to my wonderous blog. Creed? Seriously? I punched that two button about a million damn times.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Wanted to be with You Alone and Talk About the Weather

Autumn is here and in full swing.

I'm wearing socks, that's how I can tell.

I have lots to do outside, but I'm enjoying the process of just watching. There's plenty of time to do stuff. I just want to watch for now.

We're busy with soccer, homework, making lots and lots of soups and someone traveling his ass off. And a new obsession of baking gluten-free chocolate snack cakes. Nom nom.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'd Get a Thousand Hugs From Ten Thousand Lightening Bugs as They Tried to Teach Me How to Dance

On Sunday, after "church" (yes, I know, quotation marks, been going for two years and will forever likely put quotation marks around it, SHUT UP) I went to a friend's house to learn how to can.

Oh yes, you heard me right. I am now prepared for armageddon. Between canning and learning all my mad skillz on FarmVille I'm ready for anything.

So I got together with some friends and made a bazillion pounds of salsa.

I got a wonderful lesson in saving every last drop of juice (the look on my friend's face when I wasted about five drops was astonishing), slicing hot peppers with gloves on don't do shit in regards to making your fingers not burn and that when squeezing a tomato that shit is gonna go everywhere.

My OCD nervous tick came out with rage when I begged to stop for a moment to wipe things down. "But we're not done yet, we'll wipe when we're done." Good Lord, these people tortured me.

We ended up "processing" (look at me! canning terminology!) slightly over 100 pounds of tomatoes into salsa and leftover juice.

And my goddamn fingernails are still stained. Pretty, pretty princess is not happy about that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Takes Me to My Limits

The other night I was taking the Kylie on our evening walk and she kept jerking ahead. Someone needs to teach that damn dog how to heel.

After about five minutes of her shit and being tired of it, I decided to run for a bit.

Now's about as good a time as any to mention I don't run. Like, at all. I jiggle enough as-is, running is like Santa's wiggly laugh on steroids and bringing new meaning to "I don't think you're ready for this jelly."

So I decide, just 20 steps. I'll run for 20 steps. That will be enough to make the dog mind.

On step 18 I decided, hey! This is fun! Let's go for another 20!

On step 37 I decided, easy peasy! Let's go some more!

On step 60 I decided, okay, we're good here. Let's walk.

The puppy? She didn't mind. She enjoyed the running. Of course she did, damn dog.

After walking a minute or two, I decided to run another 60 steps. After two more minutes, I did it again. Then rinse, repeat, and do again for 30 minutes.

By then, I was dragging that damn dog.

The next day I was amazingly euphoric. My chest, legs, hips and arms (arms? WTF?) fucking huuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrttttt.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Walking in the Spiderwebs

Last Friday I was emailing with Michelle and she was telling me about the projects she was working on and what have I been working on lately?

Um.... breathing?


To which she replied maybe I'd feel better (not that I'm depressed, I just feel like I'm under 20 feet of water trying to thread to who-know's-where) if I worked on a little somethin' somethin'.

Little did she know I spent three hours (duuuuuuuuuuuuude) the previous weekend just uncovering my goddamn sewing machine.

After eradicating 500 spiders (how I wish I was embellishing that ), I sat down and fixed a pillowcase.


And then after that, I tore up another pillowcase (with hole! because I have boys! and a dog! and they're rough on things!) (Get it? GET IT? ROUGH ON THINGS! Like ruff? Like a dog barking? Oh, nevermind) and made it bigger and fixed up the torn back.

Yes, I know. You've seen it before. But hot damn, I sewed something.

And, of course, the whole damn house knew I was sewing because I left the basement door open because Aaron was mowing and the boys were watching cartoons and I was screaming at my machine "WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW?!" and, um, other things when all of the sudden I look up and there's Darwin.


"Yeah, Dar?"

"Do you like sewing?"

"Yes, I do. I really do."

"Then why did you call it a dirty little bitch?"


"May I have an apple?"


Now I have all sorts of grandiose ideas like working on my quilt and making a new bag and not feeling like I'm drowning in my life.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Everytime I Think of You I Always Catch My Breath

Autumn is here. More than a month early. It's really fucking with my brain. A lot.

The trees are turning colors, pinecones are everywhere, I'm sipping hot cocoa and it's early September. In Kansas. This is so very, very wrong. And yet, so totally kick-ass.

I'm listening to Journey, hoping the music will drown out the boys' bickering. C'mon guys, autumn is here!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Would You Always, Maybe Sometimes, Make it Easy

The weather is beautiful here, gorgeous actually, and I've been walking the dog to get the boys from school daily.

Oh, did you forget we have a dog? We do. I struggle not to kill her every damn day.

Today she pooped in her crate, rolled in it then dug four - FOUR - motherfucking holes in the backyard while she waited for a bath.

I'm gonna plant crocuses in those holes.

Or her body.

I'll let you guess which I choose.

Anyway, so Kylie The Damn Dog loves walking to get the boys from school because she gets a shitload of attention. Everyone wants to pet her. When it's time to go she whimpers, no, wait, that person over there hasn't pet me yet! The little slut.

Today we got down to the school and Darwin's class was already out - normally they're a good five, ten, 86 minutes late after the bell so this was a pleasant surprise.

Until Darwin burst into a glob of sob-y gooey tears.

"You" choke, choke, sob "FORGOT MEeeeeeeeee!" choke, choke, sob, rinse, repeat.

"No, I didn't sweetie."

"YES YOU DIDddddddddddddd." Insert wiping snotty nose down the sleeve of his hoodie.

His teacher (who's so goddamn perfect and chipper you can't decide if you want to punch her or put her in your pocket and carry her around for the rest of your life for personal affirmations) tried to explain to him that they were early but he wasn't having any of that. So he proceeded to have a full complete meltdown in the front of the school, with the goddamn principal watching a few feet away.

I'm pretty good with the boys when they lose their shit, and there's good reason for that: they are stellar shit losers. I don't know where they get that from.

So I talked to him, I picked him up (he's getting fucking heavy), carried him around, tried to calm him down. And then decided to tell him a story.

"Did I ever tell you about that time, I was probably eight or so, when my step-monster (insert her name here), she's not in our lives now, forgot me? She REALLY forgot me."

::shakes his head no::

"Well, I was at the skating rink for a school party. She was suppose to come pick me up after the party. An hour later, after they were already closed, the manager had me come in and call her. So I called her. She said she was on her way. She didn't come for another two hours."

"Two hours?"

"Yes. It was three hours total. And then I got yelled at. Darwin, I know what it feels like to be forgotten, and I promise I will never, ever forget you, Griffin or Daddy. I promise."

::sob, sob:: "Okay. But Mommy?"

"Yes, Darwin?"

"This was way worse than that."


Monday, August 31, 2009

I Tremble, They're Gonna Eat Me Alive

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a friend's house and check out her garden. Actually, it's not just her garden - she and a mutual friend tend to it. It's humongous.

And when I say "garden" I mean garden, as in nearly enough to feed two families -- which consist of 11 people total.

I'm totally stealing her tomato staking ideas.

Or, at least, I'm gonna make Aaron do it. After all, he is in charge of the veggies.

She also has teenagers, lot of 'em. Like, over two million. Or five. You pick. This one was exhausted from making gluten-free banana bread and a gluten-free blueberry cake.

Which? I can say? YUM.

After the garden tour, my friend's oldest (he's 14) decided to "entertain" us which was really horrible jokes and stories of his antics, like getting kicked out of his girlfriend's house and trying to insinuate I am old enough to have been in Grease (am NOT, by the way) and jumping on the back of my van and holding on while I drove around his neighborhood. Little does he know, I'm moving from teaching the three and four year-olds at "church" (which, by the way, all my friends now call their own churches church-with-out-quotation-marks, as well they should with all their Jesus love) to teaching his class of 12 to 14 year-olds.

And let the torture begin.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hey, They Say That a Stitch in Time Saves Nine

"So, guess what I did today."


"Dude, guess."

"I don't know. What?"

"I cleaned up downtown."

"You cleaned up downtown?"


"Oh really?"

"Yes. Because I have my annual vajayjay on Thursday."

"Wait a minute.. you cleaned up for your doctor?"

"Duh. I can't be going in there with her thinkin' I'm majoring in Forestry or something."



"It's just... but it's for me too, right?"

"NO. Not for you."

"Stupid OB, stealing all my thunder."

Friday, August 21, 2009

And You Get in Your Car and You Drive Real Far

Griffin started back at school, this week. Second grade. Have mercy.

He went two half days, which were more like let's fuck up your days, parents, because the public school system isn't asshole enough. So two half days were enough for Griffin to beg to drop out and go to blacksmithing school.

I had to point out that they probably won't teach String Theory.

Griffin said second grade wouldn't either.

I was SERVED by a seven year old.

Darwin went to Kindergarten Orientation.

"Kindergarten Orientation" is code for parents to fill out paperwork and kids to play with Legos. That gave him a stupendous false sense of reality. "Kindergarten is awesome! I get to play with Legos ALL THE TIME!"

On his first day of school, he was a wee bit shy until her met this little lady five minutes after arriving.

"I'm the Mack Daddy and the Daddy Mack."

I am, and will continue to be, SO ROYALLY FUCKED in regards to these boys and their charms.

So now both boys are in school all day. All day. ALL DAY. This means seven hours a day of pure, unadulterated FREEDOM for me. FOR SEVEN HOURS A DAY, FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

Obviously, you may not get it, but this means I can have a phone conversation uninterrupted, I can go to the bathroom and not have an audience, I can buy groceries without whining, CAN YOU HEAR THE ANGELS SING?!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It Seems I Don't Get Time Out Anymore

"Darwin? What are you doing?"

"I'm shielding Griffin's eyes from the sun. It's called TEAMWORK, Mom. GET THAT BATTLE DROID, GRIFF!"

Sunday, August 09, 2009

You're Bangin' Your Head Again

"So do you think you managed to wash all the poison oak off?"

"Yeah, I think so. I'm much less itchy."

"Okay, good."



"Um... where I got into the oak I'm shiny..."


"Yeah, shiny."

"Um... did you get something like sap on you?"

"I don't know..."

"Is it sticky?"

"No, it's like stripper glitter and it's all over."

"Stripper glitter?"

"Does poison oak look like stripper glitter?"

"I don't think so... um, which soap did you use?"

"OHMYGOD I'M COVERED IN STRIPPER GLITTER! The poison oak is everywhere!"

"Aaron, WHAT SOAP did you use? Did you use the new soap? Or the regular soap?"



"That doesn't matter, ohmygod, this is gonna be painful!"


"Huh? Why?"

"My new soap makes you sparkle. Did you use that?"

"Oh, the stuff with minerals? Yeah, I used that."

"Well, that's why you're covered in stripper glitter. It's not poison oak, it's my soap."

"You mean, I'm suppose to sparkle?"

"Well, I don't sparkle when I use it, but you sure as hell do."

"So, it's not the poison oak? It's your soap that's got me covered in stripper glitter?"


"Oh, good. Whew. It's kinda pretty."

"Yes, your sparkles are very pretty."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Is Your Bed Made?

This weekend I was catching up with my feedreader and caught this great post and I thought, now there's something I can get behind.

I get it quite often, the whole "How do you do it all?" bidness of being a full-time work at home mom, kids on summer vacation, keeping on top of the house, making sure the dog doesn't piddle on the floor, husband constantly going on business trips, not rotting my kids' brains with too much Spongebob and all I got to say is I FAIL.


I don't think - and I certainly don't hope - I come off as one of those people who has her shit together because I don't. I don't, I don't, I don't and I'm not about to give anyone (or my future self) some false identity of lo, life is grand and I gots my shit together.

I'm not a happy-ness blogger. I'm not a let's-linger-over-coffee-for-awhile person. I'm more of a choke-it-down-we-got-shit-to-do person. And no offense to anyone who is like that, rather in real life or on the internet (because, hey, I love reading blogs like that) but that's not me.

I haven't made my bed since I was in sixth grade.

I'm happy if I can remotely keep the bathroom clean (and I live with three boys).

We dig clean clothes out of laundry baskets.

I sweep the floors when my feet have big chunks of yuck on them - not before.

I make Aaron pick up Chipotle for dinner at least once a week.

I fall asleep if I'm not doing something with my hands.

My sewing area is (and has been for months) covered with the boys' school papers.

I haven't scrapbooked since... April? I think?

I rarely comment on my friends' posts. (BIG MASSIVE FAIL.)

I don't click over from the feedreader to read posts.

I still haven't unpacked from my trip over a week ago.

I have two car seats sitting in my living room because I have NO WHERE ELSE IN MY HOUSE TO PUT THEM.

I haven't downloaded pictures off my cameras IN WEEKS.

I'm quite certain I have kitchen counters somewhere, but just don't ask me where.

My garden exploded and I'm officially avoiding the mess.

My kids watch television.

Yes, there's quite a few things I do right (and I've officially become a workaholic) - I cook a lot for three people with outrageous allergies, we take an evening walk, I put work aside to interact with my kids (usually) but I most certainly do not have my shit together. Never have, likely never will.

And I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cut Me Right Back Down to Size

Saturday I woke up just a few hours after going to sleep. Hot, sweaty, pajama pants feeling tight. I walked around the hotel room, used the bathroom - wow, my stomach hurt. Maybe I'm hungry?

I got out a gluten-free muffin (packed from home, I brought over a dozen with me to Chicago), sat on the bed. Took a deep breathe and smelled the chocolate-chippy goodness.

And I ran to the bathroom and threw up.

Violent, choking, gasping for air throwing up and I knew it immediately - I was having an allergic reaction to dinner.


"Just a few hours, this is going to take just a few hours," I kept thinking to myself.

Throw up, rinse, repeat.

After an hour, my dear friend became insistent is there something I can do for you? "No, really. Am fine. Allergic reaction. I should be done in a couple of hours."

I filled the tub with hot water to calm the muscle spasms. I'm smart! This is totally gonna work! I'll stop throwing up! Laura, for the win!

Get in the tub. Relax for ten minutes, get half way out, throw up again. Finagle my upper body back into the tub. Lay back, relax for ten minutes. Climb half way out of the tub, throw up again.

Are you sure there's not something I can do for you? She asked through the bathroom door.

"Nope, just throwing up. I've been at it two hours, I'll be done soon! Go to sleep! Big day later!"

Rinse from the tub, dry off. Lay on the bed.

Are you sure there's not something I can... and I'm off and running back to the bathroom.

But this time, this time there's blood. Not streaks of it. A tennis ball glob of it. Fuck.

But me? Noooooo, I'm fine. Really. It's just an allergic reaction. My dinner had to have been contaminated (despite going to an Asian-themed chain that brags about their gluten-free menu). I've never had such a severe reaction - it would most certainly be over soon.

And then the pooping my pants began.


"Um... I think I better call Ask A Nurse."

Don't you think you may need more than that?

"Nah, really. I'm sure they'll say I'm about done here."

So I called Ask A Nurse (a service I use at home A LOT), answered their questions, no, I can't stand up straight, yes, I've been throwing up for three hours. Blood? Well, there was that one glob the size of the tennis ball. Oh, AND I'M POOPING MY PANTS. But! It's just an allergic reaction!

"Ma'am? You need to call 911."

Sigh. "Fine. I'll take a cab."

By the time we get to ER, I'm over three hours into it - vomit, rinse, repeat. My throat is scratchy. My abs feel like they've done a thousand crunches while somebody used them as a punching bag. At least I haven't pooped my pants since we left the hotel room.

They get me back to a room, I get an IV and anti-nausea medicine. I lay back, "You can call Aaron now and tell him I'm fine." My friend dials the phone and, "Oh, shit. I have to throw up again." More anti-nausea medicine and it last ten minutes.

The tears finally start.

"How long have you been vomiting like this?"

"Um... four? Four-and-a-half hours now?"

"And you just came in now because?"

"It's just an allergic reaction."

The rest of the day is a fog - the gave me some amazingly good narcotics to knock me out - I recall an x-ray, having my bed sit in the hall of the ER for what felt like an eternity (which was all levels of embarrassing because not only was my bed parked in the hall and I'd occasionally vomit, I DIDN'T HAVE A SHIRT ON and the guy strung out on meth kept giving me the come-fuck-me eyes,) I overhead lots of talk about my heart.

Seven hours after arriving at the hospital, I was admitted into a room. I demanded that my friend go-go-go (although I completely appreciate the hair holding, the POOPING IN THE PANTS HAD COME BACK) and frankly, there's only so much humiliation one person should have to endure in a lifetime - let alone a single day.

The ER was convinced something was wrong with me - liver, gallbladder, appendix, something - just not food allergies. Oh no, it couldn't be food allergies.

The attending doctor visited, wanted my approval to run more test.

"It's an allergic reaction. My dinner last night had to have been contaminated with gluten."

"And why do you think it's that?"

"Because I am allergic to wheat and have Celiac - if it was wheat I would have broken out into hives. But the gluten doesn't hit me until it's in my intestines, and I didn't react until six hours after dinner."

"And why do you think it's dinner that did this to you?"

"Because everything else I've been eating I BROUGHT FROM HOME."

"Well, we think it's your gallbladder, your liver or your appendix. We'd like to run more tests."

"Look, it's an allergic reaction. But I'm not going to be the asshole who refuses medical treatment - if something else is wrong with me, by all means FIND IT."

So I got more narcotics and more tests. And let me tell you - you haven't lived until you've pooped on the CAT Scan table while magnets whirl over your inflated abdomen.

Meanwhile - back at the BlogHer Conference - my friends and coworkers were freaking out. And really, can you blame them? Who the fuck throws up a tennis ball blood clot?

I was convinced, positive, I was having an allergic reaction. Why couldn't they give me some anti-nausea medicine and pain relievers and send me on my way? I had places to go, people to see and was over 500 miles away from home.

Sunday morning I woke up - when I should have been on an airplane headed home - somewhat clear headed, not nauseated and very, very sore.

My test results came back.

The verdict?

My intestines were swollen to twice their size. Otherwise I'm in perfectly good health.

"Well, normally we'd attribute intestinal swelling to gastroenteritis - but that's usually 20%. I can't quite explain why yours is so severe."


"I have never in my life seen a reaction this bad. But you're correct - that is the only plausible explanation of what happened to you."

Fuck yeah, it's what happened to me, I thought as I counted all the unexplainable needle holes up an down my arms.

And here's the thing - very few people take food allergies seriously. Not once did the doctors act like allergic reaction was remotely a plausible explanation of what I was going through. Gastroenteritis? Sure. That could explain it. Food poisoning? Absolutely, that could explain it too (we knew it was not that, thankfully, because I split my entire dinner with another friend - who has no gluten-intolerance problems). Liver shutting down? Hells yeah, it sounds like her liver is shutting down. Gallbladder problems? Absolutely.

Food allergies? Not plausible.


According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, food allergies account for approximately 150 deaths per year in the United States.


I cannot tell you how many times over the years I've heard ridiculous comments of "food allergies aren't real" "they are all in your head" "people make that up to get attention" and prior to this experience, I've laughed at people's ignorance in my head and done the best to educate people without sounding overbearing and rude.

But vomiting a glob of blood the size of a tennis ball? Yeah. I totally did that for attention. Because what better way to ruin my vacation-slash-business conference for myself and one of my best friends than to magically decide I'm feeling a little attention-neglected of late. Hey! I know! I'LL POOP MY PANTS UNCONTROLLABLY!

In case you can't tell, that's as polar-opposite of the kind of attention I'd like to receive.

But thanks for the offer, I super-appreciate it.

I'm not one of those people who expect others to accommodate her. When I'm invited to a party, I bring something I can eat. When my family travels, our van is more than halfway full of food. Even planning for this trip to Chicago, I researched local restaurants with gluten-free menus (all of which are chains, as they supposedly have higher standards) and took a suitcase full of food for me. I don't walk into a restaurant and say make this to accommodate me. I order off the gluten-free menu (and make sure the server knows it's GLUTEN FREE, AM ALLERGIC TO WHEAT). In a pinch, I'll call or walk in a restaurant and ask - not demand - if they can accommodate me. If not? Not a problem. I don't expect you to.

And I understand human error. I've had gluten sneak in before. It resulted in stomach cramps that lasted a couple of days and 12 hours of diarrhea (oh please, don't look at me like that - I already told you how much pooping in the pants was happening Saturday).

But to have something this severe? This horrible? Where the doctors were concerned about my three times too fast heart rate? This is just blatant disregard for their job.

After calling the restaurant yesterday and getting the information on how this food is provided by Corporate and how it's assembled the only explanation of what I experienced is that the cook used a dirty (previously containing gluten) pan to cook my dinner in. There is absolutely no other way that could happen.

And using such a pan is out of line for how that restaurant chain's kitchen is suppose to be ran. You can be your sweet ass the manager of the store - as well as corporate headquarters - is going to get a letter from me.

I was discharged from the hospital 30 hours after arriving. All because a cook was too damn lazy to do his job properly.

Food allergies aren't real? You sure about that?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Heart Keeps Beating Like a Hammer

I'm leaving tomorrow, headed to Chicago for the BlogHer conference and all the important things in life are baring down on me.

Like, should I wear a wireless bra to go through security at the airport?

I ask because last year sister had her hands down my pants during my pat down. Because, you know, to keep my ladies up and perky, Mommy requires quite a bit of metal reinforcement. And apparently the security guard took this as an open invitation to discuss panty styles and fabrics. She liked lace thongs. I like cotton hipsters.

She complemented me on my hipsters.

Of course, I should have thought this was odd. But me? Noooooo. I laughed. Out loud. A lot.

It's what I do in the most inappropriate of times. Laugh.

It wasn't until I was in California last year when I realized security guards should not be putting their hands down your pants.


So now I'm all aflutter - should I go into the airport with saggy boobs in a wireless bra in hopes of not being patted down again? Can I take my properly boobie-holder-upper bra in my carry-on luggage and put it on after security? Will the bra flag them as something odd and would they then rifle through my bag and pull out crazy contraption of a girl holder and display it in front of everyone there?

Help me, I don't know what to do about my boobies.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Won't Believe in Heaven and Hell; No Saints, No Sinners, No Devil as Well

While watching a movie the other day...

"Mom? Is he in the God?"


"Is he in the God? Or having a dream? Because he's in the clouds..."

"In the God?" ::pause:: "You mean, is he in heaven?"

"Yeah, that's what it's called - heaven. Is he in heaven?"

"What do you think?"

"Is that what happens when we die? Do we go in the Go-I mean, do we go to heaven?"

"What do you think Griffin?"

"I'm not sure. What do you think?"

"Well, some people think if you're good you go to heaven and if you're not good you go to hell."

"I'm not sure I like that idea. I wouldn't want to live in the clouds forever."

"Well, no one knows for sure what it's like but some people do think that is what it is."

"What do you think happens when we die Mom?"

"Well, I think when we die we rest. After a while, I think we come back as someone else. Maybe an animal. Maybe another person. Maybe on Earth, maybe on another plant."

"You mean, you get to live again?"

"Yeah, it's called reincarnation. You come back to learn more. That's what I think. Other people think differently."

"That's awesome. I want to think that too."

"Griffin, you can think however you want. It's up to you to make your own mind."



"In your next life, can I boss you around? Because that would be AWESOME."

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Don't Believe it! There She Goes Again!

Earlier this week Aaron and I were watching a recorded episode of NOVA scienceNow (like 60 Minutes, but nerdy) and saw a segment featuring Luis von Ahn.

Now, if you don't know who Luis von Ahn is, he's a hot piece of nerd ass who developed Captcha - that highly obnoxious word verification bazilliony bloggers (present company included) use for to make sure their commenters are people, not computers.

But, you see, Luis (yes, we're on a first-name-basis, thanks) felt guilty (my words, not his) for the bazilliony of people using up time to put passwords into Captcha. And, couldn't they be doing more to push forward humanity? Couldn't something better come from all that time?

So, Luis developed reCaptcha (you know, with all this dropping of the "er" and replacing with the "aahhhh" sound, homeboy has to have a blog somewhere) - a system where instead of using one word verification, you use two.

Why two?

Because he's trying to fix old books that are being scanned and the computers can't figure out what the fuck the old books say, due to the age and inconsistencies of the old printing. So one word is the word verification to prove you are human, the second word is because they figure, hey - if you blog commenter can figure out one word, surely the second word would be correct. So you, dear blog commenter, are working for Luis von Ahn and his secret plot to make old books available to humanity.

Can you hear the Mwahahahahahaha from his office in New York?

Of course, and here's where it plays in that I'm a horribly obnoxious person, my first thought was - you mean? Only one word is the verification? So I can but in goddamnmotherfucker as one word and if it hits the jackpot then that is going to get uploaded into a 200 year old book? Seriously?

And can you see me hang my head in shame from here? Smartassery is not always a good trait to have, internets.

(You can view the video here; NOVA scienceNow is a mean bitch who doesn't allow embedding.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

You're Every Move You Make, So the Story Goes

Whenever I'm gone from my home for over 24 hours, I take my laptop with me.

And I'll be really honest here: I'm an addict.

Yes. Completely. A plugged-in, techo-nerd constantly looking up information, working or editing photos.

So when we went to the mountains over a week ago it should be no surprised that I packed up the laptop for the trip.

So why didn't you hear from me, you ask?

Because my computer died. Yes, it died. Not "died" but "died" as in a miserable and horrible death on day two into the trip. Died as in the motherboard is toast. Died as in Laura had no internet for DAYS and instead was in NATURE and Laura was very convinced she would DIE herself.

Of course, at the beginning of the trip we didn't think it was dead. We just thought it had another virus. "Don't touch it!" Aaron said, as though I would remotely test such a thing. "You have to wait 'till we get home!"

So I gave Aaron five minutes being home before I began to pester him. "You gonna open my computer? Hack your way in? Find the virus?"

"Christ, woman, let me take a shit first!"

A few hours later, he came to the basement to find me (basement computer is much like basement kitteh - you don't fuck with it unless absolutely necessary) and to break the news to me: "It's the motherboard. I'm not sure the hard drive will even be salvageable."

And to that, I had some lovely choice words to let him know that not salvaging the hard drive was not an option - Darwin's fifth birthday party photos are on that and not backed up because someone was too busy to back up my computer before our road trip.

I'm sure you can use your imagination on how that conversation went.

So for the last five days we've spent nearly every moment hacking an old, dead system and setting up a new system (which we cannot afford, anyone know of gluten-free ramen?) and recovering old data and testing (and continuing to test) out the new system.

So, yes. That's a big-ass explanation of whys I gots no pretty pictures today.

(Also? New computer shiny. Shiny.)