Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Someone has to be the moral compass of the family

Last week I took Boy 1 to the grocery store with me.  Wait, maybe I should start at the beginning to give the story texture.  After a few days of pure torture, (of me at the hands of the kids, mostly Boy 2) I said I was going to the mall by myself and Boy 1 looked forlorn and sad so I said he could come along.  Boy 2 was serving time in his room for being rude to me and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember now.  When he heard we were leaving and he couldn't come along he screamed, "I hate you."  I thought, "You better hope I don't die while I am at the mall - you will never forgive yourself."  Then I thought, "No, probably not.  You would just call me stupid for dying."  I only share that peek into my brain so you understand the emotional place I was in when I left the house. 

So, we are in the produce department and my keen eye spots a pile of money on the floor.  There were 4 or 5 crumpled up $5 bills.  I said, "Oh, Boy 1, LOOK!" and as he bent to pick up the bills we notice a $20  bill lying beside those bills.  He grabs that, too and hands the whole wad to me with that wide-eyed, "I can't believe this is happening" look.  As I take the money and turn around to see if I can spot any people checking their pockets frantically, the produce stocker clerk pops up from behind the pineapple, grabs the cash from my hands and says, "I will just run that up to the front desk and announce that we found it. It is a lot of money and someone will really appreciate that you have returned it. When they get to the checkout they will check their pockets and be so upset.  Blah, blah, bunch of other crap."  Direct quote.  When I retell the story, I say "I didn't want to make a scene in front of my son" but really, it happened so quickly and I am so desperate to be liked that I let produce stocker clerk take our pile of money and walk away. I should have responded appropriately and punched her.  We walk to the end of the aisle and I start to steam a bit.  I think, "I can't let this go." It was probably what Boy 1's cub leader calls the "never-ending spiral of hate."  Boy 2 hated me so I wanted to hate the clerk.  It's all Boy 2's fault, really.  I went up to the desk and asked if my son got to keep the money if no one claimed it.  So, the woman took our number and said she would call if no one claimed the money.  I am pretty sure she had her fingers crossed when she promised. 

As we finished our shopping, I heard two announcements that sounded like, "If anyone has lost any mmamnafdsynak, please hdasjfdsslj."  I couldn't shake the idea of produce clerk and customer service lady winking at each other as they made their pretend announcement. Then, when they saw us in line, headed towards them, they took off!  On the way home, as I got angrier and angrier, Boy 1 said, "I hope the people that lost the money are rich so I don't have to feel like I am stealing if I get the money back."  Dear child.  How did he turn out so well?  And he didn't get caught in the hate spiral.  I should examine that thought further when I am done ranting about the money.

So the next day I went back.  A new lady at the desk couldn't find any notes or envelopes of money.  Weird because staff is supposed to log it in the system. 

So by Day three of the saga, between venting to PHD and telling the story to others that aren't legally obligated to listen, I have spent approximately 30 hours of time and $20 of gas driving back and forth to the grocery store, where I corner any worker that will listen to my story of the lost/found/stolen $45.  I then called the manager.  He explained that the money was now in the system. They have a policy that lost items stay in the system for 90 days then they will return it to us if no one claims it.  Fine. At least I feel I have been heard.

Then, on Saturday, two days later, they call and say they will make an exception and return the cash to the honest little boy that turned it in.  Very nice - Boy 1 got his $45.  So, what is the moral of the story?  You can choose your own:

1.  Karma works - Boy 1 did the right thing and was rewarded.
2.  People are jerks and you have to make them do the right thing by driving them utterly nuts until they do.
3.  I should see a psychiatrist, if those are the guys that can also write prescriptions.

This feels unfinished without me choosing an ending and I hate leaving things unfinished so I will tell you one more thing.  Under the category of "I'm pretty sure I am having a stroke", one day when I was trying to say goodbye on the phone I said something like "Pot pie", instead.  My family has made so much fun of me over this that we now say "Pot pie" instead of goodbye.

Pot pie.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I can't see or Birthday Part 1

I had a BIG birthday on November 5. Let's call it my 30th. That means I got married when I was 14.  Don't think about the math too much.

PHD usually likes to try to surprise me in some way. One year the surprise was that he forgot my birthday entirely.  Usually he does much better than that. It can be a lot of fun for me because I usually figure the surprise out in advance, by some fluke or another. By fluke I mean I keep asking "innocent" questions until someone gives some kind of clue that gives away the surprise, or PHD yells, "Don't tell her that!" which also gives away the surprise. So, he and the boys disappeared for a few hours the Saturday before my birthday.  Boy 2 figured out pretty quickly how to use this to his advantage.  Here's how that went:

Boy 2:  Can we go for frozen yogurt?
PHD: Maybe. 
Boy 2: Well, maybe, I will tell Mom her surprise.
Me to PHD after I stopped laughing:  You are totally screwed for the next week!

No win.  Either he does everything Boy 2 tells him or I find out the surprise.  Boy 2 had his own little puppet for 7 days. 

So, since they wouldn't tell me if they bought me a new camera for my birthday, I went and bought a new camera.  I also may have blinded the children with the flash. 

They are so dramatic.  Vision loss was only temporary.  Just to be safe, I returned the camera.  To be honest, the bigger issue with the camera was that I didn't find the button/control placement intuitive and I missed a big shot.  The boys and I went for a walk one dark evening. As they typically do, the boys started punching each other.  Boy 2 got a good shot in then started sprinting across the park with Boy 1 close behind.  I still don't understand how this is possible, but as he was sprinting, Boy 2 mooned us. And he still managed to keep out of Boy 1's reach. it isn't right that a boy can outrun his older brother at the same time as he is pulling his pants down far enough to show his little white butt sprinting across the park.  Violates some law of nature or physics, or something, I'm sure.  Anyway, because I couldn't find the record video button on the new camera, I missed our chance to become YouTube sensations and appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show. Camera had to be returned.

This post has gotten a bit long, and ADHDish so I am going to stop here and make it Part 1 of a more than 1 part series.   If you want to understand the point of this post, or think "Maybe it will get better if I read more." (That's how I am every time I try corned beef: "Maybe this time I will like it".  Does that make me optimistic or insane?), you can check back and read Part 2 whenever I get around to posting it.  I think I just built suspense there.  Or alienated you completely.  Let me know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

That can't be right

Conversation at the MacFuddle house:

Boy 2 (trying to get out of going to school):  Why can't I be homeschooled?
Me:  I just don't think I'd be a very good teacher.
Boy 2:  You'd be my teacher???
Me: Yes, that's where your plan falls apart.
Boy 2:  Oh.

I suspect he won't ask again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

He warned us, we just didn't listen

You know how Oprah is always saying, "The first sign is like a whisper, then if you don't listen, the next sign is louder until finally you get a smack upside the head?"  (that's probably almost a direct quote.) The first year of Boy 2's life was kind of like that, but with yelling (him, mostly, not me) instead of whispers. The signs of a "strong willed personality" were all there.  Let's do a Wordless Wednesday, but with words, and I will post it on Thursday, because that is Boy 2's birthday. So not really a Wordless Wednesday, just a Thursday.  Yes it is confusing. That's not the point.  The point is, Happy Birthday Boy 2! 

Day 1 - "I am going to scream my face off
until I can walk"

Day 18 - "I am going to scream my face off until
they take off this ridiculous costume."

Day 30 - "I am going to scream my face off until
they take off this stupid hat, and I can walk"

Day 45 - "I need to come up with a new plan"

Day 130 - "I know - I'm gonna bite this guy until I can walk"

Day 210 - "Seriously?  I warned them about the hat thing.
Look at my head.  They gotta be screwing with me.
Wait until I can walk"

Day 230 - "I'll bite this guy some more.
It'll pass the time until I can walk."

Day 245 - "Maybe slapping him will work. He seems to like it.
Why am I still not walking?"

Day 365 - "Hey, hey! I got it, I got it!
It is all over for you Mom."

All the signs were there, early on.  That's why I shouldn't be surprised by things like this:

Day 2917 - now for something new.

Sorry, very poor picture quality because I was laying on the floor to get this shot.  Yes, I was on the floor, below him.  Still not seeing it?  Look where his hands are.  Those are the tops of the door frames. Don't feel bad, I couldn't believe what I was seeing either, the first time.  Here is a picture of me taking the picture to clear it up:

I guess, if you are Boy 2, once you are 8 you aren't happy with walking on the ground anymore, you need more challenge, like walking on the walls to the ceiling.  When normal people say their kids were climbing the walls, I think they usually mean it figuratively.  I don't. He is actually climbing the walls.

Appropriate that the child was born on Thanksgiving - every year on his birthday I thank God that we have both survived another year.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well Played Boy 2, Well Played

This was the conversation in the backseat of my car after Boy 1 solved his friend L's riddle too quickly for Boy 2 to have a guess. Boy 2 started getting angry and Master Mediator L stepped in:

L:  It's okay, here's another one for you, what flies but doesn't have wings?
Boy 2: A flying lizard!
L: No...well...yes...but that's not it.
Boy 2: (rapid-fire now, no one is getting a word in until he solves this baby) My farts.
L: no...well...maybe but keep guessing. (I love this friend, he is so patient with Boy 2.)
Boy 2: Superman.
L: Umm, yeah(starting to frown) but that's not it either. It starts with a t---
Boy 2: (even faster) pterodactyl-tree-ten-gurgantulolo
L: no, no, no and is that even a word? It starts with t, not g, - It has to do with a clock
Boy 2: A watch with no arms!
L: What?

So, to summarize, a watch with no arms sure flies when you are having fun. And, I think if you can frustrate the riddle teller into quitting, you win, whether you solve the riddle or not.

Gurgantulolo. (let's pretend it means "you win, goodbye")

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Parenting Scares for Rookies

I just read this article from Today's Parent magazine: parenting scares .

Hilarious!  In a not intentionally funny way.  All this time I had been thinking I must not handle stress well as I tumble down the wrong side of the nervous breakdown spectrum.  Turns out we are NOT normal. If you don't feel like reading the actual article, according to Today's Parent normal parenting scares are:

  1. Baby swallows penny.
  2. Toddler eats dog food.
  3. Your preschooler writes on the couch with a permanent marker.
  4. Your first grader stuck a peanut in his ear.
  5. Your eight-year old glues his fingers together with Crazy glue.
  6. Your ten year old got gum in her hair.

How it goes down in the MacFuddle house:

  1. Toddler swallows six metal marbles from his brother's magnetic building kit.  Intern in the emergency room actually gasps when she views X-Rays.  I suggest she may want to tone down the gasping in shock around the average nervous parents.  Probably okay around damaged, beaten-down parent like me, but you never know. In case you are wondering, as long as the marbles aren't actually magnetic, and they are smaller than a penny, they will pass. And, no, the sitter will not check the diaper and keep a running tally of the marbles.
  2. ?? I don't get it.  Was there not enough food left over for the dog? That is a pet owner issue, not a parenting scare.
  3. At the MacFuddle house, most items, including walls, clothes, furniture, are "labeled". My advice is to let them turn the drawing into a mural to show their classmates.  It will seem like homework and they will quit doing it.  True Story. But, again, not a true parenting scare.
  4. Eighteen month old sticks so many unpopped popcorn kernels into his left nostril that kernels start coming out his mouth.  I worry that he could actually be touching his brain with popcorn kernels so I rush him to the emergency room.  They still have our file out from discharging us only hours before.  (Probably need a whole post to describe that incident.)  Doctors have really long tweezers. They say no big deal, but I would still like to see a CT scan of the child's brain to check for popcorn.  To this day I don't let him get overheated.  Think about it.
  5. Today's Parent, are you spying on us?  This just happened last week.  Boy 2 glued his fingers together out on the deck so that it looked like he was giving the A-okay sign.  I didn't want him in the house until I was sure the glue was dry so I kept saying how are you doing out there?  And he would give me the A-okay sign.  Oh, and if it is a large amount of glue, nail polish remover will take that right off.  Don't even worry about that.  Unless they have glued a piece of their body that shouldn't have nail polish remover on it.  Then you have a real problem. Call somebody.
  6. You guys aren't even trying now.  Gum in kid's hair is called Saturday.  Gum in hair is likely to happen anytime you have gum and a child in the same home.  Isn't it?  Don't you just use the kitchen scissors to chop it out and get on with your day?  Maybe that's just when you have boys.
In the last 24 hours alone I heard in my house: "Here goes nothing!" and "Hey Mom, look I am on the roof!" I was wishing for crazy glue and gum. But, weirdly, I feel better. It's them, not me. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Puke Day

Boy 2 has been complaining of a tummy ache ever since school started.  It started on the first day of school, but almost everyone in our house vomited, so I wasn't really concerned.  First the dog barfed in the middle of the kitchen floor.  We all noticed at the same time as he ran away in doggie shame. PDH yelled "Gross" and ran down the stairs.  I said, "Could be worse, this is only dog food. We should just leave it until he cleans it up himself.  I know a dog that eats cat poop then pukes on the front mat."  Boy 1 turned green and ran away and I could hear gagging from down the stairs in PHD's direction.  I had to clean up the dog barf but the good news is I got a few minutes of quiet to read the paper when I was done. 

That same day Boy 2 threw up on the bus on the way home, just before they reached our house.  I wasn't sure of the protocol, maybe someone can enlighten me.  The bus parked in front of our house for quite some time after the boys came in the house.  I wondered if Mrs. Bus Driver was waiting for me to come clean it.  So I waited a few more minutes then went out and offered to help as Mrs. Bus Driver was finishing up.  She said she had it under control but she noted,  "It looks like he was eating apples."  She seemed offended by the apples more than the puke. Odd. I didn't think she would appreciate my "could be worse it could be regurgitated cat poop" philosophy so I kept it to myself. 

Anyway, two weeks later, Boy 2 is still complaining off and on about a tummy ache.  Finally I take him to see the doctor.  Boy 1 tried to negotiate me leaving him at home with the iPhone. When that didn't fly, he agreed to come along but be angry about it.  It all came to a head in the examining room just before the doctor came in.  Boy 1 gave Boy 2 a shove, Boy 2 tried simultaneously tattling and punching Boy 1 in the gonads.

Boy 1, "Stop it, you're such an idiot."
Boy 2, "Whaaaat?  I can't hear you."
Boy 1, "I said, Sto---"
Boy 2, "Whaaaat?  I can't hear you."
Boy 1, "STOP---"
Boy 2: "Whaaat?? Still can't hear you. Are you still talking?"
Boy 2:  "They weren't acorns, they were hazelnuts, I looked them up in a book in the library. 
Me:  "You were eating acorns?  Off the ground?"
Boy 2: "NOT acorns, hazelnuts."  Like I am the dummy.

I tried to explain to him that he shouldn't eat things off the ground at school, it could be making him sick, he doesn't know what it is, etc.  There was no talking him out of it.  He looked them up in a library book, so it's all good.  

The doctor then came in the room and confirmed that there are hazelnuts growing in the city.  So I guess Boy 2 has the all-clear to eat more acorns or hazelnuts off the ground. 

Now I have a tummy ache...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mouse Update

Last week we met Fuzzy McSmally McCheezy . Everyone keeps asking, "How's the mouse?" so a brief update is in order.

When PHD came home to meet the mouse that night, it was agreed that Fuzzy should be released into the wild where he would live a happy mouse existence away from my house.  I also was worried about what would happen to the child's psyche when the mouse met his inevitable demise.  So, Boy 2 fed Fuzzy some grated cheese to sustain him on his journey and took him to the park.  Our conversation upon his return went like this:

Me:  Did you let him go?

Boy 2:  Yup.  I think he was half dead anyway.

Me (surprised): Oh!  Why do you think that?

Boy 2 (annoyed with Fuzzy):  Well when he got off the merry-go-around he layed on his back for a while then just ran into the bushes.

Poor Dizzy Fuzzy...

Friday, August 26, 2011

And that's why I am an excellent wife

For some stupid reason, possibly a combination of a solid marketing strategy and slight peer pressure, I signed up for a bootcamp twice a week.  (Screw you Groupon.  No, wait I didn't mean it Groupon, I am displacing my anger.  I actually love you.) So, for the month of August, on Tuesday and Thursday nights I drag my sorry butt to bootcamp at 7 pm. On the nights that I can't think up a good enough excuse to skip out. Because I don't like to vomit, I usually eat dinner when I return from bootcamp. 

On Tuesday I cooked a beautiful chicken dinner in the crockpot.  It took every ounce of my willpower to leave the house for bootcamp that night.  As the skinny little troll of an instructor (who is young enough to be my daughter, also not helpful) devised various forms of abuse for an hour, I thought about that chicken waiting for me. I also thought a lot about how stupid bootcamp is. Mostly about chicken, though.

I return from bootcamp mouth watering, looking forward to that chicken like no meal ever before. I arrive to a big mess in the kitchen, nothing new, and open the lid of the crockpot.  No chicken.  Some spicy tomatoes, but no chicken.  That can't be right.  Look again.  Stir it around.  Still no chicken.  They ate all the chicken and didn't leave me any...At least they put the lid back on to keep the empty crockpot warm...In frustration I scream "OH MY GOD!".  PHD assumes the kids have done something so says, "What?", giving away his location.  I charge down to the office and say, "The chicken is all gone."  He says, "Oh, you didn't get any?"  "No.  I.  Did.  Not..."  He starts laughing.  Laughing.  I, being an excellent wife, didn't call him an asshat.  I also didn't stab him in the eye with a fork but that was only because all the forks were dirty from them eating all my chicken.  And, I can't stab someone in the eye with a dirty fork. That would be unsanitary.  Still, the point is, I didn't call him an asshat.  Good job Me.

I just looked up Asshat in Wikipedia. The definition has gone missing. Probably a defensive move on the part of a husband somewhere. (You can't call me that, it's not even a word.) It used to be defined on Wikipedia as "a slightly trendier and less severe variation of asshole, graphically describing someone who has his “head up his own ass” (i.e., not knowing what’s going on): one is wearing one’s ass for a hat."  I can remember this no-longer-existing/pretend definition of asshat but I can't remember my own cell phone number about 93% of the time.  Good job Me. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's Mom freaking out about?

I will tell you what I am freaking out about:  

I didn't think they were ready for that diving board until they were 18, they didn't agree.
I can so fly. (Pic by Carlene, famous food blogger)

This was while my mom was babysitting - she taught them how to hammer caps, you know, the ones that are filled with GUNPOWDER.  C'mon, Grandma, work with me here!

Monkey Bars - 1, Boy 2 - 0, but it's not over...

And today's excitement:

Look Mom, I caught a mouse!

I literally shrieked.  Not like when people say, "I literally had a heart attack" when they mean "I figuratively had a heart attack."  I literally shrieked.  How terrific - I have my own mouser, without the bother of a litter box. He couldn't fathom why I wasn't allowing his new friend in the front door. What I didn't mention was that I had actually locked both of them out until I could figure out how to sanitize the kid.  Our own weird little hostage situation.  Childhood memories being made right there on the front step.  I finally came up with a foolproof plan.  I gave Boy 1 a bucket with a lid for our new friend (christened Fuzzy McSmally McCheezy in case you were curious) and then let Boy 2 in the house.  I made him agree to hold his hands together like he was praying and march slowly to the bathroom.  That way all the invisible rodent bacteria would be trapped between his little hands until he got to the bathroom sink where I made him scrub long enough to give him OCD. I told you - foolproof. And really scientific.

That's how you survive these children folks.  Science works.

Monday, August 15, 2011

KISS the Sister Wife

PHD said, "I made a collage in my office.  Well, it's only 3 pictures, not really a collage.  You should go look."  I played it cool, freaking out on the inside.  The last time he hung something on the office wall it was a framed poster of KISS.  For those of you under 40, here is what members of the band KISS looked like:

Framed.  I thought he was joking so I hung a picture of the cast of Twilight over it to prove I got the joke and I could do one funnier.  Only he was serious.  He really likes KISS.  I haven't seen the Twilight poster or the KISS masterpiece since.  Now any wall hanging by PHD concerns me.  So what I did find wasn't so bad:

Not so bad, if you like to see yourself in three 8 1/2 x 11 photos. I don't really. Especially three photos that I had previously rejected as too hideous for even a teeny facebook profile picture.

I told him, "You don't need to stalk me, I live with you."  He said, "I liked those pictures and now I can pretend you are triplets...or, Sister Wives!!"  He kept looking at me as though he wanted me to freak out.  I don't want to be triplets but Sister Wives I can get into...We could divide up all the jobs I don't like, I could leave the house by myself on those days that the kids hate me and I would always have someone to talk to. Someone who wouldn't wait until I finish a sentence and say, "I don't think I was listening to one word of that", then laugh like (s)he just told the best joke ever. 

I should probably check Kijiji. Is that where you get a sister wife?  Kijiji may or may not provide the best quality of sister wives.   Probably a sister wife that looks like this:


Note: A whole week ago, I had a(n) (is it a or an? I think it's an. maybe not. H is confusing.) hysterically funny ending planned for this post.  It tied together all the pieces of this post, related to the title and was so surprising that you would have spit your milk on your keyboard. If you were drinking milk.  Only PHD started reading it over my shoulder as I was typing and then I couldn't remember my ending.  The ending that was hysterically funny.  Gone. I waited a whole week and it hasn't come back.  PHD actually erased all the creative thoughts in my head by reading my unfinished post over my shoulder. Jerk. 

Instead, here is a funny sentence from Tina Fey's book "Bossypants":

"This made no sense to me, probably because I speak English and have never had a head injury."

This sentence is very useful because in addition to being funny, it can be applied to this post, this blog and 90% of the things that come out of my mouth.  Thanks Tina.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dog Down

This is our cute, anxious, not terribly brilliant dog:
This is our pool, covered:

Early one morning the dog got confused and went into the covered pool.  Turns out he can swim, up and down, and up and down between the edge of the pool cover and the side of the pool until PHD rescues him.  Could have been at least 15 minutes of laps for poor dopey dog.

Now the dog is even scared of this:

He wanted to go back outside but because the tarp was on the floor in front of the door, and it looked like the pool cover, he just stood beside it shaking, thinking, "What if I step on this and it turns into water?"  I am just guessing, of course, he could have just been thinking, "Shaking feels good."  He is a dog, after all, who knows what the hell they are thinking most of the time.

And now PHD is turning into an anxious dog dad.  "Is the dog outside?  Where's the dog?  Did you let him out?"  So every few hours to alieviate boredom (my own) I yell, "Where's the dog?  I haven't seen him for a while. Is he swimming again?"  PHD starts to shake. And run from the living room to the back door. Up and down the house. Up and down. 

There you have it.  Scientific evidence that dogs and owners do start to look alike. Well, act alike, anyway.  And it's not really scientific but close enough.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Now where did that go?

Yesterday the boys were wrestling on the bed in the spare room, the room also known as the snoritarium.  Boy 1 fell and hit his shoulder on the fireplace insert we are using as a night table.  Long boring story about how we came to be using a fireplace as a night table.  Short version - me mad at PHD.  I get new fireplace in living room.  Anyway, I hear a worried, "Mooom" out of Boy 2, which is unusual. The worried part, not the "Mooom" part.  I hear /ignore "Mom" about 7,000 times a day.  I go into the room to see Boy 1 yelling, the top half of his body flopped over the edge of the bed, his hair mashing a chewed up piece of Bubble Yum into the carpet.  It took a while to figure out that hitting his shoulder on the corner of the fireplace was what caused the mayhem. Once I convinced him that he wasn't dying, I left and Boy 2 took over as the medical expert. Boy 1 would twist around to try to look at the injury, pulling the injured right shoulder blade forward, and sticking out the other shoulder blade. Naturally Boy 2 determined, "His shoulder's half disappeared!!"  More panic ensues until PHD says, "Bend your right arm."  Shoulder pops back out. Whew, the shoulder was just hiding, not "disappeared".

It seems we won't have any doctors in our family...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just because it's close to your tongue doesn't mean you should lick it

Two weekends ago we went to my sister's house for my other sister's birthday.  I didn't have any boxes laying around to wrap the present so I recycled a cupcake box I had been hoarding.  I wrote all over it, things like, "Recyled box = save the earth = me good person" and "Look, leftover icing".  I gave it to Boy 2 to hold while we drove to the party.  I glanced in the back seat to see his little tongue darting out to lick just below the "Look, leftover icing" lettering. I told him to stop it so he gave the box to Boy 1 who also gave it a good lick.  Hmm, is it wrong to give your sister a box of saliva for her birthday?  What if I didn't tell her, is that better?  Or, what if I did tell her the next day when I asked her to take a picture of the box for my blog?  She said she had already thrown out the box so my reader(s) would have to take my word for it. I asked her to just take a picture of herself  in a dramatic representation of the box. She still hasn't sent it.  Maybe it's still coming.  Or, maybe she didn't like my little box 'o bacteria. That makes more sense.

Last weekend PHD and I went to Vancouver.  We do this thing when we get on an airplane.  "Do you want the window seat?" "No, it's okay, you have it."  "Are you sure?"  until I get impatient and take the window seat.  Then he spends all of takeoff and landing leaning way too far into my personal space to look out the window.   As we were landing in Vancouver, it occured to me that he might not like spit, either.  So I waited until he leaned way too far into my personal space bubble and I stuck out my tongue which banged into his eyebrow. I can't take full credit for the idea, I read it in a blog on what to do in awkward social situations. This suggestion captured my fancy.  My thought was sticking out your tongue could be like a personal space meter.  If you are so close to me that you get nailed when I stick out my tongue, you are too close.  Reasonable, right?  Except he thought it was funny so he kept leaning in and back going, "Whoo, whoo".  Not at all weird. Also very disappointing as he was still in (and out of and back in) my personal space as well as giving me a bit of motion sickness. (As background, he had just minutes before adopted a t-shirt slogan as his new personal mission statement: "Fighting always works". It was probably a UFC shirt but I suspect PHD's interpretation of it will affect our marriage in many ways, none good.)

To recap, I prepared a little check-list for your reference:

I hope you will this reference material useful. You can also print it off and use it to test your own personal space boundaries/tongue reach.  Fun and useful.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What you will never see in a commercial for DisneyWorld

1. The delayed flight which brought us into Orlando at 3 am.
2. Mr. & Mrs. KuKu LaRue in line ahead of us at the car rental place arguing with the clerk for 45 minutes over a difference of $15. 

I'll tell you what begins with F - Four a.m. Check-in!
3. Day 1 in the Magic Kingdom fueled by about 6 hours of sleep, crap food and a lifetime of unachievable Disney expectations resulting in Mom sobbing quietly in the Happiest Place on Earth.  Trust me, I was not the only one.  The mom and baby rooms are as much for the distraught moms as for the babies.  Disney is missing a revenue opportunity by not putting vending machines stocked with anti-anxiety medication into those rooms.  (Hmm, today I pick Valium, no, wait, pass the Paxil, please...) It must be illegal or they would have thought of it.
4. Bankruptcy.  I waited for rain and ran around with my mouth open to avoid paying $3 for a bottle of water. 
5.  Boy 2 screaming at PHD, "Why don't you just let Mom drive!!" after we managed to take the wrong exit, again.  I was supposed to be navigating but I didn't correct him. PHD probably deserved to be yelled at for something I didn't yet know about.
6.  PHD wandering off to look at something shiny, Boy 2 running the opposite way to follow something spinny and Boy 1 running in another direction altogether in a panicked, misdirected effort to chase his dad.  That prompted the "Dad's the leader, stick to him" game.  I could then keep all three in sight and bellow, "Where's the leader?" if one of them so much as twitched in a different direction. 

Well, maybe it is just the MacFuddles you will never see in the commercial, because DisneyWorld really is as magical as you think it will be!  This was what Boy 2 wrote in his own blog before we left:
i am going to disny world in six weeks and we are going to ride a rollercoster and we are going swiming at the  hotell cus there is a swimming pool at the hotell it will be fun we will eat popcorn and lolypops and we will jump on the bed

I think we can even do better than that!

We started with the Magic Kingdom.  You don't feel like you are at DisneyWorld until you see the castle!


Note the matching bright yellow eye- catching shirts - to go with
ID tags in their pockets and strict instructions to only
talk to park staff if lost!

Dad, the parade is that way, not by those pretty girls

I told you Mom was looking.

Boy 2 is a little overstimulated

  Matching bright orange and red for Animal Kingdom
Nothing better than a box of bugs

 Unless it's birds with bums on their fronts, as Boy 1 pointed out

 Stitch is Boy 2's favorite new character since we went on
the Stitch ride and Stitch belched on us

After "The Lion King" which was amazing, by the way!

Boy 2 not feeling it - profile shots only please

Boy 1 now wants to be a Blue Man when he grows up
There was a whole bunch of other stuff in those 10 days, it's kind of a blur, now.  The whole vacation culminated in a beautiful cloud of fireworks, light parade and pure exhaustion.

One more freakin' smile -  we are in the
happiest place on earth
for crying out loud!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It takes a village

I had to go out of town for work yesterday.  Just a day trip but it meant I had to leave early and come home after 7.  This also means that PHD had to:

1. get the kids to school
2. meet them after school, (don't forget thursday is early dismissal) and
3. take Boy 1 to tennis lessons at 5:30. 

Can anyone guess how many of these things happened?  I will give you a hint - not three of them and not even two of them.  I wouldn't give him such a hard time over this except the night before when I started listing how the day should go without me here to initiate every activity, he got really short with me, "I know, you told me, I can handle it, you know."  So this blog, which has the sole purpose of heckling him, is his own fault.

Anyway, I got home a bit early so I thought I would drive by tennis and see how it was going.  No one there.  Hmm, must have missed tennis.  I get to the house and PHD is all alone.  Good God, did he lose both of them this time?  "Where are the kids?"  "Oh, they are playing at the neighbors' house down the street.  The mom invited them for supper."  We have known these people for 10 years, at least, and he still calls them the people down the street, and the mom down the street, along with a thumb point in a southern direction.  Anyway, "the mom down the street" knew I was away today and was looking out for the boys, thankfully!  So I say, "so you decided to skip tennis, then".  Blank look. "I thought that was at 7."  No big deal, people forget stuff all the time.  I forgot to take them to soccer a couple of weeks ago.  The tooth fairy forgot to come two nights in a row and she's magic, so it can happen to anyone.  

PHD starts telling me how the day went.  The boys wanted to ride their bikes to school so they took off on their bikes and when PHD tried to follow them the pedal fell off his bike.  He was already way behind them and jumped on my bike to catch up.  By the time he reached the school, they were already in.  He had to chase them down because they had talked him into carrying their lunches.  Only there was a BBQ lunch at school that day so he didn't even have to pack a lunch.  I could have let it go but I didn't. I wanted to get to his sheepish look quickly. (Ahh, there it is.  Sooner than I expected.)  Then, he says, "I was pretty stressed because I went to Staples and got stuck in traffic so I was worried I would be home late.  I wasn't late but our two and the two from down the street and the mom (southern thumb point) were all standing on the doorstep.  She said she would take them all to her house."  (I didn't even say anything about the trip to Staples.  Pretty generous-of-spirit of me as he isn't allowed to go there due to an unexplainable addiction to office organizers.  I do try to be kind.) I said "It's early dissmissal today. Maybe you were late?"  "Oh.  right. What time do they get out?"  Doesn't matter.  We'll have to reteach you in September, anyway.  Or maybe I will start a little homeschooling in August, for PHD.  Or not - it seems a little ambitious for me.

So, as you can see, the MacFuddles do need a village to raise their children.  Thank you "mom down the street", who miraculously seems to always know where her kids are, and mine. 

I now need to go google "How to make cool father's day presents out of a file organizer." Ideas are gratefully accepted...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Extreme Makeover

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't posted in a while - we were so busy for the last month or so, we didn't even have time to get the boys haircuts.  That, and they were both trying to grow their hair out.  Not like Justin Beiber, he's dumb.  More like Ron in Harry Potter, he's so not dumb.  I guess.  After the first outdoor swim of the year, Boy 2 declared, "I need a haircut.  My sidebangs are poking in my ears.  I don't like it."

I kind of like the Ace Ventura side sweep

Concerned he might take matters into his own hands, I got him to the hairdresser immediately.  Never one to do things half way, he declared to the stylist, "I need a buzzcut".  Five minutes later, here he is:

Now you can see the nice bruise down the middle of his forehead
 When Boy 1 came in the house with his newly shorn brother, PHD wanted to know who new kid was.  I made fun of PHD for a while then an hour later lost Boy 2 on the soccer field.  I was looking right at him, I just didn't recognize him.  You would think "sidebangs" were poking me between the ears.  Something's not working right.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Perfect Race

So, it was a really long winter and we got a bit loopy at the MacFuddle house. 

WARNING! If this post begins to seem strange/obsessive or plain boring, feel free to skip. As background, you should know that I belong to the best running group, possibly in the world, but definitely in this city, called "I Beg Your Garmin".  There are six of us with what I mentally call "Gold Status" as we have been running together consistently for almost two years, now. I use the term running loosely because as much as we run together we also gab together, travel together, do girly stuff together, etc.  I haven't cleared the "Gold Status" concept with the group so it is subject to heated debate, and change, if we don't get distracted by something else shinier.  We have other, newer members of "I Beg Your Garmin" who are terrific, too, and I promise to make something special for them when they reach "Gold Status". (Some of these ladies successfully completed another either 5K or half-marathon last Saturday and deserve some recognition so here you go: woot woot!)  For now, to the special "Gold Status" members of "I Beg Your Garmin", this post will eventually, unbelievably, circle back to you. There is a possibility you will be glad you suffered through. Everyone else has my permission to pretend to not see this post and I will never mention it again. 

So, the day PHD and I launched into a diorama discussion (Yes that is a TV in my hallway) and I had to Google dioramas to show him, I started obsessing over dioramas and minatures.   Not old-guy-creating-trainsets type minatures, these are cute ones! I have seen them called them "Art Boxes".  I think that is a better description and it doesn't seem so silly if I call them Art.  I created a display of Art Boxes in my hallway:

I had to crop the photo tightly so you couldn't see all the fingerprints all over my walls...

The Art Box in the centre is called "Magnets" to represent this post: I wouldn't lick that if i were you .  It may be hard to tell from this picture but the little guy is leaning against the monkey bars, with his tongue.

I call the bottom Art Box "Terry Fox" to represent the post QCM Race Report:

Meanwhile, Boy 2 was entertaining himself by building a square turtle on a pile of rocks,

 trying to determine how many shirts he can wear at once.

The answer is 5
 and catching a few rays.
Yes, that is snow in the background
PHD and Boy 1 went a different way...

Can you tell what they are trying to do?  Can you tell me?

While they were doing whatever that was, I made the Art Box on the top of the collection.  Here is the part where it may (or may not) get interesting for my running friends. The art box on the top of my collection (in the bad picture at the beginning of this post) is called "The Perfect Race". 

The picture doesn't do it justice but each one of the little people looks like one of the ladies in our group, Michelle, me, Maryann, Cindy, Margaret and Leanne.  I imagine the little members of "I Beg Your Garmin" running their perfect little race saying things like, "Training Works!",  "Surely she sees that pylon", "I'm not cold, do you think I have too many layers on?", "What a beautiful day!", "Can we go farther?" and "I didn't cry once!!". Then after at least one of them gets a medal, doesn't matter who, they all stop to talk and laugh.  See? The Perfect Race. 

So, we have learned two things today - spring needs to stay or I am in danger of losing my mind and I need a new camera along with some photography lessons, quickly!