Thursday, December 24, 2009

A guest post, for the nine people who read this.

This is a post from a blog I have fallen in love with in a very short time. I happened on her by accident and am so grateful that I did. I often read her posts and wonder how she has access to the thoughts in my head and can put them into words far better than I ever could. Please, go straight to the source:

A word of warning, this is an actual 'big girl blog' with links and photos and video clips for you to enjoy, not just the snippets of conversation that a sleep deprived mommy finds hilarious and feels the need to subject you to. Please, go wander around her site a little, I doubt you will be disapointed. If you happen to find her letter to her sons school teacher, you just may wet your pants. I would link it for you, but would probably screw it up. Enjoy!!

Maybe a Girl’s Best Friend. Just Not This Girl.
December 20, 2009 by Ginny
I accept some things about this time of year.
Religious folk are going to get up in arms when you wish them a Happy Holiday, insisting on “Puttin’ the Christ back in Christmas.” (All the while, ignoring the fact that they totally co-opted Yule from the Pagans, but whatever.)
Small children will exhibit sickening greed and extremely touching acts of altruism. All at the same time.
And the stores are going to play hardball.
I know that I’m going to be bombarded with advertising. I know that stores are counting on this month to bring them anywhere close to being profitable, especially in a recession. I get it.
But there was an ad on the radio the other night, one that literally made my jaw drop, and (although I didn’t see it, I’m pretty sure it happened) steam come out of my ears.

A diamond company here in town started their radio spot acknowledging that 2009 sucked the hind one. Then, in a twist of logic that was waaaay past 360 degrees of twist, they proceeded to say that the horrible economy meant that as a man, you needed to spend more money on your woman than ever before. And I quote:
“Be the hero she needs you to be.”
Oh nameless diamond store, I know you were aiming this ad at men. Poor, delusional, led by their penises men. You were trying to let them in on the “inside info”, let them know what us broads are really thinking.
Men, this is horseshit.
I’m a woman. I know how some, maybe a lot, of women think. So please listen.
Because do you know what my hero would do?
My hero would make sure the mortgage gets paid. My hero would read “Goodnight Moon” for the thousandth time because it’s a little girl’s favorite. My hero would step in, speak up if he saw someone being hurt. My hero would check out strange noises in the night. My hero would leave his ego out when making decisions that affect his family. My hero would open doors for ladies, and teach his son to do the same. My hero would be a decent, stand up guy, even when that’s the hard way.
You know what my hero wouldn’t do?
Piss away thousands of dollars on a damned piece of jewellery.
Don’t believe the hype, men.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh yeah, NOW I feel the spirit of the season.

I am standing outside of Macy's the Sunday before Christmas with Monkey, shivering. He's crying, I'm ignoring him, and G is nowhere in sight. How did I get here? I'm glad you asked. Frankly, I am getting tired of blaming Autism for these predicaments, so I am torn between blaming Motormouth and his ill-timed Christmas spirit, for Macy's and their charitable donation campaign, mail slots too small to stick your arm in, and Santa Claus.

Let me back up. Yesterday Motormouth decides that he should probably get around to mailing that letter to Santa before it's too late. G and I were a little relieved to find that we had managed to buy about half of his wish list all on our own, so he won't be too disappointed come the big day. Unfortunately, I forgot to have G take it with him when he mailed out the Christmas cards and Motormouth noticed. In what I thought was a flash of genius, I announced that we can take it to the 'Special Santa Mailbox' at the store, so it will be sure to arrive on time. I convince Monkey that he might like to write a letter too and help him write it (for those who care, rest assured that Monkey still wants a blue jingle bell for Christmas). We seal it and take the letters to the store.

Motormouth marches right up to the shiny red mailbox and drops his in. Monkey is unsure. Well, not really. He is sure he doesn't want to be in the store. He is sure he wants to be at home right now. He is sure he wants to keep his letter. "Don't you want Santa to bring you presents?" Motormouth asks. Monkey does. So he wavers. Not quietly. He doesn't want any part of the mailbox but he doesn't want to mess this up. We are starting to draw attention. At this point, I don't care. Leave it, don't leave it, it will be fine either way. Monkey makes his choice. He takes his letter and drops it in the slot. And immediately changes his mind. Things escalate quickly. Within seconds G and I are trying to scoop a thrashing, yelling Monkey up off the shiny tile floor. Note to self: Winter coats slide remarkably well across the entry way of Macy's. After several false starts G manages to get Monkey up and hangs on to him until we get out the door. The parking lot poses a whole other issue. Monkey has no intention of getting in the truck. It's like trying to stuff a cat into a coffee can. I am uncomfortable with the amount of attention we are still getting so G and I agree that G will leave with Motormouth while I stay behind and let Monkey work stuff out.

So here we are. Monkey is settling down and realizing the consequences of his actions. We both know it's going to be a long afternoon with no computer or video games. I'm not really sure who is dreading that more. G eventually returns and we all head home. Monkey apologizes and if the amount of giggling is any indication, finds something hilarious to think about all the way home. I only wish I could do the same.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I shudder to think what other lies are out there, just waiting to rear their ugly heads.

The stress of the holidays can get to you. It doesn't take much. You are running and shopping and mailing and baking on top of all the usual craziness and it doesn't take much for you to feel out of step. Miscommunication has been an issue for G and I lately. It goes in cycles in our house as I am sure it does in every family. Sometimes you click, you are in-sync, sometimes you are...not. It happens more when things get busy, and I don't worry about it too much. Until the other day, when I stumbled upon a realization that shook me to my very core. When I learned that something I had considered to be a fundamental truth was false. My marriage is based partially upon a misconception. It turns out...

that G

doesn't like

Pot roast.

That's right.

Pot roast.

Not a big deal, you say?

Sure, I can see why you would think that this is frivolous.

I mean, after all, it's. just. pot roast.

Pot roast. The easy, simple, impossible to screw up, throw-it-in-and-walk-away dinner. Except for the fact that I can't make it. That's not entirely true, I can indeed make it, it just isn't very good. My pot roast is one of those meals that when served, I am praised as if I am 12 and this is the first meal I have ever cooked. Oh, sure, people eat it, because it's rude to come to dinner and not eat what is served, not because it is delicious-just-like-grandma-makes-it. Now, please understand, I am not begging for your recipes and tips for delectable pot roast. The truth is that I can't stand pot roast. The vegetables are smushy and everything tastes the same. I'm not even going to get into all my particular issues with this meal, just know that it makes me gag a little just thinking about it. That's not the point either. The point is, that my husband likes pot roast, and gosh-darnit!!! I am going to make my man pot roast. No husband of mine is going to wish for his Mama's homecookin' no sireee! So, every six weeks or so (for the past 12 YEARS!!!) I stare at the roast in the meat department and decide that THIS TIME will be it, that I will conquer the beef and my husband will declare it the best dinner. ever.

So imagine my surprise when we are discussing possible meal options for the upcoming week and he mentions his indifference to the roast.

Turns out, he thought I liked it.

It's a world gone mad.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

That's what I thought.

Motormouth comes home from school and is retelling his day to me, in order of importance to him, which means I hear a lot about the 6th grade girls that sell crafts at lunch time and the snow fort he built and who farted during snack and not a lot about what he actually learned or if he teacher has a message for me. When pressed for more information I got a minute by minute breakdown of his daily schedule complete with a little song about how he does the same thing every day and it is boring. Booooorrrrrring!!!!! I know I shouldn't stifle his creativity and that I should have more patience but I listened to his monologue for five minutes and then the highly repetitive song for another 2 minutes before I interrupted. Which is monumental for me since the word boring or bored is a hot button for me. You cannot possibly be bored if you have an active imagination, which this kid clearly does. Find something to do or I will find something for you to do. So I interrupt with the following suggestion. If you are bored with your never changing routine that consists of school, playing, eating, home, playing, eating and more playing how about you change it up a little by scrubbing the kitchen floor? Motormouth doesn't miss a beat (literally) No mom, I love my boring routine.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm not crazy. I'm resourceful.

I am not a great mom, I think by reading through this blog I make that abundantly clear. I harbor no illusion that I excel in any way at motherhood. I hate mornings, I forget that dinner comes around once a day, my kids are always plugged into some electronic screen, and I have on more than one occasion announced my intent to sell them to the first band of traveling gypsies I come across.

What I find interesting is that my husband still somehow expects more of me.

Take this afternoon for instance. Monkey comes to the sliding door and is upset because his sled is broken and now he can't sled in the backyard. Motormouth isn't sharing his sled because he is 'using' it to haul snow for his fort. Monkey will not be put off. He wants a sled. Now. He is being very polite about it, so I feel bad. "Here" I say, as I hand him the rubberized tray that is used to collect the water from our boots. "Use this" Monkey looks at it and looks at me. His only complaint is that it is wet. Look around dude, so are you. Monkey takes it and heads off. I shut the door, feeling very proud of myself and turn right into the shocked face of my husband. "Your actually letting him try to sled on that?" um. yeah. Face it G, I am letting him sled down the stairs and into the dog run fence, do you really think the boot mat is what's wrong with this scenario?

It doesn't take me long to buy everything on my list.

I love my kids. They very much live in their own little world. They get this from me, I know, and I can say from experience that your own world is nice. No one bothers you there. We don't deal with the social pressure that plagues most parents this time of year, because our kids are clueless as to what is the popular or hot toy. We don't listen to "I HAVE to get this for Christmas" "I NEED this toy, EVERYBODY has one!" all season long. It's nice. It does have it's drawbacks though, because we often have no clue what to buy the kids because they don't ask for anything. (note to all parents who are listening to their kids beg, plead and whine right now; at least you know what they want) My mother in law would tell you a different story, since I guess Motormouth circled every toy he wanted in her Target toy catalog while at her house one weekend, but I have yet to see or hear about anything he wanted.

Imagine my surprise this year when Motormouth points to a game being advertised on TV and says "I want that". Really? super. Anything else? Nope. just that. Riding in the car this weekend we are discussing that maybe Motormouth should write a list, and he is resisting the idea. I turn to Monkey. "What would you like for Christmas?" I ask, not really expecting a good response. "Jingle bell" he answers. "A blue one".

Monday, November 30, 2009

"yeah, well. You're a poo poo head"

I am trying to help Motormouth with his spelling sentences.

Me: Motormouth, I don't think this sentence is right: "My mom is the large in the family" It's missing some words or something.

Motormouth: no that's right, you are the large.

Me: The large what?

Motormouth: the largest.

Me: okay, well first of all, your spelling word is large, not largest. Second of all, you don't ever call a girl a large anything, it makes them feel bad.

Motormouth: But you ARE large!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a difference a year makes.

Went to Monkey's parent/teacher conference a week or two ago, expecting the worst. What can I say, these things have not gone well since preschool. I keep hearing that he is fine, he is friendly and so cute and not a behavior problem at all, which makes me nervous. Fortunately, he really is doing well in his new class. So good in fact, that he hasn't needed a behavior chart or individual picture schedule all year. His teacher had very nice things to say, talked about how he tries to trick all the ladies in the room into letting him get away without doing his school work by trying to just hug and cuddle with them instead (they now have a 'we'll hug when you do your work' rule). He even moved up a reading group. What got me smiling all the way home was the story she told about him.
A few weeks ago one of the little girls in his class got into trouble and had to take a time out. She wasn't happy about it and was throwing a fit and screaming at the teacher. Monkey gets out of his chair, runs over to his teacher and says "Don't worry, I'll handle this" and marches up to the little girl, plants both feet, sticks his hand out and demands "STOP!! That's not nice!" and marches back to his seat. Apparently the little girl was so shocked that Monkey actually spoke to her that she stopped screaming.
And here I was half expecting her to tell me that Monkey marched up to the little girl and tipped her and her chair over.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My time is your time.

I'm in the bathroom. Using it.

Motormouth marches in, because, you know, closed doors mean nothing. "Mom, I peeled the orange but I can't open it."

Me: What exactly do you want me to do at this very second?

Motormouth: oh. I'll wait.

Me: I'd offer you a seat, but it seems there is only one in here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

That's right, I am not above using my kids as a shield.

Backing the truck up in the driveway so I can unload the back. Just as I am braking and thinking "Whoa, it looks like I might be getting too close on that side...." I hear this sickening crunch. Monkey says from the back "Uh, oh. Thats not good. You banged." Um. Yep. I did. I pull forward a little and get out to check the damage, unload the groceries and get back in. "You break it?" Monkey asks. Yes. Yes I did. Now what? I ponder my best course of action as I make my way to where Sgt. G and Motormouth are waiting for us for lunch. Sgt. G loves his truck. Not as much as he loves me, but the truck doesn't ask him for anything, and it never is moody or cranky or sarcastic. It doesn't nag him, it doesn't make him fold laundry, it just waits for him and helps aid in his escape, so some days his love for it comes a close second I am sure. I know that if I was in a real accident he would only be concerned for my safety, but I hit our garage, it isn't like there is much chance for injury, so there is no sympathy card to be played. I know I have to tell him, but how and when? Then I look in the rearview mirror and formulate the perfect plan. There sits Monkey, looking all sweet and cute, with his little mohawk and big eyes. I'll just have him tell for me. The kid finally talks, I should get something good out of that! "Monkey, Mommy broke the truck. Can you go up to Daddy and tell him that Mommy broke the truck?" Monkey looks up from his DS game. "Tell Daddy?" A look of horror slowly washes over his face "NO!! NO tell Daddy!!!" "Please? just tell Daddy that Mommy broke the truck, it's okay, he won't be mad (at you)"

Monkey glares at me "NO. YOU do it."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

That's how I roll.

My husband has really stepped it up lately. He has been Super Dad and Super Hubby all rolled into a much less grumpy version of himself. This past week alone he has put in 7 hours of practice with Motormouth's Lego League team plus 8 hours of competition today. He has also ran errands, completely cleaned out the garage so both vehicles actually fit in it, surprised me by taking me to see New Moon, cheerfully sat home alone Friday night with the kiddos while I went to a home party, and did laundry and dishes without me asking. Keep in mind that he has only been home since Wednesday afternoon and about the first thing he did when he got home was make dinner for the kids.

Jealous yet?

Take comfort in knowing that he probably won't bother to be so sweet in the future, since this is how I repay his kindness:

I run his truck into the garage. You know, the truck he waited 10 years to get because we could
never afford it. The one he had to reenlist in the Army to get. Yup. That one.
Then to add insult to injury I red-necked it up by 'fixing' it with colored packing tape so every one can see it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

What I should have said was "YES!!"

G is trying on his new, bright orange, bib overall style hunting pants.

G: Wow, maybe I should give these to my dad, they are really big on me.

Me: You certainly are swimming in them. (I am eyeing the matching jacket that he is about to put on and start giggling about the visual of the entire outfit) Look Charlie Brown! It's the Great Pumpkin!!

G: Hey, do you want me to be seen in the woods or not?

Me: (what I DID say) Not in that.

(what I tried to clarify with) I don't think I want you to be seen anywhere in that.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm so glad that kid's sense of humor is starting to grow in.

At the store, doing our obligatory tour of the sporting goods section.

Me: oh look, they have pink wool socks. G, those would look great on you.

G: I could SO pull off pink socks. I'd rock those socks.

(Give us a break, we've been married a really, really, really, really long time and some days you just can't think of anything else to talk about- at least we still talk.)

Motormouth: You could Dad, and out in the woods there would be deer walking by and they would say "Hey, look at that tree wearing pink socks, don't see that every day"

Friday, October 30, 2009

I think I'll go back to pouring medicine down your throat.

Medicine and Monkey do not mix. Never have, maybe never will. We have adapted so far. When he was 2 or so we would bribe, Hershey Kiss in one hand, drugs in the other. " want this? (waving chocolate under his nose), then take this first..." Even at the age of two he was smarter than that, but would generally succumb to the pressure and take the medicine for the candy, making me feel like I had just succeeded in teaching my child two things. First- even when you know it is wrong or bad, do it to make someone else happy, and secondly- it doesn't matter how awful something is, you should do it if the payoff is big enough.
Great role modeling.
After a while the payoff wasn't big enough and he refused to take the medicine (which, in my sick little way, made me a little proud), so the end result would be pinning him down with his head between your knees and pouring it down his throat- praying that he wouldn't choke to death this time. (you want to see my mother of the year awards? They are all lined up in a row in the basement, right outside the torture chamber) teaching Monkey another all important lesson- the biggest and the strongest always win. We eventually came to a truce. If it wasn't an antibiotic or something he HAD to take, it was up to him. We encouraged, but didn't push it. If he didn't want the Tylenol to make him more comfortable, then fine. We also started buying those thin strips of cold medicine because he will take those, and the chewable tablets of Tylenol, which he might take a couple. During our swine flu encounter we were able to reason with him a little to take the Tylenol, explaining that it would make his head stop hurting, or that it wouldn't make him feel so hot/cold anymore. It (kind of) worked a little. Or so I thought until this morning. Monkey brought me a packet of sweet tarts that he got from a teacher at school yesterday and asked if he could have them. I opened them and handed him the tarts. He looks at the candy in his hand and his eyes light up "Look mommy!! (putting his hand over his forehead in that universal 'checking for fever' kind of way) The candy will make us all feel better!!" He pops the tart into his mouth and wanders off.

That's right kid, important life lesson number 4- Eat your way to happiness.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

At least now we own a fire extinguisher.

G and I are sanitizing the house in the wake of Monkey's 'swine flu' diagnosis, and he is really getting into it in the kitchen. I walk in and find him with the entire contents of our corner cupboard on the floor and him mopping the inside of the cupboard.

G: Can I just throw this away? (holding up a fondue set) It has moved with us every move for the past 12 years, and we have never taken it out of the box.

Me: That's not true!! We used it that one time.

G: Yes, one time....and then we put it in the box and left it there for 12 years.

Me: I like the IDEA of using it again.......but then I remember you setting the coffee table on fire.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's amazing how quickly you get replaced.

Motormouth: Is Daddy home yet?

Me: Not yet, he might not be home before you go to bed.

Motormouth: That's just great! I really need him!

Me: Anything I can help you with?

Motormouth: no. I think I am getting sick. and I think only Daddy can help me.

Me: Besides the medicine, cough drops, juice, water and encouragement to rest I am giving you?

Motormouth: I think Daddy will know how to make me better. I want him.

I get it kid. I am clearly not balancing work, school, and all things that pertain to you as well as you would like. That being said, I am pretty sure I am still considered your primary caregiver. It would serve you well not to upset me.

THIS is why I get so excited over trivial things Monkey does now.

When Monkey was 3 we were in the process of getting him diagnosed. We had already been through the process with Motormouth, so we knew we were looking at Autism. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of this experience, it goes a little something like this: Endless paperwork and questionnaires, asking you everything from your child's developmental milestones to their eating habits to your childhood to your husband's family's medical history (because you know all these things off the top of your head, and can fill them out in office waiting room with your child screaming on the floor at your feet or in your face because you have disrupted his routine) that you will fill out no less than 3 times for at least 3 different specialists. If you are lucky (like we were), you can take your child to a 'multi-disciplinary clinic' where all the specialists come to you, instead of you getting bounced from the Developmental Pediatrician, Neuro, Psych, etc. There are several phases of this office visit; the paperwork, the interview with the social worker, you and your child together being observed in a room with various specialists with one of those lovely mirrors on the wall, and possibly your child alone being observed in the 'fish bowl room' while some administrator attempts to do I.Q. and other testing (does it count if when your child is asked to identify a certain color block that he grabs it and throws it at the testers face? At least we know his gross motor is fine, he can hit her in the nose every time). We had a general rule with Monkey; as long as you didn't talk to him, look at him, or touch him...he MIGHT be okay. So you can imagine the thrill of several hours trapped in an office while your child is subjected to several people breaking that rule. We thought we were prepared for this experience with Monkey, after all, we had just been through it with Motormouth. We are over the humiliation and terror of being examined as parents (we know we are failures, we don't need a specialist to tell us that), and we just want someone to tell us what is wrong and how to fix it. The kicker on this is that, well, with Autism, they can tell you what is wrong, but they have no way to fix it. There is no medication, no therapy suggested (because your insurance won't pay for it anyway) no cure. You get a label, a name to call this 'thing' that has swallowed your child and won't give him back.
G and I are armed for battle. We head off to our meeting with the social worker. We are prepared. We both have our copies of our 17 questionnaires and a mental list of things we want to mention. (I wont even get into how clear it is by the differences in you and your spouses questionnaires that he really does have NO clue what happens in his house all day while he is at work) We are past the idea of wanting to present ourselves in the best possible light, we want ALL the dirty laundry aired and in her official report. If 'they' don't know who this child really is, how are 'they' going to fix him, right? So, in we go, ready to mention this, and this, and most certainly THIS....we are prepared. Until the perky little girl asks the first question. Turns out, all parents find this meeting to be an emotionally draining experience. Going through every negative aspect of your child, your home life and your (in)ability to handle it is indeed hell and she thinks she has found a way to make it a little easier for all involved. She wants to start out on a positive note. "What do you LIKE about Monkey?" she asks, pen poised. We are totally at a loss. While we were preparing to bring up all the bad things, we hadn't exactly been singing Monkey's praises. Our sleep deprived, war torn, emotionally exhausted brains struggled to change tracks. Let's see: He doesn't smile, or laugh. The only emotions he can express are anger and frustration, which are expressed constantly throughout the day and night. There is no empathy. I once fell down the stairs in front of him and realized that the only reason that he stood there watching me cry in a heap on the floor was because his sippy cup was empty and I was the only one big enough to pour him some more milk. Holidays and family get togethers were a nightmare. Monkey didn't 'do' presents. Wrapped or completely unwrapped and out of the package, it was still new and foreign and would make him scream and hit and make Grandma feel bad. I can't count how many times we all sat uncomfortably in the living room attempting to make conversation while Monkey laid under the kitchen table or in the garage screaming for 30 minutes or more until he could calm down enough that you could distract him with a snack or a movie. How closely we had to keep track of where he was at all times in fear that he would get too close to his baby cousin and push her down the stairs or hit someone with a toy. Trips to the playground usually ended with another child crying and his mother glaring at me and my evil/ill-mannered child. Any trip into public usually ended with me wondering why I couldn't control this small creature long enough to buy bread. Public trips always included me pretending to ignore the judgemental stares of other people, either because of his behavior or because of how he was dressed. Seasonal changes are just another routine change that I have no control over. The first two weeks after the weather changes meant I would have to literally sit on or lay on him and wrestle the new/offending clothes onto him every morning and every night. It was mentally and physically exhausting and some days I would just give up. He would win and wear his sandals and no coat in 45 degree weather and I would find myself not caring if he got sick. At least when he was sick he didn't tantrum as much, and he might even let me hold him and snuggle him a little. Bath time was a nightmare because he hated the sensation of water running down his body or head. There was absolutely no part of the day that didn't involve a fit of some kind. It was always a challenge to figure out what would calm him down when he got worked up, since nothing worked twice in a row. Will it be a snack, a movie, a toy, singing, a car ride with daddy, grandma reading a book, me totally losing it and spanking him so hard it left a mark? Add to all of this the stress of KNOWING that you aren't even close to providing him everything a 'good' parent would. I couldn't play with him because he didn't play. He watched movies. Over and over and over again. If he did 'play', it was alone, and he made it clear that you were not invited to join in. I didn't want to broaden his diet because something new on his plate would make him hysterical (a pea!!! Dear God no, not a pea!!!!!), I didn't want to try to read to him because by the end of the day the last thing in the world I wanted was to be near him, playgroups for social interaction were beyond us. I couldn't even get a real break from him because, unfortunately, I was the only one who had a chance at calming him down. This child was a black hole. I could throw everything I had at him, my love, my time, my patience, and he just sucked it in, never to be seen again. No smile, no kisses, no 'I love you, mama', some days no reaction at all. This child made me see all my flaws, my failures, every time I looked at myself or at him.
What did I like about him? I can't think of a thing. "Of course you love him, he's your son" my mother says when I called her in tears. Do I? I wonder in the darkest corner of my mind. "That's not what she asked" I replied. "We sat in there for an hour and I couldn't come up with a thing. The closest I came was that he was a good looking kid, you know, when he wasn't in the middle of a tantrum, and that doesn't really make me feel real great."
At the end of this ordeal, we got our diagnosis of Autism. As we are leaving the office, the Doctor smiles at me through my tears "Don't worry Mama, what you need to remember is that he is the same child he was 15 minutes ago. This diagnosis doesn't change that. You are taking home the same child you came in here with."

Yes ma'am. That is exactly what I am afraid of.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tell me something I don't know.

Me: (glaring at G) Go Hunting!

(I am not a total witch here, the man was trying to give me a wet willy. I swear I live with 3 little boys)

G: (leaning in to give me a kiss and laughing) That's not very nice

Me: Ugh! Brush your teeth and then go hunting.

G: (really laughing now and still trying to kiss me)

Me: Go away!!

G: You know, nobody likes a Grumpypants.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I always knew you were my favorite

Me: Monkey, are you ready to go to the firestation?

Monkey: Yes, your majesty.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's funny because it's true.

*on the overhead PA system in Cabela's*
"Terry, please meet your party at customer service. Terry, your party is waiting at the front of the store"

Me: That's code for "Terry, your wife has the keys to the truck, and you have 30 seconds to meet her up front or she is leaving. Hope you can outrun her in the parking lot"

Sgt. G: I wouldn't be worried, I could beat you to the truck.

Me: Because you can run faster than me?

Sgt. G: No, because you wouldn't remember where we parked.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Passive/Aggressiveness; a game two can play.

am not pleasant when I don't get enough sleep. Yes, I know, I chose to have kids, and didn't stumble in thinking "MY kids will sleep through the night" I could have, since my mother gleefully reminds me that HER children slept through the night (definition- sleeping 10 hours or more at a stretch by two weeks old). She explains this phenomena by saying that God knew how she was when she didn't get her eight uninterrupted hours a night and blessed her with children that understood this and needed as much sleep as she did.


So I did my part. I brought my super-sleeping genes to the pool and tossed them in. I brought my need to sleep eight hours and donated my half of the DNA. All I can say is that the need for sleep must be a recessive gene, and that the kids weren't my problem last night.

My problem was the other half of my kids' gene pool.

I crawled into bed and was asleep at 9p.m. Sad, I know, but I was T-I-R-E-D. Sgt. G comes to bed at 11 and wakes me up. He is mad because when he went to go to bed he realized that Motormouth had his bedroom light on and was playing with Lego's. He proceeds to tell me how he handled the situation and then rolls over and goes to sleep.

Leaving me to wonder why I needed to be awake.

Maybe he didn't mean to wake me. I am told (and my sister can testify to this) that I can carry on entire lucid conversations while I sleep. Maybe he just wanted to grump a little, and thought I would sleep through it.

I did not.

I laid there and stared at the ceiling, then the wall, then the underside of my pillow, and then the back of G's head. That got me thinking, which is a dark road to go down when you are ticked off and sleep deprived. 2 a.m is when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to sleep until I got some things off my chest. "YOU KNOW WHAT?" I announce loudly. Nothing. I poke G in the shoulder and try again. This time I am successful at waking him and rant for about 5 minutes and then roll over in a huff. I'll admit that I was hoping to get a little revenge. I'll admit I possess the immaturity to gain some satisfaction at the idea of him laying awake while I sleep. I was feeling vindicated. I'm just about to doze off when I hear him snoring faintly. He continues to snore through me hitting the snooze button 4 times before getting up. He was still snoring when I left for work.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Advice that would have been useful 7 HOURS AGO!!

My usual work shift is from 4-8a.m. Yesterday I picked up an off-truck day and worked 5-8a.m. I usually just set my phone alarm on those days so I don't have to mess with my alarm clock, but decided that I like the alarm clock better because it is quieter and I can hit the snooze a couple times. My phone alarm is loud and I didn't want to annoy G with it. (This is what I get for being nice) I had to work my usual truck day shift of 4-8 this morning and my alarm started going off at....3:45. Whoops.
Me: (whispering) Oh NO!!

G: Wha....?

Me: I'm late!!

G: (still asleep and mumbling) don't forget to reset your alarm clock

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Tis the season to be selling fa la la la la, la la llllaaa LLLAAAA

School started for the boys a week ago, which means we have now officially entered "fundraising season". I dread this season. Not only does it give me flashbacks of the endless fundraising I had to do as a child for school/band/girl scouts/church but it comes with so many more rules now. Every fundraiser form we get states that you can't let your kids sell door to door, that they should only sell to family and close friends. That's great, but family means cousins, and cousins are also selling the same exact junk to the same exact family members, and how many gift cards/cheese logs/ceramic mugs/cookie dough/cook books/rolls of wrapping paper does Grandma really need? Round one started today when Motormouth brought home his little magazine 'o treats and order form. Attached to the front was a perky little letter detailing the deliciousness of the different cookie doughs, cakes, and subs and their prices from (I am assuming) the head of the PTC. She signs off her letter by saying that each child's goal is to sell 20 subs and 20 blocks of dough. That's roughly $270 in sales. She has got to be delusional, er, kidding.

During dinner Motormouth announces that there is a meeting at school tonight for moms and that I need to go. Yes indeedy, it is the first PTC meeting of the year. I had toyed with the idea of going, but ultimately decided that since the kids are still in separate schools, that this would NOT be the year I start attending PTC (yeah, yeah all you other moms out there, I'm making you look bad, so grab your stones, I'll meet you in the street).
Motormouth: You HAVE to go. It's important.
Me: yeah? what are they going to talk about that is so important?
Motormouth: I dunno.

Yep. Not going. For the following 3 reasons.
1. I can't keep my thoughts to myself.
2. Not everyone finds my wit and sarcasm endearing.
3. It's better to avoid situations where 1 and 2 might happen.

I can assure you, the post office did not.

My mom found an amazing sale on Playmobil stuff in Florida, so instead of mailing Monkey some birthday money, she bought birthday and Christmas gifts and mailed them to me. She ended up stuffing the birthday gifts into the Christmas gift box to save on shipping. She called and gave me detailed instructions that I couldn't open the box in front of the boys because she couldn't wrap the Christmas gift because the birthday gifts were inside. I promised to remember. My mother knows me well and assumed that I would indeed NOT remember this important detail. She wrote further instructions on the box. The mailman delivers the 2'x3' box wrapped in plain brown paper and brings it to the door. "The box says to open this when you are alone" he smirks at me, waggling his eyebrows.


I call my mom to let her know I did indeed get the package and the mailman was kind enough to read me her "open alone" instructions. "oh, good. I was worried after I wrote that on there that the post office would think that I was a terrorist."

Friday, September 11, 2009

In other words- you worry too much.

We are all sitting around in the living room when Monkey comes in and climbs inbetween Sgt. G and I. He opens his mouth and points to his top front tooth which is clearly about to fall out. After reassuring Monkey that this is okay and that it will be okay when it falls out he wanders off. I turn to Sgt. G, "Didn't he already lose that tooth?"

The next morning Monkey comes to the table for breakfast and shows G the hole where his tooth had been. It's gone. G manages to find the missing tooth on Monkey's tooth colored carpet and sets it aside for the tooth fairy.

When Monkey gets home from school he shows me his missing tooth and starts counting "one two THREE!!" pointing to the gaping hole in his smile. I do some thinking back and realize that Monkey is correct, this is the third tooth he has lost.

Later on the phone with my mother, I am recounting my shortcomings. I don't know which teeth the kid has lost, I can't tell the baby ones from the permanent ones, or even how many he has lost, and you better believe it isn't in a baby book somewhere. This kid is going to grow up thinking we don't care. My mom interrupts me "Babe, in the grand scheme of things.....igh."

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Motormouth's words of wisdom, pt. 1

"When you go out on a date with a girl, you take her to a scary movie. When she gets scared she will put her arms around you and hug you, then she will kiss you."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Breathe easy ladies, that Mother of the Year award is still up for grabs.

As a mom, I worry about not doing a good enough job. This week as I started school and picked up a couple of extra shifts at work, I have worried that things are going to start falling through the cracks, that I have taken on too much and I am not up for the challenge. It only took one phone call with my mother-in-law to realize that my fears have come true.

MIL- I just wanted to go over the menu for this weekend. I was going to buy a cupcake mix for the boys. Is that okay?

Me- um. sure. that would be great.

MIL- Well....I know you aren't going to be there Monday, so should the boys eat them Sunday?

Me- (why would I care........???) I guess it doesn't really matter, whenever you want.

MIL- So.......(probably wondering why her daughter in law is insane) I guess we should celebrate Monkey's birthday on Sunday so you can be there.

Me-................................oh my God.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

That'll give you something to tell your teacher on the first day of school.

Motormouth is eating breakfast and G is getting ready for work.

Motormouth: Daddy, you need to get a new tattoo, you haven't gotten one in a while.

(Is G paying this kid?)

G: I'm thinking about it, bud. It has been a while, but haven't decided what to get yet.

Motormouth: a skull. That is what I'm going to get, a skull and crossbones.

Me: I don't think so.

Motormouth: Mom! you don't even have any tattoos, so you don't know.

Me: sure I do, they are just natural ones.

Motormouth: huh?

Me: (lifting my shirt to show him the stretch marks on my belly) These are my tattoos. I got them when I was pregnant with you.

Motormouth: Wow...............that's a lot of tattoos.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What I meant was, it would have been the best if you WERE in it.

Motormouth: Mom, I had the best dream last night. I dreamed that I was married to Anneke, and we had a baby, and I kissed her.

Me: Anneke or the baby?

Motormouth: Anneke. I was kissing her, but then I woke up and I was kissing my pillow. It was the best dream ever!! You weren't in it!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ask a stupid question....

Monkey comes out of his bedroom this morning and sees me in the living room.

Monkey: (all happy) Mommy!! (runs to give me a big hug) Mommy! I so happy to see you!!

Motormouth: what if she wasn't really your mommy?

Me: Motormouth! Be nice. How would you like it if someone told you I wasn't really YOUR mommy?

Motormouth: (no hesitation) Then could I go live with Grandma! Oohhh! could Grandma be my Mom? Can she???

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why again to I take my kids into public?

Motormouth got the pleasure of going with me to buy books for my classes at the campus bookstore.

Motormouth: (eyeing the 4 books I am carrying to the cash register) Those are way heavier than my school books.

Me: yes, and your school just gives your's to you, I have to buy mine.

Motormouth: really? That's weird.

Me: not really, I am paying to go to school, so it sort of makes sense that I would have to pay for books too. You pay for school when it is your choice to go. It's free when you have to go.

Motormouth: Why would anyone pay to go to school?

The cashier rings me up and gives me the slip to sign.

Motormouth: (reading the reciept) 415 DOLLARS???? THAT'S CRAZY!!

Lady behind us: Preach it, little man.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Point Exactly

I overheard this exchange between Motormouth and Sgt. G today as Sgt. G walked in the door from work.

Motormouth: Daddy, why does your face look like that?

Sgt. G: huh?

Motormouth: Your forehead is all scrunched up and it makes these makes you look mad.

Sgt. G: I don't know what you are talking about, this is my regular face.

Motormouth: I KNOW......but you always look grumpy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Major life epiphanies win every time.

G gets home from work earlier this week, looking exhausted.

Sgt. G: Well. My day sucked.

Me: Really? Because I dealt with a screaming fit from Monkey that lasted for about 45 minutes.

Sgt. G: what is his deal lately?..........So, how is that new?

Me: He was naked and threatening to kill me.

Sgt. G: why was he naked?

Me: That's the part that concerns you? Thanks. So, you think your day beats death threats from a naked 6 year old? Try and top it.

Sgt. G: (sighs) I realized today that I spent most of the day trying to get a guy INTO the Army that as an M.P. I would have tried to get kicked OUT of the Army.

Me: win.

Get off my six.

Motormouth comes running out of his room "Mom!! There's a bug in my room. It fell out of a box and you have to get it!"

Me: A bug. Where is it?

Motormouth: At three o'clock.

Me: Say again?

Motormouth: It fell at my three o'clock

Me: Motormouth, do you know where your three o'clock is?

Motormouth: IN MY ROOM

Me: Pretend you are standing on a clock face. So here is 12, 3, 6 is behind you, and 9....make sense?

Motormouth: Oh, I just had heard it on a TV show with soldiers and stuff. Daddy says it too.

Me: Those are generally the kind of people who wouldn't need to call their mom to get the bug.

Motormouth: Get it, get it get it!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Okay. Most of you know that I call my husband Sgt. GrumpyPants because, well, if you have ever met him you know......he scowls a lot and generally acts grumpy. Not really all that creative on my part. To tell the truth I find his scowl to be endearing, and it turns out, hereditary. Motormouth was born with a little scowl all his own, and it was the first thing I could see and be able to say "I know just who he got THAT from!" Monkey also scowled way before he ever learned to smile, which I find comforting. But things have been changing around here, and I am starting to realize that the nickname might not be so fitting anymore. Sgt. G has become much less crabby in the past several months......and the nickname doesn't quite fit (you know, like an old pair of Pants....okay so that was a little lame.....) Don't tell anyone, but he has actually had several days where he has been downright cheerful. And dare I say, happy. Not giddy with glee or anything, but not quite so gloomy either. So, it brings me back to my dilemma. The nickname. Should it be changed? And if so, to what? Any suggestions? I have gotten quite used to Sgt. G, so something starting with the same letter would be helpful because it is hard for me to keep up with too many changes. G himself had some suggestions that weren't really fit to we will ignore them. Just like I ignore his feelings about my blog in general- now that he knows I have one.

He came back for a second helping

While living in Germany I ran into an Army wife that made mashed potatoes with mayonnaise in them to make them creamier. Sounds gross, but is actually pretty good. She confided in me that her husband was horrified at the thought of eating potatoes that way and so she has snuck the offending ingredient into the recipe ever since. I thought that was good advise, and started quietly putting mayo into our potatoes. This has worked really well for us, since the boys can't eat any form of dairy, and we only ever have vanilla flavored soy milk in the house, I use the GF/CF mayo as a milk substitute. Sgt. G caught me the last time.

Sgt. G: Oh my God. What are you doing?

Me: you should go back into the living room now.

Sgt. G: you can't be putting that into the potatoes, it's disgusting!!

Me: would it make you feel better if I told you have eaten these potatoes several times already and you never noticed before?

Sgt. G: (fingers in his ears) LaLaLaLaLa!!

Me: oh yeah? I learned this from a wife in Germany, we moved back stateside 5 YEARS ago.

Sgt. G: you have seriously put that into my potatoes before.

Me: (looking slightly guilty) Not EVERY time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am almost postive that Sgt. G says ABSOLUTELY

This weekend we were camping in our parents yard (how redneck is that??? )

There are two very good reasons for this:
1. we want to get to use the new camper, but want to see family as much as possible this summer, and
2. the dog isn't allowed in the house

Monkey and I were heading in for bathroom and breakfast and we were having a disagreement on who should have to walk to the house. I felt that since it was morning, and we all have legs, that we should all use them. Monkey clearly disagreed. He jumps in front of me, scowls, bends over a little, and waves his arms (think umpire declaring the runner "safe") and says
"No!! Ab-so-mootly NOT!!!"

Do you have any idea how hard it is too keep a straight face when your six year old mimics your husband when he is angry? What is funnier is that G didn't realize that Monkey was doing a daddy impression.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

well, now I can't give him crap about it.

Sgt G. was cleaning our bedroom, and he comes out folding some hunter orange pants. He is finally getting all his hunting stuff out of our bedroom and stored back out in the garage until fall.

Me: Wait, are those new pants? (tags still hanging on them....I am quite the detective). When did you get those?

G: These are those ones I bought on sale...we've had this discussion.

Me: Didn't you just buy pants last year? I swear with the money you spend on hunting stuff....

G: No I didn't just buy pants last year. The only orange pants I had were the first pair my dad got me about 15 years ago. I'm going to give them to Motormouth.

He holds them up and they do look like they would fit a nine year old easier than they would fit him.

G: I bought this shirt last year (he holds up another hunter orange object)

Me: (peering into the storage tub) huh. Wait, are these the camo pants I wore when we took the kids sledding? (I don't own a pair of snowpants....which is why you don't ever see pictures of me sledding with the kids....I look like Backwoods Barbie) Or are these new pants too?

G: No, those are not new, and those are not the ones you wore. Those have suspenders. You wore my camo coverall set.

Me: So, you have two pairs of camo pants for hunting?

G: (slowly) yeeeessss.

Me: Oh, wait. I get it. It's like shoes.

G: What?

Me: Your hunting stuff. It's your version of women's shoes. You know, you have all this stuff when just one or two things would do. I don't get why you spend money on this and everything in here looks pretty much the same to me.

G: You got me. These are my women's shoes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I don't think I know any responsible adults.

There must be something in the air because there has been a lot of talk about sex lately. Maybe it is because it's Spring....I don't know. But, it has come to my attention that some responsible adult should be talking to Motormouth about s.e.x. After all, he is nine and they are going to start talking about it in school next year and it is freaking me out. So, in an effort to not have to freak out alone, I shared my thoughts with others. It went well.

Me: WE should be thinking about talking to Motormouth about sex. He's nine and I guess that is when THEY suggest you do that.

Sgt. G: By WE I assume you mean.....

Me: yeah. you.

Sgt. G: (groans) Can't we just show him a video or something?

Me: Don't they call that "corruption of a minor"? I think that sort of thing leads to jail time.

Sgt. G: I didn't mean that kind of video.....but now that you mention it......

Me: Yeah, that will give him a realistic idea of how things work.

Sgt. G: I'm still waiting for my busload of cheerleaders.

Me: keep waiting, it could happen.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just leave the seat up. You win. I admit defeat and you win.

On the days I work in the morning, I usually try to squeeze in a nap while the kids are in school. The dog usually wakes me up by barking like crazy 2 feet from my face because Motormouth is coming through the I am already a ray of sunshine while trying to deal with Motormouth's incessant chattering and questions. Motormouth came in clutching some Red Vines and asked to trade for some candy that he can actually eat (let me say right here how amazing I think this kid is that he will hold candy that he isn't supposed to eat all the way home on the bus while all the other kids are eating theirs because he knows he isn't supposed to eat it- how many 9 year olds would do that? He gets so much credit for that, but apparently, that credit does not transfer) He makes a trade, I eat the Red Vines and tell him to wash his hands before he eats his candy. He goes to the bathroom and washes his hands and wanders off. I then go in to use the bathroom after him.....and somehow manage to channel my mother. In my defense for the following exchange...this would be the third time in as many days that his father and I have talked to him about this.


Motormouth: Whoops

Me: Do you realize that when you do that you get pee all over the seat and so then Mommy sits in it???


Me: (practically whispering) I'll give you a head start.

Motormouth: What?

Me: Go. Now. Run. Now. Away.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Your next wife will hate that.

Sgt. G: I have been thinking about what tattoo I want for my birthday.

Me: forget it. We can't afford, and I refuse to look at an entire sleeve of RealTree camouflage.

Sgt. G: Okay, well seriously then, I am thinking some sort of military tribute tat on my calf.

Me: mmm, I don't know. I think it is strange to have tattoos where you have hair, you can't really see the tattoo.

Sgt. G: Well, then I will just get your name.

Me: over your heart?

Sgt. G: I was thinking more of on my back, since that would be more symbolic.

Me: I think you should take the advice your mom gave last summer, give it a few years, see if this whole marriage thing works out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Keep digging, you're going to need a ladder and a flashlight.

Sgt. G: Oh, guess who's wife at work is having a baby?

Me: Just tell me....your kidding! First Chris and Sarah (our pseudo-siblings) and now them. *sigh* Everyone is having a baby but me.

Sgt. G: Which is as it should be.

Me: (herding naked Monkey into the bathtub where he belongs) I want a baby.

Sgt. G: What?

Me: (poking my head around the corner) I said I want a baby.

Sgt. G: Do you have any idea how much that would hurt ME? didn't just seriously say that to me.

Sgt. G: (realizing his mistake, and trying hard to backpedal) Well, it would hurt me, for about a week if they did the reversal, and then another week to have the whole thing redone. You are talking about cutting my junk here.

Me: Seriously, a whole week? and a tiny little incision? do you realize who you are talking to?

Sgt. G: (watching me try to dry off a slippery Monkey as he dances naked around the living room) Aren't you outnumbered enough?

Me: Don't change the subject. *sigh* I could just go out to Chris and Sarah's and kidnap their baby for a while.

Sgt. G: I'll buy you a plane ticket.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let the circle be unbroken

After getting my second refusal letter in a row for medical tests I had done from our insurance company, I gave in and called to get the mess straightened out.
Do I have my authorization for treatment and the refusal to pay statements together? Check.
Do I have enough time to wait on hold right now? Check.
Enough patience and energy to deal with bureaucrats? Apparently not.
I will summarize so you don't fall asleep from sheer boredom. They were refusing to pay because my social security number was "incorrect" on the forms; which means it was MY social security number and not Sgt. G's. The stupid woman is arguing with me about where his social security number needs to be. I think if it asks for the patient's SS#, the doctor's office and hospital were both correct in putting my # there. They had then put Sgt. G's SS# in where it asked for the policy holder's SS#. This would make sense to anybody, right? Not to my Tricare lady. She is not allowed to make that connection on her own and needs Sgt. G's social where mine is. Okay, whatever.

Me: So, can you guarantee that when this paperwork comes back to Tricare that it will come back to you personally?

Tricare lady: No, but I assure you, it will be fine.

Me: Really? Because I am pretty sure that most insurance claims people would wonder why my husband needed a PAP smear and an ultrasound to check for breast cancer.

To top all this off, when I called the hospital to have them make the changes and re-bill my insurance, the hospital billing department woman responded with this:
"Tricare has denied payment already? Well isn't that interesting. We haven't billed them yet."

And the Circle of Absurdity is complete.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Apparently, my maternal instinct keeps office hours.

Sgt. G: Can you take Motormouth to the bus stop this morning? I brought a Gov home and he can't sit in it. (G is very nice and lets Motormouth sit in his warm truck every morning waiting for the bus)

Me: The bus stop? It's the end of the driveway, and it is nice out today, he can stand out there by himself.

Sgt. G: Isn't it raining?

Me: Doesn't look like it, he has a hood just in case.

Sgt. G: I thought moms were supposed to be all nurturing and overprotective.

Me: It's 7a.m.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monkey update

I just got a call from Monkey's new teacher at his new school. He started there today and he and I were there at 0800 this morning to check it out and sign paperwork. Turns out that he had a really great day, and was very active and engaged in everything. He did calendar and small groups and music was happy about it all. Until he earned his 4 stars (the magic number that lets him play the Wii at home). then he was done. He wouldn't sit for ending circle and was just running around. they tried to lure him with earning another star, but he just informed them that he already had his 4. :). So, she is going to bump him up to 5 stars and I reminded her that nothing works better than taking one of those stars away. So, anyway. good first day, better than anyone hoped, and I am glad they are figuring him out so quickly. He even asked one of the girls to come back and play with him and she did, so that was a big thing for him! This week is starting out pretty good, and I needed that!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Things I Need

I Need:

To get more than 4 hours of sleep

To have a dog that doesn't wake me up in the night for no reason

To realize that I am putting on Sgt. G's Stratton Game Calls shirt and not one of mine. (says BLOW ME on the back)

To not have Monkey's school ambush me in an IEP meeting, and railroad me into having him not only change buses, but change schools

To have Sgt. G realize that I am crying in an IEP meeting when I am sitting right next to him

To realize just how much Monkey's school is screwing him up and get him the hell out of there

To not wake up in the morning and realize that I am out of toilet paper, Mt. Dew AND deodorant

To clean her house before her mother in law comes

To remember to thank her mother in law for calling out of the blue and offering to pick up the kids and keep them overnight for Valentines Day

To remember her debit card when she meets people for lunch

To not pick up Motormouth at tutoring when he is actually at school

To quit saying I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown

To get Sgt. G to understand that we are not seeing Friday the 13th tomorrow night.

This week to be OVER!!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What goes around....

Sgt. G is trying to watch a movie with Motormouth. Motormouth has never seen it, and keeps asking questions about what is going to happen next. About everything. Constantly. Sgt. G gets frustrated and tells him to be quiet and watch. If he would just watch he would know what would happen and wouldn't have to ask. I am sitting here giggling quietly (okay, not so quietly) and finally Sgt. G notices my glee.

Sgt. G: What!?

Me: Like Father like son. Only he asks questions instead of loudly pointing out the obvious.

If you have never had the pleasure of seeing a movie with my husband, you are really missing out. He makes sure you don't miss a thing by informing you of everything you just saw, and by repeating key lines of the movie. It is like being married to Captain Obvious. I assumed for years that he thought I was an idiot or something that I couldn't follow a basic plot line until I watched a movie sitting between him and his mom. She routinely asks what just happened or what was just said. Turns out he was trained from a young age to irritate me.

Keep on Keeping on Motormouth.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's been one of those weeks in this house.

It's been one of those weeks in this house.
It carried over from last week. My van was way overdue for an oil change and the check engine light came on; I was hoping it was because of the oil, and it would magically turn off when I got it changed. I even tried to make it up to the van by having them flush and de-gunk stuff (I know, it is stupid to try to make a peace offering to a machine). It didn't turn off, so G called around and got it in somewhere on Monday. Turns out I had a bad emmissions sensor (dammit, could have kept driving it!), a broken spring, and something is wrong with the manifold- again. The garage is saying about 1200 for everything. Can we drive it with the manifold thing leaking? The guy says yes. Great. G calls his cousin in St. Johns to see if we can have him do that part, (for half the price), his cousin can. Later in the week, some incredibley honest person with amazing driving skills hits G's truck in the parking lot not once, but twice. Guess they didn't do a good enough job the first time and tried it again. 2 dinner size plate dents, one in each door on the passenger side and some scratches. G loves that truck a little more than me most days, so he was a little ticked. Insurance says they will send us a check for the appraised amount less $500 for our deductible. Great, because the few hundred I shelled out last week on the van, plus the few hundred this week, plus the more than a few hundrend still to shell out wasn't enough car expenses this month. Friday starts out great, Monkey wakes up with a 102.2 fever for no particular reason, so everything I had put off all week will have to wait until next week. G calls from work to tell me that he didn't leave his personal cell phone at work like he was hoping, it is lost. So he buys a new phone and now has a new number that I have to memorize and call all pertinant people and update them. G comes home that night. He says he finally called the insurance company back and they said they are sending us a check for the entire amount, so we don't have to pay the deductible. He couldn't tell me why (I guess it didn't occur to him to ask?). I am trying to squeeze in a shower now that I am not the only adult in the house so I almost didn't notice him grabbing the toilet plunger and heading out of the bathroom.
Me: ummm, do I want to know what you are doing with that?
Sgt. G: no.
Me: no swordfighting with the kids (can you tell I am the mom of boys?)
Sgt. G: I'll try to control myself.
I get out of the shower and G comes back in with the plunger.
Sgt. G: (all puffed up like a peacock) Well, what do you know!!
Me: I don't know, what do I know?
Sgt. G: no more dents.
Me: You toilet plungered the truck? And it worked?
Sgt. G: yup.
Me: so we just get to keep that insurance money?
Sgt. G: Oh, I could spend it.
Me: of that I have no are turning into a handy guy
Sgt. G: don't tell anyone.
Me: if anyone asks, I'll tell them you are handsy, not handy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More Grandma Love

Motormouth has to do a biography on someone he thinks is interesting. Guess who that would be?
So he calls Grandma to 'interview' her over the phone (he reads the questions, I write the answers)
The last part of the interview was just writing down some interesting stuff that you learned about your special person. I tell Motormouth to ask if Grandma had any special pets or anything like that (mostly because I wanted to hear my mom squirm her way through the story of her kicking a turtle). Mom walks right into it and tells Motormouth that she had a turtle for a few days. The rule in her house growing up was that if you could get an animal to follow you home, you could keep it as a pet.

Motormouth: So, you had a turtle follow you home? it must have taken a really long time, grandma, they are really slow.

Grandma: well, it did take a long time, turtles just kind of hide in their shell around people (yup, especially when you are kicking them) so I would pick him up and carry him a little, and then I would put him down and....well........nudge him with my foot a little......until I got him home.

Motormouth: (completely oblivious to the point) So you got to keep him?

Grandma: for a few days, I think my mom knew he didn't actually follow me home.

Motormouth: yeah, mom's know EVERYTHING.

Grandma: Usually.

I guess it is good that he didn't catch that Grandma kicked that poor turtle home, it might have given him ideas. It did fuel his theory that every mom is cooler than his mom. Whatever critters he catches, have to stay outside.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I don't live up to the Grandma Standard, and he loves another.

Driving in the car last night with the kids, Motormouth and I start discussing Valentines Day.

Motormouth: I have to make something special for all my teachers.

Me: That is.....6 people (counting student teachers, parapros, assitants). Can we just buy them something special?

Motormouth: I wanted to sew them little hearts that look like those hearts with words on them.

Me: Yeah, no. Mommy doesn't sew.

Motormouth: I can. Grandma taught me....grandma would help me sew something.

Me: Well, grandma isn't here. Sorry mommy isn't as great as grandma.

Motormouth: (sighing) that's okay. You are good at some stuff too.

Me: Gee. Thanks.

Motormouth: I have to make Anneke a special card. I love her. I have to write I love you in her card.

Me: Can't you just write that you like her a lot?

Motormouth: No. Because I love her.

Me: What happened to Malaysia?

Motormouth: Mom, she moved to Texas a long time ago....I can't wait forever.

Me: Can't you just love mommy? I'm not ready for you to love some other girl. You are nine.

Motormouth: Mom, you can't stop love.

Me: oh.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hey kid do you...want some candy, to go home, a sticker, me not to strangle you?

I got a note from Monkey's teachers this week. It seems he does great at school as long as the routine is followed. Monkey totally freaks out if there is any change to the schedule at all. I know both sides of this problem, we struggle with it at home too. You can't avoid schedules altogether, especially at school, just like you can't avoid interruptions to that schedule. I am a little frustrated that they can't figure out a solution that works for school without asking me. This is Woman 101: The Art of Manipulation. Try whispering in his ear "Hey Monkey, do you want a skittle?" if he says yes, say "Great! Let's go do (insert task here), then we will get a skittle."
This works on people of all ages. Maybe not with Skittles. You just have to find that person's "currency". How many of you haven't done a variation of this with either your kids or your significant other? "Would you like to (insert favorable treat)? Okay, do (insert unfavorable task) and then you can (insert favorable task/treat)."
I really don't want to spell this out for them again. Instead I think I will just send a note back saying:
"Oh, I am so sorry for Monkey's behavior. I wish I knew what to tell you, but the truth is, his dad is the same way. Let me know what you figure out to do with Monkey, because I would really love it if his dad would also quit hiding under the table when he gets upset."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Boys are so competitive

The flu has been going around our house, and everyone got the 24 hour strain except Sgt. G. His lasted longer, and he got to take his on a road trip to Kentucky and back this weekend. He called when he got back into Michigan to let me know he was just a few hours away. Motormouth hears me asking G how he is feeling and being generally sympathetic. He announces loudly from the other side of the room:
"You tell Daddy I was WAY more sick than he is...I threw up at Grandma's and the throw up came out my NOSE!!"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

You can blame this rant on Todd.

This is actually my brother-in-law's theory, he ranted about this years and years ago to me and I completely agree with him, and because of that, I have had to bite my tongue through more conversations with idiot guys than I can count. Most recently I had to sit through a formal dinner with one particular idiot, and I was almost bleeding by the time the night was through. Since he was a co-worker of Sgt. G's, and I had known the guy for all of 10 minutes, I refrained from embarrassing him in front of everyone. (which in retrospect was a great accomplishment for me, since as some of you know, I don't have much of a filter, and I had consumed several Jack and Cokes throughout this meal)
Have you ever noticed that some guys will complain that his girl is never in the mood, or that she will "hold out" when they are fighting like that is the girl's fault, and not his? I just don't get that. Guess what Dude, if your girl is holding out on you that is noone's fault but yours...and the rest of us are just going to make fun of you if you willingly share that information. Any guy who complains that his girl "holds out", or never seems to be in the mood might as well hang a big sign around his neck announcing "Not that good in bed". Did it ever occur to you that women won't deprive themselves of something that is great for them just because they are mad at you? Newsflash, we don't. Why on earth would we punish ourselves just because you are acting like an moron? Here's a thought, work on your skills. Find out what makes your girl tick (because here's a surprise- we are all different) and make sure she is having a good time, every time. If you do, I can promise you that she will actually say she is sorry first- just to get back into bed. She will magically be in the mood as often as you are, because DUH, we like to feel good too.
So, Sgt. G's co-worker, here's a little advice: instead of putting all this effort into tracking your girl's 'cycle' in an attempt to know when you might get lucky (which by the way, is NOT proper dinner conversation), try being good at it. It's not that hard. Being good at something pays off more than being lucky any day. And if you can't manage to do that, could you at least keep your shortcomings to yourself?

No good deed goes unpunished

My poor mother-in-law. Bless her heart, this poor woman. Not only does she have to deal with me on a regular basis, but her heartfelt gestures seem to come back to bite her.
Monkey had a 24 hour flu bug at the beginning of last week. I managed to come down with it in the wee hours Saturday morning (I mean, REALLY, why is it ALWAYS 2 a.m.?). Sgt. G remembered mid-morning that his parents were in town that day and were going to come over to visit at some point. I am feeling like spit warmed over, and between Monkey and my essay paper fiasco, I haven't picked up anything in this house or cleaned it all week. I suggest that either G calls his parents and tells them not to come, or get cleaning....he made the call. My mother-in-law immediately says she will come get the kids and take them home with her. Isn't that nice? So nice that I can't just say yes like a normal person. NO, I have to insist that it is okay, I mean, it isn't like I haven't ran this household while sick on my own before (Sgt. G had to work all afternoon and evening on Sat, and was leaving Sunday morning for Ft. Knox), we will be fine, thanks anyway...I mean, how delirious am I? Just say Yes, thank you! And then shut up. Thankfully she is undeterred and makes arrangements to come and take the kids to a germ free zone. I am glad she did, Sgt. G got the flu while at work (still had to stay, but that is a whole other issue) so he wouldn't have been much help anyway. I wake up feeling refreshed, and overly ambitious. I think I will not only turn in my final draft of the essay due today, but also turn in the rough draft of the next essay I have to write that is due on Tuesday. I will also do my other homework in advance, and sanitize this house....sounds great right? It is amazing what 20 hours of sleep will do for a person. Then my mother-in-law calls. Seems Motormouth came down with the flu while at her house. I guess he was so sick that she ended up sleeping with him last for her efforts she will likely get her turn with this lovely bug by the end of the week. She would like to bring him home a little early. Can't say as I blame her.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I know how to HAVE FUN.

I'm trying to get the kids out the door tonight. I am trying, but failing. On a long list of hold-ups is the issue of footwear. We are going to a school carnival and I want the kids to wear shoes because we will be indoors. Monkey wants to wear his boots. "We will just stand here until you put your shoes on," I say. "We can't go and HAVE FUN until you put your shoes on." We all stand around for about a minute (Look at me, practicing my patience!!) and Monkey finally gives in and puts on his shoes. The idea of missing out on HAVING FUN is too much for him. He points out that they have red dots on them. They look like they have been put there on purpose, but I have no idea why. Something to do with getting them on the right feet at school maybe, and Monkey needs me to be impressed with his dots. "Oooohhhh!" I exclaim. "Dots!!" (Look at me, practicing my enthusiasm). I must have convinced Monkey that I loved the dots appropriately enough, because we were finally on our way out the HAVE the school carnival. One stop on the way, I had to hit the bank ATM. As we pull into the parking lot Monkey announces "This is NOT fun." Glad you noticed, kid. Motormouth explains "you can't have fun without money." I am slightly disturbed that my nine year old believes this to be true. "There are lots of things you can do for fun that don't cost anything." I say. "uh, yeah mom, I know, but we aren't doing one of those things tonight. I was telling Monkey that we couldn't have fun TONIGHT without money.(like, duh)" Oh. I'll save my fear of raising materialistic monsters for another day. We spent an hour at the carnival playing games and winning candy. We did manage not to win one of those poor goldfish that you have to bonk on the head with a ping pong ball, my run as Dr. Dolittle must finally be over. So, after an hour of chaos I call it a night. The kids are both well sugared and one of them is sporting blue hair, and they are both bouncing around begging for cotton candy- it is definitely time to go (without the cotton candy). I was pretty impressed, we managed to navigate a crazy, loud, overly-crowded room with adults talking to and touching Monkey for an hour with no embarrassing scenes. I sort of feel like we should celebrate somehow..... This is a small victory of sorts...... I fight the urge to go to Meijer's and buy goldfish.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Can't argue with that.

I finish cleaning the bunny cage and haul the bag 'o poo out to the kitchen

Sgt. G: Don't even think about putting that in the kitchen trash

Me: I do all the time

Sgt. G: You can just haul your pretty little butt outside with that.

Me: But its really cold ou....

Sgt. G: and while your at it you can grab the trash from the garage too.

Me: You mean the trash you were going to take out last night?

Sgt G: yup, I only got it as far as the garage.

Me: But....

Sgt. G: I got up and fed the kids, am doing laundry, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and ran to the store for bread and bacon so I could cook you breakfast, which is almost ready.

(I open my mouth, then close it)

Sgt. G: yeah, that's what I thought, you got nothing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Maybe I should look in the mirror.....

I crawl out of bed this morning after 8 (my negotiated morning to sleep in). Monkey hears me come out of the bedroom and comes running into the kitchen from the living room
"Mommy!! Good Morni....I havta hide!" he turns and runs back into the living room.
"what's the deal? Do I look that bad?" I ask
Sgt. G turns and looks me up and down, stopping at my hair, which feels like it is standing on end. "You are looking a little frightening."

Excuse me for not being bald like everyone else in this house.

A little later I am at the computer and Motormouth starts hovering around me.
"Can I play the computer when you are done with your homework?"
Me: "sure, just give me 10 minutes"
Motormouth: "Thanks mom, you are the best. I love you so much. *big hug*"
Me: What did you do?
Motormouth: Nothing, I just love you.
Me: hmmmm.
Motormouth: Are you feeling okay? I don't want you to be sick anymore.
Me: what are you talking about?
Motormouth: you just don't look so good.

I hope he realizes that there is no inheritance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pointless recount of my day.

Okay, so yesterday I am just not having a great day. Tried to make some phone calls in the morning but ended up leaving messages...tried to take a nap in the afternoon, but ended up having people returning my phone calls from the morning. That and a very strange recorded call about not wanting to saddle my family with expensive funeral costs...(what do I care, I'm dead.) Monkey got home and it turns out he didn't have a very good day either. He only earned one star out of the four he needs to get to play the Wii, so he was upset. In addition to only earning the one, I guess he decided to crawl under a table during his Speech time. When threatened with star removal, he came out kicking. Then biting. His principal had to come down and get him for a little trip down to the office. Within 15 minutes Monkey was asleep on a beanbag chair in the office (So THAT'S where my nap went!) So Monkey wins the bad day competition, because it only got worse for him when he got home and had to deal with an upset Momma. Not only do you lose Wii privledges, but all your handheld games too. Sucks to be you, you shouldn't try to bite people. At least Motormouth had a better 6th grader physically assaulting his teacher like on Tuesday, so his week is improving. Then we had to go to the store to try to find Monkey's cereal, they have been out of it for almost 2 weeks now, and guess what? They still are. But I promised we would get some popcorn and the boys could watch a movie in Motormouth's room when we got home. At the store there was fighting over who holds Mommy's hand, who stands on the end of the cart, who gets to touch the grapefruit and who gets to be the monitor of who touches the grapefruit (guess what???? Mommy handles both those jobs just fine, thanks), who gets to carry the popcorn through the store, who unloads the cart, who checks the Coinstar machine for Canadian change......aaarrrggghhhhh. If they are driving me nuts they can't be pleasant for anyone else, so I renege on our previously agreed upon trip to Blockbuster and go straight home. Poor babies, have to watch one of the 150 movies you already own. When's dinner? when's dinner? When's dinner? (better question What's dinner What's dinner?) I banish them with popcorn bowls to the other room. Why does Monkey get more popcorn than I do? (I love him more, that's why) Monkey is climbing onto my top bunk. He is turning my light on/off. Monkey doesn't have quite enough language to tattle quite as well, so he just keeps coming in and saying "Moooommmmm....HE, Motormouth!!" I finally give up and stuff my ear buds in and crank up my Zune. A little Clapton should help....except I can still hear them. "uh oh...Mommy put her earplugs in, that means she doesn't want to hear us anymore. I am in charge now Monkey" "Okay!!!" This is slightly disturbing for me, but they both seem happy with the arrangement, so I guess I don't care. They leave me alone long enough for me to scrounge up some dinner and get myself remembering why I wanted to have kids in the first place. Oh that's right! I need someone to pay for my expensive funeral arrangements.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Once and M.P., Always an M.P.

Me: Hey babe, did you get me a manila envelope so I could mail my nursing application?

Sgt. G: Yea, I brought you, like, a dozen from work. That should last you a while.

Me: Ummm, thanks. You stole government property for me. Awwww. You still wuuuv me!

Sgt. G: Not stealing. "Appropriating" unsecured materials.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have created this blog mostly because I think I have more time on my hands than I actually do. That and I have friends who shall remain nameless (Chris and Sarah) that haven't been sucked in by FaceBook yet so they are totally out of the loop on what is going on in my little world. Nicknames have been created to protect the innocent and clueless, and to appease the head of the household- who would become even more grumpy if perfect strangers not only knew the initmate details of his life, but who he actually was. So, my husband is Sgt. Grumpypants, otherwise known as The Sarge, Sgt. G, the Grump, or Sgt. Grumpy. The precious boys, Motormouth- age 9, and Monkey- age 6. You can just call me....Mrs. Pants.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am the bestest Army wife ever!

A little background: Sgt. G called to let me know that he got orders to go to a army training school (one that we have known that he would be going to in the next year or two, and one that will be essential to his continued promotions) He was stressed out because they were orders to go in February, and when he tried to cancel them because it wasn't enough notice, they moved him up to the class that started in 9 days. He went around and around until he ended up with the original school date of Feb 2. He'll be gone about 6 weeks. Add that stress to the stress he is under because he knows he isn't physically capable of completing the school at this point. His back and neck are really screwed up (because of the army.....) and he knows he wont be able to wear all the gear for the training excercises. He could handle the recruiter training school, but he really doesn't think he can handle the MP version, which is the one he would have to go to unless he officially changes jobs, which he looked into and can't do in time, and he just isn't one of those "I don't care if I flunk out" kind of guys. I KNOW all of this information going into the following conversation. Not all these statements came out of my mouth in 30 seconds, but they were the ONLY comments I made on the subject over a 24 hour period.

Sgt. G.: Couldn't change my school date, I am going in Feb.

Me: What? What the heck?.....Who is going to shovel the snow??? (no exageration, this was my first thought and reply) ......I am so going to lose my job.....crap. I really like my MADE me move back to this frozen tundra and now you are going to LEAVE ME here???? This SUCKS! .......And I don't know if your dog will still be here when you get back...(oh yeah, I threw a poor, defenseless, insanely cute puppy under the bus- figuratively, not literally)

Look at me, being extremely postive and supportive! I should get some sort of award for that.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Whoo Hoo

Many of you know the trials we have been through with Monkey, and how much he struggles with every day stuff and how far he has come in the past few years. Monkey has always had problems with certain public situations, but we have had the most trouble with what I refer to as "the big three" Those would be Going to the Doctor/Dentist, Getting a Haircut, and Shoe Shopping. when Monkey was two I figured out a basic set of guidelines that if you could manage to stick to, you and Monkey would get along great. Those guidelines were as follows: Don't look at him, talk to him, or touch him. Unfortunately, there aren't many situations where you can stick with those guidelines. It was impossible with "the big three" and so we all dreaded those trips. The first one he managed to overcome was shoe shopping. We were thrilled to be able to go to the shoe store, get his feet measured and try on shoes without the sales girl getting kicked in the face or leaving with a hysterically screaming child. The next to improve was the trips to the Doctor and Dentist. We have gone from crying/screaming the entire visit (including sitting in the waiting room) to being able to reason with him/ reward him for getting through the visits without throwing a fit. So the last was the haircuts. He was so adamant that he wasn't going to get one a couple months ago that I just buzzed him at home because I refused to deal with a public scene. He cried and hollered and struggled through the entire thing. So, in preparation of the impending haircut this time, I mentioned today that he was going to have to have one. He immediately said "no" (he is his father's son) but then asked me to do it in our bathroom again. Of course there wasn't time before school, so I promised him we would do it after school. As soon as he got home he grabbed the stool and headed into the bathroom. He didn't even want to play the Wii first (his reward for being good at school, which he was). He stood still and didn't complain once. I was really proud of him, this was a huge step for us. So yea for Monkey and his adapting to fit into our world, I wonder if any of us would work so hard to adapt into his?

Monday, January 5, 2009

The point is knucklehead, I care!

I felt horrible before I went to work, worse when I got there and barely coherent when I got home. G and I passed in the breezway, so I didn't say anything, and he didn't ask. Plus it is hard to have any sort to exchange with two barking dogs and an insanely cheerful Monkey. Monkey and I muddled through the morning and I managed to get him on the bus. I promptly drug myself and crawl into bed. I wake up to our canine home protection system being set off. Sgt. G has come home to find something he forgot this morning. No big deal until I hear some other guy talking to the dogs. Great, I can't remember what the kitchen looks like, but it's probably not pretty. G comes into the bedroom and realizes that I am sick- and look it. I tell him where the thing is he wants so he will quit tearing up the house. He tells me to just stay in bed. Thanks. I get up later and survey the kitchen. Sure enough, the remnants of Monkey's and my lunch are still out on the table, there are dishes stacked up in the sink and for some reason, a towel on the floor. (that would be Monkey, for some reason he likes to have one while he is eating breakfast; for spills??? and usually he steals the hand towel, but obviously couldn't find one so he drug a bath towel out) I call G to find out what was going on. "oh, it was just Miller. He doesn't care"Are all guys this clueless? I guess it is time for the talk about calling before bringing people home again. It's not just so I have time to kick the boyfriend out before you get here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mommy has a new "friend"

Me: hey, today mommy is going to a friends house by herself, and she is going to stay the night there, sort of like the sleep over you and Jay just had.

Motormouth: You are? I am going to miss you (awwww). Who is your friend?

Me: My friend Kathleen. She and I went to school together waaay back when we were your age, all the way through high school and we have been friends ever since.

Motormouth: You're going to Kevin's?

Me: No. Kathleen. Kath-a-leens.

Motormouth: okay (shrugs)

Me: No, I want you to understand that I am going to a girl's house, and her name is Kathleen.