...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Little Quiet 'Round These Parts

Hey folks, I just wanted to post that the next few weeks may not have as many blogs. I'm hoping to get some scheduled out so there isn't a bare patch, but as you read this, I am most likely on a plane to a wedding at a funeral home. I promise, I'll blog about it as soon as  I get a chance. But also tomorrow is my birthday, and in a couple of weeks I'll be traveling again to another wedding, to come home and travel again to Massachusetts for a week.

So! While I will be gathering tons of blog fodder for my beloved readers, if there isn't three blogs a week I apologize in advance. I'll still post funny updates on my facebook page (which if you haven't joined yet, you are missing a lot), and whine there when the kids are not letting me sleep. But I will be back soon, with lots of new stories, including the wedding at the funeral home. I actually told J we had to go to this particular wedding for the blog fodder alone it would give me.

So happy week to you all, and think of me as I try to not giggle at inopprtune moments today at the wedding.

See you soon! 

Friday, April 27, 2012



J and I leapt out of bed from deep slumber to freaking out in 0.02 seconds as Xavier crashed open our bedroom door in the middle of the night. Xavier stood there, eyes wide as dinner plates.
"Dad.... there's a bip."
"A what?"
"A bip. Something keeps beeping like a bip."
"Duuuude, it's (squinting over at the clock) 3AM!!!"
"There's a bip, Dad! I swear!!"


We all cease movement immediately, heads all tilted to the side, listening.


One of our smoke detectors has gone rogue in the middle of the night.

Our second floor ceiling are ginormously tall. Like 15 feet high. And of course, we don't own a ladder. Don't ask me why. I keep meaning to stop at Home Depot to pick one up, but I always forget. And now we have a smoke detector that is bipping and we all know that none of us will sleep until we A> find out which one is the culprit and B> rip it out of it's socket until the next morning.

Since J is the tallest of the family, and will have to do the most acrobatics to fix this problem, he votes to leave it to the next morning. Xavier and I outvote him loudly, knowing that going down that road will only cause complete crankiness the next day due to severe lack of sleep as we all focus on the BIP sound.

So J and I throw on some clothes and start investigating which detector needs to be put down.


We pause in the hallway upstairs and try to pinpoint it's location.


Downstairs? Let's check it out. We stumble down the stairs, peering at each detector as we go past, looking for a flashing red light or anything that may make it stand out from the others.


Upstairs. Crap, I hope it's not in the younger boys bedroom. We scuttle up the stairs, eyes roving in every direction.


Ok not the hallway. Our room? No, it wasn't that loud.


Xaviers room. Ahh yes, there's the piece of shit that's disturbing our sleep. And oh look, it's on the highest point of our 15 FOOT HIGH CEILING!!! How could it not be?


We cringe, because now that we're below it, the sound is REALLY loud. Yes, Xavier and I were right in forcing this task to be done now. Because there is no way Xavier could have slept through this annoying blast of sound every 45 seconds.


J and I start looking around, trying to figure out how to get up that high? The bed? Sure try the bed. J jumps on the twin mattress and reaches, about 4 feet too far away.


We glance at the office chair. No, too risky. First it's only about a foot higher than the bed. Plus it's known to swivel fast and furious.


How about these crates? The ones that act as a dresser and stuffed animal pen. Think we could put them on top of each other? I promise to hold J steady, both of us knowing it's more for show because if J goes down there is nothing I could really do.


No choice. We have to try. J dumps everything out of the crates to Xavier's alarm (I mean really, his parents ARE destroying his room) and starts to carefully climb up the contraption of two crates stacked on top of each other, while I hold his leg steady, enjoying the view.


Slowly, he stands straight, and then reaches his arm out to the offending detector. And you have got to be fucking kidding me. He's an inch too short. "What the f..."


The sound covers my verbal slip. Thankfully Xavier didn't hear me. I focus my attention back to J, who is trying to carefully hop up a little to grab the bottom of the gadget. I cringe each time, waiting for him to fall and kill himself (and me).


I hear a scrape of skin and a muttered curse as J thrashes his hand in the air. I see blood. This can't be good.


Growling, J stares at the detector, focusing all his anger and frustration on the round piece of plastic. I know that growl. I know that look. I know that very shortly I will not only have to buy a ladder, but a new smoke detector.


J lunged and snatched at the ceiling.A ripping sound silences the bips, and J comes crashing down with the smoke detector in his hands. He smiles in victory while Xavier and I cheer, helping him down and hugging him. Xavier goes back to bed, I mend the battle wounds with a band aid and a kiss, and we all snuggle back into bed, where all is again silent and right in the world.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Coughing & the Bubonic Plague

If you're a resident of North Carolina, or really anywhere down south, you most likely know what I mean when I say that early spring means yellow snow. For those of you who don't, let me take a moment to explain.
 You know how up north you guys get snow? That white fluffy crap that's freaking cold, covers everything, and makes your boots wet and uncomfortable? We don't get much of that down here. But come March and April, we get pine trees having public sex for weeks on end, getting jiggy with it all over every freaking surface and orifice. And their "love dust" i.e. pollen gets into every nook and cranny, making everything look yellow. Below is the city of Raleigh, right next door to where I live. Notice the yellow haze? Yeah, that's POLLEN!!!!!

Photo courtesy of www.raleighskyline.com

Well, come yellow snow season, for the first time ever, my kids start feeling the effects. Soren's nose is stuffed up every night. Ashe's throat feels funny. And Xavier? Xavier is hacking nonstop like he has a 45 pound hairball caught in his throat. And it's driving me up the effing walls. Fortunately we had his check up and the doctor took a look at him to find out what the culprit was.

Dr: Ahh yes, allergies.
Me: Allergies?
Xavier: Allergies??????
Dr: Yup. Allergies. I'm guessing it's the pollen.
Me: He's never had allergies before.
Xavier: Will I have allergies forever??????
Dr: Allergies can crop up any time, but at his age it's fairly common.
Me: Crap

And on the car ride home, I had to calm my freaking out child to let him know that allergies are totally normal and most people have one allergy or another, and isn't it better to be allergic to pollen which will go away in a few weeks, than to be allergic to peanut butter? He wasn't impressed. In fact, he went on a streak of questions about other allergies, which led to diseases, which lead to talks about the Bubonic Plague. Seriously folks. I don't even know how he knows about the Bubonic Plague. Fortunately I was able to tell him that we have treatments for it now, and the only way to get it is to play with wild prairie dogs so as long as he doesn't do that hes cool. And if he does one day find himself jumping around with wild prairie dogs, the local hospitals where prairie dogs are found will have a cure for the plague. So he's covered.

We tried Benadryl in the hopes that his hacking cough would subside. No luck. We tried Clariton. Nothing. We tried tea and honey, then honey on a spoon, then chugging honey from the bottle. Still hacking. Finally one night after listening to him trying to hack that hairball up nonstop for about 45 minutes I yelled at him to get a popsicle. And the next thing I know, it's silent. Pure, golden silence. Not the bad silent where you wonder what your kids are destroying. But the good kind.

Of course I find this awesome solution a week before yellow snow season ends.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Xavier lost another tooth recently. It was actually on his tenth birthday. He was so excited to place his tooth under his pillow, and even wrote a letter to the tooth fairy letting her know about his special day. She of course, wrote back, and gave him an extra dollar.

I find myself surprised that at age ten, mythical beings like the tooth fairy, Santas Clause, and the Easter Bunny, are still completely believable to Xavier. He has not one single doubt in his mind that they exist. And while I find that endearing, I also have started to feel that flutter of worry about when he find out that it's really Mom and Dad. I've heard horror stories from other moms whose children went on a rampage when they found out the truth. That they felt lied to and couldn't trust their parents. I'm hoping that this won't be the case for us. I'm hoping that Xavier and our other kids, will realize that behind the scenes, the feeling is the same. That Mom and Dad allowed them the beauty of magic in their lives for as long as possible and did so out of love. Because once you lose that sense of magic and wonder, a piece of your childhood is forever gone and cannot be replaced.

Xavier was so happy to see his toothfairy letter the following morning. His eyes lit up in excitement when he showed it to me. And while I know this won't last for much longer, I can hope that his excitement for something like this will be worth it when the time comes for him to grow up. I hope he can remember how happy he was and realize that it was an important part of his childhood.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Where the hell did my sweet Ashe go? If I didn't know any better, I would think my sweet middle child was kidnapped by fairies and I'm dealing with a changeling with an attitude that would fit nicely with an asshole.

Ever since he turned five, Ashe has got this 'tude that is driving me nuts. He HAD manners! Now it's like he purposely shoved them under his bed to gather dust. And I'm about to start gathering pamphlets for boarding schools to send him off to.

Lately, instead of asking for something, Ashe will saunter, yes, saunter, up to me and tell me to get him something. When I give him "The Look" and ask him how does he ask, he looks me in the eye and says "Now".

Every night during dinner, Ashe asks J for help on a video game afterward. It's their bonding time. Lately though, instead of asking, Ashe will turn to J and say "Dad, after dinner you WILL help me with (insert game here)."

His ass has been in time out so much lately the carpet on the landing is starting to get butt grooves.

And if he's not trying to throw his 35 pound weight around like he's the king of the house, he's turned into a drama queen that would put any A celebrity to utter shame. This kid could win an Oscar for best dramatic performance. I guess I should be thankful I don't have to pay cash to watch such amazing performances, but you know what? I never liked dramas anyways.

Despite the fact I give the kids ample warning for bedtime (hey kids 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute...) the moment I say "OK bedtime" Ashe turns on the waterworks and cries while throwing himself ON THE FLOOR, wailing about the indignities I force upon him.

After a long day of child rearing, all I want to do is give the tiny golf clap for his acting skills and tell him to give it up. Instead, I'm finding myself picking the boy up, and carrying his butt upstairs, while he wails on and on about how awful of a mom I am, and how he doesn't WANT to go to bed, and that I am SO MEAN, MOMMY!!!!!!!"

You know what kid? You don't know what mean is. Mean is if I tossed your ass into bed, duct taped you to your mattress, and locked you in your room. Mean is if I didn't read you your damn Zelda book, refused to get you a cup of water, and forced you to sleep without a nightlight. Don't push me kid, cause I'm getting really close to showing you what mean is.

Age two is tough. That's when they start getting their independence. Three is hard because they have more words in which to argue their independence. Four plateaus. But five? Oh my god. Five just sucks. I seriously cannot wait until school starts for him. I am going to ask someone to video tape me doing the happy dance as I pass his attitude behind on to someone else for a few hours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Till Death Do Us Part

The other day we were driving through rural North Carolina. The one thing that stands out to me around here versus back north is that in the rural areas there are a lot of private family cemeteries. You can find them everywhere: in the middle of fields, in the side of the forest, in someones front yard.

As we drove along, passing multiple graveyards, J turns to me and starts us down the path of an odd conversation.

J: Have you ever thought about where we should be buried when we die? Do you have a preference?
Me: Well, we live here now. I don't really have any ties back in Massachusetts, so somewhere here.
J: Yeah, I feel the same way.
Me: I just don't want to be buried on one of those cemeteries where you have to have a flat stone. When I go out, I want my rock big and badass!
J: You still want the dragon headstone?
Me: Hell yeah! I want my giant dragon sleeping over my decaying corpse. And I want my epitaph to read "Still waiting for a rez". (Gamer joke)
J: That's going to cost a lot of cash, you know.
Me: Good thing you took out a big life insurance policy on me then, huh?
J: What about if your dragon is styrofoam. It would cost less. (I glare daggers at him) No?
Me: No. I want my rock to last. Tell you what. I've been thinking of going green. How about you forgo formaldahyde and all that jazz, wrap me up in a shroud and toss me in the ground under my big rock? You can use one of our spare bed sheets as a shroud. I'm fine with that.

We're silent for a bit, contemplating mortality and what it means. I realize then that J has never given me clear instructions on what he wants. I've always wanted my dragon headstone and made it crystal clear I would haunt J's ass if he didn't grant my last wish of a badass dragon headstone.

Me: So how about you. What do you want when you die? Cremation? Burial at sea? Want a badass dragon stone with me?
J: How about a burial at sea in a giant shoe?
Me: I could do that. How's your life insurance policy? Could it handle the expense?

Flaming shoe burial from movie "Passion of Darkly Noon"

J: I think it should cover it.
Me: I wonder if I'd need a special license to bury you a la flaming shoe?
J: Dunno. You think they have flaming shoe burial licenses?
Me: I highly doubt enough people want to go out via a flaming shoe to have a specific license for that.

We drive along for awhile. At one point, we pass by a taxidermist.

Me: That's it!
J: What?
Me: How about I get you taxidermied?
Me: yeah! And then I can have you wear that awesome viking hat you wore at the Museum of Natural history in New York!
J: I like my shoe idea better.
Me: Fine: I'll bury you in a flaming shoe. You just make sure you don't skimp out on my badass dragon headstone.
J: Deal.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baby & the IPad

Soren has a baby. It's a mini stuffed Yoshi that he's been carrying around for months and coddling like an infant. Baby goes almost everywhere nowadays. Soren hit that phase where he wants to be a Daddy and care for a baby. So Yoshi gets changed, bottle fed, diapers, and carried around in Sorens shirt (or pants if we're not paying attention) like a baby carrier.

But Baby also seems to take the fall for Sorens, ahhh, misadventures. It seems anything that goes wrong is Baby's fault.

Me: Who spilt the milk?
Soren: Baby

Me: Who didn't flush the toilet?
Soren: Baby

Me: Whose underwear is lying in the middle of the living room???
Soren: Baby's.

One morning, Ashe and Soren (along with baby) went upstairs to play. I took advantage of the quiet and started catching up on blogging. Five minutes later, Soren came down with a sad look on his face.
Me: Hey buddy, what's up?
Soren (sigh) Ashe, Ipad, baby, no.
Me: Ashe won't let baby play the Ipad?
Soren: Yeah
Me: Well dude, Baby doesn't have fingers so it might be pretty hard to play the Ipad. Do you think maybe *you* want to play the Ipad?
Soren: No, baby.
Me: Ahh. well, baby is too little to play with it and he has no fingers. Sorry bud.

Soren wanders off grumbling about the lack of rights to baby stuffed animals and how oppressive it is in this regime.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Children's Future: LARP Videos

For those of you who don't know what LARP is, it stands for Live Action Role Play. Think of the people who get all geared up in leather and chain mail, hauberks, and head to Medieval festivals. Now multiply that geek factor by 10, and add in weekly meetings where people pretend they really live in a fantasy world, and throw lightning bolts at each other in the middle of the woods.

Companies make A LOT of money selling stuff for this. And a lot of people do it.
LARP potion bag for only $23 at

After coming across a video on youtube that shows LARP Zelda, I can TOTALLY see my kids doing shit like this in about ten years:

I'm hoping when this blog goes live, the first image you see before hitting play is the guy dressed up in a fairy costume. I laughed so hard when I saw that in the video. It's less than four minutes long, so you should check it out for giggles.

My boys are already LARPing. In fact all kids LARP when they use their imagination and pretend to be a hero or princess or firefighter, etc. My kids LARP pretty much like you see in this video. And I just know, when they hit the teenage years, this is what I'm going to be dealing with.

But I'm ok with that. I'd rather them LARP than do drugs. Even if it does mean I may have to pay for damages to my neighbors garden ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Patchy Ashe

Two months ago, we returned to Ashe's eye doctor, to see how his eye sight was progressing with glasses. Originally, he had 20/150 eyesight. His glasses are at 20/80. Testing two months later, Ashe is seeing at 20/50 which is awesome. The doctor thins we caught this issue early and decided to get a little more aggressive to see if we could get his eyesight even better. So along with glasses, Ashe has now been wearing an eye patch over his good eye. he has to wear it for two hours a day, and he has to do something close up, like video games or color. It was an easy sell for the boy. How many kids are told they HAVE to play their DS for two hours a day, doctors orders????

The only catch is that the eye patches look funky. I goggled all over looking for cool looking eye patches to no avail. I was hoping for something piratey. I mean, if you're going to wear an eye patch at least have fun with it, right? But no, the only ones around look like giant bandaids. Ashe is ok with them, but I have been warring with myself for months about coloring them all in with a black sharpie, making the Jolly Roger on each patch.

We could make some serious money, people! We should start making pirate patch eye patches! This is a gold mine we're sitting on!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Diet Update: Week One Complete

I promised last week that I would update on how my hardcore diet went, if I was good, if I cheated, and if it worked. So here I am, ready to spill it.

Let me preface by saying that I don't eat much in general. However, I learned this week that not eating at all, and only drinking shakes is very different. By day 2, when J heated up shrimp scampi, something I normally gag on when I smell it, I started drooling and dreaming of creamy shrimp. By day 6, as I boiled eggs for Easter egg coloring, I fantasized about eating them right out of the pot. Again, I normally don't like hard boiled eggs.

However, I did it. I stayed true to my diet of 1000 calories a day, mainly on shakes. Once in awhile if I found myself standing in front of the fridge, door open and gazing longingly at real food, I'd trade a shake in for something solid so long as it stayed within my limit and was healthy. This was to ensure I didn't break my diet and go crazy later. And it was smart, because I stayed true.

And on Sunday morning I weighed myself and lost over five pounds. It's a good start, and I'm happy with the progress. I realize most is probably water weight, and I can't expect such good results each week. But it's a beginning I can get behind.

The other positive change I noticed on Sunday was my appetite. I allowed myself to forgo shakes yesterday and ate when I was hungry. I celebrated with a chinese food dinner that evening and that's where I realized the most significant change: my stomach is shrinking. where before I could go for second helpings and have another plate later on at night, I found myself stuffed to the gills on a small plate, and stayed completely full until morning. Even when J heated up a plate of my favorite lo mein at 10pm, I had no cravings for more.

The last positive thing about this diet so far is that I have zero desire for chocolate. If anything, I feel chocolated out with all the shakes, something I never thought possible. While the boys feasted on three tons of chocolaty goodness yesterday, I only ate one tiny mini hershey's that was forced on me by Xavier, wanting to share his bounty. And I could barely swallow it. I only did so out of politeness.

Back to the week, I am going to try and continue this diet. I may add more actual meals in during lunch, courtesy of Lean cuisine, but still sick to my 1000 calories a day. I want to retrain my stomach to eat less in general, and keep my hunger for the day and not night time. I'll update next week!

My Little (Creepy) Pony

There are some super creepy toys out there. I always wonder what drugs toy companies are on when they make some of them. Obviously movie makers think the same thing. Chuckie, anyone?

I remember when I was four, my father thought it was a super idea to sit me down and make me watch Poltergeist with him. Now I KNOW he was on drugs (full on hippie from the 60's, Woodstock and everything). But that movie has forever scarred me, and to this day I have a horrible aversion to clowns. Why? Because I had a similar creepy clown in my bedroom at the time, and in Poltergeist, the clown tried to strangle a kid.

Imagine watching that movie as a little tyke and then try to sleep in the same room with this:

Clowns are NOT allowed in my house. Ever.

As a parent, I try to keep creepy toys out of our house. Sometimes though, they enter our house whether we wish it or no. Recently, we had a creepy addition to our household. I dubbed it "My Little (Creepy) Pony", or MLCP for short.

MLCP came from my mom while she was visiting the other weekend. My mom is a preschool teacher and I guess this toy was going to be tossed out. She thought the boys may enjoy it, since Ashe broke his stick horse, Epona. Looking at it, MLCP seems cute and ordinary. Just a small toddler rocking horse with cotton candy pink fur. The boys adored it at once, and they rocked it all over the living room

When we sat down to dinner, Soren brought MLCP over to sit beside him on the floor. He started playing with it's ears and that's when we realized it did more than rock: it also sang and talked. Now, if it was just a whinny, that would have been ok. But nooooo. This thing sings in a really creepy male voice. And then it says creepy things about how it likes to be brushed in a creepy effeminate voice. Not only does it say creepy things, but it's also got multiple personalities.

"I'm a little pony. Clippity clop. Clippity clop.
Such a pretty pony. Clippety clop. Clippety clop."

"I love it when you brush my hair!"

As we listened to the multiple things MLCP said, the kids were excited while the adults around the table just looked at each other silently. Then we all shuddered at the same time. Mom was kind enough to promise to take it home, but the kids freaked out and insisted it stay for awhile. And now, it's still here.

I find myself nightly turning the pony away from me when I'm upstairs by myself. I don't want that thing looking at me when I'm all alone. I swear if it starts singing on it's own I'm going to take a kitchen knife to that horse and make it stuffed dog food. And there have been a few times, late at night when I hear our house creaking in the wind, that I get an image in my mind of MLCP slowly rocking up the stairs with a meat cleaver in it's mouth, coming for me. It knows I hate it. Only one of us will survive.

MLCP creeping up the stairs

I can't get rid of it or the kids would be devastated. They play with it every day. They even play nicely with it, sharing, taking turns, petting MLCP, and feeding it invisible apples. But I know it's only a matter of time before they lose interest and MLCP is forgotten in the corner. And when that time comes, my friends, there will be a throw down. I will take MLCP out of its misery, and save my family from creepy toys. I shall prevail.

Friday, April 6, 2012

You Try To Teach Them

You know when you're a new parent, and you just can't wait to start teaching your precious child all of the cool things out there in the world? YOU are going to be that AWESOME parent, who jumps into all sorts of cool subjects. Your little one will know and cherish Mozart by three, want to paint like Van Gogh by four, admire Einstein, and of course, start doing their own little scientific experiements that make you think Nobel Prize before kindergarten.

 About that.....

It's a great dream. Really, it is. I had those same dreams the moment I found out I was pregnant with each child. I should have known by child three it wasn't going to happen but I could still hope that with *this one* I might have a chance.

Xavier loves Marine Biology. But that's not because I sat down with him and we watched Jaques Cousto when he was an infant. No, it's because he is totally committed to being the first person to prove that Krakens (not stupid giant squids, Mom) are real.

Ashe adores Van Gogh and Mozart, but not because I played classical music to my tummy when he was in utero, or painted his nursery with the Starry Night. Nope, he was addicted to (ok ok he is STILL addicted to) those Baby Einstein videos. In fact, it took him hard when he found out that Bard the dragon did NOT paint the sunflower painting.

Maybe I still have a slight hope for Soren, but I realize it's a pipe dream.

However that doesn't mean I don't TRY! J and I try all the time to teach our kids about really cool things. The boys know more about mythology and celtic history than most kids. They know more about astronomy, chemistry, and geology. Whenever they have a question we love to dig in and find out the answers.

Which brings me to my blog subject:

 The other night after dinner out, the night sky was dark and clear. We saw the waxing moon, which looked like a smile and the boys oohed and ahhed. During our drive home the boys peppered us with questions about the moon, stars, planets. We took the time to teach how the moon is important as it is responsible for our tides and other things.

So we pull into our driveway and Ashe asks about the stars. J is trying to teach him the difference between a star and a plane in the night sky. He points to a bright spot and says "Thats a plane." I watch the orb he's pointing at and realize that its not moving at all.
 "Hon, I dont think that's a plane."
"Of course it is. It's too big and bright to be a star." I admit is *is* a lot brighter than the surrounding stars. But still it's not moving. And after a minute passes a plane does who up nearby. All three of us gaze up and I point to Ashe the plane.
"You know" I say " I think that might be a planet."
"Oooh Mommy, a planet?"
"It could be. Daddy's right that its too bright to be a star. But see how it's not moving like the plane there?"
"So, sometimes we can see the planets that are close by. So that could be one of them."
"Mom, which one do you think it is?"
"Well, I would guess that it's either Mars or Venus as those two are the closest planets."
"Yes Ashe?"
"Venis sounds like Penis." He giggles and runs off to tell his brothers this amazing rhyme and I just hang my head and sigh.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


With three weddings coming up, the fact that no doctors can figure out what the hell is wrong with me and my weight, and the fact that I don't eat much anyways, I have decided to take the bull by the horns and do this weight loss thing MY way. Is it the best way? Probably not. But you know what? I've tried a lot of things everyone elses way and it's gotten me nowhere but bigger. And frankly, I'm tired of working my ass off for nothing. So I'm going drastic and I don't want to hear about how awful it is. Maybe it is for most people, but I'm at the end of my rope. I'm at that point where I'll try anything once.

With that said, I went out on April 1 and bought myself slim fast shakes to last me two weeks. I bought myself a scale to keep tabs. And I grabbed a body cleanser from GNC to help clear my system. Because if John Wayne died with 30 pounds of waste in his system, the least I can do when I'm trying to lose weight is to make sure I don't have the same issue. And if I do, I can do something about it.

My goal is to keep my calorie intake to roughly 1000 a day. Doing calculations, if I have one Carnation Instant breakfast with a scoop of protein in the morning, four shakes throughout the day, and tea with a dash of skim milk, I'll hit that. I figure I don't eat much during the day anyways, so this should not be overly hard. The only issue I know I'll have a hard time with is during dinner while I'm sipping my shake while the boys chow down on solid food.

While I write this blog (April 2) I have four weeks until the first wedding we have to attend. Instead of having a huge long term goal which I know I'd fail, I'm going to take this week by week. So by next Sunday I'll post how I did. Now, I expect comments from you guys and you can go ahead and tell me how awful this is. That's ok. Just know that while I understand where you are coming from, I'm still going to do this. Because if I don't, I'm going to lose more hope and I can't do that. If this doesn't work than I can concede, and think of something else. While you grumble, at least wish me luck =)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Free Time Funk

If you’ve read my pages to learn more about me you know by now that I’m a gamer chick, and have been for a long time. J and I started years ago, BC. We were hooked into EverQuest, one of the first true MMORPGs. Since then we've played at EQ2, WoW, and Rift. Our longest stint has been at EQ2, where we met some amazing folks from a guild called Bane. We've been with them through many games for over seven years. The past 18 months we've been kicking pixellated butt on World of Warcraft.

Meiune, my alter ego on World of Warcraft.

 But for the past several months, I haven't been feeling the anticipation to play. It’s weird. J and I used to spend almost every night on the computers together, kicking pixilated ass as a team. I go through these bored phases once in awhile, but I usually find myself trying a new game. This time I couldn't be bothered for a good long time. The good thing about this is that I've been blogging more often.The bad news is that I am going through books like a dehydrated camel in the middle of July. It adds up.

Despite the lack of cable here, J and I decided to try and find some shows to get into. This has become another bad habit. We found Lost and went through all 6 seasons in 4 months. Each night I’d look at the clock after watching “just one more show” and it would be 3 AM. Waking up the next morning should have been a giant red flag warning to us to knock it the hell off. But sometimes we're just as bad as kids and refused to listen, even knowing we would totally regret it the following day. I've learned to hate birds chirping in the dawn hours.

If you haven't watched Lost, go get it. You'll thank me.

Then we had a month or so where we couldn’t find anything that either of us liked as much. Lost is hard to beat. But we did find Fringe and after the first few shows I was an addict. We’ve now caught up to current episodes and my impatience in having to wait once a week when I could watch four shows a night is like taking crack from an addict without warning. I find myself counting down the hours and minutes until the boys would go to sleep so I could watch my show.

I dream of alternate realities almost nightly due to this show.

I’ve also got a few other shows I can watch on Hulu that J either isn’t interested in or I would not want to watch with him owing to the fact that I couldn’t sit still and not giggle if he watched angsty vampires drooling over a female.

I would not be able to watch this with J in the same room. It's just awkward.

The past several months have been the longest where I didn't feel a pull to play. I still gamed twice a week for our raids, and I love catching up with my guildies. But I was finding myself logging off the instant a raid was done.

J and I started up a discussion a few weeks back about past games we played. We're still huge fans of anything EverQuest. The land created there feels like home away from home. But we decided to give Rift a try once more since it was so much newer. We lasted a week. And after finding myself yawn at WoW raids I bit the bullet and resubscribed to EQ2. While most Bane guildies are gone from the game, a few still exist, and we started catching up. And all of a sudden, I'm excited again. One thing EQ2 has that no other games has is player housing. You can create and decorate your own houses to your hearts content. While I'm not a domestic type of gal, I'll admit that I have a ball making aquariums out of light bulbs in the games.

Within a week of us rejoining many others have started to come back. Some have left again, while others stayed. We worked together as a team to recreate our guildhall, by gathering "money" in the pot to purchase items, or build them ourselves. And I must say we did a kick ass job.

But what's been great is the feeling of belonging again. Not that I didn't belong to my guildies in WoW or other games. But that feeling of coming home to a game I know so well, going through landscapes I've been running through for over ten years. And still finding things to do. THAT'S a huge thing for. because despite the fact this particular game has been out for years, there is always something to do. And I can't find that in other games.

So in the end, I have to say I am happy to have gone through this particularly hard gaming funk. Because while it sounds geeky, I finally came home to a place I missed without realizing it.  And maybe now, I can slow down on my book purchases. Cause J is getting a little snippy about the cost.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dress Shopping

This year I have three weddings to go to. One is for one of my best friends from high school. Another is J's best friend since kindergarten (his second wedding). And the third is my cousin up in Michigan. We haven't been to a wedding in years since most of the people we know have already shackled themselves to someone. So three weddings in one year is insane. On top of that, each one is far enough away that we have to fly. While I am happy for everyones impending wedded bliss, there goes our savings.

Two of these weddings are in the next couple of months. J's best friend was going to get married next year, but decided two weeks ago to email and ask us to attend his wedding the day before my birthday (which is May 1 in case you were wondering.) Now, not only are we the only friends he invited to this wedding (so we have to go) but his new wife is a mortician and their vows will be said at her place of work. Yes, people, they are getting married at the funeral home. I can't wait to blog about that.

The next wedding is on Memorial day, at a farm museum on Long Island. I asked what kind of attire we should wear and was told overalls would be ok. Huh.

I decided to opt out of overalls. And this means I needed to go dress shopping. I have not owned a dress in years. Actually, I think the last time I even bought a real dress was for one of the last weddings we went to. I think that was before Ashe was even born. So finding a decent dress I could wear to not one, not two, but three weddings was going to be an event.

Before I went out, I thought about two important things: what I wanted and what my budget was. Budget was low low low since we have three kids to raise on a one income household budget, and all savings being spent on air fare, hotels, and rental cars. So I had limited places to look. As for what I wanted, I want something sexy, something that doesn't look like a circus tent or mumu, and something that matched my black and teal hair. I wanted to find a dress that I would be proud of myself in.

With that in mind, I looked through multiple stores as I ran errands throughout the week. And you know what I found out? I found that each designer for women's clothing suck at communication with one another. I found out that, depending on the designer, I could be anywhere from a size 10 to a 16. Really people? REALLY????? What the hell folks? Can we not get on the same page here and make it easy for us consumers? I don't want to wear a god damn size 16 if I'm not. Preferably I'd love to fit in a size 8 but I'm totally ok with 12. But 16???? Get together designer folks and start coming up with a universal size chart that flows. It can't be that hard. (And while I'm at it, can you jeans people freaking fix your jeans so they actually fit? I'm really tired of having the legs fit tight but the waist area shows a three inch gap. That's just bull and NO ONE wants to see my Haynes panties every time I squat down. Except my husband. And my two year old who tries to put legos down there when he can.)

So off my rant, while I was errand shopping the other day, a dress caught my attention in a store window. I had never been to this store before, I had no idea about prices. But the dress was what I had in mind. Short sleeves, brown and teal, simple, elegant, might work. The following week I went back to check it out. Alas, that particular dress was gone, but I found a bunch that caught my eye and the prices were easy on my wallet.

I grabbed a bunch and headed to the dressing room, where I was met by a very helpful sales lady. I tried on a few dresses and tossed them aside, feeling more like a flowery cake than a woman in a dress. I tried on a few more but they were too big (this is where I get pissy about designer and size issues). Then I went back out to another part of the store and found a few more, including a dress that was teal and black. On the rack it didn't stand out that much. I liked the colors, but it didn't scream "HERE I AM TAKE ME HOME AND I WILL MAKE YOU LOOK SEXAH!!!". It looked like a dress that might fit.

So I wandered back to the dressing room, tried on a few more which looked decent. I almost stopped at one that I thought looked pretty good and three sales lady said it looked pretty. But I had that black and teal dress to try still. SO I threw it on over my head and holy shit. I'm not normally one to say I look good in dresses, but this one time I will say this dress did things to my body I only wish were true. I looked good. Hell, if I didn't know any better, I would have said I looked photo shopped. My breasts looked AWESOME! My butt had curve, but not shelf like where you could place a glass of lemonade and know it would stay there. The way the fabric laid, you couldn't see my three times pregnant stomach flare out. I looked good.

my dress, courtesy of http://www.dressbarn.com/

I stepped out of the dressing room and silence fell as the three sales ladies took me in. And then, I kid you not, the cheering started. Loudly. I was told to twirl around, walk back and forth, and show it off. And I did! I did without embarrassment, without blushing, without feeling awkward. Because this was the dress to die for and I knew it. And so did they. I've never EVER had a standing ovation for trying on a dress but this day I got one and it was the oddest thing to ever go through. Yet it felt good! Who knew a mother of three could look so good in a simple dress?

So now I can't wait for these weddings. I'm going to look good once I find myself a pair of black shoes to match (and maybe lose a couple of pounds). I'll take photos in a few weeks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Silent Week

Recently my mom lost her job as a day care provider. I feel really bad for her because it wasn't anything she had done, but because she was one of the higher paid employees (due to 35 years of experience as a teacher) and the center decided to hire three new teachers with much lower pay. And they did it badly too. One week she was raved about how awesome she was. The next week she got written up for leaving her purse on her desk at lunch time and other little things that are stupid and they "let her go". Through the grapevine I have heard that four of the parents who had kids in her class are leaving the daycare because this happens often and they loved her. My mom is a good teacher. It sucks this happened and I hope that she doesn't let it get her down too much.

But she needs support. And what better support can we offer than to throw our kids on her doorstep so she doesn't have time to mope. So that's what happened. My mom called to ask for the boys, I said yes, and she picked them up the following day. When they are coming back is TBD. All I asked was that they were home before Easter. I get nightly phone calls to hear about the boys day, where they buried their Angry Bird stuffed animals in the sand box, or got to see the new kittens born in my moms garage (by the way, anyone want a kitten?). It's been four days since they left and they are still rocking it at Grammies.

Xavier stayed home with us due to school. He actually was excited about being the only one home and gets to have total control of the computer or tv without Ashe or Soren annoying him. J and I took him out to his first fancy dinner which he enjoyed.

But this Monday morning, as I was driving him to school he asked me when his brothers were coming home.
Me: "I don't know. I talked to the boys last night and they sounded happy. Ashe asked to stay until summer."
Xavier:" He's not really staying that long, is he?"
Me: "No, they have to be back by this weekend. It's Easter this Sunday."
Xavier: "Oh".
Me: "Why, do you miss them?"
Xavier: "Yeah, I think I do."
Me: "It's pretty quiet at home without them around to annoy you, isn't it?"
Xavier, sighing: "Yeah. It's almost... too quiet."
Me: "I know what you mean."

And I do. Because, despite the fact that Ashe and Soren are constantly bickering, or trashing the house, they give our house a sense of vitality and life. Even when it's just J, Xavier and I, the house is too quiet for all of us. It doesn't seem right. A big part of our family is missing and we don't feel completely whole without them. It's funny how you can bitch and moan when the kids are killing each other, or whining about dinner, or singing Dora for three hours straight and you want to hit the vodka bottle in the morning. But then when they're gone for just a little while, you realize that you miss that. Because THAT is life with a family. THAT, while headache inducing, is what makes everything right in the world. We can only take so much silence and time to ourselves before we wonder what we ever did with our time before our children joined our world.

I got my reading done. I got to shop for a dress without having to chase little kids around the store. I got to catch up on my blogging. I got to eat fancy dinners. I got to sleep in. I got to game to my hearts content. And now, four days later, I'm bored. I need sound. I even turned up the tv super loud this morning just for some background noise. Because it's too quiet.

I have three more hours until I have to pick up Xavier. I may have to call my mom and see if she's coping better and if I can have my kids back soon. Cause I miss them. We all do.

Does Not Compute

There is one thing that Xavier and I have in common. Both of us hate math. We both prefer any other subject on the face of the earth. While I hate math because, frankly, I suck at it, Xavier is really good at math. He just hates it.

Or so I thought.

I'm still trying to determine what happened to my boy after an incident the other night. Because his hatred for math was tangible, something you could almost reach out and touch. But he flipped my world upside down when the other night, as he was heading up to bed, he asked if he could have the lights on for an extra half hour so he could do math.

Wait, what???

No, he didn't have homework that was due. No, he wasn't trying to get extra time. I normally give him an extra 30 minutes where he can read before lights out. He had options. And I just cannot fathom using math as an excuse to stay up late. Before, I would have said Xavier would rather be tucked into bed with nothing than to solve math problems for a few extra minutes.

I sat there, mouth open, totally taken aback, while he waited patiently for my answer. Dumbly I nodded agreement, and he raced to get his workbook, then up the stairs. I sat there, staring blankly into space for five minutes, wondering what the hell just happened.

Where is my kid? Who took him and what did they do to him? Was I dealing with some genetic clone cyborg, who looked just like my oldest but with a love of math? Did I like this new version or not? Wasn't it beyond the realm of weird to have a child who asked, ASKED, if he could do math.... and worst of all, for FUN? What is this crazy world coming to? What could he have possibly eaten that would screw up his gene code so much as to create this absurdity? Was it the new protein powder J bought to help his calorie intake? Was it the soy chocolate milk the boys love so dearly? Would Ashe and Soren start mutating too and ask if they could play Algebra? What is going on?????

J came up the stairs a little while later and said I looked pale. After trying to speak a few times I finally croaked out "Your son.... math....upstairs....fun?" At that moment, Xavier tromped down the stairs, workbook in hand. He shrugged his shoulders and said "I think I'm done. It was all fractions. I HATE fractions." He put his workbook away, waved goodnight to us, and wandered back upstairs.

And all was right again with the world.