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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Soren's New Hat

I blame J for this.....

Soren has a new hat. Soren tries to wear his new hat all the time at home. Soren thinks its a complete riot that I frantically try to rip it off.

I think I have a right to......

Yup, it's his underwear. And he thinks that he is just the funniest thing in the world. Especially when he sees my face drop in horror when he comes out wearing his new "hat" after he went potty. because, lets be honest folks, how well do you think he really went on his own? I'm pretty sure a drip or two missed the toilet and was sponged up by Buzz Lightyear.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Minding Manners

One important lesson that we teach our children daily is manners. It's easy enough to teach them the words please, thank you, and you're welcome. But the lesson in interacting with strangers and using our manners can be tough. Many times you just want to do it for them instead of forcing the kids to use their manners. But what does that teach them aside from the fact that manners are optional? In our household it's not. And sometimes, when I would rather be rushing home to relax after a long day of errands, I find myself dealing with a sobbing kid who wants his star stickers but didn't want to say thank you. Like last Thursday, for example.

After 2 hours of being out and about, Soren and I were tired. We had dropped J off at the airport for a business trip. That was hard to do because Soren always gets weepy when Dad goes away. Next, we headed to the craft store and nabbed a bunch of cool Angry Bird crafts to keep Soren entertained. A quick run to my makeup store and then we headed to the library to borrow more books.

At the library, Soren has signed up for the summer program. Each time he brings books back, he gets a star sticker to put on a paper hanging up on our fridge. Each time he borrows more books he gets another sticker. And each time he visits the library desk he gets another one. This day we did all three and he was set to get three stickers, which he was very excited about.

However, everything fell apart when I told him to say thank you to the librarian when she handed him the stars. Instead of saying it, his whole body went rigid, he looked down at the ground, and smushed his little lips together. Soren refused.

I looked down at him and quietly reminded him that we use our manners. The librarian was so nice to pick out three cool stickers for him and it was his job to be polite and say thank you. His little body scrunched in on itself and he remained silent.

I got down on my knees and told him, very quietly, that if he could not use his manners and say thank you, he could not keep the stickers. He looked away.

So I took the stickers, gave them back with an apologetic smile and said that it looked like we wouldn't be needing them today. The librarian looked at me dumbfounded, then slightly nodded. I said thank you, and picking up Soren, I walked to the door.

Once outside, he started to tremble in my arms, so I found a bench in the shade and sat down, where Soren began to sob. I held him in my arms and rocked him while he wailed for awhile. After about five minutes he started calming down enough that I could talk to him.

Soren: I SO SAD!!!
Me: I know you are. Do you know why you're so sad?
Me: I bet you do. You were so excited for them. Do you understand why you didn't get them?
Me: Yup. Manners are very important. When someone does something nice for you it's important to say thank you. But even when I gave you a few chances you wouldn't use your manners.
Me: You do? I think that would be very nice.
Me: I think that would mean a lot to the librarian if you did. You know, you have always had the power to have those stickers. If you say thank you, you can have them. But if you don't say thank you, they stay here. It's all up to you.

So we wiped his tears away, and he bravely walked back into the library. I found the librarian and told her that Soren wanted to tell her something. Surprised, she walked over and got down on her knees. Soren looked up at her and said "THANKS YOU!" and smiled. She smiled back, big and bright, and rushed over to the sticker jar, where she grabbed three very shiny special stickers just for Soren.

He placed those stickers on his paper at home with great care. And I hope this will stay in his memory the next time I ask him to use his manners. While it was tough, the boy did good, and I'm very proud of his decision.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Time Out For Toys

On Monday last week, I had a situation that both scared the shit out of me and hurt like hell. I had the whole day planned out. I was going to drop the kids off at the bus stp, come home and ride my exercise bike, shower and dress, then head out with Soren to a friends house. After, we would stop somewhere cool for lunch, then hit Target to grab a few items we needed at home.

Instead, after I dropped the kids off at the bus stop I started feeling nauseous. Next thing I knew I was bent over the sink, throwing up so hard that my muscles went into convulsions, which cause a massive burst of pain to hit from my base of my neck all the way to my forehead. The pain was so god awful I literally fell to the floor and couldn't get up for a good five minutes.

I tried calling out for J, who was already in his office downstairs with the door shut, but I couldn't call out loud enough. If Ashe or Xavier were home, they would have known to run for Dad instantly. Alas, it was only Soren with me.

While I sat on the carpet, trying to will the pain away enough for me to crawl downstairs for help, Soren came over and patted my shoulder, asked me if I was ok, and when I couldn't answer, he looked around the room with a frown on his face. The next thing I knew he stomped off, grabbed his toys one by one and said "BAD TOYS! YOU HURT MOMMY! TIME OUT FOR YOU!!!"

He proceeded to put two train tracks, three stuffed animals and a mini angry bird figure on the step landing (where we have our time outs) all lined up and looking contrite. Well the stuffed animals did. The angry bird looked a little pissed.

And while this isn't exactly the correct thing to do in an emergency situation, and I know that we'll be learning what to do if mommy gets hurt and no one is around this week, it did help me enough that I could mentally chuckle, which them gave me the strength to hobble downstairs for help. So that you Soren, for that touch of comedy.

It looks like I'm alright. We think I just pinched a nerve or pulled a muscle. I stayed home that day and rested, and J popped up often in case he needed to rush me to ER if it happened again. Fortunately it didn't. I'm ok, just a touch sore now. And irritated since I have to push back all those things I wanted to get done for another day.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Something is in the air and it has affected my kids. I'd blame school for its rampant sharing of bugs, viruses, etc, but school was out when this situation started occurring. Maybe it was an airborne illness they caught at the park. Maybe it's some foreign, out of state cold they picked up on their trip to MA. Whatever it is, it's contagious, and all three of my children have been affected by it.

They caught what I call the Cuddlebugs.

My kids have never shied away from hugs or kisses when I ask them for one. But lately they have become aggressive in their cuddlings. Whereas before I would sit on the couch next to them and they would be happy with that, now they must climb all over me, trying to get as close as possible. I've caught myself saying repeatedly that They can't get any closer unless they crawled back inside my tummy. And they giggle, and then try to squeeze even closer.

I could get it if it were only Soren. But while he is the worst of the bunch, I even find myself trying to breathe as I'm smothered by Ashe. And while Xavier doesn't try to balance himself on my lap, I can't walk by without him yelling out that he loves me, or he crashes into me from behind for a sneak attack hug.

I almost want to ask them if they know something I don't. Am I dying? Am I sick? Did they have a vision which takes me away from them? What the hell is going on? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good cuddle, but I almost feel their eyes watching me as I try to sneak into the bathroom for a quick break for freedom. And the moment I return, my lap is smushed far down into the couch as the kids press down on me from all sides.

I surprised I was able to get this blog written down while the boys surround me. Forgive my typos, it's hard to double check my work when I type with only one finger while the rest of my body is muffled by little boys.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gamers Pet Peeves

I haven't done a gaming blog in a long time. But I have been gaming a lot over on EQ2, and since our guild has decreased in size due to everyone playing different games at the moment, those of us who are around have joined an alliance of other guilds to raid. It's a completely different experience for me, not knowing everyone well on the team, not knowing if I can trust them to play their role as I do the best I can with my own. It's like being a nervous virgin every raid night, not knowing if you're going to have a great experience and love sex, or if it's going to scar you the next time you find a willing partner.

 I'm going to readily admit that I'm a raiding snob. I can't help it. I was taught to raid with some of the best players. I was taught to put my all into it, to have fun, but to also improve myself. I was taught to kick pixellated ass, the tougher the better. And if you make the same damn mistakes because you're too lazy to care, you're going to chewed out, and not in the pleasurable way. Because your team relies on you. You have between ten and twenty five other people relying on your ability to work as a team in moments of stress.

I'm also a DPS whore. I don't care if I don't play a pure DPS class, I will do my job AND try to kick your ass in numbers. And nothing makes me more happy than to leave others who play the same class as I do in the dust. I'm a competitive bitch and I like it that way.

That said, there are a few things that make me want to turn my virtual daggers away from the boss we're killing and turn it on my raidmates. And with a bunch of people I don't know, I've noticed those tendencies seem to come out a little more often than normal. I've been fortunate enough to have my core group on hand to gripe with when we see piss poor stuff and wipe due to it. And I can't complain too much. It could always be worse. I could be not raiding. I could be dealing with an asshole raid leader. Hell, I could be Raid Leader myself.... *gulp*

But since this is my blog and I can get away with it, here is a list of gaming pet peeves that make me want to go virtually homicidal (where, by the way, it's actually legal in my game). I should also ammend that this raiding rant is NOT just for the new raiding folks. These are my pet peeves all the time. I'm just writing about them now because it all comes to the forefront whe dealing with a new situation.:

Not knowing how to play your class-
When you sign up to raid with other people, you are silently claiming that you know the class you play, and you play it well. You know what all of those little buttons do, you know how to assist the main tank, and you know what your role in a raid is. And if you don't know, you ask before the raid starts up, for clarification.

You DON'T target random mobs and shoot an arrow, causing 50 hungry looking monsters to descend upon us without knowledge, as the rest of us try to take down the two monsters that were pulled by the main tank. You DON'T let your group buddies die horrible agonizing deaths time and again because you're a healer and you HAVE to heal the main tank and only the main tank. Unless you are IN the main tank group, THAT'S NOT YOUR JOB! That's the other two healers jobs who are IN that group! On the flip side, for DPS folks, you DON'T target any mob in the fight that you please. this leads to anal bleeding (yours) which causes your death which makes me have to stop and Rez your ass, thus losing my DPS zone. You being an idiot should not have to make me deal with your inadequacy issues.

Don't talk to the new people as if they're idiots right off the bat-

Now I'll grant you that I and my fellow guides are new to this particular scene. But trust me when I say, after months of raiding in this setting, that in almost all cases, we probably know more about raiding and our roles in it than 90% of the raid force. Or for more general circumstances, if you're new to OUR raid force, the same applies. Do yourself a favor and don't send nasty grams our way, asking if we know what this buff or that buff does. Or ask us if we actually cast our procs that make you look good. Cause you're going to get sarcastic answers right back. If you actually ask me if I cast buff A I'm going to purposely look like a hillbilly, adopt bad grammar, and ask you "isn't that a tank thing? I'm just a lowly scout!" and the I'm going to watch you flip out. With popcorn.


On the same note, don't act passive aggressive in group chat trying to make some of us look like idiots. Because we're not. And we may know some tricks up our sleeves that never occurred to you. And that main tank over there? Yeah, we've raided with him for years when he was a guildie of ours and he will (and did) tell you he would trust us to keep his ass alive better than anyone else on the team. Cause we've proven ourselves before. We might be new to THIS team, but we're not noobs.

Don't tell someone how to play their class when you don't play it either-

I think this one is pretty obvious. I don't tell a healer how to heal. I don't tell an assassin how to backstab. Don't tell me how to be a dirge if you're not raiding as a dirge. And don't tell me how to play my dirge when I'm above you by an average of 60k damage per fight and rezzing at the same time.

If you make a mistake and we wipe, that's ok. But not if it's the fourth time over the same damn mistake. Learn from your mistakes. We only have 3 hours to get through the raid and get phat loots.

Keep chatting for mid pulls-
Don't send me tells when we're in the middle of a boss fight unless it's an emergency. I don't care what song you're listening to. I don't care that you had a funny thought and wanted to share. I don't care that you want to know if I'm going to cast that awesome buff that makes you look like a god. You should know by now that I will cast it when the time is right and not on your say so. I don't care if you're on your fifth beer and you want me to know how freaking drunk you are. Trust me, I already know.

And if it's really important that I need to know how drunk you are, wait until the boss is down or we are.

Don't cast the same proc as I do five seconds after when it lasts for 17. We both hear when the other person casts it. Im paying attention to when you cast yours so that we get maximum usage out of the proc. Grant me the same respect. Otherwise it's totally pointless. And by the way, I can assure you that I am not the only to notice this situation. We've actually created a drinking game for every time it happens. Needless to say, each raid night finishes with us being pretty damn inebriated.

Now I love me some raiding, especially with good friends and competent raid leaders. And I will say that even though I have my peeves, I have been having a grand time. I've made some pretty cool new friends, I have my inside jokes with old friends, and I enjoy taking down a new boss with my team mates. Let's keep it up. Just stop sending me stupid tells when I'm trying to keep your ass alive, mmmkay? ;)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Soren's Nothing

Every child had a favorite lovey that they carry around with them, holding it up to show everyone their precious, expecting ooohs and aaahs of adoration for their beloved that they believe is deserved. For most kids it may be a cherished stuffed animal, or a blankie. Soren had a blankie which was his ultimate prized possession, but lately he has changed gears and has a new favorite.

It's his Nothing.

What is a Nothing? Exactly that. But it's his and he carries it around with him wherever we go, showing it off to whoever is nearby.

We'll be sitting on the couch and Ashe will run up to us to show us his newest Lego creation. After we ooh and aah, Soren runs up and yells "Look at my nothing!!!" and proudly shows us his empty hands while grins like a Cheshire cat.

Getting ready to pop in the car each kid always asks to bring one toy. Xavier wants the iPad.Ashe wants a stuffed animal. Soren brings his....nothing.

Knowing toys can't be on the dinner table, Soren starts giggling midway through the meal. When we ask him what's so funny, he bursts out laughing and says his nothing has been on the table this whole time.

The only time its caused issues is when he loses his nothing. Trust me, it's happened. And when that happens, how the hell do you find that which does not exist? Yeah, I don't know either.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Can't Get It Out Of My Head

As I'm writing this, I'm listening to the song "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas over and over. I'm being haunted by this song and now it's like a drug, I have to listen to it.

It all started when I was perusing Netflix awhile back and found a show called Supernatural. J and I had heard about it but as we usually don't watch much tv, we never checked it out.  I found myself twiddling my thumbs one day and decided to check it out on my kindle. I was hooked. Two sexy brothers fighting monsters and dealing with heavy topics. Oh yeah.

This show has seven seasons, six of which were on Netflix. So I sat. And watched. Every season. In a matter of a month. I even bought season seven on Amazon so I could catch up. And on every single seasons finale they would play this song. So it stuck with me.

    (Season one finale. I didn't want to post later versions in case you decided to check out the show)

Then I went to my friends wedding in Long Island a few weeks ago, and as I was walking out of JFK, overhead I realized that music was playing and wouldn't you know it? Carry On was playing overhead. Since I was away from my show I decided to download the song on my phone in case I started jonesing. J thought I was a freak, but it made me happy.

And that night, as we partied with the bride and groom, singing karaoke, someone picked that song to sing. Out of all the songs available.

So now, I am going to make this my current theme song. Cause look, I cant get the damn thing out of my head. It just is. And every time I hear it I think of those two sexy guys kicking major ass and it gives me warm fuzzies =)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Back to School Recap

It's been three days since school has started. I'm still alive, but J may debate that point in the mornings after I've dragged my ass down the stairs each morning to herd the kids to the bus stop. I sound like a zombie stumbling towards my prey, which is usually the coffee pot.

I forgot to take into account that I would have to get up and be somewhat coherent earlier each day when I chose the bus instead of carpooling. It's only Wednesday and I've had fantasies of switching back. But we all know that the grass is always greener on the other side. Fucking chemlawn.

Monday was awesome. The kids were excited, everyone had their faces washed, teeth brushed, clean clothes,mans were bouncing to go to the bus stop. We waited for 25 minutes, trying to keep Soren out of the damn street, and Xavier from having a cardiac arrest that we missed the bus, before that big yellow vehicle decided to show up and save my sanity. I totally forgot about Xavier's anxiety with missing the bus. Sigh.

Soren and I waved the bus goodbye, and we went home so I could figure out what the hell I was going to do with one kid. Soren screeched that he wanted to go to the library and buy Angry Birds books, so that's what we did. Sans buying angry birds books though. We did walk out with 5 kid books, a debt free library card, and lessons for mom on how to borrow ebooks from the county library. J should be happy about that. At least he can bitch less about me putting the family into the poor house by purchasing a book a day.

Next we headed out to the swim school. I've been meaning to sign Ashe up for swim lessons, but it always seemed like such a hassle to get over there and ask the important questions I needed to while trying to wrangle in two hyper kids. And I was smart. It was so much easier to get that errand done with only Soren to contend with.

We had lunch together with no screams of protest or acting crazy. We cuddled up on the couch and read all the new library books twice, and then a few other books of our own, just for good measure. I exercised for an hour while Soren played Legos nearby. He picked them up and put them away after he was done without me having to ask. We watched a movie together. And then it was time to get the boys.

Xavier and Ashe had a fantastic first day of school. They were happy, and chattering, and cuddling up, and just bubbling with positive energy. I was a happy SRM.

Then Tuesday came. Ashe stayed home. And hell broke loose.

I don't know if it was because Ashe had finally had a taste of school and was bored at home. I don't know if it was because Soren realized how much smoother life went without having to fight for the toy of his choice. But where Monday was an awesome day, Tuesday just sucked. By 4pm I was desperate for alcohol, not even to get drunk, but to soothe my poor vocal chords from yelling at the kids every freaking five minutes to stop beating each other up.

And today is Wednesday. And I have warned the kids pure and simple that I will go postal today if we have another day like yesterday. And if they value their precious little hides,there will not be a repeat. Soren gravely nodded, Xavier nodded then asked if we could hurry to the bus stop 15 minutes early just in case we miss it, and Ashe zoned out, nodding his head, but I know he's really bopping to music in his mind, keeping time. Sigh.

I keep telling myself that come next Monday everything will be better. Ashe will start kindergarten full time, and everyone will be happy. Until then, wish my sanity luck!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Back To School Shopping

I just got back from back to school supply shopping. For the first time ever, I had to shop for not one, but two kids. And while it was a little stressful trying to keep the boys under my watchful eye while perusing two lists, and I cringed when I saw the total at the check out line, and it might not have been noticeable to the naked eye, I was doing the happy dance.

Starting this Monday, I will have only one kid at home.

Do you realize what this means??? The implications of this event?

I don't even know. I haven't had to take care of one child during the day in over five years. I can't remember that far back, the day to day stuff that makes life. But even back then, I was dealing with a little Xavier who was showing all the signs of ADHD but was not yet diagnosed. Soren is nowhere near as hyper as Xavier was.

So this is brand new territory for me as a mom. And frankly, I can't wait to check it out.

I have all of these fantasies on what my days will look like once I only have one child at home during the day. I fantasize about getting my ass out to the library once a week for story time. I tried doing that earlier with Ashe and Soren and it was a bust. Soren was too young then to enjoy it, and Ashe hated story time. Of course, maybe I should also find those year long overdue library books to bring with me before we get serious about it.

I fantasize about dropping the older boys off at the bus stop, then popping on my bike with Soren in a cute trailer, and biking all over town. Of course, I don't have a bike, or a trailer, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming.

I fantasize about being able to take Soren kayaking in the morning, since I can't do that with multiple children and no J during the week. I CAN do it with one child though!!!

I fantasize about going out for hikes in the woods, looking for animals, finding cool leaves to bring home for a craft, and not listen to the older boys whine about bugs or being bored.

And for the first time in years, I don't have to carpool. The bus will actually pick them up right near our doorstep.i don't have to drag two whiny kids into the car twice a day, and keep them entertained while we wait for school to get out. That's going to save me a total of 90 minutes a day!! Oh my god what will I do with all of that time???

All of this went through my head as I tried to find enough yellow folders, and blue notebooks, and everything else the teachers wanted for their classrooms. All of these thoughts, these brazen ideas flashed through my mind as I battled for binders with other moms gearing up for school. And while I passed a few moms with multiple kids in their cart, I wondered if they too, fantasizes like I did, for this day to come? Did they also look forward to the time when they only had one child to take care of during the day? Did they look at that time as a sense of freedom, or as a moment in life when they had to let go of their kids and wonder forlornly what they would do until their precious child came home? Am I the only one who has to physically stop herself from giggling out loud once in awhile when I realize the time is nigh? Am I the only one who sees this as something to celebrate and not mourn over?

Nah. There's no way I can be the only one. There's got to be others out there doing the happy dance too.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ponies and Centaurs

I'm told often by J that (and I paraphrase here) that I'm a freak of nature because I dream vividly and often. I love to sleep because almost every night I can guarantee that I will be more entertained than I could on Netflix. I dream in color, sound, scent, and touch. Sometimes I watch my dreams like a movie. Other times I'm the main character, and surrounded by a world that feels as real as this one. And I remember them clearly more often than not.

I've been told most people don't dream like this. I kind of feel bad for anyone who doesn't. On the flip side, I will say that I do wake up pretty damn tired almost every morning though, especially if I was the main character in said dream.

Random conversation about some of my dreams between J and me the other night as we're drifting off to sleep:

Me:  So the past two nights I've been dreaming about horses. I think my subconscious is trying to tell me I want a pony
 J: (snorts) oh yeah?
Me: Well, not really. Ponies are assholes. But a horse would be super awesome.
J: Horses are not happening in the near future. How about instead you get a centaur
Me:..... You think a horse isn't happening, but you want me to get a centaur? A mythical being?
J: Sure!
Me: You realize that centaurs are notorious for being big into sexuality, right?
J: So?
Me: So you're telling me that you would rather me jump on the back of a half horse, half man, who is legendary for their sexual prowess?
J: Who said anything about the centaur being male? Get a female centaur.
Me: But then I'd have to wrap my arms around her boobs. And that's just awkward.
J: I would think boobs would be better to hold on to than pecs. More fluff to hold on to
Me: I don't want a female centaur! Can't I just have a horse?
J: Nope
Me: sigh

Monday, July 2, 2012

Toy Cleansing

There must be a mathematical formula that states that when you have children living in your household, the amount of toys that takes over your living space is quadrupled per child, even if you don't buy toys. It's got to be proven somewhere. I swear, toys multiply faster than rabbits. Slot A into slot B and all that jazz. So when you have three children, you have enough toys to keep an orphanage happily entertained for years.

And if you are a parent, you KNOW you take your life and sanity into your very own hands if you ever try to do a toy cleansing while a child is within 5 miles of your house. They may not hear you yelling at them to clean their room when they are ten feet away from you, but the moment your hand even slightly brushes against a plastic car with the thought of maybe tossing it into the trash, the kids are on your ass glaring down at you as if you just killed their puppy. You just can't win.

Which is why I ship the kids to Grandmas once in awhile so I can do a toy cleansing in peace. She lives two hours away, so even if they had a weird super power to hear me clearing out broken bits of their latest happy meal toy, there is no way the could convince my mom to drive like a bat out of hell and get back in time before I bagged and dumped them. 

Which is exactly what I just did. I happily sent my kids away and the following day I pulled out a box of trash bags, my cup of coffee, threw Pandora on my laptop, and went to town tossing toys. I tossed broken toys, toys not played with for years, toys that haven't seen the light of day since my boys were mere babes.

Want to know how many toys were taken to their final resting place? Five trash bags worth. Five bags, groaning under the weight of sheer plastic. Also, I got rid of My Little Creepy Pony. And yes, at the dump, I danced the jig of freedom, right there, under the eyes of the trash attendants. When one raised his eyebrow at me, I pointed to that pink freaky rocking horse and said "This toy? Scariest toy ever. It'll give you nightmares. Trust me." Best feeling ever to get rid of that thing once and for all.

Twenty bucks says that the kids wont even freaking notice when they get home.