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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Left Alone

Today is a serious blog, discussing an event that happened to me a few days ago, and one I am still having a rough time wrapping my head around. This really did happen and the opinions are mine and mine alone. Normally I am not judgemental of other parents, but this is one time I feel like I could smack around the parents until my arm was tired.

The other day, after dropping the two older boys off at school and sweating my ass off on the exercise bike, Soren and I decided that it was too beautiful to spend the day inside. So we decided to hit a local park and enjoy the non boiling weather.

When we got to one of the smaller parks near our house we were the only ones around. Soren played on the slides, the swing, the rock wall, and had a ball. I watched him, cheered him on, and checked up on my email on my phone. And then suddenly we weren't alone. In front of me was a little boy smiling, holding a basketball. I looked around for the parents, happy that there was another child for Soren to play with, and to say hi. but as I looked around, I realized that there was no one else here. Just me, Soren, and this little boy.

This little boy was the FRIENDLIEST little kid you have ever met. He sat right down next to me and started talking like we had known each other all of our lives instead of 2.5 seconds. While he kept talking, I continued to scan the area looking for someone who had to have been there with him.

Nothing. No one. Not even a glimpse. My super awesome rebel parent powers kicked into gear. Something wasn't right.

So I asked the kid how old he was. He was five, Ashe's age. And then I asked him where his parents were. He told me they dropped him off at the park while they went to a few stores. What stores, I asked? He didn't know. Did he live nearby? Maybe somewhere you could see from the park? He lived within walking distance, but you had to walk down a lot of streets to get there.

This kid was all alone in the middle of downtown with no supervision. Fuck.

So I waited around for a good 30 minutes, hoping that SOMEONE would show up for this kid, but no one did. So finally, after a lot of "WWSRMD"? SRM decided to call the police.  The police were happy that I called, because like me, they thought five was waaaaay too young to be by themselves at a park with no supervision.

They came by, got the same story from the kid, looked around the park and came to the same conclusion that I did (the kid was definitely by himself). By this time no parents had shown up, and it had been over an hour that this little boy was on his own. When the police finally told me I could leave they had gotten Child Protection Services on the case. I went home quietly with Soren, all sorts of fucked up. Why? because I have a kid this boys age and I could never, EVER imagine him by himself for so long. Images of "What if's" ran through my head for hours:

  • what if the kid ran into the road to chase his ball?
  • what if the kid fell off the playground and got hurt?
  • what if the kid talked to a stranger who WASN'T a mom?
  • what if the kid left the park and got lost?
  • what if he was kidnapped, or worse yet, killed?
  • what if it was my child?

When the boys got home from school we had a very serious talk about this incident. We talked about stranger danger. We talked about what to do if they got lost. We talked about how it's never ok to go off by yourself without telling your parents. we talked about how it's not ok for parents to leave you alone. We've had these talks before, but it really hit home for all of us when faced with this real incident. Even Ashe knew right off the bat that it was never ok for him to be at a playground or anywhere without an adult.

The next day CPS called me to recheck my story and to fill me in. Supposedly both parents were home, and the little boy had been over at the neighbors house. When the kids went inside the house, instead of going in with them or going home, the little boy headed to the park without telling anyone. Supposedly the parents thought he was at the neighbors house. Supposedly when the kid didn't come home they started to get frantic. Supposedly they were worried sick until the police showed up.

So here is my opinion. Supposed my ass. Why? Because of the line that both parents were home, and frantic. I smell bullshit. If our son was missing, J and I both agreed wholeheartedly that one of us would be out pounding the pavement, screaming our kids name at the top of our lungs, and stopping every single person we passed asking if they saw our boy. The other parent would be home, on the phone with the police, news stations, and friends setting up a search party. No way in hell would we both be home, wringing our hands without having at least called the police.

While it is out of my hands now and the kid is home and hopefully safe, this is still bothering the hell out of me. I'm not usually a judgemental parent. But on this case, I judge. And all I can hope is that the parents learned how NOT OK this kind of parenting is, and that they were BEYOND lucky another parent was concerned enough to call for help, instead of a pedophile finding their child. They were BEYOND lucky this kid didn't get hurt and break his neck on the playground. They were BEYOND lucky to get their kid back. And I hope that with the police showing up on the doorstep and with CPS involved,that they realize how serious this was and they get their act together. When you have kids you have a responsibility to feed them, clothe them, house them, love them, and KEEP THEM SAFE.

And I swear to Bob, if I see that kid on the playground again by himself, there will be SRM hell to pay. So keep that kid safe and watched over. Or I will come beat your ass for shitty parenting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY Sidewalk Paint

If I can do this, ANYONE can do it. You all know how I suck at crafts. But I saw this cool idea on Pintrest, and just had to try it out. By the way, if you haven't noticed yet, I created an account for SRM on Pintrest. I've been posting some pretty cool crafts that an idiot can do (which means I can do them) but I have also been having a ton of fun finding humorous memes about parenting. So if you have an account, you can follow me by clicking the Pintrest button on the right side of the blog. Or you can find me by clicking here.

Ok so back to crafting shit.

Every day while we wait for the boys to come home from school, Soren and I hang out on our front porch. I have to keep him occupied and happy. Usually we bring out the sidewalk chalk or bubbles and this will keep him from growing bored and not try to run out in the middle of the street. But often times he loses interest after 15 minutes.

Soren looooooves to paint. If he had his way, he would paint all day long. He will paint anything you put in front of him: paper, crafts, boxes, the kitchen counter if you're not fast enough.....

so while I was perusing Pintrest, I cam across this cool DIY craft that made sidewalk chalk paint. It was so freaking simple to make, I figured it had to be SRM proof. So I bought the ingredients and tried it out.

This craft was originally blogged by Jenny at Creativity Blooming. Jenny, thank you so much for such a kick ass craft.

So what you need to make the paint:

  • 1.5 cups of corn starch
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • food coloring
  • muffin tin

Mix the corn starch and water together, pour into a muffin tin, then add food dye. The blog suggested two drops of color per, but I went for four and recommend it. We made red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and purple.

We grabbed a couple of brushes, a bowl of water, and headed out on our front porch to play. The paint lasted us for over an hour of fun. While it went on very light, when it dried it was quite bright. This does wash off in raid, and will not dye your clothing.

Soren painting his heart out

The boys loved having their names painted on our front steps

Multiple psychedelic seahorses?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

If you want to see more fun memes, check out my Pintrest boards by clicking here

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The kids go absolutely crazy whenever a package arrives on our doorstep. It doesn't matter if it's not for them. If the door knocks and the postman leaves a box on our doorstep, the boys will circle it like sharks coming in for a kill until someone finally opens it.

My mother in law loves to send packages to the boys every few weeks. She sends us our favorite Portuguese sweet bread since we can't get it here in NC. She sends the boys clothing. And sometimes she sends a little gift. It really doesn't matter what she sends, the boys adore packages.

I snapped two photos of the boys last time a package arrived. I apologize for the fuzziness, but it was on my phone, and the boys kept moving around. Like I said, they circle the package like a bunch of starving sharks.

After receiving permission, the boys go in for the kill.

He may be the smallest, but he won the battle of the package.
Notice the middle child down for the count in the background.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Firehouse Tour

A few weeks ago, the local mother's website I volunteer at, put together a tour at a local firehouse for the kids. I've been meaning to take the boys to one so that they can truly appreciate our local heroes. We popped in the van and headed out to see exactly what a fireman's job really is.

We headed to the firehouse in downtown Apex, and along with a bunch of other families, met three firemen (and women) on duty. They took us through all of the equipment they use, showed us all of the different trucks and explained the use of each one. We were lucky to see this particular station, as it was the only one in Wake county that was called whenever there was a water emergency. They had special boats, and diving equipment. When asked how often they were called for emergencies in the water, we were told that they are called about three times a month. Just the week before someone had crashed their car into a local lake and they were the ones called for recovery. It really hit home to my kids how important our local firemen (and women) are.

Checking out the equipment

We also got to see a cool truck that allowed the firemen to offroading in case there was a forest fire in one of our local parks. And we saw an antique fire truck from the 30's that is used in parades.

Antique firetruck used in parades

After the tour we got to talk to the firemen and found out one was also from Massachusetts, and had moved down the same time we did. We stood around talking about the Red Sox, why each of us moved down, and why we love NC. I promised him that while I suck at baking, the boys and I would bring him some snacks from the grocery store. The most important thing we learned about firemen? They loooove baked goods and really appreciate when people drop them off from time to time.

The boys posing with their new hero

The boys were in total awe of their local heroes, exactly what I was hoping for. They now realize how important a fireman's job is, how dangerous it can be, and how much they help at saving lives. If you're a parent, I highly recommend you take your kids on a tour of your local fire station. It was such an educational and fun experience for all of us.

Thank you so much to Trianglemommies.com, for putting this great field trip together, and to Station 1 in Apex, NC, for allowing us to join you for a morning!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sarcastic Saturday

Due to the amazing amount of fun memes on Pintrest, instead of doing something normal, like Wordless Wednesday, I thought to do a Sarcastic Saturday, and feature a few of my favorite things I found recently.  SO this week will be the beginning of "Sarcastic Saturday". If you wish to enjoy sarcasm and other fun posts on days besides Saturday, feel free to follow my boards by clicking here.

Today will be in honor of "Dora The Explorer" just because.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Midnight Field Trip

One of our favorite songs from TMBG

This past Sunday evening we did something we haven't done before. I'm actually surprised J and I thought this was a good idea. I blame the copious amounts of wine we must have imbibed before this idea was hatched.

Sunday was the Perseid Meteor shower, one of the coolest natural light shows of the year, and we decided that with the weather behaving, the boys were finally old enough for a midnight field trip. Even on a school night. We were such cool parents that we told the kids they could sleep in if they wanted to and I'd take them into school late. I figure it was educational enough to give the thumbs up. Score on extra brownie points!
Come evening we put the kids to bed normal, hung out until 11PM, then after playing tooth fairy to Xavier while he was still comatose, we woke the kids up.Well we tried to wake the kids up. It was like peeling a melted sticker off a silk blouse after going through the dryer. Almost impossible and with a lot of mental cussing. Xavier kept sitting straight up, eyes wide, and he'd nod at us when we told him it was time. Five minutes later we'd go in to check on his progress and he'd be out cold, sleeping upside down.

Ashe was so out of it that we sat there for 15 minutes trying everything but dashing cold water on his head. I finally had to grab his hand and gently tug him to follow me as we stumbled around the room. That kid had to have been sleep walking because he passed out on the kitchen table while I grabbed everyone a quick midnight snack.

The only one to get up without a hitch was Soren. It took him a groggy few to put his head into the game, but once he got there he was golden.

After prodding two of the boys, and one almost toppling out of his chair, we threw them and blankets inot the van and took off to find a dark area with a good view of the night sky.

Unfortunately we live in the burbs, and our area, while beautifully taken care of with manicured trees and streetlights every 50 paces, had beautifully manicured trees blocking our view, and streetlights every 50 paces that dimmed our eyes to the stars. This meant that it was a pain in the ass to find a decent spot to watch the shooting stars

After trying the schoolgrounds (no luck due to the 50 odd street lamps lighting up the area like the fourth of July on crack) we found ourselves driving around an area filled with business buildings. Fortuntaely we found one dark building with NO streetlamps a big enough view of the stars. So we sat up on the grass near the parking lot, hoping the cops wouldn't stop by and ask us what the hell we were doing on most likely private grounds, and looked up.

Into a partly cloudy sky that of course, was cloudy right where Perseus is. Of all the ironic shit that could have happened......

But instead of bitching, we kept our eyes peeled. Well the boys and I did. J took out his phone and started putzing on all sorts of compass and sky map apps, trying to figure out where to look, and learning the names of all the constellations out.

We hung out for a good hour. It wasn't as spectacular as we had hoped, but the boys each got to see at least one meteor. We saw one really decent one, and about 6 other fainter ones. I tried taking photos but it was a lost cause.  I think I got off one photo of pure black missing a meteor by half a second. The rest of the time I was too busy snuggling with the boys, answering questions, pointing out constellations, and listening to J recite all of the cool new info he learned about the constellation Cassiopia.

After everyone had their fill and Soren fell soundly asleep on the grass, we booked it back home, put the kids in bed, and passed out. Even with the kids sleeping in I was still able to get them to school on time.

We may have to try this again. The boys really rocked it, and are now hooked on shooting stars.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


After months of anticipation, hellish heat keeping us hiding in the air conditioned house, the freakish temperature finally cooled down enough for us to head out this weekend and go kayaking for the first time as a whole fam.

It was a blast.

We started off a little rocky when at first the folks in charge of boat rentals told us that only two per boat and three was not allowed. However, their sign stated three was ok, and I had been around in June to double check their policy and was told three was ok. After a bit of them bumbling around, they grudgingly agreed to the two smaller kids in one kayak with a parent. I admit, I was going to lose my cool if they refused. This is the only kayak rental place in the area and we have been desperate to get out there. And with the kids being so small, they fit perfectly.

J went with Ashe and Soren, while Xavier and I took the other kayak. Since Xavier wasn't paddling I gave him the responsibility of taking photos of anything that looked cool. This blog is a debut of Xavier's leet photography skill. For an amateur, I thought he did a kick ass job. Here are my favorite four:

I love love love this photo that Xavier captured of a Heron. He was fishing in a bend, standing as still as can be. We very slowly made our way to him, and I was surprised he didn't take off, despite our attempts to keep three rowdy kids quiet. But the Heron ignored us and I was able to get our kayak within five feet of the bird so Xavier could grab a few fantastic photos. We watched as he would dive his head down in a burst, to catch up small fish.

In the upper right hand corner you can see a baby turtle sunning itself on a branch. Xavier and I came up behind him and snapped this photo mere moments before the turtle splashed into the water.

This was the elusive picnic bench, usually seen only in public parks on dry land. We captured this one lounging in the shallow water in the middle of the woods. Who knew picnic tables loved the water?

This was a good size turtle sunning itself on a log. We were able to get right up to it before it got annoyed and slid into the water.

We spent about an hour going around the perimeter of the lake, catching sight of dozens of turtles, a bunch of water fowl, and even saw a few fish jumping. The kids decided that kayaking was waaaay better than canoing. They loved that you could go faster, and that mom and dad enjoyed racing, bumping into each other, and generally acting like big kids. If the weather holds, we'll try and go again next weekend.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Swimming Lessons

I finally got Ashe scheduled for swimming lessons and he had his first one this past Tuesday. I've been meaning to do this for forever, but with three kids to reign in, the time always seemed to slip away. If you remember, the first day of school for Xavier and Ashe, I took advantage of having only one kid around to take care of this errand.

Lessons are each Tuesday and Thursday evening for 39 minutes. J and I decided to alternate taking him. J had the first shift.

When the pair came home, Ashe was extremely excited about how much fun his lesson was. He told me all about how he out his face in the water and wasn't scared. And how he will be a super duper swimmer by next week. I looked to J for a more unbiased account. It was nowhere near as enthusiastic as Ashes.

Out of five kids, only one kid was worse than Ashe in following directions. But that kid got better within ten minutes of the lesson. Ashe would be told to kick and keep kicking while the instructor moved on to help another kid. Instead, Ashe would stop and would start singing loudly, and off key, and making general goofy sounds.

When he was told to swim to the stairs, instead, Ashe grabbed the teacher by the neck, terrified of letting go, and almost drowned his instructor.

When he was asked to jump in the water to be caught by the instructor, Ashe had a melt down, sobbing, and clinging to the pool rim as if his life was on the line.

Usually when we're in the water this kid has no fear.

So his five year old assessment that he will be swimming like a pro by next week seems a little premature. I get swim duty next time, and I'll be interested to see how he does.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Beaver

I have a beaver. Lately it has become the hot topic of discussion within my gaming community. In the past two weeks I have taken part in multiple Q&As about my beaver. I didn't even know there could be so many questions or comments about this single subject.

I was going to write a blog about my beaver, but every time I started I couldn't stop laughing and had to put it on the back burner. But then I realized this blog already wrote itself through the comments of my fellow gamers. Im going to do something a little different and post some of the questions I have had to answer over the past two weeks, along with my answers.

Is your beaver big?

Is your beaver brown?

So you have a big brown beaver?
Yes, I have a big brown beaver

Is your beaver shaved?
Oh no! My beaver has its own natural pelt.

Do you pet your beaver?
Sometimes. It makes my beaver happy to be petted, so long as you pet it appropriately. My beaver does not like it when you pet against the grain of her pelt.

So other people can pet your beaver?
My beaver will let others let her if they play nice.

Have you mastered your beaver?
I'm pretty sure that my beaver has a few more tricks to learn.

Has your beaver ever tangled with other beavers?
My beaver has once or twice. However, while some beavers like to tangle, it just didn't feel right for me and my beaver. Now snakes are another matter. We love to tangle with snakes. The bigger the better.

Does your beaver make noises?
When my beaver is happy she squeaks.

Do you like pulling out your beaver?
I do! I always get a big smile on my face when I pull out my beaver!

Is your beaver shy?
Nope. My beaver loves attention.

Where did you find your beaver?
I found her playing by the river in Nektulous Forrest...........

Dirty dirty minds, the lot of you! What did you THINK I was talking about????  Let's get your heads out of the gutter. C'mon now, up you go. Grab a towel and rub that filth off. Now, to clarify, this is me and my beaver:

In my game, EQ2, there has been a new class added not that long ago, called a Beastlord. I decided to try one out, as I loved the Hunters from WoW and its very similair. Like the Hunter in WoW, a beastlord can tame many wild animals throughout the land of Norrath. I also have a wolf, a hawk, and a cow named Bessie. But ahhh, the beaver! As a female gamer ( a minority, I assure you) with a dirty mind and sick sense of humor, when I came across this animal while riding through the woods, I of course, had to have it. My first thought was "OH! The possibilities of raunchy jokes are endless!" Thus, my beaver was tamed, and has since been the best conversation starter in game as I am surrounded by guys whose middle school potty humor mentality is forefront. And I, one of the few femmes in the group, can put most of them to shame.

Poor J has been a trooper as many of our guy friends ask about my beaver. He has gone with the flow though, finding the humor in it, and will affirm that yes, I have a big brown beaver thats quite playful ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cool Lost

I lost my Mom cool the other night. I admit it. But I'll also say in my defense, it's very hard not to lose you're cool when you're trying to talk to a naked ten year old boy who is unnaturally freaking out....while naked. Did I mention he was naked? Just checking.

After a long day of three kids in the house, surreptitiously trying to kill one another, J and I had finally sat down having conquered bed time. We were sitting on the couch, sipping wine and reading our kindle and Nook, relaxing for the first time all day.

After ten minutes of relaxation, the house decided that we had had enough. For no reason at all, the smoke detector beeped. Now those damn things have either had their batteries recently replaced or were ripped off the ceiling if you remember our last debacle regarding night time detector issues. So this shouldn't have happened!!! One loud BIP, just to piss us off. Both J and I tensed, waiting for Ashe to come running down the stairs sobbing. He never did make an appearance. Instead, it was Xavier, butt naked with his boxers in hands, sobbing.

"Its ok, it was just the smoke detector malfunctioning. See, it's all done."
"Zavi, it's ok. There is nothing to be frightened of. The smoke detector just made a little bip. And ummm, why are you naked?"
" Can you, maybe, put your boxers on? Please?
" Dude, put your clothes on. Go to bed. You're not going to die."

And yet he continued to freak out, while I continued to hold in my frustration that was growing because I couldn't get it through to him that everything was fine, it was a fluke and WOULD YOU PUT YOUR DAMN UNDERWEAR ON FOR THE LOVE OF BOB???

I actually had to step out on the deck before I lost it entirely. I let J take over before I did something stupid, like start yelling and making things worse. One of my biggest failures as a parent is having no patience after repeating myself more than three times. And when Xavier is off meds and is freaking out, I know there is nothing he can do about his anxiety. But holy hell man, I can't help if he can't calm down enough to let me. It's a vicious cycle I can't get out of during these moments.

Fortunately J is super patient man and can do things I think only super heros are able to do. Which is calm Xavier down enough to put his pants on. And get him back to bed without the use of duct tape.

On one hand I feel bad that I lost my cool. On the other hand, I wonder how the hell this kid is going to survive as an adult if he continues to have these issues of anxiety. Am I going to have phone calls in the middle of the night from a naked grown up child screaming "OH MY GOD A FIRE TRUCK WENT BY! IS MY HOUSE ON FIRE? AM I GOING TO DIE???" Because I seriously can't think of how he is going to cope, all on his own, when things go bump (or Bip) in the night.

And no, he is not staying here as an adult.