So, four months, that’s not so bad, right? I’ve probably gone longer before, right? Maybe? Too lazy to check? Yes? Marching onward…
I’ve actually hesitated in my intentions of writing here again. And then thought “screw it, I’m writing anyway”. And then hesitated again. And then thought “screw it, again, these are my thoughts and my words and my life. Rawr.” Because you see, I’m a big pudgy people-pleaser at heart. And lately I have been continuing to absorb some shocking life lessons of which you might not be aware, because of their shockingnicity. Things such as one can’t make everyone happy. Or even, one can’t make everyone not detest one. And sometimes, some people, if they want to look for the sordid and negative, can wring it from anywhere. [Like, for example, (brace yourself), here.] SHOCKING, I KNOW. So let me save those select few of you the trouble: I am a bad mother, and a bad person, and Satan’s mistress, I am hooked on a tragic caffeine addiction, and behind on my laundry. Sometimes my kids irritate me. I don’t exercise as per the recommended guidelines. I’ve been known to use the socially unacceptable term ‘retard’. I occasionally feed my children nutritionally deficient happy meals, complete with toys that were made in China and therefore possibly laden with lead. I don’t compost our food scraps. There is even a rumor I barbeque helpless kittens as an enjoyable recreational activity. At least, there is now. There you have it, in black and white. Bad person, I am. Print it out and move along.
The twins were so excited the other day, they found a stash of loose change! [choking hazard, doesn't matter that they're 6]. After hunkering down and plotting feverishly about what they could do with this newfound fortune they came to an exciting agreement: they could now afford to SEND MICHAEL TO SUMMER SCHOOL. (hahahaha!) Now where they came up with the idea for that, I really couldn’t say, particularly seeing as he was on honor roll this year [no doubt because I pushed him too hard, crushing his tender DS- loving spirit in the process]. Considering how much I’ve been enjoying the newfound preteen eyerolling headwaggling backsassing I’ve been getting from him lately [also my fault, I only nursed him for ten months, instead of the suggested twelve] I was in full agreement with their plan [because only BAD MOTHERS don't want to spend EVERY WAKING MOMENT with their PRESHUS ANGEL BAYBEES even when they act like SNOTTY LITTLE BASTARDS].
[Okay, some of us may be having trouble moving along.]
*In the Wawa parking lot, as I stopped to pump gas*
Matthew: “Ha ha ha! Look! That girl is wearing a bikini!” (top, with shorts)
Twin [don't remember which, Bad Mother and all]: “Where?! Where is the girl in the zucchini?!”
Matthew Who Knows All There Is To Know, Plus Some Extra: “Bikini, not zucchini. You don’t even know what I’m talking about. A zucchini is a fruit. DUH.”
…duh indeed. [Says the person who has clearly underperformed in the area of teaching her children vegetable classifications.]
Brief as this is, it’s nice to type something longer than a facebook post. Once again, I am sorry for neglecting you blog [please add blog neglect to the above list]. We have a lot to catch up on, and I promise to do so soon, and without making passive aggressive references to attacks on my character. Anyone who knows me, knows who I am. Anyone who does not, is welcome to. And anyone who chooses not to, but would like to judge me regardless, that I can not help. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to swig some gin and pole dance for a room full of sweaty strangers whilst my children watch.
(Oh, I kid. They will be too busy playing unsupervised. With firearms. In the middle of a busy street.)
I am still alive.
The kids are still alive.
I haven’t completely given up on writing here, but I don’t have the energy/brainpower for it at this current moment.
In rereading old posts it is clear that I love me some italics.
That is all. (For now…)
…it’s been a little while! Summer “vacation” (who came up with THAT name for it, I’d like to know) was crazy, but that was fine, because after the kids went back to school I’d have LOADS of time to write. Right?!
Not so much. The twins are in kindergarten all day now, and so I decided (at the very last minute, naturally) to go back to school for my nursing assistant certification. It is an intensive class, insanely stressful, with weekend clinicals, and so I have been even more distracted and anxious and disorganized than I was before they went back to school. GO FIGURE. In fact, I shouldn’t be typing this right now, but rather studying chapter 22 (The Integumentary System!), but the stress is starting to make me a little crazay, so hopefully a few run-on sentences here will prevent me from finding another outlet for my tension, like driving around and smashing random mailboxes, because I JUST DON’T CURRENTLY HAVE THE TIME FOR THAT SORT OF BEHAVIOR. (Not to mention I’m a college student now, and we’re too mature for that kind of thing, you know.) (Don’t worry, that sentence made me laugh out loud too. Or “lol”, as the young people say it. Which makes me think of a pig, lolling about in the mud, and so I’m compelled to spell out “laugh out loud”, even when texting, which to the untrained eye might appear to be something that someone who is not young might do, but I assure you I am still very immature young. I’m in COLLEGE, you know. We’re too mature for mailbox smashing, but we’re not old.) (Shut up.)
For months I’ve been scribbling down funny things the kids have said/done on scrap paper to write about here, which I then lose, and occasionally find, only to discover them completely illegible. So I’ll most likely be posting pictures instead, if I remembered to take any. Either way, I’m out of time now, but will try not to wait another 6 months before concocting some more grammatically suspicious run-on sentences.
I love cooking magazines. (What a funny sentence! I meant I love to read them, but now I’m picturing myself peering in to the oven at a stack of periodicals, wondering if they are lightly browned around the edges yet.) I find looking at pictures of food and reading recipes quite soothing, and a hell of a lot easier than, you know, actually cooking. The other day I stumbled upon a recipe for chocolate martinis. It goes like this: In a pitcher you stir together 3/4 cup light cream, 1 cup chocolate liqueur, and 1/4 cup vodka. Place ice cubes in a martini shaker. Add liqueur mixture; shake. Strain mixture into chilled martini glasses. Makes 4 to 6 drinks.
I read this particular recipe with great interest. By complete coincidence my friend Marisa and I had made some chocolate martinis of our own a few days before! Here is our recipe: Rummage in cabinet for cup not decorated with a cartoon character, find some 12 oz. juice glasses. Place three ice cubes in each. Fill glass halfway with vodka. Fill rest of way with Godiva liqueur, preferably not sloshing too much over rim. Makes 1 drink.
A 1/4 cup of vodka divided between six people? That’s called chocolate milk, y’all! A couple of ours, though, and inane youtube videos get downright hysterical. As does, well, pretty much everything else, which is very helpful, considering some things in my life have been a little tense lately. (I’m not saying what, I’m just SAYIN’.)
*St. Patrick’s Day*Aren’t they adorable! Could they be any cuter?! HOLD ON TO THAT THOUGHT.Gangsta leprechauns. Word.
So! I think we were discussing how cute they are, those little scamps! This morning Andrew “poopded”, and in the whole fourteen seconds it took me to wipe his bottom Gregory slipped outside and drew a picture! On the hood of our car! WITH A ROCK.Funnily enough, my initial reaction was not anger, or dismay, or even surprise. Simply sheer relief that he had chosen to decorate OUR car, and not someone else’s. I would like to think is due to me being an optimist, trying to find the good in any given situation. Or maybe I am exceptionally easygoing and even- tempered. ( Ha!) Realistically, however, I am forced to conclude that a decade full of the antics of four “spirited” boys has worn my brain down to the nub. Which is 1.) NOT NEWS TO ANYONE and 2.)another reason why I do not follow conventional drink recipes or their ridiculous serving suggestions.
One of the joys of motherhood (if you believe the parenting magazines, and you shouldn’t) is giving your children the opportunity to expand their palates by providing a varied diet, and encouraging them to try new foods. My children are spooked by such exotic fare as rice and mashed potatoes (the horrors!), but they are getting old enough to eat like real people, and I am TIRED TO MY BONES of chicken nuggets. (I believe I’ve mentioned the concept of eating anything in a form labelled “nugget” strikes me as vastly unappealing, but WHAT DO I KNOW.) Anyway, I have been trying to occasionally vary our dinners, and let’s just say the concept is not a popular one.
Last night I decided to make Italian sausage with linguini in a red pepper cream sauce. (Dear Safeway: It’s fine that you charge six dollars a pound for organic bell peppers, it really is. And it’s fine to stick stickers on them. But is it too much to ask that the stickers actually PEEL OFF? I had to throw away a chunk the size of a golf ball, which by the calculations I just randomly made up in my head cost roughly $1.72. Not cool.) The kids will eat spaghetti and meatballs, so how bad could it be? I will tell you! I got the reaction I would have expected had I presented them with RAW GOPHER SPLEENS.
Okay, that perhaps sounded extreme. Here is a summation of what actually occurred. Gregory hid the “red things” in his napkin, and amazingly ate the noodles and “meatballs”(!) Matthew decided starvation looked like a better option, and took off like a rocket. Michael raged over how unfair his life is and offered to personally deliver his meal to a child in a third world country, but the lure of fruit snacks won out, so he DRAMATICALLY AND WITH GREAT DRAMA held his nose and shoveled pasta in (and I do mean shoveled, I’ve seen elephants with better manners.) Andrew refused to even look at his food, and communicated his displeasure with our evening meal by wailing until the walls shook.
I’m thinking that approximates a 43% success rate. WE’VE HAD WORSE.
(** Update! Tonight I made a Thai Chicken Stir Fry. It was actually really good. Gregory said it smelled like nail polish. Michael ate half of his, the other’s remained untouched. I WILL WIN, I SWEAR IT.)
There is an article in the March issue of Vogue that discusses how a short, high- intensity workout can be just as effective as a longer, lower-intensity one. It ended up being a very interesting article. I will [no doubt break lots of copyright laws and] share an excerpt:
“The research I’d read on high-intensity interval training (HIT) made it sound totally excellent- effective and efficient. In the lab, rats that worked out hard (swimming with weights) for four and a half minutes, in 20-second intervals, reaped all the same physiological benefits as rats that slogged through six hours of swimming at lower intensity.”
I found this research to be extremely compelling. Rats working out! Who knew?! With weights! Little rat weights! The article didn’t mention the little rat elliptical machines, or Beyonce squeaking out of little rat ipods, it went back to talking about “people”. (Sheesh.) And what are these benefits, exactly? Little rat six packs? Do the rats wax their tummies, like the guys of Jersey Shore? (They must! How else to see the six packs?) (Rat packs! Ha ha!)
And here all this time you probably thought Vogue was about “fashion”. Luckily you have the benefit of my journalistic detection skills to bring you the BREAKING NEWS in animal science. I do not take this responsibility lightly, fellow citizens. Next up- SELF (“Beauty Special- The 2-Minute Trick To Looking Well Rested!”) (Let me guess- a RAT NAP! Ha ha!)
As I am sure you’re aware, February contains some very important holidays. In fact, the whole month is pretty much one big partay! The Super Bowl, for instance! Mardi Gras! Groundhog Day is a lively one, because if you are not excited about a day devoted to celebrating a giant rodent then, well, I really don’t know what’s wrong with you. President’s Day was big this year! I noticed a lot of people getting flowers and candy around that time, and was impressed by the patriotism those gestures clearly exhibited. But by far the most significant holiday was the birthday of my niece, aka Anna, aka My Favorite Person In The World! She is two now, and disturbingly intelligent. She knows the entire alphabet (Andrew and Gregory, who are five, can [with some wild guessing] name most of the letters), she knows all of her colors (including the difference between ochre and chartreuse), and she started Calculus II last week. So what to give her?
A doll, of course! And naturally I couldn’t buy one, like a NORMAL person. (Ha!) No, I had to make one! This was my first time making a doll, and so being me I couldn’t use a pattern (like a NORMAL person would have) and instead floundered my way through it with dazzling ineptitude, which now that I think about it is pretty much my life’s own personal motto. (“Floundering wildly with ineptitude, since 1978!”)
First I drew a doll-ish shape on some fabric. So far, so good! I began to cut it out, as Gregory began shrieking for Andrew to come at once, announcing with great relish that “she’s gonna kill the baby!” This was VERY EXCITING NEWS, for as I’m sure you know, there is nothing more fun than some good old fashioned voodoo baby torture. They watched with wide eyes as I attacked the baby with my scissors, then my sewing machine, before packing it full of stuffing. And, for a thrilling climax, I stabbed it in its face with a needle, over and over again! Once the violence was over they lost interest, which is good, because I started getting cranky. Cranky because I was making the dress, and while doing so began to see a distinct advantage in purchasing lead-filled chemical-laden Made in China toys, namely a LACK OF HAND CRAMPS. (The dress was small, and my fingers are not.) I ended up crocheting a little sweater, because the thought of sewing sleeves made me want to weep. (Of course she needed her arms covered, it is February, people! That’s how you catch pneumonia!)
(No, I do not consider myself to be slightly nutty about my craft projects, why would you ask such a ridiculous question?!)
Her dress has cats on it, because Anna loves kitties, and letters, because when Anna is not watching Dora the Explorer she likes to translate Latin for fun.
She seemed to like her baby. The first thing she did was to check for a little diaper, which was nice, in a satisfying sort of way. Because if you have never sewed bits of velcro to a doll-sized felt diaper before, DON’T. Unless you enjoy those hand cramps I mentioned.
OR unless it is for your Favorite Little Girl In The Whole Entire World, in which case it is totally worth it. Happy birthday, Anna! Let me know when you are finished with Vitruvius’s De Architectura, and we’ll snack out on some fishy crackers!
(In other holiday news, my dad is taking me out for a nice President’s Day dinner tomorrow evening. I will have to buy him some Abraham Lincoln-shaped chocolates.)
The more upset I am, the longer my sentences get (I find words comforting) (Yes, I’m odd, but we knew THAT already)
So! The other day I wrote about a development in my personal life. Although I made a conscious effort to go in to no detail of any sort on the matter, someone was offended. In order to placate the offended party, I have temporarily removed the post until the legal proceedings currently underway are complete. At first I was unsettled by the thought of having to censor my writing in what I consider to be my private space, especially since reading anything I write here is a personal decision the reader consciously makes, however after some thought on the matter I decided it is fair to write only about myself and exclude those that wish to be excluded.
I was slightly bewildered by the assertion I received in reference to the lighthearted manner in which I wrote about the above subject. In my last post I talked about my uncle, who recently died. Because of the funny, generous, amazing person he was, and the fact that cancer killed him in what should have been the prime of his life, (and I just miss him), his death caused a crushing sadness in me. And yet how did I memorialize him here? DONUTS AND A STICK SHIFT. For a lot of people, humor is a way of coping with the difficulties of life. Unfortunately, some people think the definition of “humor” is the amount of water vapor present in the air. I might suggest that if you happen to be one of those people, you may be more comfortable reading something else. Perhaps a weather forecast. (Just a suggestion.)
One of several reasons why I wrote about that particular life development was to avoid that murky area where some people know something, some people know nothing, some might know something, some people start talking, other people start talking, and next thing you know it SNOWBALLS in to gossip and rumors and confusion. I was hoping to keep it straightforward, just state the simple fact as it is, and hopefully avoid any drama. HA! “Avoid drama?” Now THAT’S funny! I would expand upon the many reasons why I find that incredibly amusing, but I am no longer able to document them here. Instead you can guess! Or just make some up! And go tell people! So that they can tell people! Until everybody knows about the thing that some people knew but the others didn’t until they told them what they heard from the first people who knew what they thought they heard! (Wow, that sounds like fun! I hope someone tells me!)
(Apparently my plan to write more frequently worked out really well.)
I played the violin when I was younger, and have held on to it ever since. And since one of the most poignant privileges of parenting is living your dreams vicariously through your children (even if they are uninterested, because some things [like vegetables] are just good for their development, and I AM YOUR MOTHER AND I SAY SO) Michael was forced, that is, was happy to join the orchestra. They just had their first concert. (He was so cute! He looked so grown up!) (How can my child be doing this when I can remember doing this myself?!) (That particular bow technique is called “Bored Fourth Grade Boy”.) He did really well, in part because he actually enjoys playing the violin (see, moms DO know everything!)
Matthew just had his Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. His car was pretty fast, which was rather surprising, seeing as I drew a random car shape on a block of wood, my dad cut it out and popped wheels on, and that was about the extent of our fancy car crafting methods. Here he is, the little scampHere is a candid snapshot of some of the parents setting up for this event, the night before: Why yes, that IS me! And yes, I DO own a hairbrush! Although I apparently did not USE said hairbrush! And no, I do NOT have any idea what I was doing with my hands! Do not be fooled in to thinking we were standing around chatting, my odd arm positioning and messy hair CLEARLY point to us being hard at work. Oh, and that is my friend Marisa in the green sweater. We bonded a while ago over things like scouts, shoddy, I mean, relaxed mothering techniques, and a proclivity towards alcoholic beverages, and have been inseparable ever since. (If “inseparable” means “I rummage in her pantry and consume vast quantities of her carbohydrates without asking first”.) (On second thought, maybe that’s “comfortable”. Or “rude”. We’ll go with “comfortable”.)
This is George, my uncle (the kids call him Papageorgio.) A hockey player practically since birth, he volunteered with an awesome program that taught children with autism and other disabilities how to play ice hockey. I would go with him to the rink every Saturday, and that is where this picture is from. Our favorite kid we called “Donut”, because he was obsessed with donuts. By obsessed I mean that being autistic he could not speak, only make sounds, save for the word “donut”. ONE WORD he could say, and it was “donut”. CLEARLY he was our kind of people.
Anyway, George died from cancer a few weeks ago. I miss him more than I can express in words (which is saying a lot, because we all know by now if I can’t find the right word for something I will just make up my own.) We spent more time laughing together than is probably legal in some countries. We shared a similar sense of humor, that we found hysterical, though it inspired much eye-rolling in people less, ah, special than ourselves. He tried to teach me to drive a stick shift before he got too weak (an uncle-y thing to do, you know), but unfortunately I was a supremely incapable pupil. I am pretty sure I heard his car weeping tears of sweet relief when that ended, because despite his encouraging words to the contrary, I am fairly sure that NO ENGINE SHOULD MAKE NOISES LIKE THAT.
(I love you George!)
In what seems to have developed in to a sketchy family update post, I saved the twins for last. They have (occasionally) been really cute with the whole pretend play concept lately (sometimes) (for a couple of minutes) (until they start fighting.) The other morning they were actually playing nicely (!) in their room, dumping every book they own in to a giant pile they called their “bonfire”. Cute, right?! It kept them busy for a while, which was a relief. Until I walked in later to put away some laundry and noticed the portable heater they plugged in next to the pile of books and turned on high. So help me Lord if those little bastards were not trying to make AN ACTUAL BONFIRE. IN THEIR BEDROOM. Not cool, guys, NOT COOL AT ALL. No more playing nicely for you two.
Michael turned ten today, although how that is possible, I just don’t know. I’m fairly certain his birth certificate was tampered with. Or something. Because ten is, like, double digits. And there is NO WAY my baby can be in double digits, even if he is just about as tall as I am.
Michael loves Garfield books, so I made a Garfield cake. I hope it looks good AWESOME! Because it took me so long to decorate that I did not get to shower or brush my hair (although my questionable time management skills might possibly have been a factor), which is a valid reason as to why cake decoration should be left to professionals. (That, and it is messy. Frosting was everywhere.)
I have the most amazing child. He got an MP3 player, a DSi, and a video recorder gadget, and guess what he played with after everyone left? His new checkers set! (Although he did try to smuggle his DSi in to his bed by hiding it in his pajama pants leg.)
My dad and stepmom brought Silly String for the boys! If I ever invite them back, rest assured they WILL be frisked before entering the premises.
(Our babysitter Rachel, Aunt Brandi, and her boyfriend Justin, having “fun”.)
Happy birthday, Michael! Thank you for ten many years of love!
I swear. And I haven’t been on facebook either. I have not really been on the computer at all. Partly because life has been a little… complicated lately. And partly because I didn’t feel like it. And also my brain was lazy. (And that last part still holds true, so this is not an actual post, just a confirmation of my continued existence.)
The kids are fine, they had a nice Christmas, which is (thankfully) over. I could not get in to Christmas this year. Any thoughts of gifts or decorations or carols made me want to curl up next to a groundhog and nap until whenever it is they nap until, which I can’t remember right now, but is definitely after Christmas. (On a side note, I did get a pair of those sneakers that look like moon boots that are supposed to tone your buttocks just by wearing them. I find this very exciting, because although I would love an ass that resembles a pair of perky grapefruits I have absolutely no interest in actually exercising. Unfortunately it appears that sleeping in them does not quite cut it, one has to walk around to see any benefit, but not outside, unless one wants to be ridiculed for wearing moon boots. Any normal person would be rolling their eyes at this nonsense, but I’m PRETTY SURE it’s apparent by now that I do not fall into the “normal” category, and will therefore be tromping through piles of legos and marble tracks in my moon boot sneakers.)
Since this is not an actual post, I am ignoring generally accepted writing practices and randomly switching to a completely unrelated topic. You may (not at all since it’s been so long) recall me saying in my last (I think) entry that I received some of the best birthday gifts ever this year, but at the time couldn’t say what they were. So! A few days before my birthday I met my best friend (since high school, which was not that long ago) for dinner, and she told me she is pregnant (!!!) with her first baby! I was so happy I practically floated home. Then, a few days later on my actual birthday I babysat Anna (my niece/favoritest person in whole world) and when my brother and Jill came to pick her up they brought an ultrasound picture (!!!!) with them! That had a baby on it! We’re pregnant! (Okay, technically she’s pregnant, but I am both VERY EXCITED, and have editorial control here.) So I got two babies for my birthday! (They won’t actually be delivered until springtime, but I can wait patiently wait.) As far as birthdays go, that was pretty untoppable. Which appears to have not been a word before now. (Don’t worry, I made it one. Like the captain on Star Trek, I nodded authoritatively and told my computer “Make it so.”)
That is all for the moment. Now that I have remembered my password (oops!) I will hopefully be around more. Not that I will be writing anything cohesive, or intelligent, or remotely entertaining, but I had forgotten how nice it felt to write (even if it’s crap.) Not to mention I am really tired of creating variations of “I’m still alive” as titles.