Friday, June 26, 2009

Today my friend came over and brought her kids bikes. She showed up with a cold diet DP for me and then said, "By the way, my kids' bikes are in the back of my van." Which totally blew the whole, "I just stopped by to bring you cool refreshment" cover.

Anyway, her daughter just learned to ride without training wheels, and her bike was small like Avee's. So Avee was intrigued and wanted to try. My friend got up and held her bike from behind and within 30 seconds, Avee was balancing for quite a while before she crashed.

So my friend starts this with Avee, and then "suddenly" has to leave and leaves me in 100 degree weather and a 4 year old that wants to keep riding a two wheeler. So, I cursed my friend, took off Avee's training wheels and did what other parents have all done and will all do, but I have yet avoided because I'm lazy. I ran behind a wobbly Avee as she tried out the two wheels. She totally has it. She doesn't know how to start smoothly, but has managed to start on her own since this recording. It's not that interesting, except the very end, when she says she wants to keep practicing, it's very Avee, and very funny.

I'm sorry I'm always an annoying Recorder Voice on these videos. There's no way around it. In real life, I'm just annoying---no cute footage to distract you.

video

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Guess Pretty Much About Avee

I got up this morning and made breakfast for my husband. He gets up before God intended man to arise. I'm sure that's contrary to some very specific scripture, but I do believe it. I think he probably would have enjoyed the delicious breakfast, if he wasn't so distracted by who I was, and what I'd done with his real wife.

It's okay, it'll be another 7 years before I do that again.

The kids had 7:45 am dentist appointments. Not entirely sure what I was smoking when I scheduled that. They were SO excited to go to the dentist. Not entirely sure what they were smoking. Bo bragged to Avee about getting fit for a mold. He thought it was awesome. I have been known to dry heave in the general direction of the mold-giver for a good 8 minutes after an attempt. He was describing how awesome it was to Avee, that he got to try something new. She listened aptly and then responded, "I really sink I would hayte that Bo. It sounds disgusting."

I concur.

A few minutes later Avee asked me if I knew who Jesus was. I told her I did, and asked the same of her. "Yes I do, he's The Wock!"

Funny, I always thought that was Duane Johnson.

Speaking of wocks...
Yesterday Avee was singing, "The wains came down and the flowuhs came up, oh the wains came down and the flowuhs came up" and my mom had the nerve to correct her. Told her it was actually the floods that came up. Avee was offended by the suggestion and went to J about the matter. J agreed with Grandma so Avee flipped them both off and went back to her imaginary friend Max who meets her at church and never disagrees with her.

After my mom told me the story, I turned to Avee and sang it with the flowers words, like her. Avee's eyes narrowed suspiciously, then darted to Grandma to see if she was getting a load of me, agreeing with her, then back and me and they lit up with complete joy.

Today in the van she was singing it "her way" and then scoffed, "Cwama and Dad say that it's fuhloods, not flowuhs. It didn't wain THAT much, it just wained a little, and it's flowuhs that came up." I could be wrong, but I'd say she won that argument.

Then I took the kids to Bible School. Or, according to Avee, "Fievel School". I wonder if she'll be disappointed when there aren't any small talking mice there to greet her. Hope not.

It's hotter'n hell here today. I could deal with this kind of heat in Texas because, well, because it was Texas. Iowa has absolutely no justification for this kind of behavior.

My mom brought me a letter I wrote to her my first year in college. I was trying to guilt her into a visit in the letter. Without revealing too much about what a manipulative and obnoxious punk brat I was, let's just say I don't ask why Avee is the way she is anymore.

Sigh.

I liked it better when I was befuddled.

The end.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Love

A few weeks ago while driving around town, Avee started singing. Nonstop. And nonsense. I rarely listen to what goes on behind me when I'm driving, so it took me a while to actually hear her. She is much like me and can't carry a tune. Actually, forget carrying one. If either of us could FIND it, we'd probably carry the tune just fine. And like me, she couldn't care less.

Unlike me however, she thinks she's a superstar.

So, for the past couple of weeks, she has asked me to sign her up for a singing contest. This is an interesting request to me, for several reasons.
1. We don't watch American Idol or any other singing contest, so I have no idea where she got this idea.
2. Everything I have signed her up for (gymnastics, swimming, t-ball) she has refused to do either after the first class, or within two seconds of arriving.
3. She would surely not fare well if I did manage to sign her up for a singing contest.
4. She has asked me to do this at least 5 times over the last couple of weeks.

To remedy the problem of there being a serious lack of singing contests for four year old girls in Iowa who have yet to bother learning the correct lyrics for their favorite song Twinkle, Twinkle---I told her I'd video her singing and then people could watch it, and tell her what they think. This seemed to work.

All this is really a prelude to---there will probably be more of Avee singing, with a request for judging, but THIS video is actually impromptu and I managed to catch it before she quit. It is very Avee-esque. Particularly the "but not really" stuff.

Baby is played by my sister's son Thomas. Avee has named him Bubbaface, which I love. She also has momentary back up vocals from Caroline.

video

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our Bedtime Story

"You haven't blogged in forever!" my friend accused me today.

It was a harmless little afternoon at the park, I thought I was safe.

"But, but...I'm right here. You have the real thing, right here!"

She turned the other way and asked the girl next to her where she got her sunglasses.

This stuff is good for me, any inclination to delusions of grandeur. People like me better in print than in real life. Just so you know, as much as I think I'm keeping it real---I'm probably not. I'm way more boring in real life.

On that note:
Tonight we began our usual bedtime routine of barking orders at the kids in between paragraphs we're reading on the computer or guitar hero songs. And the usual cacophony of protests began. Danyo wasn't even asked to do anything, but tonight he wailed just in support of the injustice we were inflicting on his siblings. At one point J and I realized it was just a little louder and more obnoxious than usual, and I looked down at Danyo on my lap and said, "Uh, why is he crying?" Neither of us knew. So I asked Danyo. He writhed, slapped at me and yelled "Nooooooo-wuh." So I think he didn't know either.

Anyway, Bo was beyond tired for some reason today. I caught him yawning several times through out the afternoon and made note that he needed to go to bed early, and that it would be a scene.

He cried through a round of guitar hero. His face contorted by the sheer sadness he felt, while he was allowed to sit and play guitar hero. Then it was teeth brushing time and well, someone had moved the stool. J thought he was crying about a cupboard door being open. The conversation was very entertaining.

Then J tried to kill Bo while helping him brush his teeth. Because that's what dads do with unreasonable six year old boys. Bo was sure J was out to get him.

Then he wailed all the way up the stairs for pajamas and screamed his way down at the complete unreasonableness of it all.

As he was pausing on each stair to emphasize his distress, J turned and said, "Dude! Stop the screaming, you can be upset, but that screaming is ridiculous and it will get you slapped."

The use of the word "slapped" caught all of our attention. No one's ever been slapped in this house. Bo stopped screaming, but maintained a healthy level of obnoxiousness, lest we forget for one second he was getting ready for bed.

I was sifting through a pile of papers when I heard J suddenly burst out laughing. I looked up and looked at him questioningly. He had a letter I had handed him, that was mildly entertaining, but not nearly that funny. Avee was quietly coloring on the floor. Danyo wasn't in the room, and Bo was---well, see above.

He turned to me and said, "Avee just climbed up on my lap and whispered, 'slap him' and went right back to her coloring."

This is why Avee will some day rule the world. You either won't see her coming and inciting the enemy to overtake you, or you will be so entertained by her wily ways, you won't care.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday Adventure

J doesn't like road trips.

I love road trips.

J doesn't like taking 3 kids out in public unless it's really necessary

I guess I like to.

J is conservative with money.

I have....eh....budgeting issues.


So, a couple of weeks ago I read about a mobile Titanic display/museum type thingy and thought it looked cool. Then I found out it would be just a couple of hours from our house in a couple of weeks.

I thought about it for some time, and finally decided it was worthwhile and worth bringing up with J.

Surprisingly, he readily agreed and said it sounded great.

I told a friend about it and she said, "but that town is two hours away." And I may or may not have called her a pessimist because it's really only an hour and 42 minutes away.

So Saturday afternoon I woke up Danyo after only sleeping 2 hours (cardinal sin in my book) filled up a couple of water bottles, made everyone use the bathroom before piling in the van, and took several deep breaths to keep from packing 12 72 hour kits for our "under two hours" road trip. I'm always over prepared and it's annoying to everyone, except when they need something and I have it!

Armed with a google map printout and our GPS for backup, and a security that you really can't foul up "nearly two hours straight south on the same road"---we headed out.

Nearly two hours later we were watchful for our exit #. But it didn't exist. In fact, the five exit numbers before it and the 3 after also didn't exist. There was an entire 10 mile stretch with no exits.

It was then and only then that we discovered something was amiss.

I say "we" but that isn't really fair to my husband. He's not directionally challenged in a way that's embarrassing and offensive to all that is sacred and holy to cartographers.

I had essentially cussed out the "useless GPS" about 6 times already. The dumb thing kept saying we were 2 hours away, no matter how far we drove.

Because it was.

Two hours later, we discovered we had not taken the right fork in the highway, and we had driven nearly 2 hours in the wrong direction.

This was disheartening and embarrassing. We are smart people. At least, that's what we tell ourselves---enough that most times, we are convinced. And it shouldn't have gone this far.

I knew the future chances of J being willing to embark on any adventure of any kind was dwindling fast. And this made me sad."

J tried to be cool about it. But he kept saying things like, "70 MORE MILES ON THIS ROAD!?" and whatnot.

We plowed along. Because we didn't just have our kids. We brought my friend's two boys. And we had our pride to salvage. These boys are 6 and 8. We couldn't "spin the truth" for them like we could with our kids, and have them go back and report anything but what actually happened. We spent 4 hours in the van because we are dumb.

So, we went ahead.

We passed through a town called Eureka and J was sure he saw a sign advertising a Reagan Museum. He said, "We're stopping." Much to my surprise. But then he finished, "Because we are never coming back here again."

Turns out, that was just where good ol' Ronnie went to college. No such museum.

But we stopped and had ice cream cones and played with rocks.


















I considered making the trip about the ice cream and the rocks---it could have worked with 3 boys and Avee, but by then we were so close.

So we drove another 23 minutes, following our completely accurate GPS.

And as we drove up upon the location of the Titanic display, we saw:

This is about 1/3 of the line.

I was trailing behind trying to keep Avee from ending up under someone's tire, when I hear J laughing really loudly.

This was not the response I expected after driving 4 hours to find an insanely long line into a terribly small trailer.

But when I got closer he pointed and said, "This can all be worth it if it goes on the blog."



So, here it is. Pretty sure J will keep his word on this one.


We were standing there in front of the sign laughing and taking pictures, and laughing even more when a man walked up to us. J explained briefly why we thought a sign turning us away was so funny. The man repeated about 6 times, each time more incredulously than the previous, "You came here from Nobodyville? You came here from Nobodyville!?" We nodded each time, laughing even harder each time he asked. Somehow it's funnier when someone else thinks you are as dumb as you are feeling.

I think, in a moment of complete pity for us, he walked over to the end of the line and moved the board back, making room for the pathetic family of seven that drove all the way from Nobodyville. Twice, basically.

I started acting like one of those enabling women in those Intervention shows and quickly herded the children aside and started buffering, "Oh, thank you so much, that's so kind, but uh..." before I could finish, J turned and saw what the man had done and threw his head back and howled with laughter. "Are you kidding me!? I'm not standing in line for 3 hours with 5 kids, no WAY MAN!"

I started to buffer again, but J realized that the man genuinely was trying to be kind, and not add insult to injury, and he thanked him. But declined.

While I was looking for pictures to add to this post, I found this one. It made me laugh out loud.

They have their arms around each other. Seriously? Even Danyo is like, "uhh, this is awkward Dad."

Just kidding. If that man's your cousin or uncle or something---he was really, really nice.

But arms? Really?

Anyway, this whole thing was in the parking lot of a mall, so we ventured toward the mall to find a play place. One lady told me there was a "wonderful one right in the center". We passed a closed off 12X15 area that had rocks inside it. I prayed that wasn't the wonderful one we were referred to. In hopes that the kids were more impressed than me, I said, "Do you guys want to go in there?" No one moved. Bo looked up at me like he was waiting for the punchline. The most good natured kid of the group said, "Why would we want to go in there? Are you serious? Even my baby sister wouldn't play in there. That's ridiculous."

We moved on.

There was another one, somewhat better, but still pretty lame by my standards. The kids played and I got to witness why it is exactly that my sweet little preshy Bo, isn't breaking all the girls' hearts at school, like his sweet little best friend is.

Little Girl: Hi, I'm Evie, what's your name?
Bo: How old are you!?
Little Girl: Uhhhhh four?
Bo: Dude. I was four like TWO YEARS ago.

She said something just as bratty back because clearly he set the standard for a noncommunicative but bratty, relationship.

This venture through the outdoor mall was much like herding cattle. The herd was cuter, but not much different otherwise.











The whole thing was a total hit for Danyo, on account of discovering pockets on this trip.














Avee found something to hang from, and someone to hang on, and that pretty much sums up a perfect day for her.


Avee has known this little guy for nearly 2 years. He has played over here a lot and she has played at his house a lot. 4 days ago, if you'd asked me, I'd say they didn't really get along. She wants to be a big kid like him, he wants to treat her like a baby. Neither of them are right, and both of them are used to being right, so it has been a problem in the past.

On this trip, Avee decided he was the cat's meow.

At 9:15 when we were finally making our way home---the normal one hour and 42 minute route...Avee wriggled in her car seat to turn and bat her eyes at K-K.
"K-K! K-K! You know why I like you so much!?"
"Why Avee?" K-K responds as though she were a sweet little 18 month old asking.
"It's because of your clothes. I love your clothes."
He turned to the other boys and expressed happily, "Avee likes my clothes!"

This is funny all by itself, but it's especially funny because K-K could match Avee seam for seam when it comes to looking like a hobo.

When all was said and done, I had a lovely afternoon with my family. J still is my favorite choice for company, so I don't mind getting lost with him. The kids were really good sports about being in a car for 6 hours, for an ice cream cone, a balloon, and an Olive Garden kids meal.















With one exception:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

On Her Game

I want to go to Ella's hoooooouuuuuuuuse!

I told you, Ella isn't home, she's at her Grandma's house.

(repeat 17 times)

But I just want to go to her house, I don't care if she's not there.

Seriously Avee? We're not going to Ella's house if she's not even there.

But I just waaaaaaaaaaant to!


Avee! Give me a break. You don't go to people's houses and play when they aren't even home!

Well, we went to Nyah's house yestohday when she wasn't there and played for a long time. I just want to do that!

Aaaaaaaaand, she wins.

This was nearly a year ago when we mowed our friends' lawn while they were out of town.



The other morning Avee was upstairs jumping all over my bed while I was willing myself to get up and start the day. She had already been downstairs and made herself some cereal and was back up to brag about her accomplishment.

"I put the chayo in fwont of the closet and I put the stool on top of the chayo and my awms woh shaking---like this."

A few minutes later J went downstairs because he's way less lazy than me. And probably was hungry. Avee was still bouncing all over and we hear J loudly exclaim, "You've GOT to be KIDDING ME!!"

Avee freezes and then turns to me in slow motion with her eyes big.

"Oopth. Well I spilled the cereal. A lot. And the milk. A lot too. It's all over flah, actually."

"Avee! You can't just leave messes like, that's not nice to the person who finds them!"

I meant that she should have told one of us.

But she answered, "Well, I did pick up the cereal, the beeg pieces, but I couldn't get them all and I can't pick up the milk because my hand is not a washcloth. Or a towel! Or a SPONGE!

All of this said with the sassy bobbing head and face getting menacingly closer to mine.

How does her making a mess and not having cleaning supplies for appendages make me the bad guy!?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Being Responsible

I harp on J at least 3 times a week about locking our car doors. Admittedly, I am a nag. But I'm willing to make that sacrifice, so that he doesn't have to walk to work and that I can continue to drive in the plush style my minivan offers.

Our vehicles have been broken into several times over the last 5 years. Every single time it was because the doors were left unlocked. It didn't seem like such a big deal when the cars we drove literally cost us $15. In some ways, it might have been considered a favor if someone stole our car.

But now, we have very nice, very expensive, highly polished and well-maintained vehicles. No my children do no climb on top of them when no one is looking. No I don't have dings in my door that match the color of J's car. Naturally, I want to keep them. Safe. With us.

So I nag.

Lately J's been responding with, "go look yourself, go check---you will see that the doors are locked." He usually offers this suggestion 20 minutes after I've fallen asleep and am in full headgear for the night.

The funny thing is, when he's so emphatic, I believe him. I believe he took the time to lock the doors. But every time I get home from work late, I compulsively check the doors to our other vehicle and 90% of the time, they are unlocked. 90%!!

Our van was broken into our second night in Iowa. It's not like I'm being paranoid.

The problem is, in addition to being a nag and driving J up the wall with it----I'm also a stupidhead dorkface in my own special way.

Yesterday I grabbed the keys to the van to run Bo to school, but when I got in the van I couldn't fit the key into the ignition.

BECAUSE THE OTHER SET OF KEYS WERE ALREADY IN THERE!!!

From the night before.

This is only noteworthy because, this isn't the first time.....

J totally wins this fight. I'm out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Invitation: Iowa Style

I got this in an email a while back. At my job, I get 52 emails for every ONE email that applies to me or is even remotely necessary to read.

I hate sifting through it all. And this was an email that was not meant for me or necessary to read. But I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. I've considered employing Carrot Jello for any translation or interpretation, but I figured I'd just enjoy it, as is. You should read it twice, for good measure. It's more enjoyable the second time.


ALL COWORKERS!!
SAT MAY 23,2009 (TOMORROW)
__________
IS
GETTIN MARRIED!!


WE ARE SUPRISING HER!
ANYONE WANT TO COME,
HER ADDRESS IS _______
________ IA!!
SHE IS GETTING MARRIED AT THE
PARK ACROSS THE STREET UNDER THE
PAVILION ON TOP OF THE HILL!!
AT 6:00PM SAT 5-23-2009
PLEASE OMIT GIFTS, BUT A CARD WOULD BE GREAT!!
ANYONE UNABLE TO GO, I WOULD GLADLY TAKE A CARD FOR YOU TO HER!!


WE ARE TRYING TO GET AS MANY
COWORKERS AS WE CAN TO MEET
AT _________ IN _________ IA
________________
(MAIN RD GOING INTO __________)
AT 6:45/7:00PM TO HELP HER
CELEBRATE HER DAY!!
DON'T TELL HER, BUT STOP IN FOR A DRINK WITH US AND MAYBE A LATE SUPPER!!
I KNOW THE BRIDGE IS OUT, BUT THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH FUN YOU WILL HAVE!!

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!!
I KNOW IT IS SHORT NOTICE, BUT I JUST GOT THE
DETALS WORKED OUT LAST NIGHT..
BECAUSE OF HER CIRCUMSTANCES SHE IS GETTING MARRIED SOONER THAN SHE THOUGHT..

NEED DIRECTIONS OR ANY OTHER QUESTIONS CALL !

This made me laugh right out loud when I read it at work. I'm very quiet at work. I think I surprised a lot of people.

Is it just me? J says it is, but I find it hard to believe this didn't make anyone else laugh.

I'll tell you my two favorite parts, but first you tell me yours.

I may even have 3 favorite parts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Truth Hurts

Saying "I love you" and other sentimental expressions, does not come easy to me. With the exception of my children, and J, it is a struggle for me.

In the past, I've worked myself up into a frenzy when I've been in a situation where saying "I love you" or something else similar would be appropriate/expected.

I've basically concluded it's some weird fear of rejection that doesn't manifest itself in more appropriate ways, like---in what I wear in public, how I act in public, my sense of humor...

I've come to terms with it, and I work hard when I need to---but I've just concluded that it's part of my makeup.

So, when I was dating J, I made every effort to be forthright and expressive. I felt that this was important in my relationship with him.

When we were engaged, I was living in St. Louis and he was in Kansas City. We were talking on the phone one night and I was missing him immensely. I suddenly felt compelled to share this with him. So I said aloud, "I really miss you J."

There is a pause. And suddenly I've done it. I've gone from cool--easy-going chick he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with, to that high-maintenance, needy chick who manages to compel him to work very late nights to avoid being around. I could just kick myself.

Then J responds, "Well, I haven't really missed you."

Of course it stung a little, but more than that, it REALLY made me laugh.

What a total and complete dork. I mean, seriously---who does that!!!???

I still make fun of him for that. It's actually the whole reason I started blogging. So I could one day make fun of him in a much more public forum than my own little social life would allow.

That night began the education of J on "Why it is important to lie sometimes in healthy relationships."

7 years into this gig, he's pretty darn good. Most of the time, so good, I don't even notice. There are times when I push it too far and he says, "Thin ice, Nobo, thin ice". That's when I just shut my mouth and move on.

So, it shouldn't surprise me that our little 6 year old carbon copy of J, does the same things.

Tonight I was laying on my bed reading. Mostly I was acting as bedtime warden, but managing to also enjoy a good book.

It's an hour and a half past bedtime and Bo calls out to me, "Mom, can I snuggle with you?"

It's hard for me to resist such a request. But if he comes to me, he won't sleep with the light on and if I go to him, I can't read.

So I said no.

Then 42 seconds later the guilt kicked in and I knew these requests were soon going to become few and far between. So I put down my book and went and snuggled with Bo.

As I scoot in next to him on his bed he says sweetly, "I asked that question because I knew I was pretty much the only one you can snuggle with."

"Mmm?"

"Well, you can't get on the top bunk with Avee because you'll break the bed and you're waaaaaaaaaaay too big for the crib with Danyo.

Thank you Bo. I'm sooooooo glad I came in here for this.

Now shut your mouth and go to sleep. Tomorrow your dad is going to teach you a few things about women....