Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Special Bonus Blog Post!

I'm often (twice) asked how Disgruntled Husband and I met.

It was this day, May 31, eleven years ago that I met DH. It was our first day on the job as camp counselors, and he was four hours late arriving to camp.

Once he got there, he talked so fast about why he was late and his parents' being there and how his white shorts got dirty because he just leaned up against his dad's truck, I thought "Oh, how nice. They have mentally challenged people work at this camp. What an experience for the kids."

(He knows that was my first impression, and yet somehow, I think I'm going to dearly pay for putting it out there on the internet.)

He was in my training group, a group of four other people for two weeks to teach us the rules and regs of camp life. There was nothing special about him. (Well, other than the specialness listed above...)

Cut to our first week of campers and DH and I were put together for the bible study portion of camp that week. At the end of the week, I told him two things...1.) He told a good story and 2.) I'd win any wet T-shirt contest. He agreed with the 2nd part. (It was a joke...and him agreeing with it kinda creeped me out.)

After campers left, all the counselors headed to the Wheel House for dinner. I had my car up with me and DH offered to show me how to get there.

We ended up in front of the Veteran's Hospital a town over.

The next day, he kissed me.

And then I tried to avoid him for a few days.

Then he started a series of notes that started our relationship.

Three months later, we were engaged.

So "Happy I met My Spouse" Day to DH. Eleven years, and I still think you're "special." But for different reasons.

My future's so bright...

I could have bought a Kindle and five e-books.

I could have bought that outdoor chaise lounge and a box of wine at CostCo.

I could have made a student loan payment.

But instead, I bought sunglasses. Scratch that. Prescription sun glasses.

I am officially old.

Since Adventures in Finding Gainful Employment has turned into Adventures in Rejection for Jobs That Pay $8.60 an Hour, I find myself with a lot of time on my hands this summer. And my summers include lots of fights time at the pool and juice box negotiations at T-Ball. Last summer, I sacrificed my ever-worsening vision for sunglasses. This summer, it's not an option.

Somewhere around November my eyes became truly dependent on my glasses, so much so that my day couldn't start without my spectacles. Before this, I could go hours or even days without them. The white flag has been raised.

It was either get contacts, get the fake sunglasses for glasses, or get prescription sunglasses. We went to the big city on Saturday, and I found myself in LensCrafters where Bernie talked me into a pair of sunglasses. (Seriously, his name was Bernie and he was like 21. Who the HELL names their kid "Bernie" in 1990?)

Do these make me look fly or LIKE a fly?

They were more than I wanted to spend (I wanted to spend nothing), but less than my local eye-glass shop. And I was told that by taking care of my eyes from harmful UV rays, I'd be protecting them from things like cataracts. So, essentially, buying these glasses was the ocular version of brushing my teeth? I guess.

JDub bought a pair of sunglasses a couple weeks ago, non-prescription, and paid only $50 than I did. Her rationale was that the rest of her could like crap as long as her sunglasses were hip. She also mentioned something about not needing make-up. By that same logic, I suggested she just go all out mom-jeans and stained t-shirt, but buy really rocking summer shoes to balance the glasses.

But I digress.

I have total guilt about spending the money for these glasses. I know I'm going to be outside a lot this summer and they will come in handy (that is, if my children don't break them, because that's what's happened to every $10 pair I've owned in the last 8 years), but I still feel vain and shallow since I bought them.

But the pedicure I had before I went to LensCrafters? Totally necessary.

(My eyes? They're pretty. My feet? Hobbits would be embarrassed. I have to try and keep them up for the sake of the general public.)

Vanity and common sense have a very small border.

Friday, May 27, 2011

An Open Letter to Grandparents

Dear Grandparents (and other generationally older relatives):

It has come to my attention that you may need a guidebook to understanding my generation and our children. You would think that, because you raised (or were nearby for the raising) at least one of my children's parents, you would be knowledgeable in grandchild/grandparent relations. For the most part you would be right, but you have not factored in one or two very important components to your relationship: your grandchildren's parents.

In sweeping my kitchen floor this evening, I found two Easter pez dispensers, a coupon for diapers, some crap from the Oriental Trading company and six unsharpened pencils, all with the name of your financial institution. And I just swept this morning. This stuff would be fine if 1.) It was Easter. 2.) My children wore diapers, 3.) We recently mugged a Sunday School teacher and 5.) Mini Me was starting a small business.

I would like to put a few guidelines in place for you and anyone in your generation that would like to show their love and affection to my children through gifts.

(Note: I know the thought counts. I have 8 and-a-half years of thoughts floating around my house. Times three. Emily Post says not to put rules on what people give your kids. Emily Post didn't step on a McDonald's Happy Meal toy an older relative once brought to her children this morning.)

1.) If it's kitschy cute seasonal stuff, please give it to my children at your house. Expect it also to stay there.

2.) When sending my children money, please do not make the checks out to them. A four year-old can't endorse a check over to me to cash for her. The tellers at the bank would also like to back this one up.

"You kids are our ticket out of Hoarders. Hang on, let me get you that broken tea kettle and gross of kite string I have for you."

3.) I'm glad you like garage sales and 2nd hand shops. If you give me clothes from either of these places, please make sure they are in good enough condition (not to mention, taste) for the consignment shop I visit to take them. Is my consignment shop better than where you got those clothes? Obviously, if my shop owner friend won't take the crap you sent me.

4.) If it's made of paper, expect it to be kindling in a day. This goes for cards, posters, souvenir maps of Branson (massive head shake of shame on this one), and place mats you got at Perkins (or similar eating establishments). And, to clear this up further, the $9 puzzle you bought that you were so mad at me for throwing out? Also made of paper. (The cat threw up on it. And it soaked in. I did not want my child playing with a puzzle with the regurgitated remains of Whiskas on/in it.)You spent $9 on interlocking pieces of cardboard for 3 year old? That's your problem if you're offended that it now resides in the garbage can.

5.) My kids are not your personal Salvation Army pick-up. Sure, Larry Potter and Hoover might like to look at your useless crap; do not give it to them. Have 100 half-drawn on Highlights magazines from the 1990s? Awesome. I don't want them. A guinea pig cage? Again, great for you; it's not coming into my house. (Nor is the guinea pig that would be natural succession of gifts on this one.) And, a biggie here, if it was worn by any member of your family in the 1970s, is mustard yellow and is monogrammed with that person's name, I have no use for it other than to actually donate it to a real Salvation Army.

I appreciate your cooperation on this matter. Consider it the Emily Post advice for a new generation.

The Snarky Mom

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer, how you scare me

My kids get out of school June 7th, but some moms only have until the end of this week to bask in the solitude. Or the hours they don't have to pay for daycare.

I'm nervous about the summer. All of my kids. Everyday. For three months. Sure, I used to do this on a daily basis before they went to school, but that's also when they used to take naps and not tattle and be entertained by Fisher Price toys or Dora.

In the spirit of psyching myself up for the summer (you know, fake it 'till you make it...) I've come up with five reasons to look forward to the summer:

1.) Can (theoretically) sleep in.
2.) Sending the kids outside to play will limit the mess inside.
3.) The Pool and all it's glory.
4.) Popsicles are the favorite snack and also the most affordable one.
5.) Shorts take up less room in the laundry, therefore making for less loads of laundry.

I don't know about you, but all except for number one seem like hollow victories.

Here's what I'm not looking forward to:

1.) The fighting.
2.) The summer activities that may cause me to empty my savings account.
3.) Policing the food so it doesn't become an all-summer open buffet of snacks.
4.) The whining.
5.) Bees.

(The last one only because my kids freak the F out at the sight of bees. I don't mind them, they rarely bother anyone here, except their mere presence convinces my kids that even though it's 80 degrees and sunny out, they should play inside the rest of the day.)

This woman obviously doesn't have any children.
I started this blog last July because I needed an outlet that wouldn't A.) Have me investigated by DCFS and B.) Put me on the fast track to a treatment facility. Now that I have the blog, what I am going to do? Will it be enough? These are genuine concerns I have.

Last year about this time, I wrote out on a paper calendar all of the activities offered by our Parks and Rec department, as well as our local library. We didn't make 98% of them. And the paper calendar just hung there, mocking me.

These days, I'm digital and Gmail calendar and I have sync'd up. And if we don't make something, I can just delete it. It may not be a winning scenario, but at least it's not a total forfeiture on my end.

This weekend, I plan on hitting CostCo for popsicles, lemonade mix, granola bars and Chardonnay. And then there's stuff for the kids (Ba Dum Dum. I'll be here all week, folks!)

I want my kids to have a fun summer. I would also like there to be minimal fighting, "I'm booooored"s, and hemorrhaging money for swim lessons and snacks. But, like the spring, I can't appreciate it fully unless I endure the winter.

The fall will just be that much more glorious if I suck it up for the summer. Or so my therapist will remind me around August.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Four the Love of God

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Mini Me is now four. She's so excited, she's been telling everyone from long-lost cousins to the mailman about her new age.

She's quite excited about being four.

I am not so excited about her being four.

Four so far as been pretty sh*tty.

The first week after her birthday (days from her birthday, mind you) I had to take a Mommy Time Out in the cart corrals of two different grocery stores. She had informed me, both times, that since she was now four, she didn't have to ride in the cart.

I asserted my belief that she still needed to.

She countered with an arm cross and a glare.

It went down hill from there.

The Saturday after her birthday, we all piled in the Limo (ha! I found the name for my new van!) to run some errands, and MM did not like her shoes. So, she did what any logical and rational four-year-old would do. She threw a two-and-a-half hour fit. With a 45 minute nap in between to rest up for the second half.

Oh no, I do not like four.

This is the look I get quite often. Only it's with her arms crossed and a lot of whining and foot-stomping.

I don't remember it being like this with the boys. Larry Potter was a good toddler and pre-schooler, it's only since elementary school has his attitude been something to be desired. When Hoover turned four, I was mostly relieved and optimistic that our days of screwdrivers and Poison Control were over. (And they were...for the most part.) I don't remember any truly horrible fits or battle of wills. In fact, I remember four being quite pleasant with them.

And then I had a girl.

And I am now thankful I did not have more girls.

I feel like someone has either flipped a switch or changed my normal, every day brand of daughter with a new brand for some sort of survey from hell. I'd like to keep my original brand, please.

This morning, we had a fight about her clothes. And after that was over, we had a fight about her walking into pre-school by herself. I'm sure when she gets home, we'll have a fight about where to put her backpack or what choices she has for lunch.

I'm tired and it's only 9:30. And she's not here.

Is five going to be any better? Should I start the countdown now? Only 352 more days.

Why didn't anyone warn me about this? Or (please God, no) is it just my daughter?

Moms of girls...help me make it through this year. Because if I can't get a handle at 4, 14 is going to be a real B.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Original Tassle Usage

The last family high school graduation my mildly psychotic lovable family had was my brother Ratboy's graduation in 2000. Ironically, even though we're a blended family on my dad's side and Ratboy is my only true blood sibling, I missed his graduation because I was too busy falling in love over fire pits and wood ticks at camp with the eventual Disgruntled Husband.

(Well, okay, that's not entirely true. About the time he graduated, yes I was at camp, but DH was nothing more than a co-worker that came to camp the first day four hours late and wearing dirty shorts. I missed the graduation because it was 5 hours away and I'd have to go there and back the same day. Sorry, Ratboy. I went to your jr. high graduation, and that counts, right?)

Eleven years later, we get to go to another one, and I'm feeling quite old. My eldest nephew (who I will call Fred, as in Right Said) is graduating this weekend. It's on to the next generation now.

Fred was born my first day of high school, and I was such a geek, I calculated just how much older I was than him. (Fourteen years, five months, six days, and a half-an-hour, with an embarrassed headshake.) What can I say, I was excited. We had just become a blended family a few months earlier, and being an aunt was definitely something that wasn't going to be in the cards before that. (Unless Ratboy, who was 11 at the time, was really, really "advanced" for his age.)

And, as I passed down to Larry Potter, I was excitable and extremely aware of just about every situation. Which pretty much translated to me being annoying and super worried I was going to miss something. So when Fred was born, I was all about it.

I used to babysit Fred, and later, his brother Rocky. I used to ask to go over to my step-sister's house to bake cookies with them or give them presents or just bask in their cuteness. On my senior skip day, instead of going somewhere awesome, and possibly illegal, I played mini-golf with the boys.

Yoohoo, Fred! Over here! Come give your favorite aunt a big smooch!

In college, Fred came to spend the night with me once every year I was there, starting when he was only four. (As my step-sister said, "Four? He was only four and I let him to college with you?!")

And now, sniff, he's going to college himself.

If any of you were aunts (or uncles) before you had your own kids, you can understand. Fred was a big part of my teenager-y-hood. He and the rest of the nephews and nieces were like my own little observational course in child rearing.

(I used to say that they were good birth control. My other step-sister laughed about this at Easter and said, "If they were such good birth control, then why did you get pregnant 10 minutes after you got married?" Uh....I have no answer.)

The good thing about being the aunt is that since it's not my kid, I can be sliiiiightly inappropriate. For his last birthday, I gave him this book as a present, inscribed with "To my weird nephew [Fred] from his creepy aunt." I also took him and Rocky to their first concert ever, Weird Al, and somehow I don't think either of them have mentioned this to their friends.

I have to come up with a good gift for him. I think he wants money, but since he's going into fire science (he wants to be a fireman) I thought about getting him an assortment of local establishment matches, some charcoal lighter, and some baking soda so he could get in some practice before the fall. Sadly, I think DH is going veto this.

And in preparation for this weekend, I asked Fred's mom, as well as Fred, if I could bring the air horn. I got "No way" and "Yes!!!!!!" respectively. Don't worry, I'm not bringing it.

I downloaded an air horn app on to my phone. It's way classier.

Congratulations to Fred and everyone else graduating this year. May your gymnasiums not get hot and moist, may the speeches be short and not douchy, and may your aunts bring noise-makers and spray-painted bedsheets to the graduation.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Can You Sway Them To-and-Fro?

There's a new word and sensation sweeping the under-five-foot crowd here at home. It's a word, a joke, an insult, and a point of fascination.


It started maybe a month ago. At first, it was just Larry Potter and Hoover exchanging words they heard on the bus insults. You know, "Poop! Butt! Underwear! Boobs!"

And now its morphed to other things. This morning, I heard Hoover talk about bras. Both by saying "bra" and calling it the "Bowl-holder."

(I did actually try to correct him, but he didn't hear me. Probably best that way.)

It's even gotten to Mini-Me. She has asked me if she could wear a bra, and when she's changing, tells me, "Don't look at my boobs."

Come on.

Boobs played a part in my own life, but not at 8, and definitely not at 4. Why are they so aware now? I blame two third graders on the bus, but know my own son is definitely not blameless.

LP thinks my bras are funny. Actually, most people do. I had one hanging up to dry when JDub came over one day and I think she almost fell down the basement stairs because she was staring so hard at it.

(At the time, her own daughter got her first bra and it was December. I told JDub to take it home for her daughter and hang on the mantel so maybe Santa would fill it like a stocking.)

All right, now we have to ship this to The Snarky Mom!

And while it's true that the older (fatter) I get, the bigger they are, they weren't exactly microscopic in high school. I was D then, and try as I did, it didn't get me any more attention with guys than without them. (Probably a good thing. Had it been different, I could be writing about my 15 year-old twins...I'm 32.)

They definitely were not a blessing. Every homecoming dress zipped to "right about there" (imagine me pointing to the middle of my back). While my friends had cute little bras with straps a quarter inch wide, I had the three inch versions, with 85 hooks and eyes to clasp it. I have a scar on my left one from prom (which my friend J pointed out was 15 years ago yesterday) because I decided to tape the girls down with heavy duty masking tape so my dress would fit better.

Later in life, I was a breast-feeding dropout. You hear stories of women that can cook dinner, sweep the kitchen, wash the dishes and solve the world's energy crisis, all while standing up, breast-feeding their baby. I was not so lucky. It was definitely not a one-handed job for me. In fact, if I could have rigged up a boob sling from the back of the La-Z-Boy, I would have. One hand was for the feeding, and the other was to keep the kid from suffocating.

Disgruntled Husband is worried about MM already. "How old were you when your boobs grew in?" he asked me. He did not like the answer. He also did not like to hear that women on both sides of my family are well-endowed in that area. I believe the shot-gun is on layaway.

I'm on my way to school right now for their end of the year picnic. I'm sure I'll hear "boobs" somewhere on the playground today. Well, at least they aren't saying t*ts.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Unhealthy Relationships with Google

I received a new phone in April. Rather, my contract was up June 1st, and I became eligible for a new phone April 1. I may or may not have stayed up past midnight the night of March 31 to order my phone. Really, it's all a little fuzzy.

So now, I am the proud owner of a touch screen Samsung. Or does it own me?

This thing is slick. I feel like a high powered attorney or New York executive with this thing, rather than what I really am, a struggling Wisconsin housewife with an attitude and bratty kids.

But hey, it's all about perception. Or attitude. I can't remember at this point.

It's not like I had many options with which phone I got. Since I share a plan with Disgruntled Husband, and he has to have a data plan, that means I have to have one too. (Though I wonder just how productive he is with his severe Angry Birds addiction.)

Now, I had a Blackberry before, and it was cool. I could get my email on it and Facebook, plus it took pictures, and I loved the keyboard possibly more than life itself. But that was about it. Now that I have my new phone, a whole new world has opened up to me, confirming what my friend suspected:

Google is going to take over the world.

And I'm okay with that.

Before I got this phone, I had my regular email address (on the archaic AOL webmail server. Techno-geeks, you may now cringe) and a Gmail address I made for this blog. Well, imagine my surprise when I realized I could sync my Gmail contacts with my new phone, along with my Google calendar, automatically.

(Cue Handel's Messiah.)

Oh calendar feature, what did I do without you? I now have my appointments on my calendar, a separate calendar for the kids (which I color coded), and I set up DH's phone, so the kids' calendar syncs with his phone, too. Speaking of DH, once I showed him Google domination his Gmail account calendar syncs with his phone automatically, he has shared his password with his secretary so she can put his appointments on his calendar and he never has to call frantically from court ever again.

(Well, at least not for his schedule, right Carol?)

There's also the small matter of apps. That is, how I love them and letting me count the ways.  I have apps for cooking, for lists, for the news, for my stocks (I have two stocks, checking them makes me feel smart), I even put one on there to shut my kids up occupy my children during times they need to be quiet. (Like during the longest Easter service in the history of Christianity. Good thing my brother came too, so we'd have three phones available for the kids.)

Now I have Larry Potter telling me he needs an Android, which is an upgraded request; he used to just ask for a cell phone. (I told him he can get a cell phone when he's at the age I was when I got one...which is 21.) Who's he going to call, the Tooth Fairy?

I bet there's an app for that.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Foundation (and eye shadow and lipstick) for a good life

Somehow, I have gained 10 pounds since my trip to Boston at the end of March.

I discovered this a few weeks ago, and after trying to stretch out all of my shirts, decided I should probably do something about this.

It's not going well.

Did you know that poor food is a hell of a lot cheaper than the healthy stuff? We're in a lean (definitely no pun intended) time of year right now, and grocery shopping hasn't been as awesome as it usually is. (Dear Michelle Obama: if you're looking to cut down on childhood obesity, make lean cuts of meat as cheap as Mac and Cheese.)

So, I've decided to do something drastic.

Anyone who knows me knows I have, ahem, a surplus of self-esteem. I also have the opposite of anorexia - I think I'm thin. Combine the two together, and I'm a self-proclaimed unstoppable hottie.

But it's time to face the facts: triple chins just aren't "in" anymore.

So, as a way of dialing back the self-esteem a bit (one could even say punishing myself), I have decided to deprive myself of a wonderful pleasure I partake in each and every day.

I'm not wearing make-up until I'm down at least five pounds.

Do I look natural?
Here's why: I've decided that when you're the size of a circus barge, no one is looking at your face anyway, so why put the effort in? And trust me, this is like big time sacrifice for me; I love my make-up. Sephora and I have become BFFs recently. And did you know Yves Saint Laurent makes red-head mascara (for $30 a pop)?

My love of makeup stems back to grade school when I was unsuccessful in convincing my parents to let me wear eyeshadow to school. In second grade. Later, my older cousin Jennifer would give me her cast-off makeup (and this was the late 80s, so you know it was colorful and toxic and awesome).

By the time I'd worn my mom down convinced my mom to let me wear make-up, I had already accumulated my own personal arsenal of coral and blue shades. Which I paired with my bright red lacquer lip gloss. Oh yes, I was the toast (and looking back, the entertainment) of 7th grade.

I'd gotten my act together in high school, and stuck to the neutrals that us redheads are sentenced to.

My senior year, my best friend Janie and I were in the same AP English class, and one day, she went on a rant about make-up. It went something like this:

"Girls and women shouldn't wear make-up. It's so fake and never looks real or good. I can't believe women have been painting their faces like this for centuries. It's time to stop. I just think make-up is awful and no one should wear it. Except for you Jess, you just look weird without it."

(Years later, she is the one that took me to my very first Sephora, so I think her mind may have changed; at least about the rest of the general public.)

So, my uneven skin tone, dark circles, small eyes, light eyelashes, and freckled lips will be munching on salads and turkey burgers. And scaring people at the local SNAP fitness with my "weird" looks.

And if this doesn't work, I may just give up showering. It takes a village, you know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

4 Going on 14

Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of officially having more drama in my life.

That is, it was Mini Me's fourth birthday.

After a pregnancy riddled with complications (I blame my job at the time for the high stress), seven ultrasounds (all medically necessary), a stint on bedrest (got some Christmas presents made), and a severe daily craving for strawberries, Mini Me was born. She was three weeks before her due date and a week before her scheduled C-Section.

Once the doctors got to her, it was literally five minutes before they pulled her out. On my side of the curtain, I heard that she had buried herself under my ribs and was actually fighting with them when they were trying to pull her out.

Like my other kids and their births, I should have known MM's birth would be indicative of how she was going to turn out.

The red hair wasn't a surprise. When Hoover was born, his hair was also red, though not as bright, and his eventually morphed to strawberry-blond, then to just blond. MM's hair looked like it was red to stay. Back when Disgruntled Husband and I were dating, he said that he thought we would boys without red hair, and girls with it. Score one for DH.

(Also of note: when it was getting close to my due date, DH's secretaries told me "Any day but the 10th" because DH had some very important meeting or deposition or something. I'm not sure whether to blame the willful disobedience on me or MM.)

Quit stretching out your dress! I said quit it! Hey! Well, I guess if you stretch it, you can wear it next year, too.

As a baby, she was my worst baby, but I grade on a scale; the boys were pretty good babies, and MM was too, just not as good. I do feel bad, however, that my response to the question "Is she a good baby?" was "I've had better."

I do remember fighting with her at 18 months over a pair of pants she didn't want to wear. I can't believe it started to soon. I guess in her defense, the pants were hideous, but we were running late and I needed her dressed.

MM is about as dramatic and willful as they come. I'm told she reminds people of another such little girl. And I thought all of my "payback" for my childhood was wrapped up in Larry Potter. I guess I had more to go around.

She's my shyest child. Well, scratch that. She's not shy; she's stuck-up. She's not going to take the sucker from you, Bank Employee, because she feels she is better than you. (Or if she does take it, she's certainly not going to stoop to your level and thank you.) I have some work to do in this department.

So happy birthday to my little clone. May you have more self-control and common sense than your mother.

Holy Eye Rolls

Now that THAT'S over.

So sorry about the hiatus. It was birthday mania around here, coupled with Mothers Day and some unscheduled trips to the big city, and here we are.

How was every one's Mothers' Day? I got breakfast in bed, but I had to share it with the baby birds. 

It was after breakfast that things got interesting. It was also the day of JDub's daughter's First Communion. Now, we're not Catholic, though I had a lot of Catholic friends growing up. And I needed to buy a present for JDub's daughter, but was pretty lost as to what I should get her.

A text message to Even Snarkier Mom got the ball rolling. 

Me: What should I get a girl for First Communion?
ESM: When do you need it?
Me: Um...in two hours.
ESM: Nothing like waiting until the last minute.
Me: And it has to be from either Walmart or Kohl's.

ESM suggested a picture frame, which was great because Kohl's carries those. (I decided to class it up a bit and not get her present from Walmart. You're welcome, JDub.)

We get to the party, and my kids scatter for the three hours we were there. Seriously. I fed MiniMe some fruit and Hoover came up for cake...and that was it. Not that I'm complaining.

At the end of the party, Larry Potter emerges and sees the loot that JDub's daughter got for her special day. He's almost indignant, yet doesn't say anything.

Hey LP - I got picture frames and Rosary beads and a white dress. You  get ZILCH because you go to a Presbyterian church.

Once we are home, I decide that we're all going on a walk as a family. That's when we hear LP's opinion.

(Somewhere two streets away from our house, in a loudish voice)
"I'm Catholic," LP announces.
"You're what?" I say. 
"I'm Catholic, so I need a First Communion party, too."

Riiiight. I'll get right on that conversion for ya, buddy.

"No seriously. It's not fair that [JDub's daughter] gets presents. I want presents, too. I want to have a First Communion and be Catholic."

Note to self: be more involved in the Lutheran-Presbyterian world you're supposedly raising your children in.

Because, apparently, it's all about the loot and nothing about the religion.

I'm sure there are worse reasons people have joined The Church. But I'm still making LP wait until he's 18. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

What I do for love...

Happy Blog Reader Appreciation Day!

(I created it myself. I'm sure Hallmark will pick it up next year.)

What I'd like to is create a section on my blog at the top called "Friends with Attitude" where I can post your blogs. Does that sound good? Email me or comment below or on Facebook if you'd like to be included, your blog address, and your first name (or handle).

Think of it like a big Snarky convention where we all sit around eating chocolate, stealing the centerpieces, and get to know one another. You know, without the airfare.

And...in the spirit of the 1st Annual Blog Reader Appreciation Day, I have a little treat for you.

Remember when I said if you all were good, I'd put my horrifying video up?

I guess no one's been in the Principal's office this week. ::sigh::

I can't believe I'm showing this to anyone. I must love you all very, very much.

This is 6:38 of a very awkward phase in my life.  I'm the red-head on the red team. The one that has a nice shot of her hair in her mouth, the one that keeps dropping the dishes, and the one whose very awesome fluorescent-cuffed black knit pants are in a shot near the end. Oh 1989, were you good to anyone?

 I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Note of Gratitude

Dear Readers,

I want to let you know how much I appreciate your support. Well, at least your readership. I'm not so vain to think that everyone that's ever found this blog supports what I'm writing.

I had an epically horrible day yesterday. I don't know if I should go into details or not (it's not libel if it's true, right?), but the horribleness was only emphasized by single-parenting it this week while Disgruntled Husband is away, gracing others with his disgruntledness. As I told JDub, the first night of going solo, I was like June Cleaver while Ward was away. I cooked from scratch, I picked up, I was patient and kind and heck, the kids even went to bed without any lip. The second night (last night) June Cleaver left and I was Mommie Dearest. This is why it's good to have a bad day when there's another parent there to make sure the kids don't land in therapy. At least not any sooner than they would otherwise.

If you're a single mom or dad, I bow to you.

This is what you all are to me!

Last night, as I attempted to have the liquor cabinet for dinner (kidding...really...it was just a glass of wine), I read some of the comments from yesterday's post. And then down the line at other posts' comments. I read these all the time. Most of the time, I don't respond because it's not like Facebook that lets you know when some one's commented. But if you comment and have a blogger page, I have been to it. And if you have a blog, and commented with a link, I've read it. And you all make me smile and give me the warm fuzzies.

I need to figure out how to respond to all of you better. But until then, I declare tomorrow is Blog Reader Appreciation Day. Not sure what that entails (please comment if you have some ideas), but it will rock.

Thanks again everyone. And let it be known that I sent up some Celestial Suggestions yesterday of what could be done to the person that made it so awful. (And thanks to Craig for going to lunch with me yesterday and saving a community from wrath.)

The Snarky Mom

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dan Quayle works at Culvers

So I have three kids and no paying job, and as such, I may have a little more time on my hands than most. Couple that with my background in journalism and grammar, and I'm your worst consumer nightmare.

For example, right after Mini Me was born, I was sent a flyer from the local eye doctor's group, telling me about all the fabulousness they have going on. On the back was a map of the area with all the offices pinpointed on it.

Except they got my office in the wrong county. I should know; I live across the street from it. So, I called the number on the back of the flyer, explained what was wrong with the flyer, and got transferred to 4 different people.

It was the last person, who I believe was the Director of Marketing, who was appalled at their mistake. She confirmed I was correct with the office manager of the location across from my house. I heard through the grape vine that the office manager wondered if I didn't have more to do except look for mistakes.

That stung a little, but, come on, why didn't someone at that office correct corporate? It's not hard.

Driving along last week, I spot this:

The sign scrolled, so I had to carefully time my cell phone camera with the sign. All in the name of grammar.

And you know I just couldn't leave it alone.

I call the business. (It's a Culvers.) I ask for a manager. "I'm a crew captain, can I help you?" the young voice said. ::Sigh::

After trying to start off with a Dan Quayle joke (she didn't get it), I tell her about the typo on the sign. There was silence. I tell her how I was an English major and notice these things. Silence.

Finally, I just said, "Potato doesn't have an "E" in it."

That, she understood.

I haven't been by again to see if they changed it. Or if they just decided to take sweet potato fries off the menu. Either way, I'm planning to drive by to look at my grammatical victory.

It's one thing to have something misspelled on Facebook or in a note to someone. But that's a sign on a parkway. Run it by spell check first.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Can I Cell my Husband?

I had planned to do a birthday post yesterday for Disgruntled Husband, full of lovey-dovey compliments and cute anecdotes.

And then yesterday actually happened.

Instead of writing a blog post about DH, I didn't get a chance to write a post at all. DH lost his cell phone.

A little background on DH and, well, anything of value or convenience: He loses things. He breaks things. Sometimes he breaks things while he loses them. Every car we've ever had, DH has crashed, totalled, bumped or broken. He once lost his keys in a snowdrift; we found them in the spring. Every time he takes off his wedding ring and sets it down, I find it and pocket it until he has a mild panic attack wondering where he put it.

Cell phones are a special kryptonite to DH. Every phone he's had, with the exception of the first, he has lost or broken, requiring a new one. And I'm convinced the only reason that didn't happen with the first phone was because it was the size of the dorm room he lived in.

(My favorite was when it fell out of his car a few winters ago, he didn't realize it, it got hit by a snowplow's blade and we found the battery. The rest of the phone showed up in the gutter after the snow melted.)

So over the weekend, when DH couldn't find his cell phone, I wasn't exactly sympathetic or amused. He accused Mini Me of hiding it, when, in-fact, I knew he was his own perp.

Yesterday morning, with him freaking out about it, he asked me if I would look for his phone while I was home. Only because he's leaving for a business trip today did I say yes.

The up-side to this was that my entire house got a deep cleaning. I found 11 pens, $2.34 in change, some missing socks, an earring back, some half-eaten string cheese (gross), and a few missing baby pictures. But no phone.

DH has a mugshot at the Sprint store for being a cellular abuser.

Because I needed a phone for him quicker (and cheaper) than what I could get through the cell phone insurance could provide (they make a lot of money on us), I took an old Blackberry of mine and switched it over. It took an hour to actually switch the number, plus a lot of time to set up his e-mail accounts, Facebook, and a few key phone numbers in his address book.

He got home at 5:30 and found his cell phone at 6.  He handed it to me and asked if I could switch it back.

Oh, there were words not appropriate for children.

I handed him the old Blackberry, which was working with his phone number, and said I would later. I went to the grocery store for a few things (like liquor, at this point) and came home. I sat down with the computer and his phone, ready to switch things over.

I needed the old Blackberry to turn off so I could finish the switch. I asked DH for the Blackberry.

He couldn't find it.

"Are you f-ing kidding me?!"

I don't get paid enough for this sh...crap.

In his sheepishness-turned-frustration-turned-anger, he actually said to me, "You say you looked in here for my phone. So how come I found it? I told you I was sitting over there the last time I saw it."

(It was in-between where the two parts of our sectional connect, completely flush with the furniture, not on the floor. Which I did look in and feel for.)

He's lucky he came away from that statement with both testicles. And equally as lucky I wasn't armed.

He did find the Blackberry, eventually. And then the data plan wasn't working. Which, in the end, I had to sit on hold with Sprint and fix. Because he didn't "know how."

At what point to do I stop blaming his mother and start blaming myself?

He left this morning for his trip, with his phone. On his way out, he told me that he did laundry last night, and now the dryer wasn't working.

F-ing A.