Saturday, March 19, 2011

Death and Taxes

My husband and I went to have our taxes done this morning. We (and when I saw WE, I mean HE) usually do our taxes ourselves but his employer did something funky this year so we had to have someone else do them for us. We weren't happy about it, but we had them done.

As opposed to taking the kids with us to sit through an hour of Chris talking to the guy, he went early and I showed up 45 minutes later with the kids in tow. It just made sense but of course when we got there they weren't finished so instead of listening to my daughter test how loud she could scream, we walked out of H&R Block and down the strip mall to the Dollar Tree.

I've never been a huge fan of the Dollar tree. The only thing I've ever really purchased from there were pregnancy tests and even those things had issues. I was pregnant with River for 6 weeks before I knew it because I took a test every Monday and every Monday it said negative. Turned out I was pregnant the whole time. FAIL. Thank God my boobs hurt and I felt even bitchier than normal or I would have continued buying those damn things for months!

Anyhoo, we go into the Dollar Tree and look around, just to waste time. I didn't even take my wallet because I knew we weren't buying anything. As soon as we walked in Owen picked up the dumbest toy on the planet. It was one of those kaleidoscope toys that was probably made in a forced labor camp on the outskirts of Beijing. It had tiny little coloured balls and pieces of confetti on the end, perfect for choking. I made Owen put it down so he wouldn't get some crazy ass idea of taking that piece of shit home.

As we walked further into the store we started to smell the tale tale scent of a dollar store, lead paint and cheap batteries and I began to wonder why I didn't just suggest we play in traffic. It probably would have been safer. I decided just for shits and giggle to take a look around at some of the crap they sell in dollar stores just to make me giggle while we passed the time. I started out with candles in the shape of a t-shirt. WTF? What are you going to do with a candle that smells like pomegranate (and when I say POMEGRANATE, I mean ASS) that is shaped like a t-shirt?

Just when I thought that had to be the dumbest thing in the store, I came across this:

It's a tripod that costs a dollar. Yeah, because I can't think of anything better to do with my $1100 camera than sitting in on China's best $1 tripod. Fail!

Moving on to the "if you let your kid play with this, you should be in jail" section, we came across a terrible deed that has been done to my very favorite artist. It pained me to see this Vincent Van Gogh "Where does Van Go?" shit, even in the dollar store. You cut one ear off and all of the sudden you're the butt of every joke.

We came across a section of porcelain crosses. If you're a regular Dollar Store shopper I suggest buying one of these. It can't help to have God looking over you while ingesting "canned meat" that looks like dog food or chocolate covered cherries that clearly state on the package "contains no fruit." WTF? What is that in there cause I'm envisioning a cockroach.

Whenever there are glasses, sun or otherwise, River loses her shit. I'm not sure why but she screams "I want glasses! I want glasses!" over and over again until I give her some to play with which makes going to places like Walmart or Target a nightmare because at some point we have to leave and I'm not buying her a pair every time we go so I have to take them from her and she screams louder that should be humanly possible. She does it on purpose because she knows I hate it so.
These glasses were at her level so, double whammy.

I think this might be the most redneck thing I've ever seen and I'm from the redneck riviera so that's saying something. Camouflage eggs? Is this what war does, makes these things cool? I think it's kinda on the funny side but I've always been weird about camo. I know some people are into it but I show it the respect it deserves and don't feel comfortable buying it for my kids. War and hunting. That's what it's for. Easter eggs? Not so much.

This is River sitting on the ground, drinking the Kool-Aid that is the coloured eggs. She's refusing to leave until she plays with the eggs. I told her we weren't buying anything. So the screaming she did as I dragged her back to H&R Block was really not called for. No one wants to go to H&R Block, but relax already.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Blogger

I had a shitty day yesterday and the thought of going back out in the world again today gives me the shudders. So, instead of dressing my family for battle, we're staying in.

Luckily I did a guest post for today and am featured on The Scoop on Poop! I'm the Scoop of the Week! I was featured on her blog on Friday as well. You can see that post HERE.
I created the post before the bitter winds of yesterday hit me so it's on the friendlier side. Besides the fact that I am featured, she has a really good blog so you should check it out. Really good blogs are becoming harder to come by. She has a sense of humor and beautiful children, including a daughter who looks like a young Tatum O'Neil......pre cocaine.

So swing by if you get the chance and read my post about getting rid of the little things.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kids Are Assholes

Columbia Maryland was one of the first cities I lived in when I originally moved from Nashville. It wasn't the first but it was the one I lived in the longest so I earned the right to say anything about it that I want. You might say I have tenure. Subject I majored in? Assholeology.

THIS, is Asshole Central:

Against my better judgement Chris and I loaded up the family and drove to Columbia this morning. The reason was purely selfish. I wanted to eat at Houlihan's. We'd been to one when we took Owen to see Thomas in Hershey PA and I'd really liked it. They have the mushrooms that I really love and since Chris isn't a friend of the fungi, I never get them. Had I thought it out clearly I would have preferred to stay home and gnaw on my own foot but I was blinded by 'shrooms so to Columbia we went.

Chris had a great (sarcasm) suggestion. "We could take the kids to Centennial Park and let them play." Now I had suggested taking the kids to the park here before Columbia ever came up in our discussions so the park was my idea. Centennial Park was all Chris. I didn't really want to go there but I guess it made more sense than going to a park here and then driving to Columbia. Never again.

I hit the asshole drivers who have no idea where they're going as soon as I crossed the border into Howard County. I have been called an asshole driver once or twice before but the difference is that I know where I'm going and if I don't know, I don't make the rest of the world suffer through my learning curve. So by the time we even pulled into the park I'd had more lane changes without warning and signal usage with no intent on turning than I could stomach. My mood was fowl.

We drive up to the playground and I notice immediately that every store in the county must be closed because every school aged child was at this particular playground. I can deal with crowds but that wasn't the problem on this sunny day. The problem? Every kid on that playground was an asshole. Yes, I said ASSHOLE! I don't care if they were 5 or they were 10, if your kid was on the big playground at Centennial Park today around 3ish, you need to have a talk with them about what it means to NOT BE AN ASSHOLE!

The assholes were swarming and it wasn't just the kids. I mean they were a HUGE part of it and I yelled at more than one of them to "BACK OFF MY KID!" but the parents were just plain worthless. My favorite was the father who was playing tag with his kid ON THE PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT! WTF? Do you not see my fucking two year old? You better recognize cause I'm two seconds away from making you legless!

Wait, it gets better:

Here's a photo of some asshole kid telling my son he needs to stop what he's doing so that his friend (who isn't even visible probably because he's imaginary) can get in front of him.

I'll be honest, as a loving mother I wanted to pull a Hand That Rocks the Cradle on his ass! My little angel stopped what he was doing, as the little snot rocket asked and lucky for that fucker he moved before I dropped my camera and got over there or I would have told him to fuck off!

Here's a photo of my daughter as she prepares to go down a slide that is pretty steep. She's ambivalent because she has that right and perhaps holds up the line for a bit and when I say "a bit" I mean 10 seconds. So instead of waiting the little booger picker behind her decides to give her a little shove. Nothing too severe thankfully, for him because had he actually pushed her down that slide I would have climbed that steep ass incline like Godzilla and eaten his ass for lunch.

Here's the problem. I've seen both my children dish out a healthy dose of ass. All kids can be assholes. I guess I'm just the only one that is willing to admit that. Guess what? So can yours! The problem comes in when parents can't admit that and think their kid would never do something bad or even mean. Assholes aren't born, they are breed. If you raise a kid to think they do no wrong and that the sun rises and sets in their asshole, then guess what you're gonna get? Yep, AN ASSHOLE! Your fault, but the rest of us are the ones who suffer. Well you'll suffer too when they start stealing your smokes and "borrowing" your car at 3 AM. No worries. I'm sure they'll return the keys as they're crawling back into bed with you cause you know you're a co-sleeper.

The only time it will really be a problem for you is when you run into people like me. Your kid is an asshole? Well I trump you in asshole and raise you one total bitch. I don't know what it means to suffer in silence and God willing, neither will my children and until I know they can do it on their own I am their voice and if your little fuckers ever put their hands on my kids again I will show them and you what an asshole really is.

I don't know what's happened to Columbia but it has gotten worse since I moved. I was practically begging my husband to leave. I was hungry and I didn't feel like spending the night in jail for punching a bitch in the mouth. I mean where are the parents when they're kids are acting like this? If either of my children pulled any of that shit I would jack them up. I don't spank my kids and I don't think you need to to teach them that acting like that is not acceptable behavior. But then I guess that's why they don't do this kind of crap. Also, as a piece of advice to lazy parents, if you're going to take your spawn to the park and sit on your ass and talk to yourself while wishing you didn't hate yourself and your kids, just stay at home. It's safer for everyone.

The sun was out today but it came home with me.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cribs Are For Babies

I love milestones. Well, I usually love milestones. I love them while dreading them while feeling sad about them if that makes any sense. Everyone wants their kids to crawl and walk and talk and speak and sing and learn to do things on their own. You take those things for granted until your kid is either behind in reaching those milestones or just never gets there.

I know what it feels like to wait for a milestone that feels like it will never come. I also know what it feels like to wait for my son to reach a milestone while he sits in a classroom with other children that aren't as lucky as he is so today when I took apart the beautiful Munire crib that held both of my babies as they slept through most of their first two years, I was gleeful, in a bittersweet kinda way.

I am clearly blessed with two babies that are healthy, happy and so much fun, but I already long for the babies that disappeared to make way for stomping feet, luscious hair and begging voices. I miss the 3 AM feedings when I rocked my son to sleep in his room while falling asleep myself in a rocking chair that I've already seen my husband eyeing to be Craiglisted, which is no where near happening.

We've had this big girl bed that we bought from our friend Alexa for a while now. She outgrew it and her mom already got her a big girl bed. I was completely against toddler beds when I had a 45 pound 2 year old because that would have been crazy but now that I have a remotely normal sized child, it just made sense. She could be in that thing for a year or more before we have to buy her a bed which will almost certainly be a trundle. No need to buy a HUGE bed for that little room until we have to, but it is a moving experience to take apart a crib you spent months shopping for and worrying about to make sure you got the safest one available. I never questioned if my babies were safe when I left them in this crib (until they threw themselves out)and no price tag was too high for that piece of mind.

Somehow when I wasn't looking, this:

Turned into this:

and this:

Turned into this:

Owen's transition was a three week nightmare of catching him hanging from the side of his dresser or ripping down his curtains. I once went into his room and caught him pulling a Tarzan on the roman shade so when I put River down, walked out of her room (video camera in hand and DSLR around my neck) I had little hope of a smooth night. However, as always, my kid shocked me. She turned over, sung a few songs (Beatles and Bruno Mars ~ YAY!) and went to sleep! She didn't even move from under the covers! I gave her some bunk beds tonight for her dolls and we put them in bed, laid her down and Owen and I walked out of the room...and that was it.

What a lucky mother I am to have such kick ass kids!


May have turned into this:

..and while my "babies" may be gone, I got the best thing I could have ever hoped for. I get two kids who while they argue about everything that isn't bolted down, they are best friends. Owen may always need to have his cheese stick first, but he makes sure his sister gets one too.

In the end, I miss the crib that was so good to us and I'm sad as I see it in pieces in my hallway:

Because I remember it when it did this:

My husband should be happy to look at that rocking chair in our daughter's room and also kissing the sky that I'm not 10 years younger, because if I was, I'd be asking for another baby, not just holding onto sweet memories in a gingham blue rocking chair.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

I just don't want to miss anything.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Princess River

The kids and I went to a local park to meet our friends. It was a nice day and we were ready for some sunshine. We've been stuck in the house or at least doing things that have kept us inside and I felt like we were going to get rickets if we didn't get into the sunlight.

The kids played with their friends and I talked to mine. I chased Owen while taking photos, just like I always do. I also chased River to make sure she didn't get kicked in the head by a kid on a swing. I'm not sure why but a kid on a swing has a gravitational pull for my off spring. Owen did the same thing when he was little. I can't tell you how many times I had to drag him away while another parent held a swing in the air with a kid dangling precariously above his head. River is the same. Its just weird.

So as I was doing this I ran into a lady who I'd noticed had been staring at River or at least looking at her from time to time. I wasn't sure why she was doing it but if I'm being honest, I have to say that this happens often. I just think there is something striking about River. She's beautiful but that's not really why people do it, I don't think. It's mostly the hair but she's just got a look about her that was made for photographs. That is a blessing for me. For me to have two photogenic children is more than I could have ever hoped for.

While I was playing with River on the slide the lady with a light Spanish accent came over to me and said "Your daughter is absolutely beautiful. She is the spitting image of the Princess Margarita of Spain who lived in the 1600s. She was painted by Velázquez. Even the way she wears her hair to the side in the barrette."

My husband was the history major while I majored in photography so I knew nothing about this person she spoke of. I thanked her for saying such sweet things about my daughter and assured her I'd Google this princess when I got home to take a look and when we got home Owen went to school and I put River down for her nap, I did just that.

I've heard all kids of things from people when they see River. I've been told she looks like a young Reese Witherspoon when I put her hair in braids.

Someone once told me she looked like a young Madonna. I didn't get it and I don't see it but I'll take it. I tell her everyday she's a rockstar so it seemed to fit.

I usually smile and don't put much thought into it but when someone tells you your kid looks like a princess, I think it's only natural to want to see what that princess looks like and for once, I can kinda see what the lady was talking about.

Since I could see the resemblance I decided to do some research and find out something about her. She was born in 1651 and was the favorite child of her father, Philip IV of Spain. This is a coincidence because River is definitely one of my favorite kids! She had four kids and many miscarriages and died at the age of 21 and is buried in Vienna. Not too uncommon in the 1600s to die at such a young age.

This is the most famous painting of her by Diego Velázquez. It's called the Las Meninas or in English: The Maids of Honour. It's in the Prado Museum in Madrid so chances of me ever seeing it are slim, but it's a nice baroque painting. Doing all this research on an artist makes me miss my days of art history.

There are a lot worse things than having a stranger tell you that your daughter looks like a princess. She certainly thinks she is one so this almost feels like a full circle moment.

Princess River. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time this comes up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pimpin Me Out

I was contacted by a company (who will remain nameless) who would like to send free product for me to try out and review. The email said that the chick had been looking through "family blogs" and came across mine, thinking I would be a perfect fit for their company. She mentioned my "Valentines Day" post as an example. Ummm, what? This is the same Valentines Day post where I said that the best thing I could do for my kids was to teach them to look someone who was treating them like shit in the eye and say "FUCK YOU!" So, I'm pretty sure she didn't even read it.

Not everyone wants to pimp their blog out for profit. Sometimes I get a little annoyed at blogs that just review things because it isn't real. If you just have a blog to make money from products that you review, why would I think it would be an honest review? You have a fiduciary relationship with the product and its makers.

I blog to keep a record of my life, not to bring extra money in. Hey, I'm not against extra money but not everything is for sale. If I were to review product, I think they'd expect the way I speak and come across to change. The conversation would definitely change if I were trying to make money here, so I'm not interested. Not to mention that if you sent me a product and it sucked hard, I would say "It sucked hard!" How could you possibly read my blog and think otherwise? I guess I'm not totally against a review or a giveaway but it has to be something cool. I wouldn't just give away a frying pan or a hairdryer. Maybe I'll be more open to it when the right thing comes along, but that hasn't happened yet.

There must be something in the proverbial waters because I got another request from a different company as I sit here typing this. Random.