Saturday, August 31, 2013

End Of Summer Wrap Up

It's been a full couple of weeks...we're getting ready to send Lauren off to Preschool, we've made numerous trips to our favorite beach to squeeze in every last bit of summer fun we possibly can, I celebrated my 29th birthday again, we have 2 more creepy ass library rental puppets - who may or may not be possessed - (despite my desperate attempts to kabosh said puppet rentals), and I've started watching Dark Shadows on Netflix - the creepy old prime time soap opera from the 60's.  I LOVE's right up my ally! 

So most exciting of all -  my little girl is starting preschool, which means that back to school clothes shopping is in full swing.  She's like a little preteen 4!  She picks out clothes, then we head into the dressing room where she tries things on - mixes and matches - twirls around to see what kind of lift she gets with the little frills at the bottom of a dress, and then of course...tries on her tiara to make sure everything comes together. She literally has 7 tiaras she wears daily on a color coordinated rotating basis.  We have to bring several tiaras clothes shopping with us so she can get a feel for the outfit.  We were at Target the other day trying on clothes - mind you - we have 15 articles of clothing and could only bring 6 into the dressing room - and of course we have Benjamin (3) with us.  Ben doesn't quite understand this whole clothes shopping thing, and assumes he should be trying things on needless to say it's a big fiasco in the dressing room.  Tiaras are flying, dresses being tried on and yanked off... Lauren twirling around with her little tween attitude, Ben yelling, "Mama are these boy clothes?"  as he tries to get hot pink pants on over his shorts.  Ben then gets bored and starts to climb underneath the dressing room door - the pink pants stuck half on one leg - while Lauren declares "I want them all, Mama!"  Yes, a happy chaos :)  

Meanwhile, the babies are abuzz about Lauren's new adventures into preschool.  Ben is quite excited for her, but I think they're going to really miss each other.  I had dropped Ben off one day at Brian's mom's house while I took Lauren out shopping...and as soon as we pulled out of the driveway, Lauren said she already missed Ben and asked if we could call him on the phone.  It's so precious.  However, they also have little petty ridiculous fights now, too.  For example, Ben just came in to inform me that Lauren "won't stop looking at him."  I go in the kitchen to find Lauren with a little evil smile on her face and ask her what's going on.  She shrugs her shoulders as if to say "I have no idea"...then stares at Ben while he gets worked up into a frenzy.  Now every few minutes I have to yell into the kitchen "Lauren, stop looking at your brother.."    Now I feel really bad about what my sister & I probably put my mother through :)

On the birthday front, I turned 29 on Tuesday.  Yep.  I was 29 last year.  I'll be 29 next year.  Just ask the babies - they'll tell you. It was a wonderful birthday - in fact one of my best "29's" yet!  Lasagna, cake, pedicures and new flip flops.. and after the kids went to bed, Magic Mike with the volume muted.  Life is good :)

Finally, I'm totally obsessed with the old Dark Shadows soap opera from the 60's.  I found it on Netflix and can't get enough of it.  I'm a huge fan of anything scary, creepy, Halloween-ie, vampire, who-dun-it, murder mystery, etc.   Halloween is in fact, my favorite day of the year and I just love the month of October and all the scary movies, fall weather & house decorating that goes along with it.  So I guess it should come as no surprise that when I was little, my very first imaginary friend was Count Dracula.  Yes, he would pick me up in his Dracula mobile and we'd go out to dinner, which was actually a tea party in my room with various stuffed animals and cabbage patch kids. In my little imagination, he was quite nice - just a misunderstood vampire with a really cool cape. A big lug who enjoyed tea parties and listening to my storytime read along records with me.  My imaginary friend was the Prince of Darkness...what all of this says about me, I don't quite know...but I'm sure Freud would have a field day with that one. 

...And on that note, Happy End Of Summer :)   Hope you all had a fun, relaxing summer filled with lots of family, laughter & of course wine!  Happy School days to all those sending their little ones off to school in Sept.  Let the fall festivities begin...and of course don't forget your color coordinated tiara!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

No Balls At The Library

My kids spent a weekend at Grandma & Grandpa's a few weeks ago, and my mom managed to dig up this gem from the 80's from her way back machine (aka the basement storage that also houses several yellow rotary phones).  Without further adieu I give you this pink Garfield plastic lunch box...I'm not sure if it was mine or my sister's - but in any event, it's an antique.

And the best part about it has to be the stickers on the back...the roller skate is my favorite...

So of course the kids thought it was just awesome since they'd never seen anything like it before, and Ben decided to take it along home with him.  They basically like anything that is at someone else's house that is not theirs.  Which explains why he also wanted to take home all my mom's cat's toys.  You know...the little stuffed mice and little plastic balls with bells in the center.  So my mom, being the good sport that she is and giving her grandkiddies anything they want, packed up the cat toys into the Garfield lunchbox and sent 'em on home.  Ben and his pink lunchbox full of cat toys have been inseparable ever since.

Flash scene to a few days later -  We had decided to head to the library to return our lot of books for a new bunch, as well as 2 creepy ass, germ laden puppets that are available for "take out" at the library.  That's right - there is a bin of hand puppets available for the kids to take home for 2 weeks at a time.  Whose bright idea was that?  Course these things have been through the wringer and God knows when the last time they'd been disinfected was.  They have matted fur and loose eyes that look in several directions at once. And now my kids are obsessed with taking out new ones each time we go.  So we were heading into the library, Ben clutching his pink 80's lunchbox in one hand, and a rubber spider-man bouncy ball in the other, and I realized there was no way I could allow Ben to take a super bouncy ball into a library. The lunchbox was harmless, but the ball could do some damage.  As expected, he didn't take the news well when I told him we had to leave the ball in the car.  As the meltdown in the library parking lot ensued, I realized I'd have to resort to absurd measures.  So I gasped and pointed at the library entrance and said "Look at that sign!!"  Both kids stopped dead in their tracks and craned their little necks to see.  "What does it say mama?"  Lauren asked. "It says "NO BALLS IN THE LIBRARY" I told them, a concerned look on my face. It was so absurd that I couldn't even keep a straight face.  I had to hide my head in my hands for a second so I could laugh at myself.  But it worked.  Ben slowly handed me the spider-man ball...a look of awe on his little face.  Both looked from the "sign" to one another.  At the door they wanted to know which sign warned us about NO BALLS IN THE LIBRARY so I pointed to a random sign that said "no smoking". We get into the library, and Ben feels it's his duty to inform each person we come across that there are "NO BALLS IN THE LIBRARY!"  I suppose it was my own fault, but now I had a 3 year old screaming at everyone in the library that balls were not allowed.  Needless to say, we got some strange looks.  Best I could do was usher them into the kids room toward the bin of puppets, in hopes he'd become distracted trying to figure out which creepy puppet he was going to take home this week. Luckily my plan worked, and we found ourselves at the check-out desk with a pig and a duck puppet. As we were waiting in line - a few people in front of us - Ben & Lauren were passing the lunchbox back and forth when it opened up and the cat toys spilled out all over the place.  The little belled balls rolled every which way.  Tiny stuffed mice spilled out onto the floor.  Everyone looked on...obviously confused.  Lauren, Ben & I chased the cat balls trying to round them up before anyone tripped.  Ben screaming "No Balls, Mama!  You take balls in the library, Mama!" 

...and this is what it's come to.  Chasing cat toys that fell out of my son's pink 80's Garfield lunchbox around the library while my kids scream "No Balls at the Library.." Serenity. Now.

Next on the agenda for me will be sneaking in the kids rooms tonite - "Mom Ninja" style - in an attempt to pry the creepy ass, germ laden puppets from their little baby grasps while they sleep, and make those things disappear back to the library before they notice their gone.  That way we can hopefully avoid the automatic puppet exchange next time we go to the library.  In fact, I think it's time to find a new library altogether...after the lunchbox/balls incident, I'm thinking it's time for a change. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Well, I'm Speechless

All kids are born with certain hardwired behaviors that are just inherently present in their little baby brains.  These things aren't learned just know how to do the following... Destroy a clean room in a matter of seconds , Ask "Are We There Yet" 462 times on a car ride, and my favorite - EMBARRASS THE HELL OUT OUT OF THEIR PARENTS...

So the other day we had pulled in the driveway after a run to get mommy some coffee at Dunkin Donuts and our very nice mailman - "mailman Al" was just coming through to deliver our mail.  Al is a pleasant,unassuming man in his early 60's - who delivers our mail at the exact same time every day.  We see him and wave, make the usual small talk - you know..."It's a scorcher out there today - stay cool!"....that sort of thing.  Anyway, the kids had just hopped out of the car when we saw Al, and both Lauren & Ben went running up to him screaming "Daddy!"  WHAT??  I. WAS. MORTIFIED. !!!!!  First of all - WHY?  And secondly, how the hell do you recover from something like that?  I did a quick scan of the neighbors houses to see if anyone was outside to witness this fiasco, then gave Al the best eye roll and "Oh those silly kids" look I could muster as I shook my head and laughed.  Al, in attempt to save some face and escape the embarrassment, handed me one piece of mail and said, "that's all I got today!"  To which I replied "Well, No Ga-news is Good Ga-news"... Yes, I quoted Gary Gnu from The Great Space Coaster.  I don't know why....I guess I was just all thrown off from the awkwardness of the moment.  But yep - I did it.  I'm pretty sure Al had no idea what I was talking about, as he shot me a strange glance and chuckled nervously, then walked as fast as I'd ever seen him walk - bee lining out of our yard - AKA - The Land of Crazy.  I don't how things deteriorated so quickly that morning, but that's all it takes - a 20 second exchange with the mailman is all it takes to earn the label of "the crazy house".   When we got inside I asked the kids why they would do that and they just laughed.  Evil little taunting laughs. 

Just days later...and still reeling from the Mailman Al fiasco...I had the kids at the movies.  It was one of those oppressively hot and humid days where the AC had been on full blast for days on end and I needed to give our electric bill a break, so I figured I'd take the kids to see a movie where it's nice & cool. We weren't the only ones with the same idea, as the movie theater was jam packed.  At the end of the movie I took both kids into the bathroom for a potty break.  At this age, I need to take them both in to the bathroom every time one of us has to go - at 3 & 4 they're obviously too young to wait outside the bathroom stall for mommy, so any kind of privacy is just off the table.  So there we are in the big family sized bathroom stall - all the other stalls were occupied and there was a line out the door of people waiting to use the facilities.  And it's my turn to "go".  As usual, both kids are staring at me - they like to praise me - as I praise them - for using the potty - occasionally blurting out "Good Job, Mama!  You go on the potty like a big girl!"  I can hear people in line waiting chuckling a little.  Ok.  I mean, nothing too personal - right?  Well then....and I apologize in advance for the TMI...but this story was a must tell....I pull a pad out of my purse..monthly feminine issues and all that fun - and both kids are looking on totally puzzled.  OH GOD.  I try to distract them by giving them my iPhone to play games with - and hopefully not snap a picture of me and mistakenly put it on Facebook - but no, they didn't want anything to do with the phone.  The bewildered looks on their little faces watching the pad secured in place... I mean, what else could I do??? And then Ben looks at Lauren and screams -SCREAMS- "Mama wears a diaper!!"   And Lauren's mouth opened wide as she realized that's what was going on here, and she screams, "Mama, you wear a DIAPER!  Mama, you not potty trained!  Mama you go pee pee in your diaper!"  I'm not kidding you when I tell you there were at least 12 other people in the bathroom and another 10 in line.  22 people.  At least.  I tried to "Shhhh" the kids.  I told them it wasn't a diaper.  "Then what is it Mama?"  I contemplated my explanation options and decided on "It's not for babies to know about".  ????  I just wanted to get out of there at that point.  All I can say is that when we came out of the bathroom stall, all eyes were on us.  And as the kids washed their little hands they were abuzz about their new revelation.  There was nothing I could possibly do but give the other women in that bathroom the little smile that said "I'm going home to start drinking"...

Needless to say, the kids are still talking about it - I hear them talking amongst themselves in the backseat of the car or when they're doing an art project.  Like they're trying to figure out how and why mommy still wears a diaper.  Maybe...if I'm really lucky - next time we see mailman Al, they'll mention it to him.  Yep - wouldn't that just be great ga-news??