So Stella decided to make her own breakfast.  No biggie, she does that pretty much every day.  Today, unbeknownst to me, her choice was pancakes.  But, not wanting to go through the trouble of actually cooking them, she decided to just eat the batter.  Outside by the chickens.  And share with them.  Why share with the chickens, you ask? Because they like it! Of course.

For the record, chickens like everything.  Ok, there is one brand or gluten-free products whoshallremainnameless that makes horrible, horrible things (except cookies, their cookies are awesome.)  I bought a mark-down of cinnamon rolls from this company.  The chickens won't touch it.  The dogs won't eat it.  Well, our dogs won't eat it.  I haven't tried it on Deanna's dogs, they have a less discerning palate than my dogs, and maybe less than my chickens as well, so they *might* eat it.  Bets could be made.

Suffice it to say that the chickens would eat nearly anything and of course liked pancake batter.

Chickens are not dainty.  Soon chickens and children were covered in pancake batter.  

The girls came in to ask permission to use the hose. This is because they were banned from hose use earlier this week for somehow removing the hose ends.  You know those permanently attached metal ends that screw onto the faucet? Yes, they pulled those off of two hoses.  How? They just fell off.  Ok, yeah, whatever.  No unsupervised hose use anymore.

So the girls needed to use the hose to bathe the chickens.  Right...chicken baths.  So they carefully cleaned off each chicken in the sandbox-turned-pool (with just water) and wrapped them in a towel and held them until they were dry, after which they moved on to their next victim.  I mean, next chicken.

Lest you think I'm kidding, photographic evidence:








Just another day of chicken love and child mayhem at our house.




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It has happened



Stella is vegetarian.

I knew it was coming.

The child has never liked meat in her life.  She's always loved beans.  She would eat pintos from the can.

She gave up pig around Easter becoming a non-pigatarian.  I knew it was a slippery slope to full vegetarianism.

The day has come. 

We now have Jack Sprat and his wife living with us.  Stella will eat no meat.  Sandis will eat no vegetables.  Stella's is the easier to deal with.  And healthier too.

And no, I don't see her changing her mind.  And that's ok.




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There's a wormhole in Greeley!



It has been one hell of a week, and it's only Tuesday.

I'll start by saying that I knew it wouldn't be a great week to start with because my boss is out of town so I'm working a lot.  Not only that, but I'm in charge of making sure everything gets done and runs smoothly.  Normally, that isn't a problem for me, I've been in management, juggled multiple projects, am very organized (shut up, I *am*.  When I want to be.)

But I am super stressed because I don't want anything to go wrong.  I've had zero experience being the person who runs the show in this job.  Usually it's, "here's a list of houses, go take the pictures."  Now it's, "here's a giant list of houses, you need to sort them and prioritize them and get them all done, and don't let any of them go late."  I like to know what I'm doing and have a system.  I like to have time for a trial run of the system.  That wasn't happening.  Trial by fire, baby!

My way of dealing with that? Do everything.  Yep, I try and get every last stinking house DONE and out of the giant list.  Then I know it's all ok.  Everything is then done.  Can I do that? Not and remain sane.  But my over-achiever, super-power work ethic kicks in and I try.  It's incredibly stupid, but I cannot stop myself.  Seriously, I can't.


I try and figure out how much I can do in an hour to budget my work time.  Makes sense, right? But that gets thrown all out the window when suddenly you drive somewhere crazy.  Seriously, the one house the GPS and my mapping program said was IN Greeley.  I drive to Road O (that is a real road, people, I'm not making this up) and the GPS says, "turn right to off road and continue to address."  On the screen? A vector off into space.  So yes, I did enter the wormhole and arrive at my destination in record time! It was awesome! I bet you didn't even KNOW that Greeley had a wormhole, did you?

Well, damn, it doesn't.  Turns out, after getting out my handy Colorado Atlas and Gazetteer, I only had to drive another 15 miles east from the alleged wormhole to find my objective.  That was more than an hour for one. stinking. house. 

And if that weren't enough, guess what else? Flat tire.

That was yesterday.  That is OVER, I told myself this morning.  Today is a new day!

A new fucking day, I should have said.

Yes, today was lovely too.  To start, left my GPS at home.  Discovered that only after dropping the girls at play practice all the way across town.

Next, I got my paycheck in the mail yesterday and needed to get it in the bank asap.  Well, since I got it yesterday afternoon and really needed it yesterday morning, my bank account was over-drawn by $20.  Crap.  Well, guess what, they won't cash your check if you don't have any money to cover if the check were to bounce.  Crap again.

I ended up at one of those vanpiric check-cashing places.  It would cost $30 to cash a $400 check.  I couldn't wait for the bank to clear it because I needed gas NOW (see above story about driving all over hell and back yesterday.)  I bit the bullet and went ahead.

It took the inept cashier person an HOUR to cash the check.  She had to enter this.  And enter that.  And what was she supposed to click on now? Oh, better ask.  Co-worker left? Well, I need to call then. What is your phone number again? Oh, the computer says the number's wrong.  Oh, that's because I put it in wrong even after you told me four times.

I wanted to grab her and shake her! I wanted to say, "for fuck's sake, we are talking about $400.  You people swindle people at 800% interest.  You have the spare cash.  I'm pretty low risk.  Just give me my fucking money!"

Finally got money which led to getting gas which led to working. Whew!

The girls decided they needed to bicker non-stop.  Then Stella proceeded to tell me off about how much she hates this job.  Apparently I want her to sit in the car being bored and either freezing or roasting all day.  If I really cared, I would get back one of my old jobs.  Keep in mind:

  • she hated those jobs too
  • she didn't go to work with me yesterday, she got to play with her friends.  All day.
  • today, we'd done two houses when she started her tirade.  
  • she has at her disposal: books, drawing, writing, coloring, music, games, knitting and audio books.  She couldn't do any of those things because she either didn't want to or didn't bring them, despite me telling her to pack/bring them.  It's all my fault that she wasted over an hour this morning and  she couldn't pick up a bag that was already packed.  When I said we had to leave or be late to play practice, her play practice - that was right when she was going to put all the good stuff into her bag that was already packed.  It's my fault
  •  yes, she HAD taken her meds.  

So, to sum up my week:

Tire - flat
Bank account - over drawn
Gas tank - empty
Kids - cranky
Mom - stressed
Beers drank - one (yes, only one, not two, so I wasn't drunk)

Well, that's not really my week.  All of that has been remedied other than the stressed mom.  I think I should apply more beer.




Angela, if you read this, know that I don't blame you.  I am anal-retentive about everything going right and stressing myself out.  I know that.  It's not your fault.



Moms reading this, yes I know my stress is contributing to my kids' stress.  I'm VENTING.  I write all the stuff down here rather than duct-taping the children to the wall.  It works for me.  I have never duct-taped children.  Though one time Stella did tape herself into a chair with electrical tape.  But I told her not to do that ever again.  And she was sad that she couldn't do it anymore.  She's weird.

The end.



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Sunday Accomplishments, or Not



So *I* didn't accomplish anything today.  I wanted to clean the house but it was too damn hot.  I retreated to the basement with my book, computer, fan and Diet Dr Pepper.  I finished my book, took a nap, read some internet stuff...basically, nothing.

But, Brian did both things I asked him to do - mow the lawn and take the recycling to the recycling center.  I think that counts as me accomplishing something because it was my idea.  He may disagree on that but that doesn't make me wrong! He can't even comment on my alleged wrongness here on the blog but *I* get to approve comments, or not.

My kids also accomplished something too, naming grasshoppers.  We now know:

  • Bob
  • Sam
  • Pop-eye (because one of his eyes is popped out)
  • Jumper (original! Surprised there's not a Jump, Jumpy, Hop and Hopper too. At one point they had named various stuffed toys Stripe, Stripes, Stripey and Rose, Rosie, Rosa, Rosalie and Rosamaid - and heaven help you if you called them the wrong names!)
  • Tiny dude
  • Cross-y leg dude (don't ask me)
  • Lemon
  • Fart (Fart was Stella's and it escaped, I'm told.  Get it, "Stella's Fart escaped?" It is Stella humor to a T. And being made fun of on my blog is what she gets for naming a grasshopper, Fart.)
  • Spitty (another escapee)

How did we end up with all these named insects? Well, the girls decided that some of the grasshoppers they caught to feed the chickens were too cute to suffer a quick and horrible death.  So, instead, they decided to make them pets, where they will have a slow and horrible death.

You see, Grasshoppers aren't the best of pets.  Besides the obvious, being they have no real redeeming qualities other than as food for something else, they tend to not eat or drink too much in captivity and slowly dehydrate away.  Since they are pests and people put out diatomacious earth to make them slowly dehydrate in the wild, not to mention spray nasty stuff on them to kill them more quickly, I don't deny the children their pesty-pets even knowing the hoppers will die.

Please know, they do care for their little friends as best they can.  And if they weren't pests, I wouldn't let them keep them at all, so please don't fear for the other creatures of our yard.






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Underwear, and lots of it!





Today, much like everyday, I told Stella to get dressed.  For some reason, even though the girls have to get dressed every. single. morning. it comes as a complete shock when I tell them to do it.  Like they are hoping I'll forget that they need to get dressed.  And then maybe I'll forget about showers.  And brushing hair.  And eating food other than candy.  And then, I'll forget about chores. And bedtimes.  And school work.  Before you know it, I'll have filthy, feral children who are ecstatically happy.  And you know we can't have that! I don't want them to be happy!! :P

In any case, I told Stella to get dressed because she had knitting class this morning.  She did and came out in a lovely dress and a devious smirk.  Stella says to me,"I'm wearing ALL of my clean underwear! There are <pause while she hikes up her dress counts in front of me, and the front window> 17 pair.  Every day, I'll just take off the outside and inside pair and wear one of the middle ones!"

This is her genius plan.  I don't know why or how she comes up with the these things.  Sometimes you just have to roll with it.  And sometimes you tell her to take off 16 pair of underwear and put them away.





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Boobs (o)(o)




You know when it gets so hot out that you decide to wear a baggie shirt so you don't have to wear a bra.  Because really, your boobs aren't that big anyway.  And you're too hot to care.  And you're too old for anyone else to care.  But then, because you're old and nursed two kids for a 3.5 and 4 years your boobs are somewhere south of where they used to be.  Which is really kind of amazing considering their small size.  Still, because they are, um, lower, they get pinched between your body and the car door when your husband parks too close the neighboring car and you have to squeeze out because you don't want to ding their door.

And when your daughter jumps in your lap, hello, your boobs are there and get smashed again.  And you start thinking that maybe wearing a bra isn't such a bad idea after all.

You know how that is?

Me neither.

Know what else I know nothing about? Being such a klutz that while getting in the car the door swings back and bashes you in the side of the head in leaving bruises.

Yep, I know NOTHING about that either.



                                                                                                                                                             

I did that there line with a strikeout on spaces because I don't actually know how to make a line in html but I  an improvise! How about that!

Anyway, this is just a reminder to vote.  All you do is click, which takes you to the website where you then do nothing.  Or you can do something, but you don't have to do something.  It's easy.  Thanks :)

Guess What?!?!?





Guess what?!?!? You can totally vote for me! Do it! Do it now! Vote early, vote often!

Ok, you probably want to know why you can/should/must vote for me.  Here is the story:

Some of my three readers find me a decent writer and amusing to boot.  I appreciate that because, well, I like doing it and I am trying to be funny.  It would be bad if I wasn't trying to be funny and they were saying I was funny, but that's not the case so it's good.  Got it? Ok.

Since I'm amusing to a few people who I know, I wanted to branch out and get my blog noticed by more people.  I'm hoping to get a small following.  Maybe someday I can write a book about all of this and my kids can die of embarrassment hate me forever reminisce about their childhood.  FWIW, the kids find me amusing right now and don't mind anything I've posted about them.  When I say, "this is going on my blog."  They respond with, "YES!!," like they just won the lottery or get extra ice-cream.

To get that bigger audience, I applied to Top Mommy Blogs.  I was nervous and apprehensive.  Their email said that they get lots of applications, have a waiting list, won't hear back for up to 14 days, blah, blah, blah.  I figured it was worth a shot so I applied on Monday.

I received an email TODAY saying I was accepted! Woohoo, I'm published! And not my silly thesis about entomology/precision farming that took me years to research and longer to write.  Or a preposterous article in a peer-reviewed journal or a ridiculous paper in a conference proceedings based on my research.  No, this is REALLY published! People get to read about my life and laugh.  They get to feel better about their own failings after seeing mine.  They get their day brightened by a smile.  That's what it's all about :)

So, if you want to help me out on this journey, what you do is click on the Top Mommy Blogs icon over on the right side-bar.  Or click here. Doing that gives me votes.  When I get enough votes, I get a pet dragon! Ok, no, I don't get a dragon.  I wish I got a dragon.  What I get instead is to get better placement if I get more votes.  Then more people see me and I get more votes.  And then more people see me and I get more votes.  And then...well, you see where this is going, right?


You can vote once every day so start clicking everyone! Otherwise I'll never get that dragon.


ETA: There has been some confusion.  All you have to do is click and go to the page.  You don't have to vote or anything once you arrive.  If you wanted to browse around and read, that would be great, but not necessary.  

Step Back



I always loved Halloween and a big part of that is costumes.  Having kids only makes it better because then you get to figure out how to create their costumes too.  I've transformed them into Jack Skellington, Fluffy, the 3-headed dog, an owl, several Harry Potters and more.  Then they started doing plays and that meant more costumes.  I created a fox, a bunny, some pirates...it was so much fun to figure out what we needed to transform regular kids into fantastical, imaginative creatures! But this last play everything changed.

The girls have their own ideas of how to create their costumes.  They are able to figure out what raw materials they need and using sewing machines, glue guns, sharpies and more, create what they had in their mind's eye.  It may not look like what I expected, but that really doesn't matter.  It's their costume and their time to shine.  It's time for me to step back and let them grow up. 

Hopefully they don't grow up too much, I need someone to go trick-or-treating with when I'm 60 ;)


My Sorcerer's Apprentice

And Dragon

And a Squire too!

Aren't I a good boy?!



My computer constantly likes to update itself.  It seems that the authors of the operating system feel the need to improve upon their work at least weekly.  It will install the updates and then put a tiny hidden note in the corner, "I'm going to reboot in 10 minutes if you don't say no! I can't possibly wait until 3am when you are asleep anyway and not using me, silly woman. Oh, and if you do say no to rebooting now, I'm going to do this nearly invisible asking again and again and again until you let me reboot!"

It's like a child begging for ice cream.  If my child begged me every 10 minutes for ice cream I would NEVER give it to them to teach them a lesson about begging.  Of course, computers don't learn that lesson and as soon as you turn your back, it grabs the ice cream and eats it all up.  Or rather, reboots itself.  Personally, I'd take the ice cream.  And I have some ice cream in the freezer.  And some hot fudge too.  What was I saying?

Oh right, computer.  When said computer reboots itself, it closes down all your programs, incorrectly, so that they all come back with fearful messages of the apocalypse.  You have to talk all the programs down from the ledge one by one and assure them that life will continue and it's ok.  My programs are needy like that. 

And the computer? It is all proud of itself! "I just installed shit and rebooted for you! Aren't I a good boy! Look at how good I was!!"

Fucker.


Chicken Penis

  

This headline should get me LOTS of blog hits.  When I have a good title, lots of hits.  Plain boring title? Not so much.   But you know when I get the most hits? When my spelling and grammar are atrocious and I have to go back and edit it 15 times.  Yes, I could set it so it doesn't count when I look at my blog but that is just wrong.  One, it makes me happy to have hits which I can pretend aren't from me.  Two, I am a person viewing my blog and I count too, so there!

Right, the story of chicken penis.

We were driving across the country chatting with the girls when Brian reminded them that they should not make flat, pancake suckers out of ball shaped suckers by placing them between the headrest and seat in his car.  While that might be showing ingenuity and knowledge of physical science, he didn't care to make his car a sticky mess.  Why would someone not like that kind of forward thinking? Cleanliness over letting your children's mind expand? Weird?!

He then went on to recommend that they put said sucker into someone's butt cheeks to flatten.  Yes, the girls found that hilarious and many minutes passed where all you could here was cackling and the words "butt cheeks" from the back seat.  Some how this idea digressed into making actual pancakes in people's butt cheeks, not just the candy sucker variety.  I seriously doubt I'm related to these people despite growing two of them inside me.

Feeling that he hadn't caused enough trouble, Brian then claimed he would be famous if he had waffle iron butt cheeks.  For the record, I told this story three times to Brian's various relatives over the week we visiting.  Each and every time we go to this part, Brian would pipe up with, "and I would be famous if that were true."  I. cannot. make. this. shit. up.

Surprisingly, the girls found this to be even MORE hilarious than the pancakes.  I think they may have been over tired.  Or delirious from riding in the car for hours on end.  Or my children.  Perhaps all three.  Brian finally grew tired of the shrieks combined with the words "butt cheeks."  (hello, Brian? YOU started this!) After telling them 47 thousand times to not say "butt" again, he, lacking foresight, said, "Stop saying butts! Why don't you just talk about chicken penises instead."

Yeah, they calmed right down.

And they didn't say "chicken penis" randomly or repeatedly for the next week.


  

This morning I was brushing my teeth and glanced at the counter and saw a grasshopper's back leg.  WTH? I called Stella and asked WHY there was a grasshopper leg on my counter top.  She scrutinized the arthropod appendage before declaring, "nope, that's just part of a leaf"  and then bounced away.  Of course, she left it sitting on the counter because leg or leaf, you wouldn't want to clean it up.  I'm not sure which it actually is, but in either case, it does not need to be kept on the bathroom counter.  Or kept at all, for that matter.

So that's the kind of house I live in.  One where you could find legs of insects strewn about.  You have been warned.

In other news, I've ruined my oldest child's life because I didn't allow her to free the chickens from their pen ten minutes before we had to leave.  Yes, it does take her 15 minutes to round them all back up.  And yes she could have gone into the pen with them.  But you know, I'm unreasonable and simply trying to ruin her day/week/month/life.  I'm doing a good job of it, n'est pas?

I've been out of my mind (and home)

   

I haven't posted in awhile because I was off to Wisconsin visiting the in-laws.  Call me paranoid, but I don't like to publish on the internet when my house is sitting empty.  Not that any of my 3 readers will break in.  Not that there is anything to take (that 150lb tv maybe?)  It's just a paranoia of mine.  One of many.

We left for our Wisconsin-Iowa tour via the lovely state of Nebraska at the end of June and returned home just a few days ago.  Road trip, of course, with all the ups/downs, trials/tribulations that entails.  While gone we visited friends Tiffany and Karen as well as grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles,cousins...and a bunch of people I am related to by marriage but I have no idea how or who they are.  That's ok because they are Brian's relatives and he doesn't know either.  We missed out on seeing some friends while there, notably Mitch and Jackie, but we just didn't have enough time for everything and everyone, sadly :(

It was about a million degrees with 638% humidity but there was air conditioning there so I didn't care a bit.  Also, it was home.  Wisconsin will always be home, no matter where I reside.  When I feel the humidity, see the lush foliage...I will feel content.  I like Colorado and have many friends and connections here, but it isn't home.  I long for the day I can move back to Wisconsin.  I also dread it because I will lose the wonderful and complex support network I have here.  Still, if the opportunity arose, I would be packing my bags....