Whiny...It's me for a change

Picture of viruses - I'm guessing mine is the pointy-stabby bitch

Yes it's ME who is whiny, not the kids.  Well, they are too.  Because they are kids.  They are always whiny at some point during the day.  But enough about them, this is about me being whiny.

I'm sick.  Sure, it's just a cold.  A nasty head cold with an explodeyourhead headache, slime, raging sore throat and sotiredandachy body.  It sucks.  I tried to pass it off as allergies which worked for a limited time.  You see the symptoms are quite similar.  And I do have allergies, and they suck too.  But it's gotten too bad to blame on weeds and such.  Weeds don't put me to bed before 10pm.  Pollens don't ravage my throat.  Dammit germs! <shakes fist>

I hate being sick.  I don't like having to lie about.  Seriously, I want to choose to lie about, not be forced to lie about! I have to lie there in spite of all the things I should be doing for it to be meaningful.  This tired, achy mustliedown thing needs to GO!

And then there's the fact that I know the kids will get it.  Pretty much inevitable since both their parents are sick.  Then I'll have to take care of them and be trapped in my house right when I start feeling better.  So not fair. 

Plus right NOW they run around like not-sick maniacs creating chaos and mess in their wake while their father and I weakly admonish them to clean up after themselves.  I can almost hear their mental laughing at our queries.  Once I'm better, the amount of work I'll have to do will make me lie on the couch in earnest.

This is my pity party and I'll cry if I want to, so there!

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How can it be that I have this strange and interesting life of mine and haven't posted anything amusing in a week? Have the children been ill? Or were we just too busy? Not so much.  Just not inspired to write, I guess.  I a bit of malaise creeping into my life.  Not sure what's up with that. The weather is behaving fairly well, I should be happy, dammit!

Well, since it's been a week, I'll give you a quick run down of what we did:

  • Last weekend - went to Colorado Springs for Brian to run the Pikes Peak Marathon.  Headed down Saturday afternoon and came back Sunday evening.  Did a bit of playing at the arcade in Manitou Springs and a quick trip through Garden of the Gods. Was nice to get away, even just overnight. 
  • Monday - work, lots of work.  Also working at the church rummage sale.  The children INSISTED we help at the rummage sale, despite the other work I had to do.  Sandis actually hid and cried when I told her I thought we might skip working at the rummage sale.  WTF, kid? You don't come and talk to me about it, you just run off and hide? I said that to her, in a much more nice and motherly way.  She's been moody and shit all week.  Damn hormones, I think. 
  • Tuesday - more work, more rummage sale. 
  •  Wednesday - back to school orientation day for the quasi-school.  Same quasi-school, new quasi-location.  It is really a pretty awful location.  The kids have 4 different buildings in which to have classes - one of which is a garage, another of which is in a bldg that should probably be condemned.  Also, PE and recess are in a parking lot.  Really? There isn't a better building choice in all of Loveland? Still, it's the teachers/classes that they like so I don't care too much about the location if they don't (and they don't.)
  • Wednesday night - Rummage sale SHOPPING! Best rummage sale in the land - it's like our church opens up a thrift store for 4 days.  A highly organized and erratically priced thrift store. Seriously,  I got a lunchbox similar to a Bento Box for $0.50 and saw a box of maybe 20 plain white pipe cleaners marked at $5. 
  • Thursday -  friends over for the kids then another trip to the rummage sale for jeans for Sandis.  Finally got the last of their school supplies for quasi-school.  I'm actually glad we get to school supply shop because that's something I always loved as a kid - all the brand spanking new supplies.  Still, running around to multiple stores to find GEL glue andnootherkindofglue is a huge pain in the ass.  As is looking for 1/4" binders.  I did ask the teacher about those and she said 1/2" would be fine.  Thank goodness.  Do they even make 1/4" binders? Probably they do, and then they'd cost 10x the price of a 1" one.  Especially when you can get the 1" ones at thrift stores for like $1.
  • Friday -  Buckhorn work.  In the home stretch for Buckhorn, only 3 weeks left and the room rosters are turned in.  Picked up a wooden dollhouse off of Craig's list to make a haunted dollhouse (my newest endeavor - more on that later, with pictures :) 
  • Friday night - ended the day at CSU's Shakespeare at Sunset - a vaudevillian production of a Comedy of Errors.  Well done and highly entertaining! Got to see April & family, and Ryan, who was the pianist for the show.  Of course, moody girl was being annoying at our picnic dinner and then refused to sit within three seats of her sister at the play (even if someone was between her and her sister, she needed EMPTY seats too.)  Damn not quite teenager who are really only 10 and shouldn't be this moody yet!!! 
  • Saturday morning - kids and Brian went to the Healthy Kids run.  I started cleaning the girls' room.  What a horrible job that is! Gave up after a couple hours and will go back another day.  Went w/Brian out and got Stella some of the most horrible shoes ever made, toe shoes.  As if flip flops aren't bad enough with their one thing between your toes, this has something between each. and. every. toe.  Nasty.  Makes my toes curl up just thinking about it.  And they are expensive. But the girl does run funny in shoes.  She reminds me of Hank Azaria's character in The Birdcage, "shoes make me fall down."  Sandis was practicing for teenagedom and refused to go to the store with us, being all broody about it.  Whatever.  
  • Saturday afternoon - Came home and took a nap.  Then we all went grocery shopping.  When we got home I cleaned up the dollhouse and resealed the joints and wobbly bits with glue.  Hoping to start painting tomorrow.  Brian made dinner, which was interesting since the oven decided not to heat up - only the broiler would work. Fuck.  I just replaced the heating element last fall.  If the oven is broken, we may be learning to cook using only the stove top, microwave and crock pot as we certainly can't afford a new oven at the moment!
Upcoming: Church's Startup Breakfast, making eye appts, soccer starting up again, schoolwork for the kids and work for me, woohoo! Let's hope those kids do something funny soon because this is a boring way to run a blog, lol!

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Avoidance tactics 101

Stella will do anything to delay doing dishes.  It really is the bane of her existence, those 15 daily minutes I make her do something she doesn't choose to do.  In order to pay me back for my evil domination of her, she makes the task take at least an hour.  Yeah, she showed me!

Here are today's delay tactics:

  • find a moth.  With a hurt wing.  Insist on keeping as a pet. Be obsessed with finding the perfect home for it because even though it can't fly, it may learn to fly, so something simple just. won't. do.  Demand that it travel with you everywhere on every car trip.  Become affronted when your mother says that said moth will die before we travel to Wisconsin again. Realize the moth has escaped from your hand and flown away.
  • let the dogs out.  Let the dogs in.  Let one dog out while keeping one in to talk smushysmushyIloveyoudoggiewoggie to it.  Switch dogs so the other can be assaulted by the smushywoshylove.
  • find a plastic bowl with scratches. Decide that those are cracks that just haven't cracked all the way through yet so it should be recycled.  Argue with your mother over the keepability of this bowl.  Note: putting it away would totally NOT have taken less time.
  • find a miniscule former sliver on your thumb.  Maintain that you are in excruciating pain that you just happened to notice.  Assert that you can't possibly continue with all of this horrible pain.  When your mother decides you are fine, create an elaborate hand bandage for the alleged wound.  This bandage includes toilet paper, paper towels, various kinds of tape and, I believe, unicorn tears.  Hunting down unicorns and making them cry takes time, mother!
  • break plastic spoon while doing physics experiments to see how far it would bend.  If she was really a scientist, she would be writing down data and replicating - I'm on to you, Stella!
  • give helpful advice to sister.  Overheard, "FYI, Sandis, don't try and sharpen butter knives, it doesn't work.  Plastic knives are even worse."

Finally she finished.  When she came in the living room wearing only underwear, I asked, "Aren't you cold?"  She responded by wrapping herself up in a sheet and saying, in an accusatory tone, "Well, I couldn't wear this while doing dishes, now could I?"

When I pointed out she could have worn clothes, she exclaimed with shocked indignance, "What are you talking about?! I don't wear clothes, clothes are boring."

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Poop Stick


Not sure if this is the name of the mountain? Or just somewhere along the way.

Sunday Brian took Stella hiking up some mountain.  There was much discussion regarding which trail/mountain/route because Stella insisted they be able to take Tonks, therefore the trail must allow dogs.  They set out early notnearlysoearlyasplanned with the dog and two bags in case of dog poop.

Well Tonks, being a Spork (half spaz, half dork), doesn't like to drink on the trail, let alone use it as her bathroom.  She is all, "OMG that is so not my water dish from home! You are trying to trap my head in that popup water dish aren't you? AREN'T YOU!! What?! Drink out of the reservoir? I heard it's haunted.  With squid ghosts! Totally true, I saw it on the dog internet which runs constantly in my head.  Squirrel!"

Stella and Tonks, both probably thinking a mile a minute

Needless to say, Tonks rarely needs the poop bags, however, Stella did find some poop left by other less conscientious dog owners and picked it up with one of her bags.  She, however, did not want to hold it so she invented the "Poop Stick (trademark Stella, 2012)."  You put the poop bag on the end of a stick and carry it hobo style to the nearest trash receptacle.   

Stella brandishing what may or may not be the Poop Stick

Not to let it go at that, Stella has plans to expand the Poop Stick empire.  She wanted Brian to bring home the Poop Stick.  She would then whittle off all the bark (reason: because she likes to use her pocket knife.)  After that was complete, Brian was to wrap duct tape around one end for a handle.  She would then write "Poop Stick" on the taped end after which they would proceed to the trail head and hang the Poop Stick in a tree.  Her reasoning, "people leave the poop because they don't want to carry it but if they had a poop stick right there at the beginning of the trail, that would help.  They would think, 'I don't have to carry the bag of poop!' And seeing the poop stick would remind them to carry a bag too!"

No one try and steal this money making venture, it's all ours.

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What is that children do with towels? Every week, Brian or I hang up fresh towels in the bathroom. One for each person, with some extras for a safety net. I then take a shower, dry off with said towel and hang it up to dry. We live in freaking Colorado, it's dry here so using a towel for a week is completely reasonable. You are clean when you dry off and it dries instantly in our -7% humidity.

Fast forward to day 2 of the week. I go in the bathroom to take a shower...where are the fucking towels!?! There is maybe one towel left. Maybe.

Where did they go? Abducted by aliens seems unlikely so I turn to the children, since before they sprung from my loins, I never seemed to have this trouble. I ask, trying to keep the “I would like to wring your little neck” sound out of my voice, “Oh loveliest of progeny, where might ALL of our towels have gone?”

Some responses:

  • I took a shower
  • We went swimming
  • I spilled something
  • I left it somewhere
  • I took it outside to pound rocks on
  • I wrapped up the chicken in it
  • The dog was wearing it as a cape
  • It's a bed for my stuffed animals
  • I used it for an ice pack
  • We were painting
  • Oh, on the trampoline
  • You know how I was doing that one thing, one time? Yeah, I needed towels.
  • and the most popular response, “I don't know.”

When I got married, 20 years ago, we got approximately 429 towels as gifts. Those are, well, 20 years old and therefore are now rags. The children could use those for all of their endearing experiments. Why must they take the ones that are specifically set aside for drying off after showering?!

On a completely unrelated note, anyone seen all of our spoons? They seem to be disappearing faster than socks in a dryer....

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So I've been personally handing Stella her meds and making sure sure takes them each day. This helps in that at 3pm, I know that she's crazy despite her meds, not because she forgot them. Believe it or not, this is helpful to know.

Still, Stella doesn't actually want to take her meds before she takes them. You see, once they are in her system, she totally gets it and knows that they help her control herself and she can do what she wants not what her out of balance brain says to do despite what she actually wants to do. Did you follow that? Good.

But before she takes them, she's all, “wheeee, I want to be crazy Stella who is free and funny and says inappropriate things and runs around like a maniac. It's so fun!!!” I reminded her that she feels that way NOW but how will it feel in the afternoon when she wants to stop and can't. She agreed that was not fun at ALL. Then she said, “I need a pill that makes you want to take your pills.” Yeah, that makes sense...? Kind of like the going back in time paradox. You know when you go back in time to stop something from happening but by doing that you've destroyed your reason for having time traveled in the first place. Yes, it's like that. Even if that is more confusing then what Stella said in the first place.

Anyway, the appropriate answer is, “take your damn pills!”

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I've seen none of the Olympics.  None.  Nada.  Zero.  Why? Well, because for some reason we can have internet or we can have TV, due to the new cable modem not liking splitters of any kind.  Better than the old modem where you got neither TV nor internet, right?

Even though I've not seen any of the Olympics, I still hear about them through headlines on my Facebook feed.  You would think I would hear about medal counts and how well our country is doing (or not.)  You would think news headlines would focus on the athletic performances of people who have trained their entire lives for this shining moment.

You would be wrong.

What headlines have I seen about the Olympics? Let me tell you.

I've heard about a rower's penis, a girl's hair and a giant baby head.

Really people?

A guy has won the bronze medal and all you talk about it his penis? Sure, maybe it's more, um, prominently displayed in his swim trunks than the others, but why focus on that? Why not, say, use Photoshop for some good for a change or maybe use a different picture altogether? Seriously, ALL the guys at the Olympics have penises, only a few get medals.  Why not focus on the medal? Are we really all prepubescent kids giggling over the fact you can kind of see someone's genitals?

And we need to annoy some young gold medal winning athlete about how she wears her hair? Did she trip over her hair and make an amazing recovery? No? Then STFU about it! You should be talking about her amazing routine or some move that's never been done that well before.  Her hair has nothing to do with it.  Again, is this the teenage high school locker room? Is there some jealous queen bee that was beat out by this girl so we need to try and slam her down?

The giant baby head, well, the Olympics spends way too much time and money on the showiness of it's opening and closing ceremonies.  Seriously, it costs how much for all that? $125 MILLION$15 billion for the whole shebang (versus $2.5 billion for the Mars rover.)  Of course, either is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount we've spent at war since my kids were born.

Our priorities are so fucked up.  We focus on petty things and spend money rashly.  Our country, or maybe the whole first world, is just a bunch of pre-adolescents that haven't figured our what really matters in life.

Oh, and I did see a very early medal count.  It was from the Colbert Report.  So yes, fake news is beating out "real" news in covering what's important.  Why am I not surprised.


ETA: I should note that these are just the headlines I noticed going viral.  I didn't read the articles until I Googled them today and skimmed them.

And also:
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I won a pig!

Since Stella was away with her father camping this last weekend, and therefore new blog material from her is delayed, here's a story from her from the 4th of July.  It's much like yesterday in that it involved pigs and fireworks.  Well, except yesterday there were pigs and no fireworks (for unknown reasons, the fireworks were canceled) and back then there were fireworks and no actual pigs.  Still, it's exactly the same (or not)!

It is pure Stella, so you'll love it ;)


After a day that included watching a baseball game in103 degree temperatures with 90+% humidity and driving 90 minutes each way to said baseball game, we went to a park to watch fireworks. It was still about a thousand degrees with 800% humidity at 9pm. There were crowds, cigarette smoke, drunk people, a horrific band playing...basically everything you come to expect from a small town 4th of July celebration. I did not want to be there.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the fireworks. As a child, worrying would begin on July 5th as to whether or not it would rain on next year's 4th celebration. Really. True story. I actually did that. every. year. Still, as an adult, my tastes are more refined and 20 minutes of so-so fireworks in the heat and crowds doesn't do it for me much. I had changed clothes before heading back out into the blast furnace but after 10 seconds outside I was all sweaty and sticky again. Yuck.

Still, it had to be endured for the children to see the annual pretty-sparks-in-the-sky affair and for me to see them seeing the pretty-sparks-in-the-sky affair. I love seeing my kids experience this stuff. It means so much more to me than my own experience of it. I guess that's what you call growing up. Or parenthood.

We arrived at the park and it was $2/person for admission which included a raffle ticket. If you win, it's $1000. Grandma paid and then filled out the tickets, one for each of us. Stella, entering into her evening manic phase, started thinking. The thinking spewed out of her mouth something like this:

Stella: If I win the thousand dollars, I'm going to get a pig. And it will live with us and I'll have my very own pet pig and it will go everywhere with me. It will sleep in my bed. In the morning, I will make it Nutella toast!

Me: What if Nutella toast isn't healthy for pigs?

Stella: Pigs eat everything, they are omnivores. But that would just be for a treat, usually it will eat pig toast. And I'll teach it to use the bathroom too. And it will have its own pig toilet. And I'll teach it to fetch.

Brian: grumble, grumble, better win $200,000 for the house you will live in with your pig because it won't be in MY house.

Stella: spewing statements of pig love and bliss totally oblivious to the probability of actually winning. This continued for at least an hour when we finally sent her to bed where she fell asleep in approximately 3.2 seconds.

The next morning Stella says, “I don't know what I was thinking last night. Teaching a pig to fetch, that's crazy!”

Yeah, that's the crazy part.

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We have 5 dogs in our house this week.  Yes, you read that right f-i-v-e.  Two are ours, two belong to one friend, 1 to another friend.

Sandis is pretty sure she's in heaven.  What could be better than five dogs? She says eight dogs would be better.  I asked why eight, why not 10 or 75? Well, apparently eight is the perfect number to fit in our house and for each of them to still get plenty of attention.  And here I thought the answer to the meaning of life was 42 and it is really 8.

For the record, we will not be having eight dogs stay with us.  Five is plenty.

And five isn't really too bad.  There are just a few small glitches in the system.

Like walking.  It is difficult to walk across any room of the house, especially the kitchen.  Whenever you stand up, one of the dogs is bound to think that means something exciting is imminent.  And if one dog thinks so, well, who would want to be left out of that fun thing, whatever it is! So you have at least 4 dogs milling around you like a small tornado as you try and maneuver about.

If by chance *all* the dogs stay lying down, you have the dog gauntlet to walk through.  So far I haven't stepped on too many tails or toes.  I try really hard not to - I do dogs, I do! And I always tell them I'm sorry if I do step on them, with a little pet to make it all better.  They all seem to have forgiven me, instantly.

You know how you can't go to the bathroom alone when you have kids? Imagine that with five dogs.  You are sitting there so you must want to pet them, right? Pet me! Pet ME! No, pet me!! Seriously dogs, I just want to pee.

Another interesting thing, feeding time.  All the dogs are so excited when it is meal time! They jump and twirl and slobber and get just sooooo excited that you can't move to actually get to their food.  Of course, the delay makes them MORE excited which makes for MORE delay...you can see the problem.  And then there are the different feeding styles.  Our two dogs and Ollie are more of the "cat style."  The "oh I am SO EXCITED you are feeding me! Ok, now that I'm fed, we can move on.  Eat it? Well, we'll do that later."  Whereas Sam and Taylor are your traditional dogs, "food, food, FOOD!!! <gulp> Is there more? Can I have yours? Oh, yours is gone too.  Let's go check on those cat-dogs." Separating all the dogs at feeding time is paramount.

Otherwise, they have all been enjoying things, more or less.  Tonks is over the moon to have other dogs to play with, hooray! Sirius is sure we have done this because we hate him.  Dogs are not his thing, despite the fact that he *is* one.  Ollie is a bit afraid of being stepped on, I think, and spends a good deal of time in his (open) crate observing and wagging.  Taylor often looks at me as though she is sure she's done something wrong.  You know, those guilty dog eyes.  I don't know why, we've not said a angry word to her.  Maybe it's just that we aren't her people and she's SURE she's done something wrong to deserve this dog prison away from her people.  Sam thinks he's at the spa.  He has decided that the kiddie sandbox-turned-pool is his personal space.  He gets his soak, his walk, his food, personal attention...this is the life!

Though it's been a bit crazy, I'll be a little sad when they all leave.  It's nice to have so much unconditional love in one place, especially when that place is your home :)

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