From the Mouths of Babes

Yesterday the Pea was on dish duty. He had washed all the dishes in the sink but none of the stuff stacked on the counter around the sink.

Me: Pea, the dishes are not done.

Pea: I don’t care.

Me: Yes, but I care and I’m the mom so mine’s the caring that matters.

Why is it that my children think that the fact that they don’t care about things being messy has the slightest bearing on whether they need to clean it?

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The other day in the midst of a fight with her father, the Princess asked why she should respect him, specifically what he had ever done to earn her respect.

Umm, let’s start with putting a roof over your head and food in your mouth for the last 11+ years and move on from there shall we?

Aren’t the tag lines that kids learn as they head in to teendom fun?!

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Be My Valentine

I’m thinking of putting together a calendar of how my kids “celebrate” different holidays, something like this: For Valentine’s day the Princess and the Pea empty all of the tissue boxes in the storage room of all their tissues so that they can make valentine boxes for school.

Cute huh?

When They’re Helping Mom’s Happy

My life (or at least my kitchen) has been completely transformed by assigning the Princess and the Pea two days per week each of dish duty.

Best. Decision. Ever!

I Have Got to Stop Doing This

The first problem is that I let myself go weeks without blogging.  That may not be a problem for any of you (in fact, I’m willing to bet that there are a few of you who are a little relieved when I don’t blog (you’re welcome for this summer BTW) ) but for me it’s a problem because my goal was to blog at least once a week and for those of you non math majors blogging every three (or four) weeks is not blogging once a week.

The second problem stems from the first.  Any time I’m not blogging pressure is building up.  When I’m blogging regularly I don’t notice so much, very little pressure builds up in the course of a day or two.  Even a week is not too big of a deal but by the end of three (or four) weeks there is considerable pressure.  What pressure you ask? (Yes, I’m aware that you don’t care) the pressure to write a really good post.  After three (or four) weeks I feel like I have to have something really good to blog about something that will, ideally, explain my absence but more importantly, explain why I’m back.

I feel like I have to have this post that’s great, that makes you laugh — or chuckle at least — or better yet, makes you cry.  A post that makes you realize that I’m a fantastic blogger and that you’ve missed my wit and wisdom terribly and that blah blah blah.  My returning post can not be about my workout today (which was really hard so hard in fact that I only did half of it which was a little sad because I have in the past done more than half of it (although I’ve never actually finished that particular work out) but today I did do it harder than I’ve ever done before (squatted lower, jumped higher, did all the push ups on my feet rather than dropping to my knees) so I’m actually not too disappointed.  Especially when I factor in the fact that I noticed today that the helper girl (you know the two people who stand behind the “instructor” and do the workout all with perky smiles on their faces) was totally phoning it in!  Her squats were not deep, she was hardly jumping at all (she did not drop to her knees but I’ll bet (I have to bet because I find it hard to watch the TV while I’m doing push ups) her form was not good) I don’t blame her.  It’s a stinking hard work out (as evidenced by the fact that I did not finish it) .  But I thought it was funny.)  See?  That’s not a good retuning post!

Neither is the one I was thinking about about the fact that the deadbolt on the back door broke –luckily when we were all inside so as to not be locking someone out (although now that I think about it I’m not sure how (or) why being locked in in so much better than being locked out) — and after pulling it apart and deciding that it could not be fixed, Shaun went to fairly great lengths to replace it (after having spent the day just using the front door) so that we can have a back door that looks like this: Let’s move past the dirtiness and the marks on the door left by the venetian blinds (yes, I know how to fix that I just don’t really care) and look at the fact that on this door, right next to the lock, I have not one but two broken window panes that have been expertly “repaired” with cardboard and duct tape.  Yeah, we’d better hurry and get a new deadbolt in there, we wouldn’t want to leave our house exposed.  (In our defense (pun intended) that is corrugated cardboard and there are two layers of it.  We’re totally safe.)  See?  Again, not a great blog post.

I also though about posting about the very nice guy on the Jordan River Parkway Trail that I was riding yesterday who helped me with my tire (I had a flat) and perhaps to mention that while what we tried (pumping it up) didn’t work,  (because the problem with my tire wasn’t something that could be repaired on the trail, or indeed at home, it can only be repaired by throwing that particular inner tube in the garbage) I appreciate the effort just the same.  And I got  a lot farther than a I would have if he hadn’t helped me out which was good because I still had to walk a fair bit.  Also that I really need to start carrying a cell phone with me when I ride.  And possibly that I got really lost on the trail but I love that I live in Utah so I always knew that I was going in (more or less) the right direction and that I would eventually end up some where that I could identify.   And I did.  I just have no idea how I got there.  (I’m very visual and I can’t find anything without a mental map.  Unfortunately I can’t get my ride yesterday to coincide with my current mental map.  Good thing I can map my ride it and see an actual map and then I’ll be fine.)

I really should blog about the Pea’s 8th birthday, which is today, but honestly I’m not really a fan of birthday posts (except for yours, I love yours) so I’ll probably just say Happy Birthday to the Pea and leave it at that.  (For that matter, I could blog about my 12th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow but I probably won’t, I hit the anniversary once –read it here, it’s good– and that will probably do it for the next few years.)

The third problem (I’ll bet you forgot that I was listing the problems I’m having with this blog) is the layout.  I’ve had numerous comments on the layout here in the Wonderland and they’ve all been positive (which I love) and honestly I really really like the layout, I like the colors, I like that it’s feminine without being overly feminine and I used to love that the text portion is wide.  Now… not so much.  See the wide text thing is great if you’re going to write really long posts, or if you’re going to, say, post chapters of your book as blog posts (which is the reason that I wanted the wide text thing in the first place.  And I’m sure you’ve noticed how often I’ve posted chapters of my books as blog posts…) but if you don’t have much to say it can be daunting.  I write what feels like a decent length post and then post it only to click over and see that it doesn’t even fill the screen.  (Right there, I can see the next (last) post peeking up at the bottom of the screen.  I can see its title, I can even see the first line or two.  Heck I’ve hardly written anything at all. *Hangs head in shame.*)  So I’m thinking about changing it but, that’s a lot (and by a lot I mean some) of work, I’m not sure I’m up to it.

So there you have it.  The reason that I’m not blogging, or that I haven’t been blogging or that… oh forget it.

The End is Near

I hope you have your food storage in order because you’re going to need it.  Soon. 

How soon? You ask.

Well, no one knows the day or the hour but I’ve been watching the signs and I’d say you’d better make sure you have enough Morning Moo for the family within the next few days, a week at the most.

How do I know? Well, let me tell you.

I went hiking today. And if that’s not a sign of the end of days I don’t know what is.

For those of you who don’t know me very well or who haven’t known me for more than a year, let me ‘splain.  I’m not really what you would call the outdoorsy type.  I was raised with the belief that mankind had been through thousands of years of technological advances so that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground, or share my meals with the flies or *ahem* cook over an open flame (my father was resistant even to grilling) and so that I could have things like indoor plumbing and computers.  And that’s a belief that I proudly held for years.

Until this year when I made a resolution to take my family, my kids specifically, on some kind of vacation this year.  To begin with I was thinking Disney and then I looked up prices for Disney.  So then I was thinking … I don’t know, something else but well, frankly I couldn’t afford that either.  You know what I could afford?  Camping.  So I took a deep breath; got off my high horse (figuratively as I’ve never actually ridden a horse) and took the kids camping.  We’ve been twice and with the notable exception of the lantern attack it’s gone really well.  Well enough that we were planning on going again this weekend, to a campground that’s far(ish) away, for two nights.  This is serious commitment people!

Unfortunately, the Infantile Delinquent choose Wednesday night to spend puking and Thursday to be feverish and snuggly (which is semi-delightful for a mom but mostly really sad.) Not to be outdone, The Baby spent the majority of Thursday night screaming and  when Sean broke down and took him in to the ER (at about 2:30 this morning) we discovered that he had two enormous ulcers running down his throat (apparently this is somewhat common and not a sign of anything other than a lot of pain for the next few days).  We got him some meds and his pain seems to be fairly well managed but there wass no way I was taking him camping, especially not someplace far(ish) from home, with something like that going on.

So camping’s out at least for tonight, but my kids have just been sitting around the house for three weeks.  And while that’s really short for a summer break (as previously discussed) it’s plenty of time for the intake of Suite Life on Deck to reach critical levels.  I had to get them out of the house.  I had to get out of the house.  And because Sean hasn’t been paid in about a month (and because I’m cheap and we had already paid for a campsite that we’re not using) it had to be something free.

Walking’s free.

So I took my two oldest kids and we hiked.  We did the Silver Lake loop and just like the reviews I read, it was steep (and that sucked) but actually, it wasn’t too bad.  The kids whined a fair amount and they were each reduced to tears at least once, but I figure that’s about par for the course.  It’s four(ish) miles and we did it in a little under three hours and no one died or even ended up very seriously maimed.  So altogether I’m calling it a win.

But seriously, if I were you I’d make sure I had my affairs in order.  Just in case.

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Since you asked:

102_1171 If you look close you can see the cut from the lantern-> 102_1170102_1168 Poor sick Baby 102_1177

Rumble in the… Well, at the Next Door Neighbor’s To Be Exact

I don’t live in the nicest neighborhood.  I try to be positive about it.  In fact, if you’ve ever heard me talk about I was probably saying something positive like how I love that my kids’ best friends are kids named Kasem and Angel and that  I think it’s cool that most of the kids in their classes speak other languages. And that there’s a Costco at the end of my street.

I figured that this was where we could afford to live, so this was where we had to live so I really needed to find positive things about the neighborhood.  And I think I did a pretty darn good job.  But then Saturday came a long and I accepted the fact that despite its obvious attractions, my neighborhood  just isn’t a very nice place to live.

You see the Princess and the Pea were next door playing with their friends, a little girl the Princess’s age and twin boys two years older.  Their father lives next door to us and the kids are there every other weekend and one weeknight a week.  The kids were playing in an old camping trailer that lives in his carport.  I don’t love them playing in there, for reasons that should be fairly obvious, but the father usually sits on his back steps, about 5 feet away so I allow it.

So the kids were there playing and I was home with the little guys when there was a knock on my back door.  I answered it and it was a young girl (about 13) from across the street who was just checking to see if the Pea was ok.

“Um what?  Why wouldn’t he be ok?”

“Well, Billy (on of the 11 yr old boys next door) made him cry.”

“Well, he’s not home so he must be fine.”  I wasn’t really worried at this point, kids fight and they make up and I try not to get involved.

Of course, while I was talking to this girl at my back door the Pea had come in the front door.  “He’s right there,” the girl said pointing behind me where the Pea was now standing.

He was standing there, tear streaked but not crying and he said he was fine.  “Well, he’s ok so thanks for coming over,”  I said.

“Oh and your daughter has an inappropriate mouth,” the girl tossed off as a parting shot before she walked away.

Great.

So I asked the Pea what happened.  His story was not linear and pretty unclear but what I got from it was that the kids were playing in the trailer, and father wasn’t around and there was a baseball bat involved.

Shall I understate it and say that I was concerned?

So I went over there.  As I was walking across the front of my house I could see the same girl who had just been at my back door with two of her… brothers? cousins? relatives? (The house across the street is inhabited by a large pacific islander family [the family is large, the people actually, not so much] including a lot of children, mostly boys, and I’ve never been able to figure out how most of them are related.) of roughly the same ages.  The had an aluminum baseball bat and upon seeing me they began walking away from the trailer.

And this is the story as near as I could reconstruct it:  The father had left to get a movie.  (In his defense, his kids are 11, 11 and 9 and he lives next door to his mother, who watches his kids for him some and who was home.)  The kids, mine and his, had been playing in the trailer and the older bat wielding kids had been playing in the street.  Some of the trailer kids (not mine, I was assured.  Un hunh.) started yelling… unkind things at the kids in the street so naturally the kids in the street came over and began beating on the trailer with the aluminum bat.  Some time in the middle there the Pea had gotten out of the trailer as had the other girl the Princess’s age.  So the Princess was in there alone with the older boys and was sure that if she tried to leave she was going to be beaten to death with a bat.

Again with the understatement, I’m going to say that I was unhappy with the situation.

So I got the Princess out of there and laid down the rule that my kids are not to go into the trailer again EVER.  I mentioned to the street kids, now across the street, that they probably should not have used a bat to work out their problems and that they may want to make a point of going and apologizing to the father when he got home because he would probably notice the window that they had broken.  I talked with the Princess about appropriate language. (She swears she didn’t say anything and actually, I believe her. [You’d have to know the Princess.])  And I talked to her about the fact that she is not ever to be alone with either of those, or any other, boys with the possible exception of her brothers.

And I decided that we’re going to have to move.

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For those interested, in the future I may post some of the other stories about the neighborhood  just so that you can all shake your heads and wonder exactly how stupid, blind and nieve I am that it took me this long to decide to move.

It’s Like I Just Dropped Off the Face of the Earth or Something

I didn’t really intend to take Christmas week off, in fact I wrote some really great posts in my head over the last week or so.  (Some that I plan to actually type up for your enjoyment.  And some that are lost forever is the deep dark recesses of my brain.)  But the thing is that my computer is broken.

When I say broken what I really mean is that as I was reading my sister’s blog the other day, my darling little laptop, Rufus, suddenly lost his wireless device.  One minute I was on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of the living room and the next minute, Rufus here, insisted that there was no way I had been on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of the living room because I had no way to be on the internet whilst lying on my stomach in the middle of my living room.  We’re still disagreeing on that point.

(BTW, I blame my laptop problems on Melanie J who blogged about her laptop problems which gave Rufus the idea in the first place.)

In the mean time I’m typing this while connected to the life-giving force of the internet by a cord.  Can you believe that?  I have a wire hooking me to the internet!  That’s so 2007.

But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make so that you can get your Wonderland fix.

So how was your Christmas?  Ours actually went quite well.  I think we made it through the day without even one meltdown, this is big, my friends.

The Princess and the Pea who both had rough starts to the week, finished it up in fine style.  The Infantile Delinquent has been sick all week, poor baby, so he just wants to sit on mom or dad’s lap.  This is sad but kind of sweet since he’s not really one to sit still any other time.  And the Baby, has carried on as if this is just the same old stuff.

What’s new with you?

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