Monthly Archives: November 2009

Of Mice And Presents And Anniversaries

Tomorrow is my 10th anniversary, and no, we aren’t doing anything to celebrate tomorrow. We went out to eat Tuesday, though. Mike drank half a bottle of wine and then we went shopping… Not a good idea usually, but when you get something that you want for one of your kids, something that was rather expensive and Mike would have vetoed it had he been sober, you just have to run with it. So- yay! We started christmas shopping!

I had been telling him for a few days that Monkey hadn’t left me any ‘presents’ yet. Every other cat that we’ve owned growing up brought presents- dead (or, in the case of one cat, LIVING) mice and birds. Heck, we had a dog that would leave headless bunny corpses for us (not sure I want to know what happened to their heads… I’m perfectly fine imagining him lining them up as trophies in his doghouse rather than what is most likely the truth).

This morning, I woke up early to go shopping with Mom. I got what I wanted to get (yay!), Mom got what she wanted to get (yay!), and now it’s just filler for the boys. Then I came home to find…

A dead mouse in front of my kitchen sink, on the floor. First of all- it was Monkey’s first mouse. He was proud of himself, following me into that kitchen with a smug ‘look what I did’ look on his face. Now I know why he was hiding out in the lower cabinets and I had to let him out when I closed one of the doors. Second- I’ve found that I don’t like these presents, but I have to tell him that he’s a good kitty anyway, so he doesn’t leave them hidden behind the fridge or the stove for me to find when there’s a funny smell in the house. Third- I’m really glad that it was dead and Monkey wasn’t playing with it and that he had chosen the kitchen rather than the couch for the mouse’s ‘final’ resting place.

Yesterday, we had dinner with the inlaws and tomorrow we have dinner with my family. So far, I’ve made pumpkin dip and I’ll make crab rangoon for tomorrow, and then tomorrow morning, I’ll get up early and make cheesy ranch potatoes for dinner. I would have made crab rangoon for the inlaw’s, except that my Walmart apparently decided their shoppers don’t want egg roll or wonton wrappers. Or tofu, either. I even asked if they had tofu (because asking for ‘wonton wrappers’ requires me explaining that they’re usually by the tofu, and then I get the ‘eureka!’ light bulb moment when the employee says ‘tofu? why didn’t you say so?’), and was told that they don’t have tofu anymore. Oh-kay.

I did find egg roll wrappers at our local grocery, and they’ll work in a pinch. I’ll just have to cut them up and make slightly smaller crab rangoon.


Cody’s One Smelly Stinky Man

Last night, Mike and I were standing on the front porch when our neighbors got home. Our neighbors have two preteen girls. We weren’t really paying attention to them until we overheard one of the girls say ‘I call the shower first!’ Mike and I just looked at each other and said ‘gee, wouldn’t it be nice if that was a daily argument in our house?’

Instead, we get ‘Why can’t Evan go first?’ and ‘But I took a bath last week!’ and ‘Do I really have to wash all of my hair?’

We tried pointing out that girls like clean boys, but he pointed out that he has a girlfriend and she doesn’t seem to mind. Of course, ‘girlfriend’ right now doesn’t mean more than ‘her group of girl friends and my group of boy friends stand next to each other outside school in the mornings and sit at the same table at lunch and at recess I’ll chase her around the playground.’ At least this one isn’t a love note writing one, like a previous ‘girlfriend’.

Cody has started to sweat. Not little boy sweat- but stinky man sweat. He doesn’t sweat all the time, usually just when he’s playing, but the fact is- he’s growing up. He pointed out that he has toe hair (ew) and spent an hour plucking it out, because hairy feet are gross (hey, at least we agree on something). I asked him if he had hair anywhere else, thinking he’d tell me that he has pit hair (because while hairy feet are gross, hairy pits are cool), and he points to his chest and says ‘yes. Because I’m a MAN.’


Yesterday, he had a birthday party to go to. He had taken a bath the night before, but since the party wasn’t until 4pm, he was kinda sweaty and smelly. Rather than shove him in the shower (which wouldn’t work, because he’d turn it on, sit on the side of the tub, and pray that ‘clean’ would just suddenly appear on his body), we had him change the smelly stuff and then we brought out the deodorant.

Gramma and I had to tackle him to the ground to get it on him.

To his credit, it was cold. I bought him a stick, and he made sure to tell me that he put it on this morning. Mike thinks that Cody can just use his deodorant, but I’m thinking a- ew, that’s gross and b- it’s not that expensive so why not get him his own stick and c- what self respecting mother lets a 9 year old boy wear Axe deodorant? I got him Degree, because at least they don’t advertise ‘getting girls’. He’s not quite ready for that yet. With three boys, we have plenty of years for this.

His Shoes Aren’t To Blame

hd03Meet Dylan.

He’s my stubborn, picky child. He’s also my dramatic Drama King. He’s also musical, silly, best friends with everybody in his class. He calls dolls ‘bobos’ because of his first bear, Bobo. Which he got when he was 5 and had pink eye. He hates ketchup and rice, won’t touch taco seasoning, and was the King of Temper Tantrums until he was 5 and Evan realized that temper tantrums are rather fun and if you scream loud enough, you may just get what you want (or at least get out of cleaning a room). Btw- Evan was four at the time.

He also can’t tie his shoes.

Every Monday, Dylan’s teacher sends home a folder with his work from the previous week. This week, there was a note in that folder. Yes, Dylan needs to work on his handwriting (what second grader doesn’t?), but the note also said that he needs to learn to tie his shoes (agreed) because it slows him down in the hallways (not agreed).

Uh, I live with the child. I’ve seen him run from one end of the house to the other in untied shoes. He can keep up with the class while walking with untied shoes. He does just fine when we’re walking home from school.

Dylan won’t learn to do something unless he’s forced to learn something. He’s not going to learn to tie those shoes because Mommy and Teacher wants him to learn to tie his shoes (and we do). He’s not going to get all excited and happy and sit down with me to learn how to tie his shoes, because he wants to be the one to come to you and say ‘teach me to tie my shoes’. Believe me- I’ve tried.

So now I’m kinda stuck here. I could continue leaving them as is, and reminding him that he has tied them before and he can try to tie them again (he claims that they won’t stay tied) or I could fix the laces so that he doesn’t have to tie them, which means that he won’t learn to tie his shoes.

Little Miss Homemaker Makes Lunch

Money is tight with payday two days away. We’re out of bread, and I still have to make the boys’ lunches for tomorrow, so I figured that today would be a good day to bake a loaf of bread.

I have a hard time keeping the stuff to bake cookies on hand (gee, wonder why that is), but I always seem to have the stuff to bake bread. My priorities are in the right place, obviously. I even got to feel like Suzie Homemaker, seeing as how the paddle for my bread machine is missing (I think I threw it away by accident, go me), I had to mix the stuff with my handy dandy candy red Kitchenaide stand mixer. I even used the dough hook to knead the dough. I mixed it all up, kneaded the dough, let it rise, kneaded it some more, then set about baking it in my handy dandy not candy red bread machine. I goofed there, though. I didn’t cook the bread long enough, and had to let the machine cool down before I could finish baking it. But for an hour and a half, the dining room smelled like fresh baked bread. Yummy.

After finishing it, and batting Mike’s hands away from it (sorry, but this bread wasn’t for him, since he’s the reason we are out of bread two days before pay day), I set it in the cabinet to cool.

In the meantime, I decided that I wasn’t done. I went from Suzie Homemaker to Maude The Perfect Mother Who Thinks She’s Better Than You. Not that I do. I don’t. But that is what I felt like. I grabbed three potatoes, and our Titan Peeler (which, btw, Mike bought because he saw it on TV and I have to say that it is the greatest thing ever made, even though we’ve both cut ourselves using it), and sat down to slice up some shoestring potatoes. Mike decided that he could do it better (he really just wanted to play with the peeler. Most kitchen gadgets he gets bored of, but the peeler? A ten dollar tool? He’s in love with it), and he peeled the potatoes. But, shhh. We won’t tell the boys’ that.

Then I deep fried the potatoes in vegetable oil, and salted them a touch, and put them in baggies. So my boys will have lunch made with homemade bread and homemade shoestring potatoes. And I’m envisioning that I’m just the coolest mom ever, and someday, the three of them will turn to their wives and say ‘Mom made us sandwiches with homemade bread and homemade shoestring potatoes for our lunches, you should do that for our kids’ and I’ll get the Daughter In Law Look Of Doom that tells me I did my job well and she can only hope to live up to my high standards (I kid… maybe).

We went out to Mom’s for the evening, and I didn’t get around to putting their lunches together until a little bit ago. And I realized one teeny tiny flaw in my evil plan.

Homemade bread is too big for my sandwich bags. Which means that while my kids will have the homemade stuff tomorrow, they’ll have the homemade stuff in the only bags that I had available.

Gallon sized freezer bags.

I really shouldn’t try to be Maude the Perfect Mother. I should just settle for Marge The Mediocre mother. At least then, I wouldn’t fret that my boys are going to be laughed out of the lunch room tomorrow.



Saturday, October 31st, 2009.

7am: Boys are up. I’m up. Boys are happy. I’m not. It’s too early to be up on a Saturday, especially since we left the house at 10am the previous morning and didn’t get home until 11pm the night before. Tired? No. We were exhausted.

8am: Mike leaves for work, leaving me home alone with two cheerfully excited little boys and one sulky not quite a preteen.

9am: Cleaning. We need to clean. No clean, no Halloween. (hey, that rhymes.) Boys start off enthusiastic.

10am: Enthusiasm has worn off. They’re tired. Crabby. Want to watch Saturday morning tv. Don’t want to watch Hannah Montana. Realize that we’re still cleaning. Suddenly, Miley Cyrus is ‘cute’ and ‘we love Hannah Montana.’ Mommy sighs.

11am: Power Rangers. Seriously? POWER RANGERS? It’s still on the air? Three boys, who have never, ever, ever watched Power Rangers sit glued to the tv, piles of trash surrounding them. We’re still cleaning, ain’t much getting done, obviously. At this point, we’ve heard ‘it’s halloween’ forty thousand times.

12pm: lunch. Dylan begins putting his stuff together. Cleaning still not done.

1pm: Gramma will be here in an hour and a half, cleaning finally finished, boys fed, staring at costumes. Cody grumbles- wants to go off on his bike. Not happening, as I’m not sure if he’d return.

2pm: Costume time! Captain America- check. Optimus Prime- check. Cody’s mask- only if I want to lose a finger. I’d rather keep my finger, decide to try again later.


230pm: Pictures taken, Gramma and Grampa show up, Cody finally puts on mask without threatening any of my appendages. Allows two pictures, removes mask.

halloween033pm: Driving around, not seeing many lights. Find some, let the kids out, Cody immediately takes off. See his back for the next few hours, except when we get in the car to head to another side of town.Evan and Dylan begin complaining about legs hurting, which translates into ‘let’s sit in the car and eat candy.’ They have yet to figure out that the longer they go, the more candy they get.

4pm: Finish one street, time to move to another. Hit the scary house, Evan and Cody go in, Dylan refuses. I spend another year on the other side of the fence, wondering if I’ll be able to go in next year (it’s that cool). Hit the ‘rich’ part of town- better candy. More kids. More lights. More complaints of being tired, but they’re getting quieter. They’re starting to see that they have a lot of candy, and are thinking that a little leg pain is worth it.

5pm: Mike gets home, we decide to take on one more street. Cody suddenly decides that trick or treating with Daddy is cool. I see more of him from the car than I did in the previous two hours. Complaints of leg pain non existant. Complaints of heavy buckets starting to pick up, but are easily remedied by dumping buckets into bags.

530pm: Decide to take the kids to another town. Say goodbye to Gramma and Grampa, the boys pile into our car, we make up a plan to see if Gramma Vicky recognizes the boys.

6pm: Arrive in other town, park around the corner, let the boys walk up. Cody removes his mask before Evan and Dylan get there. Sulky 9 year old ruins all the fun- again. Evan and Dylan see tons of lights, want to go trick or treating. Cody opts to stay and pass out candy with Gramma Judy.

Sugar highs are starting to kick in, E and D start chatting with every person they get candy from. Cody decides to go trick or treat by himself (apparently he decided that he didn’t want less candy than E and D).

7pm: We’re done. No more. Kids could go all night, but the grown ups are finito. We head back to Gramma’s house, boys start devouring candy. Adults start stealing sneaking pieces. Kids start getting wild.

8pm: Time to head home, Mommy cuts off the candy for the night. Doesn’t work.

9pm: Attempt to cut off the candy again. Doesn’t work.

915: another attempt. Guess what happened?


Sunday November 1st 2009, 7am: Three kids wake up. Three kids all still have sugar highs. Mommy makes an executive decision- no more candy until Monday.

It lasts until 5pm Sunday evening.

God help their teachers today.