Send in the clowns.

So, this morning, I was up with the chickens.

Literally. Chickens. SOMEONE in my very respectable neighborhood is HARBORING CHICKENS. I can HEAR you, rooster! I know you’re around here somewhere. And, as I want to buy eggs from these people, I will say no more.

Anyhow, I was up EARLY, y’all.

Wanna know why? Well, I shall tell you.

But FIRST:

I worked out:

IMG_5834.jpgThis is what Steve does when I do my HIIT stuff. He feels so bad for me, gasping away to the tiny girl on the glowing tv, that he reaches his paw out. As if to say,

“Dude. Take a break. Sit. Be still. Like me.”

NO, Mr. Fat Furry! I still have fourteen burpees to do, and they are so fun! And so aptly named! Kelli, al la Fitness Blender is a tiny and sweet girl who manages, somehow to be perfectly toned with washboard abs but still totally not annoying, gets me through something where I plank and slap my arms and sing the Star Spangled Banner, all at the same time. Then, she asks me to do a lateral hop, which sounds cute and like a bunny, but  only if that bunny has a death wish. And then, I die.

Nope. DIDN’T DIE.  Even after the hopping. I then had coffee, and I put on real, adulty clothes. Usually it’s all running shorts and tshirts with holes in them around here. But No!

Not today! Know WHY????

I’ll tell you. In a minute. But FIRST:

.

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BEHOLD. EYELINER. AND LIPSTICK. THIS IS THE BIGTIME.

Ok. I’ll tell you. I am substituting today. I know. I built all of this up to make you think I was meeting with California people who wanna make Bottled into a movie. Still waiting on that one.

AND this:

I showed up three hours early. Evidently I am not supposed to come until 12:30. I am just way too excited about this gig.

Wanna know WHY?

BECAUSE IT’S FOR MUSIC OH MY GOODNESS I AM GONNA GET SIIIIIIIING.

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Oh yea. You better believe you can google “Singing cats” and find lots of options. You’re welcome.

Have I ever told you? I have always kinda wanted to be a back up singer for Pink. I mean, I don’t think she even has backup singers, but in my head I made them up and I was one of em! Because that’s what my head can do!

My head can also put me in the lineup to interview The Rock one day and also, to win the Olympics in dressage, OR rhythmic gymnastics. Take your pick.

So, anyhow, whilst making breakfast for the wee cherubs this morning we had this conversation:

Blonde: Mom. Mom. You’re gonna be my teacher today.

Red: *silently chewing.* He doesn’t speak much until 8 am. That’s when he turns on and he doesn’t shut off until 12 hours later. Quite the battery on that one.

Blonde: Mom. MY teacher. I’m not gonna call you Mom though. And I will also be really good in class. So, you don’t need to worry about nothing.

Me: I KNOW. I am SO EXCITED. And I get to SING! Music teacher! BOOM!

Red: *coughing* Mom. I know it’s before I’m supposed to speak, but I gotta say-

Blonde: Don’t. Sing. Just no. Please. For the love of God. Do your duty. No singing.

 

It’s ok. I’ve got a backup plan. I’m bringing THIS:

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And I’m gonna tell them allllll about how I was first chair, and in KU marching band, and then?

I’M GONNA PLAY “SEND IN THE CLOWNS.”

My children will be so proud.

Here is, by the way, an obligatory first day of school pic. I know. I am just NOW posting this because I kept forgetting. That’s because I have way more important things to do. Like practice my scales and figure out if an interpretive dance while flauting is over the top.

Besides, this might be the last picture I have of them, because after this afternoon they might not speak to me again.

#Goals.

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Let It Be.

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This post is brought to you by the Great and Mighty Netflix. Sometimes I blog for them, did you know?

But also, this post is brought to you by deep neurosis and a sudden longing for donuts with sprinkles.

Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

Ok, so a few weeks back I up and left my family, just ABANDONED them, so I could wedge myself into a hotel room and work on my book. I wrote and outlined and organized and worked very hard. Also, I ate a LOT of donuts. And I NEVER HAD TO SHARE.

I wrote a book. Did you know? I wrote a book. And now, I am writing Book 2!! That’s how it works. I plan to have a whole series of Books All About MEEEE when done. (That’s a possible title).

Anyhow.

When I absconded from my poor sweet babies, they happened to get a box in the mail.

And the box was from THE GREAT NETFLIX! SENDER OF BOXES OF COOL STUFF!

I was kinda bummed. I missed it. I MISSED THE WHOLE THING. I was off all writey-writey while a box of goodness was being festooned all over our house, y’all. And, as you know, the boxes from Netflix can totally ROCK.

Ok, I don’t mean to be anti-climatic, but it was not another television. It was THIS:

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Blonde started rocking out on the harmonica. He turned into a wee version of that dude from Blues Traveler. Or ate least that is what the husband tells me, but how would I know? THE HUSBAND TOOK ABSOLUTELY NO FOOTAGE OF ANY OF THIS.

And I, of course, have now taken over the tambourine because:

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Music is my jam, y’all. Well, not really but I love the outfit and she has EARS. SOOOO cute.

So I missed all the cuteness. It was tough. The husband took absolutely NO pictures of my beloved prodigies as they started created masterpieces, so it’s like it never happened at all.

When you are a mom and you leave your children… sometimes, as much as you WANTED to leave them, and NEEDED the time away… you STILL want to be around them. You know?

I dunno. Maybe that’s just me. I had to let it be.

*cue the music*

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Netflix’s new show, Beat Bugs, is simply adorable. I mean, how could it not be?

Beatles music + cool artists + cute bugs = television magic.

(Small moment of total squee: Beat Bugs has Robbie Williams. Like, Robbie Williams from the Ego has Landed. Which was a really, really REALLY good album.)310GJFDG06L.jpg

Watch the trailer below to see the magic unfold! All the feels! I can finally explain to my kids who the Beatles are, which, as any good parent knows, is part of the trilogy of parenting:

THE TRILOGY OF PARENTING:

  1. The Beatles are the best.
  2. We will always watch the black and white Scrooge.
  3. Jar Jar Binks shall never be discussed in this household.

 

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There is no “Oh no we’re not” in ‘Team’

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Walking Night. Stay tuned.

Linking up with my happy place: Five Minute Friday.

Today’s theme:

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Well… of course it is.

Ok, here’s the story:

I still haven’t posted my kids’ back to school pictures yet. This is kind of against nature and I am very sorry. Every mom knows that is it the LAW that those pictures get posted on the facebooks, pronto, and here I am, still just trying to make sure they’re fed and in clean underwear before they head out the door.

So, last night was Walking Night. It’s this Thing that the labrador-retriever husband came up with to help us Stay in Shape and Be a Family, all at the same time. We are a Team, after all. We go out and walk together. Or, rather, the boys shoot off on their bikes, like little nutball savages, while the husband and I, who mainly operate like ships in the night, walk and talk.

It’s better to be ships in the day, I guess.

Sometimes we even hold hands. Like ships in love.

Anyhow. LAST night I also wanted to Take it Up a Notch, by adding devotionals to the whole thing. I like to Take it Up a Notch whenever possible because my life is not chaotic or jam-packed enough and this whole Notch business seems to fulfill some basic need in me to be basically Perfect.

Ok, I’m just gonna stop with the capitals thing now. It’s Annoying, isn’t it?

So. I had my devotional all ready. And it went like this:

Both boys were instructed to take a tube of toothpaste and squeeze it out, which they did with some glee. The Blonde informed me right away, however, that this was a terrible waste of money. I just love him. He is so like his momma.

Then, I said, in my church lady voice:

“So, boys, now I want you to put the toothpaste back IN the tube.”

I then made the very overused, this whole toothpaste gag has been so done before thing, analogy that once your words are out there you can’t put them back. It’s not actually a BAD analogy by any means. I had figured that since we were starting up school again and that they might, well, hear stuff and say stuff because school is basically the Child Thunderdome where they learn interesting concepts like “fart train” and such, that this whole toothpaste thing would be memorable and important.

Oh, and it was. It was really, really memorable, y’all.

It started when Red, who was playing with his toothpaste like it was fingerpaint, decided to paint his brother’s face with the gooey stuff. I laughed. Brother laughed. It was all good clean minty fun, right? Learning moment. It was a learning moment! And then Blonde followed suit with some of his gooey stuff, and that’s when the screaming started.

You see, gentle reader, toothpaste is MINTY.

Minty + eyeballs = screaming.

Let me provide you with a short re-enactment:

Red: OH NOOO MY EYES MY EYESSSSS THE PAIN THE PAINNNN!!

Blonde: NOOOO MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MY EYEBALLS ARE ON FIRRREEEEEEEE!

Red: I AM DYING! AS WE SPEAK RIGHT HERE  JUST GONNA DIE. FROM DEVOTIONALS!

Blonde: MOTHER I WILL NEVER DO DEVOTIONALS AGAIN! BAD! BAD!

Both: AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, I WILL NEVER DO DEVOTIONALS AGAIN!

 

And that was my first try at family devotionals.

Toothpaste: 1

Devotionals: 0

 

We will try again. We will fight the good fight. We’re like the military. We never leave anyone behind.

Also, we flipping MINTY FRESH.

We are minty team, and as I have explained, numerous times to both boys: We are all stuck with each other, I’m sorry, but you can’t just go live with another family.

But next time devotionals will involve four pounds of M and M’s, soft music, and maybe the Care Bears.

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The Last Days of Summer

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I gotta admit. The motherhood over here is getting a little screechy. Like, we’re all kinda tired of each other. The pool is closed. School starts in T-minus two days. For some reason, I just don’t have it in me to start a craft project any time soon.

We are experiencing a LULL, people. A LULL IN PARENTING AND CHILDRENING.

Breakfast was a highly uninspired bowl of cold gloom and orange juice. The boys sat and chewed silently, staring off in the distance, while I set up my IV intake of coffee.

I had bought a sale brand of coffee. It tastes like despair.

The boys decided “make your beds” meant “stir the sheets with both tiny hands until tangled. In despair.”

Also, this. My sweet six year old decided he wanted MORE gloomy cereal, so he poured an ENTIRE bowl of the stuff WITH milk and then ate TWO BITES. And then, he proceeded to spill the rest of it on the floor as he was trying to “clear his place” which to him meant, “set in front of the dishwasher.”

And then. I stepped on THIS:

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I mean. What even IS this thing? It has SPIKES. Legos don’t have SPIKES. Also, note the gigantica that is my seven year old’s clodhopping paw-foot. He used to have the chubby cute toddler hobbit feet. No longer.

Silly Momsie. The cute hobbit feet are long gone. And… so is my motivation to get into a bra today.

Too much?

I need reiterate: DESPAIR, PEOPLE. HEAPING SPOONFULS OF IT ALL OVER THE HECK PLACE. INCLUDING THE FLOOR.

Now, there are two things that Momsie can do here. Shall I show you in a chart?

Let me show you in a chart:

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I like charts, don’t you ? This one doesn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense but WHY START NOW?

The thing is, I wanted the grand send off. I wanted the Last Days of Summer to equal something Big and Memorable for the wee ones. And I realize The Last Days of Summer kinda sounds like a Lifetime made for television movie about some girl and her boyfriend Chet who fall in love and do PG-13 things… but that’s not the vibe I was going for here.

The Last Days of Summer are equaling going to the dry cleaners and listlessly playing with the cat with a sock someone found under the couch. The sock has so much fur on it I think Steve has adopted it as his own. He’s sobbing and holding it, rocking back and forth like he’s Daddy Warbucks in Annie.

Ok, not really, but you know I gotta do something with this post to make it more interesting.

So. The Last Days of Summer. They’re here. And I got nothing. No campouts in the backyard. No glorious scavenger hunts for school supplies. No movie marathons or bungee jumping or shouting our barbaric yawps to the universe before we head off to the land of education.

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It’s tough being me. The world I envision in my head is soooo often NOT even close to reality. Pfft. My head is overrated anyhow.

You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna bake them a cake. Frosted with my Aunt Dorothy’s fudge icing.

BOOM.

I know, right? Nothing says

LAST DAYS OF SUMMER

like that fudge frosting, ya’ll. That fudge frosting could straight up fix everything. We could mail it to Afghanistan and it would all get ironed out, with some cold glasses of milk and a lot of spoons.

Also? If you come up with something that involves chalkboard signs and some balloons and maybe some stray washi tape or anything, ANYTHING from Hobby Lobby re this end of summer business???  Well, you make me go, “Pfft.”

PFFT, I say!

And now I shall take my children to the dry cleaners and it’ll be FUN. Just you watch.

Well, ok. Honestly, the dry cleaners isn’t ever gonna be fun but at least we can listen to Abba while we’re in the car.

Happy Summering!

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LIFT and drag.

Linking up with my happy place,Five Minute Friday today.

The theme,

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Ok, bear with me. It’s gonna be a bumpy flight.

I have had insomnia for the past, well, seems like forever now. On and off all summer. But the last week has been the worst. I have tried all sorts of remedies: melatonin, sleepytime tea, so much sleepytime that I am SLOSHING before bed. Lots of soft music. No screen time. Copious reading of things all soft and lovely… And the bible. I hate to say it, but a good read of Leviticus and I am usually nodding off all over the place. I know. That makes me sound rather unspiritual, and shallow. But good heck. I am TIRED so we’re keeping it real.

What better time, when so tired you are starting to see spots, to be real?

Lack of sleep has a variety of results. Let me share them with you.

  1. Momsie become unnaturally ferocious. Like, really, really cranky.
  2. She forgets things. Like where her keys are and how to feed her children lunch.
  3. She also feels dreadful and achy. Like her whole body just is UP and QUITTING this nonsense.
  4. Then, the wonderfullness that is MomGuilt comes up and pokes at her, hissing things like, “Feed your children, woman! And, for Pete’s sake, get a bra on! And what is UP with the laundry room situation? It looks like a college dorm room in there! DOOM and GLOOM, Momsie! You are a MESS!”

I remember once, my husband, Mr. Smartie Engineer, telling me about flight. He has actually flown a plane before, which gives him total street cred in this situation. He said something like this:

“For the plane to fly, it needs LIFT true. Of course. That is a given. But it also has to have DRAG. Without DRAG, the plane would just go all willy nilly all over the place.”

Ok, it’s possible he didn’t use the actual words “willy nilly.” But you get my point.

This non sleeping thing? It’s a total pain and I do need to work on it. But yet, it has done something good.

It has sat me down. Last night it kept me still and staring out at a tree and some stars and guess what I did?

I prayed. For like a long time.

I know. This TOTALLY  makes up for the Leviticus comment, right? So spiritual, that Momsie!

But really, prayer for me is a tricky thing. I keep doing it, yes, but a lot of times it ends up being All About Me, and also, God Why Aren’t You Fixing This Right Now?, and you know how that goes. So last night I just went through every possible person I could think of, and I prayed for them.

And people, if you don’t know, you better believe Hillary and Donald were in there. Along with our veterinarian (no idea why, but he was in my head so there you go) and our church, and a lot of people IN our church, and our weird neighbors and that one lady that doesn’t seem to like me much and my husband and my husband’s HUGE family and so on.

We need the drag to experience the lift. That’s what I learned at three am last night.

You’re welcome.

Also this: the FIRST thing I thought when I saw “Lift” as the theme? A bra. Yep. Aren’t you glad I went with option two?

 

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Lift and separate, ladies!

 

LIFT AND SEPARATE!

I Went Away and Came Back Again. Episode #34

I think I’ve written about this before. But you guys. It is SO exciting! I went away!

And! Double bonus! I came back!

Last weekend I went away to write.

Does that not make me sound like Zelda Fitzgerald? I mean, without all the booze and angst about her husband and all. But still. It sounds so… writerly, doesn’t it?

Ok, so I packed my stuff:

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Important! Always include incredibly soft Netflix shirt (jammies) in blog post as Shameless Plug.

Also, I didn’t read Big Magic at all. I meant to. It is a great book and I will… but really, all I did all weekend was write or watch You’ve Got Mail. And Jaws 3. Which is in 3D, may I remind you, and has some really awesome acting in it. Basically, people shouting “Get out of the water!” and staring at horror as a gigantic fake shark slowly 3D’s its way towards them. I had forgotten how good that movie is. The shark was a little stiff but perhaps he just needed to work on his motivation.

Anyhow. I also wrote. I went to a hipster coffee shop, plunked my stuff down, and wrote my hands off.

I wrote. I wrote like the wind.

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The poor focus on this picture is not because I am a bad photographer. It’s symbolic. It’s showing you, dear reader, the very writerly PROCESS I struggled THROUGH to try and make this book something with some SORT OF FLIPPING POINT BECAUSE MY GOD PEOPLE I AM SO STUCK. I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK. IT’S NO LONGER A BLOCK IT IS MORE LIKE A BOULDER. HELLLLP.

 

 

 

So, then I administered about six cups of very strong coffee:

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And after a lot of flipping back and forth between my writing timeshare with the Facebooks, I then spread my crap out even MORE (All the while muttering: “I don’t CARE if it was annoying fellow coffee shop hipsters, this is IMPORTANT. I am a WRITER, people. THIS IS MY CRAFT.” Which really worked because people kept moving away.)

AND VOILA!!!!

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It’s my book, see! SEE! In post-its!

And also, then:IMG_5709.JPGI celebrated with carbs.

I now notice that Porters, next door, was offering nachos and a pitcher AND hiring… which I could always pursue, you know, if I can’t make it as a writer.

IMG_5724.jpgAs I had not had carbs in over a week, it’s possible this was a mistake. But I only at ONE. I promise. (Lower right, lemon cream. Oh my goodness. Heaven.) The rest of the box I faithfully shlepped home to mah babies.

Yes. I did come back to them.

And now the book is well underway, the blockage is over, and I am just spewing writing all over the place. Lovely analogy, isn’t it? Really has great imagery, doesn’t it. That, my peoples, is what we writers do.

We constantly attach too much meaning to everything and end up with poop metaphors.

It’s our thing.

So, The Second Book is on its way. I now I am thinking of some possible titles. What do you think?

All about MEEEEEE!  Part 2.

I Know I Have a Lot to Say, Don’t Leave

or maybe?

Being Me is Very Difficult Let Me Tell You Why

or my favorite:

Bottled in THREE D. THE SAGA CONTINUES.

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The Force is With Me. Sometimes.

This post was brought to you by:

ALL CAPS and Overdramatization!!! Wheeeeee!!!

Ok. I gotta warn you.  I am going to do something on Momsie I’ve never done before.

I’m going to blame it all on Star Wars.

I have to. It’s the only way.

Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.

Yesterday I:

1. Ran three miles. Ok, two and a quarter and then kinda lurched the rest, but I’ll call if running if you will? Ok? We good on that? Ok.

2. Then, I made breakfast for two kids and actually managed to CLEAN UP THE KITCHEN BEFORE WE LEFT THE HOUSE.

3. And do you know what we did when we left the house.? I put TWO MORE children in my car (they are friends. I didn’t just grab random children, ok?) and we all went BOWLING.

4. And THEN we went and had a very healthy lunch at McDonalds. I sat on the other side of the glass and watched them run around like little rats in ratty Thunderdome. I ate my salad and contemplated my life choices, but you know.

5. And THEN: I decided to take them all shopping for back to school stuff. Well, I just bought stuff for my actual children, but you know.

Backpacks and shoes. So, now that our college fund is totally depleted, I bring them all home and make them snacks (healthy! I promise!) and by heavens I DESERVE A FLIPPING PARADE OK?

Where is my parade? Where? Maybe just a small one? Couple Shriners? One politician in a car much cooler than he is? PLEASE?

Nope. What happened instead:

There seemed to be a problem with one of the backpacks. And by “problem” I mean:

R2-D2 STOPPED WORKING. (“MOM. He’s upposed to light UP and blink at me! He is JUST LIGHTING UP. DER IS NO BLINKING. WHERE ID DA BLINKINNNNNNNGG?” And then he just looked at me as if I could just WAVE my hands over the thing and WAZAAM the blinking back in the backpack. Say that fast three times. And, by the way,  I so wish that was wazamm thing was a thing. Moms could use that thing, sometimes. But I guess that would make me Harry Potter, and it is kinda tricky, that. I mean, I liked the books and all but not sure Jesus would truck with me becoming a wizard. Anyhow. I’m kinda swerving on this, right?

Right. Anyhow. Back to R2.
IMG_5677.jpgLet me also explain that BOTH boys brought home the SAME backpack. And now ONE is not working. And, as you know, that means that ONE kid is now really REALLY Def Con 5 UPSET. The other one is smirking. And then you know that thing that you do, you moms? Where you try to comfort and pat one AND glare at the other one? Well. This maneuver is complex and I MIGHT have fumbled the ball a bit.

Oy vey.

I had figured to just do what Solomon did. Just cut the other one in half and it’s all good. I mean, it’s just STARING at me.

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Help.

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Is it just me, or??

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I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, I settled the backpack issue. Don’t ask. It might have involved the negotiation skills of Atticus Finch. And also a Nutter Butter. But you know.

And THEN, the husband got home from an after-work-go-have-a-beer-with-the-colleagues thing (he’s a total normie and for that I am so grateful and he really did probably have at most a BEER or TWO like he said) but holy Corona, he leaned in to kiss me and I smelled it. Alcohol. And my eyes narrowed to tiny snakey slits of anger and judgement and I swear we both heard a rattle. Because I CAN judge at this point. Do you know WHY?

Do ya? Do you know WHY I CAN JUDGE NOW?

Because it’s past five o’clock and it’s been a DAY and I NEVER GOT THAT PARADE.

Also, I made tuna and stirfry for dinner because my children wanted to act like I was feeding them plague food again tonight.

So, the husband tells me, after a nice, healthy dinner paired with a side serving of snake, and a lottttt of soy sauce,

“Dear. I love you.”

And I responded with:

“That’s because you HAVE to. You’re MARRIED to me. That’s, right, Drinkie McDrinkerson. You are STUCK. WITH. ME.” (rattle, rattle)

AND then. As he slowly trudged up the stairs he called down, “Yes. I am. And I am blessed.”

“YES YOU ARE MR. DRINKY-PANTS. YOU ARE SO BLESSED.”

Like I said. This behavior was all R2-D2’s fault. Perhaps, if we had gotten the Captain America backpacks like I had SUGGESTED NONE of this would have EVER happened.

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AND WEAR MY BACKPACK. MINE. NOT THE ROBOT ONE.