Happy Birthday from Netflix #Streamteam!

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Every year, it happens.

October. October happens. October, with its leaves and its crisp weather and its pumpkin spice all up in my biz..

All good things. Yes.

Also, the birth of my husband, some six million years ago. And the wee first born, my preshus wee angel, WILL BE NINE YEARS OLD. (Hashtag howdidthathappen? timeisweird hewillbeshavingsoon).

The husband does not get the hoopla. He gets a cake, some really crappy cards from my kids, and a golf shirt. That, my friends, is the holy trinity of birthdays when you’re old and boring.

But, did you know? Nine year olds like to think their birthday is going to be second only to when Moses parted the Red Sea, except there will be no drowning and tragedy, and also, no biblical prophecy, so you know. Not as cool. But close.

I have failed birthdays before, y’all. This is daunting.

BUT LO, THE NETFLIX HAS SAYETH: I SHALL HELPETH YE!!

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Friends, it’s not often that my television speaks to me in Old English, but when it does, I listen.

Here’s the deal – Netflix has created Birthdays on Demand. This feature offers your children their favorite characters in cute short clips wishing your kids a Happy Birthday.

 

I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes? A little bit of help really… helps.

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Notice the oven mitt. It’s fitting.

So, how does this magic happen? Just open your Netflix and search “Birthday”! From there you can watch anyone from Barbie to Lego Friends to My Little Pony celebrate with you. Our personal fave? King Julien. Of course. (King Julien is kinda my spirit animal.)

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Thank you, Netflix, for giving me yet another reason to convince my children I am a magical, wondrous woman who has Ninjago at her fingertips. This totally makes up for my frosting abilities.

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As a Netflix SteamTeam blogger, I get to watch the awesomeness that is Netflix, and chatter about it on my blog. It’s a great gig.

 

 

 

 

 

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Paws on the Path

6ir5kBdbT.jpgI was watching Steve the cat this morning. I was sitting on my couch, waiting for my child to figure out how to dress himself because he forgets up until 8 am. He also forgets how to eat, brush his teeth and walk in a purposeful way. But that’s another post for another day.

Anyhow, as I am sitting, rather dejectedly, on the couch, mainlining coffee, I watch as Steve saunters past. He head butts Red, as if to say, “Dude. Don’t rush. It’s all good, brah.” And then he heads for our dining room table which has become The Table of Tiny Legos That You Must Not Move, Clean or Touch. That Means You, Mommy.

And then, our four hundred pound, linebacker of a cat, proceeded to daintily leap, like a whispy ballerina, right into the midst of the Legos. I gasped. Red gasped, and then I yelled at Red because FOCUS FOR PETE’S SAKE WOULD YOU GET DRESSED LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAT. DON’T LOOK AT HIM. DON’T. STOP. YES I KNOW HES CUTE YOUR SHIRT’S ON BACKWARDS. MOOOOOOVE.

Steve turned to me and I swear, winked. And then, he flitted across the table, on soft little cat feet, without even LOOKING. And NEVER TOUCHED ONE LEGO.

I don’t know how he  does it, with the Legos. You know Legos are magnetic, right? They find feet with deadly accuracy, as pretty much every five am walk across our living room floor will prove.

Steve just sauntered about, like a boss, and then proceeded to smush his fat furry torso into a box the size of a postage stamp and purred away. All content and smushed up on the sides, like a  ball of dough rising up in a bowl. A furry ball of dough.

So, it was then that Steve said to me:

“You know. I’m a symbol.”

I lifted my coffee cup to him, and decided to book myself some therapy, real soon. Red flitted past with his shirt on, no longer backwards, but inside out.

And Steve gestured with his fat furry paw at the Legos. “I can do this, without even looking. You humans. You crash through stuff, all day long. Always complaining. Your feet! Your work! Your schedule! Your feelings! Why don’t you just, you know, slow down? Look around and sniff at something? Watch where you’re going?”

“You didn’t watch where YOU were going, Steve. Remember?

“Yes. But but I’m a cat.”

I’m linking up with my happy place today, Five Minute Friday. As I like to have deeply symbolic conversations with a large, white cat, The Five Minute community might not invite me back anytime soon. But today’s theme?

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Slow down. Look around. Sniff at things little. The path is rocky, and filled with tiny sharp things. We do best when we watch where we’re going.

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“Hey, did you know that goats don’t like leashes?”

This is my vantage point:

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Look closely. The cat is also helping.

 

Chair. Coffee. Lots of coffee. Oatmeal. Computer. Listening.

Four small boys are circling the table in dining room. The table looks like Lego Land walked by and puked all over the table. Like, all over it. Also on the floor. Maybe also in the living room too. A bit.

They are discussing various things. It’s pretty technical at times. “No! I LOSTED MY HEAD! Do you guys see my head anywhere? It’s ok, though I still have powers. *whispers* In my tiny hands.

Then the conversation takes a rather interesting twist:

“GUYS. GUYS. Did you know? If you put a leash on a goat and try to walk him? He’ll chew your face off.”

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting that either.

I don’t know how the goat thing started. Is there a Lego goat? Is there a teeny tiny leash in there that can of course get lost and then become REALLY IMPORTANT?

Then, one poor soul says: “Cats. Cats don’t like leashes either.”

They all look, as if on cue, at Steve, Mr. Sweet Fluffypants, who is lounging by the table in all his furry glory. He eyes them with the cool confidence. “Bring it, small people,” he says.

And so, they put a leash on him. I am still watching from the chair, wondering at which point I should get involved. Prior to the face chewing? Or maybe after just a small nibble?

And then Steve allowed himself to be drug across our wood floors, like a kitty Swiffer. It should have been on film. Instead, I watched in awe as he actually put one paw up to groom his ears while being dragged around.

Like a boss.

I did put a stop to the dragging after one full rotation of the room. For one, poor Steve’s fur was now coated in dust bunnies and I needed to squeegee him off. I did consider taking him upstairs and throwing him under our bed a couple times, though. He really picks up dirt and lint with amazing finesse!

I could market this.

Anyhow, also, the leash thing was morphing into, “Hey! Lemme put this on you! I’ll take YOU for a walk! Around the block! Outside!” to the littlest brother and we have enough rumors, about general parenting practices at our house, thank you. We don’t really need leashes added to that mix.

Also, safety. Basic safety. Don’t email me. I shut the whole leash thing down, I promise.

And then, the boys just kinda stared at each other. Bereft. Their weird game had been snuffed out and what to do? I, always helpful, pointed out there was basically the population of China in Legos within two feet of them. One of the boys melted to the floor in despair. The Legos were old and tired. They had just drug a cat across the FLOOR, woman. You CAN’T GO BACK FROM THAT.

Until one of them* said,

“Hey, I can make a bubble with my own saliva.” And they were off to find a mirror and set up the Disgusting Saliva Bubble Olympics 2016.

I would like to say, just for the record, that usually I would intervene on this because EW and We are a Nice Family, and we Don’t Do That. Etc.

But it’s been raining for the past two hours and it’s August. You get the idea, you moms of huddled children at the End Times of Summer. You know.

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Notice the way this cat likes, literally, to live in the edge.

*This was not my kid, who said that, about the saliva thing.

*Well, it might have been.

*Not sure. I can’t recall exactly.

This is the post where some apple juice breaks me.

Warning: It is possible that Momsie uses a teensy weensy bit of bad language in this post. Mom, don’t read. Dad, you’ll feel right at home.

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This is a poster of Yoda, made entirely out of Legos. Note the coffee. Much needed. Note the caption. Much appropriate. Go ahead, visit the Lego Land. If you dare. Just be prepared to get in touch with your dark side.

Recently, my Red had his fifth birthday. And, since I am a rather frugal and practical parent, I had planned a small, simple celebration for him. Because, we don’t spoil our kids.

So, we took him to Kansas City to Lego Land, Sea Life Aquarium, thirty thousand restaurants that had really awesome play centers so your meal is a deafening echo of squealing, cake, three times, and, the epic center of wonderfulness: Chick-fil-A. With vanilla shakes! And der marshmarino cherries! And fifty thousand dollars worth of Star Wars Lego sets!

Be warned: the shake is gonna show up again later in the post. On a very literal level. (Oooooo! foreshadowing! Go English teacher!)

I will detail this little, simple, and practical celebration later, when I know that my parents are not reading and cannot taunt me about loading my children up on the ride we parents take called: Lets Make Hugely Expensive Memories.

Anyhow.

The point of THIS post (the lawyer, ever-present, rolls eyes and adds a “humph”) is to tell you about the three-hour trip home after our weekend of kidpalooza.

Why, you ask, is a three-hour trip so interesting as it merits its own post?

Well, I don’t really know, actually. Perhaps it’s not. In fact, the trip was just rather gross and unpleasant. So, of course, I’m gonna write about it!

Let’s begin.

We started out in the car.

We had: snacks, and waters, and books, and comic books, and Cheerios (I didn’t pack Cheerios. They just appear when we drive), and all the other accessories that children mysteriously gain while in a car. I swear, last time we took a road trip, we got out of the car with an extra kid and a new sofa sectional. I dunno. Perhaps it’s a metaphor for life. We always come out with more than we put in.

So then, we drove. It all seemed to good, as we were heading west and that’s where our house is. Hubs had found some   endless barking radio commentary about the Royals and the Slide Into Second Base-Gate. If you don’t know, it’s some sort of event that happened at this Royals game and the fans are ALL riled up, and so therefore, we need to talk about it for about four days straight on talk radio. Because that is so interesting. And really, really insightful. Especially when dudes phone in with a caller name of “Matt the Machine,” and he likes to say, “You know what I’m sayin’?” at the end of each eloquently worded sentence.

But I digress.

The drive was just fine until Blonde started puking everywhere. Boom. So much for rising action.

And all I’m gonna say is this:*

Three stops. As God is my witness, I will never eat chicken nuggets again.

Evidently, car sickness is a thing. I had heard rumors of it. I think it was something that my sister had at some point, thus the coffee can in the back of the station wagon and all that. On our trip, Blonde had been reading his Overpriced Comic Book from the land of Legos. I would look back, and his little brow was all wrinkled, reading the book, chin on hand.  The cuteness! And, the reading! So adorable! And smart! At the same time! I was so proud.

But then, I looked back a bit later… and I noticed that the cuteness had been overtaken by a green pallor. He wasn’t a deep green yet, but more of a light celadon. Or a soft olive. And I thought, “Wow. What a pretty shade… Hey, WHOA he is starting to do that thing my cat does at 5 am on my bed!”

And then I did the most logical, smooth, and caring parenting move ever: I scrunched way down in my seat. Why, you ask?

Well, I DON’T KNOW. I guess I hoped that no puke would hit me. Or that, perhaps, the scrunching would make this all just go away.

Let me explain: I really, really don’t like puke. (It is at this time that the lawyer snorts and says, “Really? Well, I LOVE the stuff! Most of us, do you know. You’re the EXCEPTION. AS ALWAYS.”)

I really need to fire that dude.

The scrunching did not help. So then the hubs, noticing my paralysis, looked back, summed up the situation in two words, “Whoa, dude.” and handed him a cup.

And the kid filled the cup. With puke. While we were hurtling 75 miles an hour down I-70, and I wondered why in the world did we EVER have children if they were just gonna betray you like this with Chick-fil-A that COMES BACK?????

Ok, I did help him. I did. I turned around, handed him about twenty Chick-fil-A napkins, cooed a bit, while he bravely spewed all the meals he had eaten for what seemed to be the last week.

“WE’RE ON CUP NUMBER TWO. I REPEAT. CUP NUMBER TWO. WE NEED ANOTHER CUP. CUP NOW. STAT. NOW AND STAT. CUP CUP CUP.”

And that’s when my hubs had inner conflict. I know. He doesn’t have this happen to him very often. He is a simple man, with a really kind of single lane road kind of mind. But, you see, the only cup left in the car was his 1980-something special commemorative Kansas City Royals special thing they had won, cup. Let me describe it for you: it is a white, plastic cup. Most of the writing has been rubbed off. He insists it gets hand washed. It is very,very special.

Hubster, also, I guess, prefers that his six-year-old doesn’t make this amazing cup a receptacle for you-know-what.

No more suspense. He gave him the cup. Dad of the Year.

As the Blonde very thoroughly took care of his stomach contents from 2012, we found a place to pull over. We stopped, and Red, always accurate, started to describe how the car smelled. I love that kid. Always available to take a moment fraught with tension and accessorize it.

As soon as we all got out of the car, Blonde loudly informed us, “I’m all done! Feel a lottttt better, too! Can I have a snack?” I just stared at him and wondered what was wrong with him.

Nothing. Evidently. Until we started driving again. Then we had a repeat performance of How to Gross Me Out So Much that I am Mute for at Least an Hour Afterwards. Luckily, I guess, we did pull over for this to halfway happen outside the car. During the halftime show, with Royals arguments about cleats or no cleats blaring from the car, I had to downward dog and breathe for just a minute. The hubs, ever perceptive, asked, “What’s wrong?”

Now, I ask you, what ever could be wrong in all of this?

“I JUST SAW A MARASCHINO CHERRY COME OUT OF HIS NOSE. I WANT MY MOM.” (And then I was mute. For an hour. And for that, I think, we were all a little bit grateful.)

We made it home. None of us had died. We all were able to walk inside. I grabbed Steve the Cat and held him to me like a furry life raft, and he patted me on the shoulder. I swear the cat was purring, “There, there,” to me, as I made it into the kitchen.

It was at this point that the hubs approached me with two of those tiny, overpriced water bottles with the Spiderman or some sort of Mutant Jedi Turtle or something on them. They were Very Important. I guess. They had held apple juice for the boys, which had been fifty percent spewed at me and elsewhere on the trip, so I eyed them rather testily. And then this conversation ensued:

Hubs: We need to rinse these out and keep ’em. We can use them again. The boys will, won’t they?

Me: (Fed up with plastic bottles and apple juice that costs two bucks, and apple juice that comes BACK, and, really, with just life in general). Dear. No. Just toss ’em. We don’t need them…

Hubs: But, we could use them again.

Me: YOU SAID THAT. NO. USELESS CRAP, MARRIED ONE. I GOT APPLE JUICE BOTTLES COMING OUTTA MY ASS.

Yep. That’s what I said.

Not one of my finer moments in the history of all my… moments.

The hubs calmly said, “Sounds painful,” and walked away. And I noted that despair and exhaustion often go hand in hand.

But later? Red did tell me, “Mommah? I wearlly liked our trip to Kansas City.” I nodded. Then,  “You know what the best part was? The BATHROOMS.”

It pays to live your life with really low expectations. Thank you, Red, for the reminder.

Action shot of reading. Same expression as when puking.

Action shot of reading. Same expression as when puking.

*The lawyer would once again like to point out that that was not ALL I said. Not anywhere close. He’s a pain, but he is accurate.

Five Minute Friday: Messenger

Here are the rules for Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker:

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Write for five minutes.  Don’t stop.  Just write.

Don’t edit.  Don’t say, “This is just awful.  Why would anyone have a heart to read this?”  (I never say that.  I just start to and then sigh and look out the window instead.)

Don’t edit.  Even when done.

Push “Publish” with happy flourish and step-ball-kick out the door.

Today’s theme:  MESSENGER

I kinda love this and hate it.  I love it because… I have five minutes.  I DO.  It’s awesome.  I don’t have much more than that because I am traveling with the boys, and they are with their grandpa, and it’s only so long before I gotta unstick myself from my Starbucks leather chair, sigh heavily, and return to them.

I hate it because of the “No editing” part.  I am farrrrrrr too neurotic to embrace this sort of frivolity.  I mean, this is WRITING.  It’s serious stuff and must be perfect at all times.

Except, when… Well, last week I had to get to a Tball game and both children have somehow slathered themselves with sun screen (not a problem) AND mud (problem) and one of them…  Well, one of them smells just plain off, like cottage cheese off,  (mysterious and slightly troubling, but I could ignore it) and the other is crying because he lost the weally weally super special handcuffs from his Wego policeman set (this will be a big problem later, so I am smart enough to aim for proactive and grudgingly look for handcuffs.  Yes, handcuffs.  Legos?  You have a sick sense of humor, I tell you) and I just POST something and later read at least three typos, one of which is the IMPROPER USE OF ITS VS. IT’S, which, as all English teachers know, is the same as reciting Bloody Mary in the mirror at midnight.  It’s MESSING WITH SATAN, I TELL YOU.

And, I overused (even for ME) my capitals and also had one annoying sentence where I totally didn’t even know what I was trying to SAY and heck, this post is a MESS.

And I thought, “Good lord, my readers are going to think I’m trying to give all the English teachers heart attacks or something… those that read me.  Poor dears.  We all know, every time someone uses they’re/their/there incorrectly, an English teacher ends up teaching summer school.”

But then, the five year old had lost his key to the jail for his Wego policeman and possibly his teeny tiny taser and I had to help because DIS IS WEARLLY SPECIAL TO MEEEE, and I cannot ignore the blonde hair/big brown eyed / hands clasped combo package of pleading that he specializes in.  Plus, they’re is this:

 

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So, no editing.  Post stayed all wonky.  But you know?  I re-read it and I still smiled.  The message was there.  My ideas and my intent? All their.  I wanted to make someone laugh, and I am pretty sure I succeeded.

My message often times circles back and ends up being for me.  And this time, my messenger heard this:

Write. Every day.  For you.  For your readers too.  But write it all out and then, write some more.

 

(And thank you, Lord, for automatic spell-check.)

 

*The lawyer would like to point out that I did change tenses like a makajillion times in this post.  I respond without quote marks and with a flourish of my new found love for not spelling:  its too late! I pushed publish!  go drink a latte on me at the Starbucks and simmer down.

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