It’s the Great Flu Bug, Charlie Brown

 

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So, it’s Halloween today. World’s most divided holiday. (Well, Columbus Day is moving up in the polls on this, so perhaps Halloween will lose its ranking soon).

We celebrate Halloween, yes. Our rules are simple:

1.No creepy.

2. No scary.

3. No plastic knives with fake blood (see #1 and #2)

4. And all Reeses’ are subject to quality control sampling.

Anyhoo – we were all in the works for Halloween. So far this month we have had two birthdays, and something called Hyllingsfest which involves dancing and Swedish meatballs and Lord have mercy there were my boys in tights singing “Children of Our Heavenly Father” in SWEDISH and it was PREASHUSS.

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CAN YOU EVEN? I MEAN HOLY SWEDISH POM POMS. Also: note the ears. They hold up the hat. Of course. Such great little preshus earsie wearsies.

Also there’s THIS:

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It appears in this picture my cute little kid has had just a bit too much of Swedishness and has had to take so many pictures that he just snarls now. BUT IT’S STILL CUTE. IT IS.

Halloween also has the capacity for preshus. I give you, exhibit A:

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And then… Wait for it….

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The TAIL. I don’t even know how to use my words here. Which is kinda rare.

This Halloween, both boys wanted to be All Star Wars, All the Time. I was so proud. And then, that’s when I kind of detached myself from my reality, and said these fated words:

“Oh no, Blonde. Let me make you a Kylo Ren costume. I’m SURE IT WILL BE EASY.”

Yep yep yep. I said that. It’s about as scary and stupid as the girl who asks, “Is anybody there?” in the scary Halloween movie, right before she gets the big bloody heave-ho.

Do you know, that making a HOOD is not really all that easy? Like, if you don’t make it RIGHT, your kid starts to look sorta… like he’s part of the clan?

And I don’t mean caveman clans, people. My costume really really was taking a turn to the fascist, and that’s… well.. no. Just, NO.

So… then this happened:

“Mom? My head hurts. And my stomach. Also, my throat. And my arms. My arms are twitchy.”

Yes. Yes, twitchy arms are evidently also a symptom of MY KID HAS THE FLU RIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

I know. This is so scary. Basically it’s like the girl just asked, “Is anybody there?” And THEN she PROCEEDED TO WALK UP THE CREEPY STAIRS. (Why do we go for heights, people, when we are scared? Why? Has not anyone ever considered just turning your butt around and walking right out the door? Oh no. You have to saunter up the STAIRS because up THERE you will be safe and sound and not end up with body parts all over. Suggestion: There’s a Quick Trip down the street – get out, go get a cherry slushy and survive.)

But, I digress.

The kid was sick. Sickety-sick. This all happened on Friday and, as you know, moms never can live for longer than ten seconds without projecting something and then planning the heck out of the ahead, so I started devising.

And it went like this:

  1. My child is sick. And he might still be so on Halloween.
  2. Clearly the most logical thing is to convince the neighborhood to just have Halloween on Wednesday.

Totally should work, right?

When I presented my plan to the husband, I was met with a teensy bit of opposition. It went like this:

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

I responded gently, like this: “THIS IS OUR CHILD. THE FRUIT OF OUR LOINS. HAVE YOU NO SOUL.”

Red: “What are Loinds?”

Anyhow, the hubster, who has so very often found himself in this predicament before, JUST KEPT TALKING:

“Why don’t you just dress him up in his Grim Reaper costume and-”

“Excuse me? What? What did you say?”

“Um… just dress him up. He can answer the door?”

“In his WHAT costume?”

“Um… the Grim Reaper? The one who does the Reaping? No? No reaping? Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why in the world would you think I would dress my son up as Death? Have you really REALLY no soul? This post is really writing you in a dark light, dude.”

“Okkkkaaay. He’s not the Grim Reaper. So, he’s Hooded Bathrobe Guy?”

The rest of the conversation is not acceptable for our ears BECAUSE WE HAVE SOULS AND MY HUSBAND DOES NOT.

I would like to add that Blonde is all better. I didn’t have to reconfigure the time-space continuum for my neighborhood, so that’s good. My husband and I have worked through our issues and he has adamantly stated that this is the best Kylo costume in the galaxy. He’s a good man.

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Throw Back Thursday and Tiny Stormtroopers

Halloween is nigh, my friends, and it seems we have chosen Star Wars as the theme.

Huh. Like I couldn’t have seen that coming.

This year, sweet Red, who has been Luke Skywalker for the past few years, has chosen Darth Vader. My son has chosen the Dark Side. I know. I could read a lot into this but really? I’ve seen him in his Darth costume and it is fer SURE adorable. You can’t be full on Dark Side AND be cute at the same time, so that saves it.

Here is a throw-back from a two years back:

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This post was sponsored by:

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And:

GUILT.

This should be fun! So let’s get started.

Ok, one of my favorite scenes from Star Wars was when Harrison Ford has that cute conversation with the dude on the intercom. I love it because he is SOOOOO cute! The cuteness! The cute swagger! And he fits in his Storm Trooper outfit really well!

Yes, little ones, I am referring to the real Star Wars. The one that I watched in Glenwood Theater in Overland Park, Kansas in 1977. I was 8. Harrison Ford was a bit too old for me. I had feathered bangs, and Glenwood Theater had a chandelier, people. And velvet seats. And a deep red curtain that opened before each showing. It was an EXPERIENCE, y’all.

The other reason I love that scene is that I kinda feel like Han did in that controller room all the time. Sorta, erm, on the edge a bit and also: TOTALLY FAKING IT ALL THE TIME.

So here’s an update on my week:

The gigantic box from Netflix? Remember that?

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Well, it was just a tv. No biggie. Just a gigantic tv. Because, you know, I’M AWESOME.

Here is how my family reacted to this:

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Husband is blurry because I was giggling.

Ok, also: we had Halloween. So we have ONE picture of ONE child. I don’t know why. Just ONE child evidently was photogenic enough (barely, you’ll see) for me to point and click at him.

Here you go:

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Riiiiiight. I know. You can’t see him. Someday I am totally going to get fired for lousy photography. But, also…

(Wait for it…)

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

BOOM. I have been waiting my whole LIFE to be able to channel my inner Leia and say that! And now I can! With a blurry, dark photo of my cute, and short, son!

Oh, and by the way:

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WE WON THE WORLD SERIES. There is such goodness about this I can’t even use words. Well, no, I CAN use words, but they just won’t really do it justice. It is wonderfulness. It is nail biting games and extra innings and Salvie messing with us whenever he talks and stealing home and just a sprinkling of Paul Rudd, for flavor.

Oops, used words. Sorry. Can’t help it.

By now, I bet you’re wondering… where does the guilt part come in?

Well, and also:

I abandoned my child. I KNOW. This post took a rather abrupt turn, didn’t it? We were all happy and celebrating holidays and big screen tv’s and then, WHAMMO.

That’s called a plot twist.

Here’s the deal. My sweet Red, who is wonderful and adorable in every way, is also, well, how should I put this:

Slow. He’s just really slow. He likes to do things slowly. All the things. Eating. Pooping. Walking. It’s all slow.

This totally doesn’t bother me at all.

So, this morning, for some reason, Red really really had a rough time with some basics: I told him to get dressed and I found him, in his underpants, staring out the front door at the sky as if he were contemplating his life choices for his long five years.

Socks. Same problem. Found him upstairs in the train room, just standing there. It was creepy.

Brushing teeth? I don’t even think we got there because we were still stuck at socks. Poor teachers.

Anyhow, finally, I snapped. I uttered these fateful words:

“Red. We are leaving. You have one minute. If you are not ready to go then Blonde and I will have to LEAVE WITHOUT YOU.”

And. Well. To cut the suspense, I’ll just tell you. He got left. We left him. I LEFT him. I took Blonde, grabbed the dog, and walked AWAY FROM MY BABY.

And then, he proceeded to lose his #@!.

But I think he did hurry up a little. He made it to a block from school and I spotted him. He was sobbing and all the mothers of the entire town were surrounding him. I think a few cars had pulled over. Police helicopters were circling overhead and Fox News had been called.

I walked up and said, “He’s fine.” Not the best thing to say. I then explained (because he was NOT fine, but he was “learning a lesson” from his “evil mother” who had to “not relapse because of this morning” and needed to, no matter what, “stick by her words no matter how much it was gonna freak her and the entire community OUT.”)

I explained the situation, and Red headed off, with me behind him. One mom gave me a sympathetic smile, but I swear another one has decided to shadow my house now.

Sigh. I know. All of this kinda puts a pall over the new tv.

Mommies. I’m doing the best I can. We had done the morning dawdle routine just one too many times. I decided to stick to my guns. I just didn’t expect this:

He broke my heart. Seeing him here, all sobbing and sad. I just don’t know. The kid learned a lesson but I did too. If I am going to leave my kid to fend for himself I need to figure out a way to do it with in air surveillance and nerves of steel. As I have neither of these things I am going to try out one of two options:

  1. Get the kid up at 5 am so he will be on time.
  2. Just carry him everywhere.

And that was my morning.

Everything’s fine here. And… How are YOU?

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A Blind Guy, a Robot, and Darth Vader Walk Into a Movie…

Guys, Netflix has SO much awesome stuff right now. I have already talked to you about my love for Moana (well, the boys love it too, but mine is a deeper kind of love. I’m in a serious relationship with the song “You’re Welcome.” It especially makes me happy when the occasion merits an actual “You’re welcome” and I get to break into song. My children so love this. It’s like when they fight and I start with the “Let it Go” business. Big showstopper, that one.)

And then, there’s Sing, and I’m humming, “I’m Still Standing” on the daily as well. It’s a good Mom song. By about five pm, we moms all feel a bit triumphant that we’re still vertical.

There’s so much singing going on over here. I’m a regular Julie Andrews, I tell you. But, shouting “I’m SHINY!!” tends not bring my children in concert with me, with matching outfits and Austrian accents. In fact, most times when I start crooning they sort of sidle away with a pained expression, muttering, “Always with the singing.”  But, you know, one day they might join me and we will enter a contest and climb some mountains to flee the Nazis. Don’t even get me started on this possibility.

Anyhow. This month, I am going to give you a non-singing option to dial up for  movie night because OH MY GOODNESS IT IS REALLY GOOD.

I am a total Star Wars snob, ok? The first rule of Star Wars is that we don’t talk about the Star Wars prequels. When Jar Jar speaks we turn away.

And, we actually straight up sobbed in the theater when Han died. (By “we” I do mean me – but third person sounds cooler.) My husband actually had to put his arm around me. And then, I couldn’t speak of it for two days afterwards.

Trust me, the Star Wars is strong with this one.

So, when Rogue One came out, as a “Star Wars story,” I was skeptical. Would it just be another weak CGI’d mess with whiny characters and costumes that are more interesting than the actors? (Yes, Princess Ami-blah blah. Your hair was better than your acting).

Rogue One is so good. It’s sooooo good. It has STUFF in it that just… is SO GOOD.

Is that not a really good review? “It is so good!” They should have used this in their press release:

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The hubs and I had a movie night. There was popcorn. A blind guy took down nearly twenty storm troopers because he can.

A robot stole all the best lines.

And then, there is Vader.

Chills. People. He’s in there. I might have squealed a little.

The movie has lots of neato Easter egg for the nerds who are always on the prowl about this sort of thing. Not me, of course.

But… doesn’t this look familiar?? I mean, HOW COOL IS THAT! (tiny nerd squeak)

 

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I’m gonna tell it to you true – the good guys get hit hard in this movie. Rogue One has really intense battle scenes and some hard moments when the good guys sacrifice their lives. It’s a hard message. Love, bravery, sacrifice, family, courage. Truth. War. Faith. It’s all in there.

But, the good guys keep trying. They keep fighting the darkness, even when the odds are very high that they won’t make it. Very high.

As a mother of two boys in 2017? I need this message. I really, really do.

Save the rebellion.

Save the dream.

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As a StreamTeam blogger, I get to watch Netflix and chat about it. It’s a great gig.

Birthday Boy

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My son just asked me if we could build Tatoinne in our living room.

Also, I am now looking up on the youtubes how to put the buns in the sides of mah hair. Because Princess Leia, you know.

Also, Darth Vader will be coming over, Saturday. I do hope the house will be tidy enough. He likes a tidy house.

Also, I am now trying to staple Yoda ears to the dog.

Ok, just kidding about that last part but the doggie Yoda ears are sooooo cute and they will not STAY ON because preshums doggums keeps shaking his doggie head.

HE IS MESSING WITH MY PLAN.

Birthdays follow a basic template. It goes like this:

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I can’t help it. I have this weird propensity to always say, “Let’s just keep it simple,” and then something in my brain sort of snaps and fizzles and I start creating a Death Star out of paper mache and hope. Red’s birthday is Saturday and I’ve been tweeting at Harrison Ford for TWO days now to make a surprise appearance and he STILL hasn’t gotten back to me.

Here is the culprit behind all this:

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The bat costume is there because I was in a hurry and couldn’t find a picture of him without a costume. Also, we do costumes a lot around here. Keeps it real.

But, the cuteness? Don’t let it distract you. He’s a master at manipulation.

I must go. Tatoinne wasn’t built in a day, you know.

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Have Yourself a Merry Little- Oh Never Mind.

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So. Christmas is over.

Not really, I know. Christmas is really an all year long thing, as you well realize. But right now, that’s just one Hallmark card short of rubbing it in a little bit. I can’t help it. On December 26 I find myself in a taking down of all the decorations frenzy. Our kitchen seems to offer up only one food group anymore – fudgey items – and I seem to crave… salad. Who knew? If you eat nothing but pie and cheese for a week that spinach might start calling your name?

Also, taking down Christmas decorations is weird. It’s like, I love all the sparkly bits all over the house, but keeping them up just REMINDS me that the sparkly bits will need to come down. It’s like visiting Paris and knowing that in a day or two you will be getting on a plane and ending up in the Newark airport. So, let’s just take down all the sparkly bits now. Let’s squash those hopes of Paris, ca va? Paris is overrated.

My boys greeted me this morning with this nugget: “So, what’s the NEXT holiday we’ve got, Mom? And, are there presents.?”

Speaking of presents, right now I am listening to this:

“Red! RED! Whack the droid with your lightsaber! Use the force. THE FORCE, RED. NO, NOT THAT FORCE, THE OTHER ONE. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, WHACK THE GLOWING CRYSTAL THINGIE WITH YOUR FORCE!”

USE THE FORCE AND THEN RUN AWAAYYYYYYYY!”

Yep. We drank the Kool-Aid. The boys got a Wii for Christmas (we’re only a few years behind on technology. We take it slow here. Just a few months ago both boys were running around with the BOXES to their dad’s iphone pretending they were their OWN phones. It was kind of pathetic. I wanted to encourage them on being so creative and imaginative but I also felt a bit embarrassed about it all.)

And, I know for a FACT that no Jedi would EVER whack ANYONE with the force and then run away. That’s just silly talk.

Also, there’s this rather illuminating bit of marital knowledge: When you tell your spouse, “Really, there is nothing I want for Christmas. Just skip the gifts, ok?” you must remember this later. You must remember that you said it and you believed it about as much as you believe that elves make cookies in trees and that The Walking Dead is gonna have a happy ending. You need to maybe clarify this statement next year like this:

“Ok. I’m going to tell you that I don’t want any presents. But, when it is 7:35 am and I’ve had about four hours of sleep and the boys have reached a sort of unwrapping frenzy that makes you think of really cute sharks circling in the water, trailing ribbons, I might want a small gift. Just a wee morsel. Something shiny. Like four thousand dollars.”

I told the husband “no gifts.” And then, of course, I got him candy, a Popular Science magazine that he will never find time to read, and a gadget that doesn’t work. And for me? Nothing. Nada. He really actually listened to me.

This is so very rare.

Why is it he does not listen to me when I say things like, “Honey? There is a spider the size of New Jersey in the laundry room?  I tried to friend him on facebook, but he says he’s not on social media and could he just eat me instead? COULD YOU COME HERE AND SMUSH HIM????”

Nope, he doesn’t hear me when we are all about to be ransacked by big, hairy legged monstrosities in the laundry room. But he TOTALLY is all, “I’m the best listener EVER when presents are involved.”

My husband says there are too many caveats in marriage. Too many unwritten rules added to the written rules. I tell him that’s what keeps it fresh. Being married to me is your very own Clue game, only no one dies by candlestick.

The only recourse is to eat some of the candy that I had bought him. I am so over wanting salad now. There is peanut butter in the candy so it’s healthy.

So, my afternoon will be spent with a chocolate hangover and that weird, “there is too much down-time now” kind of feeling hanging over me like a needy roommate. On one hand, I want to deal with the roommate by washing all of her clothes and cleaning house from top to bottom. But the other half of me wants to watch my boys’ bludgeon each other with the Force and run in weird circles in that prancy way that Lego Star Wars characters do.  At one point it looked like Obi Wan Lego guy was doing the Hustle.

And… Lego Star Wars has won the battle for now. The force is strong with this day.

 

Momsie’s Annual Top-Ten Thankfuls!

Here’s what you have been waiting for, all year!!!!! I know you have. Me too.

Gratitude is the best reset button EVER. I belong to a facebook group where we post, every day, five gratitudes, and did you know? Every time I do it, I feel better. Even on the no good, very bad, worstest days ever. Gratitude is a multi-vitamin for the soul, I tell you.

So, here goes. My annual Thanksgiving Day Top Ten Thankfuls:

(In no particular order, because I’m doing this right after I had some coffee and a Clariton and I am totally squirreled out right now):

  1. Squirrel One and Squirrel Two. Might as well keep it in the rodent family right now. img_57831
  2. Also, of course, head squirrel, the hubster:

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4. Lemon Bars. I know. Kinda random. But really? Everything has been all pumpkin spice all over the place and I’m so over it. Let’s start a new thing – Lemon Bar Season! It could happen.

5.  That The Force Awakens did not rely on bad CGI and there was no Jar Jar in it.

6. My mom’s oyster dressing. I know that I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.

7. That Black Friday will be over soon.

8. This guy:IMG_5652He has hopes that one day he will be able to FIT in that box. But, as he keeps getting fatter, and the box stays the same, I admire his optimism.

9: This:

 

10: Also, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  And he is good.

Amen?

Amen.

 

Bonus #11:

Sober Momsie. I just am who I am supposed to be when I don’t have alcohol in me. I operate better.

I know, some would say, “Really?” But, if you knew me before you would not argue, believe me.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

Princesses and Pirates and Popcorn.

Ok. I guess you could say I am a Princess kind of person. I don’t necessarily like pink or tea parties or even tiaras (those are fun on birthdays because then people bring you presents) but if I had to choose…

It’s really by process of elimination. I cannot climb ropes. I don’t like high places. I certainly don’t get all this general swashbuckling about. It’s beyond me. I might be able to swash or buckle, but certainly not both at the same time.

I can rock a mean black eyeliner though. And an eye patch. But that’s another post for another day.

Last week I had two extra boys at my house. We were busy. It was a Star Wars day, which meant we were playing Star Wars legos and Star Wars tag and Star Wars bikes and Star Wars pretty much anything as long as there could be a Luke and someone with a blaster. Steve the cat was Chewbacca. I always got to be Leia. That kind of thing.

It was all fun until that dreaded time after lunch where everyone gets Tired of Each Other.

And then, that’s when I decided to snag them with my Secret Weapon: Princesses.

I know. I know it’s a stretch, stay with me.

I explained that I had been asked to review THIS, which I brandished at them with much flair, and Princessey splendour.swan-princess-dvd-754x1024.jpgThere was some silence. And then I offered popcorn, and they shrugged and said, “Ok!”

I know. This doesn’t sound very promising but here’s the deal: I love watching movies with my kids. And I grew up on Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty… and let’s just say those don’t get a lot of play at our house. And this afternoon, my boys sat and watched a princess become a pirate and this was what they did:

 

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They were totally into it, y’all. Total silence. Except for small-boy inhalation-munching of popcorn.

And also this: WHY is there a basket of laundry in EVERY picture I ever take? Curse you, laundry. Diva photo-bomber.

 

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The movie had pirates. It had weird beasties. It had high seas and music and adventures and also some moments where we all got the giggles. I snort-laughed at one point. That is a really, really huge compliment, by the way. It means I am invested in the pirates and beasties, which doesn’t happen all time when watching with my boys. It also means I need to work on my social cues, but that’s another post for another day.

Hey, Swan Princess, who knew?
It was all rather surprising.

Popcorn, a movie, pirates, princesses, and a basic lesson on how we shouldn’t pile on expectations. Done. All in one afternoon.