Monday, February 22, 2010

Not Me! Monday


I do NOT pride myself on having a pretty decent fashion sense.


Not me.

I do NOT 'know' my own personal style very well.


Not me.

I do NOT try to look my best when going places other than, McDonalds or the grocery store.


Not me.

I have NOT had a little bit of a struggle lately with my weight.


Not me.

I have NOT experienced a steroid-induced puffy weight gain that makes me look like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloon.


Not me.

When dressing for church yesterday, I did NOT realize that NONE of my black pants fit me.


Not me.

I did NOT play bells in church yesterday, which did NOT necessitate the wearing of black pants.


When faced with the prospect of having NO black pants that fit, I did NOT start crying in my closet.

No way.

That would NEVER happen.

And I absolutely, positively did NOT resort to wearing my black PILATES spandex exercise pants to CHURCH!


That could NOT have happened.

But it did.

I could NOT have worn exercise pants to WORSHIP!  Could I?

NO way.

NOT me.

And because I was NOT worked up about the pants and the weight and the balloonish buffoonery that has NOT become my body, I did NOT play the wrong bells for TWENTY FIVE measures, NOT once, NOT twice.  

NOT for two separate services.

This is NOT ludicrous.

I did NOT wear exercise pants to church!

And I did NOT play the same exact WRONG bells for the same exact TWENTY FIVE measures at two distinct performances, two hours apart.

Oh how I wish this were NOT true!

Exercise pants!  Wrong bells!  What a nightmare!

I must have dreamt it!



I did NOT.

NOT me.



Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Un-Valentines' Day



Two Swords doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day.

I used to try to make him.

Like I would buy HIM stuff, or make HIS favorite dinner, or make reservations at HIS favorite dinner, or when he 'lost' his wedding ring on a construction site and I 'found' him another, or when I got tickets to Cirque du Soleil at the last minute.

Other than the wedding ring, which he felt HORRIBLY about losing, I don't think Two Swords enjoyed any of those Valentines that I forced on him.


I don't do any of that stuff anymore.

But the Hallmark Company and the Kay Jeweler Company and the Hershey Chocolate Company have already stuck their brainwashing prongs into my children.

Valentines' Day to them is up there with Christmas and birthdays.

It's a REALLY, REALLY big deal.

Well, why wouldn't be?

Every kid gets a Valentine.

And EVERY Valentine has candy attached to it.

And there are SCHOOL PARTIES.


And DIP N STICKS, which result in blue and green granulated sugar splayed all over my house.


And then there are CHURCH PARTIES.

Okay, you get the drift.

So the Piranha (fka, Captain Jake Sparrow), actually kept his choppers in his mouth for a few days, knowing that one of the primary events in his fifth year, Valentine's Day, might become cataclysmically, catastrophically CANCELLED, with continued chopping.......

Reilly the Red was so nervous, as she has a tad of a boy crush.

There was a Valentine's Dance at her school on Friday night, but, please, SEVEN is entirely too young to attend ANY kind of dance, even if it is chaperoned. Well, that's what the parents in THIS household say anyway.

The day before the party and the dance, Red started to get nervous, because I guess there had been some playground skuttlebutt about whether or not her 'boy-crush' was going to 'ask' her to the dance or not.

When Reilly confessed this to me, she amazed me with wisdom beyond her years.

She said, "Just because the girls SAID he wanted to ask me, doesn't even mean he DOES. I mean, how do THEY know? Maybe he didn't even TALK to them, right Mommy?"

And I agreed with her.

I asked her if she thought her 'boy-crush' was going to the dance.

She said she didn't even know. But some of the girls were going. With their parents. Every child had to be accompanied by a parent.

For a second, I started to waiver just a bit on our 'SEVEN IS TOO YOUNG FOR A SCHOOL DANCE stance.'

And let me just add this little bit of information - Reilly never even ASKED if she could go to the dance. Not once, from the minute the event was announced, did my daughter express the slightest bit of interest in attending the dance.

So I just threw out a pitch. What the heck.

"Reilly, do you want to go to the dance tomorrow?"

And my oh-so-wonderfully-wise baby girl looked at me with horror in her eyes and gave me the most perfect answer to the simplest of questions:

"MOM? Are you crazy? SEVEN is WAYYYYYY to young for a dance. NO! I do NOT want to go to a dance! ESPECIALLY with my parents there! I would be a total LOSER! What is WRONG with you? I am NOT going to hang around at a dance with four SECOND GRADE GIRLS while all the FIFTH graders are STARING AT US! I will go to the dance when I am in FIFTH grade, just like you and Daddy said, ALRIGHT?"

"Of course, dear, whatever you think is best," I barely eke out of my mouth as I am










































And that was my way of saying, "Praise God, Halleluja, Praise GOD!"

So Reilly the Red, the sage Pirate that she is, worked it all out.

At seven.

She figured out angst.

She compartmentalized it.

Decompartmentalized it.

Stressed over it.

Got over it.

See ya later, Angst.

Kicked that one out of the park, she did.

So that's my NOT ME! Monday post.

I do NOT have a wise beyond her years daughter.

I do NOT have a beautifully sensitive, insightful daughter with REAL feelings, even ANGST.

I do NOT love her, every single millimeter of her, every single curly strand of hair on her head, every tooth that falls out of her mouth, I do NOT, I do NOT, I do NOT.

Oh, but YES, I do.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

People Like You


Sometime during yesterday's Fight Card, Reilly the Red decided to, um....mentor her little brother.

She used her time wisely, and tried to use words he would understand.

Like, "Jake you are so STUPID!"

Well, I put a stop to that sort of nonsense.

I encouraged her to use her own experiences to potentially assist him in overcoming his own inadequacies.

She was confused.

I casually reminded her of the worst sin she has ever committed in her life thus far.

She went, "Oh.", and blushed, and put her head down.

(Sorry, but we promised her we would never put it on the blog, and well, a promise is a promise......)

So she went back to her 'mentoring' of Jake.

Reilly the Red: "Jake. There is a special place for people like you."

The Sparrow: "What do you mean?"

Reilly the Red: "For kids. It's a place that really sucks and the food is terrible and you have to sleep on the floor and if you don't stop biting people, Daddy's friend Deputy Tim is going to come and get you and put you in there."

A beginning to be frightened Sparrow: "What kinda place?"

Reilly the Red: "It's for people like you.

It's called,


And Then There Was........Hurl


Not long after I typed my last '.' on the Vampire post..............

.........did Reilly the Red emerge from her peaceful slumber...............

puking and hurling and barfing ..............................

.................................all the way down the hall and into and out of my bedroom..................

Thankfully(?) I was on the couch.

Thankfully(!) Billy Two Swords is the type of husband and father who HELPS with sick children in the middle of the night, no matter how big the mess, no matter how stenchous the smell, no matter what time the sickness happens versus what time he has to be up in the morning.

So we tag-teamed between consoling and cleaning, cleaning and consoling.

My Reilly Baby Girl thinks the salad she ate from the Teacher's lunch line at school had some ham in it that tasted 'bad'.

Well, at least they are feeding the kids better than they are feeding the teachers?

I guess?

And since when do the munchkins get to eat from the Teacher's lunch line?


Why am I complaining about THIS?

I'm not.

I'm not complaining about anything.

Reilly the Red did not have a fever, so I truly think it was a case of bad food.

And when I asked her if she thought she would go to school in the morning, she said yes, because of course, they will be making their Valentine's Day mailboxes for Friday's party.

And since she is quite the crafty artist, and since she has a bit of a 'love crush' (her words!) on a little man in her class, I think she would rather chew off her left arm at the elbow than miss school in a few hours.

So she is in MY bed, which is the bed nearest to a toilet.

I am on the couch.

Listening to the 3 hour heavy duty stain master wash cycle on my high efficiency washing machine, which contains a load of about 18 puke-laden towels.

Fred did not do as good of a job of eating the kid hurl like I expected him to.

That really must have been some nasty ham, if the dog won't eat it!

Man it has been a BUSY 24 hours.


I have learned a lesson.


More like another confirmation.

Or as the Blues Brothers would say it:

"A mission from Gahd."

The confirmation is that I have been a SAHM for two years now.

I have finally accepted it. And actually EMBRACED it recently.

Days/nights like today/tonight remind me to embrace my stay-at-home-ness.

I don't have to go 'to' work in the morning.

I can go back to bed at 730 am, and sleep until 330 in the afternoon if I want or need to.

I can.

I don't have any reports or presentations that are due tomorrow.

I will not have an absence from 'work' tomorrow that might jeopardize my career or corporate climb.

When everyone awakes in the morning, I will not have to make a work/life balance choice.

I will not have to choose between staying home with a sick child, and going to work at my job.

My job IS staying home with a sick child.

Whether I 'work' outside of the home or not.

It's just impossible to explain that to one's employer sometimes.

And when you are drinking your company's kool-aid, your judgment could become temporarily clouded by the dangling carrots of ambition, cash, prestige......

I am so thankful that I no longer have to make that choice, and that I haven't had to make that choice in a very long time..

But right now, at this very minute, I am most thankful that I just checked on my baby girl and she remains fever-free, and is resting comfortably.

Right now, THAT is ALL.

ALL that matters.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Vampire Who Never Remembers Anything (and why does this sound like the title of a Veggie Tales movie?)



The Sparrow.


Captain of a ship that never sails.







Five has been AWESOME.


Til this week.

Five has been smooth as molasses.

Pretty as a petunia.

Smart as a whip.


The Sparrow has (ahem --had) turned a corner.

He got smarter, like, OVERNIGHT.

He started getting up in the morning, getting out the cereal, a bowl, a spoon, the milk, pouring it into the bowl, not making a mess.....


You have come to the right blog.

We are talking about the same Captain Jake Sparrow here.

He has been WRITING letters and numbers and his NAME!

And for a minute, just one sixty-second moment in time, I thought, "Thank you God! There is hope for him! He just might graduate......from Pre-K!"





We arrive at yesterday.


(And yes, the Beatles are strumming in my head.)


(And yes, I am stalling.)



Yesterday, the Sparrow BIT one of his very best friends at school.






T-Rex Bitemarks.



His Best Friend Cameron.

Why? How? What were the circumstances?????


Cameron tried to H-U-G the Captain.

So Jake B-I-T Cameron.

On the arm.


Let me just pause for a moment and tell all my readers that Jake has NEVER BEEN A BITER.


Til Yesterday.

So he gets written up at school.

And, for the first time in the history of his school (I'm guessing, here, but I'm probably not very far off), FOUR dots were issued.


Jake is now the Four Dot Wonder.

When he came home and we started talking about it, we of course asked him, "WHY did you BITE Cameron?"

"I don't know."

"I forgot."

"I can't remember."

We went through this for awhile.

And Billy and I realized that he had been so good lately, so super smart, so on his A-game, that this had to be just a weird fluke thing.

Maybe it was because he has a new teacher?

We weren't going to overanalyze it too much, because it just never happened before.

Jake was forced to write an apology note to Cameron.

Trust me when I tell you, this was an herculean task.

And it was probably more painful for us to watch him try to write this note, than it was for him to actually write it.

Every time he wrote down ONE SINGLE LETTER of his apology note, he would come to one of us and say, "Hey! How's my 'D' look? Do you like my 'D'? Did I do a good job on my 'D'?"

Needless to say, it took him 2 hours to write two sentences.

We reiterated his poor behavior at Bible story/bedtime, and I did my darndest to crack into that skull of his that he had done something very wrong, and that he couldn't EVER EVER EVER do it again.

We prayed about it and it was over.

Tomorrow is a new day.


Enter today.




Captain Jake Sparrow arose early, in time with Reilly the Red, and asked if he could 'walk' her to the bus.

The bus stop is at the end of our driveway.

The end of our driveway is two car lengths away from the kitchen table.

It ain't no long walk, if you know what I mean.

Well, since it was FREEZING cold (forty degrees!) outside, and we could see everything from the window, and Reilly the Red is amazingly responsible, AND because our neighbor walks his son, Crazy Head over to our driveway, we didn't have a problem with it.

So the Sparrow has his breakfast, gets himself dressed and all bundled up.

Off they go on their TREK.

Three minutes later.........


Billy Two Swords is opening the kitchen window and screaming the following:





Then I hear Two Swords scream at him again to go back to Crazy Head and apologize.

Crazy Head's Dad is then seen giving the Sparrow 'the business' about punching his kid in the stomach. As he should.

After what seemed like three double overtimes later, the bus finally arrives, takes one of my kids, and the Captain TREKS back 'home'.

When pressed as to why on earth he would punch Crazy Head in the stomach when it was completely UNPROVOKED, The Sparrow said,

"Cuz he was acting all Crazy and stuff, and he was bothering me."

Well, friends, that's why we call him Crazy Head.

But we certainly don't condone our son punching him in the stomach!

Two Swords then gave the Sparrow "the business", and told him that TONIGHT, he would be writing ANOTHER apology note to Crazy Head.

The Sparrow didn't care for that.

No matter.

Off to school they went.

Apparently, upon arriving at school, the Sparrow's victim from yesterday, Cameron, had just arrived with his mother in tow.

The Sparrow handed Victim #1 his apology note, and the mother was very touched, and went on and on about how sweet it was and the Sparrow and His Victim had a hug that did not involve bite marks, and Two Swords breathed a huge sigh of relief and went on about his day.


1600 hours.

The Hurricane and Red go to pick up the Sparrow from school.

The Hurricane is met AT THE DOOR with the following statement:


In the words of Captain Jake Sparrow, I kinda yelled, and I kinda yelled LOUDLY:

"W-H-A-T T-H-E ?????????"


Victim #3.

In less than 24 hours.

Victim #3 was (yes, I use that term, because he may NOT be after today) one of Jake's best friends also.


SWEET Carson.

Bite wound to the back.

No marks, Ma'am.

Happened in the gym.

They were wrestling, Ma'am.

No Ma'am, we have not identified a motive.

No Ma'am, there was no provokation by the Victim.

No Ma'am, there was no retaliation by the Victim.

Yes Ma'am, we have the perpetrator under arrest.

Yes Ma'am, we will release him on his own recognizance, into your custody.



You say you don't want him in your custody?



In the words of the aforementioned Captain, I just don't want to talk about this ANYMORE!

I have been talking and talking and talking and talking about biting for the past SIX hours!

Jake and I met with our Pastor to see if he could elicit some sort of reason for this ridiculously unusual behavior.

Maybe he did.

Jake and I met with Daddy.


That one HURT.


The Sparrow cried and cried and cried and cried about how bad he felt after having the talk with his Dad, that he felt like his heart was BROKEN, REALLY BROKEN, it was BROKEN so bad, it was broken in TWO pieces!

And more crying.

And then there was the news that No, he would not be watching American Idol.


Oh, and of course not, no, he would not be having popcorn either.

And absolutely, positively NOT, No, he could not go to the fun Valentine's Wednesday program at our church.

More flooding.

And then to hear that in addition to Crazy Head's (Victim #2 - assault and battery, potential internal injuries, possible intestinal bleeding) apology note, he would also have to write an apology note to Victim #3, Carson.

Oh, the tragedy. The drama. The pain. The agony.

I got to endure HIM for several more hours, A-L-O-N-E.

We got through the tears.

We got through the broken in TWO pieces heart.

We got the apology notes written.

We got our homework done.

We emptied the dishwasher.

We settled down.

We accepted the No-Idol policy.

We freaked out about the No-Popcorn rule.

We got over it.

We had our pajamas on, and were ready to eat when Two Swords and Red arrived home from church activities with a bag of 99 cent burgers.

We ate all of our cheeseburger, and we ate it QUIETLY. (this might be the most unusual thing that happened all day, in retrospect.)


At eight o'clock, as Two Swords lumbered towards his den, Red hunkered down in her fort, the Hurricane still aflutter at swabbing the deck, the Sparrow retreated to his nest.

And he was quiet.

And still.

And he was coloring.


And still.

At nine o'clock, I asked Two Swords if perhaps he could read the nightly bedtime devotional to his son this evening, as perhaps hearing the Bible from a man's voice might somehow make a difference?

Two Swords obliged.

I left the room.

I had no intention on eavesdropping. (this time....usually I do, but honestly, tonight, I was DONE with the Perpetrator).

Two Swords read the four page story and devotional.

And then they had the talk.



Two Swords said to the Captain, "What in the heck is going on in your head with this biting?"

Captain: "I don't KNOW!"

Two Swords: "Something is! We don't BITE people! You know this! What has happpened?"

Captain: "I don't KNOW!"

Two Swords: "What would make you think it is okay to bite people?"

Captain: "God did."

Oh buoy.




Two Swords: "What?????? God said it was okay for you to BITE people?"

Captain: "No. Jesus did."

Oh buoy.

Two Swords: "WHAT? WHAT are you talking about? GOD told you to bite people?"

Captain: "NO! I said JESUS told me to bite people."

Two Swords: "WHAT?"

Captain (sighing oh so very slowly, deeply, and loudly):

"God told Jesus and Jesus told me."

Two Swords: "Jesus told you WHAT?"

Captain: "God told Jesus and Jesus told me that it was okay to bite people for TWO DAYS."

A most abrupt and utterly pissed off Two Swords replied:

"Well those TWO DAYS are over."

"Good night."

I couldn't run to the laptop any faster than I did.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's 3 am......and You Must Be Lonnnnnnely



It's 3 AM.

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, Matchbox 20.

And close to being the name of the awesome band we hired to play at our backyard wedding reception almost TEN years ago. The lead singer looked like Rob Thomas, and sounded like Tracy Chapman when he sang "Gimme One Reason'. We heard them in downtown Orlando many times, singularly before we ever dated, and together, when we dated. We LOVED, LOVED, LOVED them.

Sadly, I haven't kept up with them much since a DECADE ago. I hope they're still around. They were really great. Just the three of them. The singer, the guitarist/keyboardist, and the drummer who whipped out bongo drums every now and again.

These are the kinds of things I think about during my constant battle with insomnia.

Yes, I have been prescribed Ambien and have been taking it for years.

And yes, sometimes it works.

And when it doesn't work, it makes me FRIGHTFULLY creative. Some of my best blog posts and scrapbook pages have come to life whilst I await the Ambien to bring me to slumber.

Yes these are the kinds of things I think about when It's 3 AM.

And these other things too:

  • If there are four people in my family, and I have to empty my kitchen trash AT LEAST ONCE a day, how many times do the Duggars empty their trash in one day? Do they have a dumpster at the Duggar compound? Do they have a pig or compost farm? Or, most likely, they probably do not have trash AT ALL. Because from what I have seen from their 'real' home life, they don't have a lot of other things either. Like messes. Or visits from people who aren't named Duggar. Or children with Joker ketchup masks. Or arguments. Lord help me, Michelle Duggar, can you JUST ONCE get mad at your husband, JUST ONE TIME? For any reason at all? Okay, I'm done bashing the Duggar compound. I am fascinated by this show. NINETEEN freaking children. It's funny, but I gauge events in my life by, "I know it was 2002, because I remember that I was pregnant with Reilly". Or, "Yes, Billy, it WAS in 2004. How do I know? I KNOW it was in 2004 because I was pregnant with Jake. YES, I'm SURE." But if I were Michelle Duggar, I couldn't do that. Because for a 20 year span, she could only answer the question by saying, "I know I was pregnant." That would definitely be a safe bet and truest of all answers. Okay, I'm really done now.
  • I love watching the freak shows on television. I'm not a CSI follower, or Grey's Anatomy, or any other kind of serial show, because I just can't make that kind of commitment. But goodness, I just love the freaks. It must be the psychology major in me. Hoarders, Intervention, Celebrity Rehab. Love, love, love them. And Jon & Kate, talk about a freak show - Kate Gosselin was an amazing self esteem booster for me. She made me feel better about myself as a wife (WHO talks to their husband like that and gets away with it, and then NOT expect him to regress to an 18 year old? Hello! He didn't leave his wife, he decided to grow up and leave his MOM! Although he has a tremendous amount of growing up to do, nonetheless, I can't find it in my heart to blame the guy.), as a mother, and just as an overall human being. And remember how like twice she blathered on and on about going to church? Yeah, I just don't see it happening. We have TWO kids, and WE get along, and WE struggle with getting to church on time. It's not like it's a theme park, or a crayon factory, or a barber shop. You kinda HAVE TO BE ON TIME at church. Okay, done with talking about TV, next.
  • This large room of mine is completely empty. Everyone else is sleeping. Some snoring loudly (FRED), some not. Why is it that the room seems quieter at night, in the dark, than it does during the day, when no one is here but me and there are no noises to be heard? Is this something scientific from physics class that went right over my head like significant digits did on Day Two? Does light make noise? Seriously. Is it a speed of light thing? Like, if light travels really fast, does it make noise? I really do ask myself these questions. Usually when I'm counting things. By seven. And this is not the Ambien talking -- yet. Surely, if you are reading my blog right now, you MUST know that I am a complete and utter whackjob, of somewhat high intelligence, with excellent ninja skills, who once killed a man with....okay, now the Ambien is starting to kick in. But you know I'm a whackjob. That's my point. And if you know the answer to the noise in the light vs. dark, I'm all ears.
  • Is it okay for me to tell my daughter that no, she cannot be a police officer or a soldier, because that's what her father and I believe and stand for, or should I be one of those mothers who says "Sure, honey, you can be ANYTHING you want to be." Because to me, that's like LYING to Jake by saying, "Sure Jake, you can be ANYTHING you want to be", when clearly, Jake is never going to be tall. He is 5 years old, weighs 36 pounds, wears 2T pants, and is in perfect health. Yes, we feed him. And yes, his pediatrician insists he is growing. And no, there is no question that he is brilliant like a savant, even though he does the DUMBEST things, and worries us to no end. But if Jake asked, "When I grow up can I play professional basketball?", the answer is absolutely, unequivically, a big fat -- NO. It's just a matter of genetics. "But you could drive a racecar, Jake. If you don't throw up in your helmet, that is." The child has carsickness. It's getting better, but no, you can't be a NASCAR driver if you are throwing up in your helmet every time you get into the car. So back to Reilly. Reilly isn't going to be a police officer. And she isn't going to be a soldier. So why can't we tell her that now? Like the time we watched a National Geographic show about polar bears in the Arctic Circle. And she asked, "Can we go there on vacation?" Uhhhhh....NO! "Why not?" So we gave her a litany of reasons, all of them true, like they don't have hotels there, and you can't fly a plane there, and you can't drive there, and polar bears might eat us, since there are NO people there, and lo and behold there is ONE PERSON LIVING IN THE ARCTIC CIRCLE AND OF COURSE THEY HAD TO SHOW A BIPLANE LAND ON A TINY PATCH OF ICE THE SIZE OF A CEREAL BOX AND LO AND BEHOLD HE HAD A SHANTY OF A HOUSE THAT WAS ONCE FILLED WITH MEAT TO KEEP HIM FED THROUGH THE WINTER EXCEPT FOR THE POLAR BEAR WAS IN HIS MATCHBOX OF A KITCHEN BREAKING APART THE LOCK THAT KEPT THE MEAT SAFE AND GREETED HIM WITH A NEARLY FATAL WELCOME HOME SWIPE TO THE HEAD, and Reilly says, "SEE! There are PEOPLE living there! You lied!", but no, she does not at all see the near-death scene for what it really is, nor does she have the sage wisdom to comprehend that a place where polar bears are breaking into freezers padlocked to keep them out and then try to kill the ONE guy who owns the meat and is the ONE GUY only living on the cereal box sized patch of ice to document the existence of the polar bears in the hopes of perpetuating their survival, cannot be construed as a vacation destination. And then we had to start all over again with why we would never be going to the Arctic Circle to see polar bears, but we could go to Sea World TOMORROW if she wanted to, to see polar bears, but nooooooo this wasn't enough for her, and Billy and I are laughing at her so hard we are crying as to why she is so obsessed about going to the Arctic Circle to see the polar bears, and she didn't shut up until we told her there was no TV in the Arctic Circle and lo and behold we were at CHECKMATE. Which is why we are telling her NOW that she can't be a police officer or a soldier, and other professions I won't mention here so as not to offend any more of my readership than I have either already offended, or will offend with this post, to which she replies, "yeah, I don't want to be a police officer or a soldier." I just don't think you should lie to your children (you know, like we did about the PEOPLE living in the Arctic Circle). We are their parents, we know their skills already, their personalities have already been fully formed (I know this, because I learned it when I got my LIBERAL arts degree, so it must be true), and I was able to swear on a stack of Bibles when Jake asked me, 'Mommy, will I ever be brown?'......."No." and mean it. And yes, we may be in the process of intentionally guiding our children down a certain path towards careers, (notice please that the word CAREERS is plural), that we think they have the potential of loving to do, then finding someone to pay them for it. Currently, we have the Coast Guard in mind for Jake. In case you didn't know, he IS a pirate. He is skilled on the high seas. It would be a perfect fit for him. That's the only one I'm going to divulge at this time. But they are always asking US, it is not like we are TELLING them - you are going to be THIS. You are going to own the family business. No. We are GUIDING them. And I would say we are CORRECTLY guiding them. Because if we don't, it scares me as to who will, and to where they would be guided.
  • Why did this post get so darn 'heavy' all of a sudden?
  • I was in the 'beach' bathroom (as Jake calls it) earlier, and noticed what appeared to be on first glance, dried, guessed it.....POOP............. all over the mirror, the sink, the walls, the floor. I started to absolutely Ape-POOP, when I started to howl with laughter. It wasn't poop. And no, it wasn't chocolate. It was.............................KETCHUP.
Good night, John Boy.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Dark Knight


So last night was "Spirit Night" at Chick Fil A for Reilly the Red's school.

All that means is a bunch of elementary aged, screaming kids (mostly girls), running around Chick Fil A, while their school ALLEGEDLY gets a cut of every check between the hours of 530 and 7pm.

Well, she has asked us in the past, and we've always had GREAT excuses like, "No." Or, "Ummmmm, No." And my personal favorite, "I'm fine with it, Reilly, but Daddy says, NO."

This time, she gave us plenty of advanced warning, her behavior has been super superior, she and I have been getting along fabulously, she got straight A's on her report card, she is practicing the piano regularly and actually starting to sound like she's playing the piano, she still practices weekly and plays monthly in the handchimes choir, she is in second grade, but is reading on a post-fifth grade level, she gets harder work and homework than anyone else in her class, my gosh we have thrown her fastball after curve after fastball after breaking ball, and she continues to come back for more.

So once I found a coupon for Chick Fil A, I got on board with her plea. I convinced a reluctant Billy Two Swords to go. He tried to back out one time. But he heard my convincing arguments, and got on board.

Reilly the Red was ecstatic. You would have thought we gave her five thousand dollars and set her free in the mall for four hours. That's how excited she was.

So we all got our shoes on and headed out to pick up the Captain at his school on the way to Chick Fil A.

And now, it comes back to being a Captain Jake Sparrow story.

WHY does it ALWAYS have to come back to the Captain? This isn't the Captain's blog for crying out loud! This is MY freaking blog! Go get your own blog, Captain "P starts with Piano!" Sparrow!

But alas.

The Captain has a new teacher. I have yet to meet the pleasure of her acquaintance, where I beg her not to call the police on my son when he throws a chair at her, because he really isn't throwing a chair at her, she most likely just got in the way of his throwing of a chair, as he was probably testing velocity and compound molecules and the rate at which speed affects the gravitational result of the landing spot of the chair.

Oh dear God. I am delirious, delusional, and deranged. Please, someone, please Baker Act me. PLEASE!

Upon picking up the Sparrow, he disclosed that he had THREE ! dots at school today.

On the very first day with the new teacher?

Who had already been broken in yesterday without his attendance?

Who came so highly recommended that her credentials read like the Holy Grail?

THREE dots?

The MOST HIGH of all dots?

Like, as in, you can never get FOUR dots, cause there are only THREE?

What the HELL?

I was outraged at first.

Then I put my psycho hat back on and determined that today's rebellion resulted from a sea of change for the Sparrow.

Newly five.

New teacher.

New year.

Grandpa died.

The movie Open Season 3 doesn't exist yet, and may not, so NO, I cannot get it from Blockbuster.

Yes, he's been through quite a bit of trauma in the past month and a half.

Two Swords is fuming, but is remaining quiet on this topic.

I work it out and realize the Sparrow was punished enough if he made it all the way to THREE dots, and I do not believe in punishing a child twice for the same crime. Adults, absolutely. Some of them should be fried even after they are dead, but I digress.......

We make it to Chick Fil A.

I said the kids could play FIRST and eat SECOND. Two Swords disagreed, but by the time he shook his head NO, they were already on the top of the top of the top of the tunnel.

Interestingly enough, Two Swords and I had never been to this Chick Fil A together with the kids. It has either been me and the kids, or him and the kids, never the four of us.

So I guess he really IS meaner than me, if he makes them eat BEFORE they play.

Anyhoo, things were going fine, that is until the Sparrow wants to take his socks off.

Now everyone in the world knows that you have to keep your socks ON in those places.

And EVERY kid in the world knows it too.

So he comes to the table where Two Swords and I are enjoying our dinner together sans rugrats, even though it is UNBELIEVABLY loud inside, and I have casually noticed that we are sitting cattycorner from Reilly's Principal and Vice-Principal!

Now, they both now me, as I am a registered volunteer at the school, and I am there every single Monday from 8 to 11, and although the school has 800 students, it really can be an intimate environment where everybody knows your name.

I had already exchanged pleasantries with the Vice-Principal when I noticed the Principal sitting with him.

And that's when Jake turned into a screaming banshee.

Oh buoy.

It started with the socks which we insisted he put back on.

He upped the consequence ante with the loud jumping up and down arms flailing and smacking his chest like a gangster rapper.

A few heads turn our way from the principle Principal table.

The Captain is issued ONE dot from his mother.

He continues with his bansheeness.

More head turning from the principle Principal table, this time accompanied by some raised eyebrows, some, in places that eyebrows typically don't grow.

The Captain is issued his SECOND dot from his mother, with the following addition to the big giant hole he has bansheed himself into:

You may EITHER put on your socks NOW and go play, OR you may sit down and eat ALL of your supper and THEN you can play AFTER you put your socks back on.


He wants to eat 'some' of his supper and THEN go back and play.

Two Swords casually reminds him, "That offer is not on the table, Son." ( I LOVE my husband!)

Well, as one might have expected, we quickly get to THREE dots, as a result of the gangster arm flailing, the jumping up and down, and the fact that I cannot smack my child in the face at a Spirit Night Chick Fil A, with principle Principals and Deputy Sheriff liasons in attendance, not to mention a whole host of plain-clothed, off duty firemen.

Dangit! The face smacking can only take place at home! Sigh. It is so effective, though! I'd really like to be able to show those non-believers in corporal punishment, how effective a public face smacking can be, when used appropriately, and with self-control on the part of the parent.

But no, I couldn't smack his face, or spank his butt, or yank him by the collar of his shirt.

I had to let him scream it out and gangster arm flail til his elbows broke in two.

And guess what!

The Sparrow has his socks ON, and is munching away on his chicken nuggets, fruit, fries, and chocolate milk. Perhaps THREE dots CAN be a magical number? Nope. He just knows that THREE is the end. If there were FIVE dots, he would push me or his dad, or his teacher all the way to that FIFTH dot.

Reilly the Red arrives at the table, as she was summoned to do so, sweaty, but happy, and happily eats ALL of her meal. EVERY last bite of it. And she politely asks if she may go and play some more. We said that she could, for five minutes. And off she went.

The Sparrow asked if he could go and play some more.

He hadn't eaten ALL of his food, and Two Swords was done with the crowd and the noise and the Jakeness, so I said that since he had eaten MOST of his food, he could go play with his sister for five more minutes, and then he had to finish his supper after he got his bath.

Off he went, socks adorned.

Five minutes later, we're outta there.

One elated, full, and so happy to be alive Reilly the Red.

One very fearful, very frightened for his life, still hungry, Captain Jake Sparrow.

We get home, and the Sparrow is told by his father to head for the tub.

The Sparrow abhors bathing these days, because his parents have determined that 5 is too old for toys. And no, Son, you cannot take a candle lighter into the bathtub with you. And no, Son, you cannot take that steak knife into the bathtub with you. And no, Son, you cannot put FOURTEEN towels INTO the water with you, no matter how badly you want to design your own sailboat.

So bathing is a total and complete waste of his time.

His final punishment for his parental issued THREE dots is that he must finish his take home meal QUICKLY, and go to bed after his one Bible story, and he is NOT allowed to watch American Idol with his sister.

He is on fire again. And no, it's not fever.

But he knows. He is totally powerless and totally busted.

After faking at least one drowning, he is finally out of the tub and dressed in his Ninja pajamas.

He arranges his take home bag on the kitchen island and hops onto a barstool and proceeds to finish it.

I am watching him out of the corner of my eye, as I am deeply mired in some paperwork items.

He goes to the refrigerator and removes the ketchup bottle.

Okay, that's allowed.

I notice him squirting a large circle of ketchup.

He dips his chicken nuggets into the ketchup, and he eats the remaining fruit and fries and drinks all of his chocolate milk.

I look over at him, and notice that most of the food is gone.

I look down at my papers and say to him, 'Jake, when you finish eating, I need you to put all your trash in the garbage, and go wash your hands.'

And then I hear it.

"Hi Mommy."

And it is close.

Very close.

So close I can smell it.

Sniff Sniff



I looked up.


Where is the camera?

I need evidence!

I have located the Joker! The Dark Knight Joker! He's here, in my living room!

The Captain of all Captains squirted that large amount of ketchup all over my island for the sole purpose of painting, or shall we say, SMOOSHING his face into the ketchup and just moving his head from side to side and up and down.

And he has already had his bath!

And he has the audacity, after being issued a whopping grand total of SIX freaking dots today!, to creep up beside me and muster a "Hi Mommy"????????????

"GET YOUR ASS ( I never say Ass, I always say butt, but today, he definitely warranted an ASS) INTO THE BATHROOM RIGHT THIS MINUTE AND GET THAT KETCHUP WASHED OFF YOUR FACE IMMEDIATELY!"

"Bu-u-u-u-u-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t, Mommy, it was a a-c-c-c-c-cident!"


Five seconds later, he is staring at his 'work' in the mirror, and he says,

"Man, I do good work! I look just like Joker! Cool!"





Tuesday, February 2, 2010

3-D Donuts and the Cure for the Ebola Virus


So the Captain and Reilly the Red and myself shared a 24 hour upper respiratory virus of some sort that lasted for 24 hours, but none of us had it for the same 24 hour period.

Needless to say, children always want their Mama when they are ailing.

The Captain seemed to be at the end of his pathetic sickliness when Reilly the Red started to pick up with it.

She is much easier to deal with (on a whole LOT of levels) so her whining was not so awful bad.

The Captain stayed home from school on Monday, but I didn't know this, as I was volunteering in Reilly the Red's classroom. (No applause necessary, please, just remember to vote for me as Mother of the Year when the time comes.)

When I returned home, there he was, in the same state that I left him in, but allegedly, he was 'sick'.

I wasn't buying it.

It was cold and rainy outside, and my first instinct was that the Sparrow pulled some "I'm sick" nonsense, and Two Swords had a great excuse not to go outside in the rainy cold.

Either way, Inspector Rojo had her majorly doubtful face on.

Two Swords was in the middle of a project, so I overtook the responsibilities of ensuring the Captain did not climb a ladder onto the roof, burn himself with a lighter, or cut off his foot with a chainsaw.

I did a remarkable job at all of the above, I'll have you know.

And then I was busted.

The more time I spent with the Sparrow, the less I doubted he was sick.

And the more time that passed, the sicker he seemed to get.

Man, was I off on this one or WHAT?

I gave him some tylenol and some benadryl, as he was on FIRE with fever, and his nose wasn't runny, it was drippy. I mean, dripping all over the place. I'd wipe it, it would drip some more. He was so cute holding his head out in front of him as he walked, almost strutting like a rooster, and pointing to his nose as he muttered, "Uhhhh.........Tissue!"

So I decided to give him lots of hugs and attention because I felt really badly about doubting that he was sick.

So we laid down together in Reilly's room, and I read him a few of his favorite Bible stories. He was asleep by page 5.

I napped with him.

When we both woke up, The Captain was still burning with fever, and was very cranky.

I moved him to the living room, in Two Swords' recliner, trying to figure out how to work our Roku player without the help of Two Swords.

And that's when I REALLY got all the confirmation I needed that my little Captain Jake Sparrow was really and truly QUITE ILL.

He was sitting in the recliner, under a blanket, STARING at a blank TV screen, not making a single noise. Nope, not even a peep. In fact, I had to check to ensure that he was breathing.

Yeah, if the Captain isn't asleep, and he is quiet for more than a millisecond, he's on his deathbed.

By this time, it is nearing 5 pm, and Reilly the Red is starting to get the same symptoms.


But then again I thought -- HELLO! You don't have a career anymore! It is no big deal if they miss a day of school for being sick! Stop trying to check tomorrow's to do list in your mental job calendar, cause Chiquita, you ain't got NO job! Ain't had NO job in TWO fat years!


I make a quick list to get some medicine for the two of them, as I have no idea what the evening will hold, nor the next day.

By this time, Two Swords has finished his project, and showered, and is able to focus 100% of his attention on the children.

So I head to the store.

On my way there, I called my Handbell Director to tell her that I was horribly sorry (truly, I was, and still am) but that I would not be able to make it to handbell practice that evening, as Jake was really sick and I wasn't sure what was going on with him. It was far too late to get him to the pediatrician, so I was going to have to nurse him myself, symptomatically.

(We as a family have really done our part to attempt to avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Not because we are HEALTH FREAKS, but BECAUSE we are health freaks. I had MRSA several years ago, nearly died from the 10 open craters on my body, one of which was the size and depth of a Dunkin' donut, and had it not been for Dr. Crop, I would be six feet under. I was in the hospital for 10 days, came home with an IV in my arm for another two weeks, giving myself the same antibiotics they give to HORSES, because no other human antibiotics will kill the MRSA bacteria. So we are trying to stay away from antibiotics for our own family's personal reasons, i.e. our Mom sucks because she has this stupid disease that interferes in our life and we are really suffering because of it, but we're cool with not taking the yucky medicine or getting shots.) Wow that was one long seque......

My bell director was disappointed, and rightly so, but I know she understood. She had kids, and she's a grandma, so she gets it, but it just so happens we're practicing a piece that I TOTALLY suck at. Most other pieces I just SIMPLY suck at. Nope, not this one for February. It is TOTAL and COMPLETE and UTTER SUCKAGE. But she gave me a pass and was able to find a sub to fill in for me at practice. Whew.

I got what I needed from the store and the pharmacy, (including dinner), and headed home.

I went from one pirate kid's bedroom to the other pirate kid's bedroom, until about midnight.

They were both LOADED up with medicine and should have been to sleep easy peasy, but there was still a lot of moaning.

I concentrated more on Reilly the Red, as she HAD to go to school the next day. HAD TO. Her class was going to be learning some new math concepts, and it was IMPERATIVE that she go to school, it really was. Not to mention the amount of days that she was out when we were in West Virginia for Grandpa.

So I kept trying to give her biofeedback......."You are going to be fine. Your tummy does not hurt as badly as it did. You really are starting to feel better, I just can tell. Mommy will lay with you as long as you need me to. You are going to feel so much better in the morning. Have I ever told you how beautiful you are? I know your throat hurts, but the medicine is just starting to work and you will feel better very soon and did I ever tell you how proud I am of you?....."

It must have worked.

She woke up this morning, rarin' to go.

The Captain, on the other hand.....

After I left Reilly's room for good, I went into his room, where he was staring blankly at the ceiling, patiently waiting for me (THAT NEVER HAPPENS! OMG MY KID IS DYING FROM THE EBOLA VIRUS!) to return to his room and rub his back and help him blow his nose, and tell him if he has "the Asthma", and give him some water, and read him some Bible stories, and lay with HIM until he fell asleep.

Even after the Tylenol, he was burning up with fever. I kept an eye out for convulsions, as they run in the family. (you've read about Reilly's episodes in the past - scary, but thankfully we've always been around and we know what to do, and we're used to them).

I made the decision right then and there that the Sparrow would be missing school again the next day. I didn't think his fever was going to break, as he had been on Tylenol for 12 straight hours, and it hadn't come down at all. I read the stories, and did the back rub, and helped him blow his nose, and got his humidifier running for "the Asthma" and stayed with him until he went to sleep.

And then, finally, I stopped.

I took my nighttime medicine and headed for bed.

And then it started.

Suddenly, I couldn't breathe out of my nose.

Oh crap. Here we go.

I didn't mention anything to Billy Two Swords, I mean, I was staying home with the Captain the next day anyway, what was the point in mentioning that yes, I had Remicade two weeks ago, and was down for a week, and then contracted the infamous Remicade cough (spawned by the 8,000 milligrams of Benadryl that they have to give me which totally dries up my sinuses and naso-you-name-it passageways, and lungs which caused me to be horribly ill and 'down' for another week, and just as I am completely better, I am 'down' again. Dammit!) and now I was sick AGAIN? Why wake him to tell him THAT?

I didn't.

I just suffered the night away.

Slept - ZERO.

Oh, I was doped up with my happy nighttime magical pills, but sleep never came, most likely because I was scared to death that I would suffocate overnight due to my nose becoming completely unbreathable.

I think I finally went to sleep around 5 am this morning.

I was awakened this morning by Reilly the Red. I love it when my kids come in for morning snuggles, but DAMMIT! i just got to SLEEP!, but I didn't let her know that, i just took all the love and kisses she wanted to give.

And she was better, and was up early, and happy, and dressed WAY early, and asked me if I could brush her hair.

ASIDE - if you don't know this by now the above referenced event has never taken place in the life of my beautiful brilliant daughter. She NEVER wakes up early. She NEVER wakes up happy. She NEVER is dressed early. She NEVER EVER NEVER EVER EVER EVER has asked me to brush her hair. Honestly at this point I am either hallucinating, or I am officially living in the bizarro world.

As I was brushing her hair, Reilly asks me why I sound so funny. I told her my nose was totally stuffed up, that I was sick now just like she and Jake were.

Then Reilly said, "Mommy! Your skin is soooo hot! I almost burned myself on your arm!"


I had the crud. Whatever you want to call it, I now had every symptom the kids did. Except I hadn't begged and whined and asked anybody to take care of me. Moms are way tougher than that.

Then Nurse Reilly the Red felt my forehead and cheeks and neck and throat and diagnosed me with a very high fever. So cute.

And then she gave me an interesting surprise!

Reilly said, "Mommy. Jake is better. He needs to go to school today. You need to stay in bed and rest and get better. And if he tells you he is still sick, he is lying!"


GREAT news! Both kids are better, AND I will probably be better lickety split, all WITHOUT antibiotics! YAY! WOOHOO! YAY! WOOHOO! And I can stay in bed all darn day and Jake won't be here! YAY! WOOHOO! YAY! WOOHOO!

And here comes the Captain.

I am still lying in bed, in the same position I have been in for about six hours, just staring at the ceiling.

The Captain is still in his pajamas, and I have no idea what time it is.

He informs me that he is all better.

I asked, "Can you have Daddy take you to school, then?"


In case you didn't get the subtleties of my husband's messaging, yes, that was YELLING.

So the Captain asks me if I will help him to get dressed.

In my pain and agony and body feeling like it is sunbathing IN the actual sun, the largest star in our solar system, I meekly whimper, 'sure'.

So there goes the Captain, and in comes the Captain.

A thought occurred to me.

"Ummmm. Jake?"

"Yeah, Mom?"

"Last night, when I finally got you to go to sleep, you were still really sick and had a really high fever. And now, this morning, you are fine. You are your normal self, bee-bopping around, causing trouble, making Dad mad, and your fever is gone. I am really confused! I thought you were going to stay home from school today, you were so sick, but now you are all better! What changed?"

Oh dear Lord in heaven, WHY did I ask? I know, friends, I know. Because I'm dumb.

"That's an easy one Mom. I was wearing my 3-D glasses and eating my chocolate donuts in my jammies, and I just got all better, just like that!"

And he was gone, out the door.

Just like that.

I laid back down.

My head was spinning.

Did I just hear my kid say he was wearing 3-D glasses while he was eating his chocolate donuts, and somehow this getup/concoction resulted in a master cure for the Ebola Virus or whatever the heck it is that all of us had/have?

3-D glasses and chocolate donuts?

3-D glasses and chocolate donuts?

I am still shaking my head.

But, alas, it has been 24 hours, and I am better.

No fever.

Back in the saddle again.

And yes, I did have a chocolate donut or two.

And no, I did NOT put on the 3-D glasses whilst doing so.


Captain Jake Sparrow.

That effin kid.



Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Me! Monday


So this past week, like everyone in my house, I was NOT suffering from that nasty green gunk in your head, frog in your throat, one minute your sweating, the other you are freezing, and could I NOT cough any more?

No worries. I am NOT used to being a complete and utter couch SLOTH.

I did NOT go four days without a shower.


Not moi!

Since I was NOT sick, I was NOT coughing up my last lung and I did NOT hack up things that did NOT belong in the human body.

Truth be known, I absolutely, positively, did NOT hock a loogie that was NOT the size and texture of a well-cooked, well-sized, piece of loogie-green bacon.

There is NO way I could have bacon-sized snot in either my nose, throat or lungs.

That is so totally NOT disgusting!

And NO, I do NOT have pictures.

But trust me, it did NOT happen.

I am NOT making this up.

Bacon-like loogies.