Monday, March 2, 2015

Islands in the Stream

The Husband loves to turn on some loud music on his laptop and jam out while he does things around the house. He really gets in a zone with his rock music whether he's working on projects with power tools or mopping the floor. So for years I've crept in when he wasn't looking and changed it to Islands in the Stream. Always Islands in the Stream. As you can imagine I find this hilarious and he does not. You have to have some things to keep your marriage fresh and interesting, after all.

Fast forward to present day. We have been exposing The Boy to a variety of music, and he's really soaking it up. He told me one day that his favorite song is Flight of the Bumblebees, which explains a lot. He'll choose a song and ask for it over and over, then perform various remixes for us. The Husband taught him about Two Kinds of Love from Rocky II and Queen's Flash, which he even sings the guitar intro to. I introduced him to Simon and Garfunkle and Johnny Cash, and maybe a little Taylor Swift. Imagine my delight when I got the idea to teach him Islands in the Stream! My hope was that he'd sing it all the time and drive The Husband crazy. It's like the prank that keeps on giving. So we practiced. And we watched YouTube clips. And we had kitchen dance parties. "And we wrely on each other. Uh huh. From one lover to another. Uh huh." Now that I'm typing it, I do note the inappropriateness of these lyrics, but stay with me.

Meanwhile, my six year old nephew sang "We will rock you" one time and the boy was hooked. Hooked. It was his instant fave, trumping anything we'd introduced. He sings it All. The. Time. He wants to hear it all the time. He experiments with voices and pitch and tempo and motions. Our house is like a full time Jock Jam CD that skips.

I get it. You don't have to like what I like. You're a free thinker, and I love that about you. You don't want to be a pawn in an elaborate scheme to prank your father, that's fine. But the other night at dinner....

Husband: ready to say the blessing?

Boy (solemnly bows head): God our father, God our father, we will, we will wrock you. We will, we will, wrock you. Amen.

He was serious. The Husband and I couldn't keep a straight face. Dear God, we will rock you. Amen. It was hilarious. It was inappropriate and irreverent. We laughed and laughed and nearly cried. The Boy looked at us, an expression of perplexity and curiosity and pride. We told him it was a great blessing, and it was. There's nothing like bringing your genuine self to God, complete with your naivety and your passions and your pride. And in that moment, without knowing it, and without meaning to, he won. Right in the middle of my planning and my pranking, I'd been Island in the Streamed. By a three year old and a six year old. The irony of these lyrics is not lost on me.

"Somebody better put you back into your place."

Here, for your listening pleasure, is one of the many We Will Rock You renditions. He's available for parties and mar mitzvahs. And blessings.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


This morning I took the boys to the grocery store, where I spent 1 million dollars on diapers and formula. BeYoYo fell asleep in the car so I brought him inside in his carseat and set The Boy up with a snack while I went back out to get the groceries. I might have left the door open.

I came back in and started prepping dinner before we had to leave for me to get to work. The Boy was enjoying his crackers and ants on a log (which he found hilarious), and then went to the bathroom. As I was cooking chicken I heard him crying from the bathroom. I found him with his pants wet around his ankles, distraught.

"The teetee wruined my pajama daaaay!" he said, wailing.
I tried not to laugh. I told him it was okay, accidents happen, and not to worry about it because he'd been doing what he was supposed to be doing.
"No I wasn't. (sniffle) I wasn't holding my penis because I was (sniffle) holding my cracka."
Then I noticed he'd also peed all over the floor. I told him not to eat in the bathroom, and went to get him fresh pj pants to save pajama day. He quickly began to feel better and went back to his ants on a log. I started mopping the bathroom. My phone bing-ed with a text notification, and it was someone from the church youth group starting a group text about how they should all live together next year. Bing. A response. Bing, another.

A few minutes later Prissy started barking. Being a beagle, sometimes she does this for no reason. I told her to hush and not to wake up BeYoYo. She didn't. I cooked, The Boy ate, she barked, I scolded, repeat. Bing. Then we saw a bird flying through the kitchen. He was panicked. He perched on the light fixture, then fluttered to the window sill, then landed in the pantry, then flew into the mirror. Prissy followed his every move, barking, running, jumping up on her hind legs, trying to get the bird, chasing, barking, repeat. The bird flew into the dining room, living room, landed, flew, perched, flew, panicked, flapped, flew, repeat. Priss was close behind. Meanwhile my phone bing-ed.

The Boy thought this was grand. He laughed and ran behind the two like a parade with each float getting larger and more delighted. I ran behind them all, yelling to please not wake up the baby. I corralled Prissy into our room so she wouldn't hurt the bird. Bing. We saw the bird dart under the sofa. I took a time out to call my friend Sarah, who knows a lot about birds. Bing. She didn't answer.

Me: If she doesn't answer you can leave a message telling her what's going on.
(Message beeps)
The Boy: What's going on?
Me: No, tell her what's going on with you.
The Boy: What's going on with me.
Me: No, tell her what's happening at your house.
The Boy: There's a burd in our house and Pwissy is twying to get it!

Sarah called right back and said her only thought was to open the door and try to shoo him out.
"Did I mention BeYoYo is sleeping right beside the door?"
Can you put him in your room? (I'm chopping chicken as I'm talking)
"No, Prissy is closed off in my room so she won't hurt the bird."
We decided to move BeYoYo somewhere and open the door to try to get the bird out.
"Did I mention I'm trying to prep dinner and I need to leave for work in ten minutes?"
She told me to keep her posted.

So The Boy and I went in the living room to investigate. I moved the couch out from the wall looking for the bird and exposing all manner of treasures behind it. The Boy and the bird were excited by every single thing, and The Boy said "My Wightning McQueen! My Wightning McQueen! My Wightning McQueen is behind the sofa! Can you get it?"  I told him I could not. There was also a baby Jesus back there. I said a prayer to the baby Jesus to keep us safe from the disease-carrying-bird. At some point the bird came out from under the sofa and was resting carefully just behind the door. I grabbed The Boy's family project from preschool- a poster about our family and started trying to shoo him out. He flew back into the living room, out of my sight. Bing.

Bird is in front of the car seat base, behind the door, above. 

Then I heard The Boy screaming. The disease bird has attacked him, baby Jesus! I just knew it. I ran to see what was wrong, and he stood in the dining room with a flashlight in his hand. I just looked at him as he cried. There was no bird attack. What was wrong? "My finga! My fingaaaaaa!" he wailed. Are you kidding me? The crank operated flashlight was stuck to his hand. The crank pinched him and wouldn't come off. I tried to uncrank it, which made him scream more. Bing.  I went to get lotion, but it was locked up in my room with the quarantined Prissy. I didn't dare open the door, she was already snorting at the threshold trying to sniff her way out. Bing. Bingbing. The Boy continued to cry. I texted my neighbor, but she wasn't home. I wrote back "K thNKs finger stuck in flashlight" with no further explanation. By now BeYoYo had been awakened by the bird or the crying or the barking, and he started to cry. Bing. I turned the volume off on my phone. By this time I was fairly certain there was going to be a blog post for today, and I took a picture for you.

I grabbed some baby vaporub from the living room and started using it to lubricate the flashlight. The Boy started to cry more, pulling his hand away from me, and pulling the flashlight off in the process. Success! I laughed out loud at the bizarrity of this day. It was now past time for us to leave. I told The Boy to put his boots on while I put the yet-prepped casserole in the fridge. BeYoYo fussed from his car seat while I threw everything from the kitchen in the fridge. "Can you give him his pacie?" I asked The Boy. "Shu" he responded, which is 3 year-old for 'sure'. He went into the hall to pacify his brother while I buzzed around the kitchen doing the bare minimum that needed attending to before leaving. "Mommy! Mommy!" he said proudly, "Come take a picture of BeYoYo! Come quick!" Ugh, we didn't have any time left.

I ran behind him to see what he was so excited about. He'd picked up BeYoYo's car seat and propped him up against the wall precariously. "Take a picture!"

Suddenly over his fussiness from being awoken by the bird/flashlight drama, BeYoYo thought it was amusing that he was trapped in his car seat, upright like a mummy in a sarcophagus.  Good day, King Tut. 

I instructed the boys to head toward the car and I loaded in two kids, a work bag, bag, diaper bag, two coats, a hat, and one "ants on a wog." I stopped in the cul-de-sac to pen a text to The Husband, who was in a meeting. I had 36 unread texts. Did I mention today is The Husband's first day working from home?

And it may be the last.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


You'll notice I haven't posted any cutesy pinterest-inspired DIY punny preschool valentine cards. Many of my facebook friends have posted some of the cutest valentines. It's not that I don't love pinterest. But this year we went with (brace yourself) bought cards.

And not just any store bought cards. When given the choice at the store, my son didn't choose cars or trains or superheroes or Curious George. He chose Frozen. And not Olaf and Sven and Christof, either. Straight up princesses. With artificially sweetened death sugar and chernobyl red #5 taffy that will rip your kids' teeth out. The week after the dental hygiene unit at preschool. So any of you other mamas who also didn't print labels saying "dough you want to be my valentine?" with homemade heart-shaped play dough, please know this is what we're sending to school tomorrow:

Tomorrow night you'll see the spoils from the Valentine parties. You'll see who has the creative parents who sent the awesome non-candy, age-appropriate, not made in China, organic goodie with a pun and we won't be on that list. We win zero points for creativity or avoiding cavities or preventing diabetes, but I feel like we win all the points for letting our son bring princess cards. Follow your heart, Valentine!

Friday, February 6, 2015

New haircut

I bet you see this picture and think "now there's a fresh new haircut. And a sassy vest too!" Oh go on. 
I bet it doesn't even remind you of anything. Until I show you this:

The right outfit turns regular casual Friday into He-Man uniform! 
Today I feel like master of the universe. It's going to be a great day!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Mama Wants

I don't claim to understand the female brain. I've lived with one for thirty-mumble years and it remains a dark and mysterious place. We're complicated. We want to be listened to, but we don't want advice. Unless of course we ask for it, and then give us advice already. We want you to be strong when we need strength and tender when we need tenderness and intuitive all the time so you know when to be what. We want you to play with your kids. Unless it is bedtime, and we want you to stop playing with those kids so everyone can get some rest. Unless it is the weekend, then play with your kids as late as you want so they'll sleep in. We want you to know we're capable of doing anything men can do, but we want you to investigate strange sounds and dispose of dead animals. We want you to laugh at our jokes, but we don't want you to fake it. So laugh. Unless you don't think it's funny and then don't. But just genuinely think we're funny, okay?

Last week when I was doing some work from home The Husband said "Hon, I'm proud of you for being a good business woman." Shawing! I swooned. Now, he knows this about me and tosses these phrases around from time to time because he is wise and he knows they work. I'm being fed a line. And I know it. And he knows it. And he knows I know it, and it STILL WORKS.

Because the one thing I know about myself, I think it's safe to assume is true for all women- we want to be appreciated. We want you to appreciate us, and then we want you to go ahead and say out loud that you appreciate us. That's it. You win the whole game if you do that one thing. Serious bonus points if you say it out loud in front of OTHER PEOPLE, but that' s not even a requirement. Now you know our secret. If this is not your thing or it feels unnatural to go around verbally appreciating people or you suffer from male brain WTP (What's The Point) I have created a cheat sheet for you to make your life easier. Here are things to say to your baby mama. Use those that are appropriate for you.

  • You are an awesome wife and mother. We are lucky to have you. 
  • You deserve some wine. 
  • Thank you for always knowing what day we are assigned to be snack helper for pre-school, and for knowing not to send nut products. You are probably saving someone's life! What a humanitarian you are! 
  • It's awesome that you feed our baby with your boobs. 
  • Thanks for making sure everyone is always picked up when they are supposed to be. 
  • The way you combined that plaid and paisley is a force to be reckoned with. 
  • Way to know what day the fundraiser money is due, the pediatrician's appointment is, and our nieces' and nephews' birthdays are. 
  • You've been working hard lately. 
  • You're a good mom. So far you've kept the kids alive every single day of their lives. 100% success rate! 
  • You deserve some chocolate. 
  • I can always count on you to know what our social calendar looks like. 
  • Thank you for making sure we always have an appropriate birthday present at birthday parties. If it were up to me, kids would end up with a gas station hat and a Chick-fil-A coupon I found in the back seat of my truck. 
  • You deserve some new clothes. 
  • Score on the double coupon stacking for the organic bunny pasta!
  • How about I watch the boys for a few hours so you can complete some pinterest projects? 
  • I love that you know what immunizations the baby has had. Yay health! 
  • You are so patient with the kids. Mostly. 
  • You look hot in yoga pants. Who needs real clothes? 
  • Hey, you haven't run out of gas in a while. Way to go! 
  • You deserve a massage. 
  • Man, those chicken nuggets and frozen pizza you made tonight were delicious. 
  • You smell really clean. 
  • The fact that you let our threenager dress in mismatched clothes and rain boots while you guys run errands is in no way embarrassing to me. You're really cementing his sense of self. 
  • You know your way around a Sherwin Williams paint store like no other. 
  • How about I drive AND entertain the kids and you can play on your phone? 
  • If you ask me one more time how you look....I will still say amazing. 
  • I agree, it's a great use of time to bake cupcakes with real buttercream. 
  • Hey hon, I'll make sure you can take a shower for as long as you want all by yourself today. 
  • I really want to listen to what you're saying, so can we put this on hold for five minutes until I can give you my complete attention? 
  • Let's cuddle and process some feelings. 
  • You're great at talking our children into thinking that getting dressed is their idea. 
  • You must be tired from responding appropriately to the kids all day. 
  • Why don't you go out for a girls' night? 
  • I appreciate your sense of humor.
  • Who cares if the house is a mess, the kids are making memories, right? 
  • I have no idea what you do when you're home with the kids, but I know that often my clothes are clean, we have food to eat, the power hasn't been turned off, and the kids aren't getting any dumber. I can only assume you're to thank for that. 

Putty in your hands, fellas. We aren't that complicated after all.