Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saturday Night Snarker Special

Suppose you are a parent. Now suppose you are a parent with no social life of which to speak. (What? Too redundant?) You're hanging out on Saturday night, can't afford to go anywhere even if you did have a babysitter, plenty of booze available, twitter at the ready and a cable package of unlimited potential. What's a hot mama/papa to do? Why, turn on SyFy of course.

Right here is your ticket to the land of make-believe. You can find yourself transported to magical, far away lands like Mexico

Half shark, half octopus, totally pissed

New Orleans

The secret to jambalaya

and New Jersey

Jersey Shore Shark Attack
'The Complication' has the situation under control

There you can indulge in your deepest, darkest hero fantasy battling the likes of giant mutant crocodiles, animal husbandry experiments gone totally wrong (coughSharktopuscough) or for something with a little more pizazz, tornadoes from space with little more than a transistor radio and electromagnetic-free pulses fired from a deep-diving suit. You get luscious locations, nuanced dialogue ("Oh no, not like this!"), and beautiful bodies who may or may not resemble someone slightly more famous *coughEricRobertscough*.

And once you are thoroughly hooked into the story, why, you talk about it on twitter in only the most loving and awe-inspired way possible. You dissect every action, create real-time fanfic for the sequel and shower glowing praise on the cast, crew and director at every turn by liberally applying the tenets of irony, sarcasm and snark. Soon, your efforts will be rewarded by giveaways such as a rare Piranhaconda egg (now only $19.95 at Oriental Trading Company) or a greasy trucker hat signed by a clearly batshit-insane celebrity chef Edward Furlong ("Now THAT'S how you make jambalaya!") (No. No it is not.) But even more than that, you have created a true community of like-minded lonely clever social commentators. And you feel like you've come home.

Now, who's ready for Bigfoot?

This post was in NO WAY sponsored by, well, anyone. It is a love letter to my fellow SyFySaturdaySnarkers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet dreams are NOT made of this

Recently Noelle has been sort-of concerned with having bad dreams at night, reassuring herself that she can come into our room if she has one. Yesterday morning when we went into her room to wake her up for camp, she whimpered and shook slightly just before opening her eyes.  She stayed very still and tears started leaking out of her eyes and across her cheeks.

"Noelle-bear, did you have a bad dream?"

She nodded slightly, still unwilling to unclench her body. I sat on her bed at rubbed her back and her hair doing the soothing thing that I'm so not good at: "It's okay baby, it was just a dream. It's over now and everything is okay." Lather, rinse, repeat.

"Would you like to talk about it?"

She shook her head no and I let it drop. We went about our morning routine, though carefully as the minefield was primed to explode at the slightest provocation (there is a reason that I refer to her on the Twitter as 'DQ - Drama Queen'). She was in the middle of brushing her teeth when she stopped and turned to me.

"I want to tell you about my dream."

"Okay, baby; I'm listening."

"I was eating an ice cream cone and someone walked up, took it out of my hand and threw it in the trash!" And with that, her little lip quivered and the tears and sobbing took over. I wrapped my arms tight around her and stroked her hair, holding her and let her cry herself out. "Oh honey, that was such a mean thing to do. I would be very upset too."

Then I ended up almost falling over because I have the grace of a drunk water buffalo and she started laughing.  She had processed it, it was over and we were ready to face the day.

If that is the worst thing that her five-and-a-half year old brain can come up with, I count myself very fortunate indeed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Real Conversations with Captain Chaos

We are in the beginning stages of potty-training Noah so of course, he's very fond of watching the pee-pee come out of his, well, pee-pee as well as the requisite "hands-on" experiences.

SCENE - After bath, getting ready for bed:

Noah (grabbing to emphasize): Mommy, I have PEEE-nis.

Me (applier of diaper, lotion and jammies for the evening): Yes baby, you do.

Noah: You have PEEE-nis too?

Me: No baby, boys have penises, girls have vaginas.

Noelle: I have a BA-gina.

Me to Noelle: Yes you do. So do I. And Daddy has a penis....Noah, what are you doing?

Noah (patting himself): I petting my PEEE-nis.

Me: Noah, we don't pet our penis; it's not a cat.

Parenting: not for the weak of heart.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Introducing Jinx

So, we've, uh, adopted a cat.
Say 'Hi' to the nice kitty

Sorry. Here she is.
But can't you see the resemblance?
(I clearly find myself quite amusing.)

We were planning to adopt again but not until the fall, maybe closer to the holidays to give some distance, to clean and purge and disinfect. Not as a 'gift' because giving animals as a gift is wrong to me, but to celebrate as a family getting through a tough year by expanding our ranks and opening our home and hearts to an animal in need.  Then Amy DMs me on Twitter that her sister has a cat in need of a home, sends a picture, uses the words 'sweet', 'bullied' and 'shelter' and we. were. toast.

Dyl and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and like *that*, the decision was made.  Is it soon after Bonnie passed? Yeah, a lot sooner than we would have liked. The deciding factors? That she needed a home as she was being bullied where she was and that she would be a 'rescue'. There are so many animals out there now who are losing their homes due to circumstances beyond their control, filling up shelters and likely being euthanized.  We have the space, the means and the love to give so why wouldn't we open our home and hearts to this little lady? Also? Dyl and I both LOATHE bullies of all sorts (I'm looking at YOU, dolphins and Adelie penguins) so that was the deciding factor right there.  Note: we are also giant SUCKERS for a good sob story so get your while the getting is good and/or until we come to our senses.

We asked the kids and they were all for the idea, clamoring to look at her picture again and again with Noah chirping over and over 'Sooo ka-YEWT!'

I am the Lady of the Window and all shall bow before me.
Jinxie's settled in quite nicely; she even slept on our bed with us her first night home and that past few days she's been wanting to be where the action is ie. where the screaming banshees known as the kids are. She's clearly angling to sleep in Noelle's room but that will happen when hell freezes over and/or Noelle turns 11 because according to her, a lot happens when you are 11.

She's a sweetie and is already making herself home be being where she shouldn't be: tables, counters, kitchen sink.... She is so soft and is a dead ringer for Mr. Clyde; she does the psycho cat thing where her eyes go wide, her ears go back and she races around the house like a race car driver strung out on PCP. She has even snuffled me a couple of times (snuffling entails her curling around my shoulders and burying her head under my hair in my neck.) That was solely a Mr. Clyde thing and a bit 'Whoa' the first time. She has the daintiest poops and doesn't eat wet food (huzzah!) but twice now stickers have attached themselves to her butt fur so that was a fun extraction adventure.

She's a fantastic addition to the family. Now to remove her from the dining room table for the eleventy millionth time.

What? I make this look good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kindergarten: Achievement Unlocked


How did she go from this

to this

to this

to this

to this

to this

to this?

In the words of the song you sang at graduation:

Kindergarten here I come.
Kindergarten I will be there soon.
Kindergarten here I come.
I'm so glad it's June!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never underestimate the power of nuns in large groups. And Mad Libs.

My sister and her husband are in the process of selling their house.  They have a lovely townhouse in the very desirable area of Columbia and have put a lot of work into updating it since they bought it six years ago-ish.  They replaced the kitchen, the roof, fenced in the backyard, repainted, updated the name it, they've done it.  But after an extremely low-ball of an offer the first day on the market, they've gotten nary a bite so they are understandably stressed out what with twin toddler boys and a spark plug of an English bulldog to keep the house show-ready and a settlement date on their new house at the end of July.

This past weekend we took a day trip to Pittsburgh to celebrate my great aunt's 99th birthday. In the car was my mom, my dad, my sister Cath and me. It's a four hour drive from central Maryland and we had the required entertainment: snacks, cell phone with chargers (thanks Cath!) and...Mad Libs. Halfway up I-76, I pulled out the Mad Libs, princess edition natch, and away we went. Within minutes, we were in hysterics, adding such gems as the band 'Drunk (adjective) Lynn (person in room) and the Spacesuits (plural noun) and the main selling point of the castle the stained-glass pubic hairs (body part). That last one? All my mom.  Cath and I kept it clean as I debated 'douchebags' for a plural noun and 'skanky' for an adjective but no, she went there. It helped to pass the time and before we knew it, we arrived at the convent.

Oh, did I mention that my great aunt is a nun? Yeah, Aunt Sis is a Sister of Mercy and lives at the convent adjacent to/part of Calloway (?) University. The party was held in a room off the cafeteria and was dry as we apparently did not choose the party date to coincide with the two times a year they are allowed wine. But we persevered. My mom's sister Aunt Jean and their cousins Becky and Berta organized the party. As usual, we arrived way ahead of time to help set up/prep/decorate for the party. And yes, Cath and I knew what we were getting into; we're not 4/5 of the Feakes Family Caterers for nothing. During the set up, Cath received a call from her realtor wanting to show their house that afternoon at 4:15. Hoping to God that Mike, my BIL, had the house is semi-respectable order, Cath gave the go-ahead and proceeded to flip out about that for the next four hours.

She got a hold of Mike and let him know to keep away from the house a little while longer. The story of the showing/difficulty selling quickly spread around the room and before long, the party started. The nuns arrived in force and the cause was taken up amid much well-wishing to the birthday girl and fond reminiscence. Two hours later, we were cleaning up and in the car on the way back home. Cath tried not to get her hopes up about the showing. After two weeks, interest had pretty much dried up when she got a call. The realtor had an offer to present to her and would they be available that evening? Her prayers and the prayers of the Sisters of Mercy had worked their magic and they might be able move onto the next chapter of their lives.

The moral? It helps having an express line to the big guy upstairs and never hurts to keep an unfortunately named fictional party band in your corner.