Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wakey Wakey

It was cold this morning.

I'd left the windows open on the first floor overnight, so when I got up this morning and tiptoed downstairs, coffee was the first thing on my mind.

Also, finding out where that annoying meow was coming from. Because it wasn't my cat. My cat was curled up on my bed, snuggled in next to my 5, which is where I wanted to be.

Instead, I was awake at 6am stumbling through Lego landmines in the hall and tripping over backpacks piled at the foot of the stairs.

The meowing was coming from someone else's cat out on my patio, so I ignored it while shutting the windows.

I sort of move on autopilot while I make coffee. I'm not really one of those people who claims to be brain-dead before getting a hit of caffeine. I just sort of go through the motions of a routine until I have the first steaming cup, and then everything else seems to come into focus.

Which is what I was looking forward to as I got the coffee beans from the cabinet, and the grinder from the counter.

It's sort of become customary for my brain to wake up in the middle of the night, ready to Think. It seems 3am is the favored hour. I usually fall back asleep after a while, but those of you who've experienced middle of the night bursts of wakefulness know that when you wake up the second time, when the alarm goes off, you feel like shit.

Not to mention, this morning I was getting a new kid.

No, not like a mail-order kid. A new addition to the hoard of children that surrounds me daily. I hadn't officially met the parents yet, and I was trying to get everything rolling before they showed up. When people pay me to watch their kids, I like to give them the impression that I have things together.

I'd started breakfast, yelled up the stairs for the big kids to get up, and then returned to the kitchen to finish getting the coffee pot ready.

Filling the pot with water, I put the filter into the machine and measured out the first cup of beans into the grinder.

Then pressed the button to grind the coffee beans.


Oh my holy hell.




The grinder was broken.

I checked the plug. I switched outlets. I wiggled the cord on the grinder, I shook it, I panicked.

How does one even go through a morning without delicious coffee?

My eyes landed on a butter knife. I looked at the grinder. The lid has a little lever that presses down into a little space, which makes something work in order to grind the beans.

(Yeah. Not so good with describing things. Roll with me)

Huh. I thought to myself. Maybe if I shove this butter knife into this little whatever, I'll get the grinder to work.

After I unplug it, of course. I'm not that dumb.

So I did. And then plugged it back in.

And nothing happened.

My brain quickly started calculating how long it would be before I got the three eldest kids out the door to school, before the new kid showed up and was made to feel comfortable and the amount of time it would take to get my 5 dressed and ferried to the car before I realized I didn't have a car seat for the new kid and that I wouldn't be able to grab coffee before noon, when I dropped the girls off at Kindergarten.

No. Too torturous.

Wait. Rawr was out of town. Rawr has ground coffee (savage).

It was simple. I would just break into Rawr's house and explain later.

Satisfied with my solution, I plopped the grinder down on the counter, then jumped about a foot when the motor sputtered to life, spraying coffee beans everywhere.

Ask me how that works when the lid is supposed to be on in order to grind the beans.

Well, normally one would take the butter knife out of the machine before haphazardly throwing it down on the counter.

In the end, I got my coffee, the new kid showed up, and all the kids made it to school without Zombie Mom forgetting their lunches.

I'd call that a mildly successful morning.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bob and Weave

Rawr asked me to do her a favor.

And I tried to avoid it, I really did.

Because I care. I like to think I am a nice friend, someone she can depend on for fun. I like hanging out and laughing with her. Not at her.

Shenanigans gets it. Shenanigan has her own friend, a professional, who does hair. Shenanigan is smart, and asked this professional hair friend to transform Shenanigan's beautiful brunette locks into a lighter version of beauty.

I was no where near those girls when that happened.

Because once, in high school, I was recruited by a friend of mine to help "frost" one of our other friend's hair (I won't even explain what "frost" means, other than MISTAKE). That was the 90s, peeps. You all MUST KNOW what that looked like. Brunette strands, weird white streaks, and a grown-out perm. With a hair scrunchie.


So you must appreciate how stealthily I avoided Rawr, until one day when she cornered me in my living room and all but threatened to highlight MY hair if I didn't help her.


Fine. I went. Rawr got her cap. Or her Hair Plug Cap, as I came to call it.


It looks like she went to Mike's Discount Plugs with a BOGO coupon.

Sometimes, letting me into her house, armed with a camera and ill-intentions, isn't the smartest thing for Rawr.

Um, just so you know, Rawr doesn't ALWAYS look like that. Sometimes she looks like this:

But, Rawr had roped me into the whole mess, and I'm not one to quit, so I just closed my eyes and did the best I could.

(Do you guys know how this stuff works? You go to a friend's house, down a shot of whiskey which is SO GROSS, and then your friend hands you a crochet hook and tells you to rip her hair out. It's weird. But I did it. Because I thought I was a good friend.)

And then, Rawr whiped out this dehydrator thing and told me that she had to shove her head under it in order to activate the color changer.

I felt like we'd just entered an old episode of Rainbow Brite.

Which was cool, because we were already traveling to 1992's hair style, why not go back another decade to the 80s?

Rawr poked her head out a few times and each time I refused to look because I was really afraid her hair would fall out and then she would try to scalp me and I'm not a fast runner and I just know I would end up looking like a Kewpie Doll after she got done with me. 

Which is extra bad because Rawr collects those things, and also because I don't like the idea of not having any clothing.

After what seemed like hours I made Rawr take her head out from under the heat blaster, at which point I silently screamed because her hair looked white. As in, Old Lady White.

I pointed to the bathroom and Rawr went to wash out her hair.

And. Um. Came back looking like some asshole had attacked her head with a copper weave. A crooked, ill-placed copper weave. With a hint of grown-out perm.

OMFG, I thought. She will kill me.

Rawr was smiling.

Smiling? Uhm.... okay.

This is later. After she dried it and combed it and I don't know, got a wig? Because THAT is totally NOT what it looked like when I first saw it.

Rawr: I think... OH MAN. I might have to bleach my entire head.

Me: [reflexive flinching and ducking] I didn't want to do it!

I guess it turned out all right in the end.

I mean, Rawr is still speaking to me. And she didn't have to shave her head.

Unless. No one plans revenge out loud.


Friday, September 14, 2012

What did you do last night?

Thoughts from my subconscious mind in the wee hours of this morning:

What the hell is that noise? Is that my cat? Is he murdering a bird? Wait. It's 3:45am and birds don't even fly around at this hour. Not even the early one looking for worms and crap. OMFG, my cat is being killed. He's in the tarp outside under my second story window. He's choking to death. He's... wait. He was sleeping on my bed when I fell asleep. Where is he now? Did he get out? Is the window open?

OMG. What is that hissing noise? It sounds like something ate a wasp and is now doing it's best to hack it back up. What the hell is that NOISE?! I can't see anything because it's too dark.

Opossums. I'LL BET IT'S AN OPOSSUM. Rawr's husband saw them out the other morning. DID I CLOSE THE SLIDING DOOR LAST NIGHT?

I can't go downstairs to look. What if they've infiltrated the house and they're lying in wait? What if I walk down the hall into the kitchen and find ten thousand opossums perched on the counters, the fridge, the TV stand, covering the couch, hanging from the ceiling fan... Wait. I don't have a ceiling fan. What if one of them is the leader and it hisses attack! and they all fly at my face?

I'll just jump out of bed to close the door to the kid's room, I can check Elle's to make sure it's shut, then barricade my own.No way am I going downstairs.

It was all very terrifying, Peeps.

The longer I lay there listening to the hissing and spitting and crashing through the tarp, the less PETA-friendly I felt. I was leaning more toward shovel-assisted homicide when all of a sudden my cat flew out of nowhere and landed on my shoulders. I now know that if ever I am attacked in the middle of the night, all I will do is freeze in terror with my mouth open in a silent scream.

Good to know.

Then I was like, DUDE. Cat. Aren't you supposed to run that shit off? We have claim jumpers out there on the patio and all you're doing is meandering over to the window, kicking back on the sill and looking down into the night with a noble stare, thinking, "Human. Something out there is making noise, You should go check that out."

Somewhere around 5am, I fell back to sleep.

This morning, I went out to the patio and gingerly lifted the tarp, half expecting a rabid animal to fly out at my face.

Nothing. No shreds, so mess.

Almost like I dreamed the entire thing.

Except I didn't, because Elle asked me this morning if Petey had been murdered. Good to know that the both of us are total wimps and wouldn't be able to defend our household. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A post in which I over-use parenthesis.

My 5 and I have been spending quite a bit of time chatting lately. With more substance than usual, I guess I should say. My 5 usually follows me around yakking about all kinds of things, but since her first day of Kindergarten last week, we have moved on to bigger, more worldly topics (oh, I didn't blog about her first day? That's because she threatened to disown me for abandonment and I'm still not over the entire situation. Maybe later. Right now I'm trying to heal).
This evening after her bath, we sat on the floor by the top of the stairs folding clothes (don't judge me. If you saw my tiny house, you'd be shocked that it came with a laundry room, let alone three bathrooms. Someone wasn't prioritizing with space. I'm willing to bet it wasn't a woman). I used the opportunity to delve a bit more deeply into school. I asked if she's made any friends, and she said yes.

5: I met a boy, Momma.

Mild panic. Nothing to worry about. It's just a boy. He's probably ugly.

Me: Was he nice? What was his name?

5: [shrugs] I don't know his name. BUT HE HAS REALLY NICE EYES.

There goes that theory.

Me: [gulp] Um. Really.

5: Yes. And I want him to be my BOYFRIEND! [insert maniacal laughter here with some kind of weird buck-toothed grin that I've never seen before, but could become a fan of because it will most likely keep ALL the boys away. Even Jesus]

Let us pause here for just a moment.



I thought I had more time, seeing as how my nine year old daughter is not even boy crazy yet and she's in fourth grade. I was waiting to read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with each of the girls at the appropriate age. Mostly to see how grossed out she is when it gets to the part where all the girls get their periods because I know that when I read it, I was completely disgusted and wanted to die.

BTW, on a Super Side Note related to the filthy topic above, check this out. WTF?!

I'm sorry you had to see that. But I was just flipping through those stupid Facebook Quote thingies and since it couldn't be unseen, I wanted every one else to be grossed out, too. I won't ever do anything like that again.

Back to my 5 and her infatuation with No Name.

Me: Do you know what a boyfriend is?

5: [thoroughly amused by this conversation] Yes. You use them for kissing. And other things.

Me: [gasping for air] What. Other. Things?

5: Getting your snack. And putting away the glue.

Me: Alright.Yes. Um. You should do that yourself.

5: Momma? Why don't YOU have a boyfriend?

Me: [seizing the opportunity to drive it home] Honestly, babe? Because I got cooties from kissing a boy in kindergarten and no one would ever talk to me again EVER EVER EVER.

5: EW! You're disgusting! I'm never kissing ANYONE!

At which point she gets up, screaming with laughter, and runs through the house shrieking Momma has cooties!


It was worth it.

Visibility Options for a 5 year old

My 5 and I were having a conversation this morning while we cleaned out her closet. When I say we, I actually mean I, since my 5 was trying pretty hard to look busy, but failing miserably.

5: [edging over to dollhouse and eyeing me to see whether or not I'm watching her, which I AM] Momma, why don't we have candy all over the house?

Me: Because the inevitable sugar craze would kill us all. [handing her a pile of socks and pointing to the dresser]

5: NO IT WOULDN'T. [shoveling socks into drawer] I would eat a lot of it, and then I would hide the rest so no one else could have any. And then I would grow into a huge candy monster and EAT YOU ALL! MUAHAHA!!

Me: .....

5: When is Halloween?

Me: In two months. Here, put these shirts away.

5: [taking a moment to think about this revelation] I will be a ninja. A white one. [takes shirts and proceeds to put them all on, one by one]

Me: Okay. Except that ninja's are typically black. [taking the shirts off of my 5 and returning them to the drawer]

5: Except that sometimes they are white, so they can hide in the snow.

Me: Do you plan on snow this year?

5: Yes. [jumping to her feet] Because then I could get all the candy and no one would see me because I would be INDIVISIBLE AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Well... at least they're still saying the Pledge of Allegiance in Kindergarten.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wash and Hide

My kids have chores.

Sometimes, I even enforce them.

There are the typical chores such as tidying the living room, picking up the pile sweatshirts and backpacks from the floor in the entry way, and loading the dishwasher.

Mostly, I just ask the kids to help out at random and they will.

But then there are some chores that I personally detest doing.

Like laundry.

Because there is always a massive amount.

I will wash and dry and fold the clothes, but my kids are responsible for putting the clothing away by themselves.

I don't always agree with the way the shirts get shoved into the drawers, or how socks are randomly shoved in every drawer but I've made peace with the fact that I con't control everything they do. If my 9 wants to wear a wrinkly shirt, so be it.

This morning, my kids spent about forty-five minutes arguing about which one of them got to use the bathroom first, then another fifteen minutes debating the fairness of who got the last waffle, so by eight o'clock they were rushing around the house like mad trying to get out the door on time.

Which left their enormous mountain of laundry piled up in the hall, since all of the kids spent the weekend neglecting chores and opting to play outside instead.

No big deal. Sometimes, I don't mind helping out and will ferry laundry to the appropriate dressers. I really needed to vacuum the hallway, so I decided to put the laundry away myself. I figured the kids could help out in other ways, like running errands and paying bills.

I was putting away the 5's stack when I noticed her drawers seemed pretty empty. That kid has quite a bit of clothing and everything needs to be put away in a certain manner or else nothing will fit.

I stood for a moment, pondering the issue. I'd just washed every article of clothing in the house, and there I was holding the last of her shirts. And the drawers were only half full.

Perplexed, I turned to put away my 9's socks and that's when I saw it.

A leak.

Seems my 5 had just been stashing her laundry between the dresser and the dollhouse.

How clever.

How detrimental to her freedom.

Guess who has full laundry detail for the next week?

Oh, yeah.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Break Down: Both Mechanical and Mental

Yesterday was an exciting day.

I am totally lying when I say that.

Yesterday was a terrible day.

The night before, I'd attempted to use my laptop. And I didn't get very far because that old, broken piece of junk kept turning itself off. Repeatedly. After about fifteen infuriating minutes of attempting to get it running, I slammed the lid shut and swore at it, telling the electronic POS that I was replacing it with something new and better and I would finally be happy.

I'd had enough.

 In the morning, I coerced Rawr in accompanying me across the river to Oregon (no sales tax!) where together, we would select a laptop that wasn't set on destroying my sanity.

Now. If I had my way, I would totally snap THIS BABY up in a heartbeat.
Behold:  The MacBook Pro.
(insert gospel music here)

Isn't it beautiful? I mean, compared to THIS?

 And this is with the lid closed. Alignment seems a bit off.
(I hate you, you stupid Compaq Bastard. I hope you get the Trojan Virus and DIE. 
After I back up all my files, of course)

Alas, my dream of owning a two thousand dollar laptop is not in my immediate future. But that's okay. I am all for delayed gratification. But only in some instances.

I went for the partial gratification. Really, all I use my laptop for right now is Facebook, Blogging, organizing photos and diagnosing herpes via WebMD.

I figured I could buy a relatively inexpensive laptop for a few hundred dollars and then someday, when I win the lottery or rob an ice cream truck, I'll buy the super-pricey computer.

Rawr and I promised her husband that if he watched all seven kids, we would be back within ninety minutes and then he could watch football all the live-long day, to which he reluctantly agreed.

We drove to the neighboring city and made it to the store. Cut to four hours later, fifty-seven calls to various towing companies and one seriously irritated Ginger later, and you have MY afternoon.

I ripped the gear shifter thingie-ma-bob off my car.


I mean, all I was doing was shifting gears and when I stepped on the gas there was a huge revving sound and I was like, "Oops, guess I'm in neutral," then tried to re-adjust.

And that's when I realized the gear shift was sort of lax and swinging all around the place.

I looked at Rawr. Her expression was a little hard to dissect. Some horror, a little bit of WTF, and a lot of NOOOOO WE ARE IN THE GHETTO! GET ME OUT OF HERE!

For we had mistakenly trusted Mapquest and ended up in a rough area of town. Well, how was I supposed to know! I don't live there.

We eventually got a truck to tow my car to a repair shop. But it took an eternity, and Rawr's husband had to come pick us up. Rawr and I thought we were going to get initiated right there in the parking lot while we waited. 

So I will have to wait until Monday to see what the heck actually happened and what the repair costs are. I'm pretty sure that it's just the gear box. And I'm willing to bet the part will cost less than $11. The labor? Oh, knowing my luck it'll take 36 hours to rip it apart and put it back together.

I'll let you know.

And the best part?

I didn't get the laptop.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shantytown. And Angry birds.


Spent the weekend in Eastern Washington attending a three-night concert for the Dave Matthews Band..

Yeah. Ugly as all get-out over there, and dry. And effing cold at night, but about a thousand degrees once the sun hit the tent. I felt a little bit like I was going to die of exposure over the weekend and I'm not going to lie- I was kind of hoping I would.

I mean, I like DMB and all (because I have two brothers who can take me out in about three seconds flat if I say otherwise), but if any of you saw my Facebook status on Thursday, you know I entered into that trip with a real winner of an attitude.

I didn't really lose the attitude, either. I tried Sips, I tried dumb games, I made fun of people. I even tried to smile (bad idea without chapstick).

I could give you a run down. It went like this:

Went to sleep. Woke up. Didn't do crap all day. Went to concert. Came back. Fell asleep in sub-zero temps. Woke up. Repeat. ALL WEEKEND LONG. The End.


My attitude, not really the weekend. Everyone else had fun. I'm pretty sure I'm the one responsible for my mediocre experience.

I did snap a few photos, though. Can't just sit in a camp chair and stare into the sun for the entire day.

 Raise the roof. Erm, tent. This was important, as it was about 15 degrees outside. 

 Naturally, we needed a light. How else were we going to hang it up?

I guess my ass is good for something after all. The tent was mildly difficult to set up, but we got it together (no photographic proof, though)

The next morning, the sun rose on Shanty Town, which turned our tent into a Gas Furnace. 

Looking for our campsite? Take a left at the giant Blow-Up Doll. We named her Stephanie.)

Someone didn't hydrate.  Booze and water definitely need to flock together.

We ran out of things to do, so I opened a salon. This was what started It. The Hair Fight.

Blogz wanted in on the action and was, apparently, displeased with the results. 
CLICK HERE to see his revenge. 

Warm Arbor Mist, anyone? I didn't think so. 

Blogz kinda had to pat Gary down after that action. 

After a day of drinking the warm Mist, we headed out to the concert. 
Oh, hey, look. Mumsie and her favorite kid. Yay.

Boyd and Dave rockin' out. 

I wish I was able to let you in on what I said to Mumsie, but I had a few beers and I actually can't remember. But it looks like it had quite the effect on her, right?

We met some new friends after they invited themselves into our group photo.

The next day, I became bored so I started taking photos of grass.

 Dangerous game. You pull a block and have to do what it says. We may have taken the initiative to write down a bunch of our own, ie: Hit your sister and Streak the neighboring Campsite

Gary got tired of people wandering through our camp, so he set himself up with the staff and became Gandolf Gary.

 Later the second day, at the second concert: They was a smart group. Yup.

 I believe Blogz and I almost got into a heated thrown down, MMA style. Luckily, I didn't have to kill him.
I do believe this was my favorite photo of my brother engaging in Dance at the concert. 

 Pay special attention to Elle's face.

Then I discovered I had alien blood instead of red blood. Except later I found out my glow stick was leaking and they asked me to stop wiping it on people and yelling Gingers vs. Humans.

 Um, does this remind anyone else of anything? I told Elle that is the sea of people started disappearing into boxcars, I was jumping the fence and getting the hell out of there. 

 Elle brought paper lanterns...
 ... that I seriously thought would catch my tent on fire. But they didn't.

 Random guy who would spend the weekend yelling "BLUE BIRD!" while running through camps.

 Gary and I passing the time with some PVC pipe we found (I totally lost this game. Gary later broke the pipe and tried to kill Blogz)

We spent a short time on The Island before getting voted off.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Face. Don't drink that stuff. Ever. 

 I liked this guy. He was honest. I did not give him a ticket. Or food. But I did smile.

Things you do when you drink:

 Uh, apparently I am very cooperative when I've had a few. I guess I'll do something like throw a West Side gang sing when I live on the EAST SIDE.
Blogz was the one who made me.

Would I go next year? Mm, probably not. I'm too old for this stuff.


Nah, that's about right.

I'm old.


Hair No-No

Kinda feel like this crap needs it's own post.

So. Blogz went with Elle, Gary and I to The Gorge. Annnnnnd, long story short:
No showers, Dry shampoo, Blogz and my brother's AF cap.
I hate you, Blogz.

 Yeah. I look high. Which I wan't. This is obviously my best photographic moment. Ever.
I tired pretty hard to rub  the shampoo into my hair, but I remained grey.
So I wore Gary's cap.
Annnnd, this is how I felt the rest of the day.