Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shambling Horrors BEHIND MY FACE!

I haven't felt like blogging lately. Actually, I guess it'd be more accurate to say that I haven't felt like doing much of anything. It seems my household is doomed to be sick for the rest of our lives. This morning, there is fresh pain in my throat and fresh congestion everywhere else in my upper body. I was late leaving the house because I kept pausing in the midst of getting ready for work and staring, glassy-eyed, at my gray pallor wondering whether or not I should just get back in bed. I think I may get out of here early. Got to drop some crap off at Riley's school for Halloween goings-on on Thursday.

So, this weekend, these things happened:

Riley watched 'The Labyrinth' while holding a pool noodle.

Big brother read to Little Sister as a lovely respite from all of the sibling rivalry.

Zoey was cute.

Sometimes they were both cute.

Last night we discovered that we probably have a shambling horror somewhere in our house. Let me add that Russell and I aren't the type to be influenced by scary movies, Halloween, etc. into thinking that things are bumping in the night. That being said, we were fast forwarding through some commercials last night, and in the relative silence, heard this popping, dragging, slurping type sound coming from the dark basement. I immediately went all mentally Lovecraft and envisioned something horrible, and Russell and I exchanged grave looks before he informed me that he'd heard the same thing the prior evening. (I keep accidentally typing 'hurt' instead of 'heard'. Lots of Freudian slips this morning). The cat was of course sitting creepily at the top of the stairs staring down into the basement, but his tail wasn't like a puff of black cotton candy affixed to his ass so I took that as a good sign.

Meaning we have a FRIENDLY shambling horror in our house.

Or maybe mice? Do they make sucking type noises?

Monday, October 17, 2011

You can read? So can I!!! And I type about it!

So I started a book review blog, and in order to avoid simply repeating here what I already said as greeting over there, I'll just refer you to it:

Black, White and Read All Over

It's also linked in my righthand margin, you'll notice. There's I think 9 entries already to catch up on the crap I've been listening to on audiobook lately. Read it if you wanna. If you don't wanna, don't tell me that cause it'll hurt my wee feelings.

Like a mental hospital and a REAL hospital combined!!!

Our recovery from sickness has been interrupted by additional sickness. I am going to lose my mind. I am not sure if it's worse to have everyone in the house sick at once, or to be the only WELL one that inevitably has to deal with all of the sickies. The "I am disgusted by your inability to cover your mouth while coughing" facial expression has become such a specialty of mine that I am worried my face might freeze that way. Of course, there's no end in sight to this persistent germ exchange, so it may as well be permanent anyway.

Despite what can only be defined as an everlasting plague (maybe it's our house? I just listened to HP Lovecraft's "The Shunned House" in the car on the way to work this morning. Could we simply have some malicious, supernatural force buried in the basement that's sucking the lifeforce out of us? Sorry for the spoiler, since you were probably planning on rushing out to read/listen to it now that you know I listened to it, right? How do I continue a sentence successfully after such a long and off-topic interjection? Let's try.) we did manage to do STUFF this weekend.

Saturday, I took Zoey with me to do a little fall/winter clothes shopping and spent waaaaaaaaay more money than I should have (You should've seen Russell's face! I liken his expression to one coming home to a surprise party, except all the guests are weilding axes! What fun!).

Zoey models her newly acquired bunny hat.

Then after lunch, I took Riley out to a craft store to look for a water-proof way to decorate our pumpkins. I don't like carving pumpkins, partially because of sheer impatience and need for instant gratification and partially because the pumpkins decay so quickly afterwards. Before you assume I am being a rotten mommy and stealing this joyous opportunity from Riley, you should know that he adamantly refuses to touch the innards of a pumpkin. In the past, we've tried painting them with the many old paints I have laying around, but the paint has washed off in the rain and left sad looking pumpkins sitting in a swirled brown pool on our porch.

There were a LOT of people in the store, which left me feeling somewhat rushed and anxious, so it was pretty much a craft fail. I ended up buying a large collection of different colored sharpies, some halloween confetti, and at Riley's insistence, some silly putty and letter stencils. It didn't turn out so badly, though! We hot-glued some confetti pieces strategically and went to town with the sharpies.

From left to right- Riley's, Zoey's, Mine, Russell's

On Sunday, we went to the park for a while after lunch. Russell and Zoey and I chilled on the blanket while Riley frantically made friends with everyone he came in contact with. The mood was dampened only by Zoey's inability to not leak viscous fluids from her nostrils. She simply hates having her nose wiped, so trying to clear her chubby facial flesh of snot traces is nearly impossible. There were several times where people turned and stared at us with these accusatory expressions as though we were torturing her when in truth we were just trying to make her less disgusting and sticky and more appealing to the baby-admiring masses. Finally, she was at the end of her rope with our diligence and her soured mood ultimately caused us to pack up and head home, but Riley still had fun.

Tomorrow is picture day at school, and this morning I have been having fun imagining what our well earned money is going to be buying. I know the photographer isn't going to do several sittings, and Riley's forced smile is nothing short of hilarious. Of course they make you order the pictures FIRST, so I keep envisioning a framed 8x10 of Riley scowling or quirking an eyebrow or with his eyes heavy-lidded as though he's under the influence. Surely, it will be a welcome addition to our madhouse.

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mr Magoo

Riley asked me tonight to write a story and he would do the illustrations, so I did, and he did, and here it is:

I don't know who that is on the cover, but it's not Magoo.
Once there was a fox named Mr Magoo. He had two socks and one red shoe.
See that big outline spanning both of his legs? That's his one red shoe. Apparently Riley thought my idea of only one foot being protected from the elements was laughable. He also laughs at traditional walking methods.

Mr Magoo was a fancy little fox. He liked having tea, in his shoe and his socks.
In direct opposition to my writing, you will notice that the illustrator demonstrates that Mr. Magoo does in fact prefer to remove his socks and shoes prior to enjoying his steaming mug of tea.

But one day when it was time for his tea, his doorbell rang- he thought "Who could that be?"
Thought it so hard, in fact, that his skull began to smoke from the effort. His shoe and socks took advantage of his distraction to get the hell outta dodge. As did the bulk of his tail.

It was Mrs. Bear and Mr. Bear at the door! Mr Magoo was so happy, but he had to make more. Tea, that is.
Shut up, Riley was rushing me.

In any case, it must have been a decent effort, because afterward there was this big award ceremony and Riley gave it an award.
Basically a Pulitzer.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fevers and Towers and Pumpkins, oh my.

I am supposed to be helping Riley clean the playroom right now. There are two things wrong with this picture, and these are the two biggest reasons that I am blogging instead: 1) I had NOTHING to do with that mess- I never do- yet I always clean it. I don't care if that's part of being a parent, I don't feel like doing that right now. It's my weekend too- and 2) Riley's version of helping is a little skewed. For example, right now he is kicking off the cleaning by wandering around the room playing with everything he comes across and singing a song that he made up that consists of the word "Sorting" repeated over and over at different octaves.

This was a three day weekend, but I'll tell you right off the bat that I'VE BEEN CHEATED! Because the sickness that's been plaguing my household and dodging me finally lost the fight on Friday and I WON! I won a fever, a sore throat, muscle aches, a massive headache, the whole she-bang! It was like a lottery on opposite day. So I spent my bi-weekly off-Friday writhing on the couch, covered with goosebumps despite the thermostat being set to 75 and being wrapped in fleece, while my kids got away with murder because I lacked the energy it required to stop them from doing things they shouldn't. Luckily, my fever was gone by that evening, because I had promised Riley that I'd take he and Zoey on a picnic on Saturday.

And so I did! It was absolutely beautiful outside, so we packed up some stuff and went to Jim Barnett Park to eat lunch, which was immediately the furthest thing from Riley's mind.

What is so great now that he's started school is that his social walls are down. He's always been fairly outgoing, don't get me wrong, but he's never really been too confident in his ability to make friends. Now, he is. Okay, never mind. He's the same, I'm different because I'm not as worried about his ability to make friends. I admit it. Anyway, he takes off and collects names and digits and is never heard from again until he needs some apple juice or gets stuck in a tower.

He did get stuck in a tower. Zoey and I were chilling in the shade on a blanket and I hear Riley yelling. It's amazing how even when surrounded by 10,000 children, you can hone in on your kids voice- pick it right out from the other 40+ kids screaming "Mom!" simultaneously. I was able to trace his cries to the tower:

Seriously, what is up with the bar at the bottom of my pictures? Annoying.
I yelled back to Riley that if he needed to talk to me, he needed to come down to me and talk. Time passed. Zoey and I read a book, ate some grass that probably a dog had peed on, shared some goldfish crackers, and talked to admirers.

Then some little girl runs up and asks me if I'm "Rowley's Mom"? To which I reply "Uhmm, I guess." since I'm actually Riley's mom, not Rowley's, and I am not sure I want to take accountability for anyone else's child on accident. She then explains that she's been sent to deliver the message that my son is stuck in the tower and cannot get down. So Zoey and I leave our home base and head over to the tower, where I spend a good ten minutes convincing Riley it's okay to go down the huge slide and that I can't climb up there because I have the baby in my arms. I kept looking around to see which kids I'd need to kick in the shins for laughing at my son, but the other children were surprisingly empathetic and patient about it. Several tried to demonstrate how safe the slide was, or tried to suggest alternative methods of getting down. Finally, he came down the slide, and I made him come sit with Zee and I until he could calm down. Afterwards, he slid down at least five more times, and made that tower his bitch.

And then on the way out, he made out with the water fountain. I didn't realize it until I looked at the picture later.

A dog probably peed on that, too.
Today we went to get pumpkins. It wasn't a fun time. It was too hot, the food was expensive and awful, we had committed a huge parenting foul by forgetting the stroller and were doomed to pass Zoey back and forth, and the selection of pumpkins was fair at best. But Riley enjoyed going down the huge slide over and over:

Oh, and I almost forgot! On the way home, while I was taking a sip of my ridiculously expensive can of coke, something tried to enter my mouth from the coke can that was not soda. It was quite obviously a bug of significant mass, so I spit all my coke back into the can (and on my pants) and then acted like I was dying for a while, allowing Russell to poke fun at me. I assumed it was a stink bug, because we saw a trillion of them. When we got home I dumped the coke out on the driveway- IT WAS A BEE. I pointed at it and yelled "You wanna make fun of me now?" to Russell, 'cause he's scared to death of bees, but he mumbled something about how it probably was dead already and couldn't have stung me. Whatevs. He would've shat his pants if it'd been him.

So as another weekend comes to a close (Noooooooooooooooooo. So cheated! I want my Friday back!) I am happy to have spent some mostly quality time with my kids. I would do the trip to the park a million times over- maybe sans the tower incident- but now all I can do is go help my son "clean" the playroom.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

O hai.

Sorry that I've forgotten about you. You see, I am doing constructive things, like trying to not be fat and lazy and sloppy and broke and unhappy. I'll elaborate.

A couple months ago, I started keeping a journal in which I make weekly resolutions. My first (unwritten) resolution was to not fill this journal with tripe and depression the way I have every journal before it. My recent expedition into the towers of boxes to find my art supplies revealed a graveyard of half-filled journals, all lamenting one thing or another and showing obvious evidence of having had pages torn from them again and again. These books, where they should provide a nostalgic timeline of my youth, absolutely offend me with their stupidity and uselessness. You couldn't pay me enough to revisit the crap that I've written there. I'll probably feel the same way about this blog in a year or so. It's the way I roll, baby. In any case, since I'm rambling, I vowed to myself to only be positive and encouraging and stay on topic with this most recent effort, and I've done so rather well thus far.

The premise is that each week I make three small resolutions- nothing huge like "Give up food", though that would be helpful. They're small things like "start flossing twice a day", "unpack the boxes in the office", "find a new pediatrician". That way they're attainable and still leave me feeling accomplished. Yet somehow, I've managed to not accomplish them lately, and that is the opposite of motivating. So I've been trying to get back to working on those, and it's left me distracted when paired with the other thing that still shall-not-be-named. You know, that potentially life-changing idea I had? I made a smart decision about it and recruited one of my brothers. This is smart because he's pursuing his end of the bargain ravenously, which means I am less likely to give up on mine. This brain works sometimes.

Anyway, to get to what you care about, I'll talk about my kids now.

It's been a battle of wills at our house lately. Riley is a force to be reckoned with, but the struggle to find a middle ground continues. I am not sure if he is still adjusting to having a little sister with whom he must share attention, but he's been particularly hard to get along with. I can readily admit that Russell and I aren't hugely patient, and I'm sure that has a lot to do with it, but we're making an effort to fix that. I also believe with all my heart that- while studies have shown there are some benefits to a child having two working parents- Riley does not get enough time with us. I think it would help if I had more time at home with him. I am at a loss of how to remedy this, but I'll explore all options nonetheless.

There are still peaceful times to be had, though few and far between. This past weekend, I was able to enjoy a long stretch of time with both kids in the playroom while Russell was at work. Here are some pictures I took on my phone:

Looks like fun, right? But Riley only likes letters.

So he starts a game of "Letter Swap"
While Zoey attempts to stealthily and quickly sneak pieces of Riley's toys up the stairs.
I am not sure why there's a grey bar along the bottoms of my pictures. This isn't really an explanatory caption at all, is it?

Other than that, Zoey's halloween costume came yesterday, and Riley's is coming today. I've also got a business meeting with my brother tonight, and tomorrow is my Friday, so some things to look forward to : ) Have a good rest of the week.