I’m not gonna lie; it was difficult for me to leave PetSmart on Sunday without a bearded dragon (last time it was a fancy rat). I’ve got the itch again, y’all. The itch for another living thing that requires constant care and nurturing. Brian thinks I should quit entertaining this reptilian fantasy and just have another baby already. I don’t know. Bearded dragons sound so much less terrifying than toddlers. And they’re way better at peekaboo.
It occurred to me recently that our kids have been pretty isolated this winter—what with all the infectious diseases, hazardous road conditions, bone-chilling temperatures, and 50-mile-an-hour winds.
You know, all the typical signs of the apocalypse.
Did you know that Al Gore freezing over is the 5th sign? Let’s just hope he wasn’t in Atlanta this past week or Kirk Cameron will have to make a movie about it. (In case you’re keeping track, that’s a religious, a political, a geographical, and a pop culture joke all rolled into one.)
[Please tell me she doesn’t think Kirk Cameron is representative of current pop culture.]
I just went so far off track I don’t even remember where I was going with this… Oh! Stir-crazy. That’s where I was.
I got a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law last Tuesday that cut right to my heart. Now, a two-sentence e-mail from me would mean that 1) I am sad/disappointed/angry about something or 2) I am sending the message while simultaneously wiping urine off our bathroom wall and my face (true story). However, a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law means something else entirely. It means that he is reaching out without wanting to seem intrusive. It means that he took time out of his work-filled schedule to let me know that he’s thinking about me. It means that I had better get back to blogging.
So, when I read, “How are you? Haven’t talked to you lately,” I knew exactly what he was trying to say.
There was a time in my life when I wasn’t easily embarrassed. I had a one woman show in middle school. I used to perform SNL skits at family reunions. Y’all, I was the ultimate grand supreme winner of the Barksdale Elementary School lunchtime “Turn Your Face the Purplest Contest”—a contest I both invented and won when I passed out into my chicken noodle soup. (Nope. Not even kidding.)
How’s that for resume material?
I had NO shame—but in a good way. Not in the People of Walmart kind of way.
If you happen to check out my Facebook or Instagram pages, you’ll notice that there are lots of photos of JJ playing with trains. He eats with his trains. He sleeps with them. He dreams about them (so we learned when he woke up once from a nap and yelled, “train tracks!”). When we get in the car to leave the house he says, “No! I want to go back home and play with trains!” And when we finally convince him that we have to leave the house at least once a month, he says, “I want to go to the store [Barnes & Noble] and play with trains [they have a train table]” or “Let’s find some train tracks.”
Just last night when we told him it was time for bed, he whined, “But I want to play with my trains.” Never mind the fact that we have permanently set up a train track 2 feet from his bed so that he can get his fix at all hours of the night.
Naturally, JJ’s favorite show is Thomas & Friends. I do love that my 3-year-old now says things like “very well, then” and “Mama is cross” with a slight English accent, but I grew concerned about the show when I was invited by JJ to play trains in the basement last week.
Warning: The following post may be disturbing to some readers. Particularly those with a weak stomach. Reader discretion is advised.
If you caught Wednesday’s post about our exciting car ride on Monday afternoon, then you can probably guess how the rest of my week has been. I have cleaned up vomit 5 different times. FIVE. That’s about five more times than I would have to do it if I had that live-in nanny Brian promised me before I agreed to marry him.
Yesterday at 5:45 a.m., I awoke to JJ’s blood-curdling scream and the reconstituted remnants of his evening meal. I think Bill Engvall is so right about this one: someone should invent an alarm clock that sounds like a baby vomiting because there is NO snoozing!
So, as I watched 12 solid hours of kid-friendly programming yesterday, I put a great deal of thought into Mr. Engvall’s words. If I’ll never have that live-in nanny, then I should probably consider how I can turn these unpleasant moments into a lucrative business opportunity.
My Super-Simple, No-Fail Diet Plan
I hopped in the car with the kids on Monday for a week-long trip to the booming metropolis of Knob Noster, Missouri. Yes, since you asked, we do lead glamorous lives.
Brian is working in Knob Noster all week, and I thought it would be a sanctifying experience if the kids and I joined him there for five days in a military hotel. I woke up with no alarm at 6:30 a.m. on Monday (seriously, that’s a miracle in and of itself) with a list of things I needed to accomplish before our 4:00 p.m. estimated departure. I wanted to wait until after Averi’s nap to hit the road, and I knew I would need every bit of the morning and afternoon to pack for a week in a hotel with two toddlers.
Did I mention it is a one bedroom hotel?
I was shooting for super-sancitifed.
I know for certain I successfully made it through 13 years of public school, though there are very few things I actually remember. I could probably only recall a dozen or so specific memories:
1) There was the science teacher who accidentally wrote a 4-letter-word on the board.
That’s a pretty memorable event when you’re in middle school.
2) Then the same teacher made us blow up balloons and make decorations for her dog’s birthday party.
3) And then she sat in front of the entire class on a barstool with her zipper down THE entire day. No one told her.
I still feel bad I never told her.
4) And then there was another teacher—NO! Actually, the same one!—who told us that she was a reincarnated peach tree.
I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
5) And then there was the boy who kissed me on the mouth (uninvited, thank you) in front of my sex ed teacher. I was MAD. I may have slapped his face.
And that summarizes absolutely everything I learned in middle school.
Oh, but there was one more thing:
6) I performed a weekly, one-woman show.
One of my classes took place in a trailer, and our teacher would go AWOL for hours at a time at least once a week. I now believe that she had some significant problems in her personal life. Honestly, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t also hide under my desk and shoot rubber bands at the students if I taught middle school. (Yes, that actually happened.)
I’ve told y’all before that I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top, Pinterest-worthy birthday parties. For one, we don’t have the money to shell out on crafts supplies that I will purchase and then never complete. Second, our kids don’t eat sugar. At all. And I can’t think of a single kid (or parent for that matter) who would come to a birthday party without cake and ice cream. And, third, I can hardly get up the energy most days to “cook” for my own picky eaters. So, the idea of entertaining a bunch of other people’s picky eaters is pretty overwhelming.
Those of you who know my mom well probably just shook your heads and said, “The apple sure did fall far from the tree.” And you are absolutely right. Really, the apple fell off the tree, and while it was in mid-air, was swept up in a tornado, hit by a truck, and dumped in a field of buffalo manure in Kansas.
[Oh, no. Katy's using metaphors again. Someone call a therapist.]