Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Dis My Baskit."

This is for Turtlegirl.

One evening last week, I was reading Turtlegirl's blog, which often features gratuitious close-up shots of drool-worthy yarn as well as amusing photos (with clever captions) of the coolest kitties around, Ripple and Calvin. I usually get my 'puter time during the day when Beebie isn't home, so until then, she had really never had the pleasure of peeking in on some of the other blogs I read.

It might be partially because R's allergic and she knows we can't ever have a cat of our own, but Beeb couldn't get enough of Calvin. She scrolled through everything that wasn't kitty-related. Beeb could care less about the yarn (although I'm working on improving her appreciation of kickass yarns), but she was downright giddy reading all about Turtlegirl's little Calvin. And if you haven't seen Calvin, he really is a character. I look forward to Calvin posts almost as much as I do Turtlegirl's Yarn P0rn posts.

So I directed Beeb's attention to one of my favorite of Turtlegirl's posts and I read it out loud to her in a silly kitty voice as she looked over my shoulder. Beeb loved the pictures and the captions so much, she and I started cracking up and pretending to read the voices of Calvin and Ripple. My favorite part is dis my baskit.

The boys heard Beebie and me laughing and of course they came in to see what we were giggling about. And within a minute Beeb was perusing Turtlegirl's blog for more kittypics and reading out loud to her brothers for their amusement. The three of them looked at Turtlegirl's blog for about an hour, seriously, and I wish I had taken a picture of the three of them huddled at the desk with their little smiling faces lit by the monitor. It was a rare peaceful moment at my house, and I'm kicking myself now for not preserving it.

But I digress.

Later that evening, I heard the sound of two pairs of feet running around upstairs. I crept up the stairs to see what they were doing. I love to catch them in their most mischievous moments in hopes of cementing the fear in the back of their minds that at any time I could catch them red-handed doing stuff they know I won't be happy about, hoping it will serve as a deterrent. It hasn't worked too well so far.

But I peeked into the boys' room and saw Pie opening the closet door to find Tito hiding inside, whereupon Tito said, verbatim -

Go 'way Calvin, I'z hidin! Dis My Baskit! And they doubled over in hysterics.

What're you guys doing?

We're playing Calvin and Ripple!

Apparently, it's a variation of Hide and Seek where one of them (Ripple) hides somewhere, and when the other (Calvin) finds him, the hider says, Go 'way, Calvin, Dis My Baskit! And everyone busts a fuckin gut laughing.

I give them mad props for creativity.

Ok, and I have to add that as I was writing this post, the boys came in and saw R looking at the Kitty in the Basket post I linked to and they said Scroll down, Daddy! This part's funny!!! Ripple says "I'z hidin!!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We Interrupt November to Bring You My Annual Pre-Holiday FUNK.

Doesn't the look on my face say it all? Don't worry, this isn't the picture we're sending out this year. We were just experimenting with where to set up the camera. But Tito still stuck his tongue out. Charming.

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted. Sorry, PennyLuvvahs.

Ok, so the last thing I wrote about was Dollar Burgers on my anniversary. The days following that event were spent scrubbing the old house from top to bottom. It took forever. It was exhausting. I would drop Tito off at 9, then I'd take Pie over to the old house and he'd watch me clean for about two and a half hours, then I'd pick Tito up and we'd all go back to the new house for lunch, drop Pie off at Kindergarten, take Tito over to the old house and clean for another two and a half hours, come back home and wait at the bus stop for Beebie and Pie, then make dinner and wait for R to come home, whereupon I'd get the kids bathed and jammified, and head back over to clean for another hour or two while R and the kids watched TV. Then I'd come home tired and bitter, only to be greeted by a sinkful of dirty dishes.

And R and I differed greatly on how to move stuff from the old house to the new. I thought it would make more sense for him to let me go through the countless piles of crap to see what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to pitch. He decided to move it all and organize it later, the logic being that once we get it out of the old place we can take all the time we want to deal with it at the new place.

See, "deal with it" basically means I have to find time in my day to open up some randomly-packed box of shit and figure out where the individual items therein should go. Nobody helps. Oh, they act like they want to help, but what it boils down to is someone yelling MOM??? WHERE DO YOU WANT TO PUT THIS THING??? and I might as well do it all myself. Like I have time. Or, best case scenario, someone will help by taking the entire box to the basement, which is the dumping ground for everything, and it will be years before I get around to dealing with that.

Anyway, so after I spent about six days cleaning the old house, I got to drive forty miles round trip to drop off the stupid keys. Remember the camp I drove Pie to last summer? The Evilite P.O. Box is out there. And while for a brief moment I waxed mildly nostalgic as I handed over the keys to the house where I potty-trained my two sons, where Buddy The Wonder Fish is buried, where the kids went sledding with socks on their hands, where we watched fireworks in the front yard and where I first learned to knit.

Then, within the same thought, I remembered the FIVE DAYS that we lived without electricity and what a total fucking idiot that stupid Evilite bitch was every single time I tried to contact her, and Evilite's complete lack of any sort of Basic Customer Service Skillz. And I gave the keys back with an uplifted heart and a secret wish that the Evilite bitch would somehow choke on them, right after she refunds our deposit, of course.

I'm reasonably confident that we'll get a good chunk of it back, as we saw that our old house was posted on their website (which I would really rather not link you to, because I don't want them to enjoy any free publicity - even negative - from me) two days after we gave them the keys back, and they were asking $100 more than what we paid at the beginning of our lease. So somehow, we added value to the house. We better fuckin get all of our $950 deposit back, that's all I gotta say, cuz otherwise we're livin' on about $50 until the 7th, and I'm almost out of meds. God help us all. Oh, and my parents are coming to stay with us for Christmas, by the way.

Ok, so now that I have washed my hands completely of the old house, I can focus all of my time and energy working on the new house. And doing laundry. And cooking. And shuttling apes around. And working on my holiday knitting. Oh, that reminds me, I made something. You know how Necessity is the Mother of Invention? Our TV remote kept falling behind the head of the bed, and it was pissing me off, so I made this goofy little pouch that buttons around the headboard so I can always know where the remote is! It's a little ghetto, sure, but who cares?

And while the house was clean, Beebie had a friend over to spend the night for the very first time in her life. And it went great. The boys had a campout in R's and my room, and the girls actually managed to be quiet and get to sleep before midnight. We ordered pizza for dinner - even ate it at the dining room table I got for free on Craigslist - and had donuts for breakfast and rented Love Comes Softly. It was a lot of fun.

Craigslist has been good to me recently. I've bought some Christmas presents and sold several items we no longer needed, which has allowed me to keep food on the table and gas in the van. I've got about ten items listed on there now. Not selling any yarn, though. I figure if we ever lose the house, I'll need it to knit a blanket big enough for all five of us to huddle together under a highway bridge.

But anyway, you know I need to discuss Thanksgiving. I made my famous Pumpkin Cheesecake and Chocolate Caramel Brownies, both of which were well-received. We had the traditional Thanksgiving fare - quite excellent, as always - and then the kids wanted to play with MIL and FIL's Nintendo Wii. The Aldis were also in attendance. Aldigirl was SO OBNOXIOUS I was ready to kick her buck teeth right down her throat. She kept doing this ghastly fake laugh that sounded exactly like a donkey. And Aldiboy, who is 2, was all over the fuckin place.

My kids, by comparison, were absolute angels. Still, we all know that FIL likes to stir shit up just for the sake of it, so at one point when Tito got a little bored waiting for his turn to bowl on the Wii, he was behaving in a slightly rambunctious but completely age-appropriate manner, FIL said,

Good Lord, Sarah, what did you feed that kid for breakfast??!!?

You know how sometimes you have a split second to debate whether or not you want to say the first thing that comes to your mind? I don't even remember consciously conjuring up the answer to FIL's question. I don't know how the words I said got into my brain. I know I didn't take the time to process the actual correct answer because it would have taken me a minute to remember anyway - probably Fruit Loops or something - I totally made it up extemporaneously.

I swear to God I have no clue where the answer Pixy Stix and Crack, FIL...I fed my four-year-old Pixy Stix and Crack... came from, but I heard myself say it out loud before I'd even felt the words sneak past my gritted teeth and curled upper lip. It was so incredbily satisfying, I think I'm just going to shut off my FILter from now on. I should probably be glad that Why the Fuck would even you ask me such a fuckin stupid question, you Fuggin Jaggoff? didn't slip out accidentally.

I wasn't going to go out on Black Friday - I didn't see anything I really wanted and we didn't have a whole lot of cash to get through the next two weeks, but Thanksgiving morning was cold and rainy and I told Beebie to put a coat on and she finally admitted that her jacket was too small. It's been in the 30's in the mornings, so I'd tell Beeb to put her coat on when she went to the bus stop, and she'd just flat out refuse, and now I know why. Why do kids never tell you that their clothes don't fit? Either she was afraid I'd be angry that I'd just bought that jacket and she'd worn it all but twice, or maybe she's sensitive about her weight or something. Incidentally, the jacket's for sale on Craigslist now, if you're interested.

But anyway, I got a newspaper and saw that JCPenney was going to have winter coats 60% off, so I told her that she was getting up with me and coming along so she can try on the coats with a sweatshirt underneath so we'd know for sure that it fit. So I woke up at 3:15am (without any alarm or anything), got to Penney's at about 3:45, found Beeb a coat and a Christmas dress, had breakfast at White Castle (which I do NOT recommend) and got home by 5am, before R even knew I was gone.

You guys know I love that man like crazy. I hardly ever complain about R. But today, kids, I must.

My sleep problems have been well-documented over the last two years, yes? Well recently, R's been experiencing some sleep issues of his own. Remember how he got his prostate exam on our anniversary? He'd had some strange lower-abdominal pain off and on for several weeks, and it turned out he had Prostatitis, an infection of the prostate gland. He was given two rounds of antibiotics, and it's gotten better, but it's still not all the way gone, and it sometimes wakes him up at night.

There are fundamental differences between Insomniac R and Insomniac Me. When I wake up in the night, I'll turn the TV to some PBS documentary and I'll keep it reeeeeeally quiet and read the captions, so as not to wake him. R turns it up to regular volume, which of course wakes me up, and then he flips through the channels a billion times. And he also does this thing where he'll tap the pillow or the headboard with his fingertips in frustration (which I can hear), or kick the bed, or let out this huge, hideous, theatrical, stage sigh of exasperation.

And then he'll roll over in angst and yank the covers off of me until I have a little bitty corner left. And then he'll yank that off me too. And remember how we're in a King Size Bed? I could be alllllll the way over on the edge of my side with half of my butt cheek hanging off the side, and the man's feet STILL touch mine. I hate people's feet touching me. Even then, I say nothing. I pretend that I'm sleeping, thinking that just MAYBE if he thinks I'm sleeping, he'll try not to make so much fucking noise. But no. Perhaps it's time to try a new tactic. If he wasn't already in pain, I'd kick him in the balls.

This morning he got up at about 5am and went out of the room. I had no idea where he was going, but I hoped it wasn't the living room to play Xbox, because he usually plays games with lots of shooting and loud explosions. What do I do when I can't sleep? I KNIT. So anyway, a minute later he comes back in bed - with food. Does he eat eggs or oatmeal or yogurt or something quiet? No. CAP'N FUCK'N CRUNCH.


And THEN - about ten minutes later - while the TV was still on, I heard him snoring. SNORING. Like something you'd see in a cartoon - like the trees bent in the direction of his inhales and exhales. So if by some crazy chance I could have slept through the volume on the TV, I could never have slept through R sawing logs. I woke up with an aching jaw from laying there clenching my teeth for three hours, and I was actually quite happy to shake him as hard as I could when the alarm went off at 7am.

And I went back to sleep.

Until I rolled over and found a piece of Cap'n Fuck'n Crunch in the sheets.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Decade with My Best Friend - R!

It's our anniversary! Somebody, somewhere, is losing a bet, I'm pretty sure.

I can hardly believe R and I have been married ten whole years. And even with all the stupid crap we've endured along the way, I'd still marry the man all over again, because every day is an adventure.

Some days are more adventurous than others, obviously, and those are the things I blog about. And you love me for it, dontcha?

I've been waiting forever to post the next three pictures. They require a small amount of backstory.

When R and I first got married, we had this great idea that each year we would take turns planning our anniversary celebration. On our first anniversary, R planned a wonderful overnight stay at Jackson House, a B & B in Alton, Illinois which advertizes a slice of fresh pie with your breakfast - what a great selling point!! We got dinner at Fast Eddie's and stayed the night in The Barn. It was really nice.

Of course, on our first anniversary we had a 16-month-old daughter (who is also why we never had a honeymoon), and R's parents offered to take her overnight so we could go out. They didn't offer the following year. So when it was my turn to plan, I had to search for places that allowed children. And back then we were both working full-time and Beeb was in day care all day, so we thought it would be kinda nice to spend some time with her too.

I had a vague memory of my parents taking me to Hannibal, the hometown of Mark Twain, (about 100 miles north of St. Louis on the Mississippi River) when I was little. I remembered thinking it was fun then, and now, being and adult with an English degree and a healthy appreciation for Mark Twain's contribution to American Literature, I thought I would like it better this time around.

The place I found was called Lulabelle's. which, according to local lore, was once a brothel. I'm the sort of person who finds tidbits like that charming. The place where we would be staying was called The Painted Lady.

The website mentioned a hot tub (hubba hubba!) and the best pancakes in town for breakfast. Beebie likes pancakes. Lulabelle's sounded like a winner.

The photographs on the website, very cleverly, do NOT show the entire outside of The Painted Lady. Allow me to enlighten you.

The first picture is a little misleading. There aren't a lot of cars in the photo, but The Painted Lady (the small blue house) is located at the intersection of the two busiest streets in all of Hannibal. You can see a bridge in the background. It's the only bridge across the Mississippi within a 50-mile radius. (EDIT: Unless ya wanna go up the river 10 miles to Quincy, Illinois.)

At dusk, they turn on the 80-billion jiggawatt blowtorch that illuminates the Welcome To Hannibal sign, located right outside the bedroom window. See the little blue house right behind the sign? That's The Painted Lady. Was I kidding?

Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep. And not in the wink wink, we didn't get much sleep if ya know what I'm sayin...bowchickabow kind of way like most people would spend their anniversary. Plus, being a brothel, there were no doors on any of the rooms in the house. So we couldn't really put Beeb in a room with some books, close the door and wait for her to fall asleep. She eventually fell asleep in the bed with us, then R moved her to another bedroom, and he and I got ready to fire up the hot tub.

The Welcome To Hannibal lights blaze right into the enclosed porch where the hot tub was. So I figured, screw it, we'll give the truckers a thrill as they whizz by. Then I lifted the lid of the hot tub and I was greeted by a layer of dead moths floating atop the water. Ugh. Never mind.

And the best part happened on our way home. When we set our wedding date, we were quite unaware of the fact that November 8th falls on the weekend that Deer Hunting Season begins.

You can't see it in the photo, but this bleeding deer carcass is BUNGEE-CORDED to the roof of the car. Fucking classic.

And don't you love how the dude's waving us around, like I want to get close enough to his deathmobile to see Bambi's mother's eyes rolled back in her head and her tongue flapping in the wind? No thank you, I'll just snap a picture so I can remember this moment for all eternity... and blog about it eight years from now.

Needless to say, Hannibal was the end of the Bed and Breakfast anniversary celebrations. In fact, the last few years have sparked an alarming trend. Two out of the last three years, R has seen a doctor on our anniversary. Two years ago, he got a vasectomy (the gift that keeps on NOT giving), and this year my husband subjected himself to a prostate exam.

So another man has jostled my husband's junk on the date of our wedding anniversary not once, but twice.

And how will we be celebrating this evening? Dollar burgers at Clancy's with the kids. And Thursday Night TV in our jammies.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Get comfortable - we've got a lot to cover.

I'm waaaaay behind on Blogstalking, so let's jump right in, beginning with Week 6's assignment - A Day in My Life.

First of all, there is NO such thing as a typical day in my life. There are some things that I do pretty much every day, but very rarely do I have two similar days in a row. And that's how I like it.

The first thing I do every day, as soon as I get out of bed, is make the bed. It's really the only thing I'm anal about.

I absolutely LOVE this bed.

I take a shower every day. The nudie pic comes later, pervs.

Post-Shower, in my fluffy pink robe.

And then I walk into my walk-in closet to pick out my ensemble. I'm still organizing in there, but you'll notice the picture Pie drew of me for Mother's Day last year.

Here's what I'm wearing today.

I didn't make the sweater, but I love to wear beautiful knit sweaters around people who know I knit, just so they can assume I made them. Tee hee!

Here's my entry for the current Week 8 assignment - What's For Breakfast? A Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. Or sometimes a Caffeine-Free Diet Pepsi. Whichever's on sale.

Then I ask my favorite ubersexy weatherman boyfriend Glenn what the weather's going to be like today.

And I check the time.

Then I walk Beebie down our beautiful tree-lined street to her bus stop. And I wave wildly like a crazy person, just to embarrass her. Such fun.

So now it's just me and the boys hanging out until 12:45. What to do, what to do...?

Well, I guess I could clean my bedroom.

Or Beeb's room.

Or the basement.

Screw it, I'm gonna dick around on Knitty for a while.

I need to put some clean laundry away. Most of it goes upstairs to the boys' room.

So I'll clean the boys' room.

Two hours later, it's pretty much as good as it's gonna get. Notice the bins are even labeled!

Oh, shit - I almost forgot to take Pie to school.

So now I'm hangin out with Tito until Beebie and Pie get home. I think we'll go to Hobby Lobby. Where they DON'T sell size 9 wooden DPN's, FYI.

So then I hang out with Tito, maybe take a nap or play a game or watch a Thomas DVD or something. Or maybe we'll take silly pictures of my bellybutton. My bellybutton's name is Neville McNavel.

I was gonna do A Day In the Life of Neville, but it didn't come out as clever as I wanted. My bellybutton looks weird because of the vertical scar under it from my gallbladder surgery and the fact that I have a tattoo right above it, behind Neville's eyes. And I'm not even going to mention the stretch marks. I certainly hope that seeing my bellybutton makes you feel better about yours.

Back to the story - big kids come home, and Pie shows me his homework.

It says "I showed perseverance when I made comic books." Only it kinda looks like Comic Boobs. Which, obviously, is WAY funnier.

Next I'll start dinner, and we'll eat at the dining room table I scored for FREE on Craigslist!!

And if you've made it all the way through this post, here's your reward. GRATUITOUS NUDITY, as promised.

That's my Week 7 - The Oldest Pic of Yourself You Can Find. I think I'm about two years old there. Same impish grin, though, ain't it? ;)

Friday, November 02, 2007

I could have sworn I was Ernie.

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"