Wednesday, October 31, 2012

But I don’t even like Bud Light, Sebastian

On Sunday, after my children had spent all Saturday at the zoo with their grandparents wearing costumes and dancing and Halloweening and decidedly not napping, and then Sunday afternoon also not napping but most definitely whining, we had Sebastian’s soccer party.

The soccer star. His team was Argentina. The
photographers did a pretty crappy job, but
you can still see how grown up and adorable
Sebastian is.
(Oh, did I not tell you Sebastian played soccer?  I’m not sure how that happened as I am a bit of an oversharer.  We had a couple of rough starts to practice wherein my son, who will scrape his face on the concrete and barely acknowledge it except to talk macabrely about the blood, got knocked down and refused to play anymore which was totally not expected and so we were at a loss as to how to proceed.  Mostly I employed worrying.  And stressing.  And then none of it mattered because he was fine and had a blast although didn’t take it a seriously as some of the other kids and parents and he learned lots of new bad words and wrestling moves.  Because whenever they weren’t kicking the soccer ball the entire team was in a pile on the ground wrestling and talking smack.  And I met some moms that I wished would become my New! Best! Friends! but who I was too afraid to ask out on a mom date.  The end.)

The party was the end of the season get-together where the coaches handed out trophies and awards to the kids.  It was held at Mr. Gattis, which we all know is the worst place in the history of ever and I wish it would just fall into the ground so I wouldn’t have to experience it’s loud, crowded, broken game area anymore, if nothing else to avoid seeing the half-naked video game girls on the games that are meant FOR CHILDREN YOU ASSHOLES. 

But being the amazing mother I am, I decided that I would take Sebastian anyway.  But really it was because I didn’t want to stay home with Miss No Nap for Two Days.  There were other smaller, toddler-esque children at Sebastian’s party, but none of them threw their plates on the floor or spit food at whoever was sitting across from them or flailed about limply in disgust whenever they were told to calm down, so I don’t think Adele would have fit in very well.  We decided to save ourselves the embarrassment and tears and not poke the bear.  She stayed home with Chris.

So as Sebastian and I were walking into Mr. Gattis the wind blew a can right near our feet.  Sebastian, being the responsible citizen he is, picked it up.

Somebody dropped this!  They shouldn’t have done that!  They should have thrown it away! That’s not nice.

I agreed with him, that it wasn’t very polite to throw random cans on the ground.  And then I got a closer look as he handed it to me.

Bud Light.  And it still had some in it.

I wanted so bad to just throw it back on the ground, but Sebastian was proud of himself for knowing that it’s kind of rude to throw trash on the ground and he was watching me and I didn’t want to confuse him and there are lessons we have to teach our children, such as DON’T THROW BEER CANS IN THE PARKING LOT OF A PIZZA PLACE BECAUSE A 4 YEAR OLD MIGHT PICK IT UP AND HAND IT TO THEIR MOTHER, THUS MAKING HER DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT.

But of course, that wasn’t where it ended.  At first I thought there would be a garbage can outside the building because there always seems to be one outside of buildings.

There wasn’t.


So I brought it into the restaurant.  And I endured all of the looks from strangers that bored into my skull and emitted disapproving telepathic signals straight into my person.   And I knew what they were thinking. 

I wanted to shout “It’s not mine!  I SWEAR!  But I figured that the more I protested, the worse it would be for everyone.  You know, all those people waiting in line ahead of me because of course I couldn’t just calmly walk up to the front and find a garbage.  Nope.  I waited there with Sebastian drawing attention to himself as he usually does because he was excited about his party and doesn’t pass by a stranger without introducing himself.  And there I was, holding a half-full beer can in line at Mr. Gattis while my son discussed his championship party with nearby patrons.

I finally saw someone I could ask to throw away the beer can for me, while making sure that I told her that my son picked it up in the parking lot, possibly trying to imply that maybe they should have been better about cleaning that shit up so a mother of a 4 year old model citizen wouldn’t have to melt into a puddle of mortification when her son makes her carry it around until she finds a garbage can.

Also, put garbage cans outside.  We could have avoided all of this if they would have just put a damn garbage can outside.

She didn’t believe me.  I could tell by her raised eyebrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Homemade Friday: Halloween Garland on a Stick

Yesterday Sebastian was searching for something to do, which basically entailed him walking behind me saying "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

I'd been thinking about making a Halloween craft with him and thought that this might be a good time.  Actually, what I really thought was "If it will get you to stop whining my name so much, then FINE. LET'S CRAFT."

But that's not what I said.  Obviously.

We started a little late and so had to rush through to get done before Adele woke up.  So that means that I let Sebastian watch me cut out ghosts and pumpkins and bright blue bats because we didn't have any black felt.  He did decide what the faces would look like on the little Halloween shapes.  And he did keep picking up my needle I used to attach thread and telling me how sharp it was.

A word of advice if you decide to make something like this: Don't take it outside on a windy day to take pictures.  Otherwise you will get photos like this:

And then you will spend 10 minutes untangling it.  As I had put in the effort, I felt it only fair that Sebastian forgo his need to use the bathroom and let me continue to take his picture.  Here he is complaining about needing to pee:

And this is after the bathroom break and after I gave up getting an outside photo and way after Sebastian was done with the whole silly craft:

I hung it over our window in our back room/play room:

And here's how it looks from outside:

And here's how I felt about untangling all of those strings multiple times because of wind and various excited 4 year olds who wouldn't hold still and stop swinging the branch around:

Sebastian likes it, though.  He says it's part of our haunted house.

In case you were truly interested in what I did, I cut out shapes by hand - pumpkins, ghosts and bats - using felt.  Then I drew faces with a sharpie - either happy, sad or scary, whichever Sebastian wanted.  We went out into the yard and found a big stick, then I attached all the shapes to the stick with black thread.  I didn't measure anything, as you would expect.

When Chris got home he noticed it right away and said "Hey, that's neat!"  I'm assuming he meant "Hey! Looks like you actually did something today!"

But I could be over-analyzing ...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Potty training is the best thing ever

If you were to ask me how potty training was going, I would direct your attention to the amount of times I’ve cleaned pee up off of the floor in the last week, versus the amount of times the potty has been actually used for its purpose instead of just as a hat.

I’ll let you guess which one is bigger.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Just kidding!  You thought you were getting out of here with a tasteful description of this next phase in Adele’s development.  You haven’t been reading long, have you?

I got a little ikea potty not that long ago because it’s about twice as small as the giant puppy potty we used for Sebastian, which was cumbersome and annoying and half the time the pee didn’t actually make it into the potty. 

I wasn’t entirely sure Adele was ready.  She did show some interest, and by interest I mean that she barged her way into the bathroom every time I was in it, demanding toilet paper and to flush the toilet herself thankyouverymuch.  If you didn’t comply there was much yelling and thrashing and she may even have taken a swing or two.

She takes it very seriously, apparently.

With Sebastian I waited awhile, until he was between 2 ½ and 3.  I wanted to wait until Adele was born and we were all sort of settled into being a new family of four before I attempted training because I knew that any new change, such as a brand new sister, would completely uproot all the work we’d done to get him trained.

And it wasn’t too bad, I guess, in spite of the pooping in the driveway episode. 

I figured I would start Adele a little earlier since I’m here with her all day, and we could spend most mornings here by ourselves focusing on the task at hand.  And by focusing I mean opting for the no pants rule and shoving the potty under her when she starts to pee.

She’s peed on the potty exactly once on purpose.  All week.  Once.  She’s also pooped on it once.  It’s like, she knows she has to pee, she gets that part.  But she’s still a little scared to use the potty.  She’ll run around saying ‘PEEPEE! PEEPEE!” and I know she’s got to go, but she doesn’t want to sit down long enough.

And now she refuses to wear diapers except when she’s sleeping, so whenever she’s wearing pants basically I’m just changing pull-ups like I would diapers.  And those bastards are expensive.

I know it takes a little bit for it to all click into place. 

But damn.  I’m tired of cleaning the floor.

Yes, I do let her go out in public looking like this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Motherhood and More: Housework slides down priority list

I’ll never be a domestic goddess.

I’ll also never enjoy the phrase “domestic goddess,” but that’s a whole other column.

But I’m not sure I was made for this type of work. I mean, I don’t necessarily care I’ve had stacks of magazines on the end table for months and every month the stack just keeps growing. I keep meaning to go through them and get rid of the ones I don’t need — probably all of them — but I don’t ever seem to have the time. Or the desire.

There always are toys strewn about almost every room in the house, including the bathroom for some reason. And there are Lego pieces pretty much everywhere you look but they’re small, and so, hide well. But I refuse to spend all day following my children around picking up all the toys they haphazardly drop just to drive me crazy. I’ll have to do it again in five minutes.

There’s dust where it shouldn’t be, there’s unorganized books on the bookshelf, there’s dirty dishes in my sink. And my bedroom has somehow become a catch-all area.

That’s life. Or it’s my life, I guess.

Still, it bugs me. I would love to be better at this sort of thing. I would love to have my house spotless first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And I mean the whole house, even the closets, not just the parts you see without opening any doors.

But I’ve never been that way. And I don’t think of myself as lazy, though some might disagree. But everything is even harder now. It’s like, I feel like I’m finally at a point in my life where I will clean when I need to instead of watching television or reading a book but it’s so difficult to sweep the kitchen floor without the 4-year-old running back and forth through the dirt or wash dishes without the 2-year-old thinking it’s time for her to play in the water.

I know it’s a little anti-girl power, whatever that means, but I do want to excel at this. I want to have a household schedule and stick to it, I want to be organized, I want to have meals planned for the entire month and I want to get rid of all the dust.

And I’m getting there, slowly.

But cleaning still is pushed to the side, mainly because I’m so much better at it when no one is around and someone always is around.

The other day I was doing laundry and washed our sheets, telling myself I had to remember to put them in the dryer and back on the bed before it was actually time for bed. But then I forgot about them. All day.

I remembered late, probably around 10 p.m., that they still needed to be dried.

And so there I was, at 11:30 p.m. with my one nice set of sheets and blankets still in the dryer, with myself and my husband exhausted and ready to sleep.

And all I could think was Martha Stewart would never be in this predicament.

*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on October 24, 2012.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Homemade Friday: Don't look at this if you are my husband

I mean it ...

Look away Mr. Thomas ...

I'd rather not have to hurt you ...

He doesn't really read this blog, but still I felt the need to warn him away just in case.

And it's not like he hasn't seen me working on this sweater, but he hasn't asked what I'm knitting or who I'm making it for.  Instead of thinking that he's just not that interested in what I'm doing I prefer to think that he subconsciously knows that it's for him and so refuses to ruin the surprise.

Not that it will be that much of a surprise anyway since he did say he liked the pattern and he did pick out the yarn for it.  But that was a long time ago so there is a large chance that he's forgotten.


The best sweater I've ever made, hell, the best item I've ever knit was a sweater for Chris that I made years ago.  It was made with nice, fancypants wool that cost far too much money, but it's held up and still looks really nice. 


And I'm hoping that even though this new sweater was not made with fancypants wool that it will still be nice, and he will still wear it years from now.

It's the Professor Charles sweater pattern from Tot Toppers and I'm hoping to give it to Chris for Christmas, if I can wait that long.  It's been actually a super-fast knit, which is helpful when I have plants to make a smaller version for Sebastian and Adele.  THINK OF THE CUTENESS THAT WILL EXPLODE WHEN YOU SEE THEM ALL IN MATCHING SWEATERS!

And just because I haven't shown it to you in awhile, here's a blurry picture of me in my interestingly yellow bathroom holding up the sweater.

You are welcome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conversations with Sebastian: Nocturnal Jesus addition

Last Christmas I wanted to add a little bit of Jesus back into our celebrations since it's entirely probable that we won't ever get to Christmas Mass again.

I'll let you guess who is to blame.

So when it came time to pull out Sebastian's big, awesome, wooden box of an advent calendar, I made up my mind that we would say that Baby Jesus left his little piece of chocolate or small toy every day up until Christmas.

(I know, I know.  You can laugh if you want to.)

Part of it, though, was also to incorporate a little of Chris' German heritage, too.  He said they always believed that a Christmas Angel brought the gifts for the kids every Christmas Eve for Jesus, since he couldn't do it himself, I guess.

So every morning in December Sebastian would run downstairs to see what Baby Jesus had brought him that day.

Sebastian goes to a Catholic preschool and they recently built a new building.  We were discussing the fact that there wasn't a church there yet, and you have to be quiet when you go into church, and they talk about Jesus there. 

Sebastian: Baby Jesus is nocturnal.

Me: Is he now? 

Sebastian:  Yeah.  He's nocturnal.  That means he sleeps during the day and comes out at night.

Me: Really? 

Sebastian: He comes out at night to give me presents in the morning at Christmas.  That's why he's nocturnal. Baby Jesus is nocturnal.

Me: Oh. Okay.

(It's impossible to argue with him.  I let it go.  So now, in our house, Jesus is nocturnal.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

What I am happy about right now ...

1. That I haven't wanted to throttle my children once today, even after Adele spit in my face. After smacking me in the face.

2. That in spite of it being Monday and Sebastian's new school opened all the way on the other side of town, I still managed to take him there in time.  Although I forgot to brush his teeth.

3. That the drive back home allowed me a little bit of quiet and peace and time to drink my commuter cup of coffee.

4. That the ridiculously long two-week fall break is over and we can get back into our routine.

5. That I survived the ridiculously long two-week fall break even though I had a rotten sinus infection and generally felt like you-know-what the entire time and so couldn't do all the fun things I had planned for us to do while Sebastian was home all day.

6. That he is no longer home all day and so gets some interaction besides me telling him to go play in his room with all his legos.

7. That my foot feels better after I twisted it walking up the back stairs to the kitchen on Saturday.

8. That my twisted foot is not broken.

9. That somehow in my injuring-myself-expertise I managed to twist the top of my foot and so I don't think it is as bad as if I'd twisted my ankle.

10. That I feel more like a human being and less like a giant, non-social slug.

11. That the return of 'The Walking Dead' did not give me nightmares last night.

12. That my husband was nice enough to lock all the doors before the show started so I wouldn't be wondering if a walker would stumble into our living room any minute.

13. That my husband did not make fun of me before or after he locked the doors or make that zombie noise he likes to do to freak me out.

14. Coffee.

15. Babies wearing cardboard mustaches.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Homemade Friday: The deer, they are fornicating

Yes.  Yes they are.

Oh you guys.  This was so much fun to knit. 

Not the least of which is the fact that color work is new to me.  And I think I did pretty good overall, despite the fact that I twisted all the yarn around in the beginning so that I had to untwist it each time I started a new row, cursing the stupid yarn all the while when I should have been cursing myself and my inability to use my critical thinking.

The hat is actually two different hats, the first one worked with a provisional cast on so you can just unravel it when you're done and put the live stitches on your needles and knit the second one.  It's such an easier way to knit a double-knit hat.

I started with the 'nice' side of the hat.  And I could not stop smiling as the designs took shape.  And then I knit the 'naughty' side. 

Guys.  I giggled.  It was delightful.

I made it for my former neighbor who asked for it way back in January, I think.  (I mentioned it here.)  But at least it's ready in time for winter, right?  And now Chris wants one.

 I used this pattern, which used this chart. (Ravelry links)

I used Knitpicks Gloss Heavy Worsted in black and gray, which I think are now both discontinued.  (Who discontinues BLACK?!)  Actually it looks like they're discontinuing the entire yarn, which is a shame because it was really soft to work with.

I love everything about this hat.  The only issue is that it may be a little big on top, which was probably my fault with gauge.  As usual.

But no matter.  I think it'll be fine.  The deer don't seem to mind.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Conversations with Sebastian

While working on letters in a workbook:

Me: Those are the little letters, do you remember them?

Sebastian: Um, you mean the lowercase letters, Mommy?

(I stand corrected.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sons of Anarchy ... you're kind of an asshole

Well.  So I finally watched last week's Sons of Anarchy.

All I have to say is damn.  Didn't see that one coming.

Poor Opie.

(Now who will I fantasize about?)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fiona Apple gave me a sinus infection and second degree burns

Guys, I’m cold.  Like COLD cold.  I’ve got five layers on my top half, two of them fleece, and still I can’t get warm.  Maybe that’s care of the three hours of sleep total I got last night because the youngest decided that sleep just wasn’t her thing and her father is out of town so I had the brunt of the sleep deprivation this time.  Or maybe it’s because my husband won’t let me turn the heat on in the house until he’s around because he’s afraid it will blow up or something, and at least if he’s here will all be in it together?  Maybe?  But I guess I can be thankful that the 64 degrees it’s been inside all day has gotten Sebastian to voluntarily put on pants without argument for the first time in a week.  Do you know how exhausting it is to argue with a 4 year old about the weather and how cold it is and how cold he’ll be without shoes and pants outside?

Me and Lauren at the concert. I'm totally not drunk here.
Also I stole this picture.
Or maybe I can’t get warm because of the sinus infection Fiona Apple gave me.

That’s right.  I’m blaming her.

My friend Lauren and I went to see her in concert at the Palace on Friday.  I’m not really a concert-going person anymore, for various reasons, including money, exhaustion, and how old I usually feel.  But this one struck my fancy and Lauren said she’d go with me.  I was super psyched to relieve some of my angsty emotions and feelings that I felt so very strongly as a teenager.  I was even prepared to maybe cry.*

And I had a blast, even though I got a super awful second degree (totally guessing) burn on the roof of my mouth when I was trying to act like I knew what I was doing with chopsticks and popped a freshly-fried wonton appetizer in my mouth and was too drunk on my one Bells Two-hearted to realize that I could probably spit it out and avoid the worst of the burn and inner-mouth pealing.

It blistered almost immediately.

I just drank more to cover up the pain.

But the concert actually was disappointing, unfortunately.

It was just so loud. And that’s not something I associated with Fiona Apple.  To me she’s quiet and pensive and thoughtful and introspective.

Rock?  Not so much.  And my problem was that if you didn’t know the song, you had no idea what she was saying, or singing.  And her words and the musical composition are what make her good in my opinion.  But you couldn’t hear any of that.

She spoke into the microphone a couple of times, but you couldn’t hear what she was saying.  And she came out with a walking stick. 

So.  Concert – disappointing.  Beer and company – awesome.  Raw sushi I at even after the wonton injury of 2012 – so, so good.

But I came home with a sinus infection and a burn that still causes me so much discomfort whenever I eat, although ice water is tasting like honey from heaven these days. 

It makes the hot tea and coffee I’m craving a bitch to drink.** 

(Three hours of sleep.  WTF, Adele?  At least YOU GET TO NAP.)

*Not really, although I cried while watching a mixed martial arts movie the other day but in my defense it was very emotionally moving underneath all the beatings.

**Oh, speaking of coffee – I finally tried a pumpkin spiced latte.  It was disgusting.  You are all liars.