Hey, I Just Bought An Area Rug…And Other Stuff

You know how sometimes you call up a friend just to say hey? Well, that’s kind of all this is. Hey!

area rug
photo credit: A selection of colorful rugs from Posh Living via photopin (license)

I didn’t get a real blog post written this week because I spent too much time binge watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt* on Netflix and shopping online for a new area rug after my husband casually mentioned he thought it might be time for a new one. And casually mentioning something like that translates in my head as, “Kelly, I think you should IMMEDIATELY drop everything and spend hours looking at area rugs until you find the perfect one that matches our current decor, but adds just a pop of a new color that we also need new throw pillows for the couch and possibly a new chair. But don’t tell me you’re also shopping for a new chair. Just put a few different options in your wish list basket. And then after we have lived with the new area rug for a month or so and really love it, mention to me that now our chair doesn’t really match the whole new vibe we have going on here. And then I’ll have to say ‘whatever, get a new chair’ …because if you don’t satisfy your obsessive and ongoing need to make over something, you’ll turn your attention to my wardrobe and, damn it, I like my t-shirts from high school with the holes in the armpits.” Continue reading “Hey, I Just Bought An Area Rug…And Other Stuff”

Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!

My red and white bulls-eyed world has been rocked not once, not twice, but three times in the past month.

This is how we Target.

I should think it could go without saying I am a willing drinker of the kool-aid that is Target. I mean, duh…I breathe, and Target exists. It does not take a genius to deduce anything here. Besides, the Target kool-aid is hard to resist, seeing as how it is always attractively arranged on end caps alongside clearance candles, brightly chevroned decor by designers I couldn’t otherwise afford had they not decided to slum it with “exclusive” “bargain” collections, and cleaning products that seduce me into thinking that if I use them my house will finally be rid of that stagnant faint smell of dog, kid sweat, and week-old bowl of leftover cereal and milk that I know is somewhere, under something, but I can’t find where the stench is coming from for the life of me. I dare anyone to resist that kool-aid.
Continue reading “Breaking News! Target Myths Debunked!”

A Ruined Target Shopping Trip and Other Things That Annoy Parents

Target LogoIt should be illegal for the Icee machine at Target to ever, ever be broken.

I usually like to make my trips to “the mecca” solo, but when I do have to bring a kid or two along, $1.69 + tax is a small price to pay to insure I can give Target my full shopping attention, as it rightfully deserves.

So you can imagine my terror when I arrived at the snack counter today, with Michael in tow, and ordered a medium ICEE (a medium is a nice compromise between the completely unnecessary sugar spaz that comes with a large, and the decreased browsing time that a small buys), only to have my request met with the words, “The ICEE machine is brrrrooooookeeeeeennnn.” (I write it that way to denote how the word sounded to me at the moment…like in the movies when everything happens in slow-mo, and you hear something in that deep, drawn-out voice that signals catastrophe.)

Well, crap.

“We have popcorn.” Thanks, but that doesn’t help me whatsoever. What good is popcorn when all it will do is make Michael thirsty, prompting him to ask for an ICEE? Does Mr. Snack Counter Man not foresee this vicious cycle?

I simply tell him, “Thanks anyway,” as I walk away. I break the news to Michael, which of course results in a pitiful, whimpering cry. And I realize there will be no moments of self-actualization or nirvana on this particular Target trip.

So while we are on the subject, here are a few other things that I think should be illegal in order to make parents’ lives a lot easier:

1. Other parents announcing in public that they are taking their kids to McDonald’s. Every parenting handbook should warn against committing this act of terrorism on fellow parents. It’s just not a nice thing to do to those who have children within earshot of that announcement. Any parent who breaks this rule should be subject to a punishment that lasts as long as the endless whining that results from my children overhearing that OTHER kids get to go to McDonald’s, but THEIR mom hates them and gives them peanut butter for the fourth time this week.

misbehaving in churce
You may need to pray, but this pew is just begging to have my cars driven all over it.

2. Churches with no cry rooms. It may be the House of the Lord, but surely having no cry room is the Devil’s doing. It’s hard enough to receive God’s Word when you have a two-year-old asking for Cheerios and pointing out that there are no pictures in the hymnals, but it’s near impossible when you have the added stares of people wondering why you can’t control your children. Yes, you are justified in your indignation Ms. Judgey McJudgepants…it is completely acceptable to expect a toddler to sit quietly still for forty-five minutes to an hour. I’m sure all of YOUR children did in the good old days. Thankfully, our church does have a cry room, but I have been to my fair share of ones that didn’t. And it is just not fun. In the worst cases, I honestly wondered what was the point of me even being there. In fact, do you want to know how important I think cry rooms are? One of the reasons we actually chose to join the parish we did was because it had a more welcoming cry room than the other nearby parish. It may sound a little shallow, but I can tell you I have had mostly pleasant church experiences. Nothing frees you up to get closer to God than not having to worry when your kid decides to sing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle song instead of “On Eagle’s Wings.”  

fuse beads
I’d like to give whoever invented these a swift kick in the pants

3. Giving Fuse Beads as a birthday present. If you don’t know what Fuse Beads are, consider yourself lucky. While in theory they are a mild-mannered craft project, in reality they are minuscule menaces that are impossible for children without fully developed dexterity to handle, which inevitably end up all over your floor. Or in our case, the entire bucket is found during a Halloween party and the contents dumped all throughout the basement. However, I am ashamed to admit, I just broke this rule. But in my defense, I didn’t do it on purpose. My husband likes to find toys on sale and buy up a couple to have on hand for whenever one of the kids is invited to a birthday party. Grace had a party to go to today, and I didn’t worry about finding a gift because I knew we had our stockpile. Well, when I went to get the gift (of course, right before we had to leave for the party) I found that all I had to choose from was one lonely box of Fuse Beads. When Kurt saw what I had, he said, “I thought you liked Abby’s mom.” I replied that I did. “Then WHY are you giving Abby Fuse Beads?” I did apologize to Abby’s mom when I dropped off Grace…luckily she’s a laid-back lady and is used to having Fuse Beads dotting her floors. But I know my parental karmic payback is coming.

Now let’s commiserate…feel free to comment about other things you feel should be made illegal. I know this list can be much, much longer…

“I Smell Poop”…and Ten Other Things I Rarely Said When I Was 24

A few weeks ago I was recounting a potty training story to some friends over frozen yogurt. (This is how you know we are all moms: we could comfortably talk of poop while eating a smooth frozen treat covered with chunks of chocolate). I was, and still am, having issues with Michael not wanting to do #2 in the toilet. During this particular incident, he had pooped in his pants and then tried to clean it up himself. I guess I should give him props for TRYING to amend the situation; however, his version of cleaning up ACTUALLY meant making a bigger mess. A poopy mess…on the vanity of the bathroom, on the walls, on the floor, on the couch, even on his face and in his hair. All this took place while I was in the shower (because that’s when it always happens. I’m considering trying out the European method of bathing in order to head off more home disasters). As I emerged from my room, the aroma hit me with my first step into the hallway. “I smell poop,” was what I said. At this point in the story, my friend Niki started laughing and said, “Now THAT’S a blog post. I Smell Poop.” Well, Niki…I kindly thank you for the idea.

“I smell poop.” A simple phrase. Yet it represents how vastly my life has changed in the last ten years. (Though I might confess I uttered these words in college at some point, but surely with MUCH less frequency than I do now). The lexicon of my life has taken on different tones and subjects since my days as a twenty-four year old. And it got me thinking about other things that rarely, if ever, tumbled across my lips in those carefree days of my young adulthood:

1. Double coupons AND it’s on sale? YESSSSSS!

2. I’m not a very big fan of “Super Why.” I think “Word World” is much more creative. And have you watched “Sid the Science Kid”? That’s some good TV. But yeah, “Yo Gabba Gabba” is totally whacked out, yet I’m mesmerized by it at the same time.

3. Excuse me, I need to go pee-pee.

4. You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

5. I’ll just bring it to you at carpool pick up.

6. I have a wet wipe in my purse if you need it. Or I have sanitizing wipes…or hand sanitizer. Take your pick. Are you hungry? I also have a snack bag of pretzels.

7. That is a nice looking mini van. I’m so jealous.

8. Let’s go eat someplace where there is a playground…or some video games.

9. I am soooo gonna try that crock pot recipe.

10. I think I’ll spend my night off at Target. Then maybe Kohl’s or Michael’s, if I’m not too tired.

I could probably go on, but I have a big night ahead of me. I am going to try that aforementioned crock pot recipe and I am late for a big time art show. It is displayed on the walls throughout my house and consists mainly of pages out of a Barbie coloring book, but I hear it is very cutting edge.

Damn Is for Beavers

With every milestone a child reaches, there are joys to look forward to as well as fears to dread. When a child begins walking, a mother will look forward to a whole new world of activities they can do together. She will also dread skinned knees and searching for her child who has wandered off in Target. When a child loses her first tooth, a mother will look forward to spinning tales of the Tooth Fairy and seeing the excitement when her child wakes up to a dollar under her pillow and “fairy dust” on the floor. She will also dread the future payments to the orthodontist when her child’s permanent teeth come in crooked right off the bat (this one is hitting close to home at the moment). When a child begins to drive, a mother will look forward to a little freedom from carpool duty and pick up from practice. But she will also dread speeding tickets, fender-benders, or something worse. And when a child begins talking, a mother will look forward to finally hearing the words I love you, along with all the other wonderfully charming things kids say. She will also dread all the not-so-charming things that will inevitably accompany them. Like “damn it.”

Michael is a few weeks into being three years old. I think by now it has been well documented that three is the new two…in terms of being preceded by the adjective “terrible.” A few months ago, Michael went through a tremendous language explosion, and almost overnight, he started sounding more like a “kid” than a “toddler” when he talked. And as it must surely go, he now also has the humor of a kid, and we all know what that means: potty humor. Oh , the number of times a day the child inserts the word “poop” into a sentence is staggering, and it is always followed with hysterical laughter. My new catch phrase has been, “Excuse me, but poop is for the bathroom.” Of course that has not stopped him in his potty talk. Now, every time he says the word “poop” in a random fashion, he just adds, “poop is for da baffroom.” Apparently he sees it as more of a disclaimer than a deterrent.

christmas story soap in mouth
“Oooh Fuuudge!” What punishment is worse than the guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Soap in the mouth, of course.

But I can handle the poop talk. It’s part of being a kid. I get it. And I can also handle his driving need to make people laugh (namely his sister) by saying, “Shakin’ my boooooty.” What I can not handle is that he has started saying, “damn it” when he is angry. I would like to blame the indiscretion on “kids at school,” but let’s face it. Preschool has been out for two months now. I hate to admit it, but I know he has heard it come out of my mouth…never at him or his sister, but there have been times it has freely fallen from my lips. And now I’ve created a problem for myself to fix.

Grace also went through a small “damn it” phase around the age of four. Overall, I’ve been lucky with her. She’s never been much of a potty mouth. So I thought back to what I did when she suddenly found a fondness for this “bad” word. I did not want to make a big deal about it and give it more power than it had, but I also wanted to make sure she knew it was not an appropriate thing to say. So I figured I would give her a funny alternative that would surely be more enticing. Very casually I said to her, “You know, how about instead of saying ‘damn it,’ we say ‘oh pickles.’” Well she seemed to like that, but it was not always so easy to remember. I recall one time I could hear her in the kitchen. She had spilled some water, and she whispered, “Oh damn it…I mean, pickles.” A minute later, she came up to me to confess: “Mom, I said ‘oh pickles,’ but I was thinking ‘damn it’“. Before I knew it, “damn it” just kind of disappeared from her vocabulary.

I am hoping the same will happen with Michael. In some ways, he seems a bit more stubborn than Grace, which I did not think was possible. But I know it is just another small battle a mother must fight, and hopefully if I teach my kids what is right enough times, they will eventually choose wisely. All in all, I guess a little “damn it” is not so bad, especially considering most of what comes out of Michael’s mouth is worth smiling over.