Sunday, January 30, 2011

Who likes pictures of babies? If you answered not me~ you suck.

As I am working on another post, which is taking some careful thought and consideration (i.e. more time and brain power than I possess at the moment), I thought that I would take a break from my regularly scheduled bullshit and show you some mommies and their little ones. 

My parents run a herd of at least 100 brood mares and 15 stallions in their foundation bred, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) breeding program, which you can read about here. The horses live on my parents property in Iowa and Missouri.  These are some photos that Missy, my folks right hand gal, snapped last spring.  They make me happy for so many reasons:
1) It is green in these pictures, which gives me hope that the winter will end. 
2) The relationships between these mares and foals doesn't differ much from human mom and babes.
3) I love horses.  Especially two brothers named Gus and Prince (Gus is in my avatar with the gnome, he is also my oldest baby.)  We look forward to having our boys home in our barn sometime soon.

Thanks for sharing your photos Missy!



Enjoying a beautiful day together.

This is what my hair looks like most of the time.

It takes a village to raise a child.... 

Quiet misty morning, when  I would be sucking down coffee.

This is my favorite, for so many reasons.

Wait up mom!

Hi!

Thing 1 isn't the only one who likes playing in the mud.


Snoozing in the sand, while mama considers fixing up the place.

Apparently I am not the only exhausted mother on the planet.  :)
I challenge you not to yawn when you look at this mama.

Notice anything different about this pair?
Seriously, how ridiculous is this?
Or should I say reDONKulous?


I hope that you all had a great weekend.

xoxo,
Johi

Friday, January 28, 2011

There is a fundamental difference between my husband and I.

When I am driving, I wait at the stoplight with my truck in gear and my turn signal on. When the light FINALLY turns green, I go. If someone is sitting in front of me, not paying attention, I always briefly consider ramming into them. I am still shocked that I don't have high blood pressure.

When my husband is driving, he sits at the stoplight with the truck in neutral and uses no turn signals.  Ever.  When the light turns green, he finishes his sentence, casually finds first gear and slowly enters the intersection.  He definitely is not a candidate for high blood pressure, but he may very well be the cause of mine.

The End.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I need better titles.

Earlier this week- it could have been yesterday, I am easily confused- I was thrilled to discover that one of my very flavorite bloggers, The Bloggess, mentioned one of my post titles on her blog in this post.  She had created a list of "bafflvating" titles from her own readers.  Being a fabulously random, hilarious woman, her reader base is chocked full of funny, witty folk.  Seriously, not only are her posts laugh- out-loud awesome,  the comments from her followers are as well.

Read her blog. Do it now.  No one else knows how to discuss gravy, heroin kitties, tequila guns and panda suits like this woman.

So as I am scrolling the list of titles that includes:

How do you say “Please don’t vacuum up the dead wasps” in Spanish?
The two stupidest people on earth live in our house
My fartpartment

I see my title Oh! Sparkles.

I'm so lame. It isn't even a good title.  Dammit!  I spend at least..... three seconds thinking about my titles!  I am entitled to better titles! 

Not really. The only thing that I am entitled to is the free publishing that blogger provides me, because I take precious time away from preparing dinner for my family, or folding laundry, to write here. I should probably stop blogging when I am tired, which would be all the time.  I clearly need help. I'm going to go lay down on the couch right now and cry about it.  No, I'm not.

This is where you all come in.  Because I know that my readers are fierce!  (I'm making kitty claws with my hands now...)  I need to come up with titles that don't point out that I probably have a vitamin deficiency, or am unable to talk to anyone about Obama's State of the Union address because I am too busy watching The Bachelor on my DVR, or that I just freaked out and started squirming over a piece of sweater lint because I thought it was a spider, or that I consumed a brownie and coffee for breakfast....again.  Help me*, dearest, fairest readers of the Internet, whose lips will shame the red red rose.  I obviously need it.  Make me smarter..... and funnier(...and prettier while you are at it). 
*Please send your ideas to my email at jkokjohnwagner@yahoo.com or just be brave and leave them in the comment box.  Just be nice, or Red Dog will eat you.

On a completely unrelated and random note:  Thing 1 yelled at me this morning.  I was trying to fix him some toast for breakfast and he was moaning "No! I don't like butter!  I'm a PLAYBOY!" 

I'm pretty confused by his statement so I emailed my friend, who is going to ask her husband to translate this kind of man speak.  

By the way, he DOES like butter.  If I would allow it, he would eat it like it was cheese.  And no, I don't subscribe to Playboy.  Thanks for wondering.



Say Butter!  I mean Cheese!
Maybe he meant "Supermodel"?
All Paparazzi know that they don't like butter.




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shit that I learned wrong.

I like to imagine that I was a very precocious child. 

Having spent a great deal of my childhood around adults, I was constantly absorbing their important material regarding "how to become an adult".  Through some kind of miracle, I did actually learn a few correct nuggets of data.  However, somehow along the way, I also acquired other morsels of information that were glaringly wrong.  Imagine my shock when I discovered that my research in my quest for the truth had some major holes in it. These are some of the things that I thought I learned:

 1. When women have babies, they have to cut all their hair off of their head.
???  I don't know where this came from- "soccer mom" haircuts and the mothers of my schoolmates sporting short styled bouffants and double knit polyester pants that declared "Look at my cellulite!", perhaps?

2. There are 3 types of females; girls, ladies and womenWomen were dirty whores.  I was supposed to shoot for the title of "lady".  To date, the only person that has called me a "lady" is Thing 1.  He is three and also thinks his toys come to life at night when he sleeps.

3. Your toys come to life at night while you sleep. (this has nothing to do with becoming an adult, I just truly believed this)

4. When you grow up, you will automatically have money, a house and the knowledge of the wise old owl.

5. When you grow up, you will have boobs.

6. Cowboy boots go with everything, including pink lacy dresses. 

7. You are supposed to get married at 24, have babies by 26 and a great career by 30.  Crap.

8. Family always helps raise your children.

9. When girls blossom into "ladies", they are supposed to look like the Solid Gold Dancers.


Photo from the unofficial Solid Gold Dance Connection

10. "Little House on the Prairie" was the epitome of timeless fashion.

11. "Why Johi, you are such a talented artist!"

12. C.W. McCall made some of the best 8 tracks on the planet.  (I don't know, this really may be true)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWO_AIh8drk&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=MLGxdCwVVULXf6RgoEEMCGjsmOpAotQhIP

13. It is nice to have pets in the house.

14. When you grow up, you will be able to look great in your swimsuit (with your boobs and your tan).

15. Staying at home to raise your children earns you status and respect.  Baha!


I would love to hear from my readers.  What did you believe as a child about becoming an adult that was fantasy?
 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Weekend in Nebraskee.

I am blessed with a very loving and generous family.  This Christmas, they not only showered my children with enough gifts to sink the Titanic, they also filled our freezer with meat, bestowed a Cabela's gift card upon us and presented us with a king sized suite (the size of our house) in Sidney, Nebraska~ right across the interstate from the "original" Cabela's.  We conned some poor unsuspecting friend into watching our Things and pets for the weekend and hit the road!* 

*Right after we searched frantically for an entire hour for the lost Cabela's giftcards (from the previous Christmas as well), which we never found. I think my husband and I were doing a pretty sufficient job of working up a couple of ulcers over that little fiasco. Never fear!  We stopped at a liquor store and I sipped yummy gluten-free beer all the way to the Holiday Inn.  It was good that I was drinking because my husband used our time alone to tell me all the details of his new job as a heating and air service technician.  Yawn. I was fully relaxed (i.e. almost comatose) when we arrived.

The next morning was spent sleeping until we were done sleeping (uh... 7:30 how lame is that?  We were also hoping to use our AARP card at a local Country Buffet for the early bird special, but we failed to locate one.) We had our coffee (in silence!), exercised (uninterrupted!), showered (I lingered!) and eventually we did venture over to Cabela's.  We knew that we were in the right place because the parking lot was 75% pick-up trucks.  Because of my insane good luck, or maybe it was because Cabela's employs some wonderful people, the manager was able to retrieve our unspent and lost gift cards.  Miracles really do happen. We bought socks... and shoes.... and some other stuff.  It was great, except we had that eerie feeling like we were being watched the whole time.



After we finished our shopping spree, I lovingly requested that the hubs pose
 with our bags on the cute park bench.


I'm so sweet.
We then did some exploring around the town of Sidney.  It is your typical, small Midwestern town....



We were going to go to this movie theatre, but once we put on our
new matching (because we are that dorky, and they were ON SALE) pajama pants,
we had no desire to leave the hotel room.  Hey, now that we have matching clothes,
maybe we can finally take up square dancing.
 


There were a few sketchy places.....
This one sports a sign that declares "KEEP OUT"
I say "Thanks! I honestly never wanted to come in!"
 and some scary houses...... 

I'm surprised Brock and I didn't put an offer on this place. 
We loves us some fixer uppers.

and homemade signs....


My personal favorite.

 Then we passed this house.....


It took up half a block and seemed oddly out of it's element. 
Like it should be in LA.
Brock wanted to stop and knock on the door. 
I kept smacking him and yelling "DRIVE!"
(as I was taking pictures, like a creepy stalker).

We quickly deduced that this must be affiliated with Cabela's.  It sure didn't belong to the folks who owned the bar where we ate lunch.  Although the burgers were ridiculously good, the place had not been remodeled (or even touched with a paint brush) since sometime in the early 1980's?

A normal person would have taken a picture of the actual food. 
1.  No one has ever accused me of being "normal".
2. I was super hungry, and when I am hungry I eat with the speed of a go cart.
3. It was potentially the best Swiss mushroom burger that I have ever eaten. Ever.



Satisfied? Why yes I am.
 I strongly recommend vacationing in Sidney, NE.  The people are super nice, the beef is delicious, and there are no crowds, no lines and no stress.


Pretty Plains!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

LOOK! I received a prize!

There are a week's worth of posts that I am working up in my feeble brain.  They range from *possibly*the world's oldest (and most wonderful) horse to our "adults only" trip this weekend. Let's hope that my Things sleep a great deal this week so mommy can write.  I'll give you a hint- vacationing in Nebraska can be AWESOME, especially if you go with superfunderful people like me or my husband.... and have a room with a hot tub and a ginormous bottle of wine. 

In the meantime, I would like to share an award that I was honored to receive from myfriendwhomIhaveneveractuallymet Brandy at Consequently Slapdash.  She is sassy, fabulous, funny and gorgeous!  And I LOVE PRIZES!!!!! I warned you all about my stellar luck and great capacity to win things in this post .  First of all, I would like to send this award right back to her. Thanks Brandy!  You seriously made my day, and I have even had coffee and chocolate.... 


And now I am supposed to list five of my guilty pleasures and pass this along to three bloggers. (spell check suggested that I use loggers or floggers instead of bloggers.  Awesome.)
I am really good at following instructions, as I exhibited earlier today when I opened a Dove Dark Chocolate and it demanded me to "stir your sense of pleasure".  I then stirred up a batch of brownies.

The three bloggers that I would like to pass this strawberry topped cheese cakey sweet award to are *drumroll*......

The Caped Cupcake- Because she fucking rocks. She is a stay at home mom of three and she is hilarious.  Plus, she is from Jersey, so put a Jersey accent on everything you read from her and it just keeps getting better! She is the only person capable of making me laugh so hard that I throw my head forward and chip my front tooth on a beer bottle (hypothetically speaking, of course....).  And I haven't even mentioned her cupcakes.  You must go to her blog and tell her to move to Colorado, where I am making brownies out of a box, and rescue me with her homemade creations!  Do it!

Moxie Tonic- This lady is extremely talented in all things aesthetic: clothing, interior design, a Pomeranian named Moxie and her ability to rock awesome retro bangs.  She is so classy that she doesn't even diminish herself to flagrant use of swear words.  She also comments often [on facebook] about how cute she thinks my children are (bonus points), we once shared a love of green plastic shoes and she was my college roommate.

Fighting Off Frumpy- She is a very funny, loving mother to a herd of boys.  Her wit, humor and "real" take on being a stay at home mom make me love her.  You will too.  Plus, she's from Iowa!  Holla!


Here are my five guilty pleasures:

1.  I often pretend like I am listening to people, when in fact I am day dreaming about a shirtless Hugh Jackman. Sometimes that makes me feel guilty, especially when the other person is crying.

2. I often covet other people's things (like big beautiful houses on green rolling hillsides with fainting goats and big trees... or sometimes just shoes).  Whoopsies.

3. Sometimes I lock the door when I go into the bathroom, so that I can pee in peace.  Sometimes I even shower while I'm in there.  And if I am feeling really selfish, I blow dry my hair. I'm cRaZy like that.

4. Huh?  Was that the timer for the brownies?

See?  I can follow instructions!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh! Sparkles....

When I was in Denver over the weekend, my girlfriend cleaned out her closet and donated her unwanted items to me.  She had some super cute stuff in her pile of rejects. Because I LOVE free stuff, I took most of it..... even though she is smaller and younger (and cuter... and more stylish) than I.  Among the items was this top, which brilliantly showcases the fact that I desperately need to work out, among other things.



Cute and sparkly!
I properly frumped it up with a sweater (to cover the lumps).
 Apparently I am not the only one in the house who enjoys pecking at shiny things.

As I watched Thing 2 methodically pluck all of the little gems off my top with obsessive compulsive attention, I realized that I passed yet another of my genetically superior traits on to my offspring.



Maybe I'll try to look "cute" again tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll just submit to my sweats* and let the children tug at me, drool on me and yank my hair like I am their favorite stuffed animal...

*most likely this option will occur

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Awaiting Inspiration...

In a foggy, medicine-headed cleaning frenzy, I ripped down 80% of my Christmas decorations early last week.  Then I got tired.  I'm still tired.  I am patiently waiting for my next energy and inspiration burst so that I can finish the task.  Until then, my spare bed looks like this.....


Yes, I realize that there is a baby seat on there too.
 I took the baby out of it, so what's the problem?
 I like my guest room to say, "Welcome guest!  We think of you as family.  Make yourself comfortable, but first let's grab those tubs down from the attic and store away this dusty pile of plastic greenery."

Also, that is why Thing 2's crib is in the same room. The diapers and wipes are in plain sight, so our company doesn't need to do any pesky rooting around through drawers to find the needed supplies when he wakes them up with his britches full of pureed sweet potato.  We're generous like that.
 
I feel like my next calling in life might be to run a Bed and Breakfast...  Here, hold my baby while I look into that.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We are unplugging! No, we aren't.

Saturday, with the prospect of leaving my house for an evening of adult conversation glittering in my future, I got all idealistic and decided that I (and the rest of my unsuspecting family) was going to "unplug" for an entire week.  After 8 days of phlegm, coughing, aching and restless sleep, we had all become media slaves. (Not to mention that my ass was growing roots into the couch cushions from sitting and holding my cranky Thing 2, all day, every day)  Thing 1 has been glued to the TV, I have been glued to the Internet, Thing 2 was glued to me (literally- there has been an obscene amount of snot here) and my husband always follows my lead, therefore becoming a zombie in his own right.  We were tuned out, not communicating, barely functioning and miserable.  I decided our problem stemmed from the distraction of entertainment, which was  creating a low function zone in our house.  I nobly declared this week to be "Unplugged Week!".  My husband said "Okay".  Then I packed my over-night bag and headed to Denver to have a little adults-only dinner with some friends and to help my girlfriend decorate her apartment. 

We had a lovely dinner, complete with stimulating conversation about Hollywood people ~whom none of us know personally, which was followed up with my girlfriend and I coercing our company (2 men) to come back to her place and carry the heavy ass oak desk that I donated to her, up to her apartment.  When we got the desk to its proper location, we turned on The Devil Wears Prada and looked at pretty people wearing pretty clothing and drank hot chocolate out of adorable mismatched china. (Has anyone figured out that our dinner company was a gay couple?)

Sunday morning I woke up early (because I obviously have been possessed by a masochistic ghost- someone call an exorcist).  I noticed that my girlfriend owned P.S. I Love You and I decided that I wanted to see Gerard Butler's muscles watch a beautiful love story, so I popped it into her DVD player.  Later, she and I went out for some shopping for her place, lunch and a walk. We visited Denver's Washington Park for the latter two, where we were accosted by giant, hungry, flesh eating squirrels.  In their defense, we didn't actually witness them eating human flesh, we just had a feeling that they wanted to gnaw on us... We then delivered the loot to her apartment, where we frantically hung pictures and mirrors.  We attempted to hang curtains but after some frustration and a lot of cursing, we realized that we had the wrong tools.  Even without the curtains, the transformation was quite stunning. I had every intention of before and after photos but I couldn't find my camera.  Whoops.  You'll just have to trust me- it looks great!  I drove home to my boys just in time to prepare them dinner (frozen pizza).  As soon as I entered the house Thing 1 informed me that he watched "Spongebob".  For shame!  Then I turned on The Golden Globes and mused at what an asshole Ricky Gervais was....

So here I am, typing and catching up with reading my favorite blogs, with Toy Story 3 playing in the background, blowing my nose and submitting to my epic failure.  But in the words of Scarlett O'Hara, "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

I'll wait until of week of complete health (and with temperatures in the 70's) to "unplug" my family.  Until then, we will continue to be Internet addicted, zombie-like movie fanatics.  Try not to be intimidated by our "picture of healthy living". Wheeeeeee!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes the insomnia pays off

I didn't really want to be awake at 4:30 this morning, but since I was... I got to witness this.
Although Colorado is wonderful and "colorful", as the motto boasts.... no, the sun did not rise at 4:30 a.m.  I had just had 2 1/2 hours to wake up enough to enjoy it.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Listlessly Listing Lists

There is an Oscar Wilde quote that I love.

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."



Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act I

We all have things that we love, and adversely, things that don't really do much to inspire us. 
As I was driving behind a person who sped through a roundabout (when it was my turn to enter) and then chose to drive 5 mph under the speed limit on the main road, I started thinking about plowing them over with my truck.  Then I started thinking about "things" that annoyed me (not my Things, just things in general).  I tried to turn it into a positive by thinking about the paradox of my irritation.  I came up with a list of things that I love.  I am a lover of things- don't let this blog fool you. For the sake of symmetry, (because we need to know both the darkness and the light to truly appreciate life's gifts) I also created a list of loathing.  Spread a little Nutella of some toast and enjoy!

Things that I find to be Charming:
  1. A random smile from a stranger, or one from a loved one (even better!)
  2. Witnessing someone doing a small act of kindness (holding the door, letting the person with two items go first at the grocery store, bringing your spouse their morning cup of coffee...)
  3. The eternal optimist (yes, they irritate me, but in a "roll my eyes while smiling" way)
  4. Living your life with purpose and intention
  5. Most movies that fall into the Romantic Comedy genre (they release endorphins, guys- take your gal to see one)
  6. Baby animals and baby humans 
  7. An elderly couple that is holding hands while out on their walk
  8. Having your man's hand on the small of your back when you enter a gathering
  9. All things that bloom
  10. Autumn
  11. "Whore frost" on the trees
  12. Babbling brooks and quiet lakes
  13. Good design
  14. Hand written thank you notes
  15. Black and white photographs




Things that I find to be Tedious:
  1. Not yielding when entering a roundabout
  2. Grit on hardwood/tile under my bare feet (same effect as nails on a chalk board)
  3. Brown, crusty snow
  4. Whining
  5. Black Dog barking/licking/busting through the door and sleeping on my bed when I leave the house
  6. Driving in rush hour
  7. Repeating myself, especially after I have just repeated myself.....
  8. Passive Aggressive behavior 
  9. God-complexes...  I watched Drumline where the reference "GG" was made (God's Gift).  Go forth and use it.
  10. Baby snakes (shudder)
  11. The excessive volume of commercials
  12. Cleaning the shower, the refrigerator vent or the ceiling fan
  13. Meanness, especially when it comes from me
  14. Bills, debt, and bills
  15. Insomnia
 
 
"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."
Oscar Wilde Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)
I promise you- I will find some of my "funny" again soon.  I think I left it in the pocket of one of my jackets... Please don't kill me. 


Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to find "Your Style".

My husband took yesterday off of work so that I could actually rest, which totally aided in my currently upgraded health and wellness today.  I even had a semi-productive morning. Aside from continually cutting at and consequently eating the brownies to make the line "even", I also had enough energy to pick up toys, feed the children, clean the kitchen and, of course, do some laundry.  It was magic. Honeslty though, the best part was when my husband told me that he was "more exhausted after one day of doing my job than he was going to work a ten hour day at his job".  It is good to be appreciated.

Earlier this week, as I was struggling to do minor things (like breathe through my nose), I was starting to beat myself up over the condition of my house.  It was thrashed.  I had gotten it under control last Friday, only to watch it spiral into looking like a cross between a yard sale and an episode of Hoarders.  It is truly amazing what children, pets and complete and total lack of motivation to move from the couch can do for your home.

FYI, I love good design.  Interior Design was one of my [many] majors in college.   I am genuinely not super talented on the design front, but I love the process and believe that I am getting better as I age (like a nice smelly cheese).  One of my roadblocks has been liking such a variety of design that I have had a hard time pin-pointing exactly what is "my style".  I favor everything from Frank Lloyd Wright to turn-of-the-century farmhouses to reclaimed log and stone structures.  Although it is a good thing to appreciate multiple periods and styles, there is only so much you can do with the word "eclectic"before it turns into "crazy lack of focus". 

I decided to get serious about finding "my style".  The first thing that I did was flip through magazines and mercilessly rip out pages of spaces that inspire me.  Then I stashed them in a box.  Then that box started to overflow, so I found a bigger box.  Then I added more stuff I liked, moved that box about 186 times and I finally decided to get organized (gasp!). I bought clear page protectors and a binder. I categorized and inserted pictures an made a Inspiration Book.   I creatively titled it My Inspiration Book.

What I found out was this:

1) I seriously do like more than one style, so I clearly should own multiple homes.

2) I like white on white on white- which is funny (and sad) because I love to paint rooms with color and I  own pets and children.

3) I am obviously a good  the best candidate to win the HGTV Dream Home.

4) When you focus and organize- you unconsciously make things happen.  This is true.  Fer Reals.

5) It is nice to be married to a man that is a craftsman and that doesn't have the word "no" in his vocabulary, and is a craftsman.....and doesn't have the word "no" in his vocabulary.

6) God must have made a tiny error, because I am plainly supposed to be financially independent.

7) I like making lists and categorizing things.

8) I don't like clutter.  It actually paralyzes me, gives me migraines and makes my stomach hurt (I am seriously unstable).

9) I like art and spaces that depict calmness  ~ evoking the desire to take deep breaths and relax.. for once.

10) I like tons of windows and light, high ceilings, natural wood, hard floors with plush rugs and clean lined furniture.

11) I am not living in the right house, nor do I own the right furniture.

12) Chickens are charming.... in pictures, and I think I want a miniature donkey.... and goats.

13) My current garage is the type of building that could be used in a horror film.  Seriously.

14) I like warm weather and green things (duh).

15) I am not one of those people that live in a perfect house, where there is no clutter, no dog hair and no fluorescent kids toys.  I would like to be, but it just ain't so.  (I hate the word ain't, but it seemed to fit here.)

If you are floundering in your living space (like I am), take heart.  The kids will outgrow their toys, which you can then sell at a yard sale (or if you watched Toy Story 3~ you can hoard them in the attic or donate them to a precious small child who will love them).  Dogs and cats don't live forever (and when they go I will bawl like a baby, then run out and find a baby dog/ itty bitty kitty that reminds me of the one that died and start the whole process again).  It is good to have hideous furniture when your children are young so that you don't yell at them when they inevitably: 1) jump on it 2)puke on it 3) color on it 4) tear it 5) chew on it (still talking about the kids here....) and 6) generally ruin it. Most importantly, know that you are not alone.  Probably anyone with small kids is floundering with their space,and if they aren't, they are probably yelling lying cleaning a lot.



This is not my house.
Photo from Country Home Magazine.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm Not Functioning Properly.

Well, the last two days have been completely brutal. I feel like someone took a rasp to my throat, shoved bees up my nose and ran over me with a garbage truck.  Since I am clearly in no state to write (or even to be conscious), I have decided to create a list of some of my past posts that I actually think are note worthy. (Oddly enough, none of them contain the word laundry...)  Genius, don't you think?  Okay, me neither, but it is the best that I can muster up today.

Here you go:

The Elevator

Don't Call Me Sugar, Sweetie.

Fortune Cookie

Pop Quiz Today

PONIES!!!! omg!

Silence. Whaaaat? Whyyyyyy?

I hope that everyone visiting this site is in good health and great spirits. As long as you don't feel as if you roped a Brahma Bull with an electrical cable, tied it to your larynx and let him drag you over the cactus riddled plains, then you are one step ahead of me. 
 
Cheers!(I'm toasting with NyQuil)
Johi

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Hubs

I have a thing that I enjoy, because I am often bored and under stimulated, where I liken people that I know to famous people.  It is a fun way to pass the time- you should all try it!

As I am sitting here "watching" Field of Dreams (when I say watching, I mean it is on in the background while I am typing), I am reminded of how I think that my husband resembles Kevin Costner.  It is like they are brothers (my husband actually looks more like Kevin Costner then he does his own brother...).  This thought has always been appealing to me, as I generally like movies starring Kevin Costner, and I find him attractive.

Exhibit A:

Mr. Costner and his wife

My hub and I.  Kevin's wife has WAY better boobs.

So there I am, in labor with Thing 1.  We check into the hospital and a nurse walks up to us with a smile on her face.  She says, "Your husband looks just like an actor....."

I respond with pride, "Yes!  he looks just like Kevin Costner!"

She says, "No.... it is that guy from the movie Beerfest..."

This guy. Nat Faxon.
Exhibit B:

Okay.. I guess I can see it.... his grill is pretty messed up though.

Oddly enough, here is my guy with a beer...
This nurse kind of shattered my fantasy, in all honesty.

Here I thought that I was married to this...

Smoldering, sexy Kevin Costner....
And she thought that I was married to this....


Do I really need to elaborate here?
 Hmmm.

Why did she point this out when I was about to give birth to his child???  Maybe if someone would have alerted me to this when I was wedding dress shopping, perhaps???

All kidding aside. What truly matters is that I married the guy that lets me sleep while he gets up in the night to tend to the demands of our Things.  I married the guy that puts his family first.  I married the guy that doesn't whine about "me time" or frequent any bars (unless I am with him).  I married the guy that adores his wife (and I am hard to adore on some most days) and his children. I married the guy that works two jobs so that I can stay home and raise our kids. I married the guy that brought me a dish of reheated spaghetti as I huddle on the couch, feeling sickly and type this.

So whether my guy looks like this dude...


or this dude...


I know that I married a hardworking man, an attentive father, and a supportive husband.... who apparently looks like two other dudes that also like blondes.  But he has something that they don't have.  He has......... wait for it........... a porn star name.  BROCK WAGNER.  I know, right?








At the moment, my life seems to consist mainly of snot (and laundry of course).

My family has been blessed with approximately 18 colds this season.  Okay, not quite that many, but with Thing 1 in preschool and Thing 2 no longer nursing, our house has become phlegm central.  My husband has escaped every single illness, icluding the stomach flu, but I have had the good fortune of experiencing every single virus with my children. Maybe it is because I am trapped in the house the one that is here taking care of them. This constant stream of sickness is really unfortunate for two reasons: 1) sick, snotty coughing, little ones are sad...and whiny 2) being a sick, snotty, coughing mom that has to take care of two sick little ones is pure torture.  PLUS, as an added bonus, snot used to be at the top of the list of Things I Fear.  Snot, clowns, snakes, yard birds and Michael Bolton..... obviously.

Now, all mothers know that having a fear of snot will not serve you well in the realm of parenting. A parent's life is filled with occasions where you are not only dabbing at your tiny Thing's runny nose, but you are actually wearing their mucus on multiple parts of your own body. I guess there definitely is something to be said about "confronting your fears".  I have been literally wearing crusted snot on my clothing and skin, off and on for the last 3 months now, and I must say, I am becoming desensitized to the shudder effect it once caused.  (I also held a chicken last fall and it failed to peck out my eyes, so now I only fear geese, and possibly full grown guinea hens~ my friend tells me that they look like little buzzards....)

I am hoping that today is the "peak" of my own version of this cold that we are all experiencing, so that I can function  better tomorrow. It is not even 9 a.m. and I am looking forward to the time tonight that I can crawl back into my bed, pull the covers over my head and spend another night in a NyQuil induced coma while breathing through my mouth.  It is good to have goals... don't you think?  In the meantime, I will struggle through the day; dabbing, wiping, blowing, scraping, cringing, gagging and washing my hands.  Maybe instead of washing the soon to be mucus encrusted clothing at the end of the day, I will just pile up the dirty laundry in the fire pit and light a match. Then we can all warm our hands in the backyard tonight, where it is supposed to hit a low of -9 degrees. It certainly is Monday, isn't it?

If someone wants to make me this soup and deliver it to me,(along with a year's supply of Puffs with Lotion) I will sing you praises and bathe your feet in oil and water.  Okay, not really the last part....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sometimes it really is better to just nod and smile.

For some reason I have a knack for blurting out blunt and inappropriate things.  I like to think of it as a way to weed out those people who only like me for my cookies....

So there I was, meeting my good friend's tattooed boyfriend for the first time. I was having an "off" day socially.  It happens.  A lot.  Anyway, I fixed them some drinks and we sat down in my living room to chat.  That is when I narrowed my eyes, pursed my lips, waved my finger around in the direction of his arms and said, "So.... what is up with all the tattoos?  Where you angry in your youth?"  This was practically the first words I uttered to him, other than "Hi.  I'm Johi."  I'm pretty sure he loved me.

So there I was, meeting my new friend's very intelligent father for the first time.  I had just birthed Thing 2 and was feeling fat, frumpy, and exhausted.  Smart dad was talking about au pairs as I was hovering in the doorway, trying to pretend like I could participate in adult conversation.  I had said nothing the entire conversation but felt like I should pipe in and yell, "Ha!  Au Pair!  They are NANNIES!"  Which I immediately knew sounded obnoxious. Everyone stopped talking and stared at me in silence. Then I looked at my feet, mumbled something about the baby needing me and slithered out of the room.

So there I was, 19 years old and out shopping for shoes.  It was the early 90's and I was subscribing to the chunky shoe trend of the era.  I decided, in my infinite wisdom and self hatred, that my legs looked like tree trunks and that ginormous shoes made them appear smaller.  The sales girl, who had nice legs, was trying to sell me a pair of shoes that had normal sized soles.  I then decided to share with her my new found trompe l'oeil trickery and was overzealous with my detailed description of how large shoes made your legs appear trimmer.  Then, of course, I added "You should try it sometime."

So there I was, in my 20's, with an actual attractive guy hitting on me.  Normally I attracted a different "quality" of fellow. Like toothless and drunk... or geezers.  I seriously had a geriatric "gentleman" pull his Cadillac onto the sidewalk in front of me to get my attention.  It had horns strapped on the front of it. I sprinted away as fast as a girl wearing cowboy boots could. So this actual cute guy was asking me if I was available and I got all nervous and answered, "I'm between boyfriends right now."  WTF?  I was not surprised when our conversation ended there.

So there I was, dropping the f-bomb in front of my mom.  Classy.

So there I was, showing off the tiny sized jeans that I had squeezed myself into and my friend (the glass licking one) said, "Congratulations. The vomiting is really paying off".  That wasn't me, but it was hilarious so I wanted to share it with you.

On that note... So there I was, 8 1/2 months pregnant and roughly the size of a barge, watching my sister try on wedding dresses.  One particularly beautiful one was a tiny bit tight so I crammed a cookie into my mouth and said, at volume 11, "Don't worry.  If you start vomiting now, it will definitely fit you by March."  Every head snapped around to gawk at the sight of the gargantuan pregnant woman yelling out that splendid statement.

I asked my husband if he could remember me saying anything horribly inappropriate in public and he said, "..hmmm.  Well that is the problem, we really don't go out in public."  I say this fact is clearly not a problem at all, but is actually a blessing to society.

So there I was, living my life, and almost every day I hear the sound of my own voice slip through my lips carrying a message that is rude, awful or completely ignorant.  So what do I do?  I blog!  So then this crap is encapsulated in cyberspace and there to haunt me until the end of time.....  Brilliant!  My best idea yet.



Awesome job Mom. 
Good thing I procreated!
 Feel free to share your stories of me (or you) doing this sort of thing.  Email them to me at jkokjohnwagner@yahoo.com and I will soon be able to create posts for the entire month of February!  Yay.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Is it really Friday? I LOVE Fridays!

Thing 1 watched Toy Story 3 again, while Thing 2 slept, while I pitted out my shirt in a 3 1/2 hour long cleaning frenzy.  My floors now *sparkle*.  Not really, but I think I removed the top layer of crust.

Don't be fooled that I worked that hard cleaning, I pit out every shirt I wear.  I could have been sitting on the couch watching a Top Model marathon and that "activity" would also do the trick. 

Then I let the dogs inside....  Then Thing 1 and his friend decided to put every toy he owns onto the floor (it was so worth it, they had a great time, and so did her mommy and I) .... Then my husband tromped in with muddy boots.... Then I ate an entire bag of microwave popcorn on the couch, where most of it is now sticking to the couch or my fleece zippy thingy.  I honestly doesn't matter because Thing 2  is a cuddler and keeps "snuggling" his face into my shirt- he also has a very runny nose today. Then he blew out his diaper and I am almost certain that there is some of that residue on my top as well.... 

I may have cleaned my house today, but I haven't touched the laundry in three days so now I have approximately 176 loads beckoning me.  My husband asked me what I had planned for the weekend and I answered "Laundry."   Because that is how we roll around here....

I am surprised that no one has contracted my family yet to pose as one of those happy, energetic families who work hard and play harder in advertisements and brochures.....  I can picture it now: My husband is holding a locally brewed beer with his bandaged hand and a poopy diaper in the other.  Thing 1 is sitting on top of Thing 2 who is laying on the floor surrounded by garish plastic toys, while I am balancing a load of laundry on one hip and pointing at the timeout corner with an unmanicured finger. Sounds enticing, doesn't it?  The catch phrase could be something like this: "Move to Colorado and experience the local treasures!" or "Colorful Colorado! Making dreams come true since 1876."  I am pretty sure that this state would experience a huge influx of people (COUGH COUGH- Caped Cupcake!) with advertising like that....

Something odd and slightly disturbing happened today. Thing 2 made direct eye contact with me the entire time he was filling his diaper with a seeping load of mammoth proportions.  I am still considering throwing everything that he was wearing into the trash, rather than attempting to clean it. I kept looking down at the computer, trying to distract myself but I could still feel his burning gaze.  Talk about intimacy.  Does it get any more intimate than staring someone down whilst doing your "business"?  I think not.  I can't even fathom leaving the bathroom door open and doing that to my husband.... *shivers*

I hope that all of you have fun filled weekends ahead!  I plan on baking something chocolaty and devouring it before it cools completely.  My bookclub has recently decided that we are now actually going to discuss BOOKS instead of the variety of other topics (none of which are books), so I also need to read some book about a Muslim veil before Thursday. Wish me luck!

Daily Tip:  Always have your friends over for a play date after you have spent the morning cleaning your house.  It will allow you to ignore your children without feeling guilt (hello! they are playing... with each other!) and enable you to relax with your girlfriend because your house no longer smells like dog ass.

Daily Tip part two: If you receive two Leap Frogs that sing the ABC song,  re-gift one immediately before your child figures out how to play them in unison, thus making your eye twitch.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today had so much potential...

It all started by me getting to sleep until 7:34 a.m.  OH YES!  Thing 1 stayed up past 10 last night, therefore clobbering that "rise with the sun" BS right out of him.  Sa-weet.  Thing 2 even slept late (or I was too tired to hear him....).  I arose from my bed to the smell of brewed coffee.  The husband had an early meeting and left the house before 7, so there was no news on the television, no children awake and no noise in the house.  I LOVE QUIET.  I followed the dog tracks on the floor to the coffee pot and found this note waiting for me there (he knew that I would see it if he left it near the caffeine source).....

This is the stuff that I love....

I was up before the Things, caffeinated and ready to attack the day!  Good thing, because my house looks like a combination of an animal shelter and Romper Room.... I can't imagine why.   I had a fresh new day..... what to do? Cleaning the house was definitely on the agenda!  But I needed to get Thing 1 to preschool first, so I threw on yesterday's clothes (which was easy because I slept in the shirt), ran a brush through my hair,(which didn't make it look any less like a family of mice had made a home in it) and I loaded up the chillens to rush Thing 1 to preschool.  After I deposited him there, Thing 2 and I ran into the local Sunflower Market and picked up a few items.  They had pomegranates on sale and I bought two.  We came home and I put the little guy down to nap.  I thought about cleaning my house but the idea was overwhelming me, so I put the groceries away instead.  I had to wake Thing 2 from his nap (sacrilege!) and rush to pick up Thing 1 from preschool, where he had created this artwork of a snowman.

I'm not sure why the hat is there....
 The craft snowman inspired the building of a real snowman.... or two snowThings....



The most sloppily made snowThings in the west.
What do you do with an 8 month old while your 3 year old begs
 you to build a snowman with him?
 Bundle him up, plop him in a Bumbo chair,
 stick him up on the south porch and bust ass to make
snowmen.... FAST.
Upon Thing 2's insistence (i.e. angry screaming), we retired to the indoors to have a little lunch.  That is when I brutally slaughtered one of the pomegranates.  I forgot to put waxed paper on my cutting board first... 
No animals were harmed in the preparation
of my lunch.
Well, except the turkey that we ate...
Thing 1 decided that he LOVES pomegranates, and so did I.

No, I did not slap my child.  This is pomegranate juice.
He gets his messy eating habits from his father...
Thing 2, on the other hand, was not as excited about his green beans with brown rice.  He was about as easy to feed as trying to put lipstick on a dashboard bobble head while driving on a washboardy gravel road.
"Not yummy, mom."
He gets his chins from me...


 After lunch and clean up, I put the Things down for naps.  It was 2:00.  They usually nap for about 2 hours.  I decided that I would check facebook and then I would throw dinner together .  After that I would clean the house and shower.  Then when my darling husband comes home I will be fresh and clean, in a sparkling tidy home with delicious smells wafting in the air.  This of course all hinged on my children napping.  Which they didn't.  Instead they played one of their favorite games of "Tagteam Mom until her Head Explodes".  It goes something like this... I attempt to start a project, or shower, or write, or try to sleep because it is 1 a.m., and one of them starts....1."Mommy I have to go POTTY!", 2."WAHHHHHHH!" translate:"I'M WET!", 1."Mommy I can't find my sticker!", 2. "WAHHHHHH!" translate: "HOLD ME!", and so on and so forth until I am thoroughly used up, trashed out, exhausted and have accomplished nothing on my own agenda.  Add the melodic sounds of the Black Dog barking and I now have a migraine.

I am fairly certain that, beyond writing this poorly composed post, nothing will be finished today. Nothing will be cleaned, I will still be wearing yesterday's clothes and no dinner will be prepared upon the return of my husband.  Thank God for frozen pizza, Advil and boxed wine.  Let's all toast to another successful day!



I'll see both of you bastards tomorrow.
 Daily tip: (I really don't know why I call these "daily" tips because I write them about twice a month...)
Expect the unexpected... and keep a box of wine in your pantry.  Then you can hover in the corner with your glass and pretend like you are searching for black beans....