Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Raisinets® or Disappointment? I'll take the candy please.....

If I handled real relationships more like I did the movies, I would probably be much more content in life.

You see, when I go to the theatre, my expectations are almost always pretty low. I have typically read or heard a less than favorable review from someone, so I think to myself "There is a good chance that this flick will suck donkey balls. Oh well, at least I am out of the house. Hey! I want popcorn and Raisinets®!"

And as I sit in that padded chair, eating my sweet and savory feast in a darkened room with mood lighting, I am magically transported away from my reality: shrieking children, unpaid bills and the demands of my life (clean me! feed me! fix me! clean me again!). In that theatre, I am almost always relaxed and at least somewhat entertained because I got to tune out of my life for two hours, and that in itself is lovely. So as long as there are mildly attractive people on the screen saying something mildly funny, or doing something mildly interesting, it's all good.  And because I anticipated basically nothing from the actual content of the film, I am usually pleasantly surprised that the film contained at least one thing that I found to be charming.My uber low expectations were exceeded! Win!



But I have a different scope on "real life", which continually sets me up for failure and disappointment.
You see, I have two basic expectations of others:
  1. Be nice.
  2. Be honest.
Seems simple enough, right? The problem is, these two things do not live in harmony. People who are always nice, aren't always honest and honesty is not always the nicest approach.

Exhibit A: The Nice:


And then you go out into public looking like an asshole because your friend wasn't honest.
And then people point and laugh and you go home and cry in a closet because you look like a
rooster on crack and your friend told you a lie with conviction and a smile.

Exhibit B: The Honest:



And then you go and cry in a closet because your friend confirmed your biggest fear:
You have no common sense and your stylist is fucking with you and it is going to take
at least three months to grow your hair back and a lot more time to regain your pride.

So in conclusion, in my past, many of my relationships have been like food poisoning or a terribly disappointing movie (i.e.: You Don't Mess With the Zohan) and I leave with nausea and brain damage, thinking "Whoa. What a waste of time and money.". 


****And because I am a realist, and I believe that "real life" should star Hailey Mills and every day should end with singing along with the forest creatures, magical kisses and castles made of chocolate mousse. What?


Perhaps when I meet people, I should expect them all to be fugly, lame, mean douchcanoes, and when there is a moment that they aren't, I will be surprised and somewhat amused!
Or maybe I should only talk to moderately attractive people, because if they are jerks, at least they aren't offending my aesthetic sensibilities.
Or maybe I should only speak with people who offer me free popcorn and Raisinets®, because that would make them officially BETTER than the movie theatre.

Daily tip: Let me offer up some helpful advice to help you feel satisfied with your relationships. Have only two expectations of others:

  1. They are a mammal.
  2. They are breathing.
On second thought, let's just stick with the first expectation. Number two can get tricky.


Peace, Love and Raisinets®,
Johi

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No, I don't want to discuss Thomas the Tank Engine.

There are only two reasons that I occasionally allow Thing 1 to watch Thomas the Tank Engine in the morning.

1. He enjoys it, and I enjoy it when he is happy, because he is one of my favorite people on the planet and I prefer my favorites to feel joy on a regular basis.

2. I can then read my favorite blogs and email while I drink my coffee.

What I don't want to do is watch it with him and engage in a running commentary on "that's not nice!" and "oh! scary!" and "confusion and delay? Oh my!". No, no I don't. I don't care which engine huffed and puffed and which one was cross and which one was spray painted with the foul-mouthed-graffiti of that Satan-worshipping gang that runs like a pack of wild dogs on the island of Sodor. Huh? Oh, never mind. Anyway..... this is also the same reason that I write blog posts at night while Brock watches the westerns channel.

I am just not interested in trains and guns and bad music.

Now I'm confused. Am I talking about kids' cartoons or Brock's beloved westerns? Could be either.....which is part of the problem.

Sorry. I'm just not that nice of a person.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go clean the floor around the high chair, because apparently the zucchini bread that I made has explosive properties. Actually anything put in the wee hands, or the wee diaper, of Thing 2 seems to have detonating features. It is his trademark.



Monday, August 29, 2011

A Friendship Quiz

Sometimes my life is so strange that I question my reality.
If you don't spend approximately one third of your time wondering if you have been punked, or thinking that your life may actually be an episode of The Twilight Zone, then it is clear that you do not hang out with me and my friends.

Please, join us. We like virgin flesh new people.

If you are feeling unsure, go ahead and answer the following questions:


*Do you have a "magic box"? Is it awesome and do you make jokes about it?

*Have you ever had a "horny old man" (with horns literally strapped on the front of his Cadillac) drive up onto the sidewalk where you were walking and attempt to chase you down the street?

*Have you ever been yelled at in public (complete with an angry finger pointing) by a scary man who oddly resembles Hitler? Did you (obviously) yell back at him?

*Do you have a survival plan for the possibility of a bear encounter?

*Have you ever been in an establishment with such a strange vibe, that suddenly you wondered if you were surrounded by some sort of AARP-card-carrying-zombies who only want to feast on the wine soaked brains of females? Did you still smile sweetly at them, regardless of this feeling?

*Do random strangers take your picture? (This doesn't count if you have a mullet, because everyone takes pictures of random mullets.)

*Speaking of mullets, have you ever listened to Achy Breaky Heart when completely sober and felt the immediate urge to vomit?

*Speaking of the 90's, have you ever had a toothless man ask you to dance?

*Does your kitchen ever resemble the following scene?



"helping"

*Have you ever shown up to a work event, hung over and reeking like a liquor factory, and "yelled" at people because they were (clearly) annoying you? Have you managed to do this in a way that is somehow both amusing and charming?

*Can your friends tell you that you look like you are on meth (yes, I am referring to my "before" picture from Friday's post) and make you laugh? (No, I do not use drugs. I am only high on life....and really tired... and like to make stupid faces.....)

*Do you like to laugh, have a great time and use the "f-word" abundantly and with great joy?

*Do you think that girl's weekends and "time away" are a necessity for healthy living?

*Do you have no fear of crop dusting in public?

*Have you ever had a lascivious "on the wagon" waiter start boozing with your party (while still on the clock), use words like "solar plexus" and "spiritual journey", and attempt to "align" your hot friend's Chakras on the floor of the restaurant?



And you think I make up this shit....

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, there is a good chance that we spent time together in the past (potentially yesterday) or that I would like you and not object to spending time with you in the future.

I hope every one had a weird and wonderful weekend, like I did. If you didn't, I hope you at least got some good sleep....or something like that.

Peace, Love and Fake Crystal Bullshit,
Johi

Friday, August 26, 2011

Make-over!

Who doesn't love a make-over? ....Well, maybe a few people (like most men) but not me! I love them. The "before" and "after" shots, the renewed style and rejuvenated self-esteem!

Make-overs are awesomesauce.

In fact, I love them so much that I actually hatched a plan to nominate myself for What Not To Wear and start dressing like a bag lady from 1980, just in case someone is secretly filming me.

Wait, I do that anyway.

Yesterday was a special day. I had the distinct pleasure of leaving the house in the middle of the day (without my screeching wonderful Things) and get my hair cut and colored by a PROFESSIONAL. It was such a fabulous experience that I almost "got lost" on the drive home.

Here is the obligatory "before" picture. I was sad, as all people seem to be in their "before" pictures. I needed help. *Just remember, you non-blond people wishing you were blond: most blonds look like they have the stomach flu when they aren't wearing make-up. Blond is merely another word for "white eyelashes".

BEFORE


I weep when I look at baby kittens, that is how
sad I feel because of my intense ugliness and low self-esteem.


Then I arrived home to my shrieking and misbehaving precious Things, and I posed for my "after" picture.  So much better, don't you think?

                                               AFTER


I feel joyful.
yay.

Then I went outside, where I found that Thing 1 had dumped 567 chunks of sidewalk chalk all over my overpriced and coveted patio cushions, but I felt so good about my new look that I cleaned with gusto and glee!

Plus, I really like these shoes.

And surprise! There is Red Dog... with... what is that? Oh YES, THE BALL.
 Then I looked at the garage and cried a little....
 No, I didn't ride the broom anywhere. I reserve that activity for Halloween.

Here is my real "after" picture: with my new hair cut, color weave, a little make-up slathered on my head, my grandmother's jewelry and a cute dress that I picked up for $19.99 a few years ago. What do you think? I really do feel better. It is amazing what a little effort can do for a gal.



Smear a little make-up on your face and little happy around you today!

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beware of the Puffy-Eyed Dragon.

Yesterday I was awakened by Thing 1 yelling something from the other end of the house.

I stumbled out of bed and blindly followed his voice.

As I got closer I could hear the melodious "MOM! I need a WIPE!"

Music to my ears.

When I came to his rescue he looked at me, in all the glory of my "I woke up less than 30 seconds ago" state and gasped "Mommy! What is wrong with you???"

*.....silence*

I said "I just woke up buddy. This is what I look like in the morning."

I hope that I didn't scar him for life.



P.S. I'm getting my hair done (not by Brock!) tomorrow. I feel a make-over post in the near future....

P.P.S. It was awesome to log onto facebook to discover that I had three less "friends" yesterday, because that makes a person feel fabulous. "OMG! Someone doesn't like me. Not just someone, but three people, all in one day!" Sometimes I hate social networking. Thing is: I have no clue what three they are..... I guess I'll be fine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things!

As I am sitting here, staring at a blinking cursor, I realize that I have nothing interesting to say.

At all.

So instead of talking about something "interesting", I will tell you about my "favorite" things. *And now we are all singing our best Julie Andrews version of the song.*

I'm presenting this to you in the form of a list, because I am Type A. I'm fun like that.

Johi's Favorite Things (as of August 23, 2011):

1. Hugs and (food-free) kisses from any of my guys.

2. Any form of "I love you" or "You're the best _____ (mom, wife, cook. etc.) ever."

3. Coffee with Soy milk in the morning, in Eleanor, while I read my favorite blogs.

4. Light summer breezes mingling around my bare legs and blowing the hair from the nape of my neck. I love summer. Almost as much as I love fall, with its crisp air and changing leaves and my boots. I love boots.

5. Gardens. Gardening, flowers, vegetables, greenhouses, gnomes. Green stuff that is blooming and healthy and abundant and tiny little bearded men watching. Wait. That sounded weird.

6. Great design. Clean, yet warm and inviting. Nice use of color and textiles. Surprising and unique, yet perfect!

7. Space planning. I'm obsessed. I love to work out the "flow" of a house. I also love Feng Shui. So many homes need help.... I'm For Hire!

8. Fluffy haired dogs and kittens, the kind you bury your fingers into and grit your teeth while petting. (ie: red dog)

9. Wright's bacon, Dove chocolate, almost any fresh fruit, sunflower butter and Chock Full O' Nuts coffee. Savory, sweet, comforting.... I love food.

10. Watching Thing 2 walk/run. He moves really fast on the bottom and his upper body stays still. He looks like a Flinstone.

11. Watching/listening to Thing 1 play. (as long as it isn't shooting noises). His dialogue in his play is adorable and so creative.

12. Tearing down and rebuilding things with Brock. We are a good team that way.

13. Money. Come on, we all love money. With money, I can travel, get a gym membership, buy awesome clothes and shoes, get massages and buy the expensive bacon.

14. Anything that involves laughing, especially laughing so hard that you cry. I like making other people laugh, too.

15. Quiet time for reading, drawing, thinking, breathing and/or yoga.

16. Horses. Being on the back of a horse is almost as good as meditation for me (I would imagine, as I don't actually meditate.)

17. Date Night, Girl's Night or an evening walk.

18. The mountains. There is a smell of fresh air and pine trees and earth that only comes from the mountains. It is nostalgic and comforting and freeing.

19. As much as I love the blue skies and sunshine that Colorado is famous for, I also love a good rainy day; one where I can be tucked inside my cozy home with the people I love, a movie, some games and a good book.

20. A glass of red wine at the end of the day, in Eleanor, while I watch reality TV, or better yet, Castle, with Brock.



Eleanor.
I heart you so....

What are your favorite things?

Monday, August 22, 2011

I apologize for my last post. Not the content, because it was awesome, but for the way that blogger decided to creatively cut and paste it. It looked fine in draft form, yet when I came back to my blog today, I noticed that it rearranged a bunch of paragraphs and most of the type was in purple italics. Hmmm. Any ideas?

P.S. I know I'm kooky, but I also know how to write a coherent sentence and tell a story.
*Fleener neener neener.... pickle.*
See?

I'm hoping to get this resolved soon. Sorry if that was the first post of mine you read. It truly was not my fault. I'll try harder next time. Or move to WordPress.

Johi

Let's try not to be pretentious dickwads, shall we?

I am going rogue today and posting something that could possibly be construed as troll-ish. I am doing this for the good of humanity though, as my intention is to point out how being a pretentious douche will not earn you friends. Plus I am an asshole. If you haven't figured that out by now, you haven't been paying very close attention.


I recently commented on a hilarious post about what houses with children look like in reality. Here was my obviously brilliant comment: 




"Yep. My favorite is when the featured home has children and all of the toys in the pictures are either sock monkeys or wooden and painted with low-emission paint.


No Dora, no Cars, no Toy Story, no giant hunks of garish plastic with battery operated "awesome" siren noises.... yeah, I believe that reality. Sure.

Great post."

Then a couple of well-meaning?, obviously superior-to-me women chimed in about their toy and non-television, non-licensed product preferences for their children with phrases like:  

"Weeeeell, my kids mostly have handmade soft toys and wooden things, with some matchbox cars and a few stray plastic animals. Nothing with batteries, no tv or movie themed toys. "

and also (from a different woman):


"And since they don't watch much TV (we don't have cable), they only kind of know who those licensed characters are. _____ has some Dora hand-me-down clothes and likes them, and knows her name, but has never seen the show and that's where the interest ends"

My initial response was to vomit in my mouth a little, then I wanted to punch them in the throat (but only lightly), then I wanted to go back and comment something like "GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Your mom of the year award should be arriving any minute in the mail, look for it about the same time your husband receives his giant box of porn paraphernalia!" or "If your children never watch TV, HOW IN THE FUCKITY FUCK DO YOU PREPARE MEALS? Are they they keeping busy fucking knitting hats for their fucking sock monkeys?" But, I try to act like a nicer person than I actually am, so I didn't say anything in reply. Instead, I came over here to mock and shame them.

We all know that children's toys, child proofing and children in general (with all the eating and drooling and general destruction) do not do pretty things to the decor of your home. You might as well unleash one pack of dogs, one frat party and one hyper mental patient with a pack of sharpies, a tool box full of fishing lures and an affinity to Mickey Mouse accoutrements in your home.

But we love our children and enjoy making them happy, so we feed them, give them toys and let them systematically destroy the home that we worked so hard so decorate and beautify. Right?

If you are one of those superior women with perfect children who never make loud noises, watch TV or throw tantrums in public, but instead they sit quietly in the corner reciting their scripture; or if your spotless home is devoid of toys children actually like and you have the audacity to tell people about it, prepare yourself  for a lonely existance. Because, even though your house may be worthy of a feature in Country Living, your children will enventually hate you and you will have no friends. The end.

Happy Monday!
Be Messy and Enjoy It!


Peace, Love and Plastic Toys that make noise,
Johi

P.S. Sorry to those of you who read this post in the previous ADD format. Blogger was messin' wit me. I hope I fixed it.....

P.P.S. I don't hate sock monkeys. I actually purchased a "sock zebra" for Thing 2. It is adorable. And apparently I am the only one in the house that likes it, because neither of the kids play with it (although I have seen Thing 1 throw it across the room a few times....)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Why Me?

Thing 2 has taken to yelling "DADA" at every man we pass when we are in public. He sometimes even leans towards them, arms out like he is saying "hold me!". I smile nervously and shrug. It is kind of like having a dog that humps every other dog at the dog park, causing the owner to mumble things like "I don't know where she learned that."..... oh yeah, I had one of those too.

I don't like these sorts of subliminal messages.

I hope you all had a great weekend.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Have you ever showered using only one hand because the other hand was busy holding the door shut from a screeching one year old, who wants to open it so that water can splash all over your bathroom and they can climb into the shower with you while fully clothed, only to realize that you were indeed trapping yourself in the shower with a GIANT FLESH EATING SPIDER?

No?

Well, you are really missing out.

I think it's going to be a stellar day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Child Rearing 101- bribe them with sugar and plastic treasures.

Last week my husband was working up in the mountains again. He took (almost) half the family with him: Thing 1 and Black Dog. I stayed at home with Thing 2, Red Dog and Smelly Cat. It was blissfully quiet here. I didn't cook and whatever I cleaned, stayed CLEAN. It was actually quite magical.

When I drove up to meet them three days later, I discovered a wild-eyed and filthy Thing 1 hiding and leaping amongst the rocks on the mountainside. His hair was straw-like. He was covered from head to toe with dirt. He looked at me like he didn't recognize me with big, round eyes and his mouth forming a tiny O. I feared that three days alone with Dad on the mountain had made him feral. Like Wolf-Boy or that white captive woman from Dances With Wolves.

At home, three days passed and Thing 1 was still acting like a coyote. He was lashing out at Thing 2. Poor Thing 2 had spent as much time face down on the floor as the pledges during a fraternity hazing week. I talked with a friend who has older brothers and asked how it was for him growing up and he responded "My brothers tortured me whenever my parents weren't looking". Gah! I'm not okay with that.

I was getting really concerned and feeling helpless so I called the pediatrician to ask for advice on how to deal with the jealousy induced physical harm that my 4 year old was inflicting on my 15 month old. I know that there are lots of techniques that brilliant professionals have researched.  I also know that I am ignorant about most of them. I could tell you where to put your couch in your living room and I can inform you about the color wheel, but I am fairly clueless when it comes to kids. I realize this fact. Acceptance is one of the stages of.... something, right?

The conversation went something like this (except I am a bad listener and don't remember details very well):

Me: Thing 1 is getting really aggressive with his little brother. Every time we turn our back for a moment, Thing 2 is on the floor crying and Thing 1 is standing over him looking shocked. It is concerning me. He is being deliberate and stealth about it. It is actually creeping me out.

Dr.: Speaking more as a parent, and less as a doctor I wouldn't be that concerned. It doesn't seem like he is really causing him harm.

Me: Uh? He pushed his brother's head into the floor, causing bleeding from his nose and his mouth.

Me: I know that there are many different approaches from child psychologists, from taking all the toys away to making them try and empathize with a baby. When this was happening before I was using a reward system of fruit snacks for good behavior and taking away a toy and putting it in time out for bad behavior. Is that okay or should I try something more drastic?

Dr.: I think he is too young to properly empathize and taking away all of his toys is too extreme. I think what you are doing is fine. Make sure he goes into time out as well.

Me: Oh he does. He spends approximately half his day there lately. I have watched the Super Nanny and am very familiar with the workings of Time Out. He is motivated by treats and toys, and seems to respond okay to that, I just wanted to double check and see if there was a better method.

Me: Wow, I just realized that I am bribing my child with materialistic goods and sugar and I am using parenting techniques that I learned from reality TV. I'm an awesome mom.

Dr.: *laughs* If it works, then it is fine.

Me: *Thinking I picked the best pediatrician EVER.* Okay thanks!

I'll let you all know how it goes. Until then, I am going to hang and "Home Sweet Home" sign and tie balloons and streamers into his time out corner.


If you all have any advice here, I would be interested in reading it.....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If you don't like me, it is obvious that you suck.

I realize that I am not every one's cup of tea.

I also think that those people that don't like me must be:
  • terribly boring
  • lacking a sense of humor
  • heavily medicated
  • icky
  • feel threatened because I have discovered what an asshat they truly are
  • did I mention boring and lacking a sense of humor?

.....but that is just what I think......

So last night we went out for an evening of adventure and family fun.

We started at Sam's Club so that we could buy diapers, wipes and Kleenex in bulk. Because it is a magical place where you can purchase everything you may ever need (except apparently rice milk), I grabbed a bag of frozen flounder then wandered over to look at the laptops. Mine is sad. It keeps having seizures and shutting itself down.

I spoke with the techie guy that was working in that section. By the time I left, he thought that I was ignorant white trash. Just because Thing 1 was climbing on Thing 2, while he was in his stroller and our conversation was erratic: "Get off your brother... so what about this one?... get off your brother.... I have an external hard drive but I think it is a pain to use..... Get. Off.Your. Brother.... How long are laptops supposed to last? Ten years? Really? Mine is only four years old?...... OH MAH GAWD! GET OFF YOUR BROTHER!!!!!."

I don't think he was a fan. He obviously has perfect children. Bahahaha! My real guess is he has no children at all.

Then I asked the girls selling Direct TV if they could help me look for my book club book. They weren't interested. *gasp!*

Then we left with our ginormous box of Popsicles (I never have to buy Popsicles again!) and realized that we were starving. So we took the kids to the Japanese restaurant where we actually sat and ate a nice dinner. I know. I think it is a sign of the Apocalypse.

Thing 2 was in fine form. He has a knack for finding all the pretty girls and staring at them until they feel itchy flirting with them. He had already creeped out made friends with a pretty brunette (smile at him lady, he is cute!) when he moved on the the blond at the table behind me. He was smiling at her with a grain of rice hanging off his lips. I could hear her and her friend talking about how cute he was. I am the mother, who naturally deserves a little credit for the cuteness (I had birthed him and chosen to take him out into the admiring public, throw me a bone people) so I turned around a cracked a joke.

No one smiled.

I figured they didn't hear me, so I tried again with "It is the food on the mouth that really draws the ladies in.... that is exactly how his father wooed me."

*silence* But she made eye contact with me, without a smile on her face. Awkward.

Whaaaatttt? That is some funny stuff right there! If you could pull your rhinestone encrusted bag out of your butt, you would realize that!

So I wrote her off as: Lame and born without a sense of humor. Possibly constipated.

On the way out, I tested my comedic genius on two waiters and they loved me, so it obviously isn't me.... right? Is  it?
Why doesn't everyone love me????
Maybe I'm an acquired taste? Like strong cheese.... or Neil Diamond?
Okay, I'm done.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Exercise, Feel Worse and Gain Weight.




We all know that exercise is beneficial in many ways:
  • it releases endorphins
  • you may lose weight
  • you will have more energy
  • it cleanses your body of toxins
  • blah blah blah

I always look at those adorable families that are on the brochure for any vacation destination and think "That looks like a great time. I want to do that!"

Pictures like this one, selling the dream of family fun! We are fit and having FUN!


image from exercise-and-fitness-over-forty.com

And then Brock and I attempt to do something "exercisy" and "fun" with the kids! And we come home four hours later, eat a pan of brownies and tap into the wine.

Why? Because exercising with kids is NOT FUN. Those "families" on the brochures are MODELS WHO ARE PAID TO LOOK LIKE THEY ARE HAVING FUN. If it were actual families, the scene would depict one kid crying and bleeding, the other one whining or throwing a tantrum, and mom and dad yelling at each other because no one packed the damn first aid kit.

Seriously.

So Sunday we all went on a bike ride!
You know how this is going to end....

After a full hour of "getting ready", we attempted to load the bikes into the back of my truck using the bike rack that I bought two years ago that slips under the tailgate, enabling the bikes to stand in the bed. Only, my tailgate is crushed and dented because some dipshit lady threw a hay bale onto it from a stack 20 feet high. When Brock said "you dented the truck" she responded with "I thought it was a 3/4 ton" and he said "the truck is, not the TAILGATE". So the rack didn't work which meant that Brock whipped out the ratchet tie-down straps and spent 10 hours strapping the bikes together. Let me just admit this now. I loathe the ratchet tie-down straps. They out smart me every time. I hate to be outsmarted. That is why I don't watch Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, because the answer is no, no I am not smarter than a fifth grader, but this bitch gots street smartz.

Once everything was aired up, wiped down and loaded, we headed to Walmart to buy Thing 1 a new helmet. 30 minutes later, we were on the road again, heading to the biking starting point destination.

We arrived and unloaded and I practiced on my bike with Thing 2 in the baby seat behind me. I am not the most confident biker, so I practiced with my small child in the parking lot (close to the truck in case we both needed to go to the ER). Don't worry. I succeeded in staying upright. Thing 1 rode his little bike around behind me while I practiced for two minutes. When I stopped, he said "Are we done riding our bikes?" and I laughed because we had just spent one hour and 45 minutes preparing for this ride- which he thought was over after three laps around the parking lot. I said "Nope buddy, we are all going to be strong and ride on the bike trail! Do you feel strong?" and then I flexed and he whimpered "yes..."

So we got onto the path and immediately there was a down hill slope that curved under a bridge. Naturally, Thing 1 demonstrated a spectacular and elaborate crash with minimal bleeding (but maximum wailing). Good thing, because both Brock and I failed to pack a first aid kit. When he pulled himself together we started again. EXERCISE! YES! THIS IS AWESOME!

Except we were keeping pace with a four year old on a bike built for a member of the Lollipop Guild.

I was pedaling so slowly that I could hardly keep my top heavy bike upright.
It didn't help that Thing 2 was gleefully pinching my back fat while strapped into the baby seat behind me. He has a natural talent for finding and pinching your fat between his tiny claws. (DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT go bra-less around this child.)
The only thing getting my heart rate up was irritation.
So much for endorphins....

So we went along for about 20 minutes. In that time we pedalled about 500 feet. I couldn't take it. I have a hard time walking slowly, and when a slow walker gets in front of me, I have to physically restrain myself from pushing them down. Even if they are old. But walking slowly is nothing compared to biking slowly. I was in AGONY.
I sweetly suggested that Thing 1 get into the bike cart that Brock was pulling (empty) behind his bike for just this kind of emergency.
"PUT THE CHILD INTO THE CART BEFORE MY HEAD EXPLODES."
When we stopped to accommodate the transition, Thing 2 sat behind me screaming and again commenced in gleefully pinching my skin.

Then there was much protesting by Thing 1. Then Brock had to use one of those Satanic ratchet straps to tie the mini-bike into the cart. Then the strap was dragging, so we stopped to fix it. Then the bike was dragging, so we stopped to fix it. Then I yelled to Brock in a snarky voice "Are you having fun yet????" and he calmly said "I wish you would at least try" and then I mimicked "I wish you would at least TRY" to myself. And then I felt like an asshole.

We rode for another few miles at an normal adult human pace and then something truly horrendous happened: it became clear to me how dreadfully out of shape I have become.

I admitted this failure by humbly saying to Brock "Let's turn around a go back, Thing 2 needs his nap."

So we biked back to the truck, all the while Thing 2 whining in my ear (he really did need a nap), and drove home; where we ate brownies and drank wine, therefore undoing all the positive effects of exercise and possibly gaining weight in its purest form: FAT. We. Are. Awesome.

Daily Tip: If you want exercise and have wee ones in the house, let me recommend using the DAYCARE at your local HEALTH CLUB.

The End.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Vacationing" with small children and medium sized dogs.

Summertime is vacation time, right?
I have foggy memories of taking vacations... sleeping in... eating out... relaxing..... sounds wonderful, right?

Brock got a job working on a rustic little cabin in the mountains. YAY! It happened to be in the same neighborhood as our friend's adorable cabin. Are cabins on the side of a mountain considered a neighborhood or a camp or a cluster? Our friends graciously gave us a key to their cabin a few years ago, so that we could use it whenever we desired. In three years we went once. Once. It is merely one hour away from our house. We vowed to utilize their kind offer this summer and the job was the perfect opportunity to go and stay a while.

I drew you a picture so you can see the cuteness.




This is as good as it gets when I cartoon from memory.
  We decided to pack up six beating hearts (Smelly Cat didn't make the cut) and move up there for a week.

Did you all know that we have a 15 month old baby? His name is Thing 2. He recently discovered his Volume 11 shrieking voice and he loathes his Pack-n-Play.

I made it two nights. In that time I got five? hours of very broken sleep. Then I came home and had a meltdown. I'm fine now. *LICKS GLASS*

Here is the Campbell's Soup version of our "vacation" in the quaint cabin in the mountains.

Day 1:

I packed for six straight hours, only stopping for an occasional water break. I arrived late afternoon with the children and my 87 year old Grandmother who was visiting. She watched the children (i.e. we locked them in the cabin) while I unloaded 468 items out of the vehicle. After I spent an hour unpacking and settling in, Grandma and I celebrated our success with a cocktail and made dinner. Brock arrived at dark with Red Dog and Black Dog. Being in a new environment, they were naturally excited (read: cRaZy). After an hour of fetch with Red Dog and a chipmunk scavenger hunt with Black Dog, we all settled in for a good nights sleep.

Bahahahahahahahhahhaaaa.

Everyone was exhausted and tucked into their beds by 9 pm. Grandma and Thing 1 were in the twin beds in the front room. Brock and I were in the double bed with Thing 2's Pack-n-Play at the foot of our bed. The dog beds were on the floor. The relocation of the family and the "equipment" that we need to function on a daily basis had taken its toll on everyone. We were tired. Obviously, Brock started snoring immediately. I laid awake in horror and awe while I listened to the magical hog-like snorting sounds coming out of my handsome husband's mouth. For two hours the chain saw sputtering went on and on and on, and then Thing 2 woke up and shrieked like someone was poking him with tiny hot needles.


We quieted him with a bottle and everyone attempted to get to sleep.

A few hours go by, and Thing 2 starts wailing again, and screaming, and hollering.


Shuffling around in the dark, my husband found him more milk as I frantically searched for his plug. Together we finally pacified him.

Everyone got back into prone position, as just as our eyelids were fluttering blissfully together, we heard:

Crunch crunch crunch crunch  CRUNCH crunch CrUnCh CRUNCH crunch crunch crunch



Red Dog had decided that sometime around 3 a.m. is the best time to eat her dinner.

Brock removed her bowl and I think we may have slept a bit until I heard a horrible ruckus coming from the floor on my side of the bed. It sounded like a bear was trying to claw his way into the cabin. I looked down and saw Black Dog, who had brilliantly wedged herself under the bed and was frantically clawing her way out.



She succeeded in her escape from the sneaky bed trap, but alarmingly in the process, she woke Thing 2.



Day 2:
Brock and I, in a last ditch effort to let my Grandma and Thing 1 get some sleep, did the unthinkable. We pulled the baby into our bed. We proceeded to lay there for an hour as he gleefully poked our eyeballs, pulled our hair, kicked us and spit on us. I decided that my hour and 26 minutes of sleep was all God was allowing me so I hopped out of bed, grabbed the dog leashes and took the mutts on a hike.

It was a beautiful, crisp mountain morning. When I got far enough from civilization, I unclasped their leashes and let them run so that they would be too tired to annoy us back at the cabin. In true Red Dog fashion, Red Dog circled me 587 times, always staying close and keeping watch over me. In true Black Dog fashion, Black Dog ran out of sight three times, and after I called her name 47 times, she finally came back twice with leg bones from a carcass and the last time covered from head to tail in shit. I believe it was cow shit, but I'm not entirely certain.



I then hiked back to my truck, where I had to manually load black dog into the bed, because everyone knows that princesses don't jump. I put Red Dog in with her, who immediately bailed out over the side, because everyone knows that Red Dogs ride in the front (preferably on a lap). I then drove my special needs troupe back to the cabin, where my children awaited.

*theme music from Jaws*

Then we tried to put Thing 2 down for his morning nap.

Did you know that he can wail for an entire hour before he wears himself out enough to sleep? I'm frightened, yet impressed by his sheer will.

We ate and I cleaned up and then it was time to feed everyone again and I cleaned up. Then we locked the pooches safely in the little cabin and we took the children to town for a pony ride at my family's stable.

We  returned to a bloody massacre. Apparently a feeble minded chipmunk decided to enter the cabin, where his death by bored dogs awaited him. You know how dogs like to shake things? Yeah. They did that.



Don't worry Sheryl, I cleaned it.

Scrub scrub scrub. Call me Cinder-fucking-rella.

Then I fixed dinner and we ate and I cleaned up some more. Then we put the kidlets to BED.

Then I watched in horror as Brock tried to peer pressure my 87 year old Grandma into getting hammered (WTF BROCK?), and when she politely declined, he cheerfully set out with the clear intention of getting schnockered himself. I wished I could have joined the party, but all I could picture was a drunk man snoring next to me all night long as I attempted to sleep. The rage was building....
Then we "learned" to play Mexican Train. I put learned in quotations because anyone who knows drunk people, knows they don't remember any games they "learn" when drunk. I know how to play Mexican Train. If you ask Brock, he would tell you that he has never even heard of the game.

Then we went to bed. Amazingly, Brock did not snore (maybe because I threatened to cut him if he did), but I laid awake anyway, knife under my pillow my nerves raw and frazzled from the previous two "vacation" days and hateful in anticipation of the snoring. I slept maybe two broken hours that entire night.

Day 3:

Brains. BRAINS!

We ate and I cleaned up and then it was time to feed everyone again and I cleaned up.

Then we tried to put Thing 2 down for his morning nap.

Did you know that he can wail for an entire hour before he wears himself out enough to sleep? I'm frightened, yet impressed by his sheer will.

Fuck it. I gave up and went home, where my parents took my poor, exhausted Grandma back to Iowa and I had a physical manifestation of the ever present magic that is my life.
Hello lover Laundry....



Are you considering a vacation with small children and medium sized dogs? Don't do it. Just don't.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You've Got To Be Tough To Live In The West

Things that have made today totally awesome:

1.) I spent the morning cleaning up chipmunk blood. I (mostly) succeeded.

2.) Thing 1 crashed his bike. Twice. He takes after his mother and his Auntie.

3.) It is almost 11 am and 72 degrees with a breeze. My windows are open! It is beautiful! Also, my fucknut neighbor decided that it was the perfect day to start a giant bonfire so he could burn ..... trash? weeds? tires? Oil? There is foul smelling smoke wafting EVERYWHERE. Thanks asshat.

4.) I opened my patio umbrella and a wasp fell out and stung my thigh. It is swelling. I don't need swelling in my thighs. I'm already German.

5.) Three loads of laundry down.... only five more to go. yay. So much for hanging it outside today. grrr.

6.) I found some dude's wallet in our driveway.When I returned it to him, he looked to see if there was cash in it. There was not. He probably thinks that I took his money. I did not. It was devoid of any green when I found it IN MY DRIVEWAY.

7.) I realized that I could pull weeds in my yard until November and I still wouldn't get them all.

8.) Red Dog begged to go with Brock this morning. Traitor. Where's the love?

9.) I have reheated my coffee five times because I can't seem to sit and drink it. ADD much?

10.) Thing 2, who normally stores food in his cheeks for up to an hour after eating, has now decided that food is best when carried around in his sweaty fist for at least 30 minutes prior to eating it. I fear he might be part squirrel.

11.) I just smacked my head on a cabinet. I'm truly the epitome of grace and elegance. I'm going to start wearing a helmet everywhere.

Guess what? None of that is going to get me down because I have BOOK CLUB tomorrow night. Boo ya. So when you drive down the street and hear me singing or see me break out into a spontaneous dance party for one, you will know that I am indeed crazy- crazy excited to see my girl friends! (and drink wine that didn't come from a box!)

P.S. We read The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. I recommended it to the ladies because Phoenix Rising wrote about it in this freaking hilarious post.  I LOVED it. Can't wait to discuss..... If any of you have other book suggestions, throw them at me (just give me a heads up so I can duck- I clearly don't need any more head injuries.)

P.P.S. I just added fucknut and asshat to my dictionary. Word.

Peace, Love and Garden Gnomes,
Johi

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Injuring myself without the fun of Adrenaline

I get daily reminders of how truly "uncool" I am. I would like to respond to that with a flipping double-bird THANK YOU.


You know how old people love to talk about their ailments?

Hi Helen, how are you?

Oh, my bursitis has been flaring up and this arthritis is making it hard to knit, and you, Edna?

My knee has been bothering me and I have the Gout.

Let's play Bingo.

They're old. They get a free pass to talk about what ever the hell they want.


Guess what? I feel like I am old too, even though I was once told that women in their thirties were in their sexual prime. That must be women who birthed children at 18.... because my primer is broken. My body hurts all the time and I can't remember anything, like when I tried to count money the other day and had to do it four times. Even then, I was still confused. I used to be smart. I think I am suffering child-induced Dementia. In my mind, that gives me the same pass as the AARP crowd. (Here is where I talk about my ailment...)

Most people in my actual age group might injure themselves doing things like biking or skiing or twisting an ankle on their Jimmy Choo's. Not me. Nope. Yesterday I injured myself while vacuuming. One would think that only a rug cleaning novice or a 2 year old could injure themselves with a vacuum. I am neither, yet I still managed to clobber my foot when I dropped the 800 pound handle onto it. I was wearing strappy sandals. They were not Jimmy Choo's, nor are they OSHA approved.

I fear I may lose a toenail. This might not sound like a big deal, but all I really have going for me in the looks department are some cute toes. I even slap polish on the nails and declare that I gave myself a pedicure!  Right now they are Passion Pink, and believe me, we are in need of that right now.

The worst part of this is that, not only is my toenail bruised and bloody, the top of my foot is also purple, making the entire right foot sore and causing me to want to drag it around and refer to myself as Igor. It is also unattractive. Unattractive as say.... Brock's nasty ass, hairy curling toed Shrek feet. You know, the ones that I make fun of all the time? When will I submit to Karma and stop being such a butthole? Let's face it. Probably never.

Pray for me, and my cute pink toenail. We don't need any more Shrek feet in this house and it is still sandal season. Also, pray that I get more excitement in my life than vacuuming.

Peace be with you. And also with you.

Unicorns,
Johi

Friday, August 5, 2011

A How-To Guide for Play Dates

For many mothers, the mention of a "play date" can cause anxiety, severe sweating and quite possibly hives. Not only are you forced to be around other people's screaming children, but you have to make nice with women based solely on your commonality of being a mom. Navigating the often murky waters of play dates can leave you battered and with tendencies of early onset agoraphobia. After weeks, months, years of the house arrest that is parenting a small child, how do people with rusty social skills survive these "play dates"? Never fear, as I have put together a handy how-to guide for play dates. Not only will this guide help you hone that forgotten and unused civil competence that you once possessed, it will also gain you popularity, wealth and fame.*

*Actual results may vary


The CornFedGirl's How-To Guide For Play Dates


1. Ignore your child as they bite/maim/poke/kick/or push the other children. Or scold them in a soothing voice while you gently touch their nose, "Oh Nubbin, stop...that is very unbecoming behavior for such a precious little treasure."


2. Crimp your hair, wear something from your beloved 80's concert t-shirt collection and smuggle booze in your flask into the park. Yell "hell yeah!" and fist pump when your kid successfully makes it down the slide.



3. Bring your giant angry dog and explain how he needs to be desensitized to other children because he keeps biting all the neighborhood kids.

4. Talk incessantly about your Twilight/Unicorn/Precious Moments/S&M....what-have-you.... fascination. Be sure to include a wallet full of pictures, your online fan-club official membership certificate and your scrapbook.



5. Talk about sex. A lot. In intimate detail. Use descriptive words like "moist" and "throbbing".



6. Feel free to text or talk on your cell in the middle of another mom's story. Make sure to add a distracted "uh-huh" every now and then so they still think you are listening. Most moms are boring and have nothing to say, but sometimes you just need to let them expel their verbal diarrhea.

7. Chew tobacco or smoke on the playground. Make sure to spit/blow smoke towards the children, giving special attention to the babies. Those little shits need to toughen up.

8. Talk about any religious extremist views. Use words like "saved" and "heathens" and "fornicators". Don't forget to include "The End of Days" in your speech. Bring your Bible and lead a reading.

9. Tell a crap ton of stories about a bunch of people that no one else knows. Be sure to talk the entire time, leaving no room for others to converse. You're a star, it is time for your captive audience new friends to admire your intellectual depth and compassion for humanity.

10. Treat a play date like you would a resume. Brag. Brag hard. Brag Brag Brag. Brag about yourself, your husband, your children.... brag. People love to hear about the time you won that trophy in 6th grade for your science project and all your tropical vacations and your trust fund and your College GPA.

11. Make sure everyone knows that your kids are the best. Ram that fact home by pointing out the flaws of their children. "Billy's eyes are really close set.... have you had him checked?" or "Sally Mae seems really interested in boys. Have you considered birth control at a young age to prevent teen pregnancy?"

12. Remember, everyone enjoys having their eyeballs licked.



13. Get dressed up in your very best low cut outfit, complete with push up bra and red lipstick. Other moms will really dig you.



14. Personal bubble-schmubble. Stand close and breathe heavy.

15. Read every one's aura and then break out your tarot cards. Make sure at least one in the group has a quickly impending death, and don't forget to inform them that their children are destined for a lonely, unhappy existence full of strife and poverty.

16. Bring your kids and dump them off on the mom who clearly needs a break and some adult conversation so that you can get your nails done. Make sure your children arrive early, dirty and hungry.

17. Fall asleep on the couch. Snore.

18. Get into a fight with someone on the phone. Curse wildly and at a high volume.

19. Talk about your cats the entire time. Make sure to include their middle names and why you selected those names.....



20. If another mother is venting from frustration with parenting, make sure and let her know through your disapproving looks that you a clearly a better mother. Make her feel guilty and unworthy, and make her realize that she is a bad person for not feeling "blessed" every moment of every day.

You. Are. Welcome.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Though shalt not be an @$#hole.

Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order?

Yes, I'd like an extra large wine slushie.

Uh, we don't serve that....

Okay, I'll take one SAHM Nervous Breakdown Meal. Super-size that shit.

Um, I'm going to need to call the manager.....

The week was not kind to me. I will tell you all about it soon. Right now, I am a giant wad of emotion and fatigue and the wound is too fresh. So I would like to talk about two phone conversations that I had yesterday..... after a hell week, complete, of course, with lack of sleep and raging hormones. Again.

I'm going to get acupuncture in about an hour. Then I will have some wine and things will be fine.

While complaining  chitty chatting on the phone to an anonymous person yesterday, I may have mentioned that my wonderful and supportive husband often talks without thinking and pisses me off. Sometimes it is directed negatively at me. He does this a lot.

The response from the other party was "You and Brock have always made fun of other people. I thought that was something that you bonded over."

I was all "Whaaat? Really? You think that? I don't recall that. I do recall ridiculing people with a friend of mine for many years, and then I started to feel bad. Don't get me wrong. We still mock everyone, just not as much. (Only because we rarely see each other) I didn't think that was what Brock and I did though...."

Then the other party then gave me a few examples (none of which I said, it was all Brockerisms).

Still, I felt like a twatwaffle.

Later, I was talking to a friend and I recounted the earlier conversation. I told her how bad I felt that people thought that I derived pleasure from laughing at others. She was that perfect person to repent this alleged part of my personality to, being a preacher's daughter and all. I thought that she would maybe pray for my salvation and sprinkle me with some holy water to wash away my sins.

Instead, she was incredulous, "What is wrong with making fun of people? My husband and I do it all the time! Making fun of people is AWESOME! In fact, I will circle around the block just to get a second look at someone! My husband will elbow me and say: Look at that! They actually looked in the mirror and thought to themselves I LOOK FINE before they left the house!"

Naturally, I snorted.

Then she went on to say "The Bible never said "Though shalt not make fun of thy neighbor"..... I'm pretty sure my Dad taught me that!"

I was laughing so hard that I was turning purple.

I said, "I leave the house looking scary all the time."

She said, "So do I! And it makes me feel great to know that my hideousness may be causing someone else pleasure!"



PSA: (Or daily tip:) Laughing at others is not only common, but condoned by a preacher in Kansas. Go forth, Laugh at others and be laughed at by others. Like, it is our civic duty and stuff.

It is good to know that I am not alone in the world.