Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lazy as all get-out

I love William to bits.  Whether he is being snarky or silly or even when he turns into an emotional teenage girl, I just love him to pieces.  He is, however, the laziest kid I've ever known.  It's weird, too, because I'm not sure where he gets it.  I'll be the first to say I'm not a super hard worker, but I wouldn't say I'm lazy.  Chris is exactly like my mom and like his dad, a worker to the extreme.  William got a double dose of my genes and apparently zero of Chris's in the work ethic department.  The thing is, I don't know how to deal with it.  We've done stickers and rewards and all other kinds of bullshit and I'm over it.  Now I'm just tired of it.  On the long list of things I have a hard time tolerating I have discovered that laziness is one of them.  That's bad news for William.

Exhibit A:
Me:  William come pick up your shoes and while you're at it, would you please take Lauren's Saltwater sandals and put them in her basket?
W:  Oooohhhh, I can't carry 4 shoes at the same time.
M:  Oh, I know you can. I have faith in you. 
W:  (as he fumbles about like a complete idiot on purpose) SEE?  I can't.  I'll just take this ONE and put it away.

Exhibit B:
Me:  Here William, come help carry out some of this camping gear to the truck.  This is your camping trip with daddy.  I've packed it all, daddy is loading it into the truck, you need to help carry it outside.  It's teamwork! (all with a stupid smile).
W:  Ugh, this bag is the ugliest bag I've ever carried (as he drags his ass and the bag out to the truck)
M:  Oh, good job carrying that one out to the truck, here's another.
W:  ANOTHER?  Ugh, this trip better be fun for all the work I'm doing for it (as he drags his ass and the bag out to the truck)

I didn't let either of those situations go, BTW, but I won't bore you with the details of megettingthelastword.

What would you do with a super lazy kid?

Eleanor, you said it, sister. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time heals all wounds? By choice, it has to.

One year ago today this was my post:

Lovely, Special, Only, Favorite


My two cousins lost their lovely mother

My uncle lost his special wife

My mom lost her only sister

My brother and I lost our favorite aunt





Nothing has changed.  I feel exactly the same today as I did one year ago.  Trips have been taken, milestones have been reached, successes in her own family as well as mine that need to be shared, just all kinds of things that still need to be discussed and talked about, almost on a daily basis.  And I miss it.  A lot.  It just sucks.  I think she'd be pissed that a whole year has gone by and very little has been celebrated about her, it's been pretty much nothing but grief and sadness.  This next year will be the year of great remembrance of her for me.  You don't have to hold on to the pain to hold on to the memory.

Good times with Aunt Debbie.


Friday, July 22, 2011


7 observations after my very first Zumba class

1.  It is a fact that I have never ever done any of those moves while sober.  Now I'm fully aware of what an ass I've made of myself at weddings over the last 15 years.

2.  Even if I take another 999 Zumba classes I will not get used to the music.  A Latin music fan I am NOT.

3.  When you're the whitest and tallest and a first timer in the class it's hard to not stick out but if you can get over yourself it's pretty fun.

4.  There was a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.

5.  My $72 sports bra paid for itself today alone.

6.  I think once the confidence is there with the moves I could see how the workout will be that much more effective.

 7.  When the instructor says, "Just follow these moves, they are really easy!" it makes it better if you say, "I'm calling bullshit on that" in your head.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This post is completely contrary to yesterday's post but that's part of the beauty of being A Woman and being The Mom.  I can change my mind, my feelings, or my outlook on things like *snap* that

So far, so good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behavior, circa 2003

You may have seen this before:


POSITION:  Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and this wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.
Well, this morning I woke up wanting no part of any of that.  Not permanently, just for a little bit.  I was tired and sore and just wanted to be the Ashley from back in 2003 when I could work hard and play hard and sleep hard with no one to rely on my except Chris, who actually rarely relies on me.  I wanted to spend the day lying in bed flipping between Bravo and the History Channel.  I wanted to eat frozen yogurt for lunch.  I wanted to sleep during the day with no guilt.  
I know how fortunate I am that I actually don't have the luxury to do any of that anymore but I did try and slip in a little of it while Lauren was napping, you know, just for old time's sake.  I bought a $2.99 movie on OnDemand for the big kids, let them have their candy from last night's dessert, and I took a nap.  A 2 hour nap.  Like, I went into my bedroom, shut the door, told them not to wake me unless someone was bleeding, and I was OUT.  It was awesome and almost guilt-free.  I woke up to two zombies in front of the TV with a couple candy wrappers on the floor around them.  It was kind of the equivalent of a frat party with passed out people on the couch surrounded by beer bottles.  I know it's no biggie.  And it's certainly not the first nap I've ever taken but this was movie! and candy! and a nice day outside! which makes it seem less ok.  
Whenever I pull a move that makes me want to hide from CPS I think of this picture.  At least I'm not this kid's mom.   
His mom is the one who needs to be writing a confessional about bad choices, not me.  Am I right?

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

This week I actually have lots to choose from for WTHW. 

1.  The big kids went camping with Chris and Drew threw up the first night there and on 'til the next morning so I drove 2 hours with Lauren to go pick her up just 18 hours in to her highly anticipated summer camping trip.

2.  That day I was feeling crappy and by late afternoon I realized what I had going on was likely a kidney stone.  By midnight I was in the E.R.  All the while I couldn't get a hold of Chris (still camping with William) because there was no cell reception.  *Huge thanks to Natalia, Tracy, and Hidie who took good care of the kids and me.

3.  2nd kidney stone in 5 months.  Really?

Anyway, I like the one I chose the best.  I'm all about making the kids take pictures and the more kids you have the harder it gets.  Someone is always not doing as they should.  I think that's why I love this one so much.  Or maybe it's because I'm not above this but probably wouldn't have thought of it.  And it's genius.  Don't you think?

Have a good Wednesday, friends.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Either it's going to be a ton of fun or WTFO

It's that time of year again - it's time for the Oakland fire kiddie camp trip.  The dads take the kids to the lake for a few nights.  Moms aren't allowed.  Drew has gone the last 2 years, this will be her 3rd.  This will be William's first time and that, my friends, should be interesting.  He's awesome and fun and smart and curious and emotional and moody and demanding.  Sounds fun, right?  As long as he's fed and well rested he'll be a joy and have the time of his life.  If he gets hungry and food isn't readily available or if he's tired - those dads won't know what hit them.  WTFO.  (watch the f*ck out).  It's not a nice term but it's so appropriate for the times when he's hungry and tired.  We just say, "Uh, oh.  WTFO."

We were told that the snow was cleared from the roads to the campground just 2 weeks ago.  With the exception of a few days, we've had such an amazingly cool summer.  I wouldn't be surprised if in some of the shady spots they still find some patches of snow.  It's also going to make for some awfully cold swimming in the lake.  I predict William will not even put his big toe in if it's not room temperature.  I wouldn't either, but it's too bad because that's part of the fun.  Kiddie camp is about the lake! and the bike rides! and the fire pit! and the swearing they hear! and the bottomless bowl of candy! 

Lauren and I are going to enjoy being Peters Party of 2 for a few days.  We'll nap and shop and swim and nap.  It'll be quiet here and I won't have to cook and I'll have 3/5 less laundry to do.  I'll miss them but... this kinda sounds like heaven. 

2 years ago Drew came home from camp saying, "I heard another daddy say 'fuck' while he was at the fire pit."  Last year she came home and said, "I had 18 pieces of licorice instead of my dinner on the first night."  I can't wait to hear what she has to say this year and especially what William has to say about it all, too. 

Praying for a safe, fun trip for the big kids and Chris.  Praying that the water is warm enough to swim in and that no one gets sick on candy.  And most of all, praying that no one will have to WTFO for William.

Friday, July 15, 2011

WHA?! McDonald's play structures are germy?

I'm going to start by saying I am not a total germaphobe but I do have emetophobia so I am always conscious of what the kids have touched, where they've been, and I squirt their hands often.  Probably too often.  Play structures, especially those that are indoors gross me out.  Actually, they freak me out.  I hate going places like that and more often than not an illness follows one of these outings.  And those of you with more than one child knows what that means.  One kid gets sick.  Then the next, then the next.  One day playing at McDonald's can easily lay us low for 2 weeks. 

In early June we went to Chuck E. Cheese with great friends of ours to celebrate a birthday.  Within 2 days after the party 11 of the 14 people at the party had the stomach flu.  William, Lauren, Chris, and Drew included.  How I was spared I'll never know but I think it may have something to do with the fact that I consciously touched NOTHING in that filthy joint and if I did I squirted myself down immediately. 

So, now there is this.  This seals the deal on us ever going to these kinds of places again.  I'm not opposed to parks or anything like that but these indoor, enclosed places are no more for us.  Call me crazy but it's just not worth it.  I've experienced too many times my kids being sick directly after (within 48 hours) being at these places.  Lesson learned.  I'd be stupid to NOT have learned from those experiences. 

I encourage you to take the 7 minutes and watch this video.  Pass it around.  It's eye-opening and proves what we as moms have known all along... those places are freaking nasty.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

3 reasons why I'm super awesome

1.  For the first time ever I let them pick out one packet of Kool Aid to buy.  Like, the old school Kool Aid.  The kind where you pour the packet in and then fill the rest up with sugar and then add just a bit of water to the whole pitcher.  This practically glows on the fridge shelf and I'm not kidding.

2.  He's sitting at the kids' desk area watching iCarly.  Then when he says, "Awwwk Weeerd" I wonder where he learns such things.

3.  He's sitting approximately 6 inches from the television and the volume is as if he's in the next room.

If no other post summarizes our summer, this will be it. 
*Beaming with pride*

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

~ What the Hell Wednesday ~

I'm sure by now you've seen this:

That there is not an 8 month old chilling in some fake sunglasses.  That is a 16 pound newborn in the NICU in Texas where he was born.  SIXTEEN POUNDS.

William was 10 pounds and although I had drugs, the epidural only numbed the right side of my body so my left side can speak to birthing a 10 pound human being.  Lauren was only 9 pounds but I had NO drugs with her and I thought I was dying a violent death while birthing her.  And you can tell me all day long that millions of women have given birth with no drugs and I will still continue to act and tell the story as if I'm the only one.  The poor mother of this newborn, however, wins the trophy.  The trophy for what, I'm not sure.  But she wins.  Holy shit, that is NO JOKE.  Look at the picture again.  Ouch. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Points ~ Zing!

I've started a points system for tasks that the kids complete.  I don't write them points down, we don't keep a cummulative score, there is no tally. It goes like this:  "Awesome!  Drew gets 15 points for putting her dirty clothes in the laundry room and putting her shoes in her cubby the first time I asked!  Oh, William, I see your shoes are in the livingroom still.  That means you only earned 13 points."  Then he goes and runs and puts them in his shoe cubby and says, "Did I get the two points back?"  And I smile and say, "YES.  Yes you did."  What's so fantastic about this is the points mean nothing.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  They just like to hear that they earned some and that someone gets more than the other for doing it quickly, first time asked, or with a good attitude.  Everytime it works - and it works everytime - I feel this sly evilish grin on my face.  Mommy 1, Kids 0.  ZING! 

Feast or famine

I was just telling a friend a few days ago that somedays I feel like I do absolutely nothing and that's not too far from the truth.  I'm ok with that, though, because on all the other days I totally make up for it, not stopping once throughout the day to sit or eat a meal sometimes.  Feast or famine.  All or nothing.  Sometimes it's just that way.

Yesterday was feast.  It was all.  All three kids did their own thing, which is kind of unusual, but we were all so busy from sun up to sun down.

Drew and I met my mom and went to se 7 Brides for 7 Brothers

William went with his best friend, Anthony, and his family to celebrate Anthony's 5th birthday and had an amazingly fun day.

Old door...

Lauren stayed home with Chris and supervised as the new front door was installed!

After a day of feast and all I look forward to a day of famine and nothing.  It won't be today.  Or tomorrow.  But someday soon, I hope.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7 Brides for 7 Brothers for the 6 year old

My mom has season tickets to Roger Rocka's Dinner Theatre.  It's such a great place.  The performances are spectacular and the experience is equally as such, especially for Drew who thinks this is such Big Live Theatre!  She and I have been going once every couple months for a year or more to meet mom there on a Sunday afternoon for a brunch performance.  We've seen Hairspray, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma, Music Man, and Bye Bye Birdie.

It doesn't look all that special from the outside but on the inside it's pretty magical.

Tomorrow Drew and I are headed to meet mom to see 7 Brides for 7 Brothers.  Have you seen it?  I haven't and neither has Drew.  Usually the weeks leading up to us going to Roger Rocka's, Drew spends time on my computer on YouTube watching clips of the performance we're going to see.  I burn the CD for her and she falls asleep listening to the music.  She then sits in her seat during the performance and mouths all the words to all the songs.  It's something she really looks forward to and I do, too.

Looks fun, doesn't it?

William doesn't join us quite yet because, like going to Boston, you have to be able to emotionally keep it together when you are a bit hungry, a bit tired, or a bit bored.  William is incapable of all of those things and therefore... he doesn't join us.  Soon, I hope.  The 2012 season has some great shows that he would really enjoy.  Think some maturity may happen between now and January?  We'll see.  I hope so, I think he'll really love the experience, too.

Have a great weekend, whether you're lounging by the pool, hanging inside and watching tv, or doing a barn dance!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No topic

I'd like to believe in our justice system but it's hard to have too much faith when there are cases like the Casey Anthony case and the OJ Simpson case.  The jurors must hear evidence that we as the public are never privy to, right?  I mean, there is no way they are found not guilty when the evidence clearly proves otherwise, right? 

I've never served on a jury but someday I hope to.  I may have more of an appreciation for how it all goes down but for now I just don't get it.  Both Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson seemed so clearly guilty. 


The Oakland fire department just received their new contract.  It's kinda shitty the percentage of paycut these guys and girls are going to be taking.  They put themselves in such great danger, I just don't think that fire, police, military, or teachers should ever get pay cuts.  It's offensive, in fact.  It's kinda shitty for their families, too.  I realized today that it's kinda shitty for Starbucks as well because OFD's paycut means less business for them from me which means they, too, will be receiving the equivalent percentage less than they were.  See?  Shitty all. the. way. around.


We had such an awesome 4th of July party, our annual block party with a band and great friends.  I'll blog more of that when I get a chance but for now I'd like to say THANK YOU to all who came, all who brought such fabulous food to share, and for loving our kids and our family as if we were part of your own.  LOVE our friends.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stat check

I have a stat counter on my blog but I never look at my stats.  Like how many visitors, from where, how long a certain IP address was logged in, etc.  And it doesn't say who you are, just where you are.  I looked this morning for the first time in nearly a year I bet.  It's so interesting to see that links to my blog come up with certain things are googled.  Like if you go to google and type in, "How to raise kids who aren't bratty" my blog is the first thing to come up.  If you google, "Boyish girls" my blog is on the first page of links.  I discovered that daily I get hits from these poor people who are trying to obviously find something worthwhile but end up on my blog instead.  I also discovered that I have regular readers in Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Thailand.  I've said before that I still can't believe anyone but my mom reads this so I am grateful and hope that you all continue to check in.  Also, let me know you're here!  There is a comment section for a reason.  I don't need you to stroke my ego, just let me know you're here and where you're from.  It'd make my day. 

Do you see yourself on here?  That red dot is you!

Much love on this 4th of July.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Birthday wishes

Today is my brother's birthday.  He's 15 months older than I am and today he turns 37.  I'm not sure which freaks me out more, the fact that Brandon is now 37 or that in 15 months I will be, too.

July, 1975.  Wasn't he cute on his first birthday?  And I love the outlet that is just within reach of the high chair.  Give that kid a fork and let him play!

July, 1978

July, 1982 - he's opening gifts and I'm noshing on some goods.  William Noland is looking on.

July,1982, right before Brandon's birthday and right before a much needed haircut for his party, too.

July, 2010
More teeth, less hair, more glasses, same amount of love.

The kids love you.  I love you.  Happy birthday to my favorite brother.



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