Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I've started training for a half marathon again.  The numbers on the scale are getting uglier and uglier each day and somthin's gotta give.  And the Brewer's have a half marathon now!  I haven't actually signed up for the race yet.  That would require commitment.  Let's not be silly.

Anywho, my schedule this week is a little hairy so I decided to run over lunch today.  I totally forgot that my office sits in the middle of some misplaced Appalachian foothills or some shit.  Man there are a lot of hills.  Given the topographical area and the humidity, I was a Sweaty McSweatmonster by the time the 3 miles were completed.

I brought deodorant and baby wipes with me so I could somewhat clean up after my run and not sit here being all nasty for the afternoon.  But now I'm sitting here with sore butt muscles and I swear I smell like a diaper.

It's a date!

Alex loves our neighbor Bert so much.  And luckily, Bert thinks Alex is a bit of alright.  Yesterday, out of nowhere, Alex looked at him and asked, "Hey Bert!  You wanna come over for lasagna tomorrow?"  Cute, right?  Except I didn't plan on making lasagna.  I have zero ingredients for said lasagna.  But lasagna is delicious and he likes my kid, so of course Bert said yes.

Anyone hungry for lasagna tonight?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Think Before You Speak

Every morning, I close all of the windows in the house before I leave.  If I don't do this, we will not have a dog upon arriving home.  Screens are nothing but a slight annoyance on her way outside to figure out where her humans have gone.  And even though she is an exhausting mutt, I love her and don't want her roaming the city, dodging cars.  

Anyway, I bring this up because as long as the weather permits, I go through the house opening the windows as soon as we get home.  There is a window over Alex's bed and since I'm such a good mom, his mattress is still on the floor and opening the window requires me to step on his bed.  But, I'm not a total jerk, so I take off my shoes before stepping on his bed.

A couple hours after we were home last night, Alex went in his room and immediately I heard a very accusatory, "Ugh...Mom!"  He came out of his room and one by one, tossed my flip flops into the middle of kitchen while lecturing me about the fact that I left my shoes in his room and don't I know that is not where my shoes go.  

I let him finish, and before he could stomp his sassy little ass back into his room, I informed him that he is by no means and under no circumstances allowed to talk to me like that.  And then I made him stand in the kitchen, look around, and report to me each and every one of his things that were strewn about the house, most definitely not where they belong.  His things that I pick up time and time again, so maybe just maybe he wants to take a good look at who takes care of things around here before he starts in on me about my shoes.

Accurate Measurement

If you ask Alex a question relating to a measurement of something, you will get the same answer every single time:  60-40.

The water in the pool at his uncle's house?  60-40 degrees.
How heavy his work friend is?  60-40 pounds.
The length of time to get to daycare?  60-40 minutes.
How tall his dad is?  60-40 inches.
How many times he has told me something?  60-40 times.

Bells Were Ringing

We were in Minnesota again this past weekend; this time for a wedding.  I bought a new outfit for Alex and he looked super cute.  And then I didn't take a single picture.

I have started a new running/training scheduled in an attempt to make the scale stop and back the hell up, so I went for a run Saturday morning before the wedding.  After I showered, Alex asked me when we were going to the wedding.  And when I told him we were leaving in the early afternoon, he said, "Good.  I need to exercise."  Ummmm...huh?  "I haven't exercised at all today."  And where was he planning on exercising?  The wedding, duh.  I chalked that up to him having zero idea what a wedding was all about.

Turns out, he knew exactly what he was talking about.  That child got more exercise from 7-11:45pm than he has gotten his entire life combined.  He was running or dancing, non-stop, the whole time.  I had to beg/order him to stop and take a drink of water every once in a while.

He did stop running just long enough to get in a fist fight.  I am not kidding.  This was not a typical slap fight between two 4 year olds.  These two boys were straight up throwing punches at each other.  Travis and I saw it happening right away and Trav bolted over to put a stop to it.  When Travis was about half way to the boys, I saw Alex thrust his little arms down to his sides, fists clenched, and tell the other kid NO. FANK. YOU.

My brother-in-law asked what was going on and when I told him who Alex was fighting with, he assured that kid was being a punk to everyone and that he was proud of Alex for standing up to him.  No uncle-bias there.  Nope.

Hopefully next time, his exercise program will include juuuust a squink less hand to hand combat.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New and exciting ways to feel foolish

Trying to push my chair back from my desk.  Sitting with one leg tucked under me and the other bare foot on the floor.  Force required to roll my fat butt backwards on my chair is greater than the strength of my bare foot's grip on the floor.  Kicked my computer CPU while foot was traveling approximately 1,937,257 MPH.

How's your Monday?

Friday, July 26, 2013


I'm having a bit of a hard time in the Stable Brains department this week.  I can't seem to get my bearings.  The amount of worry Alex's school and daycare situation is causing me is teetering on overwhelming.  Overwhelming to that good ol' point of me being frozen in place, terrified.  

The pit of anxiety was churning up a good storm in my stomach this morning and then I came across this little gem Mariah posted.  Thanks MFly, I needed this today.
"it’s dark because you are trying too hard.
lightly child, lightly. learn to do everything lightly.
yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me.
when it comes to dying even. nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic.
no rhetoric, no tremolos,
no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of christ or little nell.
and of course, no theology, no metaphysics.
just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light.

so throw away your baggage and go forward.
there are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
that’s why you must walk so lightly.
lightly my darling,
on tiptoes and no luggage,
not even a sponge bag,
completely unencumbered."
-aldous huxley | island

New mantra:  Lightly child, lightly.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So Happy

He loves his daycare so much.  It makes me indescribably elated to know he is this happy with the people there.  Seriously.  Look at that kid's face...or half of face.  Whatever.  If you could see the whole face, our computers would all explode from trying to display that amount of happy.

There is a realtor coming to my house tonight to give us a ballpark of what he thinks we can get for our house.  We will be using that information to determine if and what and where we can afford by way of a new house, which in turn, will determine what school Alex goes to and if we have to move his daycare or not and whether we will need to meet new neighbors or make ours move with us and how is this something adults do without freaking out?

Monday, July 22, 2013


I just finished the online enrollment process for Alex for school.  SCHOOL.  Like real school.  Not daycare that we call school.  School school.  Because he is going to be old enough to go to school in the fall.  I can't decide if I'm going to cry or puke.  Maybe both.

The Farm

We got to go to my sister-in-law's parents' farm on Saturday.  Alex has been asking if we can go to see the tractors and Saturday was the day.  I think he liked it...

 Seriously.  That smile!

This one was huge.  I have no idea what the function of each tractor is, but I'm guessing this one can do some serious damage to some corn.
The awe of the giant tractors didn't take an ounce of sass out this kid.  I tried to get him to look at the camera so I could get a cute picture of him with some of the corn fields in the background, but as you can see, he was too busy making sure his cousins were watching him stick his tongue out at me.  Nice.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What heat?

Our neighbor asked permission and then bought Alex a Super Soaker for his birthday.  He supposedly didn't realize it is battery operated.  Mmmhmmm.  When I saw it required batteries I knew we were in trouble.  This thing is a semi-automatic squirt gun.  Everything a 4 year old's parents need!  As soon as he opened it, I put batteries in, filled it up with water, and sent him outside to go find the neighbor.

Last night, Squirt Gun Mania 2013 erupted in our backyard.  It started with Alex running around with his new squirting assault rifle.  One by one, each of the adults were armed with their own water weapons.  Alex's was the only battery powered one, but we have the advantage of aim on our side.

I maybe accidentally blasted the neighbor with the hose while attempting to fill up my squirt gun.  Which led to Alex soaking Travis with the very same hose.  Trav retreated into the house for quite some time.  But then he laid in wait in the mud room until Alex was close to the door, but not paying attention.  And that was when he jumped out of the door and dumped a giant mixing bowl worth of water on Alex's head.  I didn't think Alex could stand up while laughing that hard. It was awesome.

After that we resorted to the sprinkler.  We were already soaked and the lawn was a little parched.  Two birds, one wet stone.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cause and Effect

Over the weekend my sister-in-law and I were talking about the kids growing.  Their boys are all slightly on the smaller side for their ages, and she said they told the boys their only jobs this summer were to eat and sleep.  (Eating + sleeping = growing.)  Alex was sitting with me and he asked me why they had those jobs.  So I asked him what he thought happened when you eat and sleep.  " get crumbs in your bed?"

Aaaand We're Back

It took a solid couple of hours of Alex being home before I was within inches of wringing his neck.  Every single thing I said on Sunday was met with back talk.  Everything.  I thought I was being sensitive to it, but Claire noticed it too.

Perfect example was when we were at the beach with Claire et al and I told him to stay in shallower water.  I told him this twice.  And the third time he went in deeper water, I told him to get out of the lake.  He started whining that it wasn't fair and he wasn't going to go in the deep water anymore and that it's fun in the deeper water and blah blah blah you ruin everything Mom.  As I was dragging his sassy ass to the beach, I explained that I already given him two chances and he didn't listen so that was that.  And with that he stopped dead in his tracks, looked up and me and said, "I mean...I think people should get like 14 chances."

He made up for it at bedtime of course.  We were snuggled up in his room and I told him I was happy he was home.  "I'm happy too Mom.  I wuv ya Mom."


We went camping with the whole family Friday through Sunday and came back to reality Sunday afternoon. It was so good to see Alex on Friday.  But that little shit did the same thing he did when we got back from California.  He spotted us both, started running toward us squealing "Mommy!" and when he got within 5 feet of me, he sharply diverted his course to run to Travis.  I'm pretty sure that's the toddler version of "Screw you Mom!  Dad's better!"  His teen years outta be fun.

Not shockingly, he had a great time.  Poor kid is a mosquito magnet though, and no matter how much bug spray you shellac him with, he'll get bitten.  And then he'll scratch the bites until they become owies.  After week camping?  He looks like a meth sores all over the place.  All over his legs and arms.  He even has one behind his ear.  Yeah, I didn't see that little gem until I sprayed him with bug spray and hit that particular spot with it.  Wanna guess what stings a whole lot?  Bug spray on an exposed owie.  Whoopsiedoodle.

His grandparents were very diligent about bug spray and sunblock.  On Saturday, Alex assured me that he was capable of applying his own sunblock.  Being the supportive mother I am (read:  I was sitting in the sun and didn't feel like getting up), I told him to go ahead and I would check him over when he was done.  I didn't have a clear line of sight, but based on his uncles' giggling, I figured I should check him out.  As I stood up, one of the uncles told me not to worry, his feet were protected...The rest of him most likely needed sunblock, but his feet were good.  I sprayed him with SPF50 and sent him on his way.  And then I looked down.  Wanna guess the exact spot he was standing when he was spraying his feet?

If you ever need to find him in a crowd, just look for the glowing white feet, 'cause not one single iota of sunshine reached any atom of melatonin in that kid's tootsies.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Miss Aiden

Having a bit of extra time this morning and having the weather not doing its best to compete with the thermometer in Hell, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and clean up the disaster my asshat of a dog once again created in my closet.  She has done this before, but I think she finally managed to rip down all of the insulation that wasn't covered by drywall, so this may be the last time.

Admittedly, this mess has been up there for quite some time, but...well...I'm lazy.  And I didn't have a breathing mask.  And the last time I cleaned up a bunch of shredded insulation, I realized a breathing mask was needed.  And it's been really hot.  Oh, and I'm lazy.  But all the heat coupled with disgusting humidity the past couple weeks has forced me to get off my butt.  The thing is, she not only shreds the insulation, she also then pees on it.  Because shredding it doesn't really convey to the inanimate insulation that she's boss; she has to humiliate it by peeing on it as well.  So, not shockingly, my closet doesn't exactly smell very good.  And at some point, the smell is gonna permeate my clothing hanging in there I would think.  I'm really hoping it hasn't already done so without my being aware of it.  I will be really sad if I've been walking around smelling like an oblivious owner of a crazy pee monster.

The mess:
Please note, the shoes were not strewn about like this before...she likes to chomp on those too.

I'm goin' in:

Obligatory dog shaming picture:

And just to show us how much she doesn't like it when we aren't home when there are fireworks outside:

In case you're wondering...yes, that is the metal door knob on Alex's bedroom door.  I have no idea how she didn't cut her mouth open a million times, but given the size of the nails holding the insulation up that she managed to avoid, I have determined this dog is a destruction mastermind.

Bring on the bugs

We got to have a night out with no worries.  My commute to and from work has been cut in half.  I got to sit on the couch on Wednesday night for three hours uninterrupted and I didn't have to give up every other bite of my ice cream.  All of these glorious freedoms for a whole week.  But guess what?


I was pulling the never ending Creeping Charlie in my yard last night and I realized it's been almost a whole week since I have heard about Alex's work friends.  How are they?  What crazy shenanigans have they been up to this week?

We are going to stay and camp with the whole fam damily this weekend.  I would prefer picking him up and coming home.  You know, less outward bigots in my 'hood and all.  But, I'm sure we will have fun.  And I need some squeezes and stories from my little beast.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PS - Jillian still reigns supreme in the role of person I have screamed swear words at the most times in my life.

Good ol' days

Since we have no child this week, we are trying to get some things done around the house that are difficult to accomplish when you are being stalked by a question-filled 4 year old.  But, that didn't stop us from shrugging all responsibility last night and deciding to go out to dinner.  A nice dinner.  A nice dinner that required me to shower and blow dry my hair.  A nice dinner that also made force Travis to put pants on.  Well, pants instead of cargo shorts.  Not like he just hangs out pantsless all the time...although that would explain Alex's obsession with being naked.

Aaaaaanyway, as we were leaving the house I got a text from Kari saying she was going to be at a local watering hole if we wanted to join her.  We had planned on grabbing a drink before dinner, so why not do just that!  Why not is because when you grab a drink with friends before dinner, dinner doesn't happen.  One drink turned into, "Welp.  I guess we're drinking dinner!"  We did manage to get across the street to a different bar around 10 or so, which was good because that bar has really really good pizza.  So we did eat!

I miss Alex a lot, but it was so nice to just be able to go do something on a whim and have plans change and have nothing matter.

Winning at everything

And for today's installment of How Does Jackie Make it Through Life:

I just went to answer the phone and whacked myself in the face whilst bringing the receiver to my ear.  

Killin' it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wandering Thoughts

I'm starting to think the birthday party wasn't the true test of my brain's ability to function properly.  We dropped Alex off with his grandparents for a week long camping trip last night, and I am currently fighting a panic attack about him being ok.  I mean, it could possibly be the two campsites flying freaking Confederate flags that have me sitting a little uneasy, but I might also be overreacting.

This week better fly by.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rhyme Time

Yesterday morning, I put some clothes on the living room table for Alex so he could get dressed at his leisure.  Shockingly, his leisure meant he didn't put any clothes on.  So, as I was getting things ready to head out the door, I told him to put on his shirt and shorts.  I was expecting the normal responses of how he didn't want to get dressed or how he couldn't figure out how to get his shirt on, but instead he chipperly reported:

Shirt...shorts...those words are really alike!  They rhyme!

I was so impressed with his realization of how close the words shorts and shirt were, I didn't bother to explain that they didn't really rhyme.  Apparently I should have taken the time to work on that lesson.

He wanted a snack when we got home yesterday, and I suggested yogurt.  He went in the fridge to grab one and saw that we had 2 cherry flavored ones in there.  He shoved them side by side in my face and declared, "These are both cherry!  They RHYME!"

Matching...rhyming...close enough, right?


Alex got to go on a field trip to the Children's Museum yesterday.  The Madison Children's Museum is awesome.  There are a zillion activities, a big water table fountain thing, and a rooftop garden complete with a chicken coop.  You can easily spend a day there.

Last night while we were eating dinner, I asked him what his favorite thing to do at the museum was.  "Ummm...prooooooobably...riding the alligator.  There weren't any excagators, but we got to ride the alligator."  Translation:  He really liked riding in the elevator.  There wasn't an escalator in the building.


Last night, we were hanging out in the backyard having a grand ol' time.  Alex was terrorizing the dogs with his dune car and I was chatting with the neighbor.  All of a sudden, I realized I didn't hear the dune car and called out for Alex.  No answer.  So I got up and walked to the front of the house to see what the little beast was up to.  And that is where I found him standing next to the hostas, in his shirt and socks, getting ready to poop in the yard again.  Seriously.  I get that kids regress sometimes with the whole potty training thing, but come on.  Regressing to the late 1800's before there was indoor plumbing?  Really?

At first he didn't admit to what he was doing, so I picked him up, put him on the stoop, and instructed him to put his clothes on.  He got a very worried expression on his face and he quickly blurted out that he had to poop.  I scooped him up and headed inside.  The whole while reminding him that we don't poop outside.  

The shock of the situation running through my mind was hampering my ability to come up with a coherent way to convey why this is unacceptable.  The best I could come up with was that people don't poop outside, dogs poop outside.  Which was immediately questioned.  "Why do dogs poop outside?  Because they don't know any better!!  YOU know better!!!!!!"

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Birthday 4.0

This birthday is right up there with the others in regard to how spoiled my child is.  He got his power wheels and a whole slew of gifts along with it.  And that was just on Saturday at my parents'!  Another onslaught of toys occurred on Sunday at our house.  He had a cake at daycare on Friday, a chocolate eclair at my parents' on Saturday, and another cake plus cupcakes at our house on Sunday.

I made a confetti cake with bright blue frosting and fish shaped sprinkles for daycare.  When I picked him up, he had his nails painted the exact same as the frosting.  His teacher sheepishly said she hoped I didn't mind, but that he wanted his nails painted when the girls were painting their nails.  It took me a moment to remember she hasn't been there long enough to witness the multiple colors of finger and toe nail polish this child has donned.  If the boy wants nail polish, have at it.

Saturday was great!  He loves the dune racer car thingy.  His driving skills are pretty darn good too.  A squink more focus on where he's going would be nice, but he has mastered the slide stop/swing into a parking spot.  It's pretty badass.  Aside from my backflip diving board accident due to my clumsiness, it was a successful day top to bottom.

Sunday was the big test.  Travis left for work and Alex and I were on our own to get ready for his party.  And I am gonna totally brag right now and tell you, I KICKED SUNDAY'S ASS.  I had his cake baked and frosted before 9:30am.  We were to the grocery store and back by 10:30.  Alex maybe went to the grocery store in his dinosaur pajamas, but whatever, he looked cute and it was his birthday weekend; anything goes.  As we pulled into the driveway, I saw my neighbor mowing my lawn, proving once again he is one of the nicest people walking the planet and way too nice to us.  So he quickly became the receipt of one of the two leftover pieces of eclair.  He claims he was the clear winner in that trade, but I beg to differ.  I continued on making food for the party and relentless asking Alex to clean up his toy room.  But not once did my brains have a meltdown.  Not once did I freeze up and lose the ability to deal with the tasks at hand.  And holy man that felt good!

I convinced Alex to take a nap around 1pm.  And when I say I convinced him, I really mean I threatened him with taking away his dune racer car if he didn't lay down.  He hadn't been able to ride it yet that day as we were charging the battery and I had way too much stuff to do to be able to supervise his inaugural trip around the yard, so this threat was particularly potent.  How long do you suppose I'm gonna be able to hold that thing over his head?  A couple years?  Sweeeeeet.

I didn't wake him up until 1:50 and people showed up exactly at 2.  Not totally awake kid+not yet having been able to ride his new car+kids that also are excited about his new car=terrified Mama.  Alex ran out and sat square in the middle of the seat of his car and attempted to tell me there wasn't room for anyone else.  With arms stretched out, palms up, there was a whole lotta, "But..ugh..I don't know what you want me to do!..ugh...look!...ugh! ugh!...there isn't enough roooooooooooooom."  I quickly told him either he moved his little butt over and let someone ride with him or he was getting out and not driving or riding that thing the rest of the day.  Amazingly, he was able to scoot over and make room for a passenger.  But that was it.  That was the only time he didn't want to share.  He even let other kids drive it!  I was so proud of him.

So proud in fact, I didn't totally freak out when he "couldn't make it inside in time" and shit in the yard during his party. Yes.  That happened.  About halfway through the afternoon, I was in the kitchen and spotted Alex coming in the front door and through the living room, pantsless.  As I was asking him why he was half naked, I saw Travis following Alex, arm stretched out with a balled up set of shorts and underwear, telling Alex to have me help him clean up and get clean clothes.  When it was obvious I was completely puzzled, Alex let me know he had pooped outside.  I was charged with tending to the boy so Travis was free to go get the pooper-scooper thing we use for the dog poop, so he could clean up the "man maker" of a turd Alex left at the side of the house.  Oh, and the clean clothes were needed because my sweet boy decided to clean himself with his shorts.  All class; all the time.

Aside from the pooping incident, Alex did a great job.  It's an awful lot to ask a 4 year old to not be a total asshole when he is presented with a zillion toys and excited people and kids that want to immediately play with the toys he just received.  It is an awful lot, but it is also something I completely and totally expect him to be able to accomplish.  And he did just that.  He shared his toys.  He played well (minus one spat).

My mom told me a while ago that she loved every different age so much when we were kids.  And that she always wanted us to stay just the age we were because she figured she couldn't be happier than she was with us at that moment.  But then the next moment came and then next age came and she realized that she just plain ol' loved us.  That.  That is exactly how I feel.

I know I complain a lot about his behavior on this blog.  And the truth is, there are a ton of times that his behavior is absolutely atrocious and complete deserving of every bit of complaining.  Being a parent is hard.  Living with a toddler is hell on Earth at times.  But the good times are just so mind blowingly good.  Each age  has had its unique make-me-want-to-pull-my-hair-out challenges and its unique happy, hilarious, silly moments.  I will always miss the things he grows out of.  I will always miss him asking me to "buckle him out" of his car seat and I will always miss the way he pronounces words.  But here's the seems as soon as he stops doing something I love, he starts doing a new thing that makes me so happy, I really have to stop and think to come up with the things I miss.  He just continually wraps me tighter and tighter around his fat little fingers.  I love this kid so much and I am so proud to be his mom.

Happy Birthday, Alex.