Beneath the Clearance Rack: A Tale of Unresolved Writer’s Block

Use Your WordsDid you know that every month you can be a part of something truly unique?  Karen of Baking in a Tornado regularly allows me to participate in the various writing challenges that she hosts and doesn’t tell me to hit the road.  At least she hasn’t yet.  If she’ll let me do it, by golly she’ll let anyone in. 

Use Your Words is one such challenge where participating bloggers provide four to six words or phrases.  These are then assigned to another blogger who can then tear his or her hair out trying to figure out how to use them in a coherent post.  These posts are simultaneously published at the same time so that you, the reader, can take in their amazingness like smelling apple pie right out of the oven.  I’m also tired and haven’t slept so I am using analogies very poorly.

That’s right.  It ain’t easy.  But yet I keep coming back every month…

This month my words were big ~ fast ~ ink ~ teddy bear ~Rumpelstiltskin ~ fart.  Oh that’s right.  One of my words was fart.  And I used it correctly in a sentence.

They were submitted by: http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com

Can't.Write.Anything.

Can’t.Write.Anything.  Nope.  Not a thing.

Once upon a time in a land not so far away there was a problem.  Not just a big problem, but a huge, gigantic enormous problem.

No matter how fast she scribbled, no matter how fast she typed,  the writer could not get the words to come out right.

She tried different kinds of ink, she tried different kinds of paper.  She even tried drinking different kinds of alcohol. No matter what she did her writing was all in vain.

She spent her nights sobbing, clutching her teddy bear, and drinking copious amounts of caffeine, hoping and praying that the words would somehow return.

“Why, why me?  Why must I be a victim of this horrible brain constipation?  Could I at least be lucky enough to have one giant word fart to relieve myself?”

All at once there was a deafening noise and a little man appeared on her keyboard.

“Who are you, Rumplestiltskin?”

Apparently this angered the little man so much he punched her in the nose and disappeared.

Later on that same evening after a binge of pretzels and various caffeinated beverages another person appeared to her.  This time she decided to keep her mouth shut, which was fine because it was actually full of pretzels.

“Follow the light.  You know the one. The red and white light in a perfect circle.  This holds the key to all that you know or think you know.”

(And she may or may not have been watching Willow earlier that evening.)

So she got in her car and went to Target.

So yeah.  Target holds all of life's secrets.

So yeah. Target holds all of life’s secrets.

The writer may not have found the words she was looking for.  But she did find underwear for $1.74, chocolate for 30% off, and a package of brightly colored lined paper which she never did use.  But that’s ok, because it was on clearance.

The moral of the story is that you may not be able to find the words you’re looking for, but you can certainly find something that you’re not looking for.  Just go to Target.  You’ll see.

This post has been brought to you by a severe case of writer’s block brought on by severe insomnia, too many pretzels, and perhaps one too many trips to Target in one week.  But you can also read posts by people who can actually produce coherent sentences when they try to write a blog post by clicking on one of the links below.

Seriously.  You just gonna sit there or are you going to click on one or two or all of those links?  Sheesh.  And I thought I procrastinated…

http://www.BakingInATornado.com                              Baking In A Tornado

http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/                          Spatulas on Parade

http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/                     Stacy Sews and Schools

http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/                                   Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

http://www.eviljoyspeaks.wordpress.com                       Evil Joy Speaks 

http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com                            Someone Else’s Genius

http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/        Confessions of a part-time working mom

http://followmehome.shellybean.com                            Follow me home . . .

http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com               The Bergham’s Life Chronicles   

http://batteredhope.blogspot.com                                Battered Hope   

The Day The Lights Went Out At Target

I have this recurring dream.  I’m at a store, and all of the lights go out and I’m totally in the dark.  This isn’t really a terrifying dream, unlike the ones I have where we have a tidal wave.  Totally unlikely as we live in Iowa.  If that ever happens, I’m moving.  More realistically, I also have lots of dreams about tornadoes.  And being naked, but never naked in a tornado.  Or a tidal wave.

snowpocalypse

Something like that is coming our way… must go to the store!

Because we have yet ANOTHER snowstorm coming our way, I popped into Target quickly to pick up a few things in between work and the 3000 other important things I needed to do.  As I have shared before, Target and all other civilization is in a nearby town.  I was in kind of a hurry, but never in too much of a hurry to check out those fabulous end caps with 30% off, 50% off, 70% off, and NINETY PERCENT OFF!

As I was making my way from the Valentine’s clearance to the shampoo aisle, this happened:

blankThat’s right, suddenly I was in complete darkness.  The lights went out completely. This was followed by a few moments of awkwardness. Then a light, then two, then ten, because smartphones!  Then the back up generators came on and were accompanied by… that’s right, the fire alarm.

What’s so amazing about that?  People, that’s what.  You’d think that 1) complete darkness followed by 2) a really loud fire alarm might get people moving.  But people kept shopping.

No, no, go ahead.  If there’s a fire you’ll burn up, that’s all.

This really, really bothered the former cashier in me (more than ten years in retail and no strange diseases contracted, thank you very much).  Hellooooo…. no one will be able to ring up your stuff.  Cash registers run on electricity people!

It wasn’t until some of the employees had to come around and assure people that while nothing seemed to be wrong other than the entire block shrouded in darkness and chaos,  they would have to leave since the fire alarms were going off.  They could put their names on their carts if they wanted to come back later.

I looked at my cart with a bottle of Miralax, a large bottle of ketchup, Craisins, my diet pop,  and two Valentine items that were 90% off and asked myself if it was really worth it to try and come back in a little bit.  It wasn’t.  So I left.

My kids were fascinated by this tale.  When I told them why I didn’t get anything in town today that was all they could think about.  They must have asked 1000 questions.
“Why did the lights go out at Target?”
“Were you scared?”
“Was there a fire?  Were the toys okay?”
“Did you die?”

That night I sat and looked at my dwindling supply of diet pop and flirted with the idea of driving all the way back to town to retrieve my precious Diet Sunkist Lemonade at the low low price of 3 for $10.

Nah…

Later on today when we are sitting at home in the middle of the next blizzardpocalypse I may very well regret that decision.  I’m lucky though because t least I’ll have some entertainment this evening.  Ironically, tonight at 8:30 pm EST there is a very special event going on. Got snow?  Got kids?  Want to gripe about the snow… and maybe the kids too?  Click on the image below to be taken to a magical place-the Moms Who Write and Blog website!

1780212_10152644617652796_746900889_oPS-If there is some kind of award for writing posts with Target as the subject I so think I need it…

Deck the Halls With Lots of Vomit, Fa La La La La…

Did you miss me the last few days?  Do you feel like I kind of left you hanging there?

Let’s review…

Previously on The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Protecting the earth from evil by dying them hideous shades of tie-dye!  Look up in the sky, it's a peacock, it's a rainbow, it's TIE-DYE GIRL!

Sewer grossness be gone!  (Because I have to put this picture in whenever I can…)

We last left our sort of heroine counting her blessings after the sewer backed up into her basement and left behind an odor similar to what one can only imagine the bog of eternal stench would smell like.

I was a little busy, but I managed to keep writing some stuff.

Enter the family Christmas this past weekend:  A little more than twenty four hours spent doing Christmas with two different families two and a half hours away from home.  Plus a visit to a third on the way home. Busy, busy, busy.

My stomach was rumbly.  I figured it was just all of the fish chowder I ate.  Or stress.  Or lack of sleep.  Or kids.  Or that I’m crazy.  I downed a Coke or two or seven and ignored it.

And while we were doing Christmas we received quite a few gifts.  However we got one additional one that we were not expecting.  A wonderful group of people in the blogging world got together to help us out in our time of stinkiness by making sure that we didn’t have to wait until after the fact to celebrate our Christmas day at home.  It’s something that I’ll never forget.

Again, for the zillionth time, thank you my friends.

Thanks to this thoughtful gift, the Monday after our weekend jaunt was spent at Target getting the presents that we had been putting off.  Even though I’d been up all night the night before with a stomachache, I was dead tired, and I felt like my food had been sitting at the bottom of my throat for two days, I was going to get my shopping finished!

As it turns out, I was pretty much spot on.  After I finished all of my shopping, I topped it off by puking for five minutes in the store bathroom.  Pretty much everything I had eaten the past day or two.  Isn’t that magical?  I’m sure that the people in the bathroom who heard me making sounds like I was dying thought so.

Then I came home and slept and puked and slept and puked in a vicious cycle that lasted through Christmas Eve.  I know there were things going on around me.  My kids played, they checked on me, they asked me for stuff.  At times I even responded with a half conscious “Honey I love you, I’m not being lazy I’m just really sick.”

I vaguely remember Evil Genius wrapping all the presents, doing the last minute grocery shopping, cooking all the meals, renting some movies, and even washing some dishes.  If there was a medal for that, I’m sure I’d dip it in chocolate and give it to him.

I said I wanted to rest and not gain any weight this Christmas, I didn’t mean it quite like that!

Luckily, I recovered enough to enjoy my kids opening their presents, and a wonderful dinner and dessert cooked by Evil Genius.  I was even conscious for most of it.

December 2013

See the tie-dyed shirt that Evil Genius is wearing? Is that not the coolest shirt ever in the history of geekdom. And sadly not in my size.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s back to the real world.  I’m still not feeling well *urp* but there are no more excuses and I have to work as well as attempt to do those things known as chores.  The kids are for the most part well entertained by their gifts, except when they’re not.  Yesterday as I attempted to do the working from home part of my job I heard my daughter yell at least once “Mommy I’m LONELY!”

Translation-she’s ready to go back to school already.  We’re only a little ways into the SIXTEEN day break that the kids have this year.  Wow.  They have it rough.  We may not survive this…

The Professor is good, because he has a lot of screens to look at and that makes him happy.  Except when he’s not.

Oh… and the Christmas card?  Remember that from last week’s Fly on the Wall post?  After all that had happened, I thought I had better be a good girl and take them with me while I was visiting family and work on them in the spare time I foolishly thought I would have.

Then I left them at my mom’s house, because apparently the flu which infected my gut had already seeped into my brain, I just didn’t know it.

Once my brain began comprehending things, I mentioned something to my mom and she immediately sent them to me, only they no longer can be considered Christmas cards.  We’re now in the beginning stages of turning them into New Year’s cards, with only a few days before I have to send them.  The beginning stages as in I bought stuff to make them with and have felt too lousy and had too little time to do anything with them.

We’ll see how long before I just give up and figure that this year Christmas has just officially kicked my butt.

I hope you are all having a joyous holiday thus far!  I hope you actually got your Christmas cards sent out, enjoyed a lovely time with your family, and are enjoying the stretch of time between the two holidays without any sort of poop or puke in your midst.  Let me know how your holiday went by telling me in the comments!

And I leave you with my absolute favorite picture from the holiday…

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Where else do you play with catnip mice but in a Christmas kitty bag?

Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My…Purse (At Target)

guinea pig dream

This weekend I have been busily preparing for a library event that will occur on Monday afternoon.  There is no school in our district tomorrow, and since we are trying to hold more programs when there are early outs and no school, I devised this idea of having a day of “fall fun”.  I told kids to BYOP-Bring Your Own Pumpkin-to decorate.  There will also be hot apple cider in my crockpot, some crafts, some little games, and kids are allowed to wear their costumes.  Fun, right?

I am freaking out.

I have no idea what kind of turn out there will be and whether or not we will be able to keep them occupied.  When I obsess over things, I tend to a) Not sleep at all b) Have bizarre dreams c)  Sleep some and have bizarre dreams when I do sleep.

I have a feeling I’ll be having some sort of weird dream or two tonight.  And in anticipation of that I started putting together a post of dreams.  After I have weird dreams I write down what I remember in a draft here on WordPress.  As I looked through my site, I saw I had quite a few drafts.  I figured that I hadn’t written about any of my weirdo dreams in quite a while.  Those of you who have followed my blog for quite some time may recall that yeah, I have had some dreams that are pretty freaky!

What kind of dreams?  Well, for example, earlier this year in an obvious attempt by my psyche to prepare for the CMT Awards (which I didn’t watch) I had a dream about Blake Shelton.

Ok you horndogs, not THAT kind of dream…

For those of you who are new to my blog, this is the part where you will probably want to stop following me and run and hide lest you let people know that you follow a weirdo like me.

So for you who are not too afraid to keep reading here is a brief synopsis of the dream:

I dreamed that Blake Shelton was married to Sandra Bullock.  They moved here and bought a farm near me. Then they adopted a girl from China and enrolled her at the preschool that I worked at. Only it wasn’t a preschool, yet it WAS a preschool, in a Kmart.

I only hesitated to share this previously because I am deathly afraid of Miranda Lambert coming here and bashing my head in with her guitar.  She could totally do that because I’m convinced that she’s somehow related to Christopher Lambert…

A couple of weeks ago I dreamed that I had to go to my child’s elementary school with my husband. In my pajamas. When I returned home, I saw that my cat was missing part of her tail.  It was gone-chopped off.  I started bawling.  “My poor cat!”  I cried as a stepped into my living room group shower. All the while tornado sirens were going off.  The sky was black.  But you know I had to take that shower RIGHT THEN.

(You’d really think that whole living room shower thing would have made me realize that “Hey, this is a DREAM!”  Nope.  I never realize it until I wake up.)

I’ve also had dreams that involved me traveling around with a cat in my purse and going to someone’s house and leaving with one of their shoes and one of my shoes on my feet.

dream meaningIf my psyche really does have something to say, here are some facts according to my dreams:

All roads lead to Target (I really do have a lot of dreams about Target, it’s kind of disturbing when you think about it.)

Tony Stark is an excellent dancer.  We also volunteer together on a regular basis (Don’t ask, I don’t get it either.)

Toilets are only in the middle of rooms.

School and work are places that I am always going but never actually get to.  However, a lot of times I wind up at Target.  Shocker.

Random celebrities help me break into buildings.

Veterinarians drive “veterinarian vans” that are fully furnished on the inside.  Yes, at Target.

Hidden trap doors are common escape routes in your house.

My husband is going to find out that deep dark secret that apparently I keep under the pillow in my bedroom.

Nudity is not the exception to the rule, even at Target.

What kind of weird dreams do YOU have?  Are celebrities involved?  I’d love to hear all about it…

IMG_1725

Is she going to have bizarre dreams like me when she grows up?

Help, HELP! I’m Trapped at Target!

I am passionate about… shopping at Target.

A bad day shopping at Target is better than the best day NOT shopping at Target. Am I right?

In case you haven’t noticed, Target features quite predominantly in many of my posts. There was the dream where I lost my daughter when she ran into a Target.
Target figured predominantly in the post about my daughter’s petrified poop.
And who can’t write a post about misbehaving kids without sticking a Target reference in there…

Maybe this on our Target's door would make me NOT go in?  If only.

Maybe this on our Target’s door would make me NOT go in? If only.

I tell ya, it’s that famous hypnotic eye.  It does stuff to you.  Hypnotic eye?  If you read Parenting, Illustrated With Crappy Pictures, Amber Dusick penned (er, drew) it perfectly.  She surmises that bullseye is actually a big eye that hypnotizes you into buying all kinds of crap you really don’t need.  She is a genius-she is so right.  It’s either some sort of hypnotic eye or something they pipe into the store, like a nerve gas…

So my story today begins with a shopping trip.  This particular day I had come to town to get ingredients for a pudding cake.  If you’ve never had pudding cake, it may sound kind of weird.  Basically it’s a yellow cake with holes poked in it and then chocolate pudding poured over it.  Me not being a pudding person or a cake person, I wasn’t all that excited about it, though I was intrigued since I had never seen such a thing.  But The Princess was totally enthralled by the idea of making such a magical treat and off I went to get the ingredients.

As I stood in Fareway amongst the cake mixes, that’s when Target started calling to me.  I quickly moved to the pop aisle to check some prices.  I was trying to do the math on my pop because I’m addicted to Diet Sunkist Lemonade and must get it as cheap as possible.  I concluded that I could save a whole 50 cents if I drove over to Target-don’t mock me, it was the damn store calling me from clear across town.

targetI arrived at Target and was instantly lured in by it all.  I am incapable of just walking into Target, getting something, and getting out.  I have to see it all, lest I miss a great deal on something I can’t live without. It doesn’t help that the soda aisle is clear almost in the back of the store.  You have to go past everything just to get there.  There is something in that store that causes your mind to go blank.  You have to go perusing the end of every aisle trying to remember just what you went in there for.  15% off!  30% off!  And occasionally 50% and 70% off!  When Easter stuff was 90% off, I almost bought some of it just to say I got something for 90% off.

Apparently whatever it is that clouds your brain works a little too well.  What should have taken five minutes took 30 minutes.  I walked up to the front with my twelve pack of pop and paid the cashier, parked the cart and left to go out to the car.  This particular day I had brought my husband’s car.  His fancy schmancy Nissan doesn’t actually use keys.  It has buttons.  This is both good and bad.  Good because you never have to actually take the keys out of your pocket, and bad because you never have to actually take the keys out of your pocket.

I got in and realized that there were no keys in my pocket.  Which meant I had taken the keys OUT of my pocket at some point, even though I didn’t NEED the keys for anything because THE CAR STARTS WITH A BUTTON.  Step on the brake, push the button. As long as the keys are in the car it is supposed to start.

According to the car, there were no keys in it.  It did not start.  C-r-a-p.

Reality was starting to sink in.  I returned to the store and asked at the service desk. No keys.  I asked at the checkout.  They had not seen them either.  This meant that I had left my keys in the cart. I must be very weak, because I needed a cart for one item.

So I started looking through all of the carts.  I went around the outside and peeked into each cart.  Then I frantically starting pulling carts out.  No keys. Pretty soon this behavior attracted some attention-the guys in the red polos came over to help the crazy lady throwing around the carts.

After a few minutes of this with no avail I walked away and decided to call my husband.  He didn’t answer.  I texted him too.  No response.  Fabulous.

This was when I realized that I was TRAPPED IN TARGET.  This is like having PMS and being locked inside a Chocolaterie Stam.  It can only end very badly, with the Starbucks smells and the bargains, I could very well be in big trouble.

I had one thing working for me-sooner or later Evil Genius was going to realize that his wife had not returned with those ingredients.  Just to be sure, I messaged him on Facebook.  “Hey, check your phone!”  Then I tweeted…

keys target(For the record, Evil Genius doesn’t Twitter for religious reasons.  He thinks it’s stupid.)

The minutes dragged on.  The awesome employees at Target were busting their humps trying to help little old me.  One girl walked all through the store on the off chance that maybe I had laid my keys down to look at something.  Another girl called around to the other employees to keep their eyes open for them.  They finally gave me a choice-I could give them my number when the keys turned up, or they could try to make an announcement over the loudspeaker.  I chose to wait it out and give them my number since I was already dying of embarrassment (have YOU ever heard them use the intercom at Target?  Me neither).

Thankfully, by this time Evil Genius had finally answered my repeated phone calls, and was ready to drive the half hour to get me if need be.  We decided to wait twenty more minutes. Two minutes after I hung up with him one of the service desk girls came bringing them to me.  They were in a cart, taking another ride all around the store.  I snatched them and got the heck out of there.

lost keysI arrived home over an hour later than I had intended.  I had to share my experience on Facebook when I got home.  Man I was proud of myself! An extra hour in Target with nothing to do but wait and I survived without buying anything extra!

For the record, it was all worth the trip to town.  As you can see, the story had a happy ending.  She got to make her pudding cake…

Pudding cake diva

Pudding cake diva

This post was written as part of Finish The Sentence Friday.  Click the link and check out what other people are passionate about.  By the way I AM passionate about other things…

EXTREME GREEN!

It's not necessarily easy being green.

It’s not necessarily easy being green.

In honor of Earth Day I thought I’d share a little about our efforts to be a little more healthy.

The other night I asked Evil Genius if his pants were sufficiently wrinkle free.

“HUH?”

“Well, I noticed that they looked kind of, well, creasy.  And do your clothes smell acceptable?”

Blank look.

Obviously he has no clue.  “I bought different detergent and fabric softener.”

“Oh.”  Apparently he didn’t notice nor did he care.

Not only did I buy different stuff, I bought the stuff I’ve always wanted to buy.  The kind that Evil Genius likes to refer to as that “All Natural Crap”.  That’s what he called my Method dish detergent.  I notice he didn’t make fun of the Norwex stuff, that’s because that stuff actually works.  Which reminds me, I still need to get me a Norwex dish rag.

The stuff was on sale.  I was weak (I was probably hungry).  And it smelled of lavender and blue eucalyptus.  That sounded so nice, like it was made by little koalas in a tree or something.

Smells sooooo good...

Smells sooooo good…

I’ve blogged on here in the past about my efforts to do things more naturally, and my whole laughable attempt at real food.  The real food thing went down the drain when I was working all the time.  I cringed and bought the cans of Pillsbury biscuits to eat with our soup.  Actually it was more at the thought of having to pop those cans open than it was of eating all that stuff that will probably kill us tomorrow.

It would be a lot more realistic doing that sort of eating if I would lay off the diet pop.  Coke Zero was my friend while I was working and I probably already have given myself spleen cancer or some other rare thing by drinking those giant mugs of it every day.

So the whole green thing not going so well until now.  My laundry smells really nice and other than it being more “creasy” I’m happy with it.

Over in the food department, I’ve been trying to avoid artificial colors and whatnot.  Especially when it comes to things like mac and cheese.  My kids are obsessed with the Kraft kind.  We haven’t been eating stuff in a box for years, except the occasional tuna helper and mac and cheese that Grandma brings us.  So of course when Target had a big sale on Annie’s Naturals we had to get some.  They have the best stuff!  So I went a little overboard.

She had to be in the picture.  Ham...

She had to be in the picture. What a ham…

What do you think?  Too much?

So now that I am a full time SAHM we’re eating better again.  And our clothes smell great-though I will insert my complaint here that after I bought that fabric softener every store within 100 miles of here has quit carrying it.  Just like my Crystal Light Pure.  Damn.  I settled on Method fabric softener this time.  Lavender and Lilac.  Happy face.

Although I’m having a devil of a time of keeping up on much of anything these days, there are some websites that I like to visit that are “green”.  A few of my favorite healthy/green sites:
Green Moms and Kids
100 Days of Real Food
My Whole Food Life
Savvy Homemade Living
Wellness Mama
Gaiam

I hope you have a happy Earth Day!  Go forth and be green and healthy!

happy earth day

 

Princess Constipation and the Case of the Petrified Poop

Last month I was taking the laundry out of the dryer.  Now there’s nothing really unusual about that, I do that often (at least once a week).  What WAS unusual about it was WHAT I found in that load of laundry.  There were the usual socks with no mates, the jeans that didn’t get quite unbunched and had to be run through again because they weren’t quite dry, a receipt from Evil Genius’s pocket…

And there was poop.

Not just any poop, we’re talking a perfectly preserved petrified poop.  Don’t you just love my use of consonance there?

Me being the poop detective, examined the evidence and quickly concluded that it belonged to The Princess.  She had been very good about putting her laundry in the hamper, and bringing it down to the washer.  I should have known that there was something fishy going on.

Of course upon confronting her (not with the actual evidence, I wasn’t about to carry that around the house) she at first denied it but then burst into tears.  If it had been a crime show, she would have confessed “Yes it was I who pooped and put it in the washer.”

Literally.

Literally.

I got to thinking after the fact that I really hadn’t seen her poop much since I started work.  When we were at home all the time she would make sure that I knew that she had pooped in the potty, the size, and sometimes even the consistency.  This was because I had gotten in the very bad habit of rewarding her with a bit of candy when she did go.  This started quite some time ago when she was so backed up that we had to put her on Miralax-the poor kid was afraid to go because she would hold it in until it hurt terribly to go.  Anytime we could get her to poop in the potty was a small victory.

There, everything you ever wanted to know about my daughter’s poop but were afraid to ask.

Institutional food as a whole tends to not be real full of fiber rich foods, at least not in the way that she is used to eating them at home.  This is no reflection on the quality of the food there.  This preschool has the best cook on this side of the earth.  She is amazing.  I still make many of her recipes for the kids at home, and they gobble them up.  I was pretty stoked to come back to work to eat her food, even though it would probably impact my waistline-it’s so good you reall can’t have just a little bit!  However, despite how yummy it all was it was pretty obvious that we were going to make some changes to what Princess Constipation ate.  After all, we already had her on the Miralax, and a pretty hefty dose at that.  And every morning she asks for plain yogurt with honey and granola which we throw in a good amount of flaxseed.

What to do, what to do…I looked at the menu for the week, trying to decide what to do.  The Princess came over to look at it alongside me and finally asked “Can I just take the fruits and vegetables like I eat at home to school?”  Genius.  We could start from there!

If you are a frequent Target shopper like me, you have seen the little bento boxes that they started carrying in their Circo line of kids stuff.  They’re not bad pricewise, and having had children from Japan that brought their own food to school, they’re pretty authentic.  I’m a sucker for that kind of thing-I’ve always wanted to have my own bento box.  So naturally I bought one.  I wasn’t sure how it would work, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised.

Cute little bento boxes, Target style.

Cute little bento boxes, Target style.

Here is what one looks like taken apart.  I think these are really cool!

Here is what one looks like taken apart. I think these are really cool!

This is where Princess Constipation really surprised me.  Not only did she want to bring her own fresh fruits and vegetables, she also wanted to bring her own whole grain main dishes.  Whole wheat tortillas with hummus, whole wheat cheese quesadillas, whole grain pasta with cheese and tomatoes.  Even on days when they had things that I thought she’d be all over, she still would rather eat her own food than eat the fare with the other kids.  I couldn’t help but smile about this.  I must be doing something right with this one.

Not to mention it was really cute to hear her say “I’m on a high fiber diet.”

She loved carrying the bento box to school in her Hello Kitty lunchbox.  She got upset on the few days that they were having something like chili that she could eat that was high fiber and I hadn’t made any moves to pack her some food.  I ended up putting stuff in it anyway, usually peppers and mandarin oranges.

She’s a little bummed now that she’s done with preschool, but is very excited to take her little bento box to school next year.  One more plus for kindergarten!

We had kindergarten roundup yesterday, but that’s a story for another time…

Theme Thursday: Kids (Mine, Yours, Theirs…)

Theme Thursday

Theme Thursday is a weekly happening where bloggers come together and link up their takes on a theme chosen by Jenn at Something Clever 2.0.  This week’s theme is Other People’s Kids. 

I readily admit that I had a lot of trouble doing this week’s theme post.  It wasn’t necessarily the topic.  After all, I work with kids.  I went to school to work with kids.  I like kids a lot!  After playing around with a lot of different things, I finally just started writing what came out of my head easiest.  I don’t think this post is really about other people’s kids anymore.  Oh well, I’m ADD, remember?  And my throat is really sore.  And my own kid won’t poop.  I’m a little distracted.

Sometimes I can’t help but shake my head at some of the stuff I’ve seen.  Don’t worry, my kids are the cause of some of the head shaking.

This one has raised an eyebrow or two.

This one has raised an eyebrow or two.

My kids certainly aren’t perfect.  I’m sure that people that don’t know me have passed judgement on my kids and/or me on a number of occasions.  I feel like I’m not qualified to judge on other kids and how that kid is acting at that particular time.  I don’t know what their situation is, or if their children have special needs, or if maybe the kid just needs a nap really badly.

I never miss an opportunity to use this picture!!!!

I never miss an opportunity to use this picture!!!!

I’m sure that people wonder what the hell is going on when my kids are throwing a tantrum in Target.  The truth is I probably told them no and they aren’t getting their way.  Imagine that!  Sometimes though, there is stuff I see that just screams to be made fun of.  Like this:

The sad thing is that I've seen this in real life.  More than once.

The sad thing is that I’ve seen this in real life. More than once.

After all, we do live in an era where shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras” has viewership.  All I can think when I see references to it is “What are you people smoking???” Never seen the show, never will.  My daughter is referred to in this blog as Princess Whatever-We-Are Calling-Her-That-Day.  We strive to make sure she believes that she is NOT a princess.

There is no royalty in our house, though she thinks she is the queen.

There is no royalty in our house, though she thinks she is the queen.

Today Princess It’s-All-About-Me announced to me that she no longer likes princesses.  She likes kitties.  That is fine with me, other than the fact that I have now had to sit through Aristocats four times in the last month.

My daughter.  She thinks she is all that...

My daughter. She thinks she is all that… I may call her Princess here, but we don’t let her think she’s one!

We really try to make our kids NOT be spoiled brats.  Sometimes they can be very trying.  We have to have a sense of humor about this stuff.

I can't imagine where they get it from...

I can’t imagine where they get it from… Evil Genius in the fort he made.

But really, when you think about it, there are some pretty historically bad parents.  These parents make some of today’s parents pale in comparison.  Like Joan Crawford.  Or Darth Vader…  Think about how their kids turned out.

parent darth

The truth is, no matter how good of a parent you are, no matter what you are doing, there is going to be someone who is going to disagree and tell you that your are totally raising your kids wrong.  I was born in the seventies.  We grew knowing the Bill Cosby style of parenting.  Now that’s probably considered wrong!  You can’t yell “Let the beatings commence!” or say “Let me describe the brain damage.”anymore without getting some seriously judgemental looks.

I'm not judging.

I’m not judging.

So in summary… unless it’s something totally, utterly wrong, I’m not going to be openly judging you, or your kids.  I’m nice like that.

Be sure to check out all of the posts at the Theme Thursday link up.

I Peed My Pants At Wal-Mart and Other Tales of Mommy Incontinence

HA HA HA. Not.

We’re avoiding Target as much as possible these days because it’s just too darn fun.  Target just goes from 0 to $100 in no time flat.  It’s those dang end aisles, the clearance, and stuff that is just really cool!  Any list you bring in there somehow disintegrates or gets extra items added to it.  Therefore we’re forced to go to my least my favorite place in the world, Wal-Mart.  On the list today is the biggest bag of dog food for the smallest price and pasta that helps us poop. Sounds like a fun trip, doesn’t it?

Upon inspection of the dog food prices, it looked like the 50 pound bag of Ol’Roy was going to be the best deal.  Less than $20 for 50 pounds of dog food?  That’s, um, less than 50 cents a pound (don’t ask me to break it down more than that).  We’re used to buying the 17 pound bags of Puppy Chow with a coupon.  But this is MUCH cheaper.  I don’t know why we even bother, the dog would rather eat trash or steal our food than actually eat dog food.  I sat and watched him eat a stick today.  Really?

Of course now that I have made the decision that yes indeedy this is what we are going to buy, I realize that it may be difficult to get it into the cart.  How do other people buy that stuff anyway?  Do you go find someone and ask for them to haul it up front?  Oh wait, that’s Target.  Repeat after me, Target is BAD.  It has the hypnotic eye.

I study the bag carefully.  It’s only 50 pounds.  I’m not a professional weightlifter, I just say it like that because I have kids that weigh not much less than that who still insist on being carried.  But this bag is just so, BIG.  I figure I can probably slide it onto the bottom part of the cart.  I pulled on the bag, it slid towards me pretty easily.  I grabbed hold of it with all of my might and pulled it off the top of the pile.

And as the bag came off and into my waiting arms, I peed my pants.  That’s right, I dribbled right into my own undies.  I was now at Wal-Mart with a wet crotch, staggering around with a bag of dog food that weighed more than my seven year old son.  I really hope the “People of Wal-Mart” cam didn’t happen to be following me right at that moment.  If so, I can assure you that I am wearing adequate clothing and no children were buried under things in my cart.

I admit it, I’ve dribbled in more places than a leaky garden hose.  Thanks kids.

Ah the joys of motherhood.  It’s amazing how a body that can hold another human being inside of it can’t contain it’s own pee.  It’s not a new problem for me, I’ve had it since I gave birth to my son.  It’s not like I just pee my pants randomly though, there’s always some sort of force involved.

Have you ever walked down a hallway, stopped and crossed your legs because you knew a sneeze was coming?  I call it the “Antipee Maneuver”, because when you have those issues you have to make some adjustments to anything that involves moving around and muscle contractions.  Take the gym.  I used to go to exercise classes religiously at 5:30 in the morning two or three days a week (yeah I don’t know how I ever did that either).  It was ok except for anything that involved jumping.  I am unable to do jumping jacks without wetting myself.  So I do a sort of half  jack where I don’t actually spread my legs.  It’s more like just jumping while I wave my hands in the air. I also can’t jump rope.  When we would do jump roping, I would have to do it one leg at a time.  Fortunately no one else caught on that I was struggling.

It doesn’t stop there.  My husband knows darn well that he can make me pee my pants.  He knows because he’s seen me do it.  He’s been known to pick me up and shake me, tickle me, or sneak up and scare me, all with the same result-a little bit of tinkle in the nether regions.  This evening he thought it would be EXTREMELY funny to sit on me and tickle me.  I warned him about the consequences of said tickling-in other words I shrieked, “I HAVE ALREADY PEED MY PANTS ONCE TODAY, DON’T MAKE ME DO IT AGAIN!!!!”  He quit, but more because I wasn’t being any fun than it was from my threatening voice.

At thirty eight years old, I know by now that it pays to be prepared for most situations.  But since I am ADD, I tend to NOT be prepared unless it’s that time of the month.  I just forget until it’s too late.  I’ve been known to have to buy new underwear when out and about for the day.  I’ve also been known to go home and change my pants and come back.  You’d think I’d learn to have either pantiliners or emergency underwear handy, much like I have extra underwear for my kids just in case.  Nope.

Hey I bet you’re wondering what happened to the bag of dog food.  Oh I got in on the cart.  I had to pretty much lay on the floor of the aisle and shove the bag on to the little part underneath the cart.  I also managed to somehow get it out of the cart and into my trunk.  It’s still in my trunk.  My husband can bring it in, because I bet he won’t pee his pants doing it.  Guys have it so easy.

It’s really hard to find images for this post. Just sayin.

Dear Santa: I’m Giving You An Over Two Month Start to Run And Hide

I have a big problem with Christmas before Halloween. They got what they deserved…

We have one rule around these parts.  No Christmas until after Halloween.  I mean it!  I’m not kidding!  Don’t even think about it!  Not a word!

Nothing makes me more aggravated than retailers taking advantage by getting their Christmas on before we go begging for candy.  There was actually a Christmas commercial on yesterday, and I yelled at the TV.  COME ON PEOPLE!  You have almost two whole months to get your stuff sold after Halloween!  Let’s enjoy the spooky season before we start in on the fa la las.  I used to work in retail, at Kmart.  I know what I’m talking about.

There is one exception to this rule.  We usually have to make a Christmas list around this time of year for Grandma and Grandpa.  They start early.  So around the beginning to the middle of October I have to utter the word “Christmas”, as in “What do you want for Christmas?”  Then after that I try to go back to pretending that we don’t care about it until after Halloween.  I ask this first of my son.  “Hmmmm.” He says.  There is silence, long silence.  In fact the silence is so long that I ask him if he remembers what the question was.  He does.  This was something that was not supposed to be a hard question. “Well…” he finally sighs, bringing his finger to his chin as he ponders the question some more, “There is this video game that I want.  It’s a Mario game.  It’s for the Wii…”

I stop him right there, “We’re not getting a Wii.  We have an Xbox.”  Along with at least 17 other gaming systems, just no Wii.  That may bring my children joy.  “Think a little harder.  Surely there’s something that we CAN get you for a system we have.”

“Ok.  Well there’s this other Mario game that I want.  But it’s for a Nintendo 3DS.”  He has a DS Lite, one that we bought used from Gamestop.  We weren’t sure how his ADD would agree with 3D.

This was my response:  “We’re not getting a 3DS.  Come on, really?”

He smacks his head and groans, “RRRRRR, I just… can’t think of anything!”  The fists are clenched, and he’s getting angry with his thoughts. Maybe we’ll try this again later.  I relieve him of his frustration by telling him he can go play his DS.

The Professor, last Christmas. It’s usually more of a Chandler Bing smile than this, but I’ll take it.

The next person I ask this question is of course Princess Give Me Everything in the World.  I ask her as she cruises through the living room with her stuffed donkeys, “Grandma wants to know what you would like for Christmas.  Do you know?”  She stops dead in her tracks and turns to look at me, her eyes big as saucers.  Very confidently she tells me:  “YES!  I want the great big Hello Kitty house with the kitchen so that they can cook food, so all of my Hello Kittys can eat.  I want Princess Barbies, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, because I don’t have those.  I want a pony library book, but I want one I can keep, forever…”  This continues on for five minutes at least.  It’s pretty obvious that she knows what she wants.

Her shirt says “Dear Santa I Want It All”. Yes, she does. I have the list to prove it.

I really should have just stopped there, and shielded her from all toys until after Christmas.  A few days after this conversation takes place, she and I go out to fill a prescription at Target while her brother is at school.   It is the middle of October, and it is painfully obvious that Santa is closing in on Jack and his friends.  My kids love to go look at the Halloween stuff.  So do I, so that’s not a hard request to fulfill.  They already have their costumes, we’re out trick or treating so there is no candy to buy, and my kids know me well enough that we don’t buy any Halloween decorations until the day AFTER Halloween.  Here is what happened the last time we went to the Target Halloween aisle.

While killing time waiting for the prescription, we go to look at the Halloween things.  Right away I can tell that she’s not interested.  She’s looking at the Christmas lights, and all of the Christmas stuff which is dangerously close to the Halloween stuff.  Her eyes are just as big as they were when I asked her what she wanted for Christmas.  I know what’s coming.

“Mommy, can we look at the toys?” she asks in her most precious little voice.   I eye her suspiciously.  I’m waiting for Admiral Ackbar to come running out and yell “It’s a TRAAAP!”  However, we are not in a hurry for once, so what’s the worst that can happen?

We go to look at the toys.  Now remember, pretty much anything she sees she wants.  Well, any “girl” thing she sees she wants.  Anything with sparkles.  Anything pink, including all the stuff from the Susan G Komen foundation (does she REALLY need a pink box of maxipads or a swiss army knife?  I don’t think so).  As we approach the “Girl” aisles as she calls them, I start speeding up because I know where this is going.  “Mommy, can we put that on my list?  Mommy I want this!  Mommy can we buy that toy?”  I counted about 63 things that she asked for in one small section of an aisle.  At one point, she seriously asked for the entire display of Squinkies.

(Squinkies, for those who are not familiar with these, are the teeniest tiniest toy in the whole wide world. They are the modern version of the crappy stuff that we used to get out of the machines for a dime, they even come in the same plastic bubble things.  If you ever purchase these for a child keep in mind that they breed in dark places-they especially love couch cushions and vents.  Much like DS games, now that I think about it)

At one point I asked her if I should simply write “Target:  The Whole Toy Section” on her list and send it.  She replied, “That would be great!”  Some lady that was in the same aisle as us snorted and snickered, trying to be polite by not guffawing.  I sensed somehow that she was a mom too and felt my pain.

I have told her many times that just because she asks for it or wants it, she does necessarily get it for Christmas.  This does not seem to phase her.  This is why I pretty much steer clear of the toy aisle when we go to any store that has one (which is REALLY hard, because even Kum and Go has toys now!)  Why did they quit sending out the Sears catalog again?  That way she can go through it and circle everything in the catalog like I did, and maybe have it narrowed down to a few hundred items by December 1st.

So Grandma, did you get all that?  One that knows not what he wants and one that knows she wants it all.  However, I think we’ll stick to the original things that she asked for, without all of the visual reminders of everything else she wants.  I know you’ve already started your shopping, but you’ll be getting some sort of list at some point.  My part will be very short.  I just want a new brain.

I’ll take it! Does it come in purple? Do you suppose it could be gift wrapped?