I Started a Riot – in a Church

When Munchkin turned 4, we got her an “elf on a shelf” from “Elf Magic” and it is a stuffed type elf with yarn for hair. Very cute.  She came with snowflake paper cut-outs that you sprinkle on her and a little letter that was so sweet.  The only instructions were to leave a cracker and water out for the elf and sprinkle her with snowflakes every night.

I totally had a brain fart and was too damn lazy to go look at it when I remembered (last month) that I needed to order Bugaboo one.  So I ended up ordering from somewhere different and he got the actual Elf on a shelf plastic dude. (sort of ugly and creepy looking). Well plastic dude (who we named Scotty) came with a freakin’ instruction book and apparently the rules :eyebrow: say that you are not supposed to touch them or you’ll drain their magic or some crap. Who knew? Munchkin has been playing with her elf for a long time. So I just ignored that part and carried on.

Last night, Bugaboo wanted to take Elf Scotty to the library. Sure. Whatever gets a 3 year old out of the house without a temper tantrum. Right? We leave the library after reading to Scotty and having a nice (sans tantrums) time and go to pick up Munckin from her Girl Scouts meeting (which is held in a church). 

As we stood in the church lobby with all the Girl and Boy scout moms and kids, Bugaboo starts playing with Elf Scotty. 


One kid was seriously crying. And another kid is like “mommy see he plays with his elf. I want to take (whatever he named it – I can’t remember) to school!” The mother shot me a look designed to kill me.

So kids were screaming. Moms were scrambling and I just wanted the floor to open up.

So if you read about a riot in a church — it was me. Now to find some wine and figure out what those damn elves are going to do tonight. I’m thinking fishing in the toilet is a good activity……………………  or maybe this will happen……


Enemies of the Clutz

Clutz – Someone who is extremely careless, stupid and a hazard to be around. Trips over shoes constantly, breaks anything he touches, should not be allowed around heavy machinery or anything that might put other’s lives in danger. (from urban dictionary)

I am a clutz. No doubt about it. From the time I was born I have been a clutz.  I could blame it on the fact that I grew to fast, I have big feet, I have depth-perception issues or on a whole host of issues. But the point is, if the floor is wet, I will fall.

A few years ago, I walked into a very nice resort with a beautiful slate floor. The problem is that it was raining.  I slipped and did the “running man” where you run forward, trying to catch yourself.  I caught myself, all right.  By running, face first, into a jagged rock wall.  I came to looking up at the resort manager asking me my name and if I knew where I was.  I said something about being there for a legal conference to which she responded, “You’re an attorney” and everyone around me (we were all there for the conference) said “Yes, we are all attorneys,” to which I swear she said, “Oh shit!”  One ambulance ride later I was in the ER where I found out that sadly, my nose was not broken.  I was hoping for some plastic surgery – never did like my nose. Unfortunately the doctor said it would go right back to the way it was in a few days when the swelling and black eyes faded.

Last night I thought the meeting started at 6:30.  Only after I had settled Bugaboo in the tub did I realize it started at 6:00 meaning that we were currently already 5 minutes late.  Toddlers don’t like being disrupted when they are in the middle of their favorite activity (bathing) and so he proceeded to throw a fit. You may recall that I have previously been taken out by Bugaboo throwing his plate of food on the floor.  Yes, that was me – the one who slipped on corn and dislocated my knee.  So this time, you’d think I’d be more careful. Nope – ran in the bathroom and WHOOSH!  Flat on my back on the pink tiled floor.  Today my behind provides a remarkable imprint of that tile pattern.  Luckily I escaped this time with minor bruising and a twisted ankle.  I’m not telling anyone though. I can just see the medical records……………Clutz strikes again.

So just call me Clumsy

If you are also Clumsy, let me offer this advice.  Enemies of the Clutzy include –

  • High heeled shoes, wedges or flip-flops – you should avoid these type shoes at all costs.  Clutzes can’t just break a heel like normal people. No, your heel gets caught in the escalator while the rest of you continues moving. Your flipflop melts a bit and adheres to the hot tar of the pavement while you continue to walk. Wedges are just disastrous and not designed for those who lack balance.  Trust me.
  • Stairs, escalators and moving walkways – need I even explain why? 
  • Wet surfaces – just avoid them at all costs.  I am currently working on obtaining a statement from my doctor which excuses me from mopping, bathing, washing my children or dogs, and doing laundry.  I do not do well around wet surfaces.  Perhaps it is because I like swimming so much that my behind desires to be in direct touch with the wet floor?  All I know is that clutzes need to turn and walk away (slowly and carefully) when they see the wet floor sign.
  • Round Objects – balls, beads or other round objects on the floor will inevitably end up underneath your feet.  ‘Nough said
  • Toddlers and pets – yes they will rush at your ankles and knees and yes, they will take you out.
  • Rushing – just when you think you have mastered the art of walking without falling, along comes a deadline.  Rushing is just a way of insuring disaster will come.

The best product for a clutz

Aflac – seriously.

Their accident policy is a blessing.  I collect on it every year (I shouldn’t brag about that probably).  It started when I fell down the stairs at my apartment 10 years ago, just 6 months after getting the policy.  Submitted the doctor’s bill for the diagnosed “Bruised buttocks – use hemoroid-like pillow for sitting” and collected $$.  Then there were the 2 car accidents (only 1 of which was my fault), followed by the run-in (literally) with the rock wall, described above.  Another fall down the stairs (this time they were not carpeted) and then the slip on corn incident.  Too bad my Aflac coverage ended with my last job.  Then again, I’m not sure they wouldn’t try to disqualify me based on my pre-existing condition as a diagnosed Clutz!

(are you a clutz? tell me your best story in the comment section)







Whew – I’m exhausted!

We had a very nice Easter vacation. On Thursday I efficiently managed a 237 person child support docket.  Finished at 3, I rushed home and we were out the door and on the road at 4.  Partway through our 8 hour drive, we received a phone call from the window installation company – they had an opening on Monday.  Did we want it? Sure, why not? I was off Monday so that sounded good.

We had a great visit with my sister and her family. We actually went to bed at decent times and napped at times.  As we left to drive home at 5 pm we remarked how refreshed we felt.

At 1:30 am, we pulled into our driveway and carried the kids inside. We dumped all the suitcases and junk in the kitchen and crawled into bed.  At 8 am the kids were up and moving.  I switched the coffee pot on and sat down.  At 8:15 I heard my husband yell, “the window guys are here.”  Uh oh.  I grabbed some clothes and raced to the bathroom to change.

Within 30 minutes, we had all the blinds and curtains down. The window crew consisted of 3 guys and within 1 hour, they had half  of the old windows out.  Bugaboo was infatuated with the power tools but kept wanting to walk in and out of the way.  I decided to take both kids out for awhile. We hit the playyard at McDonald’s for brunch and then the grocery store. When we returned at noon, all the windows were out and they were onto installation.

Everything had to be moved away from the walls where there were windows. Since dust was a-flying, DH had stripped the beds.  Since the beds were stripped and curtains down, I decided to wash it all.  Since there were no windows, we turned the AC off and the 86 degree heat was blazing. The kids and I escaped to the basement rec room to watch TV and try to stay cool.  At 2:30, DH left for work. At 4, I got the signal the window guys were finished.

The boss showed me how to tilt the new windows and make them all work. As he showed me the operations, I tried to shy away. I thought he sure stunk from working so hard.

Then the real work began…..

I had to remake the beds. Munchkin decided she wanted her room rearranged so we did.   Of course we found dust when we moved things, so we dusted. Then half of her clothes didn’t fit in the closet, so I pulled out the winter stuff and hung up the summer things. We re-made her bed. Then I rehung all the blinds and curtains. Our old window AC unit and wooden boards were gone – replaced with a new window (the prior owner never removed the old units even after having central air installed).  Since we now have two windows in our bedroom, I rearranged too.  More dusting.  Had to remake all the beds.  Then vacuum and dust the house.

I’m EXHAUSTED. So much for relaxed. I need a vacation day for my vacation day.  When I stopped to take a breather, I realized that now I was the one stinking.  I hopped in the shower, too tired to do anything but stand there for the first 10 minutes.  On the plus side, a hot shower has never felt so good.

But there is a bottle of wine chilling and I plan to have a glass after the kids are in bed.

Green Linoleum – really?

After years of wanting and three years of trying for child #2, we decided it might not be in the plans for us. Instead we bought a new house that needed much work. Boom, I was pregnant one month later.  Having a new child and then two in daycare put all renovation plans requiring money (or time) on hold. 

The house we bought was built in the early 1960s.  Every room had hideous wallpaper.  The bathroom is pink tile.  The half bath is puke green and baby blue tile.  At some point the hardwoods had been covered by carpet which was then removed again. The kitchen was the worst.  The cabinets had wallpaper across the top – like a border. The walls were green and the floor was green linoleum. Think Brady bunch.  This weekend we finally decided to do something about it.

Our eventual plan is to gut the kitchen and destroy those hideous cabinets with the silver rimmed counters.  Knock out the window and put in sliders and a big deck and open the kitchen to the living room more.  But for now, we’ll settle for new floor and paint, removing the wallpaper and putting windows (big $$) in the entire house (replacing the horizontal levered 1960s style crank out, leaky windows).

This is the kitchen just before we moved in.

Last week I took a new approach to painting. Instead of spending hours contemplating shades of colors, I went to Lowe’s and picked out the first three colors that caught my eye. I bought samples and spread huge splotches on different walls. I settled on a lemony yellow.  Then I went and picked a peel-n-stick tile floor. Eventually I want real tiles, but this will do for now.  In the closet, we noticed the floor was different than the kitchen, which led us to believe that the green linoleum had been laid on top of another floor. I peeled up a tiny corner just to see and —– rip — a huge 5 foot tear.  Lo and behold the floor came up super easy. (wish I had known that 3 years ago)

This is the old green floor being pulled up.  The older floor underneath is a WHOLE lot better.  Why on earth did anyone chose that hideous green to cover up the other stuff?

So now we have a beige tiled floor underneath. It is scuffed and the “Armstrong” label printed on the bottom of the green linoleum has been permanently imprinted on the beige flooring.  But that’s okay.  It is laid in nice, neat squares which will make lining up the new tile so much easier.

I have a house party in mid-April. My goal is to have the new floor, painted ceiling and painted walls complete by then. Wish me luck!

What about Me? The Green-Eyed Monster

The Green Eyed Monster has hit my house.  Of course this happened just as I was telling someone how remarkably well Munchkin adjusted to becoming a big sister at the age of 4 1/2.  Now, two years later, she has decided that her little brother is not so much fun.

Apparently I love Bugaboo more and I’m “more nicer” to him than Munchkin. He gets away with everything and never has to do anything. He gets more love, more snuggles, more time, more stuff, and more of everything she wants.

She has started making self-depracating remarks like “I’m stupid” and “You don’t love me.” She also made a statement that she wished her brother’s pak-n-play had a lid on it, with air holes, but so he could not escape.  It has gotten so bad that I asked the school counselor to talk to her.  The counselor seems to think it is jealousy, along with difficulty in expressing her emotions.  So we’re working on that.  In the mean time, we’re trying to learn new “feeling words” and especially ones that are acceptable to say in front of the kids, because “pissed off” won’t go over so well in front of the in-laws.

Kids are Gross

 I thought I was a pro at handling the gross stuff. I survived explosive diapers. I survived going to work in a nicely dry-cleaned suit only to discover spit up all over my back.  I have changed pantyhose 3 times in a single morning due to clingy fingernails from children.  I have cleaned up after the stomach flu, once while simultaneously suffering from morning sickness.  I should be able to survive anything right?


I was absolutely complete grossed out the other night.  Munchkin had a cold.  I cleaned out the vaporizer, added water, poured in the Vicks.  I laid soft tissues by her bed. I tucked her in. Smoothed the covers down and told her good night. I leaned down to kiss her – on the forehead since she was sick.  As I got close to her face, she opened up her mouth and sneezed. RIGHT IN MY FACE.

Blech. Ick. Yuck.  I immediately went and shovelled hot water on my face. Soap.  Brushed my teeth.  Mouthwash. Where was the bleach. Oh my ever lovin’ grossness. I “ate” someone else’s sneeze.   

I don’t think I’ll ever recover. 

Big Balls – Big Splash

 Have you ever watched the show Wipeout?  It is not normally something I would watch. However, last week as I was trying to put Bugaboo to bed, it came on.  The remote was across the room and he was nodding off, so there was no way I was getting up.

The next sounds I heard were, “Big balls!  Big Splash!  Boom!  Crash!  Uh oh!  Fall down!”

Bugaboo was fascinated. He woke up and watched every minute. His comments, chatter and giggle were so super cute that I had to let him watch.

Every night since then he has asked to watch “big splash.”  Every time the commercial comes on he giggles and yells “Big balls.”  It has been the source of some humor. Especially when we are in public and it comes to his mind and he yells “Big Balls!” in the middle of a store.  Even more delightful is the fact that he likes to preface every statement with “I have?”  So instead of “Can I watch Wipeout?” it becomes “I have Big Balls!”  Originally I tried to talk back to him, loudly so people could hear.  “Yes honey, we can watch Wipeout later so you can see the people crash into the big red balls.”  Then I gave up and just cackled along with him.

So last night being Thursday, was Wipeout.  We tucked Munchkin into bed.  Then I whispered in Bugaboo’s ear that it was time for the big splash show. He smiled real big and ran to the couch.  He loved it except for commercials, during which he demanded, “more big balls.”    Last night we added to his vocabulary “Ow.  That hurt.  In da pool.  Got ya.  Bam!” and my personal favorite “No got big balls. Big balls got you!”

Next Thursday we’ll be doing the same thing.  I wonder what we can add to his vocabulary next week?

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