Friday, September 30, 2011

My daughter, the cake-eating vampire

Sometimes I think I need to just turn on the voice record feature on my phone the moment we all get in the car together.  But I'm not really sure where the voice record feature is located so instead I just listen in amazement and try to remember all the crazy stuff flying out of my daughter's mouth on the way to school.

Here's what I remember.  And this was all pretty rapid-fire, so don't breath in between lines, OK?

"Mom? What if I rang your doorbell?"

"Um. What if you did?"

"And then I ran away."

"Well that would be weird. I would think a ghost had rung my doorbell."

"HEY! I have a PERFECT idea for Halloween.  Ready?"

"Go."

"Daddy can be the daddy vampire*, and you can be the mommy vampire, and Monster can be the baby vampire, and I can be the sister vampire!  How about that?"

"How about that."

"And we can invite A., and she can be the other sister vampire."

"OK..."

"I wish I was eating cake right now."

"Well...yeah."


*Last week she was still planning on her standard Halloween persona of, well, a princess.  So we've jumped straight from princesses to vampires??  Isn't there supposed to be another phase or two in between those?


Thursday, September 29, 2011

On the other hand...

Yesterday I posted an uncharacteristically touching and sentimental view of mothering two children.

Today I'll rectify that.

Because there's another side of raising siblings, you know.  Honestly we haven't had too much sibling rivalry because Monster is still a pudgy and adorable baby and Princess is a little girl who loves pudgy and adorable babies.  But sometimes, late at night, when they're all cozy in their beds and everything feels good and happy, I force myself to remember and prepare: he won't be a baby forever.

Today, she's 5 and he's 1.

Next year, she'll be 6 and he'll be 2.

Someday, she'll be 13 and he'll be 8.

Stop right there.  Let's think about that for a moment.

My daughter will be 13 at the same time that my son is 8.

Imagine, if you will, a 13-year-old girl.  Maybe you used to be one (I confess, I was one briefly.  It was a long time ago and I've outgrown it.  Mostly.).  Maybe you've raised one. Whatever the case, you've surely met one before, and if you've spent more than 30 seconds with one you know that 13-year-old girls without exception are a miserable, infuriating group of humans.

Characteristics of a 13-year-old girl:
  • Hormonal insanity.  
  • Hypersensitivity.  
  • Irritability. 
  • Raging insecurity.  
  • Irrationality.
  • General, overwhelming hysteria.
  • An incredibly low tolerance for things that are "gross" or otherwise unpleasant.
  • Little to no tolerance for things deemed "embarrassing" (including but not limited to: family members, jeans cut in the wrong style, eating in public, speaking in public, walking near boys, existing in front of other teenagers who are wearing the right kind of jeans, and you).
  • A complete inability to just ignore that which they find annoying or disruptive.

A fauxhawk did this! That's all it takes, people!

Click here for actual documentation* of a 13-year-old girl in action.

Now.  Imagine an 8-year-old boy.  I've never been one personally, but I once lived with one for an entire year, and the memory is crystal clear.  Eight-year-old boys are, without exception, the most annoying, exasperating people on the planet.  They live to provoke.

Characteristics of an 8-year-old boy:  
  • Speed.  
  • Boundless energy.  
  • Dirt.  
  • Gross noises.  
  • Affinity for insects and small, slimy animals.  
  • Keen awareness of what others might find the most irritating and/or embarrassing at any given moment.
  • Unrivaled talent for and irresistible urge to annoy.

I look harmless, but I will make you wish you were dead.

Someday, I will have both of these specimens coexisting inside my house.  And I'll still have to live there, too.  I think.  I'm looking in to it.


*Animaniacs may or may not have been based on a true story.  I'm just assuming it was.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday. Don't get used to it.

OK not entirely wordless.  I'm fairly certain wordless is not something I'm actually capable of.  But more pictures than words today, ok?  Also maybe not so much funny today.  Sorry.

Two of my favorite people to stalk on Twitter, Ilana (@mommyshorts) and Kate (@andthenkate), teamed up today on Ilana's blog.  Kate guest-posted about why she's happy with one child.  Her daughter is about my daughter's age, and the Princess was an only child for a good 4 1/2 years before we made her into a sister, so it kind of made me think.

Because for awhile I really did think the Princess might be my one and only.  One and done.  And in some ways I was ok with that because the love?  The joy?  The amazingness?  The Squinkies?  How could that not be enough?  And how could I ever love another person as completely as I love her?

But then the Monster happened, and honestly?

 How could I have ever thought I was complete without him?

So here's my wordless (ish) Wednesday:

One is fabulous.
One is precious and heartbreaking.
One makes me wrinkle my nose with laughter.
One is challenging and strong-willed and beautiful.
One is perfect.
But two?  Oh my goodness.  Two is twice as perfect.
Two is glee.
Two is best friends.
Two is hilarious.
Two is adventure.
Two is peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake and endless giggles.

Two is everything.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Breaking Discovery

Yesterday I made my own Spanx by cutting the legs off a pair of control-top pantyhose.

I'm still skeptical of my own genius but early testing indicates we've all been wasting our money.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wohelo; or why I'm feeling conflicted over the Girl Scouts

I've signed the Princess up for Girl Scouts.  Daisies.  Those are Girl Scouts in kindergarten.  Yeah, I didn't know either, never having been a Girl Scout myself.  In fact, I have very conflicted feelings about signing my precious daughter up for Girl Scouts.

I was a Camp Fire Boy and Girl.  I mean I was a Camp Fire Girl, I suppose.  But the organization is Camp Fire Boys and Girls.  That's what I meant.

See?  There's a logo.  It's a real thing.

I don't think it exists anymore, at least not in the same form I knew it in.  That's too bad.  It rocked.  First, it was girls and boys.  Together.  OK, mostly girls, looking back.  But there were boys!  There was the potential for boys, always!  Can the Girl Scouts say that?  No.  Just a bunch of girls doing girly stuff.  Lame.  

Plus Girl Scouts looked like this:

And nobody likes this girl, right?
We were a much scrappier bunch.

Oooh!  Look how diverse and inclusive!  Is that boy...grey?  Should somebody help him?  Is he breathing??  Even if he's not, that's cool.  Because we welcome all types.  Girls, boys, kids in wheelchairs, and the undead.

The Camp Fire motto was Wohelo.  I know, it sounds like a Native American word.  OK, it sounds like somebody tried to make up a Native American-sounding word.  And that's exactly the case!  Wohelo is a clever mashup of "Work, Help, Love."

There was a song.  I still remember the words:

Worship God...oooh oooh oooh...
Be faithful, give service, and knowledge pursue;
Be trustworthy ever in all that you do;
Hold fast onto health and your work glorify;
And you will be happy in the law of Camp Fire!

We didn't earn patches, we earned beads:



And our uniforms!  Oh man.  Well, in the earlier years we had this red, white, and blue getup:

Cute, right?

But after that!  As we got a little older, we learned to sew (it didn't stick, in my case, as you know), and we got to make ceremonial dresses.  Indian dresses.  Native American.  I don't know, ok?  We sewed them out of some vaguely fuzzy tan fabric, and they had fringe.  And we decorated them with all our beads.  I think I still have mine.  I wore it for Halloween one year.  One year when I was in college and very, very skinny.  I can't find a photo of of a real one online anywhere that really looks like mine but this is basically what it looked like:

No, I'm not joking.  But we didn't have feathered headpieces.  Because that would be silly.

We sold candy, and we sold it at the same time of year the Girl Scouts were peddling their crack cookies.  I had a speech:  "Would you like to buy some quality chocolates to help support Camp Fire?  We have delicious Almond Roca, Smooth Mint Patties, and Almond Caramel Clusters!"  Standard response: "Do you have Girl Scout cookies?"

We hated the Girl Scouts.  With their crisp green tablecloths and their recognizable uniforms and their cookies, those cookies.  Oh how we hated those cookies.

So it's with mixed emotions that I take my daughter into the world of Daisies.

At the first meeting on Tuesday they took the mothers aside to fill out paperwork and discuss books and uniforms and snack schedules.  I had to fill out an "adult registration" form so I guess that means I'm now a Girl Scout, too??  I'm not sure about that.  Also the adult registration form required me to disclose my age, in the form of choosing a range.  Now, we all know the standard age ranges are 18-34, and 35-whatever.  Right?  Not on the Girl Scouts adult registration form.  Their ranges were as follows:  18-29, 30-49, 50+.

As you know, I am, gulp...30.  So I couldn't check the first box, you guys!  I had to check...THIRTY to FORTY-NINE??  No.  No no no.  I am not in the same age group as 49-year-olds.  So already, I feel the Girl Scouts are mocking me.

While the mothers were being ridiculed for our ages (or maybe not...most of those other moms looked like they might be 18-29. And laughing at me behind their manicured hands, with their glossy blonde hair and their designer shoes and their...waistlines), the girls were off somewhere presumably singing songs and learning life skills.  I found out afterwards that they had made "promise hands," little foam hands forming the Girl Scout sign:

On the foam hand is inscribed the Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor I will try
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout law.

"On my honor"!  My innocent little girl has promised on her honor to "live by the Girl Scout law."  Or at least to try to live by the Girl Scout law, I guess, technically.  So without my knowledge or consent, under the guise of eating grapes and singing "Make New Friends, But Keep the Old," the Girl Scouts of America have indoctrinated my daughter.  I mean, we weren't even registered yet.  I thought I had time to scope things out and make an educated decision.

But, no, they had her in their grips for 10 minutes and she made a promise hand.  There's no going back now!  The promise is made and she's sworn in.  Somewhere in Girl Scout headquarters her name has been written in blood and she's bound by the Girl Scout law.  I'm not totally clear yet on what all is encompassed by "the Girl Scout law."  I'm hoping it doesn't include ritual sacrifice.  But I don't know that for sure.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Text Message...well, Thursday.


Yes, nitpickers, I know the bit is Text Message Tuesday, and I'm fully aware that today is Thursday.  Do you want to read a post, or don't you?  I mean if you really want to wait until Tuesday, feel free.  It'll still be here.  Honestly, you've come this far, so I've got your pageview, sucker.  Go on and click off if you really want to, and come back Tuesday.  Free pageview for me.  I don't care.

No, I do care.  Because I love you.  I'm sorry.  Just read the post, ok?  Or don't.  No pressure.  Whatever makes you happy.

Are we cool?  OK.  Good.  I'm sorry.

Texting Fun with Ashley:

Ashley says
So, what's with the closet obsession on pinterest? Is there some Freudian stuff we need to discuss?
Alyssa says
i AM a little closet obsessed, huh? 
in my defense i started out clicking one single closet pin and it led me to a bhg article with like 25 dif closet photos
i didn't seek them all out individually
Ashley says
Hmm. Ok.
Alyssa says
also you know it's cool. we WASTE our closet space, ashley.  waste it.
Ashley says
Mine aren't. They are all crammed full of stuff. Not one square inch of wasted space
Alyssa says
but are they beautiful?  can you actually access any of that stuff? and do you find yourself opening the doors to stare lovingly inside?
you need to paint the insides of your closets, please.  i can't, i rent.  so you need to do it instead.
Ashley says
You're kidding right? Painting the inside of my closet would fall at around
 421 on my to do list. Right after giving the dog a pedicure
Alyssa says
your dog needs a pedicure. i've been meaning to tell you.
Ashley says
Well that will happen when I reach 420 on my list. I'm currently working on number 3...finish laundry. I've been stuck on that one for several days.
Alyssa says
what were 1 and 2?
Ashley says
Wake up. Get dressed.
Alyssa says
good job!  did you also shower?  brush your teeth?  or are those later on the list?
Ashley says
Oooh I DID brush my teeth! And I shower at night.
Alyssa says
and where does "stalk alyssa on pinterest" fall on this list?  because I think you're jumping ahead here.
Ashley says
Pinterest is not actually on the list.
Alyssa says
you're terrible at lists.
Ashley says
I've actually been lost in the swamp that is my photo collection for the last few days. I'm out of memory on my computer.
Alyssa says
how does that even happen? out of memory on your phone, your computer. i'm never out of memory. possibly because i married tech support.
and he does magic tricks that i'm not aware of. maybe that's why he's always spending money on "flash drives" and "external hard drives."
 Ashley says
Probably. You're probably file hoarders. Instead of boxes and closets full of stuff, you have flash drives and disks and other computer-y stuff
Alyssa says
we do!  we have lots of computer-y stuff.  huh.  i always thought it was junk but maybe my wedding photos are on there!
 you know what i need? painted closets. with pretty baskets.  for storing computer-y stuff and hoarded files.
 Ashley says

Oh my. You have a sickness. Pinterestitis
Alyssa says
it's not a sickness.  it's a misunderstood blessing.  like anorexia.*

So there you have it, folks!  Text Message Thursday.  Exactly like Text Message Tuesday, only 2 days later.  Or 5 days earlier, depending on your point of view!

Time to weigh in: Should Ashley paint her closets for me?  Also, is it weird that she showers at night?


*Oh my goodness, do not freak out on me, readers!  Anorexia is BAD.  It's awful and it's a disease and there's nothing good about it at all.  Extreme Sarcasm Alert!  I really shouldn't even have to explain that.  Why are you so uptight?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bringing the Hilarity. Soon.

I'm feeling rather nonhilarious lately.  I mean I go back and read this and this and I think dude, I am fully capable of being funny.  But I'm totally not feeling it right now.  I think my Zoloft dosage is cool, so it's not that.  I'm not sure what it is.  But I'm working on it.

Please stand by and fully expect a blog post that will score high on the chocolate milk scale.  Soon.  Very soon.  It's coming.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Done

The Monster's first birthday party happened.  Here's an update on how I handled my to-do list:

1. Work 8 hours at my job (the one that's non-party, non-blog related).  Done.

2. Finish stuffing and sewing 14 felt monster dolls.  Remember these?

This is how it looks when the Internet makes things.

This is how it looks when I make things.

I posted this one on Facebook with the caption "I'm 90% certain this is not what sewing is supposed to look like."  Some of you helpfully pointed out that I don't read French.  Some of you are not very nice.



They were a joint effort.  Because remember that sewing machine that I've never managed to thread correctly or make a single stitch on, ever?  That is still true.  For me.  Not so for my husband:

After he finished the monsters, he hemmed a pair of pants and two skirts.  This is not a joke.



I think mine have more personality than the ones from the tutorial.  Right?  And by personality I mean "errors, holes, terrible needlework, and loose threads."

Most of them had to be patched up because they were literally bursting at the seams with personality.
3. Cut out around 70 more pages of printable party materials including paper bunting, banners, favor tags, signs, and cupcake wrappers (also purchased here).  One at a time.  With an X-acto knife.  Well, between the two of us we managed maybe 50 of those pages.  Skipped the party hats and a couple other things.  But we managed to get some stuff done.  It looked like a party.

4. Assemble all of the above and hang in aesthetically pleasing arrangements around the house.
 Done.  By me.  At 2 a.m.

5. Blow up 75 balloons.  tHe O.G. gets full credit for this one.  Of course he overfilled most of them as he is wont to do and they started popping, loudly and without provocation.  So that was fun.

6. Grocery shop.  Done, at 9 p.m.  I bought cupcake liners, then tried to put them in my cupcake pan and discovered they were JUMBO cupcake liners.  Really?


The box said they would fit in standard cupcake pans, though.  Whew.  Turns out the box is a liar.  So I improvised:


Perfect.
7. Bake and decorate 4 dozen cupcakes in a monster theme.  Questionable.  There were cupcakes.  They were frosted.  Some of them even looked kind of...furry?  In a good way.  Maybe.  I mean, it was intentional frosting fur, not like, something gross that doesn't belong on a cupcake.  But they were NOT adorable little cupcake monsters with teeth and eyes.  Because I finally got around to making the frosting somewhere around an hour before the party started, and my little fur frosting tip kept clogging, and whatever, he's ONE!

8. Bake and decorate 1 smash cake in a monster theme.  Nope.  Didn't even try.  Monster got a cupcake like everybody else and liked it.

No, really.  He liked it.  A lot.
9. Wrap birthday presents.  With help from the Princess.  No photo of that, sadly, but trust me when I say it was well-wrapped.

10. Dice a boatload of fruit for baby-friendly fruit salad.  Done, with help from my friend Pam, who complained the entire time that she doesn't know how to cut fruit and what are you supposed to do with the nectarine pit, just cut around it?  It's slimy.  And tHe O.G. provided a watermelon monster head for the fruit salad, because he is the official Carver of Gourds and Melons in our household.  I don't have a photo of the watermelon monster right at this moment but I promise to post one when I get it.

11. Locate, gather, and decorate various receptacles and containers for serving snacks, cupcakes, drinks, ice, favors, etc.  Well, stuff got stuck in bowls, so I guess that's good enough.  Also I put stripes and fur on the cupcake stand.

12. Finish unpacking.  (Alternatively, hide all boxes in the garage.  Probably the more likely option.)
 Put tHe O.G. on this and he did a fabulous job of concealing boxes.

13. Feed my family meals, as apparently they cannot go 28 1/2 hours without eating even when I am BUSY
.  I can't remember.  I'm pretty sure we ate.  Oh I think we got pizza Friday night.  Totally counts.

14. Parent a kindergartner and a one-year-old.  They're still alive, so I get full credit for this one.

15. Clean my entire house.  Props to my husband on this.  Took Friday off work and cleaned the whole house.  Ha.  Sorry, he's taken.

16. Photograph this entire process for your eventual enjoyment.  See above.

17. Blog and tweet (obviously).  I think I at least tweeted.  And updated FB from time to time.  So if you're not a Facebook fan or a Twitter follower, you missed out on my 2 a.m. ramblings:






18. Possibly sleep (unlikely).  5 whole hours, baby.

Friday, September 16, 2011

To Do

Today the Monster is a year old.

Tomorrow is his party.

Yes, I'm still pretending you don't all know his first name, because we decided at the beginning of all this that we'd keep our kids' names out of it, but I'm all over the Internet so possibly you already know it.  Let's pretend I still have a shred of anonymity left though, ok?  Thanks.  Also, I got this invitation here.

I like kids' parties.  I like themes and color schemes and elaborate cakes.  I like all the stupid minutia of kids' parties like cutting out a million tiny monster eyes and gluing them to everything in sight.

I also like procrastination.

The party is tomorrow at 2.  Approximately 28 1/2 hours from now.  Here is my to-do list for between now and then:

  1. Work 8 hours at my job (the one that's non-party, non-blog related).
  2. Finish stuffing and sewing 14 felt monster dolls.
  3. Cut out around 70 more pages of printable party materials including paper bunting, banners, favor tags, signs, and cupcake wrappers (also purchased here).  One at a time.  With an X-acto knife.
  4. Assemble all of the above and hang in aesthetically pleasing arrangements around the house.
  5. Blow up 75 balloons.
  6. Grocery shop.
  7. Bake and decorate 4 dozen cupcakes in a monster theme.
  8. Bake and decorate 1 smash cake in a monster theme.
  9. Wrap birthday presents.
  10. Dice a boatload of fruit for baby-friendly fruit salad.
  11. Locate, gather, and decorate various receptacles and containers for serving snacks, cupcakes, drinks, ice, favors, etc.
  12. Finish unpacking.  (Alternatively, hide all boxes in the garage.  Probably the more likely option.)
  13. Feed my family meals, as apparently they cannot go 28 1/2 hours without eating even when I am BUSY.
  14. Parent a kindergartner and a one-year-old.
  15. Clean my entire house.
  16. Photograph this entire process for your eventual enjoyment.
  17. Blog and tweet (obviously).
  18. Possibly sleep (unlikely).


Thursday, September 15, 2011

This just happened.

My road to fame and fortune is...well, ok, it's still basically imaginary and highly unlikely.  But LOOK!  Look at what just happened on Twitter:



If I haven't already mentioned it, I LOVE Mommy Shorts.  I read her daily.  So should you.  Seriously.

I'm doing a little happy dance in my office chair.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Text Message Tuesday

Today Ashley took her children (A., 4, and R., almost 3) to the zoo.  While she was there, she sent me this.





Ashley says
Do you see that???!  I'm at the zoo and they are allowing that in plain sight.  AND they are grunting like perverts. And the girls are watching them..."Hey, what are they doing? They're talking!" R's screaming "HEY turtle! Let go dat other turtle!"

Alyssa says
"Let go dat other turtle!" Ha. I so heart your daughter.  Are you at the zoo right NOW?

Ashley says
Yes! And they aren't even in a turtle honeymoon suite. They are out in the open in the giraffe exhibit.

Alyssa says
I am so blogging this.  Turtle honeymoon suite!  And do turtles and giraffes coexist peacefully??

Ashley says
Apparently they are oblivious to each other.  A. also wants to know why the chimps aren't wearing panties.  Because they have weird bottoms.  This is a very entertaining trip.

Alyssa says
Dude I'm trying to email myself the turtle photo and my phone won't let me.  Maybe my phone is censored against offensive material.

Ashley says
I'll email it to you.

Alyssa says
Did you vote for the Monster in the Evil Baby Glare-Off?

Ashley says
LOL. Um. I certainly will.  I haven't been on Facebook for a few hours.

Alyssa says
Dude I posted this YESTERDAY.  Do you even READ my blog anymore?  :(

[then we went back and forth for a little bit about how she secretly hates me and my blog, and she *claims* that yesterday's post never showed up on her Facebook newsfeed, but I have my doubts.  I mean, you guys saw this, right??]

[then she didn't email me the photo as PROMISED]

[so that's why this Text Message Tuesday is happening on Wednesday]




The future of our country.

Please don't count the inaccuracies in the following conversation.  She's 5, ok?  I'm doing the best I can over here.  And I still think I handled it better than I did the where do babies come from discussion.

I liked it better when she just ate things she found on the floor and didn't talk.


"Mom.  Is there only one President in the whole entire world?"

"No.  There is one President of the United States, but the world has a lot of countries, and other countries have their own president, or a king, or a queen, or a prime minister..."

"What's a prime minister?"

"Um.  It's like a president."

"So every country has a president?"

"No...some do, and some don't.  Every country gets to choose its own kind of government."

"What's a goverment?"

"It's the people who are in charge of making the laws."

"Oh!  I want to be one of THOSE people."

"You want to be in the government?"

"YES.  So I can MAKE THE LAWS."

"Um."

"Does the President make all the laws?"

"Well.  No...there are lots and lots of people in the government, and everybody in the country gets to vote for who they want those people to be and what they want them to do, and the President is like...the...boss of the government."

"Oh.  Well then I'm gonna be the President."

"OK."

"So I can be the boss."

"Right."

"Where do I sign up?"

"Um.  You have to work really really hard your whole life and then get people to vote for you."

"I know what voting is!  And I have to run around and yell really loud VOTE ME! VOTE ME! VOTE ME!"

"Yes.  Exactly."

"And then I'll be the President."

"Well.  Lots of people want to be President, and you have to get the most votes of all the people who want the job."

"Oh.  Well I'll just yell VOTE ME like a hundred and fifty times."

"It's in the bag."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I want a prize. Give me my prize.

Hey.  You know how I'm a sellout and will do anything to win a prize?  You didn't know that?  Oh, ok.  Well, I'm a sellout and will do anything to win a prize.

This blog post contains no funny jokes or amusing anecdotes.  It does, however, contain this:

I'm posting this to enter a contest offered by Cashier Live, a point of sale software company, at Indie Biz Chicks. If you really want to, you can visit their site and enter, too.  


But don't, ok?  Because that would negatively affect my chance of winning.  And you want me to have an iPad, don't you?  Yeah.  You do.

And actually, you know what?  I'm looking at this Indie Biz Chicks site and it's really kind of cool.  The tagline is "For women who'd rather work for themselves than work for The Man."  Dude!  I'm a woman!  And I would SO rather work for myself than work for The Man.  The Man sucks, you guys.

Not men.  Men don't suck, in general.  I have one that I kind of like, for the most part.  But The Man.  That dude is a total buzzkill.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Evil Baby Glare-Off


Mommy Shorts is one of my favorite blogs, and you should totally go read it, because Ilana is hilarious and her daughter Mazzy is adorable.

Also.  Because she's hosting an Evil Baby Glare-Off contest.  And nobody, I mean NOBODY, glares like the Monster.  Especially in his newborn days.  This child was the frowniest, angriest-looking baby ever born.  His brow was constantly furrowed, his lips pursed, his eyes narrowed menacingly.  He was wholly disapproving of life in general.

Exhibit A (and I didn't even have to search for this photo, you guys.  They all look like this):

Silly monkey?  Silly monkey?  What am I, some kind of goofy circus animal here to amuse you?

Oh man.  I love that kid.

For the record, these days he's more of a Smile Monster:







And he's turning 1 on Friday.  Yeah.  That's ONE YEAR OLD.  A YEAR.

I'm busy this week crazily planning a monster-themed birthday party.  I know, a monster theme for the Monster?  So obvious.  But you have to remember, guys, his real name is not Monster, ok?  So it's not as on-the-nose cliche as it seems.

I'm making hand-sewn monster dolls as party favors.

source

Thank you, Pinterest.

I know what you're thinking.  "Alyssa is amazing.  Mother of the year.  Hand-made monsters?  Wow.  Just.  Wow."

Then you're probably thinking wait, what's the catch?  Because isn't this the same woman who posted this?  Don't worry!  I'm still basically a failure as a mother, because I'm totally phoning in the cake.  This is a big deal only because I'm an amateur cake decorator (maybe technically I'm a professional, since I have actually sold cakes for real money; is that the definition of professional?  If so I'm a professional cake decorator.  Ha.).  But I'm on hiatus these days because, hello, I have a one-year-old (sniff) and a kindergartner (SOB) in the house, and a full-time job, and wedding cakes stress me out.  So anyway.  I'm making cupcakes for this party.  Monster cupcakes.  I know, it's kind of a cop-out considering some of the birthday cakes I've made for the Princess:

Blue's Clues (2nd birthday)


Tinkerbell (3rd birthday)

Soooo...we're going to hide these photos from the Monster as he grows up and never speak of them again.  As far as he's concerned, the Princess has never had anything more complicated than a swirly cupcake with sprinkles on it for her birthday, ok?

Also?  It would greatly help his self-esteem if you would go vote for him at Mommy Shorts.  (You'll probably have to "like" Mommy Shorts on Facebook before you can "like" the photo.  You won't regret it.  And if you do, well, cast your vote and unlike.  It's not rocket science, people.)

And remember, this is the photo you're looking for.  Don't go "liking" any other photos, that defeats the purpose!  Clearly this is the winner:



Friday, September 9, 2011

Business Trip

I'm traveling for work today.  Visiting a sister campus in Monterey (CA, not Mexico) to trade ideas.

This means instead of reading this and this from my computer in my office, I'm reading them from a computer lab in beautiful Monterey.

It also means I had lunch here, which would probably more exciting if I drank alcohol. 

Still.  Road trip!  I'm not at work!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kindergarten Update/Terrible Blog Post

Is there an award for most disappointing blogger?  If so, can somebody please accept it for me?  As you may have noticed, I'm unavailable.

Seriously, I suck at the whole like, you know, following through and not failing thing.  Do I even have any readers left?  I got depressed looking at my stats because for awhile they were steadily rising and then BAM, crash and burn, and I was all, hey, what happened?  And then I realized: I quit posting.

Oh.  So here goes!

As the saying goes (or maybe it's not a saying, maybe it's just something I made up and say in my head when I have writer's block), it doesn't have to be good, it only has to be.

I just realized that probably doesn't apply to a blog with an actual sentient audience as neatly as it applies to my stream of consciousness journal writing/rough draft of the novel that will never come to fruition.  Hmmm.

Oh well.

This morning I dropped the Princess off at kindergarten and realized I've spent my entire adult life making a science of avoiding school zones at 8 and 3, and now I drive directly into the middle of one every day on purpose. And there is no end in sight.  This is now my life.

I never cried on her first day of school.  I thought I was doing so well.  Then we decided (and this is partially my fault, because I'm lazy and always almost-late for work) that she probably didn't need me to walk her all the way to the door anymore, because she knows the way, and I can just drop her off at the sidewalk (the one RIGHT NEXT TO the kindergarten building) and watch her walk around the corner into the very safe and secure fenced-in kindergarten playground and I'm ok with that, and so is she, because she's a big girl, and most of the other moms aren't walking them in anymore, and what am I, some kind of obsessive helicopter parent? Let go already, mommy.

Then we actually did it.  She kissed me goodbye in the car (thank goodness) and told me to have a good day (so cute) and then she just...got out of the car!  And shut the door!  And walked away!  And I sat in my car watching my tiny girl pull on her giant backpack and march confidently into the teeming sea of degenerates children, and then...then I got choked up.  And guys, we've been doing this all week and it isn't getting easier.

Maybe I should just publish some of my stream of consciousness journal writing/rough draft excerpts of the novel that will never come to fruition.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The birds and...um...the... Look! Something shiny!

"Mom.  How do people get babies?"

"You know how.  Remember, your brother grew in mommy's tummy and then he was born and we had a baby."

"No, but how do they get in mommies' tummies?"

"Um."

Expectant stare.

"Um.  When a mommy and daddy love each other and get married... ahem...errr... theymakeababyandthenit'sborn."

"What?!  They MAKE a baby?  HOW?!"

"Uh...did I say make?"

"Yes.  They make a baby.  Tell me how."

"Um."

"Mom?  Tell me how you make a baby."

"...I'll tell you when you're older..."

"I want to know now.  Tell me how."

"Hey!  Want some juice?  Let's see if there are any cartoons on!"

I think I handled that well.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Random Blog Prompt Friday

It's time for another round of random writing prompts, in which I answer prompts generated by a random writing prompt generator.

What are things you can do in 3 minutes?  List them.

  1. Brush my teeth.  
  2. Clean my entire house (but I don't, because I don't like to show off.  It's nicer to just let it get dirtier and dirtier and then drag my feet and make it take hours.  That way nobody gets jealous.  I'm a giver).  
  3. Eat dinner.  Because I'm a mother.
  4. Shower.  See #3.
  5. Come to the realization that this is a ridiculous writing prompt and nobody wants to read anything else I can do in 3 minutes.
  6. Write one more thing just because my 3 minutes isn't technically up and you should know I can also type 279 words in 3 minutes with 100% accuracy.  No, really.  I can.  The Internet says so.
Your email friend from Alaska sends you a penguin.  Write about your first day with your new pet.

OK.  Look.  First of all, is this, like, a virtual penguin?  And if it's a real penguin, why does my email friend even have my home address?  That makes no sense.  It's an email friendship!  I don't give my home address to strangers on the Internet, and kids, neither should you.  P.S.A.  You're welcome.  Furthermore, I would never have an email friend because that's lame.  And if I did have an email friend, he or she would most definitely not be from Alaska, because Alaska hates me.  

Most troubling of all, there are no penguins in Alaska.  Google it.  Honestly.  

In conclusion, I would find it incredibly suspicious if somebody claiming to be from Alaska mailed me a penguin, and I would have to assume the penguin was somehow booby trapped and programmed to kill me.  I would therefore be forced to destroy the penguin.  And now I'm a penguin murderer.  This is a terrible writing prompt.

Pick a wild animal to keep as a pet.

Seriously?  I just killed a penguin, you guys.  What is it with you??  You're sick.