Friday, December 30, 2011

T's 2011 Best of List

It is that time again. That time of year when we drink too much champagne, stay up too late, and possible end up playing tambourine with the band. That may have happened. Once.
Hubs is on the left, I am on the right. 
This morning in the shower I was thinking (cause that is where all the great thinkers do their greatest thinking) about what an interesting year this has been. My child went from a baby to a toddler and developed a vocabulary, an ability to walk, and a serious attitude. I have made some great friends, rekindled some old friendships, and cut my losses on a few. We have seen some crazy things in the world. Mother Nature reminded us she can be a real biotch when she beat the crap out of Japan. The royal wedding reminded us that down deep we all long to be a princess and/or wear an amazing fascinator. Or in my case, both. Charlie Sheen reminded us that every family has its crazy and we are all a little embarrassed about it. I could go on and on. Every major network is going to do their wrap-up of the year and I feel it would be remiss if I did not give you the Lint Trap's 2011 Best Of. You're welcome in advance.

My Favorite BlogsPoop on a Hot Tin Slide which is one woman's journey through life and motherhood with OCD. It is hilarious. HI-LAR-I-OUS. This girl can use a picture. The other is The Bloggess. This chick is my blogging hero. I love her. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in a MAJOR creepy stalker way. You will laugh your arse off at her every time. I read these aloud to hubs, and he laughs in the right places which lets me know he is actually listening, which doesn't usually happen when I am talking, much less  reading aloud. That means it is super funny. I have a long blog roll and these are the only two I read consistently.

Best Movie: Toughie because I have four favorites. However, it is my blog, so I can declare them all the winners. The King's English (best highbrow cussing scene), The Help (best doodie pie scene), Bridesmaids (funniest crapping in the sink scene), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (best all around bad-ass girl character. ever.) Looking at the list I realize I cannot weigh in properly as a whole because I never saw Fast and Furious Five or the Footloose remake. Despite that, I feel confident in my decisions. I don't make my recommendation lightly. These are must sees. You can use me as the ubiquitous "they" when trying to convince someone to see one of these gems. "They said it was so amazing it will make you want to slap your mama." (Feel free to ad lib in there.) 

Worst Movie: War Horse. Full disclosure being of the utmost improtance here at the The Lint Trap, I have not technically seen this movie. However, any horse movie is TERRIBLE no matter what it is about. Please direct your attention to Number 3 on this list for further explanation. I will never see this movie. Nor do I want to know what happens. I am sure the horse dies in some epic fashion while the boy/girl/dog/alien that has loved him forever sobs over his lifeless horse body. Skip it people, it will only make you want to lay on the floor and flail. I want to do that just thinking about it. At the very least the horse ends up with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Which you will have if you watch this movie.

Best New Show: We are digging Mike and Molly, New Girl, and Two Broke Girls. Why can I never pick just one? Because I would be doing you a disservice in not sharing my honest, life changing, opinions. They are all laugh-your-face-off funny, and both hubs and I agree on watching all three. That is saying something people. We don't agree on much. If you have been around us for 3.2 minutes, you know this. Just watch them. You will be glad you did. (Unless you are my mom, then you should not watch Two Broke Girls because they make racy jokes that may offend and you will be all, "That's *nose wrinkle* nasty.")
UPDATE: I was rereading this in the light of day and realized Mike and Molly is actually in its second season. I have made the executive decision that I don't care because it is even better this year.

Best Song: I am not a "music person" but I surround myself with music people so they can tell me what is good. I dedicate this award to my dad's favorite song right now...LMFAO's Party Rock Anthem.
Here is how the conversation went...
Dad: "Have you heard the new song by LMFAO?"
Me: "Huh?" (thinking I must have misheard)
Dad: "You know, Party Rock Anthem."
Me: "Huh?"
Dad: "I have it on my Ipod if you want to hear it."
Me: "No, I know what it is. Do you know what their name means?"
Dad: "I googled it *eyebrow waggle*"
Mom: "What does it mean?"
Me: "Laugh My F'ing Ass Off *sheepish grin*"
Mom: "hmmm *nose crinkle* that's not nice"
Then Dad and I were laughing our own asses off...
There are a lot of other awesome new songs out there but it turns out everything that I thought was new is actually from at least 2010 if not earlier, so whatevs. 

Best Book of the Year: I looked at lists for best books of the year and honestly, I have not read any of them. So I am changing the category to Best Book I Read this Year. The tie goes to two triologies, because I like to overcomplicate things. The Millenium Series: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The second is The Hunger Games Series: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. Both feature awesome badass ladies who make me want to whoop up on the nearest bad guy.  Both trilogies are amazing in very different ways. Both made me appreciate what I have and think about life. That is about as deep as I get, y'all. Read them. You will understand.

My Favorite Lint Trap Entry: Because I am self centered, self indulgent, and an all around shameless human being, here is my favorite of my own posts. Teetering on the Edge of the Terrible Twos & Sanity. I am so glad I captured this time in my life becuase I am fairly sure I will block it out like a person who lives through being kidnapped. Or a car crash. Or torture. There will be a hole in my memory as if Aliens have wiped it clean so I don't remember being probed. Now it is out there in cyberspace on the Interwebs. Forever.

Y'all have a good time ringing in the New Year. If you don't have plans, you can look to my recommendations for something to fill your night. A little light reading or maybe a dance party. Everyone party like its 1999 (cause that makes everything sound more fun) and eat some grease on Sunday. It will make you feel better.

I will see all of you, my Linty Peeps, in the 1-2. (That is what I am going to call 2012. Get it trending people).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Wrap-Up

This is what I learned over my Christmas vacation:

1. Trying to do last minute shopping the week of  Christmas while your child is with you is unpleasant for you, your child, the people that work at Target, and the people shopping in Target. Also, lets not forget your husband, who gets to listen to a play by play of how your child has the manners of a wild animal because she took her socks and shoes off and threw them on the floor while she screamed and thrashed in the cart, all while he is desperately trying to surf the Internet and blend in with the couch cushions. It is good for no one. NO ONE. And it doesn't get any better the second and third time you go.

2. Two year olds find the idea of Santa lovely and the reality of Santa terrifying. (see pics here ) It is confusing for you and them. Just go with it and hope for more understanding next year of the concept of a huge man in a weird red suit that comes down your chimney to reverse rob you. Not to mention your parents try to force you onto his lap, which is weird because they don't love strangers touching you. Ever. Hopefully three year olds are less leery of beards and more interested in the idea that being good gets you gifts.
Santa, you don't want to meet this in a dark alley.

3. Dogs do not like dry grits. Not even the expensive fancy kind.

4. Dogs do not like swedish fish. Not even the expensive kind.

5. I should not purchase food as gifts and leave them on the guest bed. Related, my dog owes me $20 for ruined grits and swedish fish. Actually only $15. We ate the candy anyway.

6. Getting Christmas cards is one of the best parts of the season. I love seeing everyone's kids and dogs and happy smiling faces. It makes the mail exciting. That is no easy feat when normally the only things in the mail are bills and offers to refinance our house. (side note: they should not be allowed to make those look so official. Twice a week I think the government is sending me a letter.) We got a lot less this year so I am thinking there are two possible scenarios: 1) people are cutting back to save money or 2) I have offended a lot of people in some way via the words coming out of mouth. Honestly, either is a valid possibility.

7. Having a child with a birthday directly after Christmas is stressful to the max. Here is hoping I can get it together to have more than stale Christmas cookies and half a bottle of wine at her party. One would think I learned my lesson last year when I was out frantically buying her birthday prezzies the day before the blessed event. I swore I would buy everything before Christmas this year in order to be ready for a no-stress birthday for Lady Baby. Didn't happen. I thought about. I made lists. I shopped around for price comparisons on kitchens for shawtys. I did not purchase. I did not even order. Fingers crossed for amazing sales post-Christmas. I am now lying to myself that I waited so I could get an amazing deal. It makes me feel better, okay? Give me a break.

8. Everyone loves a good fake mustache. 

9. Traveling for Christmas has its perks. Growing up we always hit up both grandparents houses on Christmas day. Christmas mornings were an exciting and frantic rush of running around town leaving torn wrapping paper and cookie crumbs in our wake. It was late afternoon before we ever even got to really tear into our toys and play with them. Now that we have a family, travel is involved with almost every holiday. The downside is holiday traffic on 95 makes you want to throttle your spouse and put a muzzle on your child, then sit in the floor board weeping. The upside is four days of uninterrupted family time. It is both relaxing and fun. And it is at someone else's house, so you can enjoy 72 boxes worth of Christmas decorations at your parent's house, while you only have a wreath on your own house. Win-win.

10. Two year olds sleep better in the seldom seen extra-large pack n' plays than in tiny regular ones. Our last few trips have been NIGHTMARISH challenging in the sleep department. We are talking screaming at bedtime, inconsolable sobbing, and basic refusal of all things having to do with her pack n' play. My parent's neighbor's loaned us a crazy big one that is more like a playpen. Goodbye child in my bed who flops around like a goldfish that jumped out of its bowl. Goodbye child who thinks I am the mattress and the pillow. Goodbye feet in my ribs, feet in my boobs, feet in my face. Hello peaceful sleep until 8 am. Those things are worth whatever the BRU is charging for them. They say you can never make up lost sleep. Once it is gone, by way of a crazy baby who sits up and laughs maniacally in the middle of the night, it is gone. And it ain't ever coming back. 

11. When your husband tells you that your new phone (replacing the one you may or may not have broken) is your Christmas gift,  ignore him. It is a lie. He is only trying to make you mad, so that you will bitch a lot about being unappreciated and unloved to anyone that will listen. Then he swoops in and gives you an amazing gift. Like a Kindle. Then you feel like a huge b-hole because you told everyone that he sucks at gift giving. But he doesn't because he always does this. Except for the time he only gave you a book and a CD. But every other time, pretty freaking awesome. Someone please remind me to give him something amazeballs next year. Like a trip to Mt Kilaminjaro or a weekend at some sports related fantasy camp for grown men. Something better than some running clothes and shampoo. Future me thanks you. 

12. Preschools hate parents. Why else would they close when we need them most? They should be open, with extra availability,  until 7pm on Christmas Eve. Then maybe I would have been able to bake some cookies and wrap my gifts in peace. Instead, no cookies and two hours of trying to keep a toddler off the dining room table while I wrapped gifts. Thanks for nothing, preschool. Don't get me started on after Christmas. On our last day before the holidays, they said, "See you on the 5th," and I literally felt unwell. The children get all geeked up from gifts and sugar and staying up late and being spoiled by grandparents, and we have to keep them at home while they are coming down from that? Kill me now. My child needs preschool. Almost as much as I do. We should not have to go through holiday detox alone. 

Now we all have another year until it all happens again. You can stop trying to think of amazingly clever situations for your elf on the shelf, you can stop sweeping up dead pine needles and tinsel, you can stop racking your brain to figure out where you hid your husband's stocking stuffers. Get out the champagne, buy the new calendar, and dig out your gym membership card. Christmas is over and 2012 is upon us.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa and Holiday Balls: Christmas with a Toddler

As y'all know from my previous post, I am feeling a little bit of holiday induced insanity this year. (If you don't know then read Acute Holiday Anxiety and feel my pain.) Despite all that, I am enjoying the holidays by way of the wonder and excitement of a two year old. This year she understands about Santa Claus. Let me rephrase...she knows what he looks like and that he says "ho ho ho." She does not understand that he brings her presents and comes down the chimney. If she knew he was going to bring her treats (her word for what she thinks is a prize) then she may have been a smidge more friendly when we saw him Sunday night. Lady Baby will talk your ear off about Santa, however if she is forced to sit on his lap things get really ugly really quick. I attempted to throw her into Santa's lap but she clung to me like a rabid spider monkey. Santa, in a very shrewd move, did not grab her when I tried to detach her from my front. He knew that she would claw his eyes out and rip his beard off. Instead it turned into a family picture. You will notice that Daddy and Mommy are the ham and cheese to the Alice and Santa sandwich. Also, note that Daddy is holding the wild animal. That is because I could not physically keep her in my lap while she flailed and thrashed. The higlight for me was when Santa strong armed the husband into sitting on his lap for the picture. Hubs tried to just lean in, but Mr. Claus was having none of that. He told us to sit down, "he had a knee for each of us." Awkward. But we did it, because we were getting that free picture, by god. Thank goodness I checked the box that said they could use our picture in future advertising. It will be at the bottom of next year's ad under the heading: Please do not bring your child to see Santa if you anticipate this reaction. It scares the reindeer and makes the elves cry. And they have a hard enough time wearing tights that squeeze their junk and shoes that are hard to walk in. Thanks, Management.

Therapy is in her future.
While Santa falls into Miss Priss's category of good from far, but far from good, Christmas lights and decorations are a whole different story. Her Highness loves a good light explosion. When we are out and about after dark (which this time of year is approximately 4:30pm) I try to ride by houses with the kind of holiday tableau that make the power company dance with unbridled joy. You know the ones...Santa in a sleigh filled with penguins, baby Jesus and the blessed Mother nestled next to a blow-up Snoopy, and a mechanical Pooh waving along side the Wisemen. My favorite part is the wire-wrapped-in-lights reindeer. There is always a fallen comrade that makes me feel like someone shot Blitzen and for some sick reason that makes me giggle. There is one of these seizure inducing yards in every neighborhood and my shawty LOVES them. All the better if you can find the neighborhood where the men are all competing to see whose yard is most visible to aliens. Those are a win-win. They have delightful decorations, even if they do sear your retinas, and someone's manhood is getting a serious strokin' (while all the other men are trying to decide how to out do him next year.) She digs all the lights and telling us about everything she sees. However, the most delightful decorations to Lady Baby are the ones the neighborhood beside us puts up. There are zillions of big balls made of lights throughout the whole neighborhood. 

Check out their blog Lighted Christmas Balls. Then you can really pick up what I am trying to put down. The entire time we are riding through the neighborhood Lady Baby says the following on repeat, "Balls. Balls. More balls. More balls. Balls. More balls." It is an instant mood lifter. There is no way not to laugh listening to that for five minutes.

For adults the holiday season can be wearing, both physically and mentally. We forget why it is such an amazing hope-filled time. Often while we are rushing around, making sure we have all of our gifts purchased and everything ready, we forget to notice what makes this time of year magical. The lights, the trees, the snowmen and wreaths. Having a little one has forced my inner child back out into the fresh winter air. I am seeing it all through her eyes and it is so much fun. Christmas will be all up on us in a few short days. It will be a crazy time filled with sugar, the sounds of tearing wrapping paper, and lots of awesome family time. I hope you all enjoy the holiday season and may your inner child soak it all in. 

And, my gift to you, my faithful readers...
A close up. Because it is just so awesome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Acute Holiday Anxiety

It is Christmas, and I have exactly two decorations in my house. A poinsettia in my dining room and a wreath hanging outside. The plant may die before Christmas actually gets here, because I can't remember to water it. The wreath is my normal brown grapevine wreath with crap from my yard stuck in. I only did that so my neighbors won't egg my house on the Lord's birthday because I am the least festive house on the street. Not only am I not decorated for Christmas, but my Thanksgiving decor has not packed itself up (stupid pilgrim statues, mocking me) and I put my pumpkins in the trash today. At least I tried. There is still one laying in my yard because it busted its disgusting rotten pumpkin guts when I tried to roll it down the front walk. In my defense, it was a huge pumpkin (several people told me it was the biggest they had ever seen) and I did rinse the guts away so the mailman would not slip and sue me. Merry Christmas.

My inability to get my Christmas on is only a small part of the larger issue I am facing in life. It is called Drowning in the Everyday Details of Life (its a real thing), but more on that later. I went to Web MD and chose the following symptoms: anxiety, confusion, difficulty solving problems, easily distracted, forgetfulness, headache, impulsive behavior, lack of motivation, restless sleep, slow thinking. According to their programmers doctors I am suffering from one or more of the following problems: anxiety disorder, acute stress reactions, caffeine overuse, lead poisoning, or head injury. None of that seems quite right. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely experiencing caffeine overuse, but so is half of America. The acute stress is brought on by my holiday panic. It is not outside the realm of all things possible that the hubs is slowly killing me with lead in my coffee which he is immune to because he has been slowly building a tolerance for years, a la The Princess Bride. But, I feel like I may have noticed that. I feel like Web MD may need a little tweaking. Nowhere did it ask me if I had a toddler with an attitude. Or if I work. Or if I have a husband who commutes 45 minutes each way. It did not have a place to note my dog has chronic kidney disease and a torn ACL, or my cats use their urine as a way to show me which chair is theirs (all of them, so don't sit down in my house). It did not ask me what month it was, whether we have paid off our mortgage, or if my jeans fit. It did not ask me if I had recently been to Ikea with a two year old, if I was behind on my Christmas cards, or if made dinner tonight (which I did. Bam.) SERIOUSLY WEB MD. YOU SUCK. YOU HAVE FAILED ME. Maybe I should add rage issues as well. I think my problem is that I am a working mother with a toddler and it is Christmas and her birthday is right after that and we are traveling for the holiday so I have to be ready ahead of time and I can't stop reading the True Blood books so I am not going to bed early enough and my house is so dirty I feel like the only option is to burn it down. I think maybe I do have a head injury...I just got it from banging my head against the wall.

I was feeling behind in my life before the holidays rolled around. Lately it seems I can only do about 75% of each thing I try to accomplish. Please note, that is my max. Most of the time, I am hovering between 25% and 50%. I get the laundry done, but not put up. I have half of my Christmas cards addressed. I get most of what is on my grocery list but forget a key thing, like half and half. How can I overcaffeinate if I don't have my creamer? I sweep a few rooms but get distracted before I can finish the rest. I put cookies in the oven and set the timer then forget to turn it on. Seriously people. I am struggling. This is why I can't bear to deal with Christmas decorations this year. I cannot imagine putting them out only to have to take everything down in less than three weeks. I have no tree because the thought of keeping Lady Baby from breaking all my beautiful ornaments is too much to think about. This is probably the last year I will be able to get away with that, so I may as well take advantage of it and use my time to worry about all the other stuff I have to do. Like buy stocking stuffers and stamp 100 Christmas cards. Not to mention I am seriously behind on Modern Family.  I also have a ton of work to do, which is technically the most important thing on the list considering completion is necessary to continue purchasing food and enjoying electricity. Christmas will come and go, just like Thanksgiving did. Instead of a butter turkey, I will be left with half a plate stale Christmas cookies. (Hopefully someone will make cookies. Lord knows I won't, but I would certainly like to eat some). 

Hopefully in the next 8 to 10 years I will get it together. I will get over my acute holiday stress and enjoy the season.y lonely wreath will have to be enough. This year watching Her Highness's face light up when she sees her Santa gifts will have to be enough. Listening to her sing her version of Jingle Bells will have to be enough. And it will be. Because really who cares about all the other stuff? All that matters is that I get to enjoy the holidays with my peeps, especially my crazy girl. 

Across the street

Nothing like the glare of your neighbor's Christmas
lights to make you feel inadequate

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

I am having some writer's block, probably due to general holiday stress and the exhaustive use of the word "no" at my house right now. So instead of a normal blog post, I am going to give you Thanksgiving by numbers.

1...the number of Turkeys that were cooked at my house this year by me.
1...the number of times I have been solely responsible for the Thanksgiving turkey.
13...the number of pounds of my turkey. I almost went bigger. Thank the lord I didn't, or I would have had to cook it in someone else's oven, because mine is for hobbits.
Bird before
Turkey side note:
I would like to say that in my expert humble opinion, it was pretty awesome. 

3...the number of side dishes I made to go along with my turkey. We had, in no particular order, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and stuffing muffins. The green bean was barely eh. Hubs requested the church potluck favorite of French's green bean goodness covered in those fried onions that I believe should be served like potato chips. It was too soupy, too cold, and too blah. Sorry love, I did a terrible job on the one thing you asked of me. The sweet potatoes on the other hand, were ah-maze-balls. Every year this is my contribution if we are going to someone else's house for Thanksgiving. I like to think I have it perfected. It doesn't hurt that there is enough sugar in the recipe to put Andre the Giant into a diabetic coma and it is covered in a generous helping of brown sugar and nut crumbly stuff. Yurmmmm. The stuffing muffins were compliments of Miss 3packs-a-day-with-some-scotch-thrown-in, Rachel Ray. I swear she has EVOO running through her veins. The muffins were super yummy and not very hard to do. And they looked fancy, which is an added bonus. Special fist pumps: I have to thank my sister-in-law. She contributed in a big way to our feast. As much as I would like to say I did it all, I did not. Please don't think less of me. I still rocked Thanksgiving in a big way.

3.5...the number of hours it took me to make two pies, two casseroles, and the stuffing. All completed during nap time on Wednesday. At warp speed. I do not often find cooking to be relaxing, with all the measuring and counting and the possibility of severe burns and amputated fingers. But that afternoon, I was totally in the zone. The Thanksgiving-I am gonna knock this schmidt out-zone. And I did. Known as the opposite of a fast mover, I feel I really outdid myself. I am now using that as my own personal best. Kind of like a marathon runner's best race. With more butter.

2...the number of pies I made. Two perfectly perfect Kentucky Derby Pies, compliments of my Aunt Susie's recipe. I was going to just have a store bought pecan pie, because I had so much other stuff to do.  Not to mention pecans are crazy expensive. We obviously missed the boat by not selling the pecans that came off the tree at our old house. Another chance to make extra money easily, lost. Any who...the more I thought about it, the more I wanted a Derby pie. My family has it every year and it screams Thanksgiving dessert to me. What's two more things to throw together? Child's play, I say. One pie went in the freezer for later yumminess and one went to the holiday smorgasbord. It was the most lauded part of the dinner, by far. I would like to be humble, but I can't. I would be betreaying the thrue nature of the pie. It is that damn good. If you have had it, you know there is no point. So special shout-out to Susie and her amazing Kentucky Derby Pie.

3...the number of children in my house for four days. Her Highness plus her two cousins. One is three and one is 4mos, so he cannot really be blamed for any of the child shenanigans that took place. Somehow two little girls felt, and sounded like, a class of 35 preschoolers. Not to mention they created a mess that rivaled the city dump. They were dragging out toys that I have not seen in months. Toys I forgot even existed. It looked like a toddler war zone in my living room.

If you were unsure what trouble looked like, now you know.
75,623...the number of times I heard the word mine.
75,623...the number of arguments that had to be settled by one or more adults between two little girls.
934...the number of tears Lady Baby caused because she is a bully and a brute. Don't let the pigtails fool you. A menace, that one.

4...the number of extra people staying at our house. It was tight but cozy. The only way it could have been easier is if we put a port-a-john in the backyard. One bathroom for 5 toilet users is a little rough. The two little ones got off easiest since they have diapers.

7...the number of gifts I purchased on Black Friday. We decided last minute on Thursday night to head over to Friendly on Friday. Naturally, I was super pumped to get some deals and wrestle my gifts out of the hands of other shoppers while we all frantically bought things at 75% off. Fast forward to noon on Friday, and it might as well have been a normal Saturday. In June. People were lackadaisically strolling around, shopping here and there. I got some things on sale, but not amazing, wrestle your mama for the last one, sales. I found it disappointing that not only did I not have to wait in much of a line anywhere, but the sales were pretty blah. I guess if you want the Hunger Games version of Black Friday, you have to go at 3 am to Target with your tent and your pepper spray. Then you can fight with an old lady in her favorite Christmas sweater for a toy you don't really want that your kid will never play with. I miss all the fun.

5...the number of hours my child was awake in the wee hours on Thanksgiving night. We suspect no nap+not enough dinner+excitement over the close proximity of cousins and grandparents to be the culprit. No biggie, I had just been on my feet for two days cooking a bountiful feast and cleaning my house so our guests would not have to wade through pet hair. Sure, I would be happy to stay up and hold Mr Potato head's feet for you while you yell at me to wake up. No problem. My pleasure.

0...the number of bites my child took of the feast I set before her. The only thing she did eat for Thanksgiving was half a cereal bar and a smoothie pouch. Hence, the aforementioned not enough dinner. Apparently its hard to sleep through hunger pains. The child would have never made it in the old days when a family of 5 shared one potato. Wimp.

and last but not least....

That's right...its a butter turkey.  
1...the number of amazing butter sculptures in the likeness of a Turkey that graced my table. It was an awe inspiring work of beauty, that no one dared use. Which made it a wasted $2.00. On the other hand, it really ratcheted up the fancy-schmancynmess of my table by at least 20 points, so I would have to say it was priceless. In an attempt to break the butter ice, I decapitated beautiful butter turkey. And still, no one dared. In my despair over my rash choice to ruin such a delicate work of art, I reattached the head, but it will never be the same. So now Frankenstein butter turkey is in my fridge, destined for the trash when hubs gets tired of looking at it. There is always next year. Maybe I will find a pair of butter pilgrims, or a butter cornucopia. Something to look forward to...

I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday. Whether you were hosting, eating out, dining with others or not, I hope it was exactly what you wanted it to be. And if you didn't have a Turkey made of butter, while sad, there is always next year.

My one true love and I posing by the bird carcass.
That is pure romance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

That Pesky Rain Cloud

Lately I have had some disappointments. It doesn't matter what they were. Some have been big, others small. Some are my own fault, others are things that are out of my control. The what is not the point. The point is that life can hand you lemon after lemon and it can get exhausting to keep trying to make lemonade. You get tired of trying to find the sugar. Sometimes you just want to smash the lemons and roll around in the sour juice and be a little angry. And that is okay. We can't always smile and pretend that all is right and perfect. Sometimes we have to ugly cry. 

I have to remind myself that I don't have to justify being sad. It doesn't matter whether it is one tiny thing, one huge thing, or lots of somethings in between. Mourn the loss of whatever it is that has come to pass. It is okay to be sad and process the disappointment and really feel it. Too mope is human. You have to roll around with it and let it in.  Only then can you attempt to let it go. Then you can move forward. You have to acknowledge your bummed-outness, even if just for a second, a minute, or a day. Let it smack you around a bit and give it a little respect. By giving it it's due, you have given it the space it needs to move on. Only then you can really say, "Goodbye disappointment. You were a real pisser. A total buzz kill. You rained on my parade and I am glad to see you go. Now get the hell out." Once I do this, I feel like I can start fresh.  I can get out of bed in the morning without the weight of negativity trying to drag me back down. I like to bounce through life, and it is difficult to find your bounce when you keep knocking into a blackcloud hanging over your head. Get up outta here black cloud. You are in my way. I am peppy by nature. I smile and I laugh. I have been told my happiness is borderline nauseating. And I am proud of that.  Right now I don't feel like myself. There is too much rain cloud and not enough happiness and light. I need more happiness and light. So I am staring my disappointments in their ugly faces. I am giving them their due so they will move along. Mama needs her bounce back. 

I will not pretend that things didn't happen. I will not act like everything is okay. Today, I will acknowledge that which is getting me down. Today I will be cranky and ornery and annoyed with the world. But tomorrow is new day. I will not drag my sadness with me into tomorrow. I will shake out my personal baggage. I will drop that frustration like its hot. Tomorrow I will start fresh. Tomorrow I will get up and the black cloud will have receded into a little puff of whiteish-gray, far off in the distance. I will consciously step back into the sunshine. Tomorrow I will look at my child's sweet face and know that having that takes the sting out of anything bitter that comes my way. I will remember what is important and what is not. I will remember who is important and who is not. I will know that every step I take tomorrow is a step away from the disappointments of today. I will walk into a fresh new day with a fresh new attitude and a thankfulness for the goodness in my life.  When the next thing comes along that reminds me that sorrows do exist, I will acknowledge, wallow for a hot second, and move on to live another day with a smile on my face. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today We Barf

Warning: if you are sensitive to talk of vomit stop now. You won't make it. I wrote it and rereading it is making me a little queasy....

Lady Baby is under the weather. By under the weather I mean she is barfing like a chick after drinking games with tequila at Katie Hill's lake house summer of '97. (It happened to my friend.) In the wee hours of the morning she provided us with a lovely wake-up call of screaming. Loud and insistent Ma-Ma's. This occurred 30 minutes after I had finally gotten her back in her crib after a night of up and down, starting at 12:30. So kind to allow me a full and restful half hour in my bed before she hurled her guts out all over herself, her crib, her Mickey, and her potty book. Turns out the copious amounts of spit-up her first year of life did nothing to toughen her up for the stomach flu. She hates to throw up as much as the rest of us. There are many things I hate to find in my child's hair. Vomit wins.

I need this on my shirt.
We thought that maybe the milk she had for her 2am snack was bad. That *may* have happened once before, when she drank milk that *may* have been out too long. I will neither confirm nor deny. However, bad milk was not the culprit this time. Immediately after 3 sips of water, she leaned over and spewed again. This time ALL OVER ME. Not the best way to ease into the morning at 5:45am. I much prefer coffee and maybe a little Facebook. Instead I got to gag my way through the next fifteen minutes trying to deal with her, my clothes, the couch and the floor.  TGIF baby, TGIF. For those that know me for reals, you know that I am very smell sensitive. You also know that my post pregnancy gag reflex is more taut than the Hub's nerves during a Wolfpack football game. Being doused with milk vomit almost put me over the edge this fine morning.

The worst part is not the pukage. That is saying a lot because it is BAD. Seeing my sweet flower cry and rub her belly, saying, "boo-boo, tummy" over and over is horrible. {Side note: If she ever says this in your presence, batten down the hatches and prepare for epic barfage. Perhaps find a raincoat.} Per the pediatrician's nurse, I have to let her tummy rest for two whole hours after she throws up before she can have one teaspoon of water. Yes, my friends, one measly teaspoon. Unfortunately, the two teaspoons she had spaced at exactly 15 minutes apart, per Nurse Ratchet's instructions, did not stay down. Back to the two hour wait. I started crying when my Toodles was begging me for water and it wasn't time. I told her it wasn't me, it was the nurse that hated her, but she didn't seem to care. Seeing her hurting and thirsty and sad and there is literally nothing I can do to help--that is the worst part.

The only upside is she is very happy to lay on the couch and chillax. As long as we are snuggling, she is content watching TV. I can only hope and pray that On Demand Mickey, DJ Lance, Blue, and Elmo will pull us through. I can only assume it was my amazing karma that kept me from canceling the cable at the end of October. (Though I did get doused with yesterday's dinner, so maybe it is not so great after all.) I guess my mommy guardian angel knew there was major regurgitation in my immediate future. While Her Highness naps beside me I get to blog, read, and watch TV. I will always find that silver lining. In this case it is an excuse for a lie-in of slothly proportions.

While we take turns barfing and cleaning up said barf, the DaDa is running his first half marathon. In Savannah. Five and a half hours away. With my best friend and her husband. Staying at my parent's house. Grrrr. I am missing secret fun. I hate to miss secret fun. Alas, this is what it is to be a parent. It is to hold down the fort when it is being ravaged by the stomach flu. It is to only cry a little when your spouse leaves for the weekend during said flu. It is to sit beside your sad sick girl and listen to her sob and beg for a drink. It is to jump and dive with a towel in hand every time she burps (which has happened a lot and is very wearing on my nerves.)  We love our babes whether they are happy and running around the park or crying and laying in our laps. It is our job to get the boogies, wipe the bottoms and hold their hair back when the barf. At least college prepared me for one out of three. 

I pray to the gods in charge of barfing children that this is a short lived flu. No dehydration, no visit to the ped, no all nighter. I ask for calm tummys, sleep, and no more vomit. Amen.
I pray for no more hurlage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Balancing Act

I have the best of both worlds. I am a work from home mom. Not only did I get to keep a version of my job after Lady Baby arrived, but I get to do it from home. I didn't miss first steps, first words, or first temper tantrums. I have been here for every step of her life, dragging my lap top behind me. But (there is always a but isn't there?) it is not easy. There are time management issues. There are child management issues. There are house management issues. My issues have issues.

Balancing Act
Did you know I could do this?
That's skillz. With a Z.
When I was sitting at my desk very pregnant, I would daydream about life after baby (I was way too big to be productive and one must pass the time). Working from home seemed so doable. So uncomplicated. So not stressful. Ha! I scoff at my foolish former self, with her silly daydreams and full night's sleep. I assumed (ass=me) that it would be, wait for it, EASY. Wrong again, genius. It is far from easy. The only part that is uncomplicated is the step where I plug my lap top in, and sometimes even that is complicated because of those little plastic covers that you have to use a butter knife to get out of the socket. The rest is a balancing act of epic proportions. It takes organization, motivation, and brain power. Three things which I have been lacking in a big way for the last 21 months. 

Pre-child I was the manager of a two doctor optometrist office. I was in charge of a staff of five people. I ran the office, filled-in where needed, made sure people were doing their jobs, did all the billing and filed all of insurance. (Side note--you read the part where I mentioned I was in charge of other people, right? Now I can't even get a toddler to listen to me.) I wasn't Russel Simmons or The Trump, but I was very busy and in charge. Fast forward to month eight of being pregnant, also known as "get your schmit together time" and/or "last minute." We realized day care was super expensive and pointless, because I would basically be working to pay for childcare. Not to mention the late nights and general emotional exhaustion. So with heart palipatatons and a shaky voice, I asked my bosses if I could step down as manager and continue to do the insurance and billing portion of my job part time. Not only did they seem relieved (I later learned they thought I was going to quit all togheter), they offered for me to work from home. It was if a little fairy had come along and crapped my greatest wish right in the palm of my hand. Work from home? In my pyjamas yoga pants? With my perfect angel of a child snuggled beside me (This was my prechild daydream. I didn't know, okay?) How about "yes, please" times a million. I practically started to cry. Or I did actually started to cry. It's a little fuzzy, but either scenerio is possible. We did some negotiating on duties and pay. I would be contract and I would continue to do everything with insurance and billing and credentialing. I was prepared to begin living the dream, baby.

I do live the dream. Everyday I spend the mornings doing stuff with Her Highness. Activities, classes, playdates, and various kinds tot-enriching fun. I spend the afternoons working while she gets her beauty sleep. I also work sometimes in the evenings. Occasionally in the mornings before Alice wakes up. Often after everyone else in the house goes to sleep. When she is at preschool, I am at Starbucks or Panera working and eating muffins. Forget that last part about the muffins--not important. It is not unheard of for me to stand at the kitchen counter while dinner is cooking, doing work. I find the time whenever I can. Sometimes it is hours, other times I can only grab minutes. I feel like I am perpetually running and can never quite catch up. Sometimes the dream is a nightmare. There is always more to do. Never enough time or energy. It is annoying and frustrating and totally completely worth it.

If only I could talk to that chick daydreaming at eight months pregnant. I would yell at her, actually. "It's not going to be easy. It's not going to be relaxing. Yes, you can wear your yoga pants, but then when you leave the house people will wonder why you never make an effort even if it is just Target and baby music class, so you won't. You will wear jeans and flats and fix your hair. You will even wear eyeliner. You will want to nap while your child naps, but you can't. Because you are a work from home mom. The baby is not going to make it easy on you, so forget that. She is going to have colic and barf a lot. A LOT. She will also have a desire for 100% of your attention. So rest now hugely pregnant girl. And enjoy those comfy maternity pants. You are going to miss those."

Please don't think I am complaining. I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I get to have a foot in both worlds. While it is exhausting and at times frustrating to straddle lives, it is totally worth it. I love not having to rush out the door in the mornings, and I love that I am exhausted at night because I have been wrangling my child at the park, not because I have been seeing patients. Just don't expect my house to be spotless. Don't assume I have all the time in the world to cook fancy dinners and make homemade bread. And lord knows, when I say I am tired, please don't tell me to take a nap when Lady Baby does. Ain't gonna happen. I have work to do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Childfree Time: Awesome and Glorious

A few times since Lady Baby joined us on this earth we have flown the coop and left her for a weekend at home with grandparents. While I thought I would be worried and stressed and concerned for her safety, I was none of those things. On the contrary, I was a giddy free spirit. We tore the band-aid off early with the whole babysitting thing and have been leaving her with others for the evening since she was a wee thing. When we left for that first weekend away, it was not as if we had never been apart from our child. We had just never both been away from her overnight. In another town. Several hours away. And it was awesome. Yes, that's right. Awesome. 

Our first trip away was to the beach with friends early this past  summer. My parents came up and watched Her Highness from Friday evening to Sunday lunch. I thought it would be difficult to enjoy myself so far away from my precious offspring, but I was seriously mistaken. Maybe it was because I knew she was well taken care of (they did keep me alive afterall). Maybe it was because I knew she was in her comfort zone. Maybe it was a little bit of both. Whatever the reason, I was foot loose and fancy free and we had an outstanding adult only weekend. We talked about our kids a lot, but they weren't there, sucking up all the attention with their constant need for parenting. There was no one to entertain, no one who needed milk or snacks, no one who relied on me to monitor whether they had pooped their pants. Let me tell you, it was glorious.
The Awesome and Glorious beach weekend

Please don't get me wrong. I lurve my child. She is the light of my life, the reason I am alive. The sun shines out of her little bum. But we are together a lot. Seven days a week minus two mornings of preschool and the occasional movie night. I have done the math and that is like minimum 150 hours per week. I include sleeping time because as every parent knows, just because they are asleep does not mean that you are off duty. Children are tricky little beasts who often grow neediest the moment they sense you drifting off. So after months of 24/7 Mommy+A time, we both need a little break. Cue the grandparents. Hubs and I get 48 hours of just being normal people. We can finish a sentence. We only have to hold someone's hand if we want to. The huge tip at dinner is because it was a fancy meal not because of the amount of food on the floor. Ahh, bliss.

When I hear people say that they cannot bear to be away from their children, I don't get it. I just cannot relate. I enjoy a break and I am not embarrassed to say it. It doesn't make me a bad parent. I don't love her less than other parents love their kids. It just means that I like time away to get back to being plain old T. I need moments where no one needs my attention. Where I can sit and enjoy other adults. Time to eat a meal with my husband and have a conversation that does not include the phrases "do not throw that" and "stop feeding the dog." I have to have a little space, especially after life with a clingy toddler. One can only be touched but so much on any given day without feeling a little squirrely for some personal space. I like date nights, girls trips, and weekends away. Not only do I benefit from it, but so do my marriage, my friendships, and my child. I believe it is good for her to spend time with her dad and her grandparents when I am elsewhere. It forces her to develop bonds with them that don't happen as easily when Mommy is available to hang on and hide behind.

This past weekend we had an epic (often overused but appropriate here) time hosting friends from out of town for a concert. Alice was at my parents and we had a weekend in our own house without the child. Weird. It was a little heart wrenching to drive away and actually leave her somewhere for a few days, but only a little. She had a great time with Papa and Busy, we had a great time with our friends. Amazing how much less stressful it is to wear your party-pants when you know there will not be a toddler waking you at 7am. In a few months we are going to NYC with friends and we will be dropping the child off with Grandma and Grandpa. She will get several days of spoilage by her grands and we will enjoy a mini-vacay. Win-win.

When I have been away from Lady Baby, the reunion is always a very sweet one. I return refreshed and ready to tackle motherhood again, instead of feeling worn down by the daily grind that often takes over. She is happy to see me because she is a toddler and they are basically human puppies. Not much sense of time and happy no matter when you walk in the door. When we arrived at my parents to pick her up this past Sunday she was so excited she kept hugging me, screaming, and hugging me again. It was a great reminder of how a few days apart can help us remember how much we love each other. Absence makes the heart grow fonder they say? True. Very true. A little of it also makes the Mama happier. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Just be Nice

I like being nice. Is that dorky? Is it nerdy? Is it Pollyanna-ish? Don't care. Am I making you want to barf with my pie-in-the-sky, the-world-is-groovy, everybody-hug-now attitude? Too bad. My happy shiny is here to stay. 

Despite the bad rap it gets, I find people respond to niceness. Down deep, they like it, even if they won't admit it. I also believe that you can get further with being nice, than you ever could with nastiness. Every kid's show teaches little watchers to be nice and to care for others. Elmo never mutters racial slurs at Rosita under his breath. We need to all take our cues from these shows and remember the importance of kindness. I mean, they are called the CareBears for a reason. Because it is cool to care (or at least is was in the 80's). 
Make like a Care Bear, and hug
someone. People love that.
I am not sugary sweet. I have as much snark, maybe more, than other people. But I also believe in doing the best you can for your fellow human being. I think it is sad when people use meanness to get their way instead of niceness (not sure if that is a word, but if not it should be). It really is just as easy to smile and say, "thank you" as it is stomp off with a "harrumph." Not only is it unfortunate for everyone around you, it leaves you feeling like crap. You know the old saying "Smile and the world smiles with you."? It is an old saying for a reason. Because it is true. I have worked with the public and I have seen all kinds. ALL KINDS. Some bad, some good, some unbelievable. The people that I can't understand are the ones who are consistently in bad moods. We all have bad days, but these peeps seem to be having bad decades. Year after year, they come into the office grumpy, angry, dissatisfied, and sure we are trying to screw them. Every time we  see one of these types I  wonder what brought on their nasty. Were their parents awful? Did they grow up thinking it was normal to be disagreeable? Maybe something happened later in life, some major blow that caused them to give up on being nice. The loss of a job, being left at the altar, maybe a series of unfortunate turns that rendered them lonely with only a cat to talk to. Who knows? I hate to think they were born angry and untrusting. Whatever the reason, be it nature or nurture, it makes me sad to see people who have ceased treating their fellow men the way they would like to be treated. I am quite sure if you took a poll of Negative Nancys the world over, they would prefer people being nice to them over a dose of the crap attitude they are dishing out. You should ask one next time you you have a close encounter. Please message me to let me know the reason.

Sometimes, a smile is all a person needs to improve their day . It doesn't hurt to be nice. I promise. You don't have to work harder to be pleasant. I find it takes more energy to be negative. I should know, I am an expert at conserving energy. It is definitely more draining and does nothing to improve your mood. People notice when others are pleasant and they appreciate it. I know first hand, when you are nasty and manipulative and mean, people talk about you. Wouldn't you prefer people to say "she is so nice" rather than "she is so cold/mean/angry/fill-in-the-blank." I certainly would. I have no interest in being a bitch, no matter how cool it is (no pun intended). I am warm and bubbly and nice. I am not frigid or bitter or angry. Therefore I want to project an aura of warm fuzzies with the belief that I will get some back. It is simply good karma, which I take very seriously. 

I want to be an example to my children. I want pleases and thank yous to roll right out of Lady Baby second nature. I want her to see me being nice to people in all different situations, no matter their age, stage, or place in life. Then she will grow up thinking it is normal to be kind. You hold the door for people, you are mannerly and you show appreciation. The emotions you put into the world will return a million-fold, and who doesn't want a million-fold of sunshine hitting them up. If I can teach her those things, then I will raise a young lady to be proud of. I can only hope she will pay it forward and spread the positive vibes. Maybe even hug the angry out of a few people. Lord knows I have tried.

If tiny monkeys can be nice to disgusting
birds than surely we people can be
nice to each other.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Face Book!

The Lint Trap is officially on Face Book with its own page. Everyone please swing by and "like" me. 

Official page  

Come on and show me some love! 

If you have a page leave me a message and I will swing by and "like" you! (this is feeling so very middle schoolish all the sudden.)


Siblings are the Bomb

I was telling a friend about a funny conversation I had with mybrother, and she made the comment, "I want a brother like yours. It sounds like y'all have a great relationship." Later on I processed that comment (the brain is S-L-O-W these days) and realized how right she was. I have one brother, Jay, and we talk regularly and laugh A LOT. We get each other and genuinely like each other's company. Growing up, we fought constantly and vehemently. Then when I was in 8th grade and he was in 11th grade, we quit being a-holes and started being friends. We have been there for each through every joyful and terrible thing, and I couldn't ask for a better brother. 

The way I see it, no one understands exactly where you came from except siblings. Only your siblings get exactly what makes you, you. They saw you grow, change, and come into your own as a person, all while sharing a roof, parents, clothes, and in our case, a wall. No one else could ever understand why it is so funny to say, "wood chuck to grey squirrel." No one else remembers the time he caught my sweater caught on fire. No one else was there to convince my parents to let me watch "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" at my slumber party even though they thought it may be a tad too racy. No one else covered for me when I snuck into my parent's liquor cabinet. Yep, all Jay.

Without my brother there to play with, fight with, and tell on, my childhood would have been a very lonely existence. It is so not fun to swing on a tire swing in the back yard alone. You can't have food fights alone. Subsequently, it is more fun to wash windows with someone else. It is boring to play Monopoly alone (full disclosure it is actually quite boring with two people). We have the same memories of family vacations, holidays, and normal everyday boring life. I can't imagine if I didn't have a Jay in my life to share all those memories with. Don't get my wrong, it was not all laughs and good times. We are family, and families don't always get along. It can't always be great, because that would be impossible. We still have disagreements (yes you did through the ice pack overhand at my face) and we know exactly how to push each other's buttons (Mr. Sensitive). But the good outweighs the bad, by about a zillion.

The hubs has a sister, and when he got up to toast her at her wedding, he may have become a bit, umm, verclemped. It was sweet and touching because he is not forthcoming with emotions, especially not in front of a ballroom filled with over a hundred people. As he was a wee bit choked up, I finished his speech for him and we made our way back to our table. As soon as we sat down, his mom leaned over and whispered, "all I ever wanted was for you two to love each other. Now I know you really do." While he could not appreciate her comment at the moment because it put a kink in his efforts to compose himself, I logged that sweet moment away. Truer words were never spoken by a mother and I now understand and feel the exact same way. I want my kids to have a bond that is special and strong, no matter how far apart they are in miles or life. However, I wish for Alice and my future children to not only love each other, but to like each other. I know a lot of people who don't really like their siblings even though they love them. They don't "get" each other, they don't see eye to eye, they have no common ground as adults. And that makes me sad (tear). Fortunately both of hubs and I not only love our siblings, we like them a lot. Hopefully that will provide our kids with good examples.

To have a sibling to share life's important milestones is invaluable. Jay and I have been there for each other through failed relationships, deaths of family and friends, each other's weddings, and the birth of my child. When I think back over my life, there he is, always being the best big brother I could ever ask for. I was distraught when he left to go to college so be bought me a kitten. He surprised me by coming home when I was on Homecoming Court my senior year. He came to my 21st birthday. He drove me home from college the last day of my senior year. He is the only person who came to see me in Australia. He cried at my wedding. He drove in the wee hours of the morning to see my newborn daughter the day she came into the world. Becuase he couldn't stand it and was so excited. Now that, my linty peeps, is a good brother.

I hope to provide Lady Baby with at least one sibling so she will have someone to conspire with, play with, and resent me with. I want her to have a partner in crime like I did. I don't care if she gets a sister or a brother, I just want her to have someone to have her back and be on her side. A sibling who knows where she came from and help her on the path to where she is going. It's okay if they beat the crap out of each for the first decade, they have their whole life to be friends. Take it from me. Jay and I are living proof. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Toddlers are Mental

I have noticed a little something about my toddler. Or maybe a big something. She appears to have mutiple personality disorder. For reals y'all. Split personality. Jekyll and Hyde. Sybil. Vicki on One Life to Live. That is what I dealing with on a daily basis over here.

Let me provide a few scenarios to state my case:

Its time for breakfast. I scoop Miss Priss up and put her in her booster. Where she eats every meal. Every day. Nothing new. Except she decides that today she doesn't want to sit and eat. So she revs up some impressive hysterical screaming, complete with "mommy mommy mommy" and sobbing. Alarmed that my precious flower is in distress, I remove her from the seat and hug her. She immediately giggles in the way only an evil genius can. Realizing I have been had by a child (again), I pop her back in the seat and we start the whole thing over again. Screaming, taking her out, giggling. I. Am. Not. Happy. Now I am faced with the quandary--do I let her starve or let her eat while walking around. I am not proud to say that I have waffled and given in on several occasions, mostly because the screaming wears me down.

Anthony gets home from work and picks Alice up. She begins her normal riff of screeching for mommy. I take her, and she turns the tables on us and switches over to screeching for Daddy. Switch parents, screech for the opposite. Confusing? Very. Frustrating? Insanely. This one mystifies me, because we are both standing together, handing her back and forth. Then, I am over it, and I walk away leaving hubs to hold a thrashing wild animal. *smile*

These are only two of the millions of situations in which Lady Baby turns it off and on. It really is award worthy. My peeps, don't be surprised if one day in about 20 years you are watching an awards show and see an older version of me (still hot) sitting in the audience. I will be there as my child's plus one (because she of course brings her mother to the most momentous moment of her life), cheering and weeping, watching my first born receive her Oscar/Emmy/Tony for best actress. In my opinion, she is well on her way to a lifetime achievement award. Here is hoping they count your toddler shenanigans in your body of work as a performer. She will be a shoe-in at age 12.

I am open to advice, opinions, and/or ideas on how to handle Her Highness. I am not scared of the smack down. In fact I bring it on a daily, if not hourly, basis. But there are certain things that are hard to punish. How do I explain to a 20 month old that she is time out for being too smart for own good? You can't. If you could, I would have figured it out be now, surely. But then again, I am not the smart one, Lady Baby is. I suppose I may as well prepare for a lifetime of being outwitted. Let's just hope she keeps the personalites to two, because that is all mama can handle.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Letter from the Dog

Dear Mom and Dad,

You guys are great. You love me, you feed me (not as much as I would like, but it will do), and you let me sleep in your bed at night. I really appreciate all of this. The problem is that thing you came home with about 20 months ago. I think you call her Alice (what kind of name is that? Stupid). She is the devil and I would like her to leave now. 

Remember back when it was just the three of us? Yeah, I know we have the cats too, but they don't really contribute much. Except for the yummy poops and occasional face licking, I could really do without them.  Anyhoo, I call that time "the good ole days." And for very good reason. I laid around all day either outside in the sunshine or inside on the couch. In peace. We spent the weekends together. We went to the dog park. We hung out in the yard, you doing the whatever people do in the yard, and me chewing sticks and rolling in leaf piles. All of our your meals were eaten in the den in front of the TV. And you always shared. Always. It was the three musketeers. Now, there are four of us. No one ever says the four musketeers for a reason. Because the fourth was annoying and they kicked her out of their club. 

These days, there are some differences in my life. Differences that I did not ask for, nor do I appreciate. Ever since you brought the maniac home, things have been amok. Yes, she has an intoxicating scent of poop and hot dogs with a little soured milk thrown in, but I find her to be super annoying. These days it's all Alice-this, Alice-that. What does Alice want for dinner? How about what I want for dinner. Not this food you bought me for old lady dogs. I don't appreciate the assumption that I need tiny pieces of food. Last time I checked I have all my teeth. Where should we take Alice today, the park or the playground?  No one is talking about whether I would like to go to the park or not. Jerks. Sure I have a torn ACL, but I still enjoy a jaunt around the block. I am looking a little thick around the middle, thanks to you two and your inability to pry yourself away from your precious child and her many needs.

Don't even get me started on the teasing with the food. Yes, I will admit I enjoy the food the leech kid throws down during her meals. Some might call her behavior a bit ungrateful. If you gave me delectable treats like cheese, chicken nuggets, and pop tarts, I would NEVER discard them uneaten. In fact, I would eat them so fast, it would be as if they never existed. I would literally inhale them without chewing. You wouldn't even have to wash the plates. No, my real issue lies in the urchin's behavior when she has a snack. We all know I have the refined manners of one of the Queen's corgis. I don't snap, I don't snatch, I don't lunge. I wait patiently for my bite. I may, upon occasion, delicately take my bite when one has forgotten to share. I have tried to employ these manners with your offspring, yet she does not have my polished ways. She shakes her food in my face. When I try to have a bite, assuming this is why she isputting it in my face, she runs the other way. And laughs. Minx. I have no tolerance for this tomfoolery. From now on, I will take the food, consequences of child's volume be damned. I will still be gentle, honestly, that is just good breeding. But no more waiting. I am done kowtowing to a rug rat who eats bananas. (Ugh. As if that is food.) I will take what is owed me. That also includes that tricky plastic bowl with a lid that has a hole in the top that you fill with goldfish and cheerios. Yep, I can get the lid off that thing in a hot second. Good manners and smart. Not so much with your little cherub.

Moving forward, please take note of the following. I am requesting more walks. I am pleading for the screamer to sleep more, thus enabling the three of us to spend more quality time lying around watching TV. I will even let you pick the shows. I am putting you on notice to quit buying the geriatric food or else I will start barfing it up. AGAIN. Lastly, I implore you to muzzle the young one. She is too loud and I do not like it. At all. I prefer to sleep and groom in peace. I can't think with the constant shrieking and squealing. It is maddening and it interrupts my naps and cuts in on my butt licking. And as you well know my pets, that is when I do my best thinking.

Let me know if you want to think tank on some ideas of relocating Alice. I am sure I have some friends that know of a nice farm that may be interested in taking her.

Smell you later (literally), 

I have enclosed this picture of the good ole days, just
in case you have forgotten. You, me, a pile of leaves.
Now that is fun.


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