Tag Archives: Birthday

Let’s Catch Up.

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Last post was August 13th?? Holy slackerhood, that OBX road trip feels like a million days ago. A LOT has happened since then!

And also, nothing has really happened since then.

(Know what I mean? That’s life with kids, amiright? Something seems like a BIG DEAL, but then it passes and it really wasn’t such a big deal. Except the no-sleeping thing… that’s always a big deal.)

We went to Hershey Park with my brother’s and sister’s families a few weeks ago. We spent most of the four days arguing over which adults would accompany the kids on the rides and eating chocolate. A LOT of chocolate. We all felt queasy a lot of the time. Some of us from the rides; some of us from the chocolate.

This guy was totally stalking us the whole time.

This guy was totally stalking us the whole time.

We made our own chocolate bars, hence the hairnets. Someday, LO will discuss this in therapy.

We made our own chocolate bars, hence the hairnets. Someday, LO will discuss this in therapy.

The Loud One suffered a big disappointment during the trip when two of her prized stuffed animals, Penguino and owl guy, went missing after the first night. We searched the entire cottage where we were staying top-to-bottom; we called the restaurants; we checked the lost-and-found… nothing. 

She was very sad during the car ride home and kept saying weird things like, “Goodbye Penguino and owl guy! I’ll never forget you! Don’t eat too much chocolate!”

BUT THEN. A few days ago, KJ was at work when all of a sudden, he got this text:

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OK, I added the text to the picture, but wouldn’t that have been AWESOME?!?

Turns out, Penguino and owl guy were discovered in the laundry by the housekeeping staff at the hotel. They must have been swept up when they were changing the sheets, so they enjoyed a wild ride through a commercial-size washer and dryer.

The hotel people were kind enough to send them back to her in an unmarked brown cardboard box so now, she firmly believes that Penguino and owl guy are MAGIC because they were able to find their way back to her. I told her there’s no such thing as magic, just really, really good customer service.

Speaking of customer service, I feel compelled to share that in addition to the return of Penguino and owl guy, there was also an incident that involved the hotel security officer sending a bellhop to the Turkey Hill minimart at 2:00am one night to retrieve allergy medication for me. So I just REALLY want to publically commend Hotel Hershey. I’m going to write them a letter, but I just thought if any of you 16 readers are debating a stay there, DO IT. Because if you lose a stuffed animal or your throat closes up in the middle of the night, THEY’VE GOT YOUR BACK.

ANYHOO.

Right after that trip, we spent two days celebrating the Loud One’s 8th birthday. Her real birthday involved receiving rental chickens as a present and eating a lot of sugar.

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That’s right, I DID say RENTAL CHICKENS! Grammy and Pop strike again! They wheeled that chicken coop right into our backyard and we’ve been eating fried eggs for breakfast ever since. Before you get all, “But kmac! You couldn’t even handle those guinea pigs!” I should point out a few things:

  • Petunia, Maple and Clover are NOT rodents.
  • They live outside and not in my kitchen.
  • They’re fairly low-maintenance.
  • They’re not staying forever.
  • They provide breakfast, which is more than I can say for anybody that actually lives with me.
  • The chicken jokes are endless…

Loud One: “What are we having for dinner?
Me: Petunia.

Hahahahahahahaha!

Which part is the "nuggets?"

Which part is the “nuggets?”

Her birthday party was the next day and that involved a short, nature-studying hike and some critter encounters. And then sugar. Her best day ever. 

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No, you may not take that home.

No, you may not take that home.

"Do you have any cars in this nature?"

“Do you have any cars in this nature?”

BOOM. I HAVE AN 8-YEAR OLD.

BOOM. I HAVE AN 8-YEAR OLD.

Then we started school.

KINDERGARTEN!

KINDERGARTEN!

The Nibbit walked right onto that bus with aplomb (I don’t really know if I’m using that word correctly but I’m not going to check) and dove right into Kindergarten Life. You know, taking the K-class by storm. Livin’ the K dream. (Fine, I’ll stop.) 

A-FREAKIN-PLOMB

A-FREAKIN-PLOMB

I asked him conversation-starting questions all week like “What was the funniest thing your teacher said today?” and “Tell me the names of three kids you think you might be friends with…” I got disheartening answers like, “I can’t remember anything the teacher said at all,” and “I’m going to be friends with everybody but I can’t ever remember anybody’s name.”

In short, he may not actually learn anything this year and he may not have ANY friends.

So, there’s that.

Now we’re closing down Labor Day weekend – and thank goodness they had this well-deserved break after those intense FIVE days of school – and I think that makes us all caught up.

How are you? How did you spend the rest of your August? Did you lose any stuffed animals?

I missed you.

A Letter that Says Nice Things

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Warning: I get a little sappy in this letter to my kids. If that’s not your thing, I get it. Move along; come back another day. I’ll be bitching again really soon.

Dear Loud One, Nibbit & Happy Dude,

I have this vision of you guys someday pulling up this blog and reading through post after post in which I’m mostly complaining about you. Now, I may be giving myself too much credit; it’s possible that you’ll have ZERO interest in reading anything I’ve expressed here because well, I’m your MOM, and omg, why would you ever want to read anything written by your mother? I get it.

But on the off-chance you’re bored one day because all of your friends have gone to the mall but you can’t go because you’ve been grounded for lying to us about being at the mall last weekend when really you were at a person of the opposite gender’s house unsupervised and you decide to pull up this blog, in which case I say GET OFF THE INTERNET! (or whatever the latest World Wide Web Information Super Highway is called in the future) YOU’RE GROUNDED AND YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ONLINE! But if you ignore me and continue onto this site: I want you to read this post. THIS one. The one you’re reading right now.

Because this is the one where I tell you that I think you’re AWESOME.

On Monday night, I took a good look at the pictures recently uploaded from the “good camera,” (as opposed to the iPhone, which we sadly use way more often). They were all taken over the past month or so… and I got a little verklempt. To a stranger, they don’t look like pictures of anything extraordinary, but a few just struck a chord.

First…

Soccer

LO, you have no idea how much Dad and I loved watching you play soccer this fall. Of course we loved watching you improve to the point where you were scoring and even more often, saving goals in every game, but it was so much more than that.

You wore the shorts. And the team shirt. And the shin guards and the socks. And the CLEATS! And you put it all on, by yourself. Every week.

You were EXCITED to get out there and be a part of a team of girls, many of whom you didn’t know in the beginning. Every week.

You cheered LOUDLY (like you’d do it any other way) from the sidelines when you were subbed out and I really think those three-person pyramids you created inspired your teammates in a big way. Every week.

I would jokingly say to other parents on the sidelines that what you lacked in ability, you made up for with enthusiasm. And volume. But honestly, you were pretty good out there! (I’m sorry that I sound so surprised, LO.)

You showed up to play, with determination and enthusiasm EVERY WEEK. And you made us so proud.

And then you gave us the “what? why are you taking so many pictures?” face, which was also great. Because it wasn’t long ago that you wouldn’t even put on the damn cleats. Now you’re a team player.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn't make them any less special.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn’t make them any less special.

 

OK, so then I got to HD’s birthday pictures…

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… and I felt really sad that my baby is three years old! My YOUNGEST kid is THREE. Three is the official not-a-baby age, am I right?

And while I’m excited for all of the things that having no babies may potentially bring, like sleepful nights and strollerless airport experiences, I LIKE babies. I’m the crazy lady who gets a little too close to your newborn and says things like, “I might just eat you up!” or “I need to take you home with me right now!” (Note to self: stop saying that to strangers or risk arrest.)

This inevitably leads people to ask me if I’d consider another baby and the answer is YES! I would consider it, if only it were not a medical impossibility. And also, certain to lead to divorce.

Anyway kids, the point is, Happy Dude will always be the baby of our family. And it’s hard for me to accept that he’s three now.

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Although if I’ve learned anything from the other two of you, three-year-olds aren’t really THAT close to full independence. Almost-five-year-olds are still pretty needy. As are seven-years-olds. So, I guess I’m still good. 🙂

Listen, I love you guys. Even if you read some of this blog and start to think otherwise, know that I really think you three are something special.

I vent a lot here, and make a lot of jokes, but ultimately, you’re my favorite people in the whole world. I think you’re truly funny (when you’re not being stupidly silly) and amazingly interesting. I’m confident you’re all pretty creative and there may even be a degree of intelligence (but that really remains to be seen). Also, I’m fairly certain you’re growing up to be compassionate and kind, which is most important in my book.

Lastly, I love to watch you chase tackle hang conspire laugh with love each other. Those moments are always my favorite part of the day.

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Love you always infinity,

Mom

PS. Nibbit, I realize this letter is a CLASSIC case of middle-child-negligence … LO rocks the soccer field, Happy Dude turns three and the Nibbit… is ignored. Despite no specifics mentioned here, I think you’re fantastic. And you’re somewhat skilled at taking selfies, as well.

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Note to readers: It’s possible the sentimentality induced by the photos were prompted by the fact that it was Veteran’s Day and I had spent most of the day sobbing at the videos of the surprise reunions between soldiers and their families. (If there is a soul out there who can watch one of those things with bawling, I’d like to meet you. And knock on your heart of STONE.) Thank you to all of our service men and women, and their families, for sacrificing so much of their lives, so that we can enjoy ours freely.

Happy 7th, Loud One!

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Dear Loud One,

SEVEN?!?

COME ON, STOP IT.

What did I tell you last year about getting older? Not acceptable. You need to just stay six and every year we’ll celebrate your sixth birthday and talk about how remarkable it is that you can read Shakespeare and do advanced algebra at such a young age. 

Because seven? Seven is SO MUCH OLDER than six! More than just 365 days older…

Six is a “little kid.” Seven is BIG.

I actually think the transition from the -6 to the -7 is the biggest in any decade. For example…

16 year-old… is young, giggly and still completely immature.
17 year-old… is driving, over all the teen drama and thinking about the future.

26 year-old… is still partying and not really worrying about what she should be doing.
27 year-old… OK, it’s time for her to get her shit together.

36 year-old… is in her mid-30s and still feels really young.
37 year-old… yeah, she’s pushing 40.

And so on….

Anyway, Loud One, you may be a big kid, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re awesome. Here are the biggest reasons why:

You have the most incredible ability to look at the bright side.
“It’s raining at my birthday party? Well, that’s because it’s a backwards, crazy, opposite party, so since we wanted it to be SUNNY, it’s RAINY instead!! Get it? It was supposed to happen this way!!”

You are always looking forward to something…
You wake up every morning saying, “I can’t wait for… the first day of school/to use my new toothpaste/for Grandma’s visit/to see my cousins!!”

…yet, you also completely live in the present.
Despite your high expectations for life, you’re never let down and you’re never disappointed when that thing is over. You look forward to something. You enjoy it. It ends and you move on to the next thing. Done and done. Let me tell you LO, if you can keep doing this, you will be HAPPY.

You LOVE to make people laugh.
I have no idea where this comes from… 🙂

LO, you’re something special. You have a big heart and an even bigger spirit. Let it grow and keep being you.

Because who you are, is perfect. Loud, but perfect.

Happy, happy, happy birthday to my seven-year old dynamo… I can’t wait for all my tomorrows with you!

xoxo
Mom

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Celebrating with a Backwards, Upside-down, Opposite, Crazy Party!

Seven looks inside-out and crazy... and TALL.

Seven looks inside-out and crazy… and TALL. When did that happen?

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Just some of the cousins that joined in the backwards, wacky fun

Just some of the cousins that joined in the backwards, wacky fun!

Cake first!

Cake first!

Happy Birthday, Big Kid.

She has been in motion since the day she was born… Happy Birthday, Big Kid.

Happy Birthday, Mom

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Dear Mom,

Happy [mumble number]th Birthday!

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I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to publish your age in this public forum – where at least 18 people will read this – and I can respect that.

I’ve been writing a post about you that I think you’re going to love. But it’s not ready yet, so I’ll save that for later this week.

In the meantime, in honor of your birthday, I’ve made a list of all the things I’m going to do today. Well, all the things I’m going to THINK about doing today. I’ve put in it list form because, well, they didn’t call you “Steps” for nothing. (To be honest, I would have done the list anyway… the organized apple didn’t fall far from the organized tree and all that.)

Here we go:

  • I’m going to make sauce, with the sausage “just for flavor” … even though I hate the flavor.
  • I’m going to eat it with a steak because I just feel like I need some red blood cells.
  • I’m going to make sure all of the food is HOT.
  • I’m going to remind my kids to always “be aware.” Of everything. All the time.
  • I’m going to use the diffuser on my hair because it gives it a “nicer curl.” Then, I’m going to pull it half back because it just “frames my face nicely.”
  • I’m going to tell my kids “I just need a hug today” and squeeze them a little bit tighter and longer than necessary.
  • I’m going to watch out for wet leaves on the road. (Those things are sneaky killers.)
  • I’m going to try to get a stranger to tell me his/her life story and then say, “I don’t know why… people just like to tell me things.”
  • I’m going to call Aunt San four times and then sigh heavily and say, “Oh San…”
  • I’m going to invite everyone I know over to my house and of course, I’ll have chips and dip and ten other snacks out. When they try to leave, I’m going to tell them to stay just a little bit longer. Then I’m going to invite them to move in.
  • While they’re here, I’m going to feed them a big meal. We’ll have pasta to start and maybe a filet. Oh and a turkey… as a side dish. And I’ll make sure I have everyone’s favorites. (I’m not going to make brisket because even though it’s Lori’s favorite, according to her, no one can make it as good as yours.)
  • I’m going to spend the whole time everyone is here bragging about my kids.
  • I may read someone a press release about Tom.
  • I’m going to drink a giant glass of Chardonnay.
  • I’m going to have my picture taken and do the [look down for 1…2…3… ] head flip! maneuver.
  • I’m going to call Hong Kong Kitchen and place an order in your honor.
  • I’m going to remind my kids AGAIN that they have a grandmother named Didi in heaven that would have loved them more than anyone else in the entire world.
  • I’m going to think about a lifetime of happy memories that you created on Valley View Drive, both before and after you knocked down the kitchen wall so that you wouldn’t miss out on any conversations.
  • I’m going to curse fucking cancer to hell and back.
  • I’m going to curl up under the Monster blanket and miss you big.
  • And I’m going to do – or think about doing – ALL of this while wearing an OUTFIT.

Because I spend a lot of money on clothes and why do I always have to look like a ragamuffin?

Happy Birthday, Mom.

 

"Oh Tom, you make me laugh."

Celebrating your 60th… “Oh Tom, you make me laugh.” 

 

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This was your last birthday that we celebrated together. You were really sick, but we still had quite the dessert spread. 

 

New Pets… & S’mores

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I’d like you to meet Squeaky & Pip.

These are the two new creatures guinea pigs that live in our house. The Loud One turned six yesterday and for the first time, our household has a non-fish pet. Actually, two pets.

Yes, we got two. Because as I reminded my sister-in-law, my motto has always been, “Go big or go home.”

Side note: This is a lie. That has never been my motto. I’m more of a “Half-ass it or just stay home in the first place. Why bother going at all?” kind of girl.

Before I forget, I want to thank you for all of your pet-related advice; I really appreciated all of the suggestions you guys sent. (Except for you people who said, “CAT.” Your suggestions were not appreciated.)

We decided on guinea pigs for a few reasons:

  • They’re supposedly very social and love people (although ours are stilled scared shitless all of the time, so we cannot confirm this yet)
  • They’re less smelly than other creatures pets
  • Maintenance is fairly simple and the Loud One can do a lot of it herself (she is actually very excited about using the beach shovel to scoop out the poop, so who am I to stand in her way?)
  • They are big enough to not look like a mouse (like for example, say, hamsters, which I do not like. At all.) and don’t have long, creepy tails like rats.

I will admit, they are a little bit cute.

So, we assembled the cage and got the whole presentation ready in the basement for when she woke up yesterday on her birthday.

I would love to tell you that when she came down the stairs and saw the cage (the animals were hiding out under their igloo home), she started squealing with delight and jumping up and down, but that would be a lie.

As she walked in, KJ said, “We want to introduce you to some new friends.”

She looked at me wide-eyed and open-mouthed (is that called slack-jawed? I think she was that), walked over to the cage and then just stared.

KJ said, “Happy Birthday Loud One! (Editor note: he actually used her real name here. Although we have started calling her Loud One at home. There has never, in the history of nicknames, been a more deserving nickname. And anyone that was at her birthday party yesterday would back me up on that.) These are your new friends… they’re guinea pigs!”

And she just stared with a strange sort of half-smile on her face and then said, “Thank you.”

I’m sorry, what?

Thank you??

I’m not sure if she was just in shock, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t thinking, “HEY kid! I just brought two rodents creatures into my house for you… you better start jumping for joy… NOW.”

Rest assured, she warmed up. As soon as the camera was switched off (and we told her they could live in her room), she leapt into my arms and yelled, “I LOVE THEM!”

And sure enough, she has hardly left the side of the cage since, excepting for the few hours she was outside for her faux-camping party.***

We’ve had to remind her A LOT that no, Squeaky and Pip are not ready for her to grab them and hold them in her lap and hug and kiss them because they just got ripped from the only home they’ve ever known and a young girl named “THE LOUD ONE” has been screaming at them for the past 12 hours –

HI! I LOVE YOU! I’M YOUR NEW OWNER! (Please, don’t let this be true.) YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE IN MY ROOM! DO YOU WANT A TREAT? (From you, crazy lady? No thanks.) YOU CAN TRUST ME! I LOVE YOU! DO YOU WANT TO TALK TO ME? (Um, we’re not parrots) I’M NOT GOING TO HURT YOU, I PROMISE! (Except maybe our ears). I LOVE YOU! MY NAME IS LOUD ONE (Yup, that seems about right). THESE ARE MY BROTHERS… BUT YOU BELONG TO JUST ME. NOT THEM. JUST ME. (Do we have any say in this… that little one seems much quieter.) I’M JUST GOING TO PLAY PUPPY FOR A FEW MINUTES AND I’LL BE RIGHT BACK. (No rush!)

But she does come right back. Every time. She comes back every five minutes to check on them. Spoiler alert: they’re still terrified. But they did come out and eat a little, so there’s hope. I’ve assured her that they’ll be jumping into her hands any day now. (Fingers crossed we didn’t get emotionally damaged or naturally shy guinea pigs because she will NOT be entirely happy until they are whistling a tune on her shoulder.)

All joking aside, this animal-loving daughter of mine DOES love these creatures pets more than anything, except maybe Happy Dude. (But definitely more than the Nibbit.)

       

I think her new little pets, plus having S’mores instead of birthday cake, made her 6th a birthday to remember.

She loves these guys (well, they’re girls, but whatever)… even though she keeps calling them hamsters.

Who needs cake?

***This is what a faux-camping party looks like when THIS PERSON doesn’t plan it. For the record, none of this was my idea. Thank you, Pinterest.

Dragon Parties & Pets

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The Loud One takes her birthday very seriously. She was born on August 22nd and she’s usually working on the plans for next year’s celebration by the 28th. Of that same month. August.

She’s starts by thinking about the party’s theme. For her 4th birthday, she considered an Animal Party, a “Backyardigans” Party, a Hide & Seek Party and eventually, she decided on a Pirate Party. It was totally manageable… except for the Epic Cake Fail.

This is the cake I made the night before. Snapped the picture, then took the “decorations” off the top so nothing would fall over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the cake looked like the next morning. One hour before the party. I didn’t realize that the cake itself, would fall over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For her 5th birthday, she pretty much had decided on a Puppy Party from the very beginning. Easy! A couple of cardboard doghouses and we called it a day. And I rocked that cake. (And by “rocked,” I mean, “made something that I tried to copy off the Internet and it vaguely resembled a puppy.”)

Woof!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, this year, she turns six and over the past eight-ish months, I’ve heard all of the following ideas:

  • “Maybe we can do another Puppy Party with real puppies this time… and everyone can bring one home!” (Oh sure! The other parents will LOVE that! SO much better than the bubbles and pencils and candy and stickers!)
  • “I really want a Dinosaur Hunting Party! We can hide dinosaurs all over the backyard!”
  • “I’m going to have a Husky Party for my birthday. And my present will be a Husky.”

The latest conversation went like this:

LO: I really want to have a Dragon Party. With a real fire-breathing dragon statue. I can be Toothless and everyone else can try to capture me and try to train me. (For those of you uninformed, Toothless is the dragon from the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon”)

Me: Hmmm. I’m not sure that would be very fun for your friends.

LO: YES IT WILL! They can wear dragon costumes, too if they want.

Me: <pause> Have you considered an off-site party… like say, at Pump It Up?

LO: Can we bring animals there?

Me: No.

LO: Than how will I have a Dragon Party?

Duh.

Over the course of the year, she also works on her present wish list. (These lists often mysteriously disappear during the time between September and June, but she remains undeterred and just begins a new one.)

Her current list includes six things from the American Girl catalog that are all animal related (she tells me, “Did you know that the American Girls all have puppies? They’re so lucky.” And I’m all, “Are you kidding? Addy’s a SLAVE and Molly’s living through World War II! The only lucky one is Julie, because she’s growing up in the 70s and gets to wear funky clothes!”); a new basket for her bike; stuffed animals; and a pet hamster.

Now you should know, as she’s made these lists for the past year, the American Girl stuff comes and goes and she often forgets about the bike basket. But EVERY SINGLE BIRTHDAY LIST ever has included some sort of living creature. A hamster. A turtle. A guinea pig. It doesn’t really matter… her desperate desire for an animal companion has remained steadfast.

Wait, if it’s not already clear, her absolute FIRST choice would be a puppy. But she knows that’s not happening because of, um, you know, Daddy’s allergies.

Side note: I told her that having two little brothers is just like having a dog… they’re both constantly getting into her stuff, they poop where they shouldn’t, they like to go for walks and we’re constantly yelling at them, “STOP! Drop it! Sit! Don’t eat that!”

She didn’t buy it.

Here’s the thing… KJ and I aren’t really dog people. You know how dog-lovers say that they’re suspicious of people who don’t love dogs? Yeah, well, that’s us. We’re those shady characters that don’t daydream about adding a four-legged child to our family.

In fact, I’m suspicious of THOSE people who say they’re suspicious of people who don’t love dogs. Just because I don’t want my house to be covered in hair and my yard to be covered in poop doesn’t make me a serial killer. I mean, I’m not making plans to drop kick a small cock-a-poodle or anything; I’ve just never wanted one in my own house.

For those of you asking, “Didn’t you have pets growing up?” the answer is this: my family had a dog (Brady) and a cat (Twinkie) before I was born. Weeks after my birth, the dog died and the cat ran away. They clearly feared my domination.

When I was about seven, I got a parakeet and named it Pretzel. For weeks I tried to teach that bird to say “hello” by recording myself saying “hello hello hello” over and over again on my cassette player and then rewinding and playing. Rewinding and playing. Rewinding and playing. That stupid bird never said one damn word. And then it died. (This just occurred to me… is it possible I bored it to death? Well, whatever.)

DESPITE our sketchy animal history, I think it’s time we give in to our first-born. The Loud One’s passion cannot be denied any longer. (Not that it could ever be denied, given its volume…)

But we need help. We need some advice on the best starter pet for a six-year-old.

I have a few requirements:

  • It can’t require living things as food. I’m not storing mice in my freezer or accidentally dropping a bag of live crickets on her bedroom floor.
  • It can’t constantly smell. I understand that poor pet/cage hygiene may result in an undesirable odor, but it would be great if the animal didn’t naturally smell like poop or feet.
  • It can’t be too noisy.
  • But it can’t be too boring. (She would like to be able to hold it, so yeah, fish are out. Plus, we’ve already had fish. They were boring. And then they died. Are you sensing a theme here?)
  • She should be able to handle the basic maintenance (i.e. feeding it) herself.
  • It preferably bathes itself (and cleans its own cage/tank/home if we’re really being honest).
  • And it would be great if we could just leave it alone for a week at a time when we travel. I’d hate to bother any of you about pet-sitting. (Am I shooting to high here? FINE.)

So, I will await your suggestions. Comment here. Email me. Whatever. Just don’t mention this to her should you cross paths. And DO NOT buy us a puppy.

Thanks.

OH, and while you’re helping me out, if anyone knows how to build a real fire-breathing dragon statue, consider yourself hired.

NOPE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AW. Maybe.

40 is the New Black

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Today, I turned 40.

As in, years old. (I hate when people say “40 years young.” You know who says that? Old people.)

Yup, 40. I’ll give you a minute to be shocked, turn to your husband/wife/boyfriend/roommate/dog and say, “Can you believe she’s 40? She doesn’t look a day over 28!” Seriously, say that. Now. I’ll wait.

I haven’t been dreading this birthday at all. I’ve never really cared about getting older; never really cared about the number.

And it’s not that I don’t feel old – because I sort of do. Here’s why:

  • I can’t stay up at late. If a concert starts after 9:00pm, I pass. And I DVR all the one-hour dramas that start at 10:00pm.
  • I can’t handle my alcohol. As my family has been quick to point out in recent days, I drink much more on this blog than I do in real life. But that’s because my blog self isn’t 40 and can better handle the hangovers. (FYI, Blog Self is also a size 2.)
  • I find myself doing those calculations like, “When my youngest kid graduates high school, I’ll be… “
  • If I pull an all-nighter, it’s because someone under the age of six in my house has the stomach flu.
  • I have wrinkles and lots of gray hair. I still don’t wear a ton of make-up or dye my hair, but now, I really should.
  • I find myself saying things like, “Kids these days!” and “When I was your age…” instead of making fun of people who say those things.
  • Many of the medical professionals in my life are younger than me. Shocking? No. Disconcerting, absolutely.
  • When my youngest kid graduates high school, I’ll be 57. Probably not the oldest parent there, but pretty damn close.
  • I remember my Dad’s 40th birthday party. And yet, my youngest kid can barely walk without falling over.
  • For the past month, I’ve been complaining about a pain in my hip. No joke. HIP PAIN. It just doesn’t get any older than that.

But even given all that. I still wasn’t dreading this birthday at all. But now that  it’s happened, I do have to say, turning this particular number – again, 40 (for those of you that aren’t paying very close attention) – is VERY strange.

40 sounds old. 39 sounds like “Oh, you’re still young.” And 40 sounds like, “Oh you’re still… bringing your kid to preschool?”

Being in your 40s pretty much defines “mid-life” and part of me wonders if I wasted so much of that first half. (I can only wonder because I can’t remember so many of them.)

You know that saying, “Your best days are ahead.” Well, no offense to my kids, but I’m fairly certain that’s simply not true. I mean, I ROCKED it in my 20s.

I kid.

I’ve got a whole half a life ahead of me (hopefully… oh geez, now I have to go knock on all the wood in my house). I look forward to watching my kids grow up and laugh and learn and sleep through the night. I look forward to learning new things (like basic math skills) and visiting new places (like Maine). And I can’t wait to…

Oh shit, it’s almost midnight. I’ve got to post this before it’s not my birthday anymore.

Thanks for all the well wishes… I’m a very blessed 40 year-young.

(What’d you expect? I’m old now.)

"Damn you, 40."