Archive | December, 2010

A Christmas Surprise, a guest post by Mr. Dad

25 Dec

Whine:  My wife loves surprises, but her prowess at discovering them prematurely is uncanny.

Cheese:  She auto saved her password to A Little Whine and Cheese so she will be reading this for the first time just like you.

About two weeks ago, we’re ruining the children’s dream house by picking up and cleaning.  She says “Do you have anything for me for Christmas,” to which I try to show her my poker face as I sit on seven-deuce off-suit(the lowest possible hand in Texas-Hold-Em poker), and say “I’m not going to tell you that, why, is there something you want?”  She says, “Well, I’ve been sending you ESP messages.”   Translation:  there is something I really want but I want it to be a surprise so I’m not going to tell you what it is. PANIC, PANIC, PANIC.  I ask “Do I know what it is?”

At that moment my brain is throwing all the memory folders open looking for any clue as to what she could possibly be thinking about.  Then I remember:

About six months ago I got an email from my wife with a link attached.   She said, “if you ever want to get me something sometime here’s a good idea.”  I think: WOW, I am the luckiest guy in the world, she told me what she wanted all I have to do is get online andFOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE COWBOYS, BAYLOR, TCU Etc. And I kinda forgot about it, although I did save the link.

So I go to the link ( and it’s a cool necklace that raises money for a good cause too. Now, its important that she not know I’m getting this, and she does all the bill paying, and banking so if I buy it wit a credit card she will know, so I call my brother and get his credit card info and order it to send to his house.  YES!! She’ll never know, I thought…

A week later I’m sitting on the couch with her posting my beautiful hand made poker table on Craigslist.  I ask her opinion about it and I hand her the computer and she fixes it.   I had my email open and as she closes the craigslist tab gmail pops up briefly.  She gasps and almost starts crying.  I say “what?”  She says “I saw something I shouldn’t have.”  (Not that I’m tempted, but the chances of me keeping a Tiger Woods-double life are less than getting struck by lightning.)   Of  course she saw the email halfway down the page that confirmed my purchase.  Dang It.

Whine: I don’t do a good job of telling her how important she is to me and my world.

Cheese: She keeps being important anyway.

One thing I love about her is her unquenchable desire to know others better.  Its important because she is married to someone with “the emotional capacities of a teaspoon.”  She draws me out. She makes me a little uncomfortable.  I love that.  Its not just me though.

If you have the privilege of knowing her, then you have probably experienced some of this yourself.  She wants to know you.  In a favorite book of mine the main character introduces a “particular friend,”  which describes a relationship that is 1. special and worth mentioning, 2. exceptional, 3.  personal.  I am her “best friend” (sorry 5b) because it implies exclusivity.  You are her particular friends because you are each of the 3 things above.   Some more some less, but she always wants more.  And thats part of why she is loved.

Thanks for reading. she probably wont let me post again, and it wouldn’t be a surprise anyway.

Merry Christmas

Mr. Dad

Drum Roll, Please

15 Dec

Whine: I’ve had several inquiries as to the true identity of Sophie’s boot intruder. Inquiries phrased in such a way as to imply a lack of timeliness on my part. And so I offer my apologies for making you wait, but you know at Christmas that Mommies turn into crazy-eyed elves. We can’t help it–the banana bread is not going to bake itself.

Cheese: I didn’t realize that you all cared quite so much. Sniff.

In case you missed it, last week I posted a contest to determine the obstacle that was hidden in the toe of Sophie’s boot. I wanted to share the answers I got because they made me giggle.

1) Baby Jesus, to keep him warm. (Posted by Rachelle) Because what better place for the Savior of the World to stay warm than in the bottom of a stinky, dark boot? Probably beats the manger, though. And it is right along Big Sis’ line of thinking.

2)Red Tens. (Posted by Laura via Facebook) One year on our annual Labor Day Weekend to Kansas and back trek, Sophie “borrowed” all of the red 10 game pieces from Cousin Laura’s Rummikub game. Because for her, every episode of Sesame Street should be brought to you by the Color Red and the Number Ten.

3) Mindinator. (Posted by Aunt Lisa) The Mindinator is one of Sophie’s inventions. Basically it is a basket on her head that has some sort of undefined scientific powers. I’d be careful around that thing.

4) Hardened Halloween candy, stashed away in a moment of lucidity after a mad trick-or-treating frolic. (Posted by Jeanne) Hey, we’ve run out of candy, perhaps I’ll check all the shoes next time I need a candy fix.

5) A chicken nugget, hard enough to play baseball with. (Posted by Debbie)  I don’t know what kind of house you live in, but that kind of thing does NOT happen around here. Ewwwww.

6) Little Brother. (Posted by Uncle Paul and Karen) DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS!!!

7) A tampon. (Posted by Mandy) Well, I guess you never know when you might need one. . .

8) This is not an actual entry, but I thought it deemed repeating:  (Posted on Facebook by Karla) My district blocked your blog. Says something about bodyart. Excuse me, it says ADULT BODYART. Oh dear. I realize we do frequently discuss the fact that my children hate wearing clothes, I did not think we were quite THAT scandalous.

In my estimation, you are ALL winners. So gold stars all around. But I can’t buy Starbucks for everyone, so I’ll let Big Sis tell you herself. (Note: She dressed herself today, including the beret and western vest. What? She’s a French poet cowgirl.)

It WAS a hotdog and it WAS nasty. It was about an inch of petrified meat product. I have no explanation for it’s presence in her footwear, but suffice it to say based on my kids and their “creative abilities” I was not all that surprised.

I am going to declare Debbie the winner of our first Whine and Cheese contest!! With an honorable mention to Jeanne, seeing as how she was pretty darn close, just not quite disgusting enough. Thanks for playing, y’all.

Must Be Present To Win

9 Dec

This is not an official post.

THIS is a contest.

WITH a semi-real (mostly fake) prize.

This morning I was rushing everyone around trying to get us all out the door and into the car and to the preschool before we missed most of the day and all I had left to do was supervise Big Sis as she put on her shoes. Actually cowgirl boots. Very cute.

Anyway, as she shoved her foot into the second boot, she howled, having stubbed her toe on an unidentified object. We pulled her foot out, tipped the boot over and out fell __________________________.

I laughed hilariously, then insisted she pretend to be Woody from Toy Story, who when you pull his string says “There’s a snake in my boot.”

So, the question is what do you think Sophie said when I pulled her [imaginary] string? What was in her boot??


Enter your guess(es) in the comments below. Those of you who’ve already heard the story, be sure to keep your guesses to the ridiculous (and not accurate) so as to not spoil the contest for everyone else.

The winner(s) of this contest will get (drum roll, please) to choose the topic for an upcoming post and a gold star!! Who wouldn’t want that?? Fine. If you guys do a really good job I’ll throw in a Starbucks gift card. But only if you do a really good job.

If no one guesses correctly, then the the winner will be whoever’s guess makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants, so go big or go home, people.

Guesses must be entered by noon Monday (12/13) when I reveal the answer.

If there are two things I know about my readers it is that you are both 1)faithful readers and 2)funny folks, so don’t be wallflowers, lurking around thinking funny things. Share your best and/or funniest guess with the rest of us. Because I said so.

Take Five

6 Dec

In an effort to combat what my friend describes as “a case of early-onset crochety”, I am going to take 5. Five things that generally a)make me crazy b)stress me out c)lend themselves nicely to a rant and turn them into things I can be thankful for.

1. My kids. They are d)all of the above. Because of them I am broke, hungry, generally unshowered and sleep-deprived. But because of them I am also incredibly amusing. [Side note: Lil’ Sis just discovered the hide-things-behind-your-back-and-walk-sideways-so-Mommy-can’t-see-my-contraband trick. I wish you could see her.] And because of them I am also fulfilled, grateful and never, ever alone.

2. My car. It groans and creaks and is lacking two of its hubcaps, which of course, have to be special-ordered. But that baby got us to and from Kansas City last week, and can I just say how nice it is to have a whole row between us and our two Nosy Nancys? Wanna know why we take all these roadtrips? A full tank of gas and a portable dvd player are just about the only way we get to have an actual conversation.

3. My job. Because who really wants to work? I’ll tell you, it’s not me. I find work very inconvenient to my do-whatever-I-want schedule. But how in the world did I land a job that allows me to pretty much work when I can fit it in and where my bosses like Brother Bear (who generally tags along) more than they like me?

4. My personality. Let me just be honest. It is exhausting to be me. (Hence the sleeping on the bathroom floor routine.) The emotions I experience in an afternoon would last Mr. Dad a month. Or two. But I can be thankful for all this upheaval because I’d sure rather be unstable than bored. [Wish granted.]

5. My limitations. Gah. This is the one I’m finding most difficult to be thankful for. I want to do everything and do it to perfection. Unfortunately for me, I’m not that girl. I do lots of things, just not always well. But if I were perfect, none of you would read my blog. Because, admit it, you come here for stories of destruction and upheaval. I’m glad I can help. Consider my shortcomings a special Christmas gift to you–and one that never runs out.

What are you grrrr-ateful for today?

Attitude of Grrrrr-attitude

3 Dec

Whine: Morning and I do not get along. We never have. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of waking me up can attest to that–I once hit a girl who tried to wake me up on a long road trip (So sorry, Carmen). And yet, thanks to the magic of parenting, I no longer need an alarm clock.

Cheese: Despite an early-morning wake-up call, I haven’t hit anyone. Today. (Poor, poor Mr. Dad.)

I hate waking up so much that my mother used to come in my room blowing a whistle and banging to pot lids together like cymbals. And after I finally stumbled into a darkened bathroom to take my shower, I’d lay a towel on the floor and catch a few more minutes of shut-eye before my mom figured out that the shower wasn’t actually running and came back with her homemade marching band.

And here I am, a mother myself now. But I definitely have the opposite problem. These kids don’t need clanging cymbals to rouse them in the morning. The fluttering of a moth’s wings two doors down is sufficient. And forget about trying to use the bathroom between the hours of 5 and 7 am (which happens frequently when you are up with little babies) unless you want really crabby company for the rest of the day.

But mornings aren’t all bad. The fact that Brother Bear woke me well before 7 is the only reason I have time to blog today. So even though I grunted and scowled my way through the first few paragraphs, I’m almost glad to be awake. (It’s still before 9am; let’s not push it.)

That’s what we’re working on these days. Replacing cranky, whiny, stinky attitudes with gratitude. And the kids are working on it, too. At first there’s definitely a little more emphasis on the grrrr. But as we keep flexing our thankfulness muscles, finding the good stuff gets a little bit easier every time.

The other day, I wanted to try out this handy new reframing habit. I could hear the sisters were bickering in the back of the car. I couldn’t completely make out the words, but the tone was enough to inform me of their malicious intent. So I interrupted them and told them to each say something nice about the other.

Big Sis looked over at her beloved sister and said, in all seriousness, “Lil’ Sis, I like the way you have snot running out of your nose.”


In a related story, Christmas is a total beatdown for parents. Not just because of the hustle and bustle and teetering around financial pandemonium. But because of the challenge of teaching our kids to be content with a house bursting with toys and games they mostly don’t play with, despite the fact that they desperately need a whole ‘nother house filled with MORE toys and games for them to use once then ignore.

Which leads to pretty continuous conversations about what everyone else has and how much and how we can never be happy because she has the super-deluxe-edition dolly and I only have the regular-deluxe-edition one. Isn’t life SOOO unfair? And right as I’m schooling my sweetie that the best cure for a raging case of envy is to find all the good stuff you already have, I catch myself drooling over the souped-up 2011 minivan with all of its hubcaps that is driving by.

So I guess I’m thankful that I have kids that force me to face the sad, five-year-old state of my heart so we can learn contentment together. Or should I say grrrateful?


*Come back Monday for Part 2 of this post. Two posts in a week? Now that’s something to be thankful for.