Archive | Humor RSS feed for this section

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?

Man of the House: Guest Post by Brother Bear

25 Oct

Whine: I don’t mean to brag, but I’m actually pretty good at this “whine” thing. I whine for milk, I whine for clean diapers, I whine when Mommy takes her undivided attention off me to check on whatever she’s burning cooking.  Mommy says I sound like this when I whine, so she calls me Wookiee. Isn’t she mean?

Cheese: She pretty much gives me whatever I want.  So I don’t really care what she calls me, as long as she keeps the food and snuggles coming.

Mommy is pretty busy these days. What with Big Sis constantly trying to remodel the house and Lil’ Sis working on her sly ninja skills, she barely has time to brush her teeth, let alone string together coherent sentences for the entertainment of the people. So I figured I’d step in today and give the lady a break. Mostly to make up for the fact that I may or may not have boycotted naptime last week and I’m afraid she might decide to let me ‘cry it out’ if I don’t pitch in.

I’ve been keeping busy since I last wrote. I’m still pretty much bald. I can’t sit up or scoot, but I look real cute rolling to hither and yon. I love to grab the diapers Mommy takes off me and try to stick them in my mouth. I’m really good at working hard in my baby office–I get a lot of important stuff done. Need me to push that light- up thingy? No problem. How about grabbing that other doo-dad? I’ll get it done by 5. I’m the picture of baby efficiency.

I’ve grown two teeth and I’m not afraid to use them. On baby food? No, that stuff is nasty. I like to bite stuff. And Mommy. Speaking of baby food, though, who eats that stuff?? Seriously. I admit, I was curious the first few times they gave me the cereal. But upon further review, zpfttttffffffffffffff [insert raspberry noise and violent spewage]. No way, Jose.

The world still seems to pretty much revolve around me, that much hasn’t changed since last time I wrote.  Mommy and I are pretty inseperable–I even get to go to work with her. I help her ‘type’ and ‘file’ and ‘take calls’. She’s pretty lucky to have me around. My sisters still operate by the 6 millimeter rule, which is that if I am around, at least one of them is within six millimeters of my face. But now that I am getting all grown up, I get to do more stuff with them than my last update.

My dad is pretty cool. I like to ride around in his (very manly) baby carrier and do man stuff. Like cook hotdogs on the grill. And clean the garage. He and I watch LOTS of sports together, but he gets a little scary and loud when the blue guys with the stars on their hats actually catch the ball. Then I get a little loud, too, but not in the same way. Ok, I admit it, I cry like a baby. But hey, I am a baby.

I really like Big Sis. She always gives me her blankie and her teddy bear, which is especially good for chewing with my awesome little teeth and is almost as awesomely gross as chewing a diaper because who knows where that blankie has been. Big Sis likes to drag me by my onesie onto her lap. Then she gets in trouble and has to go to timeout. But that doesn’t stop her from doing it the next time Mommy’s back is turned. Although today at the post office she stuck a postage label on me and told the clerk I was a package that needed mailing, so perhaps there’s some latent hostility in there.

I’m not quite sure about Lil’ Sis. She really seems to like me, although I think she’s trying to toughen me up. Seeing as how she gave me my first bloody nose. Mommy was reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy mad. But I think mostly because she got blood on her shirt.

Now I have street cred for the nursery.

But Lil’ Sis also gave me my first bite of cake, so I think that pretty much makes it even. And surprisingly, Mommy was reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy mad about that, too. But probably just because I didn’t spit the cake in Lil’ Sis’ face like I do strained peas.

And then there’s Mommy. I grin like nobody’s business when I see her. I just can’t help it. She’s my favorite. My favorite person to bite, to spit my sweet potatoes on, to wipe my snotty nose on. My favorite person to make kissy mouth at (or maybe it’s hungry mouth, I get confused), to try to escape from when it’s time to change clothes and to say “da!” to when we’re up at 5 am . She calls me “Aaron Earl(y) Bird”.

My Favorite Mommy

Also, this weekend was my Mommy’s  BLOGIVERSARY. So she decided to dust off her blog after a month of non-writing to celebrate two years of sharing the wealth of insanity with all of you.

As her BLOGIVERSAY gift to you, she wants me to hit some of the highlights of the last two years and to thank you for making the memories with us through your reading and your comments.

Remember that time Big Sis was potty training? Or the time Lil’ Sis locked us out? Or the time that Mommy got a root canal the week before I was born? Also, here is last year’s BLOGIVERSARY post. And one about procrastination (since it’s Monday and all) and ear infections (since it is sicky sick season).

I hope you enjoy strolling down Memory Lane, even if it is strewn with dirty laundry and amoxicillin. Here’s to another year of ‘good times’.

PS Mommy says to come back later this week for what she says is incontrovertible (isn’t that a kind of car?) evidence that my sisters are the most destructive little girls on the planet. And she says she’s got pictures to prove it.

Radio Silent

26 Aug

Whine: I feel a little guilty. I should be rustling up some grub for my posse instead of writing.

Cheese: They’re not going to eat it anyway (we’re having fish). See? It’s magic. The guilt is gone.

I am not unaware that my most regular posting streak has been interrupted by a most unfortunate lapse in any and all communications. If I were a spy (which I totally am in my fantasy life) and my blog were a sat-phone, the last few weeks would be what we spies call “radio silent.” Which is a tactic by which a super-smart (and ridiculously good looking) spy decides to throw her enemies off the trail by no longer communicating with command central. Which is totally why you haven’t heard from me in such a long time.

While I’ve been out thwarting dastardly plans for world domination, life in my house seems to march on. Brother Bear continues his improbable growth spurt. 28+ inches at his four-month checkup. Which explains his ongoing need to wake me in the night. Last night’s hourly awakening being no exception. Except the night before, he slept all night. Which just goes to show you that he is quite clever, because he knows that changing up his attack each night will be the quickest route to insanity for me and therefore I will be pathetic and defenseless and prone to feeding him whenever he makes even a tiny peep. And yes, I am complaining about him sleeping through the night. Hate me if you must; it is very hard to save the world when you are sleeping in 1-hour increments, although it never seemed to bother Sydney Bristow.

Apparently all this world-saving has me neglecting proper nutritional education, as Lil’ Sis just pulled a lime half out of my drink and said “I love cherry limes” right before giving it a big lick. Yes, she thinks they are called cherry limes, since she only ever sees them at the bottom of my 44oz styrofoam cup.

Another byproduct of my super-awesome alter-ego is that there is quite a heap of big news to share, but I’ve been too busy kicking bottom and taking names (this is a g-rated blog after all) to share it.  So here are three of the biggest news items, in no particular order.

1) I have a job. It pays.

2) I have a ‘new’ vehicle. It does not require that the three car seats be stuffed end to end in the back seat.

3) Lil’ Sis is 95% potty trained. Goodbye Pull-Ups.

Both item #1 and #2 seemed to drop out of the sky and into my lap. #3 is as big surprise to me as it is to you.

The job is very part time. It is for my church, working with the elementary kids’ program. And every day is Bring Your Brother Bear To Work Day. Which is especially awesome, as I sit through a planning meeting with Slurps/Burps McGee attached to me. But it works for us, and I (ahem) LOVE my new boss.

The vehicle is new to us. It’s a minivan and it used to belong to some very generous people who also happen to be closely related to me. (In other words, my parents got sick of watching us cram their precious grandkids into the back of a sedan and gave us their car.) It is so much easier to get from Point A to Point B without having everyone have to hold their breath just to fit in the back seat. Also, the lock has a clicker. Which I realize is soooo 2001, but my old car didn’t have one, so I’m just saying it’s nice since I usually end up trying to unlock my car looking like a pack mule and/or bag lady (it’s one of my undercover disguises, you know).

And Lil’ Sis has just decided to make my life easier. At least in the bodily fluids department. I still clean up messes from time to time, but she has pretty much single-handedly potty trained herself. And for that, she will get a car when she is 16. (The minivan will still be running then, right?)

We have been jetsetting and swimming and living it up this summer, and I sure hope I eventually get a post out of that excruciating day of travel (only one excruciating day of travel? surely you jest.), but first we have to go on one last road trip because the all the other ones we just finished weren’t enough. And also because fantasy football drafts are just better when you’ve driven 8++ hours each way over a long weekend to do them. Heh.

My name is Aaron and I like to boogie. At 5 AM.

We got free hamburgers for dressing like this. So there.

A picture of my uber-blonde alter ego. But shhhhh, don't blow my cover.

Insufficient Memory

12 Jul

Whine: You are very fortunate to be hearing from me today. I am taking time out from my very busy schedule of making memories to write this post. Making memories is exhausting.

Cheese: I have Photoshop and I’m not afraid to use it. Faking memories is not nearly as exhausting.

If you are like me you have many happy vacation memories. And you want the best for your children, which means giving them some vacation (it’s pronounced buh-KAY-shin if you’re four years old) memories of their own that do not involve reruns of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Handy Manny. I’ve taken the time to outline the elements of a proper vacation.

For any proper vacation, there is always Travel. As in spending five hours packing up everything you own and shoving it into your vehicle. This is done by allowing your children to use the open vehicle as an amusement park, climbing over the seats and turning all the knobs. When you finally “have everything you might possibly need”  (i.e., no more room in the car) you strap them into their seats (with the car running, obviously, since it’s 100 degrees at your house). Twenty minutes and two screaming kiddos later, you hop in the car only to realize that they’ve been sitting in their seats under a vent blowing HEAT at FULL BLAST and talk radio BLARING out the back speakers for that twenty minutes. Hence the crying. When you finally get out of your driveway you will then realize that you forgot the collapsible bed rail which of course you cannot collapse after turning around and going home for it, so you shove it beneath your son’s infant seat which is reverberating with the sound of his fury at being strapped in without prior authorization.

If you’re really, really lucky, your Travel is Budget Travel, which involves lots of begging (please, please, stop hitting your sister and don’t vomit until we pull over), borrowing (minivans and dvd players to name a few) and stealing (ok, no actual stealing, unless you count stealing a glance in the back for the ten minutes the sisters were peacefully coexisting.) But, we tell ourselves over and over, Budget Travel is where it’s at. It may not be pretty, but we’re bonding. Listen to them sing over Puff, the Magic Dragon in perfect little girl harmony. I mean, memories must be made and not bought, right? Oh, now listen, they’re fighting over who gets to sing the chorus. Precious.

Budget Travel also requires a mid-journey stop to slap together a few ham and cheese sandwiches  from the cooler in the back seat that is jammed full of groceries so as to avoid the insanely high prices of whichever vacation locale one happens to frequent. Incidentally, a pound of frozen hamburger works well as an ice block, in case you were wondering. So you throw a couple of dry sandwiches (because of course you forgot the mayonnaise) back to the wolves, who half eat half smear them across the back seat of the [borrowed] minivan. But sandwiches are so much healthier than those deliciously greasy and temptingly convenient chicken nuggets. No more trans-fatty sludge for us, no way. You’d think after five days of limited rations, the number on the scale would have gone down instead of up. But you would be wrong.

And the linchpin of Budget Travel is, of course, the borrowed lodgings. Whether it be a condo with a pool or a house on the lake, knowing the right people is key to vacationing on a dime. Borrowed lodgings are fantastic if your children are the play-nicely-on-the-piano and put-away-their-toy-as-soon-as-they-are-finished-playing type. However, if you happen to be blessed with the peanut-butter-cookie-dough-slinging, spilled-milk-on-the-carpet, crushed-froot-loops-in-the-couch-cushions type, borrowed lodgings may actually cost you more than booking a room at the Hilton and hiring a babysitter.

Borrowed lodgings often involve water/outdoor activities as the primary (i.e., only) means of entertainment. So after wrestling your exhausted and disoriented children into bed after your Incredible Journey and having them awaken far too early the next morning while you are feeling every last ounce of strength leave your body because all you ate for dinner the night before at 10:30pm was a “well done” grilled cheese sandwich, if you wake up to cloudy skies and a side of drizzle, you may be quite tempted to lock yourself in the bathroom and order a pizza.

But these are the days that memories are made of.  Will they remember crying and whining most of the day because they had a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and freaking out when they hear the tiniest bit of thunder over the pool they were swimming in? Or will it be eating sandwiches and Froot Loops for almost every meal because Mommy says something about a budget? I sure hope it’s the having a picnic on the balcony and convincing Mommy to swim in the rain. Otherwise their next buh-KAY-shin, might just be a stay-KAY-shin.

Before they accidentally kicked their plates to the ground.

Stay tuned for part two of the Summer Vacation series later this week!

Laugh Track

28 Jun

Whine: I just finished my yearly summer gig (It pays! Can you believe it??). Which means that the two weeks I spent waking the kids up and shipping them off to various babysitters was just enough to train their little bodies to be up and at ’em right at 6:15am. I like money as much as the next gal, but I’m not sure it was worth if they keep this up.

Cheese: You get a whole lot done when you start your day before Matt Lauer has even had his coffee.

Did you ever see the episode of [insert name of favorite sitcom] where [insert name of male character] had two dates in one night? Somehow this lovable goofball [I’m imagining Kirk Cameron as a young Mike Seaver here, although my extensive archival research did not produce evidence of said Growing Pains episode] had managed to get himself in quite a pickle, with one lovely girl waiting for him at the table of the Italian restaurant and the other standing by the punch table at the school dance. The camera cuts to Mike Seaver [or whoever] changing his tie and pocket square as he runs back and forth between venues, trying to call the right girl by the right name, often with the assistance of [insert name of awkward yet loyal best friend].

I always hated the two-dates-in-one-night episode. First, because I really hate tension. And what’s more tense than two angry girls in 80s shoulder pad dresses sparring over the adorable yet slightly-chagrined leading man? But I also hated those episodes because they were just. so. unrealistic. Nobody pulls off being in two places at once. Ever. Not even for the thirty (twenty-two without commercials) minutes of a sitcom. But apparently the live studio audience always bought it hook, line and sinker because they laughed with every close call and pratfall.

I live my life now trapped in a sitcom cliche.

Except for instead of two dates in one night, I’ve got three kids and one me. I run back and forth from room to room, putting out fires. Some are figurative.  Big Sis is in my bed in timeout for dishing out some unauthorized Swift Justice on Lil’ Sis. I turn on World Cup Soccer just to make the consequences that much more severe. I call it punishment by vuvuzela*. Lil’ Sis is sitting in the empty bathtub waiting for me to finish cleaning up the “oops I forgot I don’t wear diapers anymore” spot from the hall rug and come hose her down. All the while, Brother Bear lays screaming  in his bed as if his toenails are being ripped off by a hungry troll. Which is only partly true; I fed the troll this morning.

Scenes like this litter the sitcom of my life. Running back and forth, trying to remember whose name is whose and where exactly I was going in the first place and why there’s a bag of cheese under the pile of unopened mail. Except there’s no laugh track. And all the time I spend cleaning up bodily fluids in real life would be conveniently edited into a thirty-second montage complete with quirky background music. Good grief what I wouldn’t give for some quirky background music. The laugh track I can live without because cleaning up pee is never as funny in the moment.

But give it a couple of hours (days if it’s a really bad one) and I have edited the whole thing in my head down to what it really was, just a sliver of time in my twenty-two minute episode (I get NO commercial breaks around here) where I lost the numbers game (Kids 3, Mom 0) , sandwiched between the ubiquitous moments of character building and requisite sappy ending. Then I bring it you, my live studio audience, and we can all have a good laugh. I hope.

Mr. Dad reading to his live studio audience.

*Vuvuzela, in case your household calendar does not orbit the local/international sports schedule as mine does, is the sound of thousands of atonal horns being blown without skill like the droning of a stadium filled with tone-deaf bees. Also known as the South African fans at the World Cup. Trust me, it’s torture.


Car Storys: Guest Post by Wren

15 Jun

Whine: I am completely intimidated to write on Sarah’s blog.

Cheese:  I am smiling to myself knowing that the word Storys in the title is driving some of you crazy while simultaneously answering some of your questions about how to write the plural of our last name.

Part of life in the Story household is time in the car.  Driving to see family, to conferences, to see family, to churches, to weddings, to see family, etc. In our world a 3 hour drive is a piece of cake, but you do have to gear up for the 14 hour one to Texas.  But the girls have gotten to be good travelers, and we make it.  When Daphne was a baby, if she really got her wail going, we popped in Janis Joplin, and she stopped.  We figured she appreciated someone else doing the work of expressing her feelings, so she could settle down.

But my two funny stories didn’t happen on long trips. They were in-the-car-around-town moments.  Moments that made me glad I was actually listening instead of what I usually do, which is to just try to tune out the arguments.  And they’re not my favorites because they were sweet moments…really, it’s just because they still make me laugh when I think about them.

So here they are…one for each…because they would complain if the other got attention and they didn’t.  (Daphne actually once asked for a spanking because her friend got one, so she wanted one too.  Ummm…no, not this time, honey.)

We were driving home from a friend’s house, and I heard Alice, who was 2 at the time, say, “Knock ya over…” to Daphne, who was 4.  I almost pulled over the car, thoughts of “You may not talk to your sister that way.  You may not touch her ever…” flowing through my head.  But, by the grace of God, what came out of my mouth, relatively calmly even, was “What are y’all talking about?” “Mommy, I said she’s November and I’m Knockyaover.” “You’re what?” “Knockyaover.” “October?” “Yeah. Knoc-to-ver.”  I was quite relieved that I hadn’t yelled at her. She was right. Daphne’s birthday is in November, and hers is in October. So then I had a desperate urge to teach her to pronounce it correctly, lest she overly relate herself to knocking people over. Because she would probably think that was really fun.

The next story is from a couple months ago. Daphne is now 5 ½, and Alice is 3 ½. The girls had played long and hard at the park, and we were on the way home. Because I’m a great mom, I was recommending ice cream and a movie when we got there.  But they had watched Barbie movies every day that week already. (Did I just admit that I let my kids watch a movie a day? Ignore that, and let’s go back to the story.)(And don’t judge about the B word. Barbie ballet movies are actually very sweet and little girl appropriate!)  So I said, “Y’all can pick out any movie…just not a Barbie one today.” (We needed to mix in some Disney or Leap Frog.  I mean, I want my kids to be well-rounded.)  But right as I was saying “not a Barbie movie,” Daphne was thrilled about picking and said, “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses!” “No Daphne, not a Barbie movie today.  You still get to watch a movie, but you have to pick something else.”  And then I heard, in a whisper from the back seat, “You ruined my life.” And then, “I mean, I’m really angry.”  I started laughing.  I couldn’t help it.  Really?  She’s 5, not 15! “What did you say Daphne?”  “That makes me angry.”  I thought about pushing it—what did you say before that?—but the truth is, I was proud of her for catching herself already, and I didn’t want to make her say it out loud again in case out loud twice in the same minute would make a phrase stick in her 5-year-old vocabulary.

I guess I always knew the teenage years would be full of angst and me “ruining” lives, but I wasn’t prepared for it already! Maybe it was good practice.  I’ll probably wonder if there’s something I just don’t understand when she’s a teenager. But this time was easy — I knew that I wasn’t actually ruining her life — children have been known to survive Barbie withdrawal!  Phew!  Made it through that one.  Who knew I’d get it out of the way so early?  It hasn’t come up again since. But the memory always makes me laugh.  Maybe if I tell her about it when she’s 14, it’ll help her see how unreasonable she can be.  No?  Hmmm….I guess I’ll just have to treasure it to myself then.  And tell all of you.

P.S.  Shout out to Sarah.  How do you do it?  So many clever blog posts, three kiddos, amazing cakes, keeping up with everybody…You’re amazing.

P.P.S. [Sarah speaking] Thanks to Wren for stepping in for me during a very hectic time and for taking that cash I sent her to say nice stuff about me. Also, if you are a child of the 80s and you didn’t click the link up there, you should. Trust me.

Wren (aka Karen, aka Sarah’s sister) lives with her two little wordsmiths and their flip-flop enthusiast of a father in sunny Tallahassee. When she’s not pulling her children off of the unusually high places they’ve climbed, she likes to perfect her Tomahawk Chop and obsess over coordinating outfits for the perfect family picture.



Through the Looking Glass

6 May

Whine: I am living in the Poop Years. Every day I clean up poop. Off bottoms, out of clothes, off the floor of the public restroom stall. Some sweet day I will look around and realize that I have not cleaned up anybody’s business all day long, and that will be a very good day. But for now I arm myself with Resolve carpet cleaner and lots and lots of SoftSoap.

Cheese: Angsty teens doing melodramatic ballet to my favorite 80s uber-cheesy love ballad? Yes, please.

Yesterday it happened. I have always wondered when the day would come when one of my kids would figure out that they could turn the deadbolt and lock me out of my own house.

Well, yesterday was that day.

I unloaded Lil’ Sis from the car, unlocked the front door, tossed my keys down, and turned to retrieve Brother Bear from the car.  Then I turned to discover Lil’ Sis smiling at me from the other side of my front door glass. I tried the handle. Nothing. I banged on the door and shouted encouragingly for Lil’ Sis to turn the lock and she made a few feeble attempts. Nothing.

Then my little imp, who looked concerned about the situation for all of one nanosecond, turned tail and wandered off to explore the empty house Home Alone-style. I watched helplessly from the driveway as she toddled over to the table, still replete with unwashed breakfast dishes. My cries of horror went unheeded as she reached up to take a big drink of the milk that had been sitting out since breakfast.

I frantically called Mr. Dad who suggested I try the windows and see if any were unlocked. I was glad when there weren’t any, as we all know how it goes when I try the window approach to home entry. By that time Lil’ Sis had wandered back to smile and wave at me through the double-paned glass of the front door. Then she ran off to the far reaches of the house, probably to scald herself with hot water or pull bookshelves on top of herself.

No, of course I didn’t panic or freak out or think about calling 9-1-1.  Ok, maybe I did. But then I moved on to more productive behavior. I managed my internal near-hysteria by doing the following:

1) Thanking GOD that Brother Bear was not locked inside with his doting older sister, who would surely have suffocated him with kisses and hugs and pillows or bitten his toes off (she actually tried that the other day).

2) Running through all of the possible window-breaking scenarios to see which one would be least likely to cost me lots of pain and/or money.

3) Thinking what a HILARIOUS blog post this would make once I got Lil’ Sis out of there without drinking all my household cleaners or cutting her own hair.

4) Praying.

And miraculously, after I rang the doorbell about seven hundred times, Lil’ Sis walked back over and turned that lock.

I pushed open the door and scooped up that little sweetie, repeating over and over what a good job she did and how much I loved her as I squeezed her as hard as I could. Then I gave her guardian angel the rest of the day off. Heaven knows he needed it.

Home Alone 4: Revenge of Lil' Sis