Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I have wood!

"I need some mushrooms!"
"I have wood!"
"Do you have an egg I can spawn?"


My son and the neighbor girl are sitting side by side on the couch, their eyes glued to the screens in front of them. I begin to worry about what kind of game gives them wood, and the desire for mushrooms.

"What are you playing?" I ask.
"MINECRAFT!" They respond, in unison. Yes. Of course. Do any other games exist anymore? What happened the games with the amazing graphics, and lifelike murders? Suddenly, my children are obsessed with the game of blocks, and the graphics are reminiscence to my favorite game from childhood...

Pitfall! Anyone else remember that one? (Hated those scorpions.)

As for Minecraft, as far as I can tell, you build houses to hide from the creepers. They mine for gold, they kill sheep, cows and chickens. Yay! They made a gold,diamond, cobblestone and iron pickaxe! "Hurry! Go to sleep! It's dark. You can't mine at night! The spiders will get you!"
"I found cobblestone!"
"Armor! Look at my armor!" 
Photo courtesy of the Minecraft Wiki. Yes. They have their own Wiki.

I thought I was alone in this...the incessant, non-stop chatting in the car (you know, where you're trapped. No way out) about the game. It can go on for hours. But the more I talk to people about this, the more I realize that this phenomenon is not restricted to my child. It's a worldwide virus.

"The Enderman are the most powerful, but the Ender Dragons are even worse! You should see Steve!! HAHAHA! Blah, blah, blah, blah...right mom?"
"Um, yeah! That's great!" I'm pretty sure he was speaking in another language.
"I know! You should see the water slide I made! And I named my chicken Lego."

And yes...there is a Minecraft Wiki. Everything you've EVER wanted to know. Check out their "Popular and Useful Page" on Blocks. (But keep in mind, "this article is about the various blocks found in Minecraft. For the blocking with swords that reduces damage when performed, see Blocking.") ( )

Even my 6 year old daughter is getting into it, but she seems more interested in decorating her block house with...well...blocks.

I recently received an order for a Minecraft birthday cake. And now my son wants one, too. I have a feeling that before long, I'm going to become an expert on this game. I'll be adding a Minecraft forum to my blog before long. Keep an eye out.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My a hoarder

 Last night while trying to tuck in my daughter, I tripped over a jump rope, which caused me to step onto her little coloring table, which spilled the broken crayons and stolen Sharpie markers all over the floor, and when I leaned down to pick them up, I saw the hamster poop.

We all have our limits.

 So, the kids weren't allowed to go out and play with their friends today until their rooms were cleaned. As a child, of course I remember the horror of those words. But the time for redemption had arrived.

Cleaning is not a hobby for any of my children, however it is always easier for the boys. They do share a room, so two kids vs. one room. And they aren't hoarders. When you keep a collection of all the price tags from all your clothes and stuffed animals hidden under your sheets, you might be a hoarder. When you keep every box from every toy you've ever received (and oftentimes the wrapping paper it came in) hidden in the closet, you are probably a hoarder. If you keep at least 6 water bottles stashed in your bed (just in case), you...yeah. You see where this is going. For example, after an hour and a half of cleaning your room, and you decide that this is the pinnacle of cleanliness:
Yeah. You might be a hoarder. You might need intervention.
You might be my daughter.

Several times, I have slipped in there and tried to secretly dispose of some of this stuff: like the size 2 toddler shorts in her drawer (that she insisted still fit), and various other...treasures. But they accumulate. They spawn. Like weeds.

A quick reenactment of the room cleaning experience, in HD, follows.

Delaney: "But it's my room! I LIKE IT THIS WAY! IT'S MY STUFF"
Me:   "Do you like spiders, too? Because they love messes like this. And that popcorn on the floor?
Mice like that. And who said you could even eat in your room?"
Nick: "MOM! I have to clean my closet, too? But, but, will be MIDNIGHT before I can play!"
Delaney: "MIDNIGHT!" she dramatically throws herself onto her bed, dislodging various stuffed animals, coloring books, a shoe, my lipstick (So that's where that went!) and other things best not to be examined to closely. "MIDNIGHT! I'LL NEVER GET TO PLAY! HOW COME I HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU SAY? I LIKE IT LIKE THIS! SCREEECH! WAIL! SOB! CRY! HUFF! SNIFFLE! IT WILL TAKE FOREVER!"
Me: "It will if you cry all day."
Me: "And when you're done please get the vacuum from Nick, and vacuum the floor please."
Me: "Because Sam and Nick are cleaning their own room, and you made this mess. You're the one that needs to clean it up."
Nick: "MOM! The vacuum is smoking!" 
Sam: Cough, choke..."UGH! It stinks! The vacuum is burning up!"
Delaney: "I can't clean my room! It smells too bad up here!" 

Depart stage.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Road Rage

The only inanimate object I have ever told to f*** off.

(Granted, I'm not much of a rebel, and I'll usually do what it tells me, but really! Would it hurt to say "please?" )

Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Swivel Sweepers

*I was talking to a friend today, and this memory popped up. Had to share! Originally posted  in 2010*

My son beat me downstairs this morning and had taken possession of the TV remote before I could pick a channel for him. By the rapt attention he was paying to the television, I feared he had stumbled upon a skin flick or some blood and guts, totally age inappropriate programming.

But no.

He was watching a vacuum infomercial. With more interest than he'd ever shown during an episode of Spongeboob. (And, yes. I did mean to add that extra 'o'.)

 The Swivel Sweeper. And apparently, we need one desperately.

"MOM! Did you see this?" he asks, as I come down the stairs. "It's AMAZING! Watch! WATCH! It picks up NAILS! And broken GLASS! And it bends so you can vacuum under beds!"

I've never vacuumed under a bed in my life and I don't intend to start now. And why can't you, you know, just pick up the nails? As for the broken glass? Any breakable item in our house had long been broken, so no problem there.

"And MOM! There's a secret button you push and all the stuff falls into the trash! Look! LOOK! You're going to miss it!"

"Wow, Nick. That's amazing. What do you want for breakfast?"

"MOM! You NEED one. Call that number! You get TWO for the PRICE OF ONE!"

Who are you, kid? Billie Mayes?

"I think our vacuum is fine. Do you want a waffle?"

"No! You need this one! It's AMAZING! LOOK! It bends! And it won't scratch the wall!"

I've never had a problem with my vacuum scratching the wall. Maybe I've been using it incorrectly.

"Why don't we watch "Oswald"?"

"NO! I'm watching this! IT'S AMAZING!"

I think I know what I'm getting the kid for Christmas this year.

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow."

I took the kids through the McDonalds drive-through this afternoon to get some ice cream...three cones and a McFlurry. I pay, then pull up to the window to wait. And wait. And wait. Finally someone comes to the window with the McFlurry, and then stands there staring at me, waiting for me to leave.
"Umm...we had three cones, too," I say.
"We're out of ice cream cones," he says.
Out of ice cream cones. Of course. Silly me. He keeps standing there.
"I already paid...?"
"Oh. Do you want sundaes, or something?" he asks. My youngest starts screeching from the back seat that he wants a chocolate dipped cone. I quickly order three more McFlurries, determined to get my  moneys worth. I pull out of the parking lot annoyed, trying to ignore my son who is still whining over the ice cream, and then I find I can't get onto the highway because a woman is sitting in the middle of the intersection for no apparent reason. When she finally made her mind up to as what she was doing, I couldn't go because the light changed and I had to sit through another red light. SIGH. Even more annoyed.

I get home and read through Facebook while I eat my ice cream. The usual inspirational quotes, pictures of people's food...buried in all that, I read that a local man was killed in a car crash, and while the name was familiar it took me a second. Then I realize that he was the son of one of the most amazing teachers my kids have ever had; the kindergarten teacher that taught my both my older children, and the teacher that I will beg for my youngest to have. The teacher that inspired me to go back to school to get a degree in early childhood education. And my heart broke. While I was annoyed over ice cream cones, a wonderful, inspiring woman had just lost her son. A family had just been torn apart and changed forever, and I was upset because I had to sit through a red light.

I can get so caught up in the little things, the annoying things that drive me nuts, all those petty things that seem to ruin a good mood. And suddenly, I'm given some perspective. As a parent, there can't possibly be anything worse than losing a child. There are no words.

All my love, sympathy and prayers go out to the family. I am so, so sorry.

"Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vacation Planning on a Budget (preferrably one that doesn't include murderous elves)

We’re trying to plan a vacation for this summer, and while I’m all for a week on the beach with alcoholic drinks, I do have to take into consideration the kids, and what they want. So...what do they want? They want to back to the scary, nearly abandoned “North Pole” amusement park in Colorado Springs. We went to a few years ago, and it was quite possibly one of the most bizarre places I’ve ever been. One good thing? There were no lines. No one else on the rides. My theory? The remaining guests were being slaughtered in Santa's Workshop.

 Real life action shots of the "North Pole." 
This one is of obviously benign elves waving cheerfully, while their comrade smashes a prairie dog with a hammer.

Kids, remember Fluffy? Your beloved cat? Yeah? He didn't really go to live on that farm. Santa has him.
Nothing menacing here, run along now, run along. RUN!

 So, as charming as the North Pole was, we asked if they had any other ideas which really, in hindsight, was a stupid thing to do. "Disneyland! Yay!" The most magical (translation: expensive) place on earth. Of course. But I did some research...3 days at 1 park ticket. Can't be that bad. That's only...let's see...$209 under age 10...and HOLY HELL! For $1,093 our family of five could spend 3 blissful days in the park. But to be fair, it does include a "Magic Morning." (Quite frankly, I'd be just as happy with the "Magic Fingers" bed. After all, they just take quarters, right?) But, if we slept on park benches, and ate out of trash cans, I can see it. 

Just need to check flights...William Shatner and I did some serious negotiating, and we came up with...$1,345.00. Really? Technically, if you look at the US map we're only about a couple of inches away from LA. That's like what? About $600 an inch? And personally? I've lost all respect for William. You know, I thought he was on my side. He seemed so...sincere. I thought he really cared. I'm starting to think he's just in it for the money.

That's as far as we've made it. Summer may be over before we decide on an mutually acceptable, reasonably priced vacation. I may just lock the kids out of the house for a few weeks, and tell them they're camping.


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