Monday, August 20, 2012

Survivor: Who Made It Out Alive?

Heroine and underlings
I am Mulan, Party is Shang,
and you can pick which
of my kids is Mushu.
(Note the bowing)
In part 4 we learn the fate of our heroine and her underlings.

The boys left yesterday after lunch, but I waited until today to tell you about it so the suspense would build.  Who made it out alive?  Was anyone maimed?  Are The Party and DTC still speaking to each other?  Will 5 and 7 ever agree to come back to Chez Donkey?  I know you have been wondering these things.  Okay, you're right, I mostly didn't write yesterday to tell you what happened because I was too tired.

But today is a new day and I will fill you in on the final hours of our Survivor adventure.  To start with, Sunday was much easier for me.  It was much easier because I got to go to soccer with SB.  It was a little stinky to leave the house at 7:30am and drive and hour, but much more relaxing overall.  

I bet this is a little what
Party looked like at the movies.
The Party gave 5 and 7 breakfast and took them to see a movie (Ice Age).  This was the agreed upon movie, however when I texted  Party to see how things were going he said there was a lot of yammering all the way to the movies.  "I don't want to see Ice Age." "Why can't we see the other movie?" "Why can't we see 3-D?" [As an aside I want to say that I don't actually know if Party fed the boys breakfast, I didn't specifically ask.  I also don't know if he had them brush their teeth since he didn't have them do it at bedtime the night before because...wait for it...*I* didn't tell him to have them do it.  Am I even going to answer that?  Whistle.]

The movie challenge was won by the home team in that no one cried, threw up or wet themselves (Party included) and Party returned home with the correct number of children.  I didn't hear anything about actually being at the movie except that 7 had eaten an entire bag of gummy worms before he had even gotten to his seat from the concession stand.  I think that actually makes the first part of this paragraph all the more impressive.

Insomuch as the boys had fun and so did we AND no one had to be hospitalized or rescued by the fire department or police, I would say that my family won Survivor: Suburbia.  I am sure we will be getting our million dollar check in the mail any day now.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Survivor: WTF Is Wrong With You?

Installment 3 finds me hiding, yes hiding, in the computer room.  The Party called me out of the room to complain, but had to back off because the whole thing is his fault.  The upside for me is that I get to update you on what's going on.  Oh yeah, and I will explain why it's Party's fault.

Okay, so we are in hour 32.  We are essentially on the back 9.  The Party seems bent on making these last hours as long and loud as possible.  And not in a good way.  His plan for the last couple of hours has been to rile and sugar up 5 and 7 as much as possible so they will have a big crash and go to sleep.  They have now turned to screaming "funny" stories that end with someone getting hit or knocked on their "buttocks."  As I am sure you know, that word is funnier the more and louder you say it.

The "plan" started several hours ago.  While we were eating dinner.  The Party made me a drink, but it didn't work.  I made a second one while he wasn't looking and I'm drinking it right now.  The Party is showering the boys upstairs and I still hear screaming.  How long will the screaming and hysterical, maniacal laughter go on before Party realizes his plan isn't working?

Just so you know, we have the boys sleeping on a queen-size air mattress in our room so they can watch TV before falling asleep.  (My kids are loudly complaining that it's unfair that they are not allowed to do that.  Whatever, shut up.)  This evening will end by Party putting the kids on said mattress and turning on the TV.  He will then fall asleep in our bed while Thing 1 and Thing 2 come downstairs to see what the rest of us are doing and to continue playing Bey Blades and Legos.  (Side note: Jenni and Adam, we bought 7 some more Bey Blades and 5 a big Lego set for their birthdays.  You're welcome)

The screaming has stopped and it's totally quiet now.  Not sure if that is a good sign or a bad one.  I'll let you know.  If you don't hear back from me in 24 hours, send help.

This is what it will look like once
The Party falls asleep.

Survivor: Installment 2

I should totally get a shirt made
of this logo with the date on it.
I could start a shirt collection
for every time we have the boys.
Oooh wait - maybe car magnets!
It's almost a little like "24" mixed with Survivor.  Each episode is a whole day but takes place over the span of the hour installment.  And by "almost" I mean the opposite of.  Each hour takes a whole day.  Or maybe it just feels like it.

It is currently Hour 21.5, not that I'm counting.  The boys and I have been up since 9am.  5 started off being unhappy with me because I wouldn't play Crazy Bones with him at first awakening.  I said I wasn't ready to play yet.  He kept holding up the bag and looking up to me with his big blue eyes, trying to hold back the tears.  Sigh.  No.  Still can't play.  7 spent about 45 minutes wrapping different parts of his stuffed bear with an Ace bandage, announcing which parts were broken and needing fixing.  Very excellent imagination and playing his own.  He did say he was being loud on purpose in hopes of waking up Boy so they could play with him.  I told 7 "Good luck with that."

After announcing that he, 7, certainly did not ever need a lid on his cup, even in the family room, he put his elbow into his full cereal and milk bowl and tipped it over.  Despite having seen him do it, he smiled and blamed it on 5.  Or maybe it was Billy Bob.  Yes, he thinks Billy Bob did it (Billy Bob does not exist if you aren't getting that).  No big deal, accidents happen. I did tell 7 though that when you cause an accident that makes a mess that someone else has to clean, it's nice to say "sorry" and then offer to help clean it up.  He agreed that was the way to go.  He said sorry, removed his wet pajama pants (underwear stayed dry somehow) and moved himself and remaining cereal to a dry spot.

The reason I am able to come tell you about our day so far is that I went and woke Boy up myself at 11:15am.  And, just to remind you, Party and SB are at soccer.  (SB's team won against the 5th ranked team in PA - go SB and team!)  I have to now go get dressed before anyone notices that they haven't spoken to me in more than 4 minutes and comes searching.

I will be back later to let you know how Team Donkey fared in the afternoon challenges.  Remember, there will be a pool involved and one boy who doesn't know how to swim yet.  Oops!  Too late - 7 just found me telling me he doesn't know where Boy went.  Really?  He's downstairs with you, go find him.

Thank God these are actually very sweet and well-behaved children!  I really don't know what people do who have kids who are obnoxious and crazy.  I haven't had to yell at anyone yet, which is more than I can usually say for my own children.

Addendum:  5 just brought his and 7's cup up from the family room without being asked and took them to the sink.  Okay, maybe I will play Crazy Bones.
The real ones look way more
blobby and faceless and are
probably made of plastic mistakes
from other kinds of toys.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Survivor: Suburbia

So, we're going to try something a little different today.  I am going to keep you apprised of my own Survivor episode that is going on right now as we "speak"  (well, really read and write, but whatever).

Unlike a normal Survivor series, no one can get voted off the island.  It's more of a last man standing kind of Survivor.  In our game, my nephews (7 and 5) have come to stay with us for the weekend.  These are The Party's sister's kids.  We love Party's sister and her husband and wanted to help them so they could go away to celebrate their 10th anniversary.  These boys are very cute, smart and sweet.  They are also very hyper enthusiastic and active.  They require (especially the 5-year-old) more supervision and entertainment than my 14 and 17-year-olds do, so that is a challenge.  For the record, we are very glad to have them here, but that does not change the reality of the situation.  Or the need to exploit the visit for use in our fun and games.

At this moment in time we are at Hour 3.  Out of 48.  Our special challenge is that Party won't be home until around 9pm and SB has a party at 7.  Boy will be gone from 5-7.  My goal is to give them a few snacks so that they can wait until 7pm to go to dinner.  This will give me another person to go with me and will count as an activity and will bring us close to bedtime.  Did I mention they are not particular fans of bedtime?  And I am pretty sure I am not going to get a nap this afternoon.  Just saying.

So far, everyone is happy and entertained and my children are supervising so I can do important things like chat with you guys.  I have several activities planned for the next two days, but the challenges will get harder.  For instance, tomorrow and Sunday SB has a very early soccer tournament.  The Party and I will have to split up.  How will this work out?  Will people be happy?  It's a nail-biter isn't it?!?

Stay Tuned!!!

In 1932 Mickey babysat his nephews, Morty
and Ferdie.  This is the earliest record of nephews being
babysat.  Okay, I made that up, but 1932
was a really long time ago, so it could be true.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Less is More, Except When It's Not

After I wrote the title, I thought about leaving the whole post blank.  Get it?  I could not crack myself up more.  Anyway...I was thinking that a lot of people seem to not quite grasp the "less is more" concept, so I thought I would prepare a handy list of things that illustrate that sometimes a little goes a long way.  You might want to consider making and laminating smaller copies of the list to hand out as needed.

Less is More
1.  Cleavage (think sexy versus slutty)
I am guessing "less" isn't
even in this girl's vocabulary
2.  Make-up
3.  Bay seasoning
4.  Alcoholic beverages (more = unruly, messy, often naked behavior)
5.  Homework
6.  Quality time with your kids (settle down, you know your kids can only take so much too)
7.  Quality time with your husband (of course there can never be too much wife quality time)
8.  Cooking (if you do it every day, your family won't know to really appreciate it)
9.  Perfume/ cologne/ all Axe and Axe-like products
10. Speeches/ Power Point presentations/ eulogies (let the person rest in peace for God's sake)
11. Play dates at your house
See what I mean?
12. Parent-teacher conferences (more is never a good sign)

Of course, there are times when more is actually more/ better/ superior.  It is just as important to be familiar with the things on this list as well.

More is More
1.  Skirt length (trust me, your skirt is not too long)
2.  Pizza
3.  Cheese
4.  French Fries
Okay then...slight caveat.
Cheese with a mouse in
it is always too much cheese.
5.  Alcoholic beverages (more = fun, fun, fun)
6.  Play dates at other people's houses
7.  Patience (I don't actually have more of that, but it's a good thing)
8.  Vacation Days
9.  Awards/ Prizes (only in regard to yourself, for other people less is more and don't brag)
10. Meals at restaurants

I am sure there are more things that could go on these lists, but that's what I came up with so far.  I actually think we also need a list called "Any is Too Much."  This would include things like rudeness, freshness from your kids and vomit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And That's What You Get - A Cautionary Tale About Teens

Last fall our friends over Rants From Mommyland invited me to write some thoughts on the challenges of parenting teens as part of their "Domestic Enemies Of..." series.  Since some of you may have missed it and because I am having A LOT of teen time with Boy, our resident 17-year-old, I thought I would share it again.  Oh, be sure to pop over to Rants from Mommyland because they are fun-ny over there!  

Since the post was run on a different site, I had to copy it and paste it here.  This means, you can skip right over the intro since we are such close friends and you already know this stuff.


Domestic Enemies of the Mom with Teens

We'd like to introduce you to our friend who writes the blog Donkeys to College.  You know why they don't send donkeys to college? BECAUSE NOBODY LIKES A SMART ASS.  She is awesome and hilarious and a close personal friend of Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy.   which is how we found her. 

Here's a little more about the donkey herself: I have been married for 19 years and have a 16 year old and a 13 year old. I have been a stay-at-home mom (or a go-to-PTA-and lunch mom, whatever...) for the last 11 years. While I feel completely lucky to be able to be at home to handle all the kid and family stuff other moms have to handle in a few short hours at the end of the day, I had been starting to miss being at work. Well, more specifically, I had started to miss having work friends to hang out with in between doing some work.

So, earlier this year, I created my blog Donkeys To College and a Facebook page to go along with it. I have essentially created my own little coffee break room and have been thrilled that people have decided to come hang out with me there. I also get to be as big a smartass as I want without a boss giving me dirty looks. It doesn't pay as well as a real job, but with zero income, there are no pesky tax forms to fill out.


This is a wild teenage party, right? RIGHT?!
There are a whole bunch of enemies I face on a daily basis. Sometimes, more than one at a time! I have me one of each model (boy 16, girl 13), and let me tell you, I have had to brush up on my ninja skills to fight off this crap. I can be sitting quietly, planning our healthy meals for the day (snort) and in a blink of an eye I am in full-on mama bear ass kicking mode.

I try my best not to let these enemies get in the way of me doing my job. Some days are easier than others. Even after 16 years, I still keep expecting someone “official” to show up at any moment and demand “Honestly! Do you even have any idea at all what you’re doing?”

Parenting Books/Experts
When you read about adolescent and teen behavior you quickly find out that teen behavior is caused, in part, by their not-yet-done-developing brains. Essentially, you should be more patient because they can’t help that their judgment and reasoning skills are not yet what they should be. Okay, great. How come *I* have to be more patient? Why isn’t the advice to show my kid the chapter that says he’s the problem, not me? Why isn’t the advice that my kid, in hopes of seeing his next birthday, should try shutting his pie hole since there’s little chance he’s right and I’m wrong?

I can't believe I bothered 
going to college.
Another thing with parenting advice is that it doesn’t allow for the fact that teens and their halfway working brains need a different kind of parenting than little children do. We are all told to criticize the behavior, not the child. That is awesome for a little guy whose self-esteem we don’t want to permanently damage. Teens have essentially OD’d on self-esteem. You would never tell a child he’s bad, but, by all means, you should tell your teen. When my son is being extremely annoying I ask him why he is so bad and tell him that God can see the way he’s treating his mother. Yes, I know that sounds harsh, but, in real life if you act like a doofus, people aren’t going to like you. I am helping him to grow and blossom. Further, while hitting is a definite no for small children, a well-timed, “accidental” shove to your teen won’t hurt him any and will help you build up your cache of patience that you are supposed to have.

Parents Who Wish They Were Still Teens
This is the group of parents who want their teens to think they are cool. They allow their teens to do things way before any of the normal parents think is appropriate. Belly button piercings, tattoos, drinking, co-ed overnight trips…you see where I am going. You can rest assured these are the parents who will allow everyone’s kids to drink at their house. They act like YOU are the one in the wrong because you don’t want your kid to drink. Their reasoning for allowing any of this stuff is that you can’t stop your teen, so you may as well have some control over it by supervising/encouraging it.

You know what? No thank you. Stop making my job harder. No teen ever made better choices because they were drunk or high. Why would I possibly make it easier for my kid to do stupid crap?

And another thing…like I care that my 16-year-old thinks I am not cool? I have plenty of grown-up friends who are fine with my level of coolness and, I don’t care what you’ve heard, I don’t have to buy them beer to make them think so.

The Government Generally and PennDOT Specifically
Or whatever DOT you live in. Did I not just tell you how parenting experts say teen brains are crappy in the judgment department? So then, why, right in the heart of the time they are most likely to get themselves hurt or killed, does the Department of Transportation let them start driving cars? “Gee, we didn’t think you could get up enough speed on your bike to kill yourself ramming into that wall, what say we give you something to work with that’s sure to do the job. Oh and you want to stick your sister in the car with you too? Awesome.”

The Government is not helping either. We don’t allow people to drink until they are 21 because we have found there are less dead teenagers that way. That’s great. Why then are we allowing them to join the military at 18 and risk their lives and shoot guns at other people? Can’t we get that moved up to 21 too? I did not just spend all this time keeping my teen alive, so you can send his no-fear-adrenaline-craving self to shoot at people and have them shoot back or throw bombs at him.

This is THE worst enemy to us moms of teenagers. These people don’t know how to stay out of their own way and keep out of trouble. Everything you are doing to keep all these other jackasses from making your job harder… an effort in futility. Your teen is working against you. They are like secret agents for the other side. They don’t even get paid!  They are doing it for sport!

One main problem with teenage girls is that, and I’m sorry to be so blunt, they have breasts. They love to dress up and look nice, but they only have the most tenuous of grasps on the difference between sexy and slutty.

Our main teen boy problem is that they noticed that girls have breasts. And they wanna see ‘em. This makes even the nice ones act stupid/ brain damaged. Do I really even need to elaborate further on how this condition just deteriorates? We could discuss it all day.

Now throw in that no matter how good a kid your teen is, they will try to thwart every effort you make to keep them safe and happy. They know more than you on all topics. They are more worldly and better drivers. The think YOU are the main domestic enemy of the teenager.

If it wasn’t for the high pay, my husband and I would have never taken this job. Wait…what?

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