Monday, February 27, 2012

Angel, Class D

Remember this?

Leah looks so sweet, doesn't she?

Well, maybe I should have switched the costumes.  Or read the fine print.  Because it turns out Class D stands for "Destroying".

Here are some pictures of her morning handiwork:

Yep, she pulled the entire front off of one of our bathroom drawers.  In case anyone has forgotten, this house is only five months old.  And Leah is only two, but I guess age doesn't prevent one from specializing in home demolition.

Sigh.  On the way home from dropping Michael off at preschool I almost went through the drive thru at Burger King so I could send my anxiety floating away on a forkful of Hershey Sundae Pie.  But I didn't.  I know it may surprise you, but I actually do have some self control.

I came home and ate frozen cookie dough instead.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tales From the Loony Bin

Yesterday I came out of the bathroom to find that Matthew and Leah had both pulled chairs up to the kitchen counter and were giggling as they used butter knives to literally butter the inside of my plugged-in toaster.  Awesome.  It turns out that gratitude for the fact that your children didn't electrocute themselves, however intense it may be, is fleeting when you discover that you now have half a stick of butter wiped all over the heating elements inside of your toaster.

Add that to the Exploding Sprite Incident yesterday (Matthew got into laundry room cupboard where I keep used to keep the stash of Sprite that I like to have on hand in case of stomach bugs and decided to use one as a projectile) and you almost have a meal - grab a slice of bread, scoop the butter out of the toaster, and, like Michael did, start licking Sprite off the floor, and you're set!

It's like having little Tasmanian devils whirling around the house.

Of course, it's not as bad as last week when I had to call Poison Control on Leah.  Again.  It all started when I was taking a shower and Matthew came in to tell me he had pooped in his underwear.  As I had just put shampoo in my hair, I told him to stand there until I could get rinsed off and then I would help him.  Meanwhile, Leah appeared with an open bottle of gummy bear vitamins in her hand.  Judging by the amount left, she probably ate twenty or more.  So, for the second time in a month I was on the phone to Poison Control explaining how my child had just managed to get around another childproof lid.  This is when the operator was like, "You know, Mrs. Overly, wild hyenas would be more competent at raising children than you are."

Okay, she didn't really say that.  But I have a feeling that I don't have any more freebies before CPS shows up on my doorstep.

After the call to Poison Control I got Matthew cleaned up, and then jumped back in the shower to rinse the shampoo out of my hair.  While I was in there my little destroying angels went into Michael's bathroom, emptied his entire drawer of dinosaur dental flossers into the toilet, and then played a splash game involving toilet water and my freshly washed rugs.  By the time I got that cleaned up and bathed both toddlers, Leah needed to go potty.  While I took her to the big potty Matthew took care of his business on the froggy potty and then helpfully dumped it all over the carpet.

I won't even mention the Magnets in the Toilet Incident or the Poop All Over the Carseat Incident.

Let's just say these two might be taking naps until their college days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Politics of Stupidity

Actor Samuel L. Jackson recently stated that he voted for President Obama solely because Obama is black.  Based on this logic I guess I should vote for a white person.  Preferably a woman.  In the absence of a woman, I guess a common religion will do, which means I should vote for Mitt Romney.

Unfortunately, there is a rather large flaw in this plan.  You see, some Mormons are jerks.  Some are first-class weasels.  Some are incompetent.  Some are liars and cheaters and some are child molesters. Some I wouldn't trust to run a bake sale, let alone the country.

This is not a problem unique to Mormonism, or to blacks, or any other group.  No category of people is totally free from morons or hypocrites or people who would throw their families away to chase after the curviest pencil skirt at the office.  No group is free from murderers or embezzlers or racists or chauvinist pigs.

On the other hand, no group of people is totally free from good, either.  There are persons of every race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation who are good, honest and kind.  There are wonderful atheists.  There are wonderful lesbians.  There are wonderful Muslims, pro-lifers, and Prop 8 supporters.  No group has a monopoly on goodness.  It can be found everywhere, in every people.  So to make the decision of whether someone is good or bad, qualified or unqualified, based solely on race or gender or religion seems to me to be certifiably insane.

I would never make my decision to vote for Mitt Romney based on the fact that we share a religion (otherwise I might have to vote for Harry Reid should he ever run for president, and for my opinion of him see "first-class weasel" above).  I wouldn't vote for someone because, like me, they are female or because they are Jewish or black or gay.  And I wouldn't not vote for someone based on any of those factors either.  To do so would be idiotic. 

I don't care what color you are or what you believe about God.  As long as you are a decent person, I don't care if you call him "Allah" or "Jehovah" or if you believe he doesn't exist.  I care if you are an honest, capable person who shares my view of what government should be doing (or not doing).  I'm not looking for shared doctrine - I have a church congregation for that - or shared skin color or X chromosomes.  I'm looking for shared values.

To say, as Samuel L. Jackson did, that, because they share the same race, Obama's message was not important, is as clueless as it is irresponsible.  Common race does not qualify anyone for anything.  And last time I checked, I thought it was politically incorrect to be making judgments that were only skin deep.

So much for progress.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Girl Who Cried "Potty!"

Aren't you tired of my blog being about potty training?  If it's any consolation, I'm tired of my life being about potty training.

This evening I fell for one of the classic parenting blunders - I got Leah out of her crib when she yelled, "Potty!" even though I was 99% sure she didn't need to go, seeing as she'd just peed three minutes before I put her in.

Since this comes on the heels of falling for the only slightly less well-known parenting blunder of leaving White Out within reach of two two-year-olds who know how to get lids off of everything (childproof caps included) I'm thinking I should just check out for the week.  Annoying fact: White Out does not come off countertops or barstools or human beings as easily as it goes on.

Other annoying, if unrelated, fact:  When any government-related entity says they will accept certain items as proof of residence, they don't actually mean that they will accept those items as proof of residence.  Even if you try to use reason to argue your point; e.g., "But it says on the paperwork you gave me that this is one of the acceptable items," they will look at you with a straight face and say, "Oh, I know.  We should really take that off the list because we don't accept that."

Tell me again why anyone wants government-run healthcare?

Honestly, right now, I don't want government-run anything.  In fact, I'm seriously thinking of relocating to my own private island until the presidential election is over.  Especially since Michael, after a full day of fun on Saturday, complained that he didn't have a very fun day because he only got to "play wii with Dad and go swimming and get a cookie and have hamburgers for dinner and watch a movie and eat popcorn."  (I'm wondering what a "good" day would look like for him).  Then he told me he wished I would go to work every day so Dad could stay home with him.  Frankly, after spending the last few days listening to more whining than most five-year-olds could conjure up in a year and constantly cleaning up pee, diarrhea, and vomit (I swear we are cursed) I'm more than willing to turn in my badge.  Private island?  Yes please.

What's that you say?  I can't go now because it's tax season?  Why did you have to mention that?

Kill joy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

On Talent and Whitney Houston

When it comes to music I consider myself to be moderately talented.  Unfortunately, this is coupled with the fact that I am also highly unmotivated, so any hope of charging my way through the entire collection of Rachmaninoff's piano concertos as though the sheet music were laid out like Chopsticks has pretty much been left sitting on the piano bench, staring at the keys.  Darn Think System, it did nothing for my skill level.  I blame Harold Hill.

So it's lucky for me that I don't have to rely solely on my own skills for musical enjoyment.  Especially because all of my children are morally opposed to my sitting at the piano for any reason.  I hit one note and they come from every corner of the house to bang on the keys and fight over who gets the extra space on the piano bench.  If If I blow the dust off of the Eva Cassidy songbook and attempt to open my mouth, Michael says, "Mom, stop singing.  I don't like it when you sing."  Ah, kids.  Raising parental self-esteem since the beginning of time.

But they love music.  They gather around the computer whenever I turn on a music video.  They ask me to replay their favorite songs over and over until I have to declare my quota for certain songs to be full for the day.  And our bedtime routine of family singing time could go on for hours if we would let it.

So Saturday night, when we heard the sad news that Whitney Houston had died, I wanted to play some of her songs for my kids.  I have always thought that when God was sprinkling his salt shaker of talents over his children, the lid must have fallen off over Whitney.  She was so beautiful and so gifted, and it is so tragic that her voice and her life were destroyed because she could not break her addictions.  But thanks to modern technology, we can still enjoy her as she was in her prime.  So yesterday afternoon David and I pulled out our DVD of her music videos (Yep, we own one) and played it for our kids.  We all danced around the living room to songs like "Step By Step" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" and laughed at Whitney's outrageous hair.  We talked to Michael about the Word of Wisdom and why it is important that we don't put bad things into our bodies.  Then David and I slow-danced to "I Believe in You and Me" while all three of our kids stood at our knees, trying to push us apart.  And we all felt grateful.  Grateful to live in an age when we can enjoy the talents of others, when recordings allow us to listen to the world's most beautiful music right in our own home.

After the kids went to bed we even watched part of the Grammys, mostly to catch Adele's post-surgery performance of "Rolling in the Deep" and watch Jennifer Hudson belt out a tribute to Whitney Houston.  Coldplay performed "Paradise" and it made me grateful for YouTube and the fact that even a good song can be improved, or, in this case, turned into something heavenly.

It was the sort of day that made me grateful for the talents that have been given to others. 

And we could all use a day like that, now and then.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Risky Business

I've never gotten a speeding ticket (or been pulled over, for that matter).

I've never had an alcoholic drink.

I've never tried drugs.

Or tea.

Or coffee.

And my husband is the only man I've ever kissed.

But, this afternoon, I took two little potty trainees in the car for 15 minutes. In big kid underwear.

You can't say I've never lived on the edge.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Potty Watch 2012

In case you are wondering what I've been doing for the last two weeks, I've been sitting in front of a froggy potty exclaiming things like "Good job!" and "Big girl!"  Also, "Leah, don't touch Matthew's privates!", "Don't stick your hands in the potty!," and "Matthew, quit trying to push Leah off the seat!"

*Exhausted sigh*

Potty training is not for wimps.  If I survive this process I'm pretty sure I'll start getting phone calls from the U.S. military looking to recruit me, as I'll be able to stare down any invading army and growl, "Don't mess with me.  I potty-trained twins!"  I'm pretty sure the invaders will either bow down to my awesomeness or run home to their mommies.

But man, it's hard work.  Leah is so excited about her selection of big girl panties that she can't decide which pair she wants to wear, so she does the only sensible thing - she brings me a new pair of panties every five minutes and asks me to help her get them on.  It's super cute and super annoying.  But by accommodating her I may be doing the world a service, as my sister says this constant underwear changing will help keep cosmic balance with her youngest kids, who are still having difficulty with the concept that you should change your underwear every day.  You know me, always willing to help.

And as Leah is now going on her fifth consecutive accident-free day, she can change her panties as much as she wants.  (It's amazing what I'll let my kids do as long as they don't pee on my floor).

Matthew has been a bit slower to catch the vision, but that may be because of the internal battle common to every male child over whether it will be more fun to pee on the potty and get a treat or pee on the wall and watch Mom try to pretend she isn't bothered.  Also fun to try - pee three inches from the potty, pee on Mom's bed, and fight with your sister over who gets to carry the potty bucket down to the toilet for dumping (which is about every ten minutes, considering how often someone is peeing around here).  The most fun?  Pee in little spurts all around the house until your dad, who has only been home from work for ten minutes, exclaims, "What are you, a fountain?!" and Mom smiles to herself because this little taste of her daily life has made him instantly more grateful to be the breadwinner.

But Matthew is also doing well, overall -- only one accident yesterday (not counting the time where one of the potty fights led to a bucket of pee being dumped on the carpet).  Give me a few more days and I'll be ready to start the other half of potty training.  But not today.  I'm too mentally exhausted.  There's a cure for that, of course, but I'm still about three dozen cookies and six hot baths short.

Not to mention a few brain cells.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Keep it Covered

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  No one wants to see your boobs.

Unfortunately there are still large groups of women who cannot seem to get this fact through their little polyester t-shirts.  Once again, Facebook has attracted the ire of a whole bunch of these peeved moms who, for some reason, feel disenfranchised for not being allowed to post pictures of their naked breasts on the social networking site.  "It's natural," they say.  "This is discrimination."

Oh puh-leez.  It is not discrimination to demand that breast feeding photos do not include exposed nipples.  And forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but if you can see a fully-exposed breast, that breast is not, in fact, "feeding". 

This isn't an issue of Facebook being anti-breast feeding.  It's an issue of moms not having the courtesy to cover up while they feed.  You know, decency.  You remember what that is, right?  Not flashing your breasts to unwitting strangers? (Or witting, for that matter.  Bonnie's PSA - do not flash your breasts to any strangers.  Thank you).

Breast feeding is not indecent, but exposing your breasts to a room full (or, in this case, an internet full) of people who do not want to be confronted with an up-close view of your cup size, is indecent.  It's also rude.  And rudeness does not lend itself to understanding. 

Common courtesy, ladies.  It goes a long way.

Friday, February 3, 2012

All in a Day's Mess

Do I ever get tired of cleaning?  Why yes, yes I do.  Why do you ask?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Mascot Gavotte

After dancing around the issue, a local high school has deemed a cougar unworthy of being its mascot after hearing from parents who were concerned about their daughters carrying the banner of the big cat because it is offensive to women.

Um... huh?

Amid legitimate concerns (like the fact that they didn't want to have the same mascot as nearby BYU or share a mascot with other local high schools) parents were actually dialing up the school board because they didn't want to risk their daughters being bitten by a slang term for an older woman who pursues younger men?  Sorry, but in this instance I'm pretty sure no one is picturing a charging, powerful animal as an old broad in a too-tight dress and spike heels.

Why can't we just take mascots (or words) at face value instead of insisting they have some deeper meaning that no one ever intended or, in many cases, knew about?

It reminds me of an article I read several years ago where Olympic athlete, Kerri Walsh, talked about having "Irish twins" - you know, babies born less than a year apart.  Based on the comments attached to the article you would have thought she had kicked a puppy.  Reader after reader was rife with indignation over her use of the "offensive" phrase.  I thought the comments couldn't possibly get any more ridiculous until one woman wrote that she was also offended over the use of the word "gypped" in the column, which opened the floodgates for a whole new onslaught of crystal-ball throwing over who was the most insensitive and to what group of people.

Honestly, must we understand the etymology of every word, the history of every phrase, before we use it?  Must we sift through the annals of history solely to find things over which to become offended?  Why can't we just sit back, take a deep breath, and choose not to take offense when absolutely no offense is intended? 

If you're like me you had no clue what the origin of the term "Irish twins" was.  Or "gypped."  Or "Indian giver" or that the children's rhyme "Eenie Meenie Minie Moe" wasn't always talking about catching tigers by their toes.  All you have to go on is their current phrasing or meaning.  To read anything into it beyond that is ridiculous.  And yet, here we are, wringing our hands over certain words and phrases as if they exist solely to deliberately offend. 

Sometimes words are just words and cougars are just cougars.

And there's nothing more to it than that.