Jan 27, 2010

Excruciating Details from Mia's 7th Birthday

Mia turned 7 on Sunday. Her original plans involved going on a cruise to Disneyland with her entire 1st grade class and any one else she's ever known. Eventually that morphed into me taking Mia and 2 of her friends to brunch at the fancy restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. I think that was a good compromise, no? Though if you've taken even one almost 7 year old to a fancy restaraunt lately you probably would have told me to do the cruise. Not that they were bad, but when you take kids to anywhere fancier than Red Robin, you suddenly realize just why it is that you go to Red Robin, and it's not for the food. I think the best part was when Mia opened one of her presents and used her outside voice to exclaim, "It's just what I wanted-- a whoopee cushion! When you sit on it, it sounds like a fart!!" I would just like to say to the (childless) couple sitting right next to us: thank you for not snarfing your fresh-squeezed organic orange juice. I was not so restrained.

Do you know how many times I've heard the word fart in the last 72 hours? As well as the sound to go along with it? And then there was my dad who was gently encouraging Mia to take the thing to church. What really cracks me up though is that Mia doesn't use it for jokes on other people. No, it's for her. To sit on. Over and over again. Oh, and by the way, it's self-inflating. This means she can entertain herself for hours. All she has to do is sit on the cushion, perform a slight bum lift, and repeat the process for as long as she wants. Yesterday this went on the entire time she was doing her homework. She now sees no reason why she shouldn't enjoy a fart sound every time she sits down. In fact, she was quite upset when she came home from school today to find I had moved the whoopee cushion off of her chair. "Don't you know that this belongs permanently on my chair?!" she scolded. And then she promptly sat on it for punctuation.

She has a nick name for it. I believe it's Fartsy.

Oh, and within the first 24 hours, it popped after a particularly enthusiastic pounce. Thank goodness for duct tape, eh Fartsy?

To all her Bardsley uncles: you have a niece you can be proud of.

Jan 14, 2010

The Secret Lives of First Graders

I really, really should go to bed. Right? That's what responsible people do when it's almost midnight and they have three young kids to get up to the next day? I know there are responsible people out there because every morning when Mia gets on the bus at 8:44 AM and I'm standing at the window waving in my pajamas after begrudgingly stumbling out of bed, I see those people with their kids waiting at the bus stop and they usually look responsibly showered and dressed and like they're about to go do all sorts of productive, adult-like things. Of course, that's only on the days that I actually get out of bed to wave to her at the window. On the other days  I just envision all those people in my head while I mumble goodbye to Mia from under my warm blanket. "Bye, I love you. Did you turn the TV on for Sam and put some dry cereal on a chair for Nate? OK, great. Thanks, see you after school." I pretend not to see the scornful looks from the pretend responsible parents, and turn over to go back to sleep.

But that's not the point of this post. I've been thinking about Mia and how none of my irresponsibleness has seemed to rub off on her, which means I get to play the age-old game of "My Kid is Way Better Than Your Kid," which is a long and glorious blogging tradition. My mission here is two-fold. Well, OK, actually it's one-fold: she's paying me 2 months of her allowance to brag about her on my blog. What can I say, I'm irresponsible and can totally be bought. So, game on.

Keep in mind: the girl is not even 7 years old yet.  And yes, every morning while I'm sleeping off a bad night of not sleeping, she gets herself up, gets dressed, combs and brushes all the right things, makes her bed, gets herself breakfast, often makes her own lunch, and throws something in the crock pot for dinner before Curious George is on at 8. Did I say makes her bed? Actually she doesn't do that, because she is so meticulous about her room that she sleeps on top of her neatly made bed just so it never gets messed up.  (Though in the interest of full-disclosure, last Summer we did find a rotting banana under the covers of that neatly made bed. So it's a more of an on-the-surface kind of neatness.)

Some of her friends in the first grade are really into having secrets, mostly about ghost stories or who has cooties and stuff . A few weeks ago, Mia told me, "I'm not really into secrets anymore. Mostly it's just people spitting in your ear." She has a knack for telling it like it is.

Another oddly fantastic thing about Mia is that when she gets a fever, she turns into the sweetest, most agreeable and pleasant child that ever was. She will even voluntarily help Sam clean up his messes and tell him he's her best friend-- as opposed to when she's feeling just fine and loudly informs us that killing Sam might be a good solution to the problem of their not getting along. We tactfully remind her that the correct term for that is 1st degree murder, and the consequence involves going to jail for the rest of your life. Her response to this is, "Well, I could just put something bad in his food, like poison, so he'll die that way without anyone knowing." Ummmm, creative, but still murder.

Oh wait, I was supposed to be bragging, right?

Did I mention she's smart? Before school started in September she repeatedly told people, "I'm a little worried because my bus is going to come in the middle of Sid the Science Kid, but my mom doesn't usually wake up until Word World." That's right, she can totally tell time.

Yes, it makes a parent proud. I can only attribute everything to the shining example of capability and selflessness that she has in her life. I mean, I'm pretty sure that she has an example of that. Probably one of those bus stop parents, being all responsible and caring and helping her get on the bus. I prefer to teach by bad example in my pajamas at the window. Or half asleep and still in bed.  Either way really. Seems she's turning out just fine.

Brag over.

Jan 11, 2010

A Little Clarification

OK, so I tend to be a tad vague.

It was Mark who got the ticket, not me. Hence, "my true love gave to me" ticket #9 (combined total for both of us in 13 months). Here's the sad, sad run-down:

2 speeding tickets
1 traffic camera ticket for turning right on a red without stopping.

1 HOV lane violation + 1 unsafe lane change (2 tickets in 1 stop, both totally bogus)
3 parking tickets (one of which resulted in being towed)
1 speeding ticket

We also got a 4th parking ticket, but it was due to a machine error (a leftover Y2K thing I think), so it was waived. 

Of all the tickets, Mark got 3 waived, and we were able to reduce the fines on 4 by begging pathetically.

The damage so far: $370, plus $203 in towing fees. And we're still waiting to contest the most recent one ($113). Sympathy is welcome.

Basically, in 2009 we broke just about every traffic law and parked in all the wrong places. Apparently the traffic gods hate us. Actually, my theory is that municipalities are trying to make up for budget cuts through increased traffic fine revenue, but that's probably my crazy i-must-hate-the-government-because-I-vote-left-of-center extremest conspiracy theories coming out. So, you're welcome, local government agencies. Spend our money well.

Moving on. Literally. Moving to Mexico-- I was actually somewhat serious about that one. Did I mention being crazy? More about that in another post. See what I mean about being vague? It's a bad habit. I'll resolve to work on that next year.

Speaking of resolutions, my 10 minutes a day writing goal is going well. Ever since I've included emails, commenting on blogs, thinking about writing, and yelling at my kids, I've had no problem meeting my 10 minute quota!

Anything else to clarify? If so, leave me a comment and I'll answer all your burning questions. I've got a lot of minutes to fill this year.

ps- when was the last time you said totally bogus?

Jan 6, 2010

On the 27th Day of December, My True Love Gave to Me...

Traffic ticket #9.

Yes, I'm absolutely serious.

I probably don't have to tell you what our New Year Resolution is this year.

Do you set goals for the New Year?  I usually like to set goals that are almost impossible not to achieve, such as:
Strive for mediocrity in all things. (check)
Try not to die. (I'm usually pretty successful at this)
Read lots of blogs. (done)

And since I have no concept of balance, I also tend to set the type of goals that are equally impossible to ever achieve, such as:
Sell our devalued house and move to Mexico. (hmmmm, anyone want to buy our house?)(oh yeah, and anyone know someone in Mexico who wants to hire an American and pay for all of their moving expenses?) (anyone?...)

One of my actual resolutions this year is to spend at least 10 minutes each day writing. Anything. In fact, in an effort to not fail after 6 days, I'm telling myself that even my grocery list counts.

I also resolve to waste a whole lot of time, start projects I never intend to finish, make endless lists, think about how I should be exercising while I'm eating chocolate instead, stay up way too late, have a couple of mommy tantrums, threaten my kids with no intention of following through, and above all else, watch hours upon hours of television. Basically, keep the status quo even more quo. (Thank you Dr. Horrible).

I'm also going to make every recipe in The New Joys of Jello cookbook and blog about it.
( Oh, and speaking of the New Year, all you people who I promised something crafty to a long time ago knew that when I said you'd get it in the mail by Dec 31st, what I actually meant was December 31st plus or minus a few months, right?  Good. Glad we had this little talk.)

10 minutes are up.
Resolution kept.

Next post: this week's grocery list!