Monday, June 17, 2013

is it over already?!

As the school year winds to a close it comes, again, that time where we need to brace our selves for the summer (yikes!) and thank the teachers who kept our kids out of our hair and educated the poo out of them for the last ten months.

Since I used to get "thanks for the great school year" prezzies people often ask me what it is a teacher really wants.  I always wanted Sharpies, but I have a small addiction to them which might not be wholly normal.  I have shared some of my previous teacher gifts with you before like how to mess up easy homemade hand scrub or the "thanks a latte" idea I blatantly stole-- er, um, borrowed from somewhere. *Cough, cough* Pintercrack.  We also used the glass etching stuff from Paul Bunyan's birthday project to make a jar for his teacher's last year at the end of the year, but I think I might not have posted about that ... well if I didn't just trust me, we did it and it was cute.

Anyway, as the school year winds down I find myself wanting to plan out the end of the year gifts better than I normally do.  This is two fold, one I would rather not be gasping for air while trying to figure out how to wheedle it into one week's budget because I forgot.  Two, Meatball is in 5th grade, meaning next year he moves on to middle school and will not longer be at the school we know and love and have been at since kindergarten.  While I am focusing on not sobbing about my baby growing up and me feeling wildly old, I am rather focusing on how we need to recognize more people than normal as a result.

A quick Pintercrack search yielded lots of cutesy things and this little gem: teachers love supplies as a gift.

Perhaps I was an exceptionally selfish teacher, but I would not have said that exactly.   Don't get me wrong, I wept with gratitude for every kleenex box, set of pencils and jug of hand sanitizer I was ever given.  But don't call it a "gift" for me, umkay?  It prevents me from spending my own money, as I would have had to, it is kind, it is generous, but it really isn't a gift for me.  It is a way to support me and my classroom and I am unspeakably grateful for it, but it isn't the same as a gift for me.  Make sense?

It depends entirely on what you are wanting your gift to be, no teacher will begrudge a gift that is for them versus the gift that is for their classroom.  However, since I donate supplies all year and do a big donation at the beginning of the year as a "gift" to the teacher who is setting up a classroom, I do not want to do this at the end of the year when they are busy packing their classroom up for the summer in the middle of everything else.  As the year opens it is an awesome idea to give your child's teacher a bunch of supplies they may need.  Awesome.  Giving it to them as summer is this --> <-- close?  Not as cool, in my opinion.  Teachers are just as eager, if not a billion times more so, for summer as their students.  They deserve a special, spoil-themselves type thank you that they can do whatever they want with, not 30 pencils to sharpen in anticipation of next school year.

I also don't want to laden them with useless crap.  So this is my solution this year.  Sheesh, that was a long round about way to get to the point ...

I shopped around for the cups, but found by far the best deal at Lakeside (I picked the blue ones).  At roughly $2.50 each this was a steal.

All the cups have the following inside:
  • Some Bazooka bubble gum ($4.99 for a ridiculous bucket of it that I had to swat Paul Bunyan off of several times until I was done stuffing cups)
  • Some lemonade, tea, and coffee packet thingies that I totally wanted to keep for myself.
  • Some of the cups, for the teachers that have been with Meatball all six years of elementary, also have a $5 gift card to Starbucks.  Remember, Starbucks cards are teacher currency like cigarettes are to prisoners.
  • His main teachers had a $20 Visa gift card, so they could spend it on whatever the heck they wanted be it dinner out, a pedicure, margarita, or some rocking school supplies.
  • As it happens, every teacher that Meatball has had from kinder on up is still at this school.  So he also went around and gave all of them one of these bookmarks from tatertots & jello.  Current teachers also had one in the cup so he thanked everyone for being part of his story!  Isn't that  *sniffle* so cute?
  • On the back of each was a personalized note to the teacher thanking them for teaching him back in whatever grade he had been in their class.
  • I nabbed the idea for the cute little tags here via Pintercrack and made my own so they say "thanks a latte for the tea-riffic ade you've given me!" since there is coffee, tea and lemonade stuff in each cup.

cut out the tags and book marks,
I used a paper cutter so I could go a lot faster
cut the tags so that they can slip on the straw
like a flag
like that!
Meatball wrote messages on the backs
of some of his bookmarks.
This one was especially touching.
My plethora of cups before ...
now you fill the cups, slap on the lids and
BAM you are done!
 All told, when I add everything up and divide it out each gift cost me roughly $10ish max which is pretty good in my opinion.  I was scared it would be worse anyway so comparatively it feels better.

And with that ... now I have to accept that it is very nearly summer.  That, my friends, is entirely another post in itself!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Top 10 Things That Used to be MINE

Last night the Beans was being a two year old.  The nerve.

Paul Bunyan decided to read something on his Kindle Fire in order to tune out the baby death shriek and repetitive chant of "no no bed."  But the second he pulled out that electronic device a gasp rent the air, followed by approximately 2.7634 seconds of rare and precious silence.  Then came "BABY'S BIG PHONE!" and the Beans grabbed it from daddy and expertly jabbed the screen a few times until the Lorax cued up and began wailing "How Bad Can I Be?" on full volume.  Appropriate, no?

This made poor Paul Bunyan sigh and bemoan that he wondered when he would get to read on his Kindle again.  I had about 2.7634 seconds of pity when I realized that if all I was lacking was Kindle access I might be a shit-ton more sane.

 Top Ten Things That Used To Be MINE

1.  My boobs.  Bunyan likes to think of them as his, but a nursing baby wins every time.  No matter what, even when the milk bags are no longer feeding a little vampire any longer they aren't MINE anymore.  MY boobs had some life to them.  They were small, but they at least seemed to not lack filling.  Since nursing children I apparently lost like a third of my boob mass because they are still small but deflated and droopy looking.  What the eff?

They are actually *mine* ... well, they once were.
2.  My Wardrobe.  I used to get dressed because I liked an outfit.  Or I looked good in an outfit or it made me feel good.  Occasionally I dressed in something because it was comfy.  I would even go, dare I say it, shopping for clothes for myself ... and enjoy it!  Now?  I wear whatever happens to be clean, roomy enough to cover this expanding version of myself, and often provides easy access for nursing, running after children, or cleaning something.  Bonus points to clothing that can cover the ridiculous number of stains I obtain in a day without obnoxiously announcing "LOOK this is strawberry applesauce!" and "Yup, that's a booger" whenever you look my way.

3.  My Phone.  I have more than 72 apps on my phone.  I tried counting them but kept forgetting what number I was on, so there are at least that many.  I use 7 maybe 8 of them for myself regularly.  Lets make it a round ten apps for ME.  That means there are 60+ apps that are simply there because I need to put the food on the conveyor belt at the grocery store without Houdini baby trying to escape the cart.  My iPhone is so full of kid apps and pictures of kids that I actually only have room for one playlist of music.  Only reason I get that is because my children haven't realized it is possible to load any of their music on the phone yet.  They do know about my Pandora app though.

The ultimate Mom Purse
4. My purse.  Oh wait, that's funny I don't HAVE a purse anymore.  I have a backpack/diaper bag/first aid kit/snack storage/changing station/toy holder/crumb hoarder hybrid with a monkey hanging off of it that also carries my wallet and chapstick.  When I can find them.  Yes, it is actual one the one pictured above.

5.  My Jewelry.  I used to wear some.  I now wear a wedding band, and not the nice one either.  The other day whilst changing a poo diaper someone (AKA Beans) thought it would be hilarious to start bouncing his cute little baby butt all over the place.  Thus getting nasty baby crap all over my hand.  This had of course happened on the one day so far this year I wore the pretty channeled band Paul Bunyan bought me for Christmas three years ago.  If jewelry isn't an effective way to cause me pain while getting my attention (earrings and necklaces) then it means I am washing shit off diamonds.  Screw jewelry.

6. My Anything-Below-the-Neck.  Hell, who am I kidding?  I have grey hair, wrinkles, and raccoon eyes -- screw it being just the belly I don't want to claim and the varicose veins that make my legs look even worse than before.  What the hell happened to me?  Thank goodness children are cute, because the side effects that come with them are hell.

7.  My Bladder.  Perhaps if we are going for anatomical accuracy it isn't the actual bladder but the muscles of my pelvic wall or floor or whatthefrickenhellever.  I held out hope with the first pregnancy that the whole wetting yourself when you sneezed thing would go away.  Since child number two I am realizing that this is a pregnancy symptom that may never abate.

8.  My Sleep.  I used to have some, with complete cycles and everything.  I can almost remember back that far, but deprivation being what it is I may just be hallucinating.

9.  My Sanity.  I swear, I used to have more of it.

10.  My Life.  I used to have one that revolved around me.  Looking back, I am not sure that it was entirely enjoyable.  This may be exhausting, I might have lost of my sense of Self, and there are moments that straight up suck (anyone claiming otherwise lies) but this is a gift and I am grateful.

Again, I may be hallucinating here though.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

oil pan magnet board

My love-hate relationship with Pintercrack marches on.  Some days I want to kick the whole website in the nuts, some days I am not sure how I'd survive without it.

Today is a good day ... for now.

Have you seen this one?

While I don't see me posting my kid on the internet in nothing more than a diaper, I do dig the idea.  You can nab one of those oil pan thingies at Walmart for like $12.

So I did.  Then I had to figure out how to get the stupid thing home in a Corolla with two kids and a driver.

It wasn't pretty.

But then I brought it in the house and freaked Paul Bunyan out by saying I was just going to Gorilla Glue the crap out of it.

Eventually, he is going to realize how easy he is to manipulate, right?

Anyway, he took over the hanging of the thing (which involved pre-drilling holes and using bits I wouldn't have known existed so it was for the best I didn't want to do that anyway) and just wanted me to tell him where.

And taaaa daaaa...

Apparently there is something weird in our wall and the bottom left hand corner of the pan didn't hit a stud, so he had to do it over just a bit to the right, which left a ridiculously sharp metal hole in the darn thing.  The cure?

Slap a cute pirate sticker on it and BAM, all better.

Beans loves playing with his "numbers" ... they are letters, but hey, he is two and we are working on it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

kinda like the Hunger Games

Now that Meatball is out of school for the summer we have to start "homeschooling" because no matter how awesome he is, Meatball cannot have downtime or a flexible schedule.  The house would be ever more like Bedlam within a week than it already is.  Seriously, I am not exaggerating our absolute need for constant mental stimulation and scheduled control.

So you may see more posts about kid related activities here soon (I say may because lord knows there are a lot of things keeping me from posting lately!) but this was an unintentional learning moment.

See those eight hundred little pieces of paper?  It is a game that one of our local grocery stores runs from like February to May every year.  Monopoly.  Have I ever told you how much I hate REAL Monopoly?  Seriously, has anyone in the history of time every finished a game without cheating just to end the agony of boredom?  Well this isn't as bad as the board game, but it can be frustrating. They give you a game board with a bunch of prizes and you have to collect the ticket like game pieces and fill in the missing sections in order to win prizes that vary from $5 cash up to a million dollars.

Meatball was convinced we'd win something.  Something really awesome, like the X-Box with Kinect that he wants sooo very badly.  Or the million bucks, he figured we'd buy him an X-Box if we one that.

So whenever we went to this store (which is not the store I usually shop at) we would collect the pieces and eventually slap them on the board.  We had enough pieces so that every prize was one to three pieces away from winning.  On the last day of the game pieces being handed out Paul Bunyan ran in to grab something and instead of the couple he should have gotten the lady just handed him the rest of the stack.

That pile is the mess *I* was left with.  Well that and a totally neurotic 11 year old who was convinced we were just a couple slips of paper away from millionaires.

We slowly sorted them, which took over a bloody hour I might add, and I explained some lovely mathematical concepts to Meatball.

  • Proportion: The amount of tickets produced in relation to the other tickets.  For example, if it takes 8 game pieces to win a million dollars they will produce a royal butt ton of about five of those tickets, a hundred of about 2 of them and maybe one of the last one.  
  • Odds: The odds of winning a game like this are completely not stacked in your favor no matter how high the chances are according to the people selling you the dang game pieces.

After sorting them all and realizing that while we were "close" we had not even won "five stinkin' bucks" Meatball declared that the odds were NOT in our favor at all.

"Its like the Hunger Games, 
they say the odds are in your favor 
but all you are is 
hungry, broke and going to die."

My child, the optimist.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

An Open Letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

We have a complicated relationship, and I blame you entirely for it.

We started off fine, with you sending me the DVDs I wanted more or less when I wanted them.  Then the whole streaming thing started, and I was like "man, that is bad ass! Thank you!" and loved you even more.

Somewhere in there, my ability to function became entirely dependent on you.

Oh yeah, I know where it happened.


Don't get me wrong, I will be honest that I was swearing at you under my breath when I had discovered Glee, like a year after everyone else on the planet, and obsessively watched up to the end of what you offered only to discover that an additional like 17 seasons have happened that you haven't loaded.  The freaking Glee club kids I was watching should be heading back for their ten year reunions and I have NO idea what is happening?!

I could get over that.  I had a much, much harder time with Downton Abbey and wound up having to find out when the hell PBS was airing that because I would still be back in frigging 1914 and not have known about *spoilers, highlight to see it if you are even further behind than I was* Mary and Matthew finally getting married, Sybil dying and what they did to my beloved Matthew! I am still in mourning!!!*end spoiler*

But now?  Now you screwed with Nick Jr.

Pardon my french, but you deserve an f-bomb or two and I have muttered them countless times in the last week or so when Beans is asking for Diego and Wonder Pets ...  but they are GONE.


We purposely bought some of his faves from Disney on DVD because, let's be frank here, Disney is all about magic and whatever, but whoever is in charge of marketing and product distribution is one greedy bastard.  It takes me ten years just to bypass the previews and get to mother effing "fast play" and then they go vaulting crap so you cannot buy it and have to splurge now or Peter Pan may DIE!!!  So when I looked at the list of things available on Netflix and saw very very little of Disney I figured it was just that Disney was good and controlling their product and whoring for as much money as possible.  So, no, I assumed I would not have access to Disney shows for $8.69 a month.

So we bought a couple Jake and the Neverland Pirates videos.  A holy butt ton of Little Einsteins, the cost of which seems to be equal to whatever the disc's weight is in platinum, and figured between a couple DVDs  and Netflix all would be well.

Then you screwed me.

I know it is all contract BS and maybe it isn't exclusively your fault that you no longer have Nick Jr. shows, but know that I am hating you for it all the same.  You let the whole Viacom deal expire.  You are the asshole to blame.

Apart from the wicked pissed two year old that I would unleash upon you if I didn't think I would somehow get sued for the damages he'd cause, I have a ticked 11 year old who loved some occasional Jimmy Neutron and I am terrified you will take away the shows *I* want to watch before I have cleared the que.  As if I needed something else to distract me from getting things done now I have YEARS of television to cram into my life?!

Seriously, can you just tell me if you are going to rip Weeds, Once Upon a Time, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother or Dr. Who out of my life to so I can totally sink into the madness?

Did I mention we are in the process of canceling our cable for you?  You two-timing-witch.

Oh and did you really keep Calluou?  Seriously, I would rather soak in honey and lay on a mountain of fire ants for hours than listen to ONE episode of that whiny little turd.

In closing, I forgot to mention that I have friends who's kids are completely obsessed with Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba (I was scared of that show and have never allowed my children to watch it because it is like Sesame Street on acid) who are equally ready to riot against you.  I am sure you are fielding LOTS of calls from parents annoyed with this and I am sure you have some very nice prepared statement about it all too.  I also know that I have been told that between Hulu and Amazon Prime I may be able to bring peace to our house again.  You may have gotten awfully comfy being the best for a while, but you have to stay competitive in order to stay on top.

Keeping that whiny brat Calluou but ditching the Wonder Pets was an exceptionally shitty plan to try to actually please customers.

One Frazzled Mom

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Candy Crush is the DEVIL

So while I have never been really consistent with blogging because I categorize this as "for me" and therefore it drops in the priority list beneath ... well, like everything ... I have been especially bad lately.  Now that Meatball is out of school for the summer I am not sure if that will help or hinder my productivity.  The Beans has taken this last month as an opportunity to hone his skills for driving me completely bat shit crazy.  I am pretty sure this child will be either a horrible dictator or like the best interrogator the CIA or some other agency has ever seen.  This kiddo could make the sanest, strongest, most bad ass mother trucker break -- and I am none of those things so I deserve a medal for holding it together this long.


Anyway, Candy Crush is the freaking devil.

Productivity is a questionable thing anyway.  I mean really, I have such lofty goals and plans and most of them laugh in my face as they go down in flames anyway.  It isn't like I need anything helping me NOT accomplish stuff.  I am totally awesome at doing that myself!  So when a few weeks ago I started getting a bajillion requests for crap from my friends on facebook for this game I was intrigued, but alarmed.

It is best to know yourself and accept who you are.

I know that I am an obsessive compulsive yet extremely competitive buffoon with absolutely no self control or discipline who also has a lot to do and never gets any of it fully done.

Games like Bejeweled and Words With Friends?  Kryptonite to any resolve I may have otherwise magically developed.

So when my friends were all falling like moths to a bug zapper light I swore I wouldn't even TRY it.  Wouldn't even LOOK at it.

I lasted three weeks.  Seriously, I am actually pretty proud I made it that long y'all.

Because I am a sneaky junkie I didn't let it connect to my facebook page, thus I could hide my addiction.  Then I got to level 35 and was told I needed my "friends" to help me move on.


As if making me wait 30 freaking minutes for a new life when I run out of chances to die wasn't evil enough???

Now I am dependent upon all the people whom I have been ignoring and diligently deleting their requests for help?  Karma is gonna have fun with me as I send out my own pleas for help isn't it?

Yes.  Yes, it freaking is.

I need three friends to help me move past 35 into whatever that chocolaty looking lake thing is and I have two.  Everybody and their mother gives me lives but no one is given me whatever it is I need in order to make the bubble after 35 light up.  WTF?!

I don't need lives people, it is best that I have a self imposed break of needing my lives to refill every 30 minutes.  That means I may do something else for 30 minutes.  Someone help me get into the choco-lakey-thing!

This is exactly why I didn't want to play this game.  Because I knew what it would do to me.  In my inability to move forward I have obsessively backtracked now with the intention/goal of beating the crap out of everyone else's scores on the previous 34 levels.

What started off as a "oh I am waiting in line" or "I have to go to the bathroom" game has turned into a "HAS IT BEEN 30 MINUTES YET?!" obsession.

Is there a 12 step program for Candy Crush?  Or does someone just want to give me whatever it is I need to get to level 35 and continue this vicious love hate cycle?

Only 21:17 to go ...