Thursday, September 30, 2010


Justice has broken quite a few collars now.  Today being the latest.  After he broke the last one we bought a 'Kong' collar.  They have excellent hard-to-destroy dog toys, so we thought it would work.  Ha!  After spending 40 minutes chasing that dog's sorry ass around the neighborhood, I sat down, out of breath and wrote Kong a very curt email.  Their response was to throw the chain pet store they made them for under the bus.  I forwarded the entire exchange to the pet store, and have yet to hear a response. 
As I ran down the street to chase the dog, I yelled to Divine to call DH so he could come home to help me.  Since he works around the corner, it shouldn't be a big deal, right?  Divine was in class (cyber school), I told her to stay in class.  My help never came.  To say I was extremely pissed was an understatement.

Me:  Did you call your father?!?!
Divine:  Yeah, he said he couldn't leave right now.

Oh yeah, I was s.t.e.a.m.i.n.g...because Justice is HIS dog.  I have severe back problems, so running around the neighborhood really put me in pain.  Not to mention I still had to manage T and Little Man trying to 'help' me while I was scared shitless they would get hit by a car.  I made an absolute spectacle out of myself screaming at them to go home while my pathetic ass is jaunting after a dog in my Birkenstock-ish sandals.  I don't call him at work, let alone ask him to come home unless it's really necessary.  Ripping him a new ass was next on my list. He got that 'I'd-better-keep-my-mouth-shut-because-she's-really-pissed' thing on.  He supposedly had no clue I needed help.

Me:  Divine, didn't you tell your father I needed him to come home to help me get the dog???
Divine:  No, because it would be another car that might hit him!

Have you ever had a moment where you physically hit your head on something a few times?  A wall?  Your desk?  It was all I could do.  DH came home later and we had a talk with Divine about following directions.  You know, hours later..because I needed time for the pain meds to kick in and that long to calm down.

I brought the collar back to the pet store, and let the manager know how the Kong company threw them under the bus.  To their credit, they gave me a refund.  Suffice it to say I did NOT buy another Kong collar.  Think leather with a buckle.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Irresponsible Neighborhood Parents

Dear Irresponsible Neighborhood Parents,

When I became a parent, I fully expected that one day neighborhood children would eventually come to my house and ask to play with my kids.  Which is no big deal, except I didn't think they'd start coming to my door at the age of FIVE

I don't know who these kids are, I don't know where they (meaning YOU) live, and I've never met YOU.  Call me an overprotective parent, but I don't let my children wander the neighborhood to go to people's houses I don't know.  Your kids want to play with mine?  Cool.  Walk them over, knock on my door and introduce yourself.  We'll probably exchange phone numbers.  I might ask you where you live (since you obviously know were I live already), in the odd event your child might need something, or have an emergency.

But you didn't do any of those things, did you?

You see, I have this weird idea that if children are playing in my yard, I'm responsible for them.  Which, strangely enough, is the reason I'd like you to notify me that they would like to come.  But your children show up in my yard and I might not even know if they're there for awhile.  Ever ask a five year old the names of his or her parents?  Guess what they'll say?  MOMMY AND DADDY.  So looking you up is out of the question.  Moreover, I'm not traipsing across the neighborhood with 4 children in tow looking for your house.  In fact, one of you (because there is more than one of you that do this) stalks me for the sole purpose of sending your child into my yard.  Without showing enough respect to ASK FIRST.  You then somehow thought you had the right to act indignant when I yelled at you.  My kids weren't even here.  So what you thought your 5 year old child was going to do was beyond me, but you'd better consider it an act of compassion and generosity that I didn't call the cops on your ass. Which, next time I might, because I refuse to be held responsible for something I had no control over should something happen to your child. 

I'm not your free babysitting service.  It's that simple.  Perhaps you thought that by not approaching me I wouldn't expect reciprocity.  You're right, because I would never leave my precious children with an irresponsible douche bag such as yourself. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta

The cool thing about cyber-school is that they offer really cool courses the kids can take by choice.  Mine were eager for 'Introduction to the Kitchen".  The school sent them all these cute kid-sized kitchen supplies and they have to make certain recipes and stuff.  So tonight we incorporated one of their dishes into dinner.  We were having angel hair pasta as an accompaniment, which sent my kids into hysterics, because they couldn't understand where it comes from.  For some reason 'it's just like spaghetti, only thin.' wouldn't suffice.    So I told them that all angels have to be drug tested, and how they take a few hairs and it shows if they've been taking illegal drugs.  Because G-d runs a clean shop, you know.  After they're tested all of the hair goes to the factory to be boxed and shipped.  You see, G-d is also environmentally concious and doesn't waste stuff.  So it's recycled.  Since G-d needs a lot of angels to run heaven and for all of the people all over the earth, there is ample supply.  After it's shipped and bought, we boil it to rehydrate the hair and make it soft again. 

With all the laughter, I would think that my kids got it that I wasn't serious.  But I guess my explanation was a little more entertaining than 'flour and water, just in a different shape'.  It's almost become a tradition in our house, much like when I had to explain yeast and how it works when I told Divine that bread farts.  Or when my kids went through their picky eating phase and refused to eat mashed potatoes.  Somehow renaming it 'dinner pudding' made it all acceptable and delicious.  I don't get it, but hey, whatever works, right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

And the Winners Are:

Congratulations to the winners of the Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Giveaway!  The winners are:

Mastermind - Jack

Animal Mastermind Towers - Jen from In One Ear

Please check your emails! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What's Behind Their Door

Reminder:  Today is the last day to enter the Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers giveaway!  The contest closes tonight at 11:59 p.m. and the winners will be drawn tomorrow  Best of luck to all!

Today I'm donning my bio-hazard suit and tackling the kids' rooms and closets.  Perhaps you can relate to this scene, where you've asked your children to put away toys, clothes, books, pet dinosaur or what have you, only to find them under their beds, furniture, rug, crammed somewhere or still on the floor.  Then somehow they're shocked when I tell them to clean it, because after all...they already did. 

As parents, we all know that effectively cleaning your child's room requires a trash bag, which horrifies them.  Because they to keep everything.  Chewing gum from Kindergarten, every art project, and every paper they came home with since preschool.    There's nothing wrong with memories, but the sheer amount is staggering and it's usually covering up the snack bowl from last month.  You've been wondering where that bowl went, along with the ear thermometer, Q-Tips, a few cups or soda cans which you've knocked over at least one over with your foot.  Because no matter how many times you've explicitly told them not to have food and drink in their rooms, they don't remember or 'forgot'.  And so, now you're thinking about pest fumigation.  Despite their protests, their rooms are not a petrie dish or a massive ant farm experiement no matter how many times they attempt to convince you that they're budding scientists.

To ease your eardrums, perhaps you're waiting until they're not home and therefore cannot interfere with your efforts.  The horror on their faces as they enter their new sparkling abode is worth capturing.  Keep the cameras rolling while they yank open each drawer in shock, followed by heavy sighs.  Perhaps you've heard them yell "It's MY room and YOU had NO RIGHT in here!"  You know, as if they're not living in your house that you pay for, or the impending rodent and insect infestation wouldn't affect you.  My kids have actually attempted to save their crap from the trash.  I just laugh, and remember that one day, it will be THEIR home and THEIR kids.  Somehow that makes it all better.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Your Twit

When it comes to social media, I'm road stain on the information superhighway. Not road kill, because that infers that it's slow, but still fresh. I'm the one that's been run over so much there's nothing left but a few squashed bits. When My Space was all the rage, I was the last of my friends to sign up. It was listed under the name of a character I played on an online game. Because really, I don't want people knowing my real name or my location unless I want them to know. And if I do, I'll just tell you. Then like a week later it was all about Facebook. I dug my heels in for years about that. I didn't start that until last year, and I use my nom de plume over there. But no, a first name alone wasn't enough for Facebook. I had to come up with a last name too, which didn't exist. Since Kristin and I are SBC's (Sisters by Choice), I asked her if I could use her maiden name. I mean, being sisters on Facebook is almost as good as being sisters in real life, right?

Now it'a all about Twitter. Well it has been for awhile, but I dug my heels in about that too. There's nothing I feel compelled to say in 140 characters or less that I want to share with the entire world. It's a shame they're not called 'twits' that appear on your 'twit deck'. That would be far more amusing. It also seems like you need to meet an endless amount of requirements to enter blog contests. I get it to a degree, because companies want exposure for their stuff, and the more traffic a blog has equates to the amount of companies that want to do business with you.

Maybe that's the part I hate about all this the most: blogging has become more about marketing and less about communicating something. I'd like to think this blog will grow because of merit, not because I'm giving away free stuff.

On the same token, it has provided a pretty ingenious way for people to build themselves professionally. As a stay at home mom, I don't want to wait until I'm 50 and then attempt to contribute to the world starting at zero again. So I try to balance it all out in my mind. I realize people have bills to pay and there's nothing wrong with using the current structure to benefit one's self. So I guess it's about reconciling principles with the realities of life. I want to have both, and I think I can. And . so . with . much . prodding . and . heel . dragging . kicking . and . screaming ... ... I ... signed .... .... ... up.

I'm your new twit: @amygdalarevenge

It's from my other blog, Amygdala's Revenge.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My First Power Tool

My husband is in construction. That means that we have power tools coming out our wazoo. He has 6 drills, and he swears that each have their own unique purpose. AND he wants to buy more one day. His tools fill the basement in an obnoxious manner, and to tell you the truth I don't know if I could use any of his stuff let alone find it.

So imagine my husband's surprise when I saw this and wanted it. It's a Dremel cordless 7.2 volt rotary tool. It's small and I can hold it like a very large pencil. He was so giddy with excitement he never stopped to really inspect why I would want such a thing. It came with all these little attachments that I think will be pretty useful. I don't drag out his crap to do household fix-it stuff, because if I did, it would have to be managed with the curious trio looking to snatch it up as soon as my back was turned because they want to help, you know. Anyway, Hubby was busy whipping out his wallet, eager to release my inner Amy Matthews with uh...7.2 volts of power. It came with a kit that had all these different attachments. Not having a clue about what they did, I spent 2 hours reading about them on their picture pamphlet. Which is good because I need pictures. I've already used the paint stripper tool because we have posts on our back porch that we want to paint, but they're decorative. So the little tool is perfect for all the decorative grooves and such.

But that's not why I wanted it.

I want it to make kick ass jack o lanterns this year. You just can't sell the idea with a once-a-year use. Not that Hubby cares, because it's like a gift-by-proxy. And it's a tool that he didn't have.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Teaching September 11th.

Divine was just a baby when the towers fell on September 11th. She was oblivious to the silence while Hubby and I stared at the TV in disbelief. She had no clue that her grandpa worked just a few blocks away for the NYPD. We sat in silence in our living room, while the clocked ticked waiting for the phone to ring letting us know that my FIL was okay.

Since then, my children have known we've been in a war against this thing called 'terrorism' in far away lands. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Iran are only places they've seen in excerpts on the news. They've seen the pictures their grandpa took of Ground Zero and the blown out windows from the surrounding buildings. But they don't really understand it. They didn't grasp that the planes and buildings were filled with people, ordinary citizens just going about their lives.

Divine and Little Man watched the memorial services and the time line on TV. It wasn't to scare them, but to give understanding about what they see on the news. My FIL graciously answered their questions, with his grandpa understanding. He's really good at explaining things to the kids in an objective manner. Little Man was angry they had never taught him this at school, but I explained that it could be very frightening to some kids, like his little sister. T wasn't part of this because she's very sensitive. In a few years maybe she'll be old enough, but not now.

I want my children to understand that freedom isn't free. They saw the brave heroes who gave and risked their lives to save others, and that the actions of a few can't destroy us as a nation. We were very specific about the perpetrators...because ultimately those involved in planning and carrying out attacks are to blame alone. There was a dichotomy in that day, of those seeking to destroy, and those who gave all to save others. People they didn't know and had never met before. We can't control others, but we can make a difference. In life, we serve as either an example or a horrible warning.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers Giveaway!

While at BlogHer '10 I had the opportunity to meet the cool people at Pressman Games. While I'd heard of the company, I'd never played the games they had on display: Mastermind and Animal Mastermind Towers. I'm always on the lookout for interesting games that challenge my children to think and figure things out. It also needs to be a game that won't bore them easily and they can play together without fighting. I can say that both of these games exceeded my expectations. They are age appropriately challenging and as any parent can appreciate, don't require batteries!

Animal Mastermind Towers is for ages 6 and up. Little T loves this game because it's equally interactive on both sides. Nobody has a 'better' or 'more important' role in the game. Both players secretly stack their animal tiles in their tower. They each receive cards that tell them which animals are in the other player's tower, but not in what order. Players must take turns asking each other if a tile is above or below another. They then use the cards to help themselves figure out what order the other player's tiles are stacked. What's cool about it is that my older children are willing to play this game with Little T, and she loves to bring it out when friends come over. The rules are simple and easily explained, and they must take turns. Pressman also has popular character versions available, such as Spongebob. In most games Little T is easily outmaneuvered by Divine and Little Man due to better coordination or developmental abilities. But in this game everyone is on equal footing.

Mastermind is for ages 8 and up, although Little T (age 6) easily understood the game. At one end the 'Code-Maker' arranges 4 pegs of their choosing behind a little shield. At the other end, the 'Code-Breaker' places pegs to guess the code. The only clues they would get is which pegs are correct, or right color wrong place. They continue to guess until they break the code. Players take turns in the roles of code-maker and breaker. The player who breaks the code in the least amount of turns wins. Divine, Little Man and Little T have played this game for hours. They giggle while the 'breaker' guesses, and applaud victories. They get a charge out of playing both roles, so there's no fighting over who gets to be what. I like that the kids have to use decoding skills, and that since it changes everytime, it never gets boring for them.

Pressman Games was not only nice enough to send me these games to try and review, but also offer a giveaway for one of each game! To enter, you need to do the following:

  1. Comment and tell me which game you would like to enter to win.
  2. Follow this blog on Google Friend connect.
  3. Do ten jumping jacks. (I'm just kidding, but don't you feel better now?)

I will announce the winners on Monday, September 20th. Good Luck!

Disclosure: Pressman Games gave me these games for free for review and I'm not expected to return them after the review period.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I hate glitter. If there is an art supply every mother hates, glitter is it.

One thing about home or cyber schooling is that there are some lessons you have to do hands-on. The school sends me a giant box for each of my children with wads of supplies in them...crafting supplies, clay, construction paper, crayons, colored pencils, glue, pipe cleaners, glitter and whatnot.

I got the brilliant idea to do recycling art. Each of them had an empty tall Prin.gles can and went to town on it. And that they did. T made a telescope and Little Man made a musical instrument of sorts. And you bet they wanted to decorate the snot out of it...with glitter. So I opened one container and told them to decorate them outside.

Late this afternoon I noticed my front porch was covered in gold glitter. My kitchen sink had glitter all over the inside, including all over their snack bowls and juice cups that were in it. But I'm thankful. I'm thankful for my wonderful faucet that has the spray hose option that Hubby installed last year, and that glitter will go down my drain. I'm also thankful that glitter will sweep off my front porch. The worst that will happen is that Hubby will be covered in 'magic fairy dust' when he mows that section of the lawn. But mostly, I'm very thankful that there was only 4 ounces of glitter in that container.