Category Archives: Parenting Fun!

Live From the Blanket Fort: Of Dancing Spoons and Disappointed Napkins

Yes, it’s me. I’m still here. And this – this is still happening. But don’t worry, for I am not scared. No, I don’t have tickets to Canada to live with their free health care and hottie Prime Minister, importance not necessarily in that order. But I have protection. Witness the aforementioned blanket fort.

My bunker.

My bunker.

Notice that it is stocked with all needed provisions for the next four years.  I have a bottle of cola, pop tarts, microwave popcorn, pillows, blankets, Disney movies, and animal familiars for possible future witchcraft.  Thanks to Thing Two for her assistance with my safe house here.  Thing one was busy at the high school musical, Beauty and the Beast. She was the star.  She played a spoon.  I think there was some chick named Belle in there too.

More on that later.

I had to pick her up, and the fort was still there, and my husband was due home from church.  So I called him and explained that there was a blanket fort in the living room.  It went like this.

Me: Hi, honey, there’s a blanket fort in the living room.

Husband: A what?

Me: A blanket fort.  I have to go pick up Thing One, but we’ll clean it up later.

Husband: A blanket floor?

Me: There’s a mess in the living room.  Be back soon!

So I got my daughter from her very last performance.  I think you need to understand exactly what these costumes are like.  As soon as I get some pictures back (I didn’t have my camera with me of course) I will post them (with her lovely face blanked out) because you have to see this thing.  Think giant, thick, board (real board not that cardboard stuff) made in the shape of a spoon, strapped to her back in several places, with the spoon head sticking out far over her head.  She danced in this thing.  I can’t even imagine.  On the plus side, her posture should be great now.

And I have to say, I enjoyed the play immensely.  Now this may be a surprise, but I sort of like Disney, especially this particular movie.  And the Broadway version is way better.  But I had my doubts as these were high school kids who dealt with a change in directors in the very middle of a musical that involves a heavy amount of dancing and singing in big numbers because this is Disney and they do everything on speed.

Yet they surprised me, to my delight.  Everything was fabulous.  Gaston was short, but they even put in jokes about that.  At one point his wig was knocked partly off – he tossed it back on and kept going.  I missed the second performance when the beast lost his wig after being stabbed by Gaston, and Belle fell upon him in despair, and probably to cover up the wig mishap while the kids backstage stifled laughter.  But honestly, mostly this was a grade A performance. Belle was incredible. The Beast was incredible.  The whole cast was amazing and the story and sets fabulous.

I was informed by Thing Two that the sister of a friend came close to playing the part of Belle, but did not get it because “Miss Perfect” did (can’t fault her there, that girl can sing, dance, act, and she’s pretty – some people hit the genetic lottery).  Anyway, the poor girl had to become a napkin.

“You can tell which one she is,” Thing Two explained.  “She’s the most disappointed looking dancing napkin out there.”

I, however, was transfixed through the whole thing, even when my spoon wasn’t on stage.  My husband, brave man that he is, shifted a lot in his seat.  Father of the Year for sitting through not one but two of these three-hour performances.

But I guess this brings me back to how it is the arts that can bring us away from where we are, no matter how horrible we feel that place is.  For three hours, I forgot about the election, about the problems in the world, about everything else.  I was in another world, and I laughed, and I cried, at every bit of it. But when my daughter, my spoon, came out on stage for her numbers, afterward I clapped so hard with pride that my hands hurt.

This is what will get us through.  Writing, humor (sometimes through choked back bile), books, movies . . . and of course, a blanket fort for protection.  Here I am, watching from my fort.

Yes, I am an adult.

Yes, I am an adult.

I may look a bit like Snoopy from the Red Baron mixed up with Ferris from his day off, but I’m still here, darn it. I may be reporting on events from this location for a while. Probably not political events because I am still in the denial stage of grief where I pretend “The Happening” never occurred. But still reporting. Never give up, never surrender.

Never forget pop tarts and coke while hiding in your blanket fort.

~ Alice

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Back to School: Teachers Get Real

That's a watermark there, but I like to think of it as a black hole.

Back to the black hole of doom, guys!

Yeah, it’s back to school time, a time that is really only beneficial to retailers.  Working parents hate it because they have no time.  Stay-at-home parents hate it because they have a few minutes, between diaper changes, so hey go volunteer!  Kids hate it – well because it’s school.  I don’t care how cute the bulletin boards are, it’s gonna suck.

And, naturally, teachers hate it.  They are the ones stuck with our children all day.  So teachers have to give kids a hard time at the beginning so that they will know who is boss.  Unfortunately, the scary warnings only work on the kids who would be good anyway.  The troublemakers are just going to laugh, laugh, laugh and snort some cocaine off the page.

Keep your hands and weapons to yourselves, kiddos.

Keep your hands and weapons to yourselves, kiddos.

I kid, because my children go to suburban schools and everyone knows these students aren’t going to use plain old copy paper with their drugs, nor are they actively going to use them in front of the teacher.  So since suburban teachers don’t have the truly horrible problems that teachers at some inner-city schools face (lesson one: stay alive through 7th period), they have to make them up.

Here’s an example.  When Thing Two was in kindergarten, her teacher gave her detentions every day.  It’s not that my little darling didn’t deserve many of them. I do understand that the angrily scribbled note “Child was in boy’s restroom screaming down the hall” is kind of hard to debate.  But forgetting her lunch back in the classroom?  Yes, she got one for that.  At five.  Two years out of diapers.  Heck, I once forgot to pack her a lunch. Oh, I gave her the lunch sack, just no lunch.  I can still imagine the child opening that empty sack to this day.  Luckily I only received “Mom of Shame” for that one.

The thing with giving a detentions for a kid misbehaving is that it backfires. You were jumping around the classroom; now you miss recess!  The – one time when the kid CAN jump?  When you want them to jump until they collapse barely breathing and then you can actually tell them stuff?  The detention defeats that.  And giving detentions for something that isn’t even misbehavior is just as bad.  You end up with so many, it is no longer really a punishment.  Thing Two handed them to me like flyers.

Detention? Now I'll never get a job.

Detention? Now I’ll never get a job.

I remember back in the day – the day before Internet kids – when teachers just saved those things for when kids really did something bad, like say punching another kid, or the teacher.  Definitely deserved then.  But the other stuff is just silly.  And it doesn’t stop in kindergarten.  Thing One brought home a paper for me to sign for her art class yesterday.  It said “Any mechanical pencils left on the desk will result in a detention.  No mechanical pencils!!!”  Wow.  I get that you use “special” (ie expensive) pencils for art, but what the heck did a mechanical pencil do to her?  That seems a wee bit extreme.  Either she hasn’t been at that school long, or she’s been there WAY too long.

A lot of the teachers seemed pretty harried, judging by the number of times they used ALL CAPS in their warning, er, welcome letters.  I get that teaching is an incredibly hard job.  Both my parents did it, and they got out of it into the library and counseling, respectively, which are also awful, but not quite as bad.  I was an education major, and just ran altogether my senior year.  But I wonder what they give detentions for in those really tough schools they feature in movies like “Dangerous minds.”

  1. No semi-automatic weapons on the desk.  Please keep in backpacks.
  2. Do not leave heroin needles lying around.  Clean up after yourselves.
  3. If you wish to start creating the next generation, please do so in the privacy of your own locker.
  4. Please reserve making plans to rob the 7-11 for study hall.
  5. Tattoos are for art class.
  6. Please save gang warfare for Physical Education class.
  7. No shanking in the classroom, unless it’s science class and it’s a frog.
  8. No spitting, shooting, stabbing, stapling, severing, or stomping your teacher
  9. Save cell phones calls to pimps for after class
  10. Absolutely no mechanical pencils.

I think that about does it.  How is the school year going for you guys?

~ Alice

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Republican and the Democrat: A Love Story Part Two

We’re back with Thing Two’s captivating story of two vampires people torn apart by POLITICS.  Can the two ever be together, what with the probable different number of chromosomes?  Let’s find out in part two of: The Republican and the Democrat: A Love Story.

 

CHAPTER THREE

GUNS, GUNS AND MORE GUNS
Ken went on the wonderful web and looked for a good lookin’ dating website for him to find a new gal.

“Hey this one looks swell.” He took a deep breath and started on Democrathotties.com

Name: Kennedy

Gender: male

Voting for: Bernie Sanders

Hobbies: Having long debates on the beach

More about ME: My favorite color is blue, my favorite animal is a donkey, and my uncle is

Bernie Sanders, and I live in a cardboard house since I donated all my money to orphans, plus I’m poor….cool right!!!???

*insert hawt picture*

Before he had decided which angle, or whether he wanted to have his shirt on or not for his “hawt” picture, he got 2 requests already. The first girl was named Bindi Roosevelt, who also liked Donkeys. The other girl was named Katy Reagan…and her picture had her in a red bikini, next to 3 guns. Being bewildered on how such a Republican appeared on a Democratic dating site, he rejected both. His dog started to howl loudly as he finally took his needed picture and went to bed …. dreaming about rich little Marsha.

Ken on his cardboard computer in his eco-friendly cardboard house - with wifi.

Ken on his cardboard computer in his eco-friendly cardboard house – with wifi.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

ELEPHANT CROSSING

It was decided, Ken was going on a date with Harley Quinn Willson.  Ken got into his eco-friendly gear and set off  to meet a new companion.  Ken road his special hot pink, gas reduced, Beatles signed (its not REALLY signed by the Beatles…he just happened to mistake a man with a long fringe cut walking down the street for Ringo.) flower smelling bike of magic. On the way to the meeting place, a quick yet sincere thought whipped past his mind…maybe……. just maybe……..he could get a Ringo haircut.

Ken finally got to the internet cafe where he was to meet his new more than friends friend (hopefully). He parked his Beatle bike and swayed into the cafe. He sat down at a table and made sure that no crumbs had stayed undefeated with a brush of his hand …. and he waited.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

MARSHA’S TURN

Marsha put on her black Prada sandals, and put up her coat. She checked her bed for BB’s, and texted her new boyfriend who went by the name “Chad” which most likely stood for Courageous Happy-go lucky Amazing Democrat hater. A knock came from the north of the house…it was Chad!

“Hey!!” Marsha was so excited to get to know this new man. “Hi Chad!”

“Actually my name is Alejandro, I just shortened it to Chad.” Marsha couldn’t find what sounded weird about that but who cares!!??

“Well, are we ready?” he asked.

Masha got on her billion dollar hat worn by the queen of England.  “Yep! All ready!!”

They set off on their journey to the cafe.

“Hey…this place sounds good, maybe we can eat here.” he said.

Marsha thought it was a great idea…it smelled pretty good in there. They walked in and Marsha sat down while Chad grabbed some napkins. Marsha looked around the place, it looked pretty nice except….

             Kennedy was there!!!!

*****

The suspense is killing you, I’m sure.  We’ll find out what happens next in part three of the thrilling saga of those political lovebirds.  Thing Two was kind enough to leave a message for me at the end of her writing.  Here it is.

*Dear mom, if you are reading this then your prob editing…just so you know, your doing a great job and i love you*

I have pretty amazing kids.

Alice

Barbie Got Back Part Two

I was going to write a Valentine’s Day post, but I did a post on the completely made up totally true origins of the holiday already.  So it’s back to our post on healthy body image!  There is a song by Sir Mix-A-Lot, dedicated totally to this, and it is totes romantic.

 

Hits ya right there.

Hits ya right there.

You see?  Even rapper knights from the 80s know that it’s okay for a woman to have some curves on her!  So why not Barbie?  That’s the conclusion Mattel came to after only 50 years or so.  And lots of complaining.  And their company profits sort of going down the toilet due to not putting effort into their projects anymore.  So they made some gutsy changes that got Barbie on the cover of Time Magazine.  No, I’m serious.

Nope. But Sir Mix-a-lot is on the phone for you.

Nope. But Sir Mix-a-lot is on the phone for you.

Yes, there is now a “curvy” Barbie with an actual behind, a bit of tummy, and healthy thighs.  Also a tall, flatter Barbie, and a short “petite” Barbie, for all those freaky tall and short people out there.  Just kidding.  It’s actually nice to see a variety of doll shapes since some girls are tall and skinny (like I was, and I like my daughters are) and others are just short and petite which I used to envy until I realized I would always be able to reach items on the top shelf that they couldn’t.

I got all three shapes of doll because RESEARCH.  Again, apologies for the naked doll pictures, but if you wanna see the shape, you gotta see it without clothes.  And we all know Barbie always goes commando underneath her duds, with the exception of those drawn on skin-tone panties that look like she’s got some sort of infection going on.  I also pulled back in the Lammily doll, based on an average of normal girl proportions, from my last post for comparison, though she’s a little more annoyed about the nude thing.  Barbie is used to it, as she regularly lays around my house with no clothes, just as she did when I was a kid.

Tall and geeky, short and freaky, and Miss Mixalot. I should probably give them real names.

Tall and geeky, short and freaky, and Miss Mixalot. I should probably give them real names.

The Things, otherwise known as my testers, checked out the dolls and gave their opinions.  The short one had a nice dress but scary looking eyes.  The tall one was, like, tall.  Thing Two strongly favored Miss Curvy.  I told them we needed names, so Thing Two decided on presidents.  Meet Jenny Clinton, Emma Obama, and Sarah Roosevelt.

Now for the pictures that will probably surface during their campaigns.  We brought in highly-flexible yoga Barbie again (her name is Marsha Brady Trump and if you have to ask why, you probably haven’t read my blog much.)  Since Curvy Ms. Roosevelt is the most controversial, I concentrated on her for most of the comparison shots.

Curvy Barbie vs Barbie 1

Right off the bat, you can tell there a few differences between Roosevelt and Trump here. Meg the Lammily doll is lying nearby – for some reason.

So Curvy’s legs are noticably thicker, and you can see a bit of thigh.  But you need a closer look to really see the junk in the trunk.  This post is going to get so many views for all the wrong reasons.

Clothes off, yay! Curvy Roosevelt has a wider torso, more hip, and thighs. But flexi Trump has a lot more posability. If you could combine the flexy with the curvy, it'd be an even better doll.

Clothes off, yay! Curvy Roosevelt has a wider torso, more hip, and thighs. But flexi Trump has a lot more posability. If you could combine the flexi with the curvy, it’d be an even better doll.

Now for the butt shot. Curvy Barbie does got back, ya'll.

Now for the butt shot. Curvy Barbie does got back, ya’ll.

So she has a butt – a real butt.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t see very many behinds (not that I spend a lot of time looking but you know what I mean I think I’ll stop talking now) that are so nonexistent as on Flexi Trump.  And once again those pencil legs really stand out, even if they can bend behind her body in a scary sort of way that – even scarier – real people are actually able to do in yoga class.  Did I mention you can get stress fractures doing yoga?  It’s true – a coworker did.  And she thought she was getting healthy!

Anyway, I also wanted to compare Curvy Roosevelt’s body to the Lammily more average sized body.  Come on, Meg!  Come meet someone!  No, really, we promise it will be better this time!

You are a lying liar, Alice.

You are a lying liar, Alice.

Again, we did the strip tease shot.  Meg is filing a lawsuit against me, I’m pretty sure.  She doesn’t get research.

Meg is giving me her death glare.

Meg is giving me her death glare.

The two dolls both have some added butt and thigh, though one has a shorter torso, and the other a longer one.  I’m not sure really which torso is the most normal.  Maybe it’s because women are shaped differently.  Nah, it has to be problems with manufacturing!  Curvy has skinnier arms and upper body, and her legs get skinnier in the calf down to the feet that are still too small to adequately support a normal person.  Plus, while she’s wearing shoes here, I can tell you she still has no toes.  Unlike the Lammily doll, who has some very detailed toes there.  Evolution in doll making for sure!

My body has always been a bit closer to curvy, which is why I object when people complain – you’re shocked right? – that her body is unrealistic still.  It’s called “pear shaped”.  There’s also “apple shaped” (if you are bigger around he middle) and “stick shaped” (if you still have to wear undershirts instead of bras and you’ve been desperately searching for your hips.)  I’ve had friends of all these body types.  Not surprisingly, none of us are happy.  Especially when we’re told we’re either too fat or too skinny.  Just as this doll, like the Lammily doll, is “fat”, according to people with very thin minds.

Get into my car

Get outta my dreams, get into my car, baby!

Finnick from the Hunger Games doesn’t seem to mind.

Time Magazine complained about a few things.  For one, the doll has no clothes to fit her yet, though they are coming out with some in the future.  Oh, dear!  It’s like someone might have to sew those clothes.  And sell them.  And they have sewn them and we have come.  To Etsy, where I have never gone before.  It’s truly amazing the talent out there that “average” people have to sew tiny clothes in perfect detail.  Mattel and other companies need to employ these people.

Curvy can borrow the Lammily doll's clothes, but the same can't be said for the Lammily doll. But unluckily for my pocket book, there are a lot of outfits to fit both dolls now.

Curvy can borrow the Lammily doll’s clothes, but the same can’t be said for the Lammily doll. But unluckily for my pocket book, there are a lot of outfits to fit both dolls now on Etsy and the Lammily site.

I was asked if kids are really that affected by a doll. No, it’s not the doll – it’s the culture so many embrace, of one nearly impossible body.  But as a parent, there are so many ways to combat it.  They watch you in whatever you do and say (including how you hate your own looks, which is something I say too often).  They also arrive without judgment (most of the time).  Like the song in South Pacific, such attitudes toward skin color or body shape “have to be carefully taught”.  I liked watching how my kids judged the dolls based on which ones they happened to like best.  And they like most dolls with little notice of size, shape, or color.  Disney princesses play alongside Ken and Barbie and it’s not totally unknown for My Little Pony or, say, a giant stuffed rabbit to invade from time to time.  We like to call it creativity.  Or madness.  Both have a great spark.

There's room for everyone.

There’s room for everyone.

-Alice

Barbie Got Back: Part One

There has been a lot of talk about the issue of body image, especially with women.  There’s also been a lot of Barbie trashing, an easy target what with the doll’s obvious impossible proportions which are totally unlike the impossible proportions of many of our models and actresses, and never, ever shown as ideal in the media.  But Barbie is a doll meant for children, so parents especially have been griping about this since Barbies were first created. (The idea of the doll came from an “adult toy” for bachelor parties.  I can’t understand their complaints at all.)  So anyway, one would think they’d be happy when finally, toy companies started making dolls that approach a more natural likeness to a real human body.

My proportions are fine! What are proportions?

My proportions are fine! What are proportions? (Sorry I can’t get past the idea that Barbie is dense.)

You’d be wrong of course!  One of the first dolls to get media attention back in 2014 was the Lammily doll, created by Nickolay Lamm, a guy so conceited he named the doll after a combination of his name and family!  Totally unlike what Barbie’s creator did, what with naming Barbie and Ken after her children.  It had to be tough being her kids.  Especially when your mom romantically linked you. But never mind that, back to the unfortunately named Lammily, which sounds like an ointment for sheep.  In spite of her name, this is an groundbreaking doll.  You see, Lamm decided it’d be interesting to see what Barbie would look like if you made her proportions more like an average of the proportions of a real 19-year-old woman.  Note I said an “average” of the statistical measurements of a woman of this age.  Meaning some are bigger, some are smaller, yadda yadda.  But then he confused it a little by saying “Average is beautiful” as part of the campaign.  And you know what Americans think about average.

As you can clearly see, the one on the right is like FATTY FATTY!

(computer generated prototype of Lammily) As you can clearly see, the one on the right is like FATTY FATTY!

No one is average!  We should all strive for perfection that we can never attain, not settle for realistic dreams!  How dare we suggest a girl be content with being “average”.  Not even a mathematical average of human body types.  But there were enough people who wanted a doll that didn’t make them or their kids feel like fatties wearing size, omg, 12 (The beginning size for plus-size models.  I wish I was kidding here.)  So in one day, his kickstarter campaign far surpassed what was needed to start the project.  When Lammily arrived, the doll the media hyped to no end, calling her the alternative to Barbie, or even better, “fat” Barbie, there were a lot of mixed reactions.  Some people were happy.  But most were annoyed – on either side of the political spectrum.

Say what? (Lammily doll final product)

Say what? (Lammily doll final product)

Some were disappointed that this doll, started by one guy and a handful of dollars and helpers, did not come up with a huge range of body types and ethnicities with his pilot project.  Because yeah, that’s what all small companies are capable of doing.  He also made her, omg, white, but at least he made her brunette, and not wearing pink!  Also no make-up!   A plus, right?  Nope.  Now the ones who wanted a “family friendly modest doll” said she was “plain” and her clothes were boring and what kid (or parent) would want to play with that?  Also, not every girl looked exactly like the Lammily doll.  Which would mean – not every girl is average?  Just like not every girl has crazy proportions? (There are some women who are naturally long legged, tall, skinny and perfect looking.  It’s called the genetic lottery.) And then were the people, many of them women, who said this doll was “fat”.  A doll statistically made by mathematical averages of a real female.

It's muscle, people! Try working out! Sheesh.

It’s muscle, people! Try working out! Sheesh.

Even worse, he came up with a package of stickers with everything from cellulite to acne to various wounds (broken leg, scars, bruises – is Lammily in a bad relationship?) to help kids identify with the crap that puberty throws their way by sticking them on their dolls.  Personally, I think I would have loved this as a kid.  In fact, I might have to still order these stickers, if only to enjoy slapping them on Barbie and the Disney Princesses myself.  Because it just makes the world feel a little more fair, that’s why.

The doll wearing these stickers will experience all of puberty and every accident possible in a matter of seconds.

The doll wearing these stickers will experience all of puberty and every accident possible in a matter of seconds.

So basically, Barbie is bad because she has too much makeup and no pimples, is too sexualized, and has a body that is not natural.  And Lammily is bad because she has no makeup and has pimples, is not sexualized, and has a body that at least approaches natural.  And then there were the people who, inexplicably, said Barbie is great and they were never, ever influenced to think they had to have a body like her.  These are some of the same people who said Lammily was fat.  Are you sensing a bit of disconnect here? Cause I sure am.  Sorry, Lamm, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The site (Lammily.com) is now releasing a black doll. BUT WHERE ARE THE LATINOS, HUH, HUH?

The site (Lammily.com) is now releasing a black doll. BUT WHERE ARE THE LATINOS, HUH, HUH?

What’s most ironic is that when you hear or see actual stories of how kids play with these dolls (not the ones in advertising, but actual stories) the kids really don’t care that much.  UNLESS the parent makes it a big deal.  For instance, one youtube video, labeled “Kids react to ‘Fat’ Barbie”, shows a woman purposely sticking Lammily marks on the doll before showing it to her small child along with a Barbie in a fancy dress.  Guess which one the kid picked?  Yeah, she chose the fancy one, and I’m sure she was not at all influenced by mom’s body language or purposeful attempts to make the Lammily doll more unattractive.  I think this is one insecure lady.  God forbid she gain weight herself one day.

Leader of the awful human being brigade.

I’m thinking she’s a follower of the awful human being brigade.

So in response to the very, very horrific examples of human-kind seen in the comment sections of many articles and reviews on these dolls, I bought a Lammily.  Because that’s the kind of research I will do for my fans, and not because I like buying dolls anyway.  I bought her an extra set of clothes to experiment with as well, since she doesn’t fit in any of Barbie’s “no ribs” fashions.  Thing Two announced that Lammily (Who has been renamed “Meg” by the Things.  But not, as Thing Two vehemently insists, “Megyn.”) looks like me.  I think that’s a compliment.  I’ll take it as one, because Lammily has some nice muscular legs (which mine are not any longer) and a young, pretty face.

Not this Megyn, the Meg from Little Women. Yeah my kids actually chose to read it on their own!

Not this Megyn, the Meg from Little Women. Yeah my kids actually chose to read the book on their own!  Far out!

I have to admit, when I first saw this doll I thought she looked strange.  She was thicker, without much of a waist (the hips probably could have been a little more hippy – girls do actually have hips) an actual butt, and (gasp) thighs.  And then I realized with startling clarity that I had looked at myself for years, even back when I was a young, very thin woman, as someone with enormous thighs.  So much so that I did not, and still do not, wear shorter dresses or skirts.  To realize that this was normal was amazing, and somehow this doll showed it better than anything else I had experienced, possibly because I could physically hold this thing in my hand and compare it with other dolls.  The Things were amazed as well.  Forgive the nudie pics but it is the best way to see the comparison between body types.  For actual doll porn, please see the rest of the Internet.

Meg wonders whether Barbie's leg might snap off - they are rather close to twigs in comparison.

Meg wonders whether Barbie’s leg might snap off – they are rather close to twigs in comparison.

“Good grief, her legs are like pencils, Mom!” Thing One said, looking at Meg and then Barbie.   And this is a kid who is thin, but with legs that can actually support her.  Thing One immediately made Meg one of her super flexible yoga Barbie’s younger sister.  Because why not?  Both can live together, as they do in the real world.  They are still toys, and not just political agendas.  It might be nice to let the kids decide what they want and don’t want.  And even it is only the parents who really like Lammily, and not kids, that’s okay – cause guess who has the money to buy the dolls?  The parents.  But parents can do best by their kids by just letting the dolls go, and seeing what happens – without preconceived notions.  It’s an opportunity to talk with your kids about what they think, and why.  And it’s a chance to play again.  Which more adults should do – in my humble opinion.

Alice

P.S. No I haven’t been blind to Mattel hopping on the body image bandwagon with a brand new line of fashionista Barbies – a tall, a petite, and – oh oh – a curvy.  More on them in part two.

Maximum Squirrel Overload

It’s Monday, ya’ll, which means another full week OF DREAD.  I like to be prepared, so I started my dreading early – Sunday night – when my anxiety reached top notch and I had to decide how to calm it down.  Oh, sure, there are lots of ways, but you have to be able to GET to those ways in order for it to work.  For instance:

Round round get around I get around ooooh get around oooooh I get around I get arouuuuunnd all over town I’m a real cool squirrel blah blah blah blah blahhhhh!

Music!

Music can be calming.  But once you reach Maximum Squirrel Overload, you are kind of past that.  No kind of music, saying you were calm enough to find a music player, is going to make you feel better.  There are a few types of music.  Sad music: bad idea cause you are already anxious and probably depressed about being anxious and sad songs won’t help.  Happy music: bad idea too because what business do people have being happy when you are freaked out?  Then there’s rap music most of which I think is best classified as Angry music because there is much talk of popping caps in posteriors.  Popping a cap might help with anxiety, but the jail time afterward would not, so don’t try it.  Also, what are your chances of being able to find the gun?

No, the dog won't work as a substitute.

No, the dog won’t work as a substitute.

Exercise!

I love when people say to work out your anxiety or depression with exercise.  Look, people, I have no idea where any of my sweatpants are, and if I did, they would be dirty. Then I would have to wash them.  And dry them.  And put them on.  That’s way too much work when your mind is going 1,000 miles an hour.  You are already getting a mental workout, and trying to add physical to it can be too much.  I guess the best way to describe it would be to expect someone to solve 500 quadratic equations, cure Cancer, and write a symphony, then tell them they had to do this all on the treadmill or elliptical.  Now yes, if you manage to get to a gym before you reach Squirrel Overload, you have a chance of physically beating that anxiety back, but if it comes on suddenly, it’s just way too late.

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

Hot, soothing beverage!

This is usually my best bet, except this time I could not make the cocoa because even though I had cocoa packets, I did not have milk.  Well, I had milk, two half gallons, but they had both expired. Saying I was able to force myself to pour the milk (which might come up in chunks which milk should never do) down the drain without barfing, I couldn’t because there were already dishes in the sink.  So first I would have to put the dishes in the dishwasher.  Except the dishwasher is full so then you have to put the dishes up except that they didn’t all come clean, so they have to go back in the sink.  No one wants milk curds on top of that.  So forget it.  Finally I drove to McDonald’s for some, but they “broke” the machine.  I would break it too if I worked there, but still.  I had to drive yet another place before I finally got my cocoa.  Then I remembered I hadn’t taken some of my pills, so I swallowed them with cocoa only to swallow them wrong and get heartburn.  Once I had finished taking care of the heartburn, I managed to go to bed.  That, my friends, is way too darn much work.

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Humor!

The last thing I feel when under Squirrel Overload is funny although I probably act rather amusing and or terrifying (it’s such a fine line) when under the influence.  This morning I was not as sparkified, just dreadish, and telling myself that I just had to go to work for a little while even though I wanted to stay home.  So I drove my Things to school and somehow the conversation diverted to dead dogs because – are you really surprised with us?  Anyway, we discussed Where the Red Fern Grows which is a classic children’s book because it involves two dead dogs AND a dead child (for more on the dead dog topic see my post on dead dogs in literature.  It’s a real romp.) And the Things, who were both forced to read this book, reminded me that the bully in the book was killed and I was like oh when he was mauled to death and they said no, an ax fell on him.  Which is such a great image there.  And I was like, dang, that author had some sort of personal vendetta against dogs and boys named Billy.  And Thing Two said, “Mom, it was just an AXident.”  Get it?  Well, we did, and we laughed, because we have problems.  But not as many as the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.

Okay, guys, time to die!

Okay, guys, time to die!

So the dread is still there, but at least I made it to work.  And when I think of that horrible pun about an ax falling on a kid, I smile.  I guess when you are on Squirrel Overload, it helps to have a couple of Things handy.  I’m willing to rent them out.

Alice

 

Breaking News in the Olaf case

You might have thought (or hoped) that we’d forgotten about Olaf (a snowman from the Disney movie Frozen) and all the wackos who have shown up to claim Elsa’s throne, seeing as how none of them are (supposedly) real at all and we are (in theory) way too big to be playing with this stuff.  Except maybe Thing Two, she’s eleven.  When does the statute of limitations run out on doll playing?  No matter.

Queen Elsa decided on the best course of action in this dire situation.  Ask her friends on Facebook.

facebook disney posts 1

Hans took to his Facebook page to express his opinions.

facebook disney posts 2Plenty of squabbling, but no results.  Just like Congress!  The Things and I made a search and found this in Thing Two’s room.

An Elsa voodoo doll? (I did not put her up to this one.)

An Elsa voodoo doll? (I did not put her up to this one.)

And later this image popped up on Anna’s Facebook page.

Elsa's feeling really bad! Those are NOT the lyrics to "Let it Go."

Elsa’s feeling really bad! Those are NOT the lyrics to “Let it Go.”

Along with this status.

facebook disney posts 3Some more investigation finally turned up our wayward snowman.

What is that nose?

What is that nose?

OMG it's Olaf!

Okay this one even freaked ME out.

A little more investigation, though . . .

Hans: Keep quiet and no one gets hurt, snowman!

Hans: Keep quiet and no one gets hurt, snowman!

Hans: Oh oh.

Hans: Oh oh.

Anna posted one more status.

facebook disney posts 4

So ends our Olaf caper for those of you who were on the edge of your seats there.  Wouldn’t it be great if someone could get a shot of, I don’t know, one of our politicians advocating crazy criminal activity?  And if that were to make this politician sink in the polls instead of get more popular?  Wouldn’t it???

I’m gonna go play with my toys.

Alice

 

Update: Suspect Olaf Found!

We found him trying to scale the wall – or, um cabinet.

Busted, Olaf.

Busted, Olaf.

This actually happened after Olaf was found the first time.   Thing Two found him squashed in a corner of the entertainment center.  She swears she didn’t put him there.  But neither did Thing One, Mr. Alice, or me.  So either one of us is lying, or Olaf really did make it from the freezer to the entertainment center a few feet away BY HIMSELF.

I’m not going to think about this further.

After this incident, my husband decided he wanted to help hide Olaf as well.  That’s how he ended up so high up.  We think.  But one of the Things spotted him anyway, before he could make his grand escape over the cabinet door – which left him squashed as that was not, in fact, an exit point.  Olaf may be a bit psycho, but he’s not all that bright.

Speaking of psychos, Prince Hans has still decided to carry out his presidential ruler campaign, certain he can unseat the reigning ruler of Arendelle, Elsa, who is rather unstable herself.  But he’s not the only one.  There’s more.  The Mad Hatter was feeling bored, and figured this was a perfect time to run because why not?  Then we got more Republican candidates: Ursula (they’ve got to have one crazy woman), Jafar (Former crooked Vizier to Jasmine’s Dad), that freaky Voodoo guy from the Princess and the Frog who is possibly Satan, the pug from the movie Pocahontas, etc.  Speaking of Pocahontas, she is currently running for the Green Party, because someone must stand up for the rocks, and trees, the creatures and the wind.  Aladdin is running on the Democratic ticket and stands a good chance because he grew up poor, is really cute, and lies a lot.

Pocahontas: She speaks for the trees.

Pocahontas: She speaks for the trees.

Think Ann Coulter, with tentacles

Ursula:  Think Ann Coulter, with tentacles

Aladdin: Identifies with the common street rat.

Aladdin: Identifies with the common street rat.

This reminds me of something, but I’m not sure what.

One of you might have remembered that some of these guys were taking part in the Hunger Games earlier.  Well, it got cancelled, which is a good thing for everyone but Snow White, who remains headless.

If you have any suggestions for write-in candidates, do let us know.  And we’ll continue to hide Olaf, for he – has already escaped again.  They never did repair that cell Elsa busted open earlier.  Oops.

Alice

 

 

 

On the Third Day of Christmas Olaf gave to us

A bag of frozen sausage – made out of teddy bear brains!

a bag of frozen sausage!

Elsa’s other solution for Olaf’s melting problem

See my nitrates?  I think we’re gonna have to start getting more creative.  I feel like my audience is dying off.

Wait, did Olaf get to you, too?  Or was it the political candidates?  Did they have the election yet?  I don’t even know anymore.  I am  hiding in the freezer – when Olaf leaves.

Alice

 

On the Second Day of Christmas Olaf gave to us

A second murder victim!  But this one deserves it so it’s cooool!

Olaf is using the "He needed killin' excuse."

Olaf is using the “He needed killin’ excuse.”

Thing One decided to hide Olaf on the bed of Thing Two.  Hans never stood a chance against the giant snowman.

We did not want to hug him.  Just look at that . . . that stare.

Points to anyone who can name the other items in Thing Two’s room.  They may be next on his hit list, so this is important!

Alice

While I was putting this post together, the Things broke into holiday song, recalling a popular tune from their elementary school days.  It involves Barnie, murder, and toilets.

Joy to the World

That Barnie’s Dead

I barbecued his head!

Don’t worry about the body

I flushed it down the potty

And round and round it goes

And round and round it goes

And rooooooound and round and round it goes!

FYI: I recall Thing One singing this in church when she was like seven.  We got a few looks.  I think that was the same visit when Thing Two changed Moses into Poseidon on her coloring sheet.