Tag Archives: Thing One and Thing Two

Ohhhh . . . Christmas Tree?

Don’t you just love Christmas trees?  I do.  Especially those trees decorated by people with Martha Stewart obsessions.  Some of them look better than the department store trees, many of which are decorated with near soccer size giant shiny balls (now be mature).

Even I could decorate fast with balls this big.

The decorations on this tree match, and were probably put up earlier than three days before the actual holiday.  But that’s not how we roll here.  The Things and I have each gotten one ornament every year, a tradition started when Thing Two was eighteen months old, and on the naughty list. She loves how I tell this story every single year as I put up the ornament her Grammy and I bought for her.

Never gets old!

You’ll also notice other people tend to fluff up the tree and straighten out the branches.  Not us!  Since Thing Two (who is awesome!) was the one to actually drag the tree in and put it up,  I can’t complain.  Still, this is definitely not one to go before the window, with its lovely branches and twinkling lights informing criminals that yes, we have lots of material goods!  No, ours is the slightly tilting tree, held up first by a trashcan (never say Thing Two is not inventive) then by a tree stand meant for a living tree. My husband did some handy work, and lo, we had a tree that stood up without a trash can.

Thanks, honey!

Next came the decorating.  This is serious business, so here are some tips.  Tip 1: Make sure you have ornament hangers ready.  Don’t let them get tangled up, though!

They came out of the box like this.

Tip 2: For a truly pleasing display, make sure you put the tinsel on first, draping it nicely on the tree.  Next place the ornaments on the tree with careful precision.  You don’t want your tree to look like someone just tossed the ornaments up there willy-nilly!

Thing One hung many of the ornaments while I stayed on untangle hanger duty.

Tip 3: Don’t forget to have use proper ornament placement, so that each ornament is just the right distance apart, thus making a pleasing design for the eye and insuring that every ornament is seen.

Perfect.

Tip 4: Last but not least, don’t forget the Christmas star or angel at the top of the tree!  This decoration shows the true spirit of this season of love and harmony.

He’ll do.

Our ornament collection is extensive. Many collected over the years, some given to us by slightly off friends and relatives, and some that we’re not sure about.

Like scary hobo Santa here.

There’s also that special ornament that makes you smile each year.  In the slightly-off relative category comes this mermaid, given to me by my cousin.  The rest of the family have no idea how she was made, or bought, but several of us got one, in various hues.  We call her the pregnant mermaid.

Mystery solved! Mermaids are mammals.

All attempts are made to keep ornaments in pristine condition.  Some, though, still manage to break.  For instance, we have a famous ballerina girl whose arm has broken over and over.  Her arm is now bandaged carefully by scotch tape, and she’s quite happy with that. We don’t know what happened, but we suspect Elton John might be responsible.

Ballerina girrrrrrrrrrl – wait her hand is missing too.

The tree is important, but don’t forget to hang the stockings or you don’t get any loot.  We have special stocking hangers.  Two have decorations, but for the other two, we have to improvise.  Thing Two knew just what she wanted on her stocking hanger.

When I think Christmas, Sith Lord always comes to mind. Note his apprentice behind him, Penguin Skywalker.

There are occasional accidents on the decorating job.  I attempted to use a cute little porcelain doll with ice skates on one of the hangers.  It turns out ice skates aren’t the best at keeping a highly breakable doll steady.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

It was unfortunate to lose the doll, but we are a family of scientists, so Thing Two couldn’t resist further investigating the inner workings of this doll.  After removing her stuffing and discovering her exoskeleton, she decided to make her own little doll of horrors.  I had nothing to do with helping her, of course, because I am a mature adult.

Exhibit One

We invited Thing One to the lab, but she ran away shouting “Nooo!  I still haven’t recovered from Toy Story!”  This did not deter our scientist, who worked with the wire skeleton some more.

Nightmare on 34th Street.

I might have gotten off track there.  The fallen decoration was put to rest, and we stood back to admire our tree.  It might not put the “k” in “kuality” but it’s good enough for us.  I know the true meaning of Christmas anyway – Things!

Oh Christmas tree, how screwy are your branches!

Merry Holidayz!

~Alice and her Things

Back to School, Therapy, and Dueling Shrinks

I’ve been in therapy many years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: the best way to determine your sanity is by how well you tolerate your doctors.  I saw the Dallas doctors, and insisted repeatedly and to several people – including the nurses, the nurse practitioner, and finally the psychiatrist – about wanting to have a definite time for treatment to end.  By the way, you get to talk to the psychiatrist on the hospital bed while they are preparing to hook you up to a machine – not distracting at all!  Don’t worry, I was prepared to leap off the table and do karate-like chops had they decided to go ahead and treat me.  I might have ended up in the looney bin, but their looney bin is kinda like a hotel as compared to the one in my hometown where people are stacked like cord wood- I saw pictures.  Also my friend is a lawyer. So you know, I was prepared.

How could it possibly be awkward for you to talk to me this way?

As expected, he got “oh-no-doctor-frowny-face” and rambled on about how studies show something- something.  I said I want to know how many more treatments cause I’m ready to stop.  Again.  So he finally came around with spacing out two more treatments.  One two weeks away, and the next another couple weeks.  Well, he said two to three which to me means TWO.  So I got knocked out, and they did whatever they do while I’m asleep – supposedly the treatment but you know they could be animating me like in that movie Weekend at Bernie’s, I don’t know.  Then we did the long, long drive home but this time I was more sleepy than usual, so I don’t remember as much.

After getting home, life moved on.  My Things started school again – weeeee!  Thing Two is in 8th grade this year – one more year of dreaded junior high – and Thing One is . … . a junior in high school.  Because I am kinda old.  I was helping them fill out paperwork and remembering when I first filled out paperwork for Thing One at the pediatrician’s office.  Under “Mother’s Name” I wrote my mom’s name.  Now she’s 17 years old, and next year she can vote.  Thank God!  She and Thing Two should have been voting in elementary school.  I believe in something called “mental age voting” which means that younger people who use their brains can vote, but older people who don’t use brains can’t.  As I signed, Thing Two told me her teacher said most of us parents could be signing up for almost anything because we don’t look at what we’re signing.  I protest – had that been a PTA form, you can bet I would have avoided it.

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

Later that day, I went to see my local shrink.  He wanted to know about my 10 to 12 treatments.  Funny.  When I told him it was slightly more than that, I got “confused-face”.  Lovely.  I explained how I got better, but then I didn’t, but then I DID,  but then kinda not and so many treatments later here I was.  Then I started to get rather angry.  Just how many treatments was I supposed to have?  This is rather important stuff here when you’re dealing with a human’s brain.  I happen to have one of the few remaining working ones, so I’d rather not change that, thanks.  This is why we have to be in charge of our own health care, cause you can bet they are not going to have a clue.  Their heads are filled with stuff they learned in school, which does not include interacting with people.  People like patients, or their own medical freaking colleagues, for instance.  I guess I should have checked back, but when during all the travel and such?  Got me!

My husband was there to hold me down.

On the plus side, everyone else thinks I am better.  And I am, I guess, now that I have time to sit and think a little.  It’s taking a bit to get back in the grove of things, but thank God for Google, which will look up anything I need.  Like when I couldn’t remember where the italics were for just a second only to find them again on the toolbar above the text box in WordPress.  I’m sure if I had actual Microsoft Word on here (my former computer guy used to get me bootleg Microsoft Word before he went to jail shhhh) I would know where that toolbar is as well.  I also finally figured out how to get into a program where I can talk to a counselor over the computer!  I think!

I should warn her there’s an article that says some patients were flashing doctors.  Because of course they were.

I haven’t made it back to work yet.  After this summer of FUN, not sure I’m ready for that yet.

 

~Alice

 

 

 

The Circle of Cat Life

My family has been recently adopted by two stray cats.  It started with one (it always starts with just one), a lovely Calico who we think was abandoned by her family since she came to us so well groomed.  Or maybe she still has the family, and she just keeps getting hand-outs from everyone (cats abuse the system too, guyz) but she’s fairly thin, so maybe not.  That’s what I tell myself, because there’s nothing worse than being conned by a freaking cat.  Except maybe being conned by two freaking cats.

But look how adorable I ammmm!

But look how adorable I ammmm!

Thing Two named the Calico Hazel and gave me those big sad eyes that orphans do in Oliver Twist.  Since she was able to talk, she’s wanted a pet, so thus the circle of life continues and I am paying with major karma for my years of begging for a cat as a kid.  The fact that my mother was terribly allergic to them came secondary in my child mind to “I want a cat.”  It pretty much works the same with Thing Two.  So we figured we’d have an outdoor kitty, and bought cheap cat food at the evil Wal-Mart and bang, we had a cat.  Thing Two likes to pick Hazel up and get her to make cat noises like one of those cow toys that moo when you tip them over.  Hazel puts up with this because you can’t beat free food.

All was well until word got out in the cat world of our gullibility and another cat showed up.  She was pretty, and unlike Hazel who pretty much just meows (translation: I will take my food now, puny human), she had the added gift of constantly rubbing up against your legs and staring up at you with puppy eyes, and then rubbing up against you again.  You can’t get away, she just follows you and loves you.  To death.  This was great for the girls, but not so great for me as I am now allergic to cats, and lots of cat hair on my clothes does not appeal to me.  I couldn’t figure out why the new cat, named Willow by Thing Two, kept coming back.

Most likely.

“I mean we don’t feed her,” I said to the girls.

Thing One: Well sometimes I give her a little handful.  She’s nursing kittens!

Thing Two: I give her food when I give Hazel food.

Mystery solved there.

Anyhoo, all this reminded me of the cats I had when I was newly married.  Since my mean-o parents would not let me have one, I got one myself.  She was one of my mother-in-law’s kittens, a cute Siamese I named Keiko because it was the only Asian-ish name I knew.   I have over 500 posts (mostly about a series of idiotic books and other random topics like boogers) so I couldn’t remember if I had told you guys about my cats yet.  So I did one of those searches on my blog and came up with this post about Barbie that mentions cats exactly once.

It is okay to put cats in the washer, right?

It is okay to put cats in the washer, right?

Then I realized that hey, if I don’t remember what I’ve written about, chances are you don’t either.  So I’m going to tell you about my cats, okay?  Because no one gets tired of hearing about someone’s cats.  I know I don’t.  I love seeing cat and dog pictures on the phones of my coworkers.  I don’t have pictures like that, because I just have a turtle, some fish, and children.  And who is interested in that stuff?

Anyway, my kitten was so adorable, and would lay back lazily in my arms like a baby.  I thought then it was because she loved me, but now I firmly believe the cat’s insides were made of some kind of gelatinous material.  She spent a great deal of time draped across furniture like a throw.  When she wasn’t leaping out of trees scaring the crap out of my mother when she came to visit.  Or licking her toes.  Because cats know when you don’t like them, and they zone in on that.

Keiko gelatinous cat syndrome.

Keiko gelatinous cat syndrome.

But both my husband and I worked, so I decided to get another kitten from the shelter (it always starts with one, remember?) to keep Keiko company.  She was gray and cute, with a nose that was half gray and half pink.  I didn’t realize this kitten came with PTSD, which wasn’t helped by her adopted sister’s tendency to hold her in a head lock and thump her repeatedly in the head.  My husband decided she could be his cat, and named her Sylvia because she was kind of silver.  Looking back, I think Rosemary’s cat would have been better.  Because this cat was always a bit off.  She feared everything, especially strangers of any kind, and darted out of the room at first sight.  So most people only saw a gray flash of her.  She hid under the bed in this bit of fabric that was torn loose.  This made a great hammock when she was a kitten, but not so great when she was a nine-pound cat.

Things only got worse when I got pregnant with an actual baby, and could no longer clean out the litter box for fear of that cat poop disease that can be bad for babies and all.  Since my husband wasn’t super big on cleaning it either, we let the cats hang with my mother-in-law for an extended vacation.  This suited Keiko, because she had no loyalty whatsoever and was fine as long as someone fed and worshiped her.  It didn’t quite suit Sylvia, who came back to us an even bigger nervous wreck.  I suppose I should not be surprised, given the mental illness in my family, that I would get a cat with issues too.  But man, this cat had them in spades.

I see dead people.

She would come up to us in the middle of the night and meow, but not just any meow, a frantic repetitive one like this “Meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow.”  And then she’d look at you with these deranged eyes, as if she’d just been through one of those war movies and lost all her comrades in grenade explosions.  We started to let the cats go outside, which again made no difference to Keiko, but caused Sylvia serious panic attacks.  She didn’t want to go out.  But then she didn’t want to come in, either.  Because there were invisible elves out to torture her . . . or something.  And they lived indoors and out.  Even my husband one day said “That cat is seriously psycho.”

We were both sleep deprived from the new baby (no doubt yet another source of stress for Sylvia.  Keiko again didn’t care because she was still fed.) and not quite equipped to handle special needs.  Or even their basic needs because we were going through our own PTSD – infant PTSD.  So we put an add in the paper and found new homes for the cats.  Keiko went to a nice old man in a wheelchair which was perfect because she could be a rug for his legs.  And Sylvia went to a guy with a nice big farm.  She ran from him and I had to yank her out from under the bed, claws extended, writhing and twisting and hissing.  And he still took her.  I can only imagine what happened to her on that farm.  Maybe she went to the corner of a barn and had a kitty breakdown?  I don’t know.  But these days, I can relate a lot more to Sylvia.  Life is serious stuff, and sometimes you need to hide under the bed.  If only we could all be Keikos.

I'm comin' to join ya, Sylvia!

I’m comin’ to join ya, Sylvia!

Later on, I was allergy tested, and found out that I was now allergic to animal fur, along with pollen, mold, smoke, perfume, work, the sun, the moon, any deviation in my routine, and stupid people.  So basically everything.  The only thing I could really prevent was animal fur.  Even cute animal fur.  The cats try to sneak in but get caught and put back outside.  I will stand firm on that one.  No matter what sort of con they try on me.  Willow has this look that says, “Hello. Can you help keep cats like me off drugs and off the street?”  Needless to say, Hazel does not like her homing in, and peed all over the place as a way of saying “Get out.”  Willow hasn’t taken the hint, though she does back off from cat hisses.  She’s not throwing herself under a bus or anything.

So ends and begins my cat story.  Just remember, cats are just as messed up as humans, only more evil and crafty, so watch yourself.  And for goodness sake’s don’t feed them.  Or have children that feed them.

And never, ever let them get wet.

My Things in Song: Thing One

Ah, irony.  Once I had published Thing Two’s post, I realized that I would now have to think up a song for Thing One.  Oh oh.  I should have thought that song thing out better.  What if I couldn’t think of one for Thing One?  What if I was too lazy to think up one for Thing One, kind of like how I was too messed up with a four-year-old and a baby to make a proper baby book for Thing Two like the massive scrapbook I did for her sister, a fact she has never let me forget.  (No matter, she has started filling in her own baby book with magic marker.  If something needs doing, Thing Two does it).

Hey, how come MY books ends with

Hey, how come MY book ends with “She was born on June 10th?”

But I digress.  This is about Thing One, the first, the guinea pig, the one  you supposedly get all this parenting experience with so the second one is easier. Hahahahaha.  Yeah, you might as well adopt a daisy and then a rottweiler and expect the two to involve the same care.  This is not to say I think my eldest is a plant and my youngest is a guard dog.  It’s just a comparison.  I can say when a baby and toddler my eldest stayed still like a daisy.  She liked it in her little secure pot of dirt.  And she was super quiet and cute, like a daisy.  In fact, she didn’t really talk for three years, relying on the occasional scream or look of annoyance to get you to do her bidding.  Everything good will eventually come to you, that was Thing One’s child model.  There is no reason to go grab a gallon of milk and haul it across the room at two (hello Thing Two), magical mother or some big human will do that for you.  Just wait.  Also, diapers are awesome.  Heck with that potty.

Does mom really think that's going to work?  Pffffft.

Does mom really think that’s going to work? Pffffft.

Now that I’ve surely embarrassed the poor – good gravy – 15-year-old – I will say that Thing One has changed.  For one thing, no more diapers!  Though she has entered puberty, which, she claims, is kinda like going back there, what with having to wear certain things for that one time of the month we will not discuss.  Nor will be discuss anything else about puberty, because if you don’t think about it, chances are it might just go away.  There is always hope.

As it turns out, the teen years are not like the shows on Disney.  Thank goodness.

As it turns out, the teen years are not like the shows on Disney. Thank goodness.

But while she doesn’t like a lot of the physical changes that come with growing up, she is definitely growing up.  That mind of hers, much like her sister’s, was always working.  It’s just that we don’t always hear it all at once.  She spends a lot of time in her own little world thinking.  Maybe a little too much time thinking, as she’s told me it’s hard to shut off and go to sleep.  Sorry kid, you came by it honestly.  Yet she continues to amaze me with her insight, her empathy, and her sense of self.  Both girls have more of that than I do now.  She knows what she believes, and she goes through with it.  When another kid was being picked on by a friend, she protested it.  That took a lot of guts.  She also told other kids in her class (we’re in Bible Belt Texas) that she’s a Democrat.  That took guts too, and possibly a bit of masochism.

I did not dress her in political baby clothes.  I swear.

I did not dress her in political baby clothes. I swear.

Both kids are into politics, and have been since they were very young.  Part of this is because many parents around here have decided it’d be awesome to talk about the President of the United States in not-so-nice-and-respectful terms.  Even though they surely didn’t know what Republican or Democrat really meant when little, they knew what MEAN meant, and they didn’t like it.  Thing One asked me if what they said about Obama was true.  So we looked some things up.  And she bought a children’s biography of the President.  And she not only read it, she schooled her classmates on it.

“NO HE WAS NOT BORN IN KENYA IT WAS HAWAII FOR THE LAST TIME!”

See Thing One fact check.

See Thing One fact check.

Alas, it does little good.  But it doesn’t stop her from trying, or from being herself.  Like Thing Two, she dresses the way she wants, and she wears her hair the way she wants (even when Mommy desperately wants to pull it back in a pretty clip).  She isn’t a social butterfly like her sister, but she’s no recluse either.  She can fit in when she wants to – it’s just that she often doesn’t really care about social graces.  What she does care about is social justice.  She wants peace, though she finds it a bit much that everyone in Star Trek really gets along so awesomely (I do too).  She cares about the poor and disadvantaged, she believes in equality, in kindness, and while she is strong in her Christian faith, she does not just take it in blindly.  She reads, she thinks, she discusses.  And she applies, such as when her father said there was nothing wrong with being uber-rich.

“It’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into Heaven,” she told him while I secretly made a “YES” fist pump in the background.

Ooooh snap!

Ooooh snap!

And so this is why the song I chose for Thing One is “Rhythm Nation”, a Janet Jackson song that happens to also be one of her favorites.  It’s a good choice, because who can forget that awesome music video with Janet getting down in that military-like dance?  It’s still fun to watch today.  And it’s wonderful to watch my Thing One grow up.

“With music by our side
To break the color lines
Let’s work together
To improve our way of life
Join voices in protest
To social injustice
A generation full of courage
Come forth with me”

I love you, Thing One.

Mommy

My Things in Song: Thing Two

On Wednesday, my Thing Two, my baby, turned 11.  Yup.  I’d feel old at this moment, except that her sister, Thing One (I am so creative with names), will next Wednesday turn . . . egad . . . 15.  That should not be possible as I’m pretty sure I’m younger than Thing One, maturity wise anyway.

They grow so fast

They grow so fast.

But that’s okay, because as they say, kids keep you young.  Or just drive you so insane you think you’re young, and so you do stupid stuff like try to jump on a trampoline when only part of you actually jumps with you, and other things, like your thighs, just don’t move at all.  And you look silly.  But your kids still like it.  Well so far they do.   I’ve only managed to really embarrass Thing Two by singing “Under the Sea” as loud as possible while she exited the car to go to school.  Yes, I have all the lines to almost every Disney song memorized.  Be afraid, children.

Under de seaaaaaaaaaaa!

Under de seaaaaaaaaaaa!

Anyhoo, I didn’t get a post done on her birthday, so I decided to do something different and think up a song that reminds me of each Thing.  I thought of several different ones with Thing Two.  “You Crack me Up”, and “She Drives Me Crazy”, among them.  But really, the best one, and the one that will probably make her give me that “You are a terrible mother and I’m moving to that orphanage in Oliver Twist” is “MmmBop”.

Do you wanna sing some MMMMBOOOOPPP?

Do you wanna sing some MMMMBOOOOPPP?

Why this song?  Because it’s perfect that’s why.  It’s sung by precociously talented children, is nonsensical and goofy, and if played long enough makes me want to climb a wall.  On the other hand, it’s also insanely catchy, happy-go-lucky, cheers me up, and makes me want to jump-dance like the Peanuts gang.  Sometimes we join hands and all do it together.

Thing Two has been a handful since the beginning – a handful of love and crazy.  She climbed tables and cabinets to eat bananas (through the peel sucking out the fruit like a monkey) before she was a year old.  And as I’ve said before, she taught me that super glue is not poisonous, though probably not good for your tooth enamel.  Nothing like walking by and seeing a tube of the stuff with tooth marks in it.

Now imagine TEETH MARKS.

Now imagine TEETH MARKS.

She’s the only baby I’ve ever known who growled at me when she didn’t get her way.  Playpens, baby swings, and any restraining device was of the devil.  Naps were for sissies, like Mommy.  She always wanted to be “in the middle” which meant sister did not get to sit by Mommy, only Thing Two.  “IN DE MIDDLE!” was so familiar, I had to get Thing One up first so we’d have some time to sit together.

IN DE MIDDLE!

IN DE MIDDLE!

She had definite favorites from the very beginning.  Penguins were especially high on the list for years.  I know every breed of penguin – there are like 19.  Who knew?  She loves what she loves, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.  For quite a while she dressed like a living Rainbow Bright doll, but that was her style.  She likes being weird, and that’s awesome.  Now her favorite things range from Minecraft, Star Wars, and Legend of Zelda to My Little Pony and Disney dolls.  She also happens to be my most social child.  The majority of my phone calls are her friends calling my phone since my Thing is the last child on earth without her own cell phone.

Hey, wanna play Super Smash Brothers?

No cell?  Does your Mom like live in 1982, dude?

She’s artistic, a hilarious and fabulous author, a computer and camera wiz (here Mom it’s like this) and a loving friend to almost anybody.  I’m sure I’m leaving things out, because there is so much to Thing Two, that you can’t stick it in one package.  The last 11 years have been a crazy roller-coaster ride, and I expect that to continue.  She’s nothing like her sister – she’s nothing like anyone I know.  And I can’t wait to see how she grows.

Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose
You can plant any one of those
Keep planting to find out which one grows
It’s a secret no one knows

Time has passed so quickly since I had a gave birth to a screaming baby with black Don King Hair and bright red skin.  Now she’s trying so hard to grow up as fast as possible.  I hope she doesn’t try too hard.

Off to work, Mom.

Off to work, Mom.

In an mmmbop they’re gone
In an mmmbop they’re not there
In an mmmbop they’re gone
In an mmmbop they’re not there

Love you, Thing Two

Mommy

Snow Day! Thanks, Elsa!

So last Thursday we had a snow day.  Wait, let me say that better.  Snow dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!  Wooot!  Bounce around!  Stay in jammies all day, no work, no school!  As you can see, I still react to snow days the way I did when I was the Things’ ages.  But who doesn’t like a free day off?

Still, we should be thankful for who was responsible for dumping snow and ice on us in just the right amounts to cancel work (rather than just enough to make it crappy, which is what happened the next day).  That’s right.  Elsa, the snow queen from Frozen, finally did something right!  Unfortunately, her friends weren’t quite so happy.  My Things got it all on film.

Conceal don't feel my hiney!  Eat snow!

Conceal don’t feel my hiney! Eat snow!

 

Arghhhhhhh!

Arghhhhhhh!  Not again!

The other princesses aren’t too happy with the situation, especially since they were at a beach party and have no pants.

If all of you would quit whining, I wouldn't have to freeze stuff!  I don't care about Prince Charming's new hairpiece, or how cute Kristoff's buns are, I'm not getting a boyfriend soon and I hate shrimp!

If all of you would quit whining, I wouldn’t have to freeze stuff! I don’t care about Prince Charming’s new hairpiece, or how cute Kristoff’s buns are, I’m not getting a boyfriend soon and I hate shrimp!

Elllllsa!  Are you off your meds again?

Elllllsa! Are you off your meds again?

What?  I'm perfectly fine! Eeeeaaaarerrrrrgh!

I’m gonna freeze more than your heart and brain this time, Anna!

Elsa, calm down.  Read a nice book!

Elsa, calm down. Read a nice book!

Uh, last book she read was the original The Snow Queen.

Uh, Belle, last book she read was the original The Snow Queen.

Nevermind.

Nevermind.

My Charming does NOT have a toupee!

My Charming does NOT have a hairpiece!

I like shrimp.  They make great friends!

I like shrimp. They make great friends!

At least my hair looks good in the wind.  Ready for my closeup!

At least my hair looks good in the wind. Ready for my closeup!

Hey, fish can swim in snow, right?  Flounder?  Flounder??

Hey, fish can swim in snow, right? Flounder? Flounder??

You guys . . .

You guys . . .

Elsa, if you'd just get a nice boyfriend like me, you'd feel better.

Elsa, if you’d just get a nice boyfriend like me, you’d feel better.

 

Kristoff DOES have nice buns.

Kristoff DOES have nice buns.

ANNA!!!

ANNA!!!

Eat snow!

Eat snow!

Hmm, maybe I should think before I speak and not rile her up so much.  Nah.

Hmm, maybe I should think before I speak and not rile her up so much. Nah.

Yay, snowball fight!

Yay, snowball fight!

Ariel don't . . . OOOF!

Ariel don’t . . . OOOF!

Okay, enough . . . try some relaxation, Elsa.  Like make snow angels!

Okay, enough . . . try some relaxation, Elsa. Like make snow angels!

I . . .am feeling calmer.

I . . .am feeling calmer.

Heh heh, now would be a good time to drop snow on her face!

Heh heh, now would be a good time to drop snow on her face!

You can probably guess what happened next.  It was a while before the snow cleared up, and even longer before the ladies decided to go without pants.

All pictures and doll arrangements made by Thing One and Thing Two.  I just loaded them and helped with captions.  Hope Elsa doesn’t get too mad at all of you – or at least gets mad just the right amount.

-Alice

Twilight III: Eclipse Recap: Part II

Aaaaaand the Things and I are back with part two of the Total Eclipse of the Stupid.  Enjoy while we go try to scrub out our brains.  Click here for part one.

The Great Volturi . . . are bored.

The Great Volturi . . . are bored.

More new vamp dude.  Something’s coming.  Let’s get to ittttt!  Volturi (head honcho vamps in black cloaks) are standing by

Girl vamp: People will think we’re ineffective.

Me: You arrrrrrrre.

 ****

How she got a diploma when she never went to class is a mystery . . .

How she got a diploma when she never went to class is a mystery . . .

Graduation: We see Bella’s “friend” who actually has sense and looks forward to something besides Edwarrrrd OMGGGGG.  What a jerk.

T1: Good thing we didn’t have to see Bella’s speech

Me: She didn’t have one. She majored in Edward.

 ****

Whoa, that was a beaut!

Whoa, that was a beaut!

Graduation party:

Bella is most boring party guest ever.  Jacob comes by to say “Sorry for assaulting you, here’s a gift”.  Alice has another vision that the vampire army is coming (they are all sniffin’ Bella’s PJs).  In four more days.  Kill me now.

 ****

We have ANOTHER vampire council.  Forget action, how about more talking!

They are “playing with the blind spots in Alice’s vision.”  Yeah blind spots big enough to dump a truck through.  Both Edward and Jacob are willing to sacrifice everyone else in their groups all for Bella.  Oy.

 ****

eclipse cuddly puppy boyfriend

What’s neato is that he’s cute and fluffy and I can ride him to the park! Perfect boyfriend!

So meeting with vamps and wolves. Sigh. Eddie sees Bella’s gift from Jacob.

T1: Just shut up about it already

Mercifully he does.  So the new vamps are more powerful because their human blood lingers in their tissues.  Wait, what?  Vampires are stronger than humans and oh, just, nevermind.  Vampires practice fight.

T2: Vampire / Wolf montage!!

Bella pets Jacob.

T1: I want a cute, cuddly boyfriend!

 ****

Jasper tells his backstory as a Confederate soldier.  Yup, now wondering why Steph didn’t write the dang books about the other vampires.  That would be bearable.

Even Jasper is cooler than Bella and Edward.

Even Jasper is cooler than Bella and Edward.

 ****

Oh, crap, we’re back with Bella lying around with Edward.  It would really suck not to ever sleep, especially around her.  They mouth breathe and stammer and stare and Bella says “Maybe Alice can’t see it cause Victoria is hiding behind someone else making the decision.”  As in, one more plot hole for Alice’s visions, dude.

T1: Hey, Bella is actually, like, processing things now.

 ****

Short scene with new vamp dude (no need to name him) and Victoria.  Why can’t we have more Victoria, movie?

 ****

Edward is leaving to go – sit around and think about Victoria or whatever.

Bella: You take all the risks

Edward: If it’s Victoria involved (duh), I need to get you as far away as possible.

Me: Like, except when you left her totally at her mercy in the last movie?

Bella: It’s dangerous for us to be apart

T1: That’s true, she tried to kill herself last time.

Edward: I can’t make you choose between me and your family

T1: What?  Bella did it no probs.

 ****

Bella can't walk and chew gum, so Jacob carries her.

Bella can’t walk and chew gum, so Jacob carries her.

Jacob shows up.  Bella says stuff.  Jacob poses.

T1: Whatever. I’m hot.

Edward and Jasper make stinky jokes about dogboy.  They decide Jacob will carry Bella around cause Jacob stinks.  Or something.

T1: Rock a bye Bel-la

Me: Why can’t Bella just walk close to him?  Why carry her?

T1: She could just rub his armpit sweat all over herself

More yammering about how Jacob thinks Bella really loves him and she says no and they walk and yammer and helpppp.

 ****

Sleepovers are totally normal for 18 year olds!

Sleepovers are totally normal for 18 year olds!  The perfect alibi!

Bella comes back . . . wait, why?  She’s at her dad’s house.  He is having fun with Alice, who is clearly a better daughter than Bella.

Alice yammers something about their plan, still not making sense. Camping, sleepovers, hunting, wait, what?

 ****

Thumbs up for virginity!

Thumbs up for virginity!

Bella talks with Dad.  Hey Dad, how come you didn’t remarry?  Hey Dad, here’s some more salt for your wound.  Dad says she should wait much much later to marry.  Yes.  Please.  Dad tries to bring up “intimacy” and Bella’s all “ewww gross.”

Bella: Dad – I’m a virgin!

Dad freaks out a little.

T1: Finally she acts like a real teenager.  I think she smiled.

 ****

Now for something totally different . . . smooching and staring.

Now for something totally different . . . smooching and staring.

Bella goes to Edward’s. Arghhh, when are they going to have something happen?  Anything?

Edward: Why are you outside?

Bella looks like she’s doing the potty dance.

T1: I have to go potty.

They go in a room with a bed

Bella: There’s a bed. (genius!)

T1: Awk-ward

More mumbling and staring and huffing and puffing and Bella goes smoochyface.

Bella: I want youuuu.  I wanna have sex as a human.

T1: Fast forward, fast forward!

They make out – in fast forward.  Then Eddie stops cause he wants to protect her soul.  No sexy times before marriage!

Me: Yeah, protect her soul until he uh, turns her into a vampire.  Right.

T1: Whaaat?  Gross, Bella’s the one who wants this?

Me: This is NOT the way it normally goes.  It’s usually the guy.

We fast forward past the rest of the angsty muttering, then have to go back cause we  missed the proposal.  Eddie is talking about asking her dad’s permission (say whaat?) and getting down on one knee.

Yeah I'll marry you, whatever.

Yeah I’ll marry you, whatever.

T1: He looks like he’s about to puke.

He gives Bella his mom’s ring he somehow still had.  He asks if she’ll do him the “extraordinary honor” of marrying him – while looking like he might vomit any second.

Bella: Yeah, okay.

Fangirls everywhere squeal with delight!

 ****

Let's go find another movie . . .

Let’s go find another movie . . .

Back to nameless guy and Victoria.

NG: Hey, we’ve been tearing the place up and the Cullens haven’t done squat.

Me: Exactly the problem I’m having.  NOTHING IS HAPPENING.

Smoochy times with NG and Victoria. Sadly, they had to add this to the movie (and all other Victoria and newborn vampire scenes) because even that much action was not happening in the book.

 ****

I see London, I see France!

I see London, I see France!

Bella walks around pricking her finger on bushes in the woods.  I wish she’d pass out like Sleeping Beauty.

Edward: Your blood doesn’t bother me anymore cause I totes thought you were dead.

Say whaat?  He’s still a freaking vampire . . . oh wait.

T1: Can I just have a tiny lick?  Pleaseee

Me: Finger lickin’ good

Bella: We should wait to tell Jacob we’re engaged

T1: Yeah cause he’ll eat you otherwise.

Jacob comes up.

T1: Bella still wants to cheat on Edward with Jacob

Me: Who wouldn’t?

Jacob runs off carrying Bella again.  Still not sure why.  He clearly shows his underpants.   Eddie watches and. . . sparkles!

 ****

Kill them, kill them, kill them . . .

Kill them, kill them, kill them . . .

Vampire army walking through the water.  Come onnnnn, there’s so many of youuu.  Kill them, kill them!

 ****

Like, no one cared about my abs . . .

Like, no one cared about my abs . . .

Jacob brings Bella to campsite with Edward.  Pouts because no one talked about his abs.

Sudden monster snow storm comes out of nowhere!  Plot convenience playhouse presents!  Bella is freezing cold.  Her buck teeth are chattering.  Edward is all what do I do?  Well, your ice cubeness isn’t gonna help her.

T1: Jacob!

Me: Bin-go.

Jacob comes in and Edward says like no way and Jacob says “I’m hotter than you.”

Bwahahahaha.

T1: Snuggle times!

****

What's cool is I'm a werewolf AND a space heater.

What’s cool is I’m a werewolf AND a space heater.

Jacob is totally a portable heater.  Eddie is not happy.  Jacob and Edward have another peeing contest over Bella.

Jacob: When you thought she was dead, how did you cope?

Me: Tried to kill myself, yups.  Kids, remember, if your true love leaves, kill yourself.

T1: Mommy, tilt your head and look at the screen.  It’s way cooler.

Me: They look black and glowy.  Hey, yeah it does look cooler.

T1: We are way bored, Mommy.

 ****

Oh oh, busted by Eddiekins, Bella!

Oh oh, busted by Eddiekins, Bella!  There’s just something hot about jaundice.

Jacob overhears Eddie talkin’ marriage.  Uh oh, wolf ears.

Bella runs after Jacob.  Actually shouts.  Something besides a mumble?

Bella: No, Jake, stay!

T1 and T2: Stay, stay boy

Me: Now roll over.  Good boy!

Jacob’s all ready to kill himself until Bella says the right thing – yeah, um, not manipulative at all, are we?

Bella: Kiss me

They make out.

T2: You taste like kibbles and bits!

Jacob: I gotta go

T1: Gotta go peeee.  My leg is liftingggg!

She turns around.  Eddie is standing there.  Oooooh snap!

T2: Burrrrn, Burrrn!

Eddie: You love him

Bella: I love you more

Me: Barrrrffffff

 ****

Whoa . . . Alice, watch the hands.

Whoa . . . obvious Alice stunt double, watch the hands.

Cullens and more realistic vampires run at each other – yayyy something happening!  Pause it and ohhhh, ewww.

T1: It’s vampire football now!

 ****

Victoria ohhhh freak out!

Victoria ohhhh freak out!

Meanwhile, takes two seconds for Vicki to figure out where Bella is after all this running around aimlessly.  She and no name go up against Eddikins.  She sends no name first.  I’m thinking, yay, fight, but instead we get Edward talking to no name:

Eddie: She doesn’t love you.

Vicki: Yes I doooo.

Eddie: No, she totes doesn’t, I like read minds.

Vicki: Nooo don’t believe him.  I lurrrve you for realz.

Me: Arghhhhhhh.

Finally Jacob comes and gets a new chew toy.  Yay!

 ****

Note Victoria's eyes are open and she's facing that way.

Note Victoria’s eyes are open.

Now Victoria's eyes are open and she's facing another way . . . way to edit, movie!

Now Victoria’s eyes are closed  . . . way to edit, movie!

Edward taunts Vicki and she goes freaky and they fight for two seconds.  We root for Vicki.  Edward chops down tree with head and Vicki falls with it.

All: Tim-berrrr!

Bella gets the brilliant idea to cut her arm for distraction.  I knew she shouldn’t have heard the story about the third wife!  Yay, Bella can be a distraction!  She’s a HERO!  Although, come to think of it, couldn’t the third wife have just cut her arm instead of killing herself?  Nevermind.

Edward breaks Victoria.  We all cry.  Editing is so bad they have Victoria with her eyes open in one frame, then another frame her eyes are closed.  Porcelain corpses close their eyes?

T2: Eddie’s gonna mount her head on his wall

Edward tears a strip of Bella’s shirt off for a bandage.  Cut to Jake.  He’s like man, you’re supposed to take your whole shirt off, dude!

Eddie throws lighter on Victoria

T2: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Vic!

 ****

Stephenie Meyers kills small children.  Thank you, Stephenie.

Stephenie Meyers kills small children. Thank you, Stephenie.

Alice has vision of Volturi floatin’ around, pretendin’ to be awesome. Vampire attacks Jacob.  Jacob’s body goes snap, crackle, pop.  Wolves take him away.  Volturi show up.

T1: Just kill Bella already

Volturi chick sees the little girl vampire that just turned herself in.  She beats her up with Jedi, er, vampire mind tricks.  Then has her friend kill her.  Oh, yay, child killing.  Thank you, Stephenie Meyer.

 ****

It's like I'm dying, but I'm not . . .

It’s like I’m dying, but I’m not . . .

Immediately cut scene to wolves hanging out by truck.

T1: Now to the tailgate partyyyy!

Doc vampire is fixing him (eeearghhhhhhh!).  Bella goes to Jacob

T1: I wish .. . I could show you my abs.

Me: They are all brokey.

Jacob is sweating all over.

Jacob: Bella . . .

T1; I need a towel . . .

T1: I just figured it out – it’s Old Yeller!  Jake’s a dog and sacrificed for her!

Me: Now let’s shoot him.

Jacob and Bella blah blah feelings blah blah.

T1: What is all this?  He’s not dying.

Me: His heart is . . . breaaaaaking

T1: Oh barf.

 ****

Noooo not againnnnn!

Noooo not againnnnn!

Annnnd we’re back in the meadow w/ Edward and Bella.  No! No, they’re starting it all over again noooooo!

Bella: We’ll have the wedding in August – that’s a month before my birthday so I won’t be any older than you.

Cause THAT’S how you choose when to make a lifetime commitment.  Based on not being older than eighteen.

Edward: Who knows who Alice will invite to the wedding if she plans it?

T1: It’s alright. Bella has no friends.

Edward: You’re trying to make everyone happy.

T1: No, she’s not.

Me: Not even close.

Bella: I’ve had to face death, and loss, and pain.

What?  When?

Bella: I’ve always been out of step.

Soooo that means you’re meant to be a vampire, all awkward teens.  Remember that.

More mushy mumbles.  End.  Ennnnnnnnnnnd!

Bella: We have to tell Charlie (That’s her dad.  She can’t say dad cause she’s a jerk)  Good thing you’re bullet proof.

Me: Darn it all.

Eddie puts ring on Bella’s finger.  It ends.  Yes!  HOooooooray!

Flaming Turkey Wings!

So Black Friday is over.  Oh yeah, and that other day too, the one with all the food.  We had our Thanksgiving dinner, just my family and my parents.  Oh, and our dining coordinator, Thing Two.  Every event is a massive event with my nine-year-old daughter, no matter the holiday or the number of people involved.  Sometimes it’s not even people, but a stuffed dog, a Barbie modeling Kleenex, or Darth Vadar.

She set the table for us with paper cups and plates festooned with cute turkeys.  I’ve never figured out why they make the turkeys cute.  I mean, they are seriously ugly birds, which makes eating them easier.  So why cuten them up?  That’s just cruel.  Anyway, she set the table with paper (we are seriously classy here) and marked our names on all the tiny cups.  Because with six people, it’s possible we could get mixed up.  Actually, considering my family, that’s not such a bad idea.  She added “Papa the Awesome” to my father’s cup.  He tends to spoil her with lots of stuff.  She’s no dummy.  To finish it off, she placed Sonic mints at each of our plates.  Sadly, she still did not receive a tip, but she made up for that in rolls.  I’m not sure how many she had when my back was turned.  It might have been ten.

See, I'm cute!  Don't eat meeee.

See, I’m cute! Don’t eat meeee.

Thing Two also made menus for us – with a line drawn across to indicate whether each food on the menu was awesome or not.  And she fixed up the Happy Thanksgiving message on the banner.  She marked out “happy” and replaced it with “merry” on the theory that if people think it’s Christmas at first, they might be tricked into recognizing Thanksgiving.  We’re pretty sure she’s either going to be a teacher or a politician.

None of the stores thought of this trick, so most people went with the theory that Thanksgiving was just that quick meal you shove down before shopping.  As George W. Bush would say, “Ask not what your country can do for you, go shopping.”  I actually did brave Wal-Mart a couple of hours after the Thanksgiving specials started, mostly because my husband and kids were watching “Pumpkin Chunkin’” which is a show where grown people create trebuchets just like in medieval times, only they’re hurling pumpkins instead of fire bombs or rotting corpses.  But sometimes they just use good old American guns.  As enlightening as that sounds, I decided shopping was actually better.

Yes, those are grown men shooting a pumpkin out of an air gun.   (Photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images)

Yes, those are grown men shooting a pumpkin out of an air gun.  God bless America.
(Photo by David S. Holloway/Getty Images)

By the time I got there, most of the hordes had already dispersed, though there were still plenty of people milling about mooing at the merchandise.  It was like if they blocked my way and stared at a box of toys long enough, whatever they were looking for would suddenly jump out and land in their arms.  If they were looking for anything at all.  It was hard to tell.  With the depressing, hypnotizing Christmas tunes in the background (“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” – I hate that song) I started to forget what I was looking for pretty soon, and after a while found myself mooing along with the others, picking up cheap pajamas, only to randomly drop them off somewhere else because I didn’t have the money and knew nobody that size.  I’m sure the Wal-Mart employees were grateful for that little Easter egg hunt I left them.  Just trying to keep you guys sharp.  You’re welcome, retail employees.  Please don’t egg my house.  Moo.

I paid for my items, which somehow totaled up to a large number, even though they were, hello, on sale.  I tried to figure this out with what was left of my brain, gave up, and went home.  My husband thinks I spend too much on my children.  That’s not true.  I spend too much on myself.  It just so happens I let them play with the toys.

I really only put this picture here to point out how bizarre it is.

I really only put this picture here to point out how bizarre it is.

The next day, there were leftovers at my parents’ house.  One could say I invited myself over, just in case they were left with too much food.  I’d hate for them to resort to the “flaming turkey wings” recipe in the days to come.  No, I didn’t cook myself.  If I had, our Thanksgiving dinner would have consisted of chicken nuggets and mac n’ cheese.  This would have been fine with Thing One who eats roughly nine different food items, but not most people.  If the time comes for me to host a dinner, we’re getting a pre-cooked turkey.  I think that is safest.

So now it’s all over – except wait, it’s Cyber Monday.  What  am I doing writing a blog post?  I must stare at merchandise on the computer screen now!  Hope your Thanksgiving was all that.  Tell me about it in the comments, if you’re not busy staring at amazon.com.

My Nervous Breakdown

Thing One has had a hacking cough that’s been going on for the last six years, er weeks and has not abated.  It goes like this HACK HACK HAAAAAACK HACKHACKHACK HAAAAAAAACK.  As delightful and not at all grating on the nerves as it is to hear, I can only imagine how fun it is to actually have the cough that annoys teachers and students both but which you have absolutely no control over because CONGRATS you won the genetic lottery and got Mommy’s allergies.  In two more weeks we’ll get a test telling us what we already know, ie that she has allergies, and she will probably still have the cough.  This morning she had the cough.  She took a breathing treatment.  She still hacked her way to school.

Thing Two has snaggle teeth.  Her grandfather is very obsessed with her snaggle teeth to the point of telling me I need to get her an orthodontist roughly every five freaking minutes.  Yes, I know.  What I don’t know is how I’m going to pay for it.  He’s afraid people will make fun of her teeth.  One kid noted that her tooth was crooked.  Thing Two said, “You just now noticed that?”  She has said appointment this afternoon and her grandfather is taking her and as far as I’m concerned, if he wants to chip in for that orthodontist to torture my kid for a few years, I am more than willing to LET HIM.  This morning’s daily Thing Two emergency was a missing hat and it is Red Ribbon Anti-drug Week and as we were walking out the door SHE NEEDED A HAT DID I NOT UNDERSTAND THIS?

The same grandfather called me just this morning to inform me that Thing Two was in trouble with her teacher for me not going to her parent /teacher conference which you know she told me about THE MORNING OF THE CONFERENCE.  So I didn’t go, because this was one of those stupid conferences they have just because not because your kid actually did something bad (which is kind of miraculous considering) but honestly, I have this little thing called WORK and with everyone being SICK it’s hard to have time off to go to something that is POINTLESS.  But I was polite about it in the note in which I instructed the teacher to go hit up the kid’s father.

Thing One was making noise getting ice out of the freezer this morning and I finally was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING and she said oh someone left the door to the freezer open so the stuff in the freezer had melted so she was getting ice to keep her lunch cold.  The stuff in the freezer had all melted.  Hundreds of dollars of food . . . it was still cold.  Wonder if I can risk food poisoning and just refreeze it.  People refry beans, right?

You know it’s going to be a good day when all three females in the house are crying before 8 AM.  I’m trying to pencil in a good time for my nervous breakdown, but I can’t seem to find an opening.  I’ll get back to you.

Religion and Politics with the Things

Before I start this off, I’ll disclose that I am a lib’ral agnostic.  Or pinko commie, whatever you want to call me.  My husband is a big time Protestant (it runs in his family like Lupus).  He also votes Republican.  I swear he didn’t when we met.  He said he didn’t care about politics, which to me translated as “ready to be converted to Liberal Democrat.”  This didn’t work out so well.  We also decided to raise the girls in the church.  I figured they’d have an easier time of it than I did if they just believed what everyone else did (We live in Texas).  Of course, I forgot they also had me as a parent.  I honestly try not to push them into any one belief, whether political or religious, because I know that has the ability to backfire like nothing else.  But some things they’ve come into on their own, or somehow absorbed in other ways. Observe some of their wisdom.

Comes spit.  But also wisdom.

Comes spit. But also wisdom.

“If God created everything, who created God?” – asked by Thing One at around age 6 while I was driving down the road.  My answer:  “Good question!”

“This kid called me a hippy.  I think hippy is only an insult to Republicans” – Thing One

“Republicans.  Pfft.”  – Thing One

“Our president is BaraaakObahhhma.” – Thing Two

BaraaackObaaaaaahma, everyone.

BaraaackObaaaaaahma, everyone.

“We had a class election.  I voted for John McCain cause he broked both his legs in the war and I feel sorry for him.” – Thing One, age 8.

“Today our teacher finally got mad and yelled at our class that Obama was NOT going to make us go to school on the weekends so shut up about it.” – Thing Two

Jesus: If you want to be baptised, I will have to dunk you in this well. Woman: Oh, okay, what?

Jesus: If you want to be baptised, I will have to dunk you in this well.
Woman: Oh, okay, what?

Thing One: You must be submerged to be fully baptized and go to Heaven.

Me: What about Moses?  He was in a desert.

Thing One: That was before Jesus.

Me: Okay, what if YOU were in a desert and there was no water.  Would God reject you?

Thing One: (annoyed) Mommmm, you’re making my head hurt.

See Thing One fact check.

See Thing One fact check.

At a book fair in 5th grade, Thing One chooses a biography of Obama and announces loudly, “I’m going to read this to find out what’s true and what’s not.  I’m tired of these dumb Republicans being so mean to him!” (I’m thinking, hahaha, you mean the Republicans that are totally surrounding us?)

My child, the faith healer.

My child, the faith healer.

When Thing Two was four, her preschool teacher caught a cold.

Thing Two: (walks up to the teacher, puts a hand on her arm) Jesus will heal you. (then walks off just as mysteriously)

Okay, okay, I'm getting on with it!

Okay, okay, I’m getting on with it!

I’m putting on makeup one morning.  Thing One is around ten, I think.

Thing One:  Vanity is a sin.

Me: That hardly seems fair.  I mean, should a vain person go to the same hell as someone who murdered lots of people?

Thing One: (thinks about it) Maybe there should be an in-between place for some.

Me: You mean like Purgatory?

Thing One: What?

(Meanwhile I can’t wait to tell my husband she’s now Catholic.)

Coming right up . . .

Coming right up . . .

Thing One: The teacher asked us to say which things we didn’t want in life.  I chose wealth.

My husband: Wealth is not a bad thing.

Thing One: Dad.  The Bible says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to get into Heaven.

Zing!

Absolutely Nothin'.

Absolutely Nothin’.

The anti-war song “War” comes on the radio.

Thing One: Mom, it’s a Democrat song!

Wait, you got your god in my god . . .

Wait, you got your god in my god . . .

Thing Two (age 7 or so) comes out of Bible class with a coloring page.  She shows me her picture of a religious prophet done up with a Trident and waves of water.

Thing Two: Look, Mommy, I made him into Poseiden!

Me: Cool!  Don’t show Daddy!

Too many thoughts . . .must lay down.

Too many thoughts . . .must lay down.

Thing One (up late one night): Mom, sometimes I lay awake and I wonder about God and how can all this be real and what’s really going to happen to us when we die and stuff.  And these thoughts just go all swirly in my head.

Me: I’m sorry.  You came by it honestly.

Did I hear a wordy-dird?

Did I hear a wordy-dird?

I’m trying to get the kids ready for school.

Me: Get the heck out of bed!

Thing One: In Sunday school, they tell us that heck is as bad a word as the other one.

Me: Then I should have just said hell, huh?

Penguins ARE beautiful.

Penguins ARE beautiful.

Preacher talking to the children: Kids, what is the most beautiful thing you can think of? (prompting them to say Heaven)

Thing Two (at age two): Penguins!

Later we get a newsletter from the church.  The preacher laughs about how a kid said chickens were beautiful.  Thing Two is incensed.

Thing Two: I SAID PENGUINS!