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The Hunger Games Racists Who Can't Read

SPOILER ALERT:  APPARENTLY THERE ARE A FEW PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO HAVEN'T READ THESE BOOKS AND ARE PLANNING TO SEE THE MOVIE.  I TELL YOU IMPORTANT PARTS OF THE BOOK AND/OR MOVIE, SO READ WITH CAUTION.  JEN


Wow.  I just have to start this post off with that word:  Wow.

I knew there were racist people out there, but I always imagined they were lurking in the background and they covered up their racism with words like "hoodies" and "fumbling at his waistband."  I'm always amazed when racists just come right out and say what's on their minds.  Like these assholes did on Twitter.


Supposedly these dummies read "The Hunger Games," but somehow they missed it that one of the central characters was described as having "dark brown" skin.  Anyone who read the book and actually paid attention imagined Rue as a small, black girl.  Nope, not these idiots.  So when they sat down to watch the movie this weekend and saw that a black actress had been cast to play Rue, these people were shocked and outraged that their beloved tale of youth killing one another in cold blood on live television was sullied.  One guy even tweeted he wasn't as sad when Rue died because she was black and another person called her the "N" word.  Wow.



I don't what I'm more horrified by though.  The fact that they tweeted this racist bullshit or the fact that these fuckups can't comprehend what they read!

Yeah, it's the racism that bothers me the most.

I'm stunned.  WTF, people?  How in the world can the casting of a little black girl cause such an uproar?  This is 2012!  We have a mixed race President in the White House!  We should not be subjected to ignorant and racist tweets from a bunch of dumb white girls and a few stupid whitish (I can't tell from the pics) guys in this day and age.  There should not have to be op-ed pieces warning young black men to keep their hoods down (even in the rain), keep their hands out of their pockets and their eyes on the ground and say, "Yes sir." when confronted by a gun-toting vigilante or a rogue police officer.

This should not be happening, because our country should be better than this.

I would like to think that I live in a country that is color blind, but apparently I'm the idiot.  I'm the one teaching my kids that race doesn't matter.  I'm the one telling my mixed race children that they have just as many opportunities in their lives as their white classmates.  And then I read ignorant shit like these tweets and I realize I'm living in a dream world and I can't protect my kids from everything and everyone who will judge them because of their skin tone and their race.

I can only teach them what I believe.  I believe that they're unique and special and wonderful just the way they are.  Yes, their skin is darker than mine, but their skin is beautiful and amazing.  Their eyes are not as round as mine, but their eyes are intelligent and deep and gorgeous.  They are worthy and intelligent.  They are strong and unafraid.

I will do my best to protect them from people who will judge them and put them down because of their race.  Eventually it will happen and when it does I will be there to pick them up and tell them again how perfect they are.  To explain to them that it doesn't matter what a few people (who don't even know them) think of them.  What matters is what they think of themselves.  What matters is how they're going to take that experience and use it to grow.  What matters is that they can rise above bigotry and hate and accomplish anything they want.

If you haven't done so already, check out what I've been writing for Babble.com.


Photos:  Jezebel.com

Recommended Children's Books


I asked for some favorite children's books titles and this is what I got.  I made a list for Babble.com of books to read out loud and another list for independent readers and the rest are here.  Surely you can find something new to read here.

Goodnight Moon
Runaway Bunny
The Giving Tree
Where the Sidewalk Ends (really anything by Shel Silverstein)
Just So Stories
The Bear Wants More series
The Dot and the Line
Jellybeans for Breakfast
The Polar Express
Red Ripe Strawberry
The Kissing Hand
The Boy Who Painted Dragons
Benny the Breakdown Truck
The Little Mouse
The Napping House
Harry the Dirty Dog
I Love You Forever
Moo Baa La La La
Stellaluna
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Pickles the Fire Cat
I Love You Through and Through
Anything by Dr. Seuss
Llama Llama series
Guess How Much I Love You?
I Love You Forever
The Color Kittens
Ferdinand the Bull
"Bear" series by Karma Wilson
Harold and the Purple Crayon
The Pokey Puppy
The Monster at the End of This Book
Bad Kitty series
Blueberries for Sal
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
I Love You Stinky Face
The Very Hungry Catepillar and anything else by Eric Carle
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Chickens to the Rescue
Lottie Harris Lives Here
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Are You My Mother?
Tickle Monster
Any of the "If You Give..." books
The Big Hungry Bear
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothes
Jamberry
Amelia Bedelia
Pirates Don't Change Diapers
Where the Wild Things Are
Never Tease a Weasel
The Berenstain Bears
One of Each

Lemony Snicket
Peter and the Starcatchers
Ready Freddy series
Junie B. Jones
The Twits
Freckle Juice
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
How to Eat Fried Worms
Pippi Longstocking
Little House on the Prairie
Little Women
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
Beezus and Ramona
The Secret Garden
The Little Princess
Lord of the Flies
Encyclopedia Brown
Gregor the Overlander
The Giver
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
The Borrowers
Harry Potter
Percy Jackson
Ella Enchanted
A Wrinkle in Time
The Little Prince
Charlotte's Web
Bridge to Terabithia
Charlie Bone
Judy Moody
Beverly Cleary
Junie B. Jones
Magic Treehouse
Roald Dahl
Indian in the Cupboard
Summer of Monkeys
Nancy Drew
Hardy Boys
All of a Kind Family
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Little House Series
Encyclopedia Brown
Choose Your Own Adventures
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Misty of Chincoteague
Any of the Marguerite Henry books really. (ALL. ABOUT. HORSES.)
Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and Mandy by Julie Andrews (Edwards)
Ramona
Chocolate Fever
Anne of Green Gables
The Westing Game
Anything by Avi
Super Fudge
Harriet the Spy
The Babysitters Club
Ivy and Bean
Wayside School is Upside Down
Anastasia Krupnik
Where the Red Fern Grows
Boxcar Children
Fear Street series
The Giver
The Witches
BFG
Hoot
Anything by Lois Duncan
Witch of Blackbird Pond
Chronicles of Narnia
A Star for the Latecomer
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn
Harry Potter series
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Island of the Blue Dolphin
The Phantom Tollbooth
Secret Series
Nother Story books
Amelia Bedelia
James and the Giant Peach
Esperanza Rising
Mouse and the Motorcycle
Becoming Naomi Leon
The Devil's Arithmetic
Hatchet
Spiderwick Chronicles
After Ever After
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
The Velvet Room
Striped Ice Cream
Scarlet Royal
National Velvet
Watership Down
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls
The Trumpet of the Swan
Freak the Mighty
Stand Back Said the Elephant I am Going to Sneeze
Holes
Bruno & Boots
Sweet Valley High
My Side of the Mountain
Gregor the Underlander
Candy Apple series
Black Beauty
A Cricket in Times Square
My Weird School series
Cam Jansen
Baseball Card Adventures
Mike Lupica
Every Soul a Star
The Cay
Maniac Magee
Number the Stars
How to Train Your Dragon series
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM
The Warriors series
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
Trixie Belden series
The Great Brain series
My Friend Flicka
Night of the Twisters
Caddie Woodlawn
Strawberry Girl
Moon Over Manifest
The Girl Who Could Fly
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Sideways Stories From the Wayside School
Julie of the Wolves
Jacob Have I Loved
Hope Was Here
Because of Winn Dixie
A Year Down Yonder
Out of the Dust
Wringer
The View From Saturday
Walk Two Moons
How to Eat Fried Worms
City of Ember
Fablehaven
This Place Has No Atmosphere
Frindle
There's a Girl in the Boy's Bathroom
Scat
Ruby Holler
The Chocolate Touch
Hugo Cabret
A Dog Called Kitty
Hooples on the Highway
To Kill a Mockingbird
Paint the Wind
Tiger Eyes
Lemonade Wars
The Outsiders
The Borrowers
Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry!
Tuck Everlasting
The Girl With Silver Eyes
Prydain Chronicles
The Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Pippi Longstocking
My Father's Dragon
Anything by Christopher Pike
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Anything by Alvin Ho

Weekly Wrap Up 3.24.12

It's wrap up time!  This week I turned 40 and I had so many nice birthday wishes and comments.  Thank you to everyone who chimed in.  Also, I'd like to wish a special birthday wish to all of my readers who shared my birthday!  I think I saw at least 2 of you!  Happy Birthday!  



So far 40 has been "Meh."  I did not have a big to-do, although I was hoping the Hubs would throw me a Marie-Antoinette themed 40th birthday in Paris, of course.  I guess he's saving that for my 50th.  

Actually, the whole month of March has been "Meh."  I just read that March can put people in a funk because of the rapid change of light this time of year or something like that.  Well, consider me funked.  I am pissed off at everything right now.

Besides my birthday this week, I also won the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funniest Mom Blogs, so that was pretty kick ass.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who voted for me.  I'm working on their interview questions right now and I'll send you the link once it's up on Circle of Moms.  CofM has been cool, because we gained a lot of new readers from there.  If you're new:  Welcome.  I hope you stick around.  Here's the deal.  I'm usually funny, but there are times that I am angry and pissed off and ranty, so just hang in there, I'll get back to funny soon enough.  

Top Read Posts This Week:

The Big Kids at Playland - I took Gomer and Adolpha to a school fundraiser at Chick-fil-A and I watched some kids wilding in the playland.  It made me wonder how big is too big for the playland?  This post also started a religious debate in the comments section.  WTF?  The post was about chicken and playlands, not Chick-fil-A hates gay people (even though they do).

Lice - (Scratch, scratch)  Lice is everywhere these days, but I've realized that with a once a month bath policy my kids can avoid lice and just be the stinky kid in the classroom instead of the itchy one.

Top 5 Ridiculously Unbelievable Babies - The Hubs wrote this one.  He drives me nuts with all his Youtube shit he's always trying to show me.  I told him to make a list and so he did.  He thought it was a funny list, but he was surprised when the Shakira baby got skewered in the comments.  (Looks like I'm not the only one in a mad mood, because of the light.)  You guys were kind of harsh on that baby and her rack and the junk in her trunk.  Plus, if you're going to make fun of one of those kids, it should totally be the baby who knows Chinese.  That kid isn't having any fun.  At least Shakira baby is shaking her money-maker and loving every minute of it.  That poor Chinese baby just wants to play and her dad is drilling her on bullshit that no baby should know.  I think she's 6 now.  I sure hope she's in college now or else she's a huge disappointment to her parents.

Gomer Wants a Kindle Fire - Gomer has saved his money and would like to buy a Kindle Fire.  I complained that I didn't even have a tablet yet.  Hubs got me a Galaxy Tab for my birthday (insert foot in my mouth).  We've all been playing on it and it's quickly become the "family tab."  I think I'm going to need to get another one.  I can't put the Shades of Grey trilogy on the family tab!  Thanks for all the advice on this one.  I honestly think we'll use the family tab for a while and then in a few months if the novelty hasn't worn off we'll let Gomer "buy" this one from us and get me a new one of my own.

Top Comments of the Week (and my response):

This is awesome. What a great at work time waster. Thank you for posting! on Top 5 Ridiculously Unbelievable Babies

*sigh* Thank you for pointing out the fact that my kid's a slacker (wonder where he got that from lol.) The only impressive video I have of my kids is my son dipping his forehead in a mud puddle, standing up quick and leaning his head back, then licking the mud as it drips down his face. Oh, he can also smear his mouth with liquid soap and blow huge bubbles while making the sound "Mwaaaaaaaaa." I haven't put those up on Youtube because I don't want to make all the other OAB's and their OAM's jealous ;) on Top 5 Ridiculously Unbelievable Babies

Happy Birthday Jen! Today is my birthday as well even if the hubs and offspring forgot to tell me. The youngest daughter is excused bc she isn't 2 yet but the oldest her bday is tomorrow so surely she should have remembered. It is okay I guess since 7 years ago she highjacked by birthday I don't get any older since no one remembers. My Dad at least remembered even put it up on facebook for me. So I will be making the hubs feel extremely guilty and he will be taking me to Hunger Games now for sure! on Is 40 Going to Blow or Rock? 

My birthday falls right between my parents' birthdays.  Dad is the 19th, I'm the 22nd and Mom is the 24th.  It used to always be during Spring Break.  Once we were on SB with another family and THEY remembered my birthday before my parents did.  That year I got all sorts of crap from the hotel gift shop as my "gifts."  I've never let them forget.  You've got to milk this for as long as you can.
Happy happy birthday hot stuff!! on Is 40 Going to Blow or Rock? 

Anyone who calls me "hot stuff" makes the best comments list.

Forty can totally rock...as long as there is time for a nap every now and then and plenty of ibuprofen for those aches you mentioned. I celebrated 40 last April in Vegas, while carrying around a 6 month pregnant belly and...wait for it...a mouth full of braces. Not quite how I pictured it, but pretty amazing none the less. Happy Birthday! on Is 40 Going to Blow or Rock?

I love the relief in your voice as you proudly proclaim your son's hair is not attractive to lice. Awesome. And I'm proud of myself for NOT scratching during that whole post! I did some mind-over-matter ninja tricks and still feel fine! on Lice

my husband taught at a grade school that couldn't afford a nurse, so hubba had to check all of his students for lice. HORRIFIC. on Lice

Top 5 Ridiculously Unbelievable Babies

The Hubs has been surfing Youtube.  Here is what he found.

I have been seeing lots of videos of babies/kids doing the most amazing or as Jen would say "overachieving" things.  Here are the top 5 in my opinion.  I hope my kids will do some amazing things one day, but they have not done ANYTHING like these kids yet - so who knows?

1. Baby Felicity.  She can not only read at 1 year old, but she can read in both English and Chinese.  If anyone knows anything about Chinese (which I do, of course), it is a very difficult language to read.  Each character has to be memorized and the language has about 80,000 individual characters to memorize.  Felicity seems like a very sweet girl and her parents are obviously working hard with her to start reading at such a young age.  I guess that spot at Harvard will be taken.  Gomer and Adolpha will have to go elsewhere.


2. Baby Makena. She can sing Adele.  Yes, she can sing Adele.  She is cute, has great style, can carry a tune and sings with real emotion!  I wish I could sing as well as this kid.  Hey Makena, when that cute 3 year old breaks your heart, don't worry, just sing about it and make millions.  You don't need a man!


3. Baby Shakira. I think this one is my favorite!  I don't know the baby's real name, but she can shake it like Shakira.  I know my hips can never move like that.  I love the head wear she is sporting.  And I love the fact that the other kid in the video in the background couldn't be bothered to even look up.  She is obviously bored by the whole thing.  Don't be a hater little girl!


4. Baby Myra.  This 20 month old baby is not afraid of heights or water.  She is jumping off the diving board and loving every minute.  Baby Myra is amazing because I still won't jump off the diving board into 13 feet of water.  The thing I really love about the video is that we get to meet BUG and BUNNY.  


5. Giuliano Stroe.  Ok, to be fair, this kid is NOT a baby, but he can do something that I am pretty sure no one else reading this can do.  A sideways pull up or push up.  I can't even hold myself up sideways, let alone do 30 pull ups.  Giuliano holds many world records as the strongest kid.  No doubt.  If you watch all his videos, you will see that his dad works with him all the time and he loves it. Now if they only made a Xbox Kinnect game that can simulate the sideways push up, I bet I can get Gomer and Adlopha to crank out a few.  


Is 40 Going to Blow or Rock?

Today I'm 40.  Or Thirty-Ten.  Or 39+1.  Or whatever it is we say now to hold off saying Four Oh.

I'm not a vain person, but I'm not gonna lie, 40 is a tough one for me to swallow.  I think I look “OK” for 40.  I'm not too wrinkled and hair dye keeps my grays under control.  I'm definitely saggier than I once was and I have aches and pains that don't go away as easily as they used to.  I'm never going to get carded again unless it's a really dark bar, but all in all, I think I've held up pretty well.

No, for me it's not a vanity thing, it's a “What have I accomplished?” thing.

Looking back at my 20-something self I had plans.  I can't say that I haven't accomplished the goals I set for myself.  Because I always set the bar pretty low, I typically accomplish my goals.  I just don't tend to knock them out of park.  (Shocker.)

Let's see:
  1. Graduate from college.  I did that.  OK, barely.  I am a complete and total loss when it comes to Math. I have been my entire life.  If there is a dyslexia for Math I'm certain that I have it.  I see numbers and my entire brain shuts down.  It might as well be Latin - actually Latin might be easier. In college I was an English major and I needed one semester of Math to graduate.  I tried my Freshman year and I failed the class. 

    I have a brother who is 4 years younger than me and he rocks Math.  When we were kids on roadtrips, he and my dad would play a game called: “What's the square root of the license plate in front of us?”  My mom and I would play “I Spy" - I was 15 at the time. 

    I knew that if I took an extra semester at the end of my 4 years, my brother would be at school with me and he could tutor me and help me pass.  Between my brother helping me and my amazing professor letting me do just about everything he could for extra credit I passed Math.  (Get your minds out of the gutter, people.  When I say "extra credit" I truly mean it.  He even let me write a research paper about Euclid or someone.)  When I walked across the stage at graduation my Math professor actually came on stage and hugged me.

  2. Live in New York City.  I did that too.  I moved to New York City when I was 25.  I had been fired from my job and I was looking for someplace to “reinvent” myself. I'd “met” the Hubs and he lived in NYC so I thought I'd at least have a sucker to take me to TGIFriday's occasionally.  

    Getting fired from a job was never on my list of accomplishments, but I guess I'm OK with it since it led me to NYC and the Hubs.  Let this be a lesson to you, young people:  getting fired is not the end of the world.  Just pull yourself up and keep moving forward.

  3. Work for a magazine.  I did that when I lived in NYC.  I was actually just a temp though. It was a little bit like The Devil Wears Prada only I worked in the dungeons instead of the executive offices, but I was surrounded by those tall, willowy girls in clacker shoes.  The magazine offered me a job in the dungeons (there was no way I was fit for prime time since I wore sensible shoes and didn't know the difference between a Birkin and a Balenciaga).  They were willing to hire me, because I had a good “Midwest work ethic,” but I was horrified by what they were willing to pay me.  I could not have paid my rent working there, let alone buy the new Louis Vuitton bag I was expected to carry.  Instead I got a job at a private equity bank where dark suits and Coach bags ruled.  Cha-ching and much more my style!

  4. Have a kick ass apartment in New York City.  This one I'm going to have to stretch my definition of "kick ass" a bit.  At the time this meant any cute, girl next door kind of apartment you see in chick flick movies.  The heroine is usually a quirky florist or a plucky bookseller and she lives in an awesome, small, but well planned out space with a private garden out back or a roof top deck.  Think:  "Where would Meg Ryan's character live if she was making a movie about a Midwestern girl full of moxie who moves to Manhattan, gets the job, gets the guy and never compromises herself or her beliefs?"  Yeah, that's where I thought I'd live (and I thought that by living there I'd magically look like Meg Ryan).  I quickly found out that while these apartments do exist, a bookseller or a florist could never afford them. Instead I became part of the “bridge and tunnel” crowd.  Think:  "Where do Snooki's parents live?" 

    I lived in Queens (at least I was close to the Hubs) and I commuted into Manhattan every day from my spacious yet dingy, un-air conditioned, and loud (I lived one block from an extremely active firehouse) apartment with a bathroom that had not been remodeled since...ever.  It was still the original pre-War bathroom with one outlet.  In the light socket.  Above the sink.  I took my life in my hands every time I blow dried my hair.  

    Don't be confused, there were some serious kick ass qualities: it really was spacious with 4 closets (!!), eat in kitchen, elevator in the building, and one block from the express subway to Manhattan.
  1. Get married.  Done!  Lots of young women have extensive lists of what they're looking for in a mate.  Things like: Must have a good job, Can't live in his parent's basement, Must be a good dancer and so on.  Good thing for me I didn't have such a list or else I might not have ended up with the Hubs.  When I met him he was temping, he lived in his parent's basement and he can't dance for shit.

    Really, there were only two things on my list.  Funny was the top of my list.  If he couldn't make a joke or take a joke then he was out.  I also wanted a husband who would love me for me. I'm a little tough to love and you'd be surprised how many guys don't get my sense of humor (that was sarcasm for the slower readers), so it took me a couple more years than the average girl to find a guy.

    When I met the Hubs we were both trying to figure out what to do with our lives and lucky for us we supported one another and motivated one another and helped each get our shit together and we still do that.

  2. Have kids.  At one point in my young life I thought it would be great to have a gaggle of kids.  I didn't start having babies until I was in my thirties and I quickly realized “two” could be considered a small gaggle.  It would have to do.  I didn't have the stamina for more than two or enough room on my credit card.  I enjoy my sleep way too much and I have a shopping addiction when it comes to expensive tiny clothes.  We got our boy and our girl and we called it good.
  1. Have a job I love.  I've had a few jobs in my lifetime.  Some of them outright sucked.  Like when I was a professional Proofreader – betcha didn't even know this job existed – and my job was to correct contracts with a red pen.  Only Proofreaders could have the coveted red pens and you had to bring ID to the supply room to show you were a Proofreader and then they'd let you “check” ONE out.  That's right.  You didn't "own" that pen.  It was not allowed to leave the building.  When your pen ran out and you needed another, you had to bring the empty with you. 

    Once my red pen was stolen by someone who made twice (actually, now that I think about it, I bet he made 3x) as much money as me.  Because he didn't have the proper papers to show he was red pen worthy, the Gestapo in the supply room wouldn't give him a red pen, so he stole mine.  It was hell to get another one and I never let it out of my sight again.  Damn the rules!  I took that pen home with me every night just to protect it from thieves.  

    After a few years of stimulating jobs like this or being someone's bitch, I left the corporate world behind to work for myself.  I love my job now. Selling houses is a great job (no matter what the market is doing) and I'm so happy to go to work every day.  Plus, just out of spite, I keep boxes of red pens in my desk to use willy-nilly. 
  1. Travel the world.  Before I was married I did a lot of traveling, but not the “whole world," of course.  I've been able to mark a few great cities off my list, but there are still more.  I keep telling myself that once the kids are grown the Hubs and I will work harder at this goal.  I just hope we don't wait so long that we're too old and we're touring Greece in matching Rascals!
  1. Be a writer.  When I came up with this one in my twenties it mostly meant “get published” somewhere.  Anywhere.  I wanted to see a byline with my name on it and know that at least one another person besides my mother read it.  I really thought it would be fiction, though.  Who knew that I'd write so much non-fiction?  It only took 39 years, but I finally found an audience who likes to read what I have to write.  Phew!  This was one was close!  Thanks for reading so I didn't have to stick my head in an oven this year!
  1. Write AND publish a book. I've modified this one. It used to be “write a book.” Now that I know I have the desire and the ambition to actually write (and finish a book), I've realized the hard part is getting it published. That will be my goal for my Thirty-Tens.
OK, after reading this list, I've decided I haven't done that bad.  I have a few more things left I want to accomplish, but hopefully I'm only at the mid-point of my life so I've still got plenty of time.  I just hope the next 40 don't go by as fast as the last 40!


I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Forty Rocks!  


PS - The Circleofmoms.com Top 25 Funniest Mom Blogs Contest is over!  Thank you so much for voting for me.  I made the list along with some hysterical other blogs. What a nice birthday present!  Please check out all of them if you get some free time.


Photos: bedifferentactnormal.com 

Lice


Got lice?  Did you start itching as soon as you read that word?  I know I did.  (Excuse me, while I scratch.)

Ever since we started school it seems like once a month we get an email home saying that a student has lice and everyone needs to take extra precautions to prevent it from spreading.  Ugh.  We've been lucky enough to dodge the lice bullet, but it seems like with each outbreak it gets closer to us and I know our days are numbered.  (Scratch.  Scratch.)

Adolpha is still in preschool where they play with dress up clothes and stuffed animals - AKA "Lice City."  Last year the school had to bag up all the dress up clothes and animals because their outbreak was quickly becoming an epidemic.  Adolpha was so sad, but all the moms breathed a collective sigh of relief.  No one wanted to be a nitpicker.   Adolpha knows now that if I put her hair in braids we've received the dreaded notice of a lice case.  "Oh, it's a lice day, Mommy?" she'll ask. 

Recently, we got the email that someone in Gomer's class had lice.  Great.  I can't braid his hair.

The email instructed us to remind our child not share combs or hats with anyone in his class.  (What first grader brings a comb to school and offers it to his friend??  And yet I still made a mental note to warn him.  This is how crazy I can get.  Scratch.  Scratch.  I come by it naturally though.  Yesterday my mother arrived at my house with rubber gloves and asked me to check her hair, because she felt "unusually itchy."  She sat in my driveway - she can't come in my house until I know she's lice-free - while I pawed through her hair and waved to my neighbors on their way to work.  Yeah, we're classy like that over here.)

"Gomer, don't share any hats or combs with anyone at school, OK?"

Gomer replied, "Is it because Maribelle has lice?"

"You know who has lice?" I asked.  The emails never name names.

"Sure.  Everyone knows it's Maribelle."

"How does everyone know?"  I asked thinking there must be some breach of confidentiality somewhere in the staff at the school.  Heads were gonna roll!

"She told us," he said.

"Oh.  Well, I guess that's OK."  So much for breach of confidentiality.

"Yeah and now Iris has it too."

"What?  Two girls in your class?  Just out of curiosity...where do Maribelle and Iris sit?"  I asked.

"On either side of me."

Ack!!!!

I got online and did some quick research and found out that lice are attracted to the cleanest heads of hair.  Oh thank goodness!  Gomer has some of the dirtiest and sweatiest hair I've ever seen on a child.  I think we're going to be just fine.  (Scratch.  Scratch.)

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Mom Contest. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to vote for me and all the other funny bloggers on the list.  

Gomer Wants a Kindle Fire

So, Gomer wants a Kindle Fire.  Would you ever buy your 7 year old a tablet?  Actually, it wouldn't be me buying it.  Let me start from the beginning.  




Gomer's been saving every nickel and dime he can come across because he wanted to buy himself the Lego Death Star.   Yeah, it's a $400 Lego set with about a billion pieces to lose.  He's still a hundred bucks short and now that money is burning a hole in his pocket and he's realizing that he loses Legos and they're a waste of his money (amazing how he realizes this when he's the one putting up the cash).

A few weeks ago he decided he didn't want the Lego Death Star anymore.  He came to us with his newest idea.  He would like to spend his money on a Kindle Fire.  He actually made a fairly convincing argument.  He loves to read, he wouldn't be "wasting" his money on more Legos when he already has buckets of them and he would only play games or watch videos when we said it was OK.  Hmmm.....

The Hubs and I started thinking and we came up with our pros and cons list.

TOP 5 REASONS TO LET GOMER BUY A KINDLE FIRE:

1.  Makes it easy for him to read anywhere.
2.  Isn't more Legos to step on.
3. Will keep him entertained, so less fighting with his sister.  (Oh crap, his sister.  She's going to want one too - better add that to the cons.)
4.  Teaches him the value of his money when he has to purchase games/movies himself.
5.  Teaches him responsibility.  This is an expensive piece of equipment and he needs to take good care of it.

TOP 5 REASONS TO NOT LET GOMER BUY A KINDLE FIRE:

1.  We lose control over what he's doing when he's using it.
2.  Could be a "fad" item that he grows tired of and ends up being an expensive drink coaster.  (We could give it to Adolpha at that point, I guess.)
3.  Easily lost and/or broken.
4.  Quickly becomes obsolete and then he wants the new/bigger/faster/better/etc. one.
5.  I don't even have a tablet of any kind.  I will be jealous of my 7 year old's technology!

Many of the kids in his school have an iTouch and iPods (which we don't).  Is this just a more "educational" iTouch?

What do you think?  Would you let your 7 year old kid buy a Kindle Fire?

The Big Kids at Playland

The other night it was Chick Fil A night for Gomer's school and like a good little robot he came home and announced that if we didn't go he'd the be the "only" kid in his class who didn't support his school.  I don't know how the school brainwashes them like that, but I'd wish they'd teach me!

The Hubs had a meeting so I decided it would be a win-win for me.  I wouldn't have to cook or clean up alone - so off we went to Chick Fil A.

We arrived to find the place pretty empty.  Gomer was crushed that none of his friends were there, but when I offered to take him home and cook dinner he quickly decided french fries would dull the pain.

As we finished our dinner people started trickling in.  None of the kids were Gomer's age though.  Everyone was quite a bit older.  Closer to 10 or 11.  By now Gomer and Adolpha were finished eating and begged for some time in the petri dish that is the playland.  I really wanted to say "No," but I'm not that mean, so I looked at my watch and decided they had "10 minutes to play."  (I always say 10 minutes because neither Gomer nor Adolpha wear a watch and when they play they lose all sense of time so my 10 minutes could really be 5 if I'm in a rush or 15 if I find a friend to chat with.)


After about 2 minutes Gomer came back out and said it was getting "too wild" in the play area.  Chick Fil A doesn't really have any place for adults to sit inside their playland.  The kids are behind glass and I could look in there and see what was going on.  Gomer was right.  There were 5 or 6 or 30 (it was impossible to tell, because they were moving so fast they were blurs of color) older boys whooping and hollering and running at top speed through the tiny playscape.  One boy was sitting on top of the tube slide and dangling his bare feet down so kids had to push through his feet to get out (I don't know why, but bare feet always seem dirtier to me than sock covered feet).  Another boy was literally climbing the outside of the structure and swinging from a sign that specifically said: DO NOT CLIMB.  And I can't forget to mention the boy I watched jump over a toddler.  Yeah, he jumped over her!  She thought it was funny, but her dad didn't.  He grabbed her and her squeaker shoes and they were gone in a flash.

I looked around to see if I could tell who the wilding boys belonged to, but it was impossible to tell since no one seemed to be taking any interest in the kids in playroom except the family next to us whose son is a friend of Gomer's (one friend had finally shown up).

I was torn.  On one hand, Gomer is my softer kid and he really needs to learn to stand up for himself.  However, these boys were several years older than him and would probably laugh in his face if he stood up to them.

"Where's Adolpha?" I asked.  She's my tougher kid and she usually can tell off kids who are bothering her brother.

"I'll get her," Gomer replied.  He returned a few minutes later with Adolpha.

"I hear it's wild in there," I said to her.

"Yup," she said.

"Those big boys are causing a lot of trouble, huh?"

"Yup."

"Hmm....what should we do?" I asked.

"Easy-peasy.  Tell them to get out.  They're too big, mom.  They can't even fit in the car up there!" She pointed to the taxi cab thing jutting off the structure where a boy had folded himself like a pretzel to get into.  I was a little happy to see he was stuck and starting to panic.

Adolpha was right.  These boys were way too big to be in there.  Then I got to thinking.  Is Gomer too big?  Should Gomer not be allowed to play in these things anymore either?  At what age is too big?

Is it an age thing or is it a behavior thing?  Gomer is an average sized 7 year old, but he's fairly slow moving and he doesn't have the agility or the guts to jump over a toddler.  I don't even think at 10 he would be able to do that.

At what age do you tell your kids they are too old to play in the playland at Chick Fil A, McDonald's, etc.?

Weekly Wrap Up 3.16.12

This was my first week back from our Florida vacation. I would normally say that at this point I'm buried under laundry, but since my FABULOUS mother did all our laundry for me I can't even complain about that! (Thank you, Mom!!)

The kids had this week off from school so we did a little "staycation." Ha! I don't know who came up with that word or what it means exactly, but in my house it means lots of TV and a trashed house. At least the weather has been gorgeous so the kids can go outside and get dirty. It's been so warm here I actually caved tonight and turned on the AC. Our house was 80 degrees and we have too many allergies to be open window people.

I've got a few more days of staycation so I better get this wrap up done asap so we can we go to our watergun battle!

Top Read Posts:


The Happiest Place on Earth - I took the kids to Disney last week. You couldn't pay me enough to be a castmember at Disney. I think I would rather dig ditches in Texas in the summer before I'd say, "Have a magical day!"

The Parents Who Left Their Kids Behind at Chuck E. Cheese - Yup. Two families in two weeks left their kids at Chuck E. Cheese. I do not need to worry about getting Worst Parent of the Year Award this year, it seems there will be a tie.

Me - At the Beach - We hit the beach in Florida. I'm not a fan of sand, but my kids enjoyed it. The things I do for my kids!

The Hubs & the United Airlines Guy - The Hubs had "words" with the United Airlines guy about our booster seats. He was pretty kick ass. A lot of people forwarded the post to United Airlines, I'm waiting for their phone call which I'm sure will come shortly.

Seriously, Hubs? - The one time in my life I had to pack for the Hubs for a trip and instead of thanking me we had a fight.

Favorite Comments (and My Responses):

Have you watched the show Dance Moms? I would love to hear your comments on that one... on Contact Me

I have heard a lot about this show. I need to set my DVR so I can see what the hoopla is all about.


For the dentist I have two words Jenkins and LeBlanc. My daugther loves this place after having creepy pediatric dentist. BTW love the blog you keep me laughing all day long! on People Who Work With Children, But Don't Like Them

That's who I'm talking about...

I used to want to be a teacher. Then I realized I did not enjoy children in groups of more than 2... and sometimes that's too many. on People Who Work With Children, But Don't Like Them

I also wanted to be a teacher. The kids were OK, I realized it was the parents I had no desire to deal with.


Maybe they were HOPING someone would take the child off their hands. You know...the child is impossible to potty train, diapers are expensive, kid's an excessive whiner, the list could go on and on. Hell, with 10 kids, just feeding them all would be crazy expensive. At least at CEC, there'd be plenty of food and entertainment for the abandoned child. on The Parents Who Left Their Kids Behind at Chuck E. Cheese

Holy Friggin' Crap! Just found your blog & woke my snoring "hubs" from the recliner, cracking up w/ tears soaking my face. LOVE THIS! on Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

Who knew anyone was still reading the Elf these days? Welcome!


This is why there should be standardized testing to bring kids home from the hospital. on The Parents Who Left Their Kids Behind at Chuck E. Cheese

Maybe if her parents had given her an elaborate (cough Marie Antoinette cough) themed bday party they would have realized she was missing...maybe... ;) on The Parents Who Left Their Kids Behind at Chuck E. Cheese

I can say many things about the OAMs, but my guess is none of them have ever left the birthday child at a Chuck E. Cheese.

Best rebuttal ever. You are Dean of Students in the School of Blogging. Professor Punch. I continue to learn from you daily. Love and Gratitude. PS - You deserve to be #1...enjoy it. on Weekly Wrap Up 3.12.12

Hmm...now I can't decide which I like better:  The Jeneral or Professor Punch.


I just read through the comments on Frenchie's Pity Party Post (hey--there's one party that costs nothing). One could literally write a sonnet dedicated to Frenchie, using all the fluffy words of encouragement and hand holding that's going on over there. In fact:

Frenchie

"Someone has used you, your motherhood,
your beauty, your creativity,
your Angles first birthday party...."
"The world can be an ugly place...."
"Keep on living and sharing your gift."

Wait, that's not a sonnet. Oh well. Just out me as an underachiever. on Weekly Wrap Up 3.12.12


Okay..I have to admit I was about to quit reading you because honestly I was tired of all the negative crap. And I do have a little problem that you pretty much blog anonymously but I get it..it gives you a little more freedom to say what you want without someone trying to burn down your house (see Marie Antoinette trailer trash over the top birthday party giver)
And you hate the beach..BUT when you said you were a "bullshit caller" whoa..gotta keep reading because that is what you do and calling out the bs'rs can be negative. You do make me laugh but I guarantee that every once in awhile even though we already know this we can take a few words about how awesome your kids are and some more positive stuff..balances out everything else..giving you tons of credit for being real and honest. So rare these days. I am here for the duration! on Weekly Wrap Up 3.12.12

I appreciate your honesty and I'm glad you decided to stick around.  I am such a narcissist that I'd love to plaster my name all over this blog and go on "Today" and tell everyone who I am.  Unfortunately, I can really rile people up and they can get a bit cr-A-zy about my opinions so I prefer to stay as anonymous as I can so that my kids are protected.  It's also good to know that you wouldn't mind a little nice stuff here and there.  To be honest, sometimes I have pretty terrific days and it's tough not to share them with you all.


I agree. It's sad to read some poor writing from a sweat pant woman who tries way too hard to be funny but at the same time goes out of her way to "whore herself out" for a stupid minivan... Get ourself real dreams and ideals! I'm outta here too. on I'm This Much Closer to a MinivanSee ya and don't let my automatic slidey doors hit you on your way out.   I always love to see where people will draw the line with me.  Sometimes it's over politics and sometimes it's the hate of Mobile Command Centers.


You've wanted to punch me when I was the blonde cheerleader in high school, when I was top in the class in college (and your boyfriend left you for me). And now that Im the Over Achieving Mom its the same feeling. Im used to this treatment and reaction, its nothing new to me and guess what? You'll never be me....and thats why you want to punch me in the throat. 



And this is why I love, love, love my readers.  I didn't need to even respond to this one, because Meredith was all over it.  Here is Meredith's kick ass response:


"OR...she wants to punch you because you're annoying and high on yourself. It's one thing to be confident, it's quite another to awaken every day believing you're so awesome that everyone aspires to be you. That's called delusional. And, did I mention it's also annoying?"


I will add, are you 23?  Why are all of your examples from 20 years ago?  Have you not accomplished anything worth bragging about since then?  


PS. Would you mind voting for me again?  Please and Thank you.  Only three more days! 

I'm This Much Closer to a Minivan

OK, so you guys are not going to believe this.  Remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about my secret desire and passion to drive a minivan?  Well...the Hubs got me a minivan!


Just joking it's a rental from Florida.  He thought it would be funny to rent a minivan while we were there and make it look like the Elf delivered it to me.


Little does he know how much magic that little Elf has, because today I got an email offering me a minivan!!  Sorta.

OK, so Honda has apparently contacted a driving experience company to offer me a chance to "spend some time" in an Odyssey.

Honda Odyssey - badass and super sleek.

I'm not sure what "spend some time" means exactly so I contacted Honda to find out the details.  In the meantime I sent an email to Toyota to see if they'd be interested in giving me a chance to "spend some time" in a Sienna AWD.

Toyota Sienna - neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night can stop me in this baby!

And after my trip to Florida, I realized I left out Chrysler.  We drove the Town & Country down there and I tell you what, people, it was a pretty sweet van.  I loved the rearview camera!  So, Chrysler if you want in - you let me know.

Chrysler Town & Country - surprisingly spacious and comfortable and lots of features!  Who knew?

Now, I have no idea what "spend some time" in a minivan means, so I thought I'd let Honda, Toyota - and Chrysler - know what I'm thinking.  I'd love to get a minivan for a year - not a basic model, I need the "Mobile Command Center."  Something that I can really brag about.  I would add a PS to every one of my blog posts here on the website about how much I love driving my swaggerwagon and I'd also put a blurb in my About Jen tab about my minivan love.  In the scheme of things it's not much from these car makers budgets to give me a van and let me pimp them out as only I can:  "Mmm....kids and I are enjoying nice cold beverages from the built in cooler in my Honda/Toyota/Chrysler!"

Please don't punch me because I'm not afraid to whore myself out for a free ride - wouldn't you if someone gave you the chance?  At least I'm not asking for this:


Yeah, it's a crystal mini replica of the Disney castle that retails for $37,500.  I think a minivan is a much better buy.

Maybe if I get this van, it will prompt Tina Fey to call me because she'll want to watch a movie in my badass minivan!

The Hubs & The United Airlines Guy

There are times when I shake my head and wonder if the Hubs has marbles for brains and then other times I see pure genius in him and I remember why I love him.  Sunday was such a day.

We were at the Orlando Airport getting ready to head back to Kansas.  We only had carry on luggage, but we did have 2 booster seats that we wanted to check.  We were directed to a self help kiosk and this is where our story begins:

Hubs to United Guy:  I don't see where I can check booster seats.  They should be free and this thing wants to charge me for baggage.

UG:  Hmm....I'm not sure.  Let's take a look.  He starts poking selections on the screen to find booster seats.  Is it like a stroller?  

Hubs:  No.  They're booster seats.  They're right here.  He points to our two large boosters.  (I'm a worrier, remember?  I make my kids ride in full on booster seats that I could fit in.)

UG:  Oh.  OK.  Hmm....  He pokes some more.  (Have you never checked a booster seat before?  Really?)

UG:  Oh!  Here we go.  Carseats or booster.  He pushes the correct buttons and our baggage sticker things pop out.

Hubs:  Great.  Where are the bags to pack them in?

UG:  Bags?

Hubs:  Yes, the plastic bags that keep them from getting all dirty.  

UG:  Ohhh.  Let me check.  He looks around uncertainly and spots a supervisor.  He calls him over and asks him about the bags.  

Super:  We don't have any.  He snapped at us.  They're on back order.  (The supervisor is an absolute dick.)  Our partners don't have any either.  We haven't had any for a while now.

Hubs:  OK.  So when my carseats get ruined United will buy me two new ones, right?

Super:  Absolutely not, sir.  We check your carseats as a courtesy.  We're not responsible for damage.  It's a courtesy!  (Yeah, we get it.  It must be a real courtesy, you said it twice.)

Hubs:  Then find me some bags.

Super:  Sir, I told you.  They're on back order.  We don't have any.

Hubs:  Are you kidding me?  We're in ORLANDO!  All that comes through here are kids and carseats.  You can't possibly be out of bags.  Find me one.  Get me something.  Get me a trash bag if you have to.  Go to Costco and buy a box of them.  My carseat will be ruined if you don't put it in a bag.  (I love the Hubs.)

Super:  Sir, it's a courtesy!  We don't have any bags!  (This guy is a broken record.)

Hubs:  Fine!  I'll just call United's 1-800 number right now and complain about the service I'm receiving...  He starts to dial his phone.  (The Hubs does not make idle threats, Mr. Supervisor.  I hope you don't mind when he gets you fired.)

Super:  OK, OK!  We might have some plastic bags for golf bags.  They could probably fit in there.  He jumps behind the counter and starts pulling out giant plastic bags.  (WTF, dude?  You had these all along?)

Another passenger who has been checking in this whole times says:  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  He didn't have bags a minute ago and now all a sudden he does?

Hubs:  It would appear so.  

Passenger:  Unbelievable.  (You said it!)

Our boosters made it to Kansas in their plastic golf bags.  Our pink one had grease all over the plastic bag.  So glad the Hubs raised a stink, because I would have had a fit.

The Supervisor was right, it is a courtesy for them to check our boosters for free, but you know what?  There are a lot of airlines out there and they're all hungry for passengers and I chose United as a "courtesy."  Just because we're not frequent fliers or business travelers doesn't mean they should be able to treat us poorly.  

Plus, what a way to run your business, United.  You would think that when you're in an airport in a city that is built on family-friendly destinations you would have a plethora of bags for the carseats and booster seats that you are checking as a courtesy.  Don't hold back those precious bags for your golfing customers.  I looked around that check in counter and all I saw were families with boosters and carseats.  I didn't see one set of golf clubs.  Don't be so stingy, United.  Get your shit together and look at the big picture:  yes you're not responsible for damage, but do you want a bunch of angry parents with expensive carseats that are ruined because you couldn't keep plastic bags in stock?   Oh yeah, and train your people better when it comes to customer service - that supervisor in Orlando was a real dick and I wish we got his name.  He dodged a bullet on that one.  

Check out my newest Babble post.

Would you mind voting for me again?  Only a couple more days!