Party Animals!

Published September 17, 2017 by sarcasmica

For my daughter’s 7th birthday party at home, we decided having wild animals in the house would be a great idea…. and also a petting zoo! (HA!) There’s a local company that brings animals to your house and hosts. ( Animals ) You can choose a theme of group of animals, or a la cart pets. I REALLY wanted goats, but alas… it was not my birthday party.

My daughter chose the Australian Theme. It was awesome! I’ve been collecting paper bags and figured there must be a way to make them into safari vests. I scanned pinterest and youtube and VOILA! Found an easy tutorial (after only about 3 searches) based on the type of vests I wanted to make, and the kind of bags I had.

Safari Vest Tutorial

Right as the kids came in, they decorated vests on my table cloth covered table 🙂 and grabbed a plastic “pith helmet” or for everyone normal, a safari hat. By the time the guests arrived, made the costumes, chit chatted and maybe grabbed a snack

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Then it was time to start the show.

We could have done the whole thing outside, but recently there have been terrible wildfires in Washington and the smoke was pretty bad on party day. We opted to squish everything into our entryway instead. This made it difficult for me to zip around quasi-unobtrusively to snap photos.

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Bearded Dragon

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The bearded dragons were a big hit, and so chill!

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Blue-Tongued Skink

 

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Frilled Lizard

 

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Displaying that awesome frill

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Opal the wallaby is the hardest working momma around! This girl had a week(ish) old joey hidden away in her pouch. Imagine that! Going to work a week after having your baby, and then sit in a pen while little humans pet and poke at you while you eat your way through the ordeal. … oh wait… that’s all moms.

There were also sugar gliders and lots of snakes. I’m still trying to figure out my camera, so a lot of those shots were pretty blurry. The highlight of the show was the wrangler explaining how hard the sugar gliders are to have as pets as it peed all over her. The kids particularly liked that, the parents notsomuch.

We finished up with hand washing, pipe cleaner snake beading, snacks & cake. Oh, the most fun part was the photo op I had set up. It got a little lost among the excitement, but I wanted a place for the parents to get a fun pic of their kid at the party so I set up a ribbon curtain and had the kids hold a prop Jeep. I ended up taking the photos with my nikon, but the little safari adventurers seemed to get a kick out of it. I’m ending the post with the hilarious reality of party-crash with my own kids. I realized after everyone left that I did not manage a photo of my kids together with the Jeep. We attempted to do this after guests were gone, presents opened, sugar crash hit. Enjoy!

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Bday girl wanted to hold the Jeep

 

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Guess who was holding it?

 

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Dad intervenes so “your mother can get a decent picture of you two”

 

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The picture every mom hopes for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Raving Lunatic

Published September 15, 2017 by sarcasmica

You know how they say you shouldnt go to bed angry?

They also say to sleep on it and not make a rash decision. It’ll all look better in the morning. 

This does not apply to social media. I’m fuming right now, but mostly at the power I have given Facebook to infuriate me. 

I’m speaking about the fucking community groups. That is the downfall of FB for me. You never know what morons reside in your community until you post something in a community group. It could be anything! There’s no formula! You know why? Because stupidity is random. It has no formula. You know what stupidity likes? Instant gratificashun. (See what i did there?)

What sets you off in an argument? For me it’s feeling dismissed based on an irrelevant fact or an untruth. Also, lack of insight. I work hard to try and see how others have to live. I try to appreciate things others may not experience. I dont want to judge because I dont want to have to endure your hardships to understand your plight. Everyone actually has their own path and if you disagree with a person’s life choice, you better be willing to walk on that path and take the same hits and bruises.

I hate self righteousness. No one knows what the fuck they are doing! You can have a plan and work hard to execute it, but you dont always have control! 

Today as the mob of parents stood at the bus stop, a teenager flew by on a dirt bike. The kid had no helmet, no license plate, no sense. We all looked at each other and just chuckled it off. Afterall, “teenagers”, am I right? 

The school bus makes it’s first stop down the road and kids exit. The motorcycle has reached the end of the adjoining street where the kids are now off the bus, and we hear him speeding back towards us. As the school bus is approaching our stop, the guy rounds the corner and starts to haul ass towards us and the braking bus. Myself and a dad step towards the biker and shout for him to slow down.

He rides past flipping us off, snickering, and mimicking slapping a horses rear as he flies back where he came from.

We all just looked at each other dumb-founded. The kids are now exiting the bus and we have no idea if he’s turning back around, so we hurry the kids across the road and onto the side walk. 

This was totally ridiculous and enfuriating and dangerous. 

Later I post on the neighborhood site regarding this, encouraging people to speak to this person if they know him, because it’s not safe to pull this crap in the middle of school bus drop off.

Enter town trolls.

This is where everyone wants to chime in and make their social statements based on a situation a-they did not witness and b-refuse to acknowledge. 

To their credit, the community began well intentioned and supportive, but there is a cap on that. Social media only allows a modicum of positivity. The rants soon began about teenagers being teenagers and uptight adults and the (sarcastic) horror of kids not staying indoors to play games and watch TV.

I eventually figured out I had the power to cancel comments. I also decided to not further jump down the rabbit hole. I left 2 community groups ans I feel better already. 

You can lead an idiot to logic, but you cant make him think. You know why? Because the idiots like to live in their own bubbles. 

I desperately want to be done with my rant. I do! Perhaps I will learn how to walk among the level-headed that roam the earth, away from Facebook. 

Rant complete. 

The Night Before

Published September 5, 2017 by sarcasmica

1st Day of school! 1st Day of School!!!

Y’all know i’m excited, right? Things around here have been quite busy and active the last few weeks. Between camping and back to school shopping, i’m just in survival mode. Today was supposed to be the epic last day of summer spectacular where we either lounge around the house all day playing video games and watching TV, or maybe take in a movie and gorge on popcorn and soda and all manner of Crap.

Neither happened.

I had scheduled an orthodontist appointment weeks ago assuming the kids would be back in school by now. Nope! So we got to spend our last day of summer running errands. Haircuts, orthodontist, backpack shopping, blah blah frickin blah.

Right now Washington state has declared a state of emergency for all of the fires currently burning. Our land is not amenable to late summer. The grass and trees demand regular sacrifices of rain in exchange for oxygen. This does not happen regularly in August (The ONLY month this does not regularly occur) so the land fights back in the form of fire, smoke and ash.

My son, who has long since been done with asthma, was coughing quite a bit this morning. I myself woke up with a face full of junk from sleeping with windows open all night.

The other kicker is that it’s been in the upper 80’s/low 90’s so the suckers who live here without air conditioning haven’t had a lot of choice but to open windows to cool off. This results in coughing, burning eyeballs, and all sorts of party behaviors.

So driving around with my anxious, agitated, coughing, bickering little heathens today was less than ideal.

I bought a giant bottle of spiced rum at target along with the backpack and notebook paper and I didn’t even feel guilty about it. My children were kind enough to maintain their bickering all throughout the line, so by the time we were done everyone wanted to share that bottle with me. Guilt alleviated.

After stifling my giddiness about the 1st day of school with irritation and annoyance at the bedtime antics, I finally dive into the gift bag of paperwork my daughter was sent home with at the meet the teacher night we had last week.

Guess what?! There was homework in there. Of COURSE there was! So now we get to start the school year off with, “Wake up! Hurry up and eat so you can do your homework.”

I also discovered the “What areas do you want us to work on with your child?” three page questionnaire.

I don’t think i’m gonna like this teacher much. … or maybe i’ll send her a nip of my spiced rum and she’ll cool her homework jets.

Happy 1st Day of School, moms !!!! We will never be so happy to wake up early to prepare food as we will be tomorrow.

The In Between

Published August 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

Here’s the thing. People sometimes suck. They might not mean to, but we all do it. Yes, dear reader, sometimes even I fail to follow my own life motto of “don’t judge” and invariably suck once in a great while.

Today was not that day, however. Today it was someone else.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time there was a boy. (Oh lawdy, is she really going to speak about her son AGAIN?! We get it lady! ADHD, yea yea yea, sensory crap, blah blah blah. We know already!)

This boy was given a fancy diagnosis, but just a little one. There were much bigger diagnoses that lived in the realm, but this particular boy just got a little smidge of a few different labels. Nothing life-defining or life-threatening. He was lucky in that he was able to frolic about the kingdom talking day and night about his ideas and thoughts and questions and theories.

Day and night and night and day he talked. The Queen tried to find a device to safely remove her ears periodically, but alas none was found.

This boy grew into a handsome young man who knew his own limits and boundaries. Knew them so well, in fact, he often would question and challenge the grown ups around him.

Some grown ups turned into trolls when the boy was nearby. The Queen cannot vanquish them all, so instead she passively aggressively writes tapestries about it.

The End.

My kid had an eye appointment today. Big deal, right? Totally. Except he’s not a typical kid…. or maybe he is, I have no idea. He’s my oldest so (spoiler alert) we don’t know what we’re doing with the first kid yet. Kid 1 is essentially training for Kid 2 and opens that cool judgement door for other parents once you get a little vomit and spit under your belt.

My kid has been himself for a while now… 11 years to be exact. We know him well, he knows himself really well. So well that he has no trouble questioning the professionals that are supposed to help him. Some of these professionals take their jobs so seriously, in fact, that they fail to see that sometimes helping kids with patience and imagination is far more effective than checking off the task list and clocking out.

I’m being vague. I’m sorry. It’s late and I want to sleep, but the scenario that played out today will not stop rotating in my brain.

We get to the appointment. The tech does the measurement tests and the puff test and the whatever else that single machine does test. My kid is fine. The tech is awesome. No issues. We get into the exam room and meet the optometrist and I simply tell her “Hello, just so you know he has some sensory issues and it’s especially tough with bright lights.”

I’m met with a now very common expression of “Uh huh, uh huh, of course”. I go on to qualify, “So he may just need a minute to let his eyes water and he’ll need to rub them a bit, but he will be fine.”

At this point I feel like some people take this as a challenge. It’s as if they think they have the key to “help” my kid be better adjusted. Maybe I read into it too much, but it happens quite often and it’s the visual equivalent of enclosing your fist and cracking your knuckles to ‘get down to business’.

“Move aside lady! I’m gonna make this pansy ass boy into a proper MAN!”
“Just leave him with me for a week and you’ll see how it’s done”
“Sink or swim, lady, that’s what my parents did!”
“Back in my day we just called it like we saw it. Kids these days just need a firm hand”

I’ve heard it all. Guess what? It’s worth about as much as a Donald Trump bumper sticker. Bupkiss. Zilch.

She goes on with her very firm and pushy exam. She does the old, “better 1 or better 2” lens selection process.

I don’t know about you, but for me I usually have to ask the optometrists to slow down so I can actually make an informed choice. I’ve worn glasses my entire life and this is always an issue.

Now take a kid who has auditory processing difficulty. The cynic in me knows exactly what the response to that phrase I just said is. It’s a snort and a “PUH-LEASE! That’s just a fancy way of saying your kid doesn’t listen! This is every kid. Get real lady!”

And you’re totally right. You are. He doesn’t listen because the 27 channels of his own intelligent thoughts that are all coming through at once don’t really want to stop long enough to pay attention to the pushy, grumpy, caffeine-deficient “professional” who is barking strange directions at him.

Auditory Processing is something most regular folk don’t have to think about. You hear something, you either understand it or you don’t, and you move along. Guess what? That’s not a function that everyone has, believe it or not. Some people hear something and then actually need to take moments, minutes even, to literally allow it to sink in. Once it sinks in that does not guarantee action. Then you have to find the correct response within your overworked brain to speak out loud.

As mundane and ridiculous and “millennial” as some may think this is, please get over yourself and understand that it is in fact reality for a lot of people and children.

So instead of saying something very simple like, oh i don’t know, “I’m switching between 2 options and you can tell me which is better, 1 or 2?” [pause pause pause]

What happened was he sat at the lens selector and when she began he said, “Whoa! What the heck?”

her: “It’s just a ___ machine, now tell me which is better, 1 or 2?Better1or2?2or1?”

Like any of that sentence on it’s own, outside of an optometrist’s office, is logical phrased conversation.

He managed the whole thing and does a good job. She didn’t do anything inappropriate or out of line. There’s nothing I can technically complain about. I did not stop her and let him hear me make an excuse for his slower response time to her berating mannerisms. Every time we encounter another adult I do not need to qualify his presence with an explanation that “Just so you know, he has ADHD, so some things may not go according to your plan.” Do I get a heads up when someone is an asshole? “Just so you know, before you speak with this teller you should know that she’s kind of a bitch and she hates Mondays. Good luck!”? No, I don’t. People don’t come with warnings and neither should my kid. Just don’t suck!

Much like it was her lesson today to have some patience, it unfortunately was his lesson that sometimes grown ups who have a title aren’t always going to be compassionate and kind. Why? Because people sometimes suck. We don’t always get to report them, or write them up, or give them yelp stars. We don’t always have to leave comments when we aren’t happy with something. You have to deal with the sucky people wherever you go and whomever you become.

I do not speak about my son’s challenges because I need to justify anything. I speak about it because it’s our reality. There are so many parents who have to deal with tough, hard, incredibly difficult circumstances. We don’t have that, thank heavens. We instead have a nebulous quasi special needs, but more accurately, special considerations. My kid does not have hard fast rules about his limitations.  It’s more about the limitations others have on what they will accept or belittle by way of pushing, criticizing, judging an 11 year old’s reaction to the world.

If your work day includes interactions with a kid who you perceive as “difficult”, maybe change your perspective a little and see if you can’t learn something new. I’ve made it day in and day out with him 11 years, I think you can handle 40 minutes.

 

(Imagine the video of an impatient optometrist and an uncomfortable and squirrely kid is here since I refuse to pay wordpress more $ so upgrade my account just to support one simple video clip)

Mom Brains

Published August 9, 2017 by sarcasmica

There are many terms to label a mom. There’s Granola Mom, Helicopter Mom, Tiger Mom. I’m starting a new label: August Mom.

I’m a stay at home mom and the summer does quite a number on our brains. In June we are still reveling in not having to make lunches and follow up on homework. In July we’ve hit a stride and almost a routine… almost. The zoo is still fun. Going to the movies is still a treat.

Around July 29th things start going pear shaped. You regret not sending them to camp or you regret using up all the camp time so early in the summer. The zoo is now just hot and expensive. The movies are crap and you will do anything to not hop them up on boxes and straws full of sugar.

Food in general takes on a confusing form. The once-stocked fruit bowl is just a display of soft warm fruit while the pantry is full of snacks that are boxed, and can be reached by children. Food that can be opened and closed by small hands.

My patience by August has been totally used up and rung out. Bedtime is both the promised land, and a mine field. It’s a treacherous dance of dangling over the edge of sanity while screaming the phrases, “BRUSH. YOUR. TEEEEETH!” and “PJs. NOW!”

Story time is mostly forgotten. It used to be chapters in fiction books without pictures. Now half the time they are allowed to give up story time if they want to watch an episode of Teen Titans. (have you seen this show? If you haven’t, it’s basically made for the parents who watch television with their kids. It is not a chore.)

Discipline: If you do something to piss me off, you will lose an entire day of games. It will happen usually around bedtime and be in effect for the following day. By 3pm the next day if you’ve not done anything too heinous like set your sister on fire, you will most likely get your game privileges back. It will be stealth, however, in the form of “Yes you may go to (so and so’s) house and that is the ONLY place you are allowed to play games.”

3 hours later he comes back happy, I’m happy, the neighbor’s kid is happy, it’s a win-win.

I may have big plans to make a pot roast for dinner. If by 2pm the temperature in our non-airconditioned house reaches anywhere above 83, I will be ordering pizza. Left overs take on a whole new life form. There are whole evenings set up like a fancy buffet, only it’s actually leftovers you pick from.

And any fun-loving, light-hearted wife bot I may have residing deep deeeeep down in my soul has been devoured by the irritated, always nagged and rapid-fire-questioned sweaty, un makeuped Momster that takes over in August.

I nearly de-spined my husband last weekend when, for the hundredth time, I was the one to get up and deal with the kids in the morning. (after early-rising grandma greets and manages them) I woke up and stood over his snoring body imagining all the words I could carve into him with dull crayons.

So yea… August mom. She tries, but she’s very comfortable with her boundaries and she understands once those perimeters are breached, there is no coming back. Everything is about convenience, ease, and cooperation. There is still a glimmer of hope in her eyes because the God-blessed promised land of September is at the end of the alcohol-lined, take-out littered tunnel. We know we can get there if they would just stop bickering and arguing!

Hang in there!!

28 days to go ….. Hmmm… methinks that is not a coincidence!

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Marriage

Published July 28, 2017 by sarcasmica

Here is the difference between dating and marriage.

When you cook for your boyfriend and he finds a hair in the food, he may be horrified or grossed out, but he hides it. He does not want to call attention to a potentially embarrassing situation.

When your husband finds a hair in the food it is held up, pointed out & identified right then and there…and then he finishes dinner.

Why? Because the next time she wants to bitch at him about something, this will not be on the list.

Brownie points were earned this day and it will be duly noted. It shall be etched on the wall beside the kids’ height measurements for all time!

#truestory #stirfrylocks

Muppet Musings

Published July 27, 2017 by sarcasmica

The Muppets.

What comes to mind? For me it’s fuzz – feelings inside and tactile – laughs, joy, and magic. My kids seem to also appreciate and love the genius ideas of the mastermind that is Jim Henson.

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When my daughter was about 2 years old we somehow stumbled upon Muppets Treasure Island. We watched that show every day for at least three months. And then it was regularly still for another six. I got her the stuffies – because it was around this time the reboot happened and Disney was all about marketing that stuff.

Anyway, as with most things, it ebbed after a while. The stuffies were brought out VERY reluctantly from a garage bin that had been collecting dust years later and we sold them at a garage sale.

Recently my kids have rejoined the Muppet Fan Club. My son is 11 and getting a better handle on humor and my daughter finds personalities and characters in boxes and socks, so she naturally gravitates towards talking, singing, dancing puppets.

I found out the local Pop Culture Museum here in Seattle (MoPop) has a Jim Henson exhibit! It’s called Imagination Unlimied. We went today and it was the best thing i’ve ever seen at a museum – Sorry La Brea Tar Pits.

I can’t explain why or how, but I always have an emotional reaction to images of Jim Henson… especially ones where he’s looking at Kermit.

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I’m sure I’m not different from millions of people all over the world, but I am not kidding when I tell you that I was on the verge of tears walking through this entire exhibit. Especially the Muppet Show portion and the Sesame Street portion. Tears.

Bert & Ernie

And Rubber Duckie!!

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Grover 🙂

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1-2-3 Ah Ah Ah!

I was surprised at how big the puppets are. I don’t know why, really, but I was not anticipating the girth and the size. I can’t imagine this was a very comfortable and ergonomic job!

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I hope they had a good chiropractor on set!

At the end of the Sesame Street portion, the kids got to make their own puppet. There was a video playing in the background of all the different characters this foundation puppet played. Recognize him?

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They also got to try their hands (wocka wocka!) at puppeteering on film

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They learned how hard it is to stay in frame and operate puppets simultaneously

Next we moved onto the Muppet Show/Movies portion. The fave. The reason we went.

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My son, who has seen all the movies and quite a lot of the Show, finally appreciated these two, where their names came from, and why it was all so dang clever. “Ooohhh, I get it, Honeydew!” (Dr. Bunson Honeydew & Beaker – who is shaped like a what?…)  🙂

Behind the cases of muppets is a wall of screens playing all of the muppet shows simultaneously.

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And my daughter learned all about how Muppet Babies began. (separate from these two cuties from Muppets Take Manhattan’s flashback nursery scene)

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We also got the answer to the question of “How did they do that?!” with Kermit on the bike. LOVE that scene!

When I was a little older than my daughter is now, my lunch box was Piggy on a motorcycle from The Great Muppet Caper. Low and behold, guess what we got to see today?!

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Did I mention how cool this exhibit was? … are you asleep yet, bored readers? Did I mention how much I love the muppets?

The exhibit went on to show puppets and facts and tidbits from the films The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Fraggle Rock. Admittedly, I have never seen Fraggle Rock or Labyrinth so I guess I can’t claim “Super Fan”. Oh well! The Dark Crystal puppets were also amazing.

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On my worst days, I relate to this character right down to the whiskery chin.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the behind-the-scenes photos and sketches. Stuff you would never see otherwise unless you have the patience to sit through all the extras on the Blu Rays. But this sketch below I love: “Beard (much preferred)” 😀 !

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And they made themselves into puppets because… why not?!

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Jim Henson & Frank Oz as puppets

If this comes to a museum near you and you are a fan, I highly recommend it. There are puppets and clips from shows and commercials from Henson’s early days. The kids and I totally enjoyed it and no one was bored at any point!

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