The story of how the movie Zathura won’t be watched at our house for a few days

The wee one just came up to me, grinned and said, "Get me a juicebox, dee-otch."

"Excuse me?" I said, eyes narrowing.

He laughed merrily. "Get me a juicebox, dee-otch!"

Oh no he di’int.

"Where did you hear that?" I demanded, struggling against my instinct to correct his pronunciation.

"In the movie with the robot."

I briefly debate blowing it off and telling him it’s "Please get me a juicebox, dee-otch." But then I worry he may say this to someone else one day and they won’t think it’s as funny as I do.

So the movie with the robot goes on the shelf for a while.

I know, I know. That’s a real dee-otchy thing to do. Alas.

home alone

I’m scared of my house
but I’m not scared of my kids
so at least there’s that

For the first time in something like 19 days, I’m home alone with the kiddos. First we were at my sister’s, then at my parents, and then my in-laws picked us up from the airport and drove home with us, then my husband was home sick, and now… now it’s just the three of us. And the Roomba, who is working it’s mighty robotic butt off.

I’ve pretty much decided to never enter the Bathroom of Doom ever again. This, however, poses a problem when it comes to cleaning. So I’m going to pay someone to clean my house. My in-laws actually did a terrific job cleaning the bathroom and our kitchen and our fridge, but I’m a worst-case-scenario-not-very-thorough-cleaner who is trying to tamp down my OCD tendencies. At least that’s my excuse for not wanting to get in the bathroom and give it one last wipedown. If I go in there, I will spend hours not doing a very good job. Then I will catch the barf/poo tango and bad things will happen. So I’ve left messages with people all across town to see if someone will dare come out here and give my house a good hospital-quality scrub.

Until then, the Roomba is working overtime, and I’m flying through cans of Lysol and that Clorox bleach spray that’s supposedly safe for everything. And all the windows are open even though it’s 54 degrees outside.

Have I mentioned how glad I am that Christmas is over?

I got a telescope, you know. But I haven’t had time to play with it. It’s an Orion SkyQuest Intelliscope. I don’t really know what that means because I still need to read the manual. But it’s almost as tall as I am. It effing rocks. I think I can even see germs with it. Har.

It’s a bad, bad scene

Christmas puke-a-thon
didn’t ask Santa for this
oh my god it sucks

Picture this, if you dare:

3:00AM Christmas morning: I wake up freeeeeeezing and then wet and warm. WTF? The heater is out. And the wee-er one has peed on me. The events are not related, but ominous.

4:30AM: I notice a light on in the living room. Then my brother-in-law knocks on my bedroom door and informs me that my sister is puking her guts out, as is he.

6:30AM: My husband goes into the master bathroom and never really comes out. He’s sick, too.

7:00AM: I decide I’m not feeling quite right, so before the puking begins, I WAKE UP the wee one so I can selfishly see him enjoy his Santa gifts before I start puking.

8:00AM: We call my sister-in-law to tell her and her husband and my mother-in-law and father-in-law (who had previously been puking over at my house at about 4:00AM on Saturday) not to come over right away. My sister-in-law informs us that my brother-in-law woke up at 12:30AM, fainted in the bathroom, and whacked his head and nose pretty badly on the wall (or some other hard object). They opt to stay home for awhile.

9:00AM: I am feeling worse, so I call and beg for my in-laws to come on over and help me, as my husband has gone back to bed and I’m feeling funky.

9:15AM: My sister and her husband decide that driving while puking is a better option than staying at my diseased abode, so they leave to make the 3-hour drive home. They take their presents, unwrapped, with them. My sister says they will not be coming back. Ever. I so don’t blame her.

9:30AM: It’s 55 degrees in my bedroom because the heat is officially out. These are like the only two days it’s been cold out here in weeks.

10:00AM: I take a shower and cry.

11:30AM: Everyone shows up in their varying stages of pain and sickness.

Noon: We alternate between bathroom trips and unwrapping presents.

Thank the little baby Jesus, the wee one and the wee-er one seem to be OK for now. Please, please, please have them stay healthy. We’ve got a fucking cruise ship/nursing home/virulent beastie taking us all down one by one. Either that or someone poisoned the Christmas cookies. Stupid noroviruses and cookie poisoners and broken heaters. You can all kiss my shivering, plague-infested butt.

And I was really excited for Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!

Santa’s on his way
it finally got cold, though
so he should watch butt

Fireplace has a fire! Tree’s lights are on! Turkey is being prepared! Poop is cleaned out of excersaucer! Yay Christmas!

I hope you and yours have a great holiday. Here’s to world peace, lots of chocolate, and no holiday vomiting.

Santa

They’re heeeeee-uuuurrrr

christmas upon us
at least shipping deadlines are
ho-ho-ing to sto

So the holidays are upon us. I know you’re thinking, Duh, Kari, the holidays have been upon us for weeks now. Well, I know they’re almost here for reals, because I’m heading out to do my last minute shopping.

But, Kari, you’re thinking. I thought you did all of your shopping online this year? I thought you said you’re done. Well, my observant friend, I DID say that. And then I got the dreaded "your items will not arrive until January 24th" email. Now, I’m sure that January 24th will be a very nice day, but it’s not Christmas Day, and so I’m s.o.l.  Plus, I did an inventory of all the things I bought and well, I forgot some things. That and Santa and I had a few miscues and woefully undershopped for stocking stuffers. (Lone tic-tacs, anyone?). So I’m off to the crazy madhouse stores I swore to avoid. But it will be fun because I’m going to go whole hog consumerist (as if I hadn’t already) and I’m going to get my favorite – gingerbread flavored steamed milk from Starbuck’s.

The wee one is going to stay at home with his grandparents and regale them with Jesus is the Reason for the Season stories that he’s learned at his (very affordable, but WAY more religious than we thought) pre-school. He’s already told them that the red part on candy canes symbolizes Jesus’ blood (whuh? I thought it symbolized red dye number 5.)

So that will be fun for everyone!

Home!

sitting at table
in my own dirty kitchen
it’s nice to be home

I don’t have a lot of time to blog right now because I have to unpack and if I don’t do it right this very second everything will just sit in the suitcases for weeks and weeks until we wear all of our vacation clothes and I finally have to do laundry.
Must.
Unpack.
Now.
Plus, my mother-in-law is cleaning the wee one’s room right now and I feel guilty sitting here on the computer.

Vacation highlights for you:

Me, sick, on the couch.
Me, coughing, on the couch.
Me, blowing my nose, on the couch.
The wee one, nose running like crazy while his legs were running like crazy, refusing to rest on the couch.
The wee-er one, running nose, on the couch.
Me, eating Ludins cherry throat drops, on the couch.
My dad, running to the store for SudaCare menthol-y plug-in thingamajiggers.
My mom, fretting over the poor sick kiddos (and me).
Many, many relations all contaminated with the Texas Plague, sure to be sick exactly on Christmas Day.
Me, hacking my brains out, on the airplane.
The wee one, making friends with a soldier, on the airplane.
The wee-er one, behaving quite nicely despite having a cold, on the airplane.
Us, home, exhausted, happy, and sad we didn’t get to spend more time OFF of the couch while we were on our trip. But it was great fun. It’s always nice to see trees and red dirt and people who look like me, but aren’t me, and who can tell great stories and feed me chocolate and ham and pinto beans, and hold my baby when she’s crying, and entertain the wee one, and allow me to go to the bathroom – all alone – for a whole week.

Shew. It’s good to be home. But sad to say to say good-bye.

If wishes and buts were candy and nuts none of us would starve to death on an airplane

grape bubbliscious
not same as silly putty
when stuck to window

Well, we survived our harrowing travel. The flight was only an hour and a half, so some gentle greater being gave us a helluva tailwind. Our only travel issues were of the predictable kind… getting through security, not having enough to eat on the plane, and trying to fit a mommy, a baby, and a squirmy four-year-old into the lavatory (even though express threats were made at the airport about not using the potty on the plane).

I think security would have been less a pain in my ass if anyone had bothered to offer some help. As it was, we were lucky there weren’t very many people in line because otherwise we would have been trampled while I struggled to hold the baby, break down the stroller, and keep sight of the wee one.

The TSA agents were less than helpful about the rules, too, which was infuriating.
I mean, don’t they know that it would save EVERYONE time if the explained things all at once instead of incrementally?

Example: the wee one walks through the metal detector. Then "Ma’am, he has to take off his shoes." So we take off his shoes and he walks through it again. "Ma’am, he has to take off his jacket." OK, thanks for telling me AFTER he walked through the only thing in the world that actually scares him. Then it was my turn. "Ma’am, you have to take the baby out of the stroller." OK. I walk through the detector again. "Ma’am you have to put the whole thing through the X-ray." So I say, "The whole what thing?" And never once does she say stroller. I just intuit that’s what she means. Meanwhile, the wee one is through the detector, nervously taking everything off the conveyor belt and making a giant pile right in everyone’s walkway.

Then the lady behind me tries to slip her stuff ahead of me while I’m holding a baby, taking a carseat off of a stroller, and breaking down a stroller, one-handed. I was not sorry to put the stroller on top of her box o’ belongings and give her an ugly look. Not once did anyone ask if they could help with the stroller. Oh well. I guess that’s my just desserts for not traveling a lot, and not knowing what’s what about shoes and jackets and stuff. But last year when we flew we didn’t have to take off our shoes even though the sign said we did. Much like a toddler, all I need is a little consistency and I can follow the rules just fine.

Once on the plane we were cool, other than the wee one sticking his gum on the window and having to go potty and not wanting to watch the new DVD player. He was happy to ask a trillion questions and I didn’t mind answering them.

The wee-er one, despite her stuffy nose, never cried at all, and slept part of the way. Huzzah! Huzzah! Then my dad was able to get security to allow him to meet us at the gate in Atlanta – so that was wonderful, too.

So we’re here and happy and eager to play with all of our relations and eat junk and not take any naps and tell stories about how loud and tiny airplane potties are.

Yay vacation!

16 hours

vacation begins
not with a bang but whimper
and big snot bubble

Why is 16 hours relevant to my vacation?

1) You can’t leave your Sudacare plug-in plugged in for longer than 16 hours at a time otherwise it will melt and threaten to burn down your sister’s house. However, when you unplug it, your tiny girl child will bellow her congested head off until it cools down and you plug it in again (the sudacare plug-in, not her head).

2) It takes 16 hours (!) to charge the 3-hour additional battery I bought for the portable DVD player we just purchased from the loverly Target. This is to cover my ass in case of flight delays, a desire to watch the bonus materials from Monsters, Inc., or to kill time when my sister brings us to the airport 16 hours before our flight is due to take off because she wants her house back (I don’t blame her one bit).

3) 16 hours is how long it took for me to pry the band-aid off the wee one’s finger to see if it actually blistered from him touching a light bulb (it did).

4) 16 hours is how long I have griped because eight fancy blister band-aids cost the same as a new H3.

So, yes, we haven’t even actually gotten on the airplane for our trip yet and I’ve already had to call the pediatrician twice because of the wee-er one’s cold and subsequent pack-a-day cough. That combined with the wee one’s light bulb-induced blistered finger lead me to believe this is going to be a trip for the record books. I’d keep close tabs on this blog if I were you. When they turn the events of 12/12-12/19 into a Lifetime made-for-TV movie starring Parker Posey (as me) and Daniel Cook (as the wee one) and Suri Cruise (as the wee-er one – but she won’t be able to wear her baby toupee so you might not recognoze her), you’ll want to be able to tell people you were there when the initial… excitement… occurred.

Yee haw. Our flight is tomorrow morning. Keep your eyes on the sky.

All torn up

This James Kim thing is hitting us hard over here. I know that everyone sees it as a horrible tragedy, but I think here in Austin it’s especially wrenching.

James Kim was every man I know. His family is my family. It resonates so disturbingly close to us that my husband can’t even really talk about what happened. I mean, to guess that they were in traffic, coming home from Thanksgiving, and that maybe they consulted their Treo to find an alternate route home… we did that, too. Only we’re lucky enough to live in a warm, flat state where we can see the horizon for miles.

When you see someone who is basically your own age, who works in a similar field as you do, who has kids nearly the same age, and who becomes a superhero to save them, you expect that person to succeed as the invulnerable superhero, because that person is you.

You are invincible, impenetrable. Your family is the only family in the world – the reason you live, breathe, laugh and love. Of course you would do everything to save them. Of course you would use your ingenuity to keep them safe and alive. Of course you would sacrifice yourself for them. But in this world – in these times – when is that necessary? You know you would do it, but you’re (hopefully) never faced with a situation when you have to test that faith. And then you see someone who has to face a horrifying decision – and you see yourself in him.

I have always felt perfectly, overly confidant in the safety of my family, because I married a superman like James Kim. If bad guys ever tried to infiltrate our life, I’ve always known my husband would prevail. I’ve always said that if we got trapped in an overturned sinking ocean liner (a la the Poseidon Adventure), or if we got lost while camping, or if aliens tried to take over the world, my husband would keep us safe. His level head, his brilliance, his second sense of what’s safe and healthy and right and good would keep us all OK.

So seeing Mother Nature win the fight with James is devastating. And scary. And so close to my heart that if I think of it long enough, I can hear the discussions he and his wife must have had. I can feel their rising desperation. I can sense their struggle to stay calm and be smart and keep their children warm and fed.

I know there’s nothing I can do or say to the Kim family. They don’t know me and I know they’re being taken care of. But I want to reach out. I want to say "You are me. Let me help you. Let me mourn with you. What can I do? What can I say?"

It’s just too wrenching. And tragic. And way too close.

Dear Santa,

presents are for fun
even when you’re a grown-up
at least they should be

OK, well, I think I’m done Christmas shopping. Everyone has something under the tree, Santa has been thoroughly notified of the shiny new things he can drop down the chimney, and now it’s time for Mama to mull some things over.

I keep getting the "what do you want for Christmas" question from folks and I reply with the standard world peace, chocolate covered cherries and a good night’s sleep.

What should I ask for?

New pots and pans so that I can stop slowly killing everyone with teflon-flaking-off pans. A new quilt for the bed that isn’t covered with dog hair funk and various baby slime. Socks that are non-slip so that my pelvis can heal for real instead of almost healing and then cracking in two every time I slip on the floor. Also, I should ask for a closet organizer, a new wallet, and a once a week housecleaning service.

But I haven’t asked for any of those things. Why? Because they’re useful, practical, and boooooring.

You know what I HAVE asked for?

A telescope. A glorious telescope of obscene expense and no practical value other than allowing me and mine to view the rings of Saturn. Oh, and a moleskine notebook to aid my fragile memory. And a stupid looking winter hat.

Those last two are practical, though, right? Dammit. Now they’re off the list. I could ask for a bike, though. That would be practical and fun. But I need those non-slip socks first.

Wait.

Can Santa bring me a new pubic bone? That would be awesome (though practical. alas).