When I was in high school I had a poster on my closet door that listed suggestions for success by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., the guy who wrote Life’s Little Instruction Book. The first item on the list:
Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
I think this might be true.
No one makes me happier.
After six years of sock monkey making, my mom decided to try something new: a sock kitty.
That one – the first one – is Julia’s.
This one is Phoebe’s.
She named it Purple Cat and she loves it so much she even practices posing for her future all-girl punk rock band album cover with it.
Julia and Lucy were late to school for the first time this year, and not a little late – an hour late. It turns out the ignition isn’t the best place to leave your keys over the weekend if you don’t want your battery to be dead on Monday morning. Also, my dad can locate a battery and MacGuyver an extension cord into jumper cables in the amount of time it takes for AAA to answer a call for roadside assistance.
It was a ridiculous morning.
The kids and I had piled into the van to head to school ten minutes ahead of schedule! Then, it wouldn’t start. And I was unrealistically optimistic about my ability to fix it. I had planned to jump start it with the garden tractor battery, but the hood latch wouldn’t work. Still determined, I texted Dave at work and Googled and found myself under the van with a long screwdriver before I finally just called my dad for help because what the hell was I even doing? We were able to get the hood open together and track down the jumper cables, which were in my mother’s car, in another state. Also, the garden tractor battery was dead. So, I called AAA and dad went to “figure something out.”
I was on hold for twenty minutes. My dad got the van started in twenty two.
I told you I needed him.
There are tons of play dough recipes out there. This is the one I use:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 envelope of Kool-Aid or Jello
Add ingredients to a pot and stir constantly over medium heat until the dough forms a ball. Transfer and turn out dough on a floured surface and let cool.
Today, instead of Kool-Aid or Jello, we added food coloring (16 drops of neon green and 6 drops of neon pink) and some pumpkin pie spice to make Pumpkin Pie Play Dough.
We’ll use peppermint extract to make Candy Cane Play Dough in December.
I performed the Heimlich Maneuver today which is something I never thought I’d ever actually have to do to someone. My insides are still jumbly from the burst of adrenaline that came from, “Honey, are you okay? Julia, what’s wrong? Are you choking? DAVID, IS SHE CHOKING? DAVID SHE’S CHOKING!!!!” followed by abdominal thrusting, then hugging and crying. I’m still talking three times louder than normal because I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!
The thing about choking is a choking person cannot tell you they are choking. You may be thinking, “Well, duh,” but it’s sort of surprising how long it takes to fully realize that when it’s happening. Julia just kept pointing at her open mouth. Then her face went from red to blue so quickly. I sprang to action before I really even understood what I was doing and I guess I went a little far with the thrusting as Julia says that broccoli floret popped out with the first one and I went on for two or five more because it was hard to just stop SAVING HER LIFE.
She’s a little sore, but she says it was worth it to be alive. And she’s never eating broccoli again.
Yesterday wasn’t so good. I did a number of stupid things including, but not limited to, damaging my garage.
Also my van.
And my daughter’s heart. It was the wrong words, brusquely delivered. I just tossed them out carelessly, ignorant of their power. They weren’t meant to be hurtful, but they certainly weren’t thoughtful. And they crushed her. I saw my mistake immediately in the hurt look on her face and I tried to build her back up with more words, better words, but words had lost their meaning by then and just kept piling up on her. She carried them around all day and by bedtime, I felt certain she’d shrunk under their weight.
I was sorry and she knew it, but it was like putting a band aid on a cut that needs stitches. It’ll heal, but it’s going to take longer.
Today is better.
There’s a piece of property that’s for sale near our house.
The kids and I drive by now and then just to make sure it’s still available. I don’t know why. We could never afford it. Still, we drive by and dream that it’s ours.
In my dream, I’m much more athletic and I imagine running there. I tell myself that if we bought that property I’d start running. And then I think that if I started running, maybe I’d become the kind of person that could afford to buy that property.
I usually have an ice cream cone in my hand when I’m thinking all this.
1. It’s Raining Tacos by Parry Gripp
They pretty much love anything from Parry Gripp and I’m not even going to pretend I don’t. This is the current favorite.
2. What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis
The only thing we like better than going “Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!” is making it about our family. For example, What does the dad say? I don’t-I don’t-I don’t know! I don’t-I don’t-I don’t know! G-g-g-go ask your mom!
3. Cups We all LOVE Pitch Perfect and Anna Kendrick and also this cover.
Since Julia learned to do the cups thing she is always doing the cups thing.
Phoebe came into the kitchen and grabbed a cup yesterday and said, “I do cups, Mom.” Then she started slamming the cup on the floor and singing, “I DON’T CARE! I LOVE IT!” And that brings us to…
4. I Love It by Icona Pop
(This one has some “bad words” in it.)
This is Bee’s jam. Imagine her removing all the couch cushions and bouncing right on the springs and scream-singing this while wearing a unicorn costume top and no pants.
5. Don’t Mine At Night – A Minecraft Parody of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night
I’ve lost my kid to Minecraft. She’s gone. She thinks this is HILARIOUS.
Dave bought this monkey for Jack the day he was born.
It sat on a shelf above his bed during his stay in the NICU and has watched over him every night since.