I Probably Wouldn't Bother Putting An iPhone on Your Wish List

My children have reached the age where I am certain they simply cannot believe in Santa Claus anymore. Honestly, I don't really know how this works because I never believed in him. Incidentally, he never brought me a single fucking present, so either I was right, or what I keep telling my kids is right - the moment you stop believing in him, he stops believing in you.  

So my brother was asking me today if he could gift my kids a copy of Modern Warfare 3 for Christmas, and I was like, I think they have it already, and he was like...

So I checked. I needed to find out whether they'd be shooting the shit out of nazis or people. There is a difference. I hoped on Google and before I could even put the 3 in the search, the Great Eye of Mountain View popped this up:

Okay, it's weird enough that Google always always knows what I'm searching for, but now it knows who my best friend's husband is? Isn't the slightest bit odd that Google is like, "You know, there is really no better testmonial than that of a friend who's kitchen you sat in last weeked, talking about his trick finger *wink wink nudge nudge*" Does Google get a kick-back off all the XBox 360 rehab searches we parents are going to have to conduct over the next decade, or are they really just that into me?

Of course I'm obsessing about this because I'm 51% Pisces and 73% paranoid schizophrenic. I'm freaking out that Google has figured out who I know and it putting it together with what I'm interested in. Somehow, Google has figured out a way to see me when I'm sleeping, and knows when I'm awa.....HOLY SHIT GOOGLE IS SANTA CLAUS.

So I figure I better listen, since it's like five weeks from Christmas and Yes, Virginia! There really is a Santa Claus and HE HAS ARRANGED FOR YOUR FRIENDS TO MONITOR YOUR INTERNET SEARCH RESULTS. So I do what Google tells me to and ask Ron Mattocks.

Ron Mattocks tells me to raise my own damn kids. Figures.

NaBloPoOhBlowMe

I've been trying to get back into the swing of blogging by participating in Nablopomo this year (National Blog Posting Month) but seven days in, I've just failed miserably. I didn't post on Saturday because I simply ran out of things to say and I didn't post yesterday because I stayed up all night trying to figure out how, exactly, I broke the old feed to my wordpress site. 

Right now, there are a few thousand people who think I stopped blogging in May. I know, I know, lucky devils. Most people who have this feed probably think I stopped blogging, too, when in fact I haven't...I've just been doing it other places.

Like Babble, where there is a new post up today. 

And I think feeds are a dying art, anyway. I mean, you can't even share posts in the new Google Reader anymore and that function was the single best idea Google ever had, aside from self-diagnosing and that whole Total World Domination thing. So I guess I shouldn't care that my old feed dun broked; it's just that not being able to fix things frustrates me TO GAH*.

So I guess I'll just leave the subscribing to the Book of Faces and G+, which Oh! Opened up to brands yesterday! After they made me use my real name (ish) on the internet! Assholes! Which doesn't really matter since my big brother has made it his life's mission to show ever single person we've ever been related to my blog via the magic of Facebook. Facebook truly is the wasteland where all secrets go to die.

Either way, my new G+ page is right here. And here's a picture of what happens to my boobs around here when I'm not paying attention. Because shut up.

 

If you don't read Jett Superior or follow her on the twitters, you are missing out on both brilliance and free English lessons.

 

Vinegar Covers a Multitude of Sins

We bought our sons each a loft bed from Ikea a few years back that were exactly the kind of bed I wished I could have when I was a kid, sleeping on a box spring. (The boys got the mattresses. Stupid patriarchy.) They don't make them anymore so I can't show you a link, sufficed to say that they A) aren't terribly 'ikea' and B) are terribly awesome. 

They are also terribly tall and that wasn't really a problem for us until I went to change the sheets. I'm, like, a midget dwarf. Well, maybe not so short that I can pose for trophies or anything, but I think I'm under the legal height limit to be a flight attendant which sucks because I've got this Pan Am bag* and I'm totally ready to use it. I'm definitely short enough that I can't kiss my kids goodnight from their beds and I certainly can't change their sheets for them anymore. 

This means that washing their sheets is left up to them. It's perfectly fine, I think, to expect them to wash their own bedding. They are 11 and 13. By 11 and 13, I was washing my own laundry and that of four other people uphill both ways in the snow on a box spring. They are responsible for washing their own laundry as it is, and I just kind of assumed that they were pulling their sheets off the bed every once and a while and hosing them out.

This story ends exactly as you expect it to.

My oldest pulled his sheets off and threw them on top of the washer. I picked them up to throw them inside of the washer and came to several minutes later, beads of cold sweat pooling on the tile under my head. A glutton for punishment, I called for 2of3 to pull his sheets off, too. Over the railing he tossed, and I am not exaggerating: four pillows, two comforters, three flat sheets, a fitted sheet, two baby blankets and three decorative pillows. Baby girls' decorative pillows. 

I stood in the middle of a pile of linens which smelled like gym socks, Axe body spray and my dead grandchildren. I reached down to pick those up and I died.

Turns out, God will resurrect you on the spot if you die in the middle of doing disgusting laundry that hasn't been washed in what the 14C levels have dated back to possibly 2010. Stupid patriarchy.

There are some things my children can do, much to my dismay, as evidenced by the fumes coming off their bedsheets. There are few things, it turns out, that a little Downy and a lot of vinegar can't undo, as evidenced by new children's freshly-made beds and my current, absolutely blissful state of abject denial. 

*Just in case disclaimer: I got the bag for free from Sony at their premiere of Pan Am at BlogHer 2011. It was way fun and I totally had the hottest date in the room. Since I'm too short to get to use it to be an international spy or have international love affairs, I suppose I could be convinced to part ways with it. Leave a comment and tell me why you'd be great at super secret spydom or super secret booty and I'll draw a name for it. 

Forward

I have this friend who has something like 600 cousins, and not in the 'OH-EM-GEE he has like sixty-eleven hundred cousins, squee!' way, either. He actually has 600ish cousiny-relations who all live within a reasonable proximity to one another, but more significantly, they all know each other. They know which ones are lawyers and which ones are accountants and who is in construction and how many are pregnant and they never want for anything.

My friend has 600+ people who would, at a moment's notice, lend him their expertise, their support and their good lobster pot. There is a difference between expecting others to do things for you and simply knowing there are those out there who will, and I believe that difference is called Having a Village. 

I do not have 600 cousins. I have one living biological cousin and I haven't seen her since her sister died in 1996. I guarantee you I won't ever see her again, either. I have three, maybe four (I'm not entirely sure) step-cousins, but I don't know so much as their full names. I don't even know the full names of any of my grandparents save my father's father. 

What I do have is one big brother and the most amazingly magical motley assortment of people who I've picked up along the way, people I can turn to when I need it - no matter what it happens to be. I know which ones understand me when I'm breaking, and I know which ones are willing to play mom or sister, and I know which ones to call upon on a Thursday night when I'm trying to write the most important document of my life thus far. I know they will answer, and I know they will charge for the guns with me if I ask it of them.

It's not ever going to be the same as having a bona fide family; I'll always feel like I'm imposing, like I'm not showing enough gratitude, like I'm not giving enough back. I'll forever wonder why my Six Hundred doesn't ride back the way my parents, my church and every person I ever tried to love did, but it isn't mine to reason why, I guess.

It is mine to charge forward, wildy. It is mine to do and die. There is a difference between living up to someone else's expectations and simply wanting to become the person everyone who loves you believes you can be, and I believe that difference is called Being Part of a Village.

With ::knuckles of respect:: to Lord Tennyson for, like, all of it.

Fluflubees

"A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y!" she sang to me, pointing to the little sticky foam letters which will peel most, if not all, of the stain off the table when we finally get around to removing them. "Did you know Y can be a bowel, mom?"

Um, yes I do, actually?

"Oh, I mean vvvvvowel. It starts withhh a VEEE. Vowel."

Oh just knock it off with the growing, kid. 

One day they realize that if you're happy, and you know it, you aren't actually supposed to clap your feet, or that it isn't Chris-chris time, and the next day they're at school getting girlfriends or worrying that their period is going to start soon and you just sit there looking at them like, "How is it possible that you are able to eat food on your own again?" 

And then you take your daughter out to play after she's given you a grammar lesson and you both see it at the same time. A monarch fluflubee, flying just above and in front of her, and you stop to watch because there will never be anything more fantastic than a fluflubee. At that moment the wind picks up and the fluflubee is tossed around through the air, hurdled to earth and broken against the black concrete. 

Your daughter runs over, bends down, and picks up the creature. She's afraid at first, and so is it, but she is gentle and it is in need and you don't even notice when she she perfectly enunciates the desperation behind momma, the butterfly's wing is broken and the prayer inside of can we fix it, momma? because no matter what she says or how she says it, she is always going to be your baby and you are always going to be spellbound by her wide eyes and huge heart.