Archive for October, 2011

Trippy Stuff

October 4th, 2011 at 4:59 pm » Comments (4)


Let’s look at a few darker moments of our trip:


After our idyllic beach day, we ended up at a restaurant of Ethan-11yr’s choosing. BIG MISTAKE. Why pretend we are so cool that we let children choose such things? We’re not that cool. Maybe Mike is. But I’m not. Let’s never do that again. We ended up at T Rex Cafe. Also known as The Loudest Place on the Planet. There were moving animatronic dinosaurs and a woolly mammoth that flicked its eyeballs my way every 92 seconds or so in a highly unnerving manner. We were seated in a faux ice cave that changed colors a lot. Seth-5yr was scared. I was cold. I was not EVEN pretending to be functional or pleasant or even conscious. Sensory OVERLOAD. I had to close my eyes and shut out the insanity. So did my mother. And then she left early to escape the chaos of that place, and actually stopped managers on her way out in order to question if the conditions were in compliance with OSHA standards.

Ooooh, yes she did. But at least she did it when I wasn’t with her because that would have embarassed me SO much. She only embarrasses me now by accident, and i thoroughly appreciate that. Like at a flag football game when she turned to me and out of the TOTAL BLUE asks, “What does it mean to be JONESING for something? I mean, really. WHO ARE THE JONESES?”

Mother! Shhhh!”

It reminded me of that time in Sydney in…. 1994, when she turned to LaLa and me and said, “HEY LOOK! THAT PERSON HAS A WEDGIE!” and there was a guy on a bike with butt floss spandex apparel and we were all, “NoooooOOOOOoooo!” and then she was all, “What? OH! OHHHH! I thought that was just ‘our’ word. You mean other people use the word, ‘wedgie’ too?” Totally accidental embarrassing mom incident.)

Here’s her video of me being a Totally Lame Half Dead Mother, Wishing She Were Still At The Beach Instead Of At a Dinosaur Restaurant. I had NO idea that big skeleton was behind me until I saw this video. Am so observant.


Cockroach Story, The Second.

Featuring another odd video taken by my mother. Who is REALLY good at making weird short videos that have an unexpected, humorous viewpoint. This one is subtle, so I’ll spell it all out.

We’re at Disney. There’s a cockroach. Seth-5yr starts to squish it and I grab his arm and pull him away. Not because I care about the life of the cockroach (sorry, Kafka) but because I care about the guts of a cockroach on my child’s shoe.

Then we watch the cockroach. It starts to readjust its shell as if it might fly.

I tense. LEAN away just a bit. In case I need to run and take two small children with me.

Then I look to see if my mother has captured this cockroach drama on video.

I see that she is NOT recording the roach, but is making a short cinematography study into Female Body Language Around Cockroaches.

I do a doubletake. Or a triple take. And then object with lots of pointy fingers and frantic arm gestures when I realize she’s taping me instead and that’s the way a lot of her short weird videos end including this one.

(I really am that prissy. Sigh.)


By the end of this trip, Seth-5yr had HAD it. He was tired of walking. He wasn’t complaining. He wasn’t whining. He was just done, and if you looked closely it was easy to see that this good natured child was nearing his breaking point. On our last night we took a privately hired bus to see Nemo, The Musical and then when we returned it was pretty late. Seth-5yr and Caden-7yr were seated across the bus aisle from me. I shouldn’t have let them sit together. Really. I knew better. It was around 10 pm, and they were exhausted and hyper. At one point, Caden-7yr leans over into Seth-5yr’s face and does something really obnoxious. I saw it, but I still don’t know what it was. What I DO know is that Seth-5yr reacted by punching Caden-7yr square in the nose.

And that’s not a normal Seth-5yr reaction.

I don’t know who was more shocked.  But I think it was probably Seth-5yr.

He instantly grabbed Caden-7yr in a hug, pulled him close, burst into tears, and said “I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY, I’M SOOOOO SORRY!”

He was horrified at his behavior. Caden-7yr was stunned, but not really hurt. I asked Mike to separate them because i wasn’t actually sure I could do it with a straight face. (Awful as that is.)

I kinda wish I had that one on video.



those video things aren’t working, huh? that is SO obnoxious, to write  a post featuring clips that do not work and i have no idea how to fix that. SO sorry, y’all. Welcome to my total lack of technical expertise. Frustrating, right?


My mom thinks I portray her here as pithy and slightly unsupportive. We were sitting on a park bench awaiting Epcot to open so we could go to ‘France’ for breakfast when she said this.  I made her define pithy just to be sure we were on the same page, and then I failed to see how that was a negative. I think I portray her as the pithy, funny, wise, and thoroughly supportive individual mother she is, and anything less is just a reflection on my inability as a communicator.

(She’s really the best. And she’s probably wishing I hadn’t said all that, but let’s just call it even for that whole jonesing convo.)


Beach, Roaches, Questionably Helpful Travel Tips

October 3rd, 2011 at 2:47 pm » Comments (5)

We’re back from the Florida trip. I was so tired yesterday when we got home that I took a 3 hour nap and then brushed my teeth with a toothbrush whose bristles had been accidentally soaked in spilled Johnson and Johnson’s lavender night time baby bath soap. (Which? What? Did I buy that after seeing the adorable naked baby on the commercial get a bath and then GO RIGHT TO SLEEP, because there is no truth in that marketing, lemme tell ya.* You wash 3 crazy boys in purple baby soap – or anything else of any color – and it amps em right on up every time, and that was really optimistic of me to fall for that commercial. Cute baby butts get me every time. )

I was so tired I didn’t notice I had baby shampoo mouth going on. It made me want to throw up.*

If a company your husband does a lot of business with offers your family a mostly free trip to Disney, you’re obligated to gratefully accept and go and be blessed. Which we did. I was constantly flinching at the amount of money that must have been spent on the entire project, as no expense seemed to be spared.


My favorite day was not a Disney day.*  It was the day before, when we went early and spent the day at a beautiful, deserted beach. My mom and Seth-5yr were the most industrious shell collectors. Ethan-7yr built a ‘fish trap’ and actually caught something. (of course he did, brilliant boy.) And Caden-7yr and I had the most body surfing related wardrobe malfunctions and were glad the beach was mostly deserted. Of all the vacation photos, Mike probably took 75% of them on that one day, and they all seem to be bikini shots. Including one directly overhead, aerial view with a zoom that you really would think i’d have noticed, but I didn’t. I was too busy being completely relaxed, lying in the sand where the water just barely came in and swirled around me, leaving new shells to look at each time a wave went out. Heavenly, that day.

We stayed at a lovely place right on the beach and when I pulled back the covers to climb in bed, a small roach objected to the intrusion.* I screamed and jumped and Mike had a shoe off, killed it, and called for new sheets before I could catch my breath and silently talk myself down off the ‘leavingrightnow’ ledge. Which I did. VERY well.

Because later Caden-7yr and Seth-5yr were threatening to get all dramatic about not sleeping and I calmly outdramatized them until they had no other choice but to concede defeat.

“Do you think there are other roaches, Mom?” Said with quivering lips and fear in their eyes.

“OH YES. There are lots and lots more. That was just the smallest roach, probably. They will crawl all over us while we sleep. But we’ll live. I love you, goodnight.”

“But…? Mom! Ethan-11yr said that cockroaches can live for three days without their heads!”

“If Ethan-11yr said that, he was probably right. He knows these things. But roaches are disgusting with or without their heads. There might be decapitated ‘day 2′ roaches running all over us tonight beneath the blankets and dancing in our hair, but that’s all right. We’ll be okay. Goodnight.”

And they were so confused by my calm acceptance of our roach-y circumstances that they went to sleep. (Or they were just so tired that they couldn’t stay awake and argue more.)

That roach got us all a free breakfast, prompt bed re-making services, and a late check out time which was quite handy.


If you go, be REAL sure who in the family likes roller coasters and who does not. I always forget how much I love them. LOVE them. Preferably the ones in total darkness, and if they’re not that kind then I’ll just close my eyes. That way, you don’t get freaked out by the stuff you see, but you just get all the fun of the ups and downs and adrenaline. I also forget how much my kids really do not like roller coasters, and so found myself many times at the end of rides consoling distraught children and apologizing and saying, “I am SO sorry. I really thought you’d like that. I had no idea it was going to be so… um… yeah. I know I said that the last time. And the time before that. Um…. I’m sorry. Again. Here let me hold you while you cry. GOSH THAT WAS SO FUN. I mean, for me. Not for you. Obviously.”

I’m covered in roller coaster bruises. You probably get more of those if you insist on riding with your eyes closed.

What all of us agree on is the total and complete avoidance of People In Big Costumes. Also, princesses. And there’s a lot of those types at Disney. I have NO shame in outright RUNNING in order to flee their presence, and did so many times. Even if it meant leaving them with my mom to deal with. Or children. Whatever. I’ll take a dark scary roller coaster anytime, extra bruises, but please dear GOD don’t let a Donald Duck get within twenty feet of me, he creeps me out, put on some pants, man.

We stayed at the Disney Beach and Yacht Club, which made me quite glad we were not paying the bill. Gorgeous. No roaches. The hallways are endless and, for reasons we never understood, are refrigerated to a cool 55 degrees.* I shared a bed with Seth-5yr, who has recently begun grinding his teeth. And sneezing. On me. In another bed, Mike had Caden-7yr, and he would sit up and loudly talk in his sleep. Ethan-11yr and my mom slept peacefully and in well behaved ways that did not wake others and should be thus commended.

If you go, by all means go to Africa on your Animal Kingdom day. But if you join in the African dancing (because they pluck you out of the audience just like in your worst nightmares), then go and have fun. Just be sure that when you’re shaking your butt and learning the dances that your mother is not DIRECTLY behind you videotaping every move of your hips and alternating the camera back to the shocked expressions on your children’s faces. The video ends with all of the women doing a slow, butt shaking turn in a circle move and I get halfway through it and then see my mother and her iphone at waist level and then I freak out and I think there’s a “MOTHER!” and some frantic hand blocking movements and then it’s over.

And by ‘over’ I just mean the video. Because HOURS later Caden-7yr will periodically squint at me and say, “I canNOT believe you know how to dance like that.” With great restraint, i do not tell him that ‘what happens at Disney, STAYS at Disney’ because i really don’t want him repeating that, and also, um, there’s a video, thanks mom, so it really doesn’t make sense anyway.

There’s more. But this post is already too long.

And too bad, because I had another Disney cockroach story!* And that one even has a video from my mom.

If you could take anyone with you to Disney, I do recommend my mom. She and I rode something and she insisted we choose French as our preferred language so I have no idea what it was about – but we had fun. And she will reluctantly but competently intercept and divert any wayward princesses or costumed folk you may be trying to avoid. And when you’re SO OVER IT ALL, like Seth-5yr on the last day we were there, she will rescue you and take you back to the hotel for a much needed nap.


*More proof I’m awful at ‘product reviews’ and companies should never EVER ask me to write them. But they do. Clearly they’ve never read anything I’ve ever written.