From The Dictator's mouth

This is a direct quote from The Dictator earlier this evening:

"It doesn't look like a lot in the toilet, but it would in the bed."

And that was only one sentence of the conversation...just imagine the possibilities.

Skinny jeans and menstruation

Sorry to offend all your delicate little ears out there, but PPT is becoming a bitch.

He's 10 1/2. He likes sports, money, the military, girls (kill me), and singing in a pitch so shrill and loud that stray dogs come running. Your typical boy, right?

Wrong. My son woke up about a month ago, and I realized HE IS TOTALLY BECOMING A GIRL. In fact, I expect he'll start menstruating any day now.

It all started with skinny jeans.

PPT: Mom, when can I get skinny jeans?

M: Did you just use the words skinny and jeans together? You're so not my kid.

PPT: You know, like all the cool skater kids wear? Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease-

M: For the love of God, I'll buy you anything if you cease that horrid sound.

PPT: (Dancing around the room) I get skinny jeans, I get skinny jeans!

M: Go take a shower. And get that ginormous booger hanging out of your nose, or I'll do it for you.

PPT: Mom, gross!

M: I pushed that giant head of yours out, I can pick your nose. Now go! (Note: the giant head comment is one I use at least twice a week. It makes him shiver every time.)

Now, let me explain something to those of you who may not know what PPT looks like...he's about 4 feet tall and all of 59 pounds soaking wet. In fifth grade. Skinny jeans, it turns out, aren't skinny on him...they're just jeans that fit.

And his newfound interest in fashion and picking his own style is new to me. Honestly, he's never cared what he wore or how he fact, up until about a month ago, I was still picking his clothes out for him. (I have good taste, shut up.)

So I got him his damn skinny jeans. And they're skinny. Like S-K-I-N-N-Y. They're so skinny that when I put my arm in them to turn them right side out after drying, it usually gets stuck. I'm fat, but I'm not that fat...these bastards are just tight. How do his balls breathe? Your guess is as good as mine.

Last week, PPT spent a good 7 minutes in the bathroom doing his hair. Again, if you don't know what PPT looks like, here's a visual aid:

(That's him, on the left. On the right is The Dictator, who looks so sweet and pure you'd never guess a demon spawn lives inside him.)

If you look at the photo closely, you'll notice one tiny detail that makes it difficult to figure out why he spent 7 minutes perfecting his coif...HE DOESN'T HAVE HAIR.

What does a 10-year old boy do in the bathroom for 7 minutes with hair gel and no hair? Wait, never mind. That mental image is going to burn a hole in my brain.


So I went to Weight Watchers. And I'm fat, but you all knew that already.

But...I'm fatter than two weeks ago. I've gained two pounds.


Note to self: you can't eat Red Robin, Claim Jumper, BJ's (that restaurant's name is endlessly entertaining to my husband), Zito's, McDonalds, Golden Spoon and three boxes of Trix cereal and not gain weight.

*Sigh again*

Well, shit.

Back to oatmeal and Nature Valley bars.

But here's a fun story:

There's a couple in my meeting, and they're just about the cutest, most perfectly loving couple I've ever seen. They bike together, and cook together, and walk together, and take craps together and who knows what else, but dammit, if they aren't just blissfully happy with each other.

So Perfect Guy & Perfect Girl are talking to our WW leader today, because of course he's lost 104 pounds in six weeks, and she's just 'maintaining' because she's all of 5'2" and 98 pounds, and the leader asks them how their kids are dealing with having to eat better. And Perfect Girl answers, and I shit you not:

"Well, what I do is, I put a plate of raw veggies on the table, because they're usually starving by the time they get home, so they can just grab them and snack. Then, I refill the plate for dinner, and we put it out with some dips, and they just snack on raw veggies most of the time."

*Blink, blink*

WHAT? Well, how freaking Martha Stewart are you, Perfect Girl? You put a tray of vegetables out for your kids when they come home? You're actually home when your kids come home? And you don't just hand them the whole bag of Sun Chips and tell them to go to town? I suppose next you're going to tell me that they actually drink water too, aren't you? Liar.

The Perfect Couple needs to die.

I'm going to find some cinnamon rolls.

Score another one for The Dictator

Tonight, after flipping through photos of the kids from years ago:

M: Hubs, look at these. PPT was so young, and life seemed simpler then. We had less money and less stuff, but we didn't care.

H: (on some sort of Jeep forum online, nodding to placate me) Mmm-hmm.

M: You know who I feel sorry for? The Dictator. He's dragged to PPT's sporting events, we don't hang out with him as much as we used to hang out with PPT and we never seem to have enough time for him .

H: Mmm-hmm (eyes on screen).

M: You're not even listening to me. Are you listening to me?

H: Mmm-hmm (clicking the mouse furiously).

M: I just feel bad for him. He's being raised by totally different parents than PPT was. Poor kid...being the second child is sucky.

D: (skipping in the room) Yeah, you guys should raise me better, huh?

God bless The Dictator. His timing is impeccable.

Dear Planned Parenthood Protestors

*Just a warning: this is not a light and fluffy story. I'm pissed right now, writing this, and it comes off in my post. It was all I could do just to keep some F-bombs out of this letter, so if you want light and fluffy, skip down to the next post.

Dear Planned Parenthood Protestors,

For the record, you jackasses really piss me off.

I'm not a fan of abortion. I don't necessarily think anyone has a right to tell someone what they can or can't do with their body...but I do believe abortion is murder, and it's not something I would ever choose. I got pregnant with PPT two months after my 20th birthday. I was still living at home with my parents, had no car and worked at Robinsons-May, but he's alive and kicking today because abortion wasn't an option. And because I didn't believe in abortion, I was given a gorgeous, fat, healthy baby who saved me from the path I was heading into and gave me a reason to live.

So I'm not a fan of abortion, and it's not something I could ever do.

Having said that...we live right down the street from a Planned Parenthood. During the weekdays, it's pretty mellow...nobody protesting on the curb, nobody screaming and yelling. On the weekends however, the place comes alive with folks marching up and down the street, chanting and holding up giant 60" posters of dead babies. And not just babies, but baby parts and baby blood, and signs reading, "You'll burn in Hell".

I get your point, and I know what you're trying to do. But because of you, I have to attempt to make up an explanation of what those photos are to my 4-year old son. My 4-year old.

Because of you, I have to skirt around your reason for picketing in front of the brick building on Tustin Avenue, so that my 10-year old doesn't find out that people kill babies just because they don't want them.

Because of you, I have to cover my babies' eyes at the stoplight...those babies that I kept, I love, and I cherish...those babies that weren't aborted.

Because of you, and your cause to keep all children safe and innocent, my children risk losing their innocence. Because of you.

Your message is valid, and surprisingly it's one I agree with, to a certain extent. I may even have been one of your supporters, if you hadn't shoved your violent propoganda down mine, and my babies', throats. Sadly, your belief in your message has been overshadowed by your apparent need to resort to shock tactics and bullying.

Please remember why you ended up on the curb on Tustin Avenue to begin with. To save and protect children. Aren't my children (and their innocence) worth saving and protecting?


Friday's Foto

Alright, whatever, it's technically Saturday morning, but cut me some slack. I was blog stalking for what I thought was only a few minutes...but really turned out to be three hours. Silly me! I'm pretty sure the little people I cohabitate with are in bed? Maybe?

I DO NOT know these men. But I DO love them. And I don't know why this picture was taken, nor do I want to. I'm content to let my mind jump to its own conclusions, thank you very much.

Happy weekend!

Betrayed by The Guy That's Snoring on the Couch

I got a call at work today from PPT & The Guy That's Snoring on the Couch, and it went something like this:

M: Really Big Insurance Company, this is Shannon.

PPT: Hi mom, it's me.

M: Hi lovebug. What's up?

PPT: I know you're probably going to kill me, so I don't even know why I'm asking...but-can-I-please-get-a-$16-Airsoft-gun-and-I'll-work-for-16-straight-days-to-earn-it? (said in one breath).

M: What? A BB gun? No. (Note: this is about the 397th time he's asked for one, and every single time, we say no. Notice I said we say no...we, as in myself and the other parental figure.)

PPT: Please mom, I really want it and...

M: Who do you want to shoot?

PPT: Nobody, I don't even want the BBs, I just want the gun, I promise!

M: You don't want the BBs? What are you going to do, stare at the gun lovingly?

PPT: No, I just really want the gun and...

M: Please put the human who's supposed to be the adult on the phone.

(Lots of snickering and shuffling noises)

TGTSOTC:'d it go?

M: I hate you.

TGTSOTC: (giggles like a little school girl)

Bastard. Start sleeping with one eye open.


The conversation between Babe, The Dictator and I after The Dictator's soccer practice:

D: Mom, can I play the computer?

M: Why don't you want to play Wii?

B: (Shouting from the next room) He doesn't get to play Wii for two days.

M: Why?

B: Because he told Garrett at practice today that he was going to kill him.


Therapy is going to be expensive.

Moths & crickets suck ass

I'd just like to say for the record that moths and crickets suck ass. They suck major, big, hairy ass.

I'm not a huge insect fan, and I can honestly say that I don't know many women who are. Most are afraid of the usual suspects- cockroaches, spiders, roly polies...okay, maybe not that last one, because they're pretty damn cute, and besides, they can fold themselves into a freaking cool is that? If I could accomplish that, I'd never leave the house.

But the cockroaches and spiders are big on the ick factor for most folks.

Now, don't get me wrong...I certainly don't love either of those creepy crawlies. But if I had to pick, I'd take a spider over a cockroach any day. Cockroaches have exoskeletons, which make them crunchy- and that makes me want to yak. Spiders do their own thing, and have you read Charlotte's Web? You just can't hate on spiders if you've read that book. The last thing that painted cockroaches in a favorable light was Joe's Apartment...and that ain't saying much.

Anywho, as much as I don't dig cockroaches, there are two heathens in the insect world that really chap my ass- moths and crickets.

Moths- my most despised adversary. Most critters really are more afraid of you than you are of them...I think they sense that we're about, oh, 965 times their size and keep their distance. But oh no, not moths. They fly all up in your business, dive bombing you as they flap their dirty, hairy wings half an inch from your ear. You try to run from them (well, I do), they chase you. You try to smash them, they hide behind a light fixture until you feel safe enough to venture back in the room...then they attack you.

Ugh. Just thinking about those fuzzy little antichrists makes me want to vomit. And don't even get me started on butterflies. Glorified moths.

And crickets? First of all, their antennae are way too long for their bodies. And they, like moths, don't seem to understand the concept of 'personal space'. They'll actually hop towards you as you're trying to smash them. They're big and brown and they make that God-awful chirpy noise...and somehow, those little ninjas find a way in to my house when all doors and windows are locked tight. Luckily, I don't usually know they're cohabitating with me...until 3:00 a.m., when they start chatting. Or when I vacuum one up.

Luckily, Bad Dog loves to eat bugs. She's good for something, you know.

So there you have it. Cockroaches and spiders suck, yes, but at least they have the decency to run away when a size 9 Rocket Dog is coming at them. Moths and crickets not so much...because moths and crickets just suck ass.

Next week's topic: junebugs. Flying cockroaches. Insects should not thump when they land.

To keep or not to keep

I water my plants at night. Late night. Like, 11:00 p.m. night. Why? Because I'm not a morning person, I work full time and if I could figure out any other way for those damn plants to water themselves, I would have by now. Those shrubbery ingrates just keep taking, and they're not giving a whole hell of a lot back.

Let's go off on a tangent together before we get to the matter at hand. My plants and I have been in a friendship timeout for about 10 months now. They're not fond of me, I'm not fond of them, and we both know it. I water them, they die. I don't water them, they die. I put them in the sun, they die. I put them in the shade, they die. I walk by them, they hiss.

OK, not really, but they might as well. A green thumb I have not.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming:

A couple of nights ago, I was watering the poor excuses for exterior home decor, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a glimmer. It looked like this:

(Don't even get me started on the amazon grass growing in front of PPT's window.)

See the pretty shiny thing to the right? That's my discovery! What was said glimmer, you ask? A treasure, perhaps? A 54-carat diamond? Nay, friendly folks, nay.

IT WAS A SHOPPING CART. In my front yard.

For days now, I've been facing a moral dilemma: to keep or not to keep. Yes, it screams of trailer parks and Bud Light, but think of all the things my family could do with our very own shopping cart. PPT could put The Dictator in there and crash him into walls. I could use it as toy storage in a bedroom. I could walk into Walmart, and when the nice 102-year old man working the front door asks me if I need a cart, I could say all smarmy-like, "No thank you. I BROUGHT MY OWN."

I'm just saying- the possibilities are endless.

Things I can't explain

I am a walking contradiction. Here's why:

- I never wanted children yet can't imagine who or where I'd be without them.

- I love alternative rock but will argue for hours that the best song ever performed is "American Pie" by Don McLean.

- I'm not religious, although I do believe in God, yet I send my kids to a private religious school.

- I despise chick flicks but will watch anything with Amanda Bynes in it.

- I work full-time and love being in charge, but there's a part of me that craves the simpler life of the 1950s, when most moms were staying at home and not running around like maniacs.

- I'll spend hundreds of dollars every month eating out, but won't buy anything name brand unless it's on sale.

- I make fun of soccer moms but I am one. And I drive a minivan.

- I'm fairly bright intellectually, but have NO common sense whatsoever.

- I seem like an unorganized, harried lunatic, but I'm probably one of the cleanest people out there.

When it comes to raising the little urchins, I'm surprisingly conservative. Although I'll cuss like 13 sailors and google things like "fat porn" and "uncircumcised penis", my kids aren't allowed to watch much of anything besides their cartoon channels and The Military Network (don't ask, PPT seems to have an issue that needs addressing). We don't cuss around them, they aren't allowed to use words like "stupid" or "hate", and we do pleases and thank yous for everything. We're not perfect, and the minute the kiddos are nighty-nighty, there are words flying that you've probably never even heard...but while they're awake we put on a good show.

The way I look at it, they're only innocent for so long, and once that innocence is lost, they'll never get it back again. So why not hang onto it as long as we can? I can't protect them from all the bad gunky out there, but what I can protect them from...I will.

So, I was a little stupified when, today as we were driving to school, PPT said, "Mom, what's a suicide bomber?"


*Crickets chirping*

*Still chirping*

Not for the first time ever in my parenting career, I was stumped. I wanted to tell him my personal opinion, that they're selfish dickheads who don't have the right to live on Earth anyway, but I knew that wasn't the right thing to do. Who am I to say that their intentions and what they believe are wrong? Doesn't that make me just as bad as them, judging and threatening?

So I went for the facts:*

"A suicide bomber is a person who wants to bomb a target so badly that they are willing to die in the process and that, in fact, dying along with the victims is part of the point. A number of critics insist that "suicide bombers" actually be labeled "homicide bombers" in order to emphasize the fact that these people are killing others. Suicide bombers may be motivated by religious beliefs that they will be rewarded in heaven for sacrificing their lives for their beliefs, while other religions consider it suicide, which is not allowed under its beliefs."

*According to Wikipedia. My words were more like, "Umm, uh, hmm, well, they're bad people who think it's umm, okay to blow themselves and other people up for their uh, religious cause."

And surprisingly, PPT was okay with this definition. He didn't ask any more questions, or wonder why I couldn't get out a complete sentence without stammering the whole time. He just moved on, thank God.

But I didn't. I started wondering what my small adult would ask me about next that I can't explain. Abortion? War? Hatred? Racism? How do I even begin to explain to him that I don't know, I don't understand and all I can do is raise him to be the best man he can be?

I guess I just answered my own question.

Dear Claim Jumper Homeless Lady

Dear Claim Jumper Homeless Lady,

Please learn how to beg properly. You accosted me as I was walking up to Claim Jumper and although I was a bit wary of you initially, I chose to give you a few seconds of my time and engage in the following conversation:

CJHL: Excuse me, do you have anything to spare?

M: I don't, I'm so sorry. (Said insanely nicely, with the so in front of the sorry, the way decent, civilized people do when they deny homeless beggars).

CJHL: You don't have anything at all?

*What I thought in my head:
M: Well, I have a job. And I have bills. And I have migraines. And in exchange for all these pleasantries, I get to eat at Claim Jumper occasionally. But if you're asking if I have cash, sadly, I don't. Driver carries no cash. However, should you in the near future start accepting Mastercard, please give me a shout.

*What I said out loud:
M: I don't, I'm sorry.

Then, Claim Jumper Homeless Lady, you went balls out.

CJHL: Could you buy me a meal then?

WHAT?!?!?!? Lady, are you flipping kidding me? At Claim Jumper?!? Have you seen the prices there? The Guy That's Snoring on the Couch and I both work full time, and we can hardly afford to eat there.

All I'm saying is, if you're going to beg for food and/or money...pick a cheaper location. Try Burger King, which is 10 feet away. Or Albertsons, which is 30 feet away. While I admire your drive and determination to reach your lofty goal of eating 4 pounds of Chicken Fried Steak financed on my credit card, I think you might have more success at another 'restaurant'- perhaps one where the food comes wrapped in paper.

Please, in the future- learn to beg properly.

A Santa Ana Claim Jumper Patron

Dear Bluetooth

Dear Bluetooth,

I HATE you, Bluetooth. I hate you and I hate you and I hate you. I hate you more than The Smashing Pumpkins. I hate you more than yeast infections. I even hate you more than that high-pitched whiney voice PPT does when he's telling on The Dictator. I'd rather have someone on speaker phone, screaming at the top of my lungs and allowing the little people to hear words that will make their ears bleed, than wear you, my God-forsaken Bluetooth.

Reasons I hate you:

1. You don't fit in my freaking ear. Either of them. And come to think of it, I've never met anyone whose ear is shaped like a mushroom. If I were a professional wrestler, we'd be good to go, but I'm you don't fit in my freaking ear.

2. I can't adjust you without hanging up on who I'm talking to. No, seriously. I can't. I've hung up on tons of people, because while I'm trying to get your damn mushroom self to fit in my ear, I push that miniscule little button on the outside, which apparently turns you off.

3. I can't blindly judge people I see driving. It used to be that if I saw a guy behind me, screaming at the top of his lungs and playing Pictionary with himself in his car (like I did today), I knew he was just crazy. Thus, I could switch lanes and stay away from the delusional and/or drunk guy. Now, because of you, I can't tell. He may be screaming at his wife. Or his mother. Or his priest. The point is, I don't know, and how am I supposed to properly judge people without ever meeting them if I can't even interpret their body language?

4. You are so very uncool. Your sleek lines, your cupped ear scream, "I am yuppy scum! Please come discuss stocks and politics with me, for it is obvious that I am far too busy to use my hands to hold a telephone device."

5. You make strange sounds and I have no idea what they are. You beep at me, even when you're fully charged. You ding in the middle of a conversation, and you yell at me if I try to turn you up past your maximum volume. You're the grumpiest technological device I've ever met.

6. Your ring tone is "When the Saints Go Marching In". And I have no idea how to change you. Luckily, you're never really in my ear, but dangling outside ready to fall off the minute I adjust my sunglasses, so it's not that loud. But still...really?!?!?

7. You take about 25 minutes to shut off. And most of the time, I forget to turn you off, so when I go to make a call or listen to voicemail, I hear nothing come out of my phone. Then I look around like a confused Golden Retriever, unable to figure out why I can't hear anything. Usually, I just give up and delete the message I couldn't hear because it must have been a bad connection, right? I see what you're doing Bluetooth, and if you want to play games, I AM DOWN.

These are the reasons why I hate you, Bluetooth. I wish you would die. If it weren't for the new law and those damn CHP'd be toast for you, buddy. Toast.


Today is Monday, so technically I should be posting about my Weight Watchers weigh-in. But I'm not. Because I didn't go. Because this week, I ate like a freaking hog. Because this week, I consumed Smores Pop Tarts like they were being discontinued, and I'm fairly certain I ate my body weight in pasta at Claim Jumper last night.

And because this week, I'm getting ready to start my period, so my body is willing to rip off someone's ears for a little chocolate.

So no Weight Watchers this week, although when you're struggling is when you're supposed to "work the program". Oh, my fat ass is working it all right...just give me 27 more Hershey bars and nobody will get hurt.

Surprisingly, this is not me. But it might be soon.

The best $8.99 I've ever spent

I bought 'The Best of Guns N' Roses, 1987-94' this weekend, and I can honestly say it's the best $8.99 I've ever spent. It's got my all-time favorite song EVER on it, 'Sweet Child O' Mine', plus a few other gems, like 'Welcome to the Jungle', 'Paradise City', 'November Rain' and 'Don't Cry'.

Seriously, I'm in Aquanetted bangs hair heaven.

Which got me thinking, what in high Hell happened to them? They were arguably one of the best rock bands of my time (think 1977 on), and then, POOF! Gone. Hubs says Axl Rose is to blame, so I'm sticking with that. Damn you, Axl Rose.

But in the meantime, if you happen to be at Best Buy, you'll find the CD sandwiched between Green Day (good) and Paris Hilton (bad). No really, she's in the rock section. Wow.

Wii rule

My family has been playing Wii pretty much nonstop since 6:30 last night. It's insane. Babe has sore arms, The Dictator is dripping sweat, and PPT thinks hii wants to sign up for tennis lessons because 'Mike' and 'Maya' the little animated tennis Miis, have convinced him hii's Andre Agassi.

The only one who hasn't played yet is mii, and that's honestly because I'd have to put a bra on to do that (you don't want these puppies flapping around while boxing someone). It's Sunday, wii actually have no plans, and my boobies want to breathe.

*Sidenote: Hubs actually said to mii this morning, "So, are you going to put pants on today, or...?" Yes, it's one of those days.

The only justification I have for letting my offspring play video games for 10 hours is that they're actually moving their bodies...which in turn, makes mii feel like I'm a good parent who doesn't let her kids play video games for 10 hours.

Apparently, an unfortunate side effect of endless hours of Wii enjoyment is my inability to use the vowel "e" when posting, opting instead to utilize the "ii" effect that's embedded in my brain. Sorry, guys. The Wii is really getting to mii.

This kid could go somewhere

Someday, The Dictator is totally going to buy us a new house. How is he going to purchase such an expensive mansion, you wonder? With his newly-found, stupifying soccer skills.

That's right folks, my Dictator is a soccer phenom. Today, he scored not one, but TWO goals. TWO GOALS. In one game. Be still my beating, excited-for-the-monetary-possibilities heart.

Here's a small glimpse of Pele' in action:

Before the game, getting himself psyched up. Look at that intensity.

On the field, obviously waiting for a chance to pounce the other team with his superior soccer knowledge.

At halftime, replenishing everything lost in the battle. And making an orange smiley face.

I'm just saying, this 4-year old has talent. With a few years, multiple coaches, an extra 120 pounds, lots of expensive soccer equipment, millions of hours practicing, 3476 bottles of Gatorade and a mother who would have to quit her job to spend all her time taxi-ing him around...this kid could go somewhere.

Poop is awesome

Poop is a big thing in our house. It's a huge accomplishment, and apparently something to be celebrated. So I wasn't really surprised when PPT excused himself to the bathroom for five minutes, then came out hollering, "Mom, come check this out! It's sticking out of the toilet!" Sometimes you just need kudos, especially when it comes to defecation.

But I was surprised when Babe replied with, "Oooh, PPT, check this one out,"...and then promptly whipped out his cell phone.

That's right kiddos, Hubs actually took a picture of a previous Dictator turd because he was so impressed with it's length & girth. And saved it. On his cell phone...for future viewing pleasure.

Poop is awesome.

Bad Parenting 102

The conversation in the car this morning between myself and The Dictator:

D: Mom, when we go back to that baseball field, can you give me $1.00 so I can listen to Soulja Boy?

*What I thought in my head:
M: Why yes, dear, I'd love to give you $1.00 of my hard-earned money to request a totally child-inappropriate song that talks about sex acts with women, commonly referred to as 'hoes'. Would you like me to explain exactly when he means by 'Superman' too? Come, let's go to together and I'll show you. Perhaps you can give your fellow preschoolers a tutorial afterwards.

*What I said out loud:
M: Sure.

Bad Parenting 102, folks...Bad Parenting 102.

It's on...

There's going to be a brawl in my office. The co-worker and I have been arguing for 7+ years about the air conditioning in this box, and it's getting nasty. I'm pretty sure we'll be throwing down before the end of next week.

Here's the issue: She's a reptile. I'm an eskimo.

See the conflict? For years, we've been passive-aggressively grumping. She turns the air conditioning down when she goes to the printer, I start wiping sweat from my brow. I turn the air conditioning up on my way to the bathroom, she shivers behind me. It's getting old, and I think one of us is going down...soon.

It's on, sister. It's on like Donkey Kong.

Friday's Foto

It's that time of week again. All I could think the second I saw this photo was:

"You sweet little man...please. look. up."

Dear Internet Spam

Dear Internet Spam,

Let's be honest...we both know I don't like you. In fact, some might say I despise you. But I realize you're part of my internet experience, and that if I want to communicate with the rest of the world with a computer instead of a pen and paper, I have to accept you. And as much as I want you to die a horrible, painful're not going anywhere. So we need to lay down some ground rules.

1. My penis is large enough, thank you very much. No need to offer me enhancers in that area.

2. I don't think refinancing will be an option for me, since we rent. But if you find out otherwise, please let me know.

3. I have no desire to see my neighbor naked. Trust me, he's nice enough...but clothes on is my preference.

4. The inside of my body is doing just fine, so your "Body Cleanse" won't be necessary.

5. You're right, my credit score may have changed- but probably not from yesterday, or 30 minutes ago, when you sent me the last email.

6. I get all my medication the old fashioned way- from a "doctor". Illegal prescriptions just aren't my thing.

7. This "XXXXXXXXX-Free Adult Site" you speak of...I'm intrigued. What do the Xs stand for? Is it a place for cool, hip parents with young children to hang out? OK, keep sending me more info about that one.

8. Oh my gosh! I won a 7-day cruise to the Bahamas! Really?!?!? I'll pack my stuff right now.

9. Seriously...Guitar Center. They have a "3-day only" sale every 3 days. Go away.

10. Did you know that you can lose 350 pounds in two weeks, just by sitting on your computer and sending in $49.50? That is truly phenomenal.

11. King Buiwahsekeejheealf from South Africa has $2 million to give me and all I have to give him is my bank information. Sure, he forgets to use vowels and can't punctuate to save his life, but he says he's a King- so I'm in! I'll email it to you right away. Would you like a key to my house and my social security number while I'm at it?

So, Internet Spam, if you could just delete those options from my email spam list, that would be wonderful. And while you're at it, could you possibly get rid of Papa John's, Hotwire, West Elm, Big Lots, Classmates and too? Thanks.

Shannon in Orange

Poor Dictator

The Dictator has had a rough couple of days at school this week, and since it's just Tuesday, I can't imagine what the upcoming days will bring...

Yesterday, he got pinched in the face by some little creton child who just didn't understand that No Means No.

Today, he tripped and landed on a set of bicycle handlebars (don't ask, I don't even know how).

Exhibit A: Pinch on right cheek, clear handlebar marks on chest.

Poor Dictator. Preschool's totally kicking his ass.

Dear God

Dear God,

Please give me my mom back. You've enjoyed her for six months, and while I'm sure she's made you giggle a few times with some nasty jokes and taught you some new cuss words, I'd like her back now. I miss her. A lot.

See, here's what I don't get- why didn't you warn me? On Saturday, I had a mom. On Sunday, I didn't. Just like that- 13 hours later and I'm an orphan. No red flags, no doctor telling us we might want to "make plans"...nothing. Just gone. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

As you well know, most of the time my life is so hectic that I can pretend I'm coping. But lots of times, especially at night when everyone is asleep, my mind starts churning...and I can't stop it. I've cried more tears this past six months than in all my years combined...I know you've heard, because I've said your name plenty of times. I feel completely damaged, like nothing will ever be the same again, my emotions will never be controlled again, and life will never be normal again. Will it be?

I know she's up there, playing board games with Aunt Jeane or watching Hee-Haw with Grandpa...but I'd like her back now. I need her back now. Grieving is a nasty thing, and I'm not dealing with it half as well as I pretend to be.

It stings less than it did three months ago. But you didn't tell me that the pain lies there, inside your soul, waiting. It's like a big gaping hole that's always present. One moment I'm fine, the next, I'm sobbing in my car in the parking lot of Target and I don't even know what happened. The emptiness and the sorrow are always there, and all it takes is a song, a smell, a picture or a memory to bring it out. And's as fresh as March 2, 2008.

So, all I'm saying God, is that you have millions and millions of souls up there to hang out with- can't you give back just one? Please? Because the soul she left behind here on Earth needs her back. Badly.

Thanks for listening,


For those of you don't know, Dub-Dubs is how I affectionately refer to my beloved Weight Watchers. Every Monday I get to go in, see how much I weigh, and either celebrate or sob. Then us fatties all sit around and talk about how we did that week, what we ate, and how much we hate people that complain about being "too skinny". Boo-freaking-hoo.

Here's the thing- I know I'm fat. I'm well aware of my ass size. Hell, I don't even mind if you call me the's no more insulting to me than saying I'm a girl, or that I have red's just what I look like, not who I am. But I know it's unhealthy, I don't like being able to actually feel my chin hanging, and between you and me, I'm sick of being passive-aggressively attacked every time I make a doctor appointment. I go in for an eye infection and it's, "Have you had your cholesterol checked recently?" I go in for migraines and it's, "When was the last time you did a fasting blood sugar?" I get on the scale and it's, "Ooooh." Look lady, I get it- I'm fat. Move on.

Anywho, I weighed in today and I lost 2.2 pounds this week. That makes a total of 36 pounds lost and I'm still plugging along. I've actually worked for this, so I'm going to go ahead and give myself and my big fat ass kudos. Yea, skinny(er) Shannon!

Marriage and living arrangements

For anyone out there who may not know, parenting can be absolutely exhausting. You're supposed to do the right thing, all the time, even when you don't want to...for example, although I'd like to give The Dictator everything he wants, all the time, to keep him quiet and non-screaming, I can't. And as much as I'd like to tell PPT that of course he can have his own cell phone, and would you like the texting package with that?, it's just not the right thing to do. So we parents spend a large chunk of our time fighting the urge to give in for the reward of quiet for two minutes, and instead battle, battle, battle.

And most of the time, you still screw up, and they spend their adulthood in therapy, griping about how traumatized they are that at the age of six, you didn't buy them the blue Razor scooter, you got the red, and how on earth are they ever supposed to get over your negligence as a parent?

Bad parenting is just so much easier that good parenting.

But I've found that most times, the little people redeem themselves when we need it most, and remind us why we love them so very much.

The conversation in bed last night with The Dictator:

D: I'm sad.

M: Why?

D: Because when I'm married, you won't live with me.

M: (Cold heart melting) Well, I can live next door to you.

D: And Daddy?

M: Sure, him too.

D: And PPT?

M: Yep, we all can.

D: I want you to live with me when I'm married.

M: OK, I can do that.

The Dictator's wife is going to be pleased.

Bad Parenting 101

Somewhere in the Handbook of Parenting should be a paragraph that reads something like this:

"You absolutely cannot, as a parent, get angry with your child for losing a $240 baseball bat (to be later found), threaten to take away Christmas to fund a replacement for said bat, be prepared to ground your offspring for two weeks, and call your son/daughter 'irresponsible', and then proceed to:

1. Leave your cell phone on a table at a baseball tournament in Chino Hills for an hour.
2. Find said phone, then lose again 10 minutes later, accompanied by a backpack this time.
3. Lock your keys in the car.
4. Leave the keys in the ignition, on 'Accessory' so your radio is playing for five hours.

This is an example of 'Bad Parenting 101."

I'm just saying, the info would have been appreciated before today.

Friday's Foto

Often, throughout the course of my hours of Googling, I run across a picture that makes me giggle. And since I now have a blog, I feel it's my duty as an Internet Information Officer to share these little treasures with you. So, every Friday, I'll post my giggliest picture for you.

You're welcome. And maybe stash the kids out of sight before you peruse.

A toast...

To amazing friends, years passed, and matching V-necks.

I am the pack leader

I have dogs, and they're good dogs. Well, one of them is a good dog, the other...not so much. But all in all, they're well-behaved, great-tempered dogs.

(Good Dog & Bad Dog)

Because my canines are good canines, and Hubs and and I are DEFINITELY the pack leaders, Good Dog & Bad Dog do everything we tell them to, and never disobey the rules.


So even though one of our rules is NO DOGS ON THE FURNITURE, and even though when I leave in the morning my living room looks like this:

And when I come home it looks like this:

I'm positive my dogs have nothing to do with it. Weird. I blame the Chupacabra.

Homework, poop, and raising kids smarter than you

Tonight, PPT had homework. A lot of homework. You might even say he had a plethora of homework. How did I know, you ask? The old backpack rule.

Generally, if your offspring can't even lift his/her backpack because of the combined weight of textbooks in there, that's a bad sign. Tonight, PPT's backpack sat in the driveway, mocking me with its promise of sleep deprivation soon to come.

Which leads me to this I sat struggling through stem-leaf math charts and finding median numbers, I had a revelation- I am simply not smart enough to raise a human. Period. I thought I was, when I mastered that whole "talking" and "walking" and "pooping in the toilet" thing. But I'm not.

Sometimes, even The Dictator will remind me how unintelligent I am, and let me tell you- there's nothing like getting schooled by a 4-year old to keep you humble.

Here's the thing (my friend Keri says I always have a thing)- The Dictator is very cute, and very bright, and very funny- but he fights me tooth and nail about pretty much everything, from bedtime to TV shows to what he's going to wear every day. Our latest (and ongoing) fight is about wiping his butt. He thinks I should do it until he's 35 and married with three kids. I disagree. This was how it went down the other day:

D: Mom, I have to go poop and when I'm done, can you wipe my bottom?

M: No, you can wipe your own bottom. I'll check when you're done.

D: (Said in the pitch of a tea kettle) Mooooooom, I can't dooooo it. You need to dooooo it.

M: Dictator, a 5-year old boy should be able to wipe his own butt.

D: But not a 4-year old.

Well played, sir. Well played indeed.

I Spy is a fun game

The conversation between PPT and The Dictator while playing "I Spy" to kill time at customs in Mexico:

PPT: I spy with my little eye, something red and white.

D: Ummm, is it that lady's shirt?

PPT: No.

D: Is it that sign?

PPT: No.

D: I give up.

PPT: It's mom!

I remember...

I hope we all do.

Photographic Evidence

My pal Vern sent some photos to us gal pals of our last GNO weekend in Santa Barbara, and hidden somewhere in the 120 pics was this one:

So it's true. I thought it was a myth, an urban legend that kids whisper about in the darkness of night...but it's real and I have proof.

I present to you: a picture of me with only one chin.

Does the alarm even go off that early?

So, PPT is on Student Council at school. It's new for him, since 5th grade is the first year you can be on it, and he got stuck in some "Safety and Grounds" position, which didn't really mean anything to me until tonight.

M: How was your Student Council meeting at lunch today?

PPT: Good.

M: What did you find out?

PPT: Not much. We have to put up the flag and be the greeters at the drive-through...oh, and I have to be at school at 7:30 every morning.

M: WHAT?!?!?! (Smoke & flames shooting out of ears)

Now, let me back up. 5th-8th graders start school earlier than K-4th does...they have to be in their seats in class by 8:00, and the lower grades start at 8:15. So I've already had to adjust my alarm once this year...and those of you who know me know that I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. I hate mornings. I hate getting out of bed. I hate the alarm. I hate the dogs, who hear me peeing and run to the bathroom to snort at me under the door until I let them out. I hate it all.

So what does 7:30 arrival mean for me? It means I have to set my alarm for 5:00, hoping to be up by 6:00, so I can leave by 7:15 at the latest and drop off PPT. It means an uber-grumpy Dictator, who like his mother, is NOT a morning person.

And it means none of this matters, because my beloved PPT actually wants to be involved with school and if I have to have his little ass there at 5:00 in the morning, I will. Because I'm so very proud of him.

Now someone explain that to The Dictator.

School rules!

Dear People without kids,

Little humans are amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. But there's something the Secret Society of Parents doesn't tell you, for fear you won't reproduce and the world's population will die out.

That cuddly little baby you're thinking of making? That wonderful smelling, warm, Baby Gap-wearing creature you want to nurture and care for your whole life? That baby grows. And grows. And grows. And pretty soon, you're facing homework, health class (wink wink), orthodontists, sleepovers, expensive video game systems and "recreational" sports that leave you nary a penny to spend.

So go ahead, make your little human. And love it. But just know- it grows. A LOT.

People with kids

It's school time again. No more 9:00 dinners, no more 11:00 bedtimes and most of all, no more 4th grader. It's true- PPT started 5th grade this year. Like, the real 5th grade, with Outdoor Ed and everything.

It kills me. Could this little missing-toothed child possibly have turned in to a 10 1/2 year that fast?

It must be. Here's the evidence:

So, PPT is off to 5th grade and girls, flag football, Student Council, travel baseball and struggling through math. And what of The Dicatator, you say? cherubic little Michelin Man

has started his last year of preschool and will be in Kindergarten next year. Principal's Office, here we come!

Riviera Maya

So most of you know that we took our first-ever family vacation to Riviera Maya in Mexico in August. Yes, I know I say Cancun when I talk about it- it's much easier to type and say than Riviera Maya, and it's only about 20 minutes away, so quit your bitching.

Anywho, 2008 has been one of the most difficult years we've ever had (more on that later) and we decided to take a break. And it was amazing. But before we chat, let me give you a little tip- DON'T GO TO CANCUN IN MID-AUGUST.

It's hot. Really, really hot. And humid. Really, really humid. Like, there's no point in showering humid. Like, bring a headband because your head turns into a Q-tip humid. Seriously.

But, once you get used to sweat dripping down your butt crack, and once you realize you're never going to look like the 20-somethings boozing it up in the pool, it's so incredible. We did the all-inclusive thing and stayed at the Iberostar Del Mar and we couldn't have been any happier. Underground snorkeling in a cave, ATV rides through the jungle, a pirate battle on the Caribbean- your favorite family did it all. And, as a bonus, we got tan. Well, they got tan- I just got darker freckles. At this point, I'll take what I can get.

It was awesome, and we'd be thrilled to go back. Just not in mid-August.

Let's start at the beginning...

Well, the beginning of this blog, at least.

Here's the deal- I hate blogs. Hate them. With a passion. But quite a few of my friends have them, and as I started to check them out, I noticed something- I was stalking. I mean, seriously stalking. Not my friends...I know those people. No, I was stalking my friends' friends, ones I'd never met but found links to on my pals' blogs. I loved them...they're all so beautiful, and their houses are so beautiful, and their kids are so beautiful, and their cameras take THE most beautiful pictures I'd ever seen. It was like a Pottery Barn catalog come to life. So, there you have it- I AM A TOTAL BLOG STALKER There. I said it, and you all know my dark secret.

Anywho, a few pals along the way suggested I do my own blog, so here you go. This is me, this is my family, this is my life...and it's definitely NOT a Pottery Barn catalog.

Me: Shannon (aka "The Boss").
The Hubs: Justin (aka "Hubs", "Babe" or "the guy that's snoring on the couch").
The older son: Julian (aka "the pre-pre-teen" or just "PPT"). 10 1/2 years old.
The younger son: Owen (aka "the dictator"). Very, very close to 5 years old.
The dogs: Brody ("good dog") and Penny ("bad dog").

And there you have it. That's us, in about six sentences. Scary, isn't it? Oh, just wait...