we all screw our kids up in our own special way

… that toothfairy is one stingy bitch. 

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So, having the army be one of the higher powers that rules your life tends to fuck up a lot of holidays. We can generally count on at least half of our family’s celebrations being crashed by Uncle Sam every year. It’s usually at least 3 out of 4 birthdays, almost always the wedding anniversary (5 out of 6 years so far), occasionally Christmas & New Years, and very often valentines day. Easter and Thanksgiving are about the only holidays that we haven’t missed having together most every year. (I’ll think about the significance of that later… or not…) The point being, the actual DAY of the holiday has pretty much ceased to be important. It’s the event — the celebration — that is the important part.

Take birthdays for example. I can’t remember the last time anybody in our house actually celebrated their birth on the actual DAY of their birth. My birthday was last month, and the actual DAY was just another Tuesday; kids fighting, mom yelling, dad yelling louder, somebody made dinner, everybody ignored the dishes and tried not to get sucked into the vortex of the laundry monster in the hallway. Just another Tuesday. Later that week, however, I went out for an actual date with my husband. And just like that, Birth celebrated. It’s not the DAY that’s special, it’s the fact the YOU were BORN that’s special. My kids are sure that you can’t have a birthday without balloons, so they’re still not sure that I’m a year older, which is pretty much okay with me, as I’d like to stay this side of 35 as long as possible.

These last couple of weeks have been pretty monumental for our little household. Not only did I fall into and eventually conquer the sucking vortex of laundry monster (I can see my hallway again!!!!!), but the cupboards are full of clean dishes (we won’t mention the gnarly allergic reaction to the dishsoap — I told you, husband, NOW will you wash them?), but The Girl has become a Toothless Wonder.

I was beginning the think that she was dentally challenged. Her cousin, a mere 5 months older, has lost like, 7 teeth already, and here’s my kid hanging on to her baby teeth like nobody’s business. So one night as I was helping her floss (yes, we do actually floss their teeth. I can hardly believe it either) and I noticed that 1.) she had a loose bottom tooth and 2.) this was a good goddamn thing since there was nearly 3 mm of new tooth peeking out directly behind it. My poor child is mutating into a sharkgirl! But no, the dentist reassured me that this was perfectly normal. Which was a great relief when I noticed that there was yet another adult tooth vying for space right next to that one, and still not a baby tooth had exited.

Thinking that we might expedite things and avoid having teeth pulled,  we told The Girl that the toothfairy paid way less for teeth when the dentist had to pull them. This was, apparently, a mistake for two reasons. One, she had not yet heard about the whole money-for-teeth black market exchange. Oops. But really, how long could we have kept that one from her? The first day she shows up at school with a tooth missing, some “friend” asks her how much she got for it, and the jig is up. It’s not like we can tell her the toothfairy didn’t come because mom pissed her off — that’s why the Easter Bunny didn’t come this year. (Apparently I offended him with all of my bunny blaspheming on the way home from grandma’s house, and then again when I thought the damn things had invaded the yard. Mom blames the bunnies, Easter Bunny’s feelings get hurt, no chocolate treats in cute little baskets for the kidlettes. I’ll take the heat, I’m a big girl. But I digress… sort of…)

The second reason this was bad? She started working on that tooth and had it yanked out, blood running down her chin, in less than a week, and she ripped the second one out three days after that! On the other hand, her motivation could have had something to do with her dad telling her he could “get that tooth out”, as he holds up his fist. “No thanks dad, I don’t want a knuckle sandwich.” Totally serious, totally straight-faced this girl. And yes, she does understand the sarcasm of it all, so don’t get all DCFS-y or anything. But here’s the real kicker — after she lost her first tooth, she REALLY lost it. As I was looking for an appropriate under-the-pillow fairy-vessel, apparently the tooth went, and I quote, “tink tink tink  down the stairs.” I looked for that fucking tooth for an hour plus. No tooth.

I tried to explain the significance of the first tooth to The Girl, how the toothfairy was going to give her a gold dollar coin, but only for the first tooth, and how she would only lose her first tooth once. She was still more interested in playing with her bear than looking for her tooth. And The Boy? He kept picking up cracker crumbs and saying “I foundda tooths!” After about the 28th time, I found myself answering him back with a not-so-nice “no, no you didn’t sweetie”. I finally gave up and put them both to bed, explaining that no, we couldn’t just leave a note because think of the scams kids would run on the poor toothfairy. Yeah, I know, that was pretty harsh for a 5 year old, but I was tired, my head hurt, and she was the stubborn one who didn’t think my original little pouch was good enough, insisted I find something “better” for the tooth, wouldn’t let me keep the tooth whilst looking for said better something, and lost the fucking thing. Besides — I was pretty sure I could find it in the morning.

As it turned out, The Husband found it later that night in roughly 10 minutes.

I was so flippin’ excited, we tried to wake her up, but she was UNconscious. Once that kid is asleep, it’s like trying to wake the dead. Or a seriously napping cat. But she was incredibly excited in the morning, and the next night the toothfairy came, traded money for tooth, shook her head about the whole damn thing, and put that freakin’ tooth in a very, very safe place.

Now, as for the gold dollar? Yeah, she lost that the next day at school.

That’s my girl…

 

 

 

dear condron.us,  

i know i’ve been conspicuously absent for some time now, and i do apologize for the abrupt and unexplained departure, but it’s hard to reach the computer when you’ve been swallowed by the sucking vortex of the laundry monster in the hallway. it was a long, hard-won battle; tears were shed, blood was spilt, fingernails were broken, detergent and stain remover were used in copious amounts, and socks were lost in the melee of it all. but the clothing has agreed to never again conspire to attempt consciousness and I have vowed to never again allow the laundry pile to grow taller than my knees, or my children’s heads, whichever comes second.

Sincerely,

the help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

omg, it’s a minivan

… does this mean they have to play soccer now?

 A couple of weeks ago, we bought a new car. More precisely, we bought a very slightly used 2008 Toyota Highlander Limited. Now, I am not an easy sell on the car lot. I’m one of those pain in the ass women who come well armed with research from Consumer Reports, Edmunds, KBB, etc., and I know exactly what I will and will not pay for a given car, SUV, what have you. I learned the hard way to never walk onto a car lot without knowing at least as much as your enemy. Yes, it’s a cynical attitude, but years ago, I  ended up leasing a brand new car that I didn’t love and couldn’t afford because 1.) I took my father onto the lot with me and 2.) I was completely unarmed.  After that experience, I vowed to never again behave like a helpless girl on the lot.

And I haven’t.

The first car I bought (okay, Husband bought — Toddler Life Coach does not pay well in the monetary sense) after that debacle was the much loved Honda. I did all my homework, knew what I would pay and why, and when we stepped onto the car lot, Husband walked BEHIND me and told the salesman that this was MY car and MY sale and to direct all questions and comments to ME. This really threw the salesman because not only was I a woman, but I was also roughly 8 months pregnant. HA! Suck on that! Thrown is sort of an understatement. Freaked out, gobsmacked, dumbstruck, slightly terrified, these are all better descriptors than “thrown”.  And yes, I did enjoy every single minute of it. Especially when I told him that he had to replace the two rear tires with the same high quality (and high priced!) touring tires that were on the front or there was no sale. He really wanted to sell that car. He wanted to sell that car bad enough to convince his boss that it was worth it to throw in the $700 worth of tires to make the sale. He was right, of course, since we came back to buy a truck the next year and then this latest vehicle 4 years after that. 

So. As you might imagine, when we came onto the lot this last time, our favorite salesman was well aware that 1.) it was MY deal and 2.) he would not be “selling” me anything. The funny thing was, we had decided to go looking at cars on a whim. Yes folks, on a whim. I was completely unarmed. Our salesman didn’t know this, however, so we took a couple of test drives and went home, and THEN I did all my homework. On the one hand, it was nice to not have to worry about being taken for a sucker ride by a salesman or a dealership. On the other, it was really anticlimactic to not even have to haggle for a more than fair deal on a really great vehicle. We ended up getting more than book value for our trade in and a price on the Highlander that beat the book value as well as every dealership within 800 miles by at least $1,000.  Not to mention, when I was cleaning out my Accord for the last time, I found two lighters, and a button I had been searching for for 6 months! It was like the universe was saying “Congratulations on the new SUV.” 

So just imagine my sadness as I gazed out my front window at my (sort of) brand new ride, all shiny and big, and realized  *gasp* that my new SUV was actually a minivan with a nose job.

Those sneaky bastards at Toyota, brilliant. They realized that there was a completely untapped market of moms who were dead set against driving a minivan. And so, the Highlander was born. Oh, there are differences, subtle differences, and it’s classified as an SUV, but if you look at one next to a minivan, you’ll see what I mean. So I’m having some mixed feelings about my new purchase. On the one hand, I really really really really like it. Compared to the Accord, it’s like a hotel room on wheels. I mean, the Boy can’t even reach the back of my seat with his feet while I’m driving! On the other hand, it’s a freakin’ minivan.  

 

 

 


naked by lunch

…unless, of course, he has preschool.

After breakfast the other day, my budding nudist announced that his clothes were too dirty to wear and therefore he would have to be naked for the remainder of the day. Now, had this been a school day, there would have been at least some urge for me to put up a compelling argument for getting back into some form of acceptable clothing so that there might be something to show for the ridiculous tuition The Husband shells out each month. But it was a Monday. And Mondays are not school days. Add this to the monstrosity that is the dirty laundry pile and the notion of adding yet another set of socks, underpants, jeans, and shirt times 2 for just the boy for just the one day… yeah, I think you can see where this is going. Naked kidlette wearing nothing but giraffe slippers, running around, all day long, chasing his sister, bits and pieces flopping about. And here, I will share a picture from my real life, simply because the giraffe slippers must be visualized in all their spotted glory.

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We’ve been calling him Naked Man. He seems to like it. Although he has been asking for a cape…

it’s not apathy, it’s entropy

… according to the universe, Martha Stewart is a crappy housekeeper

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I had an epiphany the other day while I was trying not to see the pile of dishes out of the corner of my eye. For whatever reason, the law of entropy popped into my head. You know, that bit of science that says the universe is constantly trying to attain a state of chaos and that order is actually against the natural order of things? Well, I started to wonder why I couldn’t just apply that to my state of domesticity. I mean, if the universe truly IS striving for a state of chaos, and therefore chaos would be the universe’s natural and perfect state, then really, one could naturally conclude, nay, LOGICALLY conclude that the lack of order in my household is merely a representation of the perfect entropic state of the universe. Furthermore, following this logic, one could also LOGICALLY conclude that I am, therefore, a better housekeeper than Martha Stewart.

Wow. I even impressed myself a little on that one. Maybe MM was right — I should have gone into Public Relations.

dumbassery #2: oh crap – what if it’s genetic?

… I know I’m wrong, you know I’m wrong, and we both know I’m not going to budge, so lets just finish the fight, I’ll win like always, admit I’m wrong later, and make you a chocolate pie tomorrow. Deal?

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We are all guilty of dumbassery. Even me. I completely admit to acts of unnecessary, if not necessarily excessive, but maybe, probably, dumbassery upon more than one occasion. Per week. Maybe per day. Sometimes per hour. One of the best things about having small children is being able to blame at least a modicum of all that dumbassery on the children. I could probably still do that, as Thing 2 (yes, they’re back to Thing status again) is still technically a toddler and sucks out any energy that might possibly head up to my brain as excess for thought processes by, say, 6:30 am. With great zeal, I might add.

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Thing 1 just sort of adds a sucker punch when she starts to ask her version of kid questions, like ‘ why is the sky blue? Is it because the water is blue too? Or is the water blue because the sky is blue?’ Or she’ll start throwing out multiplication problems like, ‘mom, 10 times 12 is 120, right?’ while I’m trying to, say, balance the checkbook or write email, or even try to blog for that matter. My favorite is when she corrects me on my precision of speech. That one I take full responsibility for, because I have, both consciously and unconsciously, drilled into these children the importance of grammar and speech from the time they could theoretically hear the voices of their parents.

So by the time these children are done with their day, my brain is rather wobbly – kind of like jello. Which, btw, if hooked up to electrodes will register brain waves. Interesting.

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The point of all this preface? Preface? You say. This has all been PREFACE? There’s MORE? Yes, there’s more. But it’s likely that there are only one or two people actually reading this, and blogging is cathartic exercise in ego building anyway, so fuckit. THE POINT, as I was saying, is that I have been re-living a bit of dumbassery for several days and avoiding my own blog because of it. How sad it that. Pathetic. I know. I dumbassed myself into a state of cyber-embarrassment. Long story short, some questions ARE stupid questions (or questioning statements). And if you have a question, send it email, don’t post a comment. And definitely don’t post two comments. Keep the dumbassery to a minimum of participants for godssake. Don’t go spewing it all over the entire momosphere.

On the other hand, wow, what an ego, to think that these people have nothing better to do than point and laugh at the dumbass in the corner, way off in wordpress land, depending on condron.us to even generate hits let alone readers. And now that I’ve owned up to my acts of dumbassery cleared my conscience, maybe I can get back to more regular posting. God knows the Things have been giving me plenty of fodder lately…

how do I love thee, mommyhood… let me count the ways (edited)

… but the experiment is only asking for five so,  I won’t be needing the abacus for this one.

While I was avoiding the laundry in the hallway that seems to slowly be growing sentient, and possibly carnivorous, I finally sat down and caught up on a few of my favorite blogs.

 –In regards to the laundry, I’ve developed a new theory that, given a high enough concentration of socks and other foot apparel, the pile of dirty clothes will develop motility and move itself into the washing machine. Consequently, I’ll be picking up some socks later tonight for the kids to wear to school tomorrow.

As I was saying, when I hit the end of one of my favorite blogs, there was a little note asking interested mommybloggers to participate in this rather expansive experiment of co-ordinating a global playdate: Around the World in 80 Clicks.

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My kids would so cheat on me with Her Bad Mother. I mean, okay, wow. I have trouble coordinating a playdate with the kid down the block. But this I think I could actually do, since it doesn’t require me to magically produce some play space in our closet-sized house, nor do I have to clean up the oatmeal that has been drying on the floor/wall/table for the last (insert a number – ANY number) days. All I need to provide is a list of five things I love about being a mom. That, I think I can handle. So off we go!

  • I love that my kids make me laugh so hard I lose my breath and my eyes tear up when I tell my mom about whatever it was they said/did over the phone. And that she does the same.

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  • I love how my baby boy, who is not so much a baby these days, crawls into my lap when he’s sad and says “I want to go home, mom,” when we’re sitting on the sofa in the middle of our own living room. Because I know exactly how he feels, and nobody else has ever empathized with me with the exact same words I feel.
  • I love that I now have an excuse for the stretch-marks I’ve had since junior high. The scars of motherhood – I came pre-marked. A little odd, I know, but there it is.
  • I love knowing that these two amazing little people are in the world and that I had a hand in their making. I know that MY world is much more Technicolor for their being in it, and from what I hear, they seem to have the same effect on other people, too. I feel like the world in general may be a little bit better for the addition of these two amazing, beautiful, brilliant, as yet untainted little bits. And if I can love them the way they need to be loved, without trying to compensate for what I didn’t get when I was little, if I can not try to undo my childhood knots through their years, then these amazing little people might just grow up to be incredible adults – the kind who really make a difference. And I love that I will be a part of that.

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  • And most of all, very most of all, I love how the tears come unbidden when       I try to hold all of that love in my heart. The love I have for them, from them, and the strange, magical combination of the two that only mothers can feel, even if we don’t quite understand it. I am theirs, and they are mine, even if my dominant genes stepped aside and let the recessive blond hair and blue eyes run away with the show so that they look nothing like me. And no matter how much we dislike each other, no matter who says what, or who made who cry, I am their mother, they are my children, and we will claim each other. Always.

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Although, The Girl does really like her daddy

And now, as per experiment instructions, here’s a link to another one of my favorite mommybloggers, this one from across the pond: whoopee 
And domestically, in sunny CA: Girl’s Gone Child 

an unnecessary excess of dumbassery (part 1)

… and yes, Sue on checkout aisle 27, I did still call your manager even though you changed your attitude once you saw me write down your name and aisle number.

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Being rude to a customer by making snide remarks to OTHER customers ABOUT said customer is blatant dumbassery, not to mention the complete antithesis of “Customer Service” which, Sue on checkout aisle 27, is what you are paid to give. So do your fucking job, and do it with a smile. Or move on to telemarketing or credit collections so when you’re a bitch, it’ll be over the phone, and it might actually be appropriate to your position.

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Here’s the thing – I worked retail for a very long time and I have a come to a point in my life where I have adopted a zero tolerance policy for shit customer service. If you happen to be my wait staff at an eating establishment, not only will your tip reflect your performance (including demeanor while at my table and whether or not you gossip with your coworkers on the work floor – hate that. Totally inappropriate.), but I will fill out any available comment card, and if I’m really peeved about the service, I WILL call the management or even (gasp) write and actual letter using an ink pen and paper made from a tree. Yes, it’s archaic, but it does tend to make a statement.

Silly woman, you mutter. (Yes, I can hear you out there – and you with the diet Coke – either quit belching or say excuse me. Good God! Manners, people!) You’re wasting your time… and killing trees! Death to the tree killer! First, settle down, it’s recycled paper.  And as for my time, I don’t feel like I’m wasting it. Because I don’t understand why it became okay to not do your best, to be your best, at whatever you do. Even if you don’t like it. It’s called work ethic. It’s called pride of workmanship. I don’t care if you’re flipping burgers or building fucking rockets. YOU DO YOUR BEST EVERY SINGLE TIME, and you ALWAYS TRY YOUR HARDEST to GET IT RIGHT.

So for you, Sue on checkout aisle 27, that means you don’t sneer to the customer ahead of me and say “I just hate those customers who pile up their groceries like that. I mean, I’ll get it done, just slow down lady”. You don’t then glance at me out of the corner of your eye, glare down at my groceries on your conveyer belt, purposely NOT push the button to move the belt forward to allow me another chunk of space to put the remainder of my items on the line, and then chuckle to yourself as you leisurely conclude your transaction with the customer ahead of me. Because, Sue on checkout aisle 27, I WILL take down your name and aisle number and I WILL call your supervisor, you store manager, and whomever else I need to in order to feel satisfied that my frustration as a paying customer has been taken seriously. And no, I will not include the fact that your attitude changed when you noticed that you’re behavior was being noted. That’s not personal work ethic, that’s fear of punishment, and that doesn’t count. And no, it doesn’t matter that once you realized my items were actually stacked for YOUR CONVENIENCE and to MAKE YOUR JOB EASIER your were actually rather friendly. None of that matters, Sue on checkout aisle 27, because you treated me with initial disdain and rudeness.

I have lived in The Other Dakota for almost 6 years – my tolerance for excessive dumbassery is reaching its limit.

dear condron.us,

thank for sending all the readers. I just wish that they’d keep coming back when I’m NOT on the top of the top 100 list… 

your’s truly.

the help

the whore of babylon goes to kindergarten

… and is like, um, underwhelmed at the um, education her um, daughter will be like um, getting next year. 

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I was really excited about taking The Girl to her kindergarten orientation last week. The Husband took the morning off and The Boy was going to come with us, so it was a big ol’ family affair, even though we all sort of knew that things with The Boy might go awry since no one remembered to bring the Bag O’ Fun which was created for just such occasions but failed to make the transfer from the old car to the new SUV, which had been purchased a mere 6 days prior. Things were going really, really well. Surprisingly so, since everyone was awake, properly fed (not just crackers in the bedroom, hold your applause), bathed and dressed (again, no applause please, I am merely a mother caring for her children), and I had even blown out my hair and was putting on real makeup at 9:35am. Okay, it wasn’t a full blow-out, but that takes like 1 ½ hours and we had to be out of the house and in the car by 9:50am. And then I decided to sharpen my eyeliner. I know better than to sharpen my fabulous eyeliner (and here, I will advertise for Clinique, freely, since they have the most awesomest eyeliner ever. Only eyeliner that has never made me look like a raccoon by the middle of my day. Worth every penny.) and then apply directly to the lower lashline. Lower lashes require a slightly DULLED point. After five minutes of trying to fix the mess I had made, smudge-cover-reline-shit!-repeat, I looked like some strange hybrid of Cleopatra and the Whore of Babylon. Fabulous. My kid gets to have the white trash whorey mom.

Turns out I was way less noticeable than the cool rockin’ mom with the star tats up and down her arm. (I wonder if her kid listens to the Ramones and the Clash as much as mine kid does? ) Not to mention, The Boy took all the attention away from everyone when he had a lovely little tantrum upon being informed that No, he could not play with the crayons and marker in the classroom where we were sitting for the orientation because they belonged to the students and had not been put there for him as he had presupposed.

The Husband removed The Boy and I was left with The Girl to listen to the 20-something kindergarten teacher with the bedhead-that-takes-a-lot-of-careful-styling hair and style-by-Gap wardrobe, and don’t forget the not-beard-and-mustache but sort of face-framing facial-hair/stubble landscaping thing, talk about the great education my kid was going to um, get. The words “um” and “like” were um, like, falling out of his mouth so frequently I started flashing on the movie Valley Girl. It was not pleasant. Add that to the fresh understanding that my child will be adding(!) and subtracting(!) and reading(!) by the end of the year, and I was sort of wishing that I could throw a tantrum like The Boy and start wailing “But my kid can already do that! She’s doing elementary base 10 math and reading at a 3rd grade level! What is SHE going to learn this year?” Yeah, um, like, social skills? Maybe. Or maybe she’ll be bored out of her skull and have behavioral problems. Or maybe she’ll be the kid who always has the right answer who earns the animosity of her peers? Like, um, what then?

On the upside, Mr. Like-um will not be The Girl’s teacher (thank god we got THAT request made early) and her future classroom has a pretty bitchin’ play kitchen set.

… and the obligatory condron.us plug, because it seems to bring the readers…

you know that glaze packet that comes with the ham that everybody cooks for easter dinner?

… that is some sticky shit.

And why is it that I can never remember that it’s potatoes first and THEN ham? If I start the scalloped potatoes in the oven first, cook for 45 minutes, then cook the pre-cooked (how stupid is that, I mean really folks) ham for its first session, then BOTH the ham AND the potatoes go in for the last 30, and ta-da, hot stuff done at the same time before 7:30 pm and kids don’t nod off at the table and get ham sauce in their hair. Easy, right? Then why, dear lord, oh why is it that I have only been able to pull off this seemingly simple task of kitchen wizardry only once in 6 years of family holiday cooking? And I make this freakin’ meal roughly TWICE EVERY FLIPPIN’ YEAR!!! Next year, screw the ham, it’s turkey for Easter or jello and water, and that’s final.

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During the marathon cooking session of 4 ½ hours (which would have been 2 ½ had I not been the idiot who put the ham in before the potatoes), I made a startling discovery: The Easter Bunny has moved into our backyard along with his entire extended family. We have been invaded. Our once beautiful, albeit tiny, bit of lawn flanking our tiny, albeit… nope, just tiny, house has become a complete wreck of miniature hills and valleys littered with rabbit poo and dead grass, leaf mould and more rabbit poo. It is ankle breaking and heart wrenching to walk on the grass that used to make me so proud. Proud of all the hard work that The Husband and I had put into our little yard, all the money we have forked out to the fine people at ChemLawn to make our lawn the best looking on the block, and apparently the most rabbit friendly, for I have seen no other neighbors walking their lawns swearing above their breath and vowing revenge upon the rabbit population. But I could be wrong.

Add the rabbit infestation to all of the other little things that have started to creep up wrong with our little house over the last few months, and I’m starting to feel betrayed. I’m not sure by whom yet, but betrayed nonetheless. Granted, the house is 110 years old and the entire town was built on swampland (“Hey Bob – this looks like a great place to settle, nice and close to water!” And people wonder why non-Dakota people think Dakota people are stupid. Yeah.), but it’s kind of like all the “fixes” that were done on the house in order to sell it are now wearing off, because they were not done well. Oh, fine. They did a shit job on most everything, and there are some downright weird things that make no sense whatsoever. Shit workmanship? The windows have daylight gaps between the frames and the interior walls, they have never sealed properly on the outside, which has created a moisture issue on the inside during the winter, which has led to a mold problem on the cheap wooden frames because they were never properly water sealed. And I have a sneaking suspicion that there has always been a bit of a mold issue in this house, since there are little patches cropping up from cracks that are breaking through walls that were patched. Hoodwinked, I say. Less than full disclosure. 6 years after the fact, I feel like I got suckered into an eventual money pit, and in order to sell the damn thing we’re going to have to start throwing money at it like it’s an AIG.

On the other hand, I am grateful that I still have a roof over my head, even if there are some cracks starting to show.

oh — and p.s. condron.us (because there’s just no good way to work that into the story, you know?)

go forth, be fruitful and multiply

…the bunnies, apparently,  took this very seriously.

Another harrowing drive along route 12 last night to bring me and the kidlettes back to the Other Dakota. Again with the fog? I mean really. At least the deer had the good sense to stay at home. But my god the bunnies! Never in my life have I seen so many rabbits hippity hoppity-ing along the side of the road, across the road, in the middle of the road, or just sitting in large rabbit pow-wows on the edge of the road. It was really very impressive. And pheasants. I’m used to the pheasants. Stupid fucking male pheasants and their long showy plumage, aim for the breeders – that’s what I say. They’re generally slower in crossing the road and easier to splat with a tire rather than smack with a grill or windshield. It’s those males that tend to screw up the grille and the glass. Did I mention that I really have a deep seeded hatred for pheasants? At least the blasted bunnies have the sense of self-preservation to hippity-hop their happy asses out of the way of on-coming traffic.

Driving in dense fog, while causing a driver to concentrate almost to a point of physical pain, also has a tendency to make to the mind wander. Thither and yon went my neurons last night, randomly trailing from the old friends I’ve reconnected with thanks to the electronic heroin-crack that is Facebook, to my college days of yore when driving in crazy weather made me believe that the world had been taken over by aliens in the dead of night. Well, to be honest, it was a combination of crazy frosty-foggy-wind that had blown everything to a 45-degree angle and lay down ice so thick it looked like it had been firehosed and the hallucinations from sleep deprivation and a handful of recreational drugs, which shall remain nameless. But I must say that it is experiences such as that one drug addled drive (and others) that taught me valuable lessons regarding using my eyes in situations where they may or may not be trustworthy. And anyone who has driven in dense fog for any length of time during the night should be able to attest to the fact that after awhile, the ocular orbits tend to do goofy things.

This is not to say that drugs are good, or that I am telling any of you, dear readers, to go out and get high, or least of all go get high and then drive. I never said I was not an idiot in my youth. Most of the fun drugs are illegal. And as such, should not be procured or partaken of. However, if one is willing to take one’s freedom in one’s hands, at least make sure that you’re good at it. In short, don’t do drugs unless you’re good at it. I’m not talking about addict-type good, I’m talking about being able to ingest and enjoy to the fullest and then put it down without a second thought. Addicts are not good at drugs. People who take LSD and think they can fly (and I have never, ever met one of these people) are not good at drugs. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

And where else did my exhausted mind wander to while listening to Fall Out Boy and watching for bunnies amidst my soupy surroundings? To my husband. My husband, who, I have to confess, I am still in love with. Six years, two goofy-ass kids, and one 18-month deployment later, and I’m still crazy in love with my husband. He still lapses into backwoods grammar from time to time and occasionally forgets how to dress, his ears are still three times too big for his head, and his smile will never be Hollywood white, but he still makes me feel like the hot chick at the record store that I was when we first met. He still jokes about getting me knocked up so that I’d marry him, even though we were already engaged, and he’s still trying to give me everything I think I want just like he promised he would when he proposed 7 years ago on my parents’ front porch.

So for today, I’m glad to be home. Even if it is in the Other Dakota, land of ethanol and pheasants.