Important Life Skill MASTERED

There are some things that girls just learn sooner than boys. There are also things that girls learn that boys never quite catch on to. That's just life. Alexis has mastered one of those skills.

A typical conversation lately:

Alexis: Popcorn!
Me: Do you want popcorn?
Alexis: O-KAY! (In her best, "Oh my goodness, you are absolutely a GENIUS for thinking of that! I would LOVE some popcorn and am just so pleased that you thought to ask me!" voice.)

I have gone round and round with her like this for the past few days. That candy she had as an afternoon snack today? Totally my idea. I was also the genius that thought to give her green beans for lunch. I am obviously the smartest parent of all time because I am just so full of great ideas.

Either that or my daughter has mastered the art of making other people think her idea was their idea, thereby making her path to happiness easier. She couldn't have possibly learned it from me.

(BTW, Honey--you're right. I really should get started on putting up the Christmas decorations. I'm so glad I have you to remind me how long it takes to get it all done. Do you have a second to help me start bringing up the boxes?)


Tag--I'm It!

Karen tagged me earlier this week for seven random things about myself. I gave it a bit of thought because I wanted to list seven things nobody that reads this blog would know. Given that my in-laws are devoted followers who have been reading my dribble for nearly two years, it's not an easy task. After all, my husband first introduced me to them over 13 years ago. But here goes:

1. I have been a vegetarian for nearly 17 years. OK, bunches of you knew that. But did you know that it started because of a bet? I have never liked meat and at one time could be known to complain endlessly about the fact that I was eating the nasty stuff. Four of my friends finally became annoyed enough to tell me to put up or shut up. They each bet me $50 that I couldn't go a month without eating meat. I became $200 richer and never restarted eating the stuff.

2. Alexis is also a vegetarian, but I'm not the one that made the decision. I didn't really have an opinion one way or the other. We have agreed, however, that it's her choice to make. There have been a few times that she's expressed interest in one sort of dead animal or another, but she's never taken the plunge. Given that she's still in the 95th percentile for height and weight, I'd have to say she's doing just fine without it.

3. While I won't eat dead animals, I will eat Cream of Mushroom soup straight out of the can. Don't ask; I can't explain it.

4. I have a Ducktorette Degree in Human Resource Management from Disney University (it's even signed by Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck). That and $4.07 will get me a Grande Nonfat Pumpkin Spiced Latte.

5. It was no accident that we hadn't agreed on a middle name for a girl before Alexis was born. We were 100% agreed on a boy's name, but couldn't seem to get anywhere with a girl name. My last attempt at negotiations was when I was around 7 months pregnant when I brought up "McKinnley." Daddy vehemently said no, because he thought it would lead to teasing such as "Mount McKinnley." I was sold on it and didn't really think the teasing would be an issue. So I made up my mind that I wouldn't mention it again until we were in the delivery room. If we happened to have a girl, then I planned to use the current situation to my advantage. It worked. I have been known to gloat about the fact that Daddy refers to the Toddler as Kinnley more often than he does as Alexis.

6. My Mother refused to let me pierce my ears growing up because "If God had wanted holes in your ears, he would have put them there." The very second I thought I looked old enough to do it without a parent present, I had six holes punched in one ear and three in the other.

7. I killed Josh Duhamel in high school. Seriously. I was in charge of our school's Ghost Out for drunk driving awareness and he was one of the volunteers that offered to die for the day. I painted his face, made him a tombstone, and declared him dead. (For the record, he wasn't as smokin' hot back in 1992 as he is now.) (Also for the record, since I don't know if anybody outside of North Dakota has ever heard of a "Ghost Out", they are a way of raising awareness about the consequences of drunk driving. I don't know what the statistic is now, but back in '92 someone died in a drunk driving accident every 17 minutes. So every 17 minutes, a student volunteer would get their face painted white and were to be "dead" for the rest of the day. They attended classes but weren't allowed to talk. We always held them on days when there was a football or basketball game and would have all of the ghosts attend so that we could amass them together for a presentation at half time. I don't know if they actually stop anyone from drinking and driving, but Ghost Outs are definitely impactful.)

So there you have it. I now am supposed to tag seven others, but I think I'm just going to tag a couple of people that I've been meaning to add to my blogroll for some time now. Maybe I'll get around to it someday.

I tag: Imposter Mom, Not the Momma, and Tired Mama.


I Think She Even Stole the Title for this Post

It's a fact that all parents know; children will make you lose your mind. It starts the first night home from the hospital. You realize that they really didn't give you an instruction manual, you have no idea what to do, and HOLY HECK it wasn't a lie that babies wake up every three hours. The fearful sleep deprivation quickly sinks you to depths you never knew were possible.

Later, they suck a little more of your brain out by just being too damn cute for their own good. You find yourself enthralled by simple things like how adorable it is when they hold a rattle all by themselves for the very first time, because surely no other human being has ever before managed such an amazing feat. They drive you absolutely senseless what with their smiles and coos and giggles. You are fully aware that you are being sucked in, but it's worth it.

Throughout these early stages of insanity, you are pretty sure you are just a few moments of alone time away from regaining clarity. But then comes the worst stage of all. It's the stage where you decide that you truly have lost your mind because YOU CAN'T FIND ANYTHING ANYMORE. That camera you could swear you left on the dresser? Obviously you are mistaken because it's not there. You walk over the table where you set down the TV remote, only to think you must have left it elsewhere. You scour the house for your iPod because you just know you brought it in the house, but aren't sure where you put it.

Then it hits you. You live with a thief. A very short, very cute, very sly thief. You figure that it won't be that hard to find the missing items. After all, the thief is short. There aren't a lot of places below their four foot reach where they can hide things. But then weeks go by without any sign of the really invisible stick of deodorant. You have no idea where the thief is stashing things. Suddenly your house seems ten times it's size and the little pocket of space that's holding your prized possessions could be anywhere. It's the proverbial needle in a haystack.

For me, this morning it was the literal knitting needle in a haystack. The sweater that I have so lovingly been working on for the past few weeks is sitting stagnant on a needle, unable to move towards completion because--hello--you need two needles to knit. And needle number two is nowhere to be found. To complicate the situation, Alexis is fully capable of travelling up and down the stairs. So it's not like the needle's current hiding place can in any way be narrowed down. It might still be in the bedroom. But it could also be jammed under couch cushions, stashed in the trash can, buried below the bathroom sink, being used to dismantle Alexis' crib. For all I know, Alexis might have fed it to Meg.

I have tried asking Alexis where she hid it. In the past, she has led me to CDs that she's ripped from their players, bananas that I know she can't have eaten quite that quickly, and various other objects. But she's not budging on the whereabouts of that knitting needle. So I'll buy another pair, knowing full well that the odd number will drive me further down into the crazy abyss.

I am currently missing a knitting needle, a white gold necklace, an iPod case, the top to a mini chopper, a tube of Chapstick, one puppy puzzle piece, and my mind. If you have see them anywhere, please let me know.