Pissin' on the Pumpkin Patch

Posted by PrincessManda on , ,
"How'd you sleep? I recall being yelled at during one point of the night, so I am going to assume not well."
Re: Snoring

Making memories together since 2013.
The pumpkin patch is a necessary evil. It's one of those outings that you look forward to all summer and then five minutes into it you want to kill everyone, yourself and especially your significant other.

I'll admit that I am annoyed by most people, but the following nine I encountered at our yearly trek to the Patch nearly caused me to head home, board up the windows, become a recluse, and throw in the towel.

Weather Wanda. It's 80 degrees out, but you're dressed in fall's finest and yet you look like a total asshole.

Mr. & Mrs. Hipster Harry. Blink and you'll miss them. Similar in nature to the sightings of the Loch Ness Monster and Abominable Snowman. 
Breaking hearts since 2011.

Over Prepared Penny. Parents that pack for a three-month journey just to end up at the Patch. 90% of the time Doug and I will leave the house without diapers and guess what? We survived.  The mother with a bag on her back, two diaper bags hanging off her stroller handle and making her hubby carry a man bag as well -- you drive me batshit crazy.

20-something Trixie and her gaggle of misfits. The group of 20-somethings that wanted a fall-like "outing" with their gal pals that didn't get the memo that the Patch is really a family must-do. Extra bonus when the gaggle is still dressed up in their "clothes" from the night before.

Costume Carla. Parents that allow their kids to wear their Halloween costume to the Patch. People, it's October 5, put it away.

Grant the Goth.  It's 10 a.m. on a Sunday. What in the hell are you doing here exactly?

PDA Peter.  If a visit to the Patch isn't traumatic enough I now have to watch that creepy middle-aged couple inspect each other's tonsils. Please DEAR GOD get a room.
Not a fan of the Great Outdoors.

Competitive Christina. The parents that thought it was a good idea to let their 10 year-old enter a pie eating contest. This is never a good idea.

Perfectionist Paul. Doug and I spent $20 and a total of 10 minutes to stuff straw into a shirt so we could take home a scarecrow. Perfectionist Paul started the same time as we and when we left the Patch an hour later, they were still at it.

Is it just awful that I'm already planning next year's trip?

Funny Girl

Posted by PrincessManda on
"I've always been attracted to you, but now it seems like you're finally attracted to me."
Re: marital life

Who didn't love them
a perm in 1989?
Lord have mercy, I was an ugly child. 

This was a fact I was faced with early on in my life. It didn’t help matters that when I was seven I told my mother I wanted a short haircut like hers and she obliged. Mothers, don’t make that same mistake. I spent the entire year of second grade looking like a Rick Astley wannabe and then the following two years trying to grow the damn thing out. It was a really bad time in my youth.

I think the ugliness was cemented for me when I was in the fifth grade and was voted “funniest girl” in my class. Everyone can agree that once you’re branded as funny, there’s no turning that label around in your favor.

Looking back I clearly can see that I used humor as a defense and coping mechanism. You can’t tease a girl about being ugly if she makes you laugh, right?

There was one time in high school when a friend and I snuck off campus for lunch and upon us returning my “pretty” friend got us pulled over because she wasn’t wearing her seat belt. 
Who didn't love them some velvet in 1994?

Since I usually always followed the rules, I of course was sweating bullets in the back seat trying to not throw up in my mouth while my friend hiked up her already too short cheerleader skirt and started flirting with the police officer. 

The worst part? He ate it all up like he was a fat kid going in for another piece of chocolate cake. We ended up being let go and sent on our way with only a warning but the officer did turn to me as he was leaving and said, “You’re very lucky to have such a pretty friend. Next time try to keep her out of trouble.”

At the time I swallowed down the bile that had been sitting in the back of my throat and considered us lucky. Now as an adult I wish I could have climbed up on top of that officer’s head and shit right onto his face. 

It’s my fault that my friend wasn’t wearing her seat belt and got us pulled over? 

It’s my responsibility to make sure that she doesn’t break the law moving forward? 

Give me a break. 

Little does that officer know my “pretty” friend easily gained 75 pounds since high school, had  a short stint as a stripper, obviously had a drug problem at one time and her face now resembles the leather Kooba handbag I carry on my shoulder. 

Karma’s a real bitch now, isn’t it?

Meandering Mama

Posted by PrincessManda on ,

"That is completely normal for his age."
Re: Everything Riley does

You know it's going to be a good day when your nanny sends you this text first thing:

So where do I even begin?

Long story short we have a nanny through the end of October. She is lovely. The kids love her, I love her, the world's worst Pomeranians absolutely love her, but I am still not convinced that crazies like me should have a nanny in their home.

For one, I am cleaning the house every night before she comes. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Mopping, vacuuming, dusting. You name it, I am doing it. I know this isn't normal behavior. Last night even Doug, a man of few words chimed in, "Amanda, we are paying her to work in our home, stop cleaning. She doesn't care." 

Clearly I can't and I won't.

"Princess Hair"
Lucky for me Riley has also been in a pink phase for about a year now. Not a week, not a month, but a FULL CALENDAR YEAR. Every time I mention that maybe we should do something about it, Doug is kind enough to explain, "that is completely normal for his age."

Riley wearing a blanket on his head all day and pretending it's his princess hair? "That is completely normal for his age."

The above text message from Julia? "That is completely normal for his age."

Yes those are my shoes.
The fact that Riley wants to be Elsa for Halloween and his favorite color is pink? "That is completely normal for his age."

Riley borrowing his sister's My Little Pony stuffed animal and carrying it around for three days straight and then one day cleaning it with his tongue cause that's what mamas do. "That is completely normal for his age."

And the list can go on and on and on.

Do I care what color Riley likes? No. Do I care that he pretends he has princess hair? Absolutely not. I just hope that kids won't be cruel to this amazing and tenacious 3-year-old.

Let's not forget to mention our other child, Lady R (or as I affectionately call her, "the female version of Doug.")

Girlfriend is still not walking and if she gets her way she'll never have to walk a day in her life because her Big Brother and ignorant parents do absolutely EVERYTHING for her.

Having fun since 2013.
She eats anything and everything. Has yet to meet a food item that she hasn't liked.

She adores Riley. Worships the ground he walks on.

She's the only one in the house who will tolerate the world's worst Pomeranians.

Who needs nine hours of sleep when Baby Sister prefers 13?
I'm guessing that we'll continue to enjoy Lady R until she turns 18 months old and enters Toddler Territory and I'll have to start self medicating again. I wonder what wisdom Doug will choose to bestow upon me then?

Facebook Farewell

Several months ago I thought it would be a good idea to join my neighborhood group on Facebook and initially it was. I read a lot of great posts that recommended various local contractors, great restaurants that were in the hood and we were even able to find a babysitter that is a student at the nearby high school. All very promising stuff, and then slowly but surely the bat shit crazies came out of the woodwork.

There were the daily and sometimes twice daily missing dog posts where the same person would comment multiple times that she couldn't believe how many dog owners let their dogs out without collars on or then chastizing the posters for not even attempting to catch the lost animal. Evidently she was the self-appointed animal lover out of the group.

Then there was the post where a local woman accused someone of knowingly infecting multiple men with AIDS. The posts themselves definitely had the making of a great Telenovela drama, but again the commenters had to climb up on top of their self-prescribed soapboxes and take it to a level that clearly indicates they have way too much damn free time on their hands.

Last night's issue was the straw that broke the camel's back.

When Doug and I sat down to eat dinner, we looked out the window and noticed a homeless guy making camp in the alley that runs alongside our home. We weren't sure what we could do (sorry I don't like the idea of a homeless guy sleeping alongside my house) so Doug asked me to post something on the Facebook group and see if anyone would get back to us.

These are the responses I got:

"Tell him to scat!." 1 Like
"Invite him in for a cup of coffee." 6 Likes
"Maybe call the Colorado Coalition for the homeless because maybe they can help him?" 2 Likes

Not two minutes later I get a private message from a gal in the neighborhood who let's me know to call 311 and they will come out and send the person on their way. Clearly she had to send me a message instead of posting it on the public page because lord knows these crazies would most likely stone her to death for that response.

I start drafting my response because there isn't anything I like more then taking to a public forum to discuss the problem with Denver homelessness when I look out our bedroom window and see a police cruiser driving down the alley. I run outside to find Doug.

"Did you see the police drive by? I wonder who called them?" I asked Doug.

Turns out it was Doug. Ten minutes into his early evening slumber a neighbor had turned on their backyard sprinklers and the homeless man had to find a new place to go. Doug happened to be out front watering and he watched as the man tried to open several gates that led into our neighbors' backyards and he decided that was enough for him.

So thanks Facebook commenters for the absolutely wonderful advice. Next time I'll be sure to invite a strange man that I don't know from a hole in the ground into my home for a cup of coffee. Of course it doesn't matter that I have two young children at home because clearly that is the morally right thing to do in this situation, correct? And who cares that we just saw him trying to access property that isn't his, right?

I deleted my post and decided this will be my Facebook farewell. I cannot continue to support a platform that encourages you to project your morally perfect life when in reality each and every single one of us is struggling.

If anyone truly cares about how I'm doing, you can always pick up the phone.

Doodoo Voodoo

Posted by PrincessManda on
"I recognize the taste. Pretty sure I've chewed these before."
Re: Pill chewer
The other morning I went down to Riley's room and he introduces me to Doodoo. We'd been hearing a lot about Doodoo over the past couple of months and since Riley speaks in a mixture of toddler and Spanglish and we don't understand half of the shit he says, we kind of had been ignoring it.

I remember there were times when he was making a call to Doodoo on his pretend cellphone or instances where he asked to play and wanted me to be the Doodoo, but again I didn't put too much thought into it. So here I was at 6:30 in the morning coming face to face with Riley's new best friend: Doodoo.

Now before any of you ask (because I am sure a few of you are thinking it), no Doug and I don't refer to the #2 bodily function as doodoo. In fact I am not even sure Riley knows that they are one in the same.

"Nice to meet you Doodoo," I say to the space next to Riley's bed.

"No mama, he's oder dare (over there)." Riley points to the other space next to the bed.

Oh this is going to be fun I thought.

Riley proceeds to tell me that Doodoo has red hair, is a boy, has a mom name Ah-me-ah-naw (Amanda) and his mom lives in Brazil. Obviously, all good information to know.

I watch as Riley gets dressed and then dresses Doodoo (he's wearing a purple princess skirt). I brush Riley's teeth and then Riley brushes Doodoo's teeth. After Riley throws the toothbrush in the sink he runs back to retrieve it because he forgot to brush Doodoo's tongue. Little type A personality never hurt anybody.

The rest of the morning is smooth sailing until two minutes before we leave and Riley asks to wear a white hat just like Doodoo.

"You don't have a white hat," I try to explain to Riley.

Within seconds of my response, I watch as his entire world crumbles. There are hysterics, he body slams himself to the ground, tears, shrieks -- you name it, I witnessed it.

With promises that he could watch Dora in the car (KILL ME NOW) I was able to get the tears to subside.

Days past and Doodoo becomes part of the family. He sits next to Riley at mealtimes, helps to clean up his room and also accompanies us to Riley's swim lessons. (I really recommend everyone having a 3rd child that's invisible.)
This morning Riley was being a bit more quiet than usual so I ask him if Doodoo's around.

"No mama, he's flyin' up in the sky."

Oh okay I thought. Maybe he's moved on to another family like Mary Poppins.

"Mama, I want to fly for X-mas like Doodoo," Riley says.
"Fly how?" I ask.

"Like dis (this)," Riley responds and shows me a book that he had opened on his bed.

Christmas should be fun for us this year, won't it? I hope Doodoo doesn't stick around for that long.

On a side note: Riley was scrolling through the photos on my phone and comes across this precious moment and says:
"Oh look Baby's singing." - Riley

Party Pooper

Posted by PrincessManda on ,
"Why'd you bring my shoes in here?" - Me
"Cause Riley won't stop wearing them." - Doug

I can officially say that Riley's 3rd birthday party was the first and last birthday party that I will ever throw for any of my children. Ever.

And while I am climbing up onto my soapbox please introduce me to at least one parent who has planned their kid's birthday and had an absolute blast doing so. Just one. That's all I ask.

Back in the fall Riley attended a few parties for his schoolmates and thus the idea of his birthday party was born. For weeks we had to hear how he was going to have presents and cake and that his birthday was in February. Did the poor kid even know what month we were in when he started talking incessantly about it? Of course he didn't. Would he start screaming hysterically when we told him it was November and he had several months to go until his party? Of course he did.

So after the holidays I decided to go for it and I dove headfirst into super-crazy planning mode. Since I don't typically want people in my house (ever), I found a nice little neighborhood venue called the Art Garage and thought, "this shouldn't be so bad."

That was mistake number one.

1. Plan on inviting 20+ kids and consider yourself lucky if five even show up. Silly, silly, silly me for assuming that if I attended your kid's boring ass party that you would do the same for me.

2. Mommy cliques. Mommy cliques are hell on earth. Enough said.

3. Slice of ham, anyone? Make enough food to feed an army, and be surprised when no one eats a god damn thing. I promised myself that after I attended a party where I was served one slice of ham and a cube of cheese that I would offer more for my guests.

4. Regifts. A child's birthday party isn't the proper venue to regift that old soccer ball that you have been trying to get rid of for the past thee years.

5. Oh I'm sorry did I forget to RSVP? If a party is being thrown at a venue chances are a headcount is needed.

6. Frazzled Fran. You all know this mother. Doesn't officially send you an email RSVPing, but tells you verbally that she will attend. You see her the day before the party and she doesn't acknowledge you or make eye contact. She then proceeds to show up with ten minutes left in the party with an unwrapped gift and a mouthful of excuses.

Did Riley have an absolute blast? Of course he did.

At the end of the day is that what is important here? Of course it is.

Would I still do it again? Hell no.

Big Boy Balls

Posted by PrincessManda on , , , ,
"I like showing off that I have all of my hair."
Re: Why he doesn't like wearing a hat.
Doug: Ruining photo ops
  since 2004.
It has long been established that Doug LOVES him a hobby. Who could forget The Great Strawberry Incident, the time he dappled with a video recorder or his short-lived stint as a birder? In the nine years we have been together I have learned that his interests are endless and the attention span on said interests is about as short as they can come.
One day I had noticed that a notebook magically appeared on his nightstand and I immediately knew he was up to something. Flipping through it I couldn't make out anything that he had actually written (penmanship was obviously never a hobby), but I could tell they resembled jokes. A lot of jokes. Pages upon pages of jokes.
The following night I settle in to watch a movie on Netflix and discover that all of the previously watched shows were some sort of comedy standup routine. "Here we go again," I thought.
Knowing full well what I was about to get myself into, I ask Doug what was up with the sudden influx of all things joke-related. He provided me with his standard hobby-related answers:
  • It's something I have always been interested in exploring.
  • I just want to try it out to see if I like it.
  • I won't spend a lot of money on it (ie: strawberries)
  • I promise to not move onto another hobby so quickly.
  • Amanda, I am funny.

So the last bullet might not be something he says for each and every hobby, but he does like to remind me often as to how funny he is, and how others seem to agree with him.

Weeks passed and I notice that the "comedy" notebook is continuing to be used and the standup shows are continuing to be watched. One day while making fun of him for what I was mistaking as a total and complete waste of time, I ask Doug just what he planned on doing with all of these jokes that he was writing down.

'Well to perform them in front of a live audience, of course."

I'm sorry, what did he just say? To perform in front of a live audience. Does he mean our children? The ungrateful Pomeranians? I ask him to elaborate and he hits me with this:

"I am going to perform at the New Talent Night at Comedy Works downtown."

Are you now? Really.

Evidently it takes about 6-8 weeks before you get selected and by the time Doug and I had this little conversation he was already four weeks in.

I didn't have the heart to let him know that
Chelsea Lately is the name of the show
and not the actual person.

"You realize that I support you, but that I won't be able to attend, right?"

I have this thing about being embarrassed. It's so bad in fact that I make Doug walk into restaurants first and I won't shop in a store if there aren't any other shoppers already in there. The same rules apply to him performing in a comedy club. I will support you, but I will support you from the comfort of my own home where I can be in my jammies, sipping on my box of wine and texting you for updates.

Three weeks later Doug got the call and he was scheduled to perform on Tuesday, February 11. Immediately my left armpit started sweating and I had anxiety over this performance. How was he going to prepare? Did he realize he needed to prepare? Did he realize he was going to be performing along with professionals? Does he realize that not everyone (including me) thinks he is funny?

Fast forward to the big day.

Doug's topic: Internet Commenters
Doug's preparation: Rehearsing in front of the mirror and Rhory.
Amanda's stress level: 10
Doug's: -10

He starts to pepper me with texts and my anxiety levels reach an all time high. He let's me know he is going on at 8:30 and at 8:32 I get the below text:
Yes I did tell him to enunciate. Don't hate.

 Just like that. No details, no specifics, just Doug being Doug. He did finally call me to let me know it went really well and he had some genuine laughs and that he was provided some feedback from the other professionals. Even better was that he was invited back and his set was extended to four minutes for the next time. Sadly there is no video evidence of this moment in his life.

Just now I asked him, "So Doug what was your punchline to your set?"

He replies: "Internet Commenters and amoebas."

And just like that a star is born...