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...

Incest ISN'T Best

Posted by PrincessManda on
"Must be nice to have a three month weekend."
Re: Maternity Leave

I gotta admit I worried a lot about how Riley was going to react to having a baby sister, and when I say a lot I really do mean that I lost a TON of sleep over it. So when Riley visited me and Rhory in the hospital and tried to suck her face off I knew we were all going to be okay. My brother and I never got along and I am pretty sure he hated me since birth so I wasn't sure how I was going to raise siblings that genuinely cared about one another and got along. Evidently that worrying was all for naught because it's been the exact opposite. Doug and I now spend our time asking him to stop kissing his baby sister and suffocating her with his undying love.

The other day Doug let me know that he worried Riley would become this:

and honestly that thought struck my mind as well until last night when Rhory decided to nip the endless kissing in the bud. All it took was a mouthful of spit-up to stop Riley in his tracks.

My Unclad Lad

Posted by PrincessManda on
"Let me burp Rhory first and then I'll Peter Pan you."
Doug to Riley
Re: Introducing new verbs into the English language

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the NAKEDEST of them all?

If you happen to be in the Eldridge household the answer to that question is Riley.

After a year of not having a floor-length mirror (not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion) we recently purchased one and Riley has become enamoured with it.

A case in point was yesterday evening when I brought a load of laundry downstairs and caught Riley in his skivvies checking out his six-pack. Three minutes later I check on him again and notice that he's now in his birthday suit.

We haven't even owned the damn mirror for a week and that's the fourth time I have caught him Au naturel. Not really sure how I feel about having a nudist in the family. 

Poopy Parenting

Posted by PrincessManda on
"We need to teach her how to self soothe. Go grab a beer."
Re: Parenting at its finest

Potty training is quite possibly the most horrifying experience I have ever been fortunate enough to encounter in my short 33 years on this planet. I have discovered there are two camps for parents when it comes to ditching the diapers; those that brag that they potty trained their children at 16 months old (liars), and those like me, that would rather have their teeth pulled than to ever have to pull down a pair of poop filled underwear EVER again in their life.

Months ago when Riley would see us go use the restroom he started to ask us to go potty. For weeks this required us to remove his diaper, prop him up on the toilet and watch as he sat there for five minutes and absolutely nothing would happen. Then one day he actually peed in the toilet. Small victory we thought. Days later he then pooped in the toilet. HUGE victory we thought -- he obviously must be ready for potty training.

On day before we even went out to buy him big boy underwear (and when we obviously thought as parents we were invincible), Riley proceeded to take his diaper off and we thought nothing of it. In fact, I would even go so far as to say we thought we had potty training in the bag. So there was Riley (who had just peed in the potty) running around without a diaper on while I was doing the dishes and Doug was working at the kitchen table. Seconds later I hear Doug yelling, "RILEY NO!" while sprinting towards him at an alarming rate. I look behind me and there is Riley shatting on our kitchen rug. No arching off the back, no squatting of the thighs -- just standing there playing with his kitchen and pinching a big old deuce on my kitchen floor.  I tried not to run from the room dry heaving while Riley most likely didn't even bat an eye.

Of course there was no reason to even attempt to try to explain why this was a bad thing to a two and a half year old who was used to pooping in a diaper for the span of his entire life. So instead we whisked him away to the bathroom  -- where he finished the job on the toilet seat and not inside the actual toilet bowl. I've always had a thing for changing poopy diapers (thanks Doug for picking up my slack), and I certainly draw the line when it comes to cleaning up human poop. If there was ever going to be a moment that was the death of me this would surely rank high on that list.

Weeks later I was scrolling through the pictures on Doug's phone and discovered he had snapped this precious memento moments before the great Poopgate of 2013. How silly we were as parents to think we had potty training down pat. We have now enacted a strict No Nudity policy in the Eldridge household, especially in the kitchen.