Jun 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

My Mr. Wisdom,

Today is Father's Day, a ridiculous, Hallmark holiday of sorts, that neither one of us deem important. However, because it IS Father's Day, I'm going to use this opportunity to tell you a few things that I do not tell you on a daily basis, but that I think often:

You are amazing. I love you with every inch of my soul. You are a crazy-brilliant father to these babies, and we are blessed to have you. You came into this relationship/marriage as a 'boy' dad. You didn't have little girls of your own, and when we married, the chicks were 3 and 5--just babies. You didn't hesitate at all--you jumped right in and became a dad to them. Over the past 9 years, you have wiped away tears; brushed long, tangled hair; played 'Cinderella dress-up' (complete with jewelry and crown); and listened copious amounts of Broadway showtunes--all things you probably thought you'd never have to do in your life.

But I'm so glad you did.

You work fulltime, then often come home and head either right up to the gym, or right up to the theatre. You spend your 'extra' time building set pieces for a show, listening to one of them rehearse lines/music, watching 'my beam routine' one. more. time.

You support Jenna with her Cheetah Conservation cause like no other. You tell her, repeatedly, how proud you are of her and what she's doing. You'll tell anyone who will listen how smart she is, what an amazing kid she is, and how she's going to follow her dreams. You steadfastly listen to her discuss, in animated detail, whatever her passion is of the moment. For nearly 3 years, you would sit and open your ears to whatever Monster High discussion she was having with you at the moment. You created a place in her room where she could display all her dolls, and sit quietly and draw. You've spent countless hours creating costume props for her; making them perfect down to every last detail. 



 
You'll sit with her at the piano and work on music with her; you'll learn music that she likes, just so you can play your guitar and she can sing along. You do more for her soul than anyone in this world. And when I tuck her in at night, and we talk about her day, when she says, "WeWe watched 'Heroes of Cosplay' with me, and we talked about 'How to Train Your Dragon' and ComiCon--he is the BEST. DAD. EVER." my heart melts because you ARE the best dad ever.

That little Munch of ours is a handful, and she's needy, and she requires attention--none of which make you balk. She spends a great deal of time on your lap--granted, she's often trying to show you how she can put you in a headlock...but you taught her that, so you can't complain. That little one adores you, and you know it. You're a sucker. At any gymnastics meet, you're the dad yelling the loudest: "Go CLAIREYBEAR!!" or "Let's go MUNCH!!" You are her biggest fan.

You calm the 'too tired' meltdowns with snuggles and kisses, and you allow her to sleep on our floor more than you should (Yeah, I do, too). You watch a million renditions of new floor routines that she makes up to 80s rock, and even more 'shows' that she puts on in the backyard. These are all reasons why, when she's gone for a week at camp, the first thing she says when we get in the car is, "Let's hurry up and get home. I miss WeWe." She loves your hugs, she loves that she can climb into your lap, and she loves that you will pick her up and snuggle her.


The girls are so very lucky to have you. You are the kind of man that I want them to marry. You show them every day, through your actions, how a husband should treat a wife--and I will forever be thankful for that. They will expect no less than a husband who treats them with adoration and thankfulness, never raises his voice to them, and is full of affection. Thank you for being that model of a man to them. 

 
Thank you for being the kind of daddy that will hold their hand--no matter how old they are.

ILUMTW!

Dec 5, 2013

Jenna's Christmas list

As randomly sweet and childish The Munch's Christmas list is, Jenna's is the complete opposite. Because, if you haven't noticed that they are absolutely nothing alike in any way, shape or form, this should seal the deal for  you.

Jenna has thoughtfully starred the important things--none of that haphazard shit for her. She even included a call-out at the top left--you know, in case I didn't realize what the stars were for.


The top 3 would freak out a normal person: An acrylic [sic] paint set, green doll hair, and a nude werecat doll. No, she did not ask for lotion, and there's no well dug in the floor of her room. Jenna has a shit ton (I don't know how to convert that to metric for my non-U.S. friends, but it's a lot) of Monster High dolls. What she has done, is drawn her own line of custom dolls that she now wants to create. Thanks a lot, Etsy. You suck. Thanks to you, she has these ornate ideas of creation in her head. What's going to happen, is she's going to scalp a frickin doll, then paint shitty, scary eyes on it. It's going to end in tears. And a big mess.

One of my favorites: "Bread kittens plush." Who the hell says plush? I'll bet that's a common word in the over-80 crowd, but a 12-year old?? And Bread Kittens is the most mindless game around. It's seriously about kittens that have a piece of bread on their face. Some people work on the time/space continuum, some people make games about cats and bread. Alrighty.

I see that she really wants a cheetah. Again. And she specified, not on this list, that she wants, "...the old one with the grumpy face." I can tell you right now, that I searched through all the resident cheetahs on the cheetah.org website, and none of them looked old or grumpy. I ended up sponsoring a pissy-looking girl cheetah. I figured she'd relate.

An iPhone 4s or higher: Kids and their technology. The fact that she whines about this cracks me up. I used to have to use a ROTARY dial. The first time she saw one of those, she pushed the circles and asked why it wasn't dialing. Pssshhh...Kids are dumb.

Rollerskates (no BLADES). hahaha!!! Whatever, "grace." I've said it before, but this kid is like Bambi on ice. I get nervous when she puts on shoes because it's a piece of material between her and the floor. She can't even walk without running into stationary objects--no way i'm putting this kid on wheels. I don't have enough insurance for THAT.

MH book series: MH=Monster High. Guess she's ready to read these now. She tried 2 years ago, and freaked out because one of the characters wrote that she wanted to "kiss her boyfriend" or something like that. She cried...a lot. She said that it was 'inappropriate' and that she shouldn't have read it. She made me put the book in my room so she wouldn't have to look at it.

Gift cards: Why are these on every kids list now?? That's like saying, "You're probably not going to get me the crap I want, so just give me money so I can buy it myself." Um, no.

Pilot pens: Now HERE'S a gift I can deal with. Hell, i'm feeling generous, so I may give her two packages. That's right, bitches, I'm a big spender. I may say they're from Santa so Clairey will be confused. Then I can say, "Yep, there's an elf that doesn't get to make toys. He has to make pens all day. He was bad, so Santa demoted him."

The 2013 Barbie Dreamhouse: I'm just going to say 'no' right off the bat. They have an older model already. Why the hell does Barbie need to move? The house she has is FINE. I mean, yeah, it's only a 1-bedroom, but she has a freaking condo, too--and THAT has a game room. And Jen's just going to use it for her Monster High dolls, then be bitchy because it's pink and not 'appropriate' MH colors.

To wrap this up, i'm insanely happy that, although she's 12, she still asks for toys. INSANELY. I'm all about keeping her as young as possible. There's way too much time for her to be a teenager. I will say that she has it easy--because her list is WAY cheaper than The Munch's, she will be getting 7 items from this list.

7 packs of Pilot pens. Kidding.

Munch's Christmas selections

[edit: I started this post 2 weeks ago. I'm just now posting it. WHY, you might ask? Because The Munch, for once in her 10-years, has the most expansive and ridiculous Christmas list I've ever seen.]

Every year, right around Thanksgiving, I ask the girls for their Christmas lists. I'm not sure why. I start shopping in July/August, so it's actually kind of a waste of their time. If i'm finished by October, and nothing I purchased is on their list, then they're out of luck. I'm mean like that. On Christmas morning, when they say, "Santa didn't get me anything that's on my list!" I'll generally follow up with something to the likes of, "That's because you were bad/don't help me clean/chew with your mouth open." Kidding. Kind of.

So, here's The Munch's list. Notice how some is handwritten, then there's the 'ol cut and paste method. Speaking of cut and paste--notice how most of that is from Justice. I hate that store. I hope they all burn down. We also have some index cards added into the mix. Nice.


 I'll call out the handwritten notes down the line here. First of all, let's tackle what I have circled:

A. Cut and pasted from the "American Girl" catalog. This catalog is mean. It's pages and pages of items for your overpriced AG dolls. All of these things can be bought at Target for much less money--although, they won't be AG brand. Therefore, your AG cannot POSSIBLY sit in the hair salon chair. And WHY does your doll need a salon anyways?? Let's be honest here--all the dolls end up in a pile in the corner, naked, with ratty hair.

B. Cut and pasted from an educational toy catalog.
  • First, there is a sewing machine. Let me tell you, right now, she doesn't own one, but by the massive amounts of scraps all over my office floor, you would think she does. She can use mine. 
  • Under that, is a ribbon. WHY? She can just use one of the scraps on the floor and wave that around. 
  • There's also some kind of a "see your garden grow" kit. We HAVE a REAL, full-size garden in the backyard. She wasn't interested in watching that shit grow, so why would she want to watch a few carrots growing in a box? No.
  • Walkie-talkies: She and her sister have iPhones so they can text each other from the horrid distance between upstairs and downstairs. Plus, these probably need batteries, which means, they'll work for 2 hours, then they'll sit in the junk drawer for 2 years, waiting for new batteries, until I throw them away. Of course, that will be after she removes the double-As from every remote in our house. 
  • A see-through bird house. Do birds seriously use this? Let's think about it--birds build nests in trees because they're shielded and safe. Why would a bird think, "Hey, there's a random house in the wide open...great place to start a family!"
  • Some kind of "put-paint-on-a-piece-of-paper-and-spin-it-around-really-fast-so-it-makes-pictures" thing. That toy got checked off the list when I saw that it involved paint and spinning.
  • Yeah, that's an ATM machine. The only reason she wants this, is because she thinks it comes with real money. 
  • Glow pad: She had one several years ago. She liked it so much, she doesn't even remember she had it. Nope. Not going for round 2. 
  • A candy claw machine. hahahahaaa!! haaaaaa!!! Wait, let me stop laughing....NO. She's gotta be kidding. I asked her where she would keep that: "In my room," she said. I think not.
C. Another selection from an toy catalog
  • The Snoopy Snow Cone Machine--I'm torn on this. I had one; I loved it. Because seriously...it made snowcones...what's not to like? Well, i'll tell ya: Do you remember how much work it took to make ONE snowcone?? And by the time you had enough 'snow', half of it was melted already, so you ended up with really cold koolaid. And your arm hurt from trying to turn the damned handle, the snow never looked like the picture, and you'd always skin your knuckles trying to clear the grinder of stuck ice cubes. We'd get this, she'd begin to use it, then ask to go get Hawaiian Shaved Ice because Snoopy Snowcones suck. It's like I can read her mind.
  • Is that a 'build a hamburger' game??? WHY?
  • A make-up kit: Deep sigh. This kid loves make up. LOVES IT. I have to worry about her. I'm guessing that this makeup is crap. It probably smells like fake roses, too. And it always comes in crappy colors. I don't need a 10-year old walking around with bright green eyeshadow and glittery lipstick. Smelling like a Walgreens perfume aisle. 
  • A mermaid tail--This is confusing--is this a way to drown your kid? Don't mobsters use shit like this? You're basically tying the kid's feet together, then throwing them in the pool. Guess she'd really have to use her arms...it would give her good upper-body strength...i'll think about it. 
  • Two bows and arrows. Tell me she wouldn't end up shooting her sister and/or the cat. I'm not ready to hear, "Moooooommmmm!!! Ca-LAIRE shot me with an arrow!!!!"
D. I need to stop getting catalogs
  • A cash register. See list B, bullet 7. 
  • A carnivorous plant kit. It's all fun and games until she finds out she has to feed it dead flies. She won't like that. Plus, i've seen the movie, "The Fly." Hell to the no. 
E. Justice
  • Overpriced clothes that were made in Indonesia. She must have EVERYTHING that says, "Gymnast."  Pants? Check. Shirt? Check. Random white-board that will end up under her bed? Check. And is that a flat iron? What the hell. The kid doesn't even have any hair. That also looks like a coconut...not sure. I'll buy her a coconut. As long as I don't have to buy it from Justice. 
Below, is the original list. This is the list i liked--before she found the dreaded catalogs.

I'm just going to pick out my favorites. THESE are the types of lists i like--the handwritten, scribbly ones. And, i'm not going to correct her spelling...

8. Home Dpot work shop: Is she going to set this by her nursery that she has in her room for her babies? "Hey kids, take a nap, then we'll build a birdhouse--that you can see through, because Santa didn't bring me one."
11. Big pillow that looks like mommy: Awwww....she's the sweetest kid. I do, however, have a feeling that one day, my dried corpse will end up in a rocking chair at Clairey's house. I'm tempted to get this--but have it made with a picture of me when I wake up. No make up, mismatched jammies, and a mohawk. She'd probably love it.
12. Big pillow that looks like bell: "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast. This kid still loves princesses. 
13. Big pillow that looks like all the disney princesses (sepret pillows): Screw you people, I want #alltheprincesses
14. American Girl stuff: See my AG rant above. 
15. American Girl Sage: UGH. WHHHHYYYYYY???? 

Notice the pasted cut-outs on this list--more American Girls stuff. And see the red list below? All AG stuff. That little red list, in and of itself, represents around $1k. It's probably in red because i'll have to sell my own blood to afford it.

One day, I will miss this. I will. I do love that she wants toys, but notice how she threw 'gift cards' in there, too. Stinker. 

What are your kids asking for?

[Note: Not reread for editing. I just don't care right now. This thing has been sitting in my draft folder for 2 weeks.]


Oct 31, 2013

This is Halloween, this is Halloween....

This year, we're not going Trick-or-Treating. Truth be told, the weather sucks, so i'm not too unhappy about this. The girls are in a fabulous production of Macbeth, so rather than racking up candy (that we'll end up trashing at Christmas), they'll be at the theatre.

However, in essence of this super-fun day, I decided to post pictures of Halloweens past. Enjoy.

Baby Munch 2003
 
Baby J 2003
 
2004 J is Pooh; Munch is Piglet (only pic I have of both of them)
 
2005 Pumpkin and Black Cat
 
2006 Tiger and Cheetah

 
2007 Puss 'n Boots and Dorothy


2008 Jessie and Jasmine

 2009 Hermione and Vampiress

 
2010 Ninja Cat and Pirate



2011 Bastet and Cleopatra


2012 Dia de los Muertos bride and Operetta


 In a few weeks, we'll be attending ComiCon--I should have some fun pics from that! :)


Sep 30, 2013

A Cheetah Girl turns 12

Oh, Jen. How in the world can you be 12 years old? How is it possible that yesterday, I was just carrying you around on my hip, and today, you and I are nearly the same height? How is it, that when you need a pair of jeans, you steal mine, or that I often catch you wearing my favorite t-shirt? I feel that you should still be in the toddler section, grabbing every single piece of cheetah or leopard-print fabric you can, begging, "Mommy! PEESE!! It's cheetah!" Time has gone by way, WAY too quickly.


This year, you have outdone yourself--and exceeded our expectations of you--again and again. You were so proud of yourself when you achieved your Bronze Award in Girl Scouts with your Junior troop. You love Girl Scouts so very much, and I'm so glad that you do! You bridged to Cadettes, and the smile on your face when you crossed that bridge was huge. You met your hero, Dr. Laurie Marker, and that moment remains a highlight in your life thus far. After talking with Dr. Marker, you decided to take action to help your beloved cheetahs in a bigger way--particularly after the Cheetah Conservation Fund named you 'Student Ambassador.' You contacted the National Girl Scout Council and talked with them about creating a patch to help the Cheetah Conservation Fund. You obtained approval from the CCF and the Girl Scout Council and designed a patch. I did my part by finding someone to create the patches, and right now, as I type this, the CCF is getting funding to print these patches so they will be available TO EVERY SCOUT IN THE WORLD. Each patch will come with a bundle of information on how to save the cheetahs. Jenna, you are amazing, and soon, scouts all over the world will have the opportunity to learn more about the Cheetah Conservation Fund and how to save your favorite animal. To you, it doesn't seem like a big deal--but it IS, Jen. For you, it's all about the cheetahs.

For the past 2 weeks, you've also been volunteering your time at a community theatre. Every Monday and Wednesday, you intern from 5-7pm, helping with classes. I have to admit--I didn't know how well you'd do, but you have done amazing! I have been told by the teachers that they love having you, and that you're doing a great job. That makes my heart so happy. I'm hoping that this exposes you to new things--things that you don't know you're capable of. Again, I'm so proud of you.

School is going well for you, but you're finding it somewhat difficult because it's CHALLENGING. You told/whined to me the other day, "But this is haaaarrrrddddd....school was never this hhhaaarrrrddddd!!!" Guess what--it's because school has never challenged you before. Your school work challenges ME, and there's a lot of work to be had in this curriculum. Your favorite, so far, is Art History. You loved your studies on the Cubi Series, the drawings in the caves of Lascaux, and cuneiform. In fact, you've been working on your cuneiform project for the last week. You've decided to take the Mesopotamian epic of the creation of the gods Apsu and Timat, tell it in your own words (take it out of cuneiform and write it in English), and create illustrations. Your drawings are so good, and the way you've told your story is even better! You definitely have a gift for narrative storytelling.

You're loving Literature, and your assigned book (which makes me happy)! Your book is titled, A Year of Impossible Goodbyes, and it details one family's struggle during the Korean War. You're very emotional towards the characters and their plight, and the essays you've written in reference to this book have been wonderful! I'm so proud of your writing skills, Jenna. They're excellent, when you WANT them to be. Academically, this year is going to be an overall struggle for you--simply because you're expected to do a lot of work, and manage your time with that work appropriately. Anyone who knows you understands that you + time management = lackadaisical. This past week, you did much better, so i'm hoping that we see continuous improvement. We know you can do it, and we know that you're more than capable!

You were booked for your first modeling job this year, too! You did a shoot for Academy, and you loved it! You are to be paid a pretty penny for it, and you have decided to give a quarter of it to the CCF. The rest, will go to Monster High dolls, i'm sure. And yes, I still can't believe you love these dolls so. BUT, i'm not complaining. As much as I tire of hearing about Monster High, I encourage you to be a child as long as possible. 12 is still so, so young, and you have a life ahead of you--play with the damn dolls, kid, and love every-freaking minute of it. You don't give a rat's ass if other girls make fun of you, and THAT makes me happy. You don't compare yourself to anyone else, you don't try to act or 'fit-in' in any specific area--and THAT makes me even HAPPIER. You are YOU. There is something to be said for young ladies that don't care if they're 'different,' that don't care about what brand of clothes they wear, that don't think they need makeup to look 'pretty,' that don't care what boys think of them--Girls like that grow up to be strong, independent, happy, secure women. And really...what mother doesn't want that for their child?

Do you realize how freaking awesome you are? I kind of hope you don't. Because one day, when you're in the back of a truck in Namibia, with your crazy hair in a pile on the top of your head, with comfortably torn jeans, a dusty shirt, and nasty gloves from throwing raw meat out to a snarling cheetah, I want you to be able to take a deep breath, look at that African sunset and have a revelation: "Holy shit. I am amazingly awesome."

I love you, Jenna. I love you more than I can ever tell you. I love you all the spots.
Happy 12th birthday, my amazing, beautiful, cheetah-hearted baby,
Mommy
xoxoxox