Monday, February 28, 2011

FFTIHAD: Whuck?

There are moments when you know the universe is trying to tell you something.  This was one of them...

From a friend of Kate & Lydia's:

Today has been a particularly horrendous day with my 3 year old daughter. Lots of yelling and screaming, ending with her telling me that I'm not her friend or her mom anymore. [I tried to take the day off after she told me that, didn't work out so well.]  Anyway, after we finally calmed down, I sat down to play words with friends. I had to giggle when my letters came up. A perfect ending to my day, it was just what I had been thinking:  "Whuck happened to my daughter and my day!?!"



Apparently, my computer was wondering the same thing.

The. End.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

We're Hanging with Some Big Kids Today

Kate and Lydia can't come to the blog right now.  We're visiting our friends at Momicillin and trying not to embarrass ourselves. Momicillin is a blog written by a team of really talented, really diverse moms from all over the place.  Their stuff is funny, honest and from the trenches. But they wear big girl pants over there.  They review products and make helpful suggestions and don't use inappropriate language and do wacky things like proofread and follow rules of grammar.  And guess what else?  Their facebook page was rated as one of the top 50 by Babble.  So they're awesome.

OH! And they have a sister site: MOMS WHO NEED WINE.  Oh yes. Such a thing exists.  The MWNW Facebook page is great, too. 

We're writing all about Mommy Play Groups and how important they are but how they can take a left turn into Crazytown.  Last week we posted a completely imaginary application to join a Mommy Play Group, and honestly we didn't even think about sending it to them because they're all professional. And we just made it up because we thought it would be funny to document an imaginary Mommy Leader's descent into madness.  And that sort of thing isn't for everyone.  We know we're not normal.

But they loved it.  We were shocked.  So the nice people at Momicillin got a two-fer; they're posting our thoughts about Mommy Play Groups and the imaginary application. EPIC WIN FOR US.

Read all about it right here. And we're back to normal tomorrow.  Or "normal" for us - so, not normal.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just One Day

We know we're lucky.  We spend a lot of time sweating the small stuff.  Stuff that's annoying but ultimately unimportant.  We whine too much.  We have friends who have special needs kiddos or husbands deployed or other serious stuff to deal with.  And do they whine?  Maybe a little.  But at least they've earned it. 

We on the other hand are just flabby losers who need to vent about about the idiotic things we suspect that everyone deals with every day. The stupid small stuff that little by little adds up to Mommy Losing Her Schmidt. We're hoping you'll accept this list for what it is and maybe even add to it.  Here goes:

I would like just one day where:
  • I do not have to touch someone else's dookie.  Seriously.  Just one day where everyone goes on the potty, nobody leaves a smear for me to scrub out of underpants or the carpet, or where I have to go looking for it by sniffing around like damn bloodhound while saying 'WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!"
  • No body cries. No crying today! Today is the day of no one crying.  There's no crying in baseball and for one day, there's no crying in my house.

  • There's not a sibling skirmish that results in screaming or a WWE-style cage match.
  • I get enough sleep that I don't wake up looking like the Emperor from Star Wars.
  • No one says, "But I was just..." followed by something incredibly stupid, like "seeing what the dog would look like with duct tape earrings."
  • Small fingers stay out of holes they're not supposed to be in.
  • I don't have to hear about the Wii or Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.  Just one day. No Star Wars. Please.
  • Socks and shoes and backpacks find themselves where they're supposed to be without me having to ask fifteen times.  It's not like you can go to school barefoot. In February.  Use your brains, offspring.  Put them on.  For the love of Maude, put them on.
  • I actually get to pee alone.
  • Band-Aids are used for their intended purposes.
  • I don't instantly soak my socks by stepping in huge puddle of....of warm.
  • There's no stomping.
  • There's also no slamming of doors. Or, in McGee's case, the slamming of air.
  • The laundry is actually done and that douche of a laundry fairy Randy goes to someone else's house to pick on them for a while.
  • I am not forced to use half a roll of paper towels to wipe up something that is both viscous and crunchy.
  • The phrase "smell this" is followed by the aroma of something enjoyable.
  • Nothing gets lost, misplaced, or flushed down the toilet. Or half-flushed down...and I get to go toilet snorkeling.
  • My camera on my Precious isn't full of pictures of body parts, specifically the view up your nose. 
  • There's no wheedling or whining. Especially for things that are ca-ray-zee-town.  Like can we go to LegoLand after school? No. It's in California.
  • You don't use my bra as a hat. Or my Tampax as artillery.
  • At the end of the night, I don't have to look at my shirt and say, "Oh, God. What is that?"

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Crazytown Mommy Play Group

Recently, we've heard a lot of stories about mommy play groups gone bad.  I guess its not a huge surprise, though.  There's always someone who wants to turn something fairly normal and benign into a competitive sport.  There's always that person that runs the tennis team or the PTA like Joseph Stalin in June Cleaver's body. 

But the whole Mommy Play Group thing really bothered us both because we think they're really important.  Lydia's whole perspective on motherhood changed when she joined one.  She made really wonderful friends and figured out for the first time that it was normal to want to A-Frame your husband because he got to shower every day and sleep at night.

But the Mommy Play Group horror stories kept rolling in and we didn't quite believe them until we came across this application to join a local group. OK fine.  We made it all up.  But you'd be surprised how much of it we cut and pasted from actual applications we found all over the internets.  These things exist, y'all. And they're terrifying...



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On Monday, we're going to be talking about this topic in much greater detail over at Momicillin.  They very kindly are overlooking our lack of couth and ability to proofread and are running our discussion about mommy playgroups and we can't wait to bring them down to our level! Well, it's just for one day.  They'll be fine.

Check them out on the web and on their totally kick-ass Facebook page.
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Moms Who've Done Lost Their Minds

Everyone once in a while, we all lose our schmidt. We yell or stomp around or slam a door and then ten minutes later feel totally ashamed.  Thank goodness, we now know that we're not alone in this.  Perhaps sometimes we just get overwhelmed with the demands of kids and house and husbands and jobs and other stuff and something sets us over the edge and we snap a little. 

But let's put things in perspective.  Having a mommy-tantrum (momtrum) and hollering "I AM DONE! Mommy is taking a time-out!" And then locking yourself in your room with a glass of wine for 20 minutes while kids play Wii is comparatively small potatoes. Because in the past three days, we've heard of three moms who have made some questionable choices when they lost their tempers...


We all understand that you're not supposed to block the lane at the Kiss n Ride.
Last week during morning drop off at an elementary school in Greenville, NC - one mom allegedly pulled a gun on another.  Here's what was reported earlier this week.  Mom #1 pulls up in the drop off lane effectively blocking anyone else from letting their kids out.  Nothing happens for a few minutes.  People in the line start to get antsy.  Then first-mom-in-line slowly gets out of her car and lets her kid out.  A collective sigh of frustration is heard from the now long line of irritated early morning drivers.  Then first-in-line-mom pulls her car up about five feet. And just stops, blocking the lane.  So no one can go anywhere.  The woman in the car behind her finally snaps, taps her horn and starts complaining.  They yell at each other.  First-mom-in-line responds to being yelled at by walking back to her car and pulling out a gun. 

Let's start by saying that those of us who use the Kiss'n'Ride can totally understand how its possible to lose your damn mind on a bad day. I am reminded of an incident with Kate from last year whereby she renamed it the "Kiss My Ass and Ride".  I mean, Kate is from Texas.  Kate likes guns and knows how to use them. [Editor's Note: Conversely, I'm from NJ and think they're loud and scary. Lydia]  But even Kate knows not to pull a gun on someone at an elementary school in front of a bunch of little kids. I mean come on.  She takes that aggression and channels it appropriately.  Into seething, ranting blog posts.  Oh hold on a minute...

I teach high school and I totally hate teenagers. Including yours. Wait. What are you mad about?
A high school teacher named Natalie Monroe in Bucks County, PA was just busted for writing a blog where she occasionally ranted about her students. She seems pretty cool to us.  She's a public school teacher.  Plus she's really pregnant. Plus, a lot of teenagers really are truly horrifying.  And we think it goes without saying that if anyone on earth could understand how some bloggy ranting could bring down your blood pressure and improve your mental health, it's us.  So we were all - why did they suspend her from her job?

Here are some snippets of things she wrote about her students, taken from an article on AOLnews.com:

Among the 39 barbs she listed:

  • "I hear the trash company is hiring."
  • "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son."
  • "Rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative f**k."
  • "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?"
  • "Asked too many questions and took too long to ask them. The bell means it's time to leave!"
  • "Nowhere near as good as her sibling. Are you sure they're related?"
  • "Shy isn't cute in 11th grade; it's annoying. Must learn to advocate for himself instead of having Mommy do it."
  • "Too smart for her own good and refuses to play the school 'game' such that she'll never live up to her true potential here."
  • "Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)"

Munroe concluded: "These comments, I think, would serve me well when filling out the cards. Only, I don't think parents want to hear these truths. Thus, the old addage [sic] ... if you don't have anything nice to say ... say 'cooperative in class.' "

OH SNAP.  So here's why even though we're sorta sympathetic to Natalie Monroe, we totally feel like she needs a check up from the neck up.  Because we're pretty sure she's validated every kid's fear that their teachers hate their jobs, hate their students and wish they'd just shut up and go away. And since she says stuff like that about her students, we'd rather she didn't teach our rotten kids because even though they can be monsters we'd freak the freak out if we ever heard a grown up talk about them like that.  Oh, and she doesn't think she's done anything wrong:
 

A cleavage fight? Oh even yesser
So a mom goes into a high school in Bradenton, Florida and apparently is offended that another mother is wearing a shirt that may be flashing the girls a little too much. Innocent enough, right? I mean, we've all been to places where we see another mom wearing something that maybe should be left to college students [Ahem. Kate....]  and maybe we even catch the eye of another mom and we share a silent Maude face together.

Nope. Laura Camponello decided to pick a fight, and tell the first mom to cover up.Then a cop showed up, because we're pretty sure there's a rule about not arguing about boobies in high school, and Campanello asked the deputy to impose a dress code on the other mom. The deputy said there was nothing he could do about it, because he couldn't "tell her what to wear as long as she is not exposing herself."

That's when Campanello allegedly pulled down her blouse and stated, "Oh, then I can." As if that wasn't enough, she then squeezed her breasts together, saying, "And then I can just do this."

Oh, and her husband was there when it happened. And the registrar, and an office assistant, and two other parents. She's now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and that she, 'intends to sue the school, sheriff, and jail for their mistreatment of her.' 

Ummm, whuck? Let me get this straight. This mom went into a high school where her 17-year old son is currently matriculating and attempting to not be awkward nor embarrassed by basically everything in life - particularly his parents - and then picks a fight with another mom over exposing too much skin, which necessitates the police showing up, and then proves the validity of her argument by flashing her boobs?
And now she's suing them for PTSD? We imagine this is the exact lawsuit your son and soon-to-be ex-husband will be filing against you. Please let us put a Vegas-style bet on who we think is going to win. Lydia has her eyes on a new pair of yoga pants...

So if you've been feeling lately like you're about to lose your mind, we hope these cautionary tales have helped just a little.  Unless you've been running around waving around a gun with your jugs out while blogging nasty things about other people's kids - at least you're ahead of these three.

xo,  K&L

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the HOMESCHOOLING Mom

Please give a big WELCOME BACK to MamaJulep, also known as Kathy Kennedy.  She wrote a rant about homeschooling last summer that rocked our world.  She's hilarious, honest, gorgeous and (gasp) homeschools her -- count 'em -- six kids.  Oh yes.  And she hasn't lost her mind... Yet... 


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I haven't always been a homeschooling mama.  I've had my kids in school, done the carpool shuffle, been room mother, had a career, spent hours on homework and art projects, sold raffle tickets, bought teacher gifts and made hundreds of party favors.  I can't tell you exactly how I landed in Homeschool World, perhaps I was affected by one too many epidurals.  But I will say this, I'm glad we all have options so I can do this, and I can also put them back in traditional school any time I want which I think about every single day!  Homeschooling has been great for my family, but just like you, I have my own set of domestic enemies.

Privacy? Whuck is that?
Homeschooling means I am with all six of my kids every single hour of every single day.  I love my kids, but I really don't want to hang with them in everything I do.  Sometimes I wanna shower without being interviewed every six seconds.  And you’re in this hostage situation where you're wet and naked and your kids wanna move in and go number two while you're trying to get fresh and not stinky, and they need to know right freakin' now if you can help find the Wii remote.  Why now?  Are they scared I'm gonna wash it down the drain?

Remember how you felt during those last few weeks of summer and all you wanted was for that school bell to ring?  Well that bell never rings for me.  And every day we do the same thing we did the day before and it's like my kids have never met me and we all just got thrown together for the first time, and it's Ground Hog Day and I'm Bill Murray and it will never, ever be February 3rd. So I have to get real creative in order to find some time to myself.  The most "me" time I get is when I hide in my closet with a bag of Orange Milano cookies or a Lean Cuisine and I try and drown them out with Huey Lewis on my iPod.  And if I get on the phone with a gal pal, to get a life line to the rest of humanity, it never lasts long, because they'll re-enact the kitchen scene from Jumangi or a battle from Braveheart.

Appointments are super fun when you have to bring the whole gang! During my last pregnancy, all my peeps came with me to every flippin' OB appointment because all the sitters are in school. And you have no secrets because your sweathogs are with you all the time. You'll never hear about a homeschool mom starting a cult or running a crime spree because our kids get in the way of anything we try to do in secret, even crime. Unless maybe your homeschooled by Bobby and Whitney.


Discipline and Consistency
You know how kids get when you ask them to do chores, and you'd make a blood pact with them if they'd just do it for once for the love of Maude?  Add to that, asking them to finish their math assignment or wrap up that library book on Christopher Columbus before the library police come after us because our overdue fees are so high now, Mama's gonna have to give 'em a kidney next time.

And if you think homeschooling mamas are home basking in all that is education, and that we L-O-V-E diagramming sentences and multiplying improper fractions and memorizing state capitals, you'd be wrong!  I love a lot about what I do, but like anything to do with knuckleheaded kids, it can snap you in half and I can go from Julie Andrews to Eunice from Mama's family in a half a millisecond. And I think I have pretty good kids but I have to stay on them like a prison warden during school hours or they'll make shanks and bust outta there like they've got a hidden stash of airheads in the backyard. Oh wait.  They have,

Curriculum
If you're wondering if homeschooling is a good idea because it's economical, that'd be a "NO".  Not only does Mama have to give up a salary to stay home with her sweathogs, but she has to buy all their school stuff.  And if you think textbooks are high, try buying a few teacher's manuals.  Plus you'll need a globe.  And a microscope.  And refills of Xanax. 

So you try and barter with other homeschooling moms and trade out and make deals to keep from becoming "book-poor", but that can lead to another issue...Curriculum Envy.   Homeschool moms are just like every other mom group.  Most of us are normal and cute and awesome, but some of us are "There's a man on the wing of this plane" batsh*t crazy.  And they think their choices are best and they would never, ever, use that book because it referred to 'such and such' on page four thousand ten and reading that may make your child a psychopath.  Or a vegetarian.  Really? 


Field Trips
We have field trips, just like you, only with other families.  Rather than loading up a mass of kids onto big, yellow buses, with four chaperons, we have a caravan of SUV's and Econobuses with the whole freakin' family in tow.  We unload at the entrance with our strollers, diaper bags and kids ranging to the point that some of them are driving, and the attendant comes out and looks like he's about to call a DefCon Two (or maybe 9-1-1). 

It looks like the Brady Bunch showed up at the power plant with all their groovy relatives.  They're not used to us.  They're used to uniformed children, standing in line, with name badges and teachers with whistles and clipboards.  I want to give my six pack those opportunities, but it can be like taking your whole family to Walmart for the day and trying to do school there, with a bunch of other Bradys.  And we might experience another kind of meltdown at the power plant when your baby decides she's had enough and wants to nurse right now, and the big, burly men are watching you, biting their nails, hoping you won't do the unthinkable and whip one out.

Cafeteria Duty
My six pack has an early breakfast because they wake up like they just came off a hunger strike.  Then somewhere around 9:00, they're back in there, pilfering, yanking, stockpiling.  I'd like to close the kitchen long enough to run the dishwasher and see the floor!  By 11:00 they're back in there like zombies. And it's like feeding Hobbits and I'm their waitress and they never, ever want to leave the diner.  I wanna put the kitchen in lock-down mode and plant a gorilla in front of the fridge and put up a "no unloading zone" sign in there.  But then I wouldn't be able to get to my orange Milano cookies or shot glasses. 

And getting out in the world involves a military maneuver of car supplies like ice chests of water and capri suns and boxes of chocolate chip Cliff bars and pretzels, because for Mama to take us all through the drive through, we'd have to stop off first at Eddie's Pawn Shop or the Plasma Center.  And no one wants us to come in their restaurant.

Relatives
Family can be super crazy because they love you and don't really understand what you do all day.  And you get snippy comments about how their kids are in "real" school, like mine are in clown school all day.  But the same crew will call and ask you to deal with stuff they don't have time for, but think you do. Because you're kids are probably watching Dora for Spanish and Diego for biology so you can Facebook or something (okay, maybe sometimes).  So you get asked to go check on grandma, or plan the vacation, or look up a damn phone number because "I'm d r i v i n g"... (oh, even yesser, quite often!). And if you were in the middle of teaching something, it's now lost because the attention span of a kid is somewhere on the same level as a flea.  So I hope that phone number was for an attorney, because you're gonna need one when I file that restraining order.  But for now, I'll just disconnect the phone or move to another state or go in the Witness Protection Program.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the lifestyle we have.  I love being there when my kids have *finally* figured out something they've struggled with, and it is hard, but no different than the other hard "Mommy" stuff.  No where else could you listen to your teen give an oral report on Oliver Twist while your toddler dances around her naked, singing "Don't Stop Believing."  And nothing, not even my domestic enemies, could ever stop me from being a Homeschooling Mommy!

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Top Ten Ways Winter Has Ruined Us

We know there are people out there in MommyLand who just lovelovelove winter. We're imagining that you're strange and wonderful species of people we call Canadians. No, really...we're super happy for you and your affinity for all things cold and snowy. We kind of think you might be gluttons for punishment, what with all the scraping and shoveling and tongues stuck to poles and whatnot. Would you like a little extra of all that? Would you like ours? Because this winter has kicked our collective butts, and there's a good chance we're ruined for life. And definitely for spring...
 
10. It's been dark and cloudy for so long and we're so pasty white and pallid that we're pretty sure we've become Cullens. But, expose us to sunlight and, rather than a gleaming diamond shine, you'll discover that we're covered in anti-itch creme and yesterday's makeup.

9. You know who's even paler than we are? Our kids.  At this point they've moved beyond pale. They're translucent.  The other day Lydia's kids were in the bath and they were practically invisible against the white tile.  Their near-invisibility had no bearing on their behavior though (sadly). After sticking his head in the bathroom to see why they were screaming like banshees, the Cap'n was like: "Um... don't go in there.  It's a naked, albino pygmy convention."

8. Hey Cold and Flu season! How are you? We're HORRIBLE.  Because everyone in our collective houses is or has been sick.  It's awful when the kids are sick.  But we've had something else to contend with: prolonged stretches of husband-sick.  We're sympathetic but as mommies, we don't get sick days.  And all we have to say about that is this:


We know a lot of you have seen this before, but it just never gets old.

7. Kate and Lydia started a new game called "Watch 'em Fall & Laugh" -- it just involves a big window, a patch of ice and lots of strangers. It started with Lydia taking a spectacular fall.  Kate was like: "Do it again! AGAIN! AGAIN!" When Lydia wouldn't do it, Kate decided to perch herself by the window like a cat watching the bird feeder.  It's basically the best part of her winter.

6. The damned Samoas are here.  And the Thin Mints.  And this sucks for several reasons.  The act of selling Girl Scout cookies is (if you have a very responsible daughter) about 50% girl scout/50% mommy. That means more work for us.  It also means that the world's most delicious treats are sitting in our cupboards taunting us.  But we decided to get even with those b*tch Samoas and on every single box, we used a Sharpie to write: "serving size equals one box so go on and eat the whole damn thing."   

5. We announce the temperature like it's a lottery number, and then get pissed when tomorrow's is going to barely hover above freezing. Then people say stuff like, "Umm, it IS February, you know." And then we have one less friend. And a restraining order. Please stop telling us what month it is.


4. On Friday we got a hint of spring when the sun came out and the temperature hit a balmy 76 degrees. Right about the time the kids were reveling in the perfect day and we were thinking of fruity cocktails with umbrellas in them, the weather went all Joan Crawford-y on us and now we're getting snow on Tuesday. That'll teach us. Or something.

3. Despite the fact that our children are driving us absolutely insane, we actually considered letting them stay home one day because it was just too cold to take them to school. 

2. Now that it's late enough in the winter for the weather to tease us occasionally with some warmth and sunshine, it just brings home that the seasonal clothing migration is practically upon us.  Because one day it's nice out and you want a t-shirt for your 5 year old except that the first three he tries on are so small they make him look like Winnie the Pooh.  And everything that might fit him is stored in the garage in a big, blue tupperware that will take six hours to find and sort.  So rock on in the tiny t-shirt, son.  Cause that bin is not moving til Easter. 

1.  It's almost starting to feel like we're living Groundhog Day over and over again. It just so happens to be the day we have to go to the gynecologist. And get a mammogram.

We're counting down the days until summer, when all you winter people start your whining. We'll be doing it up big this coming summer, with extra red sunburns and maybe even a backslap or two on some freshly peeling skin. We may be running a 102 degree fever, bathing in isopropyl alcohol and immobilized for three days, but you know what we won't be doing? Shoveling. That's right! Ahhh, summer...we can't wait to see you.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Modern Bird Interview

Every week, the [insanely awesome] couple behind Modern Bird Studios interviews a blogger.  This week it's us! We really like these guys and we love their work.

You can read the interview - in which we act very, very stupid -

In the next few weeks, we'll be doing a give-away of the their amazing art from Modern Bird and also from ModTots - their new line of children's art.

Lydia and her whole, entire family are in love with ModTots. Mostly because when they were perusing the website, Lydia clicked on the picture below and her tiny, little devil cupcake toddler lost her dang mind and started screaming:

 "DAT'S ME! DAT'S MINE! WANT DAT! Cause dat's me a baby duck."


Well played, Mini. That duck is awesome.

If you're a twitter person, you should definitely consider following them and of course checking them out on Facebook.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Kate & Lydia's Education and Enrichment Program: Round Two

Now that Lydia and I have been enriched by Tap Dance, we think it's time we tackled our next big project. And, what better way to become smarter, more talented and even more embarrassing to our friends and families than to allow you -- our beloved MommyLand -- to vote for what we do next.

I scoured our County's Enrichment Programs, eliminating ones that were either too expensive for our paltry little MommyLand budget...or just not embarrassing enough. I mean, we *could* do underwater kickboxing, but that doesn't have nearly the humiliation level as, say, Roller Derby. ROLLER. DERBY. [Editor's Note: Of course, you realize that Lydia will just use the skates and speed to "accidentally" pummel me into a wall. Maybe let's vote for Krav Maga?? Please? - Kate]

And the nominations for Kate & Lydia's Spring Enrichment Program are:

Beginner Springboard Diving
This class introduces you to the four main components of the dive: approach, take-off, flight and entry. Students are also introduced to the forward and back dives. Lydia is actually awesome at diving. She would love to participate in something that she stood a fairly good chance of whooping Kate at. But then there's that whole video of self in bathing suit posted on the internet thing and she's all like "hell to the nah". Kate doesn't love the idea of the whole internet/bathing suit thing but cringes at what all that chlorine will do to her hair. I mean, she has priorities.

Fly Fishing
Introduction to fly fishing. Bring your own fully rigged rod (leader and line) or rent one from the instructor at first class for $50. Supply fee of $5 payable to instructor at first class. We're not sure how we feel about about handling someone else's rented rod. Particularly one that may not be "fully equipped".

Supervised Social Bridge
For bridge players at all levels, this class combines lecture and supervised bridge playing in a social setting. Kate and Lydia are no longer required to be supervised (the judge told us we didn't have to anymore) but we find that we tend to behave a little more appropriately when we know we're being watched. And you know how outta control those Social Bridge matches can get. We totally need umpires or wardens or whatever.

Bollywood Style Dance
One of today's hottest dances, Bollywood-style dance is filled with fast moves and provides a fun workout! Dress in loose clothing. Since Kate doesn't own any clothing that isn't size "extra tight" that last part is going to be sort of hard. And, since Lydia thinks she knows how to sing in actual Hindi, we're pretty sure that this is just ripe for an "International Incident" and some sort of formal apology in the not-too-distant future.

Ukranian Batik Egg Making
Learn the art of making Ukrainian batik eggs. Explore techniques, colors and designs as you create your own egg to take home. Supply fee payable to instructor at first class. Actually, we're pretty sure this is just some cover operation for harvesting our ovaries and supplying babies to some country that may or may not be near Russia and we're gonna wake up in a seedy motel in a bathtub full of ice. It could also portend a really fancy Easter.

Dodgeball
Two different divisions (Casual & Competitive) for teams ranging in skill sets. All games are officiated by two qualified and experienced referees, and played on regulation size Dodgeball courts. After the games, our Sponsor Bar provides beer &  food specials for teams to socialize and meet other players. Wait. WHAT?! We get to indulge our violent tendencies and then we get to drink? Oh even YESSER.

Boot Camp
Fun, physical training that may include a combination of calisthenics, floor exercise and outdoor work. Great for the intermediate or advanced exerciser who is looking to mix things up a bit! Classes are held outdoors. People seriously pay money for this? I'm not going unless Jillian is doing the yelling and the bossing, because otherwise - it sounds a lot like a little activity I already do all the time that I like to call "taking my kids to the playground." Except presumably, the drill instructor won't be pestering me for juice boxes and asking me to wipe his bottom. Hopefully.

Meditation
Focus and calm your mind with breathing exercises that release tension. Centered mindfulness relaxes the physical body for overall well being, concentration and positive energy.

Lydia would fail this class in less than 90 seconds unless she was allowed to check Facebook or play Angry Birds on her phone while attempting to find centered mindfulness. We learned during Snowmageddon that - despite her pleas for peace and quiet - she hates peace and quiet. There's also a good chance Kate and Lydia would spend all their meditation time giggling and screaming at each other to SHUT UP AND MEDITATE! That might not be so good for the overall well being and positive energy, but we can definitely concentrate really hard on just what injury we're going to inflict on each other when we're done meditating.

Krav Maga
We're bringing this one back from the last Enrichment Program. Girls, this is bad ass. It's a martial art/hand-to-hand combat/bad ass personal defense thingy that the Israeli military does. And it's supposed to be "known for its extremely efficient and brutal counter-attacks, as it is also taught to elite special forces around the world." Both Kate and Lydia are super excited about this one, mostly because they teach you how to A-Frame someone and then immediately punch them in the throat. So they can't scream...awesome.

 Roller Derby
There's no official explanation for this, because HELLO? It's Roller Derby. It's like "Wanna get fit and slam your friends into a wall? Then this is the sport for you..." Amy the Pregnant Chicken has already given us our Derby names. Kate is Hell on Heels. Lydia is SmashMouth. Kate fears that *that* is exactly what Lydia is going to do to her.

Rock Guitar
An introduction to rock and roll guitar playing. Students learn the basics of rock guitar and improvisation. Beginners encouraged. Students should supply their own instruments. Those with electric guitars should bring a portable amplifier. You know what this means? It means we can totally join Spinal Tap! Plus, we really really want portable amplifiers so we can yell at the children even loudier. That should totally be a word. Loudier.

Hula Hoop for Fitness
Class is designed to take you through the basics of hula hooping regardless of your fitness level or prior experience. Hula hooping allows you to explore the hoop through movement, dance and body awareness. Classes combine a cardio workout with basic waist hooping leading onto arm hooping, hooping tricks and hoop dance routines. This fitness workout inspires strength, confidence, power and poise using the hula hoop. We're intrigued about how long we'll be tasked with "exploring the hoop". Because we rock the hula hoop game on Wii Fit Plus and there's no actual hoop involved there. Also, Lydia is not thrilled with the idea of increased body awareness, as she's already painfully aware of all of her body's parts - especially the ones that keep moving after she stops. Kate doesn't mind the increased awareness as long it means she gets to spend more time with a mirror.
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If you have a minute - check out our latest post "What Children Can Learn from Egypt" on the Huffington Post's comedy page and if you're so inclined - leave a little comment telling us what you thought of it.
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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the MILITARY Mom

Of all the enemies in all the world, we think Military Mommies have the brass knuckle on who's to say what's what...that sounded way cooler in my head. The point is, military moms know who the real enemies are, and girls, these are it...and Lydia and I love her for her peek into what it's like to live base-to-base, war-to-war and deployment-to-deployment. Enjoy...and thank her for what she does, so her main squeeze can go out into that big bad world and do what he does to keep us all safe...
xoxo K&L

Military Mama is 25, the mom to two adorable (if also sassy) little girls presently clocking in at 3.5 years and 13 months, and hasn't slept a decent nights sleep in three and half years (it's interesting how that coincides exactly with how long I've been a mother). I spent 5 years with a military boyfriend/husband, before we decided that the lifestyle had a high probability of making me seriously lose my schmidt in the very near future which then led to the grand adventure of me and the girls driving from up state New York to Colorado and moving back in with my parents the beginning of January. I'm looking into new life plan options, and have narrowed it down to either finding a job and an apartment or moving into a hippie commune and living off of home grown arugula and dandelions.

When you have a moment, read her blog: http://marthaheller.blogspot.com/


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Being the mommy to a soldier daddy presents a few unique challenges (not the least of which is dealing with your husband being deployed every two or three years). I picked a few of my personal favorites to tell you about.

Base Housing
Living on base is great. Your husband has a five minute commute to work, your neighbors are other military families (with their own hordes of military brats) and you’re conveniently located to the Commissary (grocery store), PX (everything else store), Class 6 (liquor store), and base childcare facility (mommy alone time...sweet!)

Except that base housing comes with base housing regulations. And they have no qualms about giving you tickets for violating them. Grass must be kept trimmed and orderly, snow must be removed promptly, and don’t even think about customizing your yard with some new flower beds. No no, you are merely RENTING a house from the military, and they have stricter regulations about the condition it can be returned in than your college dorm room did.

Did I mention that this is the same organization that also sends your husband away for a year at time? Now, I’m a pretty gung ho kind of mama, I hang my own shelves and assemble my own particle board TV stand and usually even manage to open my own pickle jars, but I don’t do lawn mowers. Ever tried to shovel snow while being 9 months pregnant? Or even rake leaves for that matter? Umm, even no-er. Not a fun time for any involved...and most especially wretched for my back. And what about the regulations saying children under the age of 10 aren’t to be left alone in the house or the car? Who, exactly, is watching them while I almost die trying to operate a snow blower so I can clear off the stupid sidewalk in sub freezing temperatures before getting another freaking ticket??

Tell you what Army, give me my husband back and I’ll be more than happy to tell him to perform a catchy song and dance number to boot while moving that “lake effect snow dusting” from your precious sidewalks. The kids and I will be watching some high quality children’s programming (OK, it’ll probably be Shrek, but we don’t need to go into my letting the two year old watch PG stuff right now) and drinking hot chocolate -- with extra marshmallows for them and a little Baileys for me -- all snuggled together in the warm indoors.

CYS Cards
Child and Youth Services is the bureaucratic power that controls everything from childcare to afterschool programs to youth sports on the military base. If you have children, you get to deal with them. *Super.* Where normal organizations would just have you scribble your name on a sign in roster, CYS has you swipe your child in and out with a bar coded pass. And as each child gets their own pass, you had better be paying attention or you’ll be trying to check the baby into football practice and the 12 year old into preschool. And what about the mornings when you forgot your passes? And your coffee, shoes, and sanity? Yeah, don’t plan on leaving your child that day, they don’t take rain checks -- even if you can tell them precisely where the passes are in your purse which is sitting on top of your dresser.Thanks, ya snitches.

But it gets even better! Did you forget to pay for preschool last week? Passes for the whole family are deactivated! Did you not remember to turn in the shot records from the baby’s 18 month well child physical? Hope you didn’t really want to leave her at the gym childcare today! And they expire annually too! So you have to re-register them! Just for fun!!

Fundraisers
Your husband’s unit will organize a whole slew of these to raise money for parties and care packages, and you have the delightful opportunity to participate in them at least once a month. You're thinking, "Hmmm, maybe not" right? Well, you’ll be so lonely and bored, you’ll do it anyways. The bake sale is a tried-and-true classic, except that on top of the normal mommy complaints of needing to bake and decorate six dozen adorable patriotic themed cupcakes in the next eight hours while the baby has decided to be permanently attached to your right nipple and the dishwasher is flooding, you also get to spend the next morning selling them!

Then, while you’re sitting around eating the merchandise waiting for customers, you’ll be scrupulously comparing your goods with the other spouses’ offerings. And if you’re being especially blessed by Maude that day, your husband will come by and talk about how much the guys liked your chocolate chip cookies, at which point you will sweetly remind him that you didn’t make chocolate chip cookies, you made rice crispy bars, and that the divine chocolate creations he’s been bragging about are actually made by his CO’s wife, who was so kind as to comment about how *easy* your rice crispy bars were.

R&R Leave
R&R is the two week trip home soldiers get from their year of tropical working vacation [Writer's Note: OK, so Iraq isn’t exactly tropical, but it’s warm and has sand...] and it is much anticipated by all involved. Including your mother-in-law, old college roommates, and that guy down the street he went fishing with once last summer. And since you now will be hosting big family gatherings and house guests, you also get to spend the week leading up to it frantically cleaning the house and remembering how to cook something beside Easy-Mac. But it’s OK, because soon Daddy will be here! And then in a blink of an eye, Daddy is leaving again. And the kids are going through their separation issues all over. Again. Oh well, at least I’m not preg-- Ah crap.


(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Letter From a Worried Sister...

Please the bottom of this letter for an update.

Dear Lucy and Charlie,

I’m getting worried. I could tell from our last conversation that you’re starting to feel the pressure of your situation. And I’m sure that you and Charlie are starting to freak out a little. And I know that when people don’t react well to the news that you guys are serious about raising a baby together that it would be pretty awful. That you must feel torn between bursting into tears and wanting to square up. I sort of feel the same way.

But I also understand the concern about your readiness for being parents. It doesn’t mean I agree with them, but I get it. I can tell that you’re growing up and mentally preparing yourself for what’s to come. But sometimes people can’t see that from the outside. Other than your growing tummy, it’s hard for people to really see the changes that are happening within you.

I know Charlie is changing, too. He's changed a lot since the yearlong party you had last year, the one most people would call their "freshman year of college". Some days it must feel like he’s right there with you and some days you think life might be loads easier if you could just Square Up and A-frame him. Trust me, we have all been there, no matter if it's with our 30 year old husband or your 20 year old boyfriend (well not, your 20 year old boyfriend).  So please try your best not get your B on. Unless he really deserves it.

Here’s the hard part of this letter. And it doesn’t make me happy to say this to you. I can tell how much your perspective has changed. But the time has come for you to put that new perspective to work. And I get that it’s hard and you’re broke and exhausted and you’re working full time and it all seems really overwhelming. But there are practical details that need to be addressed and time is running out.

It’s time to figure out what needs to be done and then do it. Trust me when I tell you that waiting until after the baby is born to figure things out will only make them harder and more complicated. And when things are already hard and complicated, they become overwhelming. And that becomes an excuse not to do anything about it. You’ll stay where you are. You won’t make plans for the future. So your future will become a series of things that just happen to you.

So let’s get started. Where are you going to live? How much does it cost to rent an apartment there? How are you going to pay your bills? How much money would it take to buy you a decent car? How much would it cost with a really good coupon? Are you going to be married? If so, can I be maid of honor and supply the flower girls?  Although on second thought, I don't think we ought to let Mini come... What about health insurance? How much maternity leave will you be able to get from your job? If you get a similar job working someplace else, can they give you benefits? Have you thought about what your monthly expenses might be after the baby comes? Have you talked to a WIC counselor or a social worker about what support and resources are out there?

Maybe you don’t even know what questions to ask or where to start. Here’s the thing: getting what you want starts with knowing what you want. You and Charlie have got to decide those things RIGHT NOW. If you can figure out a realistic scenario that you’re both be OK with, there are going to be people lining up to help you make that happen. For example: ME. I will be first in line to help anyway I can and I will be throwing elbows and roundhousing anyone who tries to to take my spot as number one helper to you and my new neice (or possibly- but unlikely - nephew).

Doing nothing is always a choice. But it’s a coward’s choice. And you are not cowards. You can do this. So start doing it. Right now. You are both capable of being extremely resourceful and clever. It’s how you survived some of the things life has thrown at you. But you can’t take a day off. You can’t check out for a week because you got tired or busy or you didn’t feel like it. You have to come up with a plan. You have to start making lists no matter how much you hate them. [Editor's Note: If you hate lists then we totally need to talk because they are magical and rad. I'm sending you one of my special list pads. And some sharpies. Lists! Are! So! Awesome! - Kate] [Editor's Note: Ummm... Kate? Please don't frighten her. - Lydia] You’ve got to save money from every pay check. You have to keep your promises and meet your obligations. You have to say no when you want to say yes. You have to do whatever it takes. I know you’re thinking "I'm already doing that."

I think he's flipping the "V" bird.
Well, you have to do it even morer.

Sometimes it is not enough to do our best; we must do what is required. Winston Churchill said that. I’m pretty sure he was talking about the first six months of being a mom. Or possibly something about World War Two and Britain’s finest hour but whatever. It’s true as hell. Even if you haven’t risen to every occasion in the past, you are both up to this challenge now. You never know what you’re made of until you’re tested. And trust me - parenthood is the biggest test of all.  You already passed the first part when you peed on that little stick. And you didn't even study or anything. Now, go do all the other stuff. That little person you're making is counting on you. Go show her how awesome her momma is...

xo, Lydia

UPDATE: The baby was a boy and not a girl! And he's amazing and perfect. Also, my sister and her husband are wonderful parents and they are doing really, really well. I shouldn't have worried so much because my sister took to motherhood like a duck to water. She's a natural and I'm watching her and taking notes (because I'm NOT a natural and could use some tips).
xoxo, Lydia (1/24/13) 

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Tap Dance Recital

We did it.  This journey is finally at an end.  Last summer, we asked you to choose an enrichment activity for us.  You picked Tap Dancing.  We signed up for an 8 week class and tapped our asses off.  Then you asked for a performance. We were going to do something in Kate's driveway but someone suggested that was sad.  And also not humiliating enough.  So when the annual church variety show came around, we knew we'd found the perfect venue.

A couple of things to know before you watch our mind-blowing performance:
  • We went on kind of late in the show (we were the 11th out of 16 acts) and we directly followed an incredibly talented and lovely teenage girl singing a heartwarming rendition of the song "Temporary Home".  Everyone else was trying to hold back the ugly crying because it was so beautiful and moving and we were like: "Well great. Thanks a bunch. Now we have to follow THAT. Awesome."
  • The stage was carpeted.  Therefore you can't hear any tapping. Trust us when we tell you that this improved our performance.
  • There were hundreds of people there.  Hundreds.
  • The top hats we were wearing pooped sequins and paint chips everywhere so that we looked like we had scary, black, glittering dandruff all over us. 
  • Also, they were children's hats. So they were sort of small and unless you had them crammed on your head really hard - they would unexpectedly pop off.  It added an element of surprise to our performance that only we could truly appreciate.
  • Every act was allotted three minutes. We started our performance by projecting our training montage onto a HUGE wall.  So there we were ten feet tall - drinking raw eggs and doing bicep curls with T-boxes and screaming "JILLLLLLIAAAAAANNNNN!!!" in front of the Golden Age Ministry, Pastor Henry, God and everyone.  It was bad ass.
Here's the Training Montage again:


And here is the actual performance:


Right after the performance, Mini clapped her two year old hands with wild abandon and then wriggled out of her daddy's arms. She ran as fast as her pudgy legs could carry her towards the stage, past her mommy, right at the steps, screaming "BOOM BOOM POW! BOOM BOOM POW!"  We caught that baby before we she could selfishly steal our thunder.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner - except us.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day: The Good, The Bad and the Whuck


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, Y'ALL!

 We asked for your best and worst VD stories [Editor's Note: Kate loves to write that. -Lydia] about why you love -- or hate -- this day. We were happy to find out that you guys are still pretty romantic about Valentine's Day. Even Lydia - who decided to contribute her own story. [Editor's Note: She's a lame-o.  - Kate]

Kate actually spent all day yesterday making cards with all the IHPs...and ate about 68 pounds of Sweet Tarts, which contributed to both her thoughts that Valentine's Day maybe sorta is kinda fun. And that no one should ever eat that much candy and then try to tap dance.

Oh, and we added in a little artwork about what we should be getting for VD, what we definitely don't want...and who's been a bad boy this year...

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My Hubby is a dear sweet man who has been known to actually make me cards or write me poems for Valentine’s Day (although that mostly happened B.C.—before children, when we had nothing else to occupy our minds but how much we loved each other and would always be this romantic). One year, he was picking me up from work on Valentine’s Day and he decided to stop and pick me some flowers. He pulled over on the side of the highway and picked a bunch of wildflowers for me. It was a spur of the moment thing so he didn’t have a vase but the plastic 7-11 cup he had kicking around the floorboards of his car worked just fine. When I opened the car door and saw my gift, I melted. How sweet! I displayed that little makeshift vase on my dresser where I could see it all the time, and it was beautiful—it really was. Until a few days later when I’m getting dressed and I see a bunch of tiny things moving across the clothes in my closet. It turned out they were baby spiders. Hundreds of them. There was a trail of the nasty little buggers that went all the way back to—you guessed it—my wildflowers. It seems that Hubby was lucky enough to pick flowers that had an egg sac on them. Happy Valentine’s Day, honey! (Have I mentioned I’m terrified of spiders?)
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Well, I’m not one for cheesy romance so Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal to me really. But when I inherited two kids, it became fun to make heart-shaped food with them. And now I have my very own kid and it’s fun to buy his Valentines to take to the babysitter’s for the party there. And this year I’m even more dorkily etsy.com and they’re Elmo and one of a kind and personalized. HOWEVER – and I’m not telling this story for sympathy or anything, I’m just telling it to illustrate how Valentine’s Day can turn into a suckfest in an instant – this year, my baby daddy and I are on the road to Splitsville. But we’re still managing and we’re able to get along but it’s just so very awkward with all these stupid Valentine’s Day commercials on TV about marriage proposals (he broke off our engagement twice – hey dude, if you don’t want to marry me, stop asking!) and how Valentine’s Day is about us and blah blah blah. So, I think ‘sucks monkey balls’ is a bit of a harsher statement than I’d like to make, but the meter is definitely beginning to lean that way.

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My husband is from Poland and doesn't have a single Americanized Romantic Bone in his body (read: he hasn't bought into any of the Hallmark nonsense).  However, my best sucky Valentine's Day came in 1988.  I was 16 (a VERY important age in the world of romance) and the Olympics were in full swing.  I had SLAVED over a romantic meal (it was probably mac and cheese now that I think of it), dressed in my finest Molly Ringwaldesque attire (I'm pretty sure fingerless lace gloves were a part of this ensemble).  My boyfriend came over and all he did was park his sorry butt on my parent's couch, watch about 20 seconds of the Olympics and then said he had to go...oh yeah, you had to go Buddy...Didn't even mention the dinner, the outfit, the card I got for him...nuthin.  Punk.  I dumped him that evening.  I think he sells insurance in South Carolina now...

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So, here's the thing. I waited 32 years. THIRTY TWO YEARS until finding my Mr. Right. And I spent all those years listening to women complain about their crap gifts. And I'm thinking that Russell Stover means you have someone to Hold You and night and who holds your hand and walks through the CRAP of Life with you! You are SO LUCKY! And so, now that i have Papa Bear, I can't WAIT for V-day. But not because I'm thinking about myself, but because he, like the Cap'n, balks at spending unnecessary monies. Esp on himself. And Valentines is one of four days a year that I can buy him something and fawn over him a little. Sure, we usually have a 25 dollar cap on V-day(a compromise), because he sees the contrived part of it, but he Always loves what I get him and enjoys the day. It's the one day a year I focus on he and I, not he and I and Baby Bear. I put Baby Bear to bed and just focus on US. And tell him HOW HAPPY I AM, how LUCKY I feel that he is there to hold me at night. That he made me a MOMMY! How can I ever thank him enough? And someday, when Baby Bear leaves the cave and my heart breaks into 4 Billion pieces, he'll be the one with a champagne slushie drink he made up for me, and the superglue to put my heart back together. I Love that man. I Love Valentines. And I Love Hallmark for creating it :-)

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On our first Valentine’s Day together my husband gave me the ultimate in romantic gifts.  A Swiss Army Knife.  Yes, you read that right.  It was just a few weeks before our wedding and I was feeling all loving and romantic and he presented me with gear.  This was just foreshadowing of his future gifting habits.  In the last (almost) 11 years I have also gotten a first aid kit for my car, a huge purple flashlight, pepper spray, a backpack chair and a fire pit among countless other practical goodies.  Our anniversary is coming up.  I’m hoping for maybe a tool belt or some lock de-icer!
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My husband and I have an impressive string of bad Valentine’s days, but our first as a married couple was the worst. The Austin Marathon, which I was running, was the day after Valentine’s day. All I wanted to do was eat a ton of pasta and go to a movie with my husband. But then my husband’s  aunt and her partner came to town and they wanted to see our new house. So the plan was for his whole family – mom, dad, younger brother, aunt, aunt’s partner, great-grandmother, and grandfather – to come to our 800 square foot house for lunch, which my mother-in-law said she’d bring. But then his aunt and her partner decided they had other things they wanted to do for lunch, and the plans got pushed back to dinner. I smiled through gritted teeth and told my husband it was fine as long as we still got to go to a movie.
The whole family arrived an hour later than scheduled, and then dinner took forever to reheat. By the time everyone had eaten, it was almost 8:00. His aunt and her partner left to take the old folks home, but his mom, dad and brother just hung out, watching TV. I shot my husband death glares until he caught on and told them that we were leaving, they were welcome to hang out and do dishes but please lock the door when they left.
We headed out and realized that we had more than an hour wait for the next movie time, and I didn’t want to stay up that late given that I had to be up at the crack of dawn to run. So we stopped by the video store and picked up a movie. As we were driving home, my husband, half jokingly, asked what the odds were that everyone was still at our house. Yep, they were.
His brother, who was a clueless college student, settled in to watch the movie with us. My husband pretty much grabbed him by the back of his shirt and propelled his brother out of the house. He then turned to his parents and told them to never mind about the dishes and to just leave already.
We still laugh about the night, but we’ve also pretty much given up on celebrating the day. 
Just a thought... How much do the things we really want cost?

A little appreciation
goes a long way.
[Editor's Note: This reader letter is about TODAY'S Valentine's Day...she's totally like omniscient or something. Can we please have the lottery numbers for next week?  -Kate] Yes, I know it hasn't happened yet, but it will. I was making heroin chicken wings for the Stupid Bowl on Sunday.  I went into our 3rd bedroom aka the clusterf**k-storage-everything-that-doesn't-have-a-place-lives-here-room to get one of those big disposable aluminum pans to put the 8 pounds of chicken wings into.  I pulled the package of pans down and it was really heavy.  Inside of the pans I found a Valentines card and a box of chocolates.  I thought hubby was trying to be sneaky and nice so I got the pan I needed and put the stuff back without saying a word to him.  A day or two went by and I made a slip up about finding the candy and card in the pans.  He looks at me like I have 3 heads.  Then asks me what I'm talking about.  So I showed him.

We've never tried this stuff...
But we'd like to.
Apparently, he bought the candy and card last year and forgot to give them to me.  Looks like I'm getting year old candy for V-day.  And silly me, I bought him a nice Under Armour sweatshirt that he's been coveting since before Christmas.
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My husband and I met at a "Desperate and Dateless" ball for Valentine's Day 9 years ago. The idea was to send in an application and the "computer" picked your match! HA! I was matched with a total d-head from my work whom I loathed, and my female friend was matched to my (now) husband (they.did.not.get.along!) After dating for 4 years, we got married, and have now had 2 beautiful children.

Valentines Day holds a special place in my heart...and, we can tell everyone we were both Desperate and Dateless when we met.

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Lydia here. I wasn't expecting anything for VD. But when the Cap'n said he had to take the two big kids to the store on Saturday, I got suspicious.  So I cornered my 7 year old and asked what they were doing.  "Are you getting anything for me?" I implored. 

She shook her head casually and said "No. Daddy says he's been feeling gassy so we need to get some special food so he won't be so gassy."

Ahhh... Well. That's romantic.

Then I was informed that we were celebrating VD a day early- as a day early was Sunday and we'd be all together. CRAP. I was informed of this on Saturday night at 9pm and I had nothing for my husband.  But I figured whatever - he didn't get me anything either and besides, he's feeling gassy.

IT WAS ALL A TRICK. 

They got me an iPad. Yes, that's right I said a MOTHERCRUNKING iPad.  I love you Cap'n.  And I love that you don't even care that because you tricked me, I had nothing for you.  Because according to you, this holiday is all about being sweet to me.  WOO HOO!!  Thank you AGAIN AND AGAIN!

And because Kate will never say it but I will:

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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