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Category Archives: I Kid You Not

This is Not About Sliced Bread

Sliced bread. It seems like a given for any grocery store visit for me. It’s not until you get a bread maker or bake corn bread that you realize how precious sliced bread is. I’m not a good cook, so even a sheet of corn bread can be a challenge. When I cut those little squares, the corners of my mouth begin to curl up from the warm even cuts I create. When I slide the slidy thing underneath, the corners of my eyes curl down at the array of crumbs that scatter away, almost screaming in disappointment. Oh how I wish there were a loaf of sliced warm cornbread.

Don’t get me started on loaves and slicing.

Too late…

I used to have a bread maker. Our favorite bread to make was sourdough! If you’ve ever had a bread maker like mine, you might agree that the most satisfying feeling was when you turned over the metal container and had the chance to feel and hear the bread slide out in one whisp. When you examined your loaf, it was sleek and soft with the exception of the crevice where the mixer had to live briefly. This experience happened for me once. For the remainder of time that I owned the bread maker, there were some interesting sounds that came out of that metal portal: glop, plop, flurp, dut-tuh-dut-tup-farst. Although entertaining, these sounds were not due to loafy perfection.

And of course, there was no longer the scar of the crevice.  There were jagged half-loaves and three-quarter loaves. Basically, a giant chunk always wanted to hide up in the canister. It wanted to hide from the eternal bread making novice outside that would peek in and say, “What is your problem, bread?” when clearly she was the problem. Once I could get any portion of my homemade bread onto a cutting board, I made numerous attempts to slice the bread for sandwiches.

There’s no shame in having multiple sized slices of bread, nor is there any reason to be upset about the inability to cut down vertically with a bread knife. There is, however, quite a bit of discomfort when you try to feed giant bread slices to your family with the typical amount of meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. And if you know kids like mine, you’ll find that keeping out the lettuce and tomato only makes the idea of homemade sliced bread more awkward. What I ended up with were behemoth sandwiches: Sandwiches stuffed with enough meat and cheese to compensate for the massive trapezoids of bread. And if you know any kids, most of them have little faces with little mouths. Mine dealt with the overcomings of my sliced bread with a smile by opening the sandwich and eating the innards like finger food, defeating the purpose of my home cooked slices of love.

Well, don’t try and give me tips or magic tricks on how to make the perfect corn bread or how to use a bread maker properly (like consistently following the instructions). Remember, this entry is NOT about bread. It’s not about sliced bread either. It’s about THE GREATEST THING since sliced bread, and you know how important sliced bread is…

The greatest thing since sliced bread is the invention of the Bitmoji!

StayTuned

Love,

Marthaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I Kid You Not! – Pants Scared Offeth

The accounts of the following events are all factual. You can’t make this stuff up. Well, you could make this stuff up, I suppose. But I didn’t. This really did happen. I know, some movies claim they are based on true events, then you find out the only true events were that a man and a woman were in a house and the rest is fiction. None of this is fiction, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you dare…

So, last year, I was going to blog about some old-school stuff we had in the house that I love so much that I will never part with them. One was a toy, another was a CD and the last was a book. This particular book is called “The Sick of Being Sick Book”. It’s one of my favorites because it’s a unique book of humor and quips about how to be sick when you’re sick. The reason this book played a big part in my life was because, well, I was always sick. I had asthma as a child and usually spent time at my Grandma’s house on sick days so my mom could still go to work. “The Sick of Being Sick Book” was one of my favorites to bring along with me and so I read it over and over and over. As I said, I was going to write about this book, a CD and a toy last year, but then the holidays hit and the three items were just sort of floating around the house. Not literally. That would be creepy.

Eventually, the CD made its way to the entertainment center cabinet. The toy, an extremely annoying toy, made it to the basement. (I’ve kept it for sentimental reasons.) And the book, well, I kept it out for my 9-year-old son, who had read it a few years back but is rarely sick, and maybe he would want to read it again sometime soon. So here’s this really old book just jumping around the house for the last two months…

I love books! So much that I follow some of the most intriguing children’s authors on Twitter and, once in a while, pester them with my bizarre and insightful comments or questions. Earlier this week, my four-year-old wanted to play with a gently used solar system kit we purchased at a second hand store. He loves it because each planet has two pieces you snap together, so he likes to put things inside the planets and pretend that gives them special “powers”. For this activity, I wanted to play in the dining room, which is usually reserved for puzzles and holiday dinner set up. So, it’s been a while since we’ve spent time in this room.

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As my son became more involved in his imaginary play, and my purpose of snapping all the planets together had withered away, I decided to catch up on my email, Twitter and Facebook on my iPhone.

I followed author R.L. Stine one day, a while back, for one reason and one reason only, I once knew a kid who was obsessed with the “Goosebumps” series. I had never read any of the books but I do remember when the television series started on Friday nights. So, I followed R.L. Stine.

I enjoy his Tweets daily. He often Tweets random shots of information that I like to repeat to my family in a clever fashion. For example, he Tweeted that you have to get permission from both countries before being allowed to tightrope across Niagara Falls. That’s cool stuff to spout out, if you ask me.

So, while I was perusing my Twitter Timeline on this particular day, I caught R.L. Stine’s Tweet this week saying this:

Is this the worst TV interview show ever?

Why am I on it?? http://tinyurl.com/7r6n2v4

It made me snicker, of course. And I had to see what it was all about.

However, my iPhone hates me. I have stored way too many videos of my kids on it, and my computer refuses to download them because of their size. So any time I try to watch a YouTube video, I plan to go make myself a sandwich while waiting for it to load. Then I eat the sandwich and sometimes, just sometimes, I go grab a kosher pickle as well. The other day I wanted to hear the Ants/Picnic song from Garfield and Friends and I gave up after 2 minutes because I wasn’t hungry.

On this particular day that I was sitting with my child, who was perfectly happy telling each planet what their powers were, I decided to tap on the link R.L. Stine provided and find out what the heck his comment was referring to. I wondered, “Was Mr. Stine interviewed without his knowledge?” and then thought, “Does he not remember being interviewed?”

I had to know. So I waited as the link turned to YouTube and I was mesmerized by the blinking asterisk of death in the lower right hand corner of my phone. As YouTube opened up, I dropped my shoulders and began to pout. The first thing I thought was, “Nevermind, I’ll just watch it later on my laptop,” which I knew would never happen. I looked over at my happy child swinging Uranus by a string and making whoosh whoosh sounds and something in me decided to go ahead and wait for the video to load. With no time to grab a sandwich, the video loaded! I found this odd. Now, if you click on that link above, the one that R.L. Stine tempted the Twitter world with, you’ll be taken to an interview between Mr. Stine himself and a gentleman by the name of George Kareman. I thought the interview was hilarious, but I have a disturbed sense of humor so you’ll have to decide for yourself.

The crazy part about this interview was the small bit of information I learned from it. Information so unexpected that I felt compelled to Tweet back to R.L. Stine. Mr. Kareman brings up the fact that R.L. Stine was a comedy writer before writing the “Goosebumps” series. Stine confirms this and says that his joke books were written under the name Jovial Bob Stine.

I was totally surprised! Not only did I know the name Jovial Bob Stine, I knew I had some of his joke books as a kid! I was so excited to learn this that I Tweeted to R.L. Stine that I was excited to learn this! Ohmagosh!

Now, I don’t usually expect people on Twitter to respond so I just sat there trying to think of where those books were now. (My poor mom is always on the hunt for things I remember randomly.) As I sat there thinking about it and listening to whoosh whoosh and pzzzt pzzzt from my four year old, I looked down and focused on a book sitting on the table in front of me – a table I rarely sit at. It was the book that has been floating around my house for the last two months. Remember that book? It’s called “The Sick of Being Sick Book” and it’s written by Jovial Bob Stine and Jane Stine.

Talk about getting goosebumps! I was Fer-Reaking out! I mean, what are the odds that I’m sitting directly in front of this book at this particular moment only to find that this particular author on this particular day shares this particular interview containing this particular bit of information pertaining to said book? This is no joke!

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It was so freaky that I had to call my mom and ask her why this was happening to me! I needed to be pinched, pretty hard. I also had to take a picture of the book and Tweet it off to R.L. Stine. He was nice enough to respond, Tweeting:

@MarthaaaFish Wow. I haven’t seen that book in a long, long time! How strange.

Strange for him or strange for me? I was weirded out the remainder of the morning and I’m weirded out just recalling it now. I must have picked that book up a hundred times to make sure it was real. I just picked it up again. Yes, it’s real. So now I have a second reason for never getting rid of this book. You just can’t make up a creepy story like this, you know. Well, you could. But I didn’t.

Love,

Marthaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

P.S. My son has not read a “Goosebumps” book yet. If I tell him this story, he may never read one. I’ll hold off a little longer. When I’m ready for waking up to screaming in the middle of the night, then I’ll encourage him to give one a chance. For now, I’ll enjoy my sleep.

 

I Kid You Not: What? Really? Cool!

While driving the three minutes it takes to get from my house to pick up my 8 year old son from school, I have accepted that this is usually the time of day that, LONG LONG AGO, used to be part of my 4 year old’s nap time. That nap time no longer exists, but the need for the nap still lingers. So, in this three minute cruise, he begins to get rather sleepy and therefore feels the need to avoid the Z’s at all cost. If his gentle attempts to jabber himself awake are ignored, I usually end up with an unreasonable child who chants insanely about how hungry he is. To avoid this at all cost, I found that I have an autopilot that is triggered by the first thing he says in the van. He says, “MOMMY! You know what?” and my brain automatically prepares for a three minute whimsical conversation. But, the amazing thing I just discovered about my autopilot is that there is a PATTERN! If I rotate the responses of “What?, Really?, and Cool!” I can actually survive the sleep-avoidance conversation with my 4 year old, maneuver my vehicle through the school zone safely, and maintain a little extra sanity until Chaos Hour officially begins later in the evening.

Here’s how my last conversation, yesterday, went with the little man:

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4yo: MOMMY! You know what?

Me: What?

4yo: Nite-Nite Puppy is on level 10 of Wizard 101. That level is hard!

Me: Really?

4yo: And he is trying to get enough power to defeat the bad guys there.

Me: Cool!

4yo: And you know what?

Me: What?

4yo: He has to fly there!

Me: Really?

4yo: He can fly really high but he has to watch out for the fire!

Me: Cool!

4yo: You know what the kracken is?

Me: What?

4yo: It’s a storm!

Me: Really?

4yo: Nite-Nite Puppy can battle the kracken!

Me: Cool!

4yo: And you know why Nite-Nite Puppy has to do this?

Me: What?

4yo: NO, ask me WHY?

Me: Oh! WHY?

4yo: It’s to beat level 8

Me: Really?

4yo: Well he has to beat Spy Vs. Spy

Me: Cool!

4yo: You know what Nite-Nite Puppy has to do

Me: What?

4yo: Go to Triton Avenue

Me: Really?

4yo: Well, you know, Nite-Nite Puppy is at fire level.

Me: Cool!

4yo: Fire level is hard. And you know what?

Me: What?

4yo: I’m really hungry. I think I need a snack.

Me: O.K.

Love,

Marthaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

 

Buzz Buzz

My kids have long hair in training. My 8 year old has had long hair for so many years that I’m sure if you pulled clippers to it he might scream in terror. We have worked long and hard to get his bangs just right and have finally got him used to swooping it in the right direction (away from his cowlick/swirly). Now we are working on the 4 year old. To make it more fun, his swirly is on the opposite side of his head from his brother’s. I can never get it right looking at him in the mirror. I have to look at the back of his head, locate the swirly, and then look at his face and swoop it for him. He’s used to it.

Everyone knows, when you transition from short to long hair, there is an awkward stage that makes you want to cut it back. This stage drives my husband crazy. He’s a haircut regular. I’m trying to get the 4 year old past the awkward stage to avoid the need to chop it all back and start over again. I have had to start over many, many times. I do not want to wait till he’s 8!

Anyhow, I tried changing the lighting in the house. I took advantage of the cold weather and put hats on him as much as possible. I even tried to send my husband on a man trip for two weeks. Anything I could do to keep the awkward hair stage and my husband from coming face to face. Again I have failed… So came yet another haircut…

In the past we have made it a point to bring visuals in to the hair stylist. For the 8 year old, it’s usually a picture of one of the Jonas Brothers. *shrug* It looks good on him! If we forget to bring a picture in, we usually just say, “We’re growing it long. Please just clean it up and don’t take off any unnecessary length.”

Unfortunately we recently encountered a green stylist. Now, I promise never to name names because of bad service or products unless I think the service or product in question has caused or potentially could cause harm. Well, permanent harm. So don’t ask me to tattle.

Needless to say, the nice stylist butchered my son’s hair. I smiled and tipped her well. But I was the one who was near tears. I mean, it’s bad enough he looked like Lloyd Christmas and/or Spock in the front for the first four days, but he also has clippered zig zags over each of his ears.

I could easily go back to the same unnamed haircut shop and request a different stylist next time. I could also demand a free recut by a different stylist. Right? No way. I’m not in the business of insulting or embarrassing people who make an effort.

So, once we get past the bad haircut recovery phase and head back into the awkward stage, which I’m sure will end in the urge to chop it down again, I will then be on the search again for a regular stylist. Wish me luck because if this happens again I will be bringing three photos along with me and I’ll be begging the stylist to please not do this

to my son.

 

By Request: The Hot Dog Story

Okay mom, here it is. The following is a true story…

My husband (the handyperson of the house) and I went to our local Home Depot one hot summer day to purchase metal shelving to help turn a small closet into a pantry in our new house. With the help of my mom, we were able to go without our kids so we could discuss all our options to avoid over-buying materials. This way, we would not have to go back to make any returns. We found the perfect measurments in shelves, supports and railing. We would have to do some cutting but would be left with minimal waste.

I can’t remember why but, as we were loading up the truck, I asked if he wanted me to drive. I guess since he was going to do all the handy work, it was the least I could do. With the tailgate down to allow room for the 2 long rails, he was sure to tell me, “Don’t drive crazy. The tailgate is open.”

“Duh,” I said, to myself of course. As we stopped at the stoplight outside the HD parking lot, we both looked back to see if I had managed to drive 20 feet without losing the cargo. They were still there.

I remember driving up to the stop light and seeing a bunch of high school boys with signs for a JV football fundraising carwash. I remember thinking how they had to compete with the cheerleaders about four blocks away who were all in their swimsuits and bikinis. But the boys had their own gimmick going on. There was one tall boy wearing a hot dog costume and holding one of the signs. This poor kid in the hot dog costume had a face drenched in sweat. If I needed a car wash, feeling sorry for him would have been enough for me to choose them.

When the light turned green, I slowly let off the clutch and tried to hit the gas in that just perfect fashion to avoid freaking my husband out. You would think I was taking a flat file to the frame of his mountain bike when I rev a little more than I release. Maybe I should never offer to drive the truck. It’s a hot topic in our relationship…

Anyhow, two right turns, one left turn, and 5 minutes later, we arrived at home. My husband immediately went to the tailgate to inspect our purchases. Right away he said, “We lost them.” He’s always joking like that. “No we didn’t,” I said in that ‘you’re kidding, but if you’re not kidding I’m actually in denial’ kind of way.

“Yup. You weren’t careful,” he decided. Nevermind that they weren’t strapped down to begin with. Both rails were gone. Whether it was my fault or not, the question at hand was: Where the hell did I lose them?

Never in the mood to defend myself, I jumped back in the truck to go back and retrace my path. If I didn’t find it, I was going to have to suck up the twenty dollars and deal with another “Remember that one time…”. Not one that could out-do the Snakey Baken event, but one that would set me back enough.

So, I’m driving a manual truck, going as slow as I can without annoying Saturday afternoon traffic, and scanning the other side of the road from which I came up. Now, these rails are long and white. They shouldn’t be too hard to see, right? Well, two left turns, one right turn, and 8 minutes later, I was approaching The Home Depot for the second time that day. I scanned the parking lot and realized that maybe, just maybe, a kind, sweet, concerned person might have found them near the parking lot. Maybe they realized some poor idiot had lost them off their truck and surely would be returning to claim them. “Oh please let that idiot be me!” I thought to myself.

I parked the truck and went into The Home Depot and approached the customer service desk with my head hung low. “Any chance someone returned two long white shelf railings found in the parking lot?” I pouted somehow thinking the more pitiful I looked, the greater my chances would be that they were there. The nice lady went behind a shelf to look but, alas, she shook her head and said, “No.”

I fell to the ground in tears, sobbing. “My husband is going to KILL me! Please give me two for free just because you feel sorry for me!”

Okay that last part didn’t happen, but that’s what I wanted to do.

After leaving the store and still desperately scanning the parking lot I decided I was not going to give up just yet. I figured if they fell in the road, some kind soul may have moved them out of the way onto the sidewalk. I had to follow my path once more, but this time it would be on the side of the road I originally was on.

Once again I pulled out of the parking lot of The Home Depot. I came to the same stoplight where we had looked back at the bed of the truck the first time. I looked along the sidewalk and saw nothing. As I waited for eternity for the light to change, I noticed the young JV football fundraisers had moved to other side of the street now. How did I know it was them? The young man with the Hot Dog Costume was marching around like a drum major leading his friends. And you’ll never believe what he was freekin’ marching with. MY FREEKIN’ WHITE RAIL!

I freekin’ kid you not! If you’ve seen the movie GREASE, there’s a marching popsicle on the drive-in movie scene when John Travolta belts out “Sandy”. Why-yi-yi-yi did this guy have one of my rails? And where the hell was the other one?

I rolled down my window and shouted across three lanes. “HEY! Where did you get that?” I half expected them to scatter and run.

The kid innocently pointed toward the corner on my other side. “THAT is MINE!” I gestured pointing first at the rail and then at myself. “Can you bring it over?” I said showing little walkie fingers and pointing from his side of the street to mine.

“Oh, hell yeah!” I said to myself in the car. Seriously, I even said it out loud, I was so happy.

I pulled over to the side of the road and put my emergency lights on. The Hot Dog Kid gave my rail to another kid to run over to me. While waiting for him to cross the street safely, I scanned the landscaping on the corner. You won’t FREEKIN’ believe what I saw next. The other freekin’ rail! Only something was different about this one. It was beat to all hell. It had not survived. Obviously mangled by a vehicle, I cradled it in my arms and gently threw it in the back of the truck. The delivery kid brought me my in-tact rail, I said my gracious Thank-You and hopped back in the truck.

As I drove away that day, I saw in my rear view mirror that the Hot Dog Kid was done for the day. He took off his costume and walked off with his friends. I hoped that the rail made him happy, if even for 20 minutes of his day. He sure looked happy while he was leading his band of friends and sweating up a storm.

As for me, I went back to The Home Depot and purchased a replacement rail. My husband hasn’t given me any grief about it since that day. I think it was just really important that we had that closure about both rails that day.

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