Stream of Consciousness about the crappiness of summer.

Disclaimer:  Summer makes me more violent than normal.  This post isn’t the sweet, kind, joyful post you’ve come to expect from me.  This is more of a flaming tongue and spitting nails post. 

We’re four weeks into summer break, and all of this quantity time with my kids is going to kill me.

You know those blogs you read where the moms are posting daily pictures of all the fun things they did with their kids that day?  They’ll have pictures of the crafts they’ve made and the picnics they’ve had, and they’ll tell cute stories about how much they love love love having all of this super-duper-pooper-scooper awesome time with their kids.

Yeah, well, this isn’t one of those blogs. I love my kids, and sometimes I even enjoy spending time with them, but we are spending so much time together that we’re starting to want to hurt each other.

First of all, it’s 100 degrees outside, so outside time is something that is only enjoyed at night.  Instead of being outside and letting the kids burn off steam, we’re huddled inside the house, curtains drawn, sitting in the dark because there’s a chance we will ignite into flames from the stupid stupid stupid heat if we go outdoors.

I’ve contemplated putting my dog outside to see if she catches fire.  She’d be like the birds they used to send into coal mines to check for gas.  If she catches fire, we’ll know to stay inside.  If she doesn’t catch fire, I’ll leave her out there until she does.

I’m kidding.

Kind of.

Both of my kids are home all day long, and since it’s frowned upon to leave them home alone at the ages of 9 and 3, I have to be here with them.  We try to go out to the store on occasion, but that always ends in mayhem. Today’s excursion to Target ended when The Beast broke out of The Good One’s grasp and went running through the aisles.  The Good One went chasing after him, and then I went chasing after both of them.

Good times.

In an effort to keep them from watching TV all day, I had the genius idea to do crafts with them.  If you knew me, you’d know just how ridiculously hilarious that is.  Courtesy of Pinterest, whose evilness has already been discussed, I found a super easy craft where you put little plastic beads in a pan, bake it for 20 minutes, let it cool and pop it out of the pan and you’ll have this cool looking sun catcher to hang outside. Sounds simple.  I have plastic beads. The sun is relentless, so why not catch it and concentrate it into a small area so that we can attempt to catch the curtains on fire through the window.  Sure, we can totally do this.

This craft required that The Beast be permitted to touch hundreds and hundreds of beads.  Needless to say, I spent a good portion of the morning sweeping up beads and sighing in frustration because The Beast threw beads right after I told him not to throw beads.

Which reminds me, you know what’s super fun?  Spending 95% of your day issuing commands that have absolutely no chance of being followed.  Seriously, you should totally try this.

After cleaning up the bead mess, we popped the pans into the oven and waited excitedly to see our beautiful sun-catching creations.  I’m pretty sure I shortened all of our lives by at least a few years because of the noxious odor of melting plastic that engulfed our house.  So then we had to open the windows to let the toxic fumes out, and in the process we let in the fetid stink of summer heat.

So I’m mostly brilliant.

After 20 minutes spent getting high off of plastic, we took our creations out of the oven and let them cool.  Guess what?  They don’t so much pop out of the pans as the pinner on Pinterest promised.  What they actually do is grab hold of the surface of your cake pan and form what I would describe as an indestructible, impenetrable barrier that could be used as a bullet-proof shield on armored cars.

So now I have two ruined cake pans and two kids who are disappointed because their sun catchers are permanently sealed to the bottom of a pan. I’m half tempted to poke a hole in the cake pans and just hang the damn things from my porch.

And this is the problem with summer crafts.  Even if you’re able to successfully complete a stupid pin you saw on Pinterest, the most you can hope to get out of any craft is an hour.  You cannot place beads in a pan for more than an hour.  You can’t run through the sprinklers for more than an hour.  And you can’t paint the sidewalk for more than a minute without the risk of becoming flammable and starting a suburban forest fire.

That leaves me with approximately 12 to 15 hours of quantity time to fill each day. No human being is capable of this task.

So with 8 weeks left in summer break, The Beast is becoming incredibly belligerent because he can’t play outside.  This translates into hour-long naptime battles every day.  The Good One is bored reckless and is now picking fights with his brother for fun.  And my summertime stress is exhibiting itself by periods of binge eating combined with just a soupçon of alcoholism.

And this is why summer sucks when you live in Texas.

Amen and the end.

Thanks, Pinterest, for the fabulous idea. What a great hour we had. Yes, 40 minutes of it was spent cleaning beads up off the floor. But look what we have to show for it: very colorful, useless cake pans. And let’s not forget the destroyed lung tissue from inhaling toxic plastic fumes.

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Hypocrites Anonymous.

I’m going to start a support group for people who are hypocrites, and I’m going to be the CEO, President, Grand Poobah, The Man, Big Cheese and Miss Bossypants because I’m a big, giant, flaming hypocrite.

Would you like to know what has consumed my every extra minute for the past two weeks?

Planning The Beast’s birthday party.

You know, that thing I wrote a blog post about 2 weeks ago where I made fun of those stupid, vain people who rent out convention centers so they can show their friends how awesome they are?

Yeah, I became one of those people.

You know what I blame?  I blame Pinterest.  And Etsy.  Those two web sites will suck you in and have you saying things to yourself like, “Ooh, only $7 for a printable Toy Story inspired popcorn/treat box.  I need that.”  And, “Ooh, those gift tags are adorable.  I bet that in spite of my complete lack of craftiness and artsy-fartsy-ness, I can totally make those gift tags.”   And things like, “Oh my, that treat table tablescape is absolutely adorable.  I can totally do that even though I don’t actually own a tablecloth and hate the word ‘tablescape.'”

I found myself spending countless hours in the middle of the night creating birthday logos and Toy Story stickers.  I spent days cutting out Toy Story cupcake toppers and gluing together popcorn boxes.  I spent many late nights creating food labels.  Food labels!  Who in their right mind creates food labels?  I’ll tell you who.  A hypocrite who spends too much time on Etsy!  I had things like “Al’s Cheese Puffs” with a picture of Al from Toy Story 2.  And I had “Woody’s Round-up Licorice Ropes” with a picture of Woody throwing a lasso.  Then there was the cake.  I must have spent three hours looking at images of Toy Story cakes to find one to recreate.

And about two days before the party, I was sitting at my desk in the kitchen attempting to draw up a blueprint of my cake when The Beast approached me and wanted to play and I told him no, that I was too busy to play.  It was at that moment that it occurred to me that I had completely lost sight of what was really important.  Don’t get me wrong, my cake pops were adorable and my cupcake toppers rocked, but I started neglecting my child so that I could spend ridiculous amounts of time on crafts that my child didn’t care about.

The Beast didn’t care about the Woody popcorn boxes.  He just cared about the Twizzlers inside them.  He didn’t care that I had a label for “Pizza Planet Rolls” and “Rex’s Dino Nuggets.”  He just wanted his friends to come play, to eat cake and to have his mom available to play with him.

I dropped the ball.  His party became more about me than about him, and that’s where I screwed up.

Virginia Slims Man told me multiple times that I was going overboard, and I ignored him.  I almost never do that, and by “almost never” I mean nearly daily.  It’s one of the things he loves most about me.

So I’m starting Hypocrites Anonymous.  Feel free to join me.  I’ll bake a cake for our first meeting.

It’ll probably have a food label.

Cute, right? Well, mental illness and hypocrisy are adorable when you put them on a sticker.

Church. It’s kind of weird.

Disclaimer: My goal in this post is not to offend anyone.  This is just my opinion.  So if you read this and you’re offended, read it again.  If you’re still offended, quit reading it.  It’s not good to read things that make you angry.

My opinion on the weirdness of church is coming from a background that involved growing up in a cult that told its members how to discipline their children (spanking was encouraged and expected) and whether or not it was okay for women to wear makeup. (It was and then it was not and then it was again, and while the cult is still in existence, I’m no longer a member and have no idea whether makeup is still the mark of a harlot.  Personally, I think being paid for sex is the mark of a harlot, but what do I know?)

We haven’t been back to our regular church since The Great Kid’s Church Fiasco of 2012 where I actually wished women had testicles so that I could kick The Beast’s teacher in them and then follow that up by throat punching her sanctimonious children.

I’m violent today.  I think it’s probably hunger.

Or maybe I’m just violent.  I don’t know.

I did speak with the director of the children’s program and told her what had happened with The Beast and how upset it made me and that I wanted to physically harm a fellow church member.  The director was very kind and apologetic and told me that if we decided to return to church, they would make sure that The Beast didn’t go back into her class.

Most likely they’re concerned I’ll kick the teacher in the she-testicles and throat punch her children.

We’ve been visiting another church with some of our friends in the meantime, and it has made me realize how bizarre it would be to be someone who is coming into a church for the first time.

A while back we visited a church that was great, had great programs, great people, great music.  But the pastor did this thing with his hands when he was speaking.  He would look at his hands and then move them in a way that made it look like he was massaging a large globe.  It drove me bonkers and we couldn’t go back to that church.

Yes, I realize that’s a petty reason not to go to a church, but if you’re there every Sunday, you should be able to look at the pastor without thinking about him molesting decorative office furniture.

So, back to the church we’ve been visiting.  First of all, this church, like every other church on the planet, makes us greet one another.  This truly drives me nuts, as I’ve mentioned previously.  I don’t think it serves any purpose other than to spread germs.  It’s forced and fake and I hate it hate it hate it hate it.  I never know what to say.  Do I just say hello or do I actually introduce myself if I don’t know them?  And if it’s someone I already know, why do I need to shake their hand in church?  I probably already said hello to them in the lobby before church.

I digress.

Does your church do communion?  We did not do communion growing up, and the first time I did communion after leaving the cult, I was kind of thrown by it. It’s just kind of weird if you’re not used to it.

At our regular church, the ushers pass around trays of wafers and juice, so you pick up a wafer and a small thimble of juice and do communion in your seat.  I was used to this.

This past Sunday was communion Sunday at the church we’ve been visiting.  And when it came time for communion, the pastor broke a loaf of bread in half. I thought to myself, what the jack is he doing with the bread?  Is he going to pass it around and have everybody take a bite?

Then he uncovered a chalice of juice.  Was he going to pass the juice chalice around and have everyone take a sip out of it?  It is more likely that Satan would fly out of Hell on a unicorn, repent and join in the hymn singing than I would ever drink out of a chalice that a bunch of strangers have touched to their lips.

I was kind of relieved when the pastor invited everyone who wanted to take communion to walk to the front of the church so that the pastor could hand you a piece of bread to dip in the juice.

After the initial feeling of relief, the horror set in, because while I wasn’t going to be drinking from a germ-infested chalice, I was going to be eating bread that was being broken off and handed to me by the pastor of the church.  You know, that guy that all the people in the church want to shake hands with.  So I immediately started assessing how likely it was that the pastor washed his hands right before the church service started.

Somehow, I do not think that is what God wants me to reflect on during communion.  The whole way to the front of the church, I was saying to myself, “It’s like I’m letting every single person in this building lick my bread before I eat it.”

I realize that at our regular church it’s very likely that other people are touching the wafers on the plate, but at this church I knew that one man who had touched a lot of hands that morning was manhandling my bread.

And that’s when I decided that church is kind of weird.  Each church has traditions and practices and ideas, and I’m not saying that one is right and the others are wrong, but if I were some random person on the street walking into a church for the first time, I’d probably be more than a little weirded out by some of it.

Another possibility in all of this is that church is totally normal and I’m actually bringing the weirdness to the equation.

Maybe I’ll start my own church called the Hypochondriac’s Church of God.  The members of my church will never be forced to touch each other, and our communion wafers will come individually wrapped.

You can come if you want.

Just wash your hands first.

Birthday party crap. WTH?!

Okay, this is not even close to being a blog post.  This is a post-ette.  Really, it’s nothing more than a tweet, but I still hate Twitter even though I’ve been on it for months.  And since most of you aren’t my facebook friends, I’m forced to actually write a post about this.

In the countless hours I’ve spent researching ideas for The Beast’s Toy Story party, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the birthday-party-throwing population is flipping insane.

For the love of Peter, Paul & Mary, a small nation could be fed on what some of these parents are spending on their children’s parties.  It is excess at its finest.  It is the reason foreign nations hate our country so much.  Well, birthday party excess and the Kardashians.

I found this web site that is basically a virtual pissing contest for who throws the best party.  You can post pictures of all of the fabulous things you did that make you so much better than everyone else in the world.  Then another person will post their pictures to show that, in fact, they are the better than everyone else in the world.  It goes on for infinity.

I encountered one party that absolutely blew me away.

This poor child was turning 1.  One.  Uno.  Un.  (Is that French? I didn’t take French and have no idea how to say “1” in French.)  His party was being held in what appeared to be the ballroom of a large hotel.  It was decked out in every Toy Story item on the planet.  And some Toy Story items that I think haven’t even been invented yet.

There was a magic show.  Woody and Buzz and other characters walked around and entertained the roughly 90 children.  It was unbelievable.

And there were 250 flipping guests.  250!!!!!  I apologize for the excessive punctuation but there is no way to capitalize numbers.  I guess I could type it out, but I’m cooking dinner and don’t have time for that crap.

I didn’t have 250 guests at my wedding.  I do not actually know 250 people.  If I died tomorrow, you could not beg 250 people to come to my funeral.  (Typing that sentence is causing my dread of irony to flare up.)

250 people is a convention.  It’s a festival.  It is not a party for a one-year-old child.

Want to know the best part?  The birthday boy is in some of the pictures, and he looks utterly befuzzled.  Not a word, but the situation warrants inventing a word to describe the look of terror/confusion on the face of a child who has no idea what the hell is happening.

The parents, on the other hand, look utterly pleased with themselves as they show all 250 of their friends that they are rich enough to spend the equivalent of a college tuition on a one-year-old’s birthday party.

I feel confident that a radical extremist somewhere in the world is Googling “birthday parties in America” and is so horrified by American excess that he is plotting a birthday party massacre.

I really don’t need to worry about that, though, because The Beast’s party is going to suck.  The radical extremist would probably come to my party and feel the need to give me some party-planning tips.