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Goodbye, Hamster Blog!

Well, Internet, I proved I could love, nurture and not kill this little space on the interwebs and so Bill graciously created and designed my new blog, my new little slice of Internet. After nearly a year and a half of caring for my little hamsterblog, it is now time to move on to the puppyblog.

I’ll never forget you, hamsterblog! Until at least tomorrow. Or until the puppyblog chews up my favorite shoes or pees on my bed, then I will totally wish I hadn’t abandoned you for the untrainable little shit. Until then, have fun spinning aimlessly in your ball. I heart you.

Be sure to update your readers or bookmarks and whathaveyou because all further nonsense will take place here: http://www.mysuperkaduperlife.com/

I ordered the backpack and lunchbox Rowan picked out today and I didn’t even cry. TAKE THAT, Kindergarten you ASSHOLE.

Also: Aren’t they cute!

***

Then I started her birthday photo montage and so commenced the WAHHHH!!!!!!

***

Internet I grew something! Rowan and I planted some wild and fragrant flowers this spring and BEHOLD!

No plants...

Some water, sun and a good story or two later and...

They growed!

Who cares if they are mostly weeds, everybody’s gotta start somewhere and not killing the shit out of these was a great first step for me.

***

All of us except for Bill seem to be slowly recovering from The Great Vacation Cold of 2010. You’ll be happy to know my snot production has slowed down considerably and I only wish for death 3 or 4 times a day instead of 25-30. Unfortunately for Bill, it seems to have traveled to his chest and when I say “unfortunately for Bill” we all know I mean unfortunately for ME because at night his cough sounds like what I imagine a dying, tuberculosis-ridden rhinoceros sounds like and HOW CAN A PERSON SLEEP UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES? By smothering their beloved husband, that’s how.

***

We’re done with all camps for the summer, so besides swimming and music class, Rowan has the rest of the summer to kick back and do what she wants. She gleefully proclaims every day jamma day, though she comes downstairs in an outfit of her own choosing at least 4 times a day. It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had days stretched out before us without any plans and we’re eating it up. This week, due to all the sick, we really did absolutely nothing, but next week we’d like to get out to the zoo and the museum and maybe even do some raspberry picking.

***

We attempted to got on the little trail by our house a couple of night’s ago. This trail is just a smallish loop around a prairie field, which Rowan has dubbed The Butterfly Trail. In truth it is a historical marker of an old homestead cemetery…It’s a beautiful, overgrown fenced in area encasing about 5 headstones of the Boutwell family. I love to go there to look at it, but the kids are obviously more interested in the butterflies which normally are everywhere…

Except this time the only thing out was rabid mosquitoes, one of which got ahold of Keaton's eye again and not only did his eyelid swell up but his whole body is covered in lovely red splotches.

***

There is a fly in my house and the kids won’t let me kill it. They’ve grown very attached. I’m considering paying a hit man do to the job.

***

And speaking of hit men! You guys, something terrible has happened. Lofty, literature obsessed me, whose bookshelves are home to only the best of Willa Cather, Toni Morrison, Margret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, Poe, Dickens, Rushdie, Shakespeare, Rowling (she counts, dammit) and volumes of poetry by Frost, Dickinson and T.S. Eliot and countless compilations of short fiction has fallen head over heels in love with true crime books.

It started after I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which is fiction. I was surprised with my “eh” take on it since I heard it was supposed to be the best book ever. I decided I needed a break from over-active, violent imaginations so I went to look in the memoirs sections and it was there that I ran into the true crime books, which were shelved close by. Nothing like true heinous crimes to de-desensitize you to what some humans are capable of.

(!TANGEANT!

I can’t read bad books. I just. can’t. do. it. If a book doesn’t grab me within the first 40 pages I will put it down without regret. I get so invested in the writing and the characters that if I read a book with a crappy ending I can’t take it and get very WHY GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?

(And now I hope you understand why I refuse to read any more Jodi Picoult, because the woman does NOT know how to finish a book. Marginal writing, pretty good stories, TERRIBLE ENDINGS.)

I seriously wanted to stab someone after I read Big Fish (AWFUL book, great movie, though I could probably sit through anything with Ewan MacGregor). And I’m not kidding you, STABBY. Someone who also does this to me? Mitch Album. A freaking 1st grader could write better than this guy and I’m sorry if you had a religious experience when you read The Seven People You Meet in Heaven but I WANTED TO PEE on that book after I read it.) Anyway, this is why I usually stick with The Greats, because I’m mostly guaranteed not to murder anyone afterword. No one wants to die because I was subjected to the Sookie Stackhouse atrocities (which DON’T EVEN INCLUDE LAFEYETTE WTFBBQ.)

So. No one was more surprised than me when I picked up a true crime book at Half-Price and blew through it in a few days. I’ve read more in the last month than I have in the last 3 years due to Ann Rule. If you need a good summer read, might I suggest Green River Running Red, If You Really Loved Me and And Never Let Her Go and god reading these titles makes me want to punch myself in the face but seriously these things are like crack and I totally can’t help myself.

***

I had great hopes of launching the new site on Monday but we’re still running into pageload issue from the images. If you’re interested in helping me test how long it takes to load on your computer, e-mail me or leave a comment and I’ll send you the link. It’s cached on my computer so I need to know how many lightyears it takes to load on a Mac and a PC with whatever browsers and connection you have.

Have a good weekend, Internet!

And Part 2

6. Fish Story.

So every vacation has a fish story and since I don’t fish (ew! slimy! and oh the poor fish just swimming along trying to eat a worm when BAM!POW!SLASH! Hooked through the lip while being dragged up to an oxygen filled hell.) So, yeah, I will share someone elses:

This little gal's.

Ellie went out fishing with her dad, cousin Maddy and Uncle Bill. The group was having quite the time of it, as they kept hooking their lines around a pesky sunken log, and things were getting tangled and jammed and all sorts of unpleasantness that ensues when you set out to {murder} fish. The DCFI was helping Maddy with her line when Ellie’s line appeared to get stuck on the stupid log, too. Bill went to help her but somehow her pole slipped and ended up in the water. The same thing happened a year or two ago to Ellie, but the pole was lost in the drink forever. This time, though, her {dumbass} Uncle Bill was there and without even taking his freaking shoes off Bill dived in after the pole like it was his firstborn and by “dive” I mean he tried to spastically throw himself overboard, smacking his thigh so hard on the side of the boat that he developed a huge yellow and green bruise almost instantly. He heroically saved the pole and handed it up to the DCFI who was all, “I don’t think this is attached to a log!” and then Ellie helped reel in her first big catch, a Northern.

*Here is where the picture of Ellie and her fish should be. Only the DCFI forgot his camera so he placed the fish in the live dead well until they came back. And you know how this ends, right? They waited too long and the fish totally bit it. The Deps did get a picture of his daughter holding a bloated dead fish, maybe in the hopes she wouldn’t notice, which of course she noticed a smelly, bloated, dead fish. Whatever, though. They got their picture, which I won’t be displaying here, you’re welcome.*

7. The night of the living Mustaches

You guys. I don’t even really know how this happened. We were sitting around playing cards, either Screw Your Neighbor or Bullshit, when somebody went ahead and broke out the fake mustaches. What?! Don’t YOU bring fake mustaches on your vacations?

You're doing vacation all wrong then, lemme tell ya.

Maddy's was so close to her natural hair color that it looked a little too convincing, totally creeping her aunties and grandma out.

We also invited Inspector Clouseau. Who apparently likes to karate chop.

If only all of our family photos could look this good. I'm thinking this is Christmas card material.

8. The shirts.

So the first year it was bass attack (scroll down to 9th picture). Then last year it was wolf shirt. So of course this year was the year of the…

Wild stallions running though clouds, duh. The only obvious choice.

I wonder how long Keaton will abide this before he flat-out refuses to get a dorky matching t-shirt with his dad. My guess is 5 or 6 but that might be pushing it.

No matter. Bill will always have a back-up in the DCFI, who purchased a wolf shirt of his very own this year. (And so did Jen, if you noticed in the above group shot. I managed to avoid the wolf pack this year but I don't know if I'll be able to hold out another year.)

9. The spoons event.

After last years epic spoons event where I crushed Vince (what? It’s my blog, I’ll embellish if I want to), I was a little disappointed to see the game of spoons was already in full swing when I came down from putting Keaton to bed. My disappointment was short-lived however, because in the end it came down to Vince (again!) with his poker face and Giacomo, who at 600 feet tall is a little imposing. At some point in the final round someone started humming Eye of the Tiger and before we knew it the whole room had joined in, lyrics, harmony and all, creating an epic soundtrack of Dun. Dun dun dun. Dun dun dun. Dun dun DUUUUUNNN (Chicachicachica) DUN and so forth, as they played spoons, which PS, is one of the most anti-climactic games to win in the last round EVER, but neither of them was getting 4 of a kind so it kept going and going. I have a video of it but it doesn’t quite capture the awesome of how beautifully random and spontaneous this was, because I started taping a minute or so in. But trust me, if you lived inside my head you’d be laughing really hard right now.

10. This picture.

I have no idea why but I keep coming back to this picture and smiling. I think it’s because it sums up what this vacation was supposed to be about. Shedding our many layers of day-to-day bullshit and stress, getting down to the basics of good food, good drink and good company. Being out in the great wide open, enjoying what we so often forget lies just outside our windows. Who knew Mickey Mouse underoos could reveal so much?

*****

I’ll be posting the rest of the pictures to facebook so breathe easy, Internet, my vacation slideshow has come to an end.

Imagine if you will, Internet, I have invited you all to my house… lured you into my living room with promises of taco dip, a cheese ball and gin and tonics and then the click of the lock deafeningly slides into place behind you. As you look at the projector and white screen in abject TERROR you realize that you have been tricked into viewing 700 slides of someone else’s good time. The dreaded vacation slide show is about to commence as the lights get dimmer and dimmer and the muah-Ha-HA’s get louder and louder.

The next few posts are going to be kind of like that. Except you don’t really have access to cheese balls or booze and you can totally ex out of this stupidity at any time.

So! Hows aboutcha takes a looksee at mahs vacation pitchers!

We headed out on the 17th for Broadwater Lodge on Woman Lake. When we left it was beautiful out, but by the time we were on hour 3 of our drive, the skies looked like something out of an End Of All Humankind sort of movie, probably directed by Michael Bay:

If you look closely I bet you can see the Hand of God smiting someone.

We got a little nervous for the well being of our precious booze when the rain started pelting down ridiculously hard, while trying to navigate what seemed like the world’s most windiest road ever. Wait, did I say booze? I think I was supposed to say kids, but let’s be realistic and figure I got it right the first time. This weather was nerve-wracking mostly because last year’s vacation consisted of a day and a half of sun and five and a half days of 50 degrees and rain. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast. We go in every year saying vacation is what you make of it. Even if you get a less than idyllic cabin or a week of shitty weather, the point is to carpe some of that friggen diem, and have yourself a good time. And for me that starts with a good attitude, an addictive true crime book and lots and lots of booze. But still, we were all hoping for some sun this year.

Thankfully, by the time we made our way to the cabin the sun was trying its best to peak out and it stayed out for the majority of the week. In fact, we packed so much into the first full two days that everything after that was just gravy. There is so much I want to document but I’ll start with my first top 5 take-away moments…

1. The boat.

The first morning our cabin piled into the DCFI’s boat and toured the lake. It was considerably bigger than the lakes we’ve stayed on the last 2 years. The best part was Keaton, who showed little interest last year and SCREAMY interest the first year, but this year -WHEE DOGGIES.

This boy was in heaven, admonishing his uncle every time he dared slow down.

2. “Is dere BOOOOOZE in dere?”

This was a familiar phrase from Keaton, as he kept asking for sips from our cups, which at home we normally readily grant. Unfortunately we had to turn him down due to the fact that pretty much everything we drank after, oh, say, 9:30 am had some sort of alcohol content.

Morning cup of joe or a refreshing ice tea? Don't be silly. It's a bloody mary.

3. The beach.

The beach on the resort was perfect for the kids, and they used it almost every day. It got a good amount of morning sun so the water wasn’t too cold and it had kayaks and water bikes and a giant jumpy trampoline. The first couple of days we swam the kids out to the water trampoline and they had so much fun. Not as much as the grown-ups who comically tried to launch each other off only to land in the water themselves, but still, lots of fun. I am the definition of a Helicopter Parent when my kids are around water- I’m totally neurotic and overbearing but the whole beach area was the perfect size and depth for us to have the kids in sight at all times and be comfortable having them play without their crazy mother holding the handle of their life jackets.

Jumping off the dock to daddy.

This smile says it all.

4. The wildlife.

Meet Dodge, the one-eyed dog. He liked to follow us on walks and would occasionally happen to meander over when we would start the grill. I have no idea where he came from or who he belonged to since pets weren’t allowed at the resort. He does look like he’s got some serious street cred though.

In addition to the bald eagles and the many loons we saw, there was also a very well fed flock of docks. And I use the term flock loosely as these lazy bums just floated at the water's edge all day getting fed stale hamburger buns by gleeful children.

Not pictured? THIEVING CHIPMUNKS.

These little buggers started off sweet and innocent enough, sidling up to our deck chairs, batting their little eyelashes and receiving a peanut in the shell to shove in their puffy little cheeks. We marveled at their domestication and pretty soon, all inhibitions were gone and the older kids were getting them to crawl in their hands and eat the peanut there while they pet their backs and scratched their ears.

Now a peanut in the shell is one thing, but I DO NOT share my sunflower seeds. They are MINE and I share with neither man nor chipmunk. During Keaton’s nap one day I brought some sunflower seeds out in a little bowl to snack on while I read my book. The two chipmunks tried their usual cute routine, and when they found it ineffective on me, the bolder of the 2 climbed up on my lap and deliberately spilled my bowl of seeds on the ground, then frantically shoved them in his mouth pouch and scampered off. This happened no less than 3 times in 15 minutes, THE JERKS.

5. The challenge.

In years past we’ve done multiple challenges, specifically last year. Due to the inclimate weather, we had to entertain ourselves somehow and it usually resulted in some sort of baffoonery from one or all of us each and every night. This year the weather was gorgeous and by the end of the day we were really tired from being out on the water and in the sun, so we really only ended up doing one big one, but OH LORD was it ever a challenge. It hinged on a game of Screw Your Neighbor and once you lost your 4 peanuts, you were out of the game. The last loser was to be the Ultimate Loser, having to perform The Challenge.

The stakes were so high, this was Jen's reaction when she lost to Bill in the final round.

And this is how a grown, 30-something women ends up in her swimsuit at midnight with a mustache and a dead walleye.

Earlier in the day Bill went fishing and caught the walleye. The Deps put it in his live-well to keep in case another member of our group wanted to clean it. When no one wanted to, Bill came up with the challenge: the loser of the game would have to jump with the fish off the dock, releasing it back to its watery home. Oh. And of course you have to wear a fake mustache. Because we say so. Only the live well on the boat was soon to be named the dead well, as it could not hold a fish without killing it. So alas, we found that the walleye had gone to the big fishpond in the sky. We didn’t feel right about letting him go to waste so my sister’s boyfriend ended up cleaning him to save for dinner and Jen just had to pick him up for a photo-op and then jump in the water with her mustache on, which though not quite as cool, is still pretty funny to a bunch of drunken idiots.

*****

Cabin vacation 20 to the 10 wrap-up will continue later this week. Right now copious amounts of cold medicine are about to kick in to my bloodstream (did I mention all 4 of us caught a nasty cold right in the middle of vacation? No? Maybe expect more whining about that also.) So before this goes from incoherent to belligerent, I’m putting down the computer and going to stare at the wall for a while. I missed you, Internet.

I told Rowan to pack up my shit…

And she packed that shit up proper.

Now I know Lady Gaga did something with hello kitties but I’m going to need some serious help fashioning those My Little Ponies into a bathing suit.

Be good while I’m gone, Internet- Monkey Jane is a total tattle tale so I wouldn’t try anything funny if I were you.

~PS~

The new site is aaaaalmost ready. It actually IS ready but the import of all the images (and, um, there are a lot of images) didn’t go as smoothly as one would hope, causing the time it takes the page to load, somewhere between 4 and 7 years. Hopefully we (and by we I mean BILL) will have it fixed and ready to go very soon upon our return from vacation, assuming another gopher doesn’t render us powerless again

Well, Internet, I am within 2 days of my goal of doing all 30 days of the Shred before we leave for vacation. This might be the very first time I’ve followed through and completed a workout goal which, can we all just take a minute to think about how very sad that statement is, coming from¬† a 29-year-old? Kinda sad? Pretty sad? Really fucking sad?¬† I’d think about it harder but my legs hurt too much and if you think you don’t need your legs to think then YOU just try to do the Level 3 jumping lunges. You will be quite surprised to find out you need your legs for everything and OH GOD HOW THEY HURT. When I eat, my legs hurt, when I breathe, my legs hurt and I think I fell asleep somewhere up there in the middle of that paragraph and my legs? Still hurt.

The funny part is even though my legs are clearly being put through the ringer, I don’t see much of a difference in them or their dumb cousin, my butt. After every workout I check myself out in the mirror and let Bill know that I think it’s workin—NOPE. Butt and thighs are still there and they are yelling at me to KNOCK THIS SHIT OFF. Then I swear at Jillian Micheals’ stupid face on the DVD cover.

On a positive note, my upper body has definitely benefited from the workout. I no longer cry like a tiny child when I have to do more than one push-up or open a jar of olives. My abs are way tighter than they were 5 and a half weeks ago, although they still have a ways to go.

The biggest praise I can give this workout regime is that it didn’t sprain my ankle like that jerkoff Running did. It also did the job of strengthening my core and I’m pleased to report that I started in last week with a running schedule. Bill has jumped on board and we’ve been trying to get out 3-4 times a week for a 5k, each of us pushing a stroller full of kid. Rowan has been going through a clingy stage and insisting that I push her, which fine, whatever…OR SO I THOUGHT.

Internet, she’s MEAN. She yells at me! When Bill pulls out ahead of me, she’s all “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Are you gonna let him just beat you like that? GO FASTER.”

I try to appeal to her 4 and a half-ed-ness and put it in simple terms that she will understand, “Daddy (huff) is like (hooo) 4 feet taller (huff) than mommy and so (hooo) his legs are (huff) longer which means that (hooo) he takes bigger strides (huff) than I do (HOOOO).” But she has no time for my excuses.

“He’s so far away now! He’s getting smaller and smaller and I can hardly even see him anymore, I have to squint my eyes and you need to move faster and catch up and BEAT HIM, COME ON!”

And she doesn’t stop until we’ve caught up with Bill and Keaton who have kindly stopped at the corner to wait for us, the look of disgust in her eyes very palpable. “I want daddy to push me next time.”

FINE WITH ME.

In my defense, Bill may not be 4 feet taller than me but he is at least 7, maybe 8 inches taller and I really feel like that should count in terms of how much ground each of us can cover and also Bill has chicken legs and chickens are notorious for their fast running gait, so a genetic factor clearly plays a role. I don’t have chicken DNA so how can I even compete? Plus he’s pushing Keaton who weighs like 2 and three quarter pounds LESS than Rowan so I am clearly going to be slower pushing a 30 pound child vs Bill who has only got a 27.25 pound child- that’s MATH right there, and we all know I can’t do math to save my life, so how does anyone expect me to outrun ANYONE under these conditions?

Impossible, I tell you.

To punish her for berating my running abilities, we made her do incline push-ups. Everyone please to be noting she is doing them the girly way, on her knees. Now there is just no excuse for that.

I’m serious. He’ll probably serve me divorce papers within 14 seconds of finding out and I know you don’t want to be the downfall of a mostly perfectly happy marital unit.

It was a moment of weakness, Internet! I had to go over our old vacation lists and make some new ones and the kids were not getting along and I needed something for them to do. Something they hadn’t done in a long time! Something bright and shiny and…

PURPLE.

When I made the seriously stupid mistake of purchasing this evil substance from the mouth of hell, (or Menards, whatever) I didn’t know how much of it I needed to fill the sand table so I got two tubs of it. We only used one last summer and believe me, that was enough. Bill threatened to throw the unopened one out any number of times but I told him that would be such a waste. We should give it away or try to sell it to some poor unsuspecting shmuck.

Spoiler: I am poor, unsuspecting shmuck. Seriously. Let me buy your magic beans.

Littlest Petshops say: HALP! We are not sign up fer this! Evel 4 yer old bury us alives!

I know I’m going to regret this but with all the expenses for vacation I really couldn’t see spending money on sand when we had a $17 tub in our garage. Who cares if it’s purple and was spun by the hands of Satan! IT’S FREE.

See! It totally worked, too! The little angels sidled right on up to it and played in peace...

…for 5 minutes. Then Keaton threw purple fucking sand in Rowan’s hair and then ran past me into the house, leaving a trail all over the carpet and into the bathroom and it’s in between all of our toes and now I’m going to divorce myself because WHO DOES THIS TO THEMSELVES TWO TIMES?

I don’t know if my carpet has it in itself to make it through this a second time. And what about my super handsome, very intelligent AMAZINGLY FORGIVING husband, who I love and adore and OH GOD DON’T MURDER ME, OK?

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