My New Xbox is Sexist

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Alright – you folks haven’t had a good old fashioned Kortney rant in a minute, so here ya go…

Thanks to quite a bit of overtime and a little help from both my mom and Jake’s mom, we were able to get ourselves a shiny new Xbox One the day (night) it came out. It’s perfectly cool with us if you’re in the PlayStation camp, or the Wii camp, or even the PC camp. Heck, if for whatever reason you don’t actually play ANY video games (honestly, think Candy Crush Saga, Farmville, whatever else the new fad may be…), I still think you’re perfectly swell. That’s beside the point, though – the point is that we’ve been Xbox fans since the first generation. Back in 2002 when the original Halo got 8 friends together split-screening on their 4 consoles and 4 TVs set up in 4 different rooms (or 4 different areas of the same room) connected with Ethernet cables in LAN parties – that was Jake and me.

Granted, I was often the cannon fodder for several of our friends, and occasionally you could find my Master Chief standing in a corner, pointing his gun at the ceiling, and spinning around in circles while you heard me cursing and screaming from the next room over that I STILL couldn’t get the first person controls down. But I was new to the genre, I tried, and I had fun. Being a girl didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I wasn’t as good as the guys we played with – I simply didn’t have to same amount of experience playing. I was an absolute beast, however, with games like Ninja Gaiden, Beyond Good and Evil, and Tony Hawk Underground.

Fast forward to 2005, when Jake and I were standing in line at the midnight release awaiting the Xbox 360. People in line were talking to Jake about various video game stuff, and I’d chime in a bit here or there about the games they were looking forward to versus what we were excited for, and no one really acknowledged me as part of the conversation. We even got a snicker of “Man, how did you get your girlfriend to come out here and wait with you for the new Xbox?” We shook it off as nothing – little did they know that I would be the first to play Gun in the wee hours of the morning as we brought our new console home.

Now, with our shiny new Xbox One, it seems it’s a lot more common for girls like me to be playing games. And even for the guys we were hanging out with while we were waiting for the release, it wasn’t that weird of a concept for them that I could keep up with their Zelda and Portal references – or at least they hid it well if it was weird. Heck, there were even a few women there standing in line with us, albeit more than a couple were moms who were likely buying the Xbox as Christmas presents for their teenage boys sleeping soundly at home. But I digress yet again…

The new Xbox One comes standard with a Kinect 2.0, a magical mystery robot that listens to me and sees me at all times. Pretty cool, huh? I say things to it like, “Xbox, on,” and it turns on, or, “Xbox, watch TV,” and it seamlessly switches over to my cable so Doodle can watch a cartoon or we can catch up on some Walking Dead. I can even say, “Xbox, volume down,” and it actually turns the volume down a few notches! Or, at least, that’s the point…

The problem with that is it only listens to me about 25% of the time. Another 10% of the time, it thinks I’ve said a completely different thing: for instance, “Xbox, watch Disney Junior,” has been heard as “Xbox, watch MTV,” or, “Xbox, turn off,” has been heard as, “Xbox, stop,” which would seem like it’s a comparable command, but they’re used very differently. The other 140% or so of the time, it just completely ignores the fact that I’VE GIVEN MY ROBOT A COMMAND AND DESIRE IT TO PERFORM A TASK FOR ME!

They still have to work out some basic kinks, right? I mean, it’s relatively new technology, right? Only, I’ll sit there and say, “Xbox, pause,” over and over and it won’t hear a single word I’ve said, and Jake will chime in, “Xbox, pause,” and it immediately bows to him and does his every command!

So I took to the only source I trust, and I Googled “Xbox One sexist” to see if anyone else is having problems with this darn robot not listening to higher-pitched female voices while fully recognizing deeper-toned male voices – an understandable issue, but a concern nonetheless. What do I find instead? Apparently Microsoft has hurt the feelings of a few people in the world, and everything having to do with the new Xbox and sexism is stemming from a promotion campaign that Xbox put out to boost holiday sales.

This is supposed to be an e-mail template you send to your loved one in attempt to get them to want an Xbox One as well, or at least be comfortable with you bringing one into the house. I guess the green underlined words were meant to be replaced by various other options Microsoft thought you might want to say instead, depending on who you were specifically petitioning to.

APPARENTLY, saying things like, “Hey Honey,” or, “You’d rather knit than watch me slay zombies,” or, “Did I mention how beautiful you are?” imply that the intended receiver of this letter is the anti-fun female counterpart to the football-loving gamer male who wants the new console and is trying to trick the un-fun lady into buying it when they’d never actually play together.

Women, get yourselves!  Men who want to appear inclusive and pro-feminism, get over yourselves!  I don’t care who you are, this is HILARIOUS!  Had we, for whatever reason, not been able to get the new Xbox on opening day, and had Jake sent this to me in a futile attempt to get me to approve of digging ourselves into more debt, I would have LAUGHED MY ASS OFF while I told him, “No, we can’t get it because of this and this reason that we’ve already had reasonable and civil conversations about since we make choices about what we purchase for the household together as a team.”  And honestly, some days I would rather knit than watch him slay zombies, or destroy buildings with tanks as he’s been doing recently, but other days, “Jake, it’s my turn to sail the open seas of the Caribbean!  My pirate fleet needs to be updated so that I can send ships out on new missions, and I’m fairly certain that you’ve progressed further in the story line than I have so don’t you even think about turning on Assassin’s Creed before I get a chance to get ahead of you!”

Are we really so concerned with being politically correct that people got offended enough for Microsoft to actually issue an apology and switch out the options that were clearly meant to be used as “could have been construed as” gender-specific JOKES that people who know, understand, and love (or ARE) true gamers would only laugh at?  And honestly, how am I supposed to Google legitimate questions about whether or not the new Xbox is sexist when everyone is sitting there whining about how not all gamers are guys and how some girls would rather slay zombies than knit?  OBVIOUSLY it was a joke, OBVIOUSLY it was over your head, and OBVIOUSLY you are far too stuck up to see that truly hilarious things are actually funny.

But seriously, anyone else have problems with the Kinect not listening to women?  I know it’s made by guys for guys so they probably didn’t take into account a tiny little girl voice like mine using it to watch Lifetime or use the Fitness app, but I’d really like to be able to communicate effectively with my little robot.  Maybe I should try asking it what kind of sandwich it wants…

/rant

Happy Blog Birthday to Me!

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I don’t really think I’ll do a sentimental or thoughtful or funny or even a little bit good today. Just a little giveaway for my blog-birthday.

I mentioned those coffee cup sweaters before. No, I haven’t actually finished that order, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to. BUT – that does mean that I have an entire stack of coffee cup sweaters that are currently taking up space.

Seriously, a whole flippin' stack!

Seriously, a whole flippin’ stack! And as you can see, I really like the owls.

Now, I do have a few ideas of who I can give most of them to, if I ever actually put faces on the 10 I haven’t finished, but I think I can absolutely spare one. Lucky you, the timing of this super awesome birthday giveaway means that you can either get a free handmade adorable animal coffee cup sweater for yourself, or you can be all giving-like and request one for a friend or family member who might better appreciate it. The choice is yours.

All you have to do is comment down below and let me know what kind of animal you’d like. That’s it. I have made owls, koalas, elephants, monkeys, and I even made a hamster. I have intentions of also making pandas and foxes. I could essentially make any other kind of animal, within reason of course – not too sure how cute or recognizable some animals might be.

So you’ll earn a spot in a randomized drawing for leaving a comment of whatever animal you want. And because it is that time of year, and because I do love you guys so much, if you leave a separate comment for an animal you would want for someone else – tell me who (just relationship to you if you want, name doesn’t really matter) and why – I’ll give you a second entry.

I’ll keep this open for about a week – I won’t accept any entries after Tuesday 11/26 (unless you file for an extension, and you’ll have to have like a doctor’s note or something for that), and I’ll let you guys know sometime Wednesday 11/27. :)

Feeling Good

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I’ve been working really hard on keeping really good habits, though I’ve realized that I have to do it at my own pace. I figured it out after a few dozen organizational websites or motivational Pinterest thingies that I can’t just follow someone else’s idea of what will work, not even really if I get to adjust things and “make it my own.”

I’m not sure if that made any sense at all, and I’m sorry if it didn’t. My brain is currently working on tangents and run-on sentences. :) I’ll do my best to explain…

You guys may remember my post back in March about how gung-ho I was about following a little printed-out binder full of cutesy reminders of what I should be cleaning each day and then magically at the end of 20 days, my house was supposed to be perfect and I was supposed to have the skills and habits of a swell housewife who probably even took off her husbands shoes as soon as he got home from work everyday to give him a nice foot rub. Yeah, that happened.

Well, I did the first two days, not the foot rubbing part, but then I gave up completely. It was probably something ridiculous like, “But I don’t want to clean the bathroom today, I want to organize my closet!” and then I just decided that the whole thing was stupid.

Since then, I’ve tried a ton of different ideas and “systems” – and I even considered spending a couple buckaroos on the Unfuck Your Habitat app because it just sounded like something that would be right up my alley and it would probably share the same disgruntled views of this housey job that I’ve got. Would that be an Unfuck your Habitapp? Either way, I digress, as I do, and that’s why we’re here anyway… But I didn’t want to waste a valuable dollar and ninety-nine cents on an adorable app that would likely only keep me going for a day and a half.

So last week a good friend of mine (another stay at home mama) said something about putting her shoes on to get ready for cleaning the house earlier that day. Uh, what? So she started talking to me about this Flylady thing that a friend of hers had told her about, and that it was really helping her. Apparently one of the main steps of the day to keep your house feeling happy and clean is to get dressed first thing in the morning, including your shoes, I guess to keep you from completely relaxing. The whole, you wear shoes to “real” work outside of the house, so help your brain associate that with work at home, and only take off your shoes and relax at the end of the workday. Man have I been doing it wrong this whole time! ;)

Well, I tried that for a day, as well as a few other steps that I found on the website, like shining your faucets after every time you use them??? But I still wanted to sit on my couch after I put in a load of laundry and stay there until WAY PAST when the dryer went off. Facebook, blog, all sorts of super important things to do, it didn’t matter that I still had on my knee-high lace-up leather and fur boots on, I was going to relax if I wanted to. I just kicked up my boots onto my cluttered coffee table, and went about my lazy day.

Ok, so screw this, I can figure this out on my own! For the entire past week, since the day after I wore my apocalypse boots all around the house, I’ve managed to keep dirty dishes out of the sink entirely. They go straight to the dishwasher, and the dishwasher gets run (gets ran, is run, I don’t know…) as soon as I can’t fit the next thing in it or as soon as all of one thing (like plates or something) is dirty. Then, as soon as the dishwasher is done, everything gets put away immediately.

Also, all trash is thrown out as soon as it is made. It really helps that Doodle LOVES taking things to the trash, so I’ve gotten him to where he’ll actually call me out on putting a small piece of trash on the coffee table or leaving the mac&cheese box on the counter, then he’ll happily take it to the trash for me.

Our normal, have-to-use-daily clutter now goes into a canvas box basket thingy that we originally got to hold Doodle’s cloth diapers. The box stays on the coffee table, and is a convenient “I don’t know where to put this right now” spot. And every few days, or whenever I notice that it takes more than a few seconds to find something in it, I just clean it out. Mainly, I end up fishing out random toys Doodle hid in there or cleaning out Jake’s work pocket trash that he dumps in there every day after work. Hey – at least he’s not leaving it in there so that it ends up in the washer every time… I’ll take what I can get here. :)

Speaking of the washer – I spent a whole day catching up on laundry, and now I’ve got a small basket downstairs in front of the washer and a small basket upstairs in our room. Upstairs laundry goes in upstairs basket, downstairs laundry, downstairs basket. As soon as one of them is full, they’re both dumped in the washer, and they get washed, dried, folded, hung, and put away right then.

I also moved my furniture around and was able to vacuum everything that hasn’t been accessible since we moved in two and a half years ago. I didn’t exactly move the furniture around just to vacuum – I’ve been seriously feeling stuck, and rearranging the living room helps me feel like I’m in a new place. That’s the wanderlust gene my loving father passed down to me. Thanks, dad. But the living room is super fun (I can’t wait for Jake to get home tonight to see what he thinks) and the entire floor is super clean – or, you know, as clean as my awful vacuum can make it.

I need to overhaul the bathrooms tomorrow, but it really wasn’t that long ago that I did that anyway, and we’ve actually been doing really good at keeping up on that without even really thinking about it.

Other than that, all I really need to work on is getting in a good method of keeping cooked meat things available for the carnivorous hubby who isn’t home at typical meal times while also providing my vegetarian self and my picky little man with nourishment, all without spending the entire day everyday in the kitchen. I recently realized that I’ve got one of those 3-part crock pot guys in my garage, so I think I’m going to try to figure out how to use those without burning down my house, and I think I’ll be able to do a decent job at just making different versions of whatever I may be cooking all at the same time to appease all of us.

I haven’t touched the coffee cup sweaters, and I’m fairly certain that it’s a completely lost cause to finish them and get them to my friend in time for Christmas shopping. But I’ll keep them sitting here, just in case, you know, I get the intense need to crochet one day after I’ve finished cleaning everything, while my pots are crocking, and I’ve already gone through all of the Facebooking, blogging, and youtubing that I’ve needed to for the day.

This is becoming a long post, sorry, deal with it. Or don’t. Either way. :)

Doodle ’bout freaked me out the other day when I got off the phone and found this:

Look mama - I got Link's ears on!

Look mama – I got Link’s ears on!

He had taken it upon himself to use every last drop of spirit gum to get his elf ears on by himself. Nevermind that we used every drop of the spirit gum remover it came with to get off the teeny amount we used on Halloween because THAT SHIT DOESN’T COME OFF! Jake took one look and said, “Oh god, we’re going to have to cut it,” in the most calm and collected (and obviously overcompensating for the incredible surge of emotions going through him) manner with this pale face and deer in headlights look.

A quick and frantic google lead me to a possible solution, so I grabbed the leftover baby oil (that we kept since his baby shower when he was an infant and we never actually used it – see, it pays to keep things forever!) and doused him. It was listed as a “maybe, it might work, you could try it and hope for the best?” kind of solution in the forum I happened upon – but holy goodness that stuff practically DISSOLVES spirit gum. He had giant globs of it on his jeans, I squirted some baby oil on it, rubbed it in a little, and it was GONE – incredibly oily, but gone nonetheless. After a pretty intense hair-brushing session and several baths to get residual oiliness gone, his hair is TOTALLY intact, the spirit gum is gone, and we have learned our lesson of putting prosthetic accessories away and out of reach after we’re done with them.

‘Til next time, folks. It’s been fun. :)

So I Got a Little Overzealous… About Everything

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I do this a lot, guys. It’s kind of my MO. I find something I like, I run in head first, and then I burn myself out and give up.

Ok, so I don’t always burn myself out and give up. Mainly if it’s for Doodle, I’ll just grind through the last mile or so of a project while every instinct I have is telling me to just stop. Otherwise, when it’s not directly for Doodle, I go too hard and too fast into something that I really love, and one day out of no where my motivation is completely gone. I set huge goals for myself, realizing that they’re entirely possible and that there’s no real legitimate reason I can’t check them off my list, but then I just can’t keep going. I don’t know though, it almost seems like the fact that they’re on my list, at one point or another it starts to make me not want to do them that much more. It’s almost like an oppositional defiance thing.

Take, for instance, I showed a great friend of mine who owns a coffee shop these completely adorable coffee cup sweaters that I made to see if he wanted to sell them for me at his shop:

Elephant, koala, and owl coffee sweaters with coffee bean buttons.  ^_^

Elephant, koala, and owl coffee sweaters with coffee bean buttons. ^_^

I had sent them to him with the idea of selling them with something kind of like a consignment deal - I make some and send them to him, and he sells them and gives me my cut. I send him more whenever I have more. Perfect, right? I can just make them at my leisure, and we both get a bit of a profit whenever anyone wants to buy a silly coffee cup novelty. Well, he saw them and loved them, and he offered me $200 for 20 of them.

$200! That’s flippin awesome! I mean, sure it takes me a while to make one, but I’m not doing anything else, right? Sure, I keep Doodle alive and make food and wash laundry and kick the dog when she snores and vacuum and keep track of all of Jake’s due dates for school assignments and tests. But I’m not doing anything else that brings home the bacon, and that’s pretty cool that I have the ability to make a few extra buckeroos, right? So I make a whole ton of those coffee bean buttons, get all of my yarns sorted and figured, make all of the main parts of the covers… and then I stop. Literally, all I’ve got left is about 10 faces to make and attach onto the sweaters. That’s it. I’ve been sitting here NOT making $200 for 3 months now.  And I don’t know why I can’t just pick them up and finish them.

If something’s not on my list, however, and I’m sitting there with no direct to-do, I’ll just whip out a pillow:

Doodle loves his owl pillow!

Doodle loves his owl pillow!

Again, we’re talking about doing something for Doodle, but it was a perfectly spontaneous project that I can only imagine still would have taken me weeks longer to complete had it been something I specifically wanted to make for him. Instead, I was just sitting there with some material I had come across while cleaning, and I thought to myself, “I should make a pillow for Doodle.” Then I promptly got up and grabbed my sewing machine, scissors, and stuffing and got to work. Not 15 minutes later, Doodle was ECSTATIC to take his new pillow to Grandma’s for a sleepover.

Why can’t everything be like that? Even if it is on a list, why can’t I just get a random motivation and actually finish things?

As far as completing things for Doodle, I’ll still stall to the last second most of the time. That birthday party back in June? I was still finishing party favors, snacks, and cake-decorating as guests were arriving. I had been “working” on it for months. Months.

That pillow though – I think (hope) that pillow changed something in me. That same day, after he went off to Grandma’s, Jake and I went out to get almost everything I needed for his Halloween costume. Three full weeks before Halloween! Granted, we needed to know what all we would be able to procure locally or craft out of basic supplies, that way we had enough time to wait for anything we needed to order online. But anyway, I got the supplies super early. You know what the old Kortney would have done? Put those bags in a closet and remembered them on October 29th!

This new and improved pillow-crafting Kortney, however, went out and enjoyed the rest of the evening with her husband celebrating 10 years together. But then the very next morning, this new pillow-crafting Kortney started cutting and sewing fabric, carving foam, and fabricating accessories. I was determined to not have this project on my list stress me out ’til the last minute. I went head first, but I couldn’t give up. It was for Doodle.

Little Link and Navi

Little Link and Navi

I carved and painted the deku shield, sewed and pieced together the kokiri sword scabbard, carved and put together the slingshot, and designed Navi, as well as designed boot covers and created the patterns for and sewed the tunic and hat.

I carved and painted the deku shield, sewed and pieced together the kokiri sword scabbard, carved and put together the slingshot, and designed Navi, as well as designed boot covers and created the patterns for and sewed the tunic and hat.

Anyway – where I was going with this (That’s right folks! – this post was NOT just a clever attempt at sharing my little guy’s AWESOME Halloween costume with you)…

I’ve been absent from here for a while. A long while. I think since Labor Day? Yep, balloons. That was my last post, on August 31. Along with me not being on here, I haven’t been to your pages either. I do follow a few of you on Facebook, and I love reading your blogs that I see, but I don’t get links to all of them, and I never come check on you wonderful friends who aren’t on Facebook (or at least who I haven’t found yet). And that makes me sad. Because I truly loved being in your lives, even just digitally. But I jumped in the deep end without grabbing floaties, guys, and I sank.

If I can randomly make a pillow in 15 minutes and get Doodle’s costume done *for the most part* 3 weeks before Halloween, I think I can get back on my horse around here. I want to make some goals. Put them on my have-to-do list. Something like, post on here weekly. Maybe even once or twice more in the month to just share a fun picture of Doodle or something we did together. One of these days I even want to try something like a daily picture for a month kind of post like I’ve seen around a bit. Something, anything, to get me in the habit of keeping a habit.

Also, and I’m a little early, but I think my blog’s birthday is coming up - November 20. It’s not really that big of a deal, and I think this is only like my 70th post, but it’s still a milestone for me. :) I think, because I love you guys so much, that I want to do some kind of giveaway for that. Reverse birthday presents work, right? I’ll get back to you on details for that. And if you have any suggestions, let me know! :) I can make cookies, and I’m pretty crafty – what do you guys want?

One other habit I want to keep is getting back in touch with all of you. I will be on here more often looking through all of your blogs, that’s a promise. What would really help me, though, is if you have a Facebook page for your blog, I’d love to know about it. I think I’ve only got like 3 or 4 of you on my wall. What’s super easy about that is I’m on Facebook often. I’m not very good at social things, so I don’t really hang out or talk to people in person often, so Facebook is super easy for me to keep in touch with all of the wonderful people in my life who I love while still giving me the ability to pause before responding or scoot out of a conversation without all eyes on me.

So, my have-to-do list:

  • Post full blog posts weekly on here.
  • Post once or twice more per month small updates with pictures.
  • Get something figured out for my blog birthday.
  • Check your blog posts regularly.
  • Finish coffee cup sweaters.

Your if-you-want-to-do list:

  • Tell me what you want for my blog birthday.
  • If you have a blog, tell me if you have a Facebook page for it.

This is Why I’m Tired Today

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As I was checking Facebook yesterday, I was reminded of the fact that it was Labor Day weekend by a meme a friend of mine shared:

Photo Credit: Colorado Springs Memes Facebook Page

Photo Credit: Colorado Springs Memes Facebook Page

Doodle LOVES hot air balloons! After I finished BEGGING Jake to sacrifice his last true day off before his 15 credit hour semester starts the same week he’s on-call and already scheduled to work 2 overtime shifts (sorry babe), we went up to Colorado Springs to play at the Penny Arcade (read “Quarter Arcade”) in Manitou to kill some time.

Google "Manitou Springs Arcade" - SO MUCH FUN!

Google “Manitou Springs Arcade” – SO MUCH FUN!

After three hours of walking around, playing arcade games, and spending what felt like hundreds of quarters on 20-second rides, we were on our way to have dinner with some old friends of ours. We were CERTAIN that with the lack of a nap, the hours of driving, the full afternoon in Manitou with rides and games, the dinner with our “pretty lady” friend, and the late bedtime that he would doze off to sleep peacefully. The intention was for us to go to bed early as well so that we could wake up at 5 in the morning to get ready, get breakfast and coffee, drive the half hour across town, and actually find some parking before the balloons went up at 7.

9:00 PM – We return from dinner, get Doodle ready for bed, and lay him down to go night-night. I sing to him, and he stays in bed.

9:05 PM – I go downstairs to play Candy Crush Saga on the tablet while Jake plays Final Fantasy 7 on his cell phone. On a Friday night. We party hard.

9:15 PM – We decide it’s about time to call it, head to bed, and start to doze off to sleep.

9:30 PM – It starts. You see, we brought his owl night light that has a 30 minute auto-off function. He walked across the hall to tell me his owl has turned off. I had literally JUST started to doze off. UGH! I turned it back on, laid back down, and tried to go back to sleep.

9:45 PM – Back across the hall, he needed a sip of water… Do you see where this is going?

I’m not kidding you, at least 15 more times! He’d come in to see us, or he’d stay in the room playing with his cousin’s toys. He’d tiptoe in, as though he didn’t want to wake us, and whisper things to us, or he’d talk to us from the room about what he was playing with. I tried going in there sweetly, I tried being firm and laying down the law. Jake tried singing to him again. I laid in there next to him. We brought him into the bed with us. NOTHING WORKED!

12:00 AM – Midnight. I’m not kidding. At midnight, I FINALLY gave up and tried something that I have NEVER EVER had to do. I got up, grabbed Doodle, threw on some shoes, grabbed my car keys, buckled him in, and drove. After some harsh words about how tired he was going to be in 5 hours, it only took 10 minutes for him to pass out and stay out.

We woke up after no where near enough sleep, and Doodle was feeling it for sure! We happily rubbed it in that he should have listened to mama and daddy when we told him to go to bed.

"It's not light out, mama.  I'm sleepy."

“It’s not light out, mama. I’m sleepy.”

I’m fairly certain this was Doodle’s first true sunrise. I’m sure there have been mornings that he has been awake during the time the sun was actually rising, but we are NOT morning people, and we would normally NEVER demand that he be awake for that specific time of day. He was not hungry for breakfast, he did not want to drink any juice, and he was not happy that he couldn’t go back to sleep when we got in the car. At least he was as exhausted and miserable as we were! ;)

We finally found some parking, then walked around the lake to a good viewing area for the launch. Doodle was finally willing to eat a banana when we stopped. He was about to wake up real good…

We found a spot right at sunrise.

We found a spot right at sunrise to enjoy our breakfast.

Some daddy tickles helped wake Doodle up just in time.

Some daddy tickles helped wake Doodle up just in time.

"What in the WORLD is going on around me?!"

“What in the WORLD is going on around me?!”

They were coming up everywhere around us.

They were coming up everywhere around us.

Doodle watching some balloons take off.

Doodle watching some balloons take off.

We were standing RIGHT next to so many of them.

We were standing RIGHT next to so many of them.

He loved watching them fly right above us.

He loved watching them fly right above us.

He thought they looked like flowers in the sky.  :)

He thought they looked like flowers in the sky. :)

Our second sunrise of the morning.

Our second sunrise of the morning.

Apparently these exist?!

Apparently these exist?!

Here, let me zoom that in for you.  Yeah, EFF THAT!

Here, let me zoom that in for you. Yeah, EFF THAT!

And the 5 hours of sleep started to catch up to him about 40 minutes into the show.

And the 5 hours of sleep started to catch up to him about 40 minutes into the show.

Our view of the balloons over the lake as we were leaving.

Our view of the balloons over the lake as we were leaving.

Dozing off in the car for the hour-long drive back home.

Dozing off in the car for the hour-long drive back home.

Much fun was had, and Daddy and Doodle got to sleep peacefully the whole way home while Mama drove. Then Daddy got to sleep some more so he could get some rest before work. Doodle was no longer tired at that point, go figure. He has now also successfully skipped his naptime, and we’re about 5 minutes away from heading over to the neighbor’s house for a birthday party. Then I’ve got to work (been doing some work at home stuff lately) for a few hours, and hubby won’t be home ’til after Doodle goes to bed. I suppose I did ask for it…

I Need a Shammich.

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Doodle loves shammiches – like, more than most things in the world. Probably more than my cookies, which is really quite incredible, because he ADORES my cookies…

My cookies.

My cookies.

It’s really difficult to get him to accept any meal as an alternative when he has his mind set on a shammich. Jake is a dad more lenient than I am, and will often just make him a shammich whenever it’s requested. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2 minutes before night-night – it does not matter, Jake is happy to get in there and whip up Dad’s Special PB&J.

I have nothing specifically against shammiches. They’re super quick and easy, and they fill Doodle right up. I do, however, recognize that they don’t exactly provide Doodle with a varied diet and I don’t want to go through four loaves of bread a day – that just makes for really awkward grocery shopping…

Anyway, so I made us all a green smoothie this morning, and Doodle wanted “food breakfast” after he was done. That’s cool. “What do you want to eat, bud? Cereal? Eggs? Yogurt?”

“Nope. A shammich.”

“Dude, you can’t have a sandwich for breakfast.”

“But I want a shammich breakfast.”

“Maybe you can have a sandwich for lunch, but what do you want for breakfast?”

“I want lunch.”

Touché.  Ok – so I had to figure out how to stop this and give him something he’d actually eat.  I decided, well, I suppose a sandwich doesn’t necessarily need to involve bread, and behold, my latest and greatest invention…

Pancake Shammiches!

Pancake shammich with peanut butter and bananas

Ok, so I’m sure pancake sandwiches have been around for a while. In fact, I’m fully aware that at the very least McDonald’s had it before me. But, at least Doodle got his shammich and I got him to eat breakfast food for breakfast…

So then, at 10:30 this morning, he stubbed his toe (or stepped on something, or the dog stepped on him, or somehow the end of the world was occurring on his foot) and he ran hobbled over to me to kiss it. Well, my kiss wasn’t enough so he ran hobbled over to Jake for some “Daddy Magic.” Apparently that wasn’t good enough either, because he continued sobbing for a few more minutes. That’s when it happened…

“Mommy, I need to rest.”

“Ok, go lay on the couch and rest.”

“No, I need to rest my bed.”

“Uh… Ok? Go upstairs and rest.” (Mind you, Doodle does NOT appreciate naptime, not even a little, and has NEVER initiated the naptime sequence.)

“I need you put blanket on me?”

Baffled, I followed him upstairs, turned on his nightlight and fan, covered him up, and closed his door. 3 hours before naptime. And he went to sleep. What in the world was that about???

So then, Doodle woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (his foot was “feeling much better, thanks”) and was all sorts of energetic. He’s a big fan of instruments and music…

Yep, that’s an elephant costume. Yep, he’s playing it like a French horn. No, he’s never actually played (or even seen in person) a French horn, but from what we can tell so far it is his very favorite instrument in the entire world.

I Swear I’m Still Alive

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I didn’t mean to disappear for so long. I’ve been super busy being super lazy, and that’s a terrible excuse, and for that I’m sorry. :)

To make up for it, I’ll share some wonderful videos. Mainly because every once in a while I go back and look at old videos of Doodle, and I figure – if I adore them, so will you, right?

So here’s Doodle when he was just a month old or so when he had the hiccups. Turn the volume up and listen intently at about the 6-second mark – he seriously sounds like a flippin’ squeaky toy:

Then there’s our first (and only) episode of “Learning to Sign with Doodle” – here he is teaching you pig, boy, girl, eat, more, please, and sorry. This was about a year and a half ago. Crazy how much he’s changed:

And now, just a few weeks ago, singing one of our all-time favorite songs around here. (Also, this one’s kind of for “ABC”):

It is absolutely incredible watching the progression of a life from a tiny random-noise-making lump of baby into a real little person singing a song with mostly the right lyrics.

In other news, I’m fairly certain I’ve developed the most absolutely perfect cookies ever. Peanut butter and devil’s food pudding with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Seriously, heaven. Or hell, you know, with the whole “devil” bit… Hmmm… Either way, amazing!

Also, I’ve been working a little. It’s all part time and from home, but it’s been interesting trying to throw some structure into my very unstructured life as a stay at home mama. Especially since Jake’s transfer at his work finally pulled through, and that has meant a good four weeks or so of no idea what his schedule will be more than a few days in advance…

And we quit smoking. Go us. As I was posting it on facebook (because, you know, that’s what we do in this age, we post everything on facebook), I kind of giggled a bit, wondering how many of my friends would be shocked to know that we were even smoking. We never really hid the fact that we smoked, but we kind of kept to a smoke around smokers, don’t smoke around non-smokers kind of habit for the past 2 1/2 years or so that we started smoking again.

And I started trying to be healthy – aside from the whole best cookies ever bit. Healthy like green smoothies every morning, fresh fruit and veggie snacks all day kind of healthy. Baking the cookies has really helped occupy me whenever I’m sitting around bored and would normally just step outside and smoke, snacking on the cookies and the fresh fruits and veggies has made for really easy replacement of hand-to-mouth goodness when I’ve wanted to smoke, and the green smoothies are really helping me wake up with a really good feeling that I don’t want to screw up by smoking throughout the day. And I’ve got so much more energy now! It seriously doesn’t feel like a crazy chore anymore to just get up and do the dishes or throw a load of laundry in. I really feel good, and I can actually do my job. It’s nice. :)

Adult Words (Warning: Adorable Profanity Inside)

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Doodle was watching the National Geographic Channel as some wildebeests were running through a creek.  He, apparently unsure of what kind of animal they were, yelled at the t.v., “Those horses are a bitch!”

Immediately Jake and I look up at him, and I say to him, “Excuse me?”

He says again, more timidly this time, as though he understands his violation, “Those horses are a bitch?”

Calmly, so as not to bedazzle the word any more than necessary, I respond, “That’s not a very kind word.”

“That’s an adult word?”

I giggle a little inside as I confirm his question.  I’m not sure if he’s made the connection that only adults should be able to use that word or if he’s just stating that adults in general are “not very kind.”

He responds, “And then summer I say it?”

We have no idea where he’s going with this.  It is currently summer, and I’m sure the word has been tossed around enough for him to understand it – though he has not yet used it in context – so I assume he thinks he can say the not very kind adult word when it is summertime.  I say to him, “No.”

He flips out.  “Summer… say… it!” comes out between frustrated tears.

Jake gets an idea and asks, “What do you mean summer, bud?  Do you mean the season, or the Hugglemonster?”

Between more tears, “The… Huggle… monster!”

Summer Hugglemonster is Henry Hugglemonster’s big sister.  She’s sparkly, she dances and sings, and when she’s not making her brother’s life difficult, she supporting him through his problems.  She most definitely does not, however, say, “bitch.”

Instead of correcting him and drawing anymore unnecessary attention to the not very kind adult word, I say to him, “Well, you do not say it.”

“Ok!” he happily responds as he trots off to roll around on the rug and watch more NatGeo.

I can only assume his thought process was: “Adults can say the not very kind adult word, I am not an adult, I cannot say the not very kind adult word, adults are bigger than me, I’m about Henry Hugglemonster’s size, Summer is bigger than him, Summer is bigger than me, Summer is an adult, she can say the not very kind adult word… so, when I’m as big as Summer, I’ll be an adult and then I can say the not very kind adult word.”

The First Steps

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I just love how you thought I was totally about to chop off my hair. :)

You’ve all probably learned a thing or two about me since I started this blog, like the fact that I’m 102 pounds and shrinking, that I lock my son in his room, or that I’m fond of male anatomy. What you haven’t learned, probably because other than a break-up note that I recently wrote to my hair, I haven’t actually talked about my hair (weird, I know – totally a normal conversation topic), is that I’m totally and completely in love with my hair. Ok, so that sounds a little excessive… What I mean is – I really like my hair. I like how long it is, and I like that it’s full of spunk… I just can’t actually do anything with it with intentions of trying to look decent without spending hours on it every day. Hours which I just plain do not have.

So instead, I’ve enlisted the help of several friends of mine to spend hours on my hair for me the past few days (and the next few as well, because if you didn’t realize before, I have A LOT OF EFFING HAIR!) so that soon, very soon, I will have the hair I’ve always wanted, the hair that I haven’t yet made a reality because of various life circumstances, the hair that will look almost exactly how I want it to every single day without me doing a single thing to it. That hair, my dear friends, is dreadlocks.

So, with a happy heart, I give you – my mess for the next 6 months to year of my life:

Day 3

Day 3

I currently have 27 and a half baby dreads and 11 braided sections awaiting their turn with the comb. I’m the floofiest mess I’ve probably ever been in my life, there’s no symmetry whatsoever on my head (as there are only 2 sections waiting to be dreaded on one side, whereas there are 9 on the other), and I’ve got loose hair sticking out all over the base of my dreads, throughout the length of them, and at the tips. And I LOVE it!!!

So here’s the deal, lovely bloggy friends. I’m only assuming that you all follow me more or less to laugh at my fumbles, get excited at my wins, and look at adorable pictures of my Doodle. I have every intention of continuing to provide all of that on this here blog, but I do want to document my dread journey for people who are looking to get dreads of their own or who are just curious about the whole process. I will likely be making fun of myself with regularity, but more than that I intend to talk about all of the details that I haven’t really been able to come across when looking for youtube videos, blogs, or forums discussing the beginning of a dreadlock journey.

So, to save your reader from an overload of unwanted dread updates, and also to save curious dread-wanting folks from an overload of unwanted Doodle updates (I know, who wouldn’t want Doodle updates, right?), I’m going to start a new blog specifically for my dreaded journey. I’ll give you all the link for it as soon as I get it up and going, but I will not be sad if you choose not to follow it. :) Lots of love to you all, and I’ll have more wonderful Doodle-related goodness very soon.

It’s Been a Fun Ride, But You’ve Got to Go!

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Hair, it’s been super. I mean, you’ve always been kind of wonderful to me. You’re been super long, which is totally my kind of thing, and you have an awesome floofy-ness about you. I mean, sometimes it’s been the less-than-awesome kind of floofy-ness. Really most of the time it’s been less-than-awesome. Truly, I hate you. Do you remember what you did to me in Chicago?!

Do you SEE how GIANT my EFFING HAIR is?!?!

Do you SEE how GIANT my EFFING HAIR is?!?!

 

Seriously, hair, this isn’t cool. As much as I *love* how long you’ve always been, I’ve never really been able to show you off to the world. You’re just so wild – I can’t keep you under control anywhere we go! So, my natural state has become with you tied up in an awful conglomeration of “bun” that sticks out in every different direction because, even with a brand new hair tie with all of the elasticity the factory originally put in it, nothing will truly contain you.

Seriously, when have you EVER seen me with my hair not this haphazard mess?

Seriously, when have you EVER seen me with my hair not this haphazard mess?

Ok, sure – some days, years ago, I used to spend an hour and a half or so straightening you. But really, I’m lazy enough already, I barely have time to brush you. So what did I do last year? I spent ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DOLLARS to have the sweetest hair stylist ever chemically straighten you! And what did you do? Completely rebelled to the point where none of the straightening thing worked. So she, being the sweetest hair stylist ever, chemically straightened you AGAIN, free of charge, because maybe she had done something wrong the first time…. NOPE! You’re just a PAIN IN THE ASS!

If only you'd stay this nice and tame.

If only you’d stay this nice and tame.

So I say this to you once and for all, I’m done with you. I’m done hiding you in a rat’s-nest bun. I’m done brushing knots out of you for fifteen minutes straight less than an hour after I JUST BRUSHTED KNOTS OUT OF YOU for fifteen minutes straight – heck, I’ve been done with this one for a while already now, it’s not like brushing you ever worked in the first place! I’m done breaking you into three knotted conglomerations to braid together before I go to bed every night because I don’t have the energy to deal with you anymore.

We just need to end this. We don’t work well together, not like this. It’s never worked. Every single day, either you feel like I’ve put you in a cage, or I feel like you’re wrecking my life. You need the freedom to be as crazy and untamed as you want to be, and I need the freedom to spend my time on things more important than keeping you under control. I think in a few years we’ll look back at this day and laugh at the fact that we ever thought we could get along like this.