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I love seeing how my kids’ answers to these questions have changed from time to time.

1. What is something Mommy always says to you?

K: I love you.
A: Be polite.

2. What makes Mommy happy?
K: Being with us.
A: Getting chocolate from Wendy.

3. What makes Mommy sad?
K: Us being sad.
A: Being away from us for long increments of time.

4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
K: Tickles me until I go pee.
A: “Behhhhd.”

5. What was Mommy like as a child?
K: Old compared to her brother.
A: Like me.

6. How old is Mommy?
K: 42
A: 42

7. How tall is Mommy?
K: 5 feet
A: 5 feet 4 inches

8. What is Mommy’s favorite thing to do?
K: Spend time with her family.
A: Go to Maine.

9. What does Mommy do when you’re not around?
K: Drink wine.
A: Book club.

10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
K: Running for president.
A: Singing.

11. What is Mommy really good at?
K: Loving people.
A: Acting.

12. What is Mommy not very good at?
K: Giving Katie dessert every day.
A: I don’t know.

13. What does Mommy do for her job?
K: She does Congress.
A: Works on the budget for Congress, I think.

14. What is Mommy’s favorite food?
K: Pumpkin soup.
A: Belgian chocolate.

15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
K: She takes care of her younger brother.
A: She argues her point.

16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
K: Snoopy.
A: Minnie Mouse.

17. What do you and Mommy do together?
K: Snuggle and I read to her.
A: Go on trips..

18. How are you and Mommy the same?
K: We’re related.
A: We could be identical twins.

19. How are you and Mommy different?
K: Mommy’s eyes are greener and I’m not married. I know that’s a pretty bad answer but its the only thing I could come up with.
A: I have a squishy nose and mom doesn’t.

20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
K: It’s in your eyes and your heart.
A: She tells me every day.

21. Where is Mommy’s favorite place to go?
K: Maine.
A: Home.

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Last Friday the 7 year old got “lost” while visiting my brother. I say “lost” because it was for such a brief period of time that she was the only one that knew she was lost. Does that even count?  To her, it does, I’m sure.  Poor baby had run out of my brother’s backyard to chase the dog [who was chasing a squirrel, who swallowed a cat to catch the bird…oh, wait…] wound up on the street behind Uncle Mikey’s house and got disoriented. So she approached a safe-looking lady and said “My name is Katie and I am visiting my uncle who lives near here but now I am lost. Can you help me find my Mommy?” So the nice lady called the police…  and 30 seconds later, three of us come flying out of the yard, shouting for kid and dog…and see them both 50 yards up the street… The neighbor explained what happened (minus the phoning the police part) and we said thank you, thank you, and started to walk home. So I was pretty surprised when a police car pulled up next to me to see if everything was ok. I said it was. You’ll be happy to know he didn’t just take my word for it, he asked my sister-in-law — who was standing next to me — if the child I was carrying really belonged to me. Anyway — crisis averted…yay for my nephew who came inside to tell us that Miss Dog had escaped and Miss Thing had run after her. Yay for Miss Thing for asking a safe-looking grown up for help. Yay for Miss Dog for coming back when she was called. Yay for Miss Thing for figuring out that next time she should get a grownup before chasing after Miss Dog [Because KC has tags with our phone number on it…but I don’t have any tags, right, Mommy?”]

It made a good story to share with DH later that night when we called to say goodnight (he had to work and couldn’t leave The ‘Shire.)   A few hours later I got an email from DH… it seems that he, too, is vying for the title of Poet Laureate of the family. He said:

Just in case our young Poet hasn’t yet begun to reflect on another weekend adventure…

Running running into the street
after the dog with fleet feet
Turn around and house is gone
Mommy?

It says a lot about my family that my brother, SIL and I all burst out laughing while my mom was appropriately horrified and said “That’s SICK.”

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Dear Santa,

Please please please please can I have Harry Potter 4? I’m his biggest fan. I know what his name is! It’s Daniel. Like my dad. If no one sees you my little cousin Jake will cry, because everybody likes Santa. Everyone would have a sad Christmas. Some people are already decorated, like a lot of people. Like all the people in the world. Everybody already has their Christmas trees. No one will set a fire in the fireplace on Christmas because if you come down then you’d get your bottom burnt.

Can you deliver every present to every child every Christmas? What do you elves look like? Do your reindeer need coats? How many? Can you send me a picture of them?

Do you deliver presents to animals if they’ve been good? Do you drop fish upon the lakes so bigger fish can eat them? How pretty is the moon when you fly by it? Would you send me a picture? Can you eat it? Is it really cheese or is it just moon with a lot of water in it? I would like to know.

Thank you Santa. I was just wondering those questions.

Love, Katie

ps:  Just in case you were wondering, my family members are Jackie, Daniel, ANYA.

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 I’m not sure if I am impressed or slightly disturbed — or both —  with K-child’s latest tome. She brought it home from preschool recently.

The Fire Ball — by K-child.

Sometimes people see hawks around the world. They are very interesting animals. They like to eat different foods like worms and birdfeed. And mice and rats.

The comets can come from space. Meteors come from many different worlds. Like Obama.

Like the One-Eyed Purple Eater. They can be three feet tall.

The tooth has many other ingredients than humans. Humans have two teeth. And very munchable teeth.

The meteor is about three feet tall. The big launcher is about two and a half feet tall.

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iMan

I wish I could remember exactly how we created iMan…alcohol-induced silliness? A get-rich-quick scheme in response to the Dow being in the crapper? Spending a week in close quarters with DH and his best friend such that the similarities and differences between them yet again lit up like a Christmas tree? Hmmm. I can’t remember. I guess that’s what a week of no sleep and too much wine will get you. What I do remember is that after both envying each other when we observed appropriate responses in the other’s spouse that are sadly lacking in our own and lamenting the fact that neither man has mastered niceties such as lifting the seat,  Black Wendy* and I decided that men should be like iPods — you should be able to swap them and mix up their characteristics like iPod playlists. The best playlists are full of music from different albums, different artists, different genres of music…right?

We have lovely husbands, we really do. As such, they are well beyond issues like holding a steady job, being an involved parent, etc. So we don’t mention those sort of basics here. We’d not be writing this otherwise, because we’d be spending all our time at the law firm of This-is-Mine,That’s-Yours. However, who is satisfied with the base model? We’ve mixed up the best qualities our husbands possess and added some features they both lack in order to bring you…iMan.

In no particular order, iMan…

  • Detects full dishwashers, trash bins, and laundry baskets and associates and executes the appropriate action;
  • Cooks at least 5 recipes that do not include boil-in-the-bag rice, steam-in-the-bag vegetables, or store-bought rotisserie poultry;
  • Dances. For real. None of this white-man’s overbite crap;
  • Sees shades of grey instead of only black and white;
  • Calls you out on your shit;
  • Says I’m Sorry, and means it;
  • Is handy around the house;
  • Gives a killer massage;
  • Reads something other than comic books;
  • Likes to travel;
  • Knows how to “do nothing”;
  • Likes to do stuff and go places.

What does your iMan do? Let me know and we’ll keep building the list.

*Chillax. It’s how my then-3 year old differentiated between my two friends named Wendy – one a brunette and one a blonde; hence, Black Wendy and Silver Wendy.

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And because I can’t get it to embed here, you have to do it hte old fashioned way and click the link. Go ahead – it’s worth it.

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Another “dictation” that came home from school the other day…

Mama,

I don’t like the green coat. I don’t like it because it’s really, really puffy. I  just can’t get around with it at school. It’s really difficult to do. I really, really, really don’t like my coat.

K.

p.s.: I can only move my hands a little in my gloves.

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Break’s Over!

Best. Op-Ed. Ever. (or maybe I just really really miss The West Wing.)

(The following Op-Ed originally appeared in The New York Times on September 20, 2008. It was written by Maureen Dowd.)

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a Lancôme rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET Come on in.

BARTLET leads OBAMA into his study.

BARTLET That was a hell of a convention.

OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it.

BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with jobs or America. I’ve been a little out of touch but is there a mandate that the vice president be skilled at field dressing a moose —

OBAMA Look —

BARTLET — and selling Air Force Two on eBay?

OBAMA Joke all you want, Mr. President, but it worked.

BARTLET Imagine my surprise. What can I do for you, kid?

OBAMA I’m interested in your advice.

BARTLET I can’t give it to you.

OBAMA Why not?

BARTLET I’m supporting McCain.

OBAMA Why?

BARTLET He’s promised to eradicate evil and that was always on my “to do” list.

OBAMA O.K. —

BARTLET And he’s surrounded himself, I think, with the best possible team to get us out of an economic crisis. Why, Sarah Palin just said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.” Can you spot the error in that statement?

OBAMA Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t funded by taxpayers.

BARTLET Well, at least they are now. Kind of reminds you of the time Bush said that Social Security wasn’t a government program. He was only off by a little — Social Security is the largest government program.

OBAMA I appreciate your sense of humor, sir, but I really could use your advice.

BARTLET Well, it seems to me your problem is a lot like the problem I had twice.

OBAMA Which was?

BARTLET A huge number of Americans thought I thought I was superior to them.

OBAMA And?

BARTLET I was.

OBAMA I mean, how did you overcome that?

BARTLET I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.

OBAMA What do you mean?

BARTLET I’m a fictional president. You’re dreaming right now, Senator.

OBAMA I’m asleep?

BARTLET Yes, and you’re losing a ton of white women.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET I mean tons.

OBAMA I understand.

BARTLET I didn’t even think there were that many white women.

OBAMA I see the numbers, sir. What do they want from me?

BARTLET I’ve been married to a white woman for 40 years and I still don’t know what she wants from me.

OBAMA How did you do it?

BARTLET Well, I say I’m sorry a lot.

OBAMA I don’t mean your marriage, sir. I mean how did you get America on your side?

BARTLET There again, I didn’t have to be president of America, I just had to be president of the people who watched “The West Wing.”

OBAMA That would make it easier.

BARTLET You’d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old “ER” time slot with “30 Rock” as your lead-in, you’d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share — you’d be selling $450,000 minutes.

OBAMA What the hell does that mean?

BARTLET TV talk. I thought you’d be interested.

OBAMA I’m not. They pivoted off the argument that I was inexperienced to the criticism that I’m — wait for it — the Messiah, who, by the way, was a community organizer. When I speak I try to lead with inspiration and aptitude. How is that a liability?

BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.

OBAMA You’re saying race doesn’t have anything to do with it?

BARTLET I wouldn’t go that far. Brains made me look arrogant but they make you look uppity. Plus, if you had a black daughter —

OBAMA I have two.

BARTLET — who was 17 and pregnant and unmarried and the father was a teenager hoping to launch a rap career with “Thug Life” inked across his chest, you’d come in fifth behind Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a ficus.

OBAMA You’re not cheering me up.

BARTLET Is that what you came here for?

OBAMA No, but it wouldn’t kill you.

BARTLET Have you tried doing a two-hour special or a really good Christmas show?

OBAMA Sir —

BARTLET Hang on. Home run. Right here. Is there any chance you could get Michelle pregnant before the fall sweeps?

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

OBAMA Good to get that off your chest?

BARTLET Am I keeping you from something?

OBAMA Well, it’s not as if I didn’t know all of that and it took you like 20 minutes to say.

BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.

OBAMA What’s the second step?

BARTLET I don’t care.

OBAMA So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?

BARTLET No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.

OBAMA Wait, what is it you always used to say? When you hit a bump on the show and your people were down and frustrated? You’d give them a pep talk and then you’d always end it with something. What was it …?

BARTLET “Break’s over.”

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Indecision 2008

God Bless Jon Stewart.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=184086&title=sarah-palin-gender-card

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For a fun, quick makeover, walk through a preschool classroom oblivious to the fact that there are finger-paintings drying on a clothesline. Quickly brush past the paintings, making sure to get just enough wet paint (blue, if possible) in your hair to simulate funky streaks/highlights. Take care that the paint actually gets in your hair and not on your face — otherwise you’ll go from cool, mod punk-rocker mom to a bad impression of an Indian Warrior.

I’m just sayin’. Not that I’d know, personally. Ahem.

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