Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is This Your Name?

Try this for sophmoric fun.

It tells me that:

According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.005% of US residents have the first name 'Kia' and fewer than 0.001% have the surname 'Labracke'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 0 'Kia Labracke's.

Thank goodness I have proof. I'm one of a kind.

Another Ebay PMPL (Pee My Pants Laughing) Moment

Thanks to Sonya, one of my handful of faithful readers, for sending this.

While my kids aren't Pokemon fans, really, can't we fill in the blanks here?

Ed Additional Note: For some reason the original listing isn't viewable. It went like this:

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.

“The Lecture“ goes like this…

MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!

“Oh my, you have your hands full.”

“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling. I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”

I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”

“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”

With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”

Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.

“Can we get donuts?”


“Can we get cupcakes?”


“Can we get muffins?”


“Can we get pie?”


You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.

In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”

I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”

(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.

Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”

Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The place where my friends and I dined for my 40th birthday was recently visited by Brangelina.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cherchez la Femme

For any husband who doesn't get it, this is just part of why women need so many shoes. To the Endless people, now please do a spot that explains the 25 pair of black pumps and strappy sandals, please...

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Scooped The Queen!

This will never happen again. But I reported this first. Here's Perez' version. Long Live The Queen!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Your Permanent Record

Reading this story reminded me of two incidents of 'academic standards' becoming irrelevant.

The first involves my high school graduation. I'd gotten very good, if not perfect grades, throughout high school and fully expected to graduate in the Top Ten of my class. My high school's Top Ten was the equivalent of magna cum laude -- with highest honor. Alas, when the announcement was made, I came in 11th.

Coming in 11th when the "Top Ten" is the highlight of high school is, in a word, devastating. (Especially as a hormonal 16/17 year old.) What was even more egregious was when an advisor of mine alerted me, a day or so before graduation, that, as the saying goes, that game was rigged. How? Our principal had gone into my e-records and weighted my Publications (ancient slang for Yearbook) grade from a regular English credit down to a -- something lower credit. Which dropped me from wherever (that I never knew) to 11th. The rationale? That the person who righfully deserved the #11 spot "wouldn't be able to handle it" as well as me.

I was young. I lived in a small town. I'd already been accepted to all five of the small, liberal arts schools I'd applied to nationwide. I couldn't wait to get out of Dodge. I told no one about the switcheroo.

Why, I'll never know, I did tell my parents. Except in an incredibly half-assed kind of way. I wrote a note to them in a card I gave them before the ceremony. They read it before my name was called. Afterward, even with my "with honors" (albeit not "high honors") cord, they were proud of me. They congratulated me. But they were mad as hell. All I could say was, this isn't the hill I want to die on. I'm outta here. And I was.

The second incident happened to a professor friend of mine who made the mistake of holding a student accountable for the expectations set out for his class at the beginning of the semester. What he didn't know was that this person's father was a major contributor to the endowment fund. Oops.

What began as drawing a line in the sand ended in him losing his job and any hope of a tenured position. But I'll bet he sleeps better at night than that student.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Makes those Jon Benet Photos Look Natural

What kind of craziness is this? Oh, wait, there's the "Keeping Her Natural" version here.

What person said to herself one day, "I know, let's start airbrushing photos of young girls?" The seventh sign of the apocalypse.

At least the people at Dove have some grasp of the situation. Show this film to everyone you know, especially moms of daughters.

From The House Of Constipation

I just walked into our downstairs powder room. The one that guests are supposed to use. Not only is it past its cleaning schedule, which of course is not exactly unusual, but it also had an open package of baby wipes sitting on the counter. Which can only mean one thing.

All of my children have been constipated types. All have been on sugary laxatives to help their GI tracts process a little easier. I have been warned for my daughter that if we don't 'get things moving,' toilet training will be nearly impossible.

I've tried prunes (now marketed as "dried plums," I guess to remove the elderly stigma). Miller's bran sprinkled into muffin mix. Water, water, water. At one time I could have told you exactly how much dietary fiber was in most of the (limited) food groups my kids ate.

My husband used to eat a particular brand of cereal which he claimed should have been called Roto Rooter.

Maybe that's why I found this video so funny.

In a "hit them over the head with the symbolism" kind of way, as my former Shakespeare professor would say!