LET’S CONNECT ON LINKEDIN… RANDOM MAN WHOSE CONDO I RENTED IN HILTON HEAD!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, OH &^%$!!, Uncategorized | Posted on 27-03-2014

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I knew I should have just stuck to shiny! pretty! sparkly! Pinterest. But I tried to play with the big kids and now, 600 people who have ever been linked even tangentially to me or my email account, have been invited by moi to “connect” on LinkedIn. One errant click of a button is all it took and now I am connected to law students, nurse managers, and police officers from here to Chicago and back! Every time I open my email I cringe, wondering which virtual stranger is my new LinkedIn bestie.

Within minutes, I received a polite email from the gentleman whose condo we are renting this summer in Hilton Head….”I’m sorry Janet, but I can’t connect with you on LinkedIn. I retired in 2010 and I’m not sure why LinkedIn hasn’t deleted my account.”

OHMAHGAWD. I hope the key code to get into the joint works once we haul ass all the way to South Carolina from New Hampshire! Don’t worry, sir, I won’t be hosting any soirees for strangers in your retirement nest egg with Dawn from Chicago and Bill from Ohio. You know how LinkedIn people bring THE PARTY. I wants my security deposit back!

Just got this email from the room mother from my middle’s class, “Hey Janet! I don’t do linked in but my hubby does. I’ll make sure he sees this. Thanks!”

No–cries inside–thank you for being so nice and not realizing what a cuckoo I am!!! I’m dying. DYING. And now I’m wondering if all the parents in oldest’s class are getting requests because I am the room mom! You send in that donation for the Family Fun Night or you WILL get more LinkedIn requests, people, okay? (I think this is an abuse of power! I am totally getting kicked out of the PTA!)

Frankly, I AM a little pissed HGTV rejected my request to connect. Ditto for you, Lumber Liquidators. Where’s the loyalty?

THE WORST PART IS I DID THIS STONE COLD SOBER. I SWEAR! I SWEAR ON MY LINKEDIN ACCOUNT!

THE WORST PART IS I DID THIS STONE COLD SOBER. I SWEAR! I SWEAR ON MY LINKEDIN ACCOUNT!

No really, the worst part? Is the people I sort of know like the room mommy. Little league coaches? A friend’s husband from town who I’ve met like 1.5 times? OHGODOHNO did my kids’ principal get one???? The parish priest?  The town hooker? (Ok, there is no town hooker, but if there was—oh yeah, I would have totally requested her!) Now I’m left to wonder—who is going to see me in frozen foods and think, “Why did you contact my husband/wife/great Aunt/stepcousin on LinkedIn, ya freakshow!?!”

My friend texted me about something right after LinkedInGate2014 so I had to fill her in and she texts back, “So funny—Adam just said to me, why does Janet want to be friends on LinkedIn—he wants to know did this go out to all your email friends or just him!” I replied, “Just him. #winkwink But wait, does he want to go shoe shopping tomorrow?”

She replies, “Ha ha ha! I love you!” and I’m like, “Yeah, so do 600 people on LinkedIn!”

When hubs got home from work, I felt compelled to confess my blunder–fully expecting him to be all, “What’s LinkedIn?” and shrug his shoulders. Instead he says a little too loudly for MY liking, “Oh, I know! I got like 5 requests from you–so annoying! You know, people make mistakes like that and get FIRED from their jobs!”

WHAT!

OH shit, husband, I am going to lose my huge ass job here at Casa de Muffin Top. Who will be in charge of arse wiping now? Please don’t report me to HR.

I might send him five more requests today. You will connect with me, husband! YOU WILL!!!

NO SEW UPHOLSTERY SPORTS CHAIR? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in MUFFINTOP DIY, Uncategorized | Posted on 05-02-2014

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Last year I bought a very well loved (aka grungry) kick butt Ethan Allen French Country arm chair with ottoman. You can read the post here. For multiple before pics, please visit the original post.

Here is the after:

photo-105-2

WHAT CAN I SAY? IT WAS MID WINTER IN THE FROZEN TUNDRA AND I LIKE COLOR!

Here is the chair a year later, after I painted and rearranged the room:

SEE HOW DIFFERENT THE PALER BACKDROP MAKES THIS CHAIR SEEM, BTW?

SEE HOW DIFFERENT THE PALER BACKDROP MAKES THIS CHAIR SEEM, BTW?

And we are sidewards again! My point in posting the chair a year later is that every DIY project can look great when you finish, but you have to wonder how some of the “Pinterest” pins or blog post projects hold up? How do you know that shitz doesn’t all fall apart once the shot it taken?!! The chair has held up very well over the past year I think, considering that I flop in it every, single day with my unskinnay bod-aaay, it’s had kids jumping on it, off it, around it, and, because of the way I did it (as in, not at all correctly!), I cannot flip the cushions! OH MY. My small investment is crazy comfy and has served me well as I’ve slurped many a coffee and beer on it while I check Facebook or read a classic piece of literature People mag.

I had originally planned to get it professionally reupholstered and then…dun, dun, dun, our dishwasher kicked the bucket. Poverty (all right, I’m embellishing but you know what I mean!) breeds inspiration, and so I thought I’d take a stab at redoing it myself! Shazam!

Since then, I’ve gotten emboldened to try other upholstery projects. This fall the plan was to big boy up the bedroom my middle and youngest share. Enter the ugly ass $7 chair. Hubs woudn’t touch it. Deemed it “disgusting”. Made THE FACE. At me! ME! Prima. Donna.

IT ACTUALLY WAS PRETTY GROSS!

IT ACTUALLY WAS PRETTY GROSS!

The random, grungy corduroy, the dirty arms, and the flipping tacks that I had to take out one by one–owww! I can understand why someone would doubt my skillz. I only bled a little (hear me roar!), I washed the hell out of the wood with Murphy Oil soap, primed and painted it in a lovely Benjamin Moore red I had left over from my son’s desk project, and then, had the idea to reupholster it in Red Sox material. I found this awesome fleecy Red Sox fabric that I thought would be forgiving and soft–and it is. Bonus, it was only $11 bucks a yard! You can get this material in other Major League baseball teams but not sure why you’d want to!? (I’m waiting for Big Papi to call me with his order. Cue up Blondie, “Call meeeee! Call me any, any, any-timeeeeee! Call ME!!!”) Who needs PR people? I got this! (No.)

Here are some after shots:

OK, WORDPRESS IS TRYING TO RATTLE ME WITH ALL THESE SIDEWARD PICS. WON'T WORK, WP--KEEP TRYING!!!

OK, WORDPRESS IS TRYING TO RATTLE ME WITH ALL THESE SIDEWARD PICS. WON’T WORK, WP–KEEP TRYING!!!

 

WE'RE FRONTWARDS. #DANCESJIG

WE’RE FRONTWARDS. #DANCESJIG

For a total cost of less than $20, I’ll take it. It’s a perfect size for the corner of the room, and could easily transition to a rec room or family room if future plans change. It’s an awesome spot to read a book, or, if I’m being honest, drop a pile of folded laundry til I can put it away! I will say that reupholstering a chair is not difficult–this chair was 800 times easier than the French chair because of it’s size, in part, but mostly because there were no cushions that detach to contend with. I took the old fabric off carefully, used it to make a template and traced it onto the new fabric, and stapled—that is IT. It’s like putting a puzzle back together–after you see how it comes apart, you can see how it will all go back together again. Honestly. That is IT. If you had staples showing, and you don’t know how to sew upholstery welting, aka, piping, like moi, you can hot glue gimp like I did on the French chair–and you can see how I did that in that post–sew easy! (Sorry.)

Dare to think outside the chair–you can’t buy something like this at the store, and any chair that you can buy, is at least a few hundred bucks. 

After I did this chair, naturally oldest bro was all, “What about a chair for MY room!” Fair enough. He was over the blue gingham glider in his room. I took to my beloved Craigslist to find an appropriately sized chair and boom—$19 (I know, random price and now that I think of it I handed the woman $20 and she did not give me mah dollah–but I was in no mood for a tete a tete in her random garage in the sticks–know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em, people!).  $19 was a steal for this vintage, caned chair. It is SO COMFY. It was a pecan colored wood and slightly beat, with a 70′s gold velourish type material. AND THERE ARE NO BEFORE PICS THANKS TO TOILETTE IPHONEGATE OF 2013. I’M NOT BITTER, SON!

This chair took some brute strengh to take apart, and it was tufted so BUTTONS, ALL THE BUTTONS, dude. I was not gonna rebutton it. No way. I spray painted this chair in a high gloss red paint and primer combo—likey! I thought that woud be the best way to cover the caning and it didn’t disappoint. Love the gloss. Here are some after shots. To be different, I did this chair in similar fleecy material, but chose Patriot’s instead of The Sox to mix it up. (Brady? Call me. How perfect would it be to sit in this chair and read Jinxelle bed time stories in your Uggs. Check it! Ya think Manning has a cool chair like this, Brady? Um, no.)

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. SIDEWARDS!!!

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY. SIDEWARDS!!!

 

SIDE VIEW

SIDE VIEW–THAT CANING. MUAH!

Here’s a brighter pic! ( I LOVE FOTOGRAFY–ha ha ha.)

I'm bright! I'm upright! Jazz hands! Woo!

I’m bright! I’m upright! Jazz hands! Woo!

Check out the curves and the legs–oh my! Flutter!

That’s it, peeps—I’m living the DIY dream!

From shizz to shine, all on a dime.

I gots to save mah money for fun shoes and wine! 

And remember, dare to think outside the chair! What do you have to lose? (Besides some blood and burnt skin. Wo-man up!)

 

 

 

 

 

CALLING ALL cold MAMAS! ENTER TO WIN!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Retail Therapy, Uncategorized | Posted on 11-02-2013

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. With three little kids and almost 13 years of marriage, I’m just hoping hubs will come home from work and sing something romantic to me.

“Let’s go Outback to-niiiight!” 

Curbside takeaway=porn for moms. Aim high. (I know. How greedy of me to hope for more after the promise of microwave slippers a few weeks ago. Don’t get all jealous, ladies. It’s not a good look!)

Hey, we can’t ALL live at Downton Abbey. My cook and lady maid are on extended vacay. Listen, we all have to play the hand we’re dealt! (Sometimes you get to frolic upstairs at Downton and eat with 27 silver utensils, sometimes you have to stir soup downstairs, and sometimes you’re stuck in suburgatory!) I’m not an addict. 

With arctic temps and over two feet of snow dumped on us this past weekend, it’s no shock my Valentine and I have our biggest rows over the thermostat. You’d think the muffin top would insulate but nooooo. Irish McFreezypants had to marry a hot blooded Italian who wears t-shirts inside the house in winter and fans himself with all the dramatics of a strange southern debutante with a Boston accent, “I’m sweeeeltahring!”

I’m sorry, Scahlett O’Hah-ra. Jeez. Since I’m shuffling about like a 4 foot kid from A Christmas Story, I’m not sympathetic!

So imagine my delight when I got the chance to review a Honeywell Energy Smart 360 Surround heater—just in time for the most wonderful time of the year! Along with mah gift of extra, energy efficient warmth, I received the following info which, I believe, demonstrates I am NOT the cray cray one in this house!

JUDGE AND JURY, I REST MY CASE!

MMM HMM. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I have to say this is a great little ceramic heater. It’s perfect to put under my desk by my feet while I work on my next book read Peep, and in our playroom which is often chilly since it abuts the non-heated garage–and it’s lightweight enough with convenient carrying handle to tote wherever my muffin top desires! It’s super quiet so it will not disturb any important Mario Kart racing, Lord Grantham viewing, or wine slurping. It has a wonderful control panel allowing you to adjust the temperature depending on how Christmas Story-ish you’re feeling, and how energy conscious you are! (Hey super duper green peeps, tada! You can pre-program the thermostat and even see how much energy you’re using with this heater.) This heater packs a punch as it can blast heat all the way around–hence the 360– or you can just use the 180 for a more targeted effect, and has excellent safety features like an overheat protection device, so you don’t burn the joint down! Bonus! (No really. Remember when Italian boy almost burned the house down thawing a pipe last year?)

Here’s what this little beauty looks like in real life—so you can see the scale:

SEE? TOTALLY COMPACT AND UNOBTRUSIVE!

Good news, m’ ladies (and m’ cold lords), you too can have a chance to experience this gem. Honeywell has graciously offered to send a heater to one lucky, soon to be toasty roasty, muffintopmommy reader. All you have to do is leave a comment with your name, and we will have a super official drawing—probably someone under 8 years old will pick a name out of a mixing bowl. You don’t even have to subscribe to mah blog, like me on Facebook, leave a blood sample, follow me on twitter, Pinterest, or the grocery store! (But I surely love when you do— minus the grocery store stalking–I don’t need you seeing the processed snacks in my cart!) Please enter here by next Monday, February, 18th by midnight. South Floridians need not apply. (I’m kidding! I know it gets like 45 down there at 2 in the morning once a year, you lovelies!). Heaters can be shipped to U.S. addresses only.

So what are you waiting for? Even if you don’t win, microwave slippers and a fabulous portable heater? For $59.99, or roughly the price of a Lands’ End sweater, you’re totally in biz. Visit www.kaz.com for more information on this and other Honeywell heaters.

Stay warm, muffintoppers!

*Honeywell did provide me with a free heater for review purposes. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. As usual. Ahem. 

SOMEONE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD USE SOME HEAT!

 

ARE YOU PINTERESTED IN SOME BLACK FRIDAY BLINGITY BLING?

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 19-11-2012

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MUFFINTOPPERS!

Sorry, I’m getting shouty. The thing is, I love pretty, shiny things just as much as I love me a bargain and I have some fun shizzy to share! I don’t know about you, but feeding and clothing these ever growing frat boys has seemed super expensive lately, not to mention paying for my domestic beer in a can and my penchant for pre-sliced party cheese. (How lazy are you–and by “you”, I mean, “ME!”,  to buy the pre-sliced cheese though, really? When you can’t even exert the effort to slice up the Cracker Barrel, girl, it might be time to take stock in yo’ muffin top!) Ah hell. I’m just living the dream, people, living the dream!!!!

On that note, I know I’ve talked Pinterest with you all before in this space. I’m still crushing on it, all these many months later. I haven’t made many things I’ve pinned, mainly because I’m WAY! TOO! BUSY! lazy not cutting cheese (Heh. Oh God, I live in a frat house and they’re winning because I actually found that funny?!), but I have gotten so many ideas that I vow to implement ASAP…in 2013.

Now, I especially retreated to Pinterest in recent weeks because during the height of political debate ugliness on Facebook and other social media outlets, Pinterest was my happy place. Ahhh. A place where everything was shiny and sparkly and pretty! A place where Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and foreigners could hug it out over some modge podge, too good to true BEST EVER 3-step recipes, and craftacular madness. And then, I saw it….a coral necklace that beckoned to me! “Pin me, muffintopmommy! But don’t only pin me, click through to my original source!” I clicked on the link and found this beauty:

BEHOLD! HOW FANFRACKINGTASTIC IS THIS NECKLACE?!

I KNOW! Here’s the best part….it was only $15.00. And did I mention the necklace came with coordinating hangy earrings? (Let’s revisit lazy? My mom bob means my ears don’t show so I didn’t even put them on–those who have more???initiative might consider wearing them!) With reasonable shipping to boot, I was sold–can you say bargain?  I bought it knowing it would complement black, brown, grey—all my momdrobe staples with aplomb!

The great part to me is that the necklaces are sold by another blogger, and she was donating 5% of each sale to help the relief effort for Hurricane Sandy. I don’t know about you, but I would so rather my cash go to a small business person who will invest in her community than some big box store. Which got me thinking. I don’t often do product reviews, but I wore this beautiful gem to a blogging event last weekend and it really made my black top go from drab to fab. How did I know? I’d worn it many times but boom–with the necklace I got a ton of compliments with many inquiries as to where I got it. Same thing happened when I wore it to a school event. For less than $15 my boring black mom “uniform” got a whole new look at a price I could afford and still keep the frat house in unlimited Cheerios.

I’d planned to buy more in some other colors and also buy some for holiday gifts—what can you get for $15 that is this pretty? (Besides a 30 pack on a sick NH holiday weekend beer sale?) So, I decided to shoot the blogger an email to let her know how much I loved the piece and to see if she’d be interested in me featuring it here. The result is great news for us all! Right in time for the holidays, Bridget of Bridget’s Boutique is willing to give all the muffintoppers free shipping when you spend $50 or more, and with every purchase you make, if you put in “MUFFIN” (hee hee hee) in the coupon code box, she will donate 5% of your sale to Sandy relief efforts.

So why even leave the couch on Black Friday? If you’re like me, you can enjoy shopping from the comforts of home with your snowman pj’s on and maybe an adult beverage or two…..ahhhh!!! Bonus: no one will trample you!

As a thank you, Bridget provided me with the necklace on the far left in a beautiful teal–another showstopper!

SEE THE ONE ON THE FAR LEFT--THAT'S THE ONE I GOT! AND NOTE THE OTHER FUN COLORS-THERE ARE MORE ON HER WEBSITE!

AAAANNNDDD….here’s a close up:

BLINGYBLINGYBLINGBLING!

 

What do you think, Muffintoppers? About time I hooked you up with some good intel, huh? Happy shopping!

Click here to check out the bling!

Happy Thanksgiving, muffintoppers. I am grateful for all of you who inhabit this space! :)

 

Disclosure:  I received a lovely necklace from Bridget’s Boutique, but my opinions, as always, are 100% my own! 

 

 


STFU SAMMIE TIME—I NEED TO S DOWN AND S UP!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, OH &^%$!!, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Uncategorized | Posted on 25-10-2012

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After weeks of a revolving door of sickness around here coupled with our uninvited furry house guests, I was rocking a funk pretty hard. I’d had grand plans to start back up exercising after a foot injury and drinks on the deck derailed me over summer, only to have a hacking Marlboro red cough hang on for well over a month. Co-pays upon co-pays and costly critter craziness (triple c–beware!) helped suck the fun out of fall. And ohGoddearGod the incessant political ads and phone calls are enough to drive me to drink.

More. And earlier.

I usually try not to be rude to the callers because honestly, it’s a person just trying to do their job in a rough economy, which must not be easy, especially now that we’re all battle torn. But calling me at 9:45 and asking me to complete a survey? When hubs and I had finally planted ourselves to watch our DVR’d Modern Family, commercial free and in peace?

No, homie, no.

SERIOUSLY? NO. Photo credit: Photobucket

I scowl at hubs and snatch the phone in disgust.

Me to hubs: Are you kidding me? It’s 9-naughty word-45.

Him: BLANK LOOK. What ring? Ooh, look at Sophia Vergara.

Me: I KNOW! THIS IS A BIT MUCH! I’m answering it before they wake the kids!

Hubs: BLANK LOOK. I just want to see more of Sophia Vergara.

Me answering phone: DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? (Suddenly, and without warning, I’ve morphed into my late father, who when pressed, would go ape on people—0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. Usually his ire was reserved for the door to door Jehovah Witnesses who would always seem to try to prosthelytize during nail biter Red Sox games. I’m pretty sure the soul of my dad is prayed for even today in J Dub circles.)

Friendly survey caller: Yes! I do, it’s 6:45!

PSYCHO JANET: NOOOOO, it’s 9:45 in my world!

Friendly survey caller: Oh, I’m sorry, would you have time for a quick surv….

PSYCHO JANET: Are? Are you kidding me right now?

Friendly survey caller: So, when would be a better time to ca….

PSYCHO JANET: When would be a better time to call? Um, never, how about never!

Friendly/dumb survey caller: So, could I call you….

PSYCHO JANET: Ne-never call me. Never! Please. Never! Seriously? Never!

They broke me. They did. I didn’t want to be rude. I didn’t mean to be rude. But a girl can only take so much. (All this for FOUR electoral votes! FOUR. 1,2,3,4!)

Photo credit: Photobucket.

And then…it came. The guilt.

See, the thing about bitching about your Marlboro red cough and your kid’s asthma flaring up and your medical bills and being stalked for your miniscule fraction of your four electoral votes, and, and, and, and …the other crappity crap that’s befallen you is…..it’s called life. You gotta do it in context. Because the minute you finish decorating your big fat whiny cake for the pity party you realize, “Schmuck, there are kids who are REALLY sick. And moms who are REALLY sick. Moms who wish their worst health problem was fitting into a smaller size or lowering their cholesterol.” You know I could go from here to the moon and back on sad scenarios.

And that’s when you take your STFU sammie and sit down and shut up. Or as my bf and I like to snark, “Oh, s down and s up!” It’s crabbier and edgier and honestly, it instantly puts things in perspective.

But sometimes, it takes a kid to tell you what you’ve been missing.

I NEVER REALIZED I HAD A HOME WITH A VIEW, UNTIL MY 5 YEAR OLD TOLD ME TO LOOK UP.

Gorgeous, right? 3 year old, 5 year old, and I were playing in the back yard yesterday afternoon. I was going through the motions, kicking a ball and pushing them on the swings, but my mind was a million miles away. The critter people were due in a half hour to see if they “caught” anything. Gag. What was I going to make for dinner? Gag again. Oh, crap, scanning the yard and realizing I (and by I, I mean, hubs!) has to fix the fence/finish painting the shed/put the patio furniture away before the Frankenstorm hits. GAGGAGGAG.

Woh, woh, woh. Debbie Downer? Check please!

Also, it was my sister’s birthday. The one who passed away over two decades ago—more than half my life ago. And yet, all these many years later, the date rightly dances through my thoughts. Though I think of her all the time, this date will always be THE.YEARLY.REMINDER. of a life cut short. And every fabulous, and horrible, and yes, even mundane moment, like bitching that your favorite show was interrupted by a political survey, that we know we all take for granted— is magnified.

It weighs on me.

And just like that, my 5 year old fights to interrupt my subconscious, as if he knows damn right well I am present. But not really present.

“Mom?”

“MOMMY?”

“Mom, look!”

“What, honey?” I ask and absentmindedly glance around.

“Up there. UP THERE!” He points, emphatically.

To that sky. That gorgeous, perfect scene that loomed above the whole time, but I hadn’t noticed. Not even for a second. I was too busy looking down. And around. At all the “stuff” that had to get done. Probably, if I’m being honest, feeling a little sorry for myself.

And why? Would I and should I? How could I feel sorry for myself? When gifts are all around me. I have a life—a great, fortunate, wonderful, if not perfect, life.

I was reminded of a quote I read on Pinterest recently, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” The source is unknown. But the sentiment, is perfect.

I have a thoughtful husband and beautiful kids who love me unconditionally…..a house with A VIEW! Every day I get to live and breathe and have bad luck and good luck and no luck, really is a gift. Sometimes, I need a kick in the pants–which might be tight—but nevertheless! From a five year old.

I’m reminded that children live in the moment. Their world is black and white. They love unconditionally and without rules. And when we say or do the wrong thing or fall short of who they deserve us to be, they forgive and they pull us back. We adults, with our preoccupations and our propensity to kvetch and sulk and take things personally, we lug our baggage. It’s heavy. We get tired. I…got tired. Maybe he sensed it.

These kids are unbridled enthusiasm and glee, for the sun on their faces and the sky full of puffy clouds that may or may not look like a bear, or a firefighter, depending on who you ask. Or maybe a wink or a nod or a smile from heaven. Who knows?

Like everything in life, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

 

WHEN AN ENGLISH MAJOR HELPS WITH MATH……

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Suburban Madness, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-02-2012

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So remember a few weeks ago when I said I feel like a biggity buzz kill sometimes, but I would not not not inflict my thoughts on my kids? I vowed to let them go and watch them fly.

As it turns out, surprise! My six year old really seems to dig math. I figured this out over the course of the year and his teacher confirmed it. Good for him! So when a form came home asking if we wanted to sign him up for something called “Math Superstars”, which is  just a few sheets of extra math homework per week, I leapt at the chance for him to math it up.

Now, I wasn’t a horrible math student, but I had to work really hard for average grades, and I despised it like Ohio State hates Michigan, like Carol Brady hated kids playing ball in the house, like muffin top hates swimsuits. With the exception of tying for first place in the multiplication table contest with a smartypants in third grade, I was no standout. (Did I mention the prize was a trip out for an ice cream sundae with the teacher? Ladies and gentlemen, meet Pavlov, the accidental mathematician!) 

Yes, yes I do.

Science and I–which sometimes seemed like thinly veiled math—were hardly bff’s either, but at least in science you could blow stuff up and learn to be grateful for the geniuses responsible for me being able to drive over bridges to fun vacation spots without plunging to my death—-go Physics!). Only because I was a motivated student kind of a nerd who went to a free math SAT prep class after school, did I actually manage to get a better score on my math SAT’s than my English. (You’re the man, Mr. Sweeney!) I’m not sure who that probably surprised more—my math teachers or my English teachers. Regardless, besides balancing my checkbook (and by balancing, I mean going online to see what’s what and making sure I didn’t blow the mortgage at Tarjay) and figuring out important math problems in my head (If the shoes are $59.99 and they are 40% off, how much are they? A great fracking deal!) I’ve steered mostly clear of math the past few decades.

I figured my kids’ math homework might stump me eventually, but I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I’m not going to lie to you. Some of the Math Superstar problems are hurting my head.

Example:

Five scarecrows had a candy corn eating contest.

Ben ate the most candy corns.

Jen ate more than Len.

Jen ate less than Ken.

Zen ate less than Len.

Write the scarecrows’ names in order to show how much candy corn they ate.

My son and I figured it out together but dude, this is why English people shouldn’t do math. My brain was whizzing. Why are scarecrows eating candy corn? They’re fake. Most scarecrows are badly dressed dudes, so what is Jen wearing? Not faded overalls and bad plaid I hope! And Jen ate more crap candy than two dudes–I wonder if she has a scarecrow muffin top? And anyway, who names their scarecrow Zen? Is Zen a Buddhist scarecrow? Isn’t it bad karma for Zen to try to scare away crows, who are gifts of nature, and overeat candy?

Moving on to exhibit B:

There are 3 children and 1 wagon ( I wanted so badly to scratch out the 3 and the 1 and write out three and one instead!). Two children can play at a time. One child can ride and one child can pull. In the table, show all the ways the children can ride and pull. (Then there is one column for child riding and one for child pulling.)

Well, this is a dumbass question. You know damn right well the one kid who doesn’t get a turn is going to be whining/crying/pitching a shit fit screeching, “When is it myyyyyyy turn? Is it myyyyyyyy turn yet?” You know the kid pulling is going to pull the wagon too fast, and you know that wagons were not designed by the smart bridge Physicists/Engineers because the damn things suck at hairpin turns. So you gotta figure the rider is getting dumped out onto the pavement. So that leaves two kids crying, pitching a shit fit, and one kid remaining. The one kid remaining will demand his turn from the whinybags who are crying, but the two cryers won’t want to pull him so he’ll start wailing, too.

Let’s review, mathletes: that leaves three kids crying, after only one turn. So that leaves 5 different turn combinations to go, math geniuses? I don’t think so. I’m calling bullshit on your fuzzy math. Meanwhile, the mom who sent the three to play with the wagon is cursing under her breath and counting the minutes til happy hour–she knew it was a stupid ass idea in the first place.

 You can be all Big Bang Theory Sheldon smart, but you can’t check your common sense at the door, son!

Finally? This one:

Teaka finishes dinner at 6 o’clock. She reads her book for 2 (t-w-o, mathletes, two!) hours. Then she goes to bed. Draw the hour and the minute hands on the clock to show when Teaka goes to bed.

Okay. But first….what book was Teaka reading? Is Teaka a kid or a grown up? This might help me guess what book. After she puts her book down, does she brush her teeth? Floss? Check her email? Balance her checkbook *cough*? Do some push ups? Write in her diary! Ooh! Check Facebook? Twitter? Pin some shit on Pinterest? Does she really go right to bed? I know you’re thinking the answer is 8 o’clock, but I find that hard to believe, frankly. But with no further information, I was forced to watch 6 year old put 8 on the little clock, but I do not feel good about it. At all. Because again? I have to call bullshit on the math superstars for leaving out pertinent info!

But I will hold my tongue. I will let him go. And I will watch him fly.

This is my brain on math and science.

As my brain explodes. (At what velocity and force, I really don’t know. I was probably talking about 90210 that day in Physics.)

WHO ARE YOU CALLING A BUZZ KILL?

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Mom-ness, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 02-02-2012

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So I’m walking to the bus stop yesterday to pick up my first grader (in the balmy 50 degree New Hampshire freak weather–BOOM!), and I glance over at four year old who’s skipping along and ask, “Hey, how do you like your new shoes?”

“They’re TELLIBLE! They make me really slow!”

 

I THOUGHT THEY WERE PRETTY SNAZZY MYSELF.

 

“Oh, pumpkin, no.” I think to myself. “It’s not the shoes. It’s the DNA. There’s a reason why mama was never picked first seventh in gym class.” (Thank God for my sparkling personality. Which has gotten me nowhere far in life. Well, I did score that extra slice of cheese for 3 year old at the deli. A win for the chatty!)

I think it, but I don’t say it. Who am I to be a four year old dream crusher? Perception is reality, people.

“I don’t think you’re slow. Show me whacha got…go, run, go!”

Sure enough, he blasted off, stopped, turned around and beamed, “Oh… actually they make me really fast!” before leaping over a man hole cover at the bus stop for good measure.

“Awesome! You are SO fast!”

Being a parent is a buzz kill sometimes, don’t you think? By that I mean,  so many times during the day I find myself saying, “NO!”. No, you can’t climb the shelves of the pantry, three year old. No, you can’t eat fruit roll ups for lunch, four year old. No, you can’t play your new DS until you do your math homework, six year old.

You can’t talk with your mouth full. You can’t “fly” off your brother’s loft bed. You can’t use my floor lamp as a fireman pole. You can’t wear your Mario shirt to church. You can’t sit in the clothes dryer! (Definitely NO!) You can’t play ball in the house… right Carol Brady?

No. Nahnonono. NO!

Sigh.

UM, YEAH, I HAVE NO IDEA WHO "GIMP DADDY" IS....BUT THANKS ,PHOTOBUCKET AND GIMP DADDY, BECAUSE THIS BUZZ KILL PIC SAYS IT ALL!

Buzz.kill. Buzzzzzy buzzz buzzz. Buzz.

I decided I’m going to try to say yes as much as I can, when I can. Saying no as a parent is obviously necessary sometimes.  We can’t have the inmates running the asylum. And in a household of climbing, adventure seeking boys, no is literally a safety precaution. But would Cheez-It’s for breakfast once in a while kill them? Would tossing a football in the hallway really rock my world? If a lamp breaks, is it priceless anyway?

There is a gigundo grey area between prison warden and total anarchy, right? And our kids….are not us. They might look like us, they might even act like us (frightening?), but they’re not us. They are their own little selves. Fast or slow, good at math or stuck after school for extra help, fantastic singers or glass breakers, star scorers or bench warmers, they are their own unique selves. If I’m a slow runner, that doesn’t make my kid one.

Our kids are a clean slate. A beginning to a wonderful story that is still unfolding. It’s theirs to write with our help and guidance.

I saw this quote on (cough) Pinterest–it’s attributed to Albert Einstein. I have my doubts about if he really said it, but it doesn’t matter, as the quote is meaningful nonetheless:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Sometimes I think it’s best to keep our thoughts to ourselves, let our kids go, and watch them fly.

If we tell them they can’t enough, they just might believe us.

If we tell them they can enough, they just might believe us.

And I just checked the box. Cheez-It’s are made with 100% real cheese (only the best for mah babies!), making them a really not good breakfast indeed!