Friday, June 29, 2012

What's That Smell?

A fun game, to be sure.  WTF is that SMELL?!?  I've been playing it all morning.  Is it the kitchen sink?

GAH, YES!!!  *clean clean clean scrub scrub scrub* 


OMGOOOOOOSH, what is that SMELL?! It's still here!  Is it the TRASH? 

YES! *remove remove scrub clean clean* 

It still smells like moldy buffalo ass in here.  WTF could it BE?  I'm about to shove bleach up my nose.


In other stinky news:

A lot of Aspies have a very acute sense of smell.  I can't really describe it.  It's part of sensory processing disorder.  It's not that we can smell BETTER necessarily, it's more like certain smells connect different synapses in our brains that cause emotional response (big words make me sound smart.)  As such, smells are a big emotional trigger for me.  Right now, I've Febreezed the house to death and lit a million candles, and it still stinks in here, and I can't figure it out.

On a daily basis, though, as anyone who has little boys will tell you, my house has the distinct smell of old, crusty urine.  I play "where's that urine" a LOT, too, to try to figure out what exactly HAVE they peed on, and how can I best clean it as to not dig my sinuses out with a spoon.  It's like they mark their territory.  The dudes use three of the four bathrooms in this house.  The master bath is a little-dude-free zone.  When you walk by any of those three bathrooms, you have to hold your breath.  Or die.  The dudes clean the bathrooms on the weekends they are here.  I refuse to venture into those and prefer to just keep the doors closed at all times and pretend those don't exist and that my dudes poop in the woods.

So, imagine my surprise when I was upstairs (the kids' domain) today and forgot to hold my breath as I walked past the bathroom (with an open door) that the Big Man uses and smelled....nothing.  No pee.  That bathroom hasn't been cleaned in over a week, and there was NO PEE SMELL.

Have we reached a turning point, dear readers?  Has the Big Man finally learned that pee goes IN the toilet instead of AROUND the toilet, on the back of the toilet, on the floor, on the walls, or in the sink?  Has he learned how to flush properly?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why It's OK to be the "Evil Stepmother"

I wrote this for Circle of Moms, and they reviewed it but didn't pick it up to publish, so that means I can publish it here :)

I'm an Evil Stepmother.  There.  I said it.  I make my stepdudes (6 and 8) clean up after themselves AND do some other chores around the house like taking out the trash or cleaning cat litter.  Messes they didn't even make!  I also put them in time out, take away their toys and send them to their rooms if they are being disrespectful.  I do not wait for Daddy to get home from work to deal with the problem.  I'm not another child in this house, tattling to Daddy.  I am an adult who is to be respected.  I am responsible for the safety and well being of these two little dudes when they are here with me.

If I had birthed them, this would be called "parenting".  Since they came from someone else's nether regions, it's not parenting, it's evil and not my place.  I'm here to say, "Heck, yes, it's my place!" for two reasons.
One, this is my home.  My sanctuary.  I have every right to live in a peaceful, clean, respectful environment.  Stepparents have just as much of a right to this as biological parents do.  I absolutely refuse to be a hostage to children in my own home.

The second reason is the more important.  It's because I love them.  The dudes are not visitors here.  This is their home, too.  They also have every right to a peaceful, clean, respectful sanctuary.  One without a brother taking toys away, calling names and having screaming fits when he doesn't get his way.  My stepdudes have the right to happiness and a loving home.

As a stepparent, it is my job to guide these dudes to be the most amazing adults they can be, just like their biological parents.  We can't do that if we allow them to disrespect me and our homes.  Notice the use of "we".  "We" is key in the discipline situation.  In your home, you and your husband must communicate effectively to decide what punishments go with what crimes.  He must back you up.  The kids need to see you as Team Super Parentals (Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuun!)  Don't think they don't know how to pit you against your husband (or you and your husband against his ex-wife) for maximum juvenile benefit.  If he doesn't back you up, undermines your discipline (i.e. ungrounds when you've grounded), etc. it's all over.  Your children (step or not) will see you as a peer rather than an authority figure. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eight Crazy Nights

We have just gotten back from a glorious 8-day vacation aboard the Disney Magic!  Here's a picture of a picture, since I got a new machine and can't figure out how to install the scanner.

This is a family picture for the Bot's room :)  The nursery has a Paris theme, Belle's French.  It's a stretch.  Whatever.  I was hoping for one with Tiana.  Not only is she French (New Orleans French), but her pale green dress would go better in the nursery than Belle's sunny yellow one.  We, unfortunately, could never get in line early enough to get a photo with Tiana.  One of my only complaints about the Disney cruise experience.  If you didn't get in line 20 minutes early for a character, there was no way you were getting a photo.

The family "babymoon" was LOADS of fun, though, with even a little bit of relaxation thrown in there.  Disney has the Oceaneer's Club, which we let the kids go into any time they asked.  It was like a day camp in there!  There were counselors and other kids and tons of games and activities to play.  There were two little phones per room, and once the kids were tired or done playing what they wanted in the club, the club would text us to let us know that the kids wanted picked up, and we'd go get them for family pool time or dinner or a show or what have you.  There were two aspects of it, too, the Club and the Lab, so if the kids were annoying one another, they just self-separated, and one would go into the Lab to do different activities.  AND the spaces were open for "family time" for a few hours a day, so we could go in and do activities with the kids.  We made cookies!  And Little Man learned a new song, which he sings all of the time.  "I like to mix it, mix it.  I like to mix it, mix it!"  We were on the Salt team.  We kicked Pepper's butt.  The cookies were amazing.

We DID hear the normal bickering, of course, and it was annoying but funny at the same time.  It was annoying because we had to keep saying, "For Pete's sake! Knock it off!" but it was funny because every time we walked down the hall, we heard the EXACT SAME bickering from every set of siblings on the boat.  "It's MY turn to push the elevator button!  It's MY turn to use the room key!  I NEVER GET TO DO IT!!!!!" haha

While they were in the Club/Lab, Eric and I got to sit at Quiet Cove (adults only/scream-free zone!), or play basketball, or watch a real live Iron Chef-esque competition, or go see a show or a movie if we wanted (we never did, even though The Avengers was playing).  Eric got second in a free-throw tournament.  I got last place.  Even though I asked for 10 points of handicap for pregnant status.  Even with the 10 points, I still got last place.  Turns out, I can't really throw a basketball all that far :)  I also got last place in an 80s/90s music trivia game.  I blame that on pregnancy, too.  I KNEW those dang songs.  I just couldn't remember the names of them.  Big an won a ribbon

IIIIIII....I just died in your arms toniiiiight!!!  Had that on record when I was a kid.  Still couldn't remember the name of it.

The absolute best part of the experience was dinner.  Well, it was stressful for me and Eric because it lasted a long time to keep kids occupied, but it was AWESOME for the kids because of Jimi and Anna, our serving staff.  Little Man was constantly asking when they got to see them again.  They played with the dudes and entertained them and showed them magic tricks and remembered their names and sang happy birthday to them and knew all of their favorite foods.

We had a port day in Florida with a bus ride to the Magic Kingdom that was a bust, unfortunately.  It rained all day.  We all came back cranky and wet.  All of the rides shut down.  We did climb the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House at my request, which I thought was neat.  We got to ride Pirates, and then the kids got to do their first roller coaster, Big Thunder Mountain!

Little Man even put his hands up!  That daredevil.  Anyway, after that, the rain really started coming down, and the rides all started to close up, so we went and built light sabers and hopped back on the bus, down a hundred bucks.  I did get a really great blueberry muffin and enjoyed people watching a bit.

The day we came home was 15 hours cooped up in an airport or on a plane on the Big Man's 8th birthday (sorry, dude).  The kids took that like a champ, and Little Man only acted up once we were at our home airport four hours after his bedtime and only for like five minutes before he passed out in the car.

I have one really AMAZING memory that happened on the cruise.  The kids were in the club and Eric was out playing basketball.  I was just hanging out in the room relaxing, watching a movie, when The Bot woke up and started Ninjitsu practice in my tummy.  She was hitting me really hard, so I lifted up my shirt, and SURE ENOUGH! I SAW HER!!!  My belly was jumping all over the place.  I laughed so hard and immediately called Eric on the little cell phone from the room.  It was MAGIC!

This blog post is long and unfunny, but I wanted to write down some memories.