Category Archives: Ordinary Life

Who thought it was a good idea to take her kid along for a dentist appointment? This gal!

It turned out not to be a good idea. Not a good idea at all.

I wasn’t able to get an appointment within the planned window of time when I called. I had to wait until after the new year and slots were few. I just took the first available. I figured when it got closer I’d either ask someone to watch him or I’d take him in the stroller. He’s pretty mellow most of the time. I felt if he was in the stroller, it would be doable as long as I had access to YouTube on my phone.

Atlanta was entering a week of Seattle-esque weather so I was a little cranky to start with the morning of my appointment. As I began to put our stuff in the car, it hit me. The stroller was in Chris’s car. My husband mostly works from home, but today he was at the office.

There were lots of four letter words as I realized that this appointment was going down like the Hindenburg. A toddler at an appointment is one thing. A free and unconstrained toddler is another. And with less than an hour until appointment time, there was no way I’d risk a cancellation fee. Emotionally that’s akin to paying to park, when walking a couple blocks will get me a free space.

Ah yes, the space saver high chair that fits on a regular chair. He could be locked into it off to the side of the dentist cube, yes? That’ll do. I was feeling very MacGyver and brilliant. Connor is always fascinated when the chair within a chair is placed on the floor. He will sit in it just because of the novelty.

I discovered his love for sitting in the chair without a chair when I set it on the floor during a weekend in the mountains and he didn't want to get out of it.
I discovered his love for sitting in the chair without a chair when I set it on the floor during a weekend in the mountains and he didn’t want to get out of it.

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Problem solved, we headed off.

First he decided he was not sure he wanted to walk into the dentist office so he plopped down on the ground outside the door. I was losing my grip on the chair at this point so I set it inside the hall so I could encourage him to keep going. He came in the first door and then decided he wanted to hang out right there outside the actual office, so he plopped down again. He was eventually coaxed into the waiting room by the sight of his magical throne…on the floor.

My dentist is never on time, no matter what time of day the appointment is. I will say that this particular morning they were only 15 minutes behind, but Connor’s unwillingness to settle on one place to sit made it feel like much longer. At one point I thought he was going to try and make off with an older woman’s walker.

When the assistant finally came to get me, I made a point to loudly blame my husband for the odd situation. The part about him unexpectedly going to the office was a lie. The part about him making off with the stroller was true. A lady laughed and I could tell she was admiring my brilliance in the face of such hardship.

First problem was that they needed a full set of x-rays, probably because I have forgotten to go since Connor was born. So he had to sit in the chair outside the cube. He didn’t care for this plan and he let it be known. Loudly. One of the hygienists walked him around the cubes while my gag reflex went into the most overreactive state I have ever experienced. It was seriously ridiculous. Every time she stuck that cardboard in my mouth, I felt like a cat with a hairball.

Connor returned for my cleaning and he was locked into his precious chair. Except apparently he only likes the chair on the floor if he’s not locked in. And it’s his decision. Toys got tossed, his new toothbrush gifted by the hygienist got tossed — come to think of it, I haven’t seen the toothbrush since. Guess it got tossed in a corner somewhere. Or it’s at the bottom of my purse. Either way, gone forever.

I could hear myself thinking from just a few short years ago from another cube. “This lady seriously brought her kid to the dentist? It’s called a babysitter. I will never do that when I have a kid!

My hygienist tried to get him to color, despite my explaining that with his delays, we weren’t quite there yet. But she did give it the old college try. She was very nice, considering. I think it helped that her first, now adult, child had special needs, too. Another employee came to walk him around and keep him busy while I was being cleaned. He returned for the wait for the final check by the dentist. He explored the mechanics of climbing on me and jumping off me in great detail. When the dentist finally came, my hygienist corralled Connor for the check, where once again I was encouraged to remove the partially emerged wisdom tooth that didn’t make an appearance until my 30s (it is my only wisdom tooth, even on x-ray). I would have asked a couple of questions about my teeth, including if I should do anything about the one I recently chipped. It’s really small and Chris swears it’s not noticeable, but I’m kind of obsessed with it. But he took off before he could be handed toddler duty. Probably for the best, as one of my questions would probably have been answered with, “Stop drinking coffee.” That’s never going to happen. In fact, I chipped my tooth on my coffee mug.

Now that the visit was over, Connor decided to be cooperative and did a good job of waiting while I checked out and following me to the car. I congratulated him on the success of his mission. I will never try this again. But that’s okay. Vengeance will be mine.

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Men and Mystery of the Woman’s Wardrobe.

photo courtesy of http://www.rimexbd.com
photo courtesy of http://www.rimexbd.com

“You have a lot of jeans.”

“You looked in my jeans drawer?” I asked my husband. Turns out he had decided to put away the pair I left slung over our dusty elliptical. Little does he know how amazing it is that I only have ONE jeans drawer.

I felt he needed explanation.

“That’s because I have three pairs that I don’t currently fit into, but I WILL (see dusty elliptical reference). I have skinny jeans for boots and bootcut jeans for my Converse–”

“Wait, shouldn’t the bootcut go with the boo–”

“Shut up and listen.” I continued. “There is a jean skirt and a couple pairs of capri jeans. Wait…three capris. Two blue — one boyfriend cut and the other a straight leg — and a white pair. Good for summer and sandals. I also have some red skinny jeans to mix it up. Plus the first non-maternity pair of jeans that I was able to squeeze into after giving birth. I could get rid of those…but it feels disloyal. And it’s almost the holidays. Not the time to be cocky.”

I think all this made as much sense to him as when I tried to explain that not only do I need my 80+ pair of shoes, but yes, I need multiple black shoes, brown shoes, flats, boots, etc. Or why I need seven black shirts. No, they aren’t all the same. This one is dressy. That one is casual. This one is v-neck and works with these necklaces. That one is scoop neck and works best with those scarves (I have a whole drawer of those, too).

This one is a collection of my husband's shirts sewn together by my sister-in-law.
This one is a collection of my husband’s shirts sewn together by my sister-in-law.

Yes, sometimes I get carried away. Like my blue stripey phase. I’m not even convinced I look all that good in stripes.

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Since having Connor, my wardrobe can now be divided into two more sections. Crap that requires layering, accessorizing and effort; and crap that does not. This has also led to a shocking rise in the number of flats living in the closet my husband and I share in a very reasonable 80/20 split. I don’t know what the future holds for my large collection of heels, but for now I tell myself I will have fancy, important meetings downtown that will necessitate the wearing of heels when Connor starts school. Who with or about what, I have no idea. In the meantime, I will continue to fight the urge to buy clothes for a life I don’t lead anymore.

To my shoes, although we’ve said good bye, Iiiiiiiee-ey-Iiiiiiii will always love youuuuuuuuuuuuuu:

Thank God I had seats at that Lady Gaga concert.
Thank God I had seats at that Lady Gaga concert.
I ordered these toward the end of my pregnancy. I hope they enjoyed that one dinner.
I ordered these toward the end of my pregnancy. I hope they enjoyed that one dinner.

Now I’m just rocking out with my boy.

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It’s just a bonus that my knee doesn’t hurt anymore.

“But why do you need so many purses?” Here we go again.

Losing my Athens, Georgia

Ever since I found out last week that Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother in Athens is closing, I have been listening to R.E.M.’s Out of Time and feeling that lovely combination of nostalgic and depressed, which is a little weird because R.E.M. actually predates my time in Athens. Nonetheless, I did spend four years trying to spot Michael Stipe around town and was the only one of my friends that never did. Very disappointing because I had the perfect line to approach him since my initials at the time were R.E.M. He would have been charmed, I’m sure.

courtesy theredandblack.com
Junkman’s Daughter’s Brother courtesy theredandblack.com

Another significant Athens business closing? I really can’t take it. I’ve yet to recover from the loss of the greatest coffee shop I’ve ever known and the hits just keep on coming. I know everyone thinks their era was the best, but I can assure you, it was all about 1998-2002.

Blue Sky. Oh, Blue Sky. Admittedly your Mocha Freezes weren’t always consistent, but the way we’d smell after studying there for a few hours sure was. The walls were always covered in original art that ranged from amazing to downright terrifying at times. I was there to hate on the new Starbucks when it showed up next door and while all the silly freshman who didn’t know any better trekked into that corporate box, we Blue Sky patrons packed the house and basked in the comfort of knowing we were better and smarter. Sometime after I graduated, you decided to expand and serve alcohol in addition to being a coffee shop. My heart sank a little as you betrayed your true calling, and soon you were gone from us forever.

courtesy cooltownstudios.com
courtesy cooltownstudios.com

Mexicali. You were basic, standard Mexican food and almost fully staffed by students, or at least people in that age range. You were so busy that a portion of your staff was dedicated to “chipping.” Yes, just making sure the tables had chips. But you left it to your young staff to make the pitchers of margarita instead of using professional bartenders. And for that, your hammered patrons thanked you.

courtesy jrheimbach http://photos.igougo.com/restaurant-photos-b147629-Athens-Mexicali_Grille.html
courtesy jrheimbach http://photos.igougo.com/restaurant-photos-b147629-Athens-Mexicali_Grille.html

Caliente Cab, you were awesome outdoor eating. Incredible Cuban sandwiches and we could bring our own booze or run into the gas station next door. I hear you may still exist in some form somewhere else, but I don’t have to go to know it’s not the same.

One the location of Caliente Cab. courtesy flagpole.com
Once the location of Caliente Cab. courtesy flagpole.com

One of my favorite freshman memories is of the 80s disco at Georgia Theatre. It was from 2 am to 4 am on the weekends after concerts cleared out. On those rare occasions we weren’t in the mood to go out at our usual hour of 11 pm, we’d set our alarms, take a nap and wake up at 1 and get ready. Then came the new closing time ordinance. Might as well have become that little town in Footloose the way it hurt so bad to lose our weekly dose of Prince and Michael Jackson. Of course, Georgia Theatre isn’t actually gone, despite a major fire that gutted it in 2009. But it’s all clean and colorful outside now which makes me fear that the interior no longer properly reeks of stale beer or boasts a floor you wouldn’t sit on even if both your legs were broken.

courtesy Brad Kuntz
courtesy Brad Kuntz

Molly O’Shea’s Irish Pub. Your Amaretto Sours live on in my heart.

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The Winery. But NOT the recently closed Broad Street location. I liked you before your plastic surgery makeover — the original and smaller location a couple blocks away. Once you moved to the main street, everyone from Milledge Ave. found you. And ruined you.

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“I think you ladies are in the wrong bar!” was how we were once greeted walking into Lunch Paper, the punk bar. It was understandable confusion since most of us looked like we had walked out of a dressing room at Express or Old Navy. But we still loved you. I even remember how we used to go every Monday to watch the new episode of The Osbournes which you always took care to have on the TV. Kids these days probably don’t know that the first season of that show was super awesome and beloved before the family was crammed down our throats from every conceivable angle and Sharon was on six shows at once (not hating, just saying).

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I didn’t actually realize at the time that Five Star Day Cafe was new when I was a freshman. But damn, fifteen years of that that mac and cheese.

courtesy fivestardaycafe.com
courtesy fivestardaycafe.com

Farewell, Schoolkids Records. Damn you, technology.

courtesy onlineathens.com
courtesy onlineathens.com

Now my guilty pleasure. The place that probably won’t show up on many, okay any, best of Athens lists. AMF or Athens Music Factory came about after I started school with cheap drinks and dancing. You have had about a hundred names — Fifth Quarter before you became AMF, Last Call after. I can’t even find one picture of you online. But you are burned in my memory. Sort of. Actually it’s kind of hazy. You actually sold liquor drinks to minors for a quarter with a fallible wristband system. We saved them all and had every color in our purses ready to go. I don’t know why. I don’t think you really cared. But you did give us Thursday 80s night in a beguiling attempt to fill the hole left by Georgia Theatre.

And oh, what they’ve done to my dorm with their renovations. Those kids. They don’t know the true Myers Hall. The true Myers Hall didn’t have air conditioning or fancy, modern “up to code” features. Reader, you may wonder why I would choose such a dorm. The reason was my inability to read between the lines back in 1998 during my senior year of high school. The other buildings in the community were described in the brochure as having AC, while it was pointed out that Myers housed the air-conditioned computer lab. You see, it did not occur to me — IN 1998 — that a dorm would not have air conditioning. In Georgia. In August. When I discovered my blunder, I waited to be murdered by my friend since 8th grade, Giovana, who was to be my roommate and trusted me to make the decision since she didn’t give a crap and I was obsessed with the matter. Fortunately, she missed all my major arteries and we went on to have two great years there. No AC meant everyone’s door was always open and it attracted an interesting array of people. But these kids now are living in chilly asbestos-free suites, never to know the amazing feeling of kicking your sheets off in the middle of the August night and turning your window fan to high. This generation will be so entitled.

Back of renovated Myers Hall and quad. courtesy collinscoopercarusi.com
Back of renovated Myers Hall and quad. courtesy collinscoopercarusi.com

I guess nothing lasts forever. And sometimes that just sucks.

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So, The Grill, don’t even think about it. Ever. Seriously. My heart couldn’t take it.

courtesy thequickanddirtydirty.com
courtesy thequickanddirtydirty.com

College pics…just cuz.

The Good

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Myers Hall - Fall 1998
Myers Hall – Fall 1998
Myers and the Quad - 1998
Myers and the Quad – 1998
My favorite shot I took of College Ave.
My favorite shot I took of College Ave.
Quad activities!
Quad activities!
Freshman Christmas gift exchange on 4 North.
Freshman Christmas gift exchange on 4 North.
Fries and feta at the Grill.
Fries and feta at the Grill.
Does the hot dog guy still come to campus?
Does the hot dog guy still come to campus?

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The Bad

The day I learned dishwasher soap and dish soap are not interchangeable.
The day I learned dishwasher soap and dish soap are not interchangeable.

And the truly ugly…with some beauty.

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The worst job I ever had.

Bad Parking
Bad Parking (Photo credit: Kevin Baird)

The worst job I ever had was not actually the worst, but it was exceptionally stressful in my 20-year-old mind that cared too much what other people thought.

It was a thankless job — the kind of job you keep a secret. The kind of job you lie about and claim you’ll be busy studying when you’re actually scheduled to work a shift. The kind of job you swear your friends to secrecy about.

Was I a stripper? A drug dealer? An operator of a webcam sex site, as an RA in my dorm community was found out and fired for? Please. All of those are far more socially acceptable on a college campus than what I did.

I worked for parking services.

Yes. I wrote…wait for it…parking tickets!

Potential social suicide, but you try finding a decent part-time job in Athens anywhere near campus when you’re deathly afraid of waiting tables (never been a waitress because I don’t have to try it to know I would suck at it–I’m sorry. I just realized I wasn’t listening when you ordered. What did you want?)

The job was so easy. You were assigned specific lots to monitor and given a handheld device to check plates. I had to make sure the proper parking pass was displayed and then run the plate for other violations if it wasn’t. If the machine barked at me, yes, literally barked, I had to radio my supervisor for a boot. It was great because we were specifically instructed to sit in our cars during class changes. We struck as students were getting their learn on. So suck on that, kids trying to get educated! I never ceased to be amazed how many students were on a first name basis with my supervisor. They’d rack up the tickets, get booted, daddy paid, then get the boot removed. They literally drove themselves door to-door.

My saving grace was that my assigned lots were graduate student and faculty. I did not want to work commuter lots under any circumstance as that was where I was most likely to encounter other undergrads that I might know. Then one day, my supervisor radioed me with a horrifying request that I monitor the commuter lot near North Campus where all the business majors park. In my time at UGA, it seemed like everyone majored in business but me, the journalism major. All my friends parked there, which was fine, because my good friends knew my secret.Problem was, a whole lot of casual friends and acquaintances parked there, too. It was like a stealth operation. During class change, I fought the urge to hide in the trunk and slunk down in my seat. As I made my rounds, I was prepared to throw myself over hoods to go into hiding.

But then I heard it. “Becky? What are you doing? You work for PARKING SERVICES?” Oh, crap. Busted by guy I knew from my dorm days. I saw him quite a bit because he had a crush on one of my friends. I went into my usual ramble for when I would get outed, “Blah blah, never heard back from The Gap blah blah pays more than the library…”

“That’s cool,” he lied. Lied, most likely, because he then pointed out that he wasn’t parked in an actual space. This lot was infamous for filling up quickly and forcing people to trek all the way out to the Ramsey gym lots and take the bus back in. He was worried I would write him a ticket. I assured him I wouldn’t, but I also warned him my shift was almost over and that I couldn’t make promises for what would happen then. He seemed satisfied and went to class.

When I clocked in for my next shift, my supervisor asked me into her office. Turns out jerkface got a ticket later that day. And what did he do? Complained to parking services that I had told him it was okay to park there. I assured her that I warned him he was taking a risk by parking there, and I had not made him any guarantee that he wouldn’t be ticketed. They were actually pretty nice in the department and understood that I wasn’t going to write a ticket on the car of someone I knew, especially face-to-face. But he could have lost me my job telling them I was giving permission to park illegally. I should have let him have it, but the on the few occasions we ran into him downtown, I just ignored him and walked away.

There was a big giant bright side to the job though. Remember how I mentioned I patrolled faculty lots? I had one particular English professor that I hated. She was a writer. A writer from Hah=vahd. She went so far as to let her students know how much better Harvard was than Georgia — then why didn’t they hire you? She was like the female version of the guy in Good Will Hunting that likes apples, but doesn’t get Minnie Driver’s number. She supervised a study abroad program in England I was on in which she asserted her superiority daily in class and scheduled a mandatory activity every Thursday night, even though classes ended early Thursday and we had Fridays free to travel and this prevented anyone from going very far.  Almost two months after we returned, my two roommates and I received an e-mail that the laptop we were assigned was “broken.” It  worked when we turned it in, but now we were expected to pay for it. However, we were not to be defeated in a battle of wits by a professor that was still dumb enough in 2000 to post students’ social security numbers on her door, so once she was directed to contact our lawyer (a roommate’s dad) we never heard another word.

Not long after all this drama, she busted me in the faculty lot she parked in. “Ohhhh, I didn’t know you were a meeeeeeeeter maid,” she sneered in a condescending tone. I just smiled. “You move fast. I think you wrote me a ticket last week. I parked on the lines because I only had to run in for a minute…” I don’t remember what I actually said, I only know that for a few seconds I debated my options. She still had the ticket with her unpaid. I could offer to take it, and possibly get it taken care of. Generally, parking services doesn’t do that, but they might if I explained the awkward position with my professor. But no. The sarcastic “meeeeeeeeter maid” played over in my mind. So I walked away after carefully studying her vehicle. I vowed I would ticket it every opportunity I got (sadly I never got one).

I still take joy in that ticket. It was worth every bit of stress.

Nonetheless, I took a 50 cent pay cut the following year to shelve periodicals at the science library. It took less of an emotional toll.

I’m turning into such a slob.

The write-from-home, stay-at-home mom thing is making me really lazy. If you had told me in my teaching days that I’d let my gray roots get so far before taking action or equate getting dressed to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or stretch out the months between haircuts to such an extreme, I wouldn’t have believed you. And yet, I maintain my love of clothes shopping, despite the fact that I’m too sluggish to put them on anywhere but a dressing room.

I also realized I need to pull myself out of a clothes rut:

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But I did finally get a haircut:

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The first thing my stylist said was, “Somebody’s been playing with color!” Sigh. Yes. Once again I’ve managed to start unintentionally turning my hair black with Nice ‘n Easy. Unfortunately, it just ain’t in the budget to do it professionally all the time. Especially since we have to pay off the hit we took when our old house under appraised, finish painting the new house, and — come hell or high water — we’re going on vacations again in 2014. We’ve gone on trips — that’s what you call it when you take the kid — but we are going on vacations –what you call it when you drop the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s and outrun them back to the car. And just Friday I received the exciting news that one of my good friends is engaged and I will likely be attending a wedding overseas in about a year!

Looks like I reloaded my Fitness Pal App just in time. I’ve been inputting my food intake for a week now to track my calories. I think it will really help this time since I find myself genuinely debating the merits of one Oreo cookie vs. two pieces of leftover Halloween candy. I started this right before the holidays because I really like a challenge. Also, I’m tackling my weight loss with a very specific strategy:

IMG_5723But here I’ve gone on and on about me when I know pretty well most — okay fine — all of you really only care about Connor, so…

Here he is relaxing with a puzzle:

IMG_5730To be clear, he only likes taking them apart and throwing the pieces everywhere.

This is what happens when I get up in his business about his molars:

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And this pictures really doesn’t do justice to how much it hurt, right on the bone. And he wouldn’t let go. I almost panicked and smacked him, but refrained. I now know I will perform poorly in the event of an attack by a dog — or alligator. I believe the recommendation is to push toward the animal, not to pull away. Fail. Also, the state of my nails is not indicative of my current state of laziness. I’ve always been too lazy for mani/pedis. I regard them as annoying appointments to keep, like doctors. Random side story, though you can’t really tell in the picture, that nail is totally deformed from the time I slammed it in a car door when I was 15. It grows warped and downward the longer it gets, kind of like the creepy Guinness World Record keeper with the longest fingernails. But there I go about me again.

Go check out this page created for epilepsy awareness by a man who lost his young wife to epilepsy. He has been sharing people’s epilepsy stories all month for Epilepsy Awareness Month. He also makes these to share:

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For those that might be confused, I don’t know if there is an Abigail, Ga — that was a misunderstanding — and my aforementioned laziness precludes me from Googling it. But these are pretty awesome. Check out his gallery of E-heros!

I don’t want to kill my kid, I’m just really fashionable.

I’ve been combing the Internet for an indoor swing for Connor now that winter is settling in. It has actually been in the 40s here in Georgia, otherwise known as “Oh My God I’m Gonna Freeze To Death Like The Original Pilgrim Settlers” weather here in the south. At least we have Chick-Fil-A and Waffle House so we won’t starve. His spurt in motor skills was well-timed right before the part of the year where I climb underneath 12 blankets and don’t get off the couch for five months.

His newfound independence reminds me of the Terminator films. Everyone was all, woo hoo! Skynet! Oops. Apocalypse. You see, Connor, too, has become self aware and he will soon be on an unstoppable path of destruction.

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But apparently an indoor swing is not attainable for a reasonable price once you factor in the cost of hardware SOLD SEPARATELY. ALWAYS. SOLD. SEPARATELY. Everything I need is solely manufactured for kids under 25 lbs.

On my fruitless quest I was reminded why I hate home design blogs.

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Originally featured on Martha Stewart (surprise), shared on other design sites.

Yeah. Let’s install a trapeze in the living room. This is modified from my initial reaction which involved some four letter words. I became intrigued…what other impractical and deadly joys are out there that I’m ruining Connor’s life by not providing?

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Original credit here

Okay. This is a cute use of space and it’s apparently really the boys’ bedroom. So this is actually a lesson in parenting. It is apparently possible to have an elevated surface, two kids and no homicide attempts. I only have one kid so I can’t speak as a parent, but I can speak as a sister, and I SOOOOO would have pushed my brother off that on a daily basis. And I would have gotten away with it, too. Just like the time I gave him a bloody nose and claimed I was trying to stop him from running into the street. He wasn’t.

This is hailed as a “vibrant and lively” kid’s bedroom:

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Credit here

I agree. If your kid is Don Draper.

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Credit here

I mean….I don’t….what?

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Buzzfeed

Just the other day I was telling Chris we need a little more excitement in our lives in the form of trips to the ER.

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Credit here

Seven years I spent yelling at students to get down when they were climbing on things they shouldn’t. Could have saved my breath since apparently parents are indifferent to broken limbs.

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Credit here

Again, words fail me. I assume Johnny Depp himself comes to install it with the $60,000 price tag?

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Credit here

Your daughter is never too young to learn the art of pole dancing…

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Credit here

Sing with me! The best part of waaaaaking up, is dying an untimely death after getting your foot stuck in a drawer!

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This one’s pretty cool, I just think it was stupid to do the room in white. Getting your kid’s blood out is going to be a b****.

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Spinal cords are overrated. Besides that’s why we keep prisoner clones in the basement.

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Most of the people who buy this playhouse end up living in it. But the kids get the master.

Halloween Week in Pictures

Lots to blog, and it’s coming, but for now, Connor hopes you had a great Halloween!

Also, It’s November 1 so Epilepsy Awareness Month starts today!

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Connor was the hit of music class this week in his cow costume. I think it was the mystique of him crawling and his face barely being visible.

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We took a photo op tour of some of our decorations before they get stored for the year. He adored playing in the front yard so much that he was furious when I picked him up to go inside.

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And Connor’s first trick or treat. The only thing more adorable than a cow is a cow that drives. Since Connor isn’t walking just yet, he rolled in style. But I tell you, it was one more thing that drove home the challenges of people in wheelchairs when we had to skip homes that were just too hard to get to the door.

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I just wish my version of a peacock looked a little more like the one on the box. I choose to believe it was an unflattering cut.