Monday, December 27, 2010

Raiders of the Lost Gift - a Holiday Recap

First off I have to say my brother made this the best Christmas ever by announcing his engagement to R. She is absolutely amazing and will be an awesome sister-in-law. We love her and think the world of her. So much so in fact that when M. and I were Christmas shopping we were talking about what to buy for her and discussed buying her an engagement ring and just telling my brother he had to marry her and didn't have a choice in the matter - we just want him to keep her. :)

The way he announced the engagement was hilarious. He was talking about how he picked R. up and took her to the zoo to see the zoo lights this year and when they got there he "found a twenty dollar bill on the ground how great is that right? Oh yeah then he asked R. to marry him and she said yes." I was so happy!! I think I posted it on Facebook from my cell phone before they could! Ha! Only by a few seconds though.

NOW on to the "lost gift" ha. When we were Christmas shopping we texted my mom for a shopping hint for my stepdad. She told us to buy him the movie Christmas Vacation - he loves Chevy Chase. Well, that is funny because that is what we bought him last year - in fact we bought him a gift set of all the vacation movies. SO, we texted her back, 'Mom - we bought him all the vacation movies last year."

She texted back to us, 'Are you sure? We can't find it anywhere.'

We emailed her a picture of him opening the gift, title blatantly showing and him smiling from ear to ear. She responded with a text asking, 'Well can you email a picture of us putting it away because that would be super helpful right now. LOL'.

The family get-together at my father's house brought a wonderful new joke from my brother's now FIANCEE! (She was the girlfriend still at the time though but anyways - I love the joke so I will share it here):
Did you know the Black Eyed Peas used to be known just as The Peas?
Then they met Chuck Norris

She is so awesome! Ha - I laughed so hard. Turns out my stepmom had no idea there was such a thing as Chuck Norris humor which led to my brother and me having a back and forth with Chuck Norris jokes for the next hour driving everyone insane (feel free to share your favorite below). It was a blast. The kids think Chuck Norris humor is hilarious because we explained it to them one day when their dad had terrible gas and we were all trapped in the car with him. He was farting something awful - practically melting the car windows and it wasn't even helping to roll them down. (I told the kids they had melted.) FInally unable to stand it anymore I said "Sheesh I bet even Chuck Norris is afraid of your ass." and they laughed the rest of the way home then asked who Chuck Norris was.

Back to the holidays... D. was in heaven at the dinner table at Grandpa and Oma's house because we hold hands for prayer there and he was seated next to R. My brother's now FIANCEE. :) He thinks she is beautiful.
Dinner was also interesting in that we had spent a long time lecturing the kids no talking about farting, burping, or any other body functions at the table as it is inappropriate LMAO and then my stepmom sat down and started talking about giving her dog Rachel Ray dog food to regulate her digestive system so that she would poop normal. OMG LOL both kids were snickering at me because I had told them not to talk about poop at the table. I heard about it later. It was funny though.

They both told Oma and Grandpa they wanted snowman poop for Christmas next year trying to get a rise out of them. They are so silly. Then we all started giving D. advice about impressing girls. So while the advice was flowing I let this gem fly, "Yeah D. and if you put a sock in your pants be sure to place it in the front." - My dad almost spit his drink out.

So carrying along the theme of inappropriateness at my prompting the three knee story got told. :)

Oma tells them, "DO you know when your Uncle M. was a little boy he told me that he had three knees? Yes he did. He said R. I have a right knee, a left knee and a wienee."

The kids fell over, peals of laughter echoing through the room. Their faces were red and they were gasping for breath.

But then she followed with, "And you mom - she told me she wanted me to have a baby so I should poke holes in the condoms. She didn't know your grandpa shoots blanks." THank goodness my kids don't know what that means! LMBO!!!

Christmas Eve open house with M.'s family was fun - I love the NOG. Not egg nog - special recipe NO NAME NOG. Made up of vodka, chipped ice, whipped cream and limeade. THere may be more stuff in it. It is really good. I had several glasses of this holiday goodness and was full of bright spirits and cheer!

Christmas Day we opened gifts at home then went over to open gifts with M's family. It was a good time. There was a big surprise and a wonderfully funny Broken Lizard reference. For any Broken Lizard fan who would get it by some unusual circumstance I ended up with something in my pocket and YES it really does feel like what Michael Clark Duncan says it feels like in the movie Slammin Salmon. The movie quote is, "It feels like a third _____ in your pants." (Well how many _____'s does he have? OMG LMAO) EMAIL ME at if you want a further explanation - not appropriate here.

Day after Christmas we went to my mother's house which is where I found out about my brother's engagement (HOORAY). Also we had more wonderful family time. We played Wii. We also played some jokes on each other. My sister gave my brother (manager of Graeter's Ice cream) a Coldstone Creamery gift certificate. I gave my stepdad a sock monkey jack-in-the-box. My stepdad gave D. something that looked like a dead blackbird. It may have been plastic or taxidermied NOT SURE and not brave enough to get close and examine it yet. He gave L. a bowl of rubber eyeballs. It was hilarious watching both kids reactions to the gag gifts. Their faces were priceless. I also got to have some yummy egg nog with Kahlua in it!

I loved seeing my niece too. At 15 months she is adorable and so much fun to watch. I wrapped her gift in shiny paper and it was fun seeing her hug the present and carry it around all over not wanting to open it just wanting to play with the pretty wrapped box. Kids are so cute!

My mom teared up when she opened the gift from me that I got for free from Collette at Raw Arts Letter Press. The giveaway was sponsered here: We Covet but she sent me a smaller one when she saw my entry. IT was absolutely beautiful and wonderful and when I graduate with my degree in psychology and I am going to buy more for my office. Here are a few photos of the amazing stuff she sent, including the Winnie the Pooh quote one I gave Mom:

I hope everyone else had a lovely holiday as well - no matter which version you celebrate! :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What Being an ADHD Parent is Really Like

Being the parent of an ADHD kid is different than parenting a child who focuses quicker and doesn't latch onto things or hyperfocus. We are also judged as being bad parents already by a lot of the general public and the prejudice makes us supersensitive so when our kid melts down in public it makes us want to resolve it quickly and easily as possible so we develope stratigies for handling things that do not make us look like jerks, idiots or bad parents for that matter. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

L. is adorable MOST of the time. When she gets in a tantrum and hyperfocuses on whatever wrong has been done her she can be impossible to shake from it. There are good days and bad days and when a bad day hits - it hits hard.

A few strategies that USUALLY work with her and fit with her personality are:
1) Take out a cell phone or camera and take her picture - she loves modeling or pretending to model and is a total camera ham. Usually she will stop the tears or screaming and put on a huge smile snapping out of the "ugly" behavior to Diva it up and be gorgeous. Plus she loves attention and this fills the need. It is a good quick fix if we are in public.

2) Video tape the tantrum - same reason as number one. She does not like to look less than her best. She hates to be caught acting not nice. Especially if I say I am going to show the video to Grandma or Santa.

3)Whisper. Intead of yelling or getting angry I talk to her but I whisper what I am saying so that she can't hear me. I make my voice very soft. I say things like "I think it is just awful you are having such a bad day." or something nice I know she would want to hear and just loud enough I know she CAN hear it and would want to hear more but she would have to quiet down to be able to hear more.

4)Ignore it - the tantrum is happening because she wants attention if you ignore it she is not getting what she wants and it will usually die off within a short period of time. If not we isolate her to her bedroom for a short period of time until the inappropriate behavior settles down.

5) Some other form of redirection - use humor, do something bizarre or funny like make a face or be silly or tickle her to give her a small amount of attention to make her laugh and temporarily divert her attention.

TODAY at her doctor's office NONE of these strategies worked at all. She did not want to go out in the cold to go see Dr. G. (He is one of her ADHD doctors.) She also did not want to even get out of bed this morning. She was just having a grumpy day.

When people see parents carrying a two year old over their should like a sack of potatoes it is kind of cute - they nod their heads in sympathy thinking oh that poor baby is tired - I have been there, done that. But what do they think when they see them doing it to a nine year old? I think I want to cry. Hide my face in shame and embarrassment. BUT I keep on my happy face encouraging her to put on her listening ears and behave better so Daddy doesn't have to do that to her anymore!

When we finally get in the building and people are staring and wondering what is wrong with us she decides that in this room full of crowded people she is going to jump up and down on the chairs bouncing them into one another. NOT ACCEPTABLE. Both of us asked her to stop she did not listen. We said "STOP or we will MAKE YOU STOP." She did not. Hubby gently grabbed her shoulders pulled her off the chair and sat her down. She started screaming that he hurt her. I saw what he did. Everyone in the room saw what he did. HE DID NOT HURT HER. She howled the and cried unconsolably. Never mind that she had been sending the plastic chairs flying all over the crowded room into other people sitting there waiting with us. He did not hurt her. He simply made her sit down. There was no spanking, no slapping, no violence, no yelling, no temper, no forcefulness. HE simply sat her down.

Yet she sat in the psychiatrists waiting room screaming "Daddy hurt me, Daddy hurt me." and sobbed uncontrollably. A few people snickered. A few stared. Others shook their heads. Some whispered amongst themselves. I wanted to shout at them "SHE IS NOT A BAD KID AND WE ARE NOT BAD PARENTS - she gets straight A's at school - she is creative and beautiful and has limits. We are only treating her as her behavioral counselor instructed us too."

I shook my head and wanted to cry myself. I got angry at hubby for not handling it better - maybe asking her to use her energy jumping up and down on the floor away from the chairs or something. Choosing the battles better. Then mad at myself for getting mad at him. Then mad at her for embarrassing us so bad. THEN worried Children Services was going to think we abuse her and take her away even though we didn't do anything wrong at but simply because she is still sitting in a public place screaming at the top of her lungs "Daddy hurt me." A tear falls but I wipe it away and put the smile back trying my hardest to stay postive with her and snap her out of it.

Accounting called our name. L. said "I am not going I am going to sit her for an hour." Some people laughed out loud at this proclamation.
I sent hubby back without us. He went back and paid then came out with her slip to take upstairs to the doctor area. I tell him to go on without us that L. is still going to be sitting there for "How many minutes?" I ask her.

"51 minutes" she answers.

He says okay and goes on up to the doctor area.

I sit there quietly a few minutes watching her tantrum. I love her so much I just want to hold her and comfort her but the behavioral counselor says that would be rewarding the tantrum and that is not okay. It kills me not to hug her when she is so upset. So I try another tactic.

"L. you know Dr. G. loves seeing you every month. He is really going to miss you this month."

"I don't care. I am not moving for 53 minutes."

"WHAT?" I say with a giggle "Not fair - you made it go up - five minutes ago it was only 51 you made it go up. Besides I have a magic clock and it says the hour is already past and it is time to go up there now."

"NO YOU DON'T and that is not going to happen."

"Come sit by me."

"I am not going to sit where Daddy sat he hurt me."

"I don't think he hurt you. I think he embarrassed you. I don't like what he did, I think he could have handled it better but I don't like what you did either I am mad at both of you. You were knocking chairs into people and hurting them and that is not okay. Daddy needed to do what he did to stop you. That part was necessary. You don't want to hurt people do you?"


"Then you should come upstairs with me and tell daddy you are sorry."


"Okay. Well - I am still mad at you both. BUT even when I am mad - I still love you. Very much. So much it hurts."

"Can I have a piece of gum?"

"I don't have any with me. You know what. I think you need to get your butt upstairs for your doctor appointment"

"Okay - I love you mommy. I think I should tell daddy I am sorry."

"I think so too."

So she came over took my hand and we went upstairs for the doctor appointment. Just like that - at the exact time when her meds kicked in.

That is what it is like to be the parent of an ADHD kid. Does that make me a bad parent because she behaved that way. How would YOU have handled it? I don't feed her excessive sugar and she does not drink soda or eat a lot of junk food. She loves salads and drinks a ton of water. She would choose fresh fruit over a cookie any day. I had her tested for food allergies and all sorts of things AND we did a year of behavioral counseling before we decided to medicate. We do the minimal medications necessary to give her control over her behaviors and we do not do it because we are lazy parents. There is a lot of prejudice against ADHD parents out there. I know this because before I had L. I didn't even think ADHD was real. I was one of those prejudiced people. Now that I have had first hand experience as well as some college classes on it I know that it is real. I have grown and learned. Don't be judgemental or harsh - do some research into what the disease actually is. I have gone back to college to learn about it and to be able to help other kids like L. and their parents. I have learned patience and better parenting strategies that will work with any kid not just the ones that are different.

Even though it is challenging sometimes it is always rewarding. I love her so much. I feel like it has been a blessing in disguise because I am closer with my kid because of it. We have better communication - she talks to me about how she is feeling and I pay closer attention. I want to know and not only because I am worried about potential side effects from medicines but because I am relieved the meds haven't turned her into a zombie. She is so full of life and energy and such a creative fun little person. I see so much of myself in her. She is independent and intelligent and even though I have always seen that in her it has been wonderful getting her to where she is able to express that to others. I know more about her moods and what is going on with her because of this as well.

Because of her ADHD she also has a counselor she can talk to every two weeks or so about things going on in her life while she is growing up. Adolescence and life is hard enough without one - I am hoping her life will be easier because of having someone she can share the harder things about it with. Hopefully she will grow up to be more well adjusted than a lot of us did. I am grateful she shares everything with me too for now, I hope that will always continue.

So go ahead - be prejudiced - call me a bad parent I dare you. BUT in my heart I know the truth. I may not always be the most patient, I do set limits and stick with them, her tantrums before the meds kick in may annoy you if you happen to see one when we are in public, I do get frustrated sometimes and I don't give in and give her everything she wants but you know what? My kid knows she is loved - even when I am angry - and that I will always be there for her no matter what.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Pink Ninja Stalks Security... a Memoir

When I was in my late teens/early twenties I worked in the toy department at a store we shall not name. :) They started me on third shift until they realized with my long brown hair and my name badge that read "Kimberly" I was a ringer for one of the season's most popular toys... yep you guessed it - the pink power ranger. So, they split my shift and had me start coming in earlier hours.

I did not have to dress in a costume or anything goofy like that. I still got to wear my regular clothes but I did have to deal more with the public. I worked register in the toy department for part of my shift and was expected to smile at people. I WAS SHOCKED at how many kids came up and shyly asked for my autograph. The kids were cute and being mistaken for a ninja was kind of cool. Dealing with the grumpy parents looking for a sold out toy ... not so much.

I began to get a little frazzled from all the attention and my nametag which had previously read "I Can Help!" had now somehow mysteriously been altered to simply read "Help!" (Which my manager did not find amusing).

So, getting into the ninja personality and deciding I needed a way to deal with the stress of the grumpy Christmas shoppers me and a coworker I will call Penny to protect her innocence (yeah right) took up a new hobby.

We thought the undercover security guards were a little silly with how obvious they would be running from aisle to aisle (and throwing their back against the new aisle when they got there, arms out peeking around the corner to see if anyone was in it, blatantly forgetting the rest of the store could still see them)trying to be sneaky but giving away that they were security with their actions. So, as soon as the second shift ended and our third shift started we began "the hunt". Every night we would carefully take some of the Nerf bow and arrows and the Nerf guns out of their packages and stalked security. We figured it would teach them to be sneakier - or at the very least they would learn to hide themselves better. We were having fun at least knowing that we were sneakier than security because for a very long part of the holiday season they never saw us and we thought that was hilarious. We would follow along behind them lining up our shots saying where we could have hit them. One time we even hid up in the bean bags and could have ambushed them from above. It was so funny.

Some of our coworkers in the department thought it was so funny they didn't mind stocking our aisles for us while we hunted. We usually limited it to our lunch breaks and short 15 minute breaks. Some of our coworkers smoked and we didn't so we would take a 5 minute "hunt" break after each of our coworkers' cigarette breaks. We also would use walkie-talkies so they could let us know when security was getting close to the toy department so we could get back to work weapons hidden, security none-the wiser. It wasn't like our game was giving them extra work we still did our fair share. Multi-tasking people we weren't total slackers - we were NINJAS - we did it all. We were awesome!

Well, the first time we actually captured one of the guards was hilarious. We were both FED UP with the grumpy Christmas people shoppers and figured it was time to get a new job. This was the night we were going to unload and bombard security with every Nerf bullet and every Nerf arrow we could carry. Thing is, NOT ONLY did we not get into trouble... they laughed at us. They were embarrassed when we told them how long we had been stalking them, especially since they had not noticed us doing it before. They thought it was so much fun they asked us to help keep our eyes peeled for shoplifters and joked we should shoot them. Then they picked up Nerf guns and started hunting us back AND FLIRTING UGH! We both ended up staying at the job a few years longer after the holidays we got sent to different departments. Security still stalked us wanting to learn our ninja skills.

I guess that is proof that Ninjas are just too cool for words.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My First Blog Award

Today I got my first blog award.  Thank you to Joanna St. James for giving me the Fair Dinkum award. 

BWS tips button

This award originated with L'Aussie and L'Aussie awarded it Joanna who passed it on to me keeping its spirit alive :). I am honored! Joanna has received it from more than one person as well and her blog is pretty cool so check her out!

I think it is great that people are enjoying my blog. My main goal is just to make people laugh. In the spirit of Fair Dinkum I want to pass the award on to a few people who have made me laugh or smile:

WeCovet - They are completely awesome. They are doing a giveaway for the holidays of Colette from Raw Art Letter Press Pooh Art and it is beautiful. Colette is amazing. Check her out. She is sending me a smaller print to give my mom who is fighting cancer.

Sandra - who likes to embarrass her kids as much as I do mine. I love reading her posts.

Elly - I love her Uke music - she is so talented and cool. Her Craftastrophe website is fun too.

Sheila - Her article about the big girls shoplifting had me in tears from laughing so hard and I completely identify with her take on facebook!

And if Joanna will accept it I wanna give one right back to her!!

There are soooo many other people who make me laugh. I love all the posts I read and comment on. Some I don't even comment but I enjoy them all the same. I would love to give the award to everyone I read but then I would be in front of the computer all day listing them out instead of reading them!

SO if I don't have your name up there don't feel bad - I still love you! I am just impatient to get to your post and see what you have up for me to read today. In fact I may be there even now as you are reading this, reading what you have written at the same time! Creepy huh? I wonder if we cancel each other out? Is it like a science fiction paradox thing?

Hey - if there are any super rich bloggers out there who want to award me I would love a chocolate fountain. Maybe a life size one with a shower room you walk through on the way to get to it? One you can put your entire body into and just play in the chocolate!! Chocolate everywhere! No takers...? A girl can dream...

In the meantime I am very pleased with Joanna's kindness - thank you again my friend! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Yo-Yo Head Ninja and a Redecorating Idea

Per my mother-in-laws request I went searching for a picture today.  She wanted me to find a picture of myself and my daughter together for her Christmas newsletter. As I was going through the photos of our family from this past year I noticed that I have a lot of photos of the kids making funny faces at me or doing deliberately silly stuff.

For instance they like to play America's Next Top Model and have "challenges". They decided they had 5 minutes to find a ninja costume. See below:

                                                   L. in her ninja chic bathrobe and scarf.

D. with his fiercely scary Ninja sword and yes that is a yo-yo on his head and no I could not quit laughing for a good 20 minutes.  I am surprised I could hold still long enough to take the photo.

A few more shots:

They certainly do not lack creativity. 

Anyways, finding those photos gave me a laugh.  BUT I also found my funny face folder I was saving for a project.  This project is going to be a huge surprise for my family (at least the ones who don't read my blog LOL).  See the when the kids keep making the deliberate funny faces and screwing up the pictures I have decided to use the pictures anyways.  I found this great place that takes digital photos and makes them into custom wallpapers.  I am going to take all these funny face photos and turn them into wallpaper and put them up in our bathroom.  YEP - you heard me - all around our BATHROOM!

Photos like these would be great right near the toilet - now two of them are NOT family members but the expressions are just so perfect and too funny they had to be included:


I have more too but some of them are extended family I don't necessarily have their permission to put their images up.  The people above whose images are up half their faces are covered so people who don't know them wouldn't be able to identify them. 

So yeah - I am a little warped.  I think it would make a wonderful wallpaper and would be hilarious.  I keep adding to the file every family outing, every holiday, everytime someone makes a funny face while I have my camera out.   Go ahead let the kids "ruin" the pictures.  Just wait till later when it is PAYBACK time!

I don't let myself be photographed often.  I have two photos of myself with L. this year.  One is right after we taught her how to use makeup and we had just had makeovers.  The other was right before the zombie walk in Yellow Springs when we were in full zombie makeup.  The makeup one is only in my phone and hard to access. SO, it looks like this is what my mother-in-law may end up with for her Christmas letter:  Isn't the shirt lovely for all her friends and extended family to see?  She is gonna love me.  ha!

How I Learned to Love Poetry - a Great Author's Birthday

Today is Victoria Selene Skye Deme's birthday.

She is an amazing author and a great friend. Before reading Selene's work I never "got" poetry. At all. Period.

Her poems have strong females in them. They have passion, eroticism, excitment, sexuality,intelligence, vengeance, and more. She writes about a variety of topics but I am always drawn to the recurring themes of vulnerability and strength. I am a domestic violence survivor and I identified strongly with a lot feelings conveyed in her poems but a lot of guys find her poems to be highly erotic ,deeply intelligent and love her as well. She is amazing, have I mentioned super intelligent(?) and highly talented!! Not only do I "get" her poems - I LOVE THEM. All of them are POWERFUL in one way or another. All of them also make you think. They are beautifully written. There is such an incredible depth to them and they are layered so intricately. She takes such care with her choice of words. Each one is a journey that takes the reader somewhere else and leaves you feeling changed after having read it.

The books she has written are:
CrowWoman & MudGirl ISBN-13: 9781424122240 Pub. Date: 01/23/2006
Eve's Rib~Jezebel's Hips ISBN-13: 9781604741483 Pub. Date: 12/30/2007
The Raspberry Girl ISBN-13: 9781607032441 Pub. Date: 10/30/2008
Girls With red Hair On Cherry Cadillacs With Bushido Swords ISBN-13: 9781615465194 Pub. Date: 06/22/2009
From The Gutter To The Jewel In the Lotus ISBN-13: 9781448972531 Pub. Date: 01/08/2010
The Surreal Stalks And Times Of A GutterGirlISBN: 978-1-4512-4519-6 Pub.Date: 09/30/2010

Her main website is here:
Some of her poetry is posted here:

She does post poetry at the writer's cafe which I read the minute she puts a new one up even though I don't always comment on them. Heck half the time the poems take my breath away and I don't feel I could come up with anything even halfway decent enough to say that would do what I have just read any justice. :)

Regardless this woman is amazing!! Show her some birthday love! I admire her and respect her. The depth of her work is awesome. Reading through some of her comments on her poems makes me smile. To see people saying "Man no offense but I wish I had thought of that line" makes my heart swell for her. Anyone who can make me not only LIKE poetry but understand it and look forward to it has to be pretty fantastic right? CHECK HER OUT!

Happy Birthday Selene - you are an amazing writer and a wonderful friend. Thank you for being so great!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Visiting the Dentist and How to Kill Someone Legally

I had to go to the dentist this morning. IT HURT. A LOT. Enough to push me over into borderline insanity. So, I went to ONE of my happy places. A slightly psychotic happy place, but a happy place none-the-less.

I was an assassin. For real. I am not making this up. I actually ran around and killed people.

Granted it was at a gaming convention and the people didn't actually die for real but it was fun. Let me tell you how it came about that I - who had never even heard of LARP'ing ending up engaging in it full force.

My husband is a gamer. Always has been always will be. He loves Dungeons and Dragons, Gurps, and several other games that involve that type of thing. I had not had previous experience with them except to be taken as a guest to a game once or twice at which I had sat around saying "What do I do now?" and someone would reply "Roll the dice". I would roll the dice not really grasping it and they would shout out a number and something might die or not but I just didn't "get it". SO, in the spirit of making me understand why he loves games so much he took me to a convention called Origins in Columbus, Ohio.

Now I had been to this convention with him once before but we had only gone for a day and with friends. It was pretty cool the one time we had gone before - there were all kinds of games besides the role playing ones. Dice games, board games, card games. Interesting costumes, corsets, makeup, people battling each other with fake swords at the back AND there were seminars. We actually sat in on a seminar called "What's your plan Z?" which was a hilariously fun lecture on how to survive a zombie attack. My friend L. and I cracked up all through it - what a fun time right? BUT unfortunately we got dirty looks as THEY WERE NOT JOKING!!! OMG! TOO FUNNY - it just made us laugh harder. I had a good time though - how could you not when you were surrounded by so much creativity?

SO, the following year when my husband wanted us to send the kids to the grandparents and spend the ENTIRE 5 days at the convention I thought SURE there is plenty to take pictures of, and it will give me tons of great stuff to write about. Not to mention all the new board and card games that come out that people demo. I am sure that I would find plenty to do or at the very least I would be amused.

Now, when we arrive he wants to introduce me to the world of LARP'ing. "What the hell is that?" I asked. "It doesn't even sound normal."

Apparently LARP'ing is Live Action Role Playing. So - I took the program from him to see what games were being offered. I WAS SURPRISED! They offered all sorts of games from people dressing up and doing Cthulu themed games, to dungeons and dragons games. Among the list I was quickly able to see that they also had a zombies vs. humans option that looked promising and then I saw it. The Assassins Live game. It called out to me above all others.

"What is this M.?" I asked him. He didn't know - he had never played it before. It sounded fun. You would be given a target to stalk and "kill" amidst the other convention goers while avoiding being killed yourself. Hmm. Sounded interesting. Considering there was going to be several thousand people at the convention I wondered how this one was going to play out. SO I chose it. Plus if I was going to play a game to bond with my husband I wanted to pretend to be a ninja! Or a spy! Or a ninja spy killer! Either way I was IN!

So we went to the meeting room in the basement of the convention hall at the assigned time and place. There were several people milling about sitting at tables playing cards talking about the game the previous year where a guy had been photographed with long hair and a beard then shaved his head and face making it hard to find him. Snatches of conversation filtered in then the presentation began.

The guys told us about the ways we would be allowed to kill each other. We were given Rubber snakes, spiders, and scorpions to slip into bags or onto chairs. Red yarn to be laid as trip wires for people to step over. Rubber daggers to slip into pockets for bonus points. Golden star stickers to put on food wrappers to be considered poison. Cameras could be used to get "head shots" on people. Then my favorite method of all - the "shiv". The shiv was a baby sock full of talc powder. You sneak up on someone and stab them with it leaving the tell-tale white mark on their clothes. Each method of "murder" was assigned different point values according to their difficulty. He let us each choose which weapons we wanted to carry with us and he gave us each five kill slips to carry with us. When someone killed us we had to sign our name to it and write how they killed us and give it to them to bring downstairs. IF we got killed we lost points if we turned in kills we gained points. We could always get more slips if we ran out and there would be a finale scenario we had to run through at the end.

He also explained the hallway outside the door would be a safe zone - it is not sporting to kill people outside the doors as they came and went. You can kill anyone at anytime but your target is worth more points than just any kill. They also told us that if anyone sees the kill happen it does not count. It has to be stealthy and sneaky. Then they took our photos and had us all wait outside the room as they called us back in one by one and gave us a "dossier" of who our kill was supposed to be and sent us on our way!!

HOW EXCITING!! The players involved a diverse group of people too. Teenagers, a dad and his young kid, college girls, a couple of frat boys, older ex military guys, me (an ex soccer mom), a girl who was a foreign exchange student from germany... the list goes on. It was neat. More people kept signing up over the weekend too.

My dossier showed my first kill was one of the teenagers. So first thing I wanted to do was run up to our hotel room and change my look. THANK GOODNESS I am a girl and overpack for everything. I had 3 suitcases and a million different outfits with me. Over the course of the weekend I think I changed outfits 18 different times. I changed hair and makeup too.

I got 9 or 10 kills. One of my favorite kills was Jason. We had called a temporary truce to play Zombie Dice together. WE sat at the same table and played together for an HOUR at least. Then I ran upstairs and changed my look from normal ex-soccer mom to goth chic. I came back downstairs, and walked past him. THEN when I knew he didn't recognize me I walked up and asked him about the game he was watching while I draped my arm around him, shiv'd him in the back and asked for my kill sheet. :)

Bobek - one of the college guys playing was hilarious. He belly crawled across a hallway then down the length of one of the cloth covered registration tables to be able to stick his arm out and shiv my husband. He would also take off running down the hallway to lay tripwires in doorways to catch people up in. Josh, and Billy and lots of the others playing were so much fun. I hope to see them next year! Jeff was a lot of fun too - he ended up winning Master Assassin (free pass to the entire convention for the following year) and he got in quite a few funny kills.

I changed into one of my husband's oversize white shirts that looks like a lab coat for us to play games in the Looney Lab. It took bravery to play games there. One of the games there is called "Are You A Werewolf" and it is an awesome fun game but it involves closing your eyes for long periods of time. Several of the assassins love this game. It was an adrenaline high like we were testing each other - or showing how brave we were by playing. Some of us made truces ahead of time but there were several others playing who could have found us and had an easy kill at any time. By wearing the lab coat I blended in and looked like I worked in the lab. So much so that when one of the people playing came up to my husband (who at 6'2, built like a linebacker with spiked black hair is quite easy to spot) and said, "Hey where's your wife I have been looking..." I had shiv'd him before he could finish his sentence. Apparently I was so good at disguising myself it took two days of the convention before someone got a kill in on me!

The people in the downstairs headquarters CRACKED UP everytime I turned in a kill at all my costume changes. The goth, the school teacher, the school girl, the normal outfit, the librarian, the party girl, the emo.. just all the different looks I came up with. PLUS I even had different friends I walked around with. My friend A. came and hung out with me as did my friends L. and T. So I wasn't with my hubby the whole time.

We also still got to walk around and demo some new games. One of my favorites this past year was NAY JAY - which is a game of speed and skill! You have to move really fast to get rid of all your cards before anyone else does but you also want to play the most cards. It is fun. The women running the demo were so nice. They watched my back for me the whole time so if anyone did try to kill me it wouldn't count because they would be witness. :)

The final challenge was awesome. They set up a whole gauntlet in the basement and it was like being inside a video game. They took us back 2 at a time. My partner was Bobek. They put him in one room on the other side and me in a room where I was isolated and didn't know what was going on. They gave us one of each weapon and told us we could only use each one once. We could also use any weapon we stole off the guards.

Then they yelled "BEGIN". I noticed right away there was a guard right outside the room I was in and he was walking back and forth way to fast for me to get past him so I thought for a minute about what to do. So, I laid a tripwire in the doorway and made a small noise. He came in to investigate and fell "dead" from the tripwire. I stole his sword. YES rubber swords - we got to "beat" people. (They told us to lightly tap people 3 times to kill) they also said if we needed to move a body just take their hand and lead them where we wanted them to go).

So I took his hand and dragged him out of the doorway. I saw he had a nerf gun but I didn't really know how to use them that well so I left the gun behind (which I regretted later) and I exited the room. I ran down the hall cautiously and peered around the corner. I saw a guard sleeping by another room. I ran up and quickly tapped him three times he fell dead I propped him so it looked like he was still sleeping. I peered into the room he was guarding and there was the final target BUT WTF? The room had red yarn strung across it back and forth from floor to ceiling. I was not a contortionist. Apparently if I had brought the nerf gun I could have shot the final target through the "lasers". I found out later my partner had been killed eliminating the other guards that had been roaming the halls. At that point another guard came out of the room and starting yelling alarm and I was caught - my game was over. I ended up placing 7th out of 33. Pretty good for someone who had never done it before! HA! (I think I scared my husband!)

It was fun though!! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I guess a lot of people didn't even make it out of the first room. One of the people (we got to watch after our turn) tried to drag the sleeping guard into the room full of guards next door.

The paranoia of whether or not I was going to be killed certainly made the convention more interesting. The killing made the convention more fun!! Also walking among the thousands of people there giggling to myself because I was participating in the convention on a whole other level that some of them probably didn't even know was there was exciting!!

It was definitely a good time.

SO if you go to Origins (every June in Columbus, Ohio) I recommend the Assassins Live LARPing game - it is hilarious and fun! I cannot wait to go back this year and I am gonna play again. My hubby is right. Gaming does have its appeal. I think I am hooked now. Who knew I could enjoy being psychotic?!? What does that say about me?

Oh well I have come to terms with my weirdness. Once a year I get to spend a week running around killing people - how's that for stress relief?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Horror Bra and Other Unspeakable Terrors

My daughter, being ADHD, from time to time has difficulty with her behavior.  We have been taking her to a behavioral counselor and have set limits her for her that we follow to the letter.  So last night at dinner when she started acting out we did our usual non-reactions and continued eating our meals.   She knows she is supposed to eat while we are eating, and try to have the same meal we are having as well.  IF she wants a replacement she is to get it herself (we are not short order cooks) and it can be salad or a peanut butter sandwich or something healthy with nutritional value to it. 
From time to time we will need to calmly correct her behavior.   The point is to not OVERreact giving her the extra attention and disruptions she is seeking.   Sometimes we can even correct by redirecting her as you would a smaller child.  She is very intelligent though so this one is very hard to pull off.
At one point during the dinner hubby and I were having a calm conversation about how delicious everything had turned out when she suddenly screamed, “If you don’t cut my meat for me I am going to be horror-bra for the rest of the night.”
Granted her mouth was full and I am sure she had been trying to say horrible not horror-bra.   For some reason though I thought this was hilarious.  SO instead of reacting with anger or upset like she had probably expected us to (she was doing the classic button-pushing behavior here), I looked at her and repeated, “Horror-Bra?  Is that like a WonderBra?  What does a HorrorBra look like?  Does it have tentacles like Cthulu?  Oh wait, your nine it probably has big googly eyes and looks up at you and says  Oh Diva, you are soooo cute.” Then I slapped my hands to the sides of my face and said, “THE HORROR.”
Both kids were startled into laughter.  L. instantly forgot she had been mid-tantrum and began cutting her own food – redirect successful. 
So fast-forward a little bit.  I finish my dinner but she is taking her time eating hers.  I carry my plate to the kitchen sink.  When I get there I hear a terrible scream.  I rinse my plate and hurry back into the dining room.  I see to my dismay my daughter has a look of extreme shock on her face and my son is smirking.  “What did you do,” I say to him.  He just shakes his head still smirking.
“Diva, “ I say to her, “Tell me what happened.”  I look around for their father who is no longer seated at the table and in fact nowhere to be found.  Then the giggles start.  BOTH kids begin giggling uncontrollably.  L. points to the bathroom door and says “We heard (then mentions unspeakable horrors – and the way she phrased them CRACKED ME UP)”…  and  I realize my husband is now in the bathroom.
D. still giggling says, “MOM, why did you blame me?”
I sit back down at the table and can’t help but giggle with them (yes sorry sometimes bathroom humor is still funny.  You try not smiling when both your kids are laughing uncontrollably) and then try to take a drink of water.  It takes a few minutes to be able to regain my composure enough to get it down.  Then when my daughter takes her next bite of food I make a similar sound with my mouth against the back of my hand (yes I realize I am immature sometimes) and start the giggles all over again.
When everyone calmed down I did talk to the kids about there being some things we just shouldn’t talk about at the dinner table but MAN I am glad they are growing up with a great sense of humor.  They are going to need it.  Sometimes the world out there sucks and if they have laughter to escape into it will make things a heck of a lot easier on them.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

This Post is Censored/Censoring Can Be Funny!

The definition of censor (as taken from the website
1. a person authorized to examine publications, theatrical presentations, films, letters, etc., in order to suppress in whole or part those considered obscene, politically unacceptable, etc.
2. any person who controls or suppresses the behaviour of others, usually on moral grounds
3. (Historical Terms) (in republican Rome) either of two senior magistrates elected to keep the list of citizens up to date, control aspects of public finance, and supervise public morals
4. (Psychoanalysis) Psychoanal the postulated factor responsible for regulating the translation of ideas and desires from the unconscious to the conscious mind See also superego
vb (tr)
1. to ban or cut portions of (a publication, film, letter, etc.)
2. to act as a censor of (behaviour, etc.)

SOMETIMES by censoring something you can make it funnier.  This video went viral when it was censored.  There is nothing wrong with the video that it needed censored at all but by placing beeps in just the right places it made it seem like it should be censored.   Our mind fills in the words we are used to hearing where the beeps are at.  They took something innocent and made it dirty with the beeps.  IT is so wrong but really funny.

People often don’t want their work censored. They don’t want to see pieces of their “babies”, their hard work just cut away.  I view things differently.  I think creative editing or censoring can bring a lot to the table.  I think someone looking at my work unbiased can see ways to improve it.   To take what I have started make it into something even better.  
My opinions as a writer are – if you want to buy my work I will change it for you any way you want me too.   I will make it funnier, sadder, more intelligent  and/or more stupid if you ask me to.  I will do anything you want to my work because at that point it becomes yours.  If you are just thinking about buying I will save a copy of my original.  I will still make all the changes you want and if you don’t buy – oh well.  I love writing so much I had fun playing with my characters for you.     Thank you for the opportunity to almost work with you.     That is more editing than censoring though – even though they are similar there are distinct differences even though to some they may feel the same.

Back to censoring now…think of how many books that have been censored or banned that instantly made them rise in popularity.    Some authors also will deliberately pay people to give them bad reviews and make them “controversial” because that made them popular as well.   I would never personally do that but you have heard of some I am sure.   From a library website on banned and challenged books 46 of them were listed as being in the top 100 books of the past century.   The website is the American Library Association and the list of banned books is here:
That to me does not sound like that bad of odds.  Censor me and make me famous.   I guess I have a kind of strange way of looking at things. 
The media censors things all the time.  They especially like to put certain slants on stories to make the public lean one way or another with their opinions.   Especially when it is during a war – we see a lot of the bad things going on over in Iraq but we never see the good stories.   We see so much negativity in the news it is really hard to watch sometimes.   They could try to slant things to a more positive angle sometimes.  For instance instead of “Gunman killed 40 people and was arrested late last night” how about “Hooray, insane psychopath was arrested before he could kill anyone else.”  Ha ha ha – I know that wouldn’t necessarily work for the news BUT you know what I mean. 
They let so much trash through on television today people are becoming immune to it.  Sometimes just hinting at stuff can be funnier and more rewarding than letting it all hang out there.  I think the same could hold true in some writing too.  Don’t get me wrong sometimes the trash can be pretty darn funny too.  I love the raunchy humor and sex jokes just as much as the next person.   I am just curious - what are your opinions on being censored or on censoring yourselves even?  Would you watch the news more often if it put a lighter-hearted slant on things or used sarcasm and humor to report kind of like the onion?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Who is More Stupid Here the Thief or the Victim?

Okay, I know I already blogged today but I really needed to comment on this. 

People complain about false 911 calls and I understand this lady was truly upset but what the heck did she think the police could do for her?  She called the police because someone stole her snowman. 

You heard me.  A SNOWMAN.  Not even a light up or inflatable one but an actual snowman made of snow.  It happened in the U.K.  There is a link with a recording of the 999 call (their equivalent of 911). 

I haven't checked this out on snopes yet but the link is from the BBC I have posted it below:

Okay - this is one of the reasons I could NEVER be a police dispatcher because I would not be able to contain my laughter at people.  I would probably have also had to ask this lady, "Ma'am are you serious? It is snow!  How the heck do you steal snow? Seriously?  What is your address so I can come slap you for tying up the lines and preventing people who need real help from getting through."

NOT to mention what the heck does a thief want with a snowman anyways?  They are not exactly lightweight to carry.   Remember how heavy those extra large snowballs are to heave up on top of each other?  Did he run down the road with it in a wheelbarrow giggling to himself at his accomplishment?  What did the neighbors think if they saw it happening?  How drunk do you have to be to think it is a good idea?  What is the payoff here?  Did he think it was something else?  Did he have a sick kid at home who wanted one and he was just too lazy to make it for him?  Is there a snowman dealer somewhere waiting to fence it to someone else for a profit?  Do they paint it with food coloring or something first to disguise it so the original owner won't be able to identify it?  Are they going to break it down and sell it for parts?

OR MAYBE - just maybe it was abducted by retarded aliens who thought it was an oddly shaped albino human of a type they had never seen or probed before?  Imagine if their probes are even heated the slightest bit.  I can hear them now panicking in their alien language, "Wow, they've never just melted like that before.  We should have known something was wrong when we didn't have to hypnotize them into being passive for the probe.  Then again - that has been getting easier anyways over the years."  Anyways, I doubt even the most retarded of aliens could be that dumb.   Even he wouldn't take someone's snowman. 

I would like to ask that England send some of their snow thieves here to steal ours?  Please?  I am ready for summer.

Thank you!

On that note I am off to bed.

Reflections, A Birthday, Motherhood, Placentas

Today I am reflecting on childbirth and motherhood. 

Why you might ask?  You might not ask, but I am going to tell you anyways.

There are two reasons.  One it is my mom's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! Then we come to the second reason.  My best friend - who has been my best friend since we were both 11 years old - is currently in labor with her first child.  They induced the labor this morning.  I hope she has the baby on my mom's birthday!

D.  and I have been like sisters since we were young.  Our birthdays were only one day apart too so I find it a funny coincidence she is having her kid on my mama's bday!

Anyways back to my reflections on birthing.  I hope hers goes quick and easy but judging that it is already noon it doesn't seem that it is going to be the case!   So while I am sitting here anxiously awaiting some news I am reflecting on what it was like when I gave birth to my little Diva. 

There was excitement and humor.   I had to be induced because of a hernia.  They started my pitocin early in the morning (much like D.'s being induced today). 

My water broke on it's own around 10:30am.  I was so relieved they didn't have to use the scary hook thing.  I went into heavy labor around 11:15am and after a short half hour or so of labor I started pushing and my daughter was born at 11:58am.  YES most of my friends HATE me because I had a fairly easy labor.  Diva (nickname) was born roughly 4 hours after they induced me and she was only 5lbs. 7oz.  19 inches long.  What people don't realize is that I gave birth ALL NATURAL - no drugs, no epidural and not necessarily by choice!

Yeah, I did the caring mom thing where I said, "I want what's best for my baby, I really do want to try to have a natural birth but if the pain gets too bad I will allow an epidural." 

OKAY so - I did NOT know ahead of time that I was going to go from being dilated to 2 to being fully dilated in LESS THAN 20 minutes and when I asked for the epidural the nurse was going to run screaming from the room, "THERE'S NO TIME,"  trying to find the doctor.  The doctor didn't get there in time and the midwife - who was incredibly awesome - delivered my baby with minimal tearing. 

I remember my mom was there in the room with me, and my husband.  My brother was there too until I started cussing.  When I started dropping F-bombs and other words in front of mom he started laughing and I guess the look I gave him for the laughter scared him to the hallway.  I wanted my family there.  Support all around.  I may be remembering it wrong though - he may have left because it was time for me to push and he didn't wanna take even the slightest chance of catching a glimpse of my hooha.... I think that would traumatize us both! Ha ha ha.  If he is reading this I can visualize him twitching at the thought even now.

They were not expecting the baby to come as quickly as she did.  I BEGGED for the drugs!! I am quite the drama queen at times.  The pain really wasn't that bad - just like really really bad intense menstrual cramping that wants to rip all of your insides out at once.   It was like someone was trying to scrape their way out with a spork from Taco Bell.  I remember that.   I also remember that after she was born when the placenta came out the warmth of it had a soothing effect over the area that had just hurt.  Almost like a balm.  YEAH I know that sounds really gross but it really did feel good and it helped. 

Then came the part where you see your baby.  Yes - that is true.  When you see your baby you really truly do forget everything else.  You even forget there are other people in the room.  I held her and told her how beautiful she was and how much I love her.  That is the part I remember the clearest.  Getting to see her for the first time. 

I also remember my brother coming back into the room, seeing the placenta in a bowl on a table, going pale, turning around and walking right back out for a few more minutes.  Ha ha ha!! Then he finally came in to meet his niece. 

I don't know how D. is doing back there in that hospital room but my thoughts are with her today.  It will be a day she will rememeber and cherish always no matter how it goes for her.  When she sees her daughter's face for the first time it will change her forever.   I am so happy for her and her husband and their family today.  My heart is swollen with the joy I feel. 

Their special gift to each other and the child is not revealing her name to anyone yet.  They are going to announce it when she is born.  They have told us the initials... RMT.

Well RMT - I cannot wait to meet you - try not to hurt your mommy on your way out okay?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Zombies, Fairies, and Ninjas... Oh My!

I just finished reading "Rot & Ruin" by Jonathan Maberry.  It was an excellent read.  I loved it.  His characters are really believable and it was a great coming of age story.  I loved the relationships between the characters.  Benny and Nix were believable and great.  I also liked Tom.  Benny was the central character of the story.  It was a postapocalyptic zombie story (and before you say anything YES I DO READ OTHER BOOKS TOO) and a very good one with a different twist on things.  I enjoyed Mr. Maberry's twist and thought it was well written.  I have read other books of his.  I will have a hard time deciding which is my favorite.  Previously Patient Zero was my favorite but I actually really like this one alot too.  I like the Joe Ledger series as The Dragon Factory was an excellent sequel but now I don't know which 2011 sequel I am looking forward to more.... Dust and Decay or The King of Plagues.  Either way he is a fantastic author - check him out if you haven't already!

So, being on another zombie kick all of a sudden - today I went to the library to pick up a book they were holding for me and it led to one of the oddest conversations I think I have had with my kids.  Ever. 

The book they were holding for me was "The Loving Dead," by Amelia Beamer that I got based on recommendations posted by Christopher Moore.  He is one of my favorite authors and being that I am on a huge zombie kick lately I thought I would give it a try.  I will let you know if I like it or not.

... Anyways back to the conversation.  My munchkin (age 9) saw the cover of the book and said, "Mommy wouldn't it be cool if there was a zombie that turned into a fairy and flew into the forest.  It could use its fairy dust to lure all the forest creatures to it and suck their brains out."

Keep in mind this is the child that HATES anything even remotely scary....

Next my son pipes up, adding his two cents, "Well I was going to write a book about a zombie apocalypse.  Because zombies are cool.  There was going to be a dark cloud that came over Dayton for 2 days and when it left there would be 10 survivors."

"Wow, kiddo," I said, "Who were you gonna let live?" 

He named off his choices which really surprised me.  They were ALL family.  No friends.  SO, I mention to the kids, "Well, that would be good for SHORT TERM survival but what about long term survival of the species?   You would have to continue on eventually.  You would need to pick a boyfriend for Lily and a girlfriend for you so that eventually you each could have kids and then maybe a few other couples to so that they could have kids too and eventually your kids could have kids with their kids and the human race could survive."

My son said, "OH yeah, you're right mom. I didn't think of that."

I teased a little, "Right - because brothers and sisters can't have babies together, they will be mutants, two headed and all.  I have seen them.  They shop at Wal-Mart after curfew for hooks, axes, and knives to go after the teens who are out making out instead of being where they told their parents they would be."

He laughed and said, "Very funny mom." (He is 12).

My daughter piped up, "We would be okay Mom - he and I aren't blood related.  IF we HAD to have babies they would be just fine.  I am yours and he is daddy's but we don't have any DNA the same.  They wouldn't MUTATE.  Daddy just adopted me.  We are a family but he is just my stepbrother.  We don't share blood."

I said, "We still need more survivors lets not make it a VC Andrews novel.  NEW SUBJECT!"

Sometimes kids are just too darn smart for their own good and as parents we shouldn't let their conversations continue just because they are amusing us.    I should have just turned the radio on once we got into the car!! HA!

They have both been obsessed with zombies since we participated in a Zombie Walk in Yellow Springs last summer.  They had so much fun.  The whole town staged a zombie attack to raise money and food for charity.   If you are connected to me on facebook I have a ton of photos of it up on there.   It was so much fun to participate in and it was crazy!!  My friend Hannah has a bunch of photos of it up here.:

She is a professional photographer and got a lot of really great shots.  Here is a shot she got of my daughter:


NOW, I want a frozen coke or a slushie.  Which is weird because I hate snow and I am freezing my butt off.  It makes no sense but I am going to just go with it. 

Now all this post needs is a ninja.  Brains......must have brains......

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Greeting the Public

Tonight I will be at:
Books & Co.
350 E. Stroop Rd.
Dayton, Ohio

WOWA (Western Ohio Writers Association) will be having our Holiday Beatnik Cafe.  I will be reading my holiday themed children's story "Magical Gifts". 

There is a short reception from 6-7pm in the cafe Joe Muggs at the front of the store then the readings begin at 7pm. 

Please join us and show your support for your local writers!  There are a lot of talented members in our group and several of them are on the schedule to read.   There will be plenty of laughter and fun for all ages.