Monday, December 31, 2012

For Crying Out Loud - Let The Grinch Go Already!

So, it's no surprise that a couple of weeks ago Colt caught his first glimpse of The Grinch. We were with some friends on a train ride and he was positioned innocently enough near the entrance to the parking area. He was but a mere blip on the screen of the fun filled day. He, however, consumed the day. And has been the topic of a LOT of conversations since then. Just. Let. It. Go. Already.
As much as we tried to comfort him, he just wouldn't let it go. That Grinch was dressed like Santa. But scarier. And hairier. And way, way worse. So, after a 30 minute car ride home Colt proudly declared, "I want Santa to bring me a Grinch!" Seriously? A Grinch? You just spend an hour scared to death of this thing, clinging to my leg, begging to get off the train and now you want a Grinch for Christmas? Seriously?

...and then, as Paul Harvey would say, he told "The Rest of The Story...." I'm sure I won't do it justice, but it went something like this:

"Yes, I want Santa to bring me a Grinch. I will put the Grinch in the road and cars will run him over. Then, I will throw him in the blackberries and he will get scratches. Then I will take him to the woods and run him over with the four-wheeler and a tree will fall on him. Yes. That's it. I want Santa to bring me a Grinch for Christmas."

I had no idea he's spent the entire car ride home refining the exactness with which he'd torture the poor thing. You should have seen the look in his eyes when I told him The Grinch was a Dr. Seuss book. And that we had the book - in his bedroom!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas: A Time For Blood and Tears

I picked up Colt last Thursday and our drive home started off with a complete fabrication of a story on his part. He said, "I saw Fenton's Christmas tree." Seriously, kid? You haven't seen Fenton since last weekend (The Bouncy House Party Disaster of 2012) and I know for sure you haven't been to his house. But, the story went on: "It has yellow balls and green balls and red balls. Lots of red balls. And they're glass mommy. Glass balls. And candy canes. Yeah. I saw those things on Fenton's tree." Hmm. So, I played along ('tis the season, right?) "Well, honey, what do you think about taking Daddy and getting a tree tonight? Won't that be fun?", there I was: unhitching the horse trailer in the rain and dark so the two of them could go pick out a Christmas tree while I stayed home and cooked dinner. In retrospect, this was personally beneficial situation, right?

Now, I'm not going to say I'm Grinch-y, but Todd and I usually skip Christmas. Spend it somewhere warm, ya know? Like Mexico. Or Belize. So, this bit of Christmas-y fever caught me a little off guard too.

Anyway, I heard them drive in (in the rain and dark), then I heard the tailgate go down, then I heard the distinct sound of a toddler's blood curdling cry. Colt staggers inside, blood gushing from his forehead, running down his face into his mouth and all over his shirt and blanket. Lest I say tailgates are the appropriate height to make that type of puncture wound. I stopped the crying, stopped the bleeding and slapped a Sponge Bob sticker right on his forehead and off we went to decorate the tree.
Now, Colt was very excited. Very, very excited to decorate the tree. I showed him the basics: glass ball (the expendable ones, not my the nice ones my mom handed me down from childhood Christmases), metal ball hooky-thing to hang ornament, tree - and off he went! At a snail's pace. The focus this boy had...slowly, very slowly, walking towards the tree, measuring each step as not to trip, staring at the ball, picking his spot, hanging the ornament on a branch - and then CRASH! the ball slipped off the branch, hit the floor and broke into a million pieces. A t o m i c   M e l t d o w n. Utter disappointment. Tears. Wailing. Screaming. Ah.
Twenty minutes later, after I'd cleaned it up and explained there were 100 more balls where that one came from, we set off decorating the tree. I took the breakable ornaments and the hard to reach places on the tree (like everything over 3 feet up the tree). And, as I neared the end of the ornaments and the back of the tree, I stepped back to admire our creation. And it was then I saw Colt, very carefully, removing ALL the ornaments from the front of the tree and putting them back in the box. Seriously? What is this?
"Oh, honey, what are you doing? We need to put the ornaments on the tree. We're decorating it. It's fun. Like this." (Almost sounds like I'm trying to convince myself, right?)

Then, with a completely straight face and an adamant tone he said to me, "Mommy. We are done with this activity and we need to clean up our tools." And I almost lost it. We've been focusing on this very thing for the last long, how do you explain to a 3 year old that we're keeping this holy hell of a mess up in our front room for another 3 weeks?! I was stymied. Then, he said, "Mom. Really. We're done with this Christmas tree and we need to clean it up. And take it back outside."

As of today, the tree remains in our front room. Fully decorated and the lights turned on at his request. He still has no idea what's going on, but at least he thinks the lights are pretty. Although, they probably have Christmas lights in the Caribbean too, right?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bouncy Houses: Kinda Like the Titanic Sinking. Only Worse....

Today Colt attended a very close friend's fifth birthday party. It was amazing! His parents rented the kid's play area at a local gym, and the kids had access to the entire play place (think McDonalds without the gut-rotting food) and the multipurpose room where the gym had a bouncy house set up.
Colt fell asleep in the car on the way there and took a while to wake up and get involved, but he eventually came to and started mingling. Pinata? Fun. Food? Tasty. Kids? Entertaining. Bouncy House? .....hear the crickets? 
After initially declining my invitation for him to go in the bouncy house, Colt finally relented and  along with 5 other kids listened with rapt attention as the Bouncy House attendant covered the rules. No shoes, no hanging on the mesh, no bouncing into one another, five minutes of bouncing at a time. Sounded pretty simple. Either I missed the "should we encounter a water landing on our trip from Seattle to Spokane, your seat backs double as floatation devices. Air masks will drop from the overhead bins. Secure your mask before helping others" or emergency landings weren't covered in our brief introduction to bouncing. And, in retrospect, it would have come in handy.

About 30 seconds into what looked like a very fun bouncing episode is when shit went downhill. And quick. The blower suddenly detached from the air inlet and the canvas ceiling dropped down on the kids as the house deflated. I saw the face of one 4 year old as the roof was caving in and it was sheer terror on his little face! The entrance to a standard issue bouncy house is tiny. No adult could fit through there, so as another mother tried to hold it open I reached in blindly and started the Kid Extraction 2012. I pulled a total of 5 kids out and when I realized someone was still screaming from in there, I ALSO realized it was MY kid! Colt had been bouncing near the back of the house when it started deflating, so he was trapped a ways from the opening. He eventually made it over near me so I could pull him out. Traumatized. And definitely not going anywhere near that thing ever again.
After all the crying and explaining that simply the air blower disconnected and trying to cajole him back in there - he simply wouldn't go. In fact, he walked around and around the bouncy house looking at it, inspecting the air blower and then spent the rest of the party perched on the inflated step of the bouncy house with his arms stretched inside saying, "It's not safe in there. Come out. I'll help you!"
Might he grow up to be an OSHA inspector? Maybe. But one thing's for sure - he's never going in one of those things again!

Friday, November 23, 2012

When It ALL Really Goes To Hell....

  To say that things went to hell when Todd was gone on business would be an honest assessment of the situation. Griz sensed the impending Apocalypse and devoured the recycle bins in the back yard, the horses broke down the fencing and all ended up together in one stall hosting the first episode of Kick Fest 2012, and Colt and I had Hot And Ready Pizza 4 of the 7 nights Todd was gone.
So on Friday morning, the day Todd was set to arrive back home, and the phone rang at 4:15 am I naturally assumed it was him, home early, phoning for a ride home. Or, someone was in a car wreck. Because, seriously, why else would anyone call THAT early?!! So, you can imagine my surprise when I answer the phone and don't recognize the caller, but he's talking to me about something I'm familiar with. Then I realize....this is work calling me? At 4:15 in the morning? Seriously? Then I think, "Something has to be on fire, right?" No. Not at all. The call went something like this, "Rikki. I'm so glad you answered. (WTF?) I couldn't get a hold of Joe (my boss). God, I'm glad you answered. (WTF?)" and blah, blah, blah...which pretty much resulted in "Get in here as fast as you can. We need to sell this gasoline and we don't have a certificate for it. Hurry!"  OK. Single parent (for 12 more hours), demanding job, a boss who's smarter than me and turns his phone off at night and not enough coffee in me to make a sound decision. Off we go!
  I leapt from bed and pulled on my jeans from the day before, grabbed my lunch, my kid, fed the animals, got some coffee and off we went.
  Sadly enough, even with a 4:15am wake up call, I still only arrived to work about 10 minutes early. Because, let me tell you: after the week I'd already had even emergencies needed to be planned out. What really ticked me off was that after this post-sunrise emergency, I arrived to find that there wasn't really an emergency after all. Just a miss understanding. A giant misunderstanding that forced me out of bed an hour early in a panic and caused me to arrive unshowered and wearing my clothes from yesterday. Happy Friday.
  Where the story takes a turn is when I start to work. The lab tech that arrived had been working feverishly on the now-non-emergency and left a lot of the routine work for me. I grabbed a cart and headed to the back sample receiving area where there was an operator adding more samples to the already huge backlog of samples. I recognized the operator, but didn't know him by name. Regardless, I start chatting him up. "How's it going?" "Friday, huh?" "Lots of samples today." You know, the usual. As we're standing there talking it felt like my left pant leg was cuffed or bunched up and it was bothering me. So, mid sentence with a mostly stranger, I gave my foot a good kick to reset my pant leg. This was my fatal mistake. Immediately following the mid-sentence kick a pair of underwear flew out of my pant leg and landed between the two of us.
  An immediate series of events played out: I had jumped up and thrown on my pants from yesterday, not checking first as to the fate of the underwear I'd worn that day as well, gone an entire hour with them riding around behind my knee and then with one kick, they appeared at the absolutely WORST time ever. I screamed, "Oh my God!", grabbed them quickly, pretended like nothing happened and stuffed them in my lab jacket pocket. Because maybe he didn't see, right? Maybe he was pretending it didn't happen. Maybe he'd blocked it out? Whatever the reason, he pretended like nothing happened, we said our good byes and I walked away mortified. With my underwear in my pocket. And it wasn't even 7am yet. Ugh. The awesome part about being a woman at a refinery is you're a major minority. Like 2 in 500. So, the likely hood this happened infront of an understanding lady coworker was, like, zero.
  The good news, however, is the lab tech who arrived early (who, thankfully, didn't witness my amazing powers of materializing underwear from nowhere) came back hours later from a trip out to the refinery and promptly reported, "I was out in the refinery and no one was talking about your underwear." To which I replied, "Were you expecting them to be?"...and he said, "Well, FYI, new like THAT travels pretty quickly. So, I don't think he saw anything."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"'Cause Shit Like That Doesn't Happen To Normal People"

Seriously. Someone said that to me yesterday. There is was: drinking with friends and relaying a hilarious situation that, naturally, doesn't happen to normal people, when it popped right out of her mouth. I didn't take it poorly though because, seriously, shit like that does NOT happen to normal people. The good thing is that I can laugh at the myriad of strange, awkward and inappropriate things that have happened to me. Which is good. I think?
Like the time I inadvertently told my coworker, "Oh, I didn't recognize you with clothes on." Which, I admit, sounds really bad when taken out of context. But, when you know that I ran into him, his wife and family in the mall shortly after I started an internship at the refinery and just simply didn't recognize him without his coveralls on (we all were generic blue coveralls at work. Hundreds of us. All dressed in blue) it doesn't seem so bad. Right?
Or, like the time I left the sunroof open on my car all night in the pouring rain and decided the best way to dry the leather was to drive the car with my seat warmers on and I ended up shocking my own ass. It felt like a 400 volt electric fence grounded on my butt. Not cool.
Or, a crowd favorite: the time I was house sitting and  my high school boyfriend chased a morbidly obese sheep to death on accident. Which, is funny in it's self, but then followed up by the story of my two brothers helping me bury the thing at my parent's house makes you about wet your pants. Remind me if you haven't heard the story about the dead sheep. It's makes you think, "Shit like this really doesn't happen to normal people."
And, there's the time I moved to Cody, Wyoming, and had lived there a total of FOUR days when the barn at the place I was house sitting burned down while I was at the gym. Went to gym, barn burned down, firefighters put it out, left me a hand written note on the kitchen table (small town mentality!), and were gone by the time I got off the elliptical. And, when I showed up to my first day of work a picture of the barn on fire was on the front page. Above the fold. In color.

And, as friends have reminded me lately, I just haven't been writing the blog lately. It's not that the crazy things stopped's just other things like life, a family, horses, swimming lessons and preschool DID happen. So, instead of remembering all of this crazy things, I've vowed to start writing them down again. And, I promise, I'll get around eventually to updating the pictures on my blog. But, one thing at a time, right?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

If Only It Were That Easy

An actual conversation we had this afternoon while waiting for traffic at a busy intersection:

Colt: "Mommy. That is a lot of cars."
Me: "Yes. There are a lot of cars. We have to wait a long time, don't we?"
Colt: "Push the button. Push the button. Do IT mommy! DO IT!"
Me: "Do what?"
Colt: "Mommy, push the button and STOP those cars! Do it!"

Ahhh, the mind of a 2 year old accustomed to watching cartoons on DVR. Oh, how things were different when I was a kid!