Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear 3.7, 1150 white girl,

You aren't getting into Stanford.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Lifelong lessons from being a stay-at-home-Aunty for a week

So I had the pleasure of babysitting my good friends’ kids for six days a couple of weeks ago, and it was



I mean, I was excited in the first place to actually have kids with me to justify all of the kid things I already do, but I was also a little nervous, because I am no one’s mama (that I know of), and was concerned that I had little-to-no idea what I was doing. But these kids are so great, and it was so fun, and I loved it. We went to the movies in Hollywood, an elementary school Sweetheart's Dance (my first school dance), played with dogs, chickens and goats, rode bikes, drove with the convertible top down on Tiny Car, went to Jamba Juice, painted canvas bags and boxes, made our own pizzas and fortune cookies, gorged on apples and carrots, made it to softball practice and tae kwon do, cleaned our rooms, watched movies on the wall with the projector, sang Rihanna, got lost, did homework, flat ironed hair, rubbed aloe on booty rashes, wrote postcards for mom and dad, played at Chuck E Cheese, watched Looney Toons in bed...it was a lovely week.

It was, though, a completely different world. Like, I-have-no-idea-how-some-people-do-this-all-the-time world. There are just so many moving pieces to every day! So I kept track of most of the great, insightful and hilarious things that happened.

Never forget, never forget.

I actually kept a physical list because a—I wanted to be sure to tell my friends (their mom and dad), and b—I felt like I was accomplishing more because I was writing things down.

For your reference, Guy is the 6 year old boy, Lil' Lady is the 8 year old girl--both of them were with me all six days. Grrrl is the 3 year foster daughter who was with me for one day, and Squidward is the 4 month old foster son, also with me for a day. You know, I just didn't want to trumpet other people's kids' names all up in hurrr. I think that's a safety concern or something.

Anyway. Life lessons:

Things about having (like “acquiring” having, not like “birthing” having) kids that I never, ever knew:

--for every child, you get at least three loads of laundry a week. I had the 6 and 8 year old for six days, the 3 year old for a day and the 4 month old for a day, and I did at LEAST ten loads of laundry. At least. And I somehow ended up with about 30 unmatched socks. I'm not exaggerating.

--for every child, you get one load of dishes a day. I didn’t cook any elaborate meals (just in case you were wondering, which I’m sure you weren’t), and we still had at least two full loads of dishes a day. I washed dishes I had never seen.

--for every child, you get a full bag of trash in your car. At the end of my stay, I cleaned out my car and found handfuls of candy wrappers (we weren’t supposed to have sugar until we were done with dinner…sneaky), crayons (we never colored in the car), trash from toys that I never saw (where did they get full toys??!), Frito's (so many Frito's), ten Sunday School papers/handouts (we only went once), a coupon for a free ice cream for reading 15 minutes a day (may have kept this) cleaner spray for a whiteboard, and more.

--for every child, add ten minutes to expected times. If you want to leave at 8:00 a.m., you have to tell the two kids you’re leaving at 7:40. Every time, every day, no matter what, someone can’t find a shoe, forgets a jacket, loses a book, suddenly has to pee, forgot to get a snack, lost a page of math homework…

--for every child, you have to increase the number of times you ask them to brush their teeth two times before it happens. I get it…it’s an annoying chore. But one kid—two times and they do it. Two kids…two times for her, she keeps getting distracted by the other kid, he’s not brushing his teeth, etc., so two more times for her, then she does it. Then the same story for the other one.

--kids need to eat twice as often as I do, and 80% healthier. I like to have a latte in the morning, and one large meal--lunch or dinner. Sometimes, I'll snack on other stuff. Kids actually eat three meals a day...and there are snacks in between. I figured that they'd want more meals, so I was set for that. The snacks were a surprise. Also, after the first awesome night of making our own pizzas, I realized that we ate no fruits and veggies at all, other than the unusually large amount of onions I put on mine, and they didn't say a word...those guyyyyysss! So I may have over done it after that, and made fruits and veggies a part of EVERYTHING we did, including bringing apples to their favorite pizza place, and forcing the kids to eat them before we played games. I didn't really have to force...they're so good. And they like apples.

I also instituted a "No Fun Dip Rule" after day one. Lesson learned.

--kids are always at 100% energy all the time...it's just divided up differently.

For me...when I'm just waking up, I like to think I operate at 60% or so. I don't have the other 40%.

For just-waking-up kids, it's still 100%...it's just 40% awake, 20% asleep, 15% confused, 5% angry and 20% hilarious.

For bedtime-but-we-don't-want-to-go-to-bed (which only happened once, really. Such good kids.), it's 45% tired, 5% hilarious, 10% mad, 28% desperate and 12% completely crazy.

For I-am-happy-you're-here-but-also-hope-you-take-us-out-to-eat kids, it's 20% sweet, 30% completely adorable, 12% desperate, 33% creative, 5% hungry.

For I-need-a-snack-and-hope-it's-gonna-be-a-Fun-Dip kids, it's 35% hungry, 11% tricky, 9% irrational, 20% hilarious, 5% smart and 20% hopeful.

For it's-my-first-school-dance-and-I'm-regretting-agreeing-to-go kids, it's 20% terrified, 20% regretful, 15% hopeful, 11% excited, 12% confused and 22% really, really cute.

I could go on, but you get it. Moms have to handle 100% kids, 100% of the time. Props, moms.

Hilarious things these kids said that I am still laughing about. The list is ranked, but not really, because I have so many tied for number one. Guy is full of insight and observation, and Lil’ Lady is wildly grown up.

9. At Color Me Mine, Guy walks in and sees McDonald's trash in the trash can, and to the man behind the counter, says: "Let me guess...you ate McDonald's."

8. After experiencing the roof coming down on Tiny Car for the first time, Guy: “I’m going to go the bank like ten times and get enough money to buy one of these transformer cars for me. What kind is it again? Because my parents already have like $100, so ten trips to the bank will probably be enough. Actually, I think I'll go back to the bank one extra time so I can get money for a phone.”

7. After I commented on the red blood-paint that he painted on the inside of his snake box at Color Me Mine, the day before Super Hero dress up Day at school, Guy: "I like blood more than super heroes...but not my own blood."

6. Upon getting onto Hollywood Blvd, Guy: "Man, I am a fan!"

5. Lil’ Lady, commenting on the 4 month old not crying all day: "Squidward loves you. That means you're ready to get married and have a baby."

4. Lil’ Lady, at Chuck E Cheese: "Guy, why did you already cash in your tickets?"

Guy: "Because I want to pretend like I'm saving them...but I'm not."

3. Lil’ Lady to me regarding the Sweethearts Dance that we attended: "Uh, do you know how to do hair? Because I miiight have asked a boy to the dance."

2. After Lil’ Lady added her movie popcorn to her home popcorn (don’t tell that we had two popcorn treats in one day): "Is it weird to mix my popcorns?" Guy: "No, it's just like science."
End of conversation. I love that kid.

1. From the bath, after I told both of them that we were going to have 10 minutes of super clean up before we watched a movie, Guy: “AUNTY SHANNON!!! I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT YOU AND LIL’ LADY CAN START THE CLEAN UP TIME WITHOUT ME IF YOU WANT TO BECAUSE I AM STILL TAKING A BATH.”

1. At church, Guy, in the church library, looking for a Bible, upon selecting a book called “The Hole in our Gospel”: Me: "Oh, Guy, that actually isn't a Bible." Guy: "Yeah it is...look...it says Holy Gospel."

1. Guy randomly (and inconsistently) referring to any private parts as "bitties." For example:
--"That ball just hit me in right the bitties!!!"
--"Lil’ Ladyyyyy pull up your towel, I can see your bitties!"
--"I have to wear underwear so no one sees my bitties."

1. First night at bedtime, in response to me saying “Goodnight Guy.”, referring to Grrrl, the three year old foster sister: "I ate Grrrl. Goodnight Grrrl (rubs tummy)."

I am still laughing about all of this.

All in all, so much fun, so much learning. I was tired at the beginning, but got used to things in not too much time, and at the end, was a little sad to go.

I love other people's babies. Especially the hilarious ones. I will love on this week for all time.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

This is not a good deal, Mattress Discounter.

"You'll always get Mattress Discounter's lowest price, or your mattress is free."

Right, because I'm shopping at Mattress Discounter. Did I need to bd concerned that you weren't offering me your own lowest price?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Facebook is killing me OR The end of some of my friendships.

I have a bad feeling that I will regret posting this, but I have held off for like a year, so I'm just gonna go for it. When you've got all this music in you...

**If one of these is from your Facebook, that means you KNOW me, and you KNOW that it's all for the love. I'm not making fun of you...just Facebook business. You know that, right? Look how much work I did to hide your identity. We are still friends. We are still friends. Please still be friends with me.**

So sometimes (often) I take screenshots of things on Facebook that I think are hilarious.

Here are some of them.

We aren't sure, but we might love you??

First of all, let me remind you that "not" is not back, but second, and more importantly, this is something that only your mom should have to hear.

We get it, you started learning Hebrew. Just post that though, because this FOR SURE did not happen. Like nothing you do to try and convince me that this happened will convince me that this happened.

Wait, it is?? So in training dogs, the owner is just a really smart dog?? I'm not sure that's what you meant to say.

This is only funny in context, which I'm about to provide:

Article Sharer: a good friend who grew up going to church a lot
First Commenter: a college friend she knew when she didn't go to church a lot
Second Commenter: sharer's childhood pastor

Just imagining them reading each others' comments made my whole hour.

Most disjointed update ever. I love this. But wait...are you trying to tell me that your dishes are done with all of the BS that comes along with doing taxes, or that your taxes are done with the relative ease of doing dishes? Also, I'm cramping.

Your kind of afternoon sounds AWFUL.
I don't know whether to love the actual status update more, or the comment. I mean, if you think about it (or really, if you don't), shredded paper is always recycling, no matter where it ends up. And I'm not convinced loose paper counts as litter, or that city trucks disburse it. Disperse it? Oh man, I just realized I have no idea.

Steps to editing your status the right way:
1. Post your status
2. See "Oops! I made a typo!"
3. Delete your status
4. Post the accurate status
5. Sigh in relief that no one out there saw your potentially message-altering mistake

Steps to editing your status the wrong way:
1. Post your status
2. See "Oops! I made a typo!"
3. Leave a comment on your own status, correcting the mistake with a sttaaaarrr!
4. Realize that by doing so, you've directed attention to the fact that you made the mistake in the first place
5. Brace yourself for all of the comments (both on and off Facebook) laughing at your mistake that literally makes your status mean the opposite of what you wanted it to mean.

Not Facebook, obviously, but come on, The News...cut the FBI some slack with the quote-y fingers. They're after a man named DB Cooper. Come on. DB Cooper.


That's a really strong reaction to a sale at a craft store.

I actually think it's because a computer mouse doesn't have any arms or legs.

Wait, so are we "lmao" or "serious" about this??

But let's not be dramatic about it.

I'm not sure you understand the whole "Is it just me, or..." thing. Because yeah, if you're being honest here, apparently you do really sit on the toilet longer to play games. You don't have to ask us.

Come on. Why not just hold off until his actual birthday? I don't think I know anyone who needs a forewarning on this.
"Ohhh I wish I'd known last week so I could prepare for the anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth!"
But really, congrats on knowing when his birthday is.

"Ohmigosh this is totally my favorite song but I don't know the title or who sings it but I love it!"

Oh man. Bottom comment followed by top comment. I just can't love it enough.

Right...because everything is quick...because it's an instant...

See former true hatred with sharing a Facebook account. This is better than any case-in-point I could've created.

Actually, based on his status...I'm pretty sure the only thing we know for sure is that you don't feel his pain.

"So I'm not sure if you know this or not, but I know Matt. But this is about him. But I for sure know him."

It's hard to fault someone for self-promotion when they actually make it a thank you note. I'm pretty sure this person thought long and hard about how to make that work.

Context: The second commenter is the girl who posted this status about being ready to "just birth this baby already!" J offers great advice...then another set of great advice...and claims both led to her baby being born when he was. I mean, thanks for the support, but I don't think we can claim that everything you did on the day your kid was born led to that kid being born.

"Earlier today, I was in a line of three cars at the coffee cart, and I had 11 emails when I came back from lunch."

This is my status update attempting to generically mock all of the Facebook buzz about someone else's wedding. BACKFIRE.

Second comment. Nasty.

Rih...I think your Facebook was hacked.

Really? That was a great day? Also, let's just refresh...that hyphen grammatically means that you did all of the remaining list items at Forest Lawn Cemetery, and if they serve brats...I'm gonna be weirded out.

Again, I don't know whether I like the request (for funds for a fun-not-missions-trip to Israel) or the responses more...from a Facebook friend...which should mean a real life friend............."get a job."

"I mean, cool photo and all, but really, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JJAANNNN!!!!"

I thought I was full of first world problems until I read this. I know you hate it, but kids in Mumbai really, really, really love your life. :)

Really? THAT'S her day?? "Bluueebluebleeeebleblahh that's your day and you're welcome."

"So let me make this simple, Auntie: I AM BETTER THAN UNCLE JIM."

"I need someone to block out a full day to come to my house and help with manual labor...and your payment will be cookies or ice cream. I said OR. Do not expect both."

I can't stop laughing about this.

Repeat offender. Friend, this is worth an actual edit. Some guy died.

Disagree on every level. That should DEFINITELY not be three sentences. Also, why on earth would having a Barbie with no hair somehow help a kid with cancer in any way? I don't think they feel bad because there isn't a female doll that doesn't look like them from the forehead up. And let's be real, Barbies can't donate proceeds...they're dolls.

1--I feel like we need to revisit what "BIGGEST" and "big" mean.
2--If you give anyone the choice of five OR ten dollars AND/OR dinner, I'm pretty sure they'll pick ten dollars and dinner.
3--This is really asking a lot...maybe offering to meet the person somewhere, or paying them around what their gas will actually cost would help. Just saying.


I love Facebook so much for things like this, and I also hate Facebook so much for things like this. SOSOsosososssoooo glad we're still for SURE friends.