Unexpected Humor from a Raccoon Clown Car — TEXAS BIRDNERD

***I started a little birdnerd blog given that birding and all things nature have morphed into a big nerdy gig for our whole family. This shared post is one of the first two entries created today. The masked comedians above were caught on our game cam this weekend. No editing beyond cropping was made to the video. Aren’t these critters ridiculous in the very best way??***

It should be noted that just because one believes that she is adding a squirrel feeder for the sake of feeding squirrels does not actually mean that the target clientele will be the only visitors popping by for a snack. We also now know that not only do raccoons enjoy eating from […]

via Unexpected Humor from a Raccoon Clown Car — TEXAS BIRDNERD

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My Savings

Another new poem for the book…

MY SAVINGS

I stocked up on cheap shirts

And tons of new tank tops.

The shoe racks had discounts

Even on cool high tops.

I bought enough makeup

To earn me that free gift.

Jeans and skirts for half price.

My bags too full to lift!

I’ve saved so much money

And know now without fail,

My shopping has ended.

But what’s that there? A sale!

– Jo Price 😉

Resurrecting a Little Humor

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We couldn’t afford to put in a pool, so we added a cemetery to the front yard instead. Oddly enough we couldn’t find a pre-made sign to highlight that addition, so we had to create the other hanging piece ourselves. Isn’t it so lovely???

As some of you already know, we have had our home on the market for a seriously long time. I wrote a post earlier in the summer discussing the countless joys of having numerous strangers tramp through our home to do fun things like breaking our blinds, leaving our doors unlocked, tracking muddy footprints from room to room, going through our drawers, and (still my personal favorite) sitting on our beds. (Note to prospective buyers: Neither our beds nor our bedding will be included in the sale of our home. Consequently you don’t need to test either of them out. Keep. Off.) While I never would have imagined that some buyers could behave so badly nor would I ever have planned for our house to be for sale for this long, I am truly thankful that we are still in this home at present.

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Some of you may recognize that terrifying doll from the donation post I wrote. At last she has found her true purpose.

With that said, there are rules about what you should and shouldn’t do when trying to sell a home. Have the temperature at a comfortable level. Leave the house smelling fresh or with the scent of baked cookies hanging in the air. Don’t have clutter. Remove personal photographs. And maybe avoid hanging ginormous spiders and skeletons lurking around every corner.

The situation is this – Halloween is approaching. With it comes the chance for me to sass up the home and basically give my inner child a chance to be an outer child. Yes of course I already know that my inner child does not do a good job of staying hidden on most days anyway, but I utterly adore Halloween!

3aMore accurately, I love every festive minute from mid-September to the end of December (except the post-Thanksgiving clean up and ugh my back hurts just thinking about that). I play Halloween movies (kid movies, horror flicks, dorky tales, lame 80’s VHS rips – whatever I can get my Freddy Krueger gloves on) until October wraps up, and then I’m right in Christmas movies (anything and everything except “Santa Buddies” – I must draw the line somewhere). I just love being surrounding with fun and magic and countless reasons to smile that can be seen anywhere you go.

But last year was different. Our house had already been on the market for a few months at that point and had yet to sell.  I was extremely worried and didn’t want to decorate our home in a way that might turn a potential buyer off. We did very little to decorate the home, and the kids complained incessantly about it. Since this whole “having kids” business is old news to me, I didn’t sweat the actual complaining. The part that bothered me is that I didn’t feel like we were allowed to really live in our own home. We had to keep it looking a certain way just in case someone happened to come in who maybe might not like Halloween decor or might have a phobia about something we had displayed (I call those people “Halloweenies”).

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Ultimately, we didn’t have one showing for that full month and a half. I had kept our traditions boxed up for the sake of someone who never showed up. Can you say Suck Central? That was then, but it’s a year later, and this next month and a half may be a completely different story.

5And if that’s the case this time around, I sure do hope that they like Halloween. If they don’t, they don’t. If this isn’t the house for them, it isn’t the house for them. I’m done with living in a way that feels disingenuous to my family for the sake of a maybe. Until this house belongs to someone else, their decor plans are not relevant in my home. I’m not looking to taint my water bowl, but I’m not interested in feeling like I’m spending another hollow holiday in someone else’s house either.

6.jpgIt may seem like an insignificant move, but this is about telling fear to shove off (which is doubly ironic given that I am loading up the house with skeletons and spiders). This is about paying attention to what feels right to me and my family, and then honoring that feeling no matter how silly it may be. It’s also about remembering to keep humor at all times, and sometimes most importantly, during the stressful situations of our lives. We all face challenges and problems that are beyond our control. Our best option is to give our worries to God, pray for strength in the meantime, and just set those skeletons free.

“Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

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Isn’t she bootiful???

Love and light always – Jo

 

Irrelevant

Lost in Translation – What in the World is a Peduncle???

peduncle1

If I had a dollar for the number of times I wanted to know how to make a peduncle… (I would have zero dollars.)***

I was once fluent in conversational Spanish, but it’s been years since I needed to speak it regularly.  Consequently I pop over to Google and use their translator every now and then.  I was reminded today why that was comically dangerous to do after reading an instructional booklet from a box of modelling clay that I purchased for my daughter.  In case you were seeking best practices for modelling clay usage, look elsewhere.  If you were wondering where to find proof that computers don’t have it all figured out yet, here you go.  I wanted to list my favorites, but I found myself laughing at all of them.  Maybe # 6.  Or # 1.  Or # 8.  Honestly I don’t know.  They are each epic in their own way.

clay1

clay2

Side note on # 8 above – I was disappointed to read that my child could not make an actual ashtray but was relieved to confirm that she could make something that had the appearance of an ashtray.  I guess her dreams won’t be entirely shattered.

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I have to give them full credit on the example above.  This really is the cutest little cock I’ve ever seen.

Stop.  It.  Now.

At this point I am considering looking up the specific manufacturer online just so I can find out what else they sell that might come with an instruction manual.  We could cancel our cable and sit around reading these for entertainment instead.  This pack of clay may be the best $10 I ever spent in my life – 14 pages of pure global economy gold.

***Per Google – pe·dun·cle (noun) – the stalk bearing a flower or fruit, or the main stalk of an inflorescence******

******I don’t even understand that in actual English.

Hasta luego.  Joanna

This post is dedicated to my soul sister Kirsten – my favorite grammar nerd.  You are the first person I wanted to send this post to.  I also enjoyed ending that last sentence with the word “to” just for the sake of messing with you.  😉

May I Have This Dance? (NO!)

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Hey sweet thang…why don’t you come over here and have a seat by me…

While hanging out at my parents’ house today, my daughter went up to my mom to tell her how amused she was with their dog.  My daughter’s exact words were,  “He’s so funny!  He hugged me around my leg, and then he started dancing up and down!”

Oh.  Em.  Gee.

And she wasn’t kidding.  Between this today and the Dominatrix Barbie avatar scene from yesterday, this kid is killing me.

Don’t Eber Eber Worry About Lyrics

 

 

Here is my sunshine tidbit who cleared away my grey skies a couple of days ago via her own unique version of a song (that apparently came equipped with a seriously distracting microphone / flashlight).  It is a well-known fact that two-year olds have a long-standing contractual clause against continuing to do anything and everything you ask once they suspect that it’s something you actually want to film. They never eber eber cooperate. I’m so glad that this little one made an exception this time. 🙂

***Thank you Taylor Swift for giving us this brilliant sassy song!

Fashion in Technology: What – No Whip?

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Even the expression on her face looks like she wants to smack you!

There is a not so fine line between being a supportive parent and allowing your young kid to have a game profile pic akin to a dominatrix.  Despite serious odds to the contrary, I was able to maintain my emotionless game face when my daughter gleefully showed me this “pretty new matching outfit” her avatar was wearing today.  Given that she typically opts for flowers and butterflies in the fashion world of gaming, I recognized that there must have been a specific reason for this choice.  I paused momentarily before responding to allow all of the “you forgot the leash” and “no self respecting s&m wench would wear that flower headband without a complementary spike collar” type of comments to exit my mind in lieu of exiting my mouth.  Not that she would have understood anyway, but even I have to draw the parental standards line somewhere.

Once the wise crack responses ceased running through my brain, I allowed my out loud voice to kick in.  I asked her nonchalantly, “So what is it about this dress that you like?”  She said that she wanted to look tougher because several people were teasing her about her babyish and girly profile name.

Boooooo!!!

At that point, I, too, wanted to bust out a tougher outfit and kick some avatar butt.  Nevertheless I couldn’t permit an S&M response as we aren’t going for Fifty Shades of MoJo in this house.  I calmly but directly explained that the dress and boots she had chosen were not appropriate for her age even if it was just a game.  I told her that she had to find another outfit that was more suitable.  She wasn’t pleased but it wasn’t earth shattering either, and she left to pick select something else.

And then returned with this little number…

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This pasty boxy babe is effectively a mannequin displaying the clothing one can select.

Nooooooo.

I’m not going to allow an avatar with a skirt cut up to her hoo-hah either.  Seriously Roblox.  Stop.  It.

I responded less nonchalantly this time.  I wasn’t angry, but I wasn’t playing anymore either.  There are other categories of clothing beyond frilly / girly and hoochie / biker wench.  Pick another outfit.

And this was her final choice…image000000_17

It struck me as rather unusual but perhaps she was aiming for a Richard Simmons kind of look.

richard simmonsI have always loved that guy.  I can’t help  but appreciate anyone who owns who he is through and through while also sharing humor and hope.  Not too shabby Richard. You go boy!  Ultimately that was the ensemble her character donned.

I know that this is a game, but are these really the kinds of options my kids are given?  Seriously?

I frequently wake my kids up on school days by cranking up “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys or “Hypnotize” by Notorious B.I.G..  They are the clean versions, but I do feel like Amazon and I have seriously different takes on what the word clean means.

At what point did I become the stuffy parent?  I typically don’t sweat the small stuff (nor do I Sweat to the Oldies even though I think that Richard Simmons seems like a sweetheart), but I’m not digging the hooker avatar option.  I don’t want to raise a princess (although she will always be one to me), but I’m not interested in this route either.  It was yet another reminder that I really have to keep a close eye on what the kids are doing on their phones.  It appears that I am going to have to whip them into shape before they start thinking that they need to do the same to someone else.  Yikes.

whip

 

I’m the Adult but Let’s Be Clear – She Started It

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Irresistible

My version of a mom win can be a smidge twisted at times, but I have put forth substantial effort to earn the majority of my questionable parenting choices credits.  A few noteworthy exceptions include calling their attention to the radio when the song “Baby Got Back” came on, showing the kids how to ask the Amazon Echo to tell bad jokes, leaving my kids unattended near open paint pens, accidentally giggling when one kid de-pantsed another kid thus unintentionally creating a day packed with alternating incidences of angry pantless children, and encouraging my daughter to touch a duckling when the mother duck was in range.  I have two additional thoughts on that last point.  1.  I wasn’t using my brain.  2.  That mama bird was much faster than one might have anticipated, but perhaps the universal concept of never ever touching wild ducklings should have been enough.  And now I know why.

Nevertheless I am currently ecstatic at the sheer genius (self-designated) of the latest mealtime game that I invented yesterday.  Everyone adores it!  Correction – almost everyone adores it.

The game consists of all members in attendance at the meal doing the wave in a clockwise loop around the table each time our toddler raises her hands up.  So her hands go up and then I toss both of my arms in the air as I holler “Wooooo!!!” and immediately it continues on with my next person and the next, etc.  We love it, but incredibly, she is not a fan.  She is the wave buster and adamantly refuses to keep the pattern going.  (Why is there always one holdout section when everyone else wants to do the wave?!?!)  There is no rage or crying on her part.  Her reaction is one of crossed arms combined with an annoyed squinty irritated look that holds the same weight as an adult’s eye roll coupled with the international greeting.

wave

No, it’s not that kind of wave, but I didn’t have enough sequential pictures to give an accurate visual representation of the game.  I opted for an entirely inaccurate visual instead.

How could this possibly be a win?  I’ll send her to your house for a bit, and you can watch her rain crumbs in a ten mile circle with every upward launch of those sticky hands.  The win will become crystal clear.  Plus it’s stone cold funny.

Having a toddler is wonderful, beautiful, and, more often than you might imagine, excruciatingly painful.  I fully believe that whomever first used the phrase “loves hurts” had a little child and that those words were spoken in direct reference to something that the kid did.  As I type this, I am sporting a genuine black eye from where my own kid-shaped tornado clocked me in the head a few days ago at mommy and me gymnastics. It was fantastic when she slammed into my face while fifty sets of eyes were pointing my direction.  Because I have a “never let em see you sweat” response to public embarrassment, I responded with a veiled attempt to play it cool.  This is how we roll folks.  The gymnastics Olympians do this to their coaches, too.  No broken eye socket – hahaha.  Look away all of you wenches!!  Look away!!!

Another annoying move she has add to her endless bag o’ tricks is her recent practice of goosing us randomly in our hineys.  Even our dogs don’t do this to us.  No one knows exactly why she started this move, but everyone knows that WE WANT IT TO STOP NOW.  Unfortunately she finds our total surprise and unnerved reactions to be quite comical.  We have yet to break the pattern and may have to create a new variation of the wave technique in response to this as well.

As a parent, you have to be willing to get creative when it comes to changing certain kid behaviors.  If you are thinking that our game has less to do with creativity and more to do with passive aggressive behavior on our part, then you are wise.  I would also wager that you have no crazy small children or you have those weird well-behaved ones.  And if that’s the case, I’m jealous, good job, and fat congrats to you.  Just don’t bother trying to find that here.

I do feel compelled to add that my little game may already be backfiring on me.  Shock.  Awe.  Amazement.  Yawn.  She knew right out of the gate that we were messing with her and initially was rather displeased.  However as of this morning, she appeared to be trying to initiate a round of it.  I may have actually taught her that waving her hands in the air like she doesn’t care is the way to go to engage the group.  So I’m basically looking at five times the crumb cleanup and a small kid who will be leading the charge.  And there goes my win.  Again.

Just know that one day not too far down the road, I will be able to buy a full page ad for her school yearbooks.  Those ads will have space for sentiments of love and joy.  And photos.  Aaaaaany photos I choose.  I’m looking at you photo of dancing toddler in boots and a diaper.

I will get my win.  Someday.  Somehow.  And soon.

***MoJo***

Unwanted T-Shirt Advice

tshirt advice

Am I the only person who feels this way?  I’m sure that someone out there is wearing a t-shirt, carrying a cup, and sporting an automobile sticker that will tell me all about it if so.

And ladies, if you are past the point of comfortably wearing mini-skirts, maybe consider returning fabric to those little cutouts on the shoulders.  This isn’t about ageism.  I don’t wear mini-skirts now either.  This is about reality.  Shoulder cutouts are basically 80’s shoulder pads’ dark nemesis, and you and your kids will laugh at those photos soon.  It’s inevitable.  We went from too much shoulder material to no shoulder material at all.  There must be a better way.  (There is!  Just keep the fabric going all the way through the sleeve.)

Also isn’t dabbing over yet?  I thought it was so last year, but our kids are still bugging us with this.  There is a strong possibility that they continue to do it strictly because they sense how much it annoys us.  I also suspect that they are nerds.  Alas they are genetically predisposed to the latter.

Nevertheless if you are into any of the items detailed above, please don’t be sad.  I’m not intending to be unkind.  I believe that I have made it abundantly clear that I am a major proponent of laughing at myself, but I will point that laughter in your direction if you say, wear, or do any of these things in my proximity.  Just a friendly heads up.

With all that said, I’ll love you just as much and possibly even more if you do happen to fall into one or more of these categories.  I live for giggles, and I absolutely adore people who don’t care what someone else thinks and do whatever they want to do.  So own it baby!  That’s all that really matters anyway.   😉

***MoJo***

 

Seriously?

1497269925242Because clearly that’s all the next person would need.  Not okay.

And that’s the reason for the lesson on volume my kid just received.

***MoJo***


And That’s How the Birthday Party Went from DIY to OMG

Few things have the potential to spice up your kid’s 10th birthday celebration quite like the unwelcome realization that you apparently purchased balloons that should have been placed in the bachelorette party section of the local grocery store. I was concerned when I removed the first deflated version from the package, but perhaps it was just my imagination??   My husband blew up a balloon and showed me the result with the animation of one passing the salt.  Unable to comprehend why he wasn’t seeing what I was seeing, I just stared at him blankly and finally shook my head no.  Then my son ran in beaming with pride that he had also blown one up!  Despite personally having the equipment, neither of these guys was paying attention to the obvious style of the decor.  I wasn’t about to have those things waving back and forth in front of our house, so I explained that the latex was too thin and the dogs might eat it if they popped and also maybe I had read about a recall notice in the past couple of hours since purchase due to radiation contamination.  I could see confusion in their eyes, but I grabbed the balloons and redirected them to other tasks.  There would be no suburbia Latexgate.  Goodbye bachelorette balloons.

Despite the absence of the salacious address markers, the doorbell began to light into action minutes later. My husband was occupied with setting up kid-appropriate party stuff on the back patio, so I hurried to the door to greet and introduce myself to multiple sets of parents.  As all small children are sent to this planet with an innate sense of optimal embarrassing timing, my two-year old naturally understood that it was the ideal moment to decide that pants were no longer her thing.  She shuffled after me pushing her little jeans below her knees like a mermaid on a mission.  “So nice to meet you as well!  We should get the kids together for summer!  Yes my other kid usually wears pants!”  Enjoy it now small one because someday I will be in charge of selecting your graduation and rehearsal dinner video pics.  You’ll wish you had opted for pants then!

Drop-off time came and went, the tidbit child ultimately agreed to don some shorts, and the older girls cranked up the decibel level and headed to the patio. I had come up with the very clever idea to have them make their own fairy gardens.

Two quick notes on fairy garden parties:

  1. It is so easy and will save you tons of money to DIY this event at home.
  2. I recommend that you plan a two-hour + party to do this.

Allow me to add a couple more notes for you to ponder:

  1. The idea that DIY parties are cheaper is mega crapola, you get to clean your home in a big way before and after your party, and there is a strong chance that parents will leave your home with the impression that you raise pantless toddlers.
  2. Two hours is the perfect length of time as long as everyone leaves early – say around one and a half hours. Beyond that, you need an alternate activity.

Lucky for all, I had thrown the idea together over a couple of days, was totally unprepared for anything beyond gardening, and did not have an alternate activity planned. And then right on cue, a Texas thunderstorm appeared.  Within a few brief minutes, the skies went from somewhat cloudy to extremely menacing with growling thunder.  My husband and I rushed to relocate the girls and their mini-gardens.  He herded the girls to safety as I moved some of the gardening items to the new super cool shabby chic party spot we unaffectionately referred to as the garage.

While crossing through the house, I heard someone banging loudly on the front door. We were more than halfway through the allotted party time but punctuality isn’t my bag either baby so no judgement.   I opened the door to find the brother and mom of one of the party attendees in front of our home.  Maybe they had heard about our super cool garage party theme and were there to perform a prison break on the girls’ behalf.  I wouldn’t have blamed them, but it seemed unlikely given that this particular mother had been a close friend of mine for years.  Also who wouldn’t want their kid to play “Pin the Tail on the Oilspill!”

As surprised as I was to see them there at that time, that didn’t hold a candle to the shock I felt when I heard these words – “There’s a tornado over there.” The son turned and pointed past the street, and I could see the funnel cloud in the sky behind him.

I have lived my entire life in an area prone to unpredictable weather, but until that point, I had never seen a funnel cloud in person, and I definitely hadn’t seen one in person with a dozen other people’s’ children playing in my home. We raced inside and corralled everyone into the large closet under the stairs.  (When you hear that everything is bigger in Texas, they are actually referring to the closets.)  We hung out for a few minutes, joked around with the girls to keep it light, and ultimately headed back out for cake and whatever else for the remaining minutes.

To be totally honest, I’m not really sure what we did from that point on. I was so rattled by the whole thing.  I had mistakenly believed that Wizard of Oz theme parties were reserved for huge Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, and Cher fans, but clearly this was not the case.  In hindsight, I should be thankful because it did effectively fill that open alternate activity spot.

The truth is that it really scared me. I am still trying to figure out how to show my gratitude to my dear friend for coming over to warn us to take cover.  I recognize that her daughter was with us, so mama instincts will always kick in, but she and her sweet son still put themselves at risk to protect all of us.  We had been oblivious to the tornado.  As it turned out, our local warning system did notify us of the impending threat – twenty minutes after it passed – but that is how it can be with tornadoes.  The latest  technology makes educated assumptions, and then life happens however it happens.

Above all, I think the key point to remember is this – anyone can go roller skating (except ironically for me because my ankles vote no), but how many people can schedule a three location party (patio, garage and closet all in the same time slot – WHAT?!?!!?) AND bring in a real live tornado to kick it up a notch???  So stick that in your bouncy house!

And you thought DIY stuff was lame. Not here baby.

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This pic was taken by a neighbor who had the time to get the shot given her lack of other people’s small humans in her home.

***MoJo***

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