Let's Get Silly

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Dad Bought Some New Fangled Phones

Much to the dismay of AT&T employees all over the southern states, my Dad and Stepmom bought iPhones and an iPad. This will obviously be providing endless enjoyment to everyone that comes into contact with them for the remainder of all time. Except, that is, for said AT&T employees.


Soon after their purchase, we decided to FaceTime, knowing they would love to see the grandkids via their new ringie dingies.  


The fact that these are referred to as "smart phones" should have been our first clue that our family could not pull this off.


Here's how it went down:

First, I called his phone. No answer.  


Which was weird, because we had just discussed the fact that I would be calling.

Soon I received a call from my stepmother's iPhone instead.  


My dad explained that his phone was not working.  
I asked what was wrong and he said: This damn woman keeps talking to me when she's not supposed to. 


A little probing and we figured out he meant Siri.  Apparently my father feels that Siri is mouthy and out of line.  

So we began talking.  And I began taking pictures.  

It was like walking down a cinematic road, the way he called up memories of terrifying movies.

For a long time, my dad looked like the man behind the curtain from Wizard of Oz.






Then he moved onto his Blair Witch Project impersonation with a lot of shaking of the camera and weird angles as he walked around his house while talking. 

We had long conversations with my dad's finger.


My favorite part came when we asked him if he would go out onto the balcony and show us the view of the beach.  


My dad walked out to the balcony, looked at the beach and kept his phone facing him.  
Then he said, "There, can you see it?".  

Just because you are looking at it with your eyeballs, does not mean we see it.
For my stepmom's sake, I'm hoping he grasps this a little bit better soon.  


Because when I see her this summer, I plan on teaching her how to FaceTime my Dad from another room, simply to ask him to bring her something like a slice of cheese or a tissue. Or to tell him vital celebrity gossip, like the fact that Whitney Houston died.


My husband really loves when I FaceTime him from our bedroom for that stuff.  


Just ask him.

*A small follow up: Shortly after these events took place, my dad actually traded in his phone for a less chatty version of Siri. We all know this does not exist, therefore it was simply the matter of him wearing down some poor AT&T guy that just wanted him out of the store that badly.*  




Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer: A Time for Learning. Duh

Welcome!  

If you are visiting via the lovely Julie Gardner, we are happy to have you here at Fond of the Silliness.  You will find that around these parts we like sarcasm, silliness and have a tendency towards irreverence.  Also phrases like "Christ on a bike" can pop up where you least expect them.



When you enter the blogging world, you will undoubtedly fall in love with someone else's writing.  If you are very lucky, you get to actually become friends with the person who writes the words.  And if you are very, very lucky, you find your new blogging friend turns out to have the same qualities that you loved in their words.   

That is how I see my friend,  Julie Gardner, from By Any Other Name.  

Have I mentioned that she was chosen as one of BlogHer Voices of The Year?  

Julie holds a place in my heart, because from her I've learned the fact that I don't blog everyday does not mean I am not great at blogging.  It means that I want to write when it moves me, which she's assured me is just fine.  And while it may hold me back from a certain status as a blogger, it will keep my writing the way that I want it to be.  

Julie has graciously agreed to guest post here on my little blog.  

Thank you, Julie.  I'm so glad that today we can call you silly. 

You are going to want to read more of Julie's work, so please visit her website By Any Other Name and follow her on Twitter here.

If you are visiting, you may want to check out these posts to get a better taste for Fond of the Silliness:  


Here she is folks:



Summer: A Time for Learning. Duh.


People, have you checked your calendars lately? It’s June 18th.  And you know what that means, don’t you?



We’re just two short days away from the official start of summer! 



Yes, as the days stretch longer and the kids finish school, we’re about to gain hours and days and weeks and months of free time to enjoy the spoils of the season.


We’ll go to the beach and the park. Invite friends over to swim. Ride bikes and feed the ducks at that lake behind the library. We’ll actually go inside the library.

Probably.

Because of course we’ll be reading a lot. Like Dostoyevsky. Or something even more literarily literary.  
50 Shades of Grey, perhaps. I hear it’s a trilogy. Or a threesome. Or something like that.

Anyway.

I should basically be done with all of these activities by Thursday. 

And at that point, the leftover cake I baked for my son’s promotion to high school will be gone. 

(Oh, who am I kidding? I finished it last night.)

Either way, the truth of the matter is this:

Books and ducks and threesomes can keep a girl occupied for only so long. 

And what’s the next step toward a summer jam-packed with fun?

That’s right. Television. 

Duh.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a TV in my bedroom so gathering around the tube meant family bonding. (Stop laughing. It did.)

Every day we sat on the great-room couch watching Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart; or Soap and M*A*S*H* and Barney Miller, with a cat or a bowl of ice cream (sometimes both) in our laps.

These were good times, believe me. The best. 

Which is what I want for my kids, naturally. And I’m pretty sure those shows continue to air on TVland or some other earnest station dedicated to nostalgia. 

Still. In my old age I’ve gotten more high-brow. Not “PBS high-brow.” Oh no. 

A woman only needs one tote bag when carting stale bread across town to chuck at mallards.

So lately we’ve begun watching TLC. You know. The Learning Channel. 

Because learning is good. 

(You may quote me.)

Take Toddlers & Tiaras, a delightful train wreck in which pageant moms shout “Get it girl!” at their four-year-olds who parade around stage dressed like Julia Roberts’ hooker character in Pretty Woman
Literally.

From this my 13-year-old daughter has learned I’m not a total idiot. And when she gushes, “Thanks for not spray-tanning me Mom,” it’s pretty much music to my ears.

After watching Sister Wives, my 15-year-old son has learned that the challenge of juggling multiple spouses and houses and kids (oh my!) is perhaps not worth the fringe benefits. Ahem. Or amen. 

Or both of those things.

Indeed.

And we’ve all gotten sucked into My Strange Addiction where viewers learn America is the land of the free and the home of the depraved.

It’s easier to feel better about your own habit of spooning Breyer’s Rocky Road directly into your mouth from the carton when they’re profiling a guy who licks the bottom of his bird’s cage. 

Or some lady who eats the cushions off her sofa.

I mean, we’re just sitting on ours. So yeah. I guess we’re doing okay.

Then there’s Cake Boss (yum) and LA Ink (ouch) and a few other shows in which people can’t stop bearing children either one at a time or in litters.

But I don’t judge.

After all, these programs foster discussions about choices and self-control and ohmygod we’re just trying to make it through summer without having to read Crime and Punishment again.

So.

If the flat screen’s what does it for us? I say, “Get it Girl!”

I mean, “Carry on!”

Because I really liked Barney Miller. And when my kids are grown, I want them to have equally great memories of their own childhoods. 

Featuring televisions and cats and ice cream in our laps.

Except without the cats. Because Bill claims he’s allergic and we put up with this limitation on account of we love him.

Still. The man better not turn up lactose intolerant. Or that weak link will be voted out of the family. 

Immediately.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Peephole Dilemma

People are drawn to my door to sell me their wares.  


Whether it be windows, lawn care or trying to sell me their version of Jesus, the peeps just absolutely flock to my door.  Until I lived in this home, I never encountered someone trying to sell me a peep hole but I can now say at least 3 people have stopped by my house ecstatic to provide me with a peephole.  

It takes me awhile to get past the fact that they are saying peephole. Anything that ends in 'hole' is just plain funny.   Because of this fact, I spend at least 15 seconds in my head giggling and picturing 1950's men looking through some hole in the wall at dancing women.  

Once I get past that, I settle into the conversation.  It's intriguing to me that they stop by because I HAVE WINDOWS ON BOTH SIDES OF MY FRONT DOOR.

Peephole Peep:   Hello Ma'am, are you the lady of the house?

This always makes me feel like I'm fancy and should be dressed like Anne of Green Gables. 

Me:  Why, yes I am.  I AM the lady of the house.  

Peephole Peep:  I notice you do not have a peephole in your door.

Me:  No, we do not.  Because we do not want one.

Mr. Peephole:  Well, ma'am I have to say it's a safety issue.

I stare at him.  I want to say, Mr. Peephole, you just knocked on my door and I answered it even though I did not know you from Adam.  Had I owned a peephole, I would have looked out and thought, OH GOD, it's a peephole guy and not answered.  Clearly, neither of us is that bright, so let's keep our judgey pants off, mmmkay?

Instead I say:  We have windows going down both sides of the door, so I can already see whoever knocks.

Perry Peephole:  Well, you'll probably add curtains to the windows on each side of the door.

Me:  No.  Then I'd need to buy a peephole.  And then, when it was all said and done, I would have purchased your peephole and had two curtains custom made for each window.  OR...and I'm just throwing this out there, I could keep things as they are and just look out the window to see who is at the door.

Peepy Peeperson:  You could make the curtains yourself.

Me:  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  

Peephole:  Thanks for your time.   

Me:  You bet.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Never Thought I'd Say Mouth This Much

What comes out of my mouth on an average day:

Get that out of your mouth.

Get that out of Mosby's mouth.

Seriously, what's in your mouth?

How did your mouth get so sassy?  You better watch your sassy mouth.

Did you put that in your mouth?

What if she puts this in her mouth?  

Great, now she put it in her mouth, look on the computer and see if I need to call the DR

What's in your mouth?!   What's purple in your mouth?!

Put this in the dog's mouth so he'll settle down.

Put your food in your mouth!

Keep that in your mouth after you chew it!

Wipe your mouth.  

Don't wipe your mouth on that!

Take it out of your mouth!


What just fell out of his mouth?  


Don't touch that with your mouth!  

The food is in my mouth, please do not try to grab it.

I'm trying to open this with my teeth, that's why it's in my mouth.

Did she just put the sand in her mouth?

Get your hands out of her mouth!

You better not talk to me with that kind of mouth, little girl!

Is my mouth bleeding?  The baby just threw her Fur Real pet at my face.

I'm tired, it's time to throw melatonin in my mouth.

The End.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hilary Rosen, I Do Not Care For Your Tone Young Lady.

Dear Hilary Rosen:


I am a stay at home mother, so I tried to stop drooling on myself long enough to eek this out.  


Like everyone else, I heard your comments regarding Ann Romney having no clue about financial issues as she has never worked a day in her life *gasp*


Like everyone else, I was forced to hear the aftermath.  Unlike everyone else, I do not care at all if you think being a stay at home mom leaves one clueless or unable to understand finances.  I am mad that you carelessly stirred up the same damn argument again.  I am mad that you kicked a fellow female in the crotch.  


When will we stop doing this to one another?  How can we in one breathe say that we are irate that our choices as women are being made by a male dominated government, and then in the next cut each other off at the knees?


Women that argue with one another over this issue are absolutely ridiculous.  Women that take stabs at another woman's capabilities by way of acerbic commentary are absolutely shameful.  And believe me, Ms. Rosen, I like me some sarcasm.  

A little background on me, Ms. Rosen;  I have stayed at home, and I have worked as a mother.  I've known what it is to say in a shaky voice to my child care provider:  Don't tell me if she has any firsts, I want to think I get to see them all.  And then you know what? I have known what it was to feel guilty because I liked being at work.  Eating my lunch with adults.  Peeing alone.  Running meetings and contributing to projects.  Wearing real pants.


Having done both types of mothering, I can tell you that both involve happiness, guilt, self-doubt, self-loathing, joy, fulfillment, unexpected failure and major accomplishments.  


So, considering all that we get through each day as mothers in general, did you really need to go after one?   Was it truly going to change the course of the election?

Peace Out,

Amanda

P.S.- Congrats on rocking a CNN gig!  Please use your platform and journalistic powers for good.



Dear Women Enraged By Hilary Rosen:


 I have heard the accusatory question from a family member:  So....what do you do all day?, and totally understood the judgement and statement veiled loosely behind the question.  A friend once asked:  So, do you even pick up a paper anymore?  No dickhead, because what moron spends money on a paper anymore?  But, yes I do keep up with the news.  Not sure why my news watching would have changed simply because I birthed a human and I am now helping it grow, but thanks so much for asking.


But here is the thing, as a former first lady once said: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.  So it truly does not bother me what anyone thinks of this choice.  And ladies, both working and staying at home, you need to remember that and quit making snide remarks about this subject.


Because I promise you, there are issues that are not being addressed while we are busy fighting over this one.  And those issues will affect our kids and grandkids.

Peace Out,

Amanda

P.S.- The former first lady I mentioned is Eleanor Roosevelt, and she had six children.  Not sure how financially savvy she was, but I do know she kicked some ass on social issues.  














Sunday, April 1, 2012

♪Here Comes The Sun...Doo doo doo doo ♪♪

One year ago today we woke up 1,000 miles away, got in the family truckster and rolled into our new city in Texas at 4am.  We got into the car wearing winter jackets, and shed them the second we exited the car.  We wouldn't wear them much in the next year.  

We walked (trudged) up 4 flights of stairs (seriously?) to our temporary apartment. Although we had never been to the apartment it felt slightly familiar, as G.R. had been living there for a few weeks and Nora had requested a complete tour each time we Skyped with him at night. 


The apartment was empty, except for the unfamiliar furniture the relocation company had furnished it with.  There were no pictures on the fridge or preschool art on the counters.  It looked like it was a place for a family, but it felt like we had walked into a strangers home.


 I remember Nora ran immediately to the bedroom the girls would share, to look for the Toy Story sign G.R. had hung up and to find the surprise I had ordered and shipped to the apartment to greet her upon arrival.  A stuffed animal that also served as a sleeping bag you could wrap up in, a meager offering to her after taking her out of preschool and moving her away from her friends and family.  

We were happy to finally be back together after a three week separation, but the arrival in this strange place at 4am was too much.  We quickly looked around and called it a night.  G.R. slept in the girls bedroom with Nora, and I brought Evie into ours. 


We woke up a few hours later in the day, and began day one.  Because as anyone reading this knows, life is about getting up and starting day one. We do it after high school, college graduation, when a relationship ends, for new jobs, the day after a loved one dies, the day after a loved one is born, the list goes on and on.  Good or bad change, you just keep putting one foot in front of the other and figure out the new way you will begin to live.  


So, that's what we did.  







This part of our story reminds me of the wedding I attended of an old friend. She, always having been far cooler than I, had the most amazing reading at her wedding.  While the rest of us had "Love is patient...." she had The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  There have been many times I have thought of this reading in my own marriage, but never more than that morning as we faced our new reality.  G.R. and I were in it alone, really for the first time.  

That morning I googled the poem, because I wanted to read these lines again:

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

365 days later I look back at the ups and downs and feel sort of bad for those people starting day one.  There were a lot of lonely moments during a long hot summer where no one really came out of their houses, exhausting amounts of putting ourselves out there to meet other people, and lots of stress as we moved into a new home.  Oh, and our baby had major surgery in this new place. 


But I'm a "fake it till you make it" person, so that's what I did.  I set out to be happy, take the opportunity and to create a happy life.  That may sound brave, but really it was my only choice.


Some days I rocked it, pushed my limits and met people.  Some days I failed miserably and would tear up suddenly while driving and would spend the rest of the day watching Mad Men seasons on Netflix.  


Either way, one day faking it stopped and we had made it.  Which was no surprise, because to me that's sort of the secret to life. 




Looking back I'm equally amazed by how well we stayed in touch with the people we have always loved, as I am amazed with the people we've met.  It's an incredible blessing, that I don't take lightly, to be able to say such a thing.  


I don't write this blog to be all about me.  The point of it is that your past year was likely exactly like mine.  You may not have moved, or had a kid with medical issues or woken up in a strange place.  But in some way, you too had a day one and kept going.  Again, it's what this life is about and we will all do it over and over again.  

I've learned  important things in the last year.  


When you want to say something mean about a person, but also seem like you are not doing it, you can say "bless her heart!".   This is an awesome southern thing that is absolutely the best.  For example, "She is so loud, bless her heart!" or "She has quite an assortment of tight dresses, bless her heart!".  


I've also learned one of the single most important lessons of my life- to go to church not so I will be saved, but because I have been saved.  


I've learned that fire ants hurt like a b*tch, and that I love not being trapped in the house for 9 months of the year due to cold.  Say what you will about the Texas summer, but humans need sun to feel mentally well, and when you can get out year round you just feel better.


 I've learned that it can be a stressful thing, but the best thing for a marriage, to leave and make it on your own somewhere without a safety net.  When you have no one else, you depend on and appreciate each other in a way that is new and different.  You also tend to define what is important to you when you are trying to introduce your family to other families, and that is a blessing too.  


Lastly, I've learned that if my husband comes home any time in the next decade and tells me it's time for a relocation, I'm going to react with the kind of crazy Britney Spears channeled when she'd had enough of the paparazzi and beat the hell out of a photog's car with her umbrella while sporting her recently shaved head and best crazy eyes.  Bless her heart.


Life is good!

Our Texas Bluebonnets


Friday, March 30, 2012

Locks of Love



Inspired by her 4 year old friend, Campbell, Nora decided to give her hair to Locks of Love!


Back in the long hair days...


During

When I was a kid, no one cut my hair while I watched a movie.   
My mom told me to sit on my butt and stop whining. And then I walked up hill, both ways, to school.

Evie busied herself with eating the crayons.  I finally removed her from the crayons after someone from the salon came and gave Evie a sucker.  The salon owner suggested that Evie may like to put the sucker in her mouth instead.  That's how you know people admire your parenting skillz.


















Somehow, having her hair cut has turned Nora into a teenager (which is weird, because usually she acts like she's 35)  This is what she did on the way home.  This child NEVER sleeps in the car.  And now she seems to do so with such "This world is boring me" attitude.
No one email me.  I don't let her sit this way while I drive.
She just sees me sitting this way while I drive, with both legs up on the dashboard, so she wanted to try it.
On the way home we talked about how when I was in high school my mom, Nora's Grandma, once had to take a medicine that made her lose all her hair.  It made it extra meaningful to Nora that she had donated her hair to this cause.  

My mom had a horrible wig that was fake and icky.  It did not make her look like her old self, so she never wore it.  Because of people like Nora, people can  have more natural looking hair.

Here are 2 ways to give your hair:




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's More Important? The Love...Or The Silliness?

The title of my blog is a little weird.  I suppose that is fitting, but figured I'd given an explanation.  My husband is actually the one who came up with the name and it's based on our favorite episode of Friends.  


It's our favorite because it exemplifies how a fight between the two of us would go down.  It occurred in an episode where Chandler and Monica started out happy because they had decided to move in together, and their excitement soon fizzled due to their inability to agree on what they should do with the second bedroom.  Ross stepped in to help.  


G.R. and I don't really fight much, but we do irritate the hell out of each other.  Every good couple drives each other crazy, and this is accomplished by using some very distinct attributes of each person's personality.  In our case, G.R. is a know it all and I am sarcastic and touchy.  


Watch the following link and you will see where the blog's name came to be.  Pay particularly close attention to when Chandler chooses the exact wrong time to be a know it all and Monica asks him "Why do you do it?",while trying to kill him with her eyes.  


Fond of the Silliness ~ Friends Episode
*you have to click on the link because I'm not smart enough to get the you tube video IN my blog.  It will open a new screen, so don't be afraid of being whisked away from my awesome and life changing words.



That my friends, is what it's like to be a fly on the wall when G.R. and I are irritating each other.  


When it came time to name the blog, G.R. threw this one out there and that's how it came to be. 

So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Break, A White Trash Scenario & My Dogs Nethers

It's been awhile since I blogged.  We've been busy with fun family stuff, but all things that would bore you to death unless you are blood related to me.  And I promised never to blog about daily life lest you want to punch me in the face.  There's nothing more boring than a blog entry that tells you all about how someone went to the park that day and their kid went down a slide and then they had capri suns and they made a craft and then had dinner at home and OHMYGODWHOCARES? 

My sister came to visit!  It was spring break so we got tattoos!   Tramp stamps!  No, we didn't.  That was fun though, wasn't it Dad?


I'm fairly certain my sister not getting a tattoo was influenced by our step mother's rule that any female in the family who gets any sort of ink on her body gets an automatic exit from the will.  Yes, boys are allowed to get tattoos.  She's a woman from the South, which means she can say whatever she wants and it goes.  I'm desperately trying to become the exact same way because it's pretty awesome how she pulls that off.  (Although this fact about southern women scares me now that my two highly opinionated daughters are possibly going to be raised in the South.  I'm already super obnoxious, can they really top me?  Can we all live in the same house if they do?  What will become of my husband?)

Highlights of my sister's trip included drinking copious amounts of wine, actually staying up past 10pm, and watching her and my husband bicker like brother and sister.  


One evening they actually spent 30 minutes throwing a dog toy at each other.  I sat there watching it and contemplated calling the police.  They were both laughing and having fun, so calling the police was not actually merited, but I thought it would make a great white trash scene on our lawn if I could get us all out there screaming about a dog toy while squad car lights lit up the night sky.  I decided if I did call the police I would also totally wake up the baby and let her walk around the front yard wearing a diaper, because that's really the white trash piece de resistance. 

I'd have to say my favorite part of  Julia's visit was watching her try to find a big, Texas sized insect or reptile.  We would sit out at night in the dark and her reaction to bugs zooming at her head was more than enough entertainment for me.  I also delighted in the high pitch screams of my niece who was horrified that Nora was walking around holding 5 roly poly bugs in her hand during a walk we took.  Unfortunately, the only thing we found during their visit was a tiny snake that was already dead.  

It's a good thing Julia came when she did as it rained so much afterwards that I'm pretty sure Texas has begun floating away from the United States.  I hope this does not lead to a Hunger Games scenario.   

During my blogging hiatus my dog had some of manly bits removed.  The men that read this blog all just cringed.  All 6 of them.  

The process was super fun for both Mosby and I.  It began, as all fun stories do, with my husband traveling and ended with me sleeping with a 50 pound lab wearing a cone.


This dog is happy even after ball removing surgery.

When I dropped Mosby off, the fact that I had a spazzy lab puppy, a 17 month old in a stroller screaming and a 6 year old sobbing, "IS MY DOG GOING TO DIE?!" was not enough for the receptionist and thus she delighted in sharing the worst news I've ever gotten.  Did you know that it's just a myth that neutering an animal will calm it down?  Because I sure as hell did not know.  But the mean receptionist shot down all my dreams, right there at 7am before I had even ingested coffee.  People like that do not have souls.

We spent the next two days being run down by a dog wearing a cone on his head.  Since Evie and Mosby both follow me around all day, I had a toddler hitting me behind the knee on one side and my cone head on the other side, knocking my knee forward causing me to lose my balance all the live long day.  Good times!

After two fun days of watching my poor dog accidentely plow Evie over because he could not see her due to his lack of peripheral vision, my husband came home.  He declared the dog pitiful and when I stepped out of the room for one second he REMOVED THE CONE.  Thus began the second part of our journey, which was "Let's all constantly watch the dog and squirt him with water whenever he decides to visit his nether region via his mouth."  That went on for 12 blessed days and then we had our new and improved dog.  Micro-chipped and without cajones, that's how Mosby rolls now.


Evie is run over by Mosby for the 22nd time in one hour.
Let me just conclude with this information:  Both the veterinarian and the vet techs mentioned Mosby's procedure was made more difficult by the fact that he was very well endowed. 


I told my sister it was lucky Mosby had this done right before she visited, because it allowed me to proudly display his bits in a jar by the side of her bed in the guest room. 

As always, you're welcome for all the imagery I've given you to ponder.