Monday, April 15, 2013

A Spoonful of Sugar...or Explosives

In every job that must be done
there is an element of fun
You find the fun...
And Snap,
the job becomes a game.
~Mary Poppins

     I've heard Julie Andrews convey that message countless times.  In my youth it really just aggravated me.  There I was, snap, snap, snapping away at my bed, dolls, games, and clothes with no results while she and those bug eyed Banks children had their things cleaned up perfectly with the same moves.  Now, as an adult trying to instill some form of responsibility in my children, I see the value of the message (if you are able to take the "snap" a little less literally).  For example, had I asked Aston and Clara if they wanted to clean the toilets this weekend they would have said, "Cleaning makes me tired" and stomped off, slamming the door on the way, respectively.  However, when I asked, "Who wants to make Potty Bombs?", they were pushing and shoving to be the first one to the bathroom.  Armed with vinegar and baking soda Clara and Aston made fizzley explosions in one toilet after another cheering all the while (the urinal was by far the most exciting) and I was left with sparkling white toilet bowls.  So, sing away Mary...

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Out of the Mouth of Aston

This gloomy Saturday morning was brightened by some good old fashioned Aston nonsense.  Once, after smashing his head into Clara's he came to me very concerned and asked, "Mommy, where is my soft spot?", and again when I heard him say a rather disappointed,"Awww, we are uh-sposed to fart together", to his big sissy.  I am taking him into public and the day is young.  I'm sure this is just the beginning!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shave and a Haircut

     Enzo has never enjoyed having his hair cut.  He's looked like a lost member of Spinal Tap for most of his life.  My feelings on this are along the lines of; it is his head let it look how he wants it to.  Only twice have
I wondered if this was the best approach.  Once was over the summer when I was surprised to see Enzo climb up the ladder in the deep end of the swimming pool and reveal a magenta bikini.  I soon realized that for the last hour I had been dutifully supervising some girl I did not know and actually had no idea where my son  was.  The second time was just last night when Ariel was all set to leave Enzo behind at the restaurant we had eaten dinner in because he assumed his first born son was the little Chinese woman who worked there when he glanced at the boy.  Perhaps it is time to try to sway Enzo's hairstyle choices before we end up losing the kid.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Never Bring Your Children Shopping With You

     As a rule I do my grocery shopping when my children are in school or when their father is home to watch them.  Children and retail do not mix.  There is no shopping cart big enough for what your children want and if you, like me, you have a predetermined weekly grocery budget, you will find yourself dropping a few pounds during the week you only had enough money for a Lego Star Wars Battle Pack, Super Mario Karts 104, puffy paints, rainbow socks, three birdhouse kits, assorted Webkinz, miniature pink cowboy boots, gel pens, light up propellers, the entire Nerf line, and four ring pops.
     Unfortunately, there are times when the public school shuts its doors to the children at the same time my baby daddy is swamped with work and our cabinets have tumble weed rolling through them.  Yesterday was    a triple fail such as this here at Casa de Jones.  Yesterday taught me that there is yet another reason not to bring your children shopping with you.  Time together in the car driving to the store can present a problem.  Without the distraction of television, toys, bikes, and swing sets, conversations happen that maybe shouldn't.
     During our twenty minute drive Aston had time to reflect on a memory of his.  "Mom," he said, "I remember when Dorothy was in your belly and you were so fat".
     And Enzo had time to observe, " never quite got over that, did ya Ma?"
     There is no good reason to bring your children shopping with you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?

     You won't often catch me sharing recipes, not because I'm guarding valuable long lasting family secrets or because I'm planning to win my fortune entering recipe contests.  It is simply because I mostly make frozen pizza and if you don't know how to set your oven to four hundred and slide that baby in, there just isn't much I can do for you.  This week however, The Wee Jonesies seem to be feeling very creative in the kitchen so I'll pass along their culinary genius to you. 

     We'll begin with Clara's contribution, inspired by the spying of a bag of corn flour on the kitchen counter. "Is that corn flour?" she asked all excited.

     "Yeah" I suspiciously replied.

     "Just what I've been needing.  Do we have food coloring?"


     Mere moments later were the proud owners of two bags of Slime.

Corn flour
Food Coloring
Zip Lock Bag
Combine first three ingredients in bag
Shake until slime like
NOTE: Do not squeeze bag when standing on family room rug.

     Our next recipe comes to us from our youngest member, Dorothy.  Dorothy has spent this week enjoying this recipe day in and day out.  She keeps the ingredients at her seat so she can whip it up at a moments notice.  She calls it Wrrr Bee which I believe interpreted means Water Baby.

Wrr Bee
Green Power Ranger
Floral Print Pencil
Pour ingredients into your favorite character cup (Dora the Explorer cup shown)
Consume with straw. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

3:00 pm, Cleaning Day

Time to break out the most important cleaning product in my arsenal:
 $1.00.  10 calories.  Five hours of cleaning  (even though my body wants to crawl into bed and fall asleep).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

High Apple Pie In The Sky Hopes

     Enzo chose dinner time to ask Ariel and me if we have money set aside for his college education.  Since our money is really Ariel's money I figured I'd let him answer this question while I entertained myself with a snarkey, "We don't have money set aside for next weeks groceries", in my head.  After giving myself a well deserved chuckle I turned my attention to my beloved who clearly hadn't expected this question from a boy who had propositioned his fifth grade math teacher to perform teacher assisted suicide so he wouldn't have to do any more work.  Truth be told, I didn't expect Enzo to bring up college either.  Someone must have put the idea in his head.  I could see that Ariel was about to tell the child that we do not have money set aside for his further education and I was not about to have Enzo and/or whoever put this idea in his head, worrying about something so far in the future so I quickly interjected, "Daddy invested (and by "invested", Dear Reader, I meant took full advantage of the banks liberal lending of days gone by) in real estate.  We don't have a pile of cash to pay your college tuition BUT we can just sell Daddy's houses when the time comes" (and then, Dear Reader, we'll pray we have enough equity to cover the gas required to drive him to the closest community college).  At this, I watched Ariel choke on his macaroni and cheese because he, of course, plans to use his rentals as his retirement.  Whatever!  I was already used to the idea of my college degree holding children and nothing was going to stop me.

     When Ariel regained the ability to breathe he said, "Son, when the time comes we'll figure out a way for you to go to college".  I could tell Ariel was also now the proud parent of future college graduates.  Enzo started going on about going to college to learn how to work with computers and design web sites when Aston squeaked, "Mom. Dad.  Can I quit college?"


     "Can I quit college?"

     Sigh "Yeah, Aston.  You can do what ever you want".

     "HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!  I CAN QUIT COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!"

    Well,  the upside of  Aston dropping out of college at the age of five, I suppose,  is that Ariel can hold on to his dream of retiring, ever.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Ready

     Dorothy and I had to run errands today.  I have a hard time running errands that involve me taking the baby out of her car seat more than once, and this particular day's errands involved two stops.  I only agreed to do it because I essentially contribute nothing to our household so when Air asks a favor of me I try to accommodate him.

     I hopped in the shower at the crack of noon, realizing that I'd have to take all of the kids with me if I didn't get on it.  After Dorothy and I were dressed I cooed to her that it was time to put her shoes on.  She ran away from me.  I assumed she was hiding from me.  Ugh, why can't Ariel just let me hold down the sofa.    Be the hermit I was meant to be?  Why do I have to go out with children?  Why do I have to spend my life chasing babies?  While I reflected on the unfair hand life dealt me, Dorothy came back with a pair of shiny black sling back five inch pumps in her hands.  SHOES!  I have to admire the girl for thinking they were a good choice to visit the ladies at Bank of America and First Niagara and felt a little bad as I buckled her Mary Janes for her.

     Fifteen months old!  Fifteen years old should be interesting!  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Perpetual Motion

     It is three a.m. and half of me is in Dorothy's bed  nursing her back to sleep (the other half of me is either dangling in mid air or on the floor).  I'm simultaneously cursing myself for ignoring that genius Dr. Ferber for the fourth time and consequently raising another individual who can't possibly shut their eyeballs without a boob in their mouth or consume all of their calories during normal business hours, listening for Aston and/or Clara to request a beverage (in a cup - thank God for small favors), and soulfully thanking universe for my miscarriage in October, because I need another insomniac/food addict in this house like I need a hole in the head.

     Thinking of eating and the children makes me start to ponder the unbelievable amount of Fruity Pebbles and Cookie Crisp we've blown through this week.  If I ate half as much sugar and whole milk with trace amounts of grain as my children do, I'd be a HOUSE (as it stands I'm a mobile home, or at least a camper)!  Why do Aston and Clara look like they've just been released from Bergen Belsen?

     It took a couple of hours, but I think I got my answer.  Aston ran up beside me in the kitchen and requested a bowl of, you got it, Fruity Pebbles, all the while performing a sort of river/break dance.  Then he did an impression of what I can only describe as a vibrating octopus over to the breakfast table where he proceeded to wiggle uncontrollably in his chair.  I then scanned the Clara section of my memory and noticed I have not one memory of that child sitting still.  I haven't seen Enzo's ribs in a couple of years, but then I haven't seen him get his heart rate above 10 bpm in just about the same time frame.

     So the challenge of the day is to see what it feels like to stay in constant motion.  Lari, my mother-in-law, walked by me doing a sort of pee-pee dance in the family room, and calmly snorted, "I give you an hour".  She might be right.  I'm short of breath and beginning to sweat, which I detest entirely, but I also feel a little manic and have offered to help the kids clean their bedrooms, something I deemed an impossible dream from my corner of the couch just yesterday.

     If any of you have or had hyperactive children under your roof and would like to join me in impersonating them, please, please, please, get back to me and let me know how it went!


Friday, February 8, 2013

What's NOW In Fashion

In order to help you stay on top of current fashion trends we've enlisted the expertise of our top fashion gurus.  We are noticing a strong Western theme in today's fashion...
Cowboy (or in this case, cowbaby) hats are a must right now.  They can be worn to the train table OR
to the breakfast table!

Bandits everywhere will want to remember
bandannas covering your ENTIRE face are better for keeping dust at bay and disguising your identity than bandannas merely pulled up to your nose.

And this just in:
no matter where you stand on Obama's gun control, you can still rock a holster.  Simply add or omit firearm depending on your position.  Our model's cutting edge cosmetic technique can be achieved by eating the dirt from your favorite house plant.

Switching gears...
An entirely new, mature look is within your grasp if you remember two things...
Black construction paper and a straw.

For those of you looking for motivation to file your taxes on time,

pink sunglasses make everything more fun.

Don't forget the most important accessory no fashionista should be without
night vision goggles (they go with absolutely everything).

Right now, people are looking for fashion with a meaning.  Conveying a message is important today.
Our model's kitty cat hat combined with wings and binoculars say, "I'm flexible.  I can just as easily fly like a bird as watch them or hunt them down and eat them".

Before we depart, bathing suit season is close enough to consider, we would like to leave you inside information on the hottest Hollywood diet of today!
A cold stick of butter harvested straight from the refrigerator door while your mother is distracted with sandwich fixings.

There you go.

Be beautiful!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Home Spa

Dorothy was carrying around a jar of baby food this afternoon.  Ariel, who has recently been bitten by a decluttering bug, asked me if we were done with baby food and could we get rid of the leftover jars.  "Nah.  Dot still uses them", I told him.  I then helped her open the jar she had in her hand.  She independently spooned one heap into her mouth and every following spoonful on to the top of her head.  She gently massaged it in.  You may be wondering just what I was doing when this was going down and why I wasn't stopping her.  I have two reasons. 
1) I have been accused of stunting Enzo's early development by smothering him and not allowing him to make mistakes.


2) At the time of the incident I was experiencing a comfortable numbness induced by the hydrocodone I was taking because of my oral surgery earlier that day.

I did, however, think to grab my camera so I could share this very Jonesie moment with you.

Dorothy still "uses" her baby food.

Rear View
She was careful not to miss a spot.

Friday, February 1, 2013

F*@&ing Bruce Willis

          I don't remember when it all began but thanks to Facebook, I have a record of when it happened last.  On January 4, 2013 I updated my Facebook status to the following:

When my husband begins a story with, "Ya know how I'm invincible?" I know I'm about to hear some shit that is going to make me sick. "The attic steps fell out while I was on them", "I used my ninja skills when I fell off the roof", "I flipped my tractor", "The power line was still live", and today, "A house collapsed on me". Jesus Christ.

     This afternoon I telephoned my husband to see when he would be climbing down off of his roof because I had a beautiful ham in the oven and he is the only member of our family who actually likes the stuff.  Due to several cell phones falling to their dooms, Ariel now leaves his phone in the truck when he is up on a roof' so I knew he wouldn't  answer my call.  I left a message about the ham and waited for him to call me back.

     And call back he did.  I answered our phone and heard, "Hello, Bruce calling".

     "What happened?" I sighed.

     Bruce Willis has been a thorn in my side since my early twenties when Ariel lost his first hair or two.  Instead of celebrating the millions of other dark, wavy, loyal hairs still residing in his scalp, he took out his clippers and shaved his entire head without a guard.  He rationalized this insane behavior by saying, "If Bruce Willis can do it, I can".  Now, a decade later, Bruce Willis has become Ariel's alter ego because he considers himself "Unbreakable".

     Bruce reared his shaven head today while our hero was putting a new roof on one of his rental homes.  One moment Ariel was working away and the next there was bunch of noisy commotion as the nails holding the plank Ariel was standing on gave way and he went flying off of the roof.  He must have remembered the summer he used a ladder as a pole vault for an Olympic landing off of another roof he fell from because today he grabbed a miraculously placed ladder as he dove to his death, and managed to swing himself into a position that enabled him to land on his catlike feet.

     For all of those concerned, yes, he has excellent life insurance.  Thank you.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Man With A Plan

     When Enzo was five he told me, "I hope my wife likes my bedroom".


     "I want her to be happy when she moves in here".

     When Enzo was six he told me he was never ever ever ever moving out.  I told him he will be welcome to stay at home but when he is a grown up he will have to help out around the house.  Enzo said that was a  horrible idea.  He hated house work.  Fearing that if I gave my six year old an inch he would take a mile when he was thirty, I decided to lay firm ground rules that very afternoon.  "Enzo, you"ll either have to help out  around the inside of the house or you"ll have to get a job and help Daddy pay for things".

     Enzo thought about this for a while before saying, "I don't deal", (he used to say that a lot when he didn't agree with what we were putting out there).  "Working is hard.  I can't do it."

     Clara, who was four then, chimed in with,"There are easy jobs out there, Enzo.  You could work at Wal Mart.  Those jobs look easy".

     "Hmmm.  I don't know," Enzo grumbled.  "I guess, but I don't want to be the guy who takes the money.  That's a lot of responsibility.  I'll only do it if I can be the guy who wears the blue vest and walks around the aisles doing nothing".

     The years passed and Enzo tried to devise ways to be paid to play video games to contribute to the household.  Then, just a few nights ago Enzo said, "This may come as a surprise to some of you, but when I grow up I'd like to live in a big city".  His reasons were that it is boring here because there is nothing to look at and also in cities there are restaurants everywhere.  I can't blame the kid.  The most exciting thing that happened to me today was the glimmering shower of clear gel pellets that rained down upon the laundry room after I unknowingly washed a disposable diaper with my bed sheets then shook them out before I realized what  I had done.

     Tonight Enzo asked if California is on the other side of the country.  He also asked if Hollywood is in California.  After receiving two answers in the positive he said, "Well, don't expect to see much of me around  here when I grow up!  I'm moving to Hollywood, California!"

     I'm always interested in what passions are brewing inside of my children so I asked, "What are you going to do there?"

     "Be rich", was my boy's immediate reply.

     Why didn't I think of that?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Part Of Your World

     When people ask me what my husband does for a living I can feel my eyes glaze over and my jaw slacken as the hamster in my head sprints furiously on his (or her) wheel trying to produce an answer to the question.  My husband is a builder, a renovator, a landscaper, a decorator, an electrician, a plumber, a housekeeper, a car detailer, a car stereo installer, a car stereo salesman, a home theater installer, a scrapper, a painter, a roofer, a musician (don't ask), a photographer, a landlord, a mason, an alternative energy system retailer, an alternative energy system installer, the ultimate Mega Man champion (this does not contribute to his earnings, but it sure makes the kids happy), a frequent e bay seller, a mechanic, an ATV builder, a used car dealer, a mover, a disaster cleanup specialist...and anything else you are willing to pay him to do.

     Today Ariel wore his landlord/plumber hat.  He was hard at work in one of his rental units trying to figure out why the hot water was only willing to come out of the faucets in a mere trickle.  He imagined this would be a simple project and was surprised when hours later he was sopping wet and had disassembled and reassembled nearly all of the home's plumbing.  As is often the case when he embarks on such adventures, curiosity got the better of the children of the house and they often stole peeks at him.  The young lad of the house quickly lost interest in him and chose instead to watch You Tube videos of people making stupid noises and strange faces.  This reminded Ariel of his own sons, who can't be bothered to pull themselves away from their screens for, well, anything.  The cutie patootie three year old girl of the house however, stayed interested in the strange person in her home.  She repeatedly asked her Mommy and Daddy who that man was and what was he doing.  Finally she was told that he was fixing their water and that his name was Ariel.  This information quieted the girl down and even made her disappear for a while.  When she reappeared at Ariel's side he smiled down at her and then noticed she was now clutching a doll in her tiny hand, and this doll, of course, had long, vibrant, shiny red hair and fins.  The doll was none other than Disney's Little Mermaid, or Ariel, if you will.  

     I have to wonder if this precious child will be scarred for life by the night a balding, scruffy faced, Carhart clad princess knocked mineral buildup out of the pipes in her home.    

What Did You Learn Today?

     It is a simple question.  My husband pops it at the dinner table nearly every night.  The children supply the same answers every night.  We like routine.  Enzo will say, "Nothing".  Aston will say,"I don't remember what I learned today".  Enzo will say, "If you can't remember it, you didn't learn it, so you didn't learn anything".  I will flash Enzo death eyes.  Clara will wiggle a little in her seat before saying, drum roll please, "Nothing".  I will offer up something stupid like,"I learned that grabbing the wood stove with just my sleeve pulled down over my hand is still a bad idea", then ask Ariel, "did you learn anything today, Sweetie?"  He'll say, "Nothing".

     Of course they didn't learn "Nothing" (the kids anyway).  They just like to recite their entire day when Ariel and I are engaged in a separate, adult conversation.  Apparently, interruption is a key ingredient in information recall.  Enzo was on a fantastic roll last night as Ariel and I went over the mystery of the disappearing brick of mozzarella cheese.  Enzo told us all about the temperatures on Mercury and Venus.  He told us about the terrain on Mars.  He explained the significance of the size of Jupiter.  I interjected, "And you don't learn anything at school!"

     He gave a frustrated, "Ugh, I DON'T.  I learned all of this in second grade.  I haven't learned anything since second grade!" and continued merrily on with his lecture.  He gave the history of Earth's formation and said that if you applied this information to Mars's moon it would show that Mars's moon will support life someday.  Then he was positively radiating excitement as he exploded,"With the ability of space travel, and another inhabitable planet WE could be intergalactic invaders!!!  MOM!!! WE WOULD BE THE ALIENS!!!!! Oh I wish I had a crystal ball so I could know if this will happen in my lifetime.  I want to be an alien SOOO bad!"

     I don't know if there is some sort of nerd rating system, but I'd bet Enzo would rank very high on that scale and I couldn't be prouder!