Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten

This is for everyone who expects me to blog about my youngest child going off to kindergarten.

Yes, I got cute pictures. Yes I cried. OK, people? What more is there to say? He was tiny and melted and then I melted and tried to hide it and then the parents were asked to leave.  It's over. I have to pick him back up in an hour.

The school did this sweet program for parents but it made it harder on the kids. Here's a fact of life that is as true as an adult as it is when you are five: it is easier to be the leaver than the leavee.  If Tiny Pants had done like his brother did and got out of the car and left me, he would not have melted. It's hard to watch someone you love walk away.  

First day of kindergarten? Sucked. Second day, when he leaves me and marches off  to his class will be better. Rip the band aid already.  Luckily I came home to find new shoes had been delivered. 

(actually, I didn't even have the heart to try them on.)

No cute graphics for any of you! Tiny Pants was too tiny at his little table! I will not post a cute picture of him being all small!

When Big Pants went off, I was ready. I am ready for Tiny Pants to be a Kindergartner. Just don't make me post about it today. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Girly Crushes

(the original image can be found here )

A straight girl fell in love with me this week.  Not romantically, and not really sexually in the way in which we traditionally think.  Here's what happened:

A drunk girl who purported to be 23, though I think she might have been 18 and using a friend's ID, sat down next to me and started talking.  She was very, very drunk.  She went on and on  about how beautiful I was, how I was out of my companion's league, and what great eyes I have.  She also told me that I "looked 35 but was probably 39, like her mother." Like a bell, those words could not be un-rung, and now I viewed her not as a fellow bar mate having a good time but as a child looking for a mother when she was drunk and confused.

Baby Girl went on to tell me what girls she might make out with at the bar, of which I was clearly not one, even though she insisted on having someone take our picture together so she could Instagram it.  What she had, was a fawning -- a girly crush.  

Females have ambiguous friendships with blurred lines between "friend" and "significant other," especially in the early years.  We get possessive of our friends. We are jealous, admiring, and competitive towards each other. When we meet someone new, sometimes we don't know if we want to be them or kiss them, and a lot of straight girls get drunk and kiss their friends, not so much because they want to be sexually active with them, but because they are drunk and happy and saying this person is more than just a friend to me, and we are having a slightly wild good time.

In life, the quality of my happiness has been affected more by the absence or presence of a good friend than by almost anything else. As a grown up, it is hard to make new friends. It's easy to meet dating prospects, but it turns out "Adult Friend Finder"  is not a website to help you connect as platonic friends.  Who knew?

I have been happily married and still lonely for a friend. I have been a stay at home mom and lonely for a friend.  I have been a single mama and lonely for a friend.  I am not supposed to admit that friendship is intrinsic to happiness, but it is, and nothing is as exciting as making a new friend.

There's a giddiness to it, that finding of someone that appears to be of your tribe, and if you are like me, your tribe is made up of weird people that are only weird in a certain way that is compatible with my own brand of weird.   If I were more normal it would probably be easier, but then life would be a lot more boring for everyone involved if I were less weird. Still, the chances of randomly running into someone who is weird like you is small, so when it happens, it is just this amazingly happy thing, like the feeling of cruising down the street on roller-skates. 

So, although I did not return Baby Girl's enthusiasm, I get it. I know where she's at, and where she isn't. She's just another lonely girl, trying to find a friend, in a world where that is hard to do.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bad, Lazy, Hurtful Words

I tried to write this blog about friendship yesterday but it was just so gay.  I know, I'm not supposed to say that.  I am not supposed to use a put-down that is applied to people to describe an inanimate thing which was not homosexual,  brightly colored, or a cigarette. 

What I really meant was that it was queer. Wait, I can't say that either. That's almost the same as gay in terms of hate-speech, with the only redemption being that queer actually means strange or peculiar, so to apply it to an inanimate object might be ok, except in this instance it's not.

I am using gay/queer in the exact same negative way it has been used on the playground for centuries.  I was using it to mean different and bad, with a good dose of wimpy and irritating.  That is precisely the word I want to use, as I really can't think of another word with that connotation. 

The only problem is that none of those characteristics  have anything to do with homosexual people or people who march under the "Queer" banner that encompasses a wide range of gender and sexual identities. I really think they should give the names back to the slang dictionary and remove the connection to homosexuality, etc.  Or, since we can't rewrite centuries of nomenclature just because it makes my derisive comments about a failed article easier, we need better non-offensive putdowns.

Here's your definition, now go find me a word: 

Wimpy, weak, not quite right, and stupid.  Add in a sprinkle of deviant and a trace of pitiable.  

Now one might propose that I could have just said from the beginning that I tried to write a blog entry, but it came out wimpy, weak, pitiable, stupid, and somehow wrong. Some people might even say that that might be be more interesting writing. Those people might even be right.  Perhaps using hate-speech really is about being too lazy to describe something precisely, and maybe pushing ourselves to do so not only protects people's feelings, but makes our writing better.  

Besides, I wouldn't want anyone to misunderstand what I meant and think I was saying my blog entry was fabulous and well coordinated or anything. That's another problem with imprecise words. Next thing you know, someone might ask my article to join a women's softball league.*

*Please note, fabulous and well-coordinated are stereotypes of gay men which, while generally considered positive attributes, are still not universally true of all gay men. Many gay men have no fashion or design sensibilities and not all are fabulous.  Likewise, not all gay women like softball or are good at sports, just in case you were confused or offended.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Demons, Be Gone! Give Me Back My Sweet Boys!

I made this.

My sweet, adorable boys have been possessed by some sort of demon this week. It's not exactly a malevolent harbinger of death and destruction, it's more like the Demon of Fuss, Whine, and Moan. That does not make it any less terrible. I ate so much medicinal chocolate I gave myself heartburn.

Things we have cried real, running-down-the-face tears about this weekend:

1. Having to wash feet. (But whyyyyy? Cue tears rolling down the cheeks while in shower from the seven and eleven-twelfths year old, who thinks soap is somehow equivelent to burning lava apparently.)

2. Going to the dollar store to pick out a toy. Allowed to go in pajamas, even. (I don't waaaaaant to leave the hooouuuussseee and get a toyyyy!)

3. "My brother is making me crazy!" (repeat, repeat, repeat.)

4. Seven other reasons I have blocked out in an attempt for self-preservation. Seven or fifty, I'm not sure which. Things like both wanting and not wanting to go to a picnic at the same time, or having nothing to do and not wanting to do anything. Wanting to eat but not wanting to get out of the bath tub. All perfectly valid reasons to someone, just not to me.

Please note that no one cried when they broke Mama's video camera. That was not as tragic as, say, their brother looking at them wrong.

Today we went to a water park type thing. When we came home they played on their laptops. We watched a movie on the couch. We went outside to play baseball, and then the world ended. First there was a fifteen minute fight over which ball to use, then there were tears over whose turn it was to retrieve the ball from the garden. (They both wanted to go get it from the bushes so kept throwing it back into the hostas in order get their turn, only to have their brother go get it before they could. Then switch which brother I'm talking about and repeat the exact same scenario.) Tears also at the mention of having to take baths and go to bed at some point.

Finally, tears over who caught and threw the ball, as follows:

BIG PANTS: I don't want Tiny Pants to throw it! I want Mama to throw it!
MAMA: I am here just to keep the ball from going in the street! Play with your brother!
BIG PANTS: I don't LIKE playing with my brother!
MAMA: You don't seem to like ANYTHING!
BIG PANTS: I do too! I like ice cream and puppies!!!

Go. Back. To. School.  Boarding school sounds nice. Do any of them start on Sundays?

Post Script:  The night ended with laughs over football and giggles over baby stories. They were asleep in five minutes flat, maybe a new world record. Perhaps they were just tired and not truly possessed by demons?

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Obligatory Getting Ready for the New School Year Post, Only-Mama Style

Every mom has her skills. I rock at the be your own person thing. I rock at the let's give you a mohawk or make a pokemon or go to the zoo thing,  but no one would ever confuse me for one of those moms who rock at household management.

I've been called flighty. I've been accused of being too lax. In my defense, I only misplaced the baby once, well, twice, but I found him right away again and I didn't know that he could crawl up the stairs. I like to say I'm a "low energy" parent, but that's not really true. I am actually a highly involved parent, I just try to channel my energy into things that make me all of us happy. 

Cleaning makes none of us happy, and while it's possible that the kids would be happier if I were more organized, in general they like being free-range children.  They like their hair cut so short it doesn't require combing. They like all their toys arrayed on their bedroom floor so they can be admired and played with more easily.

I have evolved, though.  I got all their school clothes last month, and I performed secret voodoo rituals to insure my youngest got the kindergarten teacher I wanted. (Which worked! Score!)  I even located backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles a full week before school started. I almost did a bang up job on that part. Almost.

Big Pants wanted to re-use last year's backpack and lunch box, so I just had to get one for Tiny Pants. (my Big Kindergartener!) He picked out one with owls. It's lavender. It was also only $5.99 instead of $19.99 so I was all for it.  Daddy, I think, won't be so pleased with it, so I'm ironing-on his name to make it more "boy" like. Well, except I just noticed that Tiny Pants picked out hot pink iron on letters so I guess Daddy won't be pleased with that after all. That's OK, it's not Daddy's lunch box. Besides, I did say I rocked the "you be you" mom thing.

We bought water bottles. I encouraged them to get different ones, so I will know who's is who's. I  even went to wash them last night, again, a whole week before I needed to.  And that's where i encountered a problem. 

If you aren't familiar with straw-style water bottles, they have an internal straw which is intrinsic to how they work, and this one was gone.  

MAMA: TIny Pants, we are going to have to return your water bottle.
TINY: Why?
MAMA: It's missing the straw.
TINY: no it's not.
MAMA: Yes, it is. See?
TINY: That's because I used it to drink my yogurt last week.
MAMA: Then what did you do with it?
TINY: I threw it away!

Great.  Luckily, if you saw this blog you know I never throw anything away, so I was able to rummage through my kitchen drawer and find a replacement. The sad part is that I had no idea he unscrewed the lid and stole the straw. I guess I might need to pay a little closer attention to my household management after all.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Tossed my Pants and I Liked It

first published on BlogHer

If you have been to my house, you will know definitively that I never throw anything away.  I am a keeper. I am a person who has done a variety of crafts, and when I see a piece of fabric on the floor of any size I can't help but think, "this one inch square of burgundy velvet will come in handy some day if I ever make a tiny chair for a mouse or something."  Likewise, I horde pretty paper,  small cardboard boxes, shells, buttons, toilet paper tubes, and anything else that seems like it might come in handy some day.

Before you go calling Hoarders on me please know that I do have limits of the amount of stuff I allow myself to hoard and I do have several times a year when I go nuts and throw a whole lot of stuff out.  If I did it once a month I'd be better off, but come on, now. Let's not go crazy here.

I have trouble getting rid of useful things, or potentially useful things even beyond crafts.  For example, I was sitting on my friend Asterisk's front porch earlier this summer.  In the bright sunlight it was glaringly obvious that my legs were a completely unnatural  shade of orange with an interesting variegation. I had tiger legs -- orange tiger legs.

We had a small conversation about it:

ME:  Apparently that second coat of self-tanner was a mistake.
HER: You think?
ME: Well, it looked ok after one coat, but two coats seem to be a little orange. And apparently I suck at applying it evenly. 
HER: I think perhaps self-tanner is not your thing.
ME: I think you are right. I think orange tiger legs is not exactly the look I am going for.
HER:  So are you gonna throw the tanner out?
ME: (mortified) Why would I do that? What if I have an emergency?
HER: An emergency where you need to make your legs orange?
ME: Well….

My bathroom is stocked full of half-used shampoos and lotions that I was disappointed in but still can not acknowledge that they were a colossal waste of money by tossing them in the garbage.

With clothes, I have been socialized to believe that it would be a crime against humanity to throw them away. There are too many poor people in the world that need slightly ill-fitting clothes, so I bag them up and donate them. Except for undergarments.  Donating used undergarments seems like recycling gone too far.

Who would buy them? What would they do with them? Would women in a homeless shelter really like used underpants? I would not. I would rather cheap, ugly, new underpants, or no underpants. I would be grossed out by used underpants.  I feel underpants should go in the trash.

Yesterday I found scrunched in the back of my underwear drawer a pair of underpants that I had only worn a handful of times. They were still vibrant and bright, and the elastic had not yet sprung. It was like finding a secret forgotten present of new underpants, and what girl doesn't like that?

I gleefully put them on, and either they shrunk in the wash, or my ass has increased in size monumentally since I purchased them.  They were about two inches too short in the back, proudly displaying my ass crack to anyone who might be peeking, and in the front they barely covered my flower of femininity.   Best yet, they had a long tag that fluttered right between my cheeks and tickled unmercifully.  

I did what any fiscally responsible person would do - I left them on and pulled my jeans over them. My jeans were new and stiff and NOT (so far) a buying mistake, but they were a little bit of a hassle to get on and off.  Once I got them on, I was keeping them on. (I seem to have more foot than jeans makers allow for at the ankle.)

I tried unsuccessfully to tug off the tag while hopping on one foot, but not only would it not budge, but my efforts seemed to result in the extra long tag now standing at attention like a little flag, perpendicular to my crack.  I found a belt to avoid plumbers butt and hopefully keep those underpants and their flag-tag under control. I put on my new lace-up army type boots and walked downstairs, and that's when I knew it was all over.

I could not leave the house like this, with my underwear creating total mayhem under my jeans.  The top two inches of my bum was exposed. My tag-flag was niggling. My femme-flower was in danger of busting free entirely if I ordered the wrong entree or leaned too far in any direction.

The Pants Had To Go. Off with the boots, off with the jeans, off with the belt, off with the pants.

But, but, but do I really need to toss them? Shouldn't I keep them in case I ever lose 10 pounds? They are practically new and adorable, after all!

I did not toss the pants.  I ignored the pants, sinisterly mocking me from their spot on the bedroom floor. I slept with one eye on the evil plotting pants.  This morning I gave in. The pants were consigned to the trash, but not before a photo-op. (Sorry, I'm not brave or stupid enough for a photo-op with the pants on.) 

Good bye, cruel pants.  We almost had something good….

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baseball Auditions

I am sitting here waiting for an email from the coach regarding Big Pants' baseball audition Sunday.  I am 100% certain he made the team, except for a niggling 2% doubt and 23% lack of faith in humanity and 37% distrust of the idea of fairness winning out.  Yes I do rock at math, thank you very much.

This was our first experience with having to show our abilities to make a team, and I tried my hardest.  I made small talk with other moms, some of which were friendly and some of which viewed me as the enemy. I did not yell at my son to run faster, listen to the coach, or give it his all.  I gave other kids a verbal "good job!" even though they were the competition.  I did not baby my son and run out and give him water in between drills even though I really wanted to.  I made a cute comment about right field to the coach, showing I was fun to have around.

In short, I think my  audition as a sports-mom went well.  (this is my blog, so of course it is all about me. If my son wants someone to go on and on about his athletic prowess he can start his own blog.)

I think I prepared him well for his try-out.  We practiced every day for the four days leading up to it, and I did not even complain about being too hot or not wanting to run after balls.  I pitched and threw and ran and even caught the ball a few times. I now know where my biceps are because of the dull pain they are radiating. 

Big Pants and I talked about how we were just seeing if this team and coach would be a good match, and that there were four other leagues he could play in, so if the coach was too mean, we could easily go somewhere else.  We talked about how even if he missed every swing at bat he was still super-fast at running and a great outfielder. I tried to erudite any potential self-doubt induced choke.

I encouraged him to create his own outfit of confidence for the try out. He went with baseball pants and hat from his summer team paired with his flag football t-shirt, and I even sewed his WV People In Parks merit badge to the sleeve that morning as he requested.  I did not over-spray him with sunblock.  I agreed that his lucky hat did indeed make him lucky and his mohawk surely made him run faster.  My only intervention was in nixing the too-tight soccer socks from several years ago he was struggling into in favor of his brother's baseball socks that fit Big Pants perfectly. I realize that the soccer socks were black and matched his black T-shirt but I felt navy blue and free range of motion were a better choice. 

As a non-sports-mama, I think I rose to the occasion and did a bang-up job.  Oh, the kid? He  did his best, played hard, had fun, and I couldn't have been prouder of him.  I think we both knocked it out of the park.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Post:Confessions of a Belly Dancer

Kris Stone is guest posting today! I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did.

So I started this site recently called with the goal of helping women learn to love their bodies just as they are. The method for learning this is through seeing images of real women's bodies (meaning all shapes & sizes) and through inspiring articles on the subject. But I have a confession to make.

I don't always practice what I preach.

Sometimes I feel bad about my body. Sometimes I am downright mean and critical of my different body parts. Of course PMS, my old buddy, loves to validate me on those special days, egging me on with a sour mood and a bloated tummy. Ever been there?

I'm a 45 year old single mom who is in average shape. Truth be told I should never complain. I should never feel insecure... but sometimes I do. I've even been lucky enough after 8 years of being widowed to find a very nice and supportive boyfriend who really likes my body. But do I believe him? Hmm. Well sometimes. I mean, I should...

But for some weird reason, sometimes I don't believe him. It's not even that I think he's lying. It's that I can't believe that someone could think my body is that special or good/sexy enough to really get worked up over.

And something tells me I'm not alone in feeling this way.

And it's not like I'm a terribly shy person. I'm confident in myself. I even perform belly-dancing in public. Yes, with my belly showing! And jiggling! (That's half the fun & the beauty and definitely a subject to write about later.) The funny thing is that my belly dancing "sisters" and I have no problem dancing for a crowd with our bellies exposed, and at the same time it's not unusual to hear us talking backstage about how we don't think our bodies are beach-ready or bikini-ready. Crazy huh?

It's like we know with our artistic, open, and compassionate mind that our female bodies are beautiful, strong, life-giving, and pleasing just the way they are regardless of size or shape, but we have a competing mind that is critical, fearful, and conditioned to judge . This mind tells us quite the opposite. It tells us we are too small here, too large there;  too soft here, and not soft enough there, and on and on. You know the drill.

So backtrack about 6 months ago, when my idea for this new website, was born. I accidentally came across a couple of very cool websites  that had pictures of real women’s bodies along with their personal stories and how they felt about their bodies. I was blown away.

The stories were so compelling and touching. I couldn't believe how many women with perfectly wonderful bodies felt so bad about themselves. To me all I could see was pure beauty. And I'm talking about real bodies. Boobs of different shapes and degree of sag. The skinny, the medium, the larger, and those with a mix of each size in different parts. Stretch marked bodies and even bodies that look like the media’s “standard” female body. All of them looked equally beautiful. And a big part of that was their stories. You were able to "see" their beautiful souls. You were able to feel their vulnerability. And this awakened compassion in me for them.

And then a surprising thing happened:

It awakened a compassion for myself and for my own body. I realized that I am beautiful just the way I am. I understood why a man could really love my body. It's because I'm Not Just a Body! I have a soul that is delicate and lovable. I am a complex person with good and bad traits, which make me interesting. I'm hopefully a person who is kind which is it's own sort of beauty. And I am a person with vulnerabilities.

When you become so close to another person to share intimate moments and you allow yourself to be vulnerable - as in just naked without judgment or praise, just naked - that's one of the times that compassion, or to use another word, love, is born. Love on the part of your partner.

Compassion for yourself, self-love, can also be born - all by yourself. You simply allow it to happen by giving yourself permission to be kind and love yourself, to be open to your own vulnerabilities and then care for them with love and understanding. You CAN do this.

And this is the very thing I want to share with other women: the gift of self-love.

When we are able to replace self-hate with self-love it is truly a joyful experience.

And so that’s why I have built this "house" called in the hopes that you will come over for a visit. I hope that you will help me decorate it with your photos and stories. I hope that you will be uplifted by the articles and images and stories. I hope that you will want to share a guest post and bring your friends to our little get-together.

I hope that you will come away like I have, feeling better about your body more often than you used to. We've all had years of detrimental conditioning about how our bodies should look, but I know that over time we can each change our perspective and learn to love ourselves just the way we are today!

So even though I confess to self-criticism, I want to tell you that much of it has been replaced with self-compassion making a real positive difference in my life.

Will you come visit and share your story? I'll be waiting with a warm welcome, a virtual cup of coffee, and a hug!
Thanks and I look forward to "meeting" you.

PS: All images and stories that are submitted are kept strictly anonymous. Commenting is only allowed on blog articles and I look forward to hearing from you all!

This was written by Kris Stone of a site dedicated to helping women learn to love themselves just the way they are. Kris also writes a popular blog called

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Come Back! I Didn't Think It Through!

Do you remember writing letters? At various points in high school I had boyfriends who lived out of town.  You can't exactly call it a "long distance relationship" when you aren't old enough to drive, and I'm not even sure "boyfriend" is appropriate in all cases either.  At any rate, I spent a lot of time writing letters once upon a time, not only to boyfriends but to relatives on occasion as well. I was not a diligent corresponder, but I felt guilt over not writing my grandmother once a month. Eventually the bad feelings would overtake me and  would sit down to "catch-up" my correspondence."

Here's how it worked: I would hand write a long missive on carefully selected stationery, then put it in a coordinated envelope and seal it.  Sometimes I would go through several envelopes rewriting them so they didn't look sloppy. Once I was ready to mail it, I would spend a few days trying to find the stamps my mother hid somewhere in the bill paying drawer.  I would then contemplate how many stamps I was allowed to use before I was supposed to buy my own, and how many stamps a 4-page letter required. I generally went with one stamp per page. I was an excessive stamper.

After all the prepping was done, the letter would be put out for the mail carrier, who didn't come until around 3:00pm.  It was only then - several hours or days after I had finished writing my letter - that it would leave my hands forever.  I had many chances to un-do the letter.

Everyone talks about how email, texting, etc., has killed off the art of letter-writing, and this is true, but not something I generally mourn.  I no longer stock stationery in different designs so I always have the perfect one, and that means I save a lot of money on paper that I rarely used.  I only buy stamps at Christmas, and the left overs last me the rest of the year. Yes, I am missing out on cute stamp designs, but really that's not a big deal to me.

What I do have a love/hate relationship with delay.  It's certainly great to get an email or text instantly when the facts still crunch and the news hasn't gone all chewy.  I am an instant gratification girl.  


It is too easy to hit send, and that enter key does not forgive impetuousness. You can't take it back, no matter if you beg, cry, or swear. 

Once I accidentally sent a picture of myself (clothed) with the caption "I'm so boobilicious!" to everyone in my phonebook including my boss. Thankfully, her secretary was willing to go into the office at 11:00pm on a Tuesday and delete it for me, thus saving my job.

Once I accidentally carbon copied a relative on an email to my best friend in which I said disparaging things about her.

I have gotten embarrassing texts from ex's who have hit the wrong button while drunk and meant to invite someone else to their Christmas party.

But more than that, there are times when I decide to send a "just be honest, they deserve to know how I feel, in fact they should know how I feel, it's important to let them know exactly what I am thinking"  type of text or email, and that's the kind of message that needs to wait until 3:00pm for the mail carrier to collect.  Those messages have no business being sent without a "are you really sure?" pop-up.

It's not just because I may hurt someone's feelings.  It's also about sometimes it is better to keep your vulnerabilities to yourself. For example, on text it is easy to send someone a couple or maybe 5,000 texts while they are sleeping or at work. And you can't undo that, even if they haven't read them.

I do try and place sensitive letters in draft mode for an hour before sending, but  what I really need is a auto-delay feature for all the little off the cuff thoughts i have that really don't need to be shared with the world. 

Maybe paper letters weren't such a bad thing. After all, if it survived all the time in preparation, the wait in the mailbox, there was always the last minute option of chasing the mail carrier down the street. (And don't think I haven't done it.) Sadly, my computer runs to fast for me to catch up, and it doesn't look back no matter how loudly I yell.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Boys Are Useful In Unexpected Ways (and I have a water feature)

Sometimes kids are handy to have around.

I don't mean because they fill your heart with joy or keep you young, or teach you patience. Sometimes they are down right useful.

Take last night, for example.  We had noted that water was bubbling up through cracks in the street around bedtime, so I filled a lot of things with water, including the bathtub with water. Unfortunately, the water started slowly leaking out from under the stopper, and the water was slowly leaking out.

Now, for normal bath operation, this wouldn't be a problem, because you don't need the tub to stay full for more than a few hours, but by midnight it appeared I might need the water to stay in the tub for a few days, as  my street looked like this:
Ah, the dulcet tones of the babbling street

I had my very own water feature! And I had my own private beach right in front of my porch! I knew if I waited long enough I would get beach front property. 

But meanwhile, I had a leaky tub full of water, and I suspected that all the water in the street was going to cause an absence of fresh water for drinking, bathing, and flushing, so I asked a friend for some advice about the tub:

FRIEND:  Put some saran wrap under the stopper.
ME: OK, now the stopper is floating around. Maybe I should put a big rock on it?
FRIEND: You have a big rock laying around?
ME: Of course I have a big rock laying around! I have boys!

I went downstairs and chose one of the three large rocks from the collecting basket I keep in the center of the dining room table, which the boys fill with whatever nature-y things they lug home. It is always good for an assortment of rocks.

Later, I wanted to see just how deep the sink hole was, because I am the kind of person who likes to poke large sink holes with sticks to see how far down they go. I can't help it, it's my nature. I opened the coat closet and found the stick that I knew the boys had stashed there. It was the perfect length and diameter for poking things, because I have raised them right and taught them the art of poking things with sticks.  The hole was over a foot deep when I went to bed, and very fun to poke with a stick.

Around 5:00am a truck showed up and started tearing apart my street, and those sweet boys slept through it, though I have no idea how. When the boys woke up, I provided them with the free entertainment of men digging up the street, which is awesome.  The boys came in handy one last time, in gaining access to the big hole.  City workers are always super nice to curious boys and their mothers, and let us go very close to the hole and showed us all about what they were doing.  Alone, I would have been too shy to ask.

We were not allowed down the ladder. Sigh.