Here’s your sporadically produced Round-Up. I know you’ve been waiting eagerly for this one, because who doesn’t want to know what I’m doing when I’m not spending my time here, writing? That’s what I thought. So while you’re enjoying that final sugar rush of the holiday season, tree still twinkling in the window, leftovers still fresh in the fridge, enjoy this belated Christmas gift.

The Heathens
You remember The Heathens, right? The little scoundrels we discussed in this post? Well, they got golf clubs for Christmas. ALL OF THEM. How do I know they got golf clubs? Because they were at the park committing arborcide yet again. I’m surprised they weren’t wearing their karate uniforms and shooting paintball guns at squirrels, too.

How squirrels feel about the Heathens.

How squirrels feel about the Heathens.

We have a “no heathen” rule in our house. Miles – and all future sons – are banned from exhibiting any heathen-like behavior. Guess what Mr. and Mrs. Heathen got for Christmas? Matching Lexuses. Lexi? Lexusi? I’m not sure how you pluralize “obnoxious” but that’s what Santa brought them. Mrs. Heathen even got a pink bedazzled license plate cover. Barf.

The Crunch Off
Let me preface this by saying I’m not that crunchy mama, but on a scale of Fig Newton to Mama Earth Arrowroot Cookies, I’d probably fall somewhere in line with a Pepperidge Farms Sausalito (side note: DROOL). Here’s what I’ve learned: No matter how crunchy you think you are, there’s someone crunchier. And if you boast about your crunchiness (which I would never do because I’m lazy, and my buggy probably has some non-organic produce in it because I’m also thrifty) someone is going to out-crunchy you. Before you know it, you’ve entered The Crunch Off. For every cloth diaper you’ve changed, someone else is teaching her kids “elimination communication” (Google it). And for every mama going with elimination communication, some other mama is taking her kid’s poop and adding it to her compost bin outside (Google that, too). And for every mama with a compost bin, there’s another mama using Family Cloth (GOOGLE IT. I DARE YOU. No, don’t…it’s toilet paper you wash. Feeling crunchy?)

Hate your hubby's lumberjack shirt?  PROBLEM SOLVED.

Hate your hubby’s lumberjack shirt? PROBLEM SOLVED.

So, moms of granola and non-granola alike, can we just stop it already with the one-upmanship? It’s so lame and aggravating. Parenting really comes down to one thing: love. Also, feeding them and keeping them clean, but that should be part of the love. As long as you’re loving your kids, and caring for them in the best way for your family, you’re getting an A+ from me. Also, Doritos moms, stop telling the crunchy moms that they’re weird, because it’s not nice. At least we never have to clean orange cheese dust off our furniture.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we are big fans of The Wonder Weeks. At 36 weeks old, Miles is in his sixth phase of mental development, called the “World of Categories.” The book tells you that he’s starting to group things in categories. For example, a picture of a cow, a stuffed cow and a live cow are all in the category of “cows” (yes, I realize that sounds simple, but remember…Miles still eats his toes). Each leap in development has its own challenges. I will brag and say that for the most part, Miles has had very few fussy moments during these leaps. The app gives you a chart with sunshine and rain clouds so you can track where your baby’s mood might be. Miles currently has a picture of a looming black storm cloud with a huge bolt of lightning. Nice thought, huh? Anyway, one of the new things that can begin during this development: NIGHTMARES. So this is what I get for bragging about what a good sleeper my son is…last night, starting at 1:30a and every 90 minutes until 7a, he woke up. Sometimes he would cry, sometimes he would talk, sometimes he would just crawl around his crib and bang on the rails. But there was crying, and he was asleep. Suffice to say, we’re thinking we’ve had our first nightmare. Of course, when Miles woke up this morning you’d think he had 12 hours of beautiful sleep at a Swedish spa, because he was rip-roarin’ and ready to go. I, on the other hand, needed two cups of coffee. Let’s hope tonight is more…peaceful?

EDITED TO ADD:  The “up every 90 minutes” fiasco from last night?  Mystery solved…WE HAVE A TOOTH! HALLELUJAH! I thought this kid would be toothless until being toothless is okay (i.e. when he could wear dentures).

Cheers to the weekend and GLORIOUS NAPS TO BE HAD,

Round-Up: The Heathen Edition

I had originally thought about including a blurb about The Heathens and golf clubs in a Round-Up edition, then I realized that I’ve never actually introduced The Heathens.  This post is dedicated to the little terror suspects living around the corner. 
Everyone has neighbors that maybe they aren’t too fond of.  Sometimes those neighbors are the ones who play their (horrible) music way too loud and way too late; other times, those neighbors are the ones who insist on mowing, weed whacking, trimming and using their leaf blower at 6:30am on a Saturday.  The neighbors that I’m least fond of happen to be a trio of boys in the 6-8 year old range.  In our house, these neighbors are affectionately referred to as, “The Heathens.”
Let’s get one thing straight…I am not a person who can’t stand kids.  In fact, I love kids, especially when they’re moderately well behaved and not totally covered in stickiness (what is that kids roll around in that causes the sticky shield?)  But if you’re kid is a jerk, well, chances are I’m probably not going to offer to babysit.
The Heathens live around the corner from us.  Their parents, from what I can tell, work from home.  This means they are present for a majority of the heathen behavior, which as far as I can tell, goes unpunished.  Visits from the Heathens to our side of the neighborhood are frequent, because the land across the street from our house is a “park.”  It’s a preserve the City of Cape Coralbought about 20 years ago because it runs along the Rubicon Canal.  Fun fact: our neighbor’s house was on that side of the street when it was first built in the early 90s, and when the City purchased the land, they actually moved the house to our side of the street.
Lots of folks in the neighborhood use the park to run their dogs, throw the football, or go fish in the canal.  We all have a mutual respect for each other; if the guy down the street is throwing the tennis ball with his Rottweiler, I’m not going to take my below average intelligence Collie across the street to play.
One Saturday afternoon about two years ago, I was in the living room reading (my favorite thing to do BC: spend six hours on Saturday laying on the couch reading Stephen King novels).  Our living room window faces the park.  I could hear some commotion, and I saw the Heathens running around like they’d chugged sixteen Monsters and eaten nothing but Pixie Stix for breakfast (side note: this is the glitz pageant standard breakfast).  I could feel my annoyance level rising.
The park has about a dozen or so trees.  Some are older, and some were just planted about five years ago.  The Heathens zeroed in on one of the younger trees.  They proceed to jump up, grab branches, and swing from them like the apes they are.  Branches were ripped from the poor tree.  I contemplated going outside, or calling the police (yes, I will be that lady one day) or squirting them with the water hose.  But in my laziness, and assumption that this wouldn’t last long, I just went back to reading.
About half an hour later, I got up to make some tea…and I saw the remnants of warfare.  These Heathens had managed to rip every single branch from the tree.  They had also disappeared, leaving only their path of destruction behind.
Two days later, the City of Cape Coral sent some workers out who had to cut down the tree and grind the stump, because the Heathens killed it.  Yes, those little terror suspects had committed arborcide.  And if that’s not a word, it is now.
There are a lot of things that break my bleeding, liberal, love everyone, tree hugging heart.  Like those ASPCA commercials with the Sara McLaughlin song in the background (you KNOW the ones), people who litter (especially from their cars – you give me road rage) and people who kill trees. 
The following weekend, the Heathens were playing football across the street.  
They looked something like this:

Seeing the Heathens made me feeling something like this:
Damn straight. 

I refrained from marching over there and starting this:
 Sorry, ran out of images from 300 I found acceptable.  But this is pretty accurate, too.
The Heathens managed to avoid causing any loss of life to plants, animals, small children or elderly folks enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  But, they did leave their football behind.  Once the coast was clear, I marched my happy butt across the street and stole their football.
Was it mature?  No.  Was it honest?  No.  Was it what Jesus would have done?  Probably not.  Probably.  But it made me feel better, and Evan was super excited to have a new football.

Last week I saw the trio loading up into their dad’s SUV, and they were wearing karate uniforms.  KARATE.  Yes, the battle continues…