Saturday, December 31, 2011

Resolve is a carpet cleaner, not a verb.

So, I wrote this post three weeks ago and scheduled it to post today. But I accidentally scheduled it to post at 10 PM rather than 10 AM. And now everybody and their dog has posted their resolutions, so when I post this in a few minutes I'm just going to look like some copy-catting schmuck.

Just know this: I wrote mine first, bitches! You're the copy-catting schmucks! ALL OF YOU!

So anyway, if you're not tired of reading resolutions at this point, here are mine.

1. Learn the difference between AM and PM, apparently.

2. Be more judge-y. I mean, I've done a pretty good job of being judgmental this year, but I could do better.

3. Spend more than 15 days of the calendar year on the same continent as my husband. Preferably same state, but I'd settle for same country. (Side note: for the next 9 and a half hours, my husband and I are living in different years.)

4. More naps. And bacon.

5. Put all my faith in the Mayans. Tick tock, people.

6. Fewer tornado warnings. Obviously I can't stop the tornadoes from coming, but I can sleep with ear plugs in and pretend they don't exist.

7. Not get pregnant.

8. Gain at least 5 pounds.

9. Spend more time on Facebook.

10. Find new ways to interact with people without actually having to experience human contact.

What are your resolutions, internets? Nevermind. I've already read them.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It was more aqua than blue.

This has nothing to do with the post, but pictures like this remind me why I keep the kids around. I have no idea how she can sleep like that, but I find it adorable.

So, in between napping and reading and napping and eating cinnamon M&M's (Holy crap, people. Have you tried these?) and taking down Christmas decorations (Does your house look completely bare--like you're in the middle of moving--for about a week after you take down your tree? Or is it just mine?) and napping and making Nutella crepes (FYI: The cost of peanut butter has skyrocketed so much in the past couple of months that it's now cheaper per ounce to buy Nutella than Jif. Who am I to waste money?) and napping, I kept getting a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something.

And this morning as I was about to take an after breakfast nap, it came to me. "Uh, hey. You have a blog. You should probably write something before someone starts an internet rumor that you're dead, and then you'll have to go on Facebook and Twitter and post proof-of-life pictures." You know how I hate pictures of myself, so here I am.

Christmas was as good as it could be with Will in Afghanistan and no friends or family close by to hang out with. We've been without Will on Christmas before, but this is the first where we were completely alone, just the kids and myself. To be honest, it really didn't feel like Christmas. It felt like a regular Sunday, except that the kids got a bunch of crap.

We ate Chinese food for four days. Lunch and dinner.

We watched a lot of Redbox movies.

I did a lot of napping.

We're entering into week two of school vacation, and I'm about to lose my mind. I try to keep them entertained, I really do. It's not working. So, I nap. With headphones. I figure they'll either work it out and entertain themselves, or their incessant bickering will escalate to the point that they'll stop speaking to each other (or kill each other). Either way--eventual peace and quiet for me.

But!!! There is a bright side to all this. We're now in the home stretch of this deployment. We're down to less than three weeks. I can't be more specific because there are probably terrorists who read this blog. They've heard my kids have some excellent tactics. Also, I don't know a specific date. I know the date he'll leave Afghanistan, but then they have to spend a few days in Kyrgyzstan getting all their "don't kill your family" briefings while waiting on open flights. Could be three days. Could be a week. For those who have seen my countdown on Facebook, it's more of an estimation.

The past couple of months have been all, "I need to do X, Y and Z before Christmas." But now we've moved into, "I need to do X, Y and Z before Will gets home." I try to save some projects like cleaning out my closet, organizing the junk drawers, and straightening out the garage--stuff that I usually only do once a year--for the last couple of weeks to make the time pass a little faster. Except the last couple of weeks of a deployment are a lot like the last couple weeks of a pregnancy. They become the longest weeks of your life and you suddenly become speedy and efficient and finish all the projects in three hours, leaving yourself nothing to do but wait.

So anyway, internets, how was your holiday? Let me live vicariously through you. Did you do something fun? Go on vacation? Did one of your friends decide to lose her virginity at 38 years old on Christmas Eve and then post a play by play of the preparations on Facebook? (I so wish I was making that up.) C'mon, spill it. I want to hear.

Again, nothing to do with the post, but Amelia got this doll for Christmas. I'm not usually creeped out by dolls, but I'm pretty sure this one is going to kill me in my sleep.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Very Douglass Christmas III

It's that time again, internets.
I present for your Christmas viewing pleasure the Douglasses through the years! Behold the awesomeness that is my bad hair and fluctuating weight! Also, I want you to keep in mind that these are the best shots we got every year. That means there are worse versions of each of these pictures. Hard to believe, but it's true.

1997, married 6 months

1998, we added a cat

1999, we added a kid

Our 2000 picture is lost somewhere in cyberspace. So, here's Will in 1982 instead.

2001, Germany

2002, Germany

2003, Germany (are you detecting a pattern here?)
By the way, I was knocked up in this picture but didn't know it yet. So it's technically Liam's first Christmas picture.

2004--Will was in Germany. Ben, Liam and I were at my parents'. Liam was only 3 months old and recovering from open heart surgery. So, this was the best I could manage.

2005, we'd added TWO kids
Geez Louise, I look like the poster child for postpartum depression.

Bonus: me in 1977.

2006, Maryland

2007, Will was deployed and we spent Christmas with my family. I guess I didn't take one in front of the tree that year either.

2008, Georgia

2009, Georgia

2010, Tennessee
I'm pretty sure the phrase, "Smile or get beat"
was uttered at some point during this photo shoot.

2011, Tennessee
We inherited two cats. We love them. And Will is usually the one who organizes the yearly family Christmas picture. Since he's deployed and I'm too lazy, so this is what you get this year.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cheaper than stamps.

(No cats were harmed in the making of this picture.
However there may be poop in my shoes tomorrow.)

Dear Friends, Family, and Internet Stalkers,

It's been another exciting year here in the Douglass household. We have managed to survive yet another year of southern living mullet and pick-up truck free. And when I say survive, I really do mean survive. This year we got to experience our first Spring in tornado alley. There's nothing quite like long, stormy nights spent crouched on the floor next to the litter box in your 15 square foot half bath with three other people while tornado sirens blare outside to really give you an appreciation for Tennessee's quaint southern charm.

Amelia still loves Barbies, drawing and telling people what to do. She's also developed an affinity for dressing the cats in human clothes and telling them what to do. Her biggest achievement this year has been figuring out that it's much easier to let other people do things for you than it is to actually do them yourself. She has also learned that big blue eyes, flattery, and feigned helplessness will convince people to do just about anything, while thanking her for the privilege to do it.

Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and our continued choice to parent him through pharmaceuticals, Liam has remained suspension-free and on the straight A honor roll so far this year. Not one to sit by and be the forgotten middle child, he has replaced his behavioral issues with reckless, daredevil stunts. Whether it's donning his Superman cape to leap from the top of the two story play set, or standing on his bicycle seat while flying down the hill, he's determined to make his mark in the world, and occasionally the ER. He's decided that he'd like to be a director like Spielberg when he grows up, or possibly a mother, because mothers "get to play on the computer all day."

Ben has spent the year tirelessly working to prove that parents know nothing, twelve year olds are above rules, and an insanely high IQ means little without common sense to back it up. He's also been conducting experiments in how the rate of one's pre-teen mouthiness is inversely proportional to the amount of TV and computer privileges one gets. I'm pretty sure he's close to concrete evidence on that one. He's moved away from the idea of becoming an actor and now wants to pursue a military career. He's begun to look seriously at military boarding schools, and we are more than supportive of this endeavor. I'm sure he'll find military school to be just the break he needs from our strict rules and unreasonable demands at home.

A few weeks after Christmas last year, Will deployed to Afghanistan. There he has been able to spend a year taking in the views (and more importantly, the aroma) of the lake of raw sewage, shower with other men, breathe thick, unrelenting dust, and regularly sit in a bunker while insurgent rockets rain down. But it hasn't all been bad. Sometimes he gets to ride in a helicopter over combat zones to work at the base with the slightly better food! In a few short weeks he'll finally get to come home, where, according to Army social services, he might try to kill us! Assuming we all come out alive, we're hoping for a much more low key year in 2012.

The biggest news for me is that I'm fat again! Not as fat as I once was, but fat enough to make my enemies and detractors extremely happy. The bright side is that I've been able to really explore my creative side while finding new and stylish ways to wear stretchy pants. Also, it's eliminated those pesky come-ons at the gym. So really, it's like a blessing. I've also been lucky enough to garner a small income from writing this year. It's not enough to actually pay for anything, but just enough to obligate me to write.

I hope your year has been equally spectacular!

And remember, "Happy Holidays" is what the terrorists say.
So, Merry Christmas from The Douglasses

(In case you missed it, you can read last year's Christmas letter HERE.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You lost me at "no bacon."

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel! I made it out of clay!
And when it's dry and ready, with dreidel I shall play!

So, I'm not Jewish.

(I'll give you a moment to get over your shock.)

But I did spend a significant number of my formative years living in a place with a very large Jewish population. Large enough that we had the major Jewish holidays off of school, and during Passover, school lunches were kosher-for-Passover (it's how I gained a love of matzoh with strawberry cream cheese!). I have attended a fair share of Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs and Seders, and quickly learned why my elementary school friends would stomp on a Dixie cup when they pretended to get married.

I also discovered the best holiday ever: Purim. Purim celebrates the delivery of the Jews from their enemies in the Esther story. To celebrate Purim, Jews go to synagogue to hear the reading of the story. In costume! And whenever the name Haman (who is the villain of the story) is mentioned, everyone screams.

It's like on Pee Wee's Playhouse when the secret word was mentioned.

Christians, why do we not have a holiday like this? The story is in the Old Testament. There's no reason we shouldn't also be putting on costumes and screaming in church once a year. (Mormons, I think we should scream every time Laman and Lemuel are mentioned. EVERY SUNDAY. Who's with me?)

Really, Jews get all the good holidays. I guess the trade off is that we get bacon.

Anyway, my kids haven't had the same kind of exposure to other religious and cultural celebrations like I had. So, when I saw that our Target had an entire aisle dedicated to Hanukkah, I seized the opportunity.

Hanukkah, for those who don't know, is a Jewish holiday that started last night at sundown. It celebrates the miracle of oil lasting for 8 days when there was only enough for one. Obviously there's more to it than that--the story involves the Greeks taking over, demanding the Jews worship Zeus and eat pork, and defiling their sacred temples. But the short version is that the oil lasted. Kind of like how I haven't remembered to check the oil in the van since Will left a year ago and it's still running fine.

It's a miracle!

Anyway, one of the traditions of Hanukkah is playing the dreidel game. So, I bought a dreidel, gelt (chocolate gold coins) and a gelt pouch.

After dinner (BLT's, which was unintentional, but still funny) I taught the kids the long version of what Hanukkah is, and how to play the game.

It started out fun, but went downhill quickly. Within half an hour, Ben had been banished for cheating, and Liam and Amelia ate all the gelt.

But I tried.

I'm hoping tomorrow's Saturnalia fest goes a little better.

(And here's the best version of the dreidel song ever. Just be warned that it's from South Park and odds are, you might be offended.)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love Letters from a Sister Wife

(So, OF COURSE when I write a post that's mainly pictures, Blogspot goes crazy and turns half of them sideways. And yes, it really is Blogspot, not me. Sorry. Just tilt your head. Also, I may or may not be under the influence of prescription narcotics, so I can't make any promises as to the coherency of the following post.)

I have good friends, internets. I really do. They listen to me whine. They tell me to knock the whining off when it gets out of hand. They sext me when I'm lonely. They'll judge people with me while simultaneously helping me maintain the delusion that I never judge people. And sometimes they send me random packages of things that make me furiously happy. Hand knitted scarves in my favorite color. A whole collection of dashboard Hula girls (and boys). Bacon band aids. And this week, I got this:

A card (addressed to "a muff-tastic friend"), Nutella, a cheesy Christmas porn romance novel, a Twilight calendar, and a sharpie for defacing said calendar.

Let's start with that card.

(Name removed to protect the bi-curious.)

And because she went through the trouble of sending it, the least I could do was follow through with her instructions.

(The Edwardian boobies were a special request.)

A little classic vandalism.

Sometimes vandalism is unnecessary. I haven't decided if the intent of this picture is to make me hot for this guy, or afraid of his vampire ways. Either way, the only response it gives me is laughter.

I seeeeeeeee youuuuuuuuuuu.

I always thought this guy (Carl? Carrington? The doctor.) looked like a girl. I decided to make it official.

And internets? You need to go find that porn romance novel and read it immediately. Here are a couple of selections from it, in case you don't believe that it's worth your time:

"I smelled like horse. Some women like it, but I wasn't sure if Lacey was that kind of woman."


"That kiss set my panties on fire, which is a dangerous thing because nylon is highly flammable."


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Morning Confessions

When I was searching for images for this post, this came up.
I think I need to read it and then punch that woman square in the taco.

1. While I hate menu planning and grocery shopping, I love how my pantry and refrigerator are full when I do. I look at the shelves and know that if the zombie apocalypse happened right now, I could feed my family for at least a month. Assuming we don't become zombies.

2. I feel zero Christmas spirit. It doesn't feel AT ALL like Christmas to me. I'm dumbfounded that it's less than two weeks away.

3. Speaking of zero Christmas spirit, I haven't even enjoyed Christmas music this year. Usually I tune into a station that plays it 24/7 from Thanksgiving until the New Year, but this year, more often than not I find myself flipping stations to find regular music.

4. The exception being depressing Christmas music. Which there is a surprising quantity of. Yes, it is a blue, blue, blue Christmas. So baby please come home, because I'll be home for Christmas (if only in my dreams).

5. I finally put up new calendars. The ones I last put up were for October and November 2010.

6. Watching Terra Nova is usually the highlight of my week. Don't you judge me.

7. Three of my neighbors have put up bright blue and red Christmas lights, so every time I walk past my window I think there's a police standoff going on across the street.

8. I have recently become addicted to cheesy romance novels. Except, I don't get any romantic feeling from them. Pretty much every time I finish one I want to punch the main female character right in the taco for being an idiot.

9. I don't know if it's because of the holidays or what, but there has been a sad lack of stupidity on Facebook lately. I'm considering unblocking some people just for entertainment purposes.

10. I don't want to wrap presents by myself this year. It's usually something Will and I procrastinate together. Maybe I just won't wrap anything and pass it off as "thinking of the environment."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Somebody's getting their dishes done tonight.

The gods at have spoken. The winner of the tile or pillow (winner's choice) is:


Contact me to let me know which you'd prefer.

And then let us all know if it works, O.K.?

Friday, December 9, 2011

O Come Let Us Adore Him

And the Sith said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day on the barren planetoid of Polis Massa a Jedi, which is Luke Skywalker.

(Click to embiggen)

This is what happens when I leave my children unattended while I take an after dinner nap. I don't even know where they put the actual nativity I had sitting there.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sex and the (temporarily) single girl

You're doing it wrong.

So, we're talking about sex again.

Every time I do, I seem to get in trouble with someone. But is that going to stop me? Heck no.

I have a friend who asked me to pose a somewhat delicate question to all of you. And yes, I know when I say "friend" it sounds like I'm asking for myself and trying to hide it. But really, this is for a friend.

I swear!

Anyway, she's an Army wife, and her husband is also deployed. (No really, it's not me!) And she's missing The Sex. A lot. And taking care of the problem herself (if you know what I mean) isn't an option she cares to pursue.

Here's her e-mail:
How do you deal with deployment sexually? For those of us who have a good sex life it's unbearable. And all the benefits in the military do not make up for the six months without sex. I tell you, we will be getting out of the military as soon as possible. I'm not doing this again. I don't really understand how you and [another friend who shall remain nameless] could stay in the military so long and put up with no sex for six months at a time. It's crazy and unbearable. I only want my sex with husband, and I'm uncomfortable with masturbation, and I don't know how to deal with that. Any advice?
So, internets, what advice can you give her?

As an added incentive, everyone who posts advice--real advice--will be entered for a giveaway. Monday I'll randomly choose one commenter and the winner can have their choice of THIS:

Or THIS:(Click links for descriptions)

O.K., internets, go. Help a girl out. (It's not me!)

Monday, December 5, 2011


So, today I had to spend three hours at an Army briefing about what to expect when your soldier returns from deployment.

If you've never had the pleasure of being part of an Army briefing, thank your lucky stars. They herd a bunch of people who don't want to be there (briefings are almost always mandatory, otherwise no one would show up) into a large auditorium or conference room, and then people from various departments talk to you about things that may or may not actually be important. Also, there will be Power Point. Somewhere along the line someone decided that you can't gather more than three people together in the name of the Army without having a pointless Power Point presentation. I think it's part of the oath when you enlist.

I used to have to give briefings to new company commanders when we lived in Germany. I often resorted to hurling hard candy at their heads to wake them up. There's nothing like a butterscotch to the eye to make power point slides suddenly seem really interesting.

Briefings involving the spouses are a little more entertaining. Soldiers' careers depend on maintaining a certain decorum in all situations. Spouses have no such requirement. Someone always gets their panties in a wad over something and makes a scene. Add in the stress of one's husband being gone for nearly a year to one of the more dangerous areas of Afghanistan and multiply it by 150 women and your briefing is suddenly a powder keg just waiting for a spark.

Today we had not one, but two wives who had be escorted from the room, and a third who screamed that it was discrimination against infertile couples to forbid her from bringing their dog to the hangar for the homecoming.

Good times.

Army wife drama aside, these are the things we learned that we can expect when our soldier returns home:

  • The routine you've created as a means for survival and maintaining sanity? He will completely destroy it.
  • He will want to eat All The Things for at least a week.
  • He won't be able to sleep for weeks. Could be jet lag, could be PTSD. If he tries to kill you, it's probably PTSD.*
  • He might try to kill you.
  • He will want to spend thousands of dollars on guns and cars. [I had to laugh at this one because Will's last few e-mails have been about buying guns and cars.]
  • Flying around war zones in helicopters while getting shot at is kind of a rush. He'll try to recreate it by doing things like going 100 miles an hour on a motorcycle without a helmet.
  • He'll want to buy a motorcycle.
  • Taliban insurgents are preferable to screaming, whining children any day of the week, so don't take it personally if he would rather go back to war than deal with your kids.
  • He will want to have The Sex all the time, but you will just want him to do the dishes.
  • Did we mention he might try to kill you? This Power Point slide has the number you can call if at any time he tries to kill you.
Not to worry. They also try to prepare the soldier before he comes home. Sometime in the next month he too will endure days of briefings where the main topics on the Power Point slides will be: "Don't kill your wife, your kids, or yourself," and "If you feel like you want to kill your wife, your kids, or yourself, call this number. Just know that seeking help might destroy your career, even though we say it won't," and "If you want The Sex, do The Dishes."

Golly, January just can't get here fast enough!

*I'm not trying to be flippant about PTSD. It's a very real and very serious thing, but that was almost an exact quote from the briefing.

**UPDATED! By popular demand, THIS and THIS are now available in my shop.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pubic Service Announcement

Ladies and gentleman, there is a fashion trend spreading across our great nation. Spreading like a disease. A venereal disease.

The knitted cowl.

My first encounter with one of these occurred about a year ago when a friend made this and posted it on her blog:

What does that look like to you?
Here, maybe this will make it a bit more clear.

Ladies (and gay men), there is no way to wear these without looking like you're dressed as genitalia for a costume party. It's got to stop. While you may only see warm and cozy neckwear, the rest of us are seeing your head sticking out of a yarn cootchie.

She's crowning! It's a girl!

There are creams for that.
(This came from yet another blogger I enjoy. She made it for her mom.
Bloggers don't let bloggers give their moms knitted labia.)

Elderly and well used.

Zombie hoo-ha.

Maybe right now you're thinking, "Well, I can just wear it differently. Or make one that's not so...gaping." You would be wrong. It's not just lady bits you run the risk of resembling. Oh no. You also run the risk of looking like this:

Obviously not Jewish.

Genital warts are the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Please, internets. Spread the word. Let's stop this before it goes any further. Think of the children.

(The title was actually a typo, but it was so fitting I left it.)