Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Man, that is one tall animal!

No, it is not a cliché - The Johnson's Zoo really does go to the zoo. Quite often, actually. You might ask why, but I think by now you know how I feel about you snoopy types. I'll tell you anyway because I like to write as much as you like to pry.

Papa's reason: it's simple, actually. I was forced to buy a yearly pass and I am a financial tight-ass. If we can manage to make 300+ visits a year, the average price per visit falls into what we could feed to the elephants.

Mama's reason: like Angie herself, it's complicated. I am not sure of the exact reasons, so I will simply write what feels to be true. Angie hates animals. She has for many years. As a teenager, the cops were called to her house one day when the neighbors thought an assassin was trying to kill them. It turns out, Angie did not mean to break the neighbor's window with her BB gun and force the poor elderly couple to low-crawl to the telephone; she was actually just trying to whack a poor innocent bird perched on the branch just outside of the neighbor's window. Because of this long-building hatred of non-humans, Angie secretly likes to visit the animals and taunt them by eating bananas in front of the monkeys and donuts in front of the hippos. As I said, it's complicated.

Peter's reason: Who freakin' cares? He's quiet for two hours.

David's reason: You don't get it by now? It's peacefully silent for TWO whole hours!

Tom's reason: aarghbabab-flu

Outside of the Gorilla house, Angie wanted to get a picture of this majestic waterfall that had partially frozen:

Unfortunately, some really hot dude carrying two baby gorillas got in the way of what would have certainly been an awesome shot of water.

After primates on ice, I tried to teach the boys how to break thin ice with big rocks at the pond by the very cold flamingos. Peter got it right away and nailed a winner. David got it right away, but decided that Tom would make a bigger splash than some tiny pebble. He even asked me to help toss him over the railing. I looked first to see where Mama was. Uh, no.

After the Zoo crew had cruised the zoo, Mama rallied the animals for some milkshakes at our local diner: Mama had one as well, but being the OLD and wise mother she is, she waited until the kids were halfway through their brain freeze before ordering her's. In case my intentional punctuation in the previous sentence went unnoticed, please note the clever use of capital letters to subtly highlight the fact that my wife is older than I am. The best part of this FACT is that it will never change, no matter how gray the stubbly hairs on my unshaven youngER face get, but thanks for pointing that out, sugar-plum.

After a long day of hanging out with animals, our animals smelled like, well...animals. I decided to hose them down. Before jumping in the bath, we footprinted Tom.

This is a tradition that started with Peter and David and has always ended up as a trophy on the living room wall at Grams & Opa's house. With Peter and David, though, this was done in their first few weeks of existence, so Tom may earn the nickname 'Sasquatch' with his three-month humongoid toe-stamp.

After Tom's blackfoot exercise, I took his feet to be dunked in a bubble-bath. Peter came in to check on things and wound up checking on Tom.

'His is smaller than mine.'

It took me a second to realize that he was not talking about footprint pictures, which is good because Peter would certainly lose. It took me another second to realize that Peter was grinning. I grew up with two sisters, so the whole 'size matters' argument did not really start for me until way after puberty. With three boys, I guess I need to start preparing myself for such discussions. And yes, I will try to continue to feed you gossip junkies with plenty of grapes for the vine.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw today that a Spiderman radio is now in my room.
David: When we go in the zoo and we see the lion and the tiger.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I cried 'cause David kicked me in the stomach.
David: When I kicked Peter on the floor and the whoa-boof and then Peter cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play by Lucy's.
David: When we see the hippopatamus.

Monday, December 29, 2008

It begins with the letter M

The last time I took Peter to see a movie, it ended in disappointment, tears, and laughing. Yes, it happened in that order, but to avoid being painted as a complete jackhole, the laughing did not come until hours after our failed movie outing. Even then, though, Peter did not join my chuckling. Neither did Mama. Come to think of it, I may have been the only one clutching my belly. Oh, well. It was hilarious, in a cruel-father kinda way.

This time around, I made sure to keep our movie adventure a big secret all morning in case things did not work out. Peter, like Mama, does not do well with secrets, so I had to give him a few hints.

'It begins with the letter M.'

'Is it a Monster?'

'No, your big surprise is not that Papa decided to take his first-born to be eaten by Modzilla. Guess again.'

'Is it a Monkey?'

'Yes. Last night I kidnapped Curious George and we are now en route to a secret hide-out where I have the nosey little primate shackled to a radiator.'

I quickly realized that four-year olds do not understand sarcasm. They do know a lot of words that being with the letter M, though. Halfway through the drive, I began thinking of some that begin with the letter F.

Grams met us at the mall and treated us to a nice lunch at an Italian restaurant. As we entered, Peter turned to me and screamed 'PIZZA!' in a triumphant 'I know I got the answer right' tone and waited for my praise and admiration. I thought of many, many cruel retorts, but after Peter's little outburst, everyone in the restaurant was now gawking in our direction. I decided to tone down my response.

'Pizza? Pizza! That begins with a P, as in Peter, as in YOUR NAME. I said M, as in Moron and no, we are not going on a farewell visit to the White House.'

I then waved to the nice families whispering to each other and pointing at me. I even used more than one finger, just to make Angie happy. After that, I continued with my mental list of words that begin with F. So far, I only had one, but it was certainly a catchy one.

Two of the three pizza pies ended up in David's hair, which was my cue to take Peter and try to quietly disappear for Peter's BIG SURPRISE. Peter tried to make his sudden departure a little easier on David by screaming 'bye-bye Davey-Pavey - me and Papa are going for my surprise and oh, by the way, you can't come.'

I was moved by Peter's touching remarks, but moved even more by David testing out his lungs as soon as it dawned on him what was happening. As it turned out, Peter's surprise was also a surprise of sorts for David. Tom was also crying, but for completely different reasons.

Halfway through the film, Peter learned what a villain is and thought it was necessary that everyone in the theater also knew. 'That lion is the BAD LION!!' was screamed at least twice before I could get my hand over his mouth and explain the quiet rules of the cinema one more time.

Peter loved the popcorn, loved the chocolate M&M's, loved the Coca Cola that he is normally not allowed to drink, loved the movie, and afterwards, he gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear that he loved me. Man, that was the best 200 bucks I have ever spent.

Later that night, I tucked the boys into bed and went out to drink a beer and talk to Angie. In that order, by the way. As I took the first sip of my fourth beer, David started screaming. I ran into the bedroom surprised to find Peter, not David, crying.

'I said I was sorry so many times, but he still say that he will tell Papa on me for banging and I said already that I was already sorry and that I stop now. Sorry.'

After a few minutes, I pieced together that David had been trying to go to sleep. The leftover caffeine had obviously affected the Coca Cola kid, who was wide awake and simply trying to annoy David. Peter accomplished this by knocking softly on his bed post and whispering to David that a ghost was trying to eat him.

How do I know this? Because David told me as soon as I walked in. Yes, tonight David learned the thrill of ratting on his brother. Peter was shocked by this new development, making me think that he might have been the culprit on many other occasions when I responded to David's screams. It was still funny, though, in a cruel-sibling kinda way.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I had that movie surprise.
David: When Peter and me play.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David keeps putting the rope around my head and neck while I am doing Ladder Talk.
David: When Tom cry when I pulled that thing and bonk Tom on his head and I cry too.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with David and Kika and all we know costumes.
David: When Zack and Owen come again.

I'm dreaming of a smokey Christmas

'Hey honey, thanks for preheating the oven...'

Check out the full story.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Colder than a witch's picnic

Same shit, different day...just colder.

Sami played the part of the paparazzi; I was the chef peeling cucumbers for the royal eater, who was making funny faces; Kika and Magda were the majestic butt freezers; Tom was the court sleeper, Peter was the cookie hole stuffer, and David was intent on getting himself stuck in a tree. Again.

We arrived at Picnic Mountain with a stroller, two bikes, and three kids. Tom was the only one with legs that don't work yet, so he took the stroller. Peter and David wanted to take their bikes.

'Bad idea', said the incredibly intelligent man holding a cucumber. 'In about two minutes, those lazy kids are going to dump the bikes and want to be carried.'

'You're stupid,' said the smartass lady pushing the sleeping baby with useless legs.

After about, hey, imagine that, two minutes, Peter and David both dropped their bikes, babbling something about wanting to jump on my shoulders.

'I told you so,' said Cucumber Man.

'Well, you're still stupid and I already told you that, so I guess now we're even.'

Cucumber Man narrowly restrained the urge to drop-kick Smartass Woman in the teeth and instead spent approximately four minutes taking bikes back to the car so that kids with perfectly good legs could climb on my back and hitch a free ride. Maybe I am stupid?

After Papa's Broken-back Mountain adventure, I dumped SW & the Lazy Kids off at the front door. I had to go park, but I wanted to get a jump start on getting dinner ready, so I asked Angie to preheat the oven for some frozen pizzas. Maybe I am stupid?

Normally, I forbid Angie to go into the kitchen. This is not because her cooking does not taste good - I really don't know. It is because I am afraid of fire. After burning three oven mitts, a wooden cutting board, two kitchen towels, and an assortment of plastic cooking utensils, I have learned that kitchy no likey Angie.

I parked the car and came back to an unusually smokey house. I raced into the kitchen and quickly realized that I had failed to stress one rather critical step in turning on the oven, which was to check inside the hot box of fire first to make sure that there are no pots, pans, or cast-iron skillets with dry wooden handles that could suddenly burst into flames if you preheat the oven while they are still inside. Since we routinely store these flammable devices in our stove, I thought this would be an obvious check. Maybe I really am stupid?

For the second time in one week, I found myself throwing on the fireman's hat and saving the day. Angie's face was almost as red as the wooden handle on our skillet, but a lot of cold water helped. After dousing the smoldering embers of our former skillet handle, I dumped a big bucket of cold water on my head to serve as a reminder to never, never, never let Angie near anything combustible again.

Same shit, different day...just hotter.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I could have three desserts.
David: When we play 'poopsala'.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David spit up in the living room all over the floor.
David: When I cry 'cause I dream from Dalia.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play this new game, 'omna-om'.
David: When Zack and Owen come again, okay?

see related cartoon

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quit yer wine bashing!

Dana knows how to raise boys. They are polite, friendly, and most importantly, they know exactly the right moment to kick a soccer ball if they want to smash a glass full of red wine. Check out the full story.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tickle Me Sami

I know that Sami thinks he's funny. I also know that my boys laugh at very silly things. Combine these two ingredients and you get a Finnish sandwhich that makes you giggle. If not you, at least Peter and David cracked up. Ok, they also crack up when Mama tries to cook, but that probably comes from following Papa's lead.

Sami is an expecting father, so he spent over an hour training with the animals. As a hardcore athlete, it is not surprising that he would train with two weights, knowing that when his race starts, he will only have one weight dragging him down. Have fun with that diapered anchor, Chorizo.

I spent the rest of the afternoon building Lego shit. I say 'shit' because that was Papa's word-of-the-minute as I put together all of the crap that Santa had so thoughtfully forgotten to put together. The label on these toys claimed 'a fun-filled building adventure for the entire family'. The tag might as well have read 'Sorry, but our sweat shops have been shut down, so our toys no longer come fully assembled - have fun trying to decipher our cryptic symbols and five million pieces.'

The doorbell rang and I welcomed the distraction to my destructive, yet somehow calming thoughts of blowing up the Lego factory. Dana, Daniel, Zack and Owen showed up and like the three wise guys, they came bearing gifts.

Despite what it may look like, a hot male with two weird-looking kids was not the present. The gift was the two hot (chocolate) mugs and some weird looking marshmallows. Thanks, Dana. For the sugar-filled hot cocoa powder, as well as the sugar-filled marshmallows. Did you include the spatula I will surely need to unstick them from the ceiling later on?

Angie was so close to cooking tonight, but after a surprisingly brief argument, she graciously allowed Dana to get her feast on. It had shrimps, it had basil, it was freakin' yummy. I was close to not drinking tonight, but after a surprisingly brief discussion, I graciously allowed Daniel to pour me a drink. It had malt, it had hops, I was freakin' thirsty.

After dinner, we drew up maps on how to take over the world. Peter displayed early signs of leadership:

So maybe Pictionary is not the best way to devise the end of mankind as we know it. At one point, Angie drew a lovely sketch of a pizza and cute little companion that resembled a fish. 'PIZZA FISH' is the slightly-sober-yet-still-intellectual contribution that I made to our little drawing game. Angie scolded me and mumbled something about anchovies and being a moron, but I was too focused on Daniel's gracious offer of a liquid dessert to really notice.

It's not that easy to top an action-packed game of Pictionary, but Zack proved that he is no easy rider. As Angie dragged Dana to the computer for a quick fix of Crackbook, Zack decided it would be the perfect time to play indoor soccer. Angie's wine glass vs. the soccer ball ended 0-1, but I kind of like the fermented grape smell that now fills the room every time the computer warms up. Thanks, Zack!

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Zack and Owen come.
David: When Sami and that Kika come by.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't today go to Dalia's
David: When I cry 'cause Clooney scratch me here, okay?

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with my new ramp.
David: When Zack and Owen come again, okay?

see related cartoon

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Party heroes

I knew that Peter likes to toss on the wine goggles from time to time, but I had no idea that this strange little ritual would result in the champagne monocle featured here. At least the bubbly cyclops was relatively quiet. Kinda.

I say relatively quiet, because in relation to the 3 kids, Grams and Opa's house was also full of 3 dogs, Angie, Barb, Eisi, Heidi, Judy, Sonja, myself, Horst, David and Klaus. And yes, I listed them in relative order from the loudest to those causing the least hearing damage.

Before uncorking the liquid nose-ticklers, Angie and I took the boys home for a well-needed shower, which also gave Grams and Opa a well-needed break from the animals. On the way home, Peter was being quite the talker. For those of you who like to read between the lines

Peter was being
Would you just shut up already?! You're driving me freakin' nuts.
quite the talker.

One of the many, many, many, many, many, many, many (see how annoying this is?) questions that were asked by Curious Peter was 'How can you get 100 candles to fit on a birthday cake?'

Ok, if you are wrinkly enough to join the centennial club, I highly doubt you will be worrying about counting the candles on your cake. You will probably be worrying more about the moron who was stupid enough to put 100 candles on your cake and hoping that the idiot did not forget your asthma inhaler. I'm not even halfway there and I get light-headed walking up a flight of stairs, so please do not honor my hundred years of existence with a indoor bonfire that I need to extinguish with my lung.

Angie did not like my answer, but Peter was curious to know what asthma was. I told him to hold his breath. Angie did not like this answer either. I told her to hold her breath, but in true Angie-style, she did not do what she was told to do. I have studied psychology in reverse, though, so I simply told her not to cook. Judging by her reaction, I would have to say that I wasted a shitload of money on college.

Peter moved on, though, asking 'How does someone become a hero?' Well, that's an easy one. Have three kids and write a blog. Angie's laughing completely discouraged me from answering any further questions. After the cackling died down, Peter did ask me how to write a frog, so I at least know he was listening. Kinda.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we can sleep by Grams and Opa again.
David: When we see Santa Claus with me and mommy and you and Peter.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I was sad because we couldn't sleep by our home.
David: When I cry 'cause Santa Claus not here - he go home.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play that game about chickens or hens.
David: When Santa Claus come again.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I wanna web you a Merry Christmas

I am fairly certain that Santa loves nothing more than cramming his fat ass down a chimney only to be webbed by some Spiderpunk who is just asking to be blogged. Unfortuntely, the neurons in this masked hooligan's tiny little brain were firing way too fast to really notice; he was busy doing 'whatever a spider can'.

Christmas eve started out with the traditional trip to Heidi, Klaus and Sonja's. Not so traditional was the Christmas tree going up in flames and Sonja getting arrested, but we will come to that in good time.

Klaus and I are bonded by food. He loves cooking it and I love eating it. It's a win-win, completely legitimate relationship. Angie and I have enjoyed the same arrangement for years. If you're not sure who is cooking and who is eating, let me know and I will count the ways that Angie has tried to burn the kitchen.

After two delicious legs of ham had been devoured, we moved to the Christmas tree to unwrap some of the non-Santa gifts. The word 'gift' in German means 'poison', so it took a lot of explaining and a little translating to assure Peter that we were not trying to kill him. Yet.

Peter got one of his favorite books, but David got THE ULTIMATE poison. He got a tiny little night light that turns on and off when you bash it's poor little head in with your clenched fist.

The only way this poison could have been more perfect for Destructo Dave would have been if it had been red instead of blue. That's ok, though. He has red markers and is a rather creative artist when he wants to be.

It was at this point that the non-teens enjoyed a brief moment of beer and champagne. Brief being the key word. Angie and I were sitting on the sofa absolutely loving the Grams-Tom, Opa-Peter and Heidi-David bonding when Angie noticed an unusual flame on the Christmas tree.

For most normal humans, a flame on a Christmas tree would already be immediate grounds for alarm. Germans are a different breed, though. It is tradition to hang flaming devices, also known as candles, on the tree at Christmas time. The candles they sell nowadays burn out before they reach the stem and are therefore deemed safe, provided you ignore the little fact that the open FLAME is still hung on an evergreen bonfire waiting to happen.

Heidi obviously has candles that they sold thenadays, because they do not automatically go out when they get close to the bottom. These lovely firecrackers burned to the bottom and then they caught the freakin' tree on fire. Sorry, let me rephrase that - THEY CAUGHT THE FREAKIN' TREE ON FIRE!

So anyway, Angie was babbling something about how big my muscles were or how cute my brain is or some other true thing when she stopped in mid-sentence. She started screaming something about a tree burning behind me. I tried to get her to forget about it and continue on about me, but she was waving her arms and making such a scene that I finally had to go and save the day.

I ran up to the quickly growing flame and blew on it. That just made it angry, so I spit on it. When that did not work, I spit on my hands and 'clapped' the flame. That did it. Give me a pair of suspenders and a cute Dalmation!

Peter and David missed my heroic moment because they were too busy playing with their new LEGO firetruck. Somehow this seemed fitting. Next, they moved on and began breaking their Playmobil police motorcycle. As if the siren was not freakin' annoying enough, they had to go around arresting people.

Sheriff Pete and Deputy Dave zeroed in on Sonja and I can't really say I blamed them. She seems sweet and innocent, but she's got those 'criminal eyes' that just scream 'lock me up and throw away the key'.

When the boys were done arresting relatives, we made it back to the B ranch, where the boys spent minutes upstairs looking for Santa. After what seemed like...well, oddly enough...minutes, they heard Santa 'Ho-Ho-ing' downstairs and came running to see what the jolly fat one had delivered.

In addition to talking volcanoes and pirate boats not currently docked in Somalia, Peter was still able to get his spider on, so that's cool. There's not too many times as an adult that you can be a policeman, a fireman, a pirate and a spiderpunk in one evening. Unfortunately.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I can have the camera opened.
David: When I have a red one walkie-talkie.
Mama: It was when you guys came in to see all the presents.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: I fell on my nose and my forehead hurt from my skateboard.
David: When Peter have the black one.
Mama: When my headache wouldn't go away all day.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with the walkie-talkie - the Spiderman ones.
David: When Mama green because I the lion and roar.
Mama: I would like to try out all the new toys with Peter and David.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christine's little weight problem

My sister had a slight luggage malfunction and showed up to our place with a shitload of bags and kids. Check out the full story.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Cousin Patrick

Never give a dog a name with the word 'no' in it, such as Bruno. You should also never give a kid a name with the word 'trick' in his name, especially if that little boy has a twinkle in his eyes that gives away his passion for playing tricks.

Patrick, also known as 'P²' showed up at the Zoo today half-asleep. Or was he half-awake? We'll never know. The boys jolted his system with a full dose of 'hey, let's go break shit', so he at least hit the ground destroying.

In addition to Patrick, my sister Christine brought along little Stephanie, hairy George and 38 suitcases. Apparently the airports no longer have a weight limit, but our apartment does. The unneeded 37 bags had to form a landing pattern in our hallway. At one point, Chris asked for her slippers. 'Not those, my other pair of slippers'. Ah, ok. That explains it.

Like my father's last fly-by, my sister's one-day visit was too short. I am really beginning to wonder if we stink. Since Angie has told me that she smells like roses, it must be me. I will clean my smelly body with the tears that I will start shedding any minute now. Really.

The boys went from , 'hey, what's your name again?' to 'I don't remember you, so I am going to be shy' to 'I'm going to headbutt you if you do that again, you little jerk' in approximately four minutes. I love kids. If humans could interact with such honesty, I am quite certain we would all be glowing in the dark by now.

I think I have found the only picture known to mankind where Peter is not staring into the lens:

Either George's side of the family loves George's side of the family, or Patrick and Stephanie get that 'camera hog' gene from the Johnson side of chaos. Either way, check out the hot guy taking pictures!

Before going to bed, I needed to first make them a bed. Being the simple simpleton I am, I simply threw down a ton of mattresses and tried to convince the boys that it was like a big Christmas summer camp. They loved the HUGE sleeping bag I made and decided that Peter and David's Ladder Talk ladders would serve well as diving boards into cushion lake.

Despite what it might look like, Peter is not yanking Patrick's ear; his arm really is behind Patrick's back. It might also look like Peter and David are so high on crack-sugar that their hair is standing up. No comment.

Like any heroine addict will tell you, it is the first few hours of withdrawal that are the hardest. You toss, you turn, you shove strange sucking devices into your mouth. In the end, it does not really matter. What goes up always ends up drooling all over the pillow in the end.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Patrick came and we played with him.
David: When Patrick come and his mommy.
Patrick: Eating, um, corn and pork chops.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David pushed me when I was here.
David: When Stephanie again cry - that was a big cry and she no happy.
Patrick: When this was opened, I saw dark coming out of the window and I think he a big monster.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play with Patrick jumping.
David: When Stephanie come again and she not crying.
Patrick: I would like to go on the train.

see related cartoon

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's my party and I'll smile if I want to

I'm glad that Peter is having a good time. After all, it's his BIG kindergarten party. The same BIG kindergarten party that Angie and I did not know about until parents started mentioning to us in passing that they would see us at the BIG party. Party, what party? When confronted, the party animal finally fessed up.

'Yeah, I told everyone at my kindergarten and maybe by David's class and maybe to Dalia, too that they should come to my house for the party.'

'Party? What freakin' party? How many kids did you invite?'

'I don't remember...sorry'

The sorry was only added because something about the veins in Papa's neck probably scared the bejeezus out him. As a former party animal myself, I had to listen to the echoes in my head chanting 'How does that Karma taste? Yeah, baby - I'm loving it!' This did little to calm me down, but the realist in me realized there was no real way out of the really BIG party.

The screaming ankle-biters showed up at the Zoo at 3:00 PM. Since the parents only needed to drop off their kids, they showed up promptly at 3:00 PM. Being the incredibly wise and mysteriously attractive father of three boys, I know this little routine all too well. If the parents are expected to stay, they inevitably show up two hours late to a three hour party with some bullshit excuse about their car catching on fire, which they conveniently forgot to put out, therefore explaining the need to leave fifty-five minutes early.

The message is clear: if you allow me three hours of peace (back scratch for them), I will make sure that we drop them off and pick them up on time (back scratch for me). The problem with that deal is that Peter's back is the itchy one, not mine. I actually prefer the whole 'drop 'em late and yank 'em early' approach, but Angie mumbled something about rotational burden and a piñata.

'Piñata, what freakin' piñata?'

'Oh, that one.'

Over the years, I have always assumed that my wife keeps secrets from me, but now I know for sure. That's ok, though. Now we're even. 'Even for what?' she will wonder, but I'm not telling; it's a 'secret'.

The next big surprise was when Eisi showed up to the party with his dog.

'Dog, what freakin' dog?'

'Oh, that one.'

I actually started liking the dark that everyone was keeping me in. It was nice and warm and made my belly tingle. Sure, it made me dizzy every now and then, but at least I could not actually SEE Eisi's new killer puppy that he brought to our KID'S party!

The downside of sight deprivation is that it normally enhances your other senses, like hearing and smelling. If you are ever forced, presumably kicking and screaming, into a similar situation, Cujo's loud barking and the collective smell of thirty screaming kids are the last things you want to deal with when shivering in the dark. It might even force you to make a funny face.

'Funny face? What freakin' funny face?'

'Oh, that one.'

After uploading this lovely gem, I briefly contemplated how dark life on the sofa would be. I am not worried though, since my wife is not only stunningly beautiful, she is also very forgiving and has a sense of humor? The question mark at the end of the previous sentence only looks grammatically incorrect.

Next on the fun-plan was a snow-ball fight with crumpled-up newspapers.

'Snowballs? What freakin' snowballs?'

'Oh, those ones.'

Let me just end this little recap with a brief 'lessons learned' session. Never. Ever. EVER allow your kid to self-organize a kindergarten party. If you really feel the burning need to have a k-fest, invite the teachers instead. They deal with the little hellions on a daily basis, so they obviously drink heavily. They probably party like rock stars.

'Rock stars? What freakin' rock stars?'
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I can stay up and when I can sleep by Dalia's and when I had my party!
David: When Dalia came and when I go on the party.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't read with Eisi that story.
David: When Tom cries.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To read with Eisi the story.
David: When go again from Dalia's house.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Having my cake and eating yours, too

'Me want cookie. Me eat cookie. Om nom nom nom...'

If you swap cookie with cake, Peter would have been the Cakie Monster at Maylin's birthday party today. Papa followed suite by gobbling down his own cake, then somehow forgetting that his plate was already devoured and chowing down on Eileen's slice as well. Me want cake. Me eat Eileen cake. Om nom nom nom...

APFU, the Johnson family was running a little late. The birthday party started at 3:00 PM, which was about the time we left our house. If Maylin lived next door, this would not have been an issue. They live way out in the middle of thirty minutes away, though, so as per usual, we were late. 'As per usual' was also the breakout of APFU minus the word that Papa kept muttering over and over in his head as he checked his watch.

Peter fell in love with Maylin today. I know this because by the end of the party, she had an orange Fanta moustache and Peter still wanted to cuddle next to her. Any sober male who willing snuggles up to a female with a moustache of any color must certainly be in love.

Love, as is often the case, quickly turned into beating the crap out of something with a stick. This time around, that something was an extra-strength pinata that John had bought, apparently just to piss off the kids who were not on steroids. Oddly enough, none of the kids were doping, so the whole 'let's smash open the pinata' was prolonged until Eileen and I secretly placed a couple strategic tears in the Pinata's backside.

Next on the agenda was the blind-folded pothead game. Sorry, I mean pot game. The little rugrats were placed on a rug, blindfolded and given a wooden spoon. They then crawled around trying to find the pot by banging the spoon on the carpet to the tune of 'hot-cold' screamed very loudly.

As a grand finale, Sylvia and John thought it would be mega-smart to give all 400 kids a whistle. In the aftermath of this very loud brain-fart, I can only assume that the well-intentioned notion got filed in the 'I thought it would be a good idea at the time' folder.

Just in case the birthday party, cake, 400 kids, and loud whistles were not enough to wind up our boys, we had a backup plan. That backup plan was called 'spending the night at Dalia's'. This should come as no surprise, since this has been an annoyingly repetetive answer to Ladder Talk's What would you like to do tomorrow? for the last several years.

As the Zoo Crew arrived at Casa de Lutzevicius, the kids disappeared. The only sounds were David droolling and the distant thump of a three-legged stool. Before we left, Angie and I got an unexpected visit from Mary, Joseph and their baby cheetah.

Don't ask me why Mary was wearing an elephant mask - some mysteries are better left untold. You might also wonder why Peter was dressed up as a baby cheetah. Don't ask.
Ladder Talk:
[No Ladder Talk tonight - Cheetah, Mary and Joseph!]

I've been naughty all year

David has, how should I put this... an unusual taste in toys? A penchant for destruction? A knack for completely demolishing whatever it is you like and then laughing his tiny ass off only to make things worse?

Read the full story to find out how David made his halo glow for a full two minutes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa needs a bigger lap

I like this picture for two reasons. First of all, all three boys are silent. Secondly, it accurately depicts their different personalities. Tom (like Mama) loves to sleep. Peter (like Papa) is a camera hog and can always manage to find the right lens to look into. David (like this skinny stranger in the Santa suit) likes the color red and pretending to be something he is not. In this case, David is playing the role of a sweet innocent child who has been on his best behavior all year. I'm sorry, but who brought in a bull and what is that awful smell?

The morning started out with Peter hyperventilating, shaking and just generally freaking out because he heard from someone that it was too late to mail his Christmas list to Santa. He came to me sweaty and asked if this was true.

'Holy crap!! I knew there was something we were supposed to do last week. Oh, Peter - I wish you had reminded me sooner. It is too late for this year, but you know what? We can still mail your letter and at least you might get something next year.'

Despite me amusing me, Angie, Peter, and David's ears did not appreciate my humor and the ensuing hissy fit. Note to self: Peter is still not ready to handle jokes about putting a shitload of his toys into jeopardy - try again next year.

After Peter's eye twitching finally stopped, I grabbed the Ladder Talk notebook and began to write The Letter. As with Ladder Talk, I only write as I'm told. The words are written exactly as mumbled, so please excuse the grammatical errors, incohesive thoughts and lack of hilarious wit and wisdom.

Dear Santa,
First I wanted to say, I want to have from you a real dinosaur. I was a good boy and I wish I had a real dromedar as well and I wish I had still a real grizzly bear. I am coming soon to you, Santa. With my brother David and with Sami and with Eisi. Why you got that red hat, Santa? And why are you not coming today? Here is my list. Thank you and please!

I will spare you the detailed blah-blah list. It boils down to three words. Mother and expensive are two of those three words. David is not the only one that likes red; when Santa starts to put together the toys this year, I am quite sure that he will be frantically searching for a few tags that are red.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I go to Toys-R-Us and look for something sweets and looking at what Santa is going to bring me.
David: When Sami come, okay?

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David was laughing when I'm doing Ladder Talk.
David: When Tom cry 'cause he cry again.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To see an Anaconda and maybe a cheetah.
David: When Grams come from my kindergarten. okay?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Attack of the Killer Butterfly

This is the blue Morpho Butterfly that haunted Angie's dreams and deprived her of the much needed 'happy' sleep. The true damage of this flying bug was only realized the following day when the full effects of not sleeping began to unfold. Check out the full story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

List 1 of 267

Peter has finally discovered the wonderful and magical 'Santa List'. Every time a freakin' commercial comes on, I need to get out my pen and paper to jot down Peter's latest demand. What I really want to do is to tell that fat-ass Santa to quit stuffing his cookie-hole and set a 'limit' on how many items go on his 'list'. Read the full story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fuzz Mouth

According to Angie, we almost lost Tom's tongue. Considering how blissfully quiet things would be without his tongue, I am not sure how thankful I should be that Tommy's little 'black fungus' was actually fuzz from Angie's sweater. Check out the full story.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bulb Busters

Angie is a packrat living in denial. The Marshmallow Man featured here is the soon-to-be-destroyed evidence of said packratting. I would like to be able to tell you that Angie's 'collections' first started with this Stay Puft figure from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie. I would also like to say that the boys did not break any bulbs during this year's Christmas tree decorating, but that would be a little like me claiming that Peter can whistle.

Over the many, many, many, many years since her conception, Angie the rat has horded, in addition to Mr. Smorgasbord, the following items:

  • Pokey, a dog knitted by Grams. The fact that Grams was knitting should indicate just how old this little treasure has been collecting dust.

  • Lurky, the big-nosed color-hater from the RainbowBrite commune. I have a big nose and I hated 'The Color Purple', but hopefully Lurky is not the reason why Angie loves, adores, and worships me so much.

  • A Ziploc baggie of hair from Angie's first haircut. Ok, that is just plain disgusting. What's next? Toe nail clippings? Skin flakes? A basket for It to put the lotion in?

  • Two braids from when Grams was a child. Ah, that explains where she gets it from.
Trimming the Christmas tree is always a nice family event. Each member can gently unpack his or her ornament and spend hours finding the exactly perfect spot on the tree to display these tiny orbs of years gone by. This year, Angie was stuck on the sidelines watching the rest of us as she fed Tom, burped Tom, fed Tom again, changed Tom, burped Tom and then fed Tom again. During one of Tom's 'bodily function breaks', she meandered over to the tree to admire our hard work.

The lights look like crap!

Thanks, O' great bringer of joy and happiness. I think Tom is burpy.

We ignored Negative Nancy and her little injection of holiday spirit. After the many boxes of bulbs were emptied, I asked if we would be putting on tinsel this year. The word tinsel apparently makes Grams giggle and crack up laughing for two minutes and thirty-four seconds, although I am not sure why. Ok, no more eggnog for Grams.

Barbara came today with a little surprise for the boys. Her name was Lola and she drooled more than Angie on our first date.

She tried to score points with Ms. Pac-rat by showing her how much she likes marshmallows. Angie was...how do I put this? Not amused. Slightly irritated. An unhappy camper. Barbara was...how do I put this? Not giving a shit. Papa was...how should I put this? Abso-freakin-lutely loving the impending WWF Sister Smackdown.

Lola continued to chew on Angie's childhood collectible until it had no arms and could no longer Stay Puft. It did, however, start making rather odd whistling noises that clearly made Angie mad and Peter jealous.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: To see a present already under the tree even when it's Christmas not.
David: When I say goodnight to Mama and Tom.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David's belly hurt.
David: When Tom and I cry 'cause I owa here in my belly.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Toys-R-Us.
David: When Peter here sleep.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Spaghetti Factory

A while back, Barbara had crashed at the Zoo after a hard night of partying and building up an appetite. For Barb, 'a little hungry' is synonymous with 'I am so über-hungry I could eat a donkey!' As luck would have it, the Zoo had just run out of fresh donkeys. We also had no ripe tomatoes for Barb to pluck away from our kids, so the only other option in our fridge was thirteen-day old pasta, which I can only hope was on the verge of being throwing out by Angie. Without realizing it, David has recreated the exact look, feel and probably even the taste of this yummy snack that was devoured by Famished Barbie during the twilight hours. Bone ape tit.

Peter was picked up by Opa to go hunting for Christmas trees. As Peter put it, 'it's like puddle-hunting, but I don't need to wear those funny yellow shoes'. I guess in Peter's universe, anything related to hunting will now be associated with his rubber rain boots. I suppose this is better than linking it to a vice-president and that funny little story about shotguns that go bang in the night.

After the evergreen safari, Opa took Peter to the pool. They have been working on a few 'secret' swimming tricks that will hopefully be revealed to us when Peter deems us worthy enough. It could take a while.

While Opa was off securing Peter's 'best part of the day', I was busy making sure David's day was jam-packed full of exciting memories to cherish, like playing with Play-Doh. Ok, that's not such a hot one. Not that it was a competition, but I think Opa was winning at that point. I started to panic like an Angie and began racking my brain for ideas to top swimming and Christmas tree hunting. I know...sugar bribe!

I took David to the Christmas market for his first-ever cotton candy. Let me just say that there is no prouder moment than the feeling you get when you manage to hook your two-year child on the spun sugar that is essentially crack cocaine for the under-teens. Amazingly enough, David's response before his first taste was 'No, David not like'. Like any good dealer, I ignored the addict's feeble attempts at staying clean and shoved a wad of 'the good stuff' in his mouth. Before the first protesting grimace could be formed, he had devoured half of the cotton candy and was already asking for more. Hey Opa, how do you like them apples?

The effects of devouring a vaporized sugar cane became apparent when I was brushing David's teeth. We use an electric toothbrush and tonight David was shaking uncontrollably and insisted that he be allowed to brush his own teeth, because 'I a big boy'. I compromised and told him that after I was finished, he could have the toothbrush all by his big boy self. I left to pick out the boys' bedtime stories and when I came back in, I found David toothbrushing his legs. Either he has been watching Mama too much or he was still on cloud sugar nine.

As I tucked Peter into bed, he announced that he was hungry and demanded that I bring him a whole chicken. I informed his royal hunter that chickens were out of season and suggested that he try a donkey instead.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I was by Grams and Opa's and they went to get that tree and eat sweets and eat salmon and the swimming pool.
David: When I cotton candy in my mouth.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When David's laughing why I'm doing Ladder Talk.
David: When Peter go from Grams & Opa.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play that 'stinky' game.
David: When I go on the toilet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Petrified and Bug-eyed

In the world of superheroes, it's not so much how your costume looks; it's what kick-ass powers you have. Superbabe can catapult boogers and turn unsuspecting supervillains into stone with his patented petrified stare. What Cacao-boy lacks in hearing is balanced out by his semi-sweet chocovision. Destructo Dave was too busy breaking shit to be caught on film, but to be honest, I think he would see himself more as a villain than a superhero.

Peter had been on a sugar-free diet without T.V. since he freaked out at the ear doctor's last week. Today we went back for what was now the third attempt at getting Peter's earwax cork removed. We went in tough. Angie and I cornered the doctor before it was our turn.

Listen, Doc. At the last appointment, the Doctor started out by asking Peter if he wanted to have this done. That opens a door for Peter with a big neon sign that shouts 'run through here'. We want to close that door, so could you be a little tougher and not give the kid any options?

Sure, no problem.

We walked into the waiting room and a wave of body odor hit us. Angie, being the silent type, started shouting 'It stinks in here! Oh, I think I might throw up. Can we open a window?' It was at that point that everyone in the waiting room turned and stared at this slightly chunkafied lady with greasy hair. This is also when she started speaking Italian and walked over to her kid who was playing on the floor. As she made her way past me, my funk-sensors started pinging away. Yep, it was her. How do you say deodorant in Italian?

Our wait took over an hour. The nurse said something about the computers blowing up or some other lame excuse that did nothing for me. Angie was equally annoyed and gave the lady our cell phone number. 'There's a lady in your waiting room that makes me want to gag. Could you just call us when it is our turn?' The secretary cast us a look that told us she had also whiffed La Donna di Stinko and sympathetically agreed. So we evacuated the chambers and did a little Christmas shopping in a very fragile store with lots of breakable shit. My credit card is extremely happy that David had stayed at home with Kika.

Eventually, Angie had to go home. Nobody had counted on waiting over an hour an a half and Kika's David-sitting meter had run out of change. Shortly after they left, I got the call that it was our turn.

As we walked in, the doctor and I exchanged what I thought was an 'understanding' look, based on earlier conversation. Peter jumped on the chair and was visibly nervous. The doctor calmly picked up this long metal tube and explained to Peter's shaking head:

I am going to put this tube into your ear and squirt water. It doesn't hurt, but if you're really scared and don't want to do this, you can just go home and we will try this again next week.

What? I'm sorry, what?! Who the hell is the one around here with the hearing problem, doc? Didn't I explain to you that the neon door should remain closed? There is no next week. There is here and now.

In the end, Peter's fear of me or his love of chocolate overcame his nervousness. Despite a few tearful moments, we managed to uncork his ears. After all was said and removed, the doctor showed Peter the disgusting wax marble that had been lodged in his cranium. Peter didn't care, though; he was too distracted trying to figure out why everything had gotten so loud.

Being the realistic parents that we are, Angie and I had not only used threats; we had also bribed Peter into submission. Candy, T.V. and a special trip to Toys-R-Expensive were the rewards promised for a successful mission. It was getting too late for the toy run, but Peter dove into his candy stash when we got back home. I am proud of all my boys, but today Peter was definitely my superhero.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Rob come and did with me who the strongest was and I had some chocolate again.
David: When a big lion go'ed in my kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't play with Dalia today.
David: When I cry in my kindergarten for you I cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play Hippo Flip
David: When Peter not jump in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

David like red

This picture pretty much sums up David's two passions in life - the color red and destroying things with his fist. Jen and her parents stopped by today to visit. Peter immediately fell in love with Jen's mom, so I guess I am not the only one in the family that likes older women.

I spent the morning opening up a new email account. What happened to the old one, you might ask? Well, nosey people, several months ago, Angie left her email account open and walked out of the room. Mistake. I jumped off the sofa and quickly sent the following mail from her account to everyone in her address book.

Angie could not figure why I was giggling like a madman when she came back into the room. She could also not understand why she kept getting strange emails and chat messages asking when the divorce would be. She figured it all out when one of her good friends asked Angie if she was having any mental problems. Anyway, Angie was so lividly pissed that I feared retaliation and changed the password to my Hotmail account.

Being such a busy and important person, I didn't check my account for several weeks. When I tried to log back in, I drew a complete and utter blank on my new password. I tried all of the different ways to unlock an account, but nothing worked. Talk about your all-time prank backfire.

My account had been opened long before there were user-friendly security questions like what is your favorite color? or how many times were you dropped on your head as a child? I even contacted Hotmail, who asked for the zip code listed in the account. I have moved 11 times since then, mostly overseas. At that time, you could only use U.S. zip codes, so I have no idea what I provided; I had probably picked a random one just to be able to open my account. I finally accepted that my Hotmail account had died and it was time to move on.

Throughout the whole ordeal, I have to say that Angie was not being very supportive. Unless laughing your ass off and screaming 'serves you right' is considered sympathetic. Hey, I was not the one tempting people by leaving my email account open. Would you yell at a dog for salivating over a juicy steak if it was shoved under its nose?

In the end, the Hotmail staff was not very supportive either, so I went with Yahoo. I made sure this time to answer all of the 'security' questions in case Angie is silly enough to ever tempt me again. You probably guessed it - the answer to that question what is my favorite color? Red.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I see the mama and the 'omagosh' Ms Jen.
David: When I 'Papa, toilet - I need the toilet'

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't see today Grams and Opa.
David: When Tom cry in the bathtub.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go play that game with the monkeys.
David: When Grams come.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Today was St. Nikolaus day. Interesting tradition, actually. The kids place a filthy, stinking boot outside the front door. If nobody steals the shoe overnight, this freaky-looking bishop with a flowing white beard stops by and drops off a shitload of sweets and games. This year, the game was called Hucke-Peter, which has these hunched-over figures meant to symbolize St. Nick's burden of carrying all those gifts on his back. Angie has carried three burdens herself, but they were not on her back.

After the kids had their fill of stinky candy, they got really stinky. Then I bathed them. Then I used a very clean boot to kick them out of the nest for a while.

Peter was the first one to get booted. Angie dropped him off at a birthday party up at the castle. The birthday girl was Anna and the theme was princesses. I do occasionally put my foot down, so Peter went as a prince.

In the photos from this birthday party, it becomes painfully obvious that Peter does not have an attention span. In one picture, all the little princes and princesses were huddled together to take a nice group picture. All the kids were staring at the camera except Peter and Dalia, who were grinning at each other like village idiots.

In another scene, the boys are lined up on one side with the girls facing them. The boys were supposed to bow and the girls curtsey. Peter took this as a sign that he should wander off and check out the drapery. My hope is that he simply confused curtsey and curtain.

While Peter was off being all princely, David was helping Sami cut down trees. David loves destruction of any kind, so he had a blast. Sami certainly enjoyed the cheap labor and Mama and Papa, like Depeche Mode, enjoyed the silence.

After covering yourself in bark, sap, and tree grime, there is little else you can do other than to go on a merry-go-round. The Christmas market is conveniently right around the corner, so Sami unwittingly volunteered himself for a few more hours of David patrol when he tried dropping off Lumberjack Johnson.

David did not last long, though. Something about any level of physical activity just tuckers the poor boy out. Sami and Woody came back at about the time I left to pick up the Fresh Prince.

As I approached the birthday house, I heard an ever-increasing roar and almost turned back. My strong desire to continue raising Peter gave me the courage to make it to the front door. As it opened, a shock wave of noise blew back my hair and rattled my teeth. In the air, I smelled sugar.

As I fought my way past hyperactive princes and princesses, I found Peter in the living room, alone on the sofa.

Peter, what's wrong?

Nothing. Why?

You tell me. Every other kid in this place is royally rioting. Why are you so mellow?

I am waiting for my hotdog.

Your what?

At some point shortly before I arrived, Prince Peter had demanded a hotdog. I know from experience that hosting a full-blown birthday party is stressful. Throw princesses on top of that and you can forget it. I am quite sure the last thing the hostess wanted was to start preparing dinner for the royal court. This did not phase Prince Wiener, though. At least he thanked the fair lady when his feast arrived.

When the boys were once again reunited, they hugged and gave each other big kisses. I almost puked. I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder. At least for two minutes. After that, absence, at least for our boys, makes them want to beat the crap out of each other. Maybe they're just making up for the lost time.

At one point, Angie dove in to break up the two wrestlers. She ended up with David climbing her back as she tried to block Peter from denting David's forehead. I was standing in the doorway cracking up and from my point of view, she definitely looked like a Hucke-Mom.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Katherina and Sami came.
David: When Sami and Kika come, ok? We make that tree go down.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I cried 'cause I got this owa 'cause I tried to do it off and that hurt.
David: When I fall and I have an owa and then I cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Sami's and do the marshmallows and do what David did.
David: When Peter and I go shankel-bahn.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Barb babysits

Red, red wine...

I hate geese

There has been some confusion, so let me explain. The man in the half-coat is supposed to be St. Martin, not me. He is pissed at the goose for revealing his position. To read the full story.

The ear doctor said what?

Peter had a big ball of ear wax jammed in his ear. Peter did not like the techniques the doctor used to get it out. Peter freaked the freak out on the freaky ear doctor.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This is my happy face, where's yours?

Tom learned to smile the other day and now he won't stop. It's really freaking me out. Every time you look at him, he's just sitting there, grinning and gumming away. I don't know where he found the happy pills, but he certainly could have shared some with Mama today.

Angie woke up in a horrible mood. Yes, I can say that. This is my blog. If you were to read Angie's blog, it would probably say something like 'Steve was being a real ass this morning'.

I am not so worried, though, since writing a blog involves a bit more than turning on a computer. Along with stoves and the bottom of our hamper, Angie is also frightened of technology. That's beside the point, though, since she was not even annoyed at me. That may change when she reads this, but by then it will be a new day and there will be a whole new series of things to annoy Angie.

The source of her foul mood stemmed from an utter lack of sleep. The logical assumption might be that Tom was up all night again. Or that Peter had a leg ache. Or that David had a bloody nose. Or that Papa was reading her love poetry all night. All of these things actually happened last night, except for that lovey-dovey shit of course.

No, in the end it was the Blue Morpho Butterfly that haunted Angie's dreams all night and robbed her of her good mood sleep. Who the hell has nightmares about butterflies? Other than whacky Angie, I mean.

I jumped out of the shower this morning to find my lovely wife cursing in the kitchen. This, by itself, is not unusual, since Angie and the kitchen have been bitter enemies for years. As I walked in, I silently noted the four trash bags that were ripped to shreds and scattered about the floor. Angie was clutching the fifth one in her hands and struggling to get it to fit in our 'slightly larger than standard' trashcan. As I approached, Angie whipped around and pierced me with 'the look'. What?!

I tried to think of something witty to say, like 'hey, wasn't that funny how I replaced all the trash bags with those smaller ones?' In the end, I had no time for a smartass comment. Angie shoved the roll of extremely irritating trash bags in my chest and walked past muttering something about Hefty being a big fat bag of waste. Uh, good morning to you, too.

Tom, on the other hand, woke up smiling. I think this annoyed Angie as well, which only made Tom smile more. Eventually, Grumpalina warmed up a bit, but I think it had more to do with the shots of coffee she had been downing non-stop since the 'trashcan' incident. Perfect. Now Angie is furious and completely wired.

Knowing all too well the dangerous effects caffeine can have on pissed off, sleep-deprived moms, I opted to go to work early. On the way out the door, I jokingly asked Angie if I should take out the trash. Bags. Get it? Again, I got 'the look'. One more time today and I get the free set of steak knives. Just don't ask where Angie will put my lovely prize.

Work was ok. At least nobody yelled at me. Towards the end of the day, the cleaning lady came by and emptied my trash. As she filled the can with a new bag, I started cracking up. I got some pretty strange looks from the guys on my team, but that is now a daily event. They probably just assumed that I had popped a few of those happy pills that Angie forgot to take this year. I mean morning.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Mara came.
David: When that lion again come in the kindergarten and I say 'no lion' and he go home mommy and crying.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't play with Dalia today.
David: When the lion not come again.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To go to Dalia's.
David: When the lion come again.

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