“You cannot use pledge wipes as bathroom wipes” and other conversations with my mom

Below is an example of a “normal” converasation with my mom:

Me: Mom, what are you doing?
Ho-Ho: Knitting.
Me: You ok?
Ho-Ho: Yes, just mad.
Me. Why are you mad?
Ho-Ho: I’m not mad. I’m tired.
Me: Why are you tired?
Ho-Ho: I’m not tired

Oh yea. Check out my newest ChicagoNow post for more of this goodness.

My mom, Ardie Ho-Ho.

In an effort to introduce my mom to the ChicagoNow community, I penned an introductory post explaining our little life here in Chicago. Probably too candid, but she totally did have a perm and I am not going to lie about that. Or the fact that Ellis throws cereal on her floor. Like a boss.

No, he’s not a sly fox. He’s at the bar trying to cut his own hair with a knife.

Poor decision making over the past 24 hours reaffirms that I am pretty much the biggest jerk in the history of jerks. And yes, I will elaborate to further embarrass myself.

1. Yesterday EK and I headed out to Oak Park to do Ardie Ho-Ho’s laundry. This is approximately a 12 hour affair which eventually leads to Ellis running wild around the place while I consume at least 12 diet cokes. I actually entrusted him with my mom (WHA????) and left him in her 500000000 degree apartment while I repeatedly ran up and down four flights of stairs to check on her laundry. I ended up hanging out with some caregivers and learned that while I am busy bemoaning how I have to drive out to my mom’s house on my days off (TWO/week!) to do her laundry and buy diet cokes willy nilly, these women are juggling three kids, two jobs with no help at home. On the west side of Chicago. One has a son in CPS’ special education system which is essentially nothing better than a holding pen. After she started crying I realized I needed to shut the Hell up. Then I went upstairs and found Ellis nearly naked wearing poop-sprayed pants (story for another time) on his head.

2. While we were at Oak Park Arms, we handed out Valentines to everyone in the lunchroom along with a Hershey’s Kiss. A normal parent would oversee such a process. I, however, absent-mindedly followed my kid around while he literally threw hard candy at sweet little old women so desperate to kiss him that they were willing to endure the abuse.

3. Today I dragged him to Patagonia for their annual mega-sale and can say with 99% confidence that I was the biggest asshole in the place. Not only because EK was utterly out of control, but also due to the fact that  I was feeding him treats from my pocket like a puppy in training.  I could feel those Lincoln Park judgy eyes burning into the back of my neck. To make things worse, I had to slap myself after thinking:

Look at all these moms with their kids. Everyone in Patagonia jackets and Uggs. Harumph. Yuppies.  Wait [I look at my jacket and shoes and then Ellis]. I am the worst person on the face of the planet.

But not after we waited in a long line to buy a fleece.I am going to Hell.

4. It took me two hours to figure out how to log-in to my blog. I am not sure if that should be included in this list, but I am going to do it anyway.

5. Apparently I let Mr. Swirley walk out of the house wearing one of my sweaters. I mean, that is f’ing hilarious, but I am still a craptastic friend. It was a really tight one too.

I’m a good driver. Red means stop. Green means go. And yellow is the other one.

Well well well, I hate to say I told you so, but it looks like the rest of the Interwebs appreciates both Overboard and Labyrinth based on searches that landed those poor souls onto my blog page. A sampling? Don’t mind if I do –

– Jeffrey Wiseman (lots of these. Lots and Lots of these.)
– Jeffrey Wiseman Overboard
– Jeffrey Wiseman actor
– Carol Williard (aka Mrs. Rose Budd the intrepid news reporter)
– Turkey Wattle – this search is unintentional but brings people to a picture of Mona working on her gullet (is gullet a word? If not, I call it). You will also see this picture if you google “what happens when you take off neck rings” and search through God knows how many pages to find this piddly blog.)

– Jamie Wild (again, lots of these)
– Jamie Wild from Overboard
– Jarod Rushton Overboard
– Garbage lady from Laybrinth
– Rubbish lady from Laybrinth (clearly these users are NOT american but know a good USA flick when they see it).
YOU ARE WELCOME! See, don’t you feel good knowing that you have received a proper primer on the current status of all of the Overboard actors? I just might have saved your life by providing such a crucial public service.

Other random keyword activity includes:
– sunglasses that go over your glasses (surprisingly popular)
– adventurexxx (yikes, pervymagoos!) Nice thing about this search is it brings the porn seeker to an entry that includes me complaining about: traffic, the high cost of daycare, sick kids and a trip to see family. Talk about MEOW-worthy viewing.
– sametova revola
– Nebraska Jones Chicago

In other news I lost the keys to our new hours three times. Well, I lost them twice and then threw them away once. Since I can’t figure out how to lock the front door it doesn’t really matter if we have keys, but Mr. Swirley seems to think it is a problem that needs to be addressed. This does not mean we hide keys everywhere (my idea, clearly), but instead invest in a keypad entry. Fine, whatever. I still like those fake rocks that everyone knows house keys.

If I go to Home Depot one more time I am going to spray concentrated Green Clean in my eyeballs. Speaking of cleaning, I finally broke down and scheduled someone to come in and clean our condo because I am pretty sure my fingers will fall off if I clean one more toilet (long story but our house wasn’t cleaned when we signed and I couldn’t get anyone in to clean it before we moved in…so we cleaned and I have pretty much hated my life ever since.) Anyway, it took her seven hours. SEVEN! Can you believe CPS didn’t come take my kid away because we were clearly living in squalor. I mean, the place was empty and she spent an entire work day there cleaning; I can’t even spend an entire work day working! Good thing three dudes are moving in who probably could give an f about whether or not the floor area behind the dryer is clean but I am happy about it.

I also order a TV from Amazon based solely on reviews and four pictures – I didn’t even see it in action. I mean, it’s a TV…do I really care if I can see someone’s pores? Notsomuch. After ordering said TV (and having to reprocess the order 400 times because I am an idiot), I realized I accidentally had it sent to our old address. Since we were down to one set of keys (which were in my possession), I lightly suggested to Mr. Swirley that we meet up at his old train stop and stalk the UPS guy. The three of us drove around the neighborhood (side note: Mr. Swirley has become quite the backseat driver as of late…) searching for driver Billy and eventually ended up at the Kam family digs in our “old” Bosworth building. It’s basically impossible for us to actually leave. And yes, the TV eventually showed up.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I will have a lot to report. Or a little, I don’t really know. My plan is to hand my kid off to his cousins upon arrival, leave him there Saturday and avoid picking him until as late as possible on Sunday. I guess that means I am thankful for family who will endure us (help us move/unpack/take our kid) and that I can endure family (namely Ho-Ho). I am also thankful for grass. It’s amazing how much our little patch of grass can instantly change my outlook. I am not thankful for the ceiling fans in every room of the new house – they just really piss me off. Or the challenges posed by repairing plaster walls. But, at least we have walls to repair. Taking everything into account, we are incredibly fortunate people with good friends and family. Still, no one really likes ceiling fans, do they?

Happy Turkey Day!

I am also thankful for the Interwebs and how I can “borrow” and share fun stuff like this,

In my spare time, I like writing obituaries.

It’s three AM. Three. Do you want to know what caused me to sit up in bed? Monday’s catered working lunch might damage the finish on our conference table as we have yet to purchase a 1000 foot long piece of glass.

What else is preventing me from nodding off?

– Painting. We need to paint everything everywhere. Mr. Swirley finished Ellis’ room last night. God bless him.
– How do we properly hang pictures in plaster. My current method of accurately pin pointing a spot and slamming a tiny nail into the wall to hold a very heavy object will likely no longer work.
– I have no pants on and am very cold. This will not motivate me to find pants, only to complain.
– As a follow up, will I actually live up to my commitment to writing a post for the awesome Families in the Loop blog if I can’t even put pants on? I certainly hope I can pull my $h!t together once we are through this move.
– The usual “Ho-Ho” questions. We finally got her into a new counseling center and I am very hopeful that this will lead to some progress/quality of life improvements for everyone. That said, she told her friend that the mafia is threatening her doctor so she won’t prescribe a ridiculous dose of prednisone. Mom also doesn’t have enough pants.
– Organic food. I am back on this kick. I try to not be insane, but wanting organic food combined with my, um frugality, is not very effective when it comes to grocery shopping. Basically we have four things in our fridge and Mr. Swirley, again, bless his soul, has said nothing. I think he knows I am tottering on the precipice of insanity and a simple, “can we get some cereal?” might send me in a downward spiral filled with tears and hiccup-crying (the WORST!)
– Ellis. Recently he has been suffering from night terrors and it makes me very sad. We are on night three (knock on wood) where he has slept through the night…which is great. Otherwise he acts like Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil and just spins round and round screaming his semi-round little head off.
– Auntie FaFa – She just had a baby (Anna Louise) and I am sending good juju to their little family and Fafa’s tatas. I hope they are well (this isn’t a passive aggressive comment to elicit a phone call…just a general thought since Sweet Annie Lou entered the world.)
– Moving. Will Comcast show up today? My guess is those bitches will string me along like the desperate consumer that I am. Will the neighbors judge us based on the number of booze boxes we have used for packing? Will they follow through on the promised jello mold? (I kid you not).
– My haircut. Every year I cut my hair and every year I hate it. I tell Mr. Swirley to stop me before it’s too late, but he is right in saying I get the idea in my head and sneak off to do it without even telling him. Still, he should stop me.
– Our new neighborhood. It’s pretty awesome. Especially because of this:

Nothing reported within a half mile radius. Granted, this is is only for a two week period of time, but I checked a few and it’s so nice to not worry as much.

In my current neighborhood’s defense, I just ran the same search for our address and nothing popped up. Really I am just stoked about having a garage and not cursing the guy who scraped my bumper every morning.
– In addition to the garage, I like the sound people’s feet make on the steps. I know it sounds strange, but it reminds me of my childhood home on Madison street. Even the feeling of the wood stairs beneath my own feet is incredibly comforting.
– Saying goodbye to the neighborhood kids. I love them. Lately they have been playing games of tag at dusk…such a nice sound. I also don’t know how to explain to EK that we won’t be seeing them as often. Same for our freighbors. It’s going to cause mass confusion and heartache for all three of us.
– Weight. Specifically, will I gain a whole other person if I continue eating out using the excuse that we are moving. I realize that this is the opposite of what I said about re: organic food, but trust me, these situations are occurring simultaneously.

It is now 4AM. What an exceptionally good use of my time since I have nothing but everything to do today to prepare for Saturday’s move. Oh well.

I love this song.