Apr 102021
 

Henry and I went to get plant stuff earlier today in an area that’s about 45 minutes away from us and as we drove past this one shopping center, I casually mentioned that I have never been there. Henry said that’s untrue, that we went to a Subway there once and just like that, super vivid memories came flooding back and I screamed, “OH YEAH IT WAS WHEN WE WENT TO THAT ONE WEIRD PLAYGROUND AND BLAKE AND ALISHA WERE WITH US AND THEN WE WENT TO TCBY” and Henry was like “…………………”

I distinctly remembered the pictures I took that day and found them on Flickr. They’re from August 2009 and somehow, I NEVER posted them on here, nor did I even write about the day because I guess this was back when I had a life and didn’t blog every single fucking thing I did because I had a better understanding back then of the idea that NO ONE CARES.

Well, since I have no energy for anything else right now (I expended a lot of it on the squirrels, picking out flowers, and exercising, aren’t you jealous of my full life?), here are the pictures I took that day because Summer of 2009 Chooch was so fucking cute (and sweaty) and also Blake wasn’t a dad yet which is wild and now Alisha lives in ARKANSAS and probably does not miss me making her pose for stupid pictures.

So proud of these ground apples.

Seriously though this playground has a certain type of vibe, yikes.

Well, that was a fun trip down memory lane. Maybe I should start taking out my “real” camera more often like the olden days.

And speaking of Dance Gavin Dance (see: Blake’s shirt), their singer Tilian Pearson has a new solo album out and this video is making me CRAVE A DGD CONCERT.

Apr 092021
 

I really love Easter so much and this year’s bunny day did not disappoint. The weather was perfection (in the low 60s and sunny!) and we actually all got along even though Henry’s chewing and breathing was really beyond extra that day.

First, we had to wake up Chooch and give him his “basket.” Chooch is definitely my kid, in that he is nearly 15 and still wants TOYS and FUN and all the things his little niece and nephew next door are enjoying as toddlers. We decided to fill a small basket with what Chooch claims to be the only sponges he can use to wash the dishes which is clearly just an excuse to not have to wash the dishes. I plopped in one piece of candy for good measure and then at the last minute, I added a bath bomb that he had gotten earlier that day when he was at the store with Henry (not pictured).

Of course it took us forever to get him to wake his ass up. I left the fake basket on the dining room table for him to find, totally exposed so there was no fun involved. He actually took it all in stride, and laughed a lot, so I’m not sure if it’s a reflection of the GREAT JOB Henry and I have done raising him that he didn’t act like a petulant shit when that was “all he got,” or if he’s been conditioned over the last decade to know that there was something better in store if he just rides it out—probably the latter, lol.

Then I needed to get him BACK into his room because Henry left DOLL on his computer desk with one lone Easter egg. OMG for a kid who never wants to leave his room, it was surprisingly hard to get him to go back into it! Granted, the reason I used was probably a bad one: I told him that our new Easter tradition was going to Church with Blake, Haley and the kids and that he needed to go change into something nice, which made shit hit the fan. he became INEXPLICABLY distraught at the prospect of suddenly having to go to church after all these years of living in the lap of heathenism.

Finally got him to go into his room, where he hurled himself down on his bed and proceeded to cry some more. God, this kid!! We should have kept him in Catholic school! Why did we ever pull him out? Oh right, my blog. LOLOLOL.

Anyway, I had to point out DOLL to him just to speed shit up and that set him off even more. “OMG YOU MADE ME GO THROUGH ALL OF THIS JUST SO I COULD SEE DOLL?? UGH!” and he stormed off back downstairs without even realizing that DOLL contained an Easter egg, because DUMB HENRY stuck the egg up her dress instead of just setting it in her lap like I told him to, so then I had to carry DOLL downstairs and thrust her at Chooch, who refused to take her and instead gave me this bewildered look, like “I’m used to you acting insane but you are being TRULY STRANGE this morning” so then I had to EXTRACT the egg from DOLL’s dress and chuck it at Chooch, who finally started to realize that this was an effort to make Easter fun for a surly teen. Except that now DOLL’s egg message didn’t make sense since he was supposed to open it IN HIS ROOM, but now he was in the dining room so he asked, “All of the eggs are hidden in the basement?” Ugh. This dumb scavenger hunt WAS NOT THAT COMPLICATED.

We only hid 8 eggs the night before, just on the first floor, so this hunt should have been over relatively quickly but instead my DENSE SON dragged it out for nearly an hour because he is sooooo obtuse! We were giving him all these dumb hints and he was just standing in the middle of the room, looking lost.

Although, to be fair, one of my hints was “Something you could find at the circus” and he cried THAT COULD BE LITERALLY THIS ENTIRE ROOM!

Anyway, all of the eggs contained a piece of Russian candy and a “coupon” for things like “trip to the Columbus Zoo” and “Dad takes out garbage for month of April.” (In response to that one, Henry wrote out a coupon that says “Geocaching with mom, no less than two hours!”

I hate geocaching.

After he found all of his idiotic eggs, he was sitting on the church pew (oh the irony) watching TV so I ran upstairs to get his real basket, which I’m not entirely sure he was expecting after going through the rigmarole of collecting Easter coupons.

I wish I still got an Easter basket! I am fully planning on giving Chooch an Easter basket (and any future partner/spouse he might wind up with) for the rest of my life.

Later that afternoon, we drove out to Economy Park, which we haven’t to been to in quite some time but the playground is cool because it has this big electronic game that Chooch and I always think we are obsessed with until we get there and remember that it’s broken. The road to the pavilions is closed so we had to park at the playground and walk for about a half mile (??? I’m really bad with measuring distance!), all of which was without Henry who had to go back to the car when we made it out of the parking lot because he forgot the BUNNY PLATE I bought specifically for our EASTERgayo sandwiches, so he ended up being way behind us on the walk which was hilarious to me and Chooch but probably actually super peaceful for Henry.

You might remember that I deemed these sandwiches our “new Easter tradition” two Easters ago. They are based off the Inkigayo sandwich in South Korea, which is a multi-layered sandwich served in the cafeteria to idols performing at the Inkigayo weekly music show. The idols love them so much that various convenience stores in Korea attempted to recreate them and let me tell you, we ate some v. tasty ones on our last trip! Anyway, there are several variations floating around the Internet.

Here’s my OG post about it if you’re interested!

Easter 2019: Idol Sandwiches & Crappy Woodland Treasure

After lunch, I made these lugs pose for family pictures with me. I also *tried* to coordinate our clothes so we were all wearing Easter-y pastel shades, which made Chooch happy because it meant he could wear his pink/salmon hoodie and not A DRESSY SHIRT OMG BOO HOO.

 

You guys, we got Henry to jump!!

Oh man, what a GREAT DAY, honestly. I mean, I almost threw up on a spinny thing at the playground afterward, but it was still just a wonderful holiday. I love you, Easter.

Mar 182021
 

Something I think about a lot from the last year in quarantine is the time Chooch tried to make bread, when we still had energy and drive in the early days of STAYING HOME. I feel like even though it was only a year ago, it deserves a repost because it was originally posted in a week-long isolation recap and who even reads that crap, amirite.

**********************

 

“Chooch, we’re going to make bread today.”

“……without HIM?” (HIM = Henry, clearly.)

“Yes! Someone posted recipes on Twitter. It looks easy.”

“Well, THAT’S something I can tell I’ll be quoting you on for the rest of my life.”

OK, scratch that idea. I just went back to the recipe I saw on Twitter and realized that there was way more to it than just this:

Apparently, the rest of the recipe was in the comments. It’s involved. Do we have baking powder? What is kosher salt? Something about sitting in a greased bowl for 30-60 minutes? I’ll pass.

In good, non-COVID news, Taemin has black hair again! Also, I really wish I was going through this pandemic hell in S. Korea, not the fucking dumb US. God, can we screw this up anymore? FORGET I ASKED THAT. DO NOT HOLD ANYONE’S BEER. GET BACK INTO ISOLATION.

UPDATE, 12:09:

Chooch is making the bread on his own. Where the fuck is the baking powder, he asked, gesturing to the open cupboard full of UNLABELED CONTAINERS OF WHITE POWDERS.

‘This could all be cocaine for all we know!” I cried. Now Henry is on speaker phone. He is very unhappy about how this Friday is progressing.

Apparently the baking powder is in a plastic container that says “baking powder.” I would have hung up on Henry’s ass by now.

OMG IF I HEAR “BAKING POWDER” ONE MORE TIME. This call has dragged on for like 11 minutes. Henry just yelled, “I have to go! I don’t have time for this!”

Lol, I found the baking powder immediately  and now Chooch is mad. He dropped the butter on the ground so I told him  to just wash it off but then we both looked at it and I said, “Um, just throw it out.” Then we fucked up because I dumped all the water in at once, before Chooch had a chance to “mix the dry ingredients” and then apparently even the water was supposed to be added gradually? Why? It’s all going to end up in the same place eventually anyway?

I feel like we made some progress because after stirring it for a bit, it resembles real life dough! I got bored though so now Chooch is doing the rest alone.

12:44PM This might go down as the worst idea ever. The dough is like melted paste – is this right!?

The recipe never told us what to do with the butter. We used our collective noggins to assume that it was for greasing the bowl, so then Chooch made me wash out the Pam that I had originally (handsomely) spritzed it with. We are now letting the dough sit for 30-60 minutes. Is it going to expand into a carb-loaded Jabba the Hut and suffocate us? TIME WILL TELL.

1:50PM: Time to cook this gooey blob! I just noticed that the recipe on Twitter said to HEAT A GRIDDLE. THE FUCK? I was like “Can’t we just use the oven?” and Chooch was like I don’t know so I was scrolling through the Twitter comments and I said, “Oh look! This person asked, ‘Can I use an oven'” and Chooch goes, “Yeah that was me. That was LITERALLY ME.”

I have a headache.

Good thing we have those fire blankets.

YOU GUYS I’m positive we didn’t make these as intended but, against all odds, they taste fucking delicious. The first one came out the most normal looking. The rest are like, dough scraps but still delicious.

We made a penis-shaped one for Henry!

A half hour later, I glanced in the kitchen. “I guess we should just leave this for him to clean up?” And then Chooch and I scream-laughed our faces off. I think we’ve reached peak isolation. It has to be all downhill from here.

Oh wait, but then Henry told me that he ripped his pants today and didn’t realize it until he went back to the office and one of his coworkers said, “Nice underwear.” Yes, this is my favorite part of today’s isolation.

In case you were wondering if beverage deliverymen are essential during a pandemic, that would be a yes. Henry still has to work and his skin is basically burning off his hands from manic-application of hand sanitizer.

5:00PM: Henry just came home and is so mad. “I’m not cleaning that!” he yelled, but now he’s in there cleaning it. Chooch let the “dough” dry on the rolling pin and Henry is very upset about this. Also, he tried the bread and threw it back on the plate. Chooch and I were so insulted, but then I took a bite, and you know, now that they’ve been laying there for a few hours, I can tell that um, these actually aren’t fully cooked, lol. It’s pretty raw, is that why my stomach hurts do you think?

Chooch reminded me that there wasn’t egg in it at least.

A week later, we looked up allegedly “easy” vegan recipes that we could potentially make during the day since our chef isn’t home, but the first one I put on immediately wanted us to peel a potato and I screamed PEEL IT YOURSELF and started to look for another recipe video but lost interest at an alarming speed and put on a Booktube video instead. But then Chooch found some “Easy Naan-type bread” video but it called for lemon juice for some reason and we don’t have that, so he texted Henry “bring home lemon juice” 8x and Henry responded, “Do you need lemon juice?” because he thinks he’s so fucking funny, about as funny as a fifth grade science teacher from the 70s.

Anyway, Henry came home from work with the lemon juice and suddenly Chooch is a bread baker. I had zero hand in it, which is probably why it turned out ok. He came out of the kitchen with a ball of dough in his meat-mitts and said, “Mom! Look!” and I was like, “Holy shit, that looks like real dough and not that weird-ass paste shit we made last week!” which, to be fair, we determined was my fault because I threw the recipe in the air and just plopped everything together in a bowl at once, and apparently there is a reason why you need to mix the dry ingredients alone and then SLOWLY add the wet shit LITTLE BY LITTLE. Who knew?!

I guess a trillion bakers before me.

****

Sadly, that was the last time Chooch baked bread. I should have goaded him into making Irish soda bread yesterday even though I make a point of not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, UGHHHH.

Anyway, if you have any easy bread recipes that you’d like to see Chooch try, let me know!

Jan 252021
 

For some reason, when we realized over the summer that Chooch likely would be doing school remotely, the thing I fixated on the most was, “But what about school pictures?” I know, I know – I have tons of photos of Chooch and it’s not like his 9th grade existence would be wiped out if he didn’t get a formal school picture taken on Picture Day, but it’s like…part of the process of school, you know? We always purchase the smallest portrait package possible just so we can have one 5×7 to frame for the “Chooch Wall”:

Probably no one else gave a shit about this, like I’m sure it’s the last thing the actual school was concerned about, but I kept wondering. “Maybe they will do something informal on a weekend sometime, where they schedule small blocks of kids…” I mused, to the silence of both Henry and Chooch who could not, between the two of them, even muster up one full fuck to give.

But then in a recent school newsletter, they said that because they were unable to offer a normal picture day, everyone was welcome to submit their own photo! (Of course there were guidelines so I couldn’t have him don a welders mask and stand in a tub full of empty Spam tins while wrapped in a 1970s afghan. Dumb rules.)

But x2! In another email, they said that a local photographer had offered to take headshots at a discounted rate, and I signed him up for that because as much as I would have loved to have had an elevated heart rate for an hour while fighting with him to cooperate with me for ONE PICTURE CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME ONE FUCKING PICTURE WITHOUT THAT SMIRK, I just wanted some slice of normalcy in these shitty Covid Times.

So that’s what happened on Saturday. I don’t know yet what the picture looks like but at least he’ll have a picture in the yearbook now!

Anyway, we’re going to redo that wall with all of his pictures on it and I always thought that he hated the fact that we have an entire wall with his pictures on it but when he heard me talking about repainting it, he asked in a panic, “Wait…is it still going to be my wall, though?” I said yes, and he sighed, “OK. Good.”

Lol, narcissist.

I’ve been really scrutinizing that wall though and I think that some pictures will be replaced with others of him, but every time I look at that wall I smile. Of course the school pictures are all boring and standard, but the other ones are so fun and as much as he hates doing these dumb photoshoots with me, I hope that one day when he’s an adult, he’ll look back on them and be glad that they happened. I’m sure his future partner will certainly be happy, haha.

I’m going to repost one of my favorite ones here, because it makes me so happy and maybe it will make you smile too. Smiling is good!

***

ICE CREAM CONE CANNIBAL: 2013

A few weeks ago, Chooch unearthed his very first Halloween costume in his closet, put it on and then surprised me with it. I almost died laughing, seeing his big head shoved through the small opening of a fabric ice cream. It pleased me because he was 6 months old that Halloween and it poured down rain so aside from a quick photo op at my grandma’s house, that costumes was totally wasted. I even considered putting it up on eBay a few times, or giving it to someone who has a baby, but now I’m really glad that I didn’t, because nothing is funnier than someone wearing something that they’re too big for.

One day, he wore it in the backseat of the car and waved to people at red lights.  He’s even considering wearing it for real next Halloween and I will fucking die if he does because I love this costume so much, so yes — PLEASE WEAR IT!

In the meantime, I wanted to do a little photo shoot with him wearing it. The weather was so amazingly warm this weekend, and I couldn’t stop picturing him eating an ice cream cone while wearing an ice cream cone. There’s an ice cream place right down the road from the abandoned building we use for some of our pictures, but we didn’t learn it was closed until we drove all the way out there (only like 30 minutes, but still — Henry’s frown is in full effect over things like this).  We figured McDonald’s was probably our best bet at that point, and remembered that there was one down the street from the closed-down ice cream shop we took pictures at last September.  Even better!

“But does McDonald’s have rainbow sprinkles? No, I don’t think they do. You’ll have to stop at a grocery store on the way and buy some, just in case,” I said, planning ahead.

Henry glared at me.

“What? There HAS to be rainbow sprinkles! I can’t do it without the sprinkles!” I cried. EVERYTHING IS IN THE DETAILS, OK?!

So that was another 25 minutes in the car with Henry who had almost completely shut down verbally by then. I even tried to calm him down by ironically holding his hand. He wasn’t amused.

Rainbow sprinkles procured and a vanilla cone in hand, we drove back to the Twist behind a partially disabled elderly man who cruised along at a pace of about 18 mph, melting the ice cream and our patience.

But we made it with the cone mostly intact! I jumped out of the car and poured the sprinkles on while Chooch stuffed himself in the costume cone.

I positioned him in front of the closed-down ice cream shop and handed him  the severely-dripping cone.

“Vanilla? REALLY? VANILLA? You knew I wanted CHOCOLATE!” he cried.

“Well, McDonald’s only has vanilla,” I muttered, but really — he was getting vanilla no matter where we went. It had to match his costume!

And the rest of it panned out smoothly! Henry and I didn’t even argue. We were only there about 5 minutes before I got what I needed and Henry got to finish Chooch’s cone.

This was right after 2 teenage girls walked by and giggled at Chooch. He was totally angry with me.

He even DANCED for me at the end. You know why? Because that little sucker got paid to do this. I have found that giving him a few bucks is a small price to pay for cooperation and amiability in front of the camera.

God, Henry is totally going to start asking for payment now too.

<3

Dec 112020
 

Well guys, we made it all  the way to December before  the first dreaded CALL FROM THE SCHOOL occurred. I was in a meeting at the time of the call, but I listened to the voicemail immediately after and it was from, of all teachers, Chooch’s CREATIVE WRITING teacher. This is my favorite class! I mean, for him. My favorite class FOR HIM. And I thought that he had been doing well in it so I was pretty clueless as to why I was getting a call, what brand of opprobrium is he bringing upon of us now, but I figured it HAD TO HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH HIS MOUTH.

Ding ding ding.

In her voice mail, the teacher prefaced the negative news by saying  that his writing is wonderful, keeps getting better (I mean, LOOK AT WHO HIS MOMMY IS, you know lol), she really enjoys his presence in class, but…

That day in class, he said something inappropriate in the chat.

WHOOP THERE IT IS.

Since they’ve been doing school virtually, each class has a chat function and believe me you, I knew this was going to be bad news at some point.  Chooch is the Duke of Dischord, so I could only imagine how disruptive this would be in a classroom setting. He laughs way too much for someone who is “in class.” And I mean, his ass is cracking the fuck up at times.

Of course, she didn’t tell me in the voicemail what was said, and we ended up playing phone tag for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, I asked Chooch why his teacher would be calling me and of course he played dumb.

But then…

“Oh, hahahaha, I probably know why.” More giggles.

“WHAT DID YOU DO.”

“Well, in the chat, I said something about taking Ibuprofen.”

“…………….”

“….snorting Ibuprofen.”

WHY IS MY SON SO FUCKING SMART AND STUPID AT ONCE. I screamed, “why would you say that!??!” and he was like, “It was just a joke! Someone was saying they couldn’t stay awake and I said I snort Ibuprofen.”

Seriously, sometimes I just don’t know what he’s thinking and I guess that’s for the best.

“Why the fuck would you say that in a school chatroom, you dumbass? You know there’s always that one idiot who’s going to think that sounds like a good idea and next thing you know, crush Ibuprofen is the new Tide Pods, you stupid fucker!” I seethed. And it doesn’t even make sense anyway!

(GREAT, NOW I’M GOOGLING THIS SHIT BECAUSE—WAIT, DOES IT MAKE SENSE??)

(NO!! OF COURSE NOT!!)

Then I called Henry and screamed about this to him because I hate confrontational school bullshit.

“Why does he do this shit?” I wailed. “Now I have to explain to this broad that our son doesn’t actually have an OTC drug addiction.”

Anyway, she called me back and right away I said, “He told me what he said and he is an idiot. I’m so sorry.” She just laughed nervously and said that again, he’s great most of the time—

“—but he’s way too chatty,” I finished for her. We have been suffering through these conversations since the beginning of his school career. Literally, that kid!!! NEVER SHUTS UP.

ALWAYS HAS TO HAVE THE LAST WORD.

Apparently, she had to hold back Chooch and one of his pallies after class last week to talk to them about this issue and of course I had no idea about this. So I had to use my dwindling reserves of “charm” on this lady when really all I wanted to do was talk to her about my own experience in creative writing class when I was in high school because, you know, me me me.

600+ words later, I think that this issue is resolved and I shamed Chooch into being too scared to use the chat feature at all now – sike, nah – he still uses that bitch because if Know-It-Alls can’t be heard while muted, at least they can be seen.

Which brings me to the part of the story in which I shame Chooch for the above infraction by sharing a FUN FACT about him, especially because Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” has come up twice this past week, the most recent today when I was reading We Ride Upon Sticks and the video was referenced:

So that redhead is Tawny Kitaen and I dunno why her name has been seared upon my brain ever since I learned it in the 80s and then had my mind blown several years later when she became a co-host of America’s Funniest People and I made the connection that she was THAT WHITESNAKE BROAD.

What does this have to do with Chooch, you ask? Well, he has this little brown mole/birthmark on his butt (TMI? Well, maybe he should stop making stupid jokes in class!) and when he was a baby, I looked at it one day and officially dubbed it Tawny BUTTaen. And by officially, I mean that I haphazardly wrapped the announcement–like one of my signature shoddily-papered Christmas gifts–in my accidental Bobcat Goldthwait impression and punted it out of my mouth, pre-Christened with my giddy spittle, to an audience of no one.

Get it? Because Tawny is a synonym for brown and brown the color of the birthmark, and it’s on his bu—OK, you get it.

Now that Chooch is a teenager and not prone to streak through the house, I often forget that Tawny BUTTaen exists. But every now and then, I’ll remember and ask him how she’s doing, while choking on my Laugh Sandwich a la Mama Cass. He gets so mad, as if he doesn’t secretly think it’s the MOST BRILLIANT NAME FOR A BIRTH MARK EVER.

TAWNY BUTTAEN.

Oh man, here I go again.

(Fun fact about ME: Whitesnake’s “Is This Love” would 100% be played at the wedding reception I’ll never have.)

(Fun fact about this blog post: it was originally supposed to be a friday five but I got bored with writing after the first two bulletpoints, and frankly, who gives a shit.)

(Fun fact about fun facts: they’re usually not even really that fun.)

Nov 222020
 

…before Henry completely obliterated the poor kid’s hair later that day.

Hello. Since school pictures for 2020 are up in the air as of now, I figured I better take matters into my own hands, use those same hands to dust off my camera, and drag Chooch to the cemetery for some portraits today. Of course it’s never that easy – I had to promise that I’d buy him some dumb Titanfall thing and then give him $10 cash on top of that (overall a pretty cheap deal until you realize that you’re the one who should be getting paid for this shit).

We left Henry at home because he had chores to do and SHOCKINGLY Chooch and I got along swimmingly, which confirms my suspicion that Henry is the catalyst.

Chooch wears a hoodie to “school” every day so it was kind of nice to see him wearing something with, I dunno, a pattern. And color.

I made him do a wardrobe change, and we also changed locations once too, which made him grumble because “that wasn’t part of the arrangement” but REMEMBER WHO THE PARENT IS, OK.

He does the “sullen teen” look so well.

OMG I just went upstairs to Henry’s Salon and he basically made Chooch look like he’s leaving for boot camp…I’m trying not to freak out.

That mushroom coif is gone-zo!

Well, this has been the latest edition of “I have a kid and here are some pictures of him.”

P.S. I just saw Chooch post-hair shaving and he’s actually not completely bald – Henry left some hair on the top lol.

Nov 022020
 

Welp, to use the most annoying phrase of all time this side of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”:

IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Luckily, we’ve had, what, 7 months to get used to dashed plans and all the dusty nooks and crannies of our homes, so it wasn’t like Halloween was THE MOST DEPRESSING day of the year. And ironically, it managed to be one of the only Halloweens in recent years where I didn’t flip out over last minute costume malfunctions or the general concept of things not going my way.

God forbid.

I mean it was annoying when, for the second year in a row, Henry’s son took the kids trick or treating in some uppity suburban utopia which is whatever, but they live RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO US and couldn’t be troubled to bring the kids over for a second so we could at least see what they were dressed as. No, we instead had to find out the next day via Instagram. How fucking precious.

Oh well, they’re not even my actual grandkids so what do I care. It’s just outrageous how self-centered and oblivious that generation is. The one after the millennials. What are we calling that shit? Generation Z. Thanks, Google. Actually, looking at the dates, those two are actually the combined forces of Millennials AND Generation Z! No wonder why they have literally no life etiquette or courtesy. Or, as we call it in Korean, noonchi. 

It’s the 눈치 없다 generation.

I think Chooch was actually more upset about this than me, and Henry just shrugged it off entirely because Blake is just like him so he doesn’t really have the room to complain.

But whatever, on to better things.

Like Chooch’s costume!

We knew he most likely wasn’t going trick-or-treating this year (you know, being a big bad ninth grader and all), but it didn’t feel right not making a costume. I mean, nearly right up until the end I had begun to accept that my career as Halloween pageant mom really, truly was over.

“But Erin, you say that every year, etc etc.”

No, for real this time!

But then the damn VP debate happened and the fly nested in Pence’s helmet hair for a hilariously long amount of time, and the Internet went nuts over it, and I started screaming CHOOCH, WE HAVE A COSTUME!

We bought him a gaming computer a few weeks ago so he is pretty much at our mercy, at least for the next couple of months. So he was like, “Yes, ma’am that surely seems like a great costume idea and I will happily wear it.”

It also ended being one of the cheapest costumes we’ve made, as well! Those glasses were $5, the ski mask was from Henry’s work, the wings are made from wire hangers and wax paper, Pence’s face is made from cardboard we already had, and a few sheets of foam paper that came to like, $5. Oh, and the pipe cleaners were about $3, if even that. And Henry probably used a Michaels coupon because he is a seasoned craft store shopper.

Man, we just couldn’t help ourselves.

And yes, I made sure to give Pence pink eyes since his eyeballs were basically bleeding during that debate. What a gross man.

Most of the day, aside from costuming, was spent working on projects around the house and before we knew it, it was time for trick-or-treating to start. It wasn’t canceled or anything in our area, but we wanted to make sure it was safe on the off-chance anyone actually came to our house  (we live on a busy street so most of the kids tend to stay on the inner streets). I set up a bowl of candy on one of our wheelchairs and nestled a bottle of hand sanitizer next to it. We hid our Echo under a porch chair and had haunted house music playing all night which upset our cats bigly.

Last year, we only got one kid. This year, during a fucking pandemic, we got 4 groups! Plus the pizza delivery guy who I called back to the porch and forced to take some candy, lol.

Then we ate pizza and just chilled without having any arguments! It was actually a really nice, cozy Halloween in spite of the state of the world. Here’s hoping Trump gets voted the fuck out and we can get legit adults in the White House who will focus on working with the rest of the world to find a way to kill covid. Props to everyone who celebrated Halloween responsibly!

Oct 282020
 

Sometime early Monday evening, my work friend Lauren texted me and asked if I would be willing to submit one of Chooch’s carved pumpkins because our department was having a pumpkin carving contest, but only like 5 people submitted one.

I mean, I’m not shocked. Four years ago, Carrie and I were in charge of organizing a Halloween party for the department and barely anyone participated, and this was waaaaay before the pandemic! I think there were 5 of us who dressed up. It was just super depressing. We just don’t work with very festive people, I guess. This is why I didn’t even bother to put  my name in the hat for the new party committee that was assembled at the beginning of the year, because I get so angry when the efforts are unappreciated!

Anyway, I didn’t pay much attention to the emails that went out about this last week because I knew I wouldn’t “be there,” since I’m off the whole week before Halloween and didn’t think I would be eligible because I’m sorry – I love my co-workers but I am not logging on to a WebEx on a day off!

Sadly, all of the pumpkins Chooch carved are half-rotted because of the hot weather we had been having last week, so I was like, “Ew, I’m sorry but I can’t submit a picture of any of those in good conscience” but we were actually already out when she texted me so I asked Chooch, “If we stop and get a new pumpkin on the way home, will you carve it?”

Chooch made some mumbling sounds that, when strung together and played in reverse while standing in a graveyard at midnight, loosely translated into, “Go fuck yourself.”

“There’s a cash prize, I think,” I added with a shrug and he was suddenly like, “Sure mother, this sounds like a swell idea; Father, please purchase the pumpkin at your earliest convenience.”

Now, I was only doing this to be a team player, and I have a hard time saying no to people. So I told Chooch it didn’t have to be anything magnificent which quickly turned into, “OOOH WILL YOU DO A G-DRAGON ONE!?” and he was like, “Wha—no!!!” So then I thought out oud, “You know what would be quick and simple? You could just do a 2020 and then set it on fire. Bam. Done.”

He liked the idea because it was easy, so that is why there was the stench of burning pumpkin cocooning our house Monday night and I’m here to tell you that it was a far cry from Yankee Candle. Yikes.

I got the picture submitted to Lauren that night and it was eligible for voting the next day. I didn’t think too much about it and then Chooch was like, “What’s going on with that pumpkin competition? Did I win, or…?” and I was like, “Oh shit, I didn’t think we were actually in it to win it” which is how you know 2020 has taken a toll on this tried and true Leo, because when have I ever entered a contest without the expectation of winning?!

“Did anyone vote for me?” he asked, and I was like, “I dunno, and I’m not logging on to find out. I’m on vacation!” But then on Instagram, my friend Colleen commented on the pumpkin and said that she voted for it so for a second I felt mildly inspired, enough to text Todd and say, “TODD.”

And then nothing else for a full minute because people love that about me.

“Vote for Chooch’s pumpkin.”

So he did, because hello, people do as I say around those parts.

Then I went back to not caring, aka “enjoying my time off” until later on in the evening when I saw that my friend Megan had texted to say that she and Chooch tied for first place! I actually found out about an hour after Chooch and I had a full-blown screaming match IN PUBLIC on our walk to Dunkin’ Donuts for beverage after dinner, when he tried to take credit for it and I was like, “Yeah, I mean, you carved it but it was my idea” and he was like, “No it was my idea, you just said to make one that said 2020 and I said yeah and we can set it on fire.”

UM – NEGATIVE. Why would I suggest to just carve 2020!? The whole point from the very genesis of the idea was to set it on fire! And if you know me at all, you know that I CANNOT STAND WHEN SOMEONE TAKES CREDIT FOR MY IDEAS EVEN IF THAT SOMEONE IS MY OWN SON, I WILL NOT HAVE IT. So we were actually yelling at each other next to a gas station on a busy street and you know what, I didn’t even care who was watching HONESTLY!! I even turned around and stalked off at one point but then I remembered that I wanted fucking coffee so I came back.

“You’re a typical Leo,” Chooch muttered when we were on our way back with our coffee. “You make everything about you!”

“And you’re a typical Taurus!” I slapped back. “FUCKING STUBBORN! ALSO, YES I MADE THAT ABOUT MYSELF BECAUSE IT WAS MY IDEA AND YOU WERE TAKING CREDIT AND I’M NOT GOING TO STAND THERE AND LET THAT HAPPEN!”

Can you guys see now why I never chose a creative route as a profession? I literally CANNOT work with others when it comes to ideas and creations and whatever.

It was so bad that I even called Henry and asked him to solve it for us since he was in the car when the whole thing was born, and he literally said HE DIDN’T KNOW because he is FUCKING SCARED OF US BOTH.

WOW THIS BLOG POST WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS ANGRY YET HERE WE ARE.

Anyway, then I found out that the pumpkin tied for first place and Chooch and I bonded over the fact that OUR JOINT EFFORTS paid off.

I mean it’s just like how I design the serial killer cards and Henry makes them, you know? I come up with ideas and then these fools execute them. The only difference is that Henry doesn’t mouth off like Chooch does.

Sep 082020
 

The day has finally arrived. I’m officially the mom of a ninth grader. This whole online-schooling thing really made it kind of anticlimactic though. There was no making him a lunch (THANK GOD) or sending him off with a new backpack.

Making sure his shoes are tied while I’m running around getting ready for work, making sure my OWN goddamn shoes are tied.

Nope, instead I popped into his room and asked, “Are you like, ready, or whatever?”

He was, but of course the entire school district was having technical difficulties so kids kept getting booted from calls all day. He got booted from his Civics class right when it was his turn to introduce himself, and by the time he got back in, they had moved on to someone else and he was happy about it. I would have been mad. I always liked introducing myself in classes (but typically hated speaking any other time, especially whenever I’d have to read my own writing OH LAWD SCRAPE ME OFF THE FLOOR). I remember on the first day of this Indo European Folktale class I took at Pitt (it was fantastic btw), I blurted out, “AND I JUST FOUND OUT I’M PREGNANT!!” after all of my responsible friends and Henry were like, “OK but let’s wait until you’re at least in the second trimester before making any announcements” and literally the next day I posted on LiveJournal and then branded myself as a weirdo growing a baby in a college class where I was already considered “old” (I was 25, god forbid) and every one stared at me every week like I was a science experiment they were waiting to change.

Another time, I was in a training class for some dumb cable company job and we had to go around and say our name with an adjective starting with the same letter and I was like DYING FOR THEM TO GET TO ME because I didn’t want any other “E” person to steal my word which I don’t think was going to happen because literally no one else cared about this challenge but me and when it was my turn, I stood up and cried, “EFFERVESCENT ERIN!” and everyone glared at me, and it really set the tone for weeks of regular glaring (only from a certain bitter section of the class; I was popular with thw bad kids and that’s all that mattered!)

WOW look at me, making this all about myself.

That’s super unusual and out of character for me.

Anyway, we’re in the middle of making over Chooch’s room but it’s mostly done and already much more comfortable for him than it had been. He had an Ikea loft bed which was really fun for him for several years but obviously he’s outgrown it so Henry dismantled it and now he has a regular bed on the floor and a desk that he doesn’t have to smash his head while ducking underneath his loft bed to access.

(I had definitely banged my own head off his bed many times while attempting to clean off his desk. (Or leave him naggy notes on his white board, lol, no not me.)

His new high school is so STEM-hardcore that he’s taking geometry, Algebra II, biology, and chemistry all in 9th grade. (Geometry and Chemistry this semester, Algebra II and biology next semester.) I mean, I had to take a full school year of each of those and still struggled, so I can only imagine how fast-paced this curriculum is going to be and I only hope that I do not have to get involved with any of it, thanks.

What strange times though. I mean, I’m glad that Pittsburgh Public Schools made the decision to go full-blown online learning (do we not call it cyber school anymore?) for the first semester, especially after seeing so many spikes happen around the country as schools reopen.

So, yay, go 2020-2021 school year. Rah rah rah. Boom boom hiss or whatever.

Aug 282020
 

Chooch starts school (HIGH SCHOOL) on Monday, so we decided to do a tiny road trip to Erie (I mean, it’s only 2 hours away, so yeah – pretty tiny!) today as a last hurrah and to maybe try and make this summer feel like summer, even if only for a few hours. I’ll be back in a few days with a full recap of all the arguments and Henry bullying but for now, here are some photos of my almost-adult, who still would rather build things out of sticks than cooperate with his mother during a fauxtoshoot.

This shirt is from Blvck Cat. They’re an indie horror pin company and you should support them.

Probably thinking about his cat.

He won’t actually pose for me anymore so usually all the shots I get of him are when he’s in mid-something, looking like a mannequin.

Probably contemplating where to shove this.

 I kept saying, “Do something Taemin-esque. Pose like Taemin would” and he was just like, “I will not.”

Well, that’s that. I’m going to go and pass out now because even though it was just a quick day trip, I am clearly off my traveling game because I am absolutely fucking exhausted (and I also still have sand in my shoes, so I should probably attend to that).

Jun 112020
 

I guess today was technically Chooch’s last day of school? Obviously, schools had shut down in March due to COVID-19, and for the first several weeks, curriculum was at a stand still for Pittsburgh public schools. But once the online classes started, Chooch zipped right through it and finished early, and he did it all without me hovering (I had my stupid check-in calls and video chats to worry about, OK!?).

It’s hard to believe that he’s finally done with that school though. Look, it was convenient how it was only a few blocks away and he could walk there, and he ended up having some good relationships with some of the teachers (math, mainly) but I had a lot of issues with that place. Loved the principal though! But the gym teachers sucked, the art teacher was a big cunt (there was a new one for his final year though and he liked her!), the guidance counselor was worthless. And don’t even get Chooch started on the lunch ladies! Hoo boy, he had beef (lol) with them throughout his entire stint at this elementary school.

But now he’s on to (hopefully) greener pastures when he starts Pittsburgh SciTech in August! (Assuming schools will be OK to reopen by then…?) I’m sad that he’s growing up obviously but also really excited to be more involved in his new school (HEY YOU NEVER KNOW, PEOPLE CAN CHANGE!!!) and I know he’s looking forward to being challenged and being around new people.

This afternoon, his favorite teacher (the math one, natch) came by to give him his official graduation certificate thing, a gift bag of treats and gift certificates, and to shove this sign in our yard which Blake excitedly took a selfie with later on. He’s such a proud big brother, I guess, lol.

So yeah, it was a weird way to end the school year, and now he’ll probably be shell-shocked when he has to actually be in a real classroom again. But at least now we’ll be able to officially begin our summer of Breakfast Clubbin’! (Actually, I might wait a few more weeks because eating in a restaurant again has me skeeved out.)

OMG I’m a mom to high schooler, how did this happpppppppppppen!!!!!!!!!!?????????

May 312020
 

Happy Sunday. Here is a collection of things Chooch made last week which is exactly what the name of this blog post alludes.

1. kimchi bokkeumbap

Henry bought Chooch another one of those vegetarian meal kit things and this one included ingredients of “kimchi fried rice” but anyone who knows anything about Korean food knows that this is actually “bokkeumbap” and it’s something that is included at the end of meals in certain restaurants in Korea, where the server will come over and dump all the extra rice and kimchi into a pan at your table and stir that shit up right in front of you. Honestly—restaurants in Korea are next level.

Chooch was mad though because this one came with mushrooms that he had to scrape the “gills” and he hates mushrooms to begin with so it’s always a great sign when you can hear the chef in the kitchen gagging and dry-heaving. Mmmm!!

He picked all the mushrooms out of his own serving lol.

2. Fancy Moroccan Carrot Thing

Another one of the recipes that came in the meal kit was this WONDERFUL carrot thing. I love non-orange carrots so this was very appealing to me. Chooch felt like he cooked the rice too long but it had that wildly desirable crunch-layer to it so I gave it two thumbs up. I love crunchy/mildly-burnt rice! It’s the best part of bibimbap too!

Anyway, Chooch is much better at plating than Henry. It’s awesome to have two people cooking for me now haha.

3. Edible Drew Portrait

Chooch’s final assignment for his gifted art class was to make a mosaic or collage using shit around the house. I thought it would have been a good opportunity to do a portrait of his loving mother using (costume) jewels and flowers, but he ignored me and opted instead on his favorite cat Drew as the subject matter, and used dry goods from the kitchen. 

I mean, it’s technically edible but there is A LOT OF PEPPER, garlic powder, salt and onion powder mixed with cocoa and sprinkles, so…

Anyway, this isn’t actually due until next Friday so I was super impressed that he knocked it out in one sitting, an entire week in advance. Thank god. 

He took a picture so he could turn it in, and then promptly threw it away, lol. 

4. Cats uncomfortable

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this picture of him making our poor cat Penelope uncomfortable.

Welp, that’s all for today. Happy Sunday (did I already say that?). Go hug a tree and be nice to each other. 

May 032020
 

Now that Chooch’s online schooling is in full effect, things have gotten more interesting during STAYATHOME, especially when we both have to be on calls at the same time. For instance, two weeks ago when I was trying to do a WebEx with a coworker in Chicago just as Chooch had to join a call with his Gifted Center sculpting class.

“I dunno, I guess he has to make something out of things found around the house,” I explained to Vicki as Chooch scoffed in irritation at me and took his call onto the back porch.

Somehow, this turned into a partner-project, because Chooch is just as helpless as me but when we join forces, we can sort of get things done, leaving about 75% of the rest “for Dad.” I remembered that I had a container of craft bullshit under my bed which also happens to contain a bunch of serial killer cut-outs from when I used to handmake my serial killer cards back in the day. So out of everything in that container, Chooch came down with a picture of Ted Bundy’s head and a piece of white foam paper.

“I’m going to make a white VW with Ted Bundy inside,” Chooch said with a shrug. And then added, “I know that’s the exact car he drove because I watched that Ted Bundy movie.”

And he watched that movie because way back in Week One of Isolation, when I still had energy and motivation and tried to make a school schedule for him, one of MOMMY’S ASSIGNMENTS was to watch a documentary. “Can’t I just watch this Zac Efron Ted Bundy movie? That’s kind of like a documentary” and I gave in pretty easily because I had my own shit to do. BUT SEE?! It ended up having value! My teaching skills are on point, you guys.

He grabbed the box that my vintage lightswitch plate was shipped in, thinking he could use that as a shadowbox-type thing. I found a pair of never-used chopsticks from Noodles & Co (we have an entire drawer full of good chopsticks that we use!), so I flung those at him and shrugged. You never know!

I was sitting at the desk, working, during all of this when I noticed a toy T-Rex that I had spray-painted gold years ago when I was making dinosaur ring-holders (I go through phases) was standing in front of me so I tossed that at him and said, “Here, you can use this too.”

Then he found out that the project was actually a mobile, so the chopsticks were perfect after all! And he decided for a third item to make a model of the coronavirus out of clay and thus, the Dangerous Things mobile was born.

Of course, he left everything in an unfinished heap on the table for a week until late Thursday night when he pulled Henry out of bed because he needed help attaching the mobile to the top of the box, lol. Henry was so happy to help, as always!

Everything was all well and good after that. He snapped a picture and posted it to the classroom message board or whatever it is that they’re using, thinking that would be the end of it.

But then the next day, he had another group call, which turned into a VIDEO CALL so that everyone could share and explain their projects. We both started panicking because he didn’t really put much effort into this and now he was going to have to be like “say hello to Ted Bundy” and I don’t know this teacher and sometimes I really don’t think like a real mother when I’m like, “YES THESE ARE GREAT IDEAS THAT ARE NOT CONTROVERSIAL OR PROBLEMATIC AT THE VERY LEAST FOR 13-YEAR-OLDS, DO IT! HERE’S A SEVERED FINGER THAT YOU CAN ADD TOO!”

I sat there, trying to work, while listening to this call happening behind me, and this one totally suck-up kid was like HERE IS THIS DELIGHTFUL MOBILE THAT I MADE FOR MY MOTHER FOR MOTHER’S DAY of stfu are you kidding me, that’s an instant A. Art teachers lap that shit-milk up!

Chooch and I exchanged horrified looks.

“I can’t show this” he said at the same time I said, “You can’t show that.”

But then some other kid went after that and her’s was just like, a string of crumbled crepe paper so I said, “OK look – yours is better than that one so I guess just go ahead and show it” and he was like, “Christ.” But he did it and I had to get up and walk away at one point because I couldn’t stop laughing.

I had stopped recording right as she said, “Well Riley, I’ve gotta say, this is really unique and creative, the most unique one yet” which, I have to say, as his mom, it felt like she was saying that to me and I did the Champion Fist Shake over both shoulders right there at my makeshift work desk.

Oh man, that was a great moment which made up for all the trash moments during the earlier parts of the week.

I wish his old art teacher at his regular school could see it. She was such a bitch to him.

Later that day, the teacher sent everyone their project evaluations and instead of being pleased that he earned a 25/25, all he could fixate on was that said that she loved “Jeffrey Dahmer in his car” and Chooch flipped out and was like OK BUT IT WAS TED BUNDY.

Apr 262020
 

 

Even though we weren’t able to do anything outrageous for Chooch’s birthday yesterday, I’m sure it will still be memorable for him simply because of pandemic times. But you know, it really wasn’t too bad of a day. For one thing, the weather forecast called for all-day rain for Saturday, but it ended up being a BEAUTIFUL spring day!

We went to Jefferson Memorial for a quick “14th Birthday” photoshoot, but there were actually quite a lot of people there so we had to be quick in order to get the hell out of there.

In all of the years I’ve been taking pictures at this pond area, I have never had to contend with lollygaggers, but it was the place to be on Saturday.

This worked to Chooch’s advantage though because he was trying to get this over with as quickly as possible. Also, Henry didn’t bring any of my other camera lenses, so I ended up just using my phone. Thanks, Henry. Wouldn’t be a photoshoot without a heated argument!

Chooch won me that stuffed character in Seoul, and his mask is also Korean. #represent

The balloon was just from Giant Eagle, though.

One of my friends made a comment on Instagram about how they can’t believe it’s been 14 years already (it’s funny how many of my LiveJournal friends especially say this because they virtually went through my entire pregnancy with me!) and I was like, “Oh I know, it’s so weird how he keeps aging and I’m just over here still being 26.”

And another of my old LJ friends, Jeri, made a similar comment which brought back this strong wave of memories from when I found out that I was pregnant and had a three-way call with her and our other friend Kelly and Jeri was like, “This is very exciting but you should wait until you’re at least out of your first trimester before publicly announcing anything” and I was lie, “That is very sage advice, thank you Jeri” and meanwhile, the very next day, I was like, “DEAR LIVEJOURNAL, YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE IT….”

Man, LiveJournal was so major in my life. I might not use it anymore, but I have some really solid friendships that have survived time and distance and I will forever be grateful for LiveJournal for that. Even to this day, if I mention a name that Chooch isn’t familiar with “irl,” he’ll go, “LiveJournal?” and I’ll just nod.

I think we’ve done a fairly decent job getting him to 14! I remember when he was a baby, thinking that I wasn’t doing enough, because I wasn’t signing us up for Mommy & Me classes or whatever, but it ended up OK after all. I eventually learned that everyone has a different parenting style and I think mine is just very…I dunno…relaxed and casual? I mean, sure, he started swearing when he was like, 2, but we always just stressed that he couldn’t talk like that outside of the house, and lo—he’s made it all the way through 8th grade without us ever getting a phone call about him cussing out a gym teacher or whatever. Never even slipped in front of his grandma!

I mean, they’re just words.

Wow, I’m really getting derailed.

What if I wrote a parenting book. LOL.

So, Chooch’s present was supposed to be a weekend at Canada’s Wonderland but, you know, quarantine. Man, if it had me when I was 14, I’d probably have smashed some porcelain figurines and cut myself or something if birthday plans were ruined, but he definitely was gifted the “shrug it off” gene from Henry. He never once pouted or complained yesterday about being stuck at home.

We promised that we’ll go to Canada’s Wonderland later, when it’s safer. And in the meantime, we got him some small gifts, like a set of Apeach dishwashing gloves (he won’t wash dishes without gloves, and Apeach is his favorite Kakao Friends character). He also got Apeach pot holders, a three-recipe vegetarian Hello Fresh box, and a food processor, because all he cares about lately is kitchen stuff.

Then he had a virtual Netflix party with his friends Trevor and Santana, so at least there were options for him to celebrate with friends while still practicing social distancing.

And he baked his own birthday cake! It was strawberry, and while his frosting skills still need honed, it tasted fantastic!

He was so proud!

I gotta say, I don’t hate Chooch’s newfound interest in baking. Thank you, coronavirus….?

And then today was the pick-up day for the vegan pints we pre-ordered from Sugar Spell, so we got to drag his birthday celebrations out for one extra day.

All-in-all, not the worst 14th birthday, I guess! And I didn’t even have any phantom C-section incision pains all day!

Apr 242020
 

Guys, hold the phone – tomorrow is Chooch’s 14th birthday so I’m devoting today’s Friday Five to my five favorite birthday parties that I threw him hahaha because it’s all about me, why bother asking him for his opinion?!

It’s going to be weird not having a party for him tomorrow or taking him to dinner at the very least, but we will make the best of it and for as much as I scream at him for acting spoiled, he’s actually not that bad (considering who his mother is) and he’s pretty content with laying low and having a Netflix Party with some of his friends. 14 is a weird age, anyway.

OK, in no particular order, here are some of the birthday parties he’s had! Click on the links to go to the original blog post for each party, where you can see more pictures and probably multiple paragraphs where I complain about how stressed out I was, make me a martyr already.

  1. Rollerskating Party

This is kind of weird to include this one on the list because it was his first birthday party right after the BLOG CONTROVERSY at his old Catholic school wherein I wrote about some of the bitch-moms and they found it and there was a confrontation and shit got real and then they punished me by not letting their kids go to his party, because yes – I’m the one who suffered there. Some of the kids did still come, but we had a lot of friends who turned this into one of the most funnest parties ever! We rented out the roller rink and even though one of my friend’s son’s fell and broke his wrist, it was quite a nice 6th birthday!

We had become pals with the people who ran the rink at the time (it was since taken over by some not-great people with questionable beliefs so we don’t go there anymore), and they were so generous with their contributions to the party!

2. THE CAT PARTY!!

I was so proud of how this party turned out! We had all kinds of cat-themed food and games and a cat-themed photo booth and so many people came and Lisa’s baby puked on Janna and Bill had a feud with a kid and stole one of his toys and threw it out when he was in the porta-john, and seriously, when I think back on these parties, I love my friends so much, lol.

Bill and Jessi came all the way from Michigan (I mean, this can be said for nearly every one of Chooch’s birthday parties though, they are legit family to us, man) and it was so much fun decorating cat cookies the night before. Party prep is so much more tolerable when you’re drinking with friends!

This party was a great blend of friends, family, and Chooch’s school friends. Let’s be real though, his real friends are my friends, which should be annoying to me but I guess I’m OK with sharing my friends with him. (Most of them like him better than me anyway, lol!)

3. The Disney Shocker

For Chooch’s 10th birthday, we took him on a surprise road trip to Disney World. He thought we were going to visit Henry’s “Uncle Walt” right up until we arrived in the parking lot of Disney, he’s so dense. This one was really hard for us to pull off because we are not rich people and, you know, Disney ain’t cheap, yo. We were even less rich 4 years ago so it was nothing short of a miracle that we managed to scrounge together the funds to make this happen. He was so happy though and this honestly was such a huge win for us as parents. I love giving the gift of EXPERIENCE!!

4. The Zombie Party

cake

I just remember that a bunch of people showed up for this at my mom’s house and we had a little graveyard set up where people could get their photos taken and Bill accidentally scared Chooch too hard and made him cry, which was promptly added to the list of Times Bill Accidentally Made My Kid Cry (surprisingly, many times, but they are still best douche-cups for life!).

billchoochfeast

I’m pretty sure I have a picture of Chooch crying on the actual blog post, so you don’t forget to click those hyperlinks!

charlievictim

My friends are such great sports!

kara

Kara and her son Harland, who I can barely remember ever being that tiny!! He’s so tall now!

I’ll also remember this as the day my friend Christy (Chooch’s godmother) told me she was pregnant with twins!

5. The Surprise Butterfly Party

IMG_0614

For Chooch’s 11th party, I realized that while we had that surprise birthday trip to Disney, we never actually had a surprise PARTY for Chooch. And I used to be the QUEEN of throwing surprise parties! It was like, my thing back in the day, to the point where probably everyone expected one eventually. But look, you have to know this thing about me: I thrive on taking things that people HATE and using those as themes because I’m fucking rotten.

TO THE CORE.

I mean, I have a rotten apple tattooed on my arm for God’s sake.

My child is not exempt from my devious ways.

Anyway, he was surprised and annoyed all at once, and then happy when he looked around and saw the people who were here but tried to play it off by saying he was just happy for getting a balloon, because he resorts to untimely awkwardness just like his dad.

Oh wait, I mean, his mom.

Tomorrow will be low-key, but I will still try to make his 14th memorable. I mean, turning 14 during a pandemic is memorable in and of itself, I guess.