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Why Some Species Kill and Eat Their Young


Mom: If you see my keys, pick them up and give them to me right away. I've lost them. I have spares, but not a spare office key.

GirlTwin: Oh! I'm sorry! I borrowed them * and forgot to put them back! *gets up and runs* I'll put them on your nightstand!

* note: took them without asking

High Schoolers


The twins started high school this week. I was thinking this summer how I've avoided a lot of the teen drama... Dangerous thing to think. Then I faced the first homework ultimatum with twin-who-shall-remain-nameless, and I realized I do have teens after all. Oh, the drama! Oh, the groans and growls! All over a few paragraphs that needed to be written.

The twins were three when I started this blog. I've told a few stories about them, held back one or two that I really wished I could tell but they were too personal. Stowe Lake. How I wish I could tell that one, but I gave a solemn vow.

We've finally given up the monkeys, but GirlTwin still sleeps with hers. I keep worrying that the dog will eat it. He's eaten two paws off of Kitty, Lea's face, Woody's face, and all the face and stuffing out of my fifty-year-old Winnie the Pooh. Eric keeps his animals in a safe place, I keep Chippy and Margaret high up on my bed, but Willie is on GirlTwin's bed, which is low and the dog sometimes sleeps there.

I don't know when they will be gone. If at all possible, GirlTwin will go away to college. She's super smart, ambitious, driven, and wants a science degree of some sort. She deserves the best schooling she can get. BoyTwin hates school, but he is also very smart. I'm not sure where he will end up, but it is possible he could go to one of the state schools nearby and maybe stay at home for a while.

I will miss them when they go. Very much. But I am also a solitary person and I know I'll survive.

More from Girltwin


My voicemail, very excited: Mom!! The doggie* tried to eat a bird and it's still alive! He tried to swallow it whole!

*She's 14 for chrissake.

This was important enough for her to call me at work and on my cell.

Overheard while she was chatting on the phone with best friend:

I put a bead in my ear. I put a bead in my ear and it almost got stuck!*

*See note above.

Later:

Mom: You put a bead in your ear?

GirlTwin: Yes.

Mom: You put a bead in your ear?

GirlTwin: Yes.

Mom: You put a bead in your ear?!

GirlTwin: Yes.

Mom: Why?! WHY?!

GirlTwin: I don't know!!

Note the exclamation points. That's because shouting is her default mode of communication.*

*See note above.

She's loud and cheerful and smart and I love her to pieces.

car conversation


While picking up GirlTwin from a sleepover with Best friend A:

GirlTwin: A terrified me.

Mom: What? You were watching horror movies?

GirlTwin: Her father was teaching her how to drive.

(Note: A is 12)

(Note: I found out later that this driving lesson was on residential streets at 10 p.m.)

Discussion ensues about how and when I would teach them.

GirlTwin: I don't want BoyTwin in the car with me when I do.

Mom: *thinking about only having to give instructions once* Why not? It would be a good way to kill two birds -- er, teenagers -- with one --

Object comes flying from back seat...

you can't take us anywhere


In Starbucks, laughing, the kids being obnoxious:

Mom: We really shouldn't be allowed in a restaurant. Where should we go next?

GirlTwin: Wherever most benefits me!

BoyTwin: I need a haircut.

GirlTwin: We should go get him a haircut.

Mom: How does that benefit you?

GirlTwin: It makes me seem less selfish.

Mom: *dies*

*****

I have a cold. This will not stop my plans to conquer the world. Off to make a coconut cream cake, put stew in the crock pot, hack down the jungle that the back yard has become, and then -- ugh -- go into work.

Some things that happened while I was away.


The day before the kids’ birthday, I happened to be at the mall for a Lego event with BoyTwin (some other kid’s birthday). There was a Claire’s* two doors down, so we stopped in afterwards to get some earrings for GirlTwin. It went like this:

BoyTwin: Can we go now?

Mom: I want to get just the right earrings.

BoyTwin: *picks up card of earrings* Get these. They have bow ties on them. Bow ties are cool. **

Mom: Those are nice, but not quite right.

Minutes later—

BoyTwin: Are we leaving soon? I feel my manhood crumbling.

Mom: In a bit.

Minutes later—

BoyTwin: Can we go now?

Mom: I want to get a box to keep her earrings in.

BoyTwin: Manhood. Crumbling.

*Claire’s is a girly store that sells earrings and cheap jewelry and specializes in ear piercing.
**Dr. Who reference.

*****

Easter dinner was a meal we enjoyed despite the fact that everything was semi-ruined. My back was killing me from leaning over the sink and the stove and the counters, so I kept going and sitting down, and then forgetting to go back and check on things. I tried this cake: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/rainbow-citrus-cake/detail.aspx. I didn’t follow the directions for the lemon custard filling. It said to add the lemon juice and butter after thickening it on the stove, and I thought it would be too runny that way, so I put everything in the pot and kept stirring. I didn’t realize how much it would thicken as it cooled. It came out the consistency of congealed oatmeal and didn’t spread so much as crumbled into a layer of little curds across the cake. It tasted okay, but I think I should have tried the other recommended filling.

I took the cake pans out of the oven and left them on the range top, forgetting that the oven was still on because we were putting the ham in then. Then I forgot to come back after five minutes. When I finally did come back to take the cakes out of the pans, they were almost too hot to touch. One pan was non-stick, but the cakes stuck to the other two. And they were dense and kind of dry. Those tasted okay, too. I think this would have been a good recipe if I hadn’t screwed it up.

The frosting, Golden Orange Frosting http://allrecipes.com/recipe/golden-orange-frosting/detail.aspx, was delicious. I’ve always said cake is as vehicle for serving frosting anyway.

Again, I didn’t get up to check on things, and forgot to put the scalloped potatoes in on time. My ex was kind of in charge of the ham, and he decided to just leave it in longer while the potatoes cooked. It came out a bit tough, but tasty. The scalloped potatoes tasted fantastic, but I put in too much milk, so the sauce was runny.

The artichokes never happened. I ran out of steam. The appetizers, veggies and dip and devilled eggs, were good. BoyTwin discovered that he likes hummus.

So that was my Easter dinner.

*****

I went to the Social Security office on Good Friday, since I had it off. I learned that if you like the human race, two hours in the waiting room of the SSA office will cure that. The woman to my left was making phone calls, and swearing every other word. The man behind me voiced opinions on everything, many of which were very uncharitable towards various people in the room. The SSA lady herself was very nice and after waiting two hours, my business took five minutes (I looked up the instructions on the internet and came prepared).

*****

I’m not posting because I’ve been totally swamped at work. I’ve read about five books so far this year. That is due to Netflix and Hay Day addictions. I’d just rather not read. One of the books I read was a re-read of a book from last year.

Off With Her Socks!


The resolution to wear socks almost died today. My feet were so hot I wanted to rip then off right there in the office. I think the main reason why I didn't was I was so hot and tired I was too lazy to bend over and do it.

I love it when I can coerce the kids into the behavior I want through cleverness or humor rather than threats. Specially humor. Last night BoyTwin was on Minecraft with a kid in Illinois that's become a good friend. They were all absorbed in creating something in Boytwin's world, and I had told him to go to bed twice. It was after midnight in Illinois. I don't know where that kid's mom was. The game has voice chat, so the kid could hear me talking to BoyTwin. Finally, I went in there and said, "If you don't go to bed right now, I'm going to tell embarrassing stories about you to your friend." He said, "Goodnight, M," and had the iPad shut off in literally three seconds flat.

...was not a total fiasco, but it came close. I had the brilliant idea of making it like a geocache hunt, using my ex's GPS unit. This was the first time we left the house for the hunt. But my ex informed me his GPS was broken and he used the one on his phone. I decided to invite him along; the kids would enjoy that.

We got to the town library and after about twenty minutes of futzing around with his phone, he told me it couldn't give us GPS coordinates. It only went off of addresses and audibly told you where to go. It's a good thing that my ex isn't always reliable, because I had already thought of some clues in case he didn't show up.

We got out of the car, he looked up and said we could run the treasures up the flag pole. It was at this point that I was reminded of my opinion before the kids were born that, given who their parents were, there was no hope that they would ever turn out normal.

We ran a bag of goodies up the flag pole. (There was no flag because the library was closed.)

It surprised me that BoyTwin found them without any extra clues. We never expected either of them to look up. Behind the wood pile at the Little League park took one extra hint, as did the one half-buried under a rock at the golf course. Then came my final clue: I'm hungry. I had given it to the clerk at the grocery store to hold for them. My daughter wanted to go to a restaurant, but my son wanted the store. We went to the store first, but both kids insisted Mom would never have hidden it inside. They looked for a while and gave up. So, we went on to the restaurants. What ensued was a lot of whining and frustration that they weren't getting instant gratification. GirlTwin finally sat down in the car and said she wanted to go home. After a while and some hints, much arguing, and a shitload more whining, we resolved to return to the store. GirlTwin really didn't believe it was there, and started to refuse to look until I said that any kid who didn't get out of the car forfeits their treasure and Mom would take it.

More frustration. More whining. They flat out refused to go inside. The clerk came out on her way to the bank and commented on it, so I guess they had been watching it all. Finally -- FINALLY -- BoyTwin came up to my window and I said that if he had searched everywhere outside, where must it be? So he went inside, the clerk handed him their treasure immediately, and we all got to go home.

Let me just say that the heart boxes were worth the trouble. The kids are getting older, and I wanted to get them something nicer this year. Instead of the cheapo chocolate you get at Walmart, I got something bigger, heavier and a name brand.

Whatever will I do next year?

Eragon has been a little more affectionate since his adventure. This morning GirlTwin was standing next to him by the bed and he got up on his hind legs, put his paws on her chest and started to rub his face against hers. Purring very loudly. He's done this kind of thing before, but he's doing more of it now. Maybe he realizes how good he has it here. Food, soft warm places to sleep, GirlTwin to adore him.

Speaking of our animals, proof that our dog is too stupid to live: continuing the dog's bathtub training, my ex manhandled him in there and then fed him cookies and told him what a good dog he is. Then he got up, told the dog he could get out, and left the room. A few minutes later, I heard whining coming from the bathroom (it's been my day for whining). The idiot dog couldn't figure out how to get out of the bathtub. Duke is a very good boy, but darn it if he isn't dumb.

Oh the cat came back the very next day


Actually, it took five days for Eragon to come home. As I was pulling into my driveway last night I saw the tail end of a gray tabby streaking up our front walk and disappearing behind some bushes. I ordered the kids out and they took off after him. Still wasn't sure it was him, because there is a neighbor's gray tabby that hangs out in our yard. But GirlTwin said it was Eragon and cornered him by a fence where he started to cry. As soon as she picked him up he nuzzled her face and purred. Once inside, he was spooked for about a minute, but quickly headed to the food bowl. He spent most of the evening resting, curled up next to his brother. Sox kept sniffing him. I guess he was covered with interesting new smells.

What I want to know is where that cat was for five days. Did he find food? Did he find a warm dry place to sleep? There was a pretty strong rain storm the day he disappeared, and I can't help wondering if that is one of the reasons why he was gone for so long. Maybe he was spooked by it and just took off blindly. And where did he hang out? Where did he explore? Whose yards was he in? So far, he's taken the fifth and refused to testify.

Help! I've Fallen!


And I'm too lazy to get up!

On Saturday evening BoyTwin said he hadn't seen Eragon (the cat) all day and he was getting worried. I should have known immediately, but I just kind of shrugged and said he wasn't that sociable and he was probably sleeping somewhere. The boy's a worrier. After half an hour of him continuing to worry, though, I got up, and the three of us wandered around the house, looking under beds and things. Then the truth came out. He went out to the garage to get something out of the car, and didn't check if the door shut behind him. Between the garage and the back yard is the dog door...from there between a few cracks in the fence, the great wide world. After a thorough search of the garage and yard, we determined that Eragon is gone gone gone. As of this morning, he still hasn't come back. I went to the park behind the house, but I'm going to have the kids go door-to-door tonight. I'm not that worried. It would have to be the first weekend of rain in two months, but there are places for him to hide, and the neighbor feeds the strays, so he probably can even find food. And it's not like cats don't go outside all the time. Still, he was never intended to go outdoors AT ALL, so he has no collar and no shots. Clearly we need to get them once he's returned, and for the other cat. The moral: cats get out.

Sox is the one who has been most upset. He's been crying for his brother off and on, specially that first night. BoyTwin feels bad and really guilty.