In fact, I have nothing to say

I have a reason for neglecting my blog for nearly two weeks, and it is a good one: as soon as I posted again I knew it meant I had to get back on track with my weekly updates. Perish the thought. However, when nellOrex contacted me today to let me know, “I consider, that you are mistaken. Let’s discuss. Write to me in PM, we will communicate,” it was time. That sort of impertinence has to be answered.

I’m also turning into a mildly insane cat lady. Harper emerged from the light pouring through the blinds like a deranged angel out of heaven, and I took a picture and posted it on Facebook. There are probably more interesting things I could put on my social media page, but this is also the only one that demands food at six in the morning by batting my face. At that point you have to make an active decision to love or hate. I love, therefore I post.

I actually have more to talk about than my cat, if you can believe it. In fact, this is officially an art update. For Christmas I bought my entire immediate family the same present, and then had to cover that fact by including a drawing of each of their family units. Behold:

With the most people, Mom and Dad’s picture (top) is also the cartooniest. For years I’ve gifted them with a drawing of the family in front of the fireplace in their house in Havre (not every Christmas; only those years when we add another face to the crowd), but since they only just moved into their new house this summer, I still haven’t figured out where the new normal family pose shot is going to be. I had to feature the house instead, conveniently saving me time on drawing. I also drew my brother-in-law too tall, forgetting that my own brother is the tallest in the family. Sorry, IT Guy.

You’ll also notice that magically shrinking and growing children showed up in both my sister and my brother’s pictures. Like the Grinch’s heart, Miss AB in the striped shirt is two sizes too small, while Fairview, holding a picture of her little sister, looks like a third grader instead of a three-year-old. That is, however, the best picture I’ve ever drawn of my sister-in-law. I wish I could bottle that sort of effortless skill. I’m starting on a new project (more on that later), and I could sure use it.

Finally, this was the last present I drew for Christmas. This family has essentially adopted me here in Fort Wayne. They’ve fed me, run me through tabletop Zombie campaigns, binge-watched “Stranger Things” season 1 at least twice just so I could catch up, helped me escape an evil AI, and given me my first (and probably only) hockey puck. Go Komets!


Mama Toot Toot

I know seven pregnant ladies right now. A month ago it was eight, a week and a half back it nearly dropped down to six only to sneak up again to seven when I wasn’t looking, and by the end of summer the smoke should clear, leaving a rather paltry four. I’m thirty now, which has me counting pregnant ladies like a vulture leering across the desert at a barren horizon. Fortunately, my siblings have had the decency to procreate, and I just added a godson to the small band of nephews and nieces that think I’m a Rockstar. We all got together this past week and weekend to celebrate the latest birth and baptism, so I thought I might take a break from my usual inanity to pull out some more inanity: the tiresome Aunt routine. Basically, my siblings have the cutest kids in the world and I want to boast about them.

This is not entirely bias speaking (though, admittedly, “in the world” is a little hyperbolic). They’re all Gerber-quality darling, as most of them were chubby babies and every single one is still smiley with big eyes. Even better, they’re all absolute stinkers.

For example, the oldest, a four-year-old, has put me in jail at least two times a day since I’ve come, though it’s not a bad gig – I lay on the couch while he chops me up with a fake knife. Apparently, I pushed someone off a building and killed them, so I definitely had it coming. Still, when I later had the audacity to offer to read him his stories for quiet time, he quickly corrected me: “People who go to jail don’t GET to put people down for quiet time!” Grandma did it instead.

At two year’s old, my brother’s daughter is just starting to put sentences together. She refers to herself in the third person, and rumor has it that the other day at breakfast she farted and then declared, “Mama toot toot!” Mama was not in the room at the time, but it’s still a good indication that my niece is already learning how to pass the buck.

The next one in the lineup is nearly two herself, and my sister’s only daughter. She’s got one word in her repertoire: no. And by “no,” I mean: “NO!” Add a headshake and couple that with either a mad-dog expression or a knowing grin, and that’s my second niece in one perfect visual.

(Bonus story: from all appearances, she and her cousin are getting along like gangbusters. This morning I tried to go the bathroom, only to find the door closed. I knocked, it popped open, and two girls stood grinning at me from inside, both holding measuring cups. The oldest – her hand still on the doorknob – explained in simple terms as the door slowly closed once more: “Bye bye.”

I took the long walk down to the basement bathroom.)

And finally, the nine-day-old had the good grace to quiet for me in church. He’s a pretty calm baby and generally easy to soothe, but he protested his baptism with the rage of the old Adam drowning – or perhaps he was just trying to help renounce the devil and all his ways. Either way, I had the good timing to be holding him when he finally angered himself into a coma. I’m his godmother, so as far as I’m concerned the two of us already have an understanding worked out that he’s supposed to make me look good.

Someday I’d like to boast about my own batch of stinkers, but for now these will do quite well. Which is fortunate, as I have a dating policy that looks a little something like this:

So really: until the day comes in which I don’t call the guards over, they will do quite nicely indeed.

Adventure Time with These Guys

Sorry about the unannounced update break. I’d like to say I’ve been so busy that I just couldn’t find the time, but as with everything, you can always find the time when it’s important enough. Mind you, I’m still blaming The Sister for it – she came to visit with her kids and totally threw off my schedule.

More honestly, taking time off of work always makes it that much harder to get back to it. On the other hand, my nephew inspired (and practically wrote) today’s post, so it wasn’t an entirely work-free week.

These Guys.

A confederation of heads. My nephew slowly added bodies as the afternoon wore on, though they never did quite catch up with the number of heads. He didn’t explain this one to me, but I’m pretty sure it was accidentally encouraged by how hard I laughed at the head in the barrel.

He explained this setup in great detail, but essentially it’s a raft powered by two jets, one which works by scooping up the sky, the other which uses regular fuel. The ghost pilots the craft using two steering wheels, and the guard in the bearskin hat is there to stop any bad guys. The third guy is not, in fact, a victim of the latter fellow’s derring-do, but is apparently the third member of the team. They keep his head in the barrel (I about busted up when my nephew decided that the most appropriate thing to put in their storage was some guy’s head), and the reason he’s fallen over is because he couldn’t see to put his seat-belt on. So there you go. Strangely, hilariously logical.

And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to have an adventure with a ghost, one of the Queen’s Guards, and a headless guy?

To round out this most random of ramble blogs, the following is what happens when you

  1. Have to wait 20 minutes for the toaster oven to finish cooking dinner WHILE
  2. You’re short three voices, BUT
  3. You just figured out that your computer speakers work well enough to layer recordings on top of each other, AND
  4. That my parent’s kitchen/living room in mid-remodel echoes beautifully

Also, recent (and related) discovery: apparently I lift my chin when I sing. Enjoy the nostril shots.


Adventurers Anonymous

Here’s a silly one for a gloriously blue-sky Friday afternoon: The Adventures of Bawkie and Da-Ding.

Normally I try not to post family inside jokes, but the rhyming scheme was too bouncy not to share (even if the content doesn’t make much sense). Here’s the breakdown:

Bawkie = the name my 3-year-old nephew calls my father (for no apparent reason; I think it’s the fact that he subconsciously recognizes his grandpa as the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in darling nicknames).

Da-Ding = the 3-year-old nephew in question. Somewhere in the ballpark of a year ago he was in an extremely silly mood, and when, in the course of assigning all of his relatives with the name of some other relative, his dad asked him who he was, he answered, “Da-Ding!” No one else in the family remembers this little moment in family history, but it stuck with me and ended up immortalized (such as it is) in a poem.

Happy Friday! Go get some sunshine, if it’s in your area. I can’t believe it’s still only April.