#AtoZChallenge: Whew, It’s Over!

April was a fun, albeit challenging, month. Who’d have thunk it, a challenge being challenging? Gasp!

Even though I started out with a topic for every post planned, that changed 20 times out of 26, and I ended up writing something on the fly. I suck at planning blogs; something that seems funny or interesting at the moment might not seem so funny or interesting in a week or two. As such, a handful (or two) of my posts were published shortly before midnight. One post was finished after midnight, but I cheated and changed the publish time to earlier. For shame! (I’ll also cheat at Monopoly, so don’t let me be the banker.)

I’ve done A to Z Challenges in the past on my old blog, and I enjoyed this one just as much as those. My only regret was not being able to keep up with as many other A to Z blogs as I would have liked. I started strong, but life happened. Maybe next year April will be less hectic on my end, or maybe I’ll find a couple of extra hours in my day. Or — more unlikely — I’ll plan and keep up with things better.

In case you’re new here and don’t feel like going back through all the posts, here is a summary of which posts were the most well-received through the month. I’ll include one of the doodles from each post, and you can click the link to read more if you want.

The post with the most likes was A is for Alphabet Store. This was on the first day of the challenge, so I don’t know if that’s why it performed so well or if some of y’all were just, ah, thirsty.

The most commented upon post was B is for Bulba. Kids learning about their anatomy is always good for a laugh.

And the post with the most views was A is for Alphabet Store, with D is for Dark Knight on its heels.

The post that I enjoyed creating the most was J is for Joker, mostly because the creepy Joker-Wonder Woman mashup cracks me up every time I see it.

Thanks for sticking with me through the month!

What was your favorite post that you created for the A to Z Challenge? Share below, if you’d like!

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#AtoZChallenge: Z is for Zzz

There are lots of ways to get on a toddler’s shit list. Nag her about eating her vegetables, make her hold your hand while walking in the parking lot, and tell her that you are washing her face (no matter how much she kicks and screams) are some good ways to get on the list. Wanna know the best way — the way that will make her look at you like she’s ready to hire a goon to chop off your thumbs? Tell her that it’s time to go to sleep.

Baby Girl has a black belt in fighting sleep. She’ll talk like she’s hyped up on coffee and just ramble, flap her arms like she’s trying to take flight, and even slap herself, all in the sake of staying alert. Other times she’ll try to Jedi mind trick me and tell me, “Mommy, I get up…I get up…” over and over while nodding. Lil’ Obi-Wan Kenobi, she is.

Sometimes this stuff is a bit frustrating (or worrisome, in the case of the slapping), other times it’s all I can do to keep from snickering.

Anytime something isn’t working, then she thinks the batteries have died. Time for the sun to get some a few new AAAs.

Child, you’re talking, crying, and squirming…pretty sure you’re awake.

So I’ve gathered.

Just to be clear, Baby Girl isn’t the only one who dislikes going to sleep — Little Man usually isn’t a fan, either. There are books to read, toys to play with, and video games to play, so who needs sleep? Not him. We’ve caught him reading under the covers many times using either a flashlight or a light saber (and it’s hard for me to get too bothered by that), and we’ve caught him playing a game on his tablet once (he slipped up and sent us a message requesting troops for his game — rookie mistake).

When he was four, Little Man tried to get out of taking naps in a way that I thought was pretty clever.

Well played, kid.

Do your kids hate naptime/bedtime, too?

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#AtoZChallenge: Y is for Yellowstone Park

Have you heard of the super volcano that’s going to erupt and end the world?

I have, courtesy of my 9-year-old.

The boy came home from school one day convinced that the super volcano underneath Yellowstone was going to erupt soon and when it did everyone on Earth would be dead within minutes. Everyone in the United States would be dead within seconds. And he was gonna kick back and watch it all happen, because, “it’s the end of the world — you can’t do anything about that.”

Thanks, Little Man — as if I didn’t have enough to be anxious about already.

After much fact checking, my husband and I thought we had convinced Little Man that while a super volcano erupting would indeed be catastrophic, it wouldn’t be the extinction event he was picturing. Nor is it likely. At all. We discovered tonight that our conversation didn’t really take hold, though.

At a cookout this evening, the end-of-the-world event came up. Nothing like birthday cake and mass death, right? Little Man asked his cousins if they knew about the super volcano at Yellowstone that could kill every body on Earth in seconds. They didn’t, and interestingly enough, there was no moment of panic from either boy. They went back and forth discussing ideas on how to save the world, and then had their cake. When I was that age, there wasn’t much on my mind beyond Teenage Ninja Turtles and The Baby-Sitters Club, and here these kids are talking about how to pull a Bruce Willis and prevent Armageddon 2  during a family get-together. Kids today and all that, amirite?

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#AtoZChallenge: X is for (e)Xercise

X could be for xylophone, or xi (thanks Words With Friends), or xenon. (Yeah, I had to look up “words that start with X” because I was blanking.) I can’t recall anything funny my kids have said regarding xylophones or X-rays or anything else that starts with an X, so today I’ll talk about (e)Xercise. Maybe I’m cheating a little with this post, but you’re getting a post for X that doesn’t relate to something x-rated, so there’s that. (Aren’t you glad you can come to a parenting blog and not read about super naughty things?)

Exercise is one of the banes of my existence. You see, my butt, my couch, and my TV have a good thing going on. Almost a Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon type good thing, but without the music and hilariousness. With the exception of trips to the pantry, they don’t want anything impeding on their time together. Not cleaning, not clothes folding, and especially not exercising. That might get in the way of watching football games or Netflix binges or Sucky Movie Night. (If you’re looking for an awful — and I mean awful in every sense of the word — movie, then watch ThanksKilling. You’ll be appalled, horrified, and stupefied.)

My husband believes in setting good examples for the kids on occasion, so once in a while he hops back on the exercise bandwagon. (All right, I will sometimes, too, but even when that happens, I’m with my couch in spirit.) He was doing some circuit training exercises a couple years ago when he asked Little Man if he wanted to work out with him. Little Man said “yes,” but not only was the exercising short-lived, it also became clear that he didn’t quite get the point of it.

Doughnuts — the post-exercise snack of champions.

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#AtoZChallenge: W is for Wonder Woman

For Baby Girl’s first Halloween, I wanted all of us to dress up like characters from the Justice League or Star Wars. The family that nerds together — whether the youngest can comprehend what we’re dressing up as or not — stays together, right? (That didn’t happen then, since some individuals were non-compliant, but we did do a superhero theme for this past Halloween.)

When I was discussing Halloween costumes with the six-year-old Little Man back in 2014, I mentioned that I might dress up as Wonder Woman — and by dressing up, I meant wearing a Wonder Woman t-shirt and maybe a tiara. No bikinis or skirts or anything else form-fitting for this fluff mana.

Like many young kids, Little Man didn’t have much of a filter and would sometimes say anything that popped in his head. He also tended to take things very literally at times. (Both are still true to a degree, but he does try to be more careful about blurting things out.) As such, my Wonder Woman costume was shot down.

Well damn. No Lasso of Truth for me and my non-gravity defying derriere.

He did offer an alternative solution though:

This pleased me, since my son thought I was badass enough to go as the Dark Knight. I’m not the biggest Batman fan, but I will admit that his coolness factor is up there. That moment didn’t last long, though, as he followed that up with:

Thanks, kid! I guess a grappling hook would have been out of the question, too.

(For the record, when I did dress up as Wonder Woman this past Halloween, there were no objections.)

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vader

It’s no secret that the people in the Dorky household have quite a love for Star Wars. I remember the first time I watched Star Wars — when I was 20 — with the guy I was dating who would later go on to be my husband. I was in hysterics over the special effects (we watched an old VHS copy that hadn’t been remastered), and didn’t care too much for the whole space thing at first. (Despite my fascination with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I’m not generally a fan of the sci-fi or fantasy genres.)

But, that changed, and I became enthralled by the story. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched various episodes since then, but it’s been a lot. Naturally, we passed this love on to the kids.

Little Man got his first light saber when he was three. We had banned guns, but thought the light saber would be fine. As it turns out, being cracked across one’s knuckles with a light saber does a bit more damage (hello, burst blood vessels) than a toy gun. (Except for the time I shot my husband in the eye with a Nerf gun, anyway.) We let him watch bits and pieces of the Star Wars movies around that time, and Little Man quickly became obsessed with Darth Vader, but later moved to Luke, and now has focused his interest on Princess Leia. Cough, almost tween, cough. Baby Girl also loves Star Wars. I have an adorable video of her when the opening crawl comes on and she starts shouting “Star Wars! It’s Star Wars!” and dancing. She’s also pretty good with a light saber.

For today’s doodles, I’m going to share a couple of things that the kids have said.

Right, the heat from the food was exactly like that.

Baby Girl’s love for Darth Vader isn’t as great as her love for Batman, but it’s still up there. You can sometimes hear her marching around the house humming Imperial March, and she goes all fangirl whenever Vader appears on the screen.

One day she’ll figure out that things don’t usually end well when that red light saber appears.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Which movie was your favorite?

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Uh…

Yesterday I mentioned how both of my kids have mad skills where talking is concerned. It’s like their mouths are driven by motors, and there is no off switch. That gets a little overwhelming at times for this introvert, but generally I’m pretty enthralled with their chatter (which you can probably tell given that my A to Z Challenge theme is Things Kids Say), since much of what comes out of their mouth is either interesting or funny or so smart.

For example, a couple days ago, Little Man was telling his sister how amazing she was for building something with Legos. That boy has become a Jedi master at making my heart melt. And then the kids were chatting away over what they wanted to be when they grow up when Baby Girl told Little Man not to be a scientist, but to be a doctor like her because he’s a big boy, which made me giggle.

Other times, though, they leave me speechless or monosyllabic, at least. “Huh?” “You what?” or “Uh…” while my brain scrambles to process what I just heard. I feel like my brain has been in the “Uh…” mode for most of the past two years with all the political craziness, so you’d think that I’d be a pro and react a little faster by now, but not really.

The first “Uh…” doodle for today was a couple years ago, when I was planning Little Man’s birthday party…

That’s me, your friendly neighborhood hacker mom.

And then there was this one, when Little Man was five.

Well played, kid.

The last one falls under the “Uh…” and “Gross” umbrella as quite a few posts Baby Girl related have.

This wasn’t as bad as the poop tasting, but is still pretty damn gross. In case you were wondering, after recovering from the initial shock, I got her foot out of her mouth and grabbed the clippers to trim the dead skin away.

What have your kids said that leaves you speechless (or close to it)?

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Sick

Little Man has always had some concerns about germs, but he’s very inconsistent. One on hand, he’ll question the staff at the doctor’s office about how often they sterilize their equipment, and on the other hand, he’ll eat something off the floor without giving it a second thought. I’m not talking about eating a cookie he dropped off a clean floor at home, which isn’t that bad, but more along the lines of scooping up cheesecake with his fingers off the floor at Walmart (which he did with Spidey-like reflexes). The gross factor is through the roof with that one.

Last week my husband asked for a drink of Little Man’s Gatorade. Little Man had just let me have a sip, but he still shot down my husband because of germs. My husband wasn’t sick or anything, so he asked why, and the kid explained how he doesn’t mind too much about drinking after girls, but that drinking after men or boys is usually out of the question because they’re extra germy.

Those are some interesting points; the thought of beard dipping makes me gag, but as far as I know, no one Little Man knows has a beard long enough to dip. For the record, Little Man has grabbed his dad’s drink plenty of times– usually after wiping off the straw or cup rim with his shirt, which we’ve explained doesn’t exactly kill the germs. But that’s where the “inconsistent” part comes to play again.

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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Quiet…Not

There are three things a mom wants: rum, Netflix, and peace and quiet. (There might be an “and” in that last one, but we’re still counting it as one item.) Okay, so maybe other moms don’t all want to be couch potato boozers, but they at least want the last thing sometimes, and if there’s one thing you can count on in life besides taxes, it’s kids not being quiet.

Answering an important phone call from your doctor’s office? It’s gonna sound like you’re at a rager from all the background noise. Trying to send an email — or write a blog post — and need to focus so you don’t come across like you’re drunk typing? Obviously this is the time the kids will decide to work on their banshee wailing. Or maybe you want to catch up just a little on all the sleep you’ve lost over the past nine-plus years? They try to set a new record for decibel level.

The one with the monitor is Baby Girl’s version of The Feeney Call.

“Q” is definitely not for “quiet” when it comes to rousing Mommy.

Thanks to Welcome to the Nursery for the inspiration for this doodle!

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#AtoZChallenge: P is for Popsicle

Once again, I’m cutting it close with the A to Z Challenge post. This one is ready with about three minutes to spare thanks to my never-ending day that started before the crack of dawn!

Diving right in — my kids go by the “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is also mine” rule.

My food? Also their food, even if I have the same thing that they have. My radio? Obviously theirs. My Playstation? Well, you get the picture. I say “no” sometimes, but “yes” is far more prevalent since they’re a) my offspring and b) cute. (My husband, though? You better bet that “no” accompanied with other not-so-nice words happens when he tries to get a bite of my steak or swipes one of my ice-cold Cokes.)

I’m used to sharing, but there’s one thing that I thought would remain mine and mine alone, for at least a decade, and that’s feminine hygiene products. However, since both of my children are like dehydrated people in deserts who see mirages of water everywhere in cartoons, the kids see candy everywhere and have tried to make me share my Aunt Flo-inators as well.

Note to Baby Girl: this is the first red flag that you need help with your popsicle addiction.

Now Little Man won’t think the fact that he’s called me “Mommy” is the most damaging thing I’ve posted online anymore.

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