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Happy Wonderversary #2!

Two years ago, Wonderbutt, (B)Light of my Life, made his way into our household by using the subtle ploy of falling asleep on my daughter’s lap at the pet store we had visited with the intent of getting her a fish.  That was the last time Wonderbutt achieved a goal without bulldog-dozing his way through everything in his path.

During his second Christmas with the Firepants Family, Wonderbutt managed to commandeer as many gifts as he could – most of them from his sister, Mrs. Pain in the Butt.  Despite the fact that he had received his own gifts, Wonderbutt operates under the philosophy that the grass is always greener on the other side of the Poop Pen, so to speak.

Wonderbutt rests on the rawhide bone he stole from Mrs. P.I.B.  His own bone was identical (with a red stripe).

Wonderbutt rests on the rawhide bone he stole from Mrs. P.I.B. His own bone was identical (with a red stripe).

Wonderbutt proudly holds the stuffed thing (beaver? gopher? we're not sure) presented to Mrs. P.I.B. moments before.

Wonderbutt proudly holds the stuffed thing (beaver? gopher? we’re not sure) presented to Mrs. P.I.B. moments before.

Wonderbutt holds one of the toys actually bestowed upon him - the red toy - between his front paws.  Note what he has in a stronghold between his back legs...

Wonderbutt holds one of the toys actually bestowed upon him – the red toy – between his front paws. Note what he has in a headlock between his back legs…

Wonderbutt sits proudly on the new dog bed Santa brought - for Mrs. P.I.B.

Wonderbutt sits proudly on the new dog bed Santa brought – for Mrs. P.I.B.

"Which bed should I choose?"  We're going to start calling him Goldibutt.

“Which bed should I choose?” We’re going to start calling him Goldibutt.

Despite all of Wonderbutt’s machinations, the Firepants Family had a pretty good Christmas this year.  I will fill you in on some more of the day’s events later this week…

Some Things You Can’t Un-see; Oh Yeah, and Merry Christmas!

Notice Mrs. P.I.B. (the Golden) trying to look all innocent...

Notice Mrs. P.I.B. (the Golden) trying to look all innocent…

A few of you have suggested that I leave a video camera on when the Firepants family leaves the house, so we can see what Wonderbutt and his Cohort in Crime, Mrs. Pain in the Butt, do while we are gone.  I finally listened to your advice the other day, but didn’t have time to review the tape until today.  Kind of wish I hadn’t…

Believe it or Not, This is Not a Side-Effect of my Medication; I Was Born This Way

Before you read on, in my defense, I would just like to say that trying to fight depression during the Christmas season, especially when you are a teacher, takes Herculean strength and not a few brain cells.  Plus, I was a bit pre-occupied with the world ending and a few other things.

One more party.  Last night, we had one last Christmas party to attend.  And I was so looking forward to being done with them all.

The entire Firepants family was invited to this one.  I had inconveniently scheduled a hair appointment right before the party, but I had planned ahead to make sure we could head over there as soon as I was done.  White Elephant gift bought and wrapped.  Dessert prepared.  Address Google mapped.

Before my appointment, I reminded Dimples that she needed to find a “dress-up” outfit and something to use to roast marshmallows before I returned home.

(If you are new to my blog, I must inform you that I have an overactive Dorfenbergerthalamus that overheats and explodes if I am late to anything.  This may seem random, but it’s a pertinent fact.)

I arrived home 40 minutes before the party.

“Dimples, do you have your dress-up outfit chosen?”

“I thi-in-n-k so.”  This took 5 minutes to sort out.

“What about the marshmallow roasters?”

“No.  I told Daddy, but he hasn’t found anything yet.”

I strode to the pantry and grabbed some barbecue forks.

“O.K.  It’s going to take about 15 minutes to get there.  Is everyone going to be ready to leave in 10 minutes?”

Cap’n Firepants spoke up.  “Yes, I’ll probably be ready.  But we’re going to need to stop on the way to pick up some beer.”

“What?!!!!!!!!!  You’ve been home for 2 and a half hours.  Why didn’t you get beer earlier?”

“What was I supposed to do, take Dimples with me to pick up beer?”

“So, now you are going to take all of us to pick up beer?!”

5 minutes later – “Oh, I forgot I had some beer.  So, we don’t need to stop for it.”

“Thank  God!”  This was not sarcasm.  I was truly appreciative that we would not lose minutes picking up beer.  My Dorfenbergerthalamus was beginning to smoke.

5 minutes later – “O.K., everyone.  Let’s go.”

Wonderbutt is coaxed into the Kitchen Corral.  Mrs. P.I.B. gives us the panicked look she gives every time we leave.  Armed with our required and optional party supplies, the Firepants family exits stage right.

10 minutes later, as we are flying past the airport, a sudden realization hits.

“Oh, crap.  I forgot the White Elephant gift!” I exclaim.

To his credit, Cap’n Firepants, instead of letting the expletives fly, says, “Do you want me to turn around?”

I won’t list all of the options that rattled through my brain, but they included stopping at a convenience store and grabbing a can of Pringles or wrapping up the marshmallow forks in a car mat.

“Yes-s-s,” I reluctantly whisper as I sink deep into the seat and wait for my Dorfenbergerthalamus to go nuclear.

“Don’t worry, Mommy,” Dimples assures me from the back seat.  “According to my Girls’ Book of Glamour, it’s best to be fashionably late to a party.  Twenty minutes is ideal.”

Yeah, tell that to my Dorfenbergerthalamus…

Does anyone else see the irony in me forgetting the White Elephant gift?  You know - elephants, memory…photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

Does anyone else see the irony in me forgetting the White Elephant gift? You know – elephants, memory…
photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

These Pictures are Copyrighted, So Please Do Not Steal Them to Put on Your Own Holiday Cards. You Know You Want To.

Something tells me that some of you might need a pick-me-up today, so I decided to spare you the riveting post that I originally planned that gave intriguing details about my unfortunate habit of dropping the floss container daily, causing the inner contents to fly across the room, forcing me to comb the territory of our bedroom/bathroom until I find it, and then taxing my already weakened mental capacity as I attempt to force the contents back in while Cap’n Firepants calmly opens his bathroom cabinet and begins to use his own floss that has never been dropped or taken adventurous trips to the land beneath our bed.  At least he thinks it hasn’t.  It’s quite possible that someone switched the jinxed floss container with the pristine one in his cabinet.  But I can’t imagine who would do a passive-aggressive thing like that.

Instead of that electrifying story, I decided to regale you with some pics from my latest photo session of the Butts – formally known as Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt.  I had some vague notion that I might be able to use the photos for a family Christmas card.  But this is becoming more and more unlikely as other priorities, such as repairing Wonderbutt’s latest damage to my winter coat, keep getting in the way.

I would like to preface this display by stating, although Wonderbutt went to Puppy Kindergarten and learned very well how to “Sit” when so requested, he never learned how to “Stay Sitting Long Enough for Me to Take a Good Picture”, so our photo sessions sound like this, “Sit.  Good dog, Wonderbutt.  Good dog, Mrs. P.I.B.  No, stay sitting, Wonderbutt.  Sit.  SiT!  SIT!  No, do not come over here and try to eat the camera!  Good dog, Mrs. P.I.B.  Come back over here by Mrs. P.I.B., Wonderbutt.  Do not eat her collar.  Sit.  Good.  I’m backing up slowly now.  Stay sitting.  S-T-A-Y sitting.  Good.  I’m slowly moving the camera.  Sit.  Good.  #@!$%!  Wonderbutt.  Where the #$!! are you going?…”  So on, and so forth.  I think you get the idea.

(The first pic below is actually a slide show of pics.  Just roll your mouse over it, and you will see several other pics – or you can click on the arrows to advance through.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And, lastly - a not too horrible pic of Wonderbutt looking less thuggish than usual.

And, lastly – a not too horrible pic of Wonderbutt looking less thuggish than usual.

You Can Probably Get the Gist of this By Just Reading the Last Letter

I would like to thank all of the people of the world for their lovely alternative visual interpretations of the word "package" that I found in yet another Google search that induced temporary blindness.photo credit: kairin via photopin cc

I would like to thank all of the people of the world for their lovely alternative visual interpretations of the word “package” that I found in yet another Google search that induced temporary blindness.
photo credit: kairin via photopin cc

In Which I Write a Very Assertive Letter

Dear Amazon,

I recently checked the status of my orders, and noticed that one of them is labelled as “Delivered” even though I have not received it.  It is order number 123456782, and I would like to know how to rectify this situation.  This item is meant to be a Christmas gift, and can only be purchased online.  My daughter will be completely heartbroken if this present is not under the tree, and I will hold you personally responsible for the miserable day our entire family will experience while she cries her eyes out after realizing this gift is missing.  I do not understand how you can label a package as having been delivered when it clearly was NOT delivered.  What kind of shady organization are you running over there?

An Extremely Disappointed,

Mrs. Cap’n Firepants

In Which Amazon, Obviously Fearful of My Wrath, Responds

Hello, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants:

I’m sorry this package never arrived and you had to contact us. I completely understand your disappointment. That’s definitely not what we want our customers to experience.

At this point, we can only presume that the package was lost during shipping. I sincerely apologize for this.

We do our best to ensure that all orders leave our fulfillment centers as soon as possible to be delivered within the delivery date estimated when you place your order, but occasionally a shipment may be lost by circumstances beyond our control.

I’m forwarding your experience with USPS  to our shipping department–I know they’ll want to hear about your experience. We’re aware that our choice of delivery services reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate your feedback.

I’ve checked your order and see the item was ordered from DIP ‘N DIVE , a seller on our website. Because DIP ‘N DIVE ‘s inventory is constantly changing, we can’t replace items sold by them that are Fulfilled by Amazon.

I’ve requested a refund of $9.02 to your Credit card.

You’ll see the refund on your Master Card statement in the next 2-3 business days.

As this was an inconvenience caused to you while shopping at Amazon.com, I’d suggest you to place the new order with One-day shipping and write back to us with the order number so that we’ll either waive of or refund the shipping charges on the new order.

Please make sure that you place an order with Amazon or any seller which is labeled as, “Fulfilled by Amazon”, so that we can modify or make any further changes to the order. If you place the order with any third party seller then we won’t be able to change the shipping charges on the order.

If we can be of further assistance, you can reply directly to this e-mail.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Best Regards,

A.J.

In Which I Lose My Online Shopping Privileges

Dear Amazon,

Thank you for your prompt and considerate response regarding my $9 purchase.  Wow, you guys are quick.

So, I was wondering, hypothetically, how you would feel if I mentioned that, right before I received your apology and promise of a refund PLUS free, one-day shipping, I walked into my closet, and found the package to which I was referring sitting on one of my shelves?  And, hypothetically,  I wondered at that moment how the heck U.S.P.S. got into the corner of my closet without me having to even sign anything.  And I then remembered that I was the one who put the package on my shelf because I wanted to hide it from my daughter, and I also remembered telling myself at the time not to forget that I had put the package on the shelf.  “But it’s right there next to your box of bras, so of course you aren’t going to forget,” I chided myself.  Because I do wear a bra every day.  And it sat there for 6 days until I happened to notice that my Amazon account said it was delivered.  And it obviously wasn’t.  But it was.  And I thought about saying that my husband must have picked up the package and stuck it on my side of the closet without telling me.  But that didn’t make a lot of sense.  Because he never goes in my side of the closet.  And, somewhat more to the point, surely, after 6 days of retrieving bras from my bra box I would have noticed there was a package standing right next to it.  That I had not put there.  But I did not notice it.  Even though I put it there.  Which was a better hiding place, in my estimation, than the refrigerator, which really only works for small things that are not sensitive to cold.  So, there you go.  Hypothetically, of course.  Just wondering what you would do in that situation.

Thanks for your patience and understanding. I look forward to seeing(?) you again soon, too.  As long as you are not a stalker.

Amazon Rocks!

Your very loyal customer,

Mrs. Cap’n Firepants

The Butt on the What?

So I was telling the rest of the Firepants family about a recent post by The Bloggess about “The Elf on the Shelf”.  I cleaned up the language a bit for the sake of my daughter, Dimples.  I said, “It’s weird.  The same day one of my students told me all about how he had woken up to find out his elf on the shelf had gotten in the pantry and thrown flour all over the kitchen floor, The Bloggess wrote about the same exact phenomenon.  And her reaction was the same as mine. “Who the heck wants to clean that up?  Why would I deliberately mess up my own home in the name of a creepy pixie when I already have a family that does that for me?” (That was my reaction.  Hers was slightly more colorful, but definitely in the same vein.)

Dimples then said, “You should do a post about that, Mom.”

And I said, “Well, that wouldn’t be very original since I just read about it on The Bloggess, and she pretty much said everything I would say – only about 433 times better.”

And Dimples thought for a moment.

“You could have a Wonderbutt on the Shelf,” she suggested.

Now this could never happen.  Because Wonderbutt would break the shelf.

But it did get me thinking.

“You know, I think I could get parents to buy into that,” I said.  “Listen to this, ‘Forget the imp that makes a mess; you need a Butt to ease your stress.  All the old toys you want to throw out?  You don’t need to scream and shout.  Hide the Butt under their bed, and blame his appetite instead.'”

Actually, I just thought of that while I was typing.  What I really said was, “What can we call him?”

And this is what we’ve come up with so far:  Fool on the Stool, Messer on the Dresser, Destroyer in the Foyer, the Devourer in the Shower, the Puppy who Just Wants to Clean it Uppy, Jaws for a Cause (or Jaws for Claus), and the Evil Dog who Eats the Toys of Kids Who Don’t Listen to their Parents.

Personally, the last one is my favorite.

I’m thinking of putting it on Kickstarter.  You know you want to invest…

We're still working on the prototype.  It could be this...

We’re still working on the prototype. It could be this…

 

…or this.

…or this.

 

December’s Dead Rubber Post

I need to title these a bit more carefully, I guess.  I was searching my own blog to find out if I ever did a November Dead Rubber Post, and found the one that I did last year.  Only, I had to read half of  it to realize that I wrote it over a year ago.  Which makes me wonder, “If I don’t even remember it, my readers, half of whom had probably not even chanced upon my blog yet last November, would probably not remember it.  Which means that I could do a little copy/paste trick and none would be the wiser.”  Except now that I’ve filled you in on my evil scheme, you would be wiser.  If I even had the energy to erase those first few sentences, I would not have to be composing a Dead Rubber Post to begin with.  So, here we are.

If you would like to read last November’s Dead Rubber Post, and to find out what the heck a Dead Rubber Post is, then you can click here.  Otherwise, you can just look at some pictures of Wonderbutt the Bulldog employing his usual diplomatic manners as he encounters more evidence of nefarious Christmas decor that must be eaten.

Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt confront a new holiday decoration.

Wonderbutt and Mrs. Pain in the Butt confront a new holiday decoration.

Mrs. P.I.B. keeps her distance, but Wonderbutt never backs away from a fight.

Mrs. P.I.B. keeps her distance, but Wonderbutt never backs away from a fight.

Wonderbutt cautiously approaches.

Wonderbutt cautiously approaches.

 

Wonderbutt ferociously warns Penobscott Penguin that his presence is not welcome in the Firepants household.

Wonderbutt ferociously warns Penobscott Penguin that his presence is not welcome in the Firepants household.

 

Penobscott deflates in defeat.

Penobscott deflates in defeat.

Satisfied that he has established his Grinchitude, Wonderbutt retires to his bed to chew on his (rein)deer antler.  We're still waiting for him to discover the tree...

Satisfied that he has established his Grinchitude, Wonderbutt retires to his bed to chew on his (rein)deer antler. We’re still waiting for him to discover the tree…

 

 

 

 

 

Ho, Ho, H-

I rounded the kitchen corner, about to take our dog, Wonderbutt, for a walk, and got slapped in the face by a sign on our back window calling me a “Ho”.

“Dimples!” I called for our daughter.  “What happened to the other Ho’s?”  You see, Dimples was in charge of affixing our Christmas gel clings on the windows, and apparently she decided to separate the Santa’s Ho’s.

“They’re over here!”  She gestured to one of the lower windows that had the rest of the gel clings, including the 2 missing Ho’s.

photo

“Um, it seems kind of weird to just have one Ho by itself.  I mean, Ho’s are usually in groups,” I said.  She shrugged.  It made perfect sense to her to divide up the Ho’s.  I did a mental inventory of the guests that might make an appearance at our house during the next few weeks, and decided the solitary Ho was probably fine.  If the rest of the 10-year-old girls who visited the house were just as innocent as Dimples, then, really, I was the only one objecting to the Ho.

But Dimples acquiesced, and placed the other Ho with its partners.

We took Wonderbutt for his walk.  And, of course, Dog Who Poops As He Walks did not disappoint – despite the fact that is was 4:30 PM, and he hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  Fortunately, I was well-armed with baggies.

Dimples did her best to wear out Wonderbutt, running him all over the place, and he was panting pretty hard by the time we returned home.

Then it was Mrs. Pain in the Butt’s turn for a walk.  Walking the two of them together is an exercise in futility, so we’ve recently begun splitting them up.  Wonderbutt does not like being left in the house alone, but we figured he was too tuckered out to do any damage while we were gone.

After a leisurely jaunt with the well-behaved Mrs. P.I.B., we re-entered our home to find Wonderbutt still sprawled out on the floor where we had left him.

A few minutes later – “Uh, Mom?  What happened to the O?  And, where are the four presents?”

I raised my eyebrow at Wonderbutt.

“He ate them?  Why would he eat them?”

photo2

Indeed.  Why does Wonderbutt eat any of the things that Wonderbutt eats?  It’s a mystery we may never solve.

wonderbuttbed

Usually, foam is his favorite meal. But gel clings are probably easier to gulp.

And, if you are wondering how Christmas gel clings effect a dog’s digestive system, let’s just say that Wonderbutt spent about 10 minutes trying to run away from his own butt later that evening.  He was obviously disturbed by whatever was going in his posterior regions.  He would sit down, then suddenly pop up like someone had stuck him with a pin, and then race around the room, glaring back at his bottom every few seconds.

We weren’t very sympathetic.

I Miss The Hairbrush Song

O.K.  Just crossed one more thing off of my list.  Dimples’ Christmas c.d. is finally finished.

Yes, I know it’s the day after Easter.

And, no, I am not starting early on this year’s Christmas list.  Do you not know me at all by now?

Allow me to explain.

Every year, since she turned 1 in 2002, Dimples has received a carefully compiled c.d. of special songs for Christmas.  Each song somehow reminds me of her.  They are generally a mix of “kid” songs and “grownup” songs.  Here is the playlist from the first year:  I Hope You Dance, You Are So Beautiful, Over the Rainbow, Because You Loved Me, You & Me Against the World, Say Goodnight, Tomorrow, Wonderful World.

Pretty sappy, huh?

Over the years, the songs have morphed a bit to try to incorporate Dimples’ actual taste in music.  Miss Independent and The Hairbrush Song (from Veggie Tales) debuted in 2005.  Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield made the 2006 cut.  In 2007, Trans-Siberian orchestra just HAD to be included.

2009 is where things went awry.  First of all, I included Boom Boom Pow by the BlackEyed Peas, not realizing I had downloaded the explicit version.  Dimples informed me that there was a bad word on her Christmas c.d.  We had the talk about how words aren’t bad; it’s just how and where you use them.  Since her name isn’t Fergie or Will.I.am, and she does not often perform on stage in front of millions of people, Dimples seemed to accept that her life does not often provide the appropriate context for that kind of language.

The problem was that Dimples decided that she liked that c.d. so much, she played it for a year. Every day.  And every night.  Because she cannot go to sleep unless her c.d. player is on.  And no other c.d. would do.

Eager to transition to a new c.d. that played anything, ANYTHING, other than Boom Boom Pow, I quickly burned a new c.d. for Christmas 2010.  It included what I thought were some great hits in the 8th year of Dimples – Movie Loves a Screen, Human, You Found Me, …

Dimples tried it for one night, and declared that there was NO WAY she was going to sleep with that c.d. on.  There were too many slow songs, for one thing (according to her), and I forget what her other equally unreasonable reasons were.

It is amazing, after two years of listening to the same ten songs every day and every night, how it finally becomes white noise in your environment.  Either that, or I went insane and I haven’t figured it out yet.  Now that I think about it, that could explain why we got Wonderbutt, the bulldog puppy, in December 0f 2010…

Anyway, this past Christmas, I was in no rush to carry on the c.d. tradition based on the lack of customer appreciation the preceding year.

About the end of January, Dimples said, “Hey!  Where’s my Christmas c.d.?”

I gave her what I imagine to be my You’re Kidding look.

Fergie learned the You've Got to Be Kidding Look from me. photo credit: nicogenin via photopin cc

Every month since then, about once a week, Dimples has asked where her c.d. is.  Since it is now April, I’m thinking she might actually be serious.  So, I made her a new c.d. on Easter Day.  It still had the title, “Merry Christmas!”, and the year, 2011.  She deemed the song choices, “very good”.

Last night, as I was reading to her before bed, Dimples interrupted to say, “I’m going to listen to the old c.d. one last time.”

Boom Boom Pow right to the kisser.

It’s Official – I’m Not Martha Stewart

Yesterday was our annual Cookie-Baking Extravaganza with Grandma.  Per tradition, the three of us (Grandma, nine-year old Dimples, and me) donned our Cookie-Baking Extravaganza aprons.  Dimples insisted on wearing the one I personalized for her when she was five.  It’s far too short, so I tried to hand her a slightly larger one, labeled “Little Helper.”  But Wonderbutt had a different idea.  He grabbed the apron himself.

Since Wonderbutt seemed so insistent on involving himself in the process, I decided to outfit him with the apron that Dimples refused to wear.  Apparently, tearing around the house with it in his mouth was much more appealing to Wonderbutt than actually wearing it.  Thus, my dreams were dashed of my handsome dog ever becoming a canine clothing model.

Our "Little Helper"

Or not.

Once Wonderbutt clarified what he intended to be his role in this whole event, we set to baking, and he set to sticking right by me in case I dropped anything.  It did not matter to him in the least that he was completely in the way.  This was his best chance to get something yummy, and he was not going to leave the scene for a moment.  Even though we were completely using up his prime napping time, he steadfastly remained, his eyelids growing heavier and heavier and his face looking more and more dejected.

Meanwhile, I could not spare much time to feel sorry for Wonderbutt, as we were trying out some new cookie recipes, and I needed to concentrate every working neuron on trying to overcome my measuring disability.  In addition, Dimples had chosen a recipe to make cookies shaped like pretzels – completely oblivious to the fact that all three of us have a spatial disability, and cannot, apparently, make pretzel shapes.  I like how the recipe, by Martha Stewart, simply stated, “Shape like a pretzel.”  Cap’n Firepants pointed out that there was a picture of a finished pretzel shape to help me, to which I shot back that it was clearly no help at all to someone who can’t find out where she is in the middle of a mall even when she is looking straight at a directory that says, “You are here.” Things got tense in the kitchen until I finally said, “Who says pretzels have to be a specific shape?  There’s stick pretzels, too.”

This is the closest I got to making a pretzel shape.

I swear Wonderbutt did not make this one himself in the back yard.

Besides, no one is coming to our house for Christmas, anyway.

The evening was topped by me walking into the living room where Wonderbutt was seated in the armchair, and Grandma was standing in front of the television watching The Sound of Music.  Grandma had been sitting on that chair when I left the room fifteen minutes earlier.  Apparently, Wonderbutt first tried to solicit an invitation onto the chair by sitting at Grandma’s feet and looking up at her determinedly with his sad eyes, but she did not understand his intention.  So, he went across the room, and took a running leap onto her lap.  At which point she decided to surrender the chair to him.  Her comment?

“I guess dogs like him do things like that.”

And that pretty much sums up Wonderbutt.

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