Wednesday, January 30, 2013

As it Pertains to Housekeeping

It needed to be done anyway, but we were also having a friend over for dinner. The possibility of guests generally lights a fire under my ass to get things done around here. That, and the fact that I don't want to star on the next episode of 'Hoarders'. So I cleaned.

I don't expect the other people that live here to dust and mop and scrub toilets (ick). I'll take those responsibilities. But as I was walking around picking up random items that trailed through every single room in the house, I felt myself getting a teeny weeny bit pissed. I mean, how hard is it to pick up socks from the living room and take them to the hamper? Apparently it's harder than I think.

I sent Charming a text that said, "Honey, I would really appreciate it if you and the kids would take your items upstairs instead of leaving them on the floor in the living room. Love you! Kisses and hugs."

As if. Are you new here? The real text was more like, "Could you people cut me a break and start picking up your shit?"

He responded with something along the lines of "Yeah, sure. You should probably blog about it. Take out your frustrations through writing."

Well. Okay then. Your wish is my command.

Since it is a constant battle of who can say the most words in a 24 hour period around my house, I decided the most effective way to express my feelings on this issue would be to write my family a letter. This also means less yelling.

Dear Family,

I know I have somehow led you all to believe that I love cleaning. I mean, with your constant mess making and refusal to pick up after yourselves, what other explanation could there be? I feel sure the reason isn't because you are working together on an elaborate plot to make me lose my mind.

Regardless of what you choose to believe, the truth of the matter is...I actually hate cleaning. I get absolutely no joy from any of the arduous tasks required to prevent our home from being condemned. It is, however, a necessity. So I do it. All I ask is that you respect my efforts for AT LEAST 24 hours post cleaning. Is that really too much to ask?

I feel like you don't quite understand how your casual disregard for the hours (literally HOURS) of hard work this takes makes me feel. So, let me break it down for you.

Dimples: I know how much you enjoy playing Nerf gun wars and 52 million card pick up with Daddy. But when I start to clean up and I find Nerf darts stuck on the ceiling fans and 51 million of those cards scattered around the house, I get a little upset. Imagine working on the Lego Death Star all day long, then someone coming in behind you and disassembling it. That wouldn't make you very happy would it? No. No, it wouldn't.

Tink: I recognize you have a passion for trying new hairstyles. I encourage you to work on that skill. However, when I clean the floors and run over 27 hairpins at once, it tends to do a number on the vacuum cleaner. There is usually a really loud noise and a giant puff of smoke. I don't much like that as it is quite startling. When you are using the blow drying on your ever so shiny and luxurious hair, would you like it if a giant puff of smoke suddenly shot out of it and scared the bejesus out of you? No. No, you wouldn't.

Charming: You knew me long before you popped the question, but sometimes I feel like you've forgotten that you married a crazy person. *Any and all accusations that I turned crazy after the "I do's" were said are herby denied.* You know that I have the ability to go from zero to apeshit bananas in a matter of seconds. So I must ask...WHY do you insist on leaving York Peppermint Patty wrappers on every table/countertop/nightstand in our home? When I work all day to clean this place and I find those things wadded up all over the house the very next day, I feel like you are less than appreciative of my efforts. I see you're working on a big presentation there. How about when you get up to go to the bathroom I just mosey on over and delete all of that hard work. Would you like that? No. No, you wouldn't.

Do any of these examples help you understand a little bit about where I'm coming from? While I'm sure your only motive is to make sure I don't get bored during the day, I'm going to have to kindly ask that you please stop worrying your pretty little heads about me and PICK UP YOUR SHIT.

With Nothing But Love (and maybe a little irritation),

Do YOU appreciate my efforts? Click here to vote for me! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

For What It's Worth

I've mentioned before that Tink is sneaking up on the teenage years. To say I'm freaking out about it would be an understatement. I've been thinking a lot lately, not only about the things I want to say to her, but also some things I hope I never do.

Dear Tink,

You are about to embark on a really confusing time. I wish so badly that I could tell you these years are going to be easy, but unfortunately that probably wouldn't be true.

Everyone makes mistakes in life. And you will be no different. But I want to tell you a few truths that I hope you hold on to as you get older. Don't look at it as advice. I know that's frowned upon at this point in our relationship. (Check back with me on that when you're 30.)

There are literally millions of tidbits of information I could give you. But instead, for now, I'd like to point out a few things that I WILL NOT say. (I'll at least try really hard not to. And if I do, you have a free pass to tell me I'm full of shit. But, you know, in a reasonable tone and manner.)

1. The reason that boy is mean to you is because he likes you. No. The reason that boy is mean to you is because he is an adolescent boy and he has no sense. It doesn't mean he likes you. It also doesn't mean he doesn't. Right now. HOWEVER, when you reach appropriate dating age (aka 25 or so), a boy that is mean to you definitely DOES NOT like you. Do not believe him if he tells you otherwise. Run the other direction and never look back. And if he ever hits you, you should make it abundantly clear to him that your father is a hunter.

2. You are the prettiest, smartest, or best [gymast, singer, dancer, musician, etc.]. That may seem a bit harsh. Don't get me wrong. I am astounded every single day by your beauty and talents. God blessed you so graciously and you are wonderfully gifted in so many ways. But, so are A LOT of other people. I want you to be confident. It is a very important character trait and will carry you far in life. But, if I were to lead you to believe that you would never encounter anyone prettier, smarter, or better at something than you, I would be doing you a major injustice. Because you will. I can guarantee it. Use that information as an inspiration to work even harder.

3. Girls are just "like that". Wrong. SOME girls are just "like that". Don't be one of them. Be a good friend. Be honest. Don't get caught in the gossip crossfire. If you are ever jealous (which you sometimes WILL be), use that as an opportunity to compliment the particular attribute you wish you had. Don't allow relationships with your friends to be ruined over things that don't matter. As you get older, you will treasure your female relationships even more than you do now.

4. Have a steady boyfriend in high school. As much as we won't like it, I imagine by the time you are in high school you'll become interested in dating. That's normal. But don't forget about your friends. You've got the rest of your life to hang out with a boy. Unfortunately, real life isn't like those movies where you get a high school do-over. I don't want you to wish for one later in life. Trust me on this one.

5. *We've actually already had this conversation a number if times* Don't choose [enter any number of underpaid professions here] as your career because you won't make any money. Sure, we want you to be financially secure in adulthood. But we also want you to be happy. If you base what you do every day for the rest of your life on how big your paycheck is, you could be setting yourself up for a miserable existence. Choose something you love to do and, if you are smart about spending (THAT will be harder than you think), the rest will work itself out.

I know you think I have no idea what I'm talking about. (Some of the time you'd be right about that - I find this parenting gig is a lot about just winging it.) But I know a little bit about these particular things. So take it for what it's worth. And know that I'll love you to the moon and back, even after you read this and disregard every word.


One thing I WILL say? VOTE FOR ME! (Remember you can vote every day!) Click on the circle!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Share - Week 5

It's Friday night and the kids are all up in the Disney Channel and Charming has his iPad so I thought I'd take advantage of this rare moment of nobody asking me to get them something from the kitchen by writing my Saturday Share.

Take that, Katy Perry. You and your table top dancing, skinny dipping, streakin' in the park self got nothin' on my Friday nights. 

This past week has been pretty exciting. We went on a family golf outing and I was nothing short of awesome. I'm sure the Golf Channel's delay in contacting me to be on the next Big Break is just because my number is unlisted. I should add "Call the Golf Channel" to my to-do list for next week. As if I keep a to-do list.

Charming got all nostalgic one night talking nonsense and being sad that we weren't going to have any more babies. So of course it got me weepy so I had to write about all the things I loved about that time in my life. And then that night Dimples had a MAJOR melt down about going to bed and I was all, "Yep. Jesus loves me. We're done."

And THEN, as if all of that wasn't enough, I'm in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms contest! I may or may not have peed my pants a little. I'm currently sitting...well, not very high on the list. But to be on there at ALL is just plain awesome. I'm trying not to be annoying by shamelessly plugging for votes, but...PLEASE VOTE FOR ME! You can vote once a day EVERY SINGLE DAY until February 13th. I know I won't win, but I'd love to finish in the top 50. There are a lot of seriously funny chicks on that list and they deserve to be there. So, vote for them, too okay. God, I would be the worst salesman like, ever.

Now down to business. My share for this week is a blog I have just recently stumbled upon. I haven't been reading it for long, but I admit to having stalked her blog just a little because she's so great. Aaaand she's a Texas girl, so she gets an extra 100 points right off the bat. Her name is Karen and she writes Your Daily Dose of Damn. In the short time we've "known" each other, we have discovered an alarming number of similarities between us and it's kind of creeping us out.  Except she appears to be blonde, so at least there's that. Because, you know, I'm not blonde.

So go on now. Check her out!

Okay, just one more plea for your vote! CLICK HERE!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And Everyone Lived Happily Ever After, The End.

I wanna tell you a story.

I went to college with every intention of becoming a veterinarian. I loved animals and I thought that was enough to make me the perfect candidate for such a career. So off I go with my backpack and my shit ton of confidence (I was an A student in high school, so was going to be cake).

Then organic chemistry happened. And I was all, "WHAT THE HELL does being able to draw the structure of a methane molecule have to do with neutering a dog?" I visited with my academic advisor and expressed my feelings that this courseload was nonsense and...let's just say he didn't agree. So I still had to take organic chemistry. And it kicked my ass. It actually kind of nunchucked me in the throat, too.

Some things just never click. Organic chemistry was one of those things for me. Since my academic advisor said it would be "frowned upon" to adjust the requirement just for moi (whatever), I decided I had better pick another major. My dreams were crushed and OMG how would I ever recover from this devastation?!?

I obviously had very little time to decide what I wanted to do for THE REST OF MY LIFE and where else does the path lead one that has spent 2 1/2 years of their undergrad career studying science? Accounting. Naturally.

I somehow managed to get through the accounting courseload with a semi-decent GPA and only one semester later than planned. I did it. I graduated from college. With an accounting degree. Let the good times roll.

Anyway...I go on to work in the field for quite a few years before we had kids and made the decision for me to first work part-time, then when Charming was offered a new position out of state, we took that BIG OL' step of me becoming a stay-at-home mom. The title of all titles.

I have loved my time at home. I feel so fortunate to be in the position we are, where not working has even been an option for me to consider. But I would be lying if I said I didn't feel like I had been missing something. I have been responsible for seeing to the needs of our children and our home for the past 9 years. While this has been a blessing in countless ways, I have also felt like MY needs have taken a bit of a back seat to everyone else's. Finishing all the laundry and vacuuming the entire house can only be so rewarding, ya know?

I have struggled practically my whole adult life trying to find "my passion". Something that I truly loved and looked forward to doing. Something that was just for me.

I found it, y'all.

It's writing. I love it. Like LOVE. L-O-V-E. I love spilling out my guts and my feelings and my quirks and my random thoughts into the computer and sharing them with all of you.

I used to write stories all the time when I was a little girl. I never showed anyone because I didn't think they were "good enough". But now, whether I'm good at it or not, I have fallen in love with sharing my life with you through the written word. And the fact that I love it makes the rest insignificant.

And you, my readers, have played a huge part in helping me realize this. Each one of your comments, your "likes" on Facebook, your individual posts that share a picture or a story telling me it reminded you of me...they are all a gift. They validate the time I spend on this little blogging venture and keep me going. You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

I know I just asked you all to vote for me by clicking the cute and flashy banner at the bottom of my posts. I would still greatly appreciate it if you did that. I don't win any major awards or anything, but it can earn me more readers. And I love readers.

All this being said, something very exciting has happened. I've been nominated in the Circle of Moms "Top 25 Funny Moms - 2013". 

Holy crap, y'all (my Texan has really been coming out lately). To be included in this list is a bigger honor than I could have imagined. There are some seriously talented women out there. Suggesting I could win this is a little like suggesting I could win a marathon. It ain't gonna happen. But, I would still love to try. 

So, if you wouldn't mind doing me one more teeny tiny favor and click on the cute pink circle on the upper right hand side of my blog, I would be eternally grateful. (Okay, eternally might be a bit much but you know what I mean). It will take you over to the 'Circle of Moms' website where you can vote for me. I also encourage you to check out some of the other bloggers on the list and vote for them, too. They are all awesome. You can vote once a day, every day until February 13th. You can vote for as many bloggers as you want, so be sure to spread the love!

Thanks again, guys.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Just One More Day

We're done having kids. Like done. D-O-N-E.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little heavy-hearted about it. Lately I've been reading a lot of blogs by women who are currently pregnant or have newborns. I'm going to have to stop reading their posts so my uterus will settle the hell down.

I'm content in my decision to stop at two, but in all honesty, it makes me truly sad that I won't experience some of those precious times again. Now wait just a minute. I said some.

One of my first published posts was about all the things that I thought sucked about being pregnant and having a baby. It was fairly extensive, but in no way all-inclusive. Even so (believe it or not) there were some moments that I would give ANYTHING to do over. If only for a day.

I did not have easy pregnancies. Neither was I "the cutest little pregnant person you ever did see". The only part of it I really enjoyed was feeling the baby move. Once I got past how alien-like it was, I loved it. I could usually tell if it was a hand or a foot or a head I could see pushing against my enormous belly. I rented one of those monitors that allowed you to hear the heartbeat. I could sit and listen to that "badump badump badump" for hours. I wish I could have just one more listen.

I was one of the lucky ones that carried my babies to term and they came out pink and screaming and healthy. I got to hold them right away. Charming and I oohed and aahed over the new little life we miraculously brought into this great big world. And we freaked out a just a little that that life was ours to take care of. Each night in the hospital I couldn't wait for the nurse to bring me my new bundle for a middle-of-the night feeding. I really did look forward to it. I spent the wee hours of both of my children's lives studying every inch of their tiny bodies. Listening to their coos. Learning their cries. And falling in love over, and over, and over again. I wish I could have just one more night.

I loved watching my babies sleep. I still do. But, they are now too big to rock and cradle in my arms. I took advantage of as many nap times as I could - not to dust or fold laundry - but to sit and hold them while they slumbered. Many times dozing off along with them, their little heads on my shoulder, breathing their hot sweet baby breath on my neck. I wish I could share just one more nap.

The exciting firsts. The first smiles, the first words, the first steps, the first "momma". I remember them for both of my children. We still have many "firsts" to go, but they seem to get more serious... and a little bit scary as they get older. I wish we could witness just one more sweet first.

Don't go thinking I'm getting nostalgic enough to do this baby thing a third time. Practically nothing would make less sense for our family. It's just sometimes hard to accept that this time in our lives has come and gone. But as will every stage of parenting, it has. And one day we'll look back at the days we are in now (at least I hope so) with happy memories and wish we could have just one more day.

Don't you wanna give me just one more click? 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Little Known Secrets for Improving Your Game

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood this weekend, so we decided to take advantage of the great weather by heading to the golf course. The 49ers were playing so we knew we would have the course practically to ourselves.

My expectations are extremely low when it comes to golfing - I'm in it for the beer and sunshine. I've also acquired some really cute golf shoes and I like how it sounds when I walk on concrete. Click, click, click. It makes me feel all professional. 

Despite having taken a few months off, I played probably the best I have in...well...ever. I did some examining of what exactly could have been the cause of this, and I came up with a few key items that I believe could have been contributing factors to my improvement.

So, of course I'm going to share them with you. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't?

1. Take a minimum of 2 months off. I suggest you don't even touch a golf club. As a matter of fact, you should probably pile a whole bunch of empty moving boxes and other crap on top of them so you have to dig through the garage for at least 20 minutes before finding them.

2. On the way to the course, make up your mind that you are going to play terrible. Set your expectations so low that simply making contact with the ball is somewhat of a surprise.

3. Eat a heavy meal right before you tee off. Be sure it includes both something fried and something alcoholic. If you feel a little bit like you might throw up, that's perfect.

4. Take some kids with you. Never mind they've spent their entire lives being exposed to public settings, tell them to behave otherwise. Ours found doing cartwheels in the fairways and yelling during our backswings to be loads of fun.

5. Talk smack. Even if you're generally so terrible that you don't even keep score, make sure you point out every time you hit a better shot than your partner. You might want to try, "Did you see that shot? Hope you don't feel bad that it was better than yours," or "I really don't know how I haven't gone pro yet." And for those of you that really want to test your boundaries, "Looks like only one of us is on the green. And it doesn't seem to be you," is a real gem.

6. Drive the golf cart like you are in the Indy 500. Take corners at full speed. Don't slow down when you're coming to stop. Just slam on the brakes and slide. (I'm pretty sure that this one didn't have any bearing on my playing, but it IS really fun and the kids get a kick out of it. Also remember we had the course to ourselves. I wouldn't recommend this behavior on a busy day. You'll probably get your ass chewed.)

7. Drink. Anything alcoholic. This makes achieving the second part of step #2 unquestionably easier.

Since I don't keep score, I'm not certain how much better I played quantitatively. But, I'm pretty sure to the casual observer I looked like I knew what I was doing at least 63% of the time. Not to one reported me to the pro shop. Now THAT is a definite improvement.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Share - Week 4

Is it just me or did this week go by really fast? Maybe it was from all the excitement of our ski outing, or my encounter with law enforcement, or it could be from all my new friends over on Facebook.

Also, I just did a whole slew of impressive links just then so I'm practically a techno whiz these days.

Any way you look at it, it was a successful week over here in my teeny tiny little corner of the internet and I'm just tickled pink about it. Cheers to all of you for supporting me and sharing me with your friends. Some of you have even admitted to knowing me in real life. Now, that's really going above and beyond.

I'm hoping since this was such a good week, that bout of writer's block I feel coming on is just my imagination. Kind of like when your husband says he thinks he's getting a cold right after you sneeze. Not that that's ever happened to me.

Okay, enough chit chat. Let's get down to business. This week's Saturday share is Kyla over at Mommy's Weird. And that she is. (See I can say that because it's right there in her title. So she said it first.)

But really...she's funny (obviously) and smart and she does book and movie reviews and stuff for people. Oh and she's from Canada. So that's cool. I like to read her blog with a Canadian accent. It usually comes out British or a little Sarah Palin-ish, but whatever.

She's already promised me one of those BFF necklaces so I'm sure once she sees this she'll get her shit together and get that in the mail as promised.

So make good use of your 3-day weekend and go check her out!

Sharing is Caring. Share some of you blog love with me by clicking this here banner!

Friday, January 18, 2013

CSI: Suburbia

Last night, Charming returned from being gone on a business trip all week. While he's not one to point out my housekeeping shortcomings (he seems to enjoy being alive), I usually at least attempt to have the house in decent order when he gets home.

So I dropped the kids off at school, ran a few errands, and returned home to do a quick once-over before I had to pick the kids up again and head to after school activities.


What I returned to was no less than a crime scene. I SWEAR it wasn't like that when I left. I had no choice but to call the authorities. (I didn't call the authorities.) But if I would have, I imagine it would have gone something like this...

Dispatch: What's your emergency?

Me: I need to report a disturbance. Someone obviously broke in my house and made a huge mess. It's horrific.

Dispatch: Is anything missing?

Me: Well, not that I can tell. But I can't be sure. You know, because of all the mess.

Dispatch: I will send an officer to check it out.

[Officer arrives]

Officer: What seems to be the problem, ma'am?

Me: Well, it's pretty awful. How about I just show you?

We walk through the house, starting with the kitchen.

Me: Look at this. The perp obviously went and collected items from various rooms in the house and just left them on the kitchen counter. I think the music stand and nail polish remover are all the evidence you need here.

Exhibit A


Me: Now just turn around and look over here. School papers and junk mail EVERYWHERE. Is that a toothbrush? And the giant party pack of artificial flavors and preservatives? No. I would never purchase one of those. Let alone leave evidence of it right here in plain sight for everyone to see.

Exhibit B

 Me: Shall we go upstairs?

Officer: You mean there's more?

Me: Unfortunately. 

Me: See these sheets and towels? The last time I saw them they were safe and sound inside my dryer. Someone took them out, brought them up here, and just wadded them there at the end of the bed.

Exhibit C

 Officer: I just don't understand this.

Me: I know, right?!

Me: One last thing. But, you might want to shield your eyes because it's pretty graphic.

Officer: Oh, dear.

We walk into the closet.

Me: Look. At. This. Piles of clothes just laying there on the floor. And not one, but TWO laundry baskets within inches of them.

Exhibit D

Officer: I don't know what to say. This was obviously done with malicious intent.

Me: I agree.

Officer: I'll file a report right away.

Me: Great. Hey, can I get a copy of that real quick so I can show my husband when he gets home tonight? I'd hate for him to think all of this is the result of a week's worth of gross negligence on my part. Which, it TOTALLY isn't. 

Don't be negligent. Click on this banner.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Knock, Knock...Let me IN!!

Anyone that has spent even a little bit of time around me knows that I don't go around shooting rainbows out of my ass about how wonderful and perfect my life is. If you're new here and think that's what is about to happen (I can see how my name could have misled you), you might want to zip-a-dee-doo-da right along, because that's not what I'm all about and I'd hate for you to be disappointed.

Don't misinterpret this to mean that I go around crying "Woe is me!" and boobing about every little thing that doesn't go my way. Okay, sometimes I boob about little things that don't go my way. But honestly, I think my life is pretty great. I've got a couple of awesome kids, a hard-working husband, a house, some pets that have only ruined a moderately objectionable number of household items, a great family, and lots of cool friends.

Oops. So I shot out a few rainbows just then.

But, you know the kind person I'm talking about, don't you? The rainbow shooters. Everything is always perfect. Their marriage is perfect. Their kids are perfect. Their jobs are perfect. Their house is perfect. Their friends are perfect. You have a conversation with them and leave wondering why the hell your life is such a shitstorm.

It's hard to relate.

I think the general consensus when it comes to relationships is that we want to surround ourselves with people who make us feel better about our lives and ourselves. Not because their lives are worse, but because after you "invite them in" to know the real you, they return the favor. You share with each other the good and the bad. Not only do you get to see the highlight reel, but the deleted scenes as well.

I maintain a pretty open door policy. I imagine a facade of perfection would have to be exhausting to maintain, so this is what you get from me...

My kids. They are awesome. Most of the time. But sometimes they act like little assholes. They fight with each other. They back-talk. They don't listen. They pout. They act like spoiled brats. 4 out of 5 nights I have to tell them 837 times to brush their teeth and go to bed. But I love them more fiercely than I have ever loved anything. And they love me back.

I love Charming. I believe with every fiber of my being that he is my soulmate. I hope we grow to be crotchety old people together. But he can piss me off like no one else on earth. That man can make me utter strings of cuss words that would make a newly-docked sailor blush. We yell and we fight and we give each other the silent treatment. And then we realize we are both being stubborn jackasses and we laugh about it, and say "I'm Sorry" (sometimes through clenched teeth), and move on. 

We've managed to achieve the American dream of home ownership. Our home is cozy and comfortable. But it comes with a hefty mortgage and lots of maintenance. It is always a mess and takes forever to clean. There is always a project that needs to be done and you can bet it is going to cost twice what we thought. Our California property taxes suggest we live on our own private island (we don't). But we are more fortunate than most people in the world and I am grateful to have a roof over my family's head along with the other luxuries underneath it (internet) that we are lucky enough to enjoy.

We are animal people. We have had numerous pets during our marriage and currently have 2 dogs, a fish, and a guinea pig. They all stink (yes, even the fish). They cost money every time I turn around. They do annoying shit like poop in the living room floor (dog) and rattle their cage in the middle of the night so you have no choice but to get up and feed them (guinea pig). But they add a particular joy and uniqueness to our family that make the unpleasantries worth it.

 I've somehow managed to procure a respectable number of friends during my lifetime (shocking, right?!). Some I talk to every day. Some I talk to once a year. Some have drifted. Others remain a constant. I have fought with almost all of them. I don't see any of them nearly as frequently as I'd like. Some have offended me and I them. But they have all played an important part in my personal growth and will hold a place in my heart forever. 

So, that's that. I let you in. That's my real and imperfect life.

Knock, Knock. Who's there? This banner. Click on it, would ya?

Monday, January 14, 2013

How to Burn A Thousand Calories in a Parking Lot

Our family took up skiing about 6 years ago when we moved from Texas to Utah. Because strapping blades to our feet and careening down a snow-covered mountain in sub-freezing temperatures seemed like a great idea.

I have aversions to cold, speed, and heights. So it makes total sense that I partake in this activity.

The best part of living in the central valley of California is its proximity to many different landscapes. The valley itself is pretty flat with mild temperatures. But we can drive about 70 miles east and find ourselves in a mountainous winter wonderland. So, this past weekend, we set out on our first California skiing adventure.

Let's discuss for a moment not the actual sport of skiing, but what it takes to PREPARE to go skiing. If you are looking for a great workout that doesn't require a gym, go no further.

1. Acquire ski gear. If you don't have your own, no worries. Almost everything can be rented. Items you need include: skis, ski boots, thermal base layers, extra warm socks, ski bib or pants, coat, gloves, neck warmer (no scarves - they are not safe to wear on ski lifts being they are a strangulation hazard and all), warm hat, and ski helmet (safety first!).  You must have the entirety of this list for each member in your family.

2. Put on base layers and ski bibs/pants on before you leave the house. Pile the rest of the above list in your car. You will likely have very little space to sit after you get everything situated. It may take a few tries to get everything and everyone to fit. Choose one item from the above list to leave behind. Make sure it is a crucial item, leaving you no choice but to purchase a new one when you arrive at your destination. I recommend a single glove. 

3. You'll probably need to turn on the air conditioner once everyone is crammed in the car as you are all wearing clothes appropriate for a day in the arctic and, because of all the additional cargo, you are practically sitting on top of each other.

4. Upon arriving at your destination, the first item of business is to put on everyone's ski boots. Make sure you have a couple of young children with you that require assistance. It's a much bigger calorie burn. It also earns you an extra drink at the bar in the lodge later.
  • It will at first appear that there is no way the boot is going to fit. Stomp. Stomp stomp stomp. It will go in. If you are assisting a child, count on taking it off and putting it back on multiple times because a) there WILL be a foreign object in the boot and b) socks have gotten lumped up at the toe in the process. The children's incessant screaming and whining about their discomfort will confirm that this step is not optional.
  • After the children have been "booted", it is your turn. Repeat the above process. This time you get to do it with frozen hands because it is virtually impossible to put on ski boots while wearing gloves. On the bright side, if you pinch your finger in the boot latch you probably won't feel it.  And, fortunately, the rest of your body is sweating by now.
5. If you haven't already, put on the rest of your gear (except your skis - those you get to carry). Everyone grab their skis and start walking toward the lodge. It may take a step or 1000 to get used to the feeling of walking without ankles as the hard plastic foot armor is now holding them stationary.

6. Be sure to miss the shuttle that transports you from the parking lot to the lodge. That would take all the fun out of picking up the single ski and/or ski pole the children alternate dropping all the way there, which you ultimately decide to just carry for them.

7. You've made it to the lodge. The decision to continue on with a day of skiing is now entirely up to you, as at this point you have likely burned off breakfast, as well as your yet-to-be-consumed lunch and dinner. It would be entirely appropriate to ditch the skiing and spend the rest of the day drinking in the lodge.

After all that work, we still powered through a full day of skiing. Go us.

I'll bet you'll burn at least 10 calories if you click on this banner. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday Share - Week 3 (I think)

Heeeeeey yooooouuuuu guuuuuuyyyyyss!! (said in my best Sloth voice from 'The Goonies').

I have totally slacked off on my Saturday Share! I know. It's Sunday. I've never been accused of being timely.

ANYWAY, I did a little better last week but the holidays really threw me off of my blogging schedule. However, that's not an excuse anymore. We were out and about enjoying some family togetherness yesterday, so I'm going to do my Saturday share on Sunday this week because I didn't want to put it off any longer.

Also, because if I'm going to be a successful blogger (hahahahaha!), I need to keep putting myself out there. You know, like a gnat. Always buzz buzz buzzing in your little ear, making you look like a crazy person shooing me away because no one else can see me. Bzzzz.

I like to pimp out newer bloggers like myself. I don't tell them I'm doing it, so don't go thinking I get anything out of it. This blogger started back in March of last year, so she's coming up on her year bloggerversary. She's made her way into the blogging world quite nicely and I can only hope to be somewhere close to where she is in a year's time.

I've been following Michelle over at "You're My Favorite Today" for several months now. She's a mom, but I wouldn't consider her to be a "mommy blogger", as she talks about a little bit of everything. She's insightful and smart and funny and, if that's really her in the picture on her blog, she's also pretty and looks entirely too young to have a 17 year-old daughter, which seems kind of unfair given her other attributes. Would you mind letting yourself go just a little, Michelle? It would make the rest of us feel better. Let's not be greedy. K thanks.

So, go check her out!  And if you want to tell her I sent you, I'm cool with that.

Friday, January 11, 2013

That's How We Roll

Some people are "under" people. I don't like it that way. It seems awkward to use. And not as aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion.

Some people are "over" people. That's what I prefer because the edge is always easy to see and ready to grab.

But, since we are non-conformists (a term that I find in many cases can be used synonymously with LAZY), this is how we do it at our house:


I've given up on expecting anything more.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Personal Trainer Made a Liar Out of Me

I went to the gym on Monday. Not because I "resolved" to do so...I don't do the resolution thing. I prefer not to pre-plan my life's disappointments. It's much more exciting to let them catch me by complete surprise.

Also, the minute I say aloud something like "I am going to lose 10 pounds" or "I am going to work out more", it automatically flips a switch in my brain that makes it think, "You know what sounds good right now? A cheeseburger pizza sandwich. With a side of buffalo wings. And a nap."

So, I just keep those lofty goals to myself and hope for the best.

Anyway. I hadn't been to the gym since well before Christmas because I had been sick and then Christmas and then traveling. But after the decorations were put away and the holiday dust settled, I got on the scale. Sadness and despair. And extra-stretchy yoga pants. After wiping up my puddle of tears, I drug my jiggly ass to the gym.

I usually go to one of the classes offered on Monday mornings, but as is typical for gyms at the beginning of January, it was packed to the rim and I was in no mood to get elbowed by women who (like myself) enjoyed a few too many slices of [insert holiday dessert of your choosing here] and were anxious to evict them from their thighs. So, I hiked upstairs to the weight and cardio area.

In between texting and scrolling through my iPod playlists and an occasional glimpse at Facebook, I slowly made my way around the different weight machines. I had just sat down at the shoulder press when this guy strolls up to me and leans against the machine. I can see the words, "Personal Trainer" peeking out from under the flap of his jacket. Greeeeaaat.

"Hi. I'm Tyler. What are you working on today?"

"Well, Tyler, from the name of this machine it appears I am working on my shoulders."

"Hahaha! *total courtesy laugh as he is not amused* So, do you have any goals you are working toward?"

"Nope. No goals. Sometimes I just come here." For real. I said that. Because I wanted him to go away.

But he didn't go away.

"Well, if there was one area you wanted to work on, what would that be?"

Why is he still talking to me? I just said I had no goals and I have yet to remove my earbuds. Maroon 5's "Make Me Wonder" is playing and I am struggling not to ignore his question and start singing along. 

I blurt out, "My arms" because "Leave me alone" seemed a touch rude.

"Great! I can take you through an entire workout RIGHT NOW to show you how to really tone up your arms."

"Really? Right now? How long is that going to take? Because I've already been here for like 45 minutes and I still need to go tinker around on one of those cardio machines over there."

"Oh! So, you're at the end of your workout. I didn't realize that."

You mean my attentiveness to my iPod and lack of perspiration weren't a dead giveaway that I've been pumping some serious iron? Shoot.

"How about we set you up for another day? What days work best for you?"

Sheesh. This guy is persistent. And as I'm looking around I realize that he chose me over about 8 other women in this area. Which is either really complimentary or extremely insulting. As much as I'd love to go with complimentary, he's a personal trainer. And he's obviously on the hunt for a project. decide.

We chat some more about what time of day works best, and I verify that "This is free, right?", and then he says, "I've got some homework for you."

He realizes from the look on my face that I'm not happy about where this is going.

"Hahaha. It's not a big deal. I just want you to keep a 24 hour food diary before you come back in. No biggie. Just write down everything you eat."

Well, hell. A food diary? I hate those. You know why? Because they turn me into a big fat diet cheating liar that lies. Because it's embarrassing to journal:

-Remaining corner of 7-year old's Toaster Strudel and leftover sausage from breakfast
-Handful of pita chips when I passed by the pantry
-Half of a chocolate chip cookie from the day's lunchbox clean-out
-Walked by the pantry again, so...more pita chips
-2 Twizzler sticks from same pantry raid
-Handful of Trader Joe's white cheddar corn puffs on the way home from violin lessons
-Free sample of quinoa salad they were giving out at the grocery store
-Again with the damn pita chips! Note to self: stop buying those because you have no self control, woman. 
-3 bites of daughter's french dip sandwich she left from dinner

So those items are thoughtfully o-mit-ted.


**P.S. My appointment is for this morning at 10 a.m. It is an hour long training session. I have a sneaking suspicion it will be worthy of a follow-up blog post. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Day I Turned Into Chopped Liver

If you are still in the very-young-children stage, you may find this story a little hard to relate to. I was once in your shoes and it was hard to believe that this day would ever come. But it did. And it will for you, too.

It wasn't that long ago that I was complaining about never having any "me" time. I always had at least one kid in tow, turning the simplest of errands into a grueling test of patience. Diaper bags and car seats and strollers and Goldfish snacks were necessities just to make a "quick run" to the grocery store.

Fast forward (and I mean FAST) a few years. Both of my children go to school ALL day five days a week. I have about 6 1/2 hours a day to get errands and household chores done BY MYSELF. I drink coffee without narrowly escaping 2nd degree burns due to young children bouncing on the couch cushion beside me. I clean the kitchen after breakfast and it stays that way (well, at least until they get home). My living room is no longer decorated with building blocks, board books, and colorful plastic playthings. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, it is. Mostly.

Since I've got all this new-found alone time, sometimes I want company. And because my kids are of the age that they are often more pleasant than whiny (I said OFTEN, not ALWAYS), I frequently want that company to be theirs. The problem is, they don't always feel the same. My competition includes, but is not limited to, soccer and gymnastics and video games and computers and cell phones and...friends.

Don't get me wrong. I want my kids to have a social life. I want them to invite friends to our house and vice versa. I want them to be involved in activities and be invited to birthday parties and sleepovers. But sometimes I just want them to be home. With us. And it is becoming increasingly obvious that having weekend "family time" is getting harder and harder to come by. Charming and I are not adjusting well. At all.

Tink was invited to a sleepover last Friday night. We let her go because it had been almost two whole weeks (practically a lifetime for a pre-teen) since she'd seen her school friends. On Saturday morning I was getting ready to go pick her up for a day of shopping together. Then I get a phone call.

Tink: "Mom? They invited me to go ice skating. Can I go?"

Me: "Well, do you want to go? I thought we'd go shopping today. Just you and me."

See how I attempted to buy her affection there? Yeah. Didn't work.

Tink: ....

Me: "Hello? Are you there?"

Tink: "Yes. I'm here. I do want to go, but I don't want to hurt your feelings."

Me: [slight hesitation and maybe a little bitty sigh] "It's okay. You can go. It's not going to hurt my feelings."

Then I can tell she's about to cry. Shit.

Me: "Are you crying? Why are you crying?"


And that was that. I promised her that she wasn't going to hurt my feelings and that I wasn't mad and that she should go have fun with her friends. Then I sat on the couch and pouted for an hour before Charming talked me into going by myself.

Then on Sunday we were sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing when one of Tink's friends from down the street knocked on the door. I told her she could go play for about an hour until dinner when I noticed Charming shooting eye daggers at me from across the room.

Me: "WHAT?"

Charming: "I wanted her to stay home!"

Me: "Why? We weren't doing anything."

Charming: "So. I just wanted her to be here. It seems like she's always gone." Pout.
I think it is safe to assume that we can look forward to a whole lot of pouting going on around here over the next few years.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

Peter Rabbit Stole My Purse and Kidnapped Me on a Golf Cart

I read the Twilight series. And I liked it. Judge if you must. Oh, and also...bite me.

I don't understand why people insist on judging so harshly when it comes to grown women enjoying a little young-adult, semi-smutty, leave a lot to the imagination literature from time to time. Is it Pulitzer worthy? No. But neither is this blog and here you are. BURN. Just kidding. I love you.

Before I started reading it, I just knew I would hate it. Vampires and werewolves and teen angst? No, thank you. But in this case I made an exception because I was part of a (extremely non-serious, more wine drinking, gossiping, and eating than book discussing) book club and that is what they picked. So I followed the rules and read it. I was hooked almost immediately. I finished the first of the series, and read the next 2 in a span of about 4 days. Then I had to wait like 6 months for the last one to come out, which I bought on day one and then forgot I had a family for the next 36 hours so I could finish it.

Don't worry. I'm not about to write a book review of the Twilight series. What I'm getting at is that in the middle of my vampire/werewolf obsession, I did a little background research on the author, Stephanie Meyer. And I learned that she came up with the idea for her series from a dream. A dream.

Charming is continually encouraging me to write a book. He wants me to write fiction so he's not in it (even though he probably wouldn't even read it so what does he care?). I cannot write fiction. I have zero imagination. When I'm conscious, that is.

I dream almost every night. And I remember probably 90% of them. Stephanie Meyer has a dream about beautiful, sparkly men laying in fields of flowers and turns it into a best seller. Check out this dream that I had LAST NIGHT. I am not nearly creative enough to make this up. Disturbed? Maybe. Creative? No. Buckle your seatbelts.

Charming and I are at a church revival. (We are already off to a very unrealistic start here. We go to church, but a very reverent, traditional one. No clapping, hand raising, or shouting of "Praise the Lord!" is involved. I don't know if I've been to a revival ever in my life, so my apologies if that is an inaccurate depiction. I'm going from what I've seen on TV.) So, here we are at this revival. It is in a smallish room with a big screen in the front. Showing on the screen is a COUNTRY MUSIC VIDEO. I think it was Brad Paisley. We are all singing along because the words are printed across the bottom. I remember this vividly because there were cuss words in the song, which I thought was odd because...well...we are at church.

Scene change. We are now sitting in a different room. The same people are there, so I can only assume it is a continuation of the revival. We are sitting in the back (finally something a little closer to reality). There are fold-out chairs and someone is talking in the front. Suddenly I look up and...are you ready?...I don't think you are...PETER RABBIT comes up to me. Peter friggin' Rabbit. And I don't mean a person in a rabbit costume. I mean an actual giant rabbit. That talks. He grabs my purse (or something) and starts running. So I start running after him.

Suddenly I'm on a golf cart. With Peter Rabbit. And I'm lecturing him on how stealing people's things when they are enjoying a church revival is wrong. We are driving the golf cart down this really long street in my home town (my real life home town), when I notice my 2 year old niece toddling across the street. It is a busy street (and nowhere near her house), so I grab her up and put her on the golf cart with us. I ask her why she is walking around by herself so far from home and her typical 2-year-old answer is, "Because".

She seems unfazed by the fact that a giant bunny is driving. Which is weird, given her reaction to Santa Claus.

I make Peter drive around until we find my sister, hand over her child, and inform her that I found her hanging out across town. She seems not the least bit concerned about this information, or the fact that a giant rodent-esqe creature has been driving me and her daughter around our small town in a golf cart. We are all oddly calm about the entire situation.

And...The End. It just cuts off. I don't remember anything else.

Take that, Stephanie Meyer.

I'll be waiting by the mailbox for my millions.