Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10 Reasons I'm Proud to be a Texan

If we've been hanging out a while, you've probably picked up on the fact that I'm from Texas. Even if you're new, there's a good chance you've figured it out. Because I mention it as frequently as possible. Because I'm from Texas. And that's what Texans do. We boast about the fact that we're from Texas. As a matter of fact, as I'm typing this, I have a Texas t-shirt on. True story. See there? If I'm not talking about being from Texas, that business is plastered across my boobs.

Texans are a proud people. I am no exception. It is for that reason that I give you...




10. Texas is one of the few states where people use the state and its flag as a central theme for their home decor. Even though we haven't lived there in over 6 years, I currently own throw pillows, coasters, dish towels, water glasses, coffee cups, koozies, framed pictures, and a plethora of Christmas ornaments...all adorned with the Texas flag. Do North Dakotan's decorate with their state flag? I think not. (No offense to anyone from North Dakota. I'm sure it's lovely.)

9. It is entirely appropriate to tell your kid to "go get me a beer", even when other people are around. Especially if you are sitting outside around a fire pit and the beer is in a cooler nearby. As a matter of fact, in that instance, "Get Billy one, too."

8. There are more songs that talk about Texas than any other state. Wikipedia even backs me up on this. I looked it up because I'm nothing if not thorough, and it says that the entire "United States doesn't have as many song mentions as Texas, its people, and its parts. The only possible contenders: Jesus and love." Uh huh. That's what I thought. Case in point...finish this line: "The Stars at night are big and bright ____ __ ____ ____ __ ____." Did you clap at the appropriate juncture? You know you did. I believe we can thank 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure' for the reputation of that one.

7. Texas has some crazy ass weather. It really keeps you on your toes. There have been documented cases where it was 70 degrees on a Tuesday and then snowed on Thursday. Snow is big news in the lone star state. Literally. If there is a flurry in the forecast, you can bet your ass it will be classified as "BREAKING NEWS" on the 10 o'clock broadcast. They will announce school closures before a single flake hits the ground. I'm not lyin'. Texas also has tornadoes. Tornadoes are scary, y'all. There are sirens that go off and cops drive around town telling you to take cover. People take that shit seriously - right after they video the twister in their back yard and put it on YouTube.

6. In Texas you only have to collect a wardrobe appropriate for two seasons: "summer" and "not summer", both of which last approximately 6 months, with an occasional "summer" cameo in the "not summer" months. See #7 above.

5. Despite the absurd weather, there are about 3 weeks of the year that people recklessly label  "Spring". It is truly beautiful because the bluebonnets are in bloom. Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower. Do you know your state flower? Pfffft. I learned that shit in Kindergarten. There's a whole story about it. It's called "The Legend of the Bluebonnet." Google it. ANYWAY, bluebonnets pop up all over fields and alongside interstates around late March and early April, and they are breathtaking. It is a rule that if you have children, you must have their picture taken in the bluebonnets at some point in their young lives. Or if you're me (a real over-achiever), you fly in from out of state and have their picture taken in a field of bluebonnets in front of a barn adorned with a Texas flag. I even impress myself sometimes.



4. Texans know how to properly insult someone. I'm going to teach you how, so listen up. Whenever you want to say something ugly, use a sing-songy voice and either preface or follow up the insult with, "Bless his/her heart." Let's try it, shall we? "That girl is such a bitch. Bless her heeeaaaart." (Drag out the 'heart' real long.) As you can see, it really lightens the blow.

3. Everything is bigger in Texas. No, really. It is. Besides the state itself being positively ginormous, everything it contains is huge. I'm gonna have to use bullet points for this one.
  • Mosquitoes are the state bird (not really, but they could be). 
  • The food is bigger. Have you heard of 'The Texan' restaurant? They serve a 72 oz. steak. That is 4.5 pounds. People, that is a 6 week premature infant. 
  • The trucks are bigger. Attention all other states: SUV's are NOT trucks. They are SUV's. A truck has an open bed, requires a step stool to get into, and shakes the entire neighborhood when the engine starts. 
  • Even our professional football stadiums are bigger. We may not have the winningest team, but we've got the most kick-ass jumbo tron around. And our cheerleaders have their own television show.
2. Speaking of football. High School football, aka "Friday Night Lights." I think that just about covers that one.

1. Because the people I love are there. I met my husband there. My kids were born there. My roots are there. And no matter where I end up, I'll always be a Texan. It's home.


You don't have to be a Texan to vote for me.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Either Way

The night before my first born turned 8 weeks old, I put her to bed, packed a diaper bag, set out my work clothes, and cried myself to sleep. The next day I would return to work.

During my last weeks of pregnancy my boss asked repeatedly, "Are you really coming back to work?" to which I answered an indignant, "Of course! Me - a stay at home mom?!? Never." I was an accountant at a bank. I liked my job. I had my sights set on big things. Big, successful, career-ish things. I believed with every fiber of my being that I would happily, willingly, be a working mother.

There's a reason certain sayings catch on. You know that one that goes, "Never say never"? Yeah...that. About 2 seconds after my sweet baby girl was placed into my arms post-childbirth, I realized I had been wrong. So, so wrong. A young and naive idiot that had no clue what motherhood would do to her. Or how instantaneously the change would happen.

Even though Charming and I both had professional jobs, we were young, only a few years out of college, with student loans and no nest egg to speak of. For the eight weeks I was home on maternity leave, I constructed scenarios in my head that would allow me to stay home with our new precious miracle. We could eat Hamburger Helper every night. Minus the hamburger. I would NEVER shop. Ever. I would never go anywhere that required a car or gas or...okay, I would never go anywhere. We would not go out to eat or buy things or do anything fun that required admission. At the end of the day I realized I was being ridiculous and, at that point in our lives, the only real option was for me to return to work.

For the next two years I worked full time. I wasn't miserable, but I couldn't help but be jealous of the moms I would see when I was out on my lunch break. The moms in their yoga pants and no make-up that were out having lunch with their sweet little toddlers. Chasing kids around the indoor playground. Wiping ketchup off of tiny fingers and faces. I wanted to do that, too.

As the years passed, we became better off (enough) financially that staying at home was no longer a pipe dream. I first cut back to working part-time, and when baby #2 came along, I was able to become a full-time stay-at-home mom. I remember feeling jubilant the night before my first day on the "new job". I couldn't believe the next day was Monday and I wasn't going to be getting up before 6 a.m. so I would have enough time to get myself and 2 kids ready, bags packed, dropped off at school and daycare, and to work by 8 a.m.

My kids are older now, but not so long ago they were still little and I was the mom in the yoga pants with no make-up (I still am but for different reasons that are not important to this story so we won't discuss it). I was the one cleaning up the mess left behind in the restaurant. I was the one exasperated and chasing around a toddler in the play place. There was so much I didn't see when I was on my lunch break all those years ago! I didn't see that those moms at the restaurant were likely there because they couldn't stand to be cooped up in the house another minute. That they were wearing yoga pants and no make-up because "what's the point?", and that they were repeatedly chasing their kids up and down those germ-infested indoor slides in hopes they would go home and take a long nap so mom could catch up on laundry and cleaning and sanity.

I've been a stay-at-home mom now for almost 8 years. I have had a couple of very part-time work-from-home gigs, and I "worked" at my son's preschool for a short time. I don't regret my decision to leave the "career world" in the least. I've loved being at home with my kids and I realize how incredibly lucky I am to have had such an opportunity. However, I admit that sometimes when I see women out on their lunch break, I still feel jealous. But now I'm on the other side of the window. I'm envious of lunches out with grown-ups and important business meetings and paychecks. I'm jealous that their biggest accomplishment for the day was likely more impressive than getting caught up on laundry, or finding a 2 for 1 sale on bags of frozen chicken.


I have recently seen several instances in the social media world where either a stay-at-home mom blasted a working moms' decisions to pursue a career, or a working mom minimized the relevance of a stay-at-home mom. I can't help but be annoyed at both. I've experienced each side and I wish (can't we all just get along?!) we could all come to an agreement that, truth be told, it's hard either way. You have to make sacrifices either way. At some point you will probably question your decision either way. The grass is always greener either way.

And most importantly, we're all mom's doing the best we know how...either way.



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Friday, February 22, 2013

A New Name for Your Nuts

Was that a clever title or what? I mean with the alliteration and possible double-meaning, how could I go wrong? If you're reading this, that means you clicked on it, and that is what I like to refer to as blog-title success. (Whatever it takes, people.)

There really is a story behind that attention-grabbing intro, and I'm going to share it with you. You're giddy, right?  I knew it.

I went to the deli counter at the grocery store the other day to buy some chicken salad. I go through periods of time where I crave specific foods and eat them repeatedly until the mere sight of them makes me want to puke. Right now that food is chicken salad.  Scoop it up with pita chips, and it is DE-LISH. You should really try it.

Anyway. This particular deli makes two different kinds of chicken salad - one has nuts and one doesn't. I don't like nuts in my chicken salad. I have weird texture issues when it comes to food, and nuts is second only to mushrooms on the gag-o-meter (okay, maybe third because olives are just as bad as mushrooms) if I unexpectedly find a piece where it doesn't belong - like among chicken and celery and mayonnaise.

I told the lady at the deli counter that I'd like some of the chicken salad that didn't have nuts, to which she replied, "You mean ammuns?"

"Come again?"

"Ammuns. You don't like ammuns?"

Cheese and rice. I don't know if I like "ammuns" or not. And I don't really know why we are discussing it. All I know is that I don't want nuts in my chicken salad.

"Ummm, pardon? Ammuns?"

And then a lightbulb went off as I remembered a conversation I had with a mom that I chatted with on the kids' first day of school after moving here. I knew we'd be good friends when she told me this story. And we are.

Friend: "Has anyone asked if you like ammuns yet?"

Me: "No. I don't think so. Huh? What are ammuns?"

Friend: "You do know they grow a lot of nuts around here, right?"

Me: "I hear that about California. Hahaha!"

It's a wonder she still talks to me since I was brave (read: stupid) enough to crack ridiculous and possibly offensive jokes right out of the gate.

Friend: [insert obligatory chuckle] "Well, there are a lot of nut groves around here. When it's harvest time, there is this machine that grabs the trunk of the tree and shakes it, making all the nuts fall to the ground. So, a lot of people around here refer to almonds as "ammuns". You know, because they shake the 'L' out of them."

Get it? They shake the 'L' (hell) out of the almonds during harvest, rendering them amonds (sounds like "ammuns").


And that, my friends, is California humor. As well as your useless vocabulary lesson for the day.

You're welcome.



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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Downton Abbey" is Going to Make Me a MILF*

*Excuse the crude acronym. I didn't make it up. If you don't know what it means, that's what Google is for.

Based on the title, I'm sure you are at the edge of your seat trying to figure out where I'm going with this and wondering if you, too, can become a MILF from watching a British television series. That or you're wondering if I'm drunk.

Well, I'm not. I'm honest to goodness about to tell you how 'Downton Abbey' is going to turn me into a hottie. So, listen up.

There are many upsides to your children getting older and being good company, but a major downside is that they understand a LOT more of what they see and hear when around adult conversation. And if they don't understand, they ask. Since I'm rarely in the mood to field questions about the uses for Cialis or 'KY Yours and Mine' (those two companies must have one hell of an advertising budget with the frequency they are aired), we play it safe and stay tuned to the Disney Channel most of the time. If it weren't for that smartass mom on 'Good Luck Charlie', I'd lose my mind. (Seriously. Have you watched that show? She's such a bitch! I love her.) Anyway, the problem with this is that I now watch approximately...ZERO...television shows that are not appropriate for children under the age of 13. I've decided this has got to be remedied.

Over the past few months, people have been talking incessantly about the show 'Downton Abbey'. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced I was quite possibly the only woman in the free world that had yet to watch an episode. Until now.

I complain about going to the gym because there are roughly nine-hundred and seventy-six thousand other things that I'd rather do with the time I have to myself without the kids. But, I drag my ass there regularly(ish) because I can't afford a whole new wardrobe. And when all my yoga pants are dirty I gotta wear my fancy clothes with button-waists. 

So, yesterday I went to the gym and climbed up on this elliptical/stairstepper contraption and was not wanting to be there AT ALL when I remembered someone telling me that 'Downton Abbey' was on Netflix. And hot diggity dog, y'all, I've got me an iPhone on which I can watch Netflix right there in the gym.

I did a quick search and located 'Downton Abbey - Episode One'. It showed to be 66 minutes long. Aw hell no I'm not doing this thing for 66 minutes. So I decided I'd do it for half the show (that's 33 minutes for those of you that aren't math whizzes like myself), and then go do some sit-ups or walk around or something to make my time at the gym equal an hour. 

It was a little hard to follow at first, but I stuck with it and it did not disappoint. There were a few unexpected twists, some backstabbing, and an ending that left me wanting for more. And guess what. I stayed on that ding dang machine for the entire 66 minutes. I looked like a real bad ass over there sweating and breathing hard like I'd had every intention of working out for so long. And at the end of the whole thing, the calorie burn on the screen read 699. Six-hunnit and niney-nine calories, yo! I jumped off as soon as the credits started to roll because I'd had just about enough of that ridiculousness, so I missed 700 by like 8 seconds. Whatever...I had to walk down some stairs to get out of the building.

So check it out. There are something like 23 episodes of this show and they are all 45 minutes to an hour in length. I've made a deal with myself that I can ONLY watch if I'm at the gym on some type of cardio machine. (In other words, I'm not allowed to go sit in the locker room and watch it because I was technically "at the gym").  If I burn an average of 600 calories times 23 episodes, that's like...a whole shitload of calories!

Move over, Stacey's Mom. There's a new MILF* in town.

*Used for entertainment purposes only. I do not now, nor will I ever, refer to myself as a MILF.




Monday, February 18, 2013

My Friday Nights are Kick-Ass

As I was vacuuming the living room Friday night...

Hold up. Did you read what I just wrote? I was vacuuming ON A FRIDAY NIGHT. Don't be jealous.

I remember looking forward to Friday nights because it meant meeting up with friends and hanging out late. Having dinner at a cool restaurant, maybe followed by drinks at a bar, then coming home to an empty house...

I still look forward to Friday nights. But now it's because I know Friday is a definite take-out night and I don't have to fight kids to get up for school the next morning. Also, since I can wear my pajamas and drink coffee until noon on Saturday if I want, the wine is freeeee flowing.

Back to me vacuuming. I like to listen to music while I'm tidying up around the house. I have a super cool and eclectic iPod playlist, so right after a fun sing-along with Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go For That", Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night" came next in the line-up. Being that I'm so hip and current, I know all the words. Are you familiar with this song? It's important that you are so you can follow along with the rest of the post. If you're not as cool as I am, do a quick YouTube search and get caught up. I'll wait.

Are we good? Okay. So, my Friday nights have never been quite as crazy as sweet little Katy describes, but as I was listening to the song and singing along, I realized there really needs to be a version of this song for people with kids. So I made one. You're welcome.

Last Friday Night - We're Parents Now

There's some kids up in our bed
There's a pounding in our heads
Legos all over the room
Step on that shit and you will fume

Dog turds all over the yard
Played Wii Fit and it was hard
Use to have fun barbecues
Now we shop for children's shoes

Stayed up late last night
Almost half past nine
We're old
Oh, well
It's a simple fact
We are parents now
Damn

Last Friday night
We watched Phineas and Ferb
Took the trash out to the curb
Watered our own homegrown herbs

Last Friday night
Mickey D's takes credit cards
Spilled their milk all in the car
Glad we don't live very far

Last Friday night
Took a bike ride in the park
Rushed to make it home by dark
Can I sneak out to the bar?

Last Friday night
Nerf darts all over the house
Is this ketchup on my blouse?
I'm so sick of Mickey Mouse

This Friday night
Do it aaaaalllll again. 

T.G.I.F.


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm His Jenny

Well, it's Valentine's Day. In the spirit of the "holiday" (whatever, this is so NOT a holiday), I suppose I should do a post about love love lovey dovey love. But this blog is no place for a bunch of sappy. So I will tell you The Story of Us. A condensed version, of course. Because that shit is long and drawn out I tell you.

Fourth grade was the youngest grade at John F. Kennedy Elementary. I was new to the school, as was everyone else in my class. The new kid that just moved in across the street was in my home room. At recess one day he sent his running buddy over to me with a note folded into a neat little rectangle.

"Will you go with me? Check yes or no."

I checked "yes" and we waved to each other from across the playground. Little did I know, he sent that Kristin chick the same note earlier in the week. What a player. So I told him to kiss my ass. Okay I didn't say that, but I did make him choose between us and he chose me. Swoon.

Over the next 6 years we were an "item" off and on. He was even my first kiss. But, when we got into high school I decided I was too cool for boys in my own grade and could really see the advantages of dating someone with a car that could drive me to the Sonic and buy me Route 44 cherry limeades.

So, I went my way and he went his. I had a steady boyfriend. He dated...most of the girls in our class, and the one younger than us, and I'm pretty sure the one younger than them. I am friends with all of them on Facebook. Small town and all. I think some of them may even read my blog. Hey, ladies!

After graduation I went off to one college and he went off to another. We didn't see each other again until the first week of summer vacation after our freshman year. One night I went out for a run. His family still lived across the street from mine, and when he saw me turning the corner to head up our street, he waited in his front yard for me to run past his house. I stopped to say hello. We ended up sitting outside on the curb talking until midnight.

We started hanging out, but I wasn't ready to consider us "dating". I was fresh out of a long relationship and wasn't sure I wanted to jump right into another one. He said he understood and that he would wait. All summer he took me to dinners and movies and even the circus. All of the time we weren't in summer classes or at work, we spent together.

At the end of the summer, we made each other mixed tapes (heck yes we did) and left to go back to our respective colleges. We parted with the understanding that if either of us met someone we wanted to date, that was allowed. Neither of us did. We burned up the roads visiting each other as many weekends as we could. We talked on the phone every night. It was the early days of email, so we would remind each other during our nightly phone calls to go to the computer lab the next day and look for the message we sent. Technology was so ah-may-zing.

Then in April, we arranged to meet back home for his birthday weekend. I had plans to get my nails done Saturday morning and then we were going to spend the day together. I went to meet him at his parent's house before we headed out. I took him his birthday gift - which I have no recollection what it was and I'm sure he doesn't either because he probably returned it as I don't think he's ever NOT done that. ANYway.

He was appropriately grateful for whatever my gift to him was and then he said, "There's something else I want for my birthday." My curiosity peaked as I'm sure what I gave him was fabulous (probably a shirt from Structure or something equally as cool) and I couldn't imagine him wanting anything more so I said, "Oh, yeah? What's that?" He handed me this big stack of 'Brides' magazines. I can sometimes be a little slow so I thought, "You subscribe to Brides magazines? Weird." But when I looked over at him, he was holding an engagement ring. "I want you to marry me."

OMG soooo sweet, right? I agree. So I, of course, said yes and the rest is history. I'm not much for the super sappy ooey gooey public proclamations of love, but it's true...we were meant to be. He tells me all the time that I'm "his Jenny" (as in Forrest Gump). But he always makes sure to say it in the voice of Forrest himself so as not to be too romantic. After all, this is us we're talking about.




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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

He's Such a Romantic and Almost Ruined Disney for Me

ALL THE PARENTALS AND FRIENDS OF THE PARENTALS  SHOULD PROBABLY STOP READING RIGHT NOW. JUST GO AHEAD AND SHUT IT DOWN. IF YOU CANNOT RESIST THE TEMPTATION, YOU MUST KNOW THAT YOU ARE NEVER TO SPEAK OF THIS AND YOU CAN NOT UN-KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


Since it's the week of Valentine's Day, today and tomorrow's posts will be "romance" themed. Don't worry...my idea of romance (not unlike my sense of humor) is a teeny bit warped. So there will be no sappy pukefest happening here.

Also, I don't know why I felt compelled to put that disclaimer up there. I mean for crying out loud  - Charming and I have been married almost 16 years and we've got two kids. I've never been a wild child, but I'm pretty sure our parents are under no illusion that our kids were born a couple of immaculate conceptions that somehow missed making headlines. Anyway, we've never been the family that talks openly about sex - or any topic that could lead toward the remote possibility of talking about sex. But whatever. It is what it is so I'll just talk about it to the whole internet instead. (Don't get too excited...I'm not about to be inappropriate. I'm a Southern LADY after all.)

Wow. Sixteen years! That's a long time. Even so, we still have the *spark* in our relationship. We hug and we kiss and we grab each others ass when we pass by one another in the kitchen. We're playful like that. I think it would make me sad to be any other way.

Last night I was standing at the sink cleaning up after dinner when Charming came over and started rubbing my shoulders. His hands felt different. Then he moved them down my back, around my waist, and up....up....

"WHOA, WHOA, WHOA! What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

He, on the other hand, was cracking up. Why, if I'm so "playful", did I have this reaction you wonder? Because he was feeling me up with the giant Mickey Mouse hands we bought for Dimples at Disney Land last year. So many kinds of wrong.


These hands. On my body.

"If you don't stop it right now, I will never be able to look at Mickey Mouse the same. Don't ruin Disney for me. Come on. Put away the hands."




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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

All The Single Ladies

Charming frequently travels for his job. The length of time varies, and sometimes it's only for a day or two. I joke about the benefits of having a traveling husband. I have ultimate control over the tv remote. It's a convenient excuse to get take-out instead of actually cook dinner. The house stays a lot cleaner. Okay, maybe that last one isn't always true. But, mostly when he's gone...it sucks.

He was traveling all week last week. And it sucked. It sucked because both kids were sick. It sucked because I was trying (to no avail) to work on our taxes. It sucked because I never sleep well when he's gone. It sucked because by the end of the week I was exhausted.

Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself about this particular aspect of my life, I remind myself that it could always be worse. My husband comes home on the weekends. When he's not home, he's in an office with access to email and text and face time and telephones, where I can reach him almost any time of day.

Sometimes when I'm in the middle of my pity party for one complete with my giant glass of wine and assortment of confections, I realize I deserve a swift kick in the teeth. Because OMG it could be so much worse.

I remember those moms that really do it on their own. Always. Every day. And from the brief glimpse of single parenting I get while Charming is off doing...whatever it is he does, I can see how that shit has got to be tough.

You get every middle-of-the-night puke duty or baby-feeding (or both!) shift.
You handle all of the homework battles.
You take the blame for all of the discipline problems.
You shuttle to dance or baseball or soccer or piano; or you don't because you simply just can't.
You shoo away all of the monsters under the bed.
You console after all the nightmares.
You wipe all of the tears. And noses. And rears. 
You lie awake listening for all the noises.
You always have to remember trash day. 
You carry all the burden of worry that you're doing. everything. wrong.

Perhaps you are a divorcee or a widow or a military wife. Maybe your heart was broken or you lost the love of your life or you have no idea where in the world your spouse has been deployed. Or maybe you're happy in your singledom and that way by choice. All I know is that even though I consider myself to be quite independent, parenting is hard. Like stupid hard. It's nice to have a partner in crime if for nothing else than to look to the other and say, "Your turn." 

To all you single parents out there - I salute you.




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Friday, February 8, 2013

I Will Not Be Mocked

 The evening of the first day of Christmas break, I posted this as my Facebook status:



Any time my kids are home on a day (or days) that they are typically in school,  it doesn't take long before they start singing the "I'm bored" ditty until I lose my patience and threaten them with, "If you're so bored I guess all the crap you've got in your rooms isn't doing any good so we should get rid of it."

"Noooooo!"

The fear that I'm going to follow through lasts about 15 minutes before they are at it again. "I'm booooorrrrred."   *Note to self: work on threat follow-through.

Tink was home from school sick yesterday. I assumed it would eventually happen, and a little after lunchtime she said it.

"Mom, I'm bored."

Me: "You're sick. What exactly do you think you should be doing?"

Tink: "I don't know. But, I'm bored."

And then I remembered something I saw on the internet. The internet is chocked full of useful information.

Me: "You know what? I saw this idea on Pinterest. You write down a bunch of things to do and put them in a jar. Whenever somebody says 'I'm bored', they have to pick an item from the jar and do what it says. I'm gonna do that for you and your brother."

Tink: "Mom. YOU are going to make something from Pinterest? Hahahahahaha!"

OH HELL TO THE NO.

I don't know that I'll ever be a Pinterest junkie (I will never be a Pinterest junkie), but I do know one thing.

How you like me now, Tink?

I can make an "I'm Bored" Jar like a mofo.




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Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Which I Was Threatened to be Sued

Charming still doesn't read my blog. When I first started and he said he wasn't going to read it I thought he was being an asshole on purpose. Sometimes he likes to get under my skin...just because. I do the same thing. It's how we roll.

He said he was funnier than me (whatevs) and that he just didn't think he could keep from telling me if he didn't like it or if he thought I should change something. Fair enough. Sometimes I just can't keep myself from telling him that I'm going to lose my shit if he gets one more water glass out and takes it somewhere in the house to sit for days until I go around and collect them all. 

I've decided it's a good thing that he doesn't read it. Gives me a lot more freedom. Ya know?

Last night we were talking when he asked how my blog was doing.

"It's good. I mean there aren't any publishers knocking down my door, but it's fun."

Charming: "Have you written about me lately?"

Me: "I don't know. Probably."

Charming: "Just tell me what you wrote."

Me: "No."

Charming: "Don't make me get all up in your blog."

Me: "Go ahead. Get ALL UP IN IT."

Charming: "I'll sue you. Sue you for...what is it when you sue someone for something they wrote about you?"

Me: "Libel. It's called libel. And here. Let me save you some time. My purse is over there. I'm pretty sure there's some loose change down at the bottom. It's all yours, baby."



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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And Then We Hung Our Heads in Shame

You may remember that we have two dogs and one of them is a rescue. If you're new here, we have two dogs and one of them is a rescue. Her name is Autumn. Autumn doesn't like baths. She really doesn't care much for water in general. This makes bathing her a damn nightmare. During the summer months I get out the water hose and bathe her outside. But it's winter and, even though we are in sunny California, it's not warm enough to do that.

I could do it in the bathtub, right? Wrong. Oh-so-wrong. I tried that once. It was on that day I realized that, up until that moment, I had never before witnessed anything that fit the description of "going apeshit". In a matter of minutes my bathroom became a porcelain hell of mud, dog hair, dirty water, and despair. I decided then and there that it was best for both of us that I not try that again.

Last Friday I was sitting on the couch petting Autumn and realized she was past due for a good scrub down. I decided I would not start drinking and instead face the situation head on. I remembered that a local pet store had a do-it-yourself dog wash area right outside of their grooming room. I thought this would be a great compromise between the freezing water the outside hose would deliver, and a hellacious scene that could only result in a total bathroom overhaul.  

When we got to the store I left her in the car while I went inside to find out how the operation worked. It would cost $12 and they would provide me with the bathing area, the shampoo, a towel, an apron for me, and a blow drier. They would also clean up afterwards which, in my opinion, alone was *worth the $12.

I go back to the car and open the back door. The time I spent in the store gave Autumn enough time to realize that something was awry. She dug in her hind feet and I had to drag her out of the car. Then into the store. Then all the way to the back to the bathing area. This was working out swimmingly.

The bathing area consisted of a tub that was sunk into a counter about waist height. There were four steps at the end of the counter so the dogs could walk themselves to the bathtub. I'd like to see that happen sometime. Autumn isn't a huge dog, but she weighs somewhere between 50 and 60 pounds, and I don't often pick up objects that weigh that much. Especially ones that have four legs and no interest in being placed in a hole in a counter top. But I somehow managed to get her off the floor and into the tub.

There was a leash attached to the wall that you could hook to the dog's collar. This is meant to help contain the "apeshit" episodes. I was extremely grateful for this particular feature. I pulled the faucet down and got to work as quickly as I could. She wouldn't stand up so I gave it my best effort with her sitting down. The bathing part went fairly smooth - she only attempted to jump out a couple of times but, thanks to the apeshit hook, was unsuccessful.

Since things had gone much better than anticipated, I decide to give the blow drier a shot. Because I don't know how to leave well-enough alone. I dry her off with the towel as much as I could and pulled the hose of the blow drier over to the tub (don't worry -  no standing water - no danger of electrocution). I hold it over her back and flip the switch to turn it on.

Did I just turn on a blow drier or A FREAKING JUMBO JET?

Why is it so loud? She's gonna freak out! Make it stop! Make it stop! Make it stop!

I fumble over the thing to find the switch and turn it off. I step back over to the tub and...what is that smelllll...ohno ohno ohno ohno.

I look down and find three. giant. turds. inthe. petstore. bathtub. Oh hells bells she done shat in the tub.

I somehow managed to get her out without getting it on her or me, which would have resulting in poop AND puke in the tub. I am frantically looking around to find something to clean it up but find nothing. I manage to flag down an employee to let her know what happened. And what does she do?

[On LOUD speaker] "Can we get a *clean up in the bathing area? Poop in the bathing area."

Guess who is WAS the only person in the bathing area.

If my kids aren't with me to make a scene in public, I can always count on the dogs to get the job done.





Monday, February 4, 2013

The Tooth Fairy is Worse Than Santa Claus

Dimples lost another tooth a couple of nights ago. Sometimes parents feel a little sad over lost teeth because it represents yet another step away from childhood. Another reminder that your baby is growing up. Not me. I get nostalgic about a lot of things, but lost teeth is not one of them. Because I hate the mother scratchin' Tooth Fairy.

I don't carry cash. I'm pretty sure leaving a check would be a dead give-away that something fishy is going on. The ATM doesn't dispense singles. Like hell I'm leaving twenty bones for a tooth. I'll bet stripper moms don't have this problem.

Dimples is not a terribly heavy sleeper. He sees every middle-of-the-night wakening as an opportunity to relocate to our bedroom. I don't like it when he relocates to our bedroom. He's a bed ninja. He sneaks in without me realizing it and then proceeds to kick me in the neck all night long. I don't like taking chances on accidentally stirring him from a peaceful slumber and being assaulted the rest of the night.

Not only do I not want him to wake up mid tooth/money switcheroo so he doesn't follow me back to bed, but I also don't want to be caught in the act. If he wakes up, I'm going to have to explain what I'm doing standing there hovering over his head with my hand under his pillow. Not to mention, this moment could also lead to the undoing of the giant web of lies we've created regarding other gift-giving characters that frequent the homes of children. You know who I'm talkin' about. I can actually feel my blood pressure rising as I'm standing there staring at his pillow. Wondering how the hell I'm going to get my hand under there without him noticing, especially since he's got both of his own sweaty little paws shoved underneath it, a tight grip around the plastic bag holding the tooth. Because we clearly don't love our kids enough to get them one of those fancy pillows reserved exclusively for tooth presentation.

As we were lying in bed arguing over who would draw the short straw this time (Charming did, as I gently reminded him that he was out of town the last TWO times the Tooth Fairy came to visit), I thought to myself, "I bet there are people out there that use this Tooth Fairy business as another way to go completely over the top and make people like me look like shitty parents." I did a quick Google search the next morning and whaddaya know. Of course there are. 

Okay. Let's clear the air on this issue right here and now because I know people tend to get their panties in a bunch when they think someone's taking shots at them. I get that. If you get a kick out of doing this kind of stuff for your kids, that's cool. I'm not making fun of you...I wish I had half of your motivation. But I don't. So, I'm basically making fun of my own laziness. You can either bask in the dim glow of parental mediocrity along with me, or try these ideas out yourself. Everyone wins. See how easy that was?

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a virtual plethora of Tooth Fairy ideas that I will never use.
  • There's a place that, for the bargain price of $10 plus shipping, you can send a custom message for them to fashion into a tiny (and I mean tiny) letter to leave for your child on the momentous occasion that a tooth falls out of their head. Keep in mind that kids lose an average of 20 teeth. Might want to hold off on this particular over-achievement until say...tooth 19. You know, so you don't make the Tooth Fairy look like an ass for all subsequent lost teeth. Unless you are just looking for ways to spend that extra $200 that's been annoyingly laying around.
  • Make fairy money using glitter hairspray. This one doesn't sound too hard. Except for the money part. Remember? I never have any of that. Also, it appears that you should prepare this ahead of time so it has time to dry. I don't prepare anything "ahead of time". It's really not my style.
  • Sprinkle Tooth Fairy Dust all over their bed to mark the Tooth Fairy's path during her visit. Uh uh. It's glitter, y'all. While I'm at it how about I smash up a bunch of Goldfish crackers in the carpet. 
  • Create a magical Tooth Fairy Door to attach to your child's bedroom wall so the fairy has a way to enter their room. Because the regular bedroom door just won't do. Go to your local craft store, buy a wooden dollhouse door (around $15), bring it home and fancy it up with paint and glitter and shit (another $10 or so if you don't already have it...as if), then affix it to their wall somewhere near their bed. I should really write a crafting blog. 
  • This made me laugh for real. Fold a dollar bill into a tiny origami basket. Riiiiight. I can't fold a simple paper airplane. Anyway, the point is to fold your dollar bill into a tiny basket and then leave a couple of GOLD DOLLAR COINS in it. Again...there's the dollar bill problem I can't seem to shake and, after adding in the coins, we're up to 3 bucks for one measley tooth. Come on, now. I haven't made 3 bucks off this blog. If you want to try it, there's a video on youtube that shows how to do it. I didn't watch it because, well...I didn't want to, but click here if you're so inclined.
  • And this just might be my favorite. You can get a picture of the Tooth Fairy visiting your little sweetums in the middle of the night. Visit here to make this magic happen. All you have to do is sneak a photo of your child sleeping and upload it to their website. You get to pick the fairy and pose that you photoshop into the pic and then upload to your computer. AND it only costs $10. It's actually only $9.99 (marketing GENIUS right there - squeezed it just under that $10 mark). 
I imagine the following would likely happen if I tried this:

CLICK. Oh shit. I forgot to silence my phone. And I forgot to turn off the flash.

Kid wakes up half blind. "What are you doing?"

Me: "Nothing. Go back to sleep."

Kid: "Did you just take a picture of me? Sleeping?"

Me: "No. Yes. You looked cute. It doesn't matter. Go back to sleep."

Kid: "How did you know I looked cute? It's the middle of the night."

Me: "Shut up.* Go. Back. To sleep. And DON'T follow me to my room."

*I have never told my kids to shut up. Yet.


  
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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Saturday Share - Week 6

I learned some things this week.

1. I have GOT to get better at saying no. I do. I'm not good at it because I don't want to be part of all the letting people down and disappointments and not helping. Also, I'm a schmuck in general. I agree to do things for people and organizations sometimes when I really don't want to, and I think they may even know when they ask because of the hollowness in my eyes when I nod and say, "Sure, I'd love to help with that particular project although everyone else has turned tail and run when they saw you coming." People have a radar for people like me. Sucker radar. 

2. I don't enjoy vote-grubbing. It makes me uncomfortable. I will never go into politics. Mostly because I hate politics, but also because of the vote-grubbing thing. Anyway. I'm in this Circle of Moms funny moms contest, so...Vote for me!

3. I'm a counter. My husband and father-in-law have this little saying that goes, "People who count aren't popular." It is mostly reserved for situations related to how many cupcakes one has eaten for dessert or getting out of taking responsibility for having more than your fair share of beers. But I can't keep it from ringing in my ears when I notice things like the fact that I got my 500th Facebook follower this week. I never in a million years thought I'd reach 500 people. I'm pretty psyched about it. All the more people to think I'm an idiot. Thanks for laughing at with me, you guys!

4. I think there are more WTF?! moments in this parenthood gig than all the other kinds of moments combined. Charming and I have been bitch-slapped upside the head by the you-suck-at-parenting-fairy on a couple of different occasions this week where we honestly had no idea what to do. The wheels on our bus flew off at full speed on two separate occasions and I'm just oh-so-grateful that Supernanny wasn't here to catch it on tape.

I didn't blog about those things - I wrote a letter to Tink with some "advice" for entering the teen years and then I wrote a letter to my family about being slobs. I was obviously into letter writing this week.

Moving on.

When I started the 'Saturday Share', I originally planned on always sharing a blog I've been reading. I'm still going to do that, but on occasion I'm going to share other things with you that I've found (probably somewhere on the internets).

Since it IS Super Bowl weekend and you have society's permission to indulge in all things terrible for you, I'm going to share an hors d'oeuvres recipe that my family LOVES. I also served it at a holiday party and it was gone in about 5 minutes. It's a Paula Deen recipe so you know it's gonna be good, y'aaaaall.

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
(This recipe yields 12-15 servings, but I recommend doubling it if you are having a big party.)

4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. package of sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes (start checking it around 25 minutes) or until bacon is crisp.


Wrapping the chicken cubes is a little high maintenance, but I'm telling you it's worth it. My family has been begging me to make it again and I'm thinking I might surprise them with this special treat this weekend. Enjoy!



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