Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"You clearly aren't a teenager"

So I have since I turned 42 a few weeks back I have been having a bit of a reality check.  I am in my 40's.  Leading up to 40 was kind of crappy.  Then when I turned 40 it wasn't too bad because a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant... something I had been hoping for for a really long time.  Then 41 came and it was still alright because I had my sweet little newborn.  Now at 42 I am officially IN my 40's.  Like the saying goes, "it is what it is"...and I was just going to have to accept it...plus, I thought, it's not like I LOOK like I am in my 40's.  I think I could easily pass for much, much younger.  Apparently the local police department does not feel the same.

I was pulled over the other night...I get my registration and license ready ( oh Chuck was in his car right behind me and he just drives right by me....way to have my back babe!)..the officer comes to my window and says, "your all set mam, we are looking for a silver minivan with 2 teenagers in it...you clearly aren't a teenager." "Hey that is police brutality!" I said. The officer chuckled and sent me on my way.

While driving home my rage began to build.  "Clearly"...really it was dark out, was it really that clear I wasn't a teenager?  Maybe I was a a wild, throw caution to the wind, hot wire a minivan and go for a joy ride, reckless teen.  How did he know without properly checking my ID?  Maybe I was driving around with a fake ID?  How did he know I wasn't 19 and still using my Joanie Jacamoni alter ego?  Now, of course none of that was true but did he have to put such emphasis on the word "clearly".  As the outrage grew during my little 1.5 mile drive home I decided I was not going to stand for this damn it!  

African American's had MLK, women had Gloria Steinem, the gay community had Harvey Milk, who the hell do the elderly have?  Betty White? Should I really call in Rose from the Golden Girls to defend my fellow octogenarians?  Because "clearly" I am over the hill.  I am calling the AARP and the protests will start at sundown I thought, looting of the local medical supply store to commence at midnight...walkers, canes and compression socks for all! 

 The day after I got pulled over I came home and found a message on my answering machine...it was AARP calling me about a subscription!   I have since received 2 more messages from them.  A$$holes! After careful consideration and the fear of potentially breaking a hip I called off the protests.  I did however ask Santa for a towel this Christmas...so I could throw it in!!  I am going to start watching Murder She Wrote and basically anything starring Angela Landsbury.  I just ordered myself one of those sweet housecoats you can only find in the back of the coupon magazines that come in the Sunday paper.  I stocked up on hard candies to have in a bowl on a side table and yes, I will have the requisite old person lace doilies under it.  Oh, and I am working on gathering plenty of nick-knacks to have on the table too.  Not sure why but once you hit a certain age your house seems to fill up with nick knacks and, according to the cop I am now that age.  Oh, and as I am typing this I have a  stash of tissues up my shirt sleeve...because you never know.  I am also wearing a sweatshirt with multiple layers of applique...because that's how grannies role.  I have secretly started weeding through the kids stuffed animals and anything on the smaller side now resides in the back window of my car, again, not sure what that is about, but, since I am "clearly" ancient I felt compelled to surround myself with stuffies.  While checking my email today I had a message in my inbox from "Senior Singles"...I am seriously considering checking that one out because, if you remember Chuck left me on the side of the while I was being stopped. 

So, as I carefully open the towel I asked Santa for this year, but before I throw it in, I will carefully fold up the wrapping  paper and save it for next year, because "clearly" that is what on old lady should do.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

21 Again!

So today is the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday.  I will save you the trouble.  I am 42 today.  How the hell did that happen?  I remember it taking FOREVER to get to my 21st birthday.  From 18-21 though only 3 years seemed like an eternity!  Though I did have some help from my friend Joanie Jacamoni.  She was a 21 year old, blond hair, blue eyed college student from Connecticut.  On occasion she would be my alias on Friday and Saturday nights.  Joanie and I really had no resemblance to each other but that didn’t matter.  I could have produced an ID with the picture of someone from a completely different race and I would have still been able to get into the Spaghetti Club.  I am sure some of my readers remember the Spaghetti club…the beers were cheap, the guys were cute and the night wasn’t complete without a few drunken rounds of us singing “December 1963” or the song better known as “Oh What a Night”.   God those were fun times!  I think my Fisher friends should all meet there for a reunion.
I was living in Spain when I turned 21.  Over there they don’t really have a drinking age so turning 21 isn’t the big deal it is over here.  There would be no drunken pub crawls, no going out with older friends to be initiated (at least legally anyway) no walks of shame the next morning.  Remember those S.L.?  I think you and I made the most epic walk of shame. Ever.  So not to feel like I was missing out on anything I decided to do something fabulous for my 21st birthday.  I went to Switzerland for a long weekend…by myself.  I visited the United Nations in Geneva..went to the International Red Cross Museum ( I was still young and idealistic and wanted to write global, child welfare policy so I was in my nerdy glory) and went sightseeing through the Alps.
The night of my actual 21st birthday I got all dressed up…even had a skirt on if you can believe that…and took myself out to a very swanky restaurant.  I hate looking like a tourist and at that time considered myself very cosmopolitan so I would always decline the English menu and opt for the menu in the native language.  So they handed me a menu in French.  Now, remember, I was living in Spain at the time and could manage quite well within the confines of the Spanish border.  I knew nothing about French.  Sorry Ms. Forti…I really should have paid more attention in your French 1 class.  But, I was not going to let my complete lack of ability to read the menu deter me.  As the waiter approached I pretended to study all of my options.  When it was time to order my dinner I said in my worst French accent, “blah-blah-blah…blah-blah…blah… avec champagne si vou plez”…in his worst English accent the waiter says you want, “blah-blah-blah…blah-blah…blah with champagne”.  Oui.  He again repeats what I order and confirms, yet again that I would like a glass of champagne with my meal.  OUI!  Now I am getting impatient.  So he brings me a glass of chilled champagne and smirks at me as he puts down my dinner.  Turns out I ordered a fried egg with cheese.  Of course I played it off like that is EXACTLY what I wanted for dinner.  Bon appetite! 
Oh, I almost forgot!  I either almost had the most romantic encounter with a European aristocrat or I almost became the inspiration for one of the Taken movies.  So earlier that day I was having some coffee at an outdoor cafĂ©… This beautiful man, the kind you only see in movies or magazines comes and sits at the table next to me.  He was a bit older than me…by maybe 25 years or so…but he was jaw droppingly handsome so I didn’t care.  He strikes up a conversation with me and we are having a really good time chatting.  He tells me that he lives up the mountain a little way and if I wanted he would love to show me around the little town he was from.  Now, of course I wanted to go.  Who wouldn’t want a personal tour of the Alps from a Peirce Brinson look-a-like?  But I thought better of it.  Now, like I said, I could have missed my chance to marry into European Royalty or I could have been chopped up into little pieces and strewn about the beautiful Swiss Countryside.  I will never know…
Fortunately, I survived my Alpine adventure…looking back now and having seen the movie Taken I am not sure I would let my girls move to a foreign country at 20 years old. 
Now, here I am 21 years later.  So for as slow as my first 21 years went by, the second 21 years have flown by!!  I cannot believe that I am 42.  I do kind of throw up in my mouth a little every time I say it.  I had a hard enough time turning 40…thankfully Chuck planned an amazing weekend away to soften the blow.  That being said, I can’t believe that was 2 years ago!!!  I wrote a blog post about turning 40…I will have to repost it.  I thought it was kind of funny.  Surprise, surprise…I ended up getting pregnant when I was 40 so that probably has made the past 2 years fly by.  But remember when you were young?  40 seemed SO old!  Now I am officially “in” my 40’s and I don’t feel old.  I still feel like I need to get someone’s permission when making big decisions…I don’t feel old enough to be responsible for someone else’s life, let alone 3 little lives… I don’t feel old enough to be getting mammograms…I don’t feel old enough to be having parent/teacher conferences… I don’t feel old enough to really be called middle aged…I guess I should channel my inner Joanie Jacamoni and have a good old fashioned out-out night and I am sure that will make me feel my age in no time!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I Believe...

Since I am blessed with so much free time, yeah right...I waste most of it analyzing my life.  Here are some truths I have come to wholeheartedly believe;

*  I believe that our cat Lucy is an A-hole with a capital A.  If I had not instilled in my kids that when you take a pet into your home it is forever, she would have been gone long ago.  Did you know house cats can live upwards of 20 years...Lucy is only about 8.  Awesome!

*  I believe we have failed Emily as parents.  At 14 months old she knows how to turn on the ipad, find Youtube and watch Peppa Pig.  Yet she struggles with her shape sorter.  McDonalds is always hiring I guess.

*  I believe Common Core math is the downfall of the American educational system.  After the struggles we have had with Sara and her 1st grade homework it may even become the final straw in her seeking emancipation from us.

*  I believe my recent prescription for a low dose sleep medication quite possibly saved my life.  I know for an absolute fact it kept my family from being the next topic of discussion on the Nancy Grace show.

*  I believe once Emily hits school we are going to be spending a lot of time in the principal's office.  She is unbearably cute but man is she a terror!  I already picture her sitting at her little school desk with her chair leaned back, feet on the desk, cracking all the students up with her fake burping sounds.

*  I believe I am pregnant.  Every month.  Dr. Romeo G., the jackass that botched my c-section is the same ass clown that performed my tubal ligation.  Did you know 5 out of every 1,000 tubals fail?  I am not liking those odds.

*  I believe that if Anderson Cooper and I ever met we would be BFF's.  I know he comes from untold fame and fortune, I mean he is a Vanderbilt after all...and I am just a regular, everyday housewife but he would get me.  Really get me and my sense of humor.  Come on Coop...give me a call so we can hang out!

*  I believe that the Dollar Tree should preemptively supply a needle and thread with their stuffed animals.  Anna loves to get one when we are there.   Within an hour of getting it home I have to go all Doc McStuffins on them and sew up a pulled apart seam.

*  I believe that despite being told all through my formative years that I can do anything I set my mind too, I really can't.   I need to give up the idea that I can be my own hairdresser.  I have tried countless times to color my own hair and guess what?  Every time it is a MAJOR fail.  The dark black hair I am sporting right now is exhibit A.  It was supposed to be "medium warm brown".

*   I believe that no matter how hard one tries, you can never, under any circumstance look cool driving a minivan. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It is.  Really.  From mid October thru Mid January is when I do some of my best parenting.  Why you ask, is my best parenting done during the fall and winter months?  Oh that is easy.  Threats abound.  Starting around October 15th, sometimes a few days earlier depending on the enthusiasm of my children I can start in with the whole, "well if you want to go Trick or Treating then you need to blank."  Blank can be clean your room, pick up the crafts, be nice to your sister...the list is endless really.

 October 31st comes and goes and then it is November 1st.  Have no fear my friends....my epic parenting is in full effect!  Because all I have to do is mention the elf.  Now technically our Elf on the Shelf does not come to stay with us until the day after Thanksgiving, but, just the mere mention of his name gets the kids back on the straight and narrow.  This year the girls have been really testing my patience.  Granted they have all been sick for over a month now, but still, there are some house rules that need to be followed regardless of the germ factor.  So in an effort to get them back on track I casually mentioned that there is a shortage of elves this year and they are being particularly selective in which families they go to visit. I told them how I saw on the news that very morning that since there were not enough elves for all the children they were only going to homes where the children were on their best behavior, they kept their rooms clean and who were nice to their moms.  Sara, my skeptic, did not believe me and wanted me to call her Auntie Jen.  I picked up the phone and dialed...Sara insisted I put it on speaker phone before she answered, lest I let my sister in on the deceit.  I told her Sara did not believe me about the elf shortage I heard about on the news.  My sister, who has executed similar lies in the past said not only did she see in on the news, she got an alert on her iphone the night before.  Well played Jen, well played.  As soon as I hung up Sara put her books away that had been lying on the floor for a few days.  It isn't Thanksgiving yet so I still have some time to keep up this charade until Buttery, our elf appears.  I really think the local TV stations should put together some phony PSA's about this elf shortage.  They seriously would be doing such a great community service for their viewers.  I would even pay one of the local anchors to make one...hint, hint

Once the elf is here it is smooth sailing until Christmas.  If the kids misbehave all I have to do is glance Buttery's way and they snap right back into doing the right thing. Santa comes and brings the girls their presents and that is all well and good, but it doesn't end there.  Santa has 2 weeks to come and take their stuff back if they are acting like turds.  So now you can see why for me it is...the most wonderful time of the year!! 

Now, thankfully my kids know that I am not going to write a check I am not willing to cash.  Once, several years ago we were at Friendly's and they acted up as soon as we sat down.  Well, no sooner did I scoop them up and leave without so much as a sip of their drinks.  If they were going to act like heathens then no special lunch for them.  Ever since then I have been able to take them to any restaurant and they have the best restaurant manners around.  Just last summer they were told they needed to clean their room by noon time on Labor Day if they wanted to go to the Duck Race...an event they look forward to all year.  They had a good 3 day lead time on that one.  The clock ticked down and they didn't get it done.  Guess what?  No duck race.  They were devastated to learn they needed to wait an entire year for it to come around again.  Yeah, it sucked for me because I love the duck race also, but, it bought me a little insurance if you will...they know I mean business and I mean what I say.  It is just nice to have some helpers from time to time...aka; Buttery the Elf, Santa and the Easter Bunny.

I have heard parents say they are not going to do the Elf because they don't want to "threaten" their kids as a parenting technique.  To that I say; their kids must still be too young to have discovered free will.  Once they realize they are truly in control of what they do there is no going back.  All bets are off and parenting becomes like a Darwinian experiment...survival of the fittest.  I am older and stronger so I am going to prevail...even if I have to play psychological mind games with my offspring.

 Now, I am all about teaching my kids to do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing...but that is what the other 8 months out of the year are for.  I like to think of this as my little parental vacation.  I spend so much time and energy in trying to be a good mom, role modeling for them that I feel I deserve to coast for a few months out of the year.  Oh, and I get a little break in the spring too.  Thank God for the Easter bunny.  He gives me a 2 week reprieve leading up to his arrival. 

So if you hear me humming to myself about it being "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"  you will know it really has nothing to do with the birth of baby Jesus but everything to do with me and my quality Holiday parenting.  Oh and don't forget...Santa's watching!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Augmentin...not just for ear infections anymore!!

Totally throwing in the towel.  I have completely given up on trying to anything close to "parenting" today.  I just gave my 13 month old a Kit-Kat for breakfast.  For my foreign blog followers that is a chocolate covered cookie. 

 All 3 of my girls are sick.  All 3 have croup so they have been coughing all night to the point of puking.  Gotta love changing phlegm filled sheets at midnight, 2 AND 3 a.m. Sara has a fever, that is awesome because she is so even keeled baseline, yeah right, throw in a fever and... we have Cybil. 

 Anna is weepy and crying over EVERYTHING.  She has spilled her cereal on the couch twice already...both times completely devastating.  

My lower back has been teetering on the edge of breaking for several days now.  My back finally gave out picking Em up as she tried to crawl off the bed.  Took 4 Tylenol and 1 Advil...can at least move now.

As I was making breakfast Anna gave Em the tissue box "because she wanted it" and she pulled out all the tissues and shredded them on the floor.

Gave Em one of these egg muffin cups I made for my Weight Watchers challenge I am doing, she seemed to love it up until she didn't...then puked it all up on her highchair tray.  

It is only 6:35.  Though it feels like midday since I have been up since midnight.  But that's ok.  Really, it is.  You see I am really, really close to breaking the world record for surviving on the least amount of sleep ever.  Since I gave Emily, still technically an infant, candy for breakfast I may be out of the running for "Mother of the Year 2014"...the complete lack of sleep may be the only accolade I receive this year.  I am a little sad, I was pretty sure I had a decent shot at that Mother of the Year trophy.  Oh well, there is always 2015.

On top of croup Emily has an ear infection.  I am just going to say it...it flat out sucks trying to give a strong willed baby medicine when you have no back muscles to actually hold said baby in any kind of productive way.  I did however realize that in a pinch dried Augmentin can be used to patch drywall.  When that sh*t dries it is like flippin cement.  I know this because with each dose I give about half of it ends up on my clothes, the couch or Emily's face.  It is a bitch to try and get off once it sets in.  

Another valuable lesson I have learned; having a snot-nosed toddler is a very slippery slope to full on white trash.  The girls and I have made that transition with ease.  If Maury and Jerry Springer were out for a walk together and they happened upon my house they would have a knock-down drag out to have us as an exclusive.  Now, fortunately I do know who the father of my children is so I have that going for me, beyond that the girls and I could very easily replace Mama June and her disgusting brood without anyone noticing.  The house is beyond messy.  It is bordering on squalor.  Every craft supply we have is strewn across the floor in the kitchen.  Emily loves to take the cat's dry food and add it to their water bowl, she is convinced they like this sloppy stew she makes for them.  They do not.  The dishes are piled up and if I don't get a burst of energy and actually load the dishwasher it is looking like the kids will be drinking their milk out of Tupperware bowls at lunch time.  I could always play that one off to having a "Turn a Round Tuesday"  where we do everything silly and different.  Huh, like that one?  I am good when forced into a sleep deprived corner.  There are toys everywhere.  I also walked in the kitchen and heard a crack.  I stepped on a plastic spoon.  Turns out there is a whole box of plastic spoons flung around the floor.  Yeah, that's about right. The couch no longer has cushions on it, obviously.  There are cracker crumbs ground into any open floor surface.   If DCF were to show up at my door I am sure the media would be alerted and you would see us on the 6 o'clock news dubbed the next "House of Horrors".  Victoria, I will give you the exclusive rights to the story. 

The baby's face is constantly covered in snot.  I have tried keeping up with it but it is like trying to tame Niagara Falls with a fishing net.  Really, what's the point?  Oh and get this...Emily has amazing timing with meeting her developmental milestones.  Just this weekend she figured out her finger fits perfectly inside her nose!  Yay! (that was said in a quiet, sarcastic voice with my hands half halfheartedly raised)  So now in addition to blowing snot bubbles she lovingly picks stuff out and gets so excited to share her treasures with whomever is the closest to her.  I swear Sara is this close to having an aneurism from seeing Emily constantly digging for gold.  So every now and then Em's nose does take a break and that is fun.  It crusts over and then I have the privilege only mommies get of picking someone else's nose.  I do try to wipe her face clean from time to time, the boogers act like crazy glue so her face is constantly covered with lint, cat hair and just general household grime...but whenever she sees the cloth coming she breaks into what I like to refer to as "the Matrix mode"...she can twist, turn and contort her little 20 pound body in ways that defy all laws of physics. Emily just crawled into the kitchen with a wad of cat hair stuck to her hand...I can only imagine how that went down...patting the cat saying "Niii" (that is how she says nice) and the cat more than likely tried to escape but the cat had no real chance...baby snot is a formidable opponent...the cat ran and the fur stayed.  Poor kitty.  Oh, great news!!  the antibiotic Emily is on will give her diarrhea...her pedi told me so.  Isn't that fantastic?  Looking forward to that!   I was thinking of jumping on the whole Ebola freakout bandwagon and picking up some Tyvek suits from Home Depot.  Maybe that way I have a fighting chance of not getting covered in baby snot again today.  But then I figured, meh who cares?  I will just add my crusted over sweats to the 30 other loads of gross laundry we already have.. 

Anna just asked me for a snack and wanted Halloween candy.  I said, sure, whatever you want.  She said, "mom it IS still kind of morning."  Yeah, I know...I am just too tired to be a good mom today.  She looked at me kind of confused, the look was only fleeting as she ran to the candy bowl and loaded up on Smarties and Peanut Butter cups.

I have given up.  I do blame it on my kids.  Seriously, they are kind of little sh*ts...they could have staggered their illnesses, maybe one a week overlapping at the most 2 kids for no more than 12 hours.  They have been doing that for the past 2 months and I have been keeping up.  All 3 at once?  UGH!!!  I am thinking I must have been jack the Ripper in a previous life.  Honestly, why else would I be punished like this?  I love Emily more than life itself, however, having a child at 40 sounded like a good idea...when it was a hypothetical.  I am going to be 42 in a few weeks.  I am too old for this crap!!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No pants? No problem.

So the other day I took Sara to the dentist.  In the waiting room there was a mom with 4 children.  They all kind of looked like her so I assume they were all hers.  Two of them were wild--with a capital 'W".  One of them, about 3-4 years old had a dirty shirt on and a diaper.  That was it.  No pants.  Now, the old me would have totally shook my head and thought "what an awful mother."  When I say "old" I mean me-- but before I had kids.  I have said this over and over again and I will say it until the cows come home; I was an awesome mom---before I had kids.  But the mom version of me barely glanced at the kid in a diaper and just kind of gave the other mom a slight head nod, like, "yeah...been there."  Most days I can hardly get pants on myself, let alone a defiant preschooler and you just have to pick your battles.  I am sure that mom was having a "day".  That is what I call days when everything goes wrong, the kids are acting like turds, and I just want to hit rewind and start all over.  I call them "days" because I don't really think they are bad days...any day I wake up and my children are still with me and healthy is a good one.  So I just go with 'days'.  So why do I bring this up?  Because, like I said, the old me would have been so judgmental of that mom.  Sadly, I am sure she got a lot of holier than thou looks that day...and what is even sadder is that I bet most of them came from other moms.

I never really believed in the whole "Mommy Wars" concept.  I thought it was just a myth started by some writer for a ladies magazine that was short on material with a deadline looming.  This past week I have seen some pretty nasty things that made me realize the mommy war is real and the battle is raging!

I am part of a few Facebook groups for moms.  They are meant to be a place where moms can go and ask questions in a supportive, non judgmental way.  There are so many times I see a post and think to myself, really? Did they just really ask that?  If I don't have any value to add to the conversation I just don't say anything.  If there is a topic I don't agree with, some of the hot topics are vaccinations, sleep training, VBAC's, healthy foods, I just stay out of the thread and go on with my life.  Just because I don't agree doesn't mean I am right and they are wrong or vice versa.  The anger and downright meanness coming from those groups and some online articles with comments posted to them, have made me see that despite what I thought, us moms aren't all in this together and moms can be a pretty judgmental group.

I have my own way of parenting my children.  My friends might do it a little different.  Hell, Chuck does it differently.  Many people have the complete opposite style from me.  You know what?  We are all doing what we think is best for our kids.  There is no right or wrong way to parent.  I believe you do what is best for your particular family.  Now, if I see someone beating their kids, then yes, I would call them out on it.  Short of physically harming your child I am going to let you deal with your kids your way and I will deal with mine my way. 

So that being said, here is how I am raising my children;

The only time I buy organic foods is when they are on sale and they are the better price point for the item I am purchasing.

I vaccinate myself and my children.  I don't believe the government is trying to poison us and I don't believe they cause Autism.  I do believe in protecting my kids from dreaded diseases.

My girls love frozen waffles with butter, syrup, chocolate chips and sprinkles for breakfast.  I off set it with healthy choices the rest of the day.

Emily, who is my lightest, fairest child loves playing with a very dark skinned black baby at her playgroup.   She is so happy playing with that baby I put a black baby doll at the top of her list for Santa.

Anna loves wearing superhero undies.  A black Batman pair is her favorite.

I don't feel my house is really clean until it smells like good, old fashioned Comet and bleach.  I don't feel vinegar does the trick.

I had a repeat C-section...could have tried for a VBAC but didn't want to blow out my uterus.  I labored for 36 hours with Sara before having a section.  24 hours of that was un-medicated, not by choice...just a bunch of hippie nurses telling me I didn't need them.  The last 12 hours I labored much more comfortably with a constant flow of pain medication and that was WAY better!!

I don't allow electronics during meal times, at restaurants or in the car (except if it is a really long car ride, like more than 1.5 hours).  I think my girls should be able to entertain themselves and I think ipods/ipads in a restaurant are rude. I also believe there should be family conversations around the dinner table. Every night we all go around and talk about the favorite part of our day.

In that same vain I limit their TV watching during the day.  For no other reason except it makes my life easier.  They are total nags when they zone out in front of the TV, "Mom, I need a snack"..."Mom can you gt me a drink?"...if they are off playing they are much less work for me.

I have used the proper names for all their body parts from the get-go.  They know girls have a vagina and boys have a penis.  At the same time I totally lie to them on super hot or super cold days...I say the news reporters said we have to stay in today due to the weather.

I am not a huge advocate for co-sleeping with your kids.  I like having my own bed.  That being said, Emily was in her crib for 12 months and now at 13 months she has been joining us in bed at around midnight.

Sara is going to be 7 next week.  Her favorite TV show is The Middle.  I let her watch it.  She also loves any type of doctor show, for her the gorier the better.  Again, might not be the most appropriate shows, but I let her watch them.

She also knows about my not so secret crush on Anderson Cooper.  She knows that the Coop and I could never be together...not just because I am married to Chuck, she knows that the Silver Fox has a boyfriend.  It is just another random fact to her because, like Katy Perry says, "it's no big deal!"

Speaking of Katy Perry, my girls (Emily included) prefer her music to that of Laurie Berkner (a great kid's singer).

There is a bully in Sara's class.  They have been together for the past 2 years.  The girl is relentless.  I have given Sara some problem solving skills...ignore her, walk away, tell the teacher...they haven't worked.  Just the other day I finally told her just to be mean right back to her.

I think the score should be kept in little kid's soccer & baseball games.  Sometimes in life there is a winner and sometimes a loser.  Good life lesson to work harder.

I don't throw the game to let my kids win when we play a board game.  The winner is the winner fair and square.

I make my kids wear helmets every time they get on their bikes, even if they are riding a tricycle.

I had my kids later in life.  My vocabulary was already well established.  Swears sometimes just come out.

The biggest debate of all....Stay at Home Mom vs. Working Mom!!  I work part time.  I feel like I have the luxury of being a mostly stay at home mom.  On the days I am home I can't wait to get out of the nut house.  On the days I work I gripe about having to get everyone ready and out of the house on time.  I see the pros and cons to being a stay at home mom and a working mom...and truth be told, if I had to pick I am not sure which side of the fence I would come down on.

So that is my parenting style.  Chuck's is different.  When I am not home it is a whole different ball game.  We don't always see eye to eye on issues, but the kids are alive and happy when I come home from work so that is all that matters.

I am not saying I do it all perfect.  I know I don't.  I make it up as I go along each day.  I am sure I am doing many things right...I am just as sure I am doing things my children will bring up in therapy later in life.  I am pretty sure the perfect parent is as real as a purple, flying unicorn. 

So the next time you see a kid out and about without pants...don't judge...just be thankful you were able to get your kids dressed before heading out into the world.  Because at one time or another we are all going to be 'that parent'. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Electric! Boogie, woogie!

Yeah the story I am about to tell you is a lot less fun than the Electric Slide...

Sorry I have been MIA lately, a whole lot going on and at the same time nothing really going on.  I have been meaning to sit down and write a blog but I just have not had more than 3 minutes to myself the past few weeks.  The following are a few things some of my faithful blog readers might get a kick out of.

So a few posts back I mentioned I was suffering from carpal tunnel and I needed to have an EMG.  Well, surprisingly EMG did not stand for the "Easy Muscle Guidance" I was hoping.  Oh no my friends.  There was nothing easy about this test.  Not by a long shot.  So I walk in the room and I see a bunch of electrodes, computer screens and a bed.  The doctor has me get up on the bed and take my shoes off.  Huh, shoes off, oh it must be so I don't get the bed sheets dirty...sure no problem.  I took them off and got comfortable.  IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH KEEPING THE BED CLEAN!!!  It was so I wouldn't kick them at the doctors head as he shocked the sh*t out of my poor T-Rex arms!  After hooking me up he said, and I quote, "you might feel a slight tingling".  Effin Bastard was a LIAR!  After the first pulse I shrieked like a school girl.  It hurt like a son of a bitch.  He would shock me and move the probe to another part of my arm.  I could see the electrical wave length on the computer...sometimes it would spike up and sadly other times it didn't.  I quickly learned that was not good.  It meant he would have to shock the same spot again, only this time he would dial it up a bit...literally, he would spin the dial up a few notches to get a higher voltage.  I would sit there all tensed up, barely breathing waiting for this torture to end.  Finally after about 10 minutes it did.  Then on to another fun part of the test.  He took super long needles, stuck them right into my arm, deep into my muscle and then he made me move my arm to measure the muscle.  That was awful, but believe it or not it was way better than getting shocked for 10 minutes straight.  I survived!  Thank Christ!  Then it hit me...he was going to have to do the same exact thing on the other arm.  At this point I am vibrating with either pain, electricity or sheer fear...or a combo of all 3.  So I try to make small talk to at least have some sort of distraction during this very, very uncomfortable procedure....that is the Child Life Specialist in me.  Well, I get the one person on the planet with absolutely no sense of humor...at all.  I was saying how this torture device could come in handy, imagine if your nemesis came in for an EMG...you could dial up the voltage and really make them your b*tch.    Now, I know the first rule of medicine is first due no harm...well I am calling BS on that because this test really was causing me harm, but this doctor didn't even crack a smile, he just said as dry as can be, "I never thought to do that...I would never do that"...now come on!!  Never crossed your mind?  Like ever?  I find it really hard to believe that in between patients when he is alone in his chamber of pain he never thought of ramping it up a point or two for some belligerent a-hole of a patient.  I like to think of myself as a kind, compassionate person but let me tell you, if anyone were to cross my children I have at least 3 murder plots in my head I could pull from on a moments notice.  But hey, I guess that is just me.  I survived the test, put my shoes on and hit the road.  I swear to God I was so full of electricity, if my car died that day, or who we kidding?... anytime that month all I would need to do is open the hood, lay my hands on the battery and it would start right up.  I was afraid to take a shower for fear of electrocuting myself but I did my community service and did bathe....you are welcome.  Fortunately my muscles/nerves were fine and at this point I don't need surgery...even if it flares up again I am just going to pretend everything is just fine...

So Sara has been super sick this past week.  High, high fevers for 5 days, stomach pains, etc.  Thankfully she is fine now, but it was a miserable stretch.  So one night at about 3:30 she woke up absolutely miserable.  She was burning up and her fever was 104.  Of course all I have at home are grape chewable Advil tablets and berry flavored generic Tylenol.  Sara will only take Grape flavored liquid Advil.  I know this and for some God forsaken reason I only remember this smack dab in the middle of the night...never in the afternoon while I am leisurely strolling the aisles at CVS.  Yeah right, when was the last time I ever did anything leisurely?  Sometimes I make myself laugh...but I digress...so here I am finding myself driving to a 24 hour pharmacy at 4 a.m.  It is really dark and spooky out, of course their is really thick fog to add to the already unpleasant drive.  I see a shadow up ahead...it is an elderly lady walking down the street at 4 a.m.  OK, so now I am freaked out...did I really see her? Is my mind playing tricks on me and it was just a thick patch of fog?  Was it a ghost?  She did have a bright orange vest on so I am hoping it was just an octogenarian out for her early morning constitution.  Either way it was super creepy and it made me speed it up a bit.  So now I am a few towns away about a mile from the 24 hour CVS I was heading to when I come upon a 24 hour Rite Aid.  I slam on the brakes and pull into the Rite Aid.  Now, if you have never been to a Rite Aid at 4 a.m. let me tell you...It is quite the adventure.  There were only a handful of us in the store and I can say with almost 100% certainty I was the only one with anything close to a full set of teeth.  At first I didn't see anyone.  I am wandering around seemingly alone when I happen upon one sales associate sitting on the floor.  She had a bunch of products strewn about on the floor in what looked like an attempt to restock the shelves.  I say attempt because there was only one box of tooth whitening kits on the shelf and she didn't look like she had much energy, or desire for that matter to place any more kits on the shelf.  I asked her where the children's pain relievers were and she halfheartedly  pointed me towards an empty wall.  OK then.  I ventured on because wandering the aisles of a Rite Aid in the middle of the night was clearly something on my agenda for the day.  I stumble upon a young guy and ask him where the children's meds were.  Just as I ask him I notice  they are right in front of me and man does that strike him as funny.  He laughed and laughed like this was the funniest thing in the world...ever!  He may or may not have been under the influence of an illegal substance.  The only other person in the store looked like a stereotypical, pedophile-looking creepy guy.  Kinds of looked like Kev from the show Derek.  (Side note:  if you have not seen the Netflix show Derek, you NEED to check it out!  So, so good!)  Now, in defense of the creepy pedophile I did look a bit white trash myself.  OK, really white trash.  Had I wanted to, I could have driven to the Rite Aid or the Jerry Springer show and fit right in either situation.  I had on some black yoga pants...I know, ironic as I have never once done yoga.  Needless to say I don't exactly have a "yoga" body and should not, under any circumstance wear yoga pants without an extremely long shirt over them.  I did not have that type of shirt on.  I had whatever T-shirt I was wearing to bed.  I may or may not have had a bra on.  A sweatshirt and baseball hat.  Flip flops or sneakers tied the look together.  I was so sleep deprived I can't remember which.   So as this guy is skulking around the store looking for God knows what I find what I need and head to the checkout.  Of course, because I was really looking to get in and out quick there was no one to be found.  I start to head back to the back of the store to find the oh so helpful sales associates.  Emphasis on the ASS.  As I am walking back there I am thinking this is the perfect store/time for someone to rob them blind...at least of the stuff in the front of the store.  The two workers are sitting on the floor between the aisles all the way in the back of the store.  Oh and yeah, they are stoned out of their ever loving minds.  So if any of my blog readers happen to be of the criminal persuasion and you need to find your next place to rob, you're welcome...oh and I'll take some packs of Nyquil if you can score some.  I also come to the realization that if some sh*t were to go down, I am the brains of the group and I would have to go all Rambo on their asses.  Thankfully we did not come under siege from a marauding gang of suburban hooligans. After circling the store several times I find myself in the checkout line behind our local version of "Kev" and he is arguing with the saleslady, who if you remember correctly is not of her right mind.  He is arguing over a 30 cent price difference.  They went back and forth for a good 4 minutes.  I wanted to punch them both in the throat, take my Grape friggin Advil and go.  I did not.  Why?  Not because I felt the moral obligation not to steal that sh*t, but because I know I would mostly likely get arrested and if anyone, anywhere EVER saw the God awful mugshot that would be taken I would have to enter witness protection.  I would never be able to live that one down.  So I stand and patiently wait my turn as I come up with several very plausible ways to dispose of a body and never be caught.  Consider yourselves warned.  So I finally get home, give Sarita her meds and try to shake off that whole experience.  Sara is much better now and I have Grape Advil on my shopping list and trust me, I will make sure we never run out of it again!

Last but not least we have a thief living among us.  For the privacy of my children and just in the off chance she may want to run for public office someday I will not divulge her name.  So one day we headed out to get some stuff at Wal-Mart.  I had a list ready and prepared the kids ahead of time we were not getting anything that was not on the list.  No Exceptions.  Of course they bombard me the second we get in the store.  We are in the craft section and one of them sees a red feather boa and asks for it.  I remind her yet again we are not straying from the list.  She begrudgingly puts it back and gives me the stink eye the entire rest of the trip.  A few hours later we are home and one of them pulls a large red feather from behind her back and asks the other one if she wants it.  The one not holding the feather asks if she got it from Wal-Mart and she says "yeah".  Well that is it!  The one sister, who happens to be of the anxious variety starts panicking.  "You stole that!", "You are going to go to jail!", "What if the police find out?"...the phone rings and she is having a full blown anxiety attack...she is sweating, turning pale, crying and trembling "Mom, is that the police?"  "Are they coming to get ________?"..."What are we going to do?".   Mind you, the stealee is cool as a cucumber.  I assure the nervous nelly that the police were not on the phone and they were not coming to get her sister.  So the criminal totally has her defense in place...."_______ it is only one feather...it is not a big deal."  This sets the other one off again.  Now I know that I am going to have to address this with my delinquent child but, it was not the time.  I could not gather myself together enough to complete a sentence without giggling.  So I let it go.  The next day I am alone with the crook and I bring up the illegal feather.  I ask her about the red feather.  I ask her if she took it from Wal-Mart and she said yes.  I said, "you didn't have any pockets of a coat on, where did you put it?"...""in my pants" is the answer I got.  We had a whole chat about having to pay for things, even just one feather, etc., etc.  It ended in tears and me apologizing to her about how it is my job to teach her what is OK and what isn't and I must not have done a good job teaching her about ownership.  So we moved on.  A few days later it hit me...she hid the flippin feather in her pants...so that goes to state of mind; she knew what she was doing was wrong!!!  She covered up her crime.  She is good, wickedly so.  Just like a true con artist...she turned it all around so I was the one who felt like I had done wrong.  Well played my nefarious little felon...well played indeed.

So like I said, not as fun as the electric slide, but it will have to do for now.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Holla, Holla...it's all about the dollar!!

If you did not read that in a sing-song voice with a wicked Boston accent please go back and do so.  OK,great.   So living in a small town can be kind of like ground hog day.  Same thing over and over again.  Well my friends, something VERY EXCITING happened in our small town recently.  I was driving home alone one evening when it caught my eye.  Green and yellow flags atop the local strip mall gloriously flapping in the breeze.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  I let out a scream and I am not going to lie...my eyes did mist over.  The Dollar Tree was coming soon!!!  It said so right on the sign.  I was grinning from ear to ear.  I could not stop smiling.  I don't remember being this happy since the day I found out we were really going to have another baby.  I felt like I was going to explode... I was elated!  I felt as though I needed to share my joy, I grabbed my cell phone, now if you know me you know I am not one that makes cell phone calls all willy nilly.  But this, this was a big deal.  So I start to dial home to let Chuck in on this unbelievable good fortune our town was the lucky recipient of.  I did think better of it and hang up before the first ring.  I mean it would just add evidence to his argument that I am a total and complete nerd.  I can honestly say that when I did get home and share what could quite possibly be some of The. Best. News. EVER!! He did not share in my excitement in the way he should have.  Whatever....nothing was going to bring me down from my Dollar Tree high.

So I waited a few weeks for the opening.  It was like counting down the birth of a child.  Sadly I had to miss the grand opening.  I had to work and though I tried to rationalize it in my mind, I just could not justify calling out to hang out at "the Tree".

So I take the kids and head over on the second day it was open.  I am just going to put it out there; it was all that I expected AND MORE!!!  All of the craptastic products in perfect lines on sparkly clean shelves!  Employees only 2 days in so they were still excited about being there!  And get this, our Dollar Tree has a frozen food section!  I have never seen that before.  When I walked over and saw it I swear it was as if the heaven's opened up and angels came floating down singing and sprinkling fairy dust.  I believe, though I have no scientific proof, but, I may have had an out of body experience in that very moment. 

 If you have never been in a Dollar Tree you have not truly lived.  Now you may have been in a Family Dollar, Dollar General, All for a Dollar or in the case of my Spanish friends a Todo por Cien store, but, they are NOT the same.  Oh no my friends, they are world's apart.  If you have never had the good fortune of strolling through a Dollar Tree let me set the scene for you.  Everything is one dollar...none of this 2, 3, 4 or 5 dollar crap you encounter at the other stores.  It is great for the kids, they can practice their early math skills and great for me because I suck at math.  But at Dollar Tree I know if I purchase 5 items it is going to be 5 dollars.  So you might be wondering what can you get at the Dollar Tree?  EVERYTHING!!  I am not sure if there is something they pump into the air in their stores, or perhaps they have subliminal messages strategically placed throughout, but man, when you are in there you feel compelled to buy it all!  On my most recent trip I got an odd assortment of crap.  I was a bit under the weather so I bought Dollar Tree "Nyquil"  at 10 cents a pill I was a bit skeptical of their efficacy and guess what?  I was proven right, they didn't work.  But did I care?  Nope, they were only a dollar.  However, that did leave me less than enthused to try the deodorant I bought there.  I tried it on a day I was home and would have minimal interaction with society, you're welcome...not the best wetness protection, but in a pinch it will do.  Plus, again...only a dollar.  The "unscented" hairspray has a very  heavy perfumey smell so I will not be wearing that to work.  I did get a ton of stuff for Emily's first birthday party.  Oh how the times have changed.  Sara, my first born, had a circus themed party....complete with a rented popcorn machine, circus music, ring toss and shooting gallery games.  It was a Pintrest worthy party before Pintrest was even around!  Emily is our third so I ran to the dollar store and got some cutsey paper goods.  The poor third child...all the cliches are true. That being said, the Dollar Tree has a great party goods section and really cool mylar balloons.

They also have a great "teacher" section.  For about ten bucks I got some teacher stuff and set up a classroom at home for Sara.  We also got a bunch of stuff (place mats, salt and pepper shakers, aprons, etc) and set up a restaurant for Anna to play Yum, Yum. Yummy-o's in my Tum, Tum, Tummy-o's (the name of her pretend restaurant).  Next up is a bunch of office supplies so the girls can play office.  Oh, I also got a new set of measuring cups...the whole set a buck!  At around the same time my husband bought a new set of Cake Boss measuring cups for 18 dollars!!!  Sorry, but that is friggin ridiculous.  With that I could have bought the measuring cups and 17 other things!  And don't get me started on the $15 can opener he bought...when the Dollar Tree one works just the same. 

I do have my standards though and there are a few things even I will not buy at the Dollar Tree.  One dollar hair coloring.  Nope, can't do it.  4 dollar hair coloring from Wal-Mart?  Bring it on.  Though I did realize the other night why they put a cape around you at a salon.  If you see me Chuck is not trying to murder me, those are not bruises around my neck.  Just hair coloring gone astray.  I also did not purchase a one dollar pregnancy test.  For one, no reason to, I am not and never will be pregnant again.   For another, I don't imagine them being that accurate.  I know some say they can detect pregnancy hormones 4 days before your missed period, some claim 5 and even 6 days before!  I am pretty sure if I read the fine print on the Dollar Tree pregnancy test it would say it can detect pregnancy hormones at about 39 weeks gestation.  So about that frozen food section.  They sell Italian ice, ok, I might get those on a whim.  It is just flavored ice, can't be that bad, right?  But they sell eggs.  Now I am not claiming to be a farmer or anything but I imagine the young sprightly chicks lay eggs and they are shipped to Shaws, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods.  I know when I purchase eggs from Market Basket they are probably being pushed out of some middle-aged chicken's ass.  Fine, I can live with that.  But, I got to think the chickens laying eggs for the Dollar Tree have to be about 100 years old.  Poor Gertrude and Millie are in the golden years and they are forced to sh*t out eggs at a profit of about 3 cents an egg.  Just can't do it.  My husband on the other hand recently bought frozen meatballs at "the Tree".  Yup, you read that right.  They are 'Circle "A" Ranch' brand.  I think the "A" might stand for A$$hole.  As in "what kind of a-hole would buy meatballs from the Dollar Tree?"  Anyway, he did and they all liked them.  Fortunately I am a vegetarian so I had a free pass from eating them.  I am sure it is a safe bet I would have been fine eating them...can't imagine at less than 7 cents a meatball they contain much meat.  Sawdust? Perhaps.  Meat? Doubtful.  If you are interested they also carry pork loin, fresh chicken drum sticks and salmon filets in the refrigerated section.  In reality maybe a dollar is closer to what it truly costs to produce these food items, but, I am not entirely sure that even if I did eat meat, I would ever, under any circumstances purchase these particular food items from a dollar store...the chicken in particular.  I think you are just asking for salmonella, worms in your brain from the pork and God knows what from the fish.

So there you have.  My new reason for living. Well, at least for staying put in this little town a bit longer...the Dollar Tree has given me a new lease on small town life.  As a matter of fact, as soon as I finish this blog I will be picking up the kids and heading back to "The Tree"...Holla!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

So I have not been sporting my wedding ring much lately and my supermodel good looks have been suffering a bit as well.  Let me put any rumors or theories to rest.  My marriage is great.  Fantastic actually!  I can see why a few people have asked if everything is alright...I look like hell, dark circles under my eyes, a catatonic stare and, as of late, no wedding rings.  Again, let me reiterate; Chuck and I are fine, really we are, that being said, I believe someone is out to get me.  I have this nagging suspicion someone is slowly killing me. I can't prove this hunch, but, I think it is Emily.  Yes, my darling daughter may just be the cause of my demise.  When Chuck called home the other morning I told him I believed I may be living my last day here on Earth...that I was not long for this life.  Let me lay the case out against Emmie and you can decide for yourself...

Why do I believe Emily is slowly killing me?  Well, there is no one big thing but many, many little things that when combined together are not compatible with life.  Let me start at the bottom and work my way up.  Literally, I am starting at the bottom.  My feet. So I know it is typical a woman's foot may grow during pregnancy.  Mine did with Sara, my first child.  They went from a 6 to a 6 1/2.  Fine, I can deal with that.  When I was carrying Anna my feet stayed put at 6 1/2.  So I figured that would be it.  Nope, with Em they grew again!!  Now I have a 7- 7 1/2 depending on the shoe.  Now I really don't care about the actual number, but, I have tiny bird ankles...the only thing on me I can confidently describe as tiny!  So when I am forced to wear a size 7 1/2 shoe my feet not only look as if they are ensconced in a cement block, it kind of feels that way too.  It does something to my center of gravity and I am constantly tripping over my own feet.  It makes me wonder?  Was her plan to take me out in some "accidental" trip and fall?  Either way I am putting Jim Sokolove's number on speed dial.

Now moving up a bit to my belly.  Or the misshapen blob that holds the place of what used to be my belly.  I am not going to revisit the 'hole in my belly' fiasco, and I don't want to call anyone out on that but, Emily may have some ownership on that one.  So my stomach has settled into this terrible squared off formation.  I guess this  is what people refer to as the "new normal".  My new normal belly looks like a block sitting atop two normal looking legs.  Picture if you will, a lego person.  They have a normal head, a squared off torso and regular legs.  If push comes to shove and I ever find myself out of work I think I have a decent shot of making it as an extra in the next Lego's movie.  Everything is Awesome!!  I have so many scars on my belly and thanks to Emmie my stretch marks are EPIC!  The other day Anna asked why my belly looked like a raisin.  I gave the standard mom answer, "oh those are a badge of honor...blah, blah, blah...bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t".  Then it hit me.  I have seen those Youtube videos where a hawk comes down and swoops up a baby...what if on some extremely rare occasion my belly were to see the light of day...which would never happen, because I have way too much respect for my fellow human beings to subject them to that..But what if?  Would an eagle, hawk or better yet, a vulture mistake my belly for a plump, ripe raisin and swoop me off for dinner?  Is that how she is going to "off" me?  Turn me into bird food?  God this baby is good...

My misshapen belly still looks pregnant and surprisingly only fits into maternity pants.  Fine, whatever.  Not really, because, even though it fits into maternity pants that doesn’t mean they look good on me.  My belly, though huge again, is a deflated version of its pregnant self…meaning it is not taut and does not look round and smooth in the high waisted slacks.  That presents a bit of a challenge…enter my maternity spanx.  Remember those from blog posts past?  I am forced to wear the spanx under my pants.  Those do not come without risks.  So, if Emily’s plan of turning me into bird food doesn’t work out there is always the chance I will die from severe internal organ compression due to the spanx, or if it is a particularly hot day, spontaneous human combustion is always on the table.

Since becoming pregnant with my dear, sweet Emmie girl I have been sprouting weird, random hairs.  Don't get me wrong, I am not becoming the bearded lady or anything but my tweezers are in high demand these days.  She did something to my hormones that have made my eyebrows try their hardest to become a uni-brow.  So her previous plans to get rid of me may have failed...so her thought is turn me into a Sasquatch and have Bo-Bo come a huntin'...or even better, I may be mistaken for the ever elusive chupacabra.  For her it would be a win-win...if I were to be captured she would be rid of me and rich beyond her wildest baby dreams.  I am sure there is a handsome bounty on a real, live chupacabra.  

So now for the reason I am not wearing my ring...I have been suffering from carpal tunnel.  This started when I was pregnant with Emily.  I just thought since I was so huge my girth must have been cutting something off somewhere.  My arms and hands would go numb when I would try to sleep.   I thought since I was still carrying around the extra weight that was still the issue.  It has become unbearable lately; Aleve and wrist splints aren’t cutting it anymore.  I ended up at my doctor’s the other day.  She is sending me for an EMG.  I am not sure what those letters stand for and I refuse to Google them because I am afraid the ‘E” might stand for electrical.  I would rather just go into the appointment ignorant, and, if they shock my hands into submission so be it…I will just deal with it then…why add to the stress and worry about it for the 3 weeks leading up to it?  If you do know what the “E” in EMG stands for, good for you, please keep it to yourself.  I would like to think the “E” stands for Easy, like Easy Muscle Guidance or something similarly blissful sounding.  My doctor did say there is a good possibility I will need surgery to correct this condition.  It is quick she said.  You will be in and out in a few hours she said.  Have you met me? I said.  If you know anything about my past medical history, you will know nothing is easy.  I told her I would end up inpatient for 4 months nursing a whopping case of MRSA and would eventually need bilateral, above the elbow amputations.  Of course for dramatic effect I am saying this with my arms bent at my elbows kind of flopping them around.  I ask Anna if she would still love me if I looked like this and she said, “Yeah, you won’t be able to hug me anymore but you could pat me on my head with your baby arms”…God I love that kid!  She truly is my mini-me!  So for the next 3 weeks I have to wear the braces as much as possible.  Translation; for a few hours each day after the kids go to sleep.  Why don’t I wear them?  1.  I look stupid wearing them in public.  Yes, I know that is not the strongest argument. 2.  They are really hot and make my arms sweaty and smelly.  Again, I am aware that is not the best reason either.  Finally, 3.  They make me have Lego hands.  You know what I mean?  4 of my fingers are permanently cupped into a circle with my thumb all by itself directly opposite them.  A Lego hand.  It is next to impossible to function with a Lego hand, I can’t prepare bottles for the baby, change her, wipe, cook, etc., etc.  So I now have Lego hands, add to that my Lego belly/body from a few paragraphs ago and I am steering clear of the new Lego Land store in town.  All it would take is one smile from Emily and I am sure she could convince her two older cousins, Declan & Aidan to pick me up and sit me on one of the Lego displays.  Have you seen how those things connect?  Unless someone picks me up I will have a circular, plastic nub up my ass and become a permanent fixture in their window display.  Well played Emily, well played!

Since having Emily my eyesight has gone down the sh*tter.  I am the not so proud owner of bifocals now.  I hate them and try as hard as possible to not wear them.  If I go to long without them my eyes start twitching.  An eye twitch can have several unintended consequences; if I am glancing at someone while this happens they may think I am coming on to them, not good for many reasons or, the twitch may cause such a distraction I walk into something, drive off the road or dig my own eye out in a fit of rage.  It is true when they say having a baby changes your life.  Emily has changed my life in ways I never expected…

Still not convinced she is trying to kill me?  Need a few more examples?  OK, remember back to my post about Emmie just stopping nursing?  Just quit.  One day she was done.  That had a whole host of repercussions in itself.  Little did I know her quitter attitude would end up with me in an MRI scanner.  I had several instances where my vision got a little funky.  A portion of my vision would get fuzzy and then a spot in the center made everything look as if I were looking through a kaleidoscope.  Now, I am not a doctor or a nurse but even I know that is just not right.  I end up getting an MRI and seeing 3 doctors for this.  Like I have time for this crap? Anyway, turns out they are ocular migraines.  Get this; caused by a shift in my hormones from no longer nursing, thanks Emily, and from a lack of sleep.  So to clarify for you, since they are caused by a lack of sleep there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix this except get good, quality sleep.  So basically I am screwed.  I guess I should just change my name to Lucy, you know in the sky with diamonds?  Cuz I am now the girl with the kaleidoscope eye.  Lack of sleep may be the manner of death she is angling for now.  Thoughts?

Exsanguination?   Perhaps.  I have proof, albeit circumstantial that Emily may be trying to have me bleed to death.  The other night I was making her a bottle at about 3 a.m.  Don’t judge!  I know she is too old for a middle of the night bottle, but I am in survival mode these days.  So I have the annoying wrist guards one, I am trying to hold Emily without dropping her and I am fixing the bottle.  Emily sees my vulnerability with my Lego hands and she slams the sharp, plastic formula container on my finger.  She would not let go.  I wanted to scream but I didn’t want to wake the other kids lest feel the wrath of Sara at 3 a.m.  So I am trying to be all sweet as my finger is starting to bleed and I am seriously getting a plan together for when my finger tip drops to the floor.  Do I put it on ice?  Or is it milk?  Should I call 911? Or just drive myself?  Fortunately she relented and a Band-Aid was enough to keep me alive.  The little vampire struck again the next day when she lifted up my shirt and dug her dagger finger into my belly button.  Drew blood and gave me a good scratch.  If you have never experienced a baby’s sharp nail inside your belly button, I am going to let you in on something; it hurts like a son of a bitch!!!  Fortunately I survived those assassination attempts.  But she is not giving up.  I swear she should hang out with Edward Snowden…she is that good.  She will look you straight in the eye all while plotting your death.  She knows that I am on to her and she has changed up her M.O.  Now, Emily has become even more devious.  She has begun hatching plans where it will look like I am responsible for my own undoing.  Case in point, the other night after everyone went to bed I was in the kitchen minding my own business, read between the lines; sneaking some ice cream.  The baby started to cry so I threw the ice cream in the freezer, bowl and spoon included.  It takes a good 10 minutes to get her back to sleep.  I put her down and go get my frosty treat.  I sit down on the couch, get the DVR teed up, pick up the spoon a la Bob Dole and one of his pens (believe it or not I was actually wearing the wrist splints)  and take a bite of the ice cream.  No word of a lie my effing tongue sticks to the metal spoon.  I sh*t you not when I say it was stuck there for a sold 3 minutes.  Now it hurt like a mutha trying to get it off but I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of my life.  I thought about calling out to "Thuck" aka Chuck but then I would have to admit I was eating ice cream at midnight.  I just had to wait it out and let it melt.  I am not positive, but, I think I may have heard Emily giggling in her sleep.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bye, Bye Miss Amerigold Lemon Lavallee

OK, so it doesn't have the same ring to it as Miss American Pie, but, we did bid adieu to our beloved pet guinea pig earlier this week.  As with everything in my life it was not without drama.

So let me set the scene;  I was working off of a solid 23 minutes of sleep within the past 2 days...  Migraine from H-E-double hockey sticks and about as much patience as a toddler in church.  As you can see the day was off to a fantastic start.  I sit and eat my breakfast with Em and notice the guinea pig was still sleeping.  Huh, that was odd, but not unheard of.  The girls set up a food stand.  They came to me first thing in the morning demanding I bring their craft table outside, they were going to set up a lemonade stand because they needed money.  They wanted a bubble gun.  I told them we needed to plan for a lemonade stand, we needed to get some stuff to I don't know, make lemonade!  Oh, and having cups on hand would be a good idea too.  They could not be bogged down by the details so they came up with a plan of their own.  The girls set up the food stand.  2 snack sized bags of chips, two Go-gurt squeezable yogurts, one random cup yogurt and a half eaten bag of wheat thins.  Yup, that is what my kids decided their customers would like.  They made a sign for their food sale.  It was hand drawn and cute as can be.  It advertised watermelon, grapes, cake and a banana.  Nothing they had in stock in their display.   Each item was priced at a dollar.  They stuck the sign in the ground about 25 feet away from their table.  Oh, and they set their table up about half a football field away from the street.  On a hill.  Now, I am not knocking their business model, but, it is safe to say they had no customers that day...

So back to the guinea pig.  While Sara and Anna were setting up shop they got hungry.  I peeled them an apple.  I placed the core in the top of Miss Amerigold's cage.  I would do that so she had to work for her treat, kind of make a game out of it.  She didn't come right over and grab it.  Man, she must be tired I thought.  I was pacing around the house all night and she was squeaking every time I would walk in the kitchen.  She must be sleeping in I thought.  The girls were outside yelling, "food sale" to every car that sped by, Emily was scooting around the kitchen and despite the migraine, no sleep and messy house, life was pretty good in that moment.  I walked by the pig's cage and it all fell to sh*t in an instant.  She wasn't "sleeping in"...she was DEAD!!!!  AHHHHHHH!!!!  I immediately call Chuck at work.  Get rid of it was his response.  Now, I know he is not a fan of pets, except really expensive salt water fish, but I thought he would at least say, poor thing, or something.  He told me to throw her away.  I can't do that.  So he then suggests I dig a hole and bury her in the back yard.  No friggin way!!  Last week the girls and Chuck saw a huge snake out there.  Chuck said it was the biggest garter snake he has ever seen.  He said he could feel bones in it's back.  In my mind the second he finished that sentence summer was officially over.  No more playing in the backyard.  I am serious in my fear of snakes.  If a snake were attacking one of my off spring you can bet your ass I would not be going out there to rescue them.  Instead I would immediately call HLN and report myself to Nancy Grace.  I would even give her the headline, "Breaking News!  Snake Mom casually watches out the window as her baby is eaten by a reptile".  I would be known as Snake Mom for eternity.  Kind of like 'Tot Mom", 'Microwave Mom', 'Hot Car Dad'...gotta love her nicknames.  But I digress...so I told Chuck there was no way in hell I was going out there with a snake on the loose.  Much less carrying a dead rodent...its primary food source.  That is asking to be attacked.

 So now it is early in the day and I have to deal with this myself.  Awesome.  F*cking Awesome. I call the girls in and let them know we have something serious we need to talk about.  We are all sitting on the couch and I gently tell them.  They burst into sobs.  Sara runs into the kitchen to see if I was telling the truth.  Anna is heaving uncontrollably.  Then it happens...in between sobs, "mom, can we get a new one?"...UGH...I knew that was coming but I honestly thought it would be a good day or two before the requests started.  Nope...it was maybe, MAYBE 38 seconds.  They are screaming, sobbing and snorting uncontrollably.  So the baby is terrified and joins in.  Remember my migraine from the beginning of the story.  Yeah?  It is still there so I just sit in the middle of them and cry too.  They cried for a solid 2 hours.  They decide it is time to put her into a box.  I find a very lovely Nike shoe box that should accommodate a guinea pig quite nicely.  They get a blanket to put in the bottom of the box and we head into the kitchen to prepare the body.   I am not quite sure how long ago she left this world and what the cause of death was, so I am a bit hesitant to pick her up.  I send the girls out of the room to go look for one specific blanket to put over her.  As soon as the leave I grab the ramp from her cage and try to quickly nudge her into the shoe box.  Well, for the first time EVER, Thing 1 and Thing 2 find something in record time.  They walk in and find me desecrating the pig's corpse by trying to flip it into the box.  I can't accurately describe the look on their faces, it was a cross between horror, disgust and sadness.  Anna asks me accusingly, "what are you doing?"  It was more of a statement than a question.  I don't answer.  I just put the ramp down, take one for the team and pick Ms. Amerigold up.  She was stiff as a board.  So that answers the time of death question.  Hours ago.  We put her in the box, they give her some last pats and cover her up with the blanket.  I send them in to wash their hands.  Now what?  I have a dead guinea pig in the house.  Unless Samuel L. Jackson comes over and throws me up on his shoulders there is no way I am going in the Mother Effing yard, with the Mother Effing snakes.  I can't very well leave the box on the kitchen table.  1. That is gross and 2.  I have two very curious cats.  So I place the shoe box in her cage, roll it back under the air conditioner and turn it on full blast.  It is a hot summer day after all.

So the crying and carrying on lingers.  Anna keeps saying how she was going to play with her today.  I am thinking yeah, right.  Today is the one day you had plans to take her out and play with her?  I know that sounds cynical on my part but get this;  The day before the girls and I had a little chat about how we really needed to make some decisions on what to do with the pig.  Unless their friends were over they hadn't been showing any interest in her lately.  I told them they needed to step up to the plate with her or we needed to find her a new home.  They swore up and down they really loved her and they promised to take better care of her.  I guess right before bed Anna asked to take her out to play.  Chuck told her it was too late, do it tomorrow.  So what does the little sh*t do after this Come to Jesus meeting?  She up and dies.  Now, did she do it to spite the girls? Possibly.  Did she do it because the thought of moving away from our loving family was just too much?  Maybe.  We will never know.  Sara kept saying over and over, "but we fed her last night"...now, please know that she did not starve to death.  I took very good care of her.  Everyone else, not so much.

 Every now and then I would see one of the girls opening the box to pat her some more.  It was heartbreaking to see them hurting.  We decide to remember some of the funnier things that Ms. Amerigold did, like pee on our Elf on the Shelf.  That seemed to help for a few minutes.  Sara is all upset because she said her friends were going to play with her on her half sleep-over.  She needed to get the word out.  She said she was too upset to call anyone.  She asked me to put a message on the computer to let people know.  So I say I will.  She hounds me to do it and then stands over my shoulder as I compose Ms. Amerigold's obituary.  It was short and sweet, but of course Sara wants pictures.  So we put some pictures on and hesitantly I hit "post".  I was hesitant because earlier that morning I read 2 posts about young children dying from cancer.  (Which is so unbelievably sad and so frustrating because there is little to no funding for childhood cancer!  Please keep that in mind next month and help spread the word to your legislatures to increase childhood cancer funding!)  So I felt very sheepish posting about our deceased rodent but I knew it was important to Sara and her grieving process so I posted it.  Another important piece was burying her.  Chuck dug a grave for her next to Maddie's, one of our cats that has passed on.  It was all too much for Anna.  She erupted into tears again so I took her inside.

Anna ended up in bed with me after crying herself to sleep.  She woke up several times during the night and would cry some more.  Then morning came and she seemed to be handling things relatively well.  She asked why Ms. Amerigold's cage was on the porch.  I told her that we put it out there because we thought it might sad for them to see it empty in the house.  She asked why it was empty.  Where was Ms. Amerigold?  Oh for f*ck's sake!!  She forgot she died!  I had to tell her all over again!!   AHHHHHH!!!

They seem to be over the acute stage of their grief.  They have moved on and begun lobbying me for a dog.  A 45 minute car trip the other day turned into a full on assault of a "we want a dog" chant.  They are constantly looking up different dogs on Google Images.  Last night they were on a Newfie kick...Barbara L.  that is why you probably noticed an uptick in "likes" for pictures of James.  They threaten to grab the phone and tell who ever is on the other end I am the worst mother in the world because I won't get them a dog.  Poor Ms. Amerigold, she isn't even gone 2 days and they have moved on from her...to a completely different species to boot!

We did spend 2 nights in a row in the pet store, per the kids request to "just look".  So we are nosing around and come across the "Fancy Rats"...well not only did I have to guide my children through the tough life lesson of losing something you love, I also had to have a discussion about the birds and the bees.  Albeit abbreviated.  The fancy rats were having a 'date night' if you will.  Sara points to the rats and asks why is that one just laying there?  What is that rat doing to it?  Now, I am all for answering my children's questions openly and honestly but, really how does one explain oral sex among rodents to a 4 and 6 year old that less than 24 hours ago buried their pet guinea pig?   You lie of course.  So I said they were wrestling.  The recipient of the services then jumped up and took the other one from behind.  Anna says, "huh, that one is a much better wrestler...he is winning".  At this moment I glance around looking for a camera...someone, somewhere has to be setting all this up.  I can not make up my day to day life.  I have said it before...I think I am starring in some warped remake of the Trueman Show.

So, who knows maybe I am the worst mother in the world, but I'll tell you what,  I am missing that little critter more than I thought I would.  I cut some strawberries yesterday and I brought the caps over to her cage only to find an empty space.  Instinctively I grabbed a carrot out of the fridge tonight to give to her and had to remind myself she wasn't there.   So Rest in Peace Ms. Amerigold Lemon Lavallee...I hope you are having fun in the great big guinea pig cage in the sky.

Monday, August 4, 2014


1.      Climbing over a baby gate in the middle of the night only to get my foot stuck at the last second and having to imitate Keanu Reeves in the Matrix in the hopes of not landing flat on my arse.
2.     Having someone seriously ask me if I ever have a “normal day” only to be hit by the realization that no, no come to think of it I never have a normal day… and I may unknowingly be starring in the sequel to ‘The Truman Show’.  I always wanted to be in a movie.
3.     Realizing that Emily must really, REALLY love Chuck and me.   She loves us so much she wants to spend all day and ALL NIGHT hanging out with us…it’s like the Aerosmith song...she doesn’t want to close her eyes because she doesn’t want to miss a thing.  Isn’t that sweet?
4.     Waking up in the middle of the night to Sara standing next to my bed silently staring at me kind of like that creepy kid in Poltergeist….scares the sh*t out of me EVERY TIME!  
5.     Getting up to pee in the middle of the night, taking care of business and realizing there is NO TOILET PAPER!  AGAIN!!!  Why can’t anyone ever replace the roll?  I really love that…really I do.  I especially love it because we store our extra T.P. outside of the bathroom.
6.     My T-Rex arms and how they are just a bit too short to softly place Emmie in her crib…I love waking her up every single time I try to put her to bed.
7.     When I come home from work, make myself a quick dinner and just as I sit down to eat it one of my littles comes in and asks if they can have the same thing….9 times out of 10 it is the last of whatever I am eating so as their mom I have to give it to them only to have another sad dinner of Raisin Bran.  Gotta love Raisin Bran!
8.     Getting ready for work and as per usual, running late I notice that “blank” is missing.  Blank can be;  my brush, my shoes, my umbrella, my lip gloss, my hairspray, etc. etc.  No one ever knows where the item is but surprisingly a day or two later it will turn up in someone’s room behind the curtain, under the fish tank, in their bed…you get my point.  Love, love, love that!
9.     Coincidentally the day we have our driveway dug up to fix a broken water pipe, our water pressure goes and our toilet and washing machine break.  The water company informs us it was not caused by anything they did.  Hmm, all of our plumbing is just fine at 8 a.m.  they come and start working at 8:14 a.m. and by 9 a.m. nothing works anymore.  God I just LOVE coincidences!!!  You know what I love even more?  Expensive coincidences!  They are the BEST!!
10.     Lastly, you know what I really, really love? That my 10 month old has already chosen her career.  Today while at the beach she was practicing standing up by holding on to the pole of the beach umbrella.  Emily loves to dance anywhere, anytime.  Add the umbrella pole to her cool butt shaking moves and voila...WE HAVE A POLE DANCING STRIPPER IN OUR FUTURE!!!  Hey, that's one we won't have to help put through college!  I really, really love that!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's a bird! it's a plane! It's....it's.....my underwear!?

Huh?  Underwear?  OK, let’s back up a bit.  I was recently complaining to Chuck I didn’t have any comfortable underwear.  I have had 7 abdominal surgeries, 3 this past year alone, so I have a road map of scar tissue on my belly.  Emily is 10 months old now so maternity undies slide right off the second I pull them on and regular underwear rubs up against the scars and is very irritating.  Now, combine that with the fact that I have kind of let myself go, clothing wise if you will, since the baby was born and you have the perfect storm of nothing fitting properly, things that do fit way beyond their prime (think stretched out elastics, holes and mystery stains) and the rest out-of-style by a good half decade or more. 
Back to my underwear.  First, let me preface this with the following statement; my husband is AMAZING!!  I could not ask for a better husband or father for my girls.  Please keep that in mind while reading the next few sentences!!  Chuck ordered some new underwear for me online.  He bought ones that were supposed to be super soft, yoga pant like so they wouldn’t rub on my belly scars.  Unbelievably thoughtful, right?  Well, a few days later the package arrives and Anna and I open it.  I can honestly say I have NEVER laughed so hard in all my life.  These things were HUGE!!!  They were the entire length of my outstretched arms.  Now, I know you are all thinking, yeah, but you have T-Rex arms Erin, they can’t be that big.  TRUST ME!!!  Without missing a beat Anna announces that they must be giant’s underwear.  They were so big I took a picture of Sara and Anna in them.  Both of the girls in the same pair!  One in each leg hole with room to spare! 
So I had already taken them out of the package and I wasn’t sure what the return policy would be on opened underwear so I started thinking about what I could do with these massive sets of britches.  I tossed around a few ideas; slip covers for the cat ravaged furniture, a shade awning for our porch, fold them and keep them in the linen closet (they may be a bit more practical than a table cloth when drying off after a shower) or use them as crib sheets for Em.
After thinking about it for a bit I came up with the perfect idea!  If you go way, way back to an earlier post you will see that I am a closet doomsday prepper.  OK, so I am not really a prepper…I am just fascinated by the show.  I always thought I should have a “GO” bag at the ready just in case the apocalypse came upon us.  These undies could prove invaluable in a doomsday scenario.   My betrothed didn’t just order me 1 pair, he got me 6!  So if I take one pair, a half pair might be sufficient, but take the pair and sew it into a ruck sack.  I could close off the leg holes and use the elastic waist band to fashion some handles.  OK, great so I have my GO bag, now I need to fill it with things that would help me and my family survive in the event of Armageddon.  The other 5 pairs of underwear would be a great place to start.

These enormous briefs could be used for shelter…just stick a large branch or two inside of one and you have a tent. Sleeping…string one up between two trees and voila, you have a hammock big enough for my entire clan.  If we need to quickly jump out of a plane or off a cliff, hey, it’s the end of the world, it could happen, just put your arms through the leg holes and as you jump the ass end of the undies would catch enough air to help you stick a smooth landing.   Water closing in on you?  No problem!  Fill them with sand, spin it around and tie off the end and there you have a sandbag.  Hungry?  Again, the undies can help with that…dredge them along the bottom of a river and it makes a nice net for catching fish.  Of course you can’t face the end of the world Naked and Afraid (another one of my guilty pleasure shows) so take 2 pairs of underwear; 2 upside down would make a nice jumper…from what I have seen in the magazines those are all the rage these days.  There are so many uses for this extra, extra large lingerie that my hubby got for me…a sling to carry the baby, toys…take off the elastic waistband and make a Chinese jump rope, hang one from a tree and throw coconuts through the leg holes like a bean bag toss…in my scenario we are on a tropical island.  I could go on and on.
But I won’t.  Why?  Because I was able to return them.  Of course that wasn’t without issues…so I take them back and of course I get the cashier with a super loud voice.  He asks why I am returning the underwear and I tell him that it is slightly larger than I need.  The register he is using breaks down.  We need to move to the next one at the customer service booth.  At this point there are a few people behind me, he calls in for help and again I am forced to state why I am returning them.  For the love of Christ this register sh*ts the bed…so now we are on to register #3 and now the manager is involved…so yet again I have to verbalize why I am returning the underwear to an ever growing crowd of impatient shoppers.  I was ready to just take the bloomers home and be done with it…but finally, finally Mr. Loud Talker gets the transaction processed and I can take my embarrassed self and do the walk of shame through the sea of pissed off customers…as if I had anything to do with the registers breaking!!
In case any of you were wondering I did get some underwear in a more reasonable size, but in an effort to always be honest with my faithful blog readers, I have to confess, I never did try the underwear on that Chuck got me…I was terrified that they might actually fit!!!