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Thursday, December 3, 2015

7 Reasons Why My Shelf Will Keep Its Elf

I have been seeing tons of anti-elf posts on the interwebs trash-talking the little guy and some that are trying to off him mafia style. Many (and by many I mean most) of my friends agree whole-heartedly with those posts. They forget to move it, don’t feel like making the effort to be creative and hate the whole don’t-touch-him-or-he’ll-lose-his-magic-and-then-Christmas-is-ruined-forever-and-its-all-your-fault thing. I agree, it is a hassle and who wants the pressure of ruining lives by not moving the elf, or worse, touching it.
The answer? Me.

I love the Elf. Even though he has a creepy little smile and eyes that seem to follow you around I delight in having him in my house for a month. And I am obviously not the only one or Pinterest wouldn’t have thousands of ideas at my disposal and Target wouldn’t have an entire area devoted to it. So for my Elf-loving friends, here are 7 reasons why I plan to Elf my shelf to the bitter end.

1.       My kids don’t fight waking up in the mornings. Eleven months out of the year they pull the covers over their heads and plead “just 5 more minutes!”, which turns into 10 and I turn into Drill Sargent Mommy; barking out orders and growling about how I am going to be late for work… again. During December I get a small reprieve as they bolt out of bed to see who can spot him first. Of course then they fight because so-and-so found him first yesterday, but they can dress and argue at the same time.  

2.       Homework gets done faster and with far fewer complaints. My oldest is a people pleaser, which means she wants our Elf, Kippy, to see what a good pupil she is. As soon as she gets home from school she announces in an unnaturally loud voice that she is going to do her homework, without so much as a request from whoever is there at the time. She also studies harder so she can come home and show the Elf her good grades which, hopefully, make up for torturing her sister on the way to school that morning.

3.       Bedrooms stay clean(ish) and chores are completed with minimal whining. After finding the elf the kids rush back to their rooms and make their beds, thanks to a note Kippy left last year complimenting them on their helpfulness around the house. There is still some moaning and whining about how terrible it is to have to put your dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor beside it but I’ll take what I can get. He’s an elf, not a miracle worker.

4.       Snippets of conversations heard around the house are way more amusing this time of year. I catch the kids talking to Kippy and swapping funny stories of things he did and things they hope he will do. My oldest loves to recall when he decorated the tree with underwear and my youngest still giggles about the time he t-p’d the living room. They also get so excited to tell their friends all about their elf’s latest antics. As a bonus I get to find out the items the kids are most hoping for since they will tell him what they are dying to get for Christmas and want me to be just as surprised as they are when they open their presents from Santa.

5.       My girls really use their imaginations when the elf is in the house. Forget tablets, Barbies, and other toys; not one of those spark my kids creativity like a magical Elf chilling on the kitchen counter. They come up with great stories, games, and even drawings that all feature Kippy. I also get to be more playful than normal when dealing in Elf-lore, which I don’t get to do most days thanks to these annoying responsibilities I have.

6.       He helps me teach them they will get rewarded for good behavior. If they had a particularly good day where they listened and behaved better than normal he is known to bring a treat the next day such as stickers, candy, or a small toy that he happened to grab from the Dollar Store (my elf is on a budget). Bad behavior gets no reward and sometimes he doesn’t bother to go home to the North Pole because Santa just doesn’t want to hear about it, much like Mommy.

7.       He brings magic to my home and back to my life. Even if it just a month a year for a very few years the delight I see in their eyes is well worth the effort to take 10 minutes a night to move him and have him do something silly or sometimes messy. As long as he cleans up after himself because I do not want a bad influence around.

Sure the elf is a little creepy stalker hanging out in my house waiting till everyone goes to sleep to snitch on us, but I love this family tradition. One day way too soon they won’t believe so I am going to soak in this as long as I possibly can; because once the magic is gone, it is gone for good. And I really missed it.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Trick or Treat!

Growing up in the country we didn’t really participate in trick or treating, couple that with the fact that it was my birthday and the holiday was all but ruined. Since we had only 3 neighbors within walking distance my mom always took us to the mall where my older sister worked. We would walk around holding out our sad little bags and collect a few pieces of crappy candy before we would head back home to celebrate my birthday. It wasn’t until I was nearly too old to trick or treat that I was able to experience the real version where you go door to door and beg strangers for candy by tagging along with my best friend.

I was oh-so excited when we moved into a subdivision and I could hand candy out to the kids coming through since by that time I was way too old to do anything else. After college I moved into an apartment and was so disappointed that no kids came trick or treating, I just knew that there would be hoards of them at my door since there were a ton of children in the complex. But I never had a single trick or treater. Even when I got married and bought my first house – no kids came that night. I sat with a giant bowl of candy with the porch light on watching the cars go by, not even slowing down to see what treats I was trying to give away for free.

It wasn’t until I had my first child that Halloween really became exciting. To see my daughters dress up and pretend to be anything they wanted in the entire world was so amazing. They were a ladybug, a monkey, a princess, a unicorn, a mermaid, a cheer leader, a cat, a cowgirl, and Spiderman. When they would put on their costumes their whole demeanor changed and suddenly they were plunged into a world where unicorns ran and mermaids swam.

It quickly became both my daughter’s second favorite holiday, not just because of the “free” candy (although that is definitely part of it) but because for one day a year they could be anything they wanted. There are no limits, they can be sweet, scary, spooky, mysterious, and adorable – anything they wanted and there was no judgment. Everyone would smile at their costume, tell them how much they loved it and give them a fistful of treats.

To the people out there that tell me they “don’t celebrate Halloween” due to it being a pagan holiday – you really should rethink it. It is a time of magic, a day to use your imagination and have fun pretending to be anything you want. It is a day where not only do strangers generously give treats but we also give treats to other strangers. It is a day to celebrate our freedom to be able to fearlessly walk the streets of our neighborhood at night and feel welcome on the porch of the house down the road

Tomorrow on Halloween I will join my friends and the kids of our neighborhood and will hand out candy to perfect strangers. I will act as if the little girl in the blue dress really is Elsa and her brother Superman. I will put makeup on my girl’s faces, help them into their costumes and pretend to be scared when they jump out at me. I will do all this and more, because one day they will think they are too old to dress up and I want to soak up all the magic while I can.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tallywackers? No thanks, I like wieners from Publix.

This post was originally published on

When I first heard of this restaurant I thought it was a joke. I hoped it was a joke, but the joke is on me. This, ladies, is real.
This is the “answer” to the women’s Hooters; who knew there was any questioning regarding that subject? Now I personally have never been to Hooters but judging from the billboards and ads it looks to me as if it is a dimly lit venue where you can buy Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap, eat greasy pub food, and ogle at waitresses who’s uniforms are circa 1983, the same year the franchise began (It’s okay to update your look, Hooters).

I remember when my nephew turned 12 and went to Hooters for the first time. He got his picture taken with the waitresses and proudly showed it to me. I asked him if he had fun and he said with a grin “The food is terrible, I just wanted to go see the hot chicks”
Gotta love an honest boy going through puberty.

I, unfortunately, have been to male strip clubs and have been witness to a few private strippers at bachelorette parties. Maybe I am just a prude but it never really did anything for me. While I am not exactly into the hairy Lumberjack look there is something about a completely shaven man wearing a speedo with a sewn-in elephant nose flopping that thing around that gives me the heebie jeebies.
I am sure the success of Magic Mike had something to do with creating this restaurant. But there is a huge difference between watching a movie with no plot where Channing Tatum gets undressed and having your average college kid walking around serving you a hotdog; cause let’s face it, the dudes who will apply for this job will not look like the ones in the ad. At best you may have slightly better than average looking guys with body (aka back) hair walking around with no shirt on serving you terrible food. If no body hair whatsoever then I would feel like a perv for looking at their pre-pubecent bodies.

Speaking of body hair - one of the grossest things that can happen in any restaurant is to get a hair in your food. I think I would get sick if that happened here. My first thought with half-naked men walking around would be where exactly did that hair come from? Makes me throw up in my mouth a little to even think about it.

Maybe I am wrong and women will flock to this like a 50% off sale at a shoe store, and for the investors sake I really hope so. But I guarantee you won’t find me in there, I prefer my waiters to be fully clothed so I don’t have to worry about body hairs getting on my plate. Unless, of course, Channing Tatum’s identical twin is there serving wieners.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dear Mom, I'm Waving the White Flag

Dear Mom,

Remember when I was a kid and you would tell me not to be in a hurry to grow up? Man, were you right.
This whole being a grown-up thing sucks. Taking care of me and being responsible for kids is way over rated. As a child I remember thinking that when I grow up it would be so much better, that I would be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.

I don’t think I could have been more wrong.
I worked hard, got a degree and a good job with the hopes that I wouldn’t be rolling quarters 2 days before payday to fill my gas tank up enough to get to work and back. I mean, I have come a long way and can usually make it to pay day with a few $$ left over, but not without having to be careful, like Ramen-Noodle-Thursday careful. It isn’t because I don’t have a decent income; it is because I cannot afford to be an adult. Mortgages, utilities, insurance, groceries…and that’s only about 25% of what drains my wallet dryer than a lizard’s nipple.
And freedom? Ha!! Sure I am free. Free to go to work 40+ hours a week where I reside in a dark cubicle chained to my chair looking at paperwork and listening to the sound of dreams dying all around me. Sometimes I day dream about getting a paper-cut that is so bad I have to go out on medical leave for an extended period of time.
I used to desire owning my own home as much as I now desire to pee alone. I wanted to move out and not have to answer to anybody. I think I report to more people now than ever before. If I don’t feel like working or cleaning bills don’t get paid and the mess just gets worse! What is up with that? Aren’t there magical elves that can do these things for you?

Now after working 9 torturous hours I get to go straight home, “cook” dinner (what I do barely counts as cooking), clean up, bathe sticky peanut butter-and-dirt covered body parts and tuck said bodies in after reading 3 books, getting 2 cups of water, and a multitude of other rituals that must be completed for the little ones to be able to go to sleep. On good nights I have enough time to watch one show on Netflix before my eyes shut for the 25 minutes of uninterrupted slumber I have grown accustomed to before I am woken by a snoring husband or a crying child.
You made it look so easy. I never knew that it was you that kept the floors so clean or the counters uncluttered. I just figured they stayed that way. Who knew windows had to be washed and toilets scrubbed more than once in a while? You never seemed so tired you just wanted to lie on the couch all day watching T.V. (although DVR’s had not come into existence so that may be a reason). You NEVER took naps or complained about being sleepy at 2 in the afternoon.

You cooked dinner…. Every. Single. Night. Going through the drive through for a meal was a rare treat, and going to a sit-down restaurant even more unusual. We had every meal at the table together as a family. How did you do this? Can you bend time or something? My super power is telling you where every McDonalds is within a 50 mile radius and which toy is being given out this week.
I don’t remember you washing 2 weeks of laundry on a single day because we were out of clean underwear, or doing the “smell test” on the shirt you plucked out of the hamper to wear. Febreze and Downy Wrinkle Remover hadn’t been invented at that time so it isn’t like you were able to fake it. Your clothes were always stain-free, your bed always made and your kitchen counters always clean. Hell, I remember you doing your hair everyday – even Saturdays.

The only task I remember you loathing was ironing. You would pull it out once a week and iron Dad’s shirts all the while complaining. But you did it anyway. Are you a masochist or something?
You made being a grown-up seem fun and carefree, so wonderful that I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. You did such a good job and I now that I am an adult, a working mother and wife like you; I have one question for you.

Can I move back home?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Green

In an attempt to save some money and stop wrecking the environment so much I decided to purchase a few cloth swim diapers for my 2 yr old daughter who had zero desire to potty train. We were always at the pool (the Y in off-season and friends pools in the summer) and I was tired of spending literally hundreds of dollars on an item you use once and throw away. I eagerly went online and purchased 3 pair – one white, one pink and a red one that would go with a super cute red striped rash guard I had just acquired.

I also decided to join the pool at a nearby golf course. I figured that by the end of the summer I would have saved enough in swim diapers to justify this splurge. That and I really wanted to hang out pool side any time the weather was nice. I also treated myself to a new Pottery Barn beach towel for being such a good mom, I was tired of using towels with Hello Kitty or unicorns and wanted to look sophisticated that summer.

The kids were thrilled when I told them we were going to a new pool and were jumping up and down with excitement. After 40 minutes of running around screaming about how we were going to the pool I finally wrestled them into their swim suits; C in her ah-dorable red and white rash guard with the matching swim diaper bottoms I just received in the mail. It took another 10 minutes to herd them to the car and strap them in while they vibrated with anticipation.

The pool was amazing, there were only a few others there; hanging out in the deeper section so we had the shallow end to ourselves. T was tall enough to stand in the shallow end near the steps and was jumping into the pool every 5 seconds. C was kicking her chubby little legs all over the pool and both were squealing with delight when I spun them around and tossed them into the water. We had already spent a few hours there and I planned to stay as long as possible.

While playing I smelled something unpleasant. It was the tell-tale sign that C was going to drop a deuce in the near future.

“C, honey, do you have to go potty?” I asked.

“No Momma”

“C, come on, let’s try to go potty. We can get right back in as soon as you finish”

“Nooo Momma!” She whined.

I grabbed her arm and through gritted teeth uttered “C, we are going to go to the potty now. If not we are going home. Do you hear me?”
She looked at me with her big blue eyes and announced “I already went”

“You pooped?!?” I pulled out the back of her swim diaper to look and assess the situation, as all mothers do.


I scooped her up and laid her back on the lounge chair I had covered with my brand new beach towel. Then it hit me. Her brand new, reusable red swim diaper did not have snaps, Velcro, or any other way to open it and pull it off like a disposable one. This one had to come off – down her legs.

I looked around in a panic to make sure no one could see us. The pool water had created a watery mess inside her diaper and there was no way I was putting that in my car to change her at home. Miraculously I did have the foresight to place a brand new container of wipes, a plastic grocery bag, and a change of clothes in the pool bag.

At this point the situation had become even more grim as the cess-pool was beginning to leak out the legs and back of her swim diaper. I yelled frantically at T to GET OUT OF THE POOL. NOW!! as I could not leave C laying in feces or perform a miracle on C while ensuring the safety of T (who was 4 and didn’t use swimmies in the pool).

T heard the hysteria rising up in my voice and darted out of the pool yelling “What’s wrong?” at the top of her lungs. I am sure at this point the pool goers at the other end were watching but it was too late to do anything about it. The situation had to be handled right there on the lounge chair.

I opened the wipes and put the grocery bag on the ground, took a deep breath and attempted to pull the swim diaper off C without spilling it everywhere. I failed miserably at my attempt; the mess streamed down her legs, spilling out the top onto the brand new towel and her rash guard. It was flowing out of the bottoms like a raging shit-filled river.

Once I finally got the stupid bottoms off I quickly put them on the end of the towel and rolled it up to where C was laying, legs covered in crap. I pulled out a fistful of butt wipes and quickly cleaned her bottom, legs, and feet. I picked her up, bare-ass to the blazing sun, and rolled the rest of my $25 crap covered towel into a ball and shove it into the plastic bag. Using my toes (I was holding C out away from me like she was contaminated – cause she was) I pulled out another towel and tossed it and C back on the chair.

I wrenched her top off, tracking crap up her back, and hurriedly stuck it in the bag with the other evidence while giving her a head to toe rub-down with baby wipes. I wrapped her up with the fresh towel, grabbed the bags, barked out orders to T to get her shoes, and ran out of the pool area stopping only to throw the poo bag away before squealing away from the pool like a criminal.

In my attempt to save money and decrease my impact on the environment I threw out around $80 worth of items, used an entire pack of butt wipes, and emotionally scarred myself and quite possibly other pool-goers. Sorry, Mother Earth, I tried to do you a solid but my daughter took care of that for me.

Screw you, Mother Earth

Friday, June 5, 2015

UnSolved Mystery

Recently we got an aquarium as well as a few fish and a snail to help clean up the tank. All was fine and dandy, the fish were doing whatever the hell it is fish do and the snail was working it. The girls named it Tiny Joe, and Tiny Joe was all over every surface of the tank sucking up any algae there was to be found. Our tank was immaculate; I really need to Google “house snails” to see if I can buy a few to help clean my house.
To get back on track here – the snail was growing quickly, the girls were excited to have pets of their own, and I enjoyed watching the boring fish and Tiny Joe in the tank while I futilely cleaned my kitchen 15 times a day.
One day while feeding the fish I noticed something weird on the bottom of the tank lid. It looked like a teeny tiny brain. So naturally I left it alone since it was crazy gross, I didn’t want to touch it or search online to see what it could be; I am still scarred from images I viewed in the past when googling something – there is some nasty shit posted that will give you nightmares. Anyway, I learned my lesson and the lesson was this, leave it alone and let the hubs deal with this one.
Naturally this meant that the creepy brain-thing stayed attached to the top of the tank for FOREVER, or a few weeks. While feeding the fish about 2 weeks later I noticed Tiny Joe was climbing above the water. I sat and watched him climb to the underside of the lid and just hang there. I opened the lid a crack to knock him down and saw something strange coming out of Tiny Joe: little eggs. Tiny Joe was actually Tiny Josephine, and she was laying hundreds of eggs.
At that point I felt I had no choice but to Google Mystery Snail eggs and saw that, yes indeed, the creepy brain was a clutch of eggs. But we had only one snail and she had been with us for nearly 3 months at this time, so how could she lay eggs? These kinds of snails are not asexual (I read that once I started Googling – I can assure you I am not a snail expert), there has to be a male and a female to make babies.
When my oldest, T, saw all the eggs she declared “These eggs are just duds since there is no boy snail in there with Tiny Joe. We won’t get any snail babies.” She was very matter of fact, not disappointed at all.
What the… How in the world did she know that? Since she didn’t probe into the specifics of why you need a mommy and a daddy I agreed with her and crossed my fingers that this wouldn’t be the beginning of “the talk”.
A few days later Tiny Joe took the snail trail to heaven. We held a funeral for her, complete with a eulogy given by T. I wrapped her up in pretty tissue paper, tied a ribbon around it, and we placed her in front of the house in a spot that we didn’t mind digging up since there already was not grass there. The girls pulled flowers from the plants I have worked so hard not to kill and placed them on her grave (and have continued to do so daily since she died).
Without Tiny Joe my tank was starting looking like the rest of my house, nasty and filled with scum. It was time to clean the tank, and go snail shopping. The kids were excited, they love cleaning the tank. I got the holding tank and rinsed it out. While doing this T looked in the tank and called out “Mom! There’s a baby snail in our tank!”
Suuurrrrrrreeee there is. That tank was so nasty it was probably some piece of slime just stuck to the side of the tank. “T, it is probably just scum. Don’t worry; we are going to get a new snail later today”
“Noooo! Mom, really, there is a baby snail on the side of the tank. COME LOOOOOK!!!!”
Ugh, fine. I trudged over to point out to her that it was just a bubble of yuck and she was delusional. I peered in, and had to admit that it did look like a lot like a baby snail up against the glass but I couldn’t be sure, the tank was so dirty there were all sorts of slimy things in it other than snails. I looked closer then grabbed a flashlight to confirm.
Holy Shell! It was a baby snail! We looked more and saw 4 other baby snails. I turned to T and told her Tiny Joe left us babies to remember her by; it was a good thing we didn’t clean the tank and kill the babies.
T declared “No mom, this is a miracle from God! He knew we missed Tiny Joe and turned her duds to babies!” as she told me this tears streamed down her face from the joy of this slimy phenomenon.
While I do think that our Lord and Savior can and does perform miracles, I highly doubt this was one of them. Instead of letting T know my thoughts or the disturbing fact that I read online that Mystery Snails can actually hold sperm in their bodies for months (and then having to tell her about sperm) I just smiled and agreed with her that yes, the babies were a gift from God. But I did inform her we are not going to keep them all; I have no plans to start the miracle snail farm anytime soon regardless of how happy it makes her.
Okay, I’ll keep two and try to train them to mop my floors.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dirty F'n Liars

When you become a parent at some point you will have an epiphany that your mom and dad were big fat liars when you were growing up. They made up stories about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and even concocted elaborate schemes to keep you from suspecting the truth. They told you too much TV will rot your brain when the truth is they just wanted you out of the house so they could have 5 minutes of peace.  They also said babies are made when 2 people love each other get married and leave out that it can also happen when there is too much booze involved to take the proper precautions, or when the condom breaks. 

All parents do this. It is a survival tactic. If you say you don’t lie to your kids then you are a dirty F’n liar; lying to yourself and everyone around you.

As a mom of two I lie habitually. I tell little white lies daily to (unsuccessfully) keep the drama to a minimum. My kids have heard all the classics peppered in with some new ones such as: Kids who constantly tell fart jokes grow up to live in the dumpster and: You have to eat your vegetables or you will grow chest hair (then I tell them their daddy didn’t eat enough veggies). I have become so used to doing this I have never thought how it must look to an outsider.

Recently, while shopping, I was witness to another mother doing this at my least favorite store, Wal-Mart.

It was the day before Easter and the store was filled to the brim with crazies. While looking at tank tops the Easter Bunny would be bringing (yet another lie) I heard a mom talking to her daughter whom she was carrying. The little girl looked to be about 3 years old.
The little girl wanted down and was squirming and whining. Seemed normal enough to me. Then the mom yelled out “No! You can’t get down, you don’t have shoes on!”

Naturally I looked up when I heard that; who the hell brings a child into this store with no shoes on if you are not going to contain them in the cart? There is not enough soap in the world…

The mom then said “You’ll get tuberculosis on your feet! Do you know what tuberculosis is?”

The little girl, obviously used to her mom saying crazy things, admitted that no; she did not know what tuberculosis was.

“Say tuberculosis. Tu-ber-cu-lo-sis. Do you want that? NO ONE WANTS TUBERCULOSIS!!”

To this the little girl began to cry and agreed she did not want tuberculosis.

“Stop squirming before you fall and get TUBERCULOSIS!”

Look, I say some crazy shit to my kids to stop their whining at times but this was a new one. I have never told my children they could catch a disease from walking barefoot in a store, I just pop their asses if they try not to wear their shoes.  I’m not judging, just partially jealous I didn’t think of it first.

I know you have, so tell me, what crazy lies have you told your kids?

          Follow me on Twitter: @beans1031

Sunday, May 10, 2015

To my daughters on Mother's Day

To my daughters on Mother’s Day,

Thank you for being born. The back pain, swollen ankles, stretch marks, and heart burn were worth every second of discomfort in order to have you in my life.

You were both planned; your dad and I wanted you to come into this world well before I felt the first flutters of life within my belly. I was thrilled as my belly grew bigger and bigger showing signs that the life within me was thriving. Then you were ready to come out of that safe place and meet the world.

T, you were born on a Wednesday. I tried and tried to have you normally but you weren’t going to follow the rules even in the womb and I had an emergency C-section. I was scared, not for me but for you. I had no idea what was wrong, what was causing your heart rate to drop every time I pushed. When the doctor cut open my belly she exclaimed “She’s sunny side up and looking right at me!” You were rushed to NICU and spent your first 4 hours of life there due to meconium in the womb. You were always my fighter, so strong and brave. They brought you to me at 3 am and from that moment on my world became brighter.

The day you were born you only wanted me. If anyone else held you a howling cry would emit from your tiny mouth unless they rocked you or walked with you; always in motion. You slept restlessly, moving and squeaking the entire time. As you grew you continued to move nonstop, even in your sleep and are restless to this day.

You blazed your own trail from the minute you were conceived. You are fearless, caring, inquisitive, and have the memory of an elephant. You made me a Mom. You and I have such a strong bond and I pray it remains this way. You are one half of my heart and I thank God for you.

C, you are Saturday’s child through and through – kind at heart. Your entry into this world was less dramatic than T’s initially but even then you had to one up her and have to be rushed to the NICU for 2 days because you were having trouble breathing. You were the biggest baby in there. Unlike T, who was barely 5 pounds, you were 8 pounds and so chubby your eyes were squinty and your cheeks so fat.

I was so scared throughout my entire pregnancy with you that I would not love you as much as I did T. I did not think that was possible. I was petrified that I was taking something away from her and that my bond with her would shatter and I wouldn’t have it with you. Then I held you for the first time. As I tried to nurse you I saw a little dimple on your cheek and I was amazed. How was I able to create such a beautiful child?

You are more timid than T, more inquisitive and much more sensitive; in other words more like me. You melt hearts with your smile and even when you disobey you are cute. You are the first to say you are sorry, to tell me you love me, to wrap your arms around me. You fit perfectly on my lap and hip. T made me a Mom but you made our family complete and taught me that my heart could grow and love more and more.

My fear about my bond with T quickly dissolved the moment she held you. She loved you from the start and took on the role of big sister with ease. As you grew you two became friends, always wanting to play with each other. When I went through Chemo you held my hand as we shaved my head. You looked at me with your beautiful blue eyes and told me I was beautiful even with no hair. At 2 years old you were well aware of how to be kind, how to make someone feel wonderful in the middle of a storm. You are my baby, I love you more than words can express and I thank God daily for you; you completed our family.

Being a mother is hard. You give up a life that you had freedom you didn’t realize existed until you couldn’t even pee alone or run to the store without packing half the house and 45 minutes of prep work. I have cried many tears, hurt when you hurt, smile when you discover something new. You girls brought magic back to my world that didn’t exist since I was little.

For Mother’s Day I do not want a necklace, a ring, any baubles or trinkets. I just want to hold you, play with you, and create memories of a great day we spent as a family. Thank you, girls, for being born. Without you my world would not be the wonderful, crazy, chaotic, love-filled place that it is today.

I love you with all my heart,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Relax, Rejuvinate, and get Injected With Radioactive Sugar

After 18 months of bitching and moaning about wanting a scan to confirm no breast cancer cells had gone rogue and spread, my oncologist finally gave in. I am not sure if she was just tired of me whining every time I went to see her or if it was the complaint that my right lower back and hip had been hurting for several weeks. Either way I finally got what I wanted and walked out of her office with an appointment for a PET scan.
Because I wasn’t sure what to expect I actually read the information they provided regarding the test as opposed to promptly tossing it in the trash as was usual. I was happy when I read that a PET scan is different from an MRI in that the machine was open on both ends and didn’t make random loud noises. I was going to be injected with radioactive sugar and lay in a quiet dark room for 45 minutes prior to the scan. Since I have 2 small kids, one who is in the “scream and cry over EVERY little thing” phase, I was kind of excited that I was going to have nearly an hour of mandatory quiet time.
I wasn’t nervous; my onc didn’t order this test because my blood work was abnormal, it was more to ease my mind. Plus I still had a bottle of Valium and this seemed like the perfect excuse to indulge.
While I was going through chemo I had learned to think of a trip to the hospital as an extremely expensive trip to the spa. There are these nice blankets they take out of a warmer, comfortable chairs that lay back, and they give you snacks. Plus they have cable, and I don’t. I took the day off and decided to get a pedicure that afternoon to complete the fantasy.
I had several offers to take me to the imaging center where this was taking place but I declined, no point in anyone sitting in a waiting room for a few hours while I was laying on a comfy recliner, wrapped in a warm blanket in Valium heaven. I knew not to drive on vitamin V so I popped 5 mg when I got in the car, I live only 15 minutes from the facility. However I didn’t take into account that I had been fasting for the past 15 hours. Naturally the valium kicked in right around the time that I arrived and it hit me harder than I ever experienced before. I felt like a teenager who was high and was unsuccessfully trying to hide it. I staggered up to the receptionist, got my stylish hospital bracelet and attempted to hold myself together while they asked me questions regarding my living will and other light hearted topics.
After what felt likea day and a half of sitting in a waiting room I was called back. I was finally on my way to my insurable spa day (with needles).
When the radiologist opened the back door and motioned to the, I kid you not, tractor- trailer in the parking lot I was concerned, disappointed, and amused. Seriously? This state of the art equipment is kept in something you need a CDL to occupy? I blurted out “For real? This is where they keep the PET scanner-thingy?” (I made sure to use technical jargon so they would take me seriously)
The radiologist had obviously heard this before and mumbled it wasn’t ideal. He explained because it is so expensive the hospital system in my tiny town had a mobile unit so they could travel to other towns that didn’t have the equipment. Whateves; just direct me to my spa chair.
I squeezed into the teeny-tiny room to the back of the trailer and plopped into a lumpy, hard 1980’s style hospital chair that reclined about as much as an airplane seat. I was very quickly poked, injected and a cold blanket tossed my way. The closet room was not at all dim, it was cold, and there was a lot of activity in the next room. There was no tv and not even crappy Muzac to listen to. And at this time my valium euphoria was wearing off. So much for my spa experience.
After about an hour I was carefully placed into the tiny ass tube with my arms positioned over my head and told not to move for the next 30 minutes or this would all be pointless . As soon as the scan began I had a horrible blazing hot flash that caused my back, face, and chest to quickly dampen with sweat. Luckily I remembered Lamaze breathing from child-birth and huffed and puffed to keep from passing out all the while silently praising the engineer that added the fan in the machine.
Once the hot flash subsided the nice cool fan blowing on me turned into a torture device giving me frost bite on my only real boob and quite possibly freezing the implant on the reconstructed side. To this day it is still cold to the touch.
Sitting perfectly still for 30 minutes is not easy, or relaxing. I tried to ignore the itch on my nose, my arm, my foot. I dealt with the cramp in my arm and hip thinking I only had to endure it a few minutes longer.
After what felt like another hour it was over. The radiologist told me to stay away from women who were pregnant and small babies and to limit my contact with my girls since I was radioactive. Sweet! Maybe I could get my pedicure after all, or at least get some super powers from being radioactive such as the ability to clean an entire room in a single day.

I never got my pedicure, and not a single room in my house is remotely clean. But I did learn that there are no signs of recurrent breast cancer (yippee!) so there are no complaints here. The PET did show 2 large cysts on my right ovary, accounting for the pain I have been feeling in my lower back/hip.
After the scan I had a visit with my obgyn which involved a 10 minute ultrasound session that I really should have been wined and dined prior to. From that we determined that I could no longer wait, I needed to have a hysterectomy, and soon.
This coming Tuesday I will finally get some good sleep thanks to the anesthesia that will be administered while my lady parts are removed. While I am not exactly thrilled to have to have yet another surgery I am glad that my doctor’s listen to me and are willing to do everything they can to reduce my risk of recurrence and of a second primary cancer. I am so lucky that we have state of the art medical equipment available in this small town even if it is located in a trailer.
And I am really glad I still have an active prescription for Valium.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

You might be a Mom if...

You might be a Mom if … your car is not just a vehicle but also a movie theatre, a dining room, a dance floor, and a therapist’s office.
You might be a Mom if … your phone contains 300 blurry photos of inanimate objects your preschooler took.
You might be a Mom if… you consider showering before 10 am an accomplishment.
You might be a Mom if… you haven’t peed alone in over a year.
You might be a Mom if… there are plastic ponies, dolls, and mermaids in your shower.
You might be a Mom if… you can walk through a playroom in the dark like a Ninja, never stepping on a single toy that is scattered throughout the room.
You might be a Mom if… you find a random sock, hair bow, or googly eye in your purse.
You might be a Mom if… you grab a Capri sun for yourself to drink.
You might be a Mom if… you consider 3 chicken nuggets, 6 grapes, and a half eaten cookie a balanced meal.
You might be a Mom if… you do 3 loads of laundry every single day of the week and still cannot catch up.
You might be a Mom if… you have become an expert at doing pretty much everything with only one hand, and not even your dominant one.
You might be a Mom if… the restaurant you go to the most often has a playground attached to it.
You might be a Mom if… you consider 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep refreshing and a good night.
You might be a Mom if… when you hear someone about to throw up you instinctively reach out to catch it in your hand.
You might be a Mom if… you can carry 6 bags of groceries, an open juice box, a purse, a diaper bag, 2 dolls, and a 30 pound sleeping child in one trip without dropping a single thing.
You might be a Mom if… you check for floaters in your drink before you take a sip in case one of your kids got to it first.
You might be a Mom if… the magic of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day has returned.
You might be a Mom if… your refrigerator also doubles as an art display.
You might be a Mom if… you know the actors in the Teen Bop magazine cover.
You might be a Mom if… you catch yourself singing “Let it Go” while at work or the grocery store.
You might be a Mom if… you just started singing “Let it Go” in your head.
You might be a Mom if… your tablet case looks like a monster, a cartoon character, or has stickers all over it.
You might be a Mom if… all the apps on your phone are for ages 3+
You might be a Mom if… you schedule your pap smear around PTA meetings, play dates, and baby-sitter availability.
You might be a Mom if… you could serve a full meal with the food that is on the floor board of your car.
You might be a Mom if… your serving wear has cartoon characters on them… even the forks.
You might be a Mom if… you go to sporting events where the star athlete scores in the opposing team’s goal more times than in their own. And they are excited when they do so.
You might be a Mom if… you look forward to the annual Spelling Bee because it is a chance for you to socialize with other adults.
You might be a Mom if… you have ever told someone “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit”.
You might be a Mom if… you have ever swatted blindly into your backseat while driving hoping to connect with an arm, leg, SOMETHING because of what was going on back there.
You might be a Mom if… you consider arriving 5 minutes later than scheduled as being early.
You might be a Mom if… you have ever gone through a car wash for entertainment.
You might be a Mom if… you are an expert at doing hair and nails but yours always looks like crap.
You might be a Mom if… you pee yourself a little when you sneeze/cough/laugh.
You might be a Mom if… you have several clothing items get ruined by the adhesive from stickers.
You might be a Mom if… you have rewashed the same load of clothing 4 times to try to get the desiccant completely out of the laundry from the diaper that exploded when you washed the original load.
You might be a Mom if… you are the Master at hiding things; so good, in-fact, that you forget where they are.
You might be a Mom if… you are going to reread this because this is a very accurate description of you.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chloe Gump's Pet Company

For T’s 6th birthday she got a fish tank and a few fish since she had been begging for months for a pet of her own. After a few weeks we decided to upgrade to a larger tank so we could get more critters and Chloe was able to get a pet of her very own too. We went to the pet store and Chloe got a shrimp. Yes, a pet shrimp; not the yummy kind you dip in drawn butter but a see-through tiny creature with beady eyes. Chloe was thrilled and gave him a really unique name – Shrimpy.

Every morning the girls would rush to the fish tank to feed them and to look for Shrimpy. He (I am assuming it is a he, I don’t know how to tell the gender of a shrimp) liked to hide in the pink princess castle in the tank. Since he was transparent all you could really find were his creepy little eyes or his antenna-thingies; I am pretty sure that is the scientific name for them. At the pet store he was pretty cool, swimming around all over the place, but in our tank he was ridiculously boring and almost never moved into the open.

One morning my husband was looking at the tank with the girls and there, floating in the tank, was what appeared to be Shrimpy. It was his husk floating in the tank and Hubs showed it to the girls. T thought it was cool but Chloe started to scream and cry as typical and ran away to wallow in agony. He explained it was just Shrimpy’s old shell and that it meant he was growing which is a good thing. He then pointed out the actual Shrimpy cowering in a corner just like always which pacified the beast, I mean Chloe.

Later that day they told me about the incident and Hubs let me know Chloe was crying over the shrimp. These shrimp are literally $0.50 at the pet store so I declared when he actually does die I am going to buy a new one and no one will know the difference to save myself the drama. Hubs disagreed and made the point that we don’t need to lie to the girls, that we will tell them the truth like we did when Mr. D (my cat) died. Seeing as how they still cry over that cat and we let them eat breakfast with his ashes I am not sure that is the best approach but I agreed (see “Nothing a dead can’t fix” for the details on that one).

Last weekend it was time to clean the tank, the filter was nasty and there was a ton of stuff floating around the bottom of the tank. The girls were really excited to help me and caught the fish and snail and put them in the holding tank. T was worried about Shrimpy and I told her not to worry, he was most likely in the princess castle like he had been the last 2 weeks. He doesn’t move much so I wasn’t concerned.

When I picked the castle up no shrimp came scurrying out. He wasn’t in the rock or around the plant. Crap, where is he? I pulled the filter out; nope, not stuck to it or inside.

The girls started to cry.

“Don’t worry, I am sure he is in here. He is see-through, he probably is just among the fuzzy stuff on the rocks.”

He wasn’t. Super crap. That damn shrimp was nowhere to be found. Not an antenna, a husk, nothing. The girls REALLY started to cry.

“Momma!!! He’s dead! You killed Shrimpy!!!” yep, blame me. It’s always the mothers fault.

“Maybe Shrimpy is tricking us and wanted to go down the drain because he wanted to go to the ocean” Ah-ha! This will make them happy, they’ve watched Finding Nemo a hundred times and love when the fish escape!


Damn-it! These kids are too smart.

I couldn’t pull anything else out of my rear. I admitted I thought he was dead.

Oh the wails! Tears, sobs, snot, and misery all erupted out of them like lava from a volcano. They were howling and hugging each other and declaring how much they were going to miss their favorite pet shrimp.

“T, didn’t you just tell me a few days ago that he was boring and you wanted to return him to the pet store?”

That was adding salt to the wound.

“BUT *sob* I LOVED *hiccup* HIM!” snot, tears, more snot (kids are gross).

I had to leave the room, I didn’t want them to see how much their pain was entertaining me. I went in the living room and heard them start to sing songs about how much they loved Shrimpy – “I am going to miss Shwimpy, he was the best pet evew!” this continued for quite a while.

They went over to the craft table, still singing, pulled out the crayons and paper and drew several pictures of shrimpy, some with hearts all over the paper. T came up to me with her picture, tears glistening in her eyes, Chloe beside her with tear stained cheeks.

“Momma, can we put Shrimpy in a can like Mr. D?”

“No honey. We have to have a body to be able do that. Shrimpy is gone. But we can keep this picture to remember him”

Sniffle. “OK. Can we go to the pet store? I want to tell them he died, and maybe we can get a new fish?”

Rest in Peace, Shrimpy, you won't be forgotten. Just kidding, it had been a whole 15 minutes - time to fill the vacancy in the aquarium. 

My hubs made a good point about that shrimp after he read this post - The only thing exciting that shrimp ever did was die, twice.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Going out in College vs Going out Today

A few months back my friends and I got a rare treat, a girl’s night out. It was a lot of fun but it struck me how different a night out is now compared to many many (many) years ago when I was young, single, and my body wasn’t wrecked from babies, age, and way too many M&M's.

In my single days:

Work till 11 pm, go home smelling like fried chicken and sweat after working a 9 hour shift at a restaurant in town. I need to hop in the shower but there is only one bathroom at the house I share with 2 other roommates. No big deal; there is a shower curtain there for a reason, right? As I shower my roommate comes in to pee.

“Hey” I call out, “Bring me a beer, I need to catch up!” They started at Happy Hour so I needed to start chugging if I wanted to achieve their level of drunk-ness.

I drink a beer while finishing up my shower. I shave my legs, (who knows what will happen tonight, I might get lucky) wash my hair and dry off quickly. At this point in time there are random people in my home. No big deal, I wrap up in a towel, walk through the kitchen and head to my room to get dressed.

I put on a slinky, sexy outfit (i.e. 2 sizes too small and my muffin top is popping out), blow dry my hair, use a putty knife to slather on my makeup and slip on the highest heels I can stand (which only make me 5’3” as I am ridiculously short). During this time I drink another beer. Crap! Am I missing a game of Never Have I Ever? I need to hurry up!

I am finished getting ready, I grab another beer and head to where everyone is. The music is loud, people are laughing, dancing, drinking. It is midnight, still too early to go out; it doesn’t get busy till 12:30 – 1 am, no point in heading out yet. Yuck, this canned beer is hot, better chug it and grab another.

Finally, 5 beers and 2 shots later, it is time to go out. I get to the bar/club with my friends and drunkenly attempt to not have to pay the cover charge. After paying to get in we dance, yell over the ridiculously loud music, and drink until last call. Then I head home (plus or minus a few people).

The next morning we lay around, hung over, and decide who is going to go get biscuits from Hardee’s. We clean up the mess from the night before, collecting beer cans, solo cups, and cigarette butts, the smell is awful, I dry heave a little. After that I take a nap, I have to be at work at 4 pm so I need to get some sleep, it is Saturday and there is a great band playing at the bar tonight.

You know, hair of the dog and all.

Going Out Now

After a week of reminding my husband that I have plans to go out I am SO ready for some crazy fun!

Seriously? He forgot?!? Ugh, ok, we will go at 7 when he gets home from work instead of 6 like originally planned.

Sweet! My friend is here in her boss Mini-van to pick me up, I don’t have to worry about drinking and driving – whoop whoop, I can have 2 glasses of wine tonight! We head to over pick up our other friend who is eagerly awaiting our arrival in her driveway, giant purse in hand; I hop in the back after moving aside her son’s soccer gear and toys. This is going to be EPIC!

We go to the nail salon and get pedicures. After consulting with each other we get wild and splurge for a design on our big toe – with crystals on mine, I feel special. Gotta take a picture to capture this! Now what? Time to go get dinner; it is still early-ish at only 8 pm. Maybe we’ll go see a movie after.

We pile up into the mini-van and head to a restaurant/bar. We all want to sit in non-smoking away from the bar; it stinks and is too loud. No one is in the mood to have to yell to be heard. Man, it is dark in here; can they not afford decent lighting?

I order a glass of wine and sip on it before I get my entrĂ©e, as do my friends. We talk and giggle about work, kids, men, whatever comes up. I bring up how Mini-van friend had to do the stop and squeeze earlier that day because she began to laugh and nearly peed herself. Our other friend calls out “I pee myself all the time!” and whips out a bag which contains a pair of spare panties. She slaps the panties on the table and lets us know that anytime she laughs, sneezes, coughs, she pees herself and has taken to always having a spare pair of underwear with her. Her husband even asks her anytime she laughs if she peed herself and typically the answer is yes. Having babies will wreck your bladder control, along with other things.

Man can I relate to that. Good to know I am not the only one. I am so going to have to get a cute bag to put some spare panties in; that is a genius idea.

I yawn. It is 9:30, getting kind of late. At this point we have all agreed that we will have to go to the movies another time; my friends don’t want to have to pay their babysitters more than they have to, it is nearly Christmas and Black Friday is 2 days away. The babysitter for one of my friends is on her way to the restaurant and drops off her son since the sitter has a date tonight, it is still early for her so she has plenty of time to go home and get ready.

I am home by 10. Good grief I am exhausted, I wouldn’t have stayed awake for a movie anyway. Yay! Hubby got the girls to bed so I don’t have to do that I can put on my pj’s or any pants without a zipper and crawl into bed.

Hubby gives me “the look”; he is hoping to get lucky. No thanks, I didn’t shave my legs, I have my jammies on and I am really tired, maybe tomorrow?

The next morning I wake up at 6, quickly get dressed and head out the door. The minivan pulls up and we head over to grab our friend from last night, there is a big sale at K-Mart and we need to get there early to take advantage of the deals.

My head hurts; I think I have a hangover from that second glass of wine. I need a cup of coffee and an Advil. Won't be doing that again for a while.

I think this quote pretty much sums it up:

“I used to carry a pair of spare panties with me in case I got lucky, now I carry them with me in case I sneeze” - A wise woman who obviously had a kid

Friday, February 27, 2015

This is nothing that a dead cat can't fix

This morning Chloe woke up happy as could be, she ran into the living room, said Good Morning, gave me a hug and requested chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. No problem, I can do that, we survived to Friday (who would've guessed?)! As I began to make them she asked me for Daddy’s iPad since she saw T was playing mine. I went to go get it and *gasp* Daddy was using it.

Oh the humanity!!! Chloe was beyond mad, she wanted that iPad and she wanted it RIGHT NOW! I know because she screamed it over and over. Then she switched to yelling “I JUST CAN”T HELP IT!”, what she couldn’t help I am not quite sure, but it was obviously outside her control.

After about 5 minutes of flopping and screaming in the hall she realized that her efforts were not working so she came into the dining room to ensure I could hear her howls of discontent.


Seriously? I mean I knew today was dress-as-what-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up day at school so apparently I am sending her as a hobo?

“Chloe, what do you want if you don’t like houses?”


“Then go outside. I’ll bring your breakfast to you”


She ran off into her bedroom, throwing the pillows and blankets off her bed all the while screaming how much she hated pillows, how stupid blankets are, how socks are the bane her existence, etc. After about 10 minutes of that I decided enough was enough and she needed to eat breakfast which I am sure was stupid and ug-a-ly by that point.

When I tried to open her door she was flopped against it so I had to tell her to move so I can open the door. She huffed and puffed and ran into the closet and yelled at me “GET OUT!!! YOU ARE MEAN!”

I did not get out. I sat in there and finally managed to calm her down, attempting to explain that she can’t take the iPad from someone if they are using it. She continued to sob, sniffle and whine but the screaming had ceased (I think only because her throat was parched from screeching for 20 minutes straight).

I set her at the kitchen table with her pancakes and juice and she took a bite and within seconds burst into tears.

“Chloe, what is wrong now?”

“I miss Mr. D!!”

You have got to be kidding me, Mr. D is my cat that died 18 months ago. She is only 3, that is literally half her lifetime. When he died my husband had him cremated since I didn’t want to bury him so I keep him in my room in his little kitty urn.

“I can bring him in here, he’s in my room” I said, only half joking.

She turned to me, tears streaming down her cheeks and nodded “Ok”

I set his urn on the table and Chloe continued to cry. T, being the good big sister said “Cwo-e, it’s OK, take a deep bweafases and cawm down. He is still here in our hawts.”   

So my daughters ate their breakfast with a cremated cat on the table. Hey, I'll do whatever it takes to make it through the day, it was only 7 am and I had a long way to go.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Learn from Me; Leave Your Kids at Home When it's Time to Shop

All my friends and family have always thought that Chloe was the "sweetest little thing". While she was a fatty-boo-batty at birth (8 lbs 1oz - I am 4'11", I wheezed while talking since she was in my ribs) once she left the sanctity of my womb she slowed her roll and has remained a pip squeak ever since. But her big personality makes up for her tiny stature and she always makes sure her voice is heard. Due to her undeniable cuteness and the dimple that allows her to get away with murder most do not believe me when I say this child has a horrible temper.

When Chloe was a few months old I must have forgotten to take my meds because I made the irrational decision to take both girls grocery shopping. My husband was at home and offered to keep both of them but I insisted "It will be fine. I worked all week and want to spend as much time with them as possible". So I went on my way, strapped Chloe into the Baby Bjorn and put T in the front of the cart and set to it.

Everything was fine and dandy until I was nearly finished. Chloe was tired of being in the baby-straight jacket and was getting hungry. The bad thing about breast feeding is you can't just shove a bottle into their mouths and keep browsing through the yogurt selection. Knowing I was almost done I just kept on and popped a paci in her mouth. This soothed her for about 15 seconds before round 2 started.

Once again I put the paci in her mouth and scurried to the checkout line. Every friggin' lane had a line so I jumped around and bounced like a junkie going through detox in the hopes of soothing her.

What a futile effort. She had had enough, she began to scream and cry, kicking her little feet to the point where her shoes came off and pounding me with her chubby fists. Every time I would put her paci back in her mouth she would spit it out in rage. How DARE I try to quiet her. It was so bad that people from other lines were walking over to see if they needed to call DSS on me because surely I was ripping her arm out of socket. It was finally my turn to check out and I threw everything on the belt as quickly as possible not even caring that put the milk on top of the bread all the while apologizing for the baby Hulk strapped to my chest. I threw my debit card at the cashier to pay and hauled ass out of there, keeping my head down hoping no one would recognize me.

I had learned my lesson and the next week I left the kids at home with the hubs to go to the store. It was so nice, like a mini vacation where I could look at labels and not worry if anyone was raking boxes of crap into my cart when I turned around or asking every 5 seconds for something. I was quite pleased with myself, I was able to get everything I needed and even make sure to check prices in about 30 minutes, something that would take half a day with the kids. I was planning to treat myself to a latte after that!

As I was sorting all my items onto the belt like a normal person(cold with cold, boxes with boxes, etc) the cashier had a smirk on her face.

"I remember you" she said

"You do? Um, OK" - Weirdo.

"You're baby was pitching a fit! I had never seen a baby act like that before, good gracious she was screamin' and hollerin'!!" *guffaw,chortle,laugh*

"Yep, thanks for reminding me. It wasn't bad enough when it happened so I appreciate you bringing it up today" *eye roll*

I am just glad that now we have a new grocery store I can shop at so the next time I am horribly embarrassed by my kids (and it will happen) I can switch to another one till they forget about the incident. Chloe continues to snow some but her jig is up at the grocery store.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Say "Yes" to the mess

My house is an absolute disaster. With a full time job, 2 kids, and pets there is not a chance of ever having a single nice, orderly square foot in my home. I knew that it had gotten really bad when the last time I was cleaning the kids had asked me who was coming over.

I realize that I am not the only one who fights the non-stop chaos and doesn’t win. We all complain about laundry and dishes while the hubby sits on the couch watching football wondering why you keep giving him the evil eye as you go in and out of the living room putting up clothes and straightening the clutter; just to have your kids dump out a pile of Legos or *shudder* get out the play-doh.

I try. I really do, but I think I suffer from cleaning ADHD - that's a known medical condition, right? Maybe just ADD now that I think about it, I am too lazy to be considered hyper. I will start cleaning the kitchen and do the dishes, sweep the floor and then while putting the toys back that were on the counter I get distracted by the barbie bin that has been dumped out. While picking the naked barbies (why are they ALWAYS naked?) I will find a random sock so I will put it in the hamper, then I realize I need to do laundry. I will put a load of clothes in the washing machine and will see a pair of shoes in the laundry room. I will put them in my closet which I notice really needs straightened, and so on. I end up spending 5 hours "cleaning" and the house is still a catastrophe.

Sadly I have reached a point in my life where I just don’t give a damn if you come and see my home the way we live in it. If you judge my home then quite honestly I don’t want you in it. A good friend of mine feels the same way and not only do we not do the scurry-and-clean before having one another over, we tell each other our dirty (literally) secrets.
Before her son’s birthday party she resorted to placing dirty dishes in a bag and hid them in the laundry basket, this was after tossing the dirty laundry that was in the basket into the washing machine crossing her fingers it wasn’t already filled with wet clothes molding and waiting to go into the full dryer. She, like me, will grab all the crap off her counters and toss it into whatever drawer/cabinet/purse that isn’t already crammed to the brim with junk. I have been known to toss the towering pile of mail that lives happily on my counter top into a closet (only to forget and then later realize I never paid the cable/water/electric bill – oopsie).

My mom and my sisters are probably horrified when they walk into my home. They are the kind that no matter how clean their home is they apologize for the mess. I am not sure if they actually think it is dirty or if that is their passive-aggressive way to make me feel inferior about my lackluster housekeeping skills. I am not at all worried about that one lonely spec of dirt on your floor or the coffee mug that you haven’t yet washed, thank you very much.

My friend battles the same thing with her family. Whenever her mom is coming to visit she gets out the mop (that her mother gave her as a Christmas present – hint hint) and dusts for the first time since the last visit. The pressure to clean her home before her mom visits must be pretty bad (or they haven’t yet reached the “I give up” phase like I have). Her sister recently had the flu and got so sick that she hit her head and passed out. Her husband rushed her to the ER and got their Mom to come watch the kids. When she came to her first concern was not that she was so sick that she gave herself a concussion while throwing up and passed out.  Instead she was upset that her Mother was in her home without her having the opportunity to be able to do the "cram-clean".

Don’t get me wrong, I wish I were more organized and a little more anal about vacuuming and dusting. I realize it isn’t October anymore and I should really get rid of my cobwebs that helped to create a spooky ambiance (worked at the time). It would be great to be able to not lose my car keys 3 days a week or to be able to sort clothes in the laundry room without first having to move a hundred things.

I really need to suck it up and hire someone to come in to keep the house presentable. Problem is I would have to straighten it up first and lets face it, probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

So tell me, what are your dirty little secrets?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Why you shouldn't let your kindergartener watch Shark Week

I took my girls swimming at the local Y this Saturday in an effort to get some of their energy out and for me to burn a calorie or two. My oldest is a little fish and my youngest, well she loves her water wings.

We got there and thankfully the water was not too cold. I personally hate cold water and my kids have -2% body fat so they turn purple and shake within 5 minutes of being in 85 degree water. I, on the other hand, am insulated like a walrus so I never turn purple, instead I just bitch the entire time that my blubber is cold. Of course the girls would rather go into hyperthermic sleep before admitting they are cold and they want to get out.

The girls always want to play a game. Usually at the pool it is mermaids which I don't mind. Naturally they are sisters in the game and their mom is dead. I am assuming that is due to every damn Disney movie having the mom be dead, normally that wouldn't bother me but since that whole pesky cancer diagnosis I am not a big fan of the kids pretending their mother is deceased. Anyway, I have to play the evil aunt/human/squid or whatever they decide. They also never let me say what I want, I have to follow their script or else I am yelled at for ruining the game. I typically oblige unless I just am in the mood to pester them which happens about 20% of the time. They are so cute when they are angry.

T, like every other little girl, likes mermaids but more than that she loves sharks. We still have to watch Shark Week shows that are recorded on the DVR (shark week has long been over). She even recently participated in a pageant where they asked her on stage what her favorite movie was. In a strangely low voice I have never heard before she said "Shawk Week". I'm telling you, this kid is super cool for a 6 year old girl.

Alright, alright, simmer down folks, I am not a Mama June wanna-be with a little Honey boo-boo, although my second chin is starting to fill in nicely. She wasn't dressed like a 14 year old prostitute, I don't do glitz and glam - and she didn't win, the 8 year old that looked 22 won. Not a glitz and glam pageant my ass.

T's favorite shark is a hammerhead and one of the shark week shows we watch is "Monster Hammerheads" which is about a huge hammerhead shark that has been spotted in the Atlantic Ocean and was named "Old Hitler". Mid-way through our time in the pool, right when other people started coming in to swim, T decides it is time to start playing "Shawk Week".

So as the other swimmers are approaching where we are T places her hands on her head to make a fin and yells out (apparently her ears are full of water) "Mom, watch out!! Here comes Old Hitler!" to which Chloe replies in her equally loud voice that echoes "No! Mommy don't hurt him, I love Hitler".

I could practically hear the snapping and feel the breeze from the others in the pool whipping their heads in my direction to see what kind of mother would let their kids play Hitler in the pool. I tried to redeem myself somehow before the pitchforks and torches came out so I replied in an unnaturally loud voice "Girls, didn't that SHARK you saw on SHARK WEEK have another name?"

"No Mommy, his name was Old Hitler! Stay still, he is going to come kill you."

We won't be visiting the pool at the Y for a while, I feel for our safety we may need to lie low. The girls will have to make do playing sharks in the bath for a few months.