Monday, January 31, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way out of the PBK store

So you know, I am a stay at home Mom.  Sometimes, I get bored.  Sometimes I go shopping.  Or looking.  I don't always buy something.

But the other night, my love of shopping/looking at the mall cover was blown, and it was blown hard.

My sister Ali asked me if I wanted to go up to Pottery Barn with her to get a new couch.  Obviously, she couldn't get the couch she originally wanted from the jerk salesman in Saugerties because she is a good and loyal sister like that.   She totally felt me when I said we'd never shop there again.  And by "we" I meant every single person I know and will spew my story to.

So Ali, Tyrone and I drove up to the mall together, then figured we'd meet Alex at the other mall for dinner.  There is a Cheesecake Factory and PF Chang's at the other mall, so that was where we were planning on eating - not the food court.  Have you ever seen those shows on how dirty and germy and just unclean those food court restaurants are??   There are roaches and mouse droppings.  Ugh.  I can't even think of eating in one of those places.

Anyway, back to the furniture shopping.  Ali does a lot of hemming and hawing.  I do not hem or haw, as a rule.  If I like something, I buy it.  That's it.  I need a quick sit to make sure it's comfy, then I'm all like, "I'll take it!"  Yeah, not Ali.  Oh, she definitely draws the process out.  She needs to measure, to feel it, to sit on it and pretend we are watching TV with a glass of wine on it...  so after the second glass of imaginary wine, I felt like my time would be better spent at Pottery Barn Kids.  

You know, just to look around.

So of course while I am in there, I found a couple of perfect things that were on clearance, because I am all bargain-hunterish like that.  I just did the kids rooms over, so I picked up curtains and a new lampshade for Meg's room and knobs for Brooke's closet doors, and also a sham for a pillow in her room. Seriously I got a lot for for $24 bucks, right??  It would have been a crime if I passed by such bargains!  Let me tell just you about the great sales they were having! So yeah, I was having fun doing my thing.

So I was wrapping up my sale, and Ali and Ty came in because they were finished drinking their imaginary wine on the couch in the other store.  We were chit chatting at the counter while the girl was checking me out, and then it happened.

One of the workers came out and gave me my lampshade, which he had to get from the store room, and he goes, "Here's your shade Jessica.  See you next week!"

So I said thanks and we start walking out of the store, and Ali stops and looks at me and goes, "Are you kidding me??" 

And I'm all like, "What??"

And she goes, "So you're telling me that the random guy who works at Pottery Barn Kids knows you by name??!  Do you really go in there that much??!"

So I smiled, because you know, it is kind of funny.  I just chalked it up to the guy having a great memory, like Marilu Henner or something.

And she shakes her head and goes, "There is something so wrong with that Jessee."

Then she told on me.  Like she tattled to Alex!  She threw me right under the bus as soon as he walked in the door to the restaurant!  Like I was going to get in trouble.  Ha!  I laugh at the face of trouble.

ps - so we went to PF Chang's for dinner and the food was so great, but do you want to hear the worst thing ever??  They are now putting the calories of the food you order right next to them on the menu!!  Can you believe that?? Way to freaking go with the guilt PFC!  Sheesh.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

feel the love?

This is the cutest thing ever:
Brooke was making a picture for Meg.  Oh it kills me, the drawings of a five year old.  I actually can't believe she is reading and writing so many words in Kindergarten.  Brooke just loves her sister so much.  Sometimes too much.  Poor Megan is many times dodging the love bullet.  Brooke is in her space, like constantly.  

Megan is more like me - she needs her own space.  She likes quiet time, time to read and relax and just chill.  By herself.  She likes her privacy.  Brooke, who is more like her Dad, prefers constant entertainment and doesn't like to play alone. Megan is definitely her go-to gal for a circus-like atmosphere and that kind of stuff.

I have to say Meg really rolls with it pretty well.  She's such a good big sister.  She plays Bratz and Barbies and Polly's and House when she'd rather be reading or writing or doing a craft project.  I guess that is one of the tough things about having kids spaced kind of far apart -- they are definitely on different levels.  I try to sort of arrange stuff for them to do that they both enjoy, like making things and baking.

I just want them to be close when they grow up.  Like me and my sisters.  I want them to be best friends.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I just wanted to close my eyeballs for a minute

Yesterday, I was in the living room "reading."

Air quotes because "reading" quickly turned into "closing my eyes for a minute in the dark because I had a dumb headache."

So I hear Brooke call out from the other room, "Mom where are you?"

And I say, "In here, resting my eyeballs."

And she comes rushing in and says worriedly, "You got kicked in the balls?!"

OK.  Timeout while I paint the picture for you: my sweet blonde-headed princess girl with her little five year old voice saying such a thing.

So of course I'm all like, "What??"

And she crawls up into my lap and says, "I thought you said you got kicked in the balls,"  while sucking her finger and snuggling into me with her blanket.  It was a very sweet moment.  And I was momentarily distracted by the sweetness and snuggling. 

Then I was all like, "Where did you hear that word?"

And she's all like, "Daddy said it the other day when Alex kicked him when they were wrestling."

And I said, while inwardly scowling at my husband, "Well, we don't say balls."

And she sits there for a minute, thinking it over.  And then she's like, "Well did you get kicked in the penis then?"

So we've established that A) Brooke needs some clarification on anatomy, and B) Dad needs some clarification on appropriate responses to searing pain in front of little girls.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I swear this is the last time I mention it

Speaking of mini vans, the first experience I had with driving one was when I lived in Colorado, back in the 80's.

Let me just start by saying that everything embarrassed me when I was 17.  Especially dorky cars.  And the only car that was available for me to drive out in Colorado belonged to my aunt. Even though it was a new model and actually very nice, I was still mortified to drive it.

It was a yellow VW mini bus.  Back then they weren't called mini vans.  I think they were called nerdy embarrassing mortifying Vanagons or something.  Anyway, I was actually very lucky to be able to drive it, but every time I did, I would slink way low in the seat, like very concerned that I might be seen by someone in a much cooler vehicle.  Not that anyone knew me or anything.  But it was still a huge concern.  And trust me, everyone out there had a much cooler vehicle. 

It's actually funny because my boyfriend at the time drove a red VW bug - like one of the older models, and that didn't embarrass me at all.  I loved that car.  Except when it caught on fire when we were on the highway one day.  If I remember correctly, we had to brave the flames to grab a bottle of alcohol out of the glove compartment so we didn't get caught with it.  It was definitely embarrassing when the tow truck dropped us off at our destination (a wedding) with a smoking charred VW hooked up to the back of it though.
Where I lived in CO, it seemed like everyone was loaded - kids my age had awesome cars, and they all drove to school.  The school parking lot looked like a new car dealership.  Make that a high end new car dealership.  I took the bus.  Then this girl I met my first week there took pity on me and started picking me up every day in her huge shiny Bronco.  Seriously, I'm pretty sure the brand new Bronco was nicer than any car that any kid I knew back home had.

Now that I think of it, the bright yellow VW bus was a huge step up from anything I was allowed to drive back home.  Back home, we used to drive two cars as teenagers - one we named the Crud Mobile, and the other was affectionately called The Manila Envelope.  The crud mobile was this massive white car that my dad let us drive.  It was so deeply embedded in the mortifying category that nothing could pull it out.  The crud mobile was so wide that it took up an entire lane.  Seriously.  The entire lane.  I am actually positive that car would not fit in my current two car garage.  The interior was huge and fit a crap load of kids.  And the upholstered ceiling was coming down, so as you were driving, you were paying less attention to keeping the car on the road and more attention to swatting the upholstery out of your face.

The Manila Envelope was another of my dad's extra large cars that he let us drive.  Again with the massive wideness.  Except this one was a subtle Manila Envelope-type of color.  Pretty tough to slyly show up somewhere in that ride.  Typically, we would park about a block away from wherever it was that we were going because we were so embarrassed.  Ah.  Good times.

I do have great memories of driving around in those cars though.  Even though they were bigger than a swimming pool, I still had some sense that I was lucky to have wheels, because not everybody did.  We lived in the country, so besides going anywhere within walking distance, we needed a ride. 

I cannot even imagine my kids faces if I pulled up to pick them up from school in one of those cars.  Anybody have an old crappy Impala that I can borrow? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

validation? uh, no.

So I was watching the Today Show yesterday morning and there was a little clip on bringing the mini van into the cool category.  It was kind of a little funny and coincidental because I was talking about the cool factor of my new mini van on Friday's post.  And one of my favorite bloggers was actually in the clip -- Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Mini Van. I was like, Hey!  I know her!  Kind of. In a weird bloggish sort of way. 

If I hadn't already been a little behind on reading Kristen's posts, I would have known she was going to be on the Today Show. Because of course after seeing the clip I went and read and got all caught up. In one of her posts she was talking about how they filmed her for the spot and how it was edited a little to make it look like loading her kids up in her van was a smooth piece of cake. Kind of funny because loading four kids under the age of 5 or 6 into any vehicle is usually not exactly a smooth piece of cake.  (incidentally, I'm not sure if the term "smooth piece of cake" actually works, but I'd like to think you get what I mean) I wonder if the producers really think that normal parents believe it when they make it look so "smooth."

But so anyway, the point of the little tiny segment was to see if mini vans could ever possibly be cool.  The person who was talking through the segment was all like, "mini vans are the sweat pants of cars - comfortable and practical but totally not stylish." (I have to admit, that was a great analogy)

I was thinking it was a little on the overboard side though.  Like, really?  Do people really care that much?  Maybe it's because I am practical that I don't care one iota if people consider a mini van "frumpy."  Dude.  It's a vehicle.  Besides four wheels, it has a couple of fun bells and whistles, and bells and whistles make me happy.  And it makes my life easier.  Easier = happier.  Happy mom = a good thing.  (I am aware that I just said dude.  But I meant it so it stays)

And for the record, I kind of like sweat pants.  Sorry!!!  I guess that makes me frumpy, but whatever.  Does it help if I don't wear granny panties hardly ever

And now, finally, I am done talking mini vans and underpants.  I am over it and over this boring post.   

*On a side note, I'd like to make you all aware of the fact that I got a standing O from my husband last night regarding the dinner that I made.  And a round of applause.  It was very exciting.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I had a lot of strong ideas about what it meant to be a mother, and how I was going to raise my daughter when I had her. I had all of the control because I was single and didn’t have to share her with anyone. Nobody else’s ideas had to be compromised with, nobody else’s traditions had to be accounted for, it was just me and her. And my life and her life were mixed up together and it became our life.

Things weren't easy. It was really hard sometimes. But being her mother was everything that I expected. The hard parts often times had to do with being lonely or being scared. Even though I liked that I didn’t have to share the parenting with anyone, I longed for someone, sometimes. Sometimes when it was dark and Kara was sleeping and I was by myself, the house quiet and peaceful around me, I would look outside into the deep darkness, and I would just cry lonely tears. It was worse if it was a clear night and the moon was bright enough to see the shadows on it. I would imagine that maybe the person that was supposed to be for me was looking at the same shadows on the moon, somewhere. Sometimes I went to bed when Kara did because it was easier to just sleep the hours away than to face the hours alone.

A lot of times I thought that I would never be able to give Kara a “real family,” and it made me feel sad and scared, and selfish for choosing to do things the way that I had. I would look at my sister and her husband, and I would be envious that I couldn’t give that to my child. I know Kara was envious of that too. My sister’s husband used to just automatically include Kara in a lot of things he did with his daughter – like he was her surrogate dad. But she always knew that he wasn’t hers. That hurt me, for her. And I knew it was my fault.

Kara was never at a loss for people who loved her though, and that was good. I have always felt lucky and grateful to have a family that was in my corner, who loved and accepted Kara, who accepted our situation. We got by. We did good. We made it.

I wonder sometimes what it would have been like, if I hadn’t been alone all of those years when I was so young myself. I wonder where I would be right now and how it would have made Kara a different person, if she had a "real family" when she was younger. 

I wonder who I would have grown up to be.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The thing about the minivans

So today I am going to pick up my new minivan and I am super excited about it.  I said that in all seriousness.  I swear.

I remember when I went from my Expedition (which I loved) to a minivan and I had a little bit of a hard time adjusting.  We decided to go mini van because well, it seemed logical.  Also, because of my irrational fear that of one of my kids would fall out of the Expedition while I was driving on the highway.  Incidentally, that fear may not necessarily be irrational because Megan really did fall out of the Expedition.  It was not moving at the time, but she was only 12 months old and omg.  It was mighty traumatic.  I had to bring her to the hospital, my poor baby.  She had the biggest knot on her head that I ever saw, it was so scary. 

Here's the thing.  Mini vans are designed for people like me.  Why would I have a problem with that?  I have a bunch of kids, and we are in and out of the car multiple times a day and it is just so much easier.  I just have to push a button and the doors open!  There is space!  There are no muddy footprints on the seats because someone had to hop in the way back!  The middle windows go down!  There is enough room for SIX kids!  Wait.  Do I really want that option??  I also really like that this particular van looks a little less like a van, and a little more like those crossover SUV's.  I think on the reviews some people say it looks like a hearse.  But I like it!

And let me just tell you, I was waiting for the van I am getting because it is way cool.  It has the neatest features.  And I love neat features.  I'm a dork like that.  It has a little fridge in it!  And this cool thing where I can download photos and it shows on a screen saver right on the dashboard.  And it has a great entertainment system.  And a blue tooth. (which is apparently a good thing - I am not exactly sure what I do with it, but I am sure I will figure it out).  The thing that I am really looking forward to is being able to have my ipod hook right in there without wires and extra crap, and apparently, it saves my playlist?  I guess I'll have to figure it out.  But I am happy.

So anyway, I am going to thrill you with a few picture of my beauteous new van.  Because I don't have anymore time to write.  Because I am heading out to get it like in five minutes!  Yay!

ps - It is going to look that clean and shiny and spanking new forever and ever amen!  No goldfish smashed into the floor, no juice boxes left half empty in a cup holder.  No footprints on the seat.  No misc accumulation of my junk in my area.  Right?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God doesn't want me to have a new couch

OK, I only have one more thing to say about the whole furniture store incident, and that thing is, I'm pretty sure God doesn't want me to have a new couch.

I think I was touched by the hand of God, and his touch was like "Don't buy the couch Jessee."

THAT is why the jerk salesman was in my path.  He was the hand of God!

Don't you get it??  Clearly, I wasn't meant to have a new couch (Or bedroom furniture I guess.  Poor kids don't get new mattresses either.  Thanks a lot God.)

I'll tell you why.  Because after the incident, when we went home, I was thinking maybe I could do something else instead.  Maybe I can just wait a while, sock away what we were going to spend on all of that stuff and do something great with it.  Something greater than a new couch.

No, not a trip to the wine country.  That would be a little selfish.  And that would also be a little lame, because I'm not much into wine.  So then I'd be all driving around the wine country with a bunch of drunks and I'd end up having to be the designated driver.  Well now that doesn't sound too appealing. 

But here's the thing.  I really really have been wanting to go to on a mission, for like the past many years.  I think most missions are pretty churchy, and I am not all that churchy.  But I still want to go and do something good.  Like to help.  I could go to Peru.  Not to hike up Machu Pichu, however that would be pretty freaking awesome, but to work in the orphanages.  To help somehow.  I've always wanted to do it.  My sister and niece went to Peru the past few years and worked at an orphanage for deaf children, and they loved it so much.  They really felt like they made a difference.

Maybe if instead of the couches and other miscellaneous furniture, I just put aside what I was going to spend, and use it to go to Peru.  Or to Haiti.  Or to another place where I can be useful.  And less selfish.  And if it is a little unrealistic for me to be able to go somewhere to help like right now, I could just donate the money to a group or to an organization that does the kind of helping that is important to me.

It doesn't seem like all that hard of a choice, does it?

See that?  I think the jerk salesman was just there to point me away from the couches.  To point me to Peru.  Or to Haiti.

*Check this out, I was doing a little research and I found this organization that I had heard about before, Heifer International, which is an organization whose mission is to help end world hunger by helping people obtain a sustainable souce or food and income :

"Heifers Equal Hope

When a family has a cow, every morning there's a glass of rich milk for the children to drink before heading off to school. Classes are paid with the income from the sale of milk, and there's even enough to share with the neighbors.

A good dairy cow can produce four gallons of milk a day - enough for a family to drink and share with neighbors. Milk protein transforms sick, malnourished children into healthy boys and girls. The sale of surplus milk earns money for school fees, medicine, clothing and home improvements.

Better still, every gift multiplies, as the animal's first offspring is passed on to another family-then they also agree to pass on an animal, and so on.

And because a healthy cow can produce a calf every year, every gift will be passed on and eventually help an entire community move from poverty to self reliance. Now that's a gift worth giving!"

Seriously, one cow is almost the same exact amount of money I was going to spend on a chair.  One chair.  Pretty interesting perspective.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

in my head i am so mad

I am pretty level-headed.  (my husband may not agree)

I try really hard to not sweat the small stuff, as I have mentioned several times before.

It took me a long time to get to this chill place, to be honest with you.  I admit that I used to sweat the small stuff, like, hard.  I am ashamed.

But the other day, in my chill state, I was so pissed.  In my head.  And also out of my head.  And I have to admit, even though I am over it, I am still mad.

So this is what happened to get me in such a tizzy:

My husband and I went in to this furniture store for the first time to purchase a few mattresses for our children's beds. It looked a little like a hole in the wall from the outside, but inside it had four floors of furniture in varying degrees of quality.  Apparently, it is a family run business that's been around a while.  So while milling about, we found a great bedroom set, couch and chair that we decided to purchase as well - a total of 10 pieces. We spoke to the grandson of the original owner, who was one of the salesmen, and initially he seemed helpful and knowledgeable. We even went with his suggestion on an up sell of the mattresses.

While he was writing up our order, he answered another call. Which was fine.  It gave us a chance to chit chat about our purchases.  My husband and I were conversing quietly and privately about buying the couch and chair from another place we had visited, as we felt it was a better deal. (When we earlier asked about a discount for getting a bunch of stuff [which I thought was kind of customary], this salesman told us that there was no negotiation - we were getting the "everyday low price" that people came "far and wide" for.) We were still going to purchase the bedroom set and mattress (7 pieces), though we were a little turned off by his attitude. We were prepared to pay in cash.

The salesman then finished his phone call and returned to us, clearly having been eavesdropping on our conversation, and proceeded to tell us with a rude and condescending tone that there was no way that the couch and chair we were talking about (privately) was a better deal - they must be of lesser quality. That we would be foolish to purchase those items instead of the ones he was trying to sell us.  So, being the polite people that we are, we declined to purchase those items matter-of-factly, and said that we'd just be going with the bedroom set and mattress. The salesman then yanked the order from the counter, stood there and tore it up in front of our faces, then grabbed another order form, slammed it on the counter and began rewriting the order while muttering nastily under his breath. Frankly, his whole demeanor was shameful, and rather shocking.  We kind of stood there for a second, dumbfounded.

Now, when I am buying anything from a company, regardless of the price, I assume I will be treated fairly and with respect. This salesman was so rude, condescending and insulting, we just walked out. We will never go back. Funny enough, we had gone in with my sister and her husband, who were buying a couch and two children's bedroom sets - they were fully committed to spending thousands of dollars there as well. Of course, they left with us and were shocked at the behavior of this salesman as well, as were the people who were waiting behind us (who happened to hear and see the whole thing).

You know, I grew up working in my family's retail business.  I spent many years dealing with customers.  Plenty of them rude, to be honest with you.  I don't need some salesperson kissing my ass or stroking me and falling all over me to get my business.  I don't need all of that crap.  I know what I like, I will ask questions if I have them, and then, I'll buy the stuff.  No hassle, no haggle.  I am an easy customer.  I promise you.  All I expect is decency.  That's it.  Simple decency.

So that's why I am still pissed.  Today.  And I wrote a review of that store online, and I wrote a letter of complaint to the owner.  Probably won't matter, but at least it made me feel better.

FYI, the name of the store was The Saugerties Furniture Mart.  Instead of getting furniture, you should go across the street to Dallas Hot Wieners.  Whoa.  Best hot dogs like, ever.  It was a much better experience.  And a hell of a lot cheaper too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

moonshine and whiskey

My husband and I were up in Albany car shopping yesterday, and we got a call from my sister.

"Why don't you pick up some moonshine and whiskey while you're there!"  Ali says,  "Bring it over when you get back and we can watch the game together!"

Funny, because if anyone overheard the conversation they might come to the conclusion that we were illegally buying some alcohol and prepping for a big old country drunk fest.

But really, there is this place up in Albany that we go to every so often called Juniors Bar and Grill that has the best boneless wings like, ever.  Obviously, our two favorite flavors are the moonshine and the whiskey, and we couldn't not order them.  Oh my Cod.  They are amazing.  And in all honesty, their fries are pretty freaking perfect too. 

So of course we grabbed a couple of orders and brought them over to my sister's house.  We watched the Jets game.  And by we, I mean not me, because I just don't get the rules of football.  I try, I swear!  My poor son was trying so hard to explain about the downs and first and whatever and blahblahblah, I just blank after about 30 seconds.  I basically get that they are trying to make a touchdown.  And trying to keep the other team from making a touchdown.  And I know that grabbing a guy by the face mask means you get in trouble and that sacking the quarterback is something like tackling him.  I think?

Well at least I (mostly) know the rules of soccer! And baseball!  AND even basketball! :/

So while those guys were watching football (honestly I don't even know who won, and I kind of thought we hated the Jets?), I was perusing this site that Kara wanted me to check out called that is the funniest thing like ever.  I have to tell you, if you feel like a laugh, just go and read some of the submissions.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Literally.  It is a site where people submit their auto-corrected text conversations and boy.  They are something else.  I'll share a tame smattering with you because I'm all friendly like that. 

I dare you not to at least chuckle inwardly. 

Friday, January 14, 2011


Fine.  Let's put it all out there.

I've been a huge slacker.  Blog slacker that is.  I know after the holidays I said I would be back large and in charge, but my posting is fly-by-night, random and lack luster.  Or would that be lacks luster?  Oh I don't know.  But let's be real.

I have been feeling a little bit of the old writer's block, can't seem to get my thoughts together the way I want to.  It's rather irritating.  I don't know what my problem is but I am totally lacking focus.  Also, I have been pretty busy and have to admit I have even fallen way behind on my (extra long) blog roll.   I hate missing even one day of my favorite posters.  And if I do miss even one day, I am super behind because I have to read as far back as I missed.  Otherwise I could quite possibly be out of the loop.  Not exactly sure which loop, but if there is one, I don't want to be out of it.

On another note, I added a show to my line up!

It was purely accidental, I know I mentioned the quandary about adding new shows to your line up, but this one was pretty much forced upon us.  Alex's Uncle Chris has totally gotten us hooked on some great TV.  He makes these suggestions and eventually we get to them and eventually we are way hooked.  So anyway, I think around last year, UC got us season one of this show, Breaking Bad.  It just sat there unopened for a long time because for whatever reason we just didn't get going with it.

So this year, UC has been seriously badgering gently requesting that we please just check out the first episode and he promised we'd be hooked.  He also gave us season two -- because he is that sure.

Well.  UC was right.  We are hooked.  The bad news is that we've been up til like one in the morning all week just trying to squeak another episode out.  We have been glued to the couch.  What a great, weirdly twisted show.  Totally out there and different and I love it!

I don't even know what channel it's supposed to be on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An executive decision

So I made the executive decision to change my new favorite word from "snarky" to "Hobo."  Snarky isn't quite cutting it for me.  I really thought I might be able to use it frequently, but it's just not happening.  Maybe it's more of a European word.  I don't really think it will catch on here in the states.

I would like to thank my niece Abby for overusing the word Hobo, and making me really like it.  It's like the best word ever.  It just feels really funny when you say it.  It is kind of derogatory though.  Oh well.

It's a word that comes in handy, like a lot. 

Like in a situation where your sister comes over for a cup of coffee in her nighties and slippers, you can say, "You are such a hobo Ali."

Or you can say to your kids, "You hobos better get your behinds in the car!"

You can even use it on your mother.  Like when Mom was carrying a bunch of bags and presents up to her room at the resort a few weeks ago, I said "Ma, you really look like a hobo!"  And then I helped her carry a bag.  Because I am all kind like that.

So anyway -- HOBO is the word of the day.  Learn it, love it, live it.  And definitely use it as often as possible.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I have a bunch of unusual fears and one is passing tractor trailers in the rain. I've had this fear ever since I could drive on the highway.  I panic. It’s not pretty.  But those freaking huge trucks splash a crap load of stuff on your windshield so you are momentarily blinded and could potentially go off the road and die a fiery death! I think that’s a pretty rational fear. Also, I am positive that one of my kids is going to fall out of the car while I am driving on the highway. I have had many a mental freakout over the thought, and have had to actually pull over to just take a minute to chill out. Cod help me if someone opens a window in the backseat, because the sound of the window opening, like just the noise of the rushing air, would make me almost throw up – to me it sounds like the car door opening.  Is that weird? 

I am irrationally afraid of swimming in the deep end in the dark (did you ever read that short story by Stephen King about the oil slick??!!  It definitely took away my ability to ever skinny dip in the dark.  Thanks a lot SK), and irrationally afraid of shark attacks. I am positive I got attacked by a shark in Mexico when I was 16. I didn’t have the actual wounds to prove it, but I KNOW it happened.

I am rationally afraid of the book American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis and the picture of the guy on the cover. I had to hide that book from myself because it scared me so much. Freaking insane, sick book. Not in a good way either. I beg you not to attempt to read it.  I realize mentioning it in such a manner might just make you curious, which is pretty much why I bought it and read it in the first place, but it was a huge mistake.  I am not even kidding guys.

Some odd food fears:  biting into a rotten tomato, biting into an apple and seeing a worm, or even worse - 1/2 of a worm.  Oh em gee.  And I totally can't stand the thought of accidentally eating raw chicken, ew.  I feel like gagging right now.

I am also afraid of pulling one of my kids limbs out of their socket.  Which actually happened once, to my poor little Meg.  She was about 3 and we were at Gymnastics, and she was doing that thing where she would walk up my legs while I held her hands and she'd flip over.  I was totally distracted talking to someone while she was doing it, but all of a sudden, she let out a huge, pain-scream.  And Megan has always been a super mild kid - not dramatic at all.  She literally screamed the entire way to the hospital, and her arm from the elbow down was just hanging there.  Ugh it was awful.  We were lucky they took her right in and as soon as the doctor pulled it back into place (gross sounding but took about 1/10th of a second), she looked at me and smiled and said, "That feels so much better!"  In her little baby voice with tears all over her face.  It totally traumatized me.  

My fears aren't necessarily run of the mill - scared of spider-type fears.  Because I was a single mom for a long time, I had to deal with spiders and bad guys and the dark and all of that scary stuff on my own - I didn't have a guy there to smack the spider for me.  But I did sleep with a hammer under my pillow.  Not sure how I would actually defend myself with a hammer -- I guess I figured I could hammer the bad guy into submission? 

My BIL John, who isn't really a scaredy cat at all, is terrified of snakes.  He screams like a girl if he even thinks he saw one.  It's really funny.  I always picture him like one of those 50's housewives screaming on the chair in the kitchen because a little mouse ran through.  Incidentally, those housewives always wore cute aprons.  And had perfect hair and makeup.

I never wear an apron.  And my hair and makeup is pretty average.  Maybe I should wear an apron.  Hmph.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

it looks suspiciously like a cattle scale

So today I went to my nutritionist.  Did I mention that I have been going to a nutritionist?  Yeah, probably not.  Sometimes I need a little privacy.  Sometimes. But now I am sharing, so yeah.

So I went to the nutritionist today, and you have to get weighed every time you go.  So I pretty much think that it's one of the goals at the nutritionist to humiliate people.  First of all, the scale is in this main hallway area thing that all of the P.A.s, nurses, doctors and counselors are milling around in.  And by scale, I mean freaking CATTLE sized weighing device.  Like you approach that thing and if you are even a little insecure about your weight, you immediately feel like a horse just because of the way the scale looks.  They could literally fit a 26.4 cubic foot refrigerator on it.

this isn't the exact model.  but pretty close.

You know, I really should tell my BIL John about the cattle scale humiliation thing, because he really thinks that humiliation is the key to weight loss.  He was designing a weight loss camp that he was positive would work.  His methodology would be to make a person wear a pig mask and get spanked on their bare butt with a big pizza paddle if they gain weight.  It could work.  But personally, I don't want to go to that mean camp.  I don't know how many takers he would get.

So anyway, the cattle scale is in the main hallway.  Now, when I weigh myself, I of course do it totally naked and only after I go to the bathroom.  Because lets be real, urine could definitely take a third of a pound off right there.  And I need all of the help I can get.  And underpants and a bra??  Unless I was wearing a thong, I could probably take another third of a pound off for that!  And just because I like to share, I don't think I have ever put a thong on my body.  So anyway, obviously, I can't strip down naked in the main hallway of the doctor's office.  First of all, it might scare the skinny nutritionists, and second of all, it would be really cold out there.

So of course I have to get on the cattle scale in my jeans and socks and shirt.  Ugh.  Jeans weigh like four pounds.  It's not fair!  And I don't care what anyone says, I wouldn't step on a scale with shoes on if you paid me.  It's just unheard of. 

Well, the bad news is that I didn't lose any weight at all since my last appointment.  And the worse news is that this different lady that I saw completely gave me the opposite information than the last lady did.  So like, now I am all confused.  I might as well skip the effing nutritionist and do my own research and figure my own plan of action out.  And the double worse news is that my blood pressure was still high but it could be related to the cattle scale mental thing I had going on.

So I am having a bad day.

Which means I had to go to Pottery Barn Kids and buy stuff.  Like a desk for Megan and new bedding for all three little kids. 

And now I feel better.

*I am linking this post to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.  The letter is R.  As in RETAIL THEREAPY.
Jenny Matlock

Monday, January 10, 2011


Does it make me a freak if I love a new notebook?

How could a person find such joy in something so seemingly insignificant?  That might be a question you are asking yourself right now.

My love of a new notebook is equal if not greater than my love of Sharpies.

Clearly I am a freak if I get so excited with office supplies.

Did I ever mention that I could spend an entire morning in Staples?

My husband and I spent just about three hours throwing disgusting garbage and vile junk and useless crap cleaning my son's bedroom Sunday.  We did this as a unit because it was such a massive job.  We did this while he spent the entire day snowboarding with his friends.  We made the executive decision to do it while he was gone because he is somewhat like a real live hobo.  A real live pack rat hobo.   He throws nothing away.  In fact things that are real live garbage, like tags from clothes, ripped paper, yogurt containers, etc are often found under his bed, smushed between his bed and his wall, or just blatantly thrown on his floor.  So anyway, we knew if he was around he'd panic once he saw the large contractor bag begin to fill up with garbage.  The bag was so filled by the time we finished that it wouldn't even close.

So while we were cleaning his nasty hobo room out, I found some spanking new composition books.  So new that they like, make that sort of squeaky noise when you opened the cover fully.  Like nobody ever opened it before.  I was so happy.  So I confiscated it, because like, obviously!

And I started writing a few lists.  Because I like love lists.  And I have many lists that need to be written.

And my first list had a little something to do with the underlying reason that Alex and I braved my hobo son's room Sunday morning.

We had a painter coming today to repaint the kids bedrooms.  Because we're too lazy busy to paint ourselves.  And also because I tend to rush a snitch and Alex is so very s l o w, and we just don't work well together on projects like that.  Somehow I always get a glob on something and Alex is so methodical and meticulous, random globs drives him crazy  And of course we couldn't have the painter come into a hobo room or we might look like hobo parents.  So we down deep and dirty cleaned all three little kids bedrooms out. 

It was actually awesome in the end.  I feel a little lighter like we purged a ton of crap.  And my hobo son will never even know what's missing because the garbage truck comes tomorrow morning.

So anyway, the painter came today and got an awesome start on the bedrooms.  The kids are really excited because we are making a bunch of changes in each room.  Miss Brookie is finally getting a big girl bed - poor kid is still sleeping in a toddler bed.

I can not even believe I didn't take a before picture of the rooms!  What was I thinking??  I will definitely post afters.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fill in the blank

I am participating in Lauren's Fill in the Blank Friday again.  Can I just say that I love filling in the blanks?  I could fill in blanks all day long.

1. Winter is cozy.  I don't love the cold much, but I do love the change in seasons, and I love to see the big fat flakes falling while I am cozy and warm inside.

2. Summer is the best.  I love sunshine, and especially sunshine when it is warm enough to feel it on your back, bare legs tingling in the heat.  Everyone seems happier in the summer.

3. If it were summer instead of winter right now I'd be at the pool with my kids.  Watching them jump and attempt new tricks and splash and laugh and play.  I'd be eating a nice cold sandwich and some perfectly ripe fruit, drinking a nice cold glass of ice water, and beating my sister in a word game.

4. My favorite thing to do in winter is definitely a cross between watching it all from the warmth of my house and participating in the fun.  Sleigh riding with the kids is so awesome.  There's nothing sweeter than the sounds  of the happy, joyful screams of kids echoing down the hills

5. My favorite thing to do in summer is to spend the days with my kids, enjoying the sunshine.  I especially like a good BBQ, and love that we can grill every night.

6. The ideal outfit for a sunny summer day is a light pair of capris and a t-shirt, ballet flats and sunglasses.

7. The ideal outfit for a frigid winter day is yoga pants, fuzzy slippers and a couple of good warm layers on top.  Of course this involves staying inside though.

He "took a seat" at the Vatican

So there is this guy I know (not mentioning any names to protect his privacy of course) that feels the need to poop every where he goes.  Seriously.  Could I make this stuff up?

Well, I hate the word poop.  I prefer "take a seat."  It's my personal code word.  So that's what I am going with.  No offense.

I am pretty sure this unnamed guy took a seat at every single Ivy League college he visited.  He is mighty proud of this accomplishment, and is awfully happy to tell everyone about it.  He was actually visiting the schools with his smarty daughter, who incidentally is currently studying at one of the schools he took a seat at.

And this unnamed guy, he and his wife went to Italy and Rome this past fall to see a couple of soccer games, and he decided it would be really cool if he could take a seat at the Vatican.  Like, for the story of it, you know?  Because if you know this unnamed guy at all, he is always in it for the story.

Because really, how many people can say that they took a seat at the Vatican?  Probably not too many, I'm guessing.    Because even though a million people visit the Vatican, I can't imagine many of those millions think it is appropriate to take a seat there.  I mean, if you have to go, you have to go.  But to make an effort... well, that's just odd.  If you ask me.

I didn't even think that there would be a toilet there, at the Vatican.  Except, there must be.  Because even the Pope has to poop.  Ahahahahha.  I just said Pope poop.  Oh my Cod, is that sacrilegious?  Sorry.  It is a bodily function.  Sheesh.  Isn't there like a kid's book about that or something?

So anyway, there you have it.

Personally, I'd be interested in knowing if there is anyone else out there who has taken a seat at the Vatican.  Or any other totally random or unusual place.  Because well.  It really is kind of a weird thing to have as a goal.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Wog down Memory Lane

Last January, one of my resolutions was to write on this blog alot more, and I really accomplished that goal.  I felt like it (this blog) was floundering and I was floundering and I just wanted this whole blogging thing to be what I wanted it to be when I started writing.  So I made an effort to post at least a few days a week and I really pretty much did it!  As the months went on, I definitely got on a roll and posted five days a week.  I certainly can't say that the content was super exciting, but well, it's definitely reflective of my life. 

Anyway, one of the coolest things about my writing more and more regularly, is that in looking back, besides the embarrassingly boring posts, I get a reminder of all of the things that really happened this past year.  I really do love having a record of it all.  Even if it is a skewed, in my perception kinda record.

So I was using this program which tells me what posts were the most popular based on the amount of hits and visits they received, so I decided to share them with you.  Because, well, I am all kinds of sharing sometimes. Even though in my opinion the results were kind of funny, because half of these posts have not one comment on them.  Of well.  As long as people care enogh to read, I am happy.

So let's take a little wog down Memory Lane...

JANUARY:  Streaking and Cell Phones

FEBRUARY: Things Moms Say

MARCH: High Noon

APRIL: Things I love Part 2

MAY: Wogging

JUNE: a tie between Crazy Indulgence and What I Got

JULY: I Hate Being Judged and Try to Avoid it Whenever Possible 

AUGUST: Eight Bad Dates Part Two!

SEPTEMBER: there was a four-way tie in Sept.  Yow. The Free Kiss, I just Threw Up in My Mouth a Little, I Want and I'm Pretty Sure I'm Going to Start Swearing  

OCTOBER: My Top Ten 80's Movie Teen Crushes and Keeping it Real Wednesday

NOVEMBER: Yolanda Vega is Not my BFF

DECEMBER: Oh Ho Ho Karma Does Exist

So there you have it.  Read at your own risk!

*linking up to Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Racketeering, Girl Scouts and lots of mental Multiplication

Hey!  Remember that post where I told you guys about my boring old bland old average old resolutions??  Guess what??  A ton of you guys are just as boring and bland and average as me!  No offense.  I bet you are wondering how I could possibly know that interesting information.  And I will just say that I was very excited to read an article in Better Homes and Gardens (yes I do happen to read that magazine), and it was an article on the top ten resolutions that women make for the new year or something -- and guess whose three resolutions were in the top ten?  Mine!  So yeah.  Because we're all like, so similar!

But that's not what this post is about.

This post is about what a racket I think Girl Scouts have going on.  I mean the cookie part.

Lets be real -- how many people would normally spend $4 on a tiny little box of cookies??  The Girl Scout Racketeers get these cute little kids to walk around in their cute little uniforms and smile their cute little smiles, and then beg you for your cold hard cash.  And all you get in return is a box of cookies that maybe holds 16 cookies, because doesn't it seem like they've really reduced the amount of cookies they fit in those boxes??  Meredith Viera refers to that concept as shrinkage.  Similar to George Costanza's concept, but not really.  So anyway, then those racketeers go ahead and scare you with the fact that you can only buy the very special cookies like once a year!

So then you find yourself trying to make a chart on how many boxes per month you think you your family will chomp through, and you know, with a family of six (that includes a boy that suddenly eats like a small horse) you would say that a fair assumption would be 8.  Eight boxes a month.  So if you multiply eight boxes a month by twelve months, you end up buying a truckload of 96 boxes.  You know, just to be on the safe side.  So then you go ahead and multiply the 96 boxes by the freaking four bucks a box and Cod help us all, we've just spent 384 dollars on cookies!!  See what I mean about a racket??

I'd just like to point out that I multiplied all of that in my head.

Anyway -- it's a RACKET I tell you!

Well I am only buying eight boxes in total.  That's another resolution.  And I am going to hoard them.  And I will shamelessly eat them.  And I might share a few, but there's no absolute definitive in that statement.  Because I am the mom.  And I have that kind of power.  Not like the Wonder Twins kind of power, but the Mother who makes and enforces the rules kind of Power.  Which is pretty much as hard core as Wonder Twin powers, if you ask me.

ps I kinda forgot all about Phil Collins.  I am typing this post while listening to 80's music on my Squeezebox, and I just was pleasantly reminded of him when a cool old tune of his came on.  So anyway. Rock on Phil!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The traditional backwards kinda resos

And by "resos," I mean resolutions.  For all of you people who didn't exactly get it.

And by backwards, I mean the opposite of resolutions.  Like the opposite of a resolution should actually be called an Anti-Resolution.  Or something.

Anyway.  This year, in 2011, I resolve to NOT wear orange or yellow.  As a rule.  I look hideous in those colors.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT look at myself naked in the mirror.  Because that is some scary shit right there.  Not that I do that ever.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT ever, in a million years cook lamb.  Or eat it.  It brings me back to a moment in time when Mom tried to save money and feed us Lamb-burgers instead of hamburgers.  Scarred for life.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT make a myspace account.  Hello?  That is so 2008.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT download any Miley Cyrus to my itunes.  Except.  If there is a song she sings that I happen to like or something.  That's my loophole statement.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT spend 6 hours and 23 minutes on the comfy red chair perusing blogs.  Just putting that out there.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT pay one iota of attention to the old biological clock ticking and ticking and ticking madly away.  Four kids is plenty for me.  Plenty, I say.

In 2011, I resolve to NOT ask miscellaneous people for directions because I lost someone crept into my house in the dead of night and stole my GPS.  I hate following directions people tell me out loud.  After the first "turn left at the church corner," I blank.  And then I say "mm hmm, yeah, OK I got it now," and nod like a moron.  And so it's just a waste of breath for the poor direction giver.  You know?

In 2011, I resolve to NOT start a bunch of projects I can't finish.  I really need to be more picky and choosy.  There are only so many hours in my day, you know?

In 2011, I resolve to NOT set myself up for failure by attempting to accomplish unattainable resolutions.  That just happened.

Now those are some pretty impressive anti-resolutions right there.  I'm going to get right on them.  Like today.  Like in a minute.  Like, as soon as I wrap this post up.


Monday, January 3, 2011

The halls are officially undecked

Well.  Not officially.  The tree is officially undecked though.  Undecked and laying in the snow out front waiting for disposal, actually.

I like to leave up a bunch of decorations because don't you think it looks so bare and sad when you take everything down?  I am usually more than happy to say goodbye to the tree, but its the other stuff that I really miss.  That stuff typically lingers around in my house through January or so.  Then it's just bare when it's all gone, because what decorations can you put up til like Easter?  Nothing.  That's what.

Speaking of my tree, I barely lost any pine needles for a whole month.  Now that is impressive.  What would be even more impressive would be if I could remember the kind of tree we went with so I can get it again next year.

So anyway, every blog out there seems to be writing about their new resolutions for the year, or a recap of the year we just had, or even a top ten posts type of thing.

I really don't like to be like other people, and I also really don't like to be a copy cat.  But I want to say that I pretty much think I had the idea first.  To do a recap I mean.  And also about the top ten thing.  I had it first but they all got to it before me!  Because I was kind of busy the past week or two, you know??

See?! You take one little break, and everyone just leaves you in the dust to look like a big fat copy cat.

So now I have a dilemma.  I could write my next two posts - one as a recap of the year that is now gone, and the other of a top ten post-type of thing.  I could also just scrap that entire idea because.  Well.  It's already played out in the blogosphere.  Or is it?

I took an obscene amount of pictures over the holidays.  I may go right ahead and bore you with a little compilation of those pretty soon...

Hopefully it wont be too anti-climactic.

So I guess you'll have to wait and see what I will do in the next few days.  Because that's how I roll.  Incidentally, I think that phrase is played out.  But it is fitting, so I am going with it

ps - I bought myself my husband a Squeezebox for Christmas, and it is so cool.  I am listening to Sirius as we speak/post.  The sound is pretty freaking rad for such a little thing.  You should definitely check it out!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year, new resolutions

So I did put the bold statement out there a bit ago that I would put my top three resolutions out for all of the world to see on January one, and today is the big day.

I also recall mentioning that I would make monthly progress updates.

Yeah.  I might actually even take it all back and rescind that offer.  Because it was a pretty bold statement.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

But for now, January one - new year, new decade, I will post my top three resolutions.  And I do not take this lightly.  I had to weigh the options -- really decide what the top three should be and of course, be straight up sure I could sort of accomplish them if I really made the effort.  Because even worse than not accomplishing them is knowing that everyone knows I didn't accomplish them.

I'm sure you all are thinking they are going to be exciting, world changing resolutions because let's face it -- the build up has been really excruciating.  Right?  But even though I hate to burst any bubbles, in reality, the resolutions are pretty boringly average and normal.  Nothing world changing.  Nothing super exciting.  Just regular old resolutions.  But, resolutions that are important to me one way or the other.

So here they are in no particular order.  Well.  A particular order I guess, but not really for any particular reason.  I'm being evasive.  And slow in presenting them, aren't I? Sorry.  I just feel a little nervous and naked and forthcoming.

So without further ado, without any pomp or circumstance, without any... well, you get the idea.  Here they are.  Presenting....

MY (top three) big fat 2011 NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:

1.  Cook dinner and eat dinner as a family more regularly. Quit/reduce take-out. Make healthier meals. (That could possibly be considered three resolutions, however, since it is one general theme, I am going with it.)

2.  Organize and transfer all (6000+) old photos to disc & clean up desktop computer of pictures/video.  Organize all photos into photo albums.

3. FIT at forty-one.  Exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least four days a week.  No excuses.

Well.  There you have it.  Now you all can force me to be accountable and make all of these things happen.  I chose those particular three things because those are the three things I say I am going to do every single year, and every single year, something gets in the way of it eventually, and something puts me off course.  I really, truly want/need to do those things up there.  Really.  Truly.

So anyway, wish me luck.

As I wish you on your resolutions.  Here's hoping we all enjoy a great new year.