Friday, September 30, 2011

body hair, manscaping and just plain weirdness

I have never plucked an eyebrow in my life.  I just have never been that hairy of a person I guess.  I pretty much don't have to shave my legs more than twice a month. I guess that makes me pretty lucky.

One of my nieces was traumatized when a kid told her she had a mustache, so she's been plucking and waxing forever.  And she's only 15.  She is also model-like gorgeous, but that's beside the point.

I remember actually, when that particular niece was little and had sort of a hairy little monkey back and forehead and we all wondered if she might need to pluck/wax a little sooner in life.

I'm glad that I'm not so hairy, because besides being traumatizing (socially I guess? but also regarding the pain factor of waxing/plucking) it seems like it's really expensive and annoying as far as upkeep is concerned!

If you are a waxer, holy crap!  Those waxing procedures sure seem like they cost a ton of money.  And sheesh.  I'm pretty positive that it would be equally as traumatizing to have someone put wax on my personal private body parts.  I barely want myself glancing at my personal private body parts, you know?!

Do you know that guys wax too?  You know, like manscaping?  In the crotchal region?  I am sorry and no offense if you are into that, but that horrifies me.  I just cannot see how that look would be appealing to an adult female.  Like, a hairless guy.  Don't get me wrong, there is a fine line between sweater vest hairy and Alopecia hairless, but really?  Going all Kojak down there is kind of gross to me.

I can't believe I am delving into body hair and manscaping here, but I actually find it a little disturbing.  There is nothing wrong with a little maintenance, like you know, a teeny tiny trim-up, but a full on, balls out (excuse my language.  no, actually, go with it, it is rather fitting) hair cut?  Like baldish?  Ugh.  Why?

A while back a few of us were discussing this trend of manscaping, and my cousin mentioned that her brother was very pro-manscaping, and he actually blow dries his "area" with a hair dryer.  I was like, what??  And more importantly, why would he share that info with you??  Turns out his wife actually shared that info with her because he once burned his, hm, let's say really sensitive body parts with the hairdryer, and she thought it was a really funny story. 

Who does that??!

Am I missing something?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

really sucked in

So last year my son came home from school talktalktalking my ear off about a book he had to read for a book report.  I was sooo interested guys. No really, I was interested because my boy is not a big reader and he seemed kind of into this book.  So I actually listened attentively.

So whatever, he told me the whole plot (In lengthy detail.  I wonder where he gets his windiness from?)  and I thought, sounds like a book he would like, good YA book, you know?

Then.  Then, you guys.  I ended up reading the book recently and omg.  My life was at a stand still for like four days.  In a row.  Not that it takes me four days to read a book, because hello?  I am a book reading wizard.  A professional.  No, four days because I had to run my ass right up to Target and buy the second and third books.  Because there was no way I was waiting for my turn at the damn library.

I bet you are wondering right now what Young Adult books made me lose four days of my life.  And you might also be wondering if I am immature because I appreciate a good Young Adult book.  You may be on to something there. 

You know, I don't do book reviews here, but I might have to make a freaking exception because I loved these books.

OK, fine.  Relax.  I'm ready to share now.  The book was the Hunger Games*, by Suzanne Collins.  Followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  I was really really sucked in and I couldn't put any of them down.  I recognize that these books have been out there for a bit.  I mean, all three of the books in the series were readily available, like, right there on the shelf ready for me.  I think my sister or niece mentioned it during our vacation and said that the movie was coming out in 2012, so I put it on my Books to read list.  It was right under Push by Sapphire (gah, terrible sad horrible thought provoking book that the movie Precious was based on), and since I finished that and was in book reading mode, it was next in line and I was needing something to sink my teeth into.

I like to go in order.  Besides, I can't stand seeing the movie before reading the book.  It throws me off.

So anyway, I am not exactly reviewing this book (series), because I am not that great at reviewing.  I like to consider myself a pretty literate person, but I can't seem to get past the accolades.  Mainly I just say things like, It was great!  or, I loved it!  or, OMFG so awesome!  Probably not exactly like the kind of reviews you check out in the book review section of People magazine or something.  And in all honesty, once you wrap up this post you will have absolutely nothing to base your possible decision to read this book series on.  Except, if I am going to put myself out there and say I really loved something, then seriously you might want to just peek at it.  Read a chapter or two.  Because, omfg, so awesome!

*If you want to really read like, normal reviews of the book, you can click on the link.

Fine.  Here is a little clip from one of the reviews on Amazon if you don't feel like clicking the link:
"Wow. I was barely able to put this book down for a second after the first few pages got me completely hooked. Suzanne Collins narrative here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It's entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once. If this was merely a good read, I would have given it 4 stars, but they say great art leaves you changed after you experience it... and this book definitely did that. Suzanne Collins has, with one amazing work, propelled herself onto my top shelf.

Parents, caveat emptor! The storyline is brutal. Even though the writing is geared for young adults, the main characters are teenagers, there's very little physical romance, and the actual violence would probably count as PG-13 nowadays... it's probably one of the most terrifying books I've read in a very long time! Right up there with George R.R. Martin, if not more so. Remember what we learned from Jaws: you don't actually need to SEE the shark in order for it to be terrifying. Sometimes not seeing the shark is even worse.

The story is basically about a teenager who is forced to compete in a 24-man-enter-1-man-leaves event. I don't want to spoil it by saying any more, but if you liked The Running Man, you'll definitely like this. And if you're young enough that you don't remember The Running Man, nor did you get the Thunderdome reference, then I'm just way too old. But take an old fogey's advice and read this book. "

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

this is it

Sometimes I sit here and think to myself, dude, WTF are you doing?

I mean, one life.  That's all we get (I think?).  And this is it.
All of the things I want to see, all of the things I want to do, each day creeps up and steals another moment from me.  But I let it.  I have nobody to blame but myself.

I got into this mode of blaming.  Like, well, I can't do this because I have a baby.  I can't do this because I need to be around when the kids get home from school.  I can't do this because there isn't enough money.  I can't do this because what if I am not smart/good/ enough? 
So, so many I can'ts.  Is can'ts a word?  I think not. I just can'ts believe it.  OK, so I recognize that it is not a word but I am still using it because we are all bright enough to grasp the usage of it.  Right?

I have a Fifty by Fifty list of things that I want to do within the next ten years or so, and fifty things is a lot of things!  And fifty years old is OLD.  (No offense to anyone currently 50, over 50 or knocking on 50s door.  Really.  I just don't want to be that old yet.)  I don't feel 40 even!  I think 40 is the new thirty.  So maybe fifty is the new forty and when I actually do turn fifty it'll really just be like I am turning forty!  Woo, that just got a little confusing there.

I hate thinking about turning fifty.  I hate that each year goes by so fast and nothing will just slow it down.  I need to do stuff!  I need to see stuff!  There is so much out there to do and see and I feel like time and my opportunities are just slipping through my fingers.  I really am on a quest to see and do some of these things that I think are important, to me.

I know that plenty of people are content with what they have and really have no interest in getting out there too far, but I do!  And I want to be young enough for it to still be easy and fun. 

I keep adding to my places to go list, whenever I find a place that I want to see.  And I add things to my things to do list all of the time.  I am planning on crossing off several things on my 50/50 lis within the next few weeks.  I'll tell you all about my adventures when I am done. 

Sorry I left you with a cliffhanger!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just stand up and fight like an ogre!

The other morning Brooke and I were lounging in bed snuggling, and I mentioned that it was about time to get up and get ready for school.  She glances over at me with her finger in her mouth and her blankie mushed up in her hands and says, "Why does school have to be so early?  I'm freaking tired!"

In my defense, I don't think I say freaking that often. 

But there was that little incident a month or so back when Brooke asked me all innocently, "Who the hell was that?"  when someone drove past us at the gas station. 

I suppose it could be way worse than freaking and hell.  I definitely am not exactly for swearing at my kids or in front of them really.  I think the worst they have heard me say is damn.  Yeah, I know how to curb it.  I am rather fond of swearing in my head.

Not that I don't love to throw out some awesome swear words as needed.  I just know my audience.  Knowing your audience is a very important thing.  It is actually something that I say to my kids all of the time.  Particularly Alex, who thinks mentioning something gross or inappropriate that someone at school did is good fodder for dinner table talk.

Is that the kind of thing you should be saying in front of your little sisters?   No, no it is not.  Would your grandmother want to hear that piggish joke you told your cousin?  Is that appropriate?  No, no it is not.  Or, would all of your relatives on your facebook profile appreciate that rude little comment you posted thinking you were being witty?  No, I'm thinking that they would not.

Know your audience.  Good rule to follow.

Anyway, Brooke is really funny.  She comes out with these hysterical one liners that seem to be so out of nowhere.  Yesterday she and Megan were hanging out on my bed, just talking to me while I was doing something, and Brooke hops up to her feet and puts her dukes up and says to Megan in all seriousness and rough-like, "Just stand up and fight like an Ogre!"  and then she proceeds to say, "I have my underwear on over my underwear!"  And she flashed us her two layers of underwear.  And ran giggling from the room to get more underwear layers on.

Who does that?

Monday, September 26, 2011

My mouth died and went to Heaven.

This weekend Alex and I attended a fundraising event for one of the senators here in NY.  Typically, I don't go to these things because for real, they are so boring.  Alex talks to all of these fancy people and I stand there looking and feeling like a dumb bell, hating my life. 

So, the reason I ended up going was because this particular fundraiser wasn't like the other boring ones Alex usually has to go to.  This one was being held at the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park.  I've always wanted to go there for dinner because I've heard that it has amazing food, but you usually have to make reservations about a year in advance unless you know someone.  I am not a year in advance kind of gal. I am way more of a fly by the seat of my pants, call the babysitter 15 minutes before I decide to go to the movies, spontaneous kind of gal.

So anyway, Alex assured me that he wouldn't really know anyone there besides the senator and I believed him.  Sometimes I forget that he is a big fat liar, but whatever.  I went to go put on my little black dress, and wouldn't you know, it was at the dry cleaners.  Either that or hanging in Alex's office because he didn't bring it home from the dry cleaners.  So that sucked because then I had to figure out what to wear and I hate clothes.  I hate having to figure out what to wear to fancy things.  I have been known to cry in my closet on more than one occasion.

Anyway, I found something acceptable to wear, and I felt OK about it.  The drive was really nice, about an hour and a half south of where we live, and right along the river.  We went through a lot of little towns that are really neat.  I wish we had left earlier because I wouldn't have minded stopping at a few places along the way -- particularly the little produce stands that pop up every few miles.  Only in these small towns can you drive past an unmanned produce stand with a sign that says "Help yourself."  You pay using the honor system -- right into an old coffee can with a slot cut out of the top to put your money in.  Gotta love the country. 

So anyway, after a nice drive we arrived at the CIA, and I was so impressed with the campus.  Rolling hills, great housing, gorgeous view of the Hudson River, and this huge building where the fundraiser was being held.  We walked in and chatted with the Senator and his wife for a few minutes, and then of course Alex says to me, "Wow, I know a lot more people here than I expected to!"

Which means, great.  I have to talk to people.  I make a terrible wife of a politician.  So I talked to people and smiled and was pleasant, because I know how to get my fake on as needed.  But I was really, really eyeing all of the crazy awesome looking food stations.  I couldn't help it!  Everything looked and smelled so good!

The students put on the events.  They prepare and cook and serve. They wear their little tall white chef hats and their aprons.  It was so cool.  And oh.  When I finally got to eat I was dying.  Dying.  My mouth died and went to heaven.  There was a party in my mouth and you weren't invited

There were several stations set up with all kinds of different foods, and apparently you were supposed to take small amounts, so you could sample stuff.  Whoa,  I sure did sample stuff.  I am not kidding the food was fantastic.  I had a few fancy salads that I wanted to smuggle home, and Tuna steak and Swordfish steak with couscous and rice-ish sides.  I had a pulled pork slider, and man, more stuff that I can't even remember.

Except the dessert table.  I cannot even begin to tell you how insane the dessert table was.  All of the stuff was in mini sizes, so I didn't feel too bad about sampling a lot of dessert.  I love dessert.  And I hardly ever get it so I think I went a little overboard.  I had some chocolate mocha layer cake, some apple crisp and homemade ice cream, some peanut butter cookie thing and a tiny little cheesecake, and then, then, there was this tiny little chocolatey chocolate mousse thing and I almost had a tear in my eye it was so great.

(Wait.  Do I sound hungry?  Piggish?  A little weird about the food?  If so, I apologize.  I was overwhelmed with the awesomeness of it all.)

So the dessert table was pretty much the end of the event.  I asked Alex if he would smuggle a chocolate thing home for me and that dumb loser wouldn't even do it!  So I smuggled one myself.  Because, obviously!  I think I was very sly about it.  Do you wonder why he doesn't take me to I don't attend more events with him?  We headed out and had to stop and talk a few more times, then I pretended I got a call on my cell and excused myself.  It was so great. 

When we got in the car, Alex was so proud that I talked to people and was sociable.   Because he knows being sociable is my worst thing.  Also, I guess he knows someone that can get us a reservation whenever, so I am really excited about going back.   And this time, we'll bring my sister and not have to make small talk with a bunch of fancy people.  And that is all sorts of awesome.

ps:  I ate the chocolate mousse thing on the car ride home like a slob with no fork.  Because I didn't smuggle a fork home.  And it was a long ride and really, who could wait to eat such an amazing little fancy chocolate thing?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

what a wednesday

I was thinking that once the kids went back to school, I would have some time to lounge around and do nothing. 

So far so bad, Cod damn it.

I don't think there has been one day that I have lounged around and done nothing.

I really used to like lounging around and doing nothing, however, I did feel pretty lazy and like things weren't getting done.

So here is my day yesterday:

8ish:  Up and out of bed, begrudgingly.  Help Brooke along with wrapping up breakfast, getting dressed, teeth and hair brushed and backpack packed.

845:  Dropped Brooke off at school and drive to the gym

920-10:20: Gym

11ish: Home to shower, grab a quick Fiber One bar for breakfast

12ish: Pick up my mom from PT and run her home

100: Stop at grocery store for dinner stuff

130: Start a nice crock pot chicken soup

2ish: Neaten up messy house, laundry, dishes, playroom, pull out fall decorations

245:  Talk Megan through a rough day

315: Go pick Brooke up from school

330-5: Run home to pack snacks, potty break, listen to girls cry, whine and complain about going to Alex's soccer game.   Leave for soccer game, get lost, drive aimlessly for an hour, give up.

5ish:  Stop for fast food because girls are whining and hungry

600-730: Home, help with homework, sit down briefly & go online, serve up bowls of ice cream for dessert

730-8: Kids bedtime routine - shower, brush teeth, read Junie B Jones, fold laundry

815:  Make a grilled cheese sandwich, sit down and watch TV with a bowl of awesome chicken orzo soup and that yummy grilled cheese sandwich

845: Alex rolls in, half watches a little TV while gazing lovingly at his iPad, eats a grilled cheese and soup

945: Alex rolls out to pick up Alex from soccer bus

10ish: Hop in the tub for some relaxing.  Enjoy the tub time probably a little more than I should and stay in there for a really long time 

12ish: fall asleep

Yeah.  So anyway, that's been kind of the norm these days.  Where is the slot for a hot cup of hazelnut coffee and reading blogs on the comfy red chair, you ask?  There isn't one.

Today, it's raining so I didn't take a walk.  I decided, screw it, I am going to make a cup of coffee and sit on the red chair and read blogs and shop online because why not?    But guess what bad thing happened guys?  I went ahead and made a cup of coffee, the first one I have had in months!  And I had gotten this fat free vanilla creamer because they didn't have fat free hazelnut, and it sucked!  Sucked I tell you!  Vanilla creamer is nothing like hazelnut.  And fat free is nothing like not fat free.

I am not going to drink a sucky cup of coffee.  So I dumped it.

So here I sit, coffeeless.  But still reading and writing and lounging.  I'm going to say it's still a win.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We moved Kara to NYC this weekend.

It's funny, it feels very final.

It's weird, having kids in such different stages -- Kara, graduated from college and starting her own life, and then on the other end, Brooke losing another tooth and starting first grade.  The two in the middle of course, hitting all sorts of stages themselves.

moving mode, in front of new the apartment

Kara is actually renting an apartment with a girl she graduated from high school with, Elizabeth.  Elizabeth's family lived next door to ours in our first house, and the two girls pretty much spent every day together, playing Barbies or house, walking to school together,  playing in the yard, dancing and singing on the porch.  In high school, they sort of drifted away from each other.  The, though they both went to the same college, they never really hung out.

Funny how they connected back up.  Elizabeth already has a job in the city.  A summer internship at a record label lead to a job offer, so she's out there working every day.  She says it's really cool, and she's met some pretty high profile musicians, even singing back up on some recordings.

So right about now, Kara is putting her feelers out, trying to figure out what to do next.  She has some great contacts in her field, but she needs to get a job.  Her savings wont last forever in NYC, that's for sure.

I'm freaking out.  Her place is in a decent area, but it's still city to a country kid.  

So anyway, we spent Friday night cramming every thing Kara owns (and some things that I own, actually) into this nice new box truck that a friend lent us.  We took a few of Elizabeth's things too -- however Elizabeth is a minimalist, and Kara is the opposite of a minimalist.  A hoarder maybe?  Where Elizabeth could live out of a duffel bag, Kara had loads and loads of clothes and shoes and boots and seriously, it's a little on the ridiculous side.   

We met up with Elizabeth's parents and headed out in the morning. It was definitely an all day affair.    Unloading the truck, carrying everything up to a third floor apartment, cleaning and then setting up the place.  Before long it was after dinner and we had to head out. 

Driving away was hard.  I'm nervous.  I want Kara to be safe and make smart choices.  I want her to find a job and meet new people and have fun.  And man, coming home and seeing the emptiness that had been her space was weird.  It was all cleaned out, just a few misc things left for me to box up and store.

I guess this is what empty nests feel like...

Sheesh.  One kid down, three to go I guess.  I have another 15 years or so til it's really empty around here, but I am suddenly realizing how fast time goes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

That traditional back to school post.

So you know, my kids went back to school the other day.  WOOHOO!  Wait.  That may have sounded a snitch on the overexcited side.  Of course I am not overly excited that my kids went back to school.  Of course not.  Anyway, they went a bit later than most everyone out there because there were extenuating circumstances do to that old betch Irene.  As in Hurricane Irene.  Actually, there were not really extenuating circumstances in my town, it's just that our county legislator is dumb.  So anyway, most kids have already been back to school for a few weeks, so this obligatory back to school post might be a little anti-climactic.  Sorry about that.

Also, I had a huge, mother faux paux and messed up bad.

I did!  It's like the worst thing ever and I am sad.

In this picture Alex is all like, "OMG Mom, really?  I am a ninth grader now.  Don't even post this on facebook!"  and I was all like, "Zip is buster.  Just smile for one second!" 

You know how like, you have your kid stand at the front door with their little back to school outfit on and their little backpack all filled with the $125 worth of supplies that they are required to bring to school, holding their cute little lunch pails with their cute little clean hands, smiling that cute little I am going back to school! smile?  You know how while they are standing there you might force them take a picture, like every single year for every single grade for like, ever?

Guess who missed a kid?

Me.  That's right.  Mother of the year.

And just take a guess which kid got overlooked?  Of course, the one that everyone thinks gets the shaft half the time anyway.  Because, why wouldn't it be that one? 

Well, it isn't the worst most terrible offense ever because thankfully I got a group shot including poor cute little Megan.  But no individual.  Can you believe that??  How am I supposed to go ahead with the school year as if nothing is amiss without her individual first day of 5th grade picture in existence?  I am going to recreate it, that's what I am going to do.  Because really, who will know the difference?  I will call it a first week of school picture.  Because I can.  You're not the boss of me!

ANYway, day one went off without a hitch after the photography debacle.  Alex started high school this year, ninth grade and fourteen years old, omg.  Megan started middle school, fifth grade and 10 years old.  And little Miss Brookie made her way to first grade, just newly six years old.

I actually have one kid in each school here.  Thankfully the schools are all next to each other because I would be driving all over the damn place if not.

Three things of note that I should share with you.  One: Alex started his first year of JV soccer, and his first game was on Tuesday.  Guess who scored a goal??  That's right.  My boy did.  And they won against one of the toughest teams in their division!  Two: Brooke asked me who the hell was that? at the gas station the other day.  Shocking!  My only question is, where the hell do you suppose she picked that up?  Not from me!  Three:  Oh crap, I seriously had a three and it was about the girl who always gets the shaft, and I lost my train of thought.  I can't remember three! 

If I remember I will be sure to post it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a little bit about apple picking

One great thing about living in the country in upstate NY is the easy access to local farm fresh food.

On a recent gorgeous day before the end of summer vacation, the girls and I went to a nearby farm to do some apple picking.  I am particular about the apples that I will eat, and I cannot resist fresh, picked right off the tree Macs.  I usually hit the farm stand every week or so this time of year for fresh fruit or cider, but actually going into the orchard and filling a bag yourself is a fun way to spend some time in the sun with your kids.

We also found some ripe juicy peaches, and ended up filling a big bag to take home.


After a nice home made apple crisp and a few days of school lunches, I am already needing to go back!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

my high horse. kids and food and dinner issues.

Do you want to know something that I just don't get?

I don't get when parents allow themselves to be short order cooks for their kids.

Like, I just don't understand if you've planned a lovely meal of spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, but then you go ahead and make kid one chicken nuggets instead and kid two a grilled cheese sandwich instead, because well, um,  they don't really like spaghetti and meatballs.

Hm.  Guess what?  At my house, too bad.

When I was a kid, dinner was dinner.   That's it.  And if you didn't like it, well, then you went to bed kinda hungry and you ate a big breakfast the next day to make up for it.  No snacks, no substitutions, no dessert -- dinner was dinner.

I'm a little more lenient I guess.  I mean, Brooke isn't a fan of sauce, so when I make pasta, I leave her noodles bare.  Alex cannot stomach peas, so if I make like, a bag of mixed veggies, I don't care if he picks the peas out. 

But I am not making three different meals because of picky kids.  I feel like pickiness is 95% the parents fault for indulging it, 5% kids problem because they really just can't stomach something.  So basically, I'm coming right out and telling you it's your fault if your kid is a super picky eater.  Yeah I said it.  And I'm not sorry.

I promise, I am not about force feeding, or dinner time hassles.  I'm not going to make peas every night just to torture my kid.  But, I do expect my kids to eat what I make.  And if it's something that they don't love, they still have to eat at least a bite or two.  One big rule in my house is that my kids have to try everything on their plate.  And if they don't like it, well, I'll remember that.  But I am not making something else and they know it.  I don't think that's the least bit mean.

I think because my kids have always known that I am not going to make something else, they just kind of gave up about fighting it.  In all honesty, we rarely have dinner time issues, because this is something that they are well aware of and used to.  If anything, I am consistent.  My one great piece of parenting advice is consistency.  Life is easier when your kids know what to expect from you.  Trust me.

If you give your kid frozen Elios Cheese Pizza every single night because that is all they will eat, then pretty much you are setting yourself up for a life (and freezer full) of frozen Elios Cheese Pizza every single night.  You're also allowing your kid to be the boss, to set the tone, to make the rules.  And you're also setting your kid up for difficulties outside of your house.  What happens when they are invited to a friends for dinner and the mom serves meatloaf?  Are you going to send a little baggie with frozen pizza along with instructions on how exactly your kid needs it cooked?

Hate to break it to you, but your kid wont be getting a second invitation.

Clearly, if your child has allergies or other food issues, this little rant wouldn't apply.   

But what's wrong with the parent setting the rules, the tone?  Why can't you say, sorry you don't like the chicken parmigiana that I just made, you do not have to eat it, but the kitchen will be closed to you til breakfast if you don't at least eat some of it?

Your kid will not starve if you do this.  I promise.  And if they have a tantrum, they will eventually get over it.  And if they scream and fuss, it wont kill them if you walk away and ignore them.  My pediatrician always told me that kids will eat if they are hungry.  And it's true. 

And maybe, just maybe, one night of a grumbly belly will make them a little more interested in trying new foods, or things that they think they don't like.

ps -- You might be saying, ah, what's the big deal about just throwing my kid a grilled cheese sandwich if she doesn't want to try the chicken parm.  But just know that you're teaching her something valuable there, and it isn't a good thing.  And it also isn't just about the chicken parm.  You're teaching her that in life, she will be catered to if she doesn't like something, doesn't feel like doing something.  And she will sure have a rude awakening when she realizes that the real world doesn't cater to anyone.  And really, isn't it our job as parents to teach our kids how to manage themselves in the real world?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Laundry hurts my feelings

You guys, I have a problem.  It's serious.  And I am not even kidding here.

Really, it's not about laundry.  Laundry doesn't hurt my feelings.  I actually kind of like laundry.  It's sort of relaxing to me, the never-endingness of it all. 

Laundry hurts someone else's feelings.  Another blogger's feelings.  A new blog that I just started reading.  If you want, check it out here, because I'm kind of enjoying it.

That's the serious problem.

There comes a point in blogging when you have to recognize that you are dangerously close to tipping the scales to spending an unhealthy amount of time on the internet.

I can't click away.  Is there a blogaholic syndrome thing?  Has it been documented?  Because I seriously get so caught up reading blogs that I like, then clicking links to other blogs that I see on their blogs, then of course following those blogs because they are just as good a read as everything else.  Then like, hours and hours have passed, and I am am chuckling by myself in my red chair reading about other people's lives and wtf.  The laundry hasn't even gotten started!  How can this be?

There really aren't enough hours in the day to read all of these awesome blogs on a regular basis!!  I tried weeding my list.  I keep some of them for reasons other than their absolute greatness.  Like one blog that I follow that hasn't actually updated in like a year had the best buttercream frosting recipe that I ever tasted.  I need to keep that one.  And one blog that has a couple of cool crafty things that I want to try even though the rest of the blog isn't probably my favorite, and another is a great organizer and I envy great organizers and even though I am not as organized as she is, I want to be.  I need to keep that one too.

Is it just me??  Tell me I am not the only freak out there who gets too wrapped up in this whole blogging thing.  How do you do it?  Do you limit your time?  Do you have a mental rule to not click on any other blogs? 


Friday, September 9, 2011

76 consecutive days and a little list

I am currently in the 76th consecutive day of spending summer vacation with my children, whom I love very, very much.

Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves how much we love our children. Right?

And sometimes, 76 consecutive days seem really fucking long.  Endless.  Monotonous.  Exhausting.

I think mostly it seems exhausting, monotonous and endless because at this very moment, I wasn't supposed to be in my 76th consecutive day of summer vacation.  I was supposed to be lounging.  Peaceful.  Quiet.  Not making someone a Nutella sandwich.  Not asking for the 843rd time, "How is your summer reading coming?"  Not peeling the skin off of an apple and leaving it round because I like it better that way.  Not listening to "But you said you would play Barbies with me!" and then, "But I really want to go play with my friends!  I'll play with you later, I promise."  then, "Wahhhhhhhhhhh!  Mommmmmmmmmy..."  or saying, "Your room is so disgusting it makes me want to vomit."

Wait.  I usually say that last thing about twice a week to my son.  I'm thinking being back in school isn't going to change that one.

Anyway, I wasn't supposed to to be doing those things because my kids were supposed to be back in school.  Like, right this very minute their little butts should be plastered to those awful, hard school chairs that probably had a hand in ruining my back for life.  Yes, yes they should.  But because our county is still in an official State of Emergency, the officials who officiate these things decided to postpone our first day of school.  Initially the postponing was til this coming Monday.  I just got word that now it may not be til Wednesday.  Another almost whole week.

I love summer vacation.  Like, a lot pretty much.  And I love hanging out with my kids and doing fun summery stuff.  But there comes a point when you're ready to be done.  Ready to get back to a normal schedule where kids go to bed at 8:00.  Where they come home tired and don't need to be constantly entertained.  Where they aren't bored.  And whiney.  And fighty.  And frankly, a snitch irritating.

Fall is my favorite season and I don't think it feels like Fall when my kids are still home in summer vaca mode.  It feels like summer.  Even though it's chilly and damp and cloudy and generally shitty out (not usually, just this past week or two).

I already have my Fall to do list fired up and ready to attack, because, you know, lists make me happy and fall makes me happy and crossing things off to-do lists make me happy. 

Wanna hear my Fall to-do list?  It's simple really.  But it's no fun if it doesn't feel like Fall.  Right?  I am boycotting Fall til the kids have their butts firmly planted in the hard school seats.  Then, and only then will I attempt to cross things off of this list.

Fall To-Do List
Go apple picking
Go to a pumpkin patch
Drink hot apple cider
Make cider donuts with the kids
Decorate for fall
Take cool morning walks
Go on nice long leave looking drives
Watch kids playing their fall sports
Check out any new good fall TV shows

Aw.  Making that list kind of made me a little happy.  I must confess that I just bought some apple cider.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two truths and a lie.

Hey, have you ever played this game?  Two truths and a lie is kind of self explanatory, don't you think?  But for all of you short bus riders people out there who don't understand, I will provide the rules for you.  You offer up two truths, and one lie.  And then like, people are supposed to guess which is the lie.  Get it?

I am sure you all get it, because you know, we're all a bunch of geniuses here.  At least I know I am.  Anyway.  Wanna play?  If you continue reading, I'll know you want to play.

If you are still reading at this point, clearly you are playing.

Still here?  I know, I know. I write a riveting post.  It's hard to look away.

Fine, fine.  Let's get on with it.  Two truths and a lie.

(1)  One time when my son was a baby and in daycare, my husband and I went to a picnic that the daycare was throwing for all of the families from the center.  I don't typically do well in crowds and in places where I don't know a lot of people, but I was working it.  I got on line and filled a plate with all sorts of picnic foods, then I got a plate together for Alex because I am such a kind and thoughtful wife like that.  I proceeded to walk across the huge gym to the other side where my husband was standing and talking. I'm sure he was talking to people he didn't know, because that's just what he does.  Anyway, I was balancing two full plates in my hands when somehow, I managed to trip over air.  But because my hands were full, I had no way to break my fall, so the two plates flew through the air, and I landed flat on my face in the middle of the floor, surrounded by every last thing that was flung off of our plates.  Flat on my face, in a gym full of strangers.  Which all of a sudden got very quiet.  So yeah, there was no pretending it didn't happen.  As I glance up absolutely horrified at my huge public mortifying display, I see my husband hysterically laughing across the room.  Knee slapping, tears running down your face hysterical laughing.  Laughing so hard apparently, that he couldn't help me up.  A really nice man eventually gave me a hand.  I slipped out of there pretty much immediately after cleaning the floor of my salads.  And I didn't speak to my husband the whole way home. 

(2)  Back in my early twenties, I worked at a lumberyard.  I was always surrounded by guys.  I had been single and kind of lonesome for a while.  Most of the guys that came in were older, and kind of grungy looking, and in all honesty, not what I thought I was looking for.  It always sort of surprised me that out of all of the guys that came in, none were ever my type.  So anyway, I had just started seeing this guy who worked in one of our other branches, it was a pretty new relationship.  He was a little intense, but I liked him enough.  So one day, I was doing my thing, whatever that was, and out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the cutest kid with the nicest white teeth and pink cheeks, and he was smiling at me.  Cute, young guys with nice teeth and pink cheeks never came in and smiled at me, so it was kind of awesome.  Then he kind of followed me and struck up a conversation and asked me for my number.  I was momentarily surprised and caught off guard, and for some reason I didn't just mention that I was seeing someone.  It was the bright blue eyes that threw me off.  So I panicked and gave him my mother's phone number because I didn't want to give him mine - what if he called and the new guy was there??.  I don't know what I was thinking, I was mentally juggling.  Anyway, I stopped at my mom's on the way home from work and she told me that a guy had called for me.  I don't know if I thought he wouldn't call, but I was mortified that I gave him a fake/real number, and decided not to call him back.  Except the next day, he came right into my work and called me out on it.  And he was so adorable and bold and nice that I actually went out with him a few times on the sly before he left for boot camp (he was a Marine).  I never confessed to my juggling the two boys.  Then things got way more serious with the other guy after white teeth cutie guy went off to boot camp, so I reluctantly had to send a Dear John.  He was so mad and hurt at me.  I still feel guilty.

(3)  One time in eleventh grade, our class went on a field trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.  I was dating this kid everyone called Boo at the time.  So anyway, we all rode in the big comfy bus to Hershey.  The ride seemed to take forever, but I was with a group of people that I liked hanging out with, so it was fun.  It was a really hot day, close to the end of the school year, and everyone was in shorts and tank tops wearing their Olivia Newton-John style headbands.  O h, whatever!  Back in the day, they were cool! I think?   Anyway, we spent the day roaming the park,  eating tons of yummy fried park-type food, cotton candy and Hershey's chocolates, riding all of the rides we could.  Everything was perfect.  As the day began to wind down, a big group of us decided to ride this one last ride.  I can't remember what it was called but you walked into this circular thing and stood with your back to the wall.  When the ride started, it  just spun in circles.  It was spinning faster and faster and faster, til you were plastered to the wall and you really couldn't move.  Some kids were way up the wall, some were sideways, all of us though were completely unable to move away from the wall.  It was like velcro.  It was really funny.  As the ride was winding down, this kid Joey, who was standing next to my boyfriend, all of a sudden turned our way and just threw up all of the day's park food.  Right in my boyfriend's hair.  Which caused him to throw up.  Which caused me to throw up.   So we ended our day with a chain reaction puke session and had to suffer through the entire ride home reeking of vomit.

So there you go.  Have at it guys.  Only one of these are a lie.  Which one do you think it is?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

To drink, or not to drink? That is the question.

I think it's high time I started drinking.  Not in an "It's five o'clock somewhere," kind of way.  I mean, like just being able to drink a few drinks without hating it kind of way.

I have never been too fond of alcohol.  I remember my first real experience with alcohol, and it didn't end so great.  I was like 15ish, and it was the last day of school.  I tagged along with my older sister to some summery hang out near by.  Sitting in the grass with a big crew of my sisters friends, I went for it.  I know I went for it because I was a little uncomfy - nervous and feeling out of place.  These guys were older, I wanted to fit in. 

I believe the drink was called Tangeray.  Or something like that.  It was orange and tasted like Tang.  Remember Tang?  I wonder if they still have that.

So of course I overdid it.  I had no idea what was too much, and all I remember is eventually acting stupid and leaving.  Then my sister walked me around town trying to get me to sober up.  Then she made me take a cool shower before mom got home from work.  I climbed into bed after that - totally still drunk, and my mom came in, took one look at me and shouted, "You're as drunk as a skunk!"  And I laughed in her face.  Because, who says that?

Then I got grounded for a few weeks.  Obviously.  I was pretty much grounded for my entire high school life anyway.  We referred to it as being on groundation.  I was always doing something to get in trouble - like being late for my curfew every single time I went out.   Actually, I think my mom tried to find reasons to ground me to keep me from hanging out with my boyfriend. 

So anyway, why would you order scallops if you don't like scallops?  It's kind of like that for me, in my head.  And out of my head sometimes too.

I'll have some drinks once or twice a year maybe, but in all honestly, alcoholically speaking, nothing I have had has ever been good enough for me to really like more than a glass of ice water.  Except a daiquiri.  But that's kind of a joke -- that's more like a dessert than a drink.  And I like dessert.

I've tried beer.  I've tried liquor.  I've tried mixed drinks.  I've tried those wine cooler type things, which now that I think of it aren't the worst things ever.  But alcohol generally tastes bad to my taste buds.  I truly have to force a drink down if I have one. 

Pretty much everyone in my circle of people drinks.  Lucky dogs get a designated driver everywhere we go.  So pretty much everyone drinks except my sister Jen, who maybe has a drink or two a year, and my husband, who isn't much of a lush at all.  He actually often gets accused of sandbagging.  I mean, he likes a couple of beers every now and then, but we never have any just sitting there in the fridge to crack open after a long day of work.  Speaking of work, Alex orders martinis or a gin and tonic when he is out with clients and stuff, but secretly I don't think he likes them even though he says he does  I think he just wants to look like a hot shot.

Now that I think of it, most of the people in my circle are a bunch of drunks.  Mostly happy drunks.  Not fall down sloppy drunks, with the exception of one or two.  Just, they really enjoy their drinks.

Every time I try to drink for whatever reason, I end up regretting it.  Either I say something dumb, become a close talker, slur like an idiot or feel sick. 

What's so great about that anyway?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Alex's firm has kind of a dress code/facial hair policy.

It's a pretty straight forward policy - no black suits, and facial hair is apparently frowned upon.  Among other things I'm sure, but those are the ones that I remember anyway. 

So when we go on vacation, Alex gets all excited because he doesn't have to shave.  I can understand that.  I'm a girl who has pits or a leg to shave often enough.  Annoying.

So anyway, as always, Alex's beard grew in all thick-like over vacation.  Two weeks with no shaving and he had a decent amount of facial hair going on.
Two nights before vacation was wrapping up, John and Alex snuck into the bathroom and did a little shaving.  John shaved Alex's beard off into what might be considered the Frank Zappa.  Kind of like a thick Fu Manchu.  It was hideous.  He looked like a bouncer.  John made sure to tell me he left the tickler on (and also go into detail about what a tickler was) and I was thoroughly disgusted.

No offense to bouncers or anything.  Or people who appreciate a tickler I guess. 

When everyone noticed the 'stache, they couldn't stop laughing.  It was so freaking hilarious.  Alex loves to milk a joke so of course he kept the thing on overnight.  I couldn't even look at him really.  A fleeting kiss was not happening with the bouncer.  Not even close.  Just, no.

Then, the next morning I was rudely woken up by a call from my sisters at the ungodly hour of 8:15.  They wanted us to come pick them up from where they had walked so we could all go to a diner for breakfast.  And they wanted us to come right now!  There was just time to brush teeth and throw on some shorts before I got another peevy call about why I wasnt there yet, so the shaving of the bouncer-stache before going out in public didn't exactly happen.

Mortifying.  I pretended I didn't know him actually.
Anyway, bouncerstache-gate came to an end later in the day and morphed into PaulBlart-stache.  Or, perv-stache for those of you who never were lucky enough to see Mall Cop (I'm kidding).

Perv-stache lasted all day.  Thankfully I convinced perv Alex to get rid of the offensive facial hair for the annual family picture.

Friday, September 2, 2011

cryptically snotty and guilty at the same time

I'm feeling all passive aggressive today.

Like I am pissed at someone, but instead of just saying, you piss me off asshole, I might just cryptically write stuff in this post that will make people wonder if it's them that I am mad at.

That's fairly immature of me, isn't it?  Well, I don't actually care that much.  Because clearly I am cranky.

The weekend is just beginning, and it's a holiday weekend to boot.  Should be a nice, relaxing couple of days.  We're heading to Cooperstown tomorrow morning to hang with my sisters and their families.  My mom has a house on the lake there, and we typically just sit on the deck for hours, drinking coffee, watching the kids in the water, playing bananagrams.  Maybe we'll throw a few turns around the lake in, water skiing, wake boarding, tubing.  And of course we eat our faces off, because obviously.  Good stuff. 

Definitely my idea of relaxing.

Except, I'm feeling a little guilty.  Like, this might sound weird but a few days ago I mentioned that our town didn't suffer too much with the big hurricane.  Well, we're going to be driving through one of the hardest hit areas in the state and I feel almost like we shouldn't be going off enjoying a holiday weekend at my mom's summer house when so many people seriously just lost their house.  Their only house, and their things and their pets and just, everything.  I feel guilty.  I can't help it.

Before we go tomorrow, I think I'll drop off a bunch of donations at one of the donation spots.  These people need everything.  And I have too much of everything.  I am not even kidding.  I have two nice dining room table sets in storage, I have two nice couches in storage, I have a couple of bed frames in storage, a couple of dressers, I have spare everything you'd need in your kitchen in storage, I have clothes.  Ridiculous amounts of clothes for adults and kids in all sizes.  Coats, boots, shoes.  It's embarrassing actually, how much that I have that I could give.

So, I'll give.

That's my plan.  And when I get back next week, I'll see what I can do to physically help too, because I feel like I haven't done anything, and all of these people, my neighbors, are in serious need.

So I bet you're wondering where the cryptic snotty messages are.  Well, I just realized that I haven't snuck any in yet!

I guess after talking about serious sad stuff, I have no business being bitchy, do I?

All I will say is this: one thing that I just cannot stand is people who lack common courtesy.  Common courtesy is a good thing guys.  We all appreciate it I think.  And being courteous is so easy, really.  It doesn't take anything out of you to care about someone else's feelings.  If you are unsure of the actual meaning of courtesy, I'll explain it to you, because I am very nice.  And courteous. 

Generally speaking, being courteous means being gracious, nice, polite, considerate and showing regard for others.  So basically, the opposite of  being courteous is being rude.  Asshole.

Well that wasn't very cryptic was it?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

a little bit six

My baby had her birthday a few weeks ago.  Brooke is officially six years old now. 

It's hard to believe.  She seems to be getting bigger and smarter and more grown up every day.  I have to admit, it feels a little hard to accept at times.  I miss her little baby self.  Since last year she's grown 3 inches and gained 6 pounds!

Waking up on her birthday morning, I was remembering the way Brooke came into this world, unexpectedly, so early in the morning.   The drive to the hospital that morning seemed to take forever, and making my way to the Labor and Delivery floor seemed to take forever too.  And in keeping with the theme, the girl at the intake desk seemed to take her sweet time.  While I was standing there bleeding, like a lot,  and Alex and I looked at each other thinking, really?

After an intense and scary bit of time, seeing my little girlie, healthy pink and round headed with thick blond hair,  I remember feeling so relieved.  Feeling loopy from meds but happy.   Not too happy that I couldn't hold her, but happy that she was there.

She started out as such a peaceful little one.  That ended after the first two weeks.  I think she was being nice to me while I recovered from my first c-section.  Then, POW, right in the kisser.  I had a cry baby.  Lots and lots and lots of crying.  She was generally uncomfortable a lot, and as with the other kids, seemed to have an intolerance for her formula.  It was pretty hard.  She had an infection that put her in the hospital for a week when she was just under two months old.  I was definitely feeling stressed.  For the first time in like ever, I had dust bunnies on my stairs.

But eventually we got it under control.  She was a great sleeper and napper, and slept through the night in her crib pretty much after just a few months.
She was my little side-kick.  The peanut butter to my jelly.  I didn't ever really go anywhere without her, her diaper bag and a baba or two.

Looking back now, those younger years just flew by.  Sitting to crawling to walking to running.  She was always trying so hard to catch up with the older kids.  Pre-school to Kindergarten, and now first grade.  Wow.

Now, this little funny girl, my little girl who loves to be entertained, who loves her sisters and brother, who loves being the center of attention, is six.  SIX.  Every day she says something to make me smile or laugh, testing out her skills at joke telling.  She is a lover of snuggling, and still manages to climb into my bed in the early morning hours daily.  Miss Independent who wants to be grown up, loves Barbies and baby dolls and books and reading every night.  She loves playing Toy Story and princesses and dress up.  She loves riding bikes and playing soccer and swimming in the deep end.  She loves her blankie.  She's such a happy, carefree kid.

It seems like every day is a new adventure for this little girl of mine.  How do I make time sand still?