Behind Closed Doors

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Watching the news about the Papal conclave I can’t help wondering why the Catholic Church still insists on this outdated method of choosing a pope. Because it ROCKS that’s why. All those cardinals have to maintain this holy image all the time but I bet when they go in there and those doors close it is time to PARRRRTAAAAY! I am sure they have a karaoke machine and they are in there singing Miley Cyrus songs, line dancing and grilling hot dogs and burgers which explains the black smoke. “No new pope yet, throw on some of those bratwurst!” You know it’s only a matter of time before someone breaks out the communion wine! Those old guys are getting down and the last guy to pass out becomes Pope. I’m pretty sure that’s how it happens.

Everyone got their party hats on? To the left, to the left to the left...

Everyone got their party hats on? To the left, to the left to the left…

I really think holding a conclave is the perfect way to decide lots of things in my life. Especially if it means that I can lock myself in my bedroom until I agree with myself which I am pretty sure won’t happen until after the kid’s bedtime. Of course since I am a mother I will have to hang a note on the door politely asking not to be disturbed.

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Anyhow I made a list of things that I will now be deciding by conclave.

  1. What’s for dinner?
  2. Heels or flats?
  3. David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?
  4. Beer or ice cream?
  5. Trim my hair or chop it off?
  6. Do these jeans make my butt look big?
  7. Is it ha-rass-ment or hairess-ment?
  8. Coke or Pepsi?
  9. Do I need to shave above the knee today?
  10. Who is hotter: Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice or Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary?

darcyThis conclave may take awhile. I can’t seem to decide on the hottest Colin Firth, I may have to stare at this picture awhile longer. Please leave some wine and a sandwich outside the door. Thanks!

Hit By a Pooh Storm

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I haven’t been writing much lately because I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Which really sucks because writing is like therapy to me, so yeah, I’ve been too bummed for therapy, folks.
The last couple of weeks have not been great. Physically I’ve been okay but I have been in a pretty dark place mentally. Every task I have seems like a mountain. I look at everything I am doing and none of it seems good enough. This is not the norm for me. I am usually a very happy, positive person. I am a sunshine exhaling, rainbow farting type of person. I look on the bright side of everything. While other people are walking around like Christopher Robin saying “Tut, tut it looks like rain,” I am walking around telling all the Tut-tutters to fold up their umbrellas and enjoy life, that every little black rain cloud has a silver lining.

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So when the Pooh storm hits it takes me by surprise and then I turn into a real gloom and doom Eeyore with a bit of worry-wart Piglet thrown in for good measure. I try real hard to keep that shit inside so on the outside I am still nurturing, loving Kanga but it ain’t easy. I can only keep up that charade so long before I crack and turn into asshole Rabbit and those closest to me get a bit of the Pooh storm on them. Then I feel horrible and I know I need to crawl out of the rabbit hole that I’m in and start enjoying the sunshine again, but that doorway between me and the sunny world looks so tiny that I’m afraid I’m going to get stuck in it. And sometimes I do. I sit there halfway between the light and the dark and that’s usually when Know-it-all Owl shows up and starts telling me to “just shake it off and get over it.” Of course anyone who has been stuck in this Doorway of Blahness knows it’s not that easy and just when I think I will be stuck forever something magical happens – the right song comes on the radio at just the right time, or one of the kids will hug me for no reason (this doesn’t happen often with teenage and pre-teen boys) or a friend will call with news so wonderful that joy bounces back into your life like a big goofy Tigger and all is well again. So the one thing I have learned is that when an Eeyore moment (or week, or month) hits, a Tigger moment is just around the corner and you just have to wait for it to bounce and trounce on you and then hold on to it for dear life because it just may help get you through the next Pooh storm.

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Valentine’s Scrooge

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Ah. Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. I can smell the stench of it from here. Wait, that’s just Himself cooking his own breakfast. He always lets the pan get too hot. I bet you all are wondering how Himself and I celebrate our love, aren’t you? Even if you aren’t wondering I am going to tell you because it’s my blog and I get to do what I want!

We have a great Valentine’s tradition that we started about 10 years ago. It is so easy you may want to start the same tradition yourself. What we do is…nothing. Yep nothing, nada, zip. We don’t say “Happy Valentine’s Day” we don’t buy cards, light candles, take bubble baths, feed each other strawberries and chocolate gaze into each other’s eyes over an expensive dinner, nothin’. We are so romantical!!!

I am not a Valentine’s day scrooge, I did all the handmade Valentine’s cards with the kids and made Valentine’s treats for their classes and went to the little class parties and glued glitter on to shoebox mailboxes…and hated every minute of it… I totally AM the Valentine’s Scrooge.

I hate this holiday, I’ve tried, I really have, but it feels SO contrived. I have never had one Valentine’s date that didn’t feel forced and expected. Himself used to try to be romantic, but it was so..so…lame. But he get’s an A for effort.

In fact 18 years ago Himself proposed to me on Valentine’s Day. It was WONDERFUL and by wonderful I totally mean awkward to the point of comical.

No neighborhood/family flash mob.

No movie trailer proposal

No jumbotron, skywriting, billboards, scuba divers, light shows  or choreographed rabbis

What we had was the awkward get down on one knee, hold out a ring with a shaking hand and stammer through a rehearsed proposal. Don’t get me wrong I can’t watch most of those proposals without doing the ugly cry, but the fact is it’s not us. We did the Valentine’s dates for several years and they were all forced and horrible and cheesy and well not us. Gradually we just stopped doing Valentine’s Day altogether.

Honestly, I don’t think Himself is even aware that it is Valentine’s Day because he hasn’t turned on the TV and he doesn’t do facebook. What he has done this morning is make me a cup of coffee and cleaned the kitchen so I could have a few minutes to write. What he does on a daily basis is make me laugh, support my dreams, love our children and put up with my shit. When it comes to the standard idea of romance he stinks. Seriously. He is a horrible gift giver and an even worse surpriser. The one Valentine’s card he bought me he grabbed and stuck in an envelope and handed to me with no personal message. Folks, he didn’t even SIGN it! But he is great at being there when I need him and he also knows when to stay the hell away from me!

So we have redefined romance and it works for us. So enjoy your roses, and your chocolates, your candlelight and wine, all those things are great as long as they are authentic, but if it’s just because that is what’s expected maybe you would do well defining what romance means to the two of you.

With that I leave you with “our” song. It is very romantical…just like us.

Your Cinderella Story Starts Here

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Most girls want to live a Cinderella story. They want the fairy godmother, the charming prince and the fairy tale. They sometimes try to achieve this by doing something stupid such as going on a TV show like “The Bachelor” with a bunch of other desperate women who are all trying to win their own Cinderella story. However, I think they are forgetting a very important part of the Cinderella story. The beginning. Remember the beginning girls? Cinderella down on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor, talking to mice? That’s part of the story. And let’s not forget that bitchy stepmother and the two horrible stepsisters.

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My point is that if you want to live a Cinderella story it has to include the first part. The suffering, not so great part. I sometimes feel like I am stuck in that first part of scrubbing and conferring with non-humans (aka teenagers.)But you know what? –  I am fine with that. Even if I had a fairy godmother there is actually very little I would change about my life. Sure it would be nice to have some things be a little easier and I would like to do less housework and more writing, but over all I am very happy with my non fairy-tale life. I like the reality of my life and I think the lessons that I learn through the struggle are better than glass slippers and ball gowns. I may not make all of my dreams come true but the dreams I do achieve will be a result of my own hard work. And they won’t expire at midnight. Also I like my man a bit more rugged and less charming. I also like him to be able to pick me out of a crowd after a night together without making every girl in town try on a shoe.  But that’s just me.

I'm sure I would remember her breasts. Have all the girls in the kingdom show me their breasts...what? Fine. Then make them try on this shoe. I must find those breasts...er that girl!

I’m sure I would remember her breasts. Have all the girls in the kingdom show me their breasts…what? Fine. Then make them try on this shoe. I must find those breasts…er that girl!

Anyhow for those of you who do want to live a Cinderella story but you are having a hard time getting it started. I would like to help. Truly. Now I know I am no fairy godmother and I don’t have any prince charming matchmaking skills to speak of, but what I do have is a house that could use a good scrubbing and I can be delightfully bitchy. Just send me a message and I will guarantee you the start to your very own Cinderella story*. I might even throw in a few mice for good measure. Also I live with 3 males so when you’re scrubbing floors take a little extra care around the toilets, would you?

*This offer does not guarantee the appearance of fairy godmothers , prince charmings, and other bibbidi bobbidi boo shit that doesn’t actually exist. Only the scrubbing and the putting up with a bitch part of the Cinderella story are included in this wonderful offer. Sign up Now!

First tackle those toilets, then the mountain of laundry, clean out the fridge and then....

First tackle those toilets, then the mountain of laundry, clean out the fridge and then….

 

The Name Game

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I think it is time that we as parents get a grip on this whole nickname thing. I am not talking about endearments and pet names, I am talking about those names parents give their kids only to call them something entirely different. Why not just name them that in the first place? If you like the name Leo then name your kid Leo or if you want something more formal name him Leonardo and call him Leo but don’t name him Philemon and call him Leo for short. I am calling bullshit on that.

I am fine with Michael becoming Mike and Christina becoming Christy. I start having a problem when the nickname is actually longer than the given name, like when Charles becomes Charlie. However even that is better than when Charles becomes Chuck. How do you get Chuck from Charles, for fuck’s sake. Unless the name on your birth certificate is Chuckles I will not be “shortening” your name to Chuck.

Jim. Short for James right? Wrong. How can it be short for something if they have the same number of syllables? Jim is not short for James it is short for Jimothy or Jimberly and if your parents liked the name Jim better than the name James, they shoulda fuckin’ named you Jim!

Oh and Richard, can we talk for a moment about the nicknames for Richard? Rich or Richie completely acceptable. Rick and Ricky? Not so much. If your name is Rickard I will call you Rick or Ricky. Then there is Dick. Can someone please tell me how in the hell you get Dick from Richard or Rich. It’s impossible. Somewhere, sometime some mother had a horrible little boy named Richard and she called him Dick because that is what he was and then to hide her bad parenting she made up the story about Dick being a short form of Richard. Bullshit. It is short for Dickard.

And how about those Kennedy’s? They were famous for the bullshit nicknames weren’t they? Jack Kennedy? How in the hell is Jack an acceptable nickname for John? Again, same number of syllables so WTF? Also if your kid’s middle initial is F you don’t start calling him Jack. “Yeah I’m Jack F Kennedy” Really? I say no to that unless like little Dick he really is a Jack-off and you are trying to pull a fast one on us. Then there was Bobby Kennedy? How is Bob or Bobby short for Robert? Rob and Robby yes. If you go by Bob or Bobby I am going to assume your name is Bobert. Or Bobwin. Bobward. Whatever. And last but not least Ted Kennedy whose name was, wait for it … Edward. WTF Mom and Pop Kennedy. Why didn’t you call him Ed or Eddie. Where the fuck did Ted come from? When he died I spent most of the day thinking the Kennedy curse had claimed two more victims because some news stations were calling him Ted and some were calling him Edward and my mind does not make an immediate connection between the names Ted and Edward. Because it’s bullshit.

The six Kennedy brothers: John, Jack, Bobby, Robert, Ted and Edward

The six Kennedy brothers: John, Jack, Bobby, Robert, Ted and Edward

And girls names are not immune to this crap. Have you ever met a Peggy? Chances are her name is Margaret. Yea, you heard me Margaret. How the fuck do you get Peggy from Margaret? Maggie I can kinda see but Peggy? Someone was smokin’ some good shit to come up with that one.

The only thing worse than a “short version” of a name that makes no sense is the ironic nickname. You know the person who is 6’7″ and goes by Shorty or the guy who weighs 420 lbs and says “My name is Jerry but people call me Slim.” No they fucking don’t. And if they do that is ridiculous and under those rules I would like for everyone to start calling me Sober.

Do’s and Don’ts Concerning the Newtown Tragedy

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This has been a hard post for me to write, which explains why it has taken several days. When you are posting in a public forum like this you have to decide how political or how controversial you wish to be. As it is MY blog it is MY opinion that counts sooooo let’s talk a bit about last week’s tragedy and the effect it has had on us as a nation. Let’s talk about gun control and mental health.

On second thought and out of respect for my blood pressure let’s not talk about those things. Don’t get me wrong, they are important things to discuss, but I just can’t do it anymore. Instead I have a short list of Do’s and Don’ts for you all.

DON’T let what one person did color your opinion of the human race.

DO remember that last Friday old ladies were helped across the street, a layaway angel paid for someone else’s Christmas gifts, a good Samaritan helped someone change a tire. In other words there were all kinds of GOOD people doing GOOD things.

A NYC police officer buys boots for a homeless man

A NYC police officer buys boots for a homeless man

DON’T continue having hateful arguments about gun control and mental health.

DO remember that these issues are important to you the next time you go to vote and make sure that you are voting for someone who stands for the same things you do.

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DON’T live in fear of the “bad guys”

DO remember there are lots of “good guys”

DON’T let fear and anger and sadness fill your heart

DO “put a little love in your heart and the world will be a better place, for you, and me…”

Remember you can focus on the hate and the anger and be part of that or you can focus on love and compassion and be part of that but choose wisely because what you focus on is the world you choose to live in.

Love to all of you.

A Trip Down a Rather Uneventful Magical Memory Lane

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Today is 12/12/12 and it is supposed to be some kind of magical day. It is the last time the 3 digits of the date will match like this in our lifetime. That is because 2012 is the last year that will coincide with a month for almost 100 years. January first of 2101 will start the cycle all over again with 01/01/01. At the beginning of each century we get 12 of these “magic” dates and that is it. I woke up this morning and started off with my daily routine of laundry, breakfast, school and in the background I could hear the news talking about the “magic day” and how people were getting married and buying lottery tickets and even inducing labor or scheduling a c-section so their baby can have this wonderful birthday. I started feeling a little guilty for not planning anything special for today. Here I am wasting the last magical day of the century folding underwear and chasing dust-bunnies. Then I started thinking about the last 11 magical days and I am pretty sure I wasted those as well. I am a big magic day wasting dummy. But at least I am consistent.

01/01/01  – Where was I? What was I doing? Well I do know that I was about 6 months pregnant with Bug so chances are I spent that magical day in the bathroom hunched over the toilet with dry heaves thinking murderous thoughts about anyone who told me that morning sickness only lasts the first trimester. Sometime between trips to the bathroom I probably found time to feed and dress the 3 year old Professor and put away a few Christmas ornaments. A magical day indeed!

02/02/02 – I spent the day making snacks and preparing to go to a friends house for Superbowl the next day. I also watched a lot of news. We were all still reeling from 9/11 and all of “the firsts” after that horrible day were well covered on the news. The first Christmas, the first New Year’s Eve, the first Superbowl… was it going to be safe? What was security going to be like? Yep a lot of news that day, not much magic.

03/03/03 – According to my journal on this particular magical day I went grocery shopping and sent out Bug’s birthday invitations. Wow. Exciting stuff.

04/04/04 – On this magical day I took Bug in to have his 3 year portaits taken at Wal-mart. I guess there was a huge magic vacuum at Wally World because when those pictures came back there was not a single shot worth buying (big surprise) and Bug’s 3 year portrait is a snapshot from his birthday party. Also I kind of gave up on the birthday portraits after this.

05/05/05 – This day was so special I have nothing written in my journal except “T-ball practice” Even then I was living the dream!

06/06/06 – I guess this was not so much considered a magical day as a day of anticipating the anti-christ to announce himself. I listened to Rush Limbaugh all day waiting for him to out himself and it never happened!

07/07/07 – Yes this was supposed to be a lucky day indeed! Just my luck I forgot to buy a lottery ticket or find a single slot-machine to put a quarter in. So instead of magical I just got a normal, boring day.

08/08/08 – According to the Chinese this was supposed to be an especially fortuitous day to get married but since I was already married I could not take advantage of this and now I am stuck with a totally unlucky wedding date of 9/17/95. Instead I spent this day back-to-school shopping and posting pictures of fat naked men on my sisters’ Myspace pages.

09/09/09 – Yep nothing magical on this day either. We were packing, getting ready to move in a couple of weeks so magic was the last thing on our minds. I do remember the boys and I finding any excuse we could to say the date aloud because we liked how it made us sound like extremely contrary Germans –  Nine! Nine! Nine!!! Funny, but not magical!

10/10/10 – Okay, this day had a little magic because it looks like I found enough time to re-string my guitar. I am sure that I left dishes in the sink and laundry in the dryer to do this, but still way to rock the triple tens!

11/11/11 – This day was supposed to have some powerful magic but it must have run out by the time it got here because this was just another day of housework, momming and it looks like I spent an inordinate amount of time on Facebook rewriting a George Strait song with my sister.

So yes, magic days are not my strong suit. I waste them on all types of non-magical stuff and now it is the last one we will ever have and I have to tell you, I wouldn’t change a thing. I know that everyone of those so-called magical days I got up and got my sorry ass out of bed. I DID something, granted it may not have been life-changing or extravagant, but it was life and I was living it. I know every single one of those days including today I got to say “I love you” to my husband and kids and hear it said to me. And I am pretty darn sure that every single one of those days I laughed because I try to make it a point to laugh every day. Laughter and Love that is my kind of magic and it is all around us. You just have to look!

So happy 12/12/12 to all of you and I hope that your day is full of the best kind of magic!

Magic Moment captured by cousin @  Carmen Phoenix Photography http://www.carmenphoenix.com/

Magic Moment captured by cousin Clara @ Carmen Phoenix Photography http://www.carmenphoenix.com/

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-jig

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So I have been back from Mommycation for over a week now and I am just getting around to writing a post. Coming back from Mommycation is a lot of work! My guys did a great job without me, the house was pretty clean when I got home and everyone smelled as if they had showered sometime in the last 24 hours, but things needed…let’s say tweaking.

The dishes were washed which I totally wasn’t expecting because I am one of those lame people without a dishwasher. This means my guys actually ran a sink of dishwater, scrubbed the dishes, dried the dishes and put them away. I know, now you’re impressed too, huh? The thing is (and I’m not complaining) none of the dishes got put back in the right place. This confuses me only because I assume they GOT the dishes from one place and then instantly forgot where that place was. But like I said, not complaining, just still searching for a vegetable peeler (there was peeling of vegetables going on while I was gone!) and a small colander. No biggie.

The Laundry was mostly caught up which I have to admit is not something that happens when I am home. So, WTG Dad! I did, however, find a pair of my teenager’s jeans in my drawer which I think may have been wishful thinking on Himself’s part, because there’s not a chance in the world my ass is fitting into the jeans of a 14 year-old boy. Also…my legs aren’t that long.  Again, not complaining, but observing that perhaps I am still needed. They really did do a terrific job here without me, which is great, a little sad, but great.

So how was the trip? I know you are all dying to hear. It was fantabulous! I was happy to hear that the cruise line was not going to charge me for an extra passenger as I brought Aunt Flo along, because it was my first vacation away from my kids and my life is hilarious like that. I also arrived home with a lovely case of Montezuma’s Revenge. LOL amirite? But seriously aside from those two things, It was a hoot!

Not only did we laugh A LOT, but we didn’t have to do any laundry or dishes or well, anything. There was a whole crew of nice foreign gentlemen to attend to our every need. They cleaned our room, made our beds, washed our towels, served our food and put up with some very obnoxious comments from a group of women who let’s face it may not have been old enough to be their mothers, but were definitely old enough to be their mothers’ hot younger friend.

I do hope they get paid well because they really did put up with a lot. Of course they had their fun as well. I think maybe leaving a giant vagina on our bed may have  been taking things a bit far on their part, but we had a good laugh and then I took a shower and wrapped that mothereffin’ vagina around my head!

Yeah, they said it was a walrus, but a couple of flippers can’t hide the fact that this is clearly a terry-cloth vagina.

I think after the holidays I will be ready for Mommycation part II! Everyone who thinks that is a great idea raise your wineglass!

 

 

 

Mommycation!

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So it looks like this blog might be taking a bit of a hiatus as life is really busy right now! I am getting ready to take my first ever week away from being mom/wife. My sisters, a few friends and I are going on a cruise. Yes we are all taking some much needed girl time before the world ends. YOLO amirite?

I’ve been getting ready to leave, which if you have ever been lucky enough to take a mommycation,  is a whole hell of a lot of work for a mother. Not only am I getting my stuff ready to go I have to prepare the house for my absence. Food must be bought and placed in the fridge with a lengthy list of  instructions on how and when to prepare it. Also reminders have to be posted around the house FEED THE PETS! TAKE A SHOWER! BRUSH YOUR TEETH! THAT DOESN’T BELONG THERE!

On top of that we are homeschooling this year so lesson plans must be made and gone over with their “substitute teacher.” Bug, the 11 year-old has Asperger’s and mama leaving for a week is gonna be especially tough on him so I am writing him letters to read every day and making detailed lists of his routines for Himself to follow so hopefully it will go somewhat smoothly! (haha)

Also the homeschooling thing. Yeah this week is the last week of the quarter so all their work and projects have to be wrapped up and turned in by the end of the week. AND didja all know this is Halloween week? So costumes must be finished and parties and events must be attended and trick or treating must happen! Good Lord! I just want to be on vacation already.

So yes one of the things that is getting put on the back-burner while all this is going on is the blog posts that I really wanted to write. I hope I will have time but if this is the last you hear from me for the next couple of weeks please come back I am sure there will be some awesome Mommycation stories to share with you!

Teen ‘Tude

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Being the mother of a teenager has been an eye-opening experience.  I have to say I was not prepared for the attitude.  Sure, I had heard all the horror stories about “Teen ‘Tude” but obviously the parents telling those stories were trying to blame their sub-par parenting skills on their child. Bad parenting – that is the root of all those sullen faces and crossed arms. Thank God I am a wonderful parent who has taught my children to say please and thank you, and to smile and answer politely when an adult speaks to them. You know, the basic behaviors that mean you are part of the human race.

Having put enormous amounts of time and effort into raising my children correctly, you can imagine the resentment I felt when I found myself being followed through the supermarket by a slovenly, angry child wearing a hoodie and sullen expression.  It was quite obvious that this particular child did not want to be in the supermarket.  The look on his face said as much – a look which is usually reserved for the condemned as they are led to the gallows.

While I felt bad for this child, who was obviously the most long-suffering, horribly wronged being to ever walk the face of the earth, I did not want people to think that I had raised this moody excuse of a boy; nor did I want his bad manners and attitude to rub off on my perfect children.  I began looking around for the mother of this angsty teen.  I figured I would immediately know her by her “World’s Worst Mother EVER” t-shirt, and her obvious disregard for the other patrons of the market.  (What other excuse was there for making us all endure her child’s angry glances not to mention the huffy sighing coming from his general direction?)

Needless to say the woman had completely vanished.  I can’t say that I blame her, but what in the hell was I going to do with this horrible, moody child following me around?  I decided to completely ignore this scowling, huffing shadow and just finish my shopping.  Maybe he would decide to follow someone else, someone who would pay attention to the long sighs of  boredom he was emitting every few seconds.  I stopped in the cereal aisle and began comparing granolas. Which was the best deal? Raisins? Almonds? Then I heard it, a foot stomp followed by a very audible groan. That was the final straw! I couldn’t take anymore! I whirled around and…Oh holy hell!  I was face to face, not with some stranger’s angry child, but with my very own son. The apple of my eye, the sweet little angel that picked dandelions for me on Mother’s Day. What was my little darling doing wearing this teenage scowl? Had he been abducted by aliens and infected with teen ‘tude? Maybe he had picked up the bug at school.  Surely somewhere in that long list of vaccines he had when he was little there was one that protected him from teenage sullenness.

I felt a little panicky as if I were standing on the edge of a great abyss. I began to question every parenting decision I had ever made. What had I done? What had I done!?! And more importantly, what could I DO? Well there was only one thing to do. I marched the little shit up to the customer service desk and nicely explained that I found this child wandering the aisles and his mother seemed to be missing.  I nodded in quiet agreement when the lady at customer service said it was a crying shame the way parents these days raised kids.  I left my basket of groceries in the aisle and walked quickly to my car without looking back. I did make one stop on the way home to pick up a “World’s Worst Mother EVER” t-shirt.  Really, other than having to change grocery stores, I seemed to be managing these teen years fairly well.  Like I said, it’s all about the parenting.

By the way, if you stop in at the supermarket and see a teenager slouching with crossed arms and scowling face next to the lost and found bin, just throw him a sandwich and back away. He’ll be okay, I totally plan on going back and claiming him…in 5 or 6 years.

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