Thursday, November 29, 2012

For My Boys

When I was a young girl, I read avidly, and always read Ann Landers's column in the newspaper. It was interesting to read about society's drama and issues, and see what Ann was going to pull out of her hat to help them out with. Sometime in 1996, the year I graduated high school, I came across a particular column that struck me very deeply, so much so that I cut it out of the paper and put it into this big, green photo album that I kept things that I liked in.

That day's column was a request for a reprint of a piece Ann had run before, called "Dead at 17" by John Berrio. Maybe you've seen it, maybe not, but here it is:

Agony claws my mind. I am a statistic. When I first got here, I felt very much alone. I was overwhelmed by grief, and I expected to find sympathy.

I found no sympathy. I saw only thousands of others whose bodies were as badly mangled as mine. I was given a number and placed in a category. The category was called "Traffic Fatalities."

The day I died was an ordinary school day. How I wish I had taken the bus! But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheedled the car out of mom. "Special favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive." When the 2:50 p.m. bell rang, I threw my books in the locker... free until tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking lot, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss.

It doesn't matter how the accident happened. I was goofing off - going too fast, taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember was passing a lady who seemed to be going awfully slow. I heard a crash and felt a terrific jolt. Glass and steel flew everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream. 

Suddenly, I awakened. It was very quiet. A police officer was standing over me. I saw a doctor. My body was mangled. I was saturated with blood. Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I couldn't feel anything.

Hey, don't pull that sheet over my head. I can't be dead. I'm only 17. I've got a date tonight. I'm supposed to have a wonderful life ahead of me. I haven't lived yet. I can't be dead.

Later, I was placed in a drawer. My folks came to identify me. Why did they have to see me like this? Why did I have to look at Mom's eyes when she faced the most terrible ordeal of her life? Dad suddenly looked very old. He told the man in charge, "Yes, he's our son."

The funeral was weird. I saw all of my relatives and friends walk toward the casket. They looked at me with the saddest eyes I've ever seen. Some of my buddies were crying. A few of the girls touched my hand and sobbed as they walked by.

Please, somebody - wake me up! Get me out of here. I can't bear to see mom and dad in such pain. My grandparents are so weak from grief they can barely walk.

My brother and sister are like zombies. They move like robots. In a daze. Everybody. No one can believe this. I can't believe it, either. 

Please, don't bury me! I'm not dead! I have a lot of living to do! I want to laugh and run again. I want to sing and dance. Please don't put me in the ground! I promise if you give me one more chance, God, I'll be the most careful driver in the whole world. All I want is one more chance. Please, God, I'm only 17.


In 1996, I had had my driver's license for a year. I was 17 years old. That column hit me like a sledgehammer to my soul and psyche. It made me cry. It shook me up, made me realize that I was not invincible and I did not want to die.  

Reading it from the voice and perspective of someone my age helped me understand that I had only just begun to experience life and had so much more ahead of me. It made me see that death is final, drove it home to me more than the death of my grandfather, an old man who had lived long enough to see the stages of his life play out.

I kept it as a reminder to myself that life is frail and not to be treated lightly. I kept it as a reminder to be safe not only when driving but in everything I did. This is not to say that I didn't make stupid judgment calls and mistakes, because I definitely did, but fortunately, nothing truly bad resulted.

Over the years, the album page that I placed the column in has remained with me (not the whole album, though) through multiple moves, including to another state. The edges of the page are yellow and old. I will keep it for my boys to read when they begin driving, and I hope it affects them as deeply as it did me. I want it to hit them deep in their souls, slap them upside their heads and penetrate the recesses of their brains, make them realize that they are not invincible, nor indestructible, make them second-guess making a stupid choice. I want it to help them see that they have their whole lives ahead of them, that they've only just begun to live, that their parents do not want to bury them. That we can't bury them. 

It would break me.

I want it to help them understand that they only have one chance. Not only while driving but in life. 



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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Random Mom Thoughts - While Pregnant: 1st Trimester

OH HELL YES! It's another installment of Random Mom Thoughts!



I'm really excited about this post because of this absolutely amazing Microsoft Paint graphic that I made for not only this but also future Random Mom Thoughts posts. AND, I added it to the other Random Mom Thoughts posts, with the corresponding subject for each denoted in the red text. Try not to be blown away by it. I spent hours on it

Please don't thank me. The awesomeness of it alone is thank you enough for me.

**YES, I am being a total dork. With a side of hyper.

***DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT CURRENTLY PREGNANT. This is all from my previous three (AND FINAL) pregnancies!

For this installment, as you can see by not only the title of the post but also by the graphic (HOLY SHIT!), I'm sharing some thoughts that I had while pregnant, but there were so many (I know, shocking) that I broke them up into three posts, for each of the three trimesters. As I've said before, am saying now, and will say again, these are the thoughts that I had and I'm not saying that every mom has them. 

- I'M WHAT? WHAT? HOW THE SHIT DID THAT HAPPEN? Wait, I know how it happened, but really, WHAT HAPPENED?

- (When calling the OB/GYN's office) What do you mean, you don't want to see me until I'm eight or nine weeks along? I'M PREGNANT HERE... I have a thousand questions and I'm freaking out and I... I... need to remind myself that I'm not the first person on earth to ever get pregnant. Calm down. Friends. Friends who've had kids. I'll just call them a thousand times a day and ask them all my questions.

- If I step on the step wrong, I might slip, fall, and crack my head open. Better grip that hand rail a little tighter.

- Why does everything smell weird?

- (For the second and third pregnancies) GREAT! An excuse to let my gut hang out now! No more sucking in! Freedom.

- I miss beer.

- Wait. WAIT. No period for eight-ish months? OH YES.

- How is it possible to be so tired? Is it going to be like this when the kid comes? Am I going to die?

- DON'T MIND ME spitting all over you while I talk to you! Actually, why don't you step back a few feet. And also please ignore the drool dribbling down my chin - I have no idea why I have so much extra slobber!

- Boy or girl? Boy or girl? BOY OR GIRL?

- Look at all these veins showing through on my boobs from the extra blood volume. I look like a zombie. Hmmm... should I take off my bra one night and pretend I'm turning into a zombie to scare Nate? HA! Wait. No, he'd probably shoot me. (Finally, an excuse to shoot that bitch!)

- I can't eat WHAT? Oh wait, I don't eat sushi anyway... but now that I know I can't have it, I WANT IT SO BADLY.

- But is it safe to clean the toilet? No? Oh, it IS? Damn it. Well, the smell of it makes me nauseous, soooo, fuck that.

- I hope I don't gain 75 pounds and get fat. Am I an asshole for hoping for that not to happen? OH WELL. Still hope it doesn't happen!

- It's raining. I better walk twice as slow, lest I slip and fall and land on my belly and hurt the baby. What the hell is wrong with me? When did I get so paranoid about getting hurt?

- I miss wine.

- Wait. The sight and smell of a dirty-ass toilet makes me even more nauseous, so where's the fucking toilet brush? *gag gag*

- When will I actually look pregnant, instead of like I had 75 beers last night? "Pregnancy bloat" can suck it.

- I am not fit to be a mother.

- Maternity clothes already? That must mean I'm gaining too much weight!

- I hope I don't get stretch marks.

- I hope the baby isn't ugly. I'm sure it will be, though. I was an ugly baby. OH MY GOD. I AM ALREADY AN AWFUL MOTHER.

- I miss vodka. Seven more months to go. I can do this.

- Jesus. Maternity clothes are ugly. And they don't even come close to fitting right.

- (This applied with the first and especially the third pregnancy) I don't understand. There are so many women who would give anything to get pregnant and have a child, and here I wasn't even trying for or desiring a child and am going to have one (or three)? It feels so unfair.

- I wish I had an ultrasound machine IN MY HOUSE. I would watch the baby all day long, every day!

What thoughts did you have?


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View the other Random Mom Thoughts posts here!


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Five People Is a Lot of People in One Bed

I experienced something new in the wee hours of Friday morning. Connor woke up, scared, and came into our room. That wasn't new. Unfortunately. But, when he left his room, he woke up Brandon, who started crying. That was kind of new. And also unfortunate. I got up and comforted Brandon but he wasn't having it and asked, in his crying baby-slobber-babble, to come into our bed. He had woken up earlier in the night, crying, and the only thing that calmed him down that time was to take him back to my bed for a bit, then return him to his crib. 

We got a king-sized bed earlier this year and it was the best thing to ever happen to us so there was (kind of) room for the two of them. I figured I would again return Brandon to his crib once he fell asleep, so off we went to the big bed.

Kids: happy
Me: not

I had settled Connor in the middle, between Nate and I, and Brandon in the crook of my arm when I heard the bedroom door creak open. It was Ethan. He came to my side of the bed and said he was scared and didn't want to sleep in his room alone. This was new. I tried to assure him that he was fine. He insisted that he was not.

OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

So, against my better judgment, I scooted over a tad, moved Brandon to my chest, and let him get into bed with us, too.

This left all five of us in one bed. This has happened zero times in the history of, well, ever. And will never happen again. I was sandwiched between the two older boys and had Brandon on my chest. Turns out, Ethan is quite the cuddler when he sleeps, and he was glued to my side, with his face almost touching mine. Everyone fell asleep.

Except me. 

I was not comfortable. My back was cramping. My neck was sore. My arms were pinned. I had knees, feet, elbows, and hands assaulting me from three sides. My body pillow/Nate's worst enemy (he hates that thing) was tangled in my legs and feet. Not only was I being suffocated by the cloud of little boy farts and bad-breath stink from my little mouth-breathers hovering over my face, the weight of two-year-old Brandon on my chest and stomach was also making it hard to breathe



As I laid there, buried under the dog-pile of kids, thanks to Brandon kneeing me in the bladder, I realized that I had to pee. Badly. But I was screwed until at least Brandon was deeply asleep enough for me to move back to his crib. And of course, for him to fall deeply asleep, what does he do? Flop all over my extremely full bladder.

Twenty minutes later, I couldn't take it anymore and moved Brandon to his crib, then darted into the bathroom. Nate got tired of Connor mule-kicking him and moved him back to his bed. Ethan remained passed out in our bed.

Usually, I like experiencing new things. It's fun. It's adventurous. It's exciting. This was none of those things.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Some Things Should Never Return


I attended a good friend's 80s-themed birthday party last Saturday. Guests were asked to revisit their worst nightmares dress up in 80s garb (I can't call it fashion, I just can't). I had blocked out most of the trends of the time from my memory, and had to ask people on Facebook for reminders of them. I appreciated the suggestions, even though they filled me with dread and a small amount of horror.

Nate had to work, and while kids were "welcome" I roped my mother-in-law into watching the boys and went alone. I had a lot of thoughts, surprises, and experiences while preparing for and attending the party.

BEFORE THE PARTY:

  • I went to the drugstore to buy the ole Wet n' Wild garish lipstick and eye makeup because apparently my current makeup choices are incredibly boring and lacking any colors outside of the "earth tones" palette. While standing at the Wet n' Wild endcap, staring at my choices and trying not to cry, I had to actually move out of the way three times for others to grab their shit. I had no idea Wet n' Wild was still so popular.
  • It was actually kind of embarrassing buying the makeup. Even though the chances are the teenage boy that rang me up didn't even notice what I was buying, I was positive that he did notice and was thinking to himself, Does she actually think she's going to look good in this shit? What an idiot.
  • While dressing for the party, I realized that this was the first time in the history of my existence that I got ready to go out and instead of trying to make myself look good, intentionally made myself look like a jackass. I wore an off-the shoulder black shirt, a short white and teal skirt, black leggings and white leg warmers. With puffed-up, hairsprayed bangs and a side ponytail. I felt, and looked like, a complete tool.
  • I was super grateful for sunglasses to hide my hideously made-up, blue eye shadowed eyes while driving to the party.
AT THE PARTY:

  • I got to the party in just enough time to witness my friend putting makeup on her tall, muscular, manly-man husband. Who was wearing skin tight, metalhead pants. Priceless.
  • I arrived at the party sans kids, and immediately took possession of an eight-month-old baby and hung out with him for a solid 30 to 45 minutes. But hey, it was TRIPLE B!! (Who now outweighs my two-year-old.) 
  • I was holding Triple B in one arm and trying not to throw out my back to capture a picture of the two of us with my cell phone camera in the other hand, when he suddenly leaned over and kissed my cheek. I thought I was going to die from the sweetness of it. And then when I saw that I captured the moment in the picture (for the most part - he's going in for the kill), I was ecstatic. The photo is of shitty cell-phone quality and did not even pick up my bright hot pink lipstick and blue eyeshadow. Because it doesn't have a flash. Because it's not an iPhone. If that makes me dead to you, then, so be it.
If you didn't just swoon at that baby, you are heartless.

  • Then Triple B proceeded to kiss me six more times over the next couple of hours. I told his mom that I love what a love he is and she told me that he kisses like, three people and NOBODY ELSE. So yeah, I was incredibly flattered and now I love him more than my own kids. 
  • I'm sure Triple B thought I was a clown, and that's why he kept kissing me. I certainly looked like one.
  • I accidentally shot "giggle juice" out of the cooler spout and all down some dude's leg - some dude dressed in tight white shorty shorts à la 80s tennis player. But, he was a good "sport" about it. No pun intended. Actually, yes. Pun intended.
  • Since I didn't really know many people at the party, I, by choice, hung out in the "baby area." The irony of escaping my kids and then voluntarily sitting with other kids was not lost on me.
  • I need to dramatically up the intensity of my workout. There was dancing, and I almost didn't have the stamina and strength to have at it for longer than a few songs. (And feel free to jump to any conclusions regarding what that says about my "dancing." The worse, the better... and more accurate.) But I pushed through, and my legs are still sore, two days later. Pathetic, especially considering that I used to spend my college weekends in clubs, dancing on speakers for hours. ...Wait. Maybe that's more pathetic.
  • Speaking of dancing, I've never wished I knew how to breakdance, or B-boy, more than I did that night. And I'm especially sad that spell check doesn't recognize the term "breakdance." The internet says it's spelled the way I spelled it, spell check fucks.
  • The "fashion" of the 80s SHOULD NEVER RETURN. I've seen some bits of it sneaking back into today's fashion and it needs to stop before we have a full-scale catastrophic return. YOU CAN KEEP YOUR STYLE, EIGHTIES. WE'LL KEEP THE MUSIC.
AFTER THE PARTY:

  • When I returned home, I could hardly walk, my feet and legs were so sore. I was also exhausted and almost fell asleep on the couch as soon as I sat down on it. LAME.
  • Hot pink Wet N' Wild lipstick will still be visible on your lips the next morning. After showering before bed. After brushing your teeth. The shit STAINS, people.
  • Speaking of that, I washed my face three times before bed and could still see remnants of the blue shadow on my eyes the next day. Cheap, garish makeup is like garlic on your breath the next morning, despite brushing, flossing, and gargling bleach. YOU'RE STILL GONNA SMELL IT. 
So happy dirty thirty, E.B. Love you, good friend. Love your baby more, though. *wink*

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm Sure This Is All Totally Normal

Things I have witnessed Brandon lick recently:

The power cord to my laptop.

My laptop.

The side of his sippy cup, SEVEN THOUSAND TIMES in the last month.

His shoe... the bottom of it.

A chair at McDonald's (Is he going to die from that one?).

The table, a thousand times in the last month.

The counter top, again, a thousand times in the last month.

His crib slats.

A dandelion.

A sand-covered toy from the sand box.

My foot (I almost spontaneously combusted from that one: feet are so fucking gross. Yes, even my own clean, perfect still completely fucking disgusting feet.

The fireplace.

ALMOST the toilet plunger. He had it 1.5 inches from his open mouth when I yanked it out of his hand and almost beat him with it for being so disgusting, then realized that would be counter-productive... and that I don't beat my kids.

The floor at his grandparent's house.

The floor at our house (significantly less clean than the floor at his grandparent's house).

The car door - the outside of it. Then he coughed for ten minutes from the dirt and dust in his mouth and throat and frankly, I was completely unsympathetic. 

The refrigerator door (hope no raw chicken blood had splattered on it in the week previously).

The couch.

The wall.

The bathroom door.

Two thousand toys.

His Be-Yo (stuffed baby doll) that at that point, hadn't been washed in its entire five years of existence. It had been his brother's and we all know how clean little kids are.

A shopping cart (he's definitely going to die from that one).

My face.

Books.

A baby wipe - UNUSED, thankfully.

A diaper - again, unused, thankfully.

My cell phone. No, I don't take it into the bathroom with me.

The sliding glass door.

The pepper shaker.

The slide at the park. Waaaait... everything at the park.


photo credit: landscapeonline.com
QUICK, WHERE'S THE SLIDE? I need something to lick.

This is all just in the last month or so, guys.

I know there are a few hundred other things that I'm just not remembering.

I never, ever, wonder what causes his random bouts of diarrhea anymore. It's SO FREEING to not even bother having to question the source.

Need more licking stories? Read this one.

Okay, now it's YOUR turn. What have your kids licked?




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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Anniversary!


HEY GUESS WHAT? Today, 11/11/12 is the one-year anniversary of this blog! Are you excited? No? Well, I'M EXCITED! Actually, I'm probably more excited that the boys are going to stay the night at their Nana's house tonight... WE'RE GOING TO BE KID-FREE FOR 24 HOURS!

That's right... an afternoon and night of utter debauchery is about to commence.

Anyway. I haven't told you the story, like you care, about what specifically prompted me to start this blog. As a whole, many things did, but early one morning a couple of weeks before I started it, I was laying on my couch with a pillow over my head, feeling a little twitchy, trying to block out the chaos of Ethan and Connor screaming and yelling and basically being regular little boys but driving me nuts, nonetheless. Brandon was a little over a year old and still sleeping (back when he used to sleep in). I was, quite frankly, struggling very much with motherhood. I had no outlet for the insanity that I was feeling creeping into my head, no outlet for the negative (but normal) thoughts and feelings, no outlet for the utter chaos of my every day life. As I laid there, being smothered by the pillow reality of how completely insane it is to mother three very little boys, on the brink of breaking down, I thought to myself:

Motherhood is a descent into madness. I am going fucking mad.

And then, I knew. I just knew. I have always loved writing, and I had been kicking around the idea of writing about motherhood but hadn't yet taken any steps to do it. So I started researching my options. Do I blog, or just try to write a book? From my research, I quickly realized that writers are trying to get book deals like waiters in L.A. are trying to get movie roles. And the simple fact is, the chances suck. In spite of that, I figured that blogging was a good platform to fine-tune my writing, learn what people out there like and don't like, build an audience, and develop my style.

And, to find my people. I needed to find a community of people who were in the same boat, who didn't always consider parenthood to be peaches and cream and puppy dog farts. Who had a sense of humor about parenthood and all of the shit that goes along with it. 

On 11/11/11, I published that first post. No, I didn't intentionally choose that date for all the elevens in it, it just happened to be when I was ready. 

It was a really exciting day. I felt like I was climbing up out of my mom-hole, finally doing something for me, finally putting some of my talents to work, instead of watching myself spiral down into a pit of despair and not knowing how to drag myself out of it.

It was also completely terrifying. I knew that if I was going to do this, if I was going to write, I was going to be 100% real and honest, because that's just the way I am. I knew that I was *metaphorically* stripping naked and putting myself (and my family) out there. I knew I was going to make a complete asshole of myself.

But there was no going back. People, I fucking love writing

It is so cathartic.

It felt (and still does feel) GREAT to release all of these feelings inside of me. It's like when you've eaten something bad or caught a bug and you feel all shitty and then you throw up, just vomit up your guts, let it all out, and afterward feel a thousand times better because it's gone. 

I highly recommend it to anyone!

It has also been amazing to discover, on a different level than I already knew, what absolutely phenomenal friends and family I have. It is humbling and completely overwhelming to see such an outpouring of support from you for my writing. I know that some of you don't necessarily agree with a lot of what I write, but you look past the content (and the swearing... OHMYGOD *eye roll*) and see my writing, see my soul-baring, see my humor, and pat me on the back anyway. 

Or you love what I write and show it. I'm not writing for accolades or ego boosts but I cannot explain to you how much it means to me to see you guys supporting me, complimenting me, and sharing what I write. It's not often that we get chances to come through for the people in our lives, and you have come through for me and it means more than you know.


And to the rest of you readers, thank you for being here. I would write even if I only had 2 readers (my mom and Nate), so it's such a bonus having you here! Especially since you have - so far - been respectful and caring towards me, even though I'm sure I've written things that you've 100% disagreed with. It's so fun having this little community!

I also owe a few other writers some pretty big thank yous. So I'm going to step up to the Academy Awards microphone and give my thank you speech to these ladies. Oh, sorry, Jason, I mean, ladies and gentlemen. I was thinking back to your NickMom comedy performance and your lipstick...

Anyway, I'm holding a drink instead of the statue because, well, I'd rather have a drink than a statue in my hand.



Julie at ILikeBeerAndBabies.com: You were one of the very first blogs that I started reading regularly because I completely identify with you and I love your blog. It's been so fun getting to know you outside of blogging, and realize how much we have in common, and especially to trade lines from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and various other movies. I'm excited to meet in person someday, just so you can motorboat my boobs and we can drink our body weight in alcohol together and act like total jackasses. IT IS GOING TO BE A FUCKING BLAST. I just hope we don't get arrested. And seriously, I really appreciate all the tech help and support you've given me. It's awesome having someone to chat about blog stuff with. You're the breastest.

Christine at theaums.com: You have been a big help in getting me on board with some of the social media stuff, sharing my posts and promoting me, and helping me out tech-wise. I'm grateful for all of it! You are, quite frankly, a really nice person, and I appreciate that you immediately accepted me for the obnoxious, crass, and totally uncouth person that I am, even though you're way classier. It was especially fun having a bunch of naked dudes shake their (covered) penises in our faces. (We saw Magic Mike together.) And I can't thank you enough for making me aware of this next writer by sharing a super funny post of his way back when:

Jason at jasongood.net: Dude, don't forget to tell me when you come to The Punchline - I owe you like... 365 (ha) beers at this point. You were the one who gave me one of my most exciting times, to date, as a writer by sharing that post of mine and I got to see my blog just BLOW UP for a couple of days. I know you know how fucking awesome it is to watch that happen. Thank you so much for exposing your readers to me. I am determined to return the favor someday. Somehow. 
Not only that, I really appreciate all the blogging input you've given me, and especially the time and effort you put into making the blog header for me. Simply put, you're really awesome. So's your writing.

So this last year has been fun. I love laughing at myself and my kids even more than I thought. I love how exposure to other moms and styles and opinions has actually helped me become a less judgmental and more compassionate person. Sure, I see shit all the time that makes my eyes pop out of my head, but I just don't care as much as I used to about the parenting choices that people make. I realize that everyone is just doing the best they can with what they have. We all love our kids, and no one habit or choice means that a parent loves their kid more or is a better parent than anyone else.

And I am looking forward to the next year! But now, I must go pack the boys up for their Nana's house so Nate and I can get this crazy train on the road. *NOTE TO SELF: DON'T drunk Facebook later, DON'T drunk Facebook later...*

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Friday, November 9, 2012

An Ode to My Husband

Nate told me the other day that he's been feeling under appreciated, which actually kind of surprised me because, just like I know that he knows thinks that I am the coolest fucking person on the planet and he appreciates the hell out of me, I thought he knew all the time that I feel the same way about him. 

Apparently, he's forgotten. So I'm going to remind him.

Nate,

You're quite the guy. I really do know this, and I'm sorry if I don't tell you that all of the time but frankly, I don't want your head to get all big and then the next thing I know, you're screwing all the hobags and then tossing me aside for some chick who cooks all the time or something. So even though you're not really egotistical at all, I have to find balance with my compliments and effusive praise. Please try to understand.

You fold laundry like nobody's business. I love knowing that I can throw in a load and probably 60% of the time, I am not going to be the one to fold it and put it away. I love how you wield a vacuum, how you regularly run that bastard all over the carpet, showing those errant nail clippings and Brandon's food droppings whose bitch they really are. I love that not only do you know how to wash dishes AND empty the dishwasher, you actually do those things. All of the time. And you lovingly wipe down the kitchen counter (and the snot streaks on the couch) like a Spanish lover strokes his French whore.

Speaking of the kitchen, thanks for all the cooking that you do. Some days, if it weren't for you, I'd probably eat nothing better than the remainder of Connor's soggy cereal floating in room-temperature milk and a couple of cold chicken nuggets (HEY, they're still good cold! SO AMAZING!) from Brandon's plate at dinner. Just kidding, I would eat some veggies, too, but I do appreciate you being the chef. I'm just so not interested in having to cook every night. And while I know that you're secretly motivated to learn how to cook new entrees so you can watch Giada and her boobies, I'll take it. 

So thank you, Giada and boobs, for the good food that my husband learns how to cook from you. I'll take him getting menu ideas while staring at your chest and comely smile over having to be the one to cook every night ANY DAY. 

Thank you for letting me sleep in on your days off. I know you do it to spare your life, since we both know what a CRAZY ASS BITCH I turn into when I get tired, but I also know you do it because you're just a nice guy and you want to help me out. But really, I know why you want me well-rested. 

I know it's not easy being cheesy sleep-deprived and getting Ethan, and Connor on his preschool days, ready for school while trying to keep them quiet (an impossible task), and packing lunches that they're not even going to eat and then piling all of them into the car for the trip(s) to school. 

And I know it's so defeating to do all that and still have to come back home with a kid or two, since they're not ALL in school. Just a few more years, dude. A few more years - WE CAN SURVIVE THEM.

I love knowing that I can take off and leave the boys with you and not have to worry about coming home to utter chaos and half-neglected, starving children. You're such a hands-on dad. But I'm sorry if I don't tell you all the time what a great dad you are because frankly, I just kind of expect dads to be involved with their children - you know how I feel about that. There is really no excuse not to be. The 1950s ended A LONG TIME AGO. 

I appreciate how hard you work to provide for our family. You go out there and put your life on the line to help others, missing holidays and birthdays and other important events. We have health insurance, thanks to you. Thanks to your hard work and sacrifice, we can buy food for our boys to waste and drop all over the floor, creating yet another mess that half of the time, you'll be the one to sweep and mop up. 

Thank you for being the one to make the actual money while I try to forge my way into the writing world. I wish I could guarantee you that it will pay off someday, and pay off big, but I can't, because shockingly, I actually cannot predict the future. I do know that the whopping eight dollars and eleven cents I finally made from people accidentally actually clicking on the Zulily and ITT Tech ads on my blog will go a long way in securing our retirement. 

OR, it will buy a week's worth of milk for the boys. I'll take it.

You do all those things and so much more. You're a true champ, a warrior, a really fucking cool (and damn good-looking) guy who writes "I heart cock" on pictures of me and who usually makes me laugh, when you actually decide to talk. I know I frequently drive you up the wall and probably definitely make you regret the day you met me and especially the day you married me, but you know, there have been days that I have wanted to bury you in the fucking backyard and let the gophers eat your rotting corpse.

But that's marriage. And I love you, Nathan T. to the fucking E., Nate D. O. double G. You're my craziness AND my sanity.

And I appreciate you. So stop whining about feeling under appreciated, because you most definitely are NOT.



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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Home Ear Infection Remedy

Let me just preface this post with the disclaimer that I am not a doctor, in spite of the fact that I feel like one about every other week, what with having a few kids and all. So, this doesn't replace your seeking medical attention.

Moving along, one day a few months ago, I kept noticing increasing pain, pressure, and hotness inside of my ear. By the evening I felt feverish, and I realized that I most likely had an ear infection.

I mean really? What am I, five?

When one of the boys (as if I actually remember which one) previously had an ear infection, the doctor discussed with me whether or not I wanted to give him antibiotics since apparently, most ear infections actually resolve on their own and antibiotics are not always necessary. 

So, remembering that information and not wanting to go to the doctor in the first place, I Googled whether or not an adult ear infection was something that needed to be treated. In the 17 billion results I was provided with (You're so helpful, Google!), what caught my eye were all the articles about "home remedies" for ear infections, especially when used in conjunction with "colloidal silver."

Because hey, we have some of that stuff here at home. Intrigued, I looked at article after article and they all said the same thing: 

Colloidal silver heals ear infections. A couple of drops in the ear a couple of times a day over a couple of days usually takes care of the infection.

I gave it a shot. It was creepy dropping stuff into my ear. The liquid dribbling into canal sounded like a thousand rats running into my ear, as if I would actually know what that sounded like. But even weirder was, within a few minutes, the pressure, hotness and pain were gone.

Gone with the wind, folks. I was surprised. I couldn't have been more surprised than if I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet! The effect was that dramatic and immediate.

I went to bed. By the next morning, the fever was gone. Over the next few days, I applied the drops two or three times a day, tilting my head and letting them run into and sit in my canal for a few minutes. I also tugged a bit at my ear lobe to move them around in the canal. Then I would tilt my head the other way and hold a tissue to my ear while they dripped back out.

A couple of days later, no mas ear infection. My ear was right as rain.  

Then, a few weeks ago, Brandon was feverish and his ear smelled like something had died in it. I tried the colloidal silver drops over a few days and he too, was cured.

GIVE IT A SHOT, PEOPLE! After, of course, checking with your doctor.

**We've been lucky enough to not be plagued with chronic or multiple ear infections in our kids, so I don't know if this is something that would be recommended in that situation. Check with your doctor or shaman or medicine man or witch doctor or whatever you use.



When I was googling images of colloidal silver to use, all these photos of blue-skinned people were in the results. Apparently, if you ingest too much of the stuff over the years, you'll turn blue. So don't do that. Don't become a real-life Smurf.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

The Question

Oh Jesus, it's happening ALREADY, people.

He's only six. I thought I had A LOT more time.

I was casually making a ham and egg sandwich last Saturday morning, minding my own business, when I heard Ethan say, "Mom?"

Me: Yeah, Bud.

Ethan: When you were making me, did you get hungry and thirsty?



Shit. WHAT? I started thinking to myself, Poker face, poker face, don't smirk or get the deer-in-headlights eyes! Keep it together!

Me: Um. I'm not sure what you're asking. What do you mean, when I was making you? Why would I get hungry and thirsty?

Ethan: Well. (He started fidgeting.) You know, you were making me. You got thirsty, right?

Thanks for the clarification, dude. I started thinking fast. Surely, he's not talking about that. He must be talking about the pregnancy! Yeah!

Me: Oh, well, yeah, when I was growing you in my belly for nine months, making you, sure, I got hungry and thirsty, I ate and drank lots of water every day. 

Ethan: No, I mean when you were making me. Did you have to stop and take a break to get some food or water?

Fuuuuuck. What in the hell has this kid been up to? WHO HAS HE BEEN TALKING TO? Those little assholes in his class that were talking about "kissing tatas" the other day on the field trip? It has to be them! 

Me: But what was I doing to "make you", if you're not talking about you growing in my belly? What actions are you talking about? Why would I get thirsty?

I literally had to restrain myself from making an obscene gesture/demonstration with my hands then. 

Ethan: I don't know. (Fidget, fidget.) You were just making me.

Me: Um. Okay. Well, if you're not talking about the nine months you were in my belly, how long do you think it took me to make you?

Ethan: Um. About twenty minutes.

JESUS CHRIST!

This is when I started sweating. It was worse than I thought! HE KNOWS. Or does he? I had to know if he knows, and more importantly, where he got it from. I HAD TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS. So I kept prodding, as casually as I could.

Me: Oh. What was I doing that only took twenty minutes to make you?

Ethan: I don't know. 

You fucking better not know!

Me: Well, why do you think it took twenty minutes to make you? Where did you get that from?

Ethan: (Fidgeting more) Well. I thought I heard you say that. I thought I heard you say it took twenty minutes to make me.

UUUUHHHH. Stop right there. Now, I know I have a filthy mouth. I make some of the worst, most crass and crude jokes out there. My mind is constantly in the gutter. I am worse than most guys.

BUT. I very, very, rarely will make references to my own sex life. In fact, just typing "my own sex life" is giving me severe anxiety and I am trying to find an alternative way to reference it but can't. I can count on one, maybe two, hands the amount of times I have actually talked about it in my entire life, and it was always while extremely intoxicated. Except maybe once or twice I've talked about it while sober.

SO I KNOW ETHAN DIDN'T GET THAT FROM ME.

Me: Um. When did I say that?

Ethan: I don't know. It was a while ago, when I was six.

Me: You ARE six.

Ethan: Um, it was back in October. Um. October fifth.

OH, OKAY. Obviously, the kid is lying. He's grasping at dates straws, he's saying I said things that I know I didn't say... 

Me: Well, I don't think I said that. It's okay, Bud, you can ask me whatever it is you really want to ask, you can tell me anything. But really, what are you talking about? What are you trying to get at here?

Ethan: Nothing. Never mind.

I prodded him further and could not get any more information out of him. I'm hoping that he's confused and doesn't know exactly what it takes to make a baby and that's why he couldn't really explain to me in detail what he thinks I did to "make him" but I know that I'm on some seriously shaky ground because the kid's questions and the twenty-minute thing were pretty insightful.

I'm just perturbed. I really thought I had more time before this kind of conversation came about. I mean... what, am I going to be finding condoms in his room in a couple of years? GIVE ME A BREAK!

AAAUUUGGGHHHH!




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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Lessons

Each year I learn something new on Halloween, even if it's just that you can never predict how the kids are going to handle the trick or treating. We trick in the exact same neighborhood, but it's always a great big guess as to which kid is going to flip out first. I've noticed that's it's directly proportionate to who had the most candy throughout the evening... which is ironic. More candy = constant stream of sugar/fake energy SHOULD = lasting hyperactivity, but NO.

The sugar coma sets in quicker and the one who eats the most candy CRAPS OUT FIRST.

Anyway. Last year, I learned that hey, kids get thirsty running around and stuffing mad amounts of candy in their pie-holes, and the rum and coke I was carrying in a travel coffee mug and the wine that Nate was carrying in his wasn't exactly anything we could offer up to them. So this year, I got smart. I put a mini 8-ounce bottle of water in each of their candy bags. And no, you needn't worry about the water making the candy bag too heavy once the candy starts pouring in, because they'll drink the water, subtracting the weight.

Another thing I either learned this year or learned last year and just forgot in the meantime, is that the one-piece kid costumes can suck a big one, especially if the kid has to use a public restroom. At Ethan's school parade, Connor, who was in a one-piece Lightning McQueen costume, had to pee and IT WAS AWESOME accidentally dropping the upper half on the ground that a thousand kids have peed on in front of the toilet, and then he stepped on it and probably peed on it. I was trying not to cringe when I redressed him in it. I will try to avoid one-piece costumes in the future.

When the candy-givers let your kid pick their treat, and you "help" your toddler "find the one 'he' likes," each and every one of the candy-givers knows that you're picking what you like. They called me out every time. Finally, I dropped any pretense and just started saying, "I like that one, Brandon!"

Taking a flashlight is a great idea (fantastic, really) but it only works if you stick together when using it. For instance, if you, the flashlight holder, walk one way around a parked car, and one kid walks the other, dark way, and trips, falls, and spills his pumpkin basket of candy everywhere, that's a flashlight-usage FAIL. Which brings me to my next bit of insight:

If your kid trips and falls and spills his pumpkin basket of candy everywhere, he will be more upset about his candy being all over the ground than he will about his gravel-embedded bleeding knees and hands. I PROMISE. Just leave him laying there and start picking up the candy RIGHT AWAY if you want the tears to stop quicker. He doesn't give a shit about his knees, HIS CANDY'S ALL OVER THE GROUND, DAMN IT.

I'm thinking I'm going to get those glow stick bracelets and necklaces for the boys this year. They have tons of them at dollar stores. And maybe let them have their own flashlights, too.

Brandon reminded me of this one this year: You can't always count on the two- and three-year-olds being okay with getting into their costumes. There's something about that age group - they just aren't sure about this costume deal; it could go either way. So two things.
1. Have a back-up plan in place for the kid. Like, a Halloween shirt and some face paint or something. Lame, sure, but at least it's something. People who give out candy want to at least see some effort on the kids' part.
2. If you happen to get your kid in the costume for something outside of trick-or-treating, take lots of pictures then, since it may be the last time they are willing to get in it. For instance, earlier in the day, I got Brandon into his pirate costume for Ethan's school parade, and knowing that it may well be the last time he'd be willing to wear it, snapped lots of pictures. 


Have you ever seen a pirate playing tetherball before?


I'm glad I did, since later for trick or treating, he refused to wear it again, so I put him in a Halloween shirt and painted his face like a cat. Then at the last second, I was able to get him into the pirate pants, so he was kind of like a pirate cat. Then the face paint smeared and he just looked like a dirty pirate. So it all worked out in the end.

And, I'm being reminded right now, hide the candy from them before they wake up in the morning. You probably are smart enough to have remembered to do that, but for some reason, I didn't remember last night and now I am paying for that mistake. So, since I'll probably re-post this next year (before Halloween) it will serve as a reminder for me.


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