Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How Crazy Is Crazy, REALLY?

I have an announcement! No, I am NOT PREGNANT. NOT PREGNANT.

In two months, I am going on a 3-night drunkfest/vacation in Mexico with Julie from I Like Beer and Babies!

OH SHIT YES! My flight to her neck of the woods is booked, the trip is booked, and I could not be more excited! 


Here's the deal: We've never met. AND, we're sharing a room.

Yep. We're taking a ride on the wild side.

I know. Now you know how insane I really am. But that's okay! Shortly after I started blogging, I found her blog, and let's just say, this bitch was speaking my language. We've bonded over our mutual love of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, drinking, swearing, being totally crass and inappropriate, needing breaks from our kids, and a thousand other things. But those are the big ones. 

And since we're Facebook friends, with our real life profiles, I feel like I know everything about her. Because, you know, it's Facebook. And, we even text each other. But just in case, we've developed a questionnaire for each other to answer (well, she came up with most of the questions), and we thought it'd be a whole lotta fun to post the answers on our blogs so you could see just what a bunch of freaks we really are and place bets on shit like who gets arrested first, who pukes first, who is the really craaaazy one (her), you know, stuff like that.

Both of our answers are after each question. She's ILBAB and I'm MADIM. (No, not of the Heidi Fleiss variety, it's an acronym I don't usually use - for obvious reasons.) 

I have no idea why some of my responses are in bold - and I can't fix it because my draft doesn't show it, only the final post... Ugh, sorry.

Q: Do you dig on swine? 

ILBAB: My favorite poem: Roses are red. Bacon is also red. Poems are hard. Bacon.

MADIM: Bacon is the best thing in the world. However, if you have a personal problem with it, I will abstain out of respect for you. Fuck that, no I won't. I'll be in the closet, shoveling it down with both hands like a raging baconholic.

Q: Eat dairy? 

ILBAB: Milk with ice in it is my favorite hangover cure. Sorry if that makes you dry heave.

MADIM: I eat and drink dairy. I eat and drink most things, except smelly cheese, deer and lamb and other weird creatures. As a side note, I do not drink my piss (seriously, people do that). I know, WTF? Why did I even bring that up? Answer: I don't know, really. My mind is very random.

Q: Consume more calories than a lumberjack? 

ILBAB: Oh, yes. I eat a lot. I mean a whole lot. Especially when drunk or hungover. The amount of food I can take down could also lead to you dry heaving. Sorry.

MADIM: I have a very healthy appetite. I eat as much as or more than my husband. When we go out to eat, he knows to let me scavenger hunt on his plate before letting the server take it or I'll kick him in the balls.

Q: Actually eat? 

ILBAB: See above.

MADIM: See above. I am a fucking pig.

Q: Favorite cuisine? 

ILBAB: Mexican and Italian. And anything fried with cheese. Mmmm…cheese sticks.

MADIM: I could not even begin to answer that question. I like it ALL. Except for pig balls and monkey brains, weird shit like that.

Q: Are you allergic to anything other than David Hasselhoff's chest hair? 

ILBAB: Bees, but I will try not to eat them. Though I did almost swallow one that was in my beer once. While on a boat. In the middle of a lake. With no epi pen. My friend Danimal said he would have totally trached me with a Bic pen if needed though, so I was cool. [MADIM here: I can no longer read or hear "epi pen" without thinking of that Damn You, Autocorrect one where the dad told the kid he was injecting mom with an Epic Penis!]

MADIM: *GAG* Do asshole people count? Otherwise, no.

Q: Do you have any weird sleeping habits? 

ILBAB: I use ear plugs and sleep in a weird position that I once read in a magazine is called the "flamingo." Also, the last time I was in New Orleans, I had a dream that I was trapped in a sealed closet with no light and a person came by to tell me in a super creepy voice that I would never escape. Needless to say, I woke up drenched in sweat and COMPLETELY freaking out. But that totally won't happen this time… The only other nightmares I have are that spiders are falling on me from the ceiling, so if you see me clawing at the air and saying "get away!" it is just me battling the imaginary spiders. Just roll over and leave me to defeat their legion of webbed minions. 

MADIM: No. I sleep. I may wake up to pee. Then I go back to sleep. I like to sleep on my side with a body pillow or something in between my knees. I like to nap when I can because I pretty much shut down if I get too tired. But I'll be so excited to be out of the country and away from my kids that I'll probably be okay not napping.

Q: Night owl, morning person or both? 

ILBAB: Both. With the right amount of alcohol and douchebaggery, I can easily be swayed to stay up well past my usual 9 p.m. bedtime, but I still usually wake up at the buttcrack. Sorry. I promise to head to the gym or local cheese stick joint if I wake up at 6 a.m.

MADIM: What is a "morning person?" They sound like a goddamn freak. I am a night owl. I prefer to go to bed late and sleep late. But since having kids, I have been forced out of that schedule and am somewhat flexible. However, if you wake me up at 6 a.m., I'll kick you in the balls.

Q: Any medical conditions I need to know about (IBS is a serious medical condition, BTW)? 

ILBAB: Nope. I doubt my hippothyroidism will cause any problems worse than my fat ass splitting my pants on the dance floor, so we are all set.

MADIM: I have no medical conditions that will impact you or this trip. But I will make sure the hotel has plenty of toilet paper for your IBS.

Q: Do you have excessive flatulence? 

ILBAB: Not regularly, but let's be honest, stinky farts and hangovers go hand in hand. So, all we really need to do is get on the same page with poo spray. Are you for it or against it? I am against it unless it is one of those ozone ones that doesn't actually have a smell. The sweet smelling ones just make it smell like you took a poop in the middle of the floor then decided to cover it up with rose petals. Great, now I am dry heaving. 

MADIM: No, but if I have to fart, I will go into the bathroom like a fucking lady.
Who are we kidding with all this? Between the water, food, and excessive drinking, we're going to be like the scene in Bridesmaids where one is on the pot and the other is on the sink. I call the sink, only so I can scream at you to "LOOK AWAY!" And, so I can have the esteemed honor of having shit in a sink.
We should probably pack some room spray.

Q: What is your alcohol tolerance level? 

ILBAB: First off, I am German. Second off, I went to Southern Illinois University. Let's just say, in a drinking contest, I would make Russell Crowe look like a gigantic pussy. [MADIM here: Russell Crowe IS a gigantic pussy.]

MADIM: I probably shouldn't specify, but trust me when I say that it's extremely high. I will not crap out on you after a few bottles of champagne - for me. I'm German. I take milk thistle for my liver. I wash it down with vodka or wine.

Q: What is your booze of choice? 

ILBAB: Beer or wine. Not much of a mixed drinker but I do like margaritas.

MADIM: Vodka or champagne. Rum works, too. 

Q: Are you a puker? 

ILBAB: I have a cast iron stomach. I won't go into how much alcohol I can consume without ralphing, but it would probably make an Irishman cry. 

MADIM: Not since college. No, I wasn't bulimic. Just growing my alcohol tolerance level. And yes, I will hold your hair back for you and keep your face out of the piss and garbage when you are puking in the gutter on our way back to the hotel. But if you shit your pants, you're on your own. Just kidding. I'd even help you then.
Occasionally, very occasionally, when I drink too much, I get these vasovagal responses, where I get dizzy and feel super, SUPER sick and sweat like I'm dying. Probably because I'm actually close to dying. I just go lie on the cool bathroom floor for a while, then I'm all better.

Q: What are your hangovers like? 

ILBAB: Not bad, though I am not as in practice as I used to be. The best cure is just to start the shampoo effect by having a hair of the dog. Plus, I am bringing my zofran from morning sickness and a gigantic bottle of Tylenol, so we will be all set. [MADIM here: You BETTER have enough zofran for me. Sharing is caring.]

MADIM: I just want to sleep, and then eat carby, disgusting food to make my nausea go away and drink a couple of gallons of water.

Q: Can you rally when needed? 

ILBAB: Fuck yes! See above.

MADIM: What exactly do you mean by "rally?" If some dude tries to rape you, I'll fucking kill him with my bare hands and a stick or whatever else is laying around. But I won't get in a bar fight with you. However, if you're talking about you waking me up at 3 in the morning to go drink some more, fuck yeah, I'll rally.

Q: Do you like dancing/karaoke/shots? 

ILBAB: Yes. Yes. and Yes. though doing all three in combination could lead to me being arrested. Or an internet superstar. Hello, Youtube!

MADIM: I like dancing, hate karaoke, shots, meh. Maybe here or there. I'll watch you karaoke, though. And laugh my ass off.

Q: Are you a belligerent or violent drunk? 

ILBAB: No and no. I am an obnoxious drunk, but that is just a matter of taste.

MADIM: Nope. Just totally obnoxious (more than usual) and swear more than usual, too. I hate belligerent, violent drunks. Dealt with them when I worked in a jail. Over it.

Do you shower regularly and use deodorant? 

ILBAB: Yes, except for Sundays. In my family that is a holy day called, "No shower Sundays." This does not apply on vacations though and deodorant is always allowed.

MADIM: Yes and yes, and I hope you do, too, because I have a SERIOUS ISSUE with bad smells.

Q: Beatles or Stones? 

ILBAB: Depends on my mood, really. Let's give this the college test, shall we? If I was smokin' in my dorm room, Beetles; if I was wasted at a frat party, Stones.

MADIM: Mmm. I don't know. Not really into either. ...I KNOW. *Cowering in shame.* No, I'm not. I don't give a shit.

Q: Roth or Hagar? 

ILBAB: Roth for original music, Hagar for a live performance. Cabo Wabo, baby.

MADIM: Not a huge Van Halen fan, either.

Q: You're getting called up to the plate, what is your at-bat song? 

ILBAB: Black Betty by Ram Jam. Hands down.

MADIM: That is so hard to pick. "Cum on Feel The Noize" by Quiet Riot, or "Live Wire," "Kickstart My Heart" or "Wild Side" by Motley Crue, or "Hero" by Ministry. TOTAL METALHEAD HERE.

Q: Are you going to try to kill/molest me in my sleep? 

ILBAB: No and no, though I already warned you that I like to feel boobs when I get drunk, as documented here: [MADIM here: I've already told you that you can motorboat them, since you're going to like them because they're huge. BUT, it stops there.]

MADIM: First off, no I'm not going to kill you in your sleep. Everyone knows we'll be together so that would just be dumb. However, I AM going to follow you home and live in your attic and slowly eat mad amounts of Chinese food while watching your every move. Especially in the bathroom.
Nor am I going to molest you. I heart cock, according to what my husband lovingly writes on my face in pictures; I'm not into the pootang. And I beg of you not to kill or molest me, either.

Here's what you need to know about me. My big secret: I'm insanely vain. Not because I'm beautiful or anything, but just because I am weird. And to top it off, the camera hates me. SO. I only have one condition. PLEASE let me approve any photos before you post them on the internet. Out of 700 pictures we may take, I'll probably only approve of like, 5, but please throw me this bone. We cool? Blood oath? Knuckles? Fist bump? Super secret handshake?

If you want to get in on ALL of the action, follow I Like Beer and Babies on Twitter: @beerandbabies
And Facebook: I like beer and babies.

Also, Julie, while we're down there, should we schedule some cosmetic procedures? Lipo, face lifts? I bet we could get a super cheap two-fer...

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

UPDATE (That most of you don't care about.)

I owe an update to all the people who graciously provided their input to my neurotic post debating whether or not I should submit to the San Francisco Listen To Your Mother Show. I appreciate every blog comment, Facebook response, tweet, and personal email you guys sent me. Thank you.

I decided to do it, against my better judgment. I literally just emailed my submission. I honestly have no idea what is driving me to do this. I have no desire to have my face and hyper, spastic physical presence known to the world, for the reasons I explained in that other post, but something (insanity) is pulling me to do it. I've learned to trust my instincts over the years, so here I am.


No, I don't. Yes, I do. No, I don't. I'm sure they will, actually.

We shall see. If they deny me, then I get to announce my being rejected to you guys! How awesome.

Anyway, without further nonsense, this is the post I submitted. <---- That's the link to it, goobs.

It's my most read and shared post ever, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, it's almost exactly the word count they're looking for. That must mean it's meant to be!

I tried to write a new post to submit, and got all sweaty and mindfucked thinking about actually reading it out loud and couldn't really write, so decided to go with an old one. 

Wish me luck, I guess!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crazy Mom Advice For My Boys: General Life Stuff Edition

Since we never know how much time we have left in the world, or how long we have to pass on our neurosis, paranoias, and craziness nuggets of wisdom to our children, I've started a little series of posts that list the things I want my boys to know, so were I to kick off before they grow up, they'll have these posts to laugh at and defy.

I mean, wouldn't you want to take advice from this crazy bitch?

Since brevity is not in my vocabulary, I'm breaking the posts up into categories. As you can see from the title, this post is about general life stuff.


1. Be nice to everyone. Your grandpa, my dad, always drilled that into me, and now I'm so nice to people, even to people who don't deserve it, that it's disgusting. But seriously, there are enough assholes in the world, you don't need to add to the count. Your grandpa told me a story about a girl in his class when he was a boy 200 years ago, and everyone was mean to her except for him. Years later, he applied for a job and she was the person who interviewed him. She remembered him and said that he was the only person in school who had been nice to her. He got the job, and he told me that he knows she never would have hired him if he had been one of the mean kids. You don't have to like or respect everyone you meet, but you should do your best to be nice and treat them with respect.

2. Have a sense of humor. I can't imagine that you won't have one, growing up in our house, but just in case, here's a hundred bucks- go buy yourself one. Don't forget to use your sense of humor even in the bad times because that's when you'll need it the most, and that's when people around you will need it, too. Don't underestimate the power of a well-placed joke in a bad situation.

3. Stand up for what you believe in and for what's right, even if you're standing alone. One of my most favorite quotes is this one by Malcolm X: "I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against."

4. Speaking of truth, don't be a liar. Nobody likes a liar.

5. Don't pretend to be somebody that you're not. It's exhausting, like when I have to be classy in certain social situations. I prefer to just be me, and you'll discover that the more real you are the better you'll feel about yourself. There is so much strength and confidence in just being you, and even more strength in knowing that the people who like and love you are liking and loving the real you, not some facade, some character you've created. I can't imagine how lonely it would feel to not be loved for who you really are.

6. Speaking of being liked, understand that not everybody is going to like you. I know, what a shocker, but it's true. In fact, there may even be A LOT of people who don't like you. And you know what? That's okay. Learn who matters. Think about it: do you like everybody you've ever met? I'm going to guess no. It's okay not to be liked. It's life. It hurts sometimes, but get over it and move on.

7. Don't do drugs. Just don't. Especially the big ones: heroin, meth, coke. Don't "huff," either. I worked in a jail and saw addicts every day. They are not pretty. Not just physically speaking, but inside. The drugs blew their minds, ravaged their bodies and who they were as people. The addiction pulled them to do things they weren't proud of, things they never would have done had they not become addicted. You don't want to spend your life in jail, sharing a cell with some crazy fuck who shits all day and masturbates all night, or on the streets, hungry and wallowing in your own shit and puke and giving blow jobs to get cash for your next fix. If there's anything you decide to listen to me on, let it be this. I'll fucking brain you if you start doing them, and then lock you up in a closet. I'm not joking. You think you've seen the crazy in me? You haven't. I have a whole lotta unseen crazy inside and I promise, you want it kept unseen. Don't do drugs.

8. Love your brothers. I mean, who else is going to give you their i.d. so your underage ass can hit up the bars to get picked up by the cougars, or pick your drunk ass up and hide it from me and your dad, or know exactly what you're talking about when you bitch about how crazy your parents are? Take care of each other, be there for each other, respect each other and your differences. I'm not saying I can force you guys into getting along, but I AM saying that I can knock your fookin' heads together until you do. And I will. 

9. You're going to get knocked down. Don't stay down. Pick yourself up, and stand a little straighter. You're going to become stronger by going through the bad things that life hands you. Remember that, when you're brought to your knees in grief or pain or stress. And remember to laugh. Never forget to laugh. Find a way to laugh through it; I guarantee you that there's something to laugh about. If you can't find it, come ask me, I'll find it. Or just get through it somehow and then look back and laugh. That's what I've done while raising you.

10. You know what I've learned a lot from? My mistakes and my failures. When you make a mistake or fail, and you will, because *GASP* you're not perfect, try to view them as learning opportunities instead of letting them make you feel like shit about yourself. Try to minimize the amount and severity of your screw-ups, though. One really good way to do that is to learn from other people's mistakes and failures. Another good way is to make smart decisions in the first place.

11. Have the grace to forgive, and the smarts to never forget. 

12. If you hurt someone, own up to it. Be strong enough to admit that you did something wrong and apologize. BUT, don't do something so hurtful or stupid that an apology can never be enough to make up for what you did. 

13. Don't make me bury you. Be safe, and make good decisions.

14. You're not always going to be right. Be capable of listening to others and being told that you're wrong. Especially if I'm the one telling you that. 

15. Bring your old crazy mom a bottle of wine every once in a while, and sit and drink it with me. Make sure it's a double bottle, the 1.5 liter kind. 

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Friday, February 15, 2013

To Be... Or Not To Be?

I'm debating doing something and could use your input. 

No, not put my kids up for adoption.

A childhood friend who also writes, Rhiana at Married With Toddlers, emailed me a link a while back, encouraging me to submit a piece to the San Francisco Listen To Your Mother Show.  It's basically a show where people stand up in front a billion people and cameras and talk about something meaningful, funny, or whatever regarding motherhood. She did it last year and loved it, and I have to admit that I'm intensely flattered that she thinks that I have the balls, gumption, ability, and entertainment value to do it, too.

This is the friend that one night on the way to the movies in elementary school told me that I should be a comedian, and I got all pissed off at her because I didn't know what a comedian was and thought she was insulting me. I'm pretty brilliant. Do you remember that, Rhiana? Probably not.

ANYWAY. Assuming that they'd even let me on the show (if they're smart, they won't) here's a pros and cons list. Let's start with the cons since there are more of those.

*Feel free to add to the list.

1. I am not a public speaker. This isn't to say that I'm shy because that's the last thing I am, but I have literally never spoken in public before. I have no idea what I will actually do once I step up to the mic. I could throw up, I could piss myself, I could nervous-fart, I could start screaming profanities out of sheer panic, I could start crying. Or, my throat could close up like it did once when I had to explain, in a courtroom full of people, why I shouldn't be allowed to serve on a jury and I sounded like I was strangling. I'm not kidding. Even the bailiff stared at me uneasily, like he was unsure if I was about to stroke out or something.

2. I am a complete spaz. ESPECIALLY IF I'M NERVOUS. Like, a hyper-as-fuck, bouncing off the walls, Jim-Carrey-like rubber-faced GOOBER who talks with my hands like I'm having a seizure or trying to sign to the deaf. In other words, I don't "present" well. People who are being nice would say that I'm "animated." Very "animated." I'm just not sure that I should subject people to me.

3. I don't like my face and will cringe at knowing that I am being videotaped and it is being put all over the web. Wait - MAYBE I CAN WEAR A MASK. No? 

4. Swearing is probably not allowed, and I'm sure that I'll be so nervous that I'll accidentally swear. It's like a tic.

5. I have no idea what I would even speak about. Feel free to offer up suggestions there. I'd have about five minutes. I speak at the speed of lightening and am constantly told to "slow down," so I could probably fit about 8 minutes of regular-speed speech into 5. And then no one would understand me, and most likely think that I'm on speed or drunk.

6. Speaking of being drunk, it'd be hard to NOT take a shot or seven or chug a magnum of champagne straight from the bottle before I went on the show. Then I'd make even more of an ass of myself. Rock ... hard place.

7. As I'm SURE you've picked up from reading my blog, I'm not a very "appropriate" or "politically correct" person, and am *unintentionally* downright offensive most times. I make terribly uncouth jokes, possess almost no class, and laugh at terrible things because it's how I deal with bad shit. I'm best kept behind closed doors, out of public view and consumption. Doing this show would be the exact opposite of that.

Wow. I really know how to present myself in a flattering light. Let's get to the pros. It's a short list. As with the other list, please feel free to add anything that I'm not thinking of.


1. Um... hmmm... can't really think of any. Ooooh, I KNOW: Because I'll be in front of the camera and the clip will be posted all over the web, it'll force me into losing weight. 

2. The audition and the show itself will give me some nights away from the boys! *Jazz hands*

3. It'll be "good" for me? I can't explain why, but just have a feeling that that's something people might say.

I only have until Feb. 24th to write and submit a piece. I'm genuinely looking for input/advice/feedback, and am grateful to anyone who offers some up. I honestly have no idea if I want to be talked INTO or OUT OF doing it. I'm nervous even posting this. So, yay or nay? YAY OR NAY, PEOPLE?

And don't be a dick and encourage me to do it so you can watch me for sick entertainment value, like some freak on those reality shows, and point your finger at your screen and laugh at me. (She's like a train wreck! I CAN'T LOOK AWAY! AHAHAHAHA!) Oh, who am I kidding. It's what you already do anyway. :-D

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Valentine's Day Debbie Downer

I admit that I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day, haven't been since fifth grade, when all the girls in my class received a Valentine from one boy or another, except for me. Never mind that the boys who gave them Valentines were probably the ones who either picked their boogers and ate them, now reside in cell #8 on Block C and are called "Bitch", or wet their pants well into sixth grade, but sitting there in class and realizing that I had been excluded, my cheeks became flushed in embarrassment, humiliation spread in my chest and gut, and I learned a couple of harsh life lessons: Not everybody was going to like me, and I was going to be left out of things.

Back then, my hair was boy-short, with some mullet-like curls in the back, I had a crooked, goofy smile, bushy eyebrows, big front teeth, and an even bigger nose. Nobody was accusing me of being pretty. Based on my physical appearance, it was totally understandable why none of the boys wanted me to be their Valentine; I wouldn't have given a Valentine to me.

Every year after was pretty much a repeat of the Valentine's Day of fifth grade, but I got used to it so it stopped being embarrassing and just was what happened. Eventually, I outgrew my physical goofiness, got a little prettier, got a boyfriend here and there, got a Valentine here and there, but after a while, I started to realize that they didn't really mean anything. Everything about the whole day started to feel manufactured, forced, overplayed, Hollywoodized, like a total cliche, and I saw how it set a lot of people up to expect big things, only to be disappointed. In college, I worked in a restaurant and watched people wait two hours for a table, then by the time they got seated were so pissed and hungry that their night was basically ruined. This only served to reinforce the ridiculousness of the day.

The first Valentine's Day I spent with Nate, we had been dating for a few months. I got him a card and wrote in it that I despised the day and thought it was stupid but here was a card, anyway. He got me a card, and had written the exact same sentiment in it.

My heart sang at the fact that he hated the day, too. Over the years, we've half-heartedly acknowledged the day some of the time, usually ignoring it overall. It means more to me when he gives me flowers, a small gift, or a card for no reason, on a day when he isn't "expected" to, than it would ever mean on Valentine's Day. 

This year, Ethan is in first grade and Connor is in preschool. I bought Valentines for the boys to give their classmates (ALL of their classmates) along with some lollipops, erasers, and stickers to put in little Valentine's bags with the cards. The boys sat at the table last Saturday and made out their cards and filled the bags with the treats. It was incredibly cute to watch. They were happy and it was infectious. 

Yesterday, Connor came home from preschool with a giant paper heart filled with Valentines. He and Ethan excitedly went through the Valentines, with Ethan reading them to Connor while Connor pulled all of the candy and erasers and other treats off of them. "Wook, Efan! Another wollipop!"

Once again, their happiness was infectious. Ethan told me that he can't wait to see what he gets for Valentine's Day, and I said, "Me too, Buddy." 

Because I want to see them happy. I want another day of watching them excitedly go through their bag of goodies. I want them to enjoy the day for now because someday, they're going to feel the sting and humiliation of rejection, and some or all of the magic might be taken away from them. And while I know from personal experience that it will only make them stronger and more aware of how the world really works, for now, I'm going to soak up their innocence.

And celebrate love every day of the year, and let the sweet cards the boys made for us work a little magic inside of me.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Tip of The Year: Don't Take Your Kids Shopping

The other day I took Connor shopping with me. Connor is four. Connor thinks that he needs everything he sees, everything is magical, and everything in the world is the key to his life's happiness. Not a day goes by that he doesn't ask me or his dad for a minimum of twenty "special" (read: ridiculous) things, starting with asking for gum or lollipops at 7:30 in the morning.

He is always denied. Yet, he tries. Every day.

First, we went to Toys 'R Us, otherwise known as the Seventh Circle of Hell or Mecca of Insanity. You choose. Actually, you probably have your own special name for it but whatever. We started in the baby clothes section, not because I have a baby anymore (a thousand daggers went into my heart at typing that; I fucking LOVE babies) but so I could look for onesies for my business. Connor found some onesies that he liked and asked if we could buy them. I asked who they would be for and he said for him and Ethan... 

...Ethan is six. 

I explained to him that they weren't really his or Ethan's size, and then complimented his fashion choices. On we went to another section. Connor asked to buy a dish set for Brandon, seventy-five different tubes of toothpaste, some Q-Tips, and an Angry Birds toothbrush. Denied. Then we walked past the baby swing section and he asked to buy a baby swing for Brandon. 

Who is two and a half. 

Then we went to the toy side, and that's where shit got real. Every twelve seconds, I heard "Mama, can we buy this?" After a while, I stopped answering him and he didn't even notice because he had moved onto The Next Best Thing That Will Make His Life Worth Living. Finally, he asked if he could get some Legos.

I told him that we could at least take a look at the Lego section and see if there was something small that he would like. He got super excited and happy and I felt like the Mom of The Day for finally telling him that he could have something. I was thinking we could probably find a small Lego set for like five bucks.

Obviously, I am a Lego-buying virgin. We went to the Lego section and I saw the prices and about shit myself. 

I thought formula and diapers were expensive. LEGOS ARE THE BIGGEST WALLETFUCK I HAVE EVER SEEN.

To make matters worse, Legos are the bane of every parent's existence. Well, except for Play-Doh. You pay out of your anus to bring these bastards home, only to step on them, sit on them, break your eardrums at the sound of them being dumped out of a box or at the sound of little hands swishing through the box for 39 minutes to find the flat, two-millimeters-square reflector-light-looking piece that is the only thing that will complete the car, listen to your kids fight over them, watch your kid and husband spend 75 hours putting together the intricate windmill only to have it fall apart 45 seconds later, and have your kids cry at night when they can't find the beheaded, one-armed Lego Man that is the only thing that will comfort them to sleep - that night.

What a bunch of stupid, masochistic people we are. I'm not sure which is more insulting: Paying that much to be tortured by Legos or some dude paying for a hooker and then contracting a venereal disease from her. Paying to be Lego-tortured or paying to contract V.D.... Toss up.

I got sidetracked. Back at the store, Connor was looking at the Lego sets and of course he wanted the Really Cool Fighter Jets and Lego Cities and Gigantic Trucks at $70+ a pop. I kept telling him that they were too big and "Remember, I said you could have a small (read: cheaper) Lego set. Why don't we look down here." We looked "down here" and when I saw that the cheapest Lego product I could find was $9 and it consisted of a two-piece motorcycle, I started bribing Connor with candy to distract him from the fact that we weren't going to get a Lego set and to get him the hell out of the store. On our way out, I bought him and Ethan Angry Bird sticker books, a Cars sticker book for Brandon (yes, I paid to find 1678 stickers all over the house for the next month), and some candy from the quarter machines. 

I thought he'd be satisfied. I am stupid.

We went to Dollar Tree next, to get Valentines for the boys' classmates to throw away 27 seconds after receiving them, and various other shit that I didn't know I needed until I saw it there. "It's only a dollar!" Connor of course began his ritual of asking me for crap every twelve seconds, and at one point, when I saw that he was asking for some unidentifiable lead-based plastic piece of crap that would break instantly, and then Brandon would choke on the parts and die of lead poisoning, I asked him, "Do you even know what that is?"

He responded, "No."

Jesus. Then he asked me if I could buy him a box of "feminine rinse" a few aisles later because he liked the pretty flower on the box, and I told him to stop asking me for stuff - not that he listened. I did cave on the sparkle toothpaste, four bags of candy, pack of pretzel dips, Angry Birds mouthwash, pack of glow sticks, Scotch tape for his brother (don't ask), pack of gum, and foam stickers.

That's eleven dollars, plus tax, that I can never get back. Not even to mention the Toys 'R Us purchases.

The moral of the story: Don't take your kids shopping.

Look at the Angry Birds loot I conned my mom into buying!

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Monday, February 4, 2013

"I feel my love for my children the most when they are sleeping."

The phrase "I love them most when they're sleeping" always makes me smile because I identify with the sentiment wholeheartedly. At night, I often sneak into the boys' room and watch them sleep for a few moments, like a crazy stalker taking a break from my rabbit-boiling. They're so sweet and peaceful, vulnerable and unfettered, and usually in some strange, amusing, or heartwarming sleep position that I love to take photos of. 

While watching them, I'm always overwhelmed by these profoundly deep feelings of love, tenderness and affection, and with an aching chest I'll watch them and stroke their faces and just feel, just allow the emotions to wash over me and center me, to clear away the angst that I felt over motherhood that day. In this calm, I'll rest a hand on their chests and quietly tell them my wishes for them: to be safe always, to be healthy, to grow into happy men who do good in the world and to others, to die peacefully as old men in their beds, content with the long lives they led. 

And sometimes, if the day has been excessively rough, I'll also apologize to them. "I'm sorry, babies, for losing my shit, for not being a more patient mother, for being so frustrated. I'm so sorry, and I'm trying to be better. Please forgive me." And I vow that the next day will be better, but know that it probably won't be.

During these times, I feel how vulnerable that I am; that these three little boys are my everything and each of them wears my whole heart, not just a third, because love does not capture only a fraction of a person, it captures the entire being, and love is not divided among my children.

I usually am only flooded with these deeper emotions while my sons sleep because during the day, chaos abounds, things need to get done, time is short, patience is even shorter, one kid or another is always distracting me. Most days, I am just trying to get through the day, trying to prevent or stop the meltdowns of my kids or myself. My mind is distracted, my emotions are hijacked by these little boys, but at night, I get myself back and calm ensues. It is one of my favorite times, not only because it means that I am "off-duty" (kind of) but because it is then that I get to really feel the full force of my love for children, instead of merely knowing that it is there inside of me, a constant force during good moments and bad, never wavering in its depth or lesser or greater at any one time.

I think the phrase should be changed to, "I feel my love for my children the most when they are sleeping."

Connor hugging his bear.

Brandon and Be-yo


And because I'm a doofball with a high level of maturity, I also take photos like these. Yes, I'm blind and wear glasses occasionally. Like when my contacts are out.

Me with my poor child, Connor.

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