Shake Your Money Maker

So…I took Friday off. If you read my last post, you’ll know why. Yes, I know I won’t always be able to buffer my kids from hard spots in life, but this time I could. After the miracle surgery on G last August, (tonsils and adenoids) we have weathered this winter and early spring with very little illness (knock on wood). A few days for the prerequisite strep throat and a quickly contained stomach bug (it only hit Bear) made up some of the few sick days I have had to take this year.  Therefore, for the first time is 3+ years, I got to take a day off.  It was awesome.

We hit the town kiddie style.   We went to Imagination Station (think COSI out of towners) to see the Titanic exhibit.  It was PACKED.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had this genius rainy day idea.  The kids humored me and $50 later the three of us were traveling through my favorite historical subject.  It was great, but not so great with a 5 and 7 year old.  It was A LOT of reading.  Maybe the walking audio tour would have been cool, but my G wouldn’t have listened anyways.  Bear and I would have, but it would have been a constant whirling around looking for G, who most likely would have wandered into the 3rd class cabin exhibit and proceeded to have jumped on the top bunk.  Plus they were $5 a pop extra and after $50 just to get in the door, I was maxed out.  So basically we spent $50 (have I mentioned this enough) to quickly buzz by some portholes and plates in the sand.  Oh well, it is across the street from my job, so I guess I could just sneak over there by myself.  Maybe if I give them the sad-mommy-wanted-to-see-it-but-the-kids-wouldn’t-let-her look convincingly, they’ll let me in free for another quick peek.  Yeah, probably not.

photo 2

Who wouldn’t want to spend time with them?

 

Look at us in the dirty parking garage elevator!  Don't step in the pee!

Look at us in the dirty parking garage elevator! Don’t step in the pee!

Anyways, this whole day off got me thinking.  How can I make money aside from an 8 to 5 job?  How can I do this everyday?  How can I get someone or something to pay me to only do the stuff I want to do?  Can you even get paid for sleeping on the couch?  Or maybe there is a lucrative market for binge watching Netflix watchers?

I don’t necessarily want to relive that Friday every day.  I loved spending time with my kids, but places like Imagination Station make this introverted, anxiety queen a big ball of nerves and tense muscles.  Literally.  Every single time we go there, I have to go home take 2 Advil, a Xanax and take a nap.  It is just way too much interaction with strangers and germy kids for me.  I love the idea of getting kids interested in science and whatnot, but I don’t want to do it constructing a bunch of germy blocks that I just watched some 3 year old sneeze on before our turn.  It’s just stressful.  Too much pandemonium.  Too little line queues.  I need strict time limits and cattle prodding.  I can’t let the people in front of me have 20 minutes at the paper airplane table without losing my mind a bit.  I hate having to apologize to people behind me because my daughter really wants to figure out how the robot hand works.  I just can’t handle trying to be polite while at the same time trying to get my kids to enjoy themselves and learn something to earn our $50 worth of tickets. (You had to buy general admission and THEN a Titanic exhibit ticket to get in to the exhibit, so we were going to take full advantage, even if mommy did have a nervous breakdown at the water/sand table.)

photo 5

One day…maybe. Except she was like, “Mom! I’m a space walker with a purple bow!” So she’ll be a wickedly accessorized astronaut.

photo 4

Breathe lady. Breathe. You have hand sanitizer in the car.

 

Science!

Science!

Anyway, I am digressing as usual.  I need to figure out a way to get paid doing this writing gig.  I am not sure I am good at it.  I am not a super grammar Nazi.  I make a lot of errors and end a lot of my sentences in a preposition at.  I just like doing it.  However, unlike most bloggers, I don’t really make the internet a better place.  I don’t cook (Kraft mac and cheese recipe anyone?).  I don’t sew (Just ask my 7th grade home ec teacher).  I don’t craft (If I can’t buy it, I don’t have it).  I don’t clean (Want me to write about someone else doing it?).  I don’t organize (I want to.  Badly. But House of Cards isn’t going to watch itself).  I basically have no talents, except the occasional joke that makes other moms and wives feel like maybe they aren’t the worst there is.

 

Maybe I could write about doing hair?  HA!

Maybe I could write about doing hair? HA!

Seriously.  I am REALLY good at it.

Seriously. I am REALLY good at it.

I’d love to say I have the next great American novel spinning around in my head, but I don’t.  I don’t have any Edwards, Bellas, Katnisses, Peetas, Trises or Fours (sigh Tobias, I love you) yelling inside my head wanting to get their stories told.  I am strictly a truth teller.  Seriously, everything I have written happened.  To me.  I just don’t have time to imagine other lives that are actually interesting.  My mundane, every day plain Jane life is overwhelming most days, let alone if I met a factionless vampire from District 13.

Help me people.  Tell me how to make money on this.  Tell me who will listen to me spout off randomly, pay me something and offer me freakin great health coverage?  Said persons must take into account I like to sleep in, watch Kelly and Michael, drop and pick up my kids from school and workout every day.  (Ha, ha.  That last one was wishful thinking.  In reality, I’m pretty sure I’d just spend time driving around town trying to find the last of the Girl Scouts hawking their addictive cookies.)

Goodnight.  See you tomorrow, where someone will have a case of the Mondays.

If I stayed home, I could get this poor kid a dog.

If I stayed home, I could get this poor kid a dog.

And...this one... No reason.  Just makes me happy.  (Babysitting our niece and nephews.)

And…this one… No reason. Just makes me happy. (Babysitting our niece and nephews.)

What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You

Party like your dream house just got blown over by a hurricane.

I’m behind the camera.  I think I secretly knew Facebook was coming, even though Zuck was only a 6th grader at the time and the Internet really wasn’t a thing yet.  See, Al Gore was still busy being VP so we had time to make these horrible decisions and still duck under the radar.

The year was 1998. 6 friends decided at 10 p.m. on a Friday night they couldn’t wait for Saturday morning to leave on Spring Break. We piled into 2 cars – one beat up Buick and one even more beat up Ford sedan. We set off, all of us under the age of 21, with a car trunk full of beer (and Zima for me, because I was a total chick who did and still does hate beer), a few clothes (more room for beer), a few pooled dollars and our sights set on a fuzzy description of a rockin beach house on the shore of Panama Beach one of our friends assured us was awesome. We drove that beer over five state lines for the next 22+ hours, rotating driving shifts. We had 2 walkie talkies (no cell phones yet) to talk back and forth between us and were occasionally entertained by a raunchy trucker to break up the monotony.

We arrived in a massive rainstorm mid evening if I remember correctly. Set to party for the next week on our Ohio sourced beer, Zimas and Cuervo. We carted all 800 lbs of beverages along with our bags inside and only then took a moment to survey our surroundings.  It is here I find it hard to describe the magnitude of what we saw.  I’m not sure what everyone else was expecting, but I had hoped it was kind of like a smaller version of the Golden Girls’ house.  A nice open bungalow with an airy lanai upon which we could drink our morning coffees and watch the sunrise, while gentle breezes blew the surf in over the sand and gulls cawed above nearby.  Leave me alone, I was 20 and really really naïve.

Let’s just say my fantasy wasn’t even close.  It wasn’t even a crappy cottage.  One that we could stay in relatively comfortably that provided basic amenities for survival for a bunch of 20 somethings.  This was not it by a longshot.  This was a desolate wasteland.  An outbuilding of a destroyed house that survived a hurricane 10 years prior.   I remember the shower amenity was outside and frankly, I don’t even remember a toilet being there.  I remember A LOT of sand and strewn about furniture that had seen better days and had its own war stories to share.

After some heated debate about said conditions and who knew what about said present condition, 5 of the 6 friends deemed the house uninhabitable and not hospitable to getting drunk nightly.  So, we decided to pack up and head for greener pastures.  The lone friend left behind was pissed we were leaving and refused to come along with us. (I personally never knew what happened to him.  I wasn’t really close to him.  I am assuming he lived and has a very different version of the following story.)  Therefore, we were down one beat up car and had to fit 5 people in one car along with all of our stuff for yet another trip across the state to by chance catch up with some other friends in Daytona Beach.  By chance.

Vast amounts of the above pictured beer and liquor were left as casualties of that decision.  With one trunk, 5 people in a 5 seat Buick sedan, hard choices had to be made.  Sadly, most of the Milwaukee’s Best (aka Beast) were left, as well as most of the pop (who needed that anyways) as we tried to condense everything into one small car.    We drove across the state for another 6 hours hoping to rendezvous with 2 fraternity brothers who had won their spring break trip to Daytona Beach.  Now remember, no cell phones.  We had NO way of contacting them.  All we knew was they were in Daytona at a Holiday Inn and their names.  Yeah, we had their names.  So we had that going for us.

We arrived late that night and headed to A1A Beachfront Avenue (Sorry, couldn’t resist).  We found a pay phone with a phone book.  Yes, I just said those two things, and we looked up the Holiday Inn and on a wing and prayer called and asked for our friend’s room.  The hotel would not put us through because they didn’t know who we were, so we drove down the strip to find contingency plans.  A crappy motel was picked as too crappy to be fully booked and quite possibly in our price range.  As we were driving down the main drag, we noticed someone familiar.  By chance, the friend we were hoping to reach just happened to be walking down the street.  Hanging out of the car like lunatics, we flagged him down.  Miraculously, he told us to come on up to their room and yes, all 5 of us could stay the week with him and his friend.  In their room with 2 double beds and a permanently locked balcony door (because let’s face it, high rise balconies and young idiot spring breakers do not mix).

Elated, we all group hugged and talked about our dramatic trip so far and proceeded to head out on the town.  2 girls, 5 guys.  Makes you cringe now as parents doesn’t it?  About to get shit-faced as best as possible whilst underage in downtown Daytona.  Thank God for stowaway Zima and Beast beer.  And now, one friend of age who helped supply the fun while you hid your underage stamped hand in your pocket.  We were good to go.

The rest of the week was about what you’d expect.  One friend won a belly flop contest.  It was actually pretty freakin freezing, but damn if we weren’t going to wear shorts and flippy floppies on the beach and follow the guys around as they desperately tried to catch each and every wet T-shirt contest available (and no, us ladies did not participate, but really, if I knew what was going to happen to my body, you bet your ass I’d be up there shaking what was apparently a nice set of boobs that, unbeknownst to me, came with an expiration date.  But I digress).  Basically it was bars, bars, and more bars.  Mornings spent sleeping it off.  Afternoons spent replenishing on greasy food as sustenance for the night to come.  Now, at mid-30 something, one night of this would probably kill us, let alone an entire week of it, but we were 20 and invincible.

A few us took a day trip to Universal Studios, whereupon my future husband promptly lost the car keys on the Back to the Future Ride.  Problem was we didn’t notice it until we were headed to the car at the end of the day and, lo and behold, no keys.  Oh and the owner of the car stayed back in Daytona, so we had to bribe the AAA guy to basically make us an $80 key to a car we couldn’t prove belonged to us.  My husband has never quite lived  that one down, but it does make a great story.

At the end of the week, our 2 gracious hosts got on their plane to go home and the remaining 3 guys and 2 girls piled into the teeny tiny Buick (complete with a brand new, very expensive, shiny spare key) and headed back to northern Ohio.  Straight shot.  Squished in the middle almost the whole time.  Sometimes being the skinny bitch had its disadvantages.  They never did let me drive.  I had a bad driving rep even then.

So, there’s my spring break story.  Will I ever let my kids go on Spring Break?  Between this trip and my senior year trip to Cancun, oh hells to the no.  Although, I guess by the time they are 20, I can’t stop them, HOWEVER, I can follow them down to wherever they go and spy on them the whole time.  Hey, at least they’d have cell phones, so 90% of these stories wouldn’t have happened, but me, I’d take my pay phone and beat up Buick memories any day.  Thank God I lived to talk about it.

File this under stories our kids will never hear.  Heck, this may even be the first time our moms are hearing this story.  I’m not quite sure they are ready now, 15+ years later.  Sorry moms, but hey we returned OK!

Disclaimer* This is my recollection of the events.  I’d love to hear from the other 8 people involved as they remember it.  I won’t tag you or mentioned any names for fear your grown up cover will be blown, but you all know who you are.  I hope you have the same fond, hilarious memories that I do, which most of the time are ended with the thought, “God we were stupid!”

#tbt

 

Bully Pulpit 2

I just a heart to heart talk with my son. Sometimes parenting sucks, but this is life folks.  It is spring break this week and his daycare has a week full of field trips planned.  He’s happy about all but one.  Friday is swim day at the local Y and he’s terrified he won’t have anyone to swim with.  I have promised that I will find somewhere fun for him to go that day, but he’d really like me to take this week off work so he can stay and play with the kids in the neighborhood.  Unfortunately, it’s April and I only get 18 days total to play around with.  Not a lot when I have to use them as sick as well as vacation days.  And when we have at least two mini trips planned and a wedding in CA and a wedding I’m a part of back to back in October.  Let’s just say my days add up fast. 

I’d love to take a week off and just do fun things as a family.  Unfortunately in this family, at this time and place, it’s just not an option.  I guess all kids have to have something to complain about as adults right?  How their childhood was shitty and they would do this unlike their parents?  Well, this will be my kids.  2 working parents.  1 parent only home on the weekends…the fun one at that. 

While I’d love to not work and shield him from this week that will most likely suck, I can’t.  And I shouldn’t right?  I can’t put him (and G eventually I’m sure, we just aren’t there yet with her) in a bubble and roll them around like hamsters all while screaming at everyone or anything potentially harmful to get away.  I would love to, but I try to think back on what has made me the kick ass adult I am today (Quiet, I am!).  Struggle.  People and kids being mean.  People challenging me.  People putting me down.  People hurting my friends, my family.  All that has molded me into the strong adult woman I am today.  For the most part.  Until crap like this happens. 

I by no stretch of the imagination had a hard childhood.  But I was picked on…when I was noticed.  I tended to mostly hide in the corners and blend in to avoid being noticed, which has led to its own difficulties as an adult.  Now my son tells me he does the exact same thing to avoid being singled-out and picked on.  He hides behind stuff and if they notice them, he hopes like hell they’ll decide to be nice to him.   Well crap.   Way to create a clone of you Jen.  Same insecurities.  Same coping mechanisms.   I need to nip this in the butt before he becomes the hermit I fight being every day.  I need to help him overcome this quicker than I did, which was around age 30, which is a lot of wasted years and hot, not saggy body time.  

From what I can tell, there is a pack of roving boys that seems to dominate the before and after care scene.  They are older, not by much from what I can gather, but they are bigger.  There is one ringleader that the adults seem to not know how to handle.  I can’t quite grasp if there’s really only one set of boys to hang out with his age, but he seems to think this is his only option right now.  To hang on the fringe of the meanies and hope he doesn’t get singled out or even, occasionally, on the really good days, he might just be included and be part of the group. 

Now here’s the thing.  What do I say?  I told him tonight to never ever feel embarrassed or ashamed to tell me about his fears or struggles in school or with other kids, because, believe or not, his dad and I both have some fairly decent experience in this area.  His dad was picked on for being the pale kid from the wrong side of the tracks.  You know, the one adults always accused of stealing stuff, because he was the poor one, and the non-athletic goofy kid all the kids targeted.  I, on the other hand, was just not noticeable enough to get picked on, but on the same side of the coin, not noticeable enough to get ignored most of my school going years.  I had my small handful of very loyal friends, but most people left me alone and didn’t know I existed.  Which was its own type of childhood hell. 

What advice can I give to the kid?  What can I as a mother do without being too overbearing and intrusive?   I’ve asked if there are other groups of boys he could pal around with, or even maybe just one or two who are quieter and like the things he does.  He doesn’t seem to think so, but mother hen me will be making sure of that with his teachers come Monday morning.  He had a great girlfriend with whom he’s paled around with since preschool, but she has decided he can’t hang with her because her new “girl” friends don’t want a boy in their group.  Ewwww.  (Even though said boy will most likely be a rich genius one day, so you might be missing your chance here ladies.  But this is just one biased opinion.)

I know I can’t shield my kids from harmful, painful things in life.  Because bullies become adults too.  They just take different forms.  And they get sneakier and meaner.  And they craft passive aggression like an artform.  They manipulate the system so people are afraid to stand up to them because their wraths are terrifying.  They make it so everyone walks on eggshells so as not to upset them.  People around them make excuses and make you feel like the bad guy for cutting off contact or standing up for yourself.  My kids will need to learn to successfully identify and stay away from these people.  They will need to handle them with confidence and defuse them before the situation gets out of hand.  They will need to learn when to stand up for themselves and when to let it go.  They will need to learn to choose their battles wisely. 

And Bear’s a boy.  Girls are a whole new level that terrifies me.  So far, G has only had minor spats with girls she loves and calls her best friends.  C won’t share her toy.  B wanted to be the teacher today and I had to be the student.  Stuff like that.  Lord help if she realizes her dream of growing up to be a cheerleader.  What will someone like me do with that?  Pray for me.  I am not strong enough for those mothers, let alone help her with her peers. 

My solution for the moment is to survive spring break and wish this week away as quickly as possible.  Talk to his teachers about it.  And ultimately move him to his school sponsored summer daycare where he’ll hopefully be with a few of his classmates for the summer.  Fortunately, this has been limited to his after care and he is so far a hit with his school friends (none of which go to his current after care). 

Here’s where being an introverted parent is challenging.  Time to break out of my comfortable armor and go fight for my kid.  Ask questions.  Make decisions to stand up for him and put him where he’ll be loved and accepted for who he is.  Wish me luck.   

Food for Thought

Here’s what I hate.  I finally get a moment and the motivation to sit down and write, and…..complete blank.  Now, in the shower, driving to and from work, at work, in the bathroom, and so on, I am ripe with ideas.  Now? With time? Complete and total blank.  So annoying.

So, I guess I’ll talk about what I’ve been thinking about fairly constantly for the past three weeks or so.  Ah hell, who am I kidding, my whole freakin life.  Food.

As of this moment, I am half on and half off the wagon.  I kind of picture myself with a rope being dragged behind the wagon hanging on for dear life.  All while the people on the wagon securely are all like, “I just lost 5 lbs in a week on Weight Watchers!  And I have trouble even eating all my points every day!”  To you people I say:

eye roll

Cause that doesn’t happen for me.   I spent $165 at the grocery store a few weeks ago to attempt a SkinnyMs.com diet and lost 3 lbs in the first week.  I was ecstatic.  They even allowed for one “cheat” a week.  So on that Friday I had 2 pieces of pizza….and maybe a cheesy bread stick, and maybe a few pieces of cinnamon bread dessert….but who’s counting.  Anyways, BAM!  next morning, 2 lbs back on!  (To be fair to SkinnyMs – their recipes are actually really, really good.  Their green smoothies, while they look like snot, are actually very good.  It’s just a really really expensive way of eating, and very time consuming.  Plus, I’m the only one eating this stuff.  I made their chili one day and ate it for the next four days. I haven’t totally abandoned it, but I am having to add affordable/quick food slightly back in.)

Anyways, this is not the root of my problem, and I’m asking for advice here.  The root of my evil is basically food is like heroin to me.  I can’t stop.  Basically I want to be eating 100% of the day.  Like, I need something in my mouth.  Paging Dr. Freud!   Gum helps, but I have jaw problems and can’t chew it very long.  Food is basically my nervous habit.  Procrastinating?  Let’s eat.  Don’t know what to do with myself?  How about a snack?  Too much going on and don’t know where to start?  Let’s see what’s in the fridge!   I sit at a computer all day and if I am not reaching for something to put in my mouth, I feel weird and unfulfilled.   I count minutes until my next “snack time.”

Also, I feel like I am keeping a tight lease on my eating. Like I am always trying to squash the voice inside my head that screaming at me, “EAT THE FOOD!  EAT EVERYTHING YOU SEE!!!”    Life if I just go balls to the wall and let myself go, I’d eat an entire cake and wash it down with a  Coke Zero.  Like Louie CK says, “I don’t eat until I’m full, I eat until I hate myself.”

Sing it Louie.

Sing it Louie.

And I can’t stop.  If it’s around, I feel a compulsion to eat it.  Like the food’s feelings will be hurt if I don’t try a piece.  That’s why I kind of wish it was a heroin addiction.  At least then people wouldn’t surprise me with it at 3 p.m. saying, “Oh just one bite of heroin won’t kill ya!  Just try it.”

My Achilles’ heel is being delivered this week.  Girl Scout cookies.  I think I’ve ordered 18 boxes from various girls.  I’m supporting my community right?  Not when I get my first two boxes delivered and I have eaten an entire sleeve of Thin Mints before I get out of the car on the return trip.  That’s all for me.

Then the shame spiral happens.  I get nauseous.  I hate myself.  I make resolutions that will last approximately 6 hours.  Then I do it all over again the next day.

I guess what this rambling post means is, I don’t know where to turn.  I feel like I need to be hypnotized or acupunctured.  Maybe I should wire my jaw shut like that crazy girl in Real World 20 years ago.  But, I’d still eat milkshakes and Coke, so that wouldn’t help.

I feel like I need a person to shame me into not eating, but that doesn’t work either.  If I get one of those people, and I’ve tried, I end up eating in secret.  Hiding from them.  It becomes a game to sneak the food.

God I am such a head case.  Honestly, it’s embarrassing to post this, but at the moment it’s kind of ruling my every thought.  Sure I can joke about being chubby and eating a lot, but when it comes down to it, I really do want to get healthy.  Not just skinny.  Healthy.  I want to have energy.  I am tired of my back hurting.  I am terrified my cholesterol is going to kill me.

I’d do great with a nutritionist and a personal trainer, but that ain’t happening.  Maybe some tips on how to start.  Baby steps.  Quick, easy, healthy recipes I can slowly incorporate into my life?

sometimes_i_feel_like_a_fat_bastard-9844

 

 

SNOW!

I got stuck in my driveway today because of the stupid snow.   And like most problems, this started with a penis.

Yes, a penis.  My sister came over to my house today to pick something up while I was at work.  She called on her way out to report that someone had drawn a penis on the snow pile in my front yard and labeled it with what we think is the word “kinky.”  This makes me totally paranoid and now I am thinking we need to get better blinds, because really, how do they know?!  Are they warning us?  Can they see in?

Anyways, I digress.  Youths my husband says.  No hidden meanings involved.  Just some bored pre-teens who just discovered penises are actually pretty easy to draw and have had way too many snow days to wreak havoc on the neighborhood.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-31558-1382644384-13

So, instead of gunning it into the driveway going around 80, I meandered in, while mostly craning my neck to see this glorious artwork in my front yard.  Completely forgetting the snow plow comes through also going 80 and doesn’t give a crap about my little minivan having to careen over the mini-mountain (a molehill if you will) just to get in my un-shoveled driveway and hope to heck my back end stops fishtailing in time to thread the needle, which is  a good way to describe how my car fits into our tiny garage.  Because, oh yes, I will get it in the garage.  I don’t care if the kids can’t get out of the car or I hit the bikes every single time I pull in, I WILL NOT go outside in the winter.  EVER.  Garage to garage is how I roll.  If I don’t go outside once from December to March, I’d be a happy hermit.

So, I get really really stuck.  It’s just me and the kids as usual (much like the horror show of the squirrel escapade) and I am trying to figure out how to teach Bear how to gas it and brake while I push, when thankfully my neighbor comes over.  By then I had shoveled a little bit.  And by little, I mean shove the thing around a few times, take a breather and try to figure out how on earth I can speed this up and make it simpler.  All while huffing around and whining to myself.    I would try to snow blow it, but the thing is so persnickety, you literally have to blow it to get it started.  Seriously.  Mark says I have to put something in the broken pumpy-get-it-started-thingy (actual term) and BLOW.   Mkay.  So no, I am not blowing the snow blower thank you very much.  I mean, what’s it ever done for me?

I threw piles of salt around the wheels and the super awesome neighbor helped me shove it back into the street, where I promptly pulled into my next-door neighbors driveway, only to get it stuck there (It’s OK, his was shoveled, so with enough revving, it came loose pretty easy).  Hey, at least I had my driveway open right?

So, boring finish.  Even my big strong MAN neighbor couldn’t get the snow blower started, but this was mainly because there was no way I was going to explain how he had to put his lips together and blow to get it to work.  So I just said thank you so much, but forget it, I’ll just do it my way, which is wait until Thursday when it’s going to hit 50 degrees and let it melt.  Until then, if you see me going 90 down my street, just get out of the way, I am preparing for my dismount.

Can’t wait for spring.

20 Signs You Really, Really Hate People

jshamsmith:

Hilarious and dead on. Rock on my fellow introverts.

Originally posted on Natalie-Kay-Es-El:

1. The idea of getting your ass out of bed, dressing up and stepping out of your front door is just

Michael scott no

2. When you take public transport, you can’t help but think:

theres-too-many-people-on-this-earth-we-need-a-plague

3. You’re on your way to meet a friend and then you get a text from her saying she’s brought a tag-along.

This is your reaction:

dont need another friend

4. You find yourself praying that plans get cancelled all the time.

cancelling plans

5. When you get invited to a house party, you pray to God they’ve got a pet so you can act busy and not interact with actual human beings.

6. When people tap you on the shoulder, or try to do that cheek-kissy thing that white people love, or touch you in any way:

you-dont-know-me-like-that

7. When someone whips out a camera and everyone squeals in delight, you’re just like:

Robert Downey Jr Pained Photo Taking

8. You loovvvveee the internet. And the…

View original 322 more words

Disney

So, Disney. We took our first trip at the beginning of December and there is so much to tell you, I have been sitting on it for a month.  I have quite a few Disney junkie friends and don’t want to offend, but I also want to give an honest take from a self-diagnosed introvert with anxiety issues, a deep discomfort with large crowds and spending $7 on a Coke.

Before I get started, I will bookend our trip with some of my favorite pics.  First:

065

062

This was pretty much the look on their faces for 7 days.  They were thrilled to be there.  They were troopers.

We didn’t get a stroller to avoid this…

Strollerggedon

Strollerggedon

…so they hoofed it around 4 parks for 5 days.   They didn’t become crazy gotta-have-it kids either.  They had some money and got what they wanted and sometimes had to be patient to get it.  But get it they did…

Hard to see, but let's just say they got every light up, noisy toy available.

Hard to see, but let’s just say they got every light up, noisy toy available.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to pack a Mickey Mouse Fantasia light saber to return home?  We carried that thing from Orlando to Detroit.  Totally normal in Orlando.  In Detroit, kinda weird.

As a side note, Disney is marketing genius.  From the time you step foot in Orlando, you are transported into this magical bubble where it’s all things Disney.  You begin to feel weird for not having a pair of mouse ears on your head.  You feel out of place if you are wearing a shirt without a character on it.  I can’t believe I packed normal clothes.  You totally look out of place when you do.  And when you come back to normal land, you are a little weirded out that no one is wearing mouse ears or carrying a Mickey tote bag/lunch box/purse/backpack/body bag.

The crowds were heavier than what we were anticipating, but not as bad as I think it could have been.  For me however, there were TOO MANY FREAKIN PEOPLE.  People watching was A-may-zing, but that’s exactly what I want to do, watch…not interact.

PEOPLE!

PEOPLE!

PEOPLE IN THE DARK!

PEOPLE IN THE DARK!

Where's Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

We of course had lunch at the Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle, where, for the only time during the trip, we became these parents:  “You will get pictures with these damn princesses and eat your $30 chicken nuggets and LIKE IT!!  We didn’t spend $250 for you to sit and stare at them!!!”  And photos we got.  Nevermind the fact we were caught off guard and didn’t have time to run a comb through our poor girl’s hair.

Come on mom, just snap the picture already…

Jasmine.  Poor thing, that wig must itch like crazy.

Jasmine. Where do you get those abs?  Does Iago chase you around?

Sleeping beauty.

Sleeping beauty.  That’s what they call me too.

Snow White

Snow White and a thrilled to pieces G.

Wishing on a star.

Wishing on a star.  My wish?  The food would get here sooner.

For the record, Bear would not be photographed with the Princesses.  He’s not so into the ladies.  Doesn’t G look thrilled?  Then we got a pic with Cindy herself.

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…but she was on a ciggy break, so we took a pic with her crotchless pantied knight instead.

Metal Mike.

Metal Mike.

OK – here she is.

She seemed a little stiff.

She seemed a little stiff.

PSYCH!  ha ha.  OK, we really did meet her and I do have a pic EXACTLY like the ones above of her and Cinderella, but it’s an actual PHOTO and ain’t nobody got time to scan that!

We introduced them to all forms of mass transit.  First up, the plane ride, for which they were seriously geeked.

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Yes, that’s a neck pillow. This is Bear BEFORE he went cold, clammy and sheet white.

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Image taken BEFORE the lady in front of G pleaded with me to get her to stop kicking the hell out of her seat. Sorry!

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My seasoned travelers.

Until we started our descent and Will got airsick and passed out.  Cold.  Don’t worry, on the way home, he just threw up and got almost all of it in the vomit bag.

Waiting for the bus. Not something you do here in Toledo.

Riding on the bus.

 Always in the back.  Always.  Not a good sign.  Back of the bus kids are trouble I tell ya.   Damn youths.

Monorail! This is G puckering up to lick the window.

Train.

Train.

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Boat

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And of course, Dad.

We did shows.  Some were great, some were like meh. Like the Tiki Lounge, which I am told is nostalgic, but really more of an air conditioned place to sit down for a few minutes while some animatronic birds do schtick above you.

Fun with 3-D.  G only broke 1 set of glasses the whole time we were there!

Fun with 3-D. G only broke 1 set of glasses the whole time we were there!

Muppets!

Yes, we NEED 3 pairs of glasses.

Beauty and the Beast.  Someone wouldn't let me sing, for which the entire auditorium thanks her.  BTW - Gaston had crazy guns (if you know what I'm sayin)!  And we had tickets!!

Beauty and the Beast. Someone wouldn’t let me sing, for which the entire auditorium thanked her. BTW – Gaston had crazy guns (if you know what I’m sayin)! And we had tickets!!

We were in a show, only because they had the $25 light up ears they were hawking, and a certain Disney junkie traveling companion for the day DID NOT tell us if you sit in the front rows during Fantasmic, you get REALLY REALLY wet and spend the whole show wiping mist out of your eyes.

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Someone in this pic knows we're going to get wet...and it wasn't me.  I just thought we had really awesome seats.

Someone in this pic knows we’re going to get wet…and it wasn’t me. I just thought we had really awesome seats.

We rode rides…

Watch Mom turn green!

Teacups!  Watch Mom turn green while Dad spins us like a lunatic!

This is a much better spinning ride.  Even though some 2 year old kicked me off my horse!

This is a much better spinning ride. Even though some 2 year old kicked me off my horse!

Guess who was in charge of pushing the button?  Too high Bear TOO HIGH!!  We're all going to die!!

Guess who was in charge of pushing the button? Too high Bear TOO HIGH!! We’re all going to die!!

I just noticed, look at the lady behind us.  How can you be so blasé on the Dumbo ride?!  She looks like, “I am SO OVER this.”

I wish I had pics of us on the bigger roller coasters, but I was too busy holding onto my kid for dear life, you know, cause they could totally fall out.

But, by far, the most exciting ride…the FastPass machines!!

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These are apparently a thing of the past.  We almost never got to experience the magic of booking it to these machines only to find out they were done for the day or not available until 9 p.m. that night.  If you did get one, which we did a few of them (you tend to get less if you are one of the few crazy people who SLEEP IN while on vacation at Disney), they were awesome.  Remember that scene in Wayne’s World where they had the backstage passes and kept flashing them at everyone?  Well, if not, go see it.  Good movie.  Classic for a 90s teenager.  Anywho, that’s how I felt when we got to bypass all the schmucks in the hour long line.  SUCKAS!  I guess now they all have wristbands that you can go online at the hotel and essentially schedule your time to ride the rides (AHEM Cedar Point!!).  We didn’t have one of these because we were GASP!  offsite hotel vacationers and didn’t get one, so I don’t know much about them other then that sometimes it felt like we were traveling in steerage and not allowed in the fancy parts of Disney.

Another sad moment.  We lost a dear friend.  His name was Balloony.  He was a $10 balloon that wasn’t tied tightly enough to his string.  It was a sad moment in the Magic Kingdom.  And no, we didn’t replace him.  It was $10 freakin dollars.  Every time we saw a balloon vendor walk by, we quickly diverted her attention.  Ah, strategery.

Goodbye friend

Goodbye friend

We stayed one night for the parade.  It was cool.  We had some fun waiting for it.

Fun with Lights

Fun with Lights

Then I said forget this, I have full lives in Candy Crush!

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Then it came on and was pretty dang cool.

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We paid a gazillion dollars for character lunches.

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Um, Daisy, could you come back? I just started this mac n cheese.

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Donald was outside sweating his balls off for a very special photo op.  That guy always gets the short end of the stick.

We had good food.

Mark's happy place.

Mark’s happy place.

Do I have something on my face?

Do I have something on my face?

Get off me!  It's time for ZERTS!

Get off me! It’s time for ZERTS!

The best restaurant had a baby with a leaf on his junk, which is apparently HILarious.

MOM!  Look at this baby!  He's naked!!!

MOM! Look at this baby! He’s naked!!!

I attempted to take a Christmas card photo.

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which clearly failed.

We almost got an eye poked out on Phineas’s nose.

PHINEAS!

PHINEAS!

Basically, we had a good time.  It was exhausting.  Really, you should train for 5 days at Disney.  We were not physically prepared for the strenuousness of it.  Overall though, we had a pretty freakin good time.

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Family pic by our new house.

Family pic by our new house.

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