Thank God I’m a Country Girl

When I get a spare moment in life, at work, out and about, at home, I usually hop on Pinterest.  I love this site, it has so many great ideas, tips, recipes, and funny sayings you could browse for days.  One of my favorite things to do during the day is to copy pictures of ideas that I love and email them to my husband so he can do them.  Some of my favorites have been under stairs bathrooms, which we are planning to complete in our basement, cool storage kitchen tips, and best of all, various adorable chicken coops.  Now, I live dead center of a neighborhood in a suburb of Toledo, but God I want me some adorable chickens to live in their own adorable home in my backyard.  What could go wrong?  Plus, my husband and I have an ongoing argument that I could totally be a farmer.  I say yes, totally, and he says, not in a million years.  Here’s my reasoning.

Oh my God Mark you HAVE to build this!

Oh my God Mark you HAVE to build this!

I first got the idea my freshman year of college when I took my first environmental studies class, which ultimately led to my completely USELESS Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy degree.  During this class, I had a professor, who let’s just say kept it REAL.   This man practiced what he preached, such as refusing to wear a watch because of the non-recyclable battery and not owning a refrigerator (because they are mass suckers of energy), but instead dug cisterns in his backyard where he kept his perishables.  WEIRD.  But to my 19-year-old brain, this man was LIVING what he was preaching.  For God’s sake, the man made me feel bad about wearing a watch.  That is a gift.   In this class, he had a whole segment on sustainable farming, crop rotation, fallow fields, and so on.  For some ungodly reason, to my young idealistic mind this was fascinating to me.  I kept thinking, how great would life be to not have to leave your own land ever and be able to completely sustain yourself?  It was an introverts dream come true.  I pictured myself waking up to “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” every morning, going out and feeding the chickens with my apron on like Cinderella does, petting the horse and feeding the dog (OK fine, my idea of farm living IS the first 5 minutes of Cinderella, complete with singing birds in cute vests).  Then I would come back in and bake apple pie after apple pie to naturally cool on the windowsill.  Then at supper, I would ring-a-ling my triangle and tell the workers to come in and enjoy some good ole fashioned stew, dumplings, corn pudding, and of course, my ever present apple pie.

Apparently, Mark thinks there is more to farming than the above described, to which I always reply WHATEVER.  Apparently all the above mentioned animals poop a copious amount and someone has to clean it up.  Apparently, someone needs to do something after the crops are planted or else we don’t eat or make any money.  And apparently, eating apple pie every day is somewhat bad for your cholesterol.  So, he continuously reminds me that, of all my dreams, this one he can guarantee I would last approximately five minutes doing and he, as usual, would end up finishing what I started while I found a good book and a glass of wine and read on the couch.  Or maybe the porch swing, because naturally our farmhouse would have a big wraparound porch complete with porch swing and rockers.  Did I mention it never gets cold at our farm?  Awesome I know.  Anyways, do you see how little faith my husband has in me?  Even after 17 years he apparently has no idea who I am.  (Note the sarcasm here, I’m laying it on pretty thick.)  And when he brings up my current garden, I will tell you I have no idea what he’s talking about.  You know, the one I plant all excitedly in May, and then when it gets too hot out, I completely ignore it?  Yeah, that one.

So – now you know why occasionally you will hear my husband yell, “YOU COULD NOT BE A FARMER” at random times.  This is mostly because I have just given him a look after a John Denver song or a Bob Evans commercial plays that says, I could totally do that.  So, I’m guessing Son-In-Law is not an accurate representation of farming?  Cause, I always pictured myself in the Pauly Shore role, as the cool city-girl who awesomes up the farm folks.  (Crap, I’m dating myself.  I just looked it up on IMDB and that movie is 20 years old.)

Yep, Paul Harvey was talking to me.  I hear ya Paul, I’m on it.

But really, this is more what I pictured. Cakes on the griddle, rosining up the bow of my fiddle, whittling some wood.

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The Pros and Cons of a Traveling Husband

Thank you for being a friend.

Thank you for being a friend.

My husband just accepted a job which will put him back on the road during the week.  For those of you who know us, this is something with which we are familiar.  His last job kept him on the road and home every other weekend.  It was awful.  At the start of the job, we had a 3 and a 1 year old.  This lovely period lasted 2 ½ years before he was let go last August.

Now, we start another job with a better company that will bring him home on the weekends.  The kids are now 4 and 6, so a bit more manageable on my end.  Well, I hope.

Therefore, in an attempt to make myself feel better, I thought I’d make myself a pros and cons list of a traveling husband.

PRO – The bed all to myself (well, along with my long-suffering cat, Ezra, who by the way will be thrilled to have me all to herself again).  No loud snoring.  No pokes in the back at 11:30 going, “Just real quick???” I would say no bed hogging or cover stealing, but for this transgression,  I am the sole perpetrator, therefore placing it on his pros list and not mine.  Also, no more hearing, “Why do you have so many freakin covers? I am roasting!”  And best of all, no more dutch ovens, you know, the kind that linger, and permeate the sheets.

Yep, pretty much.

Yep, pretty much.

CON – The bed all to myself.  No getting to elbow him when a kid starts coughing and saying, “I got it last time,” even though he totally doesn’t know there was no last time.  No one to scare the bejesus out of in the middle of the night by slapping him awake when I hear something crash.  “Mark!!! Wake up!  Someone is trying to break in, go out there and use your superhero ninja powers to fight them off!  I’ll be right behind you with my blow dryer….What?  It was just the shower caddy falling off the wall? Oh sorry.”

PRO – No more coming home to such non-diet friendly dinners such as super nachos, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and so on.

This deliciousiness I cannot make on my own - it must be forced upon me.

This deliciousness I cannot make on my own – it must be forced upon me.

CON – No more coming home to such non-diet friendly dinners such as super nachos, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and so on.  Now I have to cook my own crap and for the kids too, all in a 15 minute window.

PRO – I can work out every night after the kids go to bed. No reserving my energy for other late night cardiovascular activities.   I can work out, shower, and go to sleep.

Cause I could totally look like this - Mark has totally been holding me back from my true self.

Cause I could totally look like this – Mark has totally been holding me back from my true self.

CON – I can work out every night after the kids go to bed. No reserving my energy for other late night cardiovascular activities.   My husband has some SKILZ, which will have to wait until the weekend.  (At this point, my family is throwing up in their mouth a little, but hey, what can I say?  I don’t have a smut addiction for nothing.)

Actual picture of my husband.  Ignore the silly writing.  Don't my hands look thin??

Actual picture of my husband. Ignore the silly writing. Don’t my hands look thin??

PRO – I have complete control over my household once again.  No one to forget to tell the daycare and/or school something or pack the wrong thing in their lunches.  No more forgotten paperwork.  No gym shorts on the floor or chip crumbs in front of the TV (after a particularly stressful night of Black Ops).  No more doing the laundry or loading the dishwasher wrong.

A particularly tense evening at home.

A particularly tense evening at home.

CON – I am the only one in charge of my household again.  I have to do all the above mentioned annoying things ALONE.   He might forget some stuff or do it wrong, but at least someone was doing it.

PRO – No more smell of Red Hot.  Dude puts that crap on everything.  It’s disgusting.  Singes the nostrils.

Gross, just gross.

Gross, just gross.

CON – No con, that shit is gross.

PRO – The bathroom gets more “open” time.  We were dumb enough to buy a house with one friggin bathroom and this man goes more than anyone I know.  He eats, he poops. Every. Single. Time.   For like a half hour each time.  If I see him with a phone, kindle or laptop heading down the hallway, I know I am on my own for the next hour or so.  No more asking the kids to hold out just a bit longer, he’ll be out soon.  Once, Will knocked on the door and said, ‘’Dad could you not play your games this time? I really have to go!”  All parents hide in the bathroom, but my dear husband does it at least six times a day.

Again, a completely real picture of my bathroom.  Who wouldn't want to live in  here?

Again, a completely real picture of my bathroom. Who wouldn’t want to live in here?

CON – No con, it will be nice to have a semi-available bathroom again.  He can decimate the hotel toilets during the week.  I will get to go back to my absolutely-no-privacy, 2 kid hug party while I am taking care of business.

So, there you have it, my started list of pros and cons.  This did make me feel a bit better, however, I am sure the cons list will grow longer when he actually leaves.  I might try to talk my husband to do a guest post, where maybe he can give an honest pros/cons list to traveling.

Big Week

Big week ahead people, big week.  Or maybe not.  Who knows what’s in store for our family?  God does apparently, but he’s not giving us any clues.  Jerk.

I kid.  I kid. God knows I’m joking, he totally gets my sense of humor, after all, he made it, but sometimes, just once I’d like a little heads up on what he has in store.  To explain why my husband is only employable on the east coast.

That’s right, big job interview this week in Philly.  That’s right, Philadelphia.  500 milez away.  They seem interested and he’s a super great fit for the job.  Figures.

Before you all freak out on him for not trying hard enough here, I assure you, he did, and he is, doing everything in his power to get a job that doesn’t take him away on a weekly basis.  We both want it more than you’ll ever know.  It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us.

And before you wonder if I will be curling up in the fetal position because I will then be back “doing it alone,” I promise you, I won’t.  Mainly because I learned the hard way that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.   I have a SUPER support system.  In-laws that will drop everything to help us out.  (Yes, Lisa, you too, but come on, you have TWINS for cryin out loud.  You get the year off.)   I have a husband that’s more present 500 miles away than a lot are right at home.  I have a wonderfully tolerant workplace, who understands Sunday night fevers and daycare phone calls at 10:30 a.m.  I have more than most people can dream of, so I count myself lucky, even though I do succumb to the occasional pity party in my mom mobile.  Where I turn on Adele and The Fray and act like I’m in a sad movie and sing and ugly cry.  But then, I put on my big girl pants and move on.  Cause that’s what I do.  It’s what I have to do.

IF this happens, which it hasn’t yet.  This is the man who has had at least 3 job offers made and accepted, only to have the employer all of a sudden not return his calls and act like they’ve never met.  So really, until he sets foot on another job site and 2 weeks later a pay stub is deposited, I won’t get excited or worried.  It’s like he has job VD or something.

Is this circulating Monster and Career Builder?

Is this circulating Monster and Career Builder?

Tentatively, this seems to be a really good company, not the usual 2-man, unorganized, hot mess that he’s used to.  Somewhere where he can grow.  Hopefully, home every weekend.  Make a decent wage.  Not work himself into a heart attack at 36.

Wish him luck.  Either way, it’s good news.  I can say the job market is active, which is more than we could say the last time around.  If this doesn’t pan out, there are always options.  I have a really good connection at McDonald’s if all else fails.  He would bring it to that fry station.  LIKE A BOSS.
And now, a funny video.  I will miss you SNL Shorts. Not for everyone, especially if you don’t like swear words…NSFW. I just thought this might work in Mark’s interview.

Confessions of a Parent, Part Deux

First confession:

This was merely a close call, not an actual mistake – so don’t freak out when you read this.  Did you know that Flexeril and Focalin pills look very similar? Flexeril is an awesome muscle relaxer prescribed to me after a month of dealing with an annoying pulled neck muscle (which, btw, is the worst place to pull a muscle. You have no idea how heavy your freakin head is until it hurts to hold it up.). Focalin, on the other hand,  is an ADHD medication intended for my 6 year old. Let’s just say someone in our home, who is above the age of 35, may have gotten the bottles mixed up and handed our 6 year old a Flexeril. Thank GOD this kid is the most detail oriented person on the planet. He pauses, looks at the pill quizzically, and says, “This is different from my other pills.” At first, we are both like, “No it’s the usual one, go ahead and take it.” Then a pause followed by, “WAIT, DON’T TAKE THAT PILL!!!” Good thing he notices the little things eh?

SIDENOTE: Zyrtec and Xanax are also similarly shaped, but those are just for me, and either way, I’m feeling pretty good, so no harm done right? Can’t say Xanax has ever helped with my allergies, but then if I take the Xanax by mistake, what the fuck do I care?

Next confession:

“Mom!  This milk is gross!”  What?  I just bought it.  It smells fine.  Crazy kid.  “Grace, quit being dramatic, it’s fine, just drink it.”  “But MOM, it’s gross!!!”  Sigh. “Here let me try it.”  Huge swig out of her sippy cup and insert whatever the noise is for spitting out milk and gagging here.  “What the???”    Note to Self:  Always disassemble sippy cup components.  If left intact, milk and other debris tends to get trapped between the plastic insert and the cap.  I had just let my daughter drink old, dishwashed, moldy milk leavings.

Confession #3:

This is an oldie, but goodie.  Back in our single kid days, when Will was just starting to really walk around and we were new to the whole wearing shoes all the time business.  While baby shoes are adorable, I was far too lazy of a parent to actually put them on just for looks.   My kids wore socks only until they set their own feet on the ground.  So much for those adorable booties I spent a fortune on before I had children because they were totally NEVER worn.  Anywho, my babysitter calls me up one day at work about mid-morning saying Will is limping and he won’t put any weight on one foot.  So, as I have shown in previous posts, I am completely calm and rationale in my train of thought.  Did he break his foot?  Are his leg muscles growing wrong?  Am I walking him too much on one side?  Is that even possible?  Is one leg growing faster than the other?  Is it shorter than the other, just like my self-diagnosed one short leg syndrome?  So, I call the doctor to see what might be the problem and they are running the gamut of questions when I hear my call waiting beep.  It’s my sitter saying she found the problem.  My loving cat had left Will a present in his shoe.  No!  It’s not that!  Eww.  She’s a good cat, she wouldn’t do that…it was one of her tiny toy catnip mouses (mice, meeces?) that she was playing with and had jammed up into the toe of his shoe.  So – that morning in my rush to get us out of the house on time, I unknowingly shoved my poor kid’s foot into a shoe crammed with mice, tied them up and ran out the door.

Last one:  This is borrowed from a friend, but I can guarantee most of us have almost done it.  The names have been rhymed to protect the guilty.

After visiting with my parents on Sunday, I was driving back home with the kids and rhymes-with-Hobie decides that he needs to go to the bathroom.  Of course, we are nowhere near a rest stop, so I have to get off the turnpike in the middle of nowhere. I asked the attendant where the nearest gas station was and he pointed in that direction. The station was under construction and had no indoor plumbing, so we had to settle for the porta potty around the back.  So in the dark and cold, we run around the back of the building coatless, and he hurries into the porta potty.   While he is going, I am huddling with rhymes-with-Lenzie to keep her warm and Hobie asks if I have extra toilet paper because he pooped and there wasn’t any in there. I dig through my purse, sightless in the dark.  I grab hold of a package thinking it’s tissues and grab one to hand to him. Hobie asks me why it’s wet and I say it is a moist towelette and to just use it. I then go to grab Lenzie and smell bleach for some reason. Ummm yeah I made my son wipe his butt with Clorox wipes!!!!

Thanks Megan Ann Leigh for the story.  Cracked me up!  In my opinion, at least you know you killed all the germs!  No need for hand sanitizer after that poop!

That’s it for tonight!  Say goodnight Gracie.

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PS – I totally woo’d Toledo Area Parent (check them out here).  I will be submitting some stuff by the end of the month, where they will hopefully take my sad writing skills and turn it into literary genius.  Or they’ll just shake their heads and go, “Nice try kid.”  Either way, I gave it my best shot.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for all the support.  KF – I owe you big for suggesting it to me!