Kind Of Deep Thoughts By Jen….

Yeah, I wouldn't take advice from me either.
Yeah, I wouldn’t take advice from me either.

“MOOOOMMMM!”  ….   “Whaaat?”  ….  “MOOOOMMMM!”    My oldest is screaming through the house, while Dad’s on the pooper and I snuck downstairs to clean some cat poop while the chokeable Dora is making its evening run.  Quit staring at me, answer your own questions!  It’s creepy.   Is something wrong I think?  It’s only been two minutes since I was last upstairs, but this sounds frantic.  So, I stop scooping and run upstairs.  “What?” I huff out of breath, because you know, 13 stairs are a toughy.  “What’s 5 + 2?”   Of course.



So, I’ve been MIA for a few days.  Been in a bit of a mood.  Either pissed off or sad for no reason.  Yep, you’re right men, it’s totally my period.  (Really it kinda was.  Even Mark left me alone.)  So, I decided to stay quiet.  Didn’t want to write something snarky and mean, although trust me, it would have been entertaining, and I did write some feelings I was having about the fact that cancer seems to rearing its ugly head EVERYWHERE, but Mark said it made him want to jump off a cliff and could I end on a happy note?  At this point with that subject, no I can’t, so I’ll save that little gem for another day.  Let me know when you’d like a good depressing, there is no hope, is there a God and if so, WTF is His plan post.  Never?  Yeah, I thought so.



Hold on, I’m getting some pretty detailed instructions on how to wipe a butt.  Apparently, there is a procedure and very detailed rules…..



OK, I’m back.  I think I did it right.  God that kid scares me.  He is about six months away from being smarter than Mark and me, or maybe he is already at 6 and I am just too proud to admit it.  And yes, I wipe my 6 year olds butt, but I’ll take that stigma over track marks and itchy assholes any day.



I wonder if I’m hovering, if I’m one of those so-called helicopter parents.  Maybe a little.  A few weekends ago, Mark was with the kids at a function without me, and he came back with a story that Will was being punched and kicked by another kid during some rowdy play that got out of hand.  My mother bear instinct came out and I was ready to go right then, but Mark told me that while he kept an eye on the situation, he wanted to see how Will would handle it himself.  Apparently, he did great.  He stayed calm, didn’t freak out and told the other kid that he wasn’t playing by the rules.  Not sure what happened after that, but my guess is they went back to being friends and playing their game.  Now if I had seen that happen, you’d bet your ass I’d be up and in the middle of it.  Mark did the right thing and took a breath and let Will spread his wings a little.  It all turned out OK and maybe Will learned something about how to handle a situation that might be uglier and intentionally meaner next time.    That’s why I keep my husband around ladies.  As he would say, clearly, he’s smarter.  Until you ask him to spell ridiculous and then he yields his greatness to me for a bit.  We all have our strengths.



Then Gracie’s teacher tells us she wishes she was more assertive, and she was glad that just last week she stood up for herself for the first time.  And all this time I thought she was a bulldozer who let no one get in her way.  Apparently, that’s just her brother, or me.  Not her dad, cause he’s wicked fun, but even he loses a few battles now and again.  She lets kids take her toys and tell her to do.  NOOOO!!!!!  That’s the downfall of having a bossy older brother.  That’s how I was growing up, and while I didn’t get picked on so much, I did let those that I loved around me get picked on while I tried to fade into the wall.  I also let these strong-willed people define me as a person, and it took a good 20 years before I realized those people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, they’re just louder.



So, what’s next?  Homeschool?  Yeah right.  I am a horrible teacher.  I’d just end up assigning them homework and then doing it for them.  They’d end up hermits who couldn’t conjugate verbs, let alone balance a checkbook, because I would skip math completely.  So, I’m not sure what to do.  I guess face my own fears as they grow up and teach them to be the kick ass person I always wanted to be.  Somehow make them comfortable in their own skin, in love with their uniqueness and quirks.  Aware of their appearance and proud of it, but not be obsessed by it.  Mess them up just enough so they can be funny.  Help them to focus on what’s important and what’s not.  And most importantly, not let the loudmouths define who they are.



Ga!  See??? I got all bummer at the end.  What’s my deal????



Until next time…now I have to go make a Christmas list….Grrrr…  How much are maids and full time chefs????

Happy God = Chained to a Stove?

After two glorious days of not leaving my house, I thought it might be time for a test run back into society before I had to return to the real world and life’s responsibilities tomorrow.    If you’ve learned anything from this blog, you assumed correctly that I stayed as far away as possible from the madness of the retailers on Friday and Saturday.  I am much more of a Cyber Monday type of girl, where I can do my purchasing safely and on my own time.  I don’t like people in general, let alone half mad, sleep deprived people willing to claw, scratch and kick small children and puppies out of their way to be the first in line for that crazy deal on a TV or iPod.  They could be handing out FREE TVs and I’d be running the other way.  Anyone who would skip Thanksgiving food to camp out in front of Best Buy scares me.

Anyways I digress.  I thought church would be a great way to slowly emerge from my cocoon of comfort.  But first, this happened….

Duggar Family Values

And then this happened….

G vs. curb. Curb – 1. G – 0.
Nothing super glue can’t fix.

And once we returned from the ER safe and sound, I vowed never to leave the house again.

Let me go back.  Today was one of my favorite Sundays.  Every Sunday after Thanksgiving, my church takes the church hour for the congregation to stand up and say why they are thankful.  This is always a heart-warming, life affirming morning that gives you renewed faith in humanity and God’s presence in the world.  I love it, and I still do, even after this story.

A mother stood up about halfway through and said she was thankful that this year she had truly learned to submit to her husband, become the obedient wife God intended and let her husband be the man of the household.  I had to physically refrain from snorting in derision because this statement goes against every fiber of my liberal, feminist being.

Before I launch into my opinion, let me give this disclaimer.  I am in no way bashing this lady for her beliefs or thoughts.  My mother in law, God bless her, being so quick to point out the good in people, reminded me that I have no idea where this woman is coming from, what her marriage is like, and how exactly she intended this to sound.  This I keep in mind as I launch into my tirade.  Another thing my mother in law reminded me was that in order to obey your husband as she is perhaps suggesting, he must respect you first, because if you don’t have that, you are treading into some very dangerous territory.  I agree.  I don’t think for one minute this woman was saying stay in an abusive relationship or with a douche bag, lazy, good for nothing waste of space.  I think what she means is playing your God-given role in society.  Raise your kids.  Take care of the home.  Be an animal in bed….wait, no, maybe not that last one.

Anyways, this statement just goes against everything I have come to believe is right in this world, and why organized religion will always make me skittish.  When someone stands up and says something like this, I assume that EVERYONE in the congregation agrees and totally judges me for having the audacity to work and actually enjoy doing it.  To have a crazy messy house and dinners that consist of PB&J more often than not.    Am I wrong to assume this?  Of course, I am also one of the congregants and I don’t agree with her, so why should everyone else?  It’s just my insecurity with my faith and with organized religion.

For me, every time I walk into church, I assume everyone around me is more wholesome, more genuine, more giving, but also waaaay more judgmental than me.   I go to church to deepen my faith and understand my God and Christianity as a whole, and the church I attend has never ever preached hate or intolerance, which is a total deal breaker for me, so I try to attend as faithfully as possible to help answer my endless questions and also help give my kids a good jumping off point for their own religious journey.  But for me, it is imperative the church I attend be welcoming, accepting and loving to all God’s children, not just the ones organized religion deems “acceptable.”  And believe me, in Christian churches, this is no easy task.

I am fortunate to have found this in my church, where we have been going for the past three years.   That still doesn’t alleviate my discomfort with organized religion.  And when someone stands up and says I must be obedient to my husband, I just take it as a slap in the face and I feel a sadness that I will never truly fit into a church lifestyle.  At church, I put on my most wholesome face (yes people who go there, that’s as nice looking as I get) and to some extent pretend to be a nice girl who doesn’t swear, drink, tell dirty jokes, read really dirty books, or laugh at TV shows like Family Guy.   Because to me, this girl is a sinner, one God wouldn’t enjoy having around.  But this girl is me, warts and all, and I doubt no matter how much I read the Bible or donate to charity, she will always be me.

So my vow to myself is to keep going to church, evolve in my faith, be the best person I can be, but still be true to myself, tell the occasion raunchy joke, get really excited about the DVD release of Magic Mike and read smut like it’s going out of style…or soon to be banned.

PS – G is fine.  Poor girl got my clumsy gene and maybe my bad eyes.  We’re looking into that.  She was a trooper at the ER and thankfully no needles were needed.

Yours Doesn’t Smell Like Roses Either Kid

I just got finished doing something dirty.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  I just cleaned the cat litter.  It occurred to me while doing it that the cat is the only living creature in our house that gets to go the bathroom with any semblance of privacy. 

Mitt Romney will tell you he understands the hardships of the middle class.  Yeah, I bet he’s  never had a house with one bathroom.  The bathroom is where middle class gets real.  Ever had four people in a 5’ x 8’ space, getting ready, going potty, taking a shower, combing hair, brushing teeth , and putting on makeup all at the same time?  Doubtful Mitt, doubtful. 

Our kids are 6 and 4 and we are beginning to wonder when we should start exhibiting some modesty in the bathroom.  Frankly, that’s difficult when everyone has a ½ hour to get ready, and give me a break, I already get up at 5:30 a.m., my body won’t let me get up any earlier.  Besides, the kids are unmovable before 6:30 a.m. anyway.  I just hope we don’t put them in therapy when they wonder why we don’t look like people in the magazines and why everything is so much more droopy than what they see in the movies.  That’s life without a personal chef, a trainer and Photoshop, all combined with a healthy love of lasagna and mint chocolate chip ice cream.    

I haven’t gone to the bathroom by myself since 2006.  Some people can lock the door.  I get a kid throwing himself against the door and screaming like he is dying until you come out.  Ever need a moment to relax and just let nature and gravity work its magic?  Try that when two kids are screaming, “MOM, I have to go potty right now!”  This means the pee is already running down their leg at that point so you better hurry up.  And if you do forget to lock the door, brace yourself, your daughter will barge in and need a hug at that moment, no matter how smelly it is.  Ever have commentary on the smell?  Like you are the only one in the house with smelly #2s?  Ever have them so excited they are screaming for you to get up so they can see it and provide commentary?  That’s fun.  I won’t even begin to explain the joys of my monthly friend.  Most answers to those questions are, “I’ll tell you in 6 years,” or “You won’t need to know these details, ask your dad,” or “No, that isn’t a bomb, a parachute or a mouse.” 

My husband has been trying to talk me into a toilet in the basement, which is the only place in our house we could put a second bathroom.  Problem is, we have a septic system, which means the waste must go uphill to get to the tank from the basement.  That’s easy, just get an $800 toilet, which we can only do when he has a job, but then when he has a job, he isn’t home, so needless to say, it hasn’t gotten done yet. 

Until we can afford an $800 toilet, we will be the definition of middle class.  Come on over Mitt, take a number, see how real people live.  I dare you. 

Hayrides and Introverts

We took our annual fall trip to the apple orchard today.  Great fun was had by all. 

Let’s just say these things are not great fun for introverted people such as myself.  Large crowds of people I don’t know are not my idea of a fun time.  The thought of making small talk with people I’ll never see again makes me nervous.  I can’t be myself in these situations, as I naturally look pissed off and my personality is mostly comprised of sarcasm and desert dry humor, so if you don’t know me, I mainly just come off as a bitch.  First impressions are really not my thing, just ask almost every potential employer I’ve interviewed with and my closest friends, whom I met in college, who if not for the saving voice of one very kind-hearted soul, would have never talked to me again.   I like to have a good read on people before I get more comfortable, so I can know if they will get my Tommy Boy references or if I can make liberal jokes that they won’t get all uppity about.  I need to know they have a sense of humor and know I am just kidding, which is hard to do on a 20 minute hayride.  So, naturally I avoid eye-contact  and just stick to keeping my kids in line. 

I love watching my in-laws, who are completely at ease with strangers.  My mother in law can get the guy next to us life-story within five minutes of sitting next to him.  And trust me, it’s always horribly sad.  I think these people seek her out, or else, no one has happy story.  Going to Nagoya  (a Japanese hibachi  restaurant) where we all sit together with people we’ve never met is not a good place to go with her.   She will become so close to the family next to us that at the end, they are exchanging Christmas cards.  I don’t know how she does it. 

I am finding kids are good and bad for introverts.  On one hand, I have to focus on them so I don’t miss anything or lose them in a crowd, hence making it easier to not worry about the others around me.  But on the other hand, it can be a lot like walking around naked, in that they can be really embarrassing.  Nothing can make an introvert want to hide her house for the rest of her life like a kid yelling TWAT at the top his lungs at the grocery store.   

Anyways, kids will make me come out of my shell eventually, if for anything so they don’t end up like me.  You will see me at family functions, open houses, soccer games and wonder what I am so upset about.  I’m really not, it’s just the way I look, just give me a few minutes.  I will eventually take a Xanax or have a few drinks.  Then I’ll be nice. 


I knew I was going to have a second baby at my grandpa’s funeral.  It was a devastating blow to our close-knit family.  Grandpa was the glue, the head, the life force of our entire family.  As I sat behind my mom, her sister and her two brothers during the funeral, I realized how much they all leaned on each other to get through that painful day.Will was only five months old when he died, but I knew I didn’t want him to have to stand alone when the time came for us.  Not that I was anywhere near ready to even think about another baby with a very cranky, very urpy five month old, who had yet to spend a night in his crib, but I remember the decision was made that afternoon that I would talk Mark into a second baby.  Thank God bad math and “natural” family planning eliminated that conversation.  Who knew one time could get us pregnant?  Seriously.  One time that month.  Give me a break, Will was only sixteen months old at the time, Mark’s lucky he got it that once.

Anyways, maybe that was my parents’ thought when they decided to create my sister.    For me.  How thoughtful.  Not that I asked for her.  At all.  I really really didn’t like her from the get go.   The famous story is, she was home for 15 minutes and I bit her as a welcome home gift.  It really wasn’t her fault.  My mom promised not to leave during my nap (because she ALWAYS did), and the woman had the nerve to go into labor during that time.  So-naturally, I was mad.  And yes, I do remember.  I have memories as a three-year old, but for the life of me, I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast this morning (but I am pretty sure  it wasn’t Ho Ho’s and a Pepsi, I have grown a bit).

I was a bad sister.  So bad, when my grandma died, my mom found a letter written by her to me that she had stashed away telling me that I should be nice to my sister and how God would want it.  It wasn’t dated, but it seriously could have happened anytime between the ages of 3 and 18.  Another story my sister tells often is when I chased her with a knife (which I don’t remember) AFTER she tried to close the garage door on me and hit me on the head with it (which is probably WHY I don’t remember).  Ah the 80’s, when siblings were left alone with only each other after school and garage doors didn’t have safety eyes to stop from squishing you.  I think it’s for that reason a lot of our generation are crazy helicopter parents.  We know what we did, and I’ll be damned if I let my kids try to kill each other unsupervised every afternoon.

Anyways, fast forward to me moving out, having some crazy fun in college (a story for another time) and eventually turning into a somewhat nice rational human being.  Turns out, I really like my sister.  In fact, she’s my best friend.  She’s the only one who will honestly tell me to put the frumpy sweater back on the Kohl’s shelf and to get my ass on the treadmill.  And I get the privilege of telling her the same right back.  It’s fun to joke about being the fattest people in the room, and being able to laugh knowing you are not destroying the other person’s self image, because they know you well enough to know you are not being malicious, just funny, and a bit truthful, but the what the hell, she is the same size as me anyways.

It’s fun to have someone to just give a look to when your dad does something stupid or when you know your mother has phased out on the phone watching HGTV and simply responding occasionally with, “Uh huh, ya, I know…,” when you’ve just told her you are thinking of selling your kids to the mafia and you think you have an STD from your cheating husband. (Yes, mom, I’ve said this stuff and that’s how you responded, seriously, it’s a fun game we play.)

My sister’s lived it with me.  Knows why I am crazy and dysfunctional and why I think the way I think.  She understands why I am crazy messy and disorganized, because she stole all those OCD genes from my parents, or my dad isn’t my real dad and Pig Pen is, which would make way more sense.  She knows I will do everything in my power to be there for her no matter what.  She knows I will do nothing but root for her in all things and only want good things to happen.  She knows that I think she is an awesome mom and thank God everyday that she got the opportunity to be one.  Plus, above all, I will need her with me to take care of my parents as they get crazier and crazier, and thank God yet again that she has the bigger house to take care of my dad when mom decides she’s had enough and heads for heaven.

Love ya sis.  You totally owe me a present for all the schmoopiness.   And don’t get schmoopy back, because frankly, you aren’t that good at it.

Seriously. This was the only together pic I could find after an hour of searching. But doesn’t my hair looks super cute?
OK-Here’s an acceptable pic to my sister. Even if I look like the crazy lady who photobombed the shot.