12 Gifts of Christmas

On the 1st day of Christmas, 2014* gave to me:

*read twenty fourteen

1 giant cold

2 hospital visits

3 blankets deep

4 pounds of beans

5 minutes to wrap

6 holiday parties

7 layers of dip

8 kids to buy for

9 boxes of wine

10 bed bath coupons

11 trips to the store

12 hours of Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas all! They Nyquil is winni…..zzzz

Advertisements

Artwork

OK – quick like a bunny. I know, I’ve been gone forever, but I have to read a book for book club (see my Goodreads widget below) by Friday and I just started it. And, like the idiot I am, this introvert volunteered to coach 1st grade boys baseball for the next 8 or so weeks. In the words of my sister, “You have an entire blog devoted to how much you don’t like people, yet you volunteer to coach a team of 1st graders?” Yeah, I don’t get it either, but at least it should provide some entertaining stories to submit unto you all.

But before I get back to my book, here are a few pieces of “art” my beloved children have come up with in the past few days.

1. “The butthole” 2014 Artist: G and Niece E. Media: Draw on Me Kitty Cat.  Because everyone poops.

Butthole

2. “Self Portrait” 2014 Artist: Bear Media: Posterboard and despair*.

Self Portrait

 

*Side Note: Yes, this scared the hell out of me, but we did talk about it and no, this is not how he sees himself. He is just an engineer to the core, finds art a waste of time, just wanted to get it done, all while making himself look bad ass.

Coach Jen Out!

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.)

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.

My New Pink Box

Hey all!  Today, I’m going to talk about shoes!! SHOES!  I got new ones and they are awesome and I’m going to spend the next 10 minutes of your life talking about them!   They are this adorable ballet flat, kitten heel, leopard print, strappy sandal and I LOVE THEM!!!!  They are super comfortable and make my ankles look super skinny!  I plan to wear them with my skinny jeans and adorable new tank top this weekend.   SHOES!!!

My New Jimmy Choos

My New Jimmy Choos

 

SOOO CUTE!!!  And they were only $450!!!  Steal!

OK.  Are they gone yet? If the pic didn’t do them in, then the price will make them run.  (Seriously, those shoes are cute and $450.  How fun would it be to pluck down that kind of cash for just some wear once holiday shoes?)

This post is just for us girls.  If there are any guys left reading still, they are either gay and as soon as I say the word vagina they will be out soon enough, or my husband, who is still simmering about whether I actually bought the above mentioned shoes.

Today, I went to my hoo-ha doctor.  You know, for my lady parts.  The super fun yearly exam that we women have to endure to make sure that cancer isn’t poking it’s little head into any doors we don’t want poked (by that anyways, and yes the double entendres will be overflowing on this post).

So, I sit in the waiting room, and it’s me, 10 super pregnant women, a handful of kids, and a lady so old that I imagine vaginal problems aren’t what’s going to kill her.  Do you think when she’s in the stirrups dust comes out if she sneezes?  Cause that’s what I am picturing right about now.  And yes, I am picturing an old lady’s roast beef in my head.  I mean really, if I get to 95, I’m just going to say it was nice knowing you doc, but I’ll take my chances from here on out.  No way I’m getting my saggy taco up into stirrups.

I’m knocked out my daydreams of old muffs when they call my name.  I head back for my yearly vag party.

First off, why do I shave my legs and wear nice underwear?  First, he doesn’t see the undies, those are long gone by the time it’s time to give the fetus factory the ol’ checkeroo.  And when’s the last time your doctor touched your leg during an exam?  And if they do, that’s what’s going to gross them out?  Doubtful.  (And if they do touch your leg, please make sure you are not doing your yearly exams in a seedy hotel by the airport.  Board certified has nothing to do with erections ladies.)

And why do I get nervous gas whenever I go?  Seriously.  I could not eat for a week, and I’d still bloat up like a balloon and freak out about how I might be giving my doctor a strong headwind while he’s doing the how’s-your-father routine on my hot pocket.

Anyways, after I pee in a cup, walk it out proudly to the nurse, who totally gives me the you-need-to-drink-more-water face, I’m up on the next step of the walk of shame.  The scale.  I prepped myself for this already a few days before by getting an initial reading in private, so my reaction would not be quite as intense.  You see, I haven’t been on the scale for months for a number of reasons.  1) I just recently hopped back on the healthy wagon and know the number can’t be good.  2) My weight has been fluctuating the same 5 lbs. since I started trying to lose weight, so it’s oftentimes awesomely demotivating. And 3) scales make me want to jump off a cliff.  It’s just a number.  What really matters is how I feel, not some stupid number on a stupid scale that stupid society tells me needs to be a certain stupid number.  Which it never is anyways.

Sidenote:  Do you think nurses take training courses on how to keep a neutral face when the number pops up?  Mine was excellent today at the no-emotion face, because you know deep down one tiny Hmmm or sigh will create a shame spiral that ends with emptying out the Halloween buckets in an hour.  One word lady…one word… and I will eat my feelings tonight until I pass out!!!

Needless to say, I was prepared, so there was no gasping, moaning, beating on my chest or tearing of robes.  I calmly said OK and hopped off like that number didn’t disappoint me.  Of course, I was wearing extremely heavy shoes, crazy weighty clothes (think chainmail armor) and of course, said bloat from nervous gas.  So give or take a pound or 20 and I’d say the scale was accurate.

Once the formalities were over, I got naked and sat on the table. Yes, I had the “gown,” which gleefully exposed my tushie to the lucky lottery winner to walk in the door next, as well as my paper drape which is there to maintain my brain’s separation of me and what everyone is actually looking at down there.  (Once it slipped and I freaked out because my brain realized OH MY GOD THEY ARE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT MY VAGINA DOWN THERE!  I have made sure that hasn’t happened again, but then I’ve had 2 kids, so really I don’t have any dignity left to speak of anyways.  It’s hard to get embarrassed after a 19 year old male nursing student runs your catheter at delivery time.)

Of course, my underwear and bra were discretely tucked into my clothes so as not to offend.  I was actually excited to be there and I prayed he was running late because I recently discovered Candy Crush and was looking forward to ripping through my 5 lives in a futile attempt to get to Level 30.  Out of 450 or so.  I am obsessed, which I knew would happen, which was why I avoided it for so long.  Then my daughter starts playing it on Mark’s phone, then we have to get it for my phone, and I just have to help a wee bit here and there, and BAM, I am counting the minutes at work until I can play again.

No suck luck.  Bastard’s running on time.  We make small talk and act like I’m not butt naked on a table waiting to show him the bearded clam and that’s it’s not the millionth one he’s seen today.  (Really, not the dream job you’d think it be for men really.)

He asks if I’m pregnant (standard question, no offense taken, he totally wasn’t even looking at the food baby).  I gasp and yell NO a bit too loudly.  It’s not like asking me the question will actually make conception happen, but I adamantly assure him I am in no such way nor plan to be EVER AGAIN.

And since I’m mid-30ish, we get to talk about mammograms, lumpy boobs, ridiculously heavy periods, mood swings that make Heeere’s Johnny look stable and other fun, comfortable topics of conversation.  No more baby questions, getting pregnant questions, fertility and so on that 10 years ago were all I thought and dreamt about.  Nope, now it’s questions like cancer?  Cancer here?  Cancer there?  Is this bump cancer?  Is this normal?  Yes?  Or is it CANCER?  Or the ever fun looming conversation of the M-word.  Menopause.  Cause yes, now that I have successfully birthed two adorable children and ruined said areas of my body, I now get to look forward to 10 or 15 years of hot flashes, mood swings and intermittent periods that stop, go, stop, and then GOOOO again.  Awesome.  Can’t wait.

Some days I wish I had a penis.  All they have to do is turn their heads and cough.  But then, nevermind, it’s a ridiculous piece of flesh and how annoying would that dangler be schlepping around all day long?  But then again, what woman hasn’t wondered what sex is like for a dude?  How awesome can it be to rule their every thought since the dawn of time?   Pretty epic I imagine.  But that’s a topic for another day.

Hope you enjoyed my oversharing.  Until next time.  I’ll clean it up next time and maybe for once talk about something heartfelt and educational.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

“MOOOOM!!!”

Silence. Maybe they won’t see me. Maybe they’ll just go back outside.

“Mom! You have to come see this! There’s a bunny leg that looks dead outside in the yard!”

Uh, no thanks, I’m good here. Just don’t touch anything that looks dead ok?

“No! You have to see this!”

FINE. Reluctantly I step into the yard to see what has my children, as well as the gaggle of neighborhood kids all huddled around my empty flower bed.  Some already have sticks in hand to do what kids do best – poke dead things.

NO ONE TOUCH THAT THING!!

1383603_10201903001277327_34753428_n

Yes folks, I had in my mulch just under my bedroom window a completely disemboweled, decapitated squirrel. OK, it turned out to be a bunny, but hey, without a head, it’s difficult to identify. Either way – disgusting.

The thing had died a horrible death. I can’t see a head, maybe it’s tucked up underneath the body. The stomach had been ripped open, with a circular brown organ sitting neatly beside it, as if it’s carnivorous attacker couldn’t stomach it. Seriously, I was waiting for Hannibal Lector to walk around the corner with a nice Chianti and a side of fava beans.

I shooed the kids away, but they were like moths to a flame. One ran to get his mom, as if I had decimated the thing personally and she was the only one who could resuscitate it. G wanted to know why the bunny had to die like that. It’s nature sweetie, some things eat other things. Give me a second to figure out how to explain the food chain to you AFTER I deal with its latest casualty. One kid took sentry up next to it in an effort to dissuade the other kids away with a fully loaded Nerf gun. There was no moving this kid, he was the lookout and that was that. I let him be as I stared at the disgustingness trying to figure out how to handle this.

Ah what the hell, daylight was fading, I was tired. Let’s go find something of Mark’s in the garage to cover it with. Ah Ha! 1 nice empty orange paint bucket will work nicely as I procrastinate one more thing I don’t want to do. So, much to the entire neighborhood’s disappointment, I gently covered the carcass with the bucket and placed a stone overtop so wind, animals or human animals did not knock it over “accidentally.” I kicked everyone out for the evening, went inside and locked the door, fully intending on leaving it for Mark to deal with Saturday morning. Three days later.

The next day, I hemmed and hawed about whether to “man” up and take care of it or leave it to my husband, because you know, I’m just a girl, I’m dainty and frail, and frankly, it’s icky.

Crap. I have to take care of it. What if the neighbor kids touch it, get rabies and die? Hello lawsuit.  Also, what if its young came a hoppin along only to discover its mother brutally murdered and covered with little to no care? Nope, this family has lived through enough as it is. OR what if its sadistic murderer comes back to rip off some legs too? Then I would have even more mess scattered throughout the yard, which would lead to more rabid kids and distraught bunny offspring and grieving bunny husbands. So, I put the kids in front of the TV, suited up and decided to tackle this thing on my own.

With light fading fast, I grabbed the spade shovel out of the shed and walked around to stare at the bucket.

I can’t do this.

Yes I can. People in the country do this all the time.

F you. I live in the CITY for a reason. Plus it’s super dark in the country and you know that’s where murderers lie in wait for their next victims.

OK, calm down….What if I knock the bucket over and something springs up at me? What if it stinks? Do I bury it or throw it out?

After some more staring and Facebook mea culpas, I decided on throwing it in a trash bin (with a bag in it), since burying it was a lot of work, and let’s face it, I didn’t know this bunny. I knocked the bucket over with the shovel and jumped out of the way like it was Frankenstein’s bunny come back to life to eat/kill me for locking it in a bucket for 24 hours. No such luck. Still deader than a doornail.

I took a deep breath, looked pleadingly across the street at the neighbor who is ALWAYS out manicuring her lawn, as if willing her to help me, and dug in. I got a good load of dirt from under it so I couldn’t feel it’s body and dumped it into the waiting trash can. I then proceeded to get the heeby jeebies for the next minute or so (Still no neighborly love coming my way. She’s probably mad at me because every fall I stare out my front window at them tractor vacuuming their leaves up until their yard is spotless, trying to use The Force to will her husband over to my pitiful yard, but alas, never have they come over.).

Once the shakes stopped, I realized this bunny had no head. Wait, isn’t there a rhyme that goes with this?

Fuzzy bunny loves some honey.

Fuzzy bunny lost its head.

Fuzzy bunny wasn’t so fuzzy was he?

No? Not ringing a bell? K. Nevermind.

Then I freak out. WHERE IS THE FREAKIN HEAD? Is there a falcon or hawk somewhere with a trophy nest of bunny/squirrel heads? Does some ‘roided out cat have its head as a necklace to warn all other neighborhood wildlife that it’s not fuckin around? Crap! What if it’s still in the yard somewhere? What kind of creature rips heads off animals?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. As you can see, I am a city girl at heart. For some of you, this probably happens with some regularity, but for me, this was a extraordinary experience. I am forever scarred. I will always be on the hunt for your killer, Fuzzy Bunny. I WILL NOT FORGET.

Random Thoughts and First World Problems

We are wrapping up a long weekend and since we are away from the usual chaos, I’ve had some moments to ponder things.  Random thoughts, realizing first world problems and so on.  So, in no particular order, here are a few thoughts that occur to me when given some idle time.

Ever rock out to a song and a whistle melody comes on and you join in and think,  I am really awesome at whistling!… only to realize it’s not actually you whistling but just the song? All you’re doing is making spitting blowing sounds like you usually do.

Here’s a first world problem…Going on vacation only to realize you don’t have wifi access and then the WHOLE THING IS RUINED.

Another one…getting in your keyless car only to have the car tell you Key Not in Vehicle, then you have to convince your car you do actually have the keys and are frantically waving it in front of the console in an effort to prove to THE CAR that it is in fact an idiot. Not you. Never you.

FWP:  When my kids get into my husband’s Jeep Wrangler rental car and can’t figure out what the crank is on the door and what it does.

Random thought: Do zits know you are going to see people who don’t see you everyday and probably won’t be wearing a lot of makeup?  Because I have a second nose slightly southeast of my God-given one that speaks before I do.  Ga!

Seriously, it speaks for me.

Seriously, it speaks for me.

RT:  Getting drunk on a boat is not quite the great idea you initially think it is.  Because after an entire bottle of wine, you can’t figure out if it’s the boat rocking or just you.  Or after said night of drinking, taking an hour long boat ride that jars your insides and loosens certain things that can’t be released ON A BOAT.

First world problem:  Not being able to decide whether to watch your TV shows on Amazon, Netflix or Hulu.  Or, your shows don’t load until the next day and you want to watch it 5 minutes after it ended on TV.  Or worse, you have to WAIT for the next season to come up.  (Hello last season of 30 Rock???  Where are you??)

Another FWP:  Leaving your coupon you’ve been saving for a month to use at home.  Or worse, forgetting you have it in your purse, or worse making a major shopping trip the day BEFORE Kohl’s cash starts up.

FWP:  Finishing a book and wanting to talk about it, only no one else has read it yet and you can’t share it on your Kindle.

FWP:  Having to drink actual water because you ran out of Vitamin Water.  (OK now, I am just looking at things around me.  Lamp.  I love lamp.)

Time to wrap up.   This photo got a lot of mileage, and just a heads up teachers, camp counselors, doctors, dentists and so on, when you hear my kids say “Ask your dam question,”  they actually mean ask a question about the dam behind us, because they know all about it, thought it was really cool and can’t quite figure out why adults find this so funny.

Ask your dam questions!  Look at all that dam water!  It went on and on and on.

Ask your dam questions! Look at all that dam water! It went on and on and on.