An Introvert’s Mother’s Day

As I believe I’ve mentioned, Mother’s Day to me is a big deal. I don’t give a hoot about Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, or any other Hallmark holiday. Mother’s Day, however, I am dead serious in its execution.

Why? Because as an introvert, I need my alone time. Time to regroup. Time to let my thoughts sort themselves out in the quiet moments of boredom. Guess what NEVER happens during parenthood?  All of those things.

Now I am a lucky woman because I have a husband who understands me. Understands my need for alone time. I usually get a chunk of time, if we have it, to myself each weekend. Problem is, with kids comes obligations, responsibilities, and birthday parties, oh my God, the birthday parties. Not to mention baseball practice, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and dance practice.

So what I ask of Mother’s Day is simple: No responsibility.  No one to need me.  I know, one day I’ll miss it, but now in the throes of life with youngish kids, STFU.

Parenting is tough for an introvert. We crave alone time. We like our routine, our schedules and control of our daily lives. Again, none of these things happen when you have children. We like the quiet. We hate meeting new people. We hate new, unfamiliar situations.  Parenting makes you experience these things all the time. And I have two people looking up at me to show them the way. Show them how to navigate social situations. Guess what I don’t do well?  All those things!

When placed in new situations, I am an awkward, stumbley mess and am usually overwhelmed by my surroundings. Add two kids to that unease who say and do whatever they feel like and I can no longer hide along the wall where I’m most comfortable. I have to jump into the fray, figure out the lay of the land, and do so dam quick, so I can assure my kids that contrary to my inner self’s musings, people are good.  You should want to interact with people, make friends, be a productive member of society. Not, like me, dread the sound of the doorbell. All of this is exhausting to an introvert.

Fortunately and unfortunately, my son is my mini me. He’s fine without people. He’s social and likes people, but given a choice, he’d be reading. Ha! No, I’m kidding, he’d be playing a video game. It’s me who’d rather be reading. When the two of us are together, it’s awesome. We each take a chair and experience togetherness doing our own thing in the same room. Relax, I push when needed, but I also understand my introvert kid doesn’t need to be on the go all the time.

Dog       005

Now my daughter craves interaction. She’s an extrovert to the fullest. While I wouldn’t classify her father as an extrovert, I’d say they are similar. G needs people, loves them and wants to spend time with them every single second. Her dad, while not needing people as much, still enjoys entertaining and spontaneous get togethers. I would rather hide in my room or binge watch Grey’s Anatomy. This is why we are a good match. He makes me come out of my shell just often enough so that I don’t become the hermit cat lady and my family and friends still know what my face looks like and that I can be in fact a very sociable nice person. If he didn’t push, I’d be Martin Mull on that episode of the Golden Girls. (For non-fanatics and those under 22, Dorothy friends a man who hasn’t been out of his apartment in 20 years because he was agoraphobic.)

I feel like I’m getting off track. Basically, I take this one day each year to unleash my full introvert potential. I am like the fun aunt to my kids. I love them, laugh with them, and do the fun stuff, but when the hard responsible part comes up,  for today only, I get to hand them to their dad no questions asked. I get to go back to my book, or my mid-Mother’s Day nap. One day a year, there’s no mom guilt for how I’ve failed them. No feeling lazy for not wanting to pick dandelions with them. Every whine, every request, every need is answered with, “Go get your dad.” And it’s awesome.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I even love the responsibility and the hard parts. It makes me a better person. It makes life worth living. It brings fullness to my life. But today, just today, I get to see the greener grass on the other side.  Just for 24 hours.  And you know, it’s actually too quiet in here…

That's better.

              That’s better.

Bringing Home Baby

Baby!

Baby!

So after eons of waiting, my best friend finally brought home her baby last week.  And after a crazy nightmare adoption story that happened just shy of Thanksgiving, this Christmas surprise came as a fast, but very welcome, surprise present.

Yes, my friends, with just about 3 days’ notice, my BFF and her husband had to get ready to bring home baby.  My other BFF and I both got slightly joyous, but panicky calls from deep within a Babies R Us, where we assured her, yes, everyone freaks out in Babies R Us, and no you don’t need half the shit in there, but you do however want ALL THE THINGS.

Since we 3 are separated by a few hundred miles give or take, we all couldn’t quite jump in the car to come say hello to Baby C.  Plus, it was 10 days until Christmas, and for the thousandth year in a row I’d run out of sick/vaca time, plus everyone in my house was sick in various forms, so needless to say, the trip has been postponed until January, when BAM! vaca time resets and the bugs will be eradicated from my home and family (hopefully).

I can assure you we are anxiously awaiting the time to jump in the car and come smell all the baby goodness.  And to help.  Yes, to help.  Because let’s face it, no new parent wants you to hold their baby, they want you to cook, clean and organize, and maybe just maybe, let you take a slight snooze.

So, since I am this close to coming, but not quite there yet, I wanted to send a few words of wisdom along to my friend via the interwebs.  This means she can roll her eyes in the privacy of her own home and I can get a few reminiscent chuckles out of the rest of you 10s of readers.

1st – Stare at your baby.  Stare away.  Watch him sleep, watch him look at you or the shiny lights, or the ghost over your shoulder (you know they can see them).  They are fascinating.  You know what’s not fascinating?  What won’t grow up and leave you for another person who is waaay smarter/funnier/prettier than you?  Your dishes.   Those babies will be there until the day you decide to eat dinner strapped into your wheelchair.  Your baby, however, will grow.  Will grow so fast it will make your head spin.  Watch him. Eat his toes.  Smell his head.  Nuzzle his neck.  Because it goes fast.

2nd.  This leads me to my next point.  Sleep.  Ha!  Sleep.  She said sleep.  Whatever.  This is the one thing that seems like it will never be normal again.  This phase too will go by, but not quite as fast as the first part I described.  In fact, 3 hours straight of uninterrupted sleep is a FREAKIN MIRACLE at this stage of the game.  Not only are you waking to cries and feedings and poopings, but you have convinced yourself that if you don’t watch him every second, he will forget to breathe.  This fear is pounded into you everywhere you turn as a new mom, and a valid one, but let’s face it, you’ve done all you can to keep him safe.  Your unblinking worried stare won’t keep him alive.  But maybe your mother’s or your husband’s stare can take over for a few hours so you can get a few moments of sanity back.  Back to dreamland, where Vin Diesel rescues you and changes his own pants.  Just for a bit.

3rd.  Your baby won’t remember shit in this stage in the game.  Yes, snuggling and kangaroo time are imperative, but let’s be honest.  If you accidentally pinch him while putting him into his car seat, he won’t need therapy later.  If you have no idea what you’re doing during bathtime, he won’t remember your bumbling attempt.  He won’t know you didn’t have the most current Baby Einstein (do they still do that?) collection or that you watched the Daily Show while feeding him.  He won’t remember a thing.  Ease up on yourself a little.

4th.  Take help when offered.  Seriously.  Be the bitch here.  People come into your house, hand them a Swiffer.  Don’t just stand there, vacuum!  You come without a dish to freeze?  Go make me dinner!  Yes, be thrilled they are here to share in your joy, but for the love take full advantage of the slave labor.  Because, all these people, mothers included, will go away very very soon.  And if you don’t have 6 months of stockpiled frozen dishes, you’ll starve.

5th.  You don’t have to have it figured out by the end of Month 1.  Set your bar lower.  Lower.  No, lower.  Keeping you and baby alive is a good goal.  Occasionally look at your husband to make sure he’s breathing, but other than that, he’s on his own.  I was a bit behind the curve.  It took me a whole freakin year to feel semi-normal again.  This was because my bar was set too high, and my baby boy was in a holy terror of colicky, you took me out too early, state of hysteria.  I wish I’d stepped back and breathed a bit more back then.  And just loved him.  Well when he was good, and then invested in a good set of earplugs the other 23 hours of the day.

Ok, that’s a good start.  Congrats my friend.   After a very long time, I am so excited to welcome you to the club with open arms. This is the best unpaid job you’ll ever have.  Laugh often.  Cry when you need to.  And call us anytime.  I promise not to one up you with my own tails of woe.  I will listen…and probably make inappropriate jokes, but hey that’s why you keep me around right?

Love,

Jen

Friends Who've All Gotten a Full Nights Sleep.  (Old photo)

Friends Who’ve All Gotten a Full Nights Sleep. (Old photo)

Reasons My Son’s Not Eating

Some of us are blessed.  Their kids are adventurous.  They will eat all types of foods.  All types of textures.  For some lucky parents, this food can even touch other food. 

Nope.

                     Nope.

We are not blessed in this way.  This is our burden.  Our 8 year old son is a total pain in the ass when it comes to food.  Unless of course, it’s ice cream, then he’s good, but anything else, there are a set of rules that change almost daily.

Therefore, we give you:  THE REASONS OUR SON IS NOT EATING:

1. The pizza has sat out for longer than 5 minutes.

2. The macaroni and cheese is NOT Kraft. Homemade?  Big macaroni noodles?  No go.  Kraft M&C must also not sit on the stove longer than 5 minutes.

3. The noodles are too wide.

4. The noodles are a different color.

5. The noodles are mixed with something.  Anything, even broccoli, which he actually likes.

6. The carrots are mixed with peas.

7. The pizza has bubbles on it.

8. The bread has nuts in it.

9. There’s parsley on it.

10. The grilled cheese has a tiny brown “burn” spot.  (Not really, just browner at that place than he’d like)

11. The jello has fruit in it.

12. It has gravy on it.  Clearly, not my kid.

13. It has any sauce or seasoning on it.

14. It’s breaded with something other than nugget.

15. It touched the ranch.  Which he’s using to dip, but it touched before he’s dipped it.

16. Too much cinnamon on the applesauce.

17.  The carrots have crinkles.

18. It’s leftovers. Of anything. Pizza included.

19. It’s hot dogs. Of any sort.

20. It’s tacos.  Food touching all over the place. And lettuce, don’t forget lettuce. Ick.

21. It’s not the right meatball.

22. The noodles are too wide.

23. The potatoes are mashed.

These are just off the top of my head.  And there are rules on top of that. And if you do find something he likes that is remotely healthy, for the love of God, don’t over serve it.  No more than once every other week.

Now, on the list of Go foods are a few foolproof items, none of which are healthy.

Rolls

PB&J

Ice cream

Candy

Dessert, anything natch.

Every time.

Every time.

And that’s about it.

One might read this and think, “Hell, if that were my kid, I’d make him eat what I give him.”  You, my dear, DO NOT have this kid, because I can guarantee you no parent of a fellow picky eater follows this rule.  We get firm and we choose these food battles fairly often, and sometimes, we do the worst, meanest, most horrible thing a parent can do:  we withhold dessert. For the most part, we desperately try to put something on the table they might just eat a few bites of, but our hopes are dangerously low on the best of days.  We scour the internet, church and family cookbooks, and foolishly click on all the articles about “picky eaters,” but we are always disappointed, because I don’t know anyone whose picky eater will eat “Baked Polenta Fries,” cause mine sure as hell won’t.

Not gonna work bud.

Not gonna work bud.

But we keep on the fighting the good fight.  We pin the hell out of Pinterest.  But, most days, it’s PB&J or nuggets, with the hope that one day, one day soon, they’ll look up and say, “How about Mexican/Italian/Indian food?”

Until then, stay strong picky parents!

Cause he's cute, that's why.

Cause he’s cute, that’s why.

Girl Power

Sigh.  Finished my first Daisy Scout meeting today.  I only had 5 girls, but it was still pandemonium.  Lesson #1 of the Day:  5/6 year old girls are just as nuts as 1st grade boys playing baseball.  As usual, the scene I pictured in my head didn’t match up at all with what actually transpired.

The scenario in my head:

Five nice, quiet girls sit down, eat a quiet snack, do a quiet craft (neatly), and then sit in a circle to learn all about Girl Scout traditions.  Do the friendship circle to close and disperse.  (God, typing that I do realize what a total moron I am.  I mean, I do have one of these creatures don’t I?)

Actual scenario:

Girls running throughout our meeting place (the school cafeteria), constantly having to go to the bathroom, only to be found playing with water and paper towels.  Throwing a beach ball at each other, even when said ball never did get used for its original name game ice breaker purpose.  Diving right into the craft upon entry to learn Lesson #2 of the Day:  Glitter glue NEVER dries, but will get on EVERYTHING.  Which leads into Lesson #3 of the Day:  Bring paper towels to arts and crafts times.  Which leads to Lesson #4 of the Day:  YOU SUCK AT ARTS AND CRAFTS JENNIFER.  WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!  You bought a hole puncher that was too small.  You brought glitter glue for 5 year old girls to use.  You didn’t buy enough rainbow yarn for the necklaces and for the love, seriously girl, glitter glue?!

Then we dive into snack.  Everyone chugs juice boxes like they are going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.  Cheez-Its are ravaged.  (OK, I’m being dramatic, they just ate the crackers and juice quickly, but it was NOT IN THE ORDER I HAD PLANNED.)

Then, what the hell, there are 20 minutes left, let’s just go to the playground and run around.

I did manage to cram 10 minutes of actual Girl Scouting into the last tiny bit of our meeting.  We did the friendship squeeze, learned the Girl Scout Pledge (crap, Promise, I will get this vocab down soon I swear) and got our hands to do the motto thingee (again failing at the vocab.)  They all seemed to like the squeeze thing, so it gave me hope that with a little control and organization, they may just like this whole thing.

Apparently, the guide books that told you to establish rules at the onset were on to something.  It’s like I’ve never met a kid before.  Yeesh.

Overall, the parents were nice, grateful that I took the helm and seemed ok with the fact that this first meeting was not the finely tuned, efficient machine I had envisioned in my head.  Thank God.

Thank God also for Pinterest (which just made me panic at my inadequacies and lack of planning, but which I think will prove helpful for the future), a great program and support system by our local Council and most importantly, for the mom who promised to be my second in command and who also seemed genuinely excited to help come up with arts and crafts after I professed how bad I suck at them. GOD BLESS YOU MY NEW BEST FRIEND!

SIDEBAR:  Are we noticing a trend in my volunteering?  Girl Scout Troop Leader who sucks at arts and crafts.  Boys baseball coach who can’t catch or throw a baseball.  Why can’t I stick to volunteering at what I’m good at?  Is there even a school age club for dirty books and napping?

Guess I have to stick to things outside my comfort zone, which is why I continue to make these seemingly awful decisions.  Cause let’s face it, if I don’t, I will end up the hermit cat lady who is dead for a month before anyone notices she’s gone. I will constantly strive to break out of my introvert shell to avoid this grime fate.

So to sum up, glitter glue + insane expectations = a humorous tale to make you feel better about your own lives.

Hope you enjoyed!

This is what an idiot looks like.  And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.

This is what an idiot looks like. And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.

Excuses Excuses

Maria Kang has caused another mommy controversy on the internet these past few weeks (see here).   She posted a picture of herself in tight workout gear with her three kids next  to her.  The caption reads, “What’s Your Excuse?!”  People say it’s fat shaming, judgy, etc.  Also, she’s a bad mom for ignoring her kids to get fit.  I say patooey on the whole thing.  I just read this from Baby Sideburns (The New Rules of Mommyhood) and I completely agree.  100%.  Did you read them both?  If so, do that, then COME BACK.  Don’t get sidelined by Kim K’s engagement ring or that Joss & Main ad.

I say let each mom be each mom.  If Maria Kang can work out and be gorgeous and a good mom, rock on with her bad self.  You can’t call her a bad mom.  She’s just doing what’s right for her, and you have no idea whether she’s a bad mom or not.  You have very limited information.  This tends to piss me off (see here).

BUT, in fun, I thought I’d offer my excuses for Why Not?

  • Traveling husband/dad
  • Full time job including travel time/daycare drop-off
  • 2 very fast moving hours a night with my kids (must include feeding, bathing, homework)
  • I would rather read.  Currently the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Seriously, I CANNOT PUT THEM DOWN.  Vampires + porn + 12 books 500+ pages each = How’s a 7:00 bedtime sound kids??
  • I can’t read on the treadmill, it makes me nauseous.
  • I really like to eat.  I could write a love letter to food that would be more erotic than one to my husband.  Seriously, if above mentioned vampires ate food the entire 500 pages, I’d still be totally turned on.
  • If I do get the rare opportunity to use our local YMCA membership, I am totally intimidated by gym people and the equipment, so I wuss out and get on the treadmill for a half hour, which I could totally do at home.  And at home, I could wear just a sports bar and shorts, and not have to worry about various exposed jiggly parts or the fact my vagina is slowing trying to consume my shorts.  (Shut it!  You know it happens to you too!).  Plus there’s the ick factor of hopping on a machine after sweaty, hairy guy vacates it without wiping it down.
  • Working out makes me sweat.  I hate being hot and sweaty.  I don’t have enough underwear to make this comfortable.
  • Working out at home is all the way DOWNSTAIRS.
  • I have trouble balancing my Kindle on the equipment to watch TV.  Music is nice, but I need some visual eye candy.  Maybe I could hire some firemen to dance in front of me whilst I work out.  Nope, scratch that, see above workout gear.
  • My available work out times are 4:30 to 5:30 a.m. or 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.  Those are definitely my optimum energy hours.  I think of all the times I’ve planned to get up and exercise in the morning, I think I’ve done it maybe twice in my whole life.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions…and donuts.
  • I hate healthy food.  Every day, I bring an apple to work.  Each day, I add said apple to my ever growing bushel in my food drawer. Eventually I will make a pie with them.
  • I can’t pronounce edamame or quinoa, therefore, can’t buy them for fear the cashier will want to talk about them, hence exposing my ignorance.
  • I hate healthy food.  Seriously.  Hate it.  My ideal “healthy” snack is a spoonful of Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter.
  • I love pop.  I hate water.  Just saying it makes me happy (POP, POP, POPPEDTY POP POP).  Water makes me sad and bored, and doesn’t wash down that candy bar aftertaste like a pop can.  God, I can hear me becoming diabetic.
  • Diets make me instantly hungry.  Just thinking about a diet makes me hungry.  Like, right now.  Do I have any cheesesticks in the fridge?  Is it too late for nachos?
  • My happy pills make me tired and slow my metabolism.
  • My allergy pills make me tired and you know, probably slow my metabolism too.
  • My kids make me tired.  Seriously, ever spend an hour yelling to get them into bed, brush teeth, poop, pee, break up fights, break up giggle fests, freak out over homework not done, get water for parched daughter, tell son why he cannot have water, argue about how long he can read, assure daughter there are no monsters in the house or room,  spray monster repellent into room just in case, reassure daughter all is OK after her nightmare (which she hasn’t had yet, because she has yet to close her eyes), tuck them in, re-tuck them in after they get up to rearrange their stuffed animals, trim a “nail” (read hangnail that is obviously life-threatening), put band-aid on non-existent boo boo, hear about friend’s vacation, talk about our vacation, and so on….?  Yeah, by the time they have finally given up the fight for the night, all I want to do is sit and stare at the wall.  Puttin on exercise gear (see hot description above), tennis shoes (apparently this is a Midwesterners’  term, so OK rest of America “shoes”), get water, desired electronic device for entertainment and heading downstairs does not sound appealing.  A glass of wine, a good book and/or catching up on New Girl and Vampire Diaries does however.

I want to be one of those women.  Like Maria Kang.  I want to LOVE exercise.  I want to LOVE healthy eating.  I go in cycles.  My husband usually times them.  I get on the wagon, detox for a week (read:  miserable, hungry, constant internal yelling at self), slowly start feeling awesome, crave working out, then BAM Coldstone happens or sick happens or tired happens and I am off the wagon on a binge most heroin addicts would say, Calm down lady, why don’t we ease up a little eh?  (Because my heroin addicts are Canadian.)

So, those are my excuses.  They are lame I know.  I am slowly killing myself I know.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I feel like I am a hamster stuck on a spinning wheel.  Only my spinning wheel consists of a couch, Kindle, Hulu and a snuggie.

Good night!

Mother’s Day

mom-thanks-bringing-into-mothers-day-ecard-someecards

 

I take Mother’s Day very, very seriously.  Now, I am usually not a big Hallmark holiday type of gal.  I could care less about Sweetest Day or Valentine’s Day, not even an acknowledgement required (how lucky is my husband?).  St. Patty’s Day makes me hide in my house.  New Year’s is the same.  Christmas and Easter are fun, but tons of work and planning.  Thanksgiving is like my Superbowl, as it pertains solely to food, but I digress.

Mother’s Day is my high holiday.  A day where I get the day off.  A day of rest.  A day about ME.  The past few years, I have gotten totally gypped.  Mark has been out of town, a kid has been sick,  and other uncontrollable circumstances have prevented me from doing the one thing I have wanted to do.  NOTHING.  As I told my husband, this is not about me not wanting to be around my kids, this is more about not having anyone NEED anything from me.  A day where I am absolved of feeling guilty for doing what I want, not what my kids want.  A day to walk out of the house to go shopping, alone and without moving heaven and earth to get said few hours alone to myself.

So, I thought I’d give you a brief synposis of what I DID NOT do and what I DID do:

I DID NOT wipe anyone’s butt but my own.

I DID NOT prepare or plan anyone’s meals but my own.

I DID NOT break up any fights or put anyone in time out.

I DID NOT cut up any food for anyone.

I DID NOT put a kid in a shower or bath.

I DID NOT get out of bed to start some electronic this morning.

I DID NOT go outside to ride bikes or go fishing on this frigid spring day.

I DID NOT make any decisions about anything for anyone.

I DID NOT load anyone into a car and wait patiently while they buckled up and fought over the movie, nor did I yell when they put up their umbrella instead of properly restraining themselves.

I DID NOT comb anyone’s hair or brushed any teeth that did not belong to me.

I DID NOT clean up after lunch and breakfast, and then proceed to sweep up most of what was prepared off the floor and table.

I DID NOT wipe any noses.

I DID NOT stand outside in the bitter cold yelling “CARRRR!”

I DID NOT get told I was chubby today.

I DID NOT have to tell my preschoolers teacher that I am not pregnant, no matter what my 4 year old told them.

I DID NOT have to explain how corn becomes popcorn, or why the lines are solid or striped in the street, or why birds poop or who that lady is in the car next to us.

I DID NOT have to watch Backyardigans, Dora, How It’s Made, Benji or Cinderella at all today.   I did however watch Phineas and Ferb, because that show is hilarious.

However, I DID go shopping at my own pace.  I tried on clothes, compared prices, and DID NOT have to stop and explain why the mannequins do not have hands and/or feet nor did I have to tell them “no not this time honey” to every single $1 item in the checkout line.

I DID go to a Mexican restaurant and had a big-ass margarita and some awesome fajitas nachos without once having to cut up any pancakes or ask for more ranch for chicken nuggets.  I had an adult conversation without having to say once, “Wait for Mommy to finish….yes, that’s nice, no, I don’t know why that man has long hair or why that lady is wearing blue.”

I DID go to the bathroom BY MYSELF.  No company.  No comments on said results.  No asking, “What’s the yucky smell?”

I DID read my book.  In the middle of the day.  For no reason.

I DID straighten up my house UNINTERRUPTED.  I DID throw away some Easter candy and maybe a few artistic drawings without being accused of destroying their only food source and hating on their creativity.

I DID NOT yell one time today.

I love being a mom, even despite all the bitching you see on this blog.  My kids crack me up.  They light up my life and not for one second would I wish they weren’t here.  I got to snuggle with my son today for a while, mainly because I didn’t have anything else planned or on my mind, and I could just sit and enjoy the moment.  And I did.  I high fived my daughter for her awesome picture that she drew and I excitedly listened to their stories about their day with dad.  I did not ignore my children.  I did not make a big deal about wanting to be away from them.  Tomorrow I will start the day fresh and renewed and present.  But, today, today was all about giving myself a break – emotionally and physically.  It was awesome, and I can’t wait until next year to do it all over again.

Thanks to my husband and my family for understanding that I needed this day. Not because I am a bad mom, but because I do the best I can with what I’ve got and, frankly, I’m exhausted.   I’d just like one day a year to not have to worry about anyone but myself.   I hope you all had a day as wonderful as mine.   God bless all the mothers out there.  God bless our partners for putting up with us.  And God bless the kids who let us try this parenting gig out on them, I’ll pay your therapy bills one day I promise.

mothers-day-ecard-bowels

Blerg…I mean Blog.

I am unmotivated lately.  Must be PMSing or pouting that my husband is gone for 2 weeks and G gets sick the second he leaves town.

How about I give a shout out to all the people who fill up my Facebook page and make me mostly unproductive during work hours.  These bloggers help me daily and I love them dearly.

Angie Lynch @ http://awholelotofnothing.net/ who writes about awesome smut and gives me a cheat sheet on what to read next on … http://smutbookclub.com/.  I hope to one day visit this Floridian and kiss her feet for making books awesome again.

http://jasongood.net/ – My hero of funny. I hope to one day be 1/4 this funny. I will die happy.  This is the best.  46 Reasons My 3 Year Old Might be Freaking Out. 

Moms Who Drink and Swear – Nicole Knepper makes me feel NORMAL and comfortable with the fact that I think my kid using sarcasm correctly at age 6 is a personal achievement in parenting.

Jen @ http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/, because really, her blog name says it all.  She cracks me up.  She wrote a book with other awesome bloggers and maybe one day I can hornswaggle my way into one of her next bestselling anthologies.  Cause right now, my publishing attempts are 0-2.    This girl brings the funny.

And lastly but not leastly… my local girls

Jayme @ http://www.randomblogette.com/, who is awesome and one of only 3 ladies who will remember our senior trip to Cancun together, and who will most likely agree that our parents were the dumbest ever and our kids will NEVER get that opportunity of drunken debauchery in HIGH SCHOOL.  Good Lord, some of the stories from that week we will take to our graves.  Let’s just say only ONE of us did NOT get a tattoo in a walk up Mexican tattoo parlor, where they did not turn the autoclave on, only pretended to take things out of there.  This was only because said person was STARVING and just wanted to eat food that would ultimately give her diarrhea.  Food always trumps peer pressure, in SOME people’s eyes.  🙂

And Brittany @ http://brittanyherself.com/, who in the 4 years I’ve been following her (religiously and maybe a bit single white femalishly) has gone from laugh out loud pee your pants funny anecdotes to totally hot, inspirational blogger with ever-increasing fame and success – and she still has time to write ridiculously entertaining, hilarious stuff.  See The Brazilian.

OK – that should give you something to do while I take a brief hiatus from writing.  Check these girls (and guy) out.   They are hilarious and will probably make you unproductive at work too.  Try explaining why you are laughing at the Brazilian video to your cubicle mate.  Not easy.

 

This is what life has come to…

Life has been reduced to Ketel One in a kids cup.

Life has been reduced to Ketel One in a kids cup.

This is my Sunday night.  I was going to hop on the treadmill.  But my kids have driven me to drink instead.  In a kid’s plastic cup.  With the good vodka.  By myself.

How do they do this to us?  No one can make you mad like your kids.  Not your husband, not your work, not your family, not your parents.  It’s like these little people that came from  you know exactly how to push your buttons.  How to take that one last frayed nerve you have and pull.  Hard.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you either don’t have kids, or your own kids have not reached, oh say, 3 (if I’m being generous).  I remember looking at my 6 month old baby boy and wondering, how could I ever get mad at this face?  HA!  Easily when said face is telling you YOU need to adjust your attitude and he doesn’t care how many privileges he’s lost because what I say doesn’t matter and he didn’t do anything wrong.

My personal button of rage is flipped when they completely disregard the fact that I am speaking.  They don’t seem to fear me in any way.  Not even a little bit.  It’s like I am some chump substitute teacher they are switching names with their best friends to drive insane.  They aren’t like this for Mark.  Ever.  It’s like I emit some sort of unique pheromone that only my kids can smell that makes them completely insane and flippant about anything I say.  I feel like I am talking to brick walls.  Stubbier, smarter, cockier brick walls.

What am I doing wrong?

No, I’m not depressed.  I am highly medicated and have been since G was 6 months old, and I ain’t never going back to non-medicated me.  It was horrible.  I was horrible.  Parenting was horrible.  My life was horrible.  I will take my 40 mg of Prozac gladly and proudly.  I will take that Xanax when needed and have it on my person at all times.   In fact, the highest dose you can take (so they tell me) is 60 mg of Prozac.  I have been thinking about pleading my case to my doctor for 60 mgs just because.  I am technically doing great on 40 mgs, but hey, if 40 is this good, imagine what 60 would feel like amirite?  I can’t quite convince myself to lie to my doctor about my mindset…yet.  I don’t want him to lock me away in some insane asylum.  Unless said asylum let me have my own room and computer with wifi, then sign me up.  Peace and quiet with no one needing ANYTHING from me.  Just some nice nurse to come in a few times a day and say, “Mrs. Jen, time for your medicine.”  Heaven.

You know you are a mother when an insane asylum sounds relaxing.

I think I may have scared them tonight.  I yelled.  Thank God it’s northwest Ohio and still freakin freezing so the windows were closed because it was loud.  LOUD.  They team up, ignore me, laugh and run around, scream and holler in circles around me and I had had it.  My son lost his book that was due tomorrow in school.  My daughter refused to get into bed, instead dramatically dragging herself across the mattress and screaming in maniacal glee while doing it.

My kindergartener has a project due on Wednesday that I was going to foist upon his dad, but his dad got stuck on the east coast because of the effing weather, so no dad this weekend.  That leaves me to put it together, which will be a fight.  I don’t want to be that mother who does his project for him, and I won’t, but  it’s tempting because I know the fight to get him to put any effort at all into it will be like pulling teeth.  So there’s my Monday and Tuesday fight.  After work.  You know work, the place that I get to go back to after a 3 day “weekend.”  3 days because Willie comes down with strep this week, which I totally blew off because I assumed he was being dramatic and it was just a cold, and he never gets sick, so he’ll snap out of it right?  WRONG.  I sent my poor kid to school for 4 1/2 days with strep throat because I was desperate to make it to my job for 5 days in a row.  Something of a miracle during the months of December through, apparently, April.  Or even May,  as G had pneumonia at that time last year, so by no means am I in the clear yet.

I don’t know.  I am just ranting and raving.  Venting.  I’m not sure this post even makes any sense, and you know what?  I don’t care.  I had a margie at Chili’s where I attempted to have an enjoyable evening with my mother after not seeing her for 4 months, and now I’m halfway done with a 1/2 vodka 1/2 OJ  fuzzy navel, so I am 3 sheets to not really caring about anything.  No I am not an alcoholic.  It just seems to be a Sunday trend.  God bless Sundays.  Get me back to work, where the normal people are.  And if you knew the people I worked with, you’d know that’s comical.  My workplace makes The Office seem rational.  They’ve got nothing on us and I have a picture to prove it, but I don’t want to get fired.  Yet.

Good night all.  One day, I won’t be whining about parenting.  Just not today.

 

It’s a Wonderful Life

I came home from work this evening to see my kids running up to me with joy. They both took a springing leap into my outstretched arms as I knelt down to say hello. They were so excited about their days they started clamoring together. I got a few snippets of “and then we went outside and saw…” and a bit of “Janey played a princess, and I was…,” before I laughingly told them to slow down and go one at a time. As I stood to listen to their stories, a wonderful smell wafted from the kitchen. I walk in to see my husband cooking away at a bubbling, sizzling stovetop. He looks up and smiles and says, “How was your day? I got off early, picked up the kids and thought I’d start dinner and surprise you.”

Beautiful, lovely childrent

Beautiful, lovely children

Later that night, I sit next to the tub, playing along with a riveting adventure between Ariel and Nemo, while the kids giggled and splashed away. Then, after they were dried and nestled in their beds, I laid in bed with them, read them each a bedtime story as they sleepily yawned and asked for another one. I shushed them with a chuckle and turned out their lights, kissed them lightly, and snuggled them down in their covers. I shut the door to begin my evening with my husband, which included a few TV shows and casual conversations about our day.

General merriment and comraderie

General merriment and comraderie

AND SCENE. You didn’t really think that was my day did you? If so, you haven’t scrolled down to read much else I’ve wrote yet. The above little fantasy world is what my idiotic brain thought marriage and having kids would be like. Yes, I knew kids were hard, marriage was work, but really, I thought, how hard could it be?

Fast forward to my real life. I have two children, a full time job with no sick days, only precious few “Paid Time Off” days that are rapidly dwindling to single digits and it’s only the beginning of April, and a husband that we are lucky to see every weekend, because the only job he could find that didn’t pay minimum wage and involve a spatula was located on the east coast. 500 milez away.

What kind of idealistic weirdo was I to think I could live this charmed life? Besides, who lives this way anyways? Give me any parent and I’ll show you someone who would sell their souls to be given one lousy day where they get to do whatever they want. Where no one needs something from them, where no one hides from her brother under their shirt and then proceeds to tell said parent they have a big fat bootie. Where their kindergartener doesn’t act like the five minutes of homework he’s been given to do over spring break isn’t the equivalent of ripping his limbs off. Where no matter what they cook, they hear “THIS IS GROSS!” Even if it is the food they loved last week and were screaming for even though they knew you had ran out of it and hadn’t had time to get to the grocery store for more.

My life is actually quite charmed and I am very lucky, but screw that it’s a wonderful life bullshit and let’s get real. I’m in a mood. I’ve just spent two straight days with my children. Not the above mentioned joyful loving children – my actual children. And to make matters worse, both were in some stage of sickness since Saturday, which ups the normally whiny and bitchy quotient by 100. Ever get waken up by a sneeze? One that’s aimed directly at your face and showered on you at point blank range? I have. Ever get waken up by hearing, “QUIT WATCHING MY KINDLE, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN!” Moment of silence… then, “MOM! GRACE IS BREATHING ON ME AND WON’T MOVE!” This is then followed by a scream that gets louder as it screeches down the hallway to find you to tell you all about her brother just punched her? Check.

These have been my “vacation days” for the past three years. The first year Mark went back to work after his yearlong lay off, Gracie was 13 months and Will was 3, and I ran out of PTO by June. I took the rest of my days off unpaid and luckily didn’t get fired for taking a whopping 27 days off that year. The next year was better; I gained more time off for being there longer, had slightly less sickness and made it until October before I ran out of PTO days. Christmas shopping? HA! Done online, by a husband 500 miles away, or amidst the crazies on the weekend, squeezed in between parties and bake offs and general holiday “merriment.”

I know I am whining and people in third world countries are saying, “bitch please,” but really, we all know they aren’t reading this anyways, unless Oprah has given them a computer and internet access, so I can whine away to my first world parents who feel me.

I just never pictured life where a shower would be optional. I never thought my kids would want three freakin meals EVERY SINGLE DAY, prepared by me every time. Seriously, when I was growing up, food just magically appeared, and I was pissed because Mom called dinner every single night just as The Monkees was starting. To add to that annoyance, there was no pause button. You either watched it at 6 or you didn’t see it AT ALL. But I digress. This magical food every single night appeared in serving dishes (my kids think serving dishes are pots with potholders under them and a cooking stone topped with bagel pizza bites) and included, no kidding, a meat, a starch and a veggie, and oftentimes rolls or biscuits. Every. Single. Night. Like magic.

So I grew up thinking when I had kids, this magic fairy would show up at my house and cook, clean, and do the hard part of parenting. Stupid fairy never showed. Well unless my mom or mother-in-law shows up, then my house breathes a sigh of relief from being cleaned and the stove gets woken up by someone actually using it. But then, when they do show up, all I am free to do is attempt to sift through that paper mountain of filing that hasn’t been touched in 5 years or play find-the-throw up/poop/pee-smell. Or if I’m really lucky, I can sit down and watch TV…Backyardigans, Cat in the Hat (If I ever meet Martin Short, I am ripping his larynx out…Yes, your mother does MIND if you do!), or the original Benji…from 1974, with my kids. Or maybe I can go outside and watch them ride their bikes and yell in a panic every 5 seconds at the top of my lungs CAAARRRR!!!! Or maybe I can go downstairs and eat some fake food in the playroom and get bossed around about how I’m eating it wrong and not making appropriate yummy noises. Or maybe we can play legos, where within 5 minutes I am like, “Where is that freakin red piece the size of an atom?!”

Parent for reals

Parent for reals

Then once the bedtime routine is over and silence finally descends on the house, I have dishes, cat litter, and laundry among other things giving me dirty looks. Sometimes I do it, begrudgingly and half-assed, all while promising myself I’ll deep clean “later.” Sometimes I say Fuck IT and sit down to read a book or catch up on actual enjoyable adult TV, only to be interrupted by a 14 year old cat who steps on my face like, “What the fuck woman? Remember me? The one who can tell all your drunk college stories AND your most recent sexcapades? Yeah, well, it’s time for some kitty loving. And don’t mind my snotty nose, I’ll just wipe it all over your shirt.”

Planning her assault

Planning her assault

So then at this point – it’s 11:00. Time to give up, fall asleep in my contacts and makeup, only to hit the snooze to start it all over again at 5:30 the next day and tick the days off until my husband can join me for our fun-filled, family-time weekends, which include dragging our asses out of bed at 7 (if we are lucky) and making those two days not only productive and efficient, but also the best freakin 2 days our kids’ lives, all to alleviate some of that mommy and daddy guilt that plagues us during the week.

Thanks. I feel better. Feel my pain people! Help me to know I’m not alone.

PS – Now I’ll go watch my kids sleep like angels and fall in love with them all over again…or at least enough to start fresh tomorrow… or tackle the midnight fever or vomiting episode.

 

Messin Around

One quick, funny, slightly mortifying story, and then this PMSy, tired mother is going to bed.

Like I’ve mentioned, Mark has been doing this new job for over a month now and we are getting a rhythm down, a routine established to help give some structure for our kids and for our weekends.  Therefore, weekends include a “quiet time,” which because they are 4 and 6, is rapidly becoming non-essential, and us parents are the ones who need some quiet time mid-afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays, not our dear offspring.

And it’s worth reiterating, we don’t see each other at all during the week, hence we relish our alone time.  So, we put them in their rooms, shut the doors and tell them to play quietly until we come to tell them it’s ok to wake up.   Most of the time, this works and due to their rooms being the only electronic-free rooms in our house, they usually fall asleep out of “boredom” surrounded by actual toys.  Well, we were going to find out they don’t always go to sleep.

I think we both intended to lay in our bed, do some snuggle bunnying and then grab a quick snooze in the quiet moments.  Well, thanks to ending a really good, really smutty book series earlier that morning (He fixes pancakes, I read.  Totally fair.) and the fact that my husband is a guy and I’ve never not seen any guy horny, let alone this one whom I’ve agreed to love, cherish and snog til death due us part –  snuggling led to some very heavy petting.  All under the covers, but a little ardent with maybe a dirty limerick or two being exchanged in the heat of the moment.   Well, apparently we got a little too consumed and did not hear our son’s door open, nor did we hear the footsteps pad up the hallway.  So into it we were (yes with the door open), we were not interrupted until we heard, “When you guys are done fooling around, can naptime be over?”  We look up to see our son standing calmly in the doorway asking a very prudent question.

Gasp.  Shrivel. Panic.

“Uh, in a little bit buddy. Mkay?”

Ga!  Forget college.  We have a therapy fund already started, but really then maybe not, he really didn’t seem all that bothered – but then he could be repressing the whole thing and will be waking up in cold sweats at 16 wondering why rhyming anatomy words creep him out.

True story.  OK – maybe our dirty talk doesn’t rhyme, but go with me on this one.

PS – Check me out on Goodreads, where you can find all the books I allude to.  <—-