Archive of ‘Good Times’ category

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What’ca Gonna Do?

I have learned all kinds of things in my last eight years parenting boys. Frogs, bugs and reptiles are a regular part of conversation and I am expected to listen intently and care about the stories being told. Clothing will be filthy by the end of the day and no amount of hand washing, wet wipes or napkins on the lap can prevent it. Boys will beat the crap out of each other one minute and hug it out the next and there are never hard feelings, at all. No matter how much I preach about lifting the seat and aiming, my bathrooms, despite an inordinate amount of bleach and vinegar used, will always have a slight uriney smell. I have come to accept, albeit begrudgingly on the urine thing, all of this. It is a way of life in my house and that house is filled with happy, handsome men….and a couple of girls.

For the most part, my Handsomes are well behaved, have decent manners and do what they are told without much trouble. Sure, they all have their moments, but I can honestly say that I don’t worry too terribly much about how they will act when I am not around. I am not a huge list of rules kind of person either. We have the basics, be kind to one another, don’t talk back, put your dirty laundry in the basket, please don’t pee on your brother while you are both in the tub, all that kind of stuff. But, there is one thing in our house that my sons will unanimously announce as being the ultimate don’t cross mom on this one or she will lose her mind rule. I can handle any of the aforementioned and hand out a quick, knock if off, but when it comes to the Golden Rule in Come on Colleen land, there is no exception.

Picture if you will a lovely breakfast, lunch or dinner table. You are perfectly famished and could eat just about anything. Thankfully, there is a delicious spread before you, the company is equally as divine and you are feeling just delightful! Then, out of the corner of your eye, you spot a man at the table in a tank top. He could be the richest, kindest, funniest and most handsome man on the planet, but the second he lifts his arm to reach for the rolls, you see it. His sweaty, straggly, nasty armpit hair is dancing in the breeze. Pieces of dried deodorant are hanging on like the last bit of snow on a rock after the weather warms up. No matter how hard you try, you can’t look away and now you have completely lost your appetite and are resisting the urge to barf all over the table. Just, me? No, probably not any more…….

Did you get your tickets for the gun show? Nope, no way, not at my table. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. The Handsomes know that they absolutely must have a shirt on when we are eating. Often times they sleep in their underwear so that they can be like their idol, The Grillin’ Fool, who incidentally is the only person in our house with actual armpit hair, and will wander down the steps blurry eyed and half naked. I don’t even have to say anything. A victory in and of itself, I have mastered, “the look” that sends them scurrying in to the laundry room to find coverage.

And before you get all, “But Colleen, Handsome #1, your oldest, is only eight years old, he doesn’t even have peach fuzz in those pits.” I gagged just typing that. No, you are right, he sure doesn’t, but, I wouldn’t hand him a Salem Slim Light and a Budweiser, two of my old favorites back in the days when I was fun, so why let him engage in other risky behaviors that could lead to his mother’s premature passing from gagging on her on vomit at the table later on in life? Just not worth the risk.

This rule is infallible at our home. As a matter of fact, even when I was potty training my youngest boy, opposition was quickly squelched my by eldest.
Me- Boys, you know the rule, you must put on a shirt before breakfast.

Handsome #2- Why? Handsome #3 isn’t even wearing any underwear!

Me- No, he isn’t, but he is also tucked under the table and no one can see that.

Handsome #1- Why are you even arguing with her on this one? You will never win.

Yes. A victory. I won! I won! I won! I felt so validated. They respect me and love me and know that this is important to me and a firm rule in our home. My handsomes are allowing me to mold them into strong, respectful and respectable young men that will make me proud. I was on cloud nine for exactly 11 seconds and then I got this series of pictures from Maurmi. Remember that whole, I don’t really worry about their behavior when I’m not around bologna? Well, well, well, apparently at my house the minute I leave it’s a great big, naked, let your arm pits hang out all over the place buffet……

 

wow

 

They are lucky they are cute…….

You Better Work….

Sweet Mary Mother of God. Have you ever had one of those days when you walk out the door looking fierce, or so you think, and in a matter of minutes you deteriorate completely. You spend a great deal of time on your look, particularly your hair, because your physical appearance is important for your line of work and you need to be on trend and put together. But, then the planets shift and your are in trouble. Not like you forgot your lipstick, and need a pick me up. No, I am talking more of the holy $h!+ if Stacy and Clinton saw this they may reincarnate “What Not to Wear” just for you.

You catch a glimpse in the rear view and notice a problem

The scarf seemed like a good idea when I left the house, but after further investigation the color and tie technique is resembling an infected goitor. But, that isn’t the worst of my problems. Take a look at that lipstick. It looks as if I put it on with my feet or let Handsome #2, my three-year-old, give it a shot.

Hmm, did you style your hair with a fork, Ariel?

Here, you can really see how great that lipstick application is.I appear to be hemorraging, but just on the sides. Somehow, the center has nothing on it, at all. Shall we discuss the hair? I am quite sure that I used AT LEAST five different products to keep my faux hawk in shape, but somehow it looks more like I just got a fresh trim from a flowbee.

Excuse me Eric Carmen, can we discuss those Hungry Eyes

Holy $h!+ this was the shock of the day. I knew that I looked terrible, but when in the hell did I develop a lazy eye? Looking at this makes me nervous, I am not sure which one to look at. They both look like they hurt and could induce instant vertigo and vomiting….Make.it.stop.

Just cover your whole face and no one will know it’s you

I figured that putting on my sunglasses would make things better. Let’s see about that, idiot. Not only does my hair look like Blanche Devereaux after a romp in the woods, but those damn glasses are so big, they are nearly wrapping around my head. WTF is going on?

Since there was nothing that I could do to make things better from my car, I did the only reasonable thing that I could. I drowned my sorrows in a 440z Diet Dr. Pepper, drove to my office and hid. I suppose it could have been worse. I could have been standing on the beach in a bikini thinking that I was really hot stuff….oh wait……

Oh look, an awkward boy in a bikini with a popeye…..

There’s no place like home…..well, kind of…..

It is Sunday in St. Louis, so the boys, Maurmi, Grandpa and I headed to Strange Donuts, a new culinary hot spot, for a breakfast treat. As is typical for any adventure, we weren’t in the car five minutes before someone starting to torment someone. Today’s pester fest starred Grandpa and Handsome #2.

Handsome #2: Guess what? We are going to Strange Donuts, Grandpa.
Grandpa: No, we are going to familiar donuts.
Handsome #2: No, not furmilyur, Strange Donuts.
Grandpa: I think familiar sounds good.
Handsome #2: AGGGGHHHH! Not furmilyur, we are going to Strange Donuts.
Grandpa: I think I like familiar donuts.
Handsome #2: (Crying) I hate furmilyur donuts, Grandpa.

This went on and on for twenty minutes until we arrived. There was a line out the door and inside was a tight squeeze. The line moved fast, and once waited on, we swiftly made our selections and were out the door. As we headed home, we listened to a Halloween CD and attempted to make friendly conversation.

Me: Handsome #2, how old are you?
Handsome #2: I am three.
Me: Handsome #2, when is your birthday?
Handsome #2: May 28th.
Me: Handsome #2 what is your address?
Handsome #2: I don’t have one.
Handsome #1: Yes you do! It is XXXX LollyDolly Lane.
Handsome #2: No it’s not! I do not have a LollyDolly! You are a LollyDolly.
Handsome #1: Yes it is. We all live there!
Handsome #2: No!I!Do!Not! I do not have an address, Handsome #1! Guess what? You are a girl.
Handsome #1: Mom! Handsome #2 called me a girl.
Handsome #2: You are a girl, Flanagan, with a bow in your hair!

PS: We do not live on LollyDolly, but I don’t find it necessary to give the entire Internet, or the 25 of you reading this, my real address.
PPS: Flanagan is what Handsome #2 calls Handsome #1 when he is really pissed off.
PPPS: A three year old should probably not have the cognitive ability to figure out how to really anger his older brother with name calling and use it to his advantage every.single.time.
PPPPS: I did nothing about the above conversation but laugh and be sure that I didn’t forget the good parts. And, yes, I am working really hard for mother of the year.

Whatchu Talkin’ Bout Colleen

.
Spandex is my friend

Forgive me readers, mom, it has been about nine months since my last confession….err….blog post. I have absolutely no reason for not posting other than the pure unadulterated laziness that comes from cooler weather and maternity leggings. I swear to God, the second those suckers go on for the first time, it is like my body turns from semi-functional mother of two to sloth.  All I want to do is watch Honey Boo Boo, purely to make myself feel better about my own life, and eat peanut butter straight from a jar. Plus, the thought of having to get out the wireless keyboard for my iPad, or God forbid grab a laptop, has proven too much as of late.

My pregnancy has been easy, like insanely easy, to the point that I forget I am even pregnant until I am setting off automatic hand dryers in the bathroom with a quick move of my ever-growing belly. I have been pretty even tempered, aside from a few emotional outbursts that normally revolve around boy bands and the face that I really wish the world still thought overalls and flower hats were OK. Other than that, it is smooth sailing.

I am looking forward to actually giving birth. I don’t know my baby’s gender, yes intentionally, so that moment is especially exciting. I am one million percent terrified of being sliced in half and from the moment that I peed on that stick, all three times, I have reminded everyone around me; including, but not limited to, my husband, mother, doctor, nurses, extended family and occasional custodian at Walmart, that I will not be having a c-section. Giving birth is the only time in my life that I have ever been even remotely athletic, so I feel this is my time to shine. That is, of course, as long as no one dies along the way. Wait, what, WTF did she say?

Perhaps that is a bold statement, but please, let me explain. I have this thing, about, well, black celebrities dying on pretty significant days in my life. Like the time Nate Dog died the night before my birthday and forcing a 24-hour continuous loop of Regulate. Or, the tragic day that I lost my best friend and companion,the beautiful blue luxury sedan that was with me for seven years. As if my Mercury Sable dying weren’t enough for me to take, Sherman Hemsley moved on up to his deluxe apartment in the sky the same day. But the day my sweet Handsome #2 came into this world, well that one takes the cake.

There is nothing quite like the bond between a girl and her luxury sedan

I was extremely enormous toward the end of my pregnancy, think Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and eager to get the baby out. I was due on Memorial Day and opted for an early induction. I had a baby already, via an induction, and everything was perfectly fine, aside from the meconium that caused the newborn to be rushed to ICU and the quick sedation of an overwrought first-time mom, I was knocked out and don’t remember much. I wasn’t in too much pain the first go around, opting for an epidural and I expected my second birth to go the same way

One last Diet Coke, so many less calories that way

I arrived at the hospital, checked in, got hooked up to the pitocin, got the epidural moving and began the Thomas-family tradition of the birth viewing of National Lampoons Vacation…..No, not one bit of me is kidding. If you are really doubting my affinity to the Griswalds, please see exhibit A. The Thomas Family Christmas card. I quickly realized that this experience was not going to be the smooth sailing that I was expecting.

Exhibit A…..Pure Awesomeness

Once the epidural was in, I was told that I could have more medicine, if I really felt that I needed it, but not to push the button without first contacting the nurses. Easy enough, I thought. I quickly realized that the pain was coming fast and strong and it wasn’t lessening, at all. After contacting the nurses three times asking for more medicine, I was given the go ahead to push it as much as I wanted. That should have been the first clue.

I have seen childbirth as depicted by Hollywood hundreds of times. It is always dramatic, sweaty and loud, but I had always called bullshit on that.I had a baby, that doesn’t happen. Well, as matter of fact, it does when your epidural fails. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After listening to me writhing in pain for what seemed like hours, OK, probably 20 minutes, my darling husband, my companion, my support system, the one who would get me through the next few difficult hours, sat up from his makeshift bed and exclaimed,

“Coll! Please be quiet, I am trying to get some sleep.”

As God is my witness, he said it….And the only reason that he made it to see the birth of his son is because I was in so much pain I couldn’t move, or I would have killed him right there. Certainly this moron had lost his f&*$%ng mind!

“I want my mom. I want my mom. I need my mom,” I sobbed.

“Here. Do you want your phone to call her,” the moron said, straight faced as he tried to hand me my phone.

When I didn’t respond because I was trying to telekinetically kill him, he realized that he better make the call. He was able to rouse my mother from a dead sleep at 3 am and get her to the hospital. As we waited for her arrival, there was a staff change and I was given the choice to have a second epidural, or a cesarean. Clearly, these people didn’t read the, “No way are you cutting me, but I would be happy to cut you” look on my face. I opted for the drugs and we were on our way.

I quickly began to become numb and felt remarkably better. My mom arrived and for a few minutes everything was A-OK. And then it all when down the drain. I started to freeze and asked for several blankets. Scott and my mom were watching some news program featuring a black man and woman being interviewed. I peered from the comfort of the bed and began to say over and over, “My God. Gary Coleman looks like shit.”

At first, they thought it was funny, or that I was kidding, but quickly realized that something had gone wrong. In an effort to spare you the long, boring details, they brought in the STAT team for fear that I was having a stroke. It turns out, that is was just a bit too much medication, and I was just fine after a few more minutes. The remainder of my labor was uneventful and painless, aside from the part where the baby got stuck and I was instructed to lay on my side and go to my, “quiet place.” Honest to God?!!!??! I am anything but quiet, but the trick worked and I was soon holding my darling 9.4lb, 22in Handsome #2. He was gorgeous, and perfect and worth every moment.

Handsome #2

After I had been moved back to my room and put on my makeup and fixed the horrifying bed head, this time my hair will be much longer in an effort to curb that look, I felt that it was appropriate for Handsome #1 to see his momma. My sister-in-law, Lolo, came in with a balloon and the big brother and announced to the room, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news on such an exciting day, but Gary Coleman has passed.”

My Sweet Baby Boys
RIP Arnold……

Oh.my.God. WTF did she just say? Gary Coleman is dead? No way. Certainly this was a joke. Some silly nurse must have tweeted about a real live one in L&D having visions of the 1970s. I quickly grabbed my phone and there it was, right in front of my eyes. May 28, 2010, Gary Coleman dead at 42. I had a quick moment of silence for little Arnold Jackson, later Drummond, and vowed that I would instill in my children the importance of acceptance and that above all, they must always remember that, “The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.”

Now, I didn’t kill Arnold Jackson, I don’t think. I mean, not any more than I killed George Jefferson. But if I were JJ Evans, I would be a little concerned that May 27, 2013 might not be so, “Dynomite!”

You might want to sleep with one eye open come May, just sayin’

Are you there God? It’s me Colleen……Just Kidding….

**********WARNING**********
Gentlemen, or should I say ‘man’ because if any guy is reading this it is likely my husband, the following post may make men uncomfortable; therefore, proceed with caution.
Turning 13 is a milestone for young women. We look forward to the distinction of being grown up, the excitement of going to high school, driving, buying cigs…..in the 1990s that was a big one, and finally moving out of the house in just a few short years. WTH is wrong with kids? The teenage years are awful days filled with oil, and hair, and awkward bodies and changes….I just threw up….Why do we need these years? But then again, being an adult is certainly nothing to hurry. Sure, having your own children to live vicariously through is a nice perk, but God the 20s are a bitch filled with bad jobs, questionable dates, hangovers (so very many hangovers) and a myriad of bills that no one really wants to pay. If I knew then what I know now, I would have paused at around 8 years old. Not a baby, but a reasonable sized girl who could read, write and ride a bike….not well….but that is another story for another day.
What a cute boy. Wait, what?
That is a killer pose, I can’t believe the agents passed…
Becoming a teenager means being discovered as a model or mega talent. In my case, I thought sports illustrated swimsuit issue.
March 16, 1992, my thirteenth birthday, brought none of the spoils that most girls found. No, I didn’t get a Swatch phone or a boom box; there were no Guess Jeans or that perm that I had begged for. (Thank you mom for that, although I am still angry about not having bangs) Oh, no, I got the chicken pox. A nice fat case of itchy sores all over the outside and INSIDE of my body. They were in my eyes, my nose, my mouth. I sincerely believed that there was no way that I would see my 14th birthday, this was sure to be the death of me.  Midway through my week from hell, my dad ran into a friend’s mom at the bank and said, “Well, she feels better, but damn she looks terrible, so she won’t be back to school for a while.” Perfect. The single perk to my quarantined state was that I would be able to spend my final days watching reruns of Press Your Luck and it just happened to be MTV’s Spring Break, so I had Daisy Fuentes and Pauly Shore to keep me company.
Eyebrow waxing is optional, the natural look was in
In between chants of No Whammy, No Whammy and TLC’s “Ain’t to Proud to Beg” on what seemed to be a loop on MTV interrupted only by “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams, I decided to do a little reading. I have never been, nor ever will be a big reader. But I quite frankly got bored with TV and needed a new diversion.  I turned to my good friend Judy Blume for some insight into the life of other awkward girls. Judy had always peeked my interest and I can distinctly remember reading snippets of Just as Long as We’re Together about Jeremy Dragon and his hairy legs that meant he was more “experienced.” I think that I went to college believing that was a real sign of a true Adonis…….idiot……
I had heard that reading Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret sent some kind of supersonic sound wave right into your uterus and to get things moving toward “womanhood.” But, I was certain that it was just seventh grade folk lore, so I dove right it. Horrifying. OMG what was wrong with this girl trying to make her boobs bigger and she really wanted her period…..Thankfully, Judy and Margaret’s voodoo didn’t work on me. I walked away unscathed. Two weeks went by, the physical scars of my bout with the pox had healed, but the emotional damage done by that book, well that would take years and years of therapy to recover.
Popping that leg is elongating and sexy
April 8, 1992 was a big day, my youngest brother turned seven and my mom took the boys, Nani and I out for the occasion and headed to Burger King. Clad in a killer pair of white Guess shorts, a white button down with navy blue stars and large gold buttons and a pair of Navy Coaster Bow Shoes, yes I know you wore Sam and Libby’s I wore Coasters from Payless….the horror….. I headed straight for my mother’s Red Pontiac Transport that the kids at school affectionately referred to as “The Dust Buster” mortifying. I didn’t feel great, but certainly nothing that a big fat greasy Whopper couldn’t fix. Upon arrival, I headed to the bathroom and at that moment I damned Judy Blume and that b@#$h Margaret to hell forever. There was no denying what had happened, but WTH was I going to do. I began to get woozy and at one point hit my head on the stall wall. The 33-year-old me is interjecting here. Really, Colleen? I was acting like a gunshot victim, or at the very least like someone who had been shanked in prison! Apparently my flare for the dramatic can’t be snuffed.
I decided that there was no way that I could escape this and I headed into the dining room to find my entire family with crowns on. Awesome. Please let’s draw as much attention to our table as possible because these people clearly all know what has happened and are already talking about me. I turned to my mother and very quietly said,
“I think I just got my period,” hmm, there was no thinking about it, idiot.
“That is just great. That is wonderful,” she said with this alarming smile on her face.
The flowers, symbolic of the blooming young woman…..feel free to vomit.
Was she nuts? What was so great about this? It was disgusting. It was painful, and I was ready to call it a wrap 10 minutes in. My mother, the fabulous woman that she is, is a consummate pleaser. She passed me a package from her purse and proceeded with the birthday party without missing a beat. I couldn’t believe that she was taking this so casually, this was a catastrophe. She knew I was reading that book, was this part of her grand plan? Did she know the power of Judy Blume and she didn’t protect me? How could she? Despite my horror and feeling that she had totally turned on me, I was determined to keep this between the two of us. Oh my God, was she going to tell my dad? I would choke her in her sleep. He can’t know about this. I am gagging now just thinking about it.
Look at that guy, he does not want to know!
Once we had finished eating, we all got back into the dust buster and headed home. As we approached our neighborhood, my mother did the unforgivable. She pulled into Target and asked us all to get out. What was she doing? She couldn’t possibly be doing what I thought that she was doing! No, no this was not happening! We all got out of the car and headed toward the door. She wasn’t really considering shopping for those things. Not here! Not with my brothers! Not in my neighborhood where someone could actually see me! OMG, I was hyperventilating. She was so casual, so calm, as if nothing was wrong. Like this was a perfectly natural, normal occurrence. I hated her. I hated Target. I hated birthdays. God I really hated that B!@#H Margaret!!!
I followed her sheepishly down the aisles as she pranced through the store. She looked like Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road, clicking her heels, skipping along and waving at all of the munchkins in the store until she turned down the aisle clearly labeled, “Feminine Hygiene.” Again, I am gagging……I looked around to make sure that no one saw me, and quickly slipped down the line. WTH was she doing? Comparing brands? Prices? Coupons? OMG!!! Grab a bag and let’s get the hell out of her.
“Which one would you like?” She sang merrily.
“Uh, please just grab something so we can go. Please! I don’t care. I just want to go. Please!” I begged…and begged…and begged…..There was another woman coming down the aisle and I could not make eye contact. I was going to melt. I could die. Just as I began to evaporate. The sweet little birthday boy exclaimed,
“I know what those are. Those are the pink your pregnant blue your nots. You got pink. Colleen’s pregnant. Colleen’s pregnant.” The horror.
That was 20 years ago this past Easter Sunday. Between the ER visits, vomiting, and beating my children with bats, I was remiss in remembering my “special day.” I really wish that I could have celebrated it like Rudy and Claire on the Cosby Show. Do you remember that shit? Bizarre! As young women, we prayed that it wouldn’t come again, that we would be one of the lucky ones that had an irregular cycle. Now we pray like hell that it comes. If we are 10 minutes late we are running for the EPT. Surely I am not the only one that keeps pregnancy tests on had all the time….right….right? But, as I think about my life today in comparison to 20 years ago, I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, if it weren’t for that dumb b!@#h Margaret, I may never have had the two loves of my life…….so I really can’t complain……..right now…….about that anyway…….I can always complain……
The smile that make their eyes disappear melts.my.heart.every time.