Archive of ‘crazy’ category

Mama Said There’d be Days Like This

Today was pic­ture day. Now before you get all con­cerned that my kids showed up at school in white polos already stained with choco­late milk and week-old bed­head, rest assured, I remem­bered. As a mat­ter of fact, every­one was up at 6am, in the show­er, had a deli­cious break­fast poured right out of the card­board box with love and in the car with time to spare. I gave my final farewells and watched my hand­some boys frol­ic into school not a care in the world. I also saw sev­er­al of their class­mates head­ed into the build­ing hold­ing pic­ture order forms. The same order forms that were sit­ting in the bas­ket of papers that I had no inten­tion of look­ing at for at least six months. $h!+!!!

Liv­ing in a Jack But­ler world of North to pick up and South to drop off, there was no turn­ing around, so I had to head down the street and make a U-Turn. Upon my return, the park­ing lot was full and there was no way for me to sneak in and out with­out any­one notic­ing. Instead, I got to take Hand­some #3 and Dar­ling, still in her paja­mas, through the obsta­cle course of senior cit­i­zens sure not to miss the ear­ly bird park­ing for 8:15 mass and the throngs of par­ents who couldn’t wait for their argu­ing chil­dren to final­ly get out of the damn car! We made it through to the school office where I grabbed the envelopes ready to place my order when I saw that they only take checks. Since I had just forged my husband’s sig­na­ture on the last check from the book at soc­cer uni­form pick up, that wasn’t an option. Instead, I had to take the walk of shame, envelope in hand, with my disheveled chil­dren and order my prints online. Thank­ful­ly, that part went off with­out a hitch.

Hand­some #3’s school day starts 45 min­utes after his old­er broth­ers’. We have a dai­ly rit­u­al that includes him refus­ing to eat the break­fast that I have just pre­pared, cry­ing that he hates school and an absolute refusal to let me help with any shoes or but­tons. We live less than five min­utes from preschool and we are late every.single.day. Once we get there it’s all smiles and high fives and how are you friends? His per­for­mance at home and the entire way there should gar­ner him a day­time Emmy.

We walked Hand­some #3 to class, but there was no time to dawdle. Dar­ling and I were in a hur­ry this morn­ing. As I men­tioned, it was pic­ture day and Hand­some #2 real­ly want­ed to wear his favorite black glass­es. One slight prob­lem, they were bro­ken. I promised him that I would go to Lens Crafters first thing and get those qual­i­ty craft­ed specs back to school in an hour, before he saw the pho­tog­ra­pher. Dar­ling was strapped in, my cof­fee was still hot and we were right on time to be wait­ing at the door when the store opened. I put the key in the igni­tion a lit­tle sput­ter­ing, a few lights flick­er­ing on the dash, but the engine would not turn. Per­fect. I called AAA and they said it would be 30–45 min­utes before the tech­ni­cian would arrive. Even more per­fect.

Dar­ling was done being strapped into her carseat about 45 sec­onds into our strand­ed state, so out she went ready to explore the front seat. She did a dandy job push­ing every but­ton, pulling every knob, find­ing my secret stash of tam­pons, gum and expired insur­ance cards. By the time she was fin­ished it looked like a tor­nado had ripped through the front seat. The AAA man final­ly showed up, replaced the bat­tery and $129 lat­er, we were on our way.

Due to our lit­tle bump in the road, there was no way I was get­ting to school on time, but I fig­ured I’d get the glass­es tak­en care of as long as I was out. Hand­some #2 loved those glass­es. They were his first pair and he was super excit­ed to get them back. Well he would have been excit­ed, except that they’re dis­con­tin­ued and unavail­able in the state of Mis­souri. Excel­lent! Mr. Extreme­ly patient Lens Crafters Man, who want­ed to kick me through the win­dow after 30 min­utes of total inde­ci­sion about new frames, and I picked out a per­fect new pair. They whipped those pup­pies up in no time and we were on our way.

I had just a few min­utes before pick­ing up Hand­some #3, so I decid­ed to run into Aldi to grab a few essen­tials. One thing on my list that I have be mean­ing to get the last 10 trips is that $.39 con­tain­er of salt. Remem­ber that, it’ll come back to haunt me in the lat­er rounds. There was a child los­ing its ever lov­ing mind some­where in the store, I nev­er saw it, but the whole city could hear it. Thank­ful it wasn’t mine, I said a quick Hail Mary for the poor moth­er and head­ed out. Once again, we were back on track ready to get Hand­some #3 from school.

Hand­some #3 was beam­ing at dis­missal, hap­py to see his sis­ter and me. “He had a great day, ” called his teacher. Of course he did, he only puts on the spit­ting pea soup show for me. We got home, had lunch, watched a lit­tle Elmo and were all just ready to relax for a min­ute. It was peace­ful and hap­py and serene. Like the per­fect lit­tle fam­i­ly in an anti­de­pres­sants ad.

Since the morn­ing was such a train wreck, I fig­ured it could only go up, so I got cre­ative. Some­times I like to think that I’m June cleaver in a mod­est polka dot dress with a half apron and plas­tic-cov­ered fur­ni­ture. Today was one of those days and I decid­ed to take my stay-at-home mom game to the next lev­el. Oh the boys would just love a pump­kin bundt cake as an after school sur­prise, wouldn’t they? Of course they would, I’ll just whip one right up!

I got out my pan, I pre­heat­ed my oven, pulled out the 800-lb-Kitchenaid and gath­ered my ingre­di­ents. I opened the cab­i­net to grab my sug­ar and flour can­is­ters when that $.39 salt appeared, clear­ly unhap­py with its new accom­mo­da­tions. In what can only be described as a sui­cide attempt, the salt took a free fall direct­ly into my face. Caught com­plete­ly off guard by the incred­i­ble pain throb­bing in my nose, I dropped the fresh­ly-filled with 5 pounds of sug­ar con­tain­er that sub­se­quent­ly broke into 6,000 pieces the sec­ond it hit the gran­ite. I would have tak­en a pic­ture, but I didn’t want to hurt the feel­ings of any of the 4,656,000 sug­ar gran­ules that dis­persed them­selves through­out my entire kitchen if they didn’t make the shot.

I was on the verge of tears when Hand­some #3 ever so kind­ly dis­tract­ed me.

Mom! Dar­ling pooped and she stinks so, so bad!”

I changed the dia­per, put her down for a nap and came down to sur­vey the dam­age. It was bad. I was defeat­ed. Hand­some #3 went to watch a show, Dar­ling was sleep­ing and I need­ed my favorite rap playlist and a Diet Coke. I took a deep breath and tried to put things into per­spec­tive. I am thank­ful for my four beau­ti­ful chil­dren and a lov­ing hus­band, who works his butt off, so that I can have the­se $h!++y days at home with our kids. I rolled my sleeves up, turned the speak­ers on high and got to work. “Hot n Her­re” on my lips, I scrubbed the cab­i­nets, the floors and the coun­ters, and sud­den­ly caught my reflec­tion in the mir­ror and thought, Damn! I think my butt get­tin’ big.….…

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.…

There is one house­hold chore that I hate. No, not like I hate to do the dish­es, or I hate to pay my bills, or I hate to make din­ner for the­se kids that will like­ly look at it and say, “I HATE this!” No, I would glad­ly do any of those things before I have to change the sea­sons in my children’s clos­ets. I would rather clip their toe­nails with my teeth than take their itty bit­ty shirts, off of itty bit­ty hang­ers and put them in giant rub­ber tubs and then unpack oth­er giant rub­ber tubs filled with things that make me won­der why I ever saved this $h!+ in the first place. How many moms have pulled out one­sies from baby 1, 2, 3 etc. to use on the new child and found them rid­dled with holes and poop stains?  I look at this crap and think, “You are a moron. You would nev­er put this on your sweet baby? Why did you save it?” But as I am fever­ish­ly throw­ing dozens of shirts, shorts, pants and mis­matched socks into a new bin, it is very clear why. If it is locked away in an opaque bin, it is out of my face and I can for­get about it for a num­ber of years. I can stuff it fast, put a lid on it and Scott will glad­ly take it down the steps and hide it so that I quit cry­ing. Yes, there is cry­ing and scream­ing, but no one puts me in time­out for the after­noon and lets me fall asleep just to make me shut up. Oh no, I have to keep work­ing.

Please send the TLC truck away, this is not Hoard­ers. This is just and episode of ” Hey Guys, noth­ing to see here. I just wan­na kill some­one and am cry­ing in the cor­ner.”

While work­ing on my kids’ room this past week­end, I had my iTunes on ran­dom and “A Spoon­ful of Sug­ar” came on. This is quite a change from my nor­mal house-clean­ing sound­track, but the iPad was too far away to press next, so I fig­ured I would give Julie Andrews a shot. As the upbeat tune blared through the speak­er. I was sud­den­ly a bit more cheery and trans­port­ed back to being a kid. As chil­dren, we were all mem­o­rized by Mary Pop­pins. Her sweet smile, beau­ti­ful voice and quick-snap­ping fin­gers made clean­ing your room a game. Remem­ber how the toy sol­diers walked right into the toy box and the blan­kets flew up in the air and land­ed per­fect­ly fold­ed on the bed? Why, just a spoon­ful of sug­ar will make it all bet­ter, right Mary? Wrong! You lied Mary Pop­pins, not a damn thing was going to make this job a game! I could have downed a 5 pound bag of sug­ar this week­end and still need­ed a half a dozen Zoloft to take the edge off. The more I lis­tened the more infu­ri­at­ed I became. No mag­i­cal bird was appear­ing on my finger.No cute lit­tle boys is short sets were there to help? I would have set­tled for filthy Bert com­ing in and toss­ing crap in a bin with soot-cov­ered hands. But, nope, no one came to the res­cue. Sure, peri­od­i­cal­ly I would hear Scott down the hall warn­ing the boys not to come near the bed­room or they may not be seen again…ever.….But that was as much human inter­ac­tion as I saw for days.

It took me what felt like 72 hours to com­plete this one god­for­sak­en room, but when it was fin­ished, I had made a large pile of clothes to give to char­i­ty. But as I was on my way to the Good­will bin, I had the bril­liant idea to take the clothes to a children’s resale shop to see what I could get for them. Most were is good con­di­tion, but old­er styles that I like­ly won’t put on Hand­some #3, and I was tired of stor­ing them. I went to the store and was offered $43 for the haul, which seemed fair. I head­ed to the ATM at Schnucks to make my deposit, feel­ing like a big shot with a cou­ple of Andrew Jack­sons for my trou­bles. I made my deposit and grabbed what I thought was my receipt, but sud­den­ly my big score at the resale shop didn’t seem so great when I saw that the per­son who had vis­it­ed the ATM before me, and left their receipt,  had a mere $24,000 in their check­ing account.

Well look at you Mr. Big Shot! $24,000 in the check­ing, huh? I bet you can hire Mary and her team of snap­ping clowns to come over and clean your house every week can’t you? You think you are so great with your pin­striped suit and mono­grammed cuffs, don’t you? Your fan­cy spec­ta­tor shoes that you wipe off on your wel­come mat before you walk on your fresh­ly-shined wood floors that glow just like that bald head of yours? I quick­ly real­ized that this pompous jerk, who I made up com­plete­ly in my mind and was hat­ing because of his ATM slip, was built in the image of my own hus­band, right down to the lack of hair on his head. Well, except for the actu­al ATM slip and hoard­ing of $24,000. That and the shined floors. That doesn’t hap­pen unless he shi­nes them him­self, I am not a floor per­son. And he does that…pretty much every time that I ask him to. So in actu­al­i­ty, he is a fair, good guy, who I real­ly love, but some­times I need to direct my frus­tra­tion and he is an easy tar­get. Per­haps I had some deep-seed­ed resent­ment for the fact that I cleaned the room alone, and the remark, “You did this to your­self, quit buy­ing them all of this crap.” Some­how in my rage I had made my way through the store and picked up a gal­lon of milk, bananas, a pack­age of tor­tilla wraps, two cans of black beans, an avo­cado and a half gal­lon of ice cream. Whether or not I had a full-on con­ver­sa­tion with myself about the a$$hole who left the ATM receipt or just thought it is unknown.….I did how­ev­er pol­ish off half of the half gal­lon when I got home.….but that can be our lit­tle secret.…..

Peek-A-Boo.…thank God no one saw you.…..

I believe that God gives every per­son unique and spe­cial gifts and that He wants us to use those gifts to help oth­ers and to make the world a bet­ter place. My gifts don’t come in the form that most peo­ple would like­ly con­sid­er spe­cial. For exam­ple, God made Mozart an incred­i­ble musi­cian. I quit tick­ling the ivories after a not-so-unfor­tu­nate fin­ger break in fourth grade. I hat­ed piano lessons and want­ed to die every time I had to go because my teacher, a nun, would drink soda from a can with a straw and burp the entire time. Instead of play­ing my songs in the prac­tice room before my lesson, I would punc­ture the leaves of the aloe plant and watch the clear ooze drip to the floor. The day that my fin­gers bent back was God telling me straight out to quit wast­ing my par­ents mon­ey. I would nev­er ever make it to play­ing “The Enter­tain­er.”

My gift didn’t come in the form of an ath­let­ic abil­i­ty either. No, I was much more con­cerned with hav­ing blue and gold bows in my hair than I was break­ing a sweat. To this day, I day­dream about run­ning a marathon, OK, a 5K. But instead of train­ing, I eat Peanut But­ter M&Ms in bed while sip­ping a Diet Coke and watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary about a run­ner with one leg over­com­ing the odds and I just won­der if I can walk to the kitchen to get more can­dy with one foot asleep.

God didn’t give me those kind of gifts. Nope, it would take me much longer to under­stand what my gifts are and how to best uti­lize them. You see, God made me a sto­ry­teller. He gives me such incred­i­ble mate­ri­al, it is hard not to spin amaz­ing yarns. He fills my days with wacky inspi­ra­tion that he just doesn’t seem to give to oth­er peo­ple. For exam­ple, how many of you have gone for a quick eye exam and left look­ing like Mr. Pota­to Head? Or may­be, you used your Siri text to talk fea­ture when you had a cold and end­ed up with this?

I just don’t think that He gives every­one so much mate­ri­al to work with. Like just last week. I was work­ing, mind­ing my own busi­ness, leav­ing my third appoint­ment, when I felt a lit­tle some­thing on the back of my ankle. It was a brisk fall day and there were beau­ti­ful leaves of crim­son, amber and gold lying on the ground and peri­od­i­cal­ly danc­ing  across the earth with a quick gust of wind. I thought noth­ing of the feel­ing on my leg and got in the car. What began as a slight rub­bing sen­sa­tion began to slip down my leg quick­ly and caused a bit of alarm. I didn’t want to look down because I was sure that some sort of spi­der, or armadil­lo, was crawl­ing down my leg. It was bulky and uncom­fort­able and ter­ri­fy­ing.

When I final­ly got up the nerve to look, I was shocked. I was embar­rassed. I was appalled. I was like WTF? How in the world does this hap­pen? How do you go 3/4 of a work day with no one men­tion­ing it? Who in the hell put him there?

Do you see some­one play­ing peek-a-boo. .

At this point, you are like­ly think­ing that I have lost my mind and you are won­der­ing what it is that you are look­ing at. Kind­ly resist the temp­ta­tion to make the pho­to big­ger. You will be instant­ly offend­ed by the con­di­tion of my heels. Instead, just pull your com­put­er closer to your face. Those lit­tle green spots belong to Per­cy good friend of my good friend, Hand­some #2. Now before you get all, WTF is going on and why in the world would she have those in her pants? Let’s be fair and hon­est. As much as we would all like to pre­tend that we do 86 loads of laun­dry a week sep­a­rat­ed by col­or, fab­ric, tem­per­a­ture set­ting and fam­i­ly mem­ber, any mom with kids knows, you throw as many things into that machine as will fit and press go. Some­times that method caus­es things to get crum­pled up and stuck where they shouldn’t be. And if those crum­ples break free and appear in a pub­lic place where they shouldn’t, then some­times peo­ple get strange looks…or arrested.…Lucky for you, this hap­pened in the car and I lived to tell the tale. Thank­ful­ly, I was able to return them to their right­ful own­er before he noticed they were miss­ing and had an all out hor­ri­fy­ing stage three melt­down.……

I am so much more of a #1 Engine kind of girl, but what­evs.….

It’s Raining Men.….

We are all fierce from the neck up

Since I debut­ed my fiery red faux hawk a cou­ple of months ago, I have got­ten a lot of com­pli­ments. Here is the crazy thing, the­se com­pli­ments haven’t come from my fam­i­ly. They are cer­tain­ly not my father, or even real­ly my hus­band, but from com­plete and total strangers. I am lit­er­al­ly stopped at least once a day and com­pli­ment­ed on my do. As a five-mon­th-post­par­tum moth­er of three boys five and under, I will take any­thing to boost my
con­fi­dence. I was tex­ting with a friend the oth­er night about my phys­i­cal dete­ri­o­ra­tion in the past sev­en years. Now I am not say­ing that I have turned into a com­plete­ly use­less fat sloth who lives in only yoga pants and a Car­di­nal cap, though some days I would like to, but I am not the same per­son that I was at 27 when I walked down the aisle. As I said to him, I am not quite a tro­phy wife, but more of an atten­dance prize. I get up every morn­ing, get peo­ple dressed, make their meals and remem­ber all of their names, that deserves recog­ni­tion. Par­tic­u­lar­ly when I hear them wake up and I am so com­fy and cozy in my bed and I wait, and wait and wait for Scott to jump up, which he total­ly does a lot of the time, but real­ize that he is play­ing the same game and isn’t going any­where, so I make the move. Nor­mal­ly I find the two old­er ones draped limply across the fur­ni­ture look­ing like starv­ing Ethiopi­ans. Every­day it is the same thing, they keep want­i­ng meals, the keep expect­ing me to make them and they keep telling me that Eggo Waf­flers are not accept­able for din­ner. Ugh.…what is wrong with the­se peo­ple?

They keep want­i­ng me to feed them.every.single.day.

As I was say­ing, the com­pli­ments from strangers are abun­dant. But the mass major­i­ty of the admir­ers are teenage boys. Like all teenage boys, every­day. I have had teenage check­ers at Tar­get spell­bound, McDonald’s Dri­ve Thru kids give me a wink while pass­ing the Diet Dr. Pep­per and then there was the boy stock­ing the yogurt at Schnucks who walked across the room to com­pli­ment me. I think if I had stood there three more sec­onds he would have asked me for my num­ber, which is creepy and sort of amaz­ing all rolled in to one. I am no stranger to the love of a teenage boy, but this admi­ra­tion from the mass­es is new. I was nev­er pop­u­lar with teenage boys when I was a teenager. I was so awk­ward and ter­ri­fied that I couldn’t even speak to them. The fact that I wore a larg­er bra then most of their moth­ers was excit­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing to them, so they didn’t talk to me either. They would just stare long­ing­ly. But if we are being frank, had I let them close to me, which nev­er would have hap­pened, they wouldn’t have known what to do with those Dol­ly Par­ton D cups.  Look­ing back, it was a big huge dis­as­ter and I may need to make a quick appoint­ment with a ther­a­pist just to talk this one out. 

Ear­lier this week, I was head­ed to an off­site event for work and feel­ing pret­ty good. My hair was in place, my lips were on straight and my clothes all matched. Win, win and win.

Those lit­tle drops are big trou­ble
I could see the trou­ble brew­ing

While I was inside, Moth­er Nature thought that she would be hilar­i­ous and change things up a bit. The weath­er went from cool and part­ly cloudy to an apoc­a­lyp­tic thun­der­storm. While I may have been a Girl Scout in my younger years, I nev­er bought in to that “be pre­pared” crap. That trans­lates loose­ly to, girl­friend says, “For­get that. I don’t need an umbrel­la.” Per­haps you recall what hap­pens when my pro­duct fails me on a nor­mal day?  My knees were knock­ing at the mere thought of walk­ing out­side, but I knew that at some point a mem­ber of the jan­i­to­ri­al staff was going to sweep me right out the door, so I had to get mov­ing. 

By the time I made my way across the park­ing lot to the car, my hair looked and felt like it had been styled with maple syrup.We all know that water beats fire. It was an epic bat­tle and water was vic­to­ri­ous, leav­ing fire sad and bare­ly flick­er­ing in the cor­ner.…..

Did Lucille Ball have days like this? 

Ain’t Nuthin But a C Thang.….….……

Along with preg­nan­cy comes sev­er­al fab­u­lous side effects; includ­ing, but not lim­it­ed to, vom­it­ing, pim­ples, swelling, heart­burn, crav­ings, sud­den urges to emp­ty your blad­der and sleep­less­ness. This last one has to be one of my favorites. When I was preg­nant with Knox, I would lay awake for hours day­dream­ing about the won­der­ful life that I would have as a moth­er of three and how my per­fect lit­tle chil­dren would be super stars aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly and ath­let­i­cal­ly, that lat­ter is hop­ing that there has been a genet­ic muta­tion some­where along the lines because they aren’t get­ting that one from me. Yeah, well, that is what a nor­mal per­son thinks about. I, on the oth­er hand, con­cen­trat­ed most­ly on my irra­tional fears and keep­ing my chil­dren safe from the Litar­i­ans of the world.

You see, as a young girl grow­ing up on the mean, tree-lined streets of St. Louis Hills, I was exposed to, well, noth­ing. Not a damn thing…ever.…And I liked it that way. That was until Nan­cy Rea­gan start­ing dar­ing kids to stay off drugs and the nuns in the office decid­ed to scare the $h!+ out of every child at St. Gabriel the Archangel. I can still remem­ber the pur­ple dit­to that I brought home from school. I couldn’t read it, but I knew that it was bad and that I was like­ly going to end up dead because of it.

My mom explained that there had been a very bad man spot­ted in the neigh­bor­hood in a white van with no win­dows, per­fect for nab­bing, giv­ing out lick­able tat­toos laced with LSD to chil­dren. *Editor’s note, this may be the com­bi­na­tion of sev­er­al dit­tos, regard­ing sep­a­rate instances, but this is how my mem­o­ry sealed it, so press on. And right then and there, I knew, that I was soon to be abduct­ed, drugged and left to a life on the streets. There was noth­ing that I could do to pro­tect myself, so I might as well get use to it.

As a child con­stant­ly being com­pared to Punky Brew­ster, I was also always con­cerned that my moth­er was going to ditch my broth­ers and I in a park­ing lot some­day. Let’s think about that one for a sec­ond, shall we? In the 1980s, prime time tele­vi­sion taught us that if your mom left you, you could sim­ply climb into an old man’s apart­ment, with your dog no less, and life will be just fine. As long as anoth­er young girl and her old-as-hell grand­moth­er are across the hall to help out. Sounds per­fect­ly safe and log­i­cal, plus you get an awe­some loft bed.….perfect.…I could cer­tain­ly fend for myself if I could just find Hen­ry Warn­i­mont.…..

So smart, yet so very, very stu­pid

As I grew old­er, I real­ized that my moth­er wasn’t real­ly going to ditch us, even though she did leave peo­ple behind here and there. Well, just Jim­my on a vaca­tion and sleep­ing in a hot car in the Schnuck’s park­ing lot one lit­tle time. I felt a bit safer in my skin. That was until day­time talk shows got a hold of me. I learned quite a bit about the aver­age teen from my good friends Sal­ly Jesse, Phil, Jer­ry and Jen­ny. I tuned in as much as I could and learned that, “just say no” was noth­ing com­pared to the thug life. I would sit in hor­ror lis­ten­ing to tales of young girls being ripped from their hap­py, inno­cent lives and thrust into a cul­ture obsessed with race, sex and drugs. What was a high school girl to do.….Wait, WTF did you just say? High school?

East Side, West Side, Irish Mob? 

Yeah, I was pret­ty much on the fast track to loserville at 14 because I sin­cere­ly believed that I was going to HAVE to be in a gang. I was so naive and f%^)@ng stu­pid, that I was cer­tain that not only was I to be recruit­ed, from St. Joseph’s Acad­e­my, but that I would have to par­tic­i­pate in an ini­ti­a­tion. That is where I real­ly start­ed to get scared. I was pret­ty sure that I was not going to be able to beat some­one up with a bat, or put cig­a­rettes out on their face, and I prob­a­bly couldn’t tat­too any­one, but if I had to, I guess that I would. I wor­ried about where they would find me and what I would do when I was approached. In the ear­ly 1990s, we all wore ban­danas. I made con­scious efforts not to tie a red one around my head because I didn’t want to show affin­i­ty to a blood if the crips were around.…..

I was fear­ful of strangers, par­tic­u­lar­ly females because I knew they want­ed me. I was extreme­ly cau­tious of the girls in over-sized hood­ies and scrunch socks with the crunchy ramen noodle perms, huge bangs and the top por­tion of their pony tails pulled back so tight­ly that their eyes began to squint. Those were the ones that Sal­ly Jesse made me fear the most. They lived the seem­ing­ly-inno­cent lives and then, Bam!, they were sud­den­ly pass­ing around the chron­ic and shoplift­ing for a liv­ing. I would walk to Tar­get near Hamp­ton Vil­lage, cer­tain that any per­son stand­ing at the bus stop would quick­ly break from the BiS­tate line, throw a bag over my head and my ini­ti­a­tion would begin.

All too soon, I would be liv­ing in a crap­py apart­ment cov­ered in news­pa­pers with a dirty microwave oven and a Cole­man cool­er to chill my cans of Colt 45. I would change my name to Dim­ples Dark Eyez and hang out at the Bus Stop just look­ing for fresh meat. Young wom­en would fear my tear drop tat­toos and gold-capped teeth, but be equal­ly in awe of my fin­ger­nails stud­ded with dia­monds and as long as eagle talons. This was my des­tiny and I had accept­ed it and per­haps start­ed to look for­ward to it. At least with a gang, there was job secu­ri­ty and a fam­i­ly, some­thing that I was miss­ing in my real life!?!?!? Hmm.….….

From the cradle to the grave.…thug till I die.….

As an adult, who some­how escaped the thug life, I still find myself com­pelled to watch Lock­up and won­der what could have been had things gone the wrong way on Hamp­ton. For years, I won­dered if any of my broth­ers had felt the same way, or if my moth­er feared me get­ting involved with a bad crowd. So, one night at Sun­day din­ner, I asked.

Were any of you ever afraid of being able to par­tic­i­pate in a gang ini­ti­a­tion when we were kids?”

The blank stares were alarm­ing. Oh my God, had one of them actu­al­ly been approached? Did some­body get knifed and I wasn’t told? Who from the parish was part of the under­ground cul­ture? WTF was going on?
Then the laugh­ter start­ed. No not just laugh­ter, hys­te­ria. Sort of like a pack of hye­ni­as on methanphet­a­mi­nes.

You can’t fight.”
“You have zero street cred.”
“What do you know about being a gansta?”

And then Big D chimed in.….

Colleen! What the hell are you talk­ing about? That is the dumb­est thing that I have ever heard you say. For God’s sake! What gang would want any­thing to do with you? Now do the dish­es.”

Yep…that’s me..well, as a white wom­an, and make that about $6, on a good day.…..

 

This is f*&@#%! Awesome.……

It is bed­time at the Thomas house. After read­ing a sto­ry, say­ing prayers and every oth­er sweet Nor­man Rock­well pho­to detail, the boys are slum­ber­ing sound­ly ted­dy bear in the crook of their arm and dream­ing about wak­ing up tomor­row to a fresh stack of pancakes.I don’t know this group of Thomases, but being that the name is quite com­mon, I am sure it is hap­pen­ing some­where.

The peo­ple under the stairs have noth­ing on this guy.

We read sto­ries and say prayers here too, but it isn’t all rain­bows and flow­ers. Actu­al­ly, it is none of those things because I have a house full of boys, so think more lizards and trucks, but it isn’t that either. The rou­tine here is cer­tain­ly con­sis­tent, but it always ends with at least one per­son being threat­ened, some­one scream­ing and Scott and I play­ing rock, paper, scis­sors to deter­mine who has to go up and wipe snot off of the weeper’s face. Some­times, they even attempt to escape their hor­ri­ble liv­ing con­di­tions, but sad­ly, they can’t quite make it out.

I have been fight­ing a cold for a few days that has degen­er­at­ed into a sweet case of laryn­gi­tis. My voice is not com­plete­ly gone, much to my husband’s cha­grin, but has tak­en on a more raspy, high-pitched tone, think Kath­leen Turn­er with a side of Cyn­di Lau­per. Although I don’t real­ly feel like talk­ing, my boys don’t give one $h!+ about that and expect me to con­tin­ue on with my dai­ly respon­si­bil­i­ties, on top of work­ing a full-time job, that include, but are not lim­it­ed to, answer­ing 16,000 ques­tions, mak­ing meals, answer­ing a few more ques­tions, doing laun­dry, telling sto­ries and, of course, singing lul­la­bies. I think it is sweet that my boys still let me sing to them while I rub their backs and I cher­ish every sec­ond because I know some­day soon they will only want me to speak to them if it is to tell them how much mon­ey I will be hand­ing over. Since Hand­some #1 was an itty bit­ty baby, I have sung the same songs to him using his name sweet­ly, I then changed the tunes to have Hand­some #2’s name includ­ed, and they are on their third incar­na­tion with Hand­some #3.

Tonight, as 7:30 approached, it was time to get the boys mov­ing. They swift­ly used the bath­room, put on their jam­mies and got into their bunk beds with very lit­tle dif­fi­cul­ty. This is when I should have become sus­pi­cious. After we sang our evening prayer, the Casey Kasem request and ded­i­ca­tion lines opened.

Hand­some #1: Mom­ma, will you sing me a song?
Me: Hon­ey, my voice is real­ly gone. How about tomor­row?
Hand­some #1: Mom­ma! You promised a song.

I nev­er made any promise, but I knew that the tears were com­ing, so I might as well com­ply.

Me: Mom­my loves her Finnegan. Oh she won­ders what she did with­out him.
Hand­some #1: Stop! That is not what we want.
Hand­some #2: No, we want $20 in my pock­et.
Hand­some #1: Yep. That’s the one. Go!

Seri­ous­ly?!?!?! They want me to get my Mack­el­more on? The sim­plest of phras­es com­ing from my mouth sound like the sac­ri­ficing of a small ani­mal and they want an upbeat rap?  Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances, it is a rea­son­able request. I have mad skills at the mic, but I didn’t have time for a cup of tea with lemon to coat my throat or even a Luden’s and they want rap?

Me: Guys, come on. Let’s sing our prayers again and go to sleep.
Hand­some #2: WE WANT $20 IN MY POCKET!

His eyes were red and I swear I saw lit­tle fangs start­ing to grow. I was look­ing at a minia­ture Teen Wolf and thought for sure the next request would be for a keg of beer.

Would you mess with that?

Me: OK.….I’m gonna pop some tags
Hand­some #1: You for­got the bada bada part
Me: Bada, bada, bada
I’m gonna pop some tags Only got twen­ty dol­lars in my pock­et
I, I, I’m hunt­ing
Look­ing for a come up
This is awe­some

Hand­some #1: Um, that’s not right. It’s being awe­some.…..
Hand­some #2: No! It’s ing awe­some.
Me: Guys, it’s just awe­some.
Hand­some #1: Nope it is being awe­some.
Hand­some #2: Hand­some #1!!!! It is not! It is ing awe­some. You mean head.
Hand­some #1: Hand­some #2 called me a mean head, so I am going to punch him.
Me: No body is punch­ing any­one. (First punch is thrown, fol­lowed by a sharp kick to the kid­ney)
Hand­some #1: Bren­nan kicked me!
Me: You punched him, what do you expect? I have had enough. It is time for bed.
Hand­some #1: Nooooo! You aren’t fin­ished.
Hand­some #2: Mom­ma. You haven’t done my favorite part yet about the moc­casins.
Me: Oh, my God! Lay down and be qui­et. I will fin­ish it, but so help me God if any­one touch­es any­one we will nev­er lis­ten to this song again. Do you under­stand me?

Walk in the club like what up? I got a big sock
Nah, I’m just pumped up, bought some stuff from the thrift shop
Ice on the fringe is so dang frosty
Peo­ple like dang, that’s a cold ash don­key
Hand­some #1: Mom­ma it’s cold ash hon­key
Me: No, it’s don­key.
Hand­some #1: Def­i­nite­ly, defin­te­ly hon­key. What is a hon­key?
Hand­some #2: Hand­some #1. It is a cold ash.
Me: OK. It is time to go to sleep.
Hand­some #2: Oh yeah?!?! You are a cold hon­key.
Me: It is time for bed.….good night.….I love you.….
When I am alone in my mini­van enjoy­ing my day, there is noth­ing I love more than a filthy rap track load­ed with f bombs, dot­ted with sex­ism and lay­ered with gang vio­lence. But, when I am say­ing good­night to my inno­cent tod­dlers, I have to bring things down to a G rat­ing. It ruins the integri­ty of the tunes, and frankly, I would much rather keep rap­ping 8 mile style, but if they repeat­ed the lyrics in the mid­dle of music class, Sr. Mary Catholic Teacher would like­ly send home a note, so instead, I cen­sor.
Right before tonight’s bed­time adven­ture, I decid­ed that I had bet­ter run to Walgreen’s to the Health­care Clin­ic to see what is going on with my voice. I left with a diag­no­sis of a virus and no pre­scrip­tion, but was told to drink plen­ty of flu­ids, includ­ing tea. I decid­ed to head over to Tar­get for a few things, but fig­ured I had bet­ter let Scott know. Instead of tex­ting and dri­ving, I thought I would use Siri to help.

Read My Lips.….

No new tax­es…
I did not have sex­u­al rela­tions with that wom­an…
I promise no more home­work and only junk food in the cafe­te­ria…
I am 1000 per­cent sure that he my baby dad­dy…
Yes, I Colleen McK­er­nan Dorothy Dilthey Thomas will com­mit to exer­cise and a healthy lifestyle…
Fear not, I am head­ed to the salon on Thurs­day

Notic­ing a the­me here? Not only am I an untrust­wor­thy fool, I am lazy and indul­gent too. And guess what, I don’t give a damn! The fact of the mat­ter is, we all lie about some­thing at some point. Before get­ting on your holier than though bull­shit soap­box, take a look in the mir­ror. Is that they hair col­or God gave you? Oh, snap! 

I would much rather be sit­ting on my couch watch­ing reruns of Dr. Phil on OWN (Don’t you DARE judge me!) updat­ing my blog while snack­ing on the mini can­dy bars that I bought for Hal­loween at Sam’s because I was sure that they would sell out than be the Hoochie mama on Mau­ry test­ing the sev­en­th man cause she’s sure he’s the one. I mean, real­ly? You had sex with sev­en dudes with­in the 48 hour peri­od that you were fer­tile? WFT is wrong with you? I will take my lazy, chub­by life over that any day!
The chub just isn’t as cute on me.…

OK, that isn’t exact­ly true. I will con­tin­ue to bitch about being fat and not fit­ting into the clothes that I would prefer to be in, but I am not going to kill myself to get into them. Frankly, I don’t enjoy it. At all. Ever. Plus, my breasts are bio­log­i­cal­ly ginor­mous and no mat­ter what I do, they NEVER get any small­er. I am not get­ting them reduced, so I will just have to be con­tent to not wear but­ton downs and wish that I could. Big deal. I will, how­ev­er, con­tin­ue to wear turtle­necks regard­less of the fact that it looks like I could be smug­gling sport­ing goods, because in this par­tic­u­lar fash­ion instance, it cer­tain­ly draws atten­tion away from my mid­sec­tion that I despise!

The­se glass­es also direct your atten­tion up and make many won­der, “Why would you inten­tion­al­ly make your­self look like a fly??

I have also recent­ly fal­l­en in love with jeg­gings. No, I am not kid­ding, and I real­ly do look good in them. The­se suck­ers are tight enough that they give me the suck in effect that I am look­ing for while giv­ing the elas­tic free­dom that we all want. I don’t give one damn if you weigh 68 pounds; EVERYTHING feels bet­ter with a lit­tle span­dex. I will not, how­ev­er, wear Spanx. They leave rac­ing stripes down my body that make my stretch marks blush. I have become quite attached to the­se poor lit­tle div­ots, so I do not want to do any­thing to hurt their feel­ings. Plus, I start to have an anx­i­ety attack 20 min­utes before I have to tin­kle because I am afraid I won’t get them off in time. After hav­ing two chil­dren, this is a seri­ous con­cern. I am begin­ning to feel like a senior cit­i­zen.…..

A senior cit­i­zen who has a fab­u­lous hair­cut and is chan­nel­ing her inner Mar­tika.…

So where does this leave me, I don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. I am enjoy­ing the fall, eat­ing choco­late and watch­ing as much trash TV as I can after my chil­dren go to bed at night. What more could a girl want? Black spark­ly Uggs, of course. I made them my goal and I had every inten­tion of los­ing some weight and reward­ing myself. Well, that clear­ly didn’t hap­pen. I didn’t become a marathon run­ner, or even a weight loss guru. I didn’t real­ly do any­thing. I did, how­ev­er hit a mile­stone. Scott and I cel­e­brat­ed five years of mar­riage with a fab­u­lous week­end trip to KC. I came home with a lit­tle sou­venir from Halls. Life isn’t all bad. Plus, they are black, which is slim­ming and makes my legs look thin.

Pure fab­u­los­i­ty

*****BLOG BONUS*****
I haven’t been a total lazy bum the last few weeks. The boys and I have gone on a few walks around the neigh­bor­hood, but noth­ing that has real­ly got­ten my heart rate up. While not to exer­cise, I have got­ten out of the house from time to time includ­ing a recent trip with my moth­er to Wal-Mart. It was a unique out­ing because we did not have any chil­dren with us. I love those Irish lads with all that I am, but some­times it is nice not to have to grab a Lunch­able so that some­one doesn’t go into a meat detox dur­ing the one-hour trip.
We took our time strolling through the store leisure­ly grab­bing our wares. There were the typ­i­cal inci­dences that occur any­time my moth­er and I head out togeth­er. Casu­al con­ver­sa­tion, lots of laugh­ter, lis­ten­ing to com­plete strangers give my moth­er their life sto­ries as if she is a Catholic Priest in a con­fes­sion­al, you know, the usu­al. As we were fin­ish­ing at the check­out and hear­ing exact­ly how many years our check­er had been there, how many grand­chil­dren she has AND her hourly wage, we made our way toward the door.
This was right before he tried to bite me. I love Hal­loween
Mum­my, Ter­ror­ist or Burn Vic­tim?

Our car hap­pened to be parked out­side of the door near­est to the Hal­loween décor. As I got closer to the exit, I noticed a very large Star Wars dis­play. Being that I have a three-year-old child who is obsessed with the Force, I tend to notice such dis­plays. My moth­er had just about made her way out the door when I exclaimed very loud­ly and point­ed, “Look mom, a Darth!” My moth­er turned and had the most hor­ri­fied expres­sion on her face. I noticed her knees begin­ning to lock and her eyes scrunch­ing up. Hys­te­ria ensued. She bolt­ed out the door doing the tin­kle dance and laugh­ing hys­ter­i­cal­ly as she ran to the car. WTF was wrong with her? I didn’t think much of it and walked out the door. 

 “What is the mat­ter with you?” I asked as I final­ly caught up with her. 
“What is wrong with me? What is wrong with you?” She asked in between deep guf­faws.
 “Huh?”
 “Colleen did you not see the greeter?” 
Greeter, what greeter, I thought. I didn’t see any­one, just the over­whelm­ing large Hal­loween dis­play. “Nope.”
“Well she saw you. Colleen, that wom­an was a dwarf, not a darth.”
FML