Archive of ‘whoops’ category

Got Milk?

“Look, Colleen, here’s the deal. When you’re a kid, your mother is an idiot. And then she becomes OK for a while. And then, well, she just falls again. You are just back to the time in your life when your mother is an idiot.”

This profound, and mostly true, quote didn’t come up in conversation at after school pickup. I didn’t receive a text from my bestie explaining my life. Nope, wasn’t a meme on my Facebook feed either. These words were astutely spoken by my own mother as we reminisced over coffee about an incident earlier in the week.

Typical day for Maurmi and me. We were headed on an adventure with Handsome #3 and Darling while the other Handsomes were in school. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood and we promised Handsome #3 the finest cuisine at McDonald’s and some time on the swings at the park. He barrelled through his nuggets and fries, but had no interest in his chocolate milk. As we gathered our things, I noticed his bottle left on the window sill. I headed to the car with Darling and called out to Maurmi, “Grab that milk and toss it.” She heard, “Grab that milk.” This is where the trouble began.

There are two rules in my home that are infallible. A boy may never show up at my table with his armpits exposed. We do not do breakfast shirtless, there are no tank tops allowed, period. We keep the offensive body part, that will one day be covered in hair and hanging balls of deodorant -yep, I just threw up too-covered at all times. The other rule that we do not break? Under no circumstances is milk ever allowed in the car. One sippy cup that dripped on the floor mat of my luxury sedan and caused the car to smell like the foulest of bodily functions for the remainder of my ownership was the end of to-go dairy products.

I finished loading Darling and Handsome #3 in the car and went to buckle myself in when I saw it. A half full bottle of death with no lid staring me in the face as it made its descent into the cup holder. Then in slow motion I screamed and grabbed for the bottle, “Nooooooooo!”

Just as my arm reached down, so did Maurmi’s. I unintentionally hit her in the head, knocking her sunglasses off of her face and turning her hair into a bird’s nest. As our arms collided, the bottle went flying and milk spilled right in between the seat and the arm rest. You know where I mean, right? The most difficult place to reach in the entire car. The place that collects pennies, french fries, dust and when you were in high school the tell tale ashes that you could never quite vacuum up and subsequently blew your Marlboro lovin’ cover when your dad got in. Yeah, that’s the place.

“OMG. OMG. OMG. Milk! Seriously, milk? Holy $h!+, mom! You know that is a rule! That is the number one rule,” I screamed.

“You told me to grab the milk,” She yelled.

“No I said grab the milk and toss it.”

“You said grab the milk!! Holy Jesus, Colleen. What in the hell are you talking about? My head really hurts. OMG! Am I bleeding? I am serious, you could have given me a concussion. Damn it, Colleen. It is extremely painful,” she said.

“I am sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Really, I am sorry. I would never hurt you!”

That’s when I started to cry. I was crying partly because I hurt my mother and partly because my car was drowning in chocolate milk. The two of us grabbed wet wipes and every fast food napkin that she has hoarded in my glove box for the last three years and started the massive cleanup.

“I’ve got it, Colleen, just get out of the way,” she demanded.

“No, you don’t know where it is. I’ll get it. OMG, milk. I can’t believe this milk,” I moaned.

“Colleen, I swear to Christ if you don’t calm down I am going to call your father to come and pick me up. Get yourself together!”

We bickered back and forth for what seemed like an hour as we detailed the ole Odyssey. Since it was peak lunchtime hours, the drive thru was packed. We walked back and forth through the cars dumping sopping wet brown napkins in the trash. Driver’s gagged as they attempted to order lunch and looked at what appeared to be vomit trailing from my car to the trash can over and over again.

We cleaned it up as best we could and I started the Hail Mary hoping for divine intercession from the Blessed Mother that I would not be knocked out by the smell of spoiled milk when the temps hit 90! We got back in the car, me sobbing and her rubbing the top of her head and checking her fingertips for blood.

Handsome #3 was hell bent on going to the park and despite the fact that she never wanted to speak to me again, she would never disappoint him so we continued on in silence. We got to the park loaded Darling in the stroller, got Handsome #3 out of the car and headed to see the animals. Once again, not a word was spoken. Maurmi broke her silence momentarily to tell me that she needed to go to the bathroom. I acknowledged her request and followed behind with my kids in tow.

She said hello to a man passing by and headed in the door. Immediately I yelled, “Mom! Mom!” Silence and then I hear her distant call, “Oh! Oh! OMG! Colleen!”

She came out of the door and we both collapsed in laughter. I could not breathe I was laughing so hard and tears rolled down her cheeks. We had to take turns running to the bathroom as we both wet our pants standing there.

“Everything was fine. It was all fine. And then I saw the urinal. Then I realized I was somewhere  I shouldn’t be. I think I have a concussion from when you hit me in the head. I was very confused in there.” She said through the tears.

Just as it always does, our day ended with laughter. My mother is my very best friend and she brings out the best and the worst of me. But even when she is more angry at me than she has ever been in her life, she will let it all go for a laugh. And despite what she believes I think of her, the only idiot that day was me. Life is too short to get worked up over spilled milk. Even if it is in your car and will make it smell like a landfill in just a few weeks. That’s what Febreeze and Yankee Candle car fresheners are for, right?

We headed to pick up the older Handsomes from school. We asked how their days went and they asked about ours. Maurmi said, “Listen to what your mother did to me today?” They always love to hear her stories and immediately had their listening ears on. I quickly interrupted and asked, “What is the number one rule in my car?”

Handsome #1-“That’s easy, no milk in the car.”

Handsome #3-“No milk in the car.”

Handsome #2-“Um, no guns in the car. Well, at least that’s the rule for me, right?”

Just like Meatloaf said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

 

 

 

My Mom’s Original Gangster Parenting Hacks Would Never Fly Today

My kids are coddled like every other child on the planet. They get participation trophies. They have gigantic water bottles so that they won’t ever dehydrate. They get stickers at Target for being in the cart, even though their behavior is so deplorable I often threaten to leave a few behind. That is the way of our world. We as parents have become soft. The second you attempt to assert tough love you are labeled an a-hole parent by the rest of the pearl-clutching mothers at pick up.

We thirty-something moms were raised by a different pack of wolves. If we didn’t follow the rules, it wasn’t about a gentle consequence like losing a marble from the good girl jar. Our parents pulled out the big guns. Today’s sweet and loving Grannies and Grandpas, whose grand babies can do no wrong, were not kidding around thirty years ago. They taught us lessons that we will never forget.

I am a mother of three boys and one girl, a mirror image of the family that I grew up in. Having four kids is often chaotic, but I guess because I am from a large family it isn’t the ginormous challenge that the world assumes it is. Having said that, I certainly have my fair share of, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?” days. But when I am at my worst, it is comforting to know that my mom was in the exact same place and somehow she made it through. I will often reflect on my own childhood experiences and think how lucky I was to have been raised in a loving family in the 1980s because if I pulled any of my parents’ OG child-rearing hacks today, I’d be in jail. Or at the very least, the confessional…..

Clean up, or else

Today’s child has a chore chart on the wall outlining their daily responsibilities with a corresponding magnet that they can move from one side to the other so as to earn their daily sticker and, ultimately, a prize at the end of the week. In the 1980s you had the, “I swear to God if you don’t clean up this room, I am throwing all of your crap out the window,” method. Parents didn’t just threaten, they followed through. The entire contents of my brothers’ bedroom went flying from a second story window and when my mom said she wouldn’t pick one thing up, she meant it. No,the family’s dirty little secret was never shared with anyone; but the lesson was learned and nothing took flight again. Today, the neighbors would whip out their iPhones to capture video, post it on Facebook and my mom would end up on Dr. Phil defending her boot camp-style parenting.

If you want to leave, go

If a child today threatened to run away, parents would have a mental breakdown. Why are you unhappy? What can I do better? Is there something that we can do to improve your living conditions? When I was a kid if you wanted to move out, your mother would help you pack. As a matter of fact, if you were lucky, she’d grab the gigantic Samsonite from the basement. There were no wheels of course, but it was nice and hard and made a great seat when you needed a rest. She’d pack up all of your clothes, something fancy for church on Sunday, perhaps a swimming suit in the summer, and you’d be on your way. It’s unlikely that you’d make it too far past the front stoop carrying all of your worldly possessions. However, you’d have plenty of time to think the plan through, just as your mother had intended.

You will eat this or starve

If you were a kid in the 1980s you probably had the pleasure of culinary delights like Chicken Tonight, Manwich or if it was a special occasion Bagel Bites and Totino’s Pizza Rolls. No matter what was placed on the table, that was the only option. No one was concerned that you didn’t like the way it looked, smelled or how it felt in your mouth. Dinner was served. And if you were hungry, you would eat it. If you refused, you would be forced to sit with your cold chicken and dumplings, under dimmed lighting, while the rest of the family went to watch ALF without you. If you didn’t eat said dumplings, there would be no other food offered until breakfast. You would legit go to bed hungry and live to tell the tale the next day

Do as I say, not as I do

Going out to dinner was a luxury when I was a kid. Sure there were plenty of fast food joints with outdoor play places that caused permanent scarring from their metal joy rides, but a sit-down meal was a treat. When dining out, party manners were expected, and so help me God; you had better never let anyone know how old you were. Even if it meant keeping your coat on for the entire meal to hide your blossoming chest or ducking down really low in your seat, under no circumstances should the establishment ever question whether or not you were 10 and under. There was no kids eat free with an eligible adult in the good old days. Everyone had to pay their own way, but fathers in the know had a plan. Children were prepped in the car. You are never older than the age limit for a kid’s meal. Is that clear? You will graciously accept a kid’s menu. Do you understand? Only water and soda have free refills. Don’t even think about ordering chocolate milk. Got it? Once you were clearly too old, your father became “Mr. I look so young for my old age” and would start ordering off the senior citizen’s menu to balance things out.

Don’t make me turn this car around

Vacation was a time for the whole family to pack into the station wagon and hit the open road while your mom yelled directions from that, “damn Rand McNally,” she could never fold, while your dad took long angry drags from his Salems. There were no five point harness personal utopia’s containing tablets preloaded with educational videos and apps. You played the license plate game and beat the hell out of one another for a window seat. You’d hope for a quick nap in the car before you checked in to the hotel and spent the next six nights sharing a double bed with all five of your siblings. Vacation came with no itinerary, no day trips or jaunts. Your trip consisted of the hotel pool, third-degree sunburns, bee stings and you cried when you left because you couldn’t wait for next summer.

It was a simpler time with fewer distractions. Families were big and weird and so many of them were unbelievably happy. And aside from that one summer when my brother fell from the brand new swing set and probably broke his foot, but we’ll never know because it was the 4th of July and no one was going to the ER because, “it would be loaded with idiots who’d burned themselves with firecrackers!” I think that my parents and the rest of the neighborhood moms and dads were really on to something…….

Perfect 10

We are a mere nine days from the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Rio. The summer games are always my favorite. I can watch the swimmers, divers and gymnasts for hours and be in the purest state of awe as their bodies move in ways that seem almost humanly impossible. They are truly glorious athletes and I will sit, in my own personal glory, and eat lots of snacks and drink Diet Coke while watching them all go for the gold.

I never had aspirations of being an Olympiad, which I am sure comes as quite a surprise. I was far more concerned that the blue and gold ribbons in my hair matched my uniform to get too caught up with the actual sport that I was participating in. I attended Catholic school from K-12 and in grade school, I played all of the sports, excelling in none of them. During the summer, we belonged to Mackenzie Swim Club, a fond but distant memory, and of course, I was on the swim team. There was also a diving team, but I was never a part of that. I think the summer that a member fell through the bars on the high dive, crashed to the ground and broke both of her arms (totally sounds like this should have been me) killed any thought my mother may have had of getting me signed up for another adventure.

swim

 

For as many summers as I can remember, we were at the pool every day. My parents had four kids and for a few hundred dollars a year, this kept every single one of us happily occupied for hours and hours. All of my brothers and I grew up to be decent swimmers with no fear of the water. Our parents bought the house that they live in now when we were all young adults and lucky for us, there is an enormous pool in the backyard. As we have grown up, gotten married and had children, Maurmi and Pop Pop’s house is the perfect summer spot to take our kids for hours on end.

The Handsomes love to head over to their house when The Grillin’ Fool and I get home from work at night. I normally stay home with Darling, our sweet baby girl, but a few nights ago, he had some evening work to do for a client, so I took the boys for an adventure. It’s averaging 600 degrees here in the STL, so the water feels like a freshly drawn bath, perfect for evening swims. Maurmi and I spent our night floating and chatting with frequent interruptions of, “Mom! Watch this!” “Maurmi, look at me!” and “Hey, this is my best one yet.” Over and over they were in and out of the water doing tricks off of the diving board and calling us out instantly if we happened to blink.

Handsome #1 made his way over to Maurmi and I in the shallow water and started doing handstands. He went up and down barely keeping his skinny little legs together before toppling over and splashing us.

“Shoot! I just can’t keep me legs up,” he complained.

“You’ll get it buddy, you just have to keep practicing,” I reassured him.

“Can you just show me?”

“Oh, honey, I haven’t done a handstand in 30 years.”

“Please!”

When your child, who is so very much like you not only in his looks but in his manipulative ways, begs you to help him, you move your aging, expanding and somewhat sagging body to the deeper water, hold your breath and give it your best shot. I went under, hoisted my body up on my arms, attempted to put my legs together and flopped over on my back. I splashed with such gusto that I imagined the water to be far below the skimmer when I resurfaced. I was a bit embarrassed, but figured, I would give it another shot. Once again I held my breath, said a quick Hail Mary and went under. This time, I got one leg up and plunged forward. I came up for air feeling defeated, a bit light headed and determined to get both legs up and together. Third time’s a charm, right? I took a deep breath and made a final attempt, but never got my legs fully extended. Instead, my left arm slipped and I went crashing down, think Shamu Show in the big tank. I came up for air and was suddenly extremely nauseated.

The head rush from my failed attempts at showing my children that I could master something as an adult that I was never even kind of good at as a kid, was too much. I began gagging and headed for the steps.

“Colleen, what is the matter with you?” Maurmi questioned.

“Nothing, gag, I am fine, gag, gag, gag.”

“Mom, mom, are you OK?” Handsome #2 yelled from the deep.

I moved from the steps to the side of the pool dry heaving and laying my head on the salty, hot concrete. I was positioned on the ground like a beached whale, wet, flailing and disoriented, just hoping that someone would direct me back to my proper place. The fuzziness in my brain rivaled any morning after the very best nights of my life in my early 20s. I was breathing slowly in through my nose and out of my mouth. I was afraid to open my eyes, for I was certain that the world was not just spinning, but also on fire and laughing at me.

“Colleen, are you alright? What in the heck is going on?”

“Mom, I am fine! I just got a little dizzy, I’ll be fine.”

“I can’t imagine how that happened? Your form was just lovely,” she smirked.

This coming from the woman who breaks into tap dancing at Hobby Lobby, but I digress. It took a couple of minutes, but I finally gained my composure and was able to get back in the water, my handstand days clearly over. I grabbed a noodle and floated effortlessly, not a care in the world. Then, Handsome #2 yelled from the deep,

“Hey, mom! Can you show me how to do a back flip off the board?”

Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah……Stayin’ Alive…..

“Yep, the test is positive,” the doctor said to me with sad eyes.

OMG, I thought. This is all I need right now. I have four kids and I don’t have time for this! Ugh, no! I am not pregnant, God help us all.  Strep. Handsome #2 tested positive for strep. The nasty little bug that for my children means not only a high fever and sore throat, but we get the added bonus of vomiting….awesome! Perhaps I should have believed him when he said he didn’t feel well.

I cannot go to school today, said Handsome #2, Hooray!

I left the pediatrician’s office to grab Maurmi, Handsome #3 and the baby and headed to the pharmacy to pick up Handsome #2’s prescription. We made it past the checkout line when all of a sudden I heard the horrifying screaming.

“Ouch. Oh. Ouch. I am so hurt. Ahhhhhh! I have too much blood!”

I looked down to see Handsome #3 on the floor and huge droplets of red all over the bright white tile.

“OMG! What happened?” I screamed.

“Maurmi hurt me so bad,” He blubbered as tears poured down his cheeks and blood ran from his finger.

“Colleen! I would never hurt him. OMG, my baby. Never. I would never hurt you.”

Duh.

He got the finger caught in the cart, how, we may never know, and somehow ripped a ginormous piece of skin in the process. I thought that we were headed to the ER, I mean, So.much.blood. I always react well in emergency situations.

“Jesus, mom! OMG. What do we do?”

“Colleen! He is hurt.”

“I realize that. What am I supposed to do?”

“Colleen! He is hurt!”

“What do I do?”

This game of moron who’s on first went on for much longer than it should have, extremely loudly and neither one of us really doing anything. Maurmi took off to grab napkins when a helpful young man in uniform appeared to inform me that they had a first aid kit available in case I needed it. Nice offer, but I needed something immediately as my child was becoming more and more hysterical.

Maurmi returned with her contribution to the ER effort and I ran to the pharmacy area to grab a box of Band Aids, hoping that he would sit still long enough for me to put them on. As I returned to the scene with a box of Paw Patrol bandages, there stood a big man with a walkie talkie acting very important.

“Yep. I’ve got them. I am here. Yep. Blood. There is blood. Yep. Yep. Got it. Bring on the clean up crew.”

By the look on his face, I was certain that there would be a hazmat team approaching soon. Maurmi did her best to wipe up the floor while big red stood there doing a whole lot of nothing.

“Excuse me,” I said trying to get to my baby.

“Ma’am, we have a first aid kit for these kinds of the things.”

This is now the second time that the first aid kit has been offered, but nothing has been produced. Perhaps they wanted me to sign some kind of permission slip, but instead I ripped open the box and started to tend to the wound. Thankfully, my baby boy sat still and I was able to attach the bandages tightly enough to stop the bleeding.

“Oh. Ewe, gross,” Said the walkie talkie man.

Thankfully for him, I bit my tongue and went on about my business. I wanted to get Handsome #2’s medicine and get the heck out there. I headed to the pharmacy, still covered in blood myself and looking like a serial killer, and requested the prescription. Not ready….awesome…. Since the bleeding had stopped and I needed a few more lunchbox items, I pressed on with my shopping.

We wandered through the toy department, the grocery area and the baby section when I noticed that Handsome #3 was starting to act funny. His eyes were drooping and he was nodding off.

“Colleen, what is the matter with him?” Maurmi asked.

“I don’t know. This is really odd, ” I replied.

“My God, did he hit his head? Or is he in shock from the pain?”

“Handsome #3, wake up! Wake up!” I demanded.

“Stop talking to me. Don’t look at me. I am so hurting,” he screamed.

Certain that he had some kind of concussion, again, I started to panic. Maurmi and I stood next to the cart discussing our next course of action, but neither one of us touching him, not wanting to disturb him. Had we reached out to comfort him, perhaps we could have saved the conspiracy theories and realized a few minutes sooner that he was hotter than a firecracker. God help us, another one bites the dust. Strep is ugly and mean and contagious as hell!

Thankfully he had tried to amputate his finger a few minutes earlier and we were still at the store so that I could call the pediatrician and get his medicine called in before I left. I checked in at the pharmacy to make sure they had received the new order and grabbed Handsome #2’s medicine and gave him a dose right there in the store. The sooner we attack the bug, the better, right? Ten minutes later, Handsome #3’s medicine was ready, so I dosed him up too and we headed to the cafe for a quick drink and a pretzel.


The fever had taken its toll on my buddy and he had enough trauma for the day, so we headed home to get everyone comfortable and in bed. As I unloaded my bags to put away the groceries I found that I was one bottle short. Handsome #2’s medicine was somehow left at the store. Come on! Seriously?!?!!?

I waited until the Grillin’ Fool got back from work before I headed back to the store, with Maurmi of course, to pick up the newly ordered medicine because no one could find it in the store. Maurmi looked through every cart.


We retraced our steps, searched the aisles and shelves, but it was nowhere to be found. I returned to the pharmacy for the third time and promised not to lose it, even putting it in my mother’s purse to ensure it would stay with me.

As we left the store to head home, we walked past the scene of the crime and noticed there was still a bit of blood left. Interestingly, the large fella with the walkie talkie was also still there, still hooked up to the walkie….Having a snack…..

 

D is for really big idiot

I was simply horrified today when I saw that a local grocery store, my grocery store, my neighborhood location was the scene of a robbery. Actually, it was a bank satellite office inside of the bank. Perhaps the robber was looking to cash in on Mr. Big Shot $24,000 ATM Slip? I was determined to get to the bottom of it, so I threw on my Nancy Drew hat and headed to the supermarket to sniff out some clues.

OK, so that is a bunch of crap. I was headed home from an event at Finnegan’s school and had to stop  to grab a few things for an event at work tomorrow. I gathered my items and made my way to the front of the store and headed to the only open lane, which happened to be right next to the bank. I consider myself to be a friendly, outgoing gal (I hate the word gal, but in the following exchange, it seemed an appropriate name). Per my ususal, I whipped up the following convo with the 17ish male checker and his trusty sidekick, the bagger.

Me: Wow, I can’t believe that someone would really rob a bank, in a grocery store, with all of these people around.
Checker: Yeah, it was pretty dumb.
Me: I know. Who does that and thinks that they can get away with it with all of these security cameras?
Checker: People do dumb things all the time.
Me: Walking in here, to the front of the store past all of the cameras is like walking in with a big sign around your neck saying, remember my face, I am about to rob the place.They are just asking to be picked out of a lineup.
Checker: Yeah, people are dumb. They do all kinds of stuff that makes them stick out and makes them memorable. Some are just like hard to forget.
Me: I know, people are just dumb. It’s like they want to get caught. Thanks so much for your help. Have a great night.
Checker: You too, Mrs. Thomas.

Huh? Did he just call me Mrs. Thomas? I don’t write checks. He didn’t ask for my ID for the Diet Coke and water that I just purchased. I guess that I have shopped at this store so many times throughout the last decade that they have come to know me. What a nice young man. Wow, they really are the friendliest stores in town.

Or….I am the biggest idiot in town….you decide…..

Upon getting into my minivan I realized that right above my heart was this Godforsaken name tag…..I was just asking to be picked out in a line up…..idiot…..

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?

The Bird is the Word

This is an actual conversation that just took place at my house

Scott: Do we have any tape?

Me: Yes, in the drawer. What For?

Scott: This (holding up a then unidentifiable bunch of construction paper)

Me: Oh, who made that?

Scott: (Looking at me like I was a complete idiot) I did. I am now doing a lot of arts and crafts at work.

 Well, aren’t you hilarious. You look really hilarious now….      
Here is the real artist, Handsome #1
My precious love, Handsome #3

Sadly, Handsome #2 could not be reached to show his Cardinal pride, he was thinking over the decision to chuck train tracks across the room narrowly missing his infant brother’s head

Go Cards!

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…..

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