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.

Your kiss is on my list…….

When I heard Mika blaring “Love Today” in my ear this morning at exactly 6am, I wanted to punch him in the face. I had no desire to crawl out of my comfy cocoon, but hitting snooze isn’t an option when you have to be in a high school gym by 7:30, so I drug myself out of bed.

I knew it was destined to be one of those mornings when I found this in the shower.

Good Morning, have a nice day
Seriously, WTF is that? Why is it so hard to get the kids to clean up after their bath? If I have told him once, I have told  Scott 700 times, “I am the one who has to shower in here in the morning and I don’t want to have to step on this crap. Please be the responsible adult and make them pick up their toys!” And then I realized, $h!+, I was the moron who gave the boys a bath last night. And the reason that the toys remain on the shower floor is because someone attempted to drown someone else in the tub because he stole his washcloth and the only way that I was able to keep three children alive and not just two was to swiftly pull out one boy in each arm, and airlift them to their bedroom. At which point, I did a quick towel dry of their heads, put pajamas on wet bodies, which is about as fun as dressing an early 80s rubbery Barbie, and said a quick, “See you tomorrow.” I still had to feed the baby, clean the kitchen and fold the laundry that will NEVER end up in a drawer.

When I finally went to put said baby to bed thirty minutes later, I found this behind the rocker.

Surprise, I may or may not be dead under here
 Had the windows been open someone would have called 911 and reported multiple murders.”911 what is your emergency?””My neighbor across the street, the Grillin’ Fool’s wife, she appears to be in trouble. I think he may have had enough of her crap and thrown her on the Charbroil. They are all screaming. You better send several ambulances.”

This morning was a struggle, to say the least. The last few weeks have been this way……

          First there was this
Sharpie instead of lipstick, perfect….
And then this
Haven’t quite mastered shoes on the right feet….perfect
This morning, I did the unthinkable. I left home without my signature tube of slutty red lipstick. Talk about a WTF moment?!?!!? I don’t put lipstick on before I drop the boys at school and lay a big fat one on them for fear that the teachers will mistake my love and affection for child abuse or a nasty case of ringworm. So when I reached into my purse as I left the school parking lot, I was in a state of panic. I had two cell phones, a wallet, fruit snacks, diapers, wet wipes, three pairs on socks, tampons, a pair of Thomas the Train unnerwears, an iPad and a lint roller…..not a single tube of lips……
OMG

$h!+, I had to be in a high school in 15 minutes. No time to go home, no time to stop at Walgreens. No time for anything! I was forced to do the unthinkable, I had to go to school naked. No before you get all, she is so dramatic, on me, let’s be fair. The last time that I attempted to wear a different COLOR lipstick, Handsome #1 said,

“Mom, what is wrong with your face?”

Too bad, so sad, I had to go to work. I was angry, frazzled and not feeling myself at all. As I was setting up my table, a group of kids from a special education class were making their way through the gym early before it got too busy. A sweet-looking boy, maybe 15, came over and said hello.

He looked at my setup and said, “Oh, this isn’t for me.”

“That’s OK. I hope that you have a great day,” I replied and went back to getting organized.

He walked away, but swiftly turned around. He came back looking like he had left a book or a pencil behind. “Ma’am. I forgot. I forgot to say, you look pretty today.”

And off he went.
So simple, so kind and a total day changer. It was a slap in my face, and one that I needed today. A change in perspective. It isn’t about the lipstick, or the shoes, or the hair. It is about a smile and being kind. I would love to tell his mom, you are doing it right. I am sure that she worries, we all do. But when he is on his own, he is kind and loving and I truly hope that my boys are like that. Thank you God for sending him my way.
I’ll duckface the hell out of some red lips
As I left the parking lot, I smiled. But, as I caught my reflection in the rearview, I realized that I still looked like the Walking Dead, so the Odyssey made a quick left into Walgreens and soon, everything was right in the world again….And there is an extra tube in the ashtray, in case of an emergency……

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.

Day 8, you lost a wagon wheel and the baby is suffering from Typhoid

As of late, the Thomas family has been living a life eerily similar to those pathetic excuses for pioneers in the Oregon Trail video game. Everyone loved Oregon Trail Day at school, it meant a full 45 minutes of fording the river, shooting buffalo after buffalo knowing full well that you would never be able to carry the load back, purchasing senseless rations just because you could and hoping that no one caught dysentery on the way to California. I would have happily shot a buffalo and attempted to carry him home at any point during the last two weeks.
I have heard that boys are rough and tumble, prone to accidents and often covered in bruises, cuts and scrapes. I can handle that, I grew up with three brothers and the occasional scuffle would arise. One particular incident with a recliner has left one brother with a scar that could easily fool any late night bar patron to believe that he was either a) attacked by a bear or b) his kidney was stolen in the middle of the night and he awoke in a bathtub full of ice, but I digress. My sweet, innocent children have had a decent track record. No injuries, no major illnesses, just a pretty easy going four years.  Well, that is if you don’t count that little incident on Handsome #1’s first Easter, when I fell down the steps while holding him and inadvertently broke his leg in the process and didn’t seek medical attention for two days because, “he was fine.” Just a blip on the radar……
Happy First Birthday, you can discuss this with your therapist in 20 years
It was only fitting that our first  second major injury would take place on a day when we had plans. Not the kind of plans where you are going to the zoo and it rains, nope bigger. Not a birthday party that is cancelled because a child gets the flu. Nope, even bigger. My brother, Kevin, and his now wife, Emily, happened to be getting married on March 24. The exact same day that Finnegan marches into our bedroom and says pitifully, yet quite matter-of-factly,
“I fell out of my bed in the middle of the night and I screamed and cried and no one came to get me.”
Yep, the poor child took a header out of his bed and ended up with an injury requiring immediate medical attention, a mere six hours before he was to be a ring bearer in my brother’s wedding. Perfect! It certainly wouldn’t be a Dilthey function without a catastrophe, right? Right. So off to St. Anthony’s Cardinal Glennon pediatric ER for a couple of pictures. We arrived at the hospital and I very casually handed them my insurance card and asked, “How long is this going to take? My husband, two children and I are all in a wedding in a few hours, so we need to be out of here fast.” Hmmmm, that may have been a poor choice. Had I known then what I know now, I would have certainly kept a low profile in the ER.
He found this exciting and couldn’t wait to see his bones
Such a sweet baby, whose mother didn’t hear him cry….I could just die!
Handsome #1 was taken back to a room,  wheeled into X-Ray and asked a few questions about what happened. Ultimately, it was ruled a broken collar bone and he was given a sling to wear to help protect it. As soon as the sling was on, I proceeded to ask really dumb question number two, “Does he have to wear this in the wedding? I mean, there will be a lot of pictures.” The doctor looked at me like, WTF is wrong with you, and said yes it needed to be worn. Fabulous! The darling monogrammed john john will now be totally covered up, at least he will have on his black and white saddles, that made me happy…..Shallow, I know but don’t tell me for one second that if you have a darling outfit planned for your child and something changes that you aren’t pissed? You are just as shallow and a lousy parent just like me…..
This is the best picture I have to date, pitiful. Look at the tap dancer, it is a surprise we didn’t go right back!
Temporarily misplaced sling=Hillbilly healthcare
Handsome #! took to the sling like it was nothing and really gave me no trouble. Let’s fast forward to the following Saturday, shall we? We had family portraits planned that day for Handsome #1, Handsome #2  and Nephew #1 that day. I pressed their seersucker pants, white polos with their monograms and shamrocks and laid out their navy and white saddles. The boys were bathed, dressed and we were on our way to Faust Park.
The ride was uneventful, a little Fresh Beat Band, Yo Gabba Gabba, Dolly Parton for a diversion and a little 9 to 5. We no sooner pulled into the parking lot that I heard the familiar grumbling and splatter. I turn to see my precious Handsome #2 covered from head to toe in banana vomit. Perfect, just perfect. My picture was just ruined.  I couldn’t possibly get Finnegan’s picture taken without Handsome #2, so I turned the car around and headed back home. Not without an extremely over dramatic phone call to Scott where I sobbed uncontrollably about how nothing ever goes right, my life is terrible, I just want one simple picture is that too much to ask and blah, blah, blah…….I think he fell asleep have way through, or at the very least put me on mute.
The next day I had just about had it with being a parent and was thrilled to have a diversion and headed to a family baby shower. No sooner did I walk in the door from my afternoon of being a big girl without someone crying or screaming or rubbing snot on me, that Brennan awoke from his nap. He was clingy and acting incredibly disoriented.  I asked Scott if anything strange had happened and he said that he had fallen off of the chair and bumped his head, but didn’t really cry. This scared the shit of me and then the barfing came. Again, and again, and again. Back to St. Anthony’s Cardinal Glennon ER we went. Perfect, last Saturday, my son fell and I didn’t go to help him or rescue him, which he has made a point to tell everyone, and this time, my other son has fallen and I wasn’t around so I am just not sure what happened to him. I could already hear the call to DFS being made!
He was so sick
This was before the screaming began
Clearance to go home =44 0z of Diet Dr. Pepper
Same routine as last weekend, we got a room, a few X-rays some antinausea medication and the clinical diagnosis of a potential concussion. In other words, no serious damage and he was OK to go home. Thank God! No one even mentioned that I had been there the week before. Maybe they didn’t notice, or maybe they didn’t think that I was crazy, or maybe, just maybe they believed that I wasn’t trying to kill my children! I have certainly closed my eyes from time to time in an effort to make them evaporate, just for 10 minutes or so, but I would never hurt my babies.
Once we were settled back home, it because apparent that whatever was causing this barfing had taken over Handsome #2 and it wasn’t stopping. There was barf everywhere. Scott and I put the kids to sleep hoping for the best, but braced for the worst. And the worst was upon us, Handsome #1 started to barf too. I covered the furniture and floors with sheets, I handed everyone a bucket and urged them to aim well.  Typhoid, dysentery, diphtheria I don’t know what it was, but it was bad and they were down.
We have a piper down…..
Please note that is not vomit on the child, instead Popsicle residue
Thankfully, the plague was rather short lived and we were able to resume normal activity at the Thomas House just in time for Easter and Uncle Jimbo’s 27th birthday extravaganza.
I told you no more pictures!
My mom thought that it would be a real hoot to have a piñata at the party. Being the athlete that I am, I decided that I should help Handsome #1 to bust the piñata open…..It didn’t go so well……Well, I must depart now break time is over in the slammer, until next time, enjoy……

40 Days to Fabulous

Lent is upon me and there is no better time to get off of my fat a$$ and start exercising again. We all know that I am all talk, little action. This time; however, I fully intend to stick to it……

Day one is done……day two coming up

Because I’m Bad, I’m Bad…………really, really bad……

I should have seen it coming. I should have been prepared. All of the signs were there. How could I have been so stupid? There were both physical and behavioral changes, and yet I did nothing to protect myself or to be proactive.
He began to grow a majestic, yet angry mane
He danced on tables without fear
As his brother looked on in horror
This happens to novice parents, not experts like me. But this morning, as I gazed into those beautiful blue eyes, it was as if I could see the flames flickering. I really only have myself to blame.  I have gotten cocky. One good week at Mass, and all of a sudden my son is ready for canonization? Not quite, after this morning’s performance, I think that he may be closer to excommunication.
It started out innocent enough, really it did. We arrived at 10:30 Mass, my strapping lads and I, and made our way to the cry room. Brennan was getting a bit restless by the end of the first prayer, but with Thomas the train in one pocket and a bag of Kix in the other, I was golden. He began with the chorus of “Up, momma, down, momma, up momma, down, momma.” So, I plugged his mouth with a sippy cup of apple juice and went on about my business. Unbeknownst to me, Handsome #2 was winding up on the pitcher’s mound ready to beam an unsuspecting parishioner in the head. I watched in horror as the cup went flying through the air, missing a gentleman, by mere centimeters.  Humiliated, I sheepishly made my way to the front of the room, apologized and sat back down.
(Please note, this was taken after Mass, and is merely a reinactement, well sort of, he was really trying to get out)
As I made my way back to the pew, he stood on the bench, looked at me and cackled. He ran back and forth, taunting me with his eyes, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, you can’t get me.” It was like trying to catch a fish with my bare hands, I finally grabbed hold of him and he slipped right through my arms and made his way to the cry room door. “Help, help. Peasseeee help!” He screamed as if he was locked in a cage filled with live animals. I grabbed him again and attempted to sit him on my lap. But instead he made himself as stiff as a board and howled in agony.
At this point, poor Handsome #1 tried everything to get him to calm down. I think he was afraid that the child was either going to burst into flames right there, or that I was going to make good on my threat to leave someone behind. After handing over trains, cereal, cups and his own prized possessions Handsome #1took a leap of faith and lead his brother by the hand to the stained glass. At this point, my heart melted. He stood and patiently told his baby brother about the colors as Handsome #2 pointed and repeated. It was beautiful to see the love that my boys had for one another and I beamed. That was until Handsome #2 caught my stare and immediately began to scream. “House, Momma! House now! Now! Now!”
Imagine this without Maurmi and wax figures and insert stained glass and people trying to pray in silence

I soon realized that the rest of the cry room’s inhabitants had moved far to the left of the room, I think that they were afraid that the pea soup he was certain to spew was going to stain their Sunday best. For the next 15 minutes we fought, position after position for him to find comfort. We never found that magic spot, but it was time for Holy Communion and a nice walk. You would have thought that he was walking on to a stage, his demeanor changed immediately as we walked out of the door. As we made our way down the aisle, he sweetly waved bye-bye and said Amen! Making all of the old ladies smile.

As Mass came to an end, we walked out to the parking lot and I was stopped not once, not twice, but THREE times to tell me how darling and well behaved my children were. I smiled sweetly, said thank you, and inhaled deeply to be sure that I was not knowingly letting anyone who had clearly hit the Bloody Mary bar before church drive home and kill anyone.
I buckled Brennan in first and made my way to the other side of the car to get Finnegan settled. He is a big boy and buckles himself, so it is a fast effort. As I turned on the car, buckled my seatbelt and checked the review mirror, this is what I saw……….Perfect…….

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

With Pat Benatar as my inspiration, I packed my children up on Sunday morning and headed to Assumption in an effort to have all of our souls cleansed of the week’s sins. Scott and I have already begun the sacrifice of Catholic education with our dear, sweet, angelic, never misbehaving or sassy-mouthed or tasted soap,Handsome #1, so heading to church is part of the package.  He comes home with cute little prayers and songs and insists on praying alone at the dinner table, so Mass should be right up his ally, right? Not so much. Instead, the mere mention of church starts the wining, crying and I am not going chant. Or, as I like to refer to it, the negotiations.  He is shrewd and cunning. He will begin with a ridiculous request like wearing his entire outfit inside out or watching 37 episodes of Pink Panther before we leave, knowing that I will say no and will eventually work his way into getting an entire backpack filled with rubber fish for the trip. As we were getting out of the car, I noticed that he had swiped his train hat off of the hook and looked like he was headed to run the Zooline Railroad. The conversation went as follows…..
Mr. Conductor
Me: “Handsome #1, you may not wear a hat in church.”
Handsome #1: “Why? Will Jesus get confused and think that I am a conductor.”
Me: “Just take it off.”
He is always so happy
Then, there is my Handsome #2. He is precious with his doe eyes and darling little bowl cut. At just 19 months, his vocabulary is exploding and he likes to share his gift of language with the entire congregation as soon as it is quiet. He prefers to yell things like, “Down, down, down, down, down, down. No, no, no, no, no, no. Out, out, out, out. Maurmi, Momma, Maurmi, Momma, Brudee, Brudee. Eye, nose, nose, nose. “And then comes the grunt heard round the world that causes that embarrassing swift exit out of the pew, down the aisle and into the germ-infested cry room. It is as if they keep it 20 degrees warmer to encourage the growth of bacteria. Every child is covered in snot and slime and is rosy cheeked from their peeking fever.  Once in the cry room, Handsome #2 proceeds to touch everything and every child and Monday morning we pay a visit to the pediatrician in an effort to identify the rash that has just popped up!
And well behaved
Never in any trouble
This Sunday; however, was going to be different. There would be no crying, or screaming or infections. Instead, I came prepared for the worst. Armed with trains, juice, books, hand sanitizer and snacks; I was taking charge of this Mass. Most mothers would consider this standard operating procedure. I am much more of a grab a diaper on the run, no wipes, praying that there is no poop and if you get hungry let’s hope I forgot to eat my breakfast one day this week and there is a fiber bar in the bottom of my purse that will lead to that poop that I am not prepared for, so it can’t be a long trip and if you are screaming and thirsty, Momma never gets too far away from a QT, kind of mom.  This kind of parenting has always worked for me, so the overly prepared stuff was a new ball game.
Knowing that Handsome #2 was in no way shape or form going to make it through Mass among the parishioners, I opted for the cry room from the start. I arrived early, go me, and was able to take the first pew. I strategically placed myself, my children and all of our bags across the entire pew as not to encourage any of the sticky people to sit next to me. My plan worked beautifully as we were the only people in the cry room and my boys were able to be there darling selves and I could participate in a prayer or two. That was until THEY walked in.
I am certain they must be church hoppers .You know, the kind that can’t attend the same church two weeks in a row because their children act so horribly that the Priest asks for a reprieve. The parents, haggard and lowly took their twin daughters, who must have been about four, way too old for the crap that they were about to pull, to the back of the room. We hadn’t gotten to the first, “And with your Spirit,” -another bonus for me attending, and knowing some of the responses without the cue card, Mass since the change- before it started.
The two children, who I will refer to as The Most Annoying Whiner on the planet, or Whiney for short, and You Have Got to Be Kidding Me, Shut Up, or Crybaby, to protect their good names, started in with what can only be described as what I believe that a goat giving birth must sound like. The parents just kept saying, “Shhhh. Let’s be quiet, please.” And, “That is enough Winey.” “Crybaby, daddy doesn’t like that.” But when that didn’t cut it, they moved on to the, “If you don’t stop it we are going to the car.” Really? That sounds like a reward, for all of us.
Then, the running of the bulls began. They circled the pews over and over. I felt like a spectator at the Indy 500. At one point, it became so crazy, that my boys were hanging on to me for dear life Handsome #2 was petrified. He wanted out, and he wanted out fast. He began to bang on the glass window as if he were a caged ape at the zoo. People began to turn around to see what all of the commotion was about. They were shooting ME dirty looks because my child was tapping the glass. Little did they know it was a cry for help. He was hoping that someone would see him, hear him and help him to escape unharmed.
As the Mass continued and the behavior continued to degenerate, the parents got out the sugary cereal. Awesome! However, if it had not been for the cereal incident, I may not have noticed the other strange goings on in the cry room. For instance, the couple that was holding hands, facing one another about an inch apart as if they were renewing their wedding vows, the entire Mass. Nope, it wasn’t the sign of peace, nor the petitions, they were having a rehearsal of sorts among the toddlers. It was uncomfortable, but I couldn’t stop watching. Then I noticed the man that was there, in the cry room, alone. Like, no kids, no spouse, just hanging out. Why would you opt for the germ farm? Whatevs, dude.
By the time Communion rolled around, I couldn’t wait to move. I mean, between the wonder twins, Angelina and Billy Bob and creepster, I needed a break. I noticed as I was walking through the line that people were looking, smiling and laughing. I thought, how sweet, my children as so precious. I am so glad that they are well behaved. Handsome #1 dutifully held my hand as I carried Handsome #1 through the line as he played with his beloved Thomas the Train…….or was that a Tampax…………God help me! Handsome #1
********************************BLOG BONUS*************************************
Monday I enjoyed a day off with my boys, Maurmi and Uncle Jimbo at St. Louis Mills. The trip proved to be too much for Handsome #2, who passed out during his lunch. I hope will you enjoy the video and pics as much as we did. And no, he was not helped out of the chair until the proper documentation was completed.
Going
Going
Gone

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

I’m startin with the Chub in the mirror…….

You haven’t seen a blog from me in two weeks because I have been filming a new fitness video. No, not because I have become the model of health. Instead because I have done nothing but be a slug and Richard Simmons wanted me to come out and model for a new Sweatin video with all of the other “Big Mamas.” OK, that’s not true either. The fact of the matter is, just like every other time in my life that I have somehow committed to becoming physically fit and active; I got bored and took a vacation. I have several excuses, which I am more than happy to share. 
There was a final workout, but it made me cross eyed. Wouldn’t you quit too?
1.       It was too damn hot-This could be viewed as a reasonable excuse. We did have record hot temps and it would be dangerous for even the most seasoned professional to be out running. I do, however, have a very nice air-conditioned alternative. My father gave my mother a brand new top-of-the-line treadmill for Christmas. And since my parent’s driveway is exactly 0.6 miles from my own, there is no reason that I did not use said treadmill. Let us also not forget that my mother watches my children four days a week and I am there the other three as well.
The heat caused me and my children to become dehydrated. What 15-month-old doesn’t need a 44oz DC?
2.       I was too tired-Why shouldn’t I be tired? I work a full time job, I have two small children and I have to keep up with housework. How could I possibly fit in 30 minutes of exercise? Well, chubby, since you are the first woman ever to have a job AND be married with children, you certainly should get a pass!
3.        There was a lot of TV to watch-Trying to balance exercise when Hoarders, Jerseylicios, Teen Mom and Intervention are on is tough. You add in Toddlers and Tiaras and Dance Moms and you might as well start serving my meals in the bedroom. I have several hours of trashy television that I need to watch on a weekly basis and I prefer to eat crap while I watch them, this combination does not lend itself to exercise. Instead of working hard to look good, I relied on the all black approach to hide underneath.
Black Clothing is slimming
This much black eyeliner is appalling
4.       Brennan messed up my C25K App-Of course I will blame it on the baby! He somehow got a hold of my phone and removed the app, or so I thought. When I went to reinstall the app, I was told that it was already installed. What is a girl to do? Perhaps scroll through to the absolute last apps page on your iPhone and see that he simply moved it, idiot!
5.       We have no healthy food in the house-It is hard to follow a proper low calorie diet when you cabinets are stocked with sweet and salty carb-filled delicious treats! When the bananas turned brown, I tossed them. Perhaps it would have made more sense to waddle on over Schnucks to replenish the supply instead of living off of a diet of fiber bars and Cheez its, because that was all that was around.

If there are no healthy options at home, by all means, eat out
6.       My body is broken-Because my thyroid doesn’t function properly, I am sometimes rendered a useless slug. Almost a year ago I was literally falling apart, and I had no idea why. I went to the doctor to be treated for severe depression and left with a prescription for Synthroid. It turns out that my thyroid levels were so out of whack, I had likely been functioning without it for YEARS! How do you not know that? The hair loss, extremely itchy skin and absolutely no desire to get out of bed in the morning was alarming. The fact that I was so fat and bloated that my face looked like someone had blown me up with a bicycle pump was what finally made me think, hmm something is wrong here.
Guess which one of us is 8 months pregnant and which one can barely open her eyes through the bloat?!?!            
And there you have it. All of the reasons why I could not do anything but eat and be lazy for two weeks.Now, I am pissed at myself. I should be close to finishing the C25K program, but because I chose fat Colleen over healthy, I have to start again with week 5! It pisses me off even more because I really wanted to be down to my wedding weight of 149 by my fifth anniversary on September 30, but instead I have gained two pounds and I am at 164. 
But what pisses me off the most is that I promised myself that if I got to 150, I would buy myself a darling pair of sequined Uggs. They are over-the-top and borderline hideous, but I LOVE them and could totally pull them off! Instead of being cozy in a new pair of Uggs, my fat ass will be staying warm with all of the extra fluff that is still hanging around my thighs and stomach. God, I am so aggravated with myself.  I knew this would happen, it always does, but I am bound and determined to get it back together tomorrow. So help me God, I want those boots. I will be dragging myself out of bed in the morning. No, I am not in it for the healthier lifestyle, the sense of accomplishment, the athleticism….Hell no, I want to strut my stuff in some cute boots and skinny jeans………….But for now, I am going to bask in the glory of the delicious chocolate chip pancakes that I made for dinner and tune into some trash TV.
God these are so ridiculous, I HAVE to have them!
*****Blog Bonus*****
While my weight gain may only be two pounds, I am afraid that it may have seriously altered my physical appearance, at least in the eyes of my youngest son. I was picking the boys up from my mom’s last week as I always do. They were upstairs in Uncle Jimbo’s room, which happens to have a Goodfellas poster hanging on the wall. I heard laughter coming from the room, so was all too eager to join in the fun. Jimmy was holding Brennan who was pointing at the poster and saying, “Momma, momma.” No, he wasn’t showing me anything; he was pointing at Paul Sorvino and calling HIM Momma…..Perfect…..
It is like looking in the mirror

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