Love Actually

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All during the month of February, I’ve focused on the word “love.”  It is the month of Valentine’s Day after all.  I’ve posted quotes on Facebook and Instagram all about showing the love.  I’ve focused my efforts on giving love, whether in service to others or learning to love myself a little better.  I’ve really tried to see the face of God in every person I’ve met or crossed paths with in one way or another.  I’ve even tried to love Donald Trump.  Ok…  So, I’m totally lying about that one.  Sorry.  I’m only human.  I’ve tried to smile more, engage strangers, look for ways to offer kindness and service, live out my faith in my day to day life.

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Well…I was doing really good till the last two days of February.  On February 27th, it all went to hell.  Where you will probably find me…  with my grocery cart of anger and bitterness.  There are two places where I’ve found myself to be at my most vulnerable to react negatively – the grocery store and behind the wheel of my car.  If I’m going to present the worst version of myself, it usually happens in one of those scenarios.  Patience, love, kindness and sanity – all completely thrown out the window when I either enter the swish swish doors of my local grocer or when I slip behind the wheel of my car. I don’t know what happens to me.  It’s almost an out of body experience, I see myself behaving badly but appear powerless to stop it.

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It was a Monday, which should have been my first clue not to leave the house, but did I listen? Nope.  I dropped my husband off at the train station, and decided to stop by the store on the way home to just grab a few things, less than 5, it would take no time at all.  I’d zip in, then zip out.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Right?  Wrong.  First, I talked myself into popping into the easiest grocery store from a navigation/proximity perspective.  After all, I only needed like maybe 5 things, 6 tops.  This is my least favorite location of this particular chain.  It smells funny.  I dislike the layout and parking is always bad.  I knew better than to stop here.  I should have gone just a teensy bit out of my way and perhaps none of this would have happened and I could have closed the month of February feeling as if I’d at least adequately mimicked a good person, full of love, generosity of spirit and a heart bursting with kindness and compassion.

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Might seem a tad dramatic, but you understand my point.  So, I grab my few items and walk immediately to the “speedy checkout” line.  There are two people ahead of me.  The lady checking out is an employee buying some gummy bears and the girl in front of me, has maybe 22 items (even though the sign says 20 or less…but that’s okay, I’m choosing to let it go, if only I’d kept up that mantra).  As it turns out, the employee is buying 2 things of candy, apparently paying for them separately.  She is talking animatedly with the cashier, like they have all the time in the world.  I can feel the tiny pinpricks of annoyance.  I force myself to smile (which was probably more of a grimace really).  Her second transaction gets messed up.  Sigh.  More laughing and talking.  I’m thinking she eats that package of gummy bears faster than she paid for them.  My mood is deteriorating at lightning speed.  I can feel myself deconstructing, my good intentions paving that road to hell.  A road that will be paved before she finishes paying for these damn gummy bears.  At this point, my mask of tolerance has slipped and probably something like this has been left in its place…

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Naturally, she chooses this moment to turn around and look behind her (yeah color me speechless, you aren’t the only one in this line!)  She grabs another candy bar (which I ungraciously think she doesn’t really need…) and includes it with the gummy purchase.  Finally!  She is done.  She turns around and hands the candy bar to the girl in front of me (who has been on her cell phone the whole time probably tweeting complaints about the amount of time this lady is taking btw) and thanks her for being patient, then shoots me a dirty look.  I feel a tiny bit of remorse for my impatience.  Ok, not really.  The slight just makes me more agitated and annoyed.

The girl ahead of me is super speedy (God bless her).  Then it’s finally my turn.  Hours later.  I unload all my items, grab my purse and step toward the cashier when he does the thing that completely sends me over the edge.  He actually beckons to the guy behind me and says, “hey since you only have one thing, I’ll check you out real quick.”

OH NO HE DIDN’T.

THIS IS SO NOT HAPPENING.

I mean, yes, he only had one thing but I was next in line and I had been waiting longer.  He just got there!  Sure, there have been times, when I’m not in a hurry, that I’ve let people with fewer items step ahead of me, but that’s been MY choice.  I can’t even find words.  I’m just standing there with my mouth hanging open.  Incredulous.  When my brain catches up to the scene playing out in front of me, my face turns from shocked bewilderment to something that I’m pretty sure looks like this –

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He ignores my death stare and sharp breaths that would rival Darth Vader’s.  I know my face is bright red, I can actually feel the rage.  I’m so pissed off.  The only thing that saved him and me was the fact I was too angry to even speak.  I just stared him down.  I didn’t even acknowledge the guy buying his yellow stupid ball; although, in hindsight, why would he accept!  I would have at least made sure it was okay with the person waiting in front of me that I was cutting off!  I can feel myself getting mad all over again, just reliving it here. This is why I would never carry a gun.  I know my limitations.  Yes, I was that angry.  I was in a hurry to get home.  It had been a long day, and I only needed 6 THINGS!  SIX!  I jerked my items off the turnstile and threw them in my cart, finding every possible passive aggressive form of anger I could use against this seemingly unaffected cashier.  To his credit, my anger and eye shooting daggers didn’t seem to phase him in the least.  When nonverbal communication doesn’t work to affectively notify the object of my ire that I’m angry, I result to muttering under my breath.  Which I began to do now.  I think he just thought I was crazy.  Yeah yeah…don’t say it.  I know.

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The next morning, against my better judgment, I go to the same store, different location.  I needed binders and school supplies and it was too early for Staples and Target was too far.  There were no checkout lines open, so I had to use the self-checkout option.  Not a big deal.  I’m pro.  As I scan each item and drop into a bag, I get an error message.

“Unexpected item in the bagging area.”

This happened after each item.

EACH.

ITEM.

I had 6 binders, tab dividers, coffee, orange juice and apple juice, a journal and a spiral.

By the 3rd item, I could feel it happening again.  I get to the 4th binder and it won’t ring up.  It says the barcode is invalid.  At this point, the cashier is practically standing on top of me because she keeps having to enter her code after I scan each item.  She attempts to scan it, even though she just watched me do it, and same error message.  She attempts to manually type in the code.  THREE TIMES.  Same error message.

Then.

She walks away.  WITH MY BINDER.  Saying nothing.

I’m all like…um excuse me?  I need that?

She responds, “the code is wrong.”

Ummm.  Yeah.  I got that part.  But I say, “well, I have another one, the same size…?”

She responds, “different brand.”

Are you freaking kidding me?  They are like 50 cents.  Ok so there are literally 5 employees just standing around talking, maybe she was going to ask one of them to go pick up another binder for me?

Nope.

She walked over (with my binder under her arm) and helped another customer.  Shaking my head, I rang up the rest of my purchases.  Getting an error message each time about the unexpected bagging.  At this point, my jaw is clenched, my hands fisted.  It’s taking everything I have not to erupt.  She clears my errors from her main terminal, not walking back towards me.  So she’s not completely clueless.  After I ring everything up, but the binder in question, I look over at her again.

She’s still holding my binder.

I say, “Umm… I didn’t put that into my cart for looks, I kinda need it?  Can you send someone to get another one, or can I leave my stuff here?”

Her response.

“It won’t scan.”

OMG

I’m done.  I’m need to get out of here. Screw the binder.  I will make one out of lasagna noodles and string!

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The month wasn’t a complete bust.  As a family, we spent one early Sunday morning in service to the homeless population in our downtown area with an organization that faithfully serves this marginalized portion of our society, feeding them physically, spiritually and emotionally.  It’s one of our favorite missions, and a time to truly live outside yourself and your own unique set of circumstances and learn the value of loving and helping others and the true definition of grace.  It’s a reminder to those who serve how much you have to be thankful for in your life.  A humbling experience that reminds each of us how precarious life can be and by the grace of God how much we are loved.

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In reflecting on my behavior in those two incidents, I am reminded of the hours spent in service to others that cold Sunday morning.  I’m brought low by my negativity, my poor behavior, my impatience with others, my anger and my selfishness.  I spent that last day of February in quiet reflection and prayer.  Thankful, that God’s grace has been bestowed upon me.  Reminded that although I will always be perfectly imperfect, made in His image, I’ve been afforded His grace, love and forgiveness, unconditionally and forever and that it is always within my power to extend that same love, forgiveness and grace to others, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.  It’s probably a lesson I will have to learn anew each day as I live out my faith as a flawed and fragile human being.

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I woke up on this new day, March 1st, with the promise of spring in the air, feeling renewed and refreshed.  During this season of Lent, I wanted to give up something meaningful, something possibly life-changing.  Not chocolate or social media or carbs.  I wanted to do something really hard, something that would require daily (heck even hourly) purposeful intention.

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I’m giving up…

IMPATIENCE

True story.  I might have to take up drinking.

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If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice and I really need to work on this. It’s probably my worst vice and leads to many others.  Wish me luck.  I’m going to need it.

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I’ll leave you with this Irish Blessing ❤

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If The Bra Fits…

I love the holidays.  Truly.  I love having my kiddos around and my husband underfoot.  Constantly.  Every where I turn, there he is!  It.  Is.  So.  Awesome.  I tease.  It is nice to have him around, he’s just not good at relaxing and enjoying the moment.  I’ve mastered slug-life, my husband, not so much.  For the most part, he has to be doing something.  Luckily, Santa brought man-child an Xbox One and the new Star Wars game for Christmas.  Yeah, so now I’m privy to conversations like these:

“Stop yelling at me!” – husband

“Just let me play, I’m learning!” – husband

“Will you just sit over there and be quiet, it’s my turn!” – husband

“What!??! NOOOOO!!!! That is such crap!” – husband

“This gun is crap.” – husband

“If you don’t stop, I’ll turn it off and no one will play!” – husband

“Mommy, dad says I’m yelling at him, but I’m just trying to help and it’s my game.” – man-child

“Turn that frown upside down” – man-child

“I would if we didn’t have to wait because you were jerking around, quit fiddling with the buttons and just press B!” – husband

“Are you quitting because I’m better than you?” – man-child

Good times.  LOVE the holidays.

I’m very excited to spend the gift cards I received.  Specifically, my Victoria Secret gift card.  The first place I lose weight is my boobs.  I’ve lost almost 70 pounds and I’m convinced that it’s been like 25 pounds per boob.  Needless to say, I need new bras.

My oldest daughter and I were watching the DVD series I got for Christmas.  We had just returned from a 3 mile walk in air you could literally chew, it was so humid and ridiculously hot for December at a balmy 76 degrees.  My face was bright red, my hands swollen, sweat dripping from pretty much every body part.  Super sexy.  I’m wheezing, dying.  My daughter sits down beside me on the couch and pulls the heavy fleece blanket over her mid-section.  I don’t even want to be wearing clothes at this point.

“How can you stand to be covered up with a blanket right now?” I ask her.

She says, “I have to cradle something in my lap, over my stomach, when I sit down.”

I look down and say, “Yeah, well that’s what my boobs are for…”

“Mom…please.  No.”

What?

So yeah, I need a new bra.  I don’t even know what size bra I need.  My daughter says that I should just let them measure me at the store.  Yeah, that’s not happening.  I’m sure I can find a tutorial on YouTube or something.  She thinks I’m being ridiculous, but I’m not having my boobs measured by a stranger.  Period.  I’m just super excited that I can fit in anything they sell at Victoria Secret.  I’m hoping there are some good after Christmas sales, cause a $75 gift card at VS will buy you like…half a bra.  Normally, I would just buy my lingerie from Target.  However, I do feel like VS lingerie is sort of decadent, like exotic candy, and I deserve a treat.  I might buy some panties too.  I hate that word, panties.  I’m not sure my bottom half would get the coverage it requires from the VS panty.  I’ve folded my daughter’s laundry.  I thought it was a piece of lint stuck to the side of her pajama bottoms until I peeled it off and realized it was actually underwear.  If you can call it that.  I like the security in knowing my bits are covered, plus I’m a little concerned that underwear that tiny might actually get lost if I attempt to put it on.  Taking off your underwear shouldn’t be a search and rescue mission.  Color me silly, but I want to actually feel like I’m wearing underwear.  I don’t do commando.  I’d rather have a panty line honestly.  Even if it’s a granny panty line.  Bless those companies that try to make big girl panties sexy.  You can put lace and bows on a tent, it’s still a tent.  I love this scene from Bridget Jones Diary, cause I mean seriously, who hasn’t been here at one point or another? Right?

As a woman, it often feels like we have only 2 choices, functional or sexy, but rarely both, at least when it comes to lingerie and shoes.

The girls and I have talked about how scary it must be sometimes for a man to wake up next to a woman for the first time.  She’s taken out the hair extensions, wiped the make-up off, stripped the false eyelashes, taken out the contacts, shed the push-up, padded bra and shimmied off the spanx.  He must feel so disoriented and confused.  Poor guy.

Well, I’m off to shop.  No there will not be pics.  You’re welcome ❤

Happy New Year!

Am I Dying? No Seriously…Am I?

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The first thing I think of when I hear the phrase “Lifetime Achievement Award” is the word…dead.  I mean that is typically an award one receives posthumously, right?  Seriously, who wants to receive a lifetime achievement award at 40?  Aren’t you pretty much just throwing in the white towel?  Nothing to see here folks, keep moving along, I got my lifetime achievement award so for the next 40-50 years I’m going to talk about my lifetime achievement award but never actually achieve anything else, because hello…I already got the award!  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, and of course, I think I’m awesome and totally deserve such an honor, but I also spent many sleepless nights after I found out I would be receiving this award at the blogger equivalent of the Oscar’s worried that I was dying and no one had told me.

I’m being completely serious, every pimple was a potential tumor or cancerous cell (and really who still gets a zit at 40!) and I spent hours… HOURS… combing through WebMD and Google researching every symptom that I was convinced would lead to my untimely death.  I wish I could say that I was able to enjoy knowing that I was the recipient of such an honor, but I was too busy being firmly held down by terror’s grip that this meant my life was over.  So that lasted a few days, stealing my happiness and forcing me to suck the life out of everyone around me with my constant worry and fear.  Eventually, bigger fears took over, like what was I going to wear and would Adam Levine finally give me the acknowledgment I deserve and agree to be my date for this auspicious event.  I think my letter to him explaining the award I was to receive and my complete certainty that death was knocking on my door was quite convincing, so I wasn’t really concerned he would turn my offer down, but still…I had to keep the husband on standby.  Then I was hit with the worst fear of all, what would I say?!?!?!

And that my friend is the subject of this Super Secret Subject Swapapalooza submitted by the equally talented and hilarious Jenn over at Life On The Sonny Side.  Between you and me, I totally think she should have won.  Okay, not really, but that’s what I’m supposed to say…you know to be gracious and humble and all that crap, but who am I kidding?  I won a Lifetime Achievement Award; my days of humility are behind me.  There were a total of 15 brave bloggers that were considered equally deserving of this award, and my publicist is totally making me publish their links on my website, so you can scroll down if you absolutely must and check them out (between you and me, TOTALLY not worth it, but apparently SOME people think I’ve turned into some insane megalomaniac or something…whatevs, their just jealous of my success, so feel free to waste your time, but that’s why YOU don’t have this award sitting on your mantle with a spotlight shining on it).

Since I am such a consummate professional and perfectionist, I thought it best that I study past award acceptance speeches to help me cultivate my own.  I believe this turned out to be an invaluable resource and if I may brag for a moment, made my speech the best ever speech given at an award show ever in the history of award shows, but I’m sure I’m just being modest.    In case you missed the broadcast (because it was on some obscure cable channel); I have taken the time and trouble to provide the script to my speech here for your reading pleasure.  Enjoy and no need to thank me.

DRUMROLL PLEASE

“OMG I can’t believe I won!  I’m just so shocked.  OMG, I just LOVE YOU ALL!  I LOVE EVERYBODY!  I’m just speechless right now.  OMG I know there are people I need to thank, but I’m just feeling overwhelmed.  Can I take a minute?  (Audience laughter)  (A moment of carefully orchestrated uncontrollable sobbing by yours truly before I compose myself and bravely soldier onward)  Now I know what Roberto Benigni meant when he said he “would like to be Jupiter and kidnap everybody and take them to the firmament and make love to everybody.”  (Audience laughter) I get you Robby!  I totally get you now and life is indeed beautiful!  I’m so not prepared, I mean there are so many beautiful and talented bloggers in this category, and I just never thought I’d be standing up before you today, so I can’t even formulate a thought (insert nervous laughter followed by more uncontrollable sobbing).  I can’t seem to stop crying, I mean if you only knew what trials I’ve overcome to stand before you this night.  I’m such a little insignificant blogger; it is such an honor to be the recipient of such a prestigious award and held by so many distinguished bloggers before me.  I’m just a mom and a wife, yet here I am tonight standing before you in this dress supported by my amazing boyfriend (blows a kiss to Adam) and my equally amazing husband watching me now from our couch at home while he takes care of our 4 incredibly wonderful children.  I’m so blessed (pretty sobbing, not ugly girl cry face sobbing).  I don’t know what I did in my life to deserve all this; I’m just a girl from a small town in Texas who had a dream.  I love my family so much, without them I wouldn’t be standing here today.  I mean I am so in love with them, each and every one.  Don’t worry, you won’t catch me making out with my siblings or anything (ahem Angelina), but seriously, behind every great woman is a great supporting cast and network.  I’m so pumped that I could do a one arm push up right now!  (Audience laughter and clapping)  I feel like the queen of the world!  Woo hoo!!!!  (uncomfortable audience laughter?)  Speaking of Titanic, anyone else annoyed with the overuse of the names “Rose!” and “Jack!”  Seriously, go back and watch it.  You will be annoyed.  And I really don’t understand why she couldn’t have shared the door so the love of her life didn’t freeze to death and die…but I don’t want to digress (nervous tittering from me, I wasn’t really nervous, but I wanted to appear endearing).  I just think an award like this means I’m liked, and I am so happy to be liked and adored.  I feel like Mary Poppins!  I love all of you so much, and I wish everyone could win (puhleeze…who ever thinks that?)  Adam, darling!  Thank you so much for escorting me tonight.  Every blogger should be so lucky to have such delicious arm candy.  My husband!  Thank you so much for allowing Adam to escort me tonight, I wish you were here (not here here because…Adam)!  I’d like to thank my children who help provide the richly entertaining fodder that is my blog’s content.  But most of all, I would like to thank…ME.  (cue  music) No, let me explain…  (security forcibly gently drags escorts me offstage)”

Why shouldn’t I thank myself?  It’s my blog!  I write it!  Well, despite being so rudely shut down by the blogger award officials and their goon squad, I think we can all safely agree that this is the best award speech ever given.  I think the uncontrollable sobbing was well played.  I thought about going with hysterical over the top laughter, but crying won out in the end.  It was good right?  I mean you totally get why I won right?  Hahaha of course you do, who am I kidding 😉

If you are a blogger who struggles to figure out what to write, whether it be informative or amusing, worries about letting down his/her readers,  pat yourself on the back, you deserve it!  Keep keeping on!  Those of us who read you, need you!

And let me add this quick apology for being late to post today.  I can’t for the life of me figure out this timed posting thing, it never works, and by never I mean the two times I’ve tried it have been epic failures.  So to the other bloggers in the swap and to the amazing Karen at Baking In A Tornado, who takes the time out of her busy schedule to keep us entertained and on track and who comes up with some simply brilliant ideas for blog content (I’m a little bit sucking up because I was late but only a little bit), I apologize and I can’t wait to read you all!

Without further adieu, check out these fantastic peeps tweep and beeps (that means friends for you uncool unhip people).

http://www.BakingInATornado.com

http://chewylicious.wordpress.com

http://smn0409.blogspot.com

http://dinoheromommy.com

http://justalittlenutty.com

http://followmehome.shellybean.com

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com

http://lifeonthesonnyside.blogspot.com

dates2diapers2.blogspot.com

http://www.tinystepsmommy.com

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com

http://www.amotherlife.com

http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com

http://hypnoticbard.blogspot.com

Be Afraid….Be Very Afraid

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I love Jeff Goldblum, there is just something very sexy about him I think.  What does he have to do with today’s post?  Nothing.  It’s just every time I do one of these “Fly On The Wall” posts, I am reminded of his movie “The Fly” from 1986.  What is a “Fly On The Wall” post you ask?  Well, have you ever thought about what people might think if they saw what goes on behind-the-scenes at your house?  Do you ever wonder what it would be like to catch a glimpse of someone else’s daily life?  Well, you are in luck!  Here is your chance to get yet another peek inside my living room or car as the case may be.  If it’s a peek inside the bedroom you’re looking for…well, keep moving.  Today, 15 bloggers are inviting you into their homes to be “a fly on the wall.” 

Most of my best talks with man-child happen in the car, from the time we get in the car until we reach our destination, he does not stop talking.  Seriously.  He barely draws a breath.  Most of the time, you will hear my responses go something like this:

“mmm-hmmm”

“yes..”

“ok”

“I don’t know”

“Ask your dad”

“you’re so smart”

“we’ll see”

“Maybe”

and lots of sighing and rubbing my head…

It seems like I spend the majority of my time in a car, so I learn lots of things.  His favorite topic du jour of late is knowledge.

Man-Child:  “I learned so much today!”

Me:  “Oh yeah?”

Man-Child:  “Yeah!  I have only medium knowledge though.”

Me:  “Medium knowledge?”

Man-Child:  “Yeah…  You know like Daddy has high knowledge, but mine is only medium because I’m only 7 and I’ve stuff to learn still.”

Me:  “Oh, I see.  So, what’s my knowledge?”

(he thinks waaaaaaaay too long on this one)

Man-Child:  “Oh, you’re high knowledge too.”

Me:  “Yay!”

Man-Child:  “Lindsay is high knowledge, and Libby is kinda high knowledge.  She is going to college, so she needs to have lots of knowledge.”

Me:  “True.  What about Emily?”

Man-Child:  “Well…she’s really nice, and she always plays with me and watches movies.”

(ouch.  Poor Emily)

Me:  “Oh…soooooo she doesn’t have high knowledge in your opinion.”

Man-Child:  “No.  Not really, but we can still love her.”

Me:  “that we can.” 

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Man-Child:  “It’s important to know Math and Science.”

Me:  “Yes, that’s probably true.”

Man-Child:  “When we get home I’ll make you a math chart to help you at work.”

Me:  “Aw…how sweet of you, thank you!”

Man-Child:  “It’s what I do.”

Man-Child:  “I don’t think you’d be a very good fireman if you aren’t good at math.”

Me:  “Oh?”

Man-Child:  “Yeah.  You have to calculate…that’s a big word calculate, do you like how I used it in this sentence?”

Man-Child:  “Mom?”

Me:  “Oh, yes…calculate is a great word!  Good job”

Man-Child:  “So yeah, it is.  I’m pretty smart with words and stuff and math.  So you’d need to know how much water to put in the hose for the fires.  You need math, see?”

Me:  “Mmm-hmm.  I see.”

Man-Child:  “Yeah, so I’d make a pretty good fireman I think.”

Me:  “So you don’t want to be a villain anymore?  You’ve decided on a firefighter?”

Man-Child:  “Yeah, I guess.  Maybe a villain fireman, that kills bad guys with fire bombs and stuff.”

Me:  “Oh…well naturally.  Do villains kill bad guys? And fireman are hot.”

Man-Child:  “Yeah, because they fight fires…”

Me:  “No, I mean hot as in good-looking.”

Man-Child:  “Mom, that’s gross.”

Me:  “Sorry.”

Man-Child:  “I won’t tell daddy.”

Me:  “Thank you.”

Man-Child:  “You should buy me something.”

Me:  :/

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Man-Child:  “Mom?”

Me:  “Yes?”

Man-Child:  “I love you more than a three-headed dragon.”

Me:  “Oh.  Umm…thanks?  I love you too.  So, do you love three-headed dragons a whole bunch?  ‘Cause I didn’t know about this love.”

Man-Child:  “Mom, don’t over think it.”

Me:  :/

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Man-Child:  “I took a math test today and I was the only one who got an A!”

(side-note:  this information is probably not reliable)

Me:  “That’s fantastic!” 

Man-Child: “Yeah, but do you know what’s even better than an A?”

Me:  “An A plus?”

Man-Child:  “Huh?”

Me:  “You asked what was better than an A, so I said an A plus?”

Silence.

More Silence.

Me:  “Nevermind, what is higher than an A?”

Man-Child:  “A shiny golden licorice star!”

Me:  “I see.  That does sound pretty awesome.  If you like licorice.”

Man-Child:  “Uh everyone likes licorice. DUH.”

Me:  “Whatever you say.” 

Man-Child:  “Mmmm-hmmm”

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The hubs and I volunteered for Man-Child’s “Friendship Party” yesterday, and as we were leaving, somehow the topic of muscles came up.  Hubs probably passed a reflective surface and flexed for himself, and Man-Child felt the need to comment on it. 

Man-Child:  “Daddy is so strong!”

Me:  “Pffft.”

Husband:  “YES!”  followed by more flexing and pointing out his “awesome” triceps and “awesome” biceps which was followed by much eye-rolling and sighing from me.

Man-Child:  “And hey Mom!  You’re smart!”

Me:  “HA!  Yeah!  Did you hear that honey?  I’m the smart one!”

Husband:  “Yeah yeah.”

Man-Child:  “Daddy is kind and mommy is sweet!”

Me:  “HA!  I am smart and sweet and you are big and dumb!  Woo hoo!”

Husband:  “He says I was strong and kind and you get “big and dumb” out of that?”

Me:  “Well…yeah.  Clearly that’s what he meant, he’s just using the nicer words.”

Man-Child:  giggles

Me:  “See?”

Husband:  sighs

——————————————————————————————————————-

We finally bought me a new car, and with the new car came 3 months free of Sirius Radio.  This may surprise you but I’m quite the fan of Howard Stern.  I know.  I can feel your judgment from here.  What can I say?  I like him.  He has the best commercial breaks too.  My favorite is the advertisement from Playtex’s “Fresh and Sexy intimate wipes” because a “dirty beaver gets no wood”.  I laughed for days. I’ve almost been enjoying my commute in the car lately.  Anyway, the other day he had on these porn stars and he did a jeopardyesque like game show called “Dumber than a Box of Rocks”.  He would ask ridiculously easy questions, and well…porn stars.  Everytime they missed a questions they had to say the phrase “I’m dumber than a box of rocks.”  One answer to a question in particular really cracked me up.  Howard asks “What is venison?”

Now, I pick up Emily from school and I’m telling her about this segment, and how I hope these girls weren’t as dumb as they sounded.  I really do hope it was just schtick, but I guess you don’t have to be smart to be in porn.  You always kind of hope it’s just a stopgap for these girls, like they are really getting a Master’s Degree in Rocket Science and porn helps keep them away from student loans…but maybe not.  I get to the point in the story where Howard asks “What is venison?”  I pause.  I wait for Emily to shout out the answer.  She looks at me blankly. 

Me:  “Seriously?  You don’t know what venison is?”

Emily:  “Ummmm…..”

Me:  looking at her incredulously, clearly I’ve failed as a mom

Me:  “Em…?”

Emily:  “Ummm….a drug?”

O

M

G

My daughter is going to be a porn star.  

Me:  “A drug?!?!??!?” 

Emily:  shrugs

Me:  “Oh my.  No, not a drug.”

When Howard asks the question, candy or brandy or star or autumn or whatever her name was yelled out “Italy!”  As in Venice.  I’m guessing. 

Me:  “Deer meat Emily.  Venison is deer meat.”

Emily:  “oh.”

(please see comment above about high knowledge)

Just kidding my love (if you are reading this), you are both smart and beautiful and we love you bunches.  But venison?  Really?  I’m sure you were just tired from that long day of school.  Right? 

—————————————————————————————–

So anyway, these are the kind of things we talk about in case you were curious.  We are great at dinner parties.  Truly. 

Check out these other fantastic bloggers and find out what’s been going on at their house!

www.BakingInATornado.com

http://www.bigaandlittlea.com

http://hypnoticbard.blogspot.com

http://www.justalittlenutty.com

http://sadderbutwiser.wordpress.com

http://followmehome.shellybean.com

http://stacysewsandschools.wordpress.com

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com

http://www.dontchewonthedinnertable.blogspot.com

www.therowdybaker.com

http://smn0409.blogspot.com

www.theblacksheepmom.blogspot.com

http://raising-reagan.com

http://mooreorganizedmayhem.blogspot.com

http://www.findingfelicity.com

A Rose By Any Other Name…

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Welcome!  Can you believe it’s already time for another round of Swapapalooza?!?!  If you are new to this fabulous posting tradition, it all began as the brain child of the one and only Baking In A Tornado.  She bakes and blogs, but she only bakes for her family, which I personally find kind of selfish.  I mean, would it kill her to throw some baked goods my way once in a while?  Yeah, I didn’t think so, but I love her anyway and accept this character flaw.  I mean we can’t all be perfect.  Anyway, back to the swap.  It’s a two-part extravaganza!  This week, 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style.  Today, we unveil our little masterpieces of awesomeness for you, the readers.  I’ll post the links to the other bloggers at the bottom, but first you must suffer through my special brand of drivel.  Don’t scroll to the bottom!  I can see you!

So, my fabulous topic du jour is “There are truckloads of reasons to LOVE you BUT if you had to live with you what would be the quirks that would HAVE to go?”  My “secret subject” was submitted by the very funny and talented Just A Little Nutty.  She compares her family to fudge, and who doesn’t love fudge!  Although, I probably am more nuts than sweet…but go check her out!

I have to tell you a secret, just between us.  I struggled with this topic.  I mean if I had to live with someone, obviously I would pick me!  I racked my brain for days trying to think of any quirks I don’t find completely fabulous.  As the deadline approached, I began to get a little frantic, so I decided to conduct a little reconnaissance mission to help me in my quest for answers.  I asked the kids and hubs.  Strangely, I had to promise there would be no retribution or loss of the “favorite child” crown.  It’s a testament to me as a mother that all my children believe they are the most favored, and would worry about their standing in the hierarchy of my love.  Anyway, after much wheedling and pestering, I was able to extract a few ideas.  It’s weird though…everyone is kind of hedging around me carefully giving me weird looks, like I could blow at any minute.  I promised no retribution and I meant it.  Of course, I was a little surprised at how quickly one child was able to answer.  I keep assuring her that it’s just allergies causing THAT look, not the stink eye.  Of course, then I checked her grades online, which I haven’t done in a while, so it seemed a good time, and OMG…she is SO grounded.  There was a little screaming and temper tantrum throwing about words like “fairness” and something about “but you told me I could be honest”, but I have no idea what she is talking about.  NONE of us want her living at home forever, so those grades need to come up.

Without further ado, here is what I uncovered:

HUSBAND

Me:  “So, if there was ONE thing that YOU had to change about me, because you were forced into it, not because you wanted to, what would it be?”

Husband:  “ummm….” Silence.  More silence.  Still more silence.

Me:  “Oh good grief, just answer!  Surely you can think of something!”

Husband:  “ooookkkkk.  Uh, I guess I wish you could see yourself the way I see you.”

Me:  “So, you want more sex?”

Husband:  “Yeah, pretty much.”

Me:  “Duly noted.”

DAUGHTER #2

Me:  “So, if there was ONE thing that YOU had to change about me, because you were forced into it, not because you wanted to, what would it be?”

D2:  “Well, you don’t stay mad for long which is a good thing…(you know there is a but coming) but, I wish you wouldn’t blow your top so quickly.  It would be less intimidating if it was more of a slow burn so we might have time to formulate a response to your rapid fire indignation and fury.”

Me:  “Wow.  Are you sure you don’t need time think?  You rattled that off rather quickly.”

D2:  “You asked!”

Me:  “Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d have the answer right there at your fingertips…jeez.”

D2:  “OMG, mom.”

Me:  “No no…it’s all good.  Thank you for your honesty.  Is that what you’re wearing?”

D2:  sigh.

Me:  “Just asking…”

DAUGHTER #1

Me: “So, if there was ONE thing that YOU had to change about me, because you were forced into it, not because you wanted to, what would it be?” 

D1:  blank look

Me:  “You can’t get into trouble, this is research for a blog, so there’s no wrong answer.  In fact, the more truthful the better.”

D1:  “Umm…it’s kinda early for this.”

Me:  “I’m sure you can think of something.”

D1:  “Ummm…ok, can I have a minute?”

Me:  “Sure.”

D1:  “Can you not stare at me?  It’s making me nervous.”

Me:  “Ok, but hurry.  I’ve got deadlines.  I’ll go ask your sister.  I’m sure she has a speedy answer.”

DAUGHTER #3

D3:  blank look

D3:  still nothing

Me:  “Why don’t I give you a minute, but hurry because I’ve got this blog to write.”

DAUGHTER #1

D1:  “I’ve got something!”

Me:  “You don’t have to act so excited.”

D1:  “You know how we tell you we need something for school or whatever and you procrastinate until the last-minute or forget about it altogether, but then get mad if we procrastinate on something or forget to tell you?”

Me:  “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

D1:  “Mom!”

Me:  “Is that your final answer?”

D1:  sigh

Me:  sigh

DAUGHTER #3

D3:  “I’ve got it!  I wish you had more confidence!”

Me:  “Taken.  You’re dad already used that one.”

D3:  “Dang it!”

Me:  “‘Cause he wants more sex.”

D3:  “Ewww.”

Me:  “What? You asked!”

D3:  “No, I didn’t!”

Me:  “Oh, my bad.”

Man-Child

Me: “So, if there was ONE thing that YOU had to change about me, because you were forced into it, not because you wanted to, what would it be?” 

Man-child:  “Same.”

Me:  “Same what?”

Man-child:  “I’d keep you the same.”

AND THIS IS WHY HE IS THE FAVORITE!

DAUGHTER #3

D3:  “You’re temper!”

Me:  “Your sister took that one.”

D1:  “Oh, like YOU ever get in trouble.”

D2:  “Yeah, exactly.  When was the last time YOU got yelled at?”

D3:  “OMG!  This is too much pressure!”

Me:  “Well…they have a point.  You never get in trouble.”

D3:  “Ugh!  I don’t know.  I give up.”

Me:  sigh

D3:  “THAT!  That right there!”

Me:  (alarmed) “WHAT?”

D3:  “THE SIGH.  I HATE the SIGH.”

Me:  sigh

Ok, so I think we can all agree, they were NO help.  Upon further reflection, I managed to come up with TWO things.

1)  I’m competitive.  In the extreme.

Let me explain…

My daughter spends a TON of time at her boyfriend’s house, especially around meal time.  She will come home (eventually) to rave about whatever she had for dinner. I might be a tad sensitive about my lack of cooking prowess, so I’m all like “oh, do tell?”  She fails to detect any of the early warning signals of my displeasure and barrels onward.  Apparently, she fixes things like steak and scallops or lamb.  LAMB?  LAMB!!?!?!??!?  If I fixed any of these things, my daughter would turn up her nose and fix a PB&J sandwich, chewing each bite in open defiance.  If I had dared to serve lamb, I’d get tears and recriminations!  She is very attached to her childhood stuffed lamb, creatively named “Lamby”, to the point that NO ONE and I mean NO ONE is allowed to even touch Lamby.  But apparently, it’s ok to eat Lamby’s cousins.

This is her room, in a surprisingly clean state:

IMG_1105

This is her chalkboard wall, where you will find all manner of lewd, disgusting words or phrases and crude visuals.  Don’t look too closely, you might burn your retinas.  Man-child is not allowed in the “Rated R” room.  On the ceiling, you can catch a glimpse of her best friend’s body outline, that she colored and taped above her bed.  ‘Cause that’s not weird at all.

IMG_1106

And then you have…Lamby.

IMG_1107Perched upon a chair, out of harms way.

So, imagine my shock when I heard about her “Adventures in Eating”.  Now, you’ll catch me saying things like this:

“Oh, it’s only spaghetti for dinner.  I wish I had the money to serve steak.”

“Oh, it’s just fried shrimp.  From a box.  Nothing fancy like scallops served here.”

“We only eat cows and pigs.  I could never eat a poor defenseless lamb.”

One day, I asked her boyfriend if his mother knew about this one-sided competitive war I was waging between our two kitchens?  He laughed and said no, but then quickly assured me that he’s loved everything I’ve fixed.

He’s a keeper, this boy.

I have another example, if you aren’t yet convinced.

Man-child wrote a letter in school the other day to the person in his life he most admires.  Here is a window into our conversation:

Me:  “So, I heard you wrote a letter today to someone you admire?”

Man-child:  “Hmm.  Yeah.”

Me:  “Well!  Tell me, who did you write about?”  wink wink…we all know it was about me, I mean who else could it possibly…

Man-child:  “Dad.”

Wait, what?  HAHAHAHAHA  I thought he just said dad!

Me:  “You wrote a letter to me?”

Man-child:  “Huh? No, didn’t you hear me. DAD.”

Me:  “why?”  If you read that in your head in a super whiny tone, then you did it right.

Man-child:  “Because he takes me to drum lessons and…”

Me:  “Wait a minute.  Who do you think scoured the metroplex to find those drum lessons?”

Man-child:  “I don’t know what soured means.”

Me:  “Scoured.  It means I worked hard to find you the perfect drum lessons with the perfect teacher.” 

Man-child:  “ok but still he drives me and he bought me Skylander’s Giants for  my birthday…”

Me:  “WHOA! Wait a hot minute!  The only person more surprised to find what’s underneath that wrapping paper than you is your dad!  I DO all the shopping.  I’m the one that calls and writes Santa so he brings you the perfect gift.  I plead with the tooth fairy to leave you BIG money.  I’m the one the Easter Bunny talks to before putting together your basket!  MOMMY PICKS OUT YOUR PRESENTS!  And I’m your room mom, I go on all your field trips!  Those jeans you are wearing, you like those jeans right?”

Man-child:  “Yeah…”

Me:  “Well I BOUGHT THEM!”

Silence.

Me:  “So, if you had to write a letter tomorrow to the person you most admire, who would it be?”

Man-child:  “We don’t have to write the letter, we already did.”

Me:  “I know, but if you had to write another one?”

Man-child:  “But we don’t.”

Me:  SIGH

Man-child: giggles

Me:  “Can I ask you something?”

Man-child:  hesitates.  “Yeah”

Me:  “Who do you most admire?”

Man-child:  “Daddy.”  giggles

Me:  “Well, DADDY can fix your dinner then.” sulks off to nurse wounds and mend broken heart

So you see…EVERYTHING is a competition, and I’m shameless in the pursuit of victory.

I suppose the second quirk I would change would be this:

2) I’m a hoarder-slob.

IMG_1102

What?  No one actually uses this bathtub, so I don’t see why it can’t be my substitute closet!  I really LOATHE hanging up my clothes.  I don’t even have the “no lightbulb in the closet” excuse, because hubs replaced the bulb after I threw down the challenge a few blogs ago.  I still haven’t cleaned the closet, but I’ll spare you another photo.

I’ve been known to keep as many as six of my never finished “Diet Pepsi Soldiers” lined across my dresser.

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Sometimes I hide my shame between the jewelry box and the wall so hubs can’t see it…

IMG_1109

I don’t remember the last time I drank water…unless it coincided with the last time I was at the gym…so, it’s been a while.

The corner of my bedroom between my bed, dresser and a window, I kept all manner of important items/documents that I might need at a moment’s notice.  I’ll admit it started to kinda take over the room, but then my sweet husband bought me a container to put it all in until I found the time to sort through it.  Isn’t he just the sweetest!

IMG_1110

I should probably dust that fan…in case you wondering how long it’s been there…

Want to peek inside?

IMG_1111

I’m not sure why I’m saving that skittles bag.  It’s empty.  I checked.  Now I’m craving skittles.

So there you have it people!  Some of my adorable little quirks that might not be so quirky.

I know you were thinking I’d probably say something about Adam Levine, but even my judgy self approves of that particular quirk, so he stays!  Yay!

Now, if you haven’t fallen asleep…read on!  It just keeps getting better 🙂

www.BakingInATornado.com

http://dinoheromommy.com

http://smn0409.blogspot.com

http://menopausalmother.blogspot.com/

http://www.quirkychrissy.com

http://www.momaical.com

http://lifeonthesonnyside.blogspot.com

http://www.chewylicious.com

http://hypnoticbard.blogspot.com

www.amotherlife.com

http://followmehome.shellybean.com

http://www.100lbCountdown.com

http://www.somethingclever2point0.com/

http://www.justalittlenutty.com/

Guess What Time It Is?

First of all, let me apologize for being so long between posts!  January is a crazy busy time for me at work, so I’ve had to put the things I truly love on the back-burner for a bit, but now I’m back! 

Okay, I just lied.  What really happened is that I sprained my wrist writing back to all my amazing fans.  Who knew that thanking people for their love, admiration and adoration could be so life-threatening!  Not that spraining your wrist is life threatening, except that when I flinched from the pain I got a paper cut and everyone knows that paper cuts can lead to death.  I saw a tv special on it once, so it must be true. 

It’s true.  I’ve decided it’s time to once again share with you some words of encouragement from some of my most loyal fans.  I’m all afraid to use pictures I find on google now, because of copyright crap, so I made my very own graphic…

fanmail

I think it’s pretty obvious how talented I am, and why I win at Pictionary.  Every. Damn. Time. (and by every time I mean never) 

So, guess what time it is people?!?!?!?

FAN MAIL TIME!

Woo Hoo!

Letter #1:

Dear My Brain On Kids,

Great Article.

Sincerely,

Anus Itch

—————————

Dear Anus Itch,

Thank you so much for your kind words!  It’s comments like yours that really keep me motivated especially during the tough times.  There are moments when I just want to throw in the towel, because being so fantastically awesome is exhausting, but then I get a letter like yours and WHAM!  Just like that, I’m back in action!  Also, you should probably get that itching problem looked at.  Undiagnosed Anal Itching is the leading cause of skid marks and not to be treated lightly.  Proceed with caution and try Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

Sincerely,

My Brain On Kids

Letter #2:

Dear My Brain On Kids,

Thanks for sharing this information….it is my great pleasure to visit your website i found by music search and to enjoy your excellent post here. god bless you!!!

Much Love,

List De Email

—————————-

Dear List De Email,

Why God bless you too!  I am so humbled to learn that I can be found on music searches!  Is there no end to my fame?  My name is really out there, and it’s just such a good feeling.  Like all my hard work and dedication and coke habit were so worth it, ya know?  Just kidding about the coke habit, I’m a Diet Pepsi girl all the way.  I feel like my true purpose in this life is to share valuable information about myself with other people.  I mean why should I bask alone in my greatness?  It means far less if I can’t share it with those who love me faithfully. 

Just a little tip for you, you should please give me time to respond to your kind words before sending letter after letter after letter after letter.  So much love from one place is just overwhelming.  I hope you understand 🙂

Sincerely,

My Brain On Kids  

————————————

Letter #3:

Dear My Brain On Kids,

I was looking around your site and noticed broken links. You might want to change it.

Yours Truly,

Designer Knockoff Handbag Merchants

———————————–

Dear Designer Knockoff Handbag Merchants,

Constructive criticism is truly foundational in my line of work.  I just wanted to take a minute (actually several hours because I sprained my wrist rabidly searching my blog for broken links) and say THANK YOU so much for taking the time out of your busy, busy day to help me out.  I could just cry tears of gratitude!  Or the tears are from the pain I’m experiencing trying to write this heartfelt note to what is very clearly my most devoted follower.  You are the best!  YOU are the reason I strive for perfection!  Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

My Brain On Kids

————————————-

Letter #4:

Dear My Brain On Kids,

Fuck you all Forex bustards.

Haters Unite,

Forex Peace Army

————————————–

Dear Forex Peace Army,

The juxtaposition of the word “Peace” in your name with the words in your comments “Fuck” and “Haters” is truly an art form.  You clearly have exquisite taste.  I mean, that certainly explains why you love me!  Thank you for so staunchly defending me against these “forex bustards” (I’m assuming bustards is like bastards but worse, so much worse).  Obviously, I understand that with fame and fortune comes the haters and the liars, but it never gets easier.  I proudly carry this cross as long as I have fans like you watching my back!  I’ll sleep better tonight, believe you me!

Sincerely,

My Brain On Kids

p.s.  Juxtaposition was my WOTD (word of the day)!  I’m pretty sure I used it correctly but I’m not sure any bustards will know the difference!  I’d pat myself on the back…but sprained wrist.

————————————

I wish I had time to answer more of your lovingly constructed letters, but it’s time to pop some more pain pills and catch up on Downton Abbey.  It seems appropriate to share this picture that someone shared on my Facebook page. 

Dowager

Take a break from enjoying me!  I know it’s hard, but I must insist my amazingly awesome fans take care of themselves or who will I have to love me and tell me how great I am?  So really, what you do for you, you do for me 🙂

HUGS and KISSES to you ALL!

Hey! I’m An Epistolarian! Did you know?

There is this amazing collaborative blog, spearheaded by the fabulous Tracy at Momaical, called The Epistolarians which you can find here.  The women that contribute to this collaborative masterpiece are amazeballs.  They are hysterical, intelligent, sassy and spirited, and they let me tag along!  I’m not trying to be falsely modest or dig for compliments, I truly am humbled to be a part of this amazing group of women, and I admire each and every one of them so much.  They are amazing writers and I never have more fun than when I’m trolling among them.  When Tracy told me that January would be “open-letter” month, I almost peed my pants.  Another opportunity to fan worship Adam Levine????  Say it isn’t so!  This is also my first contribution as I’ve been a little intimidated, but now that I’ve broken my proverbial cherry, I hope I can be inspired to contribute more and rub elbows with these talented ladies.  I hope you enjoy my contribution this month. 

READ ME

I probably need like an intervention or something. 

On a sidenote, I’m taking the hubs out tonight to see Les Mis!  I’m excited.  He’d probably rather sit at home and read my “Open Letter to Adam Levine”, but I promised beer, so he’s going. 

On yet another sidenote, I finished a book this morning.  You can find out what I read, what I thought and what I’m reading next under “My Brain On Books 2013”.

Even if I’m not your cup of tea, you have to check out The Epistolarians!  You won’t be sorry!

HAPPY FRIDAY!