Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jillian's Perfect Body

By now enough of the world has gasped in horror over the (alleged) insensitive and offensive statement Jillian Michael's made in regards to pregnancy. She's been quoted as saying a bunch of stuff (no one really seems to know what the actual quote was) that basically boils down to her decision that, while she wants to experience motherhood, she doesn't necessarily want to experience pregnancy. She wants to adopt.

She's been quoted as saying she doesn't want to get pregnant because she couldn't handle doing that to her body. And the world has since condemned her very selfish desires, saying that anyone who puts vanity first should most definitely not be allowed to parent.

Perhaps I'm alone in my ideas, but here's what I'm thinking:

Good for you, Jillian Michaels, in knowing what your hang-ups and personal demons are. Good for you in being self-aware and knowing that if you did have a baby through a natural pregnancy you'd probably struggle trying to handle the emotional roller coaster that has challenged you for most of your life: Body Image. Good for you for not wanting that issue to permeate your choice to parent and interfere with developing your mothering skills (you'll need those at their best).

You know what? I had a baby. In fact, I had three. Let me tell you - it wrecks havoc on your body. I now pee when I sneeze. And when I laugh. And when I cough. And sometimes when I just don't get to the bathroom quick enough. That bladder is not as reliable as it once was.

And I won't be wearing a bathing suit any time soon. Or shorts. Thank God for capri's (and the fact that my cellulite has not made it past my knees). The dark, deep veins that showed up and refused to leave? Perhaps I could consider them "proof of giving birth" - but I highly doubt the people on the beach desire to see such proof.

Oh, and I had a c-section. My abdomen not only has no feeling in a one inch wide strip below my belly button, it also apparently has no muscle, either. I guess the doctor took those out with the baby, because I can't figure out how to complete one single sit-up without crying out in frustration.

Guess what my kids are hearing from their vain mother?

"None of my pants fit me anymore!" "When am I going to lose this baby weight?" "I need to go on a diet." "I'm so fat."

I am frustrated that I don't look the way I used to. Good for Jillian Michaels to know that maybe her frustration would be more extreme than mine is, and that it wouldn't be good for the baby to be around that.

Also, does it matter why someone chooses to adopt? I don't believe it would matter to that child that was chosen. I have two cousins that were adopted as infants (and believe me when I say they're more a part of our family than the biological offspring). I can't imagine either of them turning to my aunt and saying, "You adopted me because you didn't want to lose your perfect body? You should have just left me at the orphanage!" My aunt wanted to be a mother. She didn't care how the babies came to her ... she just wanted to hold one. Love one. Raise one. And babies, for that matter, want to be chosen, be loved, be held, be kissed, be raised.

Wouldn't it be something if every potential parent had to list their personal demons and be ridiculed in front of an entire nation? "You struggle with alcohol addiction? No kids for you." "And you - the one that spends way too much money shopping, hiding the receipts and bags from your husband - no kid for you either. They need to learn to be truthful at all times." "Excuse me, Miss? You suffer from a social anxiety, don't you? Yeah, well, kids will require social settings - you shouldn't have any." "And you - the amputee - how the heck do you plan to hug that child properly with only one arm? Obviously you shouldn't have children." "Any woman who tans, dyes her hair, gets her nails done and works out on a regular basis - you're vain. No children in your future."

Maybe her comment does come across vain, but I appreciate her honesty. She's honest that body image is an issue for her, and she doesn't want that issue interfering with her parenting. Good for her.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend Recap

* Dotter participated in her very first public speaking (forensics) competition. She did not want to go. She did not want to talk. She did not want to be judged. She did not want anything to do with it whatsoever. But she went. Fear wrapped tight around her. She snuck her hand into mine and wouldn't let go as we walked through thousands of people crowding the hallways of a building she'd never seen before. If you don't know Dotter, you wouldn't know that she doesn't do well with the unknown. When it was her time she walked stoically to the front of the room. Performed her piece with all those eyes watching her. And she did beautifully! So beautifully, in fact, that she earned a trophy!! She was bummed; she wanted the blue ribbon because it was the prettiest. Go figure.

* Big V played house dad all weekend. He watched the kids, did the laundry, made dinners and washed dishes. He picked up some groceries, organized a play date for Dotter, and made sure everyone took baths and showers. And he is exhausted. And really, really glad to be going to work this Monday morning.

* We had three performances of Hat Tricks this weekend, and let me tell you - it was a pretty darn good show! Saturday night I was in the middle of a scene, sitting on a couch, when movement caught my eye... a big, fat, juicy spider crawling precariously close to my arm. It was huge! The size of a jelly bean. You might think jelly beans are small, but you'd be wrong. When you slap eight legs, some hair and two creepy red eyes on the thing it's HUGE! It took every ounce of energy not to scream and run away. Luckily I had a book in my hand for the scene so I smacked it until I heard the crunch. Really, it was my only option. I had no idea if it was rabid or not.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm in another show. We open tonight. It's actually a compilation of monolgues and short skits that tie in nicely at the end, and have this running theme about women and relationships - totally my kind of thing. Except my co-actor in one of the scenes I was in decided she didn't actually want to do it because she had a lot going on so she quit. Worked for me - less for me to memorize, I thought. Except the director didn't think that way. She managed to pull together a last-minute replacement meaning the scene is still in.

A couple nights ago I was sitting at a table before rehearsal with a couple other actors explaining how nervous I felt with opening night right around the corner. "I'm just not confident in my lines right now. I'm nervous because I haven't seen the set..." when suddenly New Lady comes running up to me from across the room, arms stretched out before her. Stopping suddenly in front of me she places both hands together in this little teepee like form and pokes her ten pointy fingers into my breastbone. Holds them there for a few seconds, then flings her arms over her head and yells, "You have been released!"

Oh. Dear. God.

It dawns on me I'm completely lacking both the fight and flight mechanisms. What does it say about me as I sat shocked and unmoving while some virtual stranger pokes their fingers on my pectoralis major as they're performing an exorcism of my fears and anxieties? (The spot is still burning.)

I do my best to shake it off and perform the scene with her. She tells me how she is going to unroll her yoga mat and place it here and I should bring my bag in and put on that chair over there. And then I should take out my yoga mat and unroll it right over there. Quite exacting to say the least. She was great on giving the stage direction but it seems the only direction she practices is "huddle on this side of the stage and don't ever move from this spot." Looks oh so visually interesting. Pulling carrots blindfolded without having any idea what county the garden is in would be easier than acting in a scene with this woman. We had been huddled on the one side of the stage for about six minutes and I could not figure out how to get out of that corner, when I said, "you could cross here..."

I admit. I was wrong. It wasn't my place to direct. The director was out there. She was watching. If she wasn't saying anything I should have accepted it and respected it. It is not my show.

So why did I say it? Well, that's how we'd been going along the whole time. Not with New Lady, of course. She was new. But with the Old Ladies - not that they're old, per se; they're more like Originals. Anyway, with the Originals it was like that. Someone would suggest something and we'd do it. Someone else would say 'this doesn't work for me; I need to hit that point over there' and we'd work something out. Someone would say 'hey, I think it'd be funny if you just handed me back the book instead of shaking my hand' and we'd try it. We worked as a team. A true group effort. Although I've never worked with New Lady before, I kind of assumed the old adage "if you dish it out you should be able to take it" rang true with her. She certainly held nothing back when it came to dishing out direction. Dear God, had I known the woman was going to completely flip I would've kept my trap shut.

Back to the stage: I'm standing there trying to recollect if the lines being screamed at me are written in the script and it dawns on me that this woman is truly flipping out. She's going on about how dare I direct her in the middle of a scene and I should basically rot in hell and I think she may even have put a hex on me. I thought about trying the Jabbing Release Method she used on me earlier but wasn't quite sure about the exact finger placement, and God forbid I miss and jab her in the boob. I figured it was probably best to just keep my hands to myself.

I apologized, asked where she would like me to begin, and continued at the point she requested like nothing ever happened. At least I hoped it looked like I was continuing like nothing ever happened. In my mind all I could think was Oh. Dear. God. This woman is a lunatic.

Ironic, that as we ended the scene her direction picked up. "So you should turn to me. And put the hat on my head." (A hat that I wear for most of the scene, then pass it off to my New Lady Partner and stick it on her head in one of those predicable moments of theatre.) "And then we should bow to each other. And take a deep breath together. And then hug." And then do-see-do. And then tie my shoe. And then high five. And then do a little jig.

So, we're doing this little back and forth hat passing dance - which was completely based  solely on the direction of New Lady because we needed to get it just right and, yes, the evil part of my soul wildly wished I could remember her rant so I could have repeated it to her verbatim-- oh, the hypocrisy! -- all the while thinking to myself, "lady, I don't feel comfortable standing at a distance where you could easily poke my eye out, much less a distance where I'm required to wrap my arms around you and pretend we're having a feel-good BFF moment." Don't worry; I was good and didn't actually say it out loud. But I digress. This is about the hat. So this hat is bouncing from my scalp to her scalp and back to my scalp again as we continue with all the do-overs.

And, guess what, Web Friends? She suggested Lysol. Yep. She suggested a antiseptic spray to use on the hat. Why? Well, you see, it turns out she has a "scalp condition." A scalp condition that is called an open sore of unknown origin.

Oh. My. Dear. God.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Stepford Dreams

I'm finding it quite difficult to be in a relationship while raising kids. With my two girls it was just me. Me in charge of making enough money. Me in charge of deciding what bill to pay or what groceries to buy. Me in charge of laundry, and choosing a doctor, and deciding what time bedtime is, and when they should get a haircut (and how short). Me in charge of getting the oil changed in the car and the linens changed on the bed. Me in charge of choosing a bank, a dry cleaner, a vehicle, a school, a kitchen table, a set of dishes.

It was on my shoulders to decide what kind of family traditions I would like to let go of, continue, and begin. I was the only one who decided if my kids would be the kind who went to the movies, or church, or the park, or a fast food restaurant. I've always been the only one to hold the remote. Hold my child's hand. Hold the new lease for the new apartment. Me, me, me.

And now I've got this... this... this foreign relationship thing. This we-both-have-a-say concept I sometimes have incredible difficulty wrapping my head around. I find myself having to defend a book purchase yet accept a new table saw. I find myself explaining that the doctor my two girls go to is competent enough for Cletus to go to as well. I find myself further explaining what a mess and hassle it will be to take 1 out of the 3 children to a different doctor in a different clinic in a different town just because somebody's mother doesn't happen to know the one we've been going to. I find myself having to swallow hard the knowledge that some families celebrate Easter with bottles of booze and scratch off lotto tickets, and grow wistful knowing that other families go to church in their special outfits, eat a calm dinner and laugh together while children search for candy filled eggs.

I feel like I have to fight for (or perhaps against) the different way I grew up. The idea of slothing and self-entitlement drives me insane, but I'm learning not every kid grows up experiencing the hard work it takes to maintain a home. I was brought up believing you worked hard and when you were done that's when you relaxed, went on your vacations, showered yourself with dining out, fancy jewelry and expensive toys. Other people were raised with the "life is too short to do yard work" mentality. Other people were brought up believing that you spend now, enjoy now, and deal with that pesky retirement fund later. My parent's taught me there is pride in living debt free and living below your means, and shame in racked up credit card debt for bar tabs, weekend getaways, and utility bills.

Sometimes I think the differences between V and I are on such opposite ends of the spectrum it will take a miracle to survive. It's a darn good thing I'm not a quitter, because quitting would be tempting. All those times people would say to me, "Wow. I don't know how you do it. You work two jobs, the single mom of two kids - wow. It must be so hard."  -- you were wrong. Compared to this, it was so very easy.
Apparently it was burn-your-esophagus-with-chai day at Starbucks. Not that I don't love a nice, slow herbal burn, I was just expecting something a little less, uh, fierce. You know, more of the soothing, calming attributes and less of the "my throat is bleeding" characteristics. Disappointed? You betcha. This was just another notch in my PMS Sucks belt.

I was never bothered much by my monthly "womanly duty." It would kind of quietly approach and quickly leave, never hanging around very long. To say it's ramped up some since I had the second kid would be a gross understatement. Now I find myself a sobbing mess trying unsuccessfully to pick out frozen pizza at the local WalMart. "... but I don't know if I like pepperoni... and I don't know what's cheaper... I can't do math... and I'm so fat! And my hair is stringy and gross and I want to move and how come I can't afford a new couch? My life sucks so bad!"

Add to that attempting to shop for yoga pants for a show I'm doing this weekend when I'm twenty pounds heavier than I've ever weighed in my life. Now that was a joyous occasion. Seeing that snug fitting fabric stretching over the wobbly weight in my trunk was enough to send me over the edge. Ever have the police arrive at your dressing room to conduct a welfare check? I was two seconds away from that...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Truth Be Told

Big V didn't have to work yesterday. Instead of the usual humdrum he hung out with Cletus the Used to be Fetus. They were so busy visiting friends they weren't able to do any housework. No dishes. No laundry. No sweeping. That was all lovingly left for me upon my return of my busy day.

Big V didn't have to work today, either. Instead of a repeat of yesterday he decided to spice things up a bit. Super Nanny hung out with Cletus while V went visiting his friends. But I know Super Nanny will do the dishes, probably some laundry, and most definitely will sweep. There's also a strong probability that dinner will be waiting. This is why I love her more than Big V. Don't feel bad; he's completely aware of my feelings.

Of course, V is also incredibly competitive and doesn't like coming in second, so he tried to woo me this afternoon by asking me out on a lunch date. I like lunches, so I said, "yes." Reminiscent of my high school days he showed up giggly and sweet, offered to drive, and then left me to foot the bill.

"You asked me to lunch but you're making me pay? Wait until I update my blog!"

I was told if I do blog about this I have to promise to explain that it's not like he didn't have any money, it's just that he only had a one hundred dollar bill, and he didn't think the little Mexican restaurant we dined at would have change for a hundie. I told him to leave a big tip but he didn't think that would be possible, since we weren't provided a never-ending mountain of tortilla chips. (He believes that's why the salsas are so hot now; so people don't eat as many chips and that way the restaurant saves money. He's clever like that.)

Anyway. Big V didn't want the web world to think he can't control his vicious dog AND that he was cheap. I promised I would clarify, so here it is: While it is true Big V cannot control his vicious dog, he certainly is not cheap!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Budget Woes.

My mother taught me quite well. Financial security is a must. In order to obtain financial security you must simply live below your means. Work hard, earn money, save money THEN buy whatever it is you were saving for. No money? You don't buy it. Need money? Get another job. Don't want another job? Stop spending on things you don't need.

She taught me well.

I just haven't learned very well.

I've got the budget thing down. Our budget, it's like a work of art. The columns, the categories, the totals - it brings tears to my eyes it's so good. If we follow this budget to the letter we will not only have all the debt paid off in two years (including vehicles; excluding mortgage), we'll be able to ship both of the older children off to week long camp this summer. And that is much more motivating than having the car paid off.

But, of course, we don't follow the budget to the letter. It's treated more like wall art than a working document. "Hey! Look at this great table saw I picked up. I wasn't planning on it, but it was such a great deal I just couldn't pass it up!" Which essentially translates to, "Hey! Either we don't pay the heat bill or we shrug off groceries for the family this month - you pick!"

I'll be looking for a second job today....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cletus on the Crawl

Cletus the Used to be Fetus can crawl. I am the exact opposite of ecstatic. Coincidence? I think not.

So it's not really a full blown crawl yet, but it's a hand, hand, hop-through-with-both-legs-like-we're-vaulting kind of thing. Really pretty cute, except that means he's mobile. When you're the first child mobile is awesome. "Six and-a-half months and crawling?! He's an absolute genius!" When you're the third child it's more like, "Crap. Now the kid is crawling. That means I have to actually sweep the floor on a regular basis. And probably mop."

As Cletus grows it means I lose more freedom. No more plopping the baby on a blanket in the middle of the living room floor and walking to the bathroom. Now it's a choice: Bring the baby with and tell him no every time he tries to open the cabinet under the bathroom sink, or speed pee and hope to be back before he's pulled down the dvd player.

I ran down to throw a load of clothes in the washer. Came back upstairs and could hear the baby, but couldn't see the baby. He had managed to wedge himself between the couch and chair. Great. Now I've got "possible child misplacement" to worry about.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bad Date #86

I worked with weird guy's mother. She was nice. Her son seemed nice. Kind of nervous. (At the time I thought it endearing.) Weird guy's mother convinced me to go out on a date with weird guy. I suppose I shouldn't give away the date by describing him as weird...

We went to the movies. Even though he lived in a small city which had two functioning theaters, he figured we'd drive an hour-and-a-half south to meet up with his sister and his sister's boyfriend. Odd. It was snowing. I would've preferred to stick around town, but whatever. This would give us time to talk and get to know each other. (Or opportunity to drive to the middle of nowhere and dump my body.)

So weird guy starts talking. And talking. And doesn't stop. I figure he's nervous. (Again, slightly endearing. I know. I needed professional help. I got it after this date.) So, weird guy is talking about his mom and his sister and things he did growing up and that the government wants everyone to be bankrupt and it's actually a good thing but they can't come right out and say it because then the government will get in trouble but that's why they send you all those credit card applications and his dad was filing for bankruptcy but before he does he's maxing out these credit cards to buy things and then the government lets you keep them and you don't have to pay for it because that's how it works and so now he's in the process of applying for all the credit cards he can and the trick is to do it all at the same time so they don't know you've gotten approved and that way you get more and hey - he just needs to stop at this gas station for a minute.

And he parks the car in front of the station that's all lit up in the dark of night and turns the car off and takes the keys and goes inside and I'm sitting there thinking, "Please hurry because it's like -12 degrees and it is cold out here and you turned off the heater." And I see him go up to the counter and ask for something and the guy turns and counts off scratch-off lottery tickets and gives them to weird guy and weird guy starts scratching them at the counter with a coin. And I'm waiting. Because it takes awhile to scratch off $20 worth of lotto tickets. And he must have won because look! He's handing tickets back to the guy and getting more.

And twenty five minutes later my feet were freezing and I was not finding this guy so endearing anymore.

He gets back in the car and starts talking again, never once mentioning the strange "I gotta scratch a ticket" thing that just happened, but whatever, at least I can feel my pinkie toe on my right foot again.

I remain absolutely speechless for the remainder of the ride which he didn't notice. But why would he since he didn't pause long enough for me to say anything during the first half of the trip.

We pull into an apartment complex and hoof it up to the second floor and over to a door which opens to reveal a very giddy girl who is just so excited to meet me! Who doesn't love a bear hug from a complete stranger? Come on in and take a seat and we'll just puff on this marajuana before we go.

WHAT?! Oh, yes.

Now I'm sitting there scared shitless because I don't know these people and what they're all into but obviously it's a little more than normal first-time-meeting-you activity and I really, really don't want to experience my first cavity search with giddy girl, and hey, newsflash - you can smell this in the hall you know. It's a quick call from the neighbors and I'm trying to explain to my mother why my date involved an aggressive legal defense attorney. The only thing getting me through at this point was knowing Christian Slater was starring in the movie and let me tell you, he really does make everything all better, no matter what situation you find yourself in. (This was before he went all thinning and bald and was arrested for grabbing some woman's buttocks in Manhatten.)

Once my hosts were all drugged up they pulled their coats on and started shoving items in their pockets. Bottles of soda. Bags of M&M's, Reece's Pieces, and other food items. As weird guy puts it, "They rob you at the theaters, you know. If everyone stopped buying their crap they'd lower the prices but people are too stupid."  This obviously did not go over well with me -- the person who would pay exorbitant amounts of money for her precious movie theater popcorn. Whatever, weird guy. Christian Slater is waiting for me. Let's just get this over with.

And it wouldn't have been too bad if the three high people I was with had sat quietly munching their candy instead of throwing it at the movie screen. I literally sat there praying to God, "Please let us get kicked out of here so I can go home!" Other than the couple behind us telling them to knock it off nothing happened. So I sat there embarrassed and ashamed at being remotely associated with these idiots.

I don't even remember the ride back. I do, however, remember jumping out of the car before it was in park...


** Note: in case any, uh, "Just Looking Out For The Best Interest of Big V" people read this, please note this is an account of a bad date that happened in the past. In the way past. As in "long before I even knew Big V was walking the earth" kind of past. Please don't accuse me of dating guys on the sly because that's just not nice. (Yes, web friends, it has happened. That's why a note such as this is considered a necessity.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dog Lovers Unite!

I was going to go rock-wall climbing last night but by the grace of God that was nixed and an evening with the gals at the cottage was about to ensue. (Thank you, God, for realizing I am in no shape to climb up a wall.) So I sang my way home - yes, sang. As in, radio cranked with Lady GaGa as my duet partner right after Pink and I rocked the Nissan. Anyway. Jolly, I was, as I walked in the house, because what could be better than a glass of wine among friends? Especially when the significant other was tethered to the house with the teen, the baby and the kid in the middle. However, that jolliness did not last very long.

"I just called you," Big V announced.

"Sorry. I was working on my demo."

"What?"

"Nevermind."

"The baby needs to go to the hospital."

"What?! Why?! What happened?"

"I don't know..."

"You don't know? Is he bleeding? Can it wait about 3 glasses of wine?"

"What?"

"Nevermind."

"He's got spots."

"Spots? Like a cheetah?"

"No. Like on a wine glass."

"That sounds slightly sarcastic. You know, it's better than lipstick. That'd be gross."

"We're talking about the baby!"

"Right. The baby. Spots. Why?"

"Why are we talking about the baby?"

"No, why does the baby have spots?"

"I don't know - that's why he needs to go to the hospital."

And so it was that I learned my baby was covered in bright red spots. Reluctantly I agreed to take him to the ER. Don't judge me - he's the third kid. By this point in the game I know he's not bleeding or having difficulty breathing, so it's not life threatening, and we've already been infected if he was contagious, and my friend's kids are up-to-date on their vaccinations so, really, what's the harm in waiting a bit? But then V told me about some guy he knew that had measles when he was a kid and got a measle in the eye and lost that eye and I'd feel bad if that happened. I'd never make Mother of the Year if the public knew I traded a bottle of Riesling for an eyeball.

We threw the baby in the car (carefully placing him in the proper infant safety restraint system; does that help my campaign?) and promptly forget the diaper bag because who needs a diaper bag when you know you're going to be stuck with a 6-month old in a waiting room for four hours?



The good doctor came in and took a look around. The baby's back. Belly. Head. Scalp. Ears. Hands.  He stepped back, wrapped the stethoscope around his neck, and sighed as he wrote things down on his little clipboarded paperwork.

"Well," he smirked. (Yes, he smirked.) "I can tell you it's not chicken pox and it's not measles...  You've got fleas."

And with that little announcement my head whipped so fast towards V that the papers on the doctor's clipboard fluttered, Dotter covered her face with her hands (she knows how I feel about this dog), and V used every ounce of his being to physically morph himself into the wall in the hopes of not being seen.

"When was the last time you put the flea and tick stuff on the dog?"

No answer.

"V. I can still see you. You are not wall art. When was the last time you put the flea and tick stuff on the dog?"

"I don't like putting that on her - I don't know if it's safe for her."

Seriously? I mean Seriously? Our baby is like a giant cheeto being gnawed on by a thousand wingless insects and you're worried that some product a gazillion dog owners happily use might be unsafe for Satan?!

*sigh*

It goes without saying my night was filled with vacuuming, bombing, washing, scrubbing and lots and lots of itching.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Don't forget to Vote!

Since I had the baby six months ago but still look very much pregnant (I could seriously get contracted as Buddha's belly double) I decided to force myself into doing something other than sitting in front of a computer, or a television, or a chocolate cake. I organized the Office Climb, which is pretty much me and my two male co-workers talking a lot about wanting to reduce our belly size, but doing very little about it. (The one guy keeps hauling in donuts and Coke. He should be forced to scrape up my crumbs with bamboo under his nails.)

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday we vowed to climb up this super duper high hill across the street from our office. There's a bike path that defies gravity, so it's perfect for a wanted calorie burn. Except today is Tuesday. And an election. And election days mean two things: (1) you vote, and (2) there's an awful lot of food in this office. Election Officers like to eat. And they eat good. We're talking donuts and orange juice and party platters full of munchies and barbeque chicken sandwiches and potato chips of various flavors and brownies. Lots of chocolate brownies. With chocolate chips mixed inside!

So it goes without saying that after consuming a plethora of chocolatey treats and washing them down with about four cans of cola there is no possible way I'm hefting my butt up a hill.

Life is certainly not fair at all.

I sent Dotter to school today. With a zit. That's right. The poor 8-yr old had a huge pimple on her chin. I tried not to draw attention to it. What the heck is a pimple doing on a second grader's chin? And it was a pimple. It wasn't a bug bite. Or a pimple you could convince others was a bug bite. It was a pimple. Plain and simple. And ready to pop.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Salsa with the Spice & the Spunk!

I get giddy when I see an envelope in my mailbox with a hand written return address. It usually means a thank you, an invite, or anything other than a requirement to send in some money in exchange for heat or electricity. Imagine, if you will, the overflowing excitement I experienced when I came home to find a HUGE BOX on my doorstep. A BOX, people. A really big box!

Now I know I've told you about the pending arrival of a jar of salsa... I thought I was getting one jar of feisty fun. One. I thought I hit paydirt with a singular jar of Feisty Mama Salsa ... But, oh no - this box was way too big for a single little jar....

This was a party in a box! Invites, plates, napkins, a cute, adorable tunic to wear at the fiesta, and thank you's. The only thing missing was the mustache & sombrero!  (And here I thought I was waiting for a jar!)


BUT WAIT!!

That's not all! There was more!


Much... much... more!



CAN YOU STAND IT?!

Twelve jars from the Mama herself. Blended smooth with a kick... just like a Feisty Mama  should be! Oh.!

Of course the first thing I did was go hide with my loot and a bag of chips, dipping and snacking solo before my crunching gave me away. Then I was forced to share.  Not just the salsa... but also the shirt! Snatched up by the grubby hands of a teen with impeccable taste.

She has given a thumbs up to the shirt ("Oh, yeah, I'm SOOOOO HOT! You know it!") and to the salsa ("This is really good. I mean, it's like really good. You know?") Um, yeah, like I know, right? It's like, totally good.
(Ok. First rule: Feisty gals don't speak Valley. Sorry.)

And so here I sit with my salsa stash and note cards trying to figure out who of my many friends are deserving enough to share this goodness with. I've developed a point system and am judging on (1) How nice you were to me in high school when I sported purple plastic framed glasses, (2) How long you can dance without taking a break, and (3) How well you can say, "Looks like this little lady is stayin' for the party after all" when wearing a sombrero.

In the meantime I'm planning on whipping up a batch of Spicy Chicken Vixens to nibble on while pondering who I'll deem privileged enough to bring a little spicy fun home. Because we all know there's a lot more fun to be had when there's a little Feisty Mama in the house!

Come out, Come out, Wherever you are!

I like how accommodating the Easter Bunny is. He's so in tune with different family traditions and that's why there are so many variations on what happens with all those eggs.

In our house we hard-boil eggs and decorate them. The dye gets spilled on my only unstained dish towel that I own. Fingers look like a judicial booking gone bad. Everyone complains because the purple looks more like khaki. Good times all around.

Then the eggs get stored in the fridge until the Easter Bunny tip-toes in, while we're all sound asleep, and hides those eggs in silly spots around the house.

Although it's not so funny when you can't find one of those darn eggs and the rabbit didn't even think about leaving a stupid map and you know in three days that still hidden egg is going to start smelling something fierce, especially with this warm, sunny weather we've been having....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Car squeals into parking lot; slams on brakes. Man in white shorts and pastel green polo shirt jumps out of car, runs into building: "Where's your bathroom?!" he shouts. "All the way down the hall, through the....." Man takes off running, yelling, "Gotta go or you'll have a mess on your hands!"

Way too much information, sir. Way too much.

Smell? What smell?

Most days Ms. Rosie comes to our house to watch Cletus. I do nothing but say good morning and go on my way. We have Ms. Rosie - except on Thursdays. Thursdays are a free for all. Thursday mornings are hectic; due only to the fact that I am held personally responsible for packing the baby up and delivering him safely (and somewhat on time) to whoever happens to be watching him. Today Grandma got the goods.

I'm too unorganized and unmotivated to pack up diaper bags the night before and I'm too lazy to get up early to do it, so I'm left with chaotic franticness, attempting to get both Cletus and I ready and out the door at a time that will more than likely make me late for work anyway. This morning was no different. I cursed having to take a quicker shower, cursed not being able to find a pair of socks, and cursed having to open up a pack of diapers because there weren't enough on the changing table. I shoved a change of clothes and bottles and formula and bibs into the diaper bag. I stubbed my toe trying to find the light green pacifier because the blue one doesn't work and the last thing I need is him whining and crying all day because then my mom will suddenly become sick with Ebola on any day I ask her to watch him.

I checked the clock above the stove and saw that I had to leave in exactly fourteen seconds if I had any hope of getting to work on time so I needed to get that baby up now... maybe my mom wouldn't notice if I didn't actually change his diaper…

Just then the door opened and like an angel coming to save the day, in walks Ms. Rosie. She knew struggle to find child care for Thursdays and her Thursday happened to clear up so, like she told Big V yesterday, she could come and watch Cletus to make it easier for us. Obviously V forgot to tell me.

Well, that was all fine and good.... except for the fact that exactly two seconds before she walked in the house I passed the most awful smelling gas ever. Let me be honest: women fart but they never, ever, under any circumstances let anyone know that they do. Ever. I may not be able to control my bladder like I used to - no trampoline for me - but I can go three whole days holding back the most painful, life threatening gas ever because there might happen to be a witness in the area. A lady never, ever passes gas in front of a witness. This is a strict rule I have successfully lived by for decades. I thought I was in the clear. The only witness was a baby too young to talk or have memory of the incident, and he was located on the other end of the house in the crib. Sleeping.

I won't try to sugar coat this. The smell that emitted from my body was beyond foul. There was no denying anything. Ms. Rosie walked into something beyond horrific. She should get hazard pay. There was absolutely nothing I could do. Nothing. And so I just stood there with a look of embarrassment and horror stuck on my face, surrounded by the stench of spoiled eggs and rotten road kill, while Ms. Rosie maintained proper decorum, smiling her good morning before sprinting down the hall,  muttering “I think I'll go wake the baby...”

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...