(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Monthly Archives: July 2014

me and mckenzie

As I held my new niece for the very first time, I marveled at her perfect little face and how fragile and tiny she was. I was impressed by her full head of hair and the tiny lips already poised to smile in her sleep.

Then, I was relieved that she wasn’t mine.

Maybe it’s because the entire drive to Orlando, my children kept throwing their respective Spiderman and Hello Kitty balls on the floor of the car and whining that I needed to pick them back up.

alma ball

The big mark in the middle of her head is a bruise she got when a kid hit her with a swing. She is not a Klingon.

Maybe it’s because my daughter wouldn’t stop yelling and waking her little brother up once he finally fell asleep.

Maybe it’s because my son threw a temper tantrum in the hospital room and started kicking me, then his Nana and then anyone in his general vicinity.

Or, maybe it was watching my daughter cower in front of her own family, melting into nothing because she was uncomfortable about the presence of a baby. She chose to peer out the window as if there was nothing more fascinating than the rooftop of the building next door.

alma window

Maybe it’s the dozen times this past weekend that I had to peel soggy undies over my son’s little legs. (along with a couple chunky poops) To say he’s regressed is an understatement. We’re starting from scratch.

huck potty training

It’s chocolate. Not poop.

Maybe it’s the previous day when we made the mistake AGAIN of going to the beach. We chose a closer one, but that didn’t stop my daughter from complaining about the duration of the trip.

Once we set up our mobile beach home, it wasn’t the sound of waves crashing on the shore or seagulls that filled the air.

It was, “There’s wind in my eye!” “There’s sunscreen in my eye!” “There’s sand on my hands!” “I want my shoes on!” “I want to go in the water!” “I want to go on the sand!” “I want more oranges!” (“We’re out of oranges, honey.” “I want more oranges!!!!”) “Put me deeper in the water!” “Take me closer to the shore!” “My belly hurts!”

All I could think is THANK GOD I have a week off coming up for my birthday. My plan was to have several days of “me time” with stress free trips to the beach, naps and reading for more than ten minutes without passing out from exhaustion. Then, we were going to do our first weekend without the kids since they were born. Stay at a hotel with a pool, drink too much, sleep too much and remember how much we actually enjoy each other’s company.

We drop off the kidlets at my in-laws after the beach so we can grab a couple of adult beverages and drink off the feeling that having kids at all was a giant mistake.

The first thing my mother-in-law says is that they’re heading to Vegas to celebrate their anniversary… the weekend of my birthday when we were going to get away. I die a little inside.

While having drinks, I tell my husband that life will get easier once Huck gets potty trained and that all I need is several days in a row where I can really work with him.

Big mistake. Now, it looks like instead of a staycation, I will be cleaning up piss and shit for a week. Can I just work instead?

So, yeah… that new baby smell does NOTHING for me. I’ll just use baby powder.

The cute itsy bitsy clothes? I’ll buy Alma a doll.

The thrilling feeling of bringing another human being into the world? Been there, done that, twice.

Maybe I would feel differently if one of my kids had been a dud. Maybe we hit the jackpot of batshit crazy and annoying. Maybe we’re not strict enough. Maybe it wouldn’t feel so difficult if I didn’t have to wrap up a shitty weekend and head back to a wretched job.

I love my children, but they are the little sticks of dynamite that have blasted my biological clock.

dynamite

All that’s left are gears and cogs, tears and daydreams.

mckenzie and matt

Congratulations to my big brother and his wife… and good luck with that.

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musings

ON SLEEP ATTIRE:

onesie

Alma: “Why is Daddy working?” (at night)

Me: “I don’t know.”

Alma:  “Maybe he hates his PJ’s. Wait, does Daddy have PJ’s?”

Me:  “He sleeps in his undies.”

Alma: “That’s kind of disgusting.”

ON DEAD ANIMALS: (after a bike ride where a bloated, dead turtle was spottted)

flies

Alma: “Flies love flat turtles that are dead. They fly around and around and when it gets dark they fly away. When the sun comes up, they come back and fly around and around because they love dead turtles.”

ON DOLPHINS:

dolphin

Alma: “Dolphins blow water out of their brains, right Mama?”

ON HER BAD BEHAVIOR:

santa

Alma: “Santa brings presents to good girls and boys. Huck won’t get presents cause he’s soooo naughty.”

Me:  “You’ve been pretty naughty lately too.”

Alma: “When I was a baby, I was a good girl a lot of times. I’ve only been naughty sometimes.”

Now Huck’s turn.

super huck

ON HIS ABILITY TO RUN QUICKLY:

Huck: “I run fast like SUPERMAN! I’m Super Huck!”

Boys really are just more easy going.

 


I struggle endlessly to discover new and awesome movies for my kids to watch.

Disney flicks are way too pricey to buy.

My daughter wants the Barbies and Ponies and my son likes the trains and cars, so they rarely agree.

The greatest challenge is finding something I will watch without constantly checking Facebook updates or playing solitaire on my phone.

Here are my top 5 current and contemporary kid flicks.

1. Frozen.

Say what you will about it, but there is something incredibly freeing about belting out ballads, especially with midget backup singers.

I love Anna’s quirkiness. She drools, looks like crap in the morning, has a severe chocolate addiction and falls for a stinky dork with a family of trolls.

ann drools

2. Meet the Robinsons.

Plots centered on adoption tug at my heart strings. It gives us a glimpse of a super villain as an innocent child. The mom is a bad-ass who thwarts a brutal attack where meatballs are used as weapons.

meatball mom

It has a song by Rufus Wainwright that I ADORE.

wainwright

3. Rango.

This can’t be a kid flick. It just can’t. Chock full of grownup metaphors.

rango

4. Hotel Transylvania.

I hate Adam Sandler, except for in this movie.

I dig monster humor.

hotel transylvania

“Those humans are nassssty.”

And there’s this line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXveWvxYz3A

5. Free Birds.

free birds

Owen Wilson. Amy Poehler. Woody Harrelson. George Takei. (I had you at Takei, didn’t I?)

My husband would add Fantastic Mr. Fox to this list, but a friendly reminder to fellow parents: Your kids repeat what they hear, so only watch it if you’re a-o-k with the kidlets saying, “What the cuss?” or “This is a total clustercuss!”

what the cuss

Parents of little ones, please add your suggestions and justifications. I am always searching for better alternatives to playing with the dollhouse.


Picture a koala bear whining perpetually. koala Or a turtle neck sweater that cries for no reason. turtle neck Or the Incredible Hulk keeping a mom in a headlock while EXCLUSIVELY wearing skirts. the hulk This is my daughter. She is going through a phase (Dear God, let it be a phase) where she is beyond clingy.

She is single-handedly bringing back the choker necklace of the 90’s by BECOMING a choker.

alma clingy

I’m afraid I haven’t snapped any photos of her attacking me. Look how deceptively sweet she is!

She repeatedly gets down from the bench during dinner to give me a hug, despite being told repeatedly to withhold affection until after we eat.

She lies on top of me, kicking me over and over and over and then when I finally break down and yell at her she says, “I just want to give you a hug!” (Or kick the shit out of me)

She wants me to carry her, she wants to cook with me, she wants me to color WITH her. Inevitably when we color together, she gets bored and starts scribbling spastically all over whatever masterpiece I’ve created.

Sometimes I feel like instead of giving birth to a child, I actually have a parasitic twin attached to my body.

conjoined twin

Rather than a disturbing visual representation of an underdeveloped conjoined twin (don’t google it) I am showing you Andy Garcia. He had an underdeveloped conjoined twin surgically removed from his shoulder.

I am being manhandled by a blonde troll 24/7. kids Sometimes I feel badly about how irritating I find her demands for constant attention and contact.

The other night I told her it was time to bed after we finished reading and she started to fake cry. I told her to read a book on her own and she went ape crap.

I got annoyed and told her to pull it together.

Then she said, “I can’t read a book on my own, BECAUSE I CAN’T READ THE WORDS!”

Now I’M the dick. It has to be incredibly frustrating to be just a few letter sounds away from being able to read by yourself.

That being said, I am starting to think it’s strange that my children have ZERO ability to entertain themselves. (even together)

As I have previously posted, I suck at pretend.

I harbor a secret desire to burn her dollhouse down.

I can only find so many ways to rearrange the six pieces of furniture.

My mouse family mostly just wants to chill on the couch and watch TV. mouse family Speaking of, my children won’t even watch television alone. They demand to have company to zone out.

I have on more than one occasion plunked my daughter down on the couch, put on a new movie and tried to sneak in a nap in the bedroom. (Door open. I am not a HORRIBLE parent.)

Within ten minutes I will hear the heavy breathing of a small being standing next to me, staring at me, waiting for me to open my eyes.

It’s like I have my own personal serial killer, who is determined to murder me with crappy kid movies.

She won’t even sing without me. If I stop singing Frozen songs because I am doing something totally unimportant like trying to help her little brother poop on the potty, she starts to whisper-sing, looking uncomfortable like she just forgot her lines in the school play.

I probably shouldn’t talk considering that my mother could’ve nicknamed me “the tumor” until I was in high school. But, seriously, was I this annoying?

I’ve started calling her an Australian Sheperd. “The Aussie has considerable energy and drive, and usually needs a job to do.”

That’s my kid.

If you don’t give her a task, she’ll throw a shit-fit and possibly even piss on the rug. (Maybe not, but her temper tantrums ARE escalating.) aussie She is a lovely child. Brilliant, hilarious, spirited and driven.

Now, can someone please borrow her for a couple of hours so I can have a hot date with my husband?


There are skills that make any good mother something akin to a superhero. In my estimation, stay at home moms have the hardest gig. But, working moms have it rough too. They also develop superhuman powers, often not found in everyday women.

1. The ability to apply all makeup while at stop lights on the way to work. No smudges, no crazy lady eye shadow. To the women who even tackle plucking their eyebrows behind the wheel, kudos… and I’ve been there.

eyebrows

2. They have learned the fastest way to get to and from work. Yeah, they’ve been late fifteen times trying different routes, but now they have it MASTERED .

3. The ability to do laundry incrementally over several days.

laundry

4. They are phenomenally low maintenance. Only 10 minutes to shower, dress and get out the door? No problem.

5. They have dismissed the iron as an extraneous appliance. Clothes that wrinkle are dedicated with love to Goodwill.

6. The secret ankle shave allows them to wear capris or long skirts unabashedly.

shaving

7. They have found a way to effectively eliminate ALL down time. Down time? What is that? Walk through the front door after a long commute home from a crappy day at work and immediately start COOKING.

8. They have bid a fond farewell to food snobbery. You simply can’t waste precious time coming up with organic, healthy, creative meals and snacks. Sometimes it’s just a banana and a smile for breakfast.

banana smile

9. The ability to give off the appearance of extreme concentration during a meeting when you are actually falling asleep.

falling asleep

10. They can change a diaper in a single bound, at the speed of light. Casual diaper change when you’ve got somewhere you have to be in order to pay the bills? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

aint nobody got time


Last night while I was sweating through my daily hour-long commute in bumper to bumper traffic, my husband calls to let me know that Huck has an outrageous ear ache.

earache

I am immediately assessing the logistical nightmare involved. A rough night of no sleep is all but guaranteed unless we confront the offending ear head-on. (pun intended)

So, I rush home and grab a healthy snack and rush Huck to the nearest urgent care clinic. As I drive, I am doing the parental reach-around, shuttling hunks of banana to the backseat.

I’m wiping banana gunk on my seat and trying to assuage his fears by scream-singing Frozen songs.

At the doctor’s office, he holds it together while I discuss paperwork with the snippy, condescending bitch who runs the front desk.

For some reason it’s not until I am actually filling out paperwork with Huck on my lap that it sinks in that he is, INDEED, inside a doctor’s office.

He starts to cry.

It escalates.

He’s blowing snot bubbles and growling underneath the sobs.

Now begins the humiliating struggle to get him to calm down.

I bounce him on my lap, hold him and say “shhhh, it will be okay.” The people in the waiting room are giving the “Oh, poor baby, sweet mommy” looks.

Not working, so I move on to offering up games on my phone.

He starts gurgling, “I don’t want games toooo.” (Suddenly, everything he says is followed by the word “too.”)

I start showing him pictures on my phone and asking him to tell me who it is.

“I want Alma toooo!” “I want daddy toooo!” “I wanna go home toooo!”

The tension in the room is escalating, the looks far less sympathetic.

The crying/yelling is perpetual.

I offer up mandarin oranges, magazines, videos on my phone, all to no avail.

People are grumbling now, shifting awkwardly in their seats. I’m starting to appear to be a really ineffective comforter.

I take him outside and he calms down. He starts looking at cars, flags, signs… and stops crying.

I start… SWEATING.

sweating

We go back in and… he bursts into tears.

I try reasoning with him. “We have to see the doctor to get medicine so your ear won’t hurt anymore.” That seems to remind him about the pain and the yelling grows more passionate.

Even the nasty bitch on the desk is trying to help now, offering up cartoons on TV…. anything to make him shut up.

You know what would’ve made him shut up? Not making us wait an hour and a half to see a f&*ing doctor!

When we finally make it into the room where my son will be seen, it’s another 30 minutes of spastic non-stop sobbing.

I offer him tongue depressors to play with, cotton balls, suggest he write on the crinkly, keep your bottom clean paper.

paper bed

Nothing works. Everything is followed by an irritated “I don’t wanna (insert suggestion here) tooooo!”

I am rocking my little weapon of mass destruction fervently, begging him to tell me what’s wrong. He calms down enough to avoid explosion and mass casualties, but he can’t even talk he’s so beside himself.

huck bomb

I end up playing Frozen singalong videos on Youtube during which he intermittently ceases screaming. I have no doubt that people outside the room were yucking it up listening to me sing while my son continued to cry.

They offered him a juice box. You know what his response was.

The Doctor finally arrives, accidentally calls my son by his last name and swoops in to check his ears.

His hands are shaking violently. He says, It’s hard with a moving target.” (Yeah, my son is sitting perfectly still. He’s not the problem.) Of course I end up with the one urgent care physician in all of Tampa Bay with severe Parkinson’s.

I have to suggest to him the medication my son requires and he promises to call it in to our pharmacy right away.

That night, we call the pharmacy and it was never called in. The urgent care clinic is closed. We have no medication. I am buying beer on the way home. This was supposed to be my workout day. Can you lose lbs through severe stress and trauma?

There is a chance that suffering through the worst doctor’s visit ever had its reward in the end. Huck was so exhausted from all of that crying that he drank milk, took Motrin and some ear drops and NEARLY slept through the night.

huck

We survived the crappy clinic and all we got was this lousy sticker.

sticker


I am 98% sure I am having a full-blown identity crisis.

I am confident in my gender preference, sexual preference and my current status as being married and a mother.

Everything else is up for grabs.

When you become a parent your priorities don’t just shift. You don’t just put your needs on the back burner. You set them on fire and watch them turn to ash and waft away in the wind.

ashes

When it comes to my self-worth, I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket. There was a basket for being a successful News Producer, a basket for looking good, a basket for being loyal and loving and a basket for maintaining my sense of humor.

I didn’t drop the basket, but I may have crashed the delivery truck.

cracked eggs

I have always wrapped up my self-confidence in a blanket of compliments. I was a great writer. I was skinny and attractive. I was smart and witty. Quirky and fun. Deep and loyal. Cynical and acerbic.

Now, I just feel old and tired. I have been told I am a bad writer and a bad Producer.

I drag my baby weight around like a yoke around my… well, let’s be frank here… belly.

My sense of humor is more bitter than acerbic.

Fun… what is that?

I have forgotten what it feels like to feel awesome.

I know it’s hidden in there somewhere, but you can only be told you’re not good enough for so long before you start to really believe it.

You know how it would feel if someone told you that you have an ugly baby? That’s how it feels when you love something tremendously and are told you suck at it.

ugly baby

I never proclaimed to be a stellar writer, but it’s something I’ve done like it’s a compulsion for my entire life.

To be told that I blow at it is a REAL BLOW.

It has made me question whether I ever had any talent to begin with. Is the full extent of my skill blogging, like this is some extension of a Dear Diary? Is my writing this right now proof of that?

dear diary

I would be content if I was just focusing on raising two wonderful children, being Suzy homemaker but, instead I am stretched thin like a rubber band across the gap between work and home.

rubberband

I haven’t changed how much effort I put into my job, but suddenly have hit a ceiling. While I continue to pour effort into a job where I am underappreciated, my home is collecting dog fur and grime and a stranger is cleaning it up. My kids have started to know when “Linda cleaned” the house.

I am opting for canned veggies, fish sticks and mac and cheese for the kids when I want to master a real meal.

I want to have someone take a picture of me that isn’t just from the shoulders up that I don’t immediately have the urge to delete.

There is the person I was, the person I am and the person I want to be.

They are all entirely different. I would love to say I’m ready to dig deep and reach that goal, but I’ve got to get out of the hole I’m already in first.

I need to be able to pour my heart and soul into something and have someone say just one time, “job well done.”

Let’s make it one word. Kudos. It’s cheap, cliche and a candy bar. I’ll take it.

kudosThat being said, I am now going to rush to the store to buy ingredients to make a bunch of fancy food and still try to make it to a block party on my cul-de-sac without vomiting from anxiety.