Dear Parents,

I have a confession. Sometimes I completely lose my shit. There is usually yelling. Yelling, cursing, fist pumping and what I assume are fire daggers shooting from my squinted, crazed eyes. I don’t know about the last part for certain, as I have never actually looked in a mirror during these fits, but I assume my family would attest to it. I am not proud of these moments- but they happen, perhaps more often than I would care to admit. I honestly feel like I can’t control it sometimes. Especially at the end of the day, when you can see the light in the tunnel and sugar plums are about to dance in their head- GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP!! That book really does sum it up so well. After over 12 hours on the job, I am spent. I need to turn off my mom brain and give it a rest. I need to recharge.

So, to all of you parents out there, I propose this:

Put your right arm out in front of you. Now cross it over to your to your left shoulder. Pat yourself on the back.

You are awesome.

I just thought that maybe you could use the reminder. I know I need the reminder. In between shuttling kids, cups of coffee and returning emails- I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a pretty fucking fantastic job. You woke up this morning with the best of intentions, got the kids off to school or daycare or put them in front of the TV so that you could get some work done- no judgment. You are doing the best you can.

We are all doing the best we can. Good for us!

Did you put a roast in the crock pot before rushing off to the office? Did you stock the freezer with some tv dinners? Are you calling Pizza Hut on the way home? Are you trying out your new vegan quinoa stirfry? You are awesome!!

Give yourself a pat on the back for all the stuff you DO do. Let’s not focus on the fact that your kid talked you into candy before bed last night, or that you didn’t have the energy to force them to brush their teeth, or that they may or may not have lollipop stuck in their hair…hair that hasn’t been washed in one too many days because you were simply too tired to fight that battle tonight. (Why is it as hard to get them INTO the bath as it is to get them OUT later??!)

You wake up, you love your children fiercely and you try your best. Every. Single. Day.

Sure, sometimes you may yell, sometimes you may let them watch tv all day, sometimes you may feed them mac and cheese from the blue box without cutting up an apple “to keep it healthy”. That’s ok.

The important part is that you are trying. There is a big spectrum and most of us are in the middle making it happen. Making those kids into competent, loving, caring and well-ish adjusted individuals. Take a deep breath, give yourself a break, pour a glass of wine and remember, tomorrow brings a new opportunity for growth.

xoxo

Pinterest, Dear parents you are fucking awesome

HIGH FIVE!

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Social Pariah

I was listening to NPR yesterday after dropping the tiny tot off at school and they were discussing on-line privacy issues. More specifically, the crazy-insane amount of information that Facebook gathers from its bagillion users. Of course, the program also talked about employers searching the social media pages of potential employees as a standard part of the hiring process. I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have to clean up my internet presence if I was to interview for a real job sometime in the distant future. I don’t know what kind of “real” job that would be- but am I already screwing myself out of a potential job just by writing my blog?

I am honest, maybe to a fault, and I put out a lot of my musings out there for public consumption. I find it a fabulous outlet to maintain my voice in a sometimes mundane daily life that rarely requires higher level thinking. Fortunately, Dora walks me right through her adventures, with the help of Map. So, lets say that I wanted to be a teacher- I assume my blog antics might cost me the job educating children. I curse, I drink and I am very pro-choice. I voted for Obama, I like reading smutty books and I have tattoos.

Speaking of tattoos…I have three tattoos, none that are visible. I haven’t gotten a tattoo since 2001, and I think that means it’s about damn time for another one. My husband HATES tattoos. He HATES that I want to get another one. But- like the good wife I am, I have delayed my desire for more decorative body art…until now. I have been searching for the perfect tattoo- thank you Pinterest. But, now I am wondering if I am further alienating my chances to enter the work force later?

Do I care? Do I really want a job that wouldn’t hire me based on my adorable visible tattoo? Do I really want to work for a company that won’t hire me because I like to blog about politics? Do I really want to work for a company that thinks my use of Fuck is too flagrant? Eh, I sure hope not. Honestly, I have no true intention to gain full-time employment out in the “real world”. I don’t even know what I would do if I were to find a Mon-Fri gig with benefits and a salary. Currently my benefits are staying in my pajamas all day and my salary is hugs and kisses. But, despite my blogging, my cursing and my penchant for tattoos, my tiny employers still love me anyways. At this point, I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way. Right now, I need to follow my heart- and my heart is firmly entrenched with my family and my beautifully tedious kiddos.

LOUD NOISES!

NPR was doing this segment called “What 31 sounds like”. I only caught one of the snip its, but basically they asked a bunch of 31 year olds to pick 4 sounds that best encapsulate their lives at the age of 31. I don’t remember what his sounds were, but I am sure they were poetic and lovely. Here are mine:

  1. Yelling. All kinds of yelling. Happy yelling, sad yelling, frustrated mom yelling, tattling on your brother yelling, “watch me mom” yelling, don’t run into the street yelling, overtired screaming and crying yelling, and the occasional public meltdown yelling (the kids, not me, thankfully)
  2. Dora the Explorer. The kids both freaking love that spunky little Latina! Honestly, as long as it isn’t the little douchebag Caillou, I don’t care.
  3. The Big Bang Theory opening song. Jeff makes me sing it every time we watch the show. In fact, if I don’t sing the song he rewinds the show and makes a pouty face until I do sing it. It’s a thing we do. We have “our shows” that we like to watch together every week. It’s the one night that we get to just relax and cuddle on the couch laughing at our favorite programs. Yes, we call them programs. It makes us feel classy and old-timey, like a 50’s tv show couple.
  4. Buzzing. I have a love/hate relationship to the buzzing. It means there is an email/text on our phones. On Jeff’s phone, it’s damn near constant. All. The. Freaking. Time. Holy crap. Work emails, push notifications, twitter alerts, mass family texts during Bears games…all the time. I don’t have nearly the same amount of responsibility, so I get far fewer buzzes. Honestly, I would love to institute cell phone free times or something. I think that technology is the worst time sucker and distractor from the joys of real life ever. (I say as I write this on a lap top while my Facebook page is open in another screen.

caillou

Other potential sounds:

  1. Ice crunching. I am addicted to Sonic ice. Don’t tell my dentist.
  2. Laughing. It’s kind of obligatory, but we do laugh a lot, thankfully.
  3. The dryer. There is always something banging around in there. A penny, a giant acorn, a crayon, chapstick, a lighter…
  4. Door slamming. These kids think it’s funny to slam doors while running from room to room or outside to the backyard. But, you know what they say, it’s all fun and games until someone loses a pinky in the doorjamb.
  5. Singing. Maybe this should have been one of my top 4. My daughter used to sing constantly. No joke, all the damn time. At home, in the car, at the grocery store, on the playground- anywhere and EVERYWHERE! Lately, not so much. Her teacher said that kids focus on one task at a time and then move on. She is into writing and letters now and so her focus is far less performance based lately, thankfully. I needed a break from the musical I was living in.
  6. Fans. A low level hum. When I was growing up we always had a fan in our room for white noise. Now I can’t sleep without it and neither can my kiddos. Thus, we all have desk fans in our room. The overhead fans, while good for circulation, don’t make the same hmmmm sound, so we have the cheap-o desk fans as well. I also have an extra for guests. You are welcome.
  7. Typing. Sometimes I write. When I do, it sounds like “tap tap tappity tap tap tappity”. Sadly, most of the time I still look at the keys, although, I think I am fairly certain I don’t need to- its just habit, and shoddy typing skills.
  8. Munching. I think my kids are carb loading for a marathon. They can demolish a bag of goldfish before lunch.
  9. DMB. I don’t always listen to music around the house, but when I do, its Dave Matthews Band.

What are your 4 sounds?

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Need: Instruction book for being a Mom

I am a MOM and WIFE. But, I am also a FRIEND. DAUGHTER. SISTER. NEIGHBOR. There are a lot of hats and lately I feel like I am sucking it up big time. I feel like I am peddling just as fast and hard as I can and yet, I am going nowhere. I feel like I am working my ass off (unfortunately not literally- I cannot find time or energy to do that) and yet, I am not making anyone happy- including myself.  I feel like I truly try my best to please everyone and yet, I please no one. I am not depressed, please don’t think that I have any problem like that…this is just a temporary lull in the system. I think this feeling may just be a plateau or maybe a fork in the road that needs to be navigated.

My children are wonderful, inquisitive, funny, happy, fabulous balls of energy and neediness. They are young and navigating this world to the best of their ability- and it’s exhausting; physically and mentally exhausting. I am never alone. I cannot hear myself think over the constant singing, yelling, chattering and music in the house. I am followed to the bathroom. I make meals and snacks all day long. I have to get up in the middle of the night to scare away monsters, clean up puke, administer baby Tylenol, or just for some reassuring cuddles and kisses. I am like a mommy- on call, all the time, forever and ever and ever….

I try and plan girls nights, date nights, play dates, outings, activities…blah, blah, blah. I plan ahead; I try and find babysitters far in advance. I try to keep the peace, make everyone happy, and make sure no one feels used. I try to be thankful for the help we receive and dutifully return the favor. I try, I try, I try! I am so tired. I want to go do something without jumping through a million hoops first, without packing baggies of goldfish and sippies of milk, without making plans and backup plans.

I am but one person and I am doing the best that I can. I try to get laundry done, keep the kitchen stocked, have dinner on the table, have coffee ready in the morning and pay the household bills on time. I try to keep the kids active and involved and I try to create a home with love and laughter.

That is a lot of balls. That is a lot of small tasks that can easily get overlooked or pushed aside for more pressing issues. This is why people have help. They have daycare, house cleaners, assistants, secretaries, nannies…because it’s a tough fucking job for one person. SAHM Time mom of the year

Give me a break – I AM DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN!

I don’t get paid for this SAHM job. I didn’t have to fill out an application. I didn’t get a list of prerequisites or objectives, I sure don’t have a PDF file of directions to perform any specific tasks. I am just one woman, trying to figure it all out. I mean, honestly, we are all just making this up as we go.

I have thought long on the situation at hand and still have no answers. Zip. Nada. I have been told to pray on it…I guess. I am not really the religious kind, but I suppose happy thoughts and the ability to throw my anxiety out into the universe may help. I know that I am not alone. I know that I am not crazy and I know that I am not the only one to have ever had these feelings.

My husband said that he was just going to have to get used to the “new me”. In his exact words, “this overwhelmed mom who is constantly annoyed at her circumstances”. I love him, but I don’t agree. I am not annoyed at my circumstances; I am just frustrated that despite my best efforts, I still feel like I am failing. Please don’t confuse this with feeling like a failure. I feel like I am treading water, not drowning. I just yearn to be on the diving board, high above the pool in the first place. I suppose that could be unrealistic. But, reach for the stars, RIGHT??

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perfect mom

Christmas in October

I don’t like the holidays, let me just get that out there. I am super pissed off every year when I see commercials that reference the “holiday season” along side back to school ads! No, no, no. It is not the holiday season. The “holiday season” doesn’t begin until November. Let us freaking get through the hectic “summer is officially over” transition and buy our costumes and candy for Halloween before we dive head first into ugly jingle sweaters and pine scented plastic trees.

My daughter will be 5 and a half this Christmas season, which means that she is in full present/Santa/Elf/decorate a tree/snowball fight mode. Simply said, she will truly “get” it. My dear, sweet, holiday loving husband will be the very happiest this year. He is a Christmas fanatic. Before we were married he made us leave milk and cookies out for Santa and track his path on Santa radar. (I also had to get up in the middle of the night and throw out the now-warm milk and chunk the cookies into the nether regions of the freezer so they wouldn’t be spied thus exposing my secret….don’t tell my husband, he may be crushed.)

Two years ago the Elf on a Shelf nonsense didn’t go over very well. I thought we would try it out, but Ella didn’t really care and we lost interest. (Click HERE to see the Elf shenanigans)

Elmo on a shelf alternative to Elf of a Shelf

Elmo on A Shelf

In fact, we didn’t even spend the money (why is that string bean of an Elf so damn expensive??) and used a Elmo Elf that we had received the year before. Honestly though, the whole idea super e’ffing creeps me out. We tell our kids that a mythical Elf is watching over them to report back to Santa??

Yeah, I am sorry, if you are pissed off about the NSA then you should definitely not be encouraging “the man” to keep watch over your kids during the holiday season.  I know, I know, it’s supposed to be an incentive to keep your kids on their best behavior (which I am all for, I am not against bribes. The promise of fruit snacks got me through the terrible twos) however, the idea of a fat man coming down the chimney bringing presents because his super creepy elf was watching you all season…I don’t know. It’s all too much.

I want to enjoy the leaves changing color, scare some trick-or-treaters, cook a turkey, dress all snazzy for some holiday parties, open some pj’s on Christmas Eve, and then we can talk about Santa and all his creepy, breaking-an-entering antics. Let’s slow down. One thing at a time. It’s still October after all!

Let’s make a deal. I will promise to be less of a Grinch if we can all agree to take one holiday at a time. I may even get my own Elf on a Shelf…he may be creepy, but I could use the leverage with the tiny maniacs over here. (Can I borrow $30? I should have just coughed up the dough when he was on sale after Christmas last year.)

Xoxo

Elf on A Shelf may kill you.

It’s a possibility.

Love and Marriage

So, I have been thinking if I am serious about writing a book it needs to be honest, right? I need to write about things that may be difficult. I need to venture into territory that makes me uncomfortable and vulnerable.  So little by little, I am opening up- because it is good to be scared. After all, writing a book is baring your soul to the (potential) world, right? Writing is about owning your thoughts and feelings and opening them for public consumption…here goes nothing.

My handsome husband works his fucking ass off at work. Like 65 hours a week- balls to the wall. He is one of those people that truly believes “if you want something done right then you have to do it yourself”. I don’t see him. The kids see even less of him. Honestly, I feel like a single parent most of the time. I am so annoyed most of the day that I have become bitter. I am exhausted, bitter and let’s face it, I can be a bitch.

Today he texts me, “You have become a nagging ball of self-serving animosity and bitterness.”

My reply, “I agree.”

He thinks that I am an anomaly. He believes that there must be millions of moms out there and that I am the ONLY one that has turned into a crazy bitter bitch. Well, I watch enough tv, read enough blogs and listen to enough NPR to know that I am without a doubt NOT alone. In fact, just today there was a panel of SAHMs on an NPR program talking about the joys, struggles and growing pains of being a full-time mom. I am not inventing the wheel, and I don’t presume to think that I have any innovations to add to the wheel either.

My reply, “It’s not a trend. It is simply a fact. It’s the hardest god damned job out there and yet being a SAHM has no pay, so you are still at the complete mercy of the provider to take care of you. While we all agree its a vitally important role, it still takes a back seat to anyone else’s needs simply due to the fact that we don’t earn income. Therefore, we are at the mercy of the income earner.”

Yes, I write a lot in a text message. That’s why I cannot Twitter…or Tweet…Twat. Whatever.

I continue, “You work all day making money and want to come home for a respite. Rest, relaxation and support, right?? Me too. That’s all I want. Our needs are the same. I have verbalized that I don’t feel I am getting that from you. You feel you are not getting that from me. That’s the crux. We are just humans working our asses off. We all want the same things. We all deserve the same things. We only get out as much as we put in and currently neither of us is putting much into our marriage because we are exhausting our resources at our jobs.”

He still doesn’t reply…

I continue, “It’s not earth shattering. It’s not a new concept the world has never seen before. It’s a commonality between most all couples with kids. We are not a science experiment to be studied. This is a struggle as old as time. How we handle the situation and evolve into our new roles is going to be what is important.”

Still, no reply. I assume he must be curing cancer from the radio silence that I have received.

Continuing, “But, neither of us is going I feel complete and happy until we make sure we can meet our required needs. This is where communication and lots of compromise is vital.”

No reply. He is a man a few words anyways, so I am not expecting some dissertation on the ideas surrounding marriage and family.  But, he may as well have his phone surgically attached to his hand, so I know the texts have been received; and I assume he at least skimmed my thoughts on the matter.

I reply, “I love you.”

He responds, “You too.”

Me: “You know this is going to end up in a blog, right?”

Him: “Oh, my.”

xoxo

Sleeping Naked

Warning: Sleeping Naked. Enter at your own risk.

SLEEPING NAKED: OPEN DOOR AT YOUR OWN RISK

Growing up my parents slept naked. Like bare-assed naked. Every. Single. Night. I think this was quite smart on their part. I never wanted to go into their room after bedtime for fear of seeing body parts that I had only seen in my copy of Where Do Babies Come From?. (You remember the 70’s cartoon book, where the couple actually looks like normal people and not like the Barbie doll characters that would be in the 2014 version.) I am not sure exactly how the nickname came about but a friend growing up would call my parents Adam and Eve. Classy. (Although, my parents are the hippie-type, so maybe that has something to do with it, too)

Fast forward 20 years later…I sleep in damn near a sweat suit. Pajama pants, tank AND a sweater. Not to mention the sheet, a down comforter and the duvet cover. I get cold! I hate being cold. So, I go to bed dressed like an eskimo ready to settle in for a long winter. My husband constantly makes fun of the close relationship I have with my pajama pants. I admit- I do love them. I don’t wear them to run errands or even when I drop the kiddo off at preschool, but the minute I am home, I just want to fall into the sweet, sweet embrace of my blue Old Navy jammie pants.

So, here we are in the comfort of a fully air-conditioned house, typically set at 74, getting into bed, me in my sweat suit and my husband  in his boxers and a just a sheet.  Sounds super sexy, doesn’t it? No? Well, join the club. I believe that he is starting a “My Wife Wears Ugly Pajamas To Bed” support group. They meet on Tuesday evenings in the gym, refreshments will be served.

Last week I made a fairly radicle decree: HENCEFORTH WE BOTH MUST SLEEP NAKED. Effective immediately.  That night I dug through the closet looking for a lightweight robe to lie at the end of the bed. I will be damned if my house burns down and I have to grab my kids and run outside naked! No. No. No. I will be prepared in the event that the friends on the block may have to see the glory that is their neighbors in the nude. No. No. No.

I lasted one night. I was cold. I felt exposed. I felt kind of naughty, but not in that sexy confident way that I was hoping it would make me feel. But, I am nothing if not persistent. So day two, I try again. After a couple days, I will say that it gets easier and I have found myself sleeping throughout the night without nightmares of waking up to a fireman rescuing me from my burning house. (Although, now that I think about it, that may less of a nightmare and more of some fantasy dream sequence…)

I have done some research and found that 44% of American adults sleep in the nude! Really? Damn, there are a lot of you out there.  The research seems to have pretty clear findings that sleeping au natural has quite a few benefits:

  1. You air out your private bits, giving less chance for infection.
  2. You sleep better because your body can maintain a cooler temperature.
  3. Being too warm at night disrupts the release of melatonin and growth hormone-your main anti-aging hormones-into your body. As your body temperature drops, growth hormone is released and works its regenerative magic. Who knew!?
  4. Sleeping in the buff helps you sleep more soundly, which will allow your levels of the stress hormone cortisol to decrease as you rest, keeping your energy and hunger levels in check, thus even helping reduce belly fat!
  5. Sleeping in your birthday suit is great for your relationship because lying skin to skin will increase feel-good chemicals like the cuddle hormone oxytocin, encouraging sexier relationships between the sheets.

Wow! Alright, I guess I am in. Who can say no to those findings? I am going to be one healthy, infection-free, hormonally balanced, confident sex machine. Watch out sweet hubby- be careful what you wish for!

Just curious, how many of you are now going to sleep naked tonight? Sweet dreams! (winky face)

xoxo

naked fire rescue

My worst nightmare.

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SEX: What a novel idea….

Sex: My love affair with Romance Novels

I read. A lot. I am fairly embarrassed to admit that I have read over 50 books in the last 6 months. Please, don’t applaud me for my voracious appetite of the written word. And, please whatever you do, do not search for my Goodreads profile. That shit is downright shameful and embarrassing. I would say that at least 90%, oh who am I kidding, 98% of the crap I read is romance…not that there is anything inherently wrong with that. In fact, my grandma is a romance writer. Yep, she writes the smut. I read the smut. Not her smut, mind you…I think there is a line there that I am not willing to cross. I may picture her in the scenes, or hear her voice as the narrator, it’s all too much.

Admittedly, my affair with romance novels started with 50 Shades of Grey. I tagged along on one of my husband’s business trips to San Diego and was looking for something to read on the plane. I had heard murmurings of the book and how it had been dubbed “mommy porn”. I am a mom, I could like porn. SOLD! I finished all three books in 3 days. My husband went out and bought me an E-reader. I think the reader was a good move. I am willing to admit that I don’t have enough chutzpa to walk into a brick and mortar store, smelling of coffee and sophistication, and purchase Rock Me: Sex Gods on Tour. I can’t do it. I also have a difficult time not blushing when buying condoms, lube or a pregnancy test. Some things are just better left to anonymity.

As it stands, I am an equal opportunity reader. I have read sweet romances, high school romance, college romance, hard core “romance”, rocker romance, BDSM, billionaire dominance romance…lets just say there are many genres in the romance category. I will say that I prefer the ones that include deep love and devotion. I am not into the dominant/subordinate relationships, they make me uncomfortable. I mean, to each their own.  I have read plenty of them, they just aren’t my favorite.

There has only been one book that made me so uncomfortable that I wanted to put it in the freezer. I got two chapters in and had to put the book down, I literally felt ill. My mind felt guilty for even reading the words on the page. Ok, ok, I will let you know what book it was- I know you are all wondering now. Perverts.

In the 80’s, Anne Rice wrote The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy under the pseudonym A.N. Roquleaure. The trilogy is about a woman, Beauty, whom was awoken by a handsome prince raping her and placing her into a kingdom of sex slavery. There is your one sentence synopsis. That should be enough. Excuse me while I go take a hot shower, I feel dirty.

Here are a few actual reviews of this book on Goodreads:

“I want to bleach my brain after reading this.”

“What in the name of Holy Mother was that????”

“200 pages of rape and sadism and degradation.”

“WHAT. THE FUCK. No. NO! NONONONONO.”

And my favorite, “I got this in a boxed set one Christmas from my GRANDMOTHER!”  Apparently, her grandmother knew she liked fairy tale adaptations and bought her the series. I almost spit my coffee out when I read that review.

Ah, the wonderful world of romance. And to think, my grandmother started the Romance Writers of America. Yep, it’s that kind of passion that keeps our family interesting, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Oh, remember Fabio? He seemed to be gracing the cover of every romance book in the 80’s? Well, my grandma met him and he asked her, no joke, “would you like to pat my butt?” That story makes me smile. Every. Single. Time.

xoxo

Fabio.

Yep. That guy.

 

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