Polar opposites

When you become a mom, your world revolves around, well, shit.  Notice I didn’t say your world is shit, because it isn’t.  It’s a crazy, wild, wonderful mess that revolves around shit.  When they do it, how much, how messy it is, is it the right color, is it the right consistency, are they eating the right things to make it come out right, what can I use to get it out of there, and how in the world did it get in that ?!?!?

The funny thing is, even though we are always left to handle the shit or clean it up, when it personally comes to the great #2, women are the discrete gender.  We know that everybody poops, but it’s more lady like to pretend we don’t.  It’s a private matter, one you handle at home, quickly and quietly, behind closed doors.  We also know enough to know that we don’t talk about it…ever.

Boys on the other hand, come out of the womb with this innate obsession with the ol’ stink eye that never ends, but, in fact, grows larger and larger with each passing day.  For them, using the facilities requires blocking off a significant amount of time, as these things can not be rushed.  Both of the males in my life have stacks of reading material in their respective bathrooms.  In addition, they have notified me that the lavatory can be a great source of intellectual inspiration, a place to take their time and contemplate life.

In my son’s case, I am convinced that his time on the throne has a direct correlation to the development of his sense of humor.  Case in point….

The other day I was rounding up my beloved offspring to fold the laundry.  (I’ve got to squeeze out those years of free manual labor while I can.)  I yelled for my son, telling him his presence was requested downstairs to take part in the folding.  He yells back to me from the potty,

“I can’t Mom.  I’m taking the Browns to the Superbowl!”

What?!?!  Oh…. Yuck!

Tonight, in between putting away groceries, picking up the house, and making dinner, I called for the kids to get to the table to finish their homework.  The girl shows up right away and dives in.  One minute, two, five pass…no boy.

Trystan, time for homework.”

“I can’t now.  I’m dropping bombs on Japan.”

Hun?!?!  Oh…Well, at least he made a historically correct reference.  Nice to see that tuition money is being put to good use.

 

 

 

Technology to the rescue

The Infamous Peter is very good at remembering holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions.  What he is not good at is planning for them ahead of time.

IP owns and runs his own business of which he is the sole employee.  When all the work begins and ends with you, you are on the clock 24-7, ever minute of nearly everyday is spent attached to a client or a project.  I know, I know, it’s going to be hard for you to believe, but I have been known to pout at times due to the lack of attention I receive compared to his keyboard, but I couldn’t be more proud or supportive of my successful hubby.

He’s never lacking in love, caring, and thoughtfulness….what he’s missing is time.

During his 90+ hour work week, IP regularly forgets to eat, so planning ahead to shop for a special occasion never makes it into the iCalendar.  Now, remember I said that he never misses an occasion, so he’s usually ‘that guy’ rummaging through the picked over shelves the day of a holiday, grumbling over not finding what he is looking for, settling for something he is less than thrilled with, all the while trying to come up with a convincing story as to why check-out lane candy and a set of bath towels is the epitome of an excellent present.  (No really, that was a mother’s day gift one year.  He sold me on the idea it was a ‘spa package’ present.)

On Valentine’s Day last year, he tried to do something different.  He dropped into a business the morning of V-Day to order an edible arrangement.  Surprise, surprise, he was too late to get an order in for that day.  Hello rock, meet hard place.  He put the order in anyway, for a delayed sweet treat (good man), and then went the tradition route.  In between meetings, he ran to a floral shop and picked up a quick bouquet, dropping it off himself on the way to a shoot.  Valentine’s Day saved.

~Sidebar~  Men, please be careful when choosing your floral arrangements.  A co-worker received these at work today.  I wonder what he REALLY wants for Valentine’s day…..

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Anyhoo…..

This year, technology and the modern world collided to create a fantastic Valentine’s Day for me and score major bonus points for IP.

When IP’s alarm goes off in the morning, he turns on Mike and Mike in the morning, transitioning from peaceful slumber to crazy work day with the soothing sounds of a little sports talk in the AM.  Apparently, on Monday morning, Mike and Mike set out to rescue their viewers from a potential Valentine’s Day dog house by offering an on-air special.  By ordering through a specific website and using a designated promo code, a husband could get free, expedited, guaranteed by Valentine’s Day delivery on an order.  IP, being the smart man that he is, jumped on that offer and let Valentine’s Day come to him this year…and saved money in the process.

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IP wins major props today.  If anyone needs me, I will be in a chocolate strawberry wine coma.  I will see you all tomorrow….maybe.

 

I saw the signs

I’m a firm believer in the universe sending out signs.  Unfortunately, with these hyper-stressed, over-scheduled lives we all live, most of us, myself especially, miss the signs, time and time again, barreling full speed ahead until the universe does what it needs to do to get it’s point across….It slaps us in the face.

I love to bake, just love it.  I love cookies and fresh breads.  I love to make them with my own hands.  Then I like to tell myself that it’s ok to have more than one cookie or slice of bread because baked goods made from scratch are good for you!

I used to make cookies for my family about once a week.  Back when I had more time.  Back before homework loads went from one worksheet to five subjects.  Back before two select sports, two recreational sports, and two music lessons were added to our schedule.  Back when I remembered to breathe and put on deodorant.

Despite our ridiculous family schedule, I decided to do up Fat Tuesday right.  I made some Jammin’ Jambalaya to celebrate Mardi Gras, and thought I throw in some Chocolate Chip cookies to satisfy that sweet tooth one last time before lent kicked off and I put away my sweets for 40 days.

Jammin’ Jambalaya.  Check!  A success.

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The kids and I ate, but Peter (or the Infamous Peter as he is known to his Fan Club) was out at a business meeting, so I placed his portion of dinner in the oven to keep it warm until he got home.

Time to start those cookies.

Soften the butter, crack the eggs, pre-heat the oven.  Wait, where the heck are my chocolate chips?!?!  (SIGN NUMBER 1)  Last time I checked, I had enough chocolate chips in the bag to make a batch of cookies.  Thing 1 points at Thing 2, Thing 2 points back at Thing 1.  Great….I dig through the cabinet and find a bag of Butterscotch chips.  Ignoring sign number 1, I switch course to Butterscotch Oatmeal cookies and proceed.  Oh these are going to be sooooo good!

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Measure, pour, mix.  What is that sound?  I open the oven door and realize I am an idiot.

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I have a double oven and had accidentally put the pan of Jambalaya in the oven that I also turned on for the cookies.  (SIGN NUMBER 2)  On the upside, the dinner is staying warm for the IP.  On the downside, I’m also melting the handles of my pan.

After rescuing the pan and nearly burning myself in the process, I get the first of the cookie sheets in and start counting the minutes until I can savor their butterscotchy goodness.

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Because moms never do just one thing at a time, while the cookies pans rotate in and out, I have been cleaning the kitchen, doing dishes, and quizzing my son for his upcoming social studies vocabulary test.  Three dozen cookies are done and on the cooling racks, with the last pan in the oven.  As Trystan is reading over his words out loud, he turned around quickly to show me something in his notes, knocking over the cooling racks, sending 36 freshly created cookies crashing to the floor.   (SIGN NUMBER 3)

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The cookies laid in a broken, crumbled mess, but that was nothing compared to the devastation my son felt, thinking he ruined the cookies we were all looking forward to chowing down on.  Mom to the rescue.  Five second, hell, five minute rule in full effect.  In my most believable voice, I told him that fresh cookies were immune to dirt and that now we just had twice as many to enjoy!

In the midst of the cookie catastrophe and crummy clean up, the fourth tray of cookies were long forgotten and, sadly, burnt to a crisp.  (SIGN NUMBER 4)

As I chiseled them off the cookie sheet, I could help but laugh.  Ok Universe, I get it.  I was not meant to enjoy a final Fat Tuesday face stuffing.  You win today.  You win.

 

 

 

Fun with Friday

I have what one would call an eclectic wardrobe.  Searching through my racks, you will find everything from formal dresses from my prom and bridesmaids days to professional attire to casual kicking back clothes to sports fanatic gear.

Since on Fridays I am allowed the pleasure of leaving the business duds in the closet and sporting the jeans at work, I set out this AM to find the perfect T shirt to go with my favorite demin.

I took a quick look and laid eyes on a shirt I hadn’t worn in a while.  Yep, that was it.  The winner for the day.  I quickly grabbed it and threw it on.  Then I looked in the mirror.

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Although I still think the shirt is adorable, seeing myself in it make it painfully obvious that the shirt had officially crossed over into being too young for me. (Insert silent weeping on the passing of my youth.)

I trudged back to my closet to find a more appropriate replacement.

Yes!  This one is perfect!!

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Hey, I said the other shirt was too young, but I didn’t say I was going to grow up!

 

 

All dressed up

A couple of times a year, my husband and I have the opportunity to attend a few fancy, fundraiser dinners for some of his clients.  Being that we are part of ‘the help,’ it’s fun to get all prettied up and rub elbows with the movers and the shakers of our city, dreaming of one day maybe being on that side of the tracks.

One such night was on Saturday.

Since sparkly dresses and high heels are not part of my social worker attire, it was a perfect opportunity to get out and get my shop on.  I ventured into a couple of different stores, trying on dress after dress, finding nothing that would work.  Maybe it was because I’m 37 and they only make dresses for either teenagers or old ladies.  Maybe it was because it was January and the flourescent lighting against my pale winter skin made me look sickly in everything.  Maybe it was because I was wearing these,

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and all dressed looked ridiculous paired with them.

After trying and having no luck at other stores, I finally went back to my tried and true dress shop, the one that, despite its poorly named brand, has never failed me when I was in a dress crisis…. Dress Barn.  If you’ve never been to a Dress Barn, you should really give it a try.  I always avoided entering the store myself.  I saw the name on the marquee and assumed that it held racks of country, square-dancing style frocks that I would not like.

Luckily I was proved wrong.

I had a true dress emergency one fine summer day.  My son was two.  We were sitting in the third row at my cousin’s wedding when I heard the beginning sounds of a projectile vomit beginning to emit from his body.  With my cat-like reflexes, I was able to cover the first come-up-ence with his blanket.  Then I did what any good mother would do, I spun him around into my chest and took the full brunt of the second round into my chest and all over my dress.  As discretely as possible, I walked out of the ceremony.  When my husband caught up with me, I passed off the messy boy, grabbed the car keys and took off to find something new to wear before the reception.  This was the day I discovered that Dress Barn not only sold nice dresses I liked, but also pants, tops, jeans, and accessories, all at reasonable prices.  I’ve been back for all my dress needs ever since.

I walked in, looked right, and immediately found my dress for the evening.  Since I didn’t want the gas to the store to go to waste, I decided to look around and found this cute outfit to add to my closet….both the top and the jeans were on clearance.  SCORE!

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The night of the event, as I was getting myself shoved into my pantyhose and then wedged into my full body shaper, my daughter walked into our room.  “Is that your dress?”, she asked.

“No. It’s my shaper.”

“Why do you need that?”

“Because I’m 37 and things aren’t always where I want them to be, or not be.  Being a woman is fun.”

I think I may have scarred her.

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All sucked in and pushed up, off to the event we were!  It was a great event.  Beautiful venue, wonderful food, stealing a night out without the kids, surrounded by people with money and dreaming of actually being able to afford all the arts, trips, and bobbles that were up for grabs at the auction.

A diamond encrusted, heart-shaped ring.  Slightly more than the usually Valentine’s Day chocolates.   A trip to LA to attend a red carpet movie premiere, complete with a custom gown.  The kids would love to be left home alone, but then, they would be more mad I had to sell them to buy it.  A personal chef comes to your house to cater and evening for you and 12 friends, then you are wisked off to the opera.  I would need to skip the mortgage payment to make the bid, so where would I host my soiree?  A original Jeff Hanson piece of artwork that went for $11,000.  Darn, if only I hadn’t already bought groceries this week, I might have been able to nab that one….

Having fun with things with won't be bidding on.

Having fun with things with won’t be bidding on.

As I took a quick look around the room, I noticed something I hadn’t expected.  A majority of the people in the room did not look happy.  Sure some were, but many were not, some unhappy, some bored, some looking obligated, others annoyed.  Somewhere inside of me, even though we all know that “Money doesn’t buy happiness“, I still believe that if I had more money, I would be incredible happy.  Being able to buy anything I needed, would take all the unnecessary stress out of my life and I would just leak with joy.  It’s a fancy night out, drinks, food, dancing, sparkles all around, but people didn’t look happy.  People at a mid-July outdoor concert, knee-deep in mud; they look happy.  People at a Renaissance Faire, dressed in their garb and reenacting scenes; they look happy.  These party goers, with money burning a hole in their pockets, they just didn’t look happy.

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Dinner had, speeches given, and desserts consumed, there was nothing left to do, but top the night off with some coffee.

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Where’s the #&*%in’ coffee????  You would think if they went through the trouble of putting coffee cups, sugar, and creamer on the table, that they would come around to offer a lady coffee!?!?  Oh well….

We got home, peeled off the fancys and layers of compression, jumped into our sweats, turned on the Keurig, and kicked back on our couch.  As I looked around our house, I smiled.  I may not have the most expensive, largest, or most lavish house, but I am truly happy with the life Peter and I have made for ourselves.  We met when we were 18 and 20.  We had nothing, literally.  We’ve worked hard for what we have and have earned every bit of it.  We are truly blessed to have a house filled with family and love.  Money couldn’t buy this if it tried.