Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hi.  It's me.  I know, it's been a while.  So first I'll apologize to you, my reader (hi mom!), and then I'll explain why.

Remember when you were in kindergarten and you'd make some super awesome macaroni artwork and you'd bring it home and your mom or dad would be like "oooooh sweetheart!  Look at this!  It's a MASTERPIECE!" and hang it on the fridge for 3 years?  I've come to believe that we're setting our kids up for failure that way.  Because now, as an adult, any time I'm really proud of something and I show it to other people I fully expect them to ooh and aah over it and tell me how awesome it is.  But they don't.  They read it (I think).  They say "LOL" or "haha"...  sometimes.  Maybe even every third blog post I'll get a share or retweet.  And then I start wondering why I even bother and I quit. 

But now I'm back.  Because in the grand scheme of things, I LIKE writing.  I enjoy sitting down and seeing my words on a page.  I have to remember that not everyone is going to like my writing.  And sometimes the people who actually DO like my writing just don't have the time to sit down and read it.  And that's okay.  I'm just going to write because I like to write and I'll share it because maybe that day someone will need a laugh or just to know that someone out there feels the same way they do.  Plus, sometimes I just need a little ego-stroking.  Don't judge.



***I'd also like to add that unless you want your kids to turn out like me, sad and dejected every time someone doesn't like a blog post, quit hanging every single doodle your kids color on your fridge.  Hang the REALLY good ones and let them know how amazed you are at their brilliance.  But if they bring home some half-assed work that you KNOW they just scribbled out to get it done so they could go to recess, say "oh, would you like to keep this?"  Chances are they don't care.  Throw it away.  Seriously.  I know it's hard.  But we all know it's nothing special- even your kid.  There are enough beast-mode egos on the planet already.  Do us all a favor.     

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Problem With America is Fake Sharting Dogs

Kids are easily amused.  That's a given.  Put a box in the middle of your living room and an adult will walk in and say "why's this fucking box in here?" A kid will walk in and say "WHOOOOOAAA!! A fort/castle/train/hideout/Batcave!  Awesome!!"  A knock-knock joke will make an adult roll their eyes; a kid will laugh for ten minutes and repeat it for days.  That's why when it comes to buying toys, I tend to stick to the basics and let them use their imaginations.  I always thought those baby dolls that peed were completely unnecessary (and a little disgusting).
 


A kid will change the diaper of a regular baby doll without their being any ACTUAL green goo in it.  Having a doll full of water and green slime baby food is just a bad idea.  So when a friend told me about a shitting dog toy, I was in disbelief.

Now, every kid wants a dog, but some parents are mean assholes who like to deprive their children of the joy of Man's Best Friend.  Like me.  I have white carpets.  So instead I'm more likely to buy my kid a stuffed dog toy to love and huggle (it's a word).  A few parents may even buy their kid a toy dog that barks or does flips for little plastic dog bones.  But what parent in their right mind gets their kid a dog that takes a dump on their living room floor?!



NO kid likes to clean up dog poop.  It's the one thing kids say they'll do to get you to agree to a pet, but then you end up muttering to yourself over a steaming pile at 3am with a paper towel in one hand and bottle of carpet cleaner in the other. 

But people are buying this game.  Why?  Because kids think poop is funny and parents will buy their kids ridiculous crap so they don't have to say no.  But I stand here now, fist upraised, saying NO! Do NOT buy your kids a fake sharting dog!  Don't encourage this ridiculousness!  If you're going to have a dog that takes a dump on your kid's bed, let it be a REAL one!  Go adopt a pet from a shelter, get real loves and huggles (seriously, it's a real word!), and let your children experience the humility of cleaning up feces.  It will make them a better human being.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Day In The Life

As I sat down to my morning bowl of breakfast skillet (it's delicious, yo), I had a sudden realization.  I would really like to enjoy my food without someone right up in my face.

For the past 6+ years I have had little people hanging off me all day, every day.  For those of you who don't have kids, imagine your boss coming home with you at the end of the day and continuing to demand things.  Oh, and you no longer get weekends.  Oh, and sometimes he cries in the night and crawls in bed with you.  I don't get breaks.  Like, ever.

My lunch hour consists of making meals for my two sons (I've already made my daughter's lunch that morning to send to school with her) who complain and cry over whatever it is I'm cooking, even if they ask for it.  Then they usually don't finish it (the 4 year old) or throw it on the floor (the 1 year old).  They refuse to eat anything I might find appetizing, so I have to make at least two different meals, although more often it's a different thing for each person. 

So anyway, I quickly make myself a meal and then right about then the boys finish up and want to go play, so I put my food down and clean them up and clear their plates while my food gets cold.  Then I yell "GO PLAY!" and procede to stuff my face as fast as possible because they can't be unsupervised for more than a few minutes before all hell breaks loose.  But I need not have worried, because they have seen my food and aren't going anywhere. 

"Bite?  Bite??" Despite being so full they couldn't even finish their food, they are suddenly ravenous for what they considered "icky" five minutes ago when I offered to make some for everyone.  "Bite?  BITE!!!" They are now sitting on my lap or jumping up and down next to me, demanding at least every other bite of my meal.  "BIIIIIIITE!" If I don't give in, a full tantrum will ensue and I just want to enjoy my damn food. "Mama, BITE!" I've now forgotten that this was MY meal and I'm enjoying feeding the "baby birds" the rest of my lunch.

BITE?!


Many of you are moms and are sitting here reading this thinking, "yeah?  So?  Quit complaining, that's what happens when you're a mom!"  This story wasn't for you.  I KNOW you know this scenario.  It was for the child-free people out there who may not understand.  Just creating a visual.  You may also be thinking, "well bitch, you wanted kids!  Deal with it!"  Don't get me wrong, I love being a mom and I love my kids.  But until you become a parent, you really have no concept of how much work it is.  It's the same as any job- you can read the job description, but until you've been working there for a while you can't be 100% sure what it's going to be like.  I am allowed to not like certain aspects of parenting (hello poopy diapers!) just like the person in retail doesn't enjoy dealing with mean customers or the IT guy doesn't like dealing with morons who don't know how to turn it off and then back on again.

Unfortunately, there are tons of other activities I can no longer do now that I have kids.  Some of them are obvious (no more sleeping in or swearing like a sailor), but some aren't.  Like going to the bathroom.  "You can't go to the bathroom??"  Of COURSE I can still go to the bathroom.  As long as I take less than 10 seconds and don't mind someone trying to peek in the crack between the seat and the bowl to see where the noise is coming from.  Forget taking a shit.  That's how houses get set on fire and CPS is called.

I didn't take this, but I feel for whoever did

We also have this great living room with a fireplace.  How awesome would it be to lay down a fake bearskin rug and drink champagne and eat strawberries and make love all night?  NOPE.  Not gonna happen.  Because chances are I'll roll over onto a Lego or my kids will stagger out of their bedroom to go potty and be scarred for life. 

Look at this gorgeous thing, looking all romantical-like!


I could go on, but I'll save you the rant and finish with this- the next time you take a bite of food, slow down to enjoy it for all the mothers out there.  I haven't tasted food in 6 years, let me know how it is.  Also, call your mom and thank her for putting up with you.  You were most likely a pain in the ass.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Post Office, AKA The Tenth Circle of Hell

As a mother, there are many places I can no longer go on a regular basis: the bar, the strip club (because, you know, I went there all the time before kids), the movies and the post office. Something about this federal building of doom causes my normally cute children to become screaming, whining, tantruming terrors. As soon as we walk in, they bolt and start scaling the wall of locked post office boxes, ripping displays of priority mailers apart, and playing child versions of Japanese obstacle course game shows with people's legs and packages. Now, I have good kids. They're polite and loving and generally don't make childless people want to rip out their reproductive systems. But the second we walk into a damn post office they become these completely different people whose only goal is to make people look at me like I should be on Toddlers & Tiaras feeding my kids Mountain Dew and Pixie Stix smoothies. Is it the smell of mail and stamp glue? The disgruntled employees? The irresistible boxes with their endless playtime possibilities? Whatever the case, I now have the perfect idea for a career once my kids are grown- mobile post office. I'll do things the mail carrier won't, like sell stamps, weigh and accept packages and come straight to your door instead of sitting in the car honking like an asshole until you come out.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Smile For The Camera

My husband never smiles for pictures.  Most people see a camera coming at them and immediately put on their biggest, cheesiest smile.  Not my husband.  He immediately puts on his "I'm going to be completely emotionless" face.  I've noticed that many men do this and I'm wondering if it has some macho reasoning behind it.  Show no emotion, show no weakness.  Or something.  I just don't see the weakness in enjoying yourself.  For example, here's my husband at the museum with our baby:


This picture should say, "I'm at the museum with my family and having a great time!"  Instead it says "I'd rather be pretty much anywhere than this."  Which may or may not have been the actual case.

Another example, this time a little more exciting.  My husband had the opportunity to spend a month in Hawaii for a training exercise and got to enjoy the beach, Luaus and clubbing every night (while I stayed home with two kids, grossly pregnant in Alaska thankyouverymuch.  But that's a different blog post I'll never get to because it's not funny at all).  Here's the proof:
 
This picture should say, "Holy shit!  I'm on the beach in Hawaii, eat your fucking hearts out, losers!"  Instead it says "Hurry up and take the picture so we can go home."
 
And now, the latest.  My awesome cousin who's kind of a big deal recently came to Kansas for a NASCAR race and not only got the entire family tickets, but also got us garage and pit road passes.  My husband is a big NASCAR fan but has never been to a race... until this day:
 
Instead of saying, "OMFG I'm standing next to Junior's car!" it says "Mehhhh.... here's a car."  In reality he was jumping up and down and squealing like a little girl (for those of you that have the honor of knowing my husband, you'll know I'm exaggerating slightly) but as soon as I turned the camera on him, bam.  No emotion.
 
Perhaps you don't really see the big deal and need a little comparison of equal enthusiam portrayed two very different ways. 
 
"I'M SO FUCKING HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!"

Here's me on our last date.  We don't get dates very often.  Or ever.  So it's a big deal.  This is my reaction to being sans kids for the night.  I'm pretty friggin' excited.  And now here's my husband:
"I'M SO FUCKING HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!"

He's equally excited, and yet very different pictures.  Our kids are going to grow up and ask why Daddy was never happy.    Here's him at Disneyland, the happiest fucking place on Earth:
"I just killed a big-ass mouse, now where's the beers?"


Okay, so that's a badly photoshopped picture of him with a fake horseshoe mustache.  But seriously, that's probably what it would look like if we actually went there.  He looks like he's about to open fire on a crowd.
 
I really don't get it.  My husband actually has quite the charming smile.  Unfortunately none of you get to see it because he's a douche who wants to be remembered as a surly asshole.  Which is kind of true, but nonetheless I'd like for people to actually think he has a good time when we're out making memories and memorializing them photographically for all time.  You may hate every part of your existance, but if you smile for pictures people will look back and think "wow, the dude really enjoyed life!" and wow, look at the joke you just played on them!  You're so clever.  And all you had to do was smile.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I Went to Venice But Didn't

A blogger I frequently read (MamaDweeb if you're interested) recently posted a picture of herself in Venice on her honeymoon a few years back.  It brough back some memories I had long supressed of my own trip to Venezia. 

The story begins Fourth of July weekend, 2006.  We were living in Germany at the time and frequently made last minute trips around the country.  This time, however, we decided to be adventurous and go to Italy.  We knew we could make it down there in just a few hours (Austria is, like, way small) so we figured we'd have more than enough time to drive down, see Venice and hopefully get a place to stay at the military base in Vicenza that night.

So we pack up the Explorer (a mega-beast of a car in Europe, we were practically screaming "WE'RE AMERICANS!!") and our 2.5 month old baby girl and start driving.  Southern Germany is freaking beautiful, as is Austria, although I could do without their tiny two-lane roads up and down mountains in the rain.  Anyway, we make it to Italy late in the morning and drive straight to Vicenza to get gas. 

This is where the story gets interesting.  You see, in Germany, the military bases have gas stations on them with cheaper-than-what-the-Germans-are-paying gas.  In Italy, they give you coupons to use at Italian gas stations.  Not only that, but apparently they are super stingy with their coupons.  You only get so many- after that, you're screwed paying $10 a gallon like every other paisan.  Also, if you aren't stationed AT Vicenza and you aren't on official leave, you can't even GET the coupons.  This is where prior planning may have come in handy.  Luckily we found someone who took pity on us and gave us a few gas coupons.  Next we went to the hotel and guess what?!  No available rooms.  Again, planning may have helped. 

At this point we're getting pretty low on gas, so it's off to find an Italian gas station.  After driving around for quite some time (and let me tell you- Vicenza?  Not so nice.  Lock your doors), we finally find a gas station.  There are two options- "gasolio" and "senza piombo."



I tell my husband "why don't you ask someone to translate?" and he says in typical male fashion, "ehhh...." and starts pumping gas. 
The skull and crossbones sticker was an omen
Suddenly I hear some loud Italian and look up to see a sweaty fat man waving his arms and my husband yelling "WHAT??"  Apparently "gasolio" is DIESEL.  So before we can go anywhere, we have to have the diesel drained out of the truck.  We can't even start it.  The gas station owner calls a tow company and we specifically ask for them to bring a truck that will seat us all.  "Okay, okay!" he answers.  We push the truck over to the side and wait.  Oh yeah, and did I mention it was 2000 degrees that day?  Italy gets pretty hot.  It's kind of like Mordor only with pizza and the orcs are actually really, really tan farmers. 

About twenty minutes later a tow truck pulls up and the guy starts motioning for me and the baby to get in.  It's the size of a pickup truck.  There's no way three adults would've fit, let alone three adults and a properly restrained baby seat.  So I tell him that I'll wait at the gas station, thinking it'll take 10 minutes to drain the tank.  Luckily, an American family saw our plight and offered me and the baby a ride to the mechanic. And yes, I took it.  I got into a car, with my baby, with people I've never met.  It's amazing how being in a foreign country will give you a ridiculous sense of faith and trust in your fellow countrymen.  Anyway, they didn't kill us, so we're all good.  In fact, they gave me their gas coupons for when we had to refill the tank with unleaded.  Nice people.

So we get to the mechanic and they're closed.  We're sitting there thinking "oh my god.  What do we do now?  Camp in the truck overnight??" when the owner, who lived right next door, walks over with his very pregnant wife.  Or maybe his daughter.  Could've been his sister.  My husband is trying to explain what happened (to much uproarious laughter) and I try to have a conversation with the slowly growing crowd of women who want to ogle my baby.  "Piccola!" they say.  "Bella!"  It was cute but insanely awkward and I'm pretty sure the mechanic and his friend (or brother?  Son?) were more busy chatting it up with my husband than working, because it took like two hours.  They gave us just enough gas to get back to the gas station and we were on our way.

His "I finally put the right shit in the tank!" face

"What the hell does this have to do with Venice??" you may ask.  I'm getting there.  I promise.  So we go get gas and get back on the road, heading east to Venice, which we decide is too close not to go, and we'll just find a place to stay there.  We're about halfway there when traffic stops.  And I mean STOPS.  No one is moving.  Then cars starts driving in the opposite direction on the shoulders.  We think they're just impatient people trying to find their way around, but no.  A polizia walks up to our car and tells us to turn around, Venice is closed. 

"VENICE?  Like... the whole city??" 
"Si, si.  close-ed.  You go now."

Uhhhh... okay.  Husband looks at me.  I look at husband.  There's nothing else we can do- we just have to laugh at our incredibly shitty luck and turn around.  We got back to Germany late that night, exhausted, sweaty and embarrassed, but by god!  We saw Italy!  And that's my overly explanatory explanation of how I went to Venice but didn't.  The End.
The only picture I have of me in Italy and THIS is what I look like.  Figures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Fucking Hate Sweatpants

Some of you may know me, either in real life or online, and may know that I fucking hate sweatpants.  Sweatpants are the fugliest thing a person can possibly put in their body.  I'd rather you wear a spangly light-up sweater vest than sweatpants, because then you'd at least be humorous. 

I could make fun of you in this
Sweatpants are especially bad if they're elasticized at the bottom.  These remind me of gym class, and there's nothing good about gym class.
Not attractive.


Sometimes they have writing on the butt.  This is not okay.  Sweatpants make your ass look HORRIBLE.  Why would you want to draw attention to that??
Men are not looking at this thinking "yes, hot butts!"  They're shuddering.  Violently.

Even celebrities don't look good in sweatpants, and yet they continue to leave the house looking like hobos despite the fact that we all know they can afford designer clothes.
I don't know who any of these women are, but apparently they're famous.
To be totally honest, I don't even think sweatpants should be worn at at home in private, let alone at the gym where other people can see you.  But every day I see people out and about, wearing sweatpants to the store, dropping off their kids at school or standing in line at the bank.  You don't look good, you're just being a lazy ass.  Put some real pants on.  I'm a mom of three with a husband who is gone a lot for work (read, I don't have a lot of help) and I still manage to put on PANTS every day.  It's just as easy as pulling up sweatpants but you don't look like a sloppy fuck at the end.  You're welcome.