Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DUDE....Where's My Car??

Ok, I'm seriously gonna try to start updating this thing more often.  I've had to make peace with the fact that it's really okay to post a blog that's NOT a mini-novella.   So they may be short and sweet, but they'll be posted more often.   And sorry, Facebook buddies, you may start hearing the same story more than once, maybe just slightly more detailed. (There's only so many details I can give in 420 characters.)   Oh wow, I'm gonna be like my Grandfather who tells me the exact same story every single time I happen to mention food.  He'll find a way to tell the overly-long story about his first time at a crawfish boil.   

Anyway, back to my story....

Note to self:  ALWAYS double-check your car for the Tora Tora decal in the back window.   Yes, I know that thing makes me look like a self-promoting groupie.  Yes, we all know I'm a complete tool when it comes to my bands, and how I like to "advertise" my love for them.  Yes, it probably embarrasses the shit out of my husband when he has to drive my car, knowing there's a big decal of his own band's name on the back.  (Then again, when have I ever passed up the opportunity to irritate him?)    Call me a corny cheeseball if you want, I'm so used to it.   But you know what?  I can find my car in a parking lot!  I mean, it's not like I'm the only person in the lot who owns a silver Dodge Durango.  But I'm definitely the only one who has a big red Tora Tora logo on the back. 

Anyway, so I'm leaving the nail place after getting a long-overdue pedicure.  (which was a story all in itself, because I always end up getting talked into getting procedures done that I don't need or want, all because I can't understand one freakin' word they're saying)   I knew the general vicinity of where I parked, so I was just headed towards my car, or what I thought was my car.  It was exactly like mine, but I only saw it from the front/side.  And knowing me, I was probably thumbing through Facebook on my iPhone at the same time (I have a problem, I know.) so I'm sure I wasn't paying as much attention as I should've been.  So I walk up to "my" car, open the door and throw all my crap in the front seat like I always do.  Then I'm digging through the bottomless pit that is my purse, looking for my keys, which incidentally are on the largest pile of keychains EVER, but yet, I still never can seem to find.   Find the keys, stick it in, go to turn, and it won't.  So I'm immediately going "Umm, WTF?"   But this had happened once before, because my precious children decided to mess with so many buttons in my car that it got put into theft mode and wouldn't let us crank it.   Try again...nope.    Only at that point do I happen to look over and think, "Wait, I have a GPS that's mounted to the dash.  It's not there.  I also have a pile of lighters, receipts, loose change, chargers, and little Starbucks coffee stoppers all piled in the console.  THIS console is all clean."   I mean, there is NOTHING in it.  Nothing, except for a badge...a badge to a medical supply place where I'm most definitely NOT employed.     Apparently, that still wasn't enough to convince me, so I actually turn around and look in the backseat.  No car seats.   Oh holy HELL, this is not my car!! 

Then comes the time where I have to very nonchalantly grab my stuff and get back out of this car, meanwhile just hoping and praying that the owner of this vehicle is not standing outside the door staring at me....or possibly calling the police.   I'm also really, really hoping that the people that are in the parking lot don't notice that I'm now getting out of the same car I just got into, only to then go to ANOTHER car.

So then I put my head down, and run very quickly to MY Durango that was parked 2 spots down.  I know this because even though there's no way in hell that this could possibly happen twice, this is ME, and I should know by now that if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen to me, so I walk to the back of the car, and see that lovely faded and peeling band logo stamped on the back.   I jump in, and again throw all my crap in the front seat and proceed to gun it out of the parking lot at record speed. 

Yeah, so Note to Self:  Always check for the Tora decal. 
But also,  Note to my Doppleganger Durango:   Lock your friggin' car!!!   Not only do you have to worry about idiots breaking in and stealing your stuff, you also apparently have to worry about idiots getting in and attempting to drive it home. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Preservative-Filled Food For Thought

I always thumb through the Yahoo! homepage, and I can't seem to pass up the Parents Magazine articles when they have all the cute cakes, cupcakes, and recipe stuff.   I'm a cake/cupcake girl, so I can't help but always be on the hunt for ideas. (We won't discuss my hate/hate relationship with the Eat This, Not That segments.)   But the articles that crack me up are the ones that have titles like Recipe Ideas for School Lunches That Kids Will LOVE!  The first thing it says is "Start by spreading some hummus onto pita bread." HUH?   Then the next is "Take some spinach leaves and...." who knows what came after that, because I had to stop reading at the words "kids will love," "hummus," and "spinach leaves."  Who the hell has kids that will eat this stuff?  I mean, I know my kids are picky, (just look at their father) but please tell me that we're not missing out on some kind of phenomenon where normal kids are now eating hummus.  I didn't even start eating hummus til like 2 years ago!

Who is writing these articles??  My guess is it's the same ones who don't allow their kids to watch TV, eat foods with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, or anything that's not organic, and they breastfeed til the kid's in the 4th grade. (Let's go ahead and start taking bets on how many "nature moms" I just pissed off with that statement.)   Someone, please assure me that I'm not the only person whose children's tastes don't go beyond chicken nuggets, PB&J, bologna, pizza, spaghetti, and Capri Suns!   Now, I am proud to say that they LOVE fruit and they love salads, which is strange to me.  I don't think I ate a salad til I was about 15 years old.  But still!   I'll make a 5 course meal that takes me 3 hours to prepare, and my family's ranting and raving about how awesome it looks, smells, etc.  Shelby takes one look at it, and starts dramatically screaming "Ewwww!  Gross!!  I don't like it!  It's gonna taste nasty!  I want a bologna sandwich!!"  No matter what I try. I've done what my parents did:  "When you get hungry enough, you'll eat." Nope. Shelby's like friggin' Ghandi. She'd rather go on a hunger strike than to actually do something because I want her to.   **Also, let's point out that when I DO try that tactic, who is the first person who will give into her and feed her?   That's right, MY MOM!!  The same mom who was like those British guards that no matter what you do, they won't smile.  She would not budge once she gave a "ruling".  Now, she's the first one I catch sneaking them food.  Traitor.**

That being said, I don't think they're too abnormal. I'll go to friends' houses and they're having the same issue with their kids. So back to my original question: Who is the moron who is posting these "Kid Friendly" recipes, and moreso, who are the people who are agreeing with it?? My kids aren't vegan hippies, they don't eat gluten-free, they're not allergic to peanuts, soy and dairy, they're KIDS! If it doesn't start with "Throw some pre-packaged preservative-packed frozen chicken nuggets on a paper plate and throw in the microwave," then my kids will have nothing to do with it! I mean, sushi is my favorite food, but I know that my kids aren't gonna touch it with a 10 foot pole.  For example, this is what I made myself for lunch:

It's a Greek pasta salad with olives and feta cheese and stuff like that.   Now, I'm not STUPID enough to think they're actually going to eat this.  Nope, they took one look and were like "Ummm, okay, so what are WE having for lunch?"   They chose this:

But that's what you expect from a kid!  When I was little, my entire diet was based on frozen pizza and hot dogs.   (Although, I have to admit, I could probably still survive on nothing but frozen pizza even now.  I have a weakness for pizza in any size, shape, and form.)  That's what kids do.  So I just have to say that I'm really over this whole "fad" that if you don't feed your kid organic vegetables and preservative-free snacks that they're gonna grow to be complete idiotic buffoons.   I mean, just look at me---I ate nothing but crap and look how awesome I turned out!  (93% of you have now run from your computers to your nearest Organic Farmer's Market to buy all of your children's' food.)

And this has been my random public service announcement. 

If you're curious about the article, here's the link I was referring to.  And this one's not even nearly as bad as some of the others I've read. 

A Bunch of Weird, Organic Shit That Some Midtown New York Hippie Is Trying To Convince You That Your Child Will Actually Eat and Enjoy ---You're Welcome.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

School's Out For Summer!!

Schoooool's Out ForEVER!!    Or so it seems to me...

And Mama needs a Xanax and a stiff drink!  

Let me just preface this by saying that I love my children, and I love being a stay-at-home mom...WHEN my kids are in school!  For anyone who knows me, they can tell you that I'm not exactly a Domestic Goddess.  I'm definitely more Peg Bundy than I am June Cleaver.   I'll keep restarting the dryer 4 times, just so I don't have to fold and put away and hang up clothes.  And I'll keep all the cleaning products out on the shelf, so that it looks like I've been slaving over toilets all day.   That's the type of housewife I am.  The only reason I haven't been "fired" is because my family loves to eat, and apparently cooking is the one and only domestic skill I seemed to pick up.    And when it comes to my kids, I get more than enough quality time with them between the hours of 3:30pm and 9pm, when they finally pass out.

Then I go thumbing through Facebook (where I probably spend WAY too much of my time) and I see all these Moms that are just jumping for joy at the fact that the school year is over and they get to hang out with their kids all summer.  Ummm. HUH????   I about lose every ounce of sanity when the kids are home on random holidays and snow days, and you people are excited about them being home for 3 months?   Deep down, I think they're totally full of it, and they feel the same way I do, but they're in a competition with their other Perfect Moms Anonymous Club.   But it makes me wonder, "Do I need more patience, or are my kids just psychotically worse than everyone else's??" 

First off, let me introduce these precious little angelic offspring of mine.   We'll start off easy.  There's Gibson, who just turned 1. 

His favorite activities include pulling the blowdryer and curling irons off the shelf onto his head, unraveling the toilet paper, stealing his brother/sister's food, chewing on the toilet brush and Clorox wipes, eating dog food, Lego's and any other inedible objects he can find, dialing random phone numbers on the cordless phone (I'm sure we'll have some calls to China show up on the phone bill), gnawing on the remote, and trying to climb out the dog door.  When you tell him "No," he just giggles and thinks it's a game to see how fast he can do it again. But if you pop his hand, he'll just cry inconsolably for 5 minutes...THEN go and do it again.  He's a 22lb ball of pure energy and curiosity, and he can't even walk yet!

Next, we have little Patrick (or "My name is Patrick...Jeffrey Patrick Francis!" as he likes to say when he introduces himself) who is 5.  

He's my sweet-natured, tender-hearted, handsome little blue-eyed man, who has a tendency to be slightly dramatic and is also VERY loud!  He's not being "bad", he just has no concept of how loud his voice is. (We say he is cursed with the "Swindol Volume")   And he also loves to deal with his problems with his sister by screaming in a very high-pitched squeal, which makes me INSANE!  (He's starting karate soon, so hopefully he'll be able to karate-chop her instead.)  He's such an amazing, smart little kid, and he's insanely funny!  You never know what's gonna come out of that mouth of his (a trait I think he inherited from my brother) but it's usually hysterical, and his humor is very natural.  He also can entertain himself for HOURS.  He would never leave this house if we didn't force him, and he would be perfectly content.  He'll watch his Star Wars movies (albeit about 10 times a day if we'd let him) role play with his little characters, reenact battles, and make up random scenarios.  I never have to worry about finding something for him to do.  But he does have a tendency to make something out of nothing.  If he loses a life during his Star Wars game, you can hear him scream all the way down at Jeff's house!  If he realizes that Shelby ate the last of his frozen peanut butter/jelly sandwiches, he'll throw himself to the floor, like he's going to starve to death or have a stroke in the next 3 minutes.   He actually would make a great little theater guy, but when it comes to just hanging at the house, it can be verrrrry irritating.

Now, for the grand finale, we have:   The Drama Queen Extraordinaire, Miss Shelby Renee', who is about to be 7.

Do NOT let that sweet little face fool you!   She has learned to use that innocent smile to slowly seek and destroy!  I love this girl to death, but that doesn't mean that I don't have to restrain myself from locking her in the dog kennel with a gag in her mouth every now and then.  She's SUPER-smart, loves school, she's very sociable, usually teacher's pet, she's verrrrrry helpful and goes out of her way to be a little assistant whenever possible, she's very artistic (she can draw better at 7 years old than I can now), she ADORES Gibson like he's her own child, and she's very full of life.  You know what she's also full of?  Sass and Defiance!!  She's got a mouth on her like you wouldn't believe.  She always has an answer for everything (usually a smartass one).   She will argue with a statue, she's got an eye-roll for every hour of the day, she's NEVER wrong---it's always Patrick's fault, according to her, and if she wants something, then by God, she will have it, whether it kills her or one of us in the process. She got her name from Steel Magnolias, and boy, does she live up to it every day!  The line that fits her perfectly is when M'Lynn says at her funeral "I kept waiting for her to sit up and argue with me."  That's her! 

Her favorite activities include torturing her little brother, back-talking me, wrapping her father around her finger and convincing him that she's a perfect angel and that Mommy's just mean, hateful and crazy, torturing her brother some more, blaming her brother for the 10 tons of candy wrappers that I find hoarded in her room and the couch, destroying her brother's hopes and dreams, telling her brother that Uncle Jeff is gonna arrest him and send him to the bad place on Police Women of Memphis...I think you get the picture. 

She can't entertain herself....at all!   She must have a planned activity for every second of every day, or else, she's practicing her art in places where it should not be (like going through my checkbook and making out fake checks to her friends).  And somehow, when she's home, Patrick then forgets how to entertain himself as well.  Instead, they find it much more entertaining to pull the cushions off the couch and every blanket out of the basket to pile drive each other off the mountain of cushions.  And car rides?  OMG!  She'll put his finger on him, he screams his high-pitched scream at her, she'll slap the crap out of him, he'll cry and attempt to slap her back, but she's more vicious, so she just pummels him.  Meanwhile, I've lost my voice from screaming at them so much, so I just crank up the radio as loud as possible and try to get into my "happy place."  Of course, then Shelby yells over the blasting radio "You know, you can still hear me!  I can still talk!"  Aarrggghhhh!!!     I really would love to invent a device that has big, mechanical arms on it, and I could reach it into the back seat and it would just repeatedly slap back and forth.  I don't exactly want to wreck the car by trying to smack around in the back.  And a fly-swatter doesn't seem to reach. (Oh yes, I've tried that)    But until I do, I'll just crank up the Crue and pretend that they aren't there.   And poor Gibson just sits back there in his little seat, staring at these two, probably praying to God "Really??  400 billion families in this world, and THIS is the one I get??  Seriously??" 

Now, if you get any of them on their own, they're PERFECT!!  Shelby's the best helper and she'll be so sweet and affectionate.  Patrick will play by himself, or he loves to play video games with Daddy.  Gibson is a sweetheart and if he's alone, it's a lot easier to keep him out of the tichen cabinets.    But put them all together, and you have a nuclear explosion!!

On top of that, throw in our two slobbering, 80lb boxers, Peyton and Jorja, and yeah, we've got a house of chaos 24/7.  And this chaos usually begins around 6:45am---that is, unless they have to BE somewhere at a certain time.  Then I'm having to shock them with jumper cables to get them up.  But if we don't have anywhere to go and could sleep in?  Oh yeah, 7am at the latest!   But yet, I'm a bad mom because I'm not jumping for joy at the thought of having them home for 3 months??   Suck it.  They hadn't even been out of school for a full 24 hours when I already hearing "Mooommmmmmmm, I'm BORRRRRINNNNNG!!!" -- yes, she says she's "boring" instead of "bored" --   and then cut to a couple days later, when she was screaming at Patrick that if he didn't give her iPod back, she was gonna get a bad man to come in his room and chop off his wiener!   (can't really fault her for the threat, though...I'm sure I've used that one a time or two myself)  Then 2 hours later, Shelby was off to her first overnight camp at church, and these 2 are hugging each other and crying like she was being sent off to boot camp!   Bi-polar, I tell you, they're bi-polar! At this point,  I'm actually calling up Bolivar to see if they have a room with a view, and finding out how visitation works.  (Maybe it's ME that's bi-polar??  Hmmmmm...)     I've pretty much signed them up for every single VBS, camp, zoo passes, spray parks, swimming lessons, literally whatever I can find!   If there was a Bulgarian Sign Language camp, Shelby will be going.

So before I'm berated yet again for why I wouldn't want to spend every last waking moment with my lovely little heathens, doing crafts and having Family Game Day, I wanted to just pass along a glimpse of my life.  Needless to say, I'm counting down the days til Aug 8!!

Now, I must go tend to my little G man.  The sounds I hear resemble that of a pre-toddler dumping all the Tupperware out of the cabinet and filling it with dog food.    Happy Summer Everyone!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"I'm on this new diet..."

"Well, I don't eat anything, and when I feel like I'm about to faint I eat a cube of cheese. I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight."   ~Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada

Welcome to my life right now. 

One of my most absolute FAVORITE things in the whole world is our summer vacation.  We go once every couple years and we rent a condo in Ft. Walton, do the whole beach, shopping, swimming, and relaxing thing.  I love everything about our Florida vacations.  Even something as simple and stupid as going to the local Publix grocery store and buying detergent, snacks, baby food, and stuff for breakfast (because that's the only meal I'll agree to eat at "home"...I love ANY excuse to eat out) because we don't have a Publix here, and it's more fun to shop for stuff when you know you're on vacation.  I thought there was never anything about our upcoming vacation that I could ever NOT love.   I am now being proven wrong.    These simple words:  Shorts, tank tops....*holds onto my gag reflex* Bathing Suit.

Now, we all know that over this past year, I've been falling more and more in love with a new person.  He's 2 feet tall, bald a cue ball, has 5 teeth, drools incessantly and has a love of pooping out of his clothes while we're in public.   In most scenarios, I'd be needing to check myself into some sort of fetish therapy, but in this case, it's my sweet little man-cub.  My Gibson. 

Just wook at dat pwecious man!!!!   Don't you just have the urge to chew on him???     Ok, did you catch that word?  Chewing??   See, herein lies the problem.  Apparently I've should've been chewing on Gibson a little more and chewing on those Pizza Rolls a little less. 

Now, I sit and stare at the calendar in utter disbelief.  8 weeks.  In 8 short freakin' weeks, I'm going to be expected to put on this horrid little item of clothing that I can NOT wear Spanx under!!   **Seriously, has there ever been a more amazing creation than Spanx??   I even sleep in them.**     That sweet, little precious, practically edible person caused me to have skin and lines and what I just choose to refer to as bllllluuuugggggggghhhhh all over my stomach and thighs.    And now I sit and wait for the inevitable, "Oh, but you just had a baby!  Those stretch marks are a badge of honor, your body is beautiful because it made that sweet little person."   Ok, please stop.  And while you're at it, bite me!   (No, really, maybe if you bite hard enough, you can bite off some of these love handles.)    I am a person who is EXTREMELY self-critical.  But the reason is that I KNOW it can come off post-baby.   I had postpartum depression crap after having little Patrick (my 2nd baby, for those of you who don't know) and I blew up like a damn water buffalo. I actually weighed more AFTER I had him than I did when I was pregnant!   But with the help of some "crazy pills"  (which seriously made me certifiable...I'm talking batshit crazy!  But they did make me super-motivated) and an extreme gym and diet regime, I dropped 65 pounds. 


OHMYDEARHOLYGODWOW!!  Agghhhhhhhhh!!    I seriously didn't know it was possible for my hips to DO that!!

Cut to 6 months later: 

Now, that's more like it.  There should be 2 thighs, and 1 chin!  (And apparently, I lost a bit of hair in the process as well.  Word to the wise---when you have naturally auburn hair, don't EVER try to "bring out the red" with one of those box coloring things.   It will be a disaster and you'll have to chop off a foot of hair.  Haven't colored it since.)

So anyway,  see, it's possible for me to drop weight post-baby.  I don't like to hear women use that excuse.  "Oh, well, I had a baby 6 years ago.  You never look the same after you have a baby."   Well, then sure, by all means, completely give up and drown yourself in a sea of Baskin Robbins and Steak n' Shake!   Anyway...

Back to the present.   When I had my issues post-Patrick, I had never heard of these amazing little tiny creations called "Phentermine"    Oh. My. Lord.    I'd had friends who had mentioned taking "Mommy Crack" after having their kids.   Well,  2 months after having Gibson, I had to be in my best friend's wedding.  So I skip on down to this clinic and I get the most amazing, beautiful, wonderful little iiitttttty-bitty speckled pill and the next month and a half were a whirlwind.  I had enough energy to leap tall buildings (or in my case, as my husband said, to just talk his freakin' ear off) and once a day I had to force myself to eat enough food so I literally didn't just fall over.  Never once got hungry ever. It...was...AWESOME!!  Dropped 27 pounds in one month and was like Woohoo, I'm gonna get the rest of this off in no time.  Then I go in there and the girl said (in my own words)  "I'm sorry, but you're not enough of a fatass anymore for us to give these to you.  Go gain back some of that nastiness and come back and we'll give you some more."   WTF?!    They only want to give these to "obese" people.  Well, looking around this entire area of the south, apparently the obese people haven't gotten the memo that this stuff is available, because they sure as hell aren't getting any smaller!   Walk into the Walmart in Booneville, MS and you'll see what I mean.  At 8 1/2 months pregnant, my mom whispered "Oh my god, you're still one of the skinniest people in here!"     Why would you not give these pills to someone who was dedicated to getting herself back in shape and who they were obviously working for??    Sure, save them for the people who will take it once, realize that they can't eat like a rhino all day, they'll put the rest away and never touch them again!  That's a great way to solve the weight problem here. 

So now, I'm on my own....which SUCKS!!  I don't care if you think I took the lazy way out by taking a pill.  There's a pill for every stupid little condition under the sun.  You can take a pill to sleep, to wake up, to take away anxiety, to make you more anxious so you're not annoying, to make your eyes not dry, to make your man better in bed, to make your man pass out so you don't have to actually do anything with him, they have a pill if you have RESTLESS LEGS!  But yet, if we take a pill to lose weight and get ourselves in shape and feel better about ourselves, then we're cheating, because we're not doing it the "healthy" way.  News flash, I don't care about being healthy, I care about not having to wear Spanx under my sweats!   I honestly want to go back to the days where people were wondering if I had cancer or was doing coke.   They were always trying to offer me food. Ahhh, those were the good ol' days. 

 Luckily I don't have a weakness for sweets/chocolate.  Our house is a 24/7/365 arsenal of candy.  Mom and Patrick are both chocoholics, and of course my kids are, too.  Me, I can be surrounded by it all the time and never once crave it.  (Well, take that back, there are 2 days that I will break an innocent man's legs just to steal his Frosty.  But for the other 29 days of the month, I'm cool.)  My weakness is salty, spicy JUNK.  Pizza, hot wings, deli sandwiches, dips, appetizers.  OMG, love it.  Luckily my favorite food in the world is sushi and from what I hear, it's supposedly healthy (don't you dare burst my bubble!) but Osaka isn't right next door to me, so I don't get it as much as I'd like.  I have an out-of-control Dr. Pepper addiction, and of course, I love my beer on the weekends.  And I don't care if it says "Light" beer, my lower abdomen didn't read that part of the label.   So having to be "good" and sit and eat fish and grilled chicken while watching the Pizza Hut guy drive by, makes me want to bludgeon small children and puppies.

And yes, I tried one of those weight loss DVD's. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.   Yes, after 30 minutes of that, I wanted to throw crazy bitch in a tree-shredder and then drown her in one of her own stupid protein shakes!  I seriously couldn't lift my finger afterwards to type about how much pain I was in!! 

  But now here I am, sans Mommy Crack (and seriously still willing to do an under-the-table drug buy in order to get it) and staring at this awful looking building with these dreaded words on it:   ATC Fitness.

I hate the gym.  Hate, hate, hate, hate HATE!!!!  If you ever see me running, then there is a 97% chance that I'm being shot at.   And I hate the people at the gym.  I always end up on the elliptical stuck next to the 87lb marathon-running cheerleader with her perky blonde ponytail bobbling back n forth to the beat of the Ke$ha song I can hear blaring on her iPod.  And then of course, there's the roid-heads in the weight area that are trying to lift about 700 pounds more than their body is actually capable of lifting.  The sounds that emanate from them resemble a gorilla trying to pass a kidney stone. (Have fun with those marble-sized nuts, there, Igor)     So every day I go dragging myself in there, cussing everyone and everything from the parking lot to the door.  I go to the tanning bed first (because everyone knows that fat looks better tan)  which is a feat all in itself.  Everyone is well-aware of my lack of pigmentation.  My husband likes to ask me if I'm wearing tube socks when I have on capri pants, and we like to say that I can burn in the moonlight.   But because we ARE at the beach, I really would prefer to not have to dress like those Muslim women who are covered in a black shroud with only their eyes showing.  In natural sunlight, even SPF 2000 wouldn't be enough for me.  So I do the tanning bed first.  But because of the said lack of pigment, it takes about a month for me to get any color at all.  I pretty much have to start at about 30 seconds and work my way up!   (I'm up to 10 minutes now and my skin actually resembles that of a person with a pulse!! Go me!)

Ok, back to the gym.  After having a 15 minute mental debate with myself, because I hate it EVER so much, I begrudgingly step on the elliptical of death.  I'm so horridly out of shape that this thing is like a torture device for me.  I crank up some Whitesnake on my iPod (because slimming down for the Tora Tora/Whitesnake show is also part of my game plan--Rock Star wives are supposed to be skinny and hot, right?  Well, at least they are, according to E!) and I start running.  After what I know has GOT to be about 20 minutes I look at the time to see how long I've been going.  1:47.  OMG, nooooo!!  The timer on this thing has got to be wrong.  I'm panting in pain like I'm trying to give birth by c-section with no anesthesia...in a desert!!    Plus, I'm so unbelievably uncoordinated that my legs keep going off in different directions and I almost fall off on numerous occasions.   I gave up on the treadmill for that very reason.  Yup, I so fell off.

Yes, that's what it looked like.   How I don't lose limbs and/or teeth on a daily basis is still an ongoing question. 

So finally, after what feels like 5 hours, I finally get my mile and a half in.  I then proceed to lay down on the floor and die.    I don't understand how people can say that they have all this energy and they feel SO good when they workout.  I feel like death when I walk in, and I feel like nasty sweaty DEAD death when I leave.     But I force myself to do it.  Everyday.  Stupid horrible elliptical and then the machines (which I don't mind as much...I feel like I'm actually doing something productive when I'm on the crunch machine and my abs feel like they're being set on fire.  If only they LOOKED the way that I feel they should look when I'm done)   And I force myself to even drink water when I'm doing it.  That's another challenge!  I can go for months without touching water, except to brush my teeth.  And if I could find a way to rinse my mouth out with Dr. Pepper after brushing, I'd be doing that, too. 

Ok, I've done my stupid workout for the day, I've been passing up food left and right (with NO help from my favorite friendly pill) and then I get on the scale.  NOTHING!!   Then I go to try on shirts that fit me before Gibson.   Um, yeaaaaah, I don't really want to join that style of 4 inches of belly hanging out from under my shirt.  How is it that it was so easy to drop 65 pounds, or even 27 pounds, but for me to lose this last 10 stupid pounds, it's been the most gut-wrenching experience ever??   All I want is to be able to wear the clothes I have now, but not have to wear 4 layers of Spanx under them.  Because when I've got those awesome pieces of Lycra sucking me in in every direction, I look fine. (Breathing is soooo overrated)  But my god, I go to get undressed and it's like opening one of those cans of refrigerated biscuits.  You start peeling slowly at the bottom and you're waiting for that inevitable loud POP! and then all the dough starts popping out from the seams and going gooey everywhere.  So disgusting.  (...aaaaand there goes that craving for sausage/biscuits you woke up with this morning. You're welcome.)   All I want is to look the way I did when I went to Rocklahoma 3 years ago, only not quite as pale.   Is that so much to ask??

Well, yes, apparently it is.   So now, I'm off to take Emily's advice and stick that cube of cheese in my pocket and I'm off to the gates of Hell.   The machine of death is calling my name.   Here's hoping that I don't break both my legs in the process (although, I heard those casts make your legs super-skinny afterwards) or at least we can all hope that if it does happen that someone has a camera.

Wish me luck---I've got 10 pounds and 3 inches to lose and only 8 weeks, 1 day til I'm expected to put on a bathing suit.   God help us all.    

Oh, and if anyone wants to donate to my plastic surgery fund, I'm setting up a Paypal option as we speak...

Seriously, a huge thanks to all of ya'll for reading all my mindless, rambling rants!  I so appreciate all your awesome comments and feedback.  You're freakin' awesome.  Keep rockin'!

***And if you've never watched The Devil Wears Prada, you seriously have to.  Meryl is absolute perfection in everything she does, so that's without question. (I have a tribute wall in my entertainment room to prove that)   But Emily Blunt just steals it! So perfect for that role.***

Thursday, March 24, 2011

All I've Got is a Photograph...

"You've gone straight to my heeeeeeeaad!!"      Ok, sorry, had to finish out the song.

Back to your randomly scheduled post: 

We've never had "family pictures" made.  Of course, we've got a million of the kids, and we've got photos of all of us, but we've never had an actual professional photo shoot of the whole family.  I know some people are beginning to believe that my husband is a made-up person that I just talk about for the sake of having funny stories!  So I need to prove that he really exists---and I know it's torturous for him to sit and smile for the camera, and I'll never pass up an opportunity to torture him! (What are wives for??)  But I have a friend who takes the most AMAZING pictures in the world.  Seriously, she's like a magician.  She's done my kids a couple different times now, and it's baffling to watch.  My kids are going crazy, and I'm thinking that there is no WAY she actually got a normal shot out of these, and then here come the proofs and I'm staring at these going "Where was I when these little angelic creatures were posing so perfectly for the camera??  Did she Photoshop them in or something??"  I wanted to buy 10 of every shot.  A-mazing!

 Anyway, so we're doing family pictures. Now here comes the problem:  Trying to COORDINATE outfits!!  Wow, what a horrid experience this has been!   Trying to find clothes for 5 people who's ages are 10 months, 5 years, 6 years (who's a girl) and then 2 parents, yeah, this is a nightmare!  

We're not like most "normal" families.  We're 5 people with 5 completely different styles.  My idea of dressing up is wearing a fitted black shirt instead of an old Poison shirt and pairing it with skanky boots instead of flip-flops.  Patrick is a polo/cargo shorts guy, Shelby will wear anything that I tell her DOESN'T go together, little Patrick just wants to wear gym shorts and Star Wars shirts and Gibson...well, I'm just happy if he can make it 30 minutes without a giant drool stain down the front of his outfit.   So it's been verrry difficult to find outfits that are "coordinating" without looking like one of those families on the "Awkward Family Photos" website.   I don't really want a giant framed picture that resembles these:

I just have these memories of the dreaded "Olan Mills" sessions for church directory pictures.  I'd post some of those, but Jeff would never speak to me again, so I'll refrain.  So here I go, off to the mall to try to find clothes.  For the little boys, I wanted them to actually match.  Not in some monogrammed one piece jumper with animals on the collar like some of these people put on their poor boys.  Just matching BOY clothes. Just a polo and some shorts.  Apparently, the stores saw me coming and decided to screw with me.  Every single thing I found was always just half a shade different in the big boy/little boy shirts.   Seriously?  It's the exact same brand, why don't you have the exact same shirt in a 5 and an 18 month??  Is that so hard??   Obviously it is.  It's also now a trend to dress your little boy like a total thug.  The shorts come down to their ankles and the shirts have all this bling-bling writing all over it.  I'm sorry, but no, he's not old enough to resemble that inevitable douchebag at every concert who's wearing a skin-tight Ed Hardy shirt and an oversized hat cocked sideways on top of his honky-fro.  Please, just stop.

Then, we have the girl's clothes.  Or should we say the Prositi-Tots section.  Oh...my...gosh.  When did we decide to start dressing our elementary school girls like the hookers that hang out near 201 Poplar??  It's mini-tutu skirts, shorts with "Bootylicious" written across the ass, little strapless dresses covered in sequins (remind me:  What 6 year old has cleavage to fill these dresses out??).   It was ridiculous!   A DRESS.  A little cute, springtime dress that doesn't make her look like a hoochie, but also doesn't make her look like one of the Duggar girls on '19 Kids and Counting'!  Impossible!

And last but not least...and probably the toughest:  Me.  My entire wardrobe consists of black, black, a couple turquoisey blue things (looks good with the red hair) black, grey, a few reds here n there, and black.  While I'm a huge fan of Morticia Addams, I'm not exactly wanting to emanate her in our family picture.  But at the same time, I'm trying to find something light-colored and sort've spring-like without looking like I should be auditioning for a Massengil commercial!  Everything is pink, pink, yellow, pink, orange, and PINK!  I'm not Molly Ringwald.  I can't do the whole "redhead who wears pink" thing.  So I'm in dressing rooms flinging shirts left and right and cursing each and every fashion designer alive.   Trying on clothes is one of my least-favorite pastimes in the first place, but searching for clothes that SO aren't my style is my idea of hell.  Add to that, I think they all wait til I get to the store, just so they can play "Hey, Soul Sister" each and every time I step into that dreaded room.  Probably my most hated song in the history of music (right after "I Can See Clearly Now the Rain is Gone..")  It was horrible. 

So after 4 days, 257 stores, and me using every form of profanity I've ever learned in my lifetime (and a few I just made up because the normal ones weren't working anymore)  I FINALLY have 5 outfits that somewhat go together without taking away from our normal everyday style.   God bless the Happy Heart in Arlington (if you have girls, you'll be in heaven---go see Kim and tell her I told you to go!) and Children's Place at the mall because it was the only store to have actual MATCHING big boy/baby clothes that didn't look like someone's grandma knitted them herself.      So now:  Bring on April 4!   Julie, we're ready for ya!   Now the question is:  Are you ready for us??    If there ever was an appropriate time to use the term "that's a Motley looking crew", it would be now.    So stay tuned for the photographic evidence!

Shout out to Julie Torregrossa at 117 Photography.  If you want the best children/newborn/maternity/family portraits EVER, you don't need to go any further than Julie!  (Check out her website...you'll even see a couple shots of my 2 older monkeys on there.)

**Title excerpt:  Obviously, it's Photograph by Def Leppard.  I realized that I was about to be 3 for 3 in the pop category if I'd said "As far as I'm concerned, you're just another picture to burn" so I figured I'd go with something out of my normal genre.**

Just in case you didn't happen to be listening to 98.1 or Rock 103 for one of the 14, 293 times they play it during the day, here ya go:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Raise Your Glass If You Are Wrong In All The Right Ways...

As we all know, I'm easily irritated at many "types" of people. Overly political/religious spouting folks usually hang at the top of my list. (Only because complaining about Memphis drivers is pretty much a moot point.)  I'm not a fan of zealots of any kind.  I don't care if I agree with the basis of your argument.  If you're loud and argumentative, hold signs, or post a million Facebook updates about it, you can pretty much guarantee that you're irritating the hell out of me.  I don't discriminate---I'm just as equally aggravated by the obsessive Bible-quoters as I am the Gay&Women's rights screamers.  I guess it's because I hate debate and I'm not big on confrontation.  (Please don't get me started on the school merger debate---that's a whole other blog post and it would most likely get ugly.)  I have my opinion, my opinion is the only one that matters to me, I don't care what your opinion is (especially if it's different from mine, because you're wrong) and I don't want you to try and convince me of why you think you're right.  Because you're not and that's it.  Done, end of discussion, moving on.

But as much as I detest the political and religious nutcases, I've found a new group of people who officially irk me more than anyone else on earth:  

Food and Alcohol Snobs!

Today, I read on someone's Facebook page that there was some woman on TV who was showing some poor guy how to "properly drink wine."   Ok, I'm gonna need you to stop.  Drink it how you like, bathe in in it, stick your nose in it, I don't care.  But do NOT tell me that I'm drinking something incorrectly because I don't wanna sniff it and swirl it around and swish it in my mouth.  I know to your fellow wine snobs, you look enlightened.  In MY world, you look like a tool.   Once again, this goes back to: my opinion is my opinion and my TASTE is my taste.  If I want to grab a $4 bottle of Riunite Lambrusco from the gas station and drink it, why do you have to say something about it??  If you would rather drink a $40 bottle of Chateau De St Morocco Guensfengieher extra-dry chardonnay, then go for it!  I'm not gonna say a word.  I don't know why people always have to comment on what other people choose to eat or drink.   

I'll be the first person to say that I don't know jack shit about wines.  I'm a beer girl (and yes, it's Bud Light, and please don't tell me that I'm drinking water and that it's not real beer if it's not dark and from another country.  Shut your face.) and the only time I really ever drink wine is when I'm at someone else's house who has it.  I have bottles here, but I very rarely just sit and drink it.  No one else in my house drinks, so I feel like a loser boozer if I'm just sitting here gettin' tipsy alone.  (That's what my brother's house is for!)  But on the off-chance that I'm drinking it, it's usually some kind of Riesling, just because it's sweet.  Give me a glass of something "dry" and I'll give you the same face as if I just shot tequila.   But that's my choice.  Is it affecting your life in any way whatsoever??  No, so why do you have to comment on my Zinfandel or whatever I chose to have?  I'm not commenting on your hideously ugly shirt, or the fact that you could REALLY use some makeup.  You know why?  Because that's rude.  I don't like rude people. I don't even like to point out to waiters that they got my order wrong, because I grew up being taught that you eat what someone makes you and you don't complain.  It's rude.  Why is it that you think it's not rude to question what other people choose to eat or drink? 

I mean, I could easily drink an entire case of Dr. Peppers in one day.  Seriously, it's been done many time. I absolutely detest diet drinks...I mean, utterly detest....with a loathing passion that I usually save specifically for Dave Matthews.   Meanwhile, my best friend will blow through Diet Dr. Peppers like they're going out of style.  Is this an issue?  No, because what another person chooses to drink doesn't affect me. (I just make sure to have some in the back of the fridge for when she comes over. lol)  But there are people who just aren't content in life if they're not pushing off their own personal opinions on you and making you feel as if you are inferior to them because of what you choose to satisfy your own appetite.  I just can't wrap my brain around that concept!   If I want to drink watery beer or drink Dr. Peppers with a gourmet meal instead of a specific wine that "complements" the food, how bout you just let me do that and shut up!!  I personally don't like wine with food.  I drink because I'm thirsty and I like VERY spicy foods.  So this whole 'sip your room temperature wine while you eat' doesn't work for me.  I need something cold that I can chug (and then burp really loudly as soon as I get to the parking lot).  But you've always got this one uppity little snot, or some overly-opinionated douchebag who insists on calling attention to it.  Makes me want to cheese-grate their faces down a concrete pavement.

Same goes for food.  I have been been with people who actually seem BOTHERED by the fact that I would eat steak sauce on a steak.  Really??   "You're ruining a good cut of meat by putting that on it."  Last time I checked, I was the one eating it, not you.  And I like the way A1 tastes...I like it on lots of things.  I eat my steaks rare (like still mooing rare) and I like A1 with it.  Get over it, move on, find a new topic of conversation.  It's not that friggin' interesting. 

I do need to point out that I have a serious food insecurity to begin with.  I've always had it, and apparently I get it from my grandfather.  I'm VERY nervous about eating and/or talking about my food in front of people.  My family, yeah, I'll shovel down whatever, but if I'm not around you a lot, I will practically seize up when the question is asked:  "So what are you gonna order?"  I'll blush, stutter, mumble and be like "Oh look, a kitty!!" just to take the focus away from me and my food choice.   I don't know why it is, but there ya go.    And what's weirder than that is that I LOOOOOOVE to cook.  I'm one of those not-so-normal-these-days women who cooks dinner for my family every single night.  We'll do to-go sometimes on weekends, but for the most part, yes, every night, I cook.  But again, here comes the insecurity.  If I have to cook for "outsiders" (meaning, anyone who is outside of the 6 people who are in and out of my house every day....or Kim) I'm a nervous wreck.  I don't handle food criticism well, because once again, the weird insecurity.  Luckily, so far (knock on wood) I've never had a complaint on anything that I've brought to a party, and in 90% of the cases, I've been asked for the recipe, or asked to make it for them again.  But that still doesn't change the fact that I don't like to talk about my food.  (The only reason I can do it here is because none of you are LOOKING at me.)

Ok, I seriously have no idea where I was going with this.  See, this is why I never blogged before.  By the time I'm done with one thought, the point of the story has completely flown out the window.  I have a completely random mind and I'll ramble on forever about nothing!!  Just be glad I'm not on my usual rant about music choices!    Really, I don't even think I had a point, I just felt like bitching, because it got brought up on Facebook and the subject always pisses me off.  So please, for the sake of my sanity, if you're ever out with me (which is probably never going to happen, because I'm so anti-social that I hardly leave my house) PLEASE don't call attention to my food or drink.   Because secretly, you're creating a knot in my stomach and I'm blushing down my chest as we speak.  Thank you and good night. 

And of course, now I'm hungry...

***Title excerpt from the song "Raise Your Glass" by P!nk**  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Find one song before the virus takes hold...

**So, of course, Roger was talking about the AIDS virus during that song, and I'm being completely melodramatic, but seriously, I feel like absolute death, and it's the first lyric that popped into my head.**

Our house is a giant cesspool.  Or moreso, should I say, my KIDS are giant cesspools!  No matter what bit of funk is going around those schools, they make sure to share it with all of us.   So I've been laid up for the past 3 days with a 102 fever and all the aches, chills, sore throat and horrid cough that go with it.  My impression of the endangered barking seal is well on its way to perfection!  Meanwhile, the older two just keep passing it back and forth between them, just to guarantee that none of us ever fully recover from it.   

So after being forced by my mother to go to the doctor yesterday, I found out that it's viral.  Yay!  So you take my $25 co-pay then tell me to rest, take Tylenol, and drink fluids.  Thanks, doc.   At least I did get some Codeine cough medicine out of her.  Little did I know that actually obtaining said cough syrup was going to take a National Act of Congress!  As usual, the computers were down, so they were trying to pull up my insurance card, which took FOREVER.  Meanwhile, I can feel the OTC meds I'd taken that morning beginning to wear off.  One glance in those mirrors they have up on the walls in Walgreens, and I almost screamed in shock. How a person's face can be flushed and yet deathly pale at the same time is completely beyond me.  As I said on Facebook, I highly resembled Charlize Theron, playing Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Plus, my sinuses were all swollen, so it became a combination of Aileen and Hitch when Will Smith's character has an allergic reaction to shellfish.   I'm actually quite surprised that Nikki Sixx and Jon Bon Jovi didn't decide to make a pit-stop at that Walgreens at that exact moment, because that's usually my luck.  Never fails, when you look like shit, you WILL see every single person you've ever met, had a crush on, or turned down for a date.  It's karma's way of letting them take one look at you and go "OMG, what the hell was I thinking?"

Anyway, apparently the pharmacists didn't read the look of  panic or discomfort on my face and proceeded to take their own sweet time filling the Rx.  Seriously?!  It's freakin' cough syrup:  Pour it in a bottle, put the little sticker on it, shake it, and hand it to me!!  Oh no, not that simple.  After sitting and waiting for almost an hour (my eyes were beginning to blur and I was shaking uncontrollably with a fever at this point)  I politely ask them if it is ready yet.  The girl looks up from her Taco Bell burrito and says "Aww....naw, hode on, I'll see if it be ready."   I see that they don't require remedial English in Pharmacy school.   She comes back 10 minutes later and said "Aww, they forgot to put it in, it be ready in 10 minutes."  Cut to 10 minutes later, while I watch as they're all just standing around talking, eating, one's talking on her cell, etc.  As this point, the madness has taken over and the delusions started.  In my mind, this is what happened when I walked to the counter:


But in reality, I think I probably just stumbled to the counter, tripping over my own feet and began to jabber incoherently like a deranged mental patient.  Whatever happened, it made them stand up and finally get my medicine.  Oh, and get this!  Here's exactly what they did:  Walked over to a counter, picked up a big bottle, poured it into a little bottle, slapped a sticker on it, and handed it to me!!   What a concept.

So me, my $4 bottle of cough medicine, my TheraFlu, and my hospital mask (yes, I bought one...it's the only way I can get near Gibson) somehow sobered up enough to drive the half-mile back to my house, where I threw on sweats and a t-shirt and literally passed out in my chair and I haven't moved since.  Needless to say, I look (and most likely smell) AWESOME!!  I've seen that commercial for Tresemme's Dry Shampoo about 13 times---I'm thinkin' they're trying to send me a message.    I don't even have the willpower to stand up and change the DVD in the player, which means that I've now watched Rent about 6 times in the past 48 hours.  (Hence the title of the post)   But I'm so out of it that it's now just become background noise in the random mush floating around in my head.  Between the codeine syrup, the nighttime cold medicine and the nasty funk that's living there, needless to say, when I do fall asleep for the night, I could literally choke on my own lung fluid and I would never have any idea.   And right now, that would actually be a welcome relief.  Codeine, take me away...


I promise, my blogs will not continue to be a bunch of rambling, pathetic self-loathing.  They say "Write what you know" and right now, that's ALL I know!  My brain is no different than those hamster's who run around in the little clear balls, slamming into every wall they encounter. Don't get me started on how it took 3 adults to help a 1st grader with her homework---and it was on the 4 basic food groups!  Yes, this sickness needs to go away! Now, don't get me wrong, I'll still be bitchin' about something.  Don't think you're getting off that easy.  I just won't be wallowing in self-pity and insulting myself.  I'll be back to insulting others!


**Blog title is an excerpt from the song "One Song Glory" from the movie/broadway show Rent.