Brace Yourselves; Weird Thanksgiving Food Fusions Are Coming

Brace Yourselves; Weird Thanksgiving Food Fusions Are Coming

Thanksgiving is nearly here, y’all.  “But it’s three weeks away!”, you say.  Y’all don’t even know.  Thanksgiving is THE holiday meal of the year in my family.  We do it big and we do it good.  Even Christmas dinner, which is usually gumbo or maybe a ham, can’t light a candle to Turkey day for us; it’s simply tradition.  It’s a tradition I’m glad to pass down to and share with my little ones.  Our counter tops are loaded down with fried turkey, spiral ham, praline topped sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce, among other things.  We are Thanksgiving traditionalists — not much passes the threshold that is wild and wacky.  That said, there have naturally been some exceptions: pumpkin pie cheesecake, pecan pie cheesecake, sausage balls and even a brisket (or two) has been known to make a rare guest appearance every now and then.  But there are some things I’m relieved to say will likely NEVER make way to our Thanksgiving smorgasbord — things that I’ve only ever seen before in nightmares and brief cameos in Ye Olde Medieval Festivals.  Here are just a few that made my stomach absolutely churn:

  1. Deep Fried Stuffing on a Stick.  There is so much wrong with this, I don’t even know where to begin.  bb2600a6e2dad2279413b46ac9a0c90dJust knowing there are people who have fed this to their kids makes me feel less guilty about “Chicken Nugget Tuesdays” at our house.  Not much less guilty, but I’ll take what I can get.
  2. Turkey Cake.  No, this isn’t a Cake Wars confection that is actually a cake cleverly disguised as holiday fowl.  No, no.  This is essentially a meatloaf (only… with turkey) “frosted” with mashed potatoes and other varied toppings — depending on the “chef”.  Really, it’s a festive shepherd’s pie.  Thanks, but I left school lunch back in 2006 where it belongs.
  3. Regular holiday food — Fear Factor style.  Picture this: the scene is perfect.  Dad’s carving the turkey, mom has made her famous Pecan Pie (puh-kahn.. not PEE-can), and grandma is passing around the croissants.  Every one is settling down to dive in and — wait, what’s that?  Is that… a mealworm?!  Yep.  From my native state of Louisiana, comes “buggy” food.  The folks down at the Audubon Insectarium in NOLA topped their turkey day noms off with things of the protein-rich variety — and we’re not talking vitamin supplements.  No worries; most of us southerners can smack down on a holiday meal, mealworm and cricket free.
  4. Gravy soda.  Once again, I have no words.  All I can imagine is someone opening jarred gravy, pouring in some soda water, and going to town.  850860b0afc0e156ae6adf3b8df1d6caKill me now.
  5. Tofurkey.  This poor food item (if you could call it that) has been the butt of everyone’s Thanksgiving day joke since… well, since someone thought it was a good idea and served it to their family.  I would love to have been a fly on the wall for that Thanksgiving dinner nightmare:  “‘Let’s have Thanksgiving with the cousins’, you said.  ‘It will be fun’, you said.  I told you we should have gone to the Chinese buffet!”  Ah, sweet memories.
  6. Turbaconucken.  This just sounds like congestive heart failure waiting to happen.  And perhaps it could be if it is paired with Deep Fried Stuffing.  On a stick.  Basically, this is one of those Turducken things… but wrapped in bacon.  I’m all about bacon.  And turkey.  And chicken.  Nooot so much duck, admittedly.  But turbackonucken?  If I have a hard time saying it, I don’t think I want to eat it.
  7. Jarred gravy and canned cranberry sauce.  As a southern girl, this hurts me to my very core.  nothing-says-annual-thanksgiving-dinner-contribution-like-jarred-gravy-cff48Two of the most important facets of “the dinner” itself, and you can’t take the time to make it?  Tsk, tsk.
  8. Gluten-free rolls.  I understand people who have an allergy to gluten or just do not or cannot eat it for health purposes.  That said, I’d cut off my left, big toe for gluten.  Actually, that really explains a lot about where I carry all my weight.  But damnit, what good is a roll without gluten?  It’s carb blasphemy!  I just can’t even.
  9. Turdunkin.  Listen, y’all.  I love turkey.  And I freaking love donuts (as per the size of my backside).  And while some breakfast foods may pair well with some not-so breakfast foods (check you out, chicken and waffles!), some things absolutely do not hold the same reputation.  54f942e51ccad_-_turdunkin-turkeyEnter: Turdunken.  Basically, this is a turkey basted in Dunkin Donuts’ Coolattas and stuffed with, get this, Dunkin Donuts.  I have a legitimately hard time believing this could possibly taste worth a damn.  What a waste of good donuts.
  10.  And last but not least, Twinkie Stuffing.  Is there really an explanation necessary for this particular dish?  No, I think we can all gather what kind of food mutiny is going down, here.

I’m sure there are a few here and there that I missed, but these dishes managed to wrangle their way into my mind and burn themselves into the deepest recesses of my memory.  That said, I am going to go over my menu for, oh, the millionth time.  Any strange family holiday dishes you’d like to share?  I’d love to know what the “black sheep” of your Thanksgiving menu may be.

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Ten Things I’ve Learned Living With Little Boys

Ten Things I’ve Learned Living With Little Boys

I have been “mothering” for a little over six years, now.  Actually, if you want to be real about it, I’ve been “momma bearin’ it” for a little over six years.  I’ve done a lot of things I had previously said I’d never do.  I’ve said a lot of things I never thought I’d say — or have to say (one of my favorites: “Please stop trying to lick your brother’s eyeball”).  I’ve slept more than I thought I would have, and I’ve also slept much less than is probably necessary to function.  I’ve figured out that I’ll cover pretty much anything in ketchup if it’ll get my kids to eat and that I may be an enabler to my two-year old’s fruit snack addiction.  That said, I have learned quite a lot living with little boys.  I’ve Google’d, Bing’d, Wikipedia’d, and WebMd’d pretty much everything there is to Google, Bing, Wikipedia, and WebMd regarding kids (and on how to maintain my sanity sans booze).

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I posted a status the other day on my page about needing to learn to check the inside of my shoes before putting them on thanks to having Things 1 & 2 running around.  That got me to thinking, “What all have I learned since I’ve been a boy mom?”, which inspired this post.  This is the kind place my brain goes to around 10 o’clock every night instead of closing up shop for the day.  But it’s to your benefit this morning that my poor old brain is overactive, because here are my top ten things I’ve learned while living with my little monsters boys:

  1. It is absolutely vital that one check one’s shoes before putting them on.  It is in my house, anyway.  I’ve killed many a toe thanks to Lego blocks and even small action figures finding their way to the deep, dark recesses of my footwear.  I check those bad boys with a flash light and, some days, even something pointy so I don’t have to sacrifice my fingers.  My kids think they have jokes these days and I’m just waiting to “find” a frog or something in there.
  2. No matter how long and hard you preach, socks and underwear will likely never make it to the washer.  Shirts, pants, and even a stray tennis shoe will at least get to the floor in front of the washer.  I’ve washed plenty of change and even a wallet or two (oops…).  But I have to check under beds and other pieces of furniture for undergarments.  Connor, the two-year old, has taken to throwing his socks away these days, so I also raid the trash.  It’s pretty fantastic.
  3. Your kids will never need you for anything of dire importance once your buttocks are firmly planted on the toilet.  They will, however, need you to open a jar of pickles (why are you even in the kitchen?!), to ask about the theory of relativity (relatively speaking), and “why is brother wearing a blue shirt, because wasn’t he in green earlier?” (<— that happened).9b7ac1fff5f9305ce0181d24821e1202
  4. Sleep is a distant memory that I’ve grown to resent.  A night without the kids?  Sleep!  Not. even. close.  Housework?  Yep.  Binge Netflixing?  Naturally.  Simply sitting in the quiet?  Sure.  But sleep?  Not I.  I don’t sleep when my kids are home, and I physically cannot sleep if they’re gone for the night.  I’ve learned that I’m an utter weirdo, in that respect.
  5. “Batman and Mario are most certainly real and how dare you question their existence?!”  That conversation not only took place, but I felt sure that Gabe was looking at resumes for other mothers on the slick afterward.  I’ve learned that Mario, Batman, and even the Ninja Freaking Turtles are very real to little boys and damnit, do not question it until they’re at least in high school.  And even then… sore subject.
  6. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse will buy you a good five minutes worth of a shower.  That’s probably it, though, unless your kids zombie out to TV.  My oldest is guilty of that, but the little one will notice five minutes in that he’s not glued to my ass.6e9e5ca87735e1e5d80de6503442e8cc
  7. Little boys are rough and sturdy, but only if you let them be that way.  When Gabe was very little (about Con’s age), I watched his every move like a hawk.  Someone called me out on it and I backed off slightly.  Now that we have Connor?  Psh.  Unless there is a tremendous amount of blood or bones jutting out, our motto is, “Shake it off.”  Insurance premiums are expensive enough without tacking on minor cut and bobo costs.
  8. Little guys will always need cuddles even if they’re embarrassed to admit it.  Gabe has turned a page in his cuddle bear life; he no longer appreciates it when I give him a kiss (or a hug!) goodbye at daycare.  I’m lucky to get a fist bump.  But, if I play my cards right and no one is looking, he hugs me tight just as I’m walking out the door.  Only for a second, though — “the guys are looking, mom.”  Connor is only cuddly on his terms… he’s catlike, in that sense.  A grouchy little turd who wants cuddles one minute and will claw your eyes out the next if he thinks you’re enjoying getting loves.  I’ve learned to be as nonchalant as possible with that kid in regards to “love time”.
  9. There is nothing little dudes won’t take apart and try to put back together.  As is the case, my house looks like a replica set of “Sanford and Sons” on the regular.  We’re working on it, but some days it doesn’t even pay to act like I care.
  10. And finally, I’ve learned that little boys are tough and rowdy and put up a great “he-man” face, but they are pretty insecure little creatures, too.  Most days I tire quickly of being constantly called upon and tugged at… but I know one day it’ll all be long gone and I’ll miss it.  Funny thing, missing what you had once it’s gone.  So this evening I think we’ll curl up on the couch once homework, bath time, and supper is done.  We’ll have popcorn and watch Hocus Pocus and I’ll live in the moment while it’s here.  And I’ll probably wonder, most likely around 10 o’clock, what else they’ll teach me.  And I’ll wish I knew where the time goes and why, when it does, does it go so quickly.

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Back to School Bank Robbery

Back to School Bank Robbery

I was reading over the remaining school supply items for Gabe in my memos yesterday.  On that list?  Copy paper and three large glue sticks.  I keep forgetting about the paper — ironic, since I work for a copier distributor.  But the glue sticks?  I always remember those.  Two things stand out in my mind about glue sticks, y’all: sticky mess that my children will inevitably try to lick off their hands and WHO THE HELL PAYS FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS FOR GLUE STICKS?

How my wallet feels about back to school shopping.
How my wallet feels about back to school shopping.

Have I ever told you guys that I’m notoriously cheap?  No?  Well, I’m cheap.  About things like glue sticks, anyway.  So excuse the hell out of me for thinking that $4.75 (practically $5) is a bit steep for glue.  Glue that, knowing my five year old son, won’t make it even two weeks in to the school year.  Also, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Elmer has monopolized the glue market on the back-to-school frontier since there are literally no generic (but equally good!) brands to be had around August 1st.  It’s a phenomenon, really.  Every year on August 1st, hundreds of generic (but equally good!) glue brands go amiss until school resumes and then BAM!.  Those crafty little suckers are back on the shelf like they took a month long staycation.  Anyway, I eventually bought the blasted things after a heated discussion with myself at Target.  After a few side-eyes and uncomfortable throat clearings from fellow shoppers, I finally got over myself and tossed them (and a pair of scissors, for good measure) into my cart.  The only other thing I find completely overpriced and ridiculous are backpacks.

backpack, (bak-pak) n.: a forty-five dollar zippered piece of fabric that will inevitably tear mid-year; a forty-five dollar zippered piece of fabric that children carry everything else in except what they are meant to carry; a “sound investment” that will get left at home “on accident” on the most inconvenient of days.

...that happened.
…that happened.

And have y’all seen some of the designs on said backpacks?  They’re nuts!  I was walking through Target the other day (another, other day.. I’m there too much), and saw a bag covered in donuts.  DONUTS.  I pity the girl walking around with a donut bag this year.  I saw one that was shaped like Sponge Bob (..I can’t even) and another was a modified fanny-pack type thing that a newborn wouldn’t fit in.  Yeah, that’s real efficient.  Here, why don’t you make that thing useful and carry this torn-in-half tissue in there?  Careful, now… don’t strain yourself.

Gabe’s only in first grade, so I still understand the whole school supply thing.  And the list we had this year was, by comparison, not so bad.  His pre-k list was outrageous.  “Ms. Rose, I see here we need to fill out a form and send a check for one hundred dollars for NASA training?  Th-that’s correct?  Alllrighty then.”  I had to buy glitter glue that year, y’all.  GLITTER FREAKING GLUE.  Ask me how many times Gabe came home looking like he’d tried to catch Tinkerbell.  Go ahead.  Ask me.  I’m over it.. really, I am.  But don’t ask me how long it took me to buy the glitter glue and please, for the love of Jesus and pronged folders, don’t ask me how hard I cried over the price tag.

Boys of Summer

Boys of Summer

It’s the end of July, and you know what that means:  BABY GOT CLASS!  Thank Jesus.  Y’all, I can’t take much more of this summer “vacation” bologna.  Daycare drama is infinitely more “Days of Our Lives” than grade school could ever be.  You know Gabe came home a few days ago saying how most of his friends have girlfriends?  THEY’RE FIVE.  Six, tops.  Thanks a lot, MTV.  When I was six, all my parents had to worry about was whether or not I’d come home with gum in my hair… again.  They never worried about me and my siblings coming home all, “Yeah, so I met this guy at recess today.  We totally took a nap together after he shot Cheerios out of his nose.  I think he’s The One.”

Gag me with a spoon.  Kids that young don’t even KNOW the struggle and its realness.  But, I digress.

Anyway, school’s coming up soon.  I’m excited enough to go school shopping on the second craziest weekend of the year (tax free weekend) yet still dreading the unavoidable emptying of my pockets.  The kids’ birthdays are also in August, so we’re already tapped out.  But it’s alright, because school!  Do the thing, make the grades!

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I took the boys’ “annual day of birth” pictures early this year because this month is already jam-packed full of open house meetings, doctor’s appointments, and other various activities.  They were not completely thrilled with my decision because A) it was hot and B) they’re kids and don’t like to cooperate.  Such is life.

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their excitement is overwhelming.
their excitement is overwhelming.

We made it out alive, but barely.  I don’t understand the headache of birthday pictures… or just good pictures, in general.  If I tell the kids to say cheese at 7 A.M. on a weekend, fresh out of bed, in just their underwear and superhero capes, it’s not problem.  “What’s that, you say?  You need a bad millionth picture of us?  Absolutely!”  But good pictures?  “What, mom?  You need us to cooperate?  These pictures are going to family, you say?  Hang on… let me bang my head through a wall.”  Drinks may or may not have been had after the fiasco that from here on out should be called, “annual day of mom forgetting what a pain in the ass this is” picture day.  At any rate, we’re at the weekend.  Praise Jesus!  I’ll probably be begging Monday to carry its ass in t-minus twenty-four hours.

Happy Friday, y’all.

If a Taco Falls and a Five Year Old’s Around…

If a Taco Falls and a Five Year Old’s Around…

…does it make a sound?  According to Gabe, yes.  I’m gonna go ahead and put it out there that this post isn’t exactly politically correct.  So, if you get butt-hurt too easily, move on.  Should you choose to stick around, please take note that the following conversation happened between me and my five year old who doesn’t even like hurting spiders, let alone people’s feelings.  We don’t teach hate and we all share a fondness for most things TexMex.  That said, let’s move forward.

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While watching Big Hero 6 on my laptop at work:

Gabe: Mom.  The movie’s making taco noises.

Me: Do what?

G: The movie.  It sounds like tacos.

Me: *typing* That’s nice…..

Five minutes later…

G: Mo-om!  It still sounds like tacos!

At this point, I stop what I’m doing and listen in case the disc is skipping.  It wasn’t.  They were speaking SPANISH.

Through a fit of laughter I managed to get out:

M: Baby.  They’re speaking Spanish.  Not tacos.

G: Sure sounds like tacos to me, mom.  But you’re old.. so okay.

 

i need this in my life.
i need this in my life.

Y’all, I about fell out of my chair.  And on the menu tonight… nachos.  Because tacos.

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Twenty-Seven

I turned twenty-seven on Saturday morning.

At 8:10 A.M. Saturday morning if you want to be über specific like my mom.  But it’s cool if you’re more into generalities.  I feel ya.

Anyway.  I’m twenty-seven now.  I feel no different than I did the year before or the year before that.  In fact, I feel better than I did after my twentieth birthday (hello, hangover!).  Now that I’m a responsible absent-minded mother of two, I have no time to properly cultivate a good (?) hangover.  And for that, I am thankful.  I was never good at that scene, anyway.  And for that, I am also thankful.

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I’ve learned a lot in my twenty-seven years on the planet.  I’m a little embarrassed sometimes at what I don’t know.  But, in a quote paraphrased from the humble-yet-wise Socrates, “The wise man knows that he knows nothing,”  I must be freaking brilliant because there are days I don’t even know where my own head is.  Sometimes, I feel like I know too much.  Y’all know what I mean.  Those little moments that spring up and you wish to God that he’d not forgotten to install the memory erase button?  Yeah.  We’ve all been there.  All too often.

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So here’s a list of things I’ve learned during my time on the planet.  Some are pretty obvious.  Some may be familiar to your own learning experience.  Some, admittedly, are kind of dumb.  You’ve been warned.

  1. No amount of fibbing, wishing, or praying can take back or erase a text message.  ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU’RE TEXTING/IM’ing?/EMAILING THE RIGHT PERSON.  Take it from me and foot-in-mouth disease.
  2. Baby pictures always seem to come up in doubles and triples.  You burned the album of baby bath pictures?  Congratulations.  Keep looking, though.  ‘Cause your mom’s probably got two other identical albums stashed away for such purposes.
  3. You will get used to being puked, pee’d, and pooped on by your children.  No matter how old they are.  Other people’s kids… and other people?  You will still probably get queasy at the least and/or prepare for a body fluid domino effect at the worst.  Luckily, I seem to have inherited an iron gut.  Thank you, sweet baby Jesus.
  4. Anytime I hear, “MOM!” I turn around.  It’s a reflex.  I don’t care whose kid he or she is… I will turn around.  And I’ll probably answer.  Crying babies = ditto.  It’s a curse, I tell you.  I even hear it in my sleep.
  5. Road rage gets worse with age.  Add children to the mix, and it’s a homicidal breakdown waiting to happen.  Unless you’re super into finding “inner peace”.  In which case, you suck.  And you’re probably the reason my road rage is the way it is.
  6. I always thought that (road rage aside) I would be pretty reasonable growing up.  I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a woman and my mood has a hormone switch that goes from 0-60 in .00001 seconds.  Regardless, I always assumed I could keep my emotions and mouth mostly in check.  Again, enter children.  And if life has taught me anything, it’s that I can bark at my children any time of the day.  And that it’s out of love. . . mostly. But if anyone else barks at my kids?  LAWD HAVE MERCY, JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL… ’cause I’m about to come unhinged on you.  Back it on up, honey.  Back it on up.
  7. Groceries are mad expensive.  If groceries keep going on up, we ain’t movin’ on up to the east side.  I never thought that being an adult would be so costly.  I don’t know how I ever thought that, honestly, having grown up with two working parents.  But I got a good taste of it at twenty-one when I had Gabe.  And I’ve been a bit of a money hoarder ever since.  Don’t get any ideas and think you’re going to rob me blind, though.  The government’s doing a good enough job at that by…
  8. …”giving” me shit insurance.  The mythical definition of insurance is: the act, business, or system of insuring life, property, etc against loss or harm.  I’ve learned, though, that the literal definition of insurance is: to rob middle-class Americans blind before retirement so that retirement is only legends heard of as children.  True story.
  9. On topic with groceries: ALWAYS make a list and NEVER go hungry.  And if you have kids and can help it, go after nap time or “butt-crack of dawn” early.  Trust me.
  10. It took me some time, but I figured out that it isn’t the number of friends a person has at any given point.  It’s the quality of the relationships.  In my life, I’ve been blessed with great friendships.  Some have come and gone for a spell, others have stuck it out.  The relationships I have these days are precious to me.  I don’t see these people often and we can’t talk every day due to… well, life.  But I know if ever I need a hand, someone will come running.  And I’m proud to be able to do the same for them.
  11. I’m in the process of learning that sometimes all I need is the support from the hubs and that sometimes all he needs is my support.  Whether it be physical, mental, emotional… even silent… we’re a team.  It’s harder a road than I thought it would be some days, and other days it’s pretty easy to fall in line with.
  12. Marriage is hard in general.  But for us, divorce isn’t an option.  Because what good is holding guilt over someone’s head for 50+ years if everything ends seven years in?  I’m kidding, y’all.  Seriously, though. . . we’ve already experienced some hard-hitting stuff.  And it’s been tough.  And some days it might have been easier to throw in the towel.  But ultimately, he’s my weirdo.  So I guess we’re staying put.
  13. No matter what they tell you, childbirth is the easy part.  Third degree tear?  C-Sections?  Please.  Wait until you’re hiding in the pantry with a pint of Haagen Dazs and a shot of whatever beverage (adult or not) is within arms reach, praying that your kids won’t get up from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and discover your hiding place.  Parenting has it’s good days.  But it definitely has it’s “hide out in the pantry and pray bedtime carries it’s ass” days, as well.  But chillax — that should mean you’re doing it right.
  14. When you’re young, crying and flirting will probably get you out of a ticket.  When you’re a mother, you pray the police have a heart and let you go because, “the baby only sleeps when the car is in motion… and he’s about to blow a gasket.”
  15. The same does not apply to grocery store clerks who could care less that $0.78 a pound is ridiculous for bananas and that you missed the sale for teething biscuits.
  16. High school seems like an eternity.  College finals can be daunting.  Hold on, man.  The end is near.
  17. Family is pretty much an extraordinary thing.  And I’m not just talking biological (see #9).  My kids call my best friends aunt & uncle.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Because having learned about Gabe’s three girlfriends (two at school and one at daycare), I’m ready to call in the troops with our rocking chairs and guns in hand.  Paintball guns, y’all… don’t get your panties in a twist.
  18. A night out with the girls is amazing and just what the doctor ordered.  Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married/divorced with kids… whatever.  A night out with your pals is the ultimate in refreshing.  Guys, same goes for you.  Just keep it clean, ladies and gents.  Social media, you know.
  19. An evening out with the hubs/little lady is even better.  If you have kids, try not to talk about the weird stuff that comes out of their noses or how cute or hilarious it was because it kind of looked like Abraham Lincoln.  Talk about yourselves… or anything else, for that matter.  You only have a few hours to pretend that you’re childless.  Revel in it,
  20. I figured I’d be a “progressive” woman when I was younger.  That I could hang out with guy friends solo and still be in a relationship.  You can’t and, really, you shouldn’t want to risk it.  Not that anything would happen.  And I’m not trading in my independence for an apron and a 1950’s edition of Southern Living Recipes.  But unless Ev can be around, it can’t happen.  Ditto for him.  I’ve learned that things can happen, it’s my job as a spouse to try and keep things from happening.  Accidental or not.
  21. It took me several years, but it hit me a while back that my little brother is one of my best friends.  And why not?  We’ve seen a lot together.  My kids adore him.  He’s pretty cool.  It was one of the best realizations I’ve ever had.
  22. I have learned and relearned that you can’t make people love and respect you.  Those are two things that come naturally and cannot be forced.  It can be learned, absolutely.  And I’d say that a learned love and respect can be the best kind.  But you can’t make it happen.  And when you come to terms with that fact, you can live a more content life than you could imagine.
  23. I said it once recently, but it’s worth a repeat.  When I was younger, I was scared of everything.  I was content to sit idly in the background.  Having little ones changed that in me slowly but surely.  If you ever have the opportunity to have little ones and give up some pretty sacred pieces of yourself, do it.  It’s amazing.  Even on the Haagen Dazs days.
  24. Unless you’re born into money or have the power to summon wild wealth on a whim, new business ventures are scary.  But once you see things taking form and going forward, it’s a pretty cool experience.  Definitely equal parts cool and risky.
  25. Buying a house is a pain in the ass.  But to get out from under a rent note is a relief.  Moving is also a pain in the ass.  Find reliable friends to help.  Cook for them.  Laugh with them.  Mark boxes FRAGILE.  Drink after all is said and done if necessary.
  26. If you take note of nothing else I’ve mentioned, do yourself a favor and write this down: Remember to laugh.  It’s easy to get down and discouraged sometimes.  Remember to laugh… even if you have to find something to laugh at.
  27. Lastly, the past twenty-seven years has been a roller coaster of up’s, down’s, and twirly loops.  In twenty-seven years, Gabe will be nearing thirty three and Connor twenty-nine.  I’ll be fifty freaking four.  There may be grandchildren… possible retirement.  Who the hell knows.  I’m still learning how to navigate the ride, but I’m ready for the next go around.
It’s Beginning to Look Like a Throwdown

It’s Beginning to Look Like a Throwdown

I am quite certain that my recent quips of annual Christmas insanity were a bit hasty.  I am absolutely positive that they would not be now.  It would seem that a large portion of Alexandria forgot that Christmas is tomorrow over the course of the weekend.  It is so maddening, in fact, that even I have been affected by the chaos — and I’ve long since finished everything on my list.  Take the other day, for instance.  I needed a few things for some last-minute baking.  I went to Wal-Mart, as it is closest (and most deadly), with my ten item list, expecting to be out in thirty minutes or so.  An hour and 45 freakishly long minutes later, I had 4 of ten items on my list, a splitting headache, and an urge to slam the nearest Bah-Humbug spirited person into aisle seven.  So crippling was my frustration and confusion, that I left my buggy in an aisle I don’t even recall wandering down and took off with someone else’s — the contents of which I can only assume (and pray) was for an ugly Christmas sweater party.  But I’ve skipped ahead.  So allow me to rewind.

Prior to losing my buggy and my mind, I had cut off (what I assumed was) a woman in the canned food section.  I honestly didn’t mean to, as I did not see her there.  Nevertheless, I did.  And she accepted my apology with an ever gracious, “Ex-cah-uuuuse you!”  Now, if you know me at all you know that phrase infuriates me.  It ignites my rage with the fires of hell.  So from that point forward, it was game on.  We ran into each other several times after our initial encounter, each more challenging than the next.  After about an hour I realized just how ridiculous I was being and made it a point to avoid the other.  I was on my way out and evidently stopped to look at something I didn’t need as I did not eventually check out with it.  Without realizing, I grabbed another shopper’s cart and made my way to the front check out lanes.  I bent down to get a Coke, and upon looking into my buggy noticed that the afore-mentioned ugly Christmas sweater party items were not that of my own.  Immediately and irrationally I began to look for that woman.  She just so happened to be behind me for a moment in the lanes, and in my tired and paranoid state just knew she had taken off with my buggy.  I looked everywhere, high and low.  I even called Evan to let him know that he might need to come bail me out and then BAM.  Right there, in the card section.  A place I don’t even recall walking down.  I shamefully grabbed my cart and headed back to the checkout lane, making quite sure that the contents were, in fact, mine.  I shook my head all the way home, mortified that I had been bitten by the Christmas Bah Humbug Bug.

smackdown

The moral of this story?  Even those of us so obnoxiously consumed in Christmas festivities lose our cool from time to time.  And also, before you throw-down in the dairy aisle, make sure you didn’t misplace your buggy, as it is doubtful anyone would jack a shopping cart.

Happy Christmas Eve..

No, You Can’t Have a Pony & Don’t Stick that Crayon in Your Ear!

No, You Can’t Have a Pony & Don’t Stick that Crayon in Your Ear!

Every day I say something to Gabe that I never thought I would.  I’ve said that header (okay — minus the pony part) all week, every five minutes.  Some of my favorites from the week:

“No, baby that’s an ornament.  And for crying out loud get it off of your lip.”

“Yeah, that is a puppy!  Wait!  Don’t punch th–… damnit.”

“You break that arm, you buy it.”

He’s wild, guys.  In all honesty, I’d rather have my maniacal little guy than a prissy little girl.  But sometimes it’s a little tiring.  Okay… it’s exhausting.  Recently we’ve discovered that we can stick things in our ears & nostrils… namely crayons & peas (the peas freaked me out more than the crayon… not even gonna lie).  Used to I could deliver a possessed growl like none other and he would remove whatever inanimate object was in whatever orifice.  But today I growled my fiercest Emily Rose growl & the little bugger laughed.  LAUGHED.  At my growl.  I’ll be honest — it knocked me down a few notches.  Then he proceeded to stick macaroni yellow next to cornflower blue… and I got PISSED.  Irrational?  Absolutely.  But lets just say he won’t be allowed to even look at another crayon until he’s thirty.  Five.

He’s been awesome this week, though… crayons aside.  I think someone sent him a memo (a little late, albeit) letting him know that Santa’s been watching.  But I’ll have you know that Santa’s informants suck, ’cause the kid’s got more coming to him then should be allowed.  That’s okay though, ’cause said informant got momma a six-pack of Light Heineken (what Santa don’t know won’t kill him.. don’t judge me).

Right now I’m listening to the off-key musical stylings of Veggie Tales and then we’re going to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (3rd annual read — yay traditions!).  We’ll be hitting the sack soon… well, Gabe will.  Momma’s got some more wrapping to do.  Word up for procrastination!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Bud Light!

Composting Can Kiss My Ass

Composting Can Kiss My Ass

I have lived in the sticks for going on ten years now.  This does not by any means make me:

  1. a country girl.
  2. outdoorsy.
  3. eco-friendly.

I’ll go so far as to say, that the only things “country” about me is:

  1. my fondness for some country music.
  2. my love for fall outdoorsy things (weather, etc.)
  3. …nevermind.

I am not, nor I have I ever been, big on gardening; bugs; COMPOSTING… you get the idea.  So imagine my horror today when I got to move two semi-rotted watermelons & one gecko resort watermelon from one locale to the composting bin.  My supplies?  Two heavy-duty trashbags (God rest their little plastic souls), one wheelbarrow, and my friggin’ hands. 

At first I thought my task would be a simple one.  Move some watermelons from Point A to Point B?  Sure!  No problem!  And that’s when it hit me.  Almost literally… but not quite.  Let me just say, for your future (but then, hopefully not) reference:  when picking up a watermelon, one should never, I repeat, NEVER hear a sloshing sound.  If, in fact, you do, gently put the watermelon down, and coax the vomit that has erupted in your mouth back downward.  Repeat this process until you have managed to put the watermelon in the vehicular device, or in this case, a wheelbarrow.

When I FINALLY managed to grow a pair and place the two semi-rotted watermelon corpses & the residential area into the device, I moved on to the compost bin, where I would later throw up a little bit more.  When I got to the compost, I noticed a long stick laying on top of the lid.  “Must be to push down the pine straw & whatnot,” I foolishly thought.  Nope.  Its used to BEAT OFF THE MAGGOT COLONY LIVING IN APPLE HUTS.  For crying out loud, guys… they had their own zip code!  One of them, the big one– Big D, even flipped me the bird.  I thought I was going to lose my lunch.

From three weeks ago.

Calmly not so calmly, I placed the lid back on the bin, cried a bit, and threw them in another compost bin that probably was not built to hold watermelons.  Just to play it safe, I grabbed some trashbags & threw very gently placed the growing subdivision watermelon into the bags, where the thing exploded & began to eat through said bags (RE: “God rest their souls”).  I came back in the house, even more pale than usual, and pondered pouring myself a drink.  But, reasoning that is was only nine o’clock (and I only have light beer), I decided to pass and ate some white chocolate chips instead.  The little buggers never stood a chance, anyway.

The moral of this story?  Ol’ MacDonald can have all the farm he wants, so long as he keeps the HELL away from me.  And I don’t even want to hear about a bloody compost pile, or its maggot population, ever again.

If You Tell Me that You’ve Never Thought Any of This…

If You Tell Me that You’ve Never Thought Any of This…

…you’re lying.  For real.  I never post things like this, but I laughed all the way through (especially at #29..but don’t skip ahead.  wait for it).  Just a little Tuesday humor.