Tag Archives: nonsense

Back to School Squash

At seven-going-on-seventeen it is so easy to be mortified.  With the start of a new year of school I am watchful for the subtle shifts in behavior.  Do I get a kiss when the school bus pulls up?  Am I woefully out of touch as I suggest outfits for the first week of school?

So far it seems my sweet, big girl is still my funny, little girl underneath it all.   The first day of school outfit was a smashing success and I got a kiss AND a hug in front of the school bus.  There was no additional waving once the bus was boarded but the tinted windows on the bus let me believe that perhaps I just missed it.

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Obligatory First Day of School Pic

Day one was a win all the way around.

Day two started smoothly.  And then every parent’s favorite – “Oh, wait. I did have homework” – moments before the bus is to arrive.  Ever dramatic (where does she get that from?) she clarified that actually she just had to think about something that makes her unique and be prepared to talk about it in class.  Seizing an opportunity to make her roll her eyes, I made several suggestions.  “You could tell them about how everyone in your family is criminally insane.”

“I try and appear totally normal at school.” Good luck with that, kid.

“Umm, you could talk about what it is like to live in a house with a mother that is so incredibly beautiful?” This is funnier if said mother is wearing a nightgown and half a ponytail and her pink fuzzy slippers.

Eye roll number two. And a smile.  The eye roll/smile combo is essential to my parenting.  If I can get her to be annoyed and find it all at once unavoidable to reveal the fact that she shares my sense of warped humor I know I am doing something right.  We all need our own parenting yardstick and this is mine. This sense of humor has served me well and it is all I hope to pass down.

I was hula-hooping in the driveway with Lucy when the bus arrived in the afternoon.  (Testimony to her still being a little more kid than pre-teen, this is not embarrassing at all.) Em hopped off the bus as she always does, mid-sentence.  She had a smirk on her face.  “How was your day?” I called to her.

“Well… it was embarrassing.”

Uh-oh. “Look what someone put in my backpack!”

It could have been so much worse.  We were in the front yard after school on Monday and Lucy was picking vegetables.  It seems she thought she would pack Em a snack. In the greater scheme of things, of all the things she could have slipped in her backpack a squash isn’t so bad.

Traditions are born in funny ways.  I am tempted.  The Second Day of School Squash might elicit the eye roll/smile for many years to come.  Or at least I hope it does.  I have made a note in my calendar.  Late August, 2014.  “Stick squash in Em’s backpack.”

Squash

Lucy NEEDS that squash. It’s as if she has been wondering for an entire day where in the hell she stashed it.

These Colors Don’t Run

A woman at the gym grimaced at me today.  “Are those decals?”

“Hmm?” I looked down at my shoes, confused.   I started to say “They are New Balance.”

“All over you,” she said.  “Are they decals?”

And for the first time in recent memory I was silent.  I just stared at her.

“They are tattoos,” I eventually said.  I said the word very slowly.  Tat-toos.

She stared back at me.  “Real tattoos? I guess the kids like them.”

And she walked away.

The kids?  Did she mean me, as in “You crazy kids and your tattoos!” Was she going to shake her cane at me next?  Or was she talking about my kids?  I was walking hand in hand with the girls on my way out of the gym when she offered up her unsolicited opinion.

I see her pretty often at the gym.  I suppose it is a good thing I just stared in silence.  None of the clever replies that eventually occurred to me  were particularly kind.

But I can promise you this.  I will be putting my yoga mat right next to hers tomorrow morning.  And I will be wearing the shortest damn shorts I own.  She thinks I have a lot of tattoos now?  Lady ain’t seen nothing yet.

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The Secret Under My Sensible One Piece

It wouldn’t be easy to choose one word to define myself.  I like to think of myself as pretty multi-dimensional.  I am a lot of things.  Perhaps first and foremost I am your classic over-achieving liberal arts major, jack of all trades and master of none.  So, to choose one word, that is almost impossible.

But if I had to pick one  - I am a mother.

I am grateful that my journey to motherhood was easy.  It was not without tears and pain but I consider myself lucky. I grew two healthy, beautiful little girls.  I grew them.  Inside of me.  And I brought them in to the world.  And thus far I have lived to tell the tale.

I am a mother.

And I am beyond proud. And yet I keep this secret underneath my clothes.  It’s not really an issue nine months of the year, but the summer comes and I feel it.  Shame.

I have two girls.  I tell them both that they should be proud just exactly as they are.  But I don’t feel that way about myself.

I feel strong.  I am stronger than I have been in my lifetime.  I feel capable. Even with some sore muscles from overuse I am proud of the work I have done recently.  I am becoming an athlete.  My clothes feel good.  I stand up straight.  I am proud of this body that grew these two babies and continues to help me grow every day.  But I can’t seem to feel proud of my stretch marks.

Not long after Lucy was born I made peace with them, the tiger stripes I earned in my last pregnancy.  But peace making is a far cry from pride.

In the last month I have done this silly little song and dance.  Get the girls ready to go to the pool.   Put on the two piece.  Look in the mirror.  Take off the two piece and put the one piece on.  Go to the pool.  The other day Em walked in my bathroom while I had on a bikini. “Oh, I like that one, Mom.  You got that for your honeymoon. “

That was all she said.  She left my bathroom and I stood there, stomach glowing white against the rest of my month long summer tan.  I tried to imagine what I would say when I came out in  my signature black one-piece and not the red bikini  she had just seen me wearing.  I came up empty.  There really wasn’t any good reason to change.  None at all.  Except the niggling shame surrounding my smushy stomach and aging stretchmarks.  And that just wasn’t a good enough reason.

This week I did something that made me uncomfortable. I wore that damn bikini all week.  And I chased my little Lucy back and forth.  And I sat in the baby pool.  And I ate an ice cream cone.  And I dove for plastic rings with the big kids.  In my bikini.  And you know what?  My stretch marks didn’t actually have anything to do with any of it.

I can’t quite say that I am proud of them yet.  But I am not ashamed.  And that is a step in the right direction.

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Thousands of Push-ups and This Is What I Have to Show for It

I should have been excited.

Lucy only has about a dozen words.  Four or five of them are new as of this week.  So many things get easier when your toddler can use words. You know what they want.  Water?  Sleep? Outside? Up?

I don’t know what I thought her first two word thought would be.  Love mama? More eat? Dog out?

She was sitting in my lap.  It was nearing her bedtime and I was trying to squeeze a few more minutes of chatter with an old friend  in to my evening.  She was scooping her hands in and out of my tanktop.  I knew what she was after but she was still happy. I kept talking.

She had her eyebrows squinched together like she does when something does not meet her approval.

“Boob.  Up!”

Sigh.  I hear you, little lady.  37 years old and two pregnancies –  this is as up as they get, girl.

Up

Kicking back

A year ago, a Sunday afternoon in April, I was relaxed and kicking back with my little one asleep in my lap.  My big girl was laughing in the yard and I wondered if it was as good as it was ever going to get.

This afternoon I started to have that same feeling again.  Lucy Goose was down for the count.
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As is normal for a Sunday afternoon Emily was outside, soaking up some sunshine. I sat down.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  This morning’s service at our Unitarian Universalist church was about Joy.  I don’t have any trouble finding Joy.  But I struggle with relaxing.  I am in constant motion.  Breathe in. Breathe out.  I decided I would paint my toe nails.  Maybe even read a book.  I was going to relax.

Check once more on the little one.  Still asleep.  Pop outside and check on the big one.  Painting a birdhouse on the front deck.  I suggested she paint the bird house in the yard.  “It is just so easy to spill, Em.  I know you are careful.  But why don’t you take your paints out in the yard?”  Reluctantly, she agreed.

Now where was I?  Relaxing, right?  I am gonna do this up right.  I was going to actually take off the old toenail polish, a luxury in the life of the stay at home mother.  Gone are the days I would soak my toes in hot, soapy water.  Cuticles were trimmed, nails trimmed and freshly polished weekly.  These days I slap on some new polish over the old stuff.  90 seconds, start to finish.

Nail polish remover.   Have you ever called out to a friend “Be careful the sidewalk is icy!” and in that very moment slipped on the ice on your stairs and fallen? No?  That’s only me?  I spilled the nail polish remover all over the kitchen table.  I wiped it up.  I cleaned it up.  I willed it to be Fine.  Sigh.  It was not fine.  At all.  I’d have preferred to have birdhouse paint on the front porch, thankyouverymuch.

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I’ll just sand the table really fast.  A quick coat of water-based poly.  It will dry in two hours.  Sand.  Another coat.  Dry two hours.  Sand, bring it inside, and one more coat and… table will be fine by lunch time tomorrow.

Sigh.

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Toes are painted.  I need to hurry up and relax.  Nap time is almost over.  Dammit.  I need to get better at this relaxing.  I have Joy pegged.  I am a pro at Joy.  Relaxing?  I need to work on that one.

Words Words Words

By 3 o’clock in the afternoon I have read every single board book we own at least 137 times.  Lucy loves books.  She carries them around the house. If I sit down on the floor for any reason she will seize the opportunity to plop down in my lap with a book.  It will be a cold day in hell when I tell a kid I don’t have time to read a book that is only nine pages long.

For that matter I am not even any good at turning down a chapter book that I can’t stand.  (Word of advice: Stay away from Junie B Jones.  They are horrible books.  Terrible grammar, asinine characters, rotten, rotten books.) But books are books in my house.  We are readers.

Readers tend to be a wordy bunch.  We talk about words at dinner.  We break them down and put them back together.  Em and I spent an entire trip to the store yesterday talking about “the silver lining.”  What does it mean? What is an example? I like to talk about language with her.  She has a funny point of view typically.  She is a smart kid with a rich sense of humor.  We lucked out.

So, last night when she started abruptly chuckling at dinner we paused.  “What? What’s so funny?”

We had been talking about Buddhists.

She made a face.  “Buddhist?  Boooood-ist?” She paused as if that was the punch line.  “Like Artist?  A professional butt person.  A Boood-ist?” and she pointed at her butt.  In case we didn’t get it.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny.  She might be a Professional Butt Person.

This kid has been shaking her bootie since she as teeny tiny. She might be a Professional Butt Person.

Toe Socks, that’s what’s up.

I am a complex gal.  I am a problem solver.  I am a compulsive oversharer.  And I might be a genius.

I told you that I sweat, right?  And I admitted that I love Zumba.  Have I told you that I have a creaky mess of a body?  Zumba has presented a problem.  My poor knees are not down with the twisting and grooving required by my newly discovered total lack of skills in the latin dance arena. Clever girl that I am, I have determined that my Vibram Five Fingers fix this problem.  My incessant wearing of this wildly flattering footwear has left me with almost zero tread. The smooth surface lets me twist my hips like only this dance challenged totally sober Saturday morning girl can.

Last Saturday I wore my Vibrams to Zumba only to discover that my feet sweat an outrageous amount while I am there.  Slipping and sliding in my Vibrams left my feet hurting.  Knees were better, feet were killing me.  Socks, folks.  I can’t stand them.  But I will wear them when I get my sweat on.  Off I went in search of athletic toe socks.  Sexy, just you wait.

I stopped in two different running stores locally  with no luck.  By then my sidekicks were out of patience.  Not to be discouraged, I kept thinking on this situation.

Did you know that my foot, not including my toes is exactly the same size as Emily’s? You see where this is going, right? I am a genius, guys.

This is what it looks like when you cut five tiny holes in a dirty pair of your kid’s socks.

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Not too dissimilar to that cotton wrist condom they put on your arm before you get a cast, no? It’s such a hot look I am considering wearing them all of the time.  With flip flops they would be especially smashing.

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I told my feet they did not have to hide in the shadows.  But they are shy.  Some part of me has to be.  My ass was practically begging for me to include a picture last week.  Sheesh.

In an effort to stop this trend of “what’s grosser than gross” that seems to be developing I think I will be returning to This Book Will Change Your Life this coming week.  Hold on to your hats, folks.   Maybe this book will change your life, too.

How to take the Baby out to Dinner

Taking your kids out to eat in a restaurant can be daunting.  It is a crapshoot.  Will they behave?  Will they get restless? Will my food come out in less than seven minutes? There are a lot of questions.  Questions that do not ever include “should we order an after-dinner drink or dessert?” because if you make it through dinner unscathed, without tears or dirty looks from the wait staff or other diners you just want to pack up your crap and your kids and get the hell out of there before your good juju runs out.

Last night we had one of those once in a Blue Moon dinners.  (Perhaps it was augmented by the three Blue Moons Mom slurped down during dinner!) It was perfect.  We could have stayed for hours chatting it up at the table.   How did we do it? Easy.

Step 1. Slide in to the booth in a manner that puts Mom far away from all of the kids.  Mom is quick to jump to “Well, you knew this was going to happen!” when Baby squeals or Big Kid spills a drink.  Or at least this Mom is.  Yanno, before she has a couple of beers, anyway.

Step 2.  Put a grandparent between Baby and Big Kid.  Just do it if you can.  Grandparents love to play tic-tac-toe and pick up toys off of the floor.  Over and over and over again.

Step 3.  Have a waitress that is over 27 but does not have her own kids.  She is old enough to have the uterine twinge of “Damn, those are some cute kids” and not yet keen to the fact that it is the cute ones that wreak the most havoc.  She will give you way too many straws.  Key to step 4.

Step 4.  Give your baby a straw.  They will not poke their eyes out.  Or choke.  They will love it.  When they throw it on the floor just give them another.  Straws will not get ground in to the carpet like a Cheerio.

Step 5.  Someone, anyone, preferably someone at your table but it could be a diner nearby, order the pork shank.  Give the baby ALL the bones.  Not one or two.  Three.  Three bones.  She will be (you know I am going to go there) in hog heaven, I promise.

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That’s it.  It is that easy. Five simple steps to taking Baby out to dinner.  You’re welcome.

 

I gotta be cleeeean!!

I have jars all over my kitchen with gross stuff in them.  Three jars of kefir right now are growing on top of my fridge.  Two large jars of kombucha scobys are sleeping peacefully in my cabinets.  I like the process of watching something sort of disgusting become something else sort of disgusting.  If that something disgusting means that something good is happening, too, even better. If that something good is even possibly contributing to the health of my family in a positive way than I enjoy it even more.

Oddly, I can not muster up any excitement while watching the snot roll out of Lucy’s face.  I can’t feel awe for the gloopy crust that accumulates in her eyes by morning.  I know that it is her little body pushing out the funk.  Intellectually, I know this.  Maternally, I just want it to stop.

We aren’t sleeping.  Instead we are sitting up in bed at night trying to keep the snot from sitting in her chest.  We are running the humidifier and using saline spray.  I am shooting breast milk up her nose and in her eyes.  I am pushing rest and fluids.

And we are showering.  Like as a hobby.

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Lucy used to be really jazzed in the shower. She loved it. It’s losing the appeal now that we are in there all of the time.  Now I have to spit water at her to get a smile.

In this morning’s shower I had to resort to wowing her with my lyrical stylings. To the tune of Suzanne Vega’s “Left of Center” I sang to her this little number -

If you want me, you can find me, With my baby in the shower!! No more crying, no more whining,We’ve been giving Snot too much POWER!

It’s a first draft.  And I am running on empty.  Stick around for more nudity and a snazzy rendition of Sammy Davis, Jr’s “I’ve Gotta Be Me!”

Whether it’s a cold, or even the flu! Makes no difference to me, the end result is the same, I gotta be clean, I’ve gotta be cleeeean!!!

 

Dear Universe, You can suck it. Love, Kelly

I don’t remember getting an email notification that the Universe started following my blog.  But that is the only possible explanation.  Because it happens without fail.  I say it out loud, that everything is peachy, and then Blamm-o I get knocked on my ass.  I wrote last night that all was well.  The girls were sick but on the mend. I had felt crummy briefly but I was on the up and up.  And then I went to bed.

I was in tears about fifteen minutes after I woke up.  Nothing and everything was bothering me.  The long and short of it – I have been slacking on the exercise this month and it makes me mental.  I need it.  On top of that Lucy is nearly a year old and I might be ready for a night out.  And by ready I mean I will likely cry and come home early and worry and obsess and call home a hundred times but if I don’t go soon it could get even uglier.  Oh, and I am so tired, so very tired.  Now you are all caught up.

The Universe saw me send up the “Life is Super, thanks for asking!” flare and so it kicked me in the stomach as soon as I woke up.  In my bed with swollen eyes I said “No, I don’t want coffee, I just need ten minutes to myself.” I flopped back in my bed for a bit and then I hopped in the shower to shake it off.

Shower.  Clean clothes.  Polka dot knee socks and boots.  Eyeliner and lipgloss that  tastes like peppermint bark.  I was calm and cool.  I was approaching collected.  But only approaching.  We would take two cars to church.  I wasn’t ready to go exactly and the pressure of everyone waiting on me was too much. “Just go, I will meet you there.” I might have yelled.  I don’t remember.  I know I was angsty by the time I got in the car.

20121230-174957.jpgAnd, well, by the time I was calling AAA to get my car out of the ditch (the ditch I have not backed my car in to since January 4th, 2012, thankyouverymuch) I was beyond angsty and full blown crying again.

Fuck it, Universe.  You win.

I gave up.  I took a pillow from the bed and made a spot on the couch.  Lucy and I were going down for the count.  I needed a nap.  Not an in the chair cat nap and not a full blown fake sick and stay in the bedroom nap, but a bed pillow on the couch nap.

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I am afraid to say that my nap fixed everything.  But things have started to turn around.

MQD made a pile of things for the thrift store. It was in the corner of our bedroom.  (Since this girl’s husband was very tolerant of her big, fat whiney freakout this morning I will not make any comment about how long it might have stayed there had I not put it in a bag.)  When the chips are down I clean. I put the duvet cover in the washing machine and stripped the sheets.  When you sleep with a dog and a baby a totally clean bed deserves a totally clean bedroom so you can slip between your cold sheets and feel like you are in a hotel once a week.  So, the sheets were nearly done, I had to get rid of the pile of stuff.

In the pile was a pair of Levi’s.  I don’t know why I dropped my pajama pants to the floor.  But I did.  And on they went.  “Good butt or bad butt,” I asked.  MQD deferred to Emily.  Em said she liked them.  So did MQD.  “They are yours,” I said.

“Mine? They are too small.  We used to be the same size,” he said.

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Well, not really.  I used to pour myself in to his pants.  It was a squeeze.  My 25-year-old boyfriend was a lot smaller than me but I tried not to let it  bother me. How could it?  I was 33 and I had a 25-year-old boyfriend.

Just when I though that the Universe hated me it threw me a bone.  A bone in the form of a pair of Levi’s.

Universe, you tried to fuck with me today but it seems like you changed your mind.  The good news is that my ass might have been bigger than my 25-year-old boyfriend’s but it is smaller than my 29-year-old husband’s.  So, take that, Universe.

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I just parked my ass in my chair with a big, fat glass of pinot noir.  I snapped a quick picture but it didn’t really show my feeling of ahhh.  So, I took another one. Universe, I am going to drink a glass of wine and go to bed. And when I wake up in my clean sheets there will still be vacuum marks on my rug.  And as long as I can still button my husband’s jeans I will not be in tears before breakfast.  Nope.  I sure won’t.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2012. I was awake more this calendar year than any other.  2012, I put my car in the ditch four days in.  And I put my car in the ditch again just two days before you were over.  But all in all, when I wasn’t in the ditch, it was unfuckingbelievable.