DIY De-Frumping

There was a time in my life when I dreamed of opening a spa. But there was also a time in my life when I dreamed I slept with Johnny Depp, so obviously neither one ever became an actual reality. Unless you are Johnny Depp and you happen to be reading this, in which case, drop me a line.*

*I'm totally kidding, Curtis.**

**(Unless Johnny Depp seriously dropped me a line)

Mmmmm, Johnny Depp ...

Wait, where was I? Oh yes. The spa. I used to fantasize about having a spa. That's because from the time I was very young, I was obsessed with beauty treatments. I've had more weird concoctions on my face than ... someone with a lot of weird concoctions on her face (you guys have read my post about the aspirin mask, right?) I used to mush up anything remotely mushable - bananas, avocados - and smear them into my hair as a deep-conditioner (avocado and mayonnaise works particularly well for dry hair, by the way). I have exfoliated with everything gritty, from salt to sugar to - well, grits.

This obsession with beauty is due in part to my nerdly love of research, and therefore, my relentless pursuit of beauty tips from books and the Internet. And the obsession with the "do-it-yourself" aspect is due to the fact that I have three kids who perpetually need shoes and clothes and food and stuff and I can't afford to fork over the big bucks for store-bought beauty treatments.

So because I'm forever trying to improve my (rapidly-declining-due-to-age-and-children) looks, and because I know a lot of you are in the same boat, I'm going to share a few tips.

-Olive oil and sugar makes a great exfoliating and moisturizing scrub for your hands. And if you've got enough (although olive oil can be kinda pricey), it works well for your entire body.

-If the skin on your knees and/or elbows is discolored or dull-looking, mix lemon juice with powdered milk until it's the consistency of a thick paste; leave it on for twenty minutes, then scrub it off with a loofah or rough washcloth.

-Make your own tinted lip gloss by mixing a little bit of powdered blush with either petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) or shortening (like Crisco). You can mix those things with lipstick, too, to cut down the intensity of the color.

- Conditioner makes shaving easier. Let it sit for about a minute on the skin first to soften the hair. For an even smoother shave, exfoliate first.

- Spike your shampoo with vodka to add shine. (Seriously!) Or you can add it to a deep-conditioning treatment (perhaps the avocado-and-mayo I mentioned above?).

- Speaking of hair, if yours suffers from product buildup, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and pour it over your head after washing. It's a great clarifying treatment.

- Add milk and honey to a warm bath to soften your skin. The lactic acid in milk makes it an effective exfoliant, and honey is a natural moisturizer.

- Preparation H - yes, the hemmorhoid cream! - can be used to diminish under-eye puffiness.

- To prevent wrinkles, use peanut butter to adhere slices of raw fish to your face.*

*Just threw that one in to see if you were paying attention.

Now somebody grab the vodka, the lemons, and the sugar. Time to make lemon drop cocktails ourselves pretty!

Guests to Impress

I used to love hosting get-togethers. When Curtis was in the military, and we and our friends were far from home for the holidays, we would have Thanksgiving dinner at our house - for like thirty or more other people who had nowhere else to go. I took great pride in the fact that even though our guests couldn't be with their families, they'd still get to have a warm and wonderful holiday. I would prepare the house so lovingly, washing the tablecloth, waxing the wood floors, polishing the serving dishes, ironing napkins and crap - all with an excited smile on my face. I was so Martha Stewart that even Martha Stewart was jealous.

But that? Was before three destructive forces of nature - er, boys - burst forth from the recesses of my uterus and changed my definition of "clean" forever. It was when I had time to make such preparations. Before someone - or three someones - were coming along behind me messing everything up.

In the next ten days, I'm expecting company. A LOT of company. First, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Trinity, is stopping over for a few days on a roadtrip from California, along with her husband and their four kids. Then, just one day after they leave, the majority of my family (plus my male bestie, Vince) will be descending upon my house for our annual Independence Day celebration. And when I say "the majority of my family" I don't mean, like, my parents and a sister. I mean there will be somewhere around eighteen or nineteen people here BESIDES the five of us (meaning Curtis, the boys and I).

I know, I know: they're coming to see us, not our house. They're family and friends, so they won't judge. But still. What do you look for in a hotel? Cleanliness. What do you look for in a public restroom? Cleanliness. Not just "we-squeegeed-the-crust-off-the-counters-and-wiped-whatever-that-sticky-patch-was-off-the-floor," but fresh, clean, sanitized, pristine. That's what I want. But I can't afford to hire someone to do all the crap that needs to be done, so it's up to me to do it. While I referee constant bickering and threaten until my voice is hoarse. While three little mess-machines are tearing through the house like miniature tornadoes. I have the feeling the end result is going to fall far short of my actual goals.

What I want to do: steam-clean the carpets
What I'll end up doing: vacuuming sufficiently so as crumbs don't stick to people's bare feet when they walk through, and strategically placing the rug over the chocolate-milk stains (thanks, kids) and the hole in the living room carpet (thanks, dog)

What I want to do: wash the drapes and shower curtains
What I'll end up doing: haphazardly beating the dust out of the drapes, sneezing a few times, then spraying everything with Febreze

What I want to do: repair the peeling linoleum in the bathroom (again: thanks, dog)
What I'll end up doing: throwing the bathmat over it and praying it's not too noticeable

What I want to do: thoroughly clean and organize the refrigerator, linen closet and any other storage areas my guests might access
What I'll end up doing: wiping the most visible sticky spots off of the fridge and rushing to get everyone clean towels and stuff so they don't open the linen closet and other storage areas

What I want to do: dust the decor that lines the tops of my kitchen cabinets
What I'll end up doing: hoping no one looks up

I could go on, but you see what I mean ... trying to get all that done with the kids running amok in the background is about as pointless as man-nipples. Especially considering that in order to clean thoroughly, I first have to get everything picked up, and thanks to the boys (yay summer vacation!), almost every area of my house looks something like this:

 Before it was a junkyard, this was the baby's room.

This photo doesn't even do it justice. The crib is filled nearly to the top with toys, and yes, that's a tipped-over rocking chair in the middle of the floor. You can't see the underside of the crib (where I recently discovered a petrified piece of banana) or the inside of the closet (where a month's supply of clean diapers have been dumped off the shelves).  

And that's just one room.

Don't get me wrong, I am SUPER-excited about everyone coming. It'll be the highlight of our summer, and there are tons of sweet memories to be made. But my drive to have everything perfect? Is driving me crazy.

As if I needed help getting there.

Hanging with Crazies

I'm a sucker for time-suckers. And being the owner of an iPhone, I have an (over)abundance of them right at my fingertips. (Words with Friends? Diner Dash? Sally's Salon? Scramble? Chicktionary? FruitNinja? Yes please!) Because, you know, I have soooo much time to waste while my kids stuff random things down the toilet and dump all the clothes out of their drawers.

Anyway, my latest iPhone obsession is a game called Hanging with Friends. It's pretty much like Hangman. You make a word, and your opponent has to solve it within a certain number of guesses. It's a really fun game ... until you choose "random opponent" and are matched up with some crazy win-at-all-costs chick whose driving desire for domination sucks all the enjoyment from the experience.

I'm talking about the person I've got an ongoing game with. And because I'm nice, I'll keep her username private ... but it ends in "Mom."

At first it was great. We could be friends, she and I - we're both mothers, word-game-loving iPhone owners, and even have the same avatar. And in the beginning, we played normal words: closet. Hearts. Voted. Panda. Gadgets. Bacon.

But then she saw too much of this, apparently:

The pressure of losing (repeatedly) must have flipped a switch. Because now? She plays these crazy words nobody has ever heard of. Here are a few of the most recent examples:

qat: a tropical evergreen plant whose leaves are used as a stimulant
kuna: the basic monetary unit of Croatia
loxed: okay, so I do know that "lox" is smoked salmon. But loxed? Does that mean, like, something with lox in it? WTF?
daube: a classic French stew made with cubed beef
saki: a tropical monkey with coarse fur and a long bushy nonprehensile tail

I repeat: WTF??

I'm a writer, y'all - I make my living with words. I have a fairly broad vocabulary and have even, on more than one occasion, been accused of being a "word nerd." So when there's a word I don't know? It's likely something very obscure.

... Like "qat" or "kuna." I'd like to know when she last used either of those words in conversation.

I highly doubt that this chick is some Ph.D.-holding linguist, so I'm pretty sure she's either a.) just arranging the letters until they form a word that the game accepts - which is fine in Words with Friends, but just plain sucky in Hanging with Friends, or b.) is cheating. Either way, she's obviously hell-bent on beating me.

Couldn't she just start throwing out some more-difficult-to-guess-yet-still-easily-understandable-once-you-guess-them words like "squid" or "nifty?" Or even some higher-level-vocabulary-yet-still-recognizable-without-a-dictionary words like "morose" or "decanter?"

Victory is sweet. Or, if you're this particular Hanging with Friends opponent, subjugation is remunerative.

There's No "Petite" in My Appetite

I think I have some kind of weird disorder. Or maybe I should try to be all positive about it and say it's some kind of super power. You wanna know what it is?

I can eat like a man.

But not just any man: a sumo wrestler and part-time lumberjack who eats competitively in his spare time and has been deprived of food for a week.

I swear, it takes ridiculous quantities of food to make me feel physically full, and even when I'm full, I never exactly feel satisfied. I'm not exaggerating one iota when I tell you that I could eat an entire large pizza, or a whole batch of cookies, all by my lonesome. I don't, of course, because if I always ate what I felt like eating, I'd have to wear a circus tent as a muumuu. But I can tell you this from experience, because there have been times in my life when my gluttonous self has actually done these things. Even when I was a kid, I was this way: once, in like seventh grade, my friend and I went to McDonalds and ate six or seven burgers each.

When Curtis and I first got together, we went to a nice restaurant and ate a huge dinner of steak and crab legs. He? Threw up in the parking lot. (True story!) But I? Was thinking I could've used dessert.

It's always been very (very very very) difficult for me to practice portion control. And I'm just baffled by people who can eat, like, half an enchilada (you know who you are!) and proclaim themselves full. Really? Really? I'd eat the enchilada, the side dishes, and the garnish, and probably the plate if I thought it'd taste good. I look at the recommended serving sizes on food packages and I'm all, "Huh? Who would be happy with a half-cup of ice cream?!" ... Especially when you could have, like, the whole pint.

(And seriously, have you ever checked out the serving size on a jar of pickles? Usually it's a HALF A PICKLE. Who the hell eats half a pickle?)

I have to keep myself constantly in check, because I kinda dig being able to shop in the regular sizes know that eating that way is totally unhealthy. But it's so hard. "Slow down and enjoy your food," the medical and dietary professionals in the magazines advise. "Savor every bite. Eat without distractions. Chew thoroughly. Eat lots of fiber to feel full."

Yeah. Done all that. Still doesn't help. Do you know how much fiber I take in? I create enough natural gas to power my entire town. Seriously.

So until someone comes up with a magic solution, I'll just have to stick with eating one slice of pie ... and fantasizing about the remaining seven.

What Rhymes with "Bummer?"

Seeing as my oldest just got out of Kindergarten, this is my first experience with summer vacation. As a parent, I mean. And as much as I loved - nay, lived for - summer vacation as a kid, I never imagined loathing it this much. Ever.

But oh. My. Lord.

I have just one thing to say: IS IT OVER YET??

I know. Saying that probably makes me a terrible mom. I know there are moms out there who are all, "I'm so glad my kids are on summer break! It's so nice to have them home!"

I'll tell you something right now: the moms who say that are the moms whose children actually get along for more than twelve seconds at a time.

When Colin went to school, I was worried. I was like, "Wow. What am I going to do without him here?" If you'll recall, I cried all throughout his first day. In the beginning, I felt like something was missing. But then? I grew to appreciate it. Not that I don't love my son, but with his penchant for pestering, I realized that he is the antagonist in at least 85% of the sibling conflicts around this house. And without that, it was relatively peaceful for seven hours a day.

Now it's arguing and shrieking, nearly nonstop. Tattles and shoving matches. Whining and complaining. I've never said, "Leave your brother alone!" more times in my life.

And when they're not fighting? They're using their collective brain power to come up with "innovative" new ideas for things to play. Such as, for example, "snowstorm" ... in which Colin climbed up to the top bunk and loaded the ceiling fan blades with TONS of tiny wads of toilet paper, and then Cameron flipped the switch so the fan would move, and voila - all the toilet paper "snowflakes" came swirling down.

All. Over. Their floor.

I know a better, more patient mom would have a roster of fun activities to keep their boredom at bay. But that involves ... crafts. And projects. And messes. And y'all know how I am with such things. The other day I let them make their own ice cream in individual baggies (a recipe I got here). It was admittedly fun ... until Cameron accidentally punched a hole in his bag and spilled salty ice water all over the kitchen. I was scrubbing up salt crystals for like half an hour.

Despite their wonderful made-up games, and my feeble attempts at fun stuff, I still hear the dreaded, "We're booooooored!" about a hundred and two times a day. It doesn't help that it won't stop raining for more than twenty-four hours at a time. And on a near-daily basis, without fail, Colin asks me if it's a school day yet.

As much as I wish I could say, "Yes it is! See you later!" ... I have to say, "Not yet, buddy. It'll be a while."

And then I silently count the days.  Only 63 to go ......

Dance is for Dudes

I'm gonna take a minute to publicly toot my husband's horn.

... Not like that, you pervs. (Although I have been trying to think of a good Father's Day gift ...)


What I mean is, I want to give him a shoutout. Because he is the kind of awesome that deserves it.

Last night, he and the boys and I were on the front row - all up in the action - to see this:

(I snapped like eight hundred photos with my iPhone, and then a few minutes later during a brief intermission a guy came out on stage and was all, "And please remember, no photography or videography is allowed." And I swear he looked right at me. He might as well have gotten in my face with a megaphone and been like, "RITA TEMPLETON, STOP TAKING PICTURES!")


Our local ballet troupe (corps? Whatever the proper fancy word for "group of ballet dancers" is) put on a free show at the park last night. I love me some free stuff, and I loooove me some ballet. And what do you think happened when I suggested to Curtis that we go?

He didn't screw up his face and look at me like I'd asked him to drive hot needles under his fingernails.

He didn't launch into a homophobic tirade about how ballet is for giiiiirls and if a man watches ballet he's gaaaay.

He was like, "Wow, really? Let's go! I think the boys would love it."

And we did go. And the boys did love it. We got there almost an hour early so that we could snag some good seats, so by the time it started they were restless and cranky. But like magic, once those dancers came onstage, all three boys - even the baby - were mesmerized. They didn't move a muscle or make a peep throughout the entire performance. My boys, my husband, our whole family, enjoyed the ballet together.

And y'all? That's one of the things I love most about my man. Curtis - six-foot-four, former military, as rugged as they come - can hunt and fish, shoot guns, and enthuse about sports, motors, boobs, and beer right alongside his fellow testosterone-laden counterparts. Yet he genuinely enjoys culture and refinement, and gets as much out of a ballet or museum as he would a football game.

It's amusing to see how many people think that he's being forced against his will to do this stuff. Like I have to drag him, or threaten him, or barter. Like he's just doing it to appease me. Like real men just couldn't possibly enjoy culture.

But he does. Very much. And because of that, so do our sons. Nobody has ever told them that "ballet is for sissies" or that they're going to be girly for liking it. All they know is that last night, we watched an amazing show of strength, grace, and beauty that captivated the whole family ... Daddy included. And they're already asking to go again.

I want my boys to be open to all kinds of experiences - not so closed-minded that they refuse to even try to enjoy something. And thanks to their dad's example, they're much more likely to grow up to be well-rounded and accepting.

Now if I could just train them to consistently put the seat down ...

Only Bones

I've got some skeletons in my closet, y'all.

Come to think of it, I've got some skeletons in my bookcase. On my hallway floor. In my kids' beds. Or more precisely, pieces of skeleton. (Just as I was typing that last sentence, as a matter of fact, I spotted a bony little foot beside the refrigerator.)

For his birthday, my parents sent Colin a gift card to Barnes & Noble. And after approximately twelve hundred years of going back and forth down every aisle, carefully deliberating the merits of this and that, he finally chose his presents:

An assemble-it-yourself plastic skeleton, and a journal (which he says he is going to make into a book entitled, "Grandfather 2"). (WTF??)

Anyway, guess who the task of assembling the skeleton fell to? Yeah. Me. It was a little too advanced for his little six-year-old fingers to snap together. And even though the packaging proclaimed that it was "simple" and "easy to assemble," I can vouch that it most certainly was not.

I sat on the floor with what seemed like a million different little bones scattered around me. It looked like I was in the middle of an archaeological dig. (For, like, miniature humans.) It was a little daunting - so thank goodness for the instructions.

"Um ... where are the instructions?" I asked.

*cricket, cricket*

"Instructions??" I piped up again. I was hopefuly, but my optimism was waning fast.

"I don't know, Mommy," Colin finally said. "I have the book, but I lost the instructions."


Do you know how hard it is to assemble a complete, anatomically accurate skeleton from memory? Because I do. And let me tell you - I'm no slouch when it comes to anatomy, but when there are a bazillion little pieces that look like this ...

It was a little bit on the difficult side. I snapped scapulas and pushed pelvises, clicked clavicles and fused fibulas, until finally - after like an hour - I had put together something that at least remotely resembled a proper skeleton.

But the thing was so flimsy that its arms fell off within the first five minutes. That may have had something to do with the fact that I broke the collarbone while attempting to put it on (... backwards). Oops.

Colin was still proud of it. He named it Emma (??) and proclaimed her to be the big sister of Shou, who is a small plastic skeleton I bought at Target around Halloween last year that he's been toting around ever since. Shou is also missing his arms, and one of his legs, but he's well-loved. Some kids have teddy bears, mine has handicapped skeletons.

Alas, poor Emma didn't make it. Cheap plastic model skeletons don't fare well in the hands of six-year-olds (and their even less-careful younger brothers). Consequently, bits of her are scattered all over my house. I've found her bones in the most random of places. Every time I find them, I try to at least put them in a group so we can reassemble her at some point, but I'm pretty sure she'll actually end up as a spart

Rest in pieces, Emma.

Six Years

Dear Colin,

You wake me up in the pre-dawn hours to ask if you can research sickle-cell anemia on the Internet, but you can't pour your own milk without a minor catastrophe. You explain the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen during the respiratory process, but don't understand the importance of wearing pants.You'll be glued to a surgical procedure on YouTube like you're watching a Disney movie, but the mere mention of lettuce makes you gag. You tell me the difference between the cervical and the lumbar spine, pinpointing their exact locations, but draw the number 4 backwards every time.

This is my reality with you, my son. And I've been smack-dab in the middle of it for six years today. And I still don't know what I'm doing.

When I think of you, I can't help but feel like I've been given some sort of rare, precious seed. One that could grow into something amazing - the magic root that can cure cancer, or a crop that could nourish people in even the most desolate of places. And I've been entrusted to the care of this one seed. I have only one chance to figure out, by trial and error, exactly what conditions it needs in order to flourish.

That's pretty unfortunate when you consider that I can't even keep a Venus fly trap alive. You're probably lucky you're still kicking after six years under my supervision.

(Just kidding ... sort of.)

From the time you were a toddler, you've carried within you a flame of curiosity that I will do everything in my power to keep burning.

Even if it means having to watch - endlessly - that YouTube video of a centipede eating a mouse that you love so much. Or a medical animation of childbirth, over and over.

You're the perfect blend of cool and nerdy, smart and silly, and I love that crazy brain of yours.

Yesterday you graduated from Kindergarten. Today is your sixth birthday. And you've got your first loose tooth. It's been one of those weeks when I look at you and can't help but wonder where my baby went.

You're growing up so very quickly, Son. I could compare it to the speed and velocity of a rollercoaster. And all I can do is hold on ...

... but not too tightly.

Happy 6th birthday, Colin!

Boy Troubles

At this point, if anyone without kids came up to me and said, "Hey Rita, what's it like to have kids?" I'm not sure I'd want to answer. I might scare them out of reproducing. Because, y'all? I'm just tired.

I'd probably say something along the lines of, "Take your normal life duties and complicate them, like, a hundredfold. Pretend that while you were on your bathroom break at work, someone came in and scribbled all over the walls of your cubicle or crunched cereal crumbs into your keyboard. Smudge up the screen of that shiny smartphone and get it all sticky. Walk around with a perpetual (and often unidentifiable) stain on your shirt and/or pants and hope no one will notice. Take some of your hard-earned money and toss it out the window of your car as you roll down the highway. And cancel your social plans for tonight - oh, and tomorrow night, and the rest of the month, because surprise! Your household has pinkeye! Hope you've practiced administering eye drops to, say, a grumpy octopus. And PS, stock up on laundry detergent, because someone's gonna poop right through their shorts."

Yep, that's what I'd tell them. It was pretty much that kind of weekend.

On top of everything else, Cameron lost his BRAND NEW pair of Nike flip-flops. He had them for less than twenty-four hours - actually, to be completely accurate, less than twelve. And now they're gone, vanished without a freaking trace. I have ransacked the entire house: under beds, under the couch, behind the couch, in the freezer, in the dryer, in the heater vents. I still can't fathom how he can completely lose a pair of shoes. Misplace them, maybe, but not make them disappear into thin air. And what's worse? This is the second pair of new shoes he's lost. The first, his less-than-a-week-old pair of K-Swiss, met the same fate, whatever fate that may be. This was almost eight months ago, and we've still never found those. I gotta start buying this dude generic shoes. Either that or magic lessons, because he obviously has a natural talent.

But the best part of the weekend? Was when Curtis had to remove the entire toilet from the floor in order to remove the bulb syringe that was clogging up the works:

I mean, seriously?? How the heck do you even flush one of those things? Nobody's fessing up, but I have my suspicions. *coughCameroncough*

And now today, Colin is officially graduating from Kindergarten. After 11:30, he's officially out of school for the summer, which means one more kid to get into stuff during the day (and a marked increase in bickering, squabbling, and knock-down drag-out scrapping).

If you'll excuse me, I need to make out my grocery list. Rope ... duct tape ...

That Ain't Dust, Buster!

The crumbs in my carpet could probably rival, like, the population of Shanghai. Which has somewhere around 23 million people. I swear I could vacuum eight times a day (not like I ever would) and it would still house enough tidbits of cracker, cereal, and miscellaneous crap to feed a small country. That's just what happens when you've got three little kids (although I do have a "no eating on the carpet" rule. Effective, no?).

The latest crumby mess was popcorn. But it wasn't just any popcorn - it was kettle corn. Totally deserving of the big, bold font. If you've never had kettle corn, there's no better season to try it; it's a staple at pretty much any summer fair or festival. It's both sweet and salty, and totally delicious. Anyway, the boys had attacked the last of my bag of kettle corn, and the aftermath was strewn all over the place. I was irritated, because there was a mess to clean up, but also because they had eaten the last of my kettle corn.

Dustbuster in hand, I set about sucking up the popcorn crumbs. But then I came across a big, whole, intact kernel that wouldn't fit into the Dustbuster's narrow opening. So being the lazy resourceful woman that I am, I just ate it (hey, it was my popcorn, on my floor).

Dude. Leftover remnant from the carpet or not, it was sooooo good.

So as I held the Dustbuster in my right hand, poised in midair and running, I hurriedly gathered up the crumbs with my left hand and ushered them into my mouth.

Now would be a good time to mention that due to the recent eye funk (see the last few posts if you're not apprised of the latest), I'm not able to wear contacts for a week. And I don't even own glasses since my last pair broke. So that means with no corrective vision, I'm kinda blind. Or at the very least, annoyingly fuzzy.*

*I meant my eyesight, not my legs and pits, but those happen to be annoyingly fuzzy too.

With that little tidbit of info, we'll get back to the story.

I had cleaned up (with, um, my mouth) the remainder of the kettle corn crumbs, so I was on my way back to the kitchen with the Dustbuster when I spotted another piece of popcorn on the top of the bookshelf. This isn't unusual, as my kids think it's mandatory to walk around with their snacks rather than sit in one place and eat them the way they're supposed to. This particular piece of kettle corn was big - not a shoddy little crumb, but an entire beautiful popped kernel. So I greedily snatched it up and shoved it into my mouth.

But y'all? It wasn't kettle corn.

It was a chewed-up-and-dried piece of toilet paper.

Cameron, my paper-eating three-year-old, has this habit of chewing a wad of toilet paper like it's gum. Then after a while, he'll either swallow it or spit it out somewhere. And apparently, this time he had spit it out onto the bookshelf - where it went unnoticed until I thought it was a piece of popcorn and tried to eat it.

Eating popcorn off the floor may be gross, but eating dried-up spit-laden toilet paper is a level of gross that even I can't handle.


Tastes Like WHAT?!

Last night's supper was homemade pizza. And I make some good pizza, y'all. But of course, as with every other food item I put in front of them, my kids turned their noses up because there were mushroooooooms and oliiiiiiiiiives. (Can't you just hear the whining?)

"I don't like mushrooms," Colin groused. "They taste like penis."

My eyes widened at him - WTF did he just say?! - and I immediately launched into a tirade. "Young man, that is a totally inappropriate thing to say, and especially while we're at the dinner table. You know better than to talk that way. I can't believe you would say such a thing, Colin! And I should certainly hope that you don't know what penis even tastes like! For goodness sakes. I just can't even believe you. Why would you even say that?"

Colin looked at me in the same way that one might look at a rabid animal, then his gaze shifted helplessly to his father.

"Uh, Honey?" Curtis piped up.

"What?" I snapped, still in going-off mode.

"He said 'peas.' They taste like peas."

*cricket, cricket* 

"I don't like the taste of peas, Mommy," Colin said in a small voice.

"I ... you ....... peas?" I stammered.

Well. So, okay, he didn't say penis. Thank goodness.

But I wouldn't have put it past him.

Eye be Funky 2: The Sequel

I know you're all dying for an update on my eye funk. What's that? You could barely sleep last night for worrying about me and my gooey eye? I was the first thing on your mind this morning? You've been pacing restlessly waiting for the news?

... Oh, my bad. I must need my hearing checked too.

Anyway, as you know if you read yesterday's post, I went to the eye doctor. He got quite the attitude when he saw my eye, because he knows I don't throw my contacts away as often as I should and he has harshly lectured talked to me about it before. He looked in my eye and pronounced that I have the beginnings of a corneal ulcer. Then he showed me this gross-looking chart of the stages of said corneal ulcer. And OMG, y'all. He pointed at the first section - the cornea with a few random spots on it - and was like, "This is what I see in your eye," and then he pointed at this nasty, blind, gross looking thing that I wouldn't have even known was an eye if it wasn't on the chart, and he was all, "... and this is a full-blown corneal ulcer."


He said he couldn't completely rule out pinkeye, but given the fact that he saw the spots on my cornea - and my history of overusing my contacts - he said it was most likely due to that. $56 and a you-could-go-blind lecture later, I was out the door.

But then.

Within an hour or so of leaving the eye doctor's office ...

My other eye began to get gunky and sore.

So I'm figuring I had pinkeye AND a corneal ulcer. Wheeeeee!

The good news is, he gave me some drops, and I'm using them in both eyes, and I'm happy to report that other than being a teeny bit more bloodshot than usual, they're both looking and feeling pretty normal. I have to go without contacts for a week (boooooo), but I have an appointment next Tuesday to get some brand-spanking-new ones (yaaaaaay!).

Okay. This was probably THE single most boring post in the history of Fighting off Frumpy. Whoohoo for setting new records! But anyway, now you're apprised of the latest in the gripping saga of Rita's Funky Eye. Here's looking at you, kids.


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