Well Isn't That Thumb-thing?

For my birthday, Vince, my male BFF - which I guess makes him my boyfriend although not in an extramarital way - gave me a mandoline slicer. He knows I'm a nerd lover of kitchen gadgets, and also a person who is unreasonably anal very particular about the uniformity of my vegetable slices. He probably chose this particular gift because he volunteered to slice up some onions at my place over 4th of July weekend and I stood over him like a drill sergeant and was all, "A little thinner. No no, not that thin." I'm sure it was at that moment when, in his head, he was probably like, "Eff this. I'm getting her a slicer for her birthday."

Anyway, my birthday slicer looks pretty much like this one:

I am not kidding when I say that I use this thing nearly every day. I'll find an excuse just to use it. And aside from slicing veggies, I've gotten a little more creative with it - like trying to shred up cooked chicken breasts and stuff.*

*Note to self: some things work better than others.

Anyway. You know how you know better than to do something, but you do it anyway because you've done it before and so far have never experienced any ill effects from it? Like putting the bottle of nail polish beside me on the carpet while I'm sitting on the floor painting my toenails. Or letting my kids carry my iPhone around even though I know they're, like, using it to videotape the toilet flushing and stuff. Logically I know that there will someday be consequences to these irresponsible actions: a big polish stain on my carpet or a crapper full of Apple. But yet I continue to flirt with danger.

(Yes, I'm totally going somewhere with this. I promise.)

So do you see the little doohickey (that's the technical term) on top of the mandoline slicer, the thing that looks like a hat? Yeah. It's a thingy that you pierce into the veggie you're slicing, so you don't have to hold it with your hand and risk slicing more than the veggie. But I? Don't use it very often. Because clearly I am an advanced user of kitchen gadgets with no need for extra protection. I don't wear a floaty when I jump into a pool, and I don't use the slicer-hat when I use the mandoline slicer. I'm hardcore, y'all.

Except for yesterday. When I was slicing up this one onion.

It was crooked. And I was trying to get it straight. And I thought I had enough onion between my fingers and the blade. But apparently my mad culinary skillz took a temporary leave of absence. Kind of like this: slice, slice, slice, slice, slice, slice, sliiiiiice.

I stopped slicing and had what is best described an as oh, shit moment: those few suspended milliseconds before the pain begins, when you know you've done something to yourself but you're almost afraid to look. Then I looked. And there was blood. Thank goodness I was standing right beside the sink because I was able to hold it over the basin just as it started dripping. Then I stupidly ran water over it, which brought the pain from virtually nonexistant to OMFGsonofabitch!!!!*

*Curse words are totally appropriate in situations such as these.

Y'all? I had literally sliced a piece off the side of my thumb. There it sat on the slicer, a sickly-looking shade of gray, ready to drop down into the onion pile. Blood was running down my hand and wrist and I was trying to rinse it off. I grabbed a few paper towels and pressed them to my thumb, although a dry paper towel on an open wound feels no better than running water. I immediately felt lightheaded.

Curtis makes fun of me. He says I'm a wimp. Maybe he's right - but I can't help it. I have busted my front teeth to powder. I have given birth to three children. I've donated blood. But never, ever have any of those things made me feel as yucky as I do when I cut myself.

It took forever to get the sliced spot to quit bleeding. It just kept bleeding through the paper towels, so I wrapped a Bandaid tightly around it, hoping the pressure and the non-stick pad would help. Then I watched as blood oozed over the top. Finally, after what seemed like forever, it seemed to slack off - and even though I was wearing a crusty bandage, I didn't dare remove it.

Fast-forward to this morning, when I woke up. I looked down at my thumb - which still hurts like a mo-fo, by the way - and the Bandaid was, like, black. Dried blood had crusted under my thumbnail. It just looked like a disgusting mess. "It's been long enough to have sealed over by now," I thought. "I'll just clean it up a bit."

So I peeled the Bandaid off. And the blood just started dripping. Dripdripdripdrip, like I'd turned on an effing faucet. Ugh. Seriously?? So I was making a mess all over my bathroom. And then came the inevitable feeling in the pit of my stomach - but it was much, much worse than yesterday.

Please please please please please don't pass out, I pleaded silently with my body. You're here alone with the kids. They'll be scared. Just suck it up. But my vision started swimming. My head felt light. I was dangerously close to throwing up. Suddenly, I was drenched in a cold sweat - like, my hair was literally plastered to my forehead and my shirt was damp. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and all the color had drained from my face - even my lips were nearly colorless. It was weird.

And my kids were all, "Mommy? We haven't had breakfast yet ..."

I wandered around the house, trying to breathe deeply and laying on any cool surface I could find. It was the only thing that helped. (Well, that and the vision of Colin running to get my neighbors, and them seeing my braless, hairy-legged, pajama-clad body all splayed out on the floor.) I was finally able to start feeling more normal, but my little episode had taken over twenty minutes out of my morning routine, so I was running behind. Then I had to help three kids get ready without the assistance of my thumb. You don't realize how often you use your thumb until it's out of commission. It was hard, y'all. Even so, Colin was only about three minutes later than usual arriving at school - but I was still braless and in my PJs, praying it would be an uneventful trip to the elementary and back.

Anyway, I managed to get another Bandaid wrapped around my thumb. Like the first one, it's saturated with blood, but I'm not taking the stupid thing off - at least not until Curtis is home. Because now Colin, the only one old enough to be halfway helpful if I lost consciousness, is at school. So if I passed out, Cameron and Coby would probably be like, "Whee! Mommy's on the floor, let's jump on her!"

If Curtis makes fun of me for being a wimp, I'll just stop trying to fight it and throw up on him and then faint. We'll see who's laughing then!

Anybody else get like this when you're injured, or is it just me??

What Do You Mean, "Mean?"

Credit to Adam Zyglis for this realistic depiction of mean moms everywhere.

Apparently I'm the meanest mother to ever walk the face of the earth. My boys are so abused that it's a wonder they function normally - at least according to them, and their latest (irritating) phase: "You're mean!"
Even the baby, in his two years of infinite life experience, has deemed me as such.

I hear it at least twenty times a day, and that's absolutely no exaggeration. We're out of fruit snacks? I'm mean. They have to wear pants to go outside? I'm mean. They can't make the dogs "cereal" by floating kibbles of dog food in the water bowl? I'm mean.

I understand that they get all pissed off when they can't stay up past their bedtime, or have dessert without touching their dinner, or eat four popsicles in a row. I get it. That's the injustice of being a kid, and I clearly remember being just as miffed at my mom when she vetoed certain activities. I guess when you've never seen true meanness, those are the types of things that seem horribly unfair.


When it rained the other day? I was mean. My rampant "meanness" gets blamed for a ridiculous variety of things. I had to wake the baby up from his nap in order to make it to pick Colin up from school on time - and what did Coby say? In his sleepiest voice, eyes barely open: "You're mean."


I suppose I should be thankful that my kids have little to no experience with honest-to-goodness mean behavior at this point. But y'all? If they keep this persistent "you're mean" business up for much longer, I may actually prove them right.

Smoke Signals

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's cigarette smoke. The taste, the smell, the general yuckity grossness. Unfortunately, I live with a smoker. Yep, you guessed it: the baby. Coby smokes like a fiend, kinda like that Indonesian toddler Ardi Rizal (remember him?).

Ahahaha! I'm just kidding, y'all. Of course the baby doesn't smoke. He's too busy clogging up the toilet with random non-toilet-friendly items, and filling up diapers with stuff that actually SHOULD go in the toilet.

I do live with a smoker, though. Curtis has smoked at least a half-pack a day throughout the entire fourteen years that I've known him. Back when it was just the two of us, he'd tell me that as soon as I got pregnant, he'd quit smoking.

... Um, hello? Three kids later? Still lighting up. Granted, he does it exclusively outside now, but still.

I'm not on too much of a high horse here. I've tried smoking, myself. First when I was like nine, and my cousin stole some of her dad's cigarettes and we "smoked" (i.e., pretended to inhale a la Bill Clinton) on the way to school. (Yes, Mom and Aunt Judy, this is probably the first time you've heard about this, but don't freak because we turned out okay. Right? ... RIGHT??) I tried again in high school, when my BFF Betsy smoked and was like the coolest person EVER and I wanted to be just like her right down to the Marlboro Lights. Only they made me lightheaded and gave me a sick, dizzy feeling - and who can look cool while they're trying not to hurl all over their best friend's car?

I just never got the appeal of it. And now that I'm all grown up and a certifiable nonsmoker, I'm glad. I'm not burdened with a habit that is expensive stinky, expensive health-harming, expensive teeth-yellowing, and expensive!! restrictive. I don't have to go crazy on a long flight or car trip because I'm craving a cigarette. I don't have to search for a section in a restaurant where I can smoke, or spend forever looking for a "designated area." It's pretty nice, y'all.

All these reasons are why I hope my kids never take up the habit. But even at this age, they want to be just like their daddy - and they mimic him every chance they get (like the other day when Coby was fussing and Cameron told him to "lock it up").

So the other evening, after our older boys had gone to bed, Curtis went outside to sit on the front porch and have a cigarette. Coby wanted to follow him, and it was nice out, so I let him go. I peered out the window to witness the sweet bonding session between Daddy and his baby: just the two of them sitting on the steps, talking, pointing at things. But then I realized that while, yes, Coby was bonding with his dad, he was also watching his unhealthy habit. Absorbing everything like a sponge - and I don't just mean secondhand smoke.

Which was more important: the two of them having a "moment," or Coby not seeing Daddy smoke? It was one of those impossible toss-ups, but I ended up letting Coby stay outside. It's rare that either of us get many quiet moments with just one of our boys at a time. Still, it almost felt like their bonding came at a cost. Maybe I'm being overdramatic, but hey, I'm a mom. We're good at that.

Do you smoke - or does your significant other? Do your kids see it?  


Elmo, et Cetera

From Picsauce.com. Because cats in Abercrombie bags are hilarious.

My life lately has been one big ball of crazy ... which is a good thing, for the most part, but doesn't leave me much time or energy to write. (And yes, it takes energy to write. My fingers get so tired, y'all.) So this post is going to be one of my infamous "rabbit-turd" posts: i.e., just a bunch of random snippets that I can't seem to fit together into a series of coherent transitions.

So here goes. Ahem.

- Yesterday I found a stuffed Elmo in my freezer. He wasn't just cold, but frozen stiff ... which means he was wet when he went in. Wet from what, I'm not sure, but let's just say "toilet water" is pretty much the first thing that comes to mind. Ick. Time for a bath, Elmo. ... Or maybe just the trash can. Like Oscar.

- Speaking of toilets, I found two D batteries in mine the other day. Thank goodness the culprit didn't flush.

- I'm teaching Zumba now. I have six classes this week, and will only be adding more from here on out. Whew! It's so much fun, though. My absolute favorite part is seeing people walk out of my class sweaty and SMILING ... and then returning for the next class! So far everyone really seems to be enjoying themselves - in fact, my evening sessions are almost always packed to capacity. At first I was super-nervous every time, but now it's getting to the point where I just feel like I'm goofing off with a bunch of friends, which is such a relief. I find myself messing up less and less, and when I do mess up, I don't feel like somebody's gonna come hurtling to the front and pulverize me. Yay! Anyway, if you're local (Quad-Cities Iowa area) and want my class schedule, cliz-nick on ovah (I'm so gangsta) to this link and check it out!

- Cameron and Coby go to the gym daycare room while I'm teaching my morning classes, and they love it because they get to make crafty things out of paper. Cameron, for some reason, chooses to make a paper-plate crab every time. Which means he now has multiple crabs. Which means he held them both up to me and said, "Look Mommy! I've got CRABS!" Which kicked the immature part of my brain into overdrive and I was all, OMG, my kid got crabs from his daycare, heeheehee. (Only in my head, of course.)

- My carpet is driving me insane with its yuckity un-cleanliness. I seriously think I'd be better off ripping the whole thing up and just putting some cheap laminate flooring down all over my house until everybody is eighteen. Or maybe astro-turf. Because by the time the boys and the dogs get through with it, it's like I said, "Hey, walk through here with your muddy feet while eating that bright-blue popsicle and carrying that red permanent marker and don't forget to dribble some grape juice on the way and who needs a fence or a leash the dogs can just pee in here if they want to." I wish steam-cleaning weren't so dang expensive because my carpet could sure use some lovin' from Stanley. As in Stanley Steemer.

- Have you ever tried to get Cocoa Pebbles cereal off the sides of a bowl once they've dried? IMPOSSIBLE. I almost had to use a sander, but then I soaked it for a while and they came off.

- I've said it before, and I'll say it again: it infuriates me when someone PARKS in the DROP-OFF LANE at school. Like, really bakes my potato. There is an effing parking lot for that. If you're going to take your kid in to school personally, then park in the parking lot.

Okay. I think I'm done for now. Cameron and Coby have managed to pull a strange assortment of baking pans and plastic cups out of my cabinets and there's something wet on the floor behind me. Let's hope it's not sticky too.

Clothes Woes

So apparently laundry doesn't fold itself. Not even if you leave it in the basket for like a week. No matter how much of it you heap onto an already-teetering pile, it just sits there and wrinkles. There are no magic fairies (coughCurtiscough), no amazing miracles (coughCurtiscough), no laundry-folding gnomes (coughCurtiscough). Or hell, I'll just say it: no helpful spouses ... Curtis.

Seriously, I hate folding laundry. I would rather scrub the toilet than fold laundry. And y'all? I have little boys. Pee-spraying, non-aiming, poo-smearing little boys. So that right there should tell you something.
I will do laundry - as in, put it in the washing machine and move it to the dryer - all day. Our clothes are always clean: that's not the problem. The problem is that I despise folding it and putting it away so much that it ends up sitting in the basket until the pile of clean clothes is, like, taller than my three-year-old. And then it gets sifted through and stuff gets strewn all around outside the basket and I'm like, "Is this clean or dirty?" and I have to sniff it which sometimes reeeeally sucks if the item is dirty. You catch my drift. Sweaty boxer shorts = barf-o-rama.

I hate that everything we own is always wrinkled, but in order for it to not be wrinkled, I'd have to put it away promptly. And I hate that more than wrinkled clothing so ... there you go.

I don't even know why I dislike folding laundry so much. It's not like it's hard. It's not like I end up sweaty and panting by the end. It's not like it stresses me out and makes my blood pressure skyrocket, or is so mentally taxing that it hurts my brain. So what is it? I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's just because I know that most of the clothes I so carefully fold will either be a.) knocked out of their neatly folded stack by a dog, cat, or child before I even get to put it away, or b.) promptly rummaged through and left in a wad in the drawer. Or maybe it's because it never. Ever. Ends. Like, I can fold three loads of laundry and then the next afternoon? I'll have to do it all over again. Ad infinitum.

I guess I should be grateful that I don't have to beat it on a rock, or scrub it on a washboard, or hang my unmentionables out on a clothesline for the world to see. But still. I'm holding out hope for the existence of those laundry-folding gnomes.


A Big "Fork You"

I love to cook, and I'm pretty goshdang good at it. I mean, I know you guys probably don't think so because I've posted about a few epic cooking fails on here (alcoholic soup, desserts that resemble poop, and lemon cake that even my non-picky husband wouldn't eat). But those are few and far between. For the most part, mama knows her way around the kitchen, y'all.

Which is why I completely fail to understand why my kids act like I'm serving them sewer sludge at every meal.

It's not like I'm feeding them anything weird. It's not like I plop down a plate of jellied tongue and vol-au-vent of sweetbread (non fancy-schmancy translation: a puff pastry full of animal intestines. You're welcome) and expect them to gobble it up with gusto. I give them generally kid-friendly food - spaghetti and meatballs, homemade chicken noodle soup, tacos, stuff like that. And in small portions ... like, really small ... like, "I-don't-know-how-you-don't-waste-away-eating-such-birdlike-quantities" small. 

But still, they turn their little noses up at everything I offer (except for the baby, but I estimate that'll be changing within the next six months or so). And to add insult to injury, proclaim it "yucky." Like the other night: I had slow-cooked a pot roast with baby carrots and potatoes and made gravy. Delicious. However, I noticed that Cameron hadn't taken a single bite and was just pushing his around his plate.

"Cameron. Eat," I said.

He whined and fidgeted. "But it's yuckyyyyyy," he replied. And then?

He ate a booger.


(PS - Good news! The awesome $20 off coupon code I blogged about a little while ago? Its validity has been extended through October 31st! Click over to the Giveaways & Reviews page to check it out!)

Bring Back my Baby!

At this very time of day two years ago, I was between the sheets, wearing something flimsy and backless, with my husband beside me. But that's not as fun as it sounds, because they were hospital sheets, and the "flimsy" and "backless" I speak of was one of those paper-thin hospital gowns that could barely wrap around my huge pregnant ass. That's right: I was in labor. (A few hours later, I would peck out this post on my iPhone. Now that's dedicated blogging, y'all.)

Today is my littlest baby boy's second birthday. Two years have gone by WAY too fast, haven't they? I mean, some of you have been around since I was pregnant with him. Doesn't seem like two years ago, does it? Our Coby has turned into a heart-meltingly sweet, jaw-droppingly daredevil-ish little man - who can hold his own against his big brothers and charm anyone with his big brown eyes and impish grin.

I made him a special video for his birthday, and I shed a few tears as I looked through photos of my baby who isn't so babyish any more.

Thanks for being a part of these two wonderful years, everyone. And to Coby? Stop growing up so fast.



Please enjoy this random photo of what I am neglecting in order to write this post.

This morning as I was ignoring my bickering children catching up with my favorite bloggers, I was excited to see that I had been nominated by my friend Kim over at NewlyWoodwards to participate in a meme! I hardly ever take part in stuff like this but I really liked this one. And Kim is so awesome that I couldn't refuse (seriously, this woman is uh-MAZINGly creative, resourceful, and visionary - and a truly entertaining blogger to boot!).

Anyway, I thought this would be a fun thing to do (plus I couldn't think of anything entertaining to blog about this morning so it was a double win!). So here's the jist of it ...

What this is about: Uniting bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.


1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

– Your most beautiful post

– Your most popular post

– Your most controversial post

– Your most helpful post

– A post whose success surprised you

– A post you feel didn’t got the attention it deserved

– The post that you are most proud of

3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
5) And so it goes on!
6) The site Trip Base will be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on their blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

Okay. So without further ado ... here we go!

Most Beautiful. It's hard to say what my most beautiful post is. How does one define "beautiful" - especially in a blog like mine? I mean, I mostly talk about poop. So for this purpose, I'm going to define "beautiful" as something emotionally moving ... and that post is, without question, "After Andy." But be warned: I wrote it with a very heavy heart, and it isn't my typical off-the-cuff, irreverant post. It's beautiful, as in sentimental, but sad. *Post-post edit: I chose the one about Andy only because I'd forgotten about this one: "Holly Hawks." I think it deserves the title of most beautiful. Of course, you could read both ....... :)

Most Popular. My most popular post is "Do Not Attempt While Pregnant." According to the stats, it gets clicked on and forwarded to friends more often than any other post. I'm not exactly sure why (maybe I should've filed this one under "post whose success surprised you"), but people seem to like hearing about my (utterly failed) attempts to dress fashionably during pregnancy.

Most Controversial. Hmm. I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I apparently never write about anything too controversial. I cannot find a single inflammatory rant on here that qualifies. I've never even had a post that garnered a nasty comment, y'all - not even anonymously! But in the spirit of things, I'm nominating "Soused on ... Soup?" because it is a chronicle of the time I very nearly got my children drunk. (Totally by accident, natch.) That's, like, a couple of sips away from being controversial. Right?

Most Helpful. My most helpful post would, I suppose, depend on the type of help someone's looking for. I had TONS of response (mostly surprise) to "When Breastfeeding Feels Wrong" (originally titled "I'm Such a Boob: the Sequel). For women like me who'd had a weird reaction to nursing, it was an eye-opener. However, if breastfeeding woes do not apply, I'd say any of the posts in my "Stuff I Like Sunday" series were pretty helpful ... especially this one.

A Post Whose Success Surprises Me. That would have to be my second most-popular, "Baby Seeds." Not that it's a bad post or anything, but I wouldn't have thought it'd make #2 on the popularity list. (Coincidentally, it's from the same month as my #1 most popular post. My literary genius must've been on fire!)

A Post I Feel Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved. That would probably be "10 Truths About Motherhood." Or maybe "Dear Husband: an Anniversary Wish List." I know I'm not technically supposed to list two, but it was so hard to narrow down. Feel lucky I didn't list, like, seventeen of them.

The Post I'm Most Proud Of. Seriously? This is like trying to choose a favorite child! I like 95% of my posts, y'all (I wouldn't still be here if I didn't!). So I'm just going to choose an underrated poem I wrote that I especially enjoyed: "I'm Full of ... Thanks."

Now comes the really hard part ... nominating others. So instead of specifically nominating anyone, I'm going to say this: if you like this meme, do it! And then comment and let me know you've done it so that I can see it! Have fun!

Name That ... Thing

If you've got little kids, you've probably heard of the Backyardigans (unless you institute a strict "one-hour-of-TV-a-week-and-it-has-to-be-a-documentary" policy - in which case, you're waaaaay out of place on my blog, yo). If you haven't heard of them, or they're not on your TV 24-7 and you need a refresher (lucky you) they look like this:

There seems to be a grand tradition of kids' shows having a few easily identifiable characters (i.e., Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck) and then at least one that makes you like, "What the eff is that, exactly?" (i.e., Goofy. I mean, the general consensus is that Goofy is a dog, but so is Pluto - which brings us to the question of why Pluto is so dog-like, running around on the ground and barking and stuff, and Goofy isn't).

Anyway, Backyardigans is the same way. Clearly we have Pablo the penguin, Tyrone the moose, Tasha the hippo. But then there's Uniqua the .... pink spotted .... overall-wearer, and Austin the ... um ... purple pointy-eared thing.

This morning the kids were pretending to be the Backyardigans, and Cameron was delegating characters. "Mommy, you be Tasha the hippo," he dictated. "I'll be Pablo the penguin. Colin is Tyrone the moose. And Coby will be Austin."

"So we've got a hippo, a penguin, and a moose," I said, "but does anybody know what Austin is?"

There was a brief silence as the boys hemmed and hawed, mulling the question over. But as y'all know, my boys are never silent for long.

"Maybe he's a moron!" Cameron piped up helpfully.

Maybe he is, Cameron. Maybe he is.

Morning Mayhem

Cameron requested pancakes for breakfast, but I was nearly out of pancake mix and didn't have time to whip any up from scratch (plus, it doesn't say "Martha Stewart" on my driver's license). So he had a huge and prolonged three-year-old fit, which provided the perfect soundtrack (← total sarcasm) for a chaotic morning.

I couldn't find my phone for the longest, then realized it was inside my pillowcase.

I walked around for like ten minutes with the torn-out page of a dinosaur book inexplicably stuck to my bare foot.

I found a mysterious dried turd on the bedroom floor. I found a shriveled carrot in the junk drawer (where coincidentally, just the other day, I also found half an unpeeled banana inside a Dollar General bag). But I couldn't find the mate to Coby's shoe. Or his other sock. Which would have been perfect ... had I been trying to dress a one-legged child. Ironically, though, I was able to easily locate his flip-flops, which spent half the summer lost. Go figure.

While sifting through the basket full of laundry (which has been sitting there for like three days and I totally need to fold but have little to no desire to attend to) trying to find Coby's missing sock, the pleasant fabric-softener smell was suddenly replaced by ... what the ... is that pee I smell?

Yes. Apparently so. My expert nose detected a whiff of urine ... on some of our "clean" clothes. How it got there remains a mystery. Who the culprit is, I have no idea. But yeah. Now I've got an extra basket of laundry to (re)wash. Oh yay.

While I was standing there staring into the laundry basket with a bewildered frown on my face, Cameron bumped his mouth trying to climb on the kitchen counter (even though he was supposed to be sitting there like a good boy eating his cereal) and busted his lip.  Like, dripping-with-blood busted.  So I had to attend to that, with kisses and soothing words and an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel.

And all the while the clock is like, "Tick-tock, chump, you've got to be out the door in less than fifteen minutes and you've still got three half-naked kids and piss-reeking laundry. Bwahahahahaaaa!"

I finally managed to get everyone fed and dressed. I made sure everything was in Colin's backpack and that he had his jacket. I made sure the dogs were confined to the living room so we wouldn't find a toy or a book chewed up (or another mysterious turd) when we got home. I cleared the breakfast dishes so that my sensitive-stomached-but-stupid cat wouldn't lick them and barf all over the place. I made sure to grab my phone in case I had car trouble or some other disaster on the way to school.

We were out the door. On time, even.

And then, halfway to school? I realized I was braless. And wearing workout pants that, after one washing, shrunk to highwaters of epic proportions - like, I'm talking mid-calf. Thank goodness Colin is able to get himself out of the car and all I've got to do is pull up at the curb. Yikes.

At least I didn't have car trouble.     

Like, Employed and Stuff

So ... I work at a gym now.

Although I am super beyond-the-moon stoked (OMG I work at a gym!!!!!!!!), this is just weird on so many levels. Number one, I never thought that my cupcake-loving behind would ever even set foot in a gym so regularly, let alone be employed to work out there. Number two, I have been a freelance writer for years now, which hasn't required anything except a computer and a telephone. I didn't even have to wear anything but pajamas. Not even my nicest pajamas.

But starting tomorrow, I will be the ZUMBA Instructor at FitnessXpress. I have a schedule (and if you're local and want it, email me!). I'll have a class: my very first time teaching all by myself. And y'all? I'm pretty nervous about it.

First of all, the new pants I bought - cute black pants with a hot-pink stripe down the sides - shrunk the first time I washed them. And now they don't even reach the tops of my shoes. So I'm going to have to find alternate pants because I don't want my new students to be all, "Yeah, the class was okay, but I kept getting distracted by that instructor's highwater pants." I'm highly disappointed because I had this perfect outfit all planned out, and now ... yeah. I'm essentially pants-less. Damn my tall-ish stature.

I'm also worried about messing something up during class. Other instructors have told me, "If you mess up, they'll never know. Just keep going." And that's great advice - except I have this ridiculous tendency to broadcast every flub rather than just covering it up. I can't help it; it's both involuntary and uncontrollable. "Oops" and "sorry" slip out of my mouth so fast I don't even know they're coming. So I'm freaking out that I'll be oops-ing my way through class and everybody will be able to tell I'm a total newbie.

I could go on and on about how utterly freaked out I am, for tons of different reasons (what if I have gas? What if I can't figure out the sound system? What if no one shows up? What if everyone hates me?). But I'm even more excited. I feel awesome. I went from a miserably depressed almost-300-pound couch-dweller to an actual employee at an actual gym. I get to meet lots of new people and introduce them to something I love. I get to work with a really wonderful team. And hopefully, I'll get to make a difference ... to extend a hand and help someone out of the black hole that I spent so long in. I can't wait.

... As long as I can get some pants that fit first.

A Bang-Up Job

I look at all new female acquaintances as potential BFFs. I can't help it. I'll meet someone really cool, and if we hit it off (which we almost always do because I am like completely awesome), I immediately start envisioning a lifelong relationship with the person. I'm like the platonic equivalent of those girls who spend an entire first date secretly fantasizing about how this new guy will someday propose, and what their children will look like. Only I'm picturing my new friend and I as little old ladies sitting next to each other in a retirement home somewhere, wearing our glasses and our shawls and our hand-sewn lap quilts. And we'd be like, "Remember the day we met?" and then, in my daydream, our future-old-lady selves will discuss whatever scenario we're in at the present moment: "We were reaching for the same clearance item at Walmart" or "Our dogs were trying to hump each other at the dog park." And then little-old-lady-me would say, "Little did we know that we would become ..." and then in unison, we'd say, "... the best of friends" and look at one another all lovingly. Aaaaaaand scene.

I know. I sound like a total creepster. But it's true. I guess I'm just slightly crazed desperate for more females in my life (seeing as all my oldest girlfriends live four hours away and my house is full of dudes). I mean, remember how determined I was to impress my friend Nicki when she first moved in across the street? Yeah. I'm like that overly eager dog at the pound who is bouncing off the walls of its cage like, "Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Pick meeeeeeeeeeee!"

That being said, you can imagine the number of octagenarian-porch-sitting fantasies I've had about my friend Lindsey. She started off as my Zumba instructor, then started showing me the ropes and letting me stand up front with her during class. And in the process, we've developed a friendship and - dare I say - have bonded pretty nicely. We have a lot in common. We both love to dance around like fools. I feel comfortable letting an occasional F-bomb slip out in her presence (as in the F-word, not a fart. Although some day ... some day ...). She's someone I can see many good times with in the future.

So when she was off work yesterday and came to my house to hang around with me, I was nearly beside myself with joy. We were practicing some new Zumba choreography and just generally being awesome and having a grand old time when I realized that it was time to pick Colin up from school. So I asked Lindsey if she wanted to come along, because picking up a first-grader is like among THE most thrilling activities a person can do. So we loaded into the Blue Hoopty (aka the '90s-era Buick LeSabre that once belonged to my grandparents. Don't lie, you're totally jealous).

We have a two-car garage, but it seems like whoever designed it was all, "I'll make this two car garage ... for two tiny cars. Bwahahahaha!" Because the Jeep and the Hoopty barely fit in together. So when I back either one out, I have to cut the wheel and angle the vehicle toward the center of the driveway to avoid hitting the side mirror on the edges of the garage door. I do this automatically now. Just as I did yesterday.

Only most of the time? There's no one parked in my driveway.

Only yesterday? Lindsey was.


Immediately I was flooded with this hot panicky feeling like "OMFG I just hit Lindsey's car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I glanced at her, and she was just sitting there like she didn't notice, and I think I might've said, "OMFG I just hit your car!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"You did?" she said, eyes widening with surprise.

Please don't hate me please don't hate me please don't hate me please don't hate me. " ..... Yes."

We got out and looked, and sure enough, the Blue Hoopty had scratched a chunk of paint right off and left a few scrape-y looking marks. I mean, it was fairly superficial, but still. I was mortified. I've never hit anything, ever. Not even so much as a trash can or a curb. My driving record is sterling: no tickets, no accidents, nada. So to spoil my perfect accident-less streak by scraping up the car of a potential BFF was, well, painful.

I was scared that Lindsey would be really pissed, but she was a sport and kept reassuring me that it wasn't a big deal. And I'm all insured and whatnot, so the repairs will be taken care of. So hopefully my moronic mistake won't leave a permanent blemish on her car - OR on our friendship.

Maybe someday we'll be sitting on the porch of a retirement home, she and I, and I'll say, "Dude. Remember that one time, when I hit your car?" And we'll both laugh in our croaky old-lady voices.


The New 21

So I turned 31 years old on Tuesday. Although - probably due to my old age and failing eyesight - my brain must have misinterpreted the "3" and "1" shaped candles on my birthday cake. Because due to the four (F-O-U-R!) pimples I sprouted overnight, I'm pretty sure my body thought I was turning 13. It was all, "OMG! I'm a teenager now. Let's, like, get some zits." But my hair, ever-sensible, countered with, "Oh you silly oil glands. You're actually in your thirties now. Here, let me show you by weaving in these new strands of old-lady gray."

And then the non-pimply part of my face was like, "We ought to just deepen these crows' feet so that it's perfectly clear how old she is."

I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

It's weird that I'm officially "in my thirties." I mean, up until two days ago I was thirty, but ... that's all. Like, just thirty. Teetering on the edge. But now it's like I've jumped off the precipice. The next time my age has a zero at the end of it, I'll be ... *whisper* forty.

But if forty is the new thirty, and thirty is the new twenty, that means I'm the new TWENTY-ONE.

Who wants to go for drinks?!     


Blog Widget by LinkWithin