Family, Humor, Mom blog, Motherhood, Nostalgia\, Parenting, Relatable, Sitcoms, Uncategorized, Writing

Does Everybody Know What Time it Is?

If you instinctively answered, “Tool Time!”, then you might be a product of the nineties, or you’re at least familiar with sitcoms from that era.  I grew up watching Home Improvement with my dad; it brings back good memories and it’s a show I don’t mind my own kids watching.  Coincidentally, the things I remember laughing at as a kid (things I likely laughed about because my dad was laughing, too) are things that I laugh at now because they are so relatable.  The other day, my husband and I were talking about one of the episodes.  It hit me when Evan was mimicking a scene from Tim’s bit that we are, in fact, living out in our own version of Home Improvement.  In this particular scene, Jill is complaining to Tim about their eldest boys’ incessant bickering and is trying to come up with a logical way to correct the issue.  Tim’s response?  His trademark grunt, a quick room switch, and all’s well that ends well.  Naturally, Jill wasn’t very happy to be kept out of the loop, but even she can’t deny that the problem at hand is, well, no longer a problem.

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All of a sudden a flood of H.I. episodes came rushing to the forefront of my brain with one very clear thought: WE ARE THE TAYLORS.  It could be worse; we could epitomize the Conner family from “Roseanne”.  No thanks.

I’ve been putting an enormous amount of time into thinking about my theory, because, you know… I’ve got a lot of time on my hands (*snort*), and I think most of us mirror if not a full-on sitcom then at least a character, or group of characters, from a sitcom.  You think I’m kidding?  Go ahead.  Think about your favorite show or a popular show from any era.  The odds are, if you’re honest with yourself, that there is something out there that you can relate to at least a little.*  Hell, a good friend of mine is practically living out “Everybody Loves Raymond”.  Now that’s a show that’s great on a screen, but Lord have mercy am I ever thankful that I’m not living across from Marie, Frank, and Robert!

I think that’s the key to good writing, though.  A good writer has to pull his or her audience in enough to get them invested.  Generally speaking, an audience member becomes “invested” when he or she can relate to a character’s personality or situational moments.

For me personally, I can relate to Jill.  I’m married to a (not-so-idiotic) Tim and I have three boys who are all wildly different and who make me crazy.  Her days of being a SAHM really hit home for me as far as her feeling she isn’t living up to her potential, but I’ve also been a working momma.  Like Jill in later episodes, I know what it is like to juggle work and home life, hoping everything comes down in relative calm, only to wake up to a souped-up toaster gone horribly wrong.  Talk about being a chaos coordinator.  Yikes!th

My boys even fit the Tool Time bill.  Gabe is very much like Brad — likable, funny, and a little spacey.  Connor is the poster child for middle-kid syndrome, much like Randy.  He is smart and quick and, somewhere down deep, a sweetheart.  Mason is only four months old, but I’d be willing to lay a bet he’s calm, mild-mannered Mark.  Someone who just wants to fit in and be involved.  Most importantly, they are all mine and I love each of their unique personalities — even the crazy parts.

I’m not completely deluded; I know it’s just a TV show and we’re obviously not living in Detroit next to a know-it-all neighbor.  But somehow, on a super weird level, it’s sort of nice to know that there’s some writer out there making up storylines about a life that, I’m just being honest, really stacks up to my own real, off-screen life.  So think about it; what characters remind you of you and yours?  I’ve shared with you my weirdness — now it’s your turn.

* Side note: if you’re relating to things like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, or Game of Thrones, you’ve got bigger fish to fry and perhaps you should scale it back to Barone level.  Just saying.

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Baby, Family, Humor, Kids, Links, Motherhood, Parenting, Reading, Uncategorized

They Call Him The Whineoceros

As you all know, I am a momma to three wonderful boys.  What you all might not know, is that I am a momma to at least two boys (the third is out for debate, still) who are wonderfully whiny on occasion.  And by “on occasion”, I mean here lately — they’ve been ON A ROLL, SON.

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rhino graphic courtesy sarah ward 

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with end-of-the-school-year restlessness or the fact that none of us are adjusted to the time change yet (yeah, none of us have any clue of time management), but I’m over it.  Done.  Finito.   The Give a Damn Train has left Whinytown Station.

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Granted, this year has brought some pretty big changes in not so necessarily big forms.  Mason was born in December, smack dab in the middle of Con’s first year of pre-k, which in addition to a baby bro was another HUGE change for the middle boy child.  Having another sibling wasn’t as big deal to Gabe — he’s been there and (literally) has the tee shirt.  But he started 3rd grade this year and that brought all kinds of changes for him.  Now instead of being in one class with one teacher all day, he’s in three classes with three different teachers.  Now for most, the shock would have dissipated a month or so into the year.  But since Gabe struggles with sensory issues as well as other minor “problems”, it takes him quite a bit longer to adjust.  Case in point: he’s just come around to keeping up with seven different notebooks for each of his subjects.  It’s April.  So, yeah; we’re pretty much done here.

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been a bad year.  Connor is blossoming and is so eager to learn and for the most part, Gabe’s grades have been great and he loves his teachers.  But I’m still coming down off of pregnancy hormone highs and lows and I’m not getting much sleep these days.  Hormonal, sleep deprived momma = scattered patience and chaos E’RYWHERE.

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So it’s no wonder that I keep a bottle of wine or some margarita fixins in my fridge.  I’m a mom of three now (read: lightweight), so I have just enough for a nightcap on evenings that I feel I could climb the walls and contort my body Exorcist style.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think the hubs could deal with his wife pulling an Emily Rose twice a week.

I think this time of year brings out the crazy in all of us, though.  Over the years, I have found that in addition to spring cleaning my house, I also need to spring clean the old brain box.  It’s a lengthy process, particularly if you have the attention span of a gnat like your’s truly.  But it’s worthwhile.  Sometimes our brains get bogged down and cluttered with stuff that we need to let go of.  In the garage sale of thought processes, we wouldn’t put most of that junk on the front lawn — if you get my meaning.  So if you can’t unload on a friend or loved one (and choose wisely), then toss it in the bin.  Don’t put it where you can go dumpster diving later and put it back on the shelf.  Toss it.  Burn it.  Do what you have to do to let all the junk go.  And breathe a sigh of relief that you can start putting more crap on your now relatively empty shelves.

I’ll be taking my own advice over the weekend.  In the meantime, Wineocerous out.

 

 

Family, Holidays, Humor, Kids, Motherhood, Parenting

End of Spring Break for the Win

Yesterday ended our school’s spring break, or as I like to call it, “Summer Vacation Rehearsal”.  Y’all, I need all the drinks.

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Was it all bad?  No.  But my boys have both reached those spectacular ages that leave them arguing with one another incessantly.  These days they even argue over the attention of the baby!  Sounds cute, right?  Wrong!  More like infuriating.  Add to the arguing the time change and a full moon over spring break, and it’s really a small wonder that my liver has not been fully pickled.

courtesy of: yourtango.com
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Our first day of the holiday went off relatively well but quickly spiraled into the abyss not-so-fondly known as “sibling rivalry”.  In an effort to keep my sanity, I took the boys bowling this past Wednesday.  Our local lanes offer great discounts during school holidays, so we took advantage of the lower prices.  I’d be lying if I said that the day didn’t go by smoothly.  We ran our errands, grabbed a bite to eat, and finally made our way to the bowling alley.  Gabe and Connor were beyond excited (this was Con’s first time ever bowling) and were eager to start our frame as soon as we got there.  Connor was so excited, in fact, that he took off for a lane and nearly slid all the way down.  Luckily, my momma Puma-like reflexes caught up with him.  I explained to him the importance of staying behind the line, but of course, he is my button-pusher and line-crosser so I had to reiterate several times that his head would get stuck in the ball return and that I’d rather not make our monthly trip to the ER over spring break, so if he could please just stick to rolling balls down the aisle instead of his body that would be swell.

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We had a great time once we finally got to the activity at hand.  My boys had a blast and for one hour there was no arguing, “he-said-he-said”, or jabs to the eyeballs.  Because I don’t agree with just letting kids win for the sake of keeping whining to a minimum, mama came away with the high score.  Was it a fair game?  Not really.  But I feel like it is my job as their mom to teach them good sportsmanship in winning as well as in losing.  I’m no bowling rockstar, though, and I didn’t win by a landslide; Connor was a mere four points behind me.  Gabe, bless him, rolled a 65.  He could have scored higher had he not insisted on using a fifteen-pound bowling ball.  I tried telling him that the 9 or 10 pound would probably be a better fit, but he let me know in no uncertain terms that he was, in his words, “strong enough for a man-sized ball”, so I let him have the damn thing.  Naturally, after all was said and done and once Connor was out of earshot, he asked why I let him use such a heavy ball.  Freaking really, kid?

All in all, I enjoyed my day out with my boys.  It was nice to get out with all three of them (even though Mason slept the entire time), and that one day made our relatively hellish spring break worthwhile.

With that said, I am certainly mom and woman enough to admit that I was relieved to drip their little butts off at school this morning.  Have I missed them?  Please.  I’ve gotten more done today than I did in the five days they were home.  I love them, but my cleaning routine needed to get back into a routine.  I will see them tonight with their homework stations (and a ginormous margarita) at the ready.

Family, Humor, Kids, Parenting

*Bleeping* Microwaves

Anyone who knows me knows that since becoming a mom, I am constantly on the lookout for a good deal.  Which, if I’m being honest, is not-so-secret-code for: “I’m freaking cheap”.  What good mother on a budget isn’t at least a little cheap?  But y’all, I’m here to tell you that I would spend all the money on a microwave that doesn’t sound like it’s being murdered at 5 o’clock in the morning.  You know the sound I’m talking about.

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It’s the buttcrack of dawn.  You’re up because: mommy bladder.  You know that even though you’re not hungry at such an early hour, it would behoove you to grab a quick bowl of oatmeal before the scavengers children wake up.  All is well and you’re wrapped up in cleaning the sticky off the floor from the night before — and it happens.  The sound of a thousand mom souls dying permeates within the pit of your stomach.  The bleeping microwave has ratted you out, your oatmeal is done, and, coincidentally, so is your “me” time.  Oh, sure; you could eat your breakfast in the pantry like an animal.  Lights off, door shut, hunched over the bowl riddled with guilt.  You could even throw a towel under the crack of the door in a feeble attempt to keep the smell of cinnamon-y goodness from wafting up the noses of your hangry offspring.  But realistically, it’s over.  You’re finished.  They’ve heard the song of their people and they’re coming for you.

It happens to the best of us.  All we want to do is clean up the, what the hell is that– chocolate milk covered rice?!, from underneath the fournado’s chair.  Maybe wash a dish or two or even wipe down the counter before the heathens enter and turn your backsplash into a milk-splash.  But all hopes of a semi-clean, baby wipe scrubbed kitchen are dashed.  All because of that noisy-ass microwave that we just had to have.

The pants I’m wearing were bought on clearance for $8 and my top is from two kids back.  I’m all about the Target dollar section and I never, but never, buy full price cereal.  I don’t need a refrigerator that can tell me the weather or order a gallon of milk, and I don’t give a crap about a self-cleaning dishwasher.  But a less angst-sounding microwave?  A SILENT microwave?  Take all my money.  LG, I’m yours for the taking.

 

Uncategorized

Moist You Use That Word?!

Moist [moist] adj. – damp, humid, muggy, clammy, dank

Freaking dank.  I could go on, but really — I think “dank” pretty well sums up why so many people hate the word “moist”.  It sounds gross, plain and simple.  And, no; I do not feel at all silly for hating that word.  If “moist” were Lindsay Lohan, I’d be giving it totally unnecessary blog attention.  That’s how much I loathe that word.

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Listen, I’m a parent.  I’m a parent who all too frequently uses words of the four-letter variety, followed by an overdone speech to my kids of why we don’t use said four-letter words.  But my kids have never heard me utter the word moist and I’ll be damned if they ever do.  In fact, they’d be grounded for life faster than they could say, “let’s make mom cringe” for even thinking of the word moist.  So kids, let that settle in and don’t get any bright ideas.

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The other day a fellow mom commented on how moist some cupcakes were that she’d made.  Y’all, I couldn’t even eat the damn things.  Seriously.  Perfectly good chocolate on chocolate action and I COULDN’T. EAT. EVEN. ONE.  I’m a hangry thick girl.  All that did was piss me off.  And my inability to consume what were likely perfectly good cupcakes made me wonder why the word moist (and yes, I’m using the word so much for a reason) could throw me into a complete gag state.  Being the utter nerd (and insomniac) that I am, I decided to do a little research.  Evidently, a large percentage of people who dislike the word “moist” relate it to bodily functions; only a small percentage dislike the sound.  Evidently, I belong to the small percentage as I’ve never thought of bodily anything based off of a word.  Of course, I could blame motherhood to boys for this, too.  I’m all the time hearing fart jokes and listening to my boy children discuss bathroom topics, so perhaps I’ve developed some sort of weird immunity to that end.

Obviously, I can never let the boys know of my total discomfort regarding the word that shall not be named.  Somehow they’d manage to fit it into every sentence and I just can’t have that kind of nonsense running rampant through my house.  It’s bad enough that my husband is aware of my disdain for the “m” word.  So I gotta know, guys.  What makes you cringe?  Am I the only weirdo (with the exception of my sister) who cannot abide this word?  Don’t leave me hanging!  Share your most hated words and/or phrases here.  I promise they’ll never leave this page.  😉

Family, Kids, Parenting

Survival of the Fit’ness

As parents, we teach our kids to share.  “Sharing is caring”, and all that crap.  We tell them to share their (unlicked) candy, their (unbroken) toys, and their (unfarted upon) blanket with their sibling because, damnit, the whining has got to stop.   We even go the extra mile as a mom or dad and display random acts of sharing, ourselves.  Selfless acts such as sharing our beloved meatball sandwich that the child will, inevitably, spit out.  We share our bathroom time.  ALL. DAY. LONG.  And we share the most sacred of sacred places: our bed.  Share, share, share.

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Well, folks; the time has come to draw a line in the sandbox.  Something has GOT to give.  And so here I sit, in my dark-ish pantry, eating a handful of mini Reeses, ALONE.  Do I feel guilty?  The only guilt I have is that I may have to unbutton my pants later.  Am I ashamed?  Only because I’ll be stashing this wad of colorful wrappers behind a cereal box in about 2.5 seconds.

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Why you ask?  Because in addition to teaching our kids to blow their nose, wipe their butt, chew with their mouth closed, and, of course, share, we also teach them about the survival of the fittest.  Do these delicious morsels of chocolaty goodness make me fit?  Not hardly.  In fact, one too many and they’ll ensure that I won’t even fit in my damn pants.  But I’ll get through this parenting gig by way of survival of the fit’ness chocolate in my mouth.  And so will my kids.  They should thank me, really.  There are days that only a single peanut butter cup stands between them and the Almighty.  Or at least it keeps them from losing all privileges.  So I’ll continue to teach my kids the ways of the world and sharing.  And one day, when they’re parents, they’ll find out all about Survival of the Fit’ness.  I hope their kids find their hiding spot and secret peanut butter cup stash, too.  I mean, fair is fair.

In the coming weeks, I plan on teaching them all about sharing their Easter candy with mom.  Because sharing = caring.  And really, because I’m the one buying it, anyway.

Parenting

Check Yo’Self

I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping when there are only four lanes open, three of which are loaded to the brim and the fourth is being operated by the store newbie. So when the self-checkout lanes became a reality, I was over the moon. I could get in, grab my stuff, check out, bag my items how I wanted them bagged, and get the hell out of Dodge.
But lately, it seems like the self-checkout has become a haven for the technologically disadvantaged and/or perpetually slow shoppers and I’ve had it, damnit! However, the other day as I was waiting to check out with all three kids in tow, it occurred to me that there should be a MOM’S ONLY self-checkout lane. And I’m not just talking about the moms who seemingly have it all together, all the while screaming internally. No, no. I’m talking about all moms.
You got it together? You wearing a scrunchie from 1984 with a baby clutching to your chest? Are you talking at your kids through your teeth, “just-you-wait-til-your-father-gets-home” for the millionth time in ten minutes? No problem. At this self-service line, you’re all welcome. Enjoy complimentary chocolate and a carry-out cup of wine or coffee, courtesy of the house. Kids screaming? Here’s some melatonin. Caught judging another mom’s mom fail? You’re banned for life, Mindy McJudgerson. And you can leave the coffee.angry screen poke
Adding to that, the penalty for going through the Moms Only checkout lane without any children is pretty strict. Even more so than going to a family restroom with no kids. Well, maybe not more strict; they’re both pretty on par with one another. Even still, the rules on both those issues should be relatively sizeable given the offenses. We’re talking members-only line, y’heard?
Listen, I’m not implying that a childless person’s time isn’t just as valuable as someone who does have ankle biters. But let’s be real for a moment, shall we? If it takes a childless adult 45 minutes to check out with a gallon of milk and a package of Orbit gum, then they CLEARLY have bigger fish to fry. And there’s no way on God’s green earth that you need an 8×8 bathroom space to relieve yourself. Saddle up in a cubicle style stall like the rest of us, ma’am. Just saying.
I’m not saying that I’d live at a checkout like that, but I’d probably have a regular reservation. Ditto on that whole family bathroom thing. I can’t be squeezin’ all of this plus three kids into a glorified closet and expect us all to come out having not been peed on. So, Target? WalMart? Marshalls? Maybe consider us dry-shampoo using, spit-up smelling, kids-are-whining-because-we’re-not-at-the-zoo moms. I think you guys will find the rewards would be pretty fantastic.