Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Do you know where my husband is right now? Well, he's lying on the bed, but that is not where he wants to be. He WANTS to be at the Home Depot.

This isn't news, people. According to him, the Home Depot is the funnest place on earth. That's right...on EARTH.

Let me backtrack. A few weeks ago, our darling little Charlie started climbing out of her crib. Which meant that instead of playing quietly by herself for hours every morning, she rolls out of bed as soon as the sun comes up. And toddles her little pee-filled diaper into my room and climbs up onto my bed. On top of me. Effectively waking me up. And I am always too tired and lazy to take her back to HER bed, so I let her sleep the rest of the night (morning) with me. Except I never really sleep because all I can smell is pee and ew and I really should change her diaper but if I do that I might as well get up and I don't want to get up because I am so warm and comfy. Well, I was warm and comfy until someone woke me up and took over the middle of the bed effectively shoving me to the edge almost to the floor and on top of Kale.

This has happened every morning for weeks. WEEKS people. I have complained to everyone on facebook and twitter more than once about how I will never ever ever get a full nights sleep again. Like, ever. The sun wakes up Charlie every morning since her vertical blinds only half exist, and so she feels as though she must get out of bed and bother snuggle me.

Last night, our darling child also got up at 3:30am. So I rocked her until she was ready to go back to sleep and fell back in my bed. So let's just say I was NOT thrilled when I heard the turn of her door knob. Yes, I wake up now when the DOOR KNOB TURNS. And next thing I knew, she was next to me. I did the first thing that came to my mind, and something I should have done weeks ago. 

I kicked Workaholic. And told him to take her back to bed.

And you know what? He did. He did so gladly. Well, maybe not gladly, but willingly. I only had to kick him and tell him once. I drifted back to sleep for the whole 45 minutes I had left before my alarm went off.

She was still asleep when I left for work.

Tonight, Workaholic said to me, "You know what? Charlie wakes up every morning because of the sun. I'm going to run to Home Depot after dinner and pick up some blackout vertical blinds."

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

This is the exact same thing I have said to him every. single. morning since she turned two and started crawling out of her bed. As soon as it became his problem sleep disruption, he was aaalll about finding the solution.

Sheesh. Men. 

I just love when my husband fulfills the stereotype. It makes me smile. Even when I want to smack him upside the head.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lost and Found

In the spring, I took a look at my calender and kind of went, "Oh shit." We have a lot of plans. The plan was to be busy little bees all summer, and then I decided to top it off by painting the inside and outside of my house, de-cluttering, and completely rearrange everything. I may or may not have lost my mind.

Between my cousin, a friend, and my brother-in-law getting married, that took care of 5 weekends. I had visitors planned for a few others, so really, my first truly free weekend would be in August. Maybe a lot of people live like this, especially once their kids get older, but this was my first time having such a busy summer. It was weird. Really, I'm NOT that popular.

Right about the time I realized all of our commitments, we decided to send the girls back to daycare. This involved a lifestyle shift in that I now was responsible for getting them up and out of the house every morning, instead of just me getting to work every other day showered and dressed on time. (The other days I work from home, shower optional.) So, yeah. Everyone else does it, but for me, it was a really rough transition.

I backed my van into Matt's van, twice. And then I took off my side mirror with a mailbox.

I lost my camera. The one that simply cannot take a bad picture. The best camera EVER. And then I found it. And then I broke it.

I lost my wedding rings. Yep, you heard right. My wedding rings. And also the ring that Workaholic gave me on my 21st birthday that I wore every. single. day. I remember the last minute I saw them, but there was a lot of movement in between now and then, and well, let's just say that I have not given up hope.

So it really should not have come as much of a surprise to me when I lost Sampson.

We were at the lake. It was late. I was exhausted. It had been a long couple of weeks. I just wanted to go home. The house was a disaster. Workaholic and I looked at each other, and he said, "You know what? I have to come back here tomorrow night. I'll just clean up then."

He was leaving in the morning, and I left shortly after he agreed to clean. This was no time to let
him change his mind! Sampson had gotten out and I was too tired to look for him before I left. We agreed to leave him in Michigan for the few days that I'd be gone, besides...Workaholic would be back that evening.

That Monday was hard. I was exhausted, the girls were exhausted, life felt even more out of sorts than normal. So Workaholic came home to help me that evening instead of going back and cleaning. And that is when he told me that he left Sampson outside.

"Umm...why would you do that? I hope he is there when we go back!"

He wasn't. I had been gone three days.

A feeling of dread overwhelmed me. I just knew that a coyote had gotten him. Workaholic just knew that some little 8 year old girl had found him and hid him in her closet so her parents didn't know that she had taken in a cat. He encouraged me to walk through the nearby woods and put up flyer's around the trailer park that is behind our cottage. "He'll come back."

That was 6 weeks ago.

At our small lake, someone writes a newsletter that gets delivered to all lake residents on Fridays during the summer. I kept telling myself to put a LOST CAT ad in the newsletter, but also thought, "What is the point? Even if someone has him, most people in the trailer park don't get it and I already put out lost cat flyer's. He's gone. Yet another thing I lost."

But then a guy lost his turtle. His turtle. And he put a LOST TURTLE ad in the newsletter. And I thought, "What the hell? Might as well give it a try."

So I sent a picture and ridiculously descriptive ad to the editor and waited. A whole week.

On Friday while at work, my cell phone rang with a number I didn't know. And they left a voicemail. HE'S BEEN SPOTTED! And then I got another call from a number I didn't know. HE HAS DEFINITELY BEEN SPOTTED!! And then a third and a fourth call came. The fourth call was the jackpot. Not only had this girl seen him, but she had played with him regularly and recently. Apparently the extremely friendly portion of my ad was the clincher.

On Saturday morning, I went and picked him up. He had tuna breath and I swear is fatter than when he left. Apparently he didn't go into the trailer park, he went through the woods and headed south, visiting anyone who would have him. And lots of people saw him, and played with him, and fed him. The young teen girls who captured him and handed him over were giddy with excitement. They'd seen him a lot over the course of the last few weeks, and were so happy that he had a home to return to. I was just hoping it really was him and I wasn't bringing home the wrong cat again.

For the first couple of hours after we got home, he was a bit skittish. And to be honest, I really don't know where he was. But then I found him on Sam's bed, and petted him for a few minutes. I wanted to hear his squeaky purr. (have yet to hear it) After that, he came out and parked himself on his spot on the couch and didn't move much for the next 36 hours. I guess sleeping while out in the forest all alone may not be that easy. He needed a good long nap.

I cannot tell you how happy and relieved I am that my family of seven is all back under one roof. (Well, sort of. We got home last night and Sampson ran out the door tonight. I guess he just couldn't handle not having a taste of the wild. Even after a 6 week walkabout.) 

Even though Sampson disappearing was pretty much Workaholic's fault, I still felt like I shared some of the blame. It was something else that I lost. But he is back! And he isn't broken! (that I know of) I know that we can't keep him inside all the time, he just won't have it and would be miserable if we forced it. But I hope that from now on, when he takes off, he can either find his way home or at least I try a little bit harder to look for him. He's a part of our family and I'm so grateful to everyone who helped him get back home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Part Two

Ever since Charlie turned two I have felt as though I should give her a proper Happy Birthday blog. Something she can look back on in 10 years and be suitably mortified over.

Then tonight, I heard a very strange sound in my house. I was cleaning the kitchen. It was a sound I had never heard before, and I thought it was Charlie somehow playing in the water in the sink in their bathroom. How I wish.

I sort of forgot that someone used a tad too much toilet paper last night. As mom, it was my duty to fix the problem of too much toilet paper in too small a hole. But I forgot.

I also forgot that Charlie has this new thing where she likes to sit on the potty. OH YEAH!! How could I forget to tell you?! The other night, again as I was cleaning the kitchen, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet racing down the hallway. Since the hall is open to the living room/kitchen, I was able to look up and see a naked Charlie (yes, she had been wearing clothes and a diaper) go into the bathroom. I went to see what she was doing and she was PEEING ON THE POTTY! ALL BY HERSELF!! She was clearly quite proud and impressed with herself, so I danced and clapped and generally tried to make sure she understood that I liked what she had just done. So hopefully, in a few weeks, she'll have potty trained herself.

Anyway, so I hear this weird sound and look up to see Charlie (dressed) giving me the devil eye from the hall. Hm. That's odd(not really). A few seconds later I decide to go investigate. (I also might have thought it was a good idea to go upstairs when I saw Sam carrying the plunger.)  I was just thrilled to find water all over the bathroom floor. My darling who loves to sit on the potty also loves to flush the potty.

So yeah. Flooded bathroom.

It was in this moment that I am SO grateful that I married not only a handyman who knows how to handle all situations but one who also knows how to do so without losing his mind. (or his temper) He simply grabbed a bunch of towels, sopped up the mess, plunged the toilet, and opened the bathroom back up for business.

I tell you this because of course Charlie was the one to flood the bathroom.

She is also the one who climbs out of her crib before 6am full of joy and happiness. She loves to run...from one end of the house to the other, and then back. She gets the devil eye and grabs Sam's toy/blanket/cup and runs. And she giggles and laughs while her sister chases her screaming and crying. She wants to do everything her big sister does, and she wants to do it NOW. 

Without fail she gets pissed at Fonz in the car on the trip to/from Michigan (for no apparent reason), and then cries when Kale eats the chicken nugget. She has selective hearing...the other night I was sitting 4 feet from her. Trying to get her attention, I said "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, Charlie." Then I threw a ball at her. She STILL didn't turn around.

She shocked us all when, at her uncle's wedding ,she walked down the aisle all by herself. And seemed to think nothing of the 200 people staring at her and saying "Aawww."  She continually amazes me with how smart she is. Either pushing a smaller chair over to larger chair so she can climb on the counter, or by putting her own dishes in the sink. It is getting easier and easier to understand her, and boy oh boy. That girl has some things to say!

She sees a camera and frowns. Or puts her hand in her mouth. Or looks away. Which is why there is no picture accompanying this post.

She is mischievous, funny, pretty, ornery, and tonight...she let me rock her to sleep. She is my daughter, and there aren't enough words in all the land to express how great she is. I love her to pieces.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We're Never Ever Ever Going to the Mall

I have a confession to make. It's kinda embarrassing. Because I am in my 30s, (not 14 years old) and probably should have a more refined taste in music. 

I love Taylor Swift.

Not in a lesbian-stalker kinda way. But in a good-role-model, like-most-of-her-songs, she's-adorable kinda way.

I know many music aficionados will laugh at me and say that I have the same musical tastes as a twelve year old girl, but hey, when I was twelve I loved Guns N Roses, so maybe I am living vicariously through preteens.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a three year old dancing in her car seat and singing, "Someday, I'll be, living in a big ol' city, and all you're ever gonna be is mean, why you gotta be so mean?" 

So have you heard Taylor's new song? I guess it just came out yesterday, or the day before. I've already heard it on the radio at least 4 times.

Here it is, if you like watching lyric videos.

The first time, I was like "Huh, new song. Kinda catchy, kinda bouncy, I totally want to sing along even though I don't know the words."

The second time, I really listened, and thought, "Really? This is what she is writing about and releasing as her first single off the new album? I hope the whole thing isn't like this. Although it is really catchy and probably totally addicting and I'll be singing this song for the next 6 months."

For those of you who aren't into country music or have been under a rock the past 2 days if you do, or just don't like to watch videos while at work, the lyrics go something like this...

We are never ever getting back together
We are never ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never, ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever...

I used to think we were forever ever ever
And I used to say never say never
Huh, so he calls me up and he's like "I still love you"
And I'm like, "I just, I mean this is exhausting, you know
We are never getting back together, like ever"

So that's cool. She just wanted to make sure he knew there was no hope. In case he had any, she was crushing it under her Jimmy Choo slingbacks. They are never ever ever getting back together. Like ever. Ever. Ever.

The third time I heard the song I was in the car on the way to get the girls from daycare. As I bopped my head and started to sing along, it struck me as a tad bit familiar.

A little, "Let's Go to the Mall" via Robin Sparkles. I can see the video for Taylor's new song now...she'll be dancing across a food court, wearing neon green leg warmers with a side ponytail. Its gonna be awesome. It'll be legen...wait for it, DARY. LEGENDARY.

You are welcome.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Yesterday, Charlie turned two.


I saw something on Twitter recently where someone said, "Whoever coined the phrase the Terrible Twos probably felt like an idiot when their kid turned 3."

So let's look at things. I have a three and a half year old. She is smart and cute and wants to do everything BY HERSELF. I now also have a two year old. And adorable, beautiful, smart, stubborn two year old. Life is about to get very interesting up in here.

I will begin Charlie's 2 year old tribute with a little story. Last night, it was past her bedtime, so Workaholic put her to bed. (Actually, Sam rocked her and read her books, Workaholic just lifted her into the crib.)  This pissed Charlie off. Like, really pissed her off. She was screaming and crying and I am pretty sure she was cussing us out in the baby babble she uses when she doesn't want to think of real words. This wasn't the typical "I am fussing because I am a little kid who hates bedtime because it is my duty as a little kid to hate bedtime" whining, it was the all out "hear it down the street if the windows are open" crying. Girl was angry.

There are few things that make Charlie that angry, and so I thought that maybe she wanted the new doll that she had gotten for her birthday the night before. It is one of those where it has a zipper and snaps and buttons and other things for little kids to amuse themselves with when they are stuck in a crib at bedtime. I set off clipping off the dozen paper tags on it that explained what each thing was (because 2 year olds can totally read) and headed upstairs to calm her down.

I did NOT hear the thump. I did, however, notice that there was no more crying,

And then her door opened. And out crept the birthday girl. Carrying her blanket and stuffed turtle-that-is-really-a-dog-toy, and her sippy cup of water. The little shit crawled out of her crib.

Shit. Shitshitshit.

The best thing about Charlie, other than her big blue eyes, incredibly long eyelashes, and sparkling personality, is that she loves to sleep. And even if she isn't sleeping, she loves to hang out in her crib, playing with her toys or whatever it is she can reach. (Lately, her nightly goal has been to rip down one of the plastic blinds that hangs across the sliding glass door in her room. There are about half of them left...which doesn't really help to keep the light out when the sun comes shining in every morning.) She will routinely, on weekends, stay in her crib for 5-6 hours. Whenever she gets a little...touchy, I put her to bed, she plays and then sleeps. It is kind of awesome. I can relax, watch How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, take a nap, whatever! It is much easier to get anything done while a toddler sleeps than when said toddler is whining and crying and hanging on you, or running out the door down the street. (Yes, she does both.)

I was hoping the crib thing was a fluke. A random moment of intense anger followed by a stunt that she would never do without the blind courage that rage brings.

I was wrong.

This morning I heard the thump. I heard the short cry. And by the time I got to her room, she had her blanket and turtle and cup and looked at me with the smile and those eyes and giggled. She laughed at me. I am soo in trouble.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Little Wedding Info

I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks. In the last three weekends, I have been lucky enough to see six people profess their never-ending adoration for and to each other.

They will love, honor, and cherish each other through sickness and health, for richer or richer, and the women will obey. (OK, maybe no one actually said obey, but you know the guys were thinking it!)

After the final wedding, I realized that there are a few key things that need to happen in order for a guest who is also a parent to have fun. That and there are just some songs, that no matter how much you think they are just SO CLICHE, that absolutely should be played at a wedding reception. (It just isn't a real celebration until you have line danced.)

1. If you are a parent, either leave your kids at home or hire a nanny to come with you. Yes, that's right...I said HIRE A NANNY. That means that it isn't just Gail and Workaholic, it is Gail and Workaholic plus one. During dinner, you get to eat. After dinner, you get to mingle and chat with people that you only see at weddings and funerals. And during the dance portion of the evening, the nanny takes your kids out to the car to watch a movie, pee in the car seat, and then act as your designated driver for the ride home. It is a win-win for everyone! (It is better to hire someone if you can afford it than bring along a family member, especially a grandparent, to act as a babysitter. The guilt factor is just too much.) 

2. Now, #1 says to hire a nanny, but really, the best option is to leave the kids at home. An even better option is to hire someone for at least 24 hours, so you can have fun at night and not have to worry about the darn kids waking you up the next day. OR, even BETTER, leave the kids at home with the husband and the dogs and go to an out-of-town wedding stag. Dance like a fool with your cousins and then go throw your migraine up in the banquet hall toilet. (Be THAT cousin who puked in the bathroom.)  And then rebound and stay until the very. end. of the reception. And then sleep until noon at the hotel. THAT'S the way to do it.

3. For a wedding to be a real bar. Enough said.

4. Dance. Dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Be a fool. Dance like no one is watching. Because one is. No one will remember how you were dancing, because there is an open bar. (unless there is a which case, well...just be aware that you are on camera for the rest of eternity)

5. Talk to people you normally might never talk to. Just plop your ass right down next to them and say hello. You know what? They'll say hello back. And if the conversation starts to get awkward, just scream "I LOVE THIS SONG!" and run out to the dance floor.

6. Be sure to tell everyone how much you love them. Preferably, tell them that you "heart" them. And how they are your most favoritest people in the whole wide world. Be sure to say that to everyone you talk to.

I am sure that I have lots more tips, but, drink, be merry. Dance your fool head off.

Speaking of dancing, wedding are the best places in the world for white people to get their groove on. I tried to get several men on the dance floor over the past three weeks, and each time I was told, "I don't dance, I'm white." Whatever.

The following songs are a me, I'd been to 40 weddings by the time I was 21, so I know.

  • "Old Time Rock n Roll" - As a little kid, I was the one to request this at each and every one of my cousin's weddings. I swear, there was one time that they played it three times, and that was the best. wedding. ever.
  • "Love Shack" - Wanna get people on the dance floor shaking their groove thing? There will be shaking and jumping and screaming of the lyrics. Fun will be had.
  • "Shout" - Yes, Shout. At my cousin's son's wedding, it was decided that not only was it played at the mother's wedding, but also her mother's wedding. The song stands the test of time.
  • "Summer of 69" - Did you know that Bryan Adams was 9 years old in the summer of 1969? I don't think he was talking about the year when he wrote the song...and everyone knows it.
  • "Footloose" - Yes, another song from the 80s. But there is nothing like watching a bunch of people standing in a circle on the dance floor kicking their feet out and doing the Willard Shuffle. And knowing exactly what they are trying to emulate. And then running out to join them.
  • "Wonderful Tonight" - Since most of the guests will NOT be in their prime, they need a break every now and then with a slow song. This one'll get even the laziest of husbands on the dance floor.
  • "The Electric Slide" - I don't care how corny and 90s it is.  Everyone knows it, and grandma will like watching the kids and adults trip over their feet.
Finally, there is one song that is a requirement for me to declare a party a perfect party. I sang this at my own wedding, which could be the reason why I think my wedding was the bestest wedding reception EVER.

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"

Bonus points if someone hands me the microphone.

I am sure there are a ton of other songs that you MUST hear at a wedding reception. What are your favorites?