Thank You

 

To my Kiddos on Mother’s Day,

Thank you for showing me that while I may consider it a weed, to you it is a beautiful flower that you picked just for me.Thank You

Thank you for showing me that it isn’t just a mud pit, it’s a restaurant that only serves the finest of cuisine.

Thank you for showing me that it doesn’t hurt a thing if your pants don’t match your shirt.  As long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters.

Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s better to spend a Friday night playing a game of baseball in the yard than it is to sit on the couch and watch TV.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just prefer to sit and watch TV all day long.  That you won’t get any dumber because of it, you just need it from time to time, and you are OK with it.

Thank you for showing me that bubble beards are hilarious.

Thank you for showing me that your little hand fits perfectly into mine.

Thank you for showing me that if you just lay and watch the clouds long enough, amazing things can be found.

Thank you for showing me that your pitch doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s the singing a song together that makes it sound just right.

Thank you for showing me that it is okay to fold that laundry later, you have a joke to tell me right. now.

Thank you for showing me that ladybugs still tickle when they climb up your arm.

Thank you for showing me that cookies for breakfast are awesome.

Thank you for showing me that laughter is indeed contagious.

Thank you for showing me that some days you just have to stop whatever it is you are doing and go to the park.

Thank you for showing me that no matter how badly I have to pee, those snuggles on the couch are much more important.

Thank you for showing me that a drawer full of crayon drawings is worth more than a drawer full of precious jewels.

Thank you for showing me that ‘mommy I wuv you, can I have just one more hug’ is the best thing I could ever hear.

Thank you for showing me that true love can always be found in the eyes of your children.

Thank you for showing me the true meaning of unconditional love.

Thank you for giving me a purpose.

Thank you for giving my life meaning.

Thank you for making me a mother.

Thank you for being my children.

 

 

Easy-Peasy Crock Pot French Dip Sammies

French Dip Sammies

They say to write about what you love.  If you do that, the words will spill out of you and you will write wonderful words.  Well, besides my kids and my husband,  I love food.  I love to cook food, I love to eat food, I love everything about food.  So here I am, writing about food.

Food has the ability to stir up memories in us that we may have forgotten.  Sometimes they may not be pleasant, like rotisserie chicken makes me want to barf now just like it did when I was pregnant.  Sometimes though, they are the most magnificent of memories.  Memories that bring a smile to your face every time you think about it.  These sammies do that for me.  I always think about coming home from school on a really terrible day and coming home full of piss and vinegar.  Angry because I failed a test, or dropped my lunch, or fell down in the hallway.  Then I would walk in the house and the smell of these delights cooking in the Crock Pot would smack me square in the face and I instantly forgot about the craptastic day I suffered through and counted the minutes until I could sit at the table with my family and stuff my face with sammies and salad.

Now I get to pass them on to my kids.  It’s one of the very few meals in which I don’t have to listen to cries of ‘I don’t liiiiiiike that’ or ‘ewwwwwwwwww, that’s grossssssssss’ or ‘I’m not eating thaaaaat’.  When they wake up in the morning and their noses are filled with that same smell (because the sammies have been cooking all night long) I hear ‘I can’t wait to get home for dinner’ or ‘Mom made our favorite’ or ‘YEEEEE HAWWWWWW’.   When we all reconvene after a long day apart and we finally sit down around the table, just like I did as a kid, the only complaints I hear are when the roll bowl is empty before their bellies are full and when there aren’t enough leftovers for everyone to have a sandwich for lunch the next day.

They don’t even ask for dessert.  That alone should tell you something.

Enjoy.

Regular Guys are Sexy

In old news, Adam Levine has been named the “sexiest man alive” by People Magazine.    Because I have nothing better to do <sarcasm font>, I had a few thoughts and came up with an idea:

1.  I’m hungry.  Maybe that is because while I do find Adam delightful (so don’t you dare  go off sending me hate mail), I feel as if I should offer him a cheeseburger or something to fatten him up a bit.

2.  I really need to go get that new tattoo that I’ve been wanting.

3.  I understand that they have to give other guys a chance, but um HELLO???? WHERE IS JOHNNY DEPP?

4.  What constitutes “sexy”?  Sure Adam is easy on the eyes, but how do we know he isn’t a total prick?  (I’m sure he isn’t, but since I’ve never met him I cannot say for sure either way).  What about Johnny Farmer Bob?  No one showed up here to measure Bob’s level of sexiness.   Does Bob not make the list because he isn’t a guy with millions of adoring fans or have millions of dollars?  I see that Bob is at a massive disadvantage here.

5.  I’m still hurt over the Johnny thing.  I mean come ON.

6.  Who decides these things and why was I not consulted?

7.  WHAT ABOUT BOB?

I say it is time.  Time to show that our regular guys are sexy too.

Damn it, celebrities aren’t the only sexy men.  Our “regular” guys can compete with the likes of Adam, Idris, Jimmy, Luke, and of course Johnny. They CAN fortheloveoftatersandgravy!  After all, we married them/live with them/made babies with them/share a dog with them/haven’t killed them in their sleep to make the snoring stop so we must see something incredibly sexy about them.

While it is common practice to consider one “sexy” just based on what our eyes see <ahem, Johnny>, is that truly what makes them attractive?   Did you choose your husband/boyfriend just based on their looks?  Doubtful.  You chose him for his heart.  For the father you imagined him to be.  For the man you saw in him.  And yes, of course you chose him because his looks made your heart go all a-flutter.

That’s right ladies and gents, I want to see your sexy men.  I don’t just want to SEE them though, I want to know what makes them sexy.  What about him gets you all hot and bothered?  Don’t be shy, this is your chance to show off your man.  Follow closely my friends, there are rules and I need you to follow some directions. There may be a test.  Let’s start with some examples:

From my friend The Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess:

DG’s husband, also known as the Greek God Adonis is sexy because he is able to laugh along with her daily at the basic, every day events in their family, he’s kind, generous and has a steady base that she can lean on. He comes home and immediately starts entertaining the kids while she gets dinner ready and is right there to help clean up and get the kids ready for baths. When he’s not working, he spends his extra time building Legos , fighting in epic light saber battles, and coaching the boys’ lacrosse team. He doesn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to be there for the kids, he makes a mean breakfast, and he can fix anything that needs fixin’. He loves to play on his over 40 league lacrosse team called the Rusty Bones where, in each game, he demonstrates exactly why it is called that. He is even sexy when icing knee injuries and other bruises from playing like he’s still in high school. The sexiest thing of all is the way he loves his family with all his might and supports, encourages and cheers on everyone in his life.

DG

Mr. DG appears courtesy of DG

From my incredible friend Craughing:

The sexiest thing about The Fixer is his confidence in being a man. In a world overwhelmed with technology, money and being fake The Fixer shows his heart easily and with confidence. He is not overly concerned with looking tough and has somehow learned the perfect balance of being strong and sensitive. Somewhere along the way in his life, he learned that in order to be a man being open and loving is necessary and masculine. He is not afraid to try new things, admit when he is wrong, or show the world love and compassion. He strives to be a better person every day, and to make those he loves know they are adored. He also has a wicked sense of humor and laughs easily. Overall, his confidence in himself is what makes him the sexiest man I have known, that and he loves me well.

Craughing

The Fixer appears courtesy of Craughing Girl

I Want a Dumpster Baby thinks Dumpster Husband is sexy too, here are her thoughts:

What makes my husband sexy? Simple. He makes me laugh harder than anybody I’ve ever known. That’s the sexiest thing ever. That, and he has a great ass.

DH appears courtesy of IWADB

DH appears courtesy of IWADB

From the beautiful Blissfully Discontented:

Ordering dessert even though I said I didn’t want any, asks for two forks, and turns it toward me for the first bite…at the risk of losing it all to my ravenous sweet tooth.
His ability to laugh at himself…and see the funny in just about anything.  If I didn’t have him to make me laugh I know for a fact I would get sucked into my depressive oblivion as I’m known to do.  Also…he can quote stupid-funny movies like a mofo.  This is what first attracted me to him.  Hand to God.
He doesn’t always get why I need certain things in my life…like my need for sunshine and the shoreline.  But he gets ME.  He knows I operate on a solar-powered battery.  And although having his feet in the sand does absolutely nothing for him he knows the impact it has on me.  He holds my hand and walks countless miles up and down the beach.  He sits with me facing the tide for hours on end.  And he does it with a smile.  Means more to me than any jewelry in a fancy little box could every provide.
Most importantly, he is an excellent dad.  You can see the admiration and love in our kids’ eyes when they look at him.  He is firm but loving.  Silly but focused.  Even when life gets hard and work is overwhelming he puts it all aside and remembers what is important.  Aside from his ability to quote Chevy Chase or Adam Sandler…his ability to connect with kids is what truly attracted me to him.  When we first met we were camp counselors for a summer camp.  The way he interacted with his campers…I knew he was a catch then. I wanted to watch him grow into the man and father I knew he would one day become.  I thank God that he picked me to share this life and these babies with him.
The Gentleman appears courtesy of Bliss Dis

The Gentleman appears courtesy of Bliss Dis

And finally, here is what makes Farmer Bob sexy.  That’s right my friends, you finally get to see Bob.  Here is what makes him even sexier than Johnny:

Being an amazing father is what does it for me.  The way he isn’t afraid to show them his silly side, or his sensitive side, or his angry side.  The way he shows them every single day that he loves them whether it be playing a game of football in the front yard, helping them with homework, or showing them how to put a part on a tractor.  Throw in his never-ending support for me and my goals as a mother and as a woman/writer/person, it’s a wonder we don’t have more kids.  He puts up with me when I’m grumpy, when I’m being redonkulous, and when I’m being over-the-top silly.  He builds my confidence and reminds me that I am beautiful even when I disagree.  He makes me smile when he walks in the room and cheese on a cracker this man deserves a peace prize or something. Thankfully he settles for cookies instead.

Yes, that's really him. <3

Yes, that’s really him. <3

So here is the challenge, think about your man.  Really think.  Write down what makes him so irresistible to you.  What are the qualities that you see in him that maybe he doesn’t see in himself?  What makes him sexy as hell?

Once you have it nailed down (not your husband, your words)  I want to read them and I want to see your man.  Post a picture (keep it clean, the kiddies are watching) along with your words on my Facebook page or share it with me on Instagram (tag me @YKIHAYHT and use #mysexyman). I will give you until December 11 and then  I will assemble all the photos into a Facebook album for all to see and if the response is overwhelmingly positive, we will see where to go from there! <looking for some sponsors for some manly prizes maybe?  HINT, HINT>

Now don’t be shy, let us CELEBRATE our amazing men because the “regular” guys are sexy too!

*Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen, depending on the success (or utter failure) of this experiment you will (hopefully) have your turn to return the favor for your lady in the near future.*

 

 

What is Home?

home (n): the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.  A house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household. 

According to Dorothy there’s no place like home, but what really makes a home? Is it square footage or the color of paint on the walls? The piles of laundry or the knick-knacks on the shelf? Maybe it should be home is where you change the diapers. Home is where you cook the bacon? Make the babies? Lose your shit? After spending some time away from my physical home  I came to the realization that home, contrary to its definition, is not a brick and mortar type building but more of an emotional shelter within us that we can take with us wherever we may be headed.

I packed my bags to leave the farm for a few days and head to the city. I have to be honest, I had my reservations. It wasn’t because I was leaving my cozy kitchen or the pillow on my bed, it was leaving my babies. Leaving the loves of my life. Leaving my home.  Farmer Bob is beyond a competent parent, but mama was leaving and no one can do it like mama can do it (or so we like to tell ourselves). Would they eat well? Shower? Brush their teeth? Who would wipe PITA’s butt? I knew I would miss the hugs and the smooches, the “I wuv you mama” before bed, the Dutch ovens at night…oh wait.

As I departed my plane in Chicago and headed for the exit, I saw the smiling face of my very dear friend DG waiting for me at the baggage claim. It was at that very moment that I knew I was home. Wait? How could that be? I don’t live in Chicago, I damn sure don’t live at baggage claim four. How could just that one moment, that one smile, that first of many hugs fill me with a sense of home?

Photo by our beautiful friend Kristi at Necessary Indulgences

Photo by our beautiful friend Kristi at Necessary Indulgences

Friendship does that to you. Being enveloped by those who know you and are still willing to be seen in a public place with you. Seeing the joy in their eyes as you talk about your kids and realizing that it isn’t because they are thinking about their own littles, it’s because they truly love yours as their own. Never enduring the awkward silence because there are more words than there is time. The tears as you leave because even though you miss your own family, there just wasn’t enough time.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home is so much more than the physical attributes of a house. Home is in a hotel room in downtown Chicago discussing important things such as potato chips and cake balls. It’s in the hotel bar where no matter which way you turn there is a friendly hug waiting to swallow you up. It’s a quaint apartment filled with baby gear, hummus, and hot rollers. It’s sitting around a table in a busy restaurant trying to catch just a few minutes with every smiling face. It’s laughs and hugs. Jokes and stories.  Home is being with those that you love, no matter where that may be.

 

Respect

 

See more amazing pics from the book signing in Chicago over at Necessary Indulgences, then buy the book here!

The Power of Girlfriends

This weekend I received a lovely surprise visit from my Bestie.  We have been best friends since 1987 so I am quite certain that she knows more about me than anyone else on this planet.  She was there when I met Farmer Bob, she was there when I married Farmer Bob, she’s always there when I need her to be.  Always.  As we were talking above the screams of our children  it dawned on me how much we all need that one friend, or group of friends, that simply understand.  That listen without judging or criticizing.  That give advice without being condescending and that laugh when we need them to laugh.  That aren’t afraid to tell us to shut the hell up when we aren’t making any sense.  That may not always agree with what we are saying, but are willing to listen anyway.   That give us that little reminder that we aren’t alone.

The Power of Girlfriends

Before you get all worried about Farmer Bob and his feelings, I’m not talking about significant others here.  I’m talking girl. friends.  Farmer Bob does many of those things (especially telling me to shut my pie-hole), but you know as well as I do that there is just nothing like venting to a girlfriend about “things”.  He doesn’t want to talk about my saggy boobs and my menstrual cycle.  He doesn’t give two shits about what kind of laundry detergent I use or what I put in that salad. Unless it has to do with tractors, grains, cows, or sex he just doesn’t really care.  I probably shouldn’t say he doesn’t care because he does, but you girls know what I mean. <speaking of shutting my pie-hole…NOW, do it NOW>

There is something relaxing about sitting on the couch or around a table with your girlfriends.  Something that releases those tight muscles and loosens the tongue, and I’m not just talking about the effects of the wine.  You lose some of your inhibitions and the words start to spill out of you like the milk out of the jug when your toddler drops that  full gallon on the kitchen floor.  When it’s just you and your amigas, nothing is off-limits.   Only with the girls do you feel comfortable talking about the post-childbirth floppy butterfly, or the fact that you have to pick up your boobs in order to fit them securely in your bra.  No one else but the girls can relate to the fact that while you may be losing hair from the top of your head, you are finding it on your lip, or your chin, or your <insert random body part here> .

No one but other mommas ‘get it’ when you mention something about your desire to tell your kids to quit being inconsiderate assholes or wanting to scream at them to just PICK UP THEIR SHIT.   The dads, they get it, honestly they do, but it’s different.  They have a gift that we just don’t.  The magical ability to ignore.  Ignore all the asshole behavior until the magnitude of assholeyness has reached a level that even the hubs himself could not surpass.  Asshole level:  Defcon 5.  This is not going to be pretty.  One massive explosion of orders and dad has his offspring cleaning faster than a crew of Merry Maids.  If I were to attempt to use this method,  PITA would probably flash me a quick view of his wiener and run off and dump out a bucket of  Legos while laughing his cute little meniacal laugh.

When we are having one of those shittastic mothering days or feeling like a less than stellar wife, it is hearing those equally horrifying stories from your friends that make you feel less like a failure and more like a normal person.  It is knowing that you aren’t the only one cleaning boogers off your television or walking away from lunch because your toddler is throwing a tantrum over the way you cut up his hot dog.   Realizing that your friend also shoves Cookie Crisp in her mouth as she’s walking out the door because there wasn’t time to eat a better breakfast.  Having that ‘A HA’ moment when an amiga tells you that she just doesn’t feel like being touched in a sexy way after being groped by an octopus all day long.  There is a feeling of normalcy that overtakes you knowing that your kid isn’t the only one to take a dump on the sidewalk or that you aren’t the only one that gets tired playing cruise director and party planner.

So I guess where I was going with this is that if you don’t have you some girlfriends that you can dish with, you have GOT to get you some.  As my bestie said so eloquently after our visit, ” just a few hours with my bestie is like a massage, therapy session and a Xanax all rolled into one”.   You don’t get better than that.

Have you missed some posts?  If you put your email address up there in that little white box on the top left, you won’t miss again.  BOOM, they show up right in your in-box.  Isn’t that AWESOME?

Have You Found All Your Pieces?

Lately life has felt like a puzzle.  A puzzle right out of the box with pieces scattered, turned every which way, some upside down, some right side up.  Some gathered in a pile, some flung across the table.  It’s pure chaos.  I’ve been trying to gather my pieces and reassemble myself into a beautiful picture but have been unsure about my ability to achieve such a lofty goal.  It’s so hard to find the time to take a break, to leave everything behind and take some time to organize all the pieces.  Taking time to find the misplaced pieces and to throw out the few pieces that don’t belong anymore.  There comes a time when you must stop, look at the picture on the box, and take a good look at all the pieces to decide what needs to be done in order to put the puzzle back together.

Puzzle

I teach my kids to always do the edges first because they are the most vital part to the puzzle.  They are the starting point.  They give you the boundaries, and idea of how the rest of the puzzle will go together.  If the edges are all screwed up, the rest of the puzzle is fucked.  It’s unorganized and you are not even able to complete it.  Farmer Bob, he’s my edges.  I honestly can not do a damn thing without him.  He’s not afraid to tell me when I’m being a total jackhole and he always gives me support and help when I need it.  He keeps me grounded and helps me keep my pieces together.

It had been eleven years since we had gone anywhere alone.  Eleven years.  Think about that for a minute.  It is redonkulous and embarrassing to even say out loud.  Even though we see each other every day, it had been ELEVEN YEARS (have you picked up that it has been too damn long?) since we had taken the time to do something for just us.  While we are confident that we  have all of our edge pieces properly assembled, we realized that it had been entirely too long since we had taken the time to make damn sure that all the pieces are in the right place.  This weekend we straightened our edges.  Meals alone without stopping to take someone pee or to cut up someone’s steak, great times with some great friends, naps, a few drinks, and The Black Keys.  Edge pieces….check.

Now it’s time to put together the rest of the puzzle. There are so many different pieces that all have to fit together just right in order to complete the picture.  Some pieces have gotten lost along the way and the search is on in order to find them.  Some pieces have been bent in half or become mangled and will have to be straightened out, or even glued together, in order to fit again.  Some pieces are in the box but don’t fit in the puzzle and will need to be removed.  Some pieces have been right there all this time, and even thought it was believed that they did not even fit into this puzzle, they may actually end up being the that one piece that has been missing the entire time.  It is even possible to find some new pieces that you thought would never fit in your puzzle, but to your delight they fit just like they have been there from the beginning.

Take the time to look at your puzzle.  Really look at all of the pieces.  Spread them out, turn them over, sort them out, and really look at them.   It isn’t an easy task that is for sure.  There is nothing easy about searching for the lost pieces and it is hard as hell to throw out the pieces that don’t fit any longer, but taking the time to really look at them before putting them together is so enlightening and refreshing and at times frightening.

This weekend I finally took some time to examine my pieces.  I turned them all right side up, found some pieces that were lost, decided that some pieces just don’t fit so they  needed to be removed, and remembered exactly what the final picture is supposed to look like.  While I still have some work to do before I have a puzzle worthy of some permanent glue, at least now I have the right pieces in my possession and judging by the picture on the box, I think the final product is going to be pretty fucking spectacular.

Look at Your Pieces

In the Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye you are no longer just a couple.

In the blink of an eye your life is no longer just about you.

In the blink of an eye you become a parent.

In the blink of an eye your munchkin is sitting up, feeding herself, interacting with you.

In the blink of an eye your baby is a walking, talking human.

In the blink of an eye you aren’t changing diapers and wiping  little butts.

In the blink of an eye they can color inside the lines and write their own name.

In the blink of an eye they are getting their own cereal and pouring their own milk.

In the blink of an eye Chutes and Ladders is replaced by Monopoly.

In the blink of an eye they stop asking for apple juice and start asking for pop.

In the blink of an eye they no longer want to snuggle on the couch, but want to be left alone.

In the blink of an eye they are smarter than you.

In the blink of an eye your girls are fixing their own hair and asking for makeup.

In the blink of an eye your boys are talking about their balls and the smell of their farts.

In the blink of an eye your kids don’t need you to read them stories.  They can do it on their own.

In the blink of an eye the boys don’t want to kiss their mother anymore.

In the blink of an eye your little girl is asking for bras and talking about her uterus.  And boys.

In the blink of an eye the pants that fit them yesterday are two inches too short.

In the blink of an eye they can make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.

In the blink of an eye you are no longer mommy and daddy.  You are now just mom and dad.

In the blink of an eye they start Kindergarten.  In the next blink, middle school.  In the next…you are afraid to blink again.

In the blink of an eye you realize they are growing up and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

In the blink of an eye it could be gone.

What are you doing in-between blinks?

 

In the Blink of an Eye

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It Really is OK to Just Say NO

Early on in childhood we are taught to say no. Say no to strangers, say no to drugs, say no to peer pressure. Even as parents we drill the same skill into our own little people. We stress to them the importance of using the word when something doesn’t seem right. That it is okay to give their friends a nice firm NO when they are being pressured to do things that they know are wrong.  To say NO if they don’t want to do something.  Makes you wonder why after all the years of being told to say it, we are so scared to use it as adults.

I’m do know that I’m not afraid to use it with my kids:

Mom, can I have a cell phone?  No, you are ten.

Mom, can I have candy?  No.  I ate it all.

Mom, do you love me more than the others?  No.  I love you all equally, just some days I may like one of you more than the others.

Mom, do you have a wiener?  Thankfully, no.  If  I did you wouldn’t be calling me mom.

Smell my feet mom!  Not just no, but HELL NO.

Did you fart mom?  Nope.  Not me. I would never do that. <ahem>

While I love to piss my kids off on a daily basis by reminding them who is the boss around here, I often forget when approached by adults that I even know that the word NO is part of my vocabulary.  Why do we have such a hard time saying that one little word to other adults, are we afraid of looking like we can’t handle it?  Scared that we will be considered less of a woman/man/parent if we just say we can’t do it right now?  Maybe it’s a little bit of mom guilt mixed in with that middle school mindset that we won’t be accepted if we don’t agree with every offer that is thrown our way.

This is extra difficult when the offers involve our kids.  Sitting on the PTA board or coaching a ball team.  Going on that field trip or making those cookies for the program.   Never able to say no.  Always willing to adjust our schedules to do what needs to be done.   Never able to just walk away.  Feeling as if we don’t say ‘yes’ that the job won’t get done.  Forgetting that in most instances that one little word could alleviate so much stress from our lives if we would just use it.  Just once it would keep us from trying to squeeze in one more meeting in an already over-packed day.  Stop us  from making just one more trip to the store for supplies.  Give us an evening to reconnect with our already over-scheduled families.

Maybe it is that part of our human nature that has this desire to constantly please others.  The feeling of never letting someone down.  What happens when we become so overwhelmed that we forget to make those cookies or that meeting slips our mind?  Disappointment and guilt.   That’s what happens.  Then we sit in the soup of despair and shitty feelings kicking ourselves in the ass for not being organized to write something down.  For forgetting that we received that reminder call three days ago while we were juggling fixing lunch, finishing folding that load of laundry, and wiping the three-year-old’s butt.  It is hard to believe that we, the uber-involved incredibly organized, could possibly overlook one little thing.

Here’s the deal, we ARE over-scheduled.  We do strive for the acceptance of our peers, even as adults.  We always want to appear as if we have it all together, even though we know in our hearts that we are falling apart and will be hopping aboard the crazy train any day now.  In all reality, no one really gives a shit if you say “no, sorry, I just can’t make it to that meeting.  I haven’t had dinner with my kids all week and I promised them that tonight was the night”.  No one is going to think you are a raging bitch if you turn down that seat on the PTA board.  OK they might, but if they do then maybe they are the bitch.  No one else but us is looking our for us and what we need.  What our families need.

The key is to find our balance.  To find what is truly important to YOU.  You want that seat on that non-profit?  Grab it.  You want to be the room mother for your kid (s)?  DO IT.   You want to run a bakery from your kitchen?  Good for you.  Do you have to do it all ?  No way.  Find your passion and do that.  You aren’t telling the others to piss off, you are just saying that you want to be able to be fully invested in what you are doing.  There is only so much room on our plates.   To be truly involved with your whole self may take a little more effort  but the rewards are ten-times greater than only being involved with just a piece of yourself.

We can no longer look at  ‘no’ as a word worthy of being placed on George Carlin’s list of dirty words.  We can’t be afraid to say it to our kids, we know they aren’t afraid to say it to us.  We can’t avoid it just because we are afraid of not being accepted into the cool kids club.   If that club looks at you differently because you have priorities and can make a decision based on what is best for you, then maybe it isn’t as cool as you thought it was.  There comes a time where that one little word can make the difference between spending time with the family that you love and adore or spending it doing something that makes you miserable.  The choice is yours.

Find your true passion

Did you buy the book yet?  PLEASE don’t tell me NO.    Get all the details right here.

So This is Really Happening…

Living in the country we have days in which the UPS man pulling into the yard is the most traffic we see all day.  I had been waiting and waiting to see that brown truck this week and every day that passed with nothing was another day I sulked just a little.  Today he came and he had boxes.  Two of them.

My heart skipped a beat and I brought them in and put them on the table.  Since I knew what was inside I couldn’t bring myself to open them right away.  I was nervous.  I had heart palpitations and sweaty palms, I may have even let a little fart slip out as I jumped up and down in my excitement.  Then the reality sunk in.  Inside these boxes are books.  Not a bunch of books that I ordered to read for my own enjoyment.  Books.  THESE books:

Books

<cue the tears>  These are books that contain my words.  Some of them may be dirty and to some inappropriate, but they are still mine.  My thoughts.  My words.  ACK!  It wasn’t real until I saw them and held one in my hands.  Now it’s official.  This is REALLY HAPPENING!

I grabbed the top one and opened it up and glanced at the table of contents and I think my knees buckled just a little.   To look at all those names of so many amazing women all in one place, with my name among them, was something that simply took my breath away.  It isn’t like it is a new development, this book has been in the works for months.  Some of these women I knew before.  Some of them I had read but didn’t know personally.  All of them I am getting to know better and better every day.

ACK!!!

ACK!!!

Since I operate on full disclosure and honesty I feel that I have to tell you that I have actually NOT read this book yet.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m afraid to and I didn’t have a copy.  When asked to contribute the list of other contributors was not disclosed.  I knew that Jen (People I Want to Punch in the Throat) would put together an amazing list of contributors and that alone made it difficult to write anything somewhat coherent.  I struggled for a month to write my piece for her and after a TON of editing I closed my eyes and hit the send button.  Once I discovered who all the incredible writers were that were going to be joining me on this adventure,  I may have thrown up a little.  These are some of the most talented and hilarious women on the interwebs.  Now I am in print with them.  Mind. Blown.

What I do know without even reading one single page is that this book is AMAZING.  To have thirty-seven amazing women all together inside one cover, brilliant.  To see thirty-seven women working together to make it succeed, brilliant.  To see thirty-seven women who may not necessarily share the same sense of humor or writing styles or beliefs do something so incredible is eye-watering.  I’m honored to be a part of this incredible adventure and can’t wait to see where it takes us.

I am in awe of their abilities.  I am humbled to be considered a writer of their caliber.  I’m still shittin bricks that my name is in that table of contents with all of these lovely ladies:

People I Want to Punch in the Throat
Insane in the Mom Brain
The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva
Baby Sideburns
Rants From Mommyland
The Underachiever’s Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess
My Life and Kids
Bad Parenting Moments
Let Me Start By Saying
Frugalista Blog
Suburban Snapshots
Ninja Mom
Four Plus an Angel
Honest Mom
Binkies and Briefcases
Naps Happen
Kelley’s Break Room
Toulouse & Tonic
HouseTalkN
Hollow Tree Ventures
The Fordeville Diaries
Snarkfest
Mom’s New Stage
Nurse Mommy Laughs
The Dose of Reality
The Mom of the Year
Life on Peanut Layne
Momaical
Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine
Confessions of a Cornfed Girl
I Love Them Most When They’re Sleeping
Random Handprints
RachRiot
You’re My Favorite Today
Funny is Family
My Real Life

So, let’s cut the sappy shit, fricken PMS.  Who wants to win a copy?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller? Bueller?  (Sorry, couldn’t resist)  I’m going to give away at least one copy of “I Just Want to Pee Alone”.  It will be the winner’s choice of either a paper copy or a Kindle copy.  Depending on my mood and the number of entries, I may decide to do more copies you never know.  The winner(s) will be announced on Tuesday morning.  The more entries there are, the greater the chances of more copies to be handed out…for FREE!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait to see if you win?  Want to buy a copy for your sister/girlfriend/wife/mother-in-law/OB-GYN/most hated enemy?  It won’t even cost you your first born child.  Here is all the info.  Once you read it, be sure to express your love for the book with a positive review on Amazon.  We will worship the ground you walk on if you do :)

Get it delivered to your door via Amazon:  I Just Want to Pee Alone

Download it to your Kindle here: I Just Want to Pee Alone

You Nook users can download it here: I Just Want to Pee Alone

You can even get it from iTunes here:  I Just Want to Pee Alone

How Flipping Burgers Made Me a Better Parent

Burgers

When I was fifteen years old my parental units gave me a choice; either get a job to help pay for your car insurance and gas, or walk.   As you can probably imagine it really wasn’t that difficult of a choice.  They were kind enough to  buy me my first car (don’t be jealous, it was a 1981 Ford LTD and we often joked that it came with its very own docking permit) so I guess it was only fair that I be responsible for the things I needed in order to drive it.  Of course in 1990 gas was under one dollar a gallon and insurance on old Ethel was minimal, but a beast like that was gonna burn the gas and I needed the cash to fill her up.  I was left no choice.  I got a job.  I didn’t just get any job though.  I got THE job. Burger flipper supreme.

At the time it was just a job.  The building was so small that you could fart at one end and smell it at the other, simultaneously.   It was old-school.  Fresh meat, fresh potatoes, no cash register to tell you how much change to give.  It was a way for me to make a enough cash to buy a tank of gas a week, which at the time was twenty bucks for the boat (that was so much money back then, I would love to be able to fill up my car for twenty bucks now), buy a few clothes, and of course support my very busy social life <cough, cough>.    I still laugh at how I thought I was rolling in the dough on four bucks and a few cents an hour.   Looking back on it now, I have realized that it taught me so many other things besides how to blow a paycheck in one weekend.  While I never thought that flipping burgers and peeling potatoes would give me anything that I could use as a mother, I think have figured out how my high school job helped prepare me for motherhood.  How in the hell can I equate cooking hamburgers and raising kids? I don’t really know, but this is the way my brain is working right now so let’s just roll with it.

Onions.  They make you cry.  Imagine  being given a twenty pound bag of them and having to peel, cut in half, and chop the entire bag.  Repeat at least twice a week.  Sound like fun?  Not really.  Like peeling onions, there are times when motherhood makes me cry.  Maybe it is from peeling back the layers on a difficult situation.  Maybe it is the residual stink left on your hands afterwards.  All I know is that tears are involved.  Some days there will be more tears depending on the strength of the onion.  Some days the layers come off easily, some days you have to fight to get to the important stuff.  Some days you stick your head in the freezer using the cold to stop the tears, some days you stick your head in the fridge looking for a cold bottle of Riesling to help ease your pains.

Big bags of meat.  Sounds gross,  but we would have to take these five-pound bags of hamburger,  ball it and smash them in order to form the burgers.  Yep, fresh meat makes for better burgers this is true.  Our little people are given to us unshaped.  I suppose if you wanted to be technical you could say they come in a bag and some weigh about five pounds.  Which if your kids were that small, my now cavernous hoo-ha and I are jealous.  Anywho  let’s not go there, back to bags of meat.  Just like a lump of beef, our kids need to be formed into something amazing.   It is up to us to form those patties, cook em up until they are just right, and serve them up to the public in an appealing package for consumption.  If you don’t do it right, they can be unappealing and sickening to the stomach.

You can’t have a nice juicy hamburger without a side of french fries.  Farmer Bob would say onion rings, but believe me when I say that onion rings are never a good option.  It grosses me out enough to watch them be eaten, smelling them hours later is tortuous.  French fries.  That is where it is at.  Not just any fries though, they have to be fresh.  One would never thing that sitting in front of two, one hundred-pound sacks of taters armed with a peeler and a trash can could teach you anything,  but you sit your ass on a bucket with those two hundred pounds of starchy deliciousness and two hours to peel them all and you quickly learn how to handle monotony, frustration, and the removal of fingernails.  While motherhood is very exciting and always changing in many ways, we have those days in which we are in a rut and never know if we are going to get out.  We find ourselves bruised and dirty, but with a little bit of patience, the removal of some of the outer layers of skin, and soon you find yourself at the bottom of that bag ready to chop up your problems and serve them up fried with a side of ketchup.

Once you polish off that burger and fries, you must have a milkshake just to add those few extra pounds right to your ass.  I mean you have to have a milkshake in order to have that sweet taste in your mouth afterwards.  When I say milkshake, I mean a real shake with real ice cream and real milk blended up on a shake machine until it is so thick your spoon stands straight up.  I do NOT mean some pre-made mix that comes out of a machine like poo out of a baby’s butt.  Just like family life, you gather up all the ingredients and you blend it all together.  Some days it comes together nicely and you are left with a cup of thick deliciousness that everyone wants to be a part of.  Other days nothing gels and you are left with an unrecognizable mess of runny goop that all you want to do is throw it across the room while screaming obscenities at your co-workers, or husband. When it all comes together it is amazing, but when it doesn’t it is like a super-sized serving of shit soup.  You take the good ones and try to remember exactly how you did that so that next time you can replicate it.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Once you are done with your meal, you can’t forget about the clean up.  Here’s something you may not know, hamburgers and french fries are greasy.  Shocking I know, but true.   It could have been due to my extreme clumsiness  but for the sake of my self-esteem let me just tell you that greasy floors are slicker than snot on a doorknob.  When you are busy flipping them burgers, or having a dance party on floors like that, your chances of ending up flat on your ass are great.  Just like that time you accidentally cursed at your ten-year old, or threw away your eight-year old’s favorite drawing, as parents we all have times when we slip, fall, and endure a shot to our pride.  The thing to do is to lay there for a while in the grease and laugh at yourself.  Then you must get back up, wipe yourself off, clean that shit up and get back to life.  Life goes on, even if you are covered in slime.  Or poo. Or even a little vomit.  Put a little bit of time and elbow grease into it and before you know it you are back to dancing on your own two feet on a much steadier surface.

While at the time that job was just all about the money in my pocket, that job taught me more than I could possibly have realized at fifteen/sixteen/seventeen years old.  I stayed at that job until I didn’t come home in the summers  from college.  I made friends that I still have to this day, and lessons that will help me survive this parenting gig one single hamburger and pile of fries at a time.

 

 

One last thing, do me a favor if you would please.  Go to this website right here, read the story and watch the video.  Then next time you are at Wal-Mart or Target and you see those slippers sitting there, buy a couple of pairs.  Take them home and put them in a box and send them to Lilly.  She is an amazing girl and I would love to help her reach her goal.  It won’t take much of your time, but it sure will bring a smile to so many.  I thank you and I know Lilly will too.