My Grown-Up Christmas List

Christmas music instinctively makes me happy. Eleven months out of the year, we’re forced to listen to songs about “hotline bling” and “anacondas” (fact: it’s not actually about snakes) so it’s refreshing to hear lyrics about happy kids and a happy world when neither of those generally exists.

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The only exception to happy Christmas music is that damn song “Christmas Shoes” about orphaned kids or childhood cancer or some shit. I try to avoid it because whoever thought that song would ever be a good follow-up to “Jingle Bell Rock” on the radio deserves a frying pan to the face.
But anyway, another Christmas song that drives me bonkers is the two-steps-away-from-jumping-over-the-ledge, “Grown Up Christmas List.” This is a deceiving title because when I think about what adults want, I think about booze and a high-yielding Roth IRA. However, apparently this “festive” bullshit is all about world peace and friendship which makes me fall asleep faster than watching a live Congressional vote on C-SPAN. For example, who in their right mind jams hard to this song with these lyrics:

So here’s my lifelong wish,
My grown-up Christmas list,
Not for myself, but for a world in need:

No more lives torn apart,
Then wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

Who wrote this song? Mother Teresa? Gandhi? Am I the only selfish, piece of crap that actually wants things instead of universal love and free hugs for Christmas? If Bono and Angelina Jolie can’t get world peace then I’m sure as hell not about to waste a Santa-wish on it. Instead, I created my own “Grown Up Christmas List” that applies to a lot of thirty-something women that are such chronic messes; they’re known to accidentally put in (and wear) their husband’s contacts. I won’t mention any names, but…sorry, Ryan.

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My (Own Version of) Grown-Up Christmas List:

  • To never go to the gynecologist again. Unless I’m pregnant, accidentally slept with Kid Rock or my vagina is falling off, why do I need to be seen every year?
  • That Adam Sandler would stop making movies. It’s painful for America as a whole.
  • That the Oscars were on twice a year and that college basketball wasn’t on ever.
  • That when I Google “baby constipation,” something other than a search result containing “rectal thermometer stimulation” shows up.
  • That my boobs look as perky as Sophia Vergara’s and my skin is as tight as Sandra Bullocks when I’m their age. Or right now, actually. I look like shit.
  • More wine.
  • More wine, more often.
  • To sit on the toilet as long as I want and get out all of my pee without interruption (or at least read one article in my US Weekly concerning Gavin Rossdale and/or Ben Affleck giving the nanny some overtime hours, if ya catch my drift).
  • That the devil returns Kris Jenner’s soul.
  • That overnight anti-aging creams actually work overnight.
  • My son stops chewing his crib rails like a rabid, feral animal.
  • My daughter stops telling me that I need a band-aid on my c-section scar. It’s been three years kid. That shit ain’t getting any better with a Johnson and Johnson strip slapped on it.
  • That Barbie’s hair was more manageable. 10 minutes out of the box and she already looks like a low-rent hooker after a night on the streets.
  • That I didn’t just discover an old milk bottle under my couch.
  • That I had time and a functioning memory that reminded me to check under the couch for souring and smelly milk bottles.
  • That coffee IV’s were real. People always joke about them, but I’m 100% f^%$ing serious about this endeavor. We send rockets into space, but we can’t safely pump my veins with caffeine so I can stay awake long enough to bathe my children and watch three episodes of “Full House?” Where the hell are the priorities in this country?
  • That my children eventually like being clothed as much as they like being nude.
  • That my son will stop peeing on the carpet while nude.
  • To eat a warm dinner before being requested to grab a fork for someone, picking up half of the meal off the floor before I’ve taken a bite and most importantly, not wiping an ass mid-meal.
  • A new mattress that I could get my regular maximum five hours of non-REM sleep on.

With less than 48 hours until Christmas and a botchy internet connection, I’m not sure this will make it to Santa on time. However, the liquor store is open until 10pm and I have a gift card for wine…

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Merry Mom Christmas!

Lonely on the Island of Mom Fails


Maybe I’m in need of a rapid-fire therapy session. Or some high-dosage anxiety medicine. Or most likely, I just need to drink more.

I’ve been in a parental-rut the past week or so. I feel like I’m trudging through the day, looking for a mommy life boat to come rescue me. Maybe it’s Christmastime stress, work ramping up, but I feel like a lousy everything lately. I’m forgetful, absentminded, unprepared, delayed, despondent and exhausted.

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Allow me to enlighten you on my latest failures. Feel free to judge my actions, but if you do, I’ll remind you that it’s been scientifically proven that you also suck.

Last to pick up at preschool. I was seven minutes late to Caroline’s school. Seven. That’s not even enough time to take a shit or listen to the entirety of “Free Bird” and the school looked like it was the first target of the zombie apocalypse: completely deserted.

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There was my daughter, with her book bag on, the only child apparently left in the school, helping her teacher clean up after the day. Hats off to the moms that are at school at 2:45 and don’t have to leave work early, drive 40 minutes and nearly rear end every senior citizen to get there on time at 3pm which according to “mom code” already makes me late. The best part was that Caroline’s reaction to my arrival was: “Oh, I thought Aunt April was coming to get me.”

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Thanks for nothing

Forgot my son’s birthday. While on the phone with the doctor’s office, they expectedly asked me Oliver’s birthdate to pull up his file. She could have asked me who the fourth prime minister of Australia was or to explain the chemical breakdown of lactose because I was completely drawing a blank. He was born in September, yes. But was he born on the 14th in the year 2016? Nope. Incorrect. That’s the future. Is it the 14th in 2012? Shit, no. That’s Caroline’s birth year. Maybe the 15th? Nope, that was my due date. I finally stumbled upon the correct day and felt like I had just solved Final Jeopardy. I could feel her quiet judgment on the other end of the phone like “what dumb chick forgets her son’s birthday?” The answer is me and probably Michelle Duggar.

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Late to schedule Oliver’s one year appointment. This wouldn’t be a red-flag ordinarily, but apparently there is such a thing as “15 month vaccines” and when your son is 14 months old, your doctor is going to casually suggest combining 12 and 15 month shots. So my poor baby who just wants to play with toy trucks and pee on the carpet like a mini heathen was given six shots at his appointment on Tuesday. Prior to his appointment, his world was innocent and full of sunshine and rainbows. Now, he’s distrustful of modern medicine and me as a parent. Good news is that he’s vaccinated from everything from polio to shin splints. Bad news is that Caroline yelled “DON’T SHOOT MY BROTHER!” at the nurse who was only holding syringes and not an AK-47 like Caroline apparently thought.

Forgot snack day at preschool. Yup, another preschool fail here. It was Caroline’s day to bring in some gluten free, grass fed, peanut-allergy safe, organically made, no fructose corn syrup bullshit, fu-fu snack to school on Thursday. Too bad we forgot.

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Despite the teachers having a “snack backlog” (no doubt in response to shitty parents like ourselves), I just imagined ten toddlers sitting at the table sobbing over their snackless bowls like they’re all Oliver Damn Twist and them staring down Caroline as if she were to blame for their growling stomachs and the economic recession of 2008. I’m certain she’s an outcast as a result of my forgetfulness. Who likes the girl that forgets SNACKS? I certainly don’t and I’m her mother.

Immobile Elf on the Shelf. Here’s how I rank some of the worst inventions of mankind: intercontinental ballistic missiles, landmines and Elf on the Shelf. What asshole made this piece of crap and why are all of us buying into it?

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Upon coming home the other day, Caroline noticed that her elf hadn’t moved and stated, “I guess she isn’t magical like you said.” I told her that the elf was tired the night before, but she wasn’t having it. She said the elf could go back to her village which is definitely toddler-talk for “go to hell mom.” I should have just been honest with her: “your elf didn’t move because mom had two glasses of wine and your dad was playing video games. Some things are more important in life, young child.”

Needless to say, this week has been all sorts of just bad and I’m happy to know it’s over and that Christmas break is approaching. At least I can say that I remembered Caroline’s 4:45pm Wednesday gymnastic class.

I remembered it alright…at 4:58pm.

I suck.

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From the Mouth of My Babe v.2

If you ever had the scary lucky privilege of interacting with Caroline, you know that she is a character. She is like a thirty-something, sassy, high-class woman in the body of a three year old. I’m so proud of her attitude yet simultaneously scared of the independent spirit she possesses. I’m convinced that she’ll be smart enough to become President, but then I worry she’d tell ISIS they’re ugly or tell Putin he needs hair plugs.

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As part of my popular series (it’s not popular, I just like to say that), I’ve documented some sharp-witted, feisty Caroline comments that help demonstrate the little Dictator-Royal I’ve raised.

Enjoy!

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“You look like a commoner”

Well, I am so there’s that. Nothing like your three year old telling you that your appearance is basic. We all can’t wear leotards and plastic high heels and not look like a person in need of an involuntary psych stay, I guess.

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So #basic

 

Princesses just don’t wear pants”

I suppose there’s some truth to this, but what about Princess Jasmine? When I tried debating this with her, her response was “she is special.”

So are you Caroline, so are you.

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Ryan: “Where’s my iPad?”

Caroline: “Somewhere safe”

This is clearly Caroline’s audition for the role of a kidnapper in the reboot of “24.” Telling someone that his or her possession is “somewhere safe,” but not revealing its location is a clear terrorist tactic. “Oh you want your daughter back, Jack Bauer? She’s somewhere safe—unless you don’t give me 500 trillion dollars I need then she’s at the bottom of the Hudson River.”

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“Don’t you tell me that bad word ‘no!’”

I wouldn’t have to tell you that “bad word” if you didn’t just smack the dog with a fairy wand after doing an unprovoked cannon-ball and landing 12 inches away from your baby brother’s face. Two acts of assault in a 30 second time frame sometimes requires the word “no.”

 

Santa: “What do you want me to bring you for Christmas?”

Caroline: Clothes.

This is not a good sign for things to come. Better start saving up—she’ll discover the difference between Target and Nordstrom clothes any day now.

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Our future

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Clothes

{{Thank you everyone  that commented, messaged and shared my last post. It was nice to get a year’s worth of feelings off my chest AND to have it so warmly received– you are all the best!}}

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Since we weren’t in the hospital this year eating Lucky Charms and Sour Patch Kids for dinner (historically accurate as that is what the Pilgrims and Native Americans ate), we went to Ryan’s aunt’s house for a proper feast.

Surprisingly enough, we woke up nice and early to enjoy two full cups of coffee, a pancake breakfast and the Thanksgiving parade. I really hyped up the parade to Caroline and it turns out that the parade is actually awful. Like, why do I need to watch 15 different lip synced snippets of various shitty musicals followed by Jordin Sparks singing a seductive song while on a Goldilocks and the Three Bears float? Who the hell approved a woman basically grinding a pole on stage with classic children story characters? Why?

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The only redeeming quality was introducing Caroline to the Rockettes. We obviously watched their performance three times and tried to imitate it. Caroline’s kicks were pretty impressive while mine practically left me with a pulled hamstring.

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We left after Oliver woke up from his nap and I was so on top of my game that I had walked the dog, packed the car and curled my hair. We even hit up Dunkin’ Donuts 20 minutes before they closed and they gave us a bag full of donut holes despite only asking for a handful. Peeps were feeling the season of giving!

A good day so far.

After getting on the thruway for our hour-long ride, Caroline began complaining of a belly-ache. Now to complicate the situation: Caroline has thrown up in the car about 459 times (the only way to get rid of that smell is to actually set the damn car on fire and let it reach around 2,000 degrees for about an hour, make sure that the insides are fully charred), but this is also the girl that would request a prayer chain for a freaking hang nail. To say that she’s dramatic is an understatement. She will find week-old bruises on her body and make an attempt to file for Disability.

So I was in the dilemma of believing her complaints or potentially encouraging her dramatic tendencies.

WHAT TO DO?

Like a good parent, I told her to cool her jets and look out the window for stray, roadside cats.

We exited the thruway and as we approached the tolls, I turned around to see Caroline’s pale, sick face. She was going to puke.

I had to make a split-second decision: I could watch it happen and have her Gap Kids outfit be irreversibly stained or I could find anything to catch it with.

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Glancing quickly, I only saw a spare fleece jacket that I use on the way to work in the mornings. It wasn’t a bucket, but it seemed far more useful than watching her adorable owl dress be forever sacrificed to the puke gods.

So while Ryan was still driving, I leaned back still buckled in, scooped up the jacket, held it to Caroline’s mouth and caught her vomit.

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It is weird moments like that that showcase how particularly strange motherhood is. If you told me five years ago that I would arrive to Thanksgiving dinner with stuffed pepper appetizers and the physical remnants of my child’s car sickness, I would have given you serious side eye. But that’s parenthood for you: without thinking, you catch and bag a toddler’s puke.

The real tragedy is my generic North Face fleece that will be forever scarred by this event. You can’t come back from that shit. Maybe if it were an authentic North Face, it could have fought back. But this was from Wal-Mart—it didn’t even put up a fight.

Did I mention that it was white?

Rest in peace.

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                                                Pour one out for the fake fleece

TBT: Throwback Thanksgiving (One I Won’t Forget)

I’ve never been much of a fan of Thanksgiving. It’s a lot of fuss for a standard meal involving dry poultry and bland mashed potatoes. Add in the forced family interaction, travel and limited wine supply and it’s just a stress-filled day that only signifies the start of an even more stressful time—Christmas.

At any rate, it’s never been my favorite. Going into last year’s Thanksgiving festivities was no exception. I was 10 weeks postpartum and still navigating the strange, overwhelming world of being a stay-at-home mom to two. Thanksgiving represented a day that I’d be forced to leave the house, put on make-up and pretend to have my shit together. I wasn’t psyched.

On Thanksgiving Eve, while waiting for Ryan to come home from work, I decided to do a craft with Caroline while Oliver napped in his bouncy chair. Caroline and I were going to paint some wooden Christmas ornaments I had picked up and give them to a few of my in-laws at Thanksgiving dinner the next day. I always think about being thoughtful, but rarely act upon it so I was excited that we were going to show up to Thanksgiving with a homemade present for everyone. Mom points for me!

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About an hour before “it” happened

While trying to teach Caroline not to mix paint colors so every ornament wasn’t brown, I heard a loud, unfamiliar sound coming from the living room.

It was Oliver.

Thrashing in his bouncy chair.

Stiff.

Colorless.

Eyes rolled back into his head.

Not breathing.

I scooped him up, completely clueless as to what to do. There are no books or forums that give you information on this. There are countless pieces of advice for newborn sleeping patterns, but never did I run across an article about what to do when your baby is lifeless during a nap.

My instincts told me to jolt him, to shake him, to shout his name and to simultaneously beg God to get us both out of this situation safely.

Holding him above my head with trembling arms for what felt like a thousand years but was most likely just seconds, he came back to me.

I gripped him to my chest, completely clueless as to what had just happened. His color came back, his eyes locked with mine and he resumed newborn normalcy.

Before I knew it, Ryan’s car pulled into the driveway and I bombarded him with what had just happened. Not one to dramatize situations or ever be truly concerned, Ryan was hesitant of my story. I couldn’t provide details, I was flustered, the baby was perfectly fine now, but minutes ago he wasn’t breathing. Or was he seizing? What had happened? Why couldn’t I explain it? Did I make it up? Was I exaggerating events? I was so confused.

We debated for a few minutes and I finally decided to take him to the Emergency Room, fully expecting them to send us home since Oliver appeared perfectly normal again. They’d probably just give us some lame explanation, look at me like I was a crazy person and send us on our way. I’d be back in time to tuck Caroline into bed.

Once at the ER, they questioned me about what had happened and chalked it up to something called an ALTE or “Apparent Life Threatening Event” which was as reassuring as it sounds. Essentially, they believed Oliver had stopped breathing, but they didn’t know why and hoped that it was a one-time event. Having been there for hours, I just wanted to go home and resume life when the doctor said that we would have to spend the night as a precaution. I countered him with the promise that I’d call the pediatrician in the morning and make an appointment with her, but he wouldn’t budge. He wanted to observe Oliver a little while longer so I called my sister to bring up some pajamas for us and settled in for the night.

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My mom and sister left and I settled in for the night with Oliver. I fully expected to be at Thanksgiving dinner the next day because Oliver showed no symptoms of anything and hospitals don’t usually keep healthy kids. We’d be discharged by 9am, I figured.

I fell asleep watching “Gilmore Girls” (duh) and thought that I was a crazy, dramatic, over-exaggerating mother who maybe saw her baby do something weird and then whisked him off to the Emergency Room. I kind of felt stupid, to be honest. How do you explain that you maybe, kind of, possibly saw your baby not breathe and that’s why you’re late to Thanksgiving dinner?

In the middle of the night, I woke up to several nurses with panic-stricken faces standing over a sleeping Oliver. They were trying to jolt him to breathe—flashing lights in his face, rubbing his belly, screaming his name. His oxygen had dropped dangerously low and he wasn’t recovering by himself. I wasn’t crazy. Something was wrong with our baby.

We spent an entire week in the hospital trying to narrow down and rule out what could be causing these episodes. Every night while he slept, he would have these episodes and each morning the team of doctors would look more clueless than the previous day. Eventually, they concluded that he was born with narrow airways that became obstructed when he slept.

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He had to have surgery at 11 weeks old.

We were sent home from the hospital with an oximeter to track his oxygen.

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A 12-pound baby had an oxygen machine and portable oxygen tanks.

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We spent months waking up to the jarring sounds of his alarm telling us that he wasn’t breathing.

He had three overnight sleep studies.

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I came to dread sleep. It represented a time that I had no control over my son’s wellbeing.

During the day he was fine and over time, people stopped being concerned and stopped asking how he was doing. He was hitting milestones, growing like a weed and overjoyed by everything. When I’d mention how scary this all was, others usually dismissed my concerns with a “he’s going to be fine” which I quickly realized was never what I wanted to hear. How’d they know he was going to be fine? It’s so easy to excuse a person’s fears and emotions when they aren’t the one there, experiencing it all firsthand.

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Over the past year, I’ve coped with Oliver’s problems with humor. I’ve joked that our parental expectations are embarrassingly low because all we ask is that he breathes. I’ve called him “Old Man Apnea.” I’ve joked about how awkward his wedding night will be when I tell his new wife to monitor his oxygen and make sure he doesn’t get too excited.

Humor and sarcasm works well temporarily, but in all honesty, this last year has scarred us in a lot of ways. Sometimes I think back to last year and realize that I actually found my son not breathing. I hate to think of all the things that could have happened (and would have happened) if we didn’t take him to the hospital last year.

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On Monday, the results from his latest sleep study came back. Ryan and I were convinced that his troubles were over. He’s excelling. He’s golden. This chapter is closed.

Except it’s not.

The study found that he’s still averaging nine non-breathing episodes an hour. Now he is on two medicines a day to help with airway inflammation and we’re right where we were months and months ago. To say that this was disheartening news is an understatement.

I know that when people look at Oliver, they don’t see his issues. They don’t see all that I had to see or feel all that we felt. I know other people have it far worse than he does. But that doesn’t make our feelings any less significant. He’s our baby and his issues are real, they’re scary and they’re still present.

Last year’s Thanksgiving didn’t make me like the holiday anymore, but it forever symbolizes something much more to me now. What used to represent a day of football and food now represents my deep gratitude for modern medicine, for hospitals, for nurses that work holidays and hugged me at my lowest place as a parent, for doctors that don’t give up until they find an answer, for insurance that helped cover the exorbitant costs of scans, studies and medicine.

Last year’s Thanksgiving showed me the strength of my marriage and our ability to laugh through a crisis.

It made me grateful for my daughter whose youthful ignorance to stress saved me and made me smile.

But most of all, last year’s Thanksgiving made me thankful for something that we all take for granted each day: the little breaths that keep us alive. Whenever I hold Oliver, I’m thankful that I can. Last year’s Thanksgiving showed me that nothing is guaranteed in life, but that you should appreciate everything in life.

I love you Oliver and I will devote every Thanksgiving to savoring the sweet life of yours that I am blessed to see everyday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone <3

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Boston Remembered

A few Wednesday’s ago, (at around 12:30AM), I got home from three days and two nights spent in Boston with a few hundred high school seniors and some very brave teachers that volunteered as chaperones. I had never been to Boston and I can say that despite being the home of the Red Sox, the city is awesome. On top of that, it was also my first time being away from the kids.

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Spoiler alert, moms: they can survive without us! It’s crazy, really.

Not that I don’t trust Ryan, but I figured three days alone with the kids would have me coming back to a house that looked like Axel Rose was a guest. Thankfully, the kids still had all of their limbs and I didn’t find any groupies in the closets.

The trip was sincerely a blast, made better by a great group of kids and incredibly fun adults. Because I have zero shame and am unafraid of public embarrassment, the highlight of the trip was the dinner dance at the hotel where I was the 30 year old, married mother of two dancing awkwardly to today’s hits with a bunch of hip 17 year olds. If I had a shred of pride left, doing the robot-dance to a Fetty Wap song erased it.

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Aside from the embarrassing and outdated dance moves, there were several things that made Boston memorable.

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For example, I discovered the joy of a $6 Starbucks drink. I figured “why the hell not?” when I ordered it and for the price, I think there’s organic elephant tusks and gluten-free diamond water in it. No regrets though because it was delicious and undoubtedly more calories than a tub of buttercream frosting.

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I also learned that Boston takes flushing very seriously. When you have different flushes for pee and poop, you know your city is going places.

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Also upon our travels, I toured Harvard University before quickly realizing that Elle Woods was nowhere to be found.

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Instead, it was miles of brick buildings and incredibly smart students.

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I could feel their eyes searing a hole in me as if they just knew I barely broke a four digit score on the SAT’s. Smug assholes. Say what you want about my unknown college, but at least we don’t have “The Unabomber” on our list of known graduates. Ha!

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Overall, the trip was a ton of fun and I’m pretty sure that I kept my “crazy mom that’s away from her kids and misses them more than life” under wraps. It was a major mom-obstacle to be away from them and not be there for bedtime, baths, hugs and playtime. But we all survived.

And for three days, my clothes went without booger smears and shit stains.

I’ll consider that a win.

Currently <10_26_15>

Listen, I suck at multitasking. Some of the bloggers I read get up at 4am to run 8 miles, commute 2 hours to work, work 9 hours, commute 2 hours back home and then prepare dinner for their family.

I’m lucky if I can remember to pack Oliver’s bottles for the sitter AND put a lid on my travel mug. That’s the accomplishment-equivalent of securing world peace in my book.

With that being said, I thought I’d conveniently steal a post from one of my favorite bloggers, Colleen. I can’t find the time to keep my kids alive and come up with my own blog material—I’M NOT BEYONCE.

So here goes nothing…

Current Book:

The only damn book I read these days is “World History: Patterns of Interaction Student Edition” textbook. It’s a real page-turner, guys. I wonder how it’s all going to turn out: will Napoleon really invade Russia in the winter? Is militarism a cause for both of the world wars? How could it be?! Will the Korea’s ever unify? It’s all so captivating, really.

Current Music:

Um, we are obsessed with Drake’s “Hotline Bling” in this house. I don’t even know what “Hotline Bling” actually is. In my head, it’s like a call center for big-butted women. When you need a woman with a large ass to come to your bedside, you “hotline bling” her and somewhere in a busy cubical-filled office, a phone rings to answer this request
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I don’t know what Drake is talking about (does anyone?), but I hold a special place in my heart for people that feature themselves dancing a solo salsa in a psychedelic rubric cube.

Current Guilty Pleasure:

Did you read what I wrote above?

Current Nail Color:

The new Essie shade called “Too Busy for that Shit.” Gah, I miss painting my nails to match my daily outfits! Being an adult ruins everything.

Current Drink:

pumpkin-coffee

Pumpkin spice coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Go ahead and call me “basic,” but I would lay down pumpkin coffee in a bed of roses and make out with it if I could. Offer me pumpkin spice in July when it’s nowhere to be found and I’d probably offer up my own kidney for a cup for it.

Current Food:

Maybe I’ve been buying Pillsbury cookie dough and making myself six cookies each night. Maybe. Refer to my thighs for confirmation.

Current Favorite TV Show:

“Gilmore Girls.”

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ALWAYS “Gilmore Girls!” Every day.

It was announced last week that GG is being revived on Netflix. Just like the day when JFK was assassinated, I will always remember where and what I was doing when I heard “Gilmore Girls” is coming back.

Aside from seeing double lines on the EPT, this was the best news of my life. 

Current Bane of My Existence:

Childhood constipation. Why can’t babies have coffee to make them “regular?” Holy hell. No kid is going to voluntarily down some prunes to ensure that they take a shit. What do I do?!

Current Celebrity Crush:

No idea. Someone hot like Bernie Sanders or something?

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 Current Indulgence:

I spent a pretty penny at the mall yesterday on new work clothes. I basically bought two outfits and spent my entire salary. I hate shopping. If you gave me $500 and told me to go buy myself some clothes, I’d just stand there staring at you blankly and wonder why I couldn’t buy pie with that money.

Current Blessing:

About to get real here: my babies. I love them so damn much and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of how lucky I am that they’re our babies. We could have gotten some real duds, but we lucked out with these ones.

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Current Slang:

My students taught me to say “that’s neck” when someone’s doing something dumb. You’re also supposed to then slap their neck. I have no idea. I’m so damn old, I can’t keep up with this shit. 

Current Outfit:

A dingy pair of sweat pants and an old college t-shirt. Men reading this: stop getting so turned on. Really. I’m married!

Current Excitement:

HALLOWEEN! It’s my favorite! Man, I freaking love Halloween. Caroline loves it too so we’re going to have a blast on Saturday. And yes, I’m going to pimp Oliver out with a bucket to collect candy that he can’t actually eat, but I can. That’s what parenting is all about. 

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Halloween Costume Complications

Legitimately every time I have a moment to write, I sit down at my computer, fighting exhaustion, open up a Word document and then somehow end up on Halloween costume websites. It happens every time. I don’t know how, but it does. It’s like every time I open up a bottle of wine, I somehow end up drunk dancing to Journey. Shit just happens against my own free will.

Halloween is by far my favorite day/time of year because it involves zero family obligations and pressure to buy the perfect gift. No one is saying “Are you coming for Halloween dinner?” and then making us feel bad because we aren’t. It’s a “do your own thing” day, which is perfect because I plan to scare the absolute shit out of small children for fun.

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The dilemma is that I simply cannot decide on a costume for my children. It should be something that will be recognizable and familiar to people (example: being Professor Wiseman from “Curious George” is out because no one knows who the hell that is), classically themed (I don’t want to look back and wonder why I thought it was a good idea to dress them up as characters from “Duck Dynasty”) and something that we can do as a family (well at least, Oliver and Caroline while they still get along as little ones).

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Last year, Caroline was a pirate which easy to coordinate among the rest of us. She was in a pirate phase so this was a no-brainer, but all she’s into this year are big poufy princess dresses that she has a ton of. Her closet is something out of a Disney drag queen’s dream. Every day is princess dress-up day so I’m trying to gear her something different on Halloween and so far we’ve narrowed it down to her being a witch with the rest of us following in the “scary” theme.

But have you perused costume websites lately? First off, the possibilities are endless and overwhelming in terms of selection. But secondly, who is approving of some these costumes? For example, the seductive girl cop:

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I know this has been addressed on social media already, but what the HELL? Whenever I see a female police officer, I’m pretty sure she’s always been wearing pants. Never have I seen a woman cop holding handcuffs like she was about to use them for kinky bedroom antics instead of arresting criminals. Furthermore, why the fingerless gloves and knee high boots? Neither one of those is professionally practical. I can barely walk through a dark, pothole-laden parking lot in boots without busting my ass. How’s this “cop” supposed to chase bad guys through the mean streets of the cities looking like a damn hooker? That’s horseshit. Somewhere in heaven, Susan B. Anthony is PISSED about this, I’m sure.

SO that’s out.

Some of these costumes are so beyond strange that I’m not sure who has ever bought them for their child and I cannot imagine any child willingly wanting to dress up in said costume:

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Who the hell is like “my son should definitely be a lederhosen boy!” Huh?! Who loves German culture that much that this needs to be a Halloween costume and most importantly, who wrote this description of the costume?

Ah, Oktoberfest! Those Germans really know how to party. Plenty of cold, frothy beer. Big, fat sausages with names that are fun to pronounce and meat that’s even more fun to eat. Festive ladies in white blouses and long, blond pigtails. Just don’t show up wearing your Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts. You need to step up your fashion game for a festival THIS international. And that means not forgetting the kids. Just because they’re a decade and a half short of being able to drink doesn’t mean that they can’t look just as festive while they’re chowing on a boterhamwurst, And they will definitely look the part in this lederhosen boy costume. He’ll look like he’s ready to party like it’s NEINteen NEINty NEIN. A fun little German pun, there!

There’s so much wrong with that. First, the emphasis on “big, fat sausages” makes me uncomfortable. That sounds like a synopsis of an HBO after-dark special. Secondly, I love that this encourages copious amounts of drinking. “Yeah, so you’re getting shit faced, but don’t forget about those ankle biters of yours. Dress those little assholes up because this is a FESTIVAL for ALL and Child Protective Services says you can’t leave them home alone!” Lastly, the “nein” references are exhausting. Whoever wrote that really loves Germany and drugs.

Speaking of Germany and drugs, I’d also like to know who is dressing their kid up on a satanic day as a nun.

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Are you looking for a one-way pass into hell? I love me some God and Catholicism as much as the next person, but way to automatically make your kid the outcast. No one wants to bring the nun to go toilet paper the principal’s house—you know a freaking nun is not only going to confess to God, but she’s also taking info straight to the police. Certainly there has to be a middle ground between “sexy ladybug” and “nun” for girls on Halloween, right?

Hmm…wait…maybe I found the middle ground for us girls: a red peasant dress!

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You know, that one day of the year when you can dress as ANYTHING in the world: a princess, an astronaut, a ferocious lion, your favorite character—why wouldn’t you dress as a poor person from the feudalism era? Nothing gets me more excited on Halloween than the historical exploitation of the working class! And look at this girl, she’s barefoot and EVERYTHING! It’s every little girl’s dream to dress up as an skilled laborer from the 1700s that couldn’t afford a loaf of bread. Good times, good times.

Oh snaps, we’re back to being slutty guys because your child can be a GEISHA! It says that you can teach your daughter about “Asian culture” with this costume.

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Sooooo I can put her in this costume, load her face up with make-up while she “entertains” Japanese men? That sounds cool. Next year, she can be Julia Roberts’ character from “Pretty Woman.”

Only one thing to say about this costume: your son looks like a penis.

toddler-earthworm-costumeThe end. 

 

 

Oh Hi!

 

This is of course, long overdue. I promised myself that when I went back to work, I wouldn’t let my blog responsibilities slide. I mean, I have a responsibility to the public to make them happy. I’m basically like the president without the suits and actual responsibility, but whatever.

Anyway, all my plans for this blog were kind of punched in the face when I freaking got SHINGLES. While the rash is gone for the most part, the pain was awful. It’s starting to take a turn the better, which is great because popping 10 pills a day (literally) was making me feel like Lindsey Lohan and really try to live a life where I don’t feel like her on a regular basis.

I’m left with an ugly, deep scar on my forehead, which at least gives me some street-cred because I look like this gangster:

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So what else is new aside from shingles and work, you ask? Allow me to provide you with a riveting look at the current happenings of my life:

  1. Caroline and Oliver both had birthdays and we chose to have a joint party on a day that broke rain records. It was like throwing a party in the middle of freaking Hurricane Katrina. The real tragedy was that our promised and scheduled bounce house was never delivered due to the rain so we had 40 people crammed into our wise. Needless to say, we ran out of wine and I may have had a lot to do with that.

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    SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

  2. I still hate hosting parties. Like, why the hell do I need to care about whether or not you need a drink? Are you thirsty? THEN GET A DRINK.
  3. Caroline started preschool. She’s one week in and so far her teacher isn’t contemplating retirement. We had to fill out a questionnaire on what we’d like her to learn and I said the generic “to share!” but what I really wanted to say was “behavior that resembles a sane human.” Oh, and to wipe properly.
  4. I saw someone at Target wearing a “this face deserves compassion too” Timothy McVeigh t-shirt so I mean…that’s cool…if you like that sort of thing.
  5. Having shingles allowed me the opportunity to catch up on “Scandal.” That dumb show. It went from being likably unrealistic to the damn president literally starting a war with another country so he could save his extramarital sidepiece who was kidnapped by the Vice President in a coup attempt on the government. I couldn’t tell if I had taken too many meds or if this storyline was in fact real.
  6. When getting ready for work in the morning, I’ve been listening to a podcast where two straight men analyze episodes of “Gilmore Girls” and it’s freaking great. I have nothing else to add here.
  7. Caroline started soccer last week. Clearly she gets her affinity for team sports from her mother:
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Okay, well we are off for a Sunday morning of grocery shopping, pet store shopping, coffee drinking and football viewing and I can feel Ryan’s judgmental eyes staring at me to get moving.

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I’LL BE BACK FOLKS.

Why OH Why

Early last week, I had a bad headache, earache and an uncomfortable patch on my scalp. Then on Wednesday, I woke up with some bright red blotches on my forehead. Now, because I am a medically trained doctor who did my residency in “Bitch Knows Everything,” I chalked it up to the following:

Headache = Listening to constant kid cries/not enough wine/my period/too much wine/brain tumor per Dr. WebMD

Earache= Listening to constant kid cries/swimmer’s ear/build-up of earwax or some shit/brain tumor per Dr. WebMD

Scalp= Sunburnt scalp/brain tumor per Dr. WebMD

Red Blotchy Skin = eczema/brain tumor per Dr. WebMD

I decided to go to my dermatologist because I figured she could pump me up with some creams and a pep talk about how pretty I’d be again, but instead she sat down, sighed and said: “You have shingles.”

Shingles.

By that evening, shit got real and it’s been mostly downhill since then. I thought shingles was just adult chickenpox, but apparently it’s much more awful than that. Mainly because you get chickenpox in kindergarten (or used to anyway? They have a vaccine for it now so go science!) when no one gives a true crap about what you look like. When you have shingles, you’re a fully-functioning adult that still has to be seen in public by other fully-functioning and judgmental adults. It’s just awful.

My red blotches quickly evolved into a deep, painful rash that looked and felt like someone had poured acid on my face. Supposedly the virus sits on a set of nerves so I keep having incredibly painful spasms on the right side of my face that painkillers are very slow in actually killing.

Shingles usually lasts from 2-4 weeks which is great because I was wondering what kind of impression I could make on my co-workers that I haven’t seen in a year when I return to work next week and bam, why not oozing blisters and hardened scabs? People are going to be scramming to make sure their desk is right next to mine.

I think it’s starting to look a little better, but that’s like saying Freddy Krueger’s face looks a little better after a facial—not that good at all.

Now because my meds are finally starting to work, I must end this here, go to bed to watch “Scandal” and think about my head buried in a pile of snow to deter the real feeling of it being burned to a crisp.

OH and since I didn’t want this to be a picture-less post, but I also didn’t want to include a picture of my own face (those are reserved for my VERY lucky family and friends when I ask them over text to critique whether the rash has progressed), I thought I’d include this picture:
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There, now every time you see an adorable kitten or puppy, you’ll think of my shingles. Isn’t that great?!

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