27 December 2009

'Tis The Season (To Be Somewhere Else?)


Have you ever been swatted by the weather fairy and received an oddly placed beautiful weather day? If so, have you ever been so pleased by it that you wanted clean until the goodness of that misplaced climate was squeezed dry like a lemon into freshly made iced tea?

And if you have had both of those things happen, have you ever been struck with all of this grandeur whilst stuck at work?

Yes, I realize that this probably has happened to most (if not all) of you, and that it also has happened to anyone who was surprised by an early spring, or any woman who has been stuck with nesting lunacy. I also realize that I have an incredibly small reader base (who are all rock stars, by the way), so the chance of this having happened to those reading is pretty good.

Anyway, it’s an incredibly pleasant, balmy forty seven degrees, and it’s the dead of winter in Maryland.

And since I’ve Murphy’s Oil Soaped the bejeezus out of our offices and an unable to go home and cover my bathroom in Fabuloso while listening to the difficulties in the lives of the Real Housewives of Orange County, I figured I’d play a quick game of anywhere but here. You guys in?

Sweet. Okay.

Playing the incredibly intoxicating, fabulous Christmas present of the decade, DJ Hero. Grandmaster Flash, hang in there. I’ll be home soon, baby.

Creating some sort of pesto/parmesan concoction with lots of veggies and seafood. Because to me, seafood = summer, and 47 degrees right now may as well be midyear solstice.

Grocery shopping with unlimited funds. The cupboards are bare (thank you, week long vacation), and my super awesome MIL got me a SUSHI MAKER FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

Buying the stuff to make white peach sangria (because, hey, doesn’t that sound like it would go reaaaalllyyyy well with that sushi?).

Driving on Oahu along the North Shore listening to Adiemus. (Sounds weird, but it rocks socks.)

All right, I know that last one was a little odd, but I realized that my list of anywhere-but-here’s were kind of pitiful, and I wanted to seem more interesting and a little less mommy’sinarut.

I can’t wait to hear your anywhere but here!

26 December 2009

Mapquest should have a GONNA SUCK icon.


570.73

That’s the distance in miles from Colora, Maryland to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Located there is the resort containing my wonderful in laws and my beautiful step children.

9 Hours, 41 minutes.

That’s the amount of time it’s supposed to take to get there, provided there aren’t extenuating circumstances. Like rock slides covering an entire highway (therefore closing the entire highway), Mack trucks in the fast lane going forty miles an hour. Or silly goose fourteen month olds who are screaming because they’ve been in the car for…shit, what was it? Oh, eleven hours and forty five minutes, because mapquest is a BIG FAT LIAR. After driving through some very interesting Deliverance-like, phantom banjo filled, Silent Hill lookin’ twisty turny nonsense, we arrived.

We then had two of the most wonderful days, filled with all the Christmas card stuff you could ask for. Tiny quaint town with German architecture? Check. Outdoor hot tub and 11.5% alcohol by volume Christmas spiced wine? Check. Sledding down a super pretty hill without another soul out there? Check.

348.31
6 Hours, 26 Minutes

Again, mapquest, you LIE.

That’s the distance and time from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Clayton, North Carolina. Located there are my husband’s family, the Christmas tree, dinner, and large amount of spirits to be consumed on Christmas eve. Christmas day was beautiful, calm, and quiet (particularly in comparison to the prior evening). The food rocked, there was an amazing mascarpone cheesecake with candied pecans and dulce de leche sauce, and the table was gorgeous.

371.03

The distance from Clayton, North Carolina to Colora, Maryland.

6 Hours, 21 Minutes

Perhaps mapquest should be linked to weather.com, as it rained (literally) our entire drive, and apparently would have continued with us as far as Trenton, New Joisey.
But packed to the gills, suitcases in our laps and a new school Teddy Ruxpin teetering precariously over the youngest, we made the drive in six hours.

Jesus may be the reason for the season, but this year, Exxon made it happen.

Happy Holidays!

14 October 2009

And On The Eighth Day....


This reared it's vending head when I went grocery shopping the other day.


I think this may be a sign of some sort, but I'm on the fence between I-Love-Glowy-Things and HORRIBLY EVIL.


08 October 2009

I Like Free Stuff, too, but Damn.


Craigslist scares me.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are perfectly fine with Craigslist. I just don’t happen to be one of them. It might have something to do with living next to Baltimore, but who knows?

Craigslist also irritates me.

That’s right, it irritates me. I seem to have a hard time figuring out why someone with a puked on, cigarette burned (yes, I’m speaking from experience) Graco BABY SWING can feel justified in trying to sell it for fifty dollars. It’s insanity.

In lieu of Craigslist, I’ve found Freecycle, which is a Yahoo group that only allows the giving up or receiving of goods. No trading, no selling, and no offering of or asking for any type of service. It’s a nice little group, and it seems to really have weeded out the crazies and undesirables.

Mostly.

Here are some that have been posted in my local area (as you can only join the county you reside in).

“as long as it works looking for outdoor hot tub, thanks”

No shit, eh? Me too. Especially one that makes it’s own mai tais, or one that comes with a cabana boy.

“Looking for a HE washer and or dryer my washer the pump when out for the drain the motor burned up and it is almost $400.00 for a new one might as well by a new washer but cannot afford one so hoping someone has one that is working and not using or a non working Kenmore Elite Calypso washer that is not working that is what my old one is so if you do let me know please. Thanks Matt”

Matt, I also would like an HE washer and or dryer. I also want a pink, sparkly pony, and all my bills to be paid by Jah. Live the dream.

“I'm not one of those people that has tons of sheets, I just buy one set and use it until it's worn out. But I figured I could save some money by checking on freecycle first. I ripped a huge whole in my fitted sheet this morning. I'mnot picky at all about the color would prefer no stains though of course;) thanks!”

Too bad this person didn’t hook up with this person:

“Satin? sheets from Walmart.... used 1 time for 1 night, I can'tstand how slippery they are. Fits a queen sized bed. Creme colored.”

Dude, you’re both fuckin’ gross.

Then again, maybe they can hook up with Matt, once the Home Depot fairy bonks him on his head.

Freecycle might scare me now, too. Dammit.

Back to Target.

29 September 2009

'Cuz She's Still Preoccupied With...With...With 1955!


Yes, I’m snarky lately. I don’t know why, but I’m having a bit of fun with it. I’m a ranter and raver, people. Just roll with it.

Now, we’ve all read it…we’ve all gotten the “FwdFwdFwd: Ladies??:” in the subject line, addressing the 1955 “Good Wife’s Guide”.

Well, I’d like to give a shout out to my Granny, who thoughtfully sent it to me to make me giggle. It’s so weird…it’s like she knows I’m ready to slam my head against a wall if I fold one more shirt or make one more meatloaf, and sends things to make my day better. Odd.

It was so thoughtful of the Good Housekeeping writers to give us a guide, so I thought I’d be thoughtful back, and give them my critique (you know, as a housewife). I’m not going to comment on all of their points, just the finer of them.

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
I love this idea. I would absolutely adore having dinner ready when my husband gets home. I know he’s hungry. I’m hungry, also, because my son thinks my breakfast and lunch are his, so I rarely actually eat. I mostly just spend my time cleaning my food off my kid’s face. Usually, around the time I’d start cooking dinner, I’m bathing Scoob, as my lunch as coated him in some sort of un-wipeable substance.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
Work-weary people? WORK-WEARY PEOPLE? They play beanbags all day. Seriously, he’s told me. I don’t own any ribbons, I haven’t been fresh looking since I was sixteen, and if I could get a fifteen minute rest, it sure as shit isn’t going to be so I can look good for my husband. He’s lucky I shave my legs once a week. Work-weary people. Christ.

During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Three problems with this equation: One: Nowhere to light a fire, unless you count the pile of clothes he left in the bathroom. Two: It’d be nice if my husband found our home to be a haven of rest and order. It’d also be nice if I had a pink, sparkly pony. Neither will be happening any time soon. Last but not least, catering to his comfort provides me with cold dinner. It rarely provides me with any sort of satisfaction, personal or not.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
How often do you think I encourage my children to be loud?

Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
If he stays out all night, he better be prepared to stay there much, much longer.

Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
Seriously? The master? Does that come with a cape? Now, I’ll say that usually my husband is usually pretty truthful, but fairness is another story. Unless fair is equal to sighing heavily (I mean, asthma attack heavy) when I ask him to perform a menial task, like taking out the trash or bathing his spawn. You’re right, Good Housekeeping, I don’t have the right to question him. Or to question why he has no clean underwear or spoons, because he forgot to wash them.

A good wife always knows her place. You’re damned skippy.

28 September 2009

Oh No You DIIInt.


Lately (before my meds were upped, to be honest) my friend and I have been talking about things that are…just, well, generally unacceptable behavior. I say it that way because I have a tendency to react a little harshly to obnoxious public conduct. It pisses me off a bit more than it does other people.

What does that mean, you ask?

It means I’m going to rant, of course.
Here we go.

Your car is not magic, and for all you jackasses out there, this means a myriad of things. It means that the size of your vehicle does not entitle you to drive like a moron. All it entitles you to is a larger car payment, and a bit more time at the gas pump. I have kids in the car, so knock that shit off. Seriously. It also means that your car has windows. Glass windows, which means if you are texting, beating your kid, changing the radio while slowly sliding out of your lane and into mine, or picking your nose, I can see it. Clear as day. Quit looking mad, because you brought it on yourself.
One more, just for good measure: crosswalks and speed reductions in neighborhoods and schools are not loose suggestions, people. They are there because you are texting and picking your nose, and we (the functioning public) would much rather that you did it at fifteen to twenty five miles an hour, so as not to run over a kid. Unless it’s yours, because they’re probably in the shallow, shallow end of the gene pool anyway.

Ahem.

Moving on, if you lack teeth, quit smiling big. It’s friggin’ gross. Now, I’m not directing this toward denture wearers (assuming their teeth are in at the time they smile). No, I mean those “I smoked crack and my teeth fell out and crack is ‘spensive, so I can’t buy any dentures” unpleasant individuals. And quit getting close to my kid’s face and trying to make him happy. He’s crying because you look scary. You know what would make him happier? If you QUIT TALKING TO HIM.
And, while we’re on the teeth subject, there is no methadone section in WalMart. There are also no loopy metal spoons, crack lighters, or used needles. If you look skeezy, brush your hair and put on something other than your Kermit jammie pants and wife beater with no bra. Get in the car with the guy with no teeth, he’ll probably give you a ride home (if you give him ten bucks for gas).

Next, I don’t care how friendly you’re pretending to act…if you smile and suck your teeth or sneer, the less friendly of those shines through. I don’t really know what your issue is, and I don’t particularly care. I do ask, however, that you keep it to yourself. You’re being bitchy, and it’s just uncomfortable. This especially applies to women, usually the ones that have either been nosy in my phone conversation or think my kid’s hair should be combed better.
In addition to the “fake friendly” situation: yes, I am an Army Wife. I’m aware that there is a show. No, it’s not even remotely close to anything even slightly resembling real Army life. I am not friends with a General’s wife. My husband is not in the Special Forces, yes, I am scared for him to deploy, and yes, Iraq IS scary. Thanks for the update. Please don’t even think about asking whether I’m scared if he deploys that he’ll die, because I promise you, I’ll punch you in your uninformed, Lifetime-watching face.

Thanks.

Raggae? Really?

I can't seem to write much lately, for some reason. Even the great Bea Arthur said:
"It's only writers block if you've written something. Otherwise, all of us have it."

I wish I could think of something funny and witty to say about this...but if a picture is worth a thousand words, this video should be worth (at minimum) a giggle.

At least, it was to me.
video

21 September 2009

My Life In The Sandbox, Part 1


Recently, I was asked (by someone whose writing I much admire) to provide more insight into being a combat veteran with tits. I have some pieces I wrote many moons ago, while on my second tour. Some are funny, and some are sad. If you're up for it, read on.


I have a tower.


It’s a relatively small tower, as towers go. It’s concrete, and the inside is small. I can’t tell you much about this tower, because that would be a violation of the rules that the PTB’s (Powers That Be) have set forth. And that would be bad. So instead, I’m going to tell you what’s outside my tower.


I have this window, see. And this window overlooks some of the ugliest friggin’ country I’ve ever looked at. Seriously. It’s gross. I look at it, and it literally makes me wonder why the hell anyone would stop long enough to set up camp there, let alone build cities. Anywho, my friend Serrano and I are “in the business of observing the perimeter”, as the brief tells us. Well, I guess that the briefer really tells us, because the brief can’t speak due to the fact that it’s a piece of paper.
But I digress.
We watch these shepherds. And yes, they are shepherds, not “sheepherders”, or “the sheep herding guys”, as my shift mates so lovingly refer to them. There are three of them. A father and a son, who have either a rather large flock, or more than one flock. I don’t know what the measure of a flock is, so I can’t rightly say. They are cool. They don’t come too near the wire, and they don’t do anything shady. They just run around and play what looks like tag, and then they take their sheep in. Sometimes they skip. It’s cool. Then there’s the other guy. I’m not sure what his issue is, but when he comes out, the father that tends the other flock guides his son away. The first day I saw him, he was walking around the field with his pants around his ankles. Ew. And as if that weren’t enough, I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, so I found him with my binos. And if you’re a little ahead of the game, you can probably imagine what I’m going to tell you next.
That’s right. No underwear. Nada chonies. Bare assed, in HDB (That’s hi def binoculars).
His pants were too big, so he walked around with them around his ankles. So not only is this dude making me throw up a little in my mouth, he’s getting a little too close to my concertina. I am not down with Ahmed (which is what I call him) getting that close to my little sandbox haven. So we decide that we need to let him know what he’s doing wrong. Of course, I get to be the one who yells out of the window of the tower, and wave him back. To which he promptly waves hello back. Unfortunately, he happened to wave with the hand that was holding up the pants. That’s the kind of full frontal that will make a girl yearn for Brad Pitt, with or without Angelina. Because it was singularly the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. Today he figured it out, and when I yelled, he moved his sheep away.
And his pants stayed up.

11 September 2009

Never Forget That It's Not Just A Game...Iraq, 2007


The loss of a friend is always difficult. It is never easy, painless, or quick.

We stood in ceremony to honor the memory of a good friend, Randy Raabe. You know, it’s funny…the personality attributes that most people don’t (or won’t) appreciate until that person is gone. Today, the brothers and sisters of our unit stood as tall as we could while crying for the loss of our friend.

There’s initial shock, then the slow acceptance. None of us really knew how to act after we received the news of his death. The reaction was simple: awe, shock, and sadness. The fierce set of emotions struck us hard and fast, and as the days progressed, we began to make peace with the situation. Those of us that cried, cried for the loss of his presence, and the hole he took from our world.

I didn’t hold it together through the ceremony. I’ll never know why they chose to make me an usher. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time was watch my friends cry, and not be able to go to them, to comfort them. Watching Ashley (my roommate), and my friend Drew, speak from the podium about the great loss, the pain, and the memories…there aren’t words. I mean, obviously, they had words. I (uncharacteristically) didn’t have any. I cried throughout the entire service, even as the group dwindled to only our unit.

We watched the slideshow and taped goodbyes that we had labored on since the day the news of his death was given. The Colonel spoke, the Chaplain spoke. We sat in silent, sobbing, supportive reverie until we were allowed to leave. Friends of those who were close to this lager-than-life man hugged us, held us close, said the normal things.

My friend Tanya (who is Mortuary Affairs, and worked in the Mortuary services before coming into the Army) told me once:“I never tell people that their loved one is in a better place, that it was God’s will.” That stuck with me. Although meant well, they are trite clich├ęs.

This was a huge blow to morale. Slowly but surely, our lives have begun to return to normal. We breathe in and out. We eat, sleep, shower, and laugh, as Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedoms rage on.

RANDY RAABE. WE LOVE YOU, AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS.REST IN PEACE AND ROCK ON

09 September 2009

I Do, But My Washing Machine Doesn't

Saturday morning, I was pretty sure the pod people had taken my husband, and left someone named Jeeves in his place.

“I’m going to make you breakfast. Just sit down, watch whatever you want on TV, and I’m going to cook and clean up a bit.” And cook and clean up he did, amidst my weak protesting. (Shut up. Don't judge me. There was a Hell’s Kitchen rerun on.)

“Bring me the laundry. I want to get it all done.” Although it was pretty much all his laundry, I was still a little woozy over the badass, cleaning mamma-jamma that had replaced my other (less sanitizing obsessed) half. I obliged, throwing everything but the kitchen sink down the laundry chute.

As the day progressed, we watched a few movies, held hands, and played with the baby. We cooked dinner together, and held each other as we went to sleep. All in all, it was a pretty fabulous day. The rest of the weekend passed uneventfully, and I was just generally glad to be married to him and have my life.

Cut to: Tuesday morning after a long weekend. There was a light rain, the breeze flapped through the curtains, and light jazz flowed through the speakers. It seemed as if it was going to be a very calm, nice, once in a while kind of morning. As I went downstairs to get the laundry from the dryer, I found that there was nothing in there. Odd, huh?

Not so odd. There was nothing in the dryer because the first of the seven loads never made it out of the washer. The formerly clean clothes were rancid. Hell, I’m surprised they didn’t transfer themselves into the dryer. Sigh.

Coming back up to the kitchen, I found a smelly pile of exercise clothes next to the highchair. Sighing, I took them to the hamper. Entering the bathroom, I found the small (but undeniable) piles of hair he had cut the night before. They were on the sink, on the soap dispenser, on the floor, and ON MY TOOTHBRUSH. Resigned, I cleaned up the bathroom. As the morning droned on, I banged my head against the proverbial wall, trying to figure out why I’d been so blissful and head over heels for this man over the weekend. It crept in the corner of my mind, but remained blocked by the smell of bleach and my muttering voice emptily threatening serious marital issues.

Gr.

I woke this morning and made my coffee. I blearily read the text message on my phone. It said simply “Wanna marry me again? Love you”.

I guess sometimes the scales balance themselves out strangely.

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Kid Plays With His Snot.

It started with a cough.

Innocent enough, that little cough. Could have been from anything, really. Water going down wrong, a stray crumb.

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t a stray crumb. It was the fall-approaching-back-to-school-crud.

It’s a gyp, really. I feel that if my stepchildren can’t live with us full time, I should at least get the gift of skipping the second grade mini-mono. Or, even as a stocking stuffer (you know, rather than a full on gift) perhaps it could avoid arriving on our four day weekend. Especially the last weekend I get with my husband before he jet sets off to Colorado to do some training for two weeks, and leaves Scoob and I with nothing but our cuddles, snotty tissues and HGTV reruns.

The sickness fairy, however, (who I picture with a huge wand of mucous) has whacked us all squarely on the head. She didn’t seem to hear my vitamin and eight ounce water pleas. And the kicker? Scoob is acting fine. I mean, I know he’s sick. He’s got snot everywhere, and the volume of his breathing level rivals the vacuum. (No, really, I tried it. I can still hear him.)

On the upshot, yesterday I cleaned the entire house, did seven loads of laundry and mowed our half acre. Seriously. I figured that if we were going to be sick, we might as well be sick in a sparkly clean house. Somehow, I feel better about being sick in a clean house. I suppose it’s because I don’t feel the urge to get as many things done. I think I may have some sort of compulsory disorder. But that’s another doctor’s visit.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to beat the doldrums o illness? I mean, besides subjecting my eleven month old to various episodes of Rehab: Party at the Hard Rock?

25 August 2009

Attention Shoppers!

I’m a flincher.

A minimum of fifteen times a day, I flinch. If it’s not at my son trying to walk, it’s screaming. If it’s not that, it’s the cats trying to eat the thawing chicken or the driver in his lane that keeps coming too close to mine. Seriously, I flinch. A lot.

When I leave the house with my kid, the flinching is increased by at least threefold. Hopefully, these are things that other moms are tired of saying over and over and over, too.

Next time you go in for a checkup, ask the triage nurse what various random communicable illnesses are going around. I guarantee that you will be answered with the following, and probably more: swine flu, strep throat, rotavirus, stomach flu, tuberculosis and the common cold. Is this to scare you? YES. Why, you ask, would I be such a hateful, mean, scary person? So the person or two that thinks it’s alright to touch babies hands and faces DOESN’T. I don’t know what’s on your hands. Maybe you’re a sneezer with no Kleenex. Maybe you’re not a post bathroom trip hand washer. Heck, maybe your hands are clean as a whistle. I prefer not to play germ roulette. And, to make things worse, my kid has a habit of sticking his hands in his mouth-nose-diaper-toes-and all over the cart, so even I don’t know where his hands have been. Seriously.

At the zoo, there are signs everywhere to indicate that you should not feed the animals. Well, I don’t have all that fence to hang a sign. My kid is only six inches wide and a foot and a half tall. My point? Don’t feed my kid. Not cheetos, not sandwich, not crackers, and not lollipops. I don’t know where your food has been (or your hands. See how this all lines up?)

Moving on, don’t guess genders. There is some universal anomaly that causes almost every person that guesses genders to be DEAD WRONG. Boys can have long hair, and girls can be bald as, well, babies. And it hurts their mommies feelings if you guess wrong. It makes us feel like we can’t produce a kid that looks like they should, and that’s just silly.

For all the old women out there: if you don’t know me from Adam, your age will not help you in your argument for the things I am doing wrong. My child does not walk, and therefore does not need shoes and socks in eighty degree weather. Sandals will suffice, and he’s much more pleasant when he’s not overheating. I don’t care if you don’t like that I’m buying formula, and your snide comments about his lack of hat are not going unnoticed, just ignored. There have been medical advances. Read them.

And last but not least, I have three kids. Two stepkids, and one that I brought into this world. One, two, three. See? I can count them. Which means you don’t need to. I am aware of the current state of the economy, I am aware that my husband is in the Army, and might as well be bringing home magic beans, he’s that underpaid. I am also aware of the cost of healthcare, dentistry, pre and post natal care, and how tired another kid will make me. Here’s a quarter, call the Octo-mom or Kate. They used their girlie areas as clown cars. I just want to make a decision without the woman in line behind me at the grocery store or the guy in the sexual aids aisle weighing in on my decision.

21 August 2009

Thank God For Small Favors...

I don't have much in the way of funny lately. The Scoob and I are both pretty sick with a flu bug, and we're just trying to pass time on the couch watching Top Chef and House Hunters reruns. But I got a video of him doing this:


video

16 August 2009

Pretty Mommy, Why Are You In Sweats?

I’m wearing flip flops. And they aren’t wedges, sparkly, or from Banana Republic.

Have you set your coffee cup down? Do you, in the words of the great Mike Myers on SNL, need to “Tawlk amongst yaselves”? Probably not yet, you don’t. But now, I’m going to say something that might prompt you to.

I’m also wearing yoga pants.

Now, you may be thinking that I’m sitting in front of my home computer, which is absolutely true. Earlier, though, I wore them through Target. I wore them through Target with my hair in a ponytail. Not even a cute holder for the ponytail, just a plain elastic band. Which, to be honest, is kind of unfair, because I have really good hair.

And I’m sick of it.

I love being able to do things with my hair. I can curl, straighten, and blow dry with a round brush to my hearts content. However, the only person here to see it is Scoob, and it’s just as easy for him to put American cheese slices into my uncoiffed hair. So I just don’t. The want for the Early Thirties Mom-Bob is creeping its way into my ponytail covered, unhighlighted dome and scaring the heck out of me.

It’s not just the hair, people. Although I have begun to revere yoga in an unhealthy way, count calories until my eyes cross, and am taking diet pills, I just can’t seem to get the change I ache for.

Although I’ve been assured that wanting some serious image change is all part of the early motherhood-life crisis, I can’t help but feel a bit…well, off about it. I’m sitting in a chair at my own pity party, and it’s a bit depressing. I know. You can stop reading if you want, and I will completely understand. It’s just that, well, I feel like a frump, and I don’t know how to break the mom jeans, ponytail head, flip floppy cycle from hell.

How do others break the stay at home mom ho hums? Anyone?

13 August 2009

Take THAT, Parents.com!


On the twelve-lane, no speed minimum or limit, rocky and scenic road of raising a baby, the sign most often posted is regarding milestones.

Everyone wants to know about the milestones. The pediatrician, friends and family, people in line behind you at the grocery store…they’re all wildly curious about The Milestones.

I have to tell you, after Scoob sprouted 8 teeth by seven months but didn’t say “mama” until he was ten months, I stopped paying attention to milestones. I quit worrying whether or not he was going to walk, talk, sing, or get a college degree according to the approved timeline. In this house, we follow quite another schedule.

Want to hear about it?

He shared. He picked up his Goldfish cracker, looked at it, put it into my mouth and smiled. Then he opened his mouth for his goldfish cracker. It remains to be seen whether or not he will be keen on the reallocation of things that don’t come a billion to a box.

When he’s not choking down handfuls of crackers, he dances. Oh boy, does this kid dance. To Count Basie, and then to Soulja Boy. (Yes, we are a fairly musically diverse household.) He dances. He dances to my husband playing the guitar. He dances to my ringtones. He dances when I sing. He dances to the music in his head while in the johnny jump up. And (most notably) he dances so furiously to The Blackeyed Peas new song that he ends up hitting his head on the side of the playpen. Hard. This kid channels J Lo and Sebastian Bach simultaneously. The kid is a shimmyin’ and headbangin’ all the live long day.

Then, when he’s not dancing, he high fives. I hold my hand up and say “high five!” and he slaps my hand and squeals with glee. Glee, people. You might hear it and think that Tibet is free, he’s that excited.

He tries to hold conversations. Yesterday, when I went to get him from his nap, I said “Iiiiiit’s MAMA!”, and he said “No. Dada.” I’m so glad we’re back to loving only Dada. It is Dada that got the epidural and expelled the nine pounds of life. I was only there eating cookies.

The icing on the cake? I changed his super skinky diaper and allowed him to finish shakin’ his rump to Mambo Number 5. When I turned to pick him up, his diaper was OUTSIDE his playpen.

I guess he needed his ass unencumbered to give the mambo its proper respects.

10 August 2009

Whore, Whore, Whore of the Jungle....


When I get sick, I get kinda whiny. Okay, I get really whiny. I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to talk to anyone, and I want to hide from the world on my couch, watch Top Chef and Wife Swap reruns with my kid. Unfortunately, today, I was cursed with the dreaded “going shopping for one absolutely necessary item” trip to Wal Mart. To perk up the fact that I had to drive 30 minutes to get to Wally World for diapers (yes, we’ve moved THAT FAR OUT into the sticks), I began to look for a toy for my son. At least to make the trip fun, you know? While perusing the toy aisles, I came across this:

www.amazon.com/Bratz-Wildlife-Doll-%252d-Yasmin/dp/B001PBFJ8G/ref=sr_1_1

Dude, are you kidding me? Now if you’ve read some of my other blogs, you may already know that I have a deep seated hatred for these dolls. I realize that some mothers think this kind of thing is perfectly acceptable. I, however, am not one of these mothers. If I’ve offended you, I’m really sorry, but this is borderline plastic porn.

Seriously, I think this company is still giggling at the “Let’s get Sandra” joke. At least, that’s what I have to assume if I’m going to keep my sanity. If not, this thing is actually geared toward kids my stepdaughter’s age, and that’s just insane. So, in true “Contemplations of an Army Wife” style, it is, in fact, time to make a list of why this is BULLSHIT. I'm so glad we were on the same page.

1. The Bratz are, most emphatically, NOT the “Only dolls with a passion for fashion”. Barbie pretty much started that trend. She had the house, the furs, the evening-sportswear-trendy and homemaker outfit lines. Barbie is GLOBAL, for pete’s sake. Is there a Bratz doll wearing clogs, holding a milk jug and a tulip, standing in front of a paper windmill? Didn’t think so.

2. Yasmin comes with a “collectable spotted leopard”. First, I’m surprised that the overpaid pedophilic bastards coming up with this doll can spell leopard. Second, what the hell makes it collectable? It’s not Christian the Lion, it’s a plastic, housecat lookin’ addition to a boxed set of nonsense. If that thing is a collectable, I have a rescue cat whose retardation came compliments of a Wal Mart bag (ironic, no?). She is also a collectable. Please feel free to e mail me with your bids.

3. She is wearing THIGH HIGH BOOTS. Yep, you got it. If you need a second to look at the picture again, that’s fine. I’ll wait. Back? Good. It’s okay, I’m enraged about it, too. I might even be willing to give the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they are supposed to be knee high boots. I find myself at a loss, however, as this doll as a point A to point B, heel to where-the-sun-don’t-shine situation. There seems to be no indication that these boots are anything other than straight off of Hollywood Boulevard. So there will be no benefit of the doubt, other than I can only assume that this doll will, at some point, be sold with a doll sized bottle of penicillin.

4. Her belt buckle is strategically placed in her crotch, and her other “outfits” are gold and copper lame`, and her earrings are reminiscent of Usher’s “Yeah!” video.

These terrifying plastic skankos are made by the same company that produce Fisher Price kitchens and baby Shrek dolls. I wonder if those fourteen year olds with the pregnancy pact had these in their old toy boxes? Congratulations, MGA, you have helped me decide that I am NEVER having a girl. Anyone have one of those Kama Sutra position to choose the sex of your baby books? If so, please scan and e mail the boy positions.

Holy Crap.

03 August 2009

How My Fake Yoga Became A Real Habit

We're being healthy. I hate it.

My husband has an exercise ball. It’s this huge, white, monstrous abomination of a thing, and it taunts me. It just sits there, looking all round and exercisey. I’m pretty sure that it’s working in cahoots with my new DVR, because every time I see something interesting on Fit TV, it involves that damned exercise ball. When this ball isn’t cahooting with Fit TV, it’s cahooting with my husband, pleading with me to do crunches on it while he cheers me on. I don’t believe there is a way that I can stress enough how much those crunches will not be happening.

It’s part of this regime we’ve been hitting ourselves in the foreheads with, including farm fresh veggies, lots of fish, and copious amounts of water. We’ve gone sugar free, lite mayo, olive oil, whole grain. And my husband, he wants it to be this working together thing. I eat tomatoes raw, he decides he likes them. I cut up cucumbers, he adds balsamic vinegar, and proceeds to tell me that I married Wolfgang Puck. I watch Top Chef, he asks me to pan sear monkfish (which kills me, because I am actually a Chef, and he worked at the Waffle House. Plus, I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what monkfish is.) The whole thing is absolute insanity. But I'm trying. This morning, I put yogurt and cantaloupe together, like it was going to create some sort of wondrous concoction equivalent to biscuits and gravy.

It didn’t.

So I need something, right? Some part of this neo-health atrocity that’s all mine. Gotta be tricky, though, if I’m going to outsmart my in shape arch nemesis…I mean, the love of my life. Then it came to me.

Yoga.

Yep, Fit TV has redeemed itself from the exercise ball incident, in the form of Namaste Yoga. The voice on the show is relaxing, I can light candles while I work out, and the twice daily stretching is doing wonders for our love life.
Best of all? Although my husband does his absolute best to mock it to death, he’s absolutely terrified of it. Not only will he not participate in it, but he calls it “Naam-ass-tee”, and goes outside to mow the lawn while I do it. If I space the show out enough, I can get two hours of quiet from one twenty minute episode. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for.

Screw you, exercise ball.

25 July 2009

Check, Please!

When I’m dining out, one of my most favorite things is to watch someone have a birthday. The candles, the ice cream, the singing wait staff. It’s nice to see people having a good time, pretending to be embarrassed as they revel in their 33 seconds of “happy birthday” eatery fame. At least, it used to be one of my favorite things.

It very rapidly ceased being so a few days ago, when our family was eating out at a family restaurant. My husband had taken my stepson to the bathroom, and my stepdaughter and I were perusing the menu. Suddenly, six faux-cheerful servers bounced out of the kitchen clapping and singing while handing a teenaged girl an ice cream sundae. As I smiled on, glad for her happiness, my stepdaughter screeched:

“Well, it’s the BIG GIRL’S birthday!”

Now, if you’re thinking “big girl” along the “not a kid” lines, you probably would have been the only person in that restaurant that did not shoot me a look of sheer, withering hate. Very clearly, I explained to her that all things do not need to be voiced. Even then, to my dismay, no amount of wishinghopingpraying was going to prod the seat cushion to open up and swallow me whole. It rapidly became clear that our dinner was going to consist of being glared at by an entire red boothed room full of people. Which (in my defense) was just dumb, as I wear a size sixteen. Seriously, I'm a fat ass. So it’s not as though I’m teaching my children to voice disapproval over appearances. Rather than ignore my stepdaughter’s “out of the mouth of babes” snafu, repeated disdain for our general existence was made clear by all those sitting within earshot.

I could hear the whispers, ranging from my inability to teach my stepdaughter appropriate public place conversation to my ten month old son’s shrill excitement over my husband’s return from the restroom. Then came the stares of inconceivability as my stepdaughter handed me her flip flop to fix and my stepson asked the waitress for French fries for dinner (like we’d have actually let him eat just those. Shut up.) After the food arrived, we were met with open hostility from tables two through thirty six as I cut up the youngest a hot dog and an apple.

Now, I’m an assertive individual, and I happen to pride myself on cheerfully waving at the people (ahem…big stupidheads) that are rudely condemnatory of my less than perfect parenting. But on this particular occasion, for some reason, I became so uncomfortable that I asked for to go boxes and retreated to the safety of my car. Why was I so uncomfortable? What did we do that was so wrong? How do I avoid this situation in the future?

And, if any of you horrible, mean, judgmental people are reading this now, if that hot dog and apple dinner for my baby made you think I was a bad parent...well, you should have seen the entire can of fruit cocktail he ate yesterday. So there. Fuck off.

26 June 2009

Welcome Home-ish


The Move has happened.

And I didn’t capitalize the “t” in the just because it was at the beginning of the sentence. It is truly that important. It is capitalized for normal reasons, but also in an A.A. Milne word of significance sense.

Here is a list of things this week that made me want to become a cutter:

1. I drove from Richmond, VA to an hour past Baltimore, MD with a six year old with a toothache, a pissy (bored and teething) nine month old, two cats, various must have living items, a dying Zune, and a flat Amp energy drink.
2. I was the follower rather than the leader, even though I had the GPS. Man, testosterone rocks my socks off.
3. My four year old and six year old will not, under any circumstances, quit bitching at each other.
4. The basement in this house covers the same space as the top level of the house, so it sounds like we’re walking around in a mobile home that is teetering perilously over the (very echo-y) cavernous hole to hell. (Which I didn't even belive in until I found out that it was under my house.)
5. I found out what it’s like to try and pass a tractor on a country road. I also found out what it’s like to have a tractor driver think it’s funny to make you try and pee your pants while you’re in your car on the country road.
6. It took twenty minutes to explain to my stepdaughter how horses can be so pretty to look at, and so foul to smell.
7. It took another ten minutes to explain why cows and horses smell the same. And to explain why they live near us.
8. Everything out here costs five dollars more than anything in the south.
9. I have boxes all over my house, PMS, a dishwasher that takes 16.7 hours to cycle, and a kid who’s learned how to make his Johnny Jump Up into a swing.
10. I have no booze anywhere in this house. I’m thisclose to drinking Listerine and taking a Zanax.



Parental Supervision Recommended.

Not to be eaten. Not for use by children under the age of eight.

So states the label of the Bubble Yum Chap stick my four year old ate yesterday morning.

Shit. I really screwed that one up, huh?

Everyone raises an eyebrow at labels on products that warn us away from doing things that those endowed with common sense would never do. Not once have I had a yen to blow dry my hair while showering, inhale the contents of a can of Raid, or put KY Jelly on my toast. And I always wonder “who on earth would do these things”? But I suppose that there is always that guy, the one person that makes it necessary for corporations to waste ink on a tag we’re going to remove immediately upon purchasing the object it’s attached to. Turns out that in this case, my stepson was that guy.

The first morning in our new house, I was awakened by the sound of our middle child vomiting.

Awesome.

As any parent would, I rushed to comfort him. I was stopped mid backrub, however, by the large pink chunks that he had projected forth. When I asked him what he’d eaten that was pink, he replied with:

“I don’t know, Sanny, I was sleeping.”

Hmmm.

Shortly afterward, my stepdaughter did an irate Tom Cruise-esque slide into the bathroom with her brand new tube of lip accessory eaten all the way down to the little plastic stick. With her lip shaking and all the rage a six year old is capable of mustering, she handed it to me.

Needless to say, the watermelon Jolly Rancher tube was considered a very sorry replacement.

29 May 2009

Just Wait A Minute... (Written by my Stepmommy-in-Crime)

A good friend of mine (who doesn't normally write) brought this up. I'd hate for her awesome opinion to go unheard, because I agree with it wholeheartedly. Yes, I'm a bit unilateral when it comes to the stepmommy front, but dammit, it's cuz I am one. So There.

"I'd like to clear things up here. I run into people on the street everyday who look at me with disgust because I'm a step mom. I recognize this look, it's the same look I gave National Guard or Reserve members when I was in the Army. It is the "You only have the kids on the weekend, you're not their real mom, so why are you whining." That is all fine and dandy if you're into being a stuck up snob that doesn't want to get to know the real person. That's cool. But first let me bring you up to speed before you spew your judgemental crapola all over me. I will make a list for better understanding. Maybe after this I will make a sign to wear out and about.

1.) I have my kids full time, that's right, seven days a week 365 days a year. How did this happen? No, the mother did not die, in fact she is fully alive and kicking in Illinois, she just has no interest in raising her own kids.

2.) I AM mommy, please do not correct my children when they call me that. Their bio-mom ditched them over a year ago and I was left to clean up the pieces and mend the broken hearts.

3.) Just because I'm a step mom please don't look at me like I'm a home wreaking tramp, I did not break up their marriage, they did.

4.) Give the weekend warrior step mom's a break. My best friend (what up sandra) is one and they have it just as hard, if not harder, with their step kids, because unlike my situation their step kids will probably never consider them a permanent addition and therefore never share their love as much as their step mom does.

5.) Just because I'm a step mom doesn't automatically mean I'm evil or secretly plot my step kids' demise. I love them no less than I would if I squeezed them out myself.

6.) Don't tell me I can't discipline them because they are not "my kids." Please refer to point number two and remember that they are.

7.) Please do not try and give me motherhood tips. I had a mother my self and gosh darn it if I didn't learn a thing or two from watching her growing up. Thank you for your concern but I know when my kid scraps his knee that I am in fact supposed to clean it before I put the band-aid on.

8.) Here's some other things I know: children's Tylenol is a fever reducer, boys will be boys, kisses don't always fix everything, one day they will tell me I'm not their mom (please stop reminding me...for real, I hate hearing that) baths should not be scalding hot, they need three square meals a day, a yes I do know how to do laundry I've been doing it since I was twelve.

9.) Stop thinking that since they are in fact my step kids that they don't cost as much money. Please see number one again and as for weekend step moms they still have to buy extra foods, bedroom furniture and clothes for them too.

10.) Just because you are a bio-mom please don't think that you know what I'm going through. You don't. You had nine months to get ready to be a mom I have about 4.5 seconds. You're kids will never tell you that you're not their mom, their loyalty will always lay with you and you will never have to deal with crying children because another mother doesn't try and be involved in their lives. You do not know what I am going through and your lucky one family johnny will never know what my kids have to go through.

Well that's all I have right now, I hope you have all learned something from this and that you will think next time you want to be judgemental to a step mother try and put yourself in our shoes and maybe realize that it's not as easy and la de da as you think it is."

19 May 2009

Tick, Tock...

They were all three feet tall, and in white tutus. The edge of the tulle glittered with sequins, and their tiny crowns sparkled in the light. With tears I shouldn’t have had in my eyes, I watched the three year old ballet class dance bashfully to the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies”. I dared not share the knot in my stomach with my husband. Instead, I waited patiently for it to be the six year old class’s turn, and watched proudly as my stepdaughter jazz-rocked it out to Hannah Montana.

“I think my clock is ticking again”, my friend said to me as she folded the third shirt in a six foot tall pile of laundry. “When I was still pregnant, I even told my husband to remind me of the way I felt right then should I want another kid. But now, I’m just not sure.”

I dropped my cappuccino. Could someone else feel the same way I do?

Baby Einstein babbled in the background in languages I don’t speak. Her eldest son slamming the swing seat up and down, my son screaming while gleefully flinging Cheerios, her youngest son bobble-heading in his exersaucer. We constantly discuss the rigors of pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, and the monotony of milk and finger paint stained child rearing. We feel the relief in being the producers of boys, the lack of slutty children’s clothing, the problems that excessive estrogen in a household can bring, and the fear of teenage pregnancy.

Suddenly, there is an unspoken understanding that those things need not be discussed right now. It’d be much more interesting to toy with the idea of another child, maybe one bringing a bit of femininity into our homes.

My son is still learning to remain in a sitting position by himself, and hasn’t yet started on third foods. My three year old stepson loves princesses, and my six year old stepdaughter beams from ear to ear when you give her something pink. Somehow, the void isn’t filled. I remind myself that in addition to my son, I have been blessed with stepmotherhood. It would be selfish to want more, wouldn’t it? It would be irresponsible to bring another child into the world with the economic uncertainties that plague the nation, and the unfamiliar territory we will be charting after my husband leaves the Army, right? Raising kids is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced, and I’m not even 9 months into it! The heavy feelings of fear and self doubt fill my chest and shoulders.

But, somehow, I can’t ignore the nagging feeling that a tiny pink bow or twelve would be nice….

16 May 2009

Damn, Who's Saturday Did I Stumble Into?




Do you know what it’s like to wake up to someone screaming the phrase:

“Yes, you DO have to poop!”?

I do.

I seem to be woken up by random phrases lately, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. On one hand, it’s far more interesting than waking up to an alarm, or to the baby crying. On the other hand, I feel a bit like screeched phrases of that nature aren’t fun AT ANY HOUR.

Let’s retro a bit…my husband called me yesterday, casually asking if I would mind picking up the kids a day early. I was fine with this, as I am now a woman of leisure (loosely translated: SAHM with a car). Turns out, I get more bored by 9 a.m. than most people get all day. Spring break is here, and the weather has been rainy. Their mother was more than happy to relinquish the wall climbers, and we met in the afternoon.

Now, I am enjoying the (albeit exhausted) calm that seems to be reigning over my living room. Which is nice, because so many weekend mornings lately have been…well, just bad. My alarm clock doesn’t beep, because no one needs an alarm when their wake up call is kids bouncing off the walls, baby screaming, husband grumpily stomping around (because the kids are bouncing off the walls and the baby is screaming), and a torn up, jacked up, cheerio and random toy covered house. Usually, by two solid days of this, I’m soooo ready to buy stock in Gillette so that when I become a cutter, it‘s beneficial to me in more than one way.

‘Kay, done whining, just wanted to reiterate my chillness.

It was supposed to start raining last night. It was supposed to start last night, and then continue through until, like, June. Yes, I’m exaggerating, but it was supposed to be until late Sunday night. The weather channel, weather.com, and about sixteen other information giving locations all said that was the case. Then it wasn’t the case at all (insert my smiley face here).

The baby woke up around six thirty (by talking, not by crying), and my husband and I woke up at the same time. He fed the baby, I made some coffee, and we had our weekend morning ritual of watching the new music videos. Now, my husband is sitting on the floor, playing his guitar. The baby is staring at him in awe, occasionally screaming erratically (which I’m pretty sure means he’s singing along happily), my stepdaughter is dancing with him, and my stepson is spinning on one foot.

Hmm…this might just be an okay day.


13 May 2009

A New Home, Courtesy of the U.S. Army

In the last few years, I’ve become used to leaving, and having those that I love leave also. My address book reads like Rand Mcnally should have autographed the front, and my driver’s license was issued by a state I haven’t been a resident of since 2000.

And it's time to move. Again.

That's one of the things about signing your married soul to the Green Meanie, this constant relocation nonsense.

As of about a decade ago, I'd never been away from home for any serious period of time. I am and always will be a California girl at heart, which means that I don't like humidity, I hate cold, and I tend not to be a fan of uncontrolled wildlife. And after living in Alaska, Hawaii, Afghanistan, Iraq, and finally (anticlimactically) Kansas City and Fort Lee, Virginia, I feel like I’ve pretty much gotten used to the various political, religious, and social climates that the US and the occasional foreign country have to offer. And it seems that every time I become accustomed to a specific region’s perks and atrocities, the proverbial rug is pulled out from under me, and I become the new, weird person in a new, weird place. Now we’re moving to Maryland.

So my husband, the happy schmappy U Haul poster boy, asks me to call the post housing office for relocation information. I’m totally going to give you the down and dirty of the discussion, because I want other people to feel my (completely unwarranted) pain. She waited three weeks to return my phone call, and then told me she waited that long because on her message pad, there was half a checkmark next to my name and she wasn’t sure whether or not she’d already contacted me. She did not find it amusing when I asked if she was alright after debating so long over calling. And she must not be a mother, as she was not in the least empathetic about my having to move a full house, two cars, a baby, two cats and two stepchildren. She didn’t even make a partridge joke, which (to be honest) would have eased my mind just a bit as to her mental state.

Prompted by the apparent lack of assistance, we began searching the area outside the post for civilian rental opportunities. Although I mean no offense to their local law enforcement agencies, it appears we have the choice of: a) beautiful grounds occupied by mice; b) beautiful grounds run by skeezy landlords who skim off of the security deposits and sky high rent, or c) beautiful grounds where your windows will be bashed in courtesy of the local methadone failures.

Anybody want to come help load the truck?

12 May 2009

To Support and Defend?

I’ve stood in uniform for fallen comrades. Sometimes quietly, sometimes crying so hard it’s hard to remain in an upright position. I’ve grieved the men and women killed in hostility, saluted those took their own lives, and carried the caskets of those who died by aircraft failure.

On May 11, 2009, a Soldier in the United States Army serving near Baghdad opened fire on patrons of a mental health clinic. It was after this horrific tragedy that Admiral Mike Mullen (the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) stated:

"It does speak to me about the need for us to redouble our efforts in terms of dealing with the stress."

This statement should make that gentleman feel like a penny waiting for change. The democracy we fight for does not often fight back for us. For so long, innocent civilians have been the casualties of the War on Terror, and those that killed them were only doing so while “following orders”. The casualties that are seldom addressed are those who’s minds have been warped, altered, or even destroyed by the catastrophic daily events that occur in war. 15 is the percentage of US service members that return from Iraq with reported cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 11 is the percentage of the same disorder, but in service members returning from Afghanistan. The actual number of cases is presumed to be much higher, although more than half of these never seek treatment.

The darkness and damage that can happen to the human mind when involved in combat is unexplainable. As I look around at the faces of my fellow Soldiers and Veterans, I see that damage. I see the wreckage that can be left behind us, shards in the wake of our inability to keep our heads on straight. The human psyche can take an incredible amount of bruising and battering. Before I joined the Army, I didn’t know that. Before I went to combat the first time, I didn’t truly understand it. After two tours of combat, I am plagued with the knowledge that with deprivation of sleep, or with combat stress (or the two combined), your mind begins to function in a way that is outside a normal sphere. After time, your mind begins to stretch reality, to mold it. There’s a part of your normally functioning mind that you’ll never get back. The memories play in your head like a movie, and without a healthy outlet, they can drive you mad.

While fratricide is unacceptable and devastating, while the nation screams for charges of murder to be placed, while Sergeant John M. Russell will never again have a night of peaceful sleep, please remember that sometimes those who give selflessly lose everything.

08 May 2009

Just A Chick From Anotha Mutha...

It’s been raining for days.

I’ve been waiting for the writing bug to bite, and it hasn’t. The past few weeks, I’ve even stuck my hand in it’s mouth, but to no avail. Then I started feeling the gnaw, which I can only assume is happening because the sun is finally presenting its shiny face. And I’m hoping there’s something to be said for being closer to Erma Bombeck than to Dr. Spock.

I laid the baby down for a nap and decided to shower, put some make up on, and light my writing candle. (No, seriously, I have a writing candle. Don’t judge me.) And because I was feeling particularly froggy, I decided to use the VS So Sexy shampoo and conditioner, and shave my legs. I’m not kidding, I was ready to feel clean, peaceful, and creative. Then the baby squealed, which is DECIDEDLY not what I wanted him to be doing. And if that weren’t enough, upon entering his room I was slapped in the face with the righteous smell of baby shit. It was at this point it time I realized that I am not on the Martha Stewart, Jennifer Garner or Gwen Stefani motherhood train. In fact, if they are on a train, I’m on a bike in the next town. I’m so far off of the maternal perfection map, you could program me into your navigational system, and it’d dump you at a 7-11 about 30 miles from here.

The whole time I was showering, lighting my candle, and changing the baby’s diaper, thoughts of a beautifully written Mothers’ day blog were dancing in my head. I wanted it to be a mixture of thanks, love and support that made tears come to eyes and heads nod in understanding. I wanted a solemn letter of gratitude that gave those who read it a feeling of calm and togetherness. I wanted it to simultaneously tell my best friends that they (and their Veteran being, swine-flu hating, coffee and cigarette addicted asses) are rock out mothers (and believe you me, stepmothers are mothers), my family for being such awesome peeps. I wanted it to cheer on the single mothers, cheer on the married mothers, cheer on the married mothers with a spouse deployed. I wanted it to give props to the good dads, the awesome aunts and uncles, and the super duper grandparents. I wanted it to give a shout to the great, understanding, knowledgeable, and effing hilarious women I have met through blogging. And most of all, I wanted to thank my father, the single Daddy, for being the best Daddy my brother and I could have asked for.

I wanted this letter to do all of those things. And maybe I’m asking too damn much of my exhausted brain, my candle, and my cup of coffee. I’d love to have the time to sit here for hours and create the beautiful work I was sure everyone was going to love the sentiment of.

But I have a cheerio stuck to my cheek and the Baby Einstein DVD has run out.

26 April 2009

...And who doesn't love glowy seahorses?

When last we left our heroine, things were super perfect.

Boy has that worn off.

To recap, here’s the last three months:Explained breastfeeding (don’t you have any real baby food?), circumcision (why does it look like that?), and umbilical stumps (why does that look like that?) to the six-year-old. Explained projectile crapping (Sanny, is the baby still pooping?) and not poking at the soft spot to the three-year-old. Yes, we’ve been an italic household of late.

Fast forward to the (semi-) present:The other morning, I got up to get ready for work. I actually got a cup of coffee down (yeaaah, preset setting!) and half my makeup on before my spawn decided he was hungry. So he ate, we played a bit, and he then graced me with enough time to finish dressing while he discussed the Gaza Strip issues with his glowy seahorse. We loaded everything into the car, and as I picked him up to put him into the car seat, he grinned at me. As I reveled in the heart warming feeling the smile of your offspring brings, he puked on me.Aghhhhh … had to be something, didn’t it?

Now don’t get me wrong, the elements of the perfection are still there, lurking under the slightly dusty and jelly fingerprinted surface. Maybe they are having a hard time moving the box of diaper wipes aside to come up. Who knows? Maybe they’re hiding so the baby doesn’t puke on them, too.

Army Wives...psshhht.

The shows are super cute, with the hugging and the crying and such. There’s always the token chick sleeping around on her husband while their kid is struggling to understand why Daddy is gone. There’s always the industrious overachiever, who is going through med school, law school, and learning the finer points of obscure Russian literature while nursing a newborn and making chicken parmesan from scratch. What they don’t show is the average, forty-hour-a-week working, baby on the hip, pot roast-and-salad-making-girl in a tank top and slacks (because the baby wanted to be held halfway through changing).

Yup, in a nutshell, that’s what a lot of us are. Well, the “us” that I choose to associate myself with, anyway. By “we,” I mean soldiers’ wives, and by “associate with,” I mean come within a hundred yards of.

Underneath the thin veneer of superficial relationship solidity and synergy is a maze of judgment, hatred, and general gated-in suburban discord. Those women who work are doomed to be judged by those who don’t. Those who stay home are slighted in existence. The better of us do not find other significant others for a duration our better half isn’t present, and the better of us work side by side with our husbands, rather than use them as meal tickets (or nail tickets, or hair tickets, or car tickets), and love them for who they are.There is one thing, though, allowed by this apparent life provided for us within the matching aluminum sided common walled housing: friendship.

Because every so often, when the stars are in the correct alignment and the PTB (that’s powers that be) or other deity-type beings deem it necessary, you stumble across someone. Someone that isn’t peeking out the window at her neighbors, or telling her friend about a random car parked in someone’s driveway, or speculating about abuse that may or may not be happening. Chances are, she’s making coffee, vacuuming, talking to her kid, and checking her email, all at once. We don’t hold each others’ hands while we wait for a telegram. We don’t have decaf in each others’ sunny kitchens, watching through red and white gingham curtains whilst the children frolic on the lawn. We may smoke, we may drink, and we may talk more loudly and quickly than most find appropriate. But we’re real, and we’re friendly, and we’ll watch your kid or buy you a “just thinking of you” gift or talk to you every morning on the phone before work.

If you’re one of us, that is.