Scale of a different truth


Once upon a time there was a beautiful young 30-year-old stunner that wanted nothing more in life than to get married and have a couple of babies.

After she hit her 29th birthday she wasn't too picky about things necessarily happening in that order.

Anyhoo, she met the man of her dreams, got married and immediately began plotting and scheming. The man was happy with her aggression and didn't ask any questions.

She thought for sure they would hit the jackpot on the first try.

But it didn't happen on the first try. Or the second try. Or the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth.

Finally, a year and a half later, she emerged victorious from under a mountain of shots, pills, daily blood draws, calendars, ovulation tests, ultrasounds, thermometers and chickens.

After the baby was born the man and the beauty went about their "business", paying no regard to using caution because there was no way she could get pregnant on her own.

Seven months later they decided to pay another visit to the fertility doctor because she was pushing 34 and thought it might take a really long time again and she didn't want to end up on some documentary about how elderly women shouldn't be having babies.

To their surprise and happiness, they were successful on the first try.

When the second baby was born the man and the beauty suffered matching nervous breakdowns, well chronicled in the beauty's blog, and agreed that sixteen months is too close to have two children. They decided that if they were going to have another baby they would wait at least a year and a half.

So they went about their "business", paying no regard to using caution because there was no way she could get pregnant on her own.

One night the beauty's friend came to visit from out of town and announced she was pregnant. This got the beauty thinking - it had been a long time since she had seen her own monthly visitor. She knew there was no way she could be pregnant and figured her body was still jacked up from breastfeeding the baby she had just 24 short weeks ago. But she was going on a bender that night and wanted to do so guilt-free.

So she drove to the drug store and stood in the pregnancy test aisle holding her one-year-old daughter's hand and carrying her 24-week-old baby in a car seat in the other. The cashier laughed and shook his head as she put the pregnancy test on the counter and said something under his breath in Indian as the three of them shuffled out the door, her one-year-old daughter carrying the pregnancy test because her hands were too filled with babies.

She got home, took the test and set the microwave timer at two minutes. To her overwhelming relief, it was negative.

For one minute and fifty nine seconds it was negative.

Then that bastard, that whore of a pregnancy test, turned not negative.

She was sure it was broken.

Then she drove to a different drug store and bought a three pack of a different kind and those were all broken too.

How could so many pregnancy tests be wrong?

It was a Sunday morning so she paged J.T. her trusty O.B. at home in a complete panic. She knew he was wrong when he told her that she was probably pregnant if four tests said so.

The next day she went in for some blood work and that came back all wrong and broken as well.

Then she went in for some ultrasounds and finally, when she saw that little thing waving to her on the big screen, she finally accepted the fact that she was knocked up real good.

Her first thought when she found out she was pregnant was the delicious golden frosty pilsner beers she had enjoyed just a few nights before. Had she known those would be her last she would have savored every drop.

She had given up alcohol for her two previous pregnancies but the difference was like your grandma dying in a car accident vs. your grandma dying in a nursing home. They both suck but at least in the nursing home you're prepared. You have time to say your slow and delicious goodbyes.

Reactions have ranged from:

"Oh my gosh - you got pregnant on your own! It's like a little miracle!" - The beauty's friend Christina
"Are you trying to kill yourselves?" - The beauty's brother-in-law Josh
"I thought you might be pregnant but I didn't want to say anything because I know you've been working out." - The beauty's Mom
"How did this happen? No, really. I'm asking you seriously. Medically. Scientifically. How did this happen?" - The beauty's (alleged) baby daddy

She decided she could either freak the fuck out, or be happy about this situation. After she freaked the fuck out, she decided to be happy and in order to be happy she would banish all thoughts about the following:

1. Triple strollers
2. Logistics of any kind, including, but not limited to: meal time, grocery stores, sleeping, changing diapers and leaving the house
3. Merlot, pilsners or getting through the day without the help of alcohol of any kind
4. Her poor stretched out saggy stomach, that had just started to redeem itself through her personal trainer Kate
5. Mini vans or vehicles of any kind with hallways
6. Any negative pregnancy side effects, including, but not limited to: leg cramps, crushing hip pain, additional stretch marks covering the one square inch of her stomach that wasn't already disgusting, aching boobs or back pain
7. Explaining her situation to every single person in the mall, grocery stores, church, Babies R Us, restaurants or any other public place
8. Giving up the half marathon in October

Instead, she decided to focus on the following:

1. Chubby little hands touching her face (the baby's, not hers)
2. Guilt-free pancakes, burritos and ice cream
3. Getting to pull out all her cute maternity clothes
4. Attention
5. Presents
6. Her kids having built-in playmates
7. Guilt-free pancakes
8. Giving up the half marathon in October

Now your job is to write #9 before she throws herself off the roof.

Work day

I love when the girls nap at the same time. I get to watch Sex and the City while IM'ing my friends.

hannahmayer1515: oh sick. I don't want to hear about your sex life.
Jamie Rule: you owe me. Remember when you called me and described your little “problem”
hannahmayer1515: you've gotten me back more than enough times
Jamie Rule: I don't think so.
Jamie Rule: You flashed me with your boobs.
Jamie Rule: I've been in counseling.
hannahmayer1515: oh yeah
hannahmayer1515: at Victoria's Secret when I sprang out of the dressing room wearing that thing
hannahmayer1515: hahahaha the look on your face still cracks me up
Jamie Rule: sometimes I can't sleep at night.
hannahmayer1515: that was awesome
Jamie Rule: yeah, not awesome.
hannahmayer1515: you should just be thankful it was pre-baby boobs
hannahmayer1515: think of the therapy you'd have now with these mamma jammas
Jamie Rule: I don't think my mind cares.
Jamie Rule: I'm just lucky you weren't close enough to hit me with them.
hannahmayer1515: yeah
hannahmayer1515: they would have only hit you if you were laying on the floor
hannahmayer1515: you should be glad you were out of the way
Jamie Rule: I kneel by my bed every night and thank the lord for just that.
hannahmayer1515: haha
Jamie Rule: then curse him for making me see them in the first place.
Jamie Rule: and then I spit on the floor where I was kneeling.
Jamie Rule: and stomp my feet.
hannahmayer1515: yes, i know you're upset you saw them because you now know what perfection looks like and you'll never be able to achieve it.
Jamie Rule: I wake up dry heaving.
hannahmayer1515: perfection

The end of days


Last week several of my worst fears came true when the tornado sirens went off twice and both times I found myself far from acceptable shelter.

On Monday I was enjoying some fried chicken covered in sugar syrup sauce disguised as Chinese food while gossiping with my friend Angie when her sister texted her to tell her that the world was going to end in 9 minutes. We threw some money on the table and ran to our cars because God only knows what lurks in the basement of a Chinese restaurant.

We sprinted out the door, but not before Angie forced me to waste valuable time opening my fortune cookie to see what my future holds.

Apparently I'm a joy to be around. Which doesn't mean a hill of beans if I'm about to be eaten by a twister.

We raced to my house where we sat glued to the TV so that we could pinpoint our exact time of death. Why weren't we in the basement, you ask? Well, my friend, last week I also discovered that I have a new phobia which slightly edges out a twister. Waking two sleeping babies up and dragging them, confused and screaming, down to a creature-infested damp cellar for thirty minutes while I try to distract them from stepping on a black widow or eating paint thinner by singing nursery rhymes and doing shots of malt liquor.

Of course I held vigil in a westward facing window where if I were to see a twister I would at least have time to save myself by running to the basement. I figured their cribs could provide them some sort of shelter from a majority of head trauma.

Then Friday night I was browsing the diaper aisle on my nightly sanity outing without the girls when I heard the sirens begin to wail. I grabbed the first package I saw, and sprinted to the checkout stopping only to grab some Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles for the car ride home to at least make my last meal enjoyable.

I reached in my purse, threw what I thought was money on the counter and the cashier yelled, "Ma'am you can't pay for chips with a dry cleaning receipt and a condom!" and I yelled back, "Keep the change!" as I covered my head and ran out the door.

I squealed onto our street, fully expecting to see our splintered house in ruins and had already mentally begun spending Nick's life insurance settlement when I rounded the corner and saw everything was still standing. As with Monday, I held vigil in our westward facing window looking for suspicious twister activity, poised and ready to make a solo break for the basement.

Fortunately, everyone made it through unscathed so on Saturday we were able to drive to cow town for Easter and my nephew's baptism.

Nick and I were the God parents, as we were with my sister's first son. You see, pickins are slim in their neck of the woods for spiritual guidance and besides, why mess with perfection?

Her church is one of those country churches that you see on the side of a deserted gravel road that has more headstones in the back than actual members. It's quite the departure from our fancy schmancy gold chalice toting place of worship that I'm pretty sure Jesus himself sits in the front row of every Sunday, giving our priest a big grin and the thumbs up sign.

The service started with the usual call for birthdays, with members of the congregation yelling up to the pastor, the pastor making some off-color joke about their age, then everyone standing up and singing happy birthday.

The service ended with communion, where I found out that in the country Jesus' blood tastes like date rape and has a side effect of blindness. Mid-way through the ceremony one of the ushers passing the wine (wearing plaid shorts and a hoodie) yelled across the pew: "Hey Vernon! Looks like we may run out of wine but we can just pass the bottle!" with the congregation laughing and cheering.

Again, quite different than our church where if you show up without a suit jacket or panty hose everyone looks at you like you just farted in the potato salad.

As always, a good time was had by all on our weekend at the farm. Really the main difference between the city and the country is that in the country you get to develop a nice relationship with your dinner before you eat it.

However, perhaps the most valuable lesson learned this weekend was that Nick and I discovered that Quick Trip corn dogs make really good pacifiers. Information which will come in handy on our 13-hour drive to Florida this summer. If the girls don't have hypertension yet, they will soon.

The shizzle

This weekend Nick and I took the girls on a very enjoyable four and a half hour road trip to visit our friends Rick and Laura.

And when I say very enjoyable I mean I was questioning the majority of my life's choices after about 30 minutes in the car.

After about 45 minutes Ellie rolled down the window and tried to use her stuffed dog as a tool to repel to freedom.

Of course we had already stopped at the 7-11 for Nick's daily gallon of Diet Dr. Pepper before he started having seizures from aspertame withdrawl and he was thoughtful enough to pick me up a special edition of Hip Hop weekly with a spotlight on Snoop to pass the time on the road.

It had a pull-out poster.

But when your daughter wants to barrel roll down a freeway you have no option but to sacrifice your own happiness and provide her with whatever her highness wishes.

You can see where this is going.

When we arrived at Rick and Laura's a teardrop tattoo had appeared on the corner of her eye and as we walked inside she called Laura a trick ass bitch and told her to hook her up with some Cointreau.

Lucky for all of us after a few drinks she settled down and a fun time was had by all.

Did you feed my cow

Lately Ellie has really gotten into singing, probably to compliment her undeniably hot yet age inappropriate dance skills.

Ellie being my first child, I am not yet well versed in cute little children's songs. Aside from Twinkle Twinkle, which she has sung over and over enough times in the past two weeks to make a person do something they might regret, I got nothing.

Having few go-tos, I usually just sing songs I like but make up G-rated words. For instance: "Rolling down the street smoking windows, sipping on shin and shoes".

She really doesn't know the difference.

But last night after story time I was really racking my brain to remember something, ANYTHING, that I might have sang as a kid in my music class.

My music teacher's name was Mrs. Rayford, a wonderfully nice woman who could have given you a first-hand eyewitness account of what actually happened to the dinosaurs.

I thought and thought about what we used to sing as she went room to room with her bright blue cart toting her record player and stack of 33s. Out of nowhere I suddenly remembered something. It was foggy at first, but as I sang the first few words the song slowly but surely came back to me in its entirety:

Did you feed my cow? (Yes, Ma-am)
Could you tell me how? (Yes, Ma-am)
What did you feed her? (Corn and Hay)
What did you feed her? (Corn and Hay)

Did you milk her good? (Yes, Ma-am)
Now did you milk her like you should? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did you milk her? (Squish, Squish, Squish)
How did you milk her? (Squish, Squish, Squish)

Did my cow get sick? (Yes, Ma-am)
Was she covered with tick? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did she die? (Uh, Uh, Uh)
How did she die? (Uh, Uh, Uh)

Did the buzzards come? (Yes, Ma-am)
Did the buzzards come? (Yes, Ma-am)
How did they come? (Flop, Flop, Flop)
How did they come? (Flop, Flop, Flop)

What kind of fucked up children's music curriculum involves singing about sickly tick infested livestock who meet a horrible death then get picked apart by buzzards? And what the hell kind of lesson are they teaching kids about friendship? You don't let a friend's cow just die then get eaten by buzzards, man!

No wonder I had blocked it out.

But having nothing else I sang it to her anyway.

I was actually really glad that I dug up her picture in my yearbook because I also came across this little fun paper trail down memory lane:

Notice how I had four best friends and three boyfriends? Just looking at my wistful "come back Steve" scrolled across the top of the page re-opened the wound he left. It ripped my heart out when my boyfriend in the #1 slot just up and moved away after the passionate year we spent together without so much as a promise to write.

Also notice my little disclaimer "not true autographs" in the left margin? Probably because none of these people actually knew that I even existed so I was left with no other option to memorialize those I spent my first grade year with by being the only person to sign my own yearbook.

Even at age six I was winning.

The trilogy

I have a major, debilitating phobia of the following three things:

1. Snakes
2. Heights
3. Tornadoes

Not necessarily in that order. In fact, I spend a significant amount of time thinking about what the order would be. I believe it's important to have a firm grasp of the priority of your fears should an emergency situation arise.

For instance, I think about what would happen if a tornado was catapulting itself toward my house and the only way I could escape would be to retreat to a cellar full of pythons or be lifted to the top of a tall building by my ankles.

The thought of any of those options is so terrifying that I can't even think about it for more than a few seconds before I choose the option that allows me to shoot myself in the face. I know it's irrational but I would honest to god almost rather die than touch a snake, ride a Ferris wheel or see a tornado.

Ellie had a little friend over this morning so I was doing some last minute cleaning when I noticed a stick on the ground.

Then the stick looked at me.

I screamed and ran into the playroom where Ellie was sitting on the floor watching Sesame Street. I know that if she sees me afraid of something then my phobias will be passed along to her so I tried my best to play it cool as I peeked around the corner.

Upon closer inspection I realized it wasn't a snake, it was just an earthworm the size of Bigfoot's dick.

Worms aren't quite as bad as snakes because they're not as manipulative and conniving but they're a close cousin which is too close for me. My instinct was to pack up the kids and leave the house. Forever.

But we had guests coming and I knew I was going to have to put on my big girl pants and turn this mother out.

I went to the backyard and got a branch and when I came back in the worm was looking at me again. When we made eye contact I couldn't help but drop the stick, scream bloody murder and run back into the playroom where Ellie was now curiously watching me.

I took a deep breath and walked back to the beast. I carefully approached it with the stick and the minute I poked it the worm got all wiggly and feisty and curly and I screamed bloody murder again and sprinted back into the playroom.

I was so frustrated with myself because I knew Ellie was carefully internalizing my actions and I was screwing her up by the second.

I tiptoed around it and quickly opened the door. With a deep breath I used the stick as a golf club and hurled the thing out into the yard. I think it hit a bush but I didn't stick around to see because I ran away screaming at the top of my lungs waving my hands above my head doing the heeby jeeby dance around the kitchen.

Ellie just stood there with her little nose pressed up against the glass, waving with both hands saying "bye bye worm."

I tried to make it right by showing her some pictures of worms online but I had to turn away my head for fear of going into convulsions.

I have had the creepy crawlies all day and I keep looking over both shoulders for fear of worm mafia coming back for their revenge.

I may need therapy.

High school reunion

As many of you know, high school was a bad time for me for the following reasons:

You can go ahead and take your pick of which one of those reasons was the worst; I have spent the past 17 years sprinting away from all of the above.

But for whatever reason the past week has brought an explosion of high-school-like events all around me.

First, and incidentally the best thing that has ever happened to me, is that my almost 32-year-old sister Beth was told by two dentists and an orthodontist that she has to get braces or her teeth will fall out.

And we're not talking Invisiline - we're talking full metal jacket. For 26 months. With lots and lots of rubber bands and, if there is a God and he wants to reward me for anything I've ever done right in my life, hilacious headgear.

Her getting braces is living proof that karma is a bitch. My little bitch that fetches my slippers and mixes me a martini every morning before it rubs my back.

Sitting here reminiscing about all the teasing she put me through... it makes me giddy when I imagine her trying to bite into a sandwich after that heavy metal has been strapped to her face.

Now if only I can talk her into a haircut that looks like she's wearing a penis on her head we might be getting close to even.

Secondly, and not quite as enjoyable but a close second, is that Nick has to re-take his driving test. Both the written and the actual driving. Apparently the punishment for allowing your license to expire is hopping in a vehicle with Attila the Hun to prove that you're not completely incompetent behind the wheel.

Which, if you've ever ridden in a motor vehicle operated by Nick, is going to be a big challenge. I know you're never supposed to bet against your loved ones but I have five on me assuming the role of chauffeur for at least a month.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to get back to my babysitting gig and prank calling the neighbors.

The worst idea ever


In what was without question the worst $25 I have ever spent in my entire life, I participated in a 5K on Saturday with my friend Christina. The past couple of months the weather has been so horrible that I've only been able to run outside a couple of times, spending the majority of my time training on the treadmill.

And by training on the treadmill I mean eating microwave popcorn and watching Dirty Dancing marathons pretending like April 2 will never arrive.

My goal when the starting horn sounded was to finish in 30 minutes.

My goal after I had run the first mile was to finish escaping any permanent or irreparable damage to my internal organs or brain for the lack of oxygen that I was sure it was suffering. That and to not poop my pants.

I would love to meet the vindictive son of a bitch who planned the route because there could not have possibly been more hills. At one point a hill was so steep that I looked up and saw my feet. I realized just how out of shape I was when I was passed by a 74-year-old man pushing a stroller.

Miraculously, I finished in around 34 minutes.

Mind you this was long after I waved Christina ahead and told her to save herself, which she gladly did without even so much as a glance backward to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack.

I saw Nick and the girls cheering me on about 200 yards before the finish line, and I decided I had enough and started crawling through the grassy median to get to them in the parking lot. As soon as everyone saw I decided to call it quits they all (including every complete stranger within eyeshot) started yelling and cheering me on to cross the finish line. I was now the poster child for quitters and all of the Parents as Teachers volunteers there suddenly became extremely passionate about me crossing the finish line.

Publicly shamed and now the center of attention, I crawled back out of the median and hobbled across the finish line, certain when I checked my underwear later I would find my L4 vertebrae.

To ensure I didn't end the day with a negative calorie count, we all went out for pancakes immediately afterward. While waiting for said pancakes I had a huge migraine, went completely blind, then disoriented and confused and finally laid down on the table in the middle of the restaurant with Nick holding my feet above my head because I started to pass out while holding the baby.

The end.


So I know a lot of you are disgruntled by my lack of posting this week. But trust me when I tell you that it wasn't for lack of trying.

Every time I sat down on the couch, cracked open a Freezie Pop (I like to eat them when I'm thinking) and opened up my laptop the most interesting thing I had to write about was that I was able to condense four loads of laundry down to one by stuffing all the clothes into the washer at once. The clothes aren't necessarily what one might call "clean", but I was pleased that I figured out a way to save myself about two hours and three trips up and down the basement stairs.

Tomorrow I'm running in my first 5K, and I'm crapping my pants because I have not really been "training". Yes, I've been running on the treadmill, but that's a lot different than running outside. The treadmill you have to physically make a decision to go uphill, and who in their right mind would do that? You also have a conveyor belt helping your little feet along - something that the sidewalk does not offer.

And most importantly, you can hop off at any time and go to the bathroom in the glorious privacy of a stall vs. the bushes at Old Warson Country Club (not that I've ever done that...)

My goal when I agreed to do this with my friend Christina was to finish in 30 minutes. I was running pretty regularly and came close to the 30-minute mark a couple of times. She had never run a day in her life and downloaded some program off the internet to help her train.

Now the tables have turned; I haven't run outside in weeks and she told me yesterday she has physically transformed into Flo Jo.

This is gonna be interesting. If nothing else I'll have something to write about on Monday - hopefully it's not how I spent the night in jail for pooping in the bushes.