Freak of the Week

There are some pretty messed up people in this world. 

And thanks to the magic of Google Analytics, I know that many of them end up on my blog.  You know, where I put pictures of my kids and house. 

I've shared a few particularly awesome search terms on my Facebook page over the past few months, and my friend Kari suggested I start doing it on a weekly basis.  Which is an awesome idea if for no other reason than if I end up dead in a gutter somewhere the police have a few leads. 

So here's this week's Googlin' Freak of the Week:

Dear Suckey,

First of all, you better not be my husband.

Second, I can see why you've come to my blog to find the answer to your age-old question.  There probably isn't a 13-year-old boy on the planet who hasn't wondered the same thing. 

And if it's one thing I know it's 13-year-old boys.  So you've come to the right place.  My debilitating fear of snakes was actually precipitated in college when a particularly aggressive snake thought I owed him something after he bought me a few G and Ts at his fraternity mixer.  So let me start by telling you that snake doesn't owe you nothing, buddy.  If you go into the encounter with any expectations you're just going to end up frustrated, settling by taking home some second rate hamster or lizard or some shit.

Now on to the more complex issues.  I mean, what kind of snake is it?  Like, does it like to gets freaky?  Does it have Daddy issues?  What are you promising the snake in return?  Is it your anniversary?

And you better make for damn sure it's not some clingy ass psycho snake that confuses sex with love and is going to start showering you with texts saying it's pregnant and it's yours. 

So I guess the short answer is:  You better check yo self before you wreck yo self.

Love Always,

H Bomb  

And now the moment you've all been waiting for

Our first ever professional family photo session went better than I expected.  In fact, in the grand scheme of the history of the universe it's not the worst thing that's ever happened on Earth:

1.  Khmer Rouge Cambodian genocide
2.  The Holocaust
3.  Battle of Gettysburg
4.  Prohibition
5.  Spanish Inquisition
6.  Ghangis Kahn
7.  Mayer family photo session
8.  The Plague
9.  Asteroid renders dinosaurs extinct
10.  Nickelback 

Our session was with my friend Karen, who is probably the most awesome photographer in the history of the world.  She's a Mom of three herself and has this super magic Jedi mind trick she unleashes on kids to make them behave, smile and even pose. 

I mean, I chase my kids around all day long with my camera and they're all "Leave me alone!" or "I swear I'll smile pretty this time - please stop hitting me!"   

But I usually just end up with stuff like this:

Or this:

Or this:

And it kills me because I want so badly to capture their charm, their budding personalities, their sparkle.  I see it every day, and it changes so quickly, right before my eyes.  There are mornings I'll walk into their bedroom and they'll somehow look older than the night before.

Life is moving at the speed of light right now and I just want to freeze time, collect all the good stuff in a bottle and lock it away so that when they're older I can uncork it and be taken right back to that very moment in time. 

I want to remember Ellie's little buck teeth the minute she breaks into a smile.

And that expression on Hadley's face when she's trying to figure something out.
Or that twinkle in Lila's eye when she's taking a particularly massive dump.  


Or how I feel when we're all together.  And Nick is in the car feeding Hadley a bottle because she started screaming balls ten minutes after we started taking pictures.   

But try as I might, I always end up looking back through the photos I take and feel like I've missed it.  It's elusive.  But Karen gets it.  Literally.  Like magic, she captures it and through photos brings them to life and now I know I've got it, the best of my kids, their beautiful little souls, forever young.

Legally I have to tell you that Karen hooked me up with a free session in exchange for sharing my awesome pictures with you.  But, don't be too jealous because you too can win a FREE SESSION.  She's going to be randomly selecting one of her lucky Facebook fans this Friday at noon (obviously the winner will have to live in the St. Louis area. Or be okay with driving cross country with your family.) 

So go to her page, like her page, and LOVE her like I do. 

And even if you're not the grand prize winner, she's offering $50 off a session fee for any one of her Facebook fans who books a session for the month of June.  Go ahead - check out her site to see her awesomeness.   

I promise she'll make even the most harried of moments look like you have everything under control. 

Contest details:  Winner will be randomly selected at 12:00pm CST on Friday, June 1 2012 and notified via Facebook by 12:00pm CST on Monday, June 4.  Prize must be redeemed at a mutually agreed upon time and location within the St. Louis metro area by December 31, 2012.  Prize does not include any prints or electronic files.  Prize not valid for weddings portraits.  No cash value.        

The virgin stork

Nothing is worse than hanging out with your in-laws after you have kids.  You know, because the evidence of what you did to their son that one night after one too many whiskey sours at a company function is running around the room, stopping every once in a while to scream in their face just in case they're having any success with blocking it out. 

Luckily my in-laws are super cool and when they come over we all just sit and talk about how cute the kids are and pretend like they were left on the doorstep by a stork.  A really flexible stork who likes to get freaky with it and can do a Triple Lindy from the top of the dresser onto the bed after a few beers. 

I mean, a virgin stork who sleeps fully clothed in the bathtub.  Shoved onto the roof.   

Actually, truth be told one of the reasons I married Nick was because of my future in-laws.  His Mom can draw like the dickens.  She does charcoal portraits and the first night I met her and saw what she was working on I immediately began strengthening my back muscles and scheming a plan for that night of whiskey sours which would trap Nick into giving me beautiful girls that would someday be immortalized by her. 

So here's the first of three - the product of all my hard work trapping and scheming:

Which is a hell of a lot better than what I've been using as a placeholder in our living room:

Yes, I know - it's beautiful.  And my Mother-In-Law's isn't too shabby either.  If you're interested in having one for yourself, or just ordering a copy of Ellie's because you know your child will never measure up to her beauty, check out her website here.   

And please don't mention you heard it here - the less she thinks about me and the terrible things I've done to her son the better.  

333 (the sign of the mini devil)


So Ellie has been three for a couple of weeks. 

Looking at it written that way - in a perky san serif font with her cute little picture above it - doesn't really communicate the level of emotion I'm experiencing. 

Let me try it this way. 

Those are lightning bolts, tears and fangs dripping blood on that last 'e', by the way. 

I'm not really so good at art.

Anyhoo, nobody warned me that the day children turn three they suddenly turn deaf.  And into turds.   

I spent the better part of her second year anticipating the onset of the "Terrible Twos".  Always waiting for the other shoe to drop, occasionally peeking my head out from behind the couch to see if she had turned into a demon yet. 

And it never happened.  She was awesome.  I started to get excited, and comfortable, with the fact that my child was exceptional and we would be best friends forever. 

Then I let my guard down and she turned three. 

It started a few days after her birthday when we went to the park.  Something we've done a million times before, because Ellie is always so great at staying with the herd.

I took a couple of pictures to commemorate our awesome afternoon. 

Here they are walking down the path.  Oh look - Ellie found a pine cone.  They're so cute, and obey so well.  What a beautiful day.  Things will always be this wonderful. 

Aaah, here they are walking around a little building, singing a song.  What a pair.  I'm the luckiest Mom ever. 

Oh look - Lila threatened Ellie into handing over the pine cone or she'd cut her in her sleep.  Sisters.  LOL.  Nothing will ever go wrong. 

And here they are from a bit of a distance, my two awesome girls.  I don't worry because I know they won't go any farther.  "Hang on girls,"  I shout.  I remember I have another child attached to me so I decide to take a picture of her as well. 


Yes, here we are - one big happy family hanging out at the park on a beautiful day.

I upload that last one to Facebook, to brag to the world about what awesome kids I have. 

Then I look up and realize Ellie has bolted.

"Red light,"  I yell, picking up my pace.  She ignores me and runs faster. 

"Ellie stop!"  I yell louder.  Again, ignores me and runs faster.  Toward the busy street. 

Now, I don't know if you've ever tried to run with a baby strapped to your front.  But it's impossible.   Not only because the baby gets whiplash and her feet end up behind her ears, but because there is so much weight on your back that your legs just plain don't work in fast forward. 

However, seeing your eldest daughter heading straight for traffic and a quick flash of yourself sitting in a jail cell helps your body to defy certain laws of physics. 

I run ahead, passing Lila who, thankfully, has entered the early stages of obesity and is unable to sustain any sort of physical activity for a period longer than 30 seconds. 

"Lila - move your ass!"  I yell as I run past her.  I'm gaining on Ellie, who has just realized she has stepped off the curb into the street and quickly runs back onto the grass.

Thinking she has come to her senses and decided to mind me, I slow to a walk and Hadley wonders if the ringing in her ears from her brain bouncing against her skull will persist into her adolescence.   

"ELLIE!  Get over here now!" just as I reach out to grab her, she laughs and runs away.  Just fast enough that I can't catch her.  Laughing.

Oh HELLZ no.  The ONE thing you don't want to do when someone is so angry they may go ape shit is laugh.   

In case you missed it, the irony here is that I'm so furious that she almost hurt herself by running into the street that I want to beat her silly. 

Finally, FINALLY, I catch her.  And I swear to you, it's lucky for her we were in a public place with lots of witnesses keeping me from doing bad things.

I grab her hand, backtrack to Lila and grab hers. 

Right about then Ellie decides to play a little game I call "dead weight".  It's really fun - she pretends like her legs don't work and I have to drag her along.  Lila sees her do it and decides to join in. 

And there I am - in the middle of a field with a lot of people staring - JUDGING - with a baby strapped to the front of me and dragging two toddlers by their arms, refusing to walk. 

At this point in my day I'm starting to question my life choices.  I pick them up, one at a time, put one under each arm, and power walk back to the van with the strength of five men.  I was praying for a mugger to try to take my wallet because I would have roundhoused his jaw bone off his face.  By the time we got back to the car I had pretty much sweat out the temptation of physical abuse and talked myself down from the ledge.   

But not only was I humiliated, but my feelings were hurt.  Many days Ellie is the only person I have to talk to and it's hard not to take it personally when your primary daily companion decides to run into traffic. 

At the very least, we should be able to co-exist with the mutual understanding that we won't embarrass each other in public.  Because let me tell you, I've had three kids and I can fart the lyrics to Bad to the Bone.  And I will win every time at that game, sister.


To Elliot on her third birthday

Dear Ellie,

Not many people can say that they've been made an older sibling twice over by their third birthday.  A title which you were less than enthusiastic about holding at sixteen months, but had more or less resigned yourself to by month thirty. 

As first born ourselves, your Dad and I are genetically programmed to immediately take your side in sibling scuffles.  Scuffles which usually develop as a result of Lila's undying love and adoration of you and getting in your way as she lays her body over the mud puddle so you won't have to get your shoes dirty. 

While the instinct of the first born is to tell her to stop being a loser and buzz off, patience is a noble and beautiful virtue you taught me to appreciate even before you were conceived, and I'm doing my best to return the favor.  Believe it or not, someday your sisters will be your best friends and you'll regret every mean thing you ever did to them.  Trust me.

Well, except if they were asking for it by doing something like tricking you into leaving the room and starting the movie without you because they didn't want you hanging out with their friends. 

Plus, yesterday I caught Lila bench pressing the mini van and I think it's safe to say that you're going to want her on your side once you start school. 

Unfortunately there are drawbacks to being a first born.  I hate to use the words "guinea pig", or "experiment", but maybe something more like "learning curve."  Thanks to you we always look up to make sure the ceiling fan is not on before throwing a baby in the air, test the bath water before plopping someone in, and keep the (apparently delicious) alcohol wipes out of reach.

Also I've learned that screaming "oh my god you're going to die for sure!" is perhaps not the appropriate response after I take your temperature.   

Your fascination with the world never ceases to amaze me, and I hope that by round three I can be equally enthusiastic in my explanation of a lawnmower.  And a lamp shade.  And cooking spray.  And ice cubes.  And seat belts. 

And these god forsaken things, whatever they are, that make everyone in the car break out into spontaneous high pitched squealing, startling me out of my daydream of battle rapping at 8 mile and veer into oncoming traffic:

Nothing goes unnoticed, and your play by play of everyone's every move continually reminds me of how new you are to the world.  Maybe someday I'll be able to provide better answers to why churches have steeples, why your pj's have frogs on them and why Lila poops so much.

Of course none of these questions are ever asked while anyone else is around.  More than once our friends and neighbors have said "that's the first thing I've ever heard her say" after you've been playing with their kids for several hours.  You love playing with your friends, though, so long as they keep a respectable distance and ask politely before janking a toy out of your hands.   

While only three, you've already given me glimpses of the woman you will become.  A natural leader, a perfectionist and a rock star at delegating responsibility.  And your beautifully timed sense of humor never ceases to put things into perspective for me.

You probably won't realize it for several years, but you have unintentionally talked me off the ledge more times than I can count.  Like last week when you meowed the blessing as I was near tears because Lila dumped an entire container of yogurt on the floor I had just cleaned. 

You're the pink in the lemonade.  You're the petal on the flower.  You're the delicate chime of a triangle.  You're subtle yet magnetic, and most importantly, you're the type of person I would want to be friends with. 

I mean, once you stop pooping your pants, obviously.



I can feel it coming in the air tonight

Well, lookie there. 

Actually, my phone weighs .2 pounds - here's my official weigh in:

And, if you recall, here's where I started:

And here's my official last picture in this god forsaken outfit. 

If you want to see the week by week, you can check out my album on my Facebook page

And, if you've been following long enough - you'll remember the Pants of Truth... well here they are. 

Yes.  I know I look hot.  In fact... hell.  I'll just go ahead and publish a picture of me in my swimsuit. 

Well enough talk.  More Doritos Locos Taco.

Hey there. Need a ride? 
  Oh, come on - looks like rain.

So, where to?

Oh don't worry - they're cool. 

Kids - this is Uncle Taco.   

Say, wanna come over and see my rock collection?

It's in the bedroom. 

Wanna watch Jon Stewart or something?  

Oh, don't worry about him. He won't be home for like, a million hours. 

No... say it in Spanish.

Seriously - put it on. I'm like, SUPER fertile.


Wait... on second thought...

Leave it off. 

Geez- I'm really embarrassed.  I usually don't eat so... fast. 


Gosh this is awkward.  I've got an early meeting - I should probably call you a cab. 

Woah woah woah - who's your little friend?


Let's just say it was a rough 17 weeks, but today totally made up for it.