Cheese dip and a pedicure

Recently my college friends and I had a discussion about the moment we knew we were done having kids.  For one it came to her as a random Epiphany as she was driving down the street; for another it was when her husband came home holding a bag of frozen peas on his nuts and said, "Hey guess what." 

I was 99% sure our magic number was three the entire time I was pregnant with Hadley but that pesky 1% kept me from doing anything permanent when I got my c-section.  This was despite Nick's 24/7 hard sell for me to get my tubes tied because, in his words, "J.T.the Trusty O.B. is already going to be deep in them guts." 

The 1% finally came to me when Hadley was about a month old and I hung her newborn picture in our hallway next to the other two girls'.  I stepped back, looked at the three pictures hanging there and something inside me said, "This is your family." 

Then it said, "Please God just let them get through high school without getting pregnant."

Then it said, "Hey, you know what sounds good?  Taco Bell."

Today was Ellie and Lila's first days of pre-school.  Yes, I know.  Two kids in pre-school.  I bet you didn't even think that was mathematically possible. 

This morning, for the first time in three years, I saw a speck of light at the end of the tunnel.  The long, dark, pajama all day wearing poop wiping barfing where is that smell coming from tunnel.  For two hours, two days a week it's going to be just Hadley and me.  As the other Moms lingered on the playground tearfully snapping photos, I jumped the fence and ran to my car which was still running double parked in the street so as not to waste a precious second. 

All morning all I've been able to think about is next year when all three will be in pre-school (did that just blow your mind?) and I will have TWO hours TWO days a week ALL TO MYSELF.  I've been giddy all day.  Like, skipping around with that I Just Started Dating Someone Awesome and I Think I'm Going to Try to Baby Trap Him smile that I can't wipe off my face.  I just keep thinking about all of the things I'll be able to do with my glorious free time. 

And you know what I'm going to do?  Not a god.  damned.  thing.  I'm going to sit on my ass and eat cheese dip on the patio and stare at the trees for two hours. 

I know what you're thinking.  Because I hear it a million times a day from people standing in the grocery store line.  "Ooooh, I know it's hard, but it goes so fast.  Try to enjoy it and not wish it away because one day they'll be gone and you'll want this time back." 

And I'm desperately trying to act interested and maintain eye contact as someone AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH TOUCHED MY SIDE OF THE GROCERY CART!!!  Mom.  MOM.  MOM!!  MOM!!   MOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM SHE'S ON MY SIDE MAKE HER GET OFF MY SIDE!!!

And yes, there may come a day when I will miss these times.  I will actually be able to finish a meal without getting up 20 times, pee without an audience, go to dinner without packing for a camping trip, go to the gym, plant a vegetable garden without someone screaming to high heaven through a baby monitor when I'll wish for this time back. 

Wait.  Never mind.  The opposite of all that.  I don't think that time will ever come.  In fact, I know it won't. 

Only 364 more days.  And I'm going to wish every single one of them away until I have my four hours a week to eat unlimited amounts of cheese dip on the patio.  And maybe get a pedicure.     


Last night at dinner:

Me:  So Ellie, what was the best part of your day today?

Ellie:  Watching Madagascar.

Me:  Watching a movie was your favorite part of the ENTIRE day? 

Ellie:  Yep.

Me:  Even better than driving to that park where we saw all the bison?

Ellie:  Yep.
Me:  And then that big one came all the way up to the car?

Ellie:  Yep.

Me:  And then we saw that majestic deer eating grass in the beautiful field?

Ellie:  Yep.

Me:  And then we drove to the bird park and saw all those birds?  And we all had so much fun and you guys ran around laughing and saying how this was the best day ever and it was an awesome family bonding experience?  Better than that?

Ellie:  Yep.

Me:  You saw a BALD EAGLE today.  Do you know what a rare and beautiful experience that is?  You saw an actual BALD EAGLE, and you're telling me that the best part of your day was watching a cartoon?

Ellie.  Yep. 

Me:  Huh.

Ellie:  So what was the best part of your day?

Me:  Ummm...

...probably when you were watching Madagascar. 

Run for your lives! No really, run. You are in actual danger of dying.


Last Saturday started out like any other Saturday.  Woke up at 6am to a crying baby, drove through McDonald's for a bacon egg cheese biscuit and large Diet Dr. Pepper, headed out to the middle of nowhere with my friend Christina and got chased by zombies through the woods for three miles

No big d. 

I was super nervous before the race, not because of the possibility of getting eaten by the undead but because of the possibility there might be an obstacle I couldn't do and everyone would be laughing and pointing as I cried at the bottom of a rope swing.  Not that that's ever happened before.   

But thanks to my twice weekly 5:45am boot camp sessions with my Sweaty Friends and some pent up gym class bully hostility I totally dominated the zombies like a fat kid dominates cake.  Well, except for that one part where they took all my flags and I "died".   

The scariest part of the run actually came about ten minutes in when a deer all hopped up on go-go juice had juuust about enough of a bunch of hippies running through her bathroom and went completely bitch cakes on the runners right behind me. 

At first I thought it was a zombie actor dressed up like a deer but as it got closer I saw the crazy look in her eye and I realized she was a legitimate undead woodland creature. 

Sorry I didn't get any pics - I was too busy shitting myself whilst trying to flap my arms fast enough to fly to safety.  I don't really remember much after that, probably because I was running through my real life nightmare of a deer touching me with its creepy face. 

But here's an artist's rendering:

P.S. Those are actual fangs on that bastard.  It's some deer in China or Australia or something.  I would LOVE to introduce that species here in the Ozarks so they would have a fighting chance come November. 

Luckily I brought along my waterproof camera to share some of the race action with you.

Although not ideal, the mental image of a deer zombie pushed me to keep running up all the hills, sprint past the finish, straight to my car, up to my bedroom and under my covers where I will stay for all eternity. 
1,211 out of 4,287.  As you can see, deer zombie was hot on my trail the entire time.  And I'm not positive but I think she followed me home Cape Fear style and may be hiding out in the basement.   

Big perm big worm

I'm pretty sure they put something in state fair beer that makes you want to go out and buy a gun. 
This beer tastes like it was roofied by Smith and Wesson. 
Because every time I walk in there I'm all, "Hey look at me with my college education and all my teeth" and after five minutes I'm asking my sisters to co-sign on the loan for my underground camo bunker while my toddler gets a tattoo. 
Dude this tat is gonna be so tight.   

Hey gimme a hit of that to dull the pain. 
We made a last-minute decision to head to my home town and take Ellie to the state fair this year, mainly because it was the first time in fourteen years that I didn't go to the St. Charles County fair and I needed my corn dog fix.

"Mommy I can feel my heart struggling to beat." 
"That means it's working, honey."

Because seriously, St. Charles County fair people, $20 bucks per person?  To see a bunch of pregnant teenagers compete in a pageant and couple of pigs?  Really?  In the past we've piled all of our friends into the back of the mini van and made them crouch under the seats like a bunch of illegal immigrants crossing the border to avoid the $15 cover charge but this year we didn't go on principle.

So please enjoy a few shots of our day at the state fair.

Here's Nick taking Ellie onto the giant Ferris wheel.  You could get a real good view of the lightning from up there. 
Pee wee four wheeler competition.  Followed by the after party in the pee wee beer tent. 
Ellie really enjoyed the super slide.
See how much fun she's having?

Because why not.
Red velvet funnel cake.  With cream cheese icing.  Isn't she pretty?  Now stop looking at her.  Seriously... you... back the eff off.  She's too good for you. 

I got mind control over Deebo. He be like "shut the fuck up." I be quiet. But when he leave, I be talking again.

My first weekend roadtrip alone with the girls in pictures


Some things you may need to know before you become a stay-at-home Mom


Yes, I said stay-at-home Mom.  I'm sorry to all my sisters (and brothers) trying to glorify our profession by giving ourselves a fancy job title like "Full Time Caregivers", or "Alcoholics", but I just need you to know what I'm talking about right now. 

Now that Ellie has hit the ripe old age of three, I feel obligated (which is just another way of saying entitled) to impart some of the wisdom I've been fortunate enough to learn the hard way.  Wait... that's what she said! !Opah!  Not the right context?  My timing on that joke always sucks. 

But before we begin I feel it would help you set the stage in your "theater of the mind" (an ad agency term we in the biz used when pitching radio) to tell you what's happening in my house at this exact moment.  Nick has abandoned me to have a guys' night, I'm watching a Netflix movie with Martha Plimpton who marries a dude she met in prison (he's choking her on the kitchen floor right now and I'm wondering why Netflix put this in my 'may we recommend' cue), Lila and Hadley are fast asleep and Ellie is upstairs reading one of those Time/Life hardback books about aliens.  Well, not reading so much as looking at the pictures and every once in a while I'll hear something like, "not you... you're not my Mom" come out of her room and I just keep drinking and typing louder while repeating, "I do believe in spooks! I do believe in spooks! I do I do I DO!" over and over and over.  Oh and I'm also on my third rum and Coke.   

So without further adieu - stuff no one told me before I quit my job. 

1.  The amount of time you spend giving unto others will be taxing on your soul.  Some days you might even wake up to a baby crying, think about what the day has in store for you and lose the will to live!  LOL!  *gunshot* I keep waiting for the day that my girls are like, "It's okay Mom, we don't need dinner tonight."  or "Hey, Mom.  Don't worry - we're not going to have a water fight with the toilet water today while you put the baby down for a nap."  But that doesn't happen.  It.  Never.  Happens.  You are responsible for their every move.  EVERY.  MOVE.  And, if you're lucky enough to have three under two and a half, you are responsible for the every move of three tiny people.  Which is sort of like trying to coordinate a marching band half time show with a bunch of ferrets.  So it's crucial that you take time for yourself and cultivate some sort of hobby.  It's a wonderful emotional outlet to do something you really enjoy.  Preferably something you can do at home, during their nap time.  Like painting or chain smoking cigarettes. 

2. Your interaction with other adults that don't live inside your television set will be extremely limited. The competition that used to drive you to become a successful employee clawing your way up the corporate ladder that you found in your co-workers will now come from the other Moms you hang out with once a week. They will act as your measuring stick of self-worth and constantly force you to reflect upon your parenting skills. So quickly make friends with a lot of worthless fatties. Or pedophiles. You'll drive yourself crazy otherwise.

3.  Being at home all day with your kids means they will destroy any article of clothing you put on their little bodies.  You can choose not to change them, but then the ants come.  And then everyone gets all judgey-judgey when they come over.  "Oh my god... there are roaches on your baby!"  Or, "Is that lice?"  And it's an algorithm - the nicer the outfit, the more frosting that ends up on it.  Therefore, I strongly recommend you buy only cheap clothing at resale shops.  For the kids, not for yourself.  Wearing other peoples' used clothing is just nasty. 

4.  Pace yourself.  It might seem like a good idea at the time when you're chewing your baby's food and spitting it into her mouth for her or breastfeeding or changing her diaper on a regular basis but don't over exert yourself for heaven's sake.  I mean, kids have no memory until they're like 12 or something and do you remember being left in a poopy diaper all day?  See?  That's my point.  You turned out just fine.  Save some of that overzealous newborn energy for when they're two and you wake up from your nap to find them playing with the electrical outlet and you think, "Welp, they've gotta learn sometime" and fall back asleep. 

5.  Babies hate any toy you buy for them.  They will play the shit out of some toy in the gym nursery and you immediately run out and buy it because you think it will mean at least one full hour of silence so that you can watch your stories in peace.  But the minute that toy crosses your threshold they recoil in disgust at the very sight of it.  Immediately return all toys you receive as gifts and use that money on Chinese lessons and butt implants.  Let's just say I'm working on a little 'conspiracy theory' about how the U.S. job market is going to look in fifteen years. 

6. When you're with your kids 24/7, it's real easy to get comfortable and ignore personal hygeine boundaries in the name of convenience.  But I'm here to tell you that some things should remain sacred.  Because one day they will learn how to talk.  And one day you're going to run into your ex-boyfriend's best friend at the grocery store and your daughter will tell him how this morning Mommy's poop looked like a snapping turtle.

Oh great, now Martha Plimpton is dead.  The end.