Entries categorized "Just for Fun"

Guided Meditation for Visiting Your Folks in Florida

Welcome to a guided meditation for visiting your folks in Florida.

First, find a quiet space where you can have a few minutes of privacy: a guest room, your father's recliner (is he raking the gravel again?), your mom's crafting room (perhaps she's watching Matlock), or the davenport if they're at the bank doing bank stuff. 

If Fox News is on volume 47 in the adjacent room, light the Yankee Candle for ambiance or, if you require a little white noise to aid relaxation, plug in the Vicks vaporizer.

You may need to do some rearranging to create your safe space. Old people in FL

If necessary, carefully slide the extra boxed wine onto the floor.

Gently stack the used, neatly-folded wrapping paper from last Christmas onto the other twin bed.

Ignore the ginormous stack of paper (a printed copy of every email they've ever received) sitting next to the fax machine and toss an afghan over the red, MAGA hat on the extra dresser.

That's right. While your parents are out paying for things with exact change or picking up a video on their way home from bridge, take this brief moment to refuel, refresh and regroup before re-entry.

Once you've found a cozy spot to release your burdens and cares, I invite you to lay down and feel the weight of your body being completely supported (even the extra pounds your mother mentioned since your last visit).

You are in a safe space.   

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath: in and then, out.

Repeat slowly. In, and then, out. 

Let's start with a simple visualization exercise to help you relax. Imagine a beautiful staircase. As your foot touches the first step, let a wave of serenity wash away any negative feelings causing you anxiety.

Erase from your mind the cankles/sandals comment. Your cankles ankles are beautiful. 

Forget the "Huh, I never imagined you with red in your hair" statement.

Let all negative energy leave your body. Release and let go.

Purge the memory from earlier today when you found the Christmas present you gave them in their fully-stocked "Regift" closet.

Breathe in, breathe out. Let the calmness envelope you. Celebrate the life you are living.

Do not be distracted by the neighbor who is leaving the three-minute message on the Southwestern Bell answering machine. Your mind is relaxed. Continue to enjoy this moment of serenity. Ignore the repeated beeps indicating the tape is now full. You are relaxing. This is good. You are at peace. 

You will arrive at the second step of the staircase feeling calm and relaxed. You are free of all tension. 

Right now you're so calm you could sit in the back of the Cadillac and not be bothered that your father's right turn signal has been on for two miles.

Continue to breathe deeply.

You are so relaxed you can imagine admiring your parents' matching swimsuits as you walk the beach together discussing which foods your mom needs to take Beano before eating. "Artichokes, beans, of course, brussel sprouts, corn, oatmeal..."

Breathe in the beauty of your goodness. Breathe out your stress.

As you take a third step down, you are completely free of all tension in your instrument. You are flexible. You can bend. You can flow. In this state, you could even hear about Mrs. Kipplekeider, who lived down such and such street thirty-seven years ago, who, you remember, bought six boxes of Girl Scout cookies but then didn't want them because she'd developed Diabetes (the sugar one) just before delivery time. Well she just took a fall and thank God for her daughter who flew in right away from Poughkeepsie and didn't bring that dreadful husband of hers along, but boy, what a good daughter to just drop everything. Kids these days.

You are free. You can breathe. One more time: breathe in, breathe out. Visualize your happiness. 

In your deep state of relaxation, imagine standing underneath a large waterfall. Envision its glorious, cascading water. Hear the rush. Imagine the water running over your body.

Let Pat Sajak and all the vowels pour over you.

Let the Cagney and Lacey reruns run.

Let Leslie Stahl and the ticking clock tick, tick, tick. 

Let the Mapquest, hashtag, AOL, group texting, and  Windows questions just fall off your shoulders like waves, as you submerge yourself deeply in serenity.

Imagine the gentle waves wiping out the kitchen of its saved bread bags, Campbell's Soup labels, rubberbands, and pile of newspapers.

Let the water's gentle waves comfort you as you mourn the twenty minutes of your life it took your mom to pay with a check at Chico's, or the repeated attempts to explain to your dad how to unfriend two (out of his 16) friends on The Facebook who he thinks post too much.

Feel the warmth of the water. Bask in that comfort. 

Now let the water flow down over your back. Close your eyes and visualize each waitress you've had all week reach out and tell you, "It's all good." They have parents, too, they say. Even the young one with the piercings and the one your dad kept referring to as "the "Oriental girl" are there and smile. It's okay.

Breathe deeply. In and then, out. Again, in and then, out. 

Now imagine walking out of the water and gently being wrapped in a warm, soft towel. Swaddled in serenity, all negativity and tension have been washed away.

You are now refreshed. You are renewed. You are ready to return up the staircase. 

Upon reaching the bottom step, feel the infusion of positive energy. You'll now have the patience to endure one of those conversations where you retrace each generation of a family (and their cousins) who maybe lived in that house on the corner of Huron Avenue and Third Street or was it Fourth? Wait, didn't the sisters marry brothers?

As you walk up the next step, continue breathing deeply.

Untap your refreshed reserves of joy from within as you look forward to 5:00 dinner at the strip mall's "House of Lamb" (located conveniently nearby to get home for Hannity).

As you land on the final step, slowly open your eyes. Reacquaint yourself with the wallpaper. Give yourself a moment. Gradually rotate your hands and feet and move to a sitting position.

Feel your energy renewed.

Enjoy the moment.

Allow it to unfold, knowing that in twenty years' time you'll still be asking, "Is this a chip reader or do I swipe?"

 

 

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My Mother's Grocery List As Created By Shouting Into Her New Smartphone

 

Grandmawithsmartphone

Every week my 70+ year-old mother learns how to do something new on her smartphone. She's figured out how to add several emojis in her texts to the grandkids. She can play Solitaire any time, any place. And, she can check her AOL email account whenever she wants. Most recently however, she has realized that she can text me her grocery list without ever having to type a single letter. It's really quite simple. Or is it?

 

My Mother's Grocery List As Created By Shouting Into Her Smartphone Using the Voice-Activated Text Messaging App:

 

Apples

Bananas

Bananas

Dammit how do you

Cantaloupe please choose ripe one this time

Three pairs

One pound ham

I already got that

Honey

No not honey not honey

Oh this damn

Small amount of lettuce now wait a sec

Four cans stewed tomatoes

Tied

Raisin Brand the new kind we like

Eight blueberry yogurts don’t try to change us

Mint jelly

Creamer just plain for bridge club check expiration data

Check expiration date

Applesauce but a small jar there are only two of us you know

Oooooiiizzzr

Tuna in bag I I white called Apalone

One case watcher

Two bottles French dressing

Pack teal sauce

Brad

Schneiders cheddar pretzel bitches

Box of wine the good kind

Toilet paper for my bathroom Pat’s bathroom and the powder room and maybe downstairs don't know

Get comet

I already told you that’s not a weed

Bleach

Six eggs do not get a dozen we just throw them away

Frank’s sauerkraut be sure no caraway seeds bad for the diverticulitis

 

 

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The Five Words No One Wants to Hear. Ever.

As Big Ben and I walked along the river's boardwalk recently, I caught a glimpse of a little girl waving and pointing in our direction. She had just come out of the ice cream parlor and gripped her overflowing waffle cone tightly with both hands. Smart girl. 

"Hey!" she shouted between licks of her Blue Moon. Not the flavor I would have picked, but since she was about six years-old, I cut her some slack.

"Hey" I waved as I approached. I didn't recognize her, but little kids often get a kick out of Big Ben. Her blue lips were moving as if she was talking to me, so I stopped and pulled out my earbuds. 

BigBen on bed"Hey lady," she said, "you look like your dog."

I froze. 

She turned to her mom, giggled, and then a little louder said, "Mama, she looks like her dog, doesn't she? Doesn't she?"

The smattering of mid-day ice cream-eaters turned and stared.

I looked left and then right, but most unfortunately, I was the only person present with a dog. 

Dumbfounded, I managed to say "I look like my dog? Really?"

 

Dear reader, I must note that I was wearing earth tones.

The little girl continued, "Yeah, you've got that white streak in the part of your hair. You know, where it's a different color from the rest of your hair. And it's all dark and stuff around your eyes."

Seriously? No mention of the earth tones?

"And you both have those big white arms. And--"

I looked at Ben's arms. I looked at mine. He wasn't wearing nail polish. Hardly the same. 

I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to run, but Big Ben and I don't really do that running thing.

The girl's mother laughed nervously, "Honey, stop."

"See Mom? They both have big cheeks, too. See their big cheeks?"

The mom put her hand on her hip. She looked like she was about to mean business. But--

"And BOTH of their big cheeks droop. They droop, Mom! They drooooooop!"

Big Ben's tail wagged as the devil-child spit sticky, blue venom on his snout.

Olive upcloseEmbarrassed, the mother pulled her child along and said nervously, "Oh dear, out of the mouths of babes..." 

"Babe" is not the term I had in mind. 

In any event, it was a life-changing moment.

After that day I knew exactly what to do in light of the fact we end up looking like our dogs.

Dear reader, you may think I went on a diet or brought home Jenny Craig.

Screw that.

I got a new dog.  

Meet sleek-cheeked Olive, 30 pounds soaking wet. 

  

Ben and Olive in yard
 


Parents: Start Laboring Now for a Seemingly Labor-less Labor Day


DSC08554Labor Day weekend, the last glimpse of summer, is right around the corner. For control freaks like me, Labor Day weekend actually requires a great deal of labor to appear labor-less for the broods we love. It's an iconic American holiday marking the end of summer, so there’s serious pressure to have the most family fun EVER. I’m talking idyllic, Norman-Rockwell-painting-fun. Kennedy-Camelot-football-tossing-fun. Corn-on-the-cob-lobster-salad-and-peach-pie-buffets-appearing-out-of-thin-air-fun. You get the picture.

This very minute, tightly-wired moms are maneuvering grocery carts at dangerously high speeds and ticking items off their iPhone list faster than the average man could read it. Coolers, koozies and kites are loaded for their final summer outing, while school shoes and soccer cleats rest quietly in the corner 'til Tuesday.

Concerned not enough fun is planned for the weekend, or worried too many Uno cards are missing from the deck, anxious parents scurry to purchase last minute Mad Libs and Bananagrams for the road trips, and insanely fork out cash for that unsightly PVC pipe game involving nunchuck golf balls.

True perfectionists desperately Google Martha Stewart articles regarding not only how to pack the perfect picnic, but how to embellish it as well, because nothing says family fun like a blingy, decoupaged, origami picnic basket.

On a previous Labor Day getaway to Chicago as a single parent, I left nothing to chance. I created a detailed itinerary to maximize fun for my three sons: the John Hancock Building, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, Chicago-style pizza, Nike on Michigan Avenue, a steakhouse, shopping at 900 Michigan and tickets to Mary Poppins.

IMG_0055Sure, my boys thought some initial sights were interesting, but beyond the bullet-proof divider in an old taxi, they weren’t wowed. I began to think they were a tough crowd to please. However, just when I thought the trip was a fail, they began to show enthusiasm for the magic of the city.

On the quaint carriage ride back to our hotel after Mary Poppins, the boys oohed and ahhed over the horse’s steamy dump. Ten minutes before, Mary Poppins had flown over our heads in a twinkling starlit theater. I mean, she seriously flew, umbrella in hand, and all. The boys gave flying Mary Poppins a raised eyebrow and nod. Splattered horse shit on a city street received a standing ovation, an obnoxious “Yeah, baby” and a “We love you, Chicago!”

In the Nike store I lost all three. Filled with panic, I hoped I’d see them, around each corner, arms heavy with merchandise. Instead, I spotted my boys two stories up, riding the escalators. “Hey-“ I shouted, “if you guys aren’t gonna try on any shoes, let’s move on to the next thing on my list.” Only to hear in response, “Mom! Escalators! We’re on an escalator! This is awesome! Can we ride a little longer?” I quietly mumbled, "Yeah, we don't git to the city often" and covered my “Appalachia is for Families” t-shirt. 

At the top of the John Hancock Tower, my youngest son announced, “You guys GOTTA check out the urinals in this bathroom. Come on!” They admired the Chicago skyline for three minutes and the public restrooms for ten.

Mary PoppinsThe pricey steakhouse did impress. “Mom, you picked a great place. The restroom is awesome. Huge peppermints are floating in the urinals. Did you know you can even pay a guy to watch you pee here? Seriously. They have combs you can keep.” Yes, well, along with the free matches, that’s why the guidebook recommended it, boys.

To parents who want to provide a memorable Labor Day weekend for your children, I wish you well. After you vacuum the minivan, drop the dog at the kennel, and hunt down one damn DVD that isn’t scratched to death, you might want to toss out your laminated itinerary, bedazzle your noise-reducing headphones and prepare for Plan B. 

In the meantime, I’ll be at home charting our next family vacation: the Public Restroom Tour of America. 

 

 

Liesl Testwuide, publisher of the website Hairpin Turns Ahead, uses humor and humility to write about navigating life’s twists, turns, and inevitable changes.  A divorced mom of three, she has come to accept that even though her white-picket-fence life blew up in her face, it was the best thing to happen to her.  Follow Liesl on FacebookPinterest,and Twitter.


I'm Performing Live to Benefit Lakeland College and Area Youth

I'm excited to announce I'll be performing May 16, 2015 at the Lakeland College Movers & Shakers Gala. This year's gala will feature three stages to accommodate an exciting and diverse group of area performers including a solo pianist, live bands, speed painting, dance crews, drum line, a comedy singing duo and me. 

11149275_883369031705416_2862106551784751528_nWhat type of exciting performance can you expect from me? Hold on to your hats, because this is gonna blow you away. I'm not going to juggle. I won't be throwing hatchets. I'm not going to consume Thin Mints until I burst. 

I'm going to stand in one place and read out loud. Yep, I can read stuff. So take that. 

Sounds easy enough, right? But in reality, and just because I feel the need to quote Run DMC, it's not that easy. Actually, "It's Tricky."

I hope the heel on my shoe won't break like it did at my grandma's funeral and force me to do that funny tip-toe-my-heel-broke-walk.

I hope I won't leave a roller in my hair like I did during an interview with the San Francisco School of Design while explaining I'm a detail-oriented person.

 

I hope Kanye West doesn't come bounding onto the stage and steal the mic away. 

And I hope there are the appropriate number of fans blowing to give me Beyonce hair.

However most of all, during my reading, I hope the audience will spew their wine across the table, have tears streaming down their faces, and leak a little pee as a result of their laughter.

I've chosen my favorite humor piece, fine-tuned it to death and even added a couple visual aids which the audience will see from two giant screens. 

Here's a two minute sneak peek. Although this still shot does not give off a humor vibe, this is funny. Trust me:

 

 

Festival Foods will sponsor my Live Literature performance. In fact, Festival Foods has paired with Lakeland College and will award a $5,000 scholarship to a student from my alma mater, Sheboygan North High School. If the student decides to attend Lakeland College, he or she will receive $10,000. The scholarship winner will be announced that evening. 

Proceeds from this year's gala will benefit Lakeland College and Sheboygan County high school student scholarships. 

Selfie
If you live in the area and want to support local education, visit the Movers & Shakers Gala website for more details about tickets.

Did I mention the event is also a contest? For $20, you can buy a vote (or many, many votes) for me and my self-esteem. Well, actually you'd be donating money toward the scholarship of a North High student and Lakeland College. But my self-esteem could use a boost with a big win.

You can purchase votes online right now or at the gala. In other words, with just a few clicks on your device, you can help raise money for education, feed my ego and you don't even have to put on pants. We all win!


A Good Dog Is Better Than A Bad Date


Ben near bath

It's a bad sign when I'm on a date and I miss my dog.  If I look forward to drooly, droopy jowls, rather than Mr. Comb-over's kiss, it's time to call a cab. Don't get me wrong, I love men. It's just that in a lot of cases, I love my dog more.

This wasn't always the situation. I was a confirmed cat person for years. However, heading for divorce and in need of some serious extra credit to get into Catholic Heaven, I promised my sons they could have a dog. After researching breeds with the shortest life span, 6-8 years max. (I had no intention of living with another mistake for 15 years), they decided on a St. Bernard. In January 2009, we brought home Big Ben.

Boys and big ben on porchWe went through the typical puppy years. He ate pencils, rolling pins, and a table or two. He broke through the same screen door weekly. In six months he gained 106 pounds. He learned to jump out the car window. I chased him through intersections, a golf course, school parking lots, tennis courts, and soccer camp. He became so strong, instead of walking the dog, the boys quickly learned to body surf. Realizing he was too big for the boys to handle, by default, Big Ben became my dog. 

After nine months I'd had enough. I was depressed about the state of my marriage, the kids sensed the tension, and drool was everywhere. It hung from lamp shades, chandeliers, drapery rods and most often, unknowingly, from the back of my head. At one time I owned 17 lint rollers. I called rescue shelters to take him. But each shelter Ben and me in carencouraged me to work with him to properly bond. Eventually he obeyed a couple commands: sit and... Well, ok, maybe he just obeyed one command. But when the boys went back to school that fall, Big Ben and I clicked and became inseparable. 

Sure, he has annoying habits, like drinking out of toilets, snoring louder than a freight train, producing poop larger than sandcastles, and consuming nine cups of food plus five hot dogs a day. He hides his treats all over the house, like a squirrel preparing for winter.  I find string cheese under drapes, hot dogs in sofa cushions, and once I found a three-day-old piece of pizza behind my pillow.

But he loves me. Unconditionally.

He lets me talk for hours, never interrupts, and five minutes later, still gets excited at the sound of my voice. He sticks to his word. He never says he's going to clean the garage and then doesn't do it.  He never commits to cutting the lawn and then watches a ball game instead. And he certainly knows when to keep his mouth shut. If my jeans are a little tight or dinner is a bit late, he never voices his disdain. We don't argue about politics, religion, or who drank the last Diet Coke.

Big Ben on my lapMy divorce required so much change. The kids needed my attention to help work through their anger and anxiety. Not being part of a couple, the dynamics of many friendships changed. Saying goodbye to a beloved home was heartbreaking, and the fear of the unknown seemed to hover over our heads the entire first year. However, one thing never changed. My dog was always by my side. No matter my marital status, my mood, my bank account, my home, my tears, my laughter, my disastrous dates, and the many nights home alone when the boys are with their dad, Big Ben has been next to me.

I don't believe it's a coincidence my boys chose a St. Bernard. St. Bernards are said to instinctively anticipate avalanches and storms. They rescue people who are lost or stuck. Big Ben walked into a doozy when he came to our house. And he rescued me. He continues to remind me that loneliness is a choice. A full life takes many shapes and forms. The Joneses have theirs, and I have mine. The sky is the limit with a companion that provides unconditional love. 

Enjoy the video. And by the way, Big Ben insisted I remind all readers that the camera adds at least 10 pounds.  After viewing it, he said probably more like 15! 

 

 


Middle Child: You're the Good Stuff

My middle child was on a rant. "No one likes the middle, Mom. No one ever calls the middle seat, especially on the Scrambler. No one wants a middle piece of cake. They want side pieces, the ones with all the frosting. Even you said you don't like the middle, because it's where the gray hair grows outta your head."

3 boys in Badger warm upsThen he said, "And come on, the middle finger is the bad one, right? There's no way that's a coincidence. As a middle child, I'm doomed to a life of medium-ness."

And before I could stop myself, the words just sorta slipped out: "Honey, I think you mean you're doomed to a life of mediocrity."

"Thanks, Mom. Thanks a lot. I feel so much better now that I know a fancy word to describe my middle child miserableness."

"Oh, honey, I think you mean middle child misery."

It's true. He'd had a tough week. His older brother, home on a school break, had received a lot of positive attention. In addition, he'd been dragged along to watch his younger brother play multiple hockey games. And due to conflicts, I'd missed both of his recent indoor soccer games. And I might have forgotten to pick him up from the Y, but it only happened once.

He stared at me with such serious eyes, practically drowning in his brother's hand-me-downs. So this little diddy... this one's for my middle child. I bet your middle child will like it, too.

You're The Good Stuff
by Liesl Testwuide, mother of one amazing middle child

You're my 7th inning stretch, my afternoon nap, my five golden rings, the button in my belly.


You're the cherry in my chocolate, the soda in my straw, and the hook in my book.


You're the free space on my BINGO card.


The firefly in my jar.


The funny bone in my arm, and my dream before that alarm.


You're the gooey in my s'more, the "ch" in my a-ch-oo, and the "u" in my hug.


You're my balmy summer night and my porridge that's ju-u-u-u-st right.


You're the warmth in my year, the smile between my ears, and the salt in happy tears.


You're the middle: the glue who makes us giggle.


You, my middle child, are the good stuff.

 

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10 Reasons the Gym Denied My New Year's Resolution Application

Woman with alarm clockI had good intentions for my New Year's resolution. Really good intentions. As a single mom, four years post-divorce, it's time to get back on the proverbial horse. Call it a horse, a rooster or whatever you choose, but it's time for me to get on something.

I decided to get back in shape to avoid being alone for the next decade, so I filled out the membership paperwork at a fancy, schmancy fitness club and awaited their response. In the meantime, I was so serious about this resolution, I shopped online and almost bought a 17-hook-and-eye sports bra made of steel. Turns out I'm not only off the hook; there likely won't be any eyes on me, either. The following arrived in the mail today:

Fitness app 2


A Boy's Life: Talk About The Pits!

When I noticed the incoming call from our elementary school, I knew I had to take it. 

But I never have the guts to answer on the first ring when school calls. I immediately have to take several deep breaths and then mentally run through worst case scenarios. 

"Your son has #4 pencils. We require they each have at least one #2." That wouldn't be bad. I could have some fun with that.

"Your child shouted, 'Beast-mode' at the top of his lungs, ran to the boys' bathroom and announced 'Evacuation imminent' while a family touring the school was in the hall. For safety reasons, ma'am, kids must walk in our hallways."  I could handle that, too. It probably happens in everyone's house. Well, almost everyone's.

"Your child thought his math compass measured circumference and therefore shoved it-- Well, Ms. Testwuide, maybe you should come to the office so we can discuss this." Probably happens all the time. Or, at least a couple times. For sure once.

In the movie, We Bought a Zoo, based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, the main character tells his son, "You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you, something great will come of it."  

I remember getting a little teary at that point in the movie. I was moved by the father/son inspirational discussion. However, in real life, it's total bullshit. Mr. Mee may have bought a zoo, but he never met our principal. 20 seconds of courage would never be enough. 

I ducked out of the New Parents' Tea at my oldest son's boarding school to take the call.

When my ringer sounded, "Oh, it's nothing," I mouthed to the three women having a conversation next to me, but not with me, about monogram fonts. I continued, basically telling no one, "I'm sure it's nothing...probably just my decorator," and I chuckled at my own snarky joke as I stepped away from the ladies on the terrace for some privacy.

"Hello, this is Liesl." 

"Yes, hello. I hope I'm not catching you at an awkward time, Liesl. I know you're out of town, but we're having a problem here at school. It's kind of embarrassing, but your son is terribly stinky."

"Excuse me? I've got a bad connection. I'm in the Berkshires. Kinky? As in...well, as in kinky?" The other mothers suddenly noticed me and strained their necks my direction. "Did you say my son is terribly kinky?" I repeated.

I hadn't been prepared for that one. My future worse case scenario repertoire was just about to super-size. 

"No, not kinky, Liesl. He's not kinky," she emphasized like I was some freak. "Well, not that I'm aware of anyway. But he's stinky. Really stinky."


Stinky post 2"Ohhhh, he's stinky!" I laughed nervously. "WelI, I suppose at this age stinky beats kinky, right?" The principal didn't laugh. I turned toward the eavesdropping, perfectly-coiffed New England mothers, and did one of those nod-smile-I'll-be-just-another-minute moves with my pointer finger.  

"I know you're traveling in Connecticut, Liesl, but you must get your son deoderant before school Monday. He needs it. He needs it baaaaad."

When I came home, I explained that at this age, bodies go through changes. Boys need to use products. I bought the deoderant, the shower gel, the hair gel, the mouthwash, the you-name-it-I-bought-it-hygiene-product, but honestly, they don't get much use. My boys think maple syrup is a perfecty good substitute for hair gel, so God only knows what they're putting on their arm pits. 

Truth be told, being smelly is kind of a badge of honor around my house.

"Dude, smell my pits."

"You gotta come in here and smell this."

"No, no, Mom. Keep the windows up, it's totally nasty. Awesome."

"I played soccer in the rain, so I don't need a shower. Water's water."

 

Stinky postAbout a week later my son came home and said, 

"Mom, do you know that a lizard can grow another tail if its breaks off?"

"Nope, didn't know that."

"Yeah, it's pretty cool. We learned it in science. It's called asexual regurgitation."

I said, "Honey, I think you mean reproduction. Asexual re-pro-duc-tion."

"Reproduction. Regurgitation. Pretty much the same thing. Whatever."

"Well," I said, "while we're on the subject, do you know what sexual reproduction is?"

He thought for a second and then said, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with poverty."

"Poverty? Really? Where'd you hear that?"

"You know, Mom, poverty:  when you get all hairy, smelly, sleep really late, eat junk food, and then wanna do stuff to have lots of babies."

"Um, I think you mean puberty. Pu-ber-ty. Not poverty."

He quickly changed the subject. Thank God.

"Mom, can I have $15 to go to the movies with some friends? I'm broke."

"Fine," I said, "if you pull out those weeds, I'll give you money for the movies. After that, you need to shower because you're really stinky." 

As he walked away, over his shoulder he said, "See, Mom? Pov-er-ty. Pu-ber-ty. Same thing."

 


Waiter: Please, Just Give it a Rest

Waiter would you just shut the hell up:
 

Recently my old college roommate, Ann, and I made plans to catch up over dinner.  I hadn’t seen her in years and she was finally going to be in town. I was starving for adult conversation after long days spent fielding unending questions from my kids.

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Mom, where’s my catcher’s mitt?”

“Mom, do I have to wear pants just because you’re hosting book club?”

With three sons, I am constantly up to bat, and their pitches come from all directions. However, after years of training, I’ve become a seasoned vet at quick answers.

“You get three hots and a cot. Don’t push it.”

“It’s in the basement, top shelf, next to the pilgrim hat piñata.“

“Yes. Pants are mandatory. That’s my final answer.”

 

Continue reading "Waiter: Please, Just Give it a Rest " »


Let The Games Begin!

I waited four years to experience a special moment like last night.

No, I didn't have sex. 

Sochi-2014-logoI watched the 2014 Winter Olympic Games with my three sons. Popcorn, fireplace, pillows, perfect. Together we sat in awe of the huge air from the snowboarders, the pounding knees of the mogul skiers and the showy costumes worn by men's figure skaters. We leaned in at the jumps, winced at the falls, and cheered for the Americans. During the ads, we had animated conversation:

"I bet there are no lines in Russia to buy that sparkly pantsuit."

"How do they land so softly?"

"What's a Pussy Riot?"

 

Continue reading "Let The Games Begin!" »


It's the Blogger Idol Pageant Live!


(This post was written for Week #4 of Blogger Idol 2013. Contestants were paired and the challenge was to write an interview. My partner was Kristen Hansen Brakeman and we really enjoyed our collaboration experience.)

 

BloggerIdolPageant logo


Ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host, Heather Reese, blogger from My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. We’re live at the 2013 Blogger Idol Pageant and relieved the horror of the swimsuit competition is behind us! Let's move ahead as we're only weeks away from crowning the next Blogger Idol! 

We know our contestants can write. This next segment will reveal just how fast two of our finalists, Kristen Hansen Brakeman and Liesl Testwuide, can think on their feet. Our judges have been given questions to ask each finalist and they'll be scored on their answers. 

 Let’s begin with a question for Kristen from our first judge, Mother Freakin’ Princess (MFP).

Judge #1: Kristen, I'm a modern day princess who enjoys mountain biking and cooking, so naturally I want to know, what do you think about the recent government shutdown?

 

L_and_k photo
Liesl and Kristen backstage at the pageant. Although nervous, they enjoyed a laugh after former contestant, Don of all Trades, shared a filthy joke.

Kristen: Oh, totally great question! I'm such a big fan, MFP, because I love pink just like you! I believe the government shutdown is totes important! In fact, it’s just like my platform, “Books for Convicts.”  I believe that if we give convicts books, then they could read books and then they’ll know so much more, and then

I believe they could read books to sick children, the elderly and the homeless, and that is why I believe feeding the hungry during the government shutdown is so important!  And so is, “Books for Convicts!” Thank you!

Okay, uh, next question.

Judge #2: My question is for Liesl from Hairpin Turns Ahead. My blog is called I Need a Playdate. Besides a blogger, I’m a parent, teacher and have held a myriad of jobs, from pizza delivery person, to sex toy consultant. Therefore, I’m interested to learn your views on U.S. child labor laws.

Liesl: I’m not knowledged in child labor laws. I had my first child at 33. I’m 50% definitely sure I’m likely against child labor laws. For instinct, if a 13 year-old asks for a urinal- - I mean an epic urinal, during labor, it

Continue reading "It's the Blogger Idol Pageant Live!" »


Top 10 Reasons I Should Be America's 2013 Blogger Idol


Urine sampleI haven't been this nervous since the last time I had to pee in a cup. My hands were shaking then, and my hands are shaking now. There's something humbling about both putting yourself on the line for an audition, and slowly walking down a hallway with a cup of your warm piss. Competing emotions seem to emerge: feeling grateful for those cheering me on to succeed, and being scared sh*tless I'll fail because I suck ass.

At a time like this, who better to turn to for words of encouragement, but the golfer, John Daly? He's been up, he's been down, and he wears his

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Our Labor Day Vacation: Public Restroom Tour of America


Horn urinals 9gagwww.9gag.com
The last push of summer, Labor Day weekend, has sadly arrived. For control freak parents like me, Labor Day requires a great deal of labor to appear labor-less for the brood you love.  Marking the end of summer, it's an iconic American holiday, so there's serious pressure to have the most family fun EVER. I’m talking Norman-Rockwell-painting family fun. Kennedy-Camelot-football-tossing-fun. You get the picture.

Today, tightly wired moms are maneuvering grocery carts at dangerously high speeds, ticking items off their iPhone lists faster than the average man can read it. Washers and dryers are working overtime, duffle bags are being packed, and school supplies are sitting patiently in the corner until Tuesday. 

Concerned not enough fun is planned for the weekend, or worried too many Uno cards are missing from the deck, anxious parents are scurrying to purchase last minute kites, Bananagrams, and forking out cash for that odd PVC pipe game involving golf ball numchucks.

True perfectionists are desperately googling Martha Stewart articles regarding not only how to pack the perfect picnic basket, but also how to embellish it… because

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Letters From Camp

The following piece, Letters from Camp, was featured on the Today Show, Chelsea Lately, MSN, the Huffington Post, London's Daily Mail, Perez Hilton, E!, and many more websites. Enjoy! It has been shared on the internet via various websites well over two million times.

There's some good stuff here. Stick around. Subscribe to get the latest posts! Thanks for visiting!

Camp photo

Last year my eight year-old son went to summer camp. It was the first time he had been away from home for more than a night. An hour after he left, I missed him.  By the time I went to bed, I found myself wandering into his bedroom, just to feel close to him. As the days passed, I wrote to him daily. Each hour dragged as I'd wait for the mailman, hoping and praying for just one letter from him. By that point I missed him so much, I began to imagine what he might write to me. I fantasized I'd receive a letter something like this:

Dear Mom,

Thank you so much for letting me go to camp. I have learned so many cool things, like how to take a fish off the hook, tie sailing knots, and even how to groom a horse. Thanks for packing the sun screen. I've been out on the lake a lot, so it has really come in handy. You sure think of everything! Since it's been so hot, I've been drinking tons of water! See? I really listen to all your good advice.

The other boys here are really smart and nice. I'm making some lifelong friends I will cherish forever. We've had fun learning camp songs, playing cards, and catching frogs in our free time. During quiet time, I read the book you sent along. What a great selection! And just because you're my mom, I made a special gift for you in arts and crafts!

I'm trying a lot of new foods, just like you suggested. You were right, the oatmeal at breakfast really isn't bad when I add raisins. And don't worry, Mom, I've been using all the manners you've taught me over the years.

We are camping under the stars tonight. I am hoping to see some fireflies.

I love you,

W

xxoo

P.S. Tell my brothers I miss them!

 

Yesterday I received a letter from him! It's just slightly different from what I imagined:

 

Camp letter p 1

 
Camp letter p 2
Camp letter p 3
This year I'm sending an enitre book of stamps with him. Can't wait to see what he writes!


Videos Released: Drum Roll, Please!

 

Sure, my boys get a bit embarrassed having a writer as their mom, but I think they secretly like creating great material for me. Trust me, they keep it comin'. And when I recently did a live reading of my favorite piece, "I've Got Something In My Pocket" about boys and their underwear, in Ann Imig's 2013 Listen To Your Mother production in

Continue reading "Videos Released: Drum Roll, Please! " »


Notes From The Road

Busch stadium

Earlier this week, I set out on a road trip with my sons.  Our destination:  Kansas City for the 2013 VisionWalk. Since I rarely do things the simple way, we traveled en route St. Louis and southern Missouri. Here are some musings from the road.

Favorite t-shirt spotted:  Ain't Nuttin' Like Kentucky

Just in case you were lookin' fer Jerky Heaven, we found it: 

Continue reading "Notes From The Road" »


Fill 'er Up and Hit the Road*

DSC09404

Although I consider myself an expert in many areas of parenting, like how to maximize the longevity of boxer shorts, using a double dose of cough syrup for any ailment, and how to clean kids' fingernails with the tip of a paperclip while driving to school, I feel I have exceptional authority on long-distance travel with boys. As summer has finally arrived and many families will load up the SUVs for a trip, I thought I'd share some of my road-tested tips which will keep the adults sane and the kids happy on your journey.

 There is no doubt satellite radio, a cooler on wheels, a DVD player with headphones, and a couple audio-books are all good bets to make a family road trip more comfortable. But the stakes are just a bit higher when traveling with boys in a small, confined space for hours while simultaneously operating a large motor vehicle on

Continue reading "Fill 'er Up and Hit the Road*" »


Mama's Fizzled Fo' Shizzle

Dirty shoes
 

Yesterday at school, I overheard teachers complaining that students seem to have checked out even though there are still two weeks of school left.  I ducked out of the conversation quietly. I'm not a student,  but this wannabe-cool-school-mom definitely has the end of the year fizzle fo' shizzle.

HomeworkI've had it with third grade math story problems.  My child and I fight over who has to read them aloud. Neither of us can do it without loudly lamenting: "Are they serious?" followed by a David Letterman toss of a pencil. Then we get to waste time looking for the pencil, looking for the sharpener, and of course sharpening the hell out of that pencil 'til it could easily blind the inventor of story problems. We've both had it with Jane. We don't care how much money Jane had when she walked into the store, how many combs Jane bought, or how much each comb costs. We think Jane should grow some dreadlocks and spend her money on candy.

 

Continue reading "Mama's Fizzled Fo' Shizzle" »


Highlight Reel of Motherhood 2012/2013

It's been quite a year as a mom.  I could get all mushy, but that's really not my style.  I could discuss how much I've learned or lament how fast time flies.  I could talk about how many lunches I've packed, loads of laundry I've done, or Band-Aids I've affixed. But those things happen every year.

Instead, I've created a highlight reel of favorite quotes from my children to celebrate my mom experience over the last twelve months. I wasn't born with a great deal of patience, so thank goodness the most important things I've learned I need to be a good

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My Rolling Stone Interview and World Premiere Christmas Video for Louis C.K.

I'm in love.  I admit it's an unusual relationship. We've never been on a date. We've never kissed.  He's never called me.  In fact, he doesn't even know I exist, but I can feel it's love from the queasiness in my stomach.  Maybe that's the Christmas tin of Chex Mix I just inhaled...but I think it's love. 


Mondays are good, tooThe truth is, I've been in love with comedian Louis C.K. for quite some time. I wouldn't say it was a factor in my divorce, but my feelings for him have been strong for a while. Even though he has no idea I'm alive, I think we'd make a great couple. We're both divorced (see? it's totally destiny.)  We both eat pizza. We both like ice cream.  And we both swear a lot.  It's a solid 
foundation. 

Continue reading "My Rolling Stone Interview and World Premiere Christmas Video for Louis C.K." »


Attitude of Hurry, Dude!

The time between Halloween and mid-November is a blur.  I moved so fast on auto-pilot from one event to the next.  Book reports, soccer games, hockey practice, Cub Scouts, play practices, math meets, guitar lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, haircuts, shopping for winter jackets, snow pants, boots...  I need to slow down.  Take a breath. Smell a rose, or at least not another stinky sock.

No time of year is more fitting to reflect and savor life than November, the month dedicated to gratitude.  And do I have an attitude of gratitude? Nope. I'm completely focused on myself:  my lists, my drama, my kids, my life and all the sh*t I need to accomplish between now and January 1st.  I've seen your gratitude lists on Facebook

 

and overheard grocery cart wheelfriends' conversations about feeling thankful for the people and things in their lives.  I have friends with parents in the hospital, friends recovering from knee replacement surgery, friends who have lost loved ones.  Where am I?  I’m like a whirling dervish with a jet pack, covered in Sharpie and Sticky Notes. And I'm going to get it all done, dammit, just watch me.

Yesterday I walked in the grocery store and I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there. There I was, in the middle of America, probably the safest place on Earth, with a wad of twenties in my pocket, able to buy all Beansthe food I wanted. Did I take a moment to be thankful? Did I savor the fact I can provide nourishment for my growing boys? Nope. I swore loudly for choosing a cart with a string-wrapped, uncooperative wheel. Then under my breath, I cursed other shoppers who had the gall to be there and potentially get in my way. 

My crooked cart and I cringed at the endless aisles of food.  Was I grateful for the abundance of available sustenance? Nope,  I was completely annoyed there was so much food.  There are folks starving, having to butcher their goats or pets. And I was up in arms about having to choose some foods over others. Decisions about green beans: fresh, organic, canned, frozen, french-style, whole, cut, mixed with wax, with almonds, without almonds, pickled...

The bread aisle put me over the edge: white, wheat, rye, oat, potato, 7-grain, 8-grain, 12 grain, whole grain, whole grain wheat, whole grain white, split top, flat top, carrot top, Hawaiian, Italian, Texas-style, with raisins, without raisins, reduced-fat, added calcium... Clean up in aisle eight, because I'm going to lose my sh*t.

  Bread aisle

The onset of the holidays makes me anxious. I'm on a schedule, folks. The mother ahead of me with a booger-covered-crying toddler and 75 coupons...  Jesus, for the sake of time management, coupons should be confiscated from parents with annoying children.  The checker with so many body piercings?  Not cool.  I wasn't going to let Vampire Girl check my eggs for cracks. And did I feel sorry for the sap dressed as a turkey handing out deli samples? I ran over his foot on the way out.  This ain't free range buddy, pedestrians rule.

Only when I disengage from the rat-race of the world, am I truly able to reflect and be thankful for all I have in my life. Two years ago, what I thought to be my white-picket-fence-dream blew up in my face;  divorce, custody battle, 20 pounds of comfort food weight gain and a fear of the future that is indescribable. Without the help of family, old friends, new friends, teachers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and the kindness of strangers, I'd still be hiding in my bathrobe, dreading the future.

I'm also thankful to you, readers, for your encouragement, enthusiasm, clever comments and inspiring personal notes.  With such a huge network of support, I know I can face any hairpin turn that comes my way, no matter how many turkeys cross my path.

But let's be clear.  Between now and January 1st, when I'm on a self-proclaimed, serious mission, like buying one last roll of scotch tape, or running out last minute for more AA batteries, if you're driving too slowly ahead of me, I'll likely tailgate, beep obnoxiously, and then give you one of those WTF gestures because I need to get through my list. I apologize in advance,  I really do.  So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd be grateful if you wouldn't flip me the bird if my children are in the car.


My Acceptance Letter for Project Divorcée, Season One!

Dear Ms. Testwuide,

Congratulations!  You have been selected as a contestant to appear on the inaugural season of Project Divorcée.  Modeled after the successful Project Runway series, Executive Producer, Heidi Klum, has decided to try her recently ringless hand, at a new reality show. Project Divorcée will pit women at their lowest point against one another, in order to win a prize package by further losing their dignity.  

We have reviewed your audition tape and processed your application. We feel you embody the perfect mixture of bitterness, apathy, and vengeance. When combined with your delicate emotional state and raging sugar addiction, you make a perfect reality TV character.  

Too tight jeans

We feel your too-tight-sized-14-mom-jeans, high likelihood of developing Type II Diabetes during production, and constant collection agency calls for unpaid therapists' bills will make you an instant fan favorite.

Your file was missing some paperwork. We require all divorce lawyer’s bills be sent to our offices to authenticate your eligibility. We recognize shipping is costly. We understand the pure poundage of your particular legal bills has reduced your transportation options to ground service only. We thank you for chartering a train to transport these documents.

The winner of Project Divorcée will receive $25,000 for Vaginal Rejuvenation, a Lifestyle Lift , a set of Glamor Shots, and a one year supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream created exclusively for our show, Manic Xanax. 

Please sign the enclosed documents agreeing to the following:

  1. Continue your diet of saturated fats, high fructose corn syrup, refined sugars and any recipes by Paula Deen.
  2. Purchase a clean bathrobe as it appears from your audition tape to be your signature wardrobe piece. A silk robe with shoulder pads, high slit, and no middle zipper may make you more palatable to male viewers rather than your current Cheeto-stained fleece.

Unlike Project Runway, contestants for Project Divorcée are informed of their weekly challenges in advance in order to schedule therapy sessions as needed. The first challenge requires contestants to don pre-divorce evening dresses that still fit. "Fits" is defined as "zippers to top while contestant breathes continuously." Contestants will then attend a couples’ cocktail party solo. You will be judged on your ability to smile, engage in friendly banter, and remark "I'm so happy for you," at least ten times during the evening. The winner of challenge one will receive two Ambien and be allowed to spend the next 24 hours in bed.

We look forward to your arrival in Allentown, PA for the first season of Project Divorcée.

Sincerely,

Myles Seabrunner and Barton Winkler

Associate Producers

Project Divorcée

 

 


What Do Your Jeans Say About You?

 

Lucky you verticalI may be watching too many late night infomercials, but I'm tired of the message that women over 40 are old.  I hear about bladder swings, vaginal rejuvination, Lifestyle Lifts, Muffin Molds and more.  When I saw an ad for Not Your Daughter's Jeans, it just put me over the edge.   40 isn't old!  I cranked out this letter, sent it and feel much better. Just wanted to share it with you. 

 

Continue reading "What Do Your Jeans Say About You?" »


Road-Tested Travel Tips To Keep Parents Sane

Although I consider myself an expert in many areas of parenting, like how to maximize the longevity of boxers, using a double dose of cough syrup for any ailment, and how to clean fingernails with the tip of a paperclip while driving to school, I feel I have exceptional authority on long-distance travel with boys. As many schools begin their fall breaks later this week, I thought I'd share some of my road-tested tips in the event your family is heading out for a few days. 

There is no doubt satellite radio, a cooler on wheels, a DVD player with headphones, and a couple audio-books are all good bets to make a family road trip a bit more comfortable. But the stakes are just a bit higher when traveling with boys in a small, confined space for hours while simultaneously operating a large motor vehicle on unfamiliar roads at speeds of 75 mph.  Parental sanity, not comfort, tends to be the priority.

Tip Number 6:  Rolling Backpacks

Cornhead
Dude, we're from Wisconsin. We wear cheese. Besides, that cob won't fit in your backpack.

Rolling backpacks allow kids to haul their own stuff, even if it's heavy.  No more: "It's too hea-----vy. Can you puh-lease just carry it?" Each boy needs his own rolling backpack for his electronic game systems, chargers, books, games, blankie, and stuffed animals.  Any purchased souvenirs must fit in the rolling backpack which makes saying "no" to rifles, cone-heads and large rocks pretty easy. Pulling a rolling backpack inhibits kids from running too far ahead allowing you to keep up, and your blood pressure can stay down. In addition, unlike traditional backpacks, rolling backpacks are on the ground so they cannot easily be used as weapons against one another when standing in boring lines or crowded elevators. 


Tip Number 5:  Jobs for All

Hugo the Recorder
The Recorder keeping track of our s'more intake, crucial information.

As a single mom, I can't do it all, so every boy chooses a job for the trip.  My youngest is the Lookout.  He looks for bad guys, lightning, curves in the road, and booby traps. His job requires binoculars and a much needed diagram indicating his "left" and "right."

My middle son is the Recorder. He records unusual sightings like a bear peeing or a running cantaloupe (turned out to be an antelope.) He is responsible for writing down shopping lists, fast food orders, and game scores. His tallies of buffalo poop piles and creative abbreviations like "J.C." (just ketchup) keep us laughing.  

My oldest is the Navigator which requires attention to detail and excellent computer skills. Who needs Siri when I have my own Go-to-Guy? Before I can spit out the question, he's got the answer:  "Got it, Mom!  Check it out in 3-D."  Sketch Artist, DVD Master, Fart-Counter, Snack Man, and Mr. Muscles are some additional jobs to help a family trip run a little smoother. 

Tip Number 4:  Scooters or Ripsticks

RipsticksBoys feel the need for speed.  They are physically incapable of being restrained and confined for hours at a time.  And as a parent, unless I have some strong happy pills, I, too, am incapable of being confined for a lengthy period of time with them.  Don't fight nature.  Accept it. Although a stop at a park to swing or climb on a jungle gym is a nice respite, ten laps at full speed on a scooter or Ripstick around an empty church parking lot provides a faster and more satisfying energy release. Park the car. Turn up the tunes. Let 'em ride.  Not sold?  Scooters and Ripsticks never get flat tires or lose a chain. Pack the scooters, rent your bikes at the destination. 

Luggage carts
I love the anonymity of travel. I have no idea who these kids are.
Tip Number 3:  Luggage Carts

 Upon arrival, a group of luggage carts in a hotel lobby is a welcome sight for my sore eyes.  Kids are so wired to get out of the car, I let them each have a luggage cart as I pretend to completely not know them as I check-in at the front desk.  

Let them unload the car, one item at a time, in order to make as many elevator trips as possible.  Let them use luggage carts as over-sized skateboards, jungle gyms and bumper cars.  Hey, I figure, the longer you can put off going to that gross, under-chlorinated hotel pool full of strangers, the better. Right? I have used the luggage cart technique on many trips and have yet to be asked to leave a hotel.

Tip Number 2:  Gum

Get your butt to Costco and load up on gum - lots and lots of gum.  Hubba-Bubba, Bubblicious, Bazooka, with sugar, without sugar--- any kind will do!  

DSC09398
A quiet, happy traveler.
It is a fact that cars become quieter when kids chew gum. Boys do not yell or shout with multiple pieces of bubble gum in their mouths. They chew the gum.  They add more gum.  They talk about their gum. They compare gum. They inquire about others' gum. They blow bubbles. They add more gum and then they repeat the process.

Chewing gum is an activity in and of itself that lasts longer than coloring, Tic-Tac-Toe, or I Spy. So moms, don't be stingy with the gum! Don't be tempted to save the gum for a meltdown or moment of desperation. Leverage their love of gum.  Gum is your friend.  

In my experience, kids never, ever tire of gum. After chewing gum all day, when presented with the dessert tray in a restaurant, my youngest politely asked, "Do you have any gums?  I'll just have a gum." 

And My Top Traveling Tip:  Gatorade 

Eli w Gatorade
Gatorade: don't leave home without it.
Large, plastic bottles of Gatorade are the number one must-have for any long trip with boys.  Gatorade containers are so big, kids never ask for more! No one complains of thirst or fights over the last one. When the first boy finishes his Gatorade, the discarded, wide-mouthed jug conveniently becomes the communal urinal.  Peeing in the car results in hours of fun and conversation for boys:  "Mom, want some Gatorade?"  "I think I'm stuck."  

When a jug of Gatorade is in the car, the driver can relax knowing there will be no pressure to find a bathroom "Now!!!  Not five minutes, Mom, now!"  Your car now has a fully functioning urinal.

Say goodbye to finding crumpled, 6-ounce juice boxes and cellophane straw wrappers all over the back seats. Say hello to reducing your family's carbon footprint by bringing Gatorade on your next family road trip with boys.  Warning:  this tip could be disastrous with girls.  

 

DSC09404Yep, it can be frustrating, exhausting and down-right crazy when a family takes to the road together.  All the planning in the world will still result in some sort of not-the-end-of-the-world disaster.  But there are few things better in life than sharing an adventure with the ones we love!  

 

Happy Trails to you!

 

 

  



I've Got Something in My Pocket

As a young girl,  I dreamed I’d someday be the mother of two demure daughters.  I'd dress them in pink Polly Flinders dresses, white tights and black patent leather shoes. Quietly they'd play for hours, my two little angels, with Dressy Bessy and Mrs. Beasley. In my fantasy, we'd shop for the Barbie Townhouse, sell Girl Scout cookies, discuss Nancy Drew mysteries and debate which Hardy boy, Frank or Joe, was the cutest. 

 But then I gave birth to three boys. 

I'll be honest, my romantic childhood fantasies of motherhood never included:

buying Shout, Gatorade, and Goober by the case. 

falling into the toilet bowl...repeatedly.

washing urine off the walls, seriously guys, still?

stepping on piles of seemingly innocuous, yet unimaginably painful teeny, tiny Lego pieces.

Continue reading "I've Got Something in My Pocket" »


Soccer Mom on Steroids

Soccer sidelinesI’ve never thought of myself as a competitor. I’m not athletically inclined. On the 9th grade basketball team, I sat with my legs crossed on the bench, daydreaming of becoming Carol Burnett.  My disgusted coach would shout at the highest decibel level her manly, stout, body could exhort:  “Testwuide, this ain’t a Christmas tea, sit like a man.  Pay attention.”  What-ever… just puh-lease don’t put me in that game.

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Amish Paradise

School has been in session for about a month and I have already driven kids back and forth to 22 soccer practices, 15 play rehearsals, 9 swim lessons, 4 guitar lessons, 5 piano lessons, made 60 brown bag lunches, folded 47 loads of laundry, tied 88 soccer cleats and spent $847 at Costco.

I’m running away to Amish Country.

Eight years ago, driving back from Cleveland, OH, after spending Thanksgiving with relatives, the DVD player in the car was broken and the kids were hyped to the max on candy corn.  By the time we reached Indiana, I was clawing at the door.  I had to get out.  I had recently quit drinking and the nail polish remover in my cosmetic bag was seriously tempting. It was dire. 

We pulled off the freeway, found a hotel, and splurged for the biggest suite in the place.  Upon arrival in our oddly homey accommodations was a sign that read:  

No alcohol or tobacco products permitted on site.  However, we have 29 kinds of pie. Welcome to Amish Country.

 

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Fitness Club, Schmitness Flub

Dr scholls finalSince I pray that some day, some one will want to be naked with me again, I was encouraged to stop in a local fitness center and fill out an application form. I've posted it below. Sorry it's tough to read. I shouldn't open the mail when my blood sugar is low (which is pretty much never since 9,072Thin Mints were just delivered to my house.)  

Health form final 1
Health form fianl 2