My favorite comeback line

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It’s a bit morbid, I admit, but it does end arguments……

Me:  “Go change clothes and put on LONG pants or tights and a LONG sleeved shirt.”

Sophie (age 8):  “But, MOM, it gets HOT at school!”

Me:  “I don’t care.  It’s 37 degrees.  Go change.”

S:  “But, MOM, this is how BIG KIDS dress!”

Me:  “I don’t care.  Go change.”

Tears are shed and clothes are changed.  As we drive to school, we pass a street corner with teens lolling around waiting on the bus.  Wearing shorts with boots or jeans with flip-flops.

S:  “SEE!  I told you!”

Me:  “Their mothers don’t love them and want them to get pneumonia and die.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m driving on a busy four lane road when Sophie sees a kid (probably twelve or thirteen years old) walking on the sidewalk.

S:  “MOM!  Stop the car and let me out so I can walk home.”

Me:  “That girl’s mama doesn’t love her and wants her to get hit by a car and die.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

S:  “Can we go to ‘Spirit Night’ at Chick-Fil-A?  ALL my friends are going tonight!”

Me:  “No.  We can’t eat fast food all the time.”

S:  “But EVERYBODY else is going!”

Me:  “Those mothers don’t love their children and let them eat crap and then they’ll get fat and have a heart attack and die.”

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A kinda, sorta Happy-ish Thanksgiving

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The hubs and I typically host all big family holiday dinners at our house.  All my crazy people + all his crazy people = a long day for me.  A long week actually.  Feeding twenty, even potluck style, takes some planning and effort.  This week, I’ve been inundated by facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts showing The Perfect Thanksgiving – the perfect turkey, the perfect place setting, the perfect outfit, blah, blah, blah…so I want to share how holidays happen in the Pscho home…

www.marthastewart.com

Oh Martha, Martha, Martha. MY table does NOT look like this.

One week before event: 

  • Order a big ass organic turkey from the local market. 
  • Scour the internet for an adaptation to favorite recipes have few enough Weight Watchers points that I can do more than just SNIFF the macaroni and cheese pie.
  • Get hair cut and colored.
  • Change all the burned out lightbulbs all over the house.
  • Decide that the bathroom needs to be repainted now that I can see it in the light.  Stay up til midnight two nights to get this done.
  • Dust all the crap on the shelves that serve no purpose other than to collect said dust.

Three days before the event:

  • Bake organic cornbread and make homemade bread crumbs for stuffing.
  • Clean out drawers in kids’ rooms – because guests always look there.
  • Scrub tubs and showers even though no one is staying over with us.
  • Calculate how many hours I need to log at the gym to eat sister-in-law’s amazing veggie casserole.
  • Don’t actually go to gym.

Two days before the event:

  • Go to grocery store.  Take two grumpy, hungry children with me.  Buy the big ass turkey plus three hundred dollars worth of fresh, organic veggies.  Don’t forget a case of fabulous organic wine.  Stop at McDonald’s to feed crying children some crap food because I am too lazy to even make a sandwich at this point.
  • Mince onions and celery for dressing.  Chop a million other veggies.
  • Brine turkey.  Splash turkey juice (i.e. blood) all over kitchen.  Chase kids from kitchen and mop for the second time today.
  • While mopping, discover that baseboards look like crap.  Pay oldest child $5 to scrub them.
  • Google “Does chasing hyper kids = gym time”.  (It doesn’t, by the way.)
  • Go out for dinner with girlfriends.  Come home drunk at 2 a.m.

One day to go:

  • Pick out clothes for event.  Decide they make me look fat.  It could just be the margaritas from last night, but to make sure I rush to mall and snatch up three new outfits to try on at home and return later.  Every outfit looks amazing and now I’m out $400 with only four weeks until Christmas because I will not return amazing jeans.  Ever.
  • Boil eggs for deviled eggs.
  • Dig out favorite platform booties to wear with new jeans.  Decide they need polish.  Polish every shoe in the house.  Remove shoestrings from kids’ shoes and handwash with dish soap.  (It really works!)
  • Make cole slaw and fruit salad.  Slice open thumb because I still refuse – at 46 years of age – to use a cutting board.  Use duct tape because there is no time for an ER visit.  Plus everyone would have to go barefoot since all the shoestrings are wet.
  • Boiled eggs are soft-boiled and all go into trash.  Run to grocery for more eggs.  Leave barefoot kids in van.  Also spend $30 on seasonal candles because the whole house smells like a big fart because of the eggs.

T minus 8 hours:

  • Turkey in the oven and stuffing mixed.  Go back to bed.

T minus 6 hours:

  • Baste turkey.
  • Mop kitchen.
  • Go back to bed.

T minus 5 hours and 45 minutes:

  • Cover head with pillow and hope husband gets up to deal with crying baby.

T minus 5 hours and 40 minutes:

  • Hear husband call for help from the nursery.  Discover a leaky diarrhea diaper.  Put baby in tub, sheets in washer and Clorox Ava’s room.

T minus 4 hours:

  • Baste turkey
  • Set out plates, napkins and utensils for buffet
  • Feed kids breakfast
  • Hide purse, jewelry, husband’s wallet and kids’ piggy banks in case any of the dope head relatives need quick cash.

T minus 3 hours:

  • Remove turkey from oven and touch duct-taped thumb to side of oven.  Probably need some medical attention or at least pain meds.  Realize pain Rx is empty.  Probably aforementioned dumbass dopers pilfered my medicine cabinet at our last gathering.  Bitches.
  • Find the fucking cat asleep on my huge serving platter.  Yell at cat and wash platter.
  • My sister Jan arrives because she is having a late dinner with her girlfriend and has to leave early.  She brings two icy growlers of seasonal beer with her.  Decide it would be rude not to taste some.

T minus 2 hours:

  • Wrangle children into decent clothes, wash faces and brush hair.  Bows and clips attached.
  • Take a shower.  Do hair, makeup and put on great new skinnies.
  • Move turkey to platter and slice.  Pour drippings into pan to make gravy.  Spill grease all over new jeans.
  • Wipe legs with a baby wipe and put on new outfit #2.
  • Realize I have NO idea where the stupid “Elf on a Shelf” is.  Send kids outside with Aunt Jan and husband up in the attic to dig through dozens of unmarked boxes.

WHERE did I hide the Elf??

T minus ONE HOUR:

  • Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and husband’s great aunt and uncle arrive.  I pour beer into coffee mug and hope they don’t notice.
  • Kids are filthy.  Let the aunts change their clothes.  Both children come out wearing tacky Myrtle Beach t-shirts and sweatpants with no shoes.  Both girls look like we do not own a brush.  Know for fact now that the fabulous lesbians in my family can not be trusted for fashion advice.  Lament – yet again – that Clinton Kelly is not a close friend or family member.
  • Find Elf in sock drawer.
  • Finish all cooking.

T minus THIRTY MINUTES:

  • My grandmother, great uncle and parents arrive.  I break neck to turn off Nine Inch Nails “Closer” which is suddenly BLARING from my iPod.  Twist ankle and toss shoes into corner.
  • Turn on AC because it’s REALLY HOT in this kitchen.  Husband advises that it’s 40 degrees outside and turns off air.  Go put on a tank top.
  • Rest of family arrives and loads up the counters and tables with food.

DINNERTIME:

  • My mother asks my Agnostic uncle to bless our food.  Eyerolls all around.  My husband picks up the gauntlet and throws down a prayer. 
  • My sister advises that she’s hidden the beer cooler in my closet.  I tell her not to tell anyone since that’s where I hid my jewelry and purse.  Damn.  She’s already spread the news so I sneak back to my room and re-hide valuables.
  • Oldest daughter makes her own plate.  Drops it and breaks plate.  I pick up the big pieces of glass and use 200 paper towels to wipe up creamed corn.  Toss a bath towel over the whole deal and continue with dinner.
  • Make a plate for myself.  End up feeding it all to the baby.
  • Put baby down for nap.  Sneak into my closet for a sippy.
  • Make my own dinner of only fresh, healthy food.
  • Leave plate on table to make coffee for dessert since everyone else is finished eating.
  • Cold steamed broccoli tastes like shit.  Cover with gravy.  Yum.

And now they’re all gone….

Wet crib sheets are still in the washer.  My kitchen floor is covered in sweet tea, creamed corn and assorted other sticky substances.  The carpet in my closet is splashed with what was once a delicious IPA, and all cash is accounted for.  I stumble (drunkenly, by now) into the kitchen and step on the errant piece of glass from Sophie’s broken plate and apply an Angry Bird Band-Aid to my bloody foot.  I open the refrigerator and find that I totally forgot to serve the cole slaw, fruit salad or stinky-ass deviled eggs.

Annoyed, I hobble to the bathroom and look in the mirror.  My makeup looks more than a little like Heath Ledger’s Joker and I am not certain that I brushed my teeth today.  I am wearing a wife-beater and am barefoot not unlike my marginally dressed babies.  And THIS is why are there are no photos of me at the holidays.  Clinton Kelly would not have let this happen.

Man, I can’t wait to do this again in a month.

Sh%t Southern Women Say

I saw this video for the first time today and I must share with you.  If you’re from the South (That’s right.  We capitalize it.), you’ll recognize yourself, your wife, your sister or that bitch from accounting.  If you aren’t one of “us”, then now you know what my life sounds like at least.

One of these ladies is apparently from my neck of the woods – “Go Clemson” – and every word of the video rings true.  Please watch them, and follow on facebook and twitter.  Very funny y’all!

What’s for breakfast?

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We’re cat people.

Actually, I am cat people and am raising my girls to be the same.  My husband is allergic to cats so it would be safe to say that he is NOT cat people.  But he lives with my furbabies and takes Claritin when the sneezing gets bad and doesn’t complain too much so I guess he is one of us by default.  Mostly.

Jabba II died late September when he tried to make a mad dash across a busy street at lunchtime.  It was a sad day for me, but a devastating day for my eight year old daughter Sophie.  She literally wept for hours even waking up in the middle of the night choking with sobs.  Ideally, I don’t do instant cat replacement, but in this case that child desperately needed someone with fur to snuggle.  Immediately.  The next day, I got a new kitten who fits in with the madness and doesn’t rebel by peeing all over the house a la Skittles II (We reuse a lot of pet names here.).  Anyway, little Freckles seems to enjoy her new life and thanks to having a toddler in the house gets lots of extra snacks.  Like Goldfish.

When I’m busy, I put a few Goldfish crackers on the kid table in our kitchen so Ava can stand and eat while I scurry around.  As soon as she sees the bag, she starts demanding her crackers.  As soon as the cat sees the bag, she hops on the kid table to snag a snack before Ava gets there!  It’s kind of cute.

However when I am scurrying around and ignoring Goldfish refills, little Ava will plop down by the cat bowl and help herself to handfuls of kibble crammed in her tiny mouth.  Nasty, stinky kitten kibbles. 

So it should be no surprise that in between loading the dishwasher, making breakfast and doing laundry, I glanced in the corner and found the cat lounging on the kid table with a Goldfish grasped in her little paws.  On the floor lies little Ava with her entire face buried in the cat’s dish. 

On the plus side, I guess I don’t have to make breakfast now.  I’m thinking that maybe I should go buy a new self-feeder and fill it with Goldfish for the baby and the cat to share.  And look~I’m teaching Ava to share!  Damn, I’m a good mama.

 

 

I know a boy I never met

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I know a boy I never met.

He was in his mother’s eyes the day she tentatively stepped into my home wearing Abercrombie sweat pants and Uggs with a Venti Starbucks in hand.  She was (and still is) an incredibly beautiful woman with shining eyes and ridiculously perfect hair and makeup.  I stifled my inner eyeroll since she’d at least bothered to show up.  This was the first time I’d hosted a Bible study in my home and didn’t even know several of the dozen ladies – including this one – who had signed up to attend.

We introduced ourselves and she told us about her husband and dogs.  She smiled and said positive things when she spoke which wasn’t often.

Later that night in an effort to befriend my new friends, I found her on facebook and sent a friend request.  Despite being quiet in person, she wasn’t a Nazi about online privacy so I read a “note” she’d written about her son.  Her deceased son.  Her deceased-killed-tragically-in-a-car-accident-only-child son.  And I cried.  All alone.  For this woman I hardly knew and the strength and courage I felt it must have taken for her to walk into a roomful of strangers with such a burden on her heart.

I saddled her burden along with all mine until such a time as the dam broke and the tears choked her story from her.  As Amy’s story tumbled out, an amazing thing happened.  A bond was forged.  A strong one. 

I still keep in touch with several of those dozen ladies via phone calls every few months or an occasional facebook post, but there are five of us whose souls joined that night.   As they say about friendship: “Shared joy is multiplied.  Shared grief, divided.”  We’ve rejoiced, laughed and cried together through the years.  We’ve fallen in love and had hearts broken.  We’ve had grandchildren and adopted babies.  We’ve lost loved ones and been sick.  We’ve been broke and gotten new jobs.  I love these five girls all each and every one.  Deeply and dearly.  And I know that each of them love me unconditionally too.  All because Amy shared her heart one night.

But if she had the chance to have her Jeffrey back for one hug, one kiss, one smile…I know she’d trade us all in for that.  And I don’t blame her a bit.