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My (hypothetical) Memoirs

If I were to write my story, my memoirs, what would the title be?

Not as profound as someone that climbed Mt. Everest or moving as a survivor of something horrific.

But I think it would still be relatable.

Possibilities are:

 

Potential Memoir Titles by Frugalista Blog

 

 

 

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My life would be perfect if

My life would be perfect if this dang dining room wasn’t piled up with so many craft projects unfinished, or remote controls that need batteries, or school assignments that needed filing.

My life would be perfect if Owen would stop leaving candy wrappers and band aids randomly around the house.

My life would be perfect if Emma would just put away the laundry I folded for her instead of putting it on the floor of her room.

My life would be perfect if James would just put his empty dishes away instead of leaving them by the couch.

My life would be perfect if I could scoop the cat box with my thoughts and I didn’t have to actually scoop it up using my hands and the scooper.

My life would be perfect if the pile of laundry waiting to be washed would just clean itself.

My life would be perfect if Emma would just do her homework without first watching a marathon of YouTube videos.

My life would be perfect if Owen would pick up his dirty clothes and socks from the living room where he strips out of them every day.

My life would be perfect if James actually cleaned the garage and put things away when he was done with them.

My life would be perfect if I lost 10 pounds and didn’t see my muffin top squish over the waist band of my pants when I sat down.

 

But wait. I’m wrong. How could I be so selfish to think this, when my life IS perfect.

These are the thoughts I have when I’m frustrated and tired. Like we all are, right? When I feel like I just folded that basket of laundry; why is there another one? When another school morning comes and I feel like I’ve packed 50 million juice boxes in a lifetime and fetched out the favorite ‘lost’ shirt from the back of the dresser for the 20th time. Or when the dust bunnies are getting large enough that I might start mistaking them for actual pets and need to put out a food bowl for them too.

I can’t let the ‘would be… if…’ phrase rule my life.

My life IS perfect.

It’s perfect in the here and now with the children and the husband I love. We are healthy right now. We are employed with a roof over our heads and we have all the food we need in the pantry. (Even if I can’t cook a single thing for dinner we can all four agree on that we like.)

If my life was the perfection I described above, it would be dull. I would be lonely. If you took away the piles and the mess makers, I would be lost. I don’t know how people have a family, perfectly clean house, fabulous husband  AND are a taut size 2. I’m thinking there is something else lacking somewhere in their souls. Right? Maybe? I bet they chain smoke cigarettes behind the shed. Yeah, yeah, that’s it.

But I’m a work in progress. So I will TRY and not  keep wondering when things will get perfect. When things will get easier. And I will just enjoy  the messy chaos that is ours.

And maybe get a new chore chart.

 

 

Reasons to Live Friday #8- Happy Birthday McSweetie!

HHHHHappy Biiiiiirrrthhhdayyyyy TOOOOOOOO yoooooooou……….in my best breathy Marilyn to JFK voice. I’m sure McSweetie would love it if I got that slinky, sparkly dress to serenade him in.

McSweetie’s birthday is today!!

Guess what?? He’s one lucky guy. Not only is he married to, yours truly, and I make him so happy. But I dedicated my bloggy blog today to him. If you think this is a sweet, sentimental road down McSweetie’s life, you are sorely mistaken.

Does he want that? Hmmm, I’m gonna say… no. He’s sentimental, sure. But privately. He doesn’t do PDA. He didn’t propose in public. His thought of an endearing Facebook status is, “Happy birthday today to my wife.” Yeah. He’s deep. But really, he is! When it’s just the two of us. So I’ll save all the mushy, smushy stuff for him later. When I’ve got my riding crop and tassels to wear to give him my gift. OH DARN IT!! I spilled the beans! If he reads this at work, he won’t be surprised tonight. Shucks. <giggle>

So I got him what he wants. Okay, sort of. You know how I have a thing for Mr. Daniel Craig. Well, he kinda has a thing for Ms. Kate Beckinsale. Only he’s a little more discreet than I am.  So I’m giving him a whole blog page today with Kate Beckinsale photos! yay!! Isn’t she somethin’? Now, don’t get me wrong, you know what team I play for, but this girl could have tea and biscuits and make crumbs in my bed, er our bed, er, wait…. that’s just weird. Okay…..

For you my sweet husband- some eye candy. Happy Birthday.

You are my reason to live each and every day!

Balloon gram for a McSweetie, is there a McSweetie in the building?

She plays the villain in the new Total Recall. She really handles that well.

Dayyum!! I can’t decide which is prettier.

Does she have to be THAT beautiful?

Oh wait one more-

Hey this isn’t Kate!
Oh yeah, baby- you’re all mine- smooches!

Blue Steel- it doesn’t get any cooler than this. I know he’s my soul mate when I say ‘Blue Steel’ when we get our picture taken, and we both bust out the Zoolander.

Now before you go all bent out of shape of this wife posting pics of another woman for her man’s birthday. Just know that I am THAT secure in his love for me, and I know what a giggle he’ll get out of this. I love making him laugh. Or the smile he gives me when I think he wants to roll his eyes, but he’s too busy laughing.

Birthday Namaste.

Next stop- Glad Town. It’s time to leave this pity train at the station.

I’ve been saying this a lot lately- life is hard, yo. And people tell me, ‘it’s what you make of it’; ‘it will get better’; or ‘it’s how you perceive it’, or something like that. Well, sure. I’m usually a glass half full type of person, so I do work on being happy. BUT….

sometimes- it’s hard. Yo.

I’ve been wallowing in self-pity and misery lately. Not all day, not every day. But sometimes. It can be triggered by something small like a glimpse of my muffin top in a picture on Facebook and I’m like, “Really? I looked like that? Ugh.” Or maybe Emma is being a 13 year old pill. A sassy, cranky, hormonal pill that I want to give her back a dose of her own medicine in the form of my own cranky, hormonal 40 year old pill-self.  Or it might be a big thing, like my parents and the real life troubles they face as they age, care for my sister, and go through health problems of their own.

So yeah.

I’ve been ultra critical of myself lately too. Nitpicking over ever little pore, wrinkle, and gray hair. It sounds so stupid to admit. There’s people who are scarred and disfigured that have better self-love than I do lately. What is my problem?

Compliments are nice, they are. I like hearing them. It beats an insult, that’s for sure. But they sort of go in one ear and out the other.

Someone can tell me I look nice, and the next thing I am doing is focusing on how flabby my arms look.

You would think that I would be motivated to go work out. Do something about it. But no. Instead, I just curl up with the dog, get on the internet and buy myself something I hope will make me feel better.

What does that say about me? It says, I’m pitiful, and I need to stop.

Once in awhile, a woman will go buy a pair of shoes or a lipstick to boost her mood. They don’t call it retail therapy for nothing. I believe in the power of retail therapy. I do. But be careful. How many retail therapies are you taking, and should you be seeing an actual therapist?

Retail therapy at the cost of the family’s budget isn’t okay. Not paying the life insurance premium because you went and got some stuff at Sephora, then feel guilty about it, so you avoid the bills altogether, is wrong.Trust me, I know this from experience.

It’s poor therapy management, I say.

So back to me and my pitiful self.

I’m working on finding the silver linings. The half full glasses. I usually do. I’m pretty much a Pollyanna.

But Pollyanna was what? 12? I’m 40 and  I can see why the aged get cynical. I’m going to be a crusty old biddy sitting in my support hose and dentures if I let myself carry on like this. Shaking my head at the news and saying phrases like, ‘kids these days’. Folks will pass me on a park bench whispering to their friend, “Remember Frugie, she was so cheerful and positive, what happened?”

So I need to stay young at heart.

In the movie Pollyanna, they renamed the town she was in, ‘The Glad Town’. Right? She broke her legs falling out of a tree and is still smiling. So yeah. What do I have to complain about, for gosh sakes?

I need some Pollyanna lately. And I need to not look for it at Sephora, Nordstroms or Target. I need to find it in me.

Life IS hard yo. But I’m going to try and not let it get me down.

The wind beneath my wings- RTLF #36

I’m going to get so sappy here people. Grab some tissues. I’ll be so sappy that by the time I’m done, we will be a bucket of syrup. Eh? Oh yeah!

Do you have that one person in your life that will love you and do ANYTHING for you? ANYTHING? It’s hard to know what people will do when they are tested. But my mom is the person in my life who would do whatever I needed. She would. And it’s not whatever I want- no. It’s whatever I NEED. So if it’s tough love, sweet love, bail money, whatever…. she’s there.

Please know, that my husband is A-#1 in my life. His blog post is coming later.Trust me, he’s a saint.

Some things have become apparent in my life this week. Some ‘fan hitting shit’ things apparent. No, I didn’t rob a bank. Or cheat on my McSweetie. But I might as well, because I felt like dirt. I felt like pond scum and I don’t even know why I let myself get this way.

I’ve been a crappy housekeeper and financial planner for the family. If money is the root of all evil, I let it get in my way of running my family properly. That sounds so vague and weird, but everything is fine. I will be expanding on these items soon. When I can get the words. Because I know there’s a lot of you out there who feel the same way.

If there were some Oprah ‘A-Ha’ moments, this was the week.

A-Ha #1- I let myself get in a dark place of self loathing where I only focused on my aging face, my flabby body, and my feelings of inadequacies. (Duh, I know) Stupid? Well, why do alcoholics drink? Why do Anorexics not eat? None of it makes sense. Smart people do and think dumb stuff. This I do know.

Am I surprising you? I know. Happy little, funny Frugie was down in the dumps. Was it depression? I don’t know. I don’t have a professional opinion of what all this is. I just know I was destructive in my self-talk.

A-Ha #2- I married the best man on earth. He’s smart, patient, understanding and most of all- forgiving. And I think, gosh darn it, he loves me. He loves me so much he puts up with my fuck-ups, my female hormonal break-downs, and my prison pajamas. No, not an orange jumpsuit – gray sweat shorts and a gray t-shirt. Ala Target, it’s most unflattering.

A-Ha #3- My mom is the most selfless, giving, wise woman on the planet. Some of you already know this. I know this. But even through her struggles of looking after my dad, my sister, herself, she is there for me.

How lucky am I to be the daughter of such a woman?

My dad is recovering nicely after his broken hip. She will have her own health issues to deal with soon. And my sister is a disabled adult living at home. She takes care of all of them. The last few months have been a trial for sure. But she’s getting through it. We both are.

The woman is freakin’ Mother Teresa!

If I text her, call her, email her, with my woes- she lends an ear. Always.

Does she tell me straight to my face what I don’t want to hear sometimes? Yes. Does she still have the look in her eyes and that pursed mouth of when I was ten and I sassed her or something? Yes! The look. One look from mom and you knew! Oh, you knew!

She always reminds me of my gifts and my talents. She builds me up so I can go back to my job of mothering, wife-ing, volunteering, blogging… whatever.

I want to do so much for her. Because I know she’s tired. She’s worn out. But life keeps chucking shit our way, and then I need her too. So she gives and she gives. I’m still the daughter. I might be 40 years old. But I still need my mom.

And thank God she is there for me.

Are we sappy yet? Have we made syrup? I’m starting to cry in tissues again, so I’ll stop here.

There’s more where this story came from.

I’m fine. Really. And everything is great. I’m full of blessings and gifts I can’t take for granted. My mom helped me get there this week. She did. She is the wind beneath my wings.

<tissue please>

 

 

 

Be nice to your kids, they will pick your nursing home.

Oh my lawd! I’m gonna tell you a story so you better get comfy. Speaking of comfy- my dad broke his hip last week, so comfy he is NOT. If you are reading this with all your bones in tact, then you better be thankful.

So let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start (channeling my Maria VonTrapp). Last week, my 81 year old father, in his attempt to show my mom his foot for her to find a sliver he thought he felt; in an extremely dextrous fashion, he lifted his sockless foot on the table for her to observe with a light and a magnifying glass. Before you can say ‘orthopedic trauma’, he falls backwards and lands on his left hip. In agony he tries to get himself up. No luck. My mom tries to help. No luck. I wasn’t there, but she said his yelps of pain were somewhat sickening. I’ve written about my dad before, here and here, he’s a strong, self-reliant gentleman, who has never been in such a helpless state like this.

Even after my mom called over their neighbor to help him up, it was clear he needed an ambulance.

They called 911 and off he went to the Emergency Room. I met my mom there and they wheeled dad into x-ray. A fracture of the femural neck was evident. 3 shots of morphine later, he was still miserable. A shot of Valium into his IV helped him relax, but it was a long night.

He actually doesn’t remember it, thankfully. Our body’s defense mechanism to not remember pain is quite a blessing.

A day and a half later, he had surgery to correct the fracture and my mom and I spoke with the surgeon post operation. He was very  clear that in my dad’s age range, and in order to return him to his status quo of health, he needed to get up and learn to walk, with the help of a walker, right away. (This is foreshadowing people.)

My mom was concerned for his discharge since they live in a split level house. Everything he would need would be on the main floor- kitchen, bed, toilet, bath; but there were 13 stairs in the way of his destination. How would she get him in the house?

When the option of post-op rehab, covered by insurance, in a facility was brought up to her, she considered it, especially as a way for him to gain strength on his walker to become more mobile and eventually be able to get in the house. Easy peasy, right?

WRONG!

Once he was discharged they transported him to the nursing home- let’s not sugar coat it. This was a nursing home. Even though they advertise as a “post-op orthopedic rehab facility”. BULL. SHIT.

It was a nursing home.

My mom immediately got the wrong vibe at this place and felt bad for leaving my dad there. He was in the wing with all the dementia and permanent residents. Translation- the droolers and wanderers of the place. A woman who likes to sit in the middle of the floor. Or  another woman who constantly asks where the bathroom is, even though she lives there. So sad. Truly. My grandmother spent her last years in a home suffering from dementia, I know what it looks like. If I ruled the world, my Utopia would be beautiful rest homes for old folks that are free and run like 5 star hotels. But I digress…

My dad is not a whiner. My dad has lived on beans and toast for dinner during lean times. He doesn’t expect a lot. But when nursing staff doesn’t treat him as a respectable, lucid adult and also neglects to get him out of his wheel chair throughout the day- even though it is explicitly the surgeons orders for him to do so, he becomes frustrated.

And folks, the beds were hand crank beds, not mechanically adjustable, and the dresser and bureau drawers were broken. The TV only got four channels and the valences on the windows were from 1984. I’m picturing corporate off at the Miraval spa retreat enjoying the residuals they get from Medicare and keeping the overhead pretty low by cutting on corners, like, hmm, let’s say, no defibrillators  on the walls for GOSH SAKES!

I’ve seen more defibrillators in an airport or school gymnasium.

We now launch Operation Get My Dad Out of this Shithole.

Mom heads over to the hospital and gets orders from the surgeon to get him an ambulance home and EMTs to get him up the stairs. She’s hoping these orders are covered by insurance. This is what she was told, so we’re sticking to it.

Mom makes an appointment with the Rehab Manager, the nurse somethingorother and the Social Services coordinator at the Shithole place to discuss their poor care of my dad.

I join the conversation. My mom is sweet. Kind. She has notes, she apologizes and tells them it’s not personal.

Social Services lady says she is sorry. Asks what they can do to make it better for my dad. Wishes she was able to .. blah blah blah waa waa waa waa waa (You know the Peanuts cartoon? This is how the grown ups sounds. This is what I heard coming out of their mouths.)

Lady tells my mom she wants her to understand that my dad can leave on his own accord, but it will be AMA (against medical advice) to which I want to say, “What medical advice? You let him sit in a wheel chair for 48 hours and never took him to physical therapy.) But I did not.

The meeting concluded and mom and I devised our strategy. We took him back to his room. Packed up his things.

She headed to the hospital pharmacy and got his pain medication prescription filled. Even though Nurse Ratched said she’d be happy to provide him with some before his transport, we decided not to count on anything. I stayed in the room with him and waited. Mom wanted to call the ambulance service- she had the signed paperwork- but she had to get him the meds first AND get the house ready and roll up the area rugs. Details are important people.

My dad and I sat and waited. I went to the coffee machine and sneaked a mocha in for him. The machine had a sign that read, “beverages too hot out of this machine, patients and residents are not allowed to drink beverages from this machine.” My dad has to have his coffee and tea extra hot, so this was perfect. I made sure no one saw me bring it to his room. Which added to the clandestine feel of Operation Get My Dad Out Of This Shithole.

Then my mom calls and tells me she’s waiting for the Oxycontin but the insurance company actually has to SPEAK to the doctor. The written prescription isn’t good enough for serious narcotics like this. UGH. Whatever!

Wait some more.

Mom calls again. Screw the insurance company, she paid cash for the pills and will get reimbursed later. She can’t wait for the doctor, that could be hours. She’s going to call the ambulance transport to come get him and will I meet her in the parking lot to get his Oxycontin for him. I see the movie version of this with Shirley Maclaine and Emma Stone by the way.

So I go out to the parking lot and get his prescription. I jokingly told her, “thanks for making me a mule for dad’s drugs!” <== a sense of humor is key in these Delta Force like missions.

When I got to dad’s room he says, “Do you have the D-R-U-G-S?”

Me, “Dad, I think people can spell around here.”

Then mom called again, the ambulance was going to be there to get him within 30 minutes.

Hooray! We wanted out of this place.

When they arrived in the hallway with their stretcher and wearing their navy blue polyester uniforms, my heart lifted. They were friendly, professional, joked with my dad, enjoyed his dry humor and British accent. They strapped him in and we rolled down the hall.

EMT Nate was filling out paperwork with Nurse Ratched and I heard her say, “no the patient hasn’t received any rehab.” Boom. Yeah, suckas, that’s why we’re busting this joint.

I told the EMTs why my dad had to leave. They said, “you don’t have to tell us twice. We’ve seen these places, they aren’t pretty. At least this one doesn’t smell so bad it burns your eyeballs.” Hmm, they had a point. It did smell decently.

They loaded dad and I texted mom to put the tea kettle on ‘cuz HE WAS COMING HOME!

Now the hard part began for the EMTs.

They contemplated the stairs and the stretcher. Of course, smart-ass me asks what the big deal is, the EMTs that got him to the hospital in the first place had to get him down the stairs. Well, they explained to me that getting down is easier than up, AND there’s usually about 6 folks at a site between EMTs and fire fighters. Sure enough, my mom described one of the EMTs that night as big and burly. These guys bringing my dad home were actually on the small side.

Once they determined it was easier to carry him up the stairs in a Baby Bjorn, they spun into action. Okay, it wasn’t a Baby Bjorn, but it was a plastic sling with handles. They got him up the stairs and into his awaiting chair.

My mom made friends with the EMTs, she makes friends with everyone. And friend requested them on Facebook, exchanged Twitter handles and took a few selfies. Just kidding!

I remembered to take the bottle of pain pills out of my purse and give them to my mom. Not that I didn’t think of keeping maybe, just one. Nope, that’s illegal folks!

Dad got a cup of tea and I did too. And mom took a shot of tequila. Okay, just kidding again. She didn’t, but I think she could’ve used it!

Since then, dad has been great in getting up on his own with his walker. Getting to his bed and the bathroom, slowly, but surely. And the nurses and PTs that come to the house check his pro-times (blood clotting) and all that, so he’s in good hands.

And most importantly, Operation Get My Dad out of this Shithole, was a success.

Here’s to being kind to your kids in case you need them to bust you out of a nursing home one day.

 

 

 

 

All of a sudden, I’m the mother of a teenager

How did this happen? Grammarians, is it ‘mother of a teenager’ or ‘mother to a teenager’? I’m stuck. But either way. There’s a teenager living in my house.

Do you ever day dream into the future? I get caught sometimes jumping ahead of myself and thinking forward to the years of when Emma will be in high school. I have to almost catch my breath. I realize that I will blink and she will be off to college. Am I jumping the gun a little? Maybe. I remember when she was born, I fast forwarded in my head to maybe around her being 2 years old. And I thought, will I still like her? Gladly, the answer was yes. And still is.

Once upon a time, what feels not so long ago, I was anxiously awaiting the birth of this precious girl. I mean very anxiously. I had been on strict bed rest (not able to be on my feet for any more than 20 minutes per day) for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy. I was ready for her to come out!

When she finally did, I felt the universe shift, my earth mother instincts kick in (okay, not really, sort of) and I could SMELL her. I literally smelled her when they placed her on me and she was the sweetest, most amazing smell ever. It was HER. I would smell her daily many times a day those next few weeks and months.

I miss that smell. Now I smell passion fruit or vanilla body spray or Dove deodorant. Maybe some Pink Sugar perfume or L’Oreal Elnett hairspray. Sometimes I smell some stinky armpits that smell like a Mexican buffet or her stinky shoes that smell like sour vinegar and Gruyere cheese.

When she was just a few days old, she was laying in her bassinet, asleep. She was on her side and her little profile was cherubic. Seriously, she was the most adorable baby. She looked like a painting. I burst into tears. My boobs hurt, my gut and crotch hurt and I couldn’t get over how amazing it was to have this child. I was the happiest woman on the planet, with the best baby on earth. Ever. That’s how it felt anyway.

I won’t sugar coat it (okay, I already kind of have) but there were moments of that first week of post-partum, I wondered what I got myself into. My nipples were torn open and bleeding due to poor latching on Emma’s part. Of course, I didn’t know any better and endured this for a whole week before the Lactation experts told me to get on a breast pump STAT and give my boobses a rest.

I was so tired I couldn’t see straight. Sometimes I would just cry for no reason. Well, duh. Of course there was a reason- I was hormonal and exhausted. Who’s brilliant idea was this??

Somehow I managed to get a rhythm to this parenting thing. The breast feeding finally clicked, it only took 3 weeks (pshaw), she never did sleep through the night, but I adjusted to her waking up at 4 am as part of our routine. She didn’t start sleeping completely through the night regularly until she was almost 5, that little stinker! Now I can’t wake her up for school. Totally figures.

When she was six months old, she was nursing on me. She took a bite of my boob and when I yelped in pain and when I looked down at her to tell her ‘no’, she smiled up at me. Oh boy did that push some buttons! I felt like she knew she was hurting me. Like she knew she was testing me. Maybe I was overreacting. But at that moment, I knew I had my work cut out for me and she would be a challenge. A good challenge. But definitely a crafty little thing.

She challenges me all the time. She keeps me on my toes. Sometimes she brings me to tears because she hurts my feelings. I know she doesn’t mean to hurt me. I know that I probably annoy the hell out of her with my goofy jokes, loud laugh and chit chat with the other moms. But still, she pushes my buttons like a college kid and a microwave. Beep, beep, beep. Pick a setting-’highly annoyed’, ‘ready to yell’, ‘losing my shit’; that’s how she can be to me.

So here we are. On the brink of another turning point. 13 years old. A teenager. Am I afraid?  A little. Am I excited for all the possibilities she has in store? Yes. More than anything.

I look at her and see a better version of myself. Like a 2.0 of a prototype. She’s already mastered social interactions and fashion taste and make up application far better than I ever did at that age! And don’t even get me started on her perfect teeth. Yes, she’ll eventually need braces, but she sure dodged a bullet and skipped the awkward years. Of course, Owen has made up for that and will need orthodontia probably before Emma gets it!

So Emma, if you ever read this, know how much I love you. Know that even though your heart might break a few times in life, or you don’t find yourself exactly where you thought you would be, you are the best you I could ever ask for. You make the world better. You shine your light wherever you go. No matter what you do, or who you are with, because of you- the world is better with you in it.

 

Do you see this perfection?? She’s ADORABLE! Okay, I’m biased, but COME ON.

I can’t please everyone

“Get a hobby.”

“Get a job.”

“Clean your house more often.”

“Let down your hair and blow off steam.”

“You should go out with your girl friends.”

“Why do you go out so much?”

“Pay attention to your kids more.”

If I did nothing but look after my house all day, people would think I’m weird and need a hobby. If I just sat around and did a hobby all day, people would think I needed to work more. It’s called balance people. I do what works for my family. Not yours.

Why are people so judgey? I didn’t ask your opinion. Okay, I just did about the judgey question, but before that. Why do people judge my parenting based on how often I’m on the internet? Shouldn’t they judge my parenting based on my kids themselves?

I’m a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). It’s a lame term. I don’t just stay home. Sometimes I do. Sometimes all I can do is wait for the kids to leave the house for the school bus so I can watch Sherlock on Netflix or Downton Abbey. I make myself lattes and eat baked goods and am in clear denial as to the amount of work I actually have to get done. It’s a coping mechanism.

Then there’s some days I leave the house around 9 am and don’t get home until 7:30 or 8 at night. Between errands, appointments, volunteering and taking the kids to their activities, I am non-stop.

On a really good day, I’ll throw in some laundry between errands and empty the dishwasher. On a fabulous day, I’ll prepare a dinner that is nutritious AND delicious. Whoa.

So if you’re wondering, no, I don’t spend my whole day on Facebook. Or my blog.

I blog when I can, usually after the kids go to bed. Or when they’ve left for school.

Why am I even telling you this? Because there’s bloggers and moms and dads out there who seem to share their opinions freely about how horrible us blogging, Instagraming, Facebooking, and Pinteresting moms are. And I’m tired of it.

I’m pretty sure my kids are totally fine while I sit here next to them and I’m on my computer. Or wait in the carpool line on my phone. And when they were younger, how many times did I hear, “mommy watch this!” and for the one millionth time I was shown how they could spin and forward roll. Or burp. I didn’t miss any milestones of my children’s development because I was on the internet. My children are not maladjusted because I don’t give them every breathing, waking second of my attention. No, in fact. They are independent beings that know how to wipe their own ass. (Most of the time.)

Now with the book, I Just Want to Pee Alone out and kicking book selling butt- I want to be clear that I am in support of other moms who share their candid tales of parenting and motherhood, pregnancy and post-partum, and not just do it honestly, but hilariously! The kind of stories you laugh so hard at over a Girls Night Out when someone shares the story of how they gave birth, that you pee your pants, or spew your cosmo out your nose. Don’t all moms pretty much share their birth stories?

Then there’s my marriage. If I make a few jokes about McSweetie, can we not jump to conclusions that I must be a nightmare to live with? Can we not think my marriage must be miserable and my husband so pussy whipped, he doesn’t know what hit him? If I was a stand-up comic and did this piece about how husbands can behave like children, there would be a lot of women who agree with me. Or husbands that agree with me about their spouse being childlike. But put it in a blog, and all of a sudden, I’m Dr. Phil and I need to stop giving marital advice and stop emasculating my husband. Trust me, a list about how my husband doesn’t pick up his underwear, doesn’t emasculate him.

He admits to his foibles. He knows he can be lazy around the house. So what? I get something off my chest, a few others laugh about it and tell me they relate, I feel better. Life goes on. We don’t have to psycho analyze it into a marriage crisis, people! I’m actually pretty awesome to be married to. I wash his shorts, make his lattes, encourage him and his career, send him off to heavy metal concerts with his buddies, take care of his mother’s birthday… I’m a pretty damn good wife.

Here let me interview McSweetie on his feelings about this….

Oh, sorry, he was asleep on the couch. I’ll ask him later.

Okay, are we cool? Because I’m a little tired of people getting their knickers in a twist. Just chill the fluff down. I can’t please everyone, so I please me. And my family. Thankyouverymuch.

And if you haven’t yet- buy the damn book!

Reason to Live Friday #32- 54 years and counting

So if there’s any reason for me to get up in the morning (hence the Reason to Live Friday posts in the first place), it’s my dear sweet parents who are rocking 54 years of marriage this week.

That’s right. 54 years. That’s almost 55 years, which is almost 60. Just stop. That’s getting ahead of ourselves.

1959 these two people married in another country, came across the Atlantic on a ship to New York, set up home in Chicago and made a living.

In 1961 they had my brother. Then in 1964 they had my sister. Then there was- two foster kids (who were black and Native American, and this was the 60s folks!), a trans-continental move aboard the Queen Mary to England, a devastating illness for my sister, another move back to the US, then came me in ’72,  then just years of living, thriving, earning a living, health, traveling to Europe to visit family, graduations, sending kids to college, cross-country move in a Ryder truck, weddings, battling cancer (both of them), grand kids, baptisms, two hip replacements and a new knee (all my mom), an emergency heart procedure (my dad) and somewhere in there- 10 cats – not all at the same time, but over the years.

They’ve been busy.

None of my life would be possible without what they’ve made. I’m humbled, grateful, and brought to tears.

This is the bedrock of my family. These two people.

Thank you.

 

Reason to Live Friday- #30- We are going to be okay

I’m usually the smart one in the relationship. It’s true. Hubs has done some pretty stupid things. He’s trimmed the cord on the blinds once while they were up so when we went to close them, the cord was too short.

He’s used my dishwashing gloves for applying moss killer to the roof of our old house and then just put them back under the sink like it was no big deal. I thought he was trying to poison me, but then I realized, he was just kind of being stupid.

So when I do something dumb, I feel REALLY bad. And I did something dumb this  week.

Back over the summer I paid the mortgage twice in one month on accident. It’s easy to say, that mistake caused us to default on a few other payments since there wasn’t sufficient funds in the bank.

I felt awful. And you can’t just call up the mortgage company and ask for your money back.

This week I did something similar. I feel like a huge idiot.

Scene begins- McSweetie calls me up during his lunch break because the debit card doesn’t work. While he’s on the phone I log in to our bank to check what’s going on.

Oops. We have no money. And it was MY mistake. – AND… scene.

You would think that after 15 years of joint accounts and being in charge of the bills, expenses, household shopping, I’d have my act together and come up with a system.

How dumb does a grown woman feel asking her mom for a few bucks to cover groceries? Pretty dumb, that’s what. But a lot better than pawning my wedding ring or grandma’s candle sticks. Okay, it’s not THAT bad. Don’t panic.

What makes me feel even more guilty about my lapse in judgement was that last week I was in a major slump. I wasn’t sick, even though my family around me was. I was hormonal and cranky. But also emotional and lethargic. I had nothing in me. I couldn’t pinpoint if it was just Uterus Armageddon or winter blahs, or what.

I needed sympathy and cookies. I needed to be told I was pretty, even though I hadn’t showered and was wearing the same clothes three days in a row. My friends did this for me. They saw the bat signal distress sign, and came to action. I got to hear what I wanted to hear. Sure, maybe it was just to be nice, but they knew that I needed it. That whatever it takes to lift us out of the fog is necessary. What’s a few shallow compliments to keep me from drastic measures? Okay, apparently, drastic measures are spending too much and wiping out your bank account.

Maybe my mood and my actions are correlated. Oops- no shopping or bill paying for me during Aunt Flo! This will go in the marriage survival handbook.

My gracious husband last week was kind and let me order take out a few nights for dinner. He saw the laundry pile up and the sink stinky with dishes. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t even get mad over this bank account debacle I have caused for us. He’s taken Owen to soccer, run a Cub Scout den meeting and coached a soccer game at 8 am on Sunday morning. He stood out in the freezing cold selling cookie dough with Owen’s Scouts for a fund raiser.

Other people’s goodness and grace doesn’t make me feel bad about myself. It pulls me up out of the dumps and keeps me from wallowing in the sludge of self deprecation. Not the Tina Fey kind that entertains us, but the damaging kind that can be cruel and destructive.

If you’re feeling like the bottom of Charlie Sheen’s shoe in a strip club, or you know someone who is- send them a cookie, tell them their hair smells nice.

I’m so grateful for my support network. My mom, my family, my friends, even readers. When I need something, someone is there for me. I hope you have a safety net like that too.

And thank you dear spouse for putting up with my neurosis. I’m 90% awesome, and I know that when my game is off, it’s only for a short while. I appreciate your patience. I do. Feel free to watch a Bourne movie marathon this weekend, or Karate Kid. I know how much you like those.