Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Just Wanted One Picture

I just wanted one good picture on Christmas.

She's not even yelling.  Just making this face.

Surely Hudson will cooperate.

No.  No, he won't.

One.  We got one good one.  Merry Christmas to me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo Friday: Make everyone forget you're there

Guest Post from Ann

This is from the birthday party of my favorite 6-year-old. There are a lot of things that maybe aren't ideal in a technical sense about this photo, but I really like the feel of it. How do you get something candid, something that's totally them? Hang out with the camera until everyone forgets you're there. When I was taking this photo, somebody said, "Shouldn't somebody take a photo of them?" That's what you're going for.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Have Superfans So Some Things Are Going To Change

It’s a milestone day for me.  I have super fans.  Ok, so they’re people that work with my husband that read my blog, thought it would be fun to be on the blog and agreed to take a picture, but whatever…we’re going with superfans.  Meet Crystal and Nikki.

So now that I’m a big deal, I’ve been doing a lot of research into how to be a celebrity.  Some things are going to change.

For instance, I will now only be drinking soy milk.  Organic soy milk.  Make that free trade organic soy milk.  The thought of abused soy makes my stomach churn.  I have already penned a letter to Pamela Anderson asking her to join me in the fight against deplorable soy working conditions.  Don’t look at me like that.  Soy are people to, you know.  If Jenny McCarthy didn’t need science to talk about vaccinations, I don’t need it to talk about what constitute “a person”.  I’m a celebrity.  I have superfans.  Your argument is invalid.

I’m thinking of joining an obscure religion.  Scientology and Buddhism are kind of overplayed though so I’m thinking of branching out on my own.  There has to be some sort of super-natural power behind the socks lost in the dryer so I’m thinking of setting up an alter in my laundry room.  If you would like to join me, I welcome you to my religion with open arms and a reminder to say good-bye to your family forever because you will never speak to them again.  The sock God commands it.

I will be auditioning for new friends.  You know I love you all, but now that I’m big time I need friends that are more…celebrity-y.  That sounded shallow.  I’m okay with personal trainers and chefs too.  Just submit your resume and cool people references along with an essay to Crystal and Nikki explaining why I should give you the time of day.

I’m glad we could clear the air on the kind of person I’m going to become.  Be sure to look for me on The View shortly talking about equal rights for soy while meditating with socks on my hands.  Don’t be offended if I don’t talk to you when I see you in the store.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Because I am now better than you. 

Namaste and matching socks, people.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Where I Went This Week

I've been quiet this week.  It's because I was busy with this...

You can read more about it here and here.  I am thankful for all the wonderful moms (and dads) that I have met, that worked so hard to make this happen and that continue to speak up for what they believe in.  Now I am going to go take a nap.  We are just getting started.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Went to a Fancy Gala, Avoided a Janet Jackson Moment

This weekend Eric and I got to go to a fancy pants dinner.  It was a Tulsa Library Gala.  I’m not actually cool enough to get invited to something like this on my own, but I have friends that are and they invited us.  I admit I was pretty damn giddy when my friend Lori called to tell me about it.  They would be giving an award to Kazuo Ishiguro, the author of The Remains of the Day.   You know, the one they made into a movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson?  I am proud to say I have read both the book and watched the movie.  I am ashamed to say I remember nothing else except that it featured a butler.

“It’s a literary thing so it’s right up your alley,” she said.  This is were I reminded her that she would be lucky if I didn’t blurt out something like “You all read that book Twilight.  That book is amaze-balls!”

I went out and bought a fancy pants dress from Saks.  My choices were narrowed considerably when I told the saleslady my price requirements and the fact that I needed a midget size.  Eric rented a tux and we were ready to go to prom, I mean, the Tulsa Library Gala.  (Yes, I admit it…I was excited about getting to wear fancy clothes.)

We arrived at Southern Hills country club in awe of how the other half lives.  Do you know that one of their parking lots has a name?  Yeah.  (Note to self: Come up with a name for my driveway.  I’ve seriously been procrastinating on that.  Embarrassing.)  We decided that the plates were definitely not purchased at Hobby Lobby or Party Galaxy.

We sat down at out table with people way more important than me.  I sat next to a very nice important gentleman who was there with his important wife who told me about his important son, an award-winning playwright.  He was probably about the age of my father and I was just imagining that if I were his daughter I would be a footnote at the end of his conversations.  “Then there’s Sabine.  Her crowning achievement is that she once ate three types of pie in once setting, but we don’t talk about her.”  And as I was thinking of something important and witty to say, the strap of my fancy pants dress snapped.

Now all I could think about as he was telling me about his important children was what if my boob pops out?  How should I excuse myself ?  “Excuse me, but I have to go to the restroom because I’m afraid my boob might pop out at any moment. I’m sorry, that was terribly inappropriate…my breast…I’m afraid my breast might pop out.”  Good Lord, people are in tuxes, I’ve got to use polite language.

I excused myself to go to the restroom without an elaborate explanation.  As I was trying to fashion my dress into a one-shoulder number or if that failed, use one of the curtain panel to fashion a new dress à la Scarlett O’Hara, Lori came in with a safety pin and put me back together again.  Janet Jackson moment averted.

In the end, I did not embarrass myself or my friends.  I did not flash any rich people, although to think I was endowed enough to do so was probably a bit ambitious.  I do have to admit something though.  I never actually read Twilight, I just watched the movie and I’m not sure exactly what that says about my status as literary.

Signed copy of The Remains of the Day-coolest party favor ever.  Way better than after dinner mint and I'm only slightly disappointed that party favor was not bag of money.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Children Are Like Tiny Drunks

Remember when you were in college and you were the designated driver.  Your friends would be singing drunken renditions of Garth Brooks songs, maybe a little TLC, while another friend was having deep philosophical thoughts about the universe or why fried pickles are so damn good.  Inevitable someone had to pee.  Yeah, driving with kids five and under is kinda like that.

The 15 minute drive to my in-laws house was a cacophony of sound.  Kenzie was singing, louder and with more vibrato as she went along.

“Twinkle, Twinkle little star.  How I wonder what you are…”

Enter Hudson.  Hudson was in awe of the Christmas lights.  Every lit house was better than the last.

“Oooohhh, did you see those lights?  Momma, did you see them?”
Kenzie was still singing.
“Up above the world so high…”
“Momma, did you see THOSE lights?  They’re so pretty.”

At this point, I am reminded of that scene in Young Guns where they all take peyote and Doc goes on and on about the love of his life being like a butterfly.  That’s how it started anyway.  By the end of the ride he was more like “Dirty Steve” on peyote going on about the hallucinated over-sized chicken.


Kenzie was still singing.  And to prove my children are like tiny drunk people/stoners point, this is what she started singing:
“Like a diamond, we’re so high…”
“Kenzie, I don’t think that’s how the song goes…”
“Up in the skyyyy….we’re so high…”

At least in college these types of nights ended with pancakes at IHOP.  This night I just got to do the whole thing over again on the way home.  Nobody bought me pancakes.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello, 35

When my brother was born I was 13 years old.  I remember thinking about how old I would be when he started school, when he graduated from high school, when he graduated from college.  I remember thinking when he graduated from college, I would be in my mid-thirties and man did that seem old.  I imagined what I would be doing.  I imagined I would be married, have a couple of kids, a house, a fabulous job.  Maybe grown up things like a mortgage.

Well, here I am.  Hello mid-thirties.

Today I turned 35.  Birthdays always make me a bit reflective.  I think back over the past year and there’s always a little bit of a pang of regret for another year behind me and the things I wish I had done.  But for the most part, I’m excited or at least hopeful about the future.  I may have been the only person excited about turning 30.  Maybe it has something to do with looking like a teenager.  Somehow telling someone I was actually thirty seemed like it would generate a bit more respect than telling someone I was actually twenty-something.

Truth is I wouldn’t want to go back.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some good times.  I had a great childhood.  But then I think about getting in a fight with my best friend when I was 10 about my new friend with who I was spending a lot of time.  She was kinda mean to me but she had just moved to Germany from the States and dressed cooler than the rest of us so I tolerated her meaness and wanted to be a part of her world so her coolness would rub off on me.  It was all very shallow and complicated at the same time.  No, I wouldn’t want to go back to that.

Then there was middle school.  Enough said.

High school wasn’t bad.  I still have close friends from those days, but I was painfully shy and I looked like a kid (ok, so some things haven’t changed).  I spent most of the time thinking that everyone thought I was a dork (which I was) and worrying what everyone thought of me and if I would ever be truly pretty.  I had a penchant for ill fitting jeans and bad bangs.  I did find the confidence to audition for “Grease” which is still one of my most proud memories.  Not because I was brilliant.  I wasn’t.  I got the part of “Radio Voice” and “Chorus”.  But I did it.  That was a lot back then.  It’s a lot now.

College was fun.  I found marvelous friends that I still have today.  I spent a lot of time figuring out who I was.  I figured out that person didn’t belong in Navy ROTC and would never be a military person.  I switched majors a couple of times.  For a while I was an independent  woman who chopped off all her hair because screw conventional beauty and because she was swearing off men for a while but still really wanted one to love her.  A lot of who I thought I was didn’t make much sense, but that’s what your twenties are for.  I met the man who would be my husband.  He loved me for whatever I was.

In my thirties, I started to feel…comfortable.  Comfortable in my own skin.  Comfortable with who I was, for the most part any way.  Now I’m 35.  I have a husband, two kids, a house, and grown up things like a mortgage.  I no longer have a job.  I would be lying if I said I love everything about myself.  I don’t.   But I’m learning to be ok with that now.  I would be lying if I knew exactly where I wanted to be in a year, in five years, in ten years.  I don’t.  But I’m learning to be ok with that too.  The difference between now and then is that I’m in no rush to figure it all out.  The difference between 35 and then is that I’m enjoying the journey a lot more these days.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

What I said: "Pick up this mess."

What was heard (I'm guessing): "Put as many toys in this stool as is humanly possible.  Use Crisco or WD-40 if you have to, but just keep shoving them in.  Once you have run out of room, just walk away. It's totally cool if there's other stuff still on the floor or if the cabinets are open with shit hanging out. And no worries if the top doesn't fit on because remember, the number one objective here is to get as many toys per cubic inch as is possible in this stool.  We're really wanting to test the limits of this piece of furniture so give it all you've got."

If we're going with interpretation B, they nailed it.  Mission accomplished.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Importance of Selfies

It’s a proud day in our household.

My son took his first selfie.

It’s milestone every parent dreams off.  The day your child puts away childish things to say, “Look at me.  Look at me.  Look! Do you like it?  Like my picture!”  A great selfie is the mark of a great man.

Just look at some of the great men and women that got their start with a great selfie.  Anthony Weiner for instance.  That guy…well, he went on to not be mayor of New York.  But his penis? Everyone knows that guy.  I hear it’s LinkedIn profile is getting all sorts of attention.

Just think about some of our historical figures.  Where would they have gone with a good selfie?  How much more successful would they have been?  William Henry Harrison was president for all of 30 days and no one remembers him, but 30 days is plenty of time for a great selfie.  If he had had access to a smartphone maybe instead of one of the 10 worst presidents we would know him as America’s Duckface.  Sadly, the chance at that title has passed and been snatched up by Kim Kardashian leaving us wondering what could have been.

But don’t take my word for how important the selfie is.  Take Oxford’s word.  Oxford dictionary that is.  The Oxford dictionary, published by Oxford University, alma mater of Stephen Hawking, has named “selfie” word of the year.  If Oxford dictionary says it’s important, it must be important.  That and they’re British so you know it’s legit.

So there’s no need for floccinaucinihilipilification.  Because the very important dictionary that taught me the word floccinaucinihilipilification has deemed the selfie important.  Also recently added to the dictionary (online at least)? Twerk.  I will point out that Miley Cyrus, the queen of twerking, is worth $150 million dollars, so yeah…Oxford dictionary’s track record of calling important words is pretty solid.

But listen, I can’t stay here and confabulate with you anymore.  I’ve got to search for the great selfies of Justin Bieber to show my son as inspiration.  Cause that kid has taken his first step towards greatness and I’ll be damned if he ends up the next William Henry Harrison.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Things My Dog Would Tweet

Peed on that. #mine

What they feedin’ you, bro? #highfiberdietsucks #turds

Hey @NeighborDog, I humped your mother once.  #whosyourdaddy

Bitches be crazy.  Seriously, bitch just tried to eat my face. #craycray

Just livin’ the dream, lickin my balls #hahadon’thaveballs

Fuck you @Squirrel.

Walk fast or go home. #humanproblems

50 Shades of Grey?  Yes please.  #schnauzerbitches

@Humans I'll let you clip my toenails when you start letting me pluck your eyebrows.  Didn't think so.

Stole a waffle off the counter. #YOLO

Real dogs don't wear sweaters.

Ball so hard muhfuckas wanna throw to me.

Almost puked on the tile, but made it to the carpet just in time. #winning

@Humans You don't understand why I don't want to jump in the car? Maybe it has something to do with that time I came home without balls.

Who let the dogs out? No one. #gottapee

@NeighborDog Pissed on your tennis ball.  Enjoy.

Pour one out for our homies in cones.

Rawhide is not a substitute for love. #humanproblems

@FedExGuy Why'd you run?  Leave your testicles in the truck?  Let's open the door next time and see what happens.

@FedExGuy I realize you may have seen me poop on the floor while barking just now.  Don't let it fool you.  I will still fuck you up. #turdsoffury

Telling me to be nice to visitors then getting mad when I put a nose in their crotch. #petpeeve

WARNING! Do not eat the cheese! Humans are putting shit in the cheese!

Just watched #LadyandTheTramp.  I’d hit that.

Just turned 7, but I feel 49.  I dunno, old soul I guess.

Just watched the human inhale 10 fun sized Snickers.  Starting to think that whole chocolate is lethal thing is a scam.

@Humans It was a fart, not sarin gas.  Let's keep things in perspective.

RT Sniff my ass.  I’ll sniff back.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Photo Friday: Pumpkins make nice hats

Guest Post from Ann

When you have a toddler in a "I will not be contained" phase, sometimes suggesting that small objects are hats will slow her down enough to give you time to get a photo. Other times it won't, but at least you tried.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I Work Myself Too Hard

That time between 3:00 and 3:45 is a pleasant time of the day.  It’s pick-up time at Hudson’s school.  I usually get there early so I can be one of the first cars, put it in park and read a book.  Sometimes I sit and listen to NPR and catch up on Norwegian indie rock or the latest research into the mating habits of dung beetles. Hudson is usually in a good mood when I pick him up and excitedly tells me about his day.  This day however he looked angry.

He got in the car with a scowl on his face.  “You forgot something,” he told me.

I racked my brain trying to remember every note from school, every newsletter, every e-mail, voice message, smoke signal, and telegram.  There are so many!  Of course I would eventually forget something!  What was it?  Did I forget to go to a party?  Money for the book fair?  Field trip?  Lunch?  Oh my god, did I send him to school without lunch?!

“You forgot my peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” he said with eyes boring straight into my skull, “You said you would fix me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich today.”

I felt bad, but relaxed a little.  It’s not like I sent him to school without underwear.

“I’m sorry, buddy.  You’re right.  I forgot, but I’ll fix it tomorrow.”

He softened a little and said, “Why do you do so much stuff while I’m at school?  I think that’s why you keep forgetting things.”  Or in other words, “You’re working yourself too hard.  Why don’t you just focus on me and my needs?”

He’s got a point.  If I just stopped worrying about doing laundry I could finally remember that Chickadee’s are not a suitable substitute for Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.  And if I could stop paying bills I would finally remember to sew that minuscule hole in his blanket that I can’t see but am told will cause his blanket to fall apart any day now.

So if you come over to visit, I’m sorry for the shitty state of my house.  I stopped cleaning for the sake of my son.  Oh and if you do come over, text me first.  I don’t want you to interrupt me during my yoga session where I focus my third eye on remembering that watermelon is the only acceptable toothpaste flavor.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sophia Ain't No Jenny From The Block

My daughter loves Sophia the First.  It’s not her favorite cartoon and will still get beat out my Dora or Team Umizoomi, but it’s definitely in the top ten.  It’s one of my least favorites.  As I was listening the theme song I realized why.  Sophia will never be a Jenny from the Block.

Hear me out.  Jennifer Lopez wrote Jenny from the Block to prove that fame and money hadn’t changed her.  Then there’s Sophia.  First song after becoming a “princess overnight” and she’s singing about going to a school “that’s just for royalty.”  Way to rub it in Sophia.  Classy.

First of all, what’s up with the ball gown?  Do you ever take that damn thing off? Even Jenny will throw on a pair of jeans every now and again.  I’m sure when people comment on it, you give ‘em a “What?  This old thing?”  At least you can wear it with a pair on Chuck Taylors or something to prove that underneath all that tulle you’re still just a girl from down in the village.

Speaking of…let me talk to you for a moment, girls from the village.  Give up on her.  Sophia will never be the same.  Sure she’ll promise to come visit, but she’ll be in that damn ballgown talking about all her royal friends and how they went on cool vacations while she’s stuck here, no offense.  She’ll suggest you go get a bite to eat at the ole Tavern and then she’ll complain about the food not being gluten-free or non-GMO or about the boar not being free-range boar.

Eventually, she’ll slowly lose contact.  She might send a Tweet every now and again #BFF #village, but then you’ll see the “Girls who wear last season’s ball gowns #lame” Tweet and it’ll never be the same.  She might resurface when she’s a teen because she had a fight with her parents and is seeking out her roots, but really it will be more about showing off her BMW carriage.  When she sees your pre-owned carriage that you inherited from your older sister she’ll make some snide comment about how it must be nice not to worry about getting scratches on it.  Then she’ll speed back to the castle blaring Miley Cyrus on her top of the line sound system and beg for her parents’ forgiveness, promising never to run off to “the hood” again.

So don’t be fooled by the rock that she got.  Cause her rock lets her talk to animals and you just can’t compete with that.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teaching Moment Gone Wrong

Hudson is a sensitive soul.  He gets it from me.  It’s what makes him kind and compassionate.  He gets that from me too.  I’m pretty awesome like that. Compassionately awesome of course.  Both of us would give you the shirts off our backs.  Then we would wonder why you were laughing at us.  It would probably have something to do with us not wearing a shirt or maybe you thought our shirt was funny looking, but what kind of asshole are you?  We just gave you the shirt off our back and you’re laughing!  Alright, so we have a tendency to over-analyze everything.  It’s the dark side of that sensitive trait and it can suck the confidence right out of you.  Hudson, just like I did at his age, tends to think that people are constantly laughing at him or making fun of him even if they’re not.

I’ve been trying my hardest to talk through things with him when this happens and give him some perspective.  The perfect teaching moment came during bath time the other night.  Hudson and Kenzie had been playing together pretty well in the tub when Kenzie started laughing.

“Momma, Kenzie’s laughing at me!” he said crying.  Kenzie laughs at things all the time for no apparent reason.  I thought he was probably jumping to conclusions.  I wanted to break him of that habit.

“Hudson, how do you know that she’s laughing at you?  Did you ask her?”
“So how do you know? Kenzie, what are you laughing at?”

Well, shit.  I’m sure another teaching moment will come again soon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's Time to Grow Up

It seems like debate these days has been reduced to witty one-liners.  A shared meme had taken the place of thoughtful comments.  Never mind if it’s true.  Debate comes in the form of 140 characters or less.  Less thought, less respect, less truth.

Bring up any hot button topic and you can be assured that it can be reduced to point of absurdity.  Pro-choicers are for baby killing.  Pro-lifers only want to take away rights of women.  Pro-gunners are right-wing nut jobs.  Gun control proponents want to take everyone’s guns away.

It’s time we all cut the crap.

As children, we see the world in black and white, in good and evil.  Then we grow up and we realize that the world is more complex than that.  We realize that people don’t fit into our neat boxes.   I am not denying that there are people in the extremes.  I am saying that doesn’t describe most people.   I am pro-choice.  I respect my friends that disagree with me enough to admit they are not motivated by a desire to simply take away rights of women.  What we have is a fundamental disagreement about the definition of life.  I expect this same kind of respect in return to not reduce my views to some over-simplified motive.

That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree.  It doesn’t mean that we can’t disagree passionately.  It does mean that in order to have a true debate, a debate that can go somewhere, that can end in compromise, it must start on a foundation of truth.  It means that we have to be willing to listen, to think, and to discuss.  It is what must be done if we ever want change.

If we can't at the very least be honest about each other's motives, we will never be able to have productive conversation.  You can't compromise with someone you don't trust and without compromise we're all stuck.

We have to stop being afraid to challenge our preconceived ideas.  If you challenge your ideas every now and again, you will either find yourself stronger in your convictions or you change them based on facts.  Neither is a bad thing.  It is what rational people do.

We have mistaken passion for the person that can yell the loudest.  We have mistaken passion for the person who can rile the most feathers.  Strength and conviction has become synonymous with winning at all costs and refusing to listen. That is how we dealt with conflict as children.  Well, it’s time to grow up.

It is time that the adults in the room take back the debate.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Fail

I had no intentions of doing Halloween decorations.  I’m still trying to gear up for less lame Christmas decorations outside, but Hudson had other plans.  Our neighbors have an elaborate display of pumpkins, skeletons, inflatables and lights so of course Hudson decided that we should do something as well.  Thanks for that neighbors.  I’m just treading water trying to make sure all the superhero and princess underwear are picked up and the hand towels aren’t covered in Nutella when guests come over.  One festive display and then the rest of us with young children are pressured into doing the same.

We compromised and I told him he could pick out a couple of things next time we were at Target.  We walked through the aisles and Hudson looked at everything.  The care he took comparing and choosing was akin to someone choosing an insurance policy or deciding how aggressive to be with their 401k.  I dunno…sounds like something real adults would do with care.  Anyway, we finally settled on some stick-on decorations for the window and some cobweb lights.

We did not choose the gigantic fuzzy black spider.  This did not stop him from having nightmares about a gigantic fuzzy spider coming into his room.  Damn you, Target Halloween aisle!  You still owe me 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And that was not the end of the damning.  I chose the cobweb lights because it looked simple.  No elaborate stringing of lights.  If you look at the picture on the box it certainly appeared that way.  The box lies and I now realize relies heavily on Photoshop.

There is no f-ing way that these lights are actually hanging this way.  If you look at the edges, despite the perfect cobweb shape, there are no posts or supports that could be holding it in this form.  Unfortunately, our box did not include a physics defying magic wand to make the 4 included suction cups make this shape.  Not even an extra from a Harry Potter movie.  What it did come with was the disappointment of a 5-yr old that can’t understand why you can’t just make the lights look like the ones on the box.

After examining our string to posts ratio, we decided instead to throw the lights over one of our bushes. We told Hudson this was better because that’s where spiders would naturally make their webs.  In pink.  Cause he reminds me everyday that the lights are pink and not purple as promised on the box.

Happy lame Halloween.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I Guess We're Not Done With Nipples

And the nipple conversations continue.  First there was this.  But my daughter is not ready to stop talking about them.

“Dos Hudson have nipples?” she said one day while sitting on the potty.  We’re going to work on her grammar after we have this whole nipple thing sorted out.
“Yes, Hudson has nipples.”
“Dos you have nipples?”
“Yes, I have nipples.”

At this point there was a pause.  I thought we were done with the nipple discussion. We were not.

“I want to kiss my nipple.”
“I don’t think you can kiss your own nipple.”

Now you might think we exhausted the nipple topic.  You might be wrong.  No, really you’re wrong.

Eric was getting ready to go to sleep after a night shift.  The kids came to say good night and Kenzie wanted to tuck him in.

“Daddy, do you want me to cover your nipples up?” she said as she was pulling the covers over him.

Awww.  That’s sweet.  But man I hope we’re done talking about nipples.

I think I may need to invest in this book.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Will Heal the World

I’ve recently realized that people go apeshit over pumpkin spice lattes.  This revelation came through some trolling of the Starbuck’s Facebook page.   In the middle of summer people were desperately asking when the pumpkin spice lattes were coming back.  Then when it was back there were a million and one selfies of people celebrating the return of the pumpkin spice latte.  I’ve decided pumpkin spice lattes are the crack of suburban women.

So I decided to try one and see what all the hype was about.

It was alright.  Whatever.

I mean it was pretty good, but it’s not like I’m going to lose my mind over it or anything. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin, but it was pretty tasty.

It’s not like I’m obsessed with it, but I will say that it tastes like it’s brewed from unicorn tears and spices freshly ground by magical elves that live in the Himalayas where they were handed the ingredients directly from God.

I may even go so far as to say that if Congress spent less time fighting and more time posting seflies #fallfashion #pumpkinspicelattes we may not have had a government shutdown, but I think any sane person would come to that conclusion. Independents anyway.  It might also be true that if the tea party changed their name to the pumpkin spice latte party, their poll numbers would be better.  Cause who would disapprove of pumpkin spice lattes?  Nobody…that’s who.

But look, I am completely in control and I am not going to freak out because I discovered pumpkin spice lattes.  Although if a pumpkin spice latte did run for congress, I would vote for it.  I also think it would do well in a swimsuit competition.

I’m going to start posting daily pics to the Starbucks page entitled “Look where I took my pumpkin spice latte today?" and I'll take one of me at the dentist drinking a pumpkin spice latte while getting my teeth cleaned.

I'm going to have three more children just so I can name them Pumpkin, Spice, and Latte.  Then I’m going to take the cutest Christmas card pictures featuring Pumpkin, Spice, and Latte sitting in oversized Starbucks cups and adorable wool hats.

I’m going to write to Josh Groban and convince him to write a song about pumpkin spice lattes.  It will be the most beautiful song of all times and you will weep uncontrollably when you hear it.

Pumpkin spice lattes have the power to turn Chuck Norris’s round house kicks into bear hugs with one sip.

Pumpkin spice lattes hold the cure for cancer, herpes, and restless leg syndrome.

There once was a man that was such a raging asshole that he used to kick puppies and children when he passed them in the street.  Then he had a pumpkin spice latte and turned his life around.  You know him now as Pope Francis.

I’m going to start taking baths in pumpkin spice lattes, while sipping on a pumpkin spice latte and reading a book about the origins of pumpkin spice lattes.

But whatever…it was alright I guess.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Droppin' Some More Beats

Last year I came out with my debut album.  Today I’m unveiling my sophomore album “The Sounds of Dinner”.

Track 1:  I’m hungry

Track 2:  How many bites (do I have to eat)?

Track 3:  I thought you were hungry.

Track 4:  How many bites? (remix)

Track 5:  Get your ear out of your drink.

Track 6:  That one too.

Track 7:  Eat your dinner.

Track 8:  Is tomorrow night after the morning after this night?

Track 9: Musical interlude featuring the sound of my brain melting trying to come up with a response to track 7.

Track 10:  Eat your dinner (remix)

Track 11:  Don’t eat tortillas off of the floor

Track 12:  Eat your &*&%$# dinner, &*#@$! (uncensored)

Track 13:  How many bites? (dance version)

Track 14:  Crying.  Crying and the sound of a fork scraping uneaten food into the garbage disposal.

Track 15: I'm hungry (remix)

If you're lucky I may throw in a bonus uncensored track from the follow-up album “Trying to Leave the House in Time” called “Put your f#$%$%* shoes on!”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Goat, A Head, and a Fence

This was Kenzie at last year’s pumpkin patch.  This year she stayed true to character.  This year her antics involved a goat, a fence, and her head.

When we arrived at the pumpkin patch, Kenzie ran and jumped on every pumpkin she saw much like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch although I don’t think she has strong feelings about Katie Holmes one way or the other.  Then when she tired of that game, she darted off to the horses determined to ride one right then and there. We were finally able to coral her for a moment to go feed the goats.

This was looking like a nice calm activity and a nice break from the whirlwind of boundless energy that is Kenzie.  Up until the point that she tried to feed her head to a goat.  Alright, I’m not sure what her motives were but I do know that in the few seconds I turned to check on Hudson, Kenzie was screaming and her head was stuck in a fence.  I tried to pull her out to no avail.  I dropped my purse and camera so I could get a better grip.  Around this time a good Samaritan came running over to offer his assistance.  It happened so fast I’m not sure if he pulled her out or if she freed herself, but there she was screaming.  And in her little fist was the handful of feed that she managed to hang on to during this whole ordeal.  I always knew she was tough.  Now I can say she is keep feed from a hungry goat while having her head stuck in a fence tough.

She stood sobbing in my arms while a crowd looked on.   Most likely they were judging the mother who allows her child to become stuck in a fence.  I imagine she saw the crowd and my sympathy and she saw her chance.  I mentioned that she’s tough.  She’s also conniving.

“I wanna ride the horseys!” she wailed through her tears.

Oh, she’s good.  Real good.

Monday, October 14, 2013

One Letter Can Make All the Difference

Phonics can be trouble.  There was the time that I said, “Shit!” while driving when Hudson was about 2-years old and missed a turn.  He then repeated it over and over again.  “Shit, shit, shit, shit….”  I think he was just sounding out his ‘sh’ and ‘it’ sounds.   There was also the time he was working on his ‘f’ and ‘uck’ sounds after his daddy dropped an f-bomb while working in the garage together.

“Don’t say that buddy.  That’s not a nice word.  I shouldn’t have said it either.”
“Yes.  Stop saying it.”
“But I just said fuck.”

He’s always been an early achiever and if it wasn’t for his love of phonics he never would have repeated such profanity.

Ok, that’s complete bullshit.

This other incident wasn’t my fault though and he truly is into phonics these days. Enough so that I’ve actually said the phrase “Stop with the phonics and put your shoes on” when he was standing on the stairs one morning before school sounding out the letters in the word ‘toolbox’.

He’s been learning sight words at school.  They call them popcorn words and they are short words that they are learning to recognize on sight.  One of the proudest moments for a bibliophile like me was when we were reading a book together and he stopped me to say, “I want to work on my popcorn words now so I can learn to read.”

What happened next would make his father proud.

We had went through his popcorn words and were back to reading.  This time he would read the ones he recognized.  I pointed to the word ‘it’ and he paused.

“Sound it out if you don’t know.”

So close.  One letter makes all the difference.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Photo Friday: Get some perspective

Guest Post from Ann

I had to lie down on the floor to take this photo. My point is, don't be afraid to make yourself look momentarily silly to get a nice photo. Chances are, you'll remember the photo better than looking silly. P.S. This is in the chapel at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, a cool, peaceful place.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Thing My Daughter Said About Nipples

I literally don't know what to say about this.  It is so absurd there is really now where to go with this.  So without further ado...the thing my daughter said to me while getting her dressed after swim class...

"What do nipples do?  I think they're wiggly like spiders."

Now you know.

Monday, October 7, 2013

So This Happened

There are a lot of reasons for why I have been late getting my kids dinner or late getting them to bed. Real Housewives of New Jersey isn't just going to watch itself, people. However, yesterday was the first time it was due to the fact that I had to cut a train out my daughter's hair.

We were driving to Southern Agriculture for some dog food before running to Target for some groceries.  My dog has to have the fancy pants dog food because he will vomit anything else. Apparently he's too good for Purina.

Before we left the house, Hudson had given Kenzie one of his Thomas trains.  He loves his trains so this was a big deal.  Prior to this I would have thought him more apt to give up a kidney before one of his trains.  I made sure to tell him how kind he was and Kenzie was thrilled.

They both took their trains in the car and had them turned on while we driving to Southern Ag.

“AHHHH!  Mommy, I need help!”
“Kenzie, I’m driving.  What?”
“She has the train stuck in her hair,” said Hudson.  I think I heard a snicker.

I turned around at a red light and sure enough there was a toy train entangled in a mass of hair on the right side of her head.  There are a lot of things I can get done at a red light- toy retrieval, handing out of tissues, yelling at a child before they wipe a booger on the seat-but I could tell that this wasn’t one of them.

I pulled into a bank parking lot and got to work.  Right after I got my phone to take a picture, except that my storage was full thanks to the fact that I had taken some videos recently and I never delete pictures.  I tried to delete a picture while Kenzie was happily posing and giving me her best “Cheeeeeese!”  Still no luck so I turned around in my seat to delete a few more.

“Mom, what are we doing?” whined Hudson.
“I’m just checking on something.”  Yes, that’s right.  I went with the I was just Googling how to remove trains from hair guise.  I admit this wasn’t the proudest of my parenting moments but you just don’t pass up pictures like that.

I finally realized my phone was not going to cooperate so I got out and went to work on her hair.  I pulled out small pieces, bit by bit.  After several minutes, I got it down to one quarter inch chunk that would not budge.  I tried unwinding it.  I tried pulling out even smaller pieces.   I tried to give it one good yank which didn’t go over well with Kenzie.  Although she no longer seemed to upset by the train in her hair, I didn’t think I could take her to two stores this way.  I was only a mile from home so we turned around so I could get scissors.

We pulled in the driveway and I ran inside to get scissors out of the kitchen drawer.  Thankfully it was small enough that I don’t think the chunk of missing hair is too noticeable.  But of course, I didn’t do any of the cutting before getting the camera and taking a picture…

Friday, October 4, 2013

Photo Friday: Colorful cocktail time

Guest Post from Ann

If you're ordering a drink and thinking about photographing it against a blue sky, choose something colorful (yes, I honestly thought about which color drink would look best). And if you go to the John Hancock building in Chicago, the Signature Lounge has a great view. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Out of My Cold Bacon Grease Filled Hands

Yesterday the Affordable Care Act went into effect and today I see baconless pinto beans advertised like it’s a good thing.  Connected?  You tell me.

Look, I’m not one to make wild accusations on the Internet, but Obama.

Think about it.  We all know he’s communist Kenyan who hates us for our freedom to eat salted meats.  So what a perfect way to take our liberties than some propaganda about how bacon is bad for us.  Sure he didn’t say that, but that’s not going to stop me from saying it.  Why?  Because I love freedom and America.  That’s why.

Now you might be asking yourself, “Now how do you go from a healthcare law to bacon confiscation?”  First of all, if you are asking yourself that you’re probably a communist tree-hugging hippie and you should move to Canada.  Second, microchips and bacon panels.

Yep, that’s right.  Obamacare has a  little know provision that requires every person to have a microchip implanted that monitors your bacon consumption.  If you have never read that provision you’re a socialist granola eatin’ libtard and you should move back to Germany or some other country that hates us for our constitution and incredibly good deals at insanely low prices.

The bacon consumption is then monitored by bacon panels.  The bacon panels are made up of Obama appointees that he picked from his Muslim Brotherhood barbershop quartet.  Sure, that may sound like a crazy accusation but Obama has a funny foreign name so it’s probably true.  Plus, I just wrote it so it’s fact.  Boom.

From there he goes to the United Nations, signs a bacon treaty, and next thing you know we have complete bacon confiscation.  Well,  Obama I have three words for you.  You can pry the bacon out of my cold dead hands.  Ok, that’s technically 11 words, but fuck you.  This is America and I can count however I goddamn please.

So in conclusion,-Obama is the devil, bacon, freedom, ‘Merica.

Monday, September 30, 2013

How I Became Known as the Whore of Target

My kids have it in for me in Target.  There was the time Hudson yelled “Daddy, that’s not nice!  Don’t hit Mommy!” in Target when he was about 2-yrs old and I was very pregnant.  There was the time both of them decided to yell pecker.  Now this.

I was grocery shopping with Kenzie.  We had just turned our cart down an aisle when a man, early 20s, turned at the same time and our carts nearly collided. I apologized and let him by.  As he was walking down the aisle, Kenzie takes off a few feet in his direction and yells, “Sorry!  SORRY!  I SAID SORRY!”

That’s not the embarrassing part.  This is.

After he didn’t answer she turned around to look at me with a sad face and said, “Mommy, I don’t think that was my daddy.”

Yeah, there were a lot of people around when she said this.  A lot of people who now think I am so unsure of her baby daddy, that there could be that many, that we randomly look for him in public places.

And that is how I became known as the Whore of Target.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Love You More Than Chihuahuas

If you were to rank the things that my daughter loves most in life, I would come in behind horses, candy, snacks, Dora, Team Umizoomi, and possibly Chihuahuas.  I can’t really blame her for the candy part.  I mean, candy is pretty great.  I’ll admit the Chihuahua one hurt a bit and Dora is just unfair.  I am not nearly as annoying as Dora and I rarely question people in Spanish.  If I do it's only to ask if you have pain in your wrist as this is literally the only thing I remember from medical Spanish.

I was tucking her into bed the other night.  Basking in the glory of bedtime so close at hand and the thought of Cherry Garcia ice cream waiting for me downstairs, my daughter suddenly looked so much sweeter and I nearly forgot about how I had to tell her repeatedly to remove that pencil from her nose.

“I’m so glad I get to be yours and Hudson’s mommy.”
“Yeah, we like to eat snacks and candy.”
“Ok then…good night.”

This wouldn’t have bothered me too much except that this seems to be becoming a pattern.

“Kenzie, I love you so much.”
“I need to go downstairs and see my Chihuahua.”
“Your Chihuahua?
“I don’t have a Chihuahua.” This was said with a look of confusion like I had been the one to bring up tiny Mexican dogs.
“Ok.  Good talk.”

Oh well, I guess I’ll go drown my sorrows in that Cherry Garcia.  Cherry Garcia loves me.

How she sleeps these days.  Which reminds me, her new cowboy boots and play crib also rank higher than me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Here's to Conversation

I had just picked Hudson up from school Monday when my father-in-law called me.

“What do you have going on Wednesday? I want to take you to do something that I think will help with your political stuff.”
“Just a meeting in the morning and then I’m free.  What did you have planned?”
“It’s a surprise.”

Wednesday came around.  My father-in-law picked me up and off we went.

“Where are we going?”
“It’s a surprise.”

Twenty minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of a gun shop and shooting range.  It became clear what we were doing when he started unloading guns out of the trunk of his car.  Today would be the day that I fired a gun for the first time.

We walked into the gun store.  I signed in and signed a waiver.  My father-in-law bought some ammo and we walked into the range.

The first time I heard a gun fired, I jumped.  I’m not sure why, but I didn’t expect it to be so loud.

“Ear protection,” he said handing it to me out of his bag.

He took out one of his guns and showed me the safety, showed me how to hold the gun and how to fire.  I watched him fire a few times, the bullet casings flying all around.  An employee from the store came in and reminded me that I supposed to be wearing eye protection.

“Your turn,” he said handing me the gun.  My hands were shaking.  I held the gun in my hand, acutely aware that I was holding an object with the ability to kill and so was everyone else here.  I was suddenly aware of the trust involved.  That the only thing stopping anyone here from killing someone was their own conscience, morality, and mental stability.

I took a deep breath, aimed, and fired.  The kick caught me by surprise.  After a few rounds, I felt panicky.  I didn’t trust my hands and I put the gun down.  I watched my father-in-law for a while as he shot a .45.

“Here try this one.”
“Are you kidding me?  My hands we’re shaking with the small one!”
“Just once so you can feel the difference.”

I took a deep breath to calm my nerves.  My father-in-law helped adjust my hands and I fired.  The noise and the kick was incredible.  I put the gun down.

“I think I’m done now.”

He shot for a while longer.  He taught me some more about the gun and the bullets. Back in the store, he had me hold some of the combat-style weapons.

I don’t think shooting is for me.  I get the appeal.  I get why people like it, I really do.  I just can’t get over the noise and the implications of what a gun can do.  That does not mean I am against other responsible people enjoying this sport.  I am simply saying it is not for me.

We chatted in the car about the conceal and carry class he took.  We talked about weapons he carried in Vietnam.  We talked about how blind people could now carry a weapon in public in Iowa and we both agreed that was crazy. We went to lunch and continued discussions about gun legislation, everything from background checks, to magazine limits, to assault weapons.

We didn’t always agree.  We did agree on more that we disagreed on.  And most importantly, we listened to each other.  There was no anger.  There was no arguing.  There was only the exchange of thoughts and information.  Then my father-in-law, a card-carrying member of the NRA, agreed to write to his congressman.

I will always be grateful for this day with him.  For what he taught me, but most of all for the conversation.  Conventional wisdom says never discuss politics or religion in polite company.  I have never understood that.  Those things are important.  It’s said that too many tempers flare when talking about these things, but maybe instead of banning topics, maybe we should examine the way we talk about them.  Maybe the problem is not the topic,  maybe the problem is how we talk to each other.  I now know for sure that it is possible to talk with someone about touchy subjects even when the two parties are coming from two different sides.  All is takes is some listening along with the talking.  So far all the things my father-in-law taught me that day, for this I am the most thankful.