One Man For Sale...

Well, OK... he is not FOR SALE, but he is up for auction.

The other day I received a letter (handwritten) from my cousin Keith. Keith is the offspring of the Clan AuntBarbUncleDon. As I was reading his letter I thought "Why isn't this guy married?" And then it hit me... I should plaster his picture on this here blog and see if there are any ladies out there who would be good enough for him. Oprah does this kind of stuff all of the time, and I am just like Oprah.

Many a childhood memory involved my cousin Keith. He is younger than me (I think he is in his early 30's right now) and he always got a spankin' at every single family get together. It became tradition. It was not Christmas until Keith got the belt. Now, do not let that sway your opinion of Keith, he was never a bad boy... he was just a boy. Women don't want men who were sissies when they were younger, women want men who were boys when they were kids-boys who pulled the butts off of a lightening bugs and who threw rocks at the neighbor to defend you (that was actually Keith's brother Dave that threw the rock at their neighbor to defend me... and it was after the neighbor threw a rock at me and hit me square in the forehead, but they are from the same gene pool so all is good.)

Keith is also a self made millionaire... or at least he is on his way to becoming one. I know this because he looks so debonair and cool when I see him. He has a smile that can melt your heart-but only if you like dimples. If you don't like dimples then he is not the man for you, you dimple hating person.

He was a tremendous athlete growing up, and still is today. He lives in Hilton Head South Carolina (if that does not sell ya, I don't know what I can do for you.) He is a riot to be around and he truly loves his family. You will be guaranteed a good time... especially if he brings you to one of our family weddings. Just don't let him sit with cousin Steve from the Clan AuntRoseUncleChuck or with cousin Johnny from the Clan AuntJudiUncleHarold... that is all I am gong to say about that.

Have I mentioned that he loves kids? Say it with me ladies "Winner!" He has actually told me on more than one occasion that he can't wait to have kids-a lot of them. He wants to find a nice girl, get married and have babies. If that doesn't make your uterus ache I don't know what will. *The above photo is of Keith with is nephew Evan... too stinkin' cute!

And last but certainly not least... Keith is Irish. If that does not seal that deal I don't know what will!

So if you are interested send me an email. If you are not interested because you are married, old, male, or blind... forward this post on to all of the young ladies you know out there who are looking for a good man. Better yet, forward this post on to the mothers of the young ladies you know who are looking for a good man. Forward this to mothers out there who are tired of their daughters dating men who were sissies and aren't Irish. Let's get this boy married off shall we?


Mistress June On Duty!

Last weekend my husband and I went to a Christmas party. I am not proud, and I fully admit that since the birth of Mary Claire I have basically sat around eating and drinking until I have turned into a chubby mommy. Sometimes chubby looks good on people, on me, well it looks just plain fat.

Since this party was a "semi-formal" event, I had to find a dress that actually fit me. I refused to buy a new dress in the size that I am in now for the same reason that I refuse to buy any new pants. I do not plan on being this size forever and I do believe that one day I will wake up and the sense will be knocked back into me and I will set down the cookies and cakes (don't ask me to set down the beer though-that will never happen my friends.) and get back on the road to looking smokin' hot and all. Today... not so smokin' hot. Not even a little luke warm hot. Today I look like a chubby woman wearing pants a size too small. I fully admit that. If you don't like it, look away.

Anyway, as I was rummaging through my closet I found a simple black dress in a size 8. I considered for a moment slathering my body up with baby oil before attempting to put it on, but I didn't want it to stain. Instead I headed to the store to buy me a pair of "Spanks."

Do you know how much those suckers are? Too much... so I bought a pair of the Hanes knock offs. I may be fat, but I am still money conscious.

That night after my shower and my hair drama, it was time to get dressed. I knew it was time to get dressed because my husband was fully dressed and hovering around me asking me things like "Are you getting close to done?" or "Can you give me a rough estimate as to when you think you may possibly be ready." When he starts to hover, my mood will quickly go from a pleasant one to a bad one. They based the character on the Exorcist movie on my bad moods. So now I was fat, had bad hair, and in a bad mood. Never attempt to put make up on when you are in a bad mood... I think I may have ended up looking a little like Cruella De Vil.

Sooo, it was now time to strap some lycra to my body and squeeze my size 10 hips into a size 8 dress... and my size GAZILLION nursing boobs into a size 8 dress. Success seemed impossible.

When I pulled the Hanes lycra out of the envelope, I thought it was a joke. They looked like they would fit my 4 year old and not me. How in the world was I supposed to put these things on?

There I was, naked, sweating, and huffing and puffing as I pulled and tugged the lycra up my body. I turned to look in the mirror and saw that the lycra was forcing all of the fat from my thighs and butt up... I looked like Santa Clause trying to fit down a chimney. As most of you know, putting pantyhose on is not easy... escalate that torture by 1000 and you will get an idea as to what it is like to get this lycra contraption on.

As I was mid-way through my fat pulling, lycra tugging ordeal, I look up to see my husband watching me. The look on his face was one of horror and defeat. I think he may have been fooling himself about my size as well. All of those fantasies where I look like the 18 year old girl with the size 4 hips and the amazing ta-tas were shattered all because he could not leave me the hell alone when I am getting dressed. I don't feel bad though, and he will eventually stop staring into space and shuttering from time to time... I hope.

Eventually I did it. I was lycra'd up from mid thigh to breast and I was SKINNY! Not as skinny as if I would actually get my rear in gear and work a little, but skinny enough to get that size 8 dress on. Sure, my boobs were spilling out over the top, but they had to-they had no where to go! My thighs were actually so skinny that they did not rub against each other when I walked! My tummy was flat and my butt was small. I had won the victory over the fat! I had tricked it into being sucked back into my body for an evening.

When I took the Lycra off later that evening, it shot across the room and hit my husband square in the face. He woke up screaming that night... something about being eaten by a fat monster. I am not sure what that means, but with a little counseling he should be fine.


All I Want For Christmas Is A New Liver...

We've been busy... It took me almost 4 days to drink all of the beers to make my Christmas tree this year. It usually only takes me 2 days. That is what I get for wanting to make the tree a 10 footer instead of the usual 7.

You should have been here when the police showed up and make my husband take down his outdoor light display all because our Home Owner's Association said it was not of "holiday" spirit. Hell, we are Irish Catholics, I don't know what "holiday" spirit is, but I do know what Christmas spirit is. I asked Father O'Malley when he was at my house helping us drink these kegs. If "holiday" spirit does not involve kegs, twinkle lights and drunken Santa Clauses... well then I don't want any part of it!

I promise there will be a post of more substance tomorrow... I have quite a story to tell you about me, a mirror, a pair of spanks lycra undergarments, and my husband watching in stunned silence. It is a doozy.
*The above photos are not mine... I would give credit where credit is due, but I don't know who these photos belong to. If I did, well I would want to be their friend.


You Know You Are Getting Old When...

You know you are getting old when you go to a Christmas party, get drunk, come home, have sex and still be fast asleep by 11:30 p.m.

We went to a "semi-formal" Christmas party this past Saturday. My plan was only to drink one Heineken and call it good, but some dear soul bought 3 bottles of wine and I thought it would have been rude not to share in a glass of spirits. Before I knew it, there were 3 half-full bottles of wine left and I thought it would be such a waste of money for this nice person to leave those bottles of wine on the table... so I did my part and tried my best to finish them off.

I don't think the true drunkenness of my being was apparent until the drive home when I drunk dialed 4 different people and made a naughty suggestion to my husband to pull the van over so we could have a little sumpin' sumpin' (he did not take me up on my request... something about driving on 495 in Washington D.C. He is such a prude.)

The amazing part is that I was up and showered in time for Mass Sunday morning. My Irish heritage has yet to let me down and I have the keen ability of getting happily tipsy and then not feeling an ounce of hangover the next morning. God must love Irish people most in this world.

I love the Holidays.


Cookies and Cakes and Hot Ta Ta's OH MY!

Baking cookies and listening to Josh Grobin all day today... look for my post on the importance of control top pantyhose during the Christmas Season tomorrow~


Valuable Life Lessons...

This evening we were driving home and saw a couple of young people kissing by the side of their car in the street. We all noticed... we all stared.

My husband make a comment about hitting them because they are kissing in the street.

My son said "Yeah, plus they had their eyes closed."

I asked, "You are supposed to close your eyes when you kiss?"

My son's silence caused my husband to offer him a very valuable life lesson...

He said, "Only if she is ugly son, only if she is ugly."

I am amazed at the level of intelligence that surrounds me. Some days I have to just pinch myself.

Crazy Mixed Up Teenagers...

Today is Hope's birthday. My firstborn. My baby. She is thirteen. Lord help me.

I found a prayer I had written in a prayer journal a few years back on her 6th birthday. After all these years, it is still what I pray for her, so I thought I would share it with you all...

"Dear Lord,
Today is Hope's birthday. Six years ago today You entrusted her to us. I pray that we are doing the job You intended us to do, in the way You desire us to do it.

I wonder what her life will bring for her. How exciting a time to have a life of love ahead of her. She is such a beautiful girl You have made. I pray that You remain in her heart even if a time comes when she may turn from You. When evil comes into her life Lord, I pray that You prick her with a thorn from your Crown so that she will quickly run back to Your path.

I pray she will always love, accept, support and pray for her family-as we will always do for her.

Happy Hope's Birthday to you Lord!

With this prayer, Our Lord has been faithful to Hope. She is such an amazing kid, and I am not just saying that because I am her mom. She has a kindness in her heart that can only come from the understanding of compassion that comes from a deep relationship with Christ. She is also brave-the bravest person I know. She never hesitates when it comes to including others or making someone feel special.

She is so much better than I ever was, and I am so proud of my girl. Her Dad and I were blessed the moment she burst into our lives. We named her Hope because that is what she gave to us-hope.


From Our House To Yours...

Our Christmas letter is like a friggen monkey on my back. I keep telling myself that I need to write it, but I have yet to get that blast of clarity where it all comes together in my mind so that I can actually put it to print.

What do I write about? Do I write about Hope's achievements in her Dressage Competitions but leave out the part where she was banned from AppleBee's because of that one incident with the toilet and a cherry bomb? Do I gush about Aaron's baseball abilities but leave out the part where he became a "person of interest" on the Homeland Security list? Do I tell everyone about Emma's singing and dancing abilities but leave out the fact that she has bowel issues that cause her to fart like a man? Do I go on and on about how adorable Mary Claire is and how she crawls and smiles but leave out the part about the projectile vomit at Mass last Sunday?

It is so hard to decide.

Do I go with brutal honesty, or do I lie? Do I write my Christmas letter to make it look like we crap rainbows and bunnies around here, or do I go off the deep end and portray my children to be juvenile delinquents that are one step closer to becoming wards of the State?

And what about my husband? Do I tell everyone about his hyper active sex drive that leaves me hiding in the closet some days or do I sugarcoat it and just let people read between the lines when I tell them that he is on a intense exercise regiment and that he somehow roped me into doing it with him?

I hate to talk about myself as well. Do I go on and on about how beautiful I am and what a fabulous mother I am and how I am devout and pious and full of blessings from Heaven, or do I peel back the layers and let everyone know about the vein I have in the middle of my forehead that throbs about 100 times a day while I am yelling things like "Who's dirty underwear is this on the lamp?" or "Why is the lawn blower in your bedroom?"

Each and every year I vow to not do a Christmas letter. I insist that this will be the year where I finally just send a nice Christmas picture where we are all clean and proper looking and let people's imagination run wild.

Each year my husband says things like "But WE have to write a letter." or "When are WE going to write the Christmas letter?" and even "I know it is hard for US to write the letter, but WE really should update people on our lives."

I don't think people really care about what we do in our lives. I mean, I don't give a crap about what goes on in other people's lives. Truthfully, when I get a Christmas letter in the mail I usually read the first paragraph and the last-I don't care about little Timmy's genius IQ or little Amy's scholarship to Harvard. I am so cynical that I don't believe them anyway.

All of that being said... I will be writing a Christmas letter this week. If you would like a copy, just email me your address and I will be happy to crack one off to you. I cannot promise it will be accurate and I may have to change a few names to protect the innocent, but it will be entertaining... at least the first and last paragraphs will be.


For Better Or Worse...

Over the past few years, I have discovered some events, tasks, and chores that should not be done with a spouse. This past weekend, I was sorely reminded of this list as my darling husband and I did all of these together and we almost did not survive. It was hairy, and he almost lost a limb. Thank God I found this list again to remind myself of the guidelines to sanity in a marriage.

#1 You should never, under no circumstances move furniture with your spouse. Carl and I moved furniture together this weekend. It was really my fault as I am referred to as "The Great Re-Arranger" in my home. I decided that we needed to move the 1000 lb. treadmill from the guest room to our bedroom. Why you ask? Well isn't it obvious? I wanted to not only drive my husband crazy, but I also figured that if I had to look at the treadmill every day that I would be more apt to actually USE the stupid thing. Next weekend I want to move the refrigerator to the other side of the kitchen... my husband's hernia should be better by then.

#2 You should never hang things on the wall with your spouse. Unless you want to argue about what is level to you and what is level to your spouse (who apparently has one leg longer than the other because they cannot see what it level if it hit them in the head.) It is easier if one of the spouses just leaves the room and lets the other one tackle this task on their own. When you return to the room you should never criticize the unlevelness of the hanging artwork. This is imperative-do not ever tell your husband that he hung the frame too high/crooked/too low/or on the wrong wall. It is hung-leave it at that and go on with life happily every after and try to never again look at the hung artwork on the wall.

#3 Do not go shoe shopping with your spouse. Your idea of shoes are completely different from your husband's idea of shoes. You may want comfortable and sensible, fashionable and trendy. He will want whore whore whore. I went in for a nice pair of black boots this weekend and walked out with a pair that Cat Woman herself would wear.

#4 Do not balance the checkbook together. I know that all of the financial experts out there tell all of us married folk that we need to do the finances together. These people are idiots (sorry Dave Ramsey, I believe everything you say... except for this.) I do not think that my husband needs to be involved in the finances whatsoever. He just needs to make the money, I will pay the bills, save a little and spend the rest. All is right with the world when that is in place. When he decides to help me balance the checkbook, that is when the real fireworks start. He does not understand my codes. He does not understand why I hide money and mislabel things. He does not understand why I will not just mail the cable payment on the 15th when it is not due until the 22nd. I will mail it on the 19th because I like to keep the money in our account for as long as possible. He does not understand why I will transfer money from the checking account to the savings account but then transfer money from the savings account to the checking account for something different. It would take too long for me to explain all of this to him. It took me years to completely understand my techniques.

#5 Do not let your spouse pick out your clothes for a party with you. We had a Christmas party to go to for my husband's work. I was planning on wearing something very casual, but my husband thought I needed to wear something a little more "party-ish." I ended up wearing my new Cat Woman boots and a cleavage bearing top to a casual party where all of the other wives wore tan pants and sweaters that had Christmas trees on them and actual bells as ornaments. Needless to say I was not spoken to all evening.

#6 Most importantly, for the love of God, do not ever-I mean NEVER EVER paint a room with your spouse. If you do not heed my advice on this one, just make sure the divorce papers are drawn up before you put the primer on the walls. Consider yourselves warned.

Buy Yourself A Gift...

If you do not own one of these, I highly recommend you rushing to the nearest store and purchasing one-do not stop at red lights, do not wait for little old ladies in crosswalks. Go as fast as your little feet will carry you.

It is orgasmic.

That is all I am going to say...


Surprise! You Get A Dirty Bra For Christmas!!!

Emma is really in the Christmas mode this year. Her favorite thing to do is wrap presents. She has been wrapping just about everything we own for the past few nights now. It all started with her helping me wrap the gifts for the Tag Tree at Church. She then moved on to wrapping some of her books that she no longer wants because they are "boring" and "baby books" so she has wrapped them for Mary Claire and put them under the tree. Next she started wrapping old Happy Meal toys. She does not want them anymore so she is giving them to Mary Claire and they are beautifully adorned with bows and stickers and placed under the tree. Last night she wrapped 5 of her Barbie dolls... they were all naked, but at least now they have bells on their knockers and a bow on their anatomical plastic butt. The Barbies are under the tree now as well. My beautiful tree is starting to look like a garage sale is happening under it. It reminds me of someone putting clean pants on over dirty underwear. It just ain't right.

All of this is very sweet, except for the fact that she is going through scotch tape at an alarming rate. My children love scotch tape and I usually have to hide it around here or it will be found and confiscated by some kid with dirty hands and a runny nose because they need to tape a rocket together or put up a poster of the High School Musical cast on their newly painted bedroom walls. Yes, scotch tape to my children is like crack cocaine to an addict. It is too tempting and they would sell their baby sister to get a hold of some.

This morning I decided to make some eggs for the family. I looked everywhere for my favorite spatula. I finally found it wrapped under the tree. In my search for the spatula I also found a dozen eggs, my hairspray, dog food, a bra belonging to my oldest daughter, my son's Tag Body Spray, some of my husband's socks and a can of tomato soup all wrapped by the resident 4 year old and placed under the tree.

This is going to be one interesting Christmas morning... Lord help us all.




I am sooo winning the best mom award this year-and this time I am not saying that becaue I have smashed my child's finger in a car door or dropped a jar of pickles on my child's big toe... no, this time I MEAN IT!

I have been on a driven search for a Wii for weeks now. I have made hundreds of phone calls, tried to bribe many a backroom stock boy and have spent thousands in gasoline driving from one store to the next. I have even gotten up at the crack of dawn and stood in line in the freezing cold for hours only to miss getting one by 3 measly people. Oh, OK, I did not stand in line in the cold for hours... but I did watch my husband stand in line for hours as I sat in the warm car sipping my hot chocolate and clipping coupons.

Anyway... Today the Heavens parted and Christ Himself looked down at me and said "Wii (meaning Him, God and the Holy Ghost) would like to play."

I was at JC Penny getting a birthday present for my daughter. While there I decided to buy them some clothes because JC Penny has good clothes for kids. Not too "hoochie mama" for the girls and not too "gangsta" for the boys. After I did that I saw a under the counter CD player on sale, which I bought and have decided to wrap and put it under the tree for myself from my husband. He always gets me just what I want that way. After JC Penny I wandered around the mall. I looked at watches for my husband and bought a t-ball set for my nephew.

Now you may be saying "Oh for the love of Pete! Just get on with the story about the Wii would you!"

I just wanted to make you wait... the way I waited patiently and when you wait patiently good things seem to just land smack dab in your lap.

As I am walking through the mall I turn to my right and notice that there is a Game Stop there. This is not my usual mall so I am not familiar with where the stores are and I do not know where the restrooms or food court is. Thank God for directories. Who ever thought of putting directories in the mall is one smart man-although, it was probably a woman because we all know how men are with asking for directions so to think they would even look at a directory to find out where the Fredrick's of Hollywood store is to buy their wife a present that she will HATE is beyond them. Do they even have Fredrick's of Hollywood stores anymore? Hmmm-interesting.

Where was I? Oh, so I saw a Game Stop and thought to myself "Wouldn't it be funny if I walked in and they actually had a Wii sitting there?" So I walk in and see 2 boxes of Wii systems on the wall. This is what ensued:

Me: "Are those actual systems or just the boxes?"
GameStop Man: "Those are just boxes."
Me: "Oh, I figured. This is a silly question, and I am sure you are asked it all of the time, and you are probably sick and tired of hearing it, but I have got to ask...do you have any Wii systems?"
GameStop Man: "I just opened this box that was shipped to us 5 minutes ago. We have 3 of them."
GameStop Man:
GameStop Man:
Me: "I think I may just have to marry you!"
GameStop Man: "I want a pre-nup"
Me: "Well all I have to offer will be this Wii after I buy it."

After handing over my debit card-

GameStop Man: "Can I see ID? I want to make sure you are not an escaped prisoner" (Those GameStop Men are so witty with their X-box humor and their band-aids on their fingers,)
Me: "I am an escaped prisoner from my home. You don't know how many kids I have and what it takes to get out of the house away from them. Don't tell anyone you saw me here. They'll find me."
GameStop Man: "So you're a criminal?"
Me: (standing there with my baby in her baby Bjorn) "Uhhh, Yes, why do you think I have this baby strapped to me? Hand over the Wii and no one will get hurt."

So there you have it. The eagle has landed. The chicken is in the pot. John has a long moustache. The chair is against the wall...

Santa is sooo not taking credit for this one. Sorry big guy.

Abercrombie and Fitch Stole My Money!!!

A few weeks ago I bought my niece a gift card from Abercrombie and Fitch. I have never really gone into the store because, a.) I am not a size 0 and b.) I am not uber rich. I always get my niece a gift card because she stopped wearing those "If You Think I Am Beautiful, You Should See My Aunt" t-shirts I always sent her... whatever.

When I called my sister to let her know what I had purchased, she told me that she does not allow her daughter to shop there... and that I should not shop there either. Her reasons were pretty valid-whether it be because of the soft-porn like catalogs they distribute or the fact that they market tee shirts with slogans exalting drunkenness and associated sexual behavior. T-shirt slogans include: "I Drink Irresponsibly," "Friends with Privileges" and "Cunning Linguist."

Sooo, I decided to take the gift card back and get my cash returned.

No dice.

It is store policy that they do not give you your money back from a purchased gift card even if you have the receipt. No where on my receipt does it tell me that I can not get my money back with receipt. They won't even give it back to you if you protest for 30 minutes straight. They won't even give it to you if you tell them they are stealing your $25 because they will not return it. They won't even give it to you when you tell the store manager (who is all of 22 and a size 2) that you will never shop there ever again and you are telling everyone you know that they should not shop at this snobby establishment. (I don't think she really cared if me, a 35 year old, slightly chubby woman wearing Levi's and a Bear's sweatshirt would never shop there again.)

Eventually, after I had all of the employees arguing with me over my $25 (It was like a bad teen movie) I decided to leave before they called security and I would end up on Fox News being interviewed by Greta Van Susteren about being tazered by a part time security guard wearing comfortable shoes and with ketchup on his lip, while my baby was in the Bjorn and my 10 year old son looked on.

When we left my son told me that the store manager had her fly unzipped. I said "Why didn't you tell me that! I could have turned and with a stern finger pointed at her said "You'll regret this! XYZ PDQ!"

So I am sending out this warning... do not shop at Abercrombie and Fitch. They are not nice. They have no customer service, and they all need to eat a Big Mac or something. Seriously. Like Totally.


I Understand Blonde Jokes...

A blonde goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards.

She says to the clerk, "May I have 50 Christmas stamps?"

The clerk says, "What denomination?"

The blonde says, "God help us. Has it come to this? Give me 6 Catholic, 12 Presbyterian, 10 Lutheran and 22 Baptists."


Overheard Today In The Cleaver House...

"Can this place look like children do not live in it for at least one day?"
"Do not touch any of the Christmas ornaments... I did not put them up there for you to play with."
"Can we try to not look like White Trash Christmas this year please?"
"No, Santa Claus will not bring you any presents if you break Momma's Christmas decorations!"
"What do you think? That Christmas was invented for children? You are mistaken my friend, it is so moms can decorate their houses to look like Santa threw up all over the place!"

We are all decked out... how bout you?


They Don't Really Want To Play...

I am deep in the trenches of my search for a Wii system. It is like those Asian men on the commercial are just mocking me. "Wii would like to play." Sure, my children would like to play as well but I can't find you little Asian men anywhere! Why don't they come knocking at my door? Why don't they tell me where and when the next shipment will be??

I just love Christmas shopping. If only they wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll...


I Think I Talk About Poop Too Much...

Oh how I miss our big beautiful modern house in Nebraska. Our little house in DC is old and the water pipes are all connected, meaning the drinking water is the same as the toilet water, and if you turn on the tap right as someone is flushing... well I am not sure what you are drinking.

Another draw back to the pipes is the showering while flushing fiasco.

My children are not toilet flushers. I spend much of my days walking in and out of bathrooms flushing toilets that little people have somehow forgotten that they have to dispose of their waste.

I can walk up the stairs on any given day and take a whiff and proclaim, "WHO FORGOT TO FLUSH?" It is exasperating.

We apparently have a mystery pooper in our house as well. This mystery pooper sneaks into our home when we are not looking and takes a crap in the toilet and then walks away. When I discover this soggy mess I gather all of my children in front of me (I gather my children much like Captain Von Trapp did in The Sound Of Music. I have a whistle and everything.) Anyway, after they are gathered, I calmly ask "Who took a steaming crapola in this toilet and did not flush the terd down to the ocean?"

I hear a chorus of "Not Me!" I even get some " I have not even pooped yet today." or "I have not pooped at all this week!"

No, the only time my children will flush a toilet is when their dear ol' mom is in the shower.

Yesterday I was enjoying my daily shower as it is pretty much the only part of my day when I am not helping someone or holding someone or folding laundry or cooking something or disciplining someone or answering the phone to my husband's "Hey, can you go up in our bedroom and find that piece of paper I was looking at yesterday and read me the phone number off of it... it has the name Fred, or Gary, or Sheila on it." Of course, I do shower with an audience. The dog seems to think I may disappear down the drain with the water so she stands guard next to the shower and watches me much like a prison guard would watch an inmate showering for the first time after visiting hours are over.

Anyway, during this one measly shower, all of my children had to flush the toilet. A few of them must have brushed their teeth as well-which is amazing because my son tries to avoid brushing his teeth at all cost. I have to threaten bodily harm on that kid just to get him to put a pea size drop of toothpaste on his toothbrush and stick it in his mouth for a nano-second. Not yesterday, yesterday during my shower, he not only flushed, he brushed his teeth! My oldest flushed, brushed her teeth and decided to do her daily beauty regiment which involves the water running for no less than 45 minutes. The youngest flushed... twice (Her poop is sneaky, just when she is sure she is done and she has done the initial wipe, another poop decides to be dropped off at the swimming pool. It never fails.)

I miss the good old days when showering was enjoyable. When it did not involve scalding and scar tissue. When I could get a few quiet moments alone to ponder the important things like "less filling or tastes great."
When I did not have to worry about being boiled alive and the only one there to witness my torturous death would be the dog.


I Have An Excuse... I Promise

I promise to be back to blogging tomorrow. My husband has been using me as a sex slave and my legs are just too weak to walk to the computer.

That is a lie...

Our laptop is fried and I just can't get inspired on my children's Mickey Mouse ear'd computer.

I am drinking again tonight, so inspiration should be rearing it's head soon... fingers crossed!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!


For The Love of God People... Clear The Roads!

My parents are driving in tomorrow. You have to know that this is quite an ordeal for my parents... I mean, my father will have to get out of his chair and turn off the TV!

Road trips with my parents were always such fun. We always had to turn back 3/4 of the way to our destination because my father would forget things like the vacation money, his insulin, his heart medication, underwear, us kids. It was always my mom's fault too... I don't know why that woman never learned, I mean, it is not like my father is an ADULT or anything. He needs constant supervision.

A few years ago we lived in England. Mom and Dad came out to visit and we had a full schedule planned. We woke up at the crack of dawn and set out for Stonehenge. After the 4 hour drive my Dad realized that he had left his insulin in my refrigerator at home. We were able to see Socialism at work that day as my dad was able to not only see a Doctor and have a free exam, he was even able to get his meds for only $3 at the local pharmacy. He was ready to pack his bags and apply for dual citizenship. Who cares about freedom when you can have cheap meds right?

We were only able to hang our heads out the window and ohh and ahh a little as we drove past Stonehenge that day because we had spend the daylight hours at the free clinic. My dad, always doing his best to make meaningful memories.

I called my mom today to see what time they were leaving in the morning. I threatened to call and wake them up because if my mom says they will be leaving by 6 a.m. that means they will not be getting out of bed until 7 and they have to sit and have their coffee and toast before heading out. They will be lucky if they are on the road by 10.

I told her to not talk to any strangers along the way because people prey upon the elderly. Especially ones that walk with a limp like my dad does. I also told her that those little stores along the highway that say "Adults Only" should be avoided at all cost... no matter what my dad tells her is in there!

I have prepared the kids for another visit from Grammy and Papa. They have all hidden their Halloween candy because my diabetic father will eat it all, and they have brought out all of their puzzles and playing cards because my mom will sit for hours with them. The only thing my mother loves more than potato chips are her grandchildren and puzzles.

I can't wait to see them! I wish they lived closer so that I could make fun of them more often.


Who Are You and What Have You Done With Vince Vaughn?

My dreams were so much more fun before I had children... now I can't even get a moment's peace in my sleep!

The other night I was having a spectacular dream. Vince Vaughn was trying so hard to get my attention. He was flirting, he was handing out compliments, he was doing my laundry... and did I mention that I looked amazing (hey, I was asleep... I can't help it that my unconscious mind has not yet caught up with my conscious mind.) I had the type of long thick hair that you only see on Pantene commercials and I was skinny and tan. It was one of the best dreams of my life.

As the dream progressed, Vince was trying in vain to kiss me. He somehow kept missing my lips and ending up kissing my shoulder. It was weird.

This is where the children come in...

Every stinkin' time my dreams are starting to get good, one of my kids will some how just happen to saunter though the foreground, or they will come over and ask me for a light bulb or something. Then I go from amazing supermodel about to kiss Vince Vaughn to a slightly overweight mother with an elastic waistband and a "I Mother, Therefore I Am." sweatshirt.

I never end up kissing Vince Vaughn either because no matter who it is in my dreams, be it Vince, or Rob Estes, or Tom Cruise (I somehow forgive him for the whole "Scientology" thing in my dreams) they always morph into my husband Carl right before they finally plant that kiss that they have been trying all dream to do and I end up sitting at the kitchen table balancing our checkbook.

At least in my dream when I balance the checkbook I have long sexy flowing hair... that is until one of my kids comes in and cuts it off and I look down and I am pregnant again and my sister stops by for a cup of grass.

Like I said, my dreams were much more fun before I had kids.


Potato Chips Are The Work Of The Devil...

My mother loves potato chips. She loves potato chips more than just about any other food and rumor has it that I had a 3rd sister, but someone offered my mother a bag of potato chips in exchange for her youngest child and she took them up on their offer. That, my friends, is how much my mother loves potato chips.

I love potato chips too. I love them even more if there is dip to go with them. My favorite way to eat potato chips is scrunched on top of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It is safe to say that my love to chips is hereditary.

I never eat potato chips. NEVER! I never eat potato chips because I cannot stop myself at just a few. I end up eating the entire bag and then getting canker sores in my mouth from all of the yummy salt. It is safer if I buy pretzels. I do not like pretzels so I don't eat them. I sometimes buy those really awful "all natural" potato chips-the ones that taste like cardboard just so that I can "trick" my mind into believing that I am eating potato chips, but my taste buds are not fooled.

My parents are coming out for Thanksgiving and when I was at the grocery store the other day I walked down the chip aisle. I was met with a very interesting quandary. Do I bend to my mother's addictive behavior and buy the potato chips so that she can eat them all and turn the bag inside out just to lick the remaining salt, or do I put my foot down and say NO to the war on hip fat that these chips has waged with me.

I thought of all of the things my mother has done for me, like make me wear my older sister's hand-me-downs all of my life, demand that I only eat baked chicken legs 5 nights out of a week for my entire youth, make me play the saxophone in band all through my Freshman year just so that I was labeled a "band geek" and my hopes of becoming Homecoming Queen forever squandered, and make me drive around in a powder blue van for all of my high school days in order to let everyone know that I was in no way cool.

I decided to pay her back for all that she has done for me and buy a family sized bag of chips. I cackled out loud as I thought of my mother eating every last crumb of the potato chip bag only to regret it when she tried to get her favorite pair of brown pants buttoned.

(Rubbing my hands sinisterly) Yes, the time has come mother for my revenge!

My evil plan would have worked if I had not been so tempted by the stupid chips just sitting in my cabinet wreaking havoc on my will power.

I opened the bag today. I ate a peanut butter, jelly and potato chip sandwich and consumed one pound of French Onion dip. CURSES! Foiled again!

I just love how Thanksgiving brings families together!


Communication Is Key To A Good Marriage... I SAID COMMUNICATION IS KEY TO A GOOD MARRIAGE!

Over the years, I have come to understand my husband's caveman grunts for what he needs. It took me some time, but I have cracked the code. Here is a cheat sheet to help any wives out there to better understand their caveman... I mean husband.

"Are you hungry?" translation: "Will you make me a sandwich?"

"Do I have any darks clean?" translation: "When are you going to get the laundry done?"

"Is there anything in the washer that you don't want me to shrink?" translation: "Why don't you just do all of the laundry, seeing as you are my slave."

"What time are the kids going to bed?" translation: "Can you put the kids to bed so I can watch my TV show?"

"Did you do something to your hair?" translation: "There is something different about you, but I can't tell what it is because I am not paying attention so I will just go with the obvious questions here."

"You look nice." translation: "You look like my mother."

"You look fine." translation: "You look like your mother."

"You look good in that." translation: "You look like a whore and I like it!"

"Have you seen my keys/cell phone/wallet/brain?" translation: "Please stop whatever it is you are doing to look for my lost item post hast!"

"Do you want me to go get the baby?" translation: " I don't really intend on getting the baby, but I will offer so that it looks as if I would."

"How much did you spend?" translation: "Oh Good Lord, will this woman every stop shopping and spending MY money!"

"Are you going into the kitchen?" translation: "Bring me back a snack."

"Let's go to Mass on Saturday night." translation: "I want to go golfing Sunday morning."

"Let's go out to dinner." translation: "Let's go to that Sports Bar I like so that I can watch the game while you sit there and eat in silence."

"Are you tired?" translation: "Let's have sex."

"Are you going to bed?" translation: "Let's have sex."

"Do you still have the flu?" translation: "Let's have sex."

"Where are the kids?" translation: "Let's have sex."

"You got your Victoria's Secret catalog today." translation: "Let's have sex."

"I washed the car." translation: "Let's have sex."

"I mowed the lawn." translation: "Let's have sex."

"I am so tired tonight." translation: "But not too tired to have sex!"

So there you have it. I hope I have helped. Remember that the key to a good marriage is communication... that and a lot of alcohol.


My Husband Is Like The Postal System...

My husband is coming home from his trip today. I always like this day. Years ago when we were dating, my husband was going to school in Arizona and I was going to school in Indiana. Carl was driving home for Christmas and was stopping by my school to pick me up. I expected him on Saturday, but he showed up on Friday because he had driven straight through to see me.

I remember sitting in my dorm room and hearing my name being called over the speakers in the hall telling me that I had a visitor (we didn't have things like telephones in our rooms, so if you had a visitor or had a phone call, your name was called over the loud speakers for all to hear.) I had not even showered yet. I may have even had the smell of stale beer on my breath from the night before and I was confused as to who may possibly be visiting me at 10 a.m. on a Friday. I walked down the stairs to see Carl standing there.

It would have been a completely and utterly romantic moment if I had fresh breath and clean underwear on... but I was totally impressed by the devotion that he had, and the fact that he was so whooped that he would drive 30 hours straight (with his head sticking out the window to stay awake) just to see little ol' me.

There is no better feeling in this world than that of being wanted. I mean, here I sit with baby spit on my shoulder, crayola paint in my hair, loads of laundry piled up behind me, smudged mascara, stretch marks on my tummy, hair on my legs (ahh, it would be nice to shave them before he gets home... but I don't live in a fantasy world), and a Barbie sticker on my butt and my husband is pressing on, rushing home to see me.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.


Just What Are They Teaching You At This Preschool Of Yours?

Some days I truly wonder what kind of values I am teaching my children.

Last Friday I talked Emma into skipping school. She really wanted to go, but I was that bad friend that talked her into ditching and going to the movies. The movies are so much more fun than preschool anyway.

I remember when I was a kid and in high school, my friend Jackie and I decided to ditch school after lunch. We had English after lunch with Mr. Lemon. We hated English with Mr. Lemon, so we decided to make a run for it! We stopped at the local deli for a couple of sandwiches and as we were enjoying our first meal of freedom who do you think decides to get a sandwich at the same exact deli at the same exact time as us? MR LEMON! Oh the injustice of it all! Needless to say, we were back in school and in English class that day. Our plans to become juvenile delinquents was thwarted! I continued on the road to rightdom and Jackie took a U-turn and headed straight for the life of a school ditcher and boyfriend stealer. She ended up stealing my boyfriend because she would what I wouldn't and who knows where she is today. Probably in Hollywood.

Anyway, this was a big deal for Emma to not go to school. She loves school, but I thought it would be more fun to have a family day. When you are a homeschool family and you work hard all week to get a little reward on Friday, there is nothing worse than having to bend to the "man" and having to keep the rigid schedule of preschool. Sheesh.

On Monday Emma was all in a worry as to what to tell her teacher about her not being at school on Friday. I was all "Don't sweat it chick, preschool is so not worth this cramp in our style." and she was all "I AM GOING TO JAIL!"

Finally I convinced her to tell her teacher the truth... that we were at the local nursing home visiting sick elderly people for charity.

I don't know what it is about this kid but she refuses to lie.

In the car on the way to school Emma was nervously planning out exactly what she was going to say. She was going to tell her teacher that her mother, the same one that smashed her finger to bits the other day, insisted that she skip school and go to the movies. She was going to throw in that she didn't really enjoy the movie that much so it was so not worth missing painting and singing at school. She wanted her teacher to know that she would never again listen to her mother when she tried to get her to do bad things and that she would promise to lead a life that was exemplary to say the least.

I was in the drivers seat gagging.

As we pulled up to school we realized that it was a holiday-Veteran's Day-and there was NO SCHOOL!!!

Emma was so relieved that she didn't have to explain her delinquency to her teacher and I just looked in the rear view mirror and said, "Don't thank me sister, thank a Vet!"

God Bless America!



To Kasia over at the ClamRampant who just got engaged to her Canuck!

Way to go Kasia... don't pay attention to anything I have said on this blog about marriage and motherhood. It is fabulous I promise!

Everyone loves a wedding~



Your Inner European is IRISH

Sprited and boisterous!You drink everyone under the table.

The Art Of Carb-Free Pooping...

I've started a new diet. It is similar to the South Beach, only I like to call it the South "Bitch." It is like the South Beach in that I use the same book as the South Beach and I have cut out all carbs, anything fun, things colored red, sugar, and of course my sanity. I like to call it the South Bitch because that is exactly what I AM while on this diet from hell... a Bitch, and I keep the word "South" in it not to offend my friends to the South, but to refer to South Chicago where I grew up near and so my "South Bitch" does not have any "Y'all's" involved, but some "You better get yo punk ass out my face biatch!" type of Bitch in it.

I have done this South Bitch diet many times before (OK, only once before) and it really works, if you can tolerate the mood swings and the nightmares about Canadian bacon that is.

The last time I did this diet was after I had Emma. I lost 18lbs. and thought I was Wonder Woman. I even bought the outfit to wear around the house while I vacuumed. I had the golden truth rope and everything.

There is one downfall to this diet that I had forgotten.

Pooping with no carbs in your body whatsoever makes for liquid fire.

It is like my intestines are crying out for a slice of Wonder Bread, Oatmeal, a Ritz Cracker... anything to get a little solidness to the situation.

Another drawback is the frequency of this liquid fire. I eat, I poop, I eat, I poop, I eat, I poop... and so on. There is no reprieve. I eat, and then I poop... liquid fire.

This schedule puts a serious cramp in my day let me tell you. I cannot eat anything 20 minutes prior to going anywhere or I will have to either a) find a gross employee bathroom to crap like a dragon, or b) poop my pants. Those are my options.

This weekend was very tricky for me. Aaron had a baseball tournament south of us and so I could not eat before we set off for the hour drive, I could not eat while at the baseball games for the entire day, and I could not eat until we were on our way home. By that time I was starving and so I waited until we were about 20 minutes from home and ran through the Wendy's drive-thru. I was starving so I decided to forget about the South Bitch and ordered french fries.

I quickly learned that if you have not put any carbs in your body for over a week and then, all of a sudden, with no warning, you decide to send down some greasy fried carbs... your body will have to get rid of it within 5 minutes.

It was one of those situations where I knew if a police man tried to pull me over for speeding he would have to chase me all the way to my house and I would end up crapping my pants on the evening news while he handcuffed me and read me my rights.

And you thought Supermodels smelled like perfume and money... they smell like poop I tell you! POOP!

It is so exhausting being Gaw-geos.


The Emergency Room Is Our Home Away From Home...

As is tradition when my husband is out of town... we had to go to the emergency room. It usually snows when he is out of town and I have to do all of the shovelling as well. That guy must have a mole in heaven that lets him in on all of the disasters and catastrophes that are about to take place in our home and he makes sure he is on another continent when it happens. That way I can't really blame him right?

Anyway, yesterday was the day I had to run to the emergency room with my children.

We were having a homeschool haircut day. This means that a really nice lady comes into my home and cuts all of the homeschool heads of hair within a 20 mile radius. There are people coming in and out of the house for 3 solid hours. What used to be a clean house with toys put away and floors clean quickly turns into a house that looks like Santa Clause threw up in it. There are toys everywhere and little people running rampant.

At one point I was on the phone with a friend giving her directions to my house. I had the phone in one hand and the baby in the other. Emma came up behind me and decided to sit down at my feet. I did not see her there. When I turned to walk away I tripped over her.

It was as if my feet were bound with leather straps and I hit my knees first. One knee hitting the hardwood floors and the other knee smashing one of Emma's fingers to bits. If you want to know what the inside of a finger looks like, just ask me. To date I have seen the insides of Aaron's fingers and now Emma's. Nice.

After my knees hit the floor, the rest of my body was on a path for destruction. I dropped the phone which shattered and then my elbow collided with the floor, and then, yes Dear God, Mary Claire's head hit the floor.

It was awful. I instantly scrambled to pick her up and she was crying. Emma was crying as well-or actually, it was really a bloody scream that Emma was doing.

I quickly walked away from all noise and held my baby and prayed instant prayers of pleading and begging.

I kicked everyone out of my home and loaded my van up with my kids. We were off to the ER. When I walked into the garage I discovered that our dog (who was locked away in the garage because there are kids in this world who are afraid of little 10 lb. dogs who will lick all of the snot off of their noses and eat the snack out of their hands) decided to rip up the kitchen trash bag that I threw in the garage just seconds before the first haircut rang our doorbell. There was a mess in the garage but I had no time to clean it up. I would have to deal with the dog later. I let her into the house and started tearing down the street toward the hospital.

By the time we got there Emma had calmed down and by the time we were finally led into a room Mary Claire was cooing and Emma was doing cartwheels down the hall, so as most of my ER visits go, I looked like a crazy woman who had children who were perfectly fine. I am sure the nurses were told to put me on psychiatric observation because my children seemed completely normal. Not a thing wrong.

We had x-rays done on both kids-one of Emma's finger (which is just smashed but not broken) and one of Mary Claire's head (which gave me a clue as to when those little teeth of hers are about to pop through). Both were fine. Nothing broken, nothing fractured, nothing cracked, and nothing life altering.

We returned home to find that the dog had pooped twice in the house because of all of the trash she had eaten.

Today Emma had the pleasure of telling everyone that would listen that her mommy smashed her finger.

I need to call and make sure they spell my name correctly on the "Mother of the Year Award" that I am sure to get from this. I mean seriously.


6 Months Today...

A Baby is God's opinion that life should go on...
~Carl Sandburg

I Didn't Know We Were On Strike...

I am not going to do a post today because apparently there is a writers strike going on. I wish someone would have told me.

I have figured out my list of demands:

  1. Oprah needs to call me. I have mentioned her name several times on this blog and she has yet to compensate me.
  2. Britney Spears owes me money too... but that was for a dance I did on MTV with her.
  3. Bill Gates owes me a few posts due to Microsoft errors that have caused perfectly good and brilliant moments of clarity to be lost forever.

That is all... I will see you rot in hell before I bow down to the demands of the blog world.

Oh who am I kidding... I will be back tomorrow. I have too much to do today (laundry, dishes, dusting, toilet scrubbing.)

You know what, scratch everything I said. I just want someone to teach my children how to put their shoes in the closet instead of in front of the door so that I trip and fall each and every mother loving time I walk in this house. I will write forever if you can give me that.

See you at the negotiations table my friend.


Thanks, But No Thanks... Really.

Something happened last night that has never happened in my 17 years of being with my husband...

Someone hit on my husband when I was sitting smack dab next to him!

I am not blind or stupid, I am aware of the fact that my husband is freakin' hot, but I did not know how to react to the type of attention he was getting.

I have to tell you that I have had other women flirt and chat with my husband whilst I am around. They get no where with him and they usually end up with my foot up their ass...

But this time it was different. This time it was our WAITER!

We sit down at a table at one of our favorite eating establishments and are greeted by the waiter. "Hi, my name is Dave, I'll be your server tonight." I looked up and realized that we have had Dave wait on us before, so I mention this. "Oh, hello. We have had you for our waiter before." To which he replies, "I know... I recognize him." And he looked at my husband with a sort of Ooohh La La feel about it. He then proceeded to sit down across from us (because we were sitting next to each other, not because we were being romantic, but because we were at a Sport's Bar and the Oklahoma game was only on the TV in front of us. It we had sat across from each other one of us would not be able to see the game.) Anyway, Dave sits down across from us, well, more across from my husband than from me, and he puts his elbows on the table and rests his chin in his two hands gazing at my husband.

My eyes must have been as big as saucers and my husband suddenly became very uncomfortable.

He offered to tell us the specials, but I was afraid of the specials so I cut him off and sent him on his way.

I think my husband did the best he could to make it clear that he was not interested. He guzzled beer, cursed, burped 7 times, farted 3 times and yelled "HERE'S TO HONOR!" and smacked me on the rear and called me "woman" as we were leaving.

After that display of manliness I can see why poor Dave was so turned on by him. He is pretty irresistible.


Don't Tell Anyone You Are My Mother...

Emma goes to preschool three afternoons a week. This is a very good thing for her as she can run and play and hold other little girl's hands and do something on her own without being in the shadows of her older brother and sister.

This is also a very good thing for me because I get to miss her a little bit. It is hard to miss a little person when they are with you 24/7 and they ask you things like "Mommy, why is your butt so big?" or "Mommy can I have a snack/drink/toy/pot of gold?"

I truly do miss her while she is gone and I am very excited to see her when I pick her up. At her preschool they do not want all of the moms traipsing in and out of the building asking question, looking at art work, or even making suggestions like "My Timmy is ready for multiplication. Do you think you could introduce multiplication to the preschoolers... somewhere between wiping their own butts and blowing their noses on a tissue and not on their arm?" Instead, all of the moms get to stay in their minivans and line up waiting for their child to come out to the car with a teacher and off you drive, never having to compete with the other preschool moms for the best parent award in the hallway.

Each day when I pick Emma up I am very animated with my greeting. I happily sing "HI EMMA! DID YOU HAVE FUN? I MISSED YOU! I AM SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!"

I am a good parent and I want the teacher putting Emma in my car to recognize this. I imagine her walking away from my car thinking "Goodness that June Cleaver is such a good mom-look at how thrilled she is to see her precious child. She is a shining example for moms everywhere."

Well... the jig is up. Emma called me out on my "phony" greetings.

She told me I needed to stop being so happy to see her. Basically she said I needed to take a chill-pill. Then she made me practice my greeting to her so that it was to her satisfaction. Now I am only allowed to say "hey Em, how ya doin'" Just like that.

It was a sad sad day let me tell you. It was the day that I knew might one day come, but I didn't think it would come so soon. It was the day that I realized I am an embarrassment to my child.

I remember when I was a kid my mom was gong to chaperon a school field trip. I was horrified! The night before I made my mother go through her entire closet in order to pick out an outfit that would not embarrass me. You have to understand that for most of my childhood my mother wore two different pair of pants, one was a purple polyester pair with diamonds all over them and the other was a green polyester pair with brown stripes. My mom suffered from the same disorder that I suffer from... the one where your children suck your checkbook dry of all funds and therefore you have to walk around looking like an idiot in 14 year old jeans and a sweatshirt that you wore in college.

I would like to publicly apologize to my mother right now. I am sorry. Sorry for being a brat and thinking you weren't cool. Oh, and I am also sorry that I told you that you looked like a nerd the last time I saw you in those brown pants that you wear that are too short although I think you may think they are supposed to fit that way. They are not. Sorry for making fun of your hair too for those few years where you thought you would grow it out a bit... it didn't look good and I was only trying to help. I am really sorry for making fun of your eyebrows as well. They do need to be shaped... and not with a razor like you like to do it but with some hot wax and tweezers. Sorry...

Lord help me... my children are exactly like me. The only consolation I have is knowing one day Emma's child will look at her and say "Mother, please drop me off at the corner... and do you really think that blue eyeshadow looks good on you?"


Poo Happens, And It Happened All Over Me Today...

When I was a kid, my mom used cloth diapers on us all. I was seven when my little sister was born so I vividly remember my mom rinsing out poopie diapers in the toilet. She used to say that she was going to get nice long fingernails because of all dirty diapers fertilizing her hands.

My nails should be in the Guinness Book of World Records by now.
Today I had a plan, and as most moms know, when you have a plan... nothing is going to work out. I had told my older two that when little Emma was at preschool today I was going to take them to the MALL and buy new SHOES! This is very exciting to Hope, and to Aaron, this is code for "We are going to the MALL and buy PRETZELS!"

We spent the entire morning preparing for our trip to the mall. School was completed, the house was cleaned (OK, so the cleaning lady was cleaning the house... so what) children were bathed, the checkbook was balanced and we were ready!

As we were driving to the mall I started to smell something. I did a fart check (WHO FARTED?) to which no one claimed responsibility, so I knew it was the baby.

We pulled into the mall parking lot and I pulled Mary Claire out of her car seat to change her real fast before heading into the building where they sell new shoes and soft pretzels and discovered that she had a blow out.

This was not typical blow out where there is a little poo on her pants, no, this was an ginormous blow out. There was poo up her back, up her belly, down her legs, on her shirt, her pants, her jacket and her car seat. Oddly enough, there was more poo on the outside of her diaper than there was inside of it!

I searched the baby bag for more clothes and all I had was a tank top of Emma's, a summer dress for Mary Claire, a tampon and Kleenex.

What kind of mother am I???

I briefly considered stripping her naked and putting the dirty diaper back on her considering the diaper was about the closest thing to clean I had, but I just could not talk myself into putting a poopie diaper BACK ON my child, even though my options were scarce. I decided to strip her naked and wrap her in the towel I use to sit on. Why do I sit on a towel you ask? Because we have leather seats and I just don't like hot seats in the summer and cold seats in the winter... and because I have given birth 4 times and I may on occasion tinkle a little when I cough, sneeze, or laugh.

So, my day of money spending was brought to a screeching halt and I ended up rinsing poo out of clothes, off of car seats and out of a baby's hair. I had to give her a poopie bath in my newly cleaned tub and I had to change my own clothes because you know as well as I do that I was not getting out of this poopie situation without getting poo all over me as well!

My life is so glamorous that sometimes I just have to pinch myself!


Only The Strong Will Survive...

My kids weighed their Halloween bags this morning. They each received about 5 lbs. in candy.

If I were to eat all 5 lbs. of that candy I would somehow fall into a deep deep coma and gain 25 lbs.

If my children eat all 5 lbs. of that candy (and believe me, they will) they will be so hyper that they'll run around and bounce up and down and sing silly songs constantly and will ultimately end up losing 3 lbs.

Yet another blow to my dieting psyche.



Aaron (doing his spelling): "Mom, what is a four-letter word that begins with Sh?"

Me: "Shit"

Aaron: "Can I really write that down?"

Missing: One Frumpy Dumpy Mom

This morning I woke up earlier than usual. I was able to not only shower, but I dried my hair... with an actual hair dryer. I was able to pick out an outfit to wear... and not the usual jeans and sweatshirt. I was able to put make up on... more than just a wave or seven of mascara. I was able to curl my hair... which took so long that now I know why I stopped and I was even able to brush my teeth before lunch!

My son walked down and saw me in the kitchen making omelets and looking all supermodel-ish and he said to me...

"Who are you pretending to be for Halloween mom?"

Your worst nightmare kid... your worst nightmare~!


Grocery List: Candy, Beer, Candy, and more Beer.

Halloween for my son is so much different than Halloween for my daughters.

The girls always want to be something sweet and fun like a cowgirl, a princess, a ballerina, or an exotic dancer from De Ja' Vu.

My son always wants to be something with blood and guts dripping off of him.

This year Emma is going as a cowgirl/Cinderella. She could not decide which she wanted to be more so we just morphed the two costumes together. Now she looks like the cowboy from the Village People. Hope was going to be a 1920's Flapper Girl, but decided to be a Bears Fan instead. She even went to the orthodontist and had the colors on her braces changed to blue and orange for this costume.

Aaron is going to be an executioner. He has the mask, the black robe (which incidentally was his Priest robe for the All Saint's Day party this past Sunday... talk about an oxymoron!) and he has a big plastic ax to carry around. He always needs an accessory.

I am going to be a drunken housewife. I love Halloween!


Who Pee'd In Your Cheerios? Oh Wait... That Was Me.

My husband somehow ended up in a very bad mood Friday night. This mood may or may not have come about because of something that I may or may not have said/done. I would tell you what I did or did not do but this post is not about me... it is about my foul mooded husband.

Anyway, this bad mood followed my husband around all weekend long, so in turn, everyone in the house had to bow down to him and treat him like a King (a very unfair and unpopular King) in order to survive this bad mood of his.

When I am in a bad mood, no one cares. The kids don't go out of their way to make my mood happier and my husband usually just says "What in the world is wrong with you!" As if me being in a bad mood is somehow ruining his moment and therefore I am very selfish. How dare I.

By Saturday afternoon I let my husband know that I thought he had let this bad mood of his linger long enough and it was time for him to get over it and move on. I even insisted that he give me a kiss. My kisses usually will pop my husband out of his bad mood and put him into a horny one... which is not necessarily what I want, but having a horny husband is much better than having a bad mood husband, unless of course his horniness is rejected and then I run the risk of having a husband in a worse mood than what I started with. Men are such complicated creatures.

When my kisses did not work I knew I was in for a long weekend. A weekend of chores, cooking, watching Army movies, helping hold the hammer or screwdriver and eventually black lace. *Big Sigh*

The kids knew that this foul mood meant that they were in for a weekend full of "Clean your room!" "Rake the leaves!" "Why are you watching TV?" "Who's plate is this on the counter?" and the such...

At one point I walked into the family room and found both Aaron and Hope watching TV. I warned them that their father was on his way into the house and if he saw them sitting around and not doing something "constructive" that they would be in for "it." As the words were still lingering in the air, the door started to open. Aaron and Hope made a mad dash for the kitchen only to collide into each other and fall to the floor. Hope jumped up and went to help Aaron but he yelled "Save yourself! Just GO!" My husband walked into the family room and looked at Aaron and said, "Why are you lounging on the floor? Go chop wood until I tell you to stop!"

Aaron looked to me to help get him out of the situation but all I could think of was the time when I was a kid and we were going on vacation. My dad was always in a bad mood when we were going on vacation. I am not sure if it was the packing of the car or the constant license plate game that set him off, but he was always cranky. On this one vacation, we kids started to complain in the back seat. Things like "she is looking at me!" and "Why do I have to sit on the hump?" were heard. When my dad stopped for gas and got out of the car my mother turned around and said "Listen up! I am doing the best I can to make HIM happy, you, I don't care if you are happy or not!"

Having a husband in a bad mood is much like having a black bear living in your house. You can never tell if they are going to be calm and just sniff your campground, or if they are going to slash open your tent and rip your head off. The only difference between my husband and a black bear is that to get the bear under control you have to tranquilize it and helicopter it 100 miles away, with my husband, you don't need to put him in a helicopter.

Thank God for tranquilizer guns.


Return Of The Punctuation Mark...

Ask any mother out there and she will tell you that one of the main reasons for breastfeeding is completely selfish. Sure it is healthy and stuff for the kid, but for the mother, it keeps a certain punctuation mark at a distance.

I have been happily nursing Mary Claire for that reason. Oh relax... I have been nursing her for the other reasons as well, like that it helps me get back in shape.

My sister will nurse her kids and her punctuation mark stays away indefinitely. If she nurses until the kid is 18 and going off to college, well she would not have a punctuation mark until she dropped that kid off at school and they started their first class.

Me on the other hand, I have been jipped! Robbed! Thwarted! Here I sit a measly 5 months after giving birth to Mary Claire and I am back to correcting grammatical errors!

I have to wonder if it is because of my recent interest in jogging and my recent suppression of carbs in my diet that has caused this unnatural phenomenon to happen to me, a nursing mother.

Back when I was lazy and eating everything in sight, I was punctuation free... now that I am getting my act together, WHAM!

I should look at the bright side, at least I can blame my cursing on PMS again...


Whoever Said "Clothes Make The Man." Did Not Know My Mother...

I have been attempting to do a dreaded chore for about 2 weeks now. I have been sorting through summer clothes and putting them in the Goodwill pile, the garage sale pile and the save-for-hand-me-downs pile. I have also been getting out the winter hand-me-down clothes and sorting them again... and most of them end up in the Goodwill pile as well.

This takes me so long because I have so many stinking kids who live in this house! Seriously, ever since #4 came along and homeschooling started back up I have only been able to accomplish two chores a day. Dishes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and laundry. The rest of the house is in complete chaos. Now, you may be saying to yourself "But you have time to Blog you lazy woman!" This is true-I do have time to blog, I also have time to drink a beer or two and sing Broadway musical hits, but I don't criticize your daily schedules do I?

My mother never did the clothes sorting thing when I was a kid. She was not very good at laundry either. This may explain the fact that I wore shorts and a Holly Hobby halter top to school one day... in January. One thing my mom was very good at was child labor. She put us to work I tell you, and not the way I put my kids to work by asking them to vacuum or wipe down the bathroom sink with a Lysol wipe, no, my mother believed in severe child labor.

I would wake to a note on the table. Ahhh, the dreaded note! It was a to-do list. The typical list had things like "scrub the toilets," "rake the carpet" (we had shag), "brown the pork chops" "peel the potatoes" "paint the garage" "change the oil in the station wagon."

Every once in a while a representative from the Department of Labor would call our home and my mother would instantly pretend like she was from the Old Country and could not speak English and hang up. She is wanted in 4 states.

The problem with this "clothes sorting" chore that I have is that it requires the help of my children. I need them to try on winter clothes in order to see if they fit or not. Asking my son to try on clothes is like asking him to paint himself pink and to walk through the neighborhood. It takes sooo long because he has to go to the bathroom and lock the door to try things on. While in the bathroom he decided to go to the bathroom, check out his nose hairs, pick lint from between his toes and see how many good arm pit farts he can belt out. He has focus issues.

Asking my oldest daughter to try on clothes is like asking a supermodel to try on clothes. She has to pick out a complete outfit before she will put it on-one that matches and goes with her hair. She has to twirl 10 times in the mirror and try on a pair of shoes with each outfit to see if it all "comes together." she has vanity issues.

Asking the 4 year old to try on clothes is like asking a monkey to try on clothes. It takes 20 minutes just to coral her and then another 20 to convince her to just put on the sweatpants so Mommy can see if they fit,and no, she does not have to wear them today, and yes, they are pretty and any princess in the world would kill for a pair of sweatpants like these! She has princess issues.

I am starting to think that my mother had the right idea. Just leave all of the clothes from winter, summer, spring and fall in the drawers. It worked for me when I was a kid. So what if I had to wear my bathing suit top for a bra on more than one occasion... I turned out OK.


Things My Kids Say...

When I was at Orin Scrivello's office yesterday, I was reading a magazine that had a brilliant idea in it! I do not recall the magazine, as I think it is out of print now considering the people were wearing neon sweatshirts that said "Relax" on them and had their stretch pants stuffed in their socks. It was pretty old...

Anyway, in this magazine it was giving ideas for journals. One was a travel journal (borrrrrring! I don't travel so I don't know what I would journal about. I used to be a world traveler, but now I just go to the grocery store and back.) Another was a design journal that had little swatches of fabric sticking out and little sketches of dresses, furniture and shoes. (This one would not work for me either as my designs consist of Old Navy, Target and Payless.)

But one journal idea was pretty cool. It is a quote journal. When you hear or read a quote that strikes you as mind-blowing, you head on over to your handy dandy notebook and jot down the moment of brilliance.

I have decided to put a spin on this idea and instead of journaling in a notebook with actual paper and a pen (or God-forbid a pencil!) I am going to START ANOTHER BLOG! (I will keep you posted on the kick-off party)

My first quote is from my son...

"How long do you think a person would survive on just a bottle of mustard?"

We are talking earth-shattering quotes here people!


My Endodontist Is In Violation Of The Geneva Convention...

Yesterday I had to go back and finish the second half of my root canal. Yesterday I also came to a grave realization... my Endodontist is a sadist.

As soon as I get in the chair she numbs me up. I had been dreading this all day because she seems to enjoy her job a little too much and one of the shots has to go directly in the roof of my mouth-which if you have never experienced such pain, just lay your hand down casually on the kitchen table and then take your handy dandy nail gun and drive a nail into each finger. That is about what it feels like. Nice.

My friend Lori asked me why I did not request to laughing gas. I had thought of this in the past. When I was a kid I used to get the laughing gas, but as an adult I was never offered such a tantalizing drug. Believe me, if it were offered I would be the first to jump on it, and the 20 minutes in la-la land would be like a vacation for me.

Anyway, I was left to sit in the office by myself until my mouth was good and numb. I only had a August, 1983 issue of National Geographic to keep me occupied. After about 20 minutes I started to wonder if she had forgotten me. My Endodontist is like a fart in the wind, she breezes in and out and spends most of her time in her back office-with the door closed.

As I sat there I started to imagine just what she was doing in that back office. I figured she was A) reading blogs on-line, B) knitting a tooth shaped pillow, or C) rubbing her little hands together and cackling with her sinister laughter as she waited just long enough for my Novocain to wear off so that I would feel every inch of pain that she was about to inflict upon me.

At one point her assistant came in and whispered to me "Are you still numb?" Now, this made my adrenaline shoot through the roof, which in turn freaked me out even more because I could not calm my heartbeat down and I knew the harder my heart was pumping the faster the blood was traveling through my body and distributing the Novocain to other parts of my body than to the tooth where it belonged. I was in a real-life horror flick! I was about to be Drew Barrymore in Scream and be the first to be killed in 5 minutes! Oh the HORROR!

To make matters worse, the woman in the torture chamber next to me was a talker. When my Endodonst finally emerged from her think tank, she went to the woman next to me and I sat and listed to her go from one subject to the next. I heard about her husband who had cancer, a blister on his right foot and a mysterious rash on his lower back. She then talked about her two dogs who are rescue dogs and she just spent $2500 on one of them to get a leg operation because it had a tumor on his little leg. Then she talked about her daughter who was going through a "nasty" divorce from a man who she is glad to be rid of because the dog with the tumor used to be theirs and he did not want to operate, he wanted to just put the poor thing to sleep for $150! Can you believe the cruelty? And then she talked about her neighbor who was going to be checking in on her husband while she was at the dentist and she just knew her neighbor would eat all of the coffee cake she left sitting on the table for her husband.


I don't have to tell you, but I was no longer numb.... or not as numb as I would have liked to have been. I prefer to not feel a drill going into my head at rapid speeds-that is just me though.

FINALLY it was my turn. I was reclined to look like a corpse in a coffin and she went to work. I felt pain-I felt a lot of pain! She explained to me that she could give me another shot to numb me, or I could bully my way through this house of blood and horror and get the heck out of there ASAP!

I chose door number 2 because I did not want to get another shot in the head and wait another 45 minutes for it to wear off so that my Endodontist could satisfy her Quentin Terintino rituals. I am no masochist!

Would it surprise you to know that my Endodontist's name is Bates... Norma Bates? Or maybe you would believe she is Orin Scrivello's daughter?


Deep Thoughts With June Cleaver...




I Shop At Tramps-R-Us...

I hate everything in my closet.

I have decided to get rid of all things that I hate in my closet... so now I will have to go to Church in a bathing suit.

Since I had Mary Claire 5 months ago, I have not been able to get back to the bulk of my wardrobe. I have gone to places like Target and Kohl's to buy inexpensive clothes to get me through these past months and I can't stand any of it anymore!

I have also come to the realization that before I had Mary Claire I was nice and skinny and I apparently dressed like a tramp because anything I try to put on from my "before Mary" days makes me look like I need to take my place at the corner of 5th and Broad and start saying things like "Do you need a date tonight handsome?"

I just lugged a big box up to my bedroom and I am just going to start pitching crap. That green tank top with the gold sequence-gone, those white Capri pants that require the use of no underwear-out the door, that black top with silver sparkles and no hope of covering the twins-rejected.

When I am done I am going to take all of this to Goodwill, because somewhere out there is a mom in denial who believes she needs a top that says "Blonds Have More Fun" and a pair of jeans that show her butt crack every time she bends over.


I Am Asking For A Friend... Not Me.

Uhmm, just curious...

A friend of mine wants to know,

Does running cause hemorrhoids?

She is just curious-not because she has hemorrhoids... but just in case she may happen to get them after she has just recently started jogging.

She would really like to know.

Honesty In Blogshere...

I have been reading a lot lately about honesty issues in blogspere. It appears that some people are just not telling the truth about who they are or what they do. They are even going as far as to lie in order to make themselves look better.

After some deep thoughts, I have decided to be honest with you all once and for all...

That picture on my blog is not me. It is some image I found on the Internet when I did a search for "beautiful blond women."

I am really a brunette.

All of that complaining I do about my chubby butt...

I am really a size 2.

All of the crying I do about running and exercise...

I am actually an avid jogger and even will spend hours pounding the pavement with my new running shoes that I purchase every 100 miles.

I don't have 4 kids...

I have 4 cats.

I am not married to a military man....

I am married to an actor that has played a military man in an upcoming movie.

I don't drink alcohol...

I will only drink green tea.

Now I ask you... didn't you like me better when you thought I was chubby, funny, Republican, an alcoholic and blond?

I thought so. Honesty isn't all that it is cracked up to be.


My Friends Should All Be In Prison...

I was thinking the other day... all of my friends have committed crimes against me! I can't believe I even keep these people around!

A few years ago, my friend Janet broke into my house while I was on vacation and slathered Vaseline all over my toilet seats. Yes, Janet is a college graduate and a mother of 4-she is extremely immature (a trait I look for in friends). When we arrived home after a long drive, my son had to use the toilet BAD... we rushed into the house and I plopped him on the toilet only to have him slide right into the frigid water in the bowl beneath his tush. I shouldn't have to tell you that this set our potty training back months, if not years.

Then there was the time that my friend Connie broke into my house and gathered up all of my bras and panties and stuffed them in my freezer. It was a good thing she did this on a Friday because Saturdays are "underwear optional" around the Cleaver household.

I also remember the time that my friend Lisa (with accomplice Janet) left a party that I was at and broke into my house and short-sheeted my bed. This did not go over as well as they had hoped because my husband and I were a little tipsy when we arrived home and did not even notice that the sheets only came half way up the mattress... no, we just scooted our little rumps down the mattress and had dreams about the Oompa Loompas.

My friend Sherry broke my brand new Christmas tree one year. She was dancing and having a cocktail (or 10) and somehow her snap-jump-twirl turned into a snap-fall-jump-scream. She fell directly into my Christmas tree and now I have to always make sure I put that darn tree in a corner so you cannot see the bent and broken branches that broke her fall. It was actually rather funny... have you ever seen the movie "Elf" when Will Farrell jumps up onto the Christmas tree to put the star on it and it falls over... that was exactly what it looked like with Sherry.

My couch cushions all have to be upside down on the couch because a friend (I think it was Sherry again) spilled an alcoholic beverage all over them. I have tried to clean it, but you just can't get 100 proof alcohol out of couch cushions. Heloise would even be stumped!

I spent one New Year's Day trying to get little bits of color stains out of my brand new hardwood kitchen floors. The party the night before had turned into a "fraternity" type of party complete with island diving (if you don't know what this is, well we could never be friends), spilled alcohol, music and confetti. The confetti landed in the spilled alcohol on the new floors and left little stains. Thank God for Goof-Off.

Our friend Mike (of the infamous LoriandMike) broke into our house while we were on vacation another time and put a life-sized cardboard cutout of Homer Simpson at the door when we opened it up. Again, there had been a long drive before we reached our home and my husband does not believe in stopping for potty breaks until HE has to go to the bathroom and that man is like a CAMEL! So I made a break for the house before the car had even come to a stop only to be greeted by a enormous Homer Simpson. I pee'd myself.

But the worst offense was the time that Lori and another friend of ours (who sadly is no longer our friend because she thought we were childish-whatever) semi-broke into my house and shrink-wrapped our mattress. Now, let me tell you, this was no armature job, this was the work or true criminals. They did not use your regular old kitchen saran wrap, no they used industrial strength saran wrap that only moving companies and gangsters use. The stuff was thick and they used the entire 1000 ft. roll! Carl had been out of town and was more than anxious to get home. I have never seen a person move as fast as he did to get all of that shrink wrap off. The next day Lori was disappointed we hadn't gone downstairs to fetch the 5 gallon jug of olive oil she had given me for my birthday. I mentioned this to Carl and his response was "You would have thought she would have left instructions with the shrink wrap!"

I don't know what it is about me that makes my friends want to treat me this way... I have never done anything at all to provoke such behavior!


It's Not Like I Am Asking To Get Pregnant Again...

My sister called yesterday. It seems that her mother-in-law, also a close and trusted friend of my husband and me, has been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ouch!

They have a 10 month old German Sheppard named "Guinness" that now needs a new home-one that comes complete with little people to keep her occupied and a new jogger in the house to keep her exercised.

I instantly said "YES YES YES!!!"

I know we already have a dog who has staked her claim on this family, but I am sure she will be willing to share us... especially the little ones who pull her hair, dribble spit all over her and occasionally dress her up in doll clothes.

The only hurdle is my husband.

Now, usually I would go ahead and get this pooch while Carl is out of town or something... but I have turned over a new leaf and have decided to give him a second chance at saying yes (when I first mentioned it to him he said no, well actually, he said "Are you out of your mind?") He is just no fun.

I decided to hatch Plan B (as Plan A was simply telling him about the dog in hopes that he would agree and we would live happily ever after... but that one fell flat.) Plan B involves the children, pouting, whining, crying, begging and nagging... my kids are professionals.

If that does not work, I will hatch Plan C. Plan C involves nakedness and the lights on.

I am pulling out all of my resources here people!


I May Have Suffered A Slight Heart Attack...

Before I tell you the main story of this post, I need to fill you in on two little stories that go along with the big story.

Keep up, all will be revealed.

The first story: When Carl and I were first dating, he decided to teach me how to drive his manual car. I had only had experience with automatic vehicles... baby blue 12 passenger van type of vehicles to be exact. After a few twists and turns on the 20 mph roads, he thought I was ready for the big leagues and directed me right on to an on-ramp. Before I knew what was happening I was driving on the highway and I started to scream, cry and stall. This story also reminds me a lot of my wedding night, but I digress... I freaked out, he yelled at me, and people were honking and gearing up to unleash their road rage upon me. Eventually I was able to get the car moving and get off of the highway. I think I may have even pee'd my pants a little that day. This is the day I started to make little mean faces at my husband when he was not looking. It is his own fault that sometimes I stick my tongue out at him and roll my eyes when he tells me something with his back toward me. I am not proud of this, but if he had not made me stall his car on the Dan Ryan and then yell at me, well I would be a much more well-balanced person.

The second story: When I was in labor with our first child I was hooked up to every machine in the hospital. I think I may have even been hooked up to the ATM, that may explain that nasty run in with a male nurse and his debit card, but again, I digress... One of the machines that I was hooked up to would track my contractions. It would tell me when I was calm and contraction free and it would tell me when I was having a semi-truck drive straight through my abdomen. Carl instantly fell in love with this machine. For the next three hours he would tell me when a contraction was about to happen. He would say "10 seconds now, 9, 8, 7, 6, you only have about 5 more seconds until a contraction, 4, 3, 2, oh, this one looks like it is going to really hurt, 1. You should be feeling a contraction right now." Eventually I ripped out his tongue and threw it across the room. The three births that I have had since that first one, Carl has not been allowed to talk during labor. He may try, but I will oh so delicately explain to him that the sound of his voice whilst I am in labor sounds like fingernails on a chalk board, and if he even wanted to be present at the birth of his children then he needed to sit quietly, making no comments... except maybe to tell me how amazing I am.

OK, now that you are caught up, I can tell you this story...

After the Mom posted a comment telling me I should start jogging because "After baby number 4, I quickly learned that a morning jog was 30 minutes ALONE in a place where the little people can't find me...the phone doesn't ring..nothing needs to be cleaned...there are no papers to grade... It's just me and the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. Bliss!" I thought that a jog sounded like Heaven wrapped in a Dairy Queen cup. I couldn't get my running shoes out of the closet and dusted off fast enough!

I made the mistake of telling my husband that I wanted to start jogging. I even went so far as to ask him if he wanted to jog with me in the morning before he goes off to work. Now, if you know me personally, you may be saying to yourself "What in the mother loving world is she thinking? Cris does not jog, Cris does not sweat, Cris does not do anything that will cause heavy breathing whatsoever... except for that one thing-you know what I am talking about, and Cris does not do anything other than sleep in the morning... she doesn't even make her own children breakfast! She makes them eat cold pizza and leftover pot roast in the morning! She is out of her mind!"

Wait... I must tell you first that my husband loves me very much. He loves me when I am fat, and he loves me when I am a supermodel. He genuinely loves me for my mind. I also have ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sell you... just send me your credit card and Mr. MasterCard will say OK! No, seriously, he loves me.

ANYWAY... I get a phone call from my husband today and he says "Put your running gear on, we are going jogging." I hang up and wonder what exactly IS running gear? I trudge upstairs and start going through my drawers. I found a sports bra with the elastic shot so I had to wear a second one over that one because I have some lovely lady humps that are full of manna from heaven-I needed to tie these puppies down. I put another tank top on for security reasons and then a t-shirt just in case. I pull on a pair of shorts and head downstairs to stretch-because that is what runners do, and starting today, I am a runner.

We start off fast... too fast for me and I am huffing and puffing and by the time we hit the corner my chest was burning and I may have dropped my bladder at the end of my neighbor's driveway.

I start walking. My husband yells at me to "KEEP RUNNING!" and so I follow behind him, making faces at the back of his head. Before I know what is happening he turns the corner out of our subdivision and is running along the busy highway-like road. Now let me tell you, there is nothing more embarrassing than running along traffic with your running shorts jammed up your butt crack and your left boob playing peek-a-boo with your tank top, not to mention the cellulite on the back of my legs jiggling and my butt bouncing up and down as if I were on a mechanical bull. It was at this moment that I started to understand my friend when she told me the story of when she was hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro with her husband and she just kept repeating in her head over and over "I hate my husband, I hate my husband." with each excruciating step up the mountain. Sure, she has the lack of oxygen to blame for her "psycho" chant... I just had years of relying on my hereditary thinness and the loss of blood flow to my head.

Eventually he turned off the "highway" from hell and slowed so that I could catch up. When we were side by side he kept talking. He talked about the bills, he took a mental tally of all of the clothes in his closet and what he was going to pack for his trip in November, he talked about Aaron's baseball team, Hope's softball techniques, Emma's coloring pages, Mary Claire's poo... he talked and talked and talked until I wanted to scream "STOP! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!"

You have to understand that I was in pain. I have not run in over 10, OK 20 years. My heart was about to burst out of my chest and my legs were about to crumble under me. I could not breath, my mouth was dry, I was coughing (I think I may have contracted asthma on this run) and my hair kept blowing in my eyes-I do not have a runners hairdo.

We ran for maybe a mile-not all at once... I am not the bionic woman people!

When we were finally home and I was standing in my cold shower I had some thoughts
#1 I would be kicked off of "The Biggest Loser" on the first day.
#2 Are you supposed to taste blood in your mouth when you run?
#3 I may have pulled something in my butt.
#4 I may very well have suffered a slight heart attack-or a stroke, yes, I may have had a stroke.

But my final thought was about my husband. Thank God I have him to help me along-to toss me onto a highway and talk to me until I want to vomit. If he can handle my complaining and cursing at him, I may be able to keep this torture up!