Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Road to Hell is Paved in Plaid...

I don't know where this will end up going but I promised myself I'd sit down and write tonight. Christmas is over and the last entry I made here was well before Halloween. I have been temporarily waylaid in my writing endeavors by my Nook and what may or may not be a worrisome obsession with historical romance novels. I also have this strange drive to own up to things I fear being judged about. So sorry, but this is another one of those Confession Posts... You know what I weighed at my heaviest and what size my pants were, if you've been following this so you might as well know - I read smutty romance novels. I've no idea what sort of stigma I've feared when I first started reading my beloved trash novels, but I assume it has to do with the S.E.X. This may end up being a dozen paragraphs aimed at convincing myself there's nothing wrong with me... Hopefully, while I wrestle with my worry for my soul, you'll be mildly entertained.
As I type, I'm looking at the home page of my Nook, and there are more bare chests on the screen than in a Chippendale's calendar. My particular vice is Highlanders. Sword wielding, Scottish rogues swathed in plaid and bent on takin' a feisty lass six ways from Sunday in the Highland heather... I know it's cheesy. I know it's essentially soft core porn. I know it ought to be embarrassing that it's been months since I've read anything with a plot line more diverse than "burly guy with huge schlong meets strong-willed woman and after much difficulty in realizing their feelings through their intense desire to rut at every turn, get married and (usually) have a baby." Part of me knows I should be mortified by my e-book library, but a larger part of me says, "Fuck it. It's not crack. I can quit anytime I want to... Ummmm...Right after I find out if Lachlan will convince Lady Catherine of her true identity before or after giving her a good tumble..."
The good old Catholic guilt left over from endless Sundays of sermons and catechism nags at me a bit and I worry that maybe I'm going to Hell for reading smutty novels in my spare time, but I'm trying to keep in perspective that the only things that have fallen by the wayside in the wake of all the kilted loins and heaving bosoms has been this blog and maaaaayyybe one or two loads of laundry. Perspective is everything - I have questionable taste in literature, at the moment but I've never thrown a bag full of puppies in a river. I'm pretty sure there's still a high likelihood of Pearly Gates in my future.

But then again... just in case my own shame over this guilty pleasure doesn't eat away my insides, Barnes and Noble are happy to finish the job by suggesting titles in my account shop based on previous purchases. So when you go to my Shop Home, it might as well boom, "Hey Dirty Girl! Since you bought all that previous filth, may we suggest The Rough Riders series?" I have standards! It seems trite to point it out but, at least I have not been led so far down a path of iniquity that I've embraced crap like this: ,

What's even stranger than the super specific title, by the way is that it's a series... Other titles include Mated to a Cajun Werewolf and A Cajun Werewolf Christmas. I'm not going to consider my dalliance in trashy novels problematic until I'm trying to figure out how to bury titles like those deep in the internal memory of my Nook...

Further enabling me is my partner in crime. A good friend and fellow Dirty Girl - my Sister in Smut. She also loves the purr of a Scottish burr and alternately scoffs at and delights in ridiculous phrases such as, "tasted deeply of her honeyed center," and "his throbbing member." We GET how cheesy it is... we just don't care. It makes for a good cackle in the hallway when we trade notes about how late we were up reading, or that after 90+ titles we still read things that shock us. Smut is LENDABLE when you have a Nook and we take turns purchasing trash with titles like Seduced By the Highlander and Loved By a Warrior. There are endless text message threads between us, usually sent between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. that look like this:

"ACK!! I just read the word, 'cock!' Whatever happened to 'turgid member' or 'throbbing manhood'??? This is a line I was not ready to cross...."
Me: "Bahahahahaha! Just read: "spilled his scalding seed..." response: "Eeeeewww.... I think I need to take a shower now." Me: "heh heh... mission accomplished."
And now that seventeenth century curses are seeping into our everyday vernacular:
"Satan's arse! What a fookin' boring staff meeting today, was it not, lass?"

And even though my partner in crime makes me feel less like a deviant dork, I still feel compelled to guard the contents of my Nook or I would be able to answer questions like "What are you reading?" without panicking and squeaking out lame shit like, "a book..." The fear of judgement also comes from my understanding that the fairytale-princess bullshit spoon-fed to little girls that I so despise is alive and kicking (or fucking, more precisely) in the books I've been unable to put down. I really am a sucker for a sappy love story. Admittedly, the soft-core porn aspect is just icing on the beefcake. Take out all the sex and these books are just a Disney movie waiting to be merchandised. So what's worse, I'm forced to ponder? Someone thinking I'm a sex-starved deviant or someone realizing that I swoon over the corny love stuff?

I have decided to give myself over to this little addiction for the time being and be grateful I'm off the Nutty Bars. It's win-win, really. I'm thinner, healthier, and hornier and The Dad gets the benefit of it all.  Thank goodness the Tornado has agreed and (LOVES) to hear me read aloud from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone the last few weeks. At bedtime when I read to the kids, I can feel clean again :-) until such time of course, as I settle onto the couch with my Nook - my Portal of Sin, and I lose myself somewhere in the 1600's between Glencoe and Inveraray to 6 feet+ of sinewy muscle wrapped in tartan, brandishing a claymore with his other hand on his sword. {If you got that joke - Welcome to the club, Dirty Girl}

It's comical and campy and perfectly decadent but I guess that's the definition of a guilty pleasure, right?
I think I'm good for now, but if you see my kids wandering the streets unattended, or you notice that I appear to have left off bathing or brushing my teeth, please confiscate my Nook.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Margarita's Always Greener...

I can't deny from time to time that I miss my pre-mom life. And yes, even as the words are formed in my head  and transferred to the screen, I remember the countless hours I spent face down, sobbing on my bed, devastated by another negative pregnancy test... But, as thoroughly as I wished for my children, there are moments on any given day when a person sitting quietly in a cafe with a book, or an FB status about someone's travels to places I can just barely afford to read about, gives me a deep pang of longing for more than 5 minutes of solitude.

At the end of the summer I drove my mother and my two children five hours up into the Maine woods. I had the first of such pangs during the drive north when a woman who looked about my age passed me in a light yellow Thunder Bird with the top down. There was no car seat in the back and I suspected that the seats were free of juice and stale Goldfish and no one had ever left a crusty layer of boogers on the door. I also imagined that she could choose what was on the radio and how loud it was playing...
I smirked to myself remembering the National Lampoon's Vacation scenes on the highway and I realized I was having a Clark Griswold moment, as I couldn't take my eyes off the woman and the Thunder Bird. I didn't want to fuck her though, I just wanted to BE her...
She got off at the Salisbury beach exit and I imagined there was a beach chair and a bag full of books in the trunk, with a bottle of wine and a hotel room key on the seat next to her. By the time I was wondering if her husband was meeting her there later or was waiting in the room with chocolate covered strawberries, I was practically up the ass of a mini van with a Baby On Board sign dangling in the rear window.
OK... so I'm not sliding out of my convertible into the arms of my husband bound for a weekend of books and sexcapades at the beach... but I'm also not driving a mini van (ACK!!) with a squalling infant in the back. I counted my blessings and my mood lightened just a tad. I would love to tell you the pangs of longing for the other life dissipated in a matter of hours but it was the beginning to 3 days in the Maine woods with my mother, my kids, no electricity and a potty-training toddler with a combined total of 12 hours on the road. On the way home, I thought, if I saw that bitch right now, I'd key the T-Bird and dump the contents of the potty chair into the backseat.

The other more recent instance of Nobody's Mommy Envy happened this weekend after 24 hours of  almost constant rain that was accompanied by a soundtrack of:

THUMP, BUMP, THWACK, SCREECH, CRY, SCREAMING mommydragonlady, sniffle, sulk. Repeat...

On days like this, the soundtrack is on constant rotation unless I give in and decide to ignore the hours of television creating that slack-jaw, zombie-fied peace and quiet that makes your sense of Mom-worth plummet. Fortunately I was able to drown out the nagging horror of nine hours of television with two cocktails and five hours of "Girl Time" with one of the most fabulous women I know, on Saturday night. Raise your glasses and toast to "putting it all out there, " poppets! Now say a silent prayer of "thanks and blessings" for The Dad who, while irritated by my lack communication through those 5 hours, knows I deserve them.

The setting of "Girl Time" was a  restaurant/bar I had frequented some 15 years earlier during the "Thou Shalt Barely Remember" phase of my life. My sense memory brought things back so clearly and almost instantly - the clink of glassware, noisy atmosphere stuffed with bodies and the delightful smell of beer and grilled food. I thought, "Oh... I have missed this." You know, leaning over to your girlfriend to drunkenly yell something like, "My underwear is so far up my ass right now!" just as the music dies a bit and the 87 people within hearing distance are now fully apprised of your wardrobe malfunction. FUN, right? OK, so not so much stuff like that, but who are we kidding? One more shot of Cuervo and the moment is gone forever except in the memories of the 87 strangers snickering all around you...

What I was momentarily missing were the pre-mommy days when wiping up the vomit was not MANDATORY, but completely at your discretion (especially if it wasn't YOUR apartment.) The days when sippy cups were for not sloshing your cheap wine all over the dorm as you staggered from floor to floor "studying." I momentarily missed the days of taking 3 hours to get ready for Saturday night, all for your bangs and make up to be completely effed up as many hours later from dancing until your feet were going to fall off...

Two minutes later, my margarita was in my hand and all frothy at the top. It tasted like 21 felt in my 35 year-old memory: sweet, tangy and devoid of responsibility to anyone other than myself. The night wore on and my girlfriend and I talked and talked and I never once looked at a clock until 11:30.

Before we left, I was in the bathroom while a group of younger women were re-applying make-up and examining their reflections for a hair that may have escaped the flat iron, or checking the appearance of their asses in their skinny jeans. I smiled to myself thinking about getting ready at my house earlier in the evening. I had almost climbed the walls by 5:30. Just before dinner there was a spill, an injury, and a meltdown over twisted underwear (not mine, though it is fair to say that by the time I got into the shower, my panties were most certainy in a bunch.) I snuck into the bathroom and got into the shower but had forgotten to lock the door. Before I even had my hair lathered up, the sliding door opened to reveal a naked Viking telling me he was going to come in too. Defeated, but still focussed on the prize of the evening - my 7:30 departure time, I stepped aside and let him in.
We spent the next 20 minutes washing up and then fillng the tub with warm water and talking about our favorite super heros. The Viking delighted in filling his cup and dumping the water on my back and hair as I sat with him in the tub, my arms wrapped around my knees which were drawn up to my chin (where they previsously didn't reach because 40 pounds of chub was in the way). I was delighted that we BOTH fit in the tub, and there would be no need for axel grease to free me from the porcelain. After that, he sat on the sink and handed me items that fascinated him from my minimal make-up arsenal, "Mom, what IS this?"  "Do you like to have this one next?"  "I is be so good at helping." 

Someday, all too soon I'm going to be longing for these days... the ones right now, with sticky finger-prints on my cell phone, thumping, wrestling, giggling boys and the weight of a small body relaxing into me as I slide into bed (at 1:30 a.m), completely happy I've come home to a house where I am Mom, Queen of Everything, Finder of Lost Crap, Fixer of Twisted Underwear and Reader of Books with Pictures and Goofy Sound Effects.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slices of a SassMaster Summer

Major Accomplishments are as follows:
The Viking is potty-trained and the Tornado can blow a bubble with gum and make fart noises with his arm in two distinct dialects. I (poorly) organized a team for the Relay for Life and raised over $1000 for the American Cancer Society. Next year, yeah Felty, I said NEXT YEAR... there will be more organization and more $$$ raised. And there will be more team members who stay the whole 24 hours... and we may re-name the team if we can think of something snappy that ends in Bitch Ass...

The list of shit I wanted to get done but put off until August 21st (the day before I returned to work) is much longer and makes me look like a lazy ass, so you'll pardon me if I don't share, I hope.

Minor accomplishments are lackluster at best, but mentionable:
I read 15 books and watched 7 seasons (150+) episodes of Grey's Anatomy... Don't judge me. Or do... and then bite me...

I survived losing my child for 10 minutes in a very crowded water park (HE survived only because there were dozens of people at Six Flags who would have called DCF and reported me for trying to drown him), I also survived 3 days and two nights in a cabin in the Maine woods (which included a total of 11 hours in the car) with my mother and my children but WITHOUT running water or electricity... a more in-depth examination of this experience is probably forth-coming, but I sense there needs to be some more distance from it in order for it to be funny...

and I worked 26 hours doing data entry for the agency that employs me to be a teacher during the school year so I could earn some "extra" money. I say "extra" all snark-astically because by the time my unemployment was adjusted and taxes were taken out, I had $25 more than I would have had that week with just my unemployment check. I essentailly drove over 100 miles between all our Head Start sites and sweated my ass off in offices sans A/C for less than $1 an hour...

There was little planning and even less money, so we just got out of bed and had a day... The first few days of the Tornado's summer he revelled in hours on the couch in his underwear watching brain-rotting amounts of SpongeBob. I smiled in rememberance of the glorious feeling of a day without aim or care stretching in front of me. Every morning I'd slide out of bed around 8 and hit the couch in my Wonder Woman Underoos, cartoons on the tube, a bowl of Cap'n Crunch in one hand and a Tab in the other... Helllllloooo summer vacation. {A.D.Detour warning... Please excuse this interuption:}
Rememer Tab??? It still tastes awesome, FYI. Every once in awhile I'll come across it and decide to risk the tumor to savor a little bit of my 80's childhood... roller skates, Tab, Smurfs, Shrinky-Dinks, Tiger Beat magazine and Martha Quinn on MTV... {sigh and a smile}

Here's what I know after 13 weeks of summer vacation:
  • Netflix streaming into my home through our computer is like a crack dealer that sets up shop outside an NA meeting... Another episode??? Well, YEEEEAAAHH... pssshtt. It's only 2 a.m. I totally have time to get straight before the kids wake up. ANOTHER episode?? Well... {running shaky hands though hair}... Oh crap... God, grant me the serenity to accept that McDreamy does not exist in real life, and the courage to put down the remote and crawl into bed. Amen.

  • There is nary a tree nor bush nor potted plant (sorry, Nana) between our house and the majority of Western New England that has not been pissed on by the Viking.

  • The "Poop Bag" is the wise and sacred tool of achieving the Deuce when potty training. Ours was a Captain America gift bag filled with all kinds of irristable and scintilating swag for the 2 1/2 year old super hero enthusiast, including tattoos, stickers, figurines, sunglasses, cups and water bottles, cars, playdough and anything else I could find that was under $5. *RULES* 1. you can only look in the Poop Bag if you're sitting on the potty trying to poop. 2. there is no PLAYING with anything in the Poop Bag until you've earned it. 3. everyone in the house/campground/restaurant/church/parking lot  must be willing to shout "WOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!" when you produce the Deuce. I could have trained him to crap in his hand and wear it on his head for all the amazing stuff I was bribing him with. AND! he wipes the toilet seat when he sprinkles, adding  "for mom can have a dry butt." Ah, chivalry...

  • The Tornado can elicite a sound from the Viking that no one else on the planet can. And it goes right up my spine and reverberates in my skull until I foam and shriek like a rabid monkey and send everyone to bed. FOREVER!!

  • You CAN eat an ice cream cone from McDonald's for breakfast, lunch and dinner and still lose 1.6 pounds  because they're only 4 Weight Watchers points.

  • This logic does NOT apply to Russell Stover sugar free chocolates. They are delicious and only 1 point each but more than two will leave you in the fetal position on the bathroom floor and likely out of toilet paper. Don't say I didn't warn you!
and finally,

  • 13 weeks is exactly the amount of time it takes to make me want to eat my own children and begin longing for the repreive of warping teaching other peoples'.
Here's to Sucktember and whatever it brings....

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chubby Girl Running

May 7, 2011

Dear YMCA patron on the third elliptical machine from the far wall, situated directly behind my lard ass today,

           First, allow me to compliment your black socks... and your incredible self-control. When I randomly decided to bust into a jog on the treadmill in front of you, you managed to stay firmly astride your machine despite the wild shock waves that set my flabby behind to shaking like a Jell-O mold riding the spin cycle. If you laughed out loud, I didn't hear you (but then again, at the time Papa Roach was screaming in my ear: "say what you want/take your shots/you're setting me free with one more kick in the teeth") Perhaps it's that kid who lives inside my head, left over from a hundred anguished gym classes that was trying to tell me I'd die from running in front of people... but I had to shut her up today, so I bit the bullet and hammered on the speed button until it was run or be flung backwards into pile at your very feet, Ms. BlackTubesSocksandNikes... and run I did. For 3 whole minutes! My knees are very angry with me and my self esteem is conflicted. (On the one hand - I did it!! On the other - ACK! what a horrific feeling back there!) But you looked none the worse for wear as you casually avoided eye contact with me when I turned to dismount the machine. It occurred to me after my 3 minute foray into lunacy that you could be really messed up back there if you'd ever experienced an earthquake... I looked carefully while I grabbed a paper towel and disinfectant spray for signs of a PTSD episode, but you seemed composed and determined to keep climbing a hundred miles to nowhere with your textbook and your, ummm socks. On my way to collect the Tornado from karate class upstairs, I reasoned that the worst part of your gym visit today was still ahead of you, as I noticed Smelly Gym Guy headed for the machine right next to you - my silent advice was breathe shallowly and power through...

SassBob Jigglepants

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mama Says... Get This Book!

For Mother's Day, here's quick post about a book you must have if you are trying to be the best mother you can be to a little boy. If I were on the ball, I'd have had this posted yesterday, so you could read it on Mother's Day, but I was a bit busy - wiping bums, faces (different cloth), tables, floors, and the inside of a 20 year-old pop up camper that we're gutting and re-furbishing. I also had to feed people and play with them and yell at them to pick up socks. I was hiding in a tent with the Viking getting ready to ambush imaginary robots and "Black Knights." I was called upon to find all of the following: a box of 1/2" screws, Velcro, Liquid Nails, the Viking's sword, the Tornado's Pokemon cards and the right channel to enable to Wii to function. I read a few pages on my Nook, recovered the seat cushions for the pop-up, removed sand from heads, ears and two diapers and I killed 314 ants today... roughly. If your other name is "mom," your day was probably similar. I tried really hard to reflect on what my life as Mom means to me, today. But whatever it actually means to me - it just IS me... and maybe that's all I need to know right now. Every attempt at reflection was shattered by a request or "Check this out!" or a spill or something crawling...
So I got nothin'. And besides. I'm not sharing anything the mamas who read this have not already lived day after painfully delightful day. So I'll leave you with this:

Mama Says: A Book of Love for Mothers and Sons
is a gorgeous book with words and a message so simple and touching that it never fails to put a little lump in my throat. Each page illustration shows a mother and son from a different world culture, and the prose is written in that culture's language, as well as English.
The last sentence of this book is "I listened to what Mama said, and now I am a man."
Gets me every time...
Happy Mother's Day, mamas.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

PSA in pictures...

Rarely am I "wordless" on Wednesday or any other day, but... as we flip Winter the bird and look ahead to our 15 minutes of New England Spring, I'll offer the following PSA. You just have to see this to really appreciate the message.

When one of THESE:

meets one of THESE

your Grampa is gonna need one of these:

The only thing that saved our asses is that the old man had been the one out in the yard with the Viking the day before the storm...

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Like walking, only faster... right?

To say that I "went running" today would be to misconstrue the facts more than slightly. It's one of those wake-up-next-to-a-stranger-with-a-thick-coating-of-tequila-on-your-tongue-and-your-pants-nowhere in-sight situations - all bets are it happened, but you can't attest to the quality of the experience... or so I've heard.

I don't know how the notion took hold, honestly... but there was little planning. The entire thought process was less than a dozen sentences this morning as I sat eating my oatmeal with fresh blueberries and gazing out the window. I saw a very trim little fitness freak jog by looking pain-free and sweatless from where my fat arse was parked... she bobbed by looking strong and fit and effortless.
I thought: "I could run..."
"Running is fast walking... how hard could it be?"
"Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to get somewhere fast? You just ran..."
"Hmmmm. Not one memory of running? Is this possible?"
"Oh well - I could just see how far I could get... um, you know... faster than walking."
"Ugh. Everything is going to jiggle..."
"I could just run on the side streets. Not on the main road. That would cut down on the amount of exposure "the jiggle" gets..."
"Grab your Nikes, Forrest Plump. It's now or never..."

15 minutes later, my brain was the only part of my body that was even slightly prepared for this experience and as you may have gathered from the above internal conversation - "prepared" is a loosely used term here. As the other parts of the body became aware (read: alarmed) by the sudden and foreign acceleration in movement, not to mention confused by the lack of vicious growling or presence of a mob of zombies within 3 feet of my rear end, they began to revolt. The burning sensation in my legs was only eclipsed by the burning in my chest. (FYI - pain trumps self-consciousness! When my calves were on fire I was no longer worried about what was jiggling.) After passing 7 houses, I could barely lift my knees up any longer and I tripped a little - thank God for the jogging stroller or my face might look a little Krueger-esque right now.

Listen up... running is NOT just walking, only faster. Walking is what you do to get to the fridge. Running is an entirely different activity. Running requires that your calves and some other body parts exert enormous energy to propel your lard ass up and forward. In rapid succession. One thing is for sure - today I would have been zombie chow. There was lots of walking during my "run." But I didn't stop just because there was jiggling or a burning, leaden feeling in my legs or because I was foaming at the mouth... And I might even try it again. You see, I grew up a quitter and this feeling of "try it again... keep going." is new and interesting. The little chubby girl inside me who worried about what the rest of the softball team was thinking when I didn't hit the ball or when I clumsily ran to first base is not the voice I hear anymore.
Please allow a moment for the following related A.D.Detour:
One of my past preschoolers who'd experienced many of life's lessons via the School of Hard Knocks at the ripe old age of 3, spent the first 6 weeks of school scowling and stomping around all morning long. When he did speak it was to refuse to do whatever we asked or suggested and most conversations with him usually ended in "Shut up, you FREAK!" There's a little bit of Linus that lingers in me to this day - whenever I'm listening to someone I think is full of shit, I can hear his 3 year-old, 2 pack-a-day voice growling those trademark words.
And that's where I'm at with the little girl inside me who says I'm too fat to do stuff. I've already tried nurturing her. And as it seems that all she responds to is a never ending supply of Nutty Bars, now all I have left to say is "Shut up, you FREAK!" I'm currently planning my next "run." And by planning, I mean to say that I'm teaching the Viking how to dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Speak of the Devil...

So, my Little Viking keeps getting bigger and bigger... and I don't mind admitting that adoring him has been a long journey.... I can't even really remember why, except to say that while he was not a difficult baby, he was the more difficult of my boys. I can just remember at times, looking at him and not feeling the rapture with which I'd cooed over the Tornado at similar stages of development. In the summer, when I'd started writing here, we started each day with a stand off about breakfast and then an 18 hour pissing match about whether or not the sippy cup would make it into the carpeted living room. He is the Mini Master because he's opinionated and strong-willed just like mom. Although not yet as diplomatic, so he's just kind of an asshole from time to time. Two years, 3 months and 27 days after his birth I can say without a doubt that I am completely enamored of this child.

He is a totally different species than the Tornado... he swings his fists like Holyfield, makes anything he can wrap his chubby fingers around into a sword, and blasts "shoots" out of the palm of his hand at imaginary ghosts, robots and "Black Knights." (and often shoots loved ones in the face - it's a gesture of endearment... I think) We recently went to my BFF's wedding and delighted with the red linens, the Viking would not go anywhere all evening unless one of the napkins was tucked into the back of his collar like a cape. If you don't know a bulldozer from a skid steer, save yourself a disgusted glare and don't talk - just listen, 'cause he'll tell you. The Viking's favorite game is "Fight?" It goes like this: "Fight, mama?" asked in the same tone of voice one might use to try to coerce a scared cat into a carrier - dripping with sweetness and the promise of some sort of treat but by the time you realize what he's asked, he's already socked you in the eye and he's dangling from your hair. Or you may just be watching TV or clicking around facebook when WHAM! you've got a welt on your temple the exact width of the homemade Captain America shield he's learned to throw like a boomerang. That game has been renamed "That funny, mama? Ha ha... That funneeee??"  He's a bit of a menace. Incidentally I told him that the other day, and his response was: "No. I. Cap'an. 'Merica!" Did I mention that he speaks in periods? It sounds like he's being raised by William Shatner and Christopher Walken. And then, just when you've been "Heeeee-ya!'d" to the point of insanity, he will do something fabulous like use his finger to fetch an imaginary "Liddle. Baby. Chick." from your nose. He'll pet it and pretend to kiss it and tell you to hold it while he goes to Stop and Shop. He's a surly, quirky little fucker with a right hook... and (finally) I really, really like him.
My mother was driving the kids out to see my brother recently and had been asked by the Tornado, "So who invented bad guys, anyway?" She began to tell him the story of God and the fallen angel, Lucifer. So she said, "Long, long ago God had a favorite angel who was the most beautiful and was the smartest of all the other angels..." (Lucifer, for those having trouble keeping up) at which point the Viking pipes up and says, "Yeah. That. Me." He hasn't been baptised yet and there's a part of me that really wants to flick a little holy water on him just to hear it sizzle...

The Viking wearing his cape at a recent wedding - The Devil's done with Prada - it's red linen this season

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some People Tell Me I should Write a Book...

When people hear me talk about life in preschool they tell me things like, "You should write a book!" or that I should do stand up comedy (yeah... like I need another job that won't pay me shit) When I began writng this blog I promised funny stories about preschool hijinx... and I haven't delivered. Here's a little bit about why:

When I was in fifth grade I was mad at my teacher and his class pet for some slight I only half remember. So because it was the beginning of the "Mean Girl" stage of development, I wrote something nasty about them on a piece of notebook paper and planned on passing it all around the classroom. I'm cringing as I tell you that I believe the word "humps" made an appearance in my mini smear campaign propaganda. For whatever reason, I never did circulate the note... but my mom found it in my pants pocket the next day. She told me never, under any circumstances should I write down something that I didn't want to be found out. I would love to tell you that I'm a fast learner and that I never again screwed myself with undeniable facts written in my own hand... but the 25+ times in high school that she looked through my backpack or my room and found notes to/from friends about parties and things I wasn't supposed to do with boyfriends I wasn't supposed to have, are testimony to the thickness of my skull. I am proud to say, however that TODAY, well... today, I get it!

I've been following some of the news stories about Natalie Munroe, a Pennsylvania English teacher who vented about students on her personal blog. If you haven't heard about this, here's a brief back story.
It obviously hits home for me as my blog deals mostly with my personal life, but touches from time to time on my perspective of life as a preschool teacher. There have been many times that I could have used this as a sounding board for gripes I have about work stuff, but have held back for several reasons - 1. my supervisor reads this blog,    2. confidentiality is important to me, as is my sense of professionalism,  and 3. I've come to realize that my friend, Jen is the only person who can really handle the uncensored answer to "How was your day?" She loves it when I use the word "retard" and well... some other folks tend to cringe.

What's happening for the Pennsylvania high school teacher is unfortunate but, let's face it - fair or not fair, in this life you risk consequence with every action you take. I have no wish to debate right or wrong about this teacher's posts. She didn't use names and she spoke some truths that I share. What interests me more is the idea that if she were a doctor or a mechanic or a librarian or a bus driver she could comment on the absurdity and stupidity of nameless people she encounters in her work day without public uproar. So, America? What puts our children above reproach in our mind's eye? Why are we horrified by a teacher's rantings about lazy, entitled and it has to be confirmed - stupid kids?? Your kids have friends for Christ sake - you've encountered some of these people too. Spend some time on your school's playground after school someday and keep your eyes and ears open. What never fails to cross my mind when I'm out there is "So many 'treasures,' so few holes to bury them in." There is some atrocious behavior happening amidst the under 18 set...

Before you say it - What if it were MY child she had in mind when writing those comments? I've thought about this and tried to put myself on that side of the arguement, and you know what I came up with?
So what??? Here's the thing: I know what my child's potential is. I know his insides and his outside and I know what he's going to do/say/think usually before he does. I know how I feel about who he is and I know what my hopes are for who he will become, because I am his MOM. I don't expect anyone else on the planet to see in him what I see. No one will ever feel the way I do about the Tornado because to date, no one else has as much invested in him and that's the way it's supposed to be. Teachers and coaches and friends and their parents will form their own opinions about my kids that will have NO IMPACT on how I feel or what I know about them. So serioulsy? In the grand scheme of things - who gives a shit if someone thinks my kid should check in with local waste management companies for employment? (to be honest my biggest gripe about the PA teacher's comments was the insinuation that driving a garbage truck was inferior work -  work is work, bitch! It's a recession...)

So while I envisioned being able to share stories here about my present day work with preschoolers, I will heed my mother's advice (please don't tell her!!) and NOT put into writing anything about specific instances with my present class. I stand by everyhting that I've written about teaching preschoolers so far in this blog. However, only my nearest and dearest will get the "Full Monty" of classroom life with the SassMaster. I realized while pondering all of this, that while I gripe and parody and poke fun in the name of blowing off steam about a highly stressful job, what readers wouldn't be privy to are the moments that temper the What the Fuck stories that my BFF gets to snort about. Because there are days when someone small says something like "You are my nicest hero..." to you and it allows you to let go of the kid who won't stop knocking down his friends' blocks (let go of him figuratively, of course because head locks, while effective are strictly forbidden.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over.... or "If any more AWESOME gets crammed into this day I just might blow up and turn into Mary fucking Poppins...

I really want to get this posted while the high is still a fresh tingle in my spine... please excuse any typos.

First an update:

Weight Watchers is not the Hell I imagined and besides a few minor derailments that astonishingly did NOT involve Nutty Bars, is much easier than I expected it to be. After the first white-knuckle night during which I went through every emotion imaginable simply by virtue of the fact that I'd disrupted my usual routine of  bored? shove high fat/sugar stuff into pie hole. avoiding some task? shove more crappy food into pie hole. sad? angry? you know what to do, Porkchop! shove something with cream filling into your pie hole...
So I actually had to feel every feeling that I had for a few days and the experience made me want to come out of my skin. I also felt the urge to throttle random citizens and loved ones for no obvious reason other than it looked as though they might be breathing within 3 feet of me.
Thankfully that phase has passed and all people in my life, big and small are present and accounted for. No lumpy rolled up carpets, or weighted river dumps. Congratulations for surviving Chubby Girl DTs, everyone. And thank you for your patience.

We are once again members of our local YMCA. Haven't been back since renewing the membership except to take the boys for a swim. However, I am encouraged that the thought no longer drives me to the cupboard in search of a spoonful of Fluff. We've been incredibly sick this winter with what I'm going to call chronic Pan-American Death Flu. I almost grabbed the kids and headed to the gym this afternoon when the thought of the childcare rooms with the Death Flu strains they are, no doubt still crawling with, turned me into Agrophobe Mommy and I opted for mounting the elliptical machine/towel dryer at my house. We just got better for Christ's sake...
errr... update complete.

Today I felt some more of the feelings I'm so used celebrating/stifling with cream filling and I may not sleep for hours yet because there's still a palpable buzz in my being from all of it. This afternoon I got on the elliptical/towel dryer for 30 minutes and instead of watching the clock and feeling ashamed of the jiggles and all the clicking I heard my hips doing I felt AMAZING! What a relevelation! My head is a riot of words right now trying to find the best way to describe my exercise experience today...
Anyone who knows me will tell you I am the self-proclaimed poster potato for couches. Yesterday I would have told you I only run when chased... today I felt like I could run a marathon (except I would totally sacrifice time for a bathroom break when I need one - No way will anyone catch me crossing a finish line with a melange bodily fluids running down my leg.)
At first I was just thrilled about not sucking wind inside of three minutes but as my legs found that familiar rhythm and pace of the machine, I felt stronger and stronger and sweaty, and tired, and stuff started to get sore and I lost my balance a little bit, but then all those glorious endorfins that failed me during labor and childbirth flooded my system and stronger took over again. I felt some anger I recognized had been ruminating inside me for a few weeks and the angrier I got, the better I felt so I let it go and pushed harder with my body... Music I love was blaring in my ears and I didn't care about where my children were... or what family and strangers had done to incur my wrath. I pumped my legs and punched the air. I thought, "Somebody line up Glenn Beck and Ted Nugent. The SassMaster is ready to kick some ass." Poppets, I smiled and flailed and moved and sweated and closed my eyes and head banged through a work out... and I loved every minute of it. Fuck me. Who'd have thunk?

picture this with curly hair and much more "jiggle" or if that visual is too much for you,
 just enjoy 10 seconds of Brad Pitt

The second bit of awesomeness to grace my day was my brother. He continues to triumph over the train wreck of his not-so-distant past and is all the inspiration I should need to keep moving forward no matter how many obstacles I put in my own path. He's a recovering alcoholic who is in his umpteenth stretch of sobriety at the ripe old age of 29. Today he walked into the kitchen and reached out for the Viking with hands that didin't shake and a solid, grounded stance, a clear and contented gaze and I handed over my baby without an ounce of trepedation... just trust. I couldn't do that 6-8 months ago. I couldn't be sure my brother was sober enough to keep himself upright, let alone manange my squirming toddler without ending up ass over tea kettle. The best part was that I didn't let our history of dysfunctional communication stop me from telling him how proud I was of how far he's come and how happy I am to look into his face and recognize the person looking back at me.

Coincidentally, my BFF whose father is still struggling with his disease posted this today:

God, grant me the patience to relish each second of this day,
the courage to learn from and let go of yesterday,
and the passion to pursue tomorrow.

Jen, I think I got the best of this one today, but I know your Grace is due... and until then, I'm here to listen and respond with irreverence and sarcasm, as always. xo
Keep yours eyes open for your Grace, poppets... it doesn't always jump on your face and wiggle, but it's happening around you, of that I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm On the Verge of Action...

In my previous post I talked about procrastination and horrified readers into silence by disclosing my pants size and weight. I've always abandoned any effort that felt like effort to get and stay healthy. It's desperate. I am at least 50 pounds overweight - that's like running around everyday with an extra 7 year old. Stuck to my body... You know what? I don't know that kid and I don't like him. It turns out that he won't just get bored and leave on his own while I sit in front of the computer or eat pistachios while watching CSI. I have to do something but so far all I really know for sure is:  

{this is where I could be headed}

{and THIS is a little too far down the road I want to be on}

I'd like to land somewhere waaaaay south of Charming "Little" Ella, up there and just before Fergie's skirt hits the bottom of her cheeks. So if anyone has the slightest idea how the fuck to accomplish that, please do let me know. I am almost ready to gear up to plan to seriously commit to saying I may possibly be leaning towards taking action. Yep... I'm THAT serious. 
Phase One: Getting Ready

The first logical step to starting a healthier lifestyle seems to have been to eat a whole bunch of the stuff I'm going to miss not eating anymore. Does anyone else do this or am I the only fucktard who loads up on junk food before going on a diet? Good bye, Nutty Bars... Thin Mints... I'm done with you. Hello sugar-free Jell-O... I see many nights of Special K for dinner in my future. Saturday, I register for Weight Watchers, and it feels like looking at 6-10 months in lock-up.
So while I haven't been exercising YET, I did craft the most excellent workout playlist. Look!
*If you hate any or all of this, it's OK. You're OK. But I don't care. Save your hate mail for oil companies and people who throw puppies into rivers...
✓ Sure Shot  Beastie Boys
 ✓ So What'cha Want  Beastie Boys
✓ Brass Monkey Beastie Boys
✓ Hey Ladies  Beastie Boys
✓ Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) BeyoncĂ©
✓ Boom Boom Pow  Black Eyed Peas
✓ I Gotta Feeling  Black Eyed Peas
✓ Pump It  Black Eyed Peas
✓ Crazy Bitch  Buckcherry
✓ Darkside (Album Version)  Crazy Town
✓ Only When I'm Drunk (Explicit Album Version)  Crazy Town
✓ Lollipop Porn (Explicit Album Version)  Crazy Town
✓ The State of Massachusetts  Dropkick Murphys
✓ Shake That  Eminem 
✓ Too Funky George Michael
✓ Head over Heels  The Go-Go's
✓ Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)  John Mellencamp
✓ Wild Night  John Mellencamp
✓ Gold Digger (Featuring Jamie Foxx)  Kanye West
✓ When the Sun Goes Down  Kenny Chesney
✓ Just Dance  Lady GaGa
✓ Goodbye Kristinia DeBarge
✓ American Woman Lenny Kravitz
✓ One Step Closer  Linkin Park
✓ Bleed It Out  Linkin Park
✓ The World Should Revolve Around Me  Little Jackie
✓ Supermassive Black Hole  Muse
✓ Something In Your Mouth Nickelback
✓ Just a Girl  No Doubt
✓ U + Ur Hand  P!nk
✓ So What  P!nk
✓ Don't Let Me Get Me (Radio Edit) P!nk
✓ Blood Sugar Sex Magik  Red Hot Chili Peppers 
✓ Give It Away  Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers
✓ Pon de Replay (Radio Edit) Rihanna
✓ Living Dead Girl Rob Zombie
✓ Fake It  Seether
✓ Oh Carolina  Shaggy
✓ Caress Me Down  Sublime 
✓ Switch  Will Smith
✓ Lady Marmalade  Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
✓ 18 Wheeler  P!nk
✓ Porn Star Dancing (feat. Ludacris) My Darkest Days
✓ Kick In The Teeth  Papa Roach
✓ Hollaback Girl  Gwen Stefani
✓ Rich Girl Gwen Stefani 
✓ It's Tricky  Run-DMC
✓ Raise Your Glass  P!nk
✓ Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor) Pitbull
✓ Stand Up Ludacris & Shawnna
So there we have it! I'm almost completely ready to start living healthier... pretty much. I mean... you know. Right after I get some new work out clothes and sneakers. THEN.... well, then I'll be ready to jump right into a gym routine. Except on Mondays... 'cause you know... It's Monday. And Saturdays are reserved for the Tornado's basketball games and a seemingly endless string of birthday parties. Wednesdays look good from like 3:30 - 3:40 and I will definitely be able to get in a brisk walk on Thurs.... oops. No... Thursday is the night I actually try to cook for dinner. That's the whole afternoon and evening blown. Hmmm....
You see where this is going, right??

Somebody, please... say something INSPIRING.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bless me, Father. I'm a repeat offender

Thank you in advance for agreeing, via mouse click to be my confessor today.

Procrastination is like a shitty boyfriend. You know you should just cut him out of your life because it feels sooo bad. But then again... it feels so very good right now.
Read the following while I tend to my sore ass. Procrastination has bitten me once again...

I am up to my eyeballs in work that remains undone... SHHHHHH! Don't tell anyone... I have progress reports due in the next two weeks tomorrow, and a new system for tracking the fourthousandsixhundredandninety-two file items that belong in each child's Head Start file to enter for 11 kids. I could be doing progress reports right now and I ALMOST did it! Then I remembered that there are like nine more days until the end of the month. So I still have plenty of time! (started this post DAYS ago and am just now finishing it)

Confession #1 - On the morning of the 30th I will have about 4 out of 11 completed and still be telling myself I have plenty of time to bang out the other seven before the end of the next day. That's the way the SassMaster rolls, poppets... on half a tank of gas, one flat tire and ALWAYS fifteen minutes late. Aren't you glad you're not my supervisor? Check! It's the 30th today and as it stands: 4 reports complete.

Confession #2 - If I even think about singing The Wheels on the Bus, or The ABC Song I want to hang myself with a macaroni necklace...

Confession #3 - Because my home page is Facebook, I often get sucked in to 30 - 45 minutes of FB before I realize I logged onto the Internet with some other purpose. By that time I've forgotten what my mission was. But I've posted 4 or 5 witty quips about my friends' kids or laundry and perused all sorts of brain food like what folks have had for breakfast, who's at the mall with or without kids and who's got a big ol' iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. And please understand that it's not that I don't care about this stuff, because I so do! When my girl, Jen has an iced coffee she smiles and feels loved and looked after by the delightful man she married - and that makes ME happy, too. But poppets, this is what keeps me from my progress reports.
Facebook hinders my responsibility. The sad truth is that FB is the last scrap of any recognizable social life I have. I'm hanging on with both hands. Responsibility will have to wait. I NEED to know what Diana's having for dinner tonight.

Confession #4 - A year and a half ago I was a size 14 and thinner than I had been in over 8 years. I made a promise at that time that I would never be bordering on a size 20 again. Guess who's size 18's are working harder than the Hoover Dam these days? I am no longer worried about who or what I DON'T look like. The magazines and MTV no longer make me shrink into a corner, bearing the terrible weight of unworthiness that slumped my shoulders and drew my eyes toward the floor. What necessitates a lifestyle shift now is that I feel like shit ALL. THE. TIME. I don't need to be skinny. (I let go of single digit pants sizes when I was 20 years old.) I just want to learn to be well and stay healthy. So, I'm sacrificing SassMaster secrets for the sake of being held accountable to change by virtue of the fact that the information is out there. PEOPLE KNOW... Here you have my numbers, cyberspace: I am a 34 year-old mom of 2 who wears a size 18/20 pants and XXL everything else. I weigh well over 200 pounds, but admittedly, I haven't stood on a scale since they wanted to weigh me 6 weeks after The Viking emerged. And my blood sugar numbers have been borderline diabetic. I'm beautiful. I'm worthy. I'm smart, funny, kind and I'm good at my job. I am the best mother I know how to be. But I'm not well. And I want to be.

In the following months I will attempt to take back my body and make it my own again. That was what I told myself when I was undergoing the Essure procedure to block my tubes. The last ten years have been consumed with hormones, ovulation tests, cervical mucus, prenatal vitamins, eating for two, growing babies, breastfeeding, breast pumps, birth control pills and patches... and it's all behind me now. Now is a new chapter. If I can use this body to birth two completely new human beings, I can use it to rebirth a healthier, more energetic and stronger ME.

This is going to be painful and no doubt you're going to hear all about it... bear with me. There's bound to be humor in losing my death grip on the Nutty Bars.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I know about God because I grew up Catholic. I have spirituality because I've been involved with Al-Anon and I know Grace because I am a mother. As I've gotten older, I recognize that I am now more spiritual than I am Catholic. sites one of the theological uses of Grace to mean: "the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them."

The Scene last week:
The Tornado and I are ready to leave the school building and I have just dropped the "we have a few stops to make before we go home" bomb. I was cringing inside waiting for the procession of scowly faces, stomping feet and "humph" noises that typically follow such an announcement. But they didn't come... I eased my finger off my crazy-mom trigger and re-holstered it hesitantly... We made it through the grocery store and to another school site to pick up classroom supplies in a comfortable quiet that was interrupted only periodically by the soft command to "turn it up, please" when he heard the Beastie Boys rattle the already-blown speakers in the car. Our last stop was the library:

{Please excuse the following A.D.Detour...}
 It's really lovely, as a parent when your child shares a common passion, and for The Tornado and I, it's books. We don't go to the library to get a book. We go to get BOOOOOKSS!!!! We then pay lots of FIIIIINESSS because we are not so good at the returning things on time part of the library adventure. 
{umm... The End}

Although I walked into the library, like I always do, with the sense that some wonderful treasure was waiting for me to reach out and grab it by it's skinny spine... I actually found very little that inspired me. However, the Universe was about to remind me that, tonight I'd brought the treasure with me... and for some strange reason on that Tuesday, he was wearing his father's socks pulled way up past his knees. (God, I love that kid...) I was ready to hit the road with the few books I had half-heartedly piled up when The Tornado loped over with a big grin and an arm load that included a World Atlas, Valley of the Dinosaurs, a book about fresh water mammals and Junie B. Jones. The selections were so totally Tornado, it was impossible not to smirk. On our way out, he said as he held the door for me, "Here, I'll take some of those too, Mom. Then you won't have all the load." As we walked to the car I told him he was growing up to be a real gentleman. He said he hopes that means someone who's getting a cheeseburger for dinner. Just as we reached the parking lot, The Tornado looked up and spotted a single star in the sky and started to recite:
Star light, star bright...
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So, I made a wish. I thought it was a pretty great wish... Who wouldn't KILL for Bavarian eclairs that made you lose weight, right??? (By magic, I threw in at the end... none of that shit-yourself-skinny business) Most clever wish I ever wished... I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I heard from the back seat,

 "Mom? Did you wish that we would always be together?

Humility hit me like a pile driver but I didn't miss a beat. "How did you know?" was the only acceptable response, of course. And his self-satisfied expression confirmed that he's still too innocent to see right through me.

I get discouraged about the things I forget to do, put off doing or don't have any energy to do in a day... I beat myself up about being late, too heavy, financially irresponsible, too loud and completely unfit to prepare a meal that is not 90% boxed or frozen.
You see, there are a great many things I don't like about me. But what I DO like about me is that those moments don't get lost. I recognize and honor the times when God tosses me a shiny bauble.
Ironically, I went into the library looking for fairy tale books that wouldn't make me gag. I feel fairly certain that cheeseburgers were not among the "tokens" typically bestowed upon a gentleman in days gone by, but once upon a Tuesday, under a single star, a budding gentleman scored himself a McDouble for charming my socks off. 

*Wow... God AND fairy tales. This post is a two-fer! You're welcome.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Insert, the waaaaay over used "You like me!" Sally Field reference here... Two people have recently passed on this award to me, which I can't help but snort a little. I am the least stylish woman I know. If only they could see me now in the pajama bottoms I've been wearing on and off all weekend and mismatched socks. My style is the BLAH kind that would make Stacey and Clinton guzzle arsenic martinis - jeans, solid color t-shirt or jersey and May - early December: flip flops. But as there are no images of me that appear on this blog, I realize that the award has been given based solely on my writing. I hope this means I have a unique voice, and developing that writer's voice and finding my own style of writing was one of the reasons I forced myself to add my nonsense to the completely saturated market of Mommy Bloggers in the first place - write as often as you can and write what you know - check... and check. Appreciation for doing something that has been fun and provided me with some personal growth over the past few months is a huge bonus.
Shannon and Heather!
Please check out their respective blogs, 

Now, my job is to award some other blogs that are STYLISH, too. I follow only a few other blogs that don't belong to the lovelies who awarded me, but in the spirit of recognizing and promoting traffic to some other fun blogs with writing styles I love, I'm passing on the award to:
Elizabeth Crocker
her photography is AMAZING and her family story is touching and hopeful....
I have to recognize
Shelbi at
her tag line says it all: How My life Went from Happy Hour to Story Hour, and
she's also a self-proclaimed mom-prenuer who makes SUPER STYLIN'
hair embellishments for little girls of all ages at Gigi and Lula

I'd love to see this blogger get some more traffic too - she posts tutorials and great anecdotes!

I am supposed to post 7 things my readers don't know about me, but because I have been a lazy pile of flesh and pajamas on the couch for the last two days watching Season 4 of Dexter, I have to pry my eyes off the screen and go do something that looks like taking care of the kids or housework... I might "Swiff" the living room and put an open box of Goldfish on the kitchen table for the kids to find. 7 tidbits about the SassMaster to follow... some other day.
Now, run along and play...
Mommy has a headache.