Thursday, July 29, 2010

Energy Crisis Solved (& Some Awards, Wheee!)

The irony of this post in comparison to my last post is not lost on me, people. I’m a little contradictory (i.e., schizophrenic) like that, I know. Serenity, calm, and gratitude can also exist within a mind that is like a train gone off its tracks, hurtling toward disaster.

So how ridiculous is it that I can lay awake at night FOR HOURS with my mind spinning out of control and still have the wherewithal to notice my insanity?

Here is just a glimpse of my stream of consciousness in the middle of the night:

Ok, so I’m starting back to work soon and I need new clothes, but I’m supposed to be losing weight AND watching my money, so should I only buy some new shirts or go ahead and buy shirts and pants?? And thinking of money, how many months will it take me to get rid of the balance on my Citi card because I’m going to need a new car soon and the holidays are approaching. Let’s see, if I lose about 1-2 pounds a week (preferably 3-5), how many weeks will it take me to get to my GOAL weight? When I get back to work, WHEN will I write or blog AND workout AND, holy shit, play with my son because good mothers actually PLAY with their child, but I’ll need to fit dinner in at night after work. Perhaps I should just CRACK DOWN and make myself wake up earlier in the morning so I can get the workout in then, so then, after work, I can blog and make dinner. Oh, shit! AND play with my son. Yes. Ok. After work, I will play with my child, then make dinner, then write and blog? Hmmm. That could work if I’m diligent enough…That’s NEVER going to work! Thinking of dinner, I need to remember to put butter on the store list for tomorrow. I will never remember to put it on the list, and I will forget the butter, and we will have no butter. Should I get up now and put it on the list? Will that keep me up even longer because I have walked around and ENGAGED my body in that manner? THEY say it is a good thing to write things down in the middle of the night so you can stop worrying about it. Hmmm. I do not have a pen nearby. Shit. I should really remember to put a pen by my bedside. That article I saw today talked about it not being too early to start your toddler on chores. What chores should we start Parker on? Should I make him a CHART? Is he too young yet? Wait! What TIME is it?! What the hell am I thinking?!

What the hell AM I thinking??! I know I’m not alone on this! If only we could figure a way to power our cities with the energies of a mother’s brain in the middle of the night. We might as well do SOMETHING during the middle of the night. We’re not sleeping anyway!

Ok, enough of that.

I have won awardssss! Yesssss. Not only have I won awardssss, but these are Brand Spankin’ New ones, completely created by the original mind of The Litany of Brittainy! Check them out:

The Chupacabra Award of Excellence! (I do not know what the hell a chupacabra is, nor have I Googled it, but it looks pretty damn cool, right?)


The Duct Tape Award!

It doesn’t get much better than that, people. The Litany of Brittainy must have known how we love duct tape in this family.

Poor Buzz.

You see the duct tape in the background? It is an excellent way to collect empty beer cans (you know, for recycling!), say, when you are at a NASCAR race. Don't mind the man in the picture. This poor dude was in another picture recently on this blog, imitating the cat puke socks. He's getting some bad press lately, eh?

Well, just so he won't feel so bad, I'll post this picture of me for fun:

Here I am outside of that same NASCAR race event getting bucked off a mechanical bull.

I will leave you with that.

Here are the rules of this award:
-Really, you can do whatever the hell you want, but please make sure to thank the person who gave it to you.
-You can list things about yourself, or ramble on like I have, or expose yourself doing amazing things with duct tape.
-You can award it to anyone you want.

Congrats to these really, really fun and good looking bloggers for the Chupacabra and Duct Tape awards:
The Insatiable Host
Woogs World
Marketing Gurl

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


"If I am lonely
It must be the loneliness...
Of being the one awake
In a house wrapped in sleep."
-From Adrienne Rich's poem, "Song"

The night is still, so still around me. It does not press down around me, it only exists for me and breathes with me. I sit in our very suburban backyard and look into the windows of my own home. Because I am in the dark, and the house is lit from within, I can see clearly the couch and blanket, lampshade, stairwell, plants, and kitchen sink. I can see the little somethings set on shelves, collected over the span of chapters in a life.

I stare at the dining room table for a while. The chairs are askew and empty. The chairs are so empty, compared to the living and eating and talking and aruging and lauging that goes on there every single day.

My backyard holds bright plastic toys bought from garage sales. The moon sets alight the patterns of water stains on the surrounding wood fence. The leaves do not rustle. They are silent, at rest.

I know we will move from this home one day. We look forward to it. But, right now, in this moment, this home is perfect. This home has been cared for, and in return has cared for us. What I see inside those windows is a sum of our past years. And they have, mostly, been good.

I am, in this moment, completely alone with my thoughts. I am Sitting outside of my home, looking in at the life I lead.

"No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anyone but oneself."
-Virginia Woolf

Like this post? You may also enjoy:
Do You Have a Moment to Spare?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tonic, Sunday Snippet


Stars melt as I remember
The magic dance.
Haunting secrets pierce
My naked heart.
I will drink you like
Liquid desire.
If you can
Kill my worry.

Sunday Snippets are brought to you by Pure Unadulterated Soft Thistle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family Secrets

This meme is brought to you by The Red Dress Club.

Writing prompt: Randomly choose four numbers between 1 and 10. Use the corresponding story elements to write a story.

My numbers and corresponding story elements:
3 – Recent high school graduate
4 – Restaurant
7 – Middle of summer
2 – A secret needs to be told

Here is my first attempt at fiction writing for YEARS – probably since about the mid-90’s during undergrad. Here goes!

Family Secrets

Jackson sat down with his family and best friend at his favorite restaurant, The Chophouse, to celebrate his high school graduation. His hands were trembling ever so slightly and sweat was beginning to form on his upper lip as he prepared himself to reveal a secret he had been keeping from his parents. With graduation under his belt, there was no time to waste. He had to tell the truth of what he’d been planning his entire senior year and steel himself for the cursing and damage that could come. He felt he could handle general cursing and damage, but he dreaded more the inevitable disappointment from his father and the drunken silence of his mother.

Having his best friend, Colin, by his side was at least a witness in his favor in case things got really ugly. Jackson was relieved to have him there.

What should have been a celebratory, light hearted dinner was shadowed by a feeling of impending doom. Jackson was so sick with worry that he didn’t even notice that others at the table were not exactly cheerful. Jackson noticed that his sister, Carolyn, still had not arrived. She was late, as usual. He didn’t want to have to wait for her. Besides, Jackson thought, the news may go over better without his obnoxious, holier-than-thou drama queen sister around.

The waiter arrived. “What would everyone care to drink?”

Jackson’s father, Roy, started to speak but was quickly interrupted by Jackson’s mother, Patricia.

“I’ll have a glass of your house red, I don’t care what kind – Cabernet, Merlot, whatever,” Patricia said as she continued to look down at the menu and nervously fidget with the necklace around her neck.

The waiter looked pained. “Ma’am, I’m sorry. We do not have a house wine. There is a wine list…”

“Just whatever is your cheapest glass of red,” Patricia grumbled, adding, “for Christ’s sake.”

The whole table had fixed stares on Patricia as she continued to peruse the dinner menu, seemingly unaware of the tension she had caused.

The waiter turned to Roy. “Sir?”

Roy slowly turned toward the waiter and said, “Um, yes, a scotch and soda. Whatever kind of scotch. Whatever.”

Jackson looked at the waiter for his turn, and his voice broke slightly as he spoke, “Just water is fine for me, thanks.”

Colin followed suit. “Water. Thank you.”

“Well! Am I glad high school is done, and I made it through! I’m a graduate!” Jackson exclaimed, seizing his moment with a little too much bravado.

The rest of the table stared at him.

Jackson continued on, unable to stop himself, only selfishly caring about the relief that would hopefully come once he had his secret out in the open. Once this secret was released, he could get on with getting as far away as possible from his crazy family.

The words continued to gush out of his mouth, “Mom. Dad. I have some exciting news for you! You will be so proud that I have learned so much over the years. I have been able to independently plan for what could only be described as a once-in-a-lifetime GROWTH OPPORTUNITY! I have adventures ahead that could shape me as a person, expose me to the culture of the world, and open doors that I never even knew existed! I have been saving my money! For years! I have been saving my money, and I…”

Here, Jackson paused. The waiter brought the drinks and set them down in an uncomfortable silence. Patricia and Roy immediately began drinking.

Jackson smiled and looked around at the table, trying to sell his idea as irresistibly genius.

“I get to travel Europe for a year!” He rushed on with hardly a beat between breaths, “Don’t you worry about anything! I have it all planned out. I have paid for my flight, and I’ll be staying in hostels – now I know that sounds bad – but I Google’d it all! Hostels really are safe and the most affordable way for me to get the most of the entire experience. Heck, maybe I could even find a job and stay on longer than a year. I can’t even imagine what kind of opportunities could come up! Imagine, your son, the WORLD TRAVELER!”

Patricia softly said, “What about Stanford? Your father’s alma mater?”

Jackson nodded his head in a serious fashion. “Yes, yes. Stanford. I won’t be going to Stanford. Yet....But, Mom! Dad! Stanford will be there when I get back, I can ask for acceptance to any college any old time!”

Roy sputtered out some of his scotch and soda. “Are you actually not even accepted into Stanford?”

Jackson darkly realized that this was it. The moment of truth. He had to deal with the anger and disappointment and anything else that came of it.

“No. I have not been accepted into Stanford. I’m sorry. I lied.” Jackson said.

He braced himself for what was to come next. Jackson’s friend, Colin, just sat, watching the scene with a mixture of horror and excitement on his face.

Patricia looked at Roy then looked back at Jackson.

“That…is…the…most…FLIPPING FANTASTIC NEWS!” Patricia shouted with a big smile on her face. “Oh MY GOD!” She shrieked. She jumped up, bumping against the table, so she could give her son a hug.

Jackson was shocked. Speechless. He stood limply while his mother awkwardly hugged him. He looked at his father.

His father looked…relieved? His father was smiling, swirling his drink around. Then Roy called over the waiter.

“Sir! Did I mention that we are CELEBRATING?! Please, bring out some champagne!” Roy exclaimed.

Patricia noisily sat down laughing and guffawing. “Roy! Did you hear that?! Our boy isn’t going to Stanford after all!”

Jackson looked at his friend, Colin, as the waiter brought the champagne to the table. Colin looked at him and gave him a puzzled expression. Jackson had never experienced so much dissonance in his life. He should have felt elated, relieved! His parents were happy with his smart and independent planning. They actually “got” his speech! Instead of joy, Jackson felt, well…disappointed. Did his parents not care about his future?? Did his parents WANT him to tramp around in seedy, cheap hostels, where he could quite possibly become the main character in a real-life horror film or some other ungodly tragedy? What the hell was going on here?

Roy could only reach across the table and smack his boy on the shoulder. “That’s great, Jackson. I’m proud of you. Go out there and get ‘em! See the world! Ha!”

Jackson looked to his mother. Patricia began rambling on, “Oh, Jackson, we’ve been so scared to tell you what’s been going on! What a relief! Your father was fired from his job! Yeah, yeah, can you BELIEVE IT?! Fuckers! Anyway! There was just NO WAY we were going to be able to pay for Stanford. No way. We didn’t know how we were going to break it to you. In fact, we don’t even know if we’ll get to keep the house! Ha! But, now! Now that you are going to EUROPE, and you are staying in hostels? Oh, this is just fabulous! We don’t have to worry so much! Maybe we’ll get to even keep our house!” With that, Patricia downed her first glass of champagne and started to pour another.

Roy said, “You’ve saved up enough, son?”

Jackson stopped staring at his almost crazed, half-drunk mother, and looked at his father, “Yes, Dad. I have it all taken care of. Like I said.”

Roy smiled.

“Yippee!” Patricia exclaimed. She lifted her glass and motioned for everyone to do the same. “To Europe!” They all clinked glasses.

At that moment, Jackson’s sister, Carolyn came rushing to the table.

“I’m so sorry I’m late! Argh, I’m always late, I know, I know, the traffic, and the…” Carolyn stopped and looked at the table. She saw the shocked, confused expression on Jackson’s face. She saw the sheepish, holding-back-a-smile look on Colin’s face. She saw the snockered expressions on her parents’ faces.

Patricia shouted, “Honey! Sit down! Your brother just shared some VERY EXCITING NEWS!”

“Ahhh,” Carolyn said nodding her head knowingly. “He finally told you he was gay and escaping to Europe with Colin, his lover, all these years?”


Jackson shifted in his seat nervously and cleared his throat. “Um, yeah, about that…”


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to Spice Up a Marriage

(Thank God the hubs has a sense of humor.)

I live to exasperate my husband. I live for the eye roll. I find it very entertaining.

After a certain number of years together, this must be what they mean by spicing up the marriage, right?? Who’s with me?

What better way to pass the time and the years than by pushing the exact buttons you know lurk under the surface? (I realize that many of you out there right now either think I am evil or brilliant. It is a line I carefully walk.)

Reactions out of my husband that I find fun include:

1. Disbelief
2. Blank stare
3. A short, choppy, loud, “What?!”
4. The afore-mentioned eye roll with a small smile playing on the lips
5. Slight and fleeting annoyance

Obviously, whatever keeps ME chuckling (on the inside) works.

Some examples of how I accomplish this include:

1. Pretending I am completely serious, when actually I am only totally messing with him.
Our late cat, Gweniviere, is buried in our back yard. Recently, we were sitting outside on the patio watching our little maniac run around the backyard. We have been pondering moving in the future. Deadpan, I looked at my husband and said, “You know when we move, you’re going to have to dig up Gweniviere so we can take her with us.” Reaction: Disbelief and blank stare.

2. Giving flimsy responses to questions he has for me.
My husband always loves to know “what the plan is” for the day or the next day. Although I am an organizer-type, when it comes to planning open, summer days, I rather like to fly by the seat of my pants and not feel constrained by too many “plans.” So, about EVERY SINGLE TIME my husband asks me, “What are you going to do tomorrow?” I say, “Go to Target. Get some socks. Maybe a necklace.” Reaction: short chuckle and eye roll.

3. Swearing that Us Weekly stories are THE FACTS.
When watching television news, my husband may comment on a story here and there. I’ll say, “I already know all about that.” He may say, “Oh, yeah, how?” I say, “Us Weekly!! You know! THE FACTS!” Reaction: chuckling and eye roll, but unfortunately, sometimes heckling.

4. Increasingly reminding him of his dear Grandma L. as I get older.
Recently, I had to have a wisdom tooth removed and was put under for it. When I began to wake from sedation, my husband tells me that I started rapid-fire questioning for the poor nurse. He said I wouldn’t stop until we were out of the office. I was asking, “How long did it take? Can I see my tooth? What does it look like? Was it hard to get out? How many minutes or seconds of pulling? Did you have to grunt and pull hard on it, or did it come out easy? What kind of tools did you use to get it out? Was there lots of blood? Did I make any noises? Did the dentist make noises?” and on and on. I remember my husband telling me this, shaking his head, and he quietly said, “You reminded me of Grandma L.” (She was a rambunctious, curious gal.) Reaction: Disbelief and scared amusement.

5. My driving.
My driving never fails to get reactions out of my husband, but I am always quick to remind him, “I have NEVER been in an accident, so be quiet!” He believes that this fact is a miracle and there must be angels surrounding my car every time I drive. I like to zip around in a zippy sort of way. (He must know by now that I do some things on purpose when he is with me just to get the desired reaction out of him. For example, speed up a bit right when I’m entering a parking spot and then slamming the brakes.) Reaction: Disbelief and some fear.

Ladies, you gotta keep your man on their toes lest things get…boring. Why not be the Lucy to his Ricardo and laugh along the way. Even if you’re the only one laughing, at least SOMEONE is having fun!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back?

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Uhh, where did my sex life go, and why is it so hard to bring it back?” I have a person here that I married, and I SHOULD be able to have sex almost as much as I want, right?

Well, it just isn’t as easy as it sounds.

One night, my husband and I had DECIDED that we were going to have sex later that night. Yes, it was a decision. A very exciting decision.

But, first, before exciting things could happen, we had The Bed Time Ritual to get through. The little maniac relaxes on the couch with a cup of milk and watches a show on our Tivo list before we go upstairs to get ready for bed. This particular night, he chose a rousing episode of Chuggington. Titillating stuff. Anyone getting excited yet?

I decided some wine was in order, but, oops, I had a little too much. Perhaps I was trying to take the edge off the DECISION and the anticipation it had caused. I was sitting on the couch, and I kid you not, I had to shut one eye to focus on Chuggington. This is a sorry, sad state of affairs when you find yourself watching Chuggington with one eye closed because you have had too much to drink. (Trust me, it didn’t make the damn show any better either.)

So with Chuggington as our foreplay, upstairs we went. I will leave the rest to your imagination, but I beg of you, how do you bring sexy back on a semi-regular basis without taking too much time or staying up too damn late (Let’s face it, I’m pretty sure there are many studies to support the fact that a tired mother will choose sleep over sex 10 times out of 10). And we wonder why we don’t do this more often…

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Operating on Lizard Brain (RAGBRAI Adventures)

Writing prompt: Write a funny story involving socks.

I used to be part of a hooligan crowd that believed in riding bicycles on long journeys in various stages of undress and drunkenness.

Pretty soon, the hooligans will be at it again. During the last full week of July, about 5,000 people bicycle across the state of Iowa on a 7 day journey, beginning on the banks of the Missouri River and ending at the banks of the Mississippi River. Each day is usually between 70-90 miles of biking. This event is called RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). If you’d like to learn more about it, click here. The bike team I rode with was Team Mosquito.

As if biking across Iowa in July weren’t crazy enough, the shenanigans that go on can be truly shocking. If you are there, the feeling in the air and the spirit and energy of the crowds encourages you to BELIEVE in the crazy and to push the boundaries of what is APPROPRIATE. You do because you CAN.

In other words, people are largely only operating on the lizard part of their brain.

Really, there is no thinking required. Only the pushing of pedals, the lifting of a cup to the mouth, the foraging for scraps of food here and there, never once caring what you look like or how much you have sweat, and pretty-much a constant smile on your face.

There is the sun on your back, silent 20 mile stretches of highway as you ride past fields of corn. Sometimes the air is cut by a distant radio strapped onto a fellow biker’s bike. There is the kindness of strangers to push your back up a long hill on your bike when they see you are struggling. There is the kindness of families opening their homes and showers and lawns for sleeping. There is the kindness of whole towns offering their streets for Mardi-Gras type celebrations.

I have sat outside of a gas station on a sunny early morning, eating a banana, sharing a cold beer, and looking at my bike to prepare to get on and ride for another 70 miles.

I have gotten myself lost in the dark, riding drunk down an obscure Iowa highway, only to be picked up by fellow riders and dropped at a nearby town bar.

I have demonstrated bad ass skills like the one below.

I have dropped to the ground and danced in the dirt to Violent Femmes, Blister in the Sun.

I have chased many a shot of vodka with a swallow of cold baked beans from the can (What? You've never heard of vodka bean shots? You just haven't been living!).

But there is one memory and picture that truly makes me chuckle more than others and is a great insight into what tickles my sense of humor. I fondly recall one of the hooligan bike team members wearing these cat puke socks when he would ride.

You see the cat on the sock? It is puking.

Now here is an example of a person operating on the lizard part of their brain. I am sure this person would not mind me posting this – in fact, he would be proud. And, my husband, his good friend, gave me permission. Here is another hooligan bike team member:

Obviously, he is imitating the cat on the cat puke socks.

People, it doesn’t get much better than this. I am only so grateful that I can own these memories as part of the great things I have done in my life.

God speed, RAGBRAI-types. You are getting ready for your journey, and I am not jealous, only nostalgic – like it is an era gone by for me. Carry on and bike hard.

Personal disclaimer: I will stop myself and clarify that I was never a die-hard biker. In fact, the first few times I tried it, really tried it, I hated it and declared the entire sport stupid. Why would someone push two wheels MANUALLY up a hill over and over again, WHY?! I wanted no part of it. I hated the way it made me feel inadequate and tested my strength. But, I did keep trying (because I married one of these hooligans, and I didn’t want to be left out of all the fun), and eventually I came to “get” what it was that was so appealing about being on your bike for a long time and accomplishing SOMETHING.

I will also be honest and clarify that I have never been able to bike the entire RAGBRAI route. The most consecutive days of biking I have ever done is TWO, and I don’t think I have ever biked more than about 70 miles in one day.

General disclaimer: There are, of course, family-types that partake in the event that is a genuine celebration of the great state of Iowa. There are family-focused activities, and I’ve heard there are some standards of conduct that are encouraged. This is an experience that exists and is obviously encouraged by the creators of RAGBRAI, however, this just wasn’t ever my experience and I am only writing to my experiences.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What is a Blogger with Substance?

What is a blogger with substance?


(Don’t worry, all the awards lately are not going to my head.)

Thank you to Kerry at Momma May Be Mad for giving me this award. Kerry’s blog is raw, heartfelt, and completely honest. Check her out if you haven’t already and give her some comment love!

Well, somewhere amidst the F bombs and general ranting, there truly is some WRITING and story telling in what I do.

To continue in my self indulgence, I will list some lines from my writing that I feel are full of chewy substance.

Life is a funny, funny thing, and the moment we begin to give it a label, is the moment we lose sight of what it can give us. (from Stripped)

I like the woman I’m becoming now much more. I would never give back the lessons I’ve learned along the way, although I am still working on loving myself just as much as Parker loves his mama. (from Lovefest for Mama)

My only hope is that our learning is as great as from where we came, and our road always leads us home to each other. (from We Regret the Things We Don’t Do)

Only kindness makes sense. (from Feed My Soul. Not My Thighs. (They’ve had enough.)

But anytime you actually start thinking that Supermom can exist, that idea will knock you on your ass. Literally. (from Scenes from an Airport, Part 2)

From that point on, we darkly realized that not only were we on-demand parents, but a new boss had entered our house, and he was very angry. (from Meet Your New Boss. He’s Angry.)

It took me many years and one child to realize that the BEST things in life are not tanned, toned thighs and a flat stomach. (from I’m Too Sexy for my Black Lycra Gown)

I will even admit that after I gave birth, I thought, “Why was everyone so excited when I got pregnant?! They have kids. They should have WARNED me!” (from Welcome to the Club. What’s the Secret Password?)

There are times that life seems to whisper around you. The colors in the world are vibrant, and the feeling in your heart is massive and expanding. (from Love Surpasses All Understanding)

…I stood in the dark house alone for a moment. I looked around and knew that the next time I saw the house, EVERYTHING would be different. The gravity of that pushed down around me…I looked at our cat and knew his world would also never be the same. And that was the last moment that I truly cared what the cat thought.
(from Labor Story)

Our skills cannot be denied, and we are allowed to be in awe of ourselves. (from Mad Skills Mothering)

Even at the worst, there has still been the strong arms of friends, a cool breeze on our face, the sun shining on new spring leaves, warm soup, and frogs. Thank you, God, for giving us…laughter between the utter sadness…Beauty is everywhere and gratitude is thick. (from Home)

So, the bottom line is, given the choice, I choose Friday night family movie nights. I choose take out Chinese and wine at home. I choose going to the restaurants with good kid’s menus. I choose Saturday morning playdates with my friend and her children. I choose to make the people in my life my priority. I choose us. (from Who Loves You, Baby?)

Here are 10 bloggers that I feel also deserve the Blogger with Substance Award (and if you have already received it, well, you deserve it twice!):

Motherhood Uncensored
Diapers and Wine
Mommy Pants
Woogs World
Depressions and Confessions
An Unexplored Wilderness
Tales of Extraordinary Ordinariness
Dani’s Letters
Mama’s Losin It
Mama Mia

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Word Play - Sunday Snippet

We walked across the sand to the approaching ocean and came across a small tidepool. It was cool, but not too cool; warm, but not too warm.

Richard said, “Oooh, it’s warm.”

I said, “No, it’s not.”

He scoffed, smiled, looked at me and said, “Then what would you call it?”

“Tepid,” I replied.

He shook his head and groaned (but there was a small smile playing on his lips).

Sunday Snippets is hosted by Pure Unadulterated Softthistle.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scenes from an Airport, Part 2 (or, Read This to Feel Like a Better Mother)

I pushed Parker into the airport in The Stroller. I had a giant bag flung over my shoulder. I had to get upstairs in order to begin The Security Process and get to our gate. My eyes scanned the area for an elevator sign, a recessed hallway of elevators, anything that looked like an elevator area.

All I could see were restroom signs and Escalators.

I’m sure if I had tried to look harder and pushed The Stroller around and around I would have found the secret, hard-to-find elevator for families and old women. But, no. Stupidly, I had a surge of confidence in my Stroller/Escalator abilities.

I have seen people take their children up escalators in a stroller before. It’s not like these are superhumans, and I am not. “I can do that too!” I thought.

So, we got on, and there I was, standing next to The Stroller and holding the back wheels up and looking quite proud of my expert-traveling capabilities and general supreme parenting skilz.

But anytime you actually start thinking that Supermom can exist, that idea will knock you on your ass. Literally.

We got to the top of the escalator and I planned to just push Parker right onto the ground and keep going. There is a Lip that exists at the top of the Escalator, correct? A small thing, this Lip, but mighty enough to instigate death or severe injury.

It all happened in a mad instant, but if it had occurred in slow motion, this is what it looked like.

The Stroller tire hit the Lip, and the force of it knocked The Stroller forward with force and gusto onto the rotating Escalator steps. Parker was face down, facing his enemy close-up, while still strapped into the stroller.

Danger, metal, hell and tarnation filled my mind. I started screaming. Parker was screaming. My instinct was to grab Parker and get him out of The Stroller, but try as I might, I could not get him unstuck, and a mess of stroller and toddler kept rotating on top of the moving Escalator stairs! So, I just pushed on the entire Stroller/Toddler screaming mess as hard as I could and got if off of the rotating chaos. I grabbed Parker out of the stroller and held him close – he was crying and screaming but there were no apparent injuries (amazingly enough).

A group of stewardesses and people started approaching – “Is he alright?!” “Is everything ok?!” “Oh my gawd!”

I looked around. The top of the Escalator spit us out right in front of the food court. I saw families, eating their McDonald’s with their mouths literally hanging open and staring at me.

There was nothing more for me to do, but put my poor, poor (yet resilient) bub into the stroller, hold my head high past the food court people, and keep going. Parker had quieted down, and we had our next hurdle to jump: Security.

Next up, we encountered loud, yelling Security woman. “Why is he in a stroller?! He is a big boy!!”

I was thinking, “Shut UP! Don’t give him any ideas, you loud annoying person who thinks you know what is best! You are not the mother of MY little maniac!” This woman had not seen Parker wriggle out of the stroller earlier and lay in the street. She has not seen him run through the aisles of Target (like they’re jet ways), nor bounce over and over in a booth when un-contained in a high chair. In high stress situations (public), my bub needs straps and a confined space.

I simply said, “It is a containment issue.”

The loud, yelling Security woman did not understand the word ‘containment,’ and just kept shouting about, “You should be walking by your mommy, helping her out, you’re a big boy, why are you in a stroller?!”

(My boy is two. TWO. What two-year-olds WALK NEXT TO their mommy in exciting public places, I beg of you?! Ok, do not answer that. If your two-year-old does that, I don’t want to know.)

Eventually, we made it through security, and when our tubs full of shoes, jackets, bags, and liquids (and, yes, The Stroller) came out the other side, Parker began frantically kissing me all over my face in joy.

This made it all better. I realized, we are in this together! He does not think I have tried to kill him multiple times today! To him, I had SAVED him multiple times! I WAS mother extraordinaire! Some say the best you can do is handle strife with grace. We did not really handle it with grace (more like bulls in a China shop or chickens with our heads cut off), but once the scary parts were over, we carried on in the manner of, “I meant to do that, he he,” or “Whatever!”

Parker and me, we can do anything. Parker and me, we’re like peas and carrots.

(And, The Stroller? We had a nice bonfire the other night, friggin’ ass stroller is gone.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Scenes from an Airport (A Cautionary Tale)

As we approached the airport, I told Parker in a firm Mommy voice, “Parker, there will be times in the airport that you need to be in your stroller.”

Parker said gingerly, “Ok!”

I have dealt with Parker and airports three different times, every time I have been alone – without my husband. Although I knew deep down that everything would be alright and we would, most likely, arrive at our destination alive, the anxious pit in my stomach started to churn as we approached the airport.

My mom stopped the car at curbside check-in to drop us off, and instantly madness began. I can only describe it as a loud vacuum of chaos.

I got the stroller out, got the bags out, got Parker out, put him in the stroller. I went to the car to start wrestling with the car seat and no matter how many pulls, pushes, and determined grunts and cuss words I threw at the damn thing, I could not get the car seat out of my mom’s car. My mom stuck her head in on the other side of the car to try and help me. I looked over to check on Parker and screamed.

Parker was almost lying in the street as he had wrangled himself out of his stroller. My mom ran over to Parker and shouted, “Parker! Your mom told you there would be times you would HAVE TO stay in your stroller! This is one of those times!!!” Then, my mom looked at the US Airways men standing at the curb and said, “Somebody help my daughter!”

God only knows what these men were thinking as these shrieking, frantic women pulled up at their curbside.

Well, the dear, good curbside men got the car seat out of the car. I gave my mom a hurried hug good bye, and off she went, back to her house to probably sleep for four days.

I thanked all the men at the curbside, and apologized profusely for not having any cash for a tip (I know, I am an awful, awful person). The men graciously smiled, promised me it was ok, and waved me on, but I just know they were thinking, "Woman, go. Get the hell off our curb."

I did a deep, cleansing breath and pushed Parker (in his freakin stroller) into the airport. Little did I know, strife and danger had only just begun…

To be continued…(The next post to continue this story will make you feel like a better mom. I promise.)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Versatile Blogger

Mommy’s Sippy Cup has been so gracious as to award me the Versatile Blogger award! I have really enjoyed following her blog, and you should too!

Now, here’s the thing. I am going to just kind of make-up my own rules to this award because I’m…versatile like that.

1. Thank the person on your site for awarding you the blog and link back to them.
2. Choose 3 others to give the award and let them know you have done so.
3. Post anything you want that you feel gives an example of your VERSATILITY! It could be a vlog, a cartoon, a post of fiction, a song, a poem, a picture – whatever is a little different from what you usually do.

I love to write poetry but have only posted one poem way back when I first started blogging – you can check that out here. Here is another one in celebration of the Versatile Blogger award!

Highway Song (April 23, 1996)

Driving way out
You’re on my mind
And your tape’s in the deck.

I’m leaving you
With my foot on the pedal.
And I’m singing on this long winter evening
Without you.

This driving music takes me places
I’ve never been with you.
Don’t you know
I never go home
When my thoughts are a mess?

Don’t you know me by now?

I’m signaling for my destiny
To take a sharp turn.
Freedom calls my name
And the roads are waiting
Long and winding.

I’ve never felt this way before.
But, oh, how I’ve wanted to.

I award these people with the Versatile Blogger award:
Random Thoughts of a Citymouse
From the Inside Out
Sleepless Nights

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I started this blog because I needed to write. I needed an outlet. At the time, I thought, “Yessss. A moment to say what I want, when I want, and let it feel good.” I didn’t anticipate then becoming concerned with what I thought people would want to read.

I want to write.

This is my space to do so.

Be entertained, be horrified, or secretly relate. Whatever.

Right now, I hear in my head, “I’m Rob Base, and I wanna rock RIGHT NOW.” (Who’s with me?)

I am experiencing at this moment my first complete night away in my own home without my husband and son. I want to explain what have been the most important events of my experience.

I did some blogging.

I worked out on my brand spankin new Wii fit and kicked my husband’s butt on balance points.

I showered.

I ran some quick, important easy errands. Whatever.

I came home, poured some wine, had chips and dip, and watched some Tivo’d shit TV.

I started writing. I loved it.

I boiled an artichoke and made noodles with green tea peppercorn seasoning and chicken. Hallelujah, bliss is never ending.

I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona and re-ignited my love of art and adult thought.

In between, I would pause the movie WHEN I WANTED and write as the thoughts came to me.

I poured a little more wine and started the movie, Adventureland.

As I sit here, I look at the TV screen in the exact moment that I paused it, and there is a shithead riding his bike with a yellow headband on, and he is giving me the finger.

I am in heaven.

I can hear you out there right now.

“Oh my god, she is wasted.”

I do not care. (This is all spelled correctly, right?) I have had an EVENING, and it has all given me reminders of what I love:

Time to rediscover me.

Time to be hedonistic and reclaim a slice of freedom and ambiguity.

Time to be vulnerable.

Time to look around at all I have and know that it all comes back tomorrow.

Time to want my world, my hub, my bub, to be here with me again.

Time to remember that life is a funny, funny thing, and the moment we begin to give it a label, is the moment we lose sight of what it can give us.