Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Christmas Party

I was very intrigued by The Red Writing Hood prompt for the week:

Is there someone who drives you crazy? Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn't have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece - as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there's a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

This can be completely fictional or you can base it on a real-life person.

This is a piece of fiction (although I started with a real-life person in mind)...I chose someone who gets under my skin really bad because she is so cold and judgmental. Uptight. When I thought of a scene to explain reasons why she could be this way, it turned into a sympathetic piece.

The Christmas Party

I sat in my usual hiding spot at the top of the stairs, peeking down at the scene below. My father, my embarrassment of a father, was in the middle of one of his favorite jokes. It was like driving by a car accident. You don’t want to look, but you have to.

“So then the guy told the doctor, I don't smoke cigars anymore, but now I can't go to sleep at night unless I have a cigar shoved up my ASS!!" my father finished with an almost manic shout.

I shut my eyes and cringed.

Why do they all think that is so funny? It’s disgusting! HE’S disgusting! I thought.

The drunk idiots were all crammed into our living room on a snowy December evening. My parents’ Christmas party was a popular annual event. Not that my father ever needed an excuse to drink. The Christmas party just meant he could do it with an audience besides his own family.

They must all tolerate him. They must laugh at his jokes to not be rude. Surely, they must hate him just as much as his own daughter does? I wondered.

In spite of my own disgust, my father always seemed to be the life of the party. There was no way I could respect this scene if my father was the person all these assholes adored. Without having had a drink myself, all I could see was a sloppy, old loudmouth – way past his prime.

I had lost respect for him long ago. It had all become too much. Too much drinking, too much yelling, too many secrets, too many excuses, too many broken promises.

Personality does not make up for a complete lack of basic human decency. Why doesn’t anyone else see that?

I turned my attention to the blond woman that had been laughing a little louder than the rest at my father’s jokes. She moved closer to where my father was standing and stumbled a little on the way there. My father reached out to steady her arm, causing her drink to spill over onto the carpet. They leaned into each other, giggling like school kids.

My eyes narrowed, focusing in for even a hint of familiarity. I didn’t have to look very hard though. My father’s hand moved down to the woman’s butt, squeezed it, and stayed there.

The woman acted like nothing was happening. She only continued to give my father smiles here and there.

My eyes frantically scanned the room, the faces, for my mom.

There sat my mom on the couch next to no one. She was as still as a statue. Awkward in a room full of easy movement and blurred edges. Her gaze was trained on my father and the blond. Her expression was defeated. Hopeless. Empty.

Tears stung my eyes as I longed to comfort my mom. How much would she have to go through because of him? How much was enough? What the hell would it take for her to DO something about all this?

Pity turned to anger growing in my belly. He may be my father, but I am NOT like HIM. I will NEVER be like him. He is a disgusting mother fucker. Somehow, I will make him hurt.

The resentment sat with me like an old friend. Eventually, I grew tired keeping watch. I slipped quietly back to my bedroom, which felt a few degrees cooler than the rest of the house.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Part Survival, Mostly Wonderful

We recently got home from a fabulous family vacation. The experience was part survival and mostly wonderful. Check it out.

From the Drive-Heard-Round-the-World (too bad we didn't get a picture of the screaming). Hockey obsession traveled with us. The activity tray was "the ice." The cake top decorations were the players. A quarter was "the puck." Lightning McQueen was "the Zamboni."

Presents at Grandma's!

Another birthday celebration!

After a couple of days, we left the maniac with Grandma and got the hell out of there for some long overdue overnight alone time!

Beautiful Sedona, Arizona

We are whoopin' it up. Obviously.

The hubs actually tolerated some shopping!

Our Griswold shots of the landscape, about 10 feet away from our car, just the way I like it.

You can find Wordless Wednesday at Kristi's Live and Love...Out Loud.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gratitude Abounds!

So much to be grateful for! My SITS day was wonderful! I am still visiting all the blogs. Whew! It may take awhile! But, I am happy to return the comment love and discover more great blogs out there.

I am also grateful for the fabulous Spring Break we’ve had! Our trip was wonderful, and we survived the car rides. Barely. But, we survived.

There came a time on every driving day when Parker would begin screaming, “GET ME OUTTA THIS CHAIR!!!”

My husband would roll down the window by my son and shout, “Go ahead, Parker! Just yell and get it out!”

Parker would just start wailing out the window, “AHHHHH!”

Then, we would join him, roll down our windows, and scream out the windows.

By the end of it, we would all be laughing, and anyone in a car near us would be very worried.

When that didn’t work, I would strap a candy necklace to the maniac’s wrist, and we would continue on across the country like the idiots we are.

If that weren’t enough, I am also grateful to Nadya Booyse of Journey Keeper for giving me the Stylish Blogger award.

Nadya has a beautiful and inspirational blog. In fact, she just received another blog award in which she nominated some other inspirational bloggers, so head on over and check her out. I have received this award before and you can read about the secrets of my “style” HERE.

Now I must get to visiting blogs, and I will hope that there is a good calorie burn involved after all the Spring Break indulging.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For Crying Out Loud, It's my SITS Day!

The Big Day has finally arrived! Today is my SITS day where I am featured at The Secret to Success is Support. This is a fabulous group of women (8,000+ members and counting!) who are dedicated to spreading blog comment love and support for building your best blog.

If you are new here, welcome! I’m so excited you are here.

A little background…

I started my blog because I thought, “Surely, I am not the only new mom out there who frequently thinks, ‘I don’t think I’m cut out for this mothering thing at all.’” Or, in my husband’s words, “This kid has taken YEARS off my life!”

You just don’t often hear about The Other Side of mothering – the loneliness of maternity leave and staying at home, the postpartum depression and anxiety issues, the life adjustment it really takes. I didn’t want to feel alone in it anymore. I wanted to have a good laugh about it all – laughter truly is the best medicine.

I also wanted to reclaim some of my creativity and love for writing - to follow my passion and have something of my own.

It has been fabulous.

A little about me – I love to laugh, and I often use self-deprecating humor to get you to like me. I am fiercely loyal, kind-hearted, and open-minded to a fault. However, I am also quick to state my opinion, tell you if I’m tired, or say, “I don’t care.” In other words, I’m pretty honest.

I am also quite proud that the two biggest words in my tag cloud (at the bottom of my page) are GRATITUDE and HUMOR. If this is what you are about, well I think you should stick around.

If you love to laugh and read great writing, then you’ll love me! So, follow, and I’ll follow back.

I highly recommend these posts (in addition to the ones listed on the SITS site):

Flash Fiction - Shock Value; Family Secrets

Memoir - Marriage on Colic; Making a Scene; In the Rain

Parenting Humor – No Thank You; Supermom? No. Sucker? Yes.; Murphy’s Law: An Illustration; Daddy Anxiety

Poetry – Where I Am From; Trying to be Small

Love to you all!

I would do this for you. I would. If I could. Just pretend. That is me. Love to you all.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope and Dum-Dums are all we got

Stress, excitement, anticipation, and STRESS.

What a freakin’ day! Holy cow.

I’m watching all these elementary kids run out of the building like maniacs with small brains (well, seriously, their brains are actually, physically small). Everyone is happy that it is Spring Break.

Now, at the end of this tiring day, I will pick up my own maniac-with-a-small-brain (and my husband), and off we will go, driving for many hours to begin our own Spring Break trip (you know, because we’re stupid).

I will still be around these here parts, checking in on blog land.

There is an EXCITING THING happening here on THURSDAY, so you’ll definitely want to come visit for that!

Well, here we go. We have as many hand-held electrical devices that we could afford and procure to make this long car drive bearable. Beyond that, hope and Dum-Dums are all we got.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Let's Party Down!

For Wordless Wednesday link-up at Live and Love Out Loud!

On Parker's actual birthday, Thursday, March 10, 2011, age 3:

Parker's birthday bash! Hockey Party! Saturday, March 12, 2011:

I, ME, MOI actually MADE that cake from scratch!!! Can you believe it?!

I Have Been Interviewed!

Hannah from is posting an interview with me on her blog today about toddlers and teeth care! Click on OVER THERE and check it out!! is a place where you can find the #1 discount dental plan. Hannah's mission is to share about health, insurance, dental care, current events, building healthier communities and providing an affordable independent alternative option to dental insurance.

So, I was quite flattered to be asked about my ideas in promoting teeth health with your children. Round these here parts, we aim for regular brushing and only water at bedtime. You know, after we've attacked the candy jar and guzzled our sweetened milk. All the more reason to break out the tooth soap and swish and spit, people!

Frequently, you can hear my husband shout, "Parker! Brush your teeth, or they're going to fall out of your head!"

Parker has now learned to reply, "I get older - they fall out anyway."

Where do they get this stuff from?!

In spite of the budding resistance, check out these pearly whites!

Say, Cheese!

And, by the way, I am hopelessly excited to have hit 300 followers! I love you all, really, I do! I'm quite gushy that way. Please, I love to return favors and follow back, so if you follow me, and for some reason, I have missed you, leave a comment with your link letting me know!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


My boy is THREE YEARS OLD today. God help us. I hear three can be rough. Indeed, it is. But, I'm such a sucker for watching my boy get older, I love it, in spite of the tantrums and impressive displays of stubborn-ness (Where did he get that from anyway??? I've no idea....).

I am sure I'm not alone in reliving all the different stages of labor every birthday. Last night, at 9:00 pm, I reminded my husband, "Hard labor was starting!"

This morning, we woke up, and I said, "I was an hour away from finally getting the epidural!"

Sadly, it will not be until 10:38 fucking PM tonight until I can relive the moment he was born. (Yes, you read that right - over 25 hours of labor - and you can read all about it HERE! Let's all remember the Labor Story post I did in which I got to call my husband The Fucker many times.)

For my son's first birthday party, I so badly wanted to hang a big, huge banner in our house that said, "We Made It!" We had survived the first year, and it truly felt like survival.

For my son's second birthday party, I was so stressed out about my son's horrible behavior caused by constipation. I ended up writing a post about that too, titled "Poop," and ended up calling my son an asshole in that story (No pun intended. Really, he was an asshole.)

Then, I was duly scolded by my mother for calling my child an asshole.

Now, here we are. Three years old. This is the first birthday that my son "gets it." He is excited. He knows he's having a party. He knows he is turning three. I can hardly contain myself. Here we go! Another year of adventures.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You Fixable?

I am participating in the memoir link-up sponsored by The Red Dress Club:

The prompt is to describe a scene from your life that would help show a person your true self.

Are You Fixable?

In a quaint and cramped Mexican restaurant, my husband and I sat across from each other, hardly knowing what to talk about.

So, we talked about our son. Our baby. Our beautiful, colicky, screaming baby.

“What do you think they’re doing right now?” my husband asked.

“Crying. They’re all crying,” I said cynically.

My husband nodded silently and took another sip of his margarita.

We had a night away on my birthday. Our son was with babysitters. We should have been partying down like our old carefree selves, but instead all we needed was a moment of silence.

We hardly knew how to speak to each other anymore without shouting at each other over the screaming of our son. I judged myself, as always, too harshly for feeling confusion and helplessness when mothering my own child. I was scared that I wouldn’t survive it. I was scared our marriage wouldn’t survive it. The emotion of it all sometimes seemed too much to bear.

I needed some reassurance from my husband. I needed to know that we were in this together. I needed to know that HE thought I was ok, even if I wasn’t so sure about myself.

“It’s been really hard,” I started.

“Yeah,” was all my husband said.

“I don’t know how I could do it without you,” I said. “Can you imagine people who are alone and have an infant?”

“No, not at all,” my husband said while shaking his head.

My husband looked up at me. He looked straight in my eyes. His eyes were filling with tears. He looked away, and then down and rubbed his face.

“It’s just been really hard,” he said, not able to speak anymore, trying to choke back the tears.

My entire insides shifted. I could not believe that my husband was so affected. It surprised me that he was showing himself to be so vulnerable. At that moment, I knew I was not alone. I knew this was all way more than just about me and my feelings. Instead of needing reassurance, I needed to reassure. My energy changed and all I yearned to do was comfort. And fix.

“Oh, honey,” I said, leaning forward, “You know what I tell myself sometimes when it all feels too hard?”

He looked at me.

I continued, “I tell myself that maybe God gave us Parker because we can handle it. You know?”

He nodded and kept looking at me.

“We CAN handle it. Just think. If Parker were given to a different family and they couldn’t handle it all – the reflux, the colic, the allergy, the crying – God knows what would happen and how someone else might handle it. But God didn’t do that. He gave him to US. Because we can handle it,” I said.

At that, my husband began openly crying and reached across the table to take my hands.

We held hands at a restaurant table for the first time in years.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jeans - Friend or Foe?

This is not me, but maybe someday. Bwa ha, ha, ha, ha!

“I’M IN MY PRE-PREGNANCY JEANS!!!!” I shrieked excitedly from the upstairs landing, thinking perhaps my announcement could be heard around the world.

I had no idea that at that moment, Parker was walking down the stairs. The manic, celebratory wail must have been a shock to his little system because the poor little guy fell on his butt and slid all the way down to the wood floor below and then laid there, stunned.

I was undeterred.

I pranced downstairs (hoping the top of my butt didn’t fall out of the top of the jeans at the same time) to flaunt my stuff.

My husband hadn’t even turned around at the sink while washing dishes.

Apparently, I was the only one heart-attack excited about this news.

Of course, I did stop for a moment to pick Parker up, twirl him around, and pat his head reassuringly.

Never mind that I literally, physically had to stuff the remaining top of my butt into the damn jeans, but they were zipped and buttoned and I could walk in them.

It was success.

It was the sweetest success I’ve had in years. I am high. Still.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In the Rain

Today's post is in response to this prompt from The Red Dress Club:

Water gives life. It also takes it away.

Write a short piece - fiction or non-fiction - inspired by one or both of these statements.

In the Rain

Splashing, I was splashing, while the desert opened itself to the cover of rain. What a surprise! The soaking, the downpour, water in every crevice where there was none moments before.

I was out of that house. Out of that house that contained us, shielded us from the sun. A house that kept us in spaces too close. Too close to ignore what we did not want to see.

I was a kid again and the backyard was my bathtub.

Monsoons in the desert are a special kind of storm. Once a year. Water, water, pouring down, flooding the streets that have no plan for this much water. Warm, thick air that feels like relief, so different from almost every other day of the year – in a desert.

I laid down in inches of water, completely free and undone, soaking my hair, taking it all in. Palm and yucca reached toward the sky, not even needing the nurturing it was given.

No one knew I could be so free. I kept myself in a tight bud, all the time, to protect myself from judgment. In my own backyard, all alone, in the rain there was no caution for cleanliness or perfection.

Rain was a welcome respite from the harsh light. A break from the search for comfort under an unforgiving sun.

That house, that house, it stood there and held all of our insides. That damn house. Waiting for me to come back. Waiting for me to return to a tight bud and close the door on freedom and truth.

I would stay in the rain until I was wrinkled and shaking. I would stay in the rain, running and doing cartwheels and rolling on the grass. No one really cared. I didn’t care. For a moment. I didn’t care, and I was free. In the rain.

“And then the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Suburban Hell

Won't you be my neighbor?

I don’t understand a neighborhood where no one interacts.

I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised. I grew up in Phoenix. People hardly saw each other unless they were running to their mailbox in order to avoid the penetrating sun.

I lived in Iowa for six years as an adult. People were all about having fun and making connections. Bonfires, BBQ’s, getting together – it was all part of a daily life.

Part of our family in Iowa moved to The City. They lived in a neighborhood where people “got together,” had fun, talked, interacted, etc. They visited each other’s houses. Their children played together.

We moved to a neighborhood in Colorado Springs, hoping we would find fun neighbors to share time with – without having to drive…anywhere.

This has not happened.

We live in a neighborhood. No one interacts. There are children. And only suspicious glances. I don’t understand it.

Fuck them. We hate you too.

I wish we could all just get along, really.

Oh, well.

We’re moving to the mountains.