Do not call me, maybe.


There are two phone calls I keep getting at the most inopportune times of the day.  One of them is Tom from Home Protection Security and the other is Rachel from Cardmember Services.

I hate them both.

I don't receive any other telemarketing-type of calls except these two.  I'm not sure how they've managed to slip through the cracks - but they have.

Guilty.  I made this card back in December right after he called us in Florida. Side note - is it me, or does the guy in the ecard look like Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button?

Tom is some sort state-of-the-art, pre-programmed, voice-prompted type of robot.  He must have about 100 human responses to expect programmed into his chip because he can recognize certain things.  Others he can't recognize so well.  This is a typical conversation with Tom:

Me:   Hello?
Tom:  Hello! This is Tom from Home Protection, how are you tonight?
Me:  Tom, Tommmy Tommy Hilfigger, Tom-alonga-ding donggg.
Tom:  (automated giggle) - Oookkkaaay, I see I caught you at a bad time, I'll try back.  Click.

Rob Schneider circa 1991 Richmeister: Ran-dyyy! The Rand-man! Randatollah! Randy: Hi, Richard. Just making some copies. Richmeister: Alright! The Rand Old Opry, makin' copies! Randy: It's nice to see you, too, Richard. Richmeister: The Randster! Randomly selected for your listening pleasure! Randy: That's a new one. I like that one. Richmeister: Ran-dyy! Likin' the new one! The Great Randino-o-o-o! Randy: Now, that one I've heard before. [ exits ]  (

Sometimes he'll play along.

Me:  Hello?
Tom:  Hello! This is Tom from Home Protection, how are you tonight?
Me:  Tom, I'm ok, a little under the weather, feeling somewhat unappreciated and what not.
Tom:  Ohhh that's too bad.  Well, listen, the reason I'm calling is because I..
Me (interrupts Tom).  You see Tom, that's the problem with men.  I'm spilling my heart out to you and you
just carry on with your spiel like it's nothing at all.  (feign crying)...I can't take it anymore Tom..I just can't.
Tom:  (pre-programmed panic-stricken voice)  Ok, you have a nice night.

Sometimes I'll take an entire day's worth of aggression out on him, because believe it or not, he is programmed to wait until I am done talking to give me a rebuttal/answer.

Me:  Hello?
Tom:  Hello!  This is Tom from Home Protection, how are you tonight?
Me:  I'm not fucking well Tom - as a matter of fact, I'm about to lose my shit - and you are just the person I needed to unleash it all on because my kids are fighting, I'm trying to cook dinner, the cat puked on my good persian rug, I have bills coming out my ass and I've got the kind of uterine cramps that indicate I may give birth to an ovary today.
Tom:  I'm sorry to hear that, perhaps I will try back again later.  Goodbye.
Line dead. 
But I'm amused.

If you haven't experienced a call from Tom from Home Security - I hope you do - and soon.  It can bring minutes of joy and laughter to you and your loved ones.  I don't feel badly about it either because first of all, he is automated - there is no real Tom behind the voice.  Second of all, he calls easily every other day.  He even called the villa in Florida we rented.  The first night we got there the phone rang and I was like who could be calling us? No one has this number! 

Me:  Hello?
Tom:  Hello!  This is Tom from Home Protection, how are you tonight?
Me: (hearing music in background from Psycho) - Tom, how did you get this number, and how did you know we were here.
Tom:  I'd like to talk to you about protecting your home.  Is now a good time?
Me:  Tom, now is NOT  a good time, because now you know that I am in Florida and not at my real home - so no - it is certainly not a good time.  I mean how am I to know you aren't going to send burglars from your company over to steal my shit - thus proving a point that I do in fact need home security from you?  Very clever Tom, very clever.
Tom:  (automated giggle).  I'm not sure I understand your question, but I woud like to see if you are interested in testing out our security system in your home.
Me:  Tom, you've got to stop this.  It's creepy.
Tom:  Thanks for your time, have a good night.

Then there's Rachel.  You know, Rachel, from Cardmember Services?  She acts like she has something really important to tell you about your credit card that you DON'T have with her company?   She calls repeatedly.  She usually calls, after you've gone all day without the phone ringing, and you finally get two minutes to go to the bathroom uninterrupted and the phone rings and it's her.   Oh, and have you tried to stay on the line to tell them to stop calling?   You sit through 5 minutes of transfers, only to be prompted to press 4 to request removal from the list.  You press # to disconnect the call, only to have Rachel taunt you by calling back, right as you are putting the kids to bed.  Rachel has called me so many times, that I often find solace in her call, knowing that if everyone else has forgotten about me, there's always good old Rachel the scam artist, caring enough about me to call daily, sometimes even twice a day,  to try and fool me into thinking something is wrong with the one credit card I do have and pay faithfully if ever there is a balance on it.  *shaking my fist at can't fool me any more with your silly worrisome calls!*

Somehow we should get Rachel and Tom together for some computer love.  Maybe they'd stop calling us and start calling each other so they can protect each other and talk about interest rates and what not.  Then there would be two less lonely computers in the world. (cue Air Supply love music)

I don't know - just random thoughts on a rainy summer afternoon.

Cheers, and remember that this blog is being monitored for training purposes and/or quailty assurance - of which there is none,

UPDATE:  OCTOBER 1, 2013:   Though Rachel is no longer calling, 'Cardmember Services' is still calling me.  As a matter of fact, I got 4 calls from them in 10 minutes.  FOUR.  So, on the fourth time, I hit ZERO to "close my account" with them - my account that I do NOT have.

 Here is the transcript of that call:
"hullugh thank u fa cullin cahdmemba svcs how you doin tuday""Umm yeah, you guys have called me four times today so I need to get my 'acct that i don't have with you ' closed..""OK darlin how you doin today you married you sound fine and sexay as he-yull."Me: "umm...whahhh?" him: Yeah yeah yeah you know can I tulk to you.Me: Just close the acct.Him: "so you married today or not?"Me: Today, Yesterday Tomorrow - Yes. I am married today, just take me off your list.Him: You sound fine girl he one lucky doooode.Me: Stop calling here. For the love of God please stop the calls.Him: GOD BLESS YOU MA'AM.((CLICK.))


The Underachiever's Guide to Saying No To Camping

See - I can be flexible on vacation!

For years, friends of mine have been begging me to go camping. 

The answer is no.

No.  No.  Hell no.  Not a chance.  Not if it was THE most fun thing to do all summer long.  I have said no so many times that I was thinking I would start handing out a public service announcement-type pamphlet listing the reasons why I choose to just-say-no-to-camping.  I am most certainly NOT a primadonna so stop judging me!  I am absolutely NOT closed minded.  I like to try new things.  But like the fact that I've never tasted cheesecake in almost 40 years of living - I am not missing out on the temptation of fattening calories.  I can say that there is something that I DON'T eat that is sinful.  So it's the same with camping. I can say that it is something I've never done, and that's ok.  I can say no - and be perfectly content that there are plenty of things I DO try that make me adventurous (such as staying in hotels without wi-fi, etc). and therefore I am not being stubborn.

Let's start with the arguments brought forth by avid campers, followed by my rebuttals:

1.  Don't you want to know how it feels to sleep under the stars and wake up at dawn to birds chirping?
Answer:  Since I will not actually "fall asleep" due to my all-consuming, irrational fear of being eaten by a bear or another sizable creature, the question does not apply to me.  Also, if I really wanted to 'sleep with one eye open' under the stars, I could always sprawl out on my lawn furniture in the safety of my deck, look up for approximately 5 minutes or less, depending on my attention span at that moment, and then when I snap out of it, I can trudge back in the house with my blankie and crawl in my own damn bed.  As far as morning goes - I don't tolerate being awake long without my morning coffee.  So if I have to get up at 4 am, chop wood, build a new fire, boil my water and make Nescafe for everyone else while they sleep in - so they can enjoy their java when they wake with the sunrise - no thanks, I'll pass.  There are too many sharp objects and rogue sticks and branches for me to be stabby around those I love.  I don't buy the Raisin Bran commercial of John Denver smiling into his bowl of cereal while his dog sits by and watches peacefully.  Not buying or believing that craziness. And for the record, sunshine on my shoulders (while camping), makes me stabby.

(  The only Rocky Mountain High I'm going to get from camping is if someone throws some pot in the fire and I inhale it while choking down s'mores.

2.  You'll be so tired from the hiking trails, swimming, and setting up camp that you'll fall right to sleep!   Hello.  Have we met?   A.  I don't 'own'  hiking-friendly shoes. B. I hate bugs.  C. Swimming in a pool of Canadian Geese- poop- tainted water, thus resulting in a bad case of duck itch later on, is not something that will help me 'peacefully' fall asleep from fatigue.  I will be suffering there in my sleeping bag, in the crunchy dirt -made earthen mattress, fantasizing about Benadryl while scratching my skin off from my skin that is now the parasites' home.  So to counter your argument - my point is no - no way in hell will I be tired from hiking, swimming, swatting mosquitoes, and struggling to find a comfortable spot for my sleeping bag.  In the crazy, rare event that I would be so exhausted from the terrors of the outdoors, I can just imagine me falling asleep with a leftover s'more in my hand, inviting a raccoon to attack in the middle of my slumber and all I can find to poke him with is a plastic spork left over from dinner.  You never hear about death by sporking now do you?  Raccoon -  1, DG - 0.  No.  I will be angry and aggravated, grouchy, bitchy and humorless.  And like Bruce Banner (Hulk), you wouldn't like it when I'm angry.

3.  But don't you want a break from the Blogworld, Facebook, Social Media, Computers, News, the World?  I am a blogger.  Taking away my laptop is like pulling the couch out from under me while I'm in session with my shrink.  I resent the implication that I spend too much time in Cyberspace.  And for your information, being in cyberspace is like 'sleeping under the stars' for me.  So question.

4.  But you'll be in a tent - you'll be fine. Let me start my argument to this statement with some information on tents. 

Tent fabric may be made of many materials including cotton (canvas), nylon, felt and polyester. Cotton absorbs water, so it can become very heavy when wet, but the associated swelling tends to block any minute holes so that wet cotton is more waterproof than dry cotton. Cotton tents were often treated with paraffin to enhance water resistance. Nylon and polyester are much lighter than cotton and do not absorb much water; with suitable coatings they can be very waterproof, but they tend to deteriorate over time due to a slow chemical breakdown caused by ultraviolet light. The most common treatments to make fabric waterproof are silicone impregnation or polyurethane coating. Since stitching makes tiny holes in a fabric seams are often sealed or taped to block these holes and maintain waterproofing, though in practice a carefully sewn seam can be waterproof. (wikipedia)
So there you have it.  A lightweight raincoat is with a few poles held in the ground by a stake that you hammer in with a rock because someone inevitably forgets a hammer, is going to protect me from creatures lurking in the woods.  False.  It is like the wrapper on a candy bar for a bear.  So lightweight and airy that they can bite right into it and not mind the chewy outer layer of a delicious snack that is my leg.  Na-ganna-happen.

5.  Don't you want a change of scenery to get refreshed and just breathe and take in the beauty of nature?   If you mean 'don't you want to give up your king sized comfy luscious bed with 500 thread count sheets in your cool, dry, bug free, incredibly well-built home made of structured walls around you and 3 different beautiful, well-operating bathrooms complete with hot running water, sinks, and outlets for your flat iron?  Then  No.  No I do not want to give any of that up to breathe in the beauty of nature.  That is why I have a rose garden on the side of my house.  I can go outside - stop...and smell my roses.  Then I can go back INSIDE my home and carry on with my day.  See.  I'm outdoorsy in that I enjoy the flowers in my yard.  Win/Win.


6.  It would be so much fun you wouldn't even know you were camping.  Add the alcoholic drinks and you'll be laughing in no time.  Ok so let me understand.  Your intent is to get me so tipsy that I won't be upset that there is NO bathroom - that I'll revert to some type of Cavewoman status and feel free to just drop trou anywhere and relieve myself and my weak, underachieving bladder that is damaged from 3 children?  So I'm supposed to be excited about the fact that I can have the adventure of wandering in the woods every half an hour to find a safe place to pee while I run into the Charmin bear - so friendly and kind - just waiting for me with toilet paper in my time of need?  Nein danke.  No.  Nicht.  Oxi.  Nei.  Nan.  Non.  Hells no.

A bear in the woods does not want to help me wipe my ass by providing soft toilet paper like the Charmin bear here.  He wants to take a bite out of my ass.  So thank you very much - I'm going to say no.

7.  Camping is like an art.  As long as you are prepared, it is a beautiful experience.  If I'm hearing this right, there is some skill involved.  Like art.  Art requires skill.  I am a terrible artist who can barely draw a stick figure - so once again, I fall short in the talent that is needed to camp.  And what do you mean by 'prepared?'   Prepared to me, means bringing along everything - including the kitchen sink, a garage, an mosquito zapper, a taser gun, a stereo, fridge, grill, trash compactor, bed, walls, carpet, I forgetting anything?  NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOO can anyone hear me?  You can NEVER be prepared enough while camping.  Never. Ever. Stop lying to yourselves!

Okaaaaay, I'm readyyy!  (

8.  You'll be outdoors - no one cares about your hair and makeup but you.   Again, you've known me how long?  Have you EVER seen me without makeup and a flat ironed hair job?  Contrary to popular belief, I do NOT wake up this beautiful.  It takes a team of experts including MAC cosmetics, John Frieda, Bobbi Brown and the rest of my beauty team to get me ready in the morning.  I don't see enough room at this campsite for my entourage.  If you recall, dear friends, even after the births of my 3 children, I was photo ready, complete with eyeliner and mascara.  Sue me.  I wasn't born with a naturally gorgeous look about me.  As far as my hair's more of a safety issue.  I can imagine my hair, after a day of being in the hot and humid outdoors, exploding to 25x its size, thus being an attraction to bats flying overhead.  I would inevitable end up with a bird or other flying object stuck in my hair, and fall into the fire from a complete freak out reaction.  For my own safety and the safety of people, birds and other wildlife around me, I must decline the camping offer.

Snakes in hair? I might be Greek - but I'm not digging the Medusa look.  http://www.bztoonscom/

9.  The water from the stream is ice cold refreshing and safe to drink.  Ok, so the malaria-induced fever you have from too many mosquitoes biting you has led you to believe that drinking stream water is safe.  Call me later when you have symptoms of the ebola virus.  Sucker.  You may just fit into that size 2 dress that you foolishly bought and hung in your closet.  (Wait a minute...weight loss that easy?  Finally - a perk to camping?  Give me a drink of that damn stream water - and get out of my way!)

10.  (Drumroll) And finally - the grand finale - the line that gets me everytime...Don't you want to have the experience of camping out with your kids?  Let's think about this for a minute.  As if my own needs aren't enough to worry about during a day/night in the rough, I have to think of all of their needs too?  I need to pack their blankies, their favorite stuffed animals, their must-have snacks, their nighttime milk, their favorite lullabies.  I would have to spend half of a day packing their stuff - then schlepping it to the campsite - unpacking it, listening to them ask me a hundred questions on why I forgot to pack their Star Wars mini-figures, their this, their that.  I'd be replacing their hot dogs after they repeatedly either drop it on the ground and/or burn it or drop it in the fire.  I'd be paralyzed by fear that someone is going to get pushed, trip or fall INTO the fire.  I'd be constantly taking one of them into the woods to pee.  Nope.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Simple Math/Addition Problem:  One cranky mom plus 3 children like the one listed above equals infinite number of freakouts per hour.

I know.  I'm a drama queen when it comes to the outdoors.  I get that.  I have this whole crazy scenario worked up in my head.  Save your "why don't you try it, you'll like it" comments because I am not going camping.  I'm ok with that. I'm a city girl.  You can take a girl out of the city, but you can't get her to shut up if she's miserable at a campsite.  It's all fun and games until someone has to deal with an uncomfortable, scared version of me in the outdoors.  For everyone's safety and comfort, I'm staying home.  If you or someone you know is a camper and loves every minute of it.  Congratufreakinglations.  And I mean that with a warm heart.

Love and Bugfree Hugs,

Brilliant pic - ( I think!)


Who Says "I've Got it Made in the Shade?"

(photo from images)

Where did this phrase come from?  And have you noticed the phrase "it'll be a day at the beach" is not "it'll be a day at the beach with kids.." Sigh.  When going to the beach in the summer with children, who just sits in the shade reading a book and sipping a Pineapple Juice with an umbrella?  Clearly, not me.  Let's be clear, this is my blog - my humor's my place to vent.  I know I am beyond lucky, fortunate, etc to be able to live in an area of the US where we have a beach, and to be able to stay home with my kids.  That is not up for debate...I love my kids.  I do, however, hate sand with a passion.  Are we good? Let's move on.

It's summer.  Finally.  And despite me talking up a good game of getting myself bikini ready once again, na-ganna-happen.  Regardless, my children do not suffer fools - especially those on the Momecular Level.  They certainly don't care WHAT I look like in a bathing suit as long as I get my cottage cheese thighs down to the dock so they can swim.

Who, besides Hubs and the boys here, thinks it is just THAT easy to hit the beach?  Let me walk you through the steps it takes to get there - just for the sake of a fun Summer Story.

1. Determine that today is a beach day.  Lick finger, put it in sky - nice summer breeze, check.  A few clouds, check.  Bright summer sun, check.  OK - beach day.  Let's do this.  (Must be mentally prepared to endure the next several steps).

(photo of Woodie compliments of

2.  Get everyone in their bathing suits and rash guard tops.  Check.

3.  Get me in a bathing suit.   Not so fast.  Please go to 3a and 3b.

      3a.  Determine mental health state; fat day?  Go with lightweight skort and tank top; do not attempt to   put bathing suit on or this will set estimated time of departure back 30 minutes due to self-image crisis.

3b. If mentally stable today, pick favorite go-to suit out of drawer.  Not so fast.  Check for inappropriate amount of leg hair.
  If YES; go to tub; do drive by shaving job, inevitably cutting shins.  Wait a few minutes for razor burn to appear.  Slather in lotion.  Wince as your legs burn from stinging of lotion.  Go from hairy legs to raised red bumps.  Get aggravated.  Clean up bathroom. Put bathing suit on. 

 If NO: (this never happens to me because I am Greek and always have a 5:00 shadow)...then aren't you a lucky girl?  Go put your bathing suit on and thank God you don't have to shave.
4.  Grab 5 towels out of dryer waiting to be folded from day before.  Smile as you think you got out of folding those 5 towels thinking you outsmarted the system.  Throw them over your shoulder and run downstairs.  Find all 3 kids playing with Legos and messing up the just-cleaned living room.  Shudder - look away.  Let them play as you work on step 5.

5.  Clean and cut several oranges, strawberries, apples, and other fruits.  Arrange them nicely in the cooler so nothing gets smashed.  Pour pitcher full of ice water.  Get cups, napkins, etc.  Fill up bag with Cheese-its, Pretzels, Granola Bars, etc.   Review contents of bag twice to ensure you haven't forgotten someone's favorite snack.  Remember to refer to the Summer food pyramid below: (thanks

(photo from

6.  Grab sunscreen, hats, cell phone, book (you still have the optimistic outlook that you will be able to read at least one paragraph, uninterrupted), etc.

7.  Tell everyone to get their sandals on.

8.  Get ready to walk out door.  Middle child announces he has to poop.  Remove everyone's sandals.  Ask if anyone else has to go to the bathroom.  No one.  Ok...minimal time wasted.  Proceed. 

9.  Wait.  Help Middle child back into bathing suit.  Get sandals back on.

10.  Youngest is not coming to garage.  Look around.  Call his name.  Go back in house.  See him removing HIS sandals.  He has to poop.  Repeat steps 8 and 9.

11.  Get everyone to beach.  Unpack.  Get towels set up on beach. AHHHHHHHH yes.

12.  Watch kids splash around joyfully for approximately 2.2 minutes.  See idea in youngest's face.  He runs toward you.  You know what's coming.  Slow, slurred, robotic murmurs leave his lips...i'm huuuungryyy.  He gets to bag before you do, unzipping with sand-hands, reaching in.  You are trying not to lose a boob from your bikini top as you lunge for the bag yelling (you too in slow robotic moans) NOOOOOOOOO! I'LL GET IIIIIITTTTTT!  But you are too late.  Sand in snack bag, strawberries smashed by ice packs, youngest crunching on sand-covered apples.

It's inevitable.  Either one of your kids or someone else's kid is going to mess with the sandcastle that one of your other kids built.  It's also inevitable that someone is going to eat sand. (Photo from Google Images)

13.  Middler sees out of corner of eye that youngest is eating.  Repeat step 12.

14.  Eldest sees what Middler and Youngest are eating.  Repeat step 12.

15.  Run out of snacks and drinks 10 minutes into trip.

16.  Eldest, who insisted he did not have to go to the bathroom, informs me that he cannot hold it any longer.

17.  Gather belongings...trudge to bathroom.  Wait for Eldest.  Wash Middler and Youngest as they are covered in sand from head to toe - and factor in the slimy sunscreen, they have a moist, crunchy exterior that resembles sludge.  (Mental Note:  Reapply more slime at beach headquarters.)

18.  Trudge back to beach.  Repeat steps 11-17 for the next 3 hours.

19.  Arrive home.  Try to minimize sand infestation.  Get kids in tub.  Unpack.  Clean up.  Start laundry.  Vacuum. 

20.  Collapse in chair, exhausted.  Youngest approaches.  "I'm bored.  What are we going to do now, Mom?"

If you've followed my blog for a while, you know how much I love this woman - I aspired to be a Cruise Director my entire childhood.  This, however, is not what I had in mind.   Oh well.  I love it anyways! (google images pic)

Shuffleboard on the Promenade, promptly at 4pm...because I'm your Cruise Director this Summer, and it is my job to entertain all of you.

Cheers!  And YES...I know I am absolutely blessed and fortunate to be able to be home with my kids! I love them all even though they drive me bonkers.  xo

Thanks to  and for this brilliant cartoon:

The Key Nazi


When I first moved to New England from Ohio, I was a flight attendant based in Bangor, Maine.  I was young, naive, bright eyed and innocent.  I would go on long trips for work and be gone 4 days, home 3 days.  Someone figured out my schedule and probably saw me leave with my uniform on and my pull along behind me and decided they would break in.  When I returned from a trip, I pulled out my house keys when the cab dropped me off in front of my apartment, and casually walked in to find my front door ajar.

I pushed the door open with my heart in my throat and an adrenaline rush to the gut.  I looked around - papers everywhere, mantle completely bare of my jewelry and knick knacks, drawers opened - a complete mess.  I immediately dropped my purse and suitcase and ran to the phone to call the police.

No phone.

No tv, no answering machine (go ahead and laugh - those were the days of the big bulky answering machine with cassette tape), no books, no nothing.  I was just starting out in my career - some of those things weren't even paid for on my credit card yet.  I looked up at the window - shattered glass.  I was devastated.  They came in through the window and left through the front door.  They took their sweet old time rummaging through my things.  I was physically ill.  I ran to the bathroom to vomit and noticed they took every last drop of makeup, perfume, lotion, etc.  Gone baby gone.

I ran to a neighbor and called the police.  They came by and asked me a load of questions - one of them was if I had renter's insurance.  I didn't even know what that was.  Of course, I learned pretty quickly what it was and how it would've helped me - but that did me no good.   They wrapped it up pretty fast and were on their way.  I stopped them, confused.  Aren't you even going to take any fingerprints?  And they mocked me and laughed.  We don't take fingerprints for break ins like this - you've been watching too much NYPD Blue.  Have a nice day.


There's something that happens to you when you've been a victim of a burglary.  Almost like a PTSD thing.  I was scared, I was paranoid, I was almost irrational in my thinking.  I never slept there again - I moved out that day into my now-ex-husband's house, moving our relationship prematurely to the next level out of fear mostly.  I became obsessed with locking my car doors, my house doors, always aware of where my purse was, where my keys were.  Obsessed.

Years later, I'm still a fanatic about keys and doors.  Along with constantly locking EVERYTHING,  I have a huge fear of losing my keys.  When I get out of my car, I check easily 3 times (OCD much?) to make sure I see them in my purse before I lock my car.  My husband is constantly shaking his head at me, even though he knows I do not have the ability to stop this behavior.  He frequently refers to me as the Key Nazi and pokes fun of me for it on a regular basis.

Yesterday afternoon, he drove 1 hr. 20 mins to his Men's Lacrosse League that he belongs to.  I was at the park with the kids, while waiting for Eldest to finish up at his lacrosse practice.  I got a phone call at 6:30 from my panic-stricken husband.


It's me - I can't find my keys.  I'm at the practice field and I can't find my f-n keys. Anywhere.

~Ok, calm down a second (although the mere THOUGHT of losing his keys has gripped me like a choke hold).

I can't calm down - I am freaking out - I have literally looked EVERYWHERE.  They aren't here.

(I'm hearing his voice telling my kids they didn't just grow legs and walk away but I refrain from funniness at this point because this is not good.  I have to take control.)

~They've got to be there somewhere just breathe for a minute (ok so now I am thinking - I'm not there to look for 3 seconds and find them myself like I do every other day in this house when someone asks me where their crap he's going to have to open BOTH of his eyes and actually look around.)

THEY AREN'T HERE.  You are going to have to get the spare keys and drive down here after you pick up Eldest from practice.

(blood pressure rising)

~Ok, that's fine - just calm down and if you find them, call me right away.

Sidestory:  It is the beginning of Motorcycle Week here in NH which brings 250,000 bikers to this area, causing delay, mayhem, traffic and other unpleasantries to our normally calm state.  Getting anywhere safely and easily is a chore.  Where we live is the center of all of it.  Just getting down the street is a task.  He couldn't have picked a worse time for this to happen.

This is a glimpse of our city during bike week.

I leave the park with the kids, go home, get the spare keys, water and bathroom the boys, go get gas, then pick up Eldest, who I find ready and waiting since they 'decided' to end practice early.  &^%$

I explain to Eldest what's happening and that we will pick up Burger King on the way down - that makes EVERYONE happy and excited since we don't have a Burger King here anymore and haven't been in years.

1- 5 piece Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard
Medium Fries

2 Cheeseburger Kids Meals with JUST cheese  Milk to drink - toys for boys.

One Chicken Sandwich meal with Hi-C (I was feeling fruity) and excited that the french fries might
ease the pain of the drive.

10 minutes in the drive thru line - nothing.
Another 5 minutes and she appears - finally.  Obviously, they are short-staffed and since the place is infiltrated with Hell's Angels who don't want to wait for anything - they are the priority to not piss off - not a mom with 3 boys in an SUV in the drive thru.

We finally get our order and pull out into traffic.  I leave Eldest in charge of getting everyone's order distributed.

"Mom - there's no honey mustard."

From the back seat -
"Mooooooooooom there are pickles, ketchup and grosssss mustard on my burger.......!!!!"


"Mom - they didn't put any napkins in our bag."

"Sorry mom, there's only one order of fries in here but I'll share mine with you..."  says Eldest.

Youngest chimes in.."mamaaaa there's a pink toy for girls in my crown box!!! That's not fair!"

Tears are now welling in my eyes as I am on the highway surrounded by Hell's Angels.  My mouth is dry - I need some Hi-C type sugar and food coloring to give me a good buzz again.  I ask Eldest to get the straws and put them in our drinks.

"Ummm, mom?  There are NO straws in this bag."

Just keep driving...

I begin weaving a tapestry of obscenities in my wake on I93 South.  I am feeling twitchy and irritable and am picturing what I want to do to Hubs in my head for the next 1/2 hour, but not after a short film in my head of what I should've done with the Burger King eff-up.

Calm.  Exhale.  Breathe in.  Ohhhmmmmmm.  I have children in the car.  There are bikes everywhere.  Stay calm and drive.

Eldest starts complaining about his cleats and how much they had to run and how his feet are killing him like never before.  He takes his shoes off and a smell that I can only describe as Death by Frito Inhalation mixed with boy sweat and bo hits me square in the face while I am driving. 


I roll down the windows - something I try to avoid during bike week.

Phone rings about 1/2 hour into the trip.

"I still can't find my g-d keys. Where are you?"

"I'm on my way - still have easily an hour to go - lots of bike week traffic."

I approach the tolls - gridlock.  I look to my left - Hell's Angels.  Who mouth the words.."show us your tits" showing no shame whatsoever.

I smile and wave - "no thanks!"  I gulp. 

"What did he just say to you mom???"  Eldest asks me.

"He said show us your kids.."

"Why would they want to see your kids?  They seem kind of scary."

Me:  " Not all Hell's Angels are scary sweetie.  They looovve kids too...they love seeing kids during their drive.."

Eldest:  *shrugs*  "That's kind of weird mom..."

Crisis averted.

We continue to drive through the craziness that is I93 and my blood pressure is settling.  We are TEN minutes away from the Lacrosse Field.  We hit the second set of tolls - gridlock.

Phone rings.   I'm getting prickly.  I tell Eldest to answer because I am focusing on traffic.

"It's Pop.  He wants to talk to you..."

"Hello (annoyed)?"

"One of the guys on the team found my keys on top of my car.."

Me:  "Super. (sarcastic)"


Me:  "I'm hanging up now before I call you something awful in front of our children.  Do NOT call me.  I will see you at home."   CLICK.

I don't often hang up on Hubs...but when I do, I do it with gusto.

It takes 10 minutes to get off the exit and turn around.

My kids are cherubs.  No whining, no complaining, no nothing.  They are perplexed at this series of events but are troopers through it.

We get on 93North and head home.  More motorcycles.

Apparently the tolls on 93 are a good place to see boobs.  Kind of like a mardi gras for bike week.  This time, going north, there is bike after bike after bike waiting to get through and looking for entertainment.

I wince as I stop at the tolls taking my place in a very very long line, drowning in a sea of bikes.

I look to my left.  No one bothering me.  I look to my one bothering me.  Good.  Whew.

We aren't moving.  At all.  Suddenly the toll booth to my left starts moving faster and a new swarm of bikes appear.

"Mom, that guy with the beard is looking over here."

I look to my left.  Dammit.  Why did I do that???

"Tits?"  he asks.

"What's he saying mama?" asks Middler who is in his car seat behind me.   "Why is he talking to you mama?"

I answer:  "They've been on the road a long time and they just want to talk to someone.." 

Finally, my line gains momentum and I get the hell out of there.  I keep my eyes focused on the road, and I think about the things I am going to say to Hubs when he gets home. (To be fair - he's never done anything like this before and aside from never being able to find anything - he's 98% perfect...and I love him despite this little event he pulled on me..)

I don't EVER want to hear about me being a key nazi again.  Ever. 

Until next time friends, do you know where your keys are?
~DG (who, for the record, and after 3 kids, still is being asked to show her teets...)


"Murphy" is a Douchebag; Sayings, Superstitions, & Beliefs That I am Officially Calling Bullshit

I should add the usual disclaimer so as not to offend anyone who really has had a 'stroke of bad luck' because sometimes really bad, unexplainable things really do happen to good people.  This is not about you - this is more about taking the power back and giving it to ourselves - and not believing that the world is out to get us.  Carry on.  Peacefully.      :)

This is not another bitch session.  Not griping.  Not complaining.  This is just going to be a simple statement of me putting an end to this silliness so we can stop believing in these ridiculous sayings, and change them around a little.  I refuse to let wives' tales and the bastardization of stories and sayings throughout the ages be dictated to me as fact when they are simply ludicrous and untrue.  I will not accept this garbage as the norm anymore.  If we stop believing in this hooey and start testing it - defying it rather, proving it is simply untrue, it will release the paralyzing control it has on us.  It's time to start calling bullshit on these sayings.

First of all, let's start with Murphy. 
"This so-called ‘law’ says that ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’.
The ‘Murphy’ in the expression is commonly believed to be a certain Captain Edward A. Murphy, who was an American aerospace engineer back in 1949.
During experiments, Murphy, whose relationship with his research team was not as good as it could have been, often used to complain that ‘if things could be done wrongly, they would be’.
It wasn’t long before the team members started referring to this idea as ‘Murphy’s Law’!"

So what I am reading here is that Captain Douchebag Murphy, brilliant as he may have been was a big fat whiny complainer.  He didn't get along with his teammates and chastised them for making mistakes, and even made fun of them by saying that basically whatever they are doing, they are doing wrong.

"One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it."

The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law."

And then apparently, Murph the Jerk met his untimely death in this fashion.

"One dark evening (in the U.S.), Mr. Murphy's car ran out of gas. As he hitchhiked to a gas station, while facing traffic and wearing white, he was struck from behind by a British tourist who was driving on the wrong side of the road."

*Shrugs*   Sounds like a case of someone was an asshole most of his life and he left the earth prematurely in an unattractive way.  Maybe he tested and proved the theory of 'finally getting what was coming to him.' (Another statement I personally loathe about karma and paybacks).

If you ask me - society morphed this idiot into a right- to- ruin people law.  Something goes terribly wrong "Murphy's Law."   You're running late for an appointment because you couldn't get your shit together to get out of the door on time?  "Murphy's Law."  Elevator door closes as the people inside of it pretend to care and try to stop it but not really.  "Murphy's Law."   We don't blame ourselves or the selfishness of people around us - we chock it up to the Murphster.

Stop this.  Stop it now.   The more power we give to Murphy's Law, the more momentum it will gain.  You are trying to get somewhere fast - you hit every red light known to man.  You start cursing and banging on your steering wheel and blaming Murphy's Law - transferring your energy into this phenomenon that is going to inevitably get you pulled over by the police, thus making you even later, or even worse, in an accident.

Then you'll say - "Great - what else can go wrong?"


Or maybe - WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS! (Believe it or not, we can thank Morton's Salt for this one).

"Yes. In 1911, Morton created free-flowing salt by adding magnesium carbonate as an absorbing element. Following that, Morton decided to run a series of ads in Good Housekeeping magazine promoting its new product. An ad was developed featuring the little girl carrying the round container and holding an umbrella during a rain shower. The original copy read, "Even in rainy weather, it flows freely." Everyone agreed on the ad's appeal, but thought the copy was too wordy. It was reworded and a new advertising slogan was born! "  SEE - There is NOTHING to this statement but salt! It definitely doesn't hold any water like we make it out to!

No No No.   That's not even true - that doesn't make any sense.  When it rains, sometimes it just drizzles and then stops.  It doesn't always POUR.  That story is over - done - overplayed.  No.  Don't buy into that.  It's like saying well, if things are going to go wrong, they are going to go VERY wrong.  It freaks everyone out like all of a sudden because you got a flat tire on the way to work, you'll end up with 2 more horrible things happening to you before the day is over.  'Bad things always happen in threes you know!'  This comes from the 14th century group of extreme downers that thought that misfortune does not come alone.  Give me a break - do you really believe that garbage?  So something bad happens - are you really going to sit there and throw the towel in and wait for 2 more things to happen to make it a Trifecta of shittiness?  No thanks! I'm going to quote Public Enemy on this and say... DON'T DON'T DON'T DON'T - DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!

So you shrug again.  "Everything happens for a reason."   BULLSHIT.  No - it doesn't.  Sometimes things happen because you were dicking around on the Internet for too long and you made yourself late for an appointment and were rushing through a light and got pulled over.  What possible reason could there be for that?  It's totally ridiculous crap they have been feeding us for years!

And when I say idiot - I mean if you BELIEVE that.  Part of me does believe this one even though I absolutely hate the cliche that it is.  I mean I like to think that I got divorced so that I could end up happy with the man of my dreams - however, I have to credit myself for knowing when to leave an unhappy marriage, take care of myself, love myself, and then open myself up to love again - I mean there's some skill involved you know? 

"Wouldn't it figure?"   Woe-is-fucking-me.  Boo hoo - wouldn't it figure that you couldn't get your shit together long enough to prevent yourself from being late in the first place?  Wouldn't WHAT figure?  Stop the poor me thing already - it's not suiting to anyone.  Just once, plan ahead - figure things out - be prepared - and you'll see that with a positive attitude and some readiness, things will go smoother.

"If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all..."   Snap out of it Eeyore.  Seriously?  You create your own aura.  You want a bad aura?  You keep pretending to be miserable and whiny and complain about everything.  You want to be successful and happy - then it starts with YOU.  Seriously. 

"There's always tomorrow."    Again. No.  Fix it today.  You don't know if there's a tomorrow.  You aren't Clarice from Rudolph.  God I hate that part of the movie - it sucks.  Nothing like brushing something off and putting it on tomorrow's shoulders.  Today gets off too easily too much of the time.  Why not fix it - deal with it - spit in its eye and say - no - you don't do this to me - I'm taking the control back today.

Call me someone who needs instant gratifications and solutions - I am NOT waiting until tomorrow for my 'luck' to change or for my problems to go away.  I hated this part of the movie - every time.  I was always thinking - 'well what good does that do for Rudolph when he just got ousted from today's Reindeer Games?'

"If it wasn't this, it would be something else."   More bologna.  More cop outs.  What kind of something else were you hoping for?  Are you that convinced that you are a target for bad karma that you just accept your fate as someone with a tendency toward bad luck?   It doesn't hold any water - these theories - they are nothing but excuses for why things keep going wrong.

"If it wasn't this, it would be something else" was the main theme of Elizabethtown. I love when Orlando Bloom's character says, "There's a difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is merely the absence of success. Any fool can achieve failure. But a fiasco, a fiasco is a disaster of epic proportions. A fiasco is a folk tale told to other's to make other people feel more alive because it didn't happen to them."

What about not blowing all the candles out on your cake?  No wishes for you - God forbid you get a weird wind or mis-breath and don't quite get them out.  What is this, the soup nazi episode of Seinfeld?  NO WISH FOR YOU!

How about breaking a mirror?  People think they are doomed for 7 years.  NO!  So what - toss the mirror and clean up the mess - if you get cut while cleaning it, it is because broken glass is sharp - not because of luck. 

  Some people, maybe some more than others, have an  abundance of good fortune. They thrive in all aspects of their lives - love, careers, finances, etc. and in leading happy and meaningful lives. We say this is a stroke of luck - or they are so lucky and have the Midas touch.  We don't consider the fact of how hard people may have worked to get there - or what someone might have gone through to get there.  There's no way to tell.  But let's stop giving so much weight to 'LUCK' and being in the right place at the right time.  And let's definitely stop with the woe is me.  This is a tough time right now for a lot of people.  It has nothing to do with luck. 

Stop letting luck and these superstitions and saying have so much control over us.  Let's start giving ourselves the energy we spent on worrying about this silly stuff and see how far that energy can propel us into doing what makes us happy, what brings us good fortune, what makes us thrive.   Let's set ourselves up for success even if it means 'going the extra mile' and being mentally and physically prepared for challenges ahead.  The less energy we put into believing in this nonsense, the less hold it has on our psyche.

That's all for today - I feel better calling bullshit on this stuff. 

Until next time - thanks for reading - and remember to grab today by the junk and show the here and now who's boss...


I'm A Hazard to Myself

Not long ago, a few of my childhood girlfriends and  I decided that we were going to try a Girls' Weekend away.

Away from children.

Away from laundry.

Away from buttwiping duty.

Away from being last on the totem pole.

Away from everything except belly laughs, silliness, and reminiscing about our childhood.

This was going to be daunting.  We'd all been in the thick of child rearing for so long, we had to fight the severe side effects of mommy guilt, what ifs, and all of the urges to not let the control go and just stay home.

Finally - we did it.  We made the plane, hotel, spa, and restaurant reservations and were giddy at the thought of a hot meal, not cutting anyone's meat, not being interrupted all through dinner, and not having to take anyone to the bathroom at the most inconvenient of times.

The week before the trip, I was attacked by some awful virus that caused Vertigo and I ended up in the ER.  Not sure if you are familiar with Vertigo (God I hope not), but it is like being drunk and having a severe case of the spins that grabs on to you and doesn't let go.  I was told to SLOW down and take care of myself for a few days, and take this lovely medicine called Meclizine.  Side effects include, but not limited to:
Trouble urinating, constipation, dry eye, blurred vision, trouble sleeping, and a few others.

My seriously vain alter-ego: "you're not seriously going to take that shit right before a glam trip to Boston are you?  Do you want to have a distended abdomen full of backed up waste, bags under your eyes from not sleeping, and dry, blurry eyes so you can't see what the hell is going on around you?"  <Vanity Alter Ego is tapping her foot, arms crossed, looking at me with disgust..>

Normal Me:  (gulps and gasps in horror)  NO! That would be horrible!  I mean, I haven't been with my girls for more than dinner in over 12 years.  NO I don't want to be bloated, tired, groggy and blurry!

Uptight, Worrier, Alter Ego:  "YOU (pointing to Vanity AE) be quiet.  She's sick and needs rest and the only way to kick this so she CAN go on the trip at all is to take the Meclizine so stop putting these ideas in her head and shut it or we'll alllll (points to all of my personalities) staying home."

Being the peacemaker by nature, I decide to satisfy all of my alter ego requests and take the Meclizine for 2 days.  By day 3 I decide I've had enough of feeling like I am a zombie and stop taking the meds.  I quickly relapse and end up feeling much worse than the day I was in the ER.

Uptight Worrier Alter Ego:  "Everyone happy now?"

Vanity AE:  <<Looks around, quiet, subdued.>>

Vanity Girl had no time for zits, dizziness and other shenanigans. 
Uptight Worrier Alter Ego:  "So help me God, if we end up in the ER or bed bound during Girls' weekend - YOU are a dead alter ego woman."

Vanity AE:  <<Rolls eyes in disgust and walks away in her Jessica Simpson hooker heels>>

Normal Me:  "Ok girls, calm down.  I am not going down in flames.  We are going to go back to square one and take the Dr's advice.  Slow Down, Rest.  Take Meclizine 2x day."

I do this.  In just a few short days of going to bed early, drinking lots of water, resting, and not getting worked up about the house not being perfect and all of the other daily minor stresses of a SAHM, I was feeling better, just in time to start packing for the trip.  I was not about to have another thing ruin my once in a blue moon girls' timeout - flashback to my last night out that was still fresh in my mind of me being deathly ill the whole time.

The night before the trip, I'll be honest, I wasn't 100%.  I would say 75% is a stretch - but you'd be surprised at what mind over matter can do for you.   I was not about to miss a 3 day mental health weekend that was long over due.  So I just kept swimming...forging ahead..staying positive and thinking I'll be fine.  (By the way, at this point, I am STILL on the Meclizine, haven't pooped for days, haven't slept well for nights, can't see shit..but not spinning...not spinning at all.  It's like Side Effect Poker:   I'll see your dizziness and raise you Constipation and Dry Mouth - it is just an awful awful game of risk and bluff.)

I'm not at my best.  I am not looking my best.  I am mentally and physically exhausted..but I am going.  I have not done anything like this for myself in too long and I know it is needed.  I crawl into bed after a long day of grocery shopping, laundry, prepping the kids, the house, the hubs, and finally myself, for my being away.  I reach for my Ipad to read some of my favorite bloggers before I go to bed, when all of a sudden, my fingers slip a little and I drop my Ipad on my face - the corner of it blasting a hole right into my lip.  My lip starts gushing blood and immediately swells up like a balloon.

"SON OF A F**CKING..." Vanity Me yells at me in her head.  "You IDIOT.  You are going to look like the Elephant man by the time you finally get to Boston..."

I run into the bathroom.  True Story.  My lip looks like Melanie Griffith after a fresh Collagen injection gone wrong- you know, NOT a good look.  Only mine is bleeding with a gash in my lip for added effect.


I clean myself up and crawl back in bed.  I toss and turn most of the night, and finally fall into some kind of weird cat nap just before my alarm goes off and scares the hell out of me.

I rub my blurry, dry eyes and it hits me quickly that today is the day of the trip.  Adrenaline hits my stomach with delight, and I do a stretch and evaluate my dizziness/Vertigo situation.  Nothing.  Good stuff - the side effects have beaten the crap out of the spins and taken over.  Ok.  No more spins so that's good.  But wait.  Some kind of weird, achy, throbbing pain in my nose.  I quickly get out of bed, even though Dr's orders are to ease out of bed, slowly and carefully.  I misstep and just about hit my face on the bathroom door.  Whew, that was close.  Mental note:  I need to be more careful walking under the influence of Meclizine.

I get to the mirror.  WHAT THE .

My reaction.

There is a large pimple at the base of my nostril.  It is so big, that it practically blocks the opening of my nose.  I am horrified. 

"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???"  Vanity Me screams in panic.

Uptight Worrier Me:  "Maybe we should just stay home, stay safe, away from harm and relapse...maybe this is your body telling you something bad is going to happen if you leave for a few days.."

Vanity Me:  "Shut your piehole you freak..we are going on this everyone calm down and let's work on removing that horror show of a zit before it grows teeth and a spinal cord in our nose.."

Normal Me shakes the voices and finds the courage to attempt to deflate this facial abnormality.  Have you ever had anything like this?  Then you must know that this area of your nose, just above your lip and under your nose has GOT to be the most sensitive, delicate, ouchy area of your face.  I can barely touch it without tearing up from the pain.  I quickly and almost fearlessly pop it and immediately, the tears start to flow from the irritation.  Good news:  Temporarily, my dry eye is irrelevant.

Let's recap my current list of side effects at the moment:  Constipation, Trouble Urinating, Sleeplessness, Dry Eye (on hold for now while I am crying), Dry Mouth, Blurred Vision,  Bloated Abdomen, Swollen Painful Bruised Lip, Open wound at base of nose, Elephant Man-like appearance.  For added fun, I have two giant scabs on my arms from the bouncy house (see death by bouncy house blog), I have a giant bruise on my forearm from the blood they took in the ER, and a gash on my shin from shaving my legs the day before.

Things are looking grim but I keep my eye on the prize.  I finish up getting ready, thankfully, my nose swelling is going down more and more by the minute, and I am able to see well enough to get the hell out of Dodge and begin my weekend.

When your vision is jacked up, a mascara wand can and should be considered a dangerous weapon.

Fast forward a bit to the evening with the girls.  We are getting ready in the hotel room, I am being brave and pretending that I am perfectly fine, even though I am exhausted and blurry.  A full day of laughing with friends has given me enough oomph to get through the day.  I am throwing on a coat of mascara when I poke myself in the eye with the brush.  Hard.  My eye immediately turns a deep shade of Magenta, throwing off the color scheme of purple I had going to match my undereye baggage.  I wish I could tell you that my eye started to water, but to not avail.  The dry eye won this battle.  My eye is now swollen, dry, and modeling a hazy shade of Fuchsia.  I keep going, grabbing my purse as we walk out the door.  My friends and I continue to laugh all the way to the lobby as we look forward to a glamorous night of exquisite Moroccan food, bellydancing, hookah pipes, and adults.  We pose for a few pics to remember this night, and have the Concierge call us a cab.

When the cab arrives, my girlfriend opens the door and it flings open faster than we expect.  It plows into my jawline with a blunt force that knocks me back a few steps.  I feel like I just took one in the face by Manny Pacquiao (those of you who know me, know I love boxing - so this is a boxing reference).  I am rattled.  My girlfriends are both horrified, and laughing hysterically because that's what we do in awkward situations (and every other situation for that matter).  I am now holding my jaw as I get in the cab.  I blink.  That hurts too.  It's hard to imagine how much you need your tear ducts in daily life, until they actually close up shop and stop working. 

My friends are both devastated at the blow to my face, and laughing  at the same time.

"I'M OK..."   The will of my desire to go to dinner is more than the side effects and the jaw pain. I am seriously rattled, though and I am not sure if I am dizzy from the blow to my jawline or if the Vertigo is back.  I resist the urge to pass out in the cab and soldier onward and upward to our night out ahead.

We get to the restaurant.  My girlfriends order drinks and our right-from-Russia server looks at me for my drink order.  I know enough not to mix alcohol with the Meclizine and ask her for her best non-alcoholic elixir. 

"You can have juice, soda, coffee, or water."  She offers in a heavy accent.

Me:  " Do you mind just kindly asking your bartender to make me something fun without any alcohol?"

Server:  "He can make you a Shirley Temple."

What.  Da. Funk.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?  This is a 5 star on the Zagat Survey restaurant and you are going to offer me a fucking shirley temple when I ask you for a non alcoholic drink?  Blood pressure rising.  Stop that.  You stop that right now..she's foreign - give her a break.

Now my friends are rolling.  

Before I get worked up, I tell her to bring me some water and call it a day.   I have got to get off the Meclizine  - it's making me crazy.

We finish up with a lovely evening - I refrain from hurting myself any more for the day and crawl into bed.  A full day with friends has brought my blood pressure down, relaxed me, and provided me with so many belly laughs, that I fall into a deep, restful, peaceful sleep. 

The rest of the weekend was more of the same.  Lots of giggling, storytelling, shopping, eating, breathing.  No stopping to cut someone's meat for them, no yelling at anyone, no vacuuming, packing snacks, grocery shopping, worrying, overthinking, stressing - nothing.  Just breathing.  It was brilliant. 

By Sunday, I was 100% me again.  I missed Hubs and my boys terribly and had a new appreciation for them, for my life, for my health too.  My friends provided the most wonderful kind of therapy -  a taste of home, a shot in the arm of who I am, who I've grown to be, and the very basics of life, not just getting by and surviving, but enjoying and savoring life.  Truly, we took time to smell the roses, to look at the sky and watch the clouds move through, to say - wow - we have it so good - why do we sweat the small stuff? Why do we run ourselves ragged and stress out over the daily grind.  Is it the end of the world if the house isn't ready for a photo shoot?  Is it that bad if we eat dinner a half hour late?  Is it awful if the laundry doesn't get put away today?  Nope.  I have to learn to get out of 5th gear and bring it down a little.  If my health suffers because I stress out too much, what good am I to anyone?  It took me a few days away to realize that the reason I got so sick in the first place was because of the ridiculous amount of pressure I put on myself to be everything to everyone at all times.  That's ridiculous.  I hope I can carry the tranquility of the ocean with me, at least for a while.

There is something to be said for taking a time out to spend with friends.  Even if it's just lunch, coffee, something..a few hours away can do wonders for your psyche.

In the meantime, I'm just taking things slowly, one step at a time..and hoping I don't bump into anything on the way.  Even my innervoices are getting along well and staying quiet.  It's nice to not have all of the arguing and namecalling to contend with.  Time to go easy on ourselves..what are we waiting for?

Hugs and love,

I Can Run. To the Ice Cream Truck.

Ice Cream Truck Delivery Guys:  They don't make them like they used to.  You WILL need a GOOD sense of HUMOR to deal with this new batch of guys.
It's Birthday Season around these parts.  All three of my boys were born withing 4 months of each other, separate years of course.  The last of these birthday parties was yesterday, bringing a much anticipated and glorious close to birthday party mania.

Obviously, I am not an overachiever mom, however, I do try to come up with creative, inexpensive but brilliant party ideas for my kids.  For my 4 year old this week, I had envisioned the ice cream truck pulling into our driveway with his song from The Entertainer blaring for the sake of the partygoers.  This would seem like a pretty easy task to finish.  At the most inopportune times since Spring warmed this city, the Ice Cream Truck could come flying down our road, causing confusion and dismay to our entire family.  Usually, that bastard would decide to arrive during dinner - when the kids were finally making progress on their plates of food.  They would hear the music, stop what they were doing, and fly to the window to press their greasy fingers and oily noses to the window and gawk.

Even if I would agree to get them ice cream on those particular days, there was no way possible for me to get my purse, find money, shoes and the mental and physical endurance of Bruce Jenner to make it in time to stop the truck.  He had been really ticking me off lately -but I had to be nice - I really wanted to pull this surprise off for Youngest.

I had it in my mind from about a month ago that I wanted to do this for his party.  I figured that the next time I heard him at dinnertime, I'd be ready to run out and stop him to arrange the time for him to come to the party. Hell, I even planned to tip him for his efforts - and he was going to make a killing off the kids and the adults at the party and I planned to pay for all of it as part of the entertainment portion of the party.  Who needs an animal balloon maker or scary clown when you can have scary ice cream guy - at least they can score a delicious ice cream treat of their choice and run off into the yard to play.

Days went by.  No truck.  Days turned into weeks.  No truck.  We were one week out to the party.  I was starting to panic.

I had just gotten out of the shower, hair sopping wet, no bra, clothes not picked out yet for the day.  Nothing.  Wouldn't you know, that's when I heard the Entertainer song at a distance on my street.  In slow, slurred, deep, robotic sound I yell....Son of aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...and then...noooooooooooo.

I look around.  I see a strapless sundress from the day before.  I am desperate - I have seconds at best to get this thing on and stop the driver.  I throw it on as fast as I can and bounce all the way downstairs. Where the hell are my sandals?  No where to be found.  I glance up and see him fly by.  He's getting ready to turn by the park next to our house.  Boom - gone.  I fling the door open, barefoot, nothing but a sundress.  I'll be damned if I'm going to lose him now. God knows when he'll be back again.

I run, barefoot, boobloose and fancy free down the street.  This is right out of a movie.  I am determined, so determined that I pay no mind to the pebbles being lodged into the soles of my feet, and the severe chafing going on from running through the park in a sundress.  He stops for a kid.  Here's my chance to gain on him.

I'm out of breath, frantic, humiliated, pissed, and determined.  He looks at me like Lady you must really want a damn ice cream cone.

I can just imagine the whisperings of my old bitty neighbors.."boobs flapping in the wind. footloose, fancy free, all because she wanted some ice cream.." as they shake their head and gossip about the moms these days and how they don't understand them.  

"Do - breath - you - breath - do - breath - birthday- breath - parties???"  I pant.

Yes.  Says the twenty something in the wife beater, droopy shorts, boxers showing while accessorized with a chain link wallet protector and a nose-connected-to ear-ring.  I'm looking at him like I am backstage at a Blink 182 after show and expect a half naked woman to pop out of the ice cream freezer and call him Big Daddy.  Scare kids much dude?

Angry Ice Cream Truck Guy and His Doppleganger Travis Barker.

We agree on a time, I give him my address as he says in a stoned/drunken/laid back/hungover/whatever dude kind of voice, "yeahhh I just drove past there..."   No shit Sherlock.

Deal done.  He's coming to my house at 12noon, pulling in, song blaring, into my driveway to give the 3 and 4 year olds at the party the thrill of their summer by giving them Carte Blanche in the ice cream truck with the tatooed up, pierced to the hilt, earlobe stretcher wearin' driver.  Whatevs.  The things we do for our kids.

I walk back home, feeling victorious and hoping not too many people and/or neighbors witnessed me in my Summer Breeze get up and barefoot, hair blowing in the wind, no makeup frazzled looking mess.  It's done.  The arrangements are made.  This will be my big punch to my party.  I rock.  Mommy is going to deliver at this party.

The day before the party, I get a phone call from Blink 182 lookalike guy. 
Me:  Hello?
Blink 182 Travis Barker Gone Wrong:  Dude, this is the ice cream truck guy, Dale.
Me:  Hello Dale.
Stoner Dale:  Dude, sorry, I can't come to your kid's party tomorrow.  It kinda messes up my day gig that I landed.
Me:  Sorry? 
Drunken Dale:  My day gig.  Can't swing the party dude.  Sorry.
Me:  Do you have someone else you can call or recommend because I was kind of counting on the old ice cream truckapalooza.
Disenchanted Dale:  No - I mean there's one dude I know about an hour away but I don't know his number.  Sorry.
Me:  Goodbye Dale. 

Hey Dale, tell me if this sounds like a phone hanging up.

No Ice Cream Truck.  No Blink 182.  No Ice-Screamapalooza.   I'm going down in flames for this one.

I had to think fast.  I had to scramble.  I went to the grocery store and bought up as many different kinds of Ice Cream Novelties I could come up with .  You know, the fun ones like Rocketpops and Creamsicles, Fudgesicles, and Character faces.  It probably cost me 1/2 of what Blink 182 angry dude would've charged me - and oh my God were those kids happy when they got to pick from the variety we had.

This whole ordeal made me think.  I need my own damn Ice Cream Truck.  Brilliant.  I'd be giving that shit away, taking kids for rides, letting them play with my loudspeaker, shouting annoying things into the microphone to my annoying neighbors, etc.  That would be so much fun.  I'd pick the most inopportune times to drive around the neighborhood while stopping and slowing, then hitting the gas just as the kids think they are almost there.   Kidding.  But it is a funny thought.

Instead of the ragtime theme song to the Entertainer, I'd have to go with the heavy sounds of "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta..." while rolling with my homies in my Ice Cream Truck. 

The birthday party is done, and I am hanging up my party hat until next March.  As far as the Ice Cream Truck.  Dale is on my shit list.  And he's seen me at my worst.  He's got me where he wants me.  Son of a.

Cheers and Happy Birthday Parties now and always,