Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who the Hell Am I?

This is a blog I put together because I was tagged by a fellow blogger:  The Zookeeper's Wife (She is all kinds of awesome so please go give her a read!) and asked to do a lil informational bloggy type thing, so........strap in!  It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

1.  Where were you born?

I was born in Fremont, Michigan at Gerber Memorial Hospital.  My father quickly joined the military so my grandfather wouldn't shoot him and we moved around a lot after that.

2.  Were you named after someone?

I was born in the month of April, about nine months after my teenage parents engaged in back seat antics that I do not care to even think about.  I guess when the doctor said I was a girl, one of them said "Shit!  What month is it??"  So, here I am.  (Side note:  My father told me at one point he wanted to name me Heidi.  I have red hair.  I feel like I dodged a bullet there.)  My grandmother begged my mother to terminate the pregnancy but my mother decided that 16 was a perfect age to raise a child and said "Hell no" and then took off with my father.  [I personally think adopting me out would've been a viable option, but, that's just hindsight talking.]

3.  If you have children, how many do you have?

I have three kids and one who didn't make it home from the hospital when he was born (a long time ago).  This has always been a hard question for me to answer, but I promised I would be more "real" with my writing because real stuff happens sometimes so, there it is.  

4.  How many pets do you have?

We have two cats.  Sammy and Batman.  Sammy has been with us for over 8 years and was named after a Girl Scout cookie (my daughter was in Girl Scouts at the time so she named her gray tiger "Samoa" (also known as Caramel Delights..purrr)  We call her Sammy).  Batman is an asshole who pees on things if he is unsupervised.  I almost pepper sprayed Batman one night when he got stuck in my son's room, made a huge racket that sounded very robbery and killy and I jumped out of bed naked (um, I was alone, shut up) grabbed my pepper spray, kicked the bedroom door open and almost got him (and myself) in the face.  See? Asshole.

5.  What was your worst injury?

I'm just gonna go with a funny one here.  When I was about five years old, I wanted something that was on top of my dresser.  I decided it would be a swell idea to climb UP the dresser to get to said item and the dresser fell on me.  My father had to take me to the ER, bleeding everywhere, and he almost passed out because he can't handle the sight of blood.

6.  Do you have a special talent?

I can take my bra off while remaining otherwise fully clothed.  Shut up, that totally counts.

7.  What is your favorite thing to bake?

Lasagne and brownies. 

8.  What is your favorite fast food?

Does Qdoba count?  Totally Qdoba.  Or Chipotles.  Mexican.  (Taco Bell doesn't count.  Unless I'm drunk.  But seriously - what is IN that stuff?)

9.  Would you bungee jump?

Are you INSANE?  I'd be the one pooping my pants on the way down and I am SURE my daughter would get it on video.  So, we are gonna go with a big ole "Negative Ghost Rider" on that one.   I would love to go sky diving though.  Even though I am super afraid of heights.  Dammit.

10.  What is the first thing you notice about people?

This is gonna sound weird, but.. the way they make me feel.  I get a hinky sense about people and I can usually smell a bullshitter a mile away.  This skill has taken me almost 39 years to develop.  

11.  When was the last time you cried?

Please.  I never cry.  Unless I am out of coffee.  Alright, I cry about once every 28 days and it usually has something to do with my thighs. 

12.  Any current worries?

  • Are my thighs engaged in some sort of conspiracy against my pants?
  • Is my cat trying to kill me?
  • Where am I going to live in a few months? (I'm not homeless, just looking for a new place - chillax)
  • My daughter is going to be 18 next year.  Holy shit.
  • Is YouTube ever going to stop showing me "demo" videos when all I want is the fucking OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO?  And where is the "YES TO ALL" button that should be next to "Skip this Ad?"  It is ALWAYS "Yes" YouTube.  Always.  (This keeps me up at night.)

13.  Name three drinks you drink regularly.

Coffee, milk with coffee in it, and water.  If I am feeling boozy, it's a GOOD red wine or sangria.

14.  What is your favorite book?

I loved "Gone With the Wind".  Read it three times as a teenager.  It's over 500 pages long but I spent a lot of time locked in my room trying to avoid my family. :)  I love a wide variety of books so I could fill this entire blog with titles.

15.  Would you like to be a pirate?

No.  If I am a pirate, and Johnny Depp is a pirate (a'la Captain Jack) it kinda ruins the whole "damsel in distress" thing I had going on.  I think I would keep some Listerine breath strips handy for when he goes in for the kiss though.

16.  What are your favorite smells?

Coffee, jasmine, lavender, men's cologne, fresh baked bread, that newborn baby smell (I could sniff their heads all day long)

17.  Why do you blog?

I blog because as I go through my daily routine and see the most innocuous things, my brain turns them into stories and I get distracted unless and until I sit and write them down.  I have a lot of things I have written that I am sure nobody will ever see.   

18.  What song do you want played at your funeral?

Chumbawamba "Tub Thumping"  

Just because.

19.  What is the least favorite thing about yourself?

The fact that I am so neurotic.  I also wish I was less intelligent so stupid people didn't bother me. (Sheldon Cooper much?)  I know, I know...

20.  What is your favorite hobby?

Reading and writing.  And embarrassing my children.  (Yelling out the door "MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!" as the older two are getting on the bus in the morning. Ah, I love it.) I'm a simple girl.  I also don't have a lot of time for hobbies.

  What do you look for in a friend?

The ability to laugh at almost anything.  Someone chill who will complement my neurotic, yet charmingly awkward personality.

22.  Name something you've done that you never thought you'd do.

We went through a "TEAM BUILDING" ropes course when I worked at the University and my boss said that, at the end of it all, if I'd climb to the top of the telephone pole with a harness on, counting on my DUMB ASS co-workers to pull the ropes tight so I wouldn't SPLAT, then he would do it too.  I am deathly afraid of heights but I also was (and am) very competitive.  I couldn't turn down a dare and he knew it.  (Also, I was like, 22 years old and a total show off)

He and I were the only two who did it.  We took turns climbing to the top of the damn pole, stood on it (the tops of telephone poles are about six inches wide you guys and the thing was about 60 feet tall) and counted to three and jumped - counting on our co-workers to yank the ropes, tightening our harnesses and preventing us from plummeting to our certain deaths.   

That was the first time I ever said "HOLYMUTHAFUCKINSHITBALLS IFUCKINGHATEYOUGUYS!!!!!!" in front of my boss.  

Also something I never thought I'd do.  

Kind of a two-fer there.

23.  What are your favorite things to do?

Cuddling with my youngest child (gotta enjoy it while she still lets me), watching movies with my kids, traveling, seeing and doing new things, going on adventures, making people laugh, drinking mah coffeh!!

24.  Any pet peeves?

I can't stand listening to people chew with their mouths open, slurp food or chomp their gum.  Bad table manners disgust me.  

25.  What is the last thing that made you laugh?

The last thing that made me full-on belly laugh was when my friend and I went to Subway and I told her I wonder if the sandwich guy has self esteem issues because chicks spend all day asking for 12 inches on white and when he gets home he only has 6.  Her chokes of laughter made me choke and we both looked like a couple of idiots and that made us laugh more and I don't know how either of us made it out without peeing our pants.


I'm supposed to tag some other bloggers but I am a newbie (on this particular site) and don't want to annoy less tolerant writer-types so I am going to just come back later and give you a list of some of my favorites and ask you to go read them.

Updated:  Here are my personal Top Ten - The bloggers I read every day:


Insane in the Mom-Brain

People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Bitches Gotta Eat

The Klonopin Chronicles

The Happy Hausfrau

What I Had Really Meant to Say

I Want a Dumpster Baby

Slice of Humble

Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess

Go give them a read and tell them I sent you.

Go on - git.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Things They Don't Tell You About Being a Single Parent

A single parent (or solo parent) is a parent, not living with a spouse or partner, who has most of the day-to-day responsibilities in raising the child or children.

Sounds fairly straight-forward doesn't it? Oh, what a short and neat description for one of the most intense, difficult jobs I could've ever imagined having.

I didn't sign up for this.

I didn't plan to be a single parent. I didn't get "knocked up" and plan to raise children by myself. I thought I was going to have help. I got married almost 20 years ago, had two planned babies and one surprise (er, blessing) and then, when my youngest was two and a half, and the other two were nearly teenagers, I left my husband. What. The. Fuck. Was. I. Thinking? That is a thought that has crossed my mind often in the last four years. Followed quickly by a remembrance of some dumbass thing my ex had done and a sigh of relief I didn't have to live with him on a daily basis anymore. Honestly - three children is enough.

But really. The realization that these little humans are, like, my responsibility. That gut-wrenching "I took them from their father" thing that happens (still) in the middle of the night sometimes. The constant questioning of whether I could've sucked it up for another 15 years so they could've had the illusion of a happy childhood. I was dying inside. So, I left.

Seven years prior to my actual departure, we had had the "I'm leaving your ass if you don't knock your shit off" discussion and I almost left him then. But I gave him about six hundred second chances. Also, I didn't want to be alone. Raising (at that time) two babies. By myself.

This time shit was real. I fucking did it.   Damn, I really did it.  What the hell am I gonna do now??

The first night alone in my new place, when he picked them up for their first "overnight" visit, I cried for pretty much the whole night. That sucked. It got better but not much. Nothing prepares you for that feeling. And, nothing can prepare you for the job of being a single parent.

Here are some things I didn't know:

Nobody understands - unless they are other single parents.  Other parents will judge you immediately. They will question why you didn't suck it up for the sake of the kids. (Never mind that you didn't tell them the dirty details of it all to spare HIM) They don't understand why you are so tired and stressed out all the time. They have NO idea what that extra warm body at home means. And your married girlfriends bitching about how their lazy ass husbands fed their childen FROZEN PIZZA that night for dinner? Well, they are gonna make you want to punch them in the throat. You had help? You selfish.... Ugh. They just don't get it. Don't expect them to.

 There really are NO sick days. Or tired days.  After working for 9 hours a day (plus my one hour commute each way to and from work) I would pick up the little one from day care, go home and start my second shift "job". The thing about kids is they need to eat every single day. (They don't tell you that shit in the hospital). Also, dishes and laundry need to be done. Every day. And bath time. And general house cleaning. School papers need to be signed. Field trips need to be noted on the calendar. Checks for lunch money need to be written. There is no handing this stuff off to anyone. It's all you. Maybe you can make time for the flu this weekend. Right now, suck it up and let's do this. Pansy.

Your friends aren't going to see you. Ever. Especially the single, kid-less ones.   Remember how, when you were married you could go out for girls night every now and then, have a drink and know that the kids were taken care of? Remember when you had money to buy new clothes, matching undergarments, and beer? Forget it. You don't have any extra money. And you can't afford the recovery time a night of drinking will require. Even if they are at dad's that particular night, they will be back tomorrow. And, tomorrow? Well, you're pretty much fucked. Kids don't care if you have a headache. They have shit going on and it's important and you better listen. Dammit. She just learned how to sing "Wheels on the Bus" and that shit rocks and if you don't sit there for an hour listening to it fifty times in a row you suck as a mother. Haven't they already been through enough?? (Yes, you will put up with some crazy ass shit because of that sentence)

Your ex is going to drive you insane. One of the most difficult things for me was not bashing my children's father in front of my children. When he doesn't make child support payments on time and/or doesn't help pay for school activities or lunch money, or winter coats. It's really, REALLY, difficult not to go on a total psychotic rant about what an irresponsible fuck-wit he is. When your child tells you they NEED money for band shoes for a performance tomorrow and you don't get paid for two days and you write a check hoping it clears .... Yeah, you kinda want to bad mouth him a little bit. When he responds to any message you send him - UNLESS it has to do with money or stuff the kids need - and you want to strangle him. Or scream. Don't do it in front of your kids. As much of an ass as he can be, he is still their dad and they need to hold on to some semblance of their father as being a decent human being. But, DO go punch something after they leave. It will make you feel MUCH better.

Guess who's going to the convenience store at midnight?  You are. There is no one to help you run errands anymore. If the three year old stuffs the last of the toilet paper down the john, not only do you have to do the plumbing repair, you also have to go to the store in the middle of the night to re-stock. That twenty year old kid who is always working at 2:00 a.m. at the Circle K better get used to your disheveled hair/yoga pants/fuck-with-me-and-I-kill look otherwise your relationship is going to be very strained. You will become buddies. Trust me. He will never be out of milk or toilet paper. Or chocolate. Or tissues. He knows.

There are a million and one other things you learn as a single parent but I guess the most important lesson is that you are strong enough to do it all alone.  

Even if you wish you didn’t have to. 


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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Can Moms Be Sexy?

I was pondering this question after I fell off the scale at the doctor's office.  Okay, that probably requires an explaination:  I stepped on the scale, saw a number I had never seen before, nearly fainted, and the nurse had to catch me.  (PS:  If I go to the doctor's office for a sinus infection, DON'T make me step on the scale.  I already feel like crap thankyouverymuch.  Giving me cardiac arrest is not cool.)


I then re-examined my need to get my ever-expanding ass back to the gym.


I have always been a little bit vain.  I have always wanted to look nice, both for myself and for my partner.  It feels good when I look good.  Right now, I don't look my best you guys. 


Not only do I want to firm up and lose some weight, but I also miss that terrific feeling I get after a good workout.  Even though the results don't come as quickly as they used to, the endorphin rush, the muscle tone, and the sense of a job well done always felt pretty damn good.  It was a GREAT stress reliever.


Yep!  I did Power Step!

Last time I made a full-on commited effort to get my ass back in shape, I did it with a vengeance.  The weight wasn't really dropping (in large part due to a not-as-of-that-time-diagnosed medical-type issue), but my BODY felt good.  I remember distinctly, after my first full month going to the gym four times a week, I was kind of strutting around in front of the full length mirror, ignoring the flaws, checking out the muscle I found in my thigh – oh yeah, they're on their way back baby! Then I started shaking my booty. It didn't shake as much as it did last month. Then of course, I had to flex my arms a bit. Nice biceps (I say to myself). Keep up the good work!

Then I pulled a muscle patting myself on the back (dammit).


It made me think that I can be a mother AND be hot and sexy again.  Is that vain?  Am I allowed to want to be as pretty as I can?   I haven't been taking the best care of myself this last few years. Time to change all that. There is hope for me yet. Motherhood is job number one - but can we be great mothers and still take pride in our appearance?



With everything mothers have going on in our day to day lives, it's so easy to put our looks and health at the bottom of the list. I have always tried to stay in shape, but I have to tell you that being a single mom, working a full time job, transporting kids to their various instrument lessons and concerts and ballet (don't forget ballet!), and also keeping up with the house work it's not easy!  I am tired all the time and I rely far too often on convenience meals.  I don't make time to work out.  Or sleep.  Hobby?  What's a hobby? 


I really think we Muthas tend to put ourselves last.  I don't think we even mind or give it a second thought for the most part.  It just is the way it is.  And then we wake up one day and wonder what the HELL happened.


Sometimes, this causes relationship issues. One partner (we will say "Mom" for the sake of this blog) quits taking care of herself because everything else comes first. She isn't getting help from her mate because he figures he put in 9 solid hours or so at the office so he's done his part. Time to sit back, enjoy the hot meal before him, and then go take a snooze in front of the tube, while she cleans up the kitchen, washes dishes, gets the toddler out of the dishwasher, bathes the children, pulls the toddler out of the toilet…….the list goes on.  


By the time the work/transporting/chores are done, she is exhausted.  He's refreshed after his dinner and his nice little nap on the couch and when they finally do get to bed the only action he is seeing is a punch to the nuts when he tries to touch her. 


Men are visually oriented. He sees her in sweat pants and a hair bun and no make up one day too many and he's lost the attraction. Women are action-oriented. Show us something and we will show YOU something (IF you know what I mean). Don't be afraid of things like dish soap and diapers. If the only action you are showing us is your napping ability, the only action you will be getting is the do-it-yourself kind.  We really WILL be too tired to be enthusiastic about your penis.  (Hehe - I said "penis")


The formula is really quite simple:

Tired, overworked and ignored moms and wives = NO SEX

Happy, relaxed and loved moms and wives = HOT SEX.


Now, ladies.... I am NOT suggesting you "use" sex to get what you want.  That's not cool and if you withhold sex as a form of behavior modification, that's totally wrong.  I mean, I hear it works REALLY, REALLY well, but still... Let him know he's not doing enough.  Ask for what you want.  With your words, not your locked vagina.  (But, you know, save the really dirty stuff for when he washes the pans.) 


Guys - when she makes an effort - acknowledge it.  When in doubt - ACKNOWLEDGE IT.  "Your hair looks really great with yogurt in it." goes over much better than "You haven't shaved since the Clinton administration, have you?"


If I could, I would get manicures, pedicures, massages and facials (hehe, I said "facials") a few times a month; Just to feel pampered and good about myself. That's just not possible on this budget, but someday, when my first book is published, I will pamper myself - A LOT. Until then, I will make do with what I have. I'll get my ass back to the gym, put on my make up everyday, and drink my 8 glasses of water a day.  


I DO get my nails done every few weeks and I am okay with that.  I quit smoking two years ago and I would much rather spend a little bit of money on something that makes me feel pretty rather than a lot of money on something that is going to kill me.  


It makes me feel great.  And everyone should have the opportunity to feel great, don't you think?

(This is the re-working of a blog I originally published in 2007, when I was married, the youngest was a toddler, and I really needed to feel like it was okay to want to be sexy. It has been updated/edited to fit my current situation.)