Monday, September 12, 2011

Petrified! (Forest)

My best friend (and sister) and I went on a work/play holiday (new duck photos!) over the weekend. We drove up to northern Arizona. Somehow we get ourselves in the most random of situations, unintentionally.

She is a rock hound. I am not. She loves outdoors, hiking, anything mountainous. Eh. Not my favorite, but I will go along for entertainment purposes. They have hotels, why sleep in the dirt? I just don't get it.

We head out bright and early Saturday morning, our intention to stay close the car for frequent water, snacks and slathering more sunscreen. Unfortunately due to our A.D.D. this doesn't happen. We wander so far that 5 hours later I get concerned about the sunscreen wearing off and start to panic about water rationing. I got a little red and begin whining like a baby. Upon returning to the car, I change into a tank top due to the burning sensation on my chest, neck and arms. We leave said hiking destination and I immediately begin dreaming of a shower and some food.

On our long and mud filled expedition back out of our hiking spot, Suzanne spots a sign and says, "WOW! Petrified Forest National Park!" Gah. I know I am in for it. 93,533 acres of "wonder and beauty." It's 3:00, I haven't eaten anything since 7:30 but a banana with peanut butter and am edging on the side of hangry (angry hungry), my dream of a shower shattered. But, Suzanne looks like a kid in a candy store. I agree to take her through because I am a loving sister.

We pull into a "scenic view" for photo opportunities of more desert and rocks. I am standing trying to entertain myself (with duck photos) while she is decompressing and relishing the view.  A Harley Davidson riding, leather and ripped shirt wearing, motorcycle couple approaches us, I admit to a minute of panic, but they simply ask if we would like our picture taken together. I am thrilled! No really, I am. We have been taking self portraits for two days and there is nothing cute about my chin in a self taken photo. I have recently gained 10 unwanted pounds that I am extremely self conscious about. I've lost 70, and am slowly inching back up to a plus size.  I refuse to buy bigger clothes so I cram myself into my pants daily as a reminder to put the blessed Twinkie down (oh how I love that yellow spongy cake)!

I digress. (mmmm spongy cake) As we pose for the photo, I start the mental rant of "remember to suck in your belly, lift your neck slightly to reduce double chin, oh, and of course, smile". 

I walk back to the biker couple to retrieve my camera, and thank them sincerely for the generosity. As I  turn to walk back towards my sister the lady, Angie, says, "WOW! You have a beautiful tattoo!" (I have been working on a back piece for two grueling years that is almost, but not quite finished). "Thanks!" I reply, "It goes all the way down to here." and lift up the bottom edge of my shirt to show her the end, as she can only see the top 1/4 that is visible above my tank top.

This is my mistake.

"Holy sh%$!" She yells and comes running over. "Can I see?" "Sure." I say and lift my shirt up about 5 inches. This apparently would not sate her, and she realizes the magnitude of my tattoo and would like to see it all. She lifts my shirt up onto my neck and I am confused. My shirt is starting to cut off circulation and I begin to wonder what is going on back there.  I guess Angie isn't satisfied with the 2" piece of cloth impeding her view. She kindly informs me, "Now hold your tits, honey, so they don't fall out". What?! Did I hear that right, or is lack of air making me hallucinate?! Nope, a quick snap and all of the sudden my girls are free. Angie has undone my bra, to get a perfect view of my work of art in it's entirety.  I'm frozen in shock.

Angie then begins frantically snapping photos while talking a mile a minute, "This is the most beautiful tattoo I've ever seen! I've never seen a tattoo I wanted until this one. It's the best work ever!"  As a biker chick, I really appreciate the meaning behind these gushings and really try to finagle a pose to minimize the look of back fat while trying to keep my boobs from flailing about, this is proving a difficult task. A few minutes pass, and I think I am about to put my shirt back on and end this embarrassment when to my horror I hear," Hey, come over and see this!" Huh?

I feel several hands now groping my back and I risk ruining the photos by craning my neck around to see what more trouble is ensuing (turning your neck around in photos can be dreaded maneuver as it gives a thousand odd looking chin wrinkles). To my surprise I see several hundred (five) tourists from Germany pulled over for the "scenic view". Me.  Angie says, "No, it is real, not art or marker." Apparently the lack of air was getting to me as I didn't hear the German gentleman ask if my tattoo is a fake! A fake?! Hours of pain and not being able to rest against anything and having my shirt stick in my skin as I am healing for days. Pshhht. I think not!! 

I realize at this point that my sister is somewhere in the melee, and begin frantically searching for her to yell for help.  She is standing only a few short feet away, and laughing so hard she is crying. A professional photographer, ready at any moment with camera in hand for great photo opportunities, and her camera was still. She is standing, mouth agape. She awakens from her shock upon my panicked stare and rapidly begins snapping photos to forever capture this priceless moment.

Angie truly made my day and weekend. She was so kind as to give me several hugs and take a duck along with her for road shots (as well as ask which hook my bra goes back on, one two or three) and a story, with accompanying photos, I will never forget.  I share with you because if I can make one person chuckle a day, even at my own expense, I feel like I have accomplished something. Thanks Jim Quinn, awarding winning artist of Istari Studios in Tucson, for the show stopping tattoo.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pass it along...

Just a quick blog post in hopes everyone will pass this message along to potentially prevent this devastation from happening to anyone else, as well as to keep Mike in their thoughts and prayers.

A friend of my husband's left food on the stove when he went to work in the morning (I know I do this). While he was gone, their dog jumped up to eat the food and somehow managed to turn the burners on.

The result? The house burned down. I can not believe this to be possible. What a tragedy and super loss. Our hearts go out to you Mike!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I love you, Bro

Growing up, I had two sisters. The eldest is 8 years older than me. The middle sister is 6 1/2 years older. I envied how close they were and begged my parents to give me a younger sibling to play with. Being in their 40's, I was denied.

However, thanks to a divorce, I got my wish. My father and his new wife had my brother (Bro) when I was 13. When he was a baby, they had to work weekends, so my dad asked me if I wanted to babysit while they worked instead of putting him in daycare. I jumped at the opportunity, I love my new little brother.  9-10 hours of play time each Saturday and Sunday, and I got paid well? I was living the life.

My brother and I immediately formed a super strong bond. An unbreakable bond that exists this very day. We talk every week (every day?), even though we live in different cities. He drives to stay with me when he has a break from college and can take a few days off work. We always have a blast when we are together. Usually an hour or two after he arrives, my face hurts from laughing too much. I am sure you think in order to have this much fun we must be drunk or on drugs. This is not the case. We have pure kid fun. I revert to the age of 10 (instead of my usual 11) when he is around.

On a recent visit, I ask if he would like to play PickUp Sticks with me. "What is that?" he asks. I am shocked to find this is to be his very first game, and feel I failed him as his older sibling. We lay on our bellies in the middle of my living room in front of a pile of brightly colored plastic sticks. I explain the rules to the game. He cackles at the simplicity of it. I dump the pile on the floor using the dreaded "twisted drop" which makes them land all directly on top of each other, but also intertwined.

Being a nice, kind, fair minded sister, I let him go first. When I hand the white stick over to him, his face changes. It is as if I just passed the baton in a 4 x 100 yard relay race during the Olympics. The laughing dies down to a chuckle, and eventually to silence (we are extremely competitive). He keeps inching forward to the pile of plastic sticks, analyzing the right approach. He decides on his target, the blue stick, and hovers the white stick above it. I can tell the pressure is too much. He reaches a shaky hand out, and immediately bumps another stick.

"My turn!" I yell, in a sing songy voice. He jumps at the distraction, and reluctantly hands the stick over.

Heh, heh, heh. Little does he know you gotta rock it out at the beginning of the game when sticks are laying in positions where they are easy to manipulate to gain a strong head start, before the complicated end where they are all impossible to move as they are dog piled on top of one another.

In a few seconds,  I have a pile of sticks lying next to me. I look up at him. He is looking at my pile, and back to the lack of his own.
"You are cheating." He accuses, pain and the fear of losing easily detectable in his voice and clearly written on his face.
"Bro, you are inches from the sticks, carefully watching me. I can't really cheat in two person PickUp Sticks."
"YES, somehow you are! Then how do you have that gigantic pile?"
"I have mad skills, young grasshopper. You have much to learn." and just to show off I grab a fly mid-flight using my pickup sticks as chop sticks (totally kidding).

I realize if I want to him to willingly play another game with me, I must at least make him feel is he doing well. So I bump a stick.
"Awww, darn."
"MY TURN!" He yells. I hand the stick over. I am smirking.

He army crawls the last centimeter toward the pile. Face mere inches from the stack. He reaches a shaky hand out, lets out a long breath, digs in and successfully pulls out a stick. I'm proud my baby bird just left the nest for his first flight. "YAY!" He cries out triumphantly.  We go along like this, sighing, cheering, sighing, cheering, until we are nearing the end of the pile. It is a close race, our piles similar in size, only a true count will reveal the winner.

My Bro knows every move is important. He angles the white stick in. Beads of sweat begin forming on his forehead. He hesitates, and yells out, "The pressure is too much! It is making my butt clench!"

It's all over for me, I burst out laughing and roll around on the floor holding my stomach. He wins.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Umm, I think that will come out

I thought it time to post an unrelated kid story. My life revolves around my bundles of "joy", but this has to be shared, as it's the worst I've felt since the cursed event occurred several years ago.

I worked in Corporate America, and didn't belong (imagine that). My two older sisters and I went out on a limb and decided to remodel homes....ourselves. Now there are several stories that should be shared, and will be eventually. But this one takes the cake. (Suzanne, can you guess which one?) ;)

We literally taught ourselves by means of conversations with Home Depot employees and books that should have been titled, "Remodeling for Dummies", as in the beginning that is what we were. Self taught- and a big yikes to that. Imagine- tile, grout and thinset in hand all ready to go. Book laid on floor, Suzanne reading aloud, "Step one mix the thinset..." etc.

But we were, in the end, mostly successful. I am proud were not "flippers" but took time and care bringing love back to dilapidated homes and moving people in with a little to no down payment.

On our fourth remodel we decided to take on a gross second floor condo, to do a "quick" rehab. There are hundreds of hilarious stories with this home, like painting the kitchen THREE times because the first two came out horrible, but I digress.

Suzanne and I were exhausted. Hauling: flooring, tools, paint, tile, a toilet, up and down stairs in the middle of the Arizona summer.  Day. After. Never. Ending. Day. Nearing the end of the remodel one particular bright and sun shiny afternoon we loaded the back of her newer, hatchback, spiffy red car with several five gallon buckets of paint as well as other miscellaneous remodeling tools. Her tools, her rules-they had to be fastidiously cleaned and packed in an orderly fashion at the end of every twelve hour day and hauled back up the next as to not risk overnight theft in the vacant properties.

We drove to the condo and commenced lugging heavy items out of the car, up the stairs, back down the stairs, up the stairs, until we were mind numblingly exhausted and I felt as if I had gotten lost in the Sahara Desert for five days with no water or camels to assist. Ya, it truly sucked that bad.

On trip number bazillion (in actuality number five), I leaned all the way in and grabbed the handle of the last of the five gallon paint buckets to drag it to the end of the hatch. It tipped as I dragged. The joke was on me, along with the paint. The lid wasn't fastened securely, probably my due to my carelessness and haste in packing up at the end of remodel three. A sea of gleaming white ceiling paint came splashing over the edge. I do not possess Ninja like reflexes similar to my sister (she got all those genes, and there was none to spare by the time I was born). All I could do was helplessly yell, "Noooooo" and watch this horror unfold before my very eyes. In slow motion even.

Latex paint sloshed all over the inside of her car, down her bumper, my legs, caught in the roll of my capri pants, on my flip flopped feet and finally onto the pavement. I didn't cry. Instead stared in awe and disbelief. A few seconds later I yell- in my little sister panic voice, "Suzzzzaaaannnnneeee!" That tone of voice has been used in our family only when she had to protect us from a bully or we were in danger or hurt. And true to her big sisterly nature, she came bounding down the stairs lightning fast- even evoking her Ninja skills.

She screeched to a halt and just looked. Her eyes large and nostrils flaring like a bull in a rage, for what seemed like an eternity. She didn't say a word. Silence is deadly with her, so I started devising a plan and settled on crying to evoke some sympathy. Unfortunately my body was too dehydrated to squeeze out a single tear. I immediately began working out plan two. Which direction to duck the blow that was surely to come. I know she can catch me, so running was out. Plus I had a shoe full of paint and it was wicked slippery.

She told me to go upstairs and rinse off. I hung my head and complied. At least that would give me some space so I wasn't in reaching distance. I slipped and slid my way up the stairs, leaving a trail of white flip flop paint marks in my wake.

Once I was cleaned and knew the initial anger had passed, I crept back down. "I'm sorry!" I say, "I'll clean it." "Damn right you will." she responded, and to my relief started laughing. The cursed cleaning took several hours and my arms stung all night from my torn bicep and forearm muscles burning. 

If you look carefully, to this very day, you will see little white paint speckles in the locking mechanism of her trunk. My bad.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Acquiring the duck.

My teenager diligently saves change in a dinosaur piggy bank and has devised an insanely intelligent way of acquiring said change.  When her friends at school buy items for lunch or snack, she simply asks them for their leftover change. None of them care about a few pennies, nickles and dimes.

Little do they know....

I recently took her to cash her change into dollars at one of these high tech coin taking machines in a local grocery store. She shook the plastic green dinosaur for all it was worth. $42.55 later, my mouth dropped open. Apparently $.01 + $.05 eventually equals $42.55. A smart girl, this one (sniff, so proud).

We were in line with the cash ticket to change it for real money when I noticed a quarter machine. I automatically revert to the age of five. My eyes sparkle and I clasp my hands in anticipation. They typically are disappointing, with candy or stickers. But every so often they hold a true treasure. Like miniature plastic ducks. This was the case.

I start jumping up and down saying, "Oooooh, ducks!" And then I notice the gem. "Wow! A vampire duck! I wonder if I could win that!" I automatically reach for my shoulder, and realize I've left my purse in the truck. And longingly look at my kid.

She sees the look in my eyes and says, "Yes mom, you can have a quarter." I don't even have to ask! Oh joy! I put the quarter in and get a yellow duck. The disappointment was overwhelming. My face falls.

"Here mom, you can have another quarter." YAY me! I put the coin in and turn the knob while chanting, "Vampire duck, vampire duck." I get a smiley face duck. Gah. The horror.

My kid feels so bad she actually gets back in line to change her dollar for quarters, even though she just changed her dinosaur coins for the dollar. I hold the sparkly quarter like it is a handful of diamonds and put it in the machine. You would think it was a slot machine with a million dollar payoff, I was so excited. My adrenaline starts pumping as I carefully insert the coin. Cow duck. Really? My kid says, "Mom, I have good luck, let me try." And she wins. Vampire Duck is mine!!! I unintentionally let out a scream of joy and commence a happy dance with the duck raised triumphantly over my head. I stop dead still as I now realize there are a good ten people watching this entire scenario unfold and they are now laughing.

I assess the situation and realize how ridiculous it may seem to outsiders. I am the kid begging for a quarter for a plastic duck, and my kid is now the adult giving me quarters for the machine. Great. Well, at least I got the duck.

You can see my new collection of ducks and our adventures at my other blog- Duck Bob. Duck! "Fang" is pictured above.

Fang's photoshoot was done by my loving sister who always entertains my sillyness. Suzanne, I love you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm not responsible for your boobs.

We had to get out. The desert has it's wonders and beauty but who ever came up with this "Meh, it's a dry heat" needs to go to rehab, because that is a serious drug they are smoking. It has been over 100 degrees for what seems like an eternity here in Arizona. California and the ocean were calling my name. Last minute, I hastily cooked and got road snacks for my vegan, vegetarian and meat eater. We took off Friday at 4 a.m. to go for a much needed road trip to the beach.

However, not before my horrific last minute bathing suit shopping experience, Thursday night. Yes, I do live in Arizona. Yes, we swim in pools here. No, everyone and their mom is not starting at my cottage cheese and back fat when we swim in our backyards- only family who appreciates seeing out of both eyes and know I used to be a much beefier girl than I am now. Who designs these bathing suits anyway? Do they ever take into consideration that other people besides older women and people with teen sized breasts wear them? I was embarrassed for me and I was just looking at myself alone in the dressing room. I didn't cry, talk/cuss to myself nor get mad at my current weight. I placed the blame where it rightfully should be, on the faulty designer. I am not huge (that's me in the photo above) but not fit. I have successfully lost 60 pounds, and fought hard to push out of the plus size arena (I earned every plus size joke I make). But am not at the "YEAH! I'm going to parade around in public in something that covers less than my own underwear." stage.  I decided, after much deliberation, on men's trunks and a polka dot top in XXL. I'm a D cup and apparently that pushes me back into the "you are huge" size chart again. I had the extra material puckering where the "men parts" are suppose to go in the trunks, but that was the sacrifice for not sporting daisy dukes and giving those around me nightmares as I run past. I shudder at the thought.

I haven't seen the ocean in several months. The waves have such an impact on me. It's a cleansing experience and only takes 15 minutes before I am so relaxed, I have to concentrate on not drooling.
We went to bed early and woke up to set up our tent for a day at the beach, which was already getting crowded. I say to my teen, "Hey, can you grab that pole and help me set this beast up?" She mutters, "Great, we are the jerks with the tent." I look around and realize, oh crap- we are. So I ask the fellow beach goers around me if it will be a nuisance that their view will be blocked, and explain my youngest is fair skinned and goes from white to red and back to white again. Most laugh and say they understand. So, I set up the monster.  

My kids are giggling and doing the "can we get in the water?" dance.  Sure-I say. But put your sunscreen on. I immediately get the round of grunts of disappointment. Really?! They act as if I am asking them to take dog poop and smear it all over their bodies right before they give an oral dissertation on the economy in front of their peers. My kids have school photos on Monday and I don't want an 8 x 10 lifetime memory of the time I let them burn at the beach. So I slather their faces, backs, shoulders, and necks and remind them they are now at the age that they are responsible enough for arms, legs, stomachs and other girly parts now.  I am so concerned about the burn and 9 hours in the water I annoyingly call them back every 30 minutes (no exaggeration) for sunscreen re-application. One of my kids is tanning, so she doesn't want 55 SPF on. She literally came back from vacation looking like a different race. The beach sand was everywhere and I was exfoliating their skin every time we reapplied. I was becoming more concerned about the all new layers I was exposing and how irritated their skin was becoming, than the old layers I was trying to protect from the burn. Next time, I will just use spray on sunscreen. 

Alas, at the end of the day-success! Not one of my kids was burned! Except me. I was so concerned about them, I completely forgot my stomach, which is still a lovely shade of dark angry red. 

That night back at the hotel, my daughter asks, "Am I sunburned? My skin feels hot." Seriously?! The "I'm the worst mom" thoughts start creeping in my mind. She slightly pulls down her tank top to reveal a mad, red line on her chest. I sigh and say, "Yes. You are sunburned. But in my defense, I'm not responsible for your boobs. That is your bad for not applying properly."

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I am at work, and thus have to keep this short. But I am so excited to have my first official follower, I just couldn't resist posting. Suzanne, I love you but you are my sister, and thus don't count as official because you fall under the "obligated to show support" list.

I just happy danced around the office, raising the roof and scared my co-workers by shouting and hollering.

To you, my first follower, thank you for my bit of joy today. You rock!! 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Balancing Act

I feel with this delicate balancing act of being a good mom, self employed, and a wife- that the scale can tip easily. I carved a hard life, getting pregnant at 17. I fought to be self employed to make my own schedule. I really have issues with someone telling me I have to clock in at precisely at 8:00 am (what if someone wasn't a responsible puker that morning and I'm running "late"), when to leave, when to eat, and what I am allowed (not, in my case) to say.  I spend summers playing with my kids, volunteer at school, and take most their days off school with them. This also means late nights of working, sometimes panicked bill paying time, but it is worth it to me. Life at 33 with a 15, 12  and 9 year old blended family can be crazy. And to add to the hysteria-toss in one vegan, one vegetarian and one meat eater (but not pork). I thank God every day my husband is the most patient and loving father/husband I know. This is seriously the like being told you are being forced to learn to tight wire walk, with no teacher or instruction manual, 60' above ground with no safety net. Throw in an ex-wife who really doesn't like me. Now I feel like just for shiz and gigs, somewhere along the way someone informed me they were changing the already skimpy 1/2" wide tight rope wire to barbed wire... just to "shake things up a bit".

When my two youngest let me know their other mom was going vegan and demanding they follow suit even at our house, I was left speechless. I was forced to take on the struggle of trying to learn to cook without use of milk, butter, sour cream, yogurt, eggs, honey, chicken, fish, meat, cheese, etc. Why not just cut off my hands to really make my cooking entertaining, while you are at it? (I'm a fighter, I'd learn to use my feet.  I'm a remodeler, I'd build the chair to reach the stove or rip out the kitchen and rebuild to better suit my needs.) All while trying to support something I personally did not agree with, nor did my kids want to do. I thought, what is there left to eat?  Carrots, salad and rice?

Surprisingly, there is a lot to eat, it just takes some creativity and an open mind. I am stubborn, extremely independent, hard headed and never wrong. This was definitely going to be a challenge. However, I am proud to say after a long and hard struggle, I have embraced my inner vegan. Vegan Lunch Box cook book saved my life. Sneaky Moma's tomato sauce is awesome. We meat eaters in the house have unintentionally changed our lifestyle and eating habits from the research I was doing to ensure we were supporting the nutritional needs of my one vegan as best as possible.  

After a week of researching online we were shocked at what is really going into a fast food hamburger. (just cause it's "ground" beef folks, doesn't mean it was healthy or even alive before it was ground. Can I get a round of "ewwwww!") Did you know Gelatin is made of crushed up cow and pig bones? Me either!? It's in a lot of things, including Starburst! Did you know Carmine is boiled bugs and gives a great red hue to your yogurt? Check the container, it's really on there!

I recommend to anyone reading this post to watch the documentary "A Beautiful Truth". It is not disgusting nor a mistreatment of animals video. It's really enlightening, educating and is a documentary on a school project of a 15 year old. If you are daring, Youtube, "Meet your Meat". Stay far far away from PETA videos as you will never sleep the same again. 

We have made a simple switch to organic meats and cage free eggs. I can afford these more expensive alternatives because I now have a simple garden that was really easy to plant even on a very tight budget. Packets of seeds are only 99 cents, plus two bags of organic potting soil and it is much cheaper in the long run than constant trips and the every rising prices at the grocery store. I simply went to the local landscaper and asked for their left over black plastic pots (free and saved from the landfill) bought a $4 can of made for plastic spray paint for a better looking exterior, and viola! Insta food that grows insanely fast for a whopping $20.  Hard to tend? I think not. I rigged an irrigation tube (that isn't the prettiest, but does the job) and it is now hooked up to the auto drip system. Even if you do not have this luxury, watering is an every other day, every three day deal. Who knew? Empty a bag of soil into a pot, sprinkle some seeds, put one more inch of soil and water. That is really it, people! Food on your patio! Holler!!!

P.S-the dorky canvas shopping bags are really cheap and much easier to carry than plastic bags. I only need to own four canvas bags for my family of five. This is a $5 one time expense. Go get you some!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You need to be a responsible puker.

As I was skidding across the tile floor this morning, thanks to the cursed cat's upset stomach and her lovely pile of warm regurgitated wet cat food, my memory was immediately jogged. Far back, to the day I had to teach my youngest daughter (step-daughter in all actuality, but you will never hear that label pass my lips) how to puke responsibly.

It was a typical Monday morning and we were heading to my tae-kwon-do class. She wasn't feeling 100%, and that was my bad for taking her out for an hour. In my defense, I was close to testing for a new belt and desperately needed the practice. I made her a cozy spot on the foam mats with blankets and a slew of all that is Polly Pocket and gave her a RED tasty gatorade to drink.

After class, my mom carpooled us back to my vehicle. While I was switching the car seat into my truck, Lily waited patiently inside my mom's car.  In the two minutes or less it took me to strap the contraption in correctly, Lily apparently decided she was in the Christmas spirit. She turned a neat shade of green and projectile vomited red all over the back of my mother's car. I stared dumbfounded. The car door was open. A simple 30 degree turn of her head to the left would have sent said mass of liquid and cheerios onto the ground. And not all over my mother's car and herself. Words couldn't express my horror.

After a slew of apologies, a mass of paper towels, and a promise for a steam clean- I take my naked child, bag of smelly clothes, and head home. Only to walk in the door and have a whole new puddle all over her and the floor...again.  Only. Feet. From. The. Bathroom.

I'm amazed at my calm, cool, and collected new self.  Something about unconditional love for a child will do that to a woman. I'd beat a normal person down for such irresponsible puking.

"Lily, honey." I say. "Do you know the feeling you get when you are going to get sick?"
Sheepishly, "Ya."
"Why don't you tell me when you get that funny feeling, run to the nearest sink, exterior floor, or toilet so that we don't have to do this again?"
"Um, I don't know where to puke."
"Well peanut, you have to be a responsible puker and go to any sink or toilet."
"Oh. Okay."

Later that evening, I am honored to say, my kid comes out of the bathroom and proudly announces to my confused husband, "I was just a responsible puker, dad!" I wish I could explain the look I was on the receiving end of at this particular moment.
"Responsible puker?"
"Nevermind," I say, and wink at my three year old.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ode to my first little black chin hair, and thus (sigh) sign of aging.

As a child, I remember always wondering why my three Great Aunts couldn't take the simple millisecond to pluck the four to six, random, eyebrow length, jet black hairs from the forest of peach fuzz on their sagging chins. It wasn't like they blended in- shy and unnoticed. But rather stood out like a skyscraper comfortably nestled in the midst of a single-story residential neighborhood. And now, my own chin has been invaded. And to make matters worse?! It wasn't even me who noticed it first-but my teenage daughter. Why am I so shocked? I am the ripe age of thirty three... and a half.

We were in the mall parking lot (really, where else would I be with a 15 year old?) and she leans over to lovingly assist her Ma by brushing aside a stray "dog" hair that she wrongly assumed traveled on my face from my home, 30 minutes in the truck to the mall, and 4 hours of shopping and movie going. But alas, to her surprise, it was attached.

Oh, the horror. Did my aunts never notice the invasion? Is this to be my doom? I got my face closer to the rear view mirror than I thought humanly possible and stared in disbelief. I immediately scrunched my face and jutted out my chin. I vaguely remember someone sobbing and repeatedly murmuring "really?". Looking back, I hope it wasn't me.

So you, dear reader, ask what is the big deal? Ha-ha! I now know you ask that because chin hairs, so long you could braid them (maybe a french twist?), don't run in your family.  This is larger than a first grey hair, crows feet, or when you realize when you wiggle your arm, the soft skin where your tricep used to be continues movement several seconds after you still your arm.

As this is my first official post, and I didn't really know where to start-moving across country at 4, getting pregnant at 17, starting my own company at 24, finally marrying the man I have been deeply in love with with since I was 12? Yes, they are all entertaining stories, but I didn't feel it just didn't sum it up like the new resident of my chiny chin chin. (p.s. the photo is knowingly shared by my fabulous sister and professional photographer

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Hi everyone. This is Beth's sister at the keyboard. She should never give me password permissions :) I hope you come back often for hilarious stories of her wonderful family.