Momaical is a humorous look at trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Cursing & copious coffee involved.

Momaical: [mom-mahy-uh-kuhl] = (Hybrid of Mom and Maniacal.)

4.30.2012

Hitchhiking My Way Up Ass Mountain

I believe moving is the penultimate rest stop en route to the apex of Ass Mountain. The only thing higher on Ass Mountain is camping. In fact, moving is kind of like camping. Your stuff is inconveniently elsewhere. You're drinking wine out of half a sippy cup. Your kids have to make due with toys crafted out of sticks, leaves and packing tape. Who knows where you're going to be sleeping? And, bugs surround you because you've had all the doors open taking your crap out to the car.

We had not been planning to move - as we arrived in California less than a year ago. We had wanted to rent for several years to find the perfect location and house in our new zip code. But, because it is our lot in life - we drew the short straw with the place we are currently in. And, you'd think at this point in my life that I'd be an expert at moving. I have moved so many times that I am out of Witness Protection Program standing and one train stop below Circus Performer status. I have had over 50 addresses in my life in seven different states and two countries. I was just starting to get comfortable - which clearly means it's time to move. Let's just add one more voter's registration into the mix, in case people are starting to recognize me at Trader Joe's.

Thankfully we found a cute place to move into for our next adventure. The good news is: we have over a month to move in. The bad news is: we have over a month to move in. On one side, I can take my time packing a carload of items, driving to the new house and then putting them away in a calm manner without just chucking everything into a cupboard haphazardly to get the boxes unpacked. On the flip side, I have sort of packed some of the rooms, sort of unpacked some of the rooms, feel like it's never going to end and have walked thirty zillion miles burning a hole in the rug accomplishing this. I'm getting a Mr. Miyagi ass kicking - without the benefit. "Wax on, wax off...Bend and lift and store! Tracy-san. Feel the burn! What. Are. You. Doing! Do not pull into McDonald's!! You just burned off a ton of calories and...oh forget it...you're hopeless."

The kids are feeling the stress as well. I walk out of one room to grab a tote bin and return to find the kids are taking turns unpacking the boxes that I just packed. Lena cries constantly because her buddy will no longer be right next door. So, add one more reason to the millions about why everything in her life is sooooooo wicked unfair because she has the WORST MOTHER EVER!!! Emmeline tries to "hewp." Mostly she just packs snacks. I open boxes at the new house to find random granola bars, fruit and string cheese tucked in with linens and cleaning supplies. Apparently there is risk of a famine in our new house and she wants to make sure she survives.

And, there are many, many stops and detours up Ass Mountain. You cannot just move from one place to another. That would be too simple. Now we need to double up on bills and supplies and gas just to accomplish this task. And, just trying to get bottled water delivered to your new place is akin to organ selling on Craig's List. Wait - you want to do what with your water dispenser? Um. I don't think we're allowed to do that. But we're only moving eight miles away! Yeah. Hmm. Why don't you call back in June.

But, in the end this will all be worth it. I've been able to unpack boxes full of things I haven't seen in almost a year. It's like Christmas! I have also found a bunch of stuff that I can't believe we bothered to bring with us instead of jettisoning it. Why I felt the need to pack candles that were 95% burned up is beyond me. And, before it gets too hot outside we will have settled into our home and get ready to meet some more people in our cozy, quiet new neighborhood. At least until someone recognizes me at Safeway and then it's time to move again. I hear Bolivia is nice this time of year...



4.27.2012

Just One Round of Ring Around the Rosie And Then We Overthrow the Pre-School!

The words "Tracy, I need to speak with you for a moment" always make my stomach drop.  I know what's coming next: Lena was disruptive today. Or Lena was too social.  Or Lena wasn't paying attention in circle because she was busy telling jokes.  These are things I hear often.  These are also things my mother heard often about me.  We are social people in this house.  We go for the laugh.  We enjoy being the center of attention and lose focus easily if we are bored.  It's one of the things that makes us who we are.  It's also one of those things that makes people frustrated with us if it's not who they are. 

The other day, one of Lena's teachers ran out of the classroom to me during dismissal. Oh no.  Here we go again. I brace myself for another embarrassing round of apologies and telling the teacher that we are working on being quiet and paying attention during circle time, blah, blah, blah.   But, this time was different.  The teacher was visibly angry.  And, in front of all the other parents, students and my daughter she began to loudly lambaste me about my daughter. About how she keeps SINGING.  ALL DAY LONG.  Singing - during writers workshop. Singing at recess. Singing a song about a pineapple princess - of all things!  And, "I don't even think she realizes she's singing, Tracy.  I really need you to speak with her about this and handle it at home."

Wait.  What?  I'm getting yelled at because my 5 year old daughter is singing

And, then it gets worse:  She was getting other kids to sing as well

Oh. No.  Not that.  Lena, the gateway singer:  C'mon Susie. Just one round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat and you'll be hooked...  Singing makes you feel good.  Everybody's doing it. 

I stood there shocked.  I couldn't even respond.  I collected Barbra Streisand and walked to the parking lot where I try to blink away tears.  I am even more devastated as I get into the car and have my baby girl ask me "Mommy - why doesn't my teacher like me?  Why did I get yelled at for singing?  It wasn't circle time." And, how do I even answer that?  I'd like to say "It's because your teacher was being a bitch, honey, and I'd like to punch her in the throat for making you feel that way."  But, that is a conversation I save for my husband, not my little girl. So, I settle for "Honey, there's a time and a place for singing.  I think maybe you just chose the wrong time."  

Yes, she is a handful.  Yes, she can be high maintenance. Yes, she challenges me constantly and sometimes makes my hair fall out.  But, underneath all that (which she mostly saves for lucky ol' me) she's a sweetheart.  She's a love bug who wants to help people.  She's kind.  She's scary intelligent.  She is an amazing, hysterical person with a big heart who will flourish as an adult with the skills she is being yelled at for as a child.   I mean, Madonna use to get in trouble all the time as a child for standing on desks and singing at the top of her lungs.  Wait, maybe I should choose a better role model.  Kesha...no...Lady GaGa...um....

Well, I'm pretty sure Mother Theresa sang a lot.  And, she turned out ok.

4.25.2012

My Angel and Nephilim

It's the last day before Christmas vacation at my daughter's school. Lena has been rehearsing her big line as an angel ad nauseum. It's time for the grand performance. The classroom is packed with parents, grandparents, nannies, friends and siblings as we witness the reenactment of the birth of Christ. It's adorable and hilarious - as only 4 and 5 year olds can pull off. Standing ovation worthy for the pint-sized thespians. After the play it's a whirlwind of excitement: gifts to parents from kids, gifts to teachers from kids/parents, holiday fare coupled with cleaning out the cubbies.

As noon approaches, the teachers are gently encouraging us out the door so they may begin their vacations. All the parents are weighed down with items from the event. Emmeline rushes to the door with Lena in tow.  We are among the first to leave. 

I can't see my kids underneath the piles of coats, cookies, gifts, artwork, and angel wings. My hands are full of frosting from a cupcake that toppled over and I'm trying hard not to drop a glass container full of cookie ingredients.   I can feel the girls hanging on to my coat tails so I know they are still with me. I keep encouraging them to "Follow Mommy, hold on tight, don't let go, we're going into the parking lot, almost there..."

I somehow manage to unlock the car and open a door. Both girls crawl in while I dump all the stuff in the trunk.  I hear Emmeline laughing hysterically. I stick my head into the car to fasten her buckles. In her arms, she is holding the baby Jesus.

"Oh my goodness. Emmeline!"

"I a baby."

"Yes, you stole the baby Jesus. Right out of the manger. This cannot be good karma."

I look back toward the classroom where people are still streaming out. I would be like a salmon swimming upstream to return  the baby Jesus. Plus, then I would have to get the kids out of their seats because I am neurotic about not leaving them alone in the car. A decision had to be made.  Plus, it would be wrong for Jesus to be alone on his big day, right?

So, this was the holiday that Jesus took a road trip.

4.23.2012

Monday, Monday...

A collective sigh rains out. People lament across multiple social networks. A fugue of depression settles down across the world; for it is Monday. A day that universally people loathe. Except in my house. Monday is my FAVORITE day of the week. It's the day that I reclaim my life. Every Monday morning I skip as I drag my reticent children into the car. I cheerfully buckle them into their seats, unbothered by their vehement attempts to escape their fetters. The whines of "I don't want to go to school" are music to my ears because I know that in a few minutes I will be in total control of my day. Laundry, cleaning, all of my weekly chores begin today and I don't even mind. I work my day into routine - and everything can be accomplished when I feel like doing them. I know exactly where I have to be and when I have to be there. I have the morning without one child, the afternoon free from the other for a few blissful nap hours - while the first relaxes after school. I can be on the computer without my husband nagging me about Facebooking again -- when I'm not even on Facebook (I'm Pinteresting which is totally different!). I can do the dishes without someone yelling that they need help on the potty. Just when I get to the point when I'm sick of being a mommy for the day, my husband comes home from work and then they annoy the crap out of him instead. The end of the weekend is here! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the Monday morning complaints begin. I am immune. I stretch my arms over my head and smile at the beginning of another week. Then, my husband rolls over and says "I think I'm going to work from home today." Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All my plans are out the window. I drag myself, grumbling out of bed. So not ready to carpe diem. I freakin' hate Mondays.

4.20.2012

The Little Yellow Packet of Delicious, Delicious Evil

My head is pounding - I can't think.  My brain has somehow been sucked out and replaced with shards of iron.  I am shaking and need a fix. I am ready to give up one of my children to make this stop.  Whoever whines next is up for grabs.  I scavenge the cupboards until I find what I need to stop these withdrawal symptoms.  I give it a flick, once, twice.  I will stop at nothing until I have that rush.  I relax slightly as I feel it coursing through my veins.  Greedily I take another and another until I feel that nirvana that I can get from only one source.  Coffee.  With Splenda. 

Yes, I know that Splenda is the root of all that is evil in the universe.  It is addictive.  It is chemically derived and will give you cancer.  It clubs baby seals on the weekend. But I do not care.  I need it.  I am addicted.

I use to drink coffee with a lot of sugar. I'm talking large Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee with extra cream and extra sugar.  The straw had to stand up straight in the sludge at the bottom as I crunched my way through my beverage.  But, that was in my halcyon days of high metabolism.  Now, I cannot drink a pound of sugar with a splash of coffee. I actually have to (gasp!) watch what I eat or I begin to mirror a manatee.  So, over the years I have weaned myself off copious amounts sugar with some coffee and replaced it with two phenomenal packets Splenda.

I don't care for Sweet n' Low or Equal.  Aspartame leaves an awful aspar-taste. I have tried the organic sugar replacements like blue agave sweetener.  Not even close.  None of them satisfy that craving. I need to use 37 packets of Truvia - which means I need to dip into my kids' college savings fund to support my habit.  And there is no way I'm giving up sweeteners in  my coffee.  No. Way. 

So go ahead.  Judge.  I'm just going to curl my hands around a steaming hot mug of liquid death.  And enjoy every second...

4.18.2012

The Keys to a Successful Marriage are NOT in my Gray Coat

I can feel my pulse beating in the soles of my exhausted and sore feet.  The pain is radiating up and settling into my lower back.  I want to take my sassy heels off, but we are at a bar I don't want my french manicured toes mingling with things I'd rather not think about congealed on the floor.  I am one of the few sober people remaining in the place.  We had a wonderful day - everyone we love came to visit us on our first visit back to Massachusetts since we moved to California 9 months ago.  However, it's late, I am about 5 hours past overtired and I am no longer enjoying the drunken shenanigans occurring around me. 

I tell my husband that I wish to head to the hotel.  He yawns his agreement.  I ask him to give me the keys, as he drove to the bar.  He informs me that I have them.  Which I do not. 

Key Master: "Tracy, you had the keys when we went outside to give the kids stuff to my parents."
Me: "No I didn't. You unlocked the car and gave the girls' suitcases to your father."
Key Master: "You unlocked the car."
Key-less Me: "No I didn't. I carried Emmeline."
Belligerent Key Master: "I DON'T HAVE THEM TRACY." 
Trying to Stay Calm Me: "Ok, maybe they're outside near the car."

We walk out back and begin to comb the parking lot and the car for the missing keys.  It is really cold out (since it's February) and I didn't bring a coat because I didn't want to leave it lying around the bar.  The keys are no where to be seen. We head back inside to continue looking.

Obstreperous Key Bastard: "You clearly have them.  I unlocked the car and then put them in the pocket of your gray coat."
Innocent Until Proven Guilty Me: "I'm not wearing a gray coat.  I don't even own a gray coat."
Gave the Keys To a Stranger Asshole: "Well, that's just freakin' awesome, Tracy.  Now we don't have the keys.  Now we are going to have to pay $7,000,000 to replace the keys to Hertz.  I can't believe you lost the keys.  I put them in your gray coat on the bar."
Super Pissed Off Shouty Me: I DON'T HAVE THE GOD DAMN KEYS!!  I AM WEARING A BLACK SWEATER WITH NO POCKETS!!  I DON'T HAVE A GRAY COAT!!!!!


Our friends Jeff and Lindsey are not-so-successfully stifling laughs and offer to drive us the few blocks to the hotel. I leave my number with the bartender in case a set of keys is located after they close.  Also, the owner of the bar is a dear friend of ours - and he will call us if he finds anything.   Frustrated, tired and now wanting to stab my husband with the missing keys - we head to the hotel. During the entire 10 minute ride back to the hotel Key Loser 3000 keeps blaming me for misplacing the keys and complaining how much money we are going to owe to the rental car agency and like THIS is what he feels like dealing with in the morning.  I seethe in the back seat and try to refrain from pushing him out of the moving vehicle.

We get to the room and I sequester myself in the bathroom to perform my nightly pre-sleep ritual of contact lens removal, make up removal, etc.  My husband collapses on the bed.  I have the sink running to wash my face and I hear something garbled coming from the other room.  I turn off the faucet so I can hear him. 

Overtired Me:  Sigh...I couldn't hear you with the sink running. What did you say?
Should Be Sleeping on the Couch Jackass: I found the keys!
Wrongfully Accused Me: Excuse me?
Too Narcissistic to be Contrite: I found the keys!  I put them in this little pocket in my jeans so I wouldn't lose them.
I Freakin' Told You I Didn't Have Them Me:  I am so kicking your ass in the morning.

Here is my collection of jackets.  Not a gray one among them.
Although the pink one could use some dry cleaning...

4.17.2012

Ass Wreath Update

My ass wreath (http://www.momaical.com/2012/04/where-does-one-get-ass-looking-wreath.html) is still hanging on - by a thread.  I tried to "Tracy it up" by adding moss to no avail.  A few of the plants lept to an early demise because apparently it is far nobler to die amongst the hosta.   I tried to replant a few seedlings that have bloomed wonderfully inside my house.  But, they are so embarrassed with the company that they have retreated into the soil like ostriches.  I may have to admit defeat and cut the terra cotta coffins out.  Sigh...

4.16.2012

Boys Shouldn't Touch Our Junk, Should They Mommy? Is That Why We Smack 'Em?

I am not a tv person; never have been.  In fact, I could get rid of my television and barely notice. I didn't even own a tv larger than a 12" until I was 30 years old.  The only show I ever watch with any regularity is Modern Family.  We tend to listen to a lot of music in my house. However, there is only so much Laurie Berkner I can stand before I want to rip out my uterus with a crowbar.  So, my girls are growing up on the music we enjoy instead of the Wiggles. Which is just ANOTHER reason on a very long, long list as to why I am a top contender for Mother of the Year. I worked in Top 40 radio and have never outgrown the music.   My husband is a big fan of country music - which means my children are by default.  Majority rules in the car, so my pop tart music gets shelved until it is an estrogen only drive and I control the radio. There is always music blasting at home while my husband is at work.  The girls sing and dance constantly - like Studio 54 now resides in their minds.   Emmeline mostly makes up her own baby babble songs. But, she belts out a good LMFAO now and again "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, I work owt!"  And, she loves Adele.  "We coulda had it awwwww! Wollin' in da deep!" Once and a while Baby GaGa makes an appearance - which is simultaneously hysterical and unnerving.

Lena is very much like I was with music.  She remembers lyrics after hearing the song only once.  And she is always singing very loudly and off key. My mom use to make me go outside to sing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!" because I was soooo going to be Annie in my next lifetime and sang it until I was banned from the house.   It is slightly embarrassing when Lena is singing on the top of her lungs at the grocery store.  She never chooses innocuous Disney songs.  She goes for Katy Perry at full volume - "I kissed a girl and I liked it!".  To the point where numerous times we overhear people not-so-subtly whispering "Did you just hear what that little girl is singing?" Cue the condescending looks...

Ke$ha is Lena's favorite artist - which is clearly family friendly entertainment. Ke$ha: the cornerstone of role models for young women everywhere!
Me: "Lena, brush your teeth. Ke$ha brushes her teeth!
Lena: "Mommy, what's a bottle of Jack?"
Me: "It's a new kind of toothpaste. With extra glitter. Now, be quiet and brush."   

We were driving one time and the song We R Who We R came on.  Lena pipes up from the back seat and asks "What is 'Hot and Dangerous' Mommy?"  How on Earth do I explain the hot mess that is Ke$ha to a four-year-old?  So, I stumble around my explanation of "Well, someone who is good looking and makes them challenging...blah blah."  She thinks about it for a minute and then says "You know what else is hot and dangerous?  Lava. And fire."  Yet again, I am outsmarted by my child.  Waaaaaay better explanation than what I gave.   "D-I-N-O-INSANE you are a dinosaur! Hittin' on me, what? You're just an old man!" (another Ke$ha classic remixed by Lena).  Check it out on iTunes!

Lena adjusts the lyrics so they make sense in her young mind.  My favorite is when she sings Taylor Swifts song Mean with a Lena twist: "Some day, I'll be, living in a bagel city and all you're ever gonna be is mean." Or when the Zac Brown Band song Toes comes on, she gets all upset because she thinks the lyrics are "Lava's good today" (instead of life is good today). She always has to comment that lava is in fact NOT good, it is dangerous and ruins every thing in its path with fire.   And, she laughs hysterically because "Mommy!  Lady GaGa says hug my muffin!"every time Pokerface comes on. (Real lyrics: "bluffin' with my muffin).   Actually, now that I think about it, both versions are hilarious.  Lena and Emmeline sing Red Solo Cup by Toby Keith together - which makes me laugh out loud.  Emmeline is always back up - "Wed Sowo Cup!  I fiw you up. Yets have a pawty! Pwoceed to pawty!" 

Of course, they wouldn't be my children if they didn't manage to embarrass me at every possible juncture.  The song "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" by Joe Nichols came on in the store. Lena very loudly announces that "This is your song, huh mommy?"  Mint.  Could you please go back to embarrassing me with Rihanna lyrics about S&M? Thanks. 

4.15.2012

You Will Get Nothing And Like It!

I seem to frequent the worst restaurant EVER.  I gave birth to the proprietor: Lena. So, I am sort of obligated to eat there - especially since it is located in my dining room. The food is cheap - either free or a few random trinkets will pay for a "meal".  The problem is that they never, ever have what I want to order. They will most likely have it for the person ordering before me.  They may have it for the person ordering after me.  But, as soon as I wish for it for myself they are mysteriously out.


Lena: "Good Morning!  Welcome to The Colorful Food Place.  My name is Lena."
Emmeline:  "Hi Eena!"
Me: "Hello!  We are starving."
Lena:  "Good.  Our food is delicious.  What can I get you for breakfast?"
Emmeline:  "Pizza."
Lena:  "Sure.  What kind of pizza?"
Emmeline: " 'Nakey."
Lena:  "Snakey pizza.  Ok, and something to drink?"
Emmeline: "I aunt a juicy." 
Lena: "What kind of juicy?"
Emmeline: "Buberry."
Lena: "Blueberry juice and snakey pizza coming right up. (She turns to me) And for you, miss?"
Me:  "I would like scrambled eggs."
Lena:  "Oh, we're all out of eggs."
Me: "No eggs? I thought this was a breakfast restaurant.  Ok, I'll take a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee."
Lena: "We only have one bagel left and I'm saving it for someone special.  Not you.  And we're out of coffee."
Me: "No eggs, no bagels, no coffee.  What kind of restaurant are you running here?"
Lena: "A successful one.  Which is why we have none of your food. Daddy, what would you like to eat?"
Daddy: "Fried eggs and a coffee."
Lena: "Ok, coming right up."
Me: "Wait, you said you were out of eggs. And coffee."
Lena: "You asked for scrambled.  We only have fried."
Me: "Ok, I'll have fried."
Lena: "Sorry, we're all out."

Sometimes I am brought a nice surprise meal instead of what I ordered.  I received "Mommy hot dogs" for my birthday (a carrot with a celery bun - because I loathe hot dogs). Other times I get whatever plastic provision is handy.  There have been a few insulting occasions the establishment has decided I need to trim calories and I am the recipient of a plate full of air.  This breakfast I get "moldy toast" (a wooden piece of bread that was left out in the rain and warped).   As we leave the restaurant, she holds out her hand for a tip.  I stifle the urge to tell her to treat her mom better.  You'd think I would find a different restaurant.  One with better food options or at least slightly less calumniating help.  But, the Mommy hot dogs are to die for. 

4.11.2012

Fa La La La

I can tell that I am overwhelmed in my life when my stress dreams make a cameo appearance during my few precious hours of fleeting slumber.  I have two distinct stress dreams.  The most common one propels me back into college.  It’s finals time and I haven’t been to the class all semester.  And, it’s a math class – which I suck at and can’t BS my way through the questions like I can a language class.  I can’t find the room (because I never went to the class) and I can’t study for the test because I don’t have the textbook.  And, it’s too late to drop the class which means this is going to tank my overall GPA - which is a fate worse than death to a geek like me. Plus, I have to tell my mom that I failed a class for the first time in my life (which is WAY scarier than facing the Dean of the College or Chinese water torture or Chucky).

The second one drops me back in the radio station.  I am unfamiliar with the board and there’s dead air.  I can’t get the music to start in any way I try.  And, I can’t turn on my microphone to override the dead air.  Plus the CD is skipping and I can’t figure out what to put on because there’s no play list.  The station bosses are banging on the glass and mouthing obscenities like angry fish but no one is coming in to save me. 
Both dreams leave me hyperventilating.
Last night's dream placed me back at WSYR’s studios.  It started out wonderfully!  I wasn’t on air for a change.  I was watching a broadcast with a live studio audience.  I was visiting with my old fabulous bosses: Joel and Ed.  We were catching up on how much life has changed in the 16 years since we met. I got to “see” some of the talented hosts with whom I worked (and haven’t seen in over a decade since I left the media).  We were laughing and having a great time together.  Then – they want to share a surprise with me.  They bring me back to this new area of the radio station.  The conglomerate was spearheading a new movie and needed to discover a “voice” for the up and coming princess.  Wow!  They want me to audition!  They handed me a bunch of random paper and thrust me in front of a camera.  I can’t make heads or tails of the script.  It’s a bunch of pamphlets.  The camera is in an awkward corner of the room and it’s much shorter than my point of view.  I have to hunch over and perform.  I summon Quasimodo and am about to begin.  All of the sudden, hundreds of people start filing in behind me. They are going to try out as well.  Some are friends of mine – others strangers – one is my nemesis.  I’m in front of EVERYONE.  I am fumbling through the pamphlet-script which is (of course) completely out of order. My headphones are on and I can hear the producer reading the script.  I can’t figure out where we are - I try to improvise.  The cameras are rolling and all eyes are on me.  Then, my worst nightmare starts.  The music cues and I’M SUPPOSED TO SING!?!  Dear God in Heaven. Singing is my personal kryptonite.  I am so embarrassingly bad at singing.  My husband often tells me that I need to stop singing because he is dressed for work and the blood dripping from his ears will stain his suit.
Back to the nightmare: Not only do I have to sing.  I have to sing in front of a group of people in which I know half of them.  Plus, I am wearing headphones so no one can hear the music.  All they hear is my caterwauling.  I don’t know the tune, I don’t know the plot of the script or how I’m supposed to act.  I’m sweating right through the outfit that was really cute just minutes earlier. Now it looks like sweaty tie-dye.  Do I cry?  Do I throw up?  Do I put on my big girl pants and make it through the audition so I can go outside to cry while throwing up?
Somehow I survive the mortification – just barely.  The producer, Jay, takes pity on me because I have known him forever.  I babble about not knowing the storyline and if I could perhaps rehearse and come back… I am dismissed.  I try to slink away but it’s impossible with this mob of potential princesses. My friends avoid making eye contact in their embarrassment for me.  This will most likely be my very last visit to this place because I can never face these people again. I may have to hire a lawyer to deal with the aftermath of the permanent scarring on their Eustachian tubes as a result of my audition.

And, because my life couldn’t suck any harder at that moment - my nemesis stops me mid-retch to inform me how much I totally sucked at the try out.  She then belts out the chorus of the song I just slaughtered in perfect form.  And, I was so mortified that I couldn’t even slam her with some sarcasm.  Then while laughing she reaches up to strangle me to crush my larynx and put the listening public at peace with the knowledge that I will never torture them again with my horrible voice.  I am choking to death while she’s singing my dirge – which is even more humiliating that my dirge is peppy cheerleader princess song about happiness, unicorns and friends.   

I finally sit up straight  in bed and wake myself up.  The blanket has wrapped itself around my neck, choking me like a fluffy boa constrictor.  I am shaking.  But, I have not actually publicly humiliated myself…yet.  Phew!  However, there is still an entire day in which I may bring shame on myself and my family. And, it is karaoke night at the bar down the street... 

4.06.2012

Where Does One Get An Ass-Looking Wreath Like That?

I have a new addiction: Pinterest.  What a great way to go in and steal other people’s ideas and pretend they are your own.  I spent many mindless hours looking at what people are pinning.  I have found hundreds of things I would like to implement when I have a home, when I decide that I will once again cook, or when I have a total body replacement that can fit into the cute dresses and bikinis everyone pins. When I wonder why I can't fit into these skimpy bathing suits, I just open up my desserts folder and her them taunting me "Because you are a fat ass, Tracy!I also love eavesdropping on at what other people are “obsessed with” or “So ME!” because you couldn’t pay me money to wear some of the outfits or tattoo the designs onto my necrotic corpse. I may start a "When I Turn Into A Freakshow" folder to house these things - you know, just in case.  

I have attempted to create some of the crafty things I have pinned – except they end up looking like some white trash inbred cousin.  It bears a slight resemblance to the family – but you're not sure who's
 DNA they spawned from and no one really wants to claim them as kin.  I have been diligently  searching Pinterest for ideas on gardening.  I found this wreath on Bees Knees Bungalow.  It combined my love of succulents into a wreath.  Oh to the yeah.

 
 
I decided to get my craft on. Now, I'm not really a wreath person.  And, I have never made one before - but why should that stop me!  How hard can this be, right?  Armed to the teeth with pots, twine and succulents I began my quest for wreath excellence.  I chose succulents because the wall where I plan to hang this gets a ridiculous amount of sun, not to mention the radiating heat from the stucco.  I began to twist, turn and twine.  It turns out this “thrown together” looking wreath is not that easy to make. 

Many, many terracotta pots were harmed in the making of this wreath.  I probably should have forewarned this story is not for the faint of heart. It has not rained since I moved to California last summer – until I put the succulents outside. Now it has rained for two weeks straight. I may have single handedly wiped out the drought.  The warm weather loving plants would flip me off, had they the energy to lift their anemic arms.  Here they are hanging their heads in shame. Except for the one that looks like broccoli. I believe I hear them sobbing at night. Which they wouldn't be able to do if they were in their required desert-like conditions instead of bogs.
I'm telling everyone that I need to let the plants "settle" into their new surroundings before I add the mossy stuff to "pretty it up."  I would hate for them to accidentally succumb to a brutal wind storm.  Although, they're more likely to commit suicide.  I'm pretty sure the one on the bottom has already ouijied Kevorkian.   

4.04.2012

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful - Pity Me Because I'm Delusional.

Generally speaking, I find there are two very distinct types of women in the world: those who get along with and support other women and those who don’t.   Here is a prime example of one woman who does not…or maybe I'm just super jealous.  Hard to say.  What do you think?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html

Ain't Love Grand?

We were watching the Today show this morning for a few moments before starting our day. There was a segment on a report of an increased number of teenagers getting gastric bypass surgery.   My husband leans over and lovingly says "We're going to get you weight loss surgery. They're going to sew your mouth shut."  **SWOON** And, he's all mine ladies...

4.03.2012

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

The morning’s sunlight is filtering in through the Hunter Douglas blinds.  I can hear the chattering of the jays outside of my window.  The tiny people aren’t up yet; neither is my husband.  I am taking this rare moment of peace to collect my thoughts and organize my day.

6:00 am: (Plan for Today): I will get up and fix the girls healthy breakfasts. I will get them dressed so they don’t look like they’re on their way to a Katy Perry concert.  I will cut out my lifeblood (coffee) to try to reduce my dependence on caffeine.  I will go to the gym after I drop Lena off at school.  We will have an “outdoorsy” day – no television.  Our lunch will be healthy and use up the vegetables before they start a riot in the crisper.  We will walk to the store to get bread (since we only have raisin bread left which my kids refuse to eat because it’s not exactly the same as Grammy’s.).  While Emmeline is resting I will clean up the house and get started on the laundry.  We will work on crafts and things at home to try to save some money.  We will have an early dinner and then go for a walk as a family.  Bath, relax, bed.  Perfect!
6:15 am (Plan Addendum): Emmeline is bellowing “Mumma! GET ME OUTTA MY KIB!” and Lena needs her sleep so she won’t be a bitch grouch.  Does iPhone viewing count as TV? Ok, watch Super Why.
7:00 am (Commentary from my husband on aforementioned plan): “Tracy, what are you doing in the closet?” 
Me: “Getting ready for the gym.”
Husband: "No, seriously.  What are you doing messing around in the closet?  You know I have to get in the shower soon."
Me: "I am really getting ready for the gym."
Husband snickers.  I growl and pull on my yoga pants.

7:30 (Progress with the plan):  Lena has dressed herself!  She is wearing a 3T short sleeve shirt with a giraffe on it, a tutu skirt over a pair of “soft pants” with a giant hole in the knee which she has hidden with a sticker.  Ok.  Strike one on the outfit with Lena.  Perhaps not is all lost...
Emmeline “No, I not wearin' dat.  I a tiger!  I ‘eed stwipes!” 
Me: “Honey, we only have these pants with stripes.  Ok, let’s wear this shirt with these pants.  That will be cute!” 
Emmeline: "I wearin’ dis shirt.” 
Me: “Emmeline, this is a pajama top from your cousin Noah” (who is almost 9 years old).
Emmeline: “Yup.  It tigers. I wearin’ it.”
Lena: “It’s not fair if someone gets to wear pajamas and the other one doesn’t.  You never let me wear pajamas to school.  You’re the meanest.” Stomps off into room and slams door.
Emmeline (banging on the door): “Eena!  Yet me in!  Eena!” Followed by crying and yelling.
run away from the noise.  Coffee grinder overrides cacaphony. Need caffeine to survive this morning.  Will stop at one cup.  

8:00 (Plan Modification):  Cinnamon Toast Crunch is healthy, right?

10:00 (Plan in progress):  I drop off Emmeline at the daycare so I can go work out.  “Where have you guys been?  We haven’t seen Emmeline in so long!”
Me stammering:  “Well, um...we’ve...uh...been travelling and...sick and then there’s that whole lazy thing I’ve been battling.” (Crickets.  Staring at me. More crickets.  Walk away briskly.)
Emmeline FREAKS OUT as I try to go.  “Mummy!  I kyin!  No yeeve!  I kyin!”  Yes, I know you’re crying – and it’s ripping out my heart.  Please stop.  I must work out.  It's a big part of the plan for today. 
I run away.

All this running from my children clearly means that I've burned off my Cheerios! Plus, I carried my gym bag and its freakin’ heavy with all the accoutrements I need to get ready - which is like a workout in itself.   I decide that I will walk extra far after dinner and won't even stop for frozen yogurt this time.  I’ll just grab a quick shower and get Emmeline.  Well, one coffee in the cafĂ© won’t hurt, will it?  I’ll just look at shoes on Ebay for a few minutes. Oooooh! Burberry slip-ons!

12:00 pm: Oh crap!  Its noon and I haven’t left to get Lena yet! Run in, apologize to the teachers for being late, chuck the kids back in the car (more cardio!). They’re starving and I ate the last fruit snacks in the diaper bag (shoe shopping makes me hungry!).  “Here’s a hot dog. No, we don’t have any bread.  Here’s a lemon muffin instead. Just shove the hot dog in.”   
1:00 pm:Worn out from the whining, I turn on Doc McStuffins (doctor – educational, right?  So what if she’s a cartoon doctor that fixes toys).  “Emmeline, want to play “keenin'?”  Here’s a Swiffer.  Go at it.”  I just need a few minutes of a Fifty Shades of Grey fix…
 Me: (periodically) “Shh!  We don’t need to yell!” and “Why are you fighting? Mommy needs a few minutes of quiet to read." followed by "It's very hard for me to be a deadbeat mother when you keep wanting me to get up and do things for you.”

??? pm: Lena: “Mommy, we’re hungry.”
Me: “Mmmhmmm. Get something out of the snack bin.”
Lena: "Daddy’s home!”
Me: “Huh?”  I look up.  The floor is covered with Capri Sun corpses, granola bar crumbs, string cheese wrappers, chalk outlines from some pony genocide.  My husband is staring at the rubble that was once our living room.  “What’s for dinner?"
Me: “Um...well...I wasn’t sure what you had for lunch so I didn’t want to repeat it for dinner. I thought I’d wait to see what you wanted before I started.  Are you in the mood for Ramen?”

Husband is distracted looking at his phone (which happens seven zillion times a day so I pay little attention to it). “TRACY! WHY IS THERE A BUNCH OF PAYPAL CHARGES ON THE AMEX?”
Run away from him.  More cardio!  Looks like I’m off the hook for the walk tonight!

4.02.2012

Batter Up!

My hair drips onto my shirt but makes no difference as we are thoroughly soaked from the vicious rainstorm that blew through Great Woods (I refuse to call it the Tweeter Center/Comcast Center).  I am buzzing a little from the Jimmy Buffet concert (and a few margaritas).   We pay the sitter and I rush up to see my baby – this is our first outing as a couple since Lena was born and I am anxious to check on her.  As I walk up the stairs toward her bedroom I see something in my peripheral vision.  It’s late and I am sleep deprived.  So I dismiss it, gently turning the knob to open the door into Lena’s bedroom.  Now I hear something out of place: fluttering, like a large moth.  I turn toward the noise and a bat swoops toward me.  I quickly shut the door and place myself in front of it like a protective barrier, panicked the bat was going to get into my brand new baby’s room.   I didn’t want to leave because in my sleep deprived, slightly inebriated haze, I was convinced the bat was going to crawl under the door and carry my baby off to his lair and turn her into a creature of the night.  Or at least get caught in her hair and a bat barrette wouldn't match with any of her outfits.

I am contemplating my next move while watching the bat circle our cathedral ceilings.  My whispers to my husband go unanswered as he is downstairs foraging in the kitchen – guess the cheeseburger in paradise wasn’t enough to satiate his hunger.  I shove a towel in the gap beneath Lena’s bedroom door so the bat can’t squish itself through and dash downstairs to apprise my husband of the situation. He calls his father to come help us catch the bat because I won’t leave Lena’s door unguarded.  And, “I will no longer deal with animal trespassers” was part of my wedding vows. 
The bat flies into my bathroom so I sprint over and slam the door shut; trapping him in there.  A few minutes later my father-in-law arrives.  He has been at a golf tournament and is in the same inebriated state as my husband.  He starts stomping up the stairs yelling “Na na na na na na na BATMAN!” 

“Shhhh!  Lena is sleeping!!!” I screech.  Lena habitually slept an hour or two and then was awake for the next 4-6 hours wanting constant attention.  Sleep was sparse, at best. 
My husband and his father are now (very loudly) trying to discuss the official Bat Removal Plan. 
Husband:  "Ok, what's the plan?" 
Father-In-Law: "The plan is we go in and get it."
Husband: "That plan sucks.  We need a way better SWAT style plan.  Ok, I say we go in there and whack it. I’ll get a tennis racket."
Father-In-Law:  "No.  You suck at tennis. You'll probably take out a wall or something. Let’s get a towel and chuck it on the bat and trap it."
H: "I'm really good at baseball.  I’ll get a bat to whack the bat."
(Drunk laughter about using a bat on the bat then yelling because a bat wing flips them off underneath the door). 
F-I-L: "Let’s open the door and smash it!" 
H: "Wait.  We don’t have anything to smash it or catch it with."  He grabs a sheet from my linen closet. "Ok. Let’s do this."
I’m just standing there observing this entire scene.  I want to laugh at the two drunk jackasses being outsmarted by a bat but the feeling is overridden by panic that I don’t want them to wake up Lena.   Coupled with the fact I am slightly revolted about the fact that a bat will now be squished into my Pottery Barn king sized sheet.  However, I have learned in the last decade that it is always better to keep my mouth shut or somehow I end up getting dragged in to the mix.
They open up the door and storm in.  Banging, smashing, shower is turned on, toilet lids slamming shut, numerous colorful epithets spewed.  My husband yells “I got the bastard!  It’s trapped!”
F-I-L:  "What the hell do we do with it now?"
H: "We get it the f*&^ out of my house!  That’s what we do with it." 
F-I-L: "I'll open a window and throw it out."
H: "That's the worst idea yet.  The bat will just fly back in.  And then we'll have a bat forever.  And I don't want any pets." (Yelling as if I’ve gone to the neighbor’s house for help) "Tracy!  Do we have any plastic grocery bags?"
Tracy: "Shhhh! Yeah, they’re in the bottom drawer in there next to the garbage can."
Drawer opening, more noise, more banging and more swearing.  Finally, they capture the winged intruder.  We have been saved.  They start walking down the stairs with it.
H: "Holy Sh*#! It’s trying to crawl out of the bag!  It’s got a wing sticking out!  What the f*&^ Tracy!  You gave me a bag with a hole in it!"
Yes, clearly it’s all my fault.
The plan is now to bring it up the road and fling it to freedom because I won’t let them kill it and they've vetoed letting it free in our yard.    I am shivering because I am still soaked from the rain and the air conditioning is on and now extra exhausted from the ordeal, the concert, motherhood, life in general.  I walk into the bathroom, trip over some carnage.  I am gawking at the full scale destruction when my husband saunters by the wreckage.  I ask him if he's going to help me clean up the disaster he created.  He laughs in my general direction and proceeds to crawl into bed.  Apparently I missed the part of his vows that said “And I will never do housework again.” Where’s tennis racket when I need it?

4.01.2012

What's The Best Way To Cook Platypus?

I just returned from the grocery store where I spent over an hour lovingly choosing healthy food with which to feed my family.  I have all these tasty menu ideas rolling around in my mind as I begin to plan the meals for the week.  I place armfuls of paper bags around the kitchen and head out to the car to grab the last few items.  When I return (30 seconds later), the tiny people have picked through the bags like it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet in some third world country.  Followed closely by my husband “What did you buy at the grocery store?  Yucky dirt food?  How come you never buy any real food?”  Yes, I just spent $117.00 on four bags of Miracle Grow – one for each of us!  Delicious!


So now I’m faced with the dilemma of the impending dinner.  My initial plan has been jettisoned – due to the fact that the vegetables I purchased now have little Emmeline sized teeth marks in them but then replaced to look as if no one touched them since the cashier. My pint-sized thief has not figured out how to remove the evidence nor the residue of “ahmatos” from her chipmunk cheeks.  My husband wants “meats, Tracy, meats.  Lots of meats.  None of this horse feed that you like to eat. I am not a ‘vag-itarian’ like you.”  Lena would like “Um, probably like macaroni and cheese but we will only eat the Phineas and Ferb macaroni and cheese because we have decided that today is eat a cartoon day.  We will not eat anything else.”  Emmeline looks up from the “bwacowi” she snuck off with and says “Yeah. Cartoon. No else.” 
Ok.  Meats.  And Phineas and Ferb.  Hmmmm.  Since I don’t really eat too much meat (hence the "vag-itarian" comment) – I hand my husband some steaky-thing from the freezer and wish him luck.  He looks at me with another eye roll – since he wants meat that has been marinating in something delicious for several days and then grilled to perfection not this hockey puck I’ve handed him.  But, at least it’s not a bowl of potting soil, right?
Phineas and Ferb.  This proves slightly more difficult since we ate our last box of this during last weeks “I will only eat lunch that has the letter P in it” stint.   And, she holds true to these demands, refusing anything else and staying in character longer than the thespians in Cats.  For a while I would leave whatever was created for her on the table and then point to it periodically when she complained of hunger.  “I refuse to eat that grilled cheese.  That is orange cheese and I am only eating white cheese.”  “Lena, it’s cheddar – which you asked for when I was making the sandwiches.”   “Well, I changed my mind.”  “Yeah, good luck with that.” I grumble under my breath…until the kraken emerges.  And Lena can go from zero to Freddy Kruger in 60 seconds flat when she’s hungry, tired, or breathing in and out.  Several weeks of this resulted in slightly more accommodating meals – because it’s easier than the aftermath.  I believe in the theory that children shouldn't run a household and that they need to be guided and coached how to be decent humans.  I also believe that harakiri was probably started by Japanese Moms of Lena-style kids.  And, I am weak. And tired.  So, so tired.  You'll eat this food and then have a big bowl of shut-the-hell-up and leave me alone for 37 seconds?  Phineas and Ferb it is. 

Ok, time to get creative.  Carrots shaped like triangle for Phineas’ face. Egg noodles for hair (and steak accompaniment for my husband). Salad greens for Ferb.  Some Perry the Platypus “meats” – creepy but functional.  And, of course, copious amounts of ketchup.  I throw a bunch of half-eaten veggies in a bowl, add the Phineas, Ferb and “meats” elements and mix it up for myself.   Meal crisis averted.  And the platypus wasn’t even microwaved.  Which is how I would cook it, were I in charge of the platypus preparation.  And the dessert...a yummy Chocolate Macaroon cake from Trader Joe's...with a giant bite taken out of the side.  If I cover it with ice cream, no one will notice, right?

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