A Perfect Metaphor for Motherhood. Or something.

Remember the days when “Me” time was whole day spent doing…well, whatever it was that you wanted? For some it was the spa (well, for me), or shopping (also guilty as charged), or camping (not on your life, but more power to ya!), or running (Gerlock, I am looking at you…with amazement!). Then we had kids and “ME” time became a trip to the grocery store or hallelujah, Target ALL BY OURSELVES? I feel I can state this with a fair amount of certainty due to the insane frequency of excited tweets regarding this whenever any one of us makes an escape from our oh-so-beloved minions and makes our way out into the world unincumberd by tiny hands reaching out to grab whatever it is we happen to pass by.

Chances of having some food, or kid residue of some kind unnoticed upon our clothing as we walk through the world? High.

My in-laws got me a metric ton of gift cards this year for my birthday. Starbucks. Nordstrom. H&M. To name a few. They know me so well. Zach and I had an errand to run so we loaded the kids into the car and headed out. And ooooo. Nordstrom Rack was right.next.door. Luckily for me, my darling man likes to shop almost as much as I do…or maybe not luckily. Whatever, his conference was coming up and he needed clothes.  So into Nordstrom we went. I bought Huckleberry some kicks. He looks fly #forawhiteguy.

Then the choir of angels sang and the God rays hit a bag…I have a real problem with purses, and addiction really, and Mumsy will tell you that it started early. I went through several school bags each year.

Because, reasons.

It pained me, pained me to walk away from this bag. Calvin Klein, which I don’t believe I’ve ever bought one of his…but this bag. It spoke to me. Probably because it’s a total knock off of a Micheal Kors, but whatever. I love it, and it loved me and I had to leave it there. So I did what I always do. I put it on hold. Sure someone might buy it, but not while I am in the vicinity. Then I remembered…GIFT CERTIFICATE! It was then that I used my terrible math skills to make deals in my mind. I announced to Zach “I’m going to get a big paycheck today and go back and get that bag.” Then the mail came, and my paycheck came, and I went back and got that bag.

Oh, I love it. It carries everything and I feel like a million bucks carrying it. It made me happy to my toes. A glimpse of my former glamorous no need to worry if I have wipes or fruit snacks life, and yet it is big enough to make sure that I do have both wipes and fruit snacks at all times.

Then sweet Super-fly Huckleberry decided that the perfect place to dump out his milk was-you got it- my bag.

I may or may not have cried a tear or two. Or a hundred. Poor bag. Not even three days old and already baptized in the ways of baby. Through the power of twitter people rallied to support me and tell me how to save my bag. She is saved. A tiny bit worse for wear, but certainly not smelling of old milk, thank God. Now she is just like me….she may look good at first glance, but look closer and there is definitely some left over baby residue of some kind.

It adds character, and let’s be honest, happiness.

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Things Kim Kardashian and I have in common (Hint it is NOT a sex tape)

I was married before.

Did you know that? Maybe you did. I don’t talk about it a lot, or ever really. For a long time I wanted to pretend that it didn’t happen. It was a figment of my imagination. Because even though the dates from the marriage certificate to the dissolution on marriage certificate spanned 5 years, we really didn’t have a marriage.  If ya know what I mean.We had a fabulous party where everyone said things like “couple of the century!” and “perfection!”

To be honest, we threw one hell of a party.

The problem was we all so created one hell of a partnership. And not in the cool way. In the actual living hell way. It’s not that he is a bad man, he is not. His heart is good. He is funny as all get out and crazy talented. He was wild and care free and he would have been perfect for me when I was 19.  Now that the years have passed and I can look back (and hear tales of him now and again from a mutual friend here and there) I can smile and enjoy his successes. He is not a monster. But together we were monsterous.

I knew I shouldn’t marry him. I used to lie awake in our loft bedroom listening to him snore and try to figure out how to tell him I couldn’t go through with it. There were so many warning signs. Lies he told, second thoughts I had and then lies I told by not being honest about how I felt. I made so many jokes about it to my friends that Sister Dub, WWJD and BFJen had a little meeting to see if they should say something to me.

On our wedding day I begged Janice (WWJD) to take me to the beach.

I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped a moving train with your bare hands but that is what stopping a wedding must be like. It has a life of it’s own. All the energy from everyone’s excitement is more fuel for the train, which just moves faster and faster.

I stood at the wedding and took my vows, smiling nervously and feeling as if I was going to throw up. It was wrong. I was wrong. And the worst part was that he seemed to have no idea what a mistake we had made.

To say things deteriorated quickly is an understatement. We were just too different and while the stories are good I resist writing about them…some of them are hilarious. Our views of right and wrong were very different. Also, it wasn’t just the two of us in the marriage. It was me, him and marijuana.

I laugh when people belittle marijuana as not a real drug. Because if you are an addictive personality you can be addicted to anything. And an addict that doesn’t know he is an addict is the worst kind.

I left him for the first time before our first anniversary. I stayed gone for four months, we worked on it, we fought, we cried. Finally I went back. I told myself that I had gotten MARRIED and you don’t just walk away. I made my bed, so to speak.

I left again about 6 months later. We were oil and water. It got bad, really bad. I brought out the worst in him, and all I had to offfer him was judgement and disdain.We separated and got back together four times in five years.

One day the words just flew out of my mouth. There was no ramp up. We weren’t discussing anything of importance, just a Saturday morning and I opened my mouth and “I want a divorce” came out.

I used to never want anyone to know. I was embarrassed. How could I have gotten married and divorced?  Me. Divorced. It was upsetting to say the least. I never wanted my boys to know. Ever. How could they know of my failure?

But then, if I hadn’t had that failure I wouldn’t have them.

Walking out of that house that fateful Saturday morning was like getting out of jail. I felt free. I was free. So was he. From all reports he is having a great life and that makes me really happy.  I’m pretty sure he is happy I left too, now!

Because of my first marriage I was able to really know who I was and what I wanted. I was able to recognize the real thing when it came along. Through moving, job loss, living with the in laws, postpartum anxiety and more fights that I can count it has never occurred to me to leave TOTT. We are right for each other. He’s stuck with me!

Plus I don’t think Sister Dub, WWJD and BFFJen would want to be bridesmaids again. I think twice is the limit, huh guys?

After all this time and all the shame I can honestly say I have no regrets.

linking up with JustBeEnough

It doesn’t take Freud to figure it out…

Boss n Snurfie

The Boss, well he loves him some Smurfette. Or rather, he love Snurfette. He cuddles with her, he takes her to school with him (week two and three of school did not go as well as week one), he sleeps with one arm slung over her at all times. Like any boy he prefers her without her dress on.”I want her nakey, Mommy!”

Last night had a Halloween dream. I was struggling to get my make up on for my costume before the Boss saw me. My blue makeup. I rubbed on the bright foundation furiously trying to make my skin that aqua/royal blue combo that the lovely Snurfy sports. Nothing happened. Al Roker wandered by (because obviously) as blue as could be in his Brainy Smurf costume but was gone before I could ask to borrow his makeup. I became very upset insisting that TOTT take me to the store right then to get more blue make up and possibly a new blond wig because my costume had to PERFECT.

It was then that I woke up and the heavy realization hit me.

I am jealous of  mother f%^&**^ Snurfette.

Motherhood.

My ability to lose something is directly correlated to how much I like said thing.

My ability to hold on to something I like, say a pair of earrings for example, is directly correlated to how much I like that something. Yesterday I searched high and low for a lovely little pair of earrings I bought in Hawaii. A carved flower holding a drop jewel. Oh! I love those earrings! They are like a tiny bit of heaven draping from my ears! Or rather EAR as I can only find one. I tore my jewelry chest apart. I looked high and low in all the little spots where I tuck things, and all the spots where others in the household do the same. Nothing. Just one lonely little perfect earring, handmade in Hawaii. Sigh.

So, I reluctantly chose what are perhaps my 4th favorite earrings. Little gold dangley branches. I love em. I got them from a commercial I shot in LA, the costumer telling me they suited me so well I must keep them. I was not going to argue at all! They are junk jewelry but I love them.

Sadly apparently today was like the Earring Thunderdome. Two earrings entered, one earring left. How? HOW???

Earring.

 

No earring.

 

And yet the ones that I don’t love, they seem to multiply.Two earrings become four then six then eight…they are like bunnies.They are everywhere I look, constantly earring blocking my attempts to get it on with my faves.

 

How do they know? This same principle applies to my favorite lip glosses,sunglasses and shoes. And yet the ones that I don’t adore seem to stick around just to make me mad and miss the ones I love even more.

They taunt me.

Am I crazy? Are you buffudled by this Bermuda Triangle of accessories??  Just me?

1997 called…

I got my hair cut. I did. I totes dig the chick who cuts my hair, but somehow inbetween when she styled it and when I styled it, well let’s just say my hair time travelled back to 1997.

Finding a great hairstylist is quantum physics hard and every once in a while I still weep for my LA love guru/ hair magician Hunky Paul. Sigh. So when I found this chickadee out here I was happy. I mean, she might not be as nice to gaze at and gossip with as the Hunk but she’s good.

Except ya know, this last time.

I always bring in a photo. Hunky Paul drilled this into my little medium brown colored head.

This would be what I brought in:

This would be what I looked like after I ‘did’ my hair today.

{The boobs didn’ t come with the haircut. sads.}

I asked TOTT what he thought and he said ‘oh honey, you look sooooooo cute. In 1997. Where’s your backpack purse?’

Then he called me Rach. I told him that made him Ross and he better get to gelling that hair up and practing saying Hi in that mopey Ross way.

So I did what any self respecting gal with an immediate gratification problem would do. I grabbed some scissors and hacked off the bottom.

I no longer look like this:

I’m now sporting something more like:

{Shelby was right. It does look like a brown football helmet.}

I kid, I’m such a jokster! It doesn’t look like that! No,  I’m not rocking a mid 80’s mom do now. I’ll be heading in later this week to have her her thin out the heavy top layers and *gulp* I’ll probably have to go a little shorter. One of my super powers is super fast hair growing so I’m not too worried. Super fast hair growing super power is way cooler than say, the power to move things with your mind.

Oh wait. No it’s not.

 more like this:

and less like this:

{*Note to Target. Garden decoration fail. I am 12 and I giggled about this ahem, mushroom for 10 minutes and took a picture. I was not the only one to do so. Several grown adults were observed mimicing my awesomeness}

But for now….at least, I can leave the house without anyone singing I’ll Be There For You.

Minky’s Monday Musings~I am what your mother warned you about.

I am back from vacation and now I need a vacation from my vacation. Traveling with a tiny person is exhausting! Worth it though, since The Boss had a blast. And I learned several important lessons. Which I shall now share with you, my faithful and totally gorgeous readers.

The least of these lessons is if you wish to resume any sort of healthy eating routine when arriving home from said vacation please do not bring any Riverstreet Pralines home with you. Irresistable. It is not an understatement to say:

Pralines are the new kryptonite.

Related: Dear TOTT, we regret to inform you that Riverstreet Pralines will no longer be available in the DC Metro Area upon your arrival home from your business conference in sunny San Diego. {sorry Sucka!}

Most importantly, watch and learn. This is like…a very special Monday Musing. Think “on a very special episode of Blossom” important. It’s muy importante, trey important, molto importante -and very important in many other languages.

dialmforminky.com from Stephanie Dulli on Vimeo.

I’m just trying to help you out. I care. That’s the truth.

Today is the last day to VOTE FOR ME I beg of you.

Don’t say I never taught you nothin’

When I was about 6 or so my mother bought me this beautiful cloth doll at a boutique next to Casa Bonita. My favorite childhood restaurant. Yes, it really exists, South Park didn’t make it up. Anyway, I loved this doll. She had lovely brown yarn hair and a big pink bow, a gorgeous pink dress with cabbage roses on it and a skirt that could be taken off and worn as a bonnet. I loved her. I also loved playing at Viele Lake with Dub. Our moms would walk us down there and we would be tortured by feed the geese and play on the playground. Of course I wanted to take my gorgeous doll to show Dub. And by show her, I mean rub it in that I not only got to go to Casa Bonita, but got a doll too. Buuuuuuuuuuurn, sister!

My mom said no, let’s not bring your brand new beautiful doll. I said, Mumsy how dare you deny me the opportunity to make Dub jealous! Also, we both know I’m gonna win this one and time’s a wastin’! Off we went to the Lake with my doll and headed di-rectly to the playground. Dub, Doll and I made it about 5 or so rounds on the roundabout thingy before Doll went flying off and landed in the sandy water that had collected by the spinning toy. Sobs, distress, screaming ensued.  Doll. Was. Ruined. Apparently her insides were made of scraps of fabric and when dampened the color ran from her insides to her out, marring her beautiful cream complexion with spots and streaks of brownish red.

She was thenceforth known as The Doll With The Skin Disease.

I still loved her.

You may not know this about me but I am pale. I don’t just mean white – I mean see through white. When I was pg you could could plan to motor west on route 66 on my belly. I feared ultrasounds might be unnecessary. Just hold a flashlight up to my huge swollen stomach and see him dance!

I attended Catholic school for a while in junior high. It was a hoot and all the girls were suuuuuuuuuuper nice. They gave me cute nicknames like Morticia, Elvira and Casper. Like the Ghost. My mother was quick to point out that Casper was the friendly ghost, but that was of no consolation to me.

And thus, in the 8th grade I began my Life Long Love Affair/Hundred Years War with self tanning products. I started with good old Coppertone. It came out of the bottle orange and I slathered it all over my spindly white legs, tossed on my light blue denim skirt, pink shirt, purple eyeliner and headed off to junior high. It was in gym class (which I was sitting out of, natch) that I looked down and saw myself. Oh. God. I resembled a monochromatic Jackson Pollack leg painting. It was horrible. I went to the bathroom and cried. The problem: I was and continue to be, a dress wearing freak. I love dress and skirt. Love them. And my legs, well…they get seen.I even went so far as to try a tanning bed once. They laughed at me. Laughed. At. Me. But those year book epitaphs always rang in my head

Get a taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. {They haunt me.} Keep in touch, get a taaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

The whole while Dub just laughed and laughed since she tans if you turn on a bright light. She and I spent the summer laying out on my roof covered in baby oil. Awesome. We were the epitome of brilliant in our youth, as you can see. She tanned and said buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn sister.

And I did. Then I peeled and was white again.

Finally, better living through chemistry has caught up with my paleness (somewhat) and I have now entered an exclusive monogamous relationship with Jergens self tanner (no animal testing!)

A helpful hint before the weekend: if you run out of shaving cream may I suggest that if you do use your creamy facial wash as a substitute you make sure it doesn’t include a make up remover in the formula.

If you do, your legs might quickly resemble The Doll With The Skin Disease.

Not that I did that.

Dude where’s my…what was I looking for again?

I’m not going to lie to you. I’m a bit of a scatterbrain about certian things. I can feel your shock. Duly noted. I am also lazy about certain things. (oh, shut it you!) This laziness is clearly evidenced that despite Hunky Paul’s protestations that my hair is my crowning glory, I continue to wear it in some sort of sloppy bun 90% of the time. I am the hotness. (not so much)

The American Dream features five cars in the driveway. Sometimes it’s a highly choreographed event when someone who is in position one wants to leave the abode. Sometimes if TOTT is parked behind me I will not waste a second and take his car instead of mine. Nothing gets between me and five minutes of alone grocery shopping! His car is always cleaner – one of the perks of not carrying someone under age three on the regular – and it features great music which only adds to the allure of a short vacation trip to pick up goodies.

Heaven.

After I’ve taken a quick side trip to Starbucks finished the shopping, I come out of the store heavily laden with treasures such as laundry detergent and toilet paper and I take one last breath, relishing the few remaining moments of solitude and I think one thing:

Where the eff did I park my car?

I wander about the parking lot nonchalantly pushing the cart up and down the rows of parked cars looking for my little Honda.  Looking left and right before I remember I took TOTT’s car! In the immortal words of Homer:  D’oh! (of The Simpsons, natch. Not The Odyssey) The next step is to wrack my mommy addled brain to remember what TOTT’s (clean) Camry looks like, invariably approaching one that is decidedly NOT his.

*sidenote: my apologies to the nice woman who was chatting on her phone, minding her own business while sitting in her Camry in the Giant parking lot. Sorry I scared the bejeezuz out of you when I tried to put my groceries in the trunk of your car. Also, awesome collection of beanie babies you’ve got in the back window. Those things are so au currant.

Finally, and embarrassingly, I find TOTT’s car and collapse into it. Sitting for just a few extra moments enjoying the solitude (read: triumph of having found the car). I might even sneak a few minutes of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

And maybe, just maybe I might make a blog note or two on ye olde iPhone Notepad. Multitasking brilliance right there.

See? Scatterbrained about some things. Brill about others. It’s all about balance people.

As it turns out…

As it turns out, I did learn something at Crazy Hippie Montessori School in Boulder! I dig Montessori, but this particular school was a no. I mean at the time, as a youngster it was an emphatic YES! Dub and I spent our days drawing, playing let’s pretend, and ‘learning’ long division by moving pretty turquoise balls back and forth in test tubes.

I put ‘learning’ in quotes because let’s just say that long division is neither mine, nor Dub’s strong suit.

Percentages though, percentages I got. I can figure a percentage like nobodies business. I need that skill for strategic shopping purposes.

Our mothers pulled us out of Crazy Hippie Montessori School at the end of 4th grade plunking us smack in the middle of the establishment’s public schools for 5th. Say what? Desks? Homework? We were woefully unprepared. While Dub knuckled down and towed the line- smart girl – I preferred to act out and live in an imaginary world where I was a princess and had a horse. (So…nothing’s changed except now the horse is a super safe awesome SUV to put the kiddo in.) The school district decided to hold me back in 6th grade because my ‘imagination was too strong‘. Can you imagine? The thought of a child’s imagination being quashed makes my blood boil.

Perhaps they should have tried to hold me back because I didn’t KNOW MATH. The very math they couldn’t be bothered to teach me. But that’s another matter.  So Mrs. Pinchuck, wherever you are, a little more attention on the teaching and a little less attention on the being mean. Also? If you have a strong Southern Dialect, don’t get mad if you say mirrah in a spelling test and I write MIRRAH. You gotta say the terminal R sound for a little kid to get it!

Today Mr. Max happily trotted over to me with his lovely kelly green recorder, handed it to me and said “Mommy! Do this!” I promptly performed both Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Score one for Crazy Hippie Montessori School. Recorders are big in Montessori. And now I am big to Mr. Max.

The problem with getting ready for bed…

The problem with getting ready for bed is that it kind of wakes you up. And then you lay in bed thinking:

I was so sleepy watching Family Guy not twenty minutes ago and yet, now here I lay staring at the ceiling and humming the words to Happy Tapping With Elmo.

Sigh.

Sleep has been a crazy struggle for me since Mr. Max arrived. It’s all worth it since I love him more than my sonic toothbrush. And I really love clean teeth.
I am always tired. Always. I am pretty sure that I’m so tired is the National Anthem of Momhood.

Last night I was applying my many time fighting-superhero-anti wrinkle creams and lotions, (curse you non safe for nursing Botox and your smoothness!) finishing up getting ready to pass out (or sing Sesame Streets Greatest Hits, either one) and just longing for my squishy pillow.

The last step of my evening ablutions applying psycho amounts of hand cream and chapstick and of course taking my belved Zoloft. So I popped my pill and…

Wait. Oh, crap. That wasn’t my medicine. It was the PUPPY BEAR’s medicine!

I took. The dog’s. Medicine.

Ah, well. It’s only Prozac. Yes, the dog is also on anti anxiety meds. You can take the Puppy Bear out of L.A. but you can’t take the L.A. out of the Puppy Bear.

This weekend I’m gonna stick some shades on him and take him shopping in a high end doggie stroller.
What are your weekend plans?

Have a good one…and stay out of the dog’s meds for the love of Ray J.