fun in photos

Face swap with my brother-in-law… proof that if I was born a guy I would have lived a long lonely life with 18 cats and a drinking problem…

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Summer in the car: Mommy, can I take my boots off?

Me: Sure.

Summer: Mommy, can I take my socks off?

Me: no, leave those on.

Summer: ok…

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Once upon a time 2 months ago, you could go outside without a coat, earmuffs, hat, gloves, scarf, boots, 3 pairs of socks, long underwear and snow pants and your nips wouldn’t instantly cut holes in your shirt and break off. Man, I miss those days…

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My nieces and I are on sale on eBay, better hurry there are only 6 of us left…

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Summer spends Christmas day with her dad so I spend the afternoon with my friend upstairs. This year I had champagne. I never have champagne. I realized that champagne makes me all warm and fuzzy because when I came back downstairs slightly buzzed and I looked at the reindeer on my fridge, I got all sappy, teared up and thought “holy bejebus, my child is a fucking artistic genius”…

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Everyday is a fairy tale with a dress like this…

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This past summer my dad and I took a sushi making class. And if a nationwide shortage of crabs is announced soon, we, erm, had nothing to do with it…

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Ah to be young and bendy. If I tried this my pelvis would fall off…

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Saleswoman at the mattress store: Do you like this one? Let me see if I can get you a lower price. Oh and we just got in a beautiful sleigh bed that would go great with it! Do you want me to…

Me: Oh no, that’s ok, we’re not actually buying a mattress today, just seeing if this one can fold us completely in half…

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Check out the woman behind us (if I attempted that I’d end up kissing the ice, with my phone and knee caps shattering into a million pieces)…

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These baby blues shine brighter than the sparkliest sapphires…

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Summer on the way out of the library: “Wait, mommy can you take a picture?”

Me: “Haha, sure.”

Summer: “Can you send that to me?”

Teenager in a 5 year old body I tells ya…

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Blowing giant soap bubbles off my hand – it’s the only party trick I know but it’s always a hit with…well, everyone. No one doesn’t like bubbles…

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Happy Wednesday, now go have some fun 🙂

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buh bye 2016

This year had its ups and downs complete with some really great highs and some really shitty lows, but that’s normal I suppose. What better way to say adios to 2016 than a little video recap of the year?

This is one of Summer’s favorite songs and I always make it a point to turn down the volume or sing LAAAAAAAAAA! at the top of my lungs at the one bad word. Though I apparently haven’t been loud enough because one day listening to it in the car she said to me, “mommy it’s ok, I know what they say and I promise I’ll never say the bad word, ‘ash horns.'” Such a good girl 🙂

To view directly on YouTube, click here.

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invasion of the orbeez

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Summer got to celebrate Christmas 5 times this year which of course included 5 times the family, friends, and gifts at our home, my parents’ house, Scott’s place, his mom’s house and his brother’s house. I KNOW. Deprived.

We had a blast at my parents’ on Christmas Eve until 8:30pm when my baby hit the inconsolable point of no return – my cue for us to head home. When we left, my plan was to keep her awake for the 15 minute car ride home because after 8pm all the good parking spots in my lot are taken. And I knew if she fell asleep in the car I’d end up carrying the dead weight of a 38 pound child plus a purse, a backpack, leftovers, gifts, and my sanity across a football field. So we climbed in the car. I convinced her to sing Christmas songs with me to keep her awake. I put the car in reverse. “Oh the weather outside is fright”… bam. Sleeping.

14 minutes later we arrived home, and with the strength of 1000 gorillas I got everyone and everything inside by piling 2 king sized pillows, 2 purses, peppermint bark, 1000 legos, 50,000 shopkins and a 5-year-old on my back like a scrap metal truck and unlocking the door with my toes while sweat dripped from my pits.

Santa was good to my baby this year. He had stuffed everything she asked him for into her stocking and placed it under the tree while she slept. And when she woke up Christmas morning and ripped the paper off her gifts with fervor, little hearts in her eyes sparkled when she laid them upon her first ever bag of orbeez. If you are unfamiliar with orbeez, take a gander at YouTube for Kids and you’ll see the 239,738,438 videos Summer has adoringly watched of kids playing with them.

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The 8oz bag was the size of my hand. Just add water and they’ll bloom into little jelly balls from Heaven. I suggested we use maybe half the bag to save some for a later date but she insisted we put them all in. Her present, her Christmas, her choice. At first I thought the pasta pot would be big enough, but then decided we should maybe use a punch bowl just in case. The package said something about blah blah 1 tsp equals blah 1 quart when hydrated blah blah. A quart… a quart is like one of those little cartons of milk you get in grade school with lunch right? Or is it a half gallon… meh, punch bowl would be safe.

For all of 8 minutes.

The beads started expanding more than I thought they would and threatened to spill over the top of the punch bowl so I grabbed the pasta pot and transferred a bunch in. Then I had to grab a big glass bowl and do the same. Then a few oversized cups. My pots and pans. Some cereal bowls. The crock pot.

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I took another look at the bag and it said something about 20,000 marble sized jelly beads. TWENTY THOUSAND MARBLES people. I had missed that part but…but…you know, orbeez!

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They’re actually kind of fun to play with but now that Summer has been at her dad’s for 2 days I’ve been staring at 20,000 gel balls that have taken over my dining room and I don’t know what the fuck to do with them. I thought putting a bunch in the colander would dry them out and maybe make them shrink back down to beads but 2 days later and…

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That would have been too easy. This morning however, I discovered that Summer had put 1 orbee in a container by itself and it has since shrunk back down to a bead! So now I’m off to go place 20,000 jelly balls in 20,000 separate spaces.

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Talk to you all next Christmas.

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princess

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Back in 2004, I made the incredibly intelligent post-college grad decision to use my gift of persuasion and push my high school sweetheart into marriage. I then of course had to follow up my adulting by checking things off my list of grandiose holly-homemaker life goals – husband, check! house, check! a dog named Princess, check! Ah the optimistic dreams of my early 20’s, my life was so complete! Only…

The husband… I, um, about that, <cringey face> the husband turned out to be a decision I maybe might have should have maybe thought through a little longer. We barely lasted a year and in the best Forrest Gumpiest voice I can muster, that’s all I have to say about that.

The house… the house was a tiny ranch that had this really high-tech central air system that actually cleaned my carpets for me by leaking pools of water under the furnace room wall into the guest bedroom. The plumbing did this really cool thing where it would generously show me the poo water in my pipes by bubbling it up through the drain in the bathtub if I flushed the toilet, ran a sink and had the washing machine going at the same time. And the neighbors were ah-mazing creatures who would eat lunch in their driveways on tv trays in their underwear while hosting garage sales. I’m not even kidding a little. The day I was bought out of the house the neighbors heard a faint “sayonaraaaaaaaa!!!!!” as I peeled down the street for the last time with $12k in my hand.

And then there’s the dog…

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She’s the absolute best thing to come from my poor decision making skills from a decade and a half ago.

This little being has been with me through 7 moves, a number of career changes, countless relationships and becoming a momma. If this dog could talk she could tell you novels of my greatest love stories and my worst loves lost, of what it feels like to comfort me when I sob and the elation felt while sharing with me the moments of pure joy, though I know my deepest secrets are safe with her. For the last almost 15 years, she has been the most loyal protector I could have ever wanted by my side. And in the last year or so, her age has started to show. Most people who meet her would never guess she’s almost 15, but having had her in my life since I was 24, I see it. Her eyes are foggy and when she jumps on the couch or the bed she misses the first attempt, sometimes by a good foot. She doesn’t hear much anymore though I can startle her out of sleep with a loud sneeze. She would rather starve than eat dog food. At night she gets into such a deep sleep and frequently wakes up in a puddle of pee. Not mine, I promise. And when she breathes while laying down, it sounds like she’s wheezing. My old puppy, she is slowing down.

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And until she tells me it’s time, that she’s done, that she is in pain or that her life is not hers anymore, with a hole in my heart I will help her with that. “But it’s not my time yet!” she tells me with her big brown eyes and wagging tail. And so we make it work.

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So she won’t have to struggle, I scoop her little warm body up and place her on the couch when she needs me. I cook her dinner every night complete with ground beef, chicken or turkey mixed with scrambled eggs, cheese and rice. I’ve learned the hard way that tuna doesn’t sit well with her and if I try to sneak in peas she will strategically pick them off her plate and place them on the floor in a pattern that spells out “no thank you”. We sleep with a waterproof shower curtain atop the comforter because no amount of pee dribbles will ever deny her a warm spot in the bed. She is in the early stages of kidney disease that we are stopping in its tracks with a daily supplement along with a dose of Pepcid to ease tummy upset. And the wheezing is from an enlarged liver pressing on her diaphragm when she lays down, though she’s gotten pretty good at finding comfortable sleeping positions that momentarily make my heart stop.

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My girl is old in body but still a puppy at heart. And after 15 years of her selflessly giving me the greatest love, loyalty and protection such a little being could give, I won’t ever hesitate to return the favor of making sure she’s happy and safe. Today that means occasionally hand feeding her when she wants help, giving her extra understanding and I love you’s when her body, eye sight or hearing momentarily fails her, and lightly touching her back to let her know when I’m standing right next to her while she’s desperately searching for me around the corner. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and roll with it.

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My Princess, I couldn’t have asked for a better doggie. She is mine and I am hers.

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the anatomy of a hallmark movie

Since it appears the mailman keeps losing my invitations to all of the swanky galas and holiday soirees that the fancypants people of the world are inviting me to, I’ve been filling my free time with emptying the dishwasher, filling the dishwasher, vacuuming, taking apart the smoking vacuum to cut a small hamster made of mine and Summer’s hair off the brush, and declaring war on the ants trying to find shelter from the winter tundra outside by setting up camp under my kitchen cabinets.

Life is glamorous, my friends.

Lately though, my favorite freetime moments have been spent watching marathons of Hallmark Christmas movies. Despite the fact that the bones behind every single Hallmark movie are exactly the same, kind of like watching Groundhog Day over and over just with different actors each time…

girl meets boy

girl hates boy

major crisis happens

boy helps girl fix it

girl and boy fall in love

The end.

…they are one of my beloved guilty pleasures. I anxiously await the moment I have a free hour or two to curl up under a blanket with the doggies sleeping at my feet and a dark living room, save for the orangey glow radiating from my Christmas tree. And like gravy on bread, I’ll sit and soak up some movie called “A Pig Whisperer’s Christmas Miracle” or “Santa, I Want a Daddy” with Candace Cameron or Lacey WhatsHerName or Winnie Cooper usually playing an advertising executive or a tv reporter or, well… a pig whisperer. Regardless of the fact that I already know exactly how it’ll end before the opening credits even start, I still love starting a new one with the opening scene involving a Christmas melody and a winter wonderland with twinkling lights. I think it’s because, as my sister Julie will so eloquently tell you, I love love.

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And you, DJ Tanner. Call me.

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all my windows still are broken but I’m standing on my feet.

 

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the point of no return

I was pressing my luck.

I should have known better but clearly I was a glutton for punishment.

At exactly 8:17pm last night I recklessly caused a skunk, a bunny and a dog to be simultaneously steamrolled. It all happened so fast. I’ve only ever smushed a bunny before – I was 16 and I still grieve for that poor little floppy-earred puff ball who decided it would be a great idea to commit suicide under the front tire of my moving car causing me 23 years of guilt for what could have been. But last night I did it again when in the blink of an eye, I accidentally caused a horrible, gruesome accident with critical injuries. And with the sound of heaving sobs that came out of my child’s terror-stricken face, one would have thought I had purposely ripped a bunch of animal limbs off one by one while staring her in the eye and maniacally cackling like a psychopath.

But of course that’s not really what happened. What happened is that I unknowingly somehow made my child move. I KNOW. Horrible. And when she moved, Skunky, Bunny and Precious – a small sampling of her beloved stuffed animals she adores and nurtures as if they were birthed from her own womb – were jostled. I’m actually surprised it was only 3 of her 57 children because, whoa. Admission to our zoo is free and open to the public.

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And that’s just the top bunk ↑ 

I’m a murderer and a monster and I’m terrible. The end.

There’s a moment in our house that I often wonder if everyone with a young kid can relate to. I don’t know if it has a comparable name to ‘the witching hour‘ for babies, so we’re just gonna call this one ‘the point of no return’. The point of no return is relatively predictable, though it is reliant upon a number of factors in the full equation. It goes something like this:

PNR = morning wake up time + daily calories burned – time you get her in bed × grams of carbohydrates from dessert³ / ∏(24 hours – √3), carry the 1, divide by 17 and spin your head in a full circle while trying to guess the exact minute and hoping they’re asleep before then.

So basically sometime between 8:05-8:30 in my house.

The goal is to get her in bed by 7:30, lights out by 7:45, sleeping by 8 at the latest. Wait… goal? Dream. I meant dream. After growing up with 3 sisters, one of whom I always shared a room with, I know on any given night with 2 people in the same room where slumber should be happening, there is a good chance that once the lights are out someone in the room will turn nutty, thereby turning the other loony, leading to fits of laughter and the existing potential for stuffed animals to be launched across the room. Growing up in my house this regularly happened until mom and dad eventually threatened us for the 4th time to gotofreakingsleeporsohelpmegod… and if you pushed it just a liiiiiiiiittle too long, BAM. Someone turned to the dark side and became an overtired angry devil child. And while it wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last, it happened here yesterday.

From the moment I picked Summer up from school, she was full of laughing fits and happiness paired with flailing limbs dancing with lunacy. I love when she gets in those moods. And before I knew it, it was dinner, books, bed. At bedtime I lay with her until she dozes off into dreamland and last night in between my own laughing while trying to get her to settle down as she licked my cheek, told me I was fired and that tomorrow for dinner she wanted picken poodle poop, the moment happened. The mother effing point of no return. In the blink of an eye her laughing turned into crying and it actually took me a moment to realize that her bared teeth were no longer shining through a smile on her face. I didn’t know it could happen so fast. Wait, yes I did. But for whatever reason, when it happens it never fails to take me by surprise. As I asked her over and over what was wrong while I rubbed her back and went over all possible scenarios…

Did I accidentally scratch you?

“No.”

…poke you?

“Nooo.”

…did you hit your head on something?

“Nooooooo!”

Through the sobs into her pillow she managed to inform me that I had somehow made her body move and she in turn had squished her stuffies and Skunky and Bunny and Precious got squished really really bad and how could I DO THAT TO THEM THEY’RE HER STUFFIES AND OH MY GOD THE HUMANITY. She literally cried their suffering for them because, well, they’re stuffies and their mouths don’t move and their eyes don’t leak those drippy drops of pain-water called tears. And after 1 minute of the most sincere frantic momma apologies I could offer to a stuffed bunny while consoling my child’s now-turned-to-me back with soft ‘shhh’s, her little body started doing that twitchy sleep dream thing and I was left there bug-eyed with a bunny in my hand wondering what the fuck just happened.

The point of no return. It’s a magical place.

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