Category Archives: life

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…

img_0425

img_8598

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…

img_0774

img_8309

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…

img_8966

img_6880

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

mattress

img_7231

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”…

img_0809

img_8269

Everyday is a fairy tale with a dress like this…

img_8694

img_7130

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…

img_8718

img_8755

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

img_8899

img_8901

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…

img_9103

img_7155

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)…

img_9305

These baby blues shine brighter than the sparkliest sapphires…

img_7217

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…

img_9359

img_6956

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…

img_9360

img_9362

Happy Wednesday, now go have some fun 🙂

img_9310

1 Comment

Filed under Kids, life, Love, Parenting

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.

2 Comments

Filed under home, Kids, life, Love

princess

img_0284

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…

img_0609

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.

img_0716

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.

img_0150

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.

img_0454

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.

img_0151

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

2 Comments

Filed under doggies, life, Love, Pets

this is why I can’t have nice things

Hazy.

hazy

Hazel is my playful, energetic 9-year-old ball of fur with big brown eyes and a cute little underbite. At night, Hazel likes to either shimmy her way under the blanket and sleep down by my feet, or lay on top of the blanket and chew 3,234,583 little holes in it which drives me absolutely nuts. I have no idea why she does it but she pretty much always has; it’s the reason I always have a needle and teal thread on hand so my bed doesn’t resemble swiss cheese.

So the other night around 3am, I woke up to her wriggling around under the blanket by my feet. I gave her a little nudge which usually quiets her down or gets her to move over, only this time she kept wriggling. Wouldn’t move over. Wriggling. Wriggling. It was not what I needed at 3am and I could feel my blood pressure start to rise. So I sat up, reached under the blanket to bring her up so I could snuggle with her, and……yeah. This is why she wasn’t budging.

 

hazy1

The dog chewed a hole in the blanket, stuck her head through it and got stuck.

And this is why I can’t have nice things.

5 Comments

Filed under doggies, Funny, life, Pets, ridiculousness

how not to fish

Friday night, I packed up myself and the doggies and we hit the road with my friend to a lake house in Wisconsin. We drove through a beautiful sunset and a torrential downpour in a span of an hour and a half but we made it in one piece.

sunset

Thanks to a safe arrival and a little Redbox, that night, Paul Blart made an appearance on the tv as I watched it through the back of my eyelids and snored on the couch.

The next day was beautiful. Hot, sunny, big white puffy clouds in the sky, the perfect kind of day to do some wave running and paddle boating. So we hit the water, I got a fun 30mph splashy tour of the lakes, and when we got back to land we decided to take the paddle boat out to a pier to fish.

Even though I told him there was no way I was catching anything but algae fish like I always do, he guaranteed me that I would catch a real live fish this time. I had my doubts. But I tried. I cast, I waited, I saw the bobber move, I pulled, I lost it. I tried again, and of course I reeled in an algae fish. I cast again, but then, wait, was that a nibble? I pulled back, quick little movements, and I did it! I finally reeled in my first fish. I made my friend take it off the hook, a little blue gill, and he threw it back in the water. I was proud of myself after years of fishing and catching nothing but seaweed, I finally got my hook in a real live fish.

We climbed back into the paddleboat and started slowly making our way back to shore. It was absolutely beautiful out on the water just floating along slowly as our legs twirled in circles like riding a water bicycle. We decided to cast our lines a few more times from the paddleboat in the hopes of catching something worth cooking up for dinner. We threw light casts as we were 2 feet away from each other and then all of a sudden something slapped me hard in the back of my arm. I looked down…AND THERE WAS A FISHING LURE STUCK TO ME. A little plastic fish with 2 treble hooks was lodged in my skin.

My friend had hooked me.

fishing_lure

source

Neither one of us could believe it and I would have absolutley panicked if I had been the hooker, but as the hookee I stayed calm as we paddled back to shore. As we floated past the neighbors out on their pier, he yelled, “heeeeeeeey there, is anyone a doctor?”

“No, but she’s a nurse!” one of them yelled back as they scrambled to meet us at the dock.

We were met by 3 neighbors, one who had run in to grab a pair of rusty wire cutters with good intentions.

“Can I do anything?” another one asked.

“Alcohol,” my friend said.

“All we have is vodka, what would you like?” she asked me.

“Vodka.”

In the meantime, they had managed to cut the plastic fish off of me but I was left with 2 hooks lodged in the back of my arm and a cup full of vodka and ice that went down a little too smoothly in the moment of crisis. I told them to yank them out, YANK THEM, I didn’t want them in me.

“We might have to push them through the other way, they have barbs,” my friend said.

“I don’t care, I have a high tolerance for pain, I’ve had piercings and a freakin baby, I can take 2 hooks being pulled out of me, JUST YANK THEM OUT, JUST DO IT,” I said.

They tried to cut the extra hooks off so there would just be one at each site that they could push through but they pinched skin with the rusty wire cutters which made me flinch, the first real pain I felt, and as soon as I said “ow” they stopped.

I told them again to just pull and as the nurse half-ass yanked for fear of hurting me, the other neighbor standing in front of me asked if I needed something to bite on for the pain. He offered his fuzzy freckly arm and told me to just bite it, “bite my arm!” and he offered it to me as a sacrifice of sympathy. I declined. Because as weird as it was to have 2 people pulling hooks out of my arm, the thought of biting down on a stranger’s forearm like a bullet seemed even weirder and I probably would have drawn blood.

As they tried to pull, I could feel one of them was right at the surface but the other one, it just wasn’t budging and they knew it, too.

“Oh, I have an idea!” one of them said. “Do we have any toothpicks? We could stick the toothpick in the hole, get it under the skin and push the skin up and over the barb and….”

“Take me to the ER,” I said. It was getting a little too experimental-doctor-like for me, plus I had a hunch none of them had a tetanus shot in their back pockets.

Honestly, it still did not hurt at that point. Maybe I was in shock. Maybe fish hooks really don’t hurt. Maybe the back of the arm is a much better spot to get hooked than say the face, or neck, or chest or back. Who knows. All I know is that I was able to slip a shirt on over my bathing suit…

hooks

caught in the wild – the elusive Jaime fish

…take a car ride to the ER, calmly check in with the front desk, and then get numbed up by the doc. He grabbed a pair of pliers (shiny and sterile thank god), and he yanked those suckers out. A tetanus shot and an antibiotics prescription later, we were out of there.

hooks2

6 days later I’m happy to report that I have 2 little bruises and the worst part was the recovery from the tetanus shot because those suckers hurt like a mother fucker for days. At least I’m covered for the next 10 years. Or you know, until the next time I’m out on a boat, get hooked by a fishing lure, find myself in the ER and can’t remember when my last tetanus shot was.

Karma. I put a hook in a fish and I got hooked back. And that, my friends, is how not to fish.

2 Comments

Filed under craziness, Funny, life, ridiculousness, Travel

patrik

Now that I’m back in writing mode, I have so much to catch up on – I could tell you about my Portland friend staying with me for a weekend in April when we roadtripped from here down to Indiana then all the way up to Wisconsin just so she could say she’s been to 3 midwest states, or I could tell you about how I finally bit the bullet and got botox in my armpits, I could write novels about the FABULOUS <cough> life of online dating, or I could tell you about preschool face painting day when I picked up Summer and realized that her teacher has the artistic abilities of a blind monkey.

But instead, today I will tell you the tale of Patrik.

Patrik is a sweet older Croatian man with a thick accent, soft spoken, probably early 60’s, married with grown children. He has kind eyes that crinkle in the corners when he smiles his warm smile at you, a face that any grandchild would love. To give you a visual, just picture this guy, only 10 years younger:

Patrik is head of maintenance here at the apartment complex and has been working here for the last 30 something years. At one point he and his family actually lived in my exact apartment years ago where he grew a beautiful lush garden, which I’m proud to say I am meticulously maintaining. Yep, tomatoes should be coming up any day now…

IMG_3353

Patrik has always been super friendly, chatty with a bit of a nervous stutter, and this one time, at band camp, he went out of his way to replace the rusty bolts off of my car that my rear license plate was dangling from with shiny new ones. Then he did my front plate for good measure. He gives me his “friendly discount” on my carpet cleaning and told me not to worry about the 8 holes I drilled (fine, 13 because tape measurer what?) in the bottom of my cabinet to hang my wine glass racks even though it clearly states in the lease “DO NOT PUT ANY HOLES IN KITCHEN CABINETRY”. Psh. He said he’ll take care of it for me when I move out. What a good person to befriend, right?

So one random morning about 4 months ago, Patrik knocks on my door and hands me a paper bag and says, “these are for you!” Inside was a bottle of his homemade wine, a plate of his homemade prosciutto and pork belly, a few cheese sticks, a jar of hot peppers and a sleeve of bacon flavored ritz crackers. Fuck yes, I would have been happy with just the bacon ritz as a Christmas present. He said in the 30 years he’s worked here he has never brought any of his homemade goodies to someone until now, then he left. It was very sweet.

Seriously, put that red flag down, you’re distracting me from story telling time.

So I stuck everything in the fridge to snack on later and went back to whatever it was I was doing. A few hours later I got a knock on my door. Patrik. Apparently when he brought the food and wine, he was planning on sharing it with me which made me really happy that I didn’t smell like pig meat and bacon ritz while wiping the last remaining crumbs off my face as I opened the door, as I had not gotten this memo. So I let him in and for the next half hour we stood in my kitchen snacking on mouth watering prosciutto and sipping the sweetest red wine I’ve ever had while sharing stories about work and family and hobbies.

He thanked me for letting him share his treats with me, smiled his sweet grandpa smile and then he left.

About 3 weeks later, same thing. He came by in the morning, dropped off a bag full of deliciousness, then came back a few hours later where we stood in my kitchen for a half hour and chatted away about life – I showed him the quilt I’m making and he showed me how he gets the top wrapper onto his wine bottles with boiling water – it was my very own kind of convoluted Tuesdays with Morrie. It wasn’t a bad deal – I kept an old man company and he brought me meat.

Stop it.

Purely innocent, the only difference this time was that as he was leaving he gave me a hug. Mkay, I’m a hugger, so yeah no big deal.

3 weeks after that, same thing. Meat in bag, company in kitchen, talks about life. This time when he left he gave me a hug. And a kiss on the cheek. Derp.

3 weeks later, meat, convo, the usual. But. This time he went for the hug. I hugged back. He went for the cheek kiss. Meh. Then as I was backing up out of the er, ew embrace? He. Leaned. In. For. A. Mouth. Kiss. And I leaned waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back.

“No,” I said.

“No?” Patrik asked.

“Um, NO.”

And as he stepped away embarrassed, I shit you not, his old man hand grazed my side-boob and he left all red-faced with his tail between his legs.

For the rest of the week my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night was, “Stupid, stupid Patrik.” I still shake my head every time I see him which is almost daily since I work from home and, you know, awkwardly he works here, too. But really. It is kinda sad that a thirty something year old woman can’t befriend a little old man without him thinking he’s gonna get some because of a little pork (stop it). Needless to say, Patrik has asked numerous times since then when I might be free again for “the good stuff”. You can keep your good stuff, you dirty dirty meat creeper.

So sad that I will never be able to hear the word prosciutto again without thinking about side-boob. And now you won’t either, muah ah ah.

4 Comments

Filed under craziness, Funny, home, life, ridiculousness

“mommy”

Last night, I had the wind knocked out of me with one little word.

“Mommy”.

Summer was missing her daddy as he is out of town this week so I set up facetime for them. And as soon as the call connected, Scott and his girlfriend’s faces appeared on the screen of my phone. All three of their faces lit up at the same time seeing each other and they asked all the usual “how was your day?” questions and the “are you having so much fun with mommy?” questions that usually start out a facetime talk. I walked away and started cleaning the kitchen, leaving them alone to chat because while I have no ill feelings towards his girlfriend, let’s be honest – I don’t need to see her face in my living room chatting away with my child. It was their conversation to have, not mine.

A few minutes later I walked back into the living room to see Summer twirling the phone in circles and being goofy, so I sat down with her and held the phone so they could actually see Summer and not the rotating ceiling.

And that’s when it happened.

Summer grabbed the phone, and yelled, “daddy!” and kissed him on the screen.

Then she yelled, “mommy!” and kissed the other face on the screen.

Heart.

Stabbed.

The two of them quickly responded with, “Summer, we talked about this…” And they changed the subject.

Cough, um, so it’s happened before. My child referred to this 27-year-old woman dating my 41-year-old ex-husband who Summer has known all of 6 months as “mommy”.

Tingly prickles washed up the front of my neck and into my cheeks. And they all carried on chatting away about nothing and everything while I sat frozen in my little “did that just really fucking happen?” bubble.

I didn’t say a word about it while they were on the phone.

I’m not mad at anyone for it – Summer is too little to understand the hurt that it caused, and the 2 faces on the screen didn’t encourage it, though I could have maybe, just maybe been given a heads up about it when it first started happening so I wouldn’t have been blindsided by the knife yesterday.

Obviously them just telling her not to call the girlfriend mommy wasn’t enough. That would never be enough. Not for Summer, not for me. So at bedtime we snuggled up close and had a little chat – I told her that it made momma sad to hear my baby call someone else mommy. I told her that I was the one who made her, who grew her, who had her in my tummy, whose heart is half hers, and who has taken care of her and loved her with my whole self since the very first day she was alive. And that is what makes me her mommy and no one else.

In her sweet little 4-year-old voice she said, “mommy, I’m sorry. I feel really bad and I promise I won’t ever call anyone else mommy again but you.” She got it. And my heart filled right back up as I listened to her breathing get heavy while she drifted off to dreamland.

Once I knew she was asleep, I went out to the living room and I cried. Oh, I cried good. A puffy-eyed in the morning type cry. Because, although I kept trying to remind myself that it actually tells me that this girl is doing something right with Summer if Summer equates her with things that “mommy” means to her – love, fun, safety, security – it still broke my heart for a moment.

A moment I never thought I would have to live.

7 Comments

Filed under divorce, Family, Kids, life, Love, Parenting, sadness