Fundamentally Fashion Impaired

Dresses made out of trash bags.

Jumpsuits that resemble prison attire.

Crotchless jeans.

Um, hello?!?

Why do I always feel like I’m missing something?

Why would anyone want to parade around in attire that gives the disturbing impression of having just kicked Big Bird’s ass and then using his fashionable feathers to flaunt their victory?

I simply don’t get the world of fashion.

It’s so…

Weird.

And not the good kind of weird, either.

Haven’t these designers ever heard of yoga pants?

Or lounge pants?

Or better yet, pjs?

If not, they’re totally missing out.

Comfort should never be underestimated.

Who is all this eccentric stuff designed for, anyway?

Surely not most human beings?

Erma Bombeck said it best:

“Sometimes I can’t figure designers out. It’s as if they flunked human anatomy.”

This stuff possibly can’t be meant for real life.

I don’t know.

Maybe I don’t get out enough.

Or maybe I’m not normal.

And I’m perfectly okay with that.

But come on.

Who wears this stuff?

It’s like fashion from another planet.

Ooh, maybe that’s what this is!

Intergalactic fashion!

Garbage can lids for hats.

Rompers made from mops.

Boots that are furrier than a wooly mammoth.

Talk about statement pieces.

And celebrities only perpetuate the madness.

How about Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress?

Or Bjork’s weird swan dress?

Or Katy Perry’s memorable carousel dress?

Somebody intentionally created these monstrosities.

Some of those outfits would result in common folk getting thrown in the slammer for indecent exposure.

Especially with a scarcely concealing dress made out of meat, for heaven’s sake.

But celebrities?

They can get away with strutting down through town wearing nothing more than a sheer scarf as a top and car mats for a skirt.

That’s fashion.

Using one’s body as a kooky canvas like that…

Well, Picasso would simply be horrified.

But the madness doesn’t stop there.

When I go shopping for clothes, it gets overwhelming sometimes.

Is that garment supposed to be a tube top or a dress?

Or is it intended to be worn as a cape?

And that freakish in-between-fingers ring…

Is it meant to be a weapon?

All I know is somebody’s gonna get hurt.

And it’s usually me.

Especially when sadistic curiosity gets the better of me and I take a questionable garment into the dressing room.

Which appendage is supposed to go through which strap?

Surely this can’t possibly be a dress if it doesn’t even begin to cover my butt…?

Why does this shirt seem to have three arm holes?

I truly don’t want to end up in ER after accidentally knocking myself out by trying to cram my unsuspecting head into a narrow little arm hole.

But I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve managed to clobber my own face while trying on some sort of whimsical attire.

Simplicity is the key for me.

I can live without Star Trek inspired looks.

Or leopard print from head to toe.

Or aluminum foil onesies.

These concepts are certainly costume party worthy, if nothing else.

And not only are these crazy pieces…well, crazy, they’re insanely expensive.

If you spend $2,000 on a hideous fringe-covered, barf-green purse- I mean handbag– will you actually have anything left to put in it?

It might be nice to have money left over to do other things.

Like eat.

And maybe even pay the mortgage.

Not to be a slave to the money-draining, ever-changing world of fashion.

I can’t do high maintenance.

It’s too exhausting.

And that level of quirkiness is far too much.

Even for me.

Some people spend ten dollars on clothing and look like a million bucks.

Some people spend a million bucks and look like disheveled cow-wrangling floozies.

It’s all in how you wear it.

So be true to yourself and wear whatever makes you feel like a million bucks.

Especially if you’ve actually spent a million bucks.

~Happy Friday, friends! Clearly, fashion is relative. Just ask that poor doggie in the picture. Have a great weekend!~

It seems anything goes in the world of fashion...

It seems anything goes in the world of fashion…

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A Loose Screw

An endless parade of buses, tractors, and horrifyingly inexperienced high school drivers finally pass.

And then the typical bickering and brawling commenced, mere moments after we made our way out of the school parking lot.

My precious darlings wasted no time, cutting right to the chase of intentionally annoying and aggravating each other.

And me.

Someone in the car was obviously an expert.

On everything.

But that someone clearly wasn’t me.

And then the fun really began.

Stop making that stupid noise!

Turn that down! You’re gonna go deaf!

He’s being stupid!

Why are you being so stupid?

Stop acting like a baby!

Meh.

I continued driving among the bickering insanity when I noticed something… off.

And not just figuratively speaking, either.

I panicked.

The brake and gas pedals…

What the…???

Where did they go???

My life flashed before my eyes.

Was this seriously how things were going to end?

In a malodorous, sweaty-gym-sock-stinking,  juice-box-stained deathtrap, with those two arguing beasts screeching and howling?

I don’t think so.

Over my dead body.

Ooh, no.

That was bad.

But what was going on?

Did I just break the brake?

Did I unwittingly have some sort of deranged Hulk-like moment and destroy a crucial car control with my freakishly strong right foot?

A hunk of plastic unceremoniously rolled backward and magically revealed the presumed missing controls.

And then it rolled under my seat.

Okay, that was a good start.

Except there was still a mysterious piece of rogue plastic on the loose that obviously broke off from somewhere.

I pulled into the post office parking lot, the very place my boys both harbor an unjustifiable aversion to, in an attempt to figure out what the hell was going on.

A large heap of plastic with a loose screw surfaced from under my seat.

I hadn’t the slightest clue what is was.

It vaguely resembled a pedal-shaped…

Something or other.

What did I know?

But the brake pedal was still intact.

The gas pedal was still intact.

So I determined it was safe enough to continue driving.

I mean, relatively speaking.

What with those shrieking banshee passengers and all.

Evidently, that heap of plastic turned out to be part of a vent that was situated near the brake pedal.

A vent part that I must’ve kicked and sent rolling.

Dangerously rolling, at that.

Well, that’s what happens when you discover you’ve got a loose screw.

Or two…

~Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all have a terrific weekend!~

This thing could easily be just a bonus piece of plastic with no justifiable purpose... right?

This thing could easily be just a bonus piece of plastic with no justifiable purpose… right?

Lessons from the Fish Tank

Responsibility?

Pfft!

Who needs that?

Well, if responsibility is your goal…

Then pet fish are definitely not the way to go.

PetSmart’s Black Friday ad, boasting 50% off all small pets, really got me thinking.

It brought back memories of That One Christmas five years ago.

Santa had oh so generously brought my boys a very nice fish tank, filled with cool fish tank ornaments like treasure chests and Sponge Bob Square Pants and his pineapple under the sea…

And Sponge Bob’s bizarre pet meowing snail, Gary.

All that was missing were the fish.

So my husband and I gifted our boys each with a certificate for one Mickey Mouse Platy fish apiece.

Which turned out to be a huge mistake.

Or, rather, a life lesson.

A lesson in The Circle of Life.

The cycle of life.

And death.

And inbreeding.

That’s right.

The whole experience served as a constant lesson in the disturbing never-ending cycle of death in a fish tank plagued by frequent new life, even more frequent death…

And inbreeding of epidemic proportions.

Sure, the kids were excited at first.

We started off with three fish:

Chloe-Dante, Bailey, and…and…

Well, some other fish.

We soon added snails Gary and Larry.

And then a cool sucker fish, creatively named Sucker Pluto.

We would all sit there like scientists, measuring for proper ph levels to keep everything properly in balance for the safety of our beloved new pets.

But after a matter of months, nobody cared enough anymore to clean the algae-filled tank or even be certain if they’d been fed lately.

Before we knew it, there were far too many fish to remember names of or even keep track of.

On that note…

Never name fish after your family members.

The first fish to kick the bucket was a red Platy named after my brother and his dog.

A child showing up to school crying about dead fish named after a family member is bound to be a traumatizing experience.

Chloe-Dante just died!

Um, isn’t that your uncle? And his…dog?

Your uncle and his dog just died…and you’re at school?!?

What is wrong with your family?!?

Oh, you guys name your fish after your family members…???

Seriously, what is wrong with your family?

Yeah.

Not an ideal situation.

Always a new fish.

Always a new one kicking the bucket.

On the bright side, we really got the most bang for our buck with all that inbreeding, which led to our pet count multiplying exponentially.

So I guess in that sense, we got a pretty good deal out of it.

I mean, with the exception of The Missing GloFish.

How can a bright neon green fish go missing?

It’s not like they can jump out of a tank…

Or can they?

We’ll never know for certain.

Maybe he was just trying to escape that horrifying inferno.

I can’t say I would’ve blamed him.

Pet fish?

Ha!

Never again.

It’s safe to say I’ve learned my lesson.

~Happy Saturday, everyone! Have a fantastic weekend!~

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

Unfinished Accomplishments

What do you do all week?

I swear, sometimes I ask myself that very same question.

Where is the time going?

And perhaps more importantly…

What the heck have I accomplished lately?

I’m gonna go with nothing.

Or nothing much, anyway.

Definitely not a whole hell of a lot, from the look of things.

I’m sure laundry and emptying the dishwasher technically count as something.

And with a to do list a mile long, surely I’m not lacking for things to do.

Yet, it seems that for every one thing I manage to cross off the list, I’m instantly having to add 10 more things.

It’s like being a hamster running circles on a wheel that never stops.

(Is this why people sometimes refer to life as a rat race? Interesting…)

On days like today, there is little to show for it.

Let’s see.

Today, I…

Fed the kids breakfast.

Fed the dog.

Brought the boys to school.

Walked the dog.

Worried incessantly.

Did multiple loads of laundry.

Emptied and filled the dishwasher.

Vacuumed.

Wandered.

Picked the boys up from school.

At least, I think I did…

Did I?

Where are those boys?

I haven’t heard a peep out of them in a while, and that’s never a good thing.

Hmmm.

Oh, well.

But truly, I don’t sit at home shoveling Bon Bons down my throat like a glutton while watching soap operas when the kids are at school.

For one thing, I don’t have the attention span to watch a soap opera.

Or anything else, for that matter.

I typically have to get up and do something.

Like dust off the TV or pull out the vacuum…

I’m telling ya, my ability to multitask has reached new levels.

Did you know it’s entirely possible to eat breakfast while pushing the vacuum around the house?

Yeah, well.

I never said it was a particularly good idea.

Some people have to go to the gym to stay fit.

But I get all the physical activity I can safely handle by pushing the vacuum around while balancing stuff while also trying not to choke to death.

I think I’m on to something here.

Some days, I drink my green smoothie out of a cocktail glass.

Because, why not?

By my calculations, I spend roughly three hours a day worrying about everything that is, and everything that can, go wrong.

Such an impressive use of time, I know.

My mind doesn’t merely wander.

It full-out gallops across intersection after intersection of green lights with not a single red light in sight.

I wander around the house, trying to remember what I had set out to do in the first place.

So then I wander around the neighborhood in hopes of clearing my head.

But curiosity wins and I start wandering into new construction homes within my development.

On the way back, I marvel at why the flag is at half-staff, and resolve to Google it when I get home.

And then I get back home and start to worry about everything that needs to get done around the house…

From touching up paint to dusting the base boards to dealing with the backed up dryer vent.

So I become overwhelmed as all these thoughts swirl through my head.

Then before I know it, it’s time to pick the kids up from school.

And I still haven’t managed to eat lunch.

Did I mention I’m still in my pajamas two minutes before I have to head out?

I cram a protein bar down my throat as I’m driving.

So what if my time management skills aren’t looking too hot at the moment?

Some days, I manage to get an entire week’s worth of things accomplished.

Go figure.

A little laundry, a little cleaning, a little writing…

And a whole lotta worrying.

About the state of the world.

About if I’ve somehow been screwing up my kids all along.

About the commotion of upcoming holidays.

That’s right.

Let’s just add the chaos of Christmas to the mix, too, shall we?

Because I might become bored otherwise.

It’s the season…

For what, exactly?

Migraines?

Ulcers?

Some days I start off by making a healthy green alkaline smoothie…

And end the day with a shot of Baileys.

Is it so wrong I’m secretly kinda sorta okay with everyone in my family landing on the naughty list to alleviate some of the stress?

I think I might have to accidentally delete the to do list on my phone.

I’d be okay with that.

Oops.

Too bad, so not sad.

So what is it that I do all day?

I swear, sometimes I just don’t even know.

~Happy Friday, friends! Hope you’ve all had a great week, and that you’ve managed to accomplish…well, more than I’ve managed to accomplish. Have a terrific weekend!~

Pretty sure this right here counts as a fairly significant accomplishment...

Pretty sure this right here counts as a fairly significant accomplishment…

Sticks, Stones, and Broken Bones

Oh, the things you can fix!

The things you can glue!

It’s totally true!

Oh, the things you can do!

Does it feel broken?

Are any crucial parts missing?

Any strange things jutting out at nauseating angles?

Well, fear not.

Doctor apprehension is completely normal.

But before you start dialing for an ambulance, ask yourself a few more questions:

Is it bleeding profusely?

Can it be glued back together?

Sewn up or stapled shut?

Do you think you might be able to walk it off ?

Sleep it off?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes or maybe…

Why not just stay home and take care of it yourself?

Think about it.

Going to the doctor can be costly.

Not to mention nerve-wracking.

But the good news is, there are many ways to fix whatever ails you…

Right from the comfort of your own home!

Or wherever the heck you happen to be when misfortune strikes.

But before you make your final decision, ask yourself this…

Do you really need that particular body part?

(Hey, it’s a valid question. We tend to treat things like tonsils and wisdom teeth as unnecessary space fillers.)

With just a few household staples, YOU can be your own DIY healthcare provider!

Did your kid shove a grape Jolly Rancher up his nose again?

Why not try to dislodge it with the industrial strength shop vac that’s collecting dust in the garage?

Got a cracked rib?

Got tape?  

There ya go.

Problem solved.

Raging bout of food poisoning?

Charcoal capsules can be highly effective…

But cramming the long handle of a telescopic duster down your throat ought to do the trick in bringing the offending substance back up even more quickly.

All-over body aches?

Get out the frying pan. It’s time for a riveting game of Whack-an-Appendage!

Cracked a tooth? Or a head?

While the actual treatment may vary slightly, both can be remedied with a glob or two of extra strength super glue.

Some afflictions have even simpler solutions.

Suffering from high blood pressure?

Avoid kids.

Got a massive headache?

Avoid kids.

Sprained an ankle tripping over a rogue bouncy ball?

Avoid kids.

(Notice a pattern here?)

Worried about wrecking your budget with astronomical medical expenses?

A few helpful ideas:

Next time you go to the dentist, have the hygienist X-ray not only your teeth, but your entire body from head to toe, in 85 different installments.

Or save yourself the time and hassle by asking for a copy of your body X-ray scan results the next time you go through airport security.

And why bother making a trip to the eye doctor when you’re already paying for a mandatory vision test at the Motor Vehicle Department?

There’s also no need for a chiropractor if you’re experiencing back pain when you’ve got a rough child who can helpfully assist you in rearranging your bones, free of charge.

And if you think you might require the services of a skilled psychologist, guess again.

Just grab the nearest notebook and indulge in the cathartic action of jotting down your deepest thoughts and emotions.

Or better yet, park yourself in front of the bathroom mirror and revel in the fun of holding up both sides of a sure to be fascinating conversation.

It’s all psychological anyway, right?

Mind over matter.

So if you’ve just smacked your head into a brick wall after tripping over the dog or knocked yourself senseless by falling down the stairs while attempting to balance a laundry basket with a toothbrush dangling out of your mouth, today just might be your lucky day!

Or not…

Unfortunately, not everything has a simple DIY remedy. 

And so for everything else, there’s alcohol.

A good shot of whiskey or vodka ought to do the trick.

So long, strains, sprains, and spewing bloody wounds!

Everything’s gonna be alright…

~Happy Saturday, my friends! Have a fabulous weekend, and remember, super glue is your new best friend!~

It may have roots in Greek Mythology, but the caduceus looks like a deadly contraption. Come on, a stick with a pair of intertwined snakes precariously draped around it as medical insignia? Totally not comforting.

It may have roots in Greek Mythology, but the caduceus looks like a deadly contraption. Come on, a stick with a pair of intertwined snakes precariously draped around it as medical insignia? Totally not comforting.

Stupendously Speedy Stipends

“Thank you for your cooperation.”

Ha!

Like I had much choice in that matter.

I mean, short of bolting off on an attempted high-speed chase.

Which surely would’ve been quickly thwarted by the abundance of farm machinery and construction vehicles that typically dominate the roads out here.

Apparently, going to Walmart wasn’t punishment enough for one day.

I got carded for purchasing canned air as I was checking out.

Little did I know I’d be whipping out my driver’s license again 10 minutes later.

I guess I should’ve stayed home.

Who needs toilet paper and laundry detergent, anyway?

“Do you know why I pulled you over today?”

“Oh my God! Is there somebody under my car?”

Okay, no.

I did not actually say that.

I merely shook my head no in reply.

I don’t drive on the sidewalks.

I don’t plow over pedestrians.

I keep my vehicle out of cow pastures.

I’m fairly cautious, I’d say.

Minutes from home, I’d been driving up and over a teeth-jarring railroad track when I noticed telltale flashing lights in my rearview mirror.

Of course, it would be an unmarked police car.

On a one-lane road.

With no shoulder.

And no place to turn for at least half a mile.

Nothing but a long stretch of nothingness.

What was I supposed to do?

Pull off the road, into a field of hay barrels?

Preferably one full of disgruntled Longhorns?

So I crept along with those obnoxious lights flashing behind me until I pulled up to an industrial park.

Right between the shift from a 30 mph zone to a 45 mph zone, the officer’s trusty radar gun had clocked me at 43 mph.

In the 30 mph zone.

Coming down a steep hill, it’s easy to quickly gain speed if you’re not paying  attention.

He asked for my license, but didn’t bother with proof of insurance or registration.

Must’ve had sufficient time to run my plates as he was coasting along behind me, waiting to see if I’d eventually pull over.

I’m sure the motorcycle endorsement on my driver’s license didn’t earn me any brownie points, either.

Sergeant Scowly Dude didn’t look like a guy who believed in giving people the benefit of the doubt and sending them off with a warning.

I’d never, ever gotten a speeding ticket in my life.

Twelve years ago, I had been pulled over at 4:30 in the morning on the way to my final shift of work before maternity leave by an officer who had been pacing me.

At 39 weeks into pregnancy with my younger son, I nearly knocked myself out by hitting my head on the visor when asked for my license, registration, and insurance.

The officer looked on in a mix of sympathy and pity while toy airplanes and diapers flew out of my glove box as I attempted to dig out the requested paperwork.

In all fairness, I hadn’t slept in nine months, which might have been a factor.

For the whole incident.

That kindhearted officer let me off with a warning.

But this guy?

It wasn’t looking promising.

And with a mess of frizzy hair from an unfortunate combination of high humidity and rain, my typical adorableness wasn’t likely to do the trick, either.

This would’ve been a good time to have my charming kids in the car, surely?

Or my sweet, affection dog?

I’m usually sandwiched in traffic between tractors and cement mixers.

Or the occasional runaway cattle who manages to wedge, squeeze, and squish his way through narrow wire fencing to freedom.

And so I consider myself fairly lucky on days where the opportunity allows me to go more than 15 mph behind a bulldozer.

I’ve actually been passed by a semi truck a time or two.

A semi truck, for God’s sake!

Do I sound like the maniac here?

And yet, I received a whopping $250 fine.

Yikes.

I have nothing against cops.

There are countless decent ones out there who do good deeds and give back in immeasurable ways.

At any rate, I’ve been brainstorming less traditional modes of transportation.

Ooh!

I’ve got it!

Nobody ever gets pulled over on a cow!

At least, not to my knowledge.

Unless, perhaps, by a cop on a galloping horse…

The only problem is, I don’t have a cow.

And I would hate to end up with an even heftier fine, or worse yet, behind bars, for alleged cow-snatching.

Perhaps I ought to find me a Longhorn.

Nobody in their right mind is gonna want to mess with that.

Just strap on a backpack with a skunk inside for extra good measure, and voilà!

Good to go!

As a bonus, fewer suicidal animals would have the opportunity to make me an unwitting accomplice as they attempt to nosedive/hop/slither to their death at the hands (or would it be body?) of my vehicle if I’m not actually in a vehicle.

So there is that.

But I suppose this whole situation could’ve been avoided in the first place if I’d been riding a skunk or an armadillo.

Or if I’d stayed home.

And believe me, I’d be perfectly okay with not going back to Walmart again anytime soon.

~Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend, and drive safely!~

Hint: It's not actually a ticket (or two) to paradise...

Hint: It’s not actually a ticket (or two) to paradise…

A Breath of Not-So-Fresh Air

Nature freaking sucks.

Seriously.

It hates me.

And the feeling is quickly becoming mutual.

I can’t breathe.

I can’t hear.

I can’t sleep.

I can’t think.

I can’t even go outside without hacking like a geriatric geezer about to keel over on the sidewalk as a single delicate breeze threatens to collapse my lungs and suck the sole remaining ounce of life left in me.

But then, it’d probably be just as well.

After all, I doubt I’d be looking forward to going back indoors to face the equally suffocating mountain of laundry that typically awaits me.

Ah!

There’s nothing quite like a breath of killer fresh air.

Fresh air is good for you, people always say.

Ha!

Fresh air, my ass.

It’s bad for my health.

Plain and simple.

Sneeze, sniffle, honk!

Wheeze, gasp, choke!

It ain’t pretty.

Oh, what’s wrong?

Nature! That’s what’s wrong!

Sure, there are stunning mountains, oceans, and other incredible scenic wonders in this world.

But some days, those natural beauties don’t even begin to balance out whatever toxic crap permeates the air.

Speaking of nature…

The sky is the limit when it comes to the range of possible allergens just waiting to wreak havoc on the already inefficient human body.

What do flowers, cats, and dairy have in common?

They’re all plotting to kill us, that’s what!

From respiratory to food to skin, there’s a unique allergy out there for everyone.

But air?

Seriously?

Air is an essential element of life.

Yet, it’s trying relentlessly to kill me.

(Much like the water I frequently find myself nearly choking to death on whenever I attempt to have a sip.)

I haven’t been able to hear out of my left ear for days.

Then again, I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, what with all the chaos around me.

And I’ve gone through enough tissues this week alone to take out an entire forest.

One thing’s for sure:

There’s no inner peace when one can’t inhale or exhale.

But meditation and guided imagery can be quite helpful, from what I understand.

Except for the fact that all I can envision is hopping on the first flight out of town to a remote tropical island to escape it all. 

I’ve tried everything under the sun for relief.

Lavender and peppermint oil in a diffuser.

Sudafed.

Vicks VapoRub.

But nothing has been working.

At least, not long enough to help get me through the day.

Or the night.

So I shove a pillow over my head.

Suffocation might at least grant me some much-needed rest.

Breathe in, wheeze out. 

Repeat for maximum exhaustion.

I’m beyond help.

And the stress from all those sleepless nights only exacerbates things.

Stress?

Bad for one’s health?

No way!

It’s a proven scientific fact that stress compromises the immune system by lowering immune response.

And the only solution, it seems, is to escape to a land far, far away.

To a peaceful, allergen-free life on that aforementioned deserted island.

Perhaps I ought to wear a full face mask whenever I brave the outdoors.

That ought to make a great impression with the neighbors.

Bird flu?

No, nature.

Here’s the biggest irony of it all:

I don’t litter.

I always recycle.

I’ve been known to pull recyclable objects out of the trash can, rinse them out, and place them in the recycling bin, for God’s sake.

I freaking care about the environment.

I try my damnest to do my part to save the earth.

And, in turn, the environmental does its best to kill me as a way of expressing its gratitude.

The great outdoors ain’t so great when it’s undoubtedly trying to do me in.

But, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

So maybe the next time a passenger attempts to toss trash out my car window, I might conveniently pretend not to notice, instead of threatening to stop the car and dump the offending litterbug off on the side of a busy highway.

Take that, nature!

Oh, who am I kidding?

I can’t help myself.

I’ll continue to try to save this freaking planet, even as it continues to try to choke the life out of me.

Sniff, cough, wheeze!

~Happy Friday friends! Hope you have a wonderful, allergy-free weekend!~

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There's no peace for me among the pollen.

Po somehow manages to enjoy a moment of inner peace in nature. Unlike me. There’s no peace for me among the pollen.

Gone with the Whim

Experience is the best teacher.

Or so they say.

But do human beings ever truly learn from experience?

Judging by my decision-making skills, I’m gonna go with no.

Had I decided I’d been lacking a sufficient amount of insanity in my life?

Seems to me on any given day, I’m personally not lacking for ways of keeping myself sufficiently occupied.

And yet…

After writing a goofy rant about extravagant child-related expenses last week, my family and I went out and did the most logical thing possible a mere two days later.

Now, we aren’t particularly spontaneous people when it comes to making big decisions that require serious commitment.

But my younger son had recently written a compelling letter about a very specific concern related to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that set the madness into motion.

So, last Sunday afternoon…

We took a drive to a local pet shelter.

Just to look around, of course.

And then we somehow walked out of there with yet another mouth to feed.

We drove home with a delightful Border Collie rolling around in the backseat, wedged between my ecstatic son and me.

What did I know about dogs?

Not a whole hell of a lot, that’s for sure.

Yet once again, I found myself permitted to bring home a living thing…

With no clue as to what I was doing or getting into. 

Sensing a pattern here?

I’d only owned a small handful of pets in my life.

We had a few gerbils and hamsters when I was little.

I thought they were creepy and was terrified to ever go near them.

When I was 12, I desperately wanted a kitten.

And as luck would have it, we ended up getting one for free.

She was part Siamese, and far bigger part crazed alley cat.

When she wasn’t busy trying to stuff live birds and butterflies in her mouth, she’d move on to picking fights with the neighborhood cats.

She also tried to kill us on a daily basis as she hid at the bottom of the stairs with the hope of catching a leg or two on the way down.

And then there was our more recent failed venture in fish ownership.

The first-ever pets for my boys, the never-ending cycle of birth and death in that tank of inbreeding fish should’ve, at the very least, taught us a lesson in setting a solid case for avoiding future pets at all costs.

What were we thinking?

I’ve never been much of a dog person.

Large dogs freak me out.

Loud dogs don’t do much for me, either.

But this guy…

He’s no ordinary dog.

He’s sweet.

He’s quiet.

He stands on his hind legs and gives gentle hugs. 

He’s calm, happy, and entertaining.

He loves to be loved.

He’s our 5 year old puppy.

Most of the other dogs at the shelter were barking their heads off and bouncing off the sides of their cages like crack-fueled maniacs.

But not this guy.

He sat there quietly, gazing at us with a look of pure happiness and contentment.

As if he knew the key to being a winning prospect was simply to not look like a raving lunatic.

And so now here we are, going for walks and peeing in neighbors’ flower beds.

The dog, I mean.

Not me.

Definitely not me.

He’s also taken a liking to pooping in my herb garden.

Well, they do say pets enrich lives.

I guess the extra fertilizer must be the enriching factor.

Hopefully those herbs will really start flourishing now!

For someone who never cared much for dogs, this sweet boy managed to win me over in a heartbeat.

I’m still not sure how to feel about all the face licking and crotch sniffing, though.

But at least he doesn’t ask me when I’m going grocery shopping again since he probably won’t be the one eating us out of the house.

~Happy Friday, friends! If you’d like to read my son’s compelling case for getting a dog, click on the picture below for a larger view. I think he might have a future in persuasive essay writing. Either that, or he’ll make a disturbingly fine attorney… Have a fantastic weekend!~

The letter that led to it all...

The letter that led to it all…

The Madness of Momming

Oh, the memories.

The marvelous, glorious, wonderous memories.

With my oldest son’s recent birthday, it’s fair to say I’ve been reminiscing a tiny bit.

Especially after rummaging through both of my boys’ baby boxes yesterday afternoon.

Sure, it’s been 15 years since I first became a mom.

But one question still lingers:

How the hell was I ever allowed to leave the hospital with a small, helpless, living human being in the first place?

Did I look like I had any clue as to what I was doing?

If I did, it must’ve explicitly been the pain medication talking.

Would you believe I’d actually packed an Eeyore rattle toy in my hospital bag?

In case my newborn child wanted to play, I reasoned.

Oh, and I’d also brought along a book.

You know, for the downtime following that whole childbirth drama.

Clearly, I was delusional from the very start.

Sure, I’d skimmed through the suggested reading material on pregnancy and babies and all that fun stuff.

But really, how hard could it be?

Right?

Did I mention I had zero experience?

Seriously, not an ounce.

I had no younger siblings.

No younger cousins.

No babysitting experience.

I mean, I worked in a toy store for a brief stint when I was in high school.

But that only served to reinforce the fact that I surely wasn’t a fan of screeching, demanding, whining little monsters.

And so my baby was the first baby I’d ever held.

What was I doing?

How was I expected to be responsible for such a tiny little human being when my ability to take care of myself was likely questionable?

My husband and I were practically kids with a kid, really.

The baby is awake?

Why is he awake?

What am I supposed to do?

Didn’t he just eat?

How much is he supposed to eat?

Is he eating enough?

Is he ever going to stop eating?

Why won’t he sleep?

Why is he still asleep?

Why won’t he go back to sleep?

Is he teething?

Is he hungry?

Why won’t he stop crying?

Does he hate me?

Oh my God. 

My baby hates me.

I’m the worst mommy in the world!

Sniffle, sniffle…sniff.

Oh.

Ewwww!

Oh, I’d read What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

And then I read What to Expect the First Year.

No other book series can make a person feel like such an epic failure so quickly.

Even if the baby was only a mere twelve days old.

If anything, those books made me a nervous wreck.

I was convinced I’d be going through my child’s life as a sleep deprived, anxiety-ridden zombie.

A zombie who’d inevitably make all the worst choices, and ultimately screw up her child’s entire life because of said sleep deprivation.

So I stopped reading.

So what if my baby preferred sleeping in his car seat over using the nice bassinet we’d bought him?

So what if I wasn’t dragging him out on stimulating play dates at three months old?

So what if he liked to shove Mega Blocks in his mouth when nobody was looking?

So what if I secretly hoped he wouldn’t eat all of his of delicious banana baby food so that I could finish it off?

I had relatively little idea of what I was doing.

But I had lots of love.

And patience.

And sheer determination.

We’ve managed to survive, so that’s gotta count for something.

In spite of all the sleepless nights.

I’ve never been one who could thrive on broken sleep.

It makes me scary.

But you know you’d reached a whole new level of exhaustion when you watch Plaza Sesamo halfway through at 2 o’clock in the morning before realizing that it isn’t actually Sesame Street.

And that it was entirely in Spanish.

Huh.

No wonder nothing made sense.

But the good news is a person can eventually adapt to existing in a zombie-like trance.

I do sometimes marvel at how we’ve managed to make it this far in life.

And all things considered, I think we’re all turning out A-OK.

From day one, these boys of mine have been teaching me more than I could ever possibly teach them.

And that’s saying a lot.

Motherhood is the biggest, scariest, most rewarding roller coaster ride of my life.

And I am happy and honored to be on this magically maddening adventure.

Even if it makes me crazier than I already was in the first place.

It’s totally worth it.

~Happy last Friday of the month! Hope you guys all have a terrific weekend!~

That Eeyore rattle in the middle? I honestly wasn't joking when I said I'd packed him in my hospital bag. Yeah. Let that sink in for a moment.

That Eeyore rattle in the middle? I honestly wasn’t joking when I said I’d packed him in my hospital bag. Yeah. Let that sink in for a moment.

Going La-La-Loco

I don’t know if there’s such thing as a good kind of crazy…

Or if crazy is just crazy.

All I know is I’m kind of pissed and frustrated with myself.

Up until now, I’ve prided myself on writing a blog post every single week, come hell or high water.

And last week?

Well, I’m not entirely sure what happened.

I wasn’t on some fabulous island getaway or anything fun like that.

The thing is, I had a humorous topic and all these great ideas…

But it just wasn’t coming together.

And I simply refuse to hit publish on something that is total crap.

So here we are.

Quirky’s gone crazy.

Chalk it up to exhaustion, mental block, or a temporary lack of motivation.

It happens to the best of us, I suppose.

The sad reality is that there’s no luxury afforded for the nervous breakdown I am perfectly entitled to.

But rather than sit and dwell on this disappointment, let’s take a moment to find the humor in insanity, shall we?

(Truth be told, you’re probably better off not coming along for the ride. But at least you’d be going with someone with a warped sense of humor, so that’s gotta be pretty enticing…)

(It never hurts to have a friendly face on your journey to insanity!)

(Going cuckoo in the grandest manner possible? Now that’s impressive!)

(Hmmm. Is it really that obvious?)

(It’s like haunted Halloween maze meets acid trip glow party in here!)

(Losing your mind is one thing. But literally losing control is a far greater issue, as far as I’m concerned.)

(Always, always a silver lining.)

(Team work is dream work, or so they say…)

(Discussing your inner crazy with outer crazy is guaranteed to be a fascinating, if not exactly productive, conversation.) 

(Going ballistic is surprisingly exhausting.)

(I can’t decide whether to be envious or to feel pity for such individuals.)

Sure, I may be one step away from going off the deep end some days.

But at least I’m not in straitjacket territory.

Yet.

Disappointment, overwhelment, and moments of failure are inevitable parts of life.

You get through it and you keep going.

Because that’s just what you do.

Things aren’t always going to go exactly as planned.

Life happens.

Plots change.

So just take a deep breath…

And remember…

You are awesome!

And maybe just a tiny bit crazy, too.

But that’s probably not such a bad thing…

Is it?

~Happy last Friday of the month! Hope your weekend is crazy… in the very best way possible, of course!~