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.

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An Ode to an Oldie

I’m his favorite sister.

And he’s unquestionably my favorite brother.

This may be largely due to a technicality, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.

It’s sort of a process of elimination by default.

But I have to admit, it sure makes it easier when you only have one sibling to choose from.

It’s about to big a huge milestone birthday for this favorite brother of mine.

The big 4-0!

And with that said…

Happy Birthday, Dante!

My awesome, absolute favorite brother.

He is every bit as unique as his name.

But then, it’s not like anyone in my family is capable of doing normal very well.

He and I are obviously related.

Despite the fact he used to try to convince me I’d been adopted.

(News flash: We look far too much alike for that to have been true. So there!)

Sure, he’s more than a whole foot taller than me.

(He enjoys teasing me about how I’d clearly stunted my growth by becoming a vegetarian at too young an age.)

But we both like to write.

(Yup! He writes, too!)

And we’re both funny.

(His favorite word is haha.)

At least, I think I’m funny.

Hmmmm…

I must be pretty funny, because he’ll typically reply to my texts with one of three responses:

  1. haha
  2. lol
  3. funny

He’s got a delightfully dry sense of humor, but he truly is a man of few words.

For this reason, we tend to text far more frequently than we talk on the phone.

Whenever we do have an actual phone conversation, he’ll mutter an occasional word here and there.

Which helps reassure me he didn’t get eaten alive by his feisty dog mid-conversation.

And then he’ll proceed to breathe intermittently into the phone like Darth Vader.

Oh, well.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up.

Growing up, he was paradoxically my best pal…

And worst nightmare.

Thanks to my favorite brother, I learned how to swim.

Or perhaps more accurately…

I learned to swim because he’d otherwise have kept trying to drown me in our backyard pool.

For fun, of course.

Because this, apparently, is what bored children do to keep themselves entertained.

(Note to parents: Think carefully before you send your kids outside with painfully vague instructions, like “Go find something to do”. Nothing good ever comes out of this.)

We’d make the most of our excruciatingly short pool season in New York by excitedly jumping in as soon as the pool temperature warmed up to a bone-chilling 59 degrees.

Hey, it seemed like a totally bright at the time.

But this may well be one factor in why there are clearly some things wrong with us.

Bloodlines run deep, but crazy runs deeper.

He also got me permanently banned before I’d ever had the chance to play an instrument.

My parents made the fatal error of allowing him to play a trombone in the school band.

He wasn’t exactly what one might call a natural.

The odds of him winning a medal for his performance weren’t sounding very favorable.

And I suspect I wasn’t the only one who’d felt that way.

A year or so later, we ended up selling that trombone to the first person who showed up at our garage sale, just to make it go away.

But alas, so started my future path to choir.

At least I wasn’t making everyone’s eardrums bleed.

And then there’s what I affectionately call Dante’s Shop of Horrors.

He used to set up shop in his bedroom, with an assortment of toys, stuffed animals, and other goodies on display, in an attempt to make a few quick bucks.

Did I mention most of the items in his shop already belonged to me?

But I’d always feel sorry for him, and so I’d end up buying my own crap back out of pity.

After all, the boy had a real hunger for life.

He’d count his earnings and walk to the store to stock up on more crap.

Including an assortment of treats, like dozens of those cheap apple pies that contained no real apples.

Money well spent, I know.

But then he would always surprise me with cute little stuffed animals he’d won from the claw machine.

Which made up for a lot.

Like when he’d change the channel on the one tv in the house and kill my few remaining brain cells with never-ending marathons of Beavis and Butthead.

(Those brain cells have yet to return.)

Or when he’d blare Metallica’s Enter Sandman on repeat, shaking and rattling the house all odd hours of the night until the vibrating floor would eventually lull me to sleep.

(I’ve known every word of that song by heart since 7th grade.)

But I think of him affectionately whenever I hear She’s a Maniac.

(It’s one of his favorites.)

And whenever I hear Journey’s Any Way You Want It, I can’t help bursting out in laughter.

(I still can’t figure out why he hates that one with such passion.)

I can’t help myself.

I always crank that one up and sing along at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on the radio.

I wonder if, subconsciously, I like that one only because I know it annoys the hell out of him.

It’s entirely possible.

Aren’t siblings the best?

Anyway, I’ll leave you all with this wonderful picture of baby me playing nicely with my big brother.

(And just to be clear, I was sooo not adopted.)

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

Don't feel too bad for him. He probably started it...

Don’t feel too bad for him. He probably started it…

Ascending into the Abyss

All girls love horses!

Do they?

Do they really?

Well, then.

I guess I’m just not like all the other girls. 

So, anyway…

My birthday is right around the corner, and I’ve been thinking about one exceptionally unforgettable birthday.

Not exactly fond memories, per se, but memories nonetheless.

I’ve affectionately come to call it The Horse Adventure from Hell.

My husband, DJ,  wanted to do something nice…

Something different…

Something unintentionally death-defying…

Now, let me just say this:

Despite being a vegetarian, I’m interestingly enough not really an “animal person”.

Horse-sized dogs terrify me.

Dead skunks and armadillos don’t look so cuddly.

Cows and their babies are kind of cute, though.

Everything else, I’m clueless about.

Hell, my family couldn’t even handle taking care of half a dozen pet fish.

Every time we’d look over, another sucker would float lifelessly to the top of the tank.

Well, whenever they weren’t busy inbreeding, anyway.

But back to horseback riding.

Actual proclamations from the stable’s website:

“The view is spectacular!”

“Everything always looks peaceful and natural from the saddle of a horse!”

“Our trail rides are great for reducing stress and creating peace of mind!”

More like great for inducing enough terror to drastically reduce one’s lifespan.

But hey, I’m sure it’s all relative.

At any rate, we soon found ourselves climbing to the top of a 9,000-foot mountain in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona on a 3-hour scenic tour.

Scenic being some sort of deranged code word for “direct path off a freakishly high mountain, straight to your death”.

In retrospect, this was probably not the wisest choice for a novice.

I had never ridden a horse before, nor had I any particular inclination to do so.

But I am all for trying new things.

And since we like getting the most bang for our buck, we opted for the best value-

The longest ride option available.

Naturally.

Upon our arrival, we were introduced to our guide.

She couldn’t have been older than 16.

And for the life of me, I can’t recall her name.

So let’s call her Philippa, the Greek word for “friend of horses”.

Seems appropriate enough.

I was assigned a lovely white horse named Princess.

DJ received a brown one called Spirit.

Knowing absolutely nothing about horses, I figured they both looked mild enough.

But just five minutes into the experience, I was fully convinced these horses were trying to kill us.

Or just me, at any rate.

DJ somehow seemed to be enjoying himself.

Hmmph.

The horses kept climbing and climbing.

Up and up and up.

Princess demonstrated a startling pattern:

Climb up, look down.

Climb up, look down.

Slip, slip, slip.

It was a narrow, single track trail, with loose rocks lining every inch.

With each step upward, it felt like she was losing her footing.

My confidence was shaken by this point, but the journey upward continued.

There was nothing even remotely peaceful or relaxing about this experience.

When would it end?

Mare?

More like nightmare.

Every once in a while, I’d get a bit of a break when we were on a patch of flat surface.

I’d close my eyes briefly and try to enjoy the moment.

For, like, ten seconds.

And then we’d be galloping upward again.

Walking, trotting, cantering, galloping.

The majority of these terms meant nothing to Princess.

She knew only one speed:

Galloping uphill at neck-breaking speed.

But at last, we had made it to the top!

The saddle was killing my gluteus maximus.

My hands throbbed from holding onto the reins for dear life.

But we were still alive!

We dismounted from our horses and tied them to a giant log.

The vista view was indeed breathtaking, overlooking magnificently lush forests.

We marveled at the stunning sight and took a few pictures.

And then break time was over.

Princess was the first horse to be untied from the log, so I climbed back up.

But then the unthinkable happened.

As DJ was about to mount Spirit, all three horses spooked.

The two that were tied to the log pulled back with all their might…

Pinning DJ and Phillipa under the log.

Meanwhile, amidst all the chaos, Princess ran in frantic circles.

Before sprinting right toward the edge of the cliff.

Terrified, I was pretty well resigned to the fact that I was gonna be a goner for my birthday.

After all, nothing says Happy Birthday like the gift of being tossed off a horse from the top of a mountain.

I can’t even begin to remember how I managed to get that horse under control and avoided going off the cliff.

But somehow, we miraculously turned around and headed back toward the other two horses.

DJ eventually lifted himself from the weight of the log.

And then he freed Phillipa.

Her jeans were torn and bloodied.

Tough cowgirl that she was, Phillipa hopped back on her horse like nothing out of the ordinary had just happened and led us back down the mountain.

Slip, slide, slip, slide.

When we reached the safety of flat land again, I could finally breathe.

In fact, going back toward the stable was by far the most enjoyable part of the adventure.

We parted ways with Phillipa after giving her a whopping 50% tip.

You know, for almost killing her.

I’m sure nothing would make her happier than knowing she’ll never in her life have to see us again.

Don’t get me wrong.

Horses look nice enough.

When they are safely inside the stable.

And far, far away from me.

Sure, it could have been a fun adventure…

If somebody else had been on that horse.

Anybody else but me, that is.

As the company’s website proclaims:

“You will remember this horseback riding adventure for a lifetime!”

Oh, if only you knew.

Once in a lifetime may have been one time too many…

But at least I look back now and can laugh.

Sort of.

~Happy Friday! Hope you all have a marvelous Easter!~

The "before" picture, with me obliviously posing with Princess and Spirit. I can assure you I probably wasn't smiling afterward. And if I had been, it would've been solely out of relief from surviving this "adventure."

The “before” picture, with me obliviously posing with Princess and Spirit. I can assure you I probably wasn’t smiling afterward. And if I had been, it would’ve been solely out of relief from surviving this “adventure.”

Macabre Mobile Memories

A picture is worth a thousand words.

But I don’t need anywhere near a thousand words. 

I just need three:  

What. The. Hell.

I think my phone is trying to tell me something.

Apparently my summer had sucked.

Like, really sucked.

And, according to my smart-ass phone, things have been sucking for the at least the last three months.

Minimum.

I swear, iPhone must be in cahoots with Siri after the latest iOS update.

You see, it oh-so-helpfully decided to categorize my “best” memories in an album it labeled Best of the Last 3 Months.

And in this album are a select handful of so-called best moments, as determined by… a computer.

Evidently, the best of the last few months consist almost entirely of pictures taken while sitting around, passing time at assorted hospitals.

Did it choose these fine photos because my life had been so dull that whenever I’d finally gotten out of the house, it was to go hang out at various hospitals across the city?

Because my summer did indeed revolve heavily on frequenting various medical facilities for various family members at various times.

Especially for my younger son, who had extensive corrective tendon surgery that landed him in bed for six weeks with two full leg casts, doing nothing but playing video games and watching every single cartoon in the world on Netflix.

But right before that, we had spent a fun-filled day at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Apparently that just wasn’t memorable enough. 

Oh, the irony.

And what about the photos of that kick-ass John Cena vs Bill Nye the Science Guy wrestling ring cake I had baked for my older son’s birthday?

Or the ones of both of my boys whacking the crap out of a WWE piñata with a neon orange baseball bat?

Or what about the first day of school, for goodness sake?

Why are those not among my best photos?

Oh, but that one with my son chilling with a visiting therapy dog is actually kind of cute.

And the handful of pictures of my boys dressed in medical gowns, gloves, and masks to visit Grandma in the ICU are actually pretty sweet, too, in some unsettling way.

Amazingly, one or two of the majestic sunsets I’d photographed managed to creep their way into the album, too.

In addition to all the fun hospital photos, there was no shortage of weird screen shots of everything from Chuck E. Cheese to Homer Simpson to a deranged-looking cartoon horse, courtesy of two crazy boys.

And a ton of funny Pokémon Go shots, mostly featuring Pidgeys and Rattatas in wacky places, like in my coffee cup. 

At a hospital, of course.

All I know is I’m afraid to brave a peak at my phone’s Best of the Year album that undoubtedly awaits.

This, evidently, was one of my better memories of recent. Oh, and hospitals are a great place to capture Pokémon, in case you were wondering.

This, evidently, was one of my better memories of recent. Oh, and hospitals are a great place to capture Pokémon, in case you were wondering.

Memory Mayhem

Memories.

They’re a double-edged sword, aren’t they?

They’re the source of our happiness and achievements… and our problems and misery.

Anyway…

Kind thanks to fellow blogger Marc Alexander Valle for nominating me for the 3 Days Quote Challenge, with the topic of Memories of Yesterday.

Because I clearly have issues playing by the rules, I opted to cram all three days’ worth of quotes into one day.

And in the spirit of this being a humor blog, I’ve embraced the challenge Comically Quirky style.

(Translation- from a slightly off-kilter, warped, and twisted perspective.)

Here we go!

dr seuss memory

(Attempting to balance a fishbowl on your head with a live fish sloshing about is probably far better suited as a distant memory, anyway. So no loss there.)

homer short term memory

(No surprise there. A donut a day will help keep Homer’s under-active brain at bay.)

minion memories

(How right you are, little minion. Keep the insanity coming!)


The rules for this challenge are simple. For the three days you just need to post a quote or if you wish you can post all three quotes on the same day.

You then nominate three other bloggers each day to participate in this challenge and inform them about it.

Don’t forget to thank the blogger who nominated you!


My three nominees:

Home for Jerks

Bacon & Oleander

The Girl from Jupiter


Nominees, you are under no obligation to accept this challenge…but there will be cake once the challenge is completed!!!

Oh crap! That adorable yellow minion just ate all the cake.

Happy Thursday, and Happy Blogging! 😉