Humorous thoughts on adulthood – thank goodness for chocolate, drinks, friends, and duck tape!

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So we are officially two weeks into living in our hometown again after 25 years in the ‘burbs. It’s kinda weird, but I’ve already realized a few of the reasons we are back on home turf, more than just raising our little girl in a small town and being close to the fam.

 

First off, I went to the locker in Hancock on Saturday, got me some dried beef and Colby cheese, drove back, went to Dollar General or “DG” as the locals call it lol, got my hooks to hold my hairdryer and was back home in a shorter amount of time than it would have taken me to even drive to Target, let alone shop and drive home! Oh, the efficiency! Yay!

 

Secondly, I’m outside Sunday trying to lasso my child back into the house when my former, I know better than to call her old, English teacher shows up at our door to welcome us home. Can I just mention how sweet that is? Now, I’m sure she has a few ulterior motives, but I’m game.

 

Third, a couple of nights ago, I had an actual conversation with my neighbors IN THEIR HOUSE! I have not hung out with neighbors just to shoot the sh** since I was in college. I feel like I should show up at their house with Domino’s pizza and Bahama Mama (if I could even find it) to celebrate!

 

Fourth, I went to pull out of my very soggy driveway yesterday morning and see a guy using a flashlight to look around on the ground in the cul de sac. No need to panic! As I suspected, he was simply gathering nightcrawlers! I love living in a place where people put a priority on fishing! Yes, ma’am.

 

Finally, I won some silent auction items at a Relay for Life event a couple of months ago in which I got babysitters for 3-hour blocks. I texted the first one this week to see if she might be available this weekend and she was! And she even sounded excited to babysit for us! Dude, if you have ever had a 2-year-old you know how damn happy that can make a person!

 

PS – we will be attending the Betterment Committee’s Murder Mystery Theater Saturday night if you’re interested, go here to buy tickets!

 

Seriously though, I will be honest and tell you that after it has rained every day for the entire time we have lived there and commuting, I was starting to have reservations… Starting to doubt my decision to load up and haul my hubby and baby out of the city. I may, or may not have, had a few meltdowns along the way, but I know in my heart, I was meant to be back home. Bon Jovi and I, we know these things. So here’s to my discovering even more great reasons to be home and here’s to all of you who continue to put up with me no matter where I live. Love you guys.

 

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What great things have you realized once you moved? Or is there something you really love about small towns or the ‘burbs that you want to share? Are you mid-life-changes and got advice for me? Bring it on!


What's your word? "Phone a friend" is completely legal on this one!

What’s your word? “Phone a friend” is completely legal on this one!

 

So have you seen those My InTent bracelets you can get? I was watching them talk about them on the Today Show and about how the guy started it as a fun project he did for his friends and for birthdays and then, because Jay-Z and Kanye happened to wear one, it has turned into a crazy big business. If you haven’t seen them, he uses this string and ties it to what looks like a washer and there’s a word etched into the washer and you tie it around your wrist. The word is supposed to be something that means something to you and that keeps you focused on what you want in life.

 

Personally, I think I probably need more than just a bracelet! But I do understand that a visual reminder you see constantly should actually help. It’s like the Fit Bit telling you that you haven’t done crap today or looking at the pile on your desk as the cue that you are behind and swamped, except this is positive.

 

So what would your word be? Do you even have any ideas?

 

I was thinking about it for me. At first, I thought FOCUS, but that kinda defeats the purpose of finding a word to focus on. Lol. So then I thought of TELOS. Telos is your ultimate object or aim or purpose in the world. If I knew what my telos was, I’d already be focused on it! Lol. I still think it would be a good option, but my husband and I were having a conversation about how we are moving back to Oakland, and he said the perfect word. He said I was the WILDCARD. And I loved it!

 

That, my friends, is what I always hope to be: the wildcard! In any given situation, I could be the difference maker. I could be the one that sways the decision. I could be the one they don’t see coming.   I could be the unexpected. I could be the unpredictable one. I could be the one that pushes it to greatness. Now what that greatness is? Please don’t ask! Because I don’t know right now, unless of course you are referring to how I add just the right amount of frosting to a brownie! Lol.

 

But I do know I like the sound of being a wildcard. I like the idea of showing you left and going right. I like the idea of being the ace in the hole you have tucked away up your sleeve when you’re out of cards. I like being the surprise at the bottom of the crackerjack box.

 

So think about it. What is your word? Or what is the fun word you really want to be about? Share this post and ask your friends on Facebook what it should be! God knows we could all use some fun posts on fb right about now (instead of those awful political ones)! Or you can just tell me in the comment section. Maybe you already have a brilliant idea on your own!

 

So tell me what you’ve got to say! I’m excited to hear it!


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So what do you want to be when you grow up?  I didn’t think I’d be asking myself that in my 40’s, but here we are!  Now, the reasonable answer is: happy.  When I allow myself to be, I truly am.  But beyond that, I want to do something in my wheelhouse.  Do you ever feel that way?  That it’s just time to do something else with your life?

Teaching has been good to me.  Hopefully, I’ve been good to a lot of people along the way.  Hopefully, I’ve helped some figure out a few things, but I have watched that Steve Harvey video a million times and, my friends, it’s time to jump as you probably saw in one of my earlier blogs.

So what do I jump to?  I think a lot of people have that run through their minds and it’s what keeps them at the job they are currently doing.  I have to admit it is completely intimidating.  How do you get the stars to align so that what you’re qualified for, what you enjoy doing, and what you can fit into your schedule all work together?  It’s nearly impossible I would guess, but that’s me – always wanting the impossible. Lol.

So as I ponder where the next leg of my trip will take me, I’ve considered these options:

  • Do I go back to school to be an interior designer or an event planner? Well, I would have to sell myself to get business.  If you know me, that’s not my forte.

 

  • I’d really like to invent medicinal cookies for kids. Chocolate chip cookies that mask the flavor and are filled with all that crappy medicine they have to take.  Okay, let’s face it, I’m not that skilled so if you steal my idea, please give me 1% when you’re rich and on Shark Tank.

 

  • I’d love to have a Holiday Inn – you know the ancient Bing Crosby movie – I’d provide outings for holidays and be free the rest of the year. I know how to make a holiday special. I promise you that!  Forget Vala’s. Hello BC’s.

 

  • I’ve thought of running a basket business for those gifting times that you don’t quite know what to do like when someone’s ex-husband dies or your best friend’s cat is chosen to be in a commercial. Awkward is my specialty. However, I think shipping would be a bitch.

 

  • I have always wanted to be a greeting card writer, but I’m not sure it would pay the big bucks I need to keep my munchkin in Nike shoes.

 

  • My best shot might actually be a copy writer/content creator. My only worry is who will hire me when my knowledge base focuses on cattle, cussing, middle schoolers, and crazy families?  Just sayin’.

 

  • Now, truth be told, it goes without saying, that I have to admit the real job I’ve always wanted. I understand it’s not mine to be had, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve always wanted to be a trophy wife.  There, I said it.  But since that isn’t happening, I need to figure out what my purpose really is.  Part of me thinks it’s probably some job I’ve never heard of because my childhood was sans internet.  Yes, I’m really that old.

 

So stay tuned.  We’ll see where this road takes me, and here’s hoping it isn’t the unemployment line and my couch with a bucket of ice cream.

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Any advice for me?  Any ideas?  Other comments?  I’m listening.


Wove you, too!

Wove you, too!

No, I promise it won’t happen every time, but it is going to happen, and you’re gonna have to put up with my “mom” moments.  Sometimes, I contemplate life as a mom, something I really never expected to be.  As a mom of a toddler, my perspective has completely changed.  Props to anybody who can handle more than one.  I hear that whole man-to-man vs. zone defense, and it makes me queasy.  I’d be in a wealth of trouble.  But let me tell you what makes a mom of a toddler happy (well, at least this mom of a toddler):

  • A long, hot shower uninterrupted. OMG! I need not say anymore.

 

  • Someone babysitting your kid and texting you that they are running a little late in dropping off your child so you have a few extra minutes before they get home. That’s like a Christmas gift wrapped up with thousands of dollars in it!

 

  • As a toddler parent, I am surprising excited about shopping for the next size. There’s probably nothing cuter than little kid clothes – they’re colorful, they’re fun, and they don’t have to fit YOU!

 

  • They would love to hear, “Oh, I am so sorry. My kid never slept either and we were so worried because he hit everyone at daycare and embarrassed us in public.”  Nobody wants to hear about how perfect someone else’s kid was and is when theirs is clearly NOT!

 

  • Another thing a toddler parent wants to hear: “Oh, your child is so well-behaved! You must be doing a great job!”  For the record, I have never heard this statement and probably never will, but I know I’d love to hear it as long as it were true.

 

  • Oh, and we love to eat our own food without sharing. Chocolate-chip cookies with milk? Yes, please.

 

  • We dream of watching an entire episode of our favorite show, and again, uninterrupted. If you’re curious, I love me some Younger on TVLand.  Love. That. Show!

 

  • But I have to admit, there’s one thing that I had no idea would make me so happy and it happened a couple of weeks ago:  my girl said, “Wove you, Mama.”  Truly might be the best words I’ve ever heard.  I melted.  And if you know me, you know I don’t melt all that often. So there it is, the sappy, non-sarcastic thing every toddler mom loves to hear.  Sure hope you’ve had the pleasure, as well.

 

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Do you have something that would make you happy as a mom or dad of a toddler, a mom of a teenager, a mom of a college graduate, etc? Let’s hear it!

Can you relate?

Got something else I need to know? Spread it.


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You know what October 1st is? If you guessed Saturday, you’re a smart ass. And I like you for it. If you said your birthday, well, happy birthday! Have another guess? It’s lots of things:

 

It is a Saturday. A Saturday in which my daughter will be attending a birthday party and I will be taking Homecoming pictures (which I happen to LOVE doing) and a day off of work. Woo-hoo to that!

 

It also happens to be the second Saturday in fall but the first in which it actually kinda feels like fall with a cool morning and a football game on TV.

 

A couple of weird facts for October 1: it was the first time Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show (RIP Carnac) and it was the date of the first state fair (it was in Massachusetts- seriously) and we all know I love a state fair!!!

 

So what else might it be? Have you guessed yet? Are you thinking it must be the anniversary of my kissing a frog or the day my kid walked on water or National Eat Peanut-Butter-Fudge-Ice-Cream Day? Well, I’d totally be on board for the ice cream day, but that’s not it.

 

Give up?

 

Let me tell you then. October 1st is the first day I buy Christmas gifts for people because I know the gift receipt will make it past Christmas if they need to return it! I know, I know, I’m a total cheese. And I’m completely okay with it.

 

If you know me, you know I love to buy gifts, especially Christmas gifts. Do I have as much time as I used to do so? No, but I still love it! There’s no better feeling than knowing you came up with the perfect gift or the funniest gift or a gift someone truly needed or well… you get the picture. I love to buy gifts and give them!

 

That being said, I also understand that what I think is way cool and perfect doesn’t mean the person I’m giving it to will agree. That, or they have their sights on something I didn’t even know existed and they want to put the money towards that, and, well, I completely understand. Some people might be offended. I am not. If anything, I will be heart-broken that I didn’t do a good enough job shopping for them. I take pride in Christmas.

 

So while all of you are humbugging on me, I’ll just be over here on Amazon making Christmas miracles happen.

 

Happy October 1st, everybody!

And happy shopping, too, of course! 🙂

 

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Already know what you’ll be shopping for? Got something else I need to know about October 1st?   Have a gift I gave you that you want to comment on? Bring on da comments, people! J


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Pasty skin? Blood-shot eyes? Just rolled out of bed fashion statement? I thought I had that look going for me pre-child. I realize it was only the beginning. I officially understand what they mean when people say they “lose themselves” when they have kids. I have a whole new admiration for the likes of Nancy Finnegan with her 9 children. I have one and I feel rockstar if I manage to get moisturizer on and text a friend all in one day!

 

I feel bad for those people that do lose themselves. I totally get how it happens. Yes, I may be in total denial, but I feel I haven’t really lost myself so much as hid her away for a few years until she’s allowed out to play again. And I admit it has happened. I know sometimes people don’t realize it’s happening to them. I realized. I just couldn’t stop it. I know they say you shouldn’t let it happen, but well, they either have a lot more money than I do to pay for a manny or they were kinda boring and didn’t have much of a life to begin with. That’s the conclusion I have come to.

 

Here’s the thing: I know you are supposed to keep some of your hobbies and your girls’ nights out and your “me” time reading 50 Shades of Grey on the side. I get it. What I don’t get is how you make that happen. There’s just not enough time in the day to write a blog, take some pictures, read a book, call my friend, check facebook, and still make breakfast, lunch, dinner, do laundry, pick up the 5000 wrappers my daughter took out of the trashcan, read her books, play airplane with her, and do our daily neighborhood watch from the top of the couch. Just sayin’. I admit defeat. And when it comes to whether I screw her up for life or give up my chapter of smut, I ere on the side of a non-messed up child. Now, I can’t make any promises, but at least I’m trying.

 

Everyone tells me it will get easier. And maybe it will. If nothing else, I’m sure there will be practices that I can sit in Baa Baa Black Sheep (our black Honda Pilot) and check Facebook on my phone. In the meantime, I am sad that I can’t bring you a regularly scheduled blog and the ratio of diaper-changes to strawberry daiquiris is pretty one-sided,  but when she pats me on the cheek and gives me a hug, well, I remember that I’ve made worse mistakes along the way.

 

Should you do what I have done? No. Not if you can help it. If you can’t help it and you know it’s happening, well, join the club. We don’t actually meet because we don’t have time, but we do feel sympathy for those in the sinking ship with us.

 

Oh, P.S. – if you’re feeling bad for me, feel free to offer to be a free babysitter. I won’t say no. ☺


Blogging takes backseat - see photo for reason

Blogging takes backseat – see photo for reason

You know how they name that guy Flounder on Animal House? I’m identifying all too well with him.

I used to know who I was.  I may not have always been a very good me, but I was me.  I was an aspiring if not progressing writer, blogger, photographer, teacher, aunt, wife, and gunner.  I think I have officially turned into a mom and a mom alone.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t take that lightly.  It’s a huge effing accomplishment to just survive motherhood, if you ask me!  I can’t freaking imagine a mother out there who doesn’t agree!  In fact, I now fully understand why Mother’s Day was created!
I remember when I was on maternity leave and Jimmy Fallon had just had his second child and he said his greatest accomplishment was being a dad.  No shit.  I’ve walked beans with a bean hook.  I have washed the balls of a bull.  I have worked in the hood and eaten at the Burger King on 30th and Ames at night.  In all of my life, NOTHING has been scarier, harder, or more challenging than being a parent.  Wait. I take that back..  The damn rope in PE was much harder.  I never could do that damn thing.  But other than that – hardest task ever!  Is it worth it?  Hell to the yeah.
As Mother’s Day approaches, I feel like I should say what no one else has the guts to.  Everyday, I hear people spouting off about how glorious motherhood is and how it is the most rewarding thing in the world and it makes them glow.  Well, I call bullshit.  It is the most frustrating, guilt-ridden, time-consuming thing ever.  Do I love her smiles, giggles, and blowing bubbles?  Most definitely.  When she’s sick, do I feel helpless and like the worst mom ever?  Um, yeah, but when she grabs for my hand when she’s coughing, nothing makes me feel more needed.  Do I feel like I’m failing miserably at everything else?  Most definitely.  It’s hard to be a mom.  It’s exhausting and terrifying and everything in between.  I’ve been through more bacon, ice cream, and chocolate than I care to think about.  I love my daughter dearly.  You couldn’t pry her out of my cold, dead hands, but parenting is not for the weak and pathetic.  Holy crap on a diaper, a shoe, and a cracker!
I saw how much work my sisters put in.  I saw that Carol Brady desperately needed Alice.  I put off being a parent for years telling my spouse it was too hard and I wouldn’t be good at it.    He changed my mind and thank God for that. However, people be warned, if you texted me, emailed me, called me, or told me 2700 times about something, I’m probably still going to forget it!  If you knew me pre-baby, you know I am a control freak, anal retentive, on-top-of-things kind of person.  That blew up on me like a zit on an oily teenager!  I have forgotten meetings I was in charge of.  I have paid bills via credit card so they wouldn’t be late.  I have gone multiple weeks without shaving my legs.  I have a list of tasks longer than Santa’s and my only excuse is a 16 pound slobbering, chattering squiggleworm that trumps everything.  But here’s what I’ve concluded:  after spending all of second semester trying to finish Helen Fielding’s Mad About the Boy, I realized she was speaking to me, that my focus on little girl and my inability to keep up with anything else was the answer.
The quote was:  “I just sat there and thought, ‘This will just have to do.  Me.  The kid(s).  Just let the days flow by.’  I didn’t feel sad, really.  I couldn’t remember the feeling of not having to do the next thing.  Not having to squeeze the last second out of the day.  Or find out why the fridge was making that noise.  
And I’d love to say something marvellous came out of it.  But it didn’t, really.  My bum probably got fatter or something.  But I sensed a sort of mental clarity emerging.  A sense that what I needed to do now was find some peace.”
Exactly.  Maybe I was trying too hard to be too many things… Or maybe I wasn’t…Maybe that’s just who I am…mom or not.  So this is me – the new me – squeezing the life out of the last seconds of the day – trying to return to the living, blogging world and the working mom world and the creative-for-a-cause-in-Oakland world and the student world as I try to take classes to make more money at my job and the wife world who makes sugar-free chocolates just because OR, on any given day, I might be the complete contradiction because, well, that seems to be how I’m rolling these days and I might be in my just-saying-no-because-I-have-a-kid world because, ultimately, I may be going back to my hectic ways, but she’s still going to matter most.
So should you be prepared for me to screw up some of it?  Should you expect me to forget to pick up milk or not text you back?  Should you expect fewer blogs than the old Bolton Carley?  Yes – on all fronts.  Should you still expect to laugh at me and with me?  I sure as hell hope so.  And in the meantime, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who’ve made it through!  You deserve a chocolate bar and a cool mill.  Sorry, I can’t give it to you.  I’m too busy Spray ‘n Washing spit-up!
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Do you have a piece of advice?  Do you have an epic fail or success due to your children to share?  Do you have something to say about me being dumb enough to still try to overachieve?  Well, let’s hear it.