Friday, May 24, 2013

TMI Fridays: You're My Favorite Today


Today I am interviewing Michelle Newman from You're my favorite today.. She tells me that it is "A Blog About Nothing", which clearly means she is secretly Seinfeld. Michelle wrote one of my favorite essays in I Just Want To Pee Alone called "Don't Stop Believin'". It's a clever and hilarious look into the sex life of parents. Seriously, her essay alone is worth the price of the book.

After chitty-chatting about Appletinis, life aspirations, scary talk show hosts, fancy tailed rodents and Jazz apples, I discovered that Michelle and I have a lot in common:
  • We refer to our offspring as Thing 1 and Thing 2. 
  • We have experienced bipolar spring weather this year in our respective states (Minnesota and Colorado). 
  • We randomly know some of the same people. 
  • We shop at Target.
  • Neither of us can tell time while inside of the Target.
  • We loathe the squirrels in our yards.
  • We wrote stories for the fabulous and funny book I Just Want to Pee Alone.

Michelle and I had an appointment to chat for this interview. We both missed our scheduled talk time because we had simultaneously been sucked into the glorious, tantalizing abyss that is Super Target. It happens all the time people.

Important things happen every day at Target; particularly with the hats and sunglasses.

This is Michelle at Target. Michelle is awesomesauce.








This is my Thing 1 at Target.


This is my Thing 2 at Target.




Fun fact, Michelle lives near the mecca that is the Target mothership. I live in a low-key city that is home to two Target stores. We decided that practically every women in each of our respective cities is wearing some season of Target at all times. Michelle is so Target-centric that she has a burning desire to conduct an experiment to buy ONLY from Target for one year. If someone completes the task, they would win FREE POPCORN! FOREVER!

TARGET TARGET TARGET. Target should be paying both of us for this post. There. I'm done. PENIS.

When we put our groceries away and finally caught up, I learned that Michelle is bubbly, chatty and charming. She was really nervous to have me drill her with my hard hitting questions, so I took it easy on her with low key promptings like "Tell me how you really feel about your Mother in Law." and "What is your favorite sexual position?", because my mom told me that I should always make everyone around me feel at ease.


Johi: What was your start as a writer?

Michelle: As a kid I always wrote. It was the part of school in which I did well. Although I haven't taught in 17 years, I was an elementary school teacher and taught 4th and 5th grade.  I loved teaching writing and always wanted to write children's stories.

A little over a year ago, I was sick of the voices in my head. I had total Mom-Brain. I would have dreams about writing. I needed to release my inner dialog, so last March I started a blog. By fall I had found my nitch. Blogs are so great for instant gratification. People immediately read what you write and you get feedback. Plus it has given me something to do other than go to Target and make grilled cheese sandwiches. Writing has given me back a part of me that I didn't even realize was missing. I now have more of a purpose.


Johi: Wow. Exactly. That was poetic. How many Appletinis did you suck down before this interview?

Michelle: Zero!


Johi: How do you feel about squirrels?

Michelle: Squirrels make me crazy. They ate all of my pumpkins and all of my sunflowers. They pee all over everything on my deck. I have had to sit on my deck wearing a bicycle helmet because of all the acorns falling. It's dangerous!


Johi: I'm going to use that acorn line the next time I am wearing my helmet around town. My husband has been particularly irritating lately. What is the most annoying thing that your husband does?

Michelle: Oh. My. Gawd. SNORES. Every single night! It started about a year and a half ago. It sounds like he is strangling a cat. Of course he falls asleep instantly and it takes me so long to turn off my brain at night.

Johi: I feel your pain and raise you a chainsaw. Who frightens you more: Martha Stewart, Dr. Phil or Tyra Banks?

Michelle: Martha Stewart. No one has their shit together that much. Perfect people scare me.

Johi: Plus, she's been to prison so she probably knows how to shank someone. Who's your celeb free pass?

Michelle: I have a lot! I love the 80's guys like Jason Bateman and Rob Lowe. George Clooney, obviously. He is so devilishly handsome, plus he is older than me to it makes it better than my inappropriate illegal crush on Zac Effron, or "Zeffron".

So once I got a poster of George Clooney in People magazine, like the ones you would get in Tiger Beat. I posted it on the wall on my side of the bed and left the room. When I came back in, my husband had moved it over the headboard to the center of the bed. So obviously, he's more than okay with my crush.

Johi: He should have put it on the ceiling for maximum effect. OKAY! It's GAME TIME! Today we are playing Marry, Fuck or Kill. Here are your choices: Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern and Ceelo Green. GO!

Michelle: Dang it! Okay. 
Marry- Howard Stern because he is hilarious, he has awesome stories and a ton of money.
Kill- Rush Limbaugh, because someone needs to.
Fuck- Ceelo. Even though he has tiny T-Rex arms and dresses like an Oompa Loompa and ONLY if I were heavily intoxicated.

Johi: I think his cat is heavily intoxicated. If my first choice falls through, will you room with me at BlogHer?

Michelle: That's so nice of you. Thank you. Lovely to be a second-choice.

Johi: No problem. I don't snore unless I'm pregnant. Tell me how you REALLY feel about your Mother-In-Law.

Michelle: She passed away years ago. She was lovely.

Johi: God, I'm an asshole. Hey! Let's do the Favorites Game! 
What's your favorite Ice Cream flavor?

Michelle: Coffee Chocolate Chip.

Johi: What is your favorite personal possession?

Michelle: My engagement ring, which I don't wear anymore because I traded up for a nicer one! But it is still my favorite!

Johi: What is your favorite junk food?

Michelle: Lay's Sharp Cheddar Kettle Chips. 

Johi: What is your favorite place on Earth?

Michelle: Our cabin a couple of hours away that sits on a little lake. It's the place where I'm most relaxed and happy. 

Johi: What is your favorite song?

Michelle: "100 Years" by Five for Fighting. It makes me cry. And "Good Riddance" by Green Day. Ditto for the crying. 

Johi: What's your favorite sexual position?

Michelle:  Since both of my kids might read this.... obviously, I've only had sex twice.

Johi: Who's your favorite today?

Michelle: Oh, Johi, you lovely lady you, that's a silly question! Who do you think? Obviously it was the barrista at the Target Starbucks who gave me extra whip on my Frappuccino. 

Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why?

Michelle: MINE! Ha! No, I kid. I loved so many of them, but Toulouse and Tonic's "A Stranger in the Land of Twigs and Berries" was so funny. I grew up with a sister and only have daughters so that was so hilariously foreign to me. I loved Meredith Spidel's "Love, Tears and a Few Scattered Ashes" too. 

Johi: Like I always sometimes never say, the difference between tragedy and comedy is time.


Check out more of Michelle on her blog! She was also recently In The Powder Room talking about her lady garden, and she hangs out on way too much on facebook. Pick up your copy of I Just Want To Pee Alone to read her musical themed sexessay. It's truly fantastic.







Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Socks and Sangrias (Alternately titled: Another Evening with Brock and Johi)

I sighed and plopped down on the couch. "Thank you Lord, for summertime and sangria."

The kids were in bed. It was the first moment all day that no one was talking at me- demanding things from me- trashing my home/yard/patio as I turned my back to load the dishwasher. I closed my eyes, breathed deep into my belly for the first time in four months and took a sip of burgundy chilled deliciousness. After another twelve hour shift with two kids and no naps, I was cooked. And the week had just begun...

I opened my eyes.

There they were, in my direct line of vision; Brock's socks... on floor. The balled up, greasy, stinky, dirty work socks sat on the carpet I had just vacuumed. At the end of a long day, during my one hour of relaxation before I closed my eyes and started all over again the following day, I was left to stare at my hard-working husband's used up man stockings. Seriously, man? Seriously???

Not even three sangrias can erase the irritation of skanky ass work socks with some dog hair encrusted tape stuck on the bottom. I couldn't stop staring at those nasty used socks. Then the unthinkable happened. The socks were ruining my happy sangria buzz. 

Finally (after approximately 42 seconds), I turned to Brock and firmly said, "We have a problem. Your socks are on the rug. Again. Can you please pick up your socks?" I added, as a warning of sorts, "They are pissing me off."

I looked at his gnarly feet and vowed to teach my sons about pedicures.

Brock picked up the discarded socks, wadded them into a tighter ball and shoved them under his thigh, which rested on the couch one foot away from me.

He looked me dead in the eye and said, "No, YOU have a problem."

I sat in stunned silence. My eyebrow raised so high it was as if The Good Lord himself was pulling it to the heavens with fishing line and a barbed hook. Then my face recoiled. I think my neck ate my chin. My right eye finally started to twitch. Stabbity stab stab...

Then Brock said, "It's my socks. They're on the floor. Again. That's your problem."

..... for a moment, I thought I heard the voices of angels singing.

Then I laughed, "You're right. That IS my problem."

Then he gallantly said " AND I WILL PUT THESE SOCKS IN THE LAUNDRY!"

I asked, in all seriousness, "Do you know where that is?"

He got up off the couch and headed to our bedroom, in the proper direction of the dirty clothes hamper and I felt... was it hope? Hope of a brighter future? Yes. I heard him say, "Right here!"

Then he questioned himself and muttered, "Is this the dirty laundry basket?"

I said, "Yeeeeeessssss."

Then he threw them on the floor next to the laundry basket.

I'm going to need more sangria.



Here's the recipe!

Johi's Sangria
Get a fancy schmancy pitcher. Mine is from Wal-Mart. Pour in:

  • a shit ton of inexpensive red wine from the box siting on your countertop
  • a lemon, not moldy, sliced and de-seeded
  • a lime, not brown, sliced and de-seeded
  • a tiny orange, it was sketchy, I will not lie, sliced (a large fresh orange would have been lovely)
  • the rest of the almost furry strawberries that had been sitting in the fridge for who-knows-how-long, topped and sliced
  • a splash of orange juice
  • a splash of pink lemonade (because it looked pretty and I love lemonade)
  • a generous dose of apricot brandy


Mix together into a glass container and pretend like you are going to put it into the fridge to "cure" overnight. Fuck that noise, I immediately poured mine into a glass of ice and topped with lemon-lime soda.

Drink liberally until husband transforms into that charming man that you once married.

Peace, Love and Laundry Baskets That Even a Man Can Locate,
Johi

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Still Crazy After All These Years



There's something I haven't told you.

I'm a married woman,

this you know.

But I love someone else.

He's tall, muscular and athletic.

I can't help myself.

Yes, my husband knows.

Yet our love is undeniable, so Brock simply accepts it.

There's nothing he can do.

It's love.

Plus, my love and I have been together for a long time.

Eleven years.

Two years longer than "Brock-N-Johi".

He doesn't live with me anymore 
(my love, not Brock. His dirty socks are on my living room rug right now),

but I will get him back soon.

Very soon.

And together, we will live happily ever after...

or until one of us gets old and croaks.

That seems to be how true love works.


Do you want to see a picture?
I thought so.
He's so handsome.

Prepare yourself.




This is my Gus. I love him.


The best view. Evah. He almost always listens to me and he doesn't talk back.


Meant to be... he's not as bored as he looks. I promise.
He's just holding a little grudge. He'll get over it as soon as he comes home.
To me.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No, I'm not medicated. Why do you ask?

I love lists. Sometimes, when my life feels out of control, I simply make a little list for a bit o' organization. Also, I bake. Then I eat everything that I just baked. Here is a list of things that make me suspicious, for no other reason than the fact that I refrained from stabbing anyone this week and dammit, I deserve a list! The banana bread was delicious; particularly with Nutella.
I'll call this list....

THINGS THAT MAKE ME SUSPICIOUS

  • Any meat that does not require refrigeration, including but not limited to meat that comes in a can.
  • "Processed Cheese Food"
  • People that respond in angry fashions on the Internet. Particularly the ones who cannot spell. If u cant spel, no1 cairs whut u R saeyin.
  • Men walking alone in street clothes on running paths.
  • Happy clappy churchy people.
  • People who claim that farting is offensive.
  • Full moons.
  • The people that animals don't like.
  • Meat that is on sale.
  • Cargo vans.
  • Clowns.
  • Martha Stewart (this is a teaser for this week's TMI Fridays interview).
  • Mouth breathers (I wrote this because my husband is doing it RIGHT NOW and I want to stab stabbity stabby stab. But I won't, because I'm a fucking lover, not a hater. *cough*)
  • People who claim to be grammar Nazis. I don't want them to read what I write or listen to me speak, unless they are going to edit this shiz for free.
  • Spell Check and AutoCorrect.
  • Hammer pants. The M.C. kind.
  • The weird brown mole on my toe.
  • Cheap shoes and cheaper bras.
  • Boy bands.

Or any combination of the above.

Here is a picture of my husband. I added the caption. I'm sure that you would have never guessed that.

I'm not wearing pants.



For balance, I will make another list of things that make me comfortable. I'll get all creative and call it...

THINGS THAT MAKE ME COMFORTABLE

  • Smiles and humor.
  • Vodka, wine and beer.
  • A footrest and a blanket.
  • The noise from an oscillating fan.
  • My mouth breathing husband.
  • Kisses and hugs from my kids.
  • Cowboy boots.
  • Green grass, tall trees and gardens.
  • Horses.
  • Books.
  • Pickup trucks.
  • Long, hot showers.
  • Drinks on the patio.
  • A night out with the girls.
  • Shoe shopping.
  • Money.
  • Rain showers.
  • Photography.
  • My boyfriend pillow.
  • Food that I don't have to cook.
  • Food that I make from scratch.
  • Laughter.
  • The quiet, simple country life; complete with sushi that delivers to my door.
  • Long walks with Red Dog.
  • Remembering to BREATHE.
  • A little dose of tough love.
Or any combination of the above.



Happy Hump Day.

What would you add to these lists?

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi

Friday, May 10, 2013

TMI Fridays: Life on Peanut Layne


You know when people use the phrase "totes adorbs" and you kind of want to punch them in their cakehole? Well, Kristen from Life on Peanut Layne is TOTES ADORBS so you're just going to have to smack me square in the kisser.

Seriously, if I could stick her in my pocket and take her everywhere with me, just to hear her take on the situation, I would. She looks tiny and I have big pockets. I'll bet it would work.

See? TOTES ADORBS.


Kristen is a busy wife and mom of five kids, whose ages range from 16 to 3. Let's all take a moment and let that soak in. FIVE KIDS from 16 to 3. I know people that can't even keep houseplants alive and this woman is raising five people! I want to give her an award for that accomplishment alone. Plus, she says things like "kick them in the taco" and her tagline is "Providing laughter, entertainment and birth control to the entire neighborhood." If that doesn't make you want to learn more about her, I don't know what will.

She is a co-author in the fabulous book, I Just Want to Pee Alone, which would make a perfect Mother's Day gift for anyone that you know who has boobs and a sense of humor. Her essay, "The Mom-Chauffer", made me LOL. Literally, I LOLed. Now, Kristen confided in me that she often writes LOL when she doesn't actually LOL, but I never do; I'm always honest with my LOL's... and she made me LOL.

I also may have snorted.

Kristen is a self-proclaimed junk food junkie. She also told me that she is illiterate, but I don't believe her because she had to Google search Gary Busey and the only person home with her was her three-year-old (who I'm pretty sure can't read yet) and she found Busey very quickly. She grew up in a small town in Oregon that is know for its stench because of a paper factory. She now lives in Portland and loves having the easy access to Voodoo Donuts. Smelly factory.... donuts.... I'd pick the donuts too.

Kristen is hilarious, honest and in her own word, an "over-sharer".  Since you are here, on my over-sharing blog, I know that you are going to love her. She told me regarding getting pregnant at 18, "In high school, I was the most likely to succeed, not the most likely to get knocked up. I went right from kid to mom." It's okay, in high school I thought that I would be rich by now, living on a horse ranch in Montana and flying to Europe every year. I suppose things don't always work out according to our own plans. What counts now is our awesomeness.... right? Yeah.


Johi: How and when did you first start writing?


Kristen: I started writing as an elementary school child. I grew up wanting to be a writer. I don't know what changed... I think I got hooked on the TV show Rescue 911. I wanted to be a paramedic even though I am afraid of blood. I went to school to be an x-ray technician and a certified medical assistant, but I wanted to puke on people whenever I had to draw their blood. It wasn't going to work out. The last thing that patients want when they are having blood drawn is for the medical assistant to vomit on them. 
My mom was a teacher and she wanted me to be a teacher, but I quickly realized that was not for me. I ended up back at writing.

Johi: What is your dream job?

Kristen: That's hard. I think I would be doing what I'm doing right now but getting paid a crap ton of money for it.


Johi: What is your worst job?

Kristen: Working at Taco Bell. I cleaned the bathrooms. That was gross. That is not a job I would recommend. The things people do in public restrooms is horrifying.

Johi: Did you clean the bathrooms before or after you handled the food?

Kristen: Haha! I worked at the drive-up window. I handled the food bags, but I think I washed my hands! I bleached my entire body every day after work. I quit after three weeks.


Johi: What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: I'm terrified of the dark. I would sleep with the light on if my husband would let me. As a kid, I went to this low budget creepy place called the Enchanted Forest. It was fairy tales/Mother Goose stuff. The was a rabbit hole cave that was totally dark and I have a memory of going into it and my cousin started screaming. I've been afraid of the dark ever since.


Johi: Beach, mountains or prairie?

Kristen: Beach!

Johi: Cake, pie or ice cream?

Kristen: Cake. Definitely.


Johi: What is scarier- the Clown from It, Gary Busey or Marilyn Manson?

Kristen: The clown. Clowns are really creepy.

Johi: I agree. Hey, what time is it? IT'S GAME TIME! Today we are playing Marry, Fuck or Kill! Your choices are.... wait for it.... the Clown from It, Gary Busey or Marilyn Manson!

Kristen: Ooooo. Those are my choices? I don't know who Gary Busey is... *googles Gary Busey*...ew!
Kill: Gary Busey.
Marilyn Manson probably fucks upside down...
The It Clown is looking like the best option all around.


Johi: What is your favorite thing to eat and drink?

Kristen: That's a hard one. I like just about everything, Okay, this is probably gross to most people, but I am secretly obsessed with Cadbury Cream Eggs and Junior Mints. As far as drinks: I'm a Diet Pepsi ADDICT. I will drive to the store on a school night if we are out. I would go crazy if I didn't get a Diet Pepsi. My husband has made emergency Diet Pepsi runs for me.

Johi: That sounds intense. You probably should never try meth. Next question: what is your least favorite house chore?

Kristen: Mopping the floors.

Johi: What celeb is your "free pass"?

Kristen: This is going to sound weird, but Jonathan Hillstrand from The Time Bandit on Deadliest Catch. Guys with mullets are typically not my type but he's... rugged.... sexy.

Johi: Probably a real man, I assume.

Kristen: Hell yes.


Johi: Would you rather have a person mop your floors until the end of time, win a 15 year supply of Cadbury Eggs and Diet Pepsi, or spend a month, child-free, on a beach with Jonathan Hillstrand?

Kristen: All of them, but I would eventually miss my kids. Just for a month though, right? I could probably handle that. Although I should probably say Diet Pepsi, in case my husband reads this.


Johi: Best of all time: Movie, Moment. Name, Book, and Jelly Belly Flavor?

Kristen: MovieElf- I love Will Ferrell

Moment: Of course, I should say the birth of my children, but each time that was a painful moment. Do I sound like a selfish bitch if I say, "Being in Kauai for a week"? Maybe I should pick a heartfelt Hallmark moment with my kids. I'm undecided. I should really think of something inspirational instead of saying, "When I got my iphone."

Name: My husband and I loved Layne. It is one of my favorites. My husband wanted Helmut after the band. Our parents told us that was child abuse to name our kid Helmut. I'm partial to Peanut. Our youngest always says, "I Peanut". He thinks his real name is Peanut. It's a tie between Peanut and Layne.

Book: I Just Want to Pee Alone, of course! I also love Carolyn Coppela's Minivans, Meltdowns and Merlot. I don't get a chance to read much. Maybe that is why I'm not as well-spoken as the other bloggers. I mostly read stuff like Goodnight Freaking Moon. People are probably going to think, "A blogger who doesn't read- OMG- IS SHE ILLITERATE?"

Jelly Belly Flavor: Sour Apple. The big jelly beans- red. Is that cherry?

Johi: Let's just say it is Red Dye #2 flavor.

Kristen: That explains a lot. Maybe that is why I can't read.


Johi: Who inspires you?

Kristen: So many people, but I was always inspired by Rosanne Barr. She is one of my favorite comedians and actresses. I'm a huge Rosanne fan. 


Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone and why?

Kristen: They are all hilarious; I love things about each of them. RachRiot's "My Awkward Period" was my favorite though. I've had many embarrassing bathroom moments with my kids. She is so quick witted and funny. She should have her own show. Don't tell her, but for the longest time I thought her name was RatchRiot. 

Johi: I won't say a word.

Get to know more of Kristen from Life on Peanut Layne on her blog, facebook and twitter. Read all 36 hilarious essays in I Just Want to Pee Alone and tell us which one is your favorite and why! 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Snapped... the Spanx edition

Dude, is this week over yet?

It all started last weekend when Brock and I were planning Thing 2's 3rd birthday party. When I say "Brock and I" and "planning" in the same sentence, I mean ME- just me. Always just me. Of course in my mind, I was thinking about the cupcakes and the drinks and the party favors and the plates and the napkins and the party activities and cleaning the muddy ponies and picking up the dog poop up out of the grass and preparing our much neglected backyard for over 20 children and their parents. Thing 2 requested a pinata, which needed to be purchased and filled. Streamers and balloons needed to be secured. The gifts still needed to be purchased. I was also planning on pony rides, painting faces and a pin the tail on the donkey station to entertain the kiddos. People would probably come into the house so I needed to clean that space as well,  particularly the bathroom so that it didn't smell like little boy urine like it does all the time these days.

Brock, on the other hand, was thinking about a hot tub. Specifically, the hot tub that our neighbors gifted to us because they could no longer use it. His man brain was all wrapped around using his man tractor to move the massive eight man hot tub into the correct location, and cleaning the 50 jets that came with it- because you know how imperative a hot tub is to a three year old's birthday party. It reminded me of the last time the we hosted a party. I couldn't find him. Things needed to be done. So so many things needed to be done and Brock was MIA. Finally I discovered his location. He was in the barn making Lincoln Logs for our children. As I scrubbed and raked and swept and prepared food for 30 people, my husband was in Santa's fucking workshop, cutting tiny building toys out of wood. You know... because fresh Lincoln Logs are imperative to entertaining 30 people. A little dog poo on the shoe never hurt anyone! Certainly a little bird poo all over your lawn furniture wouldn't be a problem either, right? Clean house, schmean house! Food, what? We can all just make a tiny cabin out of some freshly cut wood!

After I delicately pointed out the error in Brock's thinking, I managed to get him on board with 80% of the pre-party planning and he went to work on the yard. In addition to cleaning and setting up all of the things, I spent six hours making cupcakes. SIX. (Note to self: buy cupcakes next time). The celebration was successful. Thing 2 turned three. Faces were painted, ponies were ridden, tails were pinned, cake was eaten and we sent everyone home on a sugar high. My sister stayed a little late and told me all about a project that she needed me to do for her ASAP. Brock, exhausted after being forced to "think like Johi" all weekend, fell asleep at 7:45. I stayed up and worked on some writing until 10:45. That was Sunday.

My Monday started with waking up to discover that my neck had gone out in the night. Then I herded the children around to their various appointed places during the day, which included picking up Thing 1's $86 T-Ball uniform. Because of our hectic schedule,Thing 2 skipped his nap... for the third day in a row. That is never a good situation.

It was worth the hassle and the dough just for this
image of total cuteness.


The next day started for the boys and I with a trip to the dentist, where I ended up crying in the chair because a whickety whacked neck makes me either angry or emotional. Apparently, this time, we went with emotional. I ran home to prepare the yard for a pony tutorial that I was hosting for my son's class. About twenty people showed up in my yard and I attempted to inform a group of preschoolers all about ponies. Of course, it rained in the middle of the presentation and Black Dog (who was locked in the barn), freaked out and tried to claw her way out (you know, acid rain being such a problem and all). When I realized what had happened, she had succeeded in breaking a piece of the log siding in two and had her nose and front leg almost through to "safety". Here is my question for all you dog whisperers out there: how is OUTSIDE in the rain better than INSIDE?

The next day was greeted with cloudy skies, the grocery store and a trip to the chiropractor. I had hired my babysitter to hang with the Things in the afternoon so that I could write and go to the cave doctor solo. My neck was fixed but I was exhausted after my adjustment, so I decided to take half an hour walk to try to revitalize myself. I threw on some shorts, donned my headphones and bolted from the house. While I was out in the natural area, attempting to feel human again, storm clouds rolled over and some aggressive wind kicked up. Then the rain attacked. Then the rain turn to hail. I bolted for the trees where I found a discarded plastic trash bag. Immediately I wondered why it was there and my brain drifted to how many body parts could fit in one trash bag. But the rain/hail/wind was crashing onto my head and whipping at my flesh so I ignored my gut. I also ignored the mold on the bag as I picked it up and put it over my head. Then I hid in the trees and desperately dialed my babysitter to please come and pick me up. She had to wake up Thing 2, who had just gone down for his nap. Then I felt horribly guilty. Needless to say it was a very relaxing experience for me. 

The trash bag is still in my truck.

Then, to top it off, I got to go to the crotch doctor! Holla!

The nurse took my blood pressure, and I was certain it would be high, even though I am always barely alive according to the blood pressure machiney-thingy. I have been agitated and clenching my jaw and exhausted and bitchy for the last.... hmmmm ... 15 years or so. I figured at some point my type A personality and inability to relax properly would kick in and elevate my blood pressure.

The nurse looked at me and said," 98 over 60." 

I asked, "That's low, isn't it?"

She said,"It is low. Very low."

I said,"I'm surprised it's so low."

She asked, "Why is that?"

I said, "Because I'm an asshole."

Then she laughed and I knew she was 'my people'.

Then I was probed and went home and spent an hour making a delicious dinner. Chicken enchilada casserole was a big hit with the adults in the house. However, my children must have believed that I was attempting to feed them hog slop by the way they turned their noses up at the meal.

I awoke today to my little Taurus Thing 2 fully embracing his new three-year old bull personality. Let me just say that it was a delightful morning, particularly the part where he spent ten minutes whining, crying and hollering in timeout. Then I gathered up the boys and took them back to the dentist for their cleaning and checkup! Naturally, Thing 1 was a perfect patient and Thing 2 wouldn't let any cleaning tool come near his mouth.

All the while I had gotten dressed into a cute black shirt and discovered what wasn't so cute was my giant mom gut hanging over the waste of my jeans. Ugh. I made an effort to contain the Beast that is my waistline and I donned my black Spanx tank top. In an epic battle of gut verses Spanx, my belly proved more powerful, as the the Spanx spent the morning rolling up into a fetal position until it was resting "comfortably" just under my boobs. Then the children came home with a bag of "fun" from their checkup and played dentist on each other, where Thing 2 was the perfect patient for Thing 1. 

I don't think the red eye is from the flash today;
I believe it is from only one nap in five days.


All of this made me realize two things: 

1. Spanx is the work of the devil and has no right on an irritated woman's body- so clearly there's no place in my life for it. Ever.

and

2. Thank goodness I did not take the children to the gynecologist with me, because I really don't need them re-enacting that type of visit.

I have officially been thoroughly probed this week and none of it was the enjoyable kind. I'm done. Please say a prayer for me that BOTH of my children nap today and that my husband knows to stay on his side of the bed and maybe occasionally throw me a piece of chocolate or an Advil.

Peace, Love and Unicorns,
Johi



*What was the best and worst part of your week?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Never send a "fungi" to do a woman's job.

I had just birthed my second child and felt roughly like a mangy, parasitic wildebeest that had been chased relentlessly by a hungry lion. As much "magic" as fresh motherhood holds, there is another reality that is a sore, oozy, swollen, seeping, flappy skinned situation. Basically, unless you are one of the fortunate few that slips on your pre-pregnancy jeans and wears them out of the hospital, new mother's bodies do not resemble anything that we recognize as our own.

P.S. If you are one of those skinny new moms, please know that the rest of us hate you a little. Even if you are super nice and save kittens and shit.

Pretty? Feminine? Sexy? Not so much.
Oh, and my hair totally looked like her tail.
image from:
http://www.wildlifesafari.info/wildebeest_blue.html


Recovering from a C-section, nursing a new baby, sleep deprivation, taking care of the house, cooking and entertaining an almost three year old are all manageable... on their own. Doing them all together is sort of like wrangling five feral cats at the veterinarian's office and carrying a 50 lb bag of dogfood on one shoulder while something from Billy Ray Cyrus' mullet collection is stuck on repeat at volume 11.

This is where the spouse steps in to pick up the slack.

Since he lacks mammary glands, my husband quickly became the diaper wrangler, the errand runner and the grocery getter.

One day, on his way out to run errands, my kind-hearted groom looked at his bedraggled, baggy eyed, matted haired, formerly sexy bride and cautiously asked me, "Can I get you anything?"

I sniffed the baby's bottom to check for poo, tucked an delinquent strand of greasy hair behind my ear, pulled at the waist of my giant underwear and mumbled, "Probably."

I'm certain that in that moment, his carnal desire for me was at an all time high.

"What do you need?" he asked, almost at a whisper.

I looked at my rough, dry, ignored feet and said, "My heels are really dry. Could you find me some lotion for my feet?" Then I continued, "I would LOVE a thick, luxurious foot cream- something to make my feet look pretty and feel soft. I need a little pampering and those are the only part of me that have any hope for normalcy right now because the rest has gone to hell."

"Foot Cream. Check!" he said as he bolted for the door.

I spent the next two plus hours (because that is the minimum amount of time it takes my husband to run an errand) fantasizing about expensive foot cream. I wondered where he would go to pick out something special for me... maybe Aveda? Perhaps he would visit the Elizabeth Arden counter at Macy's? Maybe he would go to Whole Foods and get something made from humanely harvested organic oils, smelling of the rain forest and unicorns, and costing $124. I didn't know what he would pick out with me in mind, but I was excited to have something buttery and fragrant to massage into my neglected feet; then I would use the remainder on my dry hands in an attempt to regain the youthful buoyancy of moisturized skin. It would probably even come in a cute paper bag stuffed with tissue and tied with ribbon. He had been gone for awhile- longer than usual. He must have made a special trip for my only request!

When he arrived home multiple hours later, I anxiously watched him bring in bags of groceries, which he set on the counter for me to unload, groceries being so tricky to put away and all. Finally, when no cute department store/spa bag was produced, I asked, "Did you find me some foot cream?"

He casually replied, "Oh yeah. I asked the pharmacist at Safeway what I should get you for your dry, cracked feet and she gave me this. She assured me that it was the best thing for your problem."

Then he tossed a tube of generic brand anti-fungal cream at me.

He didn't even spring for the name brand kind.


The overwhelming disappointment surely registered on my face when I contorted it into an expression that I call "WTF is this? Are you an idiot?" In my mind I was thinking, "GEE. Thanks, honey. Nothing makes a woman feel sexier than a tube of ointment for Athlete's Foot." Yet I somehow managed a weak-sauce, "Thank you?",because at least he tried.

He tried, but he failed.

Please point me to that pharmacist so that I can flog her with a dirty diaper.

Spreading anti-fungal cream onto my feet was about as luxurious as smearing diaper cream on a baby's bum. Both activities not only require the use of no more than two fingers, but also necessitate a thorough hand washing when finished. While it may have been practical, that was not the experience that my exhausted, used-up self was desiring.

Not even a little.

Because sometimes mothers need a break from "practical" so that we feel like more than just mothers. Sometimes we need a break from "two fingered cream application" so that we can rediscover that side of us that got us knocked up in the first place. Sometimes we simply need a little pampering; the kind without leak-guard and Velcro tabs.

What is the moral of this story?
Don't send out a man with Shrek feet to buy you foot cream.

The end.











Friday, May 3, 2013

TMI Fridays: People I Want to Punch in the Throat

You guys. YOU GUYS! Today's installment of my awesome bullshit interview series,TMI Fridays, is JEN from People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Jen is smart. Jen is savvy. Jen is sassy. Jen has no filter. Jen spearheaded the book I Just Want to Pee Alone! I'm in that book! Naturally, I love Jen.



Jen started PIWTPITT two years ago after her husband (known on her blog as "the Hubs"), encouraged her to stop verbally ventilating her frustration with life (and stupid people) at him because it was "driving him crazy". The Hubs even came up with the title for Jen's blog. Jen's blog became wildly popular after her post Over Achieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies went viral. She has self-published two books and Random House just signed her for two books to be released in 2014. Seriously. I'm going to make her sign my boob when we finally meet. In short, Jen is bad ass. 



Johi: When did you start writing and what is your motivation to write?

Jen: As a little kid I liked to write stories. I wrote fiction, but I was never into journaling. In college, I was an English major. Then I realized that I didn't want to teach so I switched my major to Creative Writing, mainly because there is a lot of money in that...

Through the years, I wrote for jobs.

When I started my blog, it was a cathartic release. I don't take Xanax, Valium  or Prozac. I just rant to get things off my chest. It's my form of therapy.



Johi: You've published two books now. What has the publishing experience taught you?

Jen: Self-publishing has taught me that it can be done. Publishing seems daunting, particularly when you are looking at how many books there are on Amazon, but it just takes time and patience to figure it out. It is scary- nerve racking when you hit publish. It seems so much harder than a blog post. But it's an incredible feeling when that first copy sells.


Johi: What made you decide to write anonymously?

Jen: When I first started blogging, I made no effort either way. I shared it on my personal facebook page so people knew it was me. I called the kids by their real names. Then when my Elf post went viral I got a lot of backlash. People wanted to take my children away, because I was a horrible mother for not moving my stupid Elf. So I picked bizarre names for them and changed some of the old posts. It was all about protecting my kids from cuckcoos. Now my son is getting older and before I write about him, I check with him first.

Sometimes readers will say it's cowardly to hide behind anonymity, but I don't consider it hiding. I'm doing it for my kids. People who know me, know that I'll say these things to "your face." It's been nice being anonymous, because I want people to hear my voice, not judge me on my appearance.


Johi: If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing?

Jen: I would still write to entertain. I love it. But I would do it with less pressure and on my own schedule.


Johi: Do you have a superpower? What would be your chosen superpower?

Jen: I have a dark secret superpower. I am an AMAZING closet crafter. I have a craft room. I could have been the overachieving mom- or me. I don't come up with the ideas, but I can troll through Etsy and other crafting sites and make pretty much anything I see.

My chosen power is flying. I would wear a cape, a black t-shirt, cargo pants and a mask.

Johi: I think you should consider parachute pants. It seems like the right time to bring them back.
Do you believe in UFO's? Do you know anyone that you suspect has been abducted?


Jen: I'm a huge weirdo conspiracy theorist. I do not doubt the existence of UFO's. Have you been reading this week about that six inch skeleton found in desert? It totally looks like an alien, but scientists are saying it isn't because it has traces of human DNA and appears to be about six years old at death. OK, so let me get this straight, I'm not allowed to believe in aliens, but I can believe there was a six inch six year old humanoid who lived thousands of years ago with a big alien head? (http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/sci/truth-strange-fiction-sixinch-alien-skeleton-human.html) I don't think I know anyone who has been abducted, but I suspect Kim Bongiorno. She is way tall and she can getmore shit done in an hour than I can all week.


Johi: I concur. And half of Hollywood.

Jen: Gwyneth and Tom Cruise have been probed.

Johi: I hear that's how you get parts in movies.
What do you REALLY want for Mother's Day?

Jen: A weekend at the spa. By myself. With books. I want scheduled pampering with breaks for naps.




Johi: Have you ever had any near death/jail experiences?

Jen: I'm from a small community that had a main drag that kids would drive up and down. All the high school students would hang out in the Quik Trip parking lot. One night I met up with three friend that were guys there and when I drove my Jeep Cherokee out of the parking lot, I inadvertently cut off someone. It was a hillbilly boy in overalls. When I stopped for a red light, he opened my door and tried to yank me out of the car by my hair, but I was seat belted in so he couldn't get me out. Instead of helping me, the three guys in the car with me all jumped into the cargo part of my Jeep crying for their mommies. I hit the gas and the hillbilly got hit by the door. He jumped back into his truck and followed us in a high speed chase. I drove to the nearby police station and pulled in honking my horn hoping the police would save us.Instead they came out and told us to "knock it off" and sent us on our way. I stayed there until the hillbillies finally went looking for someone else to assault.


Johi: Country Club or Country Bar?

Jen: That's a tough one. I don't fit in either place. County club? So then I can yuk it up with some Douchey Dads?


Johi: GAME TIME! Marry, Fuck or Kill!!!! Here are your choices: Snoop Dog, Michael Bolton, and Si from Duck Dynasty.

Jen: Eww! GAH!

Kill: Michael Bolton. I've had it with him. He just keeps coming back and it's driving me crazy, but mostly because of his hair.
Marry: Si. I hear he is quite wealthy and is gone hunting a lot so I would have plenty of alone time to read my books.
Fuck: Snoop Dog. He's had a lot of experience. He's gotta be pretty good, right?



Johi: You've been a marketing genius on your blog. Do you have any tips for bloggers?

Jen: There is a FAQ tab on my blog that answers that. Basically, find your voice. Be yourself. If you're yourself, your audience will find you.




Johi: What is your favorite essay in I Just Want to Pee Alone?

Jen: Because I'm the editor, this is like asking me to pick a favorite child!! I just can't. I will say that "Why I Belong in Coach" by Julia Miner from Rants from Mommyland really made me think and when you read that one, everyone has a different idea of who she's talking about so that's fun. I also liked  Honest Mom- JD Bailey's "There was the time the priest called me a terrible mother." because she went balls to the wall compared to how she normally writes and took off her filter and swears at a priest and it made me laugh so hard.

Read more of Jen on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat. You can also follow her on facebooktwitter and Pinterest. Make sure and get your copy of I Just Want to Pee Alone so that you have something funny to read when your family sends you to the spa on Mother's Day, or (more likely) when you are in the waiting room at the Doctor's office. It's also a fantastic gift for all the mothers that you know!