Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hot Hot Hot

I went for a run this morning at 7:30, and it was like running through clam chowder. It was the giant hot butthole of runs, and I didn't stop sweating for a full hour after I was done. Of course, my being a huge sweating beast may have something to do with it.

This afternoon at the pool (because there is nothing I want to do more when it's a balmy 99 degrees than get some sun) I stood talking to my friend J-. She was the picture of poolside cool, with her flowy blond hair all flowy, her makeup (!) perfect. I, on the other hand, stood there with my hair sweat-plastered to my head and my face melting off. I am a person of many crevices, and where there is a crevice, there is an opportunity for sweating. Under boob sweat. Behind knee sweat. Inner thigh sweat (I'm sorry to even mention that one). And the grandpappy of all - Pit Sweat.

I remember one particularly uncomfortable summer when I was still working full time. Katie was about 6 months old, which meant that I was full of crazy hormones, and they were making me even sweatier than normal. I even mentioned it to my doctor, who offered this helpful suggestion: Take a shower and put on antiperspirant right afterward. HO-LEE SHIT. I never even thought of that! She became even less helpful when I asked if I should put it on under my clothes or over my clothes.

It was apparent I was not going to receive help from the medical community, and must instead rely on my own wits. And so it became the Summer of the Pantyliner. Come to find out, pantyliners make an amazing, absorbent barrier betwixt pit and shirt. It started out as the Summer of the Maxi-Pad (I still had some of those industrial sized ones left over from having Katie), but that quickly proved to be too bulky. The idea is be inconspicuous, not make it look like you have a serious glandular problem.

It worked great all summer, save a few minor mishaps. A few times I sweated the damned adhesive right off and the pantyliner managed to wad itself up and work it's way down my sleeve. That's right, Boss - I have the TPS reports right here and, whoops! It appears a pantyliner has fallen out of my shirt. You know I played it cool, though. The key is to make it appear that what happened is completely normal. So I simply said "Oh, there that is!" and stuffed it in my pocket. Slick.

Stay cool, friends.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

I don't know that there is anything that shows honor to our fallen servicemen like hamburgers, hot dogs, and beer. And if you can consume them while draped in an array of American flag-themed attire, even better. There is nothing more uniquely American, I think, than turning an otherwise serious occasion into an excuse to have a great time. As a people, we have a pretty good sense of humor. And we know how to throw down.

The SFC weekend consisted of one cookout (complete with impromptu bluegrass concert...how awesome is that?), one afternoon spent with small friends, a fabulous coffee date that made me remember how very much I miss my faraway friend, and a full day at the pool in gazillion degree heat with the children. DAD DAD DAD I WANT TO GO IN THE BIG POOL I WANT TO GO IN THE BIG POOL! DOWN THE LAZY LIVER DOWN THE LAZY LIVER! (Julia has a hard time getting 'lazy river' out correctly). One good thing about ridiculously loud children, you always know where they are.

As I walked out this morning in my bathing suit (the one of the half dozen that doesn't look too awful) to get the obligatory "Oh honey, you look great!" from my dear husband, I said "And now the walk of shame." I am a pro at self deprecating commentary; it is a well honed skill designed to fish for compliments, deserved or not. The husband says:

"You look fine. You are a 40 year old mother of three."

FIRST OF FUCKING ALL, I am NOT 40 (I am 2 months shy of 39, thank you very much). I know I am not going to look like I am 20, or like my skin has not been stretched to the absolute limit (three times), but this situation does not call for honesty. But when it came down to it, no one was looking at me or my crepe-y thighs.* I relaxed and had a great time with my family, so much that I'm actually looking forward to a summer poolside.

We came home stinking of sweat and sunscreen, pink and sleepy. What a good day. Happy weekend! Happy summer!

*Possibly because they were busy looking at the huge (pun intended) amount of silicone on display. I know I was!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today was Julia's last day of preschool (I weep!) and the last day of gymnastics until the fall. The class did a cute dance, then each child showed off their mad skillz. At the end, they each received a medal. I asked Julia to let me take some pictures, and this is what I got. Sigh. I don't know where she gets it from.


She is a crazy person.

And remember when I did a giveaway a couple of weeks ago with a FABULOUS MYSTERY PRIZE, which Scout won? Well, I can reveal the prizes now, as she's received her prizes.

You can pretty much forget about any gift giving quandry you have from here on out, because I have found the number one source for awesomeness on all the internets: www.perpetualkid.com.

The perfect thing for when you're stuck on a dinner cruise with a Celine Dion impersonator and need a stiff drink.
For a kick ass baker. Or just a baker that likes to kick ass.
This really needs no explanation.

I was thisclose to getting her the Squirrel Underpants, but practicality won out. Although, Scout may have some squirrels running around her yard with their junk all hanging out and could really use the squirrel underpants. You never know.

Let this be a lesson to you, dear readers - when I say there is going to be a FABULOUS PRIZE, you bet your bippy it's going to be fabulous. Keep coming back, because there will be something soon to celebrate my ONE HUNDREDTH POST!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just Another Day

If I were to look on the calendar at this date, 8 years ago, there would be no indication that it would hold any significance. It was a Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, and across town my father was sleeping in his bed. Except that morning he would not wake up, and spent the day in a coma, while friends and family flew in and gathered around him and whispered words of love and comfort and assurance until late that night when he finally, quietly, peacefully, passed away.

On the first anniversary of his death, I sat across from my mother and said words I wasn't sure I meant: "It's just another day."

As time goes on, I hold on to those words with such fierceness that I've come to believe them. My father does not die again every May 25th. He only died once, and the sadness of that day is not something I want to relive, or memorialize. If I were to choose a date to remember him, it might instead be my wedding day - when he told me how proud he was of me, and how full his heart was with love for me. It might be the day I had Katie - when he stood nervously by my side and threatened my doctor and held my tiny daughter with his giant hands, so very carefully. Or it might be any of the countless days when I was a scared child, or a floundering teen, or a struggling young adult - when just his physical presence calmed me, and his faith in me made me believe in myself.

I do not miss him today more than any other day. I do not think of him any more than usual.I will honor him the best way I know how - by living my ordinary life. By loving my family and laughing plenty, and by remembering the best of his days, not the worst. I miss you, Daddy. Every day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bathing Beauty

Ah, summertime. No school, no homework, no schedule. Lazy days spent at the park or hanging by the pool.

Oh, shit. BY THE POOL. The pool opens this weekend. Last year I avoided the pool like the plague - with a 6 month old Henry and a 3 1/2 year old Julia to watch constantly, it was anything but a relaxing experience. Katie, an excellent swimmer, was always off with a friend. Henry was too small to sit in any flotation device, and Julia was too...Julia. So she 'swam' back and forth on the steps and drank approximately 8 million gallons of fetid fecal pool water over the course of the summer. Did I mention there is no shade at our pool? Yeah, so it was pretty much suckballs all summer long.

But this summer, we've joined another pool - one with a baby pool and a lazy river and a waterslide...something for everyone. Katie will be able to go off and have fun with the big kids while the little ones and I splash around. There is plenty of shade and a snack shack and the kids can't wait to spend the summer there.

Which means I have to get a bathing suit. I have no fewer than 6 in a drawer, all in varying sizes, none of which fit properly. If it fits in the boobs, it sags in the ass. If it fits in the rear, it doesn't properly contain the meat apron. All this leads to one, terrifying, conclusion:

I have to go bathing suit shopping. It's a task that ranks just ahead of getting a pap smear, and only slightly behind giving yourself a pap smear. It presents the same horrifying problems as shopping for underwear, except it's like wearing your underwear on the outside. In front of a bunch of people. And getting wet.

I am fighting that last 10 pounds of baby weight (and we won't discuss the 10 that need to come off after that), so part of me wants to hold off until that happens. But the pool opens this weekend, and chances are I won't lose 10 pounds by Saturday, unless I hack of my arm or something. And I don't have a problem with bathing suits fitting my arms. The best option I have is actually a maternity suit, but do I really want to put myself in that situation (again)? Part of me wants to be all RAH RAH RAH I LOVE MY MEAT APRON body acceptance person, but that's not going to happen either.

I have 4 days to figure it out. Any links to magic meat apron erasing bathing suits are appreciated.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


This may come as a surprise to those of you who don't know me (or maybe not), and it's surely NO surprise to those of you who do - but I talk entirely too much. I talk so much that I rarely leave any gathering without thinking to myself, "I talked entirely too much."

I have an opinion about everything, regardless of whether or not I know anything about it. Genetically modified food? AWFUL. Hiking in the Pyrranes? I don't even know where the Pyrranes are, but I am guessing it is COLD. Pumping gas while talking on a cell phone? ILLEGAL AND CAUSES CANCER. And I'm pretty sure that one can make you blow up, too.

I am the Cliff Claven of suburbia - as big a windbag, but without the encyclopedic knowledge.

The things I do know tend to be a little fuzzy. To my credit, I have read a lot of books. But I've also had three kids and watched too many cooking shows, so Diego Rivera's involvement with Leon Trotsky centers around a lovely boeuf bourguignon. I am generally slightly off the mark with most of the wisdom I impart, so much that I tend to preface everything I say with "Now, I may be talking out of my ass here..." I talk out of my ass so frequently that I had a Bluetooth fitted to my underwear.

Every time I go to a social event, I have a little pep talk with myself:
I will let others talk. I will not try to be super clever. I will not say stuff unless I am certain it's true. I will not drop a bunch of f-bombs. I will ask questions and listen to the answers. 

It never works.

I'm thinking I should come up with a hand signal, or key word, to share with the husband and close friends, so they can let me know when I need to chill. Maybe they rub their nose with one finger. But then I'll think "Are they telling me I'm talking too much? Or that I have a booger?" and I'll get more nervous because I think I have a booger, and then I'll talk more. Talking more, drawing more attention to myself, only now with a GIANT BOOGER hanging out of my nose.

So I apologize in advance for all the times I will talk over you and monopolize a conversation and wax my poetic bullshit on subjects in which I am completely ignorant. Forgive me - and please, interrupt me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dear SFC,

My 10 year old is having a problem at school. Her friend M- said that my daughter told M- that she was ugly. M's mom called me and I talked to my daughter, who claimed she didn't say it. I made my daughter apologize for the misunderstanding. My other friend J- said her daughter B- heard M- say that she heard another friend, P- say it. Should I confront P's mom? Should I tell M's mom that B- said M- heard P- say it? Help!!!
HoverMother in SC

Dear HoverMother,

Are you fucking serious? If I had a dime for every time some kid hurt my feelings in elementary school, I'd have more money than I've made with this highly successful blog (that's $44.31, to be exact). Kids are jerks. They say jerky things, they act in jerky ways, they lack empathy, tact, and the filter between brain and mouth.

The very first mistake in this situation was made by M's mom. Why did she need to call you? She should have set her kid down, said "Honey, kids are jerks. You are beautiful and it doesn't matter what some jerky kid says." Or, teach her the retort, "So?" (I learned that one from Little Bill).

Last summer, Katie and one of her friends were prank calling another friend, singing songs and hanging up on her. The girl's mother called me in tears because her kid was upset. In tears. You know what I do if some kid prank calls my house? I pick up the phone and say "Knock it off, jerkface." and they don't call back again. I don't even have to cry about it.

There is a point when normal behavior crosses the line into bullying. There are times when it's appropriate and necessary for a parent to step in and take action. But before you do that, ask yourself - is this situation a detriment to my child's social life or learning environment? Or is this an opportunity for them to learn to stand up for themselves?

Also, what part does my kid have in this? Are they a target, or did they start it? One of the most difficult things to admit is that our precious snowflake is the jerk in question.

We get so wrapped up sometimes in providing our kids with the perfect childhood experience that we forget how important the sucky parts are. The sucky parts teach us humility and patience and kindness and courage and resiliency and a dozen other traits that make us successful grown ups. If we rush in to save the day every time someone farts in the direction of our kid, we're doing them a huge disservice.

Sometimes when we stand back, we teach them to stand tall.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blah Blah Blah

No one listens to me. Out of all my gripes (and they are numerous), this is Numero Uno. I can cry, cajole, plead, threaten, bribe and rationalize, all to no avail. I can (and have) pitch a fit of epic proportions, yelling and stomping and throwing soft items (hurling a downy slipper is about as threatening as, well, hurling a downy slipper). I can sit calmly, establish eye contact, hold their hands and speak from my heart in a simple, easy to understand manner. Regardless of the approach, the effect is the same: Brick.Fricking.Wall.

I'm not alone. A friend recently told me the story of his wife lecturing their 10 and 12 year old daughters after the umpteenth yelling, smacking, name-calling fight between the two. At one point, she told them they were acting like stupid jerks (and if this strikes you as harsh, let me tell you that if you've never said something similar - or worse - to your children, it's only because the opportunity hasn't yet arisen. Sometimes our precious cherubs are a-holes, and sometimes, we let them know.). At the end of the lecture, the girls were both in tears. But not because of their horrible behavior, or because they felt bad about treating each other so poorly, or because they were overcome with sisterly affection and were vowing to never let it happen again.

No, they were crying because Mom said they were stupid jerks. They hadn't heard anything else.

I found myself in a similar situation tonight. Julia annoys the shit out of Katie. Katie, in turn, treats Julia like a dog. It pisses me off to no end. I was really ramping up to a good, long lecture, when I noticed their eyes glazing over. Julia was sitting there trying to fit her hand in her mouth, and Katie had suddenly developed an acute interest in her big toenail.

"This is just ridiculous!" I'm ranting on. "You're sisters! Is this how you treat your friends? Are friends more important than your sister?" I wonder if at some point I start sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher - wah wah wah wahhhhhh. I had barely gotten started and I had already lost them. I had to pull out my secret weapon.

I got silly.

I started making goofball noises and funny faces and flapping my arms. It got their attention. I danced around the room and pinched them on the butt. They started laughing. And now, now that I finally had them focused in on me, I found my anger was totally diffused. My girls were laughing and smiling and looking at me. I seized the opportunity, bent down and whispered, "Love each other."

It worked, at least long enough to get us through supper and everyone tucked into bed. Long enough for me to not end up frustrated and upset. Tomorrow is another day, and who knows what might happen. But for tonight, they listened, and so did I.

(Congratulations to Scout, who won my Fabulous Mystery Prize giveaway! Scout, I'll be contacting you soon, and I'll post the details of the fabulous prize.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why Were You Born?

This popped up on my Facebook page tonight and caught me by surprise. Sure, it's just a stupid quiz that claims it will crack my code in  ten easy questions, but it gave me pause. Why was I born?

Because it was the 70s and my mom had a weakness for Tom Jones and doobies? Because someone needed to come along and perfect banana bread? Because without me, the Industries for the Blind people would have no one to buy their $40 light bulbs and $65 trash bags (which are really terrific, you have to admit)?

Clearly, I had to take the quiz and find out my life's purpose.

How do you like to spend your weekends? 
Since riding in my private jet with Colin Firth was not an option (and really, if I am going to pretend to have a private jet, I am going to have my celebrity husband flying with me), I chose spending time with friends and family. Yawn.

What is your signature style?
Nursing bras and granny panties were, oddly, not on the list. I went with "cute and comfortable".

What makes you happy? 
Accolades from other people, duh! I mean, the love of my family. Right.

Do you want kids?
A little fucking late to be asking this one, don't you think?

When you walk into a room, people...
Hide the liquor and knives.

A half dozen more of these insightful questions and the answers is revealed. (Drumroll, please!)


You are sensible and family-oriented. You think about the future and you value what's truly important in life. You are loving and loyal.


You were born to have a family. Ten questions on a quiz written by some jackass frat kid all hopped up on Five Hour Energy has pegged me, square. Thank you, frat kid, and thank you, Facebook, for justifying my life choices and restoring my faith in my ability to parent. It is, after all, what I was born to do.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lola's Fable

My mom, Julia and I were leaving Target when the headache started. We got into the car and I opened the center console, where I had seen a bottle of Tylenol. I absentmindedly shook out four Tylenol and swallowed them down.

About halfway home, I started getting strangely sleepy. By the time we got to our exit, I said to my mom-
"Wow. I am really, really sleepy. All of a sudden." By the time we pulled into the driveway, I said "My God, I can barely hold my eyes open."

And my mom said "ZOMG." Actually, she didn't say ZOMG, but her face did. What she said was "Oh, shit. I don't think that was Tylenol. I think that fell out of my purse."

And I said "What do you mean, it's not Tylenol? What is it?". But what I actually said was "Whasssuvvvv Tlenol whasssssvvu iiii?", because my head was full of cotton and my mouth full of marbles.

She looked me square in the face. I saw three of her, so the look was triply alarming.

"It's Lola's Xanax."

At this point, I have to tell you that Lola is my mom's friend's Yorkshire Terrier.

I said, "What the fuck?" I feel confident that I was able to get that out in an understandable fashion. I don't want to go into the details of why my mom had dog Xanax ("It's just regular Xanax, it was just prescribed for the dog!") in a Tylenol bottle, or how it got in the console of my car, or why I need to take 4 Tylenol. It was not until later, much later, that I even thought about these things. At that moment, all my brain was saying was "zummmmmmm...burrrrrrriiiTOS!".

My mom hustled me into bed and left with Julia so I could sleep it off. I'd like to say that's what I did for the next four hours. At least, that's all I remember doing. Apparently, I also filled out and printed the award certificates for our Brownie Troop (I am sorry, Mrs. McAllister, but Brittney really was 'Troop Bitch'), ate a bag of Doritos, and someone put chocolate pudding in the toilet. That may or may not have been me. The husband called to check on me at some point. I answered the phone, said "Hold on a minute.", and then never came back to the phone.

It was the best buzz of my life, and I don't even remember it.

The lesson, of course, is to keep pills in their original container, look at them before you take them, take the prescribed amount. Or, at the very least, don't have big plans for the day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pull Up a Chair

The lovely ladies over at Triad Moms on Main find great hilarity in my personal humiliation, so they're running my post 'I'm Sorry I Peed on the Phone' as their Sunday Funny this week. Thank you, ladies, for the opportunity to share my shame with a wider audience! Click over and check out their site - it's a tremendous resource for local families.

If you happen to be visiting SFC for the first time from TMoM, welcome! If you liked the TMoM piece, you might want to check out:
There's some sweet stuff, and some serious stuff, too. Like -
And lots and lots of dirty words. And potty humor. And talk about my underwear. And the occasional cute picture of my kids.

And, a giveaway! Sure, why not! Just comment on this post and one random person will win something fabulous that I haven't decided on yet. A mystery prize!

Stick around. This blog is chock full o' awesome.

(And if you like me - you really really like me, you can vote for SFC over at Circle of Moms, where I'm holding my own against some pretty big blogs.)

Friday, May 13, 2011


A friend of mine is anxiously awaiting the birth of their sixth child. She is a zen goddess; her children exceedingly well behaved and educated at her own hand. I admire her, respect her, and suspect she drinks heavily.

The thought of six kids - hell, the thought of four kids - gets me all hot faced and jittery and makes me want to throw up a little. I never thought three was a lot until I had three, and then I realized three is a lot of damned kids. I look at my mother in law (with 4, 3 within 4 years of each other) and my grandmother in law (with EIGHT, Jesus Pete, I would simply DIE) and wonder how in the world they managed to raise their children with their sanity intact. Never mind raising good, loving, productive citizens, how did they survive themselves?

I will be honest, there are some days when it is only the power of prayer and cup after cup of strong coffee that keep me from completely losing my shit. It's not that my children are ill behaved (because generally they're not. Generally.), it's just that they're busy. And they're needy. Henry needs a nap at the exact time Julia needs her butt wiped at the exact moment Katie needs help with a math problem that I don't understand.

But, you say, it's awesome, right? Yes, it's awesome. We have brief periods of serenity punctuated by prolonged bursts of insanity. At the end of every day, I am tremendously tired and incredibly grateful.

And totally sure - three is enough.

P.S. Dear Husband: Make the damned appointment already.
P.P.S. Dear Reader: Go give me the old thumbs up, will you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Post is About You

A comment seen recently on a friend's Facebook page (comment not made by friend):
Omg I feel so sorry for those nerdy peoples' kid!! Who would be proud of being such losers?!

I don't know, who would be proud of being such a shallow, self absorbed twit? 
Oh, right. You.  

So, on behalf of nerds and geeks and dweebs and dorks and weirdos everywhere, I have a few words for you. 

I'm proud. I'm proud that my children will learn from me not to classify people by the way they look or the car they drive, the music they listen to, the clothes they wear. I'm proud to teach them that not everyone 'fits'. That some of us are too fat, too old, too goofy, too the wrong color, shape or size to fit into your box of what is cool.

Do you know who we 'losers' are? We're your boss. We're the policy makers and the principals and the volunteers and teachers who make sure your special snowflake gets all he deserves at school and in the world. We're the people who make things fair. We're the people who do our own research, and make up our own minds, instead of relying on some blowhard on television to do it for us. We're the doctors and nurses treating you without discrimination so you can get well and get back to your Body Pump class on Thursday mornings. 

We're the engineers making your cars safe. We're the tech geeks fixing your computer so you can post trite bullshit on Facebook all day long, and installing your satellite so you don't miss an episode of Grey's Anatomy. We're the writers on Grey's. We're the ones wearing the white hats and getting the girl and riding off into the sunset. Have you seen a John Hughes movie?

We are everyone and everywhere, and we make your silly little world turn. We think we're cool enough, and we are all proud. 

And you? You are an asshole, and no amount of cool will change that.  

(I am not, however, too proud to ask for your vote. Again. Thank you.) 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

A couple of days ago, Julia found a "lucky penny" (which was actually a dime) on a dressing room floor at the mall. Julia loves finding a lucky penny. And so she spent the next day rubbing it and holding it up to her face and talking about it, all while I admonished-

"Keep it away from your brother."
"Don't put it in your mouth."

Then yesterday morning, as she's eating her cereal, she says to me in a very low voice:
"I have to tell you I did something. Last night I swallowed my lucky penny on accident, but it didn't hurt and I didn't choke."

I, because I am a giant asshole, say -
"WHAT? What? Oh, great! Now we're going to have to watch your poop, and if you don't poop it out, we're going to have to go to the hospital and get an x-ray!"

And just like that, I'm out of the running for Mother of the Year.

Sean says, "Kelly!" and Julia bursts into tears. Between great, wracking sobs, she keeps repeating "You're just joking, right? You're just joking?" and I spend the next fifteen minutes assuring her that I was totally joking and that I was so, so sorry.

Thus began Dime Watch '11. I am certainly not fishing turds out of the bowl. After the first evacuation after 'the incident', I considered, for the briefest moment, scooping them out and putting them in a plastic baggy to squish them and see if they contained the dime. Even typing it out makes me a little gaggy. But there will be no fecal postmortem. I'm relying instead on my faith in simple sense: If it's small enough to go down one hole, it's small enough to come out another.

Julia, meanwhile, is redefining "lucky".

(Click the golden thumb, please!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Pictures

All I wanted for Mother's Day was a few pictures of me with my children, so that generations to come will know that they did, indeed, have a mother. We did manage to get a few decent ones before things went all to hell.

Don't you love Julia's face in the last one?

There is no greater gift, no sweeter joy, no life more blessed. Oh, how I love my
Southern Fried Children.

(Please go vote for SFC on Circle of Moms. You mother wants you to.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011


In the year after my dad died, my mom went a little crazy. She quit her high powered corporate job and went to beauty school, she bought a Harley, she spent hours and hours rearranging furniture and tearing out bushes. One day she took a sledgehammer to her front porch, tearing it down piece by piece, swinging the hammer and beating the shit out of grief. I wonder what the neighbors thought as they drove by that day, watching her cursing and crying and sweating and swinging. They probably thought the same thing I do:

That chick is Badass.

She married, lost a baby, divorced, remarried, had two babies, moved out of the country and back again (twice) before she was 25. She went from high school dropout to hotel front desk clerk to the only woman at her level in a multimillion dollar, international organization. She cuts hair, cooks like a fiend, wields power tools with ease, drinks men under the table and swears like a sailor.

Like I said, Badass.
And, the most sensitive person I know. She takes (frequent) ribbings with good humor, is generous in every way, gives affection freely and openly and willingly. She is given to weepiness. If I made a list of the 10 nicest things anyone has ever done for me, she'd hold at least half the spots. If you know her, chances are she's on your list as well.

She's a Badass with a sensitive side. Kind of like a hooker with a heart of gold, except without the sleeping with people for money.

She is brave and courageous and daring and smart and funny and beautiful. When my heart hurts the most there is no one I want more than my Mommy. She is my best friend, and inspires me every day to be a better mother and a better person.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day, you Badass!

(My mom asks that you please go vote for me on Circle of Moms. Did I just use my mom to pimp myself out for votes? Yes, yes I did!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chronic Volunteerism

Vacation Bible School comes at exactly the right time during the summer. The kids have been out of school for a few weeks, the novelty of the pool has worn off, and someone is going to get a beat down if mom and kids don't get a little alone time. So, for one week from 9 to 12, the girls get to go off and learn about Jesus and get out my hair. Thanks be to God.

Except this year, I volunteered to run the nursery during VBS. I wasn't asked, I just said I'd do it. I approached the woman in charge and said "Hey, I'd really like to spend some time with a bunch of pants pissing 2 year olds during the week when I'm supposed to be down a couple of kids." Clearly, I have been smoking crack.

It's a disease - chronic volunteerism. I can't seem to stop myself from saying "I'll do it." or, worse, "I'll do it if no one else will." Because you know what? No one else will. Saying that pretty much guarantees that the search is over and you have just signed on as Committee Chairperson for the Most Horrid Fucking Volunteer Position Ever.

After Henry was born (and I finished up my second year as PTO Vice-President), I declared it "The Year of No". I still managed to do small things here and there, but I said 'no' more often than not. In theory, it should have been good for me. It should have taught me that other people need the opportunity and the encouragement to do things. It should have shown me that there are people willing to step forward and take charge, if they are just given a little push.

Instead, it made me feel guilty. It made me feel like I need to do something big to make up for the lost year.

Last night, I sat down to write a letter to all the volunteers at the elementary school, essentially begging someone to step up and take on a PTO board position for next year. I was my most poetic, most persuasive, most eloquent. I was so convincing that I almost convinced myself. I found myself thinking, If no one else does it...

On second thought, I think a week with a room full of toddlers is penance enough.

(Oh, jeez - CLICK HERE and vote for me by clicking the little thumbs up, blah blah blah. Only 11 more days of this bullshit, I promise. Don't let me slip out of the top 25 or I will cry myself to sleep, and I get all snotty and ugly when I cry and it will scare my children. DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Flashback - 1986

While looking for prom pictures, I found this little gem:

That's my mom, my dad, and my assy youngest brother. He's great now, but when this picture was taken (around 1986, he was about 9), the kid was a top notch a-hole.

So let's start with him. It was about this time that he earned the nickname "Gourd Head" because - well, look at his fucking head! It is enormous and round and very Charlie Brown-esque. He is the Great Pumpkin. Lucky for him, his body grew into that giant planetoid.  I can only assume this is during his Don Johnson/Miami Vice phase, which would explain why a 9 year old is wearing a shirt unbuttoned to his waist. This phase preceded the White Rapper Phase (more Vanilla Ice, less Eminem), the Grateful Dead Phase (which coincided nicely with the Stoned All the Time Phase), and the Tattoo & Piercing Phase. I obviously snapped the photo before they were ready, because he is sneering and my mom is...

WTF is my mom doing? She has her hands out, palms up, lips pursed. Which means my brother and I are probably arguing, and my mom is saying "Just take the goddamn picture, Kelly Marie!" We'll not even discuss the frosted and feathered hair, because I am too distracted by the shiny purple pantsuit. What is that material? Sealskin? Whatever it is, it is so slick she is about to slide right off that fugly chair, which was some sort of corduroy/chenille hybrid. Like if your favorite blankie ate your favorite pair of Tuffskins and shat it out, and it anchored itself with enormous, shellacked, gold rimmed wooden posts - it would be that chair.

My dad looks pretty normal, even though he is flashing his butt-white chicken legs. My dad was part American Indian - the top part. His face, arms, chest and back would get the deepest, darkest brown, but his poor little legs stuck out like two q-tips. He is sporting the ever-present Marlboro, and the ashtray (on a stand!) is nearby. Please note the spittoon on the floor. To my knowledge, it was only a 'decorative' spittoon, and not used for actual spit.

Hanging on the wall above them is a dreamcatcher, that I'm pretty sure my mom made. It was made of - what the hell, I don't know. I don't know what it was about the era that made them manufactured materials that defy description. But it was...fluffy? Sproingy? Kind of like cushion stuffing. It is flanked by some American Indian plaster wall hangings my mom painted (did we have a fuck ton of those!). One of her finest works is seen to the right of the chair on the floor.

That's The Chief. Hours of painstaking labor went into painting him. Honestly, my mom could have had a career with The Franklin Mint, handcrafting fine collectibles. Statues, wall hangings, figurines - my mom was into unfinished pottery before paint your own was cool. The Chief was a masterpiece, and by his presence on the floor I can only assume he eventually got taken out by the vacuum cleaner or peed on by the dog.

And yes, that is a macrame plant holder hanging from the ceiling. My mom (God, she's crafty!) spent hours sitting on the floor, polyester yarn looped around her big toe, macrame-ing every size and shape of plant hanger imaginable. I know for a fact she still has all her macrame supplies in a foot locker in the attic, just waiting for it to come back into fashion. Macrame hung in my parents' house until at least the mid-90s, which was also around the same time they finally admitted that maybe CDs were going to replace cassette tapes, after all.

It is unfortunate that the wagon wheel coffee table is out of the frame in this picture, because it was the cornerstone of the whole design scheme. The best part of the table is that my parents never got a piece of glass to put on the top. So, not only was it the ugliest coffee table ever, it was also completely unusable. It was always fun to see people come to our house for the first time and try to set a glass down. Hahaha! Joke's on you! No glass!

I miss you, dumb pointless coffee table! I miss you, 1986!

(Also, please go vote at Circle of Moms - click on the thumbs up by SFC. Thank you, you are awesome.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


In honor of prom season, that oversexed, overdressed month which is the pinnacle of every angst-filled teenage life, I pulled out my prom pictures.

I went to two junior proms, dressing simply, elegantly, and keeping my hair within a two-foot radius around my head. But for Senior Ball, well - I blew that shit out. 

I don't think the pictures do the Giant Green Monstrosity justice. It was emerald taffeta, with a lace overlay on the bodice, and the sleeves entirely of lace. I also want to note that the mid-80s travesty I am sitting on does not belong to my parents. Our house was tastefully decorated with things like wagon wheel coffee tables and horse collar mirrors. Mama didn't do tacky ass floral prints. And is that a giant console TV in front of me? Why yes, yes it is.

I am not sure what the hell is going on with my eyebrows, except that I apparently had not yet made friends with a tweezer. The hair took HOURS (no exaggeration), as it is naturally wicked thick and stick straight. I cranked the Richard Caruso Molecular Hairsetter up to HIGH and rolled and rolled and rolled. There are peace treaties that have been crafted in less time than I spent on my hair.

I hit the tanning bed the day prior and overdid it. You may notice the red glow of my arms through the lace. My poor arms were so hot, girls in strapless dresses huddled around me like a bunch of hobos for warmth.

I went with some ugly bitches!

I had a mad crush on the boy I asked to prom (gasp!) and had he wanted to get frisky (which he didn't? What guy could resist that hotness?), there is no way I could have played through the pain. In fact, my date and his stupid ass Dutch Boy haircut were so lame, I spent much of the evening regretting asking him, and thanking my lucky stars I had such fun friends to hang out with. Note to moms sending their daughters off to prom with boys who have suspect haircuts: Get them good and sunburned first. 

Our Senior Ball theme was "A Night to Remember", and - 21 years later - I suppose it was. But for entirely different reasons than I thought it would be. That's a good thing. 

(Don't forget to vote for SFC every day from now until May 16 at Circle of Moms. Click on the thumbs up button. Thanks!)