ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 40 and just added a gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 7-year-old Junior, our 4-year-old Everett and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Deep thoughts from the trenches of sleep deprivation

Last year at this time, I was taking our then 3-year-old, Everett, to the hospital to visit my 96-year-old grandmother on a daily basis. She had cancer and was admitted when she could no longer stay on her own. I would pack Everett snacks and coloring books and we'd spend a few hours sitting in the chairs in her room, whispering and visiting with other family who stopped in.

My grandmother was in and out of consciousness but she'd wake every once and awhile and see us and smile. It was the most congenial I've ever seen her. As I've written before, she wasn't the nicest grandmother. In all fairness she lived a rough life, but she never sugar coated anything. You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth, but you could bet it was something...prickly (fond holiday memories? Nope, none here!)

When things took a turn for the worse, I brought both kids to say good-bye. We didn't make a big production of it, just a gentle hand squeeze and soft good-bye. As we stood there, she opened her eyes and said, "Would it really be so terrible to have another?" It might seem obvious since I was standing there with the boys that she meant another child, but at the time I didn't understand what she was referring to.

"Another what?" I asked.

"Another one," she said, looking at Everett and Junior. 

I shrugged. Having another baby was the furthest thing from my mind.

She died two days later.

Now, a year later, as I'm dragging my tired ass out of bed at 3 a.m. to tend to Cam, I hear her question again and again. And I hear my answer when I snuggle up to his delicious babyness, feel the warmth from his head under my chin. No. It's not terrible at all, in fact it's quite wonderful. 

It is the best thing she left me.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

So, holy shit, I had a baby

And jumping jack crackers, there aren't enough hours in the day. Breakfast with three kids is a shitstorm of breastfeeding, cereal, packing school lunches and trying to remember what day it is. Dinner is even worse. Before Chuck gets home? When it's just me and the three kids and the dog and the cat? Forget it. We've had more "breakfast" dinners than I care to admit. But at least people are eating.

I keep calling the baby, whom we named Cameron, Evron (Cameron + Everett, our middle son's name). There's enough laundry in the basket to topple a small building. I'm afraid that if I sit down in the shower I'll never get up.

There just aren't words.

But, remarkably, I've never been happier. In the middle of the night, I can't get enough of Cameron.  Even though it's 2:35 a.m. and I've been up for an hour and I know he'll be awake again at 4:15, I know it won't be like this forever. (Right, right??) He's our last baby. I know that with 100% certainty—this really is it. So there's a bittersweet sweetness to it all.

Know what else is sweet? Having a drink at my own fricken bar. Hell ya.

I wish I could write more. I miss everything this blog used to be but the sun is out and the snow is melting and it's time to get back out into the world.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When Christmas decorations go bad


I love the look of white "candles" in the windows at Christmastime, don't you? Unfortunately, even though I taped the candles to the windowsills, they'd inevitably fall off and the bulb would break on the floor. (And by inevitably I mean that the children would race head-first into the couch, slamming it against the wall and knocking the damn candles to the floor. Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Enter my mother, who was very excited to tell me about the bulb pictured above. It's made of rubber and has a lovely bendable flame. It's practically unbreakable and emits a lot of light.

"Do you want some?" she asked. "You need some. I'll bring you some."

And so, there was light.

And for many days, my candles took a beating and still worked. All was well in Mulletville Lite. Come dusk, the house was awash with the warm glow of rubber whiteness.

Contented sigh.

Then, one morning, I heard the kids giggling as Junior waited at the window for the bus.

"You try, Everett. It goes up all the way."

I went into the living room where I caught them perched on the couch, each with a candle bulb up their nose.

"It tickles!" Junior announced happily when he saw me—as if I too would delight in the newfound purpose for my Christmas decor.

"Junior," I said calmly, "would you please take the candle out of your nose?"

Even as I spoke the words I knew it was too late: My children had started a new Christmas tradition. A new hysterically-funny-to-them, gross tradition. Because that's what children do. They take something seemingly benign and assign it a new purpose: coveted coffee mugs catch slimy bugs, crazy straws collect bodily fluids, and so on. For the rest of that object's life you'll look at it and think, Ew.

I accept that. If I didn't, I'd never survive as a parent.

There is a saving grace, at least for the candles. During Christmas vacation there's no need to perch at the window and kill time catching boogers because the bus won't be coming.

See? It always works out.

Merry Christmas! Health, wealth and boogers to all in 2015!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I like my enchiladas with extra bitch, please. Part deux

My cousin Lauren is pregnant for the first time. If you're new here, she's the one who met me and Junior (then 18 months old) for dinner, then went home and told her mother (my aunt) that, thanks to the experience, she wanted to have her tubes tied.

And now, well, she gets to experience the magic of dining out with a toddler for herself. Life is so delicious.

She's been on Facebook a lot, posting about her pregnancy. You know, morning sickness and mood swings, questions about whether or not she can take Mucinex. That sort of thing. (Did you know a post about Mucinex could inspire 56 comments?) Then there was the dreaded ultrasound picture (I don't know about you but I always find that a little creepy). I almost skipped right over it but then I read her comment: "I wonder who you are in there. If you look like me. What you're thinking right now. Just who you are."

It stopped me dead in my tracks. It's stopping me right now, in fact. I've been such a tornado this pregnancy, between working and watching the two boys, tending to Chuck's kidney stones and broken ankle, doing the damn housework, opening the restaurant, daydreaming about vodka....I really haven't stopped to wonder. I'm eight months pregnant and I don't really think it's hit me that I'm, well, pregnant.

And I suddenly understand that third child guilt everyone talks about. That "Oh, yah, we thought we put Billy in the car, too, at the Grand Canyon but ooops." This kid isn't even born yet and I'm already sorry. I'm sorry I keep forgetting why I have this enormous bump on my body. I'm sorry we haven't even thought about a nursery or what clothes you'll wear.

But mostly, I'm sorry I haven't wondered--with that beautiful first-time mom anticipation--about who you are and who you will be. I really am, because I can't wait to meet you...

...And chase you around restaurants so someone else, someone who's never dined with a child before, can look over at us and long for sterilization.

They don't know what they're missing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Buttfart Face!



Last night, the kids and I read Guess How Much I Love You? before bed. (Junior, at the sophisticated age of 7, sighed through the whole book; Everette, almost age four, ate it up.) As I kissed the boys goodnight, I got to hear their own special and moving professions of love:

"Uh...Big Nut Brown Mom? I love you more than a million farts!"

"Good one, Everett. Mom? I love you more than 10,000 poops!"

Hysterical laughter.

"I love you more than if the sun farted on the moon!"

"Well, I love you more than 50 hundred butts! And farts!"

More hysterical laughter. 

"Good night, guys. That's all very touching. Now zip it."

More hysterical laughter. 

"Whisper, whisper, fart, fart."

"Whisper, whisper, butt, butt."

More hysterical laughter.

"Good night! No more talking you little hares!"

Just then the babysitter arrived. I grabbed my coat and headed downstairs. The boys were still whispering and laughing hysterically. Meanwhile, my girlfriend was waiting for me at the local pub, which, oddly, we now operate.

As I drove off, I sighed contentedly. I'm okay with being loved in currencies of butts, farts and poops (i.e., the language of little boys) but my God, it's a beautiful thing to be able to drive away from it.

Have a great holiday everyone!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oh husband, where art thou? Oh right, under that pillow

So bam! All of a sudden I'm 7 months pregnant. And, like I've heard, you really do pop sooner with your third. My bump is ginormous. Truthfully, I thought I'd feel all Mother Earthly with this pregnancy because it's my last (you know, lots of time by the fire rubbing coconut oil on the bump and humming it nursing rhymes) but instead I find myself wanting to push the bump out of the way so I can race through life's daily to-do list (e.g., child rearing, working, laundry, dishes, coaxing the dog to poop, restaurant owning, etc.) so I can finally sit down to relax.

But silly me, life doesn't want me to relax. No, life wants me to push back my shirt sleeves and go at it even more gang busters. How do I know this? Because right after Chuck stopped moaning about his kidney stone, he broke his ankle.

I swear, the man is trying to kill me. I mean, I knew I wouldn't be sitting on the couch eating bon bons with this pregnancy but I at least thought I'd get to sit down and gaze longingly at a bon bon wrapper or two.

Nope. Two weeks later Chuck's ankle is still the size of a grapefruit and he's still moaning about it. Between the pillows elevating his ankle in bed and all the damn pillows I've got wedged into my crevices to prevent night time leg cramps and butt cramps and side cramps, we can't even find each other in the bed.

Yes, sadly, all the moaning we do in bed is from bodily pain and all the searching we do is for more duck feathers, not each other. It's ok though, it really is. This too shall pass. Before we know it, Chuck's ankle will be healed and I'll be bumpless and the proud mother of one of these:


Another bouncing baby boy.

As in three boys.

And then, what will become of all those pillows that aided me and Chuck during our moments of pain? Oh, they'll get used. For forts and trampolines and fights and armor and thwaps on the head and knock-out-surprise-attack-side-swipes.

Because, let's be honest, with three sons we'll basically be raising a litter of puppies.

Chuck, notice I said "we"? We! You're getting up with the baby even if you have to hobble to the changing table dammit!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Surprise! My husband's delivering the baby this time

I had my Level 10,000 Super Duper Mega Ultrasound this week. I had to go to the Pukon Schmelth Schmenter (name changed to protect identity but go on and click that link!) to have it because Mulletville Hospital doesn't own its own machine. 

If you've never been to the Pukon Schmelth Schmenter it looks like a beehive-esque stone prison on a hill. The Pregnancy Office staff, kept underground in a musty basement, are delightful, except for the Evil Pregnancy Doctor, who sighs heavily throughout the ultrasound and doesn't speak, leaving you to believe he has spotted every abnormality known to man on your unsuspecting fetus. 

He's no better post-ultrasound, when he plops down on his chair and, without any emotion whatsoever, recites a litany of birth defect/geriatric mother statistics that leave you in a ball of tears. Thankfully one of those sweet nurses swoops in afterward to let you know that everything looks just fine. 

Chuck, Everette and I were listening to the nice nurse when Chuck started sweating, holding his side and pacing the room.

"Is everything okay?" I asked him.

"I think I...need to check....myself into...the ER. Kidney...stone."

"Oh dear," the nice nurse said.

And just like that he was gone.

When we went upstairs to locate Chuck he was nowhere to be seen. Thankfully the sound of his vomiting led me right to him! He was standing in a parking lot off the ER, knees buckling from pain. He'd already registered but because he wasn't standing IN the ER (he didn't want to vomit on anyone), they wouldn't treat him.

So Chuck would come in and wait to be seen, but no doctor would come. So he'd go back outside to puke, the little angry man at the desk would yell "Have him come inside!", Chuck would, and so on. Folks, it was a 3-ring circus.

Finally—finally!— he was whisked away to a hospital bed in the hallway (next to a deranged man in a cast who sang "To see your doctor, call 9-1-1! To see your doctor, call 9-1-1! To see your doctor, call 9-1-1! To see your doctor, call 9-1-1!" nonstop) and a mere hour later received some pain medication.

Everette and I stayed with him for the next four hours, until the doctor released him because there was nothing more they could do for him. And now, three days later, he's recovering at Mulletville Hospital from a ureteroscopy.

For crap's sake I feel like Chuck gave birth. I see Chuck hunched over and moaning, as if he were in labor. I remember the questions about the kidney stone—"How big? How long until it drops?"—and they sound like labor questions. I wonder, will he come home with the 6 mm stone wrapped in a soft blanket?

What should we name it?

Most of all I am struck by the timing. It was supposed to be my ultrasound—my day at the doctor's. Six years ago in a post I wrote, "His organs keeps trumping me" and by God, he's still doing it. What's going to happen when we're 90? When I fall and break my hip? Will he spontaneously go into cardiac arrest the minute my elderly bone hits the floor?

Yes, yes, he will! The sneaky bastard will! But hey, we'll have three children to watch over us at that point (knock on wood). Two boys and a...

Shoot! Gotta run! Chuck's calling.

(P.S. Don't ever go to Pukon Schmelth Schmenter. It's hell on earth.)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

But wait, there's more...MUCH more

About a month ago (ehem) I mentioned that we bought a pub in town and are opening it up and that that is a very, very good reason for not being able to blog as much.

Well, there's something else I neglected to mention—and it's another excellent reason for not being able to blog as much. The reason is this: Chuck went and knocked me up again. And I've been sick as a dog since May.

I thought I knew pregnancy; after all, this is #3. I thought I knew about nausea and fatigue and the emotional roller coaster (it's so fun to channel the Hulk!) but let me tell you, all of that went out the window with this one. With the other two I was at least able to function but this time, I was a complete walking disaster. There were days when I woke up, opened one eye and cried, "I can't do it!" but of course when you work, have two children and are opening a fucking pub you can't do that, so I sniveled, cried and vomited my way through summer.

(The kids loved it!)

And let's not forget that I'm months away from turning 40 so there's the whole GERIATRIC component to the pregnancy. (And here I thought being 36 and "vagged" was a nasty ordeal.) Why, just yesterday I called my doctor for an insurance code to see if a procedure was covered and was told to use code 87.541—"That's the code for ELDERLY mothers with MANY children."

Riiiight, because I'm suddenly 80 with 80 children, you douche.

But hey, the bright side is that I've decided to have a wonderful, positive outlook with this pregnancy (can't you tell?). Gone are the days of the anti-pregnant woman. I passed my glucose test a few weeks ago so I don't even have to think about fucktational diabetes (no more rubber veggie demonstrations for me!) for another few months.

And in two weeks I get to find out if I'm going to have enough boys to make up my own baseball team or if I'm going to have to start liking glitter and rainbows again.

Which brings me back to the whole emotional roller coaster aspect of pregnancy. At my last appointment the nurse asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl. I took a deep breath and gave my spiel: I want a healthy baby, I love having boys, I didn't get pregnant to have a girl, blah, blah. I meant every word of it but it doesn't mean the people in my life aren't secretly chanting "Be a girl, be a girl, be a girl..." and that I can't feel their chants in the background.

Seriously, sometimes I expect to look out my window and see my family, friends, and neighbors in a drum circle—complete with pink batons and a totem unicorn. 

As the nurse looked at me, I thought of those people and their reaction if I am, indeed, having another boy, and I started to cry.

"I dread telling them!" I said.

"Then don't," she said. "Tell them you couldn't tell yet from the ultrasound and give yourself another month to feel stronger."

I loved her for saving that. I loved her for giving me permission to set boundaries and protect myself. But most of all I loved the image that suddenly popped into my head. It was from summer. We were at a picnic, and I was lying in the grass, crying and vomiting. The woman next to me was tossing her baby girl into the air. She said, "After two boys I finally got my girl! Finally!" I looked over at her seven year old son: he'd heard her and I wondered how the comment made him feel. 

I love this image because it reminds me that I am not that woman; I am happy and blessed, regardless. And if I want to, I can keep the gender a secret for the rest of this pregnancy and drive everyone fucking nuts.

Drum about that, bastards.

(See, I told you I was super duper positive with this one!)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Free beers for all my readers!

I know it's been awhile since I've been here but I have a really, really, really good excuse: We bought a pub in Mulletville Lite. And we're opening it up to the public.

That second statement might seem obvious but you see, if you've never opened up a pub before, there's a lot of shit to do beforehand and there are times during said shit that you might look around and think, Gee, maybe we should just convert this space into a toy storage site. Or put a lot of couches in it and let our respective in-laws sleep here instead of on the couches at our house.

Really, who doesn't yearn for some extra room(s)?

But no, my brother is eager to open up the place (he's going to be the head chef) and Chuck, well, he's eager to open it so he'll have somewhere to go after work instead of to the basement (he's been really bad lately!). And me? I have to admit, I'm excited. Scared as all hell but excited nonetheless. I may never have to cook dinner again.

So, forgivable reason for not blogging, right? Right?!