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, our new baby 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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Just what size breasts should my frog-person have anyway?

As I was drawing the Halloween costume for my frog-person for my blog banner, I kept having the same thought:

This is the most time I've spent on myself in a long time...and it's not even really me. It's a drawing of a frog. 

This is the most time I've spent on myself in a long time...and it's not even really me. It's a drawing of a frog. 

This is the most time I've spent on myself in a long time...and it's not even really me. It's a drawing of a frog. 

And so on.  

Chuck? I think it's time for an All Girls weekend for Mrs. Mullet. And I'm taking my ^*$#ing cape.

P.S. Chuck's frog-man finally lost some weight and gained some muscle. Swoon away, ladies, swoon away.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Things you [probably] won't see on the NutriBullet box

So Chuck's birthday.

Blah, blah, blaaaaah. That's so two weeks ago.

Let's talk about how I just gave Everett and Cam a bath together, instead of Everett and Junior, which I've been doing for four years. It was like a changing of the guards. I kept thinking, Where's Junior? (He was playing Minecraft.) Everett didn't seem to grasp the emotional magnitude of the moment (i.e., he didn't really care that I'd swapped one brother for another, all he knew was that he was suddenly the Big Cheese in the "deep end"), but I was lamely choked up about it.

Everything is changing. Everything.

Chuck poked his head in at one point, and I was about to share the sappy moment with him when he said, "Why is my NutriBullet cup in the bathroom?"

Actually, he kind of spat it.

There was no denying it, there it was:

"I, uh, use it to rinse the kids' heads in the bath. It's the perfect size."

"Can you not?" he asked.

"Of course," I lied. It's not like it's just taking up space in the kitchen cabinet. "Of course!"

My mind immediately went to the conversation I'd had with Chuck's best friend—the one who wanted me to take ski lessons, even after all I've been through—about his NutriBullet.

"Mrs. Mullet," he'd said, "the NutriBullet is so effective I don't even need toilet paper anymore. Not.One.Single.Sheet. My poops are that perfect because of it."

I looked at the NutriBullet. I looked at the toilet paper. 

Of course. 

It wasn't my fault I'd brought the NutriBullet into the bathroom. It was Perfect Poop's fault. He'd made the association, not me. If it wasn't for him I'd think of vegetables when I saw the NutriBullet, not poop pellets and bathrooms.

"Chuck," I said. "About your NutriBullet..."


A sea of chatty children separated us, followed by a sea of cats and dogs, laundry and homework, dinner and dishes. Explaining the Perfect Poop story to him would take hours.

"Can you just read my blog sometime?"

"I already do."

I love you, Chuck. 

(And until you break out the broccoli I'll probably keep using the NutriBullet in the bathroom.)

Monday, September 14, 2015

I guess I'll be beaming Chuck up again

Chuck's birthday is this weekend. Truth be told, I've helped him celebrate in some pretty epic ways. There was the surprise party with ghoulish decor. Then there was the thoughtful brick. One year I beamed him back up. Then there was the boob cake, which I guess I never blogged about it—but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Every year I try to remember how we celebrated his previous birthday, so I can do something cooler. I'm awesome like that. But because my memory often fails me, I have to outsource the task to others, say, to Chuck, and sometimes he proves to be an unreliable narrator. Take last night, for example.

Me: Your birthday's coming up. What do you want to do?

Chuck: You're so amazing. It doesn't matter.

Me: But baby, I'll do anything to make your birthday spectacular! Just name it!

Chuck: You do so much already, please, don't make a fuss. In fact, you are present enough. Hold me.

Me: Hold on. What did we do last year? I can't remember...

Chuck: [Looking nervous] I actually don't remember either. What's for dinner?

Me: No, hold on, I was pregnant and...

And that's when it all came flooding back to me.

See, Chuck and I both work in the same city in Connecticut, about an hour away from home. He had left work and was on his way home. I had just left work and was heading home myself when my mother—who was babysitting—called and said, "Chuck's birthday is this weekend. Why don't you two get a hotel room?"

Even though I was four months pregnant, exhausted and racked with constant bouts of nausea and crying, I thought this sounded like a fabulous idea. I eagerly called Chuck.

Me: Let's get a room for your birthday!

Chuck: [Long pause] We could do that...

Me: Don't sound so excited.

Chuck: It's just that...

Me: It's just that what?

Chuck: Wouldn't it be nicer if we waited until you were feeling better? You're usually out cold by nine...

He kept talking, but in my heightened hormonal state all I heard was I DON'T LOVE YOU.

Me: I have to go now.

I spent the next few hours driving around, crying and shopping. I sat outside Pier One, sniveling, for a solid 30 minutes before venturing inside. I stopped crying long enough to buy two sequined pumpkins and an oil reed diffuser, then sat back in the driver's seat and bawled all over again.

Soon it was 9:30 p.m. 

Chuck called, I didn't pick up. My mother called, I picked up. She suggested, delicately, that I get a room by myself and get a good night's sleep. I tried to check myself into the nearest hotel only to be told they were booked. I drove to a package store and sat in the parking lot. I cried some more—mostly over how I couldn't drink any more.

I j--j--j--ust ne--ee---ee-ed v--v--v--odka...

Then, just like it was when I was pregnant with Junior and having a Bruce Banner moment—when he comes to, wearing his shredded clothing?!—it was over. I called Chuck and calmly explained that I was going to sleep at my girlfriend's, instead of make the hour drive home. He said he thought that was a good idea, and that he loved me very much. I sped away into the night and slept for a solid 10 hours.

But back to last night, and my conversation with Chuck about what he wants to do for his birthday this year.

Me: So what do you want to do????

Chuck: Whisper whisper whisper whisper whisper whisper.

Me: Really? That again?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Loving and hating your partner (it's all their fault!)

And just like that, my vertigo disappeared. I'm doing great.*

However, Junior, my oldest, has not been doing so great. After informing me that he wasn't going to his school's meet and greet because they "aren't going to rob me of my last few days of freedom" —drama, anyone?—he promptly came down with a 103 degree fever and the puke bug and missed the first week of school.

Sneaky bastard.

This wouldn't have been such a big deal except for the fact that it's the first week that Cam has started sleeping through the night. 

The first week. In six months.

For many, many, many months—SIX—I've been waking up one to two times a night to feed Cam (Chuck? Who's that? Was he supposed to help or something?)

Six agonizing months. Waking and sleeping. Sleeping and waking, all the while listening to Chuck's fake snores as the monitor crackled with cries. And if I kicked Chuck to wake him up? He'd mumble "Huh? Wha?" and act dazed and helpless, like a little orphan adrift at sea.

I came to hate the "Huh? Wha?" face so much that I stopped kicking him. 

Sneaky bastard.

Even worse—yes, there's more!—I'm not the kind of person who can wake up, be awake for half an hour and then instantaneously fall back asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. Nope, that's Chuck's magic trick. Sometimes I lay awake for hours after feeding Cam, thinking and thinking and thinking:

How could I have had THREE children with someone who fake snores through the crying? How can Chuck lie there, pretending to sleep through all these feedings? How could I have spent eight years co-parenting with someone who hasn't woken up to feed one baby? What kind of sadomasochist am I to have married and spawned multiple times with this man?  

Etc., etc., etc.

SIX fucking months x three kids = a not-so-pleased Mrs. Mullet

But it's ok! It's all over now. I survived two nights of Junior waking up every two hours to barf and whimper because Chuck, that darling man, redeemed himself by getting up with Junior while I lay in wait for Cam—except that Cam didn't wake up.

Mwahahaha. Don't you love when you pick the right child to oversee? I was giddy. And Chuck was exhausted. It was a beautiful thing.

The best part is that Junior is better and Cam has slept through the night for four nights in a row so perhaps—per chance?—it isn't a fluke.

Yes, we're staying married and keeping the kids!

This calls for champagne.

*Because I can drink again.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Parenthood sucked the life out of the peaceful unknown; vertigo has brought it back

I don't want to write about what I thought I wanted to write about—how working from home while having vertigo and trying to tend to three children, even with the help of a sitter, is insanity—because bleh, that's what it is, insanity.

Cruel, cruel insanity.

No, I want to write about my BPPV physical therapy session and a piece of advice given to me by the therapist which was, "Don't walk around a lot with your eyes closed."

At the time I'd scoffed. Who the hell walks around a lot with her eyes closed, even without vertigo? When I recounted it to Chuck we both scoffed.

"Lame," he'd said.

But then the wise ass part of me wondered, Why not? So I tried it.

First, inside my house. I tripped over Legos and the dog, of course, but there's something soothing about slowing your gait and feeling your way around. Even something stupid like reaching for butter in the refrigerator made me feel calmer. My hand felt textures. My face sensed the cold. I could lose myself in a quick daydream about falling asleep on that smushy loaf of bread.

Things slowed down.

I slowed down.

And outside, the grass underfoot was wonderfully soft. I didn't know if I was walking in a straight line. I didn't care. Added bonus: I could hear my children shrieking across the lawn but I couldn't see them, which made it easier to pretend they belonged to someone else.

I'm not sure why I ended up with vertigo—and truthfully, it's been a huge pain in the ass—but it did confirm something I realized at the beginning of summer, when the kids spent the weekend at my mother's and Chuck and I were in charge of only Cam; it was quieter, it was less frantic, and I actually heard my own inner thoughts.
We slowed down.

That weekend I'd realized that I don't want to wear the over-crazed, neurotic suit of motherhood anymore. I don't want to give in to the manic speed of it, and as much as my children try to drag me there, I'm going to push back. I'm going fight for the health of my brain cells. I'm going to fight for myself.

And for now I'm going to keep walking around with my eyes closed. Just for a few seconds here and there. Just for that quick little burst of a time out. Just because it's nice, for a change, to not see what's in front of me.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pssst, who's the hot mom with the huge tongue and bulging eyes? Why, it's me, Mrs. Mullet

I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post. I know my readers (hi Mom!) have been wondering where I've been.

Are you ready?

I've been at home.

No, wait, it gets better! I've been at home, walking around my house with the careful trepidation of someone who belongs in a nursing home. Why? Because....


I have had terrible vertigo. At my lowest points I've had to shuffle down the hall holding onto the walls, lest I go cross-eyed and collapse.


It feels like the room is spinning all the time. Look too quickly to the left? Spin, spin, spin. Stand up too fast? Spin, spin, spin. My eyes feel kind of twitchy in my head, too. For those of you who like to consume copious amounts of alcohol, like moi, it's the equivalent of the drunken spins, minus the enjoyable pre-gaming. 

At first I thought I was just tired and/or dehydrated. I have many children, one who doesn't yet sleep through the night, and I like my coffee and vodka. But after two weeks of shuffling and moaning my husband Chuck had finally had enough. 

I went to the same doctor who told me I had an enlarged tongue (I know I'm painting a super sexy picture of myself right now, what with my wall clinging, gigantic tongue growing self). 

He asked me a lot of questions (e.g., "Have your children hit you in the head with blocks lately?"), then made me lie back quickly so he could look into my eyes. 

"I know what you have!" he said. "It's benign paroxysmal positional vertigo."


Apparently benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is (a) annoying but not life-threatening and (b) annoying but not life-threatening. It's known on the street as BPPV, and I have to go to Mulletville Hospital for physical therapy (happily, the treatment has an 85% success rate). 

Because Chuck is such a peach, he went onto Youtube and found some exercises I can do right at home, right away. Specifically one by Dr. Jo (quick synopsis, she has the annoying cheeriness of an overeager gym teacher, but she grows on you).

I tried the exercises last night, after the kids went to bed. Chuck played me the video and when I went horizontal on the couch he (a) knowing he wasn't going to get any action and (b) knowing I'd want him to count from 1-30 for me 10 times announced he was going to the neighbors' for a beer. 

I felt somewhat worse.

This morning I tried the exercise after the kids had eaten breakfast. Junior happily operated the timer on my phone so I didn't have to count and Everett actually dragged a kitchen chair into the den so he could watch. Cam bounced and babbled in his exersaucer next to me.

I felt a lot better. I was surrounded by my little gaggle of supporters. All the times they'd puked me on or slept on me or cried on me—all that time and energy came back tenfold with their concern: "Is it working, Mom?" and "Do you feel any better?"

It's weird, this parenting gig. I couldn't see straight but man, for those few seconds everything was crystal clear.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What to do when your children want to eat in the bathroom

Overheard in the bathroom:

Junior: Look, cheese!

Everett: Cheese!

Junior: This is mine. Get your own.

Everett: No fair, I want some.

Junior: I found it. It's my cheese. Go ask Mom for more.

Everett: I found it!

Junior: No you didn't. You always do this. You always try to take things from me. I found it.

Everett: Give me the cheese!

Junior: I told you, I found it. It's mine! Moooooom!

Everett: Moooooom!

Junior: Moooooom, Everett's trying to take my cheese!

Everett: Moooooom, I want cheese too!

Me, bursting into the bathroom: What the heck is going on in here?

Junior: I found this cheese. It's mine!

Me: What cheese? And we don't eat in the bathroom.

Junior: This cheese.

Me: Uh....

Junior: I found it, it's mine.

Everett: No, I did!

Me: Uh, guys, GUYS! That's not cheese.

Junior: What is it?

Everett: Yes it is! I want cheese!

Me: It's...it's....um....something you can't eat.

Junior: Why not?

Me: It just is.

Junior: What is it? Mom why can't we have it?

Everett: I want cheese! No fair!

Me: Guys, GUYS! Take a deep breath. If you want cheese I will get you some...from the refrigerator. Now please, hand over the...cheese.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Soon it will overtake my mouth and engulf my head and I'll be able to lick, like, 300 lollipops at once

I went and hired myself a babysitter. Right now, she's downstairs listening to Junior and Everett wax on (and on and on and on) about Lego Ninjago. I can hear her Oh, wow-ing and neat-ing them as I type. She's also squealing excitedly at baby Cam's coughs, coos and hiccups.

I appreciate her enthusiasm. She's only 23, you know; her brain cells are ripe for the challenge. Unlike mine, which have parachuted out of my head in search of more relaxing places, like the toilet bowl.

I also appreciate her for allowing me to do exciting, me-time activities, like going to the post office and a doctor's appointment without three children in tow. I just came from the ear, nose, and throat doctor, in fact. He shoved a mini mirror down my throat and told me, with no obvious sign of concern, that my larynx is eroding and that my tongue is enlarged due to acid reflux.

When he gave me the diagnosis and subsequently prescribed me a protein pump inhibitor, I couldn't stop envisioning my poor little larynx and tongue. I thought about what they go through on a daily basis as my children wax on (and on and on and on) about Lego Ninjago and I say "Oh, really?!" five thousand times a day—

"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"
"Oh, really?!"

 —and how when baby Cam coughs, coos and hiccups and I say "Sweetie!" five thousand times a day—


I don't have a degree in medicine, but isn't it obvious? My swollen tongue isn't caused by GERD. My children are the reason my tongue has swelled up to the size of a large bakery roll—and if I'm not careful, by the time they're in their teens it will be the size of a minivan.

And do you know who'll be thrilled? Who'll be looking at me like, Oh, baby where have you been all my life? Yes, Chuck.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm starring in the new Stephen King book!

After Chuck and I had been dating for a few years but before we had kids, family excursions consisted of me, Chuck, my younger brother and my father. This worked out well for my father. Chuck is a fellow history buff so when we'd do our guided tours of dusty, historic homes/plantations/mills/settlements, Chuck and my father would listen intently to the tour guide and try to drink in as much knowledge as they could.

My brother and I, on the other hand, would usually mock the tour guide—discreetly, of course—make lewd comments about our fellow tourees—again, discreetly—and/or escape the guided tour via an open window so we could make a run for it.

Like I said, my father was in heaven when Chuck came along. Until he'd had a comrade, he'd literally pass out from the exertion of trying to listen intently to the tour guide while simultaneously expressing his disgust at our juvenile behavior. Our trips usually ended with him throwing his hands up in the air and swearing at us under his breath.

Things changed as my brother got older. Chuck seemed cooler to him, I guess, so our family excursions began to feel more like "sausage and cheese" trips, with me starring as the cheese who stands alone (I'd certainly rethink that trip to France).

Then Junior came along—and there was more testosterone.

Then Everett came along—Ibid.

Then I found out I was having another boy. And I kid you not, when I turned 40 this winter and they all stood there singing me happy birthday—Chuck, my brother, my father, Junior and Everett—and I rubbed my 8 month pregnant belly—which contained another sausage—I felt like I was in some crazy Stephen King book in which every woman on the planet, save myself, had been eaten and I was the lone survivor of Womankind.

I wish this blog wasn't anonymous because I took a picture of all of them standing there and it's a lot of dudes.

Late at night, when the house is quiet, I think about why it is that I'm surrounded by men. Is my astrological star aligned not just with Orion but with his 25 brothers? Was I a tragic wannabe football player in a former life and so the universe is making amends by giving me my own team, so to speak? Or am I part of a psychological study conducted by Thomas the Train, in which researchers try to gauge the exact moment a mother's brain will explode after a decade of exposure to Percy, Edward and Gordon?

Of course, there is no real answer. I love all the men in my life and that's the only thing that matters. And I'd worry that our future family trips (with me, Chuck and our sons) are going to feel like "sausage and cheese" trips part deux, but hell, why start worrying now? Cam is only four months. By the time our boys are tweens and interested in spending weeks playing Laser Tag or camping, I'll be ready—to fly myself to a swim-up bar with some girlfriends.

Until then, I just need to remember to keep my hand out of my pants. Must...not...assimilate...