Why am I the LEAST important person in my family?

I bought strawberries a couple of days ago. I realized there were a couple left, and I thought, “I should remind the girls to eat those when they get home.”

Then this rebellious thought popped up in my head: “Or, you know, YOU could eat them, because you LOVE strawberries!!!”


I do love fresh strawberries. But so do the kids, and they’re a bit pricey, so at some point, I just trained myself out of eating them. WHY!?!?!

I can actually explain that: 2011 was our annus horribilis. It was bad. We got to March 2012 and The King and I high-fived each other and said, “Hey, we didn’t lose the house!” While we were so broke, I had to be extremely budget-conscious with our grocery bill; consequently, we all went without certain treats. But when there were treats in the house, I sure as shit didn’t eat them. I saved them for everyone else. (If you’re thinking I probably lost weight that year, you’d be wrong. Thank you, fucked-up thryoid. But that’s a whole other post…)

So here we are, more than three years later, and I am still not in the habit of eating anything expensive. For all our joking about wine consumption, I actually only buy about one bottle a month. Because I don’t want to “waste” money on myself. I splurged and got myself pickles this week. No one else in the house eats them, so I don’t buy them. Ever.

So this is why I am asking myself, “Why am I the LEAST important person in my family?!?!”

Kids need new shoes? Run right out and get them. My only pair of tennies has holes? Oh, it’s OK. I’ll just shoe goo ‘em. I can wait. Daddy wants to trick out his motorcycle? SURE!

If I want a household project done, it’s not a priority. If The King wants something done, it’s done within days. If the girls ask Daddy to help them build, say, a Monster High doll house, he’s all over it.

If I ask my girls to do something, I frequently get, “Can I finish my show/eat my snack/finish staring at the ceiling first?” To which I have an almost-Pavlovian response: I immediately become a raving lunatic and tell them to get off their ass and help. It’s all very healthy and empowering, I’m sure. (Seriously, you would think they would KNOW better by now. Twits.)

For the longest time, I just thought I had trained everyone in my family to treat me like crap on these points. But a few years ago, I realized this is COMMON with moms. In fact, this is probably the NORM with moms.

One of my friends has been wanting to take guitar lessons for YEARS. For Christmas, her mom got her a guitar. She went to exactly TWO lessons, because she said all she could think, through each lesson, was: “Oh my god, we cannot afford these lessons…” She said it stressed her out so badly, the guitar is now packed away, where she can’t see it, because just looking at it was stressing her out, because her mom “wasted money” on her Christmas gift. Oy.

I have another friend, a single mom with one kid, who actually has a very healthy balance between meeting her child’s needs and her own. (Which is not to say she has never gone without for herself to pay for something for her kid. She’s done that countless times that I know of, and probably countless more I don’t know of.) One of her “friends” took her to lunch one day to tell her that she’s a selfish mom, and she needs to spend more time with her daughter.

So not only are we doing it ourselves, other women are reinforcing to us that we SUCK if we allow ourselves a little freedom?

I probably shouldn’t even get started with husbands — talk about a can of worms — but here goes: I don’t know about your husband, but no matter how broke we appear to be, mine manages to find money for things that are “important” (read: things that he unilaterally determines to be vital). He signed up for a weekend camp out/outdoor training, so of course he needed some new gear. NEEDED the gear, ladies. A couple of weeks later, I said, “Look, I need some money to go see a nutritional counselor. My thyroid is jacked up, and I feel like shit ALL the time. I need some help.”

His response made me want to punch him in the junk. He exhaled, annoyed, and said those famous words I hear regularly: “Can’t it wait until next month?”

No, you selfish mother-fucker, it cannot. And if, Dear Husband, you realized to what depths a mom must crash before saying, “OK, I need a couple hundred bucks for me,” you would never, EVER ask me to “wait until next month.”

I don’t think I need to tell you that “next month” never, EVER, comes.

I finally lost my shit. This is my HEALTH we’re talking about, for fuck’s sake. But by all means, let’s just keep going until I collapse. Suddenly the money “appeared” out of the budget.

Next month, I’m buying that “expensive” skin care I’ve been wanting for A YEAR. My kids can eat apples instead of strawberries. For once — just once — Mama is getting what SHE wants, goddamnit.



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Why aren’t you an “autistic mom” blogger?

I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t blog about the challenges of having an autistic child. The answer is simple: I’m not qualified to blog about it. In the realm of autism, we really lucked out.

A few days ago I was talking to a woman who coached Faerie Child’s basketball team a couple of years ago, along with her husband. I don’t remember why, but Faerie Child’s autism was relevant to our conversation. The other mom looked taken aback. She said: “Your daughter is autistic? I would never have known that.”(I had told her husband at the beginning of the season, but apparently he never told her. Because… men.) And I said, “Really?! Her skipping down the court and having animated conversations with herself didn’t clue you in?”

This picture illustrates what would probably be Faerie Child's favorite afternoon: a swing, her tablet, and NO ONE ELSE AROUND.

But mostly, Faerie Child at 13 is pretty typical, from what I’ve gathered about other teenage girls’ behavior from my friends. Her earbuds seem permanently attached to her cranium. She hides in her room a lot. I have to nag her to get her homework done. I have to insist she take a shower sometimes. We endure blow-ups and meltdowns from her that are so random and strange, I can only attribute them to hormones and adolescence. All common, run-of-the-mill stuff, according to my girlfriends.

Faerie Child is mainstreamed in a public charter school, although she has an IEP. She plays basketball in a regular league. She can follow directions. She helps out around the house. In the wide view of things, The King and I have it pretty damn easy.

This is not a picture of Faerie Child, but I think we've ALL seen that face...

Faerie Child’s autism is definitely an issue on a day-to-day basis, though. Feeding her is a fucking NIGHTMARE. (I cannot begin to explain why feeding autistic kids can be challenging. It’s not stubbornness; there are genuine issues for them eating food they find repulsive. But I can’t explain it cogently, making my point once again that I’m really not qualified to talk about this.)

To complicate things, she inherited my touchy blood sugar. When dealing with this issue, and trying to cajole her into eating something, anything, out in public, I’ve heard more than one snarky comment that about how I’m spoiling her and “she won’t starve.”  This is incorrect. She will starve. If there is no food that she finds acceptable, she simply won’t eat — or she’ll throw it up… and then the low blood sugar issue rears its ugly head, and then we have a full-blown DEFCON 1 meltdown.

SIDENOTE: At a kid’s birthday party once, as I was trying to get something halfway decent into Faerie Child’s mouth, a bitchy grandmother made that snarky “she won’t starve” comment as an aside to someone else. I pointedly looked at her — startling her, because she thought I couldn’t hear her — and then said VERY loudly, “Tell you what? When she goes into low-blood-sugar meltdown, and is a sobbing, screaming mess, I’ll send her to your house, and you can deal with it. How’s THAT sound?” She got embarrassed and then shut the fuck up. Really, though, people should know by now not to fuck with me. Do I seem like the kind of person who would let someone get away with that shit?! IDIOTS.

We’ve learned some coping mechanisms. We always make her eat before we go to a party. Before trying a new  restaurant, we check and make sure it offers at least ONE fall-back item. I pack her lunch with stuff I know she will eat, which is not the healthiest shit, I have to tell you.

It’s not just the food. She has a very limited tolerance for other humans, noises, smells and too much stimulation. To explain this in two of my favorite Faerie Child quotes: “I don’t get the point of parties,” and “I just like to be alone.” So to keep her from getting overwhelmed, we do not overschedule her. If she says she does not want to do something, we listen. We do not push her to spend time with friends. We joined a gym that has a family pool, because water soothes her.

Her autism definitely affects our family. Our younger daughter is as social as Faerie Child is un-social, so her sister ignoring her and refusing to play with her is hard on our little 9-year-old Diva. “Eating dinner as a family” is a joke, because Faerie Child snarfs her food (when she’ll eat it) and asks to be excused after about 90 seconds. (“Family Dinners” is a whole different blog topic. Oy.) If we’re out somewhere, and Faerie Child says she’s ready to go home, we get a move on. The King and I even vet potential employers to make sure they understand we may need to drop everything and go pick up our kid.

There are probably dozens of other quirks or behaviors of Faerie Child’s that are due to her autism, but that we just attribute to her being her. There may be dozens of other little ways that her autism has shaped our family that I’m not even aware of. But on the whole, she’s a pretty easy kid. We haven’t faced the challenges other parents have faced with their autistic kids. That’s why I’m not qualified to be an “autistic mom blogger.”

Of course, she’s just hitting 13, so god only KNOWS what the next few years will bring. Thankfully, there are loads of competent moms blogging about getting through autism. So I’ll leave that to the experts and stick to what I do best: littering the internet with F-bombs and embarrassing my children as much as humanly possible :)


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6 Things I Hate About My 40s

While I was in my 20s and 30s, many older lady friends of mine would tell me how great their 40s are/were.

One of my girlfriends whom I grew up with posted this and said, "This is why I love my 40s!" Maybe I'm lucky, but I've basically been this way my whole life. Never had time or patience for assholes or stupid people. Or stupid assholes.

  1. “Best years of my life!”
  2. “I felt like I finally really came into my own.”
  3. “In my 40s, I finally stopped caring what other people thought.”
  4. “My sex drive went through the roof! My husband didn’t know what hit him!”

Well here’s my response to all that rosy-eyed bullshit:

  1. The first one is a blatant LIE.
  2. Can’t  really relate to #2. See the Meryl Streep pic above.
  3. Really? It took you until your 40s to stop giving a shit about random people?!?!?
  4. Yeah, well, *I’m* the 18-year-old male in my marriage, so these days my husband is afraid to bend over for soap.

So aside from ALLLLLL that ridiculous bullshit, there are just so MANY things I hate about my 40s. In no particular order:

1. Hair. Everywhere. In places it had never been before.
OK, confession: I am very fortunate when it comes to body hair. I am a real blonde. The carpet matches the drapes. (Although yes, I get my hair done to lighten it up and hide the GREY). I have always had very little body hair. I shave my legs about 3 times a year. So, there’s that.

But chin whiskers?!?! Seriously, what the fuck?!
And suddenly my bikini area requires FAR more attention than it ever did before. It’s like my pubes are suddenly curious what’s down further on my thighs.
And my personal favorite: nipple hairs. NIPPLE. HAIRS. And those bitches are BLACK. Suddenly my body can make black hair?!? When did that start to happen?
Oh, and yeah, I had to pluck a hair out of my nose a few months ago. I cried. Because it hurt, and because I realized it was yet ANOTHER thing I was going to have to keep tabs on.

2. My upper arms.
Oh it’s not just the bingo wings, my friends. It’s the DIMPLING. I have looked around at my other reasonably-fit friends, and I realized it’s almost inevitable. Sure, I have some friends who still look amazing. But I have other friends who looked FABULOUS… until they hit 40. For some of us, no matter how much we work out, no matter what yummy food we deprive ourselves of, our muscles just seemed to get tired and start to dangle off our arms. And the skin just sort of gives up and gets all dimply… I can’t go on. It’s just too depressing.

3. Boobs trying to escape to the Southern Hemisphere.
We don’t really need to go here, do we? I avoid going braless around the house anymore because, inevitably, I seem to painfully smash/clip/almost rip off my nipple on something… something that I thought was probably belly-button height, but that is just slightly — ever so slightly — higher than that.

See? She's looking at the floor. She can't face it either.

4. Saggy knee-skin.
I do yoga pretty regularly. I have for about 15 years. These days, if I’m not wearing long enough pants, I have to close my eyes during Downward Dog. It’s just… it’s too demoralizing. Staring at the wrinkly skin gathering above my knee caps is the opposite of relaxing and soothing. I saw a picture of Elle McPherson in a bikini when she was in her late 40s. She looked fucking AMAZE-BALLS… and the skin above her knees sagged. Oh yeah. I enjoyed it. More than a little.

5. My INSANE Uterus.
These days, I’m either menstruating or ovulating. It’s like my uterus goes, “What? No baby? CLEAN HER OUT. Let’s go again!” So instead of the length of my cycle stretching out, and getting to enjoy longer respites between having my uterus try to kill me by bleeding me out, I now get to enjoy Aunt Flow’s visits every. three. weeks. FUCK THIS SHIT.

The look on my face whenever a cramp hits, and I feel like I've been sucker-punched in the ladyparts. Also, the amount of blood I FEEL like I am covered in.

And Aunt Flow is not polite. Oh GOD no. No, she feels the need to bleed me like the pigs they bled to coat Carrie. I’m getting to the point where I’m considering carrying Depends around in my purse.

(Thank god my mom — a retired nurse — taught me that hydrogen peroxide gets out blood. Otherwise, I’d be buying sheets, underwear and pants by the dozen.)

Oh… and ovulating. Oh my sweet ovaries. What have I EVER done to you? My ovaries seem to have joined in the campaign to destroy me from within. Over the years, I often felt myself ovulate. It was only occasionally unpleasant. But these days? Christ, it feels like some telekinetic demon is trying to twist my Fallopian tubes  into a knot. And, just for good measure, I frequently ovulate on both sides. Because Mother Fucking Nature is going, “Go go go!! Drop those eggs!! Use ‘em or lose ‘em!”

Why does it suddenly hurt so much, you ask? Well, Margaret, every month when you ovulate, you basically develop a cyst on the ovary, then the cyst pops and releases the egg. Apparently, this leaves a little scar tissue behind. At my advanced age of 43, after 30 years of ovulating, there is, presumably, a fuckload of scar tissue on my ovaries, and my eggs have to claw their way free.

So these days, I’m hornier than I have EVER been… and my uterus is thwarting me one out of every three weeks. That BITCH.

6. My metabolism now defies the laws of physics.

When you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight, right? I mean, it’s simple physics.

NOT AFTER 40. My body put on 15 – 25 pounds (I fluctuate) in my late 30s, for no apparent reason, and it is holding on the added weight with a death grip. I’ve tried low-carb, vegan, Paleo,  and good old-fashioned low-calorie diets. NOTHING has worked. Nothing. I trained for and ran a half-marathon on my 39th birthday. BUPKUS. I went back to weights and cardio. Nada. Tried interval workouts. ZILCH. I still have this spare tire… along with chin and nipple hairs, saggy knees, belly-button-level nipples and ladyparts that are plotting my ultimate destruction.

Oh yeah. I love my 40s. Best years of my fucking life.





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When did kids’ homework get so fucking complicated?!?

Here’s my FB post from a few days ago. I’ll just use this as my intro.

My kids have been homeschooled or private schooled… until now. Faerie Child started at a Charter Middle School in January. I was FLABBERGASTED to discover that The King and I have a new part-time job: managing her homework. On all 4 — count ‘em, FOUR – websites that we have to monitor. She is being really responsible and honestly doing the best she can, but… JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!! When I was in 6th grade, my mother did not have to be involved with my schoolwork on a daily basis! What the fuck HAPPENED in the last 30 years?!?~T

And here’s an email I just sent to all of Faerie Child’s teachers — all of whom are AWESOME, and making sure my autistic kid is absolutely in love with her new school. This frustration is really just coming from me whining and stomping my feet and going “It’s not FAIR! Why do *I* have to do it?!?!”

TO: Faerie Child’s Teachers
SUBJECT: Faerie Child’s Homework Websites and other things that make me drink

Hi Teachers,

My husband and I have made arrangements to get tutoring from Faerie Child’s homeroom teacher in [Homework Site #1], [Homework Site #2], and [Homework Site #3] … DID I FORGET ANYTHING?!  (I’m convinced there’s another homework website just waiting to bite us in the heinie.) Hopefully, this will help us help Faerie Child understand where the frick everything is on all the school websites, because I sure as crap can’t find anything. 

This tutoring should happen this week. So please know that Faerie Child is going to be behind in her schoolwork for yet another week.

I should also explain that not all of Faerie Child’s classes were added to her [Homework Site #1] until recently. We did not know that ALL of them were SUPPOSED to be on [Homework Site #1] until last week, or we would have asked about it sooner. I thought, since math has its own website, that perhaps [Homework Site #1] was only for certain classes. I see now that I. was. mistaken. 

I apologize for not being more pro-active with this [since she transferred to this school 8 weeks ago]. Well, we thought we WERE… until I started getting emails about missing assignments that I cannot locate on [Homework Site #1], [Homework Site #2] or wherever the mean internet elves are hiding them.

I truly had no idea how complicated homework has gotten in the last 30 years. Even Faerie Child lamented to me one evening, “Doesn’t anyone give paper homework anymore?” No, Virginia, and THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS.
Thank you all for your patience with us newbies. 

Faerie Child’s confused and confounded parents

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I’d like a discount…

K and I have a friend who owns Once Upon a Time Character Company in Southern California. It’s  a really cool company that lets people hire princesses and other literary characters for kids’ birthday parties and other events.

Our friend, like other business owners, often gets some… strange requests. In particular, she gets… “odd” discount demands. My favorite was this recent gem:

“I’m [ethnic group], so there will be a lot of people at my party, and your company will get a lot of exposure. I want a discount, since it’s free advertising for your company.”

This person was completely serious.

So the other day, I decided to have some fun on our friend’s Facebook wall. I posted the craziest shit I could think of, and of course K and others got in on the act.

Here’s what went down:

Theresa: I’m Irish, so there will be a lot of drunk people at my party. Your characters will probably be assaulted. I’d like a discount.

Theresa: I’m from Idaho, and there are only like 1.5 million of us. So if you do my party, everyone in Idaho will know about your company. I’d like a discount.

Theresa: I’d like to book your company for a party at our nudist colony. Please send your characters with nothing but tiaras. Since your characters will be naked, I’d like a discount.

Theresa: I’d like all of your princesses, but the party will just be me. I’ll be staring at your characters through a hole in the wall. It’ll just be me, so I’d like a discount.

Theresa: Please send your princesses as zombies. Since they don’t have to be pretty, I’d like a discount.

Theresa: I’d like your “off-brand” princesses. It’s OK if my kid and her friends never heard of those “characters.” I’d like a discount.

Theresa: I’d only like princesses who are under 5’2″. Since they’ll be short, I’d like a discount.

Kerstin: None of my guests speak English, so your princess won’t have to read stories, or even speak. I’d Like a discount.

Theresa: Please to have princesses bring all passports. Huzbend eez NOT Rrrussian mafia. Eez ugly rumor. Please to no ask questions. I vant discount.

Kerstin: If I give you 20 bucks, can your princess just drive by and wave? She doesn’t even have to wear the dress.

Theresa: How much is it to have a princess call my daughter and tell her she’s been bad, and that’s why there won’t be any princesses at her birthday party?

Kerstin: I want hipster Little Mermaid. Since she’s ironic and douchey, I want a discount.

David: Do your princesses have a “furry companion” option? I would very much like to have an adult man dressed as Meeko at my next party.

Heather: If I brush their pretty hair and put on their makeup and dress them up myself in the fancy dresses I ordered online that were just delivered to the basement of my mother’s house, can I get a discount?

Kerstin: I was mouse #2 in my high school production of Cinderella. If I ear the dress myself, can I get a discount?

If you’ve ever owned a business, or really, done customer service of any kind, you’ve probably gotten insane requests like these. We probably can’t even come UP with the craziest one possible.

So let’s hear it! Post it in the comments below. What’s the most effed-up, ridiculous, you’ve-got-to-be-punking-me request you’ve ever fielded? Winner gets a … hearty handshake ;)

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Krampus is watching…

–posted by Kerstin

I’ve never actually owned an Elf on the Shelf. It seemed like an awful lot of work. A lot more work for ME. The Elf “tries to bake cookies,” and  “leaves a mess in the kitchen” over night… and *I* have to clean that shit up? FOE-GET it.

It’s no secret I have a dark, DARK sense of humor. Believe me when I tell you my kids have inherited it. They’ve been fighting a lot lately–a LOT– and I needed better ammunition that some pansy, lame-ass, Elf on a Shelf. And so an idea was born: #krampusiswatching.

If you’re not familiar with Krampus, allow me to borrow from wikipedia:

Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair…There has been public debate in Austria in modern times about whether Krampus is appropriate for children.[7]

My friend Sam, also a parent with a dark sense of humor, sent me an early Christmas gift.

My friend Sam loves me SO much, he sent me this monstrosity

So of COURSE, Krampus visited my kids while they were sleeping:

I showed them the pics the next morning, and Type A, age 12 (far right) just rolled her eyes. The Boy, age 8 (far left) has already hopped-to, though. And Firecracker, age 10 (middle) is fencey about the whole thing.

It didn’t stop there, though. Oh no. When they went to get breakfast this morning, they were greeted with… THIS!

Hey kids! Time for breakfast! *tee hee*

Personally, I’m gonna have fun with this. I’ll keep you posted.












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Because it’s da rules. Dat’s why.

From time to time, it seems we need to reset our boundaries here on
Valium. Restate the purpose of our FB page and blog, and why we started them in the first place, if you will. So here goes:

1. Our FB page and our blog are places where people can vent without judgment. If you feel the need to say something shitty or judgy, refrain. You’re on the wrong page. Just don’t bother. We delete stupid comments and ban all assholes.

2. Unless someone specifically asks–including K or T–no one on this page is EVER asking for advice. We are looking for support and commiseration, not yet MORE judgment and assurance that we’re doing it wrong. FIGHT THE URGE to offer unsolicited advice. It just leads to lots and LOTS of eye-rolling.

3. If you think it’s funny to belittle someone over typos, YOU ARE WRONG. It’s not funny. It’s sanctimonious and obnoxious. And we say this as shameless grammar snobs. GET OVER YOURSELF.

4. Anyone who attacks anyone else on this page immediately gets banned. Immediately. We’re not here to moderate debates. We’re here to support each other in trying to do the best that we can.

5. If you’re offended by foul language–including the use of “OMFG” or “Jesus Fucking Christ,” you’re on the wrong page. Buh BYE.

6. Don’t pimp your shit on our page–products, FB pages, group, etc. It’s rude.

7. We support the troops. Over. Done with. If that offends you, too bad.

8. We tend to ignore most assholic, judgy, snotty comments directed at either of us. We just don’t care enough to bother responding. If your life is so little and sad that you need to pick on two random moms on FB, we feel bad for you. And we will ban you when you piss us off enough.

This page is for FUN. It’s for laughing at our failures as parents, it’s for sharing our triumphs as parents, and it’s for having a community of people who aren’t trying to shame or judge each other.

We have deliberately NOT sought out a following. We made a conscious decision to let our page grow naturally, figuring the people who would really enjoy it (and might need it!) will somehow find us.

The VAST majority of people on this page are truly awethome. We work to cull the assbutts and get rid of them. But if you see yourself in any of the items listed above, please…
go cull yourself.
Thank you.

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Unsung Heroes of Bed-Making

Moms get a lot of play in the media. From Tiger moms to slacker moms. French moms to moms who breastfeed until the kid is old enough to ask for the car keys.  Moms get play in the media because Moms do a lot. We work, we volunteer, we help sell Girl Scout cookies. We cook, we clean, we do laundry, we drive drive drive.  We remember doctor appointments, dentist appointments, meetings, field trips, and when library books are due.  We cut fingernails and toenails before they reach Wolverine status (or TRY to, anyway), bandage boo-boos, remind to brush brush brush and floss floss floss.  We grit our teeth at homework time, science fair time, and while brushing out tangles roughly the size of a womprat.  Everyone sings the praises of Mother for all this and more. But you know what I never see? Moms getting kudos for bed-making.  I did some math, and figured I have made approximately 2000 beds in the past 11 years. And this doesn’t include the daily bed-making when the kids were little. This is weekly tearing-the-bed-apart-and-putting-on-clean-sheets bed-making.  I got to thinking about this a few months

Luckily, someone who can afford a bed like this probably has a hired hand who takes care of pesky household chores like bed-making.

ago, as I scraped my knuckles YET AGAIN on Type A’s headboard.  I remember my mom making all our beds.  I remember sliding into those cool, clean sheets, blankets heavy on my body.  That fresh smell of recently washed laundry that never lasted long enough, but was so soothing.  I remember feeling loved and safe.  I also remember never thanking my mom for doing it.  Why would I?  In my childhood mind, it was what moms did.  Like making dinner, and teaching me how to tie my shoes.  Mom-work.  But now, as a Mom myself, I realize how much WORK goes into making beds, and I have to say I HATE clean sheet day.  I very rarely escape without a scraped knuckle, broken nail, bruised shin or sore back.  And word to the wise: think twice before getting a bunk bed.  Then think twice more.  Sure, kids love them, and they ARE space-savers, but you have to know it will be YOU who has to climb your fat, scared ass up that ladder to change the sheets, clean up vomit, or spray the mattress down because of a pee accident.  You will

Room for ACTIVITIES is GREAT, but who wants to try to change the sheets in the death-bed??

madly try to remember what the max weight limit is as you lay yourself flat across that top bunk to distribute your weight more evenly (like with snow or quicksand).  Have you ever tried to put clean sheets on a bed while laying flat on your stomach?  Yeah.  It’s terrifying.  Trying not to move too much because the bed sways and makes alarming creaking noises.  Imagining a catastrophic collapse turning you into a bunk bed sandwich, like Will Ferrell in Step-Brothers.  Yeah, I did that for a few years until I begged hubby to separate the bunks, because it really was just a question of WHEN the bed would collapse, not IF. Speaking of hubby, I don’t know why sheet-changing became exclusively “Mom work”.  Looking back, I don’t know of any Dads who changed sheets when I was a kid.  Maybe it’s because most men don’t mind wallowing in the same dirty sheets for a month or more.  Ugh. Just the THOUGHT of that makes me all skeevy.  I don’t know how they do it.  I think most men believe there is a Clean Sheet Fairy who flies in while they are at work, and puts clean sheets on the beds.  Kind of like the Clean Underwear Fairy, and the Clean Sock Fairy.

So I guess my point here is this:  Call your Mom (or whoever was your chief bed-maker back when you were a kid) and say “Thank you.”  Thank her/him for the scraped knuckles/sore backs/broken nails they had to endure.  Thank her/him for those middle-of-the-night sheet changes when you puked, peed, or pooped all over the bed.  Thank her/him for changing your sweaty sheets when you were sick, and your fever broke.  Thank her/him for enduring the nightmare of folding clean sheets to put away in the linen closet (folding fitted sheets makes me want to punch myself in the face).  And make sure your kids understand the sacrifice YOU make every week changing out those nasty dirty sheets by complaining loudly and sighing a lot.  Muttering the f-word under your breath gets your point across nicely as well.  Also, if you have a bunk bed to take care of, make sure you hand your cell phone to one of the kids with strict instructions on how to call 9-1-1 if the bed collapses under you.  That gets the point across to the kids that every time you make that bunk bed, you take your life into your own hands.  I’m not above guilting a “thank you” out of them.  But to be honest, I DO get a weird satisfaction of watching them snuggle down into a bed of clean sheets because I know they are experiencing that same intangible sense of well-being I did when I was a kid.  And sometimes, that is thanks enough.



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How Monday Killed Tuesday, Then Wore Tuesday’s Skin Silence-of-the-Lambs-style, Just So It Could Catch Me Unawares (or How I Got Coffee on the Ceiling).

I was walking through the hall, holding a mug of coffee, when it happened. I paused to tap on the closed bathroom door, to make sure my oldest, Type A, was going to the bathroom, and not giving herself premature hemorrhoids by sitting on the toilet for 45 minutes with the ipad. All of a sudden, it’s like my hand forgot it was holding a mug of coffee, and it just…. let go. The mug fell to the carpet and hit, bottom first, causing the hot coffee inside to forcefully eject from the mug like demon vomit from Linda Blair’s unholy mouth. I only had time to gasp in horror as the coffee shot out, splattering the walls and covering me head to toe. I stood there, frozen, as coffee dripped from my hair Carrie-style (pig’s blood for a pig),

This is what I looked like, only I was covered in coffee, not pig's blood.

and ran down the walls in little brown rivulets. And my God! Was that coffee on the ceiling???? ON THE CEILING????? I managed to choke out a horrified “Oh my GOD” before the kids came running. When they saw the mess, they too, froze. Probably in fear. “Can you guys PLEASE get me some TOWELS?” I asked through clenched teeth, not even knowing where or how to begin cleaning up this mess. It was the blue slushy all over again. The kids ran around like the 3 stooges, running into each other in their eagerness to ward off what was sure to be a Mount Vesuvius-style blow-up from yours truly.


One ran and brought back a bunch of rags. The other two brought paper towels, and mercifully, some cleaning spray. They then quietly went into their separate rooms and shut the doors. An unearthly silence fell over the whole house, and if I HAD been Carrie (of Stephen King fame), you can BET I would be using mind bullets to vent my anger. I looked down, and there, in a puddle of coffee that was slowly being absorbed by the beige carpet, was my mug. Upside down. I can only assume it hit the floor, bounced, flipped over, and landed on the rim. Stupid fucking mug. I hate you. So. First things first. I wiped my face and blotted my hair (it was in my HAIR!!!). I felt sticky and nasty but before I could clean myself up, I had to take care of the carpet. And the walls. And the ceiling. So I mop up the mess on the floor as best as I can, then attack the walls with cleaning spray and paper towels. Once that was done, I headed downstairs to get the carpet cleaner. That’s when I notice the coffee dripping down the banister. THE BANISTER?? OH COME ON!!! THAT’S LIKE 10 FEET AWAY FROM GROUND ZERO!!! HOW CAN COFFEE POSSIBLY FLY THAT FAR???? So I get the carpet cleaner and lug it upstairs, and I get to work. Soon, the upstairs smells like wet carpet and cold, dirty vanilla Via, and it is making me vaguely nauseous. And no matter how much I go over the area, there is still a vague brown stain on the carpet. One I cannot blame on the kids OR the dog. I guess I’ll just have to resign myself to having an ugly brown stain on the carpet. I finally get to shower, and realize that I was wearing my last clean pair of non-holey jeans when the “incident” occurred. Damn it. I’m afraid to even ASK if this day could get any worse, because we all know it can.
And that, my friends, is why you can never trust Tuesday. -K

I hated it so much.... it-it- the f - it -flame - flames. Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breath- heaving breaths. Heaving breaths...

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Kerstin went to a nice Christmas party & all I got were these HEEElarious texts

These are NOT the people Kerstin spent Saturday night with. But aren't they lovely?

Personally, I am deeply thankful that Kerstin and I are not famous. If anyone ever hacked our phones, and got a hold of our text conversations, they would be convinced that two 10-yr-old boys had gotten ahold of their moms’ phones. Yup. LOTS of poop jokes. ‘Cause they never get old. Also, play-by-plays of how wretched our periods are. OK, maybe 12-yr-old girls…

Anyway, here are our texts back and forth from Saturday night. I am translating them as texted—in all their Swype Autocorrect glory. I never did figure out what one or two texts meant:

Kerstin and I text each other constantly. But I didn’t hear my phone for about an hour, then checked it and saw I had missed 15 texts. FIFTEEN.

Kerstin: Omg I am at Studly’s work Christmas party. He forgot something, so he has to run home, which will take like 30 mins snd I am here with a bunch of people I don’t know.

K: Thank gid I am getting to know this lemon drop pretty well


K: ONE DRINK TICKET down, 3 more to go…

K: Shit. I just remembered I forgot to put my black bra on under my blck knit swear… My white bra totes shows thru. That calls for another lemon drop.

K: Drinkey drankey drunkey dronkey… I getting dronkey

K: Oh shit I think kenny g is here

K: Ok, not kenny g but but solo clarinet (out whatever jenny g plays) playing in the corner to a prerecorded track

K: Actually a classy party

K: Your stol continue to very updates until Studly comes back [Nope. I don’t have a fucking clue either.]

K: Omg the last text made no sense … Stupid Swype

K: Ok, and stupid lemon drop… can’t blame it aaalll on swyped this time

K: Whaaaaa? Pumpkin spice martini? Oh, that shall be my next stinky

K: Drinky not stinky [by this point, I can totes hear her teeth grinding and see her fighting the urge to bitchslap her own phone]

Theresa: I just read AAALLLLLL 15 texts, and I cannot BREATHE.

K: ON the shorter peeinf out some martini… My texts are hilarious

Theresa: Ima post em on Valium 2morrow

K: Ok

K: While I feel like my makeup is running down my face in drunken sludge, I actually look almost human.

Theresa: I drank a BOTTLE of wine at The King’s christmas party last night.

K: Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttt

K: Omg bartenders made do a digit if tequila… Haywards [never got that one either]

Theresa: Lsnb! I can’t WAIT until u read that one tomorrow.

K: Lmao!

K: Looking at Studly over they rew in his wrinkled red sweater makes me wish I ironed but only s little

K: you should read my tweets… An ode to the lemon drop

K: I like drink people… Especially dronk me

Kerstin tweeted these over the course of an hour. An hour I spent wheezing and gasping for breath.

Oh lemon drop martini, how do I love thee, let me count the ways….

1. You help me to navigate the social niceties of a work xmas party…

2. You quench my liquor lust

3. You give me the liquid courage to mingle with people I don’t know

4. You are so tasty

5. You are starting to make me feel dizzy and a smidge spinny

6. You are making me feel slightly amorous

9. I love you, man [yes, she skipped 7 & 8. She was drunk! Don’t judge.]

B. You make me want to talk to strangers like they were my best friends

Threeve. Oh, lemon drop… You are all gone… I shall have to ask thre bartender if you have any sisters….

? Three drink tickets left…. I may get into some trouble…..

Omg a pumpkin spice martini? Sorry lemon stop… You are booted

Heels and booze do NOT mix

I worked really vargas to NOT embarrass Studly art the part tonight. It worked…i only embarrassed myself

Drinky drankey drunkey dronkey

If a drunk Kerstin falls in her ved, does she make a sound? Question of the ages…

Then she came home and drunkbooked all over FB:

Kerstin’s comment on our friend’s status: “Fuckin awesome. Of course, I am completely drink right now, so my awesome scale might be off…”

Annnnd again: “Of course, I am drunk right now, so these might just be the ramblings if a crazy drunk person…”

To which I replied: “I think we can safely go with option B”

Kerstin: Bitch. I love tou

When I sent her the whole blog post of all her tweets and texts that night, she wrote:

Kerstin: “Ok mg. I would be ensured if I wasn’t still drunk”

Theresa: “You just keep digging yourself in deeper… and like a true bestie, I just keep LAAAAAUGHING.”

Kerstin: Whore. You know you love me. SAY MY NAME, BASTION! [You know she’s drunk when she’s throwing out quotes from “The Neverending Story.” Skip to 5:10 of this clip. Holy crap, that movie was bad…]

Theresa: This is ALLLLL going in the blog, baby!

And her final tweet of the night:
Dear bed…. Spin allllll you want, ima routed axmas I’m a sleep…. Night night

I would just like to say, I worked really vargas to get this all typed up.


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