Wednesday, August 28, 2013

aca awkward

have you ever been in that conversation with that one person who doesn't know when the conversation ended for you?  there are natural and progressive parts of a conversation and if you have any social skills at all, you know exactly that point that i'm talking about.  travis and i used to call it the three taps.  it's where a conversation has a natural break and that's the non-awkward time for someone to hang up the phone, walk away, drive off, whatever is appropriate.

yesterday, i had the pleasure of chatting with someone who has never heard of this concept in her life.  or if she has, she was doing an amazing job of hiding it.  the initial conversation was normal, had to do with our kids who are the same age and what extra curricular activities they were going to be involved in this year.  normal.  once i had answered her initial question and appropriately discussed the topic, she could have walked away.  she didn't.  she stood in the doorway and waited.  then began telling me all about their family history, their background, their goals and past conversations and a bunch of information i didn't want to know.  i wasn't asking additional questions.  i was hardly looking at her.  she JUST.KEPT.GOING.

mandy and i like to mess with each other when this stuff happens ... i'll send her a facebook message, she'll send me a text, whatever we do - we avoid eye contact at all costs...for fear that we'll bust up laughing.  so when i hear my phone buzz, i know it's her.  it's her messing with me.  i read the text.  doing my best to control my laughter when i read, "I mean...what?  You wanted to know his sports history, right?!" 

it was aca awkward.  it was super awkward.  she didn't walk away.  she didn't leave.  she lingered.  how do people not have social skills?!  even my cat knows when i stop petting him to jump down and find someone else to love on.

being aware of concepts like this is probably how people make it past acquaintance and into friend in my world.  that's probably not true.  i think about the people that i consider to be my best friends and wonder how they made it past my wall of, "mmmeehh - i have enough friends," my beliefs that would make a nun blush, and my comments that would cause the cast of SNL to grab a pen and paper.

i'm pretty convinced people who have this delusion that everyone wants to hear what they think, or hear their voices in general, didn't have parents like me.  they probably never heard their mother tell them to stop talking, they probably never experienced a family game night where it was ok that a child lost, they probably never had their parents play cards with another family until the wee hours of the morning - kids banished to the living room with age appropriate games, nintendo, or tv ... they never had to sit through a church service with nothing more than a bulletin, pencil and stick of Big Red to get them through the "boring parts"....

as a parent, i hope to tolerate and listen to (and have) a little more frivolous dialogue, but not to the point that my kids become the one who lingers as an adult with no concept of when to walk away.  whether it's walking away from a relationship, a friendship, a job, or a simple conversation - i hope that they will catch a little bit of the hollie hardass snark ...  that name is a gift from one of my bff's, and it probably fits...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Demolition Derby Details

Call it a whim, call it a lapse in judgement, I agreed to make a trek to Colfax, IA last weekend for a fantabulous night at their local demolition derby.

I have three boys and two men that are constantly in my life, so none of this seems like a stretch for me.  They do crap I want to all the time, they take me places, they spend their money doing a bunch of stuff they don't really want to, but they do it to appease me.  So I've convinced myself that I can do this, that I can sit on some bleachers watching cars crash into eachother, sling a little mud and head home for the night.  Plus, the entire night was going to cost all of $20.  I can't take my family to McDonald's for less than that ...

We get to Colfax and everyone is hungry, the initial plan was to grab McDonald's on the way into town - but the boys had just had that last night, and the thought of spending 80 points on whatever meal I got didn't appeal to me.  I was being a brat and throwing a tantrum and wanted to find something else.  Google told me there is a pizza place, a Subway, a McDonalds and a diner of some sort ... the pizza place had a 45 minute wait so we went in search of Subway. 

We found Subway, ordered, sat down, and I was about 5 inches into my footlong and I couldn't chew.  I didn't have to keep going to know what was in my mouth.  A piece of fatty, ligament, nasty, hard, whatever the hell it's called meat filler in my mouth.  I get the chills, I am seriously ready to throw up.  C'mon.  I do the right thing, I order a turkey sub with spinach and cucumber and THIS is the thanks I get!??!  This is horseshit.

Annoyed, I refuse to take another bite, reminding myself that next time I'll get a cheese sandwich...or a veggie delite...something that would have less chance of making me want to vomit. 

We make our way to the derby.  pay our admission, drive down the gravel road and I feel like fell bass ackwards into a country song.  I have never, ever, in my life seen so many pickup trucks, cans of bush light, or people smoking their cigarettes in my entire life.  I swallowed - hard.  Trying to be excited, trying to be happy, trying to be fun, trying to be a good sport.  I realized, almost instantly, that we should have came straight to the fairgrounds rather than getting dinner.  Afterall, the most expensive item on their concession stand was like $2 - a helluva lot cheaper than my wretched subway.  Turns out, everyone gets to back their pickup trucks directly up to the gates and enjoy the show from the bed of their truck.  There are four small sets of bleachers that are completely full - I mean, COMPLETELY full.  We walk around the arena and come across a spot that has room for about two adults, we are about to fit three adults and three children.  Travis asks the guy right behind the spot if the seats are taken and he tells us to go ahead and sit down.

Lady on the lawn chair next to the bleachers starts objecting, telling me that these seats are taken.  Now, I would love to tell you that SHE was being irrational, that SHE was being unreasonable, but this blog is loaded with honesty and I see no reason to stop that now.  It was ME who was irrational and unreasonable.  I felt like I just walked through a ring of fire (which was actually just cigarette smoke and spilled beer) - I could hear the intro to the tom petty song "wont back down" and if I was about to throw down over these seats.  Just before I was able to prove that despite my brushed teeth, washed hair, and clothing that appropriately covers my body, I will get loud, I will get crazy and I have NO problem being mean, her husband interjects and tells her that he didn't mind giving up his seat, that, "these people have small kids and need a place to sit"  I apologized to her for the things I did and didn't say, she apologized too.

This was not my element - it really, REALLY wasn't.  There was far too much smoking for my liking, we were outside and it felt like everyone was smoking and blowing their smoke right at me and my kids.  I was frustrated by the parents who were holding their babies and smoking at the same time.  I was really irritated that the "officials" or flag people were chain smoking - one right after another! They are like the "cool people" that all of the kids are watching and they have a flag in one hand, cig in another.  Gross.  I was annoyed that people had their newborn babies out at this event, I was annoyed that the "DJ" had a playlist with the same four songs that were playing over and over and over again, I was REALLY annoyed that the theme of the derby was "Get Smashed in Colfax" - my kids wanted t-shirts and THAT wasn't going to happen.

Truth be told, it was a stretch to get the boys to look at me long enough to take the pictures and the biggest two wouldn't look at me.  whatever.  so they had a good time.  the youngest two asked to go to the car with two heats left ... it was about 9pm and was getting dark and I held the boys' hands and made the long trek back to the mini van... it's funny though, every thing I've said about this derby and I would tell you that I wasn't nervous at all while walking two kids by myself in a field of pickup trucks and wrangler jeans ... i figured, in general, the most trouble I would have found was with lawn chair lady, and that was hours ago....and I was right.

There are a million songs about trucks, coon hounds, country back roads, good ol' boys, tailgates and tan lines and I know a good many of them.  someday, local fair grounds will join the rest of iowa in being a smoke free event.  Until then, I'll take solace in the fact that my boys were disgusted by the smoking almost as much as I was ... and when you ask them what they remember about Saturday night, they talk about cars and mini vans crashing into each maybe they weren't in culture shock, maybe they'll be just fine if they have this much exposure to THIS breed of redneck once or twice a year....

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Twenty Ten Baby

Once upon a time I was pregnant and was drinking 100 ounces of water to keep my blood pressure low so i didn't have to have a baby earlier than i wanted to.  I had a doctors appointment on Wed the 18th, was told by the doctor to stay home the 19th because he wanted to recheck my levels the next day once I had rested...went in on the 19th and they redrew labs.  I figured the next step was bed rest, I didn't figure a baby.

I got The Osborn Call that evening when my labs came back, telling me that while my blood pressure and swelling were amazing, my platelets were not.  damn.  surgery the next day.  I remember asking him if it was too early.  I was only 35 weeks pregnant.  he said we'd just have to see.

The next morning, my 7 pound, 15.4 ounce baby was born via csection.

I loved my OB - he was great - after months of promising me that he would get me some valium to calm me down before the spinal - he laughed, said I was fine and that he must have lied to me, but that i'm here and i'm doing great so we're going to keep going.  WHAT?!!?  The ONLY reason I was fine was because I was supposed to have SOME type of anti anxiety medication and I got a the dr who I had seen through three high risk pregnancies and 8 years of exams is laughing at me.  I was floored.  All in all, he was right, I was fine. 

A few hours after he was born I noticed that he was grunting - like a little piggy - I mentioned it to the nurse and she said she would check his oxygen levels.  Turns out grunting in infants is a sign of respiratory distress....they moved him to the NICU before anyone met him. 

I had to fight tooth and nail to do things that I knew as a mother to do - breastfeed, hold him, see him.  And made the swift decision that no one was meeting him until my older boys had.  (Have I ever told you how good I am at making waves??)  Grandma's and Grandpa's were irate, friends were bummed and I was clenching to this one.last.thing. that it felt I was in control over. 

Two days later he was discharged back to the "regular" nursery because my pediatrician is amazing.  my business partner and budding best friend came later that evening to visit and to tell me that she quit her job with the wicked witch of the west via was probably the best evening in the hospital i've ever had :)

About Aaron:

~ he could not have been an Ace or Apollo
~ he is the baby of the family, however is afraid of no one.  brothers be dammed.
~ he will tell on you, even if you think he wont
~ he loves tractors, fast cars, helicopters and every sport possible
~ he loves rollerblades and will tell you all about how he is going to pway bwasebawl soon
~ he loves water, swimming, sprinklers and playing in daycare's drinking fountain
~ he loves food, but generally refuses to sit still during a meal
~ he bites - a lot.
~ he is EXTREMELY ticklish
~ he is EXTREMELY tall and SO thin
~ he has EXTREMELY large feet
~ he rarely will poop in the potty (though he's pretty perfect with pee!)
~ he loves his binky - still.  AND his daddy has decided that he's done with it today.  (mean ol' daddy)

You are indecisive but can be persuaded with logic and reason most of the time.  you don't respond to someone yelling/hollering at you, this makes you shut down.  you are the biggest helper when it comes to cleaning and picking up - you are always insisting that SOMEONE let you help in SOME way...

Aaron, you have your mother's infectious laugh and your fathers sense of adventure.  My predictions about you:  saying goodbye to the binky will be REALLY hard for you.  you will be my tallest child.  you will be trouble for us, you aren't afraid of ANYTHING.  I cannot remember a time when you weren't in our lives.  We love you SO much and are SO happy that we decided to have just one more baby :)  As soon as you were born I felt whole, I felt soul needed you and I'm so happy that I have you.

Monday, August 19, 2013

you're just like your mother.

from the day austin was born I have been told how much like Travis he is.  He looks like him, thinks like him, acts like him ... does everything justlikehim.  right, we get it, he's his father's child.  i get it.  say it again and see what happens.

at a family reunion in nowhere'sville, iowa I was watching my kids play on the park ...for the record, I was also watching my nieces and most of the family's kids ages 7 and under because, well, they weren't and I was trying to make sure no one kidnapped anyone.  i had some sweet scenarios playing out in my head, by the way, of how i would stop the would be assailant.  more to come on that.

This 6ish year old boy walks up to my three boys, who were playing with their two soccer balls and yanks one out of my 7 year old's hands.  I'm sitting across the grassy area in a park bench, watching - waiting for his mother to jump up and intervene and no woman appears - of course she doesn't, why would she?  so austin tells the boy what he's playing and the boy starts yelling that he's not playing that game....he's playing his own game.  austin tells him that it's not the parks ball - it's his ball and he doesn't want to share with him.  still no mother?  seriously?  i mean, i'm about to get all east side on this kid because his parents aren't stepping forward and i'm not a fan of the fact that he's acting like a douche in front of my younger boys, who are watching austin to see how he handles it.

austin looks up, makes eye contact with me, looks at the kid, snatches the ball out of his hand and tells him he can find someone else to play with because, "WE dont want to play with you."  and follows with "this is my ball,  these are my brothers, and that is my mom if you don't like it."  white trash mother enters, stage left.  charging up on the group of boys like she has someone's honor to avenge (to be clear, she couldn't spell honor, and IF she could spell avenge, it's only because her kid made her buy every avengers figurine that the wal-mart had...) halfway drags her little boy off, telling him SOME kids aren't nice and he shouldn't WANT to play with boys who aren't nice.  austin looks up at me and shrugs - i crack up laughing.  

crazy mothers - funny.

the next round of him being like me was in the car on the way home - i am an incessant about flipping through radio stations.  you know how your husband flips through tv channels?  and you're thinking "JUST LEAVE IT!  PICK SOMETHING before I stab you with the closest object that will penetrate flesh!!!"  right - that's me with the radio.  I flip, sing, commercial, flip, flip, flip, sing, commercial, scan, flip, flip, scan, sing -  i'm awful.  truthfully, i'm not sure how my husband can tolerate it.  my not-always-so-sweet seven year old has inherited these traits and is executing them perfectly.  he sings right with me to every song on the radio (my brio magazine upbringing tells me to proceed with caution, my desire to listen to country music says brio sucks, that she's probably still pretending to be a virgin and that i should listen to whatever i want, because serial killers are rarely wearing cowboy hats in their mug shots...).  i hope to record/video tape him singing cruise by florida georgia line soon ... because it's adorable. 

i love him.  even if i the only indication i have that he is mine are his blue eyes, big attitude, and incessant flipping/singing every lyric that he does know and making up the ones he doesn't.  i got the important things.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

9 week WW update

I can't believe it's been 9 weeks since I've been on weight watchers....i know i haven't updated much about it, just seemed like there was no reason to because ...wellll, there were funnier stories about children pooping in various places...

i know, i know - i can laugh about it now....

ok, so in total, I have lost 23 pounds and, depending on the brand, 2 pant sizes or is it considered 4...i'm not sure how to say are things i've learned:

1)  i'm probably close to have to start exercising - i just hate doing that because it always makes me hungrier and i feel famished and then my head justifies that i can eat way more than i should.

2)  i dont eat the extra points.  the math doesn't work in my head.  i dont understand how that could work -- i mean, if the key is weight loss, how is it "sorta" ok to cheat?  i kinda feel like they are there to show you that you overate when you are perplexed about why you didn't lose weight - but that is JUST because anytime I go over on my points and dip into my extra points I don't lose more than half a pound....and generally, i gain. 

3)  i gain weight with my cycle.  i've managed to have 2 periods and both times I have gained.  thanks water weight. 

4)  there are definitely haters out there.  wanna hear who the biggest haters are???  my parents.  they are CONSTANTLY trying to make me feel shitty about declining a food or drink.  it's exhausting.  not only that, but when i was at like 19 pounds down, i got a snarky comment about how it's just a drop in the bucket and how its easy to lose weight when you're starving.  confuse me?! 

the funny part is that it's BECAUSE of my dad's health and mine being SO close, SO similar that i decided to do this.  make changes.  pay attention.  be a grown up and stop feeling sorry for myself and looking for a magic get skinny quick plan.  and THEY are the ones who get shisty when it comes to me doing this "diet" ... i dont seek approval or input from my family on anything...and anyone who has known me for longer than ten minutes knows why.  but seriously, why can't people just think before they speak?

either way, i'm excited that this is going so well!  thrilled actually!!  I am looking forward to continued success!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


i'm a pretty literal person.  i tend to see things for face value in most situations and i appreciate my ability to be able to call bullshit when i see it or see through people when they are holding back.  it's hard to ignore.  tends to feel like a superpower sometimes. 

its probably how pretty people feel, or smart people, or rich people - <insert snarky voice here> must be SO awful to be gorgeous, or highly intelligent, or have a ton of money...

when i find that it REALLY sucks is when the LOML (love of my life - just made that up - just now) is in a mood.  i wouldn't say that he is in a "mood" more often than me, I would simply say his moods last longer than mine.  days longer.

this was the phone call i got last night:

H:  schweaty balls!!
T:   what do you want for dinner.
H:  ummmm, i dont know, i'm open for anything?  you wanna grill?
T:   everything's frozen (keep in mind he sounds like he just watched someone kick his dog to death...)
H:   okay ... well ... i'm finishing up here and i'll be home...
T:   well - so - nothing? or?  you don't want me to start anything? no suggestions?
H:  not really - but i can think about it

let me mention that it was at 4:40 at night.  he had been home since 4:15 i guess.  i say "i guess" because he no longer comes to say he's heading home for the night, which, whatever.  doesn't actually bother me as much as you're probably thinking it does based on the fact that i'm mentioning it, but is just something i'm throwing out there.

so i'm thinking that he's probably just fed up with the kids or trying to get stuff done and that's why he's on edge.  i grab the 4 newly purchased laundry baskets and fruit - lots of fruit (grapes, kiwi, strawberries, bananas and a pineapple) plus two new backpacks and head toward the house. 

i very effortlessly (ha.) position the hampers filled with backpacks and fruit against the house while i'm opening the door, halfway drop the baskets and almost dump thirty dollars worth of fruit onto the sexy blue laminate flooring that greets me as i walk into my house.

he's sitting on the chair in the front room watching me.  no, no, just sit there.  don't get up.  i'm good over here.  i went from being convinced that i could turn his night around to wanting to freak out on the next person to talk to me. 

lucky for him the next person was aaron.

there aren't a lot of people who have the ability to affect my mood.  but i'll tell you - he does.  he can make or break my day in a stupid way.  drives me nuts.

my point in my superpowers is that i'll ask him what's wrong and i get a look with a sigh followed by a nothing.  nothing.  nothing?  seriously?  i doubt it.  something has obviously flipped your switch in some way - but you'll tell me you're tired and i'll sigh and we'll get in a fight because i'll push you to tell me what's going on when in reality there is nothing going on and i'm just being a girl, which that doesn't happen very often.

so regardless, whatever the underlying reason is - because, dear friends, there is an underlying reason. - i will let it go <this time> and hope that your "tired" wears off after you slept ...but it won't because that's how we roll.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

He WHAT?!?!

on sunday, Trav's phone rang, i'm not sure what the ringtone is, but it's loud and obnoxious...I suppose that helps him to answer it rather than just letting it ring.  I was on the couch, assuming a typical Sunday position, and he started talking to the caller.

It's normally one of like four people - Josh (who was at our house, so it wasn't him), his parents (who we had just spent like three days with, so I was assuming it wasn't them), a client (those calls are always really short) or a solicitor (also a short call).  So he's listening and I'm wondering what's going on.

My boys have this special ability to show up anytime anyone is on a phone call and be disruptive.  So they walk into the living room, just about to open their mouths and bug their dad when he moves his phone away from his mouth and yells, "YOU TOOK A SHIT IN YOUR GRANDMOTHERS TRASH CAN!?!?!??!"

Both boys mouths open, jaws dropped, no words are formed, no objections made.  Eventually Aden manages to point to Austin, where Austin frantically exclaims, "Aden told me to!  He said it would be funny!"

Funny!?  I feel like we have very different definitions of funny.

I had a flash of that stupid Christmas Movie where the mother gets the phone call that Ralphie used the F word.  That she freaks out, comes unglued and stuffs a bar of soap in his mouth.

I sat on the couch, blinking.  Stunned.  They literally took a shit in their grandmother's trash can.  I managed to raise my arm to indicate they needed to go to their bedrooms and utter a, "now."

Two hours later they came back down, asking if they could be done upstairs and I asked them if they knew what they had done wrong.  They started laughing and giggling and couldn't hold a straight face so I sent them back upstairs.  This process repeated for a large portion of the afternoon/evening.  Eventually, they returned with faces that looked like remorse....might have just been defeat from being confined to their respective four walls, and two windows for the preceding 5 hours.  Either way.  They knew it was wrong, they knew it was gross.

The next day, Aden mentioned that his friends got to go to his Grandma's house for a WHOLE WEEK in the summer and Austin piped up, asking why they don't get to go to THEIR Grandma's house for a whole reply was that Sam & Cam probably don't poop in their Grandmother's trash cans for fun.


So WHY am I sharing this with you?  Because some day, this will be a funny story and I will want to remember it.

Evidently my MIL was telling hubby that SHE didn't want to call, that SHE didn't even think it was that big of a deal but that FIL thought it was something we should know.  You're damn right we should!!!!!  I realize that they love our boys no matter what stunt they pull, and so do I - but there is NO WAY they were going to get away with THAT.  I was grateful that she called.  Grossed out.  Embarrassed as HELL.  But Glad.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Valley Fair

June has escaped me in a big way, so I needed to take just a few minutes to write about how AMAZING our weekend was.

We loaded up the mini van and schlepped the kids plus Aunt Tara to Minnesota where we met my sister and her three kids and headed off to Valley Fair.  Let me just start by saying, hip hip ho-frickin-ray for Aunt Tara being there.  I told her that she should literally market her skills and go on family vacations with people to fabulous places (as if they get much better than a trip in a mini van to minnesota?!) and be a helping hand with their kids.

She was WONDERFUL.  She did stuff.  She helped.  She disciplined she with us, not against us.  She reached things when they fell.  She gave of herself and genuinely interacted with our kids.  It was amazing.

Now, before you get snarky about me taking someone with us, or telling me that it's possible that I had too many kids if i NEED her to go - my logic was simple...she was intended to be someone who would hang back with the stroller when the need presented itself at Valley Fair.  As an amazing bonus, she was so much more than that.  She kept arguing with me when I paid for her food (give me a break, Wendy's for dinner Friday, Pizza Ranch for dinner Saturday and McDonalds for breakfast on Sunday was all I could cover because she was sneaky at the park and bought her own food) and jumped in with my sister's kids and was well worth the minimal cost of the meal and her ticket at Valley Fair.

My kids had a blast.  Wanna know why?!?!?!  Because their parents were having fun.  We were relaxed and enjoying ourselves and everything was how they show it on the Disney commercials!!!

So a few highlights from the weekend:

~ Austin had to be bribed with $15 to ride the kiddie roller coaster  ($5 from me, $10 from his dad), this is the same roller coaster that Aden and Aaron rode like three times each...
~ Travis rode the Wild Thing and Corkscrew -- and gave me hell because I didn't ... am I afraid of these rides?  No, actually, I'm not, but I am kinda that person that has a hard time balancing a trip/day for "adults" and "kids" ... I got nervous that I would get gung ho on rides I actually wanted to go on and end up stealing their thunder.  So I stuck to the kiddie area...
~ My niece rode every single roller coaster in the park except for two ... because they shut one down and the other one she wasn't tall enough for - go Ava Rae.
~ Pizza Ranch post Valley Fair is the best option in the world.  Everyone eats rightthissecond and it's a beautiful thing.
~ my nieces all have a pretty insane sense of adventure, my boys have a desire to live and will not be made to die by the scrambler no matter how many times their cousins tell them they are safe
~ we all watched Identity Thief and laughed - a lot.
~ my sister and i stayed up until reallllllyyyy late talking and i loved it...i also loved it when Tara would wake up, jump in the coversation and pass right back out :)  It was good stuff.

This is going to be a good week.

That's all I've got for now, a super random update -  sorry about that.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Week Two - Weight Watchers

Today marks the second week of my transition to the Weight Watchers lifestyle (you'd think I'd joined a swingers  who am I?  The Godfather!?).

As of today I have lost 9 pounds total and am transitioning fairly well.  I haven't had soda in over two weeks and for the most part have stuck to water, though I found that HyVee carries Huberts Lemonade and it's only 3 points for the whole giant glass container so that is my special something when I need something more than water.

One time, a doctor told me there is no room in my life for soda and she was right.  It's actually not hard for me to quit soda, but I find that I REALLLLLLLYYYYY want one when I'm:

1)  Eating Pizza
2)  At a restaurant where the pop is included with the meal.  who does this.  don't get crafty, food establishments of America.  I see your, "it's included with the price of the meal" and will raise you a, "water, with lemon, please"
3) At QuickTrip

Somewhere along the road my parents started a "lets order pizza because it's Friday night" and for whatever reason, Travis has always agreed with it and thought it was the best idea ever.  What goes great with a greasy, oil covered, loaded-with-cheese pizza?  Pepsi.  Cherry Pepsi.  Cherry Coke.   What doesn't accompany pizza well?  Water.  Lame.  Also, what can't I "afford" to have (points budget wise) when I'm eating pizza?  My Lemonade.

When I go to a restaurant and they tell me that the soda is or is basically free when I get the meal.  Listen, I realize it's free.  Listen to me when I tell you that it was hard enough to JUST order whatever I ordered and not order what I WANTED to order.  What I WANTED to order, my dear friends, would make Jillian Michaels blush.  So no.  I do not want the free pop. 

At some point and time Kum & Go and Quick Trip started their war over 32 ounce fountain sodas.  THIRTYTWO OUNCES?!!  That is TWELVE points.  Do you know what I could EAT for 12 points!?  So!  I stay out of QT or Kum & Go.

This is a budget.  This is a numbers game.  I do well with budgets and I do well with numbers.  I can figure out a way to make the square peg fit in the round hole, without compromising the integrity of the peg or the hole.  It's a numbers game.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Harsh Realities

My first week on Weight Watchers was filled with sobering realities.

Did you know that the "healthy" subway that I order was worth 22 points?  That's the one I get when I don't want to feel bad for getting the one I usually get .. the one I actually want.
Did you know that the B-Bops I used to order was worth more points that I'm able to have in a day?   Used to.
Pizza?  One large slice from Pizza Hut is 10 points.

WOW.  Gross.

And please don't mistake what I'm saying - I'm not saying these foods are gross.  I'm saying it's gross to think about eating three-four slices of pizza after I had the nearly 40 points in bbops for lunch.  That's what I'm saying is gross.

This was a harsh realization for me.  To realize that I've been eating my entire day's points in one sitting and refusing to stop there.  Refusing to pay attention to what it was doing to my body or my soul.  What impact it has had on my relationship with my husband, what impact it will inevitably have on my relationship with my children.

Any questions on why my weight went up by nearly 70 pounds over the past 10 years!?!  Because it wasn't having the three kids, and it wasn't the exercise/activity level.  It's exclusively related to my diet.

This was a HARD week for me when learning to calculate and learning what everything "costs" me.

I didn't cry this week...but I wanted to.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Watching Weight

I have never really dieted - and it shows. 

I had a physician one time that I LOVED tell me, "Hollie, you either live to eat or you eat to live"  that was 5 years and 50 pounds ago, when I was considered 20-25 pounds overweight.

I have spent roughly six of the last eight years pregnant or nursing and told myself that it was pointless to focus on my weight while I was pregnant or nursing ... now?  Unless God has another plan for Trav and I, we are done having kids.  We have a 7 year old, a 5 year old and an almost-3-year-old - they are beautiful creatures who are happy and healthy and cared for...he and I? we are unhealthy and overweight.

step one:  Drop soda. 
step two:  Start Weight Watchers  (*gulp*)
step three: Buy a scale (tonight on amazon, because I have gift cards at home)
step four:  Weigh, Measure, Modify and repeat

Notice how I don't have exercise on there?  My company pays for a gym membership for my entire family.  Exercise isn't going to fit into my life right this second.  I'm going to focus on this part, because that same doc who gave me those fabulous words to live by also mentioned that while exercise is important for your organs and you will burn calories in the process, if you can only focus on ONE area, start with diet.  So I am.

I'm nervous to hit publish because it seems like people will constantly be scrutinizing me for just putting it out there, but I feel like publishing it will also add an accountability factor that might help me to look back and see where I'm at.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013


So, Monday at baseball, Aaron had a mellllllllttttt down.  You've seen the kind...where at first, you're annoyed at the kid's mom because if she was a better parent, she would have reeled that child in, and redirected him and he would be sitting calm and patient waiting for his brother to finish up his hour long baseball game that started 4 minutes ago...but then by the end of the game you're about in tears for the mom because she's clearly doing the best that she can based on the circumstances.

Anyway, I finally timed out and took him to the car, under my arm - kicking and screaming all the way to my mini van.  don't be jealous.

We had parked at the back of the field, and Austin went with me and Aaron. Travis was collapsing our four camping chairs and fitting all four back in that iddy biddy bag that comes with it.  Aden got done with his game a few minutes later and headed to the car.  Like any other soccer mom, I pushed the button to open my not so fancy 2006 Chrysler Town & Country's doors and they gracefully open.  This little boy walks behind Aden and takes a long look in our mini van.  His eyes get wide, his jaw drops, and he hardly utters, "woah.  your car is messy, messy, messy"  I give him a look that tells him to shut his pie hole and push my button to shut the door.  He reaches his hand out right as the door is about to make it's signature whirring sound (to seal me and my family in our safe haven of mess) and grabs the handle.  The door, with its incredible safety features opens back up because it doesn't know that I don't want it to stop for anyone's limb at this point.  He continues, "why do you have all of that stuff in your car?  shouldn't it be in your house?  it looks really, really gross in there"  I push the button again, the door closes because I snarkily tell the kid that it's not nice to touch things that aren't his.


Little Shit.

On Tuesday someone in the world of baseball thought it was a SWEET idea to schedule Austin for a double header - "TWO hours of baseball right in a row, Mom" so I didn't have time to address the van in all of its awesomeness.

Wednesday, I took my dad to cardio-rehab and made it a point to tell him, before he told me, that I'm cleaning out my van after work.  I cleaned it out and probably lost more weight doing that than any workout on a treadmill - haha - well, theoretically, since i don't work out on the treadmill - just ask my jowels and gut.

Either way, this morning I finished and it's beautiful - smells great, is clean and the only THINGS in there are: Sunblock, spare Pull-ups, four camping chairs (because the 5th person is always IN the game and doesn't need a seat), a giant, oversized umbrella that has a stake that goes into the ground so I can shield my albino babies (and self) from the sun anywhere we go, 5 cd's and a cell phone charger.   There are also 3 yak-sacks that I snagged the last time I was at Methodist West ER because there are AMAZING and at the time, Austin was puking every 15 minutes.

I would love to finish with some make-you-jealous line about how there will be no more food/fast food/cups/gatorade bottles/spare clothes/a partridge/a pear tree in my vehicle, but it's not going to happen.  I have three kids and a BUSY life.  You may not see it as an excuse, but to that I would offer you the opportunity to suck my big toe.  And my big toe, dear friends, is a lot more G rated than what I was going to tell you to suck.

So for the kid on Aden's baseball team who has a mommy with a clean car, good for you.  Judge me again, and make my kid feel sad about the words your filter failed to absorb, and I'll tell you the real reason that your mommy has a clean car is to impress her boyfriend not her husband. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Percocet Poo

I have been an avid supporter of massages/backrubs since I was a teenager.  It wasn't about an excuse for some boy (or girl) to touch me, it wasn't about something sexual, it wasn't because I wasn't hugged enough as a child - I just LIKE being massaged.

I think we are so hard on our bodies and we never realize it because we rarely take the time to let ourselves relax long enough to realize that we're sore.

I have a lady, Karmen.  She's wonderful.  I have been seeing her since November of 2010 and have LOVED her.  I don't cheat on her.  She is a genuinely wonderful person!  She is thorough, she actually cares about what you say, she listens, talks, and even prays with you before the session (if you're me).

Anyway, she has been begging me to let her try a stomach massage out - said something about if my lower back is ALWAYS bothering me, it could be because my ab muscles (haha.) are too tight and by elongating them it will relieve the persistent back ache that every MD has told me was because I'm not skinny and I don't have small boobs.

So this time around, I told her we'd give it a go.  I also told her that my bladder/kidney has been feisty and has been trying to be infected for awhile now - and I would've gone to the doctor, but I don't have health, right!?

She is excited.  She tells me all about how she will use Shiatsu massage to help with the kidney and bladder and I'm all for it.  I'm not all for the stomach part, but that's simply because it's a whole lotta surface area and I don't like to think about the amount of lotion that would be involved in moistening that quantity of flesh. 

SO - she's working on my feet, kidney one and kidney two.  and working on other meridians - and i'm like, "holy lord, what is THAT and why does it feel like my bone just popped through my skin!?!"  she is laughing, because I may be exaggerating - and she's telling me that this is my liver meridian, my whatever, my whatever else and we're still on my feet here people.  I don't have sensitive feet.  At all.  I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin and hide in a corner!!!

Eventually, she proceeds with the rest of the Swedish/Shiatsu massage and I'm re-freaking-laxed.  It was amazing!  Then she drapes a sheet over my chest and starts working on my stomach.  It was nothing like I expected, didn't feel weird at all, but she was working with my breathing and was getting pretty deep in the fat tissue and I was pretty relaxed. 

Now, she DID ask me if I have any issues with constipation or IBS or anything like that, and I don't.  I thought it was odd that she was asking me, until yesterday afternoon, when I had what I affectionately call the percocet poo.  (percocet is a fabulous pain killer they give you post csection to help with pain, only bum deal is that it is a HUGE constipatory, so by the time your stool softners get the memo your first REAL poo post csection is almost as big as your baby  just me?  oh, okay - my bad).    I ALMOST called Travis in to look at it, I was so proud of myself!!  Don't judge me.  I thought that was kinda cool at the time, less cool I've had three more percocet poos in the last 24 hours.  I'm pretty sure I shat out food I ate in the second grade.  I was floored.

My biggest regrets (surrounding this massage) involve:
~ not weighing myself before the massage to be able to compare the numbers
~ not having the stomach massage sooner
~ not taking ibuprofen post massage - it's been 48 hours and I feel amazing but am SUPER sore in SUCH a good way (like when you have amazing sex all night long and you feel like walking is too much work for the next day or two)

Having said that - whatever she did with my meridians worked.  No more bladder issues and I wouldn't lie about that.  Also, I have been CRAVING water - yay for my guts/body/soul/weight issues.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The House of the Half Assed

I live in a house where majority of our projects and lifestyle changes are half assed.  We, as a family, have become quite efficient at shit-shifting our lives.  Do you know what shit-shifting is?  It's when you focus intently on ONE PART of your house/life/career and clear all of the clutter from that ONE spot and it looks nice, but in reality all you did was cluttered up other areas of your life.  So I might shit-shift on my main floor, but rest assured my upstairs and basement is DISGUSTING.  I might shit shift and become better about going to the gym and working out, but then find that my relationships with my kids suffers - or my house falls apart because I get tunnel vision. 

When we toured our house before we bought it, it was immaculate!  Even with whatever amount of clutter existed from two people living there for 50+ years and raising their four children there (who are now grown adults) the home was immaculate.  Every wall white, every nook and cranny cleaned.  Each piece of furniture was a solid 20 years old and it didn't matter because they were still in pristine condition.  Bill & Helen took care of this house.  They loved this house.  The basement had file cabinets lining the walls and they were packed to the brim (yes, i checked - shut it) - they had a strawberry patch in the back yard with a hollow owl to scare away squirrels.  Everything was immaculate.  They could fit two, yes TWO cars in their garage.  at the SAME TIME.

We moved in and basically shat on it.

We brought an 18 month old and a 3 1/2 year old in and then, just for fun added another baby like a year later.  With babies come bottles, pump accessories, dishes, toys, laundry, and chaos.  Before I knew it, my house came to life.  My laundry haunts me like a bad memory that I continue to relive via my dreams.  My pristine 3000 square foot house that literally has 16 rooms if you count the bathrooms has turned on me.

Do you know how AWFUL it is to clean THREE bathrooms?!?!  I do.  I avoid it like a cat avoids a bath.  But GAWD the smell is horrible.  Little boys pee EVERYWHERE and NEVER flush.  I may or may not have looked into the automatic flushing toilette that would eliminate the problem entirely.  They are banished from using MY bathroom but that doesn't fix the pocket bathroom on the main floor and *gulp* their bathroom.

Do you know how much CARPET is in a 3000 square foot house!?  It's STUPID.  My Dyson is about to flip me the bird after I've emptied the canister like three times - and to be clear, I only empty the canister when I hear Tarv yelling at me about it.  Then I make a snarky comment about how if HE is the canister expert he should handle the vacuuming and generally follow with an insult about what a douche he's being.

Any thoughts about how much "better" and "easier" life gets when the boys get older is a wives tale.  Trust me, that theory will hold as much water as a macaroni strainer.  Wanna know what actually happens!?  They get bigger, their clothes get bigger, their appetites get bigger, their brazen behavior gets bigger, their messes get bigger.  What used to take me 10 minutes to pick up myself now is a 45 minute argument with two perfectly capable children about how it's not my mess, it's theirs, and they need to learn responsibility now or they never will.  Followed by me having the worlds biggest internal conflict with myself because they are little kids, and I could just let them be and do it myself and it'd be done right and no one would be fighting.  Then I'm all over the place about which is better - teaching them responsibility if that means spending time arguing with them or letting it go and risking having ridiculous habits to break down the road. 

Austin throws these temper tantrums that are so big, so grand, so angry, littered with negativity and at times curse words - truthfully, I've only seen erratic behavior like that come from one person - me.  Aden would rather watch TV than do ANYTHING, he's convinced that anything else is boring and that he doesn't want to get up, at all, ever, for anyone - I've only seen behavior like THAT from one person - me.  They both leave their crap everywhere - they both never finish what they started working on, they both leave dishes, snack remnants, laundry EVERYWHERE.  Guess who they learned that from.  Yep, me. 

I am having a hard time with this one because I see it & while I'm perfectly content with where I am in my professional career - I'm REALLY struggling.  Not to mention, not everyone can pull off this behavior quite like I can.  Not everyone can pull off a hot temper and seemingly lazy housekeeping skills and survive.  Somewhere along the lines, I learned restraint - truthfully, I have to be pushed PRETTY FLIPPIN FAR to react like austin reacts.  What makes me nervous is that I didn't act that way when I was 7.  I didn't come into that until later on in life - so what happens for him?    Same with Aden - I have always loved TV - and I'm obese.  I don't want that for him.  He is already incredibly susceptible to that for the simple fact that Trav and I are overweight.  I realize I was never SKINNY, and he doesn't seem to have the body type to be SKINNY - but is that really reason enough to write it off?

I haven't mentioned much of Aaron in this post because he's still so young - early predictions say he'll have a temper like Austin me but will be constantly on the go like his father...which, by the way - didn't protect Trav from obesity either.  As a thirty-something adult he is VERY active, struggles with weight because the fact of the matter is, changing your diet is hard.

I'm tired of having things half assed.  I'm tired of being halfway done with everything.  It's not fun.  On the back side of this blog I made some check lists or goals that I'm going to TRY to accomplish in efforts to be a better example for my kids AND maintain a balance while I'm making changes....  Bonus - maybe it'll give me some blogging material for the future!  Here's hoping.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Austin Turns SEVEN

My Austin is Seven are the things I know about Austin:

~  you love hoodies
~  you love supercross - you will watch old dvr'd races and will wage a war against Aden when he has the audacity to suggest watching a cartoon
~  you are smart.  so smart.  you are such a logical thinker, just like your parents
~  you wont do anything if it doesn't benefit you in some way - you want money, a reward, an outcome that will get you closer to a goal of some sort
~  you are your Daddy's boy - he has you by his side during EVERYTHING because it's literally like a mini version of himself chilling with him
~  you love legos - you build all the time and though you have a hard time letting your creative side come through, you are getting better at it and you enjoy it more and more
~  you need down time.  you need alone time.  you will get really, really overwhelmed and ANGRY if you don't get the time you need when you need it.
~  you start soccer and baseball in a couple weeks and are really excited - daddy and i are excited too!
~  you have my blue eyes - the only one who kept my eye color!
~  your best friends from school are Logan and Owen - your best friends in home life are Sam and Cam - your best friend in family life is Ava - you are planning to marry Stella and I hope you do :) 
~  you get SO excited about going to MN to visit Cass & Jon and the girls!! 
~  you love your grandparents and have an amazing relationship with your Grandma Jane - it's crazy to watch you two connect so well
~  you sing a lot to the radio
~  you ask if words are bad words all the time (sexy, stupid etc)
~  you curse when you're mad - you called your friend a bitch two days ago & got in more trouble for lying to me about actually saying it ... dont lie to your mom, man...
~  you are into whatever your dad is into - currently rollerhockey! 

What I remember about the day you were born:

~  I was nervous and SO excited at the same time
~  I went to the doctor the morning of the 27th because I was having pretty bad back pains and they said my blood pressure was pretty high so they would just send me over to the hospital and induce me the next morning
~  I hated pitocin.  your wife will too.
~  I loved the doctor who gave me the epidural - he was nice and kind and considerate
~  I was terrified when Dr Osborn told me I wasn't dilating - a c-section wasn't even something I researched let alone something I wanted to have
~  I was being wheeled to the operating room and my parents were there and I was so sad because i felt like your dad's parents would be upset and because I wanted time to just have my family of three - all by myself.

What you wanted for your birthday:

~  a trampoline
~  rollerblades
~  lego gold mine edition
~  bey blades

What you got for your birthday:

~  roller blades (they were really expensive and you got them early because your grandparents bought you accessories/pads/helmet for them and we didn't want them to give it away - you haven't stopped wearing them ALL over the house, you're ruining my carpet and I don't even care)
~  a swimsuit cover / hooded towel type thing

I love you, I love your personality.  I love that you call people (even your dad and I) out on our bullshit.  I love that you're not afraid of a confrontation.  I know that there are days I try to curb it or correct it, but honestly - it's a rare quality that you are hard wired with.

You are so active and never stop moving, you constantly want to be on the go, or on something with wheels.  You have the funniest laugh - you think it's so funny to yank more teeth out so the tooth fairy has to pay up - you are extremely ticklish - you are talented and very smart.

Your teacher told us that you see things in a very black and white matter - there isn't much room for grey with you.  She'd be right.  You want to be healthy.  You are learning about food groups at school and it's pretty inspiring to hear you talk about health and wellness. 

You are a pretty great big brother.  You are willing to give up your things when Aaron wants them, you are willing to build things with Legos to stop Aaron from playing with your creations and will help Aden think of new ways to do things with his creations.  You are great at playing games - electronic and board games - you love water and will learn to swim this summer! 

I hope you keep your sense of humor and common sense.  I hope you continue to see things as black and white and that you will forever stand up for yourself and tell the world that something is wrong when it is.  I hope you find your niche and outlet early on and that you forever maintain a strong identity. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Aden turns five

My Aden is FIVE today.  Here is a list of things I know about Aden:

~  You love the color green
~  You have hazel eyes
~  You love cartoons & all things television/movie related
~  You are THRILLED to start Soccer & Baseball in a few weeks!
~  You scream-cry when you're upset or hurt - it scares the b'jesus out of everyone who meets you and hears it for the first time, but when you're ok they end up being ok too.
~  You have your own voice - and know how to use it
~  Speaking of your own voice - it has it's own sound and I hope extracting your adenoids and tonsils doesn't change it.
~  You are definitely Mommy's boy.  You tell me all the time when it's clear that Austin and Aaron are Daddy's boys
~  You know every lyric to One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful chorus
~  You are the first to share or be kind to someone who is struggling or upset
~  Your best friend is Hayden P. - you two are inseparable
~  You are reading sight words, can write and spell your first and last name and understand currency increments (we can thank Austin for that ... he's obsessed with money), you also can count REALLY high - but got bored at 50 when we were seeing how high you could go
~  You have a pair of the most kissable ears
~  Both of your brothers are jealous of you because the kitties love you.  They sleep with you almost every night and won't leave your side anytime you're sitting still.  Austin is constantly telling us that it's not fair and we know that they love you because of how much you love them

Things I remember from the day you were born:

~  Daddy took pictures of the actual csection procedure ... pretty cool
~  I was scared you would be too little
~  I was scared you would be sick all the time
~  The nurse kept refusing to give you to me until Daddy yelled at her
~  I was really, REALLY sick after you were born (Sabrina reminded me of that one)
~  There was a tornado warning the day after you were born and we all got to hang out in the hospital hallway
~  I got a call from the doctor late on March 17th telling me that my platelets had dropped and that we would need to do the csection the next morning.  I didn't want to have 300 people at the hospital, so I asked Sabrina to come sit with Austin during the day while I went to have you so that we could have our own little family time for a few hours before I had to share my family of four with the rest of the world.  I didn't regret keeping it a secret then, I don't regret it now & I will never regret that time that was just for me and you.

What you wanted for your birthday:

~ a trampoline
~ an imaginex castle
~ rescue bots firetruck
~ a trip to build a bear workship

What you're actually getting for your birthday (from Daddy & I):

~ an imaginex castle
~ a rescue bots firetruck
~ a rocket launcher toy for outside (i found that one, your dad was SO jealous and wanted one too)
~ a swimsuit cover up/robe/hooded towel - it's green, don't worry

We love you - you are so proud of you and can't believe that you are getting ready to go to Kindergarten this fall.  It seems unreal to me, but I can tell you're ready.  You went with Daddy to help volunteer at Austin's LEGO club a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to tell me all about it and how excited you were to be there at, "Austin's big school" and that you weren't shy at all. 

I hope you keep your gentle spirit as time passes, that you are able to put others first without being walked all over, that you find a way to express yourself and that you continue to love music as much as I do.  I don't worry about you - at all.  You are a lot like I was at your age and I'm thrilled with the adult that I am now.  I find myself justifying your actions because I can see where your head was when it all happened - you make complete sense to me.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's not's you.

Breaking up is hard to do ... except when the break up is with you.

It is no secret that we aren't as close as we used to be.  It's no secret that we don't talk anymore, that I don't know you anymore.  It's no surprise that you have no idea why.  You are so self absorbed and always only worried about what you think that I would bet you think we both just got busy.

"We" didn't get busy.  I just stopped doing all of the work that goes into having a real relationship because I realized that you suck.  You have always had these great ambitions and everyone was expected to jump on board with you or face being condemned because they had the audacity to try to hold you back.  Trust me, darling - they weren't trying to hold you back from your dreams, they were trying to hold you back from yourself.  You want to think of yourself as a free spirit - I think of you as a flake. 

You had no interest in being there for me, no interest in being my best friend, no interest in knowing me & growing with me and holding up your end of the bargain and for that reason - I dumped you.  You add nothing to my life, you take and take only to give me a glimmer of hope that you're going to start to pull your own weight, but at the end of the day, you're not - you won't - and you'll never have to.  You'll be lucky enough to find someone else to tow your load, stroke your ego and deal with your bullshit for the next decade & I honestly feel sorry for her.  She doesn't deserve the truckload of shit you're about to ask her to spoon feed herself.  

 For the record, I don't even hate you and aside from an eye roll, I don't give you much of a thought.  Occasionally, I take a trip down memory lane and remember how much of an impact we had on each other's lives.  A solid 80% of my memories from age 16-21 involved you and they were happy, they were fun - they will be forever cherished.  Unfortunately, a MEMORY isn't reason enough for me to try anymore.  I'll think of your face when I hear an anthem that pulls me back to high school & I'll be happy enough to catch up with you at a class reunion in five years.

But not today.  Today you hurt my best friend.  Today you and your carelessness caused her pain and like the rest of us, she has decided that it's not worth addressing with you - she's probably right - it would likely fall on deaf ears.  Today I was reminded why I have been done with you for over a year now.  I can only hope that she figures out it's time that she tells you no to put herself first for ONCE and that she drops you like a used condom on a saturday night.  I did.  It feels GREAT.  Best of luck in the future! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


my bestie snarked at me for not blogging and i told her i wasn't inspired, but alas, it's wednesday and I will steal her so what wednesday....

~so what if we just had conferences with our eldest's teacher and it was amazing
~so what if she said that she struggles with him because he sees things as black and white - and doesn't bother to mess with them if he can't get all the way through them - he might be a little like his mom - the world could use a little less gray
~so what if i'm really mad at my employees this week and we're having a staff meeting tomorrow and i'll be HOT if any of them don't show up
~so what if I went out and removed snow with my hubby the last two days because I would rather shovel than go to the gym
~so what if i ate tasty tacos after tonight's "workout" and put back on whatever calories i took off
~so what if i straight up pissed my pants last i was all, "oh i have to pee..." went to stand up and WHAMMO - urine was pouring out of me like my water broke - shit! 
~so what if going to the dr isn't an option because i dont have health insurance and i'm taking an old person's approach by just drinking more water
~so what if i turned down a drug company on friday to be a part of their test group and actually told her that i can't trade clear skin for cancer
~so what if she didn't correct me (because she can't, because it's in the trial phases and they can't prove that it DOESN'T or COULDN'T cause cancer) and just said that she understood....!!!!
~so what if i spent too much money ordering from Lane Bryant - being mad at the size 10 models didn't stop me from dropping a few hundies on some new clothes
~so what if i'm SO.STINKIN.EXCITED. for my date night on Friday night.  so stinkin excited.  who knows, with the new wardrobe, we may not even make it outta the house....oh i know, that's silly, of course we'll make it out of the house, there are KIDS in the house - maybe i would be better off to say that we might not make it TO wherever we're going :)
~so what.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


as my waistband has expanded over the years my taste in clothing has moved with it.  gravity has taken it's toll on my never-a-single-digit-sized body and i feel like for the most part i have transitioned with a certain amount of grace.

i have been a lane bryant customer for the past decadeish and loved them.  why? because it felt like they were making clothes to fit me & by body style - not making clothes for someone who has no boobs, no hips and wears a size 4 and then patching in fabric in a coat-of-many-colors type way.  i loved when they moved to the Real Women movement.  giving women a sense that THIS is how a woman should look - she should have curves, she should have no reason to apologize for her appearance, she should embrace it, she should be confident and she DOES look fabulous.

lately lane bryant has made me crabby.  have you seen some of their models? 

Plus size luxury lace balconette bra

right.  i'm looking at her and thinking she is beautiful...but she is not a size 12-28

Full Figure Sequin stripe tank

or her.

i know that they believe they are using appropriate sized models - they have told me.  not kidding.  i emailed them a few years ago telling them that their models were becoming less and less like real women.  they protested assuring me that all of their models are size 12-28 ... i think they can get away with 12 because they sell size 12 underwear.  nevertheless, seeing models like THIS makes me flashback to the days of feeling like my size is an accident.  my size is ok - because they sell it - but i should be apologizing for it. 

i realize not every one of their models is like these girls - have you seen their jeans?  they REQUIRE an incredibly curvy figure (which i dont have that, either) - so since i was not born with child bearing hips and i don't fit into their 'just my size' box ... i really struggle to find jeans there, and i WANT to find jeans there.  the reward program is great and no one wants to have to leave to look for another place to shop just to buy their jeans.

Velvet pocket skinny jean by Lane Bryant

note the taper leg - i know it's in style now and i know they really want you to believe this is for sure the way to go - i just can't do it.  when i look at this picture i see this ginormus ass - like HUGE - and i'd bet it's not even that big, but with the bedazzling and the stilettos and tucked in shirt i can't get past it.

LUCKY for me, they developed the Just For You program where you can tell it how much you love and hate their pants that they pick - so me?  i hated every single tapered leg anything (for me, not for you, you can love and hate your own things) and i hated the jeans that have a CRAZY high waist ... and whammo, i got jeans that look like something i would try, buy and love.

Double stitch bootcut jean by Seven7

so while you'll never catch me with my shirt tucked in, this jean looks more like something i would find in my dresser right now.

so at the end of the day - will i still shop there?  yup.  do i think the models are getting ridiculous?  i sure do.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Math 101

numbers are tricky.  sometimes you add...sometimes you subtract...sometimes there is a minus in front of the total.  wait.  what?!

so for those of you who don't know - my family is not rich.  once upon a time i was all, "i could do this job and make money!"  and my bffbp (best friend forever business partner) was all, "totally!" and we were established.  we aren't a publicly traded company and she and i are 50/50 owners, so i dont have to disclose numbers, but i feel like since money is what i DO for the business, i should give a lesson for those who are confused by it.

how to do a budget:

1)  have a job or income source & know how much you ACTUALLY take home
2)  subtract your fixed expenses
3)  subtract your variable expenses
4)  look at the remaining number RIGHT THEN.  if there is a MINUS sign in front of the number, OR your calculator gives you a confused look/sad face OR if an emoticon pops up on your screen with a ROTFL guy who can't complete a sentence because he is laughing at your stupid ass SO HARD -- you need to go back and reassess the situation.

i know, i know.  there are times when your income source isn't always the same - i get that.  i'm self employed, so yeah, i totally get that!  money in can change from time to really are some ways to know when your money/cash flow MIGHT change:

1)  you called in sick & missed work
2)  you came into work late & missed work
3)  you took a long lunch & missed work
4)  you had something horrible happen & missed work
5)  you pretended something horrible was happening so you could leave & missed work
6)  you had a sick child & missed work
7)  you pretended you had a sick child & missed work
8)  you scheduled an appointment during your normal shift & HAD to go, so you missed work
9)  you have a class that you're behind in & the only way you can possibly catch up between rightthissecond & the due date of the homework (that has already passed) is to leave work rightnow so you can work on school related things (and update your facebook status perodically for good measure) & you miss work
10) any other instance - both real and fake - that would cause you to MISS WORK

this is because when you GO TO WORK, you make money. 

SO - if you are looking at your finances & wondering who FICA is and why they are taking all of your money consider that maybe ... just maybe ... it's less about FICA & more about you.  consider that there is a possibility that when your finances reflect a sad, sad, saaaaadddd situation for yourself - you should work more.  like, as many hours as you can sneak in without your boss realizing it and actually going into overtime (if they are smart, they'll notice on like wednesday morning that you're going to hit overtime, but if they don't - shush - work the overtime and get paid 50% more for doing the exact same job that you are willing to do for your normal pay rate).

i predict that doing this will result in a surpluss after the bills are paid!  in that instance, yay for you.

disclaimer:  having a surplus will make you FEEL like you have money & like you don't need to go to work.  those are the same people who get their tax return and quit their job because suddenly there is money in your checking account.  don't be stupid.  keep going to work.  keep working the hours.  if you can't possibly drag your ass to work because you're miserable, not stimulated, underpaid, under-appreciated, etc - update your resume & find a new job where they will think you're fabulous until you have raced through the above-referenced list three or four times. and i'm sure you will.  because you suck.

Friday, February 8, 2013


have you met my husband?  probably not.  he's great.  really, really great.  i know some people treat their spouse as if they are doing them a favor by being with them, and i know that women who have children will constantly make jokes about how useless their spouse is in an array of given situations...that is not my spouse.

my spouse will get three kids ready, take them to daycare, and get to work by 8 am.  he will let them dress themselves, which would make most women freak out - he gives them their independence.  granted, there have been days i have pulled apart three shirts when doing laundry because our middle child is REALLY into layering these days...but they are all up, happy and cared for.  my eldest forgot his snow gear for school - it was the first thing he told me when he got home.  as i opened my mouth to snark at my spouse, he told my eldest that it's his gear, his responsibility -- and he's never forgot since then.

my spouse will come home and do whatever needs to be done because he lives there too.  there was once a time where i felt like i was carrying everything and like i was working two jobs plus carrying everything at home and we have completely resolved that issue.  he will toss in a load of dishes, recruit any children who haven't made themselves scarce to help pick up the house and has recently started offering them a dime for help.  so when my eldest vacuums and picks up his laundry and brings any dishes to his father and feeds and waters the animals he becomes the proud recipient of a dollar.  that would make most women freak out - a 6 year old vacuuming?!  he couldn't have done a very good job.  my husband is teaching them money comes from working but that sometimes we all pitch in to get it done faster.  he's teaching them to be accountable for their own actions - he will constantly repeat that if they don't want to clean, they should clean as they play.

my spouse will get on the floor and play with them.  rarely legos, rarely a board game, but will always wrestle, chase and tickle them until they are about to pee their pants.  he will move from a standing or sitting position to the floor and he will have a dog pile three boys thick within three minutes - guaranteed.  he is teaching there is always time to play & reminding them that he has time for them, that he loves them.

my spouse will stop them from disrespecting their mother faster than i can form the words.  if i cooked, everyone eats it.  if you are going to throw a temper tantrum, you are welcome to go to your room and come back when you're calm.  if you disagree with something and can't talk about it in a rational manner, you should come back when you can.  if your mother has asked you to do something, you better make sure it's done before she asks you twice.  if you had the gall to utter a curse word (and my kids do), you better make it worth it, because there will be a punishment.  he is teaching them to respect a woman and to have some respect for themselves, not because i'm their mother, but because when you love some body you have no business making them feel less than -ever.  for one second.  additionally, as an adult - you need to learn how to pull yourself together. 

my spouse will call bullshit when warranted.  he isn't afraid to ask his father not to speak to his mother in a derogatory manner (in front of his children or otherwise), he isn't afraid to tell someone no, he isn't one to put his family on the back burner, and of the two of us, he is the one who has encouraged religion over the course of our marriage. he tells me he loves me, he reminds me that i'm  beautiful and he knows how hard i work and why i do what i do when i do it.  he can predict the outcome of a situation because he KNOWS me.  he knows what i'll say, how i'll react, where my head went even if my words went somewhere else.

my spouse will take sick kids to the doctor, tell them the symptoms, and like me - normally has the diagnosis correct before we set foot through the doors.  he will be up with a sick kid and still up for life the next day.  he can manage money and is involved in every aspect of any future that we are planning, together & i would consider myself so lucky to be involved in his future.

he has been kicked down a time or two - hard...and he stands back up fast and comes back smarter, with a wider stance.  he is smart, he is talented and he is my best friend. 

There is a song that the Dixie Chicks sing - and part of the lyrics say:

And I've got all the world to lose
But I just want to hold on to the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

i sing this song all the time because it reminds me of him.  He just ... takes care of me - even though i don't need him to.  i really dont, i'm not that girl who would ever NEED that - but having it is so nice... he literally gives me exactly what i need when i need it.  i love him and can't believe we're rounding our 9th year of marriage, 13th year of dating.  i am so lucky.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


i have really great friends.  my circle of best friends require much less filtering and i LOVE that they are so great.  i like that they can just seeeeeee my words before they come out of my mouth.

yesterday i had lunch with breigh.  we went to applebees.  it was yummy.  the waiter was so sweet, he was nice, and cordial and appropriate and asked about her twin boys and wanted to know (and remember) their names, and he checked in on us numerous times during the lunch to make sure that we had a pleasant experience.  sounds great right!?  here's how it really went:

waiter:  HI THERE!!!!!!!  WELCOME TO APPLEBEES!!!!!!  OHHHHHH what's YOUR name!?
breigh:  this is luke & this is max
waiter:  HI LUKE!!!  HI MAXXXXXXXX!!!!  Well, welcome ladies!!!  OUR soup of the day is broccoli and our dessert is brownie bites!!!!!!!!  Can I get you lovely ladies started with a drink?!  
me: water.
breigh: water would be fine

he disappears

breigh:  wow, he's really nice!
me:  what a douche.  why is he asking your kids names.  that's stupid.  he doesn't need to know their names to do his job, so that entire conversation was pointless and names him look like a pedophile.
breigh:  HOLLIE!

she's right.  i'm snarky.

today, i grabbed bagels for our hard working employees.  little shout out to bruggers for not getting snippy when i asked that they cut the bagels for us.

i was pasting cream cheese on my bagel and an employee came up to clock in.  here's how that went:

her: good morning!
me:  good morning!  help yourself to a bagel!
her: hey - did you want to try a body by vi shake?
me: ....uhh.....what's that?  (...not looking up from my cream cheese)
her: it's a shake, it's SO good.  it's a whey protein shake.  some people use to to build muscle, i use it to trim the fat, but it's so good because one can will like last you for a year!!
me:  oh.  ok. 

i walked into the office and shut the door with a look on my face that made mandy bust up laughing.

joke's on her.  that cannister would last me 5 years because i wouldn't eat it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


i'm stealing sww from my bestie who has successfully plunked it out on her kindle for the past few weeks because her computer committed suicide ... we'll talk about those and other first world problems another day.

sww stands for so what wednesday. 

so what if i'm halfway through my 32 ounce pepsi - thanks quick trip
so what if i'm dreaming, every night - assuming that's the medication
so what if i'm rounding my 9 year anniversary - and it seems unreal to me
so what if i'm losing my sympathy for people who seem to continually be struggling - you don't continue to struggle.  you continue to make bad decisions. there is a difference.
so what if the words "i have so much laundry to do" come out of my mouth on a daily basis - perhaps i should get off of my ass and actually DO the laundry.
so what if i have a hard time keeping a straight face when my two year old snaps "NO MOMMA" at me.
so what if my favorite part about this blog is that no one has found it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

yeah, yeah

i am so bad at blogs.  so bad at them it hurts.

i love reading them and i think most of my friends have blogs.  so why wouldn't i, right? 

ever think that's how people view relationships, kids, marriage?  most of my friends are getting married - so should i.  most of my friends are having kids - so should i.  um.  most of your friends have money and common sense too - does that mean you'll start budgeting and pull your head out of your ass in order to take time to apply a small sense of logic to your life?  probably not.

i find that i want to blog when i'm frustrated - which, if you are in a close circle of my friends you would find that this 'frustrated' is more often than not.  i'm not a hateful or negative person or anything and i dont think of myself as deep and dark and jaded.  i was once told by a psychic that i actually do love people, i just don't like them a lot.  that resonated with me. 

so here goes - february 4th and i'm on the blogging bandwagon.  you're so skeptical - and you should be.