Housekeeping Tricks-Part I

So everyone who knows me knows that I don’t enjoy housekeeping duties.  Really who does? I mean, if I didn’t have a full time job, maybe I could get into laundry and dishes and dusting now and again…. Nah, not even then.
Which brings me to a brilliant find on my part.
My oldest daughter had her first date last night. Homecoming, a definite first date to remember. The boy insisted on picking her up at our house *bonus points to said boy*.
I fully intended to clean up the main living area so it was presentable when said date showed up that afternoon. Lo and behold, ten am while I was holding the couch down strategically planning my assault on dirt a bleary eyed, seventeen year old stumbled down the stairs and started vacuuming.
Whoa.
I watched, fascinated, as someone besides myself started cleaning the house.                                                                                                                                      It was a magical sight.                                                                                                   Then the guilt crept in. So I started attacking all the papers/magazines/dishes that had piled up the last few days. Together, we tackled the unsightly host of toys and shit laying around the house.                                                                       And now it is beautiful. Clean and smelling good. And all it took was  a date.  Now I have to figure out how to get dates for my other children.  And husband.

 

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“42. Answer to the Ultimate Questions of Life, the Universe and Everything.”

I am about to celebrate another birthday. Yeah, go me! It’s amazing, I’m turning 42, but feel like I’m in my early thirties. The kids remind me every day that I am not, in fact, in my thirties.

I was pushing 150 pounds at the end of last year and about to move to  a size 12. There was a little crying involved and I thought, hey, I’m a mom, I’m in my forties, that’s just what happens. But the thing is, I felt old and tired. I’d tried several diets to drop a little weight without success. Atkins had worked for me back when I was 28, but messed with my system, because, hey when you are supposed to eat low carb it doesn’t get much better than cheeseburgers, right?

Well, I decided to go for it again January 1st, 2013. This time, with wisdom gained from 13 more years on this planet, I followed the instructions of the “lifestyle change”. Doesn’t mean I didn’t eat my share of cheeseburgers, but I did throw in a few salads this time. Dr. D  and Dr. S were impressed. Did I mention that my doctors rock? They so do!

I cried the first day, cause, you know, we still had cookies left from Christmas, but I stuck to my guns and lost a few pounds the first week. I’m not going to tell you the next few months were easy. Between gas and the shock to your body of significantly cutting the carbs you’ve eaten your entire life, it almost made me quit. But I didn’t. After my body got used to this new way of eating, the grumbles got a little quieter. The gas, unfortunately, stuck around, but what are you going to do? It’s a small price to pay, except at the movie theater.

9 months later and I’ve gone down from a size 10+ to a size 4. I know, I know, you should be happy with your body now matter what you weigh. Here’s the thing though, I feel younger. I’m lighter on my feet, my ankles no longer swell up and I don’t have aches in my knees anymore. It’s a bitch sometimes not eating pasta like I used too. I am possibly, maybe Italian according to the cardiologist {yeah, the red hair is a dead giveaway}.

Subject change, keep up.

I also don’t get pushed around as much as I used to.

I find myself holding firm with people and not taking any of their bullshit. Some people call it being a bitch. I call it growing a backbone. I’ve always been a carpet when it comes to other people. Life’s too short and my stress level was getting out of hand. My poor husband gets most of it, but then again he can dish it out as well as the next person. He married a sweetheart and now lives with a shrew sweetheart with a backbone. He’ll live, I take very good care of him.

My tastes seem to have changed too in the last few years. Both my husband and I pick out celebrities that would make “the list”. You know, that make believe list that you both have of the people you would sleep with if you had a chance and it would be perfectly ok with your spouse, because it’s a celebrity?

And it’s never going to happen.

My husband has his own list. More redheads on it than a few years ago. Hmm.

Yeah, I’ve rearranged my list and the results surprised me a little. Instead of George Clooney or Brad Pitt I now gravitate towards the following hotties:

Stanley Tucci-This is a new one. I just want to rub his head.

Mark Strong- I see a trend in bald. The husband will be happy.

Jeremy Northam-the best Mr. Knightly EVER.

Gary Senise- Multi-faceted and sexy as hell.

Harrison Ford- Han Solo. Nuff said.

Robert Downy Jr.- wit and the best comeback.

Gary Oldman-Just…hot.

Gerard Butler-I like a good brooder.

Aging has it’s aggravations, but the fact that I’m starting to feel good in my own skin makes up for all the new wrinkles and white hairs I find sticking straight out of my head and, funnily enough, my eyebrows. I’ll take the trade-offs.

Bender, the Wonder Mutt.

Since the kids haven’t done anything lately that I can bitch about would be considered hilarious enough to blog about…I thought I’d introduce you to Bender, the Wonder Mutt.

He’s like a fifth child, without the eye rolling and door slamming.

I’ve had my share of awesome dogs, but this one rocks for many reasons!

Isn’t he a cutie???

bender

We rescued him from a kind soul that found him wandering in downtown, Kansas City KS. We knew he was ours when he ran up to us and promptly peed on my husband’s shoe. Sold!!

That’s a sign you know…it’s like he’s marking you as his. My husband didn’t find this quite as endearing, but thought he was cute enough to cart home.

The dog is a girlie dog. I don’t mean because he was country castrated, he just prefers females to males. This irritates the husband since he considers himself the master of the house. {Little does he know…;)} Anyway, the dog gravitates towards me and the girls of the house. He is constantly under my feet which is quite sweet and helpful when I am cooking and drop something on the floor.

Other times, not so much. It’s a damn miracle I haven’t broken something for as many times as I’ve tripped over him.

He loves bath time. **clarification** The five year old’s bathtime, not his. We have to hogtie him to get the stink off him. He sits in the small kids’ bathroom while Little A. splashes around, getting close enough to try and lick the water off of the tub while keeping one eye on me to ensure he doesn’t join her.

He also loves beds. Ours to be exact. The poor thing curls up into a ball(on my side of course) at the bottom of the bed, taking up the smallest surface area possible to escape getting bumped off. He loves when the husband travels. I’ve found him stretched out and snoring next to me on those nights.

It’s unconfirmed, but I do believe he uses BOTH of our pillows while we are gone during the day.

Asshole.

Being cute, he gets away with a lot of shit.

Apparently, three cups of dog food isn’t quite enough for him. I frequently find food taken out of the trash and strategically hidden throughout the house. I’ve tried doubling his daily allotment to no avail. He still dumpster dives.

Things I’ve found hidden behind cushions, under couches, laundry room, under beds:

pizza crust(who doesn’t love pizza crust, especially Pizza Shoppe)

cookies(he has a sweet tooth, like the rest of the kiddos)

ham bones(Christmas bonus)

bagel and a stick of butter(early breakfast???)

1 pound of beef jerky…albeit in a pile of vomit.

I think he was traumatized when he was a puppy. He is freaked out by the some of the weirdest things. Balloons send him scurrying under the desk. He also hides when I bring the broom out, infrequently though that may be.

Men. Men in hats. Men sweeping with brooms.

Masks. I’m in full agreement with him on this one.

Paper bags. Plastic bags. Purses.

He also knows instinctively when there is a gun in the room. Not just the regular kind. If there is a nerf gun chucked under the couch by one of the boys, the dog hides until we put it in another room.

He is a climber and a runner. At our old house, the dog would climb the chain link fence and run into the woods behind our house. We tried an electric fence, but he figured that one out quickly. If you run really fast, there is minimal shock. How do I know this? The husband tried the collar first. **Sigh**

We don’t currently have a fence. We have three more kids to get out of the house before that happens, so the dog is stuck with a lead. We do occasionally attempt to bring him outside with us without a leash.

No one listens to me when I tell them he is going to run. It’s like they don’t even know the dog!

It’s not SO bad though. We live one block down from the kennel he visits when we leave town. 90% of the time he runs up the road and sits at their front door. Apparently, the kennel is a happening place.

If he sees a rabbit, he’s MIA for at least an hour. He always drags ass back and hides under the table. He won’t even look at us. He likes cats too. Except for the ones with the white stripe down their back. He chased one. Once.

Asshole.

Being A People Person is Highly Overrated-Part II Overindulging at Social Functions

As I’ve said before, I’m not really socially adept, especially in large groups of people that I don’t know. My playful and innately funny nature is severely compromised when I’m out in public. The only way to overcome the anxiety of being amongst other humans is to imbibe from time to time which usually gets me in trouble. There is a fine line between tipsy enough to speak fluently and relax around others and getting all out shitfaced and saying/doing things that you KNOW will induce guilt the following morning and many mornings to come. Here are my top 10 alcohol induced faux pas:

Throwing back one too many beers at a work sponsored tailgate and having to desperately pee between two open car doors because the line to the port-o-potty was way too long. In front of one of our suppliers no less. I can only hope his memory has dimmed and saved my professional face.

Falling down the steps of a two level bar, landing flat on my face in front of a packed house after a couple of hours of drinking with the owner of our company and our purchasing agent.

A night in Vegas that ended with me passing out, facedown, on the couch in a suite that I shared with the owner of our company while he and the guy who delivered room service at midnight discussed my lack of drinking skills. My boss is evil and ate all my damn dinner.

Jumping down off of my top bunk, pulling my pants down and sitting  on my roommates bunk telling her I had too pee after a long night at the bar in college. She was good enough to lead me to the actual restroom. Ah, the joys of Tequila.

Downing a couple of shots of vodka in the Welborn Hall bathroom prior to giving an oral presentation in college on “The Joys of Four Color Process Printing” to third year printing majors. I plowed through it with flying colors, only slurring a few words.

Not drinking ENOUGH at a recent seminar where I made an ass of myself, verbally, instead of sucking down more alcohol. Damn having no designated drivers on a night where there are at least a hundred people you don’t know and you have to stay sober! I made up for it later at a bar across from the hotel by doing a Jagerbomb that induced heart palpitations all night.

Ok, so that’s only six. I’d like to say it’s because there were only six episodes of overindulgence, but I know better. They are the only ones my memory has retained. The rest are buried in some deep, dark part of my brain where shame and guilt have locked them away!

I’d love to hear your “overindulging at social functions” stories, if only to make mine seem a little bit less mortifying!

Team “Honey Badger Don’t Care”…Survived! Run For Your Lives Boston 2012

Team “Honey Badger Don’t Care”….Survived!

Well, technically, we all died and were transformed into zombies as we had no flags left at the end of the race. I guess being a zombie is preferable to being, er, dead.

Team Honey Badger Don’t Care participated in the Run For Your Lives 5K and Obstacle Course this past weekend in Amesbury, MA. (If you have no idea what I am talking about see http://runforyourlives.com/.) I say participated because you are supposed to RUN, however, with 2 feet of mud throughout 95% of the course, running just wasn’t an option for those of us who value our ankles and most other body parts.

Since we had a 3 hour drive from New Haven CT(go Yale!) we decided to do the noon wave. Bad idea #1. I’m sure there was mud for the first idiots runners too, but by our wave the majority of the course was calve deep in sole sucking, slick, skunky mud. My sister lost her shoe during the first 1/4 mile and if I hadn’t duct taped mine I would have lost both of them soon after.

After dropping all of our post race crap off at the holding area we headed to the starting line which consisted of Appetizer(if you run a 9 or less mile), Entree(if you run between 9-15 minute miles) and Dessert(if you run a 15+ minute mile). We lined up in the dessert gate thinking there was cake or something, you know, to improve our abilities. Sadly, it just meant we were slower than shit.

The obstacle portion of the course started right out of the gate with a steep incline(think bunny hill at a ski resort) that you were supposed to run up. Right. I gave it the old college try and made it to the top without totally embarrassing myself, albeit with thighs that were sore before the running actually started. As soon as we crested the top, lo and behold there were zombies. Lots of zombies. And mud. LOTS of mud. So much mud that on one small hill I had to crawl on my hands and knees to get up it. It was a last ditch effort as I’d already tried to walk, run and prance through it. I have no shame, especially when zombies are trying to grab my “life flags”.

There were a few simple obstacles, like running through a 3 foot ditch of muddy water, going through a smoke filled structure with dangling “zap” wires(yes they zapped you if you touched one). Fortunately, a runner from a previous wave had warned us of this one. There were natural obstacles along the way…a 4 foot stream filled with branches and logs and more mud than I’ve seen in my entire life.

We walked most of the 3.2 miles, simply to avoid killing ourselves, which was a definite possibility. By the time we hit the last two obstacles we were feeling pretty confident that we could finish this thing. None of us had our “life flags” left, but hey the whole goal was to finish the race. We won already. Then we saw the last two obstacles…

The second to the last obstacle was a two story climb up some pretty flimsy looking twoXfours that led to a slide. No, not a fun one. Once we crested the top, we slid down into a tank of frigid water. None of us made a graceful entry, or exit for that matter. At least we got some of the mud off.

The last obstacle looked kind of fun.

When other people were doing it.

Looking back, I can’t believe we actually went down the BIG slide, which consisted of plastic sheeting laid down another bunny hill that had water streaming down it. I have no idea how long the sucker was, just that it didn’t look so bad from the top. Until we started the downward plunge. Holy shizznit!! Three of us went at the same time. Turned out to be a very bad idea. I didn’t want to take out my sister so I veered left. Another bad idea. That thing was slick and I almost slid off into the grass which would have hurt all kinds of body parts. Through some unknown bit of luck, I stayed on the plastic but picked up speed as I hit the midpoint and spun around so that I was on my back head first into god knows what. The last thought I had before I plunged into yet another pool of muddy, frigid water was “I’m going to break my neck”.

Someone was looking out for me as I didn’t break my neck. I think I was in shock for a few seconds, but I made it past the slip N slide/pool of death. The end of the race loomed before us with a crowd cheering us on. It helped. A little. To finish, we had to slide on all fours under a chain link fence that had hanging wires. If we didn’t lay low enough, we got zapped.

Finished! Survived the obstacle course, but ended up zombie bait. I’m just proud that I finished without breaking anything. There were many bruises, some blood and a whole lot of sore, but it was an amazing feeling to say that we did it and good preparation.

I can SO survive a zombie apocalypse! Go Team Honey Badger!

Like I Don’t Have Enough Paperwork Already

I sat down tonight to fill out my 18 year old’s FAFSA application. For those of you who don’t know what FAFSA is, here you go…

Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Like anything else that comes from the government, there is paperwork involved. Lots of paperwork. It’s similar to doing a 1040 long form. Lots of hair pulling, cursing and a bit of crying.

I know what you are thinking, “The boy is 18. Have him fill out the application.” I thought about it and then quickly decided against that idea. For one thing, it requires LOTS of information on income(not his, by the way). What might look like more money than he has seen in his whole life, He Who Has No Motivation to Get a Job doesn’t realize that 90% of that $number$ goes to the roof over his head, food, activities, food, clothing, food…you get my point. Another, the boy has trouble filling out a job application. One wrong answer on this bad boy is like forgetting a zero on the income line of your tax return.

As I’m slaving over the pages of this document, my mind wanders to an article I read on Huffpost yesterday. It stated that getting a job prior to attending college may hurt your chances of getting financial aid. Seriously? So, in order to get, say, a student loan or a grant, a teenager may harm their chances by actually working to save money for college?!?!? This is NOT the article I want my 18 year old reading. I’m a big believer in the school of “things are appreciated/valued more when you pay for it yourself”. I don’t mind helping the kiddo out, but I do think that said child, er adult child, should take some responsibility in his newfound adulthood.  Hell, when I was a kid it was never expected that the parents foot the whole bill for college. I was fortunate enough that they helped me out, but then I had a job from the time I was 15 through college. Every summer, I would find a job in some dismal factory that paid a whopping $7.50/hour to cover most of my expenses the following term AND I had a job all through the school year. You know what, I DID appreciate it more when I had to pay at least some of it. I don’t think kids these days(god, I sound old) get it. Come May 20th, I hope to God my oldest starts to get it.

So, filling out the FAFSA. Basically, it asks for income of both parents(or a parent and stepparent), any income earned by Jr., which schools you might like to attend, blah, blah blah.

If I were in charge of revamping the form, here is a simplified list of the things I would want to know in order to grant someone government funds/loans etc.

1. Contact information-self explanatory

2. Do you intend to a)actually study and graduate from college and contribute positively to society, or b)are you going to to school in order to escape the parents and binge drink/sleep through classes/chase girls/guys?

if answer A, we approve a loan in the amount that your parents are willing to co-sign with you. If you fail to pay it back, we will have no choice but to make you work at the DMV until said loan is paid in full. We feel this is a fair and equitable trade.

if answer B, sorry we cannot at this time extend a loan to you, but we will hire you at the DMV for the rest of your natural life.

So much less paperwork. Cut to the chase, I say! Will keep you posted on when He Who Has no Motivation to Get a Job, gets a job! And here’s hoping he also gets a scholarship or loan or at least the amount of money that I would have earned had I filled this out on the job.

Delivery vs. a Zombie 5K

So, I’m training for a 5K in May. I haven’t run since high school cross country except for that one spring break in Daytona nor felt any inclination to do so since then.

Until my sister e-mailed me a link to the Run For Your Lives 5K run and obstacle course.

Fun With Zombies

It’s 3.1 miles of cross country like running with a few obstacles thrown in to keep you from getting bored. The thing that inspired me to start training(besides my 40 year old sagging, paunchy body) is the fact that you have zombies trying to suck your brains take your flags(kind of like flag football). Yes, I said zombies.

I ❤ zombies.

Finally, some motivation to get my ass to the gym. You would have thought the muffintop would have done it a few years ago, but what can I say…

I started training January 24th, which means I’ve been at it for a little over 1 month. It’s getting easier to run and I’m not talking about lung capacity. My old ass knees can only take running every other day so I’ve resigned myself to weights every other day to give them a break. Apparently, this is also supposed to increase weight loss as it improves metabolism while building muscles. Yeah, whatever. I’ve gained five pounds since I started, which is also apparently normal. I find it contradictory, but ok. I’m determined to stick with this working out stuff if only to ward off the ravenous undead in 2 months time.

So, as I’m slogging around the 1/10 mile track yesterday, I start comparing running to delivery. Yeah, the kind where you squeeze a bowling ball out of your nether regions with much pain, agony and stitches. They have a lot of the same attractive features. Here are my top 10:

10) You feel lighter when you are finished. Delivery: You just released 5 pounds of water weight, 8 pounds of wrinkled human and a couple of quarts of blood and gunk. Yeah you! Running: You sweat off most of the Diet Coke and/or Rum water you consumed that day.

9)It’s a marathon, so pace yourself. Delivery: Unless you are one of those bitches who didn’t know you were pregnant and drop the kid while you are taking a shit, be prepared for a long haul. Pace yourself and turn the pit drip down when the Dr. isn’t looking. Running: 3.1 miles is a LONG way to go. Two breaths in, one long breath out.

8) It’s gonna hurt, but you won’t remember it in the end. Delivery: Whoever said this was LYING to you. I remember every stinking, puke filled, contraction upon contraction filled minute. Yes I would do it again, but I also remember the pain. Running: You will remember it if you are as old as I am. Even booze won’t dull the throbbing ache of two busted up knees after your run.

7)Drugs are optional, but sometimes necessary. Delivery: I have the utmost respect for  women who forgo drugs or an epidural during labor. I am not one of those women. I would have french kissed the anesthesiologist for putting in the epidural except I’d been puking all morning from the IV drip. Running: I’d really like some of those labor drugs, but, alas, Ibuprofen and Icy Hot are about all I get after a run. Still, dull throbbing is better than all out stabbing pain shooting up your legs all day.

6)You get to eat after your finished! Delivery: It’s like you win a prize…on top of a prize. They feed you 10 seconds after you deliver. Running: You can, or at least I do, eat pretty much anything right after a run. I don’t know if this is scientifically proven that you are still burning calories quickly, but I’ll do anything to justify a cheeseburger and fries!

5)You have an audience. Delivery: I was determined to only have my husband in the room with me during delivery. Who wants your Mom/Mom-in-law/Dad etc. to see that? Well, after the first few cervical checks and a couple of puke sessions into the day you just don’t give two shits who sees your vagina. By the time my little bundle crowned I had my husband, my Mom, my husbands Mom, a doctor, 10 nurses and the maintenance man cheering me on! And you know what? It’s kind of cool to watch all of their faces as you push your baby out. You know they’ve seen(at least the Dr. and nurses) hundreds if not thousands of babies born, but it’s like their first rodeo. Everyone is cheering you on and grinning and crying. You are the belle of the ball… bloated, sweat stained and blood soaked, but still the belle of the ball! Running: Race day usually finds a crowd of onlookers smiling and cheering you on as you run/limp through the 3.1 grueling miles being chased by ravenous zombies…sweat stained, blood soaked and possibly bloated!

4)Crying, lots of crying. Delivery: Pain, Drugs, more pain, drugs, tearing, pushing, cursing, 7 pounds of wrinkled squawking baby. Running: Pain, Ibuprofen, more pain, cursing, more Ibuprofen chased with a beer.

3)The thrill of accomplishment. Delivery: I have a hard time finishing anything, be it a half written novel or doing the laundry, but if you are knocked up you kind of have to finish what you started. When you are done, there is a sense of accomplishment like no other except… Running: Running fast enough not to be eaten by zombies and actually finishing a 5K race.

2)You get a prize! Delivery: A tiny bundle of joy. Running: a tiny “still human/sorry you’re a zombie” medal!

1)You are embarking on a lifetime of joy. Delivery: You’ll have 18 11  years of love, adoration and affection from your new offspring. When they turn 12, they’ll forget that you endured 36 hours of labor to push their sorry asses out of your vajayjay. I’ve been told that the love, adoration and affection returns once they get out in the “real world”, but as the oldest is just now 18, I cannot vouch for that! Running: You’ll enjoy a healthy relationship with your streamlined body for the rest of your life, unless the zombies get you!