It Really Pays to Rent if You Have Kids.

The hubby and I are on our second house together. We purchased it four years ago after adding a fourth clown to the circus darling child. I bought the first house on my own when we first started dating and he and the oldest kidlet moved in about a year later. It was an awesome house. For one person. I had an extra room for nothing but storage, the basement had a disco ball and fresh carpeting for those Dancing Queen moments you have when you live alone and I could fit my mid-size car in the 1950’s one car garage with no problem.

Fast forward one year and we both had to park in the driveway due to all the shit he transported from an overstuffed apartment, all the bedrooms were taken up and all the storage was moved to a once pristine laundry room. It was quite a shock to go from living alone(with two cats) to three people(five on weekends, two other kidlets), 2 large dogs and rooms that looked like they were from the latest episode of Hoarders! Then my sanity left me. With good reason.

Fast forward another three years and we added our youngest, my first mini kidlet. Every room in our tiny house was packed. The baby’s room was next to our bedroom and right off the echoey living room. Every time the baby went down for a nap I turned into the Shush Nazi. Clearly, we would have to find larger digs. So we did. Brand spanking new four bedroom house with a full basement and a three car garage, moderately priced to be paid off when we went to the nursing home. Maybe.

So, the point of all this is to dissuade Moms and Dads from buying a shiny new home if you have kiddos. Rent if possible and definitely plan on losing that security deposit. You’ll thank me later. Here are the top ten house disasters that I have encountered from having kids and shiny new houses…although one of my favorite top three is actually from the old house but did involve a brand new sliding glass door.

10. Broken window number one thanks to a soccer ball kicked through a basement window exactly 3.2 seconds after oldest was told not to kick the ball towards the house. $100

9. Front door lock thanks to 100000 slams and/or forced openings with one kid inside leaning against to keep out kid #2 on the outside. $150

8. Mystery hole in the boys bedroom behind the door conveniently hidden with an old Xbox game unit, thanks to “I don’t know how that happened”. $??? not fixed yet.

7. Mystery crack in the boys bedroom window thanks to, again, “I don’t know how that happened”. I see a trend here. $???? not fixed yet.

6. Mystery paint scraped off of the hallway wall thanks to “soon to be announced” after kidlet interrogation.

5. Plugged up garage drain, which may or may not have been caused by the hubby, but since I always err on the side of caution, we’re gonna go ahead with one of the kids did it.

4. Mystery red stains on the floor of the boys room along with mystery brown, black and fluorescent green stains on same floor. Boys are icky. Luckily, they used my brand new vacuum to suck up some sick smelling nastiness that I have yet to get out of the damn thing. So this one counts as two…my damn brand spanking new carpets and my damn brand spanking new vacuum.

3. Staircase railing crashing down into the living room (almost landing on our then two year old) from rocking a leg back and forth forcefully on in while getting yelled at for breaking something else. $165

2. Sliding glass door…death by dart, 4.5 seconds after yelling at the oldest not to touch the darts. $1000

1. Garage wall, powder room, framework…death by automobile “mistakenly” driven through by throwing on the gas instead of the brake, again by the oldest. $500, thanks to insurance.

I didn’t even mention all the plugged toilets and sinks, fingerprinted walls, doors that don’t work properly, broken bed frames(no, not from the adults). I could go on and on. Half of the list is thanks in part to the oldest who is either unlucky or bent on leaving his mark on each house in which we dwell.

It really pays to rent if you have kids. Not only are they costly in diapers, clothing, schooling, toys, toiletries etc., but the repair bills will kill your bank account and your sanity.

Where’s the Plunger? I Know we Have One Somewhere!

I’m a pretty laid back lazy person. I admit it, I’ve accepted it and I’m pretty sure changing that fact this late in life would be nearly impossible, if I wanted to. I’m also a Mom to 4 kids, a dog, 15 fish and a husband. I’m not sure, but there may be another kid running around on the weekends. I’ve lost count.

There are certain phrases that I know lead to an interruption in my laid back life, usually involving a massive effort on my part to do damage control, clean up, and/or shell out more $$$ in insurance premium hikes, carpet cleaning and window/door/floor repairs.

At Home:

“Where’s the plunger? I know we have one somewhere!” usually follows an unheard call for toilet paper, thus forcing usage of swellable materials in lieu of toilet paper.

“I didn’t do it!” Heard countless times in my career as a stepmother to 3 lovable yet irresponsible children who mysteriously “find” broken windows, holes in the walls, mudtracks up the carpeted stairs, warm cans of soda with one sip out of them,  week old bowls of cereal {in their room}.

“Mom, the dog ate something fluorescent green!”

“Uh, oh.”

“Mommy, it was an accident.”

“But, I swear, the car was in reverse!”

“It says dish soap. How was I supposed to know you couldn’t put it in the dishwasher?”

“The dryer dries things, right?”

“I wasn’t aiming for the window/my sister/the TV/the dog.”

“I wanted my soda warmed up.” soda can in the microwave, true story. I caught it in time before the fire department was alerted.

“I swear I only put 2 minutes on the microwave.” Not much left of fried chicken after 20 minutes of nuking except the foul odor that lingers for days.

“I need a paper towel. Actually…I need a ROLL of paper towels, but I didn’t do it.”

“The lid wasn’t on.”

“Mommy, a fish got stuck in the filter.”

“Mommy, why is the dog dragging his butt on the carpet?

“It must have fallen in the toilet.” followed by… I didn’t do it.

Cardiologists Rock!

So, it being a new year and all I’ve decided  to start taking my health seriously. Several factors have gone in to this carefully thought out decision, not the least of which happened a few days after Thanksgiving. My Mom went into cardiac arrest while visiting a friend in the hospital. Luckily, she was at the perfect place for this to happen and the EMT’s and ER staff were able to revive her. I’m happy to say she made it and after 10 days in the hospital came home with a shiny, rhinestoned defribrillator installed in her chest. The fine Docs decided she had several markers for a genetic heart condition so I’ve been instructed to get my ass to a cardiologist pronto!

I showed up last week for the appointment, nervous but wanting to get it out of the way. As I walked into the lobby of the cardiologists office, most of the occupants in the waiting room looked at me with raised eyebrows. I’m youngish, at least compared to the seniors around, not overweight and pale only because I’m a redhead. I felt like an oddity. I guess that’s why I tripped at the sign in desk. Or it could be my ailing heart.

Once in the room, a nurse took all my vitals and gave me an EKG. I had a kiddo 4 years ago and I must say, the new ponchos they give you after you strip down are loads better than the older model. They close with velcro and don’t allow boobage to fall out at inopportune times, nor do you have a million ties to deal with that never quite close the gown properly.

After the nurse took a history, a nurse practioner came in with more questions. I reviewed everything with him and waited for the doc to come in. I was quite impressed with the amount of time these people spent with their patients. Normally, when I go to the doctor for regular stuff, they bring a stopwatch in and clock out at about 10 minutes. It reminds me of those restaurants that claim you get your lunch for free if it takes longer than 15 minutes. Anyway, these people were thorough.

So, finally, the cardiologist comes in. I know the good doctor as he also takes care of a family member. I like him and I feel comfortable with him. The conversation..

Doc: Well, you don’t look Italian. (Gee, did the red hair give it away?)

Me: Nope, mostly Irish and English.

Doc: So, you keep chalking up family members with difibrillators. Your Mom went into cardiac arrest?

Me: Yeah, it was a good thing she was at a hospital already.

Doc: Hmm…so you are not taking any medications, you haven’t been sick for at least a year and your EKG came back normal.

Me:(feeling a bit idiotic): Yeah, my Mom made me come in.

Doc: Probably a good thing. Although, unless you are Italian(eyebrows raised), you only have about a 20% chance of dropping dead from this.

Me: Yeah, that’s 1 in 5. Can we rule it out?

Doc: I wouldn’t be happy unless we did, although…I’m not sure about a game plan if you do have the condition. There aren’t any medications for it.

Me: That’s a problem, isn’t it. What do you suggest?

Doc: Cardiac MRI. Do NOT exercise until we rule it out. That can bring on cardiac arrest in these cases.

Me: Shouldn’t be a problem, I haven’t exercised in 10 years. I could probably go another 10.

Doc: Have you gone through the change yet?

Me: Huh??(WTF, I’m only 40) Noooo!!!

Doc: Well, until then you probably want to maintain a healthy diet.  After the change you’ll want to get yearly cholesterol checks and your blood pressure taken. AND you need to quit smoking.

Now, I know this. It’s filthy habit that I’ve tried to break and plan on doing again BUT this guy is about 350 pounds and sweating while he’s lecturing me(remember, I like this dude).

Me: Ok Doc

Being a People Person is Highly Overrated…Part 1 Introductions

When it comes to meeting new people there are appropriate social structures in place to facilitate positive interaction. Eye contact, a handshake, a smile, a small verbal pronouncement of who the hell you are all convey the idea of how introductions to someone you’ve never met before are to be made. I’ve had to endure this torture for going on 40 years now and there are certain categories of introductions that I loathe worse than cleaning up dog puke at 3 in the morning. On our bed. After a long night of drinking and bad Chinese food.

The “Gripper”-you know the guy who wants to show you that he “works out” and squeezes the living shit out of your hand. Not only does he clamp down on your extremities with an iron fist, but he also doesn’t let go until your fingers turn a dark shade of puce.

The “Wet Noodle”-I’ve had several of these, 98.9% of them by women who while wishy washily shaking your hand are also sizing you up as competition. The wet noodle is usually accompanied with a high pitched giggle and a hair flip. Beware the 1.1% of men who fall into this category…they forgot to pack their balls that morning!

The “Swamp Thing”-You know, the shake that you can’t quite get a good grip on because their hand is slicker than a hooker at the end of a successful evening? I carry hand sanitizer to every event I am required to attend in preparation for this one!

The Vibrator-This one turns me on slightly in a dark kind of way. The Vibrator grabs your hand firmly and continuously pumps it up and down in short bursts while talking for the next 2 minutes. I usually need a drink after this one.

The Reach Around-One hand handshake while the other snakes around and clasps the back of your hand, or your buttocks depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. These may or may not be accompanied by the shoulder bump or half hug.

I’ve found that a firm grip for 4.5 seconds belies a sense of  confidence and openness at starting a conversation.  Actually I’ve got that down to a science.

Wipe sweaty paw on pants/skirt

Swing arm around and firmly grip opponents new person’s hand for the designated allotment of time.

Smile and make eye contact.

Give name.

Then the real fun starts!

Next post…the dangers of overindulging at social functions!

Conversations with a 3 Year Old…

While watching yet another Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and reading a trashy celebrity magazine, from the bathroom comes…

Mommy, I need a butt check!”

Me: Is there toilet paper?

Pipsqueak: “Yes.”

Me: Ok.

2 seconds later…

Mommy, I need a butt check!”

Me: Wipe front to back.

2 seconds later…

Mom-meeeee, butt check!”

Defeated, I grab the latex gloves and goggles and head to the bathroom.

While driving to daycare…

If you see a deer you have to stop.

Me: Ok, you look for the deer.

Rounding the next curve…

STOP! There’s a deer!

Me: Phew. Thanks copilot. I wouldn’t want to hit her!”

Is ok, accident’s happen.”

While observing my living room, trashed with mountains of barbie dolls, baby doll parts and doll house furniture..

Me: You need to clean up sweetie!

But I’m busy.” {watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse}

Me: We need to clean up before bedtime.

There’s too much. I need help.

Me: Who plays with all of these toys?

I don’t know. I think it was the alligator.

Me: Really? I didn’t know alligators liked baby dolls.

They do. They like to eat them.”

Me: Well, maybe we should put them back in their spot so the alligator doesn’t eat them.

Welllll, ok. You do it. I busy.”

Giving Pipsqueak a bath…

Unmentionable amounts of snot come shooting out of her nose.

Me: Here’s a tissue, wipe your nose!

But it’s yummy.

Me: No, we don’t eat boogers!

Giggling “But it’s yummy, Mommy!” as she sucks it in before I can get the tissue there. Damn.

Me: I’m going to tell your first boyfriend you used to eat your boogers when you were little.

But who is my boyfriend?”

Me: No, WHEN you have a boyfriend, WHEN you are thirty I am going to tell him you used to eat your boogers.

But who?”

Me: Nevermind, here’s a tissue.

But they’re yummy Mommy. You wanna try it?” as she holds out her hand with boogers. I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

It’s Inevitable…

1. That after spending an hour getting the kiddos packed and ready for the day, one of them will most likely spew unmentionable amounts of mucous out of their nose all over a) their clothing, b) your clothing, c) the back of the front seat in the car, d)their carseat, etc. NOTE TO SELF: pack extra clothing all around next time.

2. That you will get the majority of the blame in exact relation to where you fall on the shit ladder at work. NOTE TO SELF: step on whoever you have to to get to the top rung.

3. That the day you’ve decided to chug on at work even though you loathe it, the boss decides to adjust his medication and can’t find his way out of a paperbag with a flashlight and a GPS and goes all Sybil on you for some shit he did. NOTE TO SELF: purchase small flask of vodka to add to morning coffee in the exact proportion needed not to give a shit on those days.

4. That a fun family vacation will more than likely result in more stress than if you had stayed at home. NOTE TO SELF: pack small flask of vodka to add liberally to morning coffee in exact proportion needed not to give a shit on those days.

5. That the dog will find a way to get those warm rice crispy treats that were left shoved way back on the kitchen counter and shit marshmellow covered doo doo for the next week. NOTE TO SELF: make the dog a separate pan of his own damn rice crispy treats.

6. That you forgot to buy tampons.  The first day of your cycle. At midnight. NOTE TO SELF: buy a box of plugs every time you pick up a case of diet coke and stash them all over the house.

7. That the jeans/bathing suit/skirt you thought looked great on your fat ass in the store do not look as good in the mirror at home. NOTE TO SELF: live in sweats.

8. That the drink in your cup from McDonalds most likely contains something other than the diet coke you specifically ordered and that the order taker specifically read back to you and what it specifically says on your receipt. NOTE TO SELF: order regular coke to throw them for a loop. Will most likely result in you getting your diet coke.

9. That the person giving you the evil eye as you discipline your demon child in public will most likely have offspring that a)are in prison, b)are in their {parent’s} basement, c)working the coke machine at McDonalds. NOTE TO SELF: perfect the F.U. look to shoot back at the nosey motherfuckers who probably also complain about how out of control children are these days.

10. That my mood will improve incrementally with each sip of the vodka diet coke I am about to ingest after a shitty day at work. NOTE TO SELF: drinking does serve it’s purpose.

Ramblings on Harry Potter and Alan Rickman.

So…I decided to read the entire Harry Potter Series. I know it’s geared towards young adults or “tweens”, but I’m going through an early midlife crisis and my sister has been harping on me for years to read them. So I did. And you know what? They are fantastic! Not just great, but fan-fucking-tastic!! You would never know that JK was a first time author from these books. Her writing style is simple yet in two sentences she describes the scene perfectly, I mean like you are right there with the characters.

After reading all seven books in two months I then decided I’d better watch all the movies too, because I am a geek and I don’t get out much and maybe NOW  I can figure out what’s going on. I’d seen some of the movies in the past, but always haphazardly and with those British accents it was kind of hard to keep up. And now I have a HUGE crush on Alan Rickman. Yes, greasy hair and nasty snear aside, the man can deliver a line like no one else. And he chose Lily’s petronus due to his undying and unrequited love! I bawled like a three year old being denied cotton candy at the fair when it was revealed that he was a good guy all along!! Forget that he’s 65-ish, the man makes me swoon.

I LOVE a man in black and a cape!