November 05, 2018

Daylight Savings/Need Saving

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I'll be the first to say it out loud - It's hard to like your kids this time of year. What with the time change, early morning wake ups, lack of sunlight after 5pm, and continuing whining about wanting to eat Halloween candy.  I said it on Facebook a few years ago, but it bares repeating: Daylight Savings is when you gain an hour but lose the will to live.

I can't believe it's going to be 80 degrees tomorrow.  I love Fall and was SO excited about packing my spider veins away for the winter.  Now I have figure out how to dress again for the rest of the week.  I struggle with clothes for warm weather.

Speaking of clothes, everyone really seemed to like my jazz boot story in my last post.  It was not an isolated event.  I remember another time at my last job when I thought I looked smart in my navy trousers and white short sleeved button up.  It was around lunchtime when I caught a glance in then bathroom mirror and realized I looked like a Cuban senior citizen wearing an authentic guayabera.

Also, I had at least a 4 year period of my 20’s in which I unknowingly dressed as a man.  I had a collection of thick J Crew chinos in every color, especially dark khaki, and I paired them with men’s polo shirts.  In a size men’s small, of course, because I have always been petite.  I wish I had a picture to share but it was just before the dawn of digital photos.  Maybe that was for the best.


I have a very specific memory of wearing my chinos in Chicago one summer.  Did you know the Windy City isn't always windy?  I literally did not.  I went in the height of summer, armed with my bevy of chinos and polos.  I thought it was always cold there.  Until I sweated through my pants at Wrigley Field and got such a bad sunburn on my forearms that I had to cover them with brochures on a boat tour the next day.  I went to Walgreens after the boat tour and tried to buy sunscreen SPF 90.  A sympathetic black lady at the counter said, "You know they make that in 100."  Naturally I went back to the sunscreen aisle to get the max protection for my alabaster skin.

Why can’t there just be 5 pairs of shoes for sale that all look good?  Every time I am determined to upgrade my 5 pair collection of sexually ambiguous loafers, I get overwhelmed by the 470,000 shoe options on the Zappos or Nordstrom website, and I end up just quitting and taking a nap.  I did go out on a limb earlier this summer and get some fashionable wedges with a high heel and super chic fabric and color.  And then I realized if I walk more than 0.5 mph in them, I will instantly collapse.

Most of the time my house is so messy it looks like I’m in the middle of a move.  How do kids do it?  I know it's considered ideal to have a house where you can see the floor, but it's so hard not to give up sometimes.  The only time my house is truly clean is for about a half hour when the housekeepers come every other week.  Then the kids show up and it's back to Sanford and Son status.

Remember when they used to not let you bring cuticle clippers on planes after 9/11?  That was a tough time.  I’ve always been a nervous flyer but during that period my fear of crashing was equally matched by my fear of getting a hang skin and not being able to nip it with a clean cut.  Thank goodness now they just don’t let you bring water in from the outside.  I would much rather be dehydrated than have unruly cuticles.

That's my thought dump of the month.  If anyone has any ground breaking indoor activities for these long dark afternoons, holler at your girl.  Or just come over and have some wine with me and make our kids entertain each other.

October 02, 2018

Proof of Life

Since I am taking a medical/hurricane leave of absence from my illegal catering company, I decided I need to force myself back on to society and give the old blog some love.


What in the fresh hell is the deal with face tattoos these days? All the kids are listening to this guy, Post Malone.  Scary, isn’t it!  I actually looked up all his google images to see the progression of his face art and my heart broke for his mother each time a new tattoo appeared. Can you even imagine?!  Nothing would bring me greater sadness than my son walking through the door with the words “Always Sleepy” permanently inked below his eyes. I mean, I get it.  I literally am always tired. But I can just tell you that straight up verbally with no tattoo needed.  One time my sister died her hair purple with Kool-Aid and you would have thought she had sold her body for drugs my mom was so crushed.  Poor Mrs. Malone.

If you’re like me, you probably have no idea who Post Malone is.  I don’t even know how I know who he is.  Grant was recently so disappointed in me because I didn’t know who anyone was who was performing at Coachella this year.  I used to be pretty up to speed on the hot current artists and go to lots of concerts.  Now I only listen to Fifth Harmony on Pandora when I exercise and Barney on road trips.  I am about as basic as they come these days.
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I was on a bachelorette party in Nashville last month and we signed up for a spin class.  I was a little hungover but ready to sweat out my headache.  Then they turned all the damn lights off and started bumping A$AP Rocky and other such rap artists I have never heard of.  Even though I felt like I was going to have a panic attack because I was locked into my pedals and spinning in complete darkness, it made me giggle to envision the 46 all white women bachelorette attendees (different parties) getting their exercise to the soothing sounds of really hardcore racial rap music that we have no business trying to sing along to. 

I have a tip for you.  If you ever want to feel like a total asshole, get a facial after a natural disaster.  I went to see my regular person last week and you can only imagine what a jerk I felt like while she told me about her brother’s house that was completely underwater, as she jade rolled my adult acne.

I wonder if I don’t blog anymore because I might be running out of things to complain about?!  My kids sleep through the night, I am done with cribs and morning naps, and Katie only has accidents 3 times a day and always on upholstery.  It’s funny that my kids like to dress up in my clothes.  I guess because I am old and have the wonderful responsibility of holding keys and driving and all that luscious stuff I used to covet as a kid, that they think I’m cool.  Little do they know I am the world’s worst dresser.  


Did I ever tell you about the time that I unknowingly wore jazz shoes to the first day of my first ever real job?  I also paired them with tapered, pin striped pants and I really think I thought I looked chic and professional.  I am not exaggerating when I saw that my sister’s jaw literally dropped when she saw me after work that day.  It was a visual crime against humanity.  I need a stylist. Did I also ever tell you that my first real job was at the DC headquarters of 1-800-PackRat...and that I answered the phone 100 times a day saying, "1-800-PackRat, this is Marilyn.  How can I help you?"  My parents were so proud.

So…that’s what’s new with me these days.  Power has been restored.  Internet works about an hour every day.  Sanity and emotional stability are still in question but everyone is powering through and trying to help those affected by the hurricane.  We are definitely lucky compared to many in surrounding areas.  I hope everyone is well!

Until next time…



December 29, 2017

Annie's Vegetable Beef Soup

I love a good soup in the wintertime for lunch or dinner.  This is one of my favorites that my mom has always made.  It has great flavor from all the spices and is easy to put together thanks to the use of frozen veggies.  The whole recipe takes less than 30 minutes of hands on time and makes a large  quantity for eating, freezing, or sharing!





INGREDIENTS:

- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 tsp. Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Lantana (all purpose seasoning)
- 1/2 large green pepper, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz. diced tomatoes with seasoning
- 14 oz. beef broth
- 72 oz.  V-8  juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 oz. frozen corn
- 8 oz. frozen butter beans
- 8 oz. frozen carrots, sliced
- 8 oz. frozen okra, sliced
- 8 oz. frozen  pearl onions
- 8 oz. frozen green beans, cut

DIRECTIONS:

Brown the meat with the spices.  Saute the chopped onion, celery, garlic, green pepper in a small amount of olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.

Mix the meat and veggies together in a large pot and add all other ingredients.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.  Enjoy!

October 31, 2017

Holiday Randomness

 
 
Halloween is over.  It was fun while it lasted but oh my gosh it lasted so long.  I made the mistake of decorating way too early and had to commit to a full Halloween lifestyle for 31 full days.  Do you know how time consuming it is to maintain an inflatable?  I had to put our inflatable pumpkin reaper to bed every night by unplugging it, then wake it up every morning plugging it in, wiping the dew off so that it could stand up right, fluffing it up.  I even had my first IRI: Inflatable Related Injury, when I sliced my foot on some slate spiffing it up for the day.
 
Now that Halloween is over, t'is the season to give thanks.  And I have so many things I am thankful for this year. 
 
First, I am thankful for Papa John for serving his pizza with a cup of butter and making us feel like its ok to dip pizza in butter.  Because I didn't even know it, but pizza actually does need a butter garlic dipping sauce.
 
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Secondly, I am thankful for Otter Box, without which I would literally have no phone.  I drop it myself from time to time whilst carrying the personal belongings of 3 people everywhere I go.  But mostly the protection is needed from Katie, who just recreationally hurls my phone across the room almost every day.
 
I am also thankful for pimento cheese, for adding word pimento and letting us pretend that we aren't just eating cheese with mayonnaise added. 
 
Did you know that I used to hate celery, ham, mayonnaise, and the rye chips in Chex mix? Now I only hate celery. No wonder I am literally the exact average male or female that can log on to a cardio machine without changing the age and weight setting.  Basic and proud.

I am also thankful for my family and friends and Harris Teeter for being there for me for lightbulbs, diapers, wine, and sustenance.  But mostly wine.
 
And I know it's not the end of the year yet, but it has recently felt like the end of the world, so I'll share a few musings about 2017 while I got the ol' laptop out.
I am officially declaring this as the year that people stopped caring about hair. They don't care about their short hair, their new hair, their kid's bed hair. #shorthairdontcare? Guess what?  No one else does either.

Also, people need to stop saying "And just like that.." when their kids turn a new age? Just like, that your kid turns 4? Are you freaking kidding me? The last 4 years have been the longest of my life. If your parenting experience is happening "just like that", you aren't spending enough time with your kids.
 
Why do they make the towels at salons hot as fucking fire?  It seems like if every nail tech in all the land has to shake the towel vigorously before use, lest it burn your skin off, that they should just universally lower the temperature of the towel warmer...
 
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Marilyn ---> Out

August 22, 2017

Fun Fact

 
Did you know that even when kids learn to sleep through the night, they never actually sleep through the night? 
 
There is literally always something that makes it so you never, ever get a solid night's sleep.  Sometimes they have a cough.  Sometimes the rain is too loud.  Sometimes the dark is too dark or it's not morning time enough.  And, my favorite and most common culprit, is the damned stuffed froggy that falls down the side of the bed.  Whatever it is, you're likely to be tired for the next 18 years I am convinced.  Especially if you have a child that absolutely refuses to sleep past 6am.
 
The bad news about being a stay at home mom to little kids is that you basically aren't a real person.  You don't get to shower without either advanced scheduling with your spouse or, better yet, an audience.  I probably have one shower a week without Katie serving as my hype girl at the end of the tub while she gets gently misted by my shower spray.  You are a human jungle gym, a hair play pony who is not allowed to have feelings in the root of her scalp, a servant, a short order cook, and an asswiper extraordinaire.
 
But the good news is that on those days when you really aren't a real person because you woke up 5 times the night before, you don't have to go to work the next day and pretend like you aren't more desperate for naptime than quitting time.  Instead you get to sit around in your sweatpants until the spirit moves you to go play, while breaking up play doh fights and trying to find your coffee in 50 different locations. 
 
Sometimes I don't know how my husband goes to work after nights like that and talks to actual high functioning adults.  I am lucky that I only have to decide between grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as opposed to like, actual business things that matter.
 
I do have to say, ever since Katie turned 18 months old life has been a lot easier.  And funnier.  I say more ridiculous things per day than I ever thought I would in my entire life.  Today's highlights include:
 
"Don't wipe your bottom with your finger ever again!"
 
"Please don't put your food in my armpit!"
 
"Stop throwing batteries at me!"
 
 
I simply cannot imagine the desire to have more kids because I feel like I am just now getting to a sort of sweet spot.  Well, sweet-ish maybe.  Or more like sweet-adjacent a few days per week.  But it's getting good.  I might actually be running out of things to complain about!  But I'm sure I'll think of something.
 
Also, on a semi related note of ridiculousness, does anyone else feel like they have officially reached the age where, if you see a random piece of fuzz or rogue hair sitting on your body, you think, "Please don't be attached.  Please don't be attached."  Yea...me neither...
 

May 23, 2017

Jetsetting

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You know your life is sexy when the recent thrills of the year include figuring out how to remove some mildew from your bathroom ceiling and finding your child's lovey that you thought was lost forever.  Seriously, I was SO excited for both.  It was a little scary.

Due to recent general life exhaustion, my sister and I decided to take an emergency "let's not let our kids make us have mental breakdown" trip last week to Florida.  And, lo, it was glorious.

I was so pleased to discover that I still know how to read AND sleep pass 6AM.  And, wow, did I forget the simple pleasure of eating a meal without simultaneously tearing up bits of food for two kids while trying to entertain them and not throw food across the room.  Sheer bliss.

I never fly these days, which is due to the fact that I never go anywhere, which is due to the fact that KIDS. But when I got on my second flight which I barely made because my first flight was so delayed, I was hungry because I totally missed lunch due to my delay.  Which reminded me of a flight I took a few years ago, armed with a breakfast burrito. After taking a few bites, I noticed the guy next to me staring at my burrito. Trying to be nice but NEVER thinking he would say "yes", I asked him if he wanted half of it. He said "Yes"...and I continue to be amazed by the sociological event to this day. I really wished someone would offer me a half of their burrito on that second plane to Florida. No such luck. I accidentally went 7 whole hours without eating. I am basically a survivor.

The only bad part of the trip was that I forgot my sweatpants because they give me life.  And maybe also my 10 inch rectangular sunburn by my armpit that totally defies sunscreen and logic.  I am not one with the sun.  

Did I mention we were staying in Juno Beach which by all accounts appeared to be a retirement community?  We took a step class one morning and burned at least 40 calories. And we were in the minority of people who did not have a bandaid holding at least one part of their skin together.  Yet somehow my calves were sore for 3 days afterward.,,moving on....

On a side, but travel related, note, is anyone disturbed by the Charlotte Airport bathroom attendants?  I appreciate the thought and the toxic amount of air freshener, but I simply do not need someone to bless me before,during, and after my urine stream.  I think they could go ahead and cut that from the budget.

I got back at high noon on Sunday and was already on my first load of someone else's laundry by 12:30.  Back to life, back to reality.

It feels so good to have my batteries recharged.  Right before school ends and I have 3 months of endless Katie.  I am already looking forward to my next vacation again in another 3 years!