A Thanksgiving Transcription

An Open Letter to My Facebook Friends List:

I wanted to thank you all for helping me sort out the Cooking of the Turkey in the Roaster Thingy that goes on the Counter minus the Rack Thingy I couldn't find. You are all geniuses and I wanted to let you know our little dinner turned out wonderfully.

Or not.

Actually, the tutkey turned out okay. The pre-dinner conversation was fucking fabulous. I'm a writer, so obviously, the evening was a total WIN.

Keep in mind that the following transcription is mostly true because totally true would mean I KNEW it was going to be this good and I'd have had my phone on record and that would mean I'm psychic and why would I be bloging FOR FREE THEN? So, let's jump on to the convo, shall we?

The sweet potato casserole I made that never made it onto instragram. I must be slipping.

The Scene: Thanksgiving, Somewhere in Maine with Lots of Snow and a few Moose, 2014. The Husband has returned from work and dinner is *not* ready to go as he'd hoped.

Him: turkey smells great. How long till we eat?

Me: 2 hours later than you are hoping.

Him: Why?

Me: Because I got it going 2 hours later than you told me to.  Obviously.

Him: What the hell, woman? Can we start with the pie, then? I only ate half my lunch to save room.

Me: No pie. I was too busy asking FB if could cook the turkey in the Roaster Thingy that goes on the Counter minus the Rack Thingy I couldn't find. Don't worry, 27 friends liked my confusion and 19 commented, which is the only reason you aren't giving thanks for peanut butter and jelly right now.

Him: Twenty-seven, huh?

Me: Or five. Whatever. The Queen of Spain says I'm good. That's all anyone needs to know.

Him (checking the turkey): UPSIDE DOWN? You put the turkey in Upside Down? Who DOES that? And what does Facebook have to do with my lack of Pie?

Me: I had to wait for people to COMMENT, yo. You know how the Internet works, right? And what the hell? Upside down? What are you talking about?

Him (speaking deliberately and now enunciating every.single.syllable lest he scare the jumper off the bridge):  Wait. The Queen of What? Pauline, look at the turkey. Can you tell me where the breast went ?

Me (indignant): I went to high school with royalty. Jealous?

Him: Not really. Just hungry. The breast? Show me. (Calm down, people. He was pointing to the turkey.)

Me: (Looking. Processing. Y'all might wanna thank The Husband for not making you wait ... ): Ummmm...

Him (reaching into flip the bird over): It's RIGHT HERE, babe. (And yes. He pointed. Multiple times. As he turned the bird "right side up", his eyes saw something else apparently even the manliest of men already know, and when he picked his jaw up from the floor, he said...) and so is the plastic. (Dramatic pause) ...and all the bits normal people pull out of the Turkey before stuffing it.

Me (meeting his raised eyebrow with my own): We agreed we weren't stuffing the Turkey.

Him: That's all ya got?

Me: Is it edible?

Him: Yes, thank God.

Me: Exactly. And now that we've acknowledged the true meaning of today, do me a favor.

Him (grinning): Yes?

Me: Shut up, sit down over there, and give your little girl a kiss. I've got a conversation to transcribe before we eat.

END SCENE

Prologue: I didn't finish baking till 9. They had a few store bought cookies for dessert. and yes, the upside down turkey was delicious

 

The Pinterest Complex (Revisited)

I've had one hell of a week and it's only Wednesday so I'm taking the easy way out today by reposting something I wrote in January.

Fine Print: Yes, The Husband is completely aware of the fact that I used the words "Sex", "Penis", and "Pinterest" in the same blog post. He even snickered and said I may need to consider therapy after reading it. See you soon for #ChingonaFest Fridays!

What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I’m thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly.

Don’t say a Ferrari. I’m freelancing. That Writer-Speak for “Looks Good On Paper Only” with “Fucking Broke” understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it’s not like I came home smelling like another man’s cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as “Free Time”.  I have been told this “Free Time” is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.

The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a “Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!,” exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I’m married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?

Let’s discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:

  • Deadlines
  • Twitter parties
  • Sherlock
  • That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I’ll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn’t convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
  • General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I’m a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
  • My fictional characters in that novel I’m writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
  • The kid drove me nuts all day
  • PINTEREST
  • Live-tweeting Downton Abby
  • I got in a phone fight with his mom
  • I got in a phone fight with my mom
  • We’re out of chocolate
  • We’re out of wine
  • We’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to –
  • A) Listen To Your Mother
  • B) Blogher Voices of the Year
  • That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I’m most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
  • The dishes in the sink that aren’t gonna do themselves
  • The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can’t let down
  • The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they’re messing with
  • The planets are out of alignment
  • Mercury is in retrograde …. Again
  • File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
  • I’m busy buying 19 more URL’s for ideas I’ll never get to…just in case
  • Frantic text conversations with the online friends I’ve yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
  • My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
  • The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
  • Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
  • *Googling “Does Klout Matter to People who don’t think in 140?
  • I haven’t yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
  • That important email I’m waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
  • The conference call I’m waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
  • The kid drove me nuts all day & we’re out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The writing and scheduling of next week’s blog posts
  • When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to …
  • Pick any of the above

Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn’t he?

We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That’s when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.

Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one’s gonna go viral.

I just know it.

 

The Finger Monkey, the Kilt-Daddy, & the Sandwich that Sprained my Ankle

 

Sometimes I like to look up the search terms that lead people to Aspiring Mama. Usually this happens after a random conversation I have with a real person like The Husband or my kid or the one neighbor who's house I can see from the end of my drive (as opposed to the pretend people that live inside of my iPhone).

Today's foray into RandomSearchTermLandia was spurred on by Monday's blog post showcasing my girl and her daddy in their kilts and The Husband muttering something about his legs being all over the internet again. When I called him Kilt Daddy and told him to show me his Irish, he totally thought he was getting lucky later and, sadly, I had to tell him that was gonna have to wait for me to finish writing for the day. It took him a minute before he was all Who is this Kilt Daddy?

So I showed him. Since publishing the original post two years ago, that very term has been one of the most popular internet searches leading readers directly to Aspiring Mama. Other winners include

*Advice Columns of Satire

* Funny Stories About Maine

* Pictures of Finger Monkeys

* Do Cats Blink

* Multiple Women Naked Bodies

* How Much is a Baby Finger Monkey?

*Autosucking

and

* Broken Legs or Sprain Ankles of Famous Persons

 

Just remember, y'all, while Google may be telling you the truth when it shows you The Husband's sexy legs when you ask it for the Kilt Daddy, Google is a damned liar about the finger monkey expert thing. That, my friends, was one blog post from way back when that was the first thing ever pinned by a reader and how I learned Pinterest had been invented.

Oh, and that one about the broken ankle? In my defense, there was a lot of meat on that sandwich.

 

 

The Luck O' the Mirish

Mirish is A Thing. The quick history lesson is that many Irish fought for the Mexican army during the Mexican-American War in the mid 1840's. The result is is blending of cultures that doesn't get a lot of air time in history classes. The Husband is the son of a Mexican-born father and a Canadian-born mother of Irish decent. That makes him Mirish, according to the (also Mirish) cousins who've married into the family. I'm willing to bet, however, that he's the only one who went out and bought an authentic kilt at a Renaissance fair a few years back (and has actually worn it.)

Back in 2012 -- when we lived in the desert, The Husband and I packed up the kid and drove the two hours to the closest Ren Fest for our fix. Before moving from Michigan, you see, we were festival regulars with the whole costumes pieced together because it was our thing. We both loved it. We couldn't go as often in Tucson with two hours being a slight headache, but we dived in with our usual geek-couple gusto and left with a kilt for him...and one for little Eliana. Of course, I made him put it on (he added his Ren Fest boots because they kick-ass) because there was most definitely going to be a blog post. I just needed a picture first.

That's when I caught the first moment. Eliana stood next to her Daddy and just as she looked up with those adoring eyes of hers, I clicked. I melted.

Fast forward to today's St. Patrick's Day, 2014. Eliana and I went holiday-themed-craft-crazy and watched too many Irish step dancing videos on YouTube. It was a blast. But nothing tops the moment her daddy walked in the door after his work day.

"DADDYYOUREHOME!? she screamed. NOWGETYOURKILTANDWHERESMINESOWECANGETREADYFORSAINTPATRICKSDAY" 

The Husband stopped dead in his tracks and glared at me because I'm the one with the blog. I just shrugged. I had nothing to do with this, I told him. You're the one who reminded her I've got a kilt, he said back. That was last week," I said, smiling.

Not my fault the child has the memory of an elephant. I got the iPhone ready for a few pictures because I couldn't have planned it better myself (and I wasn't about to miss photo and internet documentation). Whether or not I looked guilty was totally beside the point.

After changing into the kilt, The Husband walked into the living room in his socks, thinking he was off the hook with no more being asked of him. He got the idea when Eliana ran into our room and came back out with a pair of his black cowboy boots. He put them on as she beamed. Now, she told him, they had matching kilts and were both wearing fancy boots. She tried talking him into a pair of leggings he doesn't own so they could super match, but he managed to convince her that he was totally okay with his socks poking out the top of the boots. No matter how badly either one of us accidentally fucks up this parenting thing, she can never claim her daddy didn't love her enough.

The Husband is a smart man. Without having to tell him, he knew exactly what I wanted before I said anything. We chose a spot, they stood up against the wall, and I clicked away, knowing I was going to throw away 14 of the 15 shots I had just taken. Or maybe 20 of the 21. I still didn't have the one I needed.

Without much direction from me, he assumed his usual stance and guided Eliana into place. Turn her head a bit...look up at me...put your hands on my waist...

She did as she was asked because the child has grown up with a smartphone camera in her face and complying just makes life easier.  I held my breath until I saw it.

Not yet. Cute, but no. Almost...

WAIT!

Right...there.

Two years in between. And my heart melted all over again.

 

The Pinterest Complex

What does one buy her husband to make up for the general craziness of the writing/blogging/freelancing life putting the sex life on the back burner when Important Things Are Happening that Must Be Attended to Right This Minute? I'm thinking the man-equivalent to Something Shiny and Sparkly. Don't say a Ferrari. I'm freelancing. That Writer-Speak for "Looks Good On Paper Only" with "Fucking Broke" understood to be the most accepted translation. Besides, it's not like I came home smelling like another man's cologne or something. That, my friends, would require what normal people tend to refer to as "Free Time".  I have been told this "Free Time" is something one can only find outside of The Internet and requires the separation, if only temporary, mind you, of self and laptop. Always interesting, this learning about the habits of the Non-Writer.

The other night, after a frantic nod to, um, Quality Time, (and a "Was That Good For You? Yes? Good!," exchange as I bolted out of the room and into my email to reply to a revision request from my editor, I realized I'm married to a saint. I mean, I knew that before Oh Husband Whom I Know is Reading These Words, but sometimes, the little Aha! Moments tend to jump out and say You Have No Idea How Difficult You Are to Live With Sometimes and Why is Pinterest Giving His Penis a Complex?

Let's discuss, shall we? Or would it be easier to just get a calendar and a Sharpie and circle the other days of the month indicating:

  • Deadlines
  • Twitter parties
  • Sherlock
  • That blog post I REALLY need to write about that thing that just went viral that I'll go to my grave swearing a tiny part of me wasn't convinced my brilliant response would go viral, too
  • General stabbiness because ten different bloggers TOLD me I'm a much better writer than that two-bit hack that went viral only because she got lucky (after I asked them, of course)
  • My fictional characters in that novel I'm writing just acted out the next scene inside my head I have to write RIGHT now or I lose it all
  • The kid drove me nuts all day
  • PINTEREST
  • Live-tweeting Downton Abby
  • I got in a phone fight with his mom
  • I got in a phone fight with my mom
  • We're out of chocolate
  • We're out of wine
  • We're out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The hours I need to comb through blog archives in search of THE PERFECT PIECE of literary wit to submit to --
  • A) Listen To Your Mother
  • B) Blogher Voices of the Year
  • That Facebook quiz I need to take to figure out what character I'm most like in Harry Potter, which leads me to the one about what kind of French cheese I am
  • The dishes in the sink that aren't gonna do themselves
  • The fifteenth online book launch party this month for yet another friend I can't let down
  • The twitter argument I have to finish with this idiot who has no fucking clue who they're messing with
  • The planets are out of alignment
  • Mercury is in retrograde .... Again
  • File another invoice while secretly cursing the chick with the 300 Sandwiches and the book deal
  • I'm busy buying 19 more URL's for ideas I'll never get to...just in case
  • Frantic text conversations with the online friends I've yet to meet in person discussing Important Things like how many pairs of shoes to pack for that conference none of us have actually purchased tickets for yet
  • My 1,000 word goal for the day is still 989 words short
  • The NEED to Google my blog Alexa rank RIGHT NOW even though I still have no idea what it means
  • Which, obviously, is to be followed up by checking my Klout score
  • *Googling "Does Klout Matter to People who don't think in 140?
  • I haven't yet taken 30 selfies from different angles, narrowed it down to the perfect one, and thought up a witty caption for that #365feministselfie thing and posted it EVERYWHERE before I even THINK of getting naked
  • That important email I'm waiting for that will show up right now if I keep hitting refresh
  • The conference call I'm waiting on in east coast time with everybody else in west coast time
  • The kid drove me nuts all day & we're out of chocolate-flavored wine
  • The writing and scheduling of next week's blog posts
  • When I was frisky while he was at work and I was home alone and I took care of it myself already because I was being proactive and really should be congratulated for thinking ahead to free up my night to ...
  • Pick any of the above

Damn. Poor guy puts up with a lot, doesn't he?

We writers are a special bunch. And the people who are nuts enough to love us deserve their own reality shows, I think. Because when we make it big? That's when we make it up to them and they can proudly tell the world they knew marrying the crazy lady would totally pay off in the end.

Just let me finish up this chapter so I can write this blog post and hit Publish because dammit, this one's gonna go viral.

I just know it.

 

Memories, wishes, & assholes

 

We've lived in this house since May of 2013. We aren't even close to being  completely organized. Our basement is a mess of boxes and garbage bags full of out of season clothing and stuffed animals Eliana has outgrown. If we're missing anything from our last move (the fifth in four years), we wouldn't know it.

Our old landlord called yesterday to let us know we had left a box behind and was kind enough to meet The Husband to hand it off yesterday. Inside, we found memories we didn't realize were missing.

There's one of me at 21. The  Boyfriend that eventually became The Husband had whisked me away for our first romantic weekend getaway to Mackinac Island. Truth? Yes, it was a weave and no, he didn't know it yet. When the truth eventually came out, he was visibly relieved. Turns out the tracks connecting the weave to my scalp had left a lot of unanswered questions in those wild with abandon moments during which he ran his fingers through my hair.

Monkey toes.

She was so tiny when she was born. Long little limbs. The longest fingers and toes I have ever seen on a newborn attached to the daintiest pudge-free baby feet ever to have existed. She was six pounds and 21 inches with a perfectly round head that made everyone who saw her assume she was a c-section (she wasn't).

I remember looking at this picture when I first saw the proof. It took a minute to realize that my baby's ankle was positioned just above my arm and her toes stretched far below.

"We've given birth to a monkey, I think."

And the nickname stuck.

 

My mother's parents were killed in a car accident on their way back from a trip to Mexico when I was 10-months-old. My grandfather had been a native of Guadalajara (which, I guess, explains my hair), and my grandmother had been American-born but raised, for part of her childhood, in northern Mexico. My mother  was supposed to have gone on that trip with her parents but had decided at the last minute to stay home. I was just baby; too young to leave with family.

At 19, my mother buried her parents.

I lived in my paternal grandparents' home in Detroit for the first three years of my life with my own mother and father. My mom likes to tell the stories like how my Guelo was feeding me beans and rice at six-months-old and how I called my Guela "Mom" and called my mother "Dorothy." I remember going to Bingo with Guela and I remember translating an entire conversation between my grandmother and a postal worker dropping off a package while home alone with her one afternoon.

My grandmother died when I was six, leaving my sisters and me with one grandparent. He was  just over  five-feet-tall and was a big, round belly. In my entire memory, he is retired, always balding, with sharp, hazel-green eyes. His voice is gruff, his English choppy and so heavily accented it's impossible to understand. He commands respect and once drove an old station wagon and had a dog he called Come Cuando Hay which literally means "Eats When There Is." Every Sunday we ate dinner at Tia and Tio's house and every Sunday, Guelo left with a bag of bones and meat scraps and leftover beans and arroz. That's when Come Cuando Hay could eat because there was.

Guelo called us his cabronas. His little assholes. To me, that's just proof that anything in Spanish can be made into a term of endearment if said with love and a smile.

Andale, mis hermosas cabronitas.

Come on over here, my beautiful little assholes.

And there it was.

Love and a smile.

From Nothing

 

I tried planning ahead this year. Working from home while homeschooling and trying to keep up with the laundry usually means everything is last minute and so many things get pushed off until tomorrow. Or the next day. And then the day after that. I had planned to met my deadlines a week early and enjoy this week with my little family and some close friends. The house was going to be clean and the Christmas menu set and the food prepared so all I had to worry about was what to do with the leftovers.

We never got to that part.

I got the flu. The kind that came out of nowhere and hit my like a frat party hangover. Suddenly the world was spinning and my head was too heavy for my neck to lift. I sat there breathing slow and shallow breaths like the kind usually reserved for labor pains. The column I had started working on was put on hold as The Husband silently took away the Macbook and I shuffled off to bed. Tomorrow, I told myself. One day wouldn't change anything.

Three days later I was still sleeping more than I was conscious, burning up even when the thermometer didn't register a temp. Every breath felt like fire in my lungs. My body ached. The Husband took to sleeping in Eliana's room on her tiny little twin bed, hoping ti avoid the plague, while my little shadow crawled into our big queen and snuggled up next to me every evening. "I'm taking care of you," she told me. "Don't worry. I'll hug you all night so you feel better."

By focusing on me, she was letting herself forget the suitcase she had packed in her room. The one full of randomly selected clothing and toys and even her toothbrush and toothpaste for her "trip" to see her Guela in Detroit. My mom had moved with us to Tucson when Eliana was 18 months old and lived with us for three years. When she moved out, Eliana was lost, but the presence of a very close-knit friendship circle did wonders for soothing her anxieties. Then we moved again and this time, Eliana was old enough to miss those we left behind and want so very badly to wave a magic wand and instantly recreate something out of nothing in our new home. Northern Maine is beautiful. We love it. But it can also be a little lonely when it's time to explain to a child that making friends takes time. Making friends that become family takes even longer.

So she packed her suitcase and pretended she was taking a magic airplane to see her grandma and would be back on Christmas morning in time to open gifts. I was the flight attendant. Her daddy was the cab driver. And then for the entire day before I got sick, I was my mother and our home became her home and I wished so very badly for Santa to fit a new friend-family under our tree. And then I couldn't move without the world spinning and her make-believe was forgotten because Mama had the flu and Daddy was either working or trying to help out when he got home and she dealt with it by comforting herself by comforting me and I love her for it.

Day four was better. I was able to get out of bed. The world was still again. My body ached and I moved slowly, but I was out of the woods and still planned to get those fucking deadlines met and out of the way. We were going to make cookies, dammit. And drive around to see Christmas lights. And play board games and listen to Christmas music and drink hot chocolate. And then on my birthday, we were going to drive the two hours to Bangor for the sales and a movie and a birthday dinner. That was the plan. Then the plan changed again.

Both Eliana and The Husband got knocked senseless by the same flu I had just weathered. My laptop sat open and waiting as the laundry piled up and the sink over-filled with mugs from tea with honey and hot toddies and broth. I didn't shower because I was too busy shoveling snow, carrying more logs inside to keep both woodstoves piping hot for heat, and making sure my husband and daughter stayed hydrated. I took their temperatures and grabbed my keys to drive to Walmart for Nyquil for The Husband and more albuterol for Eliana's nebulizer and learned I wasn't going anywhere until I shoveled away the snow the plow driver had piled four feet high against the garage door.

Christmas did happen, though. They opened their gifts from the sofa bed. Santa was nice this year, even if he didn't get a chance to tackle that last request from me. Eliana was well enough to get out of bed and play with her new toys but the suitcase stayed packed because she's not done imagining her grandmother closer.  And The Husband apologized for not being able to take me out for my birthday. I told him to shut up and just feel better.

Today was my birthday. I spent it taking care of my patients and picking up more prescriptions. We ate leftovers and the sink is still full and the laundry untouched. Then I made homemade pumpkin ice cream floats and they sang Happy Birthday to me before our ice-cream melted and we watched Mary Poppins and my laptop sat, waiting just a while longer, while plans were ditched in favor of The Moment that was right there for us to grab on to.

"I'm sorry about your birthday," The Husband told me before he dragged himself back to bed.

"Don't be," I told him. "We're together."

Because Every Writer Needs an Entourage

I'm at that weird place where I'm finding myself at a loss for what to post here. This space used to be my only outlet after leaving the newsroom to stay home with Eliana six years ago. Now, the soapboxes I once stood on and the She Said WHAT stuff that once were automatic blog fodder are now the columns and commentaries that I save for Latina. It's not a bad problem to have, I know. And I'm grateful for it.

Last week, The Husband, Eliana, and I packed up the truck at drove over seven hours from northern Maine to Stamford, Connecticut, where we caught a train to the Grand Central Harlem station. the purpose of the trip was two-fold and one of those folds I can't tell you about...yet. The other was to finally go the the Latina Magazine offices and meet the amazing staff and my favorite editor in person. We Did Lunch while The Husband took Eliana to FAO Schwartz to dance on the giant piano, and the next day we packed up to hop on the train for home.

 

It was exhausting. And except for the projectile vomit thing that happened in Massachussettes on the way home that forced a hotel stop for Eliana to rest (and us to clean out the truck), it was amazing.

Eliana and The Husband were invited to visit the Latina office with me. I loved that. So did they.

 

And then we drove hours and hours to our little sanctuary so far north I'm no longer impressed by the fact that Stephen King lives in Bangor. i'll be back in New york soon enough. But it's good to be home.

30scondmom: Self-worth & Scrubbing Stoves

My house is spotless.

This is directly related to the fact that The Husband, Eliana, and I leave before I usually drag my ass out of bed in the morning for New York for my Secret Thing and my first visit to Latina Magazine offices since I started writing my Dimelo advice column.

I should be sleeping. I swept, scrubbed, and organized instead. Minus the lack of sleep, The Husband is all for high-anxiety freakfests triggered by things like, say, going to New York for a Secret Thing and vising the Latina offices for the first time since I started writing that column. Mainly because the house gets some much needed TLC and because we both know I'm not scrubbing a damned thing until the next time something big is going on. Or the Adderall wears off.

Since I'm waiting for the laundry to finish so I can fold it before climbing into bed, I figured I'd use the time I have to officially invite you to the 30Secondmom Twitter Party I'm leading on Wednesday night, 9 p.m. EST.

Being confident and believing in your self-worth isn't about weight, beauty, or that kickass corner office with the receptionist. It's about knowing yourself and loving who you are during the good, the bad, and the nights when bleaching garbage cans at 1 a.m. seems like the right thing to do.

RSVP here to be eligible for prizes. And don't forget to BYOB.

 

How Not to Plan a Surprise Party

Never plan a surprise party without making sure you've taken your Adderall first. Or do it, and make sure you tweet, Facebook, and instagram the hell out of that bitch because it's all blog post fodder and you know you won't remember any of it otherwise.

The Husband turned 40 last week and I dropped the ball big time on party planning. He picked me up from the airport from my Blogher13 trip the day before his birthday and I didn't realize I was probably going to have to make up for the lack of Big Birthday Gifty-ness with a blowjob or two until long after he fell asleep that night. The I Heart Chicago sweatshirt I got him wasn't getting me off the hook -- not for a milestone birthday. So I figured I'd redeem myself by using my Ninja with ADHD Skills to plan a surprise birthday party for him, instead.

I was going to Make This Happen and it was Going to be Epic. And by Epic, I mean a full menu that eventually got scaled back to pizza, two-liters of pop, bags of chips, and cupcakes from a box. A far cry from our normal paleo plan, but when shit starts to hit the fan, the Kale in Coconut Oil Sauteed with Asapragus is the easiest thing to cut from the list in the name of sanity and reason.

The Husband's parents arrived a few days ago for a 10-day visit and I figured I'd be sneaky and not let them in on the Big Secret until the last minute. There was bound to be conversation bounced around about the party when he wasn't around and Eliana was, I figured, and Eliana is six and her idea of not letting the cat out of the bag is by telling the cat that he's Totally Just Imagining There's a Bag to Begin With. Not very subtle, I'm afraid, which is why she is officially grounded from ever playing poker.

So I continued with my Super Secret Plans with a trusted friend who's husband was going to serve as The Distractor on the party day. The plan was simple:

  •  Choose the party date and time
  •  Invite the guests
  •  Get The Husband out of the house
  •  Alert The Inlaws after the coast is clear
  •  Revel in the glory of success

That was the plan. Here's what actually happened.

Choose Party Date and Time

I scheduled the party for Thursday night and got the word out. Then I learned that I was supposed to have had it Friday because my friend's husband was working until 6 p.m. on Thursday. I figured this out on Wednesday.

Invite the Guests

That happened easy enough. Except now I had to find a new Distraction. Let's ignore the fact that I forgot to invite one family altogether. It's okay. They don't know what the internet is.

Get The Husband Out of the House

My new Distraction became my Father in Law. But instead of getting The Husband out of the house, he got him into the garage to work on the riding mower with the blown engine. Things kinda went to hell in a hand basket pretty fast from here.

Alert the Inlaws When the Coast is Clear

Do I really have to spell this one out? I did manage to slip The Mother-in-law a handwritten note spilling the beans while she watched TV with my kid, but the coast was fucking foggy and clear was a forgotten dream. I thought All Was Saved when the grease-covered guys walked into the kitchen to grab something to eat before heading out to look for new motors, but that was a short-lived little ray of sunshine, my friends.

My phone told me I had a text message as The Husband was reaching for his keys. It was one of his friends telling me he was parking his car at the neighbor's place and heading over. This was obviously a major hiccup. He was three hours early and lives over an hour away, so I said fuck it and told The Husband the text was from the neighbor telling us she had homemade jam for him to pick up, thinking The Husband could laugh at the surprise being blown but still look like a genius for my mad planning skills.

Except The Husband "forgot" and blew past the neighbors place, leaving his friend wondering what the hell was happening. That's when I threw up the white flag of defeat, called The Husband, and told him to get his ass back to the neighbors because the jam was actually his friend and that he had better fucking pretend to be surprised when he got back here to see the party he wasn't supposed to know about in full swing because THAT'S WHAT GOOD HUSBANDS DO.

Revel in the Glory of Success

Funny, right? Because after The Husband and The Father-in-Law picked up the early party guest and headed back out to go to Manly Things, The Mother-in-law went outside to get the party snacks and drinks we had bought and hidden in the back of my truck. Which The Husband had taken without telling me.

I did what anyone would do in that situation: I texted his friend to tell him The Husband needed to come home NOW because he had hijacked my shit.

But wait...it gets better.

They guys figured they'd give up on trying to leave the premises again. I called for pizza, which we never get for us because of our gluten free and paleo diet, and sent The Husband and crew off to pick it up about 30 minutes before the guests were to arrive. The Husband texted me just as cars started making their way up our driveway to ask me why the pizza place didn't have my order.

Because I forgot to take my Adderall today and called the store 3 hours away from our house.

This is when I told the laughing Mother-in-law that there's a reason I write non-fiction.

The Husband placed an order for four pizzas and two order of bread-sticks totaling $65 because apparently pizza is quite the commodity up here in northern Maine. He triumphantly returned with the World's Most Expensive cardboard boxes Not Lined in Gold and a merry time was had by all.

That's when I sat back, smug and relaxed, mentally transcribing the day's events for the blog post that just wrote itself.

Introducing Eliana Mercedes, Blogger Child

 

A conversation with Eliana, my almost-six-year-old.

Me: Baby? What do you think of when I say the word "beauty?"

Eliana: Beast.

Me: I like it. But let's think of things you think are beautiful. What are the first five things you can think of?

Eliana (thinking): Flowers. And butterflies. And Princesses.

Me: Anything else?

Eliana: Yep. Love. And people's spirits. That makes them beautiful.

This will be my daughter's first transcribed post as a contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team. She talks. I type what she says. Or maybe vlog it. It all depends on if she's feeling like a rock star or a writer when it's time to work like Mama.
And this is the bio I wrote up for her.

 Eliana Mercedes is the daughter of The Husband and writer Pauline M. Campos. Up until now, she has been known online simply as Buttercup. But this homeschooling first-grader is now a blogger, which means Eliana Mercedes looks better in a byline. She has no idea what that means yet and only hopes it includes the chance to adopt a baby beluga and visit Disney World one day.

I'm kind of proud. Kind of scared. And maybe a little crazy. But keep in mind that this child does not watch TV with commercials and has no concept of the media trying to brainwash us all into a singular concept of beauty. That's exactly why I cannot wait to see what she has to say next.

 

Housekeeping! (A List in Accented English)

* Yes, I did in fact say that in my head with an exaggerated Spanish-accented English voice. * Because I can.

* If you don't laugh, you're actually hurting my feelings.

* Things are insane.

* Hence, the list.

* Turns out you guys are all Made of Awesome.

* Why, you ask?

* Because 418 of you signed my Change.org petition to get Disney to drop the sex kitten crap with Merida.

* It's too late.

* Maybe.

* She's been crowned & the new image is available on a variety of Crap We'll Buy Our Kids Because We're Giant Suckers.

* And because even if she's been sexed up, the movie is still amazing.

* Oh right.

* Because if we tell our children it's the message that matters and not the size of her waistline, we done good.

* We have no choice, really, since Disney contradicted the very message behind Brave with this whole debacle.

* You know, the one about family, independence, and finding the strength to find out own fates within us?

* Yeah, that one.

* The happy asides?

* A Mighty Girl has a petition with over 18,000 signatures.

* Brave's director is a bit pissed off about the animated plastic surgery job, too.

* So high five on that, y'all.

* New subject.

* Keep up with me, will you?

* I've got an updated version of my Mind Over Medicine review on Girl Body Pride.

* You'll want to stop by.

* Gigi Ross from Kludgey Mom needs some love.

* And Lissa Rankin has written a book I promise you'll want to read.

* Trust me on this one.

* Also? I've got a winner for the Aspiring Mama giveaway of Mind Over Medicine.

* Tanessa Knoll? Buttercup just said Comment Number Two is my winner.

* So ... you're welcome.

* Email me your address, will ya?

* Twitter works, too.

* New subject.

* Yes.

* AGAIN.

* Buttercup is about to follow in Mama's footsteps.

* Little girl has been granted permission by The Mama (me) & The Daddy (The Husband) for a pretty cool gig.

* Girlfriend is going to be a regular contributor to Holly Fulger's Speaking of Beauty blogging team.

* Which also happens to include me.

* I know, right?

* The girl can read at a fourth grade level but has the typing skills of a 5-year-old.

* Probably because she is five.

* So I can't knock her for that.

* Instead, I'll be transcribing my baby's words and views on what beauty means to her.

* I promise not to edit what she says.

* I hope like hell I've done right by her and taught her that beauty is everywhere.

* That the only size that matters when it comes to beauty is the size of our hearts.

* And that society is full of assholes who will try & knock her down a peg or two but that they don't matter.

* I'll know I've succeeded in about 10 years.

* If the child is self-assured enough to wear this when she's 15 because it makes her happy without giving a damn what you think?

 

* I win at motherhood.

* Whiplash warning.

* New subject.

* I really need to take my Xanax.

* That wasn't the subject change.

* Just proof that I need the fucking Xanax.

* This is the subject change...

* Dammit.

* I forgot.

* No, wait.

* GOT IT!

* Girl Body Pride has new team members!

* Congrats to Heidi Zalamar and Margaret Elysia Garcia.

* You guys kick major ass.

* I promise to add your bios to the writer page sometime before 2014 hits.

* Was that all?

* No, seriously.

* I was asking you if I needed to cover anything else before I chase that Xanax with an instant espresso.

* Shut up.

* It works for me.

* Last subject.

* I'm still sitting in a secret.

* And it's a Big One.

* Oh...

* And The Husband just warned me to be on the lookout for the family of moose in the area when I let the dogs out.

* Drops Mic & Saunters Offstage.

 

This Week's List

 

Things I've done this week:

* Confused a gopher for a beaver

*Packed up and moved from one rental to another

* Photographed a caterpillar

* Slept only when my eyelids gave up

* Decided that anyone who moves and is able to unpack within a week is probably using magic from fairies who owe them favors

* Got published on Latina.com

* Watched The Husband get the moving truck stuck in 4 feet of swamp

* Laughed while a front loader towed both both The Husband and The Husband's friend out of the swamp

* Explained to Buttercup that The Husband wasn't pissed off at her while he swore like a sailor after getting the moving truck because he's a man and that's what they do when they colossally fuck up and they have to call for back up

* Said this sentence to my child, "Daddy isn't mad at you, baby. He's mad at the world. We just happen to be in it."

* Kept a secret still a secret (I know, I'm impressed, too)

* Watched the moon follow us home

 

So * This* Happened While My Blog Was Broken

I've got a lot to catch up on and not enough time to do that catching. Mostly because I'm still sitting on some major news I can't share yet, am in the middle of a move from one rental to another  and spending most of my waking hours driving one truckload at a time, and alternating homeschooling with searching for my last nerve. Because I was locked out of admin after that nasty spam attack on Wordpress blogs, my favorite Canadian goldfish saved the day. Funny thing is, I don't even know the woman's real name and yet we've had these day long text message fests in which we argue my point that Tim Horton's is actually Canadian for I Wish I was a Starbucks Inside of a Target Store. Ms. Peach Flambee seems to take offense to that, but I figure it's just because she also happens to think she's a goldfish. Either way, the fish lady is the only reason I'm actually blogging and not sending out smoke signals.

Which is good, because this happened while my blog was broken...

 

 

That's my byline.

On Latina.com. The subject matter is seriously un-funny and was difficult to write, but I'm prouder than hell to see my words where they are.

Also? I can now actually justify all the time I've spent tweeting, blogging, facebooking, instagramming, pinning, Blogher-ing, Google + -ing, and word-whoring myself out in the name of Building My Platform as actual work. My CPA said so. I have never been so thrilled at the prospect of paying taxes.

The best part is that The Husband turns 40 in July.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS?

For the first time in the six years since I left journalism to raise Buttercup, he won't be paying for his own birthday gift.

I'd like my finger monkey now, please.

Hearts and Flowers

 

I'm supposed to be writing this in Tucson, my feet tucked up nicely beneath me, while Eliana plays with her little besties she has known for most of her life. My friend Jill said Hotel What? No, you stay here! And we nodded happily and made sure to pack the flower girl dress and the bridesmaid dress and our shoes and asked the BFF where the hell my headband and pretty shrug were because I had torn my closet apart and Oh Thank God...she made me leave them at her house when I moved to Maine because I lose everything. I'm in control again, of only for a short while.

I was supposed to have written three other blog posts by now that may be obsolete by the time I have time to write them. And I wasn't supposed to be worried about a family emergency I can't do anything about from 28,000 feet.

Instead, I'm on a plane heading from Georgia to Tucson  for what is turning out to be the most expensive hand basket ever made. If you didn't get the reference, ask the other kids in class, cuz I've got a lot of material to cover here. So...moving on.

We missed yesterday's plane because the child had the kind of meltdown that led to her therapy. Delta rebooked us and was kind enough to waive enough of the change fee so we could afford to make the trip, but because of Life and Shit Hitting the Fan, that meant we had to wait until today for a flight.

The Four Points Sheraton across the street from the airport took pity on the sobbing mess that was me when I went to see if we could get a room once we realized we were stuck. Miss the morning flight out of Bangor and you missed your chance, period.

I was also supposed to have launched my writing and social media coaching services by now, annoyed all of my friends with requests for NEDA Awareness Week retweets, and possibly slept for more than 24 hours in the last week. But that was before the two ER trips and the day at the pediatrician and the resulting questioning looks from strangers when the five year old is wandering around with her legs so wide apart you'd think she has chaps on. The plastic doughnut she's got hooked on her arm like a security blanket confuses the hell out of the people really paying attention, but I don't have time to explain things like "cellulitis" and "drama queen" and "future broadway star" and "distress tolerance" and "anxiety."

Eliana is finally asleep after a morning only Xanax and a few deep breaths could cure (for ME, people. She's the one who took the deep breaths) and I am relieved. I need the quiet. There is so much to process.

I'm exhausted, but I'm not stupid. Falling asleep would be letting my guard down and if she wakes up and has another screaming fit because I DON'T WANT TO and LET'S GO BACK HOME, NOW!!! (she means Maine), and MAMA, PLEASE!!!!! aren't going to make the woman sitting in front of us on the plane a very happy neighbor. She's already turned around once to tell me she's trying to sleep because Buttercup and I were laughing at knock knock jokes. I was like SHE'S FIVE. She rolled her eyes and turned back around, mumbling about how she has an 8 year old. Which is nice, but I'm not sure how the apples and oranges belong in the same basket. I've got DDDs. The woman with the stick up her ass about the laughing child who was inconsolable only a few moments before because change scares the absolute shit out of her? Well, I didn't get a good look, but I'd ballpark them somewhere in the B-range.

My point? Just because we both have a set of  chi-chis doesn't mean we can trade bras. And my inner child almost wishes the my own child would freak out again and make me feel like the worst mom in the world because I can't fix it. Because then I could ask the woman how her nap was going.

Admit it. You'd feel better, too.

But karma is, it turns out, not always a bitch. We have the happy gay flight attendants chatting in the galley right behind us. This is being mentioned because 1) I miss having a gay boyfriend. I had one in college. And then there one who liked to hit on The Husband  whenever he picked me up for lunch when I was working as a reporter just because The Husband is hot and my GBF was adorable.

2) The Three Amigas are conversing, y'all. It's girl talk and it's loud and obnoxiously cute and I secretly hope the woman in front of me can't sleep.

Petty thoughts? Yes. I freely admit that.

But it's easier to be petty inside of my head while going back and forth with the therapist by email while trying to talk the child off of another ledge because something just set her off and we have no idea what it is or how to fix it or keep it from happening again. I'd rather focus on how she just woke up smiling and asked if she has ever told me that I am the flower of her heart while she plays with her ballerina sticker stage than the feeling of complete and utter helplessness that comes when nothing I say or do can make it better and The Husband has no choice but to leave us in the busy airport terminal so he can order lunch during a layover and I'm sitting on the floor with a child who went from logical, loving, and so adorable it's insane to completely and utterly inconsolable in a matter of seconds.

It's the In Between that does it. The Before, too. And sometimes, The After comes into play in the form of night terrors because we went to a Mexican wedding and my little girl isn't used to hands reaching out constantly to touch while she hides behind my dress because she wasn't exposed to any of the cultural craziness I was growing up. The Before is a bitch because no matter how much time we have to prepare her for any change, it's never enough. The In Between just comes into play on days like today when we have two layovers and three planes for a 3,ooo mile trip.

Because once we got on each plane? I'm in familiar territory. I'm in the place where I am a flower and inside her heart.

Exercise & the Eating Disordered Mind

 

I just had a 20 minute argument with The Husband about his need to be excited about EXERCISE and GOING PALEO because he just read A BOOK and now he sees the proverbial light. He wants EXERCISE and is full of suggestions for what I NEED TO DO and and it's all in the book (which I have promised to read) and LET'S GO, TEAM!!!

It's probably a good time to point out that I can't eat anything that isn't Paleo anyway and am allergic to most of the Paleo diet. I read the things he is reading now last year and saw the light with regard to how my own body responds to sugars and carbs and grains (not realizing allergic issues played a serious role, also) and then got pissed off when the doctors told me I can't eat eggs because there went most of my meal plan. In any case, I am happy he's now understanding things I have been saying for so long but I'm also not able to explain to Captain Cheerleader that I don't respond well to the RAH RAH RAH when I'm just keeping my head above water. Here's the problem: I am eating disordered.

My Body Image issues are fucked on a level I can't even understand, and I carry an epi pen for the very food allergies which I ignore when my brain is in self sabotage mode. I need to be active without thinking it's EXERCISE because if it's EXERCISE my mind will shut down and I will swan dive into a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

Ice skating is the perfect example of something I can do without feeling like I'm doing anything at all. Just to get an idea, I did plug in my current estimated weight (I don't know the actual number because it's a trigger for me) and figured out that an hour of recreational skating was more than enough to feel good about. I just started and love it. My legs hate me when I'm done, but I can do it and I go back for more. Yoga is the next step back to normal. Once I am one with my Ohm I can breathe in some serenity and move on to Zumba or something else I know I enjoy and can stick to and that isn't just EXERCISE! I love this man, but how do I explain to someone who has no concept of an eating disordered mind trying to claw it's way back to normal that there is absolutely NO FUCKING WAY I am lunging from the kitchen to the living room because it's simple and easy to do because it's not just going to be something I'll stick to. I'd pay lip service. I'd go for the "college try."

And I'd put on a pretty decent show before falling flat on my ass, figuratively speaking, because I'm not going to stick to lunging from one room in my house to another because I didn't want to do it in the first place. It's just an open invite for the next pity party to start before the celebration even got a chance to kick off.

It's gotta be one step at a time. My therapist nodded today when I explained to her how if I focus on anything 0ther than how I feel, I'm back at square one and square one tastes like brownies. She's only been seeing me a short time, but she at least pretended to understand with a thoughtful nod and well-timed chuckle. The Husband, however, is at a loss for what to do.

He is excited because he wants to support me. He is excited because he loves me. He is excited because EXERCISE isn't a bad word to him. He's I love him. I love his support. And I understand his concern. I also want to strangle him whenever he gets all Pollyanna on me and starts chirping about EXERCISE and then gets all annoyed when I glare at him for being an asshole.

Okay. No. I get it. He's not being an asshole. He's trying to help me.

But sometimes his idea of help is getting all I CAN FIX THIS and YOU JUST NEED TO STOP THINKING THE WAY YOU DO because he is the kind of person who has the mental strength to make things happen just by thinking them. I love that about him. I also hate that 1) My mind doesn't work like that and 2) I wish it did.

But then, if I saw things the way he did, I wouldn't be referring to myself as a life-long recovering bulimic, would I? And if he did get it, that would mean he saw the word EXERCISE the way I did, for the same reasons I did, and we'd both be a raging mess.

I'm pretty sure he is right and I argued illogical things because that kind of goes par with the course. But the fact remains that I know myself. And right now, it's one step at a time. If I jump into the deep end before I've even gathered the strength to tread water for a sustained period of time, I'm just going to end up letting myself sink. And I don't intend to let that happen anytime soon. So we argue. About the inside of my head. Because I can't explain. Because he loves me. Because I feel like an asshole for not being as excited as he is about EXERCISE because the word leads me down a worm hole of calories burned and weight lost and BMI and self worth and you're a fat ass and here's a brownie and Ben & Jerry's is NOT a single serving food and then I find myself hitting bottom again, wondering how the hell I got there and cursing yo-yos.

And there's that epi pen in my purse to think about. I just fixed my head again. I'm working on the rest of me. I just need time to move out of this fog and into the place where EXERCISE isn't a bad word. I'm not there yet. And it makes him mad because he only sees the woman he married fighting his support and concern. It makes me mad that I can't explain it without turning into a five year old with my arms crossed yelling I DON'T WANNA! But that's where I'm at and that's where it is and he loves me and we argue. And he thinks I'm blocking him and I explain that no, I'm actually not because blocking would be nodding my head like I'm okay with everything he is saying and all for it and then dipping into the Hershey candy bar stash we have in the pantry for his work lunches after he's gone to bed. Me arguing? Me bristling in front of him and telling him to shut up and just listen and let me grab my ice skates and head for the rink for open skate time? Me telling him that I'm not lunging in the house just for the sake of lunging in the house because lean muscle mass matters? Me rolling my eyes and calling him an asshole for not understanding?

People? That's progress. That's communication. That's me not bullshitting and then closet-eating with the chocolate I'm allergic to. Because my body doesn't function well with sugar. Because I am allergic to the world. Because I function best on a strict paelo diet not because it's a diet but because that's how my body needs to be be nourished.

Because I am eating disordered. And because I'm trying to focus on loving myself just the way I am and then starting over every time the sun rises.

So he goes to bed. Not understanding.

And for that, I am grateful because that means he's still going to push and I'll continue to push back.

Every time he pushes, I'll push back.

And become stronger for it.

 

Head Above Water

 

I'll set the stage just to make it easy for y'all. So I'm bone-tired and ready to just drop after a two week spree of absolute fucking insanity, no time to breathe, school ending and related activities, ballet practice and extra studio time for the upcoming recital, and the basics like blinking, breathing, and showering. I've just pulled dinner (salmon packets with dill, green onion, salt, pepper, garlic, and wild caught salmon) out of the oven to set next on the table, and am making sure we have a towel in Buttercup's bag for swim class in an hour.

Walking takes actual thought. I'm cognizant of the fact that I am blinking and am considering putting my eye-lids on a diet. And Buttercup, who was grounded from television for the day by me this morning is now sitting quietly in front of one of her favorite Nick Jr. shows because I'd rather go back on my word right now and be allowed to not think more than I am currently capable of than be forced to converse and answer questions like Mama, do vampires have pet mosquitoes? Because no matter how I answer, she'll already have decided that they do and I'll be trying not to burst out laughing imagining Edward walking along with a tiny glittering mosquito on a teeny tiny diamond studded leash.

Considering the fact that I've fallen asleep out of sheer exhaustion the last four nights by midnight (which is when I usually start writing for the day), it's pretty easy to figure out that I'm lucky I'm not getting paid to lose my fucking mind because I'm about to pass GO on three writing deadlines. I'm a former newspaper reporter, people. I might not know where I set my car keys five minutes ago and kill every plant I own because they can't scream at me to remind me about that watering thing, but I'll be damned if I miss a deadline.

I'm trying to plan the best way to portion the rest of my day. The next three hours are shot because we leave for swim in a bit and because we live in the sticks, I've got a 45-minute drive each way for 30-minutes in the pool, plus me eating dinner after arriving back home and getting Buttercup upstairs to bed. After she's asleep, there's the unloading and reloading of the dishwasher, the preparing of The Husband's lunch cooler, and the Psyching Myself Up to Do Something Productive while wasting time on twitter before I can actually and truly get to work.

But then it will be midnight and I'll be tired enough to realize I can't string a coherent sentence together verbally, let alone type one out on a keyboard. So I will go upstairs and pass out knowing I will wake up even more behind than I already am in the morning. There will be a frenzy to get as much done as I can in the morning with the crazy basics in our life before driving Buttercup to school so I can rush off to my first appointment with the OBGYN who is going to tell me if I'm allergic to my lady bits and before hurrying back to pick Buttercup up from my girlfriend's place in time for her to make it to wherever it is she needs to be by 5:15 p.m.

Buttercup is on the couch putting on her shoes and babbling about how she can't wait to see her swim teacher, I've just auto-started the engine on the Yukon so we don't bake the moment we drive off, and when I sigh as The Husband walks up to kiss me, he blinks.

"What's wrong with you?"

"I'm just exhausted." I yawn.

"You're tired? Why?"

"I'm too tired to explain," I say, after deciding killing him would take too much physical effort. "Just read the blog post later."

"Right," he says. "I'm assuming this means you don't want to have another baby?"

The man might enjoy his role as designated asshole in the family a little too much sometimes, but he's no idiot. Mama's tapped out and maybe that saying about God only giving us what we can handle has something to do with my ovaries refusing to pony up an egg that is willing to turn itself into a baby.

"You, my dear, are a fucking comic." I whisper into his ear and kiss him as we leave for swim. "Only if the baby comes out a 16-year old with a driver's license. I need a break."

Consider This the Stunt Double for a Clever Title

*The Husband had a jacket that he loved. *It's mine now.

*His pillow? Also mine...until mine no longer smells like him and I steal back the pillow he is currently using.

*Seriously, it's like a never-ending game of keep -away.

*His robe? Mine.

*His old T-shirts as my new(ish) nightshirts? Done.

*His toothbrush? Hold up. I have standards, people...

*And sometimes? All that's left clean out of the three reusable water bottle pack we bought is the pink one (which he HATES taking to work) because I have lost and or/used both of the "manly" bottles I promised him he could have because the pink one was all mine.

*And I still have the nerve to look all What The Hell is Your Problem when he gets pissy because I have a habit of going all Winona Ryder with almost all of his belongings because it's how the game is played, okay?

*For reals and true. It says so right there in little fine imaginary print.

*I'm writing this post in list form because my brain is only capable of remembering how to properly format one sentence at a time.

*Shut up. It's been a long day, which I started by kicking my own ass on the elliptical before I ate breakfast.

*Again.

*Not kidding. I've been instagramming and tweeting my new addiction progress with shots of my total time and calories burned like it's going out of style.

*No, I'm not showing off.

*What I'm actually doing is building a case for myself to prove to the rest of the world that it is entirely possible to work out every fucking day because it makes you feel good and then have to get back on the elliptical to work out again (to feel good) after you forgot the scale likes to make you feel bad that you are working out every day and not losing a fucking pound.

*No, of course I'm not bitter.

*I'm actually typing this as I elliptical again (is that a verb?) so I feel just great!

*Funny thing....

*The Husband had announced a week before our ninth wedding anniversary at the end of September that he wanted to buy an elliptical because with his crazy work schedule he doesn't have time to join a gym.

*He hasn't been on the damned thing once yet and I've been on it almost every day since.

*Which brings me to the actual point of this blog post.

*The Bastard played me.