Give a Boy a Registry Gun…

We wanted Colt to feel invested in the process of preparing for our new baby, so we brought him with us to register for a few necessary items.

We didn’t expect him to hijack the scanner for the entirety of the process, but I should have guessed.

A “gun” that shoots a “laser beam?”

And anything you scan magically arrives at your house via UPS, and you don’t have to pay for it?

Yes, please.

We gave in and let him scan whatever he wanted.

Todd and I didn’t realize the next hour would be the most heartwarming 60 minutes of our parental lives to date.

Scanner in hand, Colt skipped from aisle to aisle.

He explained why baby Libby needed a pair of [hideous] cat leggings to keep her legs warm, and five pair of baby UGGs for her little feet [um, we live in Florida].

“Mommy, Libby needs these sparkly shoes, too. Girls LOVE sparkly shoes!”

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These shoes were worth the reach.

He picked out jammies and socks and hair bows, and a fur vest?

And diapers and bottles and sippy cups and pacifiers and….Legos and Avengers and Teenage Mutant Ninja….

Wait a minute.

We corralled him back to the baby section and convinced him to help us select a rocker.

He tried each one, judging the level of softness as compared to his blanky.

He eventually settled into a grey velour-ish glider, most closely resembling a J-Lo jumpsuit, deeming it the softest one of all.

His eyes glazed over – he would spend the night there if we let him.

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Somebody bring him a Shirley Temple on the rocks!

So we scooped him up and disarmed him. He’d done enough shooting for one night.

I’ll have to delete 90 percent of what he chose, but who cares.

It was worth it to see the delight in his eyes.

The love in his heart for a sister who isn’t here yet.

I hope when she’s crying, and pooping, and eating his Legos, he remembers how much he wanted her legs to be warm and her feet to be sparkly. 

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The 3 Types of Dreaded Phone Calls

When you’re a teenager (or a toddler with a phone, as the case may be today) the only people who call are your parents, your BFFs, your boyfriend and maybe the occasional prank caller.

But once you have your own money and an aging body, you start getting all kinds of new and interesting phone calls.

I try my best to never answer the phone.

I figure if someone really needs me, they’ll text me, or track me down via drone or carrier pigeon.

But occasionally a call falls through the cracks.

In my experience, these correspondances fall under one of three categories.

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The Insurance Call

Today I received a call from my obstetrician’s office saying that all of my recent medical claims had been denied by my health insurance company – because they have me listed as a male.

Interesting.

I’d like to know how many males named Julie are visiting the OB?

And how many of these male OB-goers are submitting gynecological claims for pap smears, urine samples and ultrasounds?

Now I will have to spend 30 minutes on another phone call with the insurance company navigating numerical prompts and shouting voice commands to a robot agent.

Is the robot agent going to ask me to somehow prove I’m female over the phone?

Sure, should I just scan you a copy of my lady-parts identification card? Or read you the serial number stamped inside my labia?


It’s also super fun to get a call from the car insurance company.

The one where they’re just calling to give you an update on that fender bender you got in six months ago – you know, the one where you side-swiped that 1995 Bronco?

The one where you left a scratch that would take a 1500X Phase Contrast Inverted Flurescence Microscope to actually see?

The one where the driver sprinted over to your car, using both of his legs, to give you the finger?

Yeah well, that driver was apparently very injured, and is suing you for $100,000 and your first-born child.

The Scam Call

This kind of call can involve any number of exciting offers like free cruises, complimentary Madonna concert tickets, membership into the European Cheese-of-the-Month Club, and so on.

Or worse.

A few years ago, I got a call from “Bank of America” saying my account had been hacked and they needed to issue new cards.

In order to do so, for security purposes, I would need to confirm my name, address, birthdate and social security number.

Because I’m a little bit dumb naive, I willingly obliged.

I gave my name, address, birthdate, social security number, blood type…

The hacker “Bank of America representative” promptly hung up and stole my identity.

The Doctor Reminder Call

As you get older, these types of calls become more and more frequent.

The dentist, the ophthalmologist, the dermatologist, the gastroenterologist, the gynecologist…..

“Hi, it’s Jenna from [insert specialist’s office] calling to remind you that you’re due for your yearly [insert aging body part] check up.

Would you like to schedule your appointment now?”

“Oh yes! I’ve been waiting for your call.

I was hoping to get in right away for [insert doctor name] to look at this strange spot on my [insert body part.] In fact, it’s throbbing and changing color as we speak!

Oh, you can get me in for tomorrow at 2 p.m.?

Great, I’ll plan to sell my body on the streets in the morning then, so I can afford the specialist copay and the time off from work.”


If you’re a parent, you also get to experience a fourth type of dreaded call.

The School Call

This call usually involves one of two things – vomit or poop.

If you’re lucky, it’s only the school secretary calling to remind you that it’s Early Release Day and you forgot to pick up your kid.

If you’re extra lucky, it’s just the PTA president reminding you that you signed up to bring in three dozen safari-themed cupcakes tomorrow.


My advice is to avoid having a phone all together.

Let them email you, or Facebook-message you, or better yet, send you a piece of snail mail, which is actually kind of fun and nostalgic to receive.

If that doesn’t work, and you accidentally answer, it’s best to feign a foreign accent and hang up.

Que? No entiendo. No comprendo. Au Revoir!”

End Call.

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When Life Gives You Lemons

Pregnancy makes you want some weird sh$t real bad.

It started with lemonade.

But that was just a gateway craving.

Then I experimented for a while with straight lemon extract. (There’s an extensive collection of empty plastic fruit under my kitchen sink.)

Now I’m eating WHOLE lemons – everything but the peel. Sometimes more than one a day.

I’ve tried to keep my addiction a secret, but the other day Todd walked in on me methodically slicing my snack.

Hovering over one of Colt’s plastic plates,  mouth watering with anticipation.

Soon I’ll have mouth sores and acidic teeth, but I sure won’t have scurvy!

Instead of judging me, Todd has been my biggest enabler. Er, supporter.

Tonight, he bought me a BAG of lemons.

Sweet Jesus. I’ve never been so excited to see tropical fruit in my life.

Forget flowers. THIS is true love.

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Being a Mom: Living the Oxymoron

Colt’s arrival was somewhat traumatic.

An emergency C-section followed by a morphine reaction that left me hysterical and itching like a heroin addict.

I felt accomplished that we’d both made it out alive. I also felt completely insecure as a new mother.

It was my first “oxymoron” experience as a parent.

In the year that followed, a cloud of postpartum depression loomed over me. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t laugh. I lost the pep in my step, and I cried. A lot.

When the storm passed, I was feeling much more confident in my new role.

Being a mom is about balancing the “confidence” with the “bat-sh&t crazy” that also comes with the job, and I had finally found the balance.

I didn’t want to ruin it with another child, so I decided we were One And Done.

But then Mother Nature (and my husband) tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear. Convincing me I was ready for one more.

I thought it would be as easy to get pregnant as it was the first time.

But more than a year later, the only thing rolling around my womb were tumbleweeds.

(When you’re trying to get pregnant, everyone but you is pregnant. Old ladies, teenagers, dogs.)

Babies and Bellys. Babies and Bellys. Bellys and babies.

I was so distracted by the loud ticking of my biological clock, it became harder and harder to do every day things like deciphering work emails…

“Julie, I need you to pee on the stick.”

Huh?

Julie, I need you to input the specs.”

“Well that’s just not how I ovulate.”

“I mean operate.”

Ughhhhhhh.

For more than a year, my life revolved around egg production.

But my eggs were free-range and not cooperating.

Meanwhile, it seemed like all the women around me were “accidentally” getting pregnant.

“I don’t know HOW this happened. I mean, we weren’t even trying.”

You don’t know HOW it happened?

You don’t know HOWWWWWWW it happened?

I was angry and bitter and sad.

I couldn’t even buy Prego spaghetti sauce. (Clearly some inconsiderate prick had chosen that name to torture infertile women the world over!)

But with a little hope and some help from modern pharmaceuticals…it happened.

Now as I write this, dry heaving over the trash can, I am reminded of how much I wanted to be pregnant.

I know there are women out there who are desperate to feel nauseas because it  means there is new life thriving inside!

Feeling like complete sh&t, and yet also euphoric, is good practice for the tossed salad of emotions that comes with parenting.

Sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, fear, resentment, joy, accomplishment, confidence….and love.

Usually some painfully weird combination thereof.

Forget Jumbo Shrimp, in the dictionary under “oxymoron”, it should just say:

Being a Mother.

Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life when it’s possible to feel like you’re going to lose your cookies, and also like you might devour an entire package of cookies, simultaneously.

Watching your newborn sleep can induce tears of joy… and sheer terror. (What AM I supposed to DO with this thing????!!!!)

With a 2-year old, it’s common to want to strangle him, and yet also to strangle anyone that were to harm him.

We watch our kids graduate from kindergarten, high school, college, and it is both pride and fear that plague us.

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So for women everywhere surviving the oxymoron of motherhood…

Cheers to you on Mother’s Day! May you remain sane despite it all.

I’ll be here dreaming of my new baby’s future. And thinking of all the things that might go wrong…and right!

And gagging. Somebody get me some pickles!

 

 

 

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Potty Words Belong in the Potty

My husband is an elementary school teacher and has grown accustomed to kids saying naughty things.

Today was no exception.

Except.

Today he heard the naughtiest thing he’d ever heard.

A second grader told a female classmate to…ahem…

“Suck his nuts.”

Now, I write a blog called,”Potty Mouth in a Sweater Set” but…

Whoa.

This kid is how old…8?

When I was 8, if a classmate told me to suck his nuts, I would have thought he was offering me some almonds from his school lunch sack.

I’d like to give this child the benefit of the doubt – maybe he didn’t even know what he was saying?

Like the time Colt started singing Blake Shelton’s “Your Lips Taste Like Sangria” at the top of his lungs at the airport gate while we waited for our plane.

Yes, my child is singing about French kissing and alcoholic beverages.

I realize that boys will be boys, but I won’t tolerate Colt using foul language in public.

Which is why I instituted a new rule.

(It’s actually a rule I stole from a friend of a friend of a friend, but I’ll go ahead and take credit for it.)

Potty words are only allowed in the potty (at least until you’re old enough to start your own blog.)

Colt can say whatever he wants – alone in the bathroom.

Just get it all out, I say.

And flush it down the toilet.

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One evening, Todd heard him singing loudly, “I got my TOES in the water, ASS in the sand.”

Another country-western favorite.

Maybe we should switch radio stations?

“You can’t say that word, son!” Todd yelled from the bedroom.

“I can say whatever I want, because I’m alone in the bathroom! Mom said so!” Colt yelled in reply.

Soooooooo we might have to modify the rules a bit.

I’d like to pretend he doesn’t hear any of this from us.

Like when Ralphie’s mom, from A Christmas Story, asks him where ON EARTH he had heard the F-word.

“Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay.”

But we do try to limit our cursing, arguing, etc. to very little around Colt.

Nevertheless, I know that even if we were running this home like a convent, he’d be exposed to obscenities on the bus, in the cafeteria, at soccer practice.

I’d like to build a 100 ft wall around him (and make him pay for it.)

But that’s just not realistic.

And it wouldn’t matter, because now kids learn everything on the Internet anyway.

When I was a kid, we learned bad words and inappropriate dance moves from MTV and Vh1 (does MTV even still exist?)

My parents forbade me to watch both of those stations, as well as The Simpsons and Roseanne because the children were disrespectful to their parents.

It seems so much harder to shelter our children these days, since they all have their own iPhones and iPads and VTech computers and laser beams.

So for now, it’s parental controls, potty words on the potty, and lots and lots of praying.

 

 

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What’s Really Inside My Purse

You know those magazine articles where they dump out a celebrity’s purse and tell you what’s “really” in it?

Theres a $34.00 tube of lip stain, an essential oil rollerball, a sweet little notepad for writing poetry on the go. And an organic flaxseed energy bar of course!

Want to know what’s in my purse?

Crumbs.

Receipts.

Half-chewed Chiclets.

A lollipop stick with the goo still on it.

Several packets of stale saltine dust, formerly known as crackers.

I’m sure there are some other useful things in there too, but mostly it’s just the crumbs.

If Michael Kors knew what his bags were really used for – holding used wipes, boogered tissues and quarters for mall rides – he’d be shaking his orange-spray-tanned head in disappointment.

When I opened the gift box from my aunt containing this Zac Posen bag, I swore I’d never taint it with anything foul.

I guess for a moment, I forgot I was a mom.

“Colt, Mommy wants to use her Zac Posen bag today, so I’m going to have to leave you at home.”

Needless to say, THIS is the inside of that bag now. (I wish you could see the bottom layer of crumbs and coins, but this photo only shows the topsoil.)

Oh the shame!!!

I wonder how celebrity moms with their essential oils and flax seed bars keep their purses so spruce.

Is the Nanny holding all the shit? Or are they just inherently more tidy.

At least my bag looks awesome from the outside.

All smooth and shiny!

You can’t see all the dirty, grimy, trashy, crap until you start digging around the inside.

In many ways, I guess…

My purse is just like me.

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Why I Don’t Wear Thongs

I used to wear thong underwear.

In fact my college roommates and I used to have thong slingshot fights at the laundromat.

Until one of them would inevitably get hooked behind the washer on a drain pipe, or hung up in the light fixture (the underwear, not the roommates).

These days, my underpants are large and roomy. (To read more about what I’m currently wearing, read My Husband is Head Over Hanes for Me.)

But I do still own two thongs. One for daytime and one (black lacy) version for night time.

Don’t get excited.

I wear them only when the outfit necessitates, which is almost never. Or when I haven’t done my laundry in three weeks, because I’ve been doing everyone else’s.

That was the case today. And look what happened!

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This never would have happened with granny panties.

Every time I bent over or turned sideways, this good-for-nothing T-Back gave me a Wedgie for the Ages!

I hate when you have to spend your whole day managing your outfit.

We all have “that shirt” where the button in the front randomly bursts open.

Usually in the middle of a staff meeting, or an interview – exposing your breasts to the company president.

And we all have “that skirt” made of some kind of unnatural polyester blend, that static-clings to your legs and crotch like a sausage casing.

I don’t think men have these wardrobe malfunctions.

“I was at lunch with a client and my jock strap broke, and my penis just FELL OUT in front of everyone!” said No Man Ever.

Or

“I can’t sit down because the Spanx under my khakis are too tight, so… I’ll just stand.”

Or

“My slacks flew up in the wind and my entire butt was showing. It was so embarrassing!”

All things never said by a man.

Maybe his fly was down ONCE and someone got a glimpse of his boxers. Big whoop.

Until your bare ass, or exposed nipple, has felt the cool breeze of embarrassment, you can’t really relate.

But as women, we can do things to mitigate these malfunctions.

We can buy new underwear and bras (with sturdy straps) more often than every five years.

We can do our laundry first next time and let our husbands turn their underwear inside out for a change.

We can remember to not neglect ourselves.

 

And for Pete’s sake, get rid of those thongs!!!!

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Mom Fail: My Son the Bum

Is that a miniature homeless man from Brooklyn?

No, it’s my son on Awards Ceremony Day at school.

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I let him walk across the stage in high waters and Paw Patrol slippers.

I let him shake the hand of the principal with a skull cap on and a hoodie tied around his waist.

I completely forgot about the big day.

I’ll admit, I skimmed through the 500 papers he brought home that week, and didn’t get it on the calendar.

So I didn’t attend the ceremony (because I forgot) but my friend was kind enough to take this photo.

When I looked down at her text message, I actually gasped.

Did I seriously let him wear that to school?

Of course, he didn’t mind at all.

In fact, he was thrilled to be wearing exactly what he wanted on such an important day.

I’ve done this before.

Picture day – Fall VPK 2014.

I let him wear his favorite dinosaur shirt, mismatched shorts and lace-up camouflage boots (with safety orange laces.)

Colt couldn’t have been prouder to bring home the 8 x 10″ reminder of my #momfail.

A coworker of mine (a few years older and wiser) told me that one day these will be my favorite photos – because they represent the real Colt.

My sweet dinosaur-loving, camoflauge-wearing, homeless-looking bum.

Likewise, most of the photos I have of Colt’s first three years include his tool belt.

He never took it off.

I remember being so annoyed that we couldn’t leave the house without the damn tool belt.

But thinking back, My coworker was right, I love those memories most.

I love that he wore his tool belt to the pediatrician and the grocery store and church.

And I really don’t remember the days he wore his crisp plaid shirt and pressed chinos, at all.

Sure, I could have wrestled him into the new polo shirt and properly-fitting khakis I had intended for him to wear on Awards Day.

But that’s just not the real Colt.

And I love him just the way he is.

 

 

A Festival Outing with my Little Lord

Some people like to go to the State Fair. Some people (me) don’t.

But I LOVE the Renaissance Festival.

Sure, they’re both dirty and stinky and you have to use a Port-o-Let…

Maybe it’s the kilts and feathers, but I just feel like the festival is a bit more refined.

Here’s a simple test to determine if you’re a fair person, or a festival person.

  1. Do you prefer to see humongous breasts under an airbrushed T-shirt, or sitting atop a corset?
  2. How about man parts? In wranglers or tights?
  3. Do you prefer a southern drawl or British accent?
  4. Do you have a hankering for elephant ears or turkey legs?
  5. Are you more inclined to wave a confederate flag or a heraldic banner?
  6. Concealed weapons, or sheathed swords?

Inadequate dental hygiene is to be expected at either venue, but it freaks me out less at the festival.

I find it adds to the authenticity of the Dark Ages.

Colt and his friend Cam had a great time shooting bows and arrows, throwing darts, and bowling.

The dads participated in axe and knife throwing and other manly activities.

My husband was never so proud of his beard.

A word of warning, the workers at the festival take their jobs VERY seriously.

My mother complimented one of them on his “costume” and he firmly corrected her.

“This is not a ball, madam. There are no costumes….this is a uniform!”

(Dude, have some absinthe and relax.)

She also mistook a catholic cardinal for a civilian in a white bathrobe. Big mistake.

Anyway, if you live in the Tampa area, the festival will be around for a few more weeks, so go check it out!

Get there early in the day (before the characters have had too much grog and rum.)

If you have a fear of Zika and E.Coli, bring bug repellant and hand sanitizer.

And cash – everything costs extra and tips are expected.

Have a great time with your little lords and ladies!

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Valentine’s Day at the Awful House

These are places I hate to go – listed in order of least to most hated.

  1. The flea market
  2. The state fair
  3. Waffle House
  4. Chuck-E-Cheese
  5. Golden Corral

The common denominators? Pickup trucks and dirty fingernails.

My husband loooooooooves Waffle House.

(He actually loves all of the places listed above.)

He likes the cheap coffee, the single-ply napkins, and Patty the waitress with only two teeth.

I don’t have anything against food that’s been smothered or chunked, it’s just not my first choice. Or my fifteenth.

But I really love my husband. And sometimes I am an awesome wife.

 

Oh, yes I did.

On Valentine’s Day, certain Waffle Houses serve a reservation-only, candle-lit dinner.

Complete with black plastic table-clothes, faux flower centerpieces and purple napkin roses.

Not a fruit or vegetable in sight.

Colt had grilled chicken, hash browns and root beer.

(Somewhere a bra-less vegan Earth Mama just passed out reading this.)

The happiness on my boys’ faces was worth all the grease.

And how great is the commemorative Waffle House picture frame?!!

However you celebrate it – Happy Love Day!

 

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