I’m All About That Turkey, ‘Bout That Turkey, ‘Bout That Turkey

My Facebook feed is full of people talking about Thanksgiving. Either they’re listing what they’re thankful for, posting recipes that they plan to make, or are talking about how they can’t wait to eat. My husband hasn’t posted to Facebook, but he’s already talking about the various foods that he plans to gorge himself on at the three Thanksgiving meals we’re attending.

All the while, I’m like —

Food-wise, Thanksgiving is about one thing for me — fried turkey. I’m sure a lot of y’all are thinking, “Yeah, I can’t wait for turkey, either!” but when I say that Thanksgiving is about one thing for me food-wise, I mean that quite literally.

I’m a picky eater. I’m so picky that it’s much easier to list the foods that I do like than list what I don’t like. I like about three vegetables, your standard meats, and processed crap (which I’m trying to stay away from). I don’t do mushy foods, foods with lots of textures going on (I keep trying, though), foods heavy on the spice…the list could go on. As such, Thanksgiving isn’t such a big deal for as far as food goes like it is for everyone else. (For the record, yes I’m thankful for stuff, and yes I enjoy the family time…as much as an introvert can enjoy interacting with 60 people in one day can, anyway.)

Just so you know, I cook plenty of stuff that I don’t eat. In fact, two of the things that I’m famous for making are things I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole — macaroni and cheese and cheesecake. So, my family doesn’t go deprived because of my lack of a diverse palate. All that creamy cheese? Blech. Cream cheese taste? Blech. (Nothing hurts my soul more than seeing yummy dessert videos from Tasty and then seeing them dump all the cream cheese into whatever they’re making.)

With that I give you doodles of my husband’s Thanksgiving meal vs. mine.

My husband’s plate:

My plate:

Probably not foodporn.

I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I have the saddest Thanksgiving plate ever. They aren’t wrong.

You’re up…what’s one food you love and one food you hate that’ll be served at Thanksgiving?

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Carrying All The Things

A few months ago, I read a post from another blogger talking about what was in her purse. I can’t remember if it was part of a challenge or what, but I thought it was a neat post, so I’m going to do one of my own. (I also can’t remember who did that post, but if whoever did it reads this, drop a link and I’ll update this post with it.)

Now, you may be thinking that you don’t give two craps about what’s in my purse. And that’s fine — you can be on your merry way and do a certain expletive to yourself. Kidding. But if you’re wondering why I’m doing this type of post, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I thought it would be easier and quicker than the typical post (lol at me), and time isn’t something I’ve had a lot of lately.

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been on as much in the past couple of weeks, and that’s because things are pretty busy at the moment. In addition to the kids’ appointments, activities, and events, I’ve been going through some testing, doing lots of research, and getting things in order to get ready for a cochlear implant. I’m super excited about that, as my hearing has gotten worse in recent years. I’m supposed to have surgery on December 15, but after it was scheduled my husband pointed out that is the opening day for Star Wars Episode VIII, so there’s a chance I’ll push it to the first of the year now. On the off chance that I don’t, I’m also trying to get everything ready Christmas wise — all the gifts bought and wrapped — that way if I do have the surgery, I won’t have to worry about getting Christmas stuff ready.

And now you know why I haven’t been doodling as much lately. And you also know why I’m doing a pretty basic post. Now I’ll stop the talking and get to my purse. I didn’t think there was much in there until I emptied it out. For the record, I don’t carry a mom bag, and it’s a small miracle that I don’t have one.

Normal Stuff

Here’s the stuff just about every female carries in her purse, I’d imagine. As you can see, one can never have too many pens.

Receipts Galore

Every receipt, business card, and store flyer gets crammed in my bag and left there for an eternity. The chicks who do eyebrows at Walmart get frantic looks on their faces and shove multiple flyers into my hand every single time I go in. I get the not-so-subtle hint, ladies. And of course we have the tree that was sacrificed to be CVS’s long ass receipt.

Electronics

I don’t typically carry power banks around in my bag, but my iPhone has crapped out. It’ll shut off even if the battery is at 85%, so I need power banks to make sure I have a way to check Facebook when I’m waiting in line at Walmart. And yep, there’s my iPhone down there being an asshole and shut off again.

Mini Pharmacy

Got a scrape, having an asthma or anxiety attack, chapped lips, sore throat, or a headache? Then come see me. Not pictured is the roll of antacids, so I can help out with heartburn, too. The only thing I don’t have is hard drugs, but you never know — between being a SAHM and driving a Prius, I might go the route of the mom in Weeds. (Just kidding, if any prospective employers happen across this.)

Other Random Necessities 

One must never, ever leave the house without all the feminine products galore. I’d take the lip color out of my bag since I don’t use it, but since it’s the same color and brand as one of my chapsticks, it stays, since I can prank Little Man — who is always using my chapstick and not his own — with it.

Proof Of Kids And More Randomness

Every mom has a pair of dirty socks in her bag, right? Once in a while I’ll have shoes, too, as Baby Girl is super resistant to wearing anything on her feet. And you never know when things might need to be cut and taped back together, so there’s that. And unless you’re feeling a bit sick and need some penicillin mold to help you out, you might wanna skip asking me for a snack.

And that’s what I have in my bag. In case you were wondering, my purse is the equivalent of a magician’s hat. No matter how much stuff I pull out, there’s still more. I’m surprised that a bouquet of flowers or a white rabbit didn’t come out during the process of inventorying my bag.

For another bottomless purse story, visit Tara at Daisy Smiley Face!

All right, people — what’s in your bag or wallet? Anything as interesting as a crumbled cookie? 

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The Bleeping Tooth Fairy

There are many ways that I have failed at parenting.

I once forgot to put a filling in Little Man’s sandwich. Yep, my underweight child was sent to school with two slices of bread as his lunch entree. Christmas and birthday gifts have remained hidden for months following the events. There was the time that I floated the idea of carrot sticks for a post soccer game snack.

And then there’s the Tooth Fairy. The <insert all the bad words here> Tooth Fairy.

First, a little backstory…

When we had Little Man, my husband and I had the whole mythical characters discussion. You know, “Do we want to sell the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy?” thing. For the record, this discussion ranks up there with discussions on whether one parent should quit their job, vaccinating, and college football team allegiance. It’s important.

We had our discussion and decided against Santa and the gang. I’m struggling to remember if it was a matter of not wanting to lie to our child (something all young, naive parents say they don’t want to do) or if we were just lazy assholes. Probably a bit of both.

I’m gonna go off on a tangent for a moment and tell you that if you ever tell a kid’s grandmother that you aren’t planning to do Santa, be prepared to be looked at like you’re the devil. At first she’ll squint her eyes and give you a look, wondering if you’re making yet another joke she isn’t getting. When she ascertains that you’re not kidding, she’ll lean in a little and sniff the air around you. She’ll make out like she has a sniffle, but it’s really about trying to detect booze on your breath. Because clearly drunkenness is the only reason a parent wouldn’t want to do Santa, right?

When she rules out jokes and booze, then she’ll move on to dropping hints that CPS will be called in the event tons of presents from a non-existent person (one that should be charged with B&E) aren’t given.

So, yeah, we do Santa Claus. (A modified version.)

We also put out baskets on Easter, because if you don’t put out baskets of chocolate on Jesus’s day, then surely you’re Satan. Little Man knows that there is no Easter Bunny (does any kid really believe in that?) and that getting treats isn’t what Easter is about, but we still have fun.

I did not expect to have to do the Tooth Fairy. Not even a little. Little Man questioned whether Santa was real when he was three because he didn’t think the story made sense. (We usually flip the Santa question back to him and he has continued to go along with it so far.) He knew the Easter Bunny was fake. But lo and behold, some kid in school loses a tooth and tells Little Man about the magical miniature being that leaves video games, cash, and toys under your pillow in exchange for your tooth. And he said he believed that.

The First Tooth

I can’t remember the circumstances surrounding Little Man losing his first tooth, but what I do remember is losing it. I don’t know if I accidentally threw it away or if I dropped it and it rolled under something. Whatever it was, I couldn’t find it. So as not to ruin the experience of losing his first tooth, I made a fake tooth out of popcorn.

Apparently teeth are like baby birds falling from their nests — if anyone else touches it, it will be rejected and die. Or, in the case of Little Man’s tooth, it will be rejected by the Tooth Fairy and he won’t get any loot.

Little Man didn’t bother the “tooth” and we later exchanged the popcorn for some cash. Crisis averted.

The Second Tooth

I didn’t lose this tooth, but I also didn’t have any money to leave under his pillow. After debating on leaving an IOU, I decided to borrow from Little Man’s piggy bank for money to put under his pillow. That was probably one of my low points as a parent, robbing my child to leave money from a fake fairy that collects children’s teeth.

Mommyburglar

The Third Tooth And Beyond

I’d love to be able to tell you that after losing the first tooth and not having money for the second tooth, that we learned our lesson and did better. But I’d be lying. There have been a couple of times when we pulled off the Tooth Fairy without a hitch, but mostly we screw up. I’ve lost more teeth, I’ve had to borrow more money from Little Man, and I’ve forgotten to make the switch.

That’s what happened with the most recent lost tooth. Little Man lost a molar minutes before his soccer game. He gave it to me to keep in my pocket, and miracle of miracles, it made it home. He put it under his pillow and woke up Sunday morning to find it still under his pillow. Crap.

My husband halfheartedly made up an excuse for the Tooth Fairy, but the boy wasn’t buying it.

“I don’t think the Tooth Fairy forgot so much as the parents forgot,” Little Man told my husband.

Burn.

That night Little Man put his tooth in a box at the foot of his bed so the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t have any problems. The next morning he found that his tooth had been traded out for three bucks.

“Look what the Tooth Fairy brought me!” he told us, showing us the money.

Yeah, right.

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Throwing WHAT In The Well?

Have you ever gotten nostalgic and watched or read something that you enjoyed as a kid, only to wonder why the hell you enjoyed that thing? I have, and no, it’s not Hanson (and a big “Screw you” to my husband for saying that).

I loved Boy Meets World when I was young — and I can still appreciate the wholesome messages on some level — but I’m baffled at how I could have enjoyed something with so many plot holes. And, on a similar note, there were the songs Pink by Aerosmith, Butterfly by Crazy Town, and Barbie Girl by Aqua. It was quite some time before I realized what they were really about (sex, FYI), which shows how naive I was as a teenager.

Recently Baby Girl and I were reading through a book of nursery rhymes, some of which I remembered reading as a kid. It was a cute little pop-up book, but after a few pages of rhymes, the cuteness factor went out the window. Much like the fairy tales we were read as kids, many nursery rhymes have varying degrees of fucked-upness. Either my memory sucks or my mind protecting itself by shutting out the memories, as I didn’t realize how messed up they were.

Read on to see if you remember any of these warped rhymes

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice, three blind mice,
See how they run, see how they run,
They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a thing in your life,
As three blind mice?

Damn, farmer’s wife. It’s not bad enough that these little bastards are blind, but you’ve gotta go cutting off their tails to get your jollies?

Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

I definitely remember the first half of this rhyme, but the second half? Nope.

Those poor kids. So not only did they live in the nursery rhyme version of a meth house and have to go hungry, they also had to get a beating for their lack of food.

Ding Dong Bell

Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Thin.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To try to drown poor pussy cat,
Who never did him any harm,
But killed all the mice in the farmer’s barn.

This one made me close the book of nursery rhymes for good.

Were there any songs, rhymes, etc. that you enjoyed when you were younger that left you going “WTF?!” as an adult?

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Hair Like Meg Ryan

For our date night a while back, my husband and I ordered take-out and watched You’ve Got Mail. This was no Netflix and chill, though. Instead, we kicked it old school and watched the DVD I’ve had since I was in high school.

My grandmother was a fan of romantic comedies, so I watched a lot of those since I lived with her. She was a Meg Ryan super fan (until The Affair with Russell Crowe, sigh), and I became one too after watching You’ve Got Mail. As a teen who had recently gotten an Internet connection, I thought it was the most romantic thing ever. A smart guy! Who enjoys books! And can write! Such a guy didn’t exist in my class of 70-odd students (that I was aware of), so that movie gave my love life a little hope.

You know how couples have a song? It might be the first song they ever danced to together or the one they danced to at their wedding. This movie is our equivalent of that. (Well, technically we have a Song, too, and it’s not a Hanson song since my husband put his foot down.)

We went the same route as the characters, meeting online, taking forever to meet, and when we did it was amazeballs (well, it was amazeballs a couple months after we met, when my nervousness wore off and I didn’t treat him like a brother). Our story isn’t quite as interesting, and consists only of a few missed hints and involuntarily dodged kisses — no business war and all that — but otherwise IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME.

We were getting sappy and stuff while watching the movie, reciting lines here and there, like it was of Star Wars or Shakespeare importance, when it dawned on me that there was something about me that my husband didn’t know about me. Once you’ve been married to someone for 10 years, finding something new to share from one’s past is pretty major. It’s almost on the level of giving diamonds. Almost.

“Oh my god, that haircut!” I commented. “I loved that haircut when I was in high school. I had it for the better part of two years. But it never worked out for me.”

This is it, in case you haven’t watched You’ve Got Mail or just don’t remember:

Alternatively, you can look at the haircut here, if the doodle isn’t doing it for you.

Between my lack of being able to blow my wavy (but not curly, dammit) hair straight, it not being the right haircut for my face, and the crappy stylist whose cuts rarely resembled the picture given, the haircut didn’t work for me. It didn’t work the first time I was a sophomore in high school, or the second time adding blonde highlights, or even the 89th time, when I was a senior in high school, and I’d highlighted my hair so much that it was nearly straight up blonde. (This is when I realized I should just let it grow out and go back to my natural color.)

The idea of having Meg Ryan’s haircut was amusing to my husband.

“She wasn’t in her 40s at the time,” I said, defending my style choice for god knows what reason. “Probably like her 30s. Or mid-30s.”

“That’s really not better. You were 15!” he exclaimed.

“Almost 16, though. And it was a cute haircut! Just not on me. Which may be why I didn’t date more in high school.”

“Aw, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “Just pretty bad.”

(And if you think admitting you wanted the haircut of an older woman was bad, try admitting that you had a crush on Tom Hanks when you were 15…or 33, for that matter. Sigh.)

I didn’t show him my picture in the yearbook from that haircut — the one where I was wearing a plain white t-shirt for, again, god knows what reason. Add in being sweaty as hell because it was early September in SC, plus that haircut, and you’ve got loads of awfulness.

See? All the awfulness.

My sharing the haircut story pretty much ruined You’ve Got Mail from a romantic standpoint. The idea of wanting to look like a middle age woman in my teens kind of overshadows the whole “how we met” thing. That opens the door for making a Hanson song Our Song, though, so there’s that.

Have you ever aspired to look much older than you actually were, or otherwise have any interesting Bad Haircut stories to share?

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What Your Bra Says About You

I’m sure everyone reading this post has seen those awful magazines geared towards women near the checkout counter at the grocery store. You know, the ones that have article with titles like 101 Ways To Please Him or Eating Disorders Are A Problem, But Here Are 13 Ways To Lose Weight?

I imagine that a title similar the one I’m using for this post has graced the cover of a crappy magazine or two. In magazine land, one’s bra choice might mean that they’re destined for a lifetime of solitude or that they’re ready to let their inner tigress run free. That’s not really the direction I’m going in with this post, though. Since my knowledge of all things feminine is pretty limited, you won’t be getting any insight from me on what a red satin bra, with pink lacy polka dots, that opens in the front means.

There is one thing my bra says about me, though, and that is where I’m at with my day. There comes a point in my day when I’m done. I won’t go out to the store for milk, I won’t run out to the mailbox or get anything out of the car, and I certainly won’t take a walk around the neighborhood. That point in my day is marked by The Removing of the Bra.

Bra on? I’ll do things. I might be exhausted and not want to do things, but I’ll go out and do whatever it is.

Bra off? Send Daddy out or tell the kids “maybe tomorrow.” (And we all remember how Maybes go, right?)

Occasionally I’ll be having a bad mood day or a day in which I’m recovering from being around people too much, and the bra doesn’t go on at all. If it isn’t on by 11:00 in the morning, there’s a good chance it ain’t going on at all.

Whenever the kids ask for things — like going back to town for doughnuts or anything else that requires leaving the house — I always tell them that my bra is off. I no longer have to explain myself, as they’ve learned that means mama ain’t going nowhere.

And, no, I can’t put my bra back on once I’ve taken it off for the day. Doing so would cause the moon and stars to become misaligned, and that might just cause the end of the world those nutty prophets have been predicting to happen. That, or maybe I’m just so lazy that throwing a strap over each shoulder and reaching back to do the clasp is just too much. Either way, for the safety of all, it’s best I let sleeping bras lie.

Recently Baby Girl wanted me to go get something out of the car. After telling me that her Daniel Tiger toy was in the car, she asked, “Is your bra on, Mommy?”

Way to cut to the chase, Baby Girl! I wonder how a guest would react to one of my kids asking about the state of my brassiere. I’m guessing we’ll find out soon enough. (The bra was on, in case you’re wondering, so I was able to retrieve the toy.)

Do you have a weird thing like, “The bra is off”? that only members of your home would understand? 

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Calling All Dorks: Kids Never Forget Our “Oops” Moments

The next blogger in the Calling All Dorks series is one of my favorite mom bloggers — Katherine of Welcome to the Nursery.

Katherine is the mom who runs the nursery where Puff (1.5y) and Squish (4) live. She hung up her engineering hat four years ago to start the mom gig; it turns out her skills of tank driving and bullet design don’t transfer well to child care, but at least with parenthood you can learn on the job (right?!). Katherine shares her amusements and frustrations with readers along that journey by trying to find the humor in everyday child rearing happenings. When the kids are asleep, she nurses a fledgling writing career, obsessively reads English historical fiction, and dabbles in painting and sewing.

Kids have funny memories. You can tell them something like, “Brush your teeth before going to bed” every single night for almost a decade, and they still act like it’s such a new thing to the point that you’re a bad parent for expecting them to remember. However, say something like “Shit” once, and suddenly their minds become a steel trap — no forgetting that.

Katherine can definitely relate to the concept of kids not forgetting such moments. Read her story below.

It’s amazing that we parents manage to do a lot of amazing tasks all day long, and most (all?) of them go unnoticed and unappreciated by our kids. Catch the toddler as she’s falling off a chair? Ho-hum, says the child (and never a “gee thanks, ma”). Got everyone dressed, fed, and out the door in time for school? No kid realizes the superparent powers required (and no act of God needed, either). However, when we do something wrong or amusing their elephantine memories will never forget it.

And they don’t let us forget it, either.

Now, let me preface this story by saying that my four-year-old (we call her Squish) has inherited many good genes from her parents, but klutziness isn’t one of them. She’s screwed from both sides: I’m klutzy, my mom’s klutzy, and my mother-in-law is, too. You’d think Squish would therefore commiserate when the rest of us have slips, trips, and falls … but no, she laughs like they’re part of a Three Stooges routine.

Last summer her grandparents took Squish across the street to the pond. The pond and grass area are bordered on the street by a few logs to prevent cars from driving onto the grass. Grandma was stepping over such a log when … she tripped and fell!

Squish saw this, and after everyone made sure Grandma was okay (and she was) Squish asked over and over and over again why her grandma tripped and fell. She just wouldn’t let it go!

Every day for about a week after that, she asked us, “Why did grandma fall over the log?” And she’s asked that probably every month since!

That log is famous, too. Every time we pass it – which is frequently – she says, “That’s where grandma tripped!” (Her grandma will never live that moment down, will she?)

You guess that her grandma has developed a reputation for klutziness. In fact, recently Squish saw a photo of a camel, and my husband told her that her grandma once rode a camel in Israel.

Squish’s response was, of course, “Did she fall off?”

Have you ever done something you wish you could forget – but your kids will never let you?

Find Katherine at the following links:

What are some of your “Oops” moments that your kids won’t let you forget about?

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Wearing Spanx: An Act Of Love

There are lots of things you can do to show someone you love them. You can spend oodles of money on jewelry and flowers on that one special day per year. You can hold their hand while they’re getting the flu shot, even if they’re almost 40 and are way past the age of needing to be consoled for a little pinch. You can cook a meal that doesn’t involve the use of a microwave.

You can also wear Spanx.

My baby brother is getting married next Saturday, and the dress code is cocktail attire. My heart dropped when I read that on the invitation. I can do casual or business casual — khakis and a nice blouse work, right? — but cocktail attire? FML.

I don’t do dresses. Prior to trying on dresses for my brother’s wedding, I’ve only worn dresses for a couple of occasions over the past 11 years: my wedding and a cruise. My husband has tried to coax me into buying dresses a few times, but I resist. Aside from not being very comfortable in a dress, wearing a dress means I have to take the time to attempt doing my hair and makeup. I suck at both and usually look like a clown caught in a rainstorm. With hurricane force winds. My bum attire of jeans, t-shirts, and flannel or thermal shirts, depending on the weather, suits me much better — those clothes set the makeup/hair bar pretty damn low.

American Horror Show contender?

But my baby brother only gets married once, so cocktail attire it is. I spent a few hours shopping and trying on dresses yesterday and found a couple that were tolerable. One of them was vetoed by my husband, because apparently a sleek dark denim dress isn’t cocktail attire, no matter how cute it is or how much I plan to dress it up with jewelry. The other, a black dress with polka dots, was approved.

Between being overweight and pregnant a bunch of times, things aren’t exactly smooth in the stomach region, so I picked up a pair of those Spanx undergarment things. I’ve never bought those before, so when I held it up against myself I was kind of skeptical, as it looked rather small. The tag claimed it was my size, so I bought it anyway.

When I got home, it was time to model the new dress (plus the old cruise dress).

Yay.

Before I put the dresses on, I needed to put on the Spanx. Again, I had doubts while looking at it.

How the hell are my thighs gonna fit in this? And my butt? And my gut?

There was no way. Squeezing all my bits into that thing would be tougher than closing the lid on a Chinese takeout box — impossible. I reminded myself that it was supposed to be my size and stepped in and started pulling it up. Slightly above my knee, things got dicey. The Spanx no longer wanted to be pulled up. I sucked my breath in — because apparently this helps with getting things over one’s thighs — and pulled. And pulled. And pulled.

I got the thing up over my thighs and then my hips. The belly was the easy part. One more tug and it was on — success! The feeling I got after stuffing myself in there wasn’t unlike the feeling I had after delivering Little Man.

After putting on the dresses on as ungracefully as possible — they did look pretty good, I’ll admit — it was time to remove the Spanx. I thought taking it off would be easier, but no. Let’s just say that if a woman taking off Spanx was viewed as a newsworthy subject, my efforts in removing it would garner as much awe as firefighters when they use the jaws of life to extract someone from a burning car. My husband watched the train wreck with much amusement, because 11 years of marriage means you don’t have to fake concern anymore.

It’s a good thing my brother is having an open bar at his reception to make all this Spanx hassle worth it. You’re probably thinking, “But if you drink all the drinks, you’re gonna have to pee and remove the Spanx!” No worries, though — much to my amusement, the crotch opens. (And now it’s time to Google whether you’re supposed to wear panties with this or open the crotch and pull your panties to the side to pee.)

On another note, it’s okay to count wearing Spanx as a wedding gift to my brother, right?

Thanks to HonestK for suggesting I use this as a doodle!

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Monday’s Mama is Two-Dimensional AF.

Thanks to Darlene for having me participate in her Monday’s Mama feature! There’s a petition, too, so check it out.

BabyCostsMoney

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in James’s Giant Peach? Or maybe Toontown? Or a Cool World?

Screenshot 2017-08-30 at 2.22.41 PM

Erika from Dorky Mom Doodles totally lives in that world with her family. At least, she lives there on the internet (where you can be anything you want to be especially if you want to be mean in the comment section which Erika is decidedly NOT).

Screenshot 2017-08-30 at 2.21.48 PM

Erika is SUPER nice. A super nice cartoon mom that shares all of the hilarious things her cartoon family does with all of us three dimensional people. She’s basically the Matt Groenig of Mommy Blogs and EVERYONE loves the Simpsons.

If you haven’t seen Dorky Mom Doodles, go check her out now. I’ll wait.

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. She isn’t on Instagram anymore but she TOTALLY belongs there. Doodles belong in squares!!…

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Lance Armstrong, I’m Not

Getting older ain’t easy. I’ll be 34 in exactly two months, which will plant me firmly in my mid thirties. I’m not much of a fan of the getting older thing, so I’d probably feel iffy about this if not for the fact that a) I get to go on a cruise with only my husband a week later and b) my husband will turn 40 a month after my birthday. Taking pleasure in the misery of others is always helpful.

A few years ago, shortly after turning 29, I started going through my third-life crisis.

I’m not sure why I thought turning a year older would make things vastly different, considering that my idea of fun was staying at home on the weekends, hanging out with my family, and playing video games or watching Netflix. Who was I kidding? I may not have been old in years, but I was definitely old in spirit. These were things my husband pointed out, but why let things like reason and logic get in the way of a good crisis, amirite?

So, I decided to live it up that year, have fun, and party like it was 1999 (even though I only 15 then and didn’t do anything that remotely resembled partying in 1999). In case you’re thinking that “party like it was 1999” meant going to clubs (something I’ve also never done, because of being a senior citizen in spirit) and other wild things, what it really meant was that we invited a few friends over once or twice a month when Little Man was spending the night at his grandparents. We would have a few mixed drinks while playing board games or watching football games. That’s a good way to live it up, right?

Another thing I planned to do during that little crisis period was get healthier. Because lamely partying like it’s 1999 and getting healthy go hand in hand.

I made a few changes. I started tracking my calories. I used sugar-free mixers. And I bought a bike. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13, but I decided that I was going to ride around my neighborhood, get some exercise, lose some weight, and eventually become one of those people who wear tight shorts and annoys the piss out of drivers by riding in the middle of the road.

“That’s a horrible idea,” my husband told me after I informed him of my plans. “Can’t you just ride your exercise bike so you won’t get hurt?” (I have a reputation for being clumsy as hell and have the history of broken bones, scars, and sprains to prove it.)

“No! I want to be out on the open road!”

After much discussion, I got my way, which I expected; I’ve only not gotten my way two times with my husband, and that’s when I wanted to buy a crossbow and buy a foosball coffee table. (For the record, I got my way on the second one a few years later.) He wasn’t happy about it, but we made the bike purchase anyway, with the condition that I wear a helmet, which I thought was lame given my age. (Yet another reason I’m an idiot.)

This is what I bought:

(Okay, that picture doesn’t really do it justice. Here is a picture of what the one I bought looked like, if you want to see the real deal. If you’re thinking that this isn’t the type of bike one would be riding on the open road and possibly on bike trails in the mountains, then you would be right.)

My first attempt on the bike didn’t go so well. More than 15 years and bunches of pounds later didn’t help matters much, so I wobbled down the end of our short road and came back. I was done for the day.

“I think we should just take that thing back,” my husband told me. “This is not going to end well.”

Ha. What did he know?

As it turns out, a lot.

The next day was Saturday, and we were having a small get-together. We had several friends over, got super wild and played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, and had a few drinks. (Those of us feeling rather depressed over getting old might have had more than a few.) Around 2 AM, I was feeling a bit crowded since people still hadn’t left, so I went outside to sit on the porch for a bit to get some space. As I was sitting there, I spied my bike at the end of the porch, in all of its beautiful teal and white glory.

Ride me, it beckoned.

It was like I was Frodo and it was the One Ring — I was drawn to it. The next thing I knew, I was riding down my driveway and down my road (which I must add is partially a gravel circle with not a lot of houses and next to no traffic, so you don’t think I was a complete idiot). My plan was to ride to the corner and come back.

I was doing great. If only my husband could see me now! Nary a wobble in sight.


And then, right as I was about to turn into our driveway and make my triumphant return, I lost my balance. I put my foot out to steady myself, except for my foot landed on some loose gravel, causing my ankle to turn in, and I heard a “snap.”

That hurt. A lot. And there was no one around to help me up. I sat there at the edge of the driveway for a few minutes and finally forced myself up and hobbled up the driveway and inside the house.

My husband gave me one look when I came in and knew exactly what had happened.

“You didn’t.”

“I did.”

“And you didn’t even wear your helmet,” he said, which he knew because it was sitting on the end table.

The next morning, my ankle was swollen to the size of a softball, so we went to the orthopedic urgent care where the doctor told me that I likely had grade 3 ankle sprain and would need to wear a walking boot and then do physical therapy. That was a fun way to spend part of my third-life crisis.

I learned a valuable lesson that night — don’t exercise, which was a lesson I should’ve learned the time I tried to use an exercise ball.

Dumbest/silliest thing you did in a third or mid life crisis, if you had one?

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