#AtoZChallenge: That’s A Wrap

This is my fourth year doing the challenge (although not all on the same blog) and my first time submitting all posts on time. In the words of Borat, “Great success!”

Twenty-six days, twenty-six stories (five of which were repeats), twenty-six sets of doodles. And 105 new doodles were created for those 21 brand-new posts. Considering that I was very slack the past few months, with my average of 2 to 3 posts per month, that’s a lot of new dork material. Now I just need to find a happy middle ground post schedule-wise!

This month saw me blasting to the past — anywhere from a week ago to 23 years ago. There were posts that probably made you fear for our lives a little, posts that warmed your hearts, and posts that probably made you almost lose your lunch. Variety FTW!

Here are the top five posts in terms of likes for the month:

‘U’ is for Uh-Oh – Baby Girl had some leakage on vacation.
‘Z’ is for Zzzz – My daughter makes my anxiety worse at night.
‘S’ is for Surgery – My husband took Valium for his vasectomy, and it was funny.
‘M’ is for Money – I made someone think I’m against a Down Syndrome society.
‘V’ is for Valentine’s Day – My grandmother let my husband almost scare me to death.

Runner up:
‘E’ is for Eating – I accidentally ordered a whole chicken.

The Surgery post was my favorite overall (it’s always fun to write about someone else’s embarrassing moments!), followed closely by ‘J’ is for JTT, because who doesn’t love tween cringe?

Now that it’s all over, I’m going to continue working on that book. I’ve got my categories figured out and have chosen a bunch of different stories to include. Next up: retool some of the stories, create new stories/doodles, and figure out who the heck would publish something like this/check out self-publish options.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to check out the doodled madness this month! What was your favorite post?

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘Z’ is for Zzzzz

I mentioned having bad anxiety in a previous post. I have generalized anxiety disorder, so my brain tends to escalate situations at times, to put it mildly. While the whole “feeling like I’m having a heart attack” thing sucks, it has created some funny situations. I wasn’t able to laugh at the time these situations were happening, of course, but definitely had a chuckle afterwards.

Baby Girl has not been good for my anxiety. Kids will create anxiety in any parent, even those who are typically pretty calm about things, but Baby Girl is another story. Where Little Man was always my easy child who listened and didn’t do things that were remotely dangerous (he didn’t do anything to indicate needing child-proof anything a single time, even though we had it), Baby Girl has necessitated purchasing every single child safety device known to man. She can also be a bit of a daredevil at times.

Like the time when she had just turned one and couldn’t walk, yet she managed to stand on one leg on top of a toy with wheels.

And she loves jumping off the step at the top of the porch. If her brother who is 6.5 years older than her can do it safely, then so can she, in her mind.


We haven’t ended up in the ER yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

Baby Girl stayed in her pack-n-play for a long time. (She hated the crib, but we had a good mattress in the pack-n-play, so it was comfortable for her.) Up until her third birthday, there was no need for a big girl bed, as she was too short to attempt climbing out. After she finally did climb out, though, we bought her a big girl bed, and that’s when the night terrors started.

And by “night terrors,” I don’t mean those dreadful nightmares that cause kids to wake up screaming. She’s the one responsible for scaring the crap out of me.

Whenever I hear a noise in the night, I get freaked out, thinking someone might be breaking into the house. And despite being hard of hearing (, I tend to hear a lot of noises, noises that my husband who hears perfectly fine doesn’t hear (overactive imagination, much?). One night I heard something and sat up in the bed, waiting to see if I would hear it again and would need to wake up my husband to go check out the source of the noise. Just then, my doorknob jiggled.

Spoiler alert: we weren’t.

‘Twas no madman — just a toddler.

This one has happened quite a few times. I’ve told Baby Girl to call us over her monitor to come and get her when she wakes up, but she runs in our room every time.

One night I didn’t fully wake up when she opened the door to the bedroom, but I did moments later. In that state between being asleep and waking, I had a feeling of being watched. I woke up to this:

That’s not the only time she’s done that creepy staring thing, either. I’ve woken up in the morning to her sitting beside my pillow staring at me with her face just a few inches from mine. Once I woke up during the night to find Little Man doing the same thing. I asked what he was doing, and he said “watching you,” which didn’t lessen the creep factor.

So, thanks, dear children — especially Baby Girl — for making my anxiety worse.

And that’s a wrap for the A to Z Challenge! Wow! Tomorrow I’ll do a wrap-up post for the challenge. Thanks for sticking around all month! 

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘Y’ is for “You’ve Got Mail”

This is the last repeat post for the A to Z Challenge, which is good since we only have one day left.  This post was originally posted in October of last year.

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?

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘X’ is for X (10)

Today’s post for the A to Z Challenge comes from my Facebook timeline. Coming up with a post for “X” can always be a bit of a challenge, so I’m cheating a little bit by going with “X” stands for the Roman numeral X, or 10. You get 10 mildly amusing status updates pulled from my Facebook page.

From last year, when Baby Girl commented on her growth…

Looking for freelance jobs can be equally frustrating and entertaining…

When the kiddo started getting slightly modest a few years ago…

Little Man is starting to get a little shy…when I walked in the bathroom where he was getting ready for his bath, he decided to cover up his privates. He’s stark naked and what does he cover? His chest. He is too funny!

That time I decided to be a zombie for Halloween and modeled my zombie walk for my husband…

During the height of the 50 Shades of Grey popularity…

The boy’s hatred for Clemson used to be something else…

“How’d Clemson get that ball? They probably snatched it.”

“I’m not pulling for Clemson, I’m pulling for who plays Clemson.”

“I don’t like cheaters, so I’m not pulling for Clemson. They probably do that.”

“I liked orange until I learned about Clemson. Now I don’t like it.”

When the kiddo caught me off guard with his take on The Giving Tree…

“That book is hilarious!”

That time Little Man messed up the title of a Nintendo game…

When Baby Girl was 2.5, she had some issues with our dog’s name…

When McDonald’s got kinda confused on what caffeine is…

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘V’ is for Valentine’s Day

Yes, we’re more than two months past Valentine’s Day, but I’m going to go with ‘V’ is for Valentine’s Day anyway.

Today’s doodle comes from my and my husband’s (well, then boyfriend’s) first Valentine’s Day together. We’d been together for close to a year at the time. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, since we had both talked about our dislike for commercialized holidays, but let’s just say that what happened wasn’t something that crossed my mind.

On Valentine’s Day, I came home from school (I was a junior in college at the time) and went to my room after chatting briefly with my grandmother. I stood next to my computer desk to lean over and turn the tower on, and when I stood up, I noticed someone coming out of my closet out the corner of my eye. I’ve had terrible anxiety for a long time, and someone breaking in and killing me was always something I worried over. It was happening.

Anxiety is a bitch, but my, what it does for one’s imagination.

I let out a blood curdling scream worthy of a second-rate horror movie.

So long Frankenstein face, hello terrified face.

And then my brain registered that it wasn’t a murderous criminal hiding out in my closet — it was my better half.

“That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for he said,” he told me, handing me the flowers. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I felt rather embarrassed over this, but then again, who wouldn’t be freaked out when she notices a man coming out of her closet?

My grandmother popped in about that time, laughing. “I knew that’s what was going to happen when you said you wanted to hide in her closet and surprise her!” she said.

“Well, why didn’t you say that?” he asked.

“Because I thought it would be funny,” she replied.

Gee, thanks. Give me a heart attack all for the sake of your own amusement. I guess she was getting a little payback for all those years of me being a dumb kid and doing the same.

Do you have any stories of where your partner had nothing but the best intentions, but things went wrong in a hurry?

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘U’ is for “Uh Oh”

Today’s Blast to the Past post is a repeat from when we went on vacation last year. I cut the length of the post down a bit.

Remember when I posted about the odd — but not really bad — sunburn I got a couple weeks ago? Despite sunscreen and an umbrella, I got a weird sunburn on my leg. Odd, but no biggie. This vacation — despite plenty of preventative measures — I got the real deal of sunburns.

Yes, the most aspire to is a few splotchy tanned areas and red cheeks.

I made the mistake of not wearing my cover-up for a while and got a nasty burn on my chest. Other parts of me were dark pink/reddish and this part was more of a Merlot color it was so dark. The worst part (aside what legit feels like nerve pain in that area)? I got a nice reminder of how my body is doing gravity-wise when I take off my bra. You ladies know what I’m talking about. I think. Every damn shift or sway, I not only get a nice jolt of pain, but also get reminded that things ain’t where they once was. (Channeling my inner country girl on that last bit.)

Non-gravity defying breasts aside, let’s talk about what a kid should be excited about when going on vacation. Little Man counts down the days until he gets to get on water slides, body board in the ocean, and dig in the sand. Baby Girl gets excited about something different.

Before we went on vacation, I asked Baby Girl what she wanted to do at the beach.

“See the ice cream man!” she answered. I was rather impressed with her memory of getting ice cream at the beach a year ago, but that wasn’t quite what I was going for. True to her word, though, this is what she looked forward to every single day.

Spend hundreds of dollars on a vacation for the kid to care about a sweet treat that costs two bucks.

“I gonna see the ice cream man today?” she’d ask after waking up in the morning. The same question would be repeated twenty minutes later, after breakfast, in between breakfast and lunch, during lunch, etc. And finally the music from the ice cream truck would play and her dad would take her to pick something out.

And, I kid you not, if you ask her what kind of ice cream she had on vacation, Baby Girl will tell you all five of the different types of cones and popsicles she had. Again, her memory is most impressive.

Now for the last vacation expectation vs. reality. Since Baby Girl is getting older, there are certain things I expect of her — namely not eating poop or crapping in the tub. Anything gross that’s related to poop, really. I’ve been pooped on in the tub a few times, but now she tells us if she has to go. As Little Man would say, “Thank Zeus!” As such, I expect the same from her when swimming. Water’s water, so give us a head’s up so we can head to the bathroom, right?

Wrong.

Just a reminder — the squiggly marks on me are from sunburn, not poop.

She did tell me about the poop — after the fact. Just as I stood her up on the edge of the pool to jump in for a cannonball, she told me that she had pooped.

Uh-oh.

Sure enough, when I glanced down at her crotch area, I saw watery streams of poop coming out. For the record, she was wearing a Little Swimmer diaper, but it was no match for Baby Girl’s bowels. I’ll spare you the details from there, but just know that some beach towels were ruined and that I had to avoid eye contact with people.

All in all, it was a great trip. We spent the majority of our time either by the water or in the water, which is what it’s all about for me. In the past, it has been a challenge to get Baby Girl to even touch the sand or ocean water without tears, so it was awesome to see her work her way up to digging in it a little and splashing around. As Borat would say, “Great success!”

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘T’ is for The Bird

My kids are funny. They’re also infuriating, disobedient, and conniving at times, but mostly they’re funny. This has been one of the most difficult aspects of parenting for my husband and me — keeping a straight face when they say or do something that’s funny, but inappropriate. We can handle just about anything else that gets thrown at us except for acting serious when we need to.

Little Man knows a few bad words. Between living with me for 10 years and watching various superhero movies, this was inevitable. Whatever. As long as he doesn’t repeat them, I don’t care. He knows that those words are inappropriate for him to say at his age, and he usually does good with that. (There was the time he stepped in mud in front of two preachers when he was in kindergarten. He yelled out “dammit!” much to the amusement of us all.)

He once told me about an opportunity he had at school to educate some children on the playground in second grade. Apparently a few other boys were talking about the bad words they know. Little Man told me that “damn” and “hell” were mentioned.

Good boy. I appreciated him not attempting to enhance their vocabularies for a change.

As recently as this past week, LM told me that some of those same boys have been dropping the f-word at recess as long as they’re out of earshot of the teachers, so their knowledge has expanded a bit over the past two years. The kiddo also told me about learning about flipping the bird, except for what the kids at school think it means is very different from what it actually means.

So for those fourth graders, flipping someone off is basically like calling them a heathen. I did my parental duty and told LM that wasn’t what it meant and educated him. Hey, him knowing is better than thinking the meaning isn’t that bad and getting in trouble for flipping someone off like I did when I was in third grade. I thought it meant “You’re stupid” and got in quite a bit of trouble for flipping off my sister. I passed on teaching him the double bird.

Even though the boy is good about not using adult words, he has asked to use them on occasion. One such time a couple of years ago when he really enjoyed the meatloaf I made for supper.

“Just say whatever it is you wanted to say without cursing, okay?” I told him. (Do as I say, not as I do.)

Point made.

At least he didn’t hit me and tell me that my meatloaf was “slap your mama good” like he did over something else I made.

Around the same time, we had this gem of a conversation:

I can only imagine how many times he heard a strange noise and glanced out the classroom window, hoping to see aliens descending upon the school so that he would have an opportunity to use his word.

And wow! We’re down into the final week of the A to Z Challenge!

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘S’ is for Surgery

A little over a year ago, my husband got a vasectomy. Before you go, “TMI, my friend, TMI,” you should know that the moments leading up to that procedure were hilarious (well, embarrassing at first, but hilarious later), and those moments are the basis of today’s post.

Between pushing 40, having two kids, and having a wife whose birth control packets were often only half used, my husband decided that a vasectomy was necessary. After it was scheduled, he was instructed to take a Valium the morning before surgery, something that he had never taken before. I hadn’t taken it before either, but we both assumed it would just loosen him up and help him relax a little.

It relaxed him, all right. It relaxed him to the point that the half hour leading up to surgery was simultaneously the most hilarious and embarrassing half hour I have ever spent in my life. Eventually I took to writing down his comments on my phone, since I knew they’d make for great blog material later.

Here’s how that half hour went…

Regarding another urologist who walked into the building:

After a bunch of nurses walked in, he loudly remarked:

When his urologist entered:

(Someone clearly didn’t read his vasectomy procedure packet.)

On a female patient who came in:

Thoughts on Valium, while kicked back in a chair in the waiting room:

Regarding a nurse who came in only five minutes early.

I have no idea what this one was about:

After the procedure was over:

(I wasn’t very amused there, since I was kind of on the fence about the procedure. I love all the babies.)

I vote that they should officially rename the vasectomy the “Snip-Snip-Sniparoo.” At the very least, they should add that plus “No more babies for you” to their educational material.

Which was your favorite Valium inspired comment?

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘R’ is for Religion

When I was a kid and teen, my grandmother used to call me a “heathen.” Whenever I was sassy, made crude jokes, or did something silly, I was “acting like a heathen.” I’ve taken to calling my kids heathens, too, although it’s usually more of a term of affection. Usually.

Even though I lovingly call them heathens, they are definitely straight up heathenly at times. Some of the funny questions they’ve asked or comments they’ve made regarding religion has qualified them for that. (And some of the comments that inspired the doodles that follow are completely innocent, but I’m sticking with calling them “heathens” nonetheless.)

Recently Baby Girl asked some questions about God. “Who is he? What does he do? What are his powers?” I answered these questions to the best of my ability and this was how she responded to that:

When she’s not busy comparing the big guy to Superman, Baby Girl has a pretty interesting prayer she sometimes says before supper:

No, God, please don’t.

The boy has always been known for saying funny things, and he is definitely no exception when it comes to religion. When Little Man was about five, his grandma talked to him a bit about Jesus and heaven. Let’s just say that he took things very literally.

The boy also got pretty clever one day when I was trying to drive home the point that he should listen better…

Another time when Little Man was five, he shared his thoughts on God’s personal appearance and responsibilities.

Bow tie…ponytail…is God part of an all male revue that is blessed with the powers of Harry Potter?

Finally, there was this moment that certainly made someone else think that Little Man a legit heathen. We were at Chick-Fil-A one day last year and LM was playing in the play area. He came out after a while and told me that some lady in there had started going on about religion to him. He was visibly annoyed by this.

I asked what happened exactly, and LM said that he had said, “Oh my god” about something, and the lady scolded him about that.

I cracked up at the absurdity of that. Little Man told me that he informed her that in his house we say “Oh my god” all the time, to which the lady replied that God cries every time we do that. I apologize in advance for the Dorky family causing the next great flood.

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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#AtoZChallenge: ‘Q’ is for Quiz

Once again, we’re not blasting too far to the past for today’s post. A few weeks ago, I asked both of my kids a set of 23 questions. I’m pretty sure these questions originated with Eric from All In A Dad’s Work, but I could be wrong. (And if I am wrong, he has a series where he asks his kids lots of questions that you should check out, as his children are hilarious.)

These questions were asked with no prompting, which will probably be painfully obvious with the amount of one-question answers or off-topic answers they give me.

(Little Man is 10 and Baby Girl is 3.)

1. What is something mom always says to you?

LM: Cuss words. (Laughs) “Clean up your room!”

BG: “I love you.”

2. What makes mom happy?

LM: Saying cuss words. (Laughs) Cuddling with us, being around me and Baby Girl.

BG: Hugging.

3. What makes mom sad?

LM: Not saying cuss words. (Laughs) Being around smelly dogs.

BG: Yelling. Ooooh!

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

LM: With your blog and Yo Mama jokes.

BG: Her scares me.

5. What was your mom like as a child?

LM: I have no idea.

BG: Like Bilbo (our dog).

6. How old is your mom?

LM: 34

BG: 12

7. How tall is your mom?

LM: I have no idea.

BG: This big.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

LM: Watch TV.

BG: Work.

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

LM: Not anything good.

BG: Hop your butt around.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

LM: Being the best mom ever.

BG: Prize.

11. What is your mom really good at?

LM: Being the best mom ever.

BG: Working.

12. What is your mom not very good at?

LM: Being the worst mom ever.

BG: Eating.

13. What does your mom do for a job?

LM: Sit back, relax, and watch TV. (Laughs) You predict the weather and write and get paid.

BG: Work. You do the “ah-ti-cles”

I do write, but I do not predict the weather.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?

LM: Coke, easily.

BG: French fries.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

LM: Everything.

BG: Working.

16. If your mom were a character, who would she be?

LM: Godzilla. Because you’re evil and big. Not big in a fat way, but big like big and tall.

BG: Spiderman.

17. What do you and your mom do together?

LM: Play chess, watch TV, talk.

BG: Play and puzzles

18. How are you and your mom the same?

LM: In every way except for gender.

BG: Hugging.

19. How are you and your mom different?

LM: In gender and that’s it.

BG: (Makes a goofy face)

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

LM: You’re my mother, duh.

BG: You kiss me.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

LM: Everything.

BG: You do something funny

22. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?

LM: Home.

BG: Chuck E. Cheese’s with me.

23. How old was your mom when you were born?

LM: No clue.

BG: 3

Thanks for joining me for the April A to Z Challenge! If you’re participating, please leave a link in the comments section so I can check out your post.

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