Moms, Children and Shopping

mom mom momBeing a mother who works at home is a thankless, yet rewarding career.  I can support my family and also have the flexibility to be available for them.  But you know what they say about all work and no play.  Below is a very special glimpse into a few moments of me-time I had the fortune to experience.

My children are older now – one in high school and one in college. I’ve work out of my home since the princesses were just tiny tots. It’s a nice arrangement. On one crazy day I decided to take some time off the clock and enjoy some Mission Therapy (Read: stop at my favorite thrift store to look for any treasures I may have to have). The store was not too busy. It was not crowded and I was not in a hurry. So far so good, right? What took place is no exaggeration and I am taking no creative liberties. I can’t make this stuff up.

MOM! MOM! MOM!

MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!

Oh it went on for at least five minutes – which of course seemed like 13 months. The young boy, roughly 3 years old, was standing up in the cart next to his newborn sister who was sleeping in her car seat. How she could have slept though MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM! is beyond me.

And the mom throughout this ordeal? Oh she was standing right there pushing the cart, also looking for good junk. Not once did she acknowledge the young lad. Clearly that’s all he wanted.

For the love of Peter answer your son before I have an aneurysm! I had one nerve left and that boy was on it. Correction – the oblivious mom was on it.

Perhaps the mom was wearing those spongy foam ear plugs. I know I sure wish I had my ear muffs, y’know the ear protection you wear to protect your ear drums during target practice. I really wanted to drown out the sound of that incessant chanting. But my muffs were tucked safely at home in my range bag. My dumb luck to leave home without them.

As I tried to return to my happy place and continue on my treasure hunt, I was interrupted by “Daddy I have to go potty!” I thought to myself “Isn’t that the way it always is. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell them to go before you leave the house, they always have to go once you’re in an establishment that doesn’t have a public restroom.

Then repeat – I hear “Daddy, I have to go potty!” And repeat at least five – count them, 1-2-3-4-5 more times.

For the love of Peter answer your daughter before I have an aneurysm! I had one nerve left and that dad was on it.

Whatever happened to the little boy who cried “Mom!” and the little girl who had to tinkle? I don’t know. But I can only surmise the little girl wet her pants in dad’s new sports car and the young boy has a horrific case of laryngitis by now.

So much for my mission therapy; I was ready for Vodka Therapy by the time I left that place. And left it empty handed I might add.

Some days I think “too bad all parents can’t be more like LA” But then again … one of me is plenty – wouldn’t you agree?

Mwah Smootches Kissie Kissie Blech

Maybe someone can help me understand. Maybe one of you can put a different spin on this goofy, nauseating practice and help me see things differently.  Maybe you can convince me to think otherwise.  Give it your best shot.

What I’m referring to is the practice of couples sharing sweet, tender, private, mushy, gushy, mwah mwah, smooches, kissie kissie moments over Facebook.

WHY?

Don’t they see to each other in person to say “Happy birthday darling, I love you so, so much. You complete me. You’re every breath I take. Heart Heart Heart” in private? [Read more…]

Middle-Aged Mom Trapped on the Toilet!

mom-stuck-on-a-toiletMy daughter, the college athlete, is home for summer. Before she came home, I decided that I wanted to glean her expertise about working out. The child works out for a living and I know she has some amazing skills that can help my middle-aged body find it’s way back to what it once was before I let it all go in the name of my favorite ice cream.

Mind you, she has been home for summer since May and today is the beginning of August. So much for capitalizing on her presence while it lasts. She will be back in school in a few short weeks, fully in shape and fully ready for her new track year at Sac State, while I on the other hand…….

In an effort to make good on my goal, Meaggan took me to the gym yesterday where she had me do this-n-that’s in between her work out.

Her work out was amazing. It rivaled something you would see on an ESPN documentary and involved huge amounts of weight and a lot of sweat. I had to laugh at myself when I saw the two of us in the mirror, her with her beautiful strong body and me with my sagging arms and legs that screamed out at me for forcing them to lunge, bend and lift things.

Today I woke up and for a brief moment I thought maybe I had been hit by a truck and was awakening from a coma state. It was literally the only rational explanation I could find for my intense pain.

The second thought I had was that using the toilet was going to be an experience akin to giving birth.

The thought of bending my legs to lower myself seemed unimaginable and I started making plans to use a Facebook post from my cell phone to send for help should I become unable to lift myself from the potty.

The fact is, I wish I had done this sooner.

I wish I had valued my daughters services and taken advantage of her work out wisdom while I had the chance to see real change while she was still home. The pain is immense, I’m not gonna lie- I couldn’t use my arms the rest of the day yesterday which made things like fetching plates from a cupboard and taking my shirt off over my head fodder for my in-shape children. Nonetheless, it feels good to know that I took an important step towards getting into shape.

The worst is over, I got up and did it. Now it is about momentum. It is about chasing the goal. I can make a positive change in my well-being by keeping at this thing called physical fitness.

I may be sore today, but I know that anything worth having comes at a price worth paying.

Have You Ever Gotten Stuck In Your Clothes?

love-dressing-retro

I had on the most fabulous dress the other day. It was blue polka dot. Not like Duchess Kate’s Middleton’s adorable post pregnancy blue polka dot dress. Mine was navy blue with tiny dots and a big swing style skirt.  I really should have taken a photo; I was cute as a button.

I found the dress in an antique store. I have a thing for mid-century style – clothes, décor, television, you name it. So in addition to the flowing skirt, it had a tight bodice, almost tube top looking, only not tacky. It was topped off by two spaghetti straps. Got the picture? I looked so ladylike.

But then…

I couldn’t get it off! It’s all one piece, no zippers, no elastic, just tight fighting from the waist up. Are you kidding me? Help! Help! Help! I wiggled. I shimmied. I got the big flowing skirt up over my head but couldn’t get enough traction to pull the form fitting top portion to slide up and off.

I started flailing. I bent over. I started making grunting noises and may have even started to sweat. What in the world am I going to do? This flippin’ dress is stuck! The more I held my breath, thinking it might make my belly skinnier, the more it puffed my rib cage up and made it get even more stuck.

Even more stuck!

Oh c’mon, for the love of .. HELP! Who I was talking to is a mystery as I was home alone.  Even if my teens were there I’m not sure I would have called for their help, as I wouldn’t want to scar them for life. At least we could have laughed about it.

By this time my basset hound jumped up on my bed so she could be closer to eye level with me. I guess she thought I wanted to play. She started frolicking and wanted to grab the hem of the dress. Nope, pretty sure she wasn’t trying to help pull it off and help. I must have looked like a jumping bean, waving and spinning around. Fun times for a young dog I’m sure.

Leave me alone long dog!

Look, I’m a Business Admin and a Homeland Security major – not an engineer. Think. Think. What am I going to do here? I have to get it off. Finally I had the brainiac idea that if I stood erect, crossed my arms in front of me then lifted straight up (more like tugged) then I may be able to break free.

And voila’ … we have success. I was able to get unstuck from that beautiful feminine dress, albeit I looked like two pigs fighting under a blanket in the process.

Men just don’t understand what we go through to be beautiful, sexy, stunning.

What about you? Have you ever been stuck in your clothes? I bet you have. Go on – admit it. The truth shall set you free! And a good crow bar can pry you free!

 

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

Someone once told me “If you’re going to be serious, you need to give us a little warning. We’re always expecting a punch line or looking for the funny when we read your stuff.”

This is your warning. I do have a serious side. It’s way, way around back and it’s harder to see ‘round my backside but last I checked, it’s still back there. I wanted to have a serious discussion about panhandlers/beggars.

Let me preface this by saving I don’t mind helping out. We’re called to do so, both biblically and morally. If I know someone is in need and I can ease their burden just a wee bit, I’m happy to do so. If I’m blessed to be in a position to share, I’m not about to start hoarding my resources that I was blessed with.

Now, that said, I know in some larger metropolitan areas street beggars are common place. I live in a small suburban community, which is very close to a small metro area. It used to be that when we went downtown listen to and watch “Blues on the Mall” (weekly free summer blues concerts) that it wasn’t uncommon to see homeless people digging through the trash looking for bottles and cans.

In Michigan we have a $.10 bottle deposit, which does help the streets from becoming littered with empties and helps with our recycling efforts. Equally if you put a little time and effort into it, it’s a good way to come up with some needed cash. Some are too lazy to return them to the store for a dime, so they throw them away but then others see that as free money.

Truly in need? Or freeloaders?

Lately however, there has been an increase of panhandlers standing on street corners with a small sign that reads about their woes – out of work, family to feed, any help appreciated etc. Getting on or off the freeway exits, you’ll encounter multiple beggars. Also around the mall area, same deal.

Our local news station did a few stories on the increase in pan handlers. One of those interviewed said he makes about $50 a day outside of Target.  That’s $350 a week, tax free, for standing outside holding a sign, taking advantage of people’s kindheartedness.

Here’s where I have a serious problem with this: We have homeless shelters. We have soup kitchens. We have food banks. We have organizations to help out with emergency needs. We have social services. We have plenty of employers looking to hire. We have jobs that go unfilled.

People being down on their luck or finding themselves in difficult situations, I get. It’s unfortunate and there is no reason anyone should ever go hungry in this land of plenty.  But to consider your “job” to stand on a street corner and take advantage of those who have a hard time saying no – is just wrong.

I have no problem walking or driving past someone asking for money. I don’t feel guilty or obligated. As I said initially, I’m happy to donate and help out – but I’ll give to the legitimate organizations who exist to help those who are genuinely struggling.  Sadly, for some, for whatever reason getting help from strangers may be their own solution. Unfortunately so many who don’t have legit stories ruin it for all the others.

What about you? How do you feel about panhandlers? Do you give to them when confronted?

 

Do You Kiss Your Kids With That Mouth?

do-you-kiss-your-kids-with-that-mouth

I have a confession. If any of you have ever spoken with me while I’m driving you already know. It’s also one of the reasons very few people have my personal cell phone number. Hi, my name is Laurie and I talk like a truck driver … sometimes.

Sorry, I know that’s an unjust, bad rap for truckers, but you get the picture. I have little patience with less than intelligent drivers. I’m prone to road rage – not in actual behavior but in language. It’s true. I have a potty mouth when I drive. And yes, sadly I do kiss my kiddos with that same mouth.

Actually, I think it started at a young age.

I’m not sure of the root cause of it, as I don’t remember too much cussing originating from anyone in my home when I was a wee lassie.  I do recall an event when I called my brother a bastard. Not sure how old I was; I’m thinking maybe nine or ten. Ooh did I get in trouble for that one.

I remember my dad chewing me a new one for that word. And nope, I didn’t know what that word meant at the time. To make matters worse, I lied and said, “I didn’t call him that. I called him a basket.” Lying definitely absolutely was not tolerated in my family. I remember this like it was yesterday.  He didn’t believe that I called my older brother a basket and asked me why I would do that. “He just made me so mad it just flew out of my mouth.”  So now you know I was a liar and a potty mouthed kid. I got to suck on a bar of soap for that one.

Last summer we took one of my teen’s friends on a road trip with us. Before we drove too far down the road, I apologized in advance to the friend for what she would likely hear come out of my mouth. We were going to be in the car together at least 12 hours over the next 36 hours and I just knew I’d say something that would embarrass my children. Luckily the little angel said, “Oh, it’s okay Ms. Ayers, I’m used to hearing it from my mom when she drives too.”

They weren’t sure if they should be afraid or laugh.

Pfeww, at least I’m not the only one.  I really, really try to keep it in check but sometimes those idiots on the road just make it prit near impossible to keep sweet, golden lips – even with my girls in the car.  I think the first time I screamed “Jackass!” at some oblivious driver, my princesses were a bit shocked, but then they just snickered. They weren’t sure if they should be afraid or laugh.

Unfortunately I wish that calling someone a horse’s patoodie was the worst it has gotten. Sadly, it sometimes gets a little more colorful. Hey, I’m of Polish descent, and I’m a red head.  Don’t get me riled up, okay?

I try to have a few substitutes in my back pocket that are a little more ladylike. They’re generally not the first that come to mind but for example, “Shoot Dangit!” is my latest clean cuss phrase. I like it because it’s fun to say; it’s clean; and it’s a couple syllables, so hopefully by the time I finish saying it, the urge to whip of a string of distasteful profanity has passed.

I’m not the only one who has alternative curse phrases they use in place of swearing.

Sometimes my mom would say “Oh pithle” If memory serves me, she’d used it replace the naughtier version of ‘dangit.’

The Shirley Feeney, one of the famous Milwaukee bottle capping duo from Laverne and Shirley use to say ‘Oh pshaw!’ in place of cussing.  Pshaw is an expression of contempt, impatience, or disbelief. I guess it would be the equivalent of B.S.!

In the very touching, poignant movie about 9/11, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Oskar Schell, the young boy and main character says “Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake!”

During the snowball fight scene in Elf, starring Will Ferrell, Buddy exclaims, “Son of a Nutcracker!”

Amusing dubbed movie/TV scenes

What are amusing to me are the dubbed scenes in movies and television in attempt to clean it up. They’re usually pretty bad substitutes and their mouths don’t even line up with the words.

In the TV version of Repo Man: “‘Flip you, melonfarmer’

Remember the classic Rain Man? Regular version:

“Uh oh, I farted!
“Did you fart Ray? Did you f…in’ fart?”

Edited for TV version:
“Uh oh, I passed!”
“Did you pass Ray? Did you friggin pass?”

Any Big Bang Theory fans in the house, other than moi? Sheldon is never shown swearing, and despite the mildness of the words such as “poop”, “heck”, and “poppycock”, he will actually apologize for his language. Also at Howard’s bachelor party, Sheldon tries to engage in typical bachelor party behavior, including alcohol and swearwords.

Sheldon: (takes a sip of alcohol). “Jeepers, that’s yucky!”
Leonard: “Whoa, it’s a little early to start dropping J-bombs, don’t you think?”

In one episode Penny says, “Holy crap on a cracker!”

So you see, cussing, cursing, profanity, swearing, naughty words, potty mouth, it’s part of life. Sure it’s not very ladylike and I’m not proud that I sometimes spew phrases that could peel paint off prison walls, but gosh darn it, golly gee willackers, I’m working on it! (And if my quest for continuous improvement isn’t good enough, then you can just @#*(!*&$.

C’mon ladies, fess up. Don’t leave me hangin’. Occasionally a bad word slips out of your mouth too, right? Do you have any funny stories about that to share? Or any creative substitute words or phrases that are utilized in your house?

Maybe I Shouldn’t Work Out

Skipping Incident

If you’ve read about my Spin Class escapades, you’ll know I’m not exactly ready to enter the Olympics. But I do have another fun fable to share with you. Mamma used to say if you laugh at yourself then no one can really make fun of you because you already beat them to the punch.

So way back six weeks ago when I relaunched my workout routine I injured myself a bit. I didn’t mention it because I was trying to look like a fitness queen, but also I hate whiners and complainers chronically yapping that everything hurts and aches.  They shoot horses, don’t they? Also it was operator error. It appears that I overindulged or didn’t warm up properly, whatever – I did it to myself. It’s sort of like a hangover. You can’t really get sympathy when you had all the power to avoid that.

Anyway – to cut to the chase, I tore my calf muscle. I won’t bore you with the details but needless to say, that puppy hurts, and not in a good way. It actually comes and goes where I can forget about it for a while and not have to be Limpy Lulu meandering about.

Apparently I’m supposed to stay off it until it heals or I eventually have surgery to repair it yada yada yada.  Neither one of those are really an option; although I am altering my exercises to avoid that area if possible.

I think I mentioned that I do one class that is basically an exercise dance class for “the more mature participant.” I am one of the younger ones in there and I love it, so there. This week we had a substitute instructor – it was my favorite Spin instructor, Kathie. Her class was really fun – interval training. During one of the cardio sprints she instructed us to skip across the room, then on the way back to run as fast as we could.

Skipping! I love to skip!

More people should skip! It makes you happy! It makes me happy! She informed us that if we wanted a more intense workout to skip as fast and as high as we could. Alas, something at which I could excel. I didn’t set out to show up the grandmas, but I knew I could get a gold-star in skipping. So I did not hold back. You would have been awestruck at my abilities. La la la weeeeeeeee this is fun.

Class was over. Heart rate was returning to normal. Wow, good workout; just what I needed.  Then in no time I was quickly reminded of my poor broken calf muscle. Dangit! I was having so much fun skipping; I forgot I was supposed to treat it with kid gloves. As expected, it gave me some serious grief the rest of the day.

I was gallivanting in Meijer with my teen daughter and needed to remind her to please slow-down that I had a sports injury that required I take it easy. They say the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. I know it’s a bit of a shocker, but I raised a couple of witty ones. (Witty sounds better than smart alec).  Then not too quietly, so as other store patrons could hear, my charming daughter announced:

“Mom, your SKIPPING INCIDENT does not qualify as a ‘SPORTS INJURY’!”

Now let me ask you, which do you think sounds better?

  1. I have to take it easy. I have a sports injury” or
  2. “I was trying to show off in spin class and broke my calf muscle. Then I forgot I had to take it easy, so I was skipping fast and high to show off around the grandmas, and reinjured an unhealed injury?

Maybe I just shouldn’t work out.

Put Your Leg Down Grandpa

Grandpa

I just have to share something with you.  If I had to experience it, I think it’s only fair that you do too.

I endured my monthly trip to Meijer to shop for groceries.  I have a real aversion to grocery shopping for some reason, but apparently my children want to eat on a daily basis, so alas, I do what I gotta do.

Timing is everything.  If I go too early in the morning, I get there in time for senior citizen’s social hour which includes legions of slow moving traffic, motorized scooters and chit chat blocking the aisles.

If I go a little bit later in the day there are herds of mommies with young children who also take up oodles of aisle space and tend to whine and cry a lot … the children are noisy little critters too.

I don’t go at night because there are scads of people there who have worked outside the home all day.  None are too friendly and they’re in a hurry and just get the hell out of their way.

I definitely can’t go on the weekends, far too many people and I don’t really like people all that well.

The ideal time for me to go is around 2:30pm.  Most of the mommies are gone and getting ready to pick up their other kiddos from school or start to make dinner for their brood.  Also most of the senior citizens are home knitting, golfing, working in the yard, playing dominoes, or getting ready to go to dinner to get the Early Bird Special.

Since I try to only go once a month, it’s no easy feat to pile four week’s worth of groceries strategically in the cart without smashing the loaf of bread with the vodka.  Though I must say this particular trip was going fairly uneventful.  That is, until I rounded the corner and entered aisle 12.

Grandpa Scootsalong was in a motorized scooter.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Some days my feet don’t work so well either and hey, he’s still out and about.  Fantastic, right? Except that he had one of his legs elevated up on the handle bars.

Okay, I can still handle that.  He had on some sort of knee brace.  Perhaps he just had a knee replacement and needed to keep it elevated.  I give the man credit for being at the store on his own.

But the man had shorts on and his do-hickey was peeking out of his pant leg.  Eww eww eww.

C’mon now… Put your leg down, Grandpa.  We don’t need to see your minivan with two flat tires.  O…M…G!

Needless to say, I lost my appetite and didn’t eat dinner that night.  In fact, I’ve never been right since, which may explain some of my Facebook status updates.  Aren’t you glad I shared?  Now you too need to wash your eyes out with vinegar! If that doesn’t work, try using Skunk Out. Not sure if it’ll help, but it can’t hurt – certainly not much anyway. That will at least give you something else as a focal point.

Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!

Can’t Take Him Anywhere!

I did not author this, nor do I know who did. I’d love to give credit where credit is due. I thought it was funny. Thusly if it makes me laugh, I think you should too. I somehow suspect as you read through this you’re thinking of someone you can see as the real Mr. Harris.

Can't Take Him Anywhere!

——

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.

Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse.

Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target:

Dear Mrs. Harris,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Harris, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras:

1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women’s restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway. [Read more…]