Second Annual Powell Family Christmas Card

Well, we’re doing better this year. We actually had family pictures taken!  I know, I know.  It’s almost like we have our shit together. But don’t worry, we still don’t.  Another year has passed, my kids have grown, my husband has established himself in his job, and I’m still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.  So from our ever growing, changing, moving, dysfunctional family to yours, Merry Christmas!!

Reed
Age: 8
Grade: 3 20181123_133357
In a matter of weeks my eldest child will be 9.  He looks like a 9 year-old, he smells like a 9 year-old, he has teeth 4 sizes too big for this face like a 9 year-old.  Despite being forced to take a shower every day, he still smells like the human equivalent of moldy drywall.   He wants nothing to do with girls, and will put more effort into not brushing his teeth than it would take to just brush his  teeth. He is still kicking ass in his art class.  And even though he’s not at the top of his class academically, he makes everyone in class laugh. And honestly, I couldn’t be more proud.
Greatest Accomplishment: Learning that you can, in fact, pee in the toilet without peeing all over the floor.

Claire
Age: 3
Grade: Preschool20180808_110844
Claire started preschool last January.  Thanks to a slight speech delay, she qualified for public preschool, which means it’s FREE!!!!  Her language has improved greatly and she now talks non-stop.  Non. Stop.  She has discovered that she gives zero fucks about what anyone thinks, and has continued to live her life as such.  Her hair looks like she should live at Grey Gardens, and she’s still doing her best to mess up the curve by rocking straight up size 6t clothes.  She got her room painted purple this year. And while she loves all things girly, she will still pile drive her brothers like she believes professional wrestling is real.
Greatest Accomplishment: Not shitting in her pants….as much.

Samuel
Age: 220180926_145941
This blogs namesake turned 2 this year. If I called him a whiny little bitch, I would be doing a disservice to whiny little bitches everywhere.  We have the terrible 2s coupled with severe separation anxiety, which makes for an expensive drinking habit for Mommy.  He is talking so much, busting out new words everything day like, “What the heck?” and “God Damnit!” He’s a regular chatty Cathy.  This year he also moved into a big boy bed, and really loves the whole not sleeping in a cage thing anymore. Most recently, he has started potty training and will tell us if he has to go potty to “make water.”
Greatest Accomplishment: Has mastered the art of Chinese water torture in the form of “Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama…”

 

Josh
Age: 4220180915_125004
Josh has been kicking ass and taking names at work.  He also discovered that he and his boss, also named Josh, are exactly the same person. So, that’s not weird or anything.  You know how most people get softer in their old age, not my man!  He still hates everyone as much if not more than ever before.  He still has the same protein shake every day for breakfast, he still puts a fried egg on his cheeseburger, and he still keeps a cleaner house than I do.  However, now he does all of that in dress pants that hug his ass and brown wing tips.
Greatest Accomplishment: Randomly joining Sam’s club while bored on his lunch hour one day.

Leah 
Age: Still none of your damn business. 20181020_183832
I have learned how to survive on little to no sleep each and every day.  I’m currently lobbying to be in a clinical trial for coffee that is distributed intravenously.  My current career path has me competing with 12 year-olds for babysitting jobs, in addition to some marketing consulting.  You know, because 3 kids of my own, one extra, a husband, and a house just isn’t enough. I’m learning to not care so much what people think. Turns out I can care less!  Who knew? Nothing get’s me more excited than when something is on sale, whether I need it or not. And I’m sickeningly aware of all the things that make me “basic;” for most of which, I feel no need to apologize.
Greatest Accomplishment: Recently bought the best pair of leggings at Aldi for $6.

 

Merry Christmas all you filthy animals!!

 

 

You Never Know…

It was a sweaty July night 2004.  Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane was blasting from the CD player of my 2001 Toyota Camry.  My best friend and I had just blatantly lied to her mother about our evening plans.  Sorry Mama, we didn’t watch Miss Congeniality again.  We went hunting for a competitive game of Fuck the Dealer. At this point, we had developed a fondness for hockey, and lucky for us our high school team was good! I think it’s safe to say we were their biggest fans!  They loved to party and if you could get passed the whole, smelling like an ass all the time things, they were a lot of fun.

So, one of our super smelly, yet amazingly sweet hockey friends had let us know about this party that would be mostly hockey guys. One other thing you should know about hockey guys is that while they are the sweetest, most protective humans on the planet, they are also bat shit crazy!  I mean, they voluntarily play a sport that is known to cause loss of teeth.  They encourage fighting…on ice…while they’re wearing blades.  There is a certain level of rage required to take the ice.

Now, this was long before smart phones and a GPS was something only salesmen used.  So, we got actual, old-school directions….written down….on paper. The directions took us to a part of town we had never been before.  It was insanely dark and you could almost hear the sound of banjos playing in the background.  But Adam Levine’s sweet, sultry vocals kept us calm.  That or we were so young and naive to think anything of driving in the pitch black to a place we’d never been to party with people we barely knew.  I’m choosing to believe the Adam Levine thing.

We got to what we think was the driveway to said party.  “This can’t be right.”  We drove down a long, muddy mess of a driveway.  “Where the hell are we?” my friend asks.  To which I replied, “We’re either going to have a GREAT time, or we’re going to die.  Either way, let’s roll!” This is one of those moments, in hind-sight, that makes me terrified for my daughter.  We could immediately tell from the people stumbling out of the small A-frame cabin that these folks got the party started long before we got there.  So instead of being “fashionably” late, we were “stone cold sober while everyone else was hammered” late.

We walked through the front door praying we would find someone we knew.  Instead we were greeted by a couple in the midst of a lovers quarrel.  Now, my memory fails me as to what they were fighting about, but I’m fairly certain I can assume it was over something incredibly stupid.  The girl ended up outside crying with her girlfriends encircling her saying things like, “He’s an asshole!” and “You can do so much better!”  You know, the things girlfriends are contractually obligated to say in a situation like that.  The guy however, took a different approach.  He ripped his shirt off, shouted FUCK THAT BITCH, and started wrestling with one of his guy friends in the kitchen, which was also the living room, and a little bit the bathroom.

At this point, we should have made an about-face and bolted for the door, but being 18 and incredibly stupid, we saw a guy too hammered to keep inventory of his beer stash and a deck of cards.  Who wants to play Fuck the Dealer?! Where many would see a potentially dangerous situation, we saw an opportunity.  What can I say? We’re opportunists!

Needless to say, things thinned out pretty quickly after that shit show.  Which was fine by us. Fewer people equals more beer.  On the way back to my house, we recapped the evening, “How crazy was that fight?  Why did that guy not have a shirt on?  That girl must be psycho! Was he really fighting that guy or just playing?  Are we sure that was his place?”

Well, last week my friend and that guy celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary.  I am so proud to have been there the first time they met, the day they got married, and to welcome their two children.  While she still enjoys a solid game of Fuck the Dealer, he rarely removes clothing and screams FUCK THAT BITCH anymore.  They have established a life that’s built firmly on love, laughter, and understanding.  The way he looks at his bride is what every girl hopes for her best friend.  Sometimes Prince Charming rides in on a white stallion. Sometimes he rides in with an empty case of Busch Light on his head.

Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids!  Don’t ever stop being you!

 

P.S. that tiny A-frame cabin would turnout to be their very first home together.  The kitchen floor was still stained with his blood from that night.  Nostalgia.

Drinking My Juice Box; Putting Out The Vibe

My oldest is 8 years old.  He’s 8.  On a day to day basis, he is not into girls at all.  I mean, he has female friends. Friends whom he loves and enjoys spending time with. But when asked if he has a girlfriend he replies emphatically, NO! All of this makes me very very happy.  I might be slightly biased, but he is one handsome kid.  He already has giddy girls coming to the house looking for him while he hides in his basement bedroom pretending not to be home.  That’s right my son, you play hard to get for as long as you can. Drives them crazy!

This was the norm…until the 15-year-old blonde babysitter shows up. Did I mention she’s a dancer and weighs about a buck soaking wet?  I guess that goes without saying.  She’s a great kid and we all love her, but I think my eldest son has developed another L word for her. (Lust. It’s lust, in case you couldn’t figure that out.)

First of all, every time I mention that she is coming over to watch them he replies, “Yes!!” At first, I thought it was just because he got a solid 7 hours away from me.  But as time has passed, I have come to the conclusion that my son just has a thing for the older gals. Again, he’s wise beyond his years.

My suspicions were confirmed last Friday. The night before, I was putting him to bed, and I noticed he was in long pants and a long-sleeved flannel button-up shirt. Which wouldn’t be odd, except it was July and 100 degrees outside.  Nonetheless, I didn’t think much of it until the next morning.  I’m running around getting things ready for the sitter Magnumfor the day.  He came up the stairs from the basement still wearing his long pants and a flannel shirt.  With one major difference…his button up was no longer buttoned up.  That’s right.  He strolled upstairs looking like Magnum PI with 100% less body hair. Then asked if the babysitter was there yet.  Ummmmm, excuse me?!

Where is my little boy and who is this lothario I see before me? He then sat on the couch, you know, just putting out the vibe.   By the time I leave for work, his outfit hadn’t changed one bit. His nonchalance was borderline impressive.  “What?  I always sit like this.  Nothing new here.”  Bullshit!  This is the same kid who wears orange shorts with a lime green tank top.  His appearance had never been this calculated.

As I left for work, I’m wondering if my half-pint Hugh Hefner will succeed in his, slightly over-zealous, attempt to seduce the babysitter.  A part of me, the mom, was terrified at this thought.  He’s a baby.  What is he doing?  The other part of me, the delinquent, is like go get ’em son!  Way to aim high!  That’s my boy!

The hef

Fast forward to the end of the day.  I was a little curious if he had made her endure his shirtless parade all day, or if he finally caved and put on some clothes.  I was a little scared he’d pulled a smokers jacket and pipe out from somewhere. Wouldn’t you know, I walked through the door, and the boy was still rocking the jammie pants with, you guessed it, no shirt at all.  Apparently, the opened button down wasn’t having the come-hither effect he was hoping for.  I guess at some point you just have to pull out all the stops and show them what you’re working with.

I did feel a little bad for the babysitter.  Whether she was aware of what was happening or not, there is a half naked kid running around the house all day.  That’s not weird at all.

I looked at him in wonderment and confusion. How do you go from avoiding girls at all costs to blatantly working the room in your spiderman pajama pants?  I legitimately thought I had at least 4 more years before I had to deal with this stuff.   He’s 8.  8.  As in he’s only been on the planet long enough to think that the Cubs have always been good. Moral of the story, if you have an attractive teenage daughter, look out, there’s 59 lbs of raw, pre-pubescent sexual magnetism coming their way.

Your Mom Can’t Stop Peeing Herself. The Least You Could Do Is Buy A Card

I started working out again a few months ago and noticed that every time I did, I would pee a little in pants.  Sometimes more than others.  I have three kids so there was no mystery as to why this was happening.  I thought it was kind of funny and started taking pictures of my pee stained crotch (that I have shared in this post) and sending them to friends of mine who would undoubtedly be disgusted and then find it hilarious.  To my surprise they weren’t disgusted at all.  In fact, they found them all too familiar.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with leakage issues.  Moms are involuntarily peeing themselves, and it’s awful and hilarious.

20180208_165702I figured since Mother’s Day is right around corner (May 13th, you’re welcome) now is as good a time as any to bring this disgusting little Snapchat-1881934696consequence of conception to light.  Have you ever been somewhere with a mom and the leave abruptly?  Yup. She pissed herself.  Have you ever heard a laughing woman quickly stop laughing?  Yup. She pissed herself.  Have you ever seen a woman standing in a long bathroom line at a concert? Yup She pissed herself.  Every mom you know is always peeing in her pants… just a little bit.

20180216_170928I used to love jumping on trampolines. Not anymore! Going for a run was a great way to relieve stress.  Nope.  Working out kept me in shape and gave me more energy.  Now, it just gives me more laundry. And don’t get me started on jumping jacks!!  I love to Snapchat-827610937laugh. I mean, LOVE to laugh.  A life without laughter is not a life worth living.  These days my Ha Ha Ha’s are followed by Oh, Oh- No’s.  And God forbid I get a cold. Between the coughing and the sneezing, I don’t own enough pairs of underwear. And something you might not realize, it doesn’t matter if she had a baby scooped out thanks to modern medicine, or shot one out the shoot the old fashioned way.  Perpetuating the species fucks your plumbing up!

20180404_171516

So, this Mother’s Day remember that in addition to doing your laundry, cooking your meals, cleaning your house, running you and/or your kids all around town, trying to take care of herself, working a Full or part-time job, and still looking bomb ass in her jeans, she is also probably walking around with a little bit of tinkle in her undies. I think the least you could do is buy a card, and say sorry for the weakened pelvic floor.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!

 

20180423_171108

Reality TV Made Me a Horrible Parent, And I’m OK With It

I’m convinced my years of watching shitty, smutty television have ruined me entirely.  I used to spend my evenings watching orange High School diploma equivalent wielding morons drink and screw their way up and down the Jersey Shore.  Or 40-something-year-olds trying to hold on to whatever shred of youth and fame that still might exist by challengeparticipating in outlandish, stupid challenges that prove absolutely nothing.  Or sassy Southern Black women all talking over each other for 30 straight minutes.  And I loved every minute of it.

Not to mention the unnecessarily gratuitous programming that is HBO and Showtime.  I mean, people having sex 5 seconds after meeting?  Now, that’s called Tinder, but back in the day that just didn’t happen outside of a porno.  It was a wonderfully fantastic world where we could demand F-bombs and titties and we could demand them now!

Fast forward four years, I no longer have cable because it’s too expensive.  But that’s ok because Netflix has picked up the ball.  They have riveting, smart series complete with all the nudity and swearing you can handle.  Thank you, Netflix. You are a true American hero.  netlfixBut wait, they also have family programming AKA shit for kids.  A lot of shit for kids.  And what do you know, I have kids.  A lot of fucking kids.  Because of this my shitty Reality TV and Adult premium cable programming has been replaced with more Barbie movies than should ever exist and Koren cartoons with no words.  Seriously, the characters say nothing.  They just make sound with “fart noise” as the subtitle.  I wish I was kidding.  The worst part, my kids LOVE it!!

So this is my life.  Kid’s shows as far as the eye can see.  Or is it?  Years of infiltrated smut have rotted my brain to the point where I can’t watch “Spirit” with my 3-year-old without thinking, “Oh yeah. Lucky’s dad and Ms. Flores are totally banging.”  Or “Man, I hope Ken is getting the good stuff for how much Barbie is making him work for it.” I can’t turn it off!  And I’m not sure I want to.  It’s the only thing left that still reminds me I’m more than just a mom.  I have the mom car, the mom body, the mom desire to be asleep by 9:30 PM.

As a mom or parent in general sometimes is hard to remember that you’re more than just those little people you’re legally obligated to keep alive. I used to be so skinny because I would forget to eat lunch every so often.  I would just be busy or… sleeping.  Either way, I looked amazing.  Now, I have to actually feed other people, therefore, reminding me that I’m hungry.  Then I not only eat my lunch but whatever they don’t eat too because “we can’t waste.”  I’m fucking enormous.  They ruin EVERYTHING!

While my waist-line may not be what it once was, my disgusting, disturbed mind is still as strong as ever; nurtured by years of the worst programming television had to offer.  I encourage all parents to hold on to something from your old life. Something that reflects who you once were before your children infiltrated every aspect of your life.  If that’s picturing cartoon characters doing the nasty, so be it.

wink

The Mom Code: We’re All On the Same Team

Remember when you were in college or even high school and you would get all dressed up to go out on a Friday night?  Remember when you tried to convince everyone that it was to attract a dude?  Remember when that was a bold-faced lie?  Let’s be honest ladies, our whole lives we have been motivated by impressing/competing with other females.  It’s not entirely our fault.  We can thank biology/evolution for a lot of it, but at the end of the day the female-to-female relationship has always been tumultuous, to say the least.  Being a grown-up (ish) and a mom doesn’t change that.  Only now instead of trying to have better cleavage than the other girls, you’re trying to replicate everything you see on Pinterest or prove you’re a better mom by pushing yourself to your limits all the time. Girls, let’s cut the bullshit.  We’re all on the same team.  These are just a couple things to help ignite the conversation; mixed with a little humor, of course, because feelings are gross.

  1. Don’t be a bitch. I mean, you can totally be a betch.  Just don’t be a bitch.
  2. Talk about all the awful things you think or feel. I don’t know about you, but when I hear other moms say things like, “I could have beat him to within an inch of his life,” or “I’m going to drink my body weight tonight,” or “I’m thinking of running away, would you like to come with me,” I feel like I’ve found a soulmate.
  3.  If you’re in a parking lot with a lot of open parking spots, DO NOT park right next to another mom car (mini-van, large cross-over or full-size SUV). I get this one is really specific, but it drives me crazy. It’s a dick move regardless of who you are, but especially other moms.  You know kids swing those giant doors open like they’re on an episode of Miami Vice.  As if going anywhere with kids isn’t stressful enough, now I have anxiety about my kid or myself dinging your precious Honda Oddessy. The way I see it, if my kid dings your car and there are more than 2 open spots in the vicinity, you deserve it. Give a mom some space! 
  4. Don’t hate; Commiserate. Yeah, my kid is having a meltdown at Meijer.  Don’t even try to pretend like your’s has never done the same thing.
  5. It’s okay to have a sense of self. Just because a person(s) has come out of your vag does not mean you have lost all aspects of who you were before they were born, including your sense of humor. For some reason, it seems like moms lose their edge when they have kids.  Why? I’m not saying to need to watch Andrew Dice Clay with your kids, but you can still keep your four-letter vocabulary, your slutty clothes, and your favorite bottle of vodka vaulted for when your kids aren’t around. We’re still adults.  We’re still women.  And one day our kids will be gone, and I’d like to think that I could one day have a conversation with someone that has nothing to do with giving birth, breastfeeding, or the PTO. Plus, let’s be honest, a dick joke is always funny.

All jokes aside (just kidding jokes are never aside), as moms we are all fighting the same battle, keeping our shit together.  It’s a daily battle.  As a young mom, it took me years to find the confidence to find other mom friends.  I was always convinced that everyone was judging me.  Having a baby daddy does not make me a bad person.  Now, I have a great group of mom friends who I learn from every day, and who I hope learn things from me too. I am no longer afraid of the mom group because I’ve realized we are all just making it up as we go and trying not to say fuck in front of our kids. We are all on the same team. If we don’t work together, support each other, embrace each other, they win. They, of course, is our children.  They. Cannot. Win.

**Disclaimer: I am guilty of all of these, except the humor part. I have too many issues to not use humor as a defense mechanism.

 

When Your Baby Becomes A Kid

Having a baby is the most life-altering thing any human being can do.  Man, woman; gay, straight; single, married, it doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s your genetic material or someone else’s, having a baby in the house is going to fuck your day up.  These days you can’t throw a rock and not hit a blog post or book or article about the trials and tribulation of having a baby.  But no one talks about what happens when they’re not babies anymore. I mean we all know teenagers suck, but what about those wonderful school-aged years when the only they’re doing at the speed of light is learning what not to do. Not to mention, being influenced by other kids.  Correction, other, shittier kids. You know longer have full control over what they learn and how they learn it, which totally sucks!

My oldest son recently turned 8.  I, believing the lies told me by my parental predecessors, thought things would be getting easier by now. We’d be able to have a wrongmeaningful conversation, common interests, and even a developing sense of mutual respect.  Boy was I wrong. What I got were conversations that contain the word “um” approximately 8,000 times about people I’ve never met and things I’ve never heard of, the constant demand to fain enthusiasm 24/7, and a never-ending need to talk myself out of striking a child.  You spend years teaching your child to talk.  Then, you immediately regret that decision.  They never stop talking.  Never.  Ever.

now I get itHe’s reached the age where he is trying desperately to understand adult conversation and nuances. However, he has the attention span of the fruit fly so he zones out halfway through the answer to a question he just asked.  So when he says the words “Ooooh! Now I get it.”  That means he has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. He’s just moved on to whatever random thought just came into his head like, I wonder if now is a good time to bring up that thing I did at Grandma’s house  months ago that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right now.

And I swear to God listening to this kid tell a story should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. It is the most torurous experience in my life.  “Mom. I, um, went to Jack’s house and um we played this game um that has this um thing and you have to do this other thing to  um make this one thing happen.  It’s just like the one I played at um I don’t remember his name’s house. You remember?”  Ummmmmmm……what?!?! For Christ’s sake.  I would almost rather work at a college bar on a Friday night full of Sorority bar crawls that’s four deep with dumb bitches who have never had anything stronger than Malibu….almost.  But of course I can’t tell him that.  I have to pretend to be interested and care, because he needs validation.  I need a boob job and a wine of the month membership, but you don’t see me bitching!

So, if you’ve just had a baby, enjoy these moments when they sleep all the time and don’t speak.  Trust me the spit up and shit is worth it.  Just remember, the day is coming when you will have to interact.  And they won’t be like those cool kids on sitcoms.  Rudy Huxtable isn’t real. (Too soon?)  Kids don’t make witty jokes or say the funny thing at the right time.  They will, however, rip ass in the middle of the grocery store and laugh relentlessly.  So, it’s not all doom and gloom.

As for me and my first born, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The other day I made some smart ass comment and he goes,  “Is that sarcasm?”  I’ve never been more proud as a partent.  He’s such a great kid with all kinds of creativity.  He’s sweet and kind and thoughtful and a great big brother.  He has more love and generosity in his little finger than most people do in their whole bodies.  But if this phase doesn’t pass and soon, I would recommend buying stock in duct tape and Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio