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.

 

The Real Reason We’re So Happy You Just Had A Baby

 

As I am a woman of a certain age, my Facebook feed is blowing up with pictures of babies.  From firstborns to fifth-borns and everywhere in between. There are babies fucking everywhere! I know when each of my kids was born, those posts of their first moments/days were always the most Liked and commented on, which got me thinking, “Why are people always so excited when someone else has a baby?”  I have a theory.  SHOCKING!

OMG BabyNow, I am not judging anyone for being excited about babies.  I even find myself getting giddy when someone I know endures the worst pain known to man only to be rewarded with little to no sleep, sore nipples, and a body that will never be the same no matter how much weight you lose.  But I think it goes beyond our biological encoding to reproduce and “aww, babies are cute.” Cause not all babies are cute, there I said it. My youngest looked like a lizard for the first few months of his life.  Seriously, that giant mouth on a newborn is terrifying.  Anyway, I think people with kids get so excited about their friends having kids because simply put, misery loves company.

I’m not saying that having kids is all miserable, but it’s pretty damn close.  I love my kids more than almost anything, but when I see one of my kidless friends announce the birth of their first child I can’t help but think, “HA!  Suckers!  suckers You fell for it.  You had a great life of doing whatever you want whenever you want, and now you’re screwed!”  For years those of us straddled with kids have seen posts of you getting dressed up to go out drinking every weekend, going on vacation whenever you want, going to the gym, taking a shower, sleeping, the list goes on and on.  We saw these posts and shook with envy.  We would curse you by saying, “One day.  One day they will suffer the same fate as us.”

In addition to hoping you suffer through the same misery that is having children, we just want to be able to do stuff with you again.  We can’t afford the three vacations to Jamaica every year, and drinking all day with a 2 -year-old is typically frowned upon.  Now that you have kids too, you’ll be forced to come over and drink shitty light beer on our couch just to say you had a “night out.”  We miss hanging out with you. Ruining your life as you know it is the only way to get you back.  So we make you think that you really need to have kids too.

xanacThen we took it a step further.  We make parenthood seem like the greatest gift on the planet.  Bloggers wrote about the joy of being a parent.  But there must have been a typo because what they meant to write about was the joy of Xanax.  We fooled you, like the generation before had done to us.  “Kids are great,” they would say.  “There is no greater joy.”  Bullshit!  A childless vacation is a greater joy.  Sleeping til whenever the fuck you want is a greater joy.  Taking a shit by yourself is a greater joy.  The day will come when you realize all things you once took for granted, and you will attempt to make a deal with the devil to finish a cup of hot coffee, just once.

So, welcome to the club!  We are so happy you are here.  If you need help or have any questions be sure to direct them to honest parents.  You will recognize the moms by the sweatpants and lack of makeup.  You can recognize the dads because they will actually have a child near them.  We will be here if you need us, and we will do our best not to blow smoke.  We will tell you that being a parent is exhausting, hard, neverending work that never receives thanks or appreciation. There are no more sick days.  There are no more Sunday Fundays.  Most days, I don’t even get to sit down for more than 20 seconds without someone needing something or shitting their pants. Your whole world is these little people who require all you have and then some more. While it most certainly is not always the most fun you will ever have in your life, being a parent is certainly the most challenging, and I’m still hoping for the most rewarding. Fingers crossed.

fingers crossed

 

**For all of you reading this who are struggling to have your own bundle of disaster, never give up.  Never stop trying. There is always a way to become a family.**

 

 

 

A Powell Family Christmas Card

As a family, we have a grand total of three pictures of all of us together.  Three. With the most recent being taken on Halloween, and all of which were taken on a cell phone. Even if we had a good picture of all of us, I’m still not sure I could do the Shutterfly Super Mom Christmas Card thing.  I simply don’t have the time, the money, or the care.  So, those of you who have been wondering what the Powells have been up to this year.  Allow me to divulge…

Reed 20171202_165251
Age: 7
Grade: 2
Reed will be 8 in a matter of weeks. If you talk to him you’d think he was turning 18.  He insists on participating in adult conversations about which he knows nothing.  Which isn’t annoying at all.  He has a comment for any and all situations.  If you want to know a random made up fact about anything, just ask Reed.  He hates girls and still pisses all over the toilet and floor every morning.  The only subject in school he gives a shit about it Art, which is fine.  He has amazing talent.  We’ve already started saving for Art School, and are accepting the fact that he’ll probably live in our basement for the rest of his life.
Greatest Accomplishment: Gaining just enough weight to not be concerned about his health.

Claire
Age: 2 20171201_184148
Claire will be three next month, despite the fact that is transitioning to 5t clothes as we speak.  She’s a bit of a beast.  She’s the quintessential threenager.  Everything is hers, nothing is her brother’s, and “no” is the answer to every question.  At some point, she came the conclusion that we care about her opinion. I assure you, we do not. She will be starting pre-school in January.  They will be focusing on her speech while she is there.  It would seem I have given birth to a Pentecostal minister who only speaks in tongues.  She loves food and hates pants.
Greatest Accomplishment: Making Reed uncomfortable by stripping naked to play in the basement.

Samuel
Age: 1 20171128_085549
Our little Sammy just turned 1 in October.  He is a real asshole.  He is in the process of cutting his final 4 teeth, and they are taking their sweet ass time.  In his defense, he is finally sleeping through the night, which only took him about a year to do.  I don’t want to say he’s a Mama’s Boy, but he makes Norman Bates looks like a well-adjusted, independent man of the world.  His interests include screaming, crying, open mouth kisses, and laughing at his brother.
Greatest Accomplishment: Figuring out how to walk on the hardwood in socks.

Josh
Age: 41 20171123_135149
Daddy got himself a big boy job.  No more working on cars and having people ask him for free/cheap labor.  Now he gets to sit at a desk and get fat just like the rest of us. While he would love to go to the gym at least three days a week, we have three children.  You take sleep over pretty much anything.  Despite all the changes he has seen over the year, he still hates most of humanity and drinks enough Bourbon to keep Kentucky in business for the foreseeable future.
Greatest Accomplishment: Establishing a new poop schedule based on the new work schedule.

Leah
Age: None of your damn business 20171209_112654
I have had yet another insane year.  I have started and stopped a diet/work out plan about three different times now.  Since February of this year, I have lost zero pounds.  If anyone breaks down and needs a spare tire, just give me a call.  I started drinking coffee for the first time in my life this year.  I officially feel like an adult.  I never wear makeup anymore, and rarely even shower.  If I have to put pants on that aren’t sweatpants, I bitch incessantly about it.  My life revolves around peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, diapers, and saying the word, “No” about a thousand times a day.  And as of January, it will be one whole year since I have had a haircut.
Greatest Accomplishment:  Not getting pregnant.

We hope everyone has enjoyed their 2017 as much as we have, and are looking forward to 2018 as much as we are. Merry Christmas!

BANG!

 

My 7-year-old son is in 2nd grade this year.  His homework is set up a little differently in that every week is given a list of things to do and he just needs to accomplish 5 of them by the next Friday.  Great. There are math worksheets, online spelling activities, and even some games.

Getting my kid to do homework is like getting my husband to drink an IPA.  It’s not going to happen.  But there is one homework activity he really likes, a game called BANG!  Basically, he has to cut out words that are typed on cardstock paper, put them in a bag, and shake them up.  In each set of words, there is the word BANG! on one card.  After you’ve mixed them all up, one person draws a card, reads it out loud to another person, and they have to correctly spell the word to get the point.  If you draw the BANG! card you have to give all your points to the other person.  Each week there are more cards that are added to pile.  So, by the end of the year, this is going to be the longest game ever!  I’m sure there’s a way to incorporate drinking.  I’ll get back to you on that.

One day, he comes home from school and asks if we can play BANG!  Keep in mind it’s one of those nights where there are about 47,000 things going on and I’m already running around like a chicken with my head cut off.   The 2-year-old wants her done, but not the way I’ve already done it. The 1-year-old is pissed only because it’s the afternoon and for no other reason.  My husband had just gotten home from work so he was busy receiving love and praise from the children simply for walking through the door. And I’m preparing 3 different meals for 6 people.  I looked at my 7-year-old with a look that could only be described as “are you fucking kidding me right now?” But I restrained myself.  I said, “Not tonight, honey. But maybe Mommy and Josh will play BANG! later.”  Mostly just to see if my husband was paying attention.  He was.  We both had a good chuckle through the chaos.  He laughed because of the play on words. I laughed because there was no way we would actually have mid-week sex.

We went through the evening as usual.  Ate, put the kids to bed, passed out on the couch watching something too stupid to even remember, went to bed.  Now, allow me to preface this next part with I am NOT a morning person.  I am barely a person at all in the morning.  I am an evil being that will rip your head off if you breath wrong.  All of which are great traits to have with children by the way.  spit takeThat being said, I get up with my son the next morning at 6:30, get him breakfast and sit in practical silence until it’s time for him to go to the bus. As I’m getting his things ready by the back door he says, “Oh hey, Mom. Did you and Josh play BANG! last night?” It was like manna from the comedy gods. So genuine. So sincere.  He definitely thought we were going to do his homework while he slept.  All I could think to say was, “No, we were too tired, but don’t talk to Josh about it. He’s pretty upset.”

I immediately told my husband the story to which he simply replied, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

I can’t wait until my son can read this when he’s older.

 

The Shit Remote…

Remember your friend from college who used to insist on taking a picture of his defecation and text to everyone in the group?  If you don’t, lucky you.  If you still have this friend, maybe you shouldn’t.  If you are this friend, stop it!  Now, imagine that giant shit that your friend is strangely proud of had a remote control right next to it.

Allow me to explain.  A little backstory: my daughter, now 2 and a half is recently potty trained.  We’ve got it pretty much down, but she still has this thing.  She always starts to shit in her pants.  She won’t finish in her pants, but she gets the turtle head out of the shell before she says she has to poop.  I think you get the picture.

John wayneOne day she started her daily shit in her Dory underwear per usual.  We ran to the bathroom, her doing her best John Wayne impression. Because walking with shit in your pants is really hard work.  We get to the bathroom with enough time for her to finish her shadoobie in the appropriate arena.  I peeled her underwear off of her, careful not to smear shit all over the front of the toilet…again.

Meanwhile, my 1-year-old is walking around chewing on the remote control for the TV because, well, I’ve just given up as a parent.  Keep in mind, he is obsessed with the toilet.  We’ve already lost a DVD to him taking it for a little swim in the porcelain kiddie pool.  Typically, he only keeps her company while she’s pinching one off.  He’s just sitting in wait for her to be done so he can go to town in the toilet water like God intended.

After my successful removal of the shit stained underwear, I ran upstairs to start a load of laundry, because….poop.  When I came back downstairs I noticed the 1-year-old didn’t have the remote anymore.  Not too strange as he usually leaves random stuff in random places all day long.  I walked into the bathroom to see the girl one still sitting with a look of pride on her face over the stench that was coming from the toilet.  “Good Girl!” she shouted as I asked her if she pooped.  Her legs were slightly separated, and as I looked into the potty, I see something shiny.

“What’s in there?” I asked.

“I poop!!” She replied.

I took her off the toilet to wipe her nasty ass when I see it.  A giant, grown man turd nestled next to our small, black television remote.  My 1-year-old had sneaked it between her legs, mid shit mind you, and then continued about his business as if nothing had happened.

What. In. All. The. Fuck?!?!?! I got a pair of latex gloves that I normally only use when I cut up jalapenos and plucked the shit covered remote out of the toilet. gag There was no question in my mind to throw it away, but I knew that if we were going to buy a new one, we would need to know what the old one looked like.  So, I kept it out to show my husband when he got home from work.

The minute he walked in the door was halfway through both a Bud Light and the story of what happened to our remote.  This sick bastard, says we should keep the remote.  I’m sorry.  Are you fucking kidding me?  There was literally nothing between it and shit.  He replied, “Literally everything in this house has got to be covered in shit at this point,” and threw it in a bowl of rice to dry out. While I can’t argue with his logic about shit in the house, at least 2 of our kids have straight up shit on the floor in the living room, it’s totally different to see it…in the toilet…touching something you hold in your hand every day.

Much to my chagrin, the remote works.  The rice worked, in case you were wondering.  The fucking thing is sitting in my living room.  While I have disinfected it with a bleach solution, I still refuse to use it.  My husband just laughs at me.  To which I simply reply, “You didn’t see it! You don’t know!”

 

You don't know

 

English Degrees and Parenthood Don’t Get Along

Despite the several typos that are in this post alone, I actually have a degree in English Studies from Illinois State University.  I don’t know why I included the institution.  An English major is pointless regardless of where you got it. The only thing it is good for is creating instances in your life that drive you crazy to no end.

For example, reading anything on Social Media becomes the single most painful experience of your life.  People, one more time, “Their fucking shit is over there. They’re going to have to fucking pick it up.  Hope that helped.  In addition to these obvious errors, there are others that drive people like me insane. I’m not going to go through all of them because I’m sure you’ve already zoned on my nerdiness.

kitten

I will, however, mention my favorite; less vs fewer.  I know, I know, no one cares. Nonetheless, here is very easy way to remember. If you are talking about a tangible object or objects that can be counted, it’s fewer.  If you’re talking about a more obscure concept or something that can’t be counted individually, it’s less.  Example, Jimmy has banged fewer girls than Johnny.  However, Jimmy is less itchy than Johnny.  See the difference?  Ok, I feel better getting that off my chest.

Being a mom and having an English degree could be the most torturous thing ever.  I don’t know how English teachers do it. My oldest is currently in Second Grade and he is all about reading out loud to me.  While I know it is great for him to do so, I want to stick a flesh-eating cockroach in my ear every. single. time.  I love him, but fuck.  I could understand if he was actually sounding out every word like I know he knows how to do, but no. That would be too easy.  He has to dick around looking at the picture and trying to guess what each word is based on the first letter and what he thinks is going on in the picture.  FUCK!  And to add insult to injury, he insists on chewing gum from the moment he gets home until the moment he eats dinner and beyond.  So, he’s half-ass reading while chewing his gum like I just brought him in from pasture.

So, he’s guessing what each word is instead of just reading like I know he knows how to do, he’s chewing a piece of gum like it’s cud, AND like every other waking minute of this kids life, he isn’t sitting still. Today, he actually got a paper cut from just reading a book.

Allow me to paint a picture, he is about 3/4 of the way throw a book we got from the library.  Great.  Feeling like I’m nailing this whole parenting thing.  I look over and he has the book on the couch while he is sitting on the floor facing the couch.  I look back a few seconds later, and he has one leg up on the couch.  A few seconds after that, his head is on the couch, perpendicular to the book.  What. The. Fuck. stupid

“Are you seriously reading that book right now?”

“Yeah.”

Then I hear,  “OUCH!”

“What did you do?”

He actually said the following words, “The book scratched me.”

Being the stellar mother that I am, I told him it served him right for reading a book like that, asked him what was wrong with him, and made him sit up to finish reading the book. He stumbled through the remaining pages all while chewing his gum like a long-lost valley girl.

“Did I do good?”

“You sure did! Why don’t you go get a snack.” I react  to my son finishing a book the same way I do to the end of a really intense workout.  “Oh thank you, sweet Baby Jesus!!”

 

thank jesus

I love my son to death, and I want to be a good parent, and I of all people know the importance of him reaching as much as possible.  However, a human can only tollerate that kind of torture for so long. After a few cocktails, I’ll regret having such a negative reaction to his reading…until tomorrow when he wants to read again. I’m convinced this is my punishment for correcting everyone’s grammar at the bar for all those years.  Still not sorry.

When The Vasectomy Fails…A True Story

According to a random Google search, a vasectomy has an average failure rate of 0.15%.  Granted, most “failures” occur in the first few months after the procedure as the pipes aren’t entirely cleared out, if you know what I mean. Many dudes, for reasons that are beyond my understanding, never go back for the recommended 2 and 6-month follow-ups.  Maybe it’s the jacking off into a cup that throws them off, but when you’ve alreadyHappy Sperm invested that much money and pain, what’s a few more wife approved masturbatory minutes?  Whatever the reason, most “failures” are due to the fact that there are still little soldiers hanging on for dear life, and those follow-ups are there to detect those stubborn little bastards.

Then there are the ever so diligent men who can’t wait to get intimate with a Tupperware container to ensure that their investment is secure.   These men fall on the grenade of self-gratification so that their dear wives will never have to undergo an unwanted pregnancy.  On behalf of women everywhere, thank you for your sacrifice.

In the case of my wonderfully loving husband, he is what you would call a rule follower.  He paid a good chunk of money to make sure that I couldn’t use the “baby body” excuse ever again.  He followed instructions carefully after his procedure by taking in samples at both 2 months and 6 months post snip-snip.  That is the technical term for it.  Both his samples came back negative.  So, in November of 2015, we celebrated our newfound sterilization in ways I will not describe as family members may be reading this post.  But I will say this, IT WAS AWESOME!!  No more birth control.  No more hormones.  No more worrying.  Until February of 2016 when my always punctual Aunt Flo didn’t make her monthly visit….that bitch.

Waiting, of course, until after our annual trip to Galena for a weekend of skiing and drinking, both of which are literally at the top of the list of things not to do when pregnant, I decided to take a pregnancy test.  My husband, pissed that I would waste money on a pregnancy test when it was “impossible,” waited in the living room while I ruled out the obvious.  Now, on the packaging for these pregnancy tests, it says to wait 1-3 minutes for results.  I didn’t have to wait 1-3 seconds.  Before I had my pants pulled up there were 2 lines staring back up at me like a giant middle finger.

Sure

I just started laughing, because what else are you going to do.  I didn’t know what to say to my husband.  The competitive German in me wanted to say, “Ha! you were wrong. I was right, suck it!”  But then I realized that no one really won in this situation so that was out.  I just wanted walking into the living room, laid the stick, which I had peed on mind you, on the arm of the couch, and sat down. It was like someone drained all of the blood out of his face.  He just sat in silence….for the next 48 hours.

ugly cryThe follow days and weeks were not great.  I’m not going to lie.  My oldest son told everyone, “My mom is having a baby and she cried about it.”  Yup.  Sure did!

As it always does, time heals all wounds. We have a wonderful almost 1 year old son, who brings so much joy to our lives.  And he’s a really strong swimmer (Ba-Dum-Tish). And as I tell my husband, if our marriage can survive this, it can survive anything.

For the record, he did not ever go back to his urologist for fear he would not be able to control his rage.  He did go see another guy who said his tubes grown back together (also not an uncommon reason for failure).  This time around, I got fixed.  So, if I get knocked up again, I’m straight up buying all the lottery tickets.