8 Things to Buy Your Snarky Wife for Valentine’s Day that won’t get you laughed at or punched

The target audience for this post is a bit different than usual, ok a LOT. As in opposite. So, ladies, read this through and if it applies to you, feel free to forward to your Valentine. I’ll drop the not-so-subtle … Continue reading

How to Survive Rogue One

My family and I did something a few days ago that we rarely do… we went to the movies! Usually my hubs and I wait until movies are available from the comfort of our own home and have the “lazy man’s movie night”. But we went all out for Rogue One. Given it’s been a bit since we’ve ventured out together like this, I forgot about a few nuances about the movie theater experience. In the event you are weighing the pros and cons of going to see a movie, I’d like to share with you what those nuances are.

  1. Cost – if you’re not in the top 1% of the top 1% of earners in the country, you may want to pawn that vase you had appraised on Antiques Roadshow before you purchase those tickets. And don’t get me started on the food. $4.99 USD for a SMALL BOTTLE OF WATER?????? I can get 32 bottles at Costco for that price! Just keep whispering, “It’s for the babies… it’s for the babies… it’s for the babies.” And hand over that $100 bill. To be fair, in exchange you’ll get a kid’s sized Icee, a small popcorn, and a box of Snowcaps. Did you get nachos? Want extra cheese? Well, that’ll be a kidney. Napkins? Those are free. You’re welcome.
  2. Time Management – Lines are inevitable even if you get your tickets online. Lines, lines everywhere. So be sure to plan for it. Concession lines to order your food and drinks, lines to get your food once you order it, lines to show the 13 year old your tickets, lines to use the bathroom. Lines again so that your 5 year old can use the bathroom for the 6th time in an hour. In my mind I’m famous and, as such, should not be subjected to lines.
  3. People – Ugh. I forget how much I hate being around people until I go to the movies. Remember that movie Crash? The one where Reese Witherspoon’s first husband played a cop? When I saw that movie so many years ago, something happened that caused me to forever lose faith in the classiness of the human race. A woman sat down rightbesideme (yes, that spacing is on purpose because that’s how I felt) in a not-so-crowded theater, reached into her oversized handbag, and pulled out of that Mary Poppins purse a paper bag from Churches Chicken. While the movie was just beginning (the actual movie, not the credits) she tore the bag down the side and rolled it down so that she could gain better access to her chicken wings. Then she- I moved. I have no idea what she did after that. In my mind she made love to those chicken wings without shame, no matter who was watching, and I wasn’t going to be a part of that. But, yeah, I hate being around groups of people. They’re stupid.
  4. My kids – I adore my kids. Seriously. I am in love with them. But I can’t handle going to the movies with them very often. When we order movies at home, they have full access to more than one bathroom. They can move around, they can talk, they can sit on their heads, they can cry because their socks feel funny. None of it matters because I didn’t spend $100 to watch it. I maybe spent $6 if I was feeling frisky and didn’t go with a free option. Today Roman spilled his popcorn, went to the bathroom 4 times, got his foot caught underneath himself and started bawling, sat in my lap, sat in my hubs’ lap, sat in his chair, sat in my lap, back to my husband, then back to me. He wanted my pizza, nope that’s gross, then drank an entire Icee. That’s right. He had to pee 4 times BEFORE he finished the Icee. Then there’s my 8-year-old baby girl. Bella is usually pretty good at the moves. Today, though, she wanted to know who everyone was in the movie, why they did what they did, point out how funny the robot was, impersonate the robot, crunch her chips, smack her chips, argue with me out loud when I told her quietly to stop smacking, and sit with her legs in what I can only describe as an open frog position.

Overall, even with the frustrations, we had a great time. Rogue One is a very entertaining, action-packed movie that the kids and the hubs loved. I love that a strong female character kicked ass. Bam, boys! It moves quickly and stands alone so you don’t have to be familiar with the whole franchise to get the story. So if you can get passed all the crazy out there and afford to sell your first born to whatever theater you prefer to visit, I highly recommend seeing Rogue One.

Maybe I’m impatient and frugal but it’s ok. At least I’m pretty. How do you prefer to watch movies?

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Why I Love Kids

I LOVE kids.  One of my favorite things about kids is all the comedic material they provide.  I wasn’t really expecting that when I had my first child.  She was really my first experience with babies.  My sister was born when I was four, so I didn’t remember all the baby stuff and I only had one friend who had already started a family when I found out I was pregnant and she lived out of state.  I had NO idea what to do with a baby.

The one thing I expected (from reading the thousands of books) was to hold this fragile little being like she was a brand new Balenciaga handbag.

{You know, the $1 million, platinum-dipped bag that you don’t want to breathe on, much less throw a wallet in}

HOWEVER, as soon as the doctor handed me a tiny, 6 pound baby girl she lifted her head and flared her nostrils.  And I SWEAR she was looking right at me.  That’s when I knew I had to re-evaluate all the books I’d spent the past 9 months reading.

Neither of my children had that floppy-head thing that most newborns have.  And sometimes when they looked at me it was like they had the wisdom of Confucius with the body of Stewie Griffin {who my son channels every night with, “Mom, mommy, momma, mom, mom, mom, mooooom}.

My daughter did everything early.  She was crawling at 5 months, walking well by 10 months.  Naps???  What are those?  I’ve been in a constant state of exhaustion for almost 7 years.

My son came out the size of a linebacker.  His favorite thing to do as a baby was use his head as a weapon against my nose.  {What did my nose ever do to you???}  And he’ll take a nap if you drive him around in the car.  Still not helpful in allowing me time to sleep as well.

My daughter is a ball of spirited energy.  She’s impulsive and dramatic and independent and a born leader.

My son is a sensitive bulldozer.  He is a tank, full-throttle, and physical but let his sister call him a name and he cries for two hours.

Both of my kids are hilarious.  I’m not just saying that because they are my kids and I value hilarity.  They are truly funny.

My daughter, Bella, has zero filter.  Whatever pops into her head comes out of her mouth.  (I hold my breath a LOT).  She also loves performing.  She’s been known to belt out “Let It Go” in the middle of Target for an impromptu concert.

What makes those qualities of hers exponentially awesome is that she frequently mispronounces words and butchers song lyrics.

Simple math (none of that Common Core crap)

Bella + (no impulse control * butchered song lyrics) = Erica (that’s me) pees her pants and almost dies from asphyxiation due to hysterically laughing

Case in point

My top 5 favorite Bella-isms:

  1. Athter = After
  2. Bownero = Bow and arrow
  3. Naybe = Maybe
  4. Billy Wonka = Willy Wonka
  5. Happy Gilmert = Happy Gilmore
  6. BONUS = Any word starting with “HU” is pronounced as a “Q”. Qu-man = Human, Qu-ge = Huge

 

{Imagine hearing this monologue: Roman, did you know that Billy Wonka made that candy you’re eating?  It’s true!  Mom, did you see that quge queman on Happy Gilmert?  It looks like he naybe has a bownero through his head athter that one part!}

My top 5 Bella-ized song lyrics:

  1. Let it go, let it go, turn around and sit on the floor (from “Let it Go”)
  2. Baby I’m playin’ on you ta-nigh, hunt you down, eat you aligh (from “Animals”)
  3. Feliz la ti da (so sings the daughter of a Spanish major… from “Feliz Navidad”)
  4. And abba ubba bo try to save me, but here’s my numba, so call me naybe (from “Call Me Maybe”)

{Me: Hey, Bella, what do you think “abba ubba bo” means?  Bella: Duh, Mom, it’s for the song.  Me: oh, ok that makes sense.}

  1. All the singalets, all the singalets, all the singalets, all the singalets (from “All the Single Ladies”, obviously.)

My son, Roman, is incredibly head strong.  He hates to be told “no”.  He also likes to take on other personas.  For example, Roman has been known to practice his WWE wrestling moves (declaring himself a “wrestler boy”) on his sister in Target (I feel really bad for others who happen to be in Target when we arrive).

The qualities that mesmerize me most about my Roman are his ability to effectively trash talk at the age of 3 and the expert way he keeps everyone guessing (who is he going to be today???).

I submit as evidence

My 5 favorite cut-downs delivered by Roman:

  1. Mommy, you talk funny and I’m a clown.

{This is possibly the equivalent of calling someone a “mommy fudger” in his world.  If you mock the way he says a word, he falls apart for days.  And he thinks clowns are scary vampires that will strike fear in the Devil himself.}

  1. Mommy, I don’t care if you put me in my cwib. I gonna climb out.  Then I gonna open tha door and spank you.
  2. Bella, I gonna take you in jail.
  3. Me: Roman, I need you to pick up your toys, please.

Roman: No, I need you to do it.

{Redirecting.  I see what you’ve done there.}

  1. Bella, I gonna fart on you.
  2. Me: Roman, please pick up your towel

Roman: Roman, please pick up your towel
Me: Roman, Mommy isn’t joking.  Pick it up.
Roman: Roman, Mommy isn’t joking. Pick it up.
Me: Roman, let’s go talk to Daddy
Roman: No!  I not!  Mommy, I NOT YOU’RE BOYFRIEND.

{Ouch, baby.  Very ouch.}

My 5 favorite alter egos of Roman:

  1. Capit Amewica
  2. Leaf-blower boy (He even has the sound effect down)
  3. Slash
  4. Batmanrobin boy
  5. Adam Levine

I love kids.  When given enough rein to express themselves they are more incredible than incredible and more wonderful than wonderful.  Plus, they provide infinite material for my blog 🙂

(once I stop laughing long enough to get to my computer)

 

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HOW DID I GET HERE???

By day I am THE Senior Manager of Compensation. Most people don’t even know what that means. My husband’s brain explodes when someone asks him what I do. I could try to explain it to you but you really don’t care. You would probably stop reading and never come back. Sometimes I wonder how I got here. Sitting in my office, bored out of my mind, thinking to myself, “listen, I get that you want to hire your girlfriend as your secretary and pay her $200k/year. But I don’t care enough to fudge data for you.” Thinking back, my journey went a little something like this:

Hey! Congratulations on your college degree! That’s awesome. Now, I’m going to need you to find that super, amazing, high-paying job in the next few weeks or you’ll be labeled a failure and embarrass your parents making them regret the financial investment they’ve made for the past 4 years. Thank you!

For those of you who are still in college or even high school, get ready. It’s coming.

Growing up I heard a rumor that in order to be successful in life one HAS to get good grades, go to college, graduate from said college and, if one does that, one will have mounds of gold coins falling from the sky and a money tree will sprout from the backyard of the perfect picket-fenced house that you’re magically issued upon graduation. Rainbows and unicorns will follow you for the rest of your life while feeding you cotton candy, you’ll never gain an ounce of weight, and you’ll have your own pep band follow you everywhere just like Dan did in the old Starbucks commercial.

{ENTER REALITY STAGE RIGHT}

Ouch, Reality! That freakin’ hurt! GAH! MOOOOOOM! Reality just slapped me in tha fah-aaace!

Only mom didn’t get out her wooden spoon. Or even put reality in a time out. Not. Fair. What everyone forgot to tell me was that I was now expected to put in my time.

{Um, no, you must have missed my degree.  I’m here for the CEO position, not the Administrative Assistant.}

Most of us don’t graduate with a killer resume. The smart ones are really good at lying. Some have rich parents that set up a trust fund. Others have parents who own their own company. I was too dumb to lie, not lucky enough for a trust fund, and my parents probably wouldn’t have hired me even if they did have their own gig. So I had to start from the bottom. With a degree in Romance Languages no less. What tha face, Erica. No one knows what a Romance Languages degree is!!

“OH, you wanna teach?? You should teach!”

NO! I spent all four years of high school plotting my escape! I don’t wanna go BACK!

“Well, then, what are you going to do?”

I wanna be famous I want to end world hunger and adopt all of the orphans and I want to rescue dogs and I want to save dolphins… How am I supposed to know??  I’m 22!

Um… I’ll move to Italy for a bit while I drink a lot of wine, eat too much pasta, and spend some time with lifeguards named Luciano while I ponder the direction of my life. {B.T.Dubs, the answers to ALL of life’s questions are hiding in Italy.}
I spent the next year applying for EVERYTHING. I had no idea what I was doing.

{Project Manager of a construction site? Sure! Although, now that I think about it, hard hats mess up my hair and dirt isn’t really my color, so… I’m going to have to pass on that.}

Finally in April (almost a FULL YEAR after graduating from UGA) I had a job offer. As a flight attendant!!! {Yay!!! I’m going to see the world and be pretty and-}

{ENTER REALITY STAGE LEFT}

Ok, Reality, stop. I swear to everything sacred. You touch me again and I’ll punch you in the throat. Seriously. Not even joking.

I was on ready reserve for the first few months. THAT means starting at 4:30 AM schedulers can begin calling you to go wherever they need you to go for up to 3 days. And you have two hours to get to the airport. Remember that thing in a previous post about me not being a morning person? AND you only get paid from wheels up to wheels down. Plus, have you tried being pretty at 4:30 am? Mm-mm. Not gonna happen.

To top it off, I worked for AirTran. So I didn’t get to see the world. I got to see a lot of Bloomington, IL. Sometimes, if I was a really good girl (not very often), I got to see Baltimore. {Hi, I’m in Baltimore.}

I knew it was time to hang up my wings while on a fateful trip that was supposed to make a quick stop in Orlando to pick up passengers then head to Chicago for the night. Simple in and out (Heh, y’all know why I’m giggling right now). As soon as we landed in Orlando we saw the backup. There was an 8 hour flight delay. So I grabbed myself a snack and the crew sat on the plane to wait. That was at 12pm. At 11:30 am the flight was finally cancelled (because the crew timed out) after the passengers had already been lined up 3 times to board the plane. The passengers were so homicidal that security had to escort us off the plane and down stairs through a back passageway so that we wouldn’t get hurt by the passengers who were, at the time, throwing stuff. We had to spend the night in a hotel that was being remediated for mold after a hurricane (super stinky) and we had one of the first flights out in the morning. A mere seven hours after the flight was cancelled. Which meant about 4 hours of sleep. The next morning we were super lucky to get another group of incredibly angry passengers on their way to Buffalo, NY (aka, the land of hospitality). They were so angry, in fact, that the Captain had to threaten that the next person to cuss or throw anything at the crew would be removed from the plane. We finally took off; things were ok, then BAM. One of the flight attendants passed out cold. Once I got home and recovered from that flight I quickly called the boss I had as an intern in college and switched professions to the more stable Human Resources. (Sure there was the time we had to notify a convicted murderer that he wasn’t getting a janitorial job because he was convicted of felony murder, and the time a woman came to the office and threatened us for not hiring her so security had to haul her off but at least I wasn’t stuck in a metal tube 35,000 feet in the air with the crazies).

However, I learned a lot during my short time as a babysitter in the sky:
First of all, be nice to your neighbor. Not all flight attendants should be trusted to get you safely out of an unsafe plane and the person next to you may be your only hope. If you piss them off you’re screwed.

{You know I’m right.}

Please don’t have a chip on your shoulder while flying. The flight attendants didn’t delay your flight or lose your bags. No one is out to get you. In fact, no one wants you, The Douche, on the plane. We want you off the plane ASAP. Better yet, if you could just not board at all that would be stellar.

{Oh, yes, Sir. I’m so sorry that you are mad about being stuck on the tarmac for six hours. Actually, I’ve been stuck for six hours as well and I’m currently missing my dad’s retirement dinner, my mom’s 50th birthday, my grandparents’ 100th wedding anniversary, and the birth of my first child. And I’m not being paid right now as you are cussing me out so… The person you want to address that harshly worded letter to is Mother Nature. She works in our corporate office, although she may be out today. (She travels a lot). If this is an emergency, you are welcome to pop the tail cone, walk across the tarmac, climb that tower over there, and speak to an Air Traffic Controller. Also, I’m going to need you to back up to a distance where I don’t smell your horrible breath or get a facial from showers of your angry spittle. Thanks so much!}

If you act like a douchebag you will be made fun of. And probably someone will spit in your drink.

Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls. A few have pegged me in the arm but none have knocked me out and for that I am grateful. HR was an interesting surprise. Not one I would have picked for myself intentionally but it was a curveball I could hit. Hopefully I can hit the next one, too!

I don’t like it when balls come at me that I can’t hit.
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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