Buying Underwear (and other things that lead to anger)

I remember when I discovered Victoria’s Secret. I felt as though a veil was lifted and a whole new world of delicate, lacy, beautiful unmentionables were waiting to bridge the gap between my clothes and my lady parts.

From that day forward I swore off the multi-pack of Haynes from Walmart that never fit quite right and went unashamedly with arms wide open to the store men dare not enter. I joined the secret club of women who could dress like a train jumping dumpster diver on the outside knowing that underneath the slouch was a feminine tiger ready to pounce.

Back in the early days of my discovery the process was simple: walk in, sift through the drawers to find my size, make sure no lady juice is on them from someone gross trying them on, take my purchase to the counter, pay for said purchase, get my receipt, walk out. Simple. Straightforward. Anonymous. Now, however, the game has changed.

These days I’m already frustrated by the time I walk in from dodging the super-aggressive (albeit very flattering) mall kiosk guy with the long, greasy black ponytail, black slim-fitted shirt unbuttoned to showcase his nipples asking if I flat iron my hair and the guys demo-ing the bouncy balls that my kids HAVE TO HAVE! I make my way to what I need, get to the counter and then it happens: “What’s your email for rewards?” The lady behind the counter stares at me while I contemplate the consequence of not answering her question. I finally decide it’ll probably be quicker to just give it to her.

Me: “Erica”

Lady behind the counter: “Is that with a ‘c’ or a ‘k’?

Me: “‘c’ And then a ‘d’

Lady: “Did you say ‘v’ or ‘b’?”

Me: “‘d’. As in ‘delta’ and then my last name. From my card. Just copy that.

Lady: “Please verify from the screen.”

Me: “Nope. It’s Erica with an ‘E’ not an ‘A’. That’s not really a thing. And you didn’t get the middle initial.”

Lady: “You can just type it in.”

Me: “So I could have saved the last 10 painful minutes of my life and typed it in all along?”

Lady: “I like to help my guests out. You’re total today is $150.”

Me: “What? I only got 5 pair of underwear. Isn’t it 5 for $25?”

Lady: “You have premium panties that aren’t a part of that. Also, it’s now 5 for $35.”

Me: defeated, walks out. “Kids, let’s go get ice cream. Mommy needs sprinkles.”

So now I hate shopping for underwear. And soaps. Thanks, Bath & Body Works. Can we all agree that stores need to STOP ASKING FOR EMAILS?????????? Listen, if you want my info, put out an app and scan it like Starbucks. Or Chick Fil A. Cuz my mental well-being can’t take it. And I don’t want to kill people. I’m frustrated. But at least I’m pretty.

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I Didn’t Clean the House Today… but I’m still tired.

Today I woke up 30 minutes later than I should have. I woke my kids up 15 minutes later than I should have. I sat in traffic for an hour and a half in just one leg of my commute. I sat in meetings for most of my day listening to mind-numbing discussions about “innovative” wellness programs for employees. Then I drove home. I worked a little longer. I didn’t even cook dinner. My family had left overs. I drove my daughter to ballet. Sat around waiting on her. We got home, I got the kids to bed, I got myself clean and went to bed myself.

My home is not clean. I’m pretty sure Bella didn’t bathe before bed. Roman’s sheets don’t match. I didn’t wash dishes. My trash cans are full. The only reason there’s no dog hair downstairs is thanks to my husband. I didn’t touch laundry. The only clean pair of socks Roman has are on his feet.

Guess what?! I’m ok with all of this. The sun still rises, my kids still love me, I’m pretty sure my husband still loves me wink, my doggies definitely adore me. It’s all gonna be ok.

My only question: WHY AM I STILL SO TIRED???

Oh well. At least I’m pretty.

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Is Butt-Ebola a Thing?

Today was a fun day. I arrived to work on time for a 9 am meeting. Gross. Could we all agree as one nation under God that meetings should only take place between the hours of 10 am and 11:30 am or 2 pm and 4:30 pm? Can we make that a thing? Ugh. I’m just sayin’ I need time. In the morning I need time to understand where I am and in the afternoon I need time to digest what all just happened. So… just sayin’.

Anyway. Meeting at 9. Blah, blah, blah. It was over around 10. By then I’d finished off a venti vanilla iced coffee and I had to pee. Bad. No problem! My new office has very lovely bathrooms. Coming from a company with shatty bathrooms (literally), I welcome the upgrade in lavatory quality.

As with most restrooms these days (I suspect to keep at bay the mysterious “toilet-seat-to-ass-STD” epidemic that we’ve all been warned of even though I’ve never met anyone who said, “Hi, I’m Gary, I got the clap from a toilet”) my office offers free paper toilet seat covers. I’m positive they’re only free cuz men need them, too. If they didn’t, we’d have to pay a quarter like we do for tampons. “Sorry, Sharon. I can’t give you a tampon for free. Shouldn’t you know your body by now? I mean, you’re 37- What? I don’t know what fibroids are. My dad has hemorrhoids. Same-sies? No? Look, sorry, but we gotta reduce overhead. Can’t you just shove some TP up there or something?”

Now, what you might not know is that I’m at war with these wood-based bastards. (Just to be clear, I’m at war with seat covers, not frugal men who refuse us free feminine hygiene products). Can these covers not stay in place? Is it too much to ask? They have ONE JOB! Just one! By the time I put it down and unlatch my trousers the seat cover has fallen in the toilet, thus not having held up its end of the bargain, and now I have to repeat the process. Time. Wasted. But I have a new process. And today I tried it out for the first time.

Today… wait for it… I unhooked my pants FIRST! Did I just blow your mind? Cuz this was about to revolutionize my bathroom experience. So with my pants around my shins, holding them with one hand so as to keep them from hitting the floor, I used my other hand to carefully yank the paper ass-barrier and awkwardly lay it over the seat, using my elbow to unfold the part that inconveniently overlapped at the very last minute.

And as I turned to blindly back that ass up and simultaneously sit down, the automatic flush sucked the seat cover into the abyss. That’s right. I sat down just as the seat cover said, “bitch, bye” and left me to my own devices. Of which I had none.

You know when you ask for a sweet tea at a restaurant and you get a coke but both liquids are dark and look the same in that red cup and you take a sip and life no longer makes sense? That’s what happened to my ass. It expected paper warmth and protection. It received the cold angst of exposure. So I have Ebola of the Butt now. I’m pretty sure it’s a thing. And I’m pretty sure it’s on my butt. Believe you me, if my organs liquify and fall out of my body holes, someone will receive a very strongly-worded letter.

Anyway. Kinda killed my vibe today. I was sure I won the war. And the toilet said, “Not today, biatch!” I feel so defeated. I was sure to be the victor. Now I know how Hillary Clinton felt on election night. Ugh. At least I’m not wearing that gross pants suit.

On a high note, I ate a turkey burger today.

Stay pretty, my friends.

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How Homework Made Me Stupid

Homework. That eight-letter compound word has become synonymous with Hell for me. Growing up I always thought that once I was out of school I’d be done with it. Homework was but a temporary evil to get through so that I could get my degree and move on with my life. Oh how wrong was I.

When I was in school, I don’t remember having homework until maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. Maybe I did, I don’t know. But kindergarten for me was half-days. Your parents could sign you up for morning or afternoon. Sprinkled into the strenuous 4 hour day was also naptime and recess. {And we wondered why Japanese students were so much smarter.}

So, you could imagine my confusion when we registered Bella for kindergarten and she was EVALUATED for sight words, math skills, and reading… uh… isn’t this where she learns her alphabet? Cuz that’s what we’ve killed. Test her on that.

Then the HOMEWORK. WHAT??? I naïvely assumed that the homework was something she should be able to complete on her own. I would be there to make sure she was focused (by the way, not my strong point either) but the work was something she could work through. I was wrong. That’s when I came to the realization that homework isn’t for the kids. It’s for the parents. Like some covert CIA program to ensure parents don’t get stupid.

Bella: “Mommy, I don’t know how to do this problem. It’s for math.”

Me: “Oh, heck yes. Math I can do! ‘Deconstruct the number 10’. Deconstruct? What’s that mean, Bella? Did your teacher show you how to do this?

Bella: “Yes, but I don’t really understand. You can help me, right, Mommy?”

Me: “Uh, sure! Yes! I can help you, baby girl. Let me just find my computer.” (As I quickly pull up Google and define ‘deconstruction’ as it relates to math.)

Obviously, homework is created to provide validation to my children that, no, Mommy DOESN’T know everything and should, as a result, be constantly questioned anytime she states anything as fact.

Bella (or Roman at this point): “Can I have a root beer?”

Me: “No, you’ve already had one. You’ve also had a cupcake, rice krispy treat, and 5 Girl Scout cookies. You don’t need that much sugar. It’s bad for you.”

My kid: “Well… you couldn’t even help me deconstruct the number 10 last night so… maybe we should ask Google about the sugar thing, just to be sure.”

Fuq you, homework. Fuq you.

Another thing I want to point out is the strain that homework puts on my marriage. I would love to know how many divorces are attributed to disputes that began related to homework.

Nothing will start a marital spat in my home quicker than either my husband or me incorrectly instructing one of the kids in an effort to help and the other spouse catching the mistake.

“No, that’s not the correct conjugation of the verb.”

“Um, YOU asked me to help.”

And so it begins. Next thing you know it’s World War III in our kitchen. Fuq you, homework. Fuq you. I didn’t know I was supposed to add, “through incorrect homework instruction and correct” to my wedding vows.

By now, Bella’s got the homework thing down for the most part. The biggest issue we have with her is getting her to turn it in. Roman, however, is just getting in the swing. Most days look like this:

 

Hopefully these are growing pains that will get better. All I know is that I didn’t sign up for this shat. I’m frustrated. But at least I’m pretty.

Anyone have any tricks to make homework easier?

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How to Pivot Your Life Awesome

Pivots. I need one right now. Life is all about the pivot (please tell me you say that word in your brain to the voice of Ross Geller on Friends). How you handle a change in trajectory can determine positive from negative, good from bad, electric chair candidate from hero. But it can mean taking your life from blah to infinitely better.

I haven’t always handled the pivot well. Maybe I’ve watched too much Snapped? Too much 20/20? Nah. Whatever the reason, I resist change. But I’ve learned that sometimes change is the nudge I need to get to a better vantage point for life. A higher plateau from which to shoot my arrows at the people who nee observe life.

My parents’ divorce, the tragedy that almost cost my dad his life and forever changed the way he exists in this world, my own divorce, getting out of my hometown, rising above rumors and reputations, financial struggles, juggling a career, a new marriage, and a sick baby, unexpectedly renovating a house, blending a family… I’ve experienced all of those things. Struggles are everyone’s constant. They are always around the corner lurking like the uncle that none of the kids are allowed to be alone with (there’s one in every family, right?)

“Uncle Gene is the BEST! He gave me candy!”

(Slaps the candy away)“Nope, Uncle Gene is a weirdo. Stay away from Uncle Gene.”

But struggles aren’t life’s somehow personified way of kicking you down. They’re just life. Mostly for me, self-inflicted. I can admit that. But so what?

Pivot.

It’s scary. I know. The pivot is change. It’s unknown. Sometimes the struggle is more comfortable than the change. At least you know what to expect with the struggle. But I promise it’s worth it.

If you’re unhappy right now with life, look for the opportunities for change. If you can’t find the opportunities, find someone who has the outcome you’re looking for and do what they’ve done. Talk to people. Research. There’s always a way. Successful people aren’t special. They haven’t been chosen to be successful by life where life’s like, “Oh, yeah, don’t mess with Becky. She has good hair so leave her alone.” They’re successful because they’ve used an opportunity to better themselves. Successful people aren’t entitled and they know that. They get shat done for themselves in spite of the struggles. No excuses.

One thing I’ve noticed is that many of my life changes have happened because I felt like I had no choice. Looking back, I always had choices. But it seems like in those situations, when I throw my hands up and let Jesus take the wheel, a la Carrie Underwood, that’s when the pivots happen.

Don’t let Uncle Gene get the better of you. Kick him in the groin and run away. And if you pass your cousin about to eat his candy, smack it out of little Johnny’s hand on your way out the door. And know you’ll be ok.

When have you changed your own trajectory for the better?  Let me know in the comments.  You may just help someone make their own!

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I Joined My Neighborhood Dinner Club

I joined my neighborhood dinner club

The Great Idea

We moved into a new house in May. Just down the road from where we were currently living but with 100 homes, there were quite a few people we didn’t know. So I was SUPER EXCITED when I saw an email about a neighborhood dinner club called “Gourmet”. I just knew it would be the solution to meeting the neighbors and signed us up (without asking my hubs but I had a sneaky suspicion that he would praise me for it).

Gourmet

The premise behind the Gourmet Club is this: twelve couples signed up so around every other month there are three host homes. Of these 3 host homes there is one who is the Lead Home. These hosts are in charge of setting the theme and menu. After the menu is set, each couple is given recipes that they are responsible for preparing and bringing to the dinner. On D-day (that’s what I call the dinner day cuz I’m terrified) everyone meets at their respective host homes to eat. After dinner everyone meets for dessert and drinks at the Lead Home (or wherever the Lead Home hosts decide, so maybe the clubhouse if they don’t want a bunch of drunk suburbanites getting kah-runkkk at their crib.)

The Problem

I don’t cook. If I DO cook, I want full control of all variables and I’m probably NOT going to be cooking for other people that might judge me for messing up. (Yes, that’s the very point of Gourmet. Shut up.) Now. I AM a very good cook. Most of the time. I have a few nemeses. First up: mashed potatoes. Really, it’s any dish with potatoes because they will NEVER get cooked all the way through. Potatoes hate me. They’ve made that very clear. Because mashed potatoes are arseholes. Pot roast is the other of my arch nemeses. My mom can make a dam pot roast. The kind that make me wanna slap her after taking a bite (IN A GOOD WAY! You know, so good it makes you wanna slap your momma?!) I make an effing stupid pot roast. The kind of pot roast that makes other pot roasts wonder if it was dropped on its head as a baby pot roast. It’s always tough and rubbery. Pot roast hates me. The kind I make don’t make my kids wanna slap me in a good way. And my mashed potatoes make my kids wanna slap some sense into me so that I never make them again. Other than that, I can get shat done in the kitchen.

The First Dinner

The first dinner we had was in October. It was an October (wait- Oktober) Fest theme so I, of course, dressed up in my best lederhosen just in case I needed to distract the group away from the horrible food I brought. Turns out, not everyone is a gourmet cook. Some people were sitting in the same boat I was in the whole time and I had no idea! Yay! The food was delicious, the recipes weren’t quite as difficult as I anticipated, and we were all so tipsy that it didn’t really matter anyway. #winning

The Second Dinner

The second dinner was a few weeks ago. It was a Valentine’s Day theme. I looked for a cupid costume just in case I needed the distraction again but I couldn’t find one… Fuq. It’s ok. I’ll just practice a little bit before the dinner, once I get my recipes. Guess what my dishes were… just guess. Short bread cookies and FUQING MASHED POTATOES! REALLY??!!! Ugh. It’s ok! I’ll follow the directions EXACTLY. It’ll be fine.

I ended up with no time to practice because life was so crazy. The Friday before the dinner I “worked from home” for the last half of the day so I could make the other dish I was assigned: short bread cookies. In the shape of a heart. With a smaller heart cut out in the center. And white chocolate and raspberry jam in the center. As complicated and delicate as they were, they turned out delicious. I ate one to try it out. Ok, I had 3. “I don’t know why the recipe says it makes 14! I only have 11…”

The mashed potatoes needed to be made the day of because I didn’t want to risk them not tasting fresh and delicious. This meant that I only had a short window of time to get them right. If not, I was fully prepared to go to the grocery store, purchase some taters, and pass them off as my own. But I can do this. It was me against the potatoes. Eight of them. Eight stupid potatoes just staring at me. I was terrified.

Game Time

The recipe said to use 8 potatoes. I had 8 MASSIVE potatoes. They were huge (that’s what she said). In the recipe it said to cut them in half if they were large. But I ain’t got time for that. I’ll just cook them longer.

{Now, for those of you reading this, this was my crucial mistake. This is where the other team took the game just like the Patriots took the game from my Falcons. Crucial mistakes. They’re sneaky little donkey holes.}

The recipe said to cook the potatoes for 22 minutes or until you can easily pierce with a fork. I cooked mine for 30 minutes. Should be good. Right?! Pierced easily with a fork. I was so gonna rock this.

At 5:30 pm Eastern Standard Time I drained the potatoes, cut them up, and placed them one by one in my stand mixer as per the instructions. I mashed them up a little and turned the mixer on. Seemed good. I started to add the warmed milk, the salt, the butter, and OH MY GOOD GAWD!!!!!! The potatoes were crawling up the side of the mixer and down the back! I tried to grab them with any utensil I could find. A spoon, a ladle, a knife, a cup, the piping bag in the sink from the cookies I made the day before.

So, not sure if you have ever seen the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel were working the assembly line? If you haven’t, Google it right now. You need that visual. But be sure to come right back. This is about to get good.

To set the scene, it was now 6:10. The dinner started at 7. At this point there was no time for the grocery store backup option. I was standing in my kitchen with wet hair and my pink fluffy bathrobe on, sleeves pushed up but they kept falling down. I was trying to keep the potatoes from falling all over the place when I realized that there were chunks of raw potatoes mixed in with the smooth, creamy potatoes. All the while, taters were still pouring out of the mixer every time I turned it on. I turned it off, grabbed a fork, and dug out one of the chunks to see if it was edible.

And it was not. Not at all. Ever tried a raw potato? That’s what I was about to serve my neighbors. They were sure to blackball me. I was about to be the girl that brought raw mashed potatoes to the party. Not today. Not. To. Day. I did what any self-respecting southern girl would do. I rolled up my sleeves, washed my hands, and proceeded to pick the chunks out by hand. But the potatoes weren’t as creamy as they looked. They stuck to EVERYTHING.

I was panicked. I had mashed, raw, chunky, sticky potatoes all over my arms, in my freshly washed hair, in my eyebrows, and I had mashed potato hatred in the depths of my soul rising up to meet my husband as he walked into the kitchen. He knew he wasn’t safe. He found somewhere else to go. I don’t even know where he went.

My friend, Laura, sent me a friendly text “I hope you have fun tonight!” She always has it together. I gave her a quick “my mashed potatoes are raw”. Then Laura sent me a message that made me realize just how much I appreciate her. “Drink a little more and they’ll be great.” It was like a Superman comic when you’re sure he’s a gonner but then he rises from the wreckage to defeat Lex Luther. I could do this! I could defeat these stupid, ugly villainous mashed potatoes. I grabbed asiago cheese from the fridge and added that. I tasted them. It was good enough.

At 6:45 I finally started getting ready. I washed the potato carnage from my body, trying to forget the bloody battle that had just taken place in my kitchen, grabbed my pink shirt with leather trim that looks like a vagina in the back (yes, you read that correctly. I mean, it screams Valentine’s Day!), and realized it had a huge grease stain on the front. Ugh. It’s just like you to do this to me, vag shirt. So that wasn’t an option. Red pants and a black shirt. That’s what I went with.

So How Did it Turn Out???

I started the dinner a defeated woman. Defeated by the potatoes, defeated by my vagina shirt, and defeated by time. I hate being late. But it was what it was. We arrived, cookies and mashed potatoes in hand, 20 minutes late.

Our neighbors hosted us with grace and welcomed us as though we had been friends forever. It was a fantastic time. I warned everyone about the potatoes. So we all agreed that more alcohol was the answer. It’s always the answer.

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Life’s Bright Side

Sometimes life gets the better of us no matter how hard we try to have it all and keep it all together. I’ve learned to see the bright side of things over the years. That’s really the purpose of this blog: to share the bright side of the sometimes bad side of life. And my bright side is your bright side because we’re all pretty. Here’s a list of my life lessons so far:

  1. Sometimes my son wants to wear my leather pants out of the house because he thinks he’s a rock star. If I don’t let him wear MY pants to dinner out, he tells me I’m mean. And maybe I am. Maybe I’m a horrible parent for that. But at least I’m pretty.
  2. I once got lost in a circle. A circle. Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes I can’t find my way but that’s ok. Because at least I’m pretty.
  3. I have a very foul mouth and no filter. I would say I try but I don’t. Life’s too short to be someone you’re not. And I’m unfiltered. And pretty. Unfiltered and pretty.
  4. My husband is twice my size. He has muscles for days. On a vacation a few months ago I out ate him in crab legs. And the only reason I stopped is because there was no more to eat. I was still hungry. I don’t know if he was amazed, scared, or disgusted. Maybe all three. Yes, I have weaknesses but at least I’m pretty. For now. Until these crab legs catch up with me and I turn into one.
  5. I oversell things I like. I also oversell myself. I’m hoping it works like The Secret, where I put things out into the universe and they happen? No? Whatever. At least I’m pretty. Well, attractive. Ok, I’m average-looking. Let’s just say I do the best with what I’ve got.
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At Least I’m Pretty

Three years ago I decided to embark on something I never thought I’d do. In school I wasn’t a writer. I always had a “B” in English. Communication wasn’t my strong point. Or at least I didn’t think it was. However, I felt like I had a message. I’d helplessly watched from afar as my dad had a debilitating stroke while I was 9 months pregnant and living 3,000 miles away. I’d survived a horrible marriage where I was left broken mentally, emotionally, and financially with a 10-week-old baby, living with my mom because I couldn’t afford a place of my own.

I survived getting remarried, buying a house, having a baby, postpartum depression in less than a year’s time. I’m a survivor. Think about it, you are, too. We all are. I have a message. Women are hard to break. We’re strong. We’re accosted, discounted, abused, overlooked, underappreciated but without us, life stops. We’re more powerful than society likes to admit. (“I brought you into this world, I can take you OUT!”, ammirite?). But we’re human and beautifully imperfect. And vulnerable. 

Once life settled down I realized that I needed a creative outlet. Seeing how my acting destiny wasn’t going anywhere (prolly cuz I had never done anything like get headshots or go on a casting call or attempt to get an agent?) I decided to start a blog.

The tongue-in-cheek title, “At Least I’m Pretty”, provides us all with hope. Snarky hope that even in life’s worst moments, at least we’re pretty. That makes it all better, right? My dog died, but at least I’m pretty. Lost ma job, but at least I’m pretty. I was on a conference call working from home and my son knocked on the door, I opened it and he smacked me in the face with his toy tomahawk and ran away laughing but at least I’m pretty. I think you get the point.

Life has a way of taking your breath away in one moment and leaving you wrecked in a ball of hopelessness the next. Life doesn’t discriminate with who it breaks. You aren’t suffering alone. Even when it feels like it, you aren’t. We have families, responsibilities, careers, demands, we’re pulled in a thousand different directions from one moment to the next. Illnesses, health, happiness, sadness, loss, birth, it’s all part of life. The ugly, the beauty.

My hope is that my blog becomes a place we can share those moments. We can support each other. Life can be cold and sterile. But even in the ugly, broken, sterility of life we can still find humor. That’s how you know everything will be ok. Beauty is subjective. I’ve said it a million times. We are all beautiful. Every one of us. Find the humor in the bad. It’s there. Even if it’s dark, it’s there. That’s the beauty of life. Perspective. Some days will suck butt. Ugly, hairy, smelly butt. And that’s ok. Cuz at least we’re pretty.

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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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