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In which we take NYC by dork-storm

Three days in New York City hardly seems like enough time to get into trouble, but I sure tried, because we all know that I leave the house so rarely, traveling to an actual city is a major pilgrimage for me. It requires THOUGHT and PREPARATION and MASCARA. All of these things are slightly foreign to me, but I soldier along as best I can.

So! When we last left off, my journey TO the city had been blessedly uneventful. My first meal there was delicious, and I skipped out on a late night of karaoke to attend to my beauty sleep. [Sidebar: I can't hang this on my 40th birthday, but maybe around 38 or 39 it seemed like I suddenly had An Eye Issue, by which I mean I often wake up with dark bags underneath them which could easily accommodate a week's worth of groceries, and which laugh at the various ever-increasingly-expensive Bags-Be-Gone gels and treatments I stupidly keep buying. I really don't believe in plastic surgery but I'm beginning to understand the allure. I would like to have a bagectomy, please, but only if it doesn't leave me looking perpetually surprised instead of just exhausted.]

I was off to a very responsible start. Of course that wasn’t terribly long-lived. (more…)

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This is why it’s good I don’t have a uterus

Yesterday we had some friends come over for brunch, and that was exciting because I generally just hide in my cave, all alone, coming out briefly for food and laundry and to comment that the light, it buuuuuurns.

In preparation for this event, we dusted and vacuumed (because we do those things once a year, whether the house needs it or not!), and made some brunchy foods, and tried to prepare the children. You see, Chris and Karen have three children—a 4-year-old son and 3-year-old twin daughters.

To Chickadee, we said: We expect you to help with the little kids. To Monkey, we said: If there’s anything you don’t want the little kids touching, you need to put it up high or close it in your room. Just telling them “no” may not work, and you can’t get mad about that. Also, they may be loud. It’s okay to take a break if you need to. To Licorice, we said: Good luck, pup.

This turned out to be just the right amount of prep. (more…)

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Drunk on freedom

Otto and I packed up from camping, came home, removed everything from the camper and shoved it into the washing machine, and then he promptly left me to go race cars… somewhere. Up north. I forget where. I wasn’t really paying attention, on account of I took this opportunity when 1) my kids are gone and 2) Otto is off to play cars to 3) demand that my bestie come spend the weekend with me.

We are positively INEBRIATED with the sheer joy of having no one to answer to and no real plans (other than some fancy dinner plans Otto made for us for tomorrow night because he is awesome), and so far have managed to throw the ball for the dog a few times, talk each others’ ears off, and shop for nutritious dinner food like a hunk of brie and crackers. We have also spent some quality time combing through the Netflix available streaming movies to make sure tonight we have something truly terrible to watch while we flick popcorn at the dog.

[I know that now that I'm all grown up I'm not supposed to get all giddy over what is essentially the 40-year-old version of a slumber party, but screw that. Moms need play dates, too, man.]

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Detours

What I wanted to tell you, after yesterday’s post, was that my fears were for naught, and Monkey had a great day and a hard but meaningful farewell with his parapro.

What I wanted to do was gently poke fun at myself for always fearing the worst, for always tensing up for the collision. I would make a joke about how being angry and worried had clearly appeased the Gods Of Suck, and everything worked out okay, after all. We would all exhale together and Otto would tell me I worry too much but look, everything’s okay, and then life would go on.

What I do not want to do is to detail the phone call I got, the chaos that ensued, the broken down little boy who came home to me yesterday afternoon and crawled into my bed and whispered that he always ruins everything. I do not want to tell you about how he cried himself out and then slept, brow sweaty, while I rubbed his back and cried silently behind him. (more…)

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Are we friends?

friend (noun)
1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4. a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5. ( initial capital letter ) a member of the Religious Society of friends; a Quaker.

I understand that my personal definition of friend is not necessarily going to exactly match everyone else’s. I likewise understand that there are degrees of friendship; I myself, if pressed, could generally classify various friends in a fairly quantitative way that I think would make sense to most. So I get that.

HOWEVER. I cannot help feeling that social media has somehow confused the masses about friendship, and frankly, I think it’s time we rectified some misconceptions about friendship, etiquette, and why I think I may know more than the usual number of people who are either completely clueless or on drugs. (more…)

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Love is grateful, day 6

Otto and I have a running joke about how the mugs in this house all get busy in the cupboards when no one’s looking, and then, BAM, before we know it, our humble family of four is trying to get by with only forty or so mugs to see us through. Hee.

These four are currently my favorites:

With the exception of the Chickadee/Monkey mug—which I bought my own damn self as part of a personal celebration of sorts—the rest of the mugs shown here (and all of the “extras” in the house) were gifts. Each mug reminds me of both an important message and the friend who was sweet enough to think of me. And then I get a dose of grateful with my morning coffee or my afternoon tea.

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Love soars

I am in a very weird place at the moment. The simplest explanation is that I am just exhausted; physically, mentally, spiritually. I want a nap. About 30 hours should do it, I think. HAHA. Yeah. Anyway, there’s that. I am tired and overwhelmed and let’s face it, I am probably not the world’s greatest friend to begin with, but when I am tired and overly hurt-y about everything, I am an even worse friend. I retreat, and then I wonder why I am wallowing all by my lonesome. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s delightful, except not really.

Fortunately I have a small group of folks who always poke into my bubble of burnout and remind me that they’re around and I’m okay. I’ve noticed that all of these people are non-local, though, which is possibly because of my Pavlovian response to email/texting even when I am rarely leaving the house or answering the phone, or maybe because I am easier to deal with from far away and in small doses. (I suspect the latter.) Locally, I don’t see a lot of folks when I’m struggling, which is surprisingly easy to do when you work from home.

This week I met a friend for coffee, though, because she was about to leave town for a bit, and blowing her off would’ve meant not seeing her for quite a while. Plus, she was recently diagnosed with cancer, and what sort of asshole would I be if I was all, Yeah, I know you’ve got this whole cancer thing going on, but I’m too busy despairing over the lint in my navel to see you? (Answer: The extremely asshole-ish kind of asshole.) (more…)

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The power of a princess

You may recall that I visited Kira last year, too, and it was a wonderful trip and I had a hard time leaving. I was just getting to know her boys, and while I’d been allowed to freely snoogle the baby, I knew that she would be a whole different person this year, and it was hard to leave her sweet babylump self knowing that that she would change so much before I could see her again.

What I hadn’t anticipated—despite Kira’s stories in the intervening year—was that when I returned it would be to boys who had grown a bit, yes, but also to a tiny, adorable tyrant who has effortlessly wrapped the entire household around her chubby little finger.

You might think I’d find this strange or wonder if little Sophia is being spoiled, but all I can tell you is that this is clearly How The World Is Meant To Work. That child had me vying for a spot on that finger before I’d been there for an hour. (more…)

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Eating is complicated

I am back from a whirlwind weekend of jetting off to the Rockies, wrestling with Kira‘s boys, attempting to snoogle a baby who is now a toddler whose favorite word is “NO!” (thankyouverymuch, now please hush up and get her some crackers), and talking Kira’s ear off.

It was lovely. Well, for ME, anyway. Kira’s husband always seems a little shell-shocked when I’m around, as it does throw off the testosterone/estrogen balance in their household pretty significantly.

As both Kira and I were long overdue for some decadence (not to mention a girl’s night out), we elected to go out for a Dinner Adventure one night, just the two of us. The only logical course of action was to go to a fondue restaurant. For one thing, where else can you justify eating your body weight in cheese? And for another, the very idea of allowing any of our children loose in a dining establishment where they encourage you to eat with little spears reduced us both to hysterical giggles. Adults-only fondue it would be! (more…)

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Looks Like Kidnapping is Now Legal in Ohio

UPDATE 8/10/10: Here is a scan of the affidavits filed in this case for those who are looking for official proof.

UPDATE 8/11/10: I granted Hollis the space to share this story to hopefully generate some media attention. It worked. It also brought over a lot of people who aren’t very good at playing nicely, and as I have a life to maintain I’m now moderating comments rather than allowing y’all free rein to spew all over my site.

UPDATE 9/11/10: Mandy has regained custody of baby Madison! April Brown tested positive for illegal drug use three times in the last month before the hearing. Justice was finally served, albeit at the expense of seven months lost between mother and child.

And now for something completely different: The piece that follows was penned by no other than the mistress of shocking real life herself, Hollis Gillespie. If you are unfamiliar with Hollis’ work, let’s just say that I would have to hate her a whole lot if she wasn’t also so freaking warm and kind on top of being hilarious and successful. Not only that, she’s a fellow divorced mama, and you KNOW we have a club for that. (Although of course now those of you who aren’t members will have to die because I told you. Sorry.)

Anyway, Hollis is trying to get the word out about this story, and I am trying to help. Please read, share, and do what you can. Without further ado, here’s Hollis:

As a divorced parent, I sometimes think I’ve seen it all. For one, I thought there were only two worlds when it came to child-custody; the regular one in which we operate daily, and this other total toilet spin of rules and bureaucratic turd pellets referred to as family law. But at least in that second world the rules are fairly followed. But recently I discovered this whole other third world. Consider it a dwarf planet of pure courtroom nuttiness, where all the rules exist but they’re ignored. This is where the Ohio court case Brown vs. Elliot resides, and you’re not gonna believe this*: (more…)

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