For my first birthday I got a Tiffany rattle and a pair of hot pink Tweezermans.

I always had a unibrow. My junior high year book photo was an terrifying snapshot of horror. I had a nasty unibrow and the makings of a faint mustache. All my junior high school friends that were boys were envious.

I can’t find a photo.

DARN.

But here’s a photo of Madonna’s daughter Lourdes.

I pretty much looked like this:

When I was about 12 I remember going to Target with my mom. Going to Target with my mom was always an exciting time filled with much elation, because my mom shopped at Target like it was her job. As soon as we’d walk in the door, she shove her cart directly over to the snack corner, and buy a popcorn and Pepsi. Because you need your energy to shop all 42 isles of Target, she’d say. I’d get a blue icee and we’d both snack on popcorn and cheers our sugary drinks together. I’d awkwardly hint at needing a box of Always with dry-weave overnight maximum absorbency for heavy flow pads while she would be comparing prices on generic shampoo.

I remember I had just started shaving my legs, and we went down the razor isle. I saw a pink bottle of Nair that promised to remove hair without pain or using a razor. I immediately thought that I would use it on my face to get rid of my mustache and unibrow. I begged my mom to buy it, and she did, under one condition: that I would only use it on my legs.

I agreed.

Later that day, I ran up to my bathroom and slapped that stuff all over my face. I dotted it above my lip, around my eyebrows, inside my nose. I even noticed a rouge chin hair, so I slapped it over there too. No stone unturned.

I waited the allotted time.

Tick tock.

I reorganized the bathroom cabinets.

Because idle hands are the devil’s playground.

Plus this was before the advent of iPhones and I forgot to bring my copy of Seventeen Magazine into the bathroom. There was no way that I would be stepping foot outside of the bathroom until all my Nair was cleaned off. I couldn’t let my mom know that I was Naring my face.

Time was up, I washed my face.

The cool water felt nice…because my face WAS ON FIRE!

Oh it burned so bad. I figured it was just part of the process, a little burning is a small price to pay for velvety smooth, hair-free skin.

Apparently the burning did not come standard. That special sensation was reserved just for me (it probably had something to do with the fact that I used it on my face, but it was formulated for legs). I dried off my face and looked in the mirror and saw that I was red, blotchy and blistering!! EVERYWHERE.

My mustache area was a red mess.

Around my eyebrows there were blisters, and it looked like I had a red sole patch on my chin.

My mom knocked on the door and asked why I was in there so long.

“Ugh…I’m pooping!” I lied.

“Okay, well you need to come down for dinner.”

CRAP.

I grabbed a bottle of Maybelline foundation and doused my face in it, I tried to rub it in, but no matter how hard I tried, the blisters and redness would not budge.

I patted my face down with powder.

I looked like an idiot. I had a cakey face full of make up and pink blisters everywhere. Oh, and did I mention the puss that started to erupt?

Yea, there was puss too. Oozing from my face.

I went downstairs.

My mom saw me, and exclaimed, “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?!”

I shrugged my shoulders and bit my lip.

Ouch.

I’m pretty sure my mom realized that I used the Nair on my face. She’s one smart cookie. But she never asked me anymore questions about it.

And that was fine. Because I punished myself enough.

After that incident, I went on to wax, bleach, shave, and pluck my facial hair.

But because I have incredibly sensitive skin, and prone to red blotches and blisters, I’ve realized that I can only pluck. Which means, everyday I’m in the mirror plucking my face (yay).

But I’m over it. I don’t want to do it anymore.

So I’m putting down my tweezers and I’m going to bring the uni back.

Well me and this guy from Top Chef Masters:

 

 

 

 

I’m always one flummox away from turning into a crazy person.

It was a beautiful day, and I had about 2 hours before Hudson’s well-baby doctor’s appointment, so I decided to take the kids and dog to the park.

Because they were climbing up my legs, and pointing at the door, and asking–nay, shouting, “MOM!! I WANT TO SLIDE DOWN THE SLIDE!!” Well, Berlyn did most of the shouting, and Hudson was the one pointing at the door, because that’s all he really does. Points and nods. He’s gotten really good at pointing and nodding. And I’d like to take all the credit, because I’m like the best at pointing and nodding. I’m practically an expert. I should write a book about it.

So, I loaded up my double jogging stroller with toys, kids, and a tote full of candy to sneak when my children weren’t looking.

Berlyn decided she was going to push her own stroller.

Aren't you jealous that I have my very own mini-me?

We went, and we had a nice time.

I shared an uncomfortable laugh with another mom as we watched her son shove sand toys up his nose.

Hudson grabbed fistfuls of grass to feed to Zoey and Berlyn was demonstrating the proper way to slide down a slide for her Hello Kitty doll. Then it was time to leave. I had about 25 minutes to get home, get the kids in the car, and get to the doctor’s appointment. It was plenty of time, because It was only a 8 minute walk home and a 4 minute  drive to the doctor’s. I had 13 extra minutes!! I had it all perfectly calculated.

Or so I thought.

We got home, I strapped Hudson in his car seat, and just as Berlyn was getting in the car, I realized that I lost one of Hudson’s shoes. I had one, but the other one was missing!!

They are the cutest shoes, and they are borderline expensive for baby shoes. I don’t go around dropping a bunch of money on baby shoes, but you have to sometimes. The shoe options for boys is total crap. Because I’d have to be out of my mind to put my baby’s foot in a pair of these:

Barfadelic.

Or this:

I think, once you strap this atrocity onto your kid’s foot, you’ve basically given up.

In efforts to keep myself from being relegated to a lifetime of discount shoes, I remember thinking, I HAVE to find the other shoe!

First I poked my head out into the drive way and looked up the street, but I didn’t see it. Then I thought, CRAP! I’m going to have to run back and try to find it. Which means, Alright kids, back in the stroller!!

I jogged all the way up to the park, and all the way back, which is just under a mile, in flip flops (hello shin splints), but no shoe. Now I had about 3 minutes to get the kids back in the car, and to the doctor’s. I figured I’d be about 3 minutes late, and that’s not too bad considering I just jogged my monthly quota only seconds earlier. I was out of breath, slightly smelly, and exasperated when Berlyn called out, “I HAVTA GO POOP!”

Seriously??

I want to militantly scream at her and let her know that there’s no time for pooping!

“Okay Berlyn,” I said as I was trying to keep my head from exploding.

And just as I opened the door into the garage to let her inside the house, I saw Hudson’s other shoe.

It was in the house the whole time.

I called the office and let them know I was running behind, but they had to go to lunch and therefore close the office, so I had to reschedule my appointment. I hung up the phone and cried.

Seems like a disproportionate response.

So I go to the doctor’s later. No big deal.

But for some reason it is a big deal.

Because a series of unfortunate events like this one, rattles me so deeply that my breath catches in my throat and my mind gets all dizzy.

I yell at inanimate objects and work myself into a frenzy.

It’s in these moments that I feel like things are spiraling, and I’m just trying to stay calm and get through it because I don’t want my kids to witness me having a panic attack, but inside I’m completely out of control.

I have these episodes at least 4 times a week.

It’s hard to admit this because I see it as a sign of weakness and a sign of my inability to mother properly.

I want to be seen as a mom that has it all together, a mom with good and happy children, a mom who is carefree and easy going, a mom that never yells or gets worked up.

I mean, what’s so hard about going to the park and then to the doctor’s office?

People would kill to have my job, it’s practically dreamy.

But the truth is, I’m always one unplanned flummox away from turning into a crazy person.

My mom says I need to let go of some things.

Like I’m supposed to say, “So what, the shoe is gone, move on. Who cares.”

But that’s easier said than done. I can’t just not let something bother me. If I had that type of self control, I’d be the most emotionally stable person in the entire world. And where is the fun in that, I ask you??

Being calm and rational in the midst of a stressful situation?

It does sound pretty fantastic, but it’s just not my style.

But because I feel like these attacks are taking me under, I’ll be working on it. I have realized that being out of control is devastating, and makes it so much harder to function and harder to interact with my children to meet their needs.

So, today you can find me meditating on this verse:

“Urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, and to be self-controlled and pure… ” Titus 2:4

Because I’m basically the opposite of self-controlled and pure at the moment.

Hippo Brigade’s How-To Guide for Folding Fitted Sheets.

It dawned on me while I was rolling up my fitted sheet and shoving it into a cramped and messy shelf, that my fellow readers might not know some of my best kept housekeeping secrets. And how should you know if they were indeed, best kept secrets? I don’t go around telling people best kept secrets, that would completely negate the best kept part, and it would furthermore undermine the secret part too, no?

So let’s pretend this isn’t a best kept secret at all, but merely a thing that I do every laundry day, that is only borne out of sheer boredom but also in attempts to shake things up a bit. Because seriously, I’ve been writing about poop a lot lately. I can write about poop until my fingers blister and bleed, but the problem is you’re so utterly sick of the notion of poop being mentioned in my blog again that you’ve promised yourself you weren’t going to check in with me until I got my mind out of the gutter, and on to more wholesome topics. Well hallelujah! This post is for you!

I was also thinking that I have been a housewife for about 5 years now, and while that’s not very long in regular years, it’s really long in dog years. And if a dog was a housewife people would be thinking, wooo-eeee, that dog sure is something special. But I’m not a dog, I’m a person. Although if I were a dog I think I’d be an Airedale. They have spectacular hair, a penchant for hunting, and a long tongue (three things that I do not posses), but they are total crap when it comes to folding fitted sheets, as I’m sure you are, which is why I have manifested this guide to instruct you, to hold your hand, and to keep you sane and healthy.*

  • Step one: assess your sheet.

For me this looks like pulling it out of the dryer and smelling it to make sure that it is in fact clean. This would be a good time to check the elastic corners for any smaller items that may have tumbled along with your sheet in the dryer, i.e, hand towels, panties, leopard print hand cuffs, etc…

  • Step two: lay your fitted sheet out on the floor.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a little folded over in some places, that just adds to the charm and charisma of your sheet.

  • Step three: fold it in half.

  • Step four: fold it in half.

  • Step five: fold it in half.

  • Keep folding until you get a tight little parcel that resembles this:

Martha Stweart would have you believe that you need to follow her guide to end up with a fitted sheet that looks like this:

But that’s just rediculous. Where is the charm and charaisma in that, I ask you?

If you are really pressed for time, and aren’t we all, you can try my short cut method:

  • Take you fitted sheet out of the dryer, shake out, and roll until you get a fancy hand muff.

  • Then remove your arm to expose a tiny fox hole with which to fill with whatever you please. I prefer Easter candies that my family would otherwise eat if I didn’t sneak them away in my hidden stash spots.

  • Once your sheet is small enough, it’s ready to be crammed into your disheveled hall closet. I like to keep mine stocked with random afghans that my extended family like to give me.

Done and done.

 

* I cannot promise that following this guide will keep you sane and healthy. It might actually do the opposite. If it does, my deepest regrets, and if you email me your home address along with a coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond, I promise I’ll come visit you and possibly knit you a sweater to keep you warm while you are locked up in the frozen tundra of your inescapable mind. I say possibly because I’m not so good at knitting as it stands currently, but if you teach me (I’m a moderately slow/remedial learner, so you must be a patient and relentless instructor), I could learn, and therefore knit you a sweater.

 

Phantom Poo Residue

I still feel like there’s poo on my right index finger.

Like there’s a little smudgie right there next to my fingernail; where I keep the hangnails and dried skin calluses.

I changed Hudson’s diaper over an hour ago, and have washed my hands twice since then with lots of foamy soap and really hot water, but for some reason I can’t shake the the feeling that there is a phantom poo residue, sitting next to me, on my finger.

If it was really there, I’d don’t think I’d be typing with this much enthusiasm. Or at the very least, I wouldn’t be using the right index finger. I’d be holding it up, high above the keyboard like an impish floating fariy, supervising the work of the other 9 poo-less fingers.

I definitely would’t be scratching this blackhead that is right above my lip and below my nose with such abandoned vigor.

I certainly wouldn’t be using my right index finger to extricate the remaining hummus out of the container, and then licking shamelessly.

I wouldn’t be biting the rouge hangnail on said finger, and then chewing the torn off skin between my front teeth before I savored the flesh, and then spit it across the room.

Certainly not.

But just as a safety precaution, I think I’ll wash my hands a third time.

 

Bid Adieu to Jeggings

Me: Okay, The kids are asleep, so I’m going to take a bath now.

Pat: Sounds nice.

Me: (Gathering up fashion magazines) You wanna come and chat with me? (putting on a green facial mask) You can make fun of how I can’t move my face once my mask hardens. Seriously, I look like one of those Real Housewives. Oh, look! It’s starting to happen. If yoou want my boodie, and yoo tink I’m sexy, comon’ baby let mee knoow…

Pat: Nope. Not sexy.

Me: HEY! I KNOW! We should get a karaoke machine! We’re always talking about getting another piece of furniture for our bedroom. And we can stick it next to the pile of socks that I kick off while I’m sleeping and then never pick up. It will be fun. I can perfect my Rod Stewart rasp, while you clap like an adoring fan.

Pat: That’s a great idea, if we didn’t receive enough attention as kids growing up. I just don’t think we need that type of validation. Right? I mean, people that buy karaoke machines are people that are starving for a spotlight, and had dreams of becoming some rich, coked-out performer.

Me: …Or they just like to sing and dance.

Pat: There’s nothing you can say that would make me want to buy a karaoke machine.

Me: I can karaoke naked…?

Pat: While that sounds nice, I’ll pass.

Me: Pass on naked show tunes?! You’re crazy.

((GASP!!!))

Pat: WHAT!? ARE YOU OKAY!?

Me: Yeah, I’m fine. Why?

Pat: Because you gasped like you found out that you had a secret twin growing on your neck or something.

Me: Secret twin? What, are you watching soap operas?

Pat: No, I just watch that crap you like, Kardashians and whatnot.

Me: I looove the Kardashians. No, I don’t have a secret twin. I might have a hernia, but that’s neither here nor there. No, I was gasping because, look at this article!!

Pat: Yeah, so?

Me: It says to store your jeggins, because they are out!

Pat: Yeah, so?

Me: But I have a special attachment to the jegging.

Pat: Well it looks as though Bazaar Magazine is telling you that you need to have a special attachment to the slouchy silholette.

Me: But the jegging is like a fancy pair of strechy pants, and I LOVE STRECHY PANTS! They hold everything in place so it’s not shuffling around when I’m not looking, and they make me feel loved and warm inside, like I’m being cuddled softly.

Pat: You get all that from a pair of pants?

Me: They are that awesome.

Pat: So why do you care what a stupid magazine says? If you love jeggins so much, keep wearing them. Seems simple to me.

Me: I love talking to you.

Pat: Well that’s good.

Me: Yeah, you’re so wise, like Mr. Miyagi.

Pat: I prefer being compared to Yoda.

Me: But Mr. Miyagi is so much hotter.

Pat: Really, Mr. Miyagi? You think the old guy from The Karate Kid is hot??

Me: Well, no, not really, but between the two of them, Mr. Miyagi can definitely pull off the jegging, Yoda would just look ridiculous.

Pat: So lemme get this straight…

Me: Shhh…it doesn’t have to make sense.

Pat: But–

Me: Nope, it’s never going to make sense. Ever.

Date Night is Alright.

It doesn’t happen often, but last night, we had a date night.

Here’s what went down:

Our first order of business was to make sure we dropped off our kids somewhere where they will receive no less than 8 bedtime stories and generous portion of ice cream for dinner. For us, that was Nonnie and Poppi’s house.

Then we had a sweet treat at the Scandia Bakery in Laguna Beach.

Moment of silence for the chocolate macaroon please.

Then we people watched. Our favorite were the tourists trying to walk on the beach with high heels.

 

And after indulging in warm coffee and tasty snacks, we got randy in a public bathroom.

Only kidding, we didn’t do that.

Or did we?

Alright we did, but I only let him get to second base.

I’m such a tease.

Dinner was delicious.

After dinner we went  to Walmart.

Sure, because that’s what you do after a date, because everything else was closed and I needed some Miller Lite and camouflaged cargo shorts.

But since we go to Walmart as often as we go to bars that have line dancing, we thought we should do it up right.

Rambler style:

These things are the best.

I’m asking for one for my birthday.

In conclusion, date night was fun, bathrooms can be sexy, and Ramblers are my new favorite thing.