Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It’s Your Own Little World…

Cortland. If this punk would have been the first born he absolutely would have been an only child. He earned himself the nickname “Crack Baby” when he was about a year old because this punk is absolutely fearless, crazy and just plain weird. We can’t trust him for shit as he continues, time and time again, to make horrible choices that usually result in him getting hurt or me needing a drink. He is the reason why bedtime can’t come fast enough everysingleday and why I have to color my hair every five weeks.

With that said, he is also the most unique punk we have. I’m pretty sure he lives in some trippy little world that resembles a psychedelic trip.

This is his trip.

IMG_20130505_123048                                                    The Ski Bum: Ski goggles. In the summer. In the car. He’s convinced himself that they make him go faster. Einstein. Right here.


20131103_091406                                          The Bank Robber: Nothing says “good morning” like rocking a ski mask while you eat your cereal. The ski mask continues to make numerous appearances. I personally like it when it’s pared with shorts, tank top and flip flops in the summer, despite how it makes his head sweat and stink. I guess that’s what baths are for.


20131017_161058                                          The Layered look: Jeans under athletic shorts under underwear. Well. Okay.


20130522_084128                                           Ink: Because you’re never too young for tattoos.


20130611_203618                                          The Dancer: Keeping it manly with the Spiderman Under-roo’s. I’m pretty sure this one will go in his senior year yearbook because, well, I’m a bitch.


20130628_194228                    The X-Gamer: Superman shirt (complete with cape), Star Wars backpack, mohawk helmet, T-Rex Vans. If the X-Games don’t work out I see a potential future in with the WWE. That’s still a thing, right?


2013-04-14 10.45.48                                                         The Executive: Crocs or Teva’s would make a nice addition to this outfit.


IMAG0012                                                                 The Hipster: While his taste in music is mostly mainstream (Blake Shelton, M5, Bruno Mars and crap from the Teen Beach movie) he can rock a pair of skinny jeans and glasses like no one’s business. That is, when he actually has a pair of pants on.


47833_10200504800852612_194706923_n                                          The Graduate: If he manages to keep his shit together and stay out of juvie, I’m pretty sure this is a glimpse of his high school graduation. The obsession with these goggles has me wondering if we’re somehow related to Crazy Mike. Look for him in milling around the bars in Old Town in about 18 years. Hope he doesn’t start loving short, cut-off jean shorts and tube socks.


259272_4373320941269_1646944255_o                    The College Student: Crashes out wearing a camo hat and jammies while doing some hardcore studying of “You’re not my reindeer”. Not pictured – one empty bag of Funyuns, an empty Pizza Shuttle box, and 3 cans of Red Bull that he downed to help keep him awake as he prepares for finals. Also, Rock Chalk!


334724_2287163828645_1464982_o                                                             The Criminal: Spent an entire summer locking himself in the dog kennel. I can’t lie, it did give me some moments of peace so I didn’t do much to discourage this. Eventually he realized it wasn’t much fun to play in the kennel and he stopped doing it. That so happened to be the last time I managed to get showered, finish all the laundry, cook dinner and cleaned the house all in one day.


336454_4222054319698_915397768_o                                                             The Ladies Man: Tom Cruise – the early years. Fully expect him to become a scientologist, jump up and down on a couch like a complete douche, and run his mouth with stupid comments that make people want to kick his ass.


459135_3830115721478_1957515397_o                                                             The Aesthetician: 3:30am. Why not indulge yourself in a head to toe moisturizer bath in the middle of the night? BECAUSE THIS IS THE SHIT THAT MAKES YOUR MOM DRINK THAT’S WHY NOT


621614_4578677635058_1814939992_o                                                             One word: Drunk.


665144_4765658509463_766884636_o                    The Drag Queen: Those shaky hands are the reason we don’t let him use scissors.


893532_10200863630903139_1676182412_o                                          The Athlete: Nothing says fun like dressing up in a singlet, headgear and shoes that are three sizes too big. The best part was the actual wrestling match that ensued immediately after this picture which included screaming, crying and a fist fight. He was immediately DQed for un-sportsmanship like behavior.


1015818_10201321775676472_844426125_o                    The Al Bundy: Also farts in his sleep. Give him a beer belly and he’s just your average 35 year old guy.


IMG_246836955303988                                          The Scuba Diver: Goggles. No pants. Pretty sure this punk’s world is the closet thing you can get to an acid trip without actually taking any acid.


IMG_247118285958634                    The Culture Kid: No word on where he learned how to hula although the floatie on his head vaguely resembles a sombrero. Interesting mix of cultures. I like it.


IMG_247264593236207                                          The Olympic Wrestler: Singlet over jeans and a t-shirt. This punk is going places. In all likelihood, jail will be his first stop, but he’s going somewhere, nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

37 Seconds

Last week a friend posted a link on their Facebook page that I’m sure most of you have seen by now. In case you haven’t watched it, in 37 seconds a woman goes from “average” to completely flawless, courtesy of the one and only Photoshop. It’s a pretty incredible video that should help the average woman feel less threatened by the perfect women they see in magazines, although it pretty much makes me want to figure out a way to Photoshop myself in real life.

As a girl who grew up gangly, super skinny, and completely flat chested, I get what it’s like to feel your body has really let you down, especially given the fact my mom had a huge chest and I got absolutely nothing. I graduated high school weighing in at 103 pounds and I came home from my freshman year of college weighing 105 pounds. Most of my friends hated me for only gaining 2 of the “Freshman 15” but I can clearly remember people actually having the audacity to ask me if I was anorexic because I was so skinny. Newsflash: Not every skinny person has an eating disorder, nor does every skinny person feel comfortable in their skinny skin. My mom always told me to appreciate it because one day my metabolism would slow down but that was hard advice to accept when all I wanted was some curves.

In high school a “friend” nicknamed me “Sternum” because he said it stuck out further than my boobs. First of all, this friend clearly had an enormous crush on me. Second of all, he was a complete dickhead for ever thinking this was appropriate. There’s pretty much nothing more humiliating than hearing someone yell, “STERNUM” as you walk down the hall, besides pooping your pants at school, which thankfully, I never did. At 36, I still hate that nickname, although, thanks to a great doctor, it doesn’t really work anymore so you can SUCK IT, SUCKA!

I’m still skinny but I’m by no means perfect. I’ve had three punks and my body will never be the same as it was pre-punks. There’s nothing better than getting out of the shower and one of my punks smacking me on the ass and telling me, “Your butt jiggles, mom.”  Thanks Sherlock because I had absolutely NO IDEA.

Most days I wish I could Photoshop my ass and legs into perfection – it’d sure beat the hell out of the constant reminder that I haven’t been to the gym since…oh, June? I’d love to put on my bikini and feel like a Victoria’s Secret model but instead I see a woman who could stand to do about 500 lunges and crunches everyday for the next three years. I see a stomach that, although isn’t big, still shows the evidence of carrying three babies. Is my body really that bad? Probably not, but I see the flaws every time I look at myself naked. Don’t we all?

It really doesn’t matter if your a size three or a size 12 – most women focus more on their flaws than on the parts of themselves that are just right. Skinny doesn’t equal perfection, nor does bigger equal imperfection. We constantly compare our physical selves to every other woman around us – she has bigger boobs, she has a great ass, she is so skinny, she’s so fit, she’s so toned, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – WHERE ARE HER STRETCH MARKS???

My closest girlfriends and I are all different shapes, sizes and colors. I think we’re a beautiful group of woman although if you were to spend a night with us you’d hear a whole lot of this:

“Oh my GAWD my legs are so fat.”  “Ugh, look at my baby pooch. It won’t go away.”  “Oh, screw you – have you seen my stretch marks?”  “Have you seen my ass lately? GROSS.”  “At least your boobs aren’t sagging.”  “Look at this sun spot. It. Is. So. Nasty.”  “Screw your sun spot, look at my wrinkles, bitch.”  “Screw you all, at least your clothes still fit.”  “Oh my GAWD I feel like such a fat ass.”  “Hey, bitch eat a pie.”  “How old do you think you have to be before you stop getting zits?”  “Two words: back fat.”

By the sounds of our complaining you’d think we were a completely hideous group. However, I think we look pretty damn good, and we still dress really cute so there’s always that.

Zoobliee 2013

I’m not saying Photoshop is to blame for our insecurities; we’ve conjured up these self images of ourselves on our own and actually believe the lies we tell ourselves on a daily basis. It makes me sad – I want my girlfriends to look in the mirror and see the beautiful women that I see when I look at them. I want to look in the mirror and see the woman that they see when they are looking at me.

At seven my daughter already criticizes the fact that she has blond, curly hair when everyone else has straight hair. I hate knowing that one day, probably sooner than later, my little girl will begin to look at herself in the mirror and see a body that she doesn’t believe is good enough.I hate knowing she will begin to compare her body to the women she sees on TV and in magazines and that there’s a very good chance she will begin to believe that they are “better” than her. I look at this little girl and can’t imagine anyone, including herself, will ever view her as less than perfect. I try hard to teach her that beauty comes in every shape, size and color and that looking different is a gift - I want her to learn this now, before society teaches her anything differently.

I’m trying to raise my boys so that they not only learn that you never hit a woman, but they learn that their critical words can forever impact a woman’s self image. I want them to learn to truly respect women and to actually do it. I want them to understand that women are not perfect and that admiring Photoshopped pictures of women will only leave them disappointed in the long run when they are unable to find an actual women who looks like that.

This is my point – regardless of what you see when you look at a woman, there’s a pretty good chance she is silently criticizing some part of her body she doesn’t like. We all have our hang-ups. We need to remember that beauty isn’t about what Photoshop can do, it’s about finding comfort in our own skin and liking the reflection we see looking back at us in the mirror, more than we despise it. It’s knowing, and believing, we don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, even when our punks are right behind us, reminding us that our asses jiggle.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Used to be an Expert

Fact: it’s easier to be a parent when you aren’t actually a parent. Before you have punks is when you will find you are most knowledgeable regarding how their little minds work, disciplining methods, and the best way to raise them to ensure they aren’t Grade A assholes.

This all changes as soon as you leave the hospital with your new bundle of joy. It is the moment you step outside (typically as you are trying your damndest to get the car seat latched properly so you can take your day old baby home) that you realize, you don’t really have a clue as to what you are doing and regardless of the amount of time you spent reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” you’re screwed.

No one will ever tell you this. It’s as though all parents are part of a secret society and this topic shall never be discussed with non-members. Parents just want non-parents to believe that it’s as easy as their non-parenting minds think it is, so once they’re in the club we can all sit around and laugh that another one fell for it. Then we all drink a glass of wine, high five and initiate the newest idiots into the club.

I was a complete childrearing, disciplining expert when I was 25 and most parents I knew were total douche bag idiots who should have never even been allowed to reproduce. There is really no better time to be an expert as when the only experience you have is from babysitting for a couple of years, before you can even drive. Also lending a hand in my expertise was “The Babysitter’s Club” book series which I was a fan of when I was about 10.

This all went to shit for me when I had my first born punk. Listen, there’s a lot no one will ever tell you about pregnancy, delivery or actually raising punks. Ever. I’m not even going to get into the delivery part because if you haven’t had punks yet and are excited to start your family there’s a really good chance you’d never want to do it. Let’s just say it involved an epidural, a hot anesthesiologist, and not being about to feel below the waist, resulting in utter humiliation. Ugh.

When Emmerson was about 5 days old I felt a lump on her head and I panicked. I knew it had to be one of two things: either in my sleep deprived, zombie state I had unknowingly hit her head on something, or, it was a tumor. I cried. I called the doctor and took her in, prepared for the worst – either they were going to take her away because I had whacked her head and didn’t even know it, proving me unfit as a parent, or it was in fact a tumor. Turns out, it was her soft spot. $25 co-pay to tell me she has a flipping soft spot. Expert right here.

When you aren’t a parent it’s usually really easy to spot the ones who suck. They’re the ones with the punks who are having ginormous meltdowns at the store, or the punks who are picking their noses and either eating the boogers or wiping them all over the place. Or their punks are flat out annoying. While I have done my absolute best to teach my punks to not pick their noses, I still catch them, time to time, with a finger shoved up to their brains. My happy compromise is that I’ve scared them straight when it comes to actually eating their boogers by telling them boogers will give them explosive diarrhea that’ll make their bottoms hurt. No one in this family wants a sore ass from diarrhea. Winning!

Before I had punks I honestly believed that “time-out” was one of the most underutilized, no-fail, disciplinary methods. Hello, stupid parents. Obviously this shit works because all the experts say it does. One minute for every year they’re alive. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? The only thing “time-out” does around here is piss me off from the amount of time I have to spend putting my punks back in time-out. It’s more of a punishment for me than for them. You know what works around here? No TV, no video games, no playing outside, no fun. You have to hit them where it hurts and sitting in one spot for three, six or seven minutes doesn’t hurt shit. That’s a mini vacay in my book.

I miss the days when I was a childrearing expert. Back when I knew the answer to every punk related issue and could just roll my eyes at all the idiots who were completely clueless on how to raise their kids. I’d like to say that it gets easier the more punks you have but truthfully, what works for one will usually never work with another. It’s a never ending battle to raise punks who aren’t Grade A assholes. Some days you win, some days you get the A-hole. All you can do is hope you get it right more times than you get it wrong. Then sit back and laugh as you get to welcome all the previous “experts” into the club. High five.

Okayest Mom

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ryder Grey

Despite my best efforts, my little Ryder Grey keeps growing up. I’m not sure why he’s opposed to just staying a little dude for the rest of his life but it seems he’s figured out there’s more to life than living with your parents and having to go to bed every night at 8pm.

Every night when I tuck him in bed I give him a kiss and ask if he’s “my guy”. Every night he tells me yes. Then I test whether or not he’s serious by asking if he is my guy forever. And every night he tells me forever. And then I tell him that he’ll always be my guy, even when he has a girlfriend when he’s 45. Then he laughs because girls are still gross to him and that makes me happy because I like being the most important girl in his life.

Ryder is my emotional punk. He cries when he doesn’t get his way, when his feelings are hurt and when he’s mad. He is sensitive and sweet, wild and crazy, fearless and free. He’s bold, hates to lose and smart as hell. I appreciate the fact that he’s so willing to take chances without contemplating the outcome (although I do hope when he’s older and faced with bigger decisions than whether or not to jump off the diving board he’ll do some serious contemplating) because he typically finds so much joy in life.

His heart makes me proud – at six he truly cares about other’s and how they feel (this does not apply when he and his brothers or sister are fighting though). He is quick to offer a hug or a kiss, to tell you that he loves you and to say please and thank you. Even when he’s at his maddest, he’ll always tell me he’s sorry and that he loves me. I like to think this sweet heart of his is going to make someone extremely happy one day. Who wouldn’t want to find a guy who loves so freely?

Ryder Grey you touch my heart every single day. You are one of the very best pieces of me and I am forever grateful to be your mom. I cherish the fact that you are unique, independent, confident, sweet and smart. You are such a cool little punk and I am so proud of who you are. I know you will do great things in this life and I will always be here cheering you on, pushing you forward when you need it and reminding you of all the great things you can do.

Happy #6 to my guy.

I love you, dude.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Because It’s Always Better to Stand Out

I’m 157% certain if Cort would have been the firstborn child, he’d be an only child. God must have known this, so not only did he save him for last so he wouldn’t be an only child, but also to serve as a constant form of birth control, for me and pretty much anyone who meets him. He is currently sitting on my bed, roaring at the top of his lungs about nothing in particular which has me considering inventing a mute control button for punks. Not only would this save my ears from bleeding but I’d be richer than Bill Gates. I’m pretty sure I’d also get a key to the city and a day named after me which would be awesome, too.

The upshot of the fact he is completely fearless, weird, loud, stubborn and hilarious is that I think it means he’s going to be successful in whatever he does with his life. His current life goal is to be a ninja with blue hair because it will pay him a $1000, but I’m not sure one can actually make a career out of being a ninja so I’m hoping he’ll eventually pursue something that might actually pay the bills so he can move out one day.

He’s been getting up at 3am everysinglenight for the last week and has decided his bed is stupid and dumb and that he hates it. He’s even gone so far to call his bed an idiot which tells me he’s serious about his level of hate for it. Although, he calls everyone an idiot when he’s pissed off (approximately 23 hours a day) so it might just be his “thing”. That’s the problem with having older punks – they teach the little ones cool words like stupid, idiot, hate and shit. Okay, I’m responsible for “shit” and I’ll admit, it’s hard to let that one piss me off when he uses it in context.

If he wasn’t so cute I’d consider giving him away because this one little punk is the work of 10. He’s lucky he climbs into my lap every morning to see if he still fits because I’m able to look pass the fact he’s borderline insane and fall in love with him all over again. Most people might think that I’m crazy because I really like the fact that he’s so damn weird but I think he’s one of the coolest little people I’ve ever known. Even when he’s pissed off at me, refuses to put his pants on, and passes out in the middle of the floor I think he’s pretty awesome.


I hope he always stays this way (minus the sleepless nights and being so pissed all the time). I hope he never meets a person who thinks he should be different and tries to change who he is. That he never feels he has to change who he is to fit in or make someone else happy. I might not do everything right as a parent but teaching my punks they don’t have to fit in is one of the best things I’ve given them. I don’t think there’s anything better than people in our lives who don’t fit perfectly into a mold and I’m proud that, right now, my punks are as unique as they come.

So when you see us out and one of them is rocking a cape, a skull sweater, swim trunks and cowboy boots (a popular outfit this summer), and singing Pearl Jam at the top of their lungs, just know that this is my definition of rocking parenthood.

2013-06-11 20.37.10

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What an Ahole

It’s so easy to go through life simply going through the motions. When you think about it, just getting by is so much easier than doing things that scare us or require change. I can deal with other people making changes but I’m usually a chicken shit when it comes to instigating change in my own life. It scares the hell out of me and since I don’t even like watching horror movies, you can see how this doesn’t sit well with me.

But here’s the thing – life will always remain the same if you don’t do something about it. You can stay at the same life-sucking job letting it drain you daily or you can grow some balls and put your resume out there. You can sit back miserably as you watch other people pave their own path in life or you can get your ass up and make your own way.

It’s really that simple. And complicated.

I’m a people pleaser. I hate disappointing people. It’s who I’ve been my entire life. I make a lot of decisions based on how they will affect other people, rather than my own wants and needs. And while being considerate of others is a great quality to possess, it really sucks ass sometimes. It sucks feeling as though you can’t do what’s ultimately best for you because you’re living in fear of hurting other people.

Fear has held me back from some of things I’ve wanted more than anything in my life. Fear of failing, fear of disappointing, fear of making the wrong choice, fear of not being good enough. The list of things I’ve not done out of fear pisses me off: pursuing a career in writing, leaving KU freshman year, not learning to play the guitar when I was 16 and had the damn guitar, dropping out of track instead of running harder and longer. It’s not that any of these things were/are particularly difficult for me – but the fear of not doing any of them good enough, or successfully, has held me back. Worth noting: I can play a mean tambourine and an avocado shaker, I will dance my ass off any time or place, I can work sarcasm into any conversation, I've mastered some pretty awesome yoga poses, and I’m also raising some kick ass punks. So. There’s that.

My “fearless” tattoo has everything to do with promising myself that I will move forward in my life without fear. That I will take the chances that scare the hell out of me because those usually end up being the best ones we take in life. That I will speak up in times I usually find myself keeping my mouth closed so I don’t hurt someone’s feelings, meanwhile, suffocating my own. I’m exhausted from putting everyone else before me and while more people should probably try this approach to life a little more often, I need to learn to do it a little less.

I’m at a point in my life where I’m done worrying about myself last and I’m completely done letting the things I want most slip by, simply because I’m afraid. It feels selfish, wrong and completely foreign to me but it also feels freeing and gives me endless hope for what’s to come. So here’s to risks, taking chances and letting fear push me forward instead of holding me back.

Fuck you, fear. You’re an asshole.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Poop Diaries: Chad

If you read my last post then you are familiar with my love of a good poop story. You are also aware that I have an enormous stockpile of them. If you don’t love a good poop story stop reading now and come back in a day or two when we can discuss something not so gross.

My friend Chad has bowel issues. This guy is forever running to the bathroom before he shits his pants. Sometimes he’s successful in getting there in time, other times he’s ends up a hot, dirty mess. Honestly, lots of times he ends up shitting his pants which makes for many great stories. I don’t know if he’s been diagnosed with IBS but I’m 100% certain he’s got something going on because this shit isn’t normal. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to 911 it to a bathroom. Seriously.

Chad and his friends had been on a road trip and are headed home when he has a horrible gut attack that has him doubled over in pain. Of course, they are in the absolute middle of nowhere because no one really has a gut attack when they are on a road trip in close proximity to a gas station, right?

So Chad, who was making everyone sick from all of his diarrhea farting, knew he had to make a decision quickly or he was going to shit himself right there. They pull over and he shoots out of the truck like a man on fire, or like a woman who is trying to catch Adam Levine (whichever, you get the point. He was FAST). No one wants to shit their brains out right by the truck they are traveling in with their friends, at least I wouldn’t so I assume that applies to everyone. However, when you’re in the middle of nowhere land is often protected by barb wire fences which is one obstacle you don’t really want to face in this situation.

Chad, traveling like an Olympic sprinter apparently believes he is also now a hurdler at this point and takes the barb wire fence like a true champ, all while squeezing his ass tighter than he’s ever done before. Apparently gut attacks, squeezing your ass, and jumping don’t go hand in hand.

Mid-air, the explosive diarrhea he’s been desperately holding in comes shooting out. Now, I don’t know about you but if I’m going to shit myself silly, I rather be with two feet on the ground, rather than completely air-born.

Poor Chad. Stuck over the barbwire fence, 30 yards from the truck, covered in shit. Things would have been easier for him had there been trees so he’d have leaves to wipe his ass but these things never work out the way they should. He peels off his shorts (covered in shit) and his diarrhea underwear and just sits there, not sure what his next move should be. I’d love to tell you he drug his ass around the ground like a dog to clean up but he decided wiping his ass with prairie grass was a better option. Sounds painful, but what’s a guy to do?

He cleans himself up with prairie grass the best one can, leaves his shorts and underwear in the field, pulls his t-shirt down as low as he can, and makes his way back to the fence which now he has to climb over shitty and completely pantless. It’s hard to say which was the most difficult part of this situation – having to climb over a barbwire fence with his junk exposed to barbwire or seeing the look on his friends faces as they watch him scale the fence. Both equally awful in my book.

The hazing begins as soon as he approaches the fence and only increases as he makes his way over to the truck. Once he gets to the truck he walks to the back of it (on a highway, with no pants but thankfully, in his shoes and socks) to retrieve his bag so he can replace his clothing.

75 miles to a gas station where he can wash his smelly ass. 75 long, hot miles, with the windows down, in a truck with three other guys who have to smell his shit ass and of course, take advantage the situation to completely haze him, like any good friends would do. Or me. Despite the smell, I’d love to have 75 miles to “discuss” the incident.

My best advice is this: if you suffer from IBS, or something similar, do yourself a favor and carry wipes with you everywhere you go. You never know when you’re going to need to clean yourself up. You may also consider stopping the vehicle at the first sign of a gut attack so you aren’t crapping your pants while jumping a fence, or even just shitting yourself, period.

I’d like to tell you Chad learned a valuable lesson and is now carrying wipes with him but such is not the case. I will tell you that Chad has a problem digesting guacamole which has proven, more times than not, to cause him pooping humiliation which we can examine more in-depth in the future.

Let your stomach be your guide. Severe pain is a sign to stop what you’re doing and get yourself to a bathroom.  As are smelly farts. Another an indication you need to shit. Don’t ignore what your stomach is trying to tell you unless you want to end up in the Poop Diaries and then, by all means, ignore away. Just let me know whether or not you want me to change your name.