That perfect look. Just Sayin’.

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Not for long, Swarm!

Ahhh… Nothing like a day where your whole look just comes together…
Hair on point, outfit bangin’, even the bag is hanging just so in the crook of your arm.

Get it girl.

And then you trip 2 feet from the front door of the office building and throw your bucket-sized iced green tea all over the front of yourself.

Why do I even try?
Just Sayin’.

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Visiting Brutus.

Two Saturdays ago my mom dropped us, along with the GIGANTIC pile of crap that has to be dragged along when traveling with a small child (or maybe just my small child – but keep opinions about that quiet for Keri’s sake, m’kay,) off at the airport at a semi-insanely early hour of the day.

We checked my humongous suitcase at the counter -attention to The Mr: I am packing for TWO in that thing, OK? Most of that stuff is totally for Jr, not really I swear! Then I wheeled Jr’s carseat strapped to an old school folding luggage cart through security, on to the train and to the gate for gate-checking, and off we went to the great state of Ohio for a week of family fun with The Mr’s extended family.

In honor of this trip, I present to you:

Keri’s Fun Facts From Family Vacation!

  1. Southwest loaner car seats are actually really nice – as we learned when ours remained (lonely and abandoned) on the jet way in Denver while we jetted to the Buckeye state. It arrived later that day on a different flight – I hope they gave it a juice box and some pilot wings, flying alone is scary!
  2. Evidently, to a 4 year-old, one has not truly visited a place unless one has pooed in a potty at that place. (This includes, but is not limited to, private homes, restaurants, quaint destination Inns, and coffee shops.)
  3. My father-in-law’s chocolate martini recipe isn’t NEARLY as complicated as I previously imagined. (So. Damn. Good.)
  4. It is a good thing I took the giant suitcase *ahem, husband, as the amount of gifts bestowed upon Jr by The Mr’s generous family meant we needed the space (and my luggage gained 5 lbs.)
  5. Speaking of gaining 5 lbs… the Midwest has a LOT of good food. I did my best to eat it all.
  6. Fireflies are kinda scary looking in the full light of day.
  7. If you ask Jr about the Columbus Zoo, where he spent like, 5 fun filled hours looking at all the animals and frolicking in glee, he will only tell you that the animatronic pirate out front “was scary but it’s ok ‘cause he can’t move from there.” (oh, pooed at the Zoo too, BTW.)
  8. Deep-fried,Bacon-wrapped Deviled Eggs are an actual thing. Long live The Walrus !
  9. Ohio Squirrels don’t look like Colorado Squirrels – they grow ‘em lean and scrappy in the O.H.
  10. You can get Brutus the Buckeye on literally ANY product you could ever think of in your mind. EVER.
  11. O-H-I-Oh my effing gawd does humidity jack up Keri’s hair.
  12. Most importantly: You can pack a lot of family fun and shenanigans into one week!

I am not going to lie – travel sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone, and there were some moments that I was definitely not at my best as a mom, (there was a particularly horrifying moment involving an airport escalator that is burned into my mind with regret.)

But I hope that Jr’s memories of this trip will be of all the fun adventures he had; of chasing his big cousin Adam around bugging him to play; of his great uncle calling milk “Moo Juice” and giving him high-fives; of his GaGa and Grandpa watching him proudly display his gymnastic moves in the twilight of the front yard; of late bedtimes and sweet treats and new experiences… and most importantly, of the amazing amount of love he got to soak in from his wonderful extended family during his first trip to “where Brutus lives.”

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Always level-headed. Just sayin’.

So I was moving stuff around in the open garage with my keys in my pocket when the MUV started via remote.

I didn’t know I had that feature, so *may* have thrown keys and run shrieking “Christine! REBUKE!! Out Devil!”

This shit is why the neighbors throw me so much shade, isn’t it?

Just Sayin’.

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One of those nights.

3 years ago this week, in a blaze of solo packing glory, I packed up our condo like a crazy person when it was suddenly, FINALLY confirmed that the sale would actually go through (don’t ask, there are seriously some things that even my blabber-mouth self will never be able to speak of,) and prepared to turn the keys over to the next owner of my beloved Treehouse.

I spent my last night there alone – Binky-the -wonder-dog having been carted off to my parents’ house, along with Jr in an effort to prevent his particular kind of packing “help,” (pulling everything out of boxes I had just filled whenever I turned away for a half a second;) and The Mr. traveling for business.

It was good that there were no witnesses to that particular brand of emoting – I wandered from room to room with a box of tissues in one hand and a bottle glass of Vhino Verde in the other; delivering long-winded, tear-gargling monologues about all of the fabulous memories each space held for me. There were several instances involving me hugging appliances and doorways, and a declaration of love for the giant patio that was so garbled by sobs and snot that I think I traumatized the next door neighbor’s cat permanently.

It was hours and hours of the textbook example by which to measure all other examples of “ugly cry.”

Last Sunday, the 25th, was the actual anniversary of that shameless emotional evening, and I was feeling particularly sorry for myself thinking back on it, and on the obvious and faultless wonder of The Treehouse and our fabulous perfect life there. Yep – time hadn’t clouded my memories of that At All.

At 3:00 in the morning Binky woke me from my peaceful, urban-dream-filled slumber.  He was pacing and panicking and having a furry meltdown, scratching at the back door.  One eye cracked open as I came downstairs, I popped on the back light expecting to see the dreaded Mega Coon, or our neighbor’s cat (equally menacing and WAY more carnivorous than even Mega Coon.) Nothing was there and my fuzzy first born was LOSING HIS MIND trying to get outside, so I opened the door and out he ran.

Turns out the poor guy had the poo. Like really. Like whoa.

As I watched him, um, dealing with his issue, all over the back yard, I was struck by the memories of a few nights in the city that were very different from that nostalgia and wine soaked last one in our old home.   Memories of past tummy troubles with Binky, of him and me pacing up and down 7th avenue at horrifically early hours of very dark mornings, as he was coping with the aftermath of some mystery something he had snacked down on an earlier walk.     Meanwhile, I was glancing back and forth, nervously aiming my pepper spray and a bag full of dog poo at any noise I perceived on the deserted streets – trying to throw my best crazy-don’t-screw-with-me eyes at the occasional teetering soul who dared pass too close headed home from some booty-call or night cap.

I did not miss that. I did not miss that one damn bit, and I don’t think my sick, miserable doggie missed going up and down in the elevator (that seemed to take FOREVER to come, on those nights in particular,) or trying to work out his issues going back and forth on one narrow patch of grass under a street light, with me standing right on top of him acting like a freakjob. (I know my weaknesses. Solo night time streets pretty much ANYWHERE is one of them.)

In and out went poor Binky for the next 3 hours, from his cozy home directly into his private, large back yard where he could do his doggie business as much as he needed while mom stayed on the sofa inside, sans pepper-spray and nutty faux-ninja-like reactions.

Around the time the sun was coming up, he came in for the last time and laid down overlooking his yard to rest.

I am not confirming or denying anything – but I may have even given that doorway a little hug.

 

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Old. As. Dirt.

This just in, I am ancient.

No really – I am officially an old lady.

I made the horrifying realization today on my way home after Jr’s parent/teacher conference (during which his teacher said he was totally ready for Kindergarten, which sounded like “and he is leaving for college tomorrow” in my ears, so I was feeling the passing of time pretty deeply already.)

2 things happened within the span of maybe one mile that confirmed my lame-old-mom status:

I recently cut the cord with my SIRIUS subscription, so I am kind of a station flipper of late, trying to figure out what stations play what I like.  I flipped to a song a love and was singing my heart out driving down the road, enjoying the sun FINALLY being out after days (and days) of rain (and snow.) Awesome!! The song ended and the station identification came on – KOOL 105.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. It was THE OLDIES STATION. The one we used to beg my dad to turn off when we were young because it was SOOOOOOO lame.

Translation – I am now, SOOOO lame.

At almost the exact moment that this terrible understanding was washing over me, I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed that there was a little black sedan attempting to climb into my back seat. At least that appeared to be what the driver was doing, because the car was so close to the back of me I could see the freckles on the teenage girl’s face as she drove. I looked down to see if (like old ladies do,) I was driving abnormally slow. Nope, 3 miles an hour over the posted limit, totally reasonable.

I glared in my mirror and maintained my speed, not to be pushed into speeding by her presence. She continued to maintain her ridiculously small following distance, senior hat tassle swinging off her review mirror, until the car next to me (also driving normal speed,) turned into a subdivision.   Then she blew by me before swinging back into my lane and into the same turn lane I was heading for. She was going to the high school.

Something SNAPPED – my inner little old lady was shaking her cane over her head on the lawn of my mind and shouting “YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!” I embraced my ancientness.

I snapped a pic of her plate number as we sat in the turn lane. Her eyes shot lightning bolts in her rearview mirror. The light turned green and she tore away, speeding around the corner and into the school parking lot. I ambled by at the speed recommended for the school zone, tootled on home, and did what lame old ladies do in situations like these: I called the school.

Enjoy your chat with the resource officer, young lady.

(Because that is what lame old ladies call young people. Now seriously, get off my lawn. I will be on the back patio bumping the KOOL 105.)

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