Not even Sour Patch Kids. Just sayin’.

Dear Husband,
That was the worst Toddler bedtime the history of crappy bedtimes…

I mean EVER.
Drank 2 martinis….

Ate all of your sugar-coated, NOT-SOUR, gummy bear thingys. It was a lot.

Don’t ever ask about them, k?

Love you.

Just Sayin’.

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Hah-penis! Just Sayin’.

So I say “penis” a lot lately.
WAY more in the past month or two than in my entire life before.

“Please don’t squeeze your penis so hard, buddy.”

“It doesn’t really matter if your penis is bigger than/smaller than/rounder than etc Billy’s, or Johnny’s, or Joey’s… every penis is different. ” (‘Every penis is different’ is now I thing I’ve actually said. And you can’t unsay that shit.)

“Point your penis down to the water… POINT YOUR PENIS DOWN!!!”

“I’m not supposed to have a penis, buddy. It’s ok”

And on and on…. and on and on and on.

It’s like saying “hat” to me at this point. “Son don’t twist your hat like that, m’kay?”

Yep.

Just Sayin’.

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The Many Ways You Piss Me Off While Driving

So Jr is 3-and-a-half, which means he repeats the EVERYTHING.

In an effort to prevent him from repeating a string-of-cuss overly colorful recounting of the trip to preschool to his teachers and classmates each day, I have been biting tongue until it bleeds to keep from narrating the transgressions coming against us as we motor those few miles each day.

It is a total bitch.

(One of the MANY words I REALLY like to say that I can’t say anymore, because he has outgrown the portion of toddlerhood where he buys the “oh mommy said witch… you know like Room on the  Broom?” bait-and-switch to a lame G rated word.)

I have a A LOT of pent up pet-peeve in me right now, and if this plan is going to work out long-term, Suburbia, Im’ma need you to PLEASE work with me here and STOP doing the following things:

-Using real plates/glasses/UTENSILS etc, in the car.  Why do you have your ceramic “World’s Greatest Mom” coffee mug in the car?  Why is your kid drinking OJ out of a glass with no top that is made OUT OF GLASS?  WTF people – get a damn travel mug. That is going to spill.  Or break.  Or both.

-Eating full-on meals in the car. This kind of goes with the last one, but I am BEYOND confused by it. When I look over at a stop light and see a dude using his knife and fork to cut  piece of smothered breakfast burrito on the family Corelle, I feel uncomfortably like I am at his breakfast table. Andplusalso, ” hands at 10 and 2 “(or 9 and 3, depending on when you took Drivers Ed,) NOT “hands on knife and fork.”  If you have to eat (and I get, better than most, the urge to eat while doing all the things,) then try a McMuffin like a normal person.  I hear Taco Bell wraps up all that stuff you have on your plate in a tortilla and smashes it shut with a sammie press.  Try that, yo?

-Having special time with the family pet. I love my dog to an extreme degree.  I have covered that already.  But cuddling your Great Dane on your lap with his head out your driver’s side window while navigating the main drag across town is kind of a recipe for distracted driving.  And Fido needs a doggie harness, too.  Love = strapping ‘em in, pet owners.

-Practicing personal hygine. I am not in your kitchen, and I am not in your freaking bathroom either.  I didn’t see very much of this on my drive to work when we lived in the city, but it is rampant out here.  Is it because people have farther to go, so you just leave earlier and take the entire contents of your bathroom cabinet with you in your Honda? It isn’t just the over-played bit about women doing mascara in the rearview (although that does happen,)
it is toothbrushing, and hair geling, and face shaving, and curler removal, and full on foundation application.  At 45 MPH. RIGHT behind me as you roll up to a red light.   Just stop it.

*special snowflake – when I say “you” I really mean “them” as in “those bastard offenders.”  Unless them is you. In which case, I MEAN YOU.

-Oh, and this garbage

-And this

-And also this and this because winter is coming so begin planning now

-PWP- Parenting While Piloting.  You know who you are.  I am not talking about telling Billy to stop smacking his sister, or handing Jane a tissue behind you.  You are the one who is somehow miraculously behind the wheel AND in the back seat physically breaking up that fight or Nose Friedaing that toddler while driving NOT AT ALL in your lane right beside me. That shit can wait. Use your “Swagger Wagon” DVD player to stifle the brood until you get to school and drive.

-Picture taking.  I don’t care if it is the most beautiful sunrise ever in the history of time.  Or if the aforementioned Great Dane is “wearing” your infinity scarf (hashtag, HILARIOUS!) Put your damn iPhone down before iScream or youCrash.

Seriously…  whatever it is that you have to do with your hands, just don’t do it in the car. 
Sing along with the radio.  Watch the guy next to you pick his nose at the stop light instead of checking your phone.

And above all else, pay attention to where I am, on the road, with my kid, who is WAY more important than your stupid lipstick…. Because if you thump us with that minivan or sedan or whatever, I will NOT be biting my tongue to protect my rep around Jr’s school.  I have MONTHS of pent up cuss…

I. Will. End. You.

Safe Travels, now.

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10 years.

10 years ago today, I became The Mr’s Mrs.
Outside of a perfect little farmhouse, just down a little back road from my hometown.  It really was perfect, and I had a feeling we would choose it, although I looked EVERYWHERE in the city for a venue that I felt a connection with.
Oh Lordy how I did not want to have our wedding a-way out here in nowheresville.

Except there was this place.  This place where we held the prom I helped plan my Junior year in high school.  This place with a real connection and history in the state I love so dearly.  It had big trees to shade our special day on beautiful grounds that would welcome our guests with views of the mountains so close they could see the tree-tops running up the hillsides (the Texan contingent eats that up, yo.)

Nothing I could find in the city topped it. I stopped hiding it and showed The (future) Mr, and he loved it too.

Done and done.  The place was the only thing I was picky about….  caterer and photog and music and dress.. it all fell into place after we found the venue.

So 10 years ago today (after a spectacular amount wee little bit of wine at the rehearsal dinner outside of Boulder, ) I got up at the crack of dawn to let the hairdresser and my BFF into my parents’ house, giggled as said BFF got an eyefull of my favorite cousin scratching his rump as he stretched off last night’s wine (my partner in crime, ) and loaded into my Daddy’s Tahoe for the 5 minute drive to the site.
I was nervous.  I mean, good nervous, but nervous.

But in we went.  My girls gathered round, getting me in my dress, taping my sleeves on (I even covered up most of my tattoos for that day- you’re welcome, honey,) and freshening my mimosa.
In the shadow of my hometown watertower, down the steps I used to enter and exit my prom, I clung to my Daddy’s arm and manuvered down onto the pavers and across the lawn on a beautiful sunny Fall morning, toward forever.

-The Rent-a-Reverand said the wrong name,(as in “do you Name of my oldest guy friend who had just done a reading, NOT The Mr’s name, take Keri to be your. .. what? OH SORRY ABOUT THAT! …”

-The buffet was subject to major bottlenecking due to where it was set up (for what it’s worth, the bar was not. Priorities. )

-It was the first (and last) time we danced together (Mistifies Me by Son Volt) and it probably looked like it.

-I can’t 2 step in a white ball gown (sorry, brother in law.)

-as we drove off waving, our driver admited she couldn’t get the champagne open, so Thec Mr jumped out, 100 feet from our “big send off” and wrenched the top off.

- I am sure other crazy stuff happened, but the whole day seemed to go by in about 3 minutes and then we were in the bridal suite and I was screeching and making my new spouse rip my industrial strength fashion taped sleeves off my arms “QUICK LIKE A BANDAID! NOW!”

It was perfect.

And here we are. 10 years later.
He makes me laugh. He makes me crazy. He leaves me dumbfounded
  He makes me proud.

“No one mystifies me like you do.”

The next ten years should be one hell of a ride, if the first 10 are any indication. 

Happy anniversary, honey.

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Did NOT see that coming.

I am a monumentally somewhat cynical person. I know this. I accept this.

So when the chance presented itself for me to attend a local fundraiser modeled after Dancing With The Stars (including prominent local figures paired with dance professionals,) I confess my internal dialogue went right to “um, that’s a little hokey, no?”

But it was presented as an opportunity to attend and then write an article about the evening and the foundation the evening benefits; so off I went in the back of my editor’s minivan, not quite knowing what to expect. Whatever I could have expected, it never could have compared to what I actually found – in the event, and in myself because of it.

It didn’t occur to me that I would see people I knew. Which seems ridiculous to say in hindsight – you were raised here, Keri. You know this town. This town knows you.

I’d forgotten. I had lost that; or maybe thought that all of us had lost that in the passing years. In the warm, genuine hugs and smiles and inquiries of wonderfully familiar faces I remembered again.

Sitting in the dark, surrounded by people who so love this place, people I know, children of people I know, I was overtaken by the sense of community. I hadn’t expected it, and It engulfed me like a tidal wave. I lost my breath.

I Could. Not. Stop. Smiling.  I found it (or rather it found me.) That connection I’d been missing since we moved back. The understanding of where I fit. Of belonging to a place. Of being home.

In that moment, in that space, my heart just swelled up, so fast and so completely full , and broke the internal Grinchy meter of my cynicism.

Oh.

Riding back home in the darkness and drizzle, I looked out that minivan window and suddenly I saw it all again – the bones and the soul of the little hometown I loved so fiercely in my youth. And the good things about what has grown and filled in and taken shape in my absence.

For the first time it didn’t feel like a betrayal to my “Reluctantly Suburban” persona to understand where I fit in the story of my hometown. Or even to be ok with it being my son’s hometown as well.

It didn’t feel like a threat to my love of the city to have a sense of belonging here – not just in my past, but in the present and in our family’s future as well.

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