If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just in case you wanted my opinion: My review of 21 Jump Street

I unavoidably waited 8 long days to see this movie, but these guys take the term "worth the wait" to a whole new level.

In the spirit of keeping this honest and unbiased, I should foreclose my total crush on Channing Tatum. I doubt that puts me in the minority here. You might remember that his bare behind single-handedly bumped my review of the movie The Vow up a whole grade a few weeks ago. I assure you, none of that came into play with my opinion of this movie.

21 Jump Street
~starring Channing Tatum...and some other guy~ Rated R
It's a Comedy about the lives of 2 opposite guys, Jenko and Schmidt, who knew each other from high school, reconnected in the Police Academy, became friends and used their strengths to help each other graduate and become Police Officers. Shortly after, they get transferred to an undercover branch of the force that sends them back to high school to infiltrate a drug ring in an effort to track down the suppliers.

There are some movies that show all the funny parts in the previews and you sit for 2 hours recognizing all the familiar scenes, but you walk away disappointed. This movie does not do that. Every scene has something hilariously unexpected, to the point that I feel like I need to see it again because my 40 year old bladder and giant coffee had me running for the bathroom just as Jenko and Schmidt arrived at high school on their first day and I know I missed a lot of laughs in those 5 minutes.

Now for me, there's a fine line between stupid humor full of cussing and raunch that I find ridiculously offensive (ie; The Change Up) and a movie that has cussing and raunch, but has you rolling on the floor laughing from beginning to end. (ie; Wedding Crashers.) For the life of me, I don't know how I determine which is which. Maybe it's the likeability of the characters...or the hotness...ahem, but I either love it or hate it and there's no in between. With that being said, I've gotta be completely honest here. This movie has a lot of cussing and there are a few scenes that would definitely qualify as raunch. You do not want to take your young kids to see this, which is a shame because it's such a funny movie, that minus the cussing and raunch, I know my 12 year old would really enjoy.

I'm just giving you a heads up. If you're easily offended, this is not the movie for you. But if you're a Channing Tatum stalker fan and love to laugh at stupid humor, you'll love this movie as much as I do.

My grade for 21 Jump Street: A+ and 10 thumbs up.
Hey, I know I only have 2 thumbs, but this is my review and I can do what I want.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rabies & Negligees

Believe it or not, I don't report every bit of mayhem that happens around this house. But some days just beg to be shared. Yesterday was one of those days.

I knew things were a little off when C, who had gone to bed dressed in her purple monkey jammies the night before, awoke the next morning wearing a rainbow colored Go-Go dress complete with black boots. Huh.

Things took another unexpected turn when she and I went outside to swim and were greeted by her favorite cat, Mango, returning from a hunt in the cornfields. She took off to pick up her beloved cat, just as I realized that something was terribly wrong with him. His mouth was gaping open in the look of a snarl and he was panting really hard.

Ask my family about my biggest fear. Rabies. It stems back to an episode of Oprah many years ago when a doctor said something I'll never forget: "Once someone shows the signs of Rabies, there is no cure." And with that, my world turned upside down and I, the stay at home mom, was given my mission. KEEP MY FAMILY SAFE FROM RABIES. They'll thank me someday, mark my word.

Fast forward 15 years to seeing my 5 year old joyfully run toward what I'm convinced is a rabid Mango. And in true big-screen-slow-motion-fashion, I yelled "NOOOOOO!!!" And then screamed hysterically when Mango turned his head and made direct eye contact with me.
Drama was clearly called for here, people.

I locked Mango safely away in the garage and immediately called my husband. Granted, this wasn't my husband's 1st phone call at work from me crying that one of our pets has Rabies, so he didn't exactly go on High Alert. I don't cry Wolf. I cry Rabies. Better safe than sorry.

C and I continued our day by the pool until it was time for a snack and some laundry. I peeled off my wet bathing suit and grabbed the closest thing to wear....my flowered, silk and barely there negligee....just until my flannel jammies were out of the dryer.

Now enter the Mail Lady. A little back story. For starters, she tried to sell us bed sheets out of the trunk of her mail car a couple years ago. She also has a habit of sitting in our driveway laying on her horn until I come out, no matter how long it takes, even if I'm with a massage client. Fun stuff.

My inappropriate nightie was barely over my head when the familiar blare of the mail horn sounded and I heard C open the front door.
Oh. My. Gosh.

I looked outside to realize the nightmare would only get worse. I had the safety cones set up across the driveway for when C plays outside, which means the mail car was parked all the way down at the end of our driveway.

She'd seen me, so it was too late to act like we weren't home. As quickly as I could without anything flopping out of my top or bottom, I made my way to her car, avoiding eye contact as I took the package, without explanation or apology, and then hurried back to our house while successfully ignoring the honk of approval from a semi driver as he passed.

When I got back into the house, completely humiliated, C said, "Let's open the garage and show her Mango."

Oh, let's not reveal all of our traumatizing freak show antics to the mail lady. We need to save some for the Amish.
  • Update on Mango: As it turns out, a cat with Rabies bares a striking resemblance to a cat with a fur ball. False alarm. Carry on.

  • And a quick thank you to the semi driver from the 40 year old mother of 4 who will take a compliment wherever she can get it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March MAD-ness Part I

Definition of Mad:
1. Angry; resentful.
2. Suffering from a disorder of the mind; insane.
3. Temporarily or apparently deranged by violent sensations, emotions, or ideas.
4. Lacking restraint or reason; foolish


Many of you know the history of my battle with weight. But you might not know that there's a mindset that naturally goes along with that and your brain can be a very powerful and manipulative organ. Although I lost the majority of my weight 10 years ago, my mind continues to have the ability to tell me I've gained it all back overnight. And I believe it. I'm not proud of this weakness in myself, but it is what it is.

Therefore, several years ago, I began weighing myself every single morning, down to the ounce, and writing it in RED on the family calendar for all to see. It keeps me accountable and it keeps me grounded and it's a visual reminder to my brain that I did not gain 100 lbs yesterday.

A friend and I recently decided that we'd like to lose 10 lbs together. Then I made a big mistake and sent this text: "Let me know if you wanna get radical with it."

Definition of Radical:
Departing from the usual or customary; extreme:

Radical started with texting each other our weight each morning. Trust me when I tell you, I'm on the embarrassing end of that radical movement.

With the start of Lent, Radical morphed into giving up any food after dinner. Oh crap. This is tough, but I lost 5 lbs within the first week, so I arrogantly assumed that I would meet my goal weight by the end of Lent. Wrong. I not only hit a plateau, but actually gained 2 lbs back and stayed there.

That's when my friend took Radical to a whole new level. Enter the South Beach Diet. (Or, as it's since been referred, the SOB.) Her convincing argument: "It says we can lose 8-12 lbs in the first 14 days, so we only have to make it through that and we'll be at our goal!"

Yes! Sounds great! We can do anything for 14 days! And in a moment I can only chalk up to as pure insanity, I suggested we also go the 14 days without weighing ourselves and I told my husband to hide my scale. For once in the history of our marriage, he actually did what I told him to do.

And with that, our new Radical Movement was in place: No scales. 14 day SOB. Finish out Lent. Start date: March 18th. Coincidentally, the same as my period. Let the games begin.

So here's where I stand on Day 3:

I'm starving. All the time. My family has gotten a glimpse of what kind of contestant I'd be on Survivor. My kids said I'd be the first one voted off the island. My husband said I'd be the first in the history of the show to eat a fellow contestant. I think they're all correct.

I'm sick of meat. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I cannot survive by meat alone. Yes, the SOB allows salad. That's awesome....for SOMEONE WHO LIKES SALAD!!!!

I'm mad. (Choose from any and/or all of the above definitions.)

And on that note, I WANT MY F-ING SCALE BACK!!! I've frantically searched our house, garage and barn. I've begged him. I've cried. I've pleaded on my knees. (Literally) Finally, last night, when I straddled him and pinned his arms above his head in a moment of blind fury he said, "Look at yourself. Your scale is a drug."

That's when I was hit with two reality checks.

1. He's absolutely right. My scale is my drug.
2. I. Don't. Care.

They say "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." With eleven days to go, it's too soon to predict how this journey with my friend, a missing scale, Lent and an SOB will end. So for now, we'll just say, To Be Continued.....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sweet 16 and Fab 5



Around here, March is all about Birthdays and Basketball.

I plan birthdays.

My husband watches basketball.

This year, A turned 16 and C turned 5. Pretty big milestones for each of them.

When Z turned 16, we took a family trip to Tennessee and experimented with the adventures of Indoor Skydiving. Basically, you wear skydiving suits, stand inside a very loud wind tunnel until a man you pray is a professional, takes you by one arm and one leg and jumps you both into the air, where ideally, the simulated wind catches your suit just right and you go spinning high into the air past the viewing windows where your husband and traumatized toddler watch Mommy fly past with her eyes squeezed tightly closed behind her giant goggles and her mouth open in a silent scream. And that's "ideal." Your less than ideal scenario is that the wind doesn't catch your suit properly and you either crash into the wall or land with a thud at the base of the tunnel and see the instructor signal the controller to increase the wind to get Mommy off the floor.
Code: Bump it up to hurricane. Oh the things we do for our children.

A decided she would also like to take a trip and try Zorbing. We agreed. It's booked. Then I googled it. In June, I'll be strapped into a giant rubber ball and sent rolling down the hills of Tennessee. Coming soon to a blog near you.

In the meantime, her birthday weekend included her meal of choice, which was the Red Lobster inspired 4-Course Feast and the following day we went swimming and up to the Lake to eat at a dirty little bar that literally leans to the side causing you to sit at an angle to eat GIANT cheeseburgers. Oh yeah.

One week later, my baby C turned 5. Her obsession with Laverne & Shirley reruns made her party planning easy. Bowling Alley, Pizza, Scooter Pies, and bottles of "Shotz" (root) Beer. I contacted a friend who made her a poodle skirt and monogrammed shirt (thank you, Alison!) and then I set to work planning the party.

Obstacle #1: Per bowling alley rules, absolutely no outside food or drink was permitted to be brought into the bowling alley for the party. The only exception: A birthday cake.
How do I host a Laverne & Shirley party without Shotz Beer? Easy: You disguise them in gift bags and then apologize to the parents for sending their young children home with glass bottles of what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.

Obstacle #2: I don't have the personality to allow an easy party to be easy.
Rather than simply buying or making a birthday cake, I opted for double stacked cupcakes on top of a cone and iced to look like giant soft served ice cream. Three hours and five tubs of icing later, I had 24 beautiful creations that did indeed look like soft served cones. SCORE!

Obstacle #3: Transporting 24 giant top heavy creations.
I'll spare you the dirty details of the profanity filled 15 minutes it took to drive to the bowling alley, but when we arrived, we were each holding hand fulls of dented, finger printed and leaning towers of the messiest looking ice cream cones you've ever seen. Our guests met us in the parking lot and helped us out.

So our party walked into the bowling alley carrying what appeared to be 24 giant melting ice cream cones after being strictly forbidden to bring in food. We are nothing if not excellent at first impressions.

Many dressed the 50's part and we had a blast. Two hours later, we left with our bouncing icing covered 5 year old and breathed a sigh of relief. My husband, ready to return to his evenings of basketball and I, happy to have pulled off a successful birthday party, despite the obstacles.

My head hit the pillow with a self-proclaimed-mother-of-the-year status and a determination to finish out the month profanity-free.

And then it hit me. We forgot to sing Happy Birthday.

Shit.