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It’s A Southern Thing

You know that old saying “You can take the girl out of the South but you can’t take the South out of the girl?” Well, it’s true my friends. And make no mistake about it- I am a Southern girl. And proud of it. I know what ya’ll are thinking. I might be a good Southern girl, but unfortunately my inner diva, Buffy, is not. As a good Southern girl I believe in turning the other cheek. Buffy, on the other hand, believes in a bitch slap for a bitch slap.

I got into a little bit of a tiff this weekend with a lady who lives down the street from us. They just moved into the neighborhood and they are obviously not from the South. They have a daughter about Maia’s age and I thought it would be nice to go and introduce them to each other. Being the Southern gal that my mama raised me to be, I took a housewarming gift. I chose a very pretty plant garden in a gorgeous bowl. We walked down the street and Maia rang the doorbell. She was so excited to meet the little girl. While waiting for someone to answer the door, I heard yelling from inside the house. Lots of yelling. With some naughty words thrown in. By this point, I’m looking around trying to decide if it’s too late to run away. A second later the door is thrown open and all that I could do was smile and say “Welcome to the neighborhood.” I introduced myself and Maia and handed her the plant garden. She took it with a most distasteful look on her face. Who doesn’t like a plant garden? Seriously.

“We don’t like plants in the house. They’re messy.”

Wow. I was shocked. Talk about no manners. I stared at her for a moment, not quite sure how to respond to that. Maia chose that moment to speak up and ask where the little girl was and if she could play with her. The mom actually stepped outside so she could close the door behind her. Oh. My. Word. Then she said,

“No offense, but I choose my daughter’s friends carefully. I don’t want her growing up to be a plastic Barbie doll, prom queen.”

What the hell? No offense? You’re calling my kid a plastic barbie doll and you don’t mean any offense? Oh, it’s on bitch. So I responded (well, really Buffy did but I’ll take credit) “That’s okay, really. I’m pretty choosy about my daughter’s playmates as well. Just based on meeting you, I don’t think they’ll be spending any time together.”  And the bitch came back with “I just don’t believe in that Southern girl crap. I want my kid to know that she can do anything she wants, be anything she wants. She doesn’t have to be this little cookie-cutter, Martha Stewart wanna-be homemaker.”

*blink*

She continued with “I mean, no offense or anything.”

To which I had to reply “Oh, of course, no offense taken. I don’t mind being called a cookie-cutter Martha Stewart wanna-be homemaker. No more than you should mind being called a Tasteless, Low Class, Misogynistic disgrace to the neighborhood….but no offense intended. So please, feel free to go back to screaming at your family at the top of your lungs. The rest of us will just pretend we don’t hear you and hope our children don’t repeat any of the words from your extensive four letter vocabulary. Classy!”

I retrieved my nice plant garden, grabbed Maia‘s hand and marched off that porch. Halfway down the driveway, Maia said: “Mama, I don’t think I want to play with that little girl. Her mommy is really rude.”

Out of the mouths of babes. At least my daughter is being raised properly- with manners and class. Plastic barbie doll, my ass.

Bitch.

Today I have a lovely plant garden on my dining room table and it’s serving to remind me that I am proud to be a Southern woman. It’s also reminding me that the next thing I leave on my new neighbor’s doorstep will be in a brown paper bag and quite possibly will also be on fire.



BRINGING SEXY BACK

Mase turning One this week has made me think. My kids are getting older. Theoretically so am I, but alas I’m still a toned and tanned 25 year old….at least in my alcohol induced magical mirror. This past 22 months of enforced sobriety for pregnancy and nursing has really sent my self esteem plummeting down to the realm of non-existence.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…..who the hell is that fat lady???

Mama’s gotta get her sexy back this year. I just can’t be going around looking like this anymore, it’s not right. It’s not even that I have extra pounds to shed, cause I was careful when I was pregnant with Mase. See, with Maia, I took that whole “eating for two” thing a little too literally. I gained 45 pounds…and she came early. I was a size 2 before getting knocked up with Maia and gaining 45 pounds on a 5 foot 4 frame was majorly painful. It took me 2 years to lose all the weight and get back down to a size 4. Then I got knocked up again with Mase. But this time I bypassed the brownies and hot fudge cake…mmmmm….and watched my diet a little more carefully. I didn’t restrict essential calories, don’t want any hate mail from the granolas. I just used some self-restraint and said no to that 4th piece of pizza. I gained 21 pounds with Mase and lost almost all of it within the first 6 months. Unfortunately, losing the weight was the first battle. Today, I weigh exactly the same as I did before I got knocked up with Mase. But none of my old clothes fit. I have lumps, bumps and dimples in places that were not lumpy, bumpy or dimply before. I know what you’re thinking…She needs to exercise. Right???  There lies the problem. I hate to exercise. H-A-T-E it. I played competitive soccer for almost 18 years. I went to college on a soccer scholarship. I exercised and trained every. single. day. of my life for almost 18 years. Now I’m done. The only way you will see me running now is if someone is chasing me. And even then, I might just take my chances. Rest assured, if you see me running in one direction- pay attention because something very bad is happening in the other direction.

So what’s a pale, lumpy chick to do? Buy new clothes to hide the lumps? Liposuction? Yesterday I signed up for a 10 week pilates class. The perky little instructor talked me into it. After 10 weeks, I better look like her or I’m demanding a refund. The best part? Free childcare. Sweet! Of course, the Starbucks right next door might pose some willpower issues but they make light Frappaccinos so it’s all good, right?! That helps with the bumpy, lumpy and dimply part. What about the frumpy? I don’t know about you guys, but I spend 100% of my money on my kids. I don’t buy new clothes for myself. And when I do, it’s usually stuff that’s on sale. My closet looks like a clearance rack. I should nominate myself for What Not To Wear. Stacey and Clinton- if you ever read this, COME HELP ME. Matt gave me money for Christmas to buy myself some new clothes so I did get some new winter items. I went through my very small selection of spring/summer clothes yesterday and talk about depressing. Nothing fit, or didn’t fit right, or was just old and out of style. I considered just throwing it all out and just going Roper Style wearing moomoos and flip flops but I can’t bring myself to do something so drastic. I must turn this downward spiral back around again.
I’ve made some baby steps already. I got my hair cut and highlighted. I bought some new make-up. I bought a new purse.

I’m bringing sexy back this year.



24 FACTS FOR 24 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

I know you all are so excited to learn more about me…quit laughing, I hear you….STOP!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Who has time to wrap?? Geesh, what am I- super mom? No, seriously though- Santa doesn’t wrap presents at our house. He leaves them in 4 distinct piles with the kids stockings in the front. I found these great stockings with little chalkboards on the front that we write the kids names on so they know which pile is theirs immediately. Each stocking is different- we have a santa, a snowman, a reindeer and an elf. Each child gets one gift from us (the parentals) and I wrap those for under the tree. Matt and I wrap our gifts to each other. The kids gifts from my parents and my sister are also wrapped under the tree….cause I always pick them out, buy them, wrap them and then THEY get the credit….the things we do for family.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, two of our kiddos have seasonal allergies and the real trees seem to set them off with asthma issues.

3. When do you put up the tree? The first weekend in December, so we’re doing it this Saturday. The kids are so excited. Matt, not so much since he is the one who has to climb in the attic to haul it all downstairs. Just call him the Jackass…er, I mean the pack mule. No really, that’s what I meant to say.

4. When do you take the tree down? By the time January rolls around and I’ve spent a full month trying to keep children from knocking down the tree or stealing the ornaments or eating the fake candy canes….I am sooooo ready to take down that tree.  So we normally pack away our Christmas decor the first weekend in January.

5. Do you like eggnog? Can’t have it, severe lactose intolerance in my nursing son and myself keeps me from enjoying such wonderful delicacies. And don’t bother telling to drink Soy Nog. It’s not the same. No matter how much Rum you add to it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage Patch preemie doll…oh how I loved that doll! I still have it and now Maia plays with it.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Hmmm. Nobody really.  I always know what to get Matt, usually because he’s been dropping hints for months. And both sets of grandparents get a photo book from the year. And our siblings get a nice bottle of wine. So I guess really it’s the kids teachers who are the hardest to buy for.

8. Easiest person to buy for? All of my kids.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? We have the Little People one. I love it.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail. Nothing better than getting a Christmas card in the mail. I do photo cards every year. I start in October trying to get a good picture of all four kids and by the time December 10th rolls around I scramble to pick one where nobody is crying, everyone is kind of looking near the camera and nobody has their finger in their nose. Seriously.

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I can’t think of one. Matt is very good at gift giving. He knows exactly what I like and he hits the mark every year.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I have 2. I adore National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s hands down my favorite Christmas movie because I can see my family in the movie. That is my life folks. My other favorite is A Christmas Story. I remember watching it with my family as a kid and it’s just become a tradition. The kid with his tongue stuck to the flag pole still cracks me up to this day. Mainly because it brings back vivid memories of me talking my sister into trying it. Ahhhh, the memories.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I hate crowds and I’m not real fond of people either(I know, shocking isn’t it?) so I start early. I’m completely done already and have been done for weeks. The kids gifts are safely hidden away and Matt’s is hidden at my sister’s house cause he’s a way bigger snoop than the kids.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? It depends on the gift giver and who the new recipient would be.  I try to make sure the original gift giver will never ever find out I have re-gifted something given to me. Usually I donate anything that doesn’t fit or I don’t need or want unless it’s something that I know is perfect for someone else and then I wait for a birthday to regift it to them.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? We do a Christmas brunch. My parents come every year and so does my younger sister who lives right near us. I make a French Toast Bake and a Breakfast Casserole. My sister makes Biscuits and Gravy. It’s soooooo good. Matt and I host Thanksgiving at our house and usually have around 30 people. I just can’t take another huge dinner production so close so we started a new tradition a few years ago.

16. Lights on the tree? White lights. And they must twinkle. The twinkling lights keep small children quiet, with wide eyed wonder, as they stare slack jawed at the tree for hours. It’s like Baby Prozac. If the twinkling stops, or heaven forbid, the strands of lights get off sequence- chaos ensues and that Baby Prozac turns into Baby Crack.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Ooh, I love them all. I turn on the Christmas music right after Thanksgiving and we listen to it until January. I love the ones that send me back to childhood- like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman…. I love singing them with my kids.

18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Tequila, Gin, Rum, Vodka, Prozac…..isn’t that how the song goes?? Is that just in my house??

19. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have an angel. My mom gave us the angel from my childhood and the kids love it.

20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The kids open their traditional Christmas PJ’s on Christmas Eve after we come home from church. I buy them matching PJ’s every year to wear on Christmas morning. Makes such cute Christmas morning pictures. I usually tuck a small little gift inside the PJ’s for them to find each year. They also each get to open their Christmas ornaments and put them on the tree on Christmas Eve. Every year since they’ve been born (or placed here for the adopted ones) I have bought them an ornament that reflects what they liked that year. Transformers, Dora, Thomas the Train…we have an eclectic tree each year. This year it’s Star Wars, Batman, Wall-E and Elmo.

21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The sense of selfishness that seems to prevail. I hate that. I want my kids to know what the season is REALLY about and not just to expect huge globs of presents. We used to do large, extravegant Christmas mornings complete with a ton of gifts that the kid didn’t really need or necessarily want. Now we do 3 gifts per child from Santa, 1 gift from Matt and me, and 1 gift from their siblings. Then they get a good gift from my parents and my sister (remember I pick them out, buy them, wrap them and put them under the tree- of course they’re good gifts).

22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I used to have a theme. I used to do a gorgeous tree with burgundy and gold accents. Oh, it was so pretty. Sigh….now it’s all about the kids. But, as my mom reminded me last year, the joy on my little one’s faces when they pull out their favorite ornaments is what it’s all about. I see the same joy on their faces that I remembering feeling as a child when mom pulled out all of our homemade ornaments. And that’s what it’s all about. One day I will have a theme again and I’ll be sad that there are no more kids ornaments on our tree.

23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We just do our Christmas morning brunch and then maybe some appetizers for later in the day. That’s it. Simple and fast so we can enjoy the day as a family instead of slaving in the kitchen all day long. I remember my mom having to rush from watching us open our gifts to cooking like a madwoman for Christmas dinner. She told me long ago not to make the same mistake. Enjoy the day, enjoy my kids, enjoy my family…that’s what Christmas should be about.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nothing. There’s nothing I need. I’d rather save the money towards our family vacation in the spring. Matt will get me something small- probably some new perfume or something useful- like a new coffee pot. I got him a Digital photo frame for his new office at work. Matt, if you’re reading this- pretend to be surprised or next year you get ex-lax brownies. A couple of years ago we got a joint gift- a 46″ HD TV for the family room but this year there’s really nothing that we need.

So there you go- more than you ever wanted to know about my family.



20 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME

20 very interesting, enormously important facts about me.

1-Were you named after anybody: Yes. I’m named after my grandmother on my mom’s side. Coincidentally, my aunt is also named after my grandmother. Very interesting at holiday gatherings- never knew who people were yelling at.

2- What’s your favorite lunch meat: Roasted chicken breast, thinly sliced.

3- If you were another person, would you be friends with you: Hell yeah! I’m awesome, who wouldn’t want to be my friend?

4- Do you use sarcasm alot: Who moi? Never. Sarcasm is a state of mind. Punks.

5- What is your favorite cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, hands down!

6- What is your favorite ice cream: Mint Chocolate Chip

7- Do you think you are strong: Physically or mentally? I guess I’m strong physically…for a chick. I know I’m strong mentally. You have to be to put with all the shit that comes with adopting from foster care.

8- What is your least favorite thing about yourself: Just one? I’m a huge procrastinator. Like HUGE. Like REALLY HUGE. I’m also kind of bitchy…but I kind of like that about myself.

9- What was the last thing you ate: Jack in the Box plain hamburger with tomato and some curly fries….I know, how boring. But I’m still nursing my son and he’s severely lactose intolerant. So nothing yummy for me for another few months.

10- If you were a crayon, what color would you be: Hmmm. I’d be Red. But my kids like red so they’ve probably stepped on me a few times, now I have a huge crack in the middle and my lower half is just hanging there waiting to be torn the rest of the way off. Screw it- I’ll be that funky marigold yellow, my kids hate that color.

11- What is your favorite scent: Harvest spice, pumpkin, anything autumn.

12- Favorite sports to watch: NFL Football, College Basketball, National Team Soccer(men and women). I’m a cool wife- crack me a beer and hand me a pom pom.

13- What is your hair color: My real one? It’s been so long, I can’t remember….some shade of brown…

14- Do you prefer scary movies or happy ending movies: Toss up. My life is a scary movie. I hate sappy ending movies, I always wind up wanting to bitch slap the whiny main character. If you’re in the theater and hear a chick screaming “Pull up your big girl panties and shut the hell up”….well, it’s probably me.

15- What is your favorite food: Grilled sweet potato smothered in butter, caramel sauce, marshmallows and brown sugar. My mouth is watering and my jeans are getting tighter just thinking about it.

16- What is the last movie you watched: Wall-e….I don’t remember the last grown up movie I watched…

17- Do you prefer summer or winter: Neither. Hate to be hot, hate to be cold. I like spring and fall, but definitely prefer fall the most with all the purty colored leaves.

18- What is your favorite dessert: I have a sweet tooth, I like them all. But my absolute favorite that I would kill for is Egg Custard Pie. I haven’t had one in YEARS because not only is my kid lactose intolerant, I am too.

19- What is your favorite book: I have a few favorite series. The In Death series by J.D. Robb is a definite favorite of mine. It’s Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb and the main character, Eve, is JUST LIKE ME! I want to be her when I grow up. Plus she’s married to a smokin‘ hot Irishman and who can resist that? My other fav series is the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. If you like to laugh out loud while you’re reading, this is the series for you. Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter….a really bad one. She has 2 love interests- Joe, the hot sexy cop and Ranger, the smokin‘ hot bounty hunter extraordinaire. Hmmmm, handcuff me baby!

20- What are your favorite TV shows: Dora, Max and Ruby, Backyardigans, Wonder Pets….wait, those aren’t my favorite shows. They’re just the shows I actually get to watch without interruption. Insert sarcastic eye roll here. MY favorite shows are True Blood on HBO, Criminal Minds, Sons of Anarchy, Army Wives…..I might watch too much TV.

So there you go, 20 previously unknown facts about me! Now wasn’t that interesting?



Repair Men Should Fear Me

Let me tell you a story. About the day the air conditioning decided to go kaput. Why did it go kaput, you ask?! Because that day was roughly the same temperature as the surface of the damn sun, that’s why. Seriously, it was supposed to be 103 degrees that day, at only 10am it was already 88 degrees in our house. I gave serious consideration to becoming a nudist. The kids were all lying around looking shell shocked at the lack of cool air. And of course, it was my day to host playgroup. Jenna was the only one who still came after I made the ‘it’s hotter than hell in my house’ phone calls. She suggested that I call Matt. His response- “Call the repair man.” Thanks for the help Matt.

See, here’s how it works in our house. If an appliance breaks- Matt deals with it. If the water heater floods- Matt deals with it. If a baby is shooting puke out of one end and shit out the other- I deal with it. If I forget dinner is on the stove and start a small kitchen fire- I deal with it….well technically the fire department deals with it- Station 9 has a real quick response time and some total hotties working there(which has nothing at all to do with why we’ve had 3 small kitchen fires in the past year). I digress….

So, what I’m trying to say here is that Matt does appliance and household issues. I do baby clean up and start fires. I am unequipped to deal with repair men, I don’t speak stupid and it seems that the repair men who come to my house are the epitome of stupid. I think Matt hires them that way so he can get an afternoon of entertainment, watching them try to fix shit while he sits back and drinks beer. I, on the other hand, find nothing entertaining about a grown man who speaks entirely in grunts and feels the need to show his ass crack to the world. Sigh….Anyhoo, Matt gave me the number of the AC repair man and wished me good luck. I swear I heard him chuckling as he hung up the phone. Bastard.

“Hullo, this is ABC Repair(name changed to prevent a lawsuit). Can I help you?”

“Yes, my AC has gone out and I wanted to schedule a time for repair.”

All-righty, I can schedule you for a service date next Thursday at 10am.”

“Seriously? By next Thursday we’ll all be basted, roasted and ready to eat.”

“Well that is the first available time ma’am.”

“Are you sure? Cause if I recall correctly, you people were just out here to repair our AC less than 2 months ago. Apparently you did a shitty job because it’s broken again. Now, why don’t you check your schedule again before I get pissed.”

“Ma’am, I’ve already told you…”

“Now let me tell YOU something- if you can’t find a repair man to come out here to my damn house today, preferably before it reaches 103 degrees indoors, to fix my damn AC then I will be forced to drag my ass down to your office and let me tell you something- you don’t want me to have to come down there.”

Ummmm, hold please.”

10 minutes of bad hold music…….

“Ma’am, a repair man can be there today at around 11am.”

“Thanks, I look forward to seeing his ass crack. Have a nice day.”

So we waited…..and waited and finally just as we were nearing heat stroke of epic proportions, the repair man showed up, complete with ass crack showing. Sigh….I showed him where the AC unit was and left him to do his thing. I think 11 seconds elapsed before I heard him calling for me. I walked in and was greeted by ass crack. If they’re going to show some ass crack, the least they can do is be worthy of eye candy status. Sigh….

Ass Crack Charlie: Missy, I think this here unit is just shot.

Me: What does that mean in English?

Ass Crack Charlie: Well, you might need to replace the entire unit. It’s leaking from the BLAH BLAH BLAH….(I stopped paying attention at the first BLAH- I don’t speak appliance repair)

Me: How much is a whole new unit?

Ass Crack Charlie: Probly somewhere round near $11,000. Scratching his ass crack and then his head.

Me: 11,000 damn dollars?! That better come with a hot, half naked man to fan me while feeding me grapes.

Ass Crack Charlie: Grunt. Grunt.

At this point my neighbor Chelley, who had arrived sometime in the previous few minutes and was watching with Jenna from the doorway, made a small noise of distress, gave herself the sign of the cross and left the room quickly. She knew, she could see what was going to happen. I could see it in her eyes- she was envisioning me chasing Ass Crack Charlie down the damn street with a wrench. She didn’t want to have to testify against me in court.

Me: Well, I’m calling Matt and you can explain all this to him.

Ass Crack Charlie: Grunt, grunt.

I called Matt and after gracing him with a few choice words, let him deal with Ass Crack Charlie. The conversation took less than 5 minutes and then Ass Crack Charlie hung up chuckling. What the hell?! Are they long lost friends now or is it some weird testosterone thing? I left the room, shaking my head and muttering obscenities about men and their stupid repair monkey’s.

Not even 15 minutes later, Ass Crack Charlie appeared in the doorway.

Ass Crack Charlie: All done. It’s a workin just fine now.

Me: I thought you said we needed a whole new system for $11,000!

Ass Crack Charlie: Laugh…grunt, grunt.

Me: Let me guess. You saw a woman, figured I was stupid and you tried to screw me. Son of a BITCH!

Ass Crack Charlie took one look at my face and took off out the door with me in hot pursuit, wielding a wooden spoon like a samurai sword. Never have you seen an over-weight redneck’s ass crack run so fast. I’m no longer allowed within 500 feet of Ass Crack Charlie. Bastard.