The Tiniest Caped Crusaders

(my living room, four days before moving)

Me: “Hey J, come check out this costume! It’s a SHARK! You could be the Land Shark for Halloween!”

(sidebar: I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for 11 years to get one of my children to be the Land Shark for Halloween. 11. Years)

Alex (uninterested): “Nah.”

Me: “HEY MIMI, YOU could be the Land Shark this year for Halloween!”

Mimi (similarly uninterested): “Nah.”

Me (gearing up to spend some quality time perusing the wares at one of my fav Halloween stores): “Well, what do you want to be for Halloween this year?”

Alex: “Batman.”

Mimi: “Batman.”

Me: (goggles)

Me: “Are you SURE?”

Alex + Mimi: “YES.”

Me (tries not to look TOO unhappy about the prospect of not perusing costumes for the kids): “Ooookay.”

(time passes as I sulk. Mimi tries unsuccessfully to wrastle the iPad away from me.)

Alex: “Hey, Mama? What are YOU going to be for Halloween?”

Me: “Hrms. The Twitter Fail Whale?”

tinest caped crusaders

Alex (genuinely puzzled): “What?”

Me: “Nothing. I don’t know – maybe “Your Mom” or something?”

Mimi: “You should be Catwoman.”

Me: (thinks to self – no longer in my early twenties = not dressing slutty for Halloween) “Um…”

Alex: “Or Poison Ivy. You love plants.”

Me: “Ummmm….”

Alex: “Dad can be the Penguin.”

Dave, from the other room: “HEY!”

Alex (confidently and not deterred by Dave’s dismay) “And Big Ben can be The Riddler.”

Me (three remaining brain cells spell out one phrase “buy cat ears and DO NOT LOOK SLUTTY”): “Okay, kiddo. You got it.”

(Alex and Mimi scamper off.)

————-

I took to The Twitter to ask for advice on buying capes for the tiniest of crusaders, figuring having new capes at my house could help with the transition a bit, and this is where it’s awesome to have Pranksters. My girl Jessica came through for me. Again.

tinest caped crusaders

(note: the boxes are, thankfully, now gone)

(the awesome hat, however, remains)

Tinest Caped Crusaders

(just looking at the boxes gives me hives)

Tinest Caped Crusaders

And now? They’re ready to fight crime. Just like the recycling lady.

And no, for the record, I never did go to the office and pick up the sheet about recycling. Seemed… like a waste of space.

—————

I wrote this, too. I learned stuffs.

Divorced With Kids

When I was in the hospital, having just popped a small creature who looked shockingly like a garden gnome out of my delicate girl bits, I held him for a spell in the quiet, darkened room as the doctor finished delivering the placenta and doing whatever it is that doctor’s do to your crotchal region after a baby is born. I held my second son to my breast and looked up at his father, stars in my eyes (okay, it was painkillers, but who’s counting?) and said, “I won’t ever have to give this one back.” He nodded, a smile twitching the corners of his mouth, his labor-long headache long since dissipated.

“No,” he replied, “we won’t.”

We were referring to, of course, the weekenders our eldest son had occasionally with the other OTHER side of his family. While we both knew that these were not only necessary, but important for our firstborn, it was heartbreaking to watch him leave each Friday and return overstimulated and exhausted on Sunday. Those days in which he was gone, it felt as though part of our hearts had gone with him – probably because they had.

When the divorce card got played, the first thing my mind jumped to was not “I’m going to have to find a real job,” nor was it, “will anyone ever love me again?” No. It was “what about the kids? I can’t leave my kids again – some days, they’re all that keeps me going forward.”

I knew that moving out; being unable to pay the mortgage, these had implications that were far-reaching – I’d have to, as previously stated, get a real job and learn to be alone after spending my entire life with another person around. I’d have to scrimp and save and cut coupons and figure out one makes “Ramen Bake,” I’d have to spend nights in an apartment so quiet that the on-switch on the heater would make me jump half-out of my skin. But most importantly – I’d have to leave my kids some of the time.

Now it’s not like I planned to be all thwap-thwap-thwap INCOMING helicopter parent once my second son popped out. I’d briefly considered attending college with him, but that’s mostly because I figured he’d never properly become potty trained, and frankly, someone had to teach the kid how to do keg stands, and his father, well, he was a Normal Rockwell painting, while I sat in the very back of the classroom, playing games on my phone, figuring out how many days, exactly, I could ditch before my grades dropped.

But I never really thought about the possibility of being separated from my children before it was the right time. I mean, I wouldn’t go to prom with the kid (PROBABLY), but I did expect that I’d see them most (read: all) days until they hit THAT point.

I was, of course, as I am so often, wrong.

I can accept that my nine year union dissolved – we both deserve our happy, neither of us is “at fault” because, well, as my therapist says, “divorce requires two people, just like marriage,” and Dave and I are more than amicable – we’re friends. We owe that to our children.

This weekend marked the end of the dreaded first week, the week that found me sobbing like a whiny baby on the couch as I watched and re-watched episodes of trashy television, which, Pranksters, I’m going to tell you, should be a prescription for all that ails you. And shit, it’s better trashy television than my wedding video, of which, I have to say, I don’t own, because I refused to spring for a video no one would ever choose to watch willingly. I didn’t want to be that newlywed that showed every single person who came to my home the wedding video, pointing out “the good” parts. Because hello, boring.

Amelia, thrilled out of her wee mind, came by on Friday, forgoing her normal McDonald’s dinner with her brothers, and spent the night. Alex came over on Saturday, proclaiming that this would be “the best day ever,” because he got to *gasp* sleep at Mama’s house. And as the children predicted, those were the two very best days I’ve had in a long time.

Yesterday, they returned to Dad’s house, and I was left, sitting alone with my trashy television, the silence of my empty apartment thumping in my ears.

I looked around, tears in my eyes, at all of the things in my big girl apartment. The bed and the couches. The end table and lamps. The zombie gnomes in the bathroom, sandwiched between a mushroom nightlight.

And I realized, for the millionth time that week, that my house, my house without children, it is not a home – it’s just the place where I live.

And that sort of sadness, it’s nearly impossible to shake.

Won’t You Be My (Nosy) Neighbor?

I don’t know if I told you, Pranksters, but the apartment complex that I moved into was the only other apartment complex I’ve lived in. I moved here with my then-boyfriend-turned-Ben’s-father back in 2000, where we lived until July of 2001, at which time I waddled back home just in time to pop out my bouncing baby boy.

(completely pointless sidebar, why do they bother calling babies “bouncing?” My kid screamed a lot, rarely bouncing, and, in fact, didn’t begin bouncing until he was well over two)

This time, clearly, I’m not living with anyone and I’m pretty sure that while I’m at the age where women ovulate all-the-fuck over babies, my uterus has decided to move somewhere up into my lungs that the idea of popping out another. Can’t say I blame it.

As most of you know, I began moving last Wednesday, piling up boxes as I desperately tried to unpack my house. Keeping busy, I’ve learned, staves off The Sads for awhile until you’re no longer busy and then you suddenly feel run over by a truck, but alas, I digress. Sometime over the weekend, The Guy Formerly On My Couch began to bring the piles of boxes out to the recycling area of the complex while I carefully placed each pair of shoes into one of those clear plastic shoe boxes, because, well, I no longer have the option to leave my crap strewn about without looking like Slob Bob.

Later that evening, as we sat on opposite ends of the couch, panting and smelling like we’d just managed to move everything I owned – and unpack the majority of it – in the span of three days, Ben spoke up:

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “Totally met your neighbor when I was carrying out boxes.”

Aunt Becky: “Oh yeah? Is it the dude named “Buts?” Because that would be awesome. I wanna have a friend with that last name.”

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “No, it was an older lady – a redhead.”

Aunt Becky: “She nice?”

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “She was out there breaking down every box I’d put into the recycling bin.”

Aunt Becky: (gapes)

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “Yep. She then told me all about WHY she was doing this – apparently the boxes have to be a certain size and you share the complex with a bunch of other buildings, blah blah blah.”

Aunt Becky: (gapes)

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “Then she told me AGAIN.”

Aunt Becky: “Woah. She watched you carry out boxes? I WISH I had that kind of time on my hands.”

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “No, you don’t.”

Aunt Becky (attempts to make neurons fire at the same time): “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

The Guy Formerly On My Couch: “I’m always right.”

Aunt Becky: “I SAID PROBABLY.”

—————-

The following morning, I woke up in my new house, and was greeted with utter silence, which is, of course, a new thing for me. I’m accustomed to the noise that goes along with three kids and the silence was somewhat deafening, if not mildly pleasant. It was quiet, of course, until I rolled over in bed, at which point in time, my back cracked like a bag of microwave popcorn, my legs actually groaning in protest.

A cacophony of various creeks, cracks, and pops followed me out to the kitchen, where I began a pot of coffee, wincing when I had to reach for the filters, which helped combat the silence. I curled up on the couch with a heating pad and watched a few episodes of White Collar before the dawning realization that my laziness had taken a whole new meaning and I’d better get some more of those damn boxes to the recycling before my ass became permanently affixed to my couch and they’d have to cut out a wall to get me out if I died or something.

I grabbed a box full of other, broken-down boxes, groaning a little as I bent over, and lugged them out front.

There she was, standing at the recycling area, just as The Guy Formerly On My Couch described, standing over some boxes she’d pulled from the recycling bin, which, I should add, is as deep as I am tall (5 foot, 5 inches); a tiny thing, ripping apart cardboard boxes like it was her job or something. I stood watching her a spell before I snapped out of my daze and into the lion’s den, waiting for my own lecture. I considered inviting her into my apartment to break down boxes, since she seemed to be enjoying it so very much, but decided that it would be best if I left well enough alone.

Aunt Becky: “Hi! I’m Becky and I just moved in.”

Cardboard Lady (not unkindly): “Hi, was just explaining to your husband that cardboard has to be broken down into small pieces or they won’t take it when they pick up the recycling. Didn’t you get the sheet about that when you moved in? Because the office told me all about it when I called about something else. You should get one of those sheets, because you want to make sure you know what you can and can’t throw into these bins.”

Aunt Becky (chokes back laughter the word “husband” referring to The Guy Formerly On My Couch): “I’ll have to pick up one of those sheets tomorrow. Thanks for the info!”

Cardboard Lady: “Yeah, for some reason they just won’t accept the cardboard if it’s bigger than two feet, and well, you want to be sure you break down all of the boxes so they take them and if you can’t or they’re too big, throw them into the dumpster because you want this stuff gone. They only pick up trash twice a week and you should really get that sheet.”

Aunt Becky (cowers): “Okay, I will. Thanks again. Nice to meet you!”

Cardboard Lady: “Nice to meet you too! Don’t forget that sheet!”

And just like that, I met my first nosy neighbor.

The Kids Are Alright (Part Deux)

Thank you to LeapFrog for sponsoring this review. For more information about the LeapFrog Animal Adventure Learning Table, please visit their website. #LFAnimalAdv #spon

One of the things that drives me craziest about kids toys is not the whole gendered toy thing – I mean, my daughter LOVES pink and her name is Amelia which means that a pink airplane? Pretty freakin’ rad. So while I could go on about that – my mother would approve heartily of me bashing gendered stereotypes – it’s not something I think about terribly often.

No. That’s not what bugs me.

What bugs me about kid’s toys is that they’re aged all wrong.

Sure, they may be labeled as “appropriate for ages 6 months to three years,” (in compliance with the whole, “let’s not let your kids choke on stuff-n-things”) but really, my five year old is going to have a TON more fun with a toy designed for a toddler than a toddler will. He’s the one who can read and write and sing along to whatever annoying song the toy sings, which by the by, is another thing that annoys me – those freakin’ things go off in the middle of the damn night, nearly causing me to pee the bed as a discombobulated voice asks me if I’m “ready to count now?”

Freaky crap, Pranksters.

Anyway.

LeapFrog, who happens to be one of my most favorite toy manufacturers (besides Legos, because, well, the kids are OBSESSED with Legos) ever, sent me an Animal Adventure Learning Table, which was rad, because then my kids had something new to play with at Mom’s house. New (or used), in kid eyes, always equals better. This was no different.

the kids are alright

(totally note the boxes behind her – I wasn’t quite done unpacking. That’s a job for THIS weekend)

Like other LeapFrog toys (of which I’ve owned plenty)(no, not for myself)(weird, I know), it’s a nice sturdy toy, that, to be honest, I’m thankful because my children are now old enough to enjoy it. While it would make a fabulous thing for me to stub my toes on while a toddler used it to practice standing, puking and walking, it’s much better suited for older kids. Kinda like that kid’s Blackberry I bought Alex back when I was a Blackberry Widow, which bored him to tears then, but now, finds it wildly entertaining.

She played with the thing for at least twenty minutes, which is practically an eternity for a three year old, and honestly? The noises it makes are kinda soothing and not nearly as grating as some of the toys the kids’ve been given over the years. (note to self: buy new parent friends THE MOST ANNOYING SOUNDING TOYS EVER) Alex was similarly impressed, although he was busily playing Batman, which is his new favorite game. Just WAIT until you hear what his decisions about what we all have to be for Halloween – it’s both hilarious and full of the awesome.

Love that kid.

And while the nights (when the kids are at Dad’s house) are lonesome, the apartment filled with no pattering of wee footsteps, I know one thing and I know it well.

The kids? They’re gonna be alright.

I carry that thought with me all day long.

I was selected for this opportunity as a compensated member of Clever Girls Collective and received free product from LeapFrog to review.

The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #LFAnimalAdventures #spon

I’m Starting To Believe Comcast Doesn’t ACTUALLY Care About Me

One of the weirdest things I was stressed out about was not my decided lack of coffee mugs or my inability to properly assemble furniture, but the idea that I’d have to somehow get Teh Internetz into my new place. It’s not that I can’t make phone calls or decisions – if I ruled the world, I’d make texting illegal, and not just while driving, though it baffles me that people actually DO that, but because text conversations remind me of the notes I passed in high school, sitting in the back row with the Metal Heads. I’d prefer a phone call most days.

Anyway.

I was terrified of dealing with Comcast in the same way I loathe dealing with Jiffy Lube. Because I’m not smart enough properly know whether or not my air filter needs changing, for example, I’ll listen to them, have it done, and then realize that I’ve just dropped 40 bucks on some bullshit thing I don’t actually need, only to Rage Against (not, I should clarify, LOUNGE Against) The Machine, because being duped by the Jiffy Lube guys makes me want to taco punch both Captain and Tennile (which, frankly, is the way I feel most of the time) AT THE SAME TIME.

I figured that dealing with Comcast would be similar, our phone call something like:

Becky: “Hi, I need to set up new internet in my apartment.”

Comcast: “For that you’re going to need the Linux box modem coupled with Windows 92, plus a router box made by a Scandinavian company that starts with the letter C.”

Becky: “I just want the email box to make emails for me.”

Comcast (smelling a sucker): “Well, if I upgrade you, at a cost of 92,748,272 dollars a month, your “email box” will work.”

Becky: “Um.”

Comcast: “I’ll set you up with an appointment for next Tuesday between 1AM and 8PM.”

Becky: “Um, oooookay.”

comcast

I fretted awhile before I called them, first because I’d just gotten another NEW apartment number and wanted my keys to ensure I’d actually be living in aforementioned apartment rather than kindly hooking up the cable for another tenant, but by Tuesday of last week, I realized it was time – I’d be moving and I need an email box to do “work,” and Comcast, well, after my inability to make OR receive phone calls using AT&T’s network, was the best option, which made me die a little inside.

Besides, Comcast SAYS they care about me. ME!

I was delighted to see that I’d be able to do the whole thing online. Because while texting is bullshit, being able to take care of shit without the pressure salesperson is like a lil slice of heaven. I even managed to get all the way to the point where I was to chat with an online representative without needing a nap to continue.

Comcast Robot: “So you want to have XYZ set up in your new apartment at (address).”

Becky: “Yeppers.”

Comcast Robot: “You can’t.”

Becky: “…”

Comcast Robot: “The former tenant put his account on hold so he could keep his email address. We can’t hook up two lines to the same apartment.”

Becky: “Wait – he wants a COMCAST email? What about GMAIL? It’s FREE! Shit, I’ll give him one of my zillion addresses.”

Comcast Robot: “You’re going to have to go to the business office and show them a copy of the lease proving you live there now.”

Becky: “Um. Why can’t I scan it and email it to you?”

Comcast Robot: “Good Day.”

I closed the chat window, fuming. I still had a boatload of packing, not to mention a couple of saved videos of cats playing the piano to watch. I decidedly did NOT need to be driving an hour to show Comcast that I, in fact, was the new tenant. Instead of throwing things around or kicking the box fan, I put on my “fuck shit up” pants and drove over to the apartment complex.

When I informed the lady at the desk that I was, in fact, going to need thirty-seven types of proof that I’d be living here, she goggled at me, which was approximately the same response I got whenever from the rest of the world. “Woah,” she said. “That’s nuts. I’ve worked here 7 years and NEVER seen anything like it.”

I nodded, unhappily, clutching a ream of papers on official letterheads that all claimed that I was, in fact, going to be moving into the apartment on October 1.

Driving out to Comcast’s business center was fine, excepting the whole, “this road is closed” thing going on in front of their business office. I ignored all signs, crossed my fingers and drove on it anyway – I needed my email box to work. The woman behind the counter was nice enough, I guess, although she said maybe ten words to me the entire time, including the fateful, “do you want me to set this up for you?”

“Nope,” I replied breezily. “I’ll do it online.”

And like that, I sealed my fate.

Back home an hour later, I tried, once again, to order Comcast online. The conversation was identical to the first, and ended with, “let me look into this and call you back,” which, of course, never happened. Robots, man, they’re unreliable.

The following day, between packing and trying to find my keys, I decided it was time to put an end to the bullshit and call Comcast for the 8,373 time, hoping this time I’d actually manage to find the one person who had more than two brain cells knocking around their skull.

A funny thing happened.

I did.

After dealing with Comcast for three days, I finally found someone with properly firing synapses. Quickly she disconnected the previous account and set me up with my own account, even managing to get me an install on Saturday, the day I’d rented the U-Haul and planned to finish moving. She was so kind that I actually began crying on the phone with her, which got HER crying, and we both ended up a soupy mess, which these days, not as uncommon as I’d like.

And now, I have a working email box.

Those damn cat videos have been waiting.

—————

I haz a guest poster here talking about making your own cleaning products. Which, of course, scares the shitnuts out of me.

The Kids Are Alright (Part I)

One of the biggest concerns I’ve had about moving out and away from my kids (since, of course, I cannot pay my home mortgage) has been how they would cope with the change. I mean, I get upset if I find out my favorite brand of socks has been discontinued, so I could only imagine how my kids would feel about their Mama moving out of the house. I talk a good game, but I love my children so fiercely that it’s been barely possible for me to talk about the divorce and the kids without bursting into tears.

Damns. I just burst into tears again. Looks like I’m going to need a new keyboard and now.

I was very careful, when packing my stuffs up and loading my life into a truck, to make sure that the kids would have a place they could feel at home. My new apartment is small, but cozy. It’s been partially decorated, so I can even call it slightly homey (not, as you may expect, “homie.”). Deliberately, I chose a place so near to one of the parks that the path is literally behind my buildings. I may not have the bedroom for the kids (yet), but I do have a space for them to call home.

In that vein, I’ve been careful to snatch up any toys that have been long-forgotten and shoved into bins in the basement formerly known as my own. And I’ve happily accepted any fun stuff the kids might like, while I quickly replaced my kids lovies with as an identical match as I could find. Hey, I’m not above bribing them with toys that are strictly for Mama’s house.

The timing was fortuitous for me as I’d been asked to do a giveaway (after trying the product) for kids from The OrganWise Guys, who promote understanding of how the body works and how to be healthier by following a set of educational games followed by some plush toys. It’s not quite the same as Oregon Trail, but I’m pretty sure my digital kids would be all, “what is UP with that green screen, Mama?” and the anatomy nerd in me, I won’t lie, squeed at the chance to teach my children about anatomy while they learn eating habits so they can grow to become doctors and buy me a house and diamonds and stuff. It’s a little more on-level than the Grey’s Anatomy book I’ve been reading to them since they were babies. And the diamonds? I figure it’s the least they can do to pay me back for those sleepless nights.

Amelia, my wee book nerd, was especially impressed. That girl will read ANYTHING she can get her wee paws on.

the kids are alright

Alex is, well, he’s a dude. Watch. Trust me, it’s… he’s a dude.

And lastly, we unveiled the kidneys, which were much cuter than when I’d dissected them on the A&P slab. THEY’RE EVEN HOLDING HANDS, PRANKSTERS. When I stop dying of the awesome, I’ll let you know.

the kids are alright

(note the matching Capitol Kitty’s in the background – Amelia was especially impressed that she’d managed to put both of her cats together.)

While I’d wanted to play a game with the kidneys, possibly, “hide the kidneys” or, “let’s cuddle with kidneys,” I didn’t. Mostly because the kids both fell asleep inside my sparkly pink ottoman after this shot was taken. Don’t ASK me how. I can barely sleep in a bed, but they’re happy sleeping inside furniture. Kids are weird.

ANYWAY.

So The OrganWise Guys are giving away the very same game to one of my Pranksters. Why? Because they’re awesome.

To enter, leave me a comment telling me what YOU’D do with a pair of plush kidneys.

For additional entries, you may do the following (please leave a comment for each – I’m not too bright):

*Follow me on Pinterest

*Subscribe to my Frugal Living Blog (how to save money at Target is my post today)

*Like my Facebook Page (which I have NO idea what to do with)

*Like Band Back Together’s Facebook Page

I’ll pick a winner (heh) in one week – October 10, which I feel something important is going on, which makes me uneasy, because if there is something, I’ve forgotten it. I’ll also give you one last day at this giveaway before I pick a winner!

Moving totally screwed with my mojo but I’m SO almost done!

The Simple Life

Moving is not my forte. Well, I suppose that moving is NO ONE’s forte, but there are people who move for a living, so perhaps they enjoy their job. I can’t be sure. So I’ll go with “most people hate to move.” I, myself, as previously stated, am one of those people.

It’s not the packing or unpacking, it’s the goodbyes that go along with it. While moving from a house to an apartment wasn’t quite the same sort of job that required actual movers or anything, it was still hard to say goodbye to the home I’d been lovingly restoring for years. I never expected to leave.

I’d begun moving on Wednesday, the day after the Comcast debacle began, which, I’m beginning to doubt that Comcast actually DOES care, or they wouldn’t have made me waste approximately two days to get Internet, but that, my wonderful Pranksters, is neither here nor there. (but it does make an excellent story for another day)

Box after box, I loaded into the van, pretending to be an overly large ant simply bringing offerings to the queen. It helps if I can visualize something like that or I get annoyed at the bruises that now make it appear as though I’ve been thoroughly beaten with whips and chains or boxes I happened to fill just this side of too heavy.

the simple life

Three trips later, we were nearly done transporting boxes from this place to my new home, all over but the furniture and a couple of boxes that could only be packed at the last minute because they contained items like, “Marshmallow Fluff” and “Socks.” I mean, a day without socks is a day not worth living, and I wasn’t stupid enough to wear flimsy flippity-flops to move in, although that does seem to be something I’d do. Four inch heals? Sure! Let’s go run a marathon! Imma beat you motherfuckers! Just as soon as I fix this broken heel and nurse the 27 blisters on my feet that I got already. Wait, it’s ONLY been two minutes? That’s bullshit. 

It was weird, seeing my life packed up like that. I’d always thought that I had more stuff, but it turns out that my ritual purging had truly paid off. And not just because I’d already managed to dump my shit at the scary Salvation Army donations center, but because my life in boxes? Turns out, that well before this debacle began, I’d purged just the right amount of stuff to fit into my one-bedroom apartment. In fact, the only things I really needed to make my house a home were pieces of (cheap) furniture.

Target, you are my BFF forever and ever and ever. Except for the Pranksters who are my family.

Saturday, I brought my Muppet girlchild with me to the U-haul place nearby to pick up one of those truck thingies and managed to fill it – in one trip – with the furniture I could call my own, which means that I’ve been able to actually sit somewhere that is not the floor while I sort through my crap.

Slowly, I’ve been unpacking, cleaning, and placing things in my very own space. Because the space is smaller than the home I once lived in, it’s been much easier to utilize the space that I do have, paring down the items I own further, and making my apartment my home.

While leaving my home of 7 years has been incredibly hard, for the first time in my life, everything seems simpler.

the simple life

More put together.

the simple life

Calmer. More organized.

And happier.

the simple life

Much, much happier.

Even I Want The Roaring To Be Over

“Hey,” I said over Instant Messenger. “Guess what?”

“What?” he replied, (justifiable) trepidation evident.

“I need your help this week,” I replied.

“With… what?” he asked, looking for clarity. When I need “help” with something, it can be anything from getting my whites whiter or building a shrine to BILLY FUCKING MAYS in my (former) backyard, and he knows it.

“Um, stuff,” I replied, aiming to be as vague as possible so that I could get a “sure, no problem,” without having to answer second-level questions.

“Like…?” He replied, apparently knowing me too well.

“Building stuffs,” I dangled in front of him like a carrot. I know him well enough to know that building shit = happy pants, while I’d just as soon cut off my toes and make a necklace of toe bones to wear than put stuff together.

“Ooooh! I like building stuffs!” He said, happily.

“I know! That’s why you’re perfect for this,” I said.

A couple of hours later, he showed up at my house, knocking before entering. I answered the door, kids piling over each other like a barrel of puppies, each trying to get him to greet them first. He swept them up into his arms and kissed them hello. “Hi Babies,” he said, brushing hair from Mimi’s face so she could see. She still stubbornly refuses to wear clips in her curls, which can make things like “walking” and “seeing stuff,” a little challenging for her.

I stood there, biding my time, waiting for him to be done with the children. Or, I should say, the children to be done with HIM.

“HEY,” I said, as he disentangled children from his frame, which they’d climbed like a couple of monkeys (without, thankfully, throwing poo)(THAT TIME). “Got something to show you. Meet me out front.”

With that, I walked into the garage and flipped the switch, opening the garage door which protested wheezily, but obliged. I walked out into the sea of boxes and held my hands out all jazz-hands meets spirit-fingers style.

“TA-DA!” I nearly shouted, trilling the last bit, relishing one of the last times I could be loud without the worry of irritating one of my neighbors in my new apartment.

“Woah,” he said.

I beamed.

“Where’s the stuff to build?” he asked.

“Um, somewhere in there,” I gestured to the pile of boxes I’d packed, wondering how I’d manage to pack a life into so few boxes.

A smile played mildly on the corner of his lips.

“You just conned me,” he pointed out.

“Yup,” I said, proudly. “Now let’s get moving.”

He stood there, shaking his head, amused, before grabbing a box and playing crap Tetris in the back of my van.

“Thanks,” I said honestly as we drove to my new place. “Thank you.”

even I want the roaring to be over

And thus began the next chapter.

————-

Oh, and I wrote cool shit here.

Three In The Bed And The Little One Said…

go sleep on the couch, Mommy.

I’ve never been a big proponent of the family bed.

Before you get all THINK OF THE CHILDREN, don’t mistake my meaning: It’s not that I don’t love my babies or anything, it’s that I like my sleep more. And adding two babies to my bed means that I spend half the night being kicked in the kidneys by a toddler who prefers to sleep horizontally because sleeping vertically is, apparently, full of the lame. I’d thought we’d gotten past the whole “kicking my internal organs” thing once I popped her out of my body, but I was wrong.

Adding to my bed another child – Alex – who’s five, means that he worms his way across his sleeping sister so that he can poke my eyeballs and stick his fingers up my sleeping nose, giggling uproariously until he’s sleepy enough to drift back into the land of nod.

By the time the sun peeks through the bedroom window, I’m staring glassy-eyed at the fug green of my walls and wondering how the sun got to be so damn bright at 7AM. Shouldn’t there be a law against that? I feel like their should be. Maybe I should sue the sun.

I’m starting to feel like it might be time to start shopping for kids bunk beds. Not for me, because, as someone who once broke a toe making a sandwich THAT WASN’T EVEN FOR ME, I’m about as able to sleep on a top bunk without breaking something as I am to eat a jar of mayo. I’ll do a lot for a bet, but that doesn’t come close.

Part of the reason I’d dig a bunk bed for the Littles is because, as the last born with a sibling ten years my senior, I’d always thought the idea of having a special cozy bunk bed would be full of the awesome. I mean – a bed. With a sibling on top of me. The thought of that makes me nostalgic for my childhood, in the same way a Bob Seger song does – nostalgia without a hint of experience.

See? You listen to that and you’re all, OMG HE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A MUSICIAN JUST LIKE ME – I’M A MUSICIAN ON TOUR, TOO. Until you realize you can’t even play the triangle without a stunt double.

I’m probably wrong. I have to imagine that if I did, in fact, manage to get a bunk bed for the Littles, they’d still want to

a) Sleep in my bed

2) Have ME sleep in their bunk bed with them, a situation that would NOT work out well.

So for the time being, I’m going to guess that I’ll just “wake up” each morning with a couple of kids poking me and sticking their fingers in my mouth, laughing uproariously.

three in the bed and the little one said

I won’t lie. I like seeing the tiny Muppets curled up in my bed. My kidneys, though, they tell another story.

sponsored post

————–

Do you do the family bed thing, Pranksters? Have you used bunk beds before? Where are my pants?

Anticip…

…ation

No, not the Carly-Simon-song-turned-Ketchup-Commercial, although I guess I could get a bottle of ketchup out and try to make it drip onto my non-existent cheeseburger.

After a long battle with move-in dates, packing, and other various and sundries, I woke up this morning, stomach churning with anticipation, rolled out of bed, and pulled on one of the two shirts I had yet to pack. I considered wearing my prom dress, but decided the apartment people would think I was nuttier than normal. Which, not the impression I need to make. NOT YET, at least.

On the drive, Mötley Crüe came on and was crooning about home sweet home, which I took as a good omen.

I walked into the apartment complex, nerves finally settled, and prepared to sign yet another lease, hoping, at the very least, that this would be the final lease I had to sign for a year. I’d stuffed a few things in the back of the car on the off-chance I’d be getting my keys today, figuring that wouldn’t really work out so well, considering the way things have been going, which I should specify as “not bad,” simply, “not easy,” which is why I want one of those THAT WAS EASY buttons. But for real, not just something that SAYS it.

But whatever. No one said this shit was easy.

PROBABLY.

Tentatively, I asked the apartment complex if’n I’d be able to pick up my keys as I signed my year away, figuring they’d ask me to come back tomorrow or Friday or some other inconvenient time.

Nope.

After I packed up a bunch of papers with my new address, she returned and handed me these:

anticipation divorce

Pranksters. I finally did it. I have my own place.

I have no words for how this feels.