from a B to an F

Today is Chris' birthday. I texted his mom thank you for becoming a mom and giving birth to my husband 31 years ago today. I'm not the greatest at birthdays; thankfully, Chris is perfectly content with a feast of Mexican food. Carne asada, fresh crunchy taco shells, guacamole, queso (okay, that part is more Tex-Mex) and sopapillas coming right up. 

This morning started pretty easy-peasily. I remembered to tape up the sign from Ryan that read, 
on the bathroom mirror before Chris woke up. We read three different Dr. Seuss stories, and I mentally made a list for our grocery shopping extravaganza coming up. I had a few shop things I didn't complete yesterday during my work time that had to get done before we ran our errands so I thought I'd be a fun mom and let the kids watch a movie ... a saint movie in Spanish. A few minutes later, Ryan had bite marks on his cheek so you can tell how that holiness education via screen time is going. 

After two saint movies and one shared and dumped bag of Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats, my tasks were checked off, and I changed Elise's less-than-pleasant diaper. I was thankful she had taken care of business before we were out and about. Once the kids were buckled in, I decided that although my sweater was decently warm and the sleeves were plenty long, it was pretty chilly so I went back in for my wool pea coat. We left for the Mexican market on the west side which is the opposite direction of Ryan's preschool. My ever-the-optimist self calculated that we could make it there and to the regular grocery store to pick up the rest of the feast necessities and a nutritious lunch for Ryan before dropping him off for class, his preferred moniker for preschool. 

Of course, once an ample amount of time was taken embarrassing myself while ordering meat I don't even know that I wanted from the butcher in English and meandering through the store looking for Chris' favorite salsa, I found myself in the McDonald's drive-thru, placed my wallet in the cup holder, and thought, "I should put that back in my purse so I don't forget it." 

I took some time to post to Instagram confessing to have dropped bite-mark-decorated Ryan off at preschool late while he was eating a chicken nugget. We stopped at home so Conor could use the bathroom and then we were off for the last bits of birthday treats. 

Taking only two kids to the store seemed downright luxurious so I buckled Elise into one of those terrible, terrible car carts. While we were passing through the produce section, I noticed a well-dressed and cute undergrad couple chatting about what they needed. "They must be shopping for a date! Chris and I used to come here before I would cook and leave a complete mess at his place," I reminisced while maneuvering the beastly cart around them. 

We quickly gathered all that we needed, and Elise was yammering to herself peacefully while giggling and turning the wheel. "Wow, this is the best age for the car cart! She's perfectly content with its novelty, and this thing is so long, I don't even know if she realizes I'm here to shriek for stuff," I smugly told myself as I added heavy whipping cream to the cart. What a milestone. Then Conor s-l-o-w-l-y helped the cashier put every single item on the counter. 

I went to pay for the groceries and quickly realized that my forsaken wallet was still in the cup holder of our car. My mom would kill me! I awkwardly chuckled and told the cashier I would just have to run to the car, and I would be right back. As I herded Conor out the sliding door and pushed Elise and the cart, I ran through the day in my head, "Late to school, chicken nuggets, bite marks, forgotten wallet ... this day!" I might have spiced it up with a few silent expletives. My plan was to park the car cart, take Elise out, walk with Conor and Elise to our closely-parked car, grab the wallet, buckle Elise in a cart from the corral next to our car, have Conor ride like a fireman on the side and go back in to pay for the groceries. That cute undergrad couple was waiting in the lobby area with their bags. I slightly smiled at them putting on a front that I was having the best day ever hoping to not discourage them from the circus of family life. 

When I parked the car cart and reached in to unbuckle Elise, I quickly realized she had not completely taken care of business before we left the house. I hoisted her up onto my hip and my arm covered with extra-long sleeves slipped under her coat and the coat scrunched up against my arm. "Hold onto to my purse when we walk through the parking lot," I automatically reminded Conor, and I looked up to see the girl from the picture perfect couple staring at me with disgust. 

The kids weren't even behaving badly; their grade for the trip would probably be a B. South Bend is a pretty family friendly place. "I don't think I've ever been looked at like this just because I had kids," I searched my memory while feeling self-conscious. I looked back, and the expression painted on her face told no other story than complete and open disgust. 

"Well, whatever!" I silently and haughtily protested right before I realized that my sleeve was growing damp. 

"****," I peered down at Elise's exposed back, coat, shirt, leggings, my shirt, and my dry clean only coat and saw the definitively disgusting scene that sh*t on any potential family dreams that couple may have had. 

All I could do was laugh! I could almost hear the chickens from my childhood that had relieved themselves on me during my 4H days clucking with laughter, "We never did anything that bad!"

A million disinfectant wipes later and a million showers with three different soaps later, I realize that I'm going to need something a lot stronger than these 2 for $1 coconut waters I splurged on. 

Clink, clink - I definitely deserve a glass of wine after that one . . .



I've been in such a weird spot lately. The majority of the time I feel like I'm failing at all things parenting (and multiple people have shared their observations of the - we will charitably say rebellious - behavior of our kids when I'm the only parent with them so there is some truth to it!), but then there are unprompted times like this:

that make me think, "Okay, maybe I'm only failing half the time rather than the majority." 


We aren't sure where we will be come June so I'm at this limbo point - do I buy another organizer for my shop? Or do I just put the overflow in cardboard boxes because do I want to buy something only for two months? Basically, I'm not even a planner, but at the same time, it's frustrating to not be able to plan. Riddle me that! 

Anyway, I promised myself I would blog today - so tonight I'm feeling like laughing with/at myself with some confessions. You are cordially invited to laugh along with me!


My blog was down for a month or two last fall because I hadn't updated my payment information, and it just expired. Ask me about my library fines sometime.


We have had the same number of vacuums and kids in our marriage of almost six years. I take the blame for most of the problems, but I will point out that the second one had a fork sticking through the side of the hose. That wasn't me. Anyway, our third vacuum was so abused that we finally took it to get serviced. When Chris picked it up from the store, the repairman gently asked, "I don't mean this to be offensive, but ... does your wife have really, really long hair?"


During the Christmas rush, Chris ran out solo to run some errands for me while I stayed at home with the kids, and he stopped into a shop that I visit often, normally with everyone in tow. When one of the employees asked Chris what the name the order would be under, he answered, "Katrina like the hurricane," and the other employee deadpanned, "Your kids are a hurricane." 


My temperament is phlegmatic melancholic.  My melancholic side really only comes out when I am making art. My dominant phlegmatic side means that I have this gift of being able to ignore things that are not just so.  I hung these frames in a gallery wall above our bed, and that was quite a feat ... last February. One year + one month later, they haven't been filled completely other than brown chipboard covering some artwork that was oriented incorrectly. 


Being phlegmatic also means that it's natural for me to drag my feet to start something, but once I start, I don't want to stop until it is finished probably because I know it's a big endeavor for me to restart. 

Last summer, I bought some wooden shelves and brackets at a friend's yard sale. I had visions of perfectly styled white shelves with copper brackets on our patchy walls. The project was finally spurred into action a couple days before some of Chris' extended family with impeccable taste visited. For some reason, the fact that spray painting shelves wasn't the most efficient and smooth way to paint them never crossed my mind, and I was out in the early mornings and at night adding another coat for a couple of days, ignoring the recommended drying period. Somehow, I completed all the spray painting before anyone arrived. 

But I never hung them. 

They sat on our floor and against the wall for four months. 

And then I donated them rather than go through the marital stress of hanging perfectly level shelves that would only adorn our walls for a few months anyway. 

This is me.