Category Archives: Anxiety

Are you married to this man?

Needs more wood, eh?

“Do you really think we should put more wood on the fire pit?” I asked my hubby as he prepared our patio for s’mores with the kids.

“Sure!”

“But the sparks…look.  They are really flying out of the fire and I just bought a new canopy for this gazebo.”

“The sparks are burning out before they get that high.”

“Yeah, but every time you poke the wood, they get bigger and hotter. Look at that one up there, clinging to the new canvas!”

“It’ll burn out.”  Poke, poke, stir, poke.

Me, white knuckled.  “The smoke is really strong.”

Him, “Smoke follows beauty, har, har.”

Me, “Hack, acchooie, honk, kersnort, I think, the, hack, cough, canopy is on fire.”

“Dad, my marshmallow just disintegrated!”

“Get a new one.”

“Dad, the chocolate is liquid and the crackers are black.”

“Well, move back a little bit.”

“Ow!  Dad, the sparks are burning me and the dog just fainted from the heat.”

“He’s just resting.”

“Honey, seriously, stop poking at the flames, and really?  More wood?  The paint on the house is blistering.”

“No it’s not!  You  all just need to chill out.”

The kid and dog headed to the pool.  I went inside.  He headed to the wood pile for more fuel.

Carolyn

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Mom getting bombed

This is what happens when your 13-year-old son gets interested in making home movies…

I’m so proud.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood

Kids Say The Darndest Things…Part 2

“Oh, darn!”

Darn it!  Yesterday, I couldn’t remember a darned thing that my kids say for Toohotmama’s KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS segment.  I thought and I thunk till my thinker was stuck and then I remembered!  My number one daughter is learning to drive!  I’m teaching her and she has said a few darned things while we are in the car.  This is probably the darndest thing she said, right after she crashed into a boulder in our driveway.

“Gee, Mom.  It’s lucky this car is old.  I wouldn’t want to learn in a good car.”

When I relayed this to my husband, he said a darned thing.  Can’t write it all here, but the jist of it was:

“Old?!  OLD?!  That THIRTY-FOUR THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR is only FOUR YEARS OLD!”

To that, my daughter said, “Oh.  Well, it looks old.”

To which my husband said some more darned (and unrepeatable) stuff about how she and her siblings treat it like a garbage scow and he was going to buy personalized license plates that read:  MOM’S SCOW.

I said a few darned things of my own.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Anxiety, Children

Company’s Coming!

Come on, people! Let’s get crackin!

Ever tried to accomplish a giant task while you have company?  I’m facing that …oh, what’s the word… ‘excitement’ now as I have a book deal for a rather lengthy manuscript on an extremely tight deadline.

So.  My father is turning 80.  On the same day, his brother is turning 82.  On the same day (no, this is not a typo) my daughter is turning 13.
October 9 is a popular day to birth babies in our gene pool.  Relatives are flying in from the four corners of the earth to celebrate.

What with me being in menopause and having the five kids under 18 and all, I’m feeling a tad stressed. However, I am nothing if not organized and I love to delegate.  So, I’m thinking I’m going to ask for a little help.  They say it’s one of the hardest things a person can do, this asking for help business.  To that, I say, “Heeeeeeellllllllllllppppppppp!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, grandpa is turning 80.  Big whoop.  He can make the spaghetti.  Aunt and Uncle are clean freaks, they can tackle the pantry.  My cousin and her daughters are creative and love to talk/tell stories.  I’m passing out plot cards when they walk through the door and sending them off to enjoy some quiet time and a jolly good writing exercise.  We can discuss character arc at the party, and goal, motivation and conflict over dessert.  After the gifts are open, everyone will get a party favor pencil and go to work.  Scenes for the kids, chapters for the adults.

That oughtta gitter done.  By the time I have to take them to the airport, I should be able to swing by the post office and mail the completed manuscript, therefore giving two birds the old one/two punch with one stone.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, cleaning, company, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, romance novels, Writing

You idiot.

Where's the idiot?

     Do you ever fantasize about what a good time you are going to have on a road trip? I do.

     Oooo! It is going to be SO FUN to cram 9 people into an 8 passenger van and drive for HOURS!  We’ll play the license plate game!  We’ll sing camp songs and make s’mores!  We’ll take pictures!  The kids and the hubby!  And, if that’s not enough, let’s throw grandpa and grandma into the mix! Yep, yep, yep… Big fun.

I should have suspected that we were in trouble when I politely cautioned my husband to remember that my mother (tortoise) does not drive as fast as he does (roadrunner) and to keep her in his rearview because she does not know exactly where we are going.

“Oh.  Like I’m going to go speeding off and leave my mother-in-law in the dust,” he jeers.

You know, like I’m the idiot.  Funny, he didn’t seem as jazzed about this trip as I was.

And so, after five delightful hours in the mini-van, we make it to the magnificent Painted Hills.  It’s a bazillion degrees in the shade, but we gamely get out of the van and hike UP the mountain to the view-point.  I flirted with heat-stroke, but then I love living on the edge.

We took the required pics.  We admired the splendor.  We praised God because we are pious, godly people with thankful hearts.  We headed back to the van.  It was decided that this would be a good time to have Daughter # ONE drive, as she is accruing her 100 hours of permit driving before she gets her license.

She leaps behind the wheel of the van.  Hubby calls shotgun.  The kids all pile in behind her, with the exception of Daughter #2, poor kid.  She and I end up with grandma and grandpa in their car.  The car that has no map.  Because, hey, why should we need a map when we are following the husband who would not leave us?  Forsake us?  Without cell reception.

While they are all buckling up, I open the back of the van to get some water.  Did I mention we were in hell?  While I’m quenching my thirst, Daughter # ONE, in her teenage zeal, doesn’t know (or care) that the hatch is open as she starts the engine and stands on the gas.

I run after them as she tears out of the parking lot.  “THE HATCH IS OPEN!  THE HATCH IS OPEN!”  I’m waving my arms and jumping up
and down.  Several visiting families to the Painted Hills are amused at my antics (but, I must add sourly, don’t help).  Grandma leans on her horn.  Daughter jams on the breaks.  Hubby leaps out, slams the hatch and Daughter # ONE achieves warp speed before I can climb in with Grandma.

“Follow that car!” I shout.  Have I mentioned  Grandma (tortoise) is a cautious driver?  It is not until we arrive at the intersection that I realize the hubby and daughter are gone.  And, THEY.  HAVE. THE.  MAP. AND.  THE. WATER.

What ensues in our car was not pretty.  “Idiot!  Big, fat idiot!  How could I have married such an….idiot!?”  To my way of thinking, my husband—who, if you will remember, I did warn not to abandon Grandma—should be telling the kid to slow down and wait for us.  Grandma nobly reminded me that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes and that I should not be so hard on my husband.  I found this exceedingly annoying.

While we deliberate the route, Daughter # TWO tells us she has to go potty.   Grandma pulls over, lets us out at a rest area near the intersection.  She then speeds off to explore where Daughter # ONE and the IDIOT might have gone.

By the time Daughter # TWO and I are out of the bathroom, Grandma roars up in her car and is on the verge of divorce with Grandpa who is now—brace yourselves—an IDIOT!

Much arguing ensues.  MUCH.  ARGUING.  There were tears.  Recriminations.  Accusations. You’re an idiot!  No! YOU are the idiot!

And still, no Daughter # ONE or hubby.  Tempers continue to soar with the mercury.  There is no sign of the van.  We locate a tree and park under its shade and out of boredom, turn on each other.  Daughter # TWO is looking rather traumatized.  And I think, Wow, this is so freaking MUCH FUN!

And then, I start to laugh.  Super hard, convulsive laughter.  Painful, loud, tears-down-the-face-laughing. Must have been contagious
as everyone else joins in.  My father turns around and says to Daughter # TWO, “Honey, never get married.”

I wipe my eyes and tell her, “Nah, get married.  Just remember.  You’re an idiot.”

Carolyn

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How I (Almost) Ruined Our Summer Vacation

Do you have to-do lists for your summer vacation?  Please say you do, and if you don’t, please lie to me, because I don’t want to be the only Type A, summer-killing, Wicked Witch of the West weenie who made a list, cracked the family whip…and didn’t get a darned thing done, anyway.

What is it with me and summer?  I have a friend who takes her kids to the coolest places and does the most interesting things over the summer school break.  They camp out in tree houses, fly to other states to attend fairs, go on field trips to meet rulers of the free world.

I told my family we were going to:

1.) Sand and paint the molding throughout the house.  It really needs it.

2.) Pull down the hall wallpaper, which we started pulling down 2 years ago until I gouged the wall with the Paper Tiger, and we realized we’d have to drywall, too.  It’s time to turn that mess into a proper hallway.

3.) Work on daughter’s spelling, reading and math—just fifteen minutes a day, but we must be disciplined.

4.) Organize all desks, bookshelves and closets so our mornings can proceed in a smooth and joyous fashion.

Of course I planned to reward us for each project we completed.  A long bike ride, a sleepover for my daughter, a night out for the hubster and moi.

I was excited about summer, because I envisioned its conclusion with us toasting each other in our clean, lovely, drywalled home while our daughter rattled off a few dozen perfectly spelled, three-syllable words.

Yeah.  So here’s what happened:

Me, resplendent in my husband’s tool belt, and holding a clipboard:  “Okay, troops, here’s the list of what we’re going to accomplish today!”

Husband:  “Great, honey, but before you read that, we’re going to go on a bike ride.”

Me:  “Well, actually, I was thinking…”

Daughter:  “Yeah, Mom, and when we get back,  (insert name of friend here) is coming over, okay?  Please?  We haven’t seen each other since school and we probably won’t be in the same class next year (she used this same pitch for every friend all summer) and her parents said she could have a play date if you say it’s okay and I promise I’ll learn any words you want me to as soon as she leaves unless you say she can sleepover too can she please?” 

I look at husband, who shrugs, not that he even attempts to follow that kind of run-on pleading.

And there I am, left with the drill sergeant and the pushover debating in my head:

We have to get something done.  The house is a pit. 

 Ookay, but it is summer.

 Yeah, well the hall looks like a still photo from Nightmare on Elm Street.  I’ve seen people tremble on their way to our bathroom.  And if DD doesn’t study a little bit, her brain will turn to mush and she’ll start the school year behind all the kids who are studying over the summer, and then she’ll feel bad when the teacher gives her “baby math.” 

 I know, but it’s summer.

 No buts!  The closets—

 Maybe tomorrow.

 By this time, of course, the husband and daughter have left for their bike ride, and I have decided to do something really useful like vacuum crumbs out of the grooves in the dining table.  And, probably, this wouldn’t be a bad thing (there was roughly the equivalent of a loaf of bread in those grooves), except that the debate continues inside my head and every time I see someone to whom I’m related, I grab the clipboard and ask them to commit to a chore and a time slot.

On a couple of occasions, I got them to join me for entire days devoted to one project or another, and when I wasn’t successful, I talked about all the work we still had to do.  Doesn’t that sound fun?

And then I heard my husband and daughter talking about the fun they really were having riding their bike rides and playing Karate Kid Meets Ninja Turtle and engaging in an eight-year-old version of Name That Tune.

Up to that point, the most fun my daughter and I had was writing her spelling words on the sidewalk with 3-D chalk.  (Well, I had fun.)  So I gave up.  I put the tool belt in the garage (though I thought it made me look kinda butch in a good way), ditched the clipboard and made plans to have a Halloween party in our hallway.

Tonight Carolyn’s sons are having a sleepover at our place.  I walked the dog three miles while the boys and my daughter rode their bikes up and down hills, shrieking like…kids in summer.  We got ice cream at the local store, came home to make giant chocolate chip cookies and built our own ice cream sandwiches.  Now they’re watching Surf’s Up.

They’re giggling.  I feel wonderfully relaxed.  And it finally feels like summer.

Wendy

P.S.  Someone will need to remind me about this next year when that hallway and I are playing “Six Degrees of Separation) from Freddy Krueger.

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Fish tragedy, a three hanky tale

Don’t they look like angels when they sleep?…wait…they ARE angels!

Luckily, my mother does not read this blog so I can add my fish tale to Wendy’s aquarium misery.  Plus, it’s been two years and we’ve managed to recover nicely.

Number One Son really, really, really, really wanted a pet fish.

I said, “But honey, you know you are only ten-years-old and won’t take care of it and the poor little fishy will die of starvation.”

“No way, Mom!!  I’ll feed it and change its water and play with it and everything.”

“If I let you have a fish, you must realize that I don’t want it, and its life will be in your hands, got that?”

After he pledged allegiance to the fish, we went to Wal-mart.  Price of fish?  10 cents.  Price of bowl, rocks, food, fish net, special chemistry set to keep the bowl from rotting, exotic housing units and plastic trees and kelp in unnatural neon colors?  $89.50.

Day one was glorious:  Son diligently set up bowl, named fish Alice, fed Alice 3 squares, checked chemical balance, dragged family and friends in to admire how clever Alice was whenever she swam through neon cave and, before bed that night, told Alice bedtime story.

Day two:  Son invited to sleepover at neighbor’s house.  Forgot Alice existed.

Day five: Alice failing.

Day eight:  Alice, near death, discovered by eldest teenage daughter.  “Mom, I’m going to take over Alice’s health care.  Brother is going to be my
co-owner.”

A shame-faced brother agreed to the arrangement and within days, Alice was her spunky old self.  Daughter taught brother that the best way to clean Alice’s bowl was to transfer Alice to a salad bowl and run her regular stuff through the dishwasher to sterilize it from time to time.

Unfortunately, daughter and son neglected to tell Grandma their bowl cleaning method.  And—because my mother is one of those people who cannot stop cleaning for 5 minutes—when she came over for dinner, Alice was inadvertently tossed into the garbage disposal and whirled into the great beyond as my mother hummed Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

We all stared at each other in horror, as Alice had become a rather cherished member of the family.  However, we also knew that Grandma would never forgive herself and would inundate us with replacement fish for the rest of our lives and so, choked back the tears.  Needless to say, dinner was a tad subdued that night.  Now and then, a family member would pause at the disposal and murmur their respects down the drain.

Wendy, hurry.  Invite my mother over for dinner next time you clean Bluestar’s bowl.  Grandma, without fail, will leap up from the dinner table and begin tackling the dishes.  Rest in peace, Bluestar.

Carolyn

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Monsoon!

My niece, on monsoon night...

Ever gone camping in the middle of a major storm?  Trust me, you’d remember.  This last week, my family went camping—as we do every year—in paradise.  Think stunning Oregon forest, horseback riding, swimming in the crystal clear river, jumping off the rocks into said river, something called ‘barn-hockey’ for the kids, tons of food and a fantastic friend (Jill, you rock!) with a supercallafragelistic family willing to share interesting (and hilarious) stories of ranch life with this writer.  It was all of that this year, too, but the weather—as it has been around the world—was…different.

One day in particular was soggy, but as night approached, so did a seriously ominous bank of black clouds.

“Oooo,” we giggled, “Looks like we’re gonna get a little wet.”  So naive.

Our family fits into three tents:  the two-man tent for the boys, the six man tent for the girls—sans the 6 men, of course—and the eight man tent for the hubby and me and the dogs.  As usual, the boys passed out the minute their heads hit the pillow.  The girls on the other hand (all teenagers, and my wild woman niece—age 24 going on 13) were all enjoying being nutballs and laughing themselves half silly in midst of this wilderness slumber party.  I decided to let their shenanigans carry on, cuz I’m super cool and, okay, too lazy to get up and tell them to pipe down.

When the first crack of thunder sounded, the girls all shrieked and giggled.  The hubby and I grinned at each other.  Fun, huh?  The flashes of lightning brought some concerned squeaks from the girls, but it was tempered by more laughter.  Then the downpour hit.  And I’m not talking the drips and drabs of Wendy’s shower.  Oh, no.  This was as if a giant cosmic ladle, perhaps the big dipper? yeah, dumped a lake on us.  The thunder got louder, and the lightening brighter and the squeals higher.

Still, I wasn’t concerned.  After all, the girls had been noisy all evening.  I figured the trees all around us would catch any stray lightning bolts and so deluded, drifted off to sleep.  Around 2ish, the boys appeared at our door (flap) soaked to the skin, shivering and mad as wet roosters.

“Our tent is gone!  Our beds are flooded!”

Odd.  Then again, we had cots and a stronger tent.  “Well, come on in.”  I took one ice-cube boy in my bag, the hubby took the other in his.  The girls were still laughing—I thought—as their shrieks started to rival the howls of the hurricane.  After all, if there was a problem, they’d tell us, right?

Wasn’t till the next morning I woke up to find the girls all huddled in the minivan, their tent now an above ground swimming pool, their beds sagging floatation devices, their mascara running, their joi de vivre a thing of the past.  Not laffin’.  No, my niece was snoozing in at shotgun, scrunched and drenched.  Daughter number three was packed into  the middle row and the older daughters slept sardine style in the back.

Took the entire day—and—half a pile of firewood to dry ‘em out.

Thankfully, the remainder of the week was sunny.  And now (after resting for 24 whole hours at home) we are headed to the beach for more life in the old tent, this time with the kid’s high school crowd.  The weather is looking a little sketchy, so I’ll probably be piling into the minivan with a
dozen (or more) teenagers if we aren’t washed out to sea first.

Wendy?  If you don’t hear from me by…say…Thursday?  Call the Coast Guard.

TTFN,

Carolyn

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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…HELP.

I love rain in summer.  The rhythmic tapping on the roof and rain gutters, the glassy droplets bouncing off bright pink rose petals.  The four kids who don’t know what to do in my 1100 square foot house–

AHHHGGGHHHH.  When I said yes to the sleep-over, I was counting on sunshine, the yard, a sprinkler, the banana chocolate chip bread I stayed up till midnight baking last night…and which my husband ate when he came home from work.  How can one thin man eat half a loaf of banana bread?

I was going to deep clean the house today.  Catch up on work.  Bwah-hah-hah-hah.  Obviously God wants me to get to know these kids.  Real well.  In an enclosed space.

Quick!    I need ideas that DO NOT involve the Disney Channel.  (Don’t get me started on Selena Gomez and the pre-sexualization of ‘tween girls.)

I found this on line:

JUST FOR KIDS: PEANUT BUTTER PLAYDOUGH
Read more about it at http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,199,149163-237203,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com – All rights reserved.
1 c. peanut butter
2/3-1 c. nonfat dry milk
2 tbsp. honey
Mix ingredients. Add enough powdered milk to make playdough dry enough to handle. Shape into balls. Add raisins to make a face. Or stir in chow mein noodles and make a bird’s nest. Or stir in Cheerios or chocolate chips for fun. Eat and enjoy!

Too little-kid for the nine-year-old crowd?  What if I tell them it’s Peanut Butter Clay?  We could study the world’s great sculptors and turn it into a learning experience.   They’d love that.  (NOT.)  I could have them pretend they’re potters and then fill the “pots” with strawberries or chocolate chips or dollar bills.

It was so easy when they were really little and thought finding shiny wet rocks was as exciting as a trip to The Magic Kingdom.

Hurry with your ideas.  They are waking up now.  My house is shrinking….

Wendy

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Sliding Doors

Steady...steady now...

On the 4th of July, we had the kind of company you want to impress.  (My agent and her family).  Yet, my hard-working hubby saw the day off as an opportunity to strip the house of every interior door to patch, prime and paint.  I’m sure the bizarre impact of no bathroom or closet doors  didn’t occur to him when he hatched this amazing scheme.  Isn’t the closet where you cram everything when company comes?  The bathroom problem is self-evident.  Anyway, as you can imagine, what with 7 people and 3 dogs at our house, our doors can get pretty shabby looking.

He has a clever way of spreading a giant tarp over the driveway and arranging the doors (think dominos) vertically with supports holding them at the top.  In the past, on a windless day, this has worked beautifully.

Because of the barbecue, he only had enough time to get the doors in domino stance, then he had to go to work for me.  (I love this man).  After the fireworks, we all had a great night’s sleep, but woke to find that the doors had toppled.  Some broken.

Yet, my intrepid hubby (after some pithy verbiage and a moment to sulk in my arms) strode back outside to face the door dragon.  Thankfully, only 2 of the doors were damaged.  He spent the day patching them and putting them back up with reinforcements. Then, off to work to make a living the next day.

While the kids were splashing in the pool, the first row crashed.  The kids started screaming.  “Mom!  THE DOORS!”  They thrashed out of the pool and raced to the driveway only to arrive in time to watch the second row fall.  My thirteen-year-old daughter burst into tears.  “Poor, Dad!”  The boys, (including one of their classmates) all looked on morosely.  “Man, that bites!”  The older girls were mad and verbal.

“Come on, you guys!  Grab a door, let’s get this cleaned up before Dad gets home.”

In no time, the doors were stacked and sorted (only 2 more broken this time) and it was up to me to make the scary phone call.

Stony silence followed by expletives deleted.  Yet, he came home, figured out a new way to arrange the doors (like tables with short legs) sprayed them, flipped them, sprayed them again and now…taaaa…daa…I have beautiful, shiny, amazing doors in my house.

Thank you, sweetheart.  You are awesome.

Carolyn

PS:  If you haven’t seen Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s fascinating.

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Hot Flash: Too Hot Mama Crime Spree in New York

Turnstile jumper on track 9! Get her, boys! Which way did she go?

 

Did you know that once you swipe your subway turnstile ticket (the wrong way) it won’t let you on the train?  Did you know that if you are traveling with 4 other women to Manhattan and they swipe their tickets correctly, you get to stand outside the bars looking in at them with horror on your face because you just spent your last cash on the tickets and the ticket machines are all temporarily down?

Did you know that you can push the emergency button at the bottom of the subway stairs and a crackling voice, (the subway authority) will come on and say this (while the trains rumble by), “Kkkkkzzzzzttt, your problkkkzzzztttt?”

“Oh, uh, I am not from around here, ha-ha-ha, and uh I don’t understand what I did wrong, but my friends are ready to get on the uptown train and I’m here, with no cash and the machine thingee’s are down and the turnstile won’t let me get to them and I paid, honest!  I’m an upstanding cit…”

Wendy is rolling her eyes.

“Kkkkkzzzzttt, across the street to the zzzzzztttttkkkkk.  Tell themzzzzkkkk and you can…zzzztt…pppbbbbb….ttttt…kkkk. Okayzzz?”

My friends stare helplessly at me.  Not one to buck the system (unless someone is threatening my kids) I point upstairs and mouth, Be back in a sec!  They nod looking various shades of dazed and confused.

I run upstairs and ask the hotdog guy.  “The subway authority told me to come up here and cross the street to complain.  Where?”

“Soorree.  I doo nut no wut u r talking bout.  Ask her.”

His assistant:  “Subway stairs are over there, honey.”

“I know!  You see, I spent my last cash on… I…forget it.”  Back down stairs.  “This is gonna take all day girls.  I did everything I know how to find someone who works here.  There is no one.  So, stand back.  I’m coming in.”

Wendy glances around.  They all looked horrified.  It was a curious mix of fear and embarrassment because my shoe got stuck on the turnstile on the first go ’round and the bar gave me a pretty healthy spanking.  They train those things well.  The second attempt was successful and I’m proud to say I suffered only minor bruises and humiliation.  Happily, I was not arrested.

Carolyn

 

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Toohotmamas Celebrate Mother’s Day!

Wendy may be menopausal, but she can still swang her thang!        Carolyn

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Leggo of my Lego

My youngest son, age 8, is a Lego addict.  He is willing to admit that he’s powerless over Legos.  This is an expensive habit.  Needs to be fed often.  I don’t get it, but then chocolate is my drug of choice.

Yes, members of my family have spent hundreds of dollars, satisfying his Star Wars Lego fanaticism.  His latest kit is an extravaganza my sister spent at least $50 bucks on, but the joke is on me.   Seems it’s payback time for the multi-piece toys I naively gifted her children with, a decade ago.  Alas, there are over a gogillion pieces in his latest set for my new puppy to chew. 

New puppy you ask?  Yes, long story, but I digress.  Anyway, ever since my little darling has endeavored to build the Star Wars Deluxe Battleship with the triple phaser stun guns (ages 9-14) this is all I hear these days:

Him:  “Mom!  I can’t do this!”

Me:  “Yes, you can.”

Him: “Mom!!  I’m not 9 yet! Come and help me!  How do I start?”  He is staring dazedly at the directions.

Me:  “Gimme the manual.”  Hmmm. 

A HALF HOUR LATER

Me:  “Okay.  Look, I think we might have better luck if we sort the pieces.”

Him:  “I don’t know how.”

Me:  “Like this.  Dark here, small here, etc…”

AN HOUR LATER

Me:  “Son?  SON! Where are you?”

Muffled voice drifts from somewhere far away.  Perhaps from the trampoline outside?

Him:  “Are you done yet, Mom?”

Me:  “YES!  GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND BUILD YOUR SUPER FUN STARWARS LEGO BATTLESHIP THINGEE!”  (I get cranky when I’m stiff and in pain from sorting).

Him:  “Okay!”

TEN MINUTES LATER

Him:  “Mom!?  Where’s the first piece?”

Me:  Searching for my antacids.  “Here.”

Him:  “Mom!”  Where’s the second piece?”

TWO HOURS LATER Continue reading

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Filed under Adoption, Anxiety, Children, Dogs, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood

I’m afraid of my phone…

Hey! Carolyn! I know you're there!

 I have a very fractious relationship with my phone(s).  I need them.  I have to have them.  I hate them.  To me, the phone is a machine.  A tool.  An instrument to be controlled by me.

To other people, the phone is a companion.  A good friend on a lonely day.  A welcome break.

When the phone rings at my house, I don’t feel compelled to get out of the tub, off the toilet, out of bed to answer it.  My mother, on the other hand, will leap hurdles (and, at 78 that’s saying something) to get there before it stops ringing.

“Hello?!”  Her breathless, cheery greeting is always on the other end no matter what I may be interrupting.  “One moment, Mr. President of the United States.  The PHONE has rung!  Summoned my attention!  I will continue our conversation as soon as I have attended to the needs of the person on the line.  Yes, daughter?”

How did I spring from these loins?  The phone rings at my house, could be the President of the United States, I really don’t give a rat’s hind end.  I’m in the tub.  If it’s important, he’ll call back.  If it’s not important, I really don’t see the need to pursue it.

When the phone rings, nine times out of ten the caller never wonders, “Hey, I bet I just dragged Carolyn off the toilet.  Hope she had adequate time to attend to her personal hygiene.”  I never hear, “Hey, are you busy?  Is this a good time? Have you finished wiping?” 

So, I can be in the middle of a Camp David style negotiation with two Heads of State and I’ll get, “Oh, my gosh, you’re not going to believe this!  My dog just pooped out a chimmichanga wrapper!” 

Back in the ‘pre-answering machine/pre-caller ID’ days, I never knew who was going to call.  “Hello, Carolyn.  This is your boss.  Suzie Slacker just called in sick, so you have to come in and work.”  “But I have a house full of guests in from out of town.  I’ve been planning this meal for 2 years!”  “Listen, Carolyn.  Do you WANT to keep your job?”  “Uh, yeah…”  “Then we’ll see you in ten minutes.”

To me, the jangle of the phone signals Danger, Will Robinson!  It’s knee-jerk.  I run screaming.  The unfortunate side effect of my phone-o-phobe, is that all 798 people who call me regularly take it personally.  Carolyn has not returned my call, therefore, Carolyn hates me. Continue reading

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Help! I’ve been mugged and I can’t get up! A sick contest…

Donna's mad as hell.

My sister called not long ago, telling me about how she got an email from a friend who’d—gasp—been mugged in Europe and for my sister to PLEASE SEND MONEY! 

My sister (after freaking out) came to her senses and called her friend here at home and… lo and behold!  Her friend was not in Europe!  She was here!  In the good old USA.  Unmugged.  Hadn’t ever been to Europe.

 Luckily, my sister mentioned this to me because–okay this is so weird– the next day, I got a similar email from one of my friends!  Mugged!  In Europe!  What are the odds?!  OMG!!  After I’d made arrangements to wire over a gogillion dollars to my friend, I suddenly remembered my sister’s friend hadn’t been mugged and maybe, just maybe there wasn’t a sudden rash of European muggers targeting our friends! 

The email letter (below) is now the third one I’ve gotten in the last few weeks.  I’m sorry to say, I don’t even know who poor Donna is…probably someone from my Facebook list.  Have you gotten your letter from Donna yet?  Better yet, are YOU Donna?  DONNA, ARE YOU OKAY??!  Talk to me, Donna!

Carolyn:

This had to come in a hurry and it has left me in a horrible situation and I’m really going to need your urgent help. Some days ago, unannounced, Jeffrey and I came to visit a resort here in London England but unfortunately we got mugged by some gunmen and lost all cash and credit cards, we are financially stranded right now and our return flight leaves in few hours .I need some money to clear our hotel bills, I didn’t bring my cell phone along since I didn’t get to roam it before coming over. So all I can do now is pay cash and get out of here quickly. I do not want to make a scene of this which is why we did not call home this is embarrassing enough .I was wondering if you could loan me some cash, I’ll refund it to you as soon as we arrive home just need to pay the  Hotel bills and get the next plane home. I promise to refund you back as soon as we are back home, please write back so I can let you know how to send it
Donna

Okay.  I’m sick, but these kinds of letters bring out the dark humor (and editor)  in me.   “Donna” I get that you are “in a hurry” but does the last sentence really need three ‘backs’?  Anyway, I can think of about a dozen different snarky responses to the goons who are trying to extort money from me.  Hello?  My husband and I have FIVE CHILDREN WHO ALL NEED BRACES AND COLLEGE and have I mentioned, I HAVE YET TO HIT ‘THE LIST?’  Yer barkin’ up the wrong tree, “Donna”, unless you want a handful of Pillsbury coupons and a token to the Bullwinkles Family Fun Center.  Plus, I may be menopausal, but I’m still strapped into the old turnip truck.

So, I’d like to have a little fun and open it up to you, our hilarious readers and comment posters.  Yeah.  A contest.  Respond to poor “Donna”.  Go on.  You know you want to.  Don’t be shy.

Carolyn

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Drinking games

  

I'm so proud

  Wow.  Good old mom.  Has she ever changed.  Yesterday, I was standing in the grocery line, waiting.  The woman in front of me clearly knew the checker.  I couldn’t help but overhear this inspiring tidbit.

 

 Mom:  Yeah, that’s my beer.  Well, my kid’s, actually.  I let my son and his girlfriend have beer at home.  They’re in high school now, so it’s…

Checker:  Better than having them go drink somewhere else.

 

Mom:  Right.  Oh, this is so funny.  The other day, they were playing the f-word drinking game.  You know what that is, right?  The F-Bomb?

 Checker:  Gotcha.  Don’t have to spell it out for me.

 Mom:  Well, the kids were watching this movie, and every time they heard the F-word, they had to take a drink.  (Mom laughs indulgently).  Yeah, they got plastered.  Put ‘em to bed in my son’s room.

 Me:  (thinking as I drove home) Golly, I was watching Ozzie and Harriet just the other day, with my eldest (high school age, sweet, loving, adorable, virginal, drug-free ooo, I love her so much I could eat her with a spoon) daughter, and I realized:  I’m such an old-fashioned dirt-bag of a mom.  Geez, what a loser. Here I thought I was doing her a favor by steering her away from the harrowing foibles of my misspent youth.  My poor kid.  How the bleepity, bleep is she going to learn to drink?  Neither Ozzie nor Harriet dropped the F-Bomb once!  When I got home, I immediately threw that DVD out.  Then, I took inventory of our cupboards and realized, if she’s gonna get high, she’s gonna have to settle for tablespoon of vanilla on the rocks.  Couple the vanilla with Ricky Nelson and her seven-year-old brother (who will occasionally crawl into bed with her when he has his recurring bad snake dream) you ain’t got much of a partay, know-whut-ahm-sayin-ma-man?

 

 So, I’m headed back to the store for a copy of Bruce Willis’s Die Hard with a Vengeance, a case of Bud, a pack of smokes and a bag boy or two.  We’ll giter up to speed.  That way, she’ll be more acceptable in today’s society.  After all, I wouldn’t want her to be…different.

 Carolyn

 

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Another Get Rich Quick Scheme Down the Toilet

Heeeeeellllppp meeeeee!

Ohmigosh, Wendy!  Last night I had a dream that J. Lilly, President of Pillsbury wrote us a letter.  It was so terrifying!  So real!  I woke up in a sweat (could have been a hot flash) and scribbled down what I remembered on a candy wrapper I found lying near my bed: 

To TooHotMamas:

(Whoever you are and whatever your racket is)  

 Stop harassing me about winning my contest, or I’ll be forced to take out a restraining order against you both.  The only reason I haven’t contacted the authorities yet, is because my sister is menopausal and tells me you are both out of your minds. 

In answer to a few of your many and varied accusations:  No, the contest was not rigged, nor am I related to the winners and yes I eat Pillsbury products in my home and have no signs of these ‘pathogens’ you allude to.  

Also, since Jack Bauer is a FICTIONAL television character (24), I cannot take the threat that you would report my contest to the Counter Terrorist Unit seriously.  I can’t believe Jack Bauer would take it seriously.  In a shoot out, everyone knows the doughboy has no vital organs and can withstand intense heat.  Jack Bauer, though impressive, would never survive a pre-heated 350 oven for more than 30 minutes. 

TooHotMamas, I will not be bullied into, and I’m quoting here, “Taking you to the stars with your two-ingredient Pancake Sauce”, and must reiterate: Winning my contest will not solve your myriad problems.  In fact you both may wish to consider counseling.  I’ve heard this stage of life is hard on many women and can lead to delusional behavior.  

Thank you for including the pictures of your children in your missive of terror and yes, aside from needing braces, they are all exceedingly attractive. 

You will be contacted from my lawyers for your issues with our contest protocol, and must sign sworn statements to hold Pillsbury harmless, if you wish to participate in the future. 

Sincerely, 

John Lilly, CEO Pillsbury Corporation

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THE GIRL WITH THE DEAD TATTOO

I just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson.  Have you heard of this book?  If not, you live under a rock. 

Anyway, I’m always a day late and a dollar short with my plots, it seems, for  I could not believe my eyes.  I just wrote a book exactly like it!  Well, okay, there were some variations.  My hero was a cat.  And I didn’t do that whole computer hacking subplot, although there was some hairball hacking at one pivotal point.  Another difference is how my cat didn’t, you know, cat around with the astounding frequency and variety of Stieg’s randy characters.

 But come on!  Why 27 bazillion books in print?  Why #1 on the best seller list?  Why not us, WENDY?  I’ll tell you why!  We’re ALIVE, that’s why.  (That, and I’m just returning to my writing career after a rather protracted maternity leave, but that’s beside the point).  Apparently, now days, it really helps to hit the lists and get those movie deals if you’re dead.  Yeah.  I’m talking about you, J.R.R. Tolkien.

Sadly, Stieg Larsson died of heart failure at the tender young age of 50, before he ever had a chance to enjoy his amazing success.  Or…did he?  Hmmm.  Let’s see.  What would be his cut of 100 gogillion dollars be?  Even if it was only 6 %, we’re talking 6 gogillion dollars, give or take.  Certainly enough to retire on.

 So Wendy, I’m seriously thinking about staging my death in an effort to give my career a much-needed boost.  (Don’t worry.  I’ll still help with the blog).  Others have successfully done it.  Remember D.B. Cooper?  I’d never heard of him before he “died”.  And how many of you out there have seen Elvis at Wal-Mart?  Yes?  I thought so.  I’m not certain yet, how I want to “go”.  I’m sure my hubby would cheerfully help.  My teenagers, too.  I see the dollar signs in their eyes when I’m particularly menopausal.

 I’ll keep you posted from the ‘great-beyond’ at Wal-Mart.

Carolyn

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Bathroom Humor, Part Duex-Duex

Planning a trip to Europe? Thank heavens you stumbled upon this blog! Before you go, you really need to consider a couple of handy tips my husband and I discovered that will help make your visit a more pleasant experience.

Take going to the bathroom for example. Did you know that you have to PAY for the privilege? Um hmm .50 Euros. That’s nearly a dollar American, down the toilet.

Unfortunately, we didn’t remember until we were in ‘crisis-mode’ so to speak.  Of course, we were waaay out of town, strolling through a picturesque German neighborhood, admiring the quaint architecture when my hubby felt a sudden need to find a McPoo. (Apparently, this is what European tourists call McDonalds, because its got free restrooms). I was miffed as his bowel functions were messing with my holiday but, since the matter seemed to be fairly pressing, we turned around and headed back toward town.

Whatever he was suffering from must have been contagious because I was also suddenly afflicted and we both picked up speed. Okay. Where is a McDonalds when you need one? There is one on every bleeping corner of the universe, unless you’re desperate. Luckily, there was a sign at the train station. W.C. (No, Wendy, this does not stand for Wendy and Carolyn, although at first I thought they’d heard of us over there. It stands for Water Closet).

Europeans have the audacity to keep these things locked until you have .50 Euro to plug into the door. Of course, we didn’t. I had a dollar. We hot-footed it over to a nearby bakery, waving our Euro and shouting “WC ! WC!” at the poor girl behind the counter. There was an elderly woman (a year or so older than me) at the counter, pointing at baked goods and jabbering in German. I don’t speakie the lingie, but clearly she couldn’t decide. And the girl behind the counter couldn’t open the register to make change, until she decided. My husband and I jogged in place while she deliberated. FOREVER. Sticky buns? Non-sticky buns. (I will refrain from the obvious pun). Finally, the elderly woman made her decision, the girl behind the counter flung our change at us and we were off to the WC.

There was only one open.

“Let’s share!” I screamed at my husband and we crowded into the WC (saved .50 Euro while we were at it, I might add). Luckily for us, the honeymoon was over decades ago. He let me go first (would George Clooney be so magnanimous, Wendy?) bless his heart. During his turn, I decided that I had to go again.

Eventually, there was an impatient knock at the door. “Occupied!” I strove to sound jaunty. There was some disgruntled talk outside the door. “Hurry,” I urged the hubby, during his second go round. “I think they think we’re in here…doing it!” “They wouldn’t if they could smell it,” he grunted.

Once we were both blessedly empty, we flung open the door and bolted. Behind us, more disgruntled (this time semi-nauseated) German talk. I’m nearly positive the words “Ugly American” were bandied about.

The British penny is sometimes referred to as a ‘p’. So, it may help to remember this handy saying: A ‘p’ to pee and two ‘p’ to poo.

Good luck, sojourner.

Carolyn

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Yurt Locker

OMG! I'm so totally beautiful!

 I just spent the week in a Yurt at the beach with 6 middle school girls (one of them was my daughter) for a Science Field Study.  Ohmigosh.  The shrieking, the mess, the ADHD, the horrible house-keeping skills and that’s just ME. 

 The girls?  Hopeless.  

OVERHEARD IN MY YURT:

“I’m incredibly beautiful.  Not to brag or anything, it’s just true.  But, when I straighten my hair?  I’m even more beautiful.  Not to sound vain.” 

“That’s okay.  It’s good to be vain.  And you are really beautiful.”

“Yeah.”

 WHAT DATING IN 6TH GRADE REALLY MEANS: 

 Sit at the opposite end of the cafeteria and don’t look at each other.  Ever.  (Looking is for 7th grade).

 Getting to wear the boy’s hoodie?  You’re as good as married.  Pick out the china.  

 OVERHEARD IN THE CAFETERIA: 

“I gave his hoody back!”  Mass hysteria and giggling.  “And I loaded the pocket with candy!”  More mass hysteria. 

“Ooo, tight move!”

“Yeah!  He like said, I love candy!”  MASSIVE HYSTERIA.  “He said love!”

 DURING TRUTH OR DARE:

“Next time?  I dare you to give his hoody back and tell him you never want to wear it again because it totally smells like B.O.” 

 OVERHEARD ON THE BUS:

“Don’t worry, Mr. Smith, but you might want to count noses again…” 

 Alarmed, Mr. Smith asks, “Are we short a student?” 

“No.  But I’m pretty sure I saw that guy–don’t look now–the one sitting in the back of the bus–I said don’t look–The scruffy one with the flies buzzing around his head–don’t look–yeah, that guy, I saw him hitch-hiking about an hour ago…” 

“No, no.  That’s Carolyn.  Gracie’s mom.  She’s in a Yurt with all 6th graders.” 

“Oh, right.  That explains it.” 

 ON ORGANIZATION: 

 Kid: “Has anyone seen my flashlight/pillow/towel/sleeping bag/makeup/backpack/sleeping mat/text book?” 

 Me:  “What did you do with the last six flashlights/pillows/towels/sleeping bags/makeup/backpacks/sleeping bags/text books I gave you?” 

 Kid:   “I dunno.” 

 ON BEING SEXY: 

“I know everyone thinks the boy I like is a total Spaz–”

“Because he IS!”

“But that’s only because you don’t KNOW him!”

“I know he eats his boogers.”

“He’s still sexy.”  

Going on a field study is a great way to get to really know not only your own child, but the kids he/she pals around with all day at school.  It’s comforting to know that when you get home, you can lock your darling up and home school them until they are 35 and have completed basic training for nunnery boot camp. 

Carolyn

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The 35 Symptoms of Menopause. Symptom#4: Mood Swings

I went through “pre-mature menopause.”  At 44, my period just up and disappeared.  When I saw my doctor and asked her to make it come back, she ordered a blood test and congratulated me.  “You just had the easiest transition into menopause that I’ve seen.  I have women sobbing over my desk.  Consider yourself lucky.”

I did.  Well, not so much as my face changed every day (See the post:  Symptom # 36, Every Day You Get A New Face).  But in general, I felt pretty good.

However, as I rounded the bend on year four of menopause, The Change began to look less like hormonal fluctuation and more like a Werewolf  Walk-In.  “Mood Swings”?  PULL-EASE.  I respect you too much not to use full disclosure.  Symptom #4 is actually:  Menopause- Induced Multiple Personality Disorder.  An example:

Situation:  I look into the refrigerator and realize we are out of the broccoli I was going to make for dinner.

Before Menopause:  Order pizza.

Post Menopause:  “My God, WE’RE GOING TO GET RICKETS.  What kind of mother doesn’t have broccoli?”

Husband (soothingly):  “I’ll order pizza.”

Menopausal me:  “Are you out of your mind?  ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY, PEA-SIZED MIND?  (Symptom #5: “irritibility.”  Riiiiight.)  I swear to holy heaven, if you pick up that phone, we are THROUGH.  (Searching refrigerator.)  There’s got to be a vegetable in here.  There’s got to be!”

Husband (fearfully):  I could… run to the market?

Turning, my blue eyes glowing orange (he swears they did), I growl.  No words, just a growl.  Then I eat two ice cream sandwiches, find half a bag of frozen peas in the back of the freezer and burst into tears.

At first, I told myself I was just being seven.  My DD has scenes like this occasionally.  But after several such episodes and fearing imminent admission to a psych ward, I phoned my doctor.   She gave me bio-identical hormones and said I should see some improvement in a couple of days.  Two days later, I stopped crying–over EVERYTHING.   I should add, she also gave me amino acids to deal with the attendant menopausal symptoms anxiety and depression.  I feel like me again.

Now there is only one seven-year-old in the house.   My husband is happier.  We’re out of broccoli again, but Papa Murphy’s is only a mile up the road.

Wendy

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That Pioneering Spirit

"Oh goody. It's raining."

 If you enjoy wearing a pioneer woman costume and sleeping in a damp tent that you set up in the pouring rain while wearing your soggy pioneer bonnet and a soaked pioneer skirt that gets tangled around your legs as you try to pound a tent spike into solid rock while 3 third graders (also in pioneer garb) complain about the inclement weather under your feet…then you’d LOVE the field study I just returned from (see Wagon’s Ho blog entry) with my kid’s Living History charter school.

 We had a fabulous time.

Learned a lot.

Stood at the bottom of the famous Laurel Hill (shoulda been named Laurel Jagged Cliff) on the famous Oregon Trail (shoulda been named Let’s Commit Suicide by Wagon Train) and I thought, “Wow, I wonder if I ‘d have let my husband talk me into hurling our wagon/worldly supplies/children/oxen over the edge like the pioneers did back in the olden days?”  and “What the hell were they thinking?”  and “I wonder how far I am from Starbucks, right now.”

Apparently, one pioneer woman (her name escapes me at the moment), pregnant with her eighth child gave birth three days AFTER getting her family down the hill.  I’m such a loser weenie.  I rode to the historic site in a heated touring bus, ate the 6 thousand calorie meal we’d packed that morning for lunch, and felt sorry for myself because I was probably gaining back all the weight I’d recently lost (see the Gym post).

This trip shattered every illusion I had about being a pioneer in any sense of the word.  I am a wimp-o-neer.  A pio-weenie.

Luckily, the next field study (leaving this Monday with daughter number 2) is being held at the coast.  In a Yurt.  Gonna feel like the Hilton, compared to the tent. 

Carolyn

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Oh No!

One hot mama: The pre-breakfast routine.

 

Don’t you just love those bizarre celebrity death hoaxes?  Johnny Depp dies in freak skate board accident.  Miley Cyrus eaten by sharks.  Plastic surgery kills Kardashian sisters.  

 These goofy rumors got me to thinking that a lot of you out there are probably wondering what happened to Wendy.  The hotter of the two mamas.  No, contrary to the wild urban legends circulating Hollywood, she has not been kidnapped by terrorists.  Unless you count the PTA.  

 No, Wendy is simply busy.  Too busy to blog.   

 Why?  Because—like me—she cannot seem to bring herself to say ‘No’.   

 Why do we fear the word, No?  Hmm.  In my case?  I’m terrified I might miss out on the fun.  Couple that with my people pleasing tendencies and suddenly, I find myself in the process of making a Pioneer Costume.  For myself.  Yes.  Fitting that in before I pack my two fifth graders and me for a three day school Oregon Trail camping trip.  Couldn’t say no to their adorable doe-eyed faces, begging me to participate in all that chaperoning excitement. Neither could I say ‘No’ to the week long Marine Studies extravaganza with my middle school daughter’s class at the coast.  Thankfully I’ll have time to pack during the ten minutes I’ll be home between trips.    

     Bought the supplies I’ll need during the week I took off to get the kids back and forth to their fifty mile round-trip piano recitals.  Luckily, my husband was able to take time off work that week to get my son to his baseball games in other cities, since I don’t have a sewing machine in my car.  Yet.  As soon as they get one that plugs into the cigarette lighter, I will.   

     Fortunately, my computer has super good battery life, as my eldest daughter somehow talked me into serving as the Community Coordinator for her high school’s social network.  This way, I won’t be bored on those endless seconds I’ll have between building a Pirate set for Vacation Bible School and hosting the Spanish Club luncheon.  Thank heavens I was able to wriggle out of sewing 70 canvas field study bags—never admit you can sew—so that I can attend a college reunion, a baby shower, a writer’s meeting, enjoy TWO talent shows, THREE  plays starring my kids, and host out of town company.  

     All of this is, of course, on top of keeping a 7 person/2 dog household under some semblance of control.  I’m thinking about getting one of those digital voice recorders so that I can write novels while I’m grocery shopping, working out, paying bills, chauffering the kids, grooming the dogs, mowing the lawn and bathing.  

    Double-tasking?  For slacker weenies.  I’m coining the phrase Quad-tasking.  Why else would God have given us two hands and two feet?  

Carolyn

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Victoria’s REAL Secret

Hey, baby. What's your sign?

Sleep Apnea, part 2: Medical Fashion! YAY!
Probably the best part of Sleep Apnea is the really cool machine you get to take home and use every single night for the rest of your life! But before you can be trusted with the Nimbus 2000, you have to take a class with members of your non-breathing peer group. At first, it’s much like an AA meeting in that you don’t want anyone to know you’re there. Everyone takes a seat, looking as if they are facing their sentencing for crimes committed while asleep. If you’re lucky, you get the Good-Humor Man as your instructor to loosen things up. And, I gotta tell you, once everyone puts on ‘the mask’ it’s a veritable festival of fun. One guy in my class (a four-year veteran of Sleep Apnea) said it takes all the ‘mystery’ out of love-making. Apparently, when the wife sees him sans mask, she knows what time it is. Yeah, it takes the old mystery out of a lot of stuff. Another guy in my class was gonna order a mask for his wife so they could play Darth Vader. Everyone’s a comedian. I think my big beef is the lack of bling. A lady who sat across from me was wondering if we could maybe bedazzle the straps or get a model in leopard print or dayglo pink. I’d like to see the thing double as a blow dryer for those of us who like to double task. Anyway, if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m big into get rich quick schemes, and I think I’m onto something with the Sexy Cpap machine (continuous positive airway pressure). Gonna get on the horn with Victoria. I think there’s a market here.
Carolyn

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I am your mother, Luke.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night, certain that something in your body has… stopped? You might have Sleep Apnea. The first time this happened to me, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. That day I’d just felt her move for the first time. That night, I thought we’d died. I woke up clawing and gasping and my ever-helpful husband roused just enough to tell me to shut up. “But, I’m having a HEART ATTACK!” “Then play a spade or a club,” he muttered and rolled over. This has gone on (and off) for years. Me, waking up dead. Wondering, what causes this strangeness?

I am not an animal!

After about a dozen years (don’t take a house to fall on me) I called the doctor and they scheduled me for a sleep test. If you’ve never had one, ooo, what a treat. They glue wires all over your body and then tell you they are going to go in the next room and stare at you, while you sleep.
Oddly, I slept like a baby. Or so I thought. According to the test results, I’m fond of not breathing for loooong stretches at a time. And, perhaps this is why I drag through the day, blaming old age, bad diet, a penchant for staying up all night long, global warming, Bernice Hudeen from the 3rd grade, whatever.
Anyway, it’s official. Sleep Apnea. I’ll be back with an overview of the cure. If I live that long.
Carolyn

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Bad Hair

Wendy and Carolyn Do Hawaii

 

Carolyn and Wendy Do Hawaii
 
The 35 Symptoms of Menopause: A continuing education.  Today, we explore Symptom #26:

Hair loss or thinning head or pubic hair.  Increase in facial or whole body hair.

So many of our friends complain about this symptom.  The hair falls off the head and seems to just explode out of everywhere else. 
 
So, girls.  How do we get rid of unwanted hair without the hideous pain of waxing / electrolysis and those horrible red bumps that come after shaving?  Well, after a LOT of debate–and experimentation–we’ve come to the conclusion that there is no solution.  Why are we fighting the inevitable, ladies? 
 
Let go of your inhibitions.  If you’ve got it, flaunt it.  Embrace your inner gorilla!  Oh, we’re not saying it will be easy.  The first time we hit the beach sporting our new hirsute look, we were a little bashful.  But as you can see by the video our husband’s shot, (above) after a couple Mai Tai’s we got into the rhythm. 
 
Carolyn and Wendy

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Lions and Tigers and Bears: Oh. Menopause.

 Symptom 11:  Feelings of Dread, Apprehension, and Doom…

 Apparently, I went into menopause when I was 8-years-old.  I remember distinctly going through that entire summer feeling dread, apprehension and doom.  It seemed to revolve around this reoccurring dream I had about pyramids.  Huge, looming, Egyptian pyramids.  Scared the stew out of me.  Until now, I had no idea why I never wanted to travel to Egypt.  Duh.  Menopause.

I refer to this as my year of Egyptian pyramid menopause.  Then, there was the year of clown menopause.  Later on, it was Y2K menopause.

 My youngest daughter is most certainly in menopause and she hasn’t even entered puberty yet, poor thing.  Outer space gives her the heebie-jeebies .  She hates anything outer space.  Star Wars, constellations, Buzz Lightyear…   “Dear Mrs. Bigglesworth:  Please excuse my youngest daughter from the field trip to the planetarium as she is suffering from the eleventh symptom of menopause.

 At tax time, I think my husband entered menopause.  

 I must say.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

 Carolyn

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Happy Havztim Tab! L’chayim! (to life!)

Just for fun, I thought I’d look up some of the strange symptoms I’ve begun having and found this preamble to The 35 Symptoms of Menopause

(For some reason, in my head, I hear Mary Poppins reading this, but you listen to whoever you’d like to hear deliver this special news).

 Perimenopause or Premenopause …
is the time before actual menopause. This phase lasts 5 to 13 years and is when you experience most of the symptoms. Menopause is actually a one day event, the last day of your last ever period. Of course, you will not know when that day occurred until you no longer have periods. The average age for menopause is 51. Post-menopause begins 1 year after your LAST period.

O.M.G.  Some of us get to experience these delights for thirteen years?  How…encouraging.  Of course, if I’m one of the lucky ones, this means I’ll have a teenager living with me the entire time.  I can only imagine the driving lessons… their hormones surging, mine waning, both of us screaming.

 And then—this is the part that thrills me—“Menopause is actually a one day event!”

 How exciting!  But, how will I know exactly which ‘day’ that is?  How will I dress?  What should I do?  I’d love to plan a little ‘rite-of-passage’ shindig, like a Mexican Quinceañera or a Jewish Bat Mitzvah only in reverse.  I’m not Jewish (I leave that portion of the blog to Wendy) but I could call it a Havztim Tab and throw a dance.  A dinner.  With gifts.  For moi!  She’s passing from womanhood to cronehood.  Let’s party!

“Of course, you will not know when that day occurred until you no longer have periods.”

Not to criticize the origianal author of this informative piece, but  I might rephrase this aspect of the above preamble to read:   “Of course, you will not know when that day occurred because you are suffering from symptoms 3-6-7-13-14-16-20-22-25-29-31. 

 Unfortunately for me, I think I have imbibed too many preservatives over the years, for my womb keeps sputtering back to life just as I think I’ve achieved Havztim Tab, and the whole thing starts over again.  So, I guess I shall languish in the 35 symptoms awhile longer.  Get to know each of them really, really, really, really, really well.  And then share my findings.  With you.                     

Carolyn

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Crrrraaaaaap

         Here’s one reason I like the idea of a big family.

    I wonder if she’s menopausal.

                                                                    Carolyn

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