I Live in Charleston. And, I Am Working on Forgiveness.

So, I have been MIA for a bit... again.   

A hectic summer schedule combined with my son's lack there of a schedule (i.e. no school), results in no sitting and thinking for Katie.   

Living in Charleston, SC... in the summer... is super hot; but, it's also pretty super and totally worth the heat.  Friends and family love to visit and we all take full advantage of the salty, shark-filled Atlantic Ocean; as well as the chlorine, kid-filled pools, in an attempt to stay cool.  Or, at least to avoid having a heatstroke.

My family recently had an amazing weeklong vacation here in June.  It was an absolutley great time with the exception of one terrible, horrible, tragic event.  We were there on June 17, 2015.  The date of the Charleston Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting.

I will always remember where I was on this date.  Just like I remember where I was on September 11,  2001.  I will always remember staring aghast at the news, engrossed in the updates with a weird numbing sense of disbelief.  It is sort of a surreal feeling... trying to process the enormity of what is occurring.  Is it real?  Am I dreaming?

Then you realize, it is real.  And, it is a nightmare.

That day, many people's lives were forever changed as a result of the actions of a coward, whom I will only refer to as that (and in lowercase at all times).

I will not mention his name, for two main reasons:

  1. His name is almost as stupid as his haircut.
  2. I hope everyone forgets his name so that he, as the soulless piece of pathetic shit that he is, will one day be forgotten.

That coward sat through a Bible study in a church and then shot 9 innocent people.  Wow.  Typing that was even weirder than saying it.  That actually happened.  Even if you never believed in Hell... I'd like to think that you are open to one now.

I have been trying to process the level of absolute ignorance that someone can possess.  How can people be so stupid and still be able to function enough on a daily basis to do something so evil?  It really is mind boggling.

I am not here though to rehash the devastaing events that happened on that heartbreaking day.  As amazed as I am at the level of cowardness and ignorance that one person can possess, I am more amazed at the monumental reactions of the victim's families, the people of this amazing city, and supporters everywhere.

The victim's families forgave him.  And, said that they hoped God forgave him.  Again, my mind- blown.  I had a lot of trouble processing this.  I did not see at the time, during the families statements at the coward's bond hearing, what they were really doing.  I was worried that maybe they all had suffered such a tragic event that they were not thinking correctly.  Because, I know I sure had a lot of other things that I wanted to say to him and about him at the time.

I now see what they did was for the greater good.  They saw the bigger picture.  They looked past the hate and did not let it win.  They tried to prevent what the coward set out to do.  And not only that- but, make the community go, hand in hand, into the complete opposite direction.  People were not fighting with one another and leading to the coward's hope of a "race war".  The families of the victims made this community stronger.

Over 20,000 people got together to hold hands across the Ravenel bridge to show their support and unity.

Ravenel Bridge Unity Chain

There were countless other outpourings of love that surrounded and supported these families.

Local surfer's at Folly Beach remembering the victims.

Heart formed from supporters at Marion Square.

From prayers, to songs, to poems, to bake sales, to donations, to flowers, to fundraisers... the support was incredible.  I hope that everyone outside of Charleston saw all the good things that were and still are occurring in Charleston.

I have my serious doubts though, because a lot of the news crews packed up when they saw we were not going to become "another Baltimore".  Because, hey- peace and love do not make for good ratings.

Not all news outlets stopped reporting when the hate started dwindling.  I cannot appreciate enough this "amazing new phenomenon" of showing positive outcomes that arise from a negative scenario.  And, actually really focusing on those positives, rather than on the coward.  Highlighting the togetherness and support one human can show another, not focusing on the damage that can be done. We know how evil humanity can be.  We don't need to be constantly reminded of it.  We need to be reminded that good still exists.

I was also thankful to see the victims making the front page of a newspaper and not the coward's soulless scowl staring back at me.  I don't want to see him.  And, I sure as hell don't want to know about him.  I want to know about the warm, inviting people that welcomed that poor creature into their place of worship.

Front page of The Post and Courier

People, good people, lost their lives that day because of one imbecile.  I don't know if I can ever forgive him as well as the victim's families did.  However, I have tried and will continue to try.  My husband thinks that I should start the process by no longer referring to him as the coward.  Ugh.  Sigh.  I will try.

My motivation

Until I can manage forgiveness, I will continue trying to forget him to the best of my ability and focus my energy on the day that Charleston came together and became an even greater city.

May we never forget the 9 people that lost their lives that day: Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, Daniel Simmons Sr. and DePayne Middleton Doctor.

Their names are the ones that matter.

As for the one I am trying to forgive and forget, I hope that one day he will simply be remembered as "that guy who tried to start something evil in Charleston and got shut down by the whole damn town."


Man, I love this city,


What He Said. A Follow up to: You Are Welcome, New Dad

A few months ago, I met a funny guy who was about to become a dad, for the first time.  Or, at least to his knowledge.  (Jokes).  We got to talking and I later wrote a blog with my New Dad Survival Guide based on our conversation.

You can view that post here (if you are a disloyal supporter of my cyber-rants and have not already read it):

You Are Welcome New Dad

He recently reached out to me and said that after going from scared-dad-to-be to new dad, he had a follow up to my post.

After reading (and snort-laughing at) his email, he said I could put it on my blog- as long as he remained anonymous.  

I obviously consented so that I could spread some giggles with the loyal ones of you ;) 

Here is what new, remaining-anonymous dad has to say:

"I may or may not be the scared dad previously mentioned. 
That was then, this is now: 
I have survived parenthood for exactly 10 days.  More importantly my daughter and wife have as well. 
I wanted to check back in on the list and see how crazy our family really is.  After re-reading the list I have realized that we are, in fact, quite normal.  We have done the bulk of the list and my go-to answer to everything is 'what can I get you, sweetie?'   
From scared dad to real dad, I have a few observations to add: 
--When mama is catching up on the sleep that she missed throughout the night feeding and changing diapers, etc. you don’t refer to it as 'sleeping in'. 
--Everything needs directions and none of them will be remotely helpful.  When trying to piece together anything baby related there are only two steps and a diagram that may as well have been drawn by your newborn.  'Insert support A into…' I’ll show you where to insert it Graco. 
--Nothing will ever be within arms reach.  Nothing.  Ever.  Just sat down with baby in one arm?  Yep, side table is perfectly aligned with your other arm, along with your phone, remote, and drink.  Switch arms and risk stirring baby or quench your thirst in an hour? 
--Never trust a dirty diaper.   
--While dealing with diapers, always be prepared for round 2.  Apparently the comfort provided by a nice clean diaper is breeding grounds for just a little more poo.  I am on to your tricks tiny one.  
--Breast pumps are underrated.  Assembling things and playing with electronics are pretty fun for a man and where else do you get to do that in the name of boobs?  It’s just wise to remember that as much as you want to mention the images of Coburg that are conjured up, it’s best not to udder (zing) those words. 
--Hand sanitizer reminds me of college.  Maybe it’s the fact that it smells exactly like one of those cooler drinks we would make with Everclear and partially rotten fruit.   
--Onesies are a cruel joke.  Who designed these?  Here’s an idea, let’s design something in which you can partially strangle your child while almost breaking their arm, all in the name of making them wear an embarrassing pun (well, at least the puns are funny…sometimes). 
In regards to my baby girl, it was love at first sight and I wouldn’t change a minute of it. 
In regards to my wife, I love seeing a completely different side of love from someone that I thought I already knew and loved.   
I guess I still have a lot to learn on the parenthood adventure, but I am not scared anymore."
-Anonymous New Dad

Thank you, new dad, for the update and funny insight!  It is nice to get some male perspective (sometimes).

I believe the lovely fruity cooler beverage that you were referring to is Hunch Punch.  

Hunch Punch.
Bring back memories?  Or, maybe nightmares?

I love that you mentioned that particular beverage.  
A. Because, it brings back memories, or lack there of? 
B. Because, I feel that it sums up life with a newborn pretty perfectly...

--> Hunch is defined as a feeling or guess based on intuition rather than known facts.  (I think this is also a definition for parenthood in general.)  

--> Punch is what you feel has repeatedly happened to you after running on no sleep for several weeks/months in a row.

And, just remember- although at times you will be tempted to drink an entire cooler-full of this beloved college, fratastic beverage that has a tendency to make one forget one's problems- it only gets better!  (And, I do not recommend you drinking in excess of any form unless someone is watching your baby for the entire next two [yes, two- we are not spring chickens] days, in a far away land.)

You and your new family are just beginning your magical adventure, and I wish you a very happily ever after!  

The End,


Too Many Poos, Mama Lose?

Yesterday, my day started off with a lot of shit.  Literally.  Loads of it.

My husband left for work, not uncommon... but, through the front door, a tad uncommon...

On his way out the door he yelled out, "oh by the way- there's a surprise for you in the mudroom."

Now, you might be thinking, awwww- he got you flowers.  Ha.

It was shit.  Again, literally.

Dog #2, the larger of our two dogs, shat allllllll over my lovely oriental runner.  And, I am not exaggerating with the world allllllll.  I still cannot comprehend how he physically had that much in him.  It was seriously half of his body weight.  It took me two bags to pick up the 1/3 of what was grabbable.  And, he's a "poop walker".  You know- the dogs that drop a line of crap a mile long so you look like a 120-year-old man when you are on walks; bent over for an hour, making sure that you get all of the many, many "drops".  I hate "poop walkers".  Just stay in one place and poop, for the love!

After picking up the grabbables, I re-hold my breath (as to not pass out from the terrible fumes) and reenter the mudroom, only to drag my beautiful rug outside onto the driveway.  Oops!  I apparently missed a nugget, I notice as it goes rolling down the rug and over my hand, onto the sidewalk.  Insert pathetic, very sad, very disgusted face here.  Shaking my head and taking a deep breath of non-dog-ass-polluted air, I hose off the remaining 2/3 of poo.  When the rug appears to look like an actual rug again and less like an abused pee pad, I start to hose off of the driveway.  Oh- don't mind me neighbors!  Just shooting the shit... with my hose.  Ugh.  Not the way to start my day.

After having my dog out, all day, to "finish his business"  I soon realize that his business is not going to be finished anytime soon.  I fetch him some Imodium and tie him up to a tree.  (In the shade, with water, don't freak out, people.)

Dog #2.  Again, don't freak out!  This is not real poop.
It is just a poop hide a key, that Dog #2 really enjoyed.

I will spare you the details of what continued throughout the day with Dog #2; but, let's just say it involved a panicked call to the vet and coming very close to vomiting all over my yard approximately 14 times.

I eventually had enough.  After wasting several hours walking around behind (funny, not funny) my dog, investigating his poops and derrière (Sherlock Holmes was jealous?), I realized that I have a son and husband who need me.  So they can eat.  And, have diapers.  I desperately need to go to the grocery store.  It's ummm... been awhile.  Thirty minutes after finally corralling my kid (who was trying to ride three bikes at the same time, whilst drinking his apple juice) into the car, we get all buckled in and... put the keys in the ignition.  (Not hot and fresh out the kitchen, mama got her some rolls on that body, but not the ones ev'ry man wishin') (<-- please ignore previous (..) if you are not between the ages of 20 and 45, give or take.)


My car will not start.  Mind you, my car is not very old.  I don't think I have ever had an issue with it not starting?  But, today- of course.  Today it taunts me.

I call my husband, explaining that it was of vital importance that he come jump my car before my head explodes, probably resulting in something resembling poop, that he will have to clean up.

An hour later he arrives.  (Yes, he works across the street from our neighborhood, but you know- meetings?)*

I finally make it to the grocery store.  Along with the rest of the damn town because it is 5:00pm.  (One advantage of staying at home with my son is being able to go to the store on off-hours, when it is more likely to resemble a ghost town and there are no lines [of argumentative couponers and percise check writers] to wait in.  Anywho.)

We finally make it home and my son does not stop talking about the watermelon we just bought, so I give in and cut it open.  (Watermelon is a food I dread actually dealing with.  I love it, but it is impossible not to have its sweet red juice everywhere or have at least half of the melon end up the ground.  In dog hair.)  I cut him a slice, strip him down to his diaper and send him and his cute little, diaper-covered-tush outside.

I tell you this part to point out that he did have a diaper on.  That was all that was gracing his body; but, it was a diaper, on his butt, serving its purpose.

A little later a friend comes in the door laughing saying that he is running around outside, completely naked.

This is not too uncommon, but I go outside to try and lock it up before he hurts his... well, you know.

Kid: "Mama!"

Me: "Yes, dear?"  (Ok, I added the dear to make me look like a nicer person.  It was more like, "WHAT?!?")

Kid: "I got poo poo on me!"

Me: "(#@$%$$#%$#$%#) What?!?!  ($#$^&&%^$#$@#$) Where???  How???"

Kid: "It is doggy poopy."  And, he points to the driveway.

Me: "But, how?"  (How could this be?  I had been so diligent!)  "Ok, stay there and I will grab some wipes." (#$%**#$%#$)

I return with wipes and Kid comes over to the front steps and points to the poop on his leg.  Then he arches his back, whips his little arms back in the air and pisses on the front steps!

Me: "($@#%*&%@#$) What in the world are you doing???  You don't pee there!"

Kid: "Daddy pees outside."

Me: "Well, he should not; but, I know that he does not pee on the front steps to our house!"  (Well, at least one can hope so.)  "Now come here so I can wipe the dog poop of you off."

Kid turns around.

There is a terd trapped in-between his butt cheeks!!!

Me: "(#$&@%#) Did you poop!??!  You said it was doggy poopy!  Is the poop all over you perhaps a decendant from the one that is trapped in your butt cheeks?"

Kid: "Oh."

Kid:  Laughing.  "Dat funny."

Me: Definitely not laughing.  "Ohhhh, no.  That is sooooo not funny."**

Needless to say, kid got carried into the shower.  I tried not to cry and scream too much.  I washed him, dried him and left him inside so I could go wash the newest poop (from my son's butt) off of the driveway.   Freaking really?  Is this what my life is?  Cleaning up rounds of shit off the driveway?

I came back in, ignored my child who was stuck on repeat saying, "you happy now, Mommy?  You happy now, Mommy?" and poured a very large glass of wine.  No, Mommy was far from happy.  Far, far, far from happy.

I doused (yes, doused) my throat with some wine and sat down for a second to breath in the (finally) non-poop smelling air, trying to forget what I oddly was just forced to encounter in one day.

I know other people are having even worse days.  But, I was flat out pooped.

Tomorrow is another day (hopefully less full of shit),

*I would like to thank my husband for showing up and magically starting my car!  (And, closing the hood for me, because I find that intimidating...)

**That night in bed, Kid proceeded to tell Daddy about pooping in the driveway.  Daddy tried to hold it together, and tell him it was in fact, not funny.  But, when he asked if it was a "wittle bit funny?", with a healthy dose of raised eyebrows and creepy smile, Daddy did think it was funny, just a wittle bit.


Driving Mr. Meat

I recently made the trip home to Georgia to visit my family.  Yup, just me and my crazy, super energetic toddler.  (We can discuss my bravery later.)

I soon remembered why my dear son is not the best traveling companion:

A- He does not stop eating.
B- He does not stop talking. 

My Kid Is a Vacuum

Those that know my son, also know he eats non-stop.  It is to the point of ridiculous.  I would have thought that he had a tape worm, except his pooping is equivalent to his food intake.  You name it- he will eat it.  Seriously though, if you mention food around him - be prepared to be berated until you present him with said food.  Especially meat.  Of any form.

*This is a video, that may not work on a phone for whatever reason.
Hope you can view on a computer!

I've learned to be prepared with an arsenol of food on road trips (even if it is the .3 mile trip to the grocery store).  It all sits in the passenger seat beside me, ready for me to launch it over my shoulder towards his car seat.

On the way out of town, for some reason I prematurely mention that we are going to go through Chick-fil-a and you would think he just made out with Dora the Explorer.  I fail to mention that it is not the one close to our house, but the one a hour and half away.  He is confused by this and asks approximately 1 million times if we are there yet; but, once he sees the glorious red glowing sign- he's okay with the wait.  He proceeds to eat 6 nuggets and a large order of fries, even though he has been eating constantly for the past 1.5 hours.

An example from another trip of him divulging in some chicken wings.
Because that is road trip food.

My Kid Cannot Zip It

He used to fall asleep pretty soon into a trip, but now he just talks.  And, talks.  And, taaaaalks.

He points out every water tower, with an excited squeal of: "Ooooh- watah towah!"
Followed by: "What in dat towah, Mommy?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Him, thinking for a minute: "Watah!"
(We've got a rocket scientist on our hands, folks!)

Every single truck that drives by: "Ooooh- wook at dat twuck!  What type of twuck is dat?"
Me: "No clue."
Him, "Dat is a dump twuck Momma."
Me: "Oh, ok."
Him: "But what it dooooo?"
Me: Banging my head on the steering wheel.

He also likes to ask what every single person that we know is doing, where they are at that moment, if they are happy or not, when he will see them again...  This leads to the unfortunate confession by me (that I had worked so hard to make him believe thus far in life): Momma does not know everything.  Sigh.  (I do understand why this confuses him.)

Throughout the trip he repeats 1000 times, "Mommy, I not tired."  Really?  Cool.  I didn't ask. 

Also famous, "Mommy, I no go to sleep. I stay wake da whole time."  Lord, please let him be lying. 

2.5 Hours into the 5+ hour trip... it finally gets quiet.  (Insert angelic choir singing "Hallelujah" here). Naturally, it is literally 3 exits before we get to the one stop I look forward to- Starbucks.  Fret not though, they have a drive thru (God bless America).

Knowing I will loose my shit if my ordering awakes him, I pull a few feet away from the ordering box (?) and lean out the window as far as I can.  Yes, I look like a total moron, but I'll be damned if I get the crazy cracked-out-on-caffeine barista that cranks up the volume so that New York can hear him and his overly enthusiastic and annoyingly fake greeting.  I loudly whisper my order and somehow successfully get out of there with my kid still asleep.  I hop back onto I-20 and put it in cruise control.

I try focus on a positive aspect in this situation and I soon realize that I can at least be glad that there is only one kid in my car right now.  Then, I suddenly get anxiety for all those people out there with multiple kids; and, a headache from trying to grasp how you do a road trip with more than one child.  I just don't understand.  Medication?  For both you and the kids?

Realizing I am not yet ready for another kid to accompany me on road trips, I start channeling The Little Engine That Could, and my mantra becomes- "I will survive this trip... I will survive this trip... I will survive this trip..."  As I repeat this over and over again, it obviously evolves into me "singing" an impromptu silent rendition of "I Will Survive".


No, literally.  Traffic.  It slowly comes to a freaking stop.  Do you know what happens when you go from 80 (I mean 70, Mom) to 0 in a German made vehicle?  The loud noise of the road, that had been amply filling your car and usually works nicely as a sound machine for your kid, also stops.  Thus, the living creature in the carseat wakes up. 

Do you know what happens when your kid wakes up after only a 20 minute nap to find himself locked in a car seat?  All hell breaks loose.  That's what. 

So, we both have ourselves a little crying fit until traffic starts moving again.  With several onlookers staring at our car with general concern, I just point to the wailing child in the back and then the stopped cars in front of me.  They know.

After no additional napping, and what seems like an eternity, we eventually make it to our destination: Nana and Pete's house.  (Yes, "Pete" is my Dad's chosen grandfather name for my son to call him.  No, it has nothing to do whatsoever with his actual name.  My mom mentioned once that she knew a Peter that went by Pete for his grandfather name and there you have it- that is what my father also chose.  Yes, we explained to him that really did not make any sense.  I mainly think he made it stick to drive my mom crazy.  And yes, he is also pretty weird.)

Anywho- I say 'hi' to my parents and immediately find the wine.  I chug, I mean sip a little while I watch my son hug his grandparents with an excited, "Nana! Peeeeeete!" squeal; and, my wine-stained lips slowly turn into a smile.  I guess that makes the terrible act of making the trip worth it?

At least Nana knows me well enough to buy the box of wine.



The Grump vs. The 2-Year Old

Apparently- I am a "grumpy" person.  At least according to my son.  I did not even know that word was in his vocabulary; let alone, one of his new favorite words.

The other day I was trying to talk to someone on speaker phone, and as usual- my child was talking non-stop.  (Heaven forbid I have a solely adult conversation OR that he just remain quiet for 3 minutes.)  We have had the discussion many times about how it is rude to talk/yell when someone is on the phone, so it drives me crazy as hell when he "forgets" this simple rule.

I hang up the phone and look (okay, glare) at him.  As I begin to repeat said lecture- he looks at me and says, "Mommy, I sorry you are grumpy."

Me:  "Whaaa?"  Katie- Remember to breathe.  "Ummm."  Deep breath.  "So, let me get this straight.  Did you just tell me 'sorry you are grumpy'?"  (Maybe I had misunderstood?  Maybe he had said "Mommy, I am sorry for interrupting"?)

Kid:  "No, I am not grumpy- you are de grumpy."  Kid slams pointer finger into my rib cage.

Me:  "Did you just poke me?"  I force myself to walk away briefly as to not strangle my only child and attempt to get in a more teacher explanatory mindset/less of a how far can you throw a 35 lb. kid mindset...

I eventually return.  (Mindset being somewhere in between.)

Me:  "No, dearest son of mine.  Mommy is not grumpy.  Mommy is upset by your rude behavior.  When you are yelling whilst I am talking on the phone- I cannot hear what the other person is saying, and that dear defeats the entire purpose of having a phone conversation to begin with."

Kid:  Insert toddler head cock and major attitude here.  "She said dat dey might go to a movie later.  But, dey not sure.  Den dey might..."  

Kid repeats word for freaking word the entire 3 minute phone conversation he had just yelled the whole way through.

Me:  Dumbfounded.  "Well..."  (Well, shit.)  "Well, just because you heard.  I mean.  I am older and can't hear as good.  (Really Katie?)  And.  Yeah.  So.  Umm.  You're rude."  I make my exit. 

Needless to say, after that, I was grumpy for awhile.  I had officially been outsmarted and outsmartassed by my 2-year old.  I was somewhat prepared for this happening in about 10 years from now, but at age 2?!?  I mean, shit.  

Shouldn't he just be telling me things like "Mommy- I hungry." or, "Mama- you so purty!"?  That is at least what I would like to hear.  Not, being called out on my emotional frustrations that were merely a logical result of his bad behavior! 

Why did no one warn me that this level of sass could rear its ugly head this early in a child's life?!?  I would have been better prepared with some good comebacks at least!  Not things like "I am older and can't hear as good?!?"  What was that crap, Katie?  You weren't feeling bad enough for loosing an argument with a 2-year old, that you had to throw your age in there?  

That's just embarrassing. 

Needless to say, this "grump" did at least learn that her son will either be an actor due to his superb memorization skills and his ability to do a stellar dramatic reenactment or a lawyer for his argumentative debating skills and creative use of inductive reasoning.

Either way, he better be buying this grumpy mama some damn good Mother's Day presents in the future for raising his crazy... cute, little, squishy, tiny, white, tushy with a birthmark on the right cheek that looks like a poop stain.  

Hello World!
(Okay, maybe a little bit of future payback?)

Man I love that (smart)ass,
The Dumbfounded Grump


Bigots and Bon Bons: The Job of a Being a Mom

I have seen a lot of articles recently regarding stay-at-home versus working mothers.

I usually try and avoid reading articles on this topic, as they usually just piss me off.  One recently was going around attacking working mothers and I could tell just from skimming some of the comments, that I did not want to read that trash.

I am a stay-at-home mom.

So, I obviously get annoyed with the stereotypes said about stay-at-home moms.  Oh, yes- I am totally bored and sit around all day painting my nails, eating bon bons, couponing, watching all my soap operas, and reading trashy magazines.

Ok- the trashy magazines do sometimes happen, but I am approximately 13 issues behind on my US Weekly Magazine.  I even keep them in the bathroom, so you would think I would have a better chance to stay up to date on those.  However, I have not used the bathroom ALONE in approximately two years.

Case in point:
My son has apparently seen my attempts of trying to catch up on my US Weekly Magazine.
He also thinks Mariah Carey is "pwetty".

As much as I hate the stereotypes against stay-at-home moms, I also get super pissed off at the stereotypes against working moms.  Those are my friends and my family.  Those are good people.  They are not missing out on everything in their child's life.  They are not being selfish.  Odds are good that the nurse who helped deliver your children, have their own children.  But, I bet you were thankful that they were there for you, in your time of need.  They are out there doing great things.  They are wonderful people and wonderful mothers.

I think anyone who writes or says things to try to make themselves appear better than other moms, is an insecure person.  Or, just a jackdick.

It is comparable to when someone you meet asks you if you work or if you stay at home, then immediately feels sorry for you, whatever your answer may be.  I have gotten more "Oh, I am so sorry" nods and expressions than I care to remember.  Get over yourselves.  And, I dare you to ask me what I do all day.

I have also seen that same expression given to working moms.  Really people?  What is wrong with you?  Wipe that look off of your stupid, judgmental face.

Don't get me wrong- it is an okay question to ask someone.  But, you should not have an opinion as to what their answer should be.  For one thing, if you are asking them if they work or not- you obviously do not know them that well.  Curiosity--> fine.  Biased jackdick opinion--> not fine.  Just assume that they are doing what is right for them and what is right for their family.  Because, I can guarantee you that they probably weighed out their options, and chose the best decision for them, not for you.

I personally, pretty much always knew that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  Mind you, I was not closed off to a different career path.  I graduated college, worked several years, tried out a few fields, and then (accidentally, but luckily) became a mom.  Will I always stay home?  I don't know.

I am aware that my desire to stay home with my son, in lieu of a lucrative career, is down right repulsive to some people.  But, I don't care.  I love being at home with my crazy son.  Well, most of the time...  Sometimes, it blows and I miss working, making my own money, having adult conversations about things other than pooping in the potty, not wearing yoga pants and shirts covered in my kid's snot for the third day in a row because I am pretending that I do not know where our washing machine is...  But, I wouldn't change it for the world.  I honestly wouldn't.

Don't get your panties in a wad- I am in no way trying to persuade anyone to choose the path I did.  I know a lot of moms who absolutely love their careers and are damn good at them.  Although it can be hard for some of them to energetically bounce back from maternity leave and dive back into the job pool graciously- often, that is where they need to be.  I also know moms who were counting down the days and could not wait to get back to work.  I completely respect that, and completely respect all of them.

They are moms, just like me.  No better, no worse.  Different in some ways, but- a mom.

And, thank goodness for different.  Can you imagine if all moms, or if no moms were out there in the workforce these days?  I am pretty sure our entire society would crumble.

The amount of unconditional love and worry for your child does not change whether you are at home or at work.  It is an all-consuming phenomenon that is with you wherever you may be and knows no boundaries.

Being a mom (at home or working) is a responsibility like no other.

It is also the hardest and most rewarding job ever.

Damn, I could have just read a magazine if there wasn't so much jackdickery to address.

Till next time Mariah,


What's in a Bag?

Certain scenarios in life will forever change us.

I have come to the recent realization that we are basically Play-Doh in the big scheme of life, being molded on a continual basis.  Sometimes, we are simply reshaped.  Other times, a piece of us might be completey torn apart.  Occasionally, we are rolled up tight in a ball.  And more often than we would like, we are squished completely flat.

But, we must remember that we have the ability to build ourselves back up and reshape our lives.  Sometimes, we just might need a helping hand.

I have talked in the past about trying to take a more positive approach on life.  I am still trying really hard to do this.  It is taking a continuous freaking effort, but I'm trying.  I swear.

Exerting all of this effort and energy to remain positive, gets to be down right exhausting.  The other day, I was in desperate need of a boost.  When I realized there was not enough coffee in the world for the kind of boost I was in need of, I immediately got more exhausted.  I needed a sign that I was doing something right.  That all of the effort I was throwing out there was not all for nothing.

Then, I finally got one. 

My husband and I were about to go visit our beloved family member in the hospital, when I suddenly remembered a forgotten Christmas gift.  I had read somewhere of a person creating a "homeless kit."  They filled a ziplock with nonperishable foods, toiletries, band aids, etc. to give to a homeless person.  

I immediately fell in love with this idea, because I have never been big on giving money, whilst at the same time- I hate doing nothing.  So, I put together a few kits to give to some of my family and friends at Christmas, to help spread the Spam.  I mean love. 

I bought stuff to build a kit for my husband as well; but, alas, being the procrastinator that I am- I ran out of zip locks on Christmas Eve.  So, the items had been sitting on a shelf since Christmas, until a few days ago when I remembered them and finally transferred them to a bag.  That day, we were headed to the hospital downtown Charleston, where there are an unfortunate number of homeless people, so I brought it with us. 

Now, much to my dismay, I have passed a lot of homeless people downtown.  At certain corners, there is almost a guarantee that you will see one.  But, with the route we had been taking (multiple times by this point) to the hospital, we never passed any.  Seriously, not a one.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  So, I was already mapping out an alternative route in my head that we could take on our way home, where we might be able to give out our bag.  Because, we were in dire need of some good Karma, dammit.

On our drive to the hospital, we turn the corner and- Voilà!  There he is.  I shit you not.  At a red light, with no one behind us (both are rarities for this part of town).  We stop, roll down the window and give the man our bag.  He gives us a big (primarily toothless) grin, takes the bag and says, "Thank you so much!  God bless y'all."

Some might call it a coincidence- me finally remembering to build the bag for the first time in months, us passing the first homeless person we had ever seen on that route, and him blessing us when we needed it most.

Some might call it divine intervention.

Call it what you will.

I know it was not merely a coincidence.  I know that we were in need of that exact occurrence, at that precise moment.  (As well as in need of all the good Karma we could get.)

We gave that man a bag of stuff.  That man gave us a true gift.

He was the helping hand we needed.  He took our flattened-selves and helped shape us back into what appears to be human form again.

God bless that man,


Spring Fever/F You Groundhog

This past weekend, we took a nice family stroll on the beach and it felt amazing.  It had finally warmed a bit, stopped raining for once, and the wind was eerily nonexistent.  It really made me realize how insanely desperate I am for warm weather.  I want it.  I need it.  Now, please.

I don't know about you- but I recently wanted to smack the shit out of the groundhog when he saw his  stupid shadow, implying that we're going to have to endure even more of this winter weather crap.

My thoughts exactly.

This hatred of the groundhog and longing for warmer days- led to my new list:

Top 20 Signs You Are Ready to Give Old Man Winter 
(and the Groundhog) a F-ing Beat Down.

1.  On the one random warm day when you were actually able to whip out and dust off your trusty flip flops, you were suddenly reminded that you have toenails. And, they have missed you. 

2.  You regret owning a dog because you have to let them outside, in the cold, to use the bathroom.

3.  You really regret owning a dog when you have to chase after them when they run off, in the cold, in your not-warm-enough pajamas, while your toddler is left alone inside.  Destroying your home.

4.  You have caught up on every TV series, ever created, in the history of TV.  Most of which you will forever be bitter towards because you wasted part of your life on them.

5.  Sweaters, scarves, gloves, and jackets are starting to make your inner claustrophobia come out- to the point that you are opting to freeze your ass off and leave them in the closet. 

6.  You are more than over the constant stream of snot flowing out of your kid's nose.  And, especially out of other kid's noses.  Also, you are pretty sure that your kid's doctor's office is lacing their suckers with 12 other possible illnesses every time you pay them a visit.

7.  You realize you have been wearing gray and black for approximately four months straight.  And... you don't really own enough of either color to warrant the excess wear.

8.  You ran out of firewood (for the 9th time), except for the one log you kept to throw at the firewood delivery guy, provided he is stupid enough to try and approach your house.

9.  You miss seeing any form of color, other than brown, in your yard.  This includes dead grass, dead plants, and the dog shit that you have been avoiding to go and pick up because it is so damn cold.

10.  You scour the internet to see if anyone has created an air freshener that smells like fresh cut grass, because you are starting to forget what that smells like.  And now, you want to bathe in it.  (If this does not exist- I call dibs.)

11.  Any Jimmy Buffet song brings tears to your eyes because they are just a cruel reminder of beach days, warm weather, and margaritas.

12.  Your skin has reached a new level of pale, ashy, and translucenency from lack of sun.  I do not care what you try to sell me- the best cure is SUN.

13.  You have not worn blush in months because the wind takes care of that for you as soon as you step outside.  However, it also makes you look like Rudolph.  So, you just look stupid and really should forget makeup altogether.

14.  You weirdly start to miss salads and have worn out every crockpot recipe Pinterest had to offer.  Which, if you are the one person not on Pinterest- that means a shit ton.

15.  Grill?  Wait.  We've got a grill?

16.  You repeatedly find your face shoved between the iron rods of a locked clubhouse fence, staring longingly at the glistening pool.  Yes, people can see you. 

17.  You get slightly frantic when the Girl Scouts come a knocking at your door; because, obviously they are selling delicious cookies; but, you also know that they always come when spring/bathing suit season is approaching.  (I am pretty sure Weight Watchers secretly owns the Girl Scouts.)

18.  You cannot wait to wear a bathing suit, even if that extra 10 lbs. of flubber that your thighs and love handles have packed on from those Girl Scout cookies... is not.

19.  You experience a dangerous level of jealousy towards your friends because they post pictures of their luxurious, warm, tropical vacations.  Are they your friends?  Or, were they put on this Earth just to torture you?

20.  Even though it is a really weird concept, (that I will never fully understand and will always somewhat despise because I have a kid) you forget how much you miss daylight until you spring forward.  

Happy day after Sprungeth Day,

*Sorry for the change in fonts- Blogger app is a b****


I Am Positively Trying

So, I have been MIA for a bit.  Sorry about that.  Or, you're welcome might be more appropriate....

Some of you know that I recently had an unfortunate family situation arise.  So, over the past 2 weeks I have been trying to process and deal with that.  I actually did write a post in my brief stint away, but my husband thought it was best that I kept that particular rant to myself.  I was in a dark, angry place at the time- so that is probably a good idea.  There also may have been a lot of f-bombs in that one...

Since then, I have been trying to really focus on the positives in life.  I do firmly believe that a positive outlook can do wonders for one's health and soul.  Although I have this newfound goal of positivity, I am still continuously reminded that there is no such thing as an all-inclusive, perfectly positive, "yay is me" attitude (at least without the help of some really good drugs).  It's like the resorts where you can eat and drink all you want and soak up the fabulous rays; but, you will eventually have to come back to reality.  And yes, you can have your cake, and you can eat it too; but, that does not mean you won't get fat. 

Trust me- I know that it can be really difficult to stay positive at times.  I know that somedays when it rains, it monsoons.

A recent example, not of a monsoon, but a super shitty moment...  Yesterday, when I was having a not great day already- I had finally sat down to eat lunch, with my newly filled (apparently very large?) glass of water... which I promptly knocked over.  Water poured all over my plate of food, my phone, my computer, the tv remote, my book, a sketchbook, another notepad, some pens, some mail, some jewelry, and possibly the most upsetting victim of the flash flood- my US Weekly Magazine.  As I watched the water overtaking the countertop, spilling over the side, and waterfalling down onto the floor, I became transfixed.  With TLC's Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls playing softly in my head I just sat there and stared.  Initially, I was simply amazed at how much shit I could even have in one place.  And, how did that cup physically hold that much water?  Where is all of it coming from?  It was like the clowns that continuously emerge from that stupid tiny car.  I looked up to the ceiling to verify there was no leak where additional water might be flowing from.  Finally, thanks to my son asking "mommy, what dis mess?" I snapped out of it and started drying things off.  Naturally, I ran out of paper towels and nailed my head on the underside of the counter in the process.  This led to more water flowing... this time, from my eyes.

Yes, some moments, some days, some weeks.... really just suck.  So, I have recently started making my own positive moments occur.  Screw waiting for them.  At this rate, I could easily be miserable for the rest of my life.  But, I am not going to take the easy way out and dwell in my misery, waiting on this so-called "positivity" to maybe find me.  I am choosing to create a different, more positive take on life.

The Little Things
One thing that makes me happy is when I can make someone else happy.  Just by doing something little.  Such as, waiting an extra 5 seconds for a mom with a new baby to unload her groceries so that I can take her cart back for her, in the rain.  Shoot, it made me cry once when someone did it for me.  I know it will at least put a smile on her face.  Unless she's a total b*tch.

Or, letting the aggressive old lady at the grocery store go in front of me in the checkout line...  Yes ma'am, I know you have 3 times more crap in your cart than me... and I have a toddler in tow... and I know you are going to whip out that checkbook to pay... and then you will update your check register as the line behind you grows.  But, you go ahead.  I am just going to have to change this poop in my kid's diaper when I get home anyways, so take your time.

Ok, yes I know both of these references are at the grocery store.  But, alas, it is my second home.  And, yes I know that I still have a long way to go to be a "positive person."  My point is- these little things for other people, that I have been trying to take advantage of when they arise, have helped to make my day a little better.  Just, these silly, little things...

Maybe Humanity is Not Totally, Completely Screwed
Along with creating a few positives in my life, I am also constantly reminding myself of my recent realization regarding humanity.  (I will call this RRRH.)  These past 2 weeks, I've rediscovered how amazing people can be.  Something, that I did not even realize I had forgotten.  

The outreach of support our family has received has been beyond incredible.  We had more food then we could physically consume, more prayers than we could believe, cards, flowers, you name it... and we were so grateful for it all.  

Along with food, I personally also had people helping out with my dogs, my son, and even my wine supply.

A text, from an amazing friend who picked up my son from school, took him to pray for his family,
and kept him overnight for us. Words can never express our thanks.  But... I will try with wine. ;)

And, whether you believe in prayer or not- I can guarantee that you would feel pretty damn good knowing you had all those people backing you up.  It is an amazing thing when that many people join together and focus their attention to your wellbeing.

People who reached out to show their support, really did more good than they can imagine.  Knowing that they care enough to go out of their way and make an effort to comfort you is an incredible gesture.  It is something they did not have to do.  I am sure that they have plenty of other things to do with their time.  But, they chose to dedicate some of their time to us.  Sure, there are those who are just nosy and want to be in the know.  But, most people are really just good.  It has actually somewhat restored my faith in humanity.  For awhile there... I was pretty sure 99.9% of the population was going to hell in a hand basket.

Now That's Amore
I also have been amazed at how much one person can be so loved.  I can only hope to have 1/5 of the kind comments my family member has received, be said about me one day.  Calls, cards, visitors, even friends driving hours just to see him and give him a hug and express their love in person.  To know that you have impacted that many people in such a profound way must be a tremendously good feeling.  (Not to mention, he probably did not even have to initially make a conscious effort to do kind things [like myself at the moment] to have received these kind words.)

My Positivity Challenge/Reminder
I challenge you to try to do a nice gesture to someone, especially on your shitty day.  Make your day and someone else's day a little less shitty.  Even if it is not happening naturally, make an effort.  Put a tip in the jar that you have forever pretended not to see.  Tell someone who is struggling that is okay, and heaven forbid- even offer them help!  Donate your insane amount of crap that you have not used in years to a good cause.  Donate your money.  Donate your time.  Find something.  Do something.  

I know that this is in no way some new miraculous phenomenon- to be nice to people.  But, sometimes you need a reminder to just do something nice for someone.  This is your reminder.  Because, it is easy to forget when you're going through your shitty day, just how important that nice gesture can be.  And, it will make your shitty day a little better and one day you might find yourself in a position of needing to be on the receiving end of a similar gesture.

These past two weeks has forever changed me.  And, although I did not see it coming- I think it actually changed me for the better.  I am trying to focus on the positives, even when they seem to be nonexistent.  It has helped me to forget the old, stupid shit that had been weighing me down and that was preventing me from being a better person.  It has made me want to be a better person.  I now appreciate life, and everyone in it, more than I ever have.

Now- go do something nice,

*For you lazy asses, you can just click on the links below:

National Brain Tumor Societyhttp://braintumor.org/

Cancer Research Institutehttp://www.cancerresearch.org/giving-to-cri/ways-to-give 


Cliché Conception

As Valentine's Day rapidly approaches (you are welcome for the reminder, sir), I immediately start to reminisce on Valentines past.  I've had a wide spectrum of previous V-day experiences- wonderful, mediocre, and terrible...

You would probably expect my first Valentine's Day ever with my now-husband to have been an amazing one.  I mean, we got married right?  This was not the case.  (I would like to take this moment and point out that Russ [love you, babe] thinks I always throw him under the bus on my blog.  However, I am just retelling stories of what actually happened... so... you be the judge.)

It was my sophomore year in college, Russ and I had only been dating a short time.  I was really excited to actually have a date for Valentine's Day.  We had an excellent dinner downtown Athens (with several bottles of wine) then headed to our favorite bar to meet up with some friends.

Us, shortly after dinner.

My brother, who attended the same college, was out and about with some friends and decided to swing by and see us.  (Yes- my brother is 7 years older than me and was still in school.  No- he is not dumb, just crazy and wanted to get like 19 doctorates.)  This was his first time meeting Russ.

I could tell that Russ was starting to act pretty intoxicated.  Then, after he met my brother and would not keep his hands off of my ass and talking about how hot he thought I was- I knew he was highly intoxicated. 

I just tried to play it off and hope that my brother was also highly intoxicated and would not notice. (Which he still to this day claims he did not.) 

I soon realized that my date was at the point of super drunk and no return.  I will spare Russ the agony of reliving the embarrassing details, but trust me when I say: no return.  So, I dug his phone out of his pocket and luckily remembered his roommates name. 

"Ummm... hi.  Is this Russ' roommate?  This is Katie.  Russ' date?  Sorry to bother you on Valentine's Day and all, but Russ needs to go home.  Immediately.  Any chance you can come pick him up or at least give me your address so I can send him your way in a cab?"

Yes.  It was super awkward.

Thank goodness he had an awesome roommate who came to retrieve him.  At this point, I realized that I was going to have to help his roommate physically carry him in and put him to bed, so I rode along, while making arrangements to be picked up from their place as quickly as possible.

Thank the heavens, my friends came to rescue me and took me home.  I relayed the depressing story, followed by a "yeah, never going to see that guy again."

I had written him off and gone to bed.  Worst Valentine's Day ever.

Then, very early (I'm talking like 7:00am, on a weekend, in college, early) the next morning, there was knocking at our door.  My roomie answered it, and it was him.  The nerve of that guy?!  Ruin Valentine's Day and then not even let me sleep in the next morning?!  I was pissed.  I told her to tell him to go away.  Alas, the ass, would not.

She told me she was going back to bed and I had to deal with him, so I let him in to apologize.  Which he did.  Profusely.  He said he did not remember anything, and that never happens to him, and he fears that he was accidentally drugged.  I forgive him, on the condition that he never comes over this early ever again.  Especially without food.

Fast forward to several years later.  We are married at this point and talking with the same friends from that terrible Valentines Day about how it was the only time we had ever "broken up".  I mention that I cannot believe he had been drugged and my friends start dying laughing.

Me, confused side head cock.  "What is so funny?"

Them, still laughing.  "Drugged?  We made him chug three long islands!"

Basically, what my face looked like.

What. The. Fuuuuuuuu.....

Russ, looking genuinely shocked, "Huh?  So, I kind of was drugged?"

Needless to say- it did not go over well for all boys involved.  And, I would like to say to all you males out there- do not give your friends 3 long islands to chug on their Valentine's Day date.  It is not a good idea.  And, no.  No, I should not even have to say that.

Fast forward nine years from our first Valentine's Day disaster date, to what would become one of my best Valentine's Days... when Russ and I apparently had a little too much fun and made a baby.  Oopsies!  But, best accident ever.

The result of a fun Valentine's Day.

Fast forward one more year to what was really my best Valentine's Day ever- because it was the first one I got to spend with my son; and, when I discovered what this crazy little thing called love is really all about.

Thank you, Kayla Morton of Everyday Photography & Designs
for capturing this face, February 2013.

So, my tip to you this Valentine's Day- do not chug 3 long islands after several bottles of wine whilst on your date, only to be sent home alone.  Instead, get juuuust drunk enough and go make a baby!*

Katie (The Cliché Conceiver)

*Please only procreate if you are responsible adult, of a reasonable age, in a relationship and situation where you can safely raise a child.