Archive for the ‘brain dump’ Category

Bullseye! You got me, Target. February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

I’ve known for awhile that one store truly has my heart more than any other. This iconic American retailer has my loyalty, my time and my money. As if my weekly, sometimes bi-weekly pilgrimages weren’t evidence enough of my dedication to shopping at this store, my children have preferences for which location they like best and which cart they prefer to ride in. As a suburban mom in my mid-thirties I can admit I’m likely their “target” customer. Pun intended.

Oh, Target! You have your wily ways of wooing me! You know I can’t stand hauling my brood around that other discount retailer. You know online won’t always cut it, even if they can bring it to my door in a few hours. I might need to try something on, or just generally peruse your shiny aisles. I’ve seen the new displays of home decor. You’re beautiful marketing geniuses and you know it. You know I’ll pay a little more for your collaborations with top designers that otherwise I can only afford on Poshmark or consignment. You also know my peers are likely to meet me at the store with their toddlers in carts for coffee because you went and put Starbucks in your stores! Ruthless, savages!

The other day I was at a stoplight, near one of your stores when my phone buzzed. My RedPerks and Cartwheel apps were alerting me that I was range of store in my city. You follow me Target. You know when I get near, like the mother ship calling me home.

But, what you did last week topped it all. There is no discount on yoga pants or throw pillows that could ever rival the type of happiness you brought last week. Congratulations Target. You now own my soul, too. You cemented my devotion for all eternity. You made our relationship even stronger with this slick move. How?

You brought Gwen Stefani into it.

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I mean, Gwen was kind of part of my Target life a few years ago. My baby had some Harajuku Mini clothes. But this was better! Target, you took one of my favorite singers of all time and let her perform her new single in a happy, sparkling live music video during the Grammy’s. “Make Me Like You” is catchy pop perfection and you know it. You had me in front of the TV and on Twitter squealing with other fans like I’m not a sane adult. Costume changes! Roller skating in your shiny bullseye logo! A neon sign reading “Blake’s” in the video, an obvious nod to Blake Shelton. Oh yes, you know how my southern girl demographic loves Blake. It’s like how we love Lilly Pulitzer and we all know what happened when you put that in your stores. Who remembers #PinkSunday?

But Target, the coup de gras for you and me came when you forced me to do something I haven’t done in at least decade. (Wait, when did I get that iPod Mini? 2006? I dunno.) I did something I never thought I’d do again and laughed at my mom and stepdad for doing just this Christmas. I bought a CD. Yes. In 2016, I Amy, bought a CD. I pre-ordered Gwen’s new album “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” from you because you promised me four extra bonus tracks exclusive to Target. I was so excited by your celebrity marketing that I just bought it, not even checking to see if I had bought a digital download or a CD. I don’t even know if there was a digital download. Was there? No idea. Congrats. You got me to buy a CD. I already pre-ordered it on iTunes too, but you know I’ll be dusting off the CD player for those 4 bonus tracks. I think the CD player in my car works. We’ll see March 18, won’t we?

Your job is done, Target. Do you now tattoo the bullseye on my body somewhere? Wait, no. That’s stupid. Unless Gwen says it’s cool, then I’ll do it.

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Pajama Jams- January 21, 2016

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Before we had kids winter meant watching basketball on TV and having multiple leather coats without worry that they would get ruined. Now winter means we brace ourselves for the inevitable string of snotty, barf days. My children are sticky, sneaky germ incubators. They are seemingly fine, begging for food and cartoons with their usual gusto. Then I run upstairs. I’m likely grabbing hand sanitizer because, you know, winter. When I come back down they are suddenly glassy-eyed and puny. I swear sometimes it happens that fast.

Last week was that week. It actually started with me this time. Cold and sinus pressure. I put on a movie for my son and laid on the couch before falling into a dark hole of watching 90’s alt-rock videos on You Tube. Don’t judge me! I was in a mucas daze. You know Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots were awesome in their day. I looked up from a Sublime video to see my two year-old looking flushed and pitiful. After that it was four days of a fever higher than 100. He had Herpangina. That’s basically Hand Foot and Mouth without the hands and feet. It’s terrible. Avoid it at all costs. You can borrow my hand sanitizer.

Since my son and I were both feeling so lousy, on school days I would quickly take my daughter through carpool before heading straight home. This meant I threw my hair in a top knot, smashed my glasses on my face and stayed in my comfy pajama pants, never planning to get out of the car. This particular day I looked extra ridiculous. You can see the photo below. That sweatshirt is one my parents bought me before college as they moved me on campus in ’99. I was probably listening to alt-rock at the time. This is how I looked, please note that you can’t see the ski cap with the beer logo I was also wearing:

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Yeah, technically those flats are Crocs. Remember when I confessed my flashback MTV binge earlier in this post? Yeah, thanks for continuing to not judge me. Anyway, since I had the best laid plans to NOT get out of the car, I bet you can guess where this story is going.

Yep. We were running late as I put my sick kid in his pajamas and my preschooler with her backpack in the car. We hit every light. I stared at the red stoplight before looking down at my magenta pants. “No. No. NO! WHY didn’t I leave earlier?!” I whipped into the carpool lane to find all the teachers gone. Carpool was over. I figured I’d call the preschool principal from the car. I’d politely explain how pitifully sick we were and if she could come snag the healthy child that would be tremendous. I was doing the school a favor by not spreading my germs, right? Well, I didn’t have to do that. I looked up and saw the green security light at the school entrance. It wasn’t quite 9:30 am! The red light came on and the doors locked at 9:30. I had maybe 60 seconds to get my child with her sparkly backpack through those double doors. I ran, coughing in the cold air. I took my keys and wedged them in the door on the ground to prop it open before running back to the car. Please, God don’t let anyone see me out of my vehicle! The entrance was only about 30 feet long, but there were still good odds someone would see me looking like a hungover bag lady.

I pulled my daughter out of her seat, draped her coat over her shoulders as she looked confused. “We’re in a big hurry! You’re going to have to walk in by yourself, okay?” I mumbled something about not wanting to leave her brother alone in the car, which she knew was total garbage. Preschool protocol states that you are to walk your child to their class if you arrive after 9:30. Well, it wasn’t after 9:30 and there was no way I was walking inside the building in my pajamas and Crocs. I heard, “But, Mommy!” I shoved her bag in her arms and we started walking toward my makeshift door stop. “But, Mommy! Wait! My snack for the class!” Ugh! We have the snack today! I looked in the passenger seat to see the huge basket we had filled with pretzels, grapes and a jug of juice for the hungry 4 year-old class. I thought, “She could carry it, right?” I snatched the basket and ran with her to the door. She looked up at me bewildered.

In one of my poorest parenting moments I looked down at her and said, “Okay, you can carry it in, can’t you!? It’s not that heavy!” I knew good and well that her backpack, coat and the basket weighed down by a full jug of juice was way too much for my 37 lb. child to carry. Sorry. There was NO WAY I was walking in. Her classroom was ten steps from the door. She could make it. My daughter then gave me a look with all the disgust one can muster. “FINE! Whatever, Mom!” I couldn’t even be mad at the sass. She was right. I was pathetic.

I have never felt like a worse human than when I kept my body outside the door and peered down the hall as my tiny preschooler dragged all her paraphernalia, straining as she pulled. The worst part? I laughed. I LAUGHED! I laughed at her frustration, at my absurdity and my parental failings. I laughed at all of it as I rushed back to the car. I did hear a teacher say “Oh, sweetie! Let me help you!” I can’t be sure in my haste, but I’m almost positive her voice was dripping with judgement.

I got in the warm car and turned on some alt rock. I tapped along to the beat in my Crocs.

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Just a Girl, Just a Mom- November 17, 2015

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

I remember the first time I saw Gwen Stefani perform. It was sometime in my angsty teens in the mid-90’s. I was likely eating a bowl of cereal after school and watching MTV Spring Break. I saw her sing “Just a Girl” in her halter top and rocker jeans and thought, “Who is that?! She is awesome!” Watching many female artists is wildly intimidating when you’re a young teen, but I never felt this way watching her. She was the lead singer of this band of guys and she was SO COOL! She made me feel like I could do anything. If I ever meet her I’ll tell her that. I’ve been a fan for years. I’ll have to ask my sister what we did with that old “Tragic Kingdom” CD. No doubt, it’s in a Discman in a closet at my mom’s house. (“No doubt.” Ha! See what I did there?)

Fast forward decades to me as an adult who listens to Top 40 and Country music in the car. I first spotted Blake Shelton when we had some music award show on TV at some point. I mentioned to my husband how handsome I thought he was. Tall, curly hair. Hot. I listened to him croon and decided he might be on my celebrity “gimme” list. You know, the hypothetical list of celebrities you and your spouse establish that you could hook up with if you ever met them.

Before last year I had never watched “The Voice.” Like much of America I was kind of over singing reality shows after years of voting by phone for the next “American Idol.” Then I saw that Gwen was going to be a coach and I told my husband, “Oh! Gwen Stefani is a coach?! I’ll have to watch. I love her!” He agreed that she is awesome and we watched because of her. I later had a discussion with some girlfriends about how Gwen could totally bring her kids and come hang with us and mom it up. You know. Coffee, strollers…cliche mom stuff. They were like, “Yeah, she’s the best! Totally!” That being said, let’s think for a moment what that might be like. Super cool rock star in leather and her kid…with me in my tennis shoes and unruly toddler. It might look something like this:

Me and Gwen Stefani hanging out with our kids

Here is where I make a confession. I have a crazy obsession with Gwen and Blake dating. I’m all about it. It’s weird. As an adult I don’t keep up with too much celebrity gossip or tabloid fodder. I have never watched anything with the Kardashians. The last time I read a magazine was when my phone died at the nail salon once. I don’t care if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are married or whatever. Are they? Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t care. But, for some reason I REALLY care about Blake and Gwen. You know, “Blen” or “Gwake” or “Shelfani” or whatever they’re being called.

I’ve read some people all like, “What!? They’re dating? That’s weird!” Okay, what’s weird about it? The queen of cool with the hot cowboy, both of whom are coming off highly publicized divorces. Now, they work together on a hit TV show where they giggle and make sexy eyes at each other. That’s awesome! They don’t have to get married. They can just be each other’s hot music industry rebound. More power to them! Plus, think about how brooding and angry Miranda Lambert’s next album is going to be because of all of this. I smell another Grammy!

In all seriousness, I have a problem, ya’ll. I can’t get enough “Blen.” In an extreme moment of idiocy I shared an article from a tabloid on my Facebook page like I have no sense. Yep! I shared the Us Weekly piece about the Stefani/Rossdale split. I may or may not have read wildly sensational articles on websites like E! and Hollywood Life. Please, please do not ever click on the videos on these sites. They are so effing stupid. On top of that, I follow Gwen and Blake on Twitter and Instagram. I’m always reading their tweets and telling them how awesome #TeamBlake and #TeamGwen are on the show, like I don’t have a family/job/responsibilities of my own. I may or may not have ignored my 2-year-old throwing crackers on the ground in the line at Target while I leafed through People Magazine because it promised more on their “Sexy New Romance!”

Monday night my husband laughed at my fan girl ways as I nestled up to the TV promptly at 8:00pm EST to watch the “The Voice” live. My ridiculous swooning over Gwen and Blake’s flirting reached new heights after the whole “Hotline Bling” conversation. I was gushing over how awesome they are and how handsome Blake looked. My husband said, “So he’s at the top of your list now? It’s cool. You could hook up with him if you met him.”

As if nothing else about that statement phased me I said without hesitation, “Oh my God! I would NEVER do that to Gwen!” 

::pause::

I looked a him. I mean, “I would never do that to you. You know, because you’re my husband and I love you.”

Yep. I’m an excellent fan girl and a mediocre wife.

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Only Moms Find This Funny- November 3, 2015

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Last week at our friends’ house our daughter decided to drag out their daughter’s startlingly large toy that you can’t miss if you visit their home. It’s a Minnie Mouse bigger than the children that has become a source of jokes for the adults. The jokes got real when Minnie had a rip in her signature white bloomers in a highly undignified, un-Disneylike place. The husband said to the wife, “Did you ever sew up her crotch rip?” She assured us Minnie was repaired. That’s when she and I let the comical lines…well, rip.

“Minnie got ripped a new one when she delivered that litter of mice.”

“3rd degree perineal tear.”

“Stiz baths for like, 2 weeks.”

“She had to send Mickey to the specialty pharmacy for perineal ice packs.”

No child understood these jokes. No husband thought they were as funny as we did. After stitched up lady parts or a belly that’s been stapled together, different things become funny. Mama humor at its finest.

Minnie

 

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Motherhood Has Made Me Gross and Weird- September 28, 2015

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Before I became a mother I found gross things gross. I wasn’t squeamish about too much, but I was repulsed by the repulsive as most normal people are. During birthing class with my first child I couldn’t stand the childbirth videos that showed the mother kissing the baby with afterbirth all over it. I thought, “Ugh! Come on! Let the nurse do her job and clean that up before you put your mouth on it!”

Then I birthed a baby of my own and kissed her fresh and wet without hesitation. I’m quite certain the cord was still attached when my lips met her shiny forehead. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of lowering my grossness threshold. Poop on onesies and smeared boogers naturally became a part of parenthood along with car seats and knowledge of Disney Junior programming. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in showering and good grooming, but yucky stuff has just became less of a big deal. Drop a cracker? 5 second rule. Baby poop on your elbow? Wash it off and move on.

Last week something I did made me realize how bad it has become. My son got his cast off. After nearly four weeks in what we dubbed the “Hulk arm,” a technician used a scary saw to cut off the his green cast. I held him and held my breath as the saw went through the plaster, or whatever material casts are made of these days. I didn’t breathe not only because I wanted to hold still enough that my baby didn’t get cut, but also because I didn’t want to inhale the scent of rancid toddler cast. You can imagine how icky that thing was. Keeping a child under age 2 clean is a task in and of itself, but a toddler in a cast?! The bread bag on his arm in the bathtub only went so far. His cast got moisture and grit in any number of crevices at his wrist and elbow. Poor little guy. I cringed at the open blisters and sores that had made spots on his skin raw. I hated seeing the atrophy at his wrist. In my opinion his arm still looked a little crooked, but I’m not an orthopedic, so I don’t know any more about bones than what a game of “Operation” taught me. (The charley horse is the toughest to remove. No, it’s not the wishbone. Don’t start that argument with me.) The tech threw the cast in the trash.

Wait, he didn’t even ask me if I wanted to keep it. Do people keep casts? I feel like people keep those little baby casts when babies have crooked feet, right? My sister kept her cast when she broke her foot in middle school. Wait. All her friends had signed it, though. Come to think of it, I thought that it was kind of gross that that thing sat in a plastic bag in her closet. Ew. Right. I don’t need the cast. That’s gross. The tech left us to wait as he got a lighter and washable brace for my son’s arm.

That’s when things got strange. The little guy was entertained by my phone as I wandered over to the trash can and peered in. There it was. That tiny green cast. I thought about how his arm would never be that tiny again and how one day I’d forget he was ever that small. Sappy, yes. Not that unusual though. I’m his mother, of course I feel sentimental about odd things, but what I did next was over the top.

I picked the damn thing up out of the trash and held it. Then, making sure no one was looking, I kissed it goodbye. I KISSED IT! I pulled a piece of garbage out of the can and TOUCHED IT WITH MY MOUTH! What was wrong with me?! It’s trash! Granted, the cast was on the top of the trash in relatively innocuous looking wastebasket, but it’s garbage nonetheless. It stinks! I stood in a doctors office with my son, cuddling medical waste.

I came to my senses and put it back in the waste basket before going to checkout at the front desk. I was like, “Heh, heh. So funny. I heard people keep old casts. So gross, right!?” The receptionist replied, “Oh, we have people keep them all the time. It’s not unusual.” Validation. That’s all I needed. Validation for my gross need to keep that thing. I requested the staff retrieve it from the trash for me. They wrapped it up and brought it out. I gratefully tucked it in the stroller and got out of there before they could identify me as the freak I am.

Motherhood has made me so weird and so, so gross.

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