Don’t Open Pandora’s Box…And Other Dont’s

As previously discussed, this week T begins kindergarten. I am preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. And I am learning A LOT about what not to do with our last days together. For example…

DO NOT open the hope chest that contains mementos of everything from your own high school graduation to your child's preschool graduation. I don't care what you are looking for. If it is really that important, ask your husband for help. 

If you open aforementioned hope chest – which from this day forward will be known as Pandora's box in our house – DO NOT take out the baby books, old photos and Christmas cards. Or go through them with your children, marveling over how little they once were and how big they now are. (Note to self: fill in more information in A's baby book before a. you forget anything else or b. she notices that she is CLEARLY the second child.)

DO NOT take you children to Target on a last minute errand at 6 pm. (This is pretty much a good rule any day of the week.) Because they will behave poorly, but when they beg you for toys you won't even put up a fight because the trainwreck that is the voice in your head will say "it's your last time before kindergarten. It is the end of an ERA." And then you will spend 5x as much as usual due to your fragile emotional state.

DO NOT let them dictate their own bedtimes or have "sleepovers" in each other's rooms. It's not June. We don't have time to get "back on track." School starts in TWO DAYS and my kid is going to be an exhausted mess.

Finally, DO NOT drink more than one glass of wine on any given night. Otherwise, you may end up creepily staring at your sleeping almost kindergartener humming "You Are My Sunshine" while your mind plays a memory montage of your last 5+ years together. (As a side note, I think saving all those extra glasses of wine for the post-first day celebration is totally okay. Cheers!)

Please Excuse the Mess

You know that sign that some people have in their homes that says, "Please excuse the mess, but we live here."? I have always loved that sign. Not only because I read it when I enter a home for the first time and breathe a little sigh of relief – "ah, you are just like me" – but also because I just like what it says. We are busy making memories, living a life, and it gets a little messy. Cleaning is boring, and also pointless when you have tiny humans who are particularly skilled in mess making.

I was thinking about this today, and wishing I had a similar sign that I could wear outside the house. "Please excuse my appearance, but I am living in this body." I know my hair is in the same braid I slept in last night and that I have no make up on. I am aware that yoga pants are more appropriate for people who have been to the gym more than once in the past six months.

I also know that it would only take an extra fifteen or so minutes to look more "put together" in the morning. But I am living in this body. And with those fifteen extra minutes, I can…

…sleep a little longer and hope that it translates into a little more patience and grace with my family.

…make sure that the kids look somewhat presentable (do as I say, not as I do).

…help T get to the next level on his video game.

…say "okay" when A asks me for a cuddle.

…pack snacks and lunches carefully rather than frantically, making sure they have their favorite things for school.

It is only fifteen minutes, but I hope that the little things that I do with them – the things that say "I love you" over and over and over – make a difference to them. Enough so they don't remember how I looked when I dropped them off in the morning because they are too busy remembering how I made them feel – loved.

 

Trust Me, I Am an Expert (But I Wish I Wasn’t)

There are a lot of things I know a lot about, and even more things I know a little about and pretend to know a lot about. But in the past year, there is one thing that I, sadly, would consider myself an expert on. It is not a thing I openly talk about – especially with new people – but since you people are my people, here goes. 

It's head lice. Yep. HEAD LICE. I know all about how to treat head lice. (I am killing it with hair emergencies.)

Because one lovely morning when I was cuddling A on the couch, I discovered a bug in her hair. And then more than one. And then…well, let's just say it turned out I also had it and it was gross. (Is your head itching yet?!)

So after my initial tearful "butimthirtysomethingandiveneverhadliceuntilnow" fit – which my mom promptly ended by saying "of course you've had lice, you just don't remember" – I set about solving the problem. So here's the deal, in case the lice fairy ever visits your house: 

Step 1: Quarantine and Treatment – Kid with lice is separated from kid without lice, temporarily, to apply lice treatment. Because I was scared out of my mind, I immediately treated both A and I with Rid or something equally toxic, but if I had it to do over, here is what I would recommend for treatment:

  • how to treat head liceOlive Oil: The theory is that it suffocates the lice. I think mayonaise is supposed to accomplish the same goal. Ditto baby oil or Vaseline. But if you heat the olive oil up before application, it's like a ghetto hot oil treatment.
  • Lice Free Spray: There are a couple of natural lice sprays on the market that are relatively non-toxic. My favorite part about this product is that you can use it as many times as you want, unlike Rid, which is so toxic that you can only use it once every 7-10 days. I have since used it as a preventative method before t-ball and when there was a lice scare at the kids school a month or so ago.
  • Styling Tools: I used the blow drier and flat iron on both A and I repeatedly. I got this tip from my friend Deanna, who also saved the day during the red hair debacle. She is like my hair savior, I swear. Apparently the heat kills the nits. (Ew, it's even a gross word.)
  • Coconut Oil & Shampoo: I immediately purchased the Organix brand of coconut milk shampoo, conditioner and coconut oil to wash A's hair. I continue to wash her hair with it. Apparently lice do not like essential oils like coconut, mint, or tea tree. 

Step 2: Cleaning – While A and I were having our "hot oil treatments", I was frantically stripping beds, vacuuming furniture and putting everything else into trash bags for the recommended two week incubation period. Everything that could be dried went into the dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes: pillows, stuffed animals, hats, clothes, bedding…you get the idea. My washer/dryer has never worked so hard. Also – don't forget about carseats and strollers. Vaccum them. Repeatedly.

Step 3: Combing – This is the nastiest and most tedious step. It is the step that I would imagine most people either do inadequately or skip over entirely, which is why lice are often recurring. It almost makes you wish the lice would just eat your brain, because that would likely be easier. It involves sectioning off the hair and going through it, literally, with a fine tooth comb. And the stuff that comes off the comb…well…yuck. But it has to be done. More than once. I recommend a show that you never let your kid watch normally and an unhealthy amount of fruit snacks while they sit, captive, in a chair. Note: if you are unlucky enough to also have lice, do not ask your husband to do this for you. Call your mother or your best friend. Promise that you will leave wine, rubber gloves and a shower cap on the doorstep if they come. Trust me on this. 

Step 4: Full Disclosure – I was not thrilled that we had lice, but I would not wish lice on my worst enemy. Well…okay, maybe my worst enemy. But that's it. So I had to get on the phone and notify school, the gym, music class, story time (you get the picture) that we had lice. Which is awesome, in case you were wondering. 

Step 5: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – I think this is the most important step. You have to continue everything ad nauseum. Particularly the vacuuming and the cleaning. Of everything their heads touch in the course of a day. And the combing. Ad nauseum. I think it was an entire month before I stopped vacuuming daily, drying our pillows and A's buddies each morning after sleeping on them, and picking through her hair like a monkey does to its offspring. I still haven't gotten over my head itching or stopped examining each flake of dandruff carefully to make sure that is what it is.

Step 6: Recovery and Prevention – A is no longer allowed to go to school or activities with her hair down. I continue to wash her hair with the coconut shampoo and spray both kids with Lice Free in high-risk lice situations. (No, I am not joking. Have you not seen a public indoor play space?) Am I crazy? Possibly. But I want to do everything I can to avoid becoming any more of an expert on this particular topic.

 

How NOT to Mow the Lawn

For the first seven years of our marriage, mowing the lawn was strictly Ry's thing. Sort of an "anything inside the house is my responsibility, anything outside the house is yours" arrangement. Then one day, I noticed that the lawn was really long because Ry was out of town. And I realized that he would come home and need to mow it. So I did what any good wife would do – I mowed it.

Now, before you think I'm getting all up on my high horse and bragging about what an awesome wife I am, let me explain. I mowed the lawn so my husband would not have to mow it when he got home. But also so that when he got home I could throw the kids in his general direction and say, "oh they missed you so much they just want to play with you. Exclusively you. For at least an hour. While I lock myself in my room with a book and a glass of wine."

Ry was so relieved not to have to mow the lawn, I don't even know if he questioned why I did it. So the next time the lawn needed to be mowed, I just did it. Because here's the other thing I learned – if you volunteer to mow the lawn, you get at least an hour a) outside, b) listening to whatever you want, c) without responsibility of watching children and d) with a cool adult beverage either during or immediately upon completion. I wish the lawn would grow faster.

Except for this one thing. It turns out I know nothing about maintaining the lawn mower. So, I present to you, my tips for what NOT to do when mowing the lawn: 

  1. If you can't figure out why the mower won't restart, do not keep pulling the cord "one more time." You will get a bruise on your hand.
     
  2. If you decide that it needs oil, don't just keep adding more oil to the oil tank. I think you're supposed to measure it or something. 
     
  3. Also, if you decide that it needs oil, make sure the mixture you are adding to the oil tank is, in fact, oil. 
     
  4. If you call your husband from outside the house for help because the mower is smoking and he doesn't answer because he is nappng, don't continue to try to fix it on your own.
     
  5. If Google tells you to siphon the mystery liquid out of the oil tank, do not try to fashion an implement for this purpose yourself out of a bulb syringe and a drinking straw held together with electrical tape. 
     
  6. When you go to the hardware store to get materials to fix your mower, do not pretend you know what you are doing. It will save time for both you and the hardware store guy, because he will immediately direct you to a small engine repair shop instead of trying to tell you how to fix it yourself. 
     
  7. Do not try to fit your lawn mower in the back of your SUV while your children are still in their car seats to bring it to aforementioned repair shop. There is not enough room in a Kia Sorento for children and a lawn mower. Shocking, I know.
     
  8. Do not ignore the "flash flood warning" alert that the National Weather Service sends to your phone as you are leaving the house. They mean it. No one at the small engine repair shop needs to know what color bra you have on under your tank top, but they will after it pours buckets on your head as you unload the mower and walk it inside. The good news is that the initial $50 quote will somehow end up just being $17 for some reason.

So now, I find myself at a crossroads. Am I the kind of wife who will persevere through this little setback, or will this forever be known as the summer I flirted with being the kind of wife who mows the lawn? Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe the fumes from all that attempted siphoning have gone to my head, but as soon as this rain passes, I think I'm going to finish mowing the lawn. Hopefully Ry will get me a beer. 

Update: One more thing – do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to take the lawn mower out of the car after it visits the repair shop unless you want your car to smell like eau de gasoline. Will this lesson NEVER END?!

I Can’t Be Good at Everything

I have been doing kids' activities for over five years now. First, there was baby yoga. Not mommy and baby yoga, where you integrate your baby into the poses, or mommy yoga where everyone totes a sleeping baby in a bucket seat into the studio and lines them up along the wall while they work out. This was yoga for the baby. (Are you imagining about a dozen new moms, equal parts awed and shellshocked by their teeny tiny humans, totally DYING for adult interaction? If so, you nailed it.) I, obviously, wore my yoga pants anyway, in solidarity with the baby.

Then we did Music Together. We still do Music Together. I have been to so many sessions of Music Together that I have long since memorized every song in every collection. When our music teacher tries to hand me the new music and CD at the beginning of each new semester, I stare at her with dead eyes and say "Really? Do I have to take another copy?" This usually gets a few gasps or dirty looks out of the newbies in class. Soon enough, ladies, you'll feel my pain. My "JohnTheRabbitPlayingInTheKitchenSheSellsSeashells" for the millionth time on repeat pain.

We briefly did gymnastics. T was "that kid" in class – he didn't listen, he had to pee six times during the 45 minute class, he distracted the other kids. So the day another kid jumped directly on top of his head in the ball pit, I figured that was as close to a neck/spinal cord injury as we needed to get and left in the middle of class. Never to return again. I think I heard cheering from inside as we made our exit into the parking lot, but I can't be sure. 

And not to be outdone by T the gymnast, A became a tiny dancer this year. We got to class more weeks than not, not always on time but always appropriately attired – hair up and everything. After enduring several months of ballet with about a dozen other 2-4 year olds, we were "rewarded" with a ballet recital that was equal parts adorable and disturbing.  

Most recently, Ry and I were so convinced of our proficience at kids' activities that we I volunteered us to coach t-ball. While that could be, and likely will be, a post all its own, it is worth noting that everyone had "fun" and no one ended up in the ER. So there.

Anyway. The point is – I am not new at kids' activities. This is not my first time. Obviously, I can take on another activity – a two on one activity, even. Which is how I found myself with two children enrolled in kinderswim. How hard could it be? You show up, hand the kids off to the swim instructor and Instagram observe them for half an hour. Then you collect them, dry them, and go home. Right? RIGHT?!

WRONG. You have NO IDEA how wrong.

For some reason, I am physically unable to do the following seemingly simple things:

  • Arrive On Time. It is summer in Maine. What does that mean? Road construction. Where does it mean that? EVERYWHERE. A drive that should take 15 minutes can easily take 45. You know what happens in that magical 30 minute fluctuation? YOUR KIDS MISS SWIM CLASS. 
  • Dress Appropriately. It is "summer" in  Maine. What does that mean? That it is still, on most days, jeans and long sleeved shirt weather. Except inside the pool area, which is a balmy 140 degrees Celsius. Okay, not really, because I think that is biologically impossible but it's really freaking hot. It's like a sweat lodge. 
  • Dress and Undress Them Appropriately. Usually, we arrive with tiny humans already in swimsuits. Half the battle, right? Absolutely not. Trying to corral two children out of the pool area, into the shower (without them streaking across the locker room), into a dressing room, and into clothing and shoes is im-freaking-possible. You have NO IDEA. I know the parent to child ratio is only 1:2, but with all the changing into clothes while mostly still wet and trying not to flash all the other kids and parents and whathaveyou, it feels like 1:20. It's like I'm Michelle Duggar all of a sudden. And because of all the sweating (see above) my hair kind of looks like hers.
  • Keep My Cool. The sweating (me). The orders (me). The ignoring (them). The threatening (me). The crying (everyone). It is wicked, wicked stressful. By the time we make it to the parking lot (a full 15-20 minutes after the other students and parents), I fully expect a police officer or someone from DHS to be waiting to take the kids away from me. "No way you are the mother, ma'am. This is clearly your first day with these people. They don't even look like you."

But the worst part about it? In all those other activities, I may not be doing the best job but I am never doing the worst job. I always have it a little more together than someone. In swim class, I am the worst by a wiiiiiiddddeeee margin. And it is not. Getting. Easier.

Don't worry. I have a plan. And no, it doesn't involve drills where we practice showering and dressing and not flashing people in a timely fashion, gracefully and without perspiring. Next semester, I am going to sign them up for the late afternoon session. So when I get home, I can cool myself off with a nice cold adult beverage. I totally earn it.

 

Come on, Mamas

My sister is working on this project. This project to help us mamas celebrate ourselves. She is trying to put together this slide show with pictures of mamas with a quote saying what they've learned about themselves over the past year. As women. As mamas. As guardians of tiny – or not-so-tiny – humans. To lift us up, during the one time each year that we allow ourselves to do that.

Here's the problem: we're not worthy. We don't think we're worthy. What do I mean? 

My people – my people who are my go-to people, the ones who I call sobbing because I'm sad, or I'm frustrated, or I dyed my hair bright freaking red – are silent over this request. And, when I press them, they say "I just don't know what to say. I don't have any good photos of myself." What I hear is "I'm not enough. As a mama, I am never enough." 

I know this because my own photo isn't done. Because I feel like I'm not doing a good job. I am never doing a good enough job with these tiny humans who have been entrusted to my care. I am failing them. Every. Single. Day.

But if you asked me to do this for any of my people, I would be able to give at least five reasons why they are a great mama. Five things have learned from them over these last twelve months about being a mama. So, anonymously, I say these things to them, my favorite people in the world. They know who they are.

  • One of you learned that sometimes doing the right thing by your kid means that you move to a better school district, you make the best of what turned out to be not what you thought, and you try to move again really quickly before your kid notices just what kind of place you ended up moving to. 
  • One of you learned that sometimes life can change in an instant, and you end up feeling so grateful that it ended up being okay after all. But you hug your kids and especially your husband a little tighter every day, just in case.
  • One of you learned that you can do really hard things. Like be a "tough mudder" and put on a brave face when hard things happen – like losing your family pet or your kid breaking a bone. Because when you tell them it will be okay, your tiny humans believe you. And that is amazing.
  • One of you learned that the third baby is not "one more." It is a LOT more. It is EXPONENTIALLY more. Even so, you are now a "party of five." And it is perfect.
  • One of you learned that being a stay-at-home mom is harder than you thought, and kind of lonely. And you miss your extended family, especially your own mom. But you are rocking it anyway. 
  • One of you learned that you're going to join this crazy ride that we call motherhood, and I know you're going to be a natural at it. 
  • One of you learned that sometimes you have to stop making sacrifices for other people and do what is right for you. Because at the end of the day, if the mama isn't happy then the tiny humans aren't happy. They know. They always know. 

But still….I don't know what I will say on my own photo. But I imagine it will be something like this.

"This year, I learned to breathe more. To yell less. And to wake up tomorrow and try again. And again. And again. It never gets easier, but I am learning to go easier on myself and on my tiny humans." 

So, if I asked you to participate in this project, and you didn't think you could – please reconsider. And if I didn't ask you, please leave a comment and tell me you want to join our little project.

Because if you care enough to think you aren't enough, I am willing to bet that you most certainly are. Xo.

 


 

In honor of Mother's Day and this project, I am going to do my first giveaway. The ROPES Maine was kind enough to send me a couple of their bracelets to help promote the blog. Obviously, I was over the moon.

One, because this is my first giveaway. Two, because bracelets from The ROPES are on my very short list of absolute favorite things. I have many, and my wrist feels naked without at least one. And three, because any time I can talk about Maine and the awesome things Mainers do and what a cool state we live in, I want to do that.

Here's how this first giveaway is going to work. If you submit a photo (via email to alwaysperfectlyimperfectblog@gmail.com or on the Facebook page) for the Mother's Day project, you are entered. If you leave a comment below (you don't have to be a mama to comment!), you are entered. (Up to two entries per person – one for a photo, one for a comment.) The giveaway ends Monday at 9 pm EST, and I will send the winner the green and gold bracelet show on the far right.

If you don't want to take a chance that you're going to win a ROPES bracelet here, or you want one in time for Mother's Day, there are some great local shops selling these. My favorite is spaces kennebunkport. They have a phenomenal website, too, in case you aren't local. 


UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER!

A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in the Mother's Day video project. The final product is located here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC7Vr_5ge6k&feature=youtu.be

Also, congratulations to Layne Woodward, our ROPES bracelet winner! Xo.

Itscocktailthirty On the Go Edition

Let's play a game. I will show you a few items that people have – in the past month – said made them think of me. When we are finished, there will be one multiple choice question to answer.

1. Adult Sippy Cup: 

There are so many times when I would love to have a glass of wine for outdoor itscocktailthirty but it is just not convenient. Problem solved. Although if the outside were opaque this would be even handier. "Wow, Leah ALWAYS has a coffee with her, doesn't she?" Ah, yes, I just love my "coffee." 
 
2. The Wine Rack:

This little gem actually solves two of my problems in one, theoretically. According to the Amazon description, it can "turn an A cup in to double Ds and sport your favorite beverage for yourself and your friends." Yes, because I'm sure friends will want to sip a beverage from a communal spout that has been warmed by my breasts for the past several minutes. Also, am I hoping that everyone is so intoxicated by the time we are finished sipping out of the "wine rack" that they don't notice the rapid deflation of my chest? Worth checking out for the tongue-in-cheek reviews alone, although I think some of them are dead serious. 

3. Wine Purse: 

Okay, in fairness this isn't actually marketed as a purse. But come ON. It is totally a purse. AmIright? It is also interesting to note that this was sent to me by multiple people. Apparently both wine and purses just scream "Leah" to my people. They know me so well.

Now the question and answer portion – 

From these product suggestions, should I expect:

a) To purchase one or all of these items for the upcoming summer months?
b) These items to arrive in the next month as birthday gifts?
c) To arrive home from my next girls' night out to an intervention because of a & b have occurred?

* Product credit to my partner in itscocktailthirty Steph, my good friend Marge and my hilarious cousin Courtney for being the first to call my attention to the above items.

 

To the 4C With Love

Our closest city is Portland, Maine. We've got a lot going on for a little city, but I generally have to travel out of state for "big" concerts. So when an artist whose entire collection I celebrate decides to grace the 4C (that's the Cumberland County Civic Center, for the non-Mainers) with a performance, I try to be there. 

Last night, we hit up the Carrie Underwood / Hunter Hayes show. And I could not help comparing this show to the last time I went to a show at the 4C, in 2003. Let's see…

Things that Have Changed: 

  • I am someone's wife. And also two someones' mom. Eek.
  • The seats are better when you have a grown-up budget instead of a college student budget.
  • I call it a night earlier. Refer to the first bullet point. I also leave before the end of the show because encores stress me out. We all know you're coming back out to sing your latest hit, why are you making us work so hard for it with all the extra standing and clapping? Geez. 

Things that Have Not Changed: 

  • I make friends in the line for the ladies' room. Maybe it's because I'm a Mainer. Maybe it's because a couple of adult beverages make me think I am a scintillating conversationalist. Either way, I do it every time.
  • I complain when they stop serving beer. If an artist is still on the stage, I want the option to still have an overpriced beer in my hand. Is that too much to ask, really?!
  • I think it's MY concert. Oh, you thought we were going to the concert to hear a famous person sing? Because I thought we were going to the concert so I could have a loud singalong with a famous person. Sorry about that.

I am always thrilled to get out and spend a night in Portland sans tiny humans. But possibly my favorite thing about this particular night out is that it was a last minute decision to treat my mom to the show for her birthday. It reminded me that she's to blame for my ladies' room chattiness and complaining about the lack of alcohol. But the whole leaving before the end of the show thing? That's ALL my dad. Perfect balance. I hope Ry and I can do as well by our tiny humans. 

Supermarket Saturday

Being self-employed, I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule than most people. There are ups and downs but the balance, thus far, has been favorable. I don't think I fully realized how favorable until this past Saturday, when I happened to swing by the grocery store around 8:30 am.Supermarket Saturday Shopping

A typical trip to the grocery store for me happens around 9:30 or 10 on a weekday morning with A, because that is when we have time. We grab a cart – which A generally refuses to ride in somewhere between root vegetables and protein bars – and wander up and down the aisles. We stop for the complimentary cookie in the bakery, we give a shout-out to the lobsters (poor guys) in seafood, and we usually throw down over candy or stuffed animals at the "seasonal items" endcap (see photo). A often makes friends with our elderly coshoppers or loudly asks me why the baby behind us in the checkout line is screaming so loud. (Yeah, like we've never been there. HA.)  It takes an hour, minimum, but most days we don't mind.

I had totally forgotten how the other half lives, so I thought I'd make a quick trip to the store before I started work on Saturday. Ha. HAHAHAHAHA. I walked in expecting a 20 minute "supermarket sweep"-esque experience; I walked out wondering where my freaking medal was for surviving that fiasco. Those people – those Saturday shoppers – are intense. You have to watch out for: 

  • Exercise Girl: It is Saturday before 9am, but she has already been to the gym. (She has the stretchy pants and gym hair to prove it.) Maybe she's tired, maybe she's hungry, but she looks like she will bite your hand if you get in front of her in the organic produce and smoothie section. Play through, exercise girl, play through. We both know my yoga pants haven't been to the gym in awhile and you could totally kick my ass. As an aside, though – wouldn't you be more comfortable in Whole Paycheck Foods? They have an entire organic smoothie bar. 
  • Couples: Ry and I haven't grocery coshopped since…um…EVER. So these people are completely foreign to me. I mean, on the one hand it's cute and I'm happy for them. On the other hand I feel the way about this that Harry feels about bringing someone to the airport – clearly the beginning of the relationship. (Please, please, puh-leeze tell me you are familiar with Harry.) And they are kind of a hazard. They only have eyes for each other – not for the people who are trying to get around them in the aisle. 
  • Ms. Efficient: This lady is all business, from the mom jeans to the sensible flats. She has scheduled this visit down to the minute, her grocery list is organized by section with corresponding coupons and she has those super handy grocery totes in the back of her car. You know, the ones that keep the stuff organized and prevent it from sliding all over the place. After this she has to go to the post office, the library, and the dry cleaners before she spends the rest of the day shuttling small people around to extracurricular activities. Stay out of her way. She will run your foot over and not look back – not because she's mean, just because she's on a schedule here.
  • The Mom With Kids: Ah, a fellow mama, who for whatever reason has to shop on the weekend with her tiny (or not so tiny) humans. I sympathize with her, and I am betting that she is here first thing on a Saturday morning for three reasons: 1) She has been up for many hours already so it's not "first thing" to her, 2) She has these people to herself – possibly by herself – all weekend and needs to get this part over with because 3) She will be harrassed all weekend because "they're hungry." Again. If she's behind me at the checkout, I'm paying for my box of wine and leaving it for her. 
  • Teenagers: Of course, the only teenagers who are up this early on a Saturday morning are the ones who work at the supermarket. And they. Are. EVERYWHERE. At every register. They giggle. They flirt. You know what they don't do? Pay attention to their customers or do anything particularly efficiently. (Yes, I know how old this makes me sound. But I was very nice and I did not complain to a manager or anything, because I realized that would officially make me old.) But it could have been worse. They could have called me "ma'am." 

When I finally emerged, I was grateful. One, that I had survived and managed to get everything on the list. And two, that I hopefully won't have to shop on a Saturday again for another six years. But if I do, I am pretty sure that whatever they charge for Pea Pod delivery is well worth it. 

 

Itscocktailthirty 101 | A Time Out for Mommy

You may have noticed that I like to reference "itscocktailthirty," which is a phrase my good friend Steph coined and we began texting back and forth as shorthand. We know what kind of day it is depending on what time "itscocktailthirty" makes its first appearance. 

Here are the most common types of itscocktailthirty, for your reference:
  • Preventative Itscocktailthirty: Also known as “I am a better mother after no less than one but no more than four glasses of wine.” I drink wine so I don’t yell. (As much.)
  • Parents’ Night Out (a few hours) Itscocktailthirty: We drink early to make the most of the time we have “off the clock.” We utilize road sodas like we haven’t since we were in college, only instead of red solo cups we’ve been known to throw our beverages into sippy cups. Because Lord knows we have enough of those lying around. Note: the hangover is exponentially worse. Add 4 hours of recovery time for each year you are over 25.
  • Parent’s Night Out (all night) Itscocktailthirty: When someone has the kids overnight, one of us (or both, if we aren’t driving) drinks way more than is advisable. Just. Because. We. Can.
  • It Takes a Village Itscocktailthirty: You’re in a social situation where no one is driving, everyone is drinking, and no one is 100% in charge of the children, per se. But someone will grab them before they light something on fire or fall into the lake. Probably. See, for reference: summer barbecues with cornhole.
  • New England Winter Itscocktailthirty: Alcohol + warm beverage + freezing cold outdoor activity for many hours. Also known as extreme weather survival itscocktailthirty. Not to be used during downhill skiing. Apres does, after all, mean ”after.”
  • New England Summer Itscocktailthirty: If mommy says “no, you may not have a sip of my lemonade,” it is because it is adult lemonade. I do not care that it is eleven am and we are on a public beach. This container is not “open” and my kids are wearing life jackets. STOP JUDGING ME.
  • Isn’t This Fun Itscocktailthirty: Some children’s activities are only fun for parents with a little help from our friends Johnny, Jack and/or Jose. Like trick-or-treating. Or Storyland. Or watching four-year-olds “play” sports. Or Tuesdays. Wait, what?
  • Code Red Itscocktailthirty: This one is serious. This is the one where you stop joking about putting Bailey’s in your coffee AND ACTUALLY DO IT. At 8 am. Because it’s already that kind of day. Use sparingly, or your spouse may put you in rehab. Although I think rehab has strict family visitation rules and spa services, so…you know, use your best judgement.
There are more. There are endless types of itscocktailthirty. But these are the most common ones around here. What did I miss?