OH WINTER, LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Suburban Madness, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized, Yo! It's a girl thing! | Posted on 30-01-2013

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I hope everyone is enjoying winter—especially all of you who live in warmer climes you lucky bastards. No hard feelings! Even 4 year old is over it. He asked me “When can we see the grass again?” on the way to school the other day. What a sad sight—him gazing out the window like he was missing a friend. “I dun like the cold!” That’s mah boy!

 

I WILL ADMIT *GRUMBLEGRUMBLE* IT CAN BE GORGEOUS. WHEN I'M NOT SKIDDING, FALLING ON MY ARSE, OR FEELING MY EXTREMITIES GO NUMB. I AM SUCH A GLASS HALF FULL PERSON! *PATS SELF ON FLEECE CLAD FREEZING COLD BACK

I’m getting to the point now that after a few weeks of zero-ish temps, and all of us being cooped up inside like mad science experiments, that in addition to buying stranger’s furniture on Craigslist and covering it in Boca Raton-esque fabric, I’ve taken to asking random, warm climate people on social media if they’ll adopt a 39 year old muffin top. That’s not weird right? It’s….social. What? I said I’d bring drinks and party snacks–I’m no free loader. My hubs is apparently not into me running away from home to become a carnie or shack up with internet strangers. Buzzkill. Instead, he had me scouring the internet for cheap flights to Florida. I said, “We didn’t budget for this!” with the faux indignation of an English major, and he said, “Sell your body on the corner!” (I’m kidding! Don’t worry—I am not dropping my Merona drawers—that would clearly get us nowhere.) Btw, is anyone skeered  the English major is the one talking budgets in this joint? I’m just saying, a few misplaced decimal points could have me bagging groceries at Market Bucket when I’m 80. I need to look into that. As soon as I get back from my budget trip to Flerida in April.

I'M A BUDGET HAWK. SEE? STORE CEREAL.

Of course the store cereal was met with hisses and boos this morning. “Where is Tony the Tiger?!” to which I responded, “Shut up, hubs. The $2 I saved is gonna get me a 1/3 of a beer in Flo-rida!”

Damn right.

In a high fallutin twist, I did make a coffee cake  this morning(Pillsbury. FANCCCAAAY!) which thoroughly confused my ingrate kids more than the absence of Tony the tiger.

4 yo: What’s that?
5 yo: Coffee cake.
4 yo: Is it spicy?
5 yo: (With utter disdain…) NO! It’s doesn’t HAVE coffee in it!
4 yo: Well what’s in it then?
5 yo: CAKE! Cake is in it!
4 yo: I dun like it. (Didn’t even try it.)
5 yo, half way through his piece: I don’t like this cake. It’s gross.

Mature Adult aka ME: It is NOT! Eat your fake Frosted Flakes!

But not even old man winter or the biting culinary reviews of preschoolers can cut down the spring in mah boots. Because you see, I’m so loving, I get hawt emails from my hubs. Last night he was putting the kids to bed and shocker! Must have left our tv on (pertinent to the story!) which led him to email me from upstairs. (I know, let that one sink for a while. He emailed me from within the house.) The title said, “HOT BOOTIES” and the inside of the email was blank.

What the? *Blinks* I didn’t know we had THOSE channels!

I emailed back—from all the way downstairs, “I have no idea what to say right now.”

He wrote, “Google them.”

Oh ladies! The romance is ALIVE! Keep your roses on V Day and rock my world with MICROWAVEABLE SLIPPERS!!!!!! and a 30 pack, jack! Every kiss does NOT begin with Kay–it begins with Mama having warm feet!!!!

I present, “Hot Booties!” (What are you waiting for? Prepare to have your mind blown. Click it! Wait. This is not what it looks like. I swear!)

OMG, THEY ARE EVEN ON SALE! SHAZAM!!!

Who needs ya’ now, Flerida!!!!!!!!!

 

 

NO SEW UPHOLSTERY? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Mom-ness, Retail Therapy, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 24-01-2013

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Oh yes, yes I did. I’m talking no sew upholstery today. First, a friendly muffin top warning because I love you long time.

Do not read this post if you:

A. Are type A

B. Can sew

C. Are a perfectionist

D. Have reupholstered a chair the correct way or ohgodno are a real upholsterer person!

E. If you are all of the above, run, run for your life! AND DON’T LOOK BACK, WHATEVER YOU DO!

If you don’t heed my warning, I am not responsible for any injury that may occur, both physical or mental. I am not responsible if you throw up or break glass from your shrieking. My methods are not recommended for all, but only meant as a rough how to if  you would like to potentially upholster a chair in all the wrong wrongity wrong ways! Believe me when I say I searched hi and low for a slacker’s guide to upholstery and found NOTHING. Nothing!!!

So! Now that we have our muffintop surgeon general warning out of the way, the rest of you lovely readers type B slacking em-effers in da housee! who are still with me and wanna know how you can DIY upholster a Frenchy chair in 52 easy, totally wrong, and barbaric steps, buckle up!

You will need: a cheap chair to practice on (Don’t start with granny’s antique!), pliers, scissors, fabric, a staple gun, a glue gun, fabric, adult beverages, a spirited vocabulary, and Band-Aids.

So! New Year’s Day, I decided to grab this fabulously sh*&%y French Country armchair with ottoman (bonus!) I spied on Craigslist. Though it had great bones (Ethan Allen—excuuuse me) it was a grubtastic dog! The owners were very proud of its former glory, but hel-lo.

You can’t even tell how gross it is—YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.

WAIT!

PLEASE IGNORE THE POST XMAS PLAYROOM SQUALOR. AND THE CUTE PHOTO BOMB!

Obviously, I did not think these “Before” pics through! You really can’t tell how grungy the ottoman was amidst the playroom squalor!

So, first, after I got home with hubs having not been stabbed with a pitchfork (We’re 3 for 3 on living through Craiglist purchases—not to get all braggy!), I vacuumed underneath the chair (don’t even bother to ask!) and washed all the wood with Murphy Oil soap. Then decided it needed a fresh coat of paint.

DUDE, THIS WAS AFTER WASHING. SEE WHAT I MEAN? BLEACH YOUR EYES! BLEACH YOUR EYES!

 

Hence, the paint. And the beer. To wash away the memories.

THE BEER HELPED FREE MY INNER PICASSO.

 

I’d planned to get the chair reupholstered, but after I got home (file under I can’t make this shizz up), my dishwasher went kaput.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MEEEEEEEEEE!

LET’S REVIEW. Now I have:

1. a hangover

2. a grubby chair

3. and I’m getting jiggy with mah old pal from my apahtment days, Dawn, “It softens hands while you do dishes!” (Bullshit! That’s to make poor souls who have to wash dishes by hand feel better! To me, “NOT DISHWASHER SAFE” is just a dare. You take my dishwasher? You take my SOOOOULLLL! ) And  hey, nothing against you Dawn, but you ain’t my style! (Which is Lazy. Capital L. Party of one.)

Despite my obvious appliance emergency, and because I loooove to laugh out loud…I dared to dream.  The scene in mah head: Muffintop skipping through a meadow full of flowers….LOLOLOLing all the way until she plunks down in her pillowy soft, clean, newly upholstered in chic fabric, French Country chair whilst cradling an adult beverage and smut magazine….ahh. Then came the reality: I decided to get some upholstery quotes even though I needed to make a date with an appliance man. The upholstery quotes ranged from $275 plus fabric to $275 for just the OTTOMAN plus fabric PLUS $675 plus fabric for the chair.

L NO L to that fuzzy math!

Btw, $275 is a good deal as it turns out, but at this point, I figured this thing is going in the corner of my office (and by office I mean, the room I call an office but is really the place more accurately known as school paper graveyard/where I grab envelopes to send in lunch money/field trip money/conduct other super serious hausfrau banking/order shoes online). (Call me, Donald. I will totally hawk crap in Times Square on Apprentice! I have glue gun cred, Donald.)

I looked at the chair and thought, “I can do an ok job on this chair, stuff myself in the corner on it with my beer and Kindle, and that is good enough for meeeeee!”  Scratch the frolicking in a meadow. But seriously, if you can sew, you could for real do a kick ass job on a chair like this. Since the cushions aren’t attached like a regular arm chair, this is a good type of chair to start with! (And possibly, ahem, end with.)

I trolled online for fabric (the upholsterers said fabric would be $10 to $40 per yard and I’d need 7 yards). I found  Waverly Solar Flair Fruit Punch fabric for $8.50 a yard at Jo-Ann Fabric (coupon code–halala!). Suck it, upholsterers. I’ve not seen it for less than $16 a yard elsewhere online.

IT IS RAINING SUNSHINE UP IN HERE!

 

BOOM!

It’s not for everyone and I think speaks to a caged in muffin top’s psyche on a 5 degree January day. Ahem. I also thought maybe the pattern might hide mistakes?

So, I started with the ottoman, figuring that would be easier than the chair.

First I had to pull off the double welting trim–double welting trim is what covers up upholstery staples. If you’re fancy and you can sew (why are you still reading this?!) you can make new trim, but I can’t sew, as we know, so I had a plan (more later!).  I swear that trim was glued on and stapled to that chair better than my house is put together.  They must have upholstery ninjas at Ethan Allen. What. the. frack. I envision a mean man with a fireplace poker prodding hunched over, underpaid workers sneering, “More glue! More staples! If anyone should find a Craigslist bargain on one of our chairs, they shall never, never, never be able to pull it apart and must live with the original fabric forevaaaaaah!” in a meany, old school, 18th century, I own the whole world and several colonies, British accent. (I’m not talking about you Fergie. Or you Prince William. Let’s party sometime!) But that’s just me. I’m sure the good folks at Ethan Allen are just like you and me! (Nooooo.)

I needed pliers to start prying off the cemented on welting, and had to put some muffin top into it. Ultimately, the chair was no match for my laser beam focus. Actually, I bent my hub’s pliers I had to pull so hard and almost took my eye out. (Safety first! Meep. I recommend goggles! Can you see it? “Good news! I saved $275 upholstering this chair! Bad news, I’m blind in one eye!” Dum de dum dum dum….)

PULLING OFF THE DOUBLE CORDING TRIM. IT WOULD BE EASIER TO SKIN A CAT. NOT THAT I WOULD WANT TO SKIN A CAT. BUT IF I DID WANNA? I JUST KNOW I COULD!!!

The next step should be to pry off all the upholstery staples and then the fabric. But this is lazy ass, muffin top DIY, so after it took me like twenty minutes and one finger cut to pull out three staples, I said, “Schluck this!” , took a swig of my beer, and ripped the fabric off sans staples and decided I’d just staple the new fabric OVER the old staples. Sing with me Montell Jordan, “This is how we do it!”

FABRIC OFF. STAPLES STILL IN! YOU WIN, ETHAN ALLEN, YOU WIN. SMUG BASTARD.

 

Next I saved the ottoman fabric that was remarkably intact –despite my bastardization of the pulling off process–to make a template. I traced the old fabric onto the back of the new fabric, cut it, and stapled it.

YES, I DID. I CUT THAT FABRIC WITH MY RUDOLPH CHRISTMAS WRAP SCISSORS.

THESE ARE THE PROFESSIONAL GRADE TYPE TOOLS YOU WILL NEED…..

It looked like this:

I’M AN OBVIOUS PERFECTIONIST.

 

YOU DO THE CORNERS LAST. YOU PULL AS TIGHT AS YOU CAN AND FOLD AS NEATLY AS POSSIBLE.

AND THEN….

GIMP! A NO SEW PERSON’S BEST FRIEND! I GOT LIKE 800 YARDS FOR $12. OK, LIKE 15 YARDS. BUT STILL. I JUST HOT GLUED IT ON TO COVER THE STAPLES INSTEAD OF FANCAAAAY DOUBLE PIPING.

BUT WHAT, THERE’S MORE?

NOT BAD FOR A TYPE B, L NO L’ING, MUFFINTOPPER!

 

This was my best work, peeps. It got harder from here.

THE PROPER THING TO DO WOULD BE TO SEW A ZIPPERED COVER, BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT WASN’T GONNA HAPPEN. SO I DECIDED TO WRAP THE FABRIC UNDERNEATH.

 

Like so….

HELLO HOT GLUE, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? ALSO, I CAN NEVER FLIP THE OTTOMAN CUSHION, BUT, ETHAN ALLEN DIDN’T EITHER—THERE WAS VELCRO ON THE BOTTOM OF THEIR CUSHION SO EH, WHAT’S THE DIFF?!

 

And the finished ottoman:

LIVING UP TO MY TYPE B EXPECTATIONS–FABRIC IS NOT CENTERED, NATCH!

 

PART B, THE CHAIR. Dudes, this is getting long and I’m thirsty and want to schlump into mah chair, so I’m gong to illustrate most of the rest through pics.

The decking turned out to be the easiest part. I couldn’t rip the whole fabric bottom off because it was sewed on. No WAY was I was gonna mess with that Ethan Allen scary ass shizz!

I USED MY SCRAP MATERIAL FOR THIS PART. SCORE!

 

CAN I GET AN AAAA-MEN FOR STAPLING OVER STAPLES, PART DOS?! VIVA LA MEDIOCRITY!

 

THE FABRIC WAS SURPRISINGLY EASY TO SLIP BEHIND THE ARM OF THE CHAIR. I WENT BACK AND STARTED THE SEAM NEXT TO THE ARM SO THE GIMP WOULD COVER IT.

 

VOILA! AND HEY, WHAT’S A FEW THIRD DEGREE HOT GLUE BURNS! I AM MUFFINTOP. HEAR ME ROAR!

 

The arms weren’t bad at all!

I RIPPED THE FABRIC OFF THE ARM IN THE SAME PRECISE FASHION AS THE DECKING. AHEM. AND THEN USED IT AS A TEMPLATE.

STAPLE, STAPLES EVERYWHERE! SNIP SNIP WITH MY RUDOLPH SCISSORS TO GET RID OF HANGING THREADS!

 

OH GIMP! WE MEET AGAIN. YOU MAKE MEDIOCRITY MAHVELOUS, DAHLING!!!

And without further ado, meet my *new*, clean, BRIGHT and SHINY, if monstrously perfectly imperfect, fun French country armchair and ottoman!

DONE! THIS IS WHERE THE MUFFINTOP SHALL RESIDE WHEN SHE WANTS TO!

Is the chair perfect? Hell no! Far from it. The cushions don’t have double welting (piping) trim, can never be flipped, and the fabric is not as “tight” as I would have liked. The cushions are squishy so trying to pull the fabric tight underneath, to then (Gasp!) glue the fabric like I did the ottoman–which was firmer—was much more difficult. But hey, for only a coat of paint, some elbow grease, an inexpensive chair with only $60 worth of fabric, I have this fun-can-never-be-moved-from-the-corner-chair! Oh and bonus—I had enough fabric left over to upholster my desk chair (aka a Queen Anne style dining chair) and make two no sew curtains (deets to follow).

From shizz to shine, all on a dime! I gots to save my money for new shoes and wine!

Salud, Muffintoppers! I swear my wine tastes better in my fun chair!

Oh, and p.s. Yes, that is Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity on the table next to the chair. Now available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and other fine retailiers! (What? I have a new DIY habit to support! Forgive the shameless plug!)

 

 

MUFFIN TOP DIY….

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Retail Therapy, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 03-01-2013

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Wow, so the title didn’t scare you away, huh?

I love you guys! Happy New Year to all you crazy muffintoppers. I hope 2013 brings you much peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Speaking of prosperity, or a lack of it, ahem, I have some fun stuff to share with you. During the holiday season, I got my DIY on.

 

Shizz to shine….all on a dime. 

I gots to save mah money…..for new shoes and wine. 

Or somethin’ like that. I also like feeding and clothing my kids. They are so demanding like that!

Quick backstory. When I got married and was all off with my bad self with a double income and no kids, I bought a traditional, pricey cherry dining room set. Which, I have grown to dislike over the past almost 13 years. Practically hate. I know it’s great quality furniture with dovetailed drawers and blabbity blah, but it’s not really my style anymore which is a gut punch because the planner in me thought I’d always like it because it would never go out of style. BURN! When I look at it now all I see is big and brown and… bor-ing. But at the same time, I feel kinda married to it because it cost a lot of money and because the practical part of me knows I can’t sell it for near what I paid for it. So, I decided if I can’t beat it, I’d join it. Or somethin’ like that……..I’mma show you some pics of my DIY but please forgive my craptastic iphone and pocket camera pics….I’m a writer not a photographer (definitely chose the wrong gig!).

I'D SHOW YOU THE TABLE BUT SHE'S CURRENTLY INDISPOSED.....WITH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS ON TOP OF HER!

So the big Bertha china cabinet inspired this whole DIY kick. Enter Craigslist. I’ve been on enough blogs lately to know if you have an eye, you can score some nice pieces on the cheap and get your magic on. “Pfft! I can do that! I think?” , I huffed inside my head as I perused all the afters on blogs and Pinterest. So I decided I’d look for a sideboard to break up all the brown in the room and paint it a fun color. I also wanted a place to throw some lamps for extra lighting and a place to display some pics and other fun shenanigans.

I sniffed around and then boom, scored a cherry, dovetail, old school, sturdy as my muffin top, sideboard on Craiglist! FOR $25!!!!

TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH?

TWENNY FIVE US DOLLAHS! HO HO HOLLA!!!!!!!!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEE!!!!

ONE DAY IN CASA DE LA MUFFIN TOP GARAGE AND ALREADY, CLUNKITY JUNK ALL OVER IT. CAN YOU SEE THE SCRATCHES ON IT? SHE WAS A BANGED UP DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH....

You can see some damage here:

LITTLE SCRATCHY......

AND….

SCRATCHTABULOUS. AND NAKED--NO KNOB!

The top was a tiny bit sketchy:

A LITTLE SKETCHAROO BUT TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH!!!

Did I mention I politely asked made hubs drive an hour and fifteen minutes to east bumbleberg randomville (It’s not every day you get to drive by a nudist park! You’re welcome!) to meet a stranger at a barn to pick this up because I was skeered that this was too good to be true and that someone would stab me with a pitchfork and stuff me in a hayloft instead of selling me this thing of beauty for TWENNY FIVE DOLLAH! (Maybe I should write fiction!) The woman was a doll, turns out. WHOOPS!!! I mean, phew, because that really would have stunk if hubs was stabbed with a pitchfork and stuffed in a hayloft all because of Big Bertha! (I don’t even know what a hayloft is but I’m assuming it’s a loft with hay and a good place to hide a dead Craigslist shopper.)

After hubs got home, he was kind enough to A. wash the sideboard with Murphy Oil Soap because, hi, the kind lady bought it auction and who knows where it was and who had it and what they had in it and……eww and B. he took off all the hardware for me  and then he picked me up some special, magical paint called Annie Sloan chalk paint. (Not to be confused with chalkboard paint.)

Let me tell you something right now. I read about it online and wasn’t sure what to think. The fact that it’s $40 a quart (as in $15 bones more than the piece!) and the nearest place to get it is a cutesy boutique 45 minutes from my house did not help sway me! BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They said you could paint something without priming and without sanding. I liked the sound of THAT. They said it adheres to anything. Often with only one coat, but that you should probably wax it afterward because otherwise it would be a very flat, almost chalky texture. It’s known to make distressing easy, if you’re into that. And, they said, one quart goes a long way.

I had to try it—I thought if this beast could become a beauty with this paint, it was worth the price of admission.

So here’s my piece (minus drawers) after two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Chateau Grey—I’d applied them both the night before. I personally thought it was too streaky with only one coat but it covered crazy, crazy well considering the condition and color of the piece and no sanding or priming. I’m a belieber now. Seriously. And after two coats, I still had over a half a can left!

I did distress it lightly with some 140 grit sandpaper–first time ever. It was pretty easy!

I LOVE THIS LITTLE DETAIL AND THOUGHT THE DISTRESSING WOULD HIGHLIGHT IT.

Now here is where things got a little ugly: waxing. It was twenty degrees the morning I hauled this out on the deck to wax it. The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint peeps recommend you buy their wax but I was a. skeptical and b. really skeptical and c. trying to stick to my DIY cheap theme and so I thought, “HA HA! I don’t need no fancy Annie Sloan wax for….twenny five dollah! I can get a sideboard for twenty five dollah! I will buy Minwax at Lowe’s for TEN dollah and save $15 dollah! for beer/shoes/Cheerios.”

Par-tayyy!

Except it wasn’t. I wasn’t sure if it was because it was TWENTY freaking degrees. (Dumbarse couldn’t have gone all DIY in August? I had to start this shizz in December?). The wax was hard, crumbly, not pliable. I thought I’d just “Wax on, wax off!” ala Mr. Miyagi. Apparently, I ain’t no Karate Kid. I knew it had been going too smoothy–and the kicker? It started to SNOW and I could not haul this thing in my house because the wax is SOO STANKY and would have for sure given 7 year old some kind of asthma attack. As an added bonus, I had major bed head, was clad in polka dot pajama pants, and we finally got new next door neighbors and they were moving in just as I was fighting with a yellow wax can, sputtering and yelling at a green sideboard on my deck, which happens to face their house.

“Welcome to the neighborhood!”

I haven’t seen them since.

Anyway, lesson learned on the wax. I threw a hat and legit pants on, screeched to Lowe’s and bought the cheapest buffer they had for $30 bones and went over the piece and it was like silk. But next time I have a rough piece like this, I won’t hesitate to spring for the fancypancy wax.

Anyway, enough of all this! I wanted to take you through the process in case you are on a budget and want something pretty and shiny!

Here she is now:

HERE SHE IS!!! AIN'T SHE GRAND?!!!!!

 

OH! Here’s a close up of the new bling knobs I got at Hobby Lobby (Hob to the Lob–where have you been all my life?!!)

THEY WERE SERIOUSLY LIKE $3 EACH. OMG!

 

And check this out:

AFTER I SCHLEPPED THEM HOME, I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MUCH THE SHAPE MIMICKED THE SHAPE OF MY FAVE ASPECT OF THE PIECE! I HAVE NO IDEA IF THAT WAS SUBCONSCIOUS OR A HAPPY ACCIDENT!

 

I think my new beauty will have a long and happy life here.

OOOH, MOOD LIGHTING! THANKS TO THE TARJAY LAMPS I SNATCHED OFF MY DRESSER!

Sorry for the long post, Muffintoppers! I know some of you might not be into DIYing and want to just stick to the funny biz, so I’m thinking of starting a little fun DIY blog on the side. I figure if I can do it, ANYONE can. I have some other projects up my sleeve. I’d love to hear what you guys think. Should I go for it?

Update:

Wait! A reader told me I forgot to tally what I spent on the whole shebang;

sideboard: $25

gas to get sideboard: I dunno. I stink at keeping track of stuff like that.

hubs not getting stabbed in a hayloft: Free. That makes the trip to get sideboard, and finding out where the nudist park is, a free joyride.

paint: $40

wax: $10 (but I can use it again–when hell freezes over or my new neighbors work up the courage to speak to me!)

buffer machine thingy: $30 (But I can use it again! To get hubs ready for the nudist park! Too much? I’m kidding, people!)

Hobby Lobby bling knobs: $6

So let’s see….25 plus free plus 40 plus 10 plus 30 plus 6 carry the 1 = $111? Yup. $111. Dude, you can’t get furniture at Tarjay for that! I’ll take it!

 

THE TALE OF A $270 MIGRAINE

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Suburban Madness, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 10-09-2012

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Yesterday I woke up and it felt like Mickey Ward was trying to fight his way right out of my head. A migraine plus sinusy allergy fun relegated me to a heap in my bed until lunchtime. Fist bump to the hubs, because he took all three gremlins to do the weekly food shop, which is truly a fool’s errand. Taking one is easy, two, eh, not so bad, but for some reason just one more makes for menage a market madness.

Gogurts, and cookies, and candy! Oh my! 

You do what you gotta do, just to get by!

If you make it out in under one hour

Without knocking down an endcap tower,

Happy hour you do deserve

For you will be on your very last nerve!

I plodded down the stairs when I heard rattling below to find every square inch of countertop and part of the floor covered in bags. Hubs looked up sheepishly.

“I just spent $270. And I have no idea what I bought.”

Needless to say, my headache did not improve.

“I had $9 in coupons!” he beamed.

Oh good, that will pay for my second migraine pill!

 

THIS IS ONE SIDE. ONE SIDE!

Feeding a family of three boys, a grown man, and a muffin top ain’t cheap, so it wasn’t exactly ridiculous. And really, who can complain with a guy who left me to rest while he went into grocery combat with three little boys on Sunday before a Pat’s game? But I’m not gonna lie. For $270, I hoped maybe there’d be a filet or two in the bag? Some lobster?

There was no fancy protein.

Actually, there was no meat at all.

We are not vegetarians.

Oh Mickey Ward, you rat bastard! Meet me in the ring after Happy Hour you punk!

I’m sorry–I need to clarify–there was no dinner time meat. Technically, there was meat:  cold cuts, pepperoni, and two packs of turkey bacon. (Turkey bacon? That’s not even right.)

Don’t worry, the two pounds of salted butter will offset any arterial improvement from the faux bacon!

And the good news is, with four taco dinner kits, four boxes of rice pilaf, and three boxes of pasta, two loaves of bread, loaf of cinnamon bread, two bags of bagels, rolls, hot dog buns, and hamburger buns,we can carbo load for a marathon! But we won’t. Because we’re lazy. And, we’ll be in a coma after we wash it all down with our sixty beers.

He got booze! Things could be worse right?

Plus? This looks random fun.

I WANNA SAY THE KIDS BEGGED HIM FOR THESE, BUT NO, SORRY NO.

Bad week to start a diet…..Bon Appetit!

 

WHO NEEDS MEAT? I CAN'T EVEN COOK ANYWAY!

 

 

 

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO…..BUSTING AROUND TOWN WITH NO SEAT BELTS!

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, OH &^%$!!, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Things that make you go....awwww, TMI? Says who!, Uncategorized, Yo! It's a girl thing! | Posted on 26-08-2012

The other day in the car, I eavesdropped on my 5 year old and 7 year old sons chatting in the way back. I gotta be honest. It’s the end of  a long summer and lately? I’ve been kinda tuning them out at times. There are only so many convos like this I can listen to:

“That’s MY Lego guy! Give it!”

“No, it’s not!”

“Yes IT IS, you big poo poo head!”

I know this is where I should say I always pull the rig over and speak to them about sharing and not hurtling potty talk insults at loved ones, but I’m not into lying, sooooo, no. Sometimes they just need to hash it out…. and sometimes mama needs to get to Tarjay in a timely fashion! If it borders on assault and battery, well that’s another thing.

Part mother, part taxi driver, part bar bouncer. I really need to update my resume. (Head hunters: call me!) Big money, big money, no whammies!

CRAP. I GUESS IT IS TIME TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Credit: Photobucket

Ahem. So, 5 year old is starting kindergarten in a matter of days. And unlike my 7 year old, who, even if his body language screams, “I AM NERVOUS!” won’t articulate it, 5 year old has been asking a lot of questions, usually at bed time.

“What if you forget to pick me up, mama?”

I do have to pick him up because there’s only a bus one way in kindergarten because it’s only a half day on the kind cheapo taxpayers’ dime. I know! Instead of spending the 5 large it costs for the optional other half, I plan to make up for it by  ”homeschooling” him myself for the other half of the day. I think the third hour of Today, lunch, then Days of Our Lives will provide excellent learning opportunities. Every kindergartner deserves to learn how to dress right for his body type. And figuring out how to ward off crime lords who’ve died and come back to life seven times is clearly a vital skill for the playground. Let’s just see who knows what’s what come first grade, okay? My money is on school of hard knocks/fashion plate boy.

Another valid concern he has: “What if you’re late to pick me up, mama?” Well, I do my best, but you never know. I’m one Facebook status away from being late sometimes. And if I get caught behind Artie the one man 89 year old party cruising to Bingo in his Crown Vic, we know Imma have to ‘splain myself when I’m last in line.

Really, we’ve tried to reassure him that everything will be fine, that I could never forget him, and that the awesome kindergarten teachers would NEVER kick him to the curb in the rare event I might run late. We’ve tried to pump him up for the bus ride in the morning with his brother and the fun neighbor kids.

He hasn’t been satisfied. So I wasn’t totally surprised when I heard the boys talking in the car. The maturity and the rational q and a that went down is what threw me.

5 year old asked 7 year old, “There are seat belts on the bus, right?”

“Actually, no there aren’t.”

“What!? That’s not safe at all! That doesn’t make sense!”

“I know it sounds strange, but you get used to it. It’s okay.”

“Well that isn’t safe. I command them to put seat belts on the bus!”

How can I argue with that logic? That it makes no sense to a five year old who knows darn right well we don’t drive three feet without putting on our seat belts is telling. Of course this is the kid who shouts from the back, “That kid has no helmet on, mommy!” when he sees a kid riding a bike without one–and chided me today, “I’m ready for my bike ride. Make sure you get your helmet on, Mama, and forget those flip flops. You need shoes!” And he’s also the kid who’s scolded me for waving my hands in the air and dancing while driving (If you saw me dance you’d know that really is a crime). “Both hands on the wheel, moooom, both hands on the wheel!”

(I know what you’re thinking. You can say it. He’s hall monitor material.)

I wasn’t sure what to say to him in the car. As a parent, it’s kind of our job to know what to say and when to say it. But how could I tell him it was fine for him to sky around town on a gigantic bus without a seatbelt, when I myself wrote in Mommy Mixology, “I pictured people blasting around town texting/sexting/chomping Whoppers, and not seeing (until it was too late) a bus filled with little kids sans seat belts.” after I saw my oldest son off to kindergarten?

I’ve had no choice but to train these two sons to assess some risk at a very young age. Mostly, out of necessity. They both have life threatening peanut and tree nut allergies. It’s been drilled into their heads since they were 2 that they never take food, even from a well intentioned family member or friend, without first asking, “Did you read the label? Is it safe for me?” as peanuts and nuts can lurk in some surprising places.

And so for reasons beyond the bus, I’m always holding my breath a little at the beginning of the school year. I’m relying on young children to heed my warning not to take food from anyone. I’m trusting teachers to help them navigate the unexpected unsafe foods that unfortunately can wind up in classrooms, so they don’t have to shoulder worry and can focus on learning. And I’m hoping against hope he and all the other kids will get to school safely on a big yellow monstrosity with no seat belts.

I know I can’t keep my kids in a bubble. We have a fantastic bus driver. I know it will probably be fine. That’s what I continually tell myself. The perpetual worrier. The “what if” person that I am. Buses transport kids safely every day, after all. I’m not 100% sure it’s safe though, this is fact. But I’m not 100% sure life is safe. That walking is safe. That hanging from a monkey bar is safe. That walking home from the bus stop is safe. That taking a waiter’s word that the dinner is peanut free, is safe. OMG, that anything is safe!

I realize, it’s not that it’s too hard to articulate to him exactly how safe the bus is. It’s not that I can’t find the words. I realized it’s this: he doesn’t need to know. He shouldn’t know. It’s my job to assess risk. To worry. Not his. It’s his job to be a kid, to feel the thrill of making a new friend on the bus, on the playground, in the lunch line. To fly through the air on a see saw, with me not peering around a corner. To feel the pride when another adult, a teacher who isn’t his parent, tells him what a great job he’s done or how proud they are of his work.

So I say nothing, and keep driving.

On the first day of school I will remind him to always do his best. To be kind to all the kids. To be a good student and a good friend. And when the bus fades away down the street with he and his brother on it, I will probably blink back tears, mostly of joy, knowing he’ll be full of every hope and dream his 5 year old heart can hold, all the while hoping I’m doing the right thing for him. And that he will be safe, always safe.

 

 

YOU HAVE A QUESTION? I HAVE AN ANSWER! (DEFINITELY. PROBABLY. WELL, I MIGHT.)

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Boys, boys, boys! And did I mention, boys?, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!, Suburban Madness, Things that make you go....awwww, Uncategorized | Posted on 25-07-2012

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Last week my seven year old asked if we could get an indoor pool. I tried to give him a quick throwdown in economics that roughly amounted to we’re not rich, famous, rich and famous, richly famous or famously rich. This is the same dude who lost a tooth last month and when I asked him what I thought the tooth fairy might leave him, he responded, “I hope a thousand dollars!” Kid, for a grand, I’ll pull my own tooth and dance a jig by the Cheez Doodles at Walmart. Until then, it’s $5 per tooth and a blow up pool for you, mister!

After Hooked on Econ, I had to teach three year old about hierarchy when he tried to call me out in my own family room. “Why YOU get to drink in here, MA-MAAAA?” I get to drink in here because I pay the mortgage. And I’m an adult and I won’t spill much of it. Maybe I was being more dictator. Tomato, toma-toe. Sue me for wanting to wash down an adult bev during Fresh Beat Band. It gets me in a party mood.

Today? My five year old asked me with a straight face, “Mom, when can we go to Washington D.C. to meet the President?”

Well now you’re talking! Let’s talk democracy! I pretty much told him the prez and all the pols work for us, this is true, but! But! You’d have a better chance of landing a playdate with Suri and Curious George than meeting him.

He looked at me blankly.

“We can’t just roll on up to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and yell for Barack Obama to come out and play!”

He didn’t seem satisfied.

Credit: Someecards

I love that kids are not cynical. That they really think they can have indoor pools and meet and greets with the President. That they have little concept of money or wealth or power. Or lack of it. That a five year old thinks we can just waltz on up to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and ring for Barack has to be the very definition of ignorance being bliss.

“Baraaack?? Michelle??? We’re here! Got any juice boxes??? 95 was a bitch and I’mmmmm thirsty! Some stupid motorcade was in our way. Pfft!”

I’m fairly certain the Secret Service might flatten the muffo de toppo if I hopped the fence to try to make some casual introductions. (What other fun family outings can we plan that will get us on the FBI watch list? I do like to encourage some hands on summer learnin’ so we could start with an introduction to the judicial system—screw those boring childrens’ museums!)

I do like that five year old is aiming high though, I really do. I mean, we live in New Hampshire, where future presidents mingle amongst the masses of asses during primary season, and hey, we did meet a future Senator at the town dump one day! (She looked fabulous and even the eau de dump did not overshadow her brightness. I had on no makeup and a baseball hat. I suppose I should be grateful “Lisa the crappy photographer” was not at the ready this time!)

The questions never cease around here and I try to be prepared but sometimes? I’m caught sans make up with a beat up baseball hat and nothing intelligent to offer. (Please refer to Seth Meyers post.)

So having said that, don’t you want to try your luck? Next Tuesday night, the 31st, I’m having a video book chat to talk Mommy Mixology and other fun biz on Shindig from 8 PM to 9 PM eastern standard time. You can ask me anything you want and I may or may not answer intelligently–won’t it be fun to find out! I should qualify, I will answer almost anything. I will never reveal my pant size. Seven year old knows it because he busted in on me in the bathroom one day (imagine that!) and then shouted it out because the Gap (thanks for nothing!) had to print the size on the waistband of my shorts in like 32 point font. Why God why? In case I went shorts shopping and forgot my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass??? Bad, Gap, bad. That’s what I get for straying from my bestie Land’s End with their tiny size tags. Anyway, don’t even dream of shaking it out of seven year old. He pinky promised not to tell anyone. He might have visions of grandeur and no concept of money, but he knows a promise is a promise and he knows who keeps him in ice cream and juice.

ON SECOND THOUGHT, MAYBE I CAN'T TRUST HIM. Credit: Someecards

Here are the deets if you want to Shindig it up with me–apparently you need to sign up to join in on the adventure:

http://mommymixology.eventbrite.com/

As an added bonus, Lisa the crappy photographer will be on hand to assist me and wrestle me to the ground if I try to wear my psychadelic Seth Meyers shirt! I am already giddy with delight at how super svelte and wonderful I will look under the glow of my laptop cam! Suhhweeet!!!

 

 

 

DANCING AND FASHION EMERGENCIES? YES, PLEASE! (I MEAN, NO THANK YOU!)

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Posted by muffintopmommy | Posted in Awesomeness, Friends...you got what I ne-ed, Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Things that make you go....awwww, TMI? Says who!, Uncategorized, Yo! It's a girl thing! | Posted on 11-06-2012

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“Oh no, but I don’t dance.” I protested. “Not unless it’s with my kids in the kitchen for dance party with my ladle as mah microphone. Or, if I’ve had a few cocktails.” (Or revisiting my Solid Gold glory days when I’m alone in the house.)

I said it. I meant it. I walk through life tripping over my own feet.

I was sober. I was over 1000 miles away from my kids. On a break during the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. (Writers! Not dancers!)

But The Bearded Iris? She’s persuasive. I think the might have slipped something into my mystery lunch that day….because she got me to dance.

“Fine!” I relented. “Who’ll see it anyway?”

It’s on video. Which is now on her blog. And on you tube.

Probably no one thousands will see it.

We’ve talked about Bearded Iris before. She’s one of the funniest peeps I know, in writing and in person. And she made the video, which also stars members of her fam including her 5 year old son, Bucket Head, who steals the show at the end of the video (If you don’t laugh at his dancing you have no soul!) as part of a blogging dance challenge called…. #BloggersDance. I think it has something to do with bloggers dancing. I dunno.

My kids have made me play this video 763 times since they first saw it. I’m not kidding. They have been literally crying laughing while watching it every day since Bearded Iris first posted it on her blog last week.

So I’m sharing it. Mainly because I think we all need a laugh I need a fashion intervention please note my subtle cry for help.

Will ya please get a load of my choice of shirt—after last weeks shirt, you can see this is a legit fashion emergency, yes? Seems like the hubs is off the hook for letting me out in my psychadelic frock to meet Seth Meyers last week. The truth is out: I can’t dress myself. Look what I wore in the video? (Even my white undershirt/camisole/whatever it’s called is hanging below my shirt! Because it wasn’t disaster enough on its own!) I’m the one *cries inside* who looks like a realtor from Boca. (“Hi Bitsy, it’s Mitsy. Oh my Gawd, I have a fabbbbulous 3/2 right by the beach. It’s to DIE fowwwah! Cawl me!” )Or a cruise ship passenger from  small town East Asshat, Nowhereville, lettin’ it all hang out somewhere in the Caribbean, thinking, “Wahooie! No one knows me HERE!” after drowning in generic umbrella drinks.

Where are Stacey and Clinton and why haven’t they answered my desperate pleas? I’ve blogged about this here!!! We need a campaign: Dress me up, Muffin Top. I should not be allowed to shop alone or dress myself. The only good news is The Bearded Iris thinks I can seriously make some dough making faces for a living. I’ll see what you guys think about that. I’m thinking the face making biz isn’t too great after about the third grade, but maybe you know a guy who know’s a guy? I’m still waiting to hear from Lorne Michaels after my last blog post about Seth Meyers. I know he’ll reach out any minute now when muffin tops fly.

Also? A round of applause for the other dancers, including the star of the vid, Bearded Iris. And, my blogging sister from another Mister, Dawn from Lighten Up! Dawn and I both love domestic beer in a can (She’s the Miller to my Bud…hey, no one’s perfect. The Laverne to my Shirley. And the Faded Glory to my Merona. If you understand a word of this, you know we get along alllll right. She took the pic of me with the Bombecks and I actually had my eyes open!) You need to check out her hilarious blog. And tell her you’re sorry my fig bat head blocked her cute blonde self out of a lot of the video. Then there’s Suniverse. She is one sassy, saucy, sarcastic mama. She is ALL the best s words rolled into one and she let’s it rip on her blog, Suniverse. You won’t see her face because she’s sooo ripping it up s style that she blogs anonymously. I seriously don’t know her real name. If someone takes me in a dark room and threatens me with bodily harm threatens to take away all my beer forever I swear I.don’t.know.her.name. I just know she’s a howl and you can visit her blog here.

You know something? The Bearded Iris was right though. Dancing does make you feel good—because if you dance like me, you laugh so hard you really do cry.  And no smarty pants doctor can prescribe anything better than that!

(Because I’m remedial techno tornado, no clue how to get the you tube video to show up in a box. Just click the text link below and it will take you there and not to your Nigerian lottery winnings, I swear!)

watch?v=b9XgYnZbEL4&feature=plcp