OMG! I’m turning into a man!

We’ve all had “Mommy brain.” You know the syndrome where you can’t remember anything once you have kids. Well, now I’m convinced that I have taken it one step further. I think I’m turning into a Man! In my defense, I have to say that last week was CRAZY! I didn’t know if I was coming or going between work and the dreaded recital week marathon. But I didn’t expect to completely lose my mind.

Friday after the rehearsal I walk in our home expecting to have something for dinner (I wrote it on the schedule and even called my hubby to remind him we’d be home after 8 and he needed to make some grub or at least bring some home from work) and there’s nothing! (To make it worse, he and my Dad were sitting outside relaxing and having a cocktail!!)

While I’m ranting and raving and looking frantically into the freezer for something fast, my husband says “Hey, I brought you flowers!” Thinking he’s just trying to get my mind off of the fact that I could gnaw my arm off in starvation, I look over and see the most beautiful lilies and roses in the middle of the kitchen table. Then it hits me! HOLEY MOLEY! It’s our anniversary tomorrow! With all the recital hoo-ha I completely forgot! Only men forget things like that. Not SuperMoms like me!

It gets worse. Saturday morning I get up early to run to Target for “bobby pins”. (We don’t really need any but it sounded recital-ish enough that I could sneak out and go get a card.) As I’m racing out the door, my hubby informs me that he has to “rush to the restaurant” and I only have 15 minutes. I race out the door, drive as fast as I can without getting arrested and get rock-star parking at Target. I race to the entrance, step up to the automatic door and the darn thing won’t open. I try the old fashioned way and it’s locked as well. “SINCE WHEN DOES TARGET NOT OPEN UNTIL EIGHT?” I scream in agony!

I make an executive decision that Starbucks will have to be the best I can do (confirming once again that I am becoming a man. Look at that logic.) Plus, I promised Rosie a cocoa and some scones before the dreaded ten o’clock recital show so I’ll kill two birds with one stone. I order her yummies and then get my hubby a Vanilla non-fat latte (At the time I did not see the irony that if my husband gave me a non-fat latte my first response would be, “Do you think I’m fat or something?”)

Somehow, when I presented him with the lame drink and said “Happy Anniversary” it did not have the impact I intended. As a matter of fact, I think he probably tossed the drink when he got to work. Some anniversary, huh?

In honor of another dance recital weekend, I had to share this oldie but goodie. First published on on 06/23/2008.


You can stay on the deck honey, I’m headed to the basement

I’ve just dozed off to sleep when I think I hear my phone ring. I ignore the low-pitched chime but pop open one eye. I spy the screen of my Kindle which has also gone to sleep by the looks of the Visa ad on the screen.

That’s when I hear it again. Sounds like music and it’s familiar. It’s my phone.

I jump out of bed. Rosie’s on a sleepover and who knows what’s happened. My best guess- two strong-willed girls born a day apart have just decided they are no longer friends. And, that probably includes their American Girl dolls too. I ring her BFF’s mom back.

“Well, we’ve moved to the basement,” she said matter-of-factly.

I search the recesses of my brain to try to figure out what that means. Earlier they were going to sleep in a tent outside, but Jenny convinced them it would rain so they moved to the living room. And, now they’re in the basement?

She must have sensed my ignorance about the situation (or become uncomfortable with my pregnant pause) because she quickly added, “the sirens are going off. So we’re safe in the basement. I just wanted to let you know. There was a tornado around Baldwin City.”

That jolts me completely awake. I tell her that I’m not going out to pick up Rosie and that I trust them. Then I start to worry and wonder. SIRENS? How the hell did I sleep through sirens? And, why didn’t anyone wake me up?

We were lucky and avoided one of these twisters last night

I’ve lived in the Midwest my entire life, so I’m used to severe weather in the month of May. When I was in grade school, a tornado hit my neighborhood. It missed my street but it took off the top of the Armato’s house around the corner. I know that tornadoes can be serious shit.

I rush downstairs to find my hubby and he’s standing out on the back deck staring at the sky. He doesn’t even have the television tuned to one of the crazy meteorologists that’s probably justifying their entire year’s salary right now. And, he’s as calm as a cucumber.

“Kelly, there are TORNADOES!” I scream. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”

“Well, yeah, the sirens have been going off for a while…”

I give him the best look of total disgust that I can muster and storm off. While he may think storm watching is cool, I’m heading underground. And, I’m taking my Dad and the dog with me.

Waking up my Dad was almost humorous. After a few minutes of gentle coaxing, I finally just hit him on the shoulder and told him to get to the basement. We were about to get hit by a tornado.

“Well, I better get outside then,” he said. And, then he disappeared.

He went out on the deck and took his place next to my hubby staring at the sky. I picked up the dog, my laptop and a bunch of blankets and headed to the basement. If they weren’t going to take the weather seriously, that was their problem.

I went online to check out the forecast. My Facebook friends were aligned with me. They were taking the sirens seriously. So, I felt validated (and a little cold. I should have grabbed a sweatshirt).

I wasn’t down in the basement long. About ten minutes in, the forecast changed and the path of the tornadoes moved to the east. I picked up all my stuff and headed back upstairs to the comfort of my bed leaving my Dad and Kelly out in a severe storm on the deck.

Where were you last night during the storm? And, why do all men think it’s cool to watch the weather?

A Tall Tale or Truth? The Tale of the Lonesome Dove

My Dad discovered the carcass on the patio- a mourning dove lying in a pool of blood. Since there weren’t any signs of foul play (or scattered feathers indicating a fight with the neighbor’s cat) we could only assume that the poor bird hit the window. He disposed of the remains before Rosie got home from school.

But the tell tale sign of scarlet remained in the concrete for a couple of days. We’d all pass it and sigh. Wonder what went wrong in the bird’s radar to hit the glass so hard. What a tragedy.

My father has always been a lover of birds. Over the years we’ve bought him countless feeders and books. We’ve even attempted to attract Purple Martins to no avail (which is not my fault. I bought a book and attempted to tell my Dad that there is a science to attracting the mosquito eating flyers, but he wouldn’t listen).

Which brings me to more of my Dad’s fine traits- he’s well read, intelligent and often smarter than the rest of us. And, he’s mastered the fine art of bullshit. So, sometimes we’re not quite sure if what he’s saying is the God’s honest truth.

I’ve listened to my Dad talk about birds for years. He’d call to the Cardinals. Look up new species in his books. And, he’d pay great attention to the doves.

“Look at that dove,” he’d say (one more than one occasion, I might add). “He’s a lonesome dove.”

All that would run through my mind is fleeting thoughts of Larry McMurtry and a bunch of cowboy outfits. I couldn’t recall if it was a movie or mini-series, but I knew it was not my kind of thing. But, I love my dad, so I’d listen.

“Dove’s mate once. For life. That guy. He’s lost his mate. And, he’ll forever mourn,” my dad opined.

I heard him say it for years. Every time there was a single mourning dove in the backyard, he’d relay the same sad story. I’m not quite sure I believed the one-mate theory, but I always listened and nodded my head in respect.

Last week, we had our first kamikaze-casualty since we’ve lived in this home. A dove hit the window and hopefully perished quickly. We were all sad.

The next day we peered across the yard to see a dove perched on the fence. He (or she, we’re not sure) didn’t move for hours. The next day, it was sitting in the mulch in the garden immobile. The day after, on the neighbor’s fence staring straight ahead; right at our house and the dreaded window.

The dove has never left our yard. I’m convinced that it lost its mate and misses its true love. And, now I guess I will begin to believe a few more of my dad’s stories. He nailed the one about the lonesome dove.

Yep, I blog

“You blog?” the lady asked looking at me incredulously.

“Yep,” I say nonchalantly.

Quite frankly, after three years, I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore. I pick at my salad hoping she’ll change the subject. Her eyes are attempting to bore into my soul so I know I don’t have a chance.

“What do you write about? How do you come up with topics? Where do you get your inspiration?” she says without appearing to breathe.

I put my fork down. The Crab Louis salad I’m dying to eat will have to wait. I knew I’d have to tell her my story.

“I started to write three years ago on a mom site. A good friend encouraged me to discipline myself to write every week for a while. She swore it would be good for me. At first I wasn’t so sure.” I said.

She leaned in closer and put her fork down. I peeked at my salad. It was calling my name, but I knew I’d have to go on.

“The first couple were boring. But, the next week I totally forgot our anniversary. It was a busy week with pictures and dress rehearsal. Recitals are a lot of work. Anyway, my husband had flowers and I had no idea what they were for. That night I wrote the first blog I thought was any good. I called it, ‘OMG, I’m turning into a man.'”

“Go on,” she implored.

“I kept thinking I’d write for a while and then run out of stuff to say. But it hasn’t happened. I’m still here three years later.”

“Cool,” she said. “Very cool. I’m amazed by people that have something to say.”

Later that night, I started to wonder. What do I really write about anyway? I’d been asked three times that week and every time all I could say was “my life.” And, it’s not that exciting.

But, maybe the way I look at my life is.

I no longer think I look at the world like other people. I sit at the computer with a seed of an idea and think I’ll explore my thoughts. Twenty minutes later what I thought I’d write about and what come out are two totally different things. It’s pretty cool.

Where do I get my topics? All around me. I”m never lacking for good material. My life is filled with funny characters and silly stories. And, I’m not afraid to poke fun at myself or tackle a serious issue to help someone else.

Same thing with inspiration. I’m lucky that I don’t get stuck often and that may be because of the way I look at life. I search for a little spark of magic every day. I kick back and try to find a magical moment. I’m truly blessed.

So, yep I blog. And, I will for a long time to come. Thanks to all who read and the friends I’ve made along the way. What started as a weekly way to get creative has helped me to grow exponentially. Thanks for sharing.

Manoupause and Turning 50

My hubby is turning 50 (and now that I’ve put that in print, I’m probably dead. Or at least in the dog house. But, oh well).

Most men of a certain age go crazy. They party. Stay out til’ all hours of the night. Buy a Harley or big truck. Sit on porn sites all night long.They make their wives wonder: “will he wander? What’s he thinking?” And, sometimes, “how the hell can I snap him out of this?”

Manopause can be stressful.

My hubby, (while he hates the impending doom of the day and anything to do with the numbers 5 and 0) has pleasantly surprised me. There have been no wild nights out. No crazy impulse purchases for random youthful items. And, to be truthful, nothing that I’d categorize as mid-life crisis behavior. WHEW!

However there has been some bizarre behavior. He’s been eating better. Exercising more. Taking his vitamins. He’s been taking better care of himself. Pretty cool.

Yep, I thought so too.

But it took me a while. I had to confront him with all this abnormal crap and make sure that there wasn’t a little twenty-something he had on the side to impress. (I was assured that all these positive changes were for health reasons. But, I do have to admit, the skinnier, more fit version of my hubby was kind-of hot) And, I asked him not once, but twice. I had to make sure.

Yep, there’s no one else. Just me and a hot little tween in his life. And, I like this health-conscious version of my spouse. I’d like to keep him around for another 50 years.

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