Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Bathtub Lady

A group of rubber ducks is called a, "For the love of all that's holy, not that again."
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash
Morning Readers,

I wish I could tell you this week was full of travel, fancy dinners, and anything other than mundane activities, but if I could do that, it would be a different blog.

Forecast for this week: Mediocre with a smattering of cold, gray suck known as January.

Calendar Invention Board Meeting:

"We're going to call it January. It'll kick the year off."
"Will it have holidays with food?"
"No."
"Will it be warm?"
"No."
"What about snow?"
"It'll look dirty and freeze your face off."
"Ok, go ahead and add it." 

However, the oddity that has made an appearance this unremarkable month is the way Mrs. Jones requires us to do her bidding. As far as toddlers go, she's ridiculously pleasant, but that means she's in a good mood about seventy-percent of the time, and the other thirty is a crap shoot.

And we all know that toddlers and crap shoots go together about as well as toddlers and crap shoots.

Unlike the other three Kellermans before her, Mrs. Jones is in love with the bath tub. Traditionally, forcing my children to clean themselves has been a second full-time job, but the baby wandered out of the womb with absolutely no qualms about shedding her clothes in front of everyone and hoofing it to the tub.

Two-year-old feet, headed anywhere, are extremely determined, so I've had to be on my guard when things get quiet and I hear feet pounding down the hallway and into the upstairs bathroom. If I don't get there first, she's already wrenched the faucet on, buried herself in tub toys, and begun, "Fwimmin'.

Like a short, fat Olympic freestyler, she begins paddling towards victory, soaking the newly-renovated flooring and intermittently hurling rubber squids and sharks at the wall. It wouldn't be so bad if this was a once daily event, but it's quickly spiraled out of control, morphing into a constant pursuit of leisurely soaking.

I hear you. "Why don't you just put your foot down?"

In theory, I should be able to simply say, "No," and go about my business. After all, I am several decades older and hundreds of pounds heavier than my smallest charge. But, in short, she's turned to toddler tactics I absolutely hate but also admire because they're brilliant.

And Now, A Sliver of Toddler Evil Genius...

9am:

2yo: Bath. Wanna take a bath.

Me: No.

2yo: *sneaks away*

Me: Wait. What are you doing in the toilet?

2yo: Hi! I in the toilet.

Me: Ugh. Your bare feet are literally in the bowl. Now I'm going to have to put you in the bath.

2yo: *smiles knowingly*

Me: I see what you did there.

This situation repeats itself in various forms throughout the day. Some of my favorites include but aren't limited to:

"Applesauce in mah hair. Need bath."

"Pudding in mah hair. Need bath."

"Water on mah shuht (shirt). Need bath right now."

It's more than a little exhausting, but at least she's clean. I'm not sure how much longer this phase has to go, or whether it's in its infancy and I'll be doing this until 2019. It's really a roll of the dice or the rubber hermit crab. Whatever the case may be. But I have to go now.

Snow just melted on her sleeve. Duty calls.

Until Next Time, Readers!


And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Day Shelly Died

"I don't know it's alive or not, but it's adorable." 
Photo by Eric Aiden on Unsplash

Morning Readers,

When I gave my update last week, I was a bit remiss in naming everyone who currently resides in the Kellerman house.

Re-cap:

Humans = 6 Dog= 1 Cat= 1

But a couple months ago, Husband left the house one morning and, somewhere on his journey to work, forgot how many creatures he lives with. At day's end, he happened upon a small, baby turtle, and after extending it the courtesy of not running over it, decided to load it into his SUV. After which, he did what he always does when he finds an animal in want of shelter, and made it my responsibility.

Now, his account of this will differ, but it doesn't change the fact I was being made to embrace the animal kingdom once again and figure out what new smells I was about to deal with.

And messes.
And cost.
And having to fact check whether it would maul us in the middle of the night. (I've got a great track record on my research in that particular area.)

To a chorus of screams and shouts, Husband plopped the tiny turtle down in the middle of all Kellerman children, while they fired questions like a chaotic cannonball regiment.

"Where did you get it, daddy?"
"Will it bite my finger off?"
"Can I feed it grass?"
"Can I feed it some of the Twizzler I found under my bed?
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"It looks like a girl."
"It's ugly."

Reluctantly, I watched Husband sweep a row of my books off a shelf and install a tank, light, and various colored sands and imitation seaweed.

The turtle was living better than I was.

For the next few weeks, I spent my days guarding the soon-beloved reptile dubbed, "Shelly," by the children. Upon connecting the dots between the relation of this being a name and it also being what was on the turtle's back, they were sold. No one was more enthusiastic that Mrs. Jones, who spent most of the first few days trying to reach in, grab Shelly, and put her in a death hold.

But there came a day when the happiness ended.

One morning, while passing by the tank and peering at my newest charge, I noticed she'd stopped her optimistic paddling, and instead, stared into space. Still. Unseeing. How I looked when I watched the last episode of Lost.

I rocked the tank gently and, receiving no reaction in return, proceeded to stare at the tiny turtle for five, straight minutes. Breath? No. Eye movement? No. I wasn't a turtle expert, but everything about the situation looked like death.

The kids had spent many hours clambering around the fragile tank, talking about all the reasons they loved Shelly and how, if given the chance, they'd love to pull her around on a skateboard or see how'd she'd fair in a treacherous bath tub climate. I prepped myself to deliver the sad news and wondered if flushing a turtle down the toilet would end up costing a call to the plumber and half the fund I had set up for new underwear for everyone in 2018.

Later that afternoon, I broke the news. "Kids, the turtle's dead."

They looked at me in disbelief. One of the twins piped up, incredulous, "How do you know?"

I nodded solemnly. "I just know."

Crushed, the children went back to fighting with each other and asking for snacks every five minutes.

For the rest of the day, I hatched a well-thought-out plan to dump everything in the backyard and cover the failed herpetarium with a good dose of top soil and strong resolve to put my Dr. Doolittle crash course to an end. Things were getting ridiculous. I spent every waking minute keeping the kids alive, trying bolster the numbers of the turtle community was asking too much.




 

"Mom! The turtle's not dead! You were wrong."

The children stormed up to my room and demanded answers.

"Why'd you say that?"
"Why would you think she was dead?"
"She's swimming right now. Do dead turtles swim?"
The baby spoke her mind. "She no dead."

One child wrapped his arms around me. "Don't worry, you can still feed her. And fill her tank. And take care of her every day.

Oh good.

Re-cap:

Turtles: 1 Dogs: 1 Cats: 1 Kids: 4 Husband: 1 Mother who dug a hole in the backyard she can't use, but needs a stiff drink: 1

Until next Time, Readers!















Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy 2018... Now Let Me Tell You Random Things


This isn't me, but I've already spent part of 2018 sitting in my car, staring into space.
Morning Readers,

It's an unwritten rule of blogging that when you quit blogging half way through the year, you simply pick it back up the following year.

Don't shake your head at me. I don't come up with the rules.

That said, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to spend 2018 with you. There's a lot going on. And by that I mean I've been observing the weird eating habits of the squirrels populating my back yard and hoping the grocery store sends out a repeat of the .49 cent carton of eggs coupon I threw away by accident.

To catch everyone up:

The twins are seven.
Doc is five.
And Mrs. Jones is a toddler, but may be a professional demolition specialist. I don't know.
Ned Yost is  two. However, because he's a Labrador, in dog years, he may be closer to fourteen. This doesn't mean he's more mature, jut that we're going broke trying to feed him.

We're still only about a quarter of the way through home renovations, and besides, once we fix one thing, something else breaks, so the point is we'll never get it renovated. In 2018, I'll have to accept I'll never have a Pinterest-ready home, and, instead, appreciate that the mouse we heard scurrying around the other night has gone to be with Jesus.

But wait, there's more (in bullet points!)
  • Last year, I bought new sweat pants, and this year may just be the one I buy more sweatpants and then tell you guys about it. Please stand by. 
  • I also spent a large amount of my year freelancing full time. I'd like to say I found a good work/life balance, but that would be a lie. And we're not starting 2018 out with lies. Pies, maybe. But not lies. 
  •  Christmas was fantastic but almost steam-rolled me. Organizing presents for four children, as it turns out, is a little like trying to solve a Rubik's cube, blindfolded. And the blindfold spontaneously combusts.
  • Husband and I have really grown as a couple. We made pizza rolls the other night and didn't fight over the last one. I ate it, of course. 
  • I've started writing a new book because I love you all.
  • I've also joined Instagram. This took me several years to do, but I finally figured out how to push buttons and accept terms of service that were kind of confusing. In addition to being able to post there, I may have also bought an exotic animal from Peru. But if you want a steady flow of funny and some random pictures of the Kellerman variety, click that follow button.
Anywho, one child or another is hungry and can't reach the snacks shaped like fruit. So it's time to parent. *sloth mode activated*

Can you feel it?

Well, we're all getting old. Feeling like you're knees are giving out when you get up is normal. But besides that...

2018 is going to be great. I hope you'll share it with me.

Otherwise, I'm the crazy lady who talks to herself on the internet. I am too young for that.

Until next Time, Readers!




Monday, August 14, 2017

Hair Today, Fantastic Tomorrow... A Monat Gift Package Giveaway!


Afternoon Readers,

I know what you're thinking."Two giveaways in a row? Things are getting fancy around here. It's a fancy, fancy blog."

Indeed.

Actually, when two people have children, and then they move into an old house, and then decide to renovate two bathrooms at a time, giveaways are perfect. I mean, my stress level is at a ten. Why should your stress level be at a ten? It shouldn't. So I say, let's give away all the things. Speaking of which, there's still one day to enter the Amazon giveaway, so hop on over and don't miss out.

Now then, today's FABULOUS giveaway is sponsored by my lovely friend, Megan Guertin. The way we met went a little like this...

Megan: I sell this amazing line of hair care products called Monat. Would you like to try some?

Me: Yaaaaaaasssss!

Megan: *mercifully still talks to me, even though I'm a spaz* Can I give some away to your readers?

Me: Yaaaaassss!

So, like the lovely angel she is, Megan sent me a huge box of extremely high quality products from Monat. It was pretty much Christmas in July. This was extremely exciting for two reasons.

1.) I buy shampoo and condition for two dollars a piece, and hope it cleans my hair.

2.) My new haircut (you can read about that traumatic ordeal here) usually looks like this...


Coarse, wavy, dry. Things that all describe a desert, but also my hair. It's not down to my behind anymore, but it still looks like I got caught in a tornado most days. "Soft" is way down at the bottom of the list of adjectives I'd use to describe my locks.

BUT...

I've been using the Monat system for two weeks now, and I'm pretty much in love. You can hop on over to their website to learn all the nitty gritty science that makes it awesome, but I can say with 100% certainty, my hair is softer, healthier, and even looks great when I let it air dry and wander to the grocery store. You guys know how I do.

Another perk of their line is that it helps decrease hair loss and increases hair growth. I'm looking at you, bald spots left after multiple pregnancy adventures. If I see a change in those, you guys will be the first to know.

So now the GOOD STUFF.

You guys, enter the handy little Rafflecopter below, because if you do, you win...


Blow Out Cream:
  • Works on all hair types to create a beautiful blowout that lasts.
  • Won’t weigh your hair down or make it feel greasy.
  • Does not create product build-up.
  • Restores softness and shine.
  • Reduces styling time and conceals the signs of damage.
  • Contains Dermofeel® Sensolv, a natural silicone alternative. 100% natural in origin.

Tousled Texturizing Mist:
Creates multiple styles with a variety of textures effortlessly.
  • Non-sticky formula
  • Helps to define layers
  • Adds volume without weighing hair down
  • Long-lasting touchable support

Rejuvabeads: Selectively targets and heals split ends and other damaged or stressed areas along the hair shaft, eliminating breakage and frizz, decreasing friction, increasing shine and helping improve color.   

On top of that, Megan also sent the lucky winner a brand new Monat round brush, complete with the CUTEST bag to keep it in. Just the products alone make this gift package a value of over $100.00!

So, if you want to enter fall with some fabulous hair, hit up the lovely Rafflecopter below. This contest is open to anyone in the USA. As soon as the winner's drawn, I'll mail you a big, beautiful box of happiness.

In the meantime, if you'd like to order anything from Megan, just pop on over to her site and have a
look at all the lovely things she has for sale.

As for me, I've got a date with a bucket of primer and a paint brush.

Until Next Time, Readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Just a Little Amazon Giveaway!


Morning Readers,

Sorry for the radio silence. It's back to school week and I'm labeling all the school supplies on the planet.

Or in my orbit. Basically the same thing. Tiny letters on tiny scissors.

In the meantime, it's worth noting that The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold is now an audiobook! Yes, my darling little book has actually been narrated by a professional and meticulously put back together on Audible and iTunes. Excitement level? Ten.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and TEN chances to win a free download of The Beer's Folded on Audible. So if you like free money and books, this giveaway is for you. If you don't like either of those things, I'm sorry, I can't help you.

(But do come back on Monday, because I'll be running an even more amazing giveaway for, say, people who love free, high-end things. I can say no more.)

Ok, hit up the Rafflecopter below, and good luck. If you need me, I'll be writing names on folders and hoping the ink doesn't wipe off before next week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until Next Time, Readers! 

Friday, July 28, 2017

What My Thirties Have Tought Me So Far ...In Horrific Detail

Not me, but getting makeup on my hands and not my face is a pretty frequent occurrence.

Morning Readers,

I didn't mention it at the time, but I turned thirty-three a couple weeks ago.

It's ok. I'll take any applause you can give me for making it this far. My journey through life looks a little like a toddler trying to eat soup with a fork. Finesse.

This year, I had to accept that I'm solidly adrift in adulthood. For a while, I thought I could cling to the late twenties raft, but it sprang a leak, and, all of the sudden, I was an exhausted Rose, wrestling a worn out door, hoping my body fat reserves would get me through.

The morning my birthday dawned, the Kellerman children were twice as excited as I was.

"Can I have cereal?"

"Last night, you said I could pick the first show when I woke up. It's the morning."

"Did you wash any underwear yesterday? I think I didn't find any this week."

Finally, the four-year-old wandered downstairs, yawned, and glanced in my direction. "Your birthday today?"

I sipped my coffee and nodded. "Yep."

"You have a good one, k?" He thought for a second. "Oh, and I need a fruit bar and some milk. Oh, and Mom?"

I smiled. "Yes?

"I need underwear too."

All wasn't lost. I'd started my special day at 5AM, unable to shut my eyes after convincing Mrs. Jones that one-year-olds had no business being up that early. Three, solid hours of quiet had given me a chance to work out, watch a documentary on Dolly Parton, and drink enough caffeine to be perfectly aware of how old I felt. Not as old as Dolly, but she'd already made twenty gold records by my age, so who the hell was I?

Who, indeed.

In those three hours, I had ample time to examine my life thus far, and here's what I know about being thirty-three:

1. I don't care.

It took me a while to get here, but I officially don't care what anyone thinks of what I do, how I dress, and my day-to-day. Unless you're my momma or Jesus, I ain't got time for it. (Unless you see me talking to myself in the frozen food isle and I, clearly, forget to put on a bra. Even then, just look away or grab a Snickers. Whatev.)

2. Intimidation is a non-issue

When I was a teenager, walking past a group of boys always made me feel self conscious. Were they looking? Did they smile at me? Was my mascara sliding off, resulting in some sort of sad clown incident?

Now that I've rounded thirty, that's a thing of the past. At the pool the other day, a group of teenage boys was blocking a direct path to my ratty towel shaped like a whale. Without thinking about it, I walked right through them, a female Moses parting a sea of iPhones and acne. "Thanks," I shouted, while my stretch marks drove them back toward the concession stand.

3. Nature's taking its course

A few weeks back, an envelope arrived, bearing my new driver's license. Stricken, I called up the DMV, "Hello?"

A cheerful woman picked up. "Yes?"

"You sent the wrong license. Dull hair. Bags under the eyes. Papery skin. This is the Crypt Keeper."

"No returns unless you're dead."

"I might be."

4. Worry is like a rocking chair

Something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. That ridiculous crap will work itself out.

5. Crow's feet are a real thing

6. Mortality Awareness

Life's too short not to go out and take a decent shot at your goals. Seriously. Haul out that bucket list and start checking things off, because the angels are gonna come get your butt one day, and the last words out of your mouth shouldn't be, "I wondered what would've happened if I had done x,y,z..."

7. I can't wear anything with rhinestones on it. I just look ridiculous.


Until Next Time, Readers!



And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Fluoride, Take Me Away


Is this seat heated? Because I'm never leaving.

Morning Readers,

Motherhood does strange things to women.

And by "strange," I mean sick, sad, and often downright pathetic events that lead us to say things like, "How many cavities do I need to have filled? Seven? Can you make it eight?"

I had to put myself in check this year. After carefully tending to my family's well-being for months on end, somthing happened that made me realize I haven't been taking care of myself. It went something like this...

*Crack*
"A piece of my tooth just fell out."
"A PIECE OF MY TOOTH FELL OUT."
"Someone needs to fix this."
"My body is literally falling apart."
*Crawls in a hole and dies*

Tabulating on my un-manicured fingers, I quickly deduced that, while I'd made sure Husband the kids showed up for regular dentist appointments, it had been somewhere around the ballpark of  six years since I'd made time to have my teeth looked at by a professional. I called right away.

"My teeth are falling out. Help me."

The receptionist calmed me down. "Can you come in on Monday?"

"No."

"How about next Wednesday?"

"No."

"Friday?"

I leveled with her. "Listen, I have a billion children. The stars need to align to get me in there. Possibly may need to be a leap year. It's literally taken pieces of my body falling out to make this call. The best I can do is three months from now."

"How about July?"

"Done."

Putting off appoints is my stock and trade. Managing everyone else's business is my business, but when it comes to wandering off by myself during the day... well, my new dentist had seen my particular brand of sadness before.

"So you haven't seen anyone in a while, huh?"

I hung my head and stared at my tattered flip flops. "I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, I see this all the time. Moms get busy being moms, and, before they know it, twenty years go by, they lose all their teeth, and I'm fitting them with dentures."

"Really?"

He laughed. "Heavens no. But you do need a root scaling, three fillings, two crowns, and we don't have a payment plan."

Me: *throws confetti ironically*

It was a lot of work, but, somehow, I set up a babysitter, grabbed my Kindle, and headed out the door. Even though it would be a king's ransom, it dawned on me that this particular onslaught of dental work would take time. Lots of time. Child-free time. Armed with this demented brain jolt, I practically skipped through the glass door.

"Paige Kellerman. One-forty," I said.

"I apologize, Mrs. Kellerman. It'll be a few moments."

I padded excitedly over to a chair in the corner. "Take all the time you nee, my good woman."

By the time the actual procedure started, I was in heaven. The dental assistant wasn't so sure.

"Are you doing ok, Paige?"

"Uuuuhuuug."

"But you've had two shots of anesthetic, four numbing swabs, and I stuffed a lot of cotton in there."

I nodded and let out a relaxed sigh. Who needed a trip to the Bahamas? This would do.

Two hours later, my teeth had been scraped, drilled, and put back together like a jigsaw puzzle, the only drawback being the inability to move the left side of my face. The dentist did a once-over and asked some final questions.

"Are you in any pain?"

"Nobe."

"If you happen to experience pain, will you let us know?"

"I cab doob dat."

He smiled. "Because we can always have you back, right away, if there are any problems."

"Reabbby?"

He nodded.

Grabbing my purse, I gave him my best Sylvester Stalone smile and said. "Grabte. I call you toborrow."


Unfortunately, my dentist did a fabulous job, and I have absolutely no pain. I guess it's back to my regular mom duties. With better teeth.

But if I crack something again, it's good to know that my body falling apart comes with some perks.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: