Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Last Minute Giveaway!

"Sure, Marlene, this house is drowning in flowered wallpaper, but did you see the Big Book of Parenting Tweets in the bathroom? These Kellermans are a class act."

Morning Readers,

While I run around throwing things into boxes and trying to remember to bring all of the kids with us to the new house, taking a timeout seems especially important.

(It's starting to dawn on me why people only do this once every thirty years, if they can help it. My friendly neighborhood advice is to never move ever. Unless you live next to a sewage plant. Then, consider it, but don't make any hasty decisions.)

What better way to take a breather than to give away free stuff right before the holidays. So, before I run back to buckling the cat in the car and putting the kids in their kennels, take a look at this sweet but blink-and-you-miss-it giveaway...

How would you like a signed paperback of this fabulous book? Currently ranked #2 for Hot New Releases in parenting humor on Amazon, you know you want to stick one on the coffee table, right next to the egg nog and that suspiciously huge bottle of whiskey Aunt June brought.



And another signed copy of some Cankles? Fun Fact: People love to find Cankles under their tree. True story.



Even better? Makeup. That's right, free makeup.
A few days ago, the wonderful Jo at Just Pure Minerals sent me a gift because she loves this here blog. After that, I pretty much consider her a saint, but it gets even better... her product is AMAZING. I might not wear makeup every day, but I'm a lipstick junkie.

She makes vegan lipstick.

It smells delicious.

And she want's to give one, lucky Reader a twenty-five dollar credit to her store for fantastic lip things of your choice. I mentioned that I love her, right?

If you want to see me sporting some of this fab lipstick, here's a clip of me throwing my hands around wildly while I talk about the new book.



Ok, I know y'all know your way around the old Rafflecopter, so I'll leave you to it. In the meantime, I've got to figure out how to shove a mixer, three hundred towels, and a TV into a cardboard box.



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Saying Goodbye To The Split Level

Farewell, old girl.You bent us, but you didn't break us. In fact, you were all right.

Morning Readers,

Sabbatical.

I was all excited to tell you guys that's where I've been, but then I found out that, to go on sabbatical, you have to be a college teacher who needs a break every seven years, so that wasn't even remotely correctly correct.

*High fives the internet*

So it's been more like a hiatus. But you know what? The Kellermans are coming to a neighborhood near you. Or near someone. Possibly one of you guys. Apologies in advance. That's right, we found a house.

House hunting, as it turns out, is a time-consuming business, full of  weirdly laminated surfaces and questionable flooring choices. Sometimes loose dogs. But it's also full of new possibilities and trying to envision yourself sleeping in another bedroom someone else has been sleeping in for the last twenty-nine years. Ok, that part's also awkward. The silver lining is, of course, finding a few of the token things you're looking for in a space, and delighting in finally having your own closet. And a wet bar in the living room.

Readers, the adventures in this new house are going to be amazing. And retro. And does anyone know the quickest way to take down flowered wall paper?

No matter. The new house, you're gonna love it. But seriously, any ideas on re-purposing a wet bar into something functional, like not a wet bar are welcome. More on that later.

In the meantime, let's take a moment to say goodbye to the Split level.

Four years of blog documentation.
Six years of living
387 renovations
One woman who miraculously still has her sanity sort of

(Please note: All pictures were staged so we could hide the fact this house was a big box full of crazy people 24/7, and sell it before the next ice age.)

Not pictured: Person hanging artwork we don't own, precisely one ton of toys, and cat usually hanging off the window like a limp mink throw. When not blogging, I was painting that trim for eight hundred years. 


Where you guys and I hang out. Not pictured: Table as big as small airplane hanger we removed to make people think they could walk to the back door without having to do hurdles. It worked. (It's sweet you thought I blogged from an office of sorts, but I did watch squirrels regularly from here, so basically the same thing.)    
Proof that I have two children. Or that I keep small beds in my house. Not pictured: Children who've turned this space into a genuine reproduction of the storming of the beaches of Normandy
Proof I have a third child. Or an affinity for felt baskets. Not pictured: Baby who thinks he's a Ninja Turtle kicking me in the face. Also, two tons of toys. Fun Fact: Closet has curtains do to the fact shifting homes don't always let you put the doors back on. Financial devastation, turn it into a fun floral activity!
All I'm going to say is there isn't a whole lot gallons and gallons of white pint can't cure. Oh, and yes, that is a picture of a bathtub next to my bathtub. Interior decorating is one of those hobbies no one hires me for because it would be terrifying.
Not pictured: HUGE pile of laundry living next to the vent. Fancy retro makeup table I never used for makeup and more for leaving shreds of my dreams and puddles of shampoo on. 
We did a lot of living in this room. See what I did there? Not pictured: Herds of children fighting more than the cast of Gladiator. Three tons of toys. Me yelling.
Did I never tell you about the weird toilet in the basement? Pictured: Me not using this bathroom ever.
Backyard where we killed two snakes. By, backyard where we killed two snakes. Not pictured: Me running away in horror.
Deck where we did all our entertaining. Obviously. Take a load off. Margarita? Beer? Paint by numbers?
See ya later, Split level. A house well blogged.
Not pictured:

Replaced foundation
New sewer line
New plumbing
New electrical
New outlets
New light fixtures
One cat hanging on the outside of the window


This week is moving week. Can we get everything across town? Will I set up the utilities the same day we move in? Again, still taking wet bar ideas.

I don't know.

What I do know, is you better pack your things and come with. Because it's gonna be great.


Until Next Times, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy the book!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Big News!

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Parenting-Tweets-Featuring/dp/1503189554
Not an actual picture of me on the cover.

Morning Readers,

Besides the obvious hilarity of sneezing hedgehogs, the funny thing I've discovered about life is that you can be casually going about your business, day after day, and, when you least expect it... wham!

(Not the actual band.)

More like awesome days jump out of nowhere. You know, unexpectedly awesome parties, meeting a new friend who thinks you're funny and not awkward, finding out there are three more chocolate cookies in the package when you swore you ate them all in the dark at midnight and then finding twenty dollars next to the now empty box.

It's the good days that make you clap your hands and say, "I can't button my pants from college, but this life thing is pretty, darn good. I still really wish I could snap those St. John's Bays though."

First off, I'm going to shove this out there tentatively, but... we sold the Split level.

We did.

Believe  it. 

I wouldn't lie to you. I love you.

Where are we going? Not sure, but the house hunting process has been bundled in my brain, slated for a book being released in 2017, and will be called, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Don't dig through other people's trashcans, children."

More on that later. We need to talk about the even bigger news today. You may have noticed the gorgeous book cover at the top of this post.That's right, yours truly, along with a hand full of the funniest parents on Twitter is in a new book. My brain's still trying to process how I ended up with such esteemed company, but how I faked my way in doesn't matter now.

What does matter:

The book is released today!
This book is hilarious.
This book is the perfect gift for people who love to laugh.
Looks great on coffee tables, in bathrooms, on night stands, and prominently displayed on counters next to decorative fruit.
Makes the GO-TO present for this holiday season.

Twitter can seem like a terrifying place. So much going on. Why only 140 characters?

But, here's the thing, there's a TON of funny on Twitter, you just need fabulous editors to gather it all together and put all the jokes and one-liners in one place. It's finally been done, and now you don't have to ford the river of social media to get to the other side.

(Is she going to speak in pioneer metephors the entire time?)

Maybe.

You guys know I love exploiting myself via the written word, but did you know I love doing it next to hilarious people like...

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Parenting-Tweets-Featuring/dp/1503189554

 And...



http://www.amazon.com/Big-Book-Parenting-Tweets-Featuring/dp/1503189554


Just think about it, with one, fell swoop, you could order thirty of these babies and be done with your holiday shopping. Nothing says, "I care." like something funny for the bathroom. It's not a sneezing hedgehog, but this book is super close and has something for everyone.

(Also, did I mention that one of my jokes is illustrated in here? That's right, illustrated. It's a little trite to say I can't even right now, but the fact is I can't even.)

So, more on the house hunting adventures later, but, for now, go grab a book I am so very proud of and share a book with a friend... or thirty-five. 

Whatever sounds good to you.


Until Next Time, Readers!

***
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How We Set the Mood

"Those giant sleeves just send me, June. Take this pretzel as a sign of my love."

Morning Readers,

It's been a long time since I let a week go by without checking in here. When I have to take a leave of absence from the blog, it usually means one of two things:

A.) I found a jar of Nutella and had to clear my calendar.
B.) Big things are happening.

*A possible "C" would be my entire family going on vacation without me. Thereby clearing the way for seven consecutive days of sleep. But, it's best not to speak in fairy tales. It raises the heart rate unnecessarily.

For those of you who don't speak in veiled references ninety-nine percent of the time, what I'm getting at are some exciting things happening at the Split level. First off, we may have an offer. May. As in, please-let-us-be-able-to-sell-this-house-and-move-before-the-iron-fist-of-winter-descends-upon-us-all-in-Jesus-name-amen.

All this girl wants is some new digs for Christmas ...and some egg nog. Because no matter how stressful the situation, I'm straight up festive.

The second thing that's had my attention is big. I mean bigger than my pants in the 90s big. I can't say a whole lot about it, but I'm beyond excited to tell you guys all the minute details of a project so awesome, it almost makes me feel like jogging up and down the block.

Almost.

I've been sworn to secrecy, but, in the next two weeks or so, let's just say the holiday shopping season is going to be the bee's knees.

Now then, you may not believe it, but even with all the craziness going on around our humble abode, Husband and I have managed to carve out a little time alone. After we received the good house news, I was the first to kick off celebration time with a more expensive brand of hot dog, drop the kids into some pajamas, and, when all was quiet, breathe a sigh of relief next to my beloved on the couch.

"This really might happen."

Husband smiled and grabbed the iPad, previously broken in the great child fist fight of 2014 and now resurrected miraculously. "I know. It's awesome. What kind of music do you want to listen to?"

I shook my head. "I really don't care. The quiet is a sweet music in itself. Although, I've heard it's always a good time for Ace of Base. You know what we really need?"

"What?"

"A romantic playlist. Don't people do that? I hear they do. One time, on the Discovery Chanel, I saw a study on how when your average male plays something, anything really, by Maroon 5, his chances improve by a full two percent. Fascinating stuff."

Husband nodded and started scrolling through lists of music. "I have just the thing."

Tapping my toes on the laminate in anticipation, I couldn't help thinking tonight would be the night we'd get to first base without the kids waking up.

"Got it." He tapped on the screen. "Should set the mood I think."

I craned my neck. "That's the World of Warcraft soundtrack."

"Yeah, it's great. I'm telling you. I listened to it while I was mowing the yard and the orchestral arrangements are amazing."

"But it's a computer game. An online sensation, but still." My eyes scanned the list. "Taverns, elves, this is something about a forest. I guess that's ok, but I really don't think "forest" works as a decent euphemism anywhere when you're making a romantic playlist."

"Just give it a listen and tell me what you think."

*Fifteen minutes later*

"That's actually really good. Seriously, it transports you to a simpler yet enchanting place. The arrangements are truly on point."

"Right?"

"Totally. I'm gonna make some tea. I really wish we hadn't put the chess board in storage."


That's right. Husband and my actual age is the ripe old figure of eighty.

What's that? More advice on romance?

Line forms to the left, everyone.


Until Next Time, Readers!

***
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Night of the Infestation: Part Two

Just another day on the ranch.

Afternoon Readers,

A Note From the Staff: When I left you yesterday, the Kellermans were being eaten alive. Please feel free to revisit those horrifying details here. Today's exciting (depending on who you ask) conclusion will be told in stills from various teen horror films. Mainly because the early 2000's happened and also because it's Halloween.

Things had reached astronomically bad proportions. The night before, I'd also found insects in our bed.

Our bed.

Where we sleep.

The next morning, I rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom, determined we'd never sell the house and that, somewhere along the line, I must've wandered drunkenly into a mirror shop and burned it to the ground. I sat down and stared blankly.

Suddenly, something bit me. Oh no they didn't. Please Lord, no. 
"Why are you in my pooping space?"
Hundreds of biting dots had infiltrated my only semi-quiet spot in the house. It was time to go to war.
I quickly got to work researching how to get rid of a house filled with bugs:

Wash everything you own every day.
Clean the house every day.
Spray the house every day.
Burn house to the ground.

Husband, having exited stage left for work, called to check in. "How's the situation today?"


"They said I have to wash the sheets every day."

Husband was quiet for a minute, proceeding carefully, before he answered. "I think you should bomb the house and take the kids out for the day."

I choked back tears. "Wait, what does that mean?"

"Well, you'll have to take everyone to the hardware store, buy a few cases of insecticide, put them in every room, strap the kids in the car, go back in, set everything off, run back out, keep the kids busy for two hours somewhere else, come back, open all the windows to air it out, leave for another hour, come back, and everything should be fine.

"What?"
I was a woman on the edge. Sure, that plan sounded about as solid as jello, but, desperate times. The baby was covered in bites. Fleas poured from every crack and crevice. We had a showing at five. Earlier, I'd wandered into the laundry room and my legs had been covered with insects who didn't care if I made it to the fabric softener or not. I put the plan into action. 

Three hours later...

"Hello, fleas? How'd the irradiation go?"
But there were no fleas. Peace had settled back over the house, and the constant biting subsided. Husband and I relaxed knowing all we had to do now was wash everything we owned. For those of you who've never had the pleasure, it's not just the full grown biting fleas you have to worry about. They lay eggs in everything, carpet, sheets, and....

"They're in the kids hair. They. Are. In. The. Children's. Hair."

Something had gone terribly wrong with operation "Bomb all the things." I pushed back tears as I combed through Doc's curls and realized there was a whole colony of disgusting insects taking up residence on his scalp. Oh, and on the other children too.

No one would ever invite us anywhere. "The Kellermans? No, sweetie. Light that birthday invitation on fire. Their kids have fleas."

Husband tried to talk me down. "It'll be ok. I promise."

"It'll be ok after I regulate."

"What does that mean?"

"I have to go."

My plan was simple; Wash everything, sweep twice a day, mop twice a day, vacuum twice a day, and, after 8pm, drink until I couldn't form thoughts anymore. This was a great plan, right up until....

"And that main drain will be six thousand dollars and no water for a week."

At which point, I had a talk with God, and I was rational as always.

"What do you want from me? Huh?"
But my kids had fleas and something needed to be done. I swept, mopped, took laundry elsewhere. I'm also not ashamed to say I cried... a lot. Every day, I woke up and stuck my head out the window, waiting for the locusts and turned on the news to check the forecast. "Today will cloudy, cold, and a pillar of fire is headed towards Kansas.

By the end of last week, I looked like this.


The good news is I kept up the insane cleaning, found a magic combination chemicals that may or may not cause hallucinations, and I destroyed every, last flea. I'm feeling a little more like this.



But we still have to sell this house. Sweet saints in Heaven, please sell this house.

Happy Halloween, Readers!



***
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Night of the Infestation: Part One

"Do you ever just wish you could stand on the porch in some high-wasted pants and be left alone?"

Morning Readers,

I haven't been very honest with you these past few weeks.

Sure, I made it sound like a barrel of laughs around here. Raining ceilings, rotten plumbing, making sure there were decorative hand towels in the bathroom for strangers, how could you not think we'd been permanently anchored in the lap of luxury? But, silently, a battle was being waged, a battle so disturbing, I couldn't even write about it. Are you ready for this week's tale of terror?

Are you ready for me to recount it with stills from Halloween because that's the most recent horror movie I watched?

What's that?

True, I love The Birds as well, but Tippi Hedren doesn't apply distinctly to this situation, and for that, I'm grateful.

It began on a dark and stormy night....

Actually, it was a really early morning because the baby thinks 5am is an acceptable time to start living.  He's trying to kill me. He also needs toast. Be right back.

Now then, unsuspecting, I'd started the coffee, plopped down on the couch, and prepared myself for an hour of the Wiggles, when I felt the first bite.

"Did anyone feel that? No? Probably just those gosh dern hallucinations again."
Drawing on my power to ignore almost everything, I shrugged it off... until, it happened again. And again. My feet were en fuego as I looked down to see ankles entirely engulfed with black, seething ocean of insects. I tried not to panic.

"What is it? Someone sedate me. Sedate me, now."

We were stranded on the couch. Beneath us, the floor hopped and rolled with the tide of black dots, hundreds, maybe thousands, moving in an erratic and terrifying storm. Horrified, I realized they'd started to climb the Forest Green couch cover. You know what shows up on Forest Green?

Nothing.

Slowly, they began to cover the area, biting, pinching, threatening to swallow us into some sort of no man's land of welts and staged decor. Like always, I stayed calm while I called Husband. "Hey, babe. How's it going?"

 "We're all gonna die."

"What do you mean?"

I whacked three dots off my arm. "There's a veritable sea of death trying to eat me and the children. Just called to tell you goodbye and also that I left you three pairs of clean underwear in the top of the closet."

"Hmm, sounds like the dog left us fleas. Hello? Hey, are you there? Paige?" 

"Sorry, I got distracted by being eaten alive. Please call back later."

The scale of the problem? I wasn't quite sure, but I suddenly had flashbacks about the good people at Frontline expounding on the importance of putting flea collars on your pet in a timely manor. Fools, all of us. Slowly I moved through the house, throwing open doors, kicking over furniture, and, most importantly, staying cool and collected.


Maybe they were just downstairs. Perhaps they hadn't infiltrated the upstairs. Surely there couldn't be so many they'd be in every crack and crevice and....

From the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I dropped to the floor of my room to get a better look.

I dropped to the floor of the twin's room.

I dropped to the floor of the baby's room.

Every, square inch undulated with the fear I'd been hoping was just another trophy in my collection of paranoia.

"Not my babies."


Doc had woken up with strange bites all over him and now I knew why. Infestation. Why had we named the dog Flea? Why had we tempted fate in such an egregious way? Everywhere I turned, black dots hopped off everything, the nagging feeling of being bitten every five point five seconds threatening to drive me insane just in time for Halloween. At least I wouldn't need a costume.

How would we sell the house?

How did one get rid of a full-scale invasion?

Had one just made it's way into the waistband of my shorts? Ouch. Yes, it had.

I stood in the middle of the living room, being bitten and weeping softly. One thing was for sure...

"Three cases of beer, please."

Are the bugs here to stay?

Is there enough liquor in the world?

Will Paige go on an eradication spree so fierce she'll have to change her last name to Killerman? 

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion....

Until Next Time, Readers!





Tuesday, October 21, 2014

To Show A House

"Let me in. I forgot to put up the decorative towels!"

Morning Readers,

OK, that's a lie. I'm actually typing this in the dead of night because daytime around here has been closer to insanity than I'm comfortable with.

That's saying a lot. We wade so deeply into that grey area, most of you are probably just saying, "Mmmhmm."

*Insert knowing nod here*

Last week was a rough one. I could sugar coat it and expound on the glories of not having running water, but I smelled bad and the dishwasher smelled bad, and the kids started smelling really bad, so I had to take them to their Grandma's to bathe, and I'm pretty sure if I'd been born a pioneer, a deer would've eaten me out of spite for my poor survival skills. 

The good news is the main drain is working. Praise Jesus. Seriously, I owe the Lord a Lemon Poppy Seed cake or something. But it'll have to be boxed because He gave me skills, but that comes down to being able to juggle and not bake.

Moving on.

Although the Split level may have been out of commission in the waterworks area, it didn't stop the Kellermans from showing the house and explaining that, yes, the toilets don't work, but that buyers could still buy this house for the low low price of my tears and a stick of gum. Thankfully, we've had quite a few interested parties. Unfortunately, they're parties who want to throw a party without us and not buy the house.

"Keep your strong face. Never let them see you cry." I whispered to the four donuts I ate of frustration on Saturday. 

Not unlike my experience with various leg waxes, this process of hope and rejection is a little harder to bear than I thought. Do you know how difficult it is to keep a house perfectly clean all the time, when you have kids living there? Do you know how hard it is to keep a house perfectly clean when I'm living there?

Fortunately,  I've managed to skim a few notes off the top of this whole fiasco.


How To Show A House So You Almost Sell It

1.) Don't let your baby pull the keys off your laptop. This makes emergency emails to your agent look like, "Hlp! Drain brok n' toilt wonT floosh! Not so gr8t."

2.) Make sure everything is staged appropriately. Broken blinds rolled up. Barbeque grill positioned as if you use it. Couch angled in a jaunty way that doesn't advertise a toddler used it for base jumping at noon. 

Wait.. 

Did you remember to laugh hysterically while organizing the coats by size and color?

3.) Wipe everything down. No, really wipe it. That half-assed thing you do where you chip half that piece of macaroni off the table and call it good won't work. Get out the Clorox wipes and earn your keep. 

4.) Start throwing everything on your counter into the cabinets. Lettuce with the wine glasses, coffee pot next to the trash bags, cats on top of dogs. Really, this part is madness. The people coming to view the house will also view you as someone who keeps that screw-off bottle of wine in the medicine cabinet, but at least it looks tidy.

5.) Shout at the kids to help you.

6.) Suddenly remember your kids are at an age where they still think artfully placing a Pillow Pet on the porch will draw in potential buyers. Run around screaming, "Who hid the dust pan?" instead.

7.) Make the beds, wash the windows, scrub the toilets, mop the floors, and vacuum like your life depends on it. Didn't Disney promise you birds at this point in your life? Where are the squirrels who are supposed to be sandblasting the tub with Scrubbing Bubbles?

8.) Re-examine everything that's wrong with your house. Is thirty minutes enough to renovate the kitchen?

9.) Turn all the lights on. Turn them on again after the kids walk behind you turning them off. Repeat this step three times.

10.) Pack all the kids in the van and hope for the best. Receive following text message from spouse:

"Did you know you left one of the toilet seats up and a kid pooped in it?"


So yeah, we should be out of here by 2017. Plenty of time to enjoy our brand new drain.  Plenty of time.


Until Next Time, Readers!

***
Like what you read here? Buy the book!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: