Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When You're In Over Your Head: Whatever Happened to Flea? Part II

Hide yo couches and hide yo electrical cords, because I'm eating everything up in here.

Morning Readers,

It was two in the morning when I got kicked in the face.

"What? What the hell is going on?"

Confused, I looked around and realized I was blind. No, not blind, but something was sitting on my head that was fat and wiggling around. It attempted to bite my nose off.

"Ouch! What? Why? Why are you doing that?" I hit the person next to me. "Wake up. He's eating my face. Wake up, right now. This was your doing, so I'm going to need you to intervene. And there goes my hair. He's going to drag me off this bed by my hair. Help me. Help. Me."

Groggily, Husband sat up and grabbed the chocolate Lab puppy off my face and plopped him down between us. "But he's really cute, right?"

I rubbed the spot where he'd bitten off half my ear. "Oh, he's cute all right. Cute enough to drive me frickin' nuts." Gingerly, I massaged the scratch marks on my left cheekbone. "Do you think this'll heal or should I buy one of those half masks like the Phantom of the Opera?"

With a grunt, the little, brown dog burrowed into the blankets and looked up at us, completely nonplussed. Husband patted him on the head then rolled back over. "He'll learn. And thank you, it means a lot to me. Really."

I punched the side of the pillow. "That's nice. But remember, I only do one favor a year requiring I be mauled in my sleep." Sighing, I rolled back over and tried to salvage some rest. Well, until I was woken up again at 3am, 4am, and 5am. Oh, and let's just throw in 6am too.

You may have guessed already, but I'm not an animal person. On a scale of animal cruelty to PETA, I fall at about an Owen Wilson in Marley and Me. I put up with them. They grow on me. Eventually I'm fairly attached and start asking them questions like, "How do I look in this dress?" Or, "If you were doing taxes, would this be a deduction?" So, no, I don't go search them out. Husband finds them and lovingly leaves them with me 24/7. Which is why, a week before Easter, he found me completely unamused in the kitchen, after work.

"You mean you're getting me a dog."

Husband shook his head. "Listen, it's a great idea. Me, you, the kids, he'll be for everyone. We can pick him up Saturday."

My hand spasmed and I dropped the ladle I was holding into the soup pot. "This Saturday? As in, the day before Easter?"

"Uh. Yes."

"That's the worst idea ever."

"It'll be fine."

"If by fine you mean celebrating the resurrection of the good Lord Jesus by potty training a puppy while I handle every other detail of getting ready for a family holiday, then, yes, it'll be fine."

"So, that's a yes?"

I tried again. "Hey, remember when we just had a baby four months ago?"


"That was fun. I think my c-section incision finally healed."

"Soooo... what do you think?"

And that's how Ned Yost came home. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Ned Yost is the manager of our beloved KC Royals. Unfortunately, all our Ned has manged, so far, is to keep us up at night and poop on everything we own. Right now, he's biting my wrist and making me reevaluate whether Husband I truly communicate or just mime suggestions at each other to see what sticks.


Oh, and if you're wondering, Easter was pretty much what you'd expect. The dog didn't sleep, the Easter Bunny showed up, and I wore giant sunglasses to hide both under-eye circles and my many misgivings about life up to this point. Any spare time was spent eating chocolate and crying quietly.

But holla for Reeses egg season, amiright?

Lord help us all.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Whatever Happened To Flea?

Creepy guys in bow ties bothering you? Forget the pepper spray and grab a Great Dane.

Morning Readers,

Those of you who've been hanging out with me here for the last few years are ridiculously smart. So chances are good you've wondered once or twice...

Whatever happened to the dog?

She has a dog, right?

No, Paige most definitely has a dog. It's in her blog description. It's literally designed into the header of the website. I'm not crazy.

Here's the thing. We got rid of Flea a long time ago.

(No, no, no. He's not dead. We both had strong personalities, but if someone was getting offed, he would've taken me out first. Hands down. Street fights between housewives and 100 lb Boxers tend to end that way.)

When we sold the Split Level, the dog was forced to find a new, temporary residence. The residence turned into a permanent residence, and the transition was made. But how did it come about? Well let's see. Somewhere between packing a billion boxes, watching three kids, meticulously cleaning the house so it would be ready to show, and the great flea epidemic of 2014, this happened.

"Out. I want him out."

Husband stopped chasing fleas with the wet mop long enough to stare at me. "What? Who? Are you talking to me?"

"No, you can stay." Shaking my head, I bent down to find an outlet. "Although, this whole thing is kind of your fault, so check with me after I finish vacuuming the stairs for the eighth time today."

He looked dumbfounded before he asked. "How? How is this my fault?"

I ticked the reasons off on my hand. "First, you talked me into the dog. Second, you named him Flea. Third, fully embracing the irony, you didn't treat him for one of nature's most disgusting insects, and now I'm sleeping with them. I found thirty-three of them in the sheets last night. Thirty-three! there's more action in that queen bed than a romantic comedy on acid."

Husband shrugged then lunged at a hopping, black mass by the dining room table. "It could've happened to anybody. I just forgot. Besides, Flea's a really good dog."

He was a really good dog. Mostly. Sure, the house was crawling with pestilence. And there were the times he ran right through the screen door. Oh, and the mud, and the howling when the baby was sleeping, and-

"He's got to go. At least for a little while. We'll never sell this house if I'm constantly fighting bugs and wiping up dog dirt off the kitchen floor. It's hard enough keeping the kids from dismantling the whole place, before the realtor gives me the five minute warning"

Husband was quiet for a minute before answered. "Ok. Just for a little while. I think someone can take him for a few weeks, and then we'll move him into the place."

I let out a relieved sigh and stamped two fleas, who were climbing the curtains, in celebration. "Great. Thank you."

"But it's just temporary."


And he never came back.

That sounds heartless, but the fact was, selling and moving took a lot longer than anticipated, and Flea just sort of got used to living with our friends. He was super happy, so why move him? All signs pointed towards a dog-free house and no more hair in every crevice of my life. After a year of settling in at the Oak Palace, things are finally on an even keel. No one barks at the mailman. A 100lb couch doesn't drag mud all over the living room after a storm. Dog farts are a thing of the past. Not to mention the food budget. Did you know that, if you eat Ramen forever, you can feed a small Boxer for 8,000$ a month?

But that was last week. This week, Husband marched into the kitchen, after work, and smiled the smile that usually disrupts my well-laid plans.

"So, I have an idea."

To be continued.....

Oh, and before I forget, if you're local to the Kansas City area, Husband and I will be The 5th Annul Chef's Classic on April 16th. So, if you're looking for an awesome date night and want to hang out, drink wine, and inhale fantastic food with me, go grab a ticket! (I'll try not to eat everything before you get there.)

Tickets are 50-100$ and give you a front row seat to watching some of KC's most notable chefs throw down for a great cause. I can't wait. Someone get me some brazed duck and a glass of wine stat.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Breaking: Fourth Child Rolls Over. Woman Loses Her Mind Like It's the First.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the most potentially talented baby of all?

Did you know it's the ancient art of Kindergarteners kicking off spring break? Because it is, complete with me hiding in the bathroom while Sundance yells, "Mom, come on down," into the mike.

Probably just gonna hide here behind the toilet paper reserves for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I love having all four hooligans home with me, but there has been an increase in questions and one too many observations about how I'm aging. 

Not to mention, my special stash of Fiber One bars keep disappearing, the M&Ms are gone, and I've refereed an amount of fights that would make Mike Tyson uncomfortable. All in all though, things are pointing toward the promise of warmer weather and everything that comes with it.

Open that pool.
Bring on the flip flops.
Make the baby self sufficient.

Have I mentioned how much we love the Little Lady? She's both fat and sassy. I'm constantly torn between enjoying her babyness and willing her to do things besides chew on her own feet. The one thing that really astounds me is how excited I still get when one of our offspring learns how to do new things. I'm actually fairly annoying about it.

Me: Well, would you look at that?

Husband: What?

Me: The baby, she's smiling!

Husband: Mmm hmm.

Me: How can you be so nonchalant?

Husband: Hasn't she been doing that for like a month?

Me: Three months and two days, but it's such a relief. The other ones frown at me so much, it's nice to know her facial muscles work and that her amount of disdain for us may be more of a three on a scale of one-to-ten, rather than the seven the other kids are running at.

Hope springs eternal with every new child you bring into your home. It's why the smiles, the cooing, and the flailing when they see a ceiling fan are so endearing. This one is keeping up with the pack, you tell yourself. This one likes me. This one will bring home the Nobel Prize for pioneering self-cleaning water so my existence hasn't been in vain.

She will never be in a bad mood.
She will clean her toys without being told.
She will pick my nursing home.

Last night, Husband I laid on the bed, the baby between us while we hashed out the day's events. 

"So, we were really busy, but the traffic wasn't too-"

I held up a hand. "Shhh."


"Did you not see it?" I asked. "She rolled all the way over."

He shook his head. "No, but I believe you. All the kids do it."

I let out a frustrated sigh and motioned to the baby. "But this was different. She's rolling towards greatness. I can feel it. She has dreams, and those chubby, little hands are reeeeeaching out for them. Maybe she'll become a chess master, or make longer documentaries than Ken Burns."

Husband shrugged and sat up. "Or she's rolling away from you."

"Just like the rest of them," I agreed. 

A moment of silence passed between us before Husband ruffled the baby's freakishly full head of hair and headed for the door. "Well, I should probably go downstairs."

"Why's that?"

"All three of the others learned how to roll, run and dismantle, years ago. And it's way too quiet down there."

"Right. But that's old news." I grabbed the baby before she could move toward the edge of the bed. "Let me know if they've rolled anywhere near my Fiber One bars though. I have a suspicion the three-year-old's to blame. Kid's been way more regular than the rest of the house."

Kidding myself is a favorite pastime. I'm well aware the Little Lady will soon join the melee that is kid fights and climbing inside kitchen cabinets to chew on rouge packets of taco seasoning. I've got a rag-tag group, but this year has been filled with people learning to read and others taking themselves to the bathroom at 2am. Life's pretty good. I just want them to leave me some M&Ms.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the 4pm Karaoke session is about to start. I'm on in five. Be sure to tip your waitress.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Call Me Lazarus

I'll take five Smaky's, please.

Evening Readers,

I know, I know.

You thought I was dead. Again. I assume this because I'm over-dramatic and it comforts me to think that when I leave the internet for weeks at a time, the public begins to set up funds for flowers or donates cups of coffee to people in need, in my memory.

While we're on the topic, if I ever do shove off this mortal coil before I have a chance to fully revel in any sort of mid-life crisis, please proceed as such...

You: Here, Random Stranger, enjoy an Irish coffee in memory of the late Paige Kellerman.
Random Stranger: Who?
3You: She wrote a mediocre blog and a few books that ended up in the .5 cent bin at the local library sale.
Random Stranger: Oh.
You: Enjoy!

The fact is, the person who died was actually my faithful, old laptop. Six years young, she finally had enough and decided to, um, never function again.

What's a writer/blogger/hermit to do when such a horrendous thing occurs? Answer: She must wait until her tax return is lovingly deposited in her account before she can stumble into a local  computer merchant and look like an idiot while she asks questions like, "Does it have a screen?" and, "Where is the power button, again?"

Honestly, it didn't even go that smoothly. In the last six years, technology has done a superb job of passing me by, so when I finally found where they were holding the laptops hostage, I looked and felt so out of place, I'm fairly shocked they didn't drag me out, on grounds my trembling was, undoubtedly, caused by the lack of nerves needed for a first-time foray into shoplifting.

Hands in pockets, I shuffled around the aisle. Why were computers either two dollars or ten thousand?

If it was cobalt blue, did it make it run faster?

Was an optical drive advanced technology, or a special computer made to assist the blind?

"Excuse me. Do you need help?"

Clearing my throat, I looked up nervously. "More than you know. Literally on all fronts of my life. Right now, I pretty much just need something that reliably types words. We can talk about my need to avoid conflict later."

At about seven feet tall, the computer guru looked down at the confused, pink-sweatshirt-clad woman in her thirties and tried not to make any sudden movements, the threat of spooking her an immediate concern. "If you tell me what you're looking for, I'll try and match you up with something."

"I- Well, um. It needs to be a computer."

He didn't smile or laugh. Clearly, he was in the presence of an idiot who though RAM was something which roamed hillsides in numerous pastoral works. Instead, a heavy look of concern planted itself on his face before he said, "What do you need it for most?"

"To make waffles. Haha... I mean, I'm a writer. I need to write words and, you know, er, check my spelling on Google?"

His look of concern stayed put, his right eyebrow raising slightly. This was now a rescue mission. "Ok, for your price point, this is what you want." He motioned to a shelf above, which held a modest, black laptop. "The most storage for your money, and the best function."

I raised my hand. "Does- Um. Does it... "


My brain went blank. "Sorry. I had questions before I walked in here, and now I couldn't even tell you where I parked."

With all the lightheartedness of a pallbearer, he nodded like he'd had this type of exchange more times in his life than he cared to. His only job now, to make sure his newest customer didn't hurt herself. He watched me look around wildly for a moment, before he replied. "If I were you, this is what I'd get." He stared at me long and hard.


"You have anti-virus?"

"I- "

"Here." He shoved a disk in my hand. "This is the best."

"Well, I was using a different program but-"

"That was good five years ago. This is good now." He turned his head slightly as he called over his shoulder, careful to keep his eyes on me, lest I start pressing buttons on things I had no business buying. "Gary? Go grab a new one from the back."

Weakly, I pointed at a glowing HP. "That one's pretty."

"Mam, your purchases are up at register seven." He nodded in the direction of the checkout, a sense of finality emanating from his being. He would save this non-gaming, non-giga-byte-knowing being from herself. He just needed to get her to the finish line. Then he could rest.

The whole exchange took about five minutes.

Dazed, I hauled my new friend out to the van and nestled it into the passenger seat. We'd get used to each other, work side-by-side. We'd been thrown on the beat together by some sort of computer police captain, and now we had to work the rough streets of the web as a team. I rested my head on the steering wheel and sighed. "I'm sorry you got stuck with me, but we're going to do some really awesome, mediocre things together."

So, here I am. Back in the game. Which is really great because I have stories to tell and coffee to drink, while I stare at my new, blinking cursor.

And I'm so glad it came with a cursor. Because I forgot to ask about that too.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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