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...

"A piece of my tooth just 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?"


"How about next Wednesday?"



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?"


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."


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?"


"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?"


"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."


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:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Old Anxiety Shop

Morning Readers,

How was everyone's Fourth of July?

All Kellermans are accounted for, and no one was hit by a rogue firework, so all's well until next year's fiesta. Nothing like mixing unpredictable children and sparklers, right?


This year, we decided to up our game and turn the danger to eleven. A rainy holiday forced our hand, and before one of us jumped ship and left the other to certain doom, Husband and I had to pow wow.

"I can't. They're literally climbing the walls."

"We have to get out of here."

"Can you hire a nanny on the Fourth of July?"

"This is a terrible time to break it to you, but Mary Poppins was fiction. We'll have to take them with us."

"The antique shop?"

"Sounds good. If you pull the other two off the roof, I'll grab the two on the banister. Wait. Never mind, I think I hear someone hammering in the basement."

The cookouts and plans had been nixed in favor of rain dates. After watching the children climb the doorways and attempt to ride the dog forty times over the course of Tuesday morning, we ran everyone through the downpour, secured car seats, and headed toward our new favorite past time. We simply had to go over the guidelines first:

Antique Store Guidelines

1. Don't touch anything
2. Don't touch anything
3. Don't touch anything if you value your life

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of wandering around a flea market/antique shop, please envision a backless room, stretching toward eternity, filled with nothing but old, yet fascinating things. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't some sort of heaven for me. I'm almost thirty-three. Sitting in a movie theater or going out to a bar doesn't hold nearly the appeal of rummaging around a decaying milk crate, extracting its contents, and shouting, "Are these doilies two for a dollar?"


So after going over the rules, all six Kellermans stormed into the shop and immediately began touching everything. Clay milk jugs and French sideboards. Geriatric barrels and boxes full of old toy cars. It didn't really matter, every grubby little hand held something it'd dug from behind an old radio or a headless dress maker's bust. We really only had one truly loose cannon to deal with.

"Mrs. Jones. No."

I suppose we haven't checked in on the baby lately, have we? She's closing in on two, highly mobile, and thinks she's in charge of the family. She has very curly hair and yells at us a lot. And that's probably enough backstory to get you to the end.

Taking a toddler into a store full of breakables is beyond idiotic, but she seems to have an affinity for salt and pepper shakers that have What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas! scrawled across the front, so it feels wrong to exclude her. But besides the constant picking up of glass items, she has one other habit that concerns me.

"Bae Bae."

Examining the contents of her chubby arms, I shook my head, "No bae bae."

Crestfallen but determined, Mrs. Jones put the highly creepy old fashioned doll in a headlock and glared at me. "My bae bae." 

It sounds mean, but Husband and I have a general rule about what we drag home from the antique shops - no weird dolls. We've seen the movies. Nothing with a bonnet and one, painted glass eye is following me home. Foot down. End of story. So, while Husband dug for records for our new/old record player, I tried to reason with our smallest and keep an eye on everyone else. 

"It's a creepy baby, honey. You have nice ones at home."

She pointed down. "Bae Bae shoes."

"I see the shoes. They look like they were stitched during the Civil War and have a curse on them."

"Preddy hair."

Two ratty, yellow yarn braids flopped over the doll's face, revealing a huge bald spot in the back of her porcelain head. "Sorry, kid. This thing's-"

Just then, one of the twins jumped out from behind a shelf he'd been digging through. "What's this?"

"It's a scythe. Don't touch the bla-"

"I touched the blade."

A crash on a nearby shelf spun me around to find the remaining Kellermans digging through a basket of Star War's toys being over-optimistically sold for forty dollars.

"Can we have all these?"
"If you spread them all out all over the floor, you can really see what's in here. Hey, tell that guy to step over our work area."
"Hey, Mom. If you look in this one's mouth, you think there's only one row of teeth, but surprise! There's two."

For the next hour, we shouldered on, sifting through piles of board games, lifting old roll top desks, and marveling at large collections of Looney Tunes juice glasses, McDonald's Happy Meal boxes, and giant, metal roosters.
If you visit Kansas, you can grab your own. Just ask.
All in all, it was a solid way to spend the Fourth. No one broke anything (I think), and Husband even bought me some gorgeous bedside lamps as an anniversary gift. Did I mention this was an anniversary trip as well? Stop it. You're not allowed to be jealous of our glamorous lifestyle.

But hey, we didn't bring home any creepy, woven dolls. So there's that.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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