Well That Was…..Something

My absolute favorite thing to blog about is any time I make a complete and utter fool of myself. Luckily for all of us, I have such a story!

Last night I went to the gym. Weirdly, this is how many of my good, ridiculous, Jennifer-is-an-idiot stories begin.

The gym I go to is a sort of boot camp with instructor- led, daily classes. The class on this particular night used TRX bands, which are bands that hang from a bar near the ceiling and look like this:

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They can be used for all kinds of upper body and lower body exercises. I actually enjoy using them, but they can be a little awkward at times, especially trying to get my feet in and out of them.

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In case there was any question, the above images are NOT me. Just a stock photo.

So, back to last night. One of the exercises we were supposed to do involved putting one foot in both straps and doing a lunge. Like this:

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Again… Not me.

I managed to gracefully get my foot in the bands, which was a small miracle. I even managed to perform the exercise quite gracefully. A large miracle.

And then. THEN! It was time to move on to another exercise. I pulled my right foot out of the band, but only one band came off. The other band was stuck to the bottom of my shoe. My left foot slipped out from under me, and before I could stop myself I started falling.

I was holding on to the TRX bands with my hands and my left foot flew up in the air and I started SWINGING on the band. And screeching! I was startled! I was screeching and swinging through the air on the band like Tarzan.

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On second thought, Tarzan has good abs. I do not. I was more like a howler monkey. The sound that was emanating from my mouth was definitely just like a howler monkey.

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Mind you, I was not alone in this class.  Oh no. It was pretty packed, actually. So, not only was I swinging through the air and screaming, I was also banging in to the people around me. I was virtually a wrecking ball.

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I managed to extricate my foot from the band but I was laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. I finally looked around at the other people in the class who were all looking at me blankly.

“Are you okay?” one finally asked, very seriously.

“Um, yeah. I’m okay.”

Everyone went back to their business. I managed to finish my workout without further incident, but I had an awkward smile on my face as I tried not to burst out laughing at myself and my ridiculousness.

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When I got to my car, I called my friend Kristin, who has been to the classes with me because I had to tell someone my story. Someone who would laugh, and not just stare at me like I’m a weirdo.

She didn’t answer, so I left a message on her voice mail. It basically sounded like this:

“Kristin! Oh my God! I have to tell you what happened tonight at the gym! So we were using the TRX bands, and I — LOUD GUFFAW– My foot got stuck and I –SNORTING– I was swinging on the band and screaming and I — no noise for a few seconds as I am laughing so hard no sound is coming out — And everyone just stared at me!”

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She apparently got the gist of my obnoxious voice mail because she texted me later laughing at with me, as I knew she would. She praised me for being a good sport.

I don’t think I laughed at myself because I’m a good sport.  I think I laughed at myself because picturing a slightly overweight, grown-ass woman swinging around on a TRX band and banging into young, fit, serious gym-goers is FUNNY. Even if I am said woman.

Unfair Reasons I Get Mad at My Husband

Yesterday morning I was really mad at my husband. I woke up furious.  He said “good morning” and I shot daggers at him instead of answering. I stomped around in the bathroom as we were getting ready for work, slamming drawers and sighing loud sighs.

“Are you upset?” he asked.

What made you deduce that, genius?

“Yes!” I replied with an eye roll.

“With me?”

He really is clueless sometimes.

“Yes”.

“Um…. what did I do?”

Ugh. Do I have to spell everything out for him?

“I had a dream that I was trying to clean the house and the kids were running all around and had a bunch of friends over and they spilled Cheetos on the floor and stepped all over them and ground them into the carpet and then spilled juice all over and you were sitting on the couch with a beer watching football. I asked you to help me and you told me to wait until the game was over!”

He looked at me.

“Wait. So you’re mad at me for something I did in a dream?”

“No, I’m made at what you didn’t do and the fact that that particular scenario could easily play out in real life. I’m mad that you didn’t even think to help me. You can be so selfish sometimes.”

He stared at me.

“I’m sorry?” he tried.

“Is that an apology or a question?”

He kept staring at me.

“I have no idea what I am supposed to say right now.”

He looked so confused and forlorn that it made me realize how crazy I was being. I guess it is slightly insane to hold a grudge over something that my mind made up while we were both sleeping, right? Truth be told, that’s not the first time I’ve been pissed off at him over some transgression he did in a dream.

It made me think of all the other unfair times I get mad at him that make no sense:

Weight Loss

I can go an entire month of eating only lettuce and kale and lose a total of 1.5 lbs. He can eat a Reduced Fat Oreo instead of a regular Oreo one time and lose 20 lbs. What in the holy hell? So unfair. And so infuriating. But he can’t help that his male metabolism is still functioning any more than I can help that mine died an untimely death many years ago, I guess. I still get mad at him, though.

Our children do not ask him to do anything

Literally nothing. What is up with that? They will walk right past him while he is sitting on the couch watching football with a beer (SEE! That dream was based TRUTH!) to come find me while I am up to my elbows in dishes and have 15 baskets of laundry at my feet to tell me they are hungry and want a snack. Are you for serious right now?!?! ASK YOUR %*#^@ing FATHER! Of course, I don’t actually scream obscenities at my children. Instead, I march over to my dear husband and yell at him to help his children. Again, he looks confusedly at me and doesn’t understand why I am mad at him.

He can wake up, brush his teeth, and be ready for the day

There is no blow dryer, flat iron, foundation, mascara, eyeshadow,or leg shaving involved in his morning routine. I don’t think this is very fair. Do you know what I could do with that extra 45 minutes of sleep? Probably have more dreams about him pissing me off, for one.

Speaking of leaving the house, my dear husband can just leave the house

When it is time to go somewhere, he grabs his car keys, his wallet, and his phone and he is ready to go. I have to make sure the kids are all wearing shirts and shoes and don’t have syrup on their faces, feed the cat, put a load of laundry in, make sure the oven is turned off and the crock pot is turned on, and lock all the doors. Am I the only one that can do things around here? Would my husband help me if I asked him to? Of course. Should I have to ask him? I don’t think so. He should just know. So, basically, I get mad at him because he doesn’t read my mind.

He doesn’t get a period

Every month I am reminded of this fact, and every month it pisses me off.

Now, I am generally a fairly reasonable person. I know that it is unfair to expect my husband to be a mind reader. I know that it is very unreasonable to get upset for something that didn’t even happen in real time and only occurred in my head. I know that I do not really wish for my husband to get a period, that would not be good for any of us. I know these things, but I still get mad at times that don’t make sense. Sue me.

This Land is Our Land

When I woke up this morning, my heart hurt. It hurt for all the people in our country who feel that their voices aren’t heard, that their opinions don’t matter, that their worth is somehow less because of the color of their skin. It hurt for all the people who were feeling that the best choice for the leader of our country was someone who belittles and bullies.

Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”, is not one I can support. Of course I want my country to be great. It’s the “again” that I can’t stand behind. America has never been great. America has been great for a small percentage of its inhabitants. America has been great for white men. For the rest of the population: women, minorities, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, America has been a work in progress. I woke up this morning petrified that the years and years of work that has been done to help make America great for the non-white males of our country will not go backwards. That a president who speaks disparagingly about these groups of individuals will not make our country a horrible place to live.

But what is great about America is its people. I am proud to live in a country where we can be free to believe what we want, to say what we choose, and to think for ourselves. One flawed human being cannot change who we are as a people. We can wake up this morning and love, live, and be kind. The future of our country is not in the hands of one person. It is in all our our hands. How we treat each other, how we teach our children, how we choose to live.

Social media this morning is full of questions. The biggest one being “What do we tell our children?”

Here’s what we tell our children. We tell them what we’ve been telling them since the day they were born. We tell them how to be good people. We tell them to stand up for the underdogs. We tell them that life is not always fair, but we should always strive to be. We tell them that love is more powerful than hate. We tell them to use their minds and hearts to decide how they want to live, and not be swayed by hate and prejudice. We continue to raise our children to be the best people they can be. They are the future leaders of our country. How we raise them is more important than who is in office the next four years.

My heart is hurting, but it is also full of hope. This land is OUR land. We make it great by what we do each day. For our children and for each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls Night Out vs. Guys Night Out

We’ve all heard it; we’ve all said it. Being a mother is hard. Yes, of course, it is the most rewarding thing we will ever have the privilege to do. But it is also one of the hardest. Anyone who claims otherwise is full of shit. Sometimes moms need a break. Being able to hang out with friends over cocktails and appetizers to commiserate can be just what the doctor ordered. If your doctor is not ordering time with the girls- you should probably find a new doctor.

I am lucky to have a group of friends with whom I regularly get together once a month. We have been having our Girls Nights Out for many years now and have helped each other through pregnancies, crazy jobs, newborn troubles, toddler years, school issues, marital issues, illnesses, etc. I honestly think I would go crazy if I didn’t have these friends to vent to, to cry with, and to laugh with.

Ironically, we go out to have a break from our family and the household responsibilities, but 98% of our time is spent talking about our kids and/ or our husbands; usually both. And while we’re all blessed to have pretty great husbands, the conversation inevitably gravitates to what bumbling idiots our husbands are and how nothing would ever get done in our houses without us around. I would venture to bet that if I sat in on any dinner with other moms out for the night, their conversations would be similar.

I actually don’t think my husband is a bumbling idiot. So why, then, do I complain about him when I am with my girlfriends? I suppose it is because I feel I can vent and commiserate with friends who can relate to my frustrations. Yes, there are times that I wish he would do more around the house and I wish he would do them MY way. Rather than nag him at home about those things, I just vent to my friends and move on. We all do it. But I would be horrified if I thought he was complaining about me when he was hanging out with his buddies.

It made me wonder what guys do talk about.

Read rest here

Approaching Life Like a Child

Sometimes I look at my kids and marvel at how their innocence and ability to have not a care in the world. Usually their biggest concern on any given day is whose turn it is to use the iPad. While I am laying in bed worrying about the Zika virus, child abductions, work obligations, how in the world I am ever going to keep up with the laundry in the house, the ridiculousness of our country’s current political state, cellulite, world hunger, who will win America’s Got Talent, etc., my sweet cherubs are sleeping soundly in their beds dreaming about Minecraft. If I could bottle up the innocence of my children and keep it for myself, my life would be much less stressful.

Unfortunately, I can’t do that. But if I could take some tips from my kids’ attitudes towards life and adopt them as my own, here’s where I would start:

  1. Saying NO

Kids are pros at saying no. Do you want broccoli? No. It’s time for bed. No. How much easier would life be if I could easily say ‘no’ with the same abandon. You should come to the PTA meeting this Tuesday. No. Please send a gluten- free, sugar-free, GMO- free, antibiotic-free, made in America, store packaged, healthy snack for your precious snowflake every day so she can have an afternoon snack while we listen to relaxing Botswananian bongo music. No. She’s in 4th grade. She will not starve. No. Being able to say “no” is empowering and freeing. I wish I was as good at it as my kids.

Read rest here

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What Birthday Party Themes Would Be if They Were Based on My Kids’ Obsessions

A story was recently trending about a boy who had a Target themed birthday party because he is obsessed with all things Target. It made me think of all the themed birthday parties we have had for our three kids over the years. There have been princesses, pirates, farm animals, monkeys, and dinosaurs. While the kids have loved their parties, the themes were mainly chosen more by what I could pull off at the time and less about what their obsessions of the day were.

If I had planned their birthday parties around their ever-changing obsessions, our birthday party history would look something like this:

Age 1: A “Throwing Food off the High Chair” Party

This party would be a fun-filled event full of finger foods and colorful bibs. Party games would include seeing who can throw those baby Puffs and Cheerios onto the floor the fastest and swatting at a spoon full of pureed sweet potatoes. Bonus points if the food sticks to the wall. The menu would involve baby cereal and those gross little meat stick things.

Age 2: A “No” Party

This would have been the easiest party to plan. No presents, no food, no decorations, the answer to every question would be no. Of course, the soundtrack for the party would be Meghan Trainor’s “No”. For an added treat, lots of “mines” could be thrown in there, too.

Age 3: The “I’ll Do it Myself” Party

This party is a parent’s dream. You don’t have to do anything, because, no matter what you do, your three year old will want to do it himself. Cleanup for this party will be a bitch, though. Three year olds want to pour juice themselves, but aren’t very adept at it yet.

Read rest here

Cheat Sheet to Decode What Your Wife is Saying 

We have all heard the complaints from men that they don’t understand women. Why don’t we just say what we mean? I like to think that I am a pretty straight forward, say what I mean kind of gal. Sometimes, however, even though I am visibly upset, when my husband asks “What’s wrong?” I respond with “Nothing.”
Why do I do this? Well, probably because saying “nothing” is a lot easier than saying “I am exhausted from taking care of the kids, the cat, the house and the yard during the summer while you are in an air conditioned office, eating lunch by yourself, while I am cleaning up the floor for the 8th time today because someone spilled something AGAIN and don’t tell me going to work is hard because I work, too, during the school year, and let me tell you, mister! Staying home with the kids is WAY harder than going to work, and the only time you call me during the day, thereby giving me a chance to talk to an adult and a reprieve from the endless whining and arguing I hear all day is to ask me if you can go out with your buddies tonight when all I want is for you to be home to see your children and to give me a much needed, freaking BREAK!”

Read rest here

How My Failure To Participate in the Love Your Spouse Challenge Almost Ended Our Marriage

I thought we had a good marriage.
I thought we were happy.

I thought that 16 years and three kids later, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, we could get through anything. Together.

Apparently I was very wrong.

Let me back up and start from the beginning.  

It started with a simple request. Looking back, I should have responded differently. I should have replied right away instead of just ignoring it. Then more requests came. In total, seven requests. I ignored them all.

Seven invitations to participate in the “Love Your Spouse Challenge” on Facebook. All I had to do was post a photo of me and my husband online for seven days. It doesn’t sound too hard. Why didn’t I just do it?

Read rest here

Why Waterparks Suck for Grownups

When I was a kid, my number one favorite thing in the world to do was swim. I didn’t care if it was in a pool, a lake, a horse trough, a backyard puddle; I loved to swim. For about 10 years the only thing on my Christmas list to Santa was a swimming pool. I never did get a backyard pool, and, over the years, my love for swimming has waned a little. My children love the water just as much as I did as a kid, but my feelings have slightly changed. Here are the top reasons why:

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