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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WTF - Taking One For The Family at the Water Park

We are already into the dog days of summer and even though I hate it, one summer bucket list is always the local water park. When I mention our typical summer trip, the boys get excited, the hubby looks at me.

"Don't worry, I know you don't step foot in water parks, movie theaters and Chuck E Cheese!" He nods, happy he doesn't have to endure what I endure at the waterpark.

My first thought when we pull in is the massiveness of the place, a cesspool of germs. I follow the line of cars resembling a hurricane evacuation into the place my first thought is, "What have I gotten myself into?"

After applying every coupon code I can find, I figure we'll stop by the plasma center covering the cost of entrance into the park.  Because folks, there's no way to do this cheap. (Now that's an idea for another post)

Always find something to be grateful for, I tell myself, watching several people walk by thinking, I feel much better about my bathing suit choice!

I set up shop by the kiddie area feeling this could be the safest, calmest spot of the water park.  Nope.

I'm sitting and applying sunscreen, minding my own business when two women start screaming at each other warring over a chair in the shade. Granted, I'd rather be in the shade also I've been there 15 minutes and already look like a stuck pig.

"You don't own the water park, I can sit wherever I want!"
"This is my chair, you have to move!"
"I'm not moving from MY CHAIR!"

They call security (pronounced Securrritaaayyy and OVER A CHAIR) effectively shutting down the "kiddie area" until the dispute is settled. No on in and no one out. "Am I going to get taken down in the kiddie pool" I wonder as they start negotiating with the women. One of the officers has a gun, another has a taser. I grab my phone thinking "What an amazing Snapchat if I catch that woman getting tased over a lounge chair!" Luckily they talked one woman out of the chair and of course she plops right next to me in the sun.  Time to move.

My next section involves little Samson who has a big offensive mouth. I swear this child is probably 5 maybe 6 years old with the mouth of a seasoned sailor. Mom looks over to me, "He's just excited about being here." No kidding, if he screams at you one more time about applying sunscreen I'm going over there slapping him for you.  Time to move.

I go to the wave pool thinking this would be a relaxing place, I can stick my toes in the water and watch all the kids play, right?  15 minutes into this some little girl is sneezing into the water next to me as a used Bandaid washes up on my foot.  Time to move.

My last resort is spending the next 3 hours in the Lazy River, everyone hates the Lazy River because it is boring - perfect! I park it in my tube, put on my big hat ready to take a nap as I go in circles for an hour or so. Of course, a bunch of kids show up behind me saying,

"Dude, let's chill in the lazy river."
This is my lazy river, I think, can't us adults have ONE spot in the water park?
"Look Laura is over there, let's go bug her." So they splash me trying to get to Laura then I listen to Laura scream as they play with her tube.
The kicker?
"Mom, I have to go to the bathroom," a little girl floats by me on her tube,  snot running from her nose.
Wait a minute, she's positioning herself perfectly upstream from me!
"Just hold it for a little longer, we'll go around again," I hear Mom say.

Time to move.

How do you sum up a trip to the water park?

Taking one for the family.

Selling organs to get in, chasing everyone down coating them with two layers of sunscreen, sitting and sweating in the sun and oh, the 50  dollar lunch of a large pizza and two sodas. So when it came time to leave, the cute little teenage photographer informed me I have pictures taken in the park available for purchase of course.

What? Me looking horrified as it took 3 security guards and 2 life guards persuading a very large lady her chair did not belong to her?

Wait! It had to be my face when I gave myself an enema on the Devil's Drop, right?

Oh maybe me screaming and jumping out of the chair as the Bandaid floats onto my foot?

No, it has to be the Lazy River, I think they got my best side when giving teenagers the "Evil Eye."

"Naw," I say, "I've got to save up for the Rollercoaster park!"

Friday, July 22, 2016

WTF - Workin' For A Living!

Latest conversation between the minions and me"

"Mom can I get (insert something really expensive) today?"

Me:, "no."

"Mom. so and so says I need (insert something ultra expensive here) can I get it?"

Me, "You need to get a job to support your lifestyle."

So they tell me they are going to get a job.  Ok.  I sit back slap on my parenting smile watching all of this unfold with a big bowl of popcorn.

Did I mention their father is an amazing salesman? They've already sold me, I'll pay them to mow the grass because I really don't want to do it.  Then they get another job mowing the grass and I listen to the two of them discuss how they are sharing the money and what they are saving for.....

Did I actually do something right in this parenting thingy?

The job entails me taking them over because I'm the only one holding a license. I take some work with me because hey, this is their job. I am not lifting a finger.

They start with arguing on who going to do what, finally settling on who has the mower and who has the trimmer.

Of course they cannot get the mower started, translated into trying it once before telling me it doesn't work.

Did I mention this wasn't my job? Yep, exactly what I was thinking as I was sweating like a pig trying to get the mower started. Finally, I stopped, wiped the sweat off my brow and actually read the directions on the side of the mower.

"Did anyone read the directions?"

"Yep, it isn't working." One says.

"How about this part saying 'Move choke to 2 before pulling' part?" I ask looking at the choke on 3.

"What? I didn't see that," the youngest says.

"Let's try this again," I say moving the choke and of course the lawnmower started right up.

Did I tell you they did an excellent job on the lawn, one I was proud of?

Ah, that first job where you are paid cash and you take it all home, way before Uncle Sam gets involved.

I remember getting my first paycheck from my job at Doughnut World. I went to my Dad, showing him the total in amount line, it was much smaller than I expected.

"What happened?" I asked


He looked at it, then at my face and started laughing.

Monday, July 18, 2016

WTF - Marriage, sometimes you need a sense of humor

Marriage - two people bound together by the same sense of humor.

Wait, did I say that?

I thought I'd give a few examples of how "perfect" my marriage is because of our sense of humor.

For example:

Husband, Where do you want to go out to eat?
Me, Whatever you want to do.
Husband, Tacos?
Me, I don't feel like tacos.
Husband, "Pizza?
Me, Pizza is too greasy.
Husband, Hamburgers
Me, Hamburgers are too fattening.
Husband, what do YOU want to eat.
Me, Whatever, it doesn't matter.

My husband watches me work the straw of a a Cook Out Milkshake like a hooker at a bachelor party. After five minutes I realize he is staring at me, so I say, "What?" He shakes his head saying, "I've been cheated!"

Change to him blowing out half a lung blowing up balloons for a party, I look at his blood red sweaty face saying, "Don't hurt yourself, I'm not driving all the way to the hospital."

My husband walks in on me naked - on my hands and knees scrubbing the shower.  "Are you propositioning me?" He asks with a smile. "Of course not, I'm multitasking," I mutter.

You know you have your soul mate when you both take a picture of the "Perfectly loaded dishwasher" saying to each other, "I don't think things will ever align up like that again in our lifetime."  Especially that orgasmic excitement when your masterpiece turns out perfectly clean dishes!

My husband walks into the bedroom as I am scrambling underneath the covers with an "Ahhhh." "Are you propositioning me?" He asks. "No, not unless you want poison ivy," I mutter.
Coming up on that special wedding anniversary, I say, "We should get married again." Without skipping a beat he says, "To who?"

Some young buck in the neighborhood asks if I want my driveway shoveled of 16 inches of snow, I look at my hubby and say, "Oh no thanks, his insurance policy is up to date!"

In the middle of an argument, I caught myself saying, "You think I think I am always right - well, YOU'RE WRONG!" I can't remember what we were arguing about after that sentence. 

Husbands phone charger suddenly stops charging, he looks over to me, I say, "Oh no you don't!" We both end up in a WWE match for my block and charger.

Husband: Are you going to share those cheese and crackers.
Me, looking at my plate silently counting the number of cheese and crackers.
Me, slowly sliding the plate away from husband.

Looking over to him holding up two identical toothbrushes saying, "Which one is yours? Should I throw them away or do you just wanna pick one?"

You know you've been married a long time when part of your date night involves describing something disgusting in detail, and your hubby responds with a few more questions for clarity.

Oh and of course my favorite saying, usually said at least once a day:

"Oh? Did I F*ck up again?"

How do you define a happy marriage?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

WTF - Yoga Treat or Yoga Re-Treat?

“What cha doin?” One of my children asks, walking into the room.

“I’m writing a piece about yoga retreats,” I reply trying to find my Zen after his interruption.

“Yoga treats? What is that? For the dog?” He makes a funny face.

“No, a yoga RE-treat,” I reply.

“What’s a RE-treat?” He asks, I can tell he really doesn’t want to know.

“Where you go away and practice yoga for a few days,” I say with a sigh, my mind picturing solitude.

“Sounds boring,” he mutters.

“I’m sure it does to you,” I mutter back.

My yoga Re-treat is definitely not boring, it is a way to Re-set my life, to Re-start on a new adventure. If I could only imagine the perfect Yoga Re-treat:

I see an empty bed, seriously it could be a cot I wouldn’t care, a bed with no dirty clothes on it, no dog sleeping at my head, no child coming in at 3am scaring the crap out of me asking, “Are you awake?”

I see unlimited classes of yoga available, taking my practice to the next level, not my current practice to reruns of cartoons in the background complete a child saying, “Why are you doing that?”

I see a quiet mountaintop retreat, open windows at night bringing in a cool breeze helping with those occasional hot flashes, not my quiet mountain retreat that includes crows starting at 6am barking at each other followed by children arguing.

This mountaintop retreat would be rustic in style, comfortable, with natural accents. Furniture would be free of Sharpie marks, of dog hair, and of course your occasional lolly pop stick. Furniture I don’t have to clean finding Christmas candy in May as I pull the cushions off.

I see eating consistently and healthy, not eating well for breakfast and lunch then finding that bag of Cheetos hidden in the pantry, then hiding myself in the pantry with it.  But if they want to keep a secret stash of good coffee, good chocolate and good wine, I’m not complaining. The best part of my Re-treat is someone else is doing the cooking, oh, the joy, someone else.

I see connecting with other like minded people, talking about our love of yoga, not always answering the question, “Why?” (make sure you say that with a Southern accent)

I see completely unplugging from reality for a much needed break, turning off the phone so I don’t get the text in the middle of my retreat, “I dropped my phone in the dog bowl.”

I see relaxing as the joy of non-responsibility, even if it is just for a little while, makes me smile, especially because I know the rest of the family is coping with my absence.
I see coming home Re-set, all that time in paradise finding out I actually did miss my mountaintop noisy, messy home.

Finally, I see gratitude, to myself for taking the time because I deserve it, to my family for smiling as I walk out the door, and to the organizers of the RE-treat because little do they know how much I need this.

That’s my idea of the perfect yoga Re-treat, a time to Re-train the mind into better habits, Re-turn to self, and RE-spect yourself because you are all you have.  If you are interested in signing up or creating your own yoga retreat, check out Eventbrite's RSVP page. I've created events for art projects at the Linville Winery and Eventbrite is a great way tracking participants and payments!

“See doesn’t that sound perfect?”

“Sounds pretty boring to me,” the youngest boy says before asking, “What did you do with my hidden box of Cheetos?”

Monday, July 11, 2016

WTF - Beach Hacks, What?

So I did my duty in purgatory at the beach, and thought I would share some of the smart hacks people shared with me along with my own translation:  Here's the video!

1.  Use a fitted sheet as your beach blanket - Sure this one works like a charm but remember it holds the sand in as much as it holds the sand out. A 5lb sheet of sand is not easy to dump at the end of a long day.

2.  Dig a hole and add a towel for a baby bassinet - Aren't the kids busy digging sand into your fitted sheet? I say dig the hole, put the towel over it and watch with camera ready as kids with sandy feet walk over it!

3. Make Ziploc Sandbags keeping towels in place - obviously this person doesn't have boys.  'Nuff said.

4. Kids can't swim yet? Bring a Kiddie Pool - Make sure your husband's life insurance is up to date, then sit back with a cold beverage after volunteering him to blow up the pool!

5.  Fix a broken flip flop with a bread clip - I'm still wondering why there's a bread clip in my bag?

6. Put your phone in a Ziploc bag keeping sand and water out - did I mention this person doesn't have boys because that Ziploc would end up with the sand filled Ziplocs in the hole you dug for your baby bassinet.

7.  Attach your keys to a wine cork so they float - Now this one I get, because that means you are drinking a bottle of wine, who needs the cork anyway? Who has leftover wine?

8. Roll your Valuables into a Diaper - this is pretty good idea until after a bottle of wine you have to go through all the diapers for your wallet and car keys with the cork attached.

9. Put your snacks in a coffee creamer dispenser - DON'T use the Ziploc bags because we all know where they ended up, where's my phone?

10.  Use non sharp Kitchen Utensils as Sand Toys - I think it's awesome they say "non sharp" who wants to dig a hole with a butcher knife.

11.  Baby Powder Removed Sand from hands and feet - that is if your teenager hasn't dumped the entire bottle down his bathing suit due to salt, sand and sweat.

This video included the perfectly dressed Mom with a large brim hat, all the children playing together in the sand on a beautiful sunny day.

Reality is the Mom keeping one brother from shoving the other's head into the sand, yelling at them to not throw sand at each other as the husband flaps the sand filled towel in her face as the Ziploc bag holding phone follows the diaper with the wallet and keys out to sea.

At least the keys float!

What are your beach hacks?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

WTF - You know you are a parent....

90% of your day is resisting the urge to say, "See, I told you not to do that.

After saying, "Do you think that is a good idea."

You've moved out of lecturing when witnessing a bad idea into popping popcorn for watching the show.

Understanding why whine and wine sound the same.

You've mastered the "Wait until we get home" eye.

You know how to get chocolate out of everything, especially your clothes.

Realizing a little covering of melted cheddar cheese makes everything edible

You choose vacation clothing because of the quality of the pockets.

"Maybe" and "We'll see" are a regular part of your vocabulary until they get wise and realize both mean, "Ain't no way."

When they wake from anesthesia, your first compulsion is to videotape.

Everyone looks to you when the dog walks by with poop hanging out of her butt.

You plan lunch as you are cooking breakfast because the teenager always pushes away the empty plate asking, "What's for lunch?"

You get to a point where you never look in a toilet as you enter the bathroom, simply flush it.

You have a nose of steel from all the "sniff" tests on expired food, clothing on the floor, towels.

You freezer is full of "go to" foods (Hot Pockets, Chicken Nuggets, Pizza) but you'll never admit it to your organic Moms.

You know the difference between threats and empty threats.  Heck, they are all empty threats but we sound mean!

You say, "Because I said so," or "Are your legs broken?" or "Do we have to refrigerate the neighborhood?" even when you swore you'd never say them.

Hiding your phone charger like a ninja, then like a ninja slipping away from your kids to charge it.

You realize that you could leave everything where it is because you only have a few more years until they move out.

You are busy screaming at your children, as you squeezing into your yoga pants while posting how blessed you are on Facebook.

Realizing your parents were right as you argue with your kids about how you are right.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

WTF - Who Doesn't Love a Small Town Parade

Doesn't everyone love a parade? I've always wished I could be in a parade - not the Homecoming Queen or anything, but march and try out my Prom wave. So when given the chance to march in  the Banner Elk 4th of July parade for Beech Mountain Bike Park, I jumped at the chance.  Picked out my prom dress, pulled out the curlers.

But wait, this parade was not all about me, it was the kids riding their mountain bikes representing the park.  My job is official candy thrower.

Oh well, I'm still in a parade, and will anyone question the prom wave?

The rest of the family was totally excited.

Children: "We're doing what?"  "Is anyone else going?" "Will we look like dorks?"
Hubby: "Where will we park, what about all the people? You're throwing WHAT?"

But off we go to the parade, I'm practicing my prom wave down the mountain.  We follow parade signs, immediately stopped by a security guard.

"You cannot come here, this is for the parade."
"Yes, we have two mountain bikers for Beech Mountain Bike Park."
"Oh, turn here and follow it to the end of march."

End of March?  What is that? I don't want to ask because he looks pretty irritated we are trying to mess up his end of March. We pull down the street, follow the road and find the end of march.

End of March Translation - the end of the parade.

Small town parades are different that Macy's Thanksgiving. The March (I figured this was called the March because we were at the end of March) consisted of little cars with big men in them, two llamas, several tractors, a few old cars, and of course us!

The way the parades work here, you have large bags of candy you throw into the audience as you march, in our case behind the mountain bikers, behind the Beech Mountain Bike Park sign.

The parade starts already there is a casualty, a tractor won't start with a trailer full of sad looking kids eating all the candy they brought to the parade! Several serious looking men bang a wrench around a little bit and with a a huge scream, it starts!  They fall in the line of march behind us, I'm close to tears they made it.

Can I stop here and tell you how much fun it is with a bunch of kids on bikes, telling them to slow down and stay behind the sign?

"Can't I just ride my bike through the sign like a football player?"
"Uh no."
"Just once?"
"Uh no."

"you're getting to close, back up."
"I'm not ahead of the sign."
"Ouch! Don't run over me!"

Am I the only one that gets teary eyed? Was I the only one choking back tears at all the excitement?

Yes? Well never mind.

I get too excited throwing most of my candy at little kids dressed in red, white and blue like a major league baseball player. After a few "OWWWs" I try winding up less and throwing a little softer.

The streets were lined with kids screaming for candy, they were yelling at me! In a parade!

And well, I got all wrapped up in it.

Halfway through the parade my hubby politely informed me, "Honey, you're gonna run out of candy soon if you don't ration."

I look in my bag, Shit! I made the mistake of blowing my candy wad too early in the parade.  It looks like 26.2 miles to the end of the parade! Rationing! Cut my candy throwing way back. I guess I got to excited and emptied my bag way to fast!

So I'm down to acting like I am throwing a piece, then really throwing a piece - A PIECE.

I think I heard one kid remark, "She's probably a dentist."

I moved to hiding in the middle of the pack for part of the parade, hoping people wouldn't see me holding the close to empty candy bag, ration it.

I heard a kid yell, "There she is!  Come on candy lady, throw us some candy!!

I thought about offering the cute little boy in the star striped pants $25 bucks for his big bag of collected candy but figured he'd just ask me for another piece from mine.

I slid over to other candy throwers giving them my sob story, "I blew my candy wad, can you spare of Kit Kat?"

Most look at me going, "Me too! I've only 26 Starburst left, they are going to eat us alive at the end of the parade if we don't have candy!"

Finally I breathed a sigh of relief, the end of the parade was in sight!  I had four pieces of candy left!  I just may make it!  I throw two, pretend throw another four finally giving my last piece to a very cute looking little girl in a red white and blue dress.

Crap!  I forgot to prom wave!

Turning back as they escort us out of the Line of March, I prom wave back to the cheering crowd, savoring their noise, picturing myself coming home from Shuttle Launch 36 to a ticker tape parade.

Who is she? I heard someone ask.

"I don't know, maybe the town dentist, she doesn't know how to throw candy."

So lessons learned:

Your End of March is the end of the parade, literally.
If you want candy, park yourself at the beginning of the parade for all the saps blowing out their candy wad in the first five minutes.
Best parking spot is away from the parade in the direction you want to go, believe me the walk back is worth not waiting in traffic.
Don't be surprised if the parade you attend in a small town includes tractors, riding lawn mowers and possibly a very cleverly dress pig or two.

Oh, and the prom wave goes like this:
Right arm out straight.
Bring right hand up so elbow is at an 90 degree angle.
Cup fingers and bring hand to a 45 degree angle
Gently move back and forth not breaking the degree on the elbow or the straightness of your bicep and tricep.

And smile!