Pee and Poop are my purview

Hope you’re having a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning.
I’ve been traumatized and it’s just 8am.
I feel like calling it a day. It’s over.
Here’s what went down.
You should know two things before I start. These things may not be a surprise to you.
First – I am not what you’d call a pet person. I didn’t grow up with dogs or cats. I don’t long to touch a cute dog walking down the street or cuddle with a cute kitty. Take all that with peace and love.
Second – we have a cat. Technically my husband and kids have a cat, but it’s hard to ignore because we all live together.
It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable living with a cat, but I’ve done well. In fact, I’ve done very well. I feed the cat. I make sure it’s not thirsty. I’ve even come to terms with the litter box.
But I have limits people.
Back to my morning.
So I’m up early, excited to tackle the day and do some chores. I don’t mind chores. I especially don’t mind them when it’s this beautiful out.
I gather up all the laundry – there’s two piles. Dry cleaning and regular. The regular stuff is in a basket. The dry cleaning is in a heap next to it. I go about my merry, delusional way and take them downstairs. I notice an…odor. That’s not surprising because it’s dirty laundry inclusive of a 10 year old boy’s soccer clothes and more importantly, I always notice an odor. Constantly. Good, bad, ugly – I have super olfactory powers. I shake it off. Soon everything will smell of lavender and bleach. All will be right in the world.
I start a load and scoop up the dry cleaning and head to the car.
More odor.
Different odor.
3 more things to note. 1) We’ve had some busy weekends and I haven’t been able to drop off the dry cleaning in a bit. Like a month. So it’s a lot of stuff. 2) Coming back from one such weekend we noticed that we’d inadvertently left the laundry room door closed. 3) We keep the cat’s litter box in the laundry room.
Back to present.
I drive to my favorite dry cleaners. Stop for coffee. Sing a tune out loud.
I grab the clothes out of the car and head in. As always it’s busy on a Saturday. I wait my turn – still clutching the clothes. I make a mental note to buy some sort of foot spray for my son’s shoes. It must be his stinky socks infecting all the laundry.
Then I get to the counter, dump the clothes and they start separating as we make small talk. Yes, it’s finally sunny we say, no more rain. This winter was hard, we say smiling and nodding.
And then it happens. She lifts a shirt and there it is. A pair of pants with a pile of cat poop and a shirt stained a special shade of yellow. I think I screamed. Or maybe they screamed. I don’t remember, I blacked out.
They quickly folded up the clothes and politely told me to go wash with vinegar and soap before bringing them back.
I drove home in a trance.
As a mother, most of my life has been about pee or poop. That’s what they don’t tell you before kids. It’s just all pee and poop.
But I’m finally at the stage in life where my kids are, for the most part, keeping all that to themselves. But I realized this morning that I can’t get away. I’ll never get away. My world is one big bathroom joke.
How could this have happened? I mean, I know how it happened. We locked the cat out of the liter box, which lives in our laundry room. So the cat went and did her business in our laundry. Oh the irony. Oh the horror. Is she an evil genius bent on revenge? Was it a cosmic karma joke on us? On me? I dunno.
I’m going back to bed.

Little Miracle

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Maybe it’s because I’ve been away for work for a bit and I’m overly emotional.

Maybe it’s because I worry about literally every situation my kids could possibly get into to. Past, present and future.

I worry they’ll grow up wrong.

I worry they’ll remember their childhoods painfully. Or without joy. Or not at all.

I worry they’ll never want to see us when they are no longer mandated by law to live with us.

I worry.

So when I came home to find this homework assignment that my daughter did it almost killed me with joy.

The assignment was to write about an ” Ordinary Miracle” in your life, and my daughter decided to write about her brother.

Waaaaa!! I can’t even think about it because it just makes me melt.

I am not allowed by the laws of teenagehood to show you the actual assignment, but let me tell you, it’s amazing.

I am really close to my sister, and my husband is super close to his sisters too – so the fact that she wrote about her brother as her ordinary miracle will bring a smile to my face for a long time. Forever maybe.

It was an extraordinary miracle to me.

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Prison Rules

***Spoiler Alert***
If you have a cute, sweet , clean little boy under the age of 10, stop reading. Enjoy the years you have.

A few weeks ago we instituted some new rules in the house for my son.
We’d started noticing an odor.
I know it seems I’m obsessed with smells – and I am – but this wasn’t just my disfunction. Other, more balanced moms were also going through it with their sons.
For some strange reason, 10 year old boys are hygiene averse.
Averse is the wrong word.
Oblivious. Completely clueless.
My son would walk out of a “shower” with dry hair and a dry back.
Do you understand what I’m saying?
He didn’t even turn around!!
You blame yourself.
Maybe I never taught him to shower, you think. Maybe I never introduced him to soap?
My oldest is a girl. At 10 she would take two showers some days. I remember her smelling like vanilla all the time. Did I teach her about showers and not him? And brushing your teeth? With toothpaste?
We took him aside and explained how important cleanliness was. Bought him a “big boy” deodorant.
We tried humiliation as a last resort.
Nothing changed.
So – on the advice of some other moms – this is how we roll now.
All showers happen with the door open and in our bathroom.
The shower must be longer than a minute.
Hair will be checked/smelled after for shampoo use.
Brushing teeth happens only in our bathroom so we can do a brush and mouth check.
Clothing must be worn right side out.
Socks must be changed daily, I don’t care how cool the neon green ones are.
No food of any kind is permitted in the bathroom.
You have two choices – clip your nails or paint them.
Make friends with a Qtip. Good friends.
Lights out at 9.
Here he is heading back to his cell.. er..room last night.

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Green with envy

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I hope someone or something out there loves you in the pure, joyful way that this boy loves this cat. Signed, jealous.

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Easy Button

I’m deleting these permanently from my phone. Here’s one last hurrah for these quotes, images, etc. that made me smile. Enjoy! (Yes, this counts as a post. Haters be hating.)

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Pee

So my new job is really great – I had forgotten what it was like to be the new toy in town. It’s fun. Really fun.
New people, new challenges, I’m even getting used to the commute – all in all a great way to start the year.
BUT! There is a but.
Not a great big but, just a little one. Here it is…
All I obsess about as soon as I get off my train is pee. Sorry. It’s gross. I’m disgusted just thinking about telling you about it. And please know, I am not that girl. I can’t deal with bathroom humor or bathroom anything. If I saw a shrink I’m sure we’d talk about all the bodily functions that I’m grossed out by. Even when I had my babies… When normal mothers readily stick their noses, fingers, etc in all kinds of places -I had issues. I did it. But I was tortured by it.
Anyway. Back to my point. All I smell when I step off the train is pee. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t want to know. But it’s the scent that follows me up from the train and down one whole block. One long, stinky block. There’s a rush of relief when it ends at Pearl Street. Thank goodness for Pearl Street, it’s exactly like it sounds. Clean, cool, shiny and pretty. I try to hold my breath for that long block before Pearl but I can’t. Eventually I have to breath. I’ve developed a system where I bury half my face in a scarf. If I could wear one of those surgical masks without feeling like a freak, I would. Those overpopulated countries in Asia have all the luck. Everyone wears one there.
And what am I going to do in the summer when my scarf won’t be there to save me?? What shocks me as much as the smell is that I don’t think other people are bothered. They don’t wrap themselves up like a mummy – terrified of accidental inhalation. Some of the lunatics even have coffee and breakfast while walking on that block, the pee block. Wtf?? Could I walk down another block? I’ve tried. The side streets are just as bad.
Are you reading this and thinking, “what am I reading? what is wrong with this girl?”. Well let me tell you, there is a lot wrong with me. But in this particular case, the problem is that I have a supersonic sense of smell (and hearing, but that’s a different story). I have visceral reactions to smell. I can’t overcome a stinky place/people/things. It stays with me like a layer of dust or a cloud of that clings to me.
On a positive note, a good smell can change my whole day. It can make me happy, excited, or relaxed. I may not love diaper duty, but a baby’s head can make my day! I’m a weirdo. I know it. But I can’t help it. Like Lady Gaga said – I was born this way.

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I love secrets

I got a lot of great gifts this year – I’m a lucky girl. Last night we did the final gift exchange with my family – there is absolutely no more gift giving and receiving after this. It’s over. Done. No more I tell you!

My little bitty sister gave me this really cool book I thought I’d share with you. It’s less of a cookbook and more of a nonfiction book about chefs. Right up my alley!

It’s full of beautiful photos and recipes, but it’s really storytelling about the chefs. What they do, why they do it and how they do it.

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It’s written with a sharp biting wit and doesn’t take itself too seriously, look at these hilarious quotes…

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The other cool thing about this book is all the wacky food the chefs make. In the world of Instagram and 24/7 food trucks – where everyone’s a foodie and Harissa and truffle oil are almost old school – I love reading about unusual food. Lebnah… Tasso … This is no everyday kimchi cookbook. There’s actually a line on page 267 that reads, “This is not a traditional baba au rhum, so purists, stand back!” Wtf?

Will I ever make it? Probably not. But I will sleep better knowing that there are people out there that do.

Ok – gotta go source some Kajmak cheese.

checking in…

So whatcha been up to? Hope you’ve been having some Christmas fun.  Here’s what we’ve been doing – non sequitur.

  • Started my Christmas shopping in September hoping to get ahead of the game, but the game won. I am still not done and it’s 2 days after Christmas.
  • Went to the ER the day before Christmas Eve (long scary story with a happy ending, all is good).
  • Made 12 dozen cookies. 12. Dozen. 144 cookies. Know what I learned? Even after making 144 cookies I still want to eat cookies.
  • Headed to NYC on Christmas Eve and came home with tons of great gifts and happy memories (and saw a truly ugly sweater, thanks Aunt Stacy).
  • Hosted a neighborhood gathering at our house a day after finishing my first week at a new job. It sounds stressful but it was so much fun. It was the perfect way to kick off our holiday fun – and I learned how to make eggnog. And I also learned that you can only drink about 2 cups of eggnog before wanting to throw-up!
  • Had some killer Chinese food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Fa ra ra ra ra, ra, ra,ra ra.
  • Decided to cave in and get the kids a trampoline for Christmas. Look for future posts titled, “Why did we buy a trampoline?” and “Were we nuts when we bought the kids a trampoline? Yes!”.
  • Dropping off my girl for a session of winter camp today, sniff…sniff. It’s only 4 days but I really don’t like it when she’s gone.
  • Went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Don’t listen to all those Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a sweet, visual, musical movie. Does it have anything to do with the short story? Nope. But it does make you want to visit Greenland and Iceland – so there’s that.
  • Only watched A Christmas Story 3 to 8 times, much less than last year.
  • Santa brought our son some more inappropriate Xbox games. What can you do, that Santa is a crazy mofo.
  • My girl wanted a saxophone for Christmas and we decided to go for it. Instead of buying it outright (incase she changes her mind like the guitar. or the ukulele. or the harmonica. or the…) we decided to rent it from a music and arts store. What happened next was a tragedy of errors that resulted in us going to that store 4 times. I have only one thing to say to the 8 dudes that work there,” dudes, wearing a skinny tie and having a hipster beard only makes you look smart if you aren’t completely incompetent and stupid. You morons.” Sorry. That is all.
  • After we drop off my daughter at camp, we head directly to my parents house for Christmas Part Deux. Time to push aside the figgy pudding and make room for the garam masala.

To go with the bullets that make no linear sense – here’s some random photos from the past few days! I’m sorry the boy has no shirt on – but that’s how he rolls in the house. Just keepin’ it real. xoxo

 

Here’s me wrapped up in a blanket reading my new cookbook (Pioneer Woman!) and my son looking like an angel playing a killing game. I have guilt. Can you tell?

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Can you guess which plate of food is mine? Hint: it’s the one that burns going down.

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Even in her “ugly” sweater she looks beautiful!

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Here’s my two favorite men. I think next year they can switch places in the picture :-).

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She loved her saxophone, no thanks to the dopes at the music store. Sorry.

 

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This is my kids exchanging gifts they bought for each other. Is there anything better than that?

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Tess McGill Moment

Day one of my new gig. Here’s the view from my office.

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I almost broke out into my favorite Carly Simon song, the one from “Working Girl”. The one I think about every time I see the Staten Island Ferry cause I’m a dork. Anyway all went well and I didn’t get fired. The commute wasn’t that bad and my family did just fine back home. 

On the other hand, I’m exhausted. So I’ll keep this short and sweet. Gotta get up tomorrow and do it again!

weight lifted

So I’ve been keeping a secret for the past few weeks. It’s been a monkey on my back – in a positive, happy kinda way.

After 7 years with a company I thought I’d spend the rest of my life at – I resigned. The 5 weeks before my resignation were a whirlwind. I wasn’t job hunting – even though I wasn’t happy. All I did was join LinkedIn – and in the words of Sheldon Cooper – !bazinga!… someone reached out.  Things moved quickly and I was offered a really cool job.

As with all we do in my little unit – we talked/obsessed/freaked it out. Can we do it? Do I give up the holy grail of working from home for a long commute? Can we do it? Are we crazy? Yep.Yes.Yep. And of course we are.

We decided to jump in head first – as is our habit.

The saddest part in all this excitement and happiness is my team. It’s been a long, funny, hard, frustrating ride – and I’ll miss every moment of it. Well…not every moment. But I’ll miss them.

So in a couple of weeks – right before the holidays – I’ll start my new adventure.

It feels good to talk about it. To not hide it. It makes it feel real (because I’m a true product of the times and things don’t feel real until they are on social media. There. I said it).

Phew. That felt good to get out. Wish me luck. I’m stepping in. Going for it.

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