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I really should always pee first.

On Monday I spent several hours at the doctor with one of the kids. I then fed said child, ran her home, picking up groceries on the way, heaved the groceries inside the house, and headed back down the steep hill that is my driveway to get to school in time to teach my class. Because I am only capable of remembering about 65% of what I need to remember, moments later I ran back to the house for something I forgot, only to discover that my books had arrived. I stared at the box of books and asked myself the question I ask each day when I come home to find a package, a grocery order, or even a pressing problem which needs my attention: SHOULD I OPEN THE BOX OR PEE FIRST? 

I opted to open the box which meant that peeing would have to wait until after my class because I was really tight on time, and because I like to wait until my bladder is at maximum capacity before I do anything about it. This is why the picture I got of this pretty epic moment looks like this.

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I am wearing my coat because I am always in between errands (and because I never know when I’m going to need it again, so I may as well just leave it on).

I am crouched down because I really have to pee. I always really have to pee.

The next day I had a phone interview with my local newspaper, The Riverdale Press, to discuss the book. The call happened at 4.45 on a weekday which means that to make it happen, I raced home with the kids, dropped them in front of the first screen they saw, and ran to up my bedroom. There, I double locked the door and shoved a pillow in the tiny space underneath.

I resisted all the ensuing knocking and crying that tried to seep in. (“She hit me.” “I want a snack. Get me a snack.” “She hit me again.” “He hid the remote.” “She’s still hitting me.”)

The lovely reporter asked me lots of questions. What does my typical day look like? (I wake up and shout for an hour and a half, the kids go to school, I go for a run in the park, I come home and write, on some days I teach, at some point I remember that people will want to eat dinner which means food procurement and preparation, the kids come home, I shout until they go to bed. Sometimes I fall asleep on the couch.)

Because of the book’s title, the reporter asked me whether or not I was a trophy wife, or whether any of my friends were trophy wives. I told her that my trophy wife is  a stand-in for the friends that we have who are married to men we don’t like. (But that is a whole other blog topic.)

The call went quite well and then a few minutes later she phoned me back to ask if they could send a reporter to take a picture of me in my ‘natural habitat.’ I told her that my natural habitat was in the kitchen with children and a cat underfoot, and naturally I am always yelling. She said terrific, we’ll see you tomorrow at 3:30.

At 3:30, a lovely photographer named Julius showed up to take lots of pictures of me, the kids, and for some reason, the cat. (Lois is not in the least camera shy.) It just so happens the kids were getting haircuts in the dining room (I quickly learned that haircuts should always come to me, because while my kids can sit through their own haircuts they most certainly cannot sit through other people’s haircuts, and there is only so much entertaining I can do in a salon.)

One by one, the girls swanned into the kitchen with freshly shorn hair, showing off their blowouts. The cat tried to jump up onto the counter. Everyone tried to look as helpful as possible which is something of a departure. When I went outside to grill, and dug the barbecue out of the snow (picture taken), I proceeded to slip on my backside because I wanted to wear cute metallic slides for this nice photographer and not snow boots.

The phone rang on and off during the shoot. People came to the door, packages were delivered, and while my boys made themselves scarce, my name was called once every three minutes. The cat got skittish. Things came in and out of the oven and the girls capped it all off by squeezing half a bottle of ketchup into a crockpot. Naturally, I had to pee the entire time, but didn’t.

“You’ve got a lot going on here,” the nice photographer said. He left and I made a beeline for the bathroom.

“No joke,” I thought to myself. “No joke.”

 

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Seltzer, Seltzer Everywhere.

The good news is that this finally happened.

The bad news is that while I would like to say waiting for the seltzer to arrive brought out the best in me, it did not. I would also like to say that while waiting, I won the prize for most supportive wife, and most patient homeowner as M tinkered with washers and widgets and other parts which arrived in the mail in a slow trickle. Alas, I may or may not have thrown a small temper tantrum when we tried to use the seltzer machine and a flood of seltzer washed out from under the kitchen sink all over the brand new kitchen floor.

Still, he persisted. Well aware that I am not half the woman I think I am, I took myself upstairs and let everybody else deal with the bubbly mess while I lay under a blanket and breathed deeply.

When I woke up this morning, not at 3 AM, because I went back to sleep then, nor at 4:15 AM because ultimately I went back to sleep then too, but at six something when I was up for good, M called up to me, “want a glass of seltzer?”

Reader, I drank a glass. We are still working on the bubble size (I myself am of the school that the bubbles must be so large they should burn a hole on the inside of your mouth), but the seltzer tap is in. I am now soliciting recipes for the best egg creams. (By the way, that sentence just self corrected to best “best eye creams.” I don’t want to think about why that is because it makes my head hurt and my heart ache.)

Happy drinking!

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When you are so done before you are done.

I just put up another beef stew in the instant pot. If I never see that thing again, I will be just fine. The multipurpose room currently looks like this:

and I am almost one hundred percent sure that the can opener is somewhere here in my laundry room: I am close, but not close enough.

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The Way We Live Now

I am officially at the point of the home renovation project where I am waxing nostalgic. That’s right, I looked at the kids today and said there soon may come a time when we miss all the coziness of cooking, eating, working, and lounging in a small space.

Given that, this is the current state of affairs:Behold: the kitchen table/counter/storage/homework/random crap space.

My beloved living room couch covered in shmatas and then backpacks and a gazillion hoodies. Also shoes. On the couch. Because I am beaten down, I say nothing.

And this window, which is open because the house smells like paint most of the time. Because the house isn’t crowded enough, this is also happening. It’s fine for Lois to come in and out of the window. But her outdoor kittens (who we feed and vaccinate, so please don’t come at me), have taken to leaping indoors or just sitting outside and crying for attention.Neither of these cats is Lois. The larger one, Scout, got into the house and woke me meowing at three a.m. An hour and a half later I fell back to sleep. He may have also peed under my bed. I am not in the least bit cranky.

They say we are weeks away from a kitchen. They’ve been saying that since the fall.

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2019 – the year of project completion, decluttering, and some coupon jazz.

I am certain of this: One way or another, the kitchen will be done this year even though the ground floor of my house currently looks like this.Among other 2019 resolutions I may or may not keep, I hereby resolve to be neither negative nor anxious about the kitchen situation.

M resolved to declutter his side of the closet. As I’ve explained before, after a long battle with sentimentality and clutter, I was pretty much Marie Kondo before Marie Kondo and have been culling and purging for years. M, on the other hand, likes to wear T-shirt’s from the Clinton era – and I’m not talking about the fantasy alternate universe in my head.

Yesterday he went through the closet and proudly presented me with this: (Oh, in case you were wondering, that thing on top is apparently a beer horn. It appeared in the house recently, courtesy of M, and did not qualify for the purge. It is going in the basement in something we like to call the Costume Box.)

He was feeling quite pleased with himself until he asked me for some help picking out a shirt to wear and I discovered THIS. That’s right, three heaving bags of giveaway and THIS beauty made the cut. If you can tell me how much this vintage tee from a 2013 New Orleans Coupon Convention will fetch me on the open market, I’ll send you the shirt.

In the meantime, happy 2019 everyone. May all your projects be completed and may you all rid yourself of all types of unhelpful baggage, coupon convention shirts included.

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Genetics and Two Right Feet

It would seem that at least one of my kids has inherited my packing disability.

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Doctor, there’s a toaster on my toilet…

We apparently don’t not have enough power in our multipurpose room to boil water and run this machine at the same time. We had to get rid of our traditional toaster because it’s too dusty now, much like everything else in the house. I thought I was being clever when I found this, which can also act as an oven, but it needs more juice than the room can handle. So… #NoKitchenNoProblem

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