friday freak out. fabulous FAIL.

my kids are screaming. i can't think."if you pinch me one more time abby, i'm going to tell mommy!" then laughter. "it's NOT FUNNY!" crayola markers being thrown on the floor. rolling around, under furniture. i sigh loudly. i'm staying silent, trying to ignore.

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.

the dishwasher needs to be emptied. the laundry needs to be folded. "mommy, will you help me with this?" no, i cannot. no, i will not. all i want is five minutes where no one's screaming at me, no one's hitting, no one's pinching or tattling or whining or crying or stomping across the floor in a fit of red anger. five minutes. in five minutes i could take a quick shower. in five minutes i could regain my composure. in five minutes i could have a glass of wine to steady myself. in five minutes i could crap in peace, i could walk the dog, i could unload the dishwasher. in five minutes i could call a friend. in five minutes i could pluck my eyebrows into submission or maybe shave my legs for a change. just five minutes of utter and complete silence. and of possibly doing nothing at all, just wallowing in the sheer glory of it.

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.

suddenly in the midst of mayhem and madness, "mommy, i love you." what, is it a ploy to get me to forget all the drama that's rolling right on through here like a mack truck? it's crushing me and soffocating me and i feel like i will be a prisoner forever.

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.

"DON'T DARE SAY THAT!" abby yells. izzy shrivels up and starts fake crying. can't handle it. "mommy, abby was being naughty." abby says, "Don't DARE say that i was being naughty, i was just COLORING."

the words are echoing and magnifying and ricocheting and most likely seeping out from underneath the doors. the neighbors surely hear and pause while they are walking by. izzy says, "mommy, abby needs a time out." there is dried peanut butter around her mouth and a small hole in her sock.

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.

"mommy?" "what?" "do you have any picture books for me to put my pictures of belle i colored in?" " we'll put them in your art box later," i say. "NOT later, NOW, PLEASE! she shouts. she wipes her runny nose with her sleeve, leaving a trail of snot across one cheek. "not right now." "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?" she won't stop the word. broken record. word word word. why why why. i am drifting off, away, putting distance between my Self and this thing that is my life now and this little girl in front of me. "mommy, you're gonna be in big trouble of yelling," she says. "oh really?" i say. "mommy, i'm sorry for yelling at you." "abby, i'm sorry for yelling at you, too." "that's okay mommy, but just don't do it again."

i am out of stamps. we are out of dog food. i need to write a million thank-you notes from the girls' birthday party last weekend. and if someone says "mommy" (followed by a need that is imaginary or needless) one more time i am going to kill myself.

i am going to fill up the tub with water so hot i can barely stand it. and i will lower myself in and drink some diet coke and maybe smoke a cigarette (not really but i can pretend). and somehow the screaming senselessness of it all will float away like dreams on the edge of waking. i am powerless. i am a mother. i don't know what i am. i am. i am. i am. maybe if i keep saying it it will mean something.

a neighbor just came over with holiday goodies for us. such a nice man. i wanted to cry and say, "you have no idea what you just walked into." i'm wearing dirty sweatpants. he's talking to me about normal things and the whole time in my head i'm wondering what must he be thinking of me and what i look like and all the markers thrown everywhere and my dirty hair?

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.

i'm talking to him and abby has helped herself to some cookies. crumbs dribbling off onto the floor. the dog is licking them up. the floor is sticky. she has crumbs in her hair. the counter is littered with crumbs. crumbs crumbs crumbs, you say a word over and over so many times that it stops having meaning. like me. i've stopped meaning anything. am i? am i? am i?

my hair is dirty. i'm tired. i can't think.


10 Things that Make Me Happy

The very sweet Noelle over at Elastic Waistbands and Comfortable Shoes tagged me in this little game. It should go without saying that you should immediately go visit her and become a follower. Same holds true for the blogs I'll be listing below.

Now, here are the rules that go with this one: list 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and link back to the person that tagged you. Then tag 10 other bloggers that brighten your day.

10 Things That Make Me Happy:
1.) writing/blogging/reading. Yes, I can lump these all into one category

2.) challah french toast on Saturday mornings. Especially when hubs makes it.

3.) HBO & Showtime shows: Dexter, Big Love, Californication, True Blood, The United States of Tara....the list goes on an on.

4.) my children....preferably when they are sleeping. Hubs and I tiptoe in every night before we go to bed. We adjust covers, move limbs over, pick loveys up off the floor and put them back in their beds.

5.) Monster--our mini Poodle, who deserves his own blog post SOON! (stay tuned, you won't want to miss)

6.) my bloggy buds and my IRL (in real life) buds. I've never had such a large circle of friends. I love you! Thank you all for letting me be me. And for liking me 9?) in spite of it.

7.) my husband who puts up with all my shit. and then some.

8.) my new soaps from Lee the Hotflash Queen (a.k.a. Triple H) of Lah Dee Dah Soap fame---check her out here.

9.) carbs. Most any carb will do, but especially chips (real ones, not that baked shiggedy), pasta, pizza, cake, cookies, candy, etc....you name it, I will eat it!

10.) Kendall Jackson Chardonnay

Now, I am to tag 10 bloggers who brighten my day! This is the easy part. I will try to tag all new peeps, but if you've already been tagged, just beat me over the head with a large stick! Plesae go visit these wonderful people. If you don't, I will beat YOU over the head with a large stick. Oh, and follow, follow, follow!

Big Sis over at Speaking of Witch. Big Sis is always entertaining and she is a faithful bloggy buddy. We stick together because we both have big feet. And she has relatives in NOLA (my beloved hometown), so she gets extra points.

Andrea over at Good Girl Gone Redneck. I have only come to know Andrea recently, but she sparkles. She's very intelligent and witty, and she's Jewish. We Jews have to stick together, you know. LOL!

Mama-Face over at Blog-Ignoramus. Mama-Face writes exceptionally well. Her poetry rocks. And her lil-dub is so cute!

Mindy over at The Inquisitive Mom. Mindy is the sweetest! She has two darling kiddos and she always seems to have her shit together. Which is more than I can say for myself.

Autumn over at From A to Z. Autumn has been a friend for a long time, but she recently had to go incognito. She needs some bloggy love, so please go say hi---you won't be sorry!

Leigh over at Leigh vs. Laundry. Leigh has been with me for a while and she has a cool caption contest every week. I never win because I suck at it. But Leigh is still my friend even though my submissions totally stink!!!

Kelly over at Speaking From The Crib. Kelly recently interviewed me for her Hanukkah post and I was so excited and flattered. She was so cool to work with and she's rip-roaringly funny.

Life of a Tater Tot Mom just wrote a very thoughtful post this week on coming full circle. Please read it. And think about it. Life is about more than blogging and followers. Right?

Tattoos and Teething Rings has finally had a good birthday! (maybe?) Go check her out and read about her very interesting birthday situations over the years. She's been with me for a while and I adore her.

Holly over at 504 Main. Holly's a wedding expert. Very hip & stylish. I will never be cool like her. But she's my friend anyway!


Wordless (or not so Wordless) Wednesday & Silly Haiku

**I just hit 200 followers!!! THANK YOU ALL! I LOVE YOU! YOU JUST MADE MY DAY!**

Miss Abby on the 2nd night (Saturday)

Miss Izzy on the 4th night (Monday)

Here's my silly haiku---Check out You Know...That Blog to play along!

The kids learn to light
Candles burn little fingers
Happy Hanukkah!

Wanted to share my favorite Hanukkah thoughts for parents shamelessly plagiarized from “The Jewish Parent’s Almanac” by Julie Hilton Danan:
Oil gives both light and nourishment, just as a parent should give his or her children both spiritual inspiration and emotional nurturance. The most repeated Hanukah miracle is the story of the small cruse of oil that contained enough fuel for only one day, yet burned for eight days. That Hanukah miracle (whether understood literally or metaphorically) says, in the fashion of David Ben-Gurion: Sometimes the dreamer is the realist. ... So many times, especially with small children, I’ve felt “burned-out." The sages taught that one is not to rely on miracles. Parents shouldn’t expect to give constantly, without any self-nurturing to ease their task. The biblical concept that a parent should be “honored” (and not just respected) indicates an understanding for the needs of the parent as a person. Of course we need to take care of our own needs — spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual — in order to give abundantly to our children.


I Feel Bad About My Feet

Admittedly we all have our hangups. Some of us focus on one, while others (like yours truly) obsess daily over several. Fortunately my biggest problem was my honkin' Jewish rather large nose. Being called "Witch Nose" in elementary school & junior high was no picnic, let me tell you. But it was nothing short of pure brilliance on my part when I pounced on my newly-gay dad (well, not newly gay, just newly gay to me) and my newly-single mother, begging them for a nose job immediately after my dad moved out. Guilt is only a useless emotion in certain circumstances, you see. When you feel badly for shattering your Norman Rockwell family coming out of the closet, you will pay most any price for forgiveness. No, I am not going to share my pre-op photos here---just picture Mayim Bialik from that old sitcom "Blossom." In fact, once my classmates finally got a conscience matured, "Blossom" replaced "Witch Nose" as my moniker.


A nose job in the summer of 1996 gave me a new lease on life. I'm still really grateful that my parents not only allowed me to do it, but paid for it and cared for me in the rather uncomfortable aftermath (though they said my nose was "fine," made me "unique" and a load of other shiggedy that I didn't believe).

Anynose, after that was fixed I moved on to my second biggest hangup, which I am still stuck on and no surgery exists that will remedy the situation. I loathe my feet. And I kinda hate feet in general, but not if they are cute & clean. My feet are clean, of course. But they are all manner of fugly. Even a little OPI California Raspberry polish can't conceal the hideousness. I blame my mother for the width and I blame my father for my ugly toes. There, I've said it. It's out there, and there's no taking it back. Now you know why I hate summer (besides the fact that I sweat like a pig). Winter is my friend because no flip flops or sandals are involved.





**I accidentally hit publish at this point, and panicked. I wasn't done. But then I thought maybe I should just leave it as is. So I did. Except for this---

It could always be worse--my feet could look like this:


So what are your hangups? Or do you only have one?


Baking up a shortbread storm!

Fellow bloggy buds,

Please be patient with me as I have not been very diligent about reading/commenting/visiting. The holidays are upon us and things are crazy! Next week I am taking Abby & Izzy to New Orleans to visit my family, which means that this week is jam-packed and I'm trying to get everything done. Today I am baking. I will share with you my mom's famous shortbread recipe (drool). I'm baking several batches today to share with friends and neighbors.

Julie's Fabulous Shortbread

You will need:
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tbs. more (in holiday colors if you like) for sprinkling on top
2 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

*Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9 x/ 13 pan.

*Beat the butter until it is light and creamy. Beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Sift the flour with the salt & baking powder, then fold into the butter mixture.

*Place the dough in the baking pan and use your fingers to pat it down/in.

*Sprinkle the top with the remaining/colored sprinkles and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned.

*Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

I cut the shortbread into squares and put them into these to-go boxes I got from Hobby Lobby. It didn't turn out quite as cute as I'd hoped, but I've told you all I'm no Martha Stewart...


Home Alone Staring at Lots of Leftover Junk Food is Never a Good Thing, or Why My Ass is Big

The remnants of the girls' birthday cake are calling my name from the fridge. I'm home alone and I don't know how much longer I can hold out. That sweet, pillowy frosting. Oh no. The orgasmic chocolate cream filling in the middle. Oh my! The soft cake melting in my mouth like butta. Hellllllo, lover! It's rather unfortunate for my thighs that the little hooligans girls are more interested in their new loot than the leftover cake. It's pure gluttony. I can't help myself, I can't stop, aaaaack! ChompSlurpGulpSmack! And no amount of Jazzercise is going to cancel out the amount of cake I just consumed. Seriously, what is it with me & food? Why can't I be one of those girls who "forgets" to eat? Alas, it is just not meant to be. My love affair with food (and dessert in particular) is long and laced with sugar.

Abby & Izzy had a blast at their party. They fawned all over Funky Mama, who has been the bee's knees around here for several years now. They chattered so much Krista (Funky Mama's real first name) could barely get a word in edgewise. But Krista is a young mom herself, so she's not only used to it-- she thrives on it-- and kids are just naturally drawn to her. She is the cutest little thing I've ever seen and I couldn't have chosen a more positive & perfect role model for my kiddos!

There were a few kids who started out shy, but by the end everyone had warmed up and our basement became party central.

Now here's the rub. Funky Mama is releasing a new album in February. She will use some mommy blogs (a-hem, that would be someone like moi) to help get the word out. I'm trying not to get too excited, but she mentioned doing some giveaways via BlogLand. I will most definitely keep you posted because if you have young kiddos, you'll want to be in on this. So to get ready I want you to:

1.) Go check out Funky Mama's blog. Follow her.
2.) Go check out her site. Listen to clips of the songs. Heck, order a cd (they are $12 and so worth it) for yourself or for someone else as a gift!
3.) Become a Funky Mama Fan on Facebook.

That is all for now. More Hanukkah-related inspiration to come this week!

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