Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stress on the Beach

I adore the beach—I love everything about it: the sand, the sun, the crashing waves, the trashy clubs...even the stupid seagulls.   Long ago, in my BM years (that's "Before Marriage," people, not "the days during which I pooped a whole lot"), my girlfriends and I had an established routine when we went to the beach.  In fact, our routine was not too much different than that of those airheads from "Jersey Shore"—except that instead of "gym, tan, laundry," our mantra was "swim, nap, party," followed by sleep (optional).  Then repeat.

But those days are long gone now.  Since my children came on the scene, my idea of the perfect beach vacation has morphed into "anything which requires little to no effort on my part." Presently, my idea of heaven on earth would be to simply alternate between lazily bobbing in the ocean and languishing on a towel in the sun.  A trashy chick-lit novel might make an appearance in there somewhere, but only if I felt the need to engage my brain in something more stimulating than people-watching.

Unfortunately, on our recent trip to Bethany Beach in Delaware, I was neither afforded the opportunity to nap on the beach nor to frolic in the waves.  And the only people I got to watch were my children, who, left unsupervised, would have quickly wandered down the beach to disappear amongst the throngs of vacationers.  (Dammit, why don't they sell leashes along with the beach toys on the boardwalk?)

No—I spent most of my time struggling to confine our little rugrats to our family's immediate area, which only served to annoy the little monkeys.  They expressed their frustration by alternately throwing sand at me and marauding through nearby vacationers' areas to plunder the unsuspecting tourists' beach gear. 

My 20-month-old daughter was particularly interested in everyone else's flip-flops, and occasionally she would insist that some grave mistake had been made, and that the nearby ten-year-old's Spiderman Crocs were not his, but instead were—in fact—her own.  We were forced to ride out several theatrical tantrums before my little girl found my Glamour magazine and discovered that tearing pages out of it was almost as much fun as stealing shoes.

I decided I was happy to sacrifice the mag if it meant I could plop my ass in a chair for a few minutes and could stop apologizing to everyone in our immediate vicinity.

And I must admit that she did look quite adorable in her little shades, paging through my Glamour mag and occasionally tearing out the choicest pages.

Even though I knew that bringing little children to the beach would be wrought with complications, I was nevertheless determined to have a damn good time.  I had been looking forward to this trip for at least six months, and I had actually begun preparing back in March when I had formally initiated my search for the perfect swimsuit.

Now, I think we can all agree that bathing-suit shopping is one of the most torturous activities we endure as women.  I don't know of a single woman who enjoys swimsuit shopping, even if she's a size 00, has had no children, and is built like a praying mantis with boobs (I'm talking about long arms and skinny legs here... not bulging eyeballs—that would be creepy).

But once you add a belly that has accommodated two children and boobs that have gone south from having breastfed two greedy little mouths for many long months, it's damn near impossible to find a suit that makes you look like anything other than what you are—a MOM (unless you're Heidi Klum, in which case I will refer back to my previous praying mantis reference).

Last year I was still nursing during our beach trip and had yet to lose some baby weight, so I was in full-on mom-suit mode.  I had purchased my suit at K-Mart from the Jaclyn Smith collection, since those suits, although ill-fitting and generally unflattering, offer ample coverage of—well—everything really.  Let's just say that the skirt on the tankini was so long I could have worn it out to a nice dinner.

But this year I was determined to wear something that was at least slightly reminiscent of the sexy gal I used to be, and since a dear friend had raved about what Victoria's Secret suits do for "the boobies," I had gone on a full-out VS Swimsuit-buying mission, beginning five months before the actual vacation to make sure I had enough time to find the perfect suit.

I perused catalogs, searched the web and sent my family and friends endless messages via Facebook, asking them to help me decide between the merits of swimsuit A vs. swimsuit B, then comparing them to the other ten I had proposed the previous week.  I knew I had started to go overboard when, upon logging in to check my Facebook messages, I was repeatedly greeted with the message "[Insert name here] has left the conversation."  My friends started dropping out of the voting process with startling frequency, but I just couldn't stop—I had to find that perfect suit, and I just didn't trust my own judgment.

One day, after I had whittled down my choices to two finalists and sent out the photos for voting purposes, my mother responded angrily, "Just buy both of them for God's sake and be done with it!"  So I did, mostly for fear that in the future, any person that I would approach for advice would stick her fingers in her ears and shout "La la la la la... I can't hear you!!!"

Fortunately, my bathing suits arrived and were glorious.  My boobs stood at attention (well, almost... it pretty much takes an act of Congress and some heavy-duty construction equipment to haul them back up to their original location these days, but at least the effect was light-years better than what Jaclyn Smith had to offer), and the bright patterns nicely camouflaged my post-baby pudge.  They even had cute matching skirts that hinted at being sexy while still managing to hide my cellulite and sagging rump.  I was ready for the beach!

Ready, that is, until hurricane Irene turned the calm surf into chaotic seas on our last day at the beach before being evacuated. 

Before that day, I had spent all my time on land, supervising my children and making sure that they didn't suck on too many broken seashells (Clara was fascinated by their texture on her tongue), eat too much sand or ingest any seagull crap.  But dammit, regardless of the fact that the seas were ridiculously rough, it was our last day at the beach, and I wanted to go in the ocean.

My husband bravely volunteered to accompany me down to the edge of the water, where the waves were crashing heavily and lifeguards were alternating between whistling at people and occasionally rescuing floundering swimmers.  The rest of our family was huddled under umbrellas, safely out of reach of the angry seas, and my in-laws had promised to keep an eye on the kiddos while my hubby and I attempted to take a romantic stroll in the surf on what was to be our last day at the beach.

Wading a few feet into the water was awkward—the waves kept crashing on us full-force, knocking us around.  I tried to convince my husband to accompany me slightly farther out, past the breaking point, where the ocean was a bit calmer, but he looked at me like I had two heads and basically said, "No freaking way.... LOOKOUT!!!"

I turned just in time to see a huge wave about to break on top of us, and I reached out to grab my husband's hand, but it was too late.  The wave crashed right into me, knocked me off my feet, and forcibly ripped off my bathing suit bottom.  I was fortunate to save it with my foot before it got washed away, and I frantically thrashed around, trying to get both legs back into the bottoms while being repeatedly pounded by the waves.

My husband saw me flailing about in the surf and tried hard to yank me to my feet.  "Hold on!!!"  I kept shouting.  "Wait! I can't stand up!"

I had my bathing suit bottom tangled around my knees and was frantically trying to get it up over my butt while the undertow threatened to suck me back out to sea.  Honestly, at that moment I would have been content with being dragged back out—at least I could have held my breath while using both hands to get my bottoms back on!  Instead I was stuck in no-man's land, being tossed around in the surf, trying to get my skirt back up over my butt with one hand while my husband yanked so hard on the other arm that I thought it might just pop out of its socket.

"Get up!  Hurry!  Another wave's coming!" he screamed at me, frantically trying to haul me to my feet while struggling to keep himself upright. 

(Apparently, while this was all going on, our relatives were watching from the shore with mild concern.  Various theories were being tossed around as to why I was flopping around in the surf like a dying fish.)

But despite my husband's continued insistence that I stand up right now, the absolute last thing I wanted was to be the girl that lost her bathing suit bottom in front of an entire beach of vacationers, my in-laws, and the numerous other relations that had come along.

Eventually I got the skirt back on (albeit twisted halfway around), allowed my hubby to yank me to my feet and wobbled back toward our towel on shaky legs.  When we returned to our family and told them the story, the following picture was taken to commemorate the moment.  I'd like to note that, in this picture, I have about a pound of sand lodged in my butt crack and lady parts.  Thank God for the skirt, or the entire beach would have thought I'd pooped myself.

Looking back on the incident, I suppose it's rather sad that I would have preferred being dragged back out to sea over having the entire beach population see my pale, dimpled ass and C-section scar.  But I'm not going to waste the precious few brain cells that motherhood has left me with by analyzing this.

No—instead, I'm taking this as a learning experience. And what I've learned is this:

A. Buying an expensive, brand-name swimsuit does not guarantee that said suit will stay on my body when it matters most.

B. Victoria's Secret suits are great for lounging, playing in the sand, and being gawked at... (the boobs do look rather good, no?), but when it comes to real water action, I'm best off buying a sexless racerback by Speedo.

C. I don't necessarily have to go in the ocean to have the perfect beach vacation; sometimes, it really is enough to just stay on land, "read" a magazine with my daughter, and help my son dig his hundredth hole in the sand.

Lesson Learned.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's That Smell?

For the past week I've noticed a rather odd odor floating around me—something vaguely chemical—oh I know!  It's that cheap self-tanner I'm slathering all over myself in preparation for our trip to the shore!

Okay, maybe it's wrong of me to call it cheap—just because I bought it at the Dollar Tree I shouldn't automatically assume it's crap—it is made by Hawaiian Tropic after all.  I discovered it in my local Dollar Tree approximately six years ago and have been planning on using it every summer since... but first I just forgot, and then I got pregnant and didn't want to slather myself with chemicals while incubating a human fetus for fear my child might be born with a palm tree sprouting out of its head—after all, that's what's pictured on the bottle of the self-tanner (a palm tree, not a mutant baby.  Obviously.)

And then when I was breastfeeding I still avoided slopping on the goo, for fear of my baby ending up looking like this:
By the time all the breastfeeding was done, I had gotten so out of shape that the thought of bothering to tan anything didn't matter, since the idea of showing my legs in public made me want to cry and I was therefore not planning on revealing anything anyway.

Then I got pregnant again, breastfed again, finally lost the baby weight...and, well, now I'm giving the self-tanner a try, especially since it promises to camouflage such terrors as spider veins, and, ahem, cellulite.  Of course, at this point I believe the goop has been expired for at least five years, so it's no surprise that I've merely gone from "pasty white girl" to "pasty white girl who looks like she might have gone outside for ten minutes on an overcast day" during the past week that I've been slathering it on.

Still, I feel like I should at least make the effort, especially since I purchased eight bottles of the stuff when I found it all those years ago, and those eight bottles have been taking up precious real estate in my bathroom cabinets ever since.  Come on...Hawaiian Tropic self-tanner for a dollar?  How could I not stock up?!

At any rate, all of this slathering of goo has caused me to be a bit stinky, and frankly, I'm surprised my husband hasn't noticed yet.  He is blessed with an unbelievably sensitive nose and usually notices the slightest change of odor in anything. 

In fact, when I got pregnant with my first child, at some point during the first month I climbed into bed next to him to snuggle up, and he remarked, "Hmmm.... you smell different."  (He was just referring to my skin, by the way... we were barely even touching at the time).  I made the mistake of asking how exactly I smelled different, and he pondered for a minute, then responded, "I don't know exactly.  You just smell kind of... gamey.

I don't know if there's any good way to take it when your husband tells you you smell gamey, but according to him I took it the wrong way because I pretty much burst into a fit of hormonal sobbing and turned my back on him, refusing to touch him for the rest of the evening.  I then spent the rest of my pregnancy obsessively sniffing various areas of my body to see if I detected anything that might smell like, well, alligator per se.  Or maybe wild boar.

But at any rate, I explained to him yesterday as I climbed into bed that any strange smells emanating from my person were to be attributed to self-tanner, and he predictably laughed at me and asked me why the heck I was bothering with self-tanner.

"Because we're going to the beach, and I don't want to be pasty white!"  I responded.  He argued that he and the kids would be pasty white too, so what difference did it make?

How could I explain that I secretly fantasized that this little bottle would magically transform me from an average housewife into THIS!!???

I know... keep dreaming, right?
I decided not to point out that no one would really care if he was pasty, or to go into the details of how cellulite is significantly less noticeable on tanned skin, so I just told him that he wouldn't understand, that he should shut up about it already, and that he'd best not make any comments on how I smell for the next few days if he had any hopes of "getting lucky" before our trip.  He nodded.  Good—we were on the same page.

So this morning I was doing my usual ritual slopping-on of goop, and I think I added a bit more than usual in a frantic effort to eek at least a little of the "natural island glow" this product promised to impart.  I also applied super-duper amounts of the stuff to my inner and outer thighs in an attempt to "contour" my legs, as I'd been advised to do by Glamour magazine in order to provide the optical illusion of slimmer "gams." (I didn't tell my husband about the contouring part... I would never hear the end of it.)

So I smelled particularly offensive this afternoon while making my daughter her lunch, which is probably why I didn't immediately notice that she had pooped herself massively, soiling not only herself, but her outfit, the carpet, and the surrounding toys too.

Normally I would have smelled something like that in a heartbeat—the whole room stank.  But I didn't notice her condition until I approached her to tell her that lunch was ready, at which point I promptly gagged and reconsidered the idea of lunch altogether.  I was immediately forced to strip my daughter down, throw away the outfit she was wearing and frantically carry her upstairs—held away from me at arms' length—to plop her in the bathtub. 

After bathing her I convinced her to take a nap (she didn't even want lunch, and I had lost my appetite too), and then I tiptoed back downstairs to face the waiting mess.  I tackled the carpet with a rag and some knockoff Oxi-Clean (also ironically purchased about six years ago from the Dollar Tree), shuddered viscerally at the stink of it all, threw the rag in the laundry and went upstairs to have some "quiet time" for Mommy (this usually involves my bed, the computer, and some Valium).

So now the house is quiet, and here I sit, typing away and calming myself down.  But what's killing me now is that I can't seem to shake the poo smell.  I still faintly detect it, even though I've thoroughly wiped myself down and cleaned everything downstairs.  But even with all that effort, between the poo odor and the self-tanner smell, I'm just about ready to yack, and I have a nagging feeling that I'm now infecting my bed with invisible poo molecules.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I'm a mom—what I really need...what I seem to always need, in fact—is another shower, not skinny thighs.  Screw "contouring!"  I'm going to wash off!
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Pee Myself

This past weekend I had the privilege of getting together with some college girlfriends whom I haven't seen in a long, long time.  And we weren't just any gals that happened to spend time together in our college days; no, we were the girls who held each others' hair back while we puked; the ones who picked each other up after terrible breakups—the ones we'd shared our dreams and ambitions with.

Needless to say, I was looking forward to this reunion with unbridled anticipation!

I was third to arrive at the beautiful lake house, and after making probably the only important decision I would need to make during my stay—whether to sleep in the bedroom with the leopard-print sheets or the one with the cozy blue country decor—we settled in, reminisced, procured some fancy wine and donned our bathing suits for a delicious soak in the hot tub. 

We retold the usual college stories: the ones involving guys we wish we'd kissed and guys we regret kissing in the first place, and occasionally a new confession would arise and we would all gasp in amazement that our friend had kept us in the dark about said scandal for all these years!

But once we had downed enough booze, the conversation turned.  We began lamenting what our bodies had become since hitting thirty.  Gray hairs were cursed at repeatedly (which I personally think only served to anger said hairs, causing them to recruit troops even more rapidly for the inevitable takeover),  boobs were likened to saggy pancakes, bellies and butts were disparaged, and fat rolls were treated as stealthy shape-shifting invaders from another planet.

We talked of all the ways our bodies had betrayed us as we had gotten older.  Eventually, when we ran out of wine, we relocated from the hot tub to the bar in the basement where there was more alcohol to fortify us for the depressing conversation.  The lamentations continued over various bottles of liquor.

There were the usual statements like, "Oh yeah? You think your boobs are saggy?  I can hold a whole pack of markers under mine!"  And "When did my ass get so huge?"

All was going well until I chimed in with, "And don't you hate it when you laugh too hard or jump around too much and accidentally pee yourself?!"

Silence.  Stares of disbelief.  Everyone just gaped at me—stunned.  It was sort of like one of those moments in a crowded bar when suddenly everything goes quiet and you hear some random guy drunkenly shout, "And so then the fire department had to come and surgically remove my penis from the hole in the tree!  Who wants to see the scar?!"

I turned beet red.  One of the girls quietly said, "Really?  Wow... that sucks."  Another girl, in awe, said "Yeah, you definitely win with that one."

Apparently I had just won the "most pitiful problem since turning thirty or having children" game, and I silently wondered how convincing I could be if I shouted "Just kidding!"  Two of the gals who openly  planned on never having children high-fived each other and said, "Well, another reason not to have kids!  Glad we won't have to worry about that!"

I didn't think this "involuntary peeing" was such an unusual problem; in fact, I'd heard about it frequently amongst my circles of local mommy friends.  But here, with this crew, I felt like some bizarre freak-pageant winner.

I wondered when I would be presented with my official "I PEE MYSELF" sash.

I decided not to tell them the details about how, right after my son's birth, I had partially choked on an apple slice and had wet myself so badly that I had soaked my pajamas and limped upstairs, hysterically sobbing, to tell my husband that I just couldn't take it—he would have to take care of our son for the evening while a very understanding girlfriend (who happened to be a nurse and was completely unfazed by such things) escorted me to CVS and held my hand as I hobbled down the "incontinence" aisle in a state of absolute horror and depression.  

No, I didn't tell that story.  Instead, I believe I shouted rather desperately, "Who wants another round of shots!?"  How about this stuff?!   I pointed to a bottle that looked like this:
Never having studied Spanish in school, I announced that I wanted to try the "El-May-Whore"... which nearly got me laughed off the proverbial island.  We did a few shots and then made some mixed drinks that put the Kool-Aid-and-plastic-bottle-vodka concoctions we drank in college to shame.  We got tipsy and silly, and it was glorious to be together again, laughing and shouting over each others' conversations, occasionally losing our balance and collapsing on top of each other in fits of giggles.

At some point, after much alcohol had been consumed, we thought it would be awesome to do an interpretive dance to that quintessential classic: "Baby Got Back."  Someone queued up the song on her iPod, and we all grabbed our rumps and began smacking them and swinging them wildly about in the direction of whomever was filming at the time.  It was our own "thirty-something" take on Girls Gone Wild (minus the boob-flashing and girl-on-girl action.)  We did, however, lament the absence of a stripper pole, which we believed would have added considerable interest to our performance.

Towards the end of the song, whatever alcohol I had ingested inspired me to repeatedly whip one of my friends in the rear with a super-sized Twizzler before tying it around my neck (the Twizzler, not her butt).  In short, it was epic, and while I am dying to share the video here, I have sworn a solemn oath never to let it go public.  (And despite my husband's assertion that it's a bunch of shaky-blurry schlock that makes no sense at all, I am personally certain that it would become an instant internet sensation, get featured on Tosh.O, and eventually get us nominated for "America's Got Talent.")

This was just like college—except in some ways it was better.  We were now adults who knew what and how much we could drink without completely regretting it, so no one was throwing up all night or so hung-over the next morning that she couldn't go swimming.  And no one was crying over a boy or trying to wander out and find one to take home.

Our company was enough, and it was perfect.

On my final afternoon at the lake house, we were involved in a game of Blokus—an intriguing strategy game that is incredibly frustrating for those of us who aren't good at spatial-awareness type endeavors—and I suddenly felt tears forming behind my eyes.  Before I knew it, I was weeping on my pretty plastic Tetris-shaped game pieces, causing them to float about in a shallow saltwater moat of sadness and gratitude.

I couldn't believe how quickly the weekend had gone by, and as much as I missed my family, I didn't want to leave these dear girls who had played such an essential part in my life over the years.   We had come together for the weekend from various states on the East Coast, and I had no idea when I would see them all again.  It made me sad for all that was lost, and incredibly grateful for all we still had.

So to my girls, who've definitely still "got it," I love you, I miss you, and I thank you for one of the best weekends of my post-thirty life. 

But I've got one bone to pick—where's my damn sash already?

Oh, wait... here it is—and I model it like a pro, if I do say so myself!

This picture was taken during our drunken fun, and I just thought it was the perfect shot to use for the sash!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Must... Get... Out!!!!

Well, here I am, in a familiar predicament once again.  Very soon I will be on the road, driving to a lakeside paradise where I will rendezvous with some dear girlfriends that I haven't seen since college.  Actually, I had hoped to be on the road by now, but as usual, endless unpredictable factors seem to be conspiring against me.

Well, to be honest, the first problem was sort of predictable—I am a notoriously bad packer.  Well, not exactly bad per se, but I do tend to over-pack, obsessively cramming every combination of clothing that I could possibly need into my tiny suitcase.  My philosophy has always been that we never know what might happen—we might get caught in a hurricane, the roads could get flooded with ice-cold water, and I might just need that full-body wetsuit after all. 

I admit that my tendency to over-pack has caused problems in the past; however, the worst situation by far occurred several years ago when my husband and I decided to take a "pre-kids" trip to Hawaii. I had always dreamed of going to Hawaii, and I wanted the trip to be perfect, so I had planned on packing enough outfits that I would have a full week's worth of clothing that would account for any possible climate, situation, or opportunity we might encounter.

To prepare for the momentous trip, I had selected a couple of my finest dresses and heels, two pairs of sneakers, some flip flops, other casual shoes, jeans, tee shirts, a sweater or two, and of course, all manner of swimwear.  I was also bringing my professional digital camera, two other digital cameras, and three (yes, three) tripods. 

I was happily stuffing my second suitcase past its limits of tolerance and merrily "condensing" the suitcase's contents by bouncing my rump up and down on top of the luggage, when my husband came in and promptly berated me for my packing methods.  He gave me a considerable lecture and repeatedly emphasized that I was over-packing, but he soon realized that despite his best efforts I was simply not going to just abandon an entire suitcase's worth of carefully selected shoes, dresses, and coordinating Aloha-wear.  

He then came up with an idea.

He was a Boy Scout, and dammit, Boy Scouts were nothing if not efficient packers.  He boasted that he could fit all of my stuff into only one suitcase, and when I protested, he smugly said, "Just watch the expert and learn."

So he dumped everything out of the second suitcase that I had been bouncing on, furrowed his brow in concentration, and began folding up my garments like he was engaged in some demented form of origami. 

I watched in annoyance as he completely unpacked and repacked the contents of my two suitcases—defying the laws of physics to cram everything into the one larger suitcase—and when I protested that my clothing was going to be completely wrinkled and useless by the time we arrived at our destination, he merely responded, "Well I'll be damned if I'm going to lug two of your suitcases through various airports when everything will clearly fit into one."

I decided it would be a poor time to point out that the zipper on the suitcase appeared ready to split at any given moment, and given its condition, it would most likely not survive the trips between airports anyway.  I kept my mouth shut, and we headed off.

We arrived at the airport, waited through the security line and went to the counter to check our baggage.  My husband hefted my overstuffed bag onto the scale, and—surprise, surprise—it was way over the weight limit... by, say, twenty pounds or so. 

Not being experienced travelers, we didn't realize that we could just pay a fee for the overweight luggage and be on our merry way.  Instead, my husband thought that we had to redistribute the weight through the rest of the bags before we would be allowed to get on the plane. 

"Hold on... I'll take care of this!" he shouted, and he stepped to the side and frantically began unzipping the overstuffed piece of luggage.  When the zipper was halfway open, the bag simply gave way, and my clothing literally exploded out of the bag and rained down onto the airport floor like confetti at an underwear parade.

I believe I turned some horrible shade of purple at this point; I wasn't sure what to be more embarrassed about—the fact that my bras and underwear were strewn about the airport—or the fact that it was my husband that was frantically shoving those bras and panties into his laptop bag, my purse, his pockets, my camera bag, and any other possible place he could think of to keep the weight out of the suitcase. 

Needless to say, twenty pounds of clothing is not that easy to redistribute. 

We shifted clothing and accessories around repeatedly, stuffed panties into our pockets and bras in our carry-ons, and did quite a bit of silent praying, but each time the luggage was weighed we were told that they were sorry, but the bags were still overweight. 

The baggage-check attendant then informed us that we would need to purchase an additional piece of luggage when we got to our destination so that we would be able to island-hop without having the same problem at every airport.

I just about lost it at this point.  I won't bore you with the details of exactly what I screamed at my husband in front of the other bemused travelers, but I believe it had something to do with the fact that because of his damn pride, now the whole freaking Philadelphia airport knew that I preferred bikini-cut undies, often with cute little designs on them like polka-dots or the occasional Hello Kitty moniker.

My husband is nothing if not thrifty, so he absolutely refused to buy an additional piece of luggage. Instead, he called his sister, who broke all manner of speed limits to race to the airport with an extra backpack she owned so that we could move enough clothing around to make the weight limit. 

And so, instead of island-hopping with two coordinating suitcases that neatly strapped together as I had originally planned, we were now forced to carry a hodge-podge collection of bags that seemed intent on fighting amongst themselves over which bag got the honor of tumbling underfoot to trip us.

We still had a wonderful time, but to this day we debate over who was in the wrong.  My husband still insists that there would have been no problem in the first place if I hadn't over-packed.  I claim that if he had let me bring my second bag along, we would have breezed through the airports with nary a glitch.  I suppose we both have our points.

But back to the present—this still doesn't help me with my situation of getting out the door on time.  My daughter is now refusing to eat her lunch.  I have offered her pretty much every food she likes, and she is rejecting them all, throwing them on the floor and sullenly turning her back on me.  Sigh. 

And, although I'm now completely packed and ready to go, I still have to deal with this before I can actually get on the road:

Notice how she's deliberately IGNORING all the food in front of her, and how much of it is on the floor.

But regardless... the lake awaits!  And I think my first order of business upon arrival will be to have a good, stiff drink.   Ahhhhhh!   My daughter will be staying with my mother-in-law tonight, and I will have freedom!!!   (Oh yes it's ladies' night... and the feelin's right... oh yes it's ladies' night....)   Um, excuse me.... I don't know what came over me just then.

But anyway, happy early weekend everyone! Stumble Upon Toolbar
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