Wings. Beer. Deep Contemplation.

James and I were eating some wings and having a bucket of beer at Culpepper’s last Friday night when I noticed something that made me say aloud…”I need to blog that out.”

We decided then that we would find more examples to add to the list of “SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE HARD CORE.”

1: When you go to a bar and you bring a “bottle cozy” for your beer, you fucking MEAN IT. I would ask you why you left your trailer (because who is watching the meth lab while you are gone?) but the reason you meandered into an actual establishment is and will always will be one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. Maybe you got lost on your way to the carnival? Wait…maybe you are from the carnival and you are taking a break from spreading pixie dust on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Who knows? But I salute you.

2: When it’s 2007 and you still have a mullet. I am not talking about a $250 hair cut making the mullet happen in a “trendy” way with about 2 pounds of product in your locks. I am referring to when you are at Ponderosa with your dirty trucker hat on…sporting a Nascar shirt with the sleeves cut off to expose your cleverly designed swastika tattoo (made up of axes and other medieval torture items) and acid wash jeans. You, my friend, are fucking serious. Though you are business in the front – party in the back; I know you are all business. All the time. All you need at this point is a perm. Just do it, there is no turning back for you anyway.

3: Ladies, this one is for you. When something within you compels you to bleach your hair to a point beyond any recognizable color found in nature, then go to the tanning bed until your skin is spotted with carcinoma, and you have varicose veins running up and down your legs; you are not attractive. You have passed the point of sexy about 75 tanning sessions and 14 “highlights” ago. Your hair breaks when wind blows through it, and your skin is now made of leather. If we were on a plane that crashed in the Andes, and it was time to eat you, I wouldn’t do it unless I was in the mood for jerky. Stop going to the tanning bed. You are late for chemo.

3 is all I have for now. Don’t worry, I am headed out for the weekend, I will be back with fresh ideas.

Joe Dirt

Dude. Parenting.

Lately in my life I feel like I need to sit down and really blog out how I have been feeling about parenting. As you know, I am a proud parent of three amazing children. I can literally go on and on about how rewarding and constant a job parenting has proven to be for me. I know I tend to segway so I guess the best way to do this is with bullet points.

  • Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Actually you can purchase a zillion books written by people on how to “do it right”. Some are from a scientific angle, some are from the viewpoint of a professional who has a degree in some area…but the thing about individual families is that we are individuals. Each parent has his or her own make up and belief structure, hence all the different children in the world. Not that I am qualified to give advice but do you know what I do? I do what feels right. I am not a perfect mom. I don’t want anyone to ever think I even pretend I think I am. I want to put that out there before I go on. I do, however, have two children ages 8 (in 11 days) and 10 (in 84 days) who most would agree are pretty well-behaved and intelligent, polite little people. Does that make me an expert? No. But I am not about to step up on a soapbox and spit about parenting if I have never even tried it. So there you have it, I have an almost 8 and 10 year old and an almost 3 month old. There’s my experience. Keeping that in mind, you can likely take the rest of what I say along with $5.99 and go get a cup of coffee.
  • No matter how well you believe you are doing, you will always have critics. Most of the time your critics are your children. The critiquing usually starts around the first sweet little coo you hear your innocent little lovebug mutter. It never ends until you die. My youngest child Kennedy has already been Simon Cowell. Turns out she is not a fan of the vocal stylings of mom. I don’t have any teens yet, but from what I have done to my poor mother and what I see with my friends who already have teens, these opinions only grow stronger. I love children. If we could afford it, I would have as many children as my little body could handle. My husband’s opinion may not match (he says the pregnancy was harder on him than it was on me…don’t even get me started on that one) but I do adore children. Children grow up from the stages of adoration for their parents, into actual people (who’da thunk it?) with their very own opinions and often skewed versions of the truth and selective memories and urges to do all sorts of things like remind you constantly that they know everything and you are stupid…ugh. Right now, I am lucky enough to be respected and loved by my three angels. I know this is just something we are going through right now. Much like it will be something we are going through when they turn 13 and realize I am retarded and I don’t know anything. I am not anxious for that phase. My biggest critic at the moment happens to be my former mother-in-law. She doesn’t really say anything to me as much as she says things about me. Try to follow this…it bothers me that it bothers me more than it actually bothers me what she says about me. I would go into explicit detail about what exactly she says about me but then I wouldn’t be any better than her would I?
  • If you lead, your children will follow. This is true no matter what. Do meth. Your kids will do it too. Hit your wife. Then your son will hit his wife and your daughter will choose a man who hits her. Go to church. Your children will believe in God. Eat your vegetables, well…bad example. Children thrive in a structured environment. They want rules. They want you to tell them not to do bad things. They don’t want to be the kids who are in trouble at school because they can’t manage a strict routine. They want you to show them what is expected of them in their environment because they want to fit in and be accepted. Just like you. Remember that no matter what you are doing, your children are learning how to do it by watching you.

  • This life is fleeting. You do not get a second chance. If you have made the choice to be a parent, always keep in mind that you are in charge of not only what your child does, but the way he or she raises his or her children, and so on. People only do what they are trained to do. If you are a parent, you are parenting in a way that reflects what your parents did with you. You may be doing exactly what your parents did, or you may be doing the exact opposite, but either way, you are using what you have learned to raise your children. I believe that each person grows up and either decides their childhood wasn’t so bad and carries on what they have been taught or they think the way they were raised sucks so they choose to do things in a different way. I do both. I was raised in a single-parent home by a mom who often struggled with her not-so-awesome upbringing and wrestled with the bitterness that she felt because her marriage sucked and she was doing it all on her own. I know she did the best she could with me and my brother. I want to do that with my children. I am fortunate enough to have found a man who wants to do all of it as my partner.
  • The final thing I will say…I am getting kinda tired…is that no matter what I do, I can sleep well at night because I know that no matter how miserably I feel like I have failed on some days as a mom; I did what I thought was right at the moment and I did it because I love my children like I love the breath in my lungs. The only thing I care about in this cruel world is making sure my children are successful and I am doing everything I do because of my deep unconditional love for them. I am amazed more by them each day. I will never forget how lucky and proud I am to be their mom. Though sometimes it’s a thankless job, there is no other job as rewarding as being a mother.