Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Sassbeos Redux - Now in version 3.0

Yes, you there in the corner of the internet. The one that was brave enough to click on the link or that swears you saw a pig flying by your window. And you probably did - as is evidenced by the fact that there is a new post on my blog.

Its not that my brain has stopped working for oh, roughly a year or so. I have been posting little snippets of how the redhead brain works on Facebook and whatnot. Its just that sitting down and writing something you know - organized and remotely thoughtful has been a little bit of a challenge. And since I just had my third kid (holy shit, how did that happen?) it seems a less challenging time to start back up. Yeah, whatever. Like I don't have enough going on with maternity leave that re-committing to this type of thing strikes me a slightly insane. And it probably is. The problem comes from the fact that my brain is a jumble of thoughts, snark-a-licious comments and generally judgmental observations that need to get out less they drive me to the looney bin. If my kids don't drop me off there first.

Not sure what I want to start with - that whole being pregnant thing is still pretty fresh and lord knows I have a lot to say on that count. As I do delivering said baby, being at home for a stretch of time, balancing 3 kids, and well - roughly 6846 other things I can think to share with you. I think today, as I sit in sub-arctic late February weather, surrounded by roughly a Mt. Everest stack of laundry that by all rights I should be current on, it is enough to just mark my return to the blog-o-sphere. Now I need you all to keep me honest and make sure that I continue to post on a regular basis. That will be the leading story for 2014 if I can keep it up. Time will tell.
But believe me when I say that while my cool card is on the verge of being revoked, my fashion sense has diminished in direct proportion to the outflow of money to child care, I can't make it past 10:52 PM on a given night without falling asleep on the couch and well, I can't even lie to the lady at the DMV anymore about my weight - my wit and straight talking approach to the world hasn't changed. Count on that.
More to come kiddos - come back and check me out soon. There are all kinds of thoughts abrewing in the noggin. Should be fun.

Friday, September 07, 2012


It's been 5 years today since I last talked to my mom.

5 years.
1825 days.
I won't bother with the hours, its too many.

Tomorrow marks the 5 year anniversary of my mom passing away. And I promise, this will probably be the last one of these that I do. There is something about this milestone, if that is even the right word, that has a sense of weight to it. Like, I have made it this far, the rest should be easy, right? That maybe I don't need to continue to re-visit this every year. Not sure, but it feels that way today.

But 5 years ago today, on a Friday as well, I was headed down to my parents house for the weekend, as I had done for every weekend before for roughly the last 2, 4, 6 -who knows,  months. I packed for just the weekend. We were all home. My brother was back on emergency leave from overseas. And we were living in this weird reality where words like palliative care, active-dying and hospice were the norm. And after having a few drinks with my sister -- odd, I know -- I sat in my parents living room, where my mother's bed had taken over, and I held her hand and I told her good-bye. That it was ok to let go and stop fighting. She didn't talk back - she hadn't really said anything for about a week at that point. But she was there. And the next morning when I came downstairs, she wasn't.

I know that I am not the first person to have that type of conversation with someone. Nor will I be the last. I also know that we are not the only family that has been ravaged by cancer. The truth is, we were ravaged by our loss. Its easy to direct all your anger and sadness at cancer. It's the gut-sucking, faith-rattling monster in the corner. But really, anyone who has lost someone feels anger, sadness, hurt, all of it, at some (many) point. I just get to point a finger at something in particular. And for all those who survive cancer (or any potentially fatal disease), and in the words of the gorgeous soul that lived down the street and that I used to babysit, tell cancer to "fuck off" - revel in. Take the victory lap. Have a huge party, indulge a little. You should. In every way possible.

Because what this post is about, although you probably can't tell up to this point, is life. And living it.
See in those ensuing 1825 days since that moment, I have continued to move forward with my life. So has my family. Easy - no, not always. Days like today still hurt. Or when you are with someone and they talk about what a great time they had with their mom just hanging out, and you just smile and nod, because well, that's all you can do. Or when you just need a level set that your kids biting other kids/beating the crap out of each other/still needing a pacifier at 3  is ok and you will get through it.  But you keep going.
And I think that, no - I know, that my mom would be proud of the living that I have done since then. I got married, had a few kids, bought a house, we opened a business, and I have continued to work my tail off at my own career as well. My order might be a little off, but don't judge. Let's not fool ourselves though - its not like we would have just sat around polishing our halo's and talking about how great we are. My mom and I disagreed on a lot. And I know that we would have butted heads more than once in the mommy-ring. But at the end of the day, we would have been ok. Plus, I out-weighed her and would have won on that merit alone. I also believe that her vision of my home would have been more Longaberger and Teddy Bears than the design astethic that I have. She would have gotten over it. I think.

My challenge now is to keep moving forward. To make the next 1825 days (and beyond)  as full of joy, laughter and meaning as I can. To impart on my kids how important your family is - whether they are there at that moment or not. To be the best, wife, mom, sister, friend, co-worker, pick one of the roughly 3 dozen labels I wear at any time, that I can be. That is what this journey is about. That is what my mom taught me. That is what she said to me in many conversations. That is what her legacy is all about. That is the beauty of that last coversation, I got to have it. Even if she didn't say a lot. She didn't need to.
She had already said plenty.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crap-tastic Post of the Month

I am sure that the utter shock to each of you that there is something NEW posted here is sorta more than you can handle. And for the record, there were 3 posts that I have started that are out there in half-finished draft form. Not that you will ever read them, as I am not sure where I was going with any of them after re-reading them.

There are many things that I could probably talk/vent about today. The political climate - filled with people who are straight up, "legitimate" bat-shit crazy. Not going to go there. Work - continues to be crazy busy and moving at like, Mach-150 on a pretty regular basis. Pizza - we still have lots and lots of it in our house. And really, I can't complain about pizza. Pizza is going to make me millions of dollars. At least that is the Plan. Might be Plan, A, B or C -- depends on the day. Could go with my weight - in the ever, literal, expanding and contracting of my waistline, we are currently on an upward trend. And not in a good way.

No, after months and months of silence, minus some micro-blogging on Facebook. And yes, I just said, micro-blogging. Who the eff am I?  Anyway, what has finally compelled me to take fingers to keyboards is shit.

I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Never in my life did I imagine there would come a time when my entire world would revolve around shit. And believe me, I thought at many times on the road that is parenting that I was there. But no, I really wasn't.
Allow me to explain.
We are potty training. 
And I get it. No one really wants to know the intricacies of potty training. The details, the fact that your kid did "a big-boy number 2" is just information that should stay in the sacred 4 walls of the bathroom.
And here is why, we all KNOW what potty training is about. We don't need a reminder. But I am going to go there as it has become all consuming in my world.

Example: hanging out with your kid and watching him start doing the crap-baby dance. You know the one -- grabbing at the rear, pulling at the pants, doubled over because "my tummy hurts". You ask, probably about 85 times in a 3 minute period if they need to go to the bathroom, and without fail - they answer no. Fast forward 5 minutes and you find your kid crouched behind the potted plant in the front room filling his drawers.

Or, you get kid to bed ( in a pull-up) and go to do a few things outside. You are talking to the neighbor when you hear your kid yelling, Mom, Mom, Mom, repeatedly. Well, we are all familiar with the stall tactics that your average 3 year old employs to get out of bedtime. So on with the yard clean up you go. Until about 5 minutes pass and as clear as a bell, and roughly loud enough to carry into the next suburb, you hear -- MOM, I made a big poop.
You think, pull-up, all good. Nope, walk into the room where there is a small cat sized crap on the carpet and your kid buck naked from the waist down, saying "see, I pooped."

Or the other time at night when he comes down from bed, again, naked from the waist down, butt covered in crap, and enlightens you to his latest BM. Head upstairs, where he has dumped the pull-up, with complete man-crap into the toilet, because, well - that's where the poop goes. Pull the pull-up, which at this point weighs roughly 86 lbs as it has absorbed most of the water in the toilet, and he flushes. Where the toilet proceeds to almost overflow and you have to attempt to describe what a plunger looks like to a 3 year old with no pants on.

And today, the average, run of the mill trip to Target. After asking about 13 dozen times before we left, we get there and I get a "Mom, I need to go to the potty". So rush to the bathroom. Which of course, the family bathroom was full, so crammed me, the 3 year old and the 2 year old into a single stall. And after negotiating the toilet so we didn't get pee on everything (he is practicing his aim, you know). The 2 year old decides that SHE needs to go potty. Which for the record, entails her sitting on the pot, breaking a little wind and saying "I go potty!"
Please understand, I get this is a good thing. Getting both kids out of diapers/pull-ups is sorta high on my "wouldn't that be awesome" list. So I  don't mean to sound discouraging to her, its just a lot in a 4x2 metal  bathroom stall. So regroup, search for the cart to ensure that nothing is missing, fight over who gets to sit in the front of the cart and move on. For about 3.3 minutes until Finn starts bending over and grabbing at his butt. Zoom BACK to the bathroom and yes, victory. Now, I am not too attuned to the daily regular schedule of my kids bathroom habits, but I felt at that point that we were good for the day.
Oh, how very wrong I was.
That is what I flitted across my mind as I was staring eye level at a toddler butt with another one hanging off my back saying " I pooped too..." and then following that with me saying the words you never imagined yourself saying to another human being.... "bend over the toilet so I can clean your butt"
And the hits just keep coming.

So, add the fact that I still have to clean up after the cat,  I have 3 living beings that I am literally responsible for their shit.
I know in my heart all of this will end and that this is a means to an end, but when I thought in the early baby months that blow-outs over my lap where the worst that the Crap Fairy could send me, I was clearly fooling myself.

Dear reader, if there are any of you left, that is my reality these days. Trying to get out of the constant bathroom duty that is a 2 & 3 year old attempting to get out of diapers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kicking ass and taking names

I watch a lot of TV. Probably too much. My excuse, for what it is worth goes something like this. I used to spend too much time out and having drinks. Or seeing bands. Or having drinks and seeing bands. Now, not so much. So the void had to be filled with something. And no, laundry doesn't count as an acceptable alternative. Back to the TV. We have a pretty heavy rotation of reality programming in our house, but with the dawn of the fall season, there are a few sitcoms that have wiggled their way into regular viewing. One new one, Up All Night, hits a pretty good nerve for all the reasons I just mentioned above. In this weeks episode, Christian Applegates's character made some comment early in about "kicking motherhoods ass". You see why I am a fan. And she had rattled off like, 10 things she had done, along with looking fabulous and having a high-profile, cool job. Now, I don't fancy myself that glamorous. I mean, come on -- Christina Applegate is pretty damn funny, looks awesome AND told cancer to suck it. So, I sorta love her for a lot of reasons.I don't however, think I am quite to that level of cool -- close, but not there yet. But the kicking motherhoods ass comment sorta stuck in my brain. And yes, I understand that this is a TV show, but come on, tell me you haven't had the uber-confident moment, you look around and you just ooze confidence, mom-ness and coolness all in one fell swoop. And so, yeah. Meghan: 1, Motherhood: 0 (for that round anyway, the real score is more like, Meghan: 2, Motherhood: 324,874)As I have thought about this, and then had this thought cemented in for me today, I tend to be in a motherhood ass-kicking mode on a Saturday morning. Joe works on Saturdays, so at no point do I really get the luxury of just running errands by myself or spending 2 hours trying to get the guest room aka the shit landing zone organized without constantly having the need to police two toddlers. And I am not complaining about that, knew that was going to be the case when we got together and I imagine at some point when we are dominating the pizza world, lording over it like the King & Queen we shall become, it will be a different story -- but for now, Saturdays = me, the kids and at 8 AM, an ass-kicking attitude.
My internal monologue goes something like this,

"Knock off breakfast, play for a bit, then we are going to get dressed, hit the bookstore, the mall, maybe Target and time permitting ...some other store that will suck up my money."

And surprisingly, my ass-kicking, motherhood self reassures me that THIS is a good plan. And we will all be in great moods and it will go off without a hitch.
And off we go -- with the foreshadowing starting with getting the kids in the car and the mini-fit thrown about which fruit snacks we take with us. I should have taken heed and that point, but dammit, I was KICKING ASS, motherhood style.
First stop: bookstore. Getting some new stuff for the kids, Keeping reading FUN. Which we did a pretty good job of until....The bookstore has also turned into a toy store. And all the toys are placed right at eye level of say, 1 and 2 year olds. So, battled with the 1 year old about not taking the stuffed doggie that she insisted on having. By insisting, I mean shouting "mine, mine, mine" with all her 16 month old might. Then the 2 year old found the Thomas the Train set they had set up in the kids area. If you have been under a rock for the last 12 months, let me refresh your memory. My kid digs trains. I mean, DIGS trains. So between thumbing through my new read ( the cool parents tutorial on potty training -- yeah, that's what my nightstand reading looks like) and reminding the kids to play nicely with the other kids milling around, things were actually pretty calm. Until I said the most horrendous, the most appalling thing anyone in the history of the world has ever said..."Its time to go".
Queue the full blown, old-school, throw-yourself-on-the-floor tantrum from the 2 year old. Now to recap, its me, solo. The 83 lb mom-bag, the one year old and a small handful of books. All of that is nestled in the crook of my left arm. So not much I can do about the fit-throwing 2 year old. My only saving grace was that it was in the kids section, so in theory, everyone there could relate. At least that is what I told myself. Finally, we get over the tantrum. Getting over it is defined as giving in to said two year old and buying the $6 book on fire trucks because that was going to get us out the door.
And we made it. One would think at this point, that I would acquiesce to my ass-kicking mentality and call it in.
oooooh, how wrong  you are. Reminder; Meghan is Irish. Meghan is stubborn. Meghan is going to do what she wants.
So off to the next store we went. That was fairly uneventful Other than the ludicrous amount of money I spent - Target OWNS me. However, towards the end of our check out, both kiddos started pushing the limits.
Clearly, now I went home.
No, we were going to get lunch. See part of kicking motherhoods ass, means that I am reclaiming my body that mother hood stomped on, beat up, stretched out and loaded up with extra weight. Thus, I started WeightWatchers this week. Caveat: I have no grandiose ideas of like, Giselle's or Heidi's body or anything. All I know is that I am about 15 lbs shy of my max PREGNANCY weight and something has to give. Plus, I am not willing to buy clothes in larger sizes, so we called in the pros. What this means is that the current pantry at my house isn't very conducive to the new eating. So we were going to go somewhere I could eat and get the kids some chow as well. The meal began with both kids squirting about 1/3rd of their juice boxes all over themselves before sip one. Faolan is in a high chair, so I can keep her in check. Finn however, is in a chair. A chair that he decides he does not want to sit in. He in running everywhere. And all I want to do is eat my meal. So again, in my weakness, I just let him hang off the back of the baby's high chair. Seems a good compromise. Then we start throwing things. And of course, whatever her brother does, little McDiva must follow, so yeah - juice boxes, spoons and the piece de la resistance -- the food. At that point, we are done. So corral everyone, try to clean up our mess and get out the door, but not before Finn takes off like shot, I go running after him, dodging some teenagers and barely holding on to Faolan and my purse at the same time. I find him down the hall, climbing on the high chairs.
Motherhood has now kicked my ass.
And I don't think I will be taking my kids out to dine in public for like, 15 years given the current state of their table manners.
I can report that we made it home in one piece. A little worse for the wear, and just when I thought - a little peace and quite awaits me on the other side of putting them down for naps, Finn freaks out when I put him in his room and take off his shoes. Why is he freaking you ask? Because I took off his shoes. For naptime. Shoes. Yeah, I don't get it either. Oh, and his tantrum woke up the 1 year old who had fallen asleep on the ride home.
Ass kicked.
I think what I am getting at in this VERY long winded post - see, this is what happens when I don't post for like, a month -- is that I AM (bolded and underlined by me)  kicking motherhoods ass. Every day. My kids are happy. They are also 2.5 and 16 months, so that means that the world is always a little more challenging. My marriage is great, our house is a total wreck, and professionally - we are owning it. But some days, the ass kicking is an hour by hour give and take. Motherhood is out there to remind you what is at stake with these little people and not let you get too comfortable, less you let your guard down. Because the stakes don't get any higher than forming and shaping the lives of your kids.
Now, if only I could get my hair to look as great as Christina Applegates, then I would REALLY  own it.

Now Listening: the neighbors leaf blower - a stark reminder that somewhere in my schedule, the yard needs some love.