Sunday, September 25, 2011

TSA Owes Me Money. And Probably Liquor.

Guess what??

I went out west! No, not to Arizona. I've decided that's probably not a good idea all around. Wes and I took the Roo and headed to Colorado for his sister's wedding.

Good times, right? Semi-vacation, family to hold the baby, and open bar. What could go wrong?


Worth it.

Let me first say that the entire trip [eventually] turned out to be awesome and I'm glad I went along. I thought about sending the hubs all alone, but decided that I didn't want him to have that much fun without me. So we packed up and booked a flight from St. Louis to Denver.

Our flight was scheduled for the ass-crack of dawn Friday morning, so I decided that I wouldn't sleep Thursday night, since we needed to head out of town about 2 am. I am so brilliant. The thing was that I had been up since 7:00 Thursday morning. But, hey, I can do this, no problem. So I woke up Wes at 1:00 and we started loading up the car. However, between last-minute packing, tanking up on coffee, nursing, and visiting with a friend who was hanging out at our house in the middle of the night (???), we didn't get on the road until 2:20. Whoops. We were on the interstate by 2:40.

It takes 2 and a half hours to get to St. Louis, but apparently it takes 3 to get to my friend's house. He was taking us to the airport so we didn't have to pay a small fortune in parking fees. Cool. GO GO GO and we arrived at the airport about 45 minutes before our flight took off.

Taking into account my lack of sleep, panic at running late, and overstimulation from coffee, and you have on your hands one certified basketcase. So I fly into the airport (get it?) and start checking in while Wes brings in the bags. The woman at the desk....... I cannot express how much I am not a fan of hers. She added to my hysteria by saying, "They're boarding the plane now. They won't wait for you. You're gonna miss your flight."

I suppose at any point I could've told myself that the plane wasn't taking off for over half an hour, but I let that bitch send me into panic mode. And then she looks at us and goes, "I don't have time to check that bag."

Are you freaking kidding me???

So we lugged that huge friggin' bag aaaaall the way to the security check, as per instructions from the ugly woman at the desk. Yeah, I said it. She was ugly. I ran down there with Roo in her car seat banging against my legs, in flip flops, shelf bra... It was like the Girl Scouts fiasco all over again.

Of course I had loaded all the things that I knew I couldn't carry onto the plane into that bag. Including the, um, WEDDING GIFT. That I made. That's right. Body wash and lotion with herbs from my garden. And we all know that if a liquid is over 3.4 ounces and you try to take it through security, they take it away. Forever. Some Frontier Airline worker is now fragrantly moisturized at my expense. I'm sure of it.

So, of course, they unpack the entire bag because the gift was at the bottom. Bras and panties all over the place; I'm crying; Wes is trying to get them to put our stuff through. But noooooo. They can't let these items into the "sterile area." I am confident they made that up. Face wash, hair stuff, wedding present, etc, all gone. In all, they probably stole about $70 worth of my stuff. At this point, I'm all, "FINE, just put us through so we can get on the plane."

Finally we get to the gate. And the guy there is completely sympathetic and tells me he'll try to get my things back. Whatever. Just get us on that plane!

We did.

Get on the plane, that is. Not get our stuff back.

So, we get on that winged bus, and we are the last to load because of the holdup at security. By this time, Roo is wailing. We step on with a screaming baby and get about 100 dirty looks. "HI, friends."

She was awesome, though. Nursed the entire flight. People were soooo impressed. Eye roll.

I must say, the flight attendants were awesome, considering what they had to deal with. The woman in front of me (who had super long hair that I wanted to tug the entire flight) actually asked the female flight attendant for a salad and a bottle of water. At 7 am. Teehee. The guy next to her complained that the bottled water was AquaFina. Dude, seriously? I would've been tacky, but the flight attendant just smiled and cursed them under her breath. The other flight attendant, though.... Well. He was just as sweeeeet as he could be. And he had a thing for my husband. Most gay guys do. He's just that cute. And he slipped Wes a free bottle of water. Score. I'd let that guy pinch his ass if it meant we got freebies, after the morning we had had.

We get to Denver airspace, and I'm all, "Ok, this is gonna be fine."

Nope. Fog.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we've been put in a holding pattern until the fog clears."

Do we have enough gas for this????

So for an hour, we circle.

Wes and I decided that the pilot shoulda mixed it up, turned on the fasten seatbelt light, and thrown out some loop-de-loops. I was so delirious at that point, I probably would've enjoyed it.

We finally reunite with the ground a mile above sea level. Hey, what better for a sleep-deprived, caffeine-riddled, overstressed mom with a baby strapped to her chest than high altitude??? Maybe a bloody Mary...

Wonder of all wonders, our bag was actually there. I was totally prepared to not have it at all, but there it was, all alone in baggage claim. Molested and beaten, but there, nonetheless. Sad little bag.

Smooth sailing from here on out, y'all. Not really. Well, it would've been, if I had any inkling which rental car company our reservation was with. But I had not the slightest clue. And the paper with the info? Sitting on my kitchen counter. Go ME. So I finally find the information in my junk email folder (thank you, Steve Jobs) and we get on a shuttle toward Avis. There, the guy tries to get me to upgrade to an SUV, get insurance on the car, coverage for rocks in the windshield, side of the road assistance, pigeon poop on the bumper, and whatever else bullshit they use to try to suck you in. 

Mister, if a boulder falls on that car, you're not getting on more penny out of me after all these taxes and fees because I don't have one!!

He did sell me on a tank of gas. Then upgraded us to a Ford Fusion, which gets like 10000 miles to the gallon. Bastard.

Look! A semblance of sanity!

Yes, I realize that the humor in all this might be lost on many of you. And later, it was funny. Like, five days later, but whatever.

The rest of the trip was a blast, though. I'm totally in love with Colorado.

Friday, September 9, 2011

We Wouldn't be Alive

So. The Roo has been having a nurseathon. This kid ate for - I shit you not - EIGHTEEN hours yesterday. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on the couch playing human pacifier. And I ended up watching "I Shouldn't be Alive" on Animal Planet. Have y'all seen this show? I ought to be banned from watching those kinds of shows...

Anyway! In this particular episode, a family of four - a mother, her two girls (9 & 5), and the mother's boyfriend went for a picnic in the Arizona desert. On their way home, they get turned around and end up at a dry river bed. The mom is all, "We're turning around." And her boyfriend is all, "Hell no! I can get us through this!"

Insert eye roll here

Needless to say, the dude gets the truck stuck in the river bed and the family is stranded in the desert with two Gatorade bottles of water. They do escape (if they didn't, they'd have to change the name of the show.), but only after three days of severe dehydration, a major ass-chewing and several harrowing experiences, including the near-death of the five-year-old. Yeah, I cried like a sap.

But it got me to thinking - what would it be like to be stranded in the desert with my family???

First of all, I have no idea why my family would ever be in the Arizona desert alone. Just not gonna happen. Only time I've ever been really bumfuzzled lost was in a corn maze. I escaped. But in the interest of fantasy and entertainment, we'll pretend that it could happen.

So my family of five is lost in the desert, near the Mexican border, fearing drug smugglers and human traffickers, with no food and only two bottles of water, and all three kids would have to listen to me threaten to hang Wes' man-parts from my wrist for getting us into the mess. Well, there are no rooms to send 'em to...

Looks hot.

If y'all had ever met my family, the mental picture alone is enough to be humorous, but for those of you who are unfamiliar, I'll paint it for you.

My second-grader talks non-stop. I asked her to not speak for five minutes one time. I thought her head was going to explode. I imagine a trek down a dusty dirt road in arid 118 degree temperatures would go something like this:

"I'm thirsty.
Can I have more water?
Why not?
But I'm thirsty.
And I'm hot.
Really hot.
I'm getting tan.
I'm tired.
My feet hurt.
My legs hurt.
Will you carry me?
Can Daddy carry me?
Make Daddy carry me.
I'm sweaty.
Monkey got more water than me.
Can I ride on your back?
Can I ride on Daddy's shoulders?
I'm thirsty.
Are you mad at Daddy....?"

At this point I would probably flip out and threaten to eat her for sustenance. My kids are chubby. I now understand why people eat suckling pig....

And of course, while Bear gets brown as a biscuit in the sun, Wes and Monkey burst into flames. Both have bright orange hair and skin the color of chalk. It would take approximately five minutes for them to both be so burnt that they couldn't move. I would have to construct a sleigh of some sort with my MacGyver skills and then pull them along. Of course, Bear would be jealous and have to ride, too. That means I would have to have Roo in the baby wrap. No, not a flour tortilla. Wearing a baby in Kentucky temps is bad enough; I can only imagine Arizona...

The only thing I have over the other poor bastards is that we would NOT run out of liquid hydration. The mother and two girls on the show drank their own pee. It was that bad. However, making milk is my superpower. And as long as I got some to drink, as well, I wouldn't get so dehydrated and we'd be sitting pretty. Well, not so pretty. I'd turn into one giant freckle. That's not an appealing thought. My entire family nursing from a walking talking freckle. Okay, now that's funny.

I don't think we'd make it out of that desert, though. I'd like to point out that I am a raging bitch when I'm hot. Okay. In fact, I just might welcome the smugglers and traffickers by day 3... Wow, that's horrible.

Seriously, though, folks, I love my family.... and that is exactly why we will NEVER picnic in the desert.

Aaaaaand there you have it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I know hell is hot, but how's the humidity?

So. I remembered that I have a blog. Last time I used it was '09 and it wasn't even something I wrote. But I know a lot of shtuff about a lot of crap, so, now I guess I will use it...

But then came the issue of what to write about. And then I was all, "Hey me, it's your blog. Write about whatever the hell you want..." So I said ok. So my first real post shall be about my day from hell: last Thursday.

The whole day was rather shitty. I was supposed to buy a minivan, and writing checks for $10,000 puts me in a generally bad mood... But the hubby came home on his lunch break and so we watched some tv til it was time for me to go pick up my oldest kid from school.

I have the three young'uns. Bear is the oldest at 7. Monkey is gonna be three in October, and I just had the Roo in June. We haven't figured out what's causing them yet... So both the babies are napping when it comes time for me to get Bear. So we decided to just pick them up and toss 'em in their car seats and take off. When I say we, I mean Wes put Roo in her seat and I put Monkey in the car, and I left and he went back to work.

Now, Roo being the incredibly gassy baby that she is, soaked her onesie with spit-up, so I had taken if off of her. It was close to 600 degrees outside anyway, I figured she'd survive. And Monkey takes all his clothes off before he naps (yes, that's my child) so he was diaper-clad, as well. And of course, being the classy chic I am, I had on Daisy Dukes, a nursing top with a flimsy shelf bra (NOT adequate for the load they were bearing) and flip-flops, no makeup. Awww yeeeeah. But, hey, we weren't getting out of the car or anything, right?

Bear at the tv station.

We get to the school and I'm one of the last mothers in line. I pull up. No Bear. The teacher directing this clusterf**k checks the name, goes in, looks for Bear, comes back. Asks me to pull up and park.

"Is she in an afterschool program?"
"Does she go to daycare?"
Woman, I'm here to get her, why would she need to be in daycare?? "No."
"Well, she's not in the gym, and we can't find her..."
What. The. Hell.

So I start having a mini-panic attack, but what I actually said was, "I have an infant and a toddler in the car, I can't really get out and search for her."
"Could she be in Girl Scouts?"
"She asked to be in Girl Scouts, but I told her no, that she already has plenty to do with gymnastics and acting classes."
She told me to park back by the door and they would look again. As I shift out of park, I hear, "Here she is!!"

Yes, that is my child, being led by a hand held by another random teacher, wearing a size 4 winter hoodie in the dog days of August in western Kentucky. Score.

"She was in Girl Scouts..."
And Bear is in tears because "I just want to be a Girl Scout, blah, blah, blah..."

FINE. "You reeeally want to be in Girl Scouts?"

I pull up to the door, and get her BACK out of the car, figuring I just need to pop my sexy butt into a classroom real quick and sign a permission slip. Oh look. There's the principal in the lobby of the school.

"My kids are in the car, I will be right back, ok?" I say to the principal.
"Do you want me to keep an eye on them?"
"Well, they aren't going anywhere, just make sure no one hops in and steals 'em, ok?" I give my best I'm-not-a-horrible-mother-I-really-care-if-my-kids-are-okay smile.

As we pass the group of teachers involved in locating my 7-year-old Houdini, I hear them saying, "And she just wanted to be in Girl Scouts, and you could tell she was really upset, but her mother told her she couldn't, and..."


Bear leads me, not to a nearby classroom, but aaaaaall the way to the back of the school, out the back door, to a trailer that apparently houses the music room. And we enter, me in my oh-so-motherly outfit, say the Pledge of Allegiance, repeat the Girl Scouts pledge, begin the rules of Girl Scouts... Seriously?

"I'm sorry, but I have to get back to my other kids in the car. Do I need to sign a permission slip...?"

They didn't need a damn thing from me.

So I kiss her, leave, walk out to the door into the school, aaaaaand it's locked.
Shoot. Me. Now.
Let me tell you, those teachers haul ass outta that school when it is over. There was no one to be found. So I suck it up and take off to walk around the entire school at top speed. I'm so glad everyone had gone home.

Ninety-nine percent humidity does a lot of things. One thing it does is make a pair of short-shorts ride straight up the ass of whomever has the luxury of wearing them as they trek across blacktop in August. But that was nothing compared to what was happening in my chest region. That shelf bra is no substitute for a good sports bra, or, you know what? Any bra would have been better.

As I finally round the front corner of the building, I realize that NOT everyone had gone home. The teachers who were standing in the lobby (the front of which is all glass) all slowly turn and look right at me.
I should have waved.
Now, remember, my last name is spelled M-A-N-T-E-R-F.......

I make it to the car. As I suspected, Roo is screaming her little head off. So I go to comfort her so I can get the hell out of there as quickly as possible, aaaaaand--- Wes didn't put the binky in the car seat.

F**ck my life.

The rest of the day was insane. I'm talking straight jackets and padded cells insane. But it wasn't nearly as funny. So I'll leave you with this mental picture of hilarity at my expense for now, and try to think of something entertaining to bring you next time.

Yesterday, Thursday,  I get a phone call from the school.

"Hi, this is Nancy. Who is picking up Bear today?"
"Um. She has Girl Scouts."
Talking to Bear "Did you forget you had Girl Scouts?"
Mumbling in the background
"Ok, we'll send her to Girl Scouts."

A little while later....

"Hi, this Nancy again. You can pick Bear up around back of the school when it is time."
"You mean the same place I picked her up last week?"
"The troop leader said she wasn't on the roster."
"Well she wasn't on the roster last week and no one could find her."

I go to pick her up.
No kids around back.
I see my friend in her van.
"Where are the girls?"
"Mine are in the back of my car"
"Where's mine?"
"I don't have yours."
What the crap????

I'm like clueless mother of the year. Apparently Girl Scouts only meets every other week. How the hell would I know that? Bear attended Brownies and got a double dose of scouts. Go team.