Monday, April 30, 2012

It Makes Perfect Sense to Me!

Two nights ago I recorded Sean's snoring so he could see what I have to contend with on a nightly basis.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me:  "I taped your snoring - do you want to hear it?"

Sean: "No."

Me:  "OK - I'll play it for you."

Sean:  "No - I know I snore, I don't need to hear it."

Me:  (walking up to him and playing the recording)

Sean: (listening) "That's not so bad!"

Me: "It was louder but I didn't want the light from my phone to wake you up so I didn't get too close."

Sean:  "Oh."


Sean: "You kick me when I snore so I stop, what do you mean you didn't want to wake me up?!?!"

Me:  "I didn't want the light to wake you up!  That would be rude.  As soon as I was done recording you, I kicked you to wake you up to make you stop."


Me:  smiling....

True story.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

For the Rest of the Day I will Only Speak French

I used to spend my college summers working at The Exploration Summer Program.  It was split in to different age groups - I worked in the Intermediate program, with middle-schoolers.  It was at Wellesley College.  The first two years I worked in the office with this office manager who drove me crazy!  I don't even remember why, I'm sure she was perfectly lovely, but I was 20 and invincible and she rubbed me the wrong way.  My best Explo friend Laura and I pushed it just about as far as we could while still getting our work done and having a blast in the meantime.

Anyway one day I was SO annoyed by Liz that I decided it was time for some serious acting out.  I took out a blank name tag and wrote on it "For the rest of the day I will only speak french" and put it on.  Liz didn't speak french.  Neither did I, but she didn't know that, and I spoke enough to get by.  So every time a kid came in, I spoke broken french.  Every time Liz asked for something, I spoke broken french.  Every time another staff member came looking for something, I spoke broken french.  I think I even refused to answer the phones that day, because who wants to call a summer program at Wellesley College and speak to someone speaking broken french?  I was a pain in the butt, but I was reasonable.  Anyway everyone got a great laugh out of it, except Liz, which after all was my ultimate goal.  Mission accomplished.

My point of this whole thing is that it's the last day of the kids' school break where we've all been cooped up with a sick limping Mom negotiating with 2 pre-teen boys each day about Wii, movies, TV time, who touched who, who crossed the invisible line, who said shut-up to get it.  It's been a long week.

And because of this...for the rest of the day I will only speak french.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

For Good

"I am the destined one.  It chose me."

This is what TJ just said about a four leaf clover we have laminated and on our fridge.  I can't remember how old TJ was - little, like 5 - when he was standing in grass, looked down, bent over and popped back up with this 4 leaf clover in his hand.  I remember Sean and I looking at each other when this happened - no words passed between us - and we both almost cried.

It's one of those meant-to-be moments...we knew that there is something about this kid and somehow, somewhere, he is being looked after.

I wrote in an earlier post about TJ's friend, and how he is what we call "a TJ Champion".  I can't tell you how many Champions we have found and how they each have given a piece of themselves to our boy.  And how our boy would not be doing as well as he is doing if it were not for these Champions.  These people are Early Interventionists, EEE Teachers, Instructional Assistants, Classroom Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Autism Interventionists, Special Educators, PE Teachers, Art Teachers, Music Teachers, Behavior Interventionists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, PCAs (Personal Care Assistants), School Principals, Guidance Counselors, friends, kids of friends, family, Pediatricians, Psychologists, Psychiatrists.....did I leave anyone out?  It seems that when it comes to people working with TJ, and helping us with TJ, planets have aligned and miracles have happened.  We have worked, and do work, with the best of the best.  These people have given us our son.

These are the Champions...all of them.

When TJ left his elementary schools,  I gave his teachers a printing of these lyrics from the song "For Good" from the musical "Wicked":

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you
I have been changed
For good
-Stephen Schwartz

Because of TJ's Champions, our entire family has been changed.

For good.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Fairy Tale Play Date

NOTE - real names have been changed to protect the fabulous.

Yesterday my good friend Briar Rose came by with her 3 boys - Jack-Be-Nimble is Peter's best friend, Aslan is TJ's best friend, and Shrek.  He's my best friend...I love that kid.

Anyway, Aslan had a friend with him, Hansel, and they immediately all ran outside to play with the puppy.  TJ walked around and said "No thanks, Mom, I'm staying in" to which I replied "No thanks, Teej, you're going out".  Hrumph, he said, and went out back.  He came in 5 times of course....I'm cold (put on a jacket), I'm hungry (here are some goldfish-to-go), I felt a raindrop (suck it up buttercup)....the more he pushed, the more I pushed back.  I didn't force him to run around and play, but I did force him to stay outside.  Briar Rose knows how I push TJ and told him how excited Aslan and Hansel were to come over and see TJ....TJ made some noise and went back outside.

Well they all come tumbling back in the house and TJ says to Aslan and Hansel "Hey guys, wanna play Mario Kart?" which was met with a resounding "YEAH!"

Peter's eyes lit up.  I immediately sent him, Jack-Be-Nimble and Shrek downstairs to play in the basement.

Mean Mommy?  Maybe.  But Peter is the most social kid ever, and once he's involved with TJ's friends he totally takes over.

And I wanted to see how TJ would do playing host.  Not the most comfortable of roles for my boy with autism.

Briar Rose and I talked about it a bit - how hard school vacations are for TJ.  How if he had his way, he'd spend the entire week alone in his room.  How all Peter wants to do is play with TJ, how all TJ wants to do is be alone, and how I push each kid out of their comfort zone throughout the week.  How they have time limits to be alone, time limits to be together, rewards in place for playing together, rewards in place for playing alone.

It's a lot of work, these school vacations!

I always say the best thing I did for each of my boys is to give them each other.  These brothers have worked together to give the other what I otherwise would have had to spend a ton of money on in social therapy!

That sentence sounded a little weird...was is grammatically correct?

In any case, Aslan and Hansel were SO good with TJ - asking him questions and repeating them if they didn't get an answer, congratulating him when he won the race (he NEVER wins against Peter!  CONFIDENCE BOOST!!!)....the 3 boys really enjoyed each other.

Aslan, in so many ways, is one of TJ's biggest champions.  He is such a hero for his friend TJ.  We are so, so lucky to have this family in our lives.

When it was time to go, everyone said goodbye, and Briar Rose's well mannered boys all said thank you, and they left.  TJ shut the door, turned to me and said, "Was I a good host, Mom?"

You really were, Mr. T.  Good job.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Soundtrack

Sometimes I think my life should have a soundtrack.

Firstly, I think I need back-up music. Not always, just for those soap opera pauses where music slowly builds, then we go to a commercial break. Like when TJ says something dramatic like "Mom, there is something on my mind that needs some attention...." then cue the music! You know what I mean?

Anyway, back to the soundtrack. Remember when Ally McBeal was on TV (side note - my friend Amanda used to call it Ally McSkipped-A-Meal)? They had this thing in that show where each character had a theme song. Well my friends and I all decided that we needed our own theme songs too. This one was mine:

How GREAT is that song?!?!

I still think this should be my theme song, but let's face it, it totally depends on the day.

There are times when I swear this one should definitely be on my soundtrack (believe it or not, pun intended):

This one is on there too, but mostly because I think the title is hysterical - "I've Got Angst in my Pants":

And who can forget this one:

And this one for sure, just because it's so bouncy and easy going and melodic, just like me:

This one reminds me of the joy in the simple things:

And this one makes me feel powerful:

There are so, so many more that I just can't plagiarize them all.

I LOVE thinking of all the different songs that would make up the soundtrack of my life, even though that soundtrack changes on a daily basis. There are songs that make me cry, laugh, dance, and cover me with goose bumps....all these songs make up my life's soundtrack.

On second thought, I think I need a new theme song. This one really sums things up. Really:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It Is What It Is

So it's been almost 10 months since I quit drinking.  It's one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I think the only other thing that was more difficult than this was when TJ got diagnosed with autism....but that was different.  That was a smack-you-in-the-face-holy-crap-your-life-as-you-knew-it-is-over-and-things-will-never-be-the-same kind of thing.  This is more dragged out, more subtle, and repeatedly smacks you in the face.  Or it doesn't.  It's been very strange.

Before I get into that, let me paint a picture for ya.  I have been described as "the life of the party".  I've always been very social.  And ever since I can remember, I have not been that girl who can have 1 glass of wine and be done.  It's always been more.  And I thought many times before that it may be a problem, but quickly pushed those thoughts away so they wouldn't interfere with my good time.

Fast forward to last summer when I was away for a girls' weekend.  I had a few too many, yelled at a couple of friends, and cried.  Embarrassing, right?  Well it was embarrassing enough for me to say "enough is enough".  I had lied to myself for long enough.  That was it.

That, and my sister had called to tell me she was worried about my drinking too much.  That did it, really.  My sister saying it to me made it real.

Real enough to quit.

And that was that.  I haven't had any alcohol since June 30.

The "firsts" have been hard:  first birthday, first Christmas, first New Years (that was the hardest), first book club, first party, first Valentine' get the picture. 

I've had a lot of times when it hasn't been hard at all.  Those feel great.  Those times when I can hang with my friends and not even think about the fact that I'm not drinking.

But randomly, and without warning, I get smacked in the face with it;  everyone is having a drink but me.

Those suck.  And they come out of nowhere.

My friends are amazing - asking what they can do to help, to make it easier on me.  One thing that is important to me is that I don't want to be treated differently now that I'm sober...I still want to be included in everything I would have before.  I don't want them to stop drinking around me.  I don't want anything to change.

But I think what I have forgotten to address, for my own well being, is that things have changed.  I've changed.  I'm still getting used to it, and I can't expect to go from all to nothing without any effect on my spirit.

Sometimes I just have to leave the party.  Sometimes I have to RSVP "no" if I don't think I can handle it.  Sometimes I have to suck it up, hang out with everyone enjoying a cocktail, and just get through it.

It's unpredictable.  And I have to remember that my friends know this, and are ok with it.  They don't mind if I have to leave.  They are proud of me and support me, and I don't owe it to them or to anyone to be "the life of the party".  They tell me this all the time.

I've just been so focused on putting out there that "I'm fine", that I haven't been that fine.

BAD LAUREN!!!  How silly is that?  We can't all be fine all the time, who have I been kidding???  I am NOT that good of an actress!!!

So the Jackhole award goes to me (clap clap clap...) for thinking that I have to act fine all the time.  

Thank you for this award.  However, I reject this Jackhole award because I will be Jackhole no more!  HAHAHAHA!!!!

So for those of you who have been asking why I've stopped drinking, there it is.  So bear with me.  Just like everything else, it's not all good or all bad....

It is what it is.

PS - you may have noticed that this post didn't mention how Sean deals with my not drinking - that's because with him, it is a non-issue.  With him, I have never pretended to be ok when I'm not.  He's a dreamboat, remember?  This is no different.  Thank you, Sean, for being my rock.  I love you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Beast

Part of the reason I'm doing this blog is to make people laugh - that's what I do.  It makes me happy.

Another reason is because there are so many things in my life that could be viewed negatively, and this gives me a place to view them positively, in black and white, where I can come back and see why I thought the positive spin existed in the first place when times get tough.

Don't get me wrong - I have a wonderful marriage and kids, wonderful friends, and a great family, but as is true with all of us, sometimes things are not so great.

Things get tough.

My hope is that when things get tough for me, not only can I put a positive spin on them for my own sake, but maybe someone out there will choose to put a positive spin on their own situation as well.

After all, everyone has something going on that is tough.  Everyone.  Yes, even you, don't pretend like you don't.

Which brings me to the beast.

One of the things no one talks about is chemical imbalance.  It exists.  It's no different than if someone had any other medical condition that needs to be treated - like asthma.  If you have asthma, you treat it so you can function in the every day world.

Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse.  There is nothing to be ashamed about.

When you have a chemical imbalance, you treat it.

Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse.  There is nothing to be ashamed about.

One of the most beautiful things about being a woman is that time of month when we are reminded how lucky we are to be women, and that our bodies are made to carry babies.  It's the most beautiful reminder nature can give us.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ......sniffle....gasp....hahahahah....gasp....cough.......

It's "The Rag" and it sucks.

It sucks more as you get older.  I'm only 42, for piss sakes, and I'm pre-menopausal already?!?!  Cut me some slack, Jack!  Do you have any idea what I'm dealing with on a daily basis here I have to be some medical freak of nature on top of it?!?!?!?!  ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!

See?  THE BEAST.  The Beast exists and gets REALLY pissed off every 3 weeks (yes, one of the gifts of age is a new-and-improved more frequent cycle!  CONGRATULATIONS!!!).  It pisses off anyone around me, actually.  All sanity goes flying out the window and I become an absolute mess.  No rationale.  Emotional basket case.  A put-up-danger-signs-all-around-me-and-it's-best-if-you-stay-away disaster.

I'm not kidding!  Another reason why Sean deserves a crown.  And my friends deserve one too.  They all just witnessed The Beast and are probably scratching their heads wondering where their good friend Lauren has gone.

She's here!  She's wrestling The Beast.  Please leave a message and Lauren will call you back.

I imagine if I'm dealing with The Beast then others are too.  I think acknowledging The Beast is one step toward conquering The Beast.

I just hope I still have my friends when I conquer The Beast.  I have a feeling I will - they're good like that.  No, I'm wrong...

They're GREAT like that.  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Everyone, Say Hello to Mulva ("Hello, Mulva")!

There was a texting frenzy this evening amongst some of my girlfriends.

Sorry....Sean just called me "phlegmmy" and I got distracted.

OK - I'm back.  So there was this texting frenzy.  We're talking 27, 28 texts being tossed around in a matter of minutes.  The topic was an incognito name.  Basically, when I'm blogging about my girls and they don't want me to use their real name, what name should we use?  Here were the suggestions:

Mary Alice

Then Mulva got thown in the ring - DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!!!

So whenever you see me write about Mulva, it is an incognito-fabaoo-hot-mama-from-the-EJ-or-thereabouts.

Just thought you should know.  World, meet Mulva.  She's pleased to meet you.

OH - and Sam the dog ate a lot of tampons today - unused, don't panic.  I wanted to write more about it but my friend Mulva asked me not to.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm a Mess, I Tell Ya!

So I had and ultrasound on my left boob today.  Before I tell you more about that, you need to picture this, if you please:  I've been sick since Sunday.  My nose is so red from tissue irritation that it looks like a baboon's ass.  I did take a shower but was having a REALLY bad hair day, as if my hair knew today was just not for us and it didn't even try.  My eyes were red and every few minutes I'm either sneezing or coughing up a lung.  And let's not forget, I'm on one crutch.  My one ugly metal crutch that I wanted to dip in glue and then dip in glitter, but Sean said no since they were going to be "family crutches".  I mean how selfish is that???  Like we'd ever need them again - way to think positively, Sean!

Anyway, Lisa was my ultrasound technician.  Technically, now she is also one of my new best friends since I let her feel me up for a half an hour.  I had found a lump and my doctor sent me for a mammogram/ultrasound double whammy - and today was the day.  I am sure that the other ladies in the waiting room were SO happy to have me leave them, as I had sneezed and coughed so much that it was hard not to notice them wincing when I did so.  Also my crutch fell on some lady's foot.  Sorry, lady.

So the GREAT news is that the lump was a cyst (2 of them, actually) and no biopsy is needed.  I have dense breast tissue (thanks, mom, for those genetics) and she said cysts are common.  WAHOO!!!!  As she was leading me back to the changing area, as I'm coughing and sneezing and nose wiping and gimping, my crutch gets caught up on the rug and I almost face plant.  I'm serious.

And Lisa, the technician, turns to me and says "You're a wreck, aren't you?"

And I laughed all the way home.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2 Sisters, 2 Sick Feet

My sister is beyond faboo. She does, however, have one major flaw: she gets hurt easily.

Remember I said before, that I fell twice for no good reason? My sister Susan is like that too. Once she slipped on the ice and dislocated her shoulder. She was on crutches for my wedding. And now she's wearing a Darth Vader boot for a broken right foot.

Same foot as my sprained ankle, FYI.

This week is her kids' school spring break - they are renting a beach house in North Carolina. Here's the picture she texted me:

The text said "Did you know you can crutch on the beach? Wish you were here xo"

Here is my reply:

"I'm in bed with a fever - I don't think you want me crutching anywhere near you!!! xo"

Susan's foot view is so much better than mine.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I NEVER fell down when I was drinking!

That's a lie - or course I did. But I never got hurt.

Since I quit drinking 9 months ago I have had 2 big time falls. The first one was in November, about a week before my birthday, and the night before my friend's huge 70s party.  I was walking with my friend Amy to her teaching partner's house for a craft sale/socializing type thing, and it was cold.  As I was walking I was reaching into my coat pocket for my gloves (with both hands, FYI).  Then I tripped.  My hands got stuck in my pockets, and I broke my fall with my face.  That's right, with my face.  Amy said if I had fallen an inch to the left I would have hit grass, by the way.  Luck o' the Lauren.  I got a deep abrasion and a concussion, my tooth went through my lip, and I looked awful. I felt awful.   And I missed the 70s party.  That part still bums me out, because apparently the party was amazing.  I was going to wear my roller skates to the party, too!   How cute would that have been?!?!  So now I have a scar on my face to remind me of that fabulous fall and no faboo party memories.  Sad Lauren.

Fast forward to oh, I dont know, an hour and a half ago?  My dad is visiting and he and I were walking the dog to my friend's house so I could return the copy of 50 Shades of Porn that she lent me.  The dog pulled, I fell, my ankle popped, and now I can't walk.  Ice ice baby.  So it looks like bazoom is out.  Sean is taking me to the walk in clinic as soon as we feed our guests.  Must feed the guests first.

And do you wanna know the really crappy part about this?  Aside from the obvious pain and inconvenience, I mean?  I wasn't even wearing heels.  Each time I fell.  No cute shoes anywhere near me.  Both times I was wearing clogs.  Sensible, comfortable clogs.

And I wasn't drinking.

So maybe I should go back to drinking and only wear heels???

(I'm kidding about that "going back to drinking" part...don't panic)

Autism - am I delusional?

I was in a situation recently where my opinion of what occurred was so vastly different than that of the person I was talking to, I found myself wondering if I'm delusional. Can two people really see the same situation so differently? Is one of us wrong? Or is it that we are correct in our experience of what happened, and having a hard time seeing the other side of it? I'd really like to think that it's the latter...I'm willing to admit that there is another side that I have a hard time seeing, because I'm so wrapped up in my own view of things.

Which got me to thinking about my son TJ and his autism. Is my experience with TJ's autism even close to Sean's experience with TJ's autism? Does Sean think about every little detail of TJ's interactions with other kids as much as I do? I'm I overbearing in doing so? Is it wrong that I can't look too far down the road where TJ is concerned, because I have no idea what things he'll be capable of in the future, or should I be planning now for all the great things I dream he'll be capable of accomplishing? Will he be able to make these plans for himself, ever? Do I treat him differently than Peter, even though I try desperately not to?

So many many fears.....none of which can be answered at this time.

I have prided myself, throughout our almost 10 year journey of living with autism, on making sure that TJ knows he is no better, and no less capable, than any other kid out there. Did I do him a disservice? The fact is, he IS different. As he gets older these differences are becoming clearer to me when looking at what the other 6th grade boys are doing. Are these differences clearer to TJ too? Does he notice, and does he even care? And if so, how will it change him? 6th grade, in and of itself, is such an awful time of change and insecurity. Have I adequately prepared my oldest for such trying times?

Am I prepared for them myself?

And of equal importance, is this something that EVERY parent goes through, or just us parents of special needs kids?

Time will tell.....breathe deep and buckle up.

Here we go.....

Thursday, April 12, 2012

50 Shades of OMG!!!

WARNING!!! This post may contain TOTALLY CONTAINS some inappropriate material.

OK - who is reading 50 Shades of Grey?!?! It's bat-shit crazy I tell ya!

My bookclub is reading this book and when my friend J (I thought it best to not use her name here!) suggested it to the group, she described it as "Mommy porn". It was immediately approved. I thought "How bad could it be?".


We're talkin' full blown page after page of explicit dirty sex. Seriously. It's shocking! I was waiting outside my kid's school to pick him up, reading the book in my car, and I got nervous that someone would see me reading it. I turn red if anyone near me mentions it. I'm getting flushed right now writing about it! I'm telling you - it's lots and lots of sex sex sex.

And it's selling like crazy.  Duh.

Everyone is talking about it.  Text messages are being passed around all day:

"Just read the part with the balls"  (please don't get confused - these are silver weighted balls)
"They would make great party favors!"
"Oh my - I haven't gotten there yet but I'm intrigued"
"Just got to the good part last night - yikes!"
"The good parts don't seem to stop"

And it's true - they don't seem to stop.

And the fact that this book is sold out everywhere, and it is being pre-sold as it is being re-printed, tells me a few things about us women these days:

  1. We are oversexed maniacs
  2. We are not gettin' enough at home (although this book helps - tmi?)
  3. We are not ashamed of enjoying ourselves!

I think all 3 are probably true.

And by the way, that girl in the book who has the big O every single time?  Yeah, I believe that just about as much as I believe in vampires.

So if you want to see me turn 50 shades of blushed, go ahead and mention this book anywhere near me.  I'm telling you, I flush immediately.

Did I mention it's a trilogy?  I don't know if I can handle it!!!

(I think I can handle it.)


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Would Reva Do?

I'll admit it - as positive as I try to keep things, sometimes I just have a crappy day.

Today was crappy.

Then suddenly, just now, it's as if a light went on.

A Guiding Light.

And I thought to myself.....


Reva Shayne is/was a sassy Hot Mama from Springfield who had a way of living her life with gusto, to say the least. Now I'm no Reva Shayne, mind you, but I'm sassy. I'm definitely a Hot Mama O Rama (and have the business cards to prove it). All I'm missing is the red dress.

It seems that whenever Reva would wear a red dress, she'd get into a bit of trouble. Made her a little more devilish, take more chances. Sometimes she'd end up in a fountain. Sometimes she'd end up married. Sometimes she'd end up driving off a bridge in the Florida Keys. Sometimes she'd end up in an Amish village asking people to call her Rebecca.

OK - wait a minute.......maybe it's not a good idea to ask "What would Reva do?" least not today. Let's see....

How about "What would Harley do?" Harley Cooper was spunky beyond spunky with spunk to spare. She didn't take any crap from anyone. Especially any of her husbands (4 of them? 5?), she turned into a superhero for a day, and her eyes glowed......

OK....maybe Harley isn't the best idea either. Let's see.....

How about "What would Dinah do?" Dinah spent her childhood being brought up in a Circus (no offense to my parents, but in a way I can relate to that), only to spend her teenage years partying it up, then went to college in Paris. I like Paris! Then she came back to Springfield to marry Roger but secretly date his son....and, um, she ruined some lives and everyone hated her........

So on second thought, maybe if Dinah, Harley and Reva had asked themselves "What would Lauren do?", their fictional lives would have ended up very differently, for the better.

As for me, I guess I'm back where I started. But at least I haven't had 8 husbands, or gotten amnesia and lived in an Amish village, or married my true love's father to plot revenge, or gotten super powers from the lighthouse, or anything like that.

So I guess all in all, I'm doing OK in the EJ.

Hot Mama O Rama on a Budget

So now that I don't have a job we are watching every penny.  This is something I am used to; Sean started his own business just before the economy crashed and we've been digging out of the hole ever since.  But no worries - I really do try to look at the positive side of everything and this is just another fabulous opportunity to do so.  YIPEE!!!  Lucky me!!!   : /

Which got me to thinking, if we suddenly had a million dollars, what would we do with it?  I'm pretty sure it wouldn't last long - between getting a new roof, replacing the carpeting with wood floors, building that expansion we keep dreaming of, and putting money away for the boys' college, the money would disappear pretty quickly.  But what if we won the lottery and suddenly had RIDICULOUS amounts of money?

  • I would cure autism - duh!
  • I would cure type 1 diabetes
  • I would make sure there are no hungry people in Vermont
  • I would buy a fabulous Hawaii beach house and fly all our friends there

Don't even get me started on the shoes I would buy...and the Diane Von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta dresses I would buy....

Gosh, it's SO HARD to be a Hot Mama O Rama on a budget!  I think it's time to shop in my closet.  Does anyone else do this?  Sort through your closet to see exactly what you have, and wear things you haven't worn in forever?  It's like buying a new outfit except it's free.  Is this a Lauren thing or an I-don't-have-shopping-money-and-need-to-find-cute-clothes thing?

And with the love and care I have put into creating my shoe inventory, I can wear a new pair every day for quite some time.

What would YOU do with ridiculous amounts of money?  Sigh.....a girl can dream.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Deepest Apologies

I just want to publically apologize to everyone in my zumba (BAZOOM!) classes.  I am so, so sorry.  I really do feel badly.  It's not something I think I can change, though, you're all just going to have to put up with me.

See, I have a problem.  I can't stop talking/laughing/making faces/smacking people's butts in bazoom.

It's not my fault.  Actually, it's totally my fault.  But it can not be helped.

Since I left my job, I am home.  Alone.  All day.

I am starved....STARVED.....for social interaction.  True, I have sweet Sam, our dog.  He's wonderful.  But not the best conversationalist.  He doesn't talk back.  Although I have imagined him talking back a few times.  And sometimes he has a french accent.  It depends on his expression at the time whether he has the accent or not.

But other than that, nuthin'.  Zip.  Quiet.  I have a hard time with the quiet.

So by the time I get to bazoom, I'm all revved up.  To chat.

Take tonight, for example.  When I walked in to bazoom, I was so happy to see so many ladies who I know and LOVE to chat with!  What a treat!!!  Then the music started.  Did that stop me?  Nope.  I make comments throughout the class, talking about my lack of hip skills, commenting on others' zumba faces (and my own for that matter), making faces when I misstep, yap yap yap yap yap.  Then in between songs, during water breaks, blah blah blah blah blah blah.


I truly do feel badly about it.  Not bad enough to stop, of course, but bad enough to say....


As for the butt smacking, well, that rarely happens.  And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Hola, me llamo Jennie.

My friend Jennie is one of my favorite people of all time.  In a lot of ways, we are so much alike:  we are both from Rhode Island (and can do the accent quite well, might I add), we both have a the same sometimes-we're-inapporpriate-and-think-it's-hysterical sense of humor, we both are very particular about some things, and a bunch of other things I'm not at liberty to discuss here.  In other ways, though, we are totally different.  And I think our friendship is so strong because we truly admire these differences in each other.

One of the ways we are really different (aside from the fact that she lives in Bogota, Colombia and I live it a small town in Vermont) is that Jennie is so matter-of-fact about things when she feels disappointed or let down by people.  She doesn't dwell on it.  It doesn't effect her day to day life, or if it does she doesn't show it.  I know it annoys her, because we talk about it together, but other than that you'd never know.  I am SO jealous of this trait of my good friend Jennie!!!  I WISH WISH WISH that this was true for me!!!  See, I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I can't lie.  Sometimes when I'm having a hard time with someone I just want to address it - say to their face what the problem is and try to work it out.  This is NOT always the best idea and sometimes backfires.  Even with the best of intentions, I screw up and make things worse by trying to talk things through.

It is during these times while I'm wondering what to do that the solution is crystal clear - I pretend I'm Jennie.  Seriously.  She's has a great way of saying "This is what's happening, they are being stupid about it, so screw it.  I'll wait until they're not stupid anymore."  LOVE THIS.  And to tell you the truth, when I pretend I'm Jennie in dealing with these problems, I feel much better.  It magically becomes easier to let it go, drop it, and go on with my day.  I swear it works.  And I must say, that I stand a little taller when I pretend to be Jennie, because she's SUCH a Hot Mama O Rama.  We're talkin' SUPREME Hot Mama of AWESOMENESS.  She knows it, too.  That's a true sign of a Hot Mama O Rama, I'm telling you.  She really should have her own set of business cards.

Anyway, today I'm Jennie.  Now if I could only speak Spanish.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nerual Day

I'm a talker. Shocked?

I've always been a very sensitive, emotional person who, if faced with a situation that I find troubling, talks everything out to solve it. I have never really asked my friends of family if they appreciate this quality, or find it extremely annoying. No matter, really, because it is who I am. It's not like I can change it - I've been this way since birth and it's not goin' anywhere. Love me, love my worst qualities, as well as my best.

Which got me to thinking, what if I went against my natural instincts for, oh, I don't know, 4 or 5 days? What if my gut told me to do one thing, and I did just the opposite? I wonder what would be the reaction of my friends, my boys, my family (who I think, knowing this, will be thrilled to not live near me during this time), and my poor husband, who has to put up with the brunt of it? And what, exactly, would be involved?

Maybe I should make it a 3 day long experiment, as 4 or 5 days really would be difficult to get through. I don't want to lose friends, after all....they are my friends because of Lauren, not Nerual.

Nerual, I just decided this second, is the name of Opposite Lauren.

So let's say 3 days. Or 2.

Maybe 1. Let's start with 1.

So today is Nerual day. Let's see how we get through it. I'll let you all know what happens....wish me luck!

Well, wish Sean luck.

So far I'm not ok with this AT ALL. Diana, who I love, just posted a wonderful compliment on my FB page and I told her to suck it. Total opposite of what I would normally do. I'm EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I think I may refrain from commenting on FB today....this is going to be really hard.....(that's what she said - HAHAHAHA!)...

So the experiment is a complete failure, for a couple of reasons.

1. I did nothing today but laundry. I guess Nerual would have blown off the laundry, but that's what Lauren does sometimes, and it had to get done.

2. The only one around here to talk to is the dog. What am I gonna do, not pat the dog?

So it was a total bust. Maybe I'll save it for a time when I have plans with actual people. Or maybe I'll just skip it altogether - life's too short for Nerual.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I had a lovely lunch with some of my ladies today, and while we were talking it came up that the word "zumba" bothers me. My friend Angie said "How about Ba-Zoom?" BRILLIANT!!! I LOVE IT!!! I would be so happy if they changed the name for me! But since that's not gonna happen, I'll just have to call it Ba-Zoom myself.
Which got me to thinking about all those other words that bother me - there are a lot. I'll mention some here, but before I do, everyone raise your right hand and repeat after me:
I, (state your name) [Animal House, anyone?]
Do solemnly swear
Never to use these words against Lauren [Reyna, Nikki and Doloris, are you listening???]
And I mean it. Never.

Now that we've cleared that up, let's get to those words, shall we?

  1. Creemee or any derivative therof (Cree-mee) - why can't Vermonters just call it soft-serve?
  2. I can't even type it - the word that Reyna posted as a comment after one of my earlier posts. It starts with an "M" and ends in "oist".
  3. Any word that is purposely spelled wrong, like "Kwik". Spelling is important to me.
  4. Panties. Just a bad, bad word. There's nothing wrong with "underwear", people, let's use that one more and the "p" one less, agreed?
  5. Corn. I don't know why.

I think I should stop - I have a feeling that Reyna, Nikki and Doloris DID NOT raise their right hands.

I was also hanging with the girls recently (I swear I DO spend time with my family, even though it doesn't seem like I do) and we were talking about many different words for the same thing, like the word "taint" and all the words you can use in its' place. Like gooch, or nifkin. Now meaning of the words aside, those are just great words, don't you agree?

I think I've just taken a turn to the dark side - I'm gonna stop this one before it gets away from me.

Am I alone in having words that make my skin crawl? It seems that among my group of ladies I am more bothered by particular words than most people. Is it my personal affliction? Who knows.

Oh my god, I'm Sally.

Remember that movie, "When Harry Met Sally"? I'm Sally. To quote Harry Burns: "You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance."

I am totally Sally Albright. Dammit. Poor Sean.

Alright, I have to go absorb my new found identity. Sally signing off. Such a bummer.

Thank you, Tory, for bringing to my attention the true grossness that are the words pus, ointment and salve. They now hold prominent spots on the list. Please don't use them against me (raise your right hand...).

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Bad-Ass Honey Badger

How have I not written about this yet?!?!

Who out there has seen Randall's Honey Badger video on YouTube?  I think it's hysterical.  For the 3 of you who haven't seen it yet, here it is (be warned - there are lots o' swears in it):


OMG I can't take it, it's so funny.  Among my girlfriends here in the EJ we have embraced the honey badger, fully integrating pieces of Randall's brilliant narration into our every day lives.  For example, at coffee, it's not unusual for someone to say "Pass the sugar, stupid" or "Where did you get these donuts?  They are so nasty!"

Of course we are joking.

There has even been talk of the EJ ladies getting Honey Badger T-shirts - I like the ones that have a picture of him and say "Don't Care".  I really, really hope this happens.  How funny would that be?

I've never seen anyone fully embrace their inner honey badger as much as my friend, Aimee, has.  She is going through a divorce from a lying, cheating, thoroughly unattractive slime ball (I'm a very loyal friend).  It's been hard for her - very hard.  But watching her go from deserted wife to bad ass honey badger has REALLY been something to see!  NO ONE has embraced her honey badger-ness like Aimee!!!  She was totally taken off guard when her soon to be ex dropped the bomb that he's leaving her and the kids because he was having an affair and wanted to be with his new (insert choice words here - I'm showing AMAZING restraint) girl.  Her world fell apart.  But not for long.  As Aimee slowly but surely embraced her inner bad ass honey badger she has stood up for herself, reached out to her EJ ladies, taken up hockey and kick boxing, signed up for golf lessons (pink golf shoes!!!  GO AIMEE!!!!) and even approached a good looking man who was checking her out at Starbucks.  Seriously!  Aimee don't care.  She's ripping the head of the king cobra (hmmm.....hello Dr. Freud?) and taking what she wants, leaving the scraps behind (thanks for the scraps, stupid!).  She's creating a wonderful new life for herself, and for her beautiful boys.  And she's doing it on her terms.  I'm so, so proud of her, and have been inspired by how amazingly strong she has become.  For my friend Aimee, the best is yet to come.

So don't be afraid to embrace your inner honey badger.  What are you waiting for, stupid?!?!  :)

The Jig is Up

This morning, after Peter and TJ wrote a letter to the Easter Bunny asking for what toys they wanted in their baskets (TJ is already in the car):

Peter:  "Mom, how do you get this to the Easter Bunny?  Tell me."

Me:  "Pete I can't tell you until you're a parent yourself!"

Peter:  "There is no Easter Bunny, is there?"


Peter:  "Mom?"


Peter:  "Mom, tell me the truth!" 

Me:  "What do you think is the truth?"

Peter:  "That there is no Easter Bunny."


Peter:  "WELL?!?!"

Me:  "You're right - there is no Easter Bunny."

Peter:  "I knew it!  I've actually known it for a long time now."


So we pile into the car and I drop off TJ first.  Then as I pull up to Peter's school, he starts up again....

Peter:  "I knew there was no Easter Bunny.  All my friends told me he wasn't real."


Peter:  "Wait, is Santa real?"

Me:  "Um....what?"

Peter:  "Is Santa real?"

Me:  "Pete, you've got to go to school!  We're here!"

Peter:  "Mom, is Santa real?"


Peter:  "Oh my gosh...."

Me:  "Well what do you think, Peter?"

Peter:  "Well I used to think he was real but now I don't.  Has it been you and Dad this whole time?"


Peter:  "MOM!!!!"

Me:  "Oh good god...."

Peter:  "I can't believe it!!!"

Me:  "Well  you know that feeling you get at Christmastime?"

Peter:  "Yes..."

Me:  "Well THAT'S real - that's the spirit of Christmas and that is what's real.  You can't lose THAT!"

Peter:  "Mom, are you crying?!?!"

Me:  "A little...."

Peter:  (laughing)


Maybe Sean should start bringing the boys to school.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help....

I love Mad Men (the show, not the practice of angry individuals).  I especially love the clothes.  The story line I love, but mainly because it has nothing at all to do with my real life.  Which got me to thinking how different I would have been if I had lived during that time.  For one thing, I would have looked fabulous every day, thanks to the thousands of layers of undergarments ladies used to wear.  Seriously, anyone can look svelte with that much crap on!  And I would have rocked me some Betty Draper Francis dresses too - LOVE.  GORGEOUS.  It would have taken me forever to get dressed but MAN I would have looked hot.

For another thing, I would have been BORED BORED BORED.  Clearly, these ladies who don't work don't hang out, AT ALL.  They don't have friends.  If they do, they are the talk-about-you-behind-your-back-cause-you-have-nothing-else-to-do kind of friends.  And that's just bad news.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend Chrissy about how lucky we are to have our friends.  I think back to when my boys were babies, and I LIVED for playgroup days, so I could catch up with my circle of friends who had kids the same age and I could see that everyone was feeling as sleep deprived and crazy as I was.  We used to meet for coffee twice a week, and together we sat with infants, then chased our toddlers, then watched our preschoolers play together.  These ladies were so critical as I formed my world as a parent.

They were especially important to me because this was my circle of friends who surrounded me with love and support when my son TJ was diagnosed with autism.  At first, after diagnosis, I had to separate from them for a while, as watching their typically developing kids hurt too much as my world fell down around me.  But they stuck with me.  I got cards, notes, emails...they let me know they were there, waiting, and loving my family through this with me.  When I was ready to return to playgroup they were the first ones I could vent to, share my fears with, and fall apart around.  And they held me up each time I did.  I love all these ladies, and am forever grateful to every one of them.

As my kids grew so did my circle of girlfriends.  I met some amazing ladies as we waited at school to pick up our kids, or as we volunteered for the school's science program.  I even met some of my friends through TJ - his teachers and specialists became close to us, as they gave my boy his start in being successful in school.

Now I have "my girls" as I call them.  The Ladies.  They are my touchstone, my link to the world outside my family.  I ADORE my family, but don't understand how a woman of the 60's only had her family as her entire world.  Who did they bitch to about cramps?  Who did they vent to when their kids started talking back and didn't seem to stop?  Who did they lean on when their husbands decided they didn't understand the english language that day?  WHO DID THEY CALL WHEN THEY GOT A NEW PAIR OF SHOES???  I mean, really!  That solitude just seems unnatural.  These ladies of mine make me laugh at book club (50 Shades of Gray, OOH LA LA!).  They got me to go to Zumba.  We go to movies, have coffee at each others' houses, celebrate birthdays, ring in summer, have girls' nights out.  They are the ones who have helped me through my first 9 months (it's been 9 months!!!) of not drinking.  I love them.  My days would be bleak without them.

And I can't have a post about my friends without mentioning my chosen sisters...the ones who have been there with me for years, who know me inside and out, who will be there with me no matter where we live or what we do.  I honor them.  So to Amanda, Gina, Jennie, Jill, Katherine, and my true sister Susan, you guys are so much a part of who I am, forever.  I love you.

And they would look AMAZING in those Mad Men clothes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thanks from a Flailing Octopus

I started doing Zumba a while ago - 2 months maybe?  Well I had tried it before then but there were a couple of problems:  (1) the class I took was basically "zumba light", as well described by my friend Lisa and (2) I wasn't consistent with it.  Wanna know why?  Imagine an octopus trying to dance.  You know how all-over-the-place an octopus is when it moves?  That was (is?) me doing zumba.  Really.  I swear everyone was looking at me and laughing.  I couldn't do 2 things at once - like when I finally figured out what my feet were supposed to be doing, I realized my hands and arms were supposed to be something too...then by the time I figured that out my feet refused to cooperate.  Then on to the next move, where it started all over again.

Also, as soon as I figured out a move to the right, there we had to go and do it to the left.  At first I could not go to the left.  Seriously.  It just wasn't happening.

And don't even get me started about my hips - they were locked like fort knox.

Well thankfully my friends, who were sick of watching their friend Lauren flail like a spastic octopus, brought me to Reyvan and Tory, two amazing women who exude positive energy.  I'm sure on the inside, they were laughing like crazy watching me try to coordinate these ridiculous all-over-the-place limbs, but they told me to stick with it.  And as I learned their routines (or I should say started to learn their routines, as I am still learning them), I got more confident, and could actually move my feet AND my arms at the same time.  ME!  Imagine that!  And wanna know the crazy thing about confidence?  It unlocks your hips.  I swear.  It should be documented in some medical journal somewhere, and they should call the phenomenon "The Lauren".

In any case, I now go to each instructor twice a week (that's 4 classes a week people - ME!  4 classes a week!!!), and I officially fit into my smallest size jeans.

So THANK YOU Reyvan and Tory - I'm so glad I've made 2 new friends who kick my ass and gave me a forum to shake it.  LOVE YOU LADIES.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hot Mama O Rama

So I was at a Chamber of Commerce event with my husband a year or so ago (I'm not into these things at all, but they had yummy apps and gave you 2 drink tickets, so what's a girl to do?) when a lovely girl standing at the door holding a bucket-type-thingy asked me to drop in my business card.  I told her that my Hot Mama O Rama business cards were being reprinted - I was fresh out.  I thought this was really funny.  My husband rolled his eyes and tried to lose me among the chaos that was the cheese board.  Anyway, I posted this as my facebook status.

Fast forward a month or so, when I'm headed to Gina's house.  Gina is one of my best friends from college and she is like a sister to me.  When she turned 40 (am I allowed to say that she's 40?  She may kill me.) we went to Nassau to meet up with her girlfriends from PA where she used to live.  I fell in love with them immediately - they are beyond faboo (well, all except one but we swore to never speak of her again) and we had SO much fun together.  Anyway, one of those faboo ladies, Erica, was coming up to Gina's for the weekend and I wanted to see her so I went over.  When Erica got out of the car she handed me a gift bag with tissue paper and ribbons.  I was baffled - it was not my birthday or anything.  Then I saw Erica's face - a little grin and grimacing eyes, then I knew she was up to something.  Turns out she was the delivery lady - another of those faboo ladies, Kellicious (Kelli to the untrained), had business cards printed up for her real estate business.  She printed some for me, too.

Here's the front:

and here's the back:

I LOVE THEM.  I carry them around with me and have been known to autograph a couple of them before handing them out to friends. 

But being a Hot Mama O Rama has its share of responsibilities - I don't take the task lightly.  When I carry the cards I feel like I must exude Hot Mama a bit more than when I don't...and if anyone asks, I have the cards to back it up.

Anyone can be a Hot Mama O Rama, no matter how old you are or what you look like.  It's all about how you feel.  I'm not always a Hot Mama O Rama - I have my non Hot Mama days, just like everyone.  You can be a Hot Mama O Rama in your grubbiest clothes, on your most bloated days, if you mentally decide that you ARE a Hot Mama O Rama, dammit.  And usually I find that if you fake it, you'll start believing it.  True story.

Cute shoes help, I'm not gonna lie.

And when I just can't be a Hot Mama O Rama, I stay in the house.  No one needs to be subjected to that.  Except Sean.  And my boys.  And the dog.

But seriously, try cute shoes.

Happy Water

I dropped my Lexapro in the toilet this morning by mistake, which by the way I refuse to take as a sign of how today is going to go.  But it got me thinking - wouldn't it be AMAZING if the town put anti-depressants in the water system?!?!  CAN YOU IMAGINE???  I know of some folks here in the EJ who would benefit for sure (I'm not namin' names).  I mean they put fluoride in the water for those of us who can't quite figure out how to get enough to our teeth - can you even begin to imagine how much better everyone would feel/behave if we had happy water?!  I think it's a brilliant idea.  And the world would be a better place.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Did I do that right?

My friend Wendy asked if she could subscribe to this blog. I had no idea how to set that up so I messed around with it and found myself wondering "did I do that right?". Which led me to think about the many different situations in which it would be VERY VERY BAD to hear that phrase. Here are a few that come to mind:

In bed - that's a biggie (that's what she said)

In surgery (not that the patient would hear that, but you know what I mean)

In the dentist's office - that one is cringe worthy

In any waxing scenario

Haircut - the horror

Emergency room

Anyone working at a nuclear power plant

The vet snipping your dog

Any vasectomy clinic (speaking of snipping your dog...)

Please feel free to add you own to the comments section. My mind clearly seems to be stuck in one arena.

And if you happen to know, let me know if I set up the subscribe thingy right.

What shoes go with Monday?

So this is my first Monday without a job in a long time. Well, long for me. It's all relative, really. So how does one spend a thrilling Monday in the EJ? Coffee to start - I'm meeting some of the girls. I always laugh with my girls. End then to delve into the thrilling world of laundry! What shoes go with laundry? I can wear whatever shoes I want to now, without fear of playground wood chips getting stuck in my peeptoe, or a kickball throwing off my balance as I teeter on my stilettos around the play structure (see, I totally lied! Kickballs aren't allowed anywhere NEAR the play structure). Before I got my job I wore my hot pink patent leather heels for vacuuming (before you even think about it, I was otherwise fully clothed, thankyouverymuch)...but the thought of a different pair for laundry never even entered my mind. Shame, shame on me! There are stairs involved, 2 sets, so that has to be taken into consideration. And it's Spring now, of course, so that brings up a whole new style of shoes. Can't wear suede boots to do the laundry in spring. This takes some serious consideration...I'm going to have to ponder this one for a bit.

While I'm here may I also mention that I almost typed "style of shoe", then changed it to "shoes", for the same reason that I get very uncomfortable when someone says "pant", as in "this is a lovely spring pant". Ew....just typing it makes me squirmy. It's on my list. I have a list of words I don't like, but that list has been used against me in the past, so I'm not sure if I should reveal those blechy words here. Another thing to think about.

Oh, and today is World Autism Awareness Day. I had shirts made that I would have looked REALLY cute in, but it has TJ's name on it, and he started crying when he saw it and said it made him feel too different. I almost wore it inside out, only to flip it back after he got dropped off at school, but what kind of mother would that make me? So it's sitting upstairs. Anyway, we're aware.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Zumba hair

I am convinced - CONVINCED!!! - that if my hair is cute for zumba, my hips move better. I'm serious. Please remember that this is me we're talking about, so the cuteness of the hair is relative. And, let's not forget that I have an egg shaped head. This is a problem. Can't clip the hair in the wrong place or the egginess of my head is more pronounced. Also, those of you who have known me for a while know that I am NOT a dancer in any way, shape or form. In fact, when I had to dance in a play my senior year in high school I tripped, got dragged across the floor, and had splinters in my ass for weeks. True story.

Anyway, yesterday morning when I went to zumba, I did a little experiment.  Normally I tie my hair back into a ponytail so it stays out of my face, but yesterday I blew it out (I had slept on it and the top o' the egg was a little poofy) and wore it down.  Man, you should have seen my hips.  They were like buttah.  I swear I wasn't the worst in the class and again, this is ME we're talking about!  But I didn't take the fan into consideration.  Once it got turned on it was like a Saturday Night Live skit.  I couldn't see.  I had to do the dreaded behind-the-ear tuck, further pronouncing to the world "HELLO EGG SHAPED HEAD!".  And the sweat didn't help - it made the hair stick to my face and it was a total disaster.  So today I'm trying to clip the front piece of my hair back in a teeny tiny clip that is meant for 3 year olds.  Slightly to the side, of course.  I'm about to leave for class so I'll check back in later and let you know how it went.

The clip is not a good look for me.  I have a picture but you will never see it.  What's worse, half way through the class I was so hot and sweaty that I had to resort to the ponytail anyway!  We're talking both a clip and a ponytail!!!  But the good news is I had some buttah hip moments.  So maybe I was wrong about the hip-hair link in the first place.