After mass this morning, sandwiched in between a doctor appointment and a dentist visit for yet another decaying tooth (note to ya'll... always brush your teeth... even if it seems so much better to crash in your bed with a giant Diet Coke and a bucket of Reeses) I ducked into a local grocery store to follow up on school donations for Friday's Kids' Dash.

The cashier with the mohawk and tattoos told me, yet again, that the accountant was not there.

"When will she back?" I inquired of her.

"Tomorrow," she grunted, quickly turning back to her coupon and condom scanning.

Tomorrow... tomorrow... the sun will come out tomorrow..., right? "I have TWO days to get fifty more dollars worth of gift cards for our school," I grumbled to myself.

I simply smiled and thanked her. It's not her fault, of course.

On my way out the door, a very dirty man asked me what I needed the money for. I told him.

"L.A. schools..." he muttered. "It keeps getting worse, doesn't it?"

I nodded my head. "Well, at least my kids are getting an education," I smiled. "How are you?" I asked back.

He must have been pleased that I asked, for he followed me out to the parking lot and pulled out a wallet loaded with about 500 dollar bills. (No joke.)

"Take a dollar," he offered, waving a five at me.

"I can't do that!" I said, staring at his dusty car and ripped seat covers.

"Sure you can!" he offered me. "My wife and I like to help out."

I paused, at which he added, "For the kids."

I took it and said thank you.

It was indeed a reminder that giving, no matter how little we have, is such a gift. And while the money will be given to my kids' school, clearly it is I that is getting an education.
So here's what I want to know: Did parenting turn out the way you expected it to?

Are you ever so irritable you could just die?

Do you ever blame everything on your husband when really he couldn't possibly be expected to do everything for you... and if he did... you'd be irritated that you didn't have enough freedom?

Do you go back and forth between acceptance, middle ground and ready to open up a serious can of whoop ass on anyone who dares ask you, "Are you okay?"

"NO! I'm NOT OKAY! I'm PMSing, I miss my dad. It's not always easy raising a kid with Tourettes, Yes,I know he is totally mild and I'm making a BIG DEAL OUT OF IT! I miss my old writing job, I want to be a Christian but getting past this crazy idea that someone died on a cross and rose again from the dead is, like, WHACKY Weed Central and I just want to sleep for ten days!"

I ask because at times I'm flying around getting everything done.

And other times I'm simply exhausted.

And no, I don't think I'm bipolar. But sometimes I wish I were. Lithium sometimes sounds like a nice middle ground. 

But the absolute truth is that I know what I need in my life: I need God. And I need to accept myself for who I am - for how my life turned out. And I don't think I can do that without God.

For those of you that can face this world without it, I honestly, from the bottom of my heart, think that's fabulous. I wish I could. My husband can - or at least he thinks he is doing alright.

But for me, it's just not possible.

So now, at almost 40, I'm reaching the conclusion that I need less control and more serenity. Because for the next 40 years, I don't want to piss and moan forever. I am so lucky in my life - from my husband to my kids to my family - those living and present.

It's time to listen with joy. 

God, are you listening!??? How about you readers? Have I lost you?

I'm ready to be honest about the good, the bad and the ugly. I'll share what I feel comfortable with, and I hope you'll stick around for the ride. Because let's face it - life is too short to be this serious. I'm sure even Jesus would give a hearty thumbs up to my final statement: LET'S KICK SOME ASS.
I don't know about you, but I have had some stuff laying around the house forever. I've meant to do it. I really have. But somehow I've never gotten around to it.

Like the grandfather clock. That we got from our realtor. NINE years ago. It had gotten quite cozy on top of our armoire. So cozy, in fact, that cobwebs had started to form near the pendulum. One particular spider was not happy with my decison to windex him away. 

With Rex being out of town, I thought I'd surprise him once and for all and hang up that clock. I just knew it would take hours.

Um... five minutes. No joke. Hello stud (in the wall, not Rex). Hello little nail! Greetings tiny hammer! Centered, level - beautiful!

Of course I couldn't stop there. I hung a bulletin board in my office. I hung up some wedding prints in the hall. I rearranged my bed and made space for some old baby photos to be hung up over my brand new bedroom furniture. (Well, it's really 1970's laminate from my sister-in-law, but it will be replaced with fabulous 40's antiques as soon as I have my way.)

I can't lie to you. I made some serious mistakes. There's holes from ugly drywall in every room of the house. Some of the frames have photos that are only staying in place courtesy of sticky tape. Some pictures are missing glass.

It's an interesting analogy for life, really. What looks beautiful on the outside can sometimes be falling apart within. But if we wait to hang our beauty up for when everything is perfect, we'll be waiting forever.
The time is now - dust, spiders, gaping holes and all.

In closing, for all you gals out there who read me, may your photos and your men continue to be well hung.
I've been going through old videos lately and simply laughing my booty off.

I had totally forgotten about the one below
. Stink was about 2, and whenever Pip would screech (she was also known as "The Howler" which some of my prior BabyCenter readers thought was just plain awful) he'd cover his ears and scream "Woman, My Eaaaaars!"

Honestly, I'm shocked Rex didn't adapt that little routine for the days when I just can't stop jabbering. Which, sadly for him, is most days.

I am once again reminded to remember when to keep my mouth shut and when it's worth stating my opinion. Cause, um... apparently the universe doesn't center around me.

Happy Sunday, all. May only fabulous things find their ways into your ears.
For a while I was entertaining the idea of working a part time job to pay off some minor credit card debt I incurred after having the audacity to enjoy a vacation this summer.
A few months even at minimum wage would do the trick. I would consort with interesting people. I would get away from the computer and be with live human beings. And best of all, I would ingest more blog fodder than Kanye West insults people.

But with a few weeks of heavy public service under my belt, from shopping to running around town on school missions, I'm becoming that jaded L.A. person who is, against her better judgment, able to sum up the majority of the public in three words: RUDE RUDE RUDE!

How hard is it to smile at me if I let you cross in front of my car in a Target parking lot? Oh, you own a Mercedes while my stinky SUV smells like fries and first grade dirt? No wonder! I'll make sure to check out your Entitlement Pass next time.

Is it so difficult to wave a "Thanks, lady!" when I let you pull in front of me at a crowded intersection? Oh, your destination is more important than mine? Makes sense! Let my kids be late for school. It's not like the California governor thinks our education system is that worth while either.

What about women in their fifites who stand behind me, huffing loudly, as I desperately try to readjust my packages to hold my five year old's hand up the escalator. You know... silly me not wanting Pip to bang her head and squirt blood all over the matriarch's designer sweater set.

Oh, am I being judgmental? You mean the old bag... ahem... sad woman.... actually shops at thrift stores like I do? If that's the case, then I would hope she would also see the less fortunate souls who go there for survival, not for fun, show some empathy, and see actual retail shopping with escalators and clean toilets as the joyous occasion that it is! Go 99 cent popcorn and Diet Coke specials in the Red Bullseye Cafe!

But perhaps in the three examples I gave someone was dying of cancer. Perhaps one had recently lost a job or a child. Perhaps their home was just repossesed.

Or, most likely, they were simply never taught to say "thank you" or "please" or give someone else the benefit of the doubt.

I'm far from perfect - don't make me give examples. So I'll end this rant by re-instating my pledge to show respect where I can. If not for me, or for anyone else, for my children.

But seriously, general public, how hard is it to have some basic manners?

Thank you.

I hope you all have a pleasant day.

Even that bitch at the escaltor.
Turns out a wonderfully smart artist and friend I know from BabyCenter (Arwen) also has a remarkably talented husband. He is self-publishing a chapter book ideal for the early chapter reading crowd called Catamount Cody Faces the Slingshot Gang.

Written in a Western style with vivid drawings by Miss Arwen herself, this book is the story of a brother who stands up to mean kids who treat his sisters poorly.

As the mother of a son who worships his sister, I was touched by the creative take on cowboy chivalry this book provides. It's got just enough action to make any four year old wonder what's going to happen next, but it's clean enough to keep Mama or Papa from worrying about bad dreams.

Arwen is having a book giveway at her blog. I know that my own Prince Charming would love for me to read it to his favorite Princess one night. So good luck getting it out of my hands if I win. If you try, I'll just stick Catamount Cody on you.

Or worse, my own Stink. Think you can outrun a boy in ballet shoes? Think again. He'll arabesque his way into a headlock quicker than you can say post over.

Where has the time gone since I last posted?! Oh, I know... my son started first grade and my daughter started kindergarten.

I started up a new Tourettes support group called Twitch and Bitch 2.

I've been in touch with Sesame Street who is considering doing a piece for their website or show on TS. (This is a big "maybe"... but it's still fun none the less)

I've gone back and forth with my anxiety, but am continuing on my God path to find my purpose, soothing my spinning pea brain. Less Diet Coke and less Yuban might be a good plan but I haven't won the battle. But I'm jogging and praying and that's about where it is for now.

Some might suggest that I do less. Apparently you can'f find your reflection in running waters. Instead you see clarity and vision in the mirrored stillness of a quiet lake.

I, however, have come to the conclusion that I'm not a serene, passive person by nature. I'm the most happy when I'm busy, active and passionate. This means blogging and volunteering at my kids' school.

This means going to church on Sundays even if Rex doesn't want to go.

This means pushing past my comfort level and going to a Hollywood Bowl Rodgers and Hammerstein tribute with live orchestra playing to wide screen movies above our heads under a starry night sky with a good girlfriend.

It means taking advantage of the housing market and buying a little cabin in the woods that Rex and I will rent out most of the winter but hopefully make some memories in over the summers.

And it means getting off my duff and writing that musical with my ex-TV partner like I've always wanted to. We started today thanks to the power of Skype and two wacky minds that laugh about everything from sex to marriage to kids to politics. I'm not saying it's going to win any Broadway awards (Though doesn't a song like "Vasectomy" just have TONY written all over it?) but it's going to be silly and racaous and... God forbid... FUN.

And I can promise you this: It won't have anything to do with silence. And that just makes me so happy I can't stand it.

Happy Monday!

* Photo courtesy of that same nutty mama who forces me to get off the computer and attend live cultural events. I mean, really, she's just crazy.