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  1. Picking Up Poo is My Cross to Bear

    September 9, 2013 by admin

    God, I wish I had a backbone.

    That’s not a heavenly plea. It’s more of a lament.

    For two weeks, I’ve been in turmoil over the fact that a neighbor’s dog has been pooping in my yard. For two weeks – two weeks! – I have gone out to my yard most every day, and, with great theatrics (i.e., looking around with great disgust, muttering not-so-much under my breath), have picked up steaming piles of fresh, fly-covered dog poo. Sorry. I’m not trying to gross you out. I’m just setting the scene. Do you have a visual now? Yes? Good.

    For two weeks, I have been texting my husband at work: “Hey, how’s your day? I just picked up more poop. WTF.”

    For two weeks, I have been that crazy lady, peeping through her kitchen curtains, knowing full well that catching the suspect dog in the act (I am 90 percent sure of the culprit) will only serve to make my spineless self even more angry.

    For two weeks, I’ve walked around my house, my stomach in knots, trying to psych myself up to talk to my neighbor about this in a non-threatening, friendly way. But how do I do this?

    “Hey there, neighbor. Nice weather we’re having. Well, anyhoo, I’ve been picking up steaming piles of dog poo in my yard. Do you think it could be your dog?”

    I mean, how can someone not take offense to that?

    As you can see, this is really bothering me.

    And yet.

    I do nothing to relieve my angst.

    So, what am I teaching my children then about confrontation?

    Avoid it at all costs. That’s what I am teaching them. To be passive aggressive and hold it all in until you are seething so much you fling the dog poo back into your neighbor’s yard, feeling good for a split second but then living in fear that you may have been caught on some type of surveillance camera and now your neighbor hates you. (That scenario is hypothetical, of course.)

    I’d like to believe that I have many strengths and admirable qualities that I am passing along to my children. But being direct in the face of a possible disagreement is not one of them.

    But here’s the bitch of the whole thing. My neighbor is not an unreasonable person. He’s not going to come after me with a snow shovel or toilet paper my house or go on a crusade to blacklist my kids from trick or treat.

    Our families are actually pretty friendly.

    So what he’s probably going to say is: “Oh, sorry. I’ll take care of it.”

    And yet.

    When I go outside, I can’t bring myself to walk the 20 or 30 feet to his door and start a conversation about it.

    So until I can get a backbone, picking up poo is my cross to bear.

  2. 10 Reasons I Hate the Humidity

    August 10, 2013 by admin

    My hair is really fine, so the humidity actually helps me there. But here are 10 reasons why I hate this dreaded weather.

    1. My bathroom door doesn’t close all the way, making it even more difficult for me to shower, pluck my eyebrows or pee alone.

    2. My face resembles an Exxon oil spill.

    3. GUARANTEED that the load of laundry I put in the wash – insisting I’d stay up to transfer it to the dryer, but didn’t – needs to be washed again come morning so it doesn’t smell like it was washed in the ocean at low tide. Also GUARANTEED that there is an article of clothing in said load that I need immediately.

    4. Just being makes me sweat. My sweat has sweat.

    5. I’m sticky, and not in a Pour-Some-Sugar-on-Me kind of way. I have to shower six times a day, making it difficult to do other things, like getting dressed, or leaving the house. Or mothering my children.

    6. Running 3 miles feels like running an ultra-marathon. I mean it feels like I am running through a giant sea of peanut butter. Or Nutella. Wait. THAT would be awesome.

    7. The humidity makes me tired. And when I am tired, I am grouchy. Hold it. I’m tired with no humidity. And grouchy. Oh, WTF!

    8. I find myself hypocritically telling others that I’d take 100 degrees in Texas over 75 degrees in New England. I used to want to punch people when they said, “Oh, it’s 110 degrees, but it’s a dry heat.”

    9. Being outside makes me want to vomit. Being stuck inside our tiny house with three kids makes me want to vomit. I guess just don’t come near me if the dew point is too high.

    10. Two words: Swamp ass.

  3. End of the Week Roundup – A Hodgepodge

    March 11, 2013 by admin

    Saying very little with a whole lotta words. 

    It’s Sunday night and I am spent. The kids are out of whack because of the Friday snow day, daylight savings and three straight days of pizza eating. Presently, my toddler is shaking the side rails of her crib like a monkey in a cage who wants out. She knows it’s really only 9pm, not 10pm like the clocks say, and she won’t be sleeping for another hour and is letting me know that she doesn’t appreciate the smoke and mirrors. At all.

    Anyway, this is what has gone on in our house the last few days.

    • The big news is that my son’s hockey team won the Larry Fournier Tournament for their division. I never thought I’d be that parent cheering wildly in the stands, ringing a cow bell and shaking pompoms. But I am. And I’m okay with that. The kids were on fire and words can’t describe how proud I am of the Newburyport Clippers Mite 2 team and their efforts on the ice. In the championship game, the kids played a nail-biter and then won in sudden death overtime 4-3. Braedan scored a hat trick and the MVP award. I am that parent who was moved to tears with pride and screeched like a hyena from the stands at the Graf. 
    • My son is gearing up for his first Science Fair and I am gearing up to not take over the entire project because I am a control freak. Braedan and his friend, Jack, will grow crystals with borax. Braedan, a self-proclaimed crystal expert, is ecstatic. The Science Fair brings back memories of History Day competitions and waterfalls of tears when my friends and I didn’t win. I was such a nerd. Yes, I said was.
    • I got my hair cut and the grays colored, which knocks at least 6 months off my appearance.
    • I joined Twitter (@pbjchardonnay). And even though I currently have only 28 followers, I can’t stop checking it. I haven’t quite figured it all out yet, but all anyone on Twitter really wants is some follower love. But not from the scantily-clad women sucking in their cheeks, thank you.
    • Friday turned out to be a snow day! We watched movies, ate snacks, bickered and went to the dentist (see below).
    • Took the boys to the dentist and was informed that they would both most likely need braces. F’ing spectacular.
    • Winter is coming, and I am giddy with excitement. To prepare for season 3 of HBO’s Game of Thrones, we’ve been re-watching seasons 1 and 2 to refresh our memories. I heart John Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. I absolutely loathe Prince Joffrey. So much so that if I ever saw the actor Jack Gleeson on the street, I wouldn’t be able to help myself from shouting “Die you Baratheon bastard!” and charge at him with a pair of eyebrow tweezers.
    • We’ve been playing lots of musical beds here in the middle of the night, which is not nearly as exciting as it sounds. When do kids start sleeping through the night? Because we’ve been waiting seven years.
    • I managed to resist the urge to buy Nutella at the grocery store this week.
    • I finally asked for a new membership card at the gym. I have lost three in the past two months and my schtick of fumbling around in my pockets, pretending to be surprised it wasn’t there was getting old. I did, however, wait until the weekend so that the regulars working the desk wouldn’t know that, in addition to not working out regularly, I was also terribly disorganized.
    • During a Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru run yesterday, I ordered two medium regular iced coffees. The voice coming through the black box responded. “Um…hmm…I don’t really feel like making them. It’s so nice out.” Then,  silence. Confused (and half-wondering if this was some really weak What Would You Do? segment and John Quinones would be standing at the window with my drinks when I drove up) I chuckled awkwardly at the black box. Then the voice laughed and asked “Anything else?” No. Just the coffees, weirdo.


    That’s all the big news. The past week or two, I’ve also made notes of some funny things my kids have said. Here they are.

    Colin: Do snake/sink rhyme?

    Me: No.

    Colin: Well, they rhyme to me.


    Braedan, looking at his MVP trophy from the weekend tournament:  I know a lot about crystals and minerals, and this is pure gold.


    Colin, collapsing on the minivan floor after preschool pickup: Mom, I’m tired. I’m getting old.


    Braedan: Can I have a pickaxe for my birthday?

    Me: (Looking at him askew.)

    Braedan: What? I want to dig for crystals in caves!


    Colin, after being told he couldn’t drink Aria’s Pedialyte: But when am I going to have diarrhea? I want to try it!


  4. Inauguration

    February 2, 2013 by admin

    Because being a mom is hard.

    Because living sanely in today’s world is even harder.

    Because kids say funny shit.

    Because I can’t really say the word “shit” any other place but here.

    Because life can be beautiful, chaotic, tragic, wonderful, horrible, heartbreaking and breathtaking. Sometimes even all at once.

    Because people piss you off. Make you happy. Confuse you. Understand you. Help you. Hate you. Love you.

    Because embarrassing the people you love and outing the people you don’t can be witty and cathartic.

    Because funny things happen. Because crappy things happen. Because things are happening at all.

    Because balancing kids (the PBJ) and self (the Chardonnay) is a constant struggle. I mean, it’s really f’ing hard.

    Because sometimes you cuddle your kids close and feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven.

    Because other times you run into your room, slam the door, cover your eyes and insanely mouth “Leave me the fuck alone!”

    Because sometimes going out for “one” glass of wine with your friends ends up being a 4am shit show.

    Because sometimes eating dinner at 4pm and putting on PJ’s at 5 is your best option.

    Because I’m a writer.

    These are some of the reasons I’m starting PBJ and Chardonnay. I hope you’ll eventually see something that will make you want to read along.

    Cast of Main Characters: 

    Me: Mom. Disorganized Do-Gooder. I always mean well, but am, in general, an all-around hot mess. I frequently set myself up by taking on too many projects/activities/to-do lists without a solid plan.

    Rich: Dad. Hockey coach. Bread winner. Rational thinker. Means what he says. Says what he means.

    Braedan: Sweet second-grader who, like most boys his age, frequently exhibits egotistical behavior. Braedan is smart, kind and lives and breathes to bust his brother’s ass.

    Colin: Happy-go-lucky almost-four-year-old who is starting to come into his own. And by that I mean that he is learning to bust back.

    Aria: Ahhhh. My GIRL! The girl we thought for sure would be a boy. At 15 months, she can do no wrong. But we know we are eventually in for a world of hurt.