The sad, irrefutable truth

Teenage Stie, in all her scary, big-haired, mini-skirted glory

When you're a teenager, you sneak out of the house so your mom won't see you wearing a mini skirt.

When you're a mom, you sneak out of the house so your daughter won't see that you're not wearing the gaudy, homemade princess necklace she crafted for you.

When you're a teenager, you stay up late partying with friends and can sleep in until midday.

When you're a mom, you stay up late doing laundry and cleaning toilets and have to pull yourself painfully out of bed early in the morning.

When you're a teenager, you wear clothes that look cool, regardless of their comfort factor. [Pegged jeans and shoulder pads, anyone?]

When you're a mom, you wear clothes SOLELY for their comfort factor.

Pegged acid-washed jeans and freakishly matchy-match-socks Stie & date
(whose face has been changed for his protection)

When you're a teenager, you freak out when your brothers walk into your room because you think no one respects your privacy.

When you're a mom, you find yourself unable to even pee in solitude because your children are always chattering on the other side of the bathroom door.

When you're a teenager, you have braces, pimples, and feel awkward almost all of the time.

When you're a mom, you have cellulite, under-eye bags, and feel only slightly awkward at the PTA meeting when you look down and realize you are still in yesterday's ponytail and your sweatpants.

Most scary & awkward of all the Sties: Middle School short-haired mullet Stie. Yikes.

When you're a teenager, you fight with your parents for control over your life.

When you're a mom, you fight with the world for control over your child's life.

And when you're a teenager, you eat everything in sight without fear for the future.

When you're a mom, you have to hide in the closet while snarfing down the last of the good chocolate...for fear the children will see you and want some.

Mom Stie: The Happiest (and possibly cutest) of them all

P.S. Have you seen all of the fabulous sessions happening here? Stop by and take a peek. Exciting stuff, people.

She has the crazy eyes

Remember the picture I posted last week of the Husband and I?


Yes, that one. The one in which you were all so complimentary and I had a day or two where I walked around the world with my head a little higher thinking, "Yeah. I'm hot."

Remember that?

Well, careful examination of that photo has reaffirmed what I secretly suspected years ago.

That I have the Runaway Bride Eyes.

Remember her? The crazy chick who ran away from home, then came back days later claiming she had been raped and kidnapped? Only we found afterward that she made it all up to avoid having to get married?

Well, say hello to the RB and her blond twin, Stie:


I know, right?

I offer you further proof of my crazy eyes in a photo taken at the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania (Note: I do not normally wear paper hats as my staple fashion accessory):


And more proof here:


What disturbs me most is that I remember the pictures being posted of her and everyone in the media commenting about how you could just tell "by the look in her eyes" that she was crazy and unstable.

I ask you, dear friends, what does that say about me?

Never mind. Don't answer that.

P.S. Have you seen all the exciting sessions happening here?

The elephant in the room

Since we are celebrating spring break around here, I decided to pretend I'm a good mom and took my kids to the zoo yesterday. We had a lovely time, and I noticed some things when we stopped by the elephant exhibit.

Some things that I may or may not want to admit here.

Things I found that I have in common with the sweet, old girl they call Pearl.

Like I can totally relate to her dry, crackly skin in the wintertime. There isn't enough lotion in the world to moisturize me right now.

And the wrinkles in between the eyes just begging for Botox?

Yep. We've both got those.

Of course, I should mention the obvious: She and I both have similar, um, well, shapes when it comes to our rear ends.

Though I am afraid hers might be a tad bit slimmer than mine.

But the similarities go beyond just appearances. For instance, we both are a little bit clumsy and seem to fall down from time to time when taking a little walk through town:

We both like to show off when we know that people are watching, though we pretend shyly that we don't:

And, sadly, I am afraid that both of us will do tricks in exchange for the sweet treat of our choice.

Hers: A banana.
Mine: Everything in the chocolate family.

(We also both seem to be willing to eat food right off the ground.)

And when we find ourselves exhausted from all that walking, falling, and sweet treat eating, all we really want to do is lie down and take a nice, long nap.

But the most disturbing similarity of all, the missing genetic link between humans and elephants:

We both occasionally find that a teensy bit of pee slips out when we are doing the exercising.

Sorry, old girl. But you and I both know that it's the awful, honest truth.

Will the real time please stand up?

Hi, my name is Christie, and I am obsessive-compulsive. (Hi, Christie).

Bet you didn't know that.

Lately, I have been thinking about another facet of my ever-so-slight OCD (stop laughing). It is definitely not the worst of my many quirks, but is still something that drives the Husband a little batty. And that is the fact that I am incapable of showing up late to ANYTHING.

I think my eye just started twitching thinking about it.

It literally pains me if I am late to anything. Pains me. I just cannot be late. The Husband moans and groans every Sunday when we arrive 20 minutes early to church. But I cannot, and will not, sit in the back, so early we must be.

I have developed a bad habit of moving the time ahead on our clocks in order to trick my family into thinking they are late, thus making them rush a little more to get out the door. Imagine their delight when we get into the car, and surprise! We're not late at all. We're early. (Some in our family don't find this to be a good surprise. Cough*husband*cough).

The only problem is that now I have no idea what the real time is because I've moved every clock around by so many minutes. I have become terrified I will actually BE late when going somewhere, and so I combat that by moving the clocks MORE ahead.

I know, I need help.

Next spring, at daylight savings, do not be surprised if our clocks don't have to change at all.

Do any of you do this? Or am I standing all alone out here on my big crazy platform?

Probably. But that's all right.

At least I won't be late for all those therapy sessions I'm going to need.

Pride Cometh Before the Poor House

I have an issue that I'd like to complain about today.

School picture day.


There is something so cheesy, so tacky to me about the faded blue/gray background and posed child with a fake smile. It is the same no matter where you go. Granted, the school photographers are shooting anywhere from 500 to 600 kids in a day and, therefore, my kids only get one shot to look their best in the photo. I understand they're not going to spend the time it takes to get that one perfect shot.

Believe me, that task is next to impossible. I've spent the time it takes.

I have had to beg, demand, cajole, and even resort to paying my children in order to have them pose for me. I usually shoot about a hundred pictures, and will be lucky to get one or two that I like. There is no way the best of my children will be captured by the school photographer in one shot.

And yet, I feel compelled to purchase a package each and every time (which is twice a year in our current school). Not compelled because I want a collection of these ugly, stiff pictures, but because I refuse to have my child be the one child in their class who doesn't buy a package. I will not have them look longingly at their friends' ugly pictures and wonder why they don't have an ugly picture of their own. I will not have teachers and classmates think we cannot afford to buy a photo package. And that pride leads to us to spend a large amount of money every year on pictures that look ridiculous.

Here are just a few from my hidden collection:

I ABSOLUTELY KNOW that my children are the most beautiful children ever created, but these photos do not remotely capture anything other than stiff, awkward, serial-killer like expressions. I hate them. I don't send them to grandparents. I most certainly do not put them up on the wall.

You must be asking yourself then what pictures I do deem worthy of putting up on the wall? I am a photo snob, and I'll admit it. Here are some of my favorites, taken by me, of them:

See? You see what I mean now, don't you. Here is a picture of our photo wall with my favorite shots blown up.

And so, next week when I enclose a check in the Tacky-Photos-R-Us envelope for Hannah's ballet pictures, please know that I do it very begrudgingly. But I'd rather waste money than appear as though I have none.

Please tell me there is someone out there like me. I can't imagine that I'm all alone in my insanity. Right? RIGHT?

His and Hers Perceptions

The Husband is generally not around during the week as he travels a lot for work. He's not privy to my daily routine, and I am not privy to his. I'm sure he has his own ideas about what happens around here.

Here's what I think his perceptions are of how I spend a typical day:

7:00 a.m. The alarm goes off. Yell at the kids to get out of bed, then fall right back asleep.

7:50 a.m. Rush out of bed and shove the kids out the front door for school. When they ask about lunches, tell them to just share what the kid next to them brings for lunch. Feel good for teaching them how to share.

7:51 a.m. Eat my own hearty breakfast of donuts, brownies, and chocolate milk.

7:55 a.m. Scratch rear end with long poking stick.

7:59 a.m. Yawn. Consider taking a shower. Go back to bed instead.

11:45 a.m. Wake up and shove Hannah out the door for the kindergarten bus pick-up. Remember her need for lunch and throw a pop-tart at the bus in the hope that she catches it.

12:01 p.m. Go through McDonald's drive-thru and order a Big Mac, three orders of fries, and a large milkshake for lunch. For myself.

12:12 p.m. Rush home to watch several soap operas while gorging on McD's.

2:00 p.m. Take a much-needed nap.

3:20 p.m. Greet the children at the front door with strict instructions not to disturb my second afternoon nap. Tell them to do their own homework.

5:00 p.m. Wake up from nap, order a pizza, and ignore the large pile of dishes in the sink.

5:30 p.m. Feed the children. Eat remaining donuts from this morning when the children aren't looking. Laugh when the children ask for vegetables. Force them to eat greasy pizza instead.

6:00 p.m. Send the children to bed.

6:01 p.m. Begin five hour nighttime television marathon involving TIVO'd episodes of soap operas that I missed while napping.

6:30 p.m. Consume remaining eight slices of pizza. Wash it down with some diet coke and feel good about my low-calorie drink. Feel deep sense of satisfaction for making such a healthy choice.

11:00 p.m. Begin to get ready for bed, and realize I am still in my pajamas from the night before. Smile wickedly at that thought and crawl into the unmade bed.

11:01 p.m. Fall asleep while eating a bag of Doritos.


Oh, I wish. Here's how I REALLY spend my days:

6:28 a.m. Wake up. Hit the snooze button three times and wish it was a Saturday.

6:55 a.m. Get out of bed. Find two of the three children already awake. Wonder how I gave birth to such cheerful early risers.

7:00 a.m. Feed the children a breakfast of Eggo waffles, apples, peanut butter, and skim milk. Throw in the first of several loads of laundry. Pack lunches. Clean up breakfast dishes, kitchen, living room, and sun room. Vacuum entire first floor.

7:50 a.m. Hug and kiss the boys, and watch them walk to the bus stop. Wait for the bus to pass and wave them off to their day.

8:00 a.m. Hit the treadmill. Sweat and run to a re-run of Desperate Housewives. Silently be grateful there's a new Grey's Anatomy this week.

9:00 a.m. Read a few blogs.

9:20 a.m. Shower, blow dry hair, apply make-up, and get dressed. Change the laundry.

10:15 a.m. Assemble goodie bags for Hannah's birthday party this week. Play dollhouse with her. Listen to her excitedly describe YET AGAIN every character on High School Musical. Nod, and smile, and say, "Oh really, wow!" while secretly wanting to punch Sharpay and Troy. Go pick up dry cleaning.

11:30 a.m. Feed Hannah her favorite lunch of Spaghettios and goldfish. Force her to drink a glass of milk.

12:00 p.m. Watch for the bus with Hannah. Wave to her, even though she never looks or waves back.

12:01 p.m. Run to the grocery store, milk store, Target, and post office. Stop for a diet coke at McDonald's. Savor its absolute perfection.

1:30 p.m. Come home and unpack groceries. Change the laundry again. Go downstairs to office and transcribe three very long and boring files.

3:15 p.m. Greet children at the door and remind them to take off their shoes. Help McKay with his 4th grade math homework and find that it is too challenging for me. Try not to let him know this. Pretend to love math. Wonder when I lost so many brain cells.

4:00 p.m. Begin dinner. Remember laundry that is waiting and switch loads again.

5:00 p.m. Feed the children. Make them eat their vegetables. Feed self. Do the dishes. Re-vacuum entire first floor, most especially around Chase's spot, who wins the Messiest Eater Award every night at dinner.

5:45 p.m. Listen to Chase and Hannah read.

6:30 p.m. Fold more laundry. Put away laundry. Take out garbage.

7:30 p.m. Drive McKay to his baseball game. Cheer, yell, shout, and moan. All at the same time.

7:43 p.m. Take both Chase and Hannah to the bathroom, which is conveniently located about 14.8 miles from the field. Remind them AGAIN to go before we leave home.

9:45 p.m. Game ends. Congratulate McKay on his triple play. Avoid pointing out that it was errors and overthrows made by the other team. Be glad he is so happy about it. Take three tired kids home. Force them to shower against their will. Send them to bed.

10:30 p.m. Remove clothes, wash face, brush teeth, and climb exhausted into my neatly-made bed.

10:31 p.m. Fall fast asleep and dream about doing it all again tomorrow.


See, honey? I think we all know what REALLY happens around here, even you. I'd like to say that I'm living the first life, as it seems to involve lots of donuts and naps, but unfortunately, that is not my life. This one is.

And it's not so bad.

Gotta run though. I'm sure there's a donut somewhere with my name on it.