Category Archives: This Thing Called Life

It Felt Big In My Mouth

This morning I stopped by the Starbucks closest to my house and ordered my favorite cold drink.

A venti black iced tea, easy water, extra ice, 3 pumps of sweetener.

Yes, I’m THAT jerkface.

I waited until after I had dropped the kids off at school before I begin to sip on my It’s Complicated Iced Tea.

Very first sip, something slipped through the straw and into my mouth. My brain was all “Oh! a piece of ice!” and so my teeth chomped down and BIT IT.

HERE’S THE THING, YOU GUYS.

It wasn’t a piece of ice.

It was a whole spider.

AND IT WAS CRUNCHY AND IT TASTED WEIRD AND I SPIT IT OUT AND THE ROOM STARTED SPINNING BECAUSE I AM SO SCARED OF SPIDERS AND YET I ACTUALLY BIT INTO A SPIDER WITH MY TEETH IN MY MOUTH.

I started to freak out. Like, crazy, losing-my-shit freak out. I ran down the hall and threw open Andrew’s bedroom door. I was hysterical.

I don’t remember what I said but I think it may have sounded something like this:

“Oh my God, I just bit into a giant spider and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *GRUNT GAG SPIT GAG BODY SHIVER* I don’t know what to do and are you recording me with your phone? Stop recording me with your phone and please go look and see what kind of spider it was because what if it was poisonous am I going to die? HELP ME FORGET THIS HAPPENED. I TASTED IT, ANDREW, I FELT IT AND I TASTED IT AND AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HELP ME.”

He went to go examine the spider that I had spit out of my mouth. He started to laugh. “Mom! It’s not big. It’s a small spider.” I was all “It’s small because I ATE HALF OF IT.” And then he examined it closer and laughed some more. “It has all of it’s legs, mom.”

AND THEN I STARTED CRYING AGAIN.

And then he laughed some more.

It’s been hours since this happened, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t stop feeling it in my mouth.

I had to run to Target really quick on my lunch break because we were out of toiler paper and while I was there, I wanted to tell every single person I saw what happened to me.

“Oh, hi! Did you now I accidentally ate a spider today and it tasted weird and PLEASE HOLD ME?”

I’m just not sure how I can ever forget the way it felt in my mouth or the way that it tasted. Maybe Vodka will help. It’s it 5 yet?

*Updated*

I can’t believe I’m posting this, but I AM POSTING THIS.

This Is The Weirdest (Greatest?) Thing That Has Ever Happened in My Life.

This is a true story that happened just now.

An old friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook just now. It started out like this:

“So, my husband has been telling me he sees a picture of you in some warehouse on his route…”

I instantly felt afraid because, SAY WHAT?

The message continued:

“today he talked to the owner and found out the story. The owner is the guy who bought your old house and found stuff in the attic. He took it to work to throw in the dumpster and the Mexican workers found the picture and dug it out of the trash and hung it in their warehouse where they eat lunch. Funny huh? It’s a pick of you and 3 other women in a bathroom mirror.”

Funny? Or creepy?

It feels creepy.

I wrote back and sent the photo I suspected they had HANGING IN THEIR LUNCH ROOM. (WTF?!)

“Yes! That’s it! I guess they enjoy the view while they eat lunch. Too funny!”

Again, say CREEPY. NOT FUNNY.

(But maybe a little bit funny? It is a little bit funny, yes?)

I’ve been told this is one of the most awesome photos I’ve ever taken. I guess the guys in the warehouse on 8th street would probably agree.

(Hold me.)

This is Kind of Like Sleeping Baby Angel, Only a Little Bit Worse

I spent my 40th birthday at a restaurant overlooking the ocean in Orange County. I had a conversation with with door man and I told him that it was my birthday.

“How old do you think I am?” I said, bracing myself.

He looked me over and said “30?”

I was shocked.

“30-what?” I said.

“30.” He said.

I smiled so hard.

“Actually, I turned 40 tonight!”

“NO way!” he responded. “You don’t look 40 at all!”

A few months later, I was at a party in Miami. The bartender was a handsome, young man. We got into a deep conversation about not letting me drink too much wine and “how old do you think I am?” came up for some reason that I can’t explain.

“32?” He said.

I smiled and said “Actually, I’m 40.”

He was impressed and I can’t lie, I felt proud.

(Me, in the middle, at the party. The smile on my face is says “I’m 40, but everyone thinks I’m 30.”)

A couple of weeks ago, I was in line at Target. There was a young couple buying toys for their little boy. I started a conversation with the lady.

“These toys make me miss my boys being little!” I said.

We started talking about kids and how fast they grow up and how one day you blink and they are 19 and in Marine Corps boot camp.

“No way.” Her husband said.

“No, really. My son is in boot camp! I wouldn’t lie about that.”

“I wasn’t talking about your son. I meant there’s no way you have a son old enough to be in the Marine Corps.”

“Oh, but I do. He’s 19.”

“I refuse to believe it.” He said, while his wife agreed. “There’s no way you’re older than 30.”

Just like I once believed I looked like a baby angel when I sleep, I was starting to believe that I do not look my age. I look young! 32 AT THE VERY OLDEST! I’m so blessed with great skin! And NO PLASTIC SURGERY OR BOTOX! Pretty Sleeping Youthful Baby Angel Face!

On Thursday night, I found myself in a bar in Times Square dancing and laughing with two of my very best friends. The bar was filled with people of all ages. We eventually made friends with a really fun group of people. They were young– definitely NOT in their 40′s. At some point, one of the girls said “Today is *insert name here*’s birthday!”

“Happy Birthday!” I shouted. “How old are you?”

“Oh, I’m old.” He said. “27.”

I laughed. You think THAT’S old? I’m old.

Feeling confident in my I Don’t Look As Old As I Actually Am status, I blurted out “How old do you think I am?”

He didn’t want to play along at first.

“Go ahead! Say it! You won’t offend me!”

(Sleeping Baby Youthful Angel Face.)

He looked at my face. I smiled all confidently.

……

……

“Early 40′s.”

Leave it to a New Yorker to have the balls to be honest with me. Stay real, NYC.

No Wonder People are Ignoring Me on Twitter.

“I miss the happy/funny Yvonne.. where is she!?! Please come back!”

This comment was left by my cousin on a post I had written on Facebook.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since I read it. It’s true, I haven’t been myself since my son left for boot camp. And especially since he was injured and placed in medical recovery.

I’m finding it hard to sleep at night. I toss and turn until I can’t stand it anymore. So, I get out of bed and do laundry, or watch re-runs of The Office. Or eat flaming hot cheetos.
The lack of sleep is starting to take a toll on my body and it sucks. I know my son being away isn’t the end of the world, but being away from him for so long (45 days and counting) is wearing on me. I’m tired, bloated, sad, and not very much fun to be around (or to be friends with on Facebook, or to follow on Twitter.)

I don’t want to be this way. I want to find joy in every day life and be happy and start taking care of myself again, but I can’t seem to find the motivation.

The day Andrew left for boot camp, I stopped going to my fitness boot camp. And boy, does it show. I’ve not felt good physically, which wears on me mentally and hello, Vicious Cycle. I was hoping to pick it back up, but Ethan’s travel ball is depleting my checking account and so it’s just not financially possible. I decided to stop sulking about not being able to afford boot camp and start running again. Luckily, I have a friend who’s willing to do it with me. I’m hoping once I start moving my body regularly again, some of these sad feelings will begin to disappear and I will start feeling more like myself again.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always alcohol.

(edited to add: Please don’t mistake the title of this post to mean that I feel like people are ignoring me or not being supportive. In fact, quite the opposite. I could not imaging going through this WITHOUT you guys. I’ve received the kindest, moving loving comments and emails. I am so grateful. It’s just… all of my tweets and Facebook updates are so SAD PANDA and I was re-reading them before I wrote this post and thinking how annoying this must be for people to read. I love my readers, except for the one asshole who keeps calling my son fat. I don’t love you.)

Would You Consider Helping a Recruit (and His Mama) Out?

Ever since I received the phone call from my son telling me he was injured and dropped from his company, I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness. Not for myself, but for what my son must be going through. I can’t imagine how much it sucks for him to have bonded with the guys in his platoon over the past 5 weeks and then to be held back while they all move on to phase two training.

I have a hard time sleeping at night. I replay his phone call over and over in my head. He sounded so sad, so not himself.

“They’re dropping me from my company and I won’t be moving on to phase two training.”

I could hear the disappointment, I could hear the devastation.

And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I wrote him a letter and I told him to stay focused on the ultimate goal.

“This is just a minor setback, son. You will achieve your goal, just a bit later than you had planned. STAY STRONG!”

On Tuesday, there were three letters from my son in my mailbox. He’s in MRP (Medical Recovery Platoon) while he waits for his hand to heal and to be placed in his new platoon. The letters were filled with so much emotion. He said when he was training, he didn’t have much time to think, now, he has nothing but time to think.

“It’s messing with my head.” He wrote. “But please don’t worry, I’m fine.”

It tore me up inside to read about the moment he had to say goodbye to his platoon. “The guys were all coming up to me, hugging me, telling me to stay strong. Some of them even gave me things to remember the Kilo Co. by. It sucked.”

Oh God, my heart.

On the other hand, it warmed my heart to read that he’s able to keep perspective in regards to his setback. “There are guys who have been here for over a year. It makes me think how lucky I am that I’ll only be here for a little while. It could be worse.”

Oh, my sweet son.

I’ve written three letters back. These letters are filled with all of the love and encouraging words I could think of.

And now, I ask a favor of you, my dear friends on the internet.

Would you kindly take a minute to leave some words of wisdom and encouragement for my son? I will then copy those words and send them to him while he waits for his hand to heal and to then finally continue with his training.

I would be so grateful and I know my son will be too.

Thank you in advance.

Close To My Heart

Yesterday my mom called to tell me a friend had stopped by her church after the service. She had left a gift for me.

Such a beautiful, thoughtful gift. One that I will treasure, just as I do each and every comment left here on my blog and every email sent with words of encouragement.

I just need for each of you to know how much your support means to me and my family.

Thank you.

More Like Satan Dogs.

Did I ever tell you about the time a wiener dog killed the crap out of my pet bunnies? No? Oh, well, one time? A mofo wiener dog killed the crap out of my pet bunnies.

I don’t remember the year, or how old I was, but I remember every detail of that afternoon. We had returned from church one afternoon. As we were pulling up to our driveway, a little asshole wiener dog was trotting away from our backyard. When I got into the house, I immediately headed to the backyard. Upon opening the door, I saw my bunnies laying all tore up in the backyard, their fur scattered about the grass. It was HORRIFYING. The neighbor’s wiener dog had murdered my precious, innocent bunnies.

A few days later, I was in the garage when that dog came walking up our driveway like, all casual like, as if he hadn’t just killed my bunnies. I came running out of the garage towards the dog and shouted “get out of here!” He stopped dead in his tracks. I stomped my food and shouted again. “GO! GET OUT OF HERE!” He stood there for another second and then? Then the furry murderer growled, showed me his teeth and then he CHARGED AT ME. I screamed and ran inside the house and declared my burning hatred for wiener dogs.

Over the years, my hatred melted away. It was one wiener dog! Surely, there are many wonderful wiener dogs who are not assholes!

*****

Last week I was out for an afternoon run in the neighborhood. Funky tunes from my iPod were blasting through my pink Virgin Air headphone (my good ones broke. Judge not) as I pushed myself to keep running. Then, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, I whipped my head around and a MOFO wiener dog was charging at me. A MOFO wiener dog wearing a rhinestone studded collar. This can NOT be happening, I thought to myself. But it very much was happening. My first thought was to run faster, but then I actually thought about how stupid I would look running away from a wiener dog wearing a rhinestone studded collar. I also thought about that thing people say about not letting a dog know you are afraid. You know that thing I’m talking about? So, I stopped and got into the I Will Kick You In Your Face Stupid Dog position.

The dog backed off for a second and as I stood there trying look tough and like I wasn’t at all scared that he was about to rip my calf apart with his evil little mouth. Then, all of a sudden, he came at me again.

That’s when a woman came running across the street. She was yelling at her dog to leave me alone. “I’m so sorry!” She shouted. “It’s okay!” I responded. “Just please, get him away from me.”

This story had a happy ending. The dog did not get kicked and my calves did not get chewed to pieces and no bunnies were murdered.

But my hatred for wiener dogs has been renewed with a fiery passion.

The One Where I Partied With Those Crazy Kids From American Idol

(This post should have went up a week ago, but my blog was hacked (again) and it’s been offline, then online, then offline, and finally online again. There’s a very good chance by the time I post this, it will be offline again. FRUSTRATED.)
Last Thursday I was invited by Coca-Cola to attend Coke Family Night at the American Idol Finalist Party. I immediately called my sister and asked her if she would be my guest, because she is as big of an AI fan as I am.
The party was on the rooftop of The Grove in Los Angeles. When we arrived, I saw the entrance and got a little bit emotional. I have watched American Idol since the beginning. Here we were, at the party where we’d meet Ryan Seacrest and get to hang out with the contestants. I looked at my sister and said “I can’t believe we’re here! This is so awesome!” Then I said “When we get out of the car, please check my clothes to make sure I didn’t leave any tags on.”
We headed towards the entrance of the party filled with excitement. While the lady was checking our IDs, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear. “Sweetie, there’s a tag hanging off of your jacket.” It was an Old Navy tag for $34.99, size L. I thanked her, ripped that mother effer off and sarcastically thanked my sister for checking like I had asked. A really great way to start the night!
When we entered the tent, we were shown to the area that Coca-Cola had reserved for The Mommy Bloggers . It was kind of cool to have a special spot reserved for us, especially since there was security standing at the entrance making sure only the invited guests could enter. So V.I.P.
Let me break down the highlights of the night.
Meeting Ryan Seacrest.
I love Ryan Seacrest. I’ve loved him since his days as a radio personality on Star 98.7. He’s funny, he’s quick, he’s witty and he’s so pretty/handsome. You can imagine my excitement when we were told he was going to stop by to visit with us. There was just one request and that was not to ask for individual pictures with Ryan because of time issues. Of course, the minute he walked in, people were like “will you take a picture with me?!” This made me nervous because I am a Rule Follower. But Ryan didn’t seem to mind at all. He was friendly and more than happy to pose for a photo with The Ladeeez. I stood off to the side, waiting patiently with my sister. And then, it happened. I was standing face to face with Ryan Seacrest. He looked at me and said “I’m hanging with The Mommy Bloggers.” I looked into his pretty eyes and said “Would you like to hug a mommy blogger?” He laughed and then he hugged me. “Whoa.” He said. “I think I just got to second base with a Mommy blogger!”
After we basically made out with our arms and chest areas, me and my sister took a picture with him. The first picture was awful, so we asked if we could take another one. He was all “absolutely.” Because Ryan loves me so much.
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Taking a photo with the finalists on the blue carpet.
This was especially awesome because some of the contestants were very annoyed that they had to pose for a photo with us. They had no idea who we were or why we were there. Some of them *cough* SKYLAR *cough* were rolling their eyes and sighing. Fun times! But that wasn’t the best/worst part! When we were finished with the photo, some woman with a clipboard was all “THIS WAY! THIS WAY!” and so I walked that way and stood there in front of a ton of cameras with my hand on my hip with a big smile on my face. The lady with the clipboard yelled at me. “NO! FINALISTS ONLY! MOVE!” HA HA HAaaaaaawkward.
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Starting our own dance party
There was a DJ at the party who was playing some really great music. Me and my sister searched for the dance floor, but there was no dance floor. So, we made our own. The servers and bartenders were all like “heck yeah! Wish we could join you!” But all of the people at the party were like “Wish we could, but too many people that we know here.” Oh, LA people. You so insecure. Eventually, two Wonderfully Wonderful guys joined us. Dance Party success achieved!
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Trying to design a cover as part of Coca-Cola’s Family Night Music Cover Artwork contest.
I am the absolute worst person to ever try to do anything that involves drawing or being creative. (Ask my friends on Draw Something.) But I was excited to give this a try (because the prize is a trip to the American Idol Final!) One of the lovely ladies from Coca-Cola was standing over me as I began to “design” my cover. I can’t even begin to describe how awful it was, so, let me open up paint and try to show you.
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I wanted to keep going, but I shut down emotionally to spare myself any further humiliation. I hit submit, turned to the woman behind me and said “you saw nothing. This never happened.” Oh, how we laughed!
If you’d like to check out the amazing work that others did and vote for your favorite, you can do that here.
Hanging out with Heejun Han, Colton Dixon and Phillip Phillips.
These guys were all so great. If one of them wins and becomes the next Ruben Studdard, I’ll be able to say “One time I goofed around in a photo booth with that guy!”
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This was one of the funnest experiences of my life. I am so grateful to the people at Coca-Cola for the invitation!
P.S. I’m totally rooting for Heejun if only because he is hilarious and because he told me I don’t look 40.

Butt Massage, Unexpected.

A few hours after my Grandmother passed away, my mother suggested that we all go to this foot spa/massage place that she goes to often. She told us that for $25, we could get an hour long massage. We were all physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and so an hour long massage sounded wonderful.
I talked my husband into going, but it wasn’t easy. He was not comfortable getting a massage from a man OR a woman, but mostly from a man. I was all “if you get a man, just close your eyes and pretend she’s a beautiful, strong woman.” He agreed to give it a try.
Honestly? I was so traumatized from having watched my Grandma’s body being carried out on a stretcher and placed into a beat up old car, I don’t remember much from the massage. I remember it was dark and that there were lots of chairs in the middle of the room. I remember we left our clothes on. I remember there was relaxing music. I remember they put my feet in a tub of water. I remember that I wanted to fart SO MANY TIMES and had to clench SO HARD SO MANY TIMES. I remember they put a towel over my eyes and feeling relieved because no one would be able to see if I cried during the massage.
The actual massage? I don’t remember much about it.
Last Saturday I invited a friend to go with me to try this place again. It’s easy to convince people to try a massage that only costs $25 and lasts an hour. She asked about it and I told her what little I remember.
“They don’t just massage your feet. They massage your back and your hands. It will be great! Let’s do it!”
We met at 10am on Saturday morning. When we entered the building, I could tell she was a little bit nervous. There are no private rooms, just a few chairs lined up in the middle of the room. Kind of awkward, but it’s really not a big deal because you don’t take your clothes off! I assured her it was going to be just fine and that she was going to LOVE IT. How can you not love a $25 hour long massage?
They brought a bucket for each of us to soak our feet in while we laid back and the men went to work on our bodies. I closed my eyes while the man started to massage my scalp. It was weird at first because he was chewing gum quite loudly and, well, there’s nothing relaxing about the sound of a stranger chomping on gum. However, one skill that I’ve mastered because I have three kids who are all very loud is the skill of Tuning Shit Out. I was able to tune the sound of his gum chewing out and focus on the peaceful music.
The first few minutes were pure heaven. Scalp massage, followed by an eye brow massage, followed by an arm and hand massage. He worked his way down my body to my feet. The foot massage was a bit rough. There were a couple of times where I instinctively wanted to kick him in the face (because it hurt so bad.) I took deep breaths instead.
Once he was done with my feet, he took the towel off of my eyes and asked me to turn onto my stomach. He started massaging my shoulders, which felt AMAZING. I have so much tension in that area from working on the computer all day. I was in heaven.
And then something pretty weird happened.
He touched my ass. On purpose. He started by pushing down on it, then he began to knead it, as if my ass was a ball of pizza dough that needed to be shaped.
It was so… awkward, so… unexpected. There I was, in the middle of the room, getting a Full Blown Unexpected Butt Massage. I could feel the laughter rising up within me. I laughed quietly to myself through that little hole that they make for your face in the massage chair. This was really happening! And it was weird! But then, it stopped being funny and started to be straight up painful. He began to rub The Butt in a very aggressive manner. It almost felt like he was angry with it and like he was “teaching it a lesson.” He pushed, he rubbed, he um, spread my freaking cheeks apart.
I wanted to get up and be all “HEY THERE, LITTLE FELLA! Watch yourself!” But I couldn’t move. I just laid there and let him brutalize my butt. (Because maybe this was normal? Maybe this was good for my butt and I just didn’t know it?)
It lasted for what felt like 2 hours, but was probably 5 minutes? And then, it was over. My friend’s massage ended at the same time. We both sat up and looked at each other. Our hair was a mess, or makeup was a bit smeared.
“What the heck?” My friend said. “I feel like I need to smoke a cigarette.”
I knew what she meant.
The next day, Tony wrapped his arms around me and grabbed my butt.
It hurt so bad, I got chills.
“I think that guy bruised my butt. Will you…”
Before I could finish my sentence, he pulled my sweats down to carefully, lovingly and longingly examine my bottom.
And sure enough, just a little left of crack was a blue-ish, oddly shaped bruise.
I’m no expert in How Massages Are Supposed to Work, but I’m pretty sure they’re never supposed to end with butt bruises.