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Just A Junk Drawer Dream

It's About To Get Magical Up In Here

Your entire life has been a lie. No, really. You're about to see some shit that is going to blow your mind and change the way you live.

15 everyday product uses that you can show your friends and family to force them to respect you as the badass you've always known yourself to be.

Next time you're with friends at the movie theater you will butter your popcorn like a motherfucking BOSS. Next time you want that 2-liter of soda in your fridge to stay bubbly forever instead of turning flatter than Keira Knightley ten minutes after being opened you will KNOW how to get fizzy with it. And you can amaze your friends and family when you MacGyver that scratched DVD with a banana. What I mean is, if you learned just one of these things today you would consider today a magical day and I'm giving you FIFTEEN. Happy weekend.

Brain Trippin'

More than ten years after I last visited their home before both eventually moved into assisted living centers, I can still hear the sound my grandparents' front door made when it closed. It had a propensity to slam, even when your intention was just to close it. The sound was so specific to that home it was almost a voice; a clearing of a throat, at least.

Strange to remember that particular sound after all this time. I've tried to remember other notable sounds from my life and I often draw a blank. The bell signaling the end of class in high school. The sound of my favorite elementary teacher's voice. But Grandma's front door closing: I can still hear that.

At night lately when I can't sleep I close my eyes and think about different times of my life. Not just think about them, but relive them as they happened. Not noteworthy events, the everyday stuff. The stuff I would never have thought I'd be looking back on so filled with nostalgia I can't breathe. Wait, that's the rhinitis of pregnancy. But still. Lots of nostalgia.

I'll experience pulling up to the house Grandma and Grandpa lived in for fifty years. The house my mom was born and raised in. I walk through the door, hear it slam. I see their "davenport" and the "Fruit Room" where Grandma kept all her canned peaches and jams. I can still smell the fruit room. Musty and tangy; not a bad odor, a scent of food and comfort and love.

My mind blows itself with its ability to recall things like smells. Remembering a smell from my childhood is as close to 'going home' as I'll ever get, considering my childhood home and my grandparents' house are now occupied by strangers making their own smells.

I continue past the davenport into the kitchen where I can still see Grandma stirring a soup of some kind. A soup she will surely force-feed me even if I tell her I'm not hungry. I walk down the hall, past the living room, more museum than room for living, the blue and green shag carpeting squeaking beneath my feet. A telltale squeak that would give me and my brothers away any time we slept over at Grandma's and attempted to sneak out of bed to spy. Spying on two elderly people watching the ten o'clock news is about as exciting as watching paint dry but, at the time, it was a sensational adventure. We learned to time our expeditions with the striking of the grandfather clock, the strikes masking the carpet squeaks. Genius.

Looking back at your childhood is a bewildering thing. Because you experienced all these things as a child you still view them now through child's eyes. But have you ever tried to pluck a memory from the tree of your life, discard the childhood goggles and really examine the thing from your adult perspective? What you discover can be startling: in good ways and bad.

Remembering the way your grandma was, the funny things she said, the expressions: and then you realize that grandma was racist. But she was so nice! She gave you chocolate chip cookies or popcorn balls from her deep freeze every time you came over! Or you remember the neighbor lady who was so cool, always giving candy. Then your adult self remembers her dirty house, stacks and stacks of newspapers, cat crap embedded in the carpet - and you wonder what was really going on there. The cool candy lady was actually the creepy hoarder. My third grade teacher, Mr. Johnson was so nice, he always rubbed me gently on my back when looking over my assignment. Wait. He always rubbed me gently on my back when looking over my assignment.

That kind of thing. That last one didn't happen to me but it happened to someone I know. As an adult they were reflecting on their favorite elementary school teacher and realized he used to rub her backside inappropriately while helping her with assignments.

But I've gone negative and I didn't mean to. Mostly I take positive trips: remembering the kindnesses of people I no longer see, I walk through my childhood home, my elementary school, the homes of friends, drives down old neighborhood I spent so much time playing in. It make me wonder what my kids will remember about our lives now. The porch swing, the playroom with the big couch they use to play a game called "Junkyard." The nooks and crannies of the backyard, piling on the bed and watching a movie.

If you close your eyes to relive a mundane experience of your youth, what's the first thing that comes to mind?

Hold On A Second While I Sneeze; I Need Both Hands To Grab My Crotch

I think I'm 15 weeks pregnant? Or I just finished up 14 and am entering my 15th week? Which means I'm 14 weeks and one day pregnant? Is that how they do it? I don't know. At this point counting weeks is like counting mile marker posts in Wyoming on a cross-country road trip from L.A. to New York. Ixnay the ountingcay, get comfortable and slide in another book on CD, Tiger, because you got a ways to go.

Second trimester. That's the important part. Apologies that I haven't inundated you with images of my growing belly including how many weeks along I am emblazoned in cutesy font across the photo. I'm in survival mode over here, people! Survival mode is ass on couch watching another episode of Dateline and not posing for photos that I can photoshop all to hell for posterity and shit. And seriously, even photoshop can't help what's going on right now. Unless there is a program that can remove two Breathe Right strips from your nose and actually add make-up?

What? You want to read inspiring posts about pregnancy? Love letters to my unborn child, that kind of thing? Sentimentality might be difficult to summon in between all the sneezing and simultaneously grabbing my crotch to keep from wetting myself. Yeah. Sneezing. A hundred times a day. Just when I ditched the morning sickness the rhinitis of pregnancy has invaded my life. I cannot breathe out of my nose. At all. I attempt sleep propped up on three pillows so that I'm sitting as erect as the unlucky passenger on the back row of seats just before the bathrooms on a Southwest flight. Seriously, is there a pregnancy side-effect I don't get? I don't think so. I'm pretty much checking them off the It Sucks To Be Pregnant list. I'm sure a roving pack of hemorrhoid bandits are riding roughshod Sons of Anarchy-style somewheres on my backside and are about to evict the rhinitis so they can take over.

Pregnancy is amazing, truly, it is. All that growing in there: eyelids, eyelashes, fingernails. I can't even fathom it. My sweet little baby is getting shit done. That part is unbelievable. It's the part where I puke and can't breathe and my boobs start flopping around on my stomach like two sacks of dead kittens that I don't find all that amazing.

Do you enjoy pregnancy? Do you tap dance through your first trimester, glow ethereally in your second and play music to your fetus in your third? Or, like me, do you just brace yourself like the flight attendant just informed you the plane you are on is experiencing engine trouble and wait for it to all be over?

And now for the gratuitous mommyblogger first day of pre-school photo!

This was no Toddlers & Tiaras, mom-directed back-to-school pose, she insisted on posing like this:

Every time I tried to snap a photo she struck the pose, even when she was distracted by passing traffic.

Eventually I just gave up and walked her into class because after taking ten photos in my effort to get a "normal" one I was starting to look like that parent.

Okay then. Official Pre-K Back-To-School Photo 2013:


An Open Letter To My Unborn Wife

Our days and nights together will sometimes seem like a dream, too. Looking back, I kind of like that, too. In a way, I think love should be that way. So much happened so fast between us that we ended up taking these gargantuan blind leaps before we even knew each other. (Ahem) You’ll point this out to me a bunch of times down through the years, but for better or for worse, I never pay it much attention. Don’t get mad at me for that if you can help it; I never hesitated for even a second when it came to marrying you.

Not even a second.

I don’t know how to describe why I felt so sure it was the thing to do…I just did.

It just was.

Unfortunately, I will piss you off something fierce down the road, kiddo. My chaotic lifestyle (lucky you: you marry a penniless rock-n-roll guitarist) and your professional one will collide like a couple of summertime air show tragedies, thick black billowing souls of smoke and fire snaking over a field of our own screams and finger-pointing.

I will often feel like I married way out of my league too, and combined with the rest of my Greek Diner menu of neurosis and my Fat-Kid Complex that I have carried around with me since I was a seven-year-old Dom Deluise hooked on microwave mozzarella sticks, I think that it is safe for me to let you know that eventually all of that gets you pretty ticked off.

That up there is part of a letter Serge wrote to me before I was born. It's hard to explain. I'm just going to go ahead and take the part where he calls me a "weird/insane Scandinavian-ish Winter Angel" as a compliment, though. If you want to check out Serge's letter it's over here on our He Said/She Said column on Babble along with some photos he picked out from our life together. I've said it before and I'll say it again - marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done. Waaay harder than being a parent. Which do you find more difficult; parenting or marriage? Why?

Seconds of Today

I'm not sure what makes me laugh harder, that he requests Time Out because he knows what's up or that he tried to pen himself a Captain Hook mustache and did a pretty damn good job. Either way, I don't think I've ever enjoyed someone so blatantly lying to my face as much as this.

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