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September 17, 2018

Pantless Accusations

Jason just kills me. I'm sitting next to him on the couch trying to write, and suddenly he looked at me with an accusatory expression on his face.

Him:  What are you doing?
Me: What's with that look on your face?
Him: How do you mean?
Me: It's like you're accusing me of something.

(Jason resumes watching wrestling. Then suddenly...)

Him: Where are your pants?
Me: Why do you care?
Him: If I was sitting there on my laptop without my pants on, it would look like I was up to something. 

September 16, 2018

Wi-Fight the Urge

I can't help it. It's been a week, so I changed the Wi-Fi again. Whoever Crownuke is, I hope they appreciate the delightfulness I bring to their lives. 

September 14, 2018

Myrtle Beached

Three weeks ago, we were hanging out where Hurricane Florence is now. Or as I like to (tastelessly) say, it's always stormy when Aunt Flow comes to town. Since I'm new to the East Coast, I wanted to go somewhere Jason also hasn't been, so I chose Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Welcome, fat and cheap tourists.
We got an Airbnb with beach access, but it only had two bedrooms, so Jason's older kids had to share a room while Jason slept on the couch, due to his naked sleeping gymnastics.

I don't know how Jason sleeps through all the crazy things he does. I especially don't know why he doesn't wear clothes. Even when I've demanded he put underwear on because he's in the living room and not invisible, he just takes it off in his sleep. At home, he has his own sofa, and on more than one occasion, I've found him sitting upright on the floor naked, in the middle of putting a shoe on. The other day, he was on his hands and knees with his head buried in the couch, fast asleep, and the baby went over and played the bongos on his butt.

Regardless, of the tight quarters, we had a wonderful vacation. Our condo had a baby pool for Zach, so I got a lot of opportunities to show him off in his shark outfit, which Jason bought during the excitement of Shark Week.  
I caught a predator
Jason's older kids, Kira (12 years old) and Ben (10 years old), are so extraordinarily well-behaved and thankful. Zach loves them and they love him, which brings me such joy. They live with their mom, and I give her props on her parenting. In fact, since I don't have my own mom anymore, she's the one I turn to with my parenting questions. My only complaint is that she's really pretty, like I'm surprised she isn't a model. When Jason showed me her picture before I met everyone, my response was, "Dammit."
Laura clearly doesn't shop at Whales. 
Our typical day on vacation was going to the beach, pool, Cook Out, and playing Apples to Apples. I knew about Cook Out from the last time I was in the South, and we got hooked on it. The bill for all of us came to about $20. Our drinks were free because I asked for water, and they handed me four cups. Either they were unaware that the water tab was broken off, or they expected us to fill our cups in the bathroom. Instead, we filled them up with Cheerwine, a popular Southern cherry cola. In retrospect, that probably wasn't my most ethical decision.

One of our days was devoted to all the Ripley's activities. We did the Aquarium, haunted lazer tag, 5D theater, 3D mirror maze, and the odditorium. This was my favorite day. Their favorite day was going on a ghost tour of the Old Jail in Charleston. I thought it was a history tour and got a ticket, but then found out that history tours to haunted places aren't usually at night. Our tour guide recommended I take the baby and wait outside, and Zach wholeheartedly agreed because he began trying to turn around as soon as we entered the prison yard. An hour later, Jason and the kids reappeared, and Jason said that in the stairwell, he heard a baby laugh, and on his phone, it flashed "I will not rehab." I can guarantee, it wasn't Zach he heard.
Call me biased, but I think Zach is a cuter shark.
Our last night, I told Jason to take a nap in the bedroom before driving back. We decided to leave late at night instead of having to wake up early. Ben kept asking every few minutes if he could wake him up, and I kept distracting him with stuff to pack. Finally I said, fine, he could wake him, and Ben went into the bedroom, yelled, "AHHH!" and abruptly turned around and ran back into the kitchen. Kira wanted to know what the fuss was about, and walked into the bedroom right after him, then also ran right out. Jason had taken his clothes off and the covers had fallen off. 

About ten minutes later, I found Jason in the kitchen shaking his head.  Kira said that since she has two little brothers, she knows what male anatomy looks like, and therefore isn't scarred for life. Not to be outdone, Ben claimed he knows what female anatomy looks like, and Kira called his bluff, insisting he draw a vagina. He drew Spongebob. Then he tried again and drew a doughnut. 
Nailed it.
On the way back, we stopped at the Mayberry Inn so that Jason could smoke in the Gazebo. Years ago, when he and Laura were together, they went there with her mom, and her mom and her friend spent all night chatting in the gazebo. All Jason wanted to do was have a cigarette in it.
The Gazebo.
Glad I can make his wildest dreams come true.
The reception area/gift shop said that they didn't have a public toilet, so I left them a poor review on Google. They're a tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere with at least a dozen toilets.
I would have bought something had they let me pee.
When we got back, Google asked me to give a review of a Baptist church that I allegedly went to at 2:30am. Actually, I visited the field next to it because I had to pee, so I think I'll give them a good review.

We also came across a small, possibly racist town in between North and South Carolina called South of the Border.
Which I also gave five stars because I peed in a parking lot.

September 10, 2018

Eastern Penisylvania

My mom loved traveling and wanted me to see the world, so when we get the opportunity, Jason and I take little trips. Last June we drove out to Amish country in Eastern, Pennsylvania. Instead of sleeping in the car like a normal baby, Zach cried the entire way, turning a four and a half hour trip into a seven hour one.   
My BFF took the train down and finally got to meet Jason and Zach. Upon seeing her and basking in her aura of wonderfulness, Zach was exhausted from ruining our drive and burst into tears. I used to pride myself on Zach not being one of "those" babies who cries when he meets people, thus making them question the state of their souls. Not your finest hour, Zach.
If you're wondering how the Amish bakery was, we don't know. That's not why we were down there. As Jason asked, "You wanted to visit Amish Country to take pictures of signs?" Yes. Yes we did.

It would be rude to say no.
Don't worry, they didn't have to change the name after we left.
That night for dinner, Jason wanted Chinese food. The only place near our hotel was Tony Wangs, which clearly has the best Chinese food. Giant signs can't lie. Too bad it was closed.
I thought it said "Tiny Wangs" at first.
If you're wondering if Wangs is in Intercourse, the answer is no. It goes without saying that it's not in Blue Balls. It's in Lancaster, which should clearly be called "Lancastrated." 

September 9, 2018

Wi-Fi Must I?

Our neighbor "Crownuke" needs to realize that there's a comedy genius nearby, so I changed our Wi-Fi network names again.

September 8, 2018

This LAN Was Made For You & Me

Even if Jason's older kids were budding sociopaths, I would have found a way to love them regardless. But phew! They're awesome. Like, mind-blowingly awesome. His daughter Kira is 12 and has a way of making everything around her beautiful. His son Ben is 10 and can make me laugh so hard my lungs hurt. They're kind, supportive, compassionate, and Zach is happiest when he's with them. 
At the Airbnb we rented a couple weeks ago in Myrtle Beach.
I forgave the wood paneling because it has its own beach access.
A while back, Ben went into the shortcut settings on Kira's phone. He made it so that when she texted her friends 'OK', it changed it to 'I just pooped my pants.'

Feeling inspired, last night I went into our wifi settings and changed our FIOS networks to:
(5GHz) Ben Just Pooped His Pants
(2.4GHz) Kira Just Pooped Her Pants
(Guest) Katt Did Not Just Poop Her Pants

I don't know how many neighbors saw.. This morning I changed them again:

They say I'm pretty fly for a WiFi.

Missed Approach

Zach reached the important milestone of being able to take off his pants and leave them in the middle of the floor. 
Things I miss since this little energy robber came along:

1.) Binge watching whatever I want. Now it's whatever Zach wants. Stupid Wiggles.
2.) Eating whatever I want, or doing whatever fad diet piqued my interest. Breastfeeding prevents that, and I'm constantly hungry, thirsty, and not losing the baby weight.
3.) Playing on my phone in the bathroom.
4.) Not knowing the Gummy Bear Song.
5.) Neatness, tidiness, and cleanliness. I used to fear poop, and I was okay with that.
6.) Being able to focus on a project instead of being interrupted every five minutes.
7.) My two-seater red convertible, Alvin.
8.) Only having to pay for one person when I go out.
9.) Not having to compromise.
10.) Not having to share.

Every time I pick up the living room, and five minutes later there's a piece of clothing tossed two feet in front of the hamper, I die a little inside.
"Why do you always assume it's me and not Zach?"

September 7, 2018

An Attitude of Platitude

When I was single, people would tell me countless times, "You'll meet someone!" until I finally snapped back, "You don't know that!" Then they would assure me that they did despite having no proof nor even a crystal ball. I did eventually meet someone, but that's besides the point. They didn't know that. If they had, they could have warned me that I would meet a nice guy who wants to be paid a thousand dollars a month for his services. Instead, het gets a glare or an eyeroll depending on my mood.

Then when I became a mom, the platitude changed to, "You're doing great!" which was usually following their advice on what I'm doing wrong. I would be soaking in spit up, crying because my baby couldn't latch yet, get scolded for supplementing with formula, have garbage piling up and a mountain of wet diapers next to me, and they'd say, "You're doing great!" The final straw was a baby product that said, "You're doing great!" on the back, and I threw it against the wall and yelled, "You don't know me!"

The baby was doing 'great', but I wasn't doing well. Of course, I had postpartum depression because if there's a way to be nuts, I'll certainly find it. Even though I began seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in PPD, I felt detached from my newborn and was afraid that if I told anyone, they'd take him away. There were things I didn't understand, like if he didn't burp after eating, he wouldn't explode. I would spend a half hour trying to get a burp out of him, sobbing because I just wanted sleep or to run away. I needed my mom to help me with the cooking, cleaning, and teaching me what to do. More than anything, I wanted her to meet my son. My expectation was that I would experience a motherly euphoria, but instead an unexpected grief hit me.

As the hormones shifted, and I got used to being held hostage by a baby, I began growing to love my son better each day. Don't get me wrong, I always loved him. Since he was the size of a waterbear, I've loved him. Even though I wasn't feeling the warm fuzzies, if someone so much as looked at my baby wrong, I would have mauled them then taken a dump on their corpse. That sounds like an exaggeration, but it might not be.

Jason pointed out one day that I was doing great because our baby was thriving. Soon my older sister came to visit and helped with cooking, cleaning, and showing me how to put the baby on the dryer when he won't shut up already. So yes, I begrudgingly admit that I did meet someone, and I was doing great. There's no way that baby box could have known that though.
What mama? I'M doing great? You don't know me!

Deliverance

One of the hardest parts about writing again is missing my mom. She was my biggest fan and offered me honest feedback. Even when I didn't like her criticism, she was usually right. When she liked something, she laughed heartily and listed off reasons why I'm so wonderful. What made her praise feel so good was that she was specific, so it wasn't just general feel goodery.

Of course by this point in my life, I shouldn't need that. I have a better sense of self, my abilities, and could probably use some ego slashings from time to time. Still though, she had the greatest laugh, like happy bells ringing. She also had an eye for detail because the amount of spelling, grammar, and factual errors I make is embarrassing. Maybe not as bad as the president's tweets, but still.

Missing her is one of the hardest parts about being a new mom. She was a midwife, and I needed her help during my unfortunately difficult pregnancy. I was new to Pittsburgh and didn't know where to get my prenatal care, so I went to the one Marc Fleury's wife delivered at, Magee Women's Hospital. It's part of UPMC, so each week I had a different resident. Most of them looked half my age and twice as attractive, which no woman with a geriatric pregnancy wants to see. They decided to induce me at 37 weeks because of my elevated blood pressure.

You kinda ruined my morning, pal. No hard feelings.
You know how every parent says the best day of their life was the day their kids were born? I've had better days. Sure, I was happy to deliver a healthy baby and meet Zach finally, but I also gave birth that day. Giving birth is like your insides have been put on a medieval torture rack. I had been induced and none of the students could get my epidural right. It kept wearing off after 45 minutes, and when I told the nurses, they would give me a lecture about how I'm supposed to feel pressure. Except, I didn't just feel pressure; I felt my inside being ripped apart and just wanted to rock myself or walk around, but I couldn't because I was bedridden with a catheter and strapped up to so many damn machines that kept beeping. Jason even asked if they could unhook me for an hour so that I could sleep, but they said that they couldn't. After three days of no food, no sleep, and squealing like a pig, he finally asked, "What the hell kind of birth plan did you have?"

When I was finally ready to deliver, I pushed my little guy out in 24 minutes. The only babies I've seen born have been on sitcoms, so I was unaware that it usually takes longer. Zachary Adams Klingensmith was born at 8:34am on October 18, 2017 and weighed 6lbs 2oz, then peed on the doctors three times before they had a chance to wash him off. My doctor's name was Abby Stork, so a Stork literally delivered my baby. Jason and I both saw Zach hold his neck up and smile at me when I asked to see him, even though that's probably physically impossible. Wish I could ask my mom.

September 6, 2018

My Going Rates

Google kept asking me to review places I've been, so I finally gave in. I'm a sucker for peer pressure. 
Costco:
It was right before they got rid of my swirl frogurt. I still haven't forgiven them.
The roller coaster at Kennywood amusement park:
On the way to our beach vacation:
 An oil change:
They still haven't vacuumed the car.
Fast food stop at the beach: 

Oh "Henry"

I'm sick of these emails:
You can't bullshit a bullshitter, 'Henry'.

 I'm starting to question his medical credentials.
Let's see him figure this out on Google Translate.


Super Flying Zach

Zach and I have been going to the pool lately to get some cardio. Ten months of breast milk has given him thunder thighs, so it's time to start working it off.

Our exercises are pretty much just me walking back and forth in the shallow end with him gliding on the water. He looks like he's flying, so I sing a song I made up called "Super Flying Zach" about a Zach who patrols the sky.

It goes:
Super Flying Zach is coming to get 'cha!
It's Super Flying Zach, so you better be good!
He's going to make sure ___(fill in the blank with what he needs to police)
It's Super Flying Zach, and he's coming to get 'cha,
Super Flying Zach, SO YOU BETTER BE GOOD!

For the blanks I say stuff like:
He's going to make sure you help old ladies across the street.
He's going to make sure you clean up your dog's poop.
He's going to make sure you don't run red lights.

After walking back and forth and singing this for a half hour, I started to run out of ideas and came up with stuff like:

He's going to make sure you don't pull down any bikini tops.
He's going to make sure you don't steal cabbage from a locked community garden.
He's going to make sure you don't talk about coprophagia with children present. 

That last one was based on a true story. Last Sunday we were doing our water exercises, and there were a bunch of thirty somethings at the other end of the pool, talking about someone they know who knows someone who eats poop. They knew I was listening because each time they couldn't think of a word, I yelled it across the pool. Like when the token broad said, "You know that thing where you get dizzy easily, I forget the word..." and I yelled, "VERTIGO!" And later a tattooed guy with poor grammar was describing a restaurant near Walmart, and I yelled, "CRACKER BARREL." 

When we waved and said goodbye, they looked at me confusedly. My feelings were a little sore from their unfriendliness until I reminded myself that people who talk about eating doody in front of others probably haven't learned the best social skills. 
I brought my own shark to the water.



September 5, 2018

America's Fartland

Because the baby daddy of my dreams lives across the country, we packed up my stuff and drove to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Our hotel from Groupon
To give you an idea of our drive, we started in Vancouver, Washington then stayed at these hotels along the way:

Leavenworth, Washington
It's a German town my mom and I intended to get a Groupon for. The goal was to stop and see Lake Chelan because while my mom was in hospice, she lamented about not traveling more. I asked her where she still wanted to go, and she said, "Lake Chelan." This seemed too reasonable since she had been to Russia, Italy, and the Holy Land. In any case, we didn't visit it because I needed to get poor pneumatic Jason to the next hotel.
View from the Econolodge

Livingston, MT 
We intended to see Yellowstone but spent the day at urgent care instead, which was conveniently located across from our hotel. The diagnosis was a bad case of pneumonia, but bless their hearts for testing him for everything else. Our bill was mostly a long list of tests for illnesses he didn't have.
Then drove past this for a few hours.
Then we drove past some of this too.
These photos were taken hours apart..

Billings, MT
This is where instead of seeing Custer's Last Stand site, Jason ate the credit-stealing watermelon.
They are collectively rolling their eyes at all the red MAGA hats. 
I wasn't the only cougar seen on this trip.
We stopped at a drive through wildlife place where Grizzly bears walked in front of us.
I give Jason credit for not pushing me out of the truck because it can't be easy driving across the country with pneumonia and a gassy pregnant woman. 
The haunted Bullock hotel, named after either nineteenth century lawman Seth Bullock
or gay comedian Jim J. Bullock. We may never know.
Deadwood, South Dakota
Jason began feeling better and even won money playing poker. We stayed in the Bullock Hotel because Jason likes haunted stuff. During the night, I freaked out and decorated the room with icons to protect me from all the syphilitic miner and prostitute ghosts. 
Our Budget rental truck carrying my precious possessions across the country,
like a box of multigrain Cheerios and spaghetti jars with labels scratched off. 
I didn't go in to order a sarsaparilla because a pregnant woman in a bar sucks the fun out of the room.

I ate the whole thing and some of Jason's. 
Jackson, Minnesota
The drive through Minnesota was beautiful. The state is very clean, and I bought homemade pickles at the gas station.
Minnesota after being thawed out.
Wisconsin has so many silos that I eventually ran out of penis jokes.
Libertyville, Illinois 
My mom's brother and sister-in-law live there. They were also her best friends who could make her laugh harder than anyone else in the world. I asked them to be Zach's godparents, and they happily agreed. At this point in the pregnancy, I was in the gassy phase. Despite my best efforts to hold it in, they had me laughing so hard at the dinner table that I broke wind loudly, amplified by the reverberation against the wooden chair. Both nights this happened. The day we left, I walked into the living room as the middle child was loudly passing gas for his brothers. He looked embarrassed and apologized, but I was so relieved not to be the only fart-knocker.
August 1st, 2017
before I learned that a keystone isn't an actual rock.

Pittsburgh, PA
Our apartment wasn't ready, so we had to stay in hotels that grew progressively sleazier as the apartment management kept screwing things up. (At one point Jason had to submit proof that he's not a felon because some background check told them otherwise. I guess be weary of any other Jason Klingensmiths you bump into in a dark alley.) One hotel was so horrible that we now look back on it fondly because of how much comic relief making fun of it provided. 
At the Hilltop Inn where a kindly hooker showed me how to use the vending machine. I'm wearing my "Watermelon Smuggler" shirt.


Arm Pittsburgh

Jason helped me move out to Pittsburgh last year in the middle of summer, when I was nearing my third trimester. He showed up with a bad case of pneumonia, which he blames on my getting him a plane ticket that rerouted him through Newark. Unbeknown to me, it's the armpit of America, and what I saved on the airfare, I ended up paying more than three times that when I forced Jason into urgent care. By that point, we and our Budget rental truck had made it to Livingston, Montana. Despite there being about twelve people in that city, our wait to see the doctor was suprisingly long.

Our next stop was Billings. I went to the store to get Jason soup and popsicles, and when I returned, he sent me back out for watermelon. To this day, he credits watermelon with saving his life while I credit Katt with saving his life. 

This was the first time I had driven across the country, and I'm still torn between thinking it was a great trip or the vacation from hell. For my pregnancy, I went off ADHD meds and down to a low dose of Wellbutrin. Both of them suppress the appetite to a degree, so when I went off of them, I ballooned up. Outside the window of our drive was the beautiful heartland, and inside, I was physically uncomfortable and having a hard time sitting still. Jason was at death's door, so he wasn't chatty. This was the second week we had spent together in person (the first week being February's baby making wild booty adventure).
Papa Jason & Baby Zach

Zach Funny

Zachary Adams Klingensmith home from the hospital last October.
That's a phone charger because I didn't t understand the basic of babyproofing,
yet they let me bring him home. 
My baby is awesome. So are his dad, my stepkids and in-laws. This new life is void of toxic assholery.

As grateful as I am, this came at a cost.  Before Jason (my betrothed) came along in late 2016, my mom died of ovarian cancer. She was essentially my partner in that we did all the things together that one generally wants a partner for. Movies, traveling, dining out, and so on. She also loved me very much and was the muse for most of my comedic writing.

After she passed, I felt very detached from life.  I had no parents, no spouse, no kids, no pets, and no house ferns. Without being tied to anyone, I felt like I was going to float away. At the time I was seeing a guy who seemed nice and supportive, but ended up being such a psychopath, I told him not to contact me again until he made an appointment with a therapist. When he replied, it felt like such relief to follow through with my boundary and block and erase him from my life.

That ordeal lead me to message my friend Jason on Twitter. He played my hashtag games and saw a tweet that mentioned that I'm an Orthodox Christian. He messaged me telling me that he is too, and then from time to time we would check in and chat. On Thanksgiving, we started messaging daily, which lead to FaceTime, which lead to us deciding to marry and start a family. We took the no bullshit path to courtship because, as my mom would say, I'm no spring chicken.

Since he lives in Pittsburgh, we arranged for him to fly out to Portland on February 11th, which according to my ultrasound was probably the day I got pregnant. All of this happened so fast, I'm aware. Yet our home is filled with love and laughter, albeit way too often at my expense. Jason is the funny one at home, and I can't help but wonder if this is my comeuppance for making fun on my mom on my blog for years.

Seeing the pregnancy test turn pink was the happiest moment in my life. Now I suddenly had a family again and people to take care of and love. Ideally, we would have gotten hitched first, but time isn't on my side for having healthy babies. Since it's probably the only wedding either of us will have, we want to save up and do it right, not rush it.
Besides, it's not like Jason is going anywhere. I've ruined him for all other women with my own awesomeness.