Charmed, I'm Sure.

Hello Blogstalkers.

Pulling inspiration from the fact that schools are starting all over the place right now, I thought we could play a little game today.

You know how sometimes in a new class a teacher or professor would make you go around the room and say your name, something interesting about yourself and like...something you were excited to learn this year?  And how that was the worst because you had severe social anxiety issues and also this was goddamned calculus and you were not excited to learn any of it?

And then it was your turn and you were all, "Umm my name is Lauren and I guess I'm excited to learn how to graph parabolas." And the teacher was all, "You should have learned that in Algebra a couple of years ago."  And then you were all, "Yes, well..."

And the teacher was thankfully about to move on to the next student but then remembered you had not said anything interesting about yourself so because they were rotten they came back to you to complete your introduction and you got flustered and were like, "I don't know! I get strep throat a lot?!"

At which point the teacher moved on and in your head you were all "Oh good job LAUREN.  Looks like yet another year with no boyfriends."

No? That was just me then?

Well anyway.  We're totally going to do that today.

Because of how fun it is.

A sort of reintroduction if you will, since I've been blogging so irregularly with the pregnancy and the baby and the everything else.

I'll start.

Hi, I'm Lauren Rae.  I'm 30 years old and have a 7 month old daughter named Fiona Violet.  Here is a picture of her:

I no longer get strep throat a lot because I had my tonsils removed when I was 21.  I still do not have any boyfriends.  I do have one husband.  His name is Ryan.  Here is a picture of him:

Here is a picture of the two of them together.  

He's not one for shirts.

Ryan and I got into a small verbal skirmish yesterday after he was in the shower and his friend texted him asking if they were still on for dinner and I burst into the bathroom and relayed the message to Ryan and asked him if he wanted me to respond.  "Just say something I would say," he told me. So I texted "Hump gump turkey sandwich."  Which apparently, was unhelpful and "didn't sound like him at all."  So then I texted like five more people "Who am I being? Hump Gump Turkey Sandwich" and all five of them responded with "Ryan, obviously."  So I think we all know who won that argument.

I am a voracious reader and through reading have acquired a pretty good vocabulary.  Ryan is always trying to find words in the books that he reads that I can not define.  Earlier this year he called me and was like, "I think I've finally found one...jodhpur."  And I was like, "Seriously RYAN, that's pants.  I mean, I have always expected that due to lack of exposure to them, you wouldn't know much about shirts.  But I was hopeful you'd know things about pants."  At which point, all frustrated that he had failed to foil me yet again he shouted, "I'm sorry I don't know more about pants!" and then more quietly, "I have to go, I'm at work."

He used to just text me these words but then if I ever took too long to respond he would think I was googling the definition.  Then he would rush home from work and check the search history on the computer to make sure I wasn't cheating.  So then I started googling things like "What does the name Ryan mean? Does it mean dumb?," and "How do I tell my husband that basically the entire back of his hair is turning gray?"  And sure enough one day, after he'd texted me the word 'scrim' (which is like a group of trees) and I'd taken too long to reply, I heard him clicking away on the computer.

"Oh HAHA Lauren, you're just hilarious," he called when he found the search history.  But then later I found him trying to look at the back of his head in the mirror.  

When we were looking for a house this year, we saw one where the backyard simply would not work for us.  "Hmmm I don't know about this yard," I said to Ryan, "I feel like it would be nice to have a good scrim of trees in the back so that if you wanted to traipse around in like, jodhpurs and nothing else, the neighbors wouldn't complain."

Sometimes I feel bad for my husband.

Other times I think he probably brought this on himself.

I love pasta and new notebooks and Calvin & Hobbes and magic.  I dislike tea and visible electronic cords and the summer and pedicures.

I spend a lot of my free time rescuing the tiny frogs that jump into my storm drain every time it rains.  Once my next door neighbor saw me doing this and let me also rescue the frogs in his storm drain.  Then he was like, "You must be an animal lover huh?" and then we had a really good conversation about animals.

Later that week Ryan was all, "Did you try to convince the neighbor that "Wildebeest" is pronounced "Wild Beast" with a silent E and that a group of them is called a "Ye Olde"?"  And I was like, "Maybe I did that, I can't be certain.  Why?  Did you check his internet search history?  Was he googling about it?"  And then Ryan left me alone.

And now I'll leave you all alone. 

Because it's your turn to tell me about you.  What's your name?  What's something interesting about you?  Spill Blogstalkers, I'm listening.  

P.S.  Sometimes I write places other than this blog.  This is one of those sometimes-es.  Two of those sometimes-es actually.

I Would NEVER Walk 500 Miles. And I Would Certainly Not Then Walk 500 More.

Hello Blogstalkers,

So you know how when you experience something that seems really odd or out of place you turn to your companion and say, "Am I crazy or is this pie crust taking forever to bake?  Is this ear slightly higher than my other ear?  Does this guy on the Food Network look exactly like Jake Gyllenhaal with a beard?"  (The oven wasn't on.  It is - I have to special order my glasses now.  And he totally does, right?)

Cuban Jake.  Or "Cake".  I might like him better than Normal Jake.  Or "Nake".  Unless Normal Jake got Nake.  But then again that could also be trumped by Cuban Jake bringing Cake.  So, back to where we started then.    
But anyway, I used to say that a lot.  Until Ryan was all like, "I don't know why it's always one or the other with you.  It would make a lot more sense if you said, "Am I crazy AND did the guy in the grocery store just lick that cantaloupe?" then I could just say yes.

And of course I was severely affronted and all like, "I'll show you crazy RYAN!"and then did things I'm not proud of in public.

But these days, I'm inclined to agree with my husband.

For one, I met my new neighbor yesterday when I was outside vacuuming her porch.  (One of my plants sheds and I was politely cleaning up the detriment.  My vacuum has a very long cord.)

For another, after the check-in guy at the gym said, "I didn't see you two yesterday!" to Fiona and me this morning and I panicked that he was like tracking my gym time, I was all, "Oh haha yeah someone had a long nap yesterday.  Also if you don't see us for a while it's because we go on a lot of vacations which would also explain the increased plumpness that will probably exist upon my return."

Also I get in a fight with my scale every single morning because when I step on it the first thing it does is flash LRG LRG LRG in big red letters.  And I am all like, "NO WAY SCALE! I'VE BEEN GOING TO THE GYM AND EATING COTTAGE CHEESE!  YOU'RE FULL OF NONSENSE!"  Until Ryan reminds me, every single morning that LRG is actually just my initials these days.

And then there's this:

Ryan: Hello? This is Ryan.

Lauren: So you know how I do that time travel thing?

Ryan: What?

Lauren: You know that thing where I pretend to be myself from five or ten years ago and then travel through the future until now and then make judgements on my current self?

Ryan: Noooo I can't say I did know that you did such a thing.

Lauren: Ok well it's a thing I do.  Mostly when I'm feeling really really happy with my life and I want the often sad and anxious former-me to know that everything is going to turn out just grand.

Ryan: Lauren, that doesn't even make any sense.

Lauren: It does get a bit confusing.  Especially since I've done this forever and so there are like a hundred versions of me hurtling through time and space exclaiming things like, "Look at all the bras you've got now!" and "That one's yellow!"

Ryan: This is the most ridiculous thing you've told me in a long time.  First of all, if you could time travel, why would you choose, of all the times and places in the universe, to just spend normal everyday time with yourself five years into the future?

Lauren: I don't know RYAN, why don't you tell me?  Seeing as you're the one that has chosen to spend all of his futures with me.

Ryan: Ok fine.

Lauren: Also I don't exactly travel forward in time, I like, first go back in time in my head and become my old self and then just travel to today and glance around a bit and think, "This seems nice." And maybe walk around on any new soft rugs and say, "Ooooh soft rug."  Mainly.

Ryan:  Mainly?

Lauren: Yes, until today.  Because I was at lunch with my dad and I wasn't even trying to play the time travel game and there I was just absentmindedly sucking the last of my cottage cheese off of the piece of lettuce it had been served on when suddenly I accidentally started playing the time traveling game or whatever and then Lauren-of-times-gone-by was there laughing at me and thinking I was ridiculous.  And so I was like, "Get out of here!" Not very loudly but it did happen to be just as the waitress was coming back over and I didn't know if she heard but if she did she clearly was going to think I was talking to her so I just continued with, "I love your blouse! Get out of town!"  And it was obviously a uniform top.  It was terrible.

Ryan: What is your point with all of this, because, let me remind you, I'm at my very first day of a new job right now.

Lauren: Oh nothing, I just wanted to let you know that I think I might actually be going crazy.

Ryan: Huh.  I always thought it would be a doctor of some sort that called me to tell me you were actually crazy now.

Lauren: Rude.  This is what I get when I am being a concerned wife who I just remember now really just called to see how it went with the wart doctor?

Ryan: Podiatrist.

Lauren: Right, that dude.

Ryan: He just lasered the little spot and that was it.

Lauren: Did he have any guesses on where you could have acquired such a disgusting malady?  Are you slowly turning into a warthog?  Are you going to start clearing the Savannah after every meal?

Ryan: He said, "You probably got it from your wife, she sounds like she's got a lot of warts."

Lauren: Dammit RYAN.  Just for that I'm staying on the phone with you longer.

Ryan: I'm eating lunch so whatever.

Lauren: I don't really have anything else to talk about…I had a completely normal run-in with the gym guy this morning but that's not interesting.  Oh! I met the new neighbor.  She seems nice.

Lauren: Oh I know! Something else weird I do, whenever I'm using the GPS in the car to get anywhere I decide in my head how close I have to get before, if the car, like…disappeared or something, I would be willing to walk to my destination instead of just giving up.

Ryan: Huh?

Lauren: Well, like if I'm driving to the bookstore, as soon as the GPS hits 2.9 miles to destination I shout "Walking Distance Fiona!" but if I'm going to buy you new white t-shirts, like I was yesterday it takes until I'm about .5 miles away before I'll even consider schlepping the rest of the way on foot.  And don't even get me started on if I'm going to the gym.

Ryan: You wouldn't walk half a mile to get to the gym?

Lauren: Well it's exactly like eating candy before dinner.  It would spoil it.  Oh ugh, bad metaphor, comparing the gym to things I love.  That's sort of maligning candy and dinner...It's only like that if candy tasted like wormchops and dinner was stewed yarn.

Ryan:  You hate the gym that much?

Lauren: The power has gone out 50% of the times I've been there and then I have to leave without working out!

Ryan: The power went out one time.

Lauren: Yes.  Well.  Exactly.

Ryan: And you could have stayed, I'm pretty sure it went back on 7 minutes later.

Lauren: I wouldn't know.  I was already driving home at that point.  With GPS.  It said 4.3 miles til home.  "Walking Distance, Fiona!"

Ryan: You are crazy.

Lauren: I told you.

And later:

Ryan: Hello? This is Ryan.

Lauren: Remember yesterday when I made way too many butterscotch bars and I didn't want to eat them and so I was trying to figure out how to get rid of them?

Ryan:  Hi Lauren.

Lauren: I just realized that I should have given them to the new neighbors.  Fiona and I could have set up a little FREE BUTTERSCOTCH BARS! stand.  But it's too late now.  I've already given them to my sister.

Ryan: What do you want exactly?

Lauren: Do you think it would be crazy if I put a sign on the front door that said, "Free Butterscotch Bars Yesterday"?  Because of how it's the thought that counts?

Ryan:  Yes.

Lauren: Yes I thought so too.  Just wanted to check.  Well, I've got to go, work to be done.

P.S. Please leave a comment? Comments are my bread and butter.  Except I can't eat bread and butter any longer because I'm on a diet, if you had not noticed…pfft.

P.P.S. Sometimes I write places that are not this blog.  This is one of those sometimes-es.  Life With Shorty - A Humorous Take on Raising my Daughter.  Check it out if you're not totally sick of me yet today.

P.P.P.S I mention that I'm like 5'8'-ish in the article which has already gotten some surprised reactions on The Facebook because everyone thought I was short apparently.  My brand new doctor's office (we moved) told me I was 5'7.5" just this month, which seemed taller than normal, but they are medical professionals, so that's why I wrote 5'8"ish.  But then I measured myself today after everyone was all incredulous and I personally got something more like 5'6.5".  And I can't exactly start out the new doctor-patient relationship by calling and saying, "I just have a medical question.  How tall am I?"  So I'm going with my measurement for now.  So I totally apologize for sort-of-exaggerating how tall I am in the article?  I'm also sorry for not really knowing how tall I am.  That seems like something a respectable person should know.

ALL THE Ps. S.  By request, a picture of my baby.  She doesn't usually wear headbands but she was feeling fancy.  She often wears fruit shorts.  We have watermelons too.

Happy Anni-Bloggy-Versary!!





If you want to check my counting remember to discount all duplicate comments and comment by yours truly.

Hello Darling Blogstalkers.

Today is the three year anniversary of the day I first started this blog.  And while I'm not always the best at updating in sensible intervals, I still think that's something to be celebrated.  A lot has changed in the years since I started writing this website after all.  New house, new car, new baby, newd-ness at the library*.

*I was trying to make mom friends by going to story-time and I walked in all smiles, scanning the room for likely chums as I took off my jacket and unwound my scarf.  And then took off my shirt.  Seriously.  Apparently my brain just switches into getting undressed mode if I remove two articles of clothing.  It was awkward.  I bloused back up and skedaddled pretty quick after that.

But anyway, this blog was an unexpected semi-success and it and you all have changed my life for the better.  So today I'm hoping to be able to change one of your lives for the better, just a tad**.

**When I was little, I thought the phrase "just a tad" was short for "just a tadpole" because tadpoles are very little and that phrase means just a little.  So like, my mom would take me to get ice cream and they would ask if I wanted any sprinkles and I would be like,  "Maybe just a tadpole."

So here's the deal.  Just comment to enter.  As always around here, no liking or sharing or tweeting of any sort is required.  Unless you are singing the song Rockin' Robin.  And then you had better be tweeting up a storm.

I'll pick a winner next Friday.

The actual prize is mostly a surprise but for sure there will be the following things:

For $100 (The Amazon)

A pair of Kendra Scott earrings of your choice.  I have these two and love them both.


Delicious cake.  Eat slowly for Prolonged Magic.
Please do not be like my high school BFF and send me a picture of yourself eating the cake with an extra plate of cake sitting by an empty chair with the caption "That piece is for you as I truly hope you are eating cake with me in spirit right now."  Because seriously?  I was all like, "Bitch, please.  I do not do any sort of cake-eating that does not involve putting frosting-y globs of actual cake in my mouth"  Eating cake in spirit.  Pfft.  Dumbest thing I've ever heard.

This bag:

And not just a tadpole more.  A whole crazy amount more.  Lots and lots more.  I promise it's a worthwhile pursuit.  Things I've included in the past: Coasters shaped like toast, a Tiffany necklace, personalized gym shoes from Nike, a hat that looks like a cupcake, Ugg slippers, A Kate Spade bracelet, band-aids that look like pickles, an actual pickle.  And so on and so forth.

Oh and I promise I'll include one of these little guys:

And now I must run because I have just heard a loud noise and then a bunch of "Ow Ow Owwws" coming from upstairs and I think Ryan may have hurt himself and this NEVER happens and I need to go run up and check on him so I can say "Yeah, Ow Ow, Talk Hurty To Me" because I have been waiting to do that forever.  And also I should probably make sure he's ok I guess.

Tweet, Tweet, Tweedle-Lee-Dee,

UPDATED Because it was requested, pictures of my baby.  Who is currently entering her third hour of napping.  She is not part of this giveaway.

UPDATED x 2 - I just want to say that it makes me insanely happy that you are all most excited about the cake.  You're seriously the best bunch of Blogstalkers ever.

UPDATED x 3 - If comments hit 200, you'll have to hit "Load More" or something like that, I don't remember, to see your comment after you post it.  

I Heart Jim Beam. Gym Beam, Not As Much.

Hello hello Blogstalkers.

Jumping right in today.  No time for long rambling introductions.  Ryan is currently out to dinner with friends and I thought I had all this free time to write an entry but just now he's texted me that the restaurant he's chosen is cafeteria style and thus he'll be home before I know it.  So there goes all the plans I had to not spend time with Ryan tonight.

I shouldn't be surprised I suppose, the cafeteria is where he's always brought his dates.  I'm not complaining though, there's something extremely romantic about a boy you like swiping his meal card for your dinner in his college cafeteria and whispering, "Put back one of those rolls, I'm not made of Wildcat Willie Bucks." Don't you think?

Plus that roll thing only happened the first time.  Ryan stopped telling me what I could and could not have at the cafeteria when OJ joined us for dinner that night and asked Ryan to cover him as he had forgotten his meal card and then proceeded to grab two rolls.  Clearly that wasn't allowed and so first I gave Ryan a silent look like, "Do you see what is happening here, tell him about how you don't have a lot of cat money or whatever."  But when Ryan was only like, "Stop looking at me like that, that look makes me nervous," I had to take matters into my own hands.  So I used said hands to slap one of the rolls out of OJ's hand and said, "Two Rolls?  Really?  When you're making Ryan pay?  He's not made of pussies and willies you know."

So as I said, jumping right in to the meat of the post today.

When my siblings and I were small children, my mom, like many moms, signed us up for a variety of activities.  We did t-ball and piano lessons and community plays, among other things.  One of those other things being gymnastics.  And that is the thing I am going to talk about today.

That thing, that thing that thi-i-in-ing.

God I am so musical.  Must have been all the piano lessons.

But moving forward.

I was not *great* at gymnastics.  My little sister however, was really really great.  The gym we went to was a serious place.  It was run an Eastern European couple and their two sons.  They were in the business of training promising young girls for the Olympics.  To fund that business, they were also in the business of teaching less promising young girls to walk the balance beam without falling off.

Guess which group I fell into.  Also guess if I fell off of the balance beam a lot.

I was TERRIBLE at gymnastics.  I've never had any sort of balance and I hadn't yet grown into my exceptionally long limbs.  There were four main areas in the gym: Floor, Bars, Beam, and Vault and all four of them were tied for being my least talented area.  Like, I know those coaches and their sons sat around the dinner table at night and talked about which girls showed a real knack for the sport and should receive a lot of attention.  And then I know one of them brought up my name as a joke and the rest of them spit sauce across the table in spasms of hilarity.  I used to picture them in the throes of their laughter and think, "Can't really blame them I guess."

Because I was well aware of my awfulness.  I watched my sister move up the ranks from D Team to C Team to B Team and so forth whilst I twiddled my thumbs in Junior Squad, a large nine-year-old island in a sea of five-year-olds.  

Once I had firmly figured out that gymnastics just was not my thing, I pretty much never stopped begging my mom to let me quit.  I just wanted to sit quietly in the viewing room while my sister did full twisting layouts and read my book.  Eventually she (my mom) complied but it took a couple of years.  Here, in no particular order, is a short list of things I remember from those years.  These things may or may not have contributed to my mom's eventual decision to let me quit.

* The coaches' sons were named Eric and Dale.  Eric was nice-looking and this was right around the time The Little Mermaid came out in theaters so a lot of the gymnasts had secret little swoony crushes on him and called him Prince Eric behind his back.  I thought all of this was nonsense and also I was saving myself for Almanzo Wilder and his dashing horses (Oh Manly, I still carry a candle for you even though you are dead) so I was more interested in the fact that the second brother's name was Dale.  Now these classes were in the middle of the day during the week so mostly it was moms and grandmas and babysitters bringing their charges to the gym.  When a dad would make it in occasionally, the instructors would make sure to let the child show off a little bit.  My dad came in once.  They decided it was too dangerous to let me do a round-off-flip-flop-flip-flop combination like I suggested and instead said, "What about a forward roll?"  But that would not do because I could not do a forward roll.  So we were at standstill.  When my dad brought me home that afternoon and my mom asked, "You're home early! How did it go?"  His answer was, "Well your daughter wanted to do some sort of flip and they wanted her to do some sort of roll and then she shouted, "Roll out the Rescue Rangers because I'm doing it!" and tromped over to the floor mat."  "OH MY GOD they didn't let her do any flips did they!?" asked my mom.  "No, they lined up the two young guys to help her out since she seemed so adamant.  She got a running start and then stopped, nodded to them and said, "Chip, Dale, I think we're done here."  And then we left."

* I was not allowed to walk on the regular balance beam for a very long time.  Instead one of the coaches put a line of duct tape down one of the mats and I got to practice on that.  Once my toe got looped in a piece of the tape that was sticking up and I kneed myself in the face.  They let me use the real beam after that.  And also go on the Bars for the first time after I successfully argued that I could not possibly be more dangerous to myself in the sky than on the floor.  I remember the fact that there were zero obstacles inside the gym for me to smash into in the air being one of my talking points.

* When it was really hot the coaches would open the outside doors in the gym.  One day a bird got in.  When I walked into class that day the only thing I thought was, "Well they're definitely not going to let me do the bars today."  

* After I was finally allowed on the bars in class, I decided to show off at school a little bit on the bar that was directly in front of one of the slides on the playground.  I tried to do a somersault over it and then slide down the slide.  Instead I knocked out my front (permanent) tooth and spent the afternoon in the dentist's office.

*  I had a lot of power with the tiny people that made up the rest of my team.  I was older and bigger and they listened to me.  They let me lead the squad from exercise to exercise and they followed along behind me as we traipsed around the gym.  I called them my ducklings.  Until I figured out that we were basically the F Squad.  (Technically it was the Junior Squad but there were six teams and they were A, B, C, D, E and Junior Squad.  So let's call a spade a spade.)  Then I called them the Little Fs.  I was nine and had absolutely no agenda with this.  I got in trouble once when they were dawdling when moving to a new area and I was like, "Hurry your Little F Butts Up!"

That's probably about enough for tonight….

But to end this post with a flourish, I shall now do a forward roll right here on my rug.  Me posting is cause for celebration after all.

Ok I honestly just tried to do a forward roll ran into the table.  I was going to come back all triumphant and be like, "And THAT is how both posts and sandwiches should go, meat in the middle, rolls on either side!"  And now that doesn't make sense at all.


Try to do a somersault right now, I'll bet you can't.  It's much harder than you think.  You go upside down for one bit.  So it's basically like a roller coaster.  With no seat belts.

God I am so bad-ass.  Must have been all the gymnastics lessons.

P.S. Friday is my three year anniversary of blogging so I shall be doing a massive and fantastic giveaway.  Prepare yourselves Little Bs.

Also, picture of my baby, obviously.

Little F.

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