Too Much

Call it a sign or call it overeating but when I woke up this morning my pants didn’t fit. That little silver button that usually slid into its little home wasn’t going to slide. I tugged a little, and I sucked it in as much as I could, but that little button just didn’t want to do its job.

“Too much.” Those are the words that came out of my mouth.

I’m not sure what came over me after that perhaps a croissant or large chocolate bar , but suddenly a question Steve asked me a few months ago came rushing into my head. Sometime after our first date he asked me why I needed to be on social media. It was one of those rare times I can count them on two hands where I was actually speechless. I had no answer for him. I’m not sure what words I could get to come out of my mouth, but I’m pretty sure it all came down to one word, “Because”.

Because? Really? That’s all I could come up with after 7 years on social media? With that huge explanation our conversation moved on to other things, but the question stuck in my head. He would bring it up from time to time as he would go through the pictures on my phone. He would ask me why I would post this picture or that picture. I’d usually laugh and say, “Because it’s funny” or “Because I love you”. I may or may not have an addiction to his face, thus resulting in a post or two. He would just shake his head and smile as he continued to flip through the pictures. With every mention of social media that initial question of why I even needed to be on there, burned deeper into my head. Here it was, almost four months later, and I still couldn’t come up with a better answer than “because”.

As I tried that little silver button a third time it hit me. Too much. I had too much social media. I was overindulging in a world of faces, feet, and food. I was obsessed with putting myself out there to people. I wanted to show the world how vulnerable I was, how even when I was vulnerable I was strong. I was trying to prove a point, but what point was I trying to prove? Who was I trying to prove it to?

All the reasons I had before to be on social media, keeping tabs on people I didn’t trust and hiding from reality, weren’t around anymore. As my life changed drastically last year, so did my need for social media. I no longer needed to prove to thousands of people I was worth it, I needed to prove it to myself. Last September I learned to love myself. I learned that I was good enough, and thanks to Steve, I learned that I was worth the love of another person.

It took me 4 months, but this morning I could finally answer Steve’s question.

I don’t need it.

After adding up all the minutes during my day scrolling through social media sights I came to a startling reality. Yes, it was just 15 minutes here and there, but it was totaling about an hour a day. That’s 7 hours a week, 29 hours a month, 348 hours a year. That’s over 14 days a year! I have wasted 98 days of my life in the past 7 years on social media!?!?!

Much like my over indulgence in food, I have been overindulging in social media. At 6:30 this morning I hit delete on my Instagram and Twitter. Suddenly I felt as if my life fit better. What am I going to do with that extra hour a day now? Write? Draw? Play with my kids? Laugh with Steve? The possibilities are endless!

I’m not saying deleting your social media is the answer for everyone, but I am asking you to ask yourself why you are on there and what you would do with an extra hour every day. The answers might surprise you.

I’ve made the little silver button of my life slide into its little home, now if only I could get the little silver button on my pants to do the same. Perhaps I should spend my extra hour a day on the Elliptical.

Happy Holidays from The Vassiliou’s

Happy Holidays from the Vassiliou’s

Pheobe

I was fairly certain as an adult I would never write a holiday letter to friends and family. Once I became a mother I was positive I never would. Yet here you are, reading a holiday letter from me and the kids. Hell has officially frozen over.
Our year has been so exciting, and with so much change, I couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone in this dreaded fashion. The first half of our year was pretty much ops normal, living in Connecticut…wanting to get out. In June a position at KUA opened up and I applied. By the end of July we suddenly found ourselves scrambling to throw everything away pack up the house, get schools lined up, and searching for a place to live in New Hampshire. We only had three weeks to get everything done, resulting in a two week camping excursion, more grey hair for me, missing house hold items, and having to get rid of one cat. Perhaps the hardest part. Although I don’t mind not having to scoop as much poop.
Regardless of the mass chaos that ensued, we were settled in to the world’s smallest two bedroom condo our new house and well on our way to what have become our happiest days yet!
I want to thank everyone who helped, in every way possible, to make this dream a reality. Love and thanks especially to Seth Campbell, Gillian and Pam Frothingham, the one who chooses to remain anonymous, Joe McDaniel, Kim Simon, and my ever supportive parents. Without all of you, this move wouldn’t have been possible.
The Plainfield area had a rush of new families moving to the area this summer, resulting in a fresh and crazy wonderful community. We have found our little group of people who will tolerate us niche, and have adapted nicely aside from the occasional rocking in a corner.
May you all be blessed in the year to come and may happiness find you always.

Love and giggles,
Brandi, Theo, & Pheobe

peept

Santa’s Ass In Relation To Cookie Consumption

It happens. Every single year, it happens. Without fail thanks to Rudolf.

Christmas.

I have to admit that, as an adult, I tend to be a bit of a Scrooge. I’m not 100% why I’m horrible at buying people gifts bu I am. I tend to grump around behind my children’s backs, mumbling and grumbling. When they turn around I smile BIG and fill myself with fake Christmas cheer. “Yay for Christmas! Woo hoo!” “Damn it all to hell with shopping lines, noisy toys, batteries, and fucking wrapping paper.” I think I secretly hope my kids will stop believing in Santa Clause just so I don’t have to buy the extra presents from the fat man. Even though I know I still will. I wish they would just be happy with stockings and all the trinkets and gadgets that will fit into the two feet of hand knitted wonderment. How great would that be? Nothing but toothbrushes, dental floss, stickers, fake tattoos, scented pencils, electric fly swatters, and socks. A parent’s dream to have a Christmas that costs less than $100 per child. *sigh*

I do have to admit, however, that there is one part of Christmas I absolutely adore. Santa’s cookies. Whether you buy them at the store or slave in the kitchen all day, as a parent, you can’t wait for the kids to go to bed so you can dig in….and make a mess. Once the coast is clear, you go to the table and smile at the hand written note as you take your first bite of cookie and the crumbs fall to the table. Because you’re Santa, you’re allowed to let crumbs fall and leave them. You might even spill some milk. Maybe you’ll even leave part of the reindeer’s carrot half eaten. After all you’re pulling double duty, and playing the roll of Santa and the reindeer entitles you to making a mess.

My kids love to leave cookies and a note out for Santa. They start working up to it a month in advance, planning what kind of cookies to leave out, was last year’s choice better or worse, does Santa actually like cookies and milk? This Santa would prefer a vodka tonic and bacon wrapped scallops, but it would be hard to sell the kids on that one.

Last night the cookie conversation came up due to Pheobe describing the gingerbread house she made at daycare. She stood there talking about the candy and the frosting when suddenly Theo cut in, “And Santa is going to eat it!” Cue crickets, followed by a resounding “NO!” Evidently there was no way in hell the fat man was going to eat her gingerbread house, the one she painstakingly worked on for two days.

“Santa ate mine last year,” snickered Theo.

“That’s right,” I said. “Santa ate the roof and all the candy around it.” You know, all the good stuff.

“So………” said the peanut gallery “does that go straight to Santa’s ass?”

Yes, yes it does. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my new boyfriend Steve. He’s fitting in quite nicely with all the sarcasm and tomfoolery. Happy Holidays!

Shaving, Kids, and Camping Don’t Mix

It’s no secret that I am the hairiest woman you will ever meet hairy. In the past 4 months every mole on my body has decided to sprout at least one absurdly long hair from them. This includes moles on my thighs, neck, and butt. Yes, even on my butt. Then you add my ever thickening mustache, my “happy trail”, chest and nipple hair, and places only a Hobbit should grow hair. If I didn’t pluck my eyebrows the hair there would become one with my eye lashes, who oddly enough seem to be thinning. It’s also possible that I have some back hair as well, but seeing as how I can’t turn my head like an owl and take a peak, I’m just going to assume it is in full force back there as well. But it’s just hair. I can handle hair. My bathroom is outfitted with multiple styles of razors and waxes. I pluck and pull; cut and groom. Even with all the practice I get from my grooming habits, I’m not the best at it, but I get the job done.

In short, I don’t look a Neanderthal woman. I look like…..well….I look girl-ish.

But recently, that bathroom I was telling you about. Remember? The one outfitted with numerous hair removal techniques? Yeah, that one.

It is currently packed away in several boxes in the BACK of a storage unit, NOT at the campground with me. Don’t sit there and shake your head at me saying I should have at least brought a razor with me to tackle at least my leg and arm pit hair. My drunken adrenaline rush to go camping for two weeks with two small children didn’t corrupt my mind as far as causing me to ‘forget’ a major necessity such as a razor. I have one with me, trust me.

What I failed to take into account, however, is that while camping by yourself with two small children, you don’t get to shower by yourself…if you get to shower at all. I have had one shower this entire week, and it was spent saving my daughter’s life from the ferocious daddy long legs and making sure she didn’t drown in the trickle of water coming from the shower nozzle. Not to mention having to run back and forth in my towel from the women’s showers to the men’s to save my son from an equally, if not more, ferocious daddy long legs in his shower. What. The. Fuck. That was our one and ONLY showering experience we will be having while camping. Instead I have set up a “bathing area” using a tarp and string. It gives us the privacy of bathroom but with all the pains wonderment of bathing with a spaghetti pot.

Don’t worry, I now have fire and the water is quite warm and pleasant. This is possibly my one, and only, mommy win for this adventure.

As you can imagine, all these less than stellar bathing accommodations have resulted in a lack of opportunities in which to shave. I am now seeing just how many hairy moles I have, and no longer have a need to wear pants to bed to keep warm. It’s sprouting out of areas I didn’t even know hair could grow. My legs itch and wearing pants has become next to impossible. There are now lines in my deodorant from the patches of hair filling my arm pits. My Hobbit toes are enjoying the camping life style as I trod through the campground with the kids barefoot. I can almost handle all this new hair growth, but what is going to put me over the edge is the hair growing rampant on my lady bits.

Any woman who has ever tried to grow out the hair on her bikini line, or otherwise, can attest to the extreme discomfort that goes along with the whole process. The pain and itching is enough to turn any loving and caring mother, such as myself, into a raving lunatic. Now add the bottom of the clean laundry pile, where the sheer underwear live, to the mix. This morning I found myself walking around with barbs in my pants; ripping at my flesh with every step. Luckily I have access to a real shower, by myself, tonight. A shower where I can take my pretty pink razor and can of shaving cream in with me, throw my leg up on the side of the tub, and have an orgasmic shaving experience. So if you all don’t hear from me all weekend it’s because I have become with a private shower and my razor. I bid you ado until after I have painstakingly removed every last strand of hair on my body from my eye brows to my toes and every lady bit in between.

Bear Attacks and Free Children

As parents we can’t help but love our children all the time at least until they grow up and become ass holes. We spend countless hours rocking them to sleep and kissing their boo-boos. We wipe snot from their noses and clean up their vomit. We wipe their butts and scrape their dinner from the walls. Through all this we love them. We may curse under our breath or out loud if it suits you but we still love them.

Three weeks ago I was offered a job in New Hampshire. A job that started…well…yesterday. Panic! So I had three weeks to pack up the house and kids and move 200 miles away. You know, no big deal. Shoot me. And I did it. Packed everything up, moved it, found a school and a daycare, and found a house. Great, right? Not so much. That house I mentioned, it won’t be ready for another two weeks. Stuck in house limbo, I had no choice but to find some sort of alternative. I had three options, stay in a hotel and spend more money than I earn in one pay period, live out of my car with the two kids, or camp in a campground. Being the modern bohemian mommy I am, I obviously chose camping.

How bad could it be anyway? <== That is the question I asked myself as I booked 12 nights at a campground. Yes, you read that right, 12 full nights in a tent…..just me….and two young children….in a tent….for 12 nights.

I was obviously drunk on the adrenaline of moving.

Much like being drunk in general, you wake up the next day asking yourself what exactly you did. By the time I pulled the tent from the back of the car I could feel the hangover settle in. I almost immediately wanted to climb the tallest tree and pretend I was an owl…far…far…far away from my children. Pheobe was screaming for no apparent reason although I’m pretty sure Theo was throwing a baseball at her head and Theo was mocking everyone who walked by.

But I still loved them, unconditionally. I convinced myself all this chaos was due to them being away from me for the two weeks prior and being stuck in a car for the greater portion of that day. I was sure all this would die down by the next day, and it did. For the morning anyway.

All three of us were up and at um by 6am and ready to start our new adventure in New Hampshire. I was starting my new job and the kids were starting their new daycare. A quick breakfast minus the coffee (ugh) and we were off. Life was good and it was just going to get better. At the end of the day we made a quick trip to the grocery store for some dinner goodies and headed to the campground. That was until I remembered we didn’t have fire wood and I didn’t have coffee for the next morning. So we made a stop at the most expensive store in the area, but our problem was solved for about $40. Now staving and ready to eat each other, we finally made it back to the campground. Almost immediately Pheobe was screaming about something, and by screaming I mean blood curdling.

The noise resonated throughout the campground. Trees bent from the sound waves. Campers fled to their tents and campers in fear of the obvious bear eating a small child in a near by sight. Even the lifeguards at the pool herded swimmers to a “safe” corner. To our delight the campground had removed the port-a-potty from our area leaving us to take our screaming masquerade on parade. As we made our way to the bathrooms a mile away Pheobe continued her show intermittently. Any campers still outside then made their way into whatever domicile they had. All I could do was grin nervously as I prayed the campground would not kick us out for excessive noise. Scream. Laugh. Scream. Laugh. Their was nothing I could do to keep this fucking child on a, preferably positive, even keel. Everything set her off.

She didn’t see the squirrel soon enough.

There was a stick in her shoe.

We were walking too fast.

We were walking too slow.

I was talking too loud.

Theo didn’t wait for her.

She farted.

Everything. Set. Her. Off. EVERYTHING.

Back at the camp sight it was discovered we didn’t have a lighter…or a match…or anything fire related other than 2 large bundles of wood. Perfect. More screaming. Related, this mommy cannot make fire appear out of thin air. AKA rubbing two sticks together. Now both kids are starving hungry. I’m about to eat my arm off; or start screaming next to Phoebe. Theo reached his breaking point and started throwing his baseball in any direction that would lead him far away from his now devil sister. Defeated, I sat at the picnic table watching Pheobe as she screamed louder waiting for her head to start spinning. If only I had had popcorn to eat while enjoying the show.

Without fire we were left with PB&J for the second night in a row. Throughout our meal I was reminded several times, by Theo, that I really should have brought fire so we could cook. Thank you captain obvious. By  7pm the showers were closed, resulting in all three of us washing up with cold water with our brand new crab bath scrubber. Oddly enough the cold water seemed to subdue Pheobe and the screaming finally stopped. As long as I continue to freeze my child to death, she might actually shut the hell up. 8:30pm and both kids are tucked into their “beds” giggling. Theo then looked up at me and said, “Mommy, can we stay here forever?”

I responded with a big smile and a sweet voice, “No, next week we move into our new home so we can sleep in our own beds and play with our toys.”

With that, they both settled in and I was reminded how much I love them. Through all the bear attacks screams and frustrations my love for them stays strong. That is until tonight when it starts all over again and I am tempted to tie Pheobe to the guard shack at the campground entrance with a sign that reads:

“FREE! To a good home or whoever will take her!”

 
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