Why Moms need Coffee and Wine: Introducing Julian the Wolfbaby.


This is Julian.  He is 34 months old.  He took a bath before bedtime last night and I let his hair dry in a mohawk.  This is how he woke up and no matter how much hair product I use to keep him from looking like Baby Wolverine, this is his look today.  I will use Julian the Wolfbaby as an example of why I need coffee and wine, sometimes at the same time.

I just read a blog on why moms need coffee and wine, but it was too vague.  Nothing is vague while raising a wolfbaby and his older brother, Jude who is 4 1/2.  And these are just the toddlers.  I will explain the need for coffee and wine by bulleting the past 24 hours.

-Julian the Wolfbaby sometimes takes a nap after lunch.  Sometimes means that when I lay down and almost fall asleep too, he will pop his head down the stairs and say “Mom, I have to tell you something.”  The Wolfbaby opened his door (which is difficult), took down the baby gate, and played in my room upstairs for an hour before coming down.   I forgot to drink another cup of coffee and had just closed my eyes.

-We took a ride to the animal shelter to see the kitties.  Jude threw up in the van on the way back.  Fish cracker puke on him, his car seat, his backpack, the van, and my purse.  I need another cup of coffee to do 5 loads of laundry to wash out the vomit.  I will need wine to not care that my vehicle smells like vomit and to not replay the scene in my head while I sleep.

-Julian the Wolfbaby likes to stand on the couch and scream at the top of his lungs.  Like shriek.  My eardrums hurt when he hits the perfect note.  Then he giggles.  I need to go to my safe place in my head, which is anywhere with wine, to not react by screaming back.

-Jude now complains that the van smells bad and then glares at me like I did it.  The thought of having wine tonight keeps me from glaring back.  Almost.

-Anytime I feel like sitting down, reading a book, watching tv., or just staring into space, small bodies or toys or sometimes cats or books come flying at me.  I have been hit in the face unexpectedly so many times  that I duck at hibachi grills.  Coffee keeps me from getting black eyes or stitches.

-Julian rides his tricycle inside.  I have to have quick reflexes to avoid having my ankles bashed.  Only another cup of coffee can make me superhuman fast on my feet.

-While I am fairly certain that Julian has never seen a zombie, he likes to pretend to be one.  He says he wants to hug me and then bites my shoulder.  If my toes are easily available he will latch on.  He bites his brother.  He bites his older sister in the butt as she makes a sandwich.  I wonder if wolf pups bite this much.

-Their father likes to bounce them before bed.  This involves throwing them into the air and shouting “BOING, BOING, BOING” very loudly.  Is there enough wine in the world to not jump every time someone yells BOING or POOPERMAN SAVES THE DAY.  And then if I happen to be on the couch that they want to jump to, I get body slammed.  Until this time, I have been able to calm myself, but now some serious PTSD is kicking in.

-After the boys are in their shared room for the night (We have 7-9 people in a 3 bedroom house depending on the day), Jude starts to yell.  The Wolfbaby has crawled under his bed and is making monster noises.  I need that little bit of leftover caffeine to run up the stairs, pull Julian out from under the bed and threaten him.

-A glass of wine takes the edge of the PTSD and allows me to laugh at the ridiculousness of Jude and Julian the Wolfbaby.  Another glass makes me want to sleep because I’m too tired to stay up any longer.  I stumble upstairs and check on the boys one more time because Julian hasn’t learned blankets yet.  I kick something solid in the dark of their room and discover Julian the Wolfbaby asleep face down on the floor.

-A 45 year old should not have children so small and energetic and downright maniacal.  Maybe when I was 20.  Although I seem to remember lots of coffee and wine with the girls too.  It’s all kind of hazey, just the way motherhood is supposed to be.



Nick’s Pork Rind Diet. Pork Rinds are not on the Atkin’s Diet list of Acceptable Foods.

He started the Atkins diet two weeks ago and I thought he knew what he was doing because back in the day all the guys were on the THE DIET, which means they ate steak, steak, and more steak and drank alcohol–anything without carbs.  I don’t know if they lost weight but it seems that they listened to the critics of the Atkins diet who say that it consists of eating as much meat and cheese as possible.

He lost weight the first week, but then complained this morning that he hadn’t lost any this week.  So I asked what he was eating.  PORK RINDS.  ROAST BEEF for breakfast.  As much meat as he wants.  You can’t lose weight eating a bunch of CRAP.   You can die of a heart attack.  GAH.

So I sent him links to the Atkin’s Diet site that say 6 oz protein portions at each meal.  THAT’S IT.  8 cups of salad and 2 cups of cooked vegetables a day.  There’s a long list of acceptable food and PORK RINDS is not on that list.

He’s sitting in his recliner right now reading about it.  I’m writing this blog.   We are IMing on FB because that’s the way we do things now.  Soon I’ll pass out on a couch with Marley sleeping on me.

But Pork Rinds are on my diet.  That’s what he said to me when I questioned his choices.  I’m still laughing.

Juicing: My new hobby. And I love Bountiful Baskets. My Second New Hobby.

Juicing makes it so easy to drink the vegetables that would otherwise sit in the refrigerator until they turn mushy and I put my hand through them when I’m trying to reach the BBQ sauce in the back.  I’m a haphazzard juicer.  I throw in whatever is around and never go by a recipe.  Most of the time this works out fine, but this morning I made a juice with carrots, celery, beet greens, ginger and apple that made me go GAHHHHHH and then wish I had something to rinse my mouth out with.

The two things I have trouble adding too much and ending up with something a cow would throw up are celery and beets.

I’m going to work on perfecting a cucumber and parsley drink tonight that doesn’t make me want to wipe off my tongue on a green scrubbie.  I have been buying bountiful baskets for a month now and I have to eat whatever I get.  That’s the fun part of it.  There’s a big yellow thing on my kitchen counter that is not yet identified, but will go nicely with the pineapple and some oranges in the morning.  And I am 8 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant a year and a half ago.

A How-To Post on dealing with the first child leaving, and how the abuse continues to affect the children.

This one is the hardest, that’s what they say and I know that to be true.  My fragile ego and support system is wrapped up in my kids and our daily interactions.  They are my best friends.  They keep me entertained.  And there’s such an expectation of mothers sacrificing everything for their kids that I didn’t do much with my life outside of them.  Then one day BAM she’s gone and I am still struggling to fill that space.  It’s really easy for me to tell other mothers how to deal:  self-care, finding things they’ve always wanted to do, finding friends, enjoying the peace.  But I also know how uncomfortable that is when I’m so used to spending all of my time worrying about her.  I still worry about her.  But the point here is that it takes a conscious and real effort to do the things I should be doing and not dwell on what’s missing.

She’s doing fine, connecting with support systems, figuring it all out.  I am really proud of her, especially with all the issues she’s struggled with.  She looks genuinely happy.  We get along really well now.  It’s an entirely different relationship.

And on a tangent, it would appear her father is already freaking out that she has left my house.  I’m sure he just thinks he shouldn’t be paying child support anymore.  Yeah, I send it to her.  I’m still supporting her.  I’m sure he thinks I’ve done something horrible in letting her go, but we are both functioning quite well.  He set up a second facebook account to send her a message and had his sister ask her younger sister for details about her.  I’m sure this is why he sends me messages begging me to call him.  As though there’s a crisis, which there isn’t.

She is surrounded by people who will take care of her and protect her and I’m sure at this point she can deal with him pretty well.  I would like to be back there to help her out, but I know she’ll be just fine.

I really think the book

Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy

saved my sanity.  The best thing I can do for her is to have a strong marriage, function well, and role model the life I would like her to have one day.  I want her to want to be like me.

How to get him to stop looking like Justin Bieber, Justin Bieber is copying Elvis, and where does she get her sense of humor?

My daughter (on the left in the above picture) has a friend who  looks like Justin Bieber (but not the girl on the right!  That’s her friend Erika) and she has tried to tell him that this look does the opposite of ROCK.  He won’t listen.

My great parenting advice was to make comments about Justin Bieber as she passes him, so that it is not a direct offense, but maybe it’ll sink in.  Comment such as:

  • Justin Bieber’s mother must cut his hair with a bowl.
  • Justin Bieber can’t decide if he’s a boy or girl.
  • I don’t date anyone who spends more time on his hair than I do, like Justin Bieber.
  • You know how sometimes cowboys wear huge belt buckles, Justin Bieber does that with his hair.
  • If Justin Bieber was the last boy on earth I would kick him in the face because I wouldn’t want to have little Justin Bieber’s running around.  (that was hers)
  • Justin Bieber can’t decide which side of his head his face is on.

Then she informed me that Justin Bieber has a new and different haircut that looks somewhat like Jimmy Neutron.

And I thought I was up on all the IMPORTANT news.  I mean, I even knew that Snooki had her baby before anyone else in my house and that Jersey Shore was cancelled.  I am THAT cool.

Justin Bieber should not be allowed to change his hairstyle without asking.  She described his new hair as being wavy with lots of gel in it and standing way above his head, which reminds me of lemon meringue pie.  And then all I could come up with was:

  • If Justin Bieber used lemon gel in his hair he would look like he had a pie on his head.
  • She just sent me this one:  Brittany Spears looks more like a man than Justin Bieber.
  • And this one:  Justin Bieber’s fans are mostly lesbians.
  • And:  Justin Bieber’s smile could crash a thousand ships.
  • I can’t take you seriously when you look like someone who is famous for his hair and makeup.

My daughter asked me if Elvis:

had a hairstyle like Superman:

And then we agreed that Justin Bieber should have the Superman Curl next if he wants to look really cool.

After creating this post I think that if she was here tonight instead of hanging out at Erika’s house without me, she would agree that Justin Bieber is trying to look like Elvis.

But no, she says Justin Bieber looks more like Ellen DeGeneres:

But I’m thinking he’s got more of a Paul Ryan kind of look:

Or maybe Paul Ryan could sport the Bieber hair and eyeshadow and that would make him look OLDER than he does and attract at least the part of the female population who is attracted to men who wear guyliner.

And to come full circle:  I don’t think she should be allowed to insult someone who wants to look like Justin Bieber, when she looks like her hair is being sucked up by an indoor tornado while her friend looks perfectly normal standing next to her.

My Day Off: Homemade white wine sangria and a corkboard made from my cork collection

I seized the day!  I didn’t sit around in pajamas and drink coffee and clean up after all those nasty little elves who mess up my house when no one is looking and no one will admit to doing any of it.

White Wine Sangria Recipe

2 bottles of white white, inexpensive but good

1 liter of gingerale

4 shots of peach brandy

3 peaches, 2 oranges, 3 lemons, 3 limes all sliced in circles

overnight in the refrigerator

(Ignore that my jug is no longer full, I blame the elves,  and ignore the cats on it.  I would make sangria in a used toilet on the lawn if I had to.)

My second project of the day was using my wine-drinking habit to make something, instead of allowing my youngest daughter to take all my corks to school on show-and-tell day, which is basically telling the entire 7th grade class that I’m an alcoholic.

Today I brought my mommy’s wine cork collection.  She has over 100 corks, which I have categorized into 15 different kinds of wine.  She likes Bully Hill the best.

So I got a cheap frame, found my hot glue gun in the garage (Is it those damn elves again?) and made this:

I’m thinking of adding tiny hooks and hanging my jewelry.

Family Vacation In Las Vegas: Not really family friendly. More the complete opposite.

It’s been almost a week since I got back.  Those two 15 hour drives finally caught up with me by Tuesday and all I wanted to do was lie down somewhere and sleep.  So here’s my Vegas Family Vacation Blog.

The trip down from Cody was pleasant enough.  Lots of scenery.  Stopping to visit two of the girls’ friends on the way.  HUGE thunderstorm in Salt Lake City that we could see on the way in.

Salt Lake City was much prettier than I thought it would be, at least the northern end.

We weathered the storm in a covered bridge.

We checked into Circus Circus as soon as we got to town.

Though not of course this big building.  The MOTOR LODGE hidden behind it.  The one with used condoms in the elevators, which were also the slowest elevators I had ever been in.

On to Fremont Street

Which was the most family friendly part of the trip.

Spiderman tried to kidnap Haley but dropped her when he realized she was quite happy to be kidnapped.

Nick went to get a drink and came back with this MONSTROSITY with extra rum.

Now it’s time to play WHERE’S OZZY?  And why is he stalking my daughter.

Nick’s rum gave him the courage to attack SPOCK, who seemed unconcerned.

And this is Nick later.

This was the girls’ favorite activity.

The best moment of the trip.  And I missed it.


I ate breakfast at the Circus Circus Buffet and then had a turkey sandwich in the room and just as we walked in the Luxor to get our tickets to the Criss Angel show my stomach started gurgling and hurting and I RAN to the nearest bathroom and started sweating and feeling like passing out and soon had raging issues and didn’t know if I’d ever leave the bathroom without an ambulance and if I thought I could get onto an ambulance without having issues on the ride out I would have asked for one, but I was pretty much glued to the toilet for an hour, talking to one of the girls who was standing outside the stall door and having them get the tickets and hand me one, and go on in before the door closed for the show.

It’s a good thing I had lost my fear of making noises in public bathrooms during that flight last year, because there was no silencing what was going on.

At 6:56 I felt well enough to run through the casino and down to the theater, hand in my ticket and run to the bathroom inside.  I was most of the show, but paid more attention to the pain in my stomach.

The cramping and “issues” apparently were so severe that I became dyslexic and now write “was” instead of “saw”.  I did not think that my story about seeing Criss Angel would be more about surviving the show than about how cool it was.   It was a GOOD SHOW, in between trips to do my own little show in and out of the bathroom stall.

That was the WORST part of the trip.

This is a picture I took of the girls in front of the Luxor about ten minutes before I almost died in that stall.

Then after the show, I sucked it up and we walked all the way back along the Strip and I got to see



The Terry Fator billboard

The Bellagio

And Treasure Island.

The best part for me was taking pictures of sleeping children

and the scary puppet who moves around.

I learned a couple of things about Las Vegas:

  • It’s dirty.
  • There are cards of women all over the ground.
  • Taxi rides are expensive.
  • Food is expensive.  Cheap buffets ended when it became “Family Friendly” and the businesses noticed that families came to eat but not to gamble.
  • There are Family Friendly pathways through casinos and past strippers on tables.  But if you stop to stick a dollar in a machine they yell at you.
  • Everything is expensive.  Especially as a family.  There are no family prices.
  • Bring SNEAKERS.
  • Your hips will hurt the second day.
  • Everyone is trying to sell you something.  Usually some kind of porn.
  • The sound of all the machines gets really annoying really quickly.
  • There are no more free drinks while gambling.  Unless you sit at a bar.
  • What was in Vegas 10 years ago, NO LONGER EXISTS.
  • DO NOT FALL ASLEEP for 45 minutes on the ride home because SOMEONE will miss all the signs, billboards, and exits and travel 45 miles in the wrong direction, which kills all that excellent time you made doing 90 up Utah.  Being annoyed for days is not worth the nap.
  • It’s worth the trip just to come home and remember how nice it is to live in a small town.

Yes, it is.