You Sure You Wanna Go There, White Girl?

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Last night I was sure to get the kids all tucked into bed and snoozing so I could sit down and watch the Oscars in peace. I got my trough of snacks together, a glass :::cough:::bottle::::cough:::: of wine and my favorite blanket to snuggle down with. I was ready, I was excited. I love watching award shows, and I’m not going to lie – I was super excited to see Leonardo DiCaprio finally win one!

Then I learned that there were no black nominations and my night was ruined, destroyed!!

….oh wait, no…it wasn’t.

Not because of the lack of diverse nominations anyway, but because no one would shut the hell up about it. I think Chris Rock did a good job of addressing that apparent problem, but by minute five I was done.

If you’ve been living under a rock (or just care to focus on actual real life problems) then maybe you haven’t heard that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have boycotted the Oscars, which Chris Rock handled hilariously by basically saying that was fine because they weren’t invited anyway….all of this because there were no African-American actors nominated for an Oscar. They addressed the question of “Is Hollywood racist?”

*Insert eye roll*

So I don’t live in Hollywood, I don’t know actors and I’m no actress outside of the bedroom (hehe couldn’t resist – sorry babe!) so I don’t know who is racist and who isn’t – but you know how we handle race and prejudice at our house?

We don’t fucking talk about it.

When we’re busy giving life lessons to our children, we aren’t saying “Be nice to white people, be kind to black people, hold doors for Asian people, try to help a gay person carry their groceries and help old Latinos cross the road”

We say “be nice to people, be kind to people, hold doors for people, help carry some groceries and if you see an elderly person walking slower than molasses across the road – give them an arm to hold”

The last words uttered at the Oscars were “Black Lives Matter”

Omg!!!!!!

Are we done yet?? Have we heard it enough? Yes, black lives matter. Congratulations. NO ONE IS SAYING THEY DON’T!

“That’s not true Ashley, the police – the police are saying it! They keep killing black people!”

Well, maybe Jamal shouldn’t be running around with stacks of dolla-dolla bills that ain’t his ya’ll.

Do me a favor and shove your picket sign straight up your ass. Its sad that I have to even defend police officers – when their job is and has always been to selflessly defend us. Are there bad apples in the bunch? Um…duh. There are also bad doctors who rape their patients while they’re under anesthesia, there are priests who molest children, there are PETA members who have killed animals and filmed it to frame farmers….there are disasters in every profession, extremists – people who think they know what’s best for the masses and go a little crazy proving their point.

I’m willing to bet if you are following the rules, not resisting arrest, not stealing, not pillaging, not being a complete dumbass – you won’t get shot by the police.

“Ashley, you are a middle class white girl in a predominantly white neighborhood – you think you’re the best person to speak out about racism?”

Yep, I’m an American aren’t I? Freedom of speech, you can say what you want and so can I. Only I like to think I’m using my brain to form words and not just purging what the world says is politically correct.

And since when was it politically correct to go against our police officers? To not support THEM?

You want to stop racism? You want this to be an issue that goes away?

How about you stop talking about it. Tell people like Oprah to shove some bread in her mouth when she feels like talking about a “Powerful black woman”, because I’m willing to bet she’s never said a “Powerful White woman”.

Stop screaming about “Black Lives Matter”….or even that “All lives matter” because I think that’s just obvious and you look dumb saying it out loud.

I don’t give a shit that February is black history month, I could care less – just like I don’t care if there was a Jewish month, or a Latino month, or an Asian month – or Giraffe month (I think it would look like a lot of people trying to be taller for 30 days) – I DON’T CARE. God forbid there was a white month, but we wont go there, because let me guess “We get the other 11 months of the year”? Give me a break.

You want to be included, you want equal rights? (um…you do) – But stop separating yourself from the herd, stop telling us how great you are, how unfair life is and how much you deserve. Just live your life greatly and work hard for what you want – LIKE THE REST OF US. Life isn’t fair, for anyone, and that is just the truth.

This is supposed to be a parenting blog, so I guess I’ll give everyone some parenting advice….

Teach your kids to be respectful by acting respectful. Anyone and everyone you come across, treat them as you want to be treated. Its age old advice, but once again, it’s the truth. And its timeless.

Teach your kids to stand up to bullies, for themselves and for others. Teach them the difference between right and wrong, and that to live with hate in their hearts is the worst kind of living.

I’m huge on communication with our children, get all of your feelings out in the open and on the table. But children are born pure and happy, they learn hate and prejudice – if you take it out of the conversation, if you refer to people as people instead of “black” or “white” or “gay” then other than them noticing that some people have a different shade of skin than themselves (and love whoever they want to love) – they will treat people as people.

I had a black roommate for a year in college, I loved her – she was awesome. There were also a lot of black people on campus – I found myself being extra nice to them as if to say “I come in peace” – which is just another form of racism. Why did I feel the need to do that? I was uncomfortable, I felt like I was hated already by them and that I needed to prove myself. There was so much animosity at times, like they were waiting for me to pull out my whip and I was waiting for them to steal my backpack. And I really liked that backpack, it had a lot of convenient side pockets for my graphing calculator and mechanical pencils.

This was taught behavior!!! There was no reason for it!!

Treat people as people. And YES, give extra respect to those in the military, police officers, firemen and anyone else giving more of themselves to keep you safe. They deserve it, they are diverse and they are in your corner – whether you want them there or not.

I’ve offended the sensibilities of some of you, I know this. I’m ok with it. I may even be wrong about some of it, I’m ok with that too. Because my children will be kind to you and they will work hard for themselves, and they will never, ever feel anything but love under my roof. They will never apologize for being who they are, they will never feel guilty for being white (the only time I refer to myself as being white is when I’m checking boxes on medical forms!!) and they will never feel guilty about things that happened to others years ago – they will be strong, they will be proud and they will be accepting.

In closing – be safe, be kind, be respectful, don’t teach hate, don’t be hateful, don’t be a dick, don’t be ignorant, don’t be a whine-ass, be accepting, work hard and shut the hell up.

…and have a good day 🙂

 

Thanks for visiting MadStella <3

 

 

Stella, Mia And That Dick Pointy Pete…

They are the reason I look like this…image

If you follow my posts, you might notice that I tend to do all of my pictures in black and white – mostly I do that because they’re more flattering that way, but also because I just like B&W photos. Today, however, I needed you to see the ugly. I needed you to see a woman who is being bullied by mystical creatures, on the tail end of the stomach bug, exhausted and much too sober for her day.

Why do I look this way?

Well….

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Stella, my almost 4 year old, came up to me while I was doing dishes and tapped on my butt.

“What’s up, buttercup?”

“Turn around”

I did, but while at the same time saying “You should say ‘Please turn around, mommy’”

I caught the tail end of an eye-roll that I let slide, because Stella had her arm out to the side and her hand in a fist, a scowl on her cute little face.

“What’s wrong?”

“Mia! She wants to play with make-up and I don’t like make-up mommy, I don’t”

First off, Stella does like playing with make-up despite her father and I hating that she likes to, but that’s not the confusing part – I’ve never heard of this Mia person.

“Who is Mia?”

Another eye-roll. One more and I’ll give her something to eye-roll about.

“Her!” Stella says, shaking her outstretched fist.

I see nothing and no one. I got nothing.

“Who?”

“Me friend, Mia”

Have I mentioned that Stella sounds a bit Irish, not only when she’s angry (though that’s worth sticking around for) but also just in general. She has yet to master the art of saying “My” instead of “Me”

“I don’t know who Mia is, babe”

“Me friend, me holding hers hand!!”

Ooh, so that’s why her little fist is out like that. She has an imaginary friend. My oldest (Maddox) never went through that stage, this could be fun.

I bend over and reach my hand out “Oh, well I’m sorry Miss Mia, I didn’t see you standing there. Its nice to meet you, my name is Ashley but I’m also Stella’s mommy so you can call me….”

“Does stuffs lady” Stella finishes for me.

“Excuse me?”

“Hers gonna call you ‘Does stuffs lady’” Stella explains.

My brows raise a bit and I actually look at imaginary Mia. “Are you now? Well, I think a better name for me would be….”

“And this is Pointy Pete” Stella says (completely interrupting my lecture to Mia) and pointing to her shoulder “Hims a dragon, a nice one. He only fights the bad dragons”

“Oh cool, a dragon! Does he spit fire and…”

“Hims gonna call you ‘Does Stuffs Lady’ too. Kay? This is serious mama, be nice to him….he bites”

“I thought you said he was nice?”

“He’s not nice to bad dragons”

“I’m not a dragon though”

I don’t know if Mia and Pointy Pete gave me the same head-to-toe look over as Stella did before she walked away, but I think all three of those assholes just called me a dragon.

I finish the dishes and check on Stella in her room.

…or, I thought she was in her room.

“Stella?”

“They’re in here” Maddox calls from my bedroom, which actually leads me to my bathroom where I find Stella sitting in the (empty) bathtub.

“Whatchya doin?” I ask.

Stella huffs and pushes the hair out of her face using her whole hand the way little girls do, and gestures to the bathtub “Trying to get these drubby kids cleaned up” She means grubby.

I chuckle “You mean Mia and Pointy Pete?”

“Yes, thems won’t sit still and I have to brush Mia’s hair”

“Well they look all squeaky clean to me! You did a good job!”

Stella just stares at me like I’m the biggest moron on the planet. I stare back, because…I sort of feel like I am under her scrutinizing gaze.

“Theys not even in here mommy, Pointy Pete is in my room tryin’ ta find a place to poop and Mia is doin’ stuffs”

I sit on the side of the tub and say “Okay, well – I’m sure Pointy Pete will find a nice place to do his business. Tell me about Mia, what sort of stuff does she do, what does she like?”

Stella’s eyes widen and she shakes her head “Dangerous stuffs mommy”

“Oh really, like what?”

“Hers swallows marbles and crawls around looking for sharp stuffs to touch and pointy things to put in eyeballs”

Not sure how I feel about this Mia character so far..

“You’re right, that is dangerous stuff…we should never put marbles in our mouths and touch sharp things, right?”

“Right!”

“Right! So – lets go find Mia and Pointy Pete and see if they’re…”

“They’re already here mommy” Stella says on a sigh, again, like I’m a moron.

“Ok, so…”

“They want to play Princesses and drink tea, you play with us too?”

Now I’m no idiot (despite what my daughter seems to think) I realize that these Pointy Pete and Mia characters are potentially personality-extensions of Stella that maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable sharing, so of course I’m going sit down and drink some tea and see what’s up.

Stella gets on her pink gown and meets me in the living room.

“Oh no…no mommy” Stella shakes her head “Mia says you can’t wear that”

I look down at my yoga pants (that have never, ever done yoga) and my tank-top (that has never, ever seen the sun) and I say “Why not?”

“You don’t look like a princess, you need a dress”

I start telling her about how princesses are princesses because of who they are on the inside, but judging by her glare – and the creepy way she keeps looking over my head (at this point I assume Pointy Pete is flying over top about to drop a deucer on my head) I simply shut up and go in search of a dress.

When I get to my closet, I remember that I own 4 dresses. My wedding dress, My prom dress and 2 out of 6 bridesmaid’s dresses that survived the spring cleaning of 2015.

Now to find one I actually fit into….

My prom dress – HAHAHAHAA

My Wedding Dress – That one is just too sad to laugh about…

My two bridesmaids dresses – worn circa 2014, my baby bear dresses, they’re juuuuust right.

I toss one on, and go out to the living room. Stella’s eyes light up as soon as she sees me in my long silver gown.

“Mommy!! You’re so pretty!! So pretty! Me love it so much!”

I twirl for her and she feels the fabric of the dress and smiles up at me some more.

“Pointy Pete says the ‘Does stuffs Lady’ should do hers hairs better, looks icky”

Pointy Pete can go f…

“Okay, but I like it this way, don’t you?” I gesture to the stack of hair crushed into a messy bun on my head “It kind of looks like a crown, right? All high up there?”

Stella lifts her ear to the air for a moment then looks to me “Nope, hims says we gotta cover it”

Right.

“Ok, but with what?”

Stella takes off running to my room, only to return with a scarf. Awesome. I cover my head and we continue with our tea party.

I learn that Mia doesn’t like the way I hold my tea cup, she doesn’t care much for my dress and the food isn’t exactly to die for. I want to tell Mia that that’s because the food is pretend, imaginary – like her – but Pointy Pete just tells me to eat some ‘Clumpets’ and pours me more tea.

Apparently at some point during the tea party Mia takes off, because I find myself and Stella walking around the house calling for her.

“Mia! Come out, come out wherever you are”

“Hers wants fruit snacks, she only comes back if there’s fruit snacks”

Ah yes. I realize the game I’m in here, but I relent and set out a package of fruit snacks on the kitchen table and continue my hunt.

When I make it back into the kitchen, Stella’s mouth is about glued shut from all of the gummies she stuffed in it at once but she manages to tell me that Pointy Pete stole the gummies and we’ll need to leave Mia some more.

“Well, I guess Mia is going to have to learn that if she wants to be friends with a dragon that these things are going to happen. No more fruits snacks, Mia can have yogurt or a banana”

It’s actually peanuts that end up bringing Mia back.

(I will never buy peanuts again)

At first, the imaginary friends thing was cute. Maybe it still is. But So far Pointy Pete and Mia have had to (each) have their own plates at dinner, they couldn’t agree on a show to watch (Pointy Pete wanted to watch The Grinch and Mia wanted to watch Princess Sophia – of my choices, I was with Pointy Pete on this one) I was also yelled at for randomly sitting on one of them, tripping over them, stepping on them, I was scolded for not saying “excuse me” when I walked right through one of them – and apparently I wasn’t allowed to change out of my dress while I made dinner (spaghetti!!) because that would be especially offensive to Miss Mia.

You should have seen me brushing their teeth and tucking them into bed – apparently Pointy Pete was taking up all the room in Stella’s bed with his big dragon wings and Mia just couldn’t get comfortable on ‘this silly mattress that’s too small’. Yes, my friends, this was an actual dilemma that held up bed time for our family.

I deserve an award.

I thought the two additional characters to my daughter’s imagination were actually personalities of hers that were going to come out in some unique way – but no, Stella hated them as much as I did and I learned nothing about Stella other than that she has a slightly bitchier side, which I had always assumed she had in her anyway. I think this was all about boredom and not having anything specific to drive me to drink today, so she thought she’d get creative and invite some friends in on the fun.

It worked…

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I bought it because of the awesome name ‘Poor Limp Richard’ but I continue to drink it because its delicious – very much recommend it!

 

I hope Pointy Pete and Mia get lost in dream land tonight because I don’t really care to serve them breakfast in the morning or chase them around to get them ready for school. I do not like Pointy Pete or Mia, I do not like them in my house, I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like Pointy Pete or that bitch Mia. I do not like them Stella I am.

….yeah, ok…so things started to get a little loopy towards the end there – but you try spending the day with that particular pack of assholes and you’ll understand. This wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg (I spared you the story of me going to the bathroom with Pointy Pete on my shoulder and Stella there to translate for us)

Once again, I have no idea what the actual purpose of this blog post was, but if I have to suffer through this parenting moment – so do you. Good-day!

Mia is to the left of Stella, and Point Pete is on my shoulder. I mean, Obviously.
Mia is to the left of Stella, and Pointy Pete is on my shoulder. I mean, Obviously.

 

Thanks for visiting Mad-Stella <3

 

 

 

 

 

Grown Men…Or Wee Babes?

 

Ok, so really quick – let’s get something straight before I put my husband’s man-card through a wood chipper…

My husband is a man, like – a real man. The kind that works hard, plays hard and takes care of his family. He’s up hours before the sun and me. He opens pickle jars after I’ve loosened them.  He works on the house, he’s a kick-ass dad and best of all – he caters to me when my legs break in the recliner and I can’t refill my own wine glass.image

He is a man.

But when my man is sick????image

Two years ago my husband, Tommy, was stung on the foot by a bumble bee. I wish I could add a video to this blog so I could give you a physical example of the limp he had…for DAYS. His sting required bandages, ibuprofen and I shit you not – time off from work. I swear, I recuperated from my first C-section faster and with more finesse than he did from that damn bee sting.

….and I say my first C-section because that particular joy ride left me with a hole in my spine that drained majority of the fluid around my brain which led to migraines so painful there are no words to describe them (and I fancy myself a writer). It required the doctor to take blood from my arm and inject it back into my spine to clog the hole (A blood patch). I also suffered from PUPPS – which is basically an allergic reaction to not being pregnant anymore that covered my entire body with giant welts and hives (google it for a good scare). I was also allergic to the Percocet they sent me home on for pain management – which put me back in the hospital for a second blood patch because they thought I was leaking spinal fluid again due to the migraines. Also – The second I got home from the hospital with our first born, my Great Dane whipped his tail into the stitches of my fresh C-section scar and dropped me to the gravel in our driveway. Don’t worry, my husband was carrying the baby but…. welcome-fuckin-home, right?

…but yeah, that was easier than Tommy’s bee sting to his size 12 footie.

And this week. Oh. This week…

My son got the stomach bug, at the same time my husband got strep – all at the tail end of my daughter having pink eye.

It all started with my husband and what I thought was a head cold earlier in the week. I told him to go to the doctor, instead, he came home from work at noon feeling like shit and went to bed. I was good with that, my big strong worker needs his rest, right? So while he took his nappy, I went to the grocery store with the gremlins and stocked up on all of the big guy’s favorite foods and the typical sick-person foods/drinks.

Armed with crackers, ginger ale and Dayquil – I quietly enter our bedroom.

“Babe?” I whisper.

“eghiehg” – I don’t know what he said, but it was proof of life and I was satisfied.

“I have some food and medicine for you. I’m going to leave it on the nightstand”

Just as I’m about to slip out of the bedroom, he slowly lifts his head and looks at me…

“Babe, are you there?”

Apparently his head cold has rendered him blind.

“Yes, I’m here” I gently sit beside him on his death bed and touch his forehead. Cool as a cucumber.

“I think I’m dying” He croaks.

I nod “I see that, why don’t you try drinking something, I don’t want you getting dehydrated” …. because then, what would his tears be made of?

I actually have to coax him to sit up, then hold the glass of ginger ale while he drinks it through a straw, barely keeping his eyes open as he goes.

“There, there” I pat his head and everything, I lay him back down, put a cold washcloth on his head and tuck him in before slipping away to make dinner for the kiddos and get them into bed.

It’s about 8:00 when I have both kids sleeping, and shockingly – that’s when my husband feels well enough to leave the bedroom. In his defense, he’s only up for about a half hour before he’s just too weak to be amongst the living any longer.

Shortly after that – all hell breaks loose in the form of a 5-year-old.

“Mommy?” I hear being called from my son, Maddox’s room. And it’s the kind of mommy call that means business – the one that says there has been a bad dream or someone doesn’t feel very good – either way, you put down your bowl of ice cream, leap out of the recliner (yeah, you don’t even push pause on your show – that’s how serious this ‘mommy’ call is) and I make it through the obstacle course that is my house and into his room in record time.

“Baby – what’s wrong??” I coo and sidle up beside my bed-headed boy who looks confused and pained under the dim light of his nightlight. Had I turned the ceiling light on, I would have been prepared – I would have seen the green tint to his cheeks and known this wasn’t a nightmare he was having.

“I don’t feel good mommy”

“Aw, what’s wrong buddy? What doesn’t feel good?”

“I think I’m….”

“Whoooaaaaa…..ok…..”

Yeah, vomit all down the front of me.

Now, there are many things my children have done to me that have lit my ass on fire. Pissed me off. Made me want to pull my hair out and burn the house down.

Being vomited on by them – is not one of them. Not even close. It actually has the exact opposite effect on me – like I would pull anyone’s hair and burn anyone’s house down if it would make them feel better.

My heart breaks for the sweet little man beside me.

“Oh no, I’m sorry mommy”

“No buddy” I gesture to tonight’s dinner that’s cooling against my skin and covering us both “that’s ok – it happens. I’m sorry you don’t feel good”

And we do the weird walk to the bathroom that so many mamas have made – holding both hands of their pukey child so they don’t run their little hands through the liquidy chunks, you keep them close to you because they’re sick and you want to comfort them, but also you keep distance so as not to make the mess worse.

I get each of us cleaned up and set up in the living room for a long night. We’ve got a puke bucket with paper towels crumpled in the bottom of it, the roll of paper towels beside that and a little bit of ginger ale that will go warm because he’s dubbed it “too spicy” and won’t drink it.

He passes out quickly, but you know you aren’t lucky enough for this to be a fluke vomit – he could be puking again in ten minutes or two hours – there is no way of knowing. You just have to sit there and be ready.

…And you’re right. This was no fluke, over the next 7 hours he will randomly sit straight up from his deep slumber and projectile vomit…. everywhere. Bucket be damned.

You’ll catch it in your hands, between your tits, your lap, towels, blankets – but your bucket – your bucket will be squeaky clean by the time this is over. He knows it, you know it, but hope is a four letter word you cling to so you keep the bucket close by on the off chance he’ll start aiming.

Since this is the stomach bug your dealing with, you’re not just dealing with this from one end. No.

You’ll discover this is a deeper problem while your son sleeps peacefully in your lap and lets out a ‘toot’. At first you’re like “Man, that is a stinky one”. Then you feel it – the wetness. You’ll nod your head, because yeah, that just happened. So you carry your 5-year-old like a baby to the bathroom and proceed to clean him (and yourself) up – he’s apologizing – you’re kissing his face, smiling gently and talking softly “Hey – buddy, its ok. This stuff happens, I promise. Look at mommy, do I look mad?” I smile and shake my head “No, see? Mommy just wants you to feel better. I’m sorry you don’t feel good, bud”

Once you’ve cleaned yourselves up, you make it back out to the couch – but no one is comfy. And by no one, I mean me. You don’t want to take him into your bedroom, because one throw-up on the blankets and everything needs to be stripped – and judging by the way the whole bucket system is going – you’re not very hopeful.

But as the night goes on, exhaustion is getting the best of you. So you pull the plug on the couch plan and take him to your room. You try to talk him into wearing one of your 3-year old’s pull-ups that she still wears at night time, you even get as far as getting it on him – but he’s mortified – humiliated that his big boy butt is in a diaper, so you suck it up and give him his dignity back in exchange for some extra laundry you know you’ll be doing as a result.

Your husband has no idea what’s going on (he’s been very busy dying of a sore throat and stuffy nose, remember?) so when he reaches over the little boy between you both and taps your shoulder and asks you to go and get him a drink for his scratchy throat– the image you have of strangling him is unwarranted.

“Sure babe, but can you keep an eye on Maddox – he has the stomach bug”

“Aw, poor little guy – are you sure?”

If he only knew how sure I was.

“Yeah, pretty sure”

“Maybe he was just running around too much today and threw up?”

Aww, see? That’s what we parents in denial do. We try to find hope where there is none.

I sigh and say “We have both changed our clothes at least 5 times, he’s taken two baths and shat on me once – we are dangerously low on clean towels, blankets, paper-towels and wet wipes. This is not a drill; this is definitely the stomach bug”

:::Silence:::: And it stretches on while he slowly accepts our fate, because he knows as well as I do that this will not end with our son. This will be a family event, and one by one we’re about to drop like stinky dominoes.

“Dear God…”

“Yeah, but, let me just get up and go grab that drink for you”

“Thanks babe, you’re the best”

Don’t hurt him.

While you’re getting a dying man’s last request, your 3-year-old daughter will wander out of her room and meet you in the kitchen. You scoop her up and look at her in the good eye.

“Hey bugs, what are you doing awake?”

“Me eye hurts”

Now you’re forced to look at it.image

Yep, all green and gooey. Straight up infection, still, even though she’s been on eye drops 4 times a day for 5 days. And what a fun 5 days it’s been, tackling her to the ground –  pinning her down, prying her eyes open and (apparently) dropping battery acid into her pupils.

“It looks like it hurts sweetheart, I’m sorry”

“Me sleep with you”

It wasn’t a question, but you answer it anyway.

“Of course you can sleep with me babe, c’mon – let’s get daddy’s drink first”

“Daddy doesn’t feel good”

“Mmhmm. I know, poor daddy”

When we make it to the bedroom – the first thing I notice is the smell of sickness – it hits us like a wall…made from a landfill.

“Tommy, please tell me you farted”

“Uh…I don’t know, maybe – I fell back to sleep for a second”

But you know you’re not that lucky. Rarely do you pray that your husband has farted – but when you’ve got a 5-year-old in your bed with a serious case of the shits, you start to ask for things you never thought possible.

“Eww, mommy! Stinky!!!” The little girl in your arms will gag, cover her nose, whine, cry, bitch and call everyone “sgusting” – she will do everything you feel like doing but can’t because you’re in charge of keeping this house a well-oiled, mostly functional, machine.

So now you have to get everyone up out of bed, clean-up the bed pooper, strip the sheets, change everything out and try not to kill the guy, who can only now be described as your third and largest child, when he casually mentions feeling “kind of cold” while you’re remaking the bed.

Once all the animals have fresh bedding, the silence you hoped for doesn’t come. Really, you knew better though.

“I don’t feel good”

“Stop touching me”

“Daddy, he smells”

“You all smell, go to bed”

“I’m thirsty”

“I’m hungry”

I’m fucking exhausted

“Mommy, I think I’m gonna….”

“Grab the bowl!!!!!”

“What?”

“GRAB THE BOWL!!!”

“WHAT BOWL??”

“Uh-oh….”

“I’m sorry”

“No, no! its ok buddy, it happens – remember?”

“Ahh!!! Mommy!!! He ‘frew’ up on me!!

 Welcome to the club

Tommy covers his mouth with his hand and announces “I think I’m gonna yack”

“Oh god, you caught the stomach bug already?”

“No, but you know I can’t handle vomit!!!”

Away runs my knight in shining armor, with his shirt pulled over his nose and his tail between his legs.

Around 5:30 in the morning I finally lay down to go to sleep. Tommy has found it within himself to go to work, and I catch 2 hours of sleep before I’m awoken to the morning song of the bug coming from my son. I had really hoped it would be over by morning, rookie mistake.

More baths are taken, crackers are eaten, water is sipped….and then Tommy calls.

“I have strep”

Because, of course he does.

He comes home, and goes to bed.

Now, don’t get me wrong – my heart isn’t completely black and ashen. Strep is a serious thing, I know my husband is in pain – I get that. But everyone knows, including him, that sick kids and stomach bugs trump all. Parents go on the back burner when kids are sick. It’s the rule.

So while I’d actually really like to take care of my husband in his time of need, all of his moans and groans only fuel me to think things in my head like “Had you gone to the doctor when I told you to two days ago, you would be feeling much better by now” and when he calls out things like “Babe, will you rub my back?” I have to stop myself from grabbing the cheese grater and giving him a back scratch he’ll never forget.

That’s how I find myself right now writing this. My husband snoring in bed, his pajamas completely shit and vomit free – while I sit on the couch pretending like my house doesn’t smell like liquid garbage mixed with bleach with my little man’s legs in my lap and a pointless bucket beside us – and my girl asleep on the other side of me with a hot-pack over her oozing eye.

This article, while more for my benefit than yours – could come to an end at any moment when vomit comes careening over the keyboard. It’s a chance I’m willing to take for the little reprieve I’m getting right now.

Nothing against you dads out there – because I truly believe there are more good dads than bad – my husband being one of the best – but why is it that when a mom is sick, she can tell her body’s sickness to ‘go eff itself, I’ve got kids to take care of’ while you men, um…. can’t?

Is it because you know that we’ll take care of everything so you don’t need to worry about it? I’m not trying to be a dick here, and if I thought I was alone in this I’d be keeping my mouth shut – but I know that I’m not. I know that there are wives all over the place watching their big burly men being brought to their knees by the common cold.

Is this all men? No. Obviously it’s not. But right now I’m bitter and I smell like poo – so I’m getting a little bitching off my chest before its replaced with vomit.

Ugh, anyway…

My washer just announced that its ready for its next load of blankets and I seem to have lost where I was going with this post anyway (if there was ever even a point to begin with) but good luck to you all – I hear the stomach bug is something that’s going around, may you be the chosen family that it skips. (Don’t get your hopes up)

Aww, I guess I can't complain too much <3
Aww, I guess I can’t complain too much <3

 

Thanks for vising MadStella <3

 

 

Twisted Sisters

So, most of you know that I have two sisters – but this blog has blown up more than I’d ever expected so some of you may not know about my two idiots in crime….

I have Stacy who is older than me (like – grotesquely older than me)…

Oldest disappointment to our parents
Oldest disappointment to our parents

Lucy who is barely younger than me….

Youngest Disappointment to our parents.
Youngest Disappointment to our parents.

And tis I, Ashley, the awesome middle child…..

Their greatest acheivment
Their greatest achievement

Over the last ten or so years my sisters and I have received a lot of comments about how close we are, because we are – almost unnaturally so. Hmm…that sounded kind of incesty. We aren’t unnaturally close – I guess I should say uncommonly close? Idk.

Anyway, I was trying to figure out why we are so close? Then I thought of all the reasons we shouldn’t be so close – I mean, we’ve done some pretty horrible shit to each other.

...like let their sister go to a Halloween party dressed like this.
…like let their sister go to a Halloween party dressed like this. I mean, a nurse? How cliché…

So I thought “Maybe I should make a list of all the reasons you should love your siblings” but that list was too short for a full blog post. So… “Maybe I should make a list of all the reasons your siblings have given you to hate them” …and that list became too graphic before I even started typing.

So where to go from here. I think I’ll tell you what works for us, like a mixture of both lists, and you can decide if your sibling is worth the bond. (And if you don’t have a sister, a best friend is one in the same)image

Be there for each other…

  1. On the night before my wedding, my little sister Lucy sat on my stomach and plucked all of the hairs from my face, chin and neck until one in the morning. This happened because we laid down in bed beside each other, she looked over at me and said “Dear God, you can’t get married like that”

 

  1. The morning of my wedding my (incredibly older) sister Stacy said “I love Tommy, he’s perfect for you – but if you need to get out of this, I have a car waiting and enough money and booze in the trunk to get us through the weekend”

 

  1. When one of us is legit losing her shit, we (don’t laugh) actually call a “meeting” and the 3 of us sit down and two of us tell the shit losing one exactly what we think of her and where we think her life is going if she keeps this shit up. We sit there until we’ve come up with a plan. This usually involves wine and late, late nights.

 

  1. When that meeting doesn’t work, we call another one and do it all over again until she gets her stupid shit together.

Respect them….

We respect their boyfriends/husbands. Sometimes you hate them because your sister has told you the worst of them – but let’s face it, that dude isn’t going anywhere – and your sister needs to vent to someone, and if you let what she says impact the way you treat him when he’s around – then your sister isn’t going to tell you stuff anymore, or worse – she won’t come around with him anymore. Get it? You’ll lose her.

My brother-in-law and I, full on respecting.image

 

Lucy respecting her brother-in-law’s personal boundaries….

imageimage

Stacy and my husband, respecting the hell out of each other…

Stacy and my husband, respecting the hell out of each other

 

  1. …And let’s face it, your sister is no fuckin picnic, he’s dealing with a lot from her too. So let her vent and pick her side.

 

  1. …Sometimes you can’t pick her side, because she’s wrong and he’s right. This happens a lot. Tell her she’s wrong, tell her to quit being an asshole and tell her to apologize.image

 

  1. However, it doesn’t matter how much of an asshole she is – she could cheat, steal, lie, manipulate and destroy their relationship – everything that went wrong could be her fault – you still have to choose her. You have to support her. You have to love her. She needs to know that you’ll hide any body and lie on any witness stand. She needs to know you’ve still got her back 100 %, because trust me – she has yours.image

 

  1. When everyone has decided that she’s had “enough to drink” for the night, be the one who slips into the bathroom with her and says “here, drink this quick – I think I know where they hid the tequila – I’ll be right back”

    Drunk, Drunk, DD
    Drunk, Drunk, DD

 

  1. Sit with her while she’s throwing up, it’s your fault for not listening to everyone else.image

 

  1. If you tell a secret to someone who has sisters, assume she’ll keep it mostly a secret–  because while you’re talking – she’s trying to figure out a way to shorten the story without losing its “juiciness” so that she can share it in their sister group text.

 

  1. If your sister tells you a secret, lock that shit down. Put it in a safe that requires a 15-digit lock code, an eye scan and a finger print analysis. Wrap the safe in barbed wire, dig a 12 ft. hole in your back yard and bury it. Raise a pack of wolves and build them a den over top of it. Hire military men that will “shoot to kill” anyone who tries to enter.

 

  1. …Unless it’s one of your other sisters trying to find the buried safe, in that case – she’ll probably screw the military men and no amount of wolves or codes are gonna keep that bitch out. (She knows all of your passwords to everything anyway)image

 

14. Love her children as if they were your own, this won’t be difficult, since you did the moment they were born.

image
Lucy and her little ducklings <3

 

  1. Let your sister discipline your children the same way she would hers. They’re going to be together a lot and its good for kids to be disciplined by someone other than you.

 

  1. Respect the differences in your parenting. Did you hear that? RESPECT IT! My sister and I raise our kids similarly – but in some ways, its vastly different. Don’t get on her ass about it, or she’ll get on yours – leave it be.

    ...Biting her ass, however, is acceptable
    …Biting her ass, however, is completely acceptable

 

17. You won’t always be able to have the time/money to give your kids the kinds of gifts, vacations, experiences that the other sister can give to hers. BE HAPPY FOR HER AND HER FAMILY. Jealousy has no room between siblings. Being jealous of your sibling and her good fortune is like being jealous of your kids because your husband loves them more than you. It’s stupid, its selfish and it makes you a really shitty person. Like, dude, your soul is black.

image
Or…ditch your families and go on vacations by yourselves.

 

  1. When your sister is at her worst, when she’s making mistakes, failing out of college, hating her marriage, hating her kids, her life, her dog, her job, her friends –  when everything in her life is total shit and falling apart – and someone says “So, how is your sister doing? Heard she’s having a rough time” The ONLY appropriate response is “ohmygod – she’s doing wonderful! Couldn’t be better!” As far as they’re concerned your sister is shitting rainbows and riding unicorns bareback with wads of cash in her hands. Its no one’s fucking business what your sister is up to, period.

    Go on road trips together, this can solve almost all of her problems
    Go on road trips together, this can solve almost all of her problems

 

  1. Your sisters are going to have friends that aren’t you. They are going to do fun things that don’t involve you. Get over it. My sisters and I have our own friends, but we each have our own bonus best friend too. One that isn’t a blood sister, but one that we each love just the same.

 

Stacy and Bird
Stacy and her Bird
Me and my Lich
Me and my Lich
Lucy and her...dog
Lucy and her…dog

 

  1. If you’re out at a bar and you catch your sister lying to someone, follow her lead. Add to it if must be. Elaborate, agree, nod your head – don’t out your sister, that’s worse than the lie she’s probably telling.

 

  1. If I hated every person my sisters hated, I would hate everyone. You aren’t her minion; you can like people they don’t like – but if they’ve hurt your sister – it’s your duty to destroy them. It’s your duty to buy night vision goggles – for what? I’m not sure, but your inevitable revenge plan will probably require their use. And if not, you can say you own a pair of night vision goggles…and that’s just cool.

 

  1. Your sister wants what’s best for you, she is going to give you advice based on what she thinks is best for you. Trust her, listen to her. But it doesn’t mean she actually knows what’s best for you. She isn’t you, only you know what’s best for you. Plus, that bitch is just as bad at life as you are. Go with your gut, but take her advice to heart.image

 

22. Forgive yourself for doing what your gut said when as it turns out, your sister was right. This also happens a lot.

  1. Be the kind of sister she can say she’s been best friends with all her life.

Keep it cool

image

 

  1. Forgive her. Did you get that? I’ll say it again for those in the back….FORGIVE HER!!!!! Don’t give her second chances, give her 100 chances. You’re just as dumb as her, you’re just as human as her, you were raised by the same people as her. Forgive your sister(s). You need her, she needs you – it’s that god damn simple!!

 

  1. Answer her calls. She probably just wants to bitch about the dog or something, but if she’s wadded up in a ditch somewhere and you press ‘decline’ – you’ll never forgive yourself. Trust me.

 

27. Tell them to stfu and get on their own line when your group text is blowing up with shit that has nothing to do with you. Don’t say “please” or “if you don’t mind…” because they won’t respect that. Use all caps and say “HEY DUMBASSES, IM TRYING TO SLEEP – GO AWAY!!!!”

28. Understand her text code…

  • “Hey, what are you doing this weekend?” –  she needs a sitter, get your excuse ready.
  • “You busy?” – she needs to vent or she has juicy gossip – either way, stop being busy.
  • “Hi” – something is not ok, in fact, something is very wrong.
  • Excessive swearing – this is normal, continue on.
  •  A 5-inch-long text consisting of only emoji’s – your nieces/nephews have gotten ahold of her phone, try not to send any R-rated texts for the next hour or so.
  • Get used to seeing a lot of “this is ducking stupid” and “duck that” – autocorrect is a bitch that you and your sisters have grown too lazy to slap.
  • “deud im fukghn hagmerd” – she’s wasted, the last bottle of wine is stuck in the rack again and why the hell aren’t you with her?
  1. Tell her not to chop all her hair off, tell her how awful she’ll look – but when what’s done is done, smile and say “Wow… you look just like Demi Moore from Ghost! Awesome!” Do not…do not call her ‘Johnathon’ until it grows back out. Its mean 🙁
*Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the Jonathon haircut to insert here. Too bad*

 

  1. If there are three of you (like us) and two hang out and you weren’t invited – cry on your own time. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat. You have an uneven amount of sisters and you will never always have the same schedule. Or maybe you’re just being a bitch that day and they don’t want to put up with you. Don’t be petty, don’t get butt hurt, they still love your stupid ass – spur of the moment things just happen – again – GET OVER IT!!!
    image
    Doing cool stuff without Stacy

    image
    Stacy and Lucy doing something really stupid and boring without me.

 

…also there is no such thing as “I wasn’t invited”, don’t be stupid or whiney, her majesty doesn’t need a special invitation. When its siblings, you just show up or invite yourself.

“Her and I are going to the mall tomorrow”

“Sweet, I’ll meet you at your house and we can all ride together. First stop – Dunkin!”

OR

“We went to the mall yesterday”

“Oooh, find any good deals?? I went last week and bought a fur hat on sale, I regret it”

See how painless that was?

  1. Go to concerts with her, chill at her BBQ – get there first and be the last to leave, help her clean up (unless you are like Lucy and I, then save clean-up for Stacy – she likes it), make it to her kid’s soccer games and dance recitals. BE ACTIVE IN HER LIFE.image

And this one, my friends, is the most important one….

  1. My sisters and I have ragged on each other so bad that people have legitimately thought there was going to be a fight. The thing about sisters though, is you know EXACTLY where the line is, and truthfully – we don’t ever come close to crossing it. We know exactly what to say to hurt the other one, we know where our weaknesses lie – what buttons to push. You just don’t fucking push them. You can call your sister any name you want as long as you know which words stick and which one’s bounce. Make sure your words bounce. It’s that simple.

    I feel like she didn't make her words very 'bouncy'
    I feel like she didn’t make her words very ‘bouncy’

So we’re clear, right?

Be there for her, put her in her place, let her put you in yours, support her, love her, hate her, get her drunk, clean her up, lie on the witness stand, have sex with military men, defend her, forgive her, buy night vision goggles, don’t get butt hurt, keep her secrets, pluck her facial hair and make sure your words bounce.

Easy Peasy.

…All of you sisters out there, take a little time to thank your parents for giving you the coolest, weirdest, strangest, crudest, loyalist and greatest friends you’ll ever have.image

And if you’re especially lucky, your nieces will give you a front row seat to watch it happen all over again…

"When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder nobody stands a chance against them"
“When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder nobody stands a chance against them”

 

Thank-you for visiting MadStella!! <3

 

 

Happy Birthday To Me….

Twenty-nine years old.

The final year of my twenties.

I’d like to say I’m going to go out with a bang, but if I’m going to take the honest route, I have a feeling it’s going to sound more like “poof” than “bang”

My twenties did a lot for me. I graduated college and started my career as a veterinary technician, they made me a wife and mother – ending my career as a vet tech lol.

I got into a lot of fights, not a single one I’m proud of. I lost some friends, made some friends. I weeded out my own family tree, which is just as liberating as it is sad.

Thanks to my husband, I had to change my last name from Rombough to Thomas – and I really liked my maiden name. It’s an uncommon name and there aren’t many of us. But I’m traditional (believe it or not) so I dropped my birth name and now tack on ‘Thomas’ after ‘Ashley’…I’m not gonna lie, it made me sad.

Smith, Johnson, Thomas….

I thought it was a generic name, a boring last name, a common last name. It was with a heavy heart that I changed it.

But my Thomas family is not generic, they are not common and they are the least boring people I’ve ever met. They are the kind of people that stick together, the kind that has each other’s backs no matter what and the kind that whether you like it or not – you’re family now – and you belong to them and they belong to you. I now know and understand that my husband’s loyalty, respect, integrity, character, work ethic – everything good in him – came from them.

I wouldn’t trade my last name for anything. I loved being a Rombough, but I am so proud to be a Thomas.

My twenties have brought on a lot of heartache, adjustments and growing up….or maybe growing up brought all of that on, I don’t know – but it’s hard. I know that. Growing up sucks, a lot.

You know what sucks more?

Watching your kids grow up.

I mean, you want them to grow up – because the alternative is a tragic reality far too many parents have to face….but does it have to happen so quickly? They said it would (whoever the hell they are), but when you’re in the midst of midnight feedings you just can’t see that far ahead.

Some of you may have seen the article going around about the mother who can’t remember the last time she washed her daughters hair – if you haven’t, it’s basically about remembering the firsts in your child’s life but not the lasts. You don’t get to say goodbye to diapers and hair washing because you don’t know it’s the last time until it just is. (Anyway, it’s a good article)

….But I didn’t need to read it to be aware of it. I’m already like that. I’m a sentimental person, I’m a very emotional and feeling person – I think to enjoy writing you kind of have to be. You have to feel things so strongly that eventually you have to write it down just to make sense of it – that’s how I am anyway. I’m a feeler so I am a writer.

My son has allowed me to be a feeler in his life, he’s allowed his emotional mommy a proper goodbye to everything. I got to feed him his last bottle, and change his last diaper and buckle him into his five point harness for the final time. I got to write these dates down in his baby book. He gave me closure.

Last night, the night before my 29th birthday – I played tooth fairy for the second time in two months. The first two teeth my sweet little boy ever grew – I’ve now held in my hand. These are the types of things that just absolutely break my heart. He mends and breaks my heart every single day.

And Stella…

Oh Stella, Stella, Stella.

She started crawling at 5 months, had six teeth by 8 months and was walking at 9 months and when she ditched her bottle at a year old she never let me feed her one again. The girl is a tank. She knows what she wants, and she goes for it – no apologies no questions asked.

It’s awesome, but it’s also frustrating.

This week, my girl graduated from her car seat to her booster seat. I took out her car seat and tested her out in the booster – a perfect little fit. She loved it!

The second I did it, I realized what I had done.

I was never going to strap my baby girl into her five point harness again, she will now forever be able to buckle herself in – it was the end of an era (A very annoying era at times, but none-the-less – an era)

“Honey, let’s put your car seat in one more time and go for one more ride in it – you can have your booster seat after that”

“No”

“What do you mean no?”

“No, me a big ‘durl’ now”

We went back and forth until finally, she won. I had no argument, not really.

It was over.

Both of my kids can officially buckle and unbuckle themselves…and I didn’t get to say goodbye.

Stupid, right?

But the booster seat is just a small item on the list of shit Stella won’t let me be a part of. She is the most stubborn and strong willed child I’ve ever met.

My mom once said to me “I didn’t know how to discipline you, Ashley. I was so afraid of crushing your spirit. You were so stubborn, so strong-willed. You demanded happiness. I didn’t want you to lose that, I didn’t want you to change. I just wanted you to listen to me, God you were a pain in my ass. I love you, kid”

*Payback*

Stella has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. She and I challenge each other almost constantly. We both want to be heard, we both want our own way – while the poor guys in our life get stuck in the middle just trying to get us to shut the hell up.

How do you discipline such a stubborn little person, without crushing her spirit? Without changing her.

I asked my mom and she said “Very, very carefully”

Ha! Thanks mom!

I think I figured it out though.

My daughter, she’s just some wild…thing.

She feels everything, hard. She rages, she loves, she experiences everything with her whole heart. I have to let her go, I have to let her be free. I have to let her be herself and hope to hell I raise her to have morals, manners and confidence. My mom thought I was a feisty child, my daughter has more will than I could ever dream of having, she’s more alive than I’ve ever been.

To tame a spirit like hers would be like stealing a howl from a wolf, a roar from a lion, a growl from a grizzly bear. You wouldn’t take the scariest thing away from a wild animal, simply because it was scary. Without the howl, the roar or the growl…the animal wouldn’t be the animal. It would become something else, something different. Something less than what it deserved. My daughter’s spirit is the scariest thing about her, it’s also the most beautiful. It’s what makes her, her. Her spirit is her roar and I hear it…what a shame if the rest of the world never did because I was too afraid to let her keep it.

I guess the answer is to respect her, listen to her and then hear her. She’s going to need me the most, just like I needed my mom. I got into a whole lot of trouble in my ‘pursuit of happiness’, I can only imagine the road I have ahead of me with my girl.

And when all else fails, I suppose I’ll just lock her in her room like the wild animal she is and beg my husband to handle it.

But until then…..

I’ll continue to spend more time with her than anyone else on the planet.

I always go on and on about how naughty she is, how she drives me crazy, how much trouble she gets into (well, because that’s true – like, really true) – Hell I even named half my blog after her. But she’s also my little buddy, my partner in crime. She’s sweet, so sweet, and funny and kind. She tells me stories and holds my hand. If you ask her who her best friend is she’ll say “mommy”, if you ask her who the most beautiful girl in the world is she’ll say “me…and mommy”

She has a sense of humor and a wit so quick I find myself barking out in laughter all day. She’s my helper, my “yeah, lets go to the mall today but keep it a secret” buddy.

Every morning when Maddox’s bus drives away, she turns to me and says “Girls day!!” Because every day to her is girls day, but our time is ticking. She has no idea that our life won’t always be just her and I spending our days together. And I am all too aware.

I used to have the same thing with her brother. I was the center of his world until I wasn’t anymore. I can’t believe that time of waking up and saying “What do you want to do today, buddy?” is gone.

Someday I won’t be able to fix all of her problems with Hello-Kitty Band-Aids and big bear hugs. Someday it will all be a memory, a way we used to live. Someday, she won’t remember it at all.

What is so preciously the best time of my life is merely just the start of hers.

Where the hell has all of this time gone? (I’m sure all of you moms with kids in college feel like smacking me right now, lol, sorry – I can’t deal that far ahead)

I don’t know why this is all so suddenly hitting me, but man, that’s rough.

So…while 29 isn’t exactly a milestone birthday, it is to me – because I need goodbyes, I need closure. This year I’ll make peace with what I’m leaving behind because what I’m bringing with me is far more precious. Thirty won’t blindside me – I’ll be able to welcome it with open arms, because they’ll be wrapped around the coolest husband, the sweetest little boy, and the most amazing girl.

…Not to mention my two drunk idiot sisters I’ll probably have slung over each shoulder, because I rarely travel anywhere in life without them.

Thanks for visiting MadStella and letting me wish myself a Happy Birthday 🙂