Not Working

I’m not even sure if I should be talking about this, really, since I haven’t exactly figured out how to say what’s on my mind and I am probably going to horribly offend someone (unintentionally), but this is what I have been thinking about  so that’s what you get.

Anyway, yesterday Mr. E and I were sitting around the dinner table and grousing about our respective days and I said something along the lines of “Oh, please, I’ve already done two loads of dishes AND I made dinner AND I put away all the laundry” and he looked at me and said “Yeah, but that’s your job.”

I was quick to inform him that no, raising our child was my job. Feeding and changing and entertaining a two year old is my job.  All the rest of it, the laundry and the gardening and the mopping and the cooking, that’s just extra.  In my humble opinion. Mr. E just changed the subject, I think, or we went to get ice cream or Eli started screaming about trucks,  but the conversation really stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Because really, when you’re a Stay At Home Mom, who decides what your job is?  In “traditional” couples, it’s a proven fact that no matter who does what or holds what job, the woman does more housework, and I know that even if I went to an office every day, I’d do more laundry, I’d make dinner more, I’d clean up the living room more.  I just care more about that stuff.

But somehow having the cleaning and the cooking defined as my “job” rankles.

And it’s tied up with the fact that when you’re a SAHM, there’s a very real undercurrent passing all about you – a constant implication on the part of the world that you’re a slacker.  And so you begin to spend a lot of time trying to prove to the world, to yourself, that you DO work hard.  That you work JUST AS HARD if not harder as anyone else.  Before you know you’re in some kind of never ending competion with your husband –  at the end of the day you throw his cushy office job in his face and he bitches about he has to get up at 6 am EVERY SINGLE MORNING and doesn’t get to lie around in the  yard reading books, EVER.

And the truth is I don’t get up at 6 am, and I don’t want to. I don’t miss my office job because I never really liked making photo copies and taking meeting minutes that much.  On the other hand, I won’t lie, digging poop out of someone else’s scrotum three times a day doesn’t exactly light my pants on fire either.  So there’s that.

I can’t figure out where it comes from – this need to prove all the time just how damn hard I’m working, the lists I recite of all the petty shit I completed at the end of the day.   It’s a constant defensiveness, an endless competition I signed myself up for.

It’s not because of Mr. E, it’s really not – my husband never fails to tell me that he thinks I’m a great mom, that he appreciates everything I do, that he’ll do whatever he can to help.  He takes over baby duty the second he walks in the door and most nights he doesn’t relinquish it until it’s time for Senor Pants to go to bed.

And what prize am I angling, for exactly?  What do I hope Mr. E will say after I rattle off all I’ve done in a day?  Because if I ask  him to make dinner, he will.  If I ask him to bring me a glass of wine, he will.  If I ask him to let me read a book by myself and if I ask him to pick green beans while I sit and read my book and drink my wine, he will.

I tell myself that maybe I should just stop complaining about the laundry and the dishes.  Maybe I should stop listing off everything I’ve done and expecting some kind of prize at the end of the litany.  Maybe I should admit to myself that since my husband makes ALL the money, and I don’t work outside the home, that this shit IS actually kind of my job.

And yet, I can’t.  I just can’t.  And I have no idea why.


Pardon My French…

but HOLY SHIT we are going to AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tickets are booked and everything.

Thanks to an email I still haven’t written back to from Kristin, last night I sat down at the old lap top and just casually started punching in destinations – SFO to Thailand, SFO to Paris, SFO to Greece, SFO to Hong Kong, which is where I thought we’d end up, but everything was pretty expensive until I typed in Sydney.


With our vouchers from Delta we paid $21 dollars.

Holy crap. I’m going to Australia.  I am totally excited to meet Crocodile Dundee.

Now I just hope I don’t get face chomped by a rogue net hole finding shark.


1.That thing on my dining room table that has all of you so terrified is a carved wooden elephant head that my best friends mom got me in Thailand.  Actually it’s a pretty hilarious story because Sara’s mom knows that I love elephants and I collect them so she brought it back for me and then she decided that she liked it rather a lot HERSELF and put it on her own wall, and I kept asking Sara where the heck my elephant head was and she sort of hemmed and hawed and then she had to admit that it was actually on her mother’s wall but then she felt bad and started to emotionally pressure her mom into giving it up and then I felt bad and told her to never mind the whole thing, but as you can see Sara is a persistent gal with a well developed sense of personal justice and now the elephant head is MINE and is just hanging out on my dining room table scaring mommy bloggers.

2. I seem to have made a grievous tactical error when I planted green beans this spring – I was so excited to GROW and PICK green beans that I forgot that I don’t actually like EATING green beans.  Anyone have any recipes that are going to make me change my mind?

3. I was emotionally pressured by my entire set of in laws to read the rest of the Twilight books  so I stole borrowed New Moon from my sister in law and read it on the plane.  Oh, man.  My opinion is that New Moon = SO MUCH POO.  Are the other books going to be better?  Because as far as I can tell that entire 500 page drivel can be summed up in one sentence: “I like Jacob kind of but not really I mean not as much I as lurve Edward of course oh well eh. ”

4. Eli is what, two and half?  And he still can’t fall asleep or stay asleep without a pacifier.  Mr. E and I both kind of think it’s about time he gave the pacifier up,  but when it comes right down to it, TODAY’S nap never seems like a good time to implement THAT change, if you know what I mean.  Unfortunately we want him to quit enough that we refuse to buy any new pacifiers to replace the seven million we’ve already bought and lost, so we spend half of each day trying to find the one remaining pacifier we have left.  Should I cave and buy more, or give it up?  For the sake of context, I feel that I should mention here that I sucked my thumb until I was TEN. And I still kind of miss it. Making a kid give up a comforting oral fixation isn’t going to be my strong suit.

5. A bunch of us have been passing around a copy of “Schuyler’s Monster”. Does anyone else out there want to read it?  If yes leave me a comment and I’ll send it on to ya.

6.  On Sunday Mr. E is going to ANOTHER concert and he’s taking Eli to stay with Sara (BFF) and I am spending the whole day by myself! I am inordinately excited because this means I am going to vacuum AND mop my floors.  Partay time!

7.  Eli! Dancing! And popsicles! Please ignore my deranged stage mom shrieking in the background.

You Be The Judge

So tell me, oh wise and powerful internet, did I just paint my dining room purple?


Or can I tell myself it’s greige and move on?


But seriously, how hawt do those white flowers look against my new purple walls!?


PS Please ignore my filthy kitchen, my ghetto back door, and those weird blotches the chandelier makes on the walls.



It has been a little over a year since we closed on our house.  I can still remember in the midst of all the loan wrangling and frenzied phone calls and camping out at the Ramada Inn, driving through our neighborhood at dusk, sprinklers going, streetlights just coming on, the clean wide streets, the peacefulness, and squeezing my hands into fists and thinking “please let us get this house. Just please let us get this house.”

Sometimes I think I lose sight of all we have accomplished this year.  There’s so much left on the to do list and funds are lacking.  And it’s easy to feel like a failure while you’re moving from a place where you announce “we will ALWAYS buy each other presents!” to a place where you just don’t have the money for a Father’s Day present and all the announcements in the world won’t change that.  Happy Father’s Day Honey! I got you this tub of old spackle!

Anyway, I thought maybe I should tally up everything we’ve done in just this one year so maybe I would feel better about the fact that our floors are still awful and there’s no new front door in sight, because this transition from spoiled brat world to real world does get old sometimes and I could use some motivation to keep on keepin’ on, as they say.


1. bought and installed dishwasher

2. bought and installed refrigerator (more complicated than it sounds. Sawing was involved.)

3. painted dining room, half of living room, and hallway.

4. Bought new furniture, including: sideboard, couch pillows, side chair, rocking chair, dresser, dining room chairs, rug for Eli’s room,new sheets, bathroom rack, hall table, laundry room shelves, bathroom shelves, living room bookshelves, filing cabinet, and desk.

5. bought and repainted blanket chest

6. painted china cabinet

7. moved water heater out of kitchen, replaced with tankless on the back of the house

8. roofed garage

9. replaced gate to the backyard

10.  pulled out old juniper and roses, planted peonies, dahlias, lilies, nasturtiums, mandarin and orange trees, daffodils, tulips, tomatoes, beans, carrots, cucumbers, poppies, zinnias, mint, basil, and half a truckload worth of succulents.

11.  had asian pear tree cut down, graded, filled, graveled and edged side yard.

12.  Began restoring fire place.

13. Added outlets to the kitchen.

14. Buried live wire in trench in backyard.

15. had two pipes replaced and gross water sucked out from under the house.

16. Bought stacking washer and dryer

17. Pulled old rebar stakes out of the backyard.

18. bought new lawnmower and electric weed whipper

19. Added window boxes, hose reel, doormat, and hanging baskets to the front of the house.

20. Repainted the trim on the front of the house.

21. Installed gutters and rain chains.

22. Installed chandelier in dining room.

23. Replaced weird orange lamp.

24.  Started scraping hall way paint.

25. Put up living room and bedroom curtains.

26. Purchased and assembled stainless kitchen rack and pot rack.

27. Spackled holes in the hallway.

28. Installed rolling racks and bag holders in kitchen cabinets.

Mr. E, what am I forgetting?

Here’s What’s Left To Do:

1. sell kidney, buy leather sleeper for living room.

2. paint living room, E’s room, our bedroom, back hallway.

3. install shelves, hooks, etc in the back hallway, and figure out how to make the trash can less annoying.

4. Paint kitchen cabinets white and add hardware, move them up, add crown molding, install subway tile, add shelf, add pot rack from the ceiling, new lighting, new counters, new floor.

5. Restore original hardwoods.

6. Buy one more gray pillow for the dining room.

7. Mirrors and artwork for the living room and our bedroom.

8. Figure out the unworkable vanity situation in the bathroom.

9. Ebay a shag rug for the living room.

10. Put the windows back into the living room, cover with sheers, redo the window treatment on the front window.

11.  Crown molding?

12. Deck

13. Tile the front steps.

14. Flat screen tv.

15. replace bathroom door.

16. figure out some kind of closet/shoe organization

17. buy a new dresser and a trundle bed for Eli, and a new bed for us, and construct a dog/future babies trundle system.

18. Paint my desk legs red.

19. Finish the fireplace.

20.  Hang black and whites, either in the hallway or dining room.

21. Finish scraping and painting the front porch trim.

22. Hang new light fixture in entryway.

23. Repaint entry way

24. Replace front door and screen.

25. Put french door on the back door.

26. Find something to hold dog food.

27. Build a potting bench.

28. Adirondacks and umbrella for backyard.

29. New backyard furniture.

30. Bauer orb for side yard.

31. Trellises with climbing plants to cover side of garage.

32. Plant roses along side of house in fall.

33.  Make an ottoman

34. Put the shutters back on the house.

35. Redo the carport and add shelving.

36. Train the grape vine to cover the carport.

37. Add stainless steel bulletin boards to the kitchen.

38. replace stove with gas.

39. get new flatware from France

40. buy a new laundry basket

41.  replace all the switchplates

42.  buy new wine glasses, a shop vac, a brown runner, and a glass cloche

43.  paint garage trim black

44.  build Eli a sand box

And that’s it! 6 items less than the last time I made this list! We can do it!


So what’s up with you all lately?

I probably shouldn’t admit this but I am totally only writing this because I am supah bored right now and I haven’t gotten any good email in ages and I am hoping someone leaves me some comments so I at least have SOMETHING to read as to be truthful there’s only so much HGTV one woman can watch.

We started painting Casa Triple E this weekend – it was fun until it turned into a giant pile of work and then it was a pain in the ass and also it’s still not DONE barf.  I painted the entry way myself and since it’s absolutely the tiniest room in the house that was when I decided that painting is fun and not that hard, although of course I haaaaaaate the color yellow that we chose – the whole time I was slapping it up there I felt like going and standing next to the paint kiosk in Lowe’s and FORBIDDING anyone from choosing that color ever again sort of like when that movie “She’s All That” came out on DVD and they actually let people RENT IT AT BLOCKBUSTER.  Anyway I also kept calling Mr. E  at work and telling him that I was starting to feel like maybe people had once been murdered in our entryway, and also that I had named the color  of our entry way “Flesh Bandaid” and I think we can all agree that there’s no recovering after that.  So we’ll totally be repainting THAT.

Anyhoo, then we painted an accent wall grey and of course I fell butt crazy in love with it, because accent walls are for noncommittal freaks just like ME and because gray is boring and any old dipshit (ala myself) can choose a light gray color, I kind of think.  So accent wall, check, good to go, love it.  Which is good because now I know how I SHOULD feel about my yellow hallway, and if that feeling is “did someone once get stabbed in here?” then it ain’t right.

Also then we painted our dining room  greige, but it turns out painting an ENTIRE room suuuuuuucks, so mostly Mr. E painted while I said helpful things like “Painting is really not as much fun as I thought it was going to be” and “That doesn’t really look straight” and “What color do you think we should paint the other rooms in the house which by the way I am not going to really help with the actual painting of those rooms too much either”.  So anyway it turns out that even though we thought we were painting our room some sort of brown, it’s totally purple as hell, are you happy now Jennie?

Also have I mentioned I have had a cold for two weeks and I went to bed last night at 8:30 PM and I have self diagnosed myself with Upper Peninsular Mononucleosis and Mr. E stayed home from work today and had a sick day and I would like to know WHEN IS MY SICK DAY?  U.P.M. is the pits.

Then I went to the grocery store and bought hot dogs and made faces at Jon Hair Plugs Gosselin on the cover of People magazine.

Parental Warning

When we packed for our trip to Antarctica Northern Michigan, we brought all the Netflix movies we had lying around the house because I thought maybe we’d have some down time with my in laws and also I had a moment of temporary insanity or maybe a brain spasm where I imagined I’d bring my lap top and watch Australia on the airplane.  Of course I have a child and the only thing I watched on the airplane were the scintillating public service episodes of Sesame Street that you can download for free – A is for Asthma is totally my favorite.

And then luckily for us when we were in the U.P. every black and white western ever laid down on film aired on television so we had lots of interesting viewing material and we didn’t have to bust out any lengthy Hugh Jackman vehicles to keep ourselves entertained.

But yesterday evening Mr. E attempted to re up some of his hipster cred and went to go see Neko Case in San Francisco.  I feel that it is important that I point out here that I DISCOVERED AND LIKED Neko Case waaaaaay before Mr. E had ever even heard of her so if there were any prizes for coolness at stake here I would win them but it’s not my fault I just don’t really like concerts that much and also I had three episodes of the Real Housewives of New Jersey saved on my DVR so whatever.

Anyway, while Mr. E was out getting his cool on I stayed home and sat in the dark and watched The Wrestler – and while I really enjoyed it despite the tidge of “I am an indie movie so it’s ok for me to not have much of a plot and to have really long scenes that don’t do much just like that movie where Ryan Gosling plays a drug addict AND a teacher” – but my point is (I so do have a point!) – WHEW HOLY GOD AM I GLAD I DID NOT WATCH THAT MOVIE WITH MR. E’S PARENTS! ALSO HELLO MARISA TOMEIS’ TA TAS!

Which is just to say that I am no prude and I think I can handle dirrrrrty movies with the best of them (this is a lie, I am a total prude, and don’t handle dirty movies well at all) but good lord, forget all this Rated R business and PG 13 hoo ha, for my own personal sanity I have decided that certain movies really should just come slapped with a big old warning label that reads “Trust us on this one, don’t watch this with your parents or any other old people you are related to in any way”.   Seriously.

In other news, someone left a sealed bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn on my porch! Should I eat it? I totally want to eat it.