Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My life

After finding mystery turds in the toilet courtesy of my 6 year old for months, I have had it. 
"Addie why is it you never remember to flush the toilet? It is so gross."
"It is called Water Conservation Mom" (Mic drop)

While checking our bags with the Southwest ticketing agent...
Addie: "Would you be able to tell if we had guns in our bag?"

Addie is getting sealants on her back teeth. The hygienist was wearing a colorful mask. Addie asked, why it was colorful, the hygienist said it was just for fun.
Addie: "Fun? A jumpy place is fun, not a mask. You need to have some real fun."

We have been watching some 80's movies with the girls.
Ella: "Did everyone back in the olden days use inappropriate language and talk about sex all of the time?"
"I was your age when I watched them and I honestly didn't notice."
Ella: "Did you have attention problems when you were my age?"

Watched legally blond with my older girls tonight. Claire my 9 year old blondie said that she was "legally offended by the way blonds were represented".

Addie is working on thank you notes..."Dear Addison, Thank you for my fluffy Diarrhea." "Mommy, how do you spell diarrhea?"
I think you mean "diary" honey.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Good Kind

I adore the sun, I live for the beach, and I am a redhead. As a child, one of the first scents that I recall was Sundown Sun lotion. It was a white bottle with a crude illustration of the setting sun.  I hated that shit, it smelled bad, and it stung when it got in my eyes. My poor mother would spend at least 10 minutes painting me with the white sticky stuff while I complained.

Fast forward several years, the lotion smelled better and I still religiously applied, just not as carefully. One trip to Cancun with my girlfriends I made the mistake of taking a few shots before applying the SPF. I covered my whole body so well…except for my entire right leg.  Do not drink before applying.

I have been going every six months to the dermatologist for a skin check and assistance with adult acne. (thank you 40) Last month, my dermatologist took one look at me, asked me to sit down and quickly biopsied a tiny little bump near the corner of my eye. I tried not to think about it while I awaited the results.  I saw the caller ID flash my doctor’s name and I answered.  The chipper nurse on the other line said she had some news, but I shouldn’t be overly concerned.  I have a basal cell carcinoma, the “good kind” of cancer next to my eye. 

This Wednesday, I will have Mohs surgery followed by reconstructive surgery. I wish I could say, I am taking this in stride, but I am freaking out. I am vain, and this is my face. I am the girl that never got contacts because I can’t touch my eye. I am the girl that has yet to be able to get through a glaucoma test without a full on panic attack. I am the girl that still can’t do eye drops without hyperventilating. I am the lucky girl with the “good kind” of Cancer, and I am scared.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Afternoon Shadow

Groupons are evil. I see one and think, I should try that, it is such a good deal! I have done acupuncture, facials, pedicures, and massages thanks to Groupon. Some have been great, some have been strange. Several months ago, I saw a Groupon for "One dermaplaning treatment with a hydrating or rejuvenating mask. Dermaplaning treatments exfoliate the skin (without down time) and remove peach fuzz." They had me at removing peach fuzz. The older I get, the more fuzz I get.   I wanted to do something about it before I had to brush my face.  Because I am brilliant, I didn't really research what the dermaplaning entails.

I  changed into a soft comfortable rope, climbed under a snugly blanket. Relaxed, as the gal cleansed, massaged, and moisturized my face. It was blissful until she said, "Now we are going to complete the dermaplaning". I was fine until she pulled out a butter knife looking razor and shaved my entire face.  My forehead, my cheeks, my chin, my upper lip... She worked extra hard on my newly acquired chin hairs. I was assured that it is a myth that it will grow back thicker and darker. My face was glowing, it felt so smooth...

I am a week out from the appointment, and I can't stop touching my face.  Not because it is smooth, but because I detect a bit of stubble on my cheeks.   What?  Now I know, dermaplaning is a nicer way of saying close shave. For a gal who wears a swim dress to avoid extra maintenance...this is devastating.   Now do I keep shaving my face or do I let it grow?  When does it stop feeling like a prickly mistake?  I blame Groupon, well it is easier then blaming myself for not researching the word dermaplaning. If you see me out, please don't mention my afternoon shadow, please?

Monday, March 2, 2015

That Kid

I am the mother of "that kid", that creative, brilliant kid.  "That kid" with so many ideas zooming around in her brain .  "That kid" can throw her head back and belly laugh.  "That kid"is kind, sweet, and loving. 

"That kid" loves to draw anatomically correct people.  "That kid" can do an impersonation of Elaine dancing from Seinfeld without trying.  "That kid" pushes me to my limit.  "That kid" is mine and I wouldn't have it any other way because I love that kid.

                                                                                                                    Circa 2009

Friday, February 27, 2015


 “You can’t make me”
“Whatever Mom”
“You are so mean”
“It’s not fair!”

“Honey, where is the soap?”
“The car is a mess”
“I have no more clean socks”
“I think you are overreacting”

Always running behind, feeling guilty…until

I shimmy into my yoga pants, pull them up…but not too high.  Bend over to check my panty line.  Yank down my sports bra, shove the girls together, throw on a tank top and get into the car.   NPR is blaring, water bottle precariously teetering in the cup holder.  I whip the swagger wagon into a compact parking space with ease, throwing the car into park.  I rummage around the floorboard until I locate a discarded ponytail holder with a moist cheerio clinging to it.  Grabbing my water, I slam the car door closed and attempt to lock the door.  No keys.  Pawing through my purse, avoiding a sticky lollypop stick and a crusty tissue I search for my keys only to realize I have tossed them into the passenger seat.  Why am I so brilliant?  I close the car door again, attempting to shove my hair into a messy bun.   The clock is ticking…

Stumbling up the stairs, slightly out of breath I walk into my happy place.  The humid air is tinged with the ripe smell of sweat.  I stand in my spot, facing the mirror and am berated by my thoughts.   “I should really wear make up.  I hate my thighs.  Do I have teacher arm jiggle?   What am I making for dinner?  What do need at HEB?  If I look down I have a triple chin.”

Then I hear it… “It’s Britney Bitch”.  My hips sway back and forth waiting for my instructor to begin.  With each pelvis thrust, chest pump, cabbage patch, and Roger Rabbit my mind lets go.  I am transformed into a fly girl, oozing with sex appeal, and confidence.  I start to twerk, bouncing my booty. I am free from the pressure of attempting to be supermom.  The only pressure that I feel is my spandex fighting to contain my sweet jiggle.   This is where I feel whole, shaking it on the dance floor.  This is my therapy.

The soundtrack of my life is not just “I’m a little teapot”, or the high pitched whine demanding snacks, it is Pit Bull and the pulsating beat of Drop it Low.   I can make a mean Skinnytaste recipe, “Elsa” braid my daughter’s hair, and shake that thang.  There is more to me than what you see.  This mama can “Roar".

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hair is a battlefield

My sweet little redhead,

I want you to know that I love you.  You keep me on my toes and give me plenty of fodder for my blog.  Perhaps I overreacted a tad bit when you chose to butcher your beautiful long red hair.    Wailing and screaming, it was not my greatest parenting moment.  Yes, I did request that you sit in timeout with a mirror to stare at your hair.   Your beautiful hair is now a "high fashioned mullet".  I understand that this hairstyle has been featured in fashion magazines as of late. 

I hum  Pat Benatar songs when I see you sometimes.  My darling have "Hit me with your best shot",  now I am "All Fired Up".  You are a "Heartbreaker".  "Love is a Battlefield" and that is why this picture will be prominently displayed at your wedding because I love you.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Goodwill Hunting

I love Goodwill hunting,  I really do.  It may have become a borderline addiction.  I need to stop by every week, just to check.  I don't ALWAYS buy things.  My hubby gave me the gift of guilt free time away from the family for Mother's Day.  I was going to treat myself to a pedicure.  I was just about to pass Goodwill, but some crazy force made it impossible to pass up.  I pulled in and made my way to the door.  I pulled open the door, inhaling the musty smell of  deals to be found.  The cashier shouts, "Hey girl!  Welcome Back!"  I am telling you Goodwill is my own personal Cheers Bar, where everyone knows your name...or just calls you"girl".  I start my usual trek around the store.  I have a method, which I may or may not write in an ebook on someday.  One of my last stops in my GW routine is the dresses.  There I hit pay dirt, an Alice + Olivia dress in my size!  (shout out to google for knowing all of the designers)  This was a 230 dollar dress for 6.50, in my size!  Well, hello Mother's Day gift to me.    I gleefully make my way to the dressing room, nodding to Lurking Larry who is ALWAYS there.   I lock myself into the dressing room, pulling the dress over my head a bit snug, but I still had my shorts on underneath.  I gracefully manage pulling off my shorts, feet not touching the floor.   Now all I had to do was zip this baby up, zip this baby up, zip.  Yes, a bit tight, my diaphragm was being squeezed and  my ribs were aching due to the pressure.  

That is when I came to the realization that this dress was not for me, and the designer obviously doesn't know her sizes.    Gently tugging on the expensive zipper, it slowly moves down and then stops.  So, I tug on it a bit more aggressively...nothing.  I suck it in, envisioning my ribs shifting and yank one more time.  The zipper pull comes off in my sweaty palm.   I begin to panic.  Sweat begins to trickle down my back  while attempting to yank the dress around so I could take a look at the zipper.   My sweat is not helping the situation, nor is the fact that Lurking Larry pounds on my door asking if I need any help.   My God, what if I need to have Lurking Larry help me!  That thought alone caused my panic to hit epic levels.  Taking a shallow breath, to calm my nerves it dawns on me, I will need to channel my inner MacGyver.  Seriously, WWMD?  
The solution came to me just as I was about to pass out due to lack of air.  A pen, I can use a pen!  I jam the pen into the tiny hole that once held the zipper pull.  I tug a bit, nothing... I yank this time cursing under my breath and it MOVES!  It takes me about 10 minutes, finally freeing me of the evil vice.  Free at last...    35 minutes in the dressing room, sweat glistening on my brow, and Lurking Larry's expression as I walked out...priceless.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Worst day of her life

"This is the worst day of my entire life," my daughter sobs.  Her eyes are red and streams of tears are dripping down her cheeks.  My darling daughter, I hope this really is the worst day of your life.  I hope your heart never hurts more than it does right now.   

Today, someone adopted the last puppy we have been fostering through the Animal Shelter.    Today, the big beautiful tree that shaded our front yard was taken down.  Today, my daughter mourned the  birds nests that she will never again watch from her window.  Today, she said goodbye to her furry little friend. 

In her eight years of life, this day was the first time I saw the twinkle in her eye dull just a bit.   My darling girl, the road ahead will be full of twists, turns, potholes, peaks and valleys.  I will be your cheerleader, your cloak, your calm in the storm.   I will pick you up when you fall, dust you off, and watch as you continue on your journey.  Even on the "worst day of your life", I will be there.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kicking it old school

A few days ago I was talking to a friend about playgrounds and how "safe" they have become.  We began reminiscing about the play equipment of the past.  After our chat, I began to wonder, do my children really know what a merry go round is?  Have they ever been on a seesaw?  

Thus began my quest, to discover old school playground equipment.  The tall metal slides, seesaws, and  merry go rounds of the past.  I wanted my girls to climb up a metal ladder, going higher and higher, then sit down on top of the toasty metal and fly down the slide.  Well, that is unless you have sweaty thighs and then you slowly inch your way down, your thighs squeaking and squawking as your sweaty legs skid along the hot metal.  I want them to climb on a seesaw and have their bottoms raise off the seat as they are propelled into the air and then stop short with a jerk.  I want them to swing their legs at the top, contemplating how to get down.   They should experience a real merry go round.   The kind that as a child I laid flat on my back clutching the metal bars and watched the clouds spin by.

I discovered only one in South Austin.  It is in the Western Oaks neighborhood, near the Hampton Branch Public Library.  My three year old had a blast.  She screamed and giggled as she flew down the tall slide, over and over again.   She squealed with delight when her little bum came off the seat on the seesaw.  She went round and round on the merry go round until her tummy hurt.   She also experience a rite of passage, flying off of the merry go round tumbling to the ground.

Have you discovered any old school playgrounds in your neck of the woods?

Melissa, a former teacher, enjoys finding the humor in her everyday life. Thanks to her three daughters, there is never a dull moment. She has written for MomSense, Scary Mommy, and several local websites. Her blog, Domestic Engineering, helps to keep her sane.  In her "spare" tie she dreams of one day becoming a spokesmodel for StarSearch.

Friday, March 21, 2014


When I was younger,  I sort of wanted to be the chick standing next to the car at car shows.  You know the one the one that poses by the car while it slowly rotates.   So when I discovered the Brand Ambassador facebook group, I was excited.  SXSW was just around the corner there were a ton of jobs.  The one that caught my eye, was a company looking for the girl next door type for an event.  I applied and then was sent a more expansive application.  Headshot.... check, measurements check,  photo of me in a bikini?    I opted for a one piece, filled everything out and clicked send.  I was feeling a bit giddy when the next day I received an phone interview.  We discussed my availability, and then I was asked if I had any questions.  "Umm, I just want you to know I don't do skanky."
"What do you mean skanky?"
"Well, you know slutty.  No one really needs to see my C section scar."
~ Click
Needless to say I didn't get the job.  I did however go to SXSW.

The top 5 things that I learned from SXSW:
5. High waisted acid washed cut off jean shorts flatter no one 
4. Head bands should now be called forehead bands
3. Gold lamay spandex are see through, yes girlfriend I saw EVERYTHING
2. Spanx as outerwear is all the rage
1. MC Hammer wants his pants back

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Full Circle

Kmart, the kiss of death for social status in Junior High.  My Mother’s favorite store for deals, Kmart.  My utter loathing of the store, epic. Picture this, a sweltering hot September day in Las Vegas.  Our station wagon with peeling wood-grain, prominently parked in the first row of cars in the Kmart parking lot. The windows are open to allow the whisper of a breeze, not unlike the air from an oven when it is opened.   I am  hiding under the seat, drenched in sweat.  My hair is stuffed into a ball cap to cover up my trademark red hair.  I would rather have a heat stroke and literally die than be caught in a “discount” store.   Looking back, I wouldn’t doubt that my Mother chose the parking spot in front, and probably extended the shopping trip by playing the slots at the store.  Yes, even Kmart has slot machines in Vegas.  

Fast forward a decade.  I am buying my makeup at the Clinique counter at Macy's.  I am rocking my Gap jeans, Banana Republic shirt, and Brighton belt.  Flush with cash, a 24K teaching job, and a MasterCard.  

Jump ahead yet another decade, my shopping habits have now come full circle.  My mother taught me at an early age the art of discount shopping.  For many years, I felt scared by those lessons, literally I do have a scar, from a pen cap that was under the station wagon seat.   I have evolved, moved beyond the brand.  Well, that... and now I have three girls, a husband, and am living on one salary.

My name is Melissa, and I am a proud Goodwill shopper.  I pull open the door, inhale the distinct odor of bargains to be found.  A cashier yells, “Welcome to Goodwill...hey Red!”  Goodwill has become my own personal “Cheers”.   You never know what you may find.  A few months ago, I discovered the holy grail of bargains.  My ears always perk up when I hear the groan of a new garment rack being dragged out.  I make a beeline for the rack and before my eyes is an entire wardrobe, all my size, all my favorite brands, some even with tags.  My eyes may have teared up a bit as I dragged the entire rack near the dressing room and slipped on a strapless banana republic dress that was made for me.   I push the rack down the crowded aisle,  attempting not to take anyone out.  Panting, I make it up to the cashier.  She begins the task of manually entering in the 25 or more articles of clothing.   While yanking one more dress off the rack, she peers up at me and asks, “Wonder what happened to this chick, maybe she died”.

My friends now affectionately call her “dead girl”.  If I am wearing a super outfit, chances are if you ask what designer I am wearing, I will proudly say “dead girl”.     So thank you Mom, for teaching me the thrill of finding a bargain.  I look forward to teaching this lesson to my girls as well.  Too bad they won’t be able to hideout in the car because anything under 5 minutes in an unattended car is child abuse.   Just saying...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Poopie Head

I don't understand this whole sibling dynamic. My brother and I are 10 years apart, I am perfect he is not.  I was an only child until I was almost ten.  I loved my brother from the moment he arrived.  When I morphed into a tragic teenager, he was a sweet little boy.    My mother reminds me quite often that "she did it right!"   Lately, I have wondered if she did in fact do it  right.  The dynamics in my home leave me flabbergasted.  E and C argue about everything and anything.   This was the fight this morning at 6:30 am:
C: "Mommy! I went poop"
 E: "I went poop first."
C: "No I did!"
Me: "Who didn't flush the potty?"
C: "Not me, it was E"
E: "It was C, it looks like C's poop."
Me: "Really how do you know what Middle C's  poop looks like? "
 E: "She talks too much when she eats and doesn't chew her food, there were chunks. "

On a positive note, Middle C has been doing well in Kinder.  I had my concerns, but she has earned three super behavior stamps.  When she was chatting about her day, she mentioned that today's stamp was very light because she just barely earned it. She colored her hand black because she wanted to look like the little girl sitting next to her.