Ten Ways Pets are Better … I mean EASIER than Kids


We lost a beloved family pet recently. (R.I.P. Herve) And the idea of replacing him has come up a few times in the last week. At first, I was opposed to it, but then I started wondering “Are pets really any harder to care for than my own children?!!?” Which prompted me to make a list.

(You know how I love my lists.)


Ten Ways Pets are Better Easier than Kids

1. Pets will eat whatever you put in front of them.

Unfortunately, sometimes that might be medical paperwork, the remote control or your favorite shoes. So I guess that might not always be a good thing.

2. Pets are easily potty trained.

Of course, once your kids have it until control, you don’t have to follow them through the neighborhood with a plastic bag to carry their crap around with you for the next half hour.

3. Pets don’t ask you for money.

I honestly still can’t figure out how the cat manages to purchase Christmas presents for every member of the family year after year. He must work nights.

4. Pets never need help with homework.

I’m guessing it’s because they’re geniuses. Seriously, I have never been asked for help with vocabulary words, a book report, a messy science project or anything. That my pet is a genius can be the only explanation.

5. Pets have no carpools, no social events and no pricey after school activities.

Come to think of it, my cat never asks me to bring him anywhere … ever.

6. Pets never outgrow their clothes.

My cat’s been wearing the same collar for YEARS. He doesn’t bitch about its color or the fact that it’s not (cut to me rolling my eyes and making exaggerated air quotes) name brand. He just wears it day after day. With zero complaint.

7. Pets never beg to put candy, cookies and other diabetic-coma-inducing crap into the basket at the grocery store.

In my kids’ defense, this is probably mostly because I almost never bring the cat with me to the supermarket.

8. Pets require no bedtime ritual.

My cat puts himself to sleep, like, twenty times a day. He LOVES to sleep. There’s no whining, no crying, no pleading for “just one more story.” (Actually, that’s not true. My cat loves a good story.)

9. Pets don’t leave their crap all over the house.

And by crap, I mean stuff. Although, seriously, what does he really own? 

10. Pets don’t talk back.

And if they ever did, I’d have to call the vet. Or an exorcist. Which is probably VERY expensive. And people would start making pilgrimages to my house to see the possessed animal. Then there would be reporters, Hollywood producers, talk show hosts, talent agents, shamans, pet food corporations and all kinds of other talking cat lover types beating down my door. I would never get any privacy.


Okay. So after re-examining my list, I guess it’s not really a fair comparison. Still, I’d say the little furry/feathery/scaly guys are probably a lot easier than their human counterparts.

If only I could just get Milo to start cleaning the bathrooms …

Look at the muscle in those furry orange arms. Don’t tell me he couldn’t hold a toilet brush.

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St. Patrick’s Day: Ten Green Things I Love


Yesterday, we took a look at a few green things that are not my favoriteI don’t especially care for … Fine! You know what? I said HATE. We talked about seven green things that I HATE!

So, in an effort to balance the bad with the good, the yin with the yang, the Ginger with the Mary Ann, I thought we’d make an opposite list today. To help you “Erin” your “Go Bragh” tomorrow. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


Ten Green Things I Love

(and NONE of them are vegetables … technically)

 1. Pesto.

Because it’s fabulous on flatbread, crackers, pasta … I bet that shit would taste good on a doughnut. (Who am I kidding? What wouldn’t taste good on a doughnut?)

2. Emeralds.

Because it’s my girl’s birthstone and, next to diamonds, might just be my favorite gemstone. Seriously, it’s so regal they made a whole city out of it. Fictionally speaking, of course. Unless you count Seattle.

3. Avocado.

Because even though its name derives from a word meaning “testicle,” it still manages to be one of my all-time favorite foods. (And, yes. That would make guacamole a bowl of mashed testicles. Discuss.)

4. Greenland.

Because you guys remember when I wrote Greenland, right? That was such a fun letter series. And, one of these days, they’re going to call me and ask me to travel across their countryside drinking in the sights and sounds of all things Greenland. And then write about my whole experience. … Seriously, it’s going to happen. …. You’ll see.

5. Elphaba.

Because it’s an incredible show. I first heard Defying Gravity performed on the Tonys in 2004. And now, more than a decade later, I’m still on my feet …. clapping and crying like an idiot. (That actually seems to happen a lot in my life.)

6. Green smoothies.

Because … Kale? Nope. Spinach? Uh-uh. Can’t be that either. You know what? I have no earthly idea why I like them, but those suckers are really good.

7. Olives.

Because stuffed with cheese, sliced on a pizza, minced in a tapenade or whole in a martini … is there anything better in the world? (For the purposes of #7, no. There is not. Next!)

8. Christmas trees.

Because of their meaning, their twinkle and especially their smell. It’s probably why mine is usually up from November to mid-January. Either that or laziness.

9. Money.

Because it’s always in season, it’s always appropriate and it always fits.

10. Kermit.

Because he reminds me of being a little bitty kid. Plus Rainbow Connection was one of my childhood theme songs. I actually had a few … which I’m guessing sounds as weird to me as it probably does to you.


What about YOU?

Shrek, Key lime pie, The Incredible Hulk … what GREEN stuff do YOU love?

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St. Patrick’s Day: Seven Green Things I Hate


St. Patrick’s Day is Tuesday … which means my family is heading to the local parade down the street today to catch everything from cabbage and carrots to potatoes and Irish Spring. (Yay! Stuff I can actually use. At least compared to the novelty panties and penis beads of Mardi Gras.) And, since my grandmother’s last name was McCarthy, I thought I’d get my Irish on this morning with a little post about things that I HATE that are green. (I’ll give you one guess as to the title of  tomorrow’s post.) Anyway …


Seven Green Things I Hate

(and they can’t ALL be vegetables)

1. Mold.

Because it either means I need to clean something or it impedes my cheese eating. Plus it reminds me of post-Katrina New Orleans. Boo!

2. Phlegm and/or mucus.

Because … well, I’m guessing I don’t really need to explain this one, do I? Then again, maybe there people out there who love those phlegm and mucus cartoon characters on the TV commercials. So, to those individuals, I express my most heartfelt apologies. Carpe mucus!

3. Green bananas.

Because those rubbery bastards just tease the hell out of me.

4. Seaweed.

Because it smells awful and it always makes me scream like a little girl when it dares to brush against my leg in the ocean. Of course, when it’s on my sushi roll …

5. Alligators.

Because being from Louisiana, there is an excellent chance I could be eaten by one. And yet, every day, I somehow manage to get out of bed and just live my life. Truly, if that’s not bravery, I don’t know what is.

6. Brussels sprouts.

Because they’re gross. But I can still put them in my mouth, chew them and appear to swallow them … all the while alternatively spitting them into a napkin with the dexterity and sleight of hand of David Copperfield.  It’s a gift really.

7. Jealous people.

Because they’re a pain in the ass, am I right? Wait, what? Have *I* ever been jealous? No, of course not, I have everything I could ever want right here next to my 5-year-old car and my two VCRs. (cough)


What about YOU?

Yoda, asparagus, Oscar the Grouch … what GREEN stuff do YOU hate?

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The Scariest Morning I’ve Had In a While (Don’t worry. It ends well.)


For anyone just tuning in around here, I have one husband, two children and two pets. Sometimes I feel like we should get a third pet just for the rhythm and flow of that first sentence. Then I regain my sanity and realize you don’t take on another live responsibility so the description of your life is more poetic. Milo the cat and Herve the hamster are plenty. (shaking head at my own stupidity) Why am I explaining the cast of characters in my home? Because they all figure into the lunacy of my morning today. Prominently.

Milo (left) and Herve (right). BFFLs … I guess.


My day started like all others. Too early. With my eyes first opening around 5am. Followed by the realization that I had to pee. Nothing new. (Damn, peanut-sized bladder.) Then, for the next hour, my brain woke me every five to seven minutes in a cold sweat thinking I’d overslept. On a school morning. A school morning with exams. It just can’t happen.

I’m the rooster in the family. I’m the first one up every day. It’s my job to wake everyone up, one by one. And I always start with Dean, my 15-year-old son. Between homework, after school activities and televised athletic events, that poor kid never gets enough sleep during the week. As such, he’s hard to wake up in the morning so I usually spend a few minutes just hanging out with him chatting in the dark. (I don’t mind it one bit, by the way. It’s some of the best conversation we have all day.) And, while we’re chatting, Milo usually drifts in and out of the room waiting for us to get up and fill his food bowl.

Everything was following the usual pattern this morning until I exited his room to start getting ready. And I noticed Milo fixated on my daughter’s closed bedroom door. She was still asleep. But Milo was staring at the bottom of her door with the focus of an English Pointer voted Best in Show.

I knew something was up. A bug? Maybe even a roach? I didn’t know. But from the backlighting coming from within her room, I could see that something was pressed against the bottom crack of the door. The hallway was still dark and my eyes were still sleepy so I called my teenage son to come inspect the situation. He walked over and crouched down on the floor to get Milo’s perspective. Then he spoke. Nothing could have prepared me for his next words.

“I see a hand, a furry hand, much bigger than Herve’s, reaching in and out.” I stared at him in disbelief and my blood ran cold.

What was on the other side of the door to the room where my daughter lie fast asleep?!!?

For reasons of which I am not proud, I took off not into her room but down the hall to my bedroom where Dave was still asleep. “Get up! Get up! Get uuuuuup!!!! Dean said there’s something in Vivien’s room sticking a hand out under the door. And he said it’s NOT HERVE!!!”

Dave jumped out of bed from a deep sleep, totally discombobulated and ran down the hall …. past Vivien’s room, mind you … and into the living room.  He looked around, totally confused and likely still half asleep, when he got there. “NOOO! In your daughter’s room. It’s in your daughter’s room,” I yelled.

Dave ran back to her room and threw the door open a little harder than he probably should have. Given the fact that it WAS Herve. (pause for collective exhale) He was just on the other side of the door. Alive, I should probably add. Harmless, old man Herve who had a stroke last Christmas Day and now pulls to the left when he walks and falls over into a ball every few steps was the thing that had just scared the living daylights out of everyone.

Dave scooped him up, checked him out and declared him to be fine. I stopped almost swallowing my tongue and started breathing normally again. We hugged Milo and applauded his probably-not-intentional rescue efforts. And we instructed our obviously-more-blind-than-we-thought son to go put his contacts in immediately. Oh, and Vivien? She slept through all of it. The noise, the running, the panic. Good God, I envy that kind of sleep.

Of course, how Herve escaped his cage (I suspect the door wasn’t properly latched) and further how he survived the two-and-a-half foot drop to the hardwood floor unscathed (that would be like me falling four stories) will forever remain a mystery. Needless to say, there’s an extra latch on his little door now … should Houdini ever decide to go for an encore. And the cage? Well, that’s now located safely on the floor.


Seriously? You can’t tell me there’s a huge, furry hand coming out of my child’s room and not expect me to lose control. I think my heart’s finally starting to descend from my throat.

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The Post About My Bra & Underwear


THEM: We’d like you to review our product.

ME: Great. What’s the product?

THEM: Undergarments. Like bras. And panties. As in lingerie.

ME: (cough, sputter) Do I have to post pictures of … I mean … would I need to wear the … ?

THEM: No, no. You don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

ME: (laughing nervously) Well, that would make me very uncomfortable. It would make my family uncomfortable. It would make my readers

THEM: … uncomfortable?

ME: Well, yes. But I was going to say nauseous.

THEM: (possibly rethinking their decision to ask me) You can do whatever you want. As long as it’s honest and appropriate for the product.

ME: Can it be funny?

THEM: Sure. We love funny and personable.

ME: (lightbulb over head, at least 40-watts) Excellent. I’m on it!


Okay. So maybe that’s not exactly how the conversation went. But it’s the gist. Because when ThirdLove first contacted me, I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle writing about my bra. And underwear. But the more I communicated with them, the more I knew I just had to take the job.  Seriously, this company is one of the most innovative, customer-oriented in the business. So, without further ado, let’s take a minute to talk underwear, shall we? Specifically mine.

(Don’t worry. There WILL be pictures.)

After perusing their extensive selection of bras (full, demi, plunge, convertible, push-up, front closure, wireless, etc.) and panties (bikini, boyshort, tanga and thong), I made my choices:

  • The Evolve Push-Up Bra (Don’t judge.)
  • The Microfiber Bikini (I always like to have my butt covered, both figuratively and literally.)

And they came almost immediately, packaged beautifully I might add. I honestly felt like I was opening a present. My daughter was with me at the time. She’d never seen a front closure bra before and she was duly impressed. As was I.

I ordered both of my items in a nude color. (Call me Madam Practical.) The bra is fully adjustable to allow the girls a perfect fit. And the fabric on both of these pretty pieces is so soft. Thin and dainty but durable. Panty lines definitely won’t be an issue for me on my ThirdLove days. Like their ad says, “There’s no better way to go commando without actually going commando.”

Is anyone else reminded of Joey?

If only he’d had a pair of ThirdLove microfiber bikinis. All of this could have been avoided.

But seriously … in addition to the dependable quality of their merchandise, their attention-to-detail and customer service efforts are through the roof. And here’s how.

1. LIVE CHAT FEATURE

Ordering was simple. But if you have questions, there’s a friendly online rep literally sitting at her desk waiting to talk bras and underwear with you. (I’ve bothered her three times now. We’re going out for Thai next Tuesday.) She’s there every Mon-Fri from 9am-6pm PST. So is the call center. After hours, you can email them at hi@thirdlove.com.

2. HALF SIZES AVAILABLE

Just like shoes, ThirdLove cups come in half sizes to offer a perfect fit. That means they offer twice the inventory. Their band sizes range from 28 to 40, with select styles available in up to a G cup. (Yes, I said G! As in Good God Almighty!)

3. THEIR OWN SMARTPHONE SIZING APP.

You know those fools who rush you with a measuring tape every time you walk into a lingerie store? Don’t they seem a little too anxious to touch your boobs? Well, you don’t have to bother with them anymore. Because the ThirdLove app gives you simple, step by step instructions to get your own accurate measurements in the comfort (and privacy!) of your home … rather than in the middle of the mall while strangers like your old high school lab partner awkwardly look on.

But wait! I promised pictures!

I really lucked out with one. Because my daughter’s oversized sock monkey, Maxine, volunteered for the job. Which I so appreciated. Being as that I’ve delivered two babies and all. And I’m certain Maxine looks better in an underwear photo shoot than I would.

No really.


ThirdLove lingerie

Perfect for the monkey on the go (She’s hailing a cab) …

… the monkey who spends all day at her desk …

… or the monkey just lounging at home.

Whatever your plans, ThirdLove has you covered. And supported.


Want to see for yourself? Visit ThirdLove and take a look around. If you decide to order something, be sure to take advantage of their 20 for 20 program by using the discount below.

Click HERE for a $20 credit on your first order.

Yes, I get a credit, too. That’s how it works. Then, after you order, you can earn  credits by referring friends as well. It’s easy. And who doesn’t need new underwear?


Remember, next time you see me, I just might be wearing that monkey’s underwear.

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MamaKat’s writing prompt: Write a blog post inspired by the word embarrassed. Um … yeah, okay. Done!

Let’s put the “US” in Sinus tonight, okay?


It’s been a weird week. Or rather a long week. Unlike this post. Because I’m relying on an old writing trick. I’m setting my timer for 10 minutes. I have to write for ten minutes straight. No stopping. No editing. And voila! Instant (crappy) blog post.

Why?

Because I haven’t written in over a week. Because I’ve been sick. Because I haven’t been inspired by any one thing to write about. Because … WHY DO YOU KEEP ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS?!!?

Oh, yeah. You didn’t. The voices are all coming from within my head. I keep forgetting. (Credit: Michael McDonald)

Anyway, as I was saying, it’s been a weird …. long … week. Dave was away so I was on my own to keep things running around here. That’s not so unusual. Except I got a severe sinus infection. That’s WAY unusual. For me anyway. I spent my entire life allergy and sinus issue free. Until now. Stupid old age. Or Stupid Louisiana. Or stupid whatever’s-causing-the-problem.

On Thursday morning, it actually got to where the left side of my face hurt so badly it made me wish my face didn’t have a left side. Which would be weird. Unless you were looking at me in profile. From the right side, of course.

My whole left face hurt … my ear, my eye, my teeth. And it got to where I just couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt so much that I puked in the Urgent Care parking lot. And now I can never take back that I just confessed to public puking. (Oops.)

But a steroid shot, a steroid inhaler and three medications later and the pressure is finally starting to release. Unless I look down. Which, apparently, is something I do approximately 348 times a day. And I’m reminded every single time that I can’t do it by the pressure. (Oh, the pressure.)

Oh, and since I’ve already told you about the puking, let’s take it a step further by examining how hideous my eyes looked as recently as Friday evening, shall we?

Urgent Care said they could have diagnosed me a mile away. I wore “the Mask of the Severe Sinus Sufferer.” I thought I looked more like a meth head.

Thank GOD for make-up. Because I had a mother/son event the very next morning with Dean.

There’s about six pounds of cosmetic spackle under each eye. And, as long as anyone didn’t get too close to me, I think I pulled it off.

Would you look at that? Only 17 seconds to go. Guess I’ll have to talk about my girl in the next one. Ooh, or the time I went out in public wearing nothing but my …. (BEEP! Time’s up!)

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The Trip to DC with My Girl … in Pictures!


My girl and I just got back from her class trip to DC. We actually got home late Tuesday night and have literally been holed up ever since. The trip was fantastic. We accomplished more there in four days than could ever have been possible had I been in charge. (Thanks, Mr. Hill.)

To name only a few of the highlights:

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The Pentagon Memorial, The Korean War Memorial and The Washington Monument

IMG_9652Selfies with Mr. Lincoln (my apologies for the occasional decapitation)

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Mount Vernon …

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… where (as promised) we froze our butts off.

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Followed by the requisite puppet show on the bus spoofing Dirty Dancing with our founding fathers. “Nobody puts Martha in a corner.”

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The Smithsonian museums where we saw priceless relics like Abe’s hat, Dorothy’s slippers and Archie’s chair.

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Oh, and these amazing people who drove an hour to visit. (Love you, Bugaj family!)

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The Berlin Wall at the Newseum, The Holocaust Museum and The Library of Congress

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Arlington Cemetery, where we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider … in the snow!

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The snow kind of took over at that point.

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The U.S. Marines Memorial, The White House and the tallest man in Washington DC, unofficially.

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A little movie recreation magic. Just for fun.

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A hauntingly beautiful picture at the National Portrait Gallery that captured us all. Plus my pitiful attempt to “Ferris Bueller” it.

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Hands down, the hottest picture of Lincoln I’ve ever seen.

Yes, for those who have been with me a while, I did take this same trip a few years ago with my son. And it was equally enjoyable, informative and enlightening.

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However, there was one significant difference between that trip and this one.

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Southern girls just aren’t built for that kind of cold. 


My sincerest thanks to World Strides, Richard Hill and all the SCS parents and kids who came on the trip with us. Viv and I made memories that we will never forget.


MamaKat writing prompt: Something that made you smile this week.

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