Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Small Announcement and a Big Complaint

Hey everyone! I'm sorry I've left you hanging for so long, not blogging and all. I figured no one would really notice my absence, but everyone has been blowin up my phone and there are news vans camped outside of my house asking about when my next post will drop. Also, whoever has connections with TMZ, can you please tell Harvey to lay off me! His texts are starting to get weird! 

But really, I haven't written or much less done ANYTHING for the last couple of months because Sloan knocked me up AGAIN. I guess we still don't totally understand the birds and the bees because now we're getting another baby due the first week of January. (I'm just kidding. This one was planned and we are ecstatic.)

Now, I'm no pregnancy expert, but I'll tell you what I've learned so far about being pregnant for the second time: 
  1. It is so much worse than the first time.
Terrible fatigue. Bad skin. Immediate and unrelenting weight gain. Much more sleeping and much more barfing. OH THE BARFING. The blowing chunks. The chundering. Doing the technicolor yawn.
This blanket was originally all white.
And after a few weeks of staying near a toilet, I tried to venture out (of my bathroom). Do not do this. It leads to puking in trashcans, bath tubs, your bare hands, and drawers full of clean clothes. And perhaps most devastating and perplexing is that, while I am puking daily, I am still gaining weight at a fast pace, something of a medical miracle.

Our house smells like wet, hot garbage. There is a wadded pile of towels in the corner of our bedroom that no one has touched since, like, Christmas. There could be a family of gypsies under there for all I know.

I've also been yelling more frequently at inanimate objects, angrily crying during pet adoption commercials, and seriously contemplating running to the mailbox pantsless because I'd have to go all the way upstairs to put some on.

This experience has already worn me down to the most desperate and nihilistic version of myself.  I feel so sick, angry, and disgusting so regularly that my mental space is just always that scene in The Lion King where adult Simba is crying and yelling at Rafiki and Mufasa's ghost in the sky over and over.

Sloan and Ward have been champs throughout this. Ward is just happy I let him wander around the house and do whatever the hell he wants all day, which often includes climbing on counters, "pouring" drinks for himself (10% in the cup, 90% on the floor), and watching an unlimited amount of the weird toy-assembly tutorials he finds on YouTube. And Sloan is just happy we are both still living when he gets home every day. Or maybe at this point if he's being honest with himself, Sloan's not totally happy about that. Either way, welcome to the new Julia!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Picture This...

You're at a restaurant having a lovely time, browsing the menu when the waitress arrives, "Are the fried pickle spears good? What about the italian egg rolls?  Or the peanut butter cheddar sticks ? How about all of that together mixed in a big tub of queso?" Your server seems nice, she's young-ish, probably college age. Her hair is short and perky, and she has kind eyes. Her name tag says "Cara" so you're not sure if she pronounces it CARE-uh or CAR-uh, but she seems like the type who wouldn't be bothered if you said it wrong anyway. You ask for a Sprite.

"Sure!" she says, "Is Sierra Mist okay?"
Sierra Mist, I hate you. I hate your flavor, I hate your logo, I hate that your name sounds like something Britney Spears would name her daughter, and I hate that I have to resort to drinking you every time I get my Friday night sack of  Beef 'n' Cheddars to binge on while Sloan thinks I'm out returning a Redbox movie. If I were a professional internet list maker, my first, last, and every list published would be this one:

5 Things That Are Keeping the Human Race From Greatness
  1. Sierra Mist
  2. Sierra Mist
  3. Sierra Mist
  4. Sierra Mist
  5. Sierra Mist
(And yeah, I know I'd lose my readership pretty fast if that was the only list I was putting out there. But I'd still do it.)

Sierra Mist is like your divorcee dad's new girlfriend whose name ends with an 'i' and who has Zumba friends. Every time you see her, she's showing you pictures of her boring-ass Maltese sitting on the couch or at a lake or in a Halloween costume and you are just like get away from me lady you are not my mother (yes, in this analogy, your mother is Sprite). My parents aren't actually divorced, but my mom did once tell me that "If I die before yer Daddy does and he even thinks bout marryin another woman, do not let her NEAR my wedding rang! That rang belongs with you Moore girls and not on some vulture woman's fanger!!" At least that's what I think she said, I wasn't paying much attention to what she was saying because she had just torn open the last Moon Pie (but hadn't yet taken a bite) so I was kinda keeping my eye on that situation. The point I'm trying to make here is that Sierra Mist sucks. Am I saying it could break up your family? No. But I'm also not not saying that, so take that as you will.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

D.A.R.E.

Hey guys! Sorry I haven't written in a while, I've been busy rolling my eyes, yawning and having writer's block. The creative process for me is akin to folding a fully-functional origami motorcycle with my nine toes. Oh well, at least I'm lazy and that counts for something! 

I recently joined a book club and it only took me one chapter to remember why I don't read books...
"THAT INTRO WAS INTENSE!"
Books are emotional manipulators. They sit on your nightstand, watching you sleep, and they clasp their little hands together awaiting the moment you read something heart-wrenching in their pages and you'll cry and they'll be happy. And then, inexplicably, you continue reading the sad story and things start getting a little happier and you think oh good here's the pay off  but then you fall into another sadness pit and your book is satisfied. 
"But Julia, you graduated from college with a literature degree! How can you not like reading books?" That's a good question! Actually, NO it isn't! I just freaking TOLD you! Did you not just read what I said? Honestly why do I even bother.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Timeless Love!

Julia: So I think Ward and I might go to Memphis again while you take finals and boards.
Sloan: Again? That's for like a month.
Julia: Well I'll only do a couple of weeks.
Sloan: That's a long time!
Julia: *puts hands to mouth* Aww! Are you trying to say you'll miss us?! That's soooo sweet!!
Sloan: *perplexed* That's not sweet, that's normal. I'm not a robot!
Julia: *kissy face* My cute wittle wobot!!
Sloan: Stop it! It's not special to be missed by your husband!
Julia: *anime eyes* DIS IS DA MOST WOMANTIC FING DAT'S EVA HAPPENED IN DA WORLD!
Sloan: Maybe two weeks won't be so bad.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Birth Control

There are a few situations in which I'll cry: a wedding, a funeral, a wildebeest stampede with Mufasa dying underfoot, and a surprise haircut given to me by a toddler.

One of those things happened this weekend.
"How did this happen? I mean, SURELY you didn't leave a pair of sharp scissors within the reach of your two-year-old! And even if you did, SURELY you must've at least been paying enough attention to him to know that he was CUTTING THE DAMN HAIR OFF OF YOUR THICK HEAD before he did any real damage!" Ah, dear reader, you overestimate me. I may be an adult who is competent enough to live on her own, but let us not forget that I am the same person who graduated with a degree in English five years ago and just last week learned the actual definition of the word 'savory' when she overheard a woman's conversation with her five-year-old daughter (I thought it meant juicy! No wonder no one ever wanted to try my Julia's Famous Savory Fruit Salad!)

I wish more than anything I could blame Ward for what he did to my hair, but to be honest, it's all my fault. I've always talked about how fun haircuts were so that I could get him to stay still for me whenever I hack maim trim his hair, so he was probably expecting confetti to shoot out of cannons and a disco ball to lower while we danced to Kidz Bop when he starting in with the scissors. Instead, he ended up bewildered, sitting against the locked bathroom door while mommy rage-cried on the other side.

Things could have been a lot worse. He could have cut my hair right by my scalp, forcing me to get all G.I. Jane to even it out, but he afforded me a workable length. It's also not so bad because I'm not especially vain anymore, mainly due to the time commitment that entails. Yessir, the vanity ship sailed the moment I saw that little blue plus sign while sitting on the toilet three years ago. Now my standard of dress for going out in public is more along the lines of shoes/pants/bra optional.

So I dragged my ratchet ass out and got a $12 haircut to fix that hot mess.
It's a wonder what a shampoo and a little lot of make up can do for your "after" picture!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Only Camping Tip You'll Ever Need!

We went to Zion National Park this weekend and like most people who go camping, I did some things I wasn't proud of; things like peeing in the bushes, blowing my nose in Ward's hoodie, and threatening Sloan with divorce when he hotboxed our tent with his barbecued chicken farts. "Why does Julia talk about farts so much?" some of my readers might be asking. If you're asking that question, then just get out of here because the answer should be obvious to you. Farts are the foundation upon which all hilarity is based and nothing anyone does will EVER change that. Just look at Napoleon!

Before we went to Utah, I checked the forecast and saw that the evening low temperature would be 32 FRICKFRACKIN DEGREES and Sloan was just like, "Don't be a baby, Julia" so we went and froze our huevos off. But once the sun rose, things were great! That's the fun part about the desert: a 30 degree range of temperature between day and night! Really fun.
As we packed our car for the trip, I made sure to bring a couple of pounds of butter along just in case. Sloan got really annoyed because it was kind of melting all over his sleeping bag, but I couldn't risk being stranded on a trip without it. Ya see, when I was cooking cinnamon apples with my grandma a few years ago, she taught me a little trick that has turned out to be useful in a lot more places than just the kitchen. That trick is called "Double the butter!"

Want a flakier pie crust? Double the butter!

Are your green beans too healthy? Double the butter!

Want to get those scuffed hardwood floors shining again? Double the butter!

Having trouble understanding your tax forms? Double the butter!

Marriage falling apart? Double the butter!

Grappling with the revelation that life has no intrinsic meaning or value? DUBBLE THE BUTTA!!!

And wouldn't ya know, MaMa JuJu's butter DID come in handy at Zion when Sloan got his arm stuck in the Visitor Center vending machine trying to pilfer a Twix from the bottom row. It was only a freakin dollar, Sloan! Just pay the money next time!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Little Sister Michelle

Because time is a cruel mistress, this baby is turning 23 today. I was the youngest child for five glorious years before Michelle decided she wanted to get in on the Moore Family action. And even though she was an accident (which I will never let her forget because that's all I have), Michelle has been the happy sun around which our family has revolved ever since the day she arrived.
Richard, Laura, and I were ecstatic to get a baby sister and Michelle did not disappoint. She was cute, cuddly, and super weird.
That's a cucumber baby.
She was extremely attached.
Michelle marched to her own drum (still does). She growled at her elementary school teachers, walked around the house with an old cane, and responded with a puzzling amount of rage whenever we called her "Michello" (not that it stopped us from doing it). She was a feisty kid who turned into a peacemaker of a person, and no matter what she does, she's our baby forever and ever.

Forever.

And ever. 

Don't even think about not being our baby.

Do you hear me, Michelle?

Good.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Take It From Me! Life Advice with Julia Rehder

Dear Julia - My kid is driving me crazy, like so crazy I might just sell him to a child collector like Angeline Jolie or Mia Farrow. How do I find the patience to continue parenting?

Oh honey, I feel your pain. Recently, Ward has become very contrary. He will constantly defy any statement I make (whether directed at him or not): "No mommy, dat ice not cold. Is hot." "Dis apple blue, is not red!' and the creme de la creme  "No, I am not Ward! I am Ward!" He has also begun begging for time outs, which I assume is some sort of sophisticated strategy to render time outs moot. NOT GONNA WORK PAL. Or maybe it will, I'm weak-minded. Hope that helps!

Dear Julia - I really love brussel sprouts, but they smell terrible! Every time I make them, my entire neighborhood smells like Del Taco farts for a week. What do I do? 

Here's what you do: you keep making brussel sprouts. You don't stop making brussel sprouts. Make them until your kids leave home, make them until your friends abandon you, make them until the sun burns out because you are a hero and no one can tell you how to live your life.

Dear Julia - Is it actually ironic or just Alanis Morissette ironic that I have an addiction to the TV show My Strange Addiction

Both.

Dear Julia - I often imagine that I'm a unicorn who is disguised as a human so that no one will kill me and harvest my enchanted horn to make faerie dust. Is that weird?

Mikyn, is that you girl? Just kidding, I already know it is you because you're the only person obnoxious enough to spell fairy that way. But to answer your question, no it's not weird. Being a unicorn is a common fantasy, as is imagining your life is a movie or pretending to be Indiana Jones while trying to get under your closing garage door without tripping the sensor.

Dear Julia - Do you think by now that everyone has figured out that you're actually the one writing all of the questions in this post? Because no one has ever asked for you advice before even though you're obviously KILLIN IT at life. 

Listen, I don't know who sent this question in (I do), but people are DYING for my advice! Sure I'm not perfect, but you're not living life unless you're making some mistakes! There are two types of people in this world: the ones at the fancy party who stand in a corner sipping their virgin cocktail and the ones knocking down the candelabra as they seductively lie on a baby grand piano to croak out a slow jazz version of Raspberry Beret. Which one do you want to be?!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Appreciate Your Man Even Though He's an Idiot!

Early this morning, my precious toddler kicked open our bedroom door SWAT-style and demanded to be read The House That Jack Built. My response was to let out an awkwardly loud "GUUUUUUH" while rubbing my nose for thirty seconds and pulling the covers over my head, so Ward went over to Daddy's side of the bed to whack him in the face with his book repeatedly. Sloan, like the parent-of-the-year that I am not, drowsily sat up and read the whole thing to Ward, so now if there's something that I am an expert at, it is hating the repetitive nature of this is the cat that killed the rat that crawled out of bed that laid down in the shower that put her shirt on backward that ate Taco Bell for breakfast that just needs some sleep in the house that Jack built. How is a person supposed to function with only 17 hours of sleep a night? I am not Superwoman! 

Anyway, as I listened to Sloan groggily stumble through the boring saga of Jack's house, I thought to myself, "What a good daddy! Not many other dads would do what he's doing right now." I then proceeded to fall asleep for three more hours while Ward tore up half of his books and helpfully placed them in the garbage (silver lining!), which I wasn't against doing after his early-morning story time.
But the more I pondered on my original thought, the one about not many dad's reading to their babies at five in the morning, I realized that wasn't true. A LOT of dads would do something like that. My dad would have done that! And so would've Sloan's dad. My brother would do that for his babies, too (if by some miracle they could rouse him from what I like to call the "iron slumber"). My brothers-in-law, also, would all do something like that for their babies. I know because I've seen it time and time again from them.
This made me consider more seriously my feelings about men in family roles. I am really terrible at addressing and expressing thanks to all of the strong men in my life. For various reasons, it's easy to vilify the paternal role, especially in our culture today. I think one reason we don't give a lot of men enough credit is because of the partial truth that dudes can be gigantic morons at times. From the bar fights to the pyromania to the amateur stunts, it's common to mistake masculine idiocy for poor character, and that's not fair to all of the idiots out there. Idiot men can still be good people! So what if your brother lights his farts on fire? He can still be a responsible and loving father! Big deal if your boyfriend upper-decked his brother's toilet! It doesn't mean he isn't a compassionate person! Who cares if a couple of weeks ago Sloan wore band aids over his nipples to combat chafing and then said he kinda liked how it looked like a sexy band aid bikini and started sashaying around the bedroom singing Lady Marmalade? He's allowed to have a little fun! ("I NEVER DID THAT" Sloan is shouting somewhere as he absentmindedly rubs his chest where those beloved band aids used to be. Yes, during that brief time when his nips were safe he could honestly say he was happy. He had achieved a level of nipple nirvana that few others could even imagine. But eventually, reluctantly, he returned to normal life. He had bills to pay and mouths to feed, after all. Band aid bikinis forever? That was just a pipe dream.) Hey wait! I see that look on your face! You're totally judging Sloan right now, aren't you! How dare you?! See this is exactly what I'm talking about! Wait, where are you going? We can still be friends! I was just kidding about all of that stuff! Sloan isn't weird, he's super normal okay!

Fine! Whatever! I didn't need your click-through anyway! I have several, if not DOZENS, of hits to my blog every month!

*facepalm* So naive, Julia! Why did you think people would understand the band aid bikini situation??

Oh! Some of you are still here! *ahem* Well, even though it's obvious a few readers have learned nothing from this entry ("I've always wondered why Sloan's pockets, backpack, and car are forever littered with band aid wrappers," says every judgey person he knows), I'm still proud of myself for publishing my progressive and empowering opinion about men! Love them despite their idiocy!
And while I do have all of the sweet, dopey manchildren in my life to thank for helping me come to this conclusion, I more importantly have myself to thank because I'm the greatest mind of this generation (...according to no one. But who knows! That could change someday! Reach for the stars!)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Parenting: Take my advice, cuz I'm sure not using it!

Parenting is like any other skill: It's hard to be good at it. Heck, you have to be pretty good just to be bad at it. I don't know HOW people have the energy to do things outside of raising a kid, let alone more than one. I see my other parent friends stop whatever they're doing every thirty seconds to calmly explain to their toddler why they shouldn't chew on the trash can lid or why their soiled diaper doesn't belong in the refrigerator and I'm just over here yelling, 'WARD QUIT IT," from the couch watching reruns of People's Court in my high school gym shorts lookin like Mama June (that's Honey Boo Boo's mom for the uncultured among you). And some days it takes everything in me just to get out of bed and rub my two brain cells together enough to properly dress and feed Ward without accidentally scooping dishwasher detergent into his bowl (which still might be healthier than some of the cereal he eats). To say I'm an inadequate parent is the understatement of the century.
Ward's impression of me.
They say that exercise helps with raising energy levels, which sounds counter-intuitive to me, but science is one big, cosmic mystery anyway so I tried out a new workout today called T25. I'm proud to say that I dominated my first session with the help of a couple of minor modifications like only doing about seven minutes of it and then spending the other 18 minutes lying on the floor surfing the internet while it continued playing in the background. (We get it, Shaun T., you're sweaty!)

But who knows if I need energy much longer anyway. My baby can now speak in full sentences so I might as well find my sunglasses, put on my darkest shade of lipstick (which is currently a fifteen year old tube of Dr. Pepper flavored Wet n Wild lipgloss, y'all know I keep it poppin) and drive off a cliff cuz mama ain't got a purpose no more. Why do kids grow up? Why don't they stay little and dependent forever like Gary Coleman did? Why is Ward suddenly saying, "Mawmee go daway!" to me like he's a bouncer at the club? I just want to stroke your cheek with the back of my hand while singing "Cat's in the Cradle" in my crying falsetto! You are not a bouncer! You cannot bounce me! If anything, I am the bouncer! I say who stays and who goes, and you sir, my tiny golden-haired cherub with ruddy cheeks and dimpled elbows are STAYING. So bounce that!
But I must accept it: I can't have my cake and eat it too. I can't have a baby who is happy, healthy, and wonderful unless I allow him to grow up. It's like that one time I found the golden AND the silver egg at the campground Easter egg hunt and my mom made me give one of my prizes to some baby who was too slow to find the good eggs. He was just sitting there in his bunny romper crying until I handed over one of MY chocolate bunnies and he was suddenly all better. He didn't even say thanks! I'm sure there's a metaphor for life in there somewhere.