The day he kicked me out of the house

My husband has always been really good about taking care of his own needs. 

This isn’t to say he’s selfish; quite the opposite.  He does a ton around the house and with the kids.  I couldn’t ask for a better partner, or father.  But he is also adept at knowing when he needs a break, and asking for it.  He’ll go out for a beer with the guys, go catch a game on the big screen, or get in a few rounds of golf.

I’ve always encouraged him to do this.  I wanted him to be happy and to find an outlet to let off steam that I knew he needed.

But when it came down to doing this for myself?  Not so easy.

As much as Jay prodded me to get out and take a break, I always had lots of excuses.  And in retrospect, they were just that… a bunch of hooey-laden excuses.

I had to be home to feed the baby.  Malarkey.  There was a whole freezerful of perfectly good breastmilk waiting to be used.

No one can else can put the baby to sleep.  Malarkey.  Dad can be just as good at putting the baby down as I was.  Maybe even more so, because he didn’t have the distraction of boobs.

There were dishes/laundry/butts needing to be wiped at home.  Malarkey.  Well, part of this was true.  There were mounds of dirty dishes and clothes that needed tending to, but they weren’t going anywhere anytime soon (unfortunately).  And my husband was just as good as I was at wiping butt.

The truth is, a big part of me wanted to be the one to do it all.  Jay says lovingly that I have a hard time letting go, which is the politically correct husband’s way of saying I am a control freak with a rampant Type-A personality.  It’s so true. 

I thought I could be the ideal mom, maintain my notion of domestic perfection, and still manage to keep my sanity and sense of identity.  In reality, that was a bunch of malarkey.  I was swimming in the self-martyrdom I had created, and not doing a very good job of keeping my head afloat.

And one day, it all hit the fan.

One Saturday, Jay came home from golfing after I had had a particularly rough day with the kids.  He was in a great mood, and was tan, refreshed and smelled of beer.

Needless to say, I did not greet him like June Cleaver.  I was tired, frazzled, and snippy.  And admittedly, I was a little jealous that he had been out having fun while I battled the terrible twosome on my own.

My husband took one look at me, and did something I’m still grateful for.  He kicked me out of the house.  With strict orders not to come back until I had done something fun for myself.

I can’t remember what I did that day.  I just know that it wasn’t until I got out that I realized how much I craved and needed a break.  Or how much I missed “me” time.  I also know I came home happier, slightly recharged, and feeling a bit more like myself. 

And ready to tackle those dishes, which were of course still sitting in the sink.

He started a new tradition that day.  Once or twice a month, we’ll take turns kicking each other out of the house for a few hours or an evening away.

I look forward to those days.  I look forward to reclaiming some of the “me” time that seemed unattainable before.  Most of all, I look forward to coming home to the husband that isn’t afraid to kick his own wife out of the house.  Because he loves her that much.

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They don’t call it Sin City for nothin’

10th Anniversary

Three cheers for vacations!

Jay and I are headed off for a few days away, sans kids, to celebrate 11 years of him putting up with me (In the legally binding sort of way, at least.  Altogether, he’s actually put up with me far longer than that.)

Our destination?  Las Vegas, baby!  (Thus, the retro Vegas look for this month’s theme.)

Las Vegas is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places… ever.  Before we had kids, we used to jet off to Vegas 3 or 4 times a year.  While that habit has obviously gone by the wayside since the munchkins came along, every year, we still manage to make an annual pilgrimage (usually coinciding with our anniversary) to Sin City.

Speaking of which… I’ve often wondered where the term “Sin City” came from.  I could probably Google it, but I’m just too lazy.  Personally, I’m thinking it has something to do with the seven deadly sins.  ‘Cause Vegas pretty much covers them all.

Here’s my take on why I think they call it “Sin City”:

Pride, otherwise known as Vanity

I know it’s not good for you, but I love getting a tan.  There’s also something to be said about returning from vacation bronzed and glowing, and making my co-workers jealous.

Unfortunately, I tend to forget about the fact that I live in Oregon and, even with my naturally darker complexion, my poor skin hasn’t seen the light of day for months.  That and the fact that it doesn’t take long to fry while sunbathing in 110 degree weather.

And so, my efforts to get a good tan in Vegas often produce something like this:

Not exactly the summer glow I was going for.


Vegas always reminds me of our carefree pre-child days.  It also makes me a tad bit envious of the time in our lives when sleeping in until noon, flying off to Vegas on a whim, or staying out late without regard for a babysitter was the norm.

Of course, after about 24 hours, I usually start to really miss the kids and we begin talking about them non-stop.  And then, I start to envy all of the families I see walking around on the strip.


Five words for you:  All-you-can-eat-buffet.

Also?  You are the devil, shrimp cocktail.  The devil.  And that’s all I have to say about that.


You know that saying, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”?  Well, it is simply not true.  I know, because I have two kids to disprove that little slogan.

Our anniversary is in July.  Both of my kids’ due dates were in March.  You do the math.


Slot machines are my nemesis.  They beckon to me, with their flashy lights, catchy jingles and allure of winning a few nickles.

Damn you, one-armed-bandits.   And that’s all I have to say about that.

Avarice, aka Greed or Covetousness

I’m not greedy.  As much as I love the slot machines, I’m not expecting or looking to win big when I play them.  Granted, winning a million bucks in one pull would be absolutely gravy, but I’m not kidding myself.

If I get my money back, I feel like I’ve won.  In actuality, this rarely happens.

And still, I can’t help by feel a little covetousness when I see someone winning a big jackpot.  Especially when it’s at a machine I just got up from.


Sleeping in until 8 (yes, for us, that is sleeping in).  Drinking margaritas by the pool.  Eating quiet, leisurely dinners without having to cut up someone else’s food.

Sounds pretty sloth-like to me.  And heavenly.

I can’t wait.

Dad, you’ve got skills.

I knew when I married Jay that he’d be a fantastic husband and, someday, father.  I was right.

But what I couldn’t foresee is the unique skills he’d bring to the table.  For example:

He cooks.  I’m not at all joking when I say he makes the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever tasted.  He also dials a mean Domino’s.  

He grooves.  My children have been raised from birth to have a fine appreciation of Bon Jovi, Johnny Cash, Van Halen and a smattering of 80’s one hit wonders.  While his choice of music sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out, it has an oddly soothing effect on my kids.  To this day, the Footloose soundtrack will calm Chip down in the midst of even the worst screamfest.

He does the laundry.  Almost all of our laundry, since the day we were married.  Early on, I learned to not buy anything that was wool or not colorfast.  I also grew to appreciate tight sweaters and the color pink.  Still, this is one of the best perks of our marriage.

He dances.  He’s taught Bobo all the best moves, including the moonwalk and the robot.  We’re currently working on perfecting the running man.  I’m sure her future prom dates will thank us.  Who knows… maybe “old school” will be back “in” by then.

He cleans Booyah’s litter box.  He shovels crap every week, and has never once complained about it.  Lord knows he gets his fair share from me on a daily basis.

He gives the best horsie rides, piggy backs, and laundry basket train rides in the neighborhood.

He brings home the loot.  I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve come home empty-handed from Chuck E. Cheese, the fair, or anywhere with one of those pick-a-prize machines.  He also owns the baseball toss and the basketball shootout. 

Jay calls this last skill his “useless gift.”  The result of this talent?

To clarify, Booyah was not won at a carnival, but the rest of the animals were.  As I gathered these up in Bobo’s room tonight, I counted 24 stuffed creatures won by Jay.  Make that 25, including the one he won today at Oak’s Park that isn’t pictured here.

I don’t know how he does it.  But I do know that if they gave out money for winning those, we’d be filthy rich

Instead, we are rich in carnival prize loot.  And butt rock.  And funky dance moves. 

And those are the things you just can’t put a price on. 

Happy Father’s Day, Jay.  We love you!

What I’m getting my husband for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with the perfect present for my husband.  So, of course, I turned to the internet, and found some really great ideas.

I’m still working on compiling my shopping list, but here are the top six gems I’ve come up with so far:

1.  You just can’t go wrong with bacon.
Mmm, bacon.  Jay loves bacon.  And, he actually needs a new wallet, so I was thinking about getting him this deluxe bacon wallet.  There are a whole pile of accessories I might purchase to go with this, including bacon lip balm, bacon air freshener, and bacon soap.  I have to admit, I am a bit stymied why anyone would want to wear bacon bandaids, but maybe that’s because I’m not a guy.  (I guess so you can lick your own wounds?  That’s just gross.)

2.  The Diaper Dootie Tool Belt.  
This puppy comes pre-stocked with everything you’d need to change the foulest of diapers, including a facemask, goggles and rubber gloves.  The designer tool belt also comes in other fashion colors, including white, but really, how practical is that?  If you’re going to get one, black is definitely the way to go.

3.  Cowboy Hat, ala Brunson
If you’ve never heard of Doyle Brunson, he is one of the great legends poker.  And personally, I think he’s adorable.  There’s something about a man sporting a cowboy hat and a million dollar smile that I can’t resist.  Since Jay’s already got a pretty great smile, I was thinking about buying him this cowboy hat, so he’d look more Doyle-ish.  Who knows, maybe it would bring my husband good luck at the poker tables, too.

4.  Cheat sheet for men
This handy little cheat sheet helps him remember your ring size, favorite colors, favorite flowers and more.  And it’s credit card sized, so it would fit perfectly in that bacon wallet.  It doesn’t have a spot for birthdates or anniversaries; you may want to consider jotting those on there as well.  Truly a thoughtful gift.

5.  Sometimes, it’s OK to drink and drive
When I saw this golf club beer dispenser, I literally oohed.  Jay loves golf, and he loves beer.  What could be more perfect?  This driver holds up to 48 ounces of his favorite brew.  And apparently it does not count as a regulation golf club, so he wouldn’t need to choose between his regular driver and his “beer driver”… he can bring both!

6.  He’s the Boss
I don’t usually buy my husband clothes, but this shirt caught my eye for some reason.  I think he’d look great in it.  And he will wear it.  Because I said so.

So here’s my dilemma.  All of these items are currently sitting in my shopping cart, and I seriously can’t decide which one to actually give him.  Who knows…perhaps I’ll end up buying them all.  I truly think every single one of these would be like the gift that keeps on giving.

What are you giving the dad in your life for Father’s Day?