Status of the Blog

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I haven’t posted in a long time, because summer. And by summer, I mean baseball. Also, children. A lot of them. And husbands. And swimming lessons, noisy trumpets, Taylor Swift, another knee surgery, doggie diarrhea, soccer practices, filthy bathrooms, filthier clothes, and a half-hearted job search. Still, though, my blog is calling, and a lot of you (not really) have been asking if I am going to change the url to something else now that my lastborn child isn’t in first grade anymore. The answer is no, mostly because I have gained some traction with Last in First thanks to Scary Mommy and it wouldn’t be smart of me to change it every year based on what grade my last child is in. Also, Last in First was one of the most important milestones I have reached thus far and deserves to be recognized as such. It was very much a finish line for me, although now I realize it was just an illusion. Studies show that there are, in fact, no finish lines in parenthood. As soon as you cross one, another one forms in the distance. For instance, the next significant milestone for me is Convince Husband to Trim Backyard Hedges.

So anyway, I am going to keep Last in First in homage to that glorious September day in 2014 when I gained a small sliver of my life back and also because I feel like a lot of parents can relate. I did briefly consider other urls that would capture where I am along this acid trip journey that is parenthood. For your enjoyment, here is a list. NOTE: Some of these are real websites, click at your own risk:

http://www.candyandchaos.com

http://www.stopfighting.com

http://www.shhhhhbequiet.com

http://www.onetoomanykids.com

http://www.smallhousebigheadache.com

http://www.overwhelmedismymiddlename.com

http://www.wheresyourfather.com

http://www.sleepbrasarebrastoo.com

http://www.igiveup.com

http://www.letsbuymoreshoes.com

http://www.letsplaymorebaseball.com

http://www.iloathethegrocerystore.com

http://www.notorganized.com

http://www.hairylegsmessyhouse.com

http://www.pilesoflaundry.com

http://www.help.com

http://www.letseatmorehotdogs.com

http://www.thedoghasdiarrheaagain.com

http://www.letshaveanotherkneesurgery.com

http://www.howdoworkingmomsdoit.com

http://www.insecuremom.com

http://www.cantdeal.com

http://www.sodone.com

http://www.iknowwhythecagedmomsings.com

http://www.sigh.com

Just for kicks, let me know which one you like the best. Happy Summer, everyone!

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Mom, Where is My Uniform?

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“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a mantra that is supposed to work for me and other parents who are desperate to be organized, but I am here to tell you that it doesn’t. Take, for example, Little League uniforms. Ideally, uniforms should be located in one spot, easily accessible by the child who is going to wear it. However, because there are so many games, my son’s uniform is almost always “in the wash,” which means at any given point in time, it could be in one of five places:

  1. The washing machine
  2. The dryer
  3. A basket in the basement
  4. A basket on the main floor
  5. The hamper, still dirty from the last game

As a result, I have given up on the idea that a baseball uniform can ever have a permanent home, which means that on the rare occasion it isn’t in the wash, I have no idea where to put it. Most of the time, I’ll put it in his dresser drawer. Other times, for reasons I can’t fully explain, I’ll hang it in his closet, and still others (mostly when the drawers are too crowded and the closet is too full), I’ll put it in a plastic bin under his bed, along with a ton of other sports-related clothes.

Those of you without kids in baseball (or any other sport) will be shocked to learn just how many components there are to a Little League uniform. As far as I can tell, there are ten:

  1. Jersey
  2. Under Armour (if it’s cold)
  3. Pants
  4. Official uniform belt
  5. Heart guard, purchased at Dick’s on sale for $78
  6. Special baseball underwear, purchased at Dick’s with a coupon for $42
  7. Cup
  8. Official uniform socks
  9. Cleats
  10. Official uniform hat

On those days when my son’s baseball game starts at 9am, I have to set my alarm for 4am to make sure there’s enough time to get him dressed. If both of my boys have a game that day at 9am, I have no other choice than to pull an all-nighter.

An hour before every baseball game, my son and I will have a screaming match throughout the house which always goes something like this:

Son, from the bedroom: “Mom, where is my uniform?”

Me, from the kitchen: “In your drawer!”

Son: “I checked, it’s not there.”

Me: “Ok, check under the bed.”

Son: “It’s not here!”

Me, sighing hard: “It’s probably in the basement.”

Son: “Come with me!”

Me: “I can’t!”

Son: “But it’s dark down there!”

We’ll find the pants and the jersey in the basement, but the other eight items won’t be there. We’ll go back upstairs to find the special underwear in his brother’s drawer, and the protective cup that slides into the front of the underwear in the dog’s mouth. We’ll chase the dog around the house until we are forced to yell, “Do you want some cheese?” so that the dog drops the cup and tears into the kitchen for a tiny piece from a Kraft single, cementing in his brain the reward he gets for stealing the cup from now until forever, Amen.

Against all odds, I will finally get the boy dressed, only then to move on to Phase 2 of Baseball Game Preparation, which is gathering the equipment. As far as I can tell, there are eight of these items we need to gather:

  1. Mitt
  2. Batting gloves
  3. Bat, purchased at the local sports shop on sale for $345
  4. Helmet, not for sharing lest you get lice
  5. Water bottle, leaking from somewhere
  6. Snack
  7. Sports glasses
  8. A bag to keep all of the above stuff together

As is the case with Phase 1, it’s anyone’s guess where these items are, although they are supposed to be in their designated places. The bat is supposed to be in a bin in the garage, but we’ll find it hidden in the grass in the backyard. The water bottle is supposed to be in a kitchen cabinet but it’s in the back of my husband’s car, and the sports glasses will be in his desk at school.

Phase 3 is when we pour into the car and I’ll back out of the driveway without having any real idea as to where the game is being played. I’ll take an educated guess, and if I’m wrong, I’ll check an app on my phone from the parking lot, but only if a) I remembered to bring my phone, and b) it’s not dead.

Thankfully, baseball is almost over, except that it’s not because both of my boys have signed up for summer leagues. I think I’m going to need a new mantra.

Spring is for Sports, so Let’s Eat

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Everyone is dying for spring, but I am in no rush, mostly because of my allergies. Who am I kidding? It’s because of the sports. This spring I am going to lose my mind shuttling three kids between five sports. I enjoy watching my kids play sports, but if I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy it that much. Certainly not as much as my husband.

Growing up, my husband played football, basketball, and baseball and he excelled at each one. So naturally, watching his kids play sports brings back a lot of wonderful memories.

For me, though, there’s not much to which I can relate. In my youth, I played competitive piano and my exposure to sports was extremely limited. Aside from the 1986 World Series and the OJ Simpson murder trial, my family didn’t really even watch sports on TV.

Today, all kids seem to do is play sports (and Minecraft), and I’ve had a really hard time pretending I know what’s going on. It’s not that I don’t try, I do, but eventually I zone out, irritated by all the noise, especially the piercing whistles. I start thinking about all kinds of things I know no one else on the sidelines is thinking given that there is an actual game going on.

You would think that I would just sit there and politely keep my non-sports thoughts to myself, but I don’t. Instead, I share them. I start blabbing about whatever pops into my head. Most of the time, these thoughts are about food. Here is the transcript of an actual conversation I had with my husband at my son’s basketball game a few weekends ago:

Husband: “Oh my God, how did that not go in?”

Me: “Oooooo! So close!”

Husband: “He’s gotta make those.”

Me: “So I know we said sushi for dinner, but Greg wants spaghetti and meatballs.”

Husband (shouting): “WHO’S GOT 15?”

Me: “Actually, I bet I could get Greg to eat a meatball sub from Subway.”

Husband: “STAY SQUARE!! SQUARE UP!!”

Me: “No, I can’t do that. Subway is junk.”

Husband: “Great job boys!”

Me: “Good job guys!!

Husband: “Whatever you want for dinner, I don’t care. GREG, GET BACK ON D!”

Me: “Alright, well, let me see what he says after the game. I really don’t want to cook tonight. I’m so tired. What time is this over?”

Husband: “HELP HIM OUT, HELP HIM OUT!!!”

Me: “My skin is so dry, I can’t deal. Don’t forget I’m going to that party tonight.”

Husband: “GREAT PASS! What party?”

Me: “The Oscar party, after dinner.”

Husband: “Oh. So don’t cook then. Just do Subway. THREE SECONDS!”

Me: “I don’t want Subway.”

Husband: “That’s right, you said sushi. WATCH IT, HE’S REACHING IN!”

Me: *yawn*

Sometimes, I will be at a game without my husband and my boredom will compel me to start chatting up another Mom, even though she is giving no indication that she is open to chatting. I’ll ask her if she has tried the new restaurant in town and she will answer me but two seconds later she will break eye contact to scream positive encouragements at her child across the field, making me feel like a boob for ever venturing into non-sports territory in the first place. Even my closest friend once gave me “The Heisman” after I offered to share the details of my most recent meal with her so that she could enthusiastically remind her daughter to be “softball ready” in the outfield over and over again.

When my last and youngest starts playing tackle football in a few years, I am hopeful things will be different. If I had to choose one sport to tolerate for the rest of my life, it would have to be football. I’m sure this has something to do with the glorious food of football (e.g., chili, wings, nachos…what’s not to love?) but over the years I have come to understand it much more than any other sport and therefore should be able to pay better attention. Except if it’s cold. Then the only thing I will be able to think about will be those things that keep me warm in winter, like pot roast, sausage lentil soup, and beef stew. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just help at the snack stand.