[Just A Long Post About Laundry]

UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH.

We need to talk about laundry.

I don’t know about you guys, but laundry is probably going to be the thing that does me in.

Honestly.

It’s not the cooking, which I loathe and yet find myself spending about three hours a day doing.

It’s not the cleaning, which – again – I’m not really a fan of; though being a health and sanitization freak, I see the necessity of. (Still, it would be nice if the second I wipe down a counter, my family could not immediately spill food and walk away…)

The errands. The kids’ sports. The homeschooling. The breastfeeding, largely unsupported.

It’s none of that shit.

It’s the laundry.

I never understood – before having three kids, plus my dad, husband, and myself – just how much laundry a family could produce. Like I kind of understood. When I was little, we had a big basement and the laundry would just pile up higher and higher until my dad or I finally got around to doing it.

But holy shit. Laundry.

LAUNDRY. WOAH.

Every week, the piles get bigger and bigger, and I’m just not sure how to go about doing it. I have a teen, a tween, and a toddler, so naturally all three of the worst laundry-with-kids phases. My kids also play sports too; and my husband and dad… well, men.

I tried one load a day, but that was insufficient for a family of six.

I tried two loads a day; somehow also insufficient.

I tried just continuing the laundry all day, every day. The problem with that was then the folding never got done and we just had piles of clothes waiting to be put away laying around everywhere.

I’ve tried one or two, specific, laundry days a week. But busy lives and a lot of people means that for the days afterwards, there’s still the laundry piled up everywhere waiting to be folded or put away, like with my daily laundry routine. And also, with a family of six, the longer it takes to finish “laundry day,” the more laundry gets added to laundry day.

And you guys get it; it just never gets done.

I’m at the point, now, of thinking: ‘let’s just burn all of our clothes once they start to smell.’ We can start fresh with the latest Target wardrobe du jour. Right? (Honestly, it would probably cost less than the endless amounts of detergent, combined with the water and gas bill from the washer and dryer – essentially – running constantly.)

It’s not just the doing of the laundry, it’s the folding and putting away. We are a family of six, and we live in a small house (duh, California cost of living). So we have to squeeze things in as best we can.

Which basically means we don’t.

There’s also that whole Gain thing.

Do you guys remember a while ago Gain laundry detergent had that Gooder campaign, and I basically lost my mind about it?

I wrote blogs, Tweeted, Facebooked, and even wrote a letter to the president of the company. I just could not handle a marketing campaign that used improper grammar. (Because, at the time, I really was that much of a pretentious grammarian. I know, I know…I hate me too.)

To my surprise, those motherfuckers over at Gain had the BALLS to respond to me, and their response was even more appalling than the campaign: they said THAT THEIR GOODER CAMPAIGN WAS GOODEST ENOUGH FOR THEM. (Or something along those lines.)

Like they not only defended it, they went so far as to bate me further. I. Was. Livid.

So I stopped using Gain for quite some time, which I’m sure was a real crisis to them. I mean I do a lot of laundry, so much so that I was once asked for identification because my local CVS security team identified through camera and cash register surveillance footage that I was purchasing Tide pods at an “alarming frequency and quantity” (their words); still, I’m fairly certain my lone boycott of Gain and their bullshit GOODER campaign had absolutely no impact on the company whatsoever.

But it was the point, you know?

So flash forward to last summer when we went on a little mini vacation and had to buy one of those one time use packs of laundry detergent – because, duh, I have a huge family and even vacations include Mom doing laundry. The only option was Gain, so I begrudgingly bought it…

…WELL… have you guys smelled that shit lately? They were right: IT. IS. GOODER. It was like someone had sewn roses into my clothes when I washed them with Gain. Like all of the good smells in the universe have been infused into a tiny pod, that they don’t even call a pod – they call it a fling. Some romantic shit you had the summer between your junior and senior years of college is now working overtime to get the scent and stain of your daily filth out of your Cotton On underpants. Like heaven is real, and it’s the smell and feel of my freshly laundered linens.

So now I feel like a hypocrite because I took Gain to task during that whole Gooder campaign thing, now I literally stand at the washing machine with my nose in the Gain Fling container like I’m sniffing a fine wine for the first time.

I’ve clearly lost it in the thick of all these socks that need to be folded, and bras that need to be hand washed. I don’t really know where to go from here.

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Buy My Book Now, Or Else My Next One Will Be About You

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Kidding. (Not kidding.)

Okay you guys, my book was set to come out on Tuesday, June 4th. Tomorrow for me. Today at this point for some of you. Then I got an email today saying it would be delayed because of some bullshit on Amazon. I was so devastated. I threw myself around for about an hour. I asked tons of people for advice (because the Kindle and independent publisher DID have it available, so it would only be the Amazon thing holding up the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT). I emotionally ate probably ten times more calories than I should have.

Then I got home from running a bunch of stupid errands (because of course, on a “me” day when the MIL has the Pookies, the only natural thing to do is run errands rather than doing something actually for … me …); I got home from running those errands and I was like you know I’m going to look up the Kindle version of the book to make sure that is indexed properly too. If there was a screw up with one, there might be a screw up with the other right?

And then it happened. I saw that the snafu had been resolved. My book is available in Paperback on Amazon, as well as for a Kindle device or Kindle App.

OH MY GOD. MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE ON PAPERBACK ON AMAZON, AS WELL AS FOR A KINDLE DEVICE OR KINDLE APP.

… have you all regained consciousness?

MWABBUTTONSFor those of you relatively new around the block, I wrote a compilation book of never-before-seen tirades about being an adult, being a mom, and how I think men and husbands are absolutely horrifying. It isn’t just for moms or wives or women. Quite frankly, I think men could consider it a manual of what not to do (in spite of the fact that it is probably going to be considered by many as the most emasculating, man-hating book on the planet….).

To be clear: I am not a man-hater. I am just honest.

But because of this honesty, I thought it best to dub this one an investigation of sorts. Is it OK to be a bitch? Is there something true about anything I say – in my books, as well as on my blog? Am I insane, or do I really actually say things a lot of people think?

All questions answered in the book.

So here’s the deal. You are all going to watch the trailer for My Wife’s a Bitch. Right here! On this very blog post!

Then you are going to click on the picture below that best describes how you prefer to read your books. And you are going to buy the book.

Or else my next one will be about you.

You think I’m kidding? I mean I am (not really). But once you read the book, maybe you will take me more seriously. (Or not.) Only time will tell.

The last thing you are going to do (or suffer my wrath) is post a review on Amazon, like the book on Amazon, post your comments about it on Goodreads, and MORE THAN ANYTHING – share this motherfucker into the ground. SHARE SHARE SHARE!

You remember in health class in high school when they did that glitter thing to prove how fast STDs spread? One person got some glitter on her hand and had to move around the classroom, suddenly there was glitter everywhere and we were all cowering in fear that this might have meant we somehow caught some weird form of chlamydia. I want you to share this bitch right now like you shared that glitter chlamydia in high school health class.

So without further ado, My Wife’s A Bitch. Because I am.

To buy for download on your Kindle, Kindle Fire, or Kindle APP ($4.99)

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To buy an unsigned paperback from Amazon.com ($9.99 – marked down to $9.24)

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To buy a signed paperback directly from the author ($24.99 – free shipping in the United States)

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How To Avoid Pregnancy In 6 Steps

I’m at that time in the month when I really want to have a baby. My period just stopped. The hormones have yet to get back to normal, though, because it’s really the last day of the cycle – so I’m weepy about it too. My ovaries are getting ramped up to fire out another egg faster than an AK-47 at target practice. And by next Friday it’ll be like Ovulation Central Station in the nether region of my womanhood.

It also doesn’t help that each day sees another pregnancy announcement. Yesterday I learned that a friend from when I worked in the pharmacy during undergraduate is now expecting. She’s 11 weeks along the line, and getting pregnant has been no small feat for these love birds. As I congratulated her, though, I realized that she is now the 28th person I know that will be giving birth some time this year. (Update: while writing this post, another friend messaged me on Facebook … no jokes, now we’re at 29.)

In the words of Joey from Blossom: WOAH.

So today is also a really big day for not only my baby dreams, but also my blog. This is my 400th post, and on that 400th post I was planning to make my own big announcement and feature a giveaway to celebrate the occasion. Am I having a baby too? No, that’s quite obvious given my conversation about my little red sister, up above in paragraph one. Am I quitting the blog now that I’ve hit the 400th mark? Absolutely not. That would be dumb.

Nope, the news is that I’m publishing a new book. It’s a book of articles on adulthood, marriage, and parenting; very much in the same vein as this blog – entitled My Wife’s a Bitch. It isn’t just for women or parents, it’s really for people like me. (If you are reading this blog, you are likely one of them.) The book is scheduled to release on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013, and the really exciting thing is that I’ll be doing book signings for this one – both around my home in the LA suburbs, and in the Chicagoland area this summer. Are you shouting “yay!” yet? I am.

To celebrate, I’m hosting a giveaway of my last book, the very short and very quirky tragic comedy that is my childhood story – Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. Details on the giveaway are at the end of this post.

So while vomiting in the morning, hormones added to my baseline level of crazy, and peeing in my pants every time I laugh is actually my norm, it’s quite obvious that pregnancy is probably not the thing to do these next few months as My Wife’s a Bitch hits the shelves.  Fortunately, I’ve devised my six, surefire steps to avoiding pregnancy. Birth control, tubal ligation, and the old ever-failing pull out method are for sissies.

1. Rarely (if ever) see your spouse.

If you never see your spouse, you never have sex. If you never have sex, you have no pregnancy.

2. Visit all your friends with new babies on the days they’ve had no sleep. Not on the days the baby slept a whopping seven hours uninterrupted.

Don’t get me wrong: all of the sleepless nights, the midnight feedings, the baby in the bed just to get 30 minutes … it’s all worth it. And it is temporary. IT IS. But nothing reminds you how difficult having a brand new baby around can be more than seeing a friend that is in the middle of it. They’ve got dark circles under their eyes, they forgot to eat their last three meals, and their hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in a week (because it hasn’t); those are the times to visit.

3. Spend some time with someone after they’ve been in the hospital.

This is one I’m going through right now, and it has nothing to do with a baby (but my dad with his hip). Hospitals are miserable, which means that if you have a baby – unless you are one of those adventurous new age people that has them at home – you are going to have some sort of a stay in the hospital. That means crappy food, nasty nurses, and even less sleep than when you are home with the baby.

4. Let your kid(s) have free range of the house for a few hours.

If you are like me, you already have at least one wee one running around the house. That means that you have a built-in anti-pregnancy device. Sure, you may have forgotten the sleepless nights and the problems that came up early on; but what you will never forget is how much damage to your home kids can cause when they multiply. Imagine the mess your kid(s) make multiplied by another (or MORE!) after letting them have free range of the house for just a few hours. Do you want to clean up even more than you already do? I don’t think so.

5. Pay all your bills on the same day each month.

No matter how much money you make; no matter how good of a financial position you are in; nothing says “now is not the time to get pregnant” like paying out a lot of money in one swoop. I do this monthly – I pay all of our bills in one day. It takes an entire paycheck to do so, which stresses my husband and I out way more than it would if it were paid out in smaller increments over the month. All the amount of common sense and logic doesn’t overrule the feeling of thousands of dollars going with a simple click of your mouse.

6. Take up a hobby that involves thinking about things other than pregnancy. Like drinking.

Maybe you want to get pregnant because you are bored. Best to try taking up a hobby, particularly one you can’t do while pregnant – like drinking. Or sky-diving. Or something that’s really expensive you won’t be able to afford after having a baby, like international traveling. That’ll remind you of everything you can’t have if you have a bun in the oven (typed while enjoying my wine o’clock).

Follow my six steps, and you are sure to avoid any ol’ pregnancy you’ve been trying to run away from for years.

41pefmS6JPL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-79,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_So now about the giveaway. The situation is that I’m afraid my last book Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy (click the link for more details on Amazon) is going to get a little jealous when My Wife’s a Bitch comes out. I would. In an effort to ease that jealousy, I thought I’d host a little giveaway to make the ol’ gal feel a little more at ease. Between now and Monday, June 3rd, “like” this post, share this post, Facebook it, Tweet it – whatever … and post a comment. The most important part is the comment, although the sharing is really nice too. On the day before the release date of My Wife’s a Bitch, I’ll be randomly selecting five lucky bloggies to receive a free, signed copy of Surviving on Cynicism and Misanthropy. And the more shares and comments you make, the more chances you have to win. Happy post #400 faithful blog followers. Here’s to another 400 of awesome to come!!

Saying Goodbye to Summer

I don’t mean “saying goodbye to summer” as in it’s nice and cool and you can all break out your Uggs and seven-layered scarves and crap. No, no – as I sit here and think about changing my shirt since the boob sweat has now soaked through – no, I don’t mean that.

I mean that all these little bastards are going back to school somewhere between the end of this week and the Tuesday after Labor Day. This is a blessed thing, in my book.

Now before you all get huffy because I called your precious cargo “bastards,” please keep in mind that I don’t actually mean to say all kids are bastards. Just the majority of those in my community are. And we’ve all got to admit that some kids just are not the little sweetie-pies kids are supposed to be anymore. I think video games, television, and the culture of entitlement really ruined it for everyone.

Being a homeschooling family, I don’t usually get a sense of “back to school” time. I know when the kids are back to school, because those little jerks aren’t running their scooters into my car and letting off fireworks outside my bedroom window anymore. They aren’t screaming at 6:30 in the morning to each other. Their parents are back to work too, rather than overcompensating for their lack of involvement during the school year.

I think you know what I mean, though, when I say we don’t really get a sense of “back to school” time. We are in school all the time.

There will be no “back to school” supply shopping for me because homeschooling is done all year in this house. Sometimes I take advantage of the back to school sales – because, quite frankly, homeschooling ain’t cheap – but if I don’t really need anything at the time, it usually comes and goes with no notice. This year, I already had more than enough of everything and had planned through the end of December of this year.

I will have no overachieving parents to contend with whose children are in the same class as mine. I won’t have to stand around at the bus stop and chit-chat with mothers who don’t know my name, no matter how many times I’ve told them. There will be no carpool to deal with. No pick up/drop off lines. I won’t have to dread the return of the P.T.A. or P.T.O. or whatever the school calls them now. The “back to school” carnival will have no fish for us, because we won’t be there. My husband won’t be worried that this year he will finally have to volunteer for the carnival’s dunk tank. And when the Halloween party comes, I won’t have to take a Valium to prepare for the parents yelling at me – the room mom – for not presenting the baked goods in a way that properly highlighted them.

There will be no volunteer hour requirements to once again meet. There will also be no fundraisers. There will be no auctions that I have to make baskets for. There will be no bake sales. There will be no cookie dough orders and gift wrap sales. There will be no bills for funds not raised and hours not volunteered.

Summer may be coming to an end, but my sleeping until 9 in the morning every day won’t.

Summer may be coming to an end, but trips to the museum whenever we want won’t.

Summer may be coming to an end, but the added traffic and lines and public hassle sure will.

At the end of the summer, I usually celebrate the return of school by scheduling all of our really fun stuff. This year we’re going to Catalina Island, although there will be very few people there. We’re going to Disneyland and there will be no lines. We’re heading to the Angels/White Sox game – in the middle of the day on a school day. No one will be around, but we will and this is so awesome words cannot describe.

There are plenty of reasons why I am envious of the end of summer for many of you. You get showers again. You get “me” time again. You get order again and eight free hours a day to sip your coffee or tea or whatever until it’s time to get the kids and start on the homework. You don’t live and breath school, which is exactly what we do.

There will be no day that comes and it is suddenly quiet in my house. There will be no quiet shower in the morning; uninterrupted by questions and complaints and “I’m hungry”s. There will be no eight hours of uninterrupted “me” time, when I can go to the spa or mop the floor in peace. Shopping will still include a stop at the toy store as a bribe to get the rest of the shopping done with no issues.

But on the note of shopping, we will have no “school clothes shopping” day, where I am suddenly confronted with dress codes and the rising cost of uniforms.

In the end, I still prefer my end of summer much better. Without the hassle of supply shopping, and the drag of getting out of bed before 7. Without the jerk kids running their scooters into my car and the overachieving parents forgetting my name. Saying goodbye to summer is saying hello to pretty good times for me.