Hey! I’m Rachael. Mother of two, wife of one, writer of nonsense. You’ll normally find me laughing at my own Facebook status, hiding in the laundry room from my kids, or offending someone on my personal blog, RachRiot.com. If you’ve never read it, let me just apologize in advance. (***Warning: The Rach Riot Blog at www.RachRiot.com contains content that may be objectionable to some readers.)
I’m thrilled to be a part of the Houston Family team and this column will be my humorous (hopefully?) take on surviving parenthood and wedded bliss. I’ll try to keep it classy over here.
I’m a SAHM living the dream out in the ‘burbs. I have a son, Henry (9) and a daughter, Camille (6) so this column is a great gig for me. I can do it from home and I’m a fan of any activity that doesn’t require a bra.
Hey, I said I would *try* to keep it classy.
Nice to meet you!
Monday, March 4, 2013
I’m In A Book! No, Really.
Okay, get this– so, last year I got a few very exciting emails. One was from a Nigerian Prince who is my cousin, and he couldn’t get back into the country without $10,000 so naturally I’m going to help him because he has endless legal fees and I’m very helpful like that. He’s family, after all. But the other very exciting email was from a well-known blogger– I’ll call her Jen. She likes to punch people. In this email she claimed she had been following my blog and thought I was funny and basically invited me to contribute a story to a book she is working on.
Heh. YEAH, RIGHT. Do I look like I was born yesterday? I’m not gullible so I checked this book deal out with Prince Ohuwanawadacash and he said it’s totally legit! He said I should do it; I should reach for my dreams (and my wallet..) He is so funny sometimes, y’all! Anyway, I submitted a story and basically thought that was the end of that. But then Jen contacted me and said my story made it into the book!! I’m going to be a published author. In a book! I didn’t even have to sleep with anyone!
The book is called I JUST WANT TO PEE ALONE. (You love it already!) It’s an anthology of humorous essays on motherhood by some of the funniest women on the web. How I got into this group I do not know; I’m as baffled as you are. Baffled but excited. The book comes out this spring, and will be sold on Amazon.com and in bookstores and everything, like a real book. It will also be available on Kindle, Nook and iPad. My story is super embarrassing, of course, so get ready. Throughout this process I’ve gotten to know many of the writers that are involved with this book– blogs that I’ve read for years and now I am friends with these crazy women!! Some are already published authors so they are not freaking out like I am. I’m pretty new to all of this so the support from these ladies has been incredible. They took me by the hand, wiped the dirt off my blog with their mama spittle fingers and took care of me. I’m so grateful to each and every one and will be sharing some of their blogs here on my page so you can get to know them, too. Here are just a few ladies that I love:
I will be giving updates and details on the book release, where to buy, etc. oh, probably every ten minutes or so, don’t worry. I will also have an Amazon linky-dink on my page that you can click to buy. I’m going to make it so easy for you to give me your money!
Because as Prince Ohuwanawadacash will tell you, I’m very helpful like that.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Winter Break Down
Day 17 of Winter Break. I am writing to you from the laundry room. My captors may allow me out today for supplies. It will be nice to feel the sunshine on my face, if only for a brief moment. I found a mini chocolate Santa in someone’s pants pocket for breakfast but didn’t dare tell the others. The internet is my only solace from the incessant cacophany of Disney movies and Leapster games. I welcome the steady white noise the dryer provides. Will write more later– I hear them calling. One of the captors can’t open their Capri Sun. Pray for me.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Terror On The High Shelf
I just received the first Christmas card of the year in the mail.
I’m gonna need a minute.
I know, I know– some people are on the ball. Some people run right out Thanksgiving night to shop the sales, mail the cards, and get the tree. They crank up the Mannheim Steamroller and wrap the presents they started buying three months ago. They are all ready for Christmas right now.
I hate those people.
Me, I work a little differently. I’m more of a last-minute gal and work best under pressure. That’s not always possible with kids around. They, too, are ready in October. To them, Thanksgiving is just a gravy-covered speed bump on the road between Candyween and Toyland. So it was no surprise when mine started penning their letters to Santa well before Thanksgiving.
What was surprising was The Kraken’s announcement: That she was ready for Carlos to come back.
“Carlos” is our Elf on the Shelf. If you don’t know what Elf on the Shelf is, clearly you don’t have small children or leave the house ever, because this felt annoyance is everywhere now. When we got ours the kids immediately named him Carlos. Yes, Carlos. Even though he is Casper-white with brown hair and blue eyes, that is the name they came up with. M’kay. Fantastico.
My son, Henry (you know, “The Good One”- I bet you forgot that I have two kids) was excited. Of course he was, because he’s always pretty well behaved. The thought of Carlos being able to tell Santa directly how good he is meant MORE toys for him! Camille (The Kraken) on the other hand, wasn’t so sure this was a good thing, having an narc Elf in the house. She had a lot of questions about Carlos and his powers. Does he come in my room? Do his eyes ever move? Why doesn’t he have feet? By the third day she started to say she didn’t like him– he scared her. She wanted him to go away. But I think she just really didn’t like the idea of some tiny drone spy watching her every move. She didn’t want Carlos filling Santa’s head with lies. He could really mess her gift quotient up. Because she is a nightmare and she knows she is a nightmare. ”Scared her”? Ha! She ain’t scared o’ nuthin’.
I mean, he was kinda creepy with that waxen, pixie-like gaze of his. Every morning he was in a different place in the house. Smiling. Watching. Judging. Tracking her every move.
I figured this would be good practice for when she is finally fitted with that ankle-monitoring device.
I find all elves (and dolls in general) a little creepy. Some more than others. The Elf on the Shelf was right up there, as beautifully illustrated in this handy chart by my friend, Salty Dad.
Anyhoo, she was freaked out so we eventually had to “ask him to leave” last year. Sigh. So much for new holiday traditions. Henry was bummed. I was secretly okay with it because guess who has to move this thing to a new location every night? Sometimes I would forget and wake up in a cold sweat, crawl out of bed at 3 a.m. and move it. Or kick the Current Legal Spouse awake and croak, “Uugh the g@d#*% Elf..” Or, more likely, make up some story the next morning about why he didn’t move. “Um… you were bad, and he didn’t want to fly back and tell Santa that.” Some people actually set their Elf up in cute little scenarios, or make him do naughty things in the house like make a mess or take ornaments off the tree. What? Who does that?? Not me– just more mess for me to clean up. No, thank you. There are whole websites and Pinterest boards devoted to the craziness the Elf creates. Some people have too much time on their hands. The same overachieving moms that are ready for Christmas, I guess.
This year, being older and wiser (and thinking she’s possibly missing out on extra toys), Camille decided she was ready for Carlos to come back. I told her I didn’t know if he would come back… she would have to write him a letter and ask him. He might be working in a sweatshop in Tijuana by now.
So, Carlos is back. Hurray! I wised up and have a reminder set on my phone to move this red pain every night at 10 p.m. So far, he seems to be keeping both kids in line. Kinda. The Kraken still has her moments. If she starts up, I’m going to pull out this photo:
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Thirty Days Of Attitude… I mean, Gratitude
So, here it is already November. I know, right? When did that happen? But yes, it’s here. So you know what that means. Turkey coma and carbo-loading? Yes. Poorly grown-in facial hair for “Movember”? (Google it, I can’t do everything) That, too – but I’m talking about gratitude. Yes, gratitude.
There is a thing going around called “30 Days Of Gratitude Challenge” meaning every day of November you write down something you are grateful for. Some people are posting these daily proclamations on Facebook. For the most part I think it’s a lovely idea, and I’ve enjoyed reading them. Scientist are finding that an attitude of gratitude is a powerful contributor to a happy life. Amen to that.
You know what else contributes to a happy life? Laughing. The (big) cynical side of me just can’t help but question some of these platitudes of gratitude. The people that are posting how thankful they are for all they have on Thursday are the same greedy b.’s that will step on your face Black Friday morning to get the last Furby at Toys R Us. So it gives me a chuckle. Anyone that knows me well knows that underneath the attitude I am a pretty positive person. Being grateful comes naturally to me, I just don’t go around announcing it. I’m a good southern girl and know how to pen a nice thank-you note. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the 30 Days, I thought I’d share some… thankful thoughts. My way. My sincere gratitude about some everyday things, beautifully wrapped in a snarky foil package. ‘Cause that’s how’s I roll. Thankyouverymuch.
Today I am grateful the election is over, although your passionate political rants really made me stop and vomit think. Thanks for your help in making up my mind. I couldn’t have done it without you.
I am grateful for donuts and stretchy pants. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.
And thank you, American Girl catalog, for showing up every freakin’ time Camille, aka, “the Kraken” aka, my 6 year old daughter wants to check the mail with me. If she’s not around that thing goes directly in the recycle bin. How can a damn doll have a more extensive wardrobe than me? She can, but she won’t. AS GOD AS MY WITNESS!
I am grateful to my hairdresser, who always talks me out of “fringy bangs”. Even though I could totally pull it off. Totally.
I am grateful for noise-cancelling headphones when sitting next to your little angel on the plane. Yes, him singing “Wheels On The Bus” was adorable. The first 15 times.
Thank you, Hoarders and Honey Boo Boo, for making me feel organized and normal. I truly redneckognize all that I have. And don’t have (namely, something called “forklift foot”).
Speaking of sexy…Thank you, inappropriate mom who wears her nightie in the morning drop-off car line at school. Your braless peepshow really gives the Current Legal Spouse a reason to walk the kids all the way up to the building, especially on cold mornings. The poor man has so little to look forward to. Kudos on the gravity-defying fake yabos. Really.
I am very grateful to Nordstrom department store for this sign each and every year. Nordies, you rock. Hard.
Thank you, Coffee ice cream, for justifying my eating dessert for breakfast. Because it’s basically iced coffee. Everybody knows that.
I’m eternally grateful for Caller I.D. Still one of life’s greatest inventions. But not when you call, of course. You, I want to talk to. Tell me more about your cat’s bad knee.
Thank you, glitter glue, for combining two of the most reviled products of motherhood into one beautiful, permanent nightmare. It really is the herpes of the crafting world.
I’m grateful for Daylight Savings Time. My kids have been going to bed an hour early for weeks. I may never change the clocks upstairs. Genius!
Friday, October 12, 2012
Can you feel it? That crisp snap in the air? No? Me neither… because we live in Houston. We don’t experience actual “seasons,” but technically, it’s fall, y’all. That means Halloween! Hooray! That magical time of year for kids and drunken adults of all ages. Halloween is now the second most popular holiday in the U.S. with annual costume sales topping one billion dollars. Billion! And let me tell you, I believe it, because people take their costumes and decor very seriously around here. The horror starts early and hits hard. In August, you’ll begin to see the pumpkins. You ignore that because you’re still wearing your star spangled tube top. The very next week some overachieving neighbor is putting out their yard cemetery complete with fog machine. Suddenly it’s everywhere. By late September you can’t even browse Walgreens without an animatronic witch reaching out to touch you in aisle 3. You just wanted some tampons and now you have to pry your screaming child off of your leg because she’s terrified. Good times.
The search for the perfect costume is always a challenge. With so many choices it can be overwhelming and expensive. My kids tend to change their minds quite a lot, so I don’t like to start too early. Of course then you run the risk of missing all the good stuff, and you find yourself on October 30th, poking arm holes in a black Hefty trash bag and telling your kid that he’s a California Raisin. Not cool, mom. Not. Cool.
I’m not what you would call “crafty” (not in the Hobby Lobby sense of the word) so I won’t be crafting any homemade costumes. Nobody wants to see me with a glue gun. No, I will be purchasing something made by a faraway sweatshop. It’s the American way.
Sure, you can look online, but sometimes it’s important to actually see the costume before purchase. Especially for girls. Is it just me or are the girl’s costumes getting skimpier? They are making these sexy costumes inchildren’s sizes! What is up with that? My daughter is six– she doesn’t need to wear fishnets and patent leather lace-up boots. I don’t even have patent leather lace-up boots! I swear! Hey, if you are a grown woman and want to dress up like Skankenstein, knock yourself out, but they shouldn’t be marketing “sexy kitty” or sexy ANYTHING for kids. Just my opinion. Of course my daughter Camille (aka The Kraken) is inexplicably drawn to the tacky as I’ve explained in earlier posts, but I bribed gently steered her away from that and we finally agreed on “Catarina” which is some kind of weird cat/ballerina mash-up. Whatever, she doesn’t look like a total streetwalker, so I’m happy. Sold! Henry’s costume choice kind of made me sad because he used to choose cute superheroes, video game characters and cowboys. This year? Bloody Ghost Face or something like that “with actual squirting blood! Cool!” Lovely. My boy is growing up and getting gross. I better get used to it.
So, we’re all set for the big fright night. The house is decorated and relatively spooky, (built-in cobwebs because I don’t dust. Bonus! ) the Current Legal Spouse will be on Trick-or-Treat walking duty with the little monsters and I’ll be at home eating handing out candy while drinking wine. This is my favorite job because we always have a big turnout and I love seeing the parade of costumes. And okay, eating the candy. And drinking the wine.
Which wine pairs well with Twix??
Saturday, September 8, 2012
You Just Got Schooled, Mama!
So, this week the kids went back to school and thank the sweet baby Jesus they did I sure will miss them.
It was a long, hot, action-packed summer of beach-going, goggle-snapping, flip-flopping, sticky-grape-popsicle-eating, SPF 50 fun. And that was just the first two weeks. The rest of the summer was spent hanging upside down off the edge of the couch, watching Spongebob and hearing a lot of this:
CHILD 1: I’m booored…
ME: Go outside.
CHILD 1: But it’s hooot.
CHILD 2: I’m huungrry…
ME: Go look in the pantry.
CHILD: But there’s nothing in theeeere…
You get it.
I was so ready for it to be over. I love summer, we all do at first, don’t we? By August I am positively claustrophobic. Mid-summer, trudging through Tarjay in a sweaty, pit-stained funk, I suddenly felt a glimmer of hope when I spied an employee putting up the new backpacks. Was this some cruel mirage? I suppressed the urge to run over and sniff them. That would be weird. Also, some other moms were already doing it. Weirdos! Weeks later, I got another little twinge of excitement as we shopped for new school clothes and supplies. I would throw each item in the basket and yell, “SUPPLIES!” while my kids stared at me stone-faced. It never got old. I was positively giddy by the time the teacher assignments were posted online. It’s happening! It’s really happening!
This video pretty much sums it up nicely.
Staples Dude– I feel you.
My kids were also less than thrilled at my countdown on the calendar. “Gotta be prepared! Only 12 more days ’til school starts!” “TWELVE!” I would announce to no one in particular.
Then it was here- it was finally here. No more whining, no more “stop touching me!” No more wet bathing suits on the floor, no more 4-kid sleepovers (where NO one sleeps anyway). It was time for school. The Current Legal Spouse and I got up early and made smiley-faced pancakes with blueberry eyes and bacon mouths. Because we’re awesome like that! The kids seemed to be in a daze. Henry was grumbling but compliant. Very typical. Camille, not so much. (Also typical.) She had several mini-meltdowns about various things, including, but not limited to: Her “scratchy” shirt, her hair, the seam on her socks, her brand new shoes (which she picked out!?!), the strap on her backpack, her snack… Shall I go on? I’ll answer that for you– No.
After wrestling both kids into their clothes, I tried to document this momentous occasion for the beautifully organized scrapbook (which I have yet to start), but it’s very hard to snap pictures of happy, first day back-to-schoolers when one is scowling and the other is howling. I took pictures anyway! I’m making memories here, people– act happy, g*d@#*%!!
We finally made it into the building and settled both kids in their classrooms. A few more pictures, a few more kisses, then I made a break for it– FREEDOM!
I practically moonwalked home, into the quiet house and breathed a sigh of relief. Total silence, oh, how I’ve missed you! I finished off the smiley-faced pancakes (because who the hell leaves bacon on a plate??) and cleared the dishes, humming to myself. I checked Facebook, talked on the phone and answered emails, all without interruption! Miracle! I went to the bathroom by myself! No one barged in while my pants were down! Bliss! They were finally out of my unkempt hair. On my way upstairs to make the beds, I notice one of Camille’s many drawings taped to the stair railing. It is a riot of warm yellow sun and cerulean blue crayon waves. A little blonde stick figure stands on the beach next to a large sand castle. (At least I think that’s a sand castle… it could be a very large beige person. Wait a minute, is that me?!? I really gotta hit the gym.) On the bottom of the drawing she has scribbled the words “hello summer!” The drawing made me smile and I wanted to tell her so. I started to yell for her down the stairs, (because I’m always yelling down the stairs or up the stairs at someone) “I just love your drawing, bab–” then I realize I’m yelling at no one. They are both gone. “Out of my hair.” This is what I wished for, remember? I stand in the total silence until the A.C. kicks on, chilling my shoulders and snapping me out of my reverie. I carried the drawing up to the playroom and tape it to the wall. It’s quiet in here. Too quiet. I turn on the playroom television.
Spongebob is on. I leave it on and make the beds.