Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Goodbye, Sue

This one is for my next door neighbor and her boyfriend, Joey.

Click HERE for today's story in Chicago Parent.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Totally True Text

Joe:  I'm getting off early today from work.

Marianne:  Okay.  Thanks for the warning, I'll get my boyfriend out of here ASAP.

Joe:  Do I need to check under the bed when I get home?

Marianne:  Nah.  I usually just hide him in the pantry.


Marianne:  Jackass.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vanity Unfair

The following appears in the March edition of Chicago Parent.

Many seasoned moms and dads cite sleep as the primary casualty of parenting.  While it is true that most new baby owners quite vocally mourn the loss of a good night’s rest, I respectfully submit that something else falters first:

It starts in the delivery room when teams of doctors, nurses, and students bear witness to events that the Motion Picture Association would rate NC-17.  Yet pain, stress, and exhaustion leave most moms oblivious to their own physical presentation.  I look back at pictures of myself in the hospital after my first son was born and wonder, “Why the hell didn’t someone hand me a brush?”
Sadly, I embraced the disheveled and frumpy look for the better part of the next five years.      
It wasn’t that I did not care how I looked, but rather, I was more concerned about not leaving my young children unattended for the time it took to shave both legs.  How could I possibly dye my hair when burping a newborn would intersect the 45 minutes required for noxious chemicals to vaporize my greys?
No, I wasn’t pretty during this period.  Thankfully, my husband didn’t seem to notice my failing looks and pitiful hygiene.  He never said a single solitary critical word.
I believe he is a much wiser man than originally thought.      
As the years passed and life got easier, vanity was eventually restored but never to the same levels as it once existed.
My idea of looking good at school drop-offs requires putting on lipstick before I head out in my pajamas. 
While shopping for a formal event, I spend more money on effective stomach-sucking undergarments than I do on the dress. 
If my nails don’t have sand, Play-Doh, or paint underneath them, I consider myself “well-manicured.”
Recently, I read an article about the miraculous anti-aging properties of red wine.  Suddenly, my old narcissistic sensibilities took over.   I immediately marched over to my husband with two poured glasses of merlot as he happily watched an episode of “Swamp People.” 
“Here.  Drink this,” I ordered and handed over his portion.  I clinked our glasses together in the universal symbol for “bottoms up.”
“I hate wine,” Joe grumbled as he futilely attempted to hand me back the glass.
“Doesn’t matter.  This stuff makes us age backwards.  Like Mork.”
“Why would we want to age backwards?  Things are good as is.”
“But don’t you want to look younger, more attractive, and have the arteries of a 20 year old?  What if this stuff really is the fountain of youth?” I questioned earnestly. 
“No thanks, Ponce de Leon.”

“You don’t want to be Benjamin Button?”
“Nope.  I don’t even want to be Brad Pitt.”
“What is wrong with you?  You’re un-American.  We are supposed to be vain and youth-obsessed.”
“Fine,” Joe muttered, “but can I at least put sugar in it?  Wine is gross.”
“One last thing,” Joe paused dramatically as he lifted the sugar bowl high into the air for final consideration, “if I DO drink this, you are then not allowed to get mad when women start throwing themselves at your younger, hotter, age-defying fireman husband.”
That comment was met with a long, thoughtful pause by yours truly.
Then I handed him a beer.
Joe, like I said, is a much wiser man than originally thought.


Beds at the firehouse.  I'll let you decide which Dwarf Joe is.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Strain of Marriage

So there was this one time I almost killed Joe.

Like last week.

Full story click HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When Paczkis Beckon

Since the Middle Ages, the paczki (or as pronounced in the Walsh household, "punch-key") has been the last doughnut standing prior to Lent.  In an attempt to rid a kitchen of all the forbidden Catholic foods during those 40 days in the desert (creams, sugars, eggs, lard), our awesome Polish brethren whipped up these suckers:

In Chicago, paczkis sell out on Fat Tuesday by 11 am.  In lieu of my normal bakery selection, I have tried a brand new place, Chicago Creampuffs & Cakes.

So here's my dilemma:

  • I promised my pregnant neighbor a batch.
  • I promised to not eat any until Joe & the kids got home.
  • The paczkis are looking at me.

If anyone asks, I only bought one container, 'kay?


Update: This bad boy was added to the mix at 4 pm.  Nothing like a little plastic Jesus in your dessert to keep things fun. Go King's Cake!

My butt has doubled.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Preparing for Parade Day

With the biggest day on the southside of Chicago quickly approaching, my sons have shown an impressive entrepreneurial spirit this year. The Southside St. Patrick's Day Parade brings in tens of thousands of revelers to the neighborhood with cash in one hand and a cold beer in the other.

This basically results in lack of good judgment and a general willingness to spend money on whatever.

Like this interesting necklace crafted by Daniel:

Asking price: $4. I think it's made from dental floss.
With the help of an ambitious art teacher's tutelage this month, my middle son has also designed some kind of yarn-based Irish flag:

Whoops.  Photographed it upside down.  Meh.  After a couple cocktails, nobody will notice.
In the flurry of really over-priced Irish crap creation, Joey was feeling left out. 

But not for long:

Joey is hoping to sell this baby for $7.  I think it's reasonable given the circumstances.

I do believe this is exactly how Bill Gates started out.