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Kelly Melang, writer, business owner, avid fitness freak.  If you're not living on the edge then you're taking up too much space!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

WTF - I KNOW! I KNOW!

Dear Watauga County School System,

Have you been talking to Winston Salem/Forsyth County School System? Did they tell you that one time 6 years ago I missed an early release and had to pickup my children with curlers still in my hair?

This past Wednesday was a Teacher Development Day, I'm not sure what that means but for all us parents that means early release. And they are making sure the teachers enjoy that half day but starting early with us lame parents.

The first text came at 600am, interrupting my beauty sleep.

Reminder: Today is an early release day.

I know, I told my phone, rolling over in bed. After getting up and starting the morning routine, the second text came through, including the Spanish translation.

I know, I said again then adding Lo Se' for the Spanish translation.

As I was driving them into school two more reminders came across.


There was a big sign for the carpool line, "Don't forget early release today at noon!"

The final text ruining my savanna in yoga class to be there "on time" for early release day.

Seriously, I know!

Just as it came around time to go get them from school, I got another text:

"Have you left the house yet?"

Wait, what? then I realized it was a friend sending me the text.

Very funny, I know!

And now I'm running late, see what you did?

How can they be so organized and proficient telling us about early release but decide on a snow day ten minutes before we leave dressed and ready to go for carpool?

I know!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

WTF - You're Doing WHAT with that Log?

It's fall ya'll and time to order our wood, no not my honey's wood, but firewood for the winter season. Because you need to season it before you use it, meaning putting it in a nice place to dry out!

So I order my wood, and it is the boys job to stack it in the garage. Doesn't seem that hard now does it?

Guess again.


I started two weeks ago telling them they need to stack the wood, and of course I get a "We'll get to it" answer back. These are the same kids complaining they don't have any money so I say, "There's a job right there for you, you just have to DO IT!"

Along comes Hurricane Irma and my wood is still sitting in the driveway! I tell them a hurricane is coming and they need to stack the wood otherwise it will get wet.

What do they do?

The take plastic tarps and cover the pile of wood pre Irma. Smart but really? Can't you just stack it?

After asking for another week, I become a screaming bitch about the wood and they look at me saying, "Mom, calm down. We're going to stack it right now."

They walk down to the pile of wood, coming back a minute later, "We can't stack the wood, there's no room in the garage."

Really?

"Move some of the stuff along the wall and stack it there," I reply knowing this was their way of getting out of stacking wood, but I'm on a mission now.

With the room prepared, I watch them each walk in with a SINGLE piece of wood thinking, "This is going to take all night, but hey, they're getting exercise."

Five minutes later I check on them and they're taking a "trampoline break!"

They see me revving up my screaming bitch mode and move from "trampoline break" to stacking wood.

I watch one of them throw a piece of wood into the woods.  What the hell? "It's too big and not stacking right," he says.

"It all burns the same way, go get that wood out of the woods and stack it to the side." They look at me as if I've lost my mind. Go get it? But they just threw it in the woods?

At this point they think the best way to do this is put the little brother in the garage stacking the wood while the two older ones throw the wood at him.

Really?

I just go pour a glass of wine and ignore the rest of the job, the complaining they are doing at each other because it is taking so long, who dropped wood on his toes, who got hit in the leg with a piece of wood.

When the job is finally done, they tell me how difficult it was, and the next time I shouldn't order so much wood.

These are the same kids sitting in front of the fire on a winter day enjoying the warmth from the pieces of wood they fetched out of the yard.

Now if I can just get them to mow the yard.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

WTF - What Does PTA Mean?

School as begun. Yes, let's all pause with a collective, "where did the summer go?"

And with school comes PTA, no, not PTSD, but PTA.

Do you know what PTA means?

I always thought it meant "Parents to Avoid" because the first meeting I went to, it was like going to a bar on a bender. I walked in there thinking, "this is 15 minutes of my time" walking out 2 and a half hours later, waking up the next morning realizing I signed up for three different committees.

Then I realized it meant, "Pass the Alcohol" because you need quite a few drinks to get through these meetings. Mary Lou and Dara arguing about the size of the plastic penguins for the fundraising giveaway for an hour when they finally settle and you think you are free to go someone says, "OK, time to move onto new business!"

Oh and yes, Pass the Alcohol when it comes to fundraisers. You'll need a good buzz to ask your coworkers to spend 1,476 dollars on wrapping paper and keep a straight face because believe me, your child with want the 1 1/4inch penguin rewards for fundraising.

It could also mean, "Psst, They're Active!" This means use every avoidance possible. The minute any type of volunteer activity comes up during a PTA meeting, get out of there as quickly as possible, even if it means pulling the fire alarm!  If you volunteer for one, then you're part of THAT call list, not the PTA - parents to Avoid but Parents That Act and you'll never get off that list, even when they switch schools,  I moved counties and schools and one parent came up to me saying, "Are you Kelly? Everyone at School So and So said you are amazing, would you like to come to the school at 445am to setup for Teacher Appreciation?"

I paid my dues as a PTA Mom, I was that parent, the "go to" parent, setting up the omelet chef at 430am for Teacher Appreciation, putting together snacks for the class because some dumb ass forgot it was their Holiday on the Parent Rotation Calendar. Getting out of my car walking up to the jacked up truck with the twin American flags flying in the bed, not worried I could be a victim of road rage, but knowing it was my duty reminding the Jackass "Dude! We all got the call that you cannot make a left into the school parking lot at any time during carpool. You're screwing up our carpool line!"

If you don't want to become like me, then remember. The first week of school is when PTA smells blood in the water. They find every new parent at the school starting with a friendly, "What's your name? Who's your child at the school? What grade? Do they like their teacher?"

Then fifteen minutes later you are chairing the cookie dough fundraising committee and team Mom over the Shooting for the Stars Homecoming dance which means 1,987 stars, 16 pounds of glitter for the floor and hiring the actor for the talking moon that levitates across the dance floor.

If you want to volunteer, make sure you know what you are getting into. One year I volunteered for the Book Fair, sounds pretty easy right and I love books. After signing my name, I was given the binder of how to setup the book fair, yes the binder. Took a class in cash control, became a notary and learned a second language for the Spanish section of the book fair.

If you get caught in the front office by that PTA Mom,  Do what I do.....

"Do you want to join the we know you're busy but want you to spend the rest of your time at the school committee?"

Me: "Uh, I'm working part time, I don't think I can do it. Can I be a $15 honorary member?"

Her: "Oh we don't do that. If you don't have time because of work how about the lets spend every evening at the school working on some dumb shit committee?"

Me: "Wow that sounds tempting but maybe the $25 I'm trying to get out of this member?"

Her: "Well that sounds good but we always need help on the don't clean your house clean the school and playground weekend duty?" She smells the blood in the water, she'll know I'll cave.

Me: "How about the $100 I'll do carpool line once a month member?"

Her: "Perfect, I'll write you down. What's your email so we can send you emails of all the wonderful upcoming volunteer events at the school?"

Me: "Thanks! Here's your check. My email is aintnoway@gmail.com"

See, it works every time!

Coming up next PTA and the School Dance, yeah, we have to go there, my PTSD is kicking in with this Trigger.

Welcome to back to school!

Friday, September 1, 2017

WTF - Decision Fatigue


I'm reading this article in the New York Times about Decision Fatigue, the main jest is timing is everything when it comes to making a decision. And I couldn't agree more.

In the scenario in the article, three prisoners went before the parole board with similar convictions but only one received parole, the other two, though similar in convictions didn't receive parole due to the time of their hearing. The lucky dude in the morning received parole while the two unlucky blokes were denied during their hearings late in the afternoon.

The article goes on to state that decision fatigue can be blamed for dubious choices during shopping later in the day (I'm still calling that one Buzzed Amazon Prime Purchases) quarterbacks throwing a bad pass late in the game to yes, even that chocolate cake late at night.

I think my children understand decision fatigue far better than I do.

It usually starts at 6am as they are eating their breakfast.
"Can I go over to So and So's house Friday night?"

I'm fresh on the day, cup of coffee in hand and answer, "No, I don't think that's a good idea."

I go about my day, making choices on what to make for dinner, whether or not I need that 3rd cup of coffee, yoga pants or no yoga pants, what errands to run before picking them up, where to go after picking them up, what to make for dinner because my original plan smells funky coming out of the fridge, red or white wine, should I have another glass of wine.

That's when they smell blood in the water, they can sense my decision fatigue. They start with some easy ones:
"Can I have some of your chocolate?' They ask after dinner. Now early in the morning, I'd spew venom at anyone thinking about taking my chocolate.
"Sure honey, just a small piece."

Aha! They think, she's weakening, let's test her again. "Is it OK to watch Bob's Burgers?"
I'm just trying to make it through the cleanup, "Sounds good."

Then they go for the blood, "Can I go to So and So's house on Friday?"

My brain is still back at the "should I have another glass of wine" decision that clouds the question from earlier that morning, what did I say? I hedge a little, "If your Dad says OK, then it's OK."

They know it is still just as late with Dad so they jump on the chance, sending him a text.  His usual response is "Ask your mother."

Coming back to me knowing their timing is right, "Dad says it is up to you."

I think for a second, "OK, just make sure I know all the details."

Busted.


Then I read this article on Huffington Post with suggestions on combating Decision Fatigue:
Make your big decisions first thing in the morning, yes, put that bottle of white in the fridge to chill.
Choose the simpler option. Yes, wear the yoga pants to bed because they are comfy and you'll wear them to carpool the next morning.
Limit your options: Only buy one brand of chocolate and always hide it in the same place.
Go Minimalist - does that mean naked? Oh, wear the same thing every day cutting out clothing decisions. Yoga pants it is.
Done is better than perfect - Yes, this means cooking, cleaning, who am I kidding this has been my mantra since my kids were born.
Remove yourself from situations that distract - it says to set a timer for Social Media, say, like 5 minutes, can we all chuckle now?
If it's not on your To Do list, then it's a no - um, who has a to do list?
Make your first decision work - that is if you remember it after a sleepless night and the constant morning badgering of your family


Then it mentions writing down questions the night before and not answering until that next morning when decision fatigue hasn't set in. What a great idea, I think as I have them write down the things they want or want to do, telling them I'll answer it in the morning.

Unfortunately, I've lost the piece of paper and have to start my day with the decision of what to do about it.

Thank god for yoga pants because one of my morning decision is already made.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WTF - Think You're Cut Out For Boys?

Think you are cut out for Boys? Take this quiz:

1. First thing in the morning I love the smell of?
a. Coffee
b. Toasted Bread
c. A fart that will not go away
d. Smelly feet 

2. I love it when my child makes me:
a. Breakfast in Bed
b. A Detailed Art Project
c. Not lose my mind
d. Their personal Jungle Gym

3. Laundry consists of:
a. Sorting clothes so everything doesn't turn pink
b. Air drying most of the laundry 
c. Sorting by degree of wetness and where the moisture came from
d. Holding your breath and emptying all pockets of live animals

3. My Favorite Meal consists of:
a. Something beautifully arranged on the plate with a flower
b. Something out of the Easy Bake Oven
c. Something edible
d. Something not from the back yard

4. It is not uncommon for you to say:
a. Yes, that tiara works perfectly with your Pink dress
b. Let's go get pedis
c. Please don't lick that frog
d. We don't need to see that in public.

5. You are not surprised if your purse contains:
a. Elsa panties with a smashed up fruit bar
b. A Magic Wand
c. Dinosaur stickers on your tampons
d. A cheese stick from God Knows when.

6. When it comes to Jokes, I am Master of:
a. Fairy Jokes
b. Unicorn Jokes
c. Poop Jokes
d. Fart Jokes

7. In my house I like everything,
a. In order, I hate chaos
b. Slightly messy but I can still have people over
c. In the general area, I can still have people over if they like Mac N Cheese
d. I'm OK with relocating everything nice into a storage container for the time being.

8. My Bathroom is....
a. part dressing room, part spa
b. The place for "me" time including candles and bubble bath
c. The perfect place for the morning paper or Youtube videos
d. Awesome after a 45 minute HOT shower

9. I can clean up:
a. nail polish
b. lipstick stains
c. Blood and dirt
d. A toilet with unknown stains

10. A Cup is:
a. Something for your morning tea
b. A measuring device
c. A place to hide the glass of wine I'm drinking
d. The thing you frantically search for at the beginning of baseball games.

Take the quiz and if you answer A or B for most of the questions, you are definitely perfect for girls. You understand taking all the tags out of clothing because it doesn't feel right, or not wearing the snow pants because there's a tiny rip in the knee.  If you answered C or D the majority of the time, you're ready for boys, learning phrases like, "We don't need to see that in public," or slapping a piece of duck tape on the tiny rip and sending them out the door.

Either way, children are a gift, they keep on giving.

Hold on, it's quiet downstairs, I gotta go see what they are doing.

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WTF - Why yes, I am part of the event

Last road trip of the summer season, this time it's to Seven Springs Resort for Downhill Mountain Biking.  Big shout out to my sister for letting us crash at her place in Deep Creek, MD.

So I'm dropping kids off to ride, then killing time at the resort, working and of course, writing.

I walk into the Lodge and there's a bunch of free food, stuff on tables and lots of smiling people.

Man, this place is COOL! Look at all the free activities for us people stuck waiting on people mountain biking!

I helped myself to a doughnut, some fresh strawberries, cheese and some really good coffee.

"Are you going to make some jewelry with us?" The nice lady asks.

"Make jewelry? I'm in!" I say, thinking I'll work after the jewelry making session!

I made a fine bracelet, accepted a few souvenirs from Dos Equis and had another cup of coffee.

When the boys were ready for lunch, I asked the same nice lady where we should take lunch. "Go up to the main lodge there's a buffet for everyone there."

Wow, what resort has a buffet in the middle of the week? The boys were excited all kinds of soup, salad, chicken sandwiches and a DESSERT BAR! This thing looked like something out of a cruise ship and only $12.95/per person.  What a deal! Of course, Max ate 2.00 worth of good food them $26.78 dollars worth of dessert.

When they went back out biking, I walked back over to the Lodge to the pleasant surprise of an ice cream social! How amazing. I'm sitting at a table making new friends when someone asks me,

"So how are you enjoying our Sheetz Employee Appreciation Week?"

I look around, and everyone is wearing lanyards that say SheetzFest on them.

Oops.

"This is awesome," I say, because it's true!

"Are you coming to the wine tasting and karaoke?"  They ask.

I think about it for a second, "Why yes, I am!"

Reminds me of a story of my Dad who took us to this posh buffet, finding out we're waiting an hour for a table.

A hostess walks up to us saying, "Are you the Sherman family?"

My Dad looks at us kids saying, "Why yes, we are."

Later someone walks up to the table as our drinks are served asking, "Are you the Sherman family?"

My Dad looks at him saying, "Who? Never heard of them."

I can't wait to see what snacks they have after lunch!

Post Script: I ran into several Sheetz employees asking me where they go for lunch, of course I knew the directions!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

WTF - I'm Gonna Be Rich

If you haven't heard of all my great uses for the TaTa Towel,


The TaTa Towel is the perfect way to combat Boob Sweat, a towel that wraps around your neck, grabs and holds the girls tight wisking away all that sweat.

Then, I thought.....


Why just the girls? Don't the guys have the same problem?

So I'm patenting my new invention, the yin to the yang of sweat, the slot for inserting the tab.

The Ball Sack!

I've already got the infomercial in my mind!

"Gentleman, do you get jealous watching your lady walk around in the TaTa Towel? Thinking it's not fair, her girls are all cool and dry while your guys swim in moisture?

We've got you covered!

The Ball Sack!

The Ball Sack is made of 100% organic terry cloth with handmade elastic. You slip the Ball Sack over your best friend, cradle the boys in their own terry cups and never worry about Ball Sweat again!

Just out of the shower and the bathrooms still a little too steamy for your boys? Slip on the Ball Sack and continue on your morning ritual.

Taking too long on the toilet? Or doing your morning "reading" the Ball Sack holds them in place for you! No more dipping!

Entertaining your girl on a hot summer evening? Keep both of you moisture free with the Ball Sack!

Heading to the BBQ and worried about embarrassing Ball Sweat? We've got you covered! Ball Sacks come in the "Just Vent the boys" terry cloth, the "I'm keeping them cool in my jeans" Moisture wicking AND the "Cold Winter Day" Sasquatch Hair!

The Ball Sack comes in three different sizes:
The Mini Sack for youngsters and visits to the pool.
The Medium Sack for most men.
The Gargantuan Sack for well, you know who you are.

Use our custom sizing chart, simply put the boys on the chart and determine just the right amount of elastic to keep them in place.

The Ball Sack has you covered for every occasion, visit our website for our custom Christmas, Bachelor Party AND Wedding Night Ball Sacks! You won't be disappointed."

The Ball Sack comes with a money back guarantee! Return any ball sack that sags, is too tight or just doesn't feel right! We want your boys to be satisfied!

My Infomercial finishes with Daryl hanging out in the bathroom after a particularly HOT shower.

"Edna! Where's my Ball Sack!"

Edna comes walking through the house, completely comfortable in her TaTa Towel carrying Daryl's Ball Sack.

"Don't worry honey, I'm holding your Ball Sack, and it's CLEAN!"

What do you think? Want to become one of my investors?