Tag Archives: humor

I called my kid a butthead in public

There have been times in my writing career that I have slightly exaggerated a story for comedic effect. Not much, mind you. Just a detail or two, here or there. For instance, when my kids are driving me insane, I don’t actually chug a whole bottle of whiskey.

It’s half a bottle, tops.

So, with that said, let me assure you that what follows below is not one of those times. It’s all true. Every single, last, horrifying detail.

It started out mundane enough. I took my kids to a children’s event hosted by the local library. A “multicultural concert for families featuring new and familiar songs played with a Brazilian beat,” to be exact. All that was missing were some organic vegan cookies and some one-legged, free range, orphan chickens and it would have been a skit straight out of “Portlandia.”

But it was either that or spend more time playing Batman vs. Little Bunny Foo Foo with my toddler, so I schlepped the whole crew over for some fancy music learnin.’

As we were sitting there waiting for the music to start, I noticed the not unhandsome guitarist staring at me. I’ll admit, it was a bit of a confidence booster. I mean, I had a baby only nine months ago. And when your days are filled with cleaning poop off a series of tiny tooshies (including the dog’s), it can be hard to feel attractive. I even sat up a little straighter. Started telling myself, “hey lady, you’re still keeping it tight, despite the oatmeal in your hair.”

Which is when I look down and notice that my shirt is unbuttoned almost down to my naval (thanks to the friction from wearing a baby carrier). A fact I had been oblivious about for 12 whole minutes, giving everyone in the band a good look at my boobs that were casually hanging out like they owned the place.

I discreetly try to button it back up when I made my second big mistake of the day. I was reaching into the diaper bag to pull out a toy for the baby when the toddler saw the chocolate-covered raisins I’d thrown in there as a treat to eat after the show. There are few things this kid loves more than raisins. But one of those things is chocolate. So, you can imagine his reaction.

“OOOOOOOHHHHHH…NOW WE EAT CHOCOLATE RAISINS! MOMMY! MOMMY! CHOCOLATE RAISINS! MOMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!”

I quietly inform him he can have them after the concert. And so now I’m stuck with a kid that, after every song ends but before the polite applause begins, yells “NOW WE EAT CHOCOLATE RAISINS!”

After the fifth song and the fifth time being denied his CHOCOLATE RAISINS, he decides to have a meltdown.

Because of course.

I knew when I was beat. I tell him we are going home and start grabbing our 17 pounds of items scattered around my chair (coats, hats, baby shoes that had been kicked off, diaper bag, sippy cup, the kitchen sink, my deflated ego). And it’s as I stand up that I realize my son has untied my shoes when I wasn’t looking. This is quickly followed by the realization that I have an undone and bulky baby carrier hanging down to my knees because I never took it off when we got there. Meanwhile, the band is still playing. Which is relevant because as I’m making the world’s most awkward and disruptive exit in the world’s smallest library (all our stuff in one arm, baby who is hanging off me like a giant sack of flour because she never learned to cling like a normal baby on the other), my son decides he doesn’t want to leave and runs back in front of the playing musicians, hysterically crying and yelling “NOOOOOO!” at the top of his lungs.

As I go to get him, still holding everything, baby still a lifeless sack of flour, shoes still untied, still tripping over the baby carrier, another mom informs me my shirt had come undone. Again.

Because of course.

So, now I’m trying to drag my toddler, (gently, because we are in public) away from the musicians, while still holding everything, tripping over everything and also now trying to discreetly button up my slutty, slutty shirt.

As you can imagine, everyone is staring.

And yet no one will look me in the eye.

I finally get him in what I assume is an out of the way location to stuff him into his coat and get the hell out of this, my own personal hell, all while telling him to knock it off in my best Batman voice. I’m pretty sure I also said something along the line of “stop being a butthead.” Which I don’t feel bad about because no one can hear us. Which is when I realize we are blocking the way to the bathroom and a group of moms and kids is waiting for us to finish our ridiculous family drama so they can pee.

Somehow, by the grace of God and whatever deity is in charge of mortifying moments at child-centric events, we make it outside the library. He’s still crying, I’m practically throwing chocolate covered raisins at him, and the baby’s left hand is now stuck in my hair, which is making it hard for me to button up my shirt (BECAUSE MY BOOBS ARE STILL HANGING OUT) and tie my shoes because my head is at an awkward 90 degree angle.

Luckily, all this is in full few of everyone, who are now leaving and awkwardly filing past because the concert picked that moment to end.

Because of course.

And all this is one very long way of saying that alcohol should always, ALWAYS, be served at children’s events.

 

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The Life-Changing Magic of Giving Up

Oh, early spring. Isn’t it lovely? That magical time of year where you can kick the melting, dirty, gray snow out of your path with your new flip-flops while walking in an unrelenting downpour of freezing rain. Mmm…so life affirming.

Ugh. Oh, how I hate this time of year. So much. It’s dumb and the weather sucks and there are no good holidays unless you count St. Patrick’s Day, which I don’t anymore because I have small children who don’t understand the importance of day-drinking OR green beer OR making an idiot out of yourself.

For all these reasons, I should be hunkered down in a blanket fort binge-watching the world’s most depressing show, “The Killing,” on Netflix. Just biding my time during this bleak and desolate season until May when I can once again blind innocent bystanders with the glare coming off my pale calves.

But what am I doing instead? Making yet another half-hearted attempt at spring cleaning. Because I hate myself.

It never fails. Every year at this time I feel an overwhelming urge to get my house in order. To organize. To scale down. To have one of those minimalist living spaces where you don’t feel like if you fall you’ll be buried under a stack of Bust magazines from the early aughts and no one will ever find you and the last image you ever see is Margaret Cho smirking at you.

Or, barring all that, even just finally wiping off the blades of the ceiling fan that have literally started to bend under the weight of dust and dog hair and dead bug carcasses.

And yet, every year it ends the same way: My husband wrestling the matches out of my hand as I repeatedly scream “BURN IT! BURN IT ALL!”

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It always starts out great. I’m motivated. So motivated. Manic, almost. Because I will get everything done and I will do it all RIGHT NOW. So, I run around the house and [play the “Flight of the Bumblebee” in your head as you read this next part]…

Shove any and all clothes that no longer fit into trash bags for donation, regardless of whether anyone is still wearing them at the moment. That is until I get distracted and realize I need to…

Go through all the kitchen cabinets and finally throw out the canned goods lurking in the back that have been there since the Clinton administration, which I do until I remember I still need to…

Break down all the Amazon Prime boxes piled up in the attic that are leftover from Christmas, which I do until I realize I hate breaking down boxes so I move onto…

Finally cleaning out my gigantic make-up bag, where I will throw out exactly one red lipstick, which looks like the 27 other red lipsticks I own, before getting frustrated and…

Decide to organize my massive book collection, but actually I just sit on the floor and start reading each book I pull down but it doesn’t matter because…

The kids have by now woken up from their naps and so I go and retrieve the red lipstick I threw away from the trash can and put it back in my makeup bag because you never know when you need a 28th perfect red lipstick and…

I get the kids up and curse my messy, chaotic house.

Maybe I need a plan of attack. A tried-and-true cleaning and organizing method. I mean, I tried that crap where I held stuff to see if it brought me joy. Unfortunately I started in the kitchen by the wine rack. The good news is that every single bottle did indeed bring me joy. The bad news is that nothing else got done except an angry, error-and-typo-filled email sent to Amazon customer service about the canceling of the show “Good Girls Revolt.”

I’ve also thought about how I should probably start addressing this problem from a different front, stopping it before it gets to this point, maybe. Do one of those “don’t buy anything new for a year” crap that people always blog about.

Except there is the issue of my book hoarding. I have more books than I know what to do with and I can’t stop buying them and my husband is the worst kind of literary enabler.

Get a Kindle, you say? Well, I hope you die and burn in hell for all eternity, is my response to that.

Sorry. That was a bit harsh. I apologize. E-readers are a great invention. And who knows? Maybe I’ll break down and get a Kindle one day. The day they invent one that gives off that old book smell. And has actual turn-able pages. And is heavy. And is made of trees.

It’s not just me though. My husband loves collecting comic books and graphic novels. My toddler son has a fierce and unbreakable bond to every single toy he has ever gotten. Even that broken yellow crayon stub. DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT BROKEN YELLOW CRAYON STUB! Ever. It’s his most treasured possession. Well, that and the gigantic kitchen set he has never, ever used and takes up 35 percent of the real estate in his room.

Even the baby is a budding hoarder. No one, regardless of age, needs that many empty water bottles to chew on.

And it’s for all these reasons that I always give up pretty much before I even get started.

Which is why I’m just going to go out and buy one of those stupid decorative signs that says “Please excuse the mess, the children are making memories” and hang it prominently somewhere and call it a day.

Season three of “The Killing” ain’t gonna to watch itself.

The Seven Year Glitch

It was our seventh wedding anniversary. Which is the baby wipe anniversary, I believe. Or perhaps the Swiffer anniversary. Either way, we had no money for gifts after Googling local preschool prices. But it didn’t matter. The sun was shining. I was wearing a skirt AND non-pregnancy underwear. And my mother-in-law was in town, happily volunteering to watch our adorable spawn so we could drink wine at a restaurant while not simultaneously dodging baby head-butts for once.

It was just what two stressed-out parents of small children needed.

So, naturally, we spent most of the day in the emergency room.

What happened, you ask? Good question. I still don’t know. But to sum up, I felt like I was dying for 45 minutes and then felt completely fine. After an exam and some tests and an ultrasound, it was discovered that I had a very serious case of absolutely nothing being wrong with me. My official diagnosis was “um…your gallbladder, maybe?” followed by that shoulder shrug emoji.

It was just what two stressed-out parents of small children didn’t need. Instead of a nice dinner and adult cocktails not served in a sippy cup and a clumsy make-out session in the driveway, we have an unnecessary medical bill heading our way.

Love. Ain’t it grand?

But that’s what marriage looks like after seven years and two kids and one aging dog. Reality has replaced all the dopamine. You don’t generally have time to be all lovey-dovey. Or hell, even lovey at this point. We’re lucky if we have a free hand to occasionally high-five one another.

So, you have to show your love in other ways.

It’s saying “hey, I’ll clean up the dog vomit.”

It’s saying “make sure you eat something.”

It’s saying “I duct-taped that one part of the dishwasher so it won’t make the high-pitched noise that you hate anymore.”

It’s hearing the baby cry in the middle of the night, AGAIN, followed by hearing “go back to sleep, I got her.”

It’s hearing your partner use every curse word ever invented as they try to get said baby back to sleep and yet not judging them.

It’s hearing those three most beautiful words in the English language, “take a nap.”

It’s hearing the blissful laughter of small children who are being thoroughly entertained and distracted by another adult so you can spend six and a half minutes alone in the bathroom.

It’s making a big breakfast every morning even though you’re exhausted because it’s likely the only meal the two of you will get to eat together.

It’s the arms from out of nowhere that hug you from behind while you’re standing at the kitchen sink stress-eating cheese.

It’s laughing off the fact the other person tried to karate chop your face when you hugged them from behind because it startled them because it’s been so long since you two were able to touch in a manner that didn’t include passing a small child back and forth.

It’s coming home with a bottle of wine when you know they’ve had a bad day.

It’s coming home with a handle of Captain Morgan when you know they’ve had a bad week.

It’s springing for the extra pizza topping even though money is tight because they deserve sausage AND pepperoni, dammit.

It’s saving the last doughnut for them but they’re saving the last doughnut for you so said doughnut just sits there until it becomes inedible and you finally throw way the glazed petrified disk five days later.

It’s refraining from watching the next episode of “West World” for nine days straight because the other one is too tired to make it through an entire hour-long show once the kids are asleep.

It’s chugging coffee at 7:30 p.m. so you can finally make it through an episode of “West World” because the other one has been so patient for the past nine days.

It’s having inside jokes, which are made only funnier because you’re both suffering from extreme sleep deprivation.

It’s giving them a firm, even stern, pep talk when they dare to start to doubt themselves.

It’s carrying around two kids all day and carrying an old dog up and down the stairs and still wanting to hear about their day no matter how tired you are.

It’s going to work all day and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and still wanting to hear all about how the baby almost crawled today.

It’s knowing that this is one of the hardest yet best times in both your lives. Which is why you rush home from work in a panic when your loved one calls and says “I think I need to go the emergency room.” And why, when you are curled up in the fetal position on the stupid floor, writhing in mysterious pain, your only thought is that you can’t die because you love all these people too much.

Happy anniversary, Ryan. I love you. And the best gift I can give you after all these years is to let you know I wouldn’t change a thing.

Also, we’re out of baby wipes.

 

I bet Hell is nice this time of year

Well, Christmas is over. Meaning life is basically over. Nothing to look forward to now except a bleak, never-ending winter and easily getting all my cardio in with the Herculean exertion it takes to stuff two squirmy tiny humans into snow suits and winter coats and mittens and hats and snow boots that were designed by engineers who have apparently never seen a child’s foot before.

Welcome to the most depressing time of the year! Cheers!

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Every year it’s the same thing. I spend the next four months just trying to survive. I pretty much put my entire life on hold until the day I can crawl out of bed without mentally weighing the pros and cons of moving to a warmer climate, like Hell.

But this year on December 26, as I was doing my post-Christmas manic purging (you know, picking up all the wrapping paper, breaking down all the Amazon boxes, coping with the plastic Mount Doom in my living room after liberating all the children’s toys from their synthetic prisons, and then trying to stealthily burglarize the kids’ rooms of old clothes and toys to make room for the new ones…)

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…it hit me. It doesn’t have to be this way. This year I could try to appreciate all that the winter season has to offer (besides making it socially acceptable to drink whiskey at 3 p.m. simply because “it’s so cold out.”). I could actually embrace it instead of just waiting for it to be over.

Of course, I didn’t come to this conclusion on my own. That kind of mature response to adversity is not in my nature (my nature being more drink whiskey at 3 p.m. and drunkenly yell at falling snow when it hits my face).

No, I came to this enlightened conclusion after reading an article by an old friend, Stacie Kenton, who is an outdoor enthusiast and lives on a 22-acre farm in Ohio (and was, like, a super chill senior when I was a freshman in high school and bought me beer that one time). She wrote a great piece about enjoying your connection to nature during winter and how we should all try “to live in this winter and not just through it.”

Now, I should mention that Stacie is the love child of Diana the Huntress and a mermaid, so, pretty much my complete opposite (I’m more like if Lorelai Gilmore and a bottle of gin had a baby). Meaning it is highly unlikely I will ever achieve her sincere level of love and light and calm when dealing with the world.

But, hey, who’s to say a girl can’t change in the name of self-growth?

I plan to start small. For example, usually this time of year, when a blast of icy wind hits my face, I unleash a torrent of curse words so harsh and horrifyingly creative it’s been known to make grown sailors cry. But this year, I’m going to try to embrace the fact that when the air hurts my face it’s letting me know I’m alive. Even though I want to die. Just curl up in a snow bank and wait for sweet, sweet death. And even though Father Winter is a vindictive douchebag who is targeting my face specifically. And even though winter is stupid.

But no! Not this year! I’m alive, dammit! Feel the freezer burn!

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Winter also means all the bugs and mosquitos and ridiculously hairy spiders are dead. And they probably died a horrific death, screaming their tiny bug screams as they lay there and raged against a world so cruel before their tiny lives were snuffed out. Ha! Ha! So, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that.

Not to mention, this time of year offers a whole new slew of opportunities to make memories with my young family. For example, I want to take the kids sledding! Or at least the one who doesn’t currently flop over without an extensive chair support system.

I want to take walks in a quiet snowy wood (and not complain the whole time about how that vindictive douchebag Father Winter is a part of our U.S. system of patriarchy and is, again, targeting my face specifically)!

I want to build a snowman and drink hot chocolate and not stress out about the trail of snow and salt and grimy dirt all our freaking shoes drag through the house that is bound later to be licked up by the aforementioned infant who constantly flops over and makes out with the floor like it’s her job.

I’ve even Googled local skiing resorts where you can go and not actually ski but just drink booze in front of a fireplace and they don’t kick you out.

Winter! Yay…!?!

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So, yes, I’ve decided I’m embracing this post-Christmas winter season whole-heartedly. And by whole-heartedly I mean half-assedly. But hey, it’s a start.

Life is too short, my friends. Too short to wish for an entire season to be over. Even if that season is dumb and cold and makes it impossible to find an effective moisturizer.

So, here’s to appreciating what’s in front of us right now!

Right after I finish this hot toddy under my electric blanket fort and cry for a few hours.

 

 

What parents really want for Christmas

Christmas is great, isn’t it? Magical when you’re a kid. A celebration of the beautiful life and beautiful lives you’ve created when you’re a grandparent.

And a red and green tinged tsunami that destroys your home, your finances and your sanity when you’re a parent.

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Ah, yes, ‘tis truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Of course, don’t get me wrong. I still love Christmas. The endless excuses to drink booze alone is enough to make any self-respecting writer love this holiday.

I just hate that I’m the one in charge of making it happen now. The decorating, the cooking, the gift buying, the logistics of holiday travel…sigh. And no matter how much I bribe my toddler, he refuses to take over the responsibility.

Is it any wonder that this time of year turns all of us parents into stressful balls of burning rage?

So, with that in mind, I decided to create a list of what we adults of the parental persuasion really want for Christmas this year. Because, sure, another sweater is nice, but the ability to go into a store without any meltdowns over a 99 cent candy bar is the gift that keeps on giving.

And so…ahem…

Number one with a bullet: A nap.

Number two with a tomahawk: Another nap.

The ability to wrap presents without a dog or cat lying on the wrapping paper.

The ability to wrap presents without losing the scissors every 30 seconds. Ditto the tape. And that stupid pen. IT WAS JUST HERE.

To lose 10 pounds every holiday season while still eating an entire cheeseball on the couch as you watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” for the fifth time.

A working eggnog fountain (with extra bourbon) in the kitchen.

Pets and small children who consistently admire the Christmas tree from a three foot buffer zone.

Mandatory shock collars for people who whine about the war on Christmas and Starbucks holiday cups.

Actual snow on Christmas. And then we just fast forward to the month of April.

That your child forgets that VERY BAD WORD they think is hilarious to shout in public.

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No lines. None. Not to buy gifts, not to see Santa, not to get overpriced holiday-themed lattes in allegedly controversial cups.

Stabbing the Elf on a Shelf in a violent fit of rage and then burning the carcass in a cleansing ceremonial fire without scarring your children for life.

To hear “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” just once without someone pointing out how creepy and rapey it is.

A worldwide shortage of batteries.

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A worldwide surplus of wine.

Not getting further into debt.

Christmas tree lights with anti-tangle technology and a lifetime guarantee for each individual bulb.

Time to read all those books you got last year as presents.

A machine that dresses your children in winter gear so they can go play in the snow while you sip coffee and flip through a magazine.

Bags under your eyes that don’t look like you had to pay the extra airline fee because they’re so heavy.

Socks. (Seriously, I’m out).

More time to cuddle with your kids, less time cleaning up their room and explaining why we don’t take the marker and color all over Momma’s unattended watch when she’s in the other room.

Old school office Christmas parties with free booze and lampshades.

Old school office Christmas bonuses.

World peace or whatever. I guess.

But mostly, a nap.

When your online life is a hot mess

You know, it used to be back in my day (oh yes, I’m officially old enough to use that phrase unironically now) that you were only in charge of keeping one life in order. Or at least keeping it from turning into a major dumpster fire. All you had to do was keep a roof over your head (with only small-to-medium leaks tops), food in your fridge (30 plus containers of old takeout completely qualifying) and a little bit of money in the bank (at least $4) after paying all your assorted bills.

Beyond that, if you really wanted to get fancy with your adulting, you just needed health insurance, a pet (or kids, or anything that looks cute in a tiny sweater) and a close circle of family and friends you saw in person from time to time.

And I was doing a fairly decent job at keeping this one life in order. I had kept my kids alive, had a non-expired driver’s license (I think…?) and even paid taxes that one time.

But now? Pffft. Now we all have two lives.

Two.

Two lives we are in charge of keeping from imploding. And I don’t know about you but I was barely keeping afloat with the one involving the ancient lo mein noodles I just ate for breakfast.

My online life is a hot mess. Just completely in shambles. If it were a house, it’d be featured on an episode of “Hoarders.” If it were a TV character, it’d be Liz Lemon. If it were a celebrity breakdown, it’d be 2007 Britney Spears and 2013 Amanda Bynes COMBINED.

Take, for example, the fact I have multiple e-mail accounts, all of which have thousands of unread e-mails because does anyone check their e-mail anymore? And on the extremely rare occasion when I do check them, all the thousands of unread e-mails stress me out so I immediately log off and pretend it doesn’t exist. Until I get an alert that someone has hacked my e-mail, in which case I will spend 25 frustrating minutes trying to change the password, only to finally be successful and then immediately forget the new password. And some of these e-mail accounts have my maiden name and some have my married name and since I go by my maiden name it’s extremely confusing to everyone and the whole thing makes me want to cry into a pile of stamps while venting my frustrations to that Nigerian prince who is just super understanding.

I have roughly 500,000 photos languishing in folders across 23 different devices (some of these devices dating back to almost 20 years because, again, I is old). All of which I am likely never to see again (and if I ever do, the bulk will be pictures of cheese and extreme close-ups of my toddler’s nostrils).

In a similar vein, every piece of writing I’ve ever done since high school is also spending time in technology purgatory, trapped forever on old computers that belong in a sad, old person museum instead of the corner of my attic.

I have three Skype accounts. Three. Because I kept forgetting what I put as my username (unicornglitter_96? mermaidsugarpants?) and it was just easier to start a new account than trying to hack into my old account. Added bonus, if you held a gun to my head right now and asked for just one of my Skype usernames, I’d be dead instantly (joel_mchales_wife321?).

I have ancient accounts on MySpace and LinkedIn and Tumblr and Pinterest and Path and Vine that I haven’t deleted yet because frankly, I don’t know how nor care to learn.

Even watching TV now requires a password thanks to Hulu and Netflix and HBO Go (HBO Now? HBO I’m only here for “Game of Thrones”?). Passwords I never, ever remember. Nor does my husband. Leaving us both to look franticly for that Post-It I wrote down all the passwords on which we can never, ever find.

Instagram. Amazon. Twitter. Snapchat. Facebook (which guilt trips me into wishing 1,378 people I don’t know a happy birthday!!!!!! Emoji cake! Emoji martini! Emoji poop!).

All a mess.

Sigh.

And the hackers. Oh, the hackers. They love me. Because I am the perfect combination of lazy and technologically incompetent. At this point, I am on a first name basis with Todd, the dude in charge of identity theft at my credit card company.

In my defense, it is fairly easy to let your online life get out of control considering it’s out there floating in Internet space or whatever and not in your fridge gathering mold and possibly a conscience. Out of sight, out of mind and whatnot.

But I really should try to get my technology house in order. And I will. Right after I find that stupid Post-It with all the passwords on it.

 

 

 

I got thanks coming out the wazoo

Hey, have I mentioned how much I love Thanksgiving? Because I do. Oh, so much. And not just because it’s a holiday where it’s acceptable to drink all day.

This year in particular I’m looking forward to because it’s the first Thanksgiving where our whole family is complete. Both kids are now officially out of my uterus and I plan on having no other occupants in said uterus unless my husband wants brutally whacked with a frying pan. So, I am just filled to the brim with the Thanksgiving spirit (and here soon the Thanksgiving spirits).

Which is why I wanted to make a list of all the things I am thankful for this year because there are just so many. For instance…

Not being pregnant like I was last year when I almost puked on three-fourths of my husband’s lovely extended family.

Not being pregnant like I was last year so I can drink wine before I’m required to stick my hand up a strange turkey’s arse.

Not being pregnant like I was last year so I can eat my famous cheeseball again, soaking up all the delicious possible listeria guilt-free.

Not being pregnant like I was last year because, surprise!, I hate being pregnant.

And in non-non-pregnant things to be thankful for:

Joe Biden memes, which I suspect might be the only thing holding the country together at this point.

Not leaving my house on Black Friday but snarkily tweeting about it from the comfort of my couch.

Both my kids are beautiful and healthy and think Momma is just the greatest. Even when she’s having a bad day and isn’t.

Finding friends who like and accept me regardless of my cliché love of pumpkin spice.

That panty hose are no longer a thing.

I know I say this every year, but toilet paper, because, I mean, think of the alternative.

Being an adult and as such having the freedom to have ice cream for breakfast! And a wheel of cheese at lunch! And a beer whenever I want! As long as I do all those things while hiding in the bathroom from the rest of the family!

That moment amidst the chaos when you’re handing your small children back and forth with your significant other because one needs fed and the other needs a diaper change or whatever the reason, and your hands briefly touch while exchanging the kids and you feel so connected, so bonded to them. And you become more than just a team. You become a tribe. And the love is so strong in that brief moment that you almost can’t stand it.

Basil ice cream (it’s a thing and it’s amazing).

That when I look at my children, I’m still blown away by the fact they are mine and I get to keep them.

Accidentally stumbling upon a recipe for Deep Fried Stuffing Balls while looking up Thanksgiving ideas and feeling a swell of pride at being an American in a year where being an American was extremely difficult.

My family is finally at the point financially that we can afford to get two toppings on our pizza. Three, if it’s a special occasion.

There is going to be a revival of “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix (and more broadly, that we live in a time where the end of a beloved TV show isn’t necessarily the end).

Tiny, chubby baby feet that you have to use all of your willpower not to bite because they are the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen and for some reason humans always want to bite really adorable things.

My stupid dog. God, I love that stupid dog.

Our son isn’t even close to being potty trained yet but at least he is to the point where he can tell us loudly in public that he is “GOING POTTY RIGHT NOW, MOMMA! YAY!”

Having the power in the palm of my hand to reach out to other moms, other writers, other rabid fans of the TV show “Supernatural.” All of those things can be extremely isolating and I can guarantee I’m not the only one who has found a haven online to help get me through the bad days. For all our handwringing about how technology is turning us into a bunch of zombies, at least we are bunch of zombies with online friends who understand what we are going through.

Strangers who randomly tell you to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

And on that note, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!