Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 24 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I'm on HuffPost!!!!!!

Happy Saturday, Snarklings! I brought back an oldie but goodie that I wrote when this little blog was back on Tumblr. Now I'm here on Blogger and I submitted this post to the Huffington Post and it's published!

So come revisit my post Long Live the Schlepprocks and leave me a comment over there. As always, thanks so much for always being such loyal and awesome readers, friends and family!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

And then, I got locked out of my house...

The past few days have been rough at Casa Snarkfest. School issues have taken over our lives and needed to be handled delicately. Add to that the fact that I haven't been feeling well and my husband's been staying later at work so that 16 can pick him up from the train station after she's finished her evening school-related activities and it makes for just an ugly week. Saves us on gas money because we don't have to make the extra train-station trip. But all in all, an ugly week.

I left work a little early yesterday because I was scheduled to work in concessions for a middle school football game that ended up being cancelled. So instead, I hung out and watched the marching band practice (they are freaking AWESOME, by the way) until it was time to pick up 14 from volleyball practice. We drove home, I threw dinner together and we chowed down.

The phone rang around 6:45 and it was an important call I had been expecting. 16 and 14 were watching TV (loudly) and the dogs were barking at a vicious and deadly blade of grass or something in the front yard, so I went out back to take the call. The call lasted for about 30 minutes, and during that time, 14 popped her head out of the sliding door to tell me that they were going to pick up Dad. I half listened, still very much invested in the phone call.

There were lots of mosquitoes out back last night and I was walking around the patio trying to avoid being eaten while on the phone, and when I hung up I went to open the sliding door. Unsuccessfully. We've taught our girls a lot of good habits, and locking the sliding door is one of them. Except when I'm outside being eaten alive by mosquitoes. After several unsuccessful attempts at knocking (during which time the dogs, currently INSIDE the house, barked at my knocking, as if they didn't realize that it was ME knocking on the door, despite the fact that they WATCHED ME KNOCK as they were inside and I was outside. Dumbasses) I gave up and called 14.

The conversation went something like this:

Ring ring....

14: "Hello?"
Me: "Are you inside the house? Because I've been knocking..."
14: "No, we told you, we went to pick up Dad."

14: "Oh gosh, mom! I am so sorry!!"
Me: "............"

Lucky for me, our neighbor, the NaziWhackJobRunningCrackHo has a spare key to our house. I stomped over, still talking to myself about being locked out of my own house, used her combination lock on her house to get in (I gotta get me one of those) and found my house key. I let myself into my own house with my dogs still barking at me (man they're cute but they're awfully stupid) and quickly ran up and put some Benadryl cream on the 36,794 mosquito bites I received while locked out of my house.

And how was YOUR night?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Looking through the Facebook this morning, I came across one of those motivational memes. Nothing really out of the ordinary, no cats, no little saplings trying to become great big trees. Just a little saying: "You are responsible for your own happiness." It's a simple concept really, but sadly, not everyone subscribes to this line of thinking.

I don't know why, but it really struck me. Maybe because FB is so full of people whining about shit. "Oh I'm so broke. My boyfriend's a douche. My wife is a cheater. My kids are assholes. I hate paying bills. My car is a piece of shit."

So much unpleasantness. Who is responsible for making your life pleasant? Do you rely on your husband/boyfriend/wife to make you happy? Well, if you do, and if you're unhappy still, YOU'RE the dumbass. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if your happiness is solely reliant on someone else, you need to re-evaluate your life.

When you find yourself in a situation that is unpleasant, think about how you got there. Is your spouse lying or cheating on you? Why are you allowing it? Are your kids assholes? Why are you allowing it? Is your living situation not the best? MAKE the best of it. I know it sounds easy and I'm really good at talking the talk, but I'm also walking the walk.

I'm happy. I'm a happy person. Why? Because I don't rely on those around me to make me happy. I love my family, and I love my friends. And they are wonderful. If they weren't wonderful, I'd do something about it. If my husband was an assbag, I wouldn't be with him. If my friends weren't awesome, why would I have them as my friends? I hate drama. I avoid drama at ALL. EFFING. COST. If I find myself in a job that I hate, I look for something else, something that I DON'T hate. Something that DOESN'T bring me down or make me feel awful.

If there are people around me who are constantly bitching and kvetching about how awful things are, I try to distance myself, because who the hell needs that kind of negativity? I'm a firm believer that change comes from within. Nobody makes you who you are, only you have that power. And if you give that power to someone else, you have no right to bitch and complain about your situation, because you have allowed it to happen.

If you aren't happy, do something about it. Make the change. Take back that power. Don't just sit there and whine about it, DO SOMETHING.  Because as Hallmark as it sounds, you ARE responsible for your own happiness.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Do as I say, not as I do...

There is danger all around us. And there are double standards as well. I've got a post up on BlogHer today about keeping my kids safe from predators when I could be putting my own self at risk. Where is that line between what is okay for me to do and what is NOT okay for them? Read my post here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday! Let's get miserable!

Here's a memory I wish I could forget on this foggy Throwback Thursday morning. It was March of 1999. I was pregnant with 14, and 16 was just about 18 months old. Like knuckleheads, we thought it would be awesome to take our adorable 18 month old to Disney World! What a great idea! And root canal with no novocaine! And labor with no drugs!! And lighting ourselves on fire! All fantastic ideas!

The trip itself was actually fun. I'm not sure exactly how much of the trip 16 remembers, but there's one part of the trip that I will never forget. Like, ever.

The day we were to fly back home to New Jersey was a beautiful Florida morning. Bright and warm and sunny. It would've been a wonderful day to spend in any number of the Disney parks. Or Sea World. Or Universal. Instead, we spent the day in hell.

Our flight was due to depart at 10:00 a.m. So like good little travelers, we arrived at the airport 2 hours early. We had called the airline that morning (here's a hint: our airline rhymed with FEAR-IT) and they confirmed that our flight was, indeed, on time. GREAT NEWS! We'll be home by lunch time! Or so we thought. Upon checking in at 8:00 a.m. the desk agent informed us that the flight was still on time. Yay us! We checked our luggage, went through security with no problems and headed to our gate to wait for our on-time plane! What could possibly go wrong?

At 9:30 a.m., an announcement came over the speakers that all passengers on Fear-It Flight 666 should report to the gate attendant at the desk. We all wandered over and were told that apparently, our plane, (which was due to arrive from Atlantic City after it left Detroit) had not yet taken off from Detroit. Wait, what? Our plane was originating in Detroit, then heading to Atlantic City to pick up Disney World bound Atlantic City folks and was bringing them to Orlando by 9:30 a.m., and then taking us home at 10 a.m. Are you with me so far? Good. Well, the black box on that plane was not functioning properly. So it never took off from Detroit. And they didn't have another plane in the back. Who doesn't have a spare plane on hand for just such emergencies? Seriously.

We asked how long the delay would be and were told "possibly an hour". Maybe it was going to take them an hour to find a spare plane. Or a spare black box. Who knows. The point is, we expected that we were going to be delayed for an hour.

2 hours later, still no plane. At 11:45, they told us that it shouldn't be too much longer. To me, that means that maybe by 12:30, 1:00 at the latest, there would be a plane there to take me, my husband and my 18 month old child, who had not yet had her afternoon nap, back to New Jersey. I could not have been more wrong.

At 1:00 p.m., I was getting more and more aggravated. Remember when I mentioned that it was a beautiful, warm, sunny Florida day? One that could've been spent in an amusement park. Instead, we spent it inside the Orlando International Airport, trying to amuse an 18 month old cranky child. There are only so many games of Patty-Cake, I-Spy and Find Something Yellow that you can play before you're ready to see just how fast TSA agents can respond to terroristic threats.

Every hour that went by, they told us "it shouldn't be too much longer". Fucking liars. They should all be ashamed. Their pants should've all caught on fire.

By 3:00, the 18 month old was so cranky she was physically slapping me from sheer exhaustion. Truly, a slap-happy child, but she refused to try to sleep. At 4:00, they gave us all vouchers for food. We found a pizza place and stuffed our faces with $14 worth of pizza and sodas. At 5:00, I was looking for something flammable to light myself on fire.

At 6:00, new folks started showing up. It turns out there was another flight leaving for Philly at 7:30. Awesome! It totally made sense for them to let US, the 10:00 a.m. flight passengers get on the 7:30 p.m. flight back home, right? WRONG. We watched in horror as those 7:30 p.m. flight passengers were allowed to walk onto that plane while we sat with our noses pressed against the glass. FEAR-IT Airlines policy is: "Why piss off 2 plane-loads of people when you can just doubly piss off one plane-load?" It's a great marketing strategy. I don't understand why more companies don't use it.

Finally after being told all. day. long. that it shouldn't be too much longer before we were allowed to take off, a mere 12 hours later than our original flight was schedule to leave, we were allowed to board a plane at 10:00 p.m. My 18 month old was tired, my 35 year old husband was cranky, and my 32 year old self was ready to stab someone in the eye with a pen. A pencil would do. Or a crayon. I wasn't picky.

On the flight, they handed out pens and paper and allowed us all to write a letter to the management of FEAR-IT airlines, describing our plight. I'm guessing the flight crew used those letters to wipe their dirty asses. We were told that they were going to give us all a $100 credit towards a future FEAR-IT airlines flight. As if I would EVER fly that airline again. If it was the last airline on the planet and I had to get somewhere, I'd put a saddle on my dog and ride him before I'd ever get on a FEAR-IT plane again.

Oh, and one last little nugget. To add insult to an already hellaceous, horrific nightmare of a day, my 18 month old threw up all over herself as soon as she was buckled into her car seat for the 10 minute drive home. Put that in your #tbt pipe and smoke it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Judgin' Like Judy...

I must make a confession to you 6 fans of Snarkfest right now. I am a judgey mom. A Judgey-McJudgersen, if you will. I joked with a fellow band parent this weekend that while others may try to see the reason behind the decisions people make (or don't make), I very rarely give ANYONE the benefit of the doubt. So I tend to be judgin' like Judy. Judge Judy, for those of you who are scratching your head and wondering. NOT Judy Blume. NOT Judy Garland. Judge Judy. I'm pretty close to being one of the most judgmental people ever.

I will admit, it's not a very nice trait. I wish I COULD be more open-minded and understanding. But I tend to judge first and ask questions.....never.

I read this post from my friend Christine over at Keeper of the Fruit Loops and applauded her for putting up her volunteer pledge. And it got me to thinking. I'm a volunteer. Scratch that, I'm actually an OVER-volunteer-er. It's a thing, I swear. I'm a judgmental over-volunteer-er. I go to meetings and everything! And I usually volunteer to bring snacks.

But when it comes to parents who volunteer for NOTHING, I judge. I judge very harshly. Put it to you this way: 172 kids in the high school band this year. 2 of them are mine. I volunteer as the band booster Vice-President, I volunteer to chaperone trips, I volunteer to work in the concession stand during Friday night football games. I spend one night each summer at band camp and then help out in the kitchen the following morning serving breakfast (remember the Egg Nazi?).  You get the idea. I'm involved.  And I'm of the mindset that if you have a child involved in an activity, you, too, should be involved. But sadly, those of us with kids in the band see the same parents over and over. We work with the same group of parents every Friday in the concession stand, we see the same parents chaperoning band trips, the same parents volunteer at band camp, the same parents come to the monthly booster meetings. 172 band kids. Less than 50 involved band parents. Hashtag frustrating! (did I do that right?)

Last week I attended the parents meeting for 14's high school volleyball team. The team mom that they've had for a few years had recently taken on a new job and needed to be LESS involved. I totally get that. Working full time and having other kids at home, I TOTALLY get that some parents need to back off a little from volunteering. But that's when I feel that it's the responsibility of other parents to step up. Other parents who aren't ME. 14 turned to me and mouthed "You should be team mom!!!" "You should stop talking!" I mouthed back with a smile. No way. There's no way I can take on another responsibility. Not when there are 25 other sets of parents who are more than capable of taking over as team parent. I signed up to work the volleyball concessions stand, to bring snacks to games and to donate food to the stand to sell. But I have to draw the line at taking on being 'Team Mom'. Let someone else do it.

And that's the problem. More and more people are saying 'Let someone else do it' and less and less people actually ARE. And I don't look at the reason behind this lack of stepping up. I just judge. I'm jaded. I judge the parents who show up to football games with their spouse who think they're doing their part by buying some popcorn and a soda. Hey, Sparky, how about coming in so that one of US can go watch our kids perform in the halftime show?

That's my problem. There may be a very good reason WHY some folks can't volunteer to help out. But I'm so jaded by lazy-ass parents who aren't motivated to lift a finger to help out, that I lump ALL parents who don't help out together into one big cluster of lazy. It's something that I need to work on. Someday, when I see lots of different faces stepping up to the plate, maybe then I won't be so quick to judge. But for now, I will accept that I'm judgin' like Judy and then I'll go bake some brownies for the volleyball team's car wash this weekend (which I will, of course, be working).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Being a parent is hard, yo!

As I prepare to begin my oldest's last year of high school and my youngest's first, I can honestly say I'm filled with so many different emotions:

Fear: What if my oldest doesn't get into a good college and is forced to continue living at home and working at Dairy Queen? Free Blizzards aside, it would be awful for both her AND me. I love that girl, but she needs to learn the responsibility of getting up on her own, getting out the door on time and becoming a mature, responsible person. She is almost 17 and is too old for me to be her personal alarm clock. When I was finishing up my senior year of high school, my mom had moved up to Atlantic City from where we lived in Wildwood because she took a casino job and the 2 hour round trip commute was just too much. She came home on her days off, but I was left with the responsibility of getting myself to and from school, on time, every day. If I made a mess, there was no one else in the house to clean it up. Me thinks almost-17 needs a taste of responsibility.

Sadness: So many of my friends have high school graduates who are either going off to their first year of college or returning for their second year. Those young adults are spending less and less time at home. Some have on-campus jobs that require them NOT to come home for the summer. Forgetting everything I've written up there in that first category, how can it be that in just a year, my oldest will be leaving me, possibly for longer than I'm ready to have her gone? Last week she was a curious 5 year old running up and down the soccer field chasing a soccer ball with 12 other 5 year olds. Just this weekend she was an awkward middle schooler with glasses and braces. And wasn't it only yesterday that she was starting out her freshman year of high school, curious about making new friends and enjoying her time as one of the only 2 freshman on the varsity basketball team? What happened??

Pride: I could NOT be more proud of this child if I tried. Sometimes I'm so filled with pride I feel like I could explode. She's become such an amazing, beautiful and talented young woman that sometimes it's hard to get mad at her for missing the bus. I said sometimes. She's funny as hell, she is helpful to those around her, she's great with kids, patient and kind (kids who aren't her sister, that is). There is another reason that I'm so proud of her that I will talk about another time, but suffice it to say, she's pretty freaking awesome and I wonder how it is that we've raised such a great kid. She didn't come with instructions, yet we've managed to do something right, because she continues to make me proud almost daily.

Excitement: Am I scared to death? Yes. As her mom I'm frightened, since the future is so unknown, but she's smart and will do wonderful things. When she puts her mind to something, there's no stopping her. So I'm excited for her as she enters her senior year in high school and I know that this will be a year full of crazy fun memories for her, and I'm so excited and happy for her that she's as outgoing as she is, with a fantastic group of friends whom I love. Knowing what a great year she'll have definitely leaves me excited for her. But then come graduation, go back and read this list in order. Then repeat.

Being a parent is hard, yo.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is knowledge really power?

When I was about 18 weeks pregnant with 14, my husband was on his 2 weeks of active duty with the Navy, and was serving in Japan. Shortly before he left, I had gone for some prenatal testing, and thought nothing of it when I drove him to the airport and said goodbye.

Several days later, my OB-GYN called to inform me that my Alpha-Fetoprotein test came back positive, and she was scheduling me to have an amniocentesis later in the week. My head was spinning. What the hell is alpha-fetoprotein? What does it mean? Is my baby going to be born with two heads? Seriously, what the hell??

She explained to me that this test is done to determine the possibility of birth defects in a fetus, and since mine came back positive, there is a possibility that the baby could have several issues, including Downs Syndrome. The urgency in her voice scared the piss out of me. Literally. She said that I absolutely NEEDED to go and have an amnio done to fully determine whether or not the baby I was carrying would have issues after delivery, and the reason it was so important that they schedule me, pretty much right then and there, was because I was at 18 weeks, and would only have 2 weeks to decide if I wanted to terminate the pregnancy, pending the outcome of the amnio.

Terminate the pregnancy.


End the pregnancy?

Get rid of the baby?


Commence the head spinning again. There I was, home alone with a year and a half old toddler, 18 weeks pregnant and my husband in Japan. He would be in Japan until after my 20 week mark. Termination never even crossed my mind. Why in the world would I terminate the pregnancy if there was an issue with my baby? And why in the WORLD would I go for an amniocentesis, even with the slightest risk of miscarriage, if my husband was out of the country? Reason was gone, my brain shut down, I couldn't think straight. I also had no way to reach my husband. He usually called me once a day, and had already done so that morning.

I told my OB NOT to schedule me for anything until I had a chance to speak with my husband. She argued that it was imperative to my pregnancy that I schedule this appointment ASAP. I argued back that there was no freaking way in hell I'd be going for an amnio without my husband by my side.

Time stood still.

The next day when my husband called, I told him all that my OB had told me. He asked what I wanted to do, and I told him that at that point in time, I wasn't going to consider terminating the pregnancy, no matter the outcome of the amnio. If we needed to go for genetic counseling, then so be it. If we needed to learn how to deal with a special needs child, then so be it. But I wasn't going to risk a miscarriage, and I did not want to do anything to put myself or the baby at risk until he was home.

The doctor, needless to say, was not happy, but she respected my wishes and scheduled my amnio for a date when my husband was home.

To make a long story short, I went for the amnio, husband by my side. And when they called us with the results a few days later, there was not a damn thing wrong with my baby. She was healthy, growing exactly as she should be, no Downs, no extra appendages, no genetic issues whatsoever.

So I ask you: is knowledge really power? Or is it a vehicle to drive you insane?

Had there been, God forbid, something wrong with my baby, we had several more months to learn about it, and deal with it. But scaring me into making a decision I wasn't ready to make on my own was not something I appreciated. Did I understand her reasoning? Yes, I did. But regardless of the outcome, I'd have carried that baby to term and loved her as best I could. I thank God she turned out happy and healthy.