Can we please see Wolverine the Musical?

I’ve been on a musicals kick. It has nothing everything to do with seeing Hamilton for the second time. I’ve graduated from listening to the Ham soundtrack on YouTube to listening to Hamilton radio on Pandora. You see, I was hoping for a nice roundup of Ham, Rent, Le Mis, Wicked, and all the other musicals that provide me with lyrical poetry to sing in the car on my hour-long drives into the city every week.

Empty Hamilton stage

Pandora, for the first time since my Britney radio channel (which has been properly curated to play all 90’s and all my favorite party pop tunes), got it right.

So I’ve been jamming out. And it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that I wanted to spend my weekend watching musicals when no one in our house got any sleep because Brian had a software release (he was up until like 4 am working on Friday night), the puppy’s schedule was outta whack, and Chrissy needed to wake up at 2 am and 6 am on Saturday in order to successfully acquire (apparently not one, but two) stuffed Mickey Mouses that she absolutely needed. </second person>

I came home on Saturday from my mall adventure to pick up the Mickey and couldn’t fall asleep. So I popped in The Greatest Showman. And then Moulin Rouge. The next day, I continued the magic with Les Mis. Brian caught bits and pieces and said, “The music is kind of dull. It all sounds the same. There’s very little variation.”

I mean…I guess he’s not wrong, but I felt the need to defend one of the most epic musical tragedies, which I did to little avail.

A few days later, I was playing The Other Side from The Greatest Showman because it’s in my head, and when a song is in my head, I just have to play it. Constantly.

Brian looked at me, “See, this song alone already has more melodies and variation than the other show.”

“It’s the same actor.”

“I know. It’s Wolverine.”

“OMG. Brian. BRIAN! We need Wolverine the Musical. We just need it. How do we get in touch with Hugh Jackman?!”

So then, ignoring my brilliant idea (one that rivals my Captain America vs. Harry Potter mashup, he pulls up Deadpool the Musical, and despite Brian swearing he’s shown this to me, I’ve never seen this magic before, and I’m SO here for it. And Deadpool the Musical 2, which is even better. And it’s like my idea was already a thing and I didn’t even know it.

So, I thought I would share it with you. Because Disney owns all the good shit now. And you know how I feel about Disney. And parodies.

Enjoy. (PS: NSFW)

The Wolverine cameo is in here, and it’s perfect.

But I still think Wolverine could have his very own musical. Don’t you agree?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Dog training is dangerous work

So my dog is becoming incredibly skilled at indoor parkour. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. I’ll wait.

Insane, right?

Well, Nia is a master. When she gets the zoomies, she jets around our house, side-swiping and jumping on everything with a flat surface.

 She can also clear 4-5 feet with a standing jump. Hopping on our couch, over the back? Child’s play. Jumping a gate to get to the top of our stairs? Piece of cake. Bouncing from one ottoman to the other like fucking Tigger? Done.

Clearly, all of these feats of strength means she’s an agility star in the making.

So the other night, after some serious playtime and even more serious zoomies, I decided that instead of trying to train the crazy out of her, I would help hone her skills.

dog with a toy in the middle of a living room

I’m a fool.

So I pulled out the small ottoman and started running to jump over it in the hopes that Nia would follow suit and chase me. She did, but she ran beside the ottoman instead of over it. Several times.

So I figured I’d try again.

I figured wrong.

As my right leg cleared the ottoman, my left foot caught on the back, making my landing less than a 10. I didn’t fall (for, like, the first time ever), but I did manage to feel a pop-pop-pop of bad. And also a searing pain in my left Flinstoe (Flinstone toe. It’s a thing) that turned out to be a broken nail.

I knew immediately something had gone awry and I stumbled to the couch, much to Brian’s confusion. He has never seen me actually injure myself, despite seven-plus years of experience with my injuries. I took a few ibuprofen, iced my knee, and made a bunch of Instagram stories about my foolishness, hoping there would be no pain when I finally peeled myself off the couch.

Much to my dismay (and with little surprise, if we’re being honest), I discovered that yes, Virginia, Chrissy hurt herself again. After 30+ years of injuring myself, I knew how to recognize the signs of a sprain:

  • Can move the joint in question
  • Difficulty with range of motion (which is strange for me because I have overextending joints, so my range of motion is a little crazy already)
  • Slight swelling (I don’t often swell)
  • Slight bruising (sprains don’t bruise much for me, even though I get rando bruises all the time)
  • Pain in certain positions (or many positions or when putting pressure on said joint)

And so I went to sleep with plans to visit the doctor the next day. I’m pretty confident they love me over there. This was the first time my doc saw my hair, and she was all open-mouth WOAH, but not actually surprised, since she’s been seeing me for years (basically since I got a job with health insurance). After I told her about trying to train my dog to jump over an ottoman by showing instead of telling (I mean, COME ON. How do you tell a dog to jump over an ottoman?), she laughed and told me, “At least you have a good story.”

“Doc, that’s pretty much my life. You should hear about the last time I sprained my knee…”

She laughed, and I made a few more jokes before she told me to chill out, rest my shit, and try not to reinjure myself like a fool (which is of course going to be tricky with several hours of improv classes and a show tonight (SHAMELESS PLUG: GO SEE MY ENSEMBLE, HAMMOCK FIRE, at the Chicago Second City Training Center Thursday nights through September 20!)

And so, I’m back on the injury train. Which is kind of funny, since I had finally stopped telling people that injuring myself is a key theme in my storytelling style.

Such is life.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Distemper and the cone of shame

Of course my dog has an Instagram account.

Of course she does.

When the rescue organizations were [heavily] vetting me to become a dog mom, my friends were telling them that my future dog was going to live a spoiled existence. Toys and play and treats and photo shoots would ensue. My dog was sure to get her own Instagram account, they said.

I fought the urge to give her a separate account for months. I already have a Disneygram account in addition to my personal account. I don’t need to add a third to the mix.

Until I did.

Of course I did.

And then it was time for Nia’s spay surgery. And she we I decided that she was going to diary the cone life. It’s been a rocky two weeks, but I think the pup is going to be A-okay. At the very least, she’s going to have one hell of a happy life.

 

The day of the spay was horrible for me. One of my worst days. I was already going into this with SERIOUSLY conflicting feelings. I know that she’s essentially better off being spayed early, but I couldn’t help anthropomorphizing her soon-to-be inability to have children. And then they called me after she came out of anesthesia.

Apparently, Nia shows a number of signs of being a distemper survivor, including weak enamel on her teeth, tremors, head bobbles, and now, seizures (well, seizure, singular). The vet says that as long as she seems happy and healthy, we just need to keep an eye on the symptoms and take extra good care of her teeth.

Day 3 was the last day of being remotely sleepy. None of the sedatives worked for our lil pup. So we had to manage her insanity with constant vigilance and baby gates.

The peace didn’t last long, though, because Nia decided that she could do anything with or without the cone.

Thank God for baby gates (something I swear I said I would never use).

She’s definitely my puppy because I love perching just as much as she does.

We actually had to take away some of her toys because of her teeth. She loved chewing on the hard toys, but no dice anymore on those. Soft and squishy only now. I think I’ve noticed the difference in the way she chomps on my hand.

I took away the cheap flip flop, and then she annihilated my Roxy flip flops. How’s that for vengeance?

Whoops!

Even I’m ready for the cone to be over.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Quirky style: An accidental style maven

In the last few years, I’ve really started honing and owning my own sense of style. A couple weeks ago, at my brother-in-law’s wedding, I realized that it’s kind of a thing I’m proud of, and it’s definitely a thing that Brian is proud of. So I’m learning to love this part of myself.

The night of my brother-in-law’s rehearsal, we had drinks at the faaaaancy hotel bar (the hotel that Beyonce and Jay Z were staying in), walked the city a bit, and had dinner at a lovely restaurant.

“I think I missed the dress code,” I told Brian. “The other people are all city chic, and I’m over here rocking the Chrissy pink.”

Chrissy disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps in front of Toy Story Land display at Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Conference

This was at the Magical Disney Social Media Moms on the Road Celebration. I was Disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps from Zootopia. It’s also the dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner with even pinker hair.

“Isn’t that the point?”

Two minutes later, a stranger walking past us complimented my pink on pink on pink ensemble. “I like your…pinkness!”

“See? You get random compliments from strangers!” And, to my utter surprise, it wasn’t the last compliment of the night.

I thought about it for a second. And he’s so right. For years, I’d ask his opinion of something I was planning to wear — whether it was rainbow tie-dye yoga pants or a Minnie Mouse onesie — and his response is always, “Well, it’s not something I would wear, but I think it’s really cool that you do.” And then he’d realize he was supposed to say, “It looks really good,” and he’d say that too.

Chrissy dancing on a bench with pink hair and a yellow dress

I bought myself a tripod so I could play around with photo shoots by myself. It wasn’t my worst decision ever.

Ever since I was a small child, I’ve been drawn to bright colors — pinks, teals, greens, yellows — and bold patterns – it is known that I have a thing for polka dots. But I’ve also been drawn to self-doubt, self-preservation, insecurity, envy, and other non-desirable traits. But the more I step into my own skin, the skin I’ve had for 35 years that isn’t going anywhere, the more I accept who I am and that how I dress is a part of that.

Chrissy wearing a brightly colored patterned dress in front of a willow tree and a lake

Bold patterns? Rainbows? Bright colors? Check Check Checkity Check.

Several people (a friend who’s known me for years and one of my brothers-in-law included) have recently mentioned something about me appearing comfortable in my style. Since dying my hair hot pink, it’s as if I’m more me than I’ve been since I was a child. Even before that, I began embracing a hobby called Disneybounding, in which I dress up as characters from Disney cartoons, movies, and even theme park attractions. It gives me the freedom, encouragement, and PERMISSION to dress like a “Polish war bride.”

Chrissy in tamatoa Disneybound outfit in front of a mural wall

This is one of my favorite Disneybound outfits to date: Tamatoa! I am planning to bring it with me on my next Disney World trip!

It’s funny, because I used to essentially wear pajamas to work, and now that I work at home, I find myself getting dressed up more than I have in years. I even wear makeup regularly (thank God for Julep)! I’m having fun playing with bold colors and unique combinations of patterns and styles. I’m matching things that 10-year-old me would have rocked and 25-year-old me would have mocked.

Chrissy wearing an orange dress and green scarf with yellow sneakers for an Orange Bird Disneybound.

This was an Orange Bird Disneybound that I was really excited about.

I wanted to provide my top tips on how to create your own style and own your style. It’s surprisingly easy when you figure out what makes you happy.

How to own your style

  1. ABOLISH all beliefs or rules of style. They don’t own you. They limit you. White after Labor Day? PSHA. White is for any day (except when drinking red wine on an airplane…)! Wheelie sneakers and light-up clothes after age 10? Roll on with your bad self. Stripes and polka dots together? It’s a thing. I swear. Seriously, though. Who came up with those style rules anyway? Forget them and make your own rules!
  2. TRY different styles and combinations and see how they make you feel. Go into an actual store and use the dressing room or order from Amazon, who provides free return shipping. Forget looking at fashion magazines and Pinterest. Make your own combinations.
  3. DISCOVER what makes you happy. For me, it’s hot pink and teal. It’s dressing like Disney characters. It’s bold patterns and rainbows and happy colors. It’s remembering what it’s like to be a kid again. For others, it may be band tee-shirts that have been collecting dust since you got a big-girl job. Or geek skater dresses. Or leggings as pants. Or black goth dresses. Or hippy chic boho skirts. Or fancy pantsuits. Take the time to figure it out.
  4. DONATE old clothes that don’t serve you well. If you try something on or wear it for a day and feel the slightest bit uncomfortable in what you’re wearing (and I don’t mean that it’s too tight. You want to feel like YOU in your clothes), it’s time to say goodbye.
  5. SWAP with friends. I’ve had several friends who have either lost weight, gained weight, or cleared out their closets, and they’ve shared their clothes with me and other friends. And I’ve done the same on several occasions. It’s actually really fun to see your past style as someone’s future look. Believe me, it’ll give an outfit new life.
  6. SMILE. Be confident in who you are and what you’re wearing. For me, it’s not about what’s in and out of fashion, it’s what makes me happy, confident, and comfortable. You’re the only you that’s ever going to be. So make your you stand out.

Take the Brave Pretty Challenge.

So what I’m really just saying here? Own the heck out of you. Wear and be and do what makes you happy. Spread joy. I want to know what your style is like. What are some of the things you love to wear?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

1979. Or melancholy and infinite sadness

Quick before you read any further! I want to know your first thought when you saw the title of this song. Got it? Great.

Last night, I was checking out after a quick trip to Trader Joe’s. A woman who I figured was close in proximity to me in age was running the register.

“Your total is 19.79.”
“Great song!”
She made a face and started humming to the music playing in the store.
“I can’t hear what it is.”
“1979? The Smashing Pumpkins?”
“What? Oh. Your total”
“Yep. Loved them.”
“Oh I don’t really know them much. I think anyone younger than me wouldn’t have known that at all.”
I bowed my head in sadness and dismay while facepalming.
“But I know Billy Cor…gan, right?”
“Yes. Billy Corgan.” Visions of magazine articles and album covers filled my head instead of photos on Facebook. Song lyrics on the inside of CD covers instead of lyrics.com. Surreal videos on MTV instead of YouTube. I picked up my bag and started to leave, my chin buried in my chest.
“I should get points for knowing that, right?”
“Have a good night, young lady!”
And I walked out of the store wondering where to get a walker and a bottle of prune juice.
I’m okay accepting my age, but MAN was I not ready to be worlds apart from someone no more than 5 years younger than me. I remember my friend Jane and I planning our escape to the MTV Beach House, where we hoped to stay in Room 1979. It was a thing. I swear.
And now I’m just melancholy. With infinite sadness.
You see what I did there? Fine. Go Google it.
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The best four days in gaming

Every year, I trek down to Indianapolis for four nights to play as many games and see as much cool stuff as I possibly can at Gen Con, a board gaming convention. This year was no different. Brian and I made our way down to Indy, where I played dress up a few times, demoed/played 22 games (I have a crazy New Year’s resolution to play 365 games including 100 unique games and 25 games that I own that we’ve never played, so this was a good booster because I’m super far behind. Puppies make board gaming hard), and shopped, well, not a lot, but a little. Since quitting my job, we’re kind of on a budget or something like that.

Games and swag I picked up at Gen Con 2018

I did buy some games and some jewelry, but I also managed to win a few games and walk away with a number of promo cards and decks too. And my friends over at Goliath hooked me up with copies of a couple new games from Games Adults Play and Pressman featured at the con as well!

I made a little video to show you the games I picked up. There’s party games for everyone as well as some fun, unique strategy games for more advanced gaming. Links to the games are below the video and on the YouTube page if you want to check them out for yourself (Some of them are affiliate links, which will earn me a teensy commission if you make a purchase!)

Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley

Dwar7s Winter

Lucky’s Misadventures Episode 42: Lost in Oddtopia

Argent the Consortium

Last Night on Earth

Machi Koro: Bright Lights Big City

Elemental Conflux

Friend or Faux

What Do You Meme?

Stupid Deaths

Pantone the Game (available for preorder)

Disney’s Villainous

Which of these games looks most interesting to you?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Returning to the Hundred Acre Wood

“Your life is happening now, right in front of you.”

Sage advice from a grown-up Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn (played by Hayley Atwell), as she lectured the titular character of the newest tale from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Brian and I had the opportunity to check out a screening of Christopher Robin earlier this week and it was everything I wanted it to be. Charming and sweet with the nostalgia my generation of millennials craves with every piece of media we experience.

Winnie the Pooh Disneybound

Of course, I Disneybounded as Pooh for our movie date! I also convinced Brian to wear grey as if he were DIsneybounding Eeyore.

Let me back up. I grew up with Winnie the Pooh as a child, fostering a mild obsession through high school. I loved Pooh,  and the rest of the gang. Even today, when I visit Disney World, I find myself snuggling up to Tigger and Pooh and Eeyore as if they were my best friends in the whole world. There was something special in each of the fluffy friends that really resonated with me. I loved them. And I recognized the wisdom in their tales. Christopher Robin is not without the classic wisdom that its predecessors have provided.

The movie begins with Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) bidding his childhood friends farewell before going off to boarding school. A series of drawings and scenes carefully, but briefly, detail Robin’s life to now. And then we hit the present day: Christopher Robin has to choose between saving his job and saving his family. Of course, by saving his job, he can also save his family, right?

With a little help from his dear friend Pooh, who stumbles into London after losing all of his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher remembers that doing nothing often leads to the very best something, and drops the stance picked up from his woozle of a boss (played by Mark Gatiss) that nothing comes from nothing.

I absolutely loved Christopher Robin. I thought it was light and charming, but full of a powerful message — one that really hit home, especially less than a week after finally piecing together my words about leaving my job and rediscovering my own childlike joy. The message of working to live instead of living to work isn’t hammered, either. It’s sweetly weaved throughout the movie, as Robin remembers what it’s like to be a kid again (to the benefit of his 8-year-old daughter, Madeline, who doesn’t know how to play).

Emotional Factor: I surprisingly didn’t tear up much (of course there were some moments, particular with slightly melancholy versions of the class Winnie the Pooh songs playing in the background) during this movie, but I sure did laugh.

Brian, my harsher Disney critic, enjoyed it without the nostalgia (he didn’t grow up with Pooh!) and thought “it was sweet.”

Be sure to stick around for the end credits scene featuring Richard M. Sherman and a few new songs from the Disney music legend (and if you don’t know who he is, I highly recommend watching The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story, which is a truly incredible and fascinating documentary about Richard and his brother Robert).

What childhood memories do you have of Pooh and his friends? Are you planning to see Christopher Robin in the theaters?

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr, with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN opens Friday, August 3 in theaters everywhere.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

Last August, I discovered I was losing something. No. I had lost something. I didn’t realize the extent to which it was missing, but I knew I needed to make a change. My ever-present smile was dimmer than it had been in a long time. I was suffering from depression. I should have noticed months prior. When surrounded by writers and creators, I hid in my room instead of reveling in the joy of being around like-minded people. I knew that I needed a change in my life, and I struggled to figure out what it was that I needed.

As it turns out, I needed to follow my dreams. I needed to take some time off from the corporate desk monkey life and see if I could do this writer thing for real. So I’m writing. A novel, actually. I’ll tell you more about that soon. Of course, in the time I’ve had, I’ve also managed to use it wisely and do some really important things.

The first of these tasks was to finally memorize the lyric’s to Toto’s Africa. Because everyone else knows them, and I’m tired of “mumble mumble BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA mumble mumble.” It turned out to be the exact right thing to do, because it spoke to me about taking time to do the things I never have. And so I continued on my journey.

I saw Hamilton. And proceeded to memorize the lyrics to Act One and most of Act Two of the show. Give me time, and Act Two will be finished as well.

But I haven’t just been working on lyric memorization.

I crafted homemade apple butter, applesauce, and pear butter.

I made homemade beer cheese spread.

I started cooking real meals again, the way I used to when Brian and I were still in the budding stages of our relationship.

I also eat a lot of food.

I cleaned my kitchen. Like once. I’m not a miracle worker, you guys.

I may have done laundry a couple times too.

Brian knew going into this marriage that I was not an organized cleaner or anything like that. Phew

I helped my bestie plan her wedding.

I planned two wedding showers.

I hosted another kick-ass Halloween Party.

I really like throwing parties.

I created a Disney-focused Instagram account.

I decided to start Disneybounding (dressing like Disney characters) in my regular life, and it was the BEST decision.

I spent a lot of quality time with my niece, indoctrinating her into the world of Disney by watching a different Disney movie when she would come over. 

Disney is life, you guys.

I did stand-up for the first time.

I began training at The Second City.

I submitted work to (and was subsequently rejected by) McSweeney’s and other fancy publications that I plan to keep submitting to.

A sense of humor. It’s important.

I dyed my hair pink.

I finally made all those Shutterfly photo albums I’ve been meaning to make for the last several years.

I set up a desk in my front room where the light shines in an open space that makes me so much happier to write in than a cramped office.

We adopted a puppy.

I let this blog fall to the wayside while I found myself, rediscovered my voice, and figured out what I wanted to do with it. But I finally have a plan, you guys. And I hope you’ll stick with me as I move forward!

I am living my best life, and I am so incredibly proud of the things that I’m accomplishing and the person that I am. This journey is making me see how incredible the world truly is, and I can’t wait to make my mark.

What are you doing to live your best life? Or what’s a change you can make to start moving in that direction?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Puppies are like toddlers

In recent news, Brian and I are the proud parents of a five-month-old puppy we call Nia (her full name is a regal one: Lady Nymeria Stark of Winterfell). We rescued her exactly two months ago and have been in love/hell ever since.

puppy snuggled on a blanket

Meet Lady Nymeria Stark of Winterfell, everybody!

I’ve wholeheartedly embraced the dog mom life, so if you’re here to comment on how dog owners aren’t real parents and puppies aren’t human children, kindly see yourself out (you don’t know or care about my life, my struggles, or what brings me joy. This isn’t for you.) In my experience training a three-to-five-month-old pup, I’ve come to the realization that having a puppy is very similar to having a toddler.

Mobility

Some people compare puppies to babies, and I’m not going to do that: While a baby is mostly immobile, a toddler is running all over the place, exploring all available surroundings, and basically trying to kill itself every chance it gets. Ways to combat this: baby gates, constant vigilance, and positive reinforcement. Unsurprisingly, this is exactly how we combat the dangerous exploratory behavior of puppies, baby gates, constant vigilance, and positive reinforcement. We’ve gated the pup in the kitchen when we’re cooking, the TV room when we’re winding down, and the front room when I’m working. She even gets to hang out in the bathroom when I shower.

Puppy sitting on top of the couch

She thinks she’s a cat.

Constant attention-seeking behavior

Speaking of the bathroom…From the memes I’ve seen on the book of face, toddlers who aren’t invited into the bathroom with Mom claw at the door, sticking their tiny fingers under the bottom trying to get in. Wanna know what my puppy does when I go to the bathroom without her? She claws at the door and sticks tiny paws under the bottom trying to get in.

puppy on a raft in the pool

See? She even wanted to join us in the pool.

Managing nap schedules

I know that toddlers need a lot of sleep, and managing their naps can be a full-time job. I also know that if Nia naps all evening, she won’t go to bed at night! We learned the hard way that our evenings of snuggling on the couch while binge-watching TV were days of the past when Nia wouldn’t go to bed until after midnight because she slept during TV time. We’re still working out the logistics and what works best for her, and hopefully, we figure it out soon!

puppy napping on a blanket with a toy

Puppy diaper bag

Moms carry bags of stuff toddlers need every time they leave the house with their kiddo: diapers, wipes, creams, extra clothes, toys, snack packs, containers, sippy cups, etc. I carry a bag of stuff Nia needs every time I leave the house with her: poop bags, alternative leashes, toys, snack packs, bowls, bottled water, etc. And I’m often so flustered when trying to gather everything that I forget stuff for me. My phone, a beverage, my purse, my ID, always something.

Leashed puppy sitting on the sidewalk next to owner

Taking her anywhere is an ordeal

Bedtime routines

I’m pretty confident many, if not most, toddlers want to snuggle up with Mom and Dad at bedtime, and I’ve known parents who curl up in their toddler’s tiny beds and fall asleep with them in order to get them to crash in their own beds. When we began crate training Nia in our bedroom, about 2 feet from our bed, she would cry at night because she didn’t want to be alone in the crate. So Brian and I would curl up on the floor crateside with the lights out as if we were all going to sleep in a giant puppy pile together. Once she was asleep, we would tiptoe back to our bed for the night. You may say we’re suckers, but guess who goes right to her crate at bedtime, now?

puppy sleeping in a bed

Sometimes, she sleeps in my spot before or after crate time.

Toys everywhere

Just like my toddler niece, the puppy pulls all of her toys out on the ground and spreads them far and wide for good measure. I may not rip up my foot on a Lego, but you can be damn sure I’m falling all over Kongs, Nylabones, and Duraplay balls left and right. I’m probably going to fall and injure myself (like I always do), but I’d rather have her play with dog toys than chewing on my shoes.

Puppy surrounded by chew toys and stuffies

Bribery

When I was teaching reading comprehension to small children, we used bribery as a way to get them to work. Smaller, more frequent bribes for more distracted students and that’s exactly how we have to train this puppy. Snacks, snacks, snacks; just like me and my snack addiction. Our pupper loves food. Thank goodness. Because we bribe her with food all. the. time. Get that non-toy out of her mouth? Offer her a piece of string cheese. Need to lock her up in her crate when we go out? We provide a plethora of brain-teaser treats and puzzles.

I’m sure there are bazillions of ways that puppies compare to toddlers, these are just a few of the ones I’ve noticed in the two months since adopting our little monkey.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Damsel in distress…in the bathroom

The other day, after my class at The Second City, I decided to head straight home instead of sticking around for bonus Second City joy like I had originally planned. We had just gotten a new water heater that afternoon, and I was pretty excited to head home for a warm shower. Also, Brian had just been destroyed by our puppy, and probably needed a bit of a reprieve. Mostly, I had a tasty Blue Apron meal with shrimp and peppers waiting for me to cook up and devour.

Leaving the class, I knew I probably should hit the bathroom before rolling out, but I had parked in a 3-hour spot and was drawing desperately close to overtime. I don’t like getting tickets so I raced my ass to my car. It was only a 45-minute drive; I could make it.  (If you can’t already tell, this story is about poop, so fair warning as you continue on).

As I was nearing my home suburb, I happened upon a sign for the second time in a week that reminded me. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc was on sale super cheap at one of the local-ish liquor stores. I knew I’d never make it back there to buy some if I didn’t stop immediately. So I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a cart. It’s important to always have a backup supply of wine.

As I filled my cart with liquid gold, the urge to poop began to increase. I’m not the kind of girl who can hold it, and I know that when I gotta go…I GOTTA go. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had a bathroom (they didn’t), and so I quickly planned my escape. Step one: Pay for wine. Step two: Decide on emergency bathroom protocol.

My options were limitless, but time was of the essence. Could I make it home? Maybe, but there was a risk in that. Could I make it to my parents’ house halfway between the liquor store and home? Tempting, but I decided to see what other choices I had.

There was a small pizza place by the liquor store. But I didn’t want to walk there and chance no public restroom. I got into the car and thought about McDonald’s/Burger King/Wendy’s locations near me, and I knew there weren’t any super close. And then like clouds parting to let the sun shine down on none other than White Castle.

Now, I have a small neurosis about using public restrooms. And it has nothing to do with pooping in public and everything to do with using a restroom while not patronizing the business. And so I always have to buy something when I use a bathroom. Brian has tried without fail to get me to sneak in, poop, and sneak out without anyone being the wiser for as long as I can remember. I almost always leave with a drink…sometimes a full meal.

I decided as I raced into the bathroom immediately next to the entrance door, that this would be the day I do it. This would be the day I opted out of a guilt purchase. Because I’m doing Weight Watchers. And White Castle just didn’t seem worth it.

I hung my purse on the door and sat down on the toilet. Relief was swift, but it only lasted a moment. Until I reached for the toilet paper. Where toilet paper should have been, an empty roll hung in its place. I assessed the situation. No place for a backup roll in this single-use bathroom. No stalls to hobble to with my pants around my ankles. And I was in White Castle. In the early evening. No one was going to be knock knock knocking on this door for hours. I wished I still carried that travel roll of Charmin I bought for my trip to Europe.

As I prepared to bunker down in the White Castle ladies’ room, I realized that I had a golden ticket! I had a freaking phone. I stood up, waddled over to my purse, and pulled out my phone. I waddled back, sat down, and googled White Castle for the phone number.

In seconds, I would be relieved from my public cell. I just knew it. riiiiiiiiiing riiiiiiiiiing

“Thank you for calling White Castle. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as we can!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I pondered leaving a message, “Hey. In the ladies room. No TP for days. Send help.”

Instead, I hung up and called back. The damn store was open, someone had to be here.

“Thanks for calling White Castle. This is _______, how can I help you?”

“Hi. This is awkward, but I’m in the ladies bathroom, and there’s no toilet paper. Help!”

“Oh. Sure. Be right there.”

Commercial toilet paper roll in the White Castle Bathroom

Thanks, lady.

Two minutes later, a knock at the door had me waddling, penguin-style, again. I hid behind the door as I opened it just enough to allow a massive roll of toilet paper past the threshold. I thanked her, and quickly closed the door.

Bathroom selfie in a skinny mirror

I love me a good skinny mirror!

I cleaned up, took a baño selfie in the skinny mirror, and realized I definitely needed to make a purchase now. There was no escaping the employee who rescued this damsel in distress. I made my way to the front counter, and the employee was washing dishes in the back. I could escape. But I took a look at the menu and realized there were a lot of things I needed to try. You know. For research.

I ahemed a few times until I finally said, “Uhh hi!” Two full minutes after she looked at me and said hi, she set the dishes down and walked up to me, giving me a knowing glance. I should have just left. Why was I so embarrassed? Everybody poops. Right? I ordered and ran the hell out of there so fast.

I survived. And had tots hashbrowns with cheese sauce to assuage my anxieties on the 7-minute drive home.

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!