Bathroom stages according to the penguin

The Penguin and I were discussing a certain bathroom event and decided we needed to come up with a term we would both be comfortable using. I could have used the proper terminology, sure but, but that would lead to a whole other blog post. Agreeing on a number system, she then broke down the entire number codes for me.



#3-diary (diarrhea)

#4-throwing up

#5-diary (diarrhea) and throwing up

#6-peeing, diary, AND throwing up

There you have it peeps. The decoded bathroom numbers according to an eight year old.

#parenting, #motherhood, #reallife, #thebelleandthepenguin, #pottyhumor

So glad I’m not missing this

Who knew Chick-fil-A could be a fine dining experience? Take a Penguin with you and you will see. Despite the intermittent play breaks it still takes her a good thirty minutes to even eat her food. Plus she must decide the difficult decision of keeping her treat or turning it in for ice cream. There are list involved sometimes.

During one of these visits while she pondered life across from me, I just couldn’t help but smile. Smile and thank God for this opportunity that my husband was giving me to be a stay at home mom with her. I was immersed in her conversation while at the same time so delighted not to be at a workplace. I could feel the freshness and weightlessness of the genuine moment we were sharing.

“It’s weird I like these cherries, I mean , I didn’t always like them.”

“Okay, and then what happened?”

“But, I drink cherry coke, and that’s cherry…, I don’t know”

I’m just smiling from ear to ear.

She flips her hair.

“Was my hair like this when I was five”?

Then I just laughed and was so thankful I had not missed a moment of what just happened.

Turtles & Sewer Pipes, not the kind named after artist

Really, this is a typical morning for us. I truly cannot make this up. My precious Penguin has my active mind that just goes and goes, and this is what she came up with the other morning after using the restroom.

I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing Penelope’s nest on my head as she comes over and we begin this conversation:

P: I figured it out

SB: Figured what out?

P: Where all the water goes when you flush the toilet.

I give a confused look her way….

P: It goes down the drain into the pipes down below where the turtles are.

 So, in my mind I’m thinkin ninja turtles. I don’t mention this thought, I just assume she saw it on tv or talked about it on the playground.

SB: The turtles?

P: Yes, and the wipes you flush too.

SB: Very confused now…What do the turtles do with the wipes?

P: The people that sell them get them out. They get the wipes off of the turtles 

Realizing we have passed Donatello and the pizza at this point..

SB: There is a turtle store down there?

P: Yes, the turtle store is there. And when you go buy them they make sure the wipes aren’t there.

SB: Okay. Smiling on the inside because I just had a conversation with myself. 

We quickly switch stations, keep up!

P: Wow, the sandman visited this eye last night!


My Holiday OCD is having to be tamed

I understand this might not make sense to some. I also understand some people probably don’t see me as having any OCD tendencies seeing the way I live now, with the laundry in piles and all, and I get that. However, those of you that are skeptics would be interested to find I have quite a few quirks that I’m sure a psychologist would love to figure out. Most of these I do keep within some type of ‘control’, or I had to adapt to having a penguin almost seven years ago. 

One of the biggest ones has been my holiday OCD issue. Before the penguin was born, I had holiday rules that had to be followed or my mind would just explode. Not just your run of the mill don’t-put-Christmas-out-before Thanksgiving issue either. There were no clothes to be worn except for that holiday, no movies to be watched, no food to be ate. One did not watch “Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin” outside of the month of October, or occasionally the network would throw me off course and save it for November. All of the sacred Christmas movies were saved for December only! 

Then the penguin was born. As she got old enough to watch movies, one of her favorite groups to watch was “Frosty the Snowman ” and “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer”. In ANY month. It took me a lot to get used to. I actually tried to talk her out of it. 

Now, I look down and find myself in July wearing Halloween socks. Gasp. What was once unheard of is just pure survival because the Halloween socks are the ones I can find clean. I just find it amusing that I’ve changed that much all because of my penguin. The best thing ever. The love of my life. I am still holding a strong front against wearing Christmas socks though.

Grape juice Explosion and ACV 

I know all about the benefits of apple cider vinegar. The real kind. I’ve seen it work personally. But, like most people, I’ve had a lot of trouble getting past the god awful taste. I attribute some of this to a CRAZY weight loss plan I did some years back. I could only eat about 6 different things with limited seasoning, however one of those was Apple Cider Vinegar. So, I cooked A LOT of things in a “stir fry” fashion in the stuff. I think I got major burn out.

So, I’m on my third try of drinking the good for you stuff again. I’ve taken surveys on Facebook to get advice on how the regulars take theirs. My mama is just balls to the wall and shoots hers like a sorority girl and tequila. Others say mix with a bottle of water and my daddy chases his with milk (but his LDL didn’t improve). But, I went to where any self respecting wanna be super mom would go-Pinterest. I found some great recipes that appealed to my tastebuds and didn’t cancel out the health benefits.

I stocked up on fresh pressed Organic grape, cranberry, and apple juice. No sugar added, not from concentrate, only the juice straight from the fruit. I carefully measured it out for and drank it for about 4 days. Then, this happened….

I was running behind so I thought, “I’ve done plenty of shots in my lifetime, this will be a breeze.” I prepared the shot glass and had grape juice as a chaser. I got the shot down and took a gulp of the chaser just as the acid hit my stomach. I literally spewed grape juice all over the kitchen counter and dripped down onto the floor. Because of the burning sensation in my throat I started coughing and couldn’t catch my breath. The penguin, who previously was very concerned for a patient on Grey’s Anatomy, didn’t even bat an eye. She stepped back to let me know I had gotten grape juice on the floor that “daddy had just fixed”. I finally composed myself and made it out the door.

Now, two days later, I am braving it again. Only this time I mixed it, shook it, and poured it over ice. We are watching “Barbie:Life in the Dreamhouse ” and the penguin said I could “close my eyes and pretend I was drinking it on Barbie’s jet”.



Am I the ringmaster or the monkey?

This morning I was trying to take a bath and shave my legs before someone thought I was an extra for a Wookie. The penguin was sitting on the edge of the tub, Tommy was standing at the edge scrolling on his 📱. I asked “when you are in a mental institution, are there this many people watching you all the time?” Of course in my most sarcastic tone. Tommy replied, “yes, especially if you have a razor”. OMG! Somebody please help me. I’m in a cage.



New Weekly Feature……(I hope)

So for all of you Southern Belle fans out there, and who am I kidding, there are MILLIONS, I just HAD to give you more of  my charm and sense of humor by adding in a tiny element. My mini me. The penguin. That’s right, I hope to have a weekly post about that crazy little penguin and her musings of the week, which usually aren’t that far off from mine. So stay tuned because she loves caffeine as much as her mama (shut it now anyone who want to criticize) and we both have Penelope and Pennie to help us with our material.

I told her this morning not to call our American Bulldog a “dog”. I whispered in my best “mom is crazy whisper”…..”Don’t tell Spazz she is a dog. She doesn’t know it and it hurts her feelings. You can only call her Bulldog.” The penguin looks at me and says, “okay, we won’t tell her. Bulldog, let’s go……” then turns to look at me and says, “mommy you are so silly”.

Why yes, yes I am.

The stupid, never ending, turning, carousel


The Carousel Never Stops Turning
The Carousel Never Stops Turning

“Life is a rollercoaster”. “Stop, I want to get off”. “This ride never ends.” Just a few quotes about the thing we all are living called life. My all time favorite that will not go away, thanks to my possibly unhealthy Grey’s Anatomy addiction, is “The carousel never stops turning”. Spoken by character Ellis Grey. It has been replayed and given new meaning on different episodes throughout the 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy that I too have been able to keep giving the quote new meaning in my life.

Right now it seems quite literal. Like I’m really on a fucking carousel and it will.not.quit.turning. I can wave my hands at the conductor, scream like a maniac, threaten to jump off when I pass by the bystanders, but it just doesn’t stop. That’s the life part I guess. That’s the good thing. But why does it have to go so fast all the damn time? And what if I didn’t choose to be on this carousel? What if I wanted to be on something a little more suited for my taste like the lazy river at a water park? Sometimes you go through a rapid and other times you go through smooth waters. But this crazy ass carousel is not good for someone with motion sickness like me. Besides. I thought I did get off the carousel when I graduated college and tried trading in my type A personality for something more unwound. Oh wait. That must have been a rollercoaster I was on then. And I don’t think I actually got off. I think I only changed rollercoasters until I got a divorce. So, now I’m on the carousel.

I seemed to be in the lazy river of life for a while. For about 2 years after remarrying and giving birth to the best thing ever. But then my husband lost his job in a crazy way, and I guess someone then gave me a ticket for this stupid carousel. I’ve been on it ever since. Just when I think it may slow down, the conductor smiling like the Cheshire cat only speeds it back up. I may be accepting that I will not ever get off., no matter how many others are standing in line. It started after he lost his job and I became the sole provider for the family for almost a year. Then the speed picked up when I felt as if I was thrown into the decision of him becoming a truck driver and leaving me alone with our then 3-year-old to raise mostly on my own. That speed has stayed pretty consistent because that has been more or less what has happened over the past year.

I could feel the speed increase last June when he left for training with the company he works for now. The vertigo set in and I eventually became numb to the ringing in my ears and unevenness to my walk from the motion. The days spent on the carousel just blur by one into the other as I am in survival mode all of the time it seems like as I took on role of mama and daddy and caretaker of all things. Part of it is my work too. That was never thrown into the “I’m going to be a truck driver” equation. My hours of work are not the best to raise a 4-year-old alone for 11 days at a time ( I know those true single mothers are rolling their eyes. that’s fine. this is my story. my pity party. i can tell it). If only I could find another job that would be better for this lifestyle of living on a carousel. Do I search the DOL for “carousel laborer”? Right now there is nothing but to ride it out. Just keep turning even though I’ve never bought another ticket. Do you think anyone will notice?

I know it sounds like a big crazy mess. Well, that’s because it is. It really, really is. Never in a million years did I think I would be on this carousel. Sometimes, I learn from it and just keep going another turn. Sometimes it really gets to me and I do think I might throw up the next time around. But, the end result is the same. It doesn’t stop turning. And, if you stop to think about it, that’s better than the alternative.