A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: aunt flo

She’s number one!

Tomorrow is the big day my 8 year old daughter Mini-Me and I will run our first 5K race together.


I’m proud to say I think we’re both ready… ready as we’ll ever be. I just completed my Couch to 5K running plan. Well kinda. I started in week 5, totally skipped week 8 (Aunt Flo says “hey,” by the way), and ran only one time in week 9. Mediocrity. It’s how I roll.

But I did run 3 whole miles without stopping or dying on Wednesday and it was absolutely cathartic. In fact, I’d like to apologize to the other 6 people on the track with me that day for my maniacal outbursts. Meh, at least I gave them something to talk about at the dinner table later. “Whoa, you guys, you should have seen this crazy lady at the track today! She was laughing and crying and randomly breaking into Journey songs. It was super scary.”

{Don’t stop. Be-lee-eee-vin’!}

I coudn’t help it, y’all. The conditions at the track were perfect for training that day: not too hot, not too cold. It was slightly overcast so I couldn’t see my dorky shadow flailing about like Tigger having a seizure. And I finally figured out how to stop my iPod from shuffling with every step. Man, that was annoying. What a difference to be able to hear a whole song instead of only the first two seconds. (Totally not exaggerating. Der.)

Also, the only other people on the track that day were walkers. I love when that happens! Running amidst walkers makes me feel all Maya Rudolph fast! Oh wait, maybe that’s Wilma Rudolph fast. Nah, who am I kidding? I’m definitely more like Maya Rudolph. Pregnant Maya Rudolph, tops.

More days than not, I show up at the track and there are very fit women in perfectly coordinated running ensembles who effortlessly run laps around me while I’m huffing and puffing and threatening to blow their skinny little houses down. I feel bad about myself when those ladies are there.

But you know who doesn’t feel bad about herself today? Mini-Me.

She came home from practice yesterday with her race-day running packet. She was beyond excited to tell me all about it.

Her: “Mom! I got my number for the race! Guess what it is!”

Me: “Uh, I don’t know. What is it?”


Me: “GET OUT!”

Her: “Really! I’m number ONE!”

Me: “Well of course you are! You rock. But seriously, what’s your number?”

Her: “Mom. I’m serious. I’m number one.”

Me: “You are totally messing with me. Prove it.”

Her: “Mom, seriously. Look!”

Me: “Whaaaaat? How in the world…? Seriously. That is the coolest thing EVER! Finally, your hyper-assertiveness is paying off. What did you do, push the coach’s kid out of the way to grab that number?”

Her: “No Mom, they just gave it to me. And since you’re my running buddy, I’m hoping you’ll be NUMBER TWO!”

Me: “Bwahahahahahaha! NUMBER TWO! That would be so awesome! Oh. Em. Geee. I totally want to be number two. It will be extra hilarious when I poop myself at the halfway point.”

Her: “I know, right?!”

And, end scene.

That kid kills me.

So I went to pick up my race packet yesterday, and sadly, I’m not number two. Booooo-hisss! But the number two IS in my four digit number (three times!), so maybe I’ll just have to find a way to pin it on myself creatively. Hmmm.

Also, total buzz kill, I just found out that ALL Girls on the Run participants get #1 for their bib number. Damn. I sure hope Mini-Me doesn’t notice that when we get there tomorrow. She’s so excited!

Wish us luck, friends. Well, really, just wish me luck. I’mma need it.

already crapping my pants,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.

How Iris is Slowly Getting Her Groove Back

Do you like a good underdog story? Then please “like” The Bearded Iris at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs.  Three months ago I was ranked at #891. Today I’m #10 (Hot damn!!!). Apparently there is a shortage of good vagina-related comedy in the blogosphere. Happy to serve.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging…

pleated poppyA few weeks ago, after becoming fed up with my “frumpy old mom look,” I decided to put a little more effort into my appearance. As luck would have it, that same day I happened upon the What I Wore Wednesday meme, hosted by Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy. Funny how when the student is ready, the teacher appears, don’t you think?

My first two weeks were pretty hard and depressing. (See week #1 and week #2.)

First off, let me just say, I find it takes near heroic measures to be clean AND plucked AND have my hair done AND makeup on AND be wearing something that doesn’t embarrass my kids. Most days I can pull off two of these things, tops, but all five at the same time? Damn. That’s a lot to ask!

But this third week is going a little better! For starters, I took my friend Ann’s advice and bought some new undies. The right foundation garments make all the difference, ladies! Thanks to Ann’s endorsement, the ASSETS collection by Sara Blakely at Tarjay is my new BFF. I bought one of these last week, but I think I probably need one of these instead for better muffin-top management. Don’t fret, soft-centered gentlemen readers, there is a whole collection of Manx (man Spanx) too! Who knew?

I also bought myself a new pair of jeans. Another reader, Colleen, highly recommended the Levi’s Skinny Jean. I was hoping to firm up my jelly-belly a little before I bought anything new, but I thought maybe one new pair of skinny jeans would be just the ticket to feeling less frumpy. Colleen was right, by the way. They fit great (buh-bye camel toe!), they feel great, and they make me look much more put together than those grey cargo pants did last week.

This is me today. Same top, same shoes, totally different vibe:

Levi’s Skinny Jeans – Kohl’s
Ruffle top – Nordstrom (last year)
Boyfriend cardi – Brook’s Brothers (last year)
Mossimo Leopard flats – Target (last year)


Here’s how the rest of my week looked:  

at Mini-Me's Fund Run last Thursday

Striped tee – Target (last year)
Yellow tank – J. Crew outlet (2008)
Levi’s 501 jeans – Kohl’s (last year)

I’m posting this picture for three reasons:

1.) Check out my horrible unfinished master bathroom. This is what happens when a DIY project becomes a DWDITTDTM (Damn, why did I try to do this myself?)

2.) This is a cry for help. For the love of God, will somebody with some photography skills please teach me how to take a picture of myself?

3.) I’m wearing my favorite button-down shirt. It’s Foxcroft from Nordstrom…was a gift from my stepmom a few years ago. It’s wrinkle-free but doesn’t feel gross and synthetic. Love this shirt. I used to save it for church and meetings, but this week I decided to pair it with my regular old Levi’s 501 jeans. I liked it. I think I’ll do that more often.

So, I’m making some strides. But still, there are days when this is the best I can do:

another self-portrait fail...love the garbage bag in the background

At least I’m trying not to leave the house on those days anymore.

Okay, last one:

One more example of a self-portrait gone bad, but I wanted you to see the shrug I hand-knitted out of dead Muppets. It makes me look like a gay caveman.

Unless I have it on my head…




© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

What I Wore Wednesday: Does this Boy Scout make me look fat?

pleated poppyWell, damn. This whole What I Wore Wednesday business is much harder than I thought it would be.

For starters, I can’t figure out how to take a decent full body picture of myself.

I wonder how this chick does it? She always looks so dang cute!

Secondly, my kids are shitty photographers. 

I hate asking my husband to take pictures of me because I don’t like to expose him to my self-deprecating freak outs more often than absolutely necessary.

And above all, seeing these pictures and feeling so vulnerable has been really difficult. If it’s true that “the camera don’t lie,” I’ll pass on the brutal honesty, thanks anyway.

{Big sigh.}

Of course, timing is everything.

Ever have one of those days when nothing you put on feels right? I’ve been having about a week of those.

On a related note, are you familiar with the book The Red Tent by Anita Diamant? Great book. Love that book. But I totally get why menstruating women were temporarily banished from the tribe back in ancient times. If my female ancestors were anything like me, it was a safety precaution for the rest of the tribe.


Aunt Flo and I were feeling extra moody and uncomfortable on Monday. Even my “fat jeans” were too tight. After about five outfit changes, this is what I finally settled on wearing for the day:

"Does this Boy Scout make me look fat?"

Comfy, yes, and a step up from sweatpants, but still, not very flattering. The whole point of me wanting to participate in WIWW was to become less of a schlub.

Let me tell you something about that top. I bought it at Target last spring, but I’ve only worn it a couple of times. Every time I put it on, I feel frumpy. It’s too big and it’s totally see-through, so I have to layer it. Half the times I try to wear it, I take if right off and it stays on “the pile” until I get motivated to put my clothes away.

Early Monday morning, after trying it on yet again to see if it would hide my bloated muffintop, I gave up on it for good and finally tossed it in my Goodwill bag. I really struggled with that decision since it is the only new top I’ve bought all year. I’m not much of a clothes shopper.

Five minutes later, wracked with guilt and frustration, I retrieved it from that bag and tried it on again, this time to mask a clingy long sleeved t-shirt that was making me look like I had a low-hanging third boob. Success! It hid my spare tire. Moving on.

Right after dinner we went outside to snap this pic and when I saw it I almost puked. “Is that what I looked like all day? Holy CRAP you guys, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I think you look pretty, Mom,” Nature Boy sweetly tried to comfort me.

I burst into tears. 

Feeling bad, I put the kids to bed and assembled the troops:

That’s my new Hillblingy Goblet half-full of red wine, a bowl of Cheez-Its, an impromptu S’more I made on top of my gas stove, and the remote control. Misery loves company.

By the way, that Target top is now back in the Goodwill Bag, which I moved to my car to avoid the temptation of trying it on yet again.

The next day (yesterday) was my husband’s birthday. We had lunch plans so I wanted to tart it up a little. I did my hair. I put on makeup. I grabbed the prettiest t-shirt in my closet. But still too bloated for jeans, I threw my frumpy cargo pants back on and tried to cover up all my jiggly bits with a sweater.

As we were walking out the door I asked my husband to snap a quick pic of me for this post.

This is the picture he took:

But what I saw was this:

“Ew! Do I really look like that? OMG! Wait, let me turn sideways so it’s not so full frontal.”

Take two:

"What hump?"

CRAP! Nice posture. Here’s what I see when I look at that picture:

(This is actually me, dressed for a costume party in 2001.)


Day-amn. Body Dysmorphic Disorder, anyone? Looks like someone needs a session with Stuart Smalley.

But until I can get in to see him, maybe I’ll just self-impose a new rule: no more WIWW until Aunt Flo is gone and takes my bad attitude with her.

Also, while I’m feeling so crappy, I think I’ll continue to brutally purge my closet before my bloating subsides and I feel less critical about myself and my pathetic wardrobe.

But now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a hankerin’ for more birthday cake and a bag of potato chips.

Until we meet again, I remain, your frumpy friend,


© 2021 The Bearded Iris

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑