A holiday gift to yours truly was to get a move on with my book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It’s a book comprised of short stories about my adventure thus far, as a mother. It’s raw, real, honest, foul-mouthed, and I hope, hilarious. *Side note: As I write this, I am at a ‘child play land venue’ downtown Portland. Why do I love it? My child is amongst the other batshit crazy kiddos in what looks like a cage in a kiddie jungle, as I sit and type this with a glass of pinot grigio. Bless the man or woman who created this space. I think I’m in love with you… *Back to business: I’ve previously shared a few of my chapters (each short story is a chapter) with you all and thought that I’d share the beginning of the book: My introduction, and the shortest and very first chapter of my book, “Dear Abby.” I’m SO excited that my book has been through its beta readers and is now in the editing process! Do I realize the harsh reality of getting a book published? I think I do. I’m totally stoked about it anyway and am proud of myself for attempting to move in this direction!
I wrote another book about my experience as an expat in Beijing, China that I will self-publish when this current book is all said and done. It’s called, “Crazy China Sh#% (Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do).” This book was written to better explain to my friends and family what my life was truly like on a daily basis whilst living in such a foreign place. I’ve just started 2 new books as well. My first ever, to be self-published, e-cookbook AND a book that details Greyson’s life as a 3 year old, month-by-month. Writing is my therapy and a place that lets me escape and relax, a comfy pocket of my life to retreat to. That being said, I love cooking & eating food just as much, hence this blog! And, I did name it foodgalleygab… let us not forget the ‘gab’ portion of this space and place! I’d love to hear your opinions on my intro and first chapter, or opinions on any of the other 3 chapters that I’ve previously posted. Many thanks and I hope you enjoy this crazy book journey with me, as I’ll post the whole process as it happens. Happy Saturday!
“One More Sip of Whine”
I NEVER THOUGHT I’D BE WRITING this book because no one could’ve ever prepared me for the absolute insane and yet, insanely wonderful ins and outs of motherhood. There are no words, however, I’ve tried to use many in this book to describe to you my experiences. Did I ever expect that a little person would be poking me in the vajajay and screaming “vagiiinnnaaa!” Or shouting like a madman “I’m crazy, mommy! I’m so many women!” Excuse me? No, I absolutely did not expect this to be my life. It’s a totally and completely, crazy and fucked up ride. I’m not going to preach to you about the latest studies in child rearing because I’m making my own up as I go. Unless, of course, the study states something that I’m already doing right, in that case, I win. Killin’ it as a mama. I have no idea why I thought when I became a mother I’d be in the elite five percent of motherhood. I’ve been knocked off that pedestal… hard. Those elite moms are often what I will refer to as the ‘mother shamers’ in this book. Also, it’s a code name for ‘not taking responsibility and feeling totally okay about my batshit crazy child rearing ways.’ I’ll get all real on ya at times and explain the seriousness of some of my struggles, but the rest? Well, that’s just a comical twist on the fact that bringing a kid into this world challenges every last sane and sleep deprived bone in your body. And, that sometimes, I think a glass of wine is the best medicine for almost all child related ailments (for you of course, not your child, I’m not that much of an asshole).
It’s the moments when your kid escapes the shower wearing his underwear on the top of his head while shouting “I’m so cute!” And, now you’re running late to a birthday party only to notice you failed to put mascara on both eyes after you’re miles away from home, but your new philosophy since becoming a mom has become “fuck it!” To virtually every facet of your life. Phew! Words to live by. When the word ‘sex’ is something you think you remember from your college years, and the word ‘poop’ is something you use in almost every sentence. When you think the world is over because your child might not be going to Princeton, when in fact, he has yet to begin preschool, and you’ve not figured out why all the mother shamers got on that shit while their kid was still in utero. Yes, it’s all of these beautiful moments that at the end of the day, make your life so totally weird and nuts but somehow, makes it the best life you’ve ever lived.
My lil’ man is the coolest little shit on the block. His name is Greyson and he rocks at life. He was born in Beijing, China because I was working there at the time and I think that makes him even more rad. He is bilingual and bad ass and I love him more than Brad Pitt. G is the reason my world spins so crooked but so right. My husband, bless his Scottish heart, deals with our shit daily and I think is entertained by our unpredictable ways. And this, folks, is my life.
I’m a total mess! I’ve screwed up and this mistake can’t be taken back. I’m losing my shit and it all began with me getting stupid drunk in Shanghai on Valentine’s Day almost three years ago. I mean, I could barely see straight kinda drunk. Weeks later, I found out I had done it; I’d gone and gotten myself good and knocked up. Fast forwarding, I now have this little baby… fast forwarding some more, I now have this little toddler… and his dad, my husband. My boobs have never felt the same and I barely breast fed (which I cried about daily for 6 months and am pretty sure I’ve been added to the Motherhood of Shame list. You don’t believe me? I assure you, it’s real. It’s a secret, or really, not so secret society of mother ‘shamers’), I’m developing cellulite overnight, my baby hair is coming in at a rapid rate and I regularly look like Alfalfa, my husband tells me I’m sexy and I tell him to ‘shut up’ because we both know that’s a big fat lie, and I’ve ignored my friends for approximately two years now guaranteeing me little return in the friendship department. I love my child but I think I love my brandy and wine almost as much. I thought I was a tiger mom but now I think I may be the most underachieving mother and wife who’s ever lived; and guess what, I’m TOTALLY okay with that! What’s wrong with me?! Am I going to hell in a hand basket with an empty bottle of booze?! Surely, the Devil knows this is my worst fate, and I will, therefore, receive just that. What can I do to score some sweet points with the Mother Goddesses? I’m a good person, I swear! Wait, I don’t think I’m supposed to swear. See! I don’t even know the rules of this sick and twisted game they’re calling “motherhood.” Help me, Abby! Help!
DEAR MOMMIE DEAREST:
Has it occurred to you that you may be affecting your husband’s self-confidence and possibly giving your child a litany of bad examples with your love affair of alcohol and general disregard for the people in your life? You say you’re a ‘good person’ but this may not be the side of yourself that you’re letting your child, husband, and friends see or get to know. I’m not advocating for ‘tiger mom’s’, however, I do not think accepting failure is the alternative you should take. Perhaps reflect on the impact of your actions to others and to yourself, and then slowly make positive changes like thanking your husband and spending quality time playing with your child; pick up the phone occasionally to check-in on your friends to maintain or rebuild your relationships.
Dear Santa Baby is a post of two letters that I’ve written to “Santa.” My mother always asks me what I want for Christmas via email and I always respond with a list, and then a fictitious letter to the jolly old dude. If you don’t want insight into my ‘interesting’ sense of humor, workings of my odd brain, if you’re easily offended, or don’t think life is funny and meant to be laughed at, stop reading now and just continue to follow my blog for the good eats. 😉 I mean, my true wishes? To be a blogger full time, to publish an amazing cookbook with a bonafide publisher. For my book, “One More Sip of Whine,” to hit the ground running and find an incredible publisher to work with, and, of course, to find a magic skinny and happy pill. One that puts me in both of those states permanently. Hehe… seriously though, those are my magical wishes.
My first Santa letter is the one that I’ve just written to my momma, and the second letter is one that I randomly just found from 2008! Enjoy, and I hope you still come back to my blog for more of me and my grub. Happy holidays friends and followers! MWAH! XO
Dear Santa Baby,
This year’s been a rough one, sir. New house, new three-nager, the ol’ ball n’ chain, and of course, the turds and turdettes that I teach daily. I know, I know, I can feel your tears for me now, and I knew you’d understand. This being said, I think I’ve been an extra good girl this year, as I’ve endured the wrath of ‘poverty’ (house poor), politics (Trump-o-la), and pain (I have a hus-child, ya know). What more can a girl go through before the good people of the Lotto decide that my good reward should come now, this very year, this very Christmas, and be GRANNNDDDD.
A few things: My closet and all of its glorious inhabitants have been suffering from a severe lack of vitamin D, as I’ve gotten fat and can’t wear those goods in the outdoor venue in which they are so deserving of. Also, I live in OR so naturally, my skin is suffering from the same lack of vitamin D. This all being said, I would like the following 2 things from you:
1- A magic skinny pill so that I can eat everything I want and still maintain the svelte figure of Giselle Bundchen. Thanks
2- A trip to Bora Bora for some well-needed sunshine, sanity, and surf
Dear Moms (and Dads),
Here is a snippet from my upcoming book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It is 5 different styles of poems – mostly humorous. #3 is my particular fave. I have no doubt that you can relate! Parenthood is the craziest hood you’ll ever roll through. My goal was to express that in 5 short poems. I’d love your opinions before the editing of the book is completed so please leave comments! Enjoy the read!
Some Mothering Poems to You, From Me
1- Roses Are Black
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Someone took over your life that was you.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Your days are now filled with pee pee and poo.
Roses are black, violets are dead,
Deep down you must know you are out of your head.
2- A Haiku of Truth
Like thunder, their roar
Rain, your tears that start to pour
Scream, shriek, more, more, MORE!
3- A Tangled Slew of Rhyming Words
Shitting, pissing, screaming, unfit
Mommy shouting daddy “fuck it!”
Penis, ‘gina, keep your hands off!
Headaches, hormones, “need a wet cloth!”
Dolls that make shit tons of noise,
Oops! Mom broke those talking toys!
What the fuck was one and done?
I should’ve said “boy run or none!”
Thomas, Blippi, Tayo, Poli,
Oops! Mom ‘broke’ the fucking TV!
I want, I want, I want, MOMMY!
I give, I give, MY SANITY!
Hitter, biter, licker, kicker
Bruises, scratches, ice packs, LIQUOR!
Try to cook and then relax,
Mama needs her pills, XANAX!
Knock it over, pick it up!
Someone needs a bigger cup!
Tissues, boogers, burps, and farts,
Legos missing favorite parts,
Redundancy turns into booze,
I do not want green eggs and ham!
Shove it, be a fuckin’ man!
Brush your own teeth! Go to bed!
Where is my mind, I’ve lost my head…
4- A Cozy Couplet
Baby brewing in the womb
Sanity is leaving soon
5- Acrostic Poem for Dummies
Brainless act in Shanghai
Aspire for perfection – fail and sigh
Body shaming boobies – Buh-bye!
Your youth is gone – a new one – arise
Xanax & Xylophones/Husbands & Headaches is a post from my up and coming book, “One More Sip of Whine.” It is a humorous tale of my experience in motherhood thus far. Crude, raw, honest, crass, foul mouthed in nature sums up this book. It will be released this summer on Amazon Kindle. Enjoy the chapter and keep a look out for the release! I will post on my blog when that date has arrived. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!
Xanax & Xylophones/Husbands & Headaches
NOISE. HEADACHE. CHILD. HUSBAND. Noise. Headache. Child. Husband… and the cycle continues. It’s Groundhog’s day here at the Rugile/Burns household but I’m not getting paid Murray style moola for this gig. Through my long and winding road that I’ve travelled, where did I fail to turn towards the path of enlightenment? Maybe I should consider embracing Buddhism. I do love those bald and fat bellied statues, especially in my garden. Also, I think I could really get down with meditation, or at least the music, especially when coupled with a sweet massage. Lastly, I freakin’ love Thailand and any excuse to go back there is a good one.
I am sure I’ll mention this many times; I am a music teacher. Colleagues come into my classroom regularly and ask me how I cope with all of the incredible noise. To which I retort, “what noise? Oh, that? I’ve stopped hearing those sounds years ago.” I say this coupled with a ‘pish-posh-like’ flick of the hair and slight ‘tude. I don’t hear the children, their instruments, their exuberant yelps, dog like whines, cat clawing arguments etc. It’s not that I don’t give a crap, I have simply learned to block them out. I could never do this job if I heard every last itty bitty freakin’ bang, crash, or curse. I’d go “bleepin’” mental. However, when I am home, I hear everything. I hear lil’ G’s adorable laughter and Thomas’ (my husband) silly toddler voices and then… screech! The sound of a record going tits up and my ears and brain begin to bleed. Once the bleeding starts, it’s almost impossible to stop. In fact, I sometimes begin hemorrhaging. And then, once again, all of the mother shamers swim up, thirsty, ready to chew me to shreds. They can smell me from a million miles away. “There she goes again, ruining her child… again…” However, I should really say, “There she goes again, ruining her children… again…” Remember, I, too, am a wife, which means, I have a ‘huschild’. It goes a lil’ somethin’ like this: The banging of the metal xylophone (the loudest instrument on earth- thanks Gymboree), throw in the tambourine (Thomas’ go-to and most favorite musical toy- ‘bleep’ me), screaming, add some ‘singing’; “Danny Boy,” with some interesting lyrics and about 5 different key changes in one phrase, kill my musical ears now, Sky news (Thomas is Scottish) blaring from the television in the background, the sound of my somewhat broken drier banging harder than a whore and her pimp on a headboard, and then, right when my brain is about to spontaneously combust, someone decides now is a really great time to throw in the lovely timbre of the recorder, but not before shot-putting a couple of drum sticks in my general direction. I love my life, I love my life, I love my life, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… Mommy needs a Xanax, ‘children’.
Now, every time, okay, almost every time I see/hear my munchkin doing/saying something that is fairly questionable I ask myself this, “What would Xanax Heather do?” and, voila! I have my answer!
Heather: “Sh**, should he be standing on the countertop that close to the edge?”
Xanax Heather: “‘Bleep’ it! He’s allllll gooood.!”
So, I go with the latter.
Heather: “Two pancakes. Greyson, mommy said only two pancakes!”
Xanax Heather: “‘Bleep’ it! Have three. No, ‘bleep’ that, have ten!” … “Let them eat cake! Let them alllll eat cake! Mwahahahahahahahaaaaaa!”
So, again, I go with the latter. Once adopting this new and glorious frame of mind, this adorable and insane new philosophy, I find myself breathing easier and needing “one less sip of whine.” Catch my drift? Good.
*A cleaned up version of a chapter in my upcoming book, “One More Sip of Whine,” which will be published on Amazon Kindle this summer. Tales of motherhood told through a raw, crude, foul mouthed, and humorous lens.
*Image from Dreamstime