It's not the years, HONEY - it's the mileage!

Eggs Are Stupid, Let's Throw Husbands At Them!

My husband, Garth (not his real name) and I have been married for...uhhhhhh...okay, so we've been married for nearly...ummmmm...a lot of years, however, we still sometimes experience ah-HAH moments, you know, liiiiiike enjoying a quiet morning walk before work, while I try and figure out my travel schedule and my husband goes through our meal plan for the week, and...whoa...we're both all...maaaaan, but how our lives have changed, eh?

My husband has taken over a lot of the cooking and it's not like I don't know HOW to cook (been doing it since I was 10!), now I just sometimes forget.

"You want me to hard boil some eggs for breakfast?"

Two of our kids are home sick and, trust me, I know that they're old enough to take care of themselves, NO DOUBT, but I was raised by a Hungarian Grandmother (and Mother), who...at the first cough or sniffle...would break out their mental list of old world remedies, half of which my kids should be VERY happy I've forgotten about.

"Des, pleabe!"

I put up a pot of water to boil and then grab an entire dozen...of eggs...because there are half-a-dozen of us currently living here AND my kids have mastered the art of sharing...especially, viruses!!!...and then I break out my fool-proof hard boiled egg recipe:

  • Put eggs into a pot of water
  • Bring eggs to boil
  • Remove pot from heat
  • Cover and let the eggs sit for twenty minutes

"There's a trick to peeling these, watch!"

I grab the pot to show my middle girl the trick to peeling hard boiled eggs, and then my husband walks into the kitchen.

"You know, there's a trick to peeling those..."

Here's the thing.

"YES! I KNOW THE TRICK!"

The thing is, I know my husband has been doing A LOT of the cooking, and the food shopping, and the everything else-ing that I used to do, and yes, I am blessed he wants to help...BLESSED!...but I already KNOW the trick to peeling hard boiled eggs!

"Empty the water, cover the pot, and shake the eggs around, like this!"

And it WOULD have worked, if I had remembered to set the timer.

Fool-boiled eggs
Aaaaaand, THIS is what hard boiled eggs are NOT supposed to look like!

*DROPS MIC*

The end.

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Why Did I Let My Kid Shred My Hair?

Our youngest cut her own hair when she was 3 years-old (the only one of our four to ever do that, by the way), because being the youngest can be really hard, you know? Unless you have (and know how to rock) a pair of pink cowgirl boots, of course! 

Garth (not his real name) and I have always tried really hard to help our kids cultivate their own sense of style (i.e., point them toward the clearance racks and just get out of their way), however, Hope had fully-grasped her sense of...um...uniqueness at a very young age.

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Still, it's hard to be the youngest, feeling like you're constantly following along in someone else's footsteps can be a bit lonely, even in a houseful, sometimes. Our baby girl has gone through many transformations in her 15 years of being...ummmm...Hope.

Her Goth stage was the most...errrrr...interesting...and don't EVEN think about bringing up her shockingly pink hair...because, well, it's just not shocking enough, anymore, DANGIT!

"LORT?!? Why did you EVER let me wear my hair like that?!?"

As if I ever had a choice. Hope has always been a free spirit = she is my hippy-child. Still, it's real difficult for her to NOT allow her free-thinking to feed into all the draaaah-maaaah and, well, YOU COULDN'T PAY ME ENOUGH TO BE FIFTEEN, AGAIN or GO BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL, am I right?!?!

Hope

After 20+ years of parenting, I feel it safe to say that self-esteem issues are best cultivated when you try to look like everyone else. And I may have mentioned this to my kids, once or twenty times, every day, especially to my girls.

Still, behind all the selfies and Snapchat filters, you can't hide the fact that growing up female is complicated enough (why IS this STILL happening?!?), especially when you're a Mom.

On the one hand, we preach self-esteem to our children, and on the other hand, our own confidence eludes us, the moment we see it in someone else. Why IS that?!?

On the OTHER other hand, intellectually, most of us already understand it to be a defense mechanism...LORT!!!...how we women compare ourselves to each other...eh?

"And I am in desperate need of a haircut!"

Hope aspires to be a hair and makeup artist and, well, somehow she doesn't believe that my husband and I think it's a worthy-enough profession, because teenagers tend to put words into their parents' mouths and they really do think the silliest thoughts, sometimes.

Hair  by Hope

"I love the idea of helping other women feel good about how they look AND maybe feel a little better about themselves and myself, too!" ~ Hope

And that's why I let my kid cut my hair.

The end.

P.S. It's actually "shred" not "cut" and I stand (I mean, sit) corrected, yo!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Grounded Until Boot Camp

It's been 36 minutes, since I hugged my son and wished him luck, reassuring him "not to worry," and "you got this," as I followed him through our front door and watched him get into his recruiter's car. I then proceeded to spend the next 36 minutes reliving the last 17 years, as parents do, with every passing milestone, I suppose.

However, this time, Garth (not his real name) isn't home to reassure me that "he'll be fine," and there's really "no need to cry," because he's staying at my parents' house, helping to take care of my Dad and getting him to his dialysis appointments, and then taking him to visit with my Mom in a sub-acute facility (she's recovering from a real bad fall), while I continue to work from home, until the weekend, when we switch places and, well, the last six weeks haven't been easy on any of us.

"I don't feel like you guys are here for me."

Most especially, our son.

"I talk about my enlistment and all you do is shake your head and look sad."

I have had sooooo many thoughts and opinions about my son's imminent enlistment into the Marine Corps, but I've been pretty much keeping them to myself.

"I don't feel like you support my decision."

Until now.

Needless to say, my husband and I are very proud of Glen and, as an American born of immigrants, I'm humbled by our son's dedication to "honoring his Grandparents and all their hard work, wanting a better life for future generations" (those were my son's exact words, when explaining his desire to enlist, during our interviews with each of the military branches).

"We've done everything we can to help you get here, haven't we?"

Keeping every deep, dark and terribly awful fear imaginable from creeping out of my heart and slithering its way up onto my face, not so much.

"So yes, I'm sad. And afraid. Just as your training will involve learning how to protect others, while protecting yourself, you're going to be a pretty tall target, and there will be people whose job will be to try and kill you."

I was being brutally honest with him, and myself, because it's been 60 years since my parents first set foot on American soil and danged if it doesn't seem like the world is moving backwards, we're ALL standing on shaky ground, right?!?!

"As your Mom, my first and foremost wish has always been for you to be happy."

It's hard sometimes, you know? Pretending to be fearless. Especially for someone who wears her heart on her sleeve...[raises hand]...not without leaving a permanent dent on my face, I mean.

"And your father and I will always fear for your safety (okay, mostly me), but do NOT mistake that as our being unsupportive."

So, I set my alarm for 4:00 a.m., which every parent reading this will undoubtedly understand it to have been unnecessary, as I was awake for most of the night and I finally gave up on sleep when my son's alarm went off at 3:00 a.m., as we sat together, in a mostly dark and quiet house, waiting for him to take his next steps towards gaining his independence and logging in another sleepless night for me and his Dad.  

36 minutes later, I became >this< much closer to graciously accepting my new role as a military mom...as reasonably and as calmly as possible, at 5 o'clock in the morning, I mean...so, yeah, there isn't a parent prouder than I am of you...RIGHT THIS MINUTE...my son...AND DO NOT EVER FORGET IT...or consider yourself grounded until boot camp!!!

Edited to add text received from my husband, GarthNHRN: Your post sounds like he's going now. You should make it clear this is a medical and he doesn't go until next summer.

Okay?!?! Soooo, we good?!?! Good!!! Which pretty much guarantees you guys another post, next August, you're welcome!!!

 

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

Blogging Under the Influence of Teenagers; It's Constipated!

If you were to ask me, as a social media enthusiast and OG blogger (never mind, just exactly HOW old gangstuh, you whippuh-snappuh, you!), hey Liz (psssst, that's me!), what IS the MOST difficult part of blogging...wait, I KNOW THIS!...for me, it's typing out this introductory sentence. This first paragraph is crucial, as it serves as a mini-outline for the blog post: It tells the reader what the blog post is about -- the hook, if you will.

Here's mine: Life with teenage/adult kids does NOT get any less complicated, in fact, I haven't performed THIS many face-palms in the history of This Full House and I've been blogging for...wait, WHAT YEAR IS IT?!?....holy Hannah Montana...I've been over-sharing for 13 years!?!?!

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The kid formerly known as Mini-me -- she's MUCH prettier and smarter all growed up and everything, if you haven't already figured that out!

GAWD, I'm old. But I still look good, yo. Anyhow. These last six months have been...what's the word...hang on, there was a tried and true old blogging adage we used to use...wait...I KNOW THIS!!!...oh yeah, nucking futs!!!...okay, fine...technically, it's two pretend words...unless I type it like...NUCKINGFUTS...yeah, works for me, how about you?!?!

[blows bangs out of eyes, scratches at underground zit on chin]

Aaaaaanyway. Life is moving REAL fast, like in...wait, what do you MEAN you're a senior in high school...sort of crazy, and, well, I have a funny story to tell you.

But first, here's a picture of the newest high school senior in da house. Cute. Right?!?! He's also working part-time at the fast food restaurant that shall not be named (that one is for Melisa's husband!) and "making bank" <--- not sure if that is even a relevant term any more, but whatevs ---> and, for the folks who are JUST catching up, Glen has been preparing to join the military, since the age of 3, BUT he's made a final decision about exactly which branch of the military. 

 

Soooooo, this is happening. Researching his choices, I'm holding it together pretty well (sort of), you guys.

A photo posted by Liz Thompson (@thisfullhouse) on

It's not the Air Force (although, they did have the prettiest recruitment center and I realize that pretty recruitment centers should NOT have anything to do with his decision, but it was nice to be able to visit a pretty recruitment center, just saying), or the Navy (visited them on an off day, I think), or the Army (like his Uncle Bud).

This week, my husband and I will sign the early-entry papers, allowing my son to enlist as a Marine -- which probably should have been the first sentence of this blog post and welcome to my brain, lately.

I have sooooo many thoughts and opinions about my son's imminent enlistment into the Marine Corps., but I'm actually saving those for another blog post...or twenty...along with my transition into working full-time and becoming the sole-breadwinner...although, my husband makes a real pretty Mr. Mom...also blog-worthy, for another time....you're welcome!!!

Glen: How could you joke about something like this?!?

I don't remember EXACTLY what we were talking about...because, I am the mother of two teenagers and two twenty-somethings...brain cells are at a premium...but, I was cracking an inappropriate joke about it, so it must have been pretty heavy.

Me: Because it's either laugh or cry, my son.

[blank stare]

Me: Sometimes the only thing you CAN do is to laugh, to keep yourself from crying, my son.

[BLUB,BLUB, BLUB, GRRRRBLUB] 

Garth(NHRN) [hollering while running out the front door]: GAH!!! Friggin' house is constipated, AGAIN!!! 

Moral of the Story: Maaaaaan, boot camp is going to seem like a sabbatical (okay, not really) and is this boy going to miss us, or what?!?

May the road rise to meet you, may your backflow be nominal and may you NEVER run out of toilet paper, my son. In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I'll be right here, trying NOT to cry and pretending like this blog post ACTUALLY made SOME sort of sense to you, yo!

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

If Wonder Woman & Mr. Mom Had A Baby

GarthNHRN and I have been married for 25 years (and YES, it totally does sound like a lot of years to be married and IT IS a very long time to be married, to the same person!) and we've been parents for 22 years (wut?!?!) and I've been a full-time mom (while working part-time from home as a professional blogger, writer and content producer) ever since.

Until this past April: When I accepted a full-time position at my current job.

And then my husband lost his job, in October.

This is the first time I'm speaking of it in a public forum, because my husband is much more private about his thoughts and feelings, while I'm more of a better out than in type of over-sharer.

You guys have lived through some of the best and possibly THE WORST times in my life, most recently with my Father recovering from heart failure AND kidney failure.

 

Watching a new day unfold from my parents' kitchen window and hoping for a better day for Dad. His recovery has been a...

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Saturday, January 2, 2016

I can honestly say, without hesitation AND with complete confidence that GarthNHRN would also agree, these last 5 months have been absolutely dreadful AND have offered up some of the MOST stressful periods of our ENTIRE marriage, EVER.

On the OTHER hand!

We've experienced some of the BEST stop, drop, laugh your ass off, snort-worthy funniest moments...EVER!...as a family...and, oh YES...there is the food!

 

My husband made us lunch. And my first thought was...WOW!!!...he really needs to lower the bar, a little. And then I ate it in like four bites. Carry on, Garth(NHRN)!

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Monday, November 2, 2015

Now that I am working full-time and commuting into the city (a.k.a. New York City, if you're NOT from Jersey) my husband and I have gone through a sort of Freaky Friday role reversal kind of thing. For example, GarthNHRN does ALL the:

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Driving kids to school
  • Food Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Picking kids up from school

And then, he does a whole lot more:

  • Drives my Dad to (and from) dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Does the food shopping for my mom, while Dad is at dialysis 
  • Because dialysis takes about 3 - 4 hours
  • Each time
  • Has met with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and pretty much every "ist" there is to make sure that "my" parents are getting the best care possible
  • Without going bankrupt
  • That last bullet is ongoing

Aaaaaaand yet, the man still manages to make the rest of us feel pretty gosh-darned thankful he's around.

 

GarthNHRN (singing from the kitchen): Tiiiiiiny bubbles, in the wine...Me (singing along): Maaaaaakes me happy...GarthNHRN: All the time...I love it when my husband ad libs :)

Posted by Liz Katkics Thompson on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Long story short: If Wonder Woman and Mr. Mom had a baby, he or she wouldn't be even half as awesome as GarthNHRN, however, I imagine it would look a lot like this:

Have you seen Channing Tatum & Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)" vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum's "Pony" lip sync battle?!? It. Is. EPIC!

Aaaaaaand, before you get your boxers all in a bunch, honey (not YOU, I'm talking to GarthNHRN, but feel free to hang around, Queen Tatum Bey, honey) this post is meant to be a reminder...for the times when...you know...you are feeling most un-awesome...or whenever we're having a bad day...but not today.

Okay? Okay. Now YOU do me (TWSS!)

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Have You Thanked A Drawbridge, Lately?

I love going through my Instagram feed, especially while riding the train, first thing in the morning. You people take good pictures, while I play with apps and filters and pretend like I know what the heck I am doing. Photo apps are so much more forgiving, they make even the most...meh, it's a drawbridge...image worth an extra 3 seconds of non-scrolling. FullSizeRender

Today, I took this picture of one of my favorite little coves along the water (in between the Raritan River and the New York Bay) and a drawbridge...but, well, the poor drawbridge can't help its utilitarian feel. I mean, it's a drawbridge. A hard-working, under-appreciated and often times thought of as an inconvenience to commuters rushing to and from work type of drawbridge. And it deserves a little love, dammit.

IMG_1027Add a little charcoal filter and it becomes a much more interesting drawbridge, don't you think? Even the high-tension wires in the the back look almost cool and the shadowing of the water directly under the bridge, very deep!

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Hit it with a little pen and ink, and the drawbridge transforms into something so unlike a drawbridge, right? Still, I can't stop staring at it.

IMG_1029This one is called Fusain Painting, which means creating art with a charcoal in stick form, made from the wood of the spindle tree -- don't believe me? Google it, like I did :)

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Aaaaand, then my favorite filter: Van Gogh Style! I adore the coloring, now this drawbridge makes me feel all artsy-fartsy and stuff. Thank you SO MUCH and have a nice day, drawbridge! 

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.

NaBloPoMo 2015: Daylight Savings Sucks, Until It Doesn't

Many of my friends with younger children aren't very fond of Daylight Savings and rightfully so. It takes a while (if ever) to adjust a child's internal clock and convince them that...yes, I know it's still light outside...and YES!!!... it is SO bedtime.

If you have teens then you already know -- rebooting is near to impossible once they've executed an all systems shut down -- asking them to get up earlier than they need to?

It's like a scene out of Clash Of The Titans, where Zeus hesitantly asks Poseidon to...WAKE...THE...KRAKEN...while us mere mortals duck and cover.

Note: I'm talking about the 1980-something version with Harry Hamlin. It's super-campy and awesome fun to watch with your teens, while they rag on all the bad special effects and you try to remember the names of all the actors, wondering if he/she is still living or not.

[one beat, two beats]

And if you're still reading, then I love you and we can totally hang together...moving on.

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I too was all Team Daylight Savings Sucks, until I started going to work in the dark.

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This morning, however, the platform lights went off as I was buying my 10 trip tickets! It was soooo awesome to ride with the sun shining on the right side of my face and I swear there was a little extra spring in my step.

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Until I looked up from my desk at 5:15 p.m. and...wth?!?!...when did it get so dark, again?!?!...BAH!!!...Daylight Savings sucks!!! Until it doesn't, and what a view, right?!?!

NaBloPoMo November 2015

© This Full House 2003-2016. All rights reserved.