Best of Mer's Life
Below are some of the most memorable blog posts on Mer's Life.  Enjoy!
Back in black...
This seems fishy...
Originally posted on January 21, 2013

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  In honor of Dr. King, I would like to share a little story about my weekend.  John and I took a marriage workshop last Friday & Saturday.  We recently decided that it would be helpful to learn some communication tools and work on building a strong marriage.  So three weeks ago, I typed “marriage workshop Denver Metro area” into Google and found one that was being held 20 minutes from our home in Aurora.  We signed-up, picked our meal selections for the two-day workshop and gave our t-shirt sizes.  Last Friday, we rushed home after work to change clothes and head to the church where this was being held.  We walked-in, took a look around and determined something a little strange: we were the only white couple in the joint.

* Author’s Note:  Uff-duh, I can already imagine the letters of disapproval and the hurt feelings on this one.  Relax, the story is pretty funny and we really like the blacks a lot.

Before the lecture started, we helped ourselves to light refreshments including meatballs, watermelon & sweet tea (seriously folks, I can’t make this shit up, I just don’t have the stereotypical, racist nerve).  The leaders of the workshop, a super fun African American couple, started with an introduction and thanked everyone for coming.  The husband made sure to thank everyone, including members of the church and those who had learned about the workshop “by other means.”  *all eyes turned to us*  My husband waved.  When it was time for introductions, John stood up, removed a beanie to reveal his shaved head and said, “Hi, we’re John & Meredith Whitehead.”  *crickets*

After the initial culture shock on both sides, we had no problem socializing and fitting right in, everyone was so nice.  As the evening progressed, the leaders repeatedly told each couple the importance of working together to empower & encourage their spouse. “Sisters, you have to build your brother up.  Tell him he can do it.”  “Brothers, she is your black Queen.  Tell her how much you love her, tell her how appreciated she is.”  It was very subtle, but every time they said something like this, they glanced at us as if to say, “You know what we mean, right Whiteheads?!”  At one point, the husband said that even the smallest encouragement from his wife can turn him into, dun-dun-dun, “Super Black Man.”  Everyone laughed, clapped and John yelled, “Hallelujah!”  I spit-out my water.

When the first session came to a close on Friday, the nice couple sitting next to us said, “We’ll see you tomorrow.  You’re coming back, right?”  Ummm, Hell yes!  This is so much fun!  We returned Saturday and got an array of hugs and Welcome Backs from many of the couples.  I have never felt so uniquely loved – we were the token white people.  At one point, the leader was trying to give an example of something and used a movie as a reference, but couldn’t remember the title of the movie.  He described a scene about a sister who breaks-up with her man and I shouted, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back!!!”  It was either that, or Diary of a Mad Black Woman, as those were the only two I could think of that had a chance, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t correct.  I felt really special that I got the answer right and had actually seen the movie.  Yay for cultural diversity and being a one-time Angela Bassett fan!

At the end of day two, after we collected our “We Survived A Marriage Workshop” t-shirts and got a certificate to frame, we were approached by several couples who informed us that we were, “welcome to join [them] for service each week at the church.”  We left after eight hours on Saturday and seriously considered coming back the next day for service.  I have never met a group of more fun, accepting, awesome individuals as those in attendance at the workshop.  On top of learning how to communicate and appreciate one another further, my husband is now calling himself “Super Black Man” and refers to me as his “Black Queen.”  Overall, I’d say it was a pretty successful experience and we made some new friends along the way.

Happy MLK Day!
Originally posted on June 19, 2012

In honor of my dear friend’s wedding anniversary today, I have decided to share my side of a story that she told last year.  Sometimes, things in life that worked really well for you turn out to be complete disasters for others.  Case and point: several months ago, said good friend was in dire need for some spicing-up in the bedroom to celebrate her wonderful husband’s birthday.  She had the genius idea to dress-up like a mermaid and pay homage to Ariel from The Little Mermaid – which is apparently a sick fantasy her husband has had.  Lucky for her, I am a Halloween Enthusiast and happened to have a spare mermaid costume just lying around my house.   I know, I am a total hero.

That Saturday morning, I dug the costume out of storage, re-glued some sequins, added a bit more glow-in-the-dark paint, loaded it carefully into my car and rushed over to her house to drop-off it off before her husband got home.  She squealed with excitement and thanked me profusely for my hard work and generosity.  I returned to my car and praised myself for a job well done.  Best.  Friend.  Ever.

The following day, I waited eagerly until noon to call and ask about the birthday “festivities” (I didn’t want to wake them, as I am sure they had a long, blissful night of, uh, floundering).  When my friend answered the phone, my initial excitement faded into embarrassment.

* Now would be a good time to mention once again that I love cats and my two little critters run around my house with absolutely no supervision.  In all honestly, my cats own the house and I just have the privilege of living there.

Apparently, my sweet friend is extremely allergic to cats.  Also apparent, my little fuzzballs had made my mermaid costume their favorite nesting spot as it sat in my closet since Halloween 2008.  In a rush to fulfill her (and said husband’s) wildest dreams, I neglected to lint-roll the costume and remove any remnants of the cats.  As excited as she was to have such a swimming time, she also paid no attention to the hairballs covering the costume as she slipped on the long, sparkly tail and fitted the glow-in-the-dark seashells to her breasts.

Long story short, they were mid-splash when she realized that her entire body was covered in big, red hives and her throat was beginning to close.  HOT.  After ripping off the costume (and not in a sexy, striptease kind of way, but more of a “get this thing off me before I go into anaphylactic shock” kind of way), she downed a bottle of Benedryl and lay comatose for the remainder of the evening.  Sadly, her husband may never know the joy of making love to a half-human, half-fish.  Dang.  I swear that costume was so sexy when I wore it.  Happy Anniversary girl, I promise to never offer my help in the “spice-it-up” department again.  I don’t want to accidentally kill you next time.
A Little Bit Louder Now…
Originally posted on April 16, 2012

My favorite conversation as of late:

Recently, after dinner with my grandparents at their retirement casa, we returned to their room to find the phone ringing.  Grandpa answered and it was my Grandma’s sister, calling from Minnesota.  I heard the following one-sided conversation:

Gpa: Hello?
Gpa: Oh, hello there!  Yes, she is in the restroom and will be right out.  How are you?
Gpa: Good, good.  Mother is good.  We’re going to have to get her a hearing aide.
Gpa: A hearing aide.
Gpa: We’re going to have to get Mother a hearing aide.
Gpa: A HEARING AIDE.
Gpa: Oh for Christ’s sake.  Here’s Mother.

I was laughing so hard that I nearly wet myself.  I absolutely adore my grandparents, and I tell them that as often as possible, even if they don’t always hear me. 

Authors note:  After 69 years of marriage, my grandpa still uses pet names with my grandma.  She is either “Mother,” (after having kids, you just start to call your spouse what everyone else in the house does), “Toody,” “Toots,” “Dolly,” and most recently, “MOTHER,” “TOODY,” “TOOTS,” and “DOLLY”!!!
Busy Life, Messy Baby…
Originally posted on August 4, 2014

We’re baaaaaack!  I’ve had several people ask me, “why haven’t you been posting blogs lately?!”  Well, let me tell you:

10 weeks ago I gave birth to the sweetest child to ever live.  5 weeks ago he flipped the switch and became Mister Fussy Pants who won’t let me put him down or get anything accomplished whatsoever while he is awake – which is like 10 hours a day now, so always. Here is an example of one of our days, namely yesterday.

After being up every 2-3 hours throughout the night for feeding and/or to stare at Mommy while wide awake for no reason, we were awake-awake for the day at 5 a.m.  Jack ate breakfast and promptly emptied his entire stomach contents ALL OVER HIMSELF 10 minutes later.  Or so I thought.  So I changed him, wiped him down with a warm washcloth, and put a fresh outfit on him.  And then he emptied the rest of his stomach contents ALL OVER HIMSELF again.  So I changed him, again.  Five minutes later, he pooped and it was time for a new diaper.  Except his poop went up his back, so I grabbed a new outfit to change him YET AGAIN and, while I was putting his clean diaper on, he peed on his face.

Guess what came next?  BATH TIME!  Sometimes it is easier to hose your kid down and start fresh.  So I put him on his back on the bathroom floor while I ran the water to the perfect, baby-safe temperature and stripped-off my clothes to climb in with him.  (I’ve learned it is easier on my back to just get in with him and his little bath chair.)  While on the floor, he spit-up one more time for good measure before I grabbed him and started scrubbing him down.  We were five minutes into the bath and about to wrap things up when he pooped in the tub.  Fuck me.  Rinse baby off, put baby back on floor, rinse baby bath off, drain tub, repeat process.  We finished our second bath with only one peeing incident that involved his teeny weeny (sorry Baby, it won’t stay that way) shooting a stream so far it hit the tile surround.  I did not, however, drain the bath and start over.  We bathed ourselves in peepee water and moved on.  Bath time always concludes with 15 minutes of screaming because it is cold outside of the water and Jack is still pissed even when he is dry and clothed again.

Annnnnnnnd, that was all in the first hour of being awake.  We spent the rest of the day doing similar things and working on his social skills.  So far, he is pretty expressive and flips me the bird constantly - mostly when I don’t feed him or change his diaper quickly enough.

Rude Awakening…
Originally posted on January 30, 2013

When I was little, my father would fart, look around the room with a shocked expression and ask, “Did you hear that kids?  Was that a Rocky Mountain Barking Tree Frog?”  Every. Single. Time.  Why do people always blame farting on something else?  My husband blames the poor cat who, in his defense, has never farted loud enough to be heard, let alone shake the floorboards loose.  Have you ever read the book, “Everybody Poops?”  I’m going to write the sequel to that book and it will be titled, “…And Farts.”  Most people I know seem to have a funny story about the time they let a toot slip in the middle of a college lecture or how they were laughing really hard at a joke and let a little air flow.  My funny fart story (sorry Mom, I’ve said that like ten times now.  I meant “pass gas” – when I was in 1st grade I once asked my teacher, in an English accent, “did you faaaaaart or did you just pass gas?”) happened many years ago on the very first and last night I stayed over at a new boyfriend’s house. 

This will be a quick story, much like that relationship.  Said new boyfriend and I stayed up late watching movies one night and I don’t even remember falling asleep.  However, I do remember awaking to the loudest, most obnoxious, good-thing-there-were-no-lit-candles-in-the-house-because-it-would-have-exploded, fart.  The unfortunate part about this story is that it was I who had broken wind so loudly that it made me leap into consciousness.  Freaked. Me. Out.  I startled awake with a jump and immediately froze when I realized what had happened.  Yep, I just woke myself up with a fart.  OMG.

I laid there motionless, listening to hear if there was a reaction from the other side of the bed.  Completely mortified, I quietly whispered, “Fabio*, are you awake?”  No answer.  Juuuuust to be sure, I continued, “I think there are Rocky Mountain Barking Tree Frogs in here.  Big ones.”  Nothing.  Either Fabio was the best actor ever, or I got away with what could have been the most humiliating experience of my life.  I’m going to assume, for my own peace of mind, that he was a heavy sleeper and none the wiser to my unexpected flatulence.

Fun fact: Each time I tell this story, my husband dramatically sighs and asks why I don’t care about farting in front of him anymore?!  The answer is because you put a ring on it, sweetheart, and I was sick of running to the restroom for relief or gassing myself in my car the second I drove away from an evening together, like when we were dating.  Remember that book “…And Farts?”  Read it.  Everybody does it. 

* Past boyfriend’s name has been changed to a passé Italian fashion model to both protect his identity and limit my embarrassment if, by some strange chance, he should come across this blog one day and think, “OMG!  Those weren’t barking tree frogs!”

Straight From The Horse’s Mouth….
Originally posted on November 29, 2011

On Thanksgiving, as I sat around the table at my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s house telling obligatory stories and laughing nervously joyously, I was reminded of one of my favorite childhood memories….

As a kid, I had difficulty pronouncing some words, as most children do while learning to speak.  One of the more difficult of the bunch was ‘Horse.’  Every failed attempt to say ‘horse’ came out without the ‘H’ sound (think ‘Orse’).  Like any good parent, my dad tried over and over to correct the problem, emphasizing the ‘H’ sound to help me learn.

During a trip to the grocery store, as I sat cozily in the child seat at the front of the grocery cart, I spotted an old-fashioned toy horse, AKA a stuffed horse-head on a stick.  I could not contain my excitement and shouted, ‘Orsie! Orsie!”  Daddy handed me the toy and used the moment as a teaching opportunity.  As we walked through the store, my father stressed the ‘H’ sound and repeated, “Meredith, say HHHor.  It’s HHHor, Meredith.”  Interestingly enough, people were giving the strangest looks as this man enthusiastically taught his little girl about prostitutes. With a father like that, they probably thought the horse on a stick was just a jumping-off point for other poles that I would encounter in my future.  Clearly, they could not see that it takes dedication and a strict tone to help your children learn good.  We ultimately made it out of the store without incident or being intercepted by Child Services, but just barely.

Thankfully, I eventually mastered the pronunciation of ‘Horse’ and went on to become a brilliant talker and writer.  Seriously.