Thursday, July 31, 2008

Memo To Kids: July 2008

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To: My Three Stooges
From: Mama Bear
Re: It's ten o'clock and I have no idea where my children are

Could you please stop taddling on your brother and sister. Really, I don't need a minute by minute description of the plays your brother is making in the backyard. It's like I'm listening to a really bad sports broadcaster. "And now he's running without his shoes and just stepped in a pile of poop. That'll be a smelly mess to clean up. He's climbing up the slide, you know he's not supposed to be climbing up the slide because the sun is hot and it makes the slide hot and it will burn his butt and then he will start crying and I don't want to hear him cry. And now he's wiping his feet on the grass and looking at me. Why is he looking at me? Tell him to stop LOOOOOOKING at ME!" And that's when I yank my head from my body, set it down on the ground and walk away from you. You're not just you're brother's keeper, you're mine as well. Like that time we were reading a book which featured a cow with her baby calf and when I read the word "calf" you said.."that's not right, what you just said, it can't be right. You are wrong. Wrong, I say, wrong as wrong can be, read it again." And when I read it again you insisted that I MUST be getting my letters mixed up because the letters do not spell "calf", they in fact spell "baby cow" and there is a HUGE difference. I put the book down, ran downstairs and retrieved my college degree, handed it to you and explained that I received this piece of paper which cost $50,000 after four years of demonstrating the ability to read so you don't have to take my word for it that I do in fact KNOW HOW TO REED READ. Now, if you want to discuss how I still can't pluck my eyebrows evenly or how one side of my grilled cheese sandwiches come out perfectly while the other side is always burned to a crisp, then I will concede...but reading, I've got that down! You must be watching too many Suzie Orman specials because you've been all about money this month. First you started your own nail salon with tremendously inflated prices. Then you tried to sell me your cat (which is USED by the way) and asked me how much I would pay for your cat that was worth $5.00. I answered "$5.00" to which you scoffed and said "It doesn't matter how much it's WORTH mom...what matters is how much you'll PAY for it!"

I picked you up from summer school one day and as we were walking away I overheard the teachers marveling at how far you've come and my chest swelled with pride. It's not all peaches and roses though. You've truly found your voice and sometimes it's oozing with ugliness. Like the other day when I went to get you in the morning and you screamed "close the door and GET OUT!" Yeah, you definitely got your point across but I didn't know whether to be proud of you or open the door and crack your teeth. It took about 5 weeks but you are finally potty trained. Okay, so you still poop at night in your night time diaper pants but during the day you go potty. What finally worked? Bribery with Spiderman fruit snacks. Every time you go potty I give you a little pack of treats. You tell me when you need to go and if I leave you naked you will even go to the potty by yourself. The only downside is that you've learned that it's a piss for a treat and since you've trained your bladder to hold or release on command you will go 5 million times a day and soon your teeth will rot out of your mouth. You and Birdie have been playing on Playhouse Disney online. You watch a show featuring Lou and Lou (The Safety Patrol), who are a boy and girl set of twins. They spot different safety violations as they go about their day. And now you both think that you are Lou and Lou and you take pleasure in pointing out all of my transgressions. Like when I drive with my cell phone. You both sit screaming in the back seat. "SAFETY VIOLATION! SAFETY VIOLATION! Driving with a cell phone is a SAFETY VIOLATION!" Yeah? It is but do you know what is a BIGGER safety violation? Driving while reaching back and strangling your kids! You also do this if I move the car 2 inches without a seat belt or if I don't stop at a red light AS SOON as it turns red, even if I'm a mile from the stop light. Funny this is, I can put on lip gloss while looking in the rear view mirror, drink a gallon of rum, balance a fish bowl on my head or play with matches while I'm driving yet those don't qualify as safety violations because they haven't done a show on THAT yet.

You started grinding your teeth this month. Every time you do it I get a spinal spasm that travels all way up my back and into the back of my head and I start twitching and vomiting all over. One of these days I'm going to look into your mouth and you won't have any teeth left because they will be whittled down so far down that they barely stick out of your gums! You've become mommy's extra set of eyes when it comes to your brother and sister. You will follow them around as they engage in their shenanigans and then you come running back to me and emphatically tell me what they are doing. Except that I can't really understand what you are saying so I just nod my head and say "oh my GOSH, that is terrible, what happened next?" To which you shake your head and point your finger in their direction and let out a sigh. You look EXACTLY like I do when I've finally had it with them and I tell your daddy that "he better strangle the life out of them take care of them before I really lose it!" You have a major crush on Diego from Go Diego Go. Everytime you see him you immediately get a drunken smile across your face and when he sings you scream, throw your diaper at the tv screen and flash him your boobies. You also have a new found fascination with rocks. You pick them out of the yard and excitedly bring them to me as if they were solid hunks of gold. You are so proud of them that I don't have the heart to toss them so instead I've taken to collecting them into a pile. Soon it will be taller than the house. Ever since you were a minute old you have wanted me to hold you. I loved it in the beginning when you weighed next to nothing. When you got older I would stuff you into one of those carriers and tote you all over creation. It was an easy compromise because you were in heaven and I could get around easily or just pop my boob in your mouth if you were hungry. At around 8 months you started to break my back when I had to carry you while I made dinner or washed dishes and I hoped and prayed that you would soon learn to walk and ease the strain on my shoulders. Of course, it was counter-productive that I held you all the time because you weren't learning to walk in my arms! Finally you started walking and I breathed a sigh of relief. But now, suddenly you think I need to carry you around everywhere again. I feel like I'm holding you non-stop and this shit has just got to stop! I'm sore all the time and feel like at any moment my spine is going to split in half. It's now been nearly 2 years since I've held you nearly constantly and I'm starting to have flashes of what things will be like 10 years from now if I don't break you of this habit. You will be 12 years old and I will still have you propped on my hip and your weight will be crushing me into the ground. So here's the deal: either you learn to keep your feet on the ground or I don't let you grow anymore...ever. It might be kind of inconvenient to be a 30 inch teenager so you might consider WALKING ON YOUR OWN! You know what? It's not even your choice anymore. I refuse to pick you up unless your intestines are spilling out or you are on fire and even then I might have to think twice. So there, put that in your juice box and suck it!

In Case You Were Wondering...

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...what you would see if you happened to look through our curtains at night: Me standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes while my family plotted against me.

Howie: "Hey Birdie, you think I can pinch your mom in the butt with this dinosaur before she smacks me?"
Birdie: *giggles* "Do it, do it, do it!"
Me: "If you would like to keep your dangly parts safe, I would suggest you re-think your evil plan."
Howie: "Look Birdie, look!" *lunges to get me right in the ass*
Birdie: *fits of giggles*
Me: "I'm totally going to spray you with the sink sprayer so don't even try it."
Howie: "Okay Birdie, you do it... *hands her the dinosaur*
Birdie: "Gotcha mom!"
Me: *Aims and fires a soaking stream of water that drenches Birdie*
Howie: "Don't worry Birdie, I'll get her for you." *cautiously tries to sneak a bite of my ass*
Me: *drenches Howie so much that his nipples are poking out of his shirt like he's in some kind of kinky wet t-shirt contest*
Howie and Birdie: *slipping and giggling*

They continued to slip and slide all over the soaking kitchen, trying to bite me with that damn dinosaur. I continued to soak them till they were dripping in never-been-boiled contaminated town water. And by tomorrow morning they will both have boils all over their bodies and their hair will have fallen out. Maybe that'll teach 'em to think twice before they aim that stupid dinosaur at my hind quarters again!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Puppy Love

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Howie was talking to one of his co-workers not long ago and casually mentioned something about Bubba and his speech issues. The co-worker said that his fiance is studying to be a special education teacher and offered up her services. You know, so she could use Bubba as a guinea pig and Bubba could get a little extra speech therapy during the summer months.

She started coming over every Tuesday about a month ago and Bubba fell in LOVE. He was shy during the first visit but quickly warmed up to her. Today was their fourth visit. I had dropped off Bear and Bubba at Mamaw's house this morning and took Biride with me to the Y. She likes to play with the kids in the child watch area. I would take all of them but the last three times I tried, the care worker had to bring Bear to me in the middle of my work-out because she was crying so hard and attempting to slit her wrists with a plastic saw.

So anyway, after the work-out and lunch at Mamaw's, I told Bubba that we had to go home. He whined and cried and said he didn't want to leave. That was until I told him we were leaving because Miss Ally was coming over. I know he likes her so I never say her name in a normal tone I always mockingly say it's Miss Aaaaaaaally while fluttering my eyelashes. What? I have to get my kicks somewhere. So anyway, his eyes widened and glossed over. He picked himself up off the floor where he had been writhing in a pathetic display of defiance and quickly put on his sandals and stood by the door.

When she pulled in the driveway, he ran through the house and stood impatiently at the door for her to come up the walk way. He was jumping up and down and flexing his muscles. I knew he needed to pee so I took him to the potty where he did his business in record time and didn't even ask for his Spiderman treats! While she was here it was as if the world did not exist outside of the two of them. Usually he is easily distracted by, well...anything, but not while Ally was here. Nope. We ate his favorite snacks, watched cartoons and made noise all around him but all he could see was her. When she told him that it was time for her to leave he started crying. It took both me and Howie to yank him from her ankles and distract him. I told him he should play hard to get but he's completely love struck!

When she left he ran to the family room and pressed his forehead against the window so he could watch her walk to her car. I was totally expecting him to put his hand on the window and scream her name as she drove away, but he kept his cool. He did not move until her car had gone down the driveway, turned onto the street and moved out of his line of sight. I have NEVER seen Bubba act like that around anyone and while I'm thrilled that he loves his teacher so much, it kind of makes me jealous :(

It's his first little crush and it's the cutest thing. I think Howie's co-worker should totally be worried about the extra competition over his fiance. Because Bubba is the silent type but he sure can dazzle the ladies!

Not Just Paranoid

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I've been so tired lately. I can't figure out the cause. Maybe it's the sun or too much exercise or not enough food or having the kids suck the life out of me all day long. It's probably a combination of all of those things.

I did go to the doctor and he found that my blood pressure is elevated so he prescribed me some water pills. I dropped 7 pounds of water weight in 2 days! Now, you all know how I feel about pills. I hate them. With hatred and lots of hate. But I have to admit that I feel so much better not being so bloated.

The doctor also recommended eating more citrus fruits, avocados and bananas. Yum! He's confident that we can lower it without more medication and thinks it's mostly caused by stress, but how the hell do you avoid stress with three kids? I'm stressed by 8 in the morning after only being around them for an hour! By days end, it's a miracle that my hair isn't falling out! Or that I've PULLED it out!

I've tried yoga. I've tried meditation and exercise. I've lost weight and watch what I eat. I can't imagine how much stress I would have if I DIDN'T do those things. I would probably have had a heart attack by now.

And as if I didn't have enough stress already, the state of Connecticut conducted testing on our water supply and our town was one of many found to be contaminated. We've had to boil all of our water or drink bottled water since last week. I also checked the kids from head to toe to make sure they aren't sprouting gills, an extra eye on the their foreheads or mutant limbs. So far so good. When I asked Howie what they found in the water he said chloroform which struck me as strange. I mean, how would chloroform make it's way into the water system? Then I started to think, hey...maybe THAT'S why I've been so tired. I've been poisoned! I had just made the connection between chloroform and my zombie-like tiredness when I heard the news say it was coliform which is a commonly used indicator for testing the sanitary quality of food and water. Yeah, Howie doesn't always pay attention to detail.

Okay, so maybe the water isn't making me sleepy but God only knows what kind of cesspool of bacteria has been swirling around in our drinking water. I have reason to be stressed cause my town is trying to KILL ME! Or give me a really bad case of the shits, neither of which sounds like a ripping good time.

So, do any of you have any great advice (besides selling my children) on how to reduce stress? I already exercise and eat right. I'm hoping that maybe someone will say, "sex...having sex fourteen times a day (with multiple orgasms) is a sure fire way to solve all the problems in life." Although that might not help my exhaustion any!

Not Again

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For the last several months I've been trying very hard not to put my hands around Spencer's neck and strangle the life out of him. He's been pooping all over the house and it's not just a random accident. It's a deliberate attempt to get me to glue him to the driveway and run him over a few times with my minivan. That MUST be what he's after or else he wouldn't KEEP SHITTING EVERYWHERE! And when he's not shitting everywhere, he's licking himself and it makes this sloppy, slurpy sound that makes me want to blow chunks.

At first I thought, well...maybe he's just getting old and can't hold his bowels but then I stopped and thought about the reality of the situation and it just pissed me off. Okay, now if he just didn't make it outside in time you would assume that the poop would be a few paces from where he was sleeping or perhaps left as a gift by the back door but where do we find the poop? Upstairs in Bubba's bedroom. ON THE FOURTH FLOOR! This means that at some point Spencer thinks, "hmm, I really do feel a turd creeping towards my butt hole so I can either stand by the door so they'll let me out or I can walk up FOUR FLIGHTS OF STEPS to that bedroom up there called 'my personal shit zone.'"

That would be like me having to pee and walking out to the car, driving to my friend's house, waiting for her to leave and then squatting down on her porch to take a big piss. Not exactly an efficient process if you ask me.

It's not because he's jealous of Minor either. He's been doing this long before the kitten got here. I think he's seriously pissed off about something but I just can't figure out what it is. Maybe it's because I make him wear my bra on his head? Or perhaps because Bear refuses to share her goldfish crackers with him? I'm guessing that his anger is directed at Bubba because he keeps crapping in his room. But Bubba is always sweet to him. I would think that if he were going to be mad at anyone it would be Birdie. It's a miracle that he hasn't squatted and left turd diddles all over her bed for as much as she yells at him.

The best part of this ordeal is when he leaves the slimy poop somewhere and when I'm cursing under my breath as I'm cleaning, the kitten will come snooping around. And of COURSE he always steps in some poop and then prances around the house leaving poopy footprints in his wake. And that's when the stress overloads my brain and my head explodes into a million pieces. And then I die. But I don't even care because death means I get a day off from shampooing the carpet and cleaning poop!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rip And Polish

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Howie showed me he loved me today by allowing me to take a nap. A NAP. I haven't had a nap in like, oh, 6 years.

I was exhausted from waking up at 4am. Why is it that when I have to wake up at 5 in the morning, my body resists it by making it physically painful to open my eyes and my bones creak as I walk to the bathroom yet when I have the freedom to sleep in all morning long, I wake up at 4am with my eyes wide open? ARGH! I got up early this morning and had showered, gone to the supermarket, cleaned the house and made breakfast by 9 am.

So I wake up from my nap and I'm greeted at the bottom of the stairs by Birdie handing me a piece of paper.

"Here's a coupon for my new business. It says 'Birdie polish cost $500.00'"
"Yes, my business is called 'The Rip and Polish.'"
"Hmmm. What kind of business is that?"
"First I rip your nails off and then I polish them." She says this as she snaps her finger at me.
"You'll RIP my nails? Won't that hurt?"
"Yes. But just a little. And then I'll polish them."
"Oh, you'll file my nails and then polish them?"
"Yes. I will cut and then file and then polish."
"What would you cut my nails with?"
"I would bite them off."

I started laughing hysterically at the idea of a nail salon that bites your nails off for you. And then I had a visual of a bunch of manicurists sitting in a row biting the toe nails off of their customers feet and spitting them out across the floor.

"Ewww, you'll bite my fingernails and toe nails?"
"Noooooo mom, I wouldn't bite your toe nails. Just your fingernails."
"Well then. Okay."

So after dinner tonight I'm getting my first ever manicure from "The Rip and Polish". I'll be sure to let you all know whether it's worth $500.00 a visit but something tells me that they might not be in business for a very long time. You know, with this economy being the way it is and all. That and that little detail about her BITING OFF MY FINGERNAILS!

Mouth Farts

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I've learned something during the last two days: I can't eat beef anymore. As many of you know, I gave up meat in favor of a vegan diet at the beginning of 08. Recently, I decided to incorporate more meat to accommodate my body's need for protein due to my weight training.

The other night I decided to splurge and have some beef lasagna. And I paid for it because for the next 24 hours I kept burping the most foul and disgusting tasting burps. It's like my body forgot how to process meat and instead left it sitting in my stomach where it started to rot.

Have you ever left some hamburger meat in the refrigerator so long that it rots and gets all slimy and putrid? You know that smell? Yep, that's the smell of my burps and I was lucky enough to get to taste that...all day long!

I knew it was bad when I let out a burp and green air came rushing out of my mouth and formed a skull and cross bones right in front of me.

I felt like I was farting from my mouth!

When I'm working out and feel the urge to fart, I always hold it in because I don't want to share my essence with my fellow gym members. But I don't usually worry about burps so when I had to burp the other day I just let her rip. Bad idea. The smell came rushing out and filtered through the room like a rank tooter and people started looking around to try to find the culprit of the foul and mysterious odor. I knew it was me but I followed suit and started looking around accusing people with my eyes. A couple of minutes later I felt another burp coming but this time I held it in. The gas stopped and then rushed down into my bowel and tried to escape in the form of a fart. But of course, I wasn't about to let that come out! So there I was with my mouth shut tight, trying not to breathe and my butt cheeks pressed together, trying to contain the stank gas from escaping. Eventually I felt like I was going to explode so I had to cut my workout short and head for a safe farting/burping zone.

I love ground beef and steak but dammit, I refuse to go through that again. I never realized how switching over to a vegan diet, even temporarily, would change my diet so permanently. I can't eat red meat anymore, I've completely lost my taste for eggs and I can't put a single granule of sugar in my mouth without starting to shake.

If only I could break out in itchy, festering hives every time I want to eat chips or something salty. Then I'd be happy eating piles of edamame and sprouts and I might not want to throw myself into oncoming traffic every time I pass a Burger King and smell the mouth-watering goodness of flame-broiled burgers and salty fries!

The Playscape

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Sorry for the double post. This isn't really a blog, I just wanted to show you guys a picture of the playscape I was telling you about in Monday's blog. It's like 99.9% finished. Howie and I worked together and we only yelled at each other a couple of times although I did call him a few dirty words under my breath! Our marriage has survived yet another project and before you know it we will be able to re-model our kitchen without a divorce. Yeah, that will never happen :-)

This thing was a horrible shade of gray and was falling apart. I think we did a great job of bringing it back to life. Total cost = $150.00. Damn I love a good deal. It literally turns me on. Just thinking of how much money we saved makes my nipples get hard!

It's A Beautiful Life

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Are you ever taken aback by the sheer beauty of the earth? Most days I am so consumed with trying to keep my life in one piece that I don't take the time to look around and admire the splendor in the small things. Like the simplistic perfection of a blooming flower or the radiance of a clear sky. I'm often guilty of not partaking in the admiration of such blessings but every so often, in a quite moment, I take notice and am reminded of how stunning my surroundings really are.

On my drive home this morning, I noticed how the sun pierced through the foggy humidity of the morning and made the dew on the grass glisten. It's like the sun was a porthole to heaven and God's brightness burst through the atmosphere, past the clouds and down to the earth bringing warmth and life into the ground.

I was in awe of it and felt ashamed that I don't notice things like that more often. I think we are so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty but we spend most of our time completely ignoring it. We are in such a rush in the morning that we miss the sunrise or are so annoyed by a storm that we miss the resulting rainbow.

Our time here is so limited. We never know what tomorrow may bring. I know that some day I will be faced with death and when that time comes I want to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that I soaked in every detail of my time here on this gorgeous earth. I want to be able to easily recall the feel of a summer breeze or the smell of an afternoon shower. I want to close my eyes and see the intense scarlet color of a single rose.

So, I am going to try to appreciate things a lot more from now on. Even if it's finding just one thing to admire every day. And hopefully over time I will amass a lifetime worth of beautiful snapshots and when I die and my life flashes in front of me, it will be one heck of a slide show!

What's Up Today

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Forecast for today? Mostly cloudy with a guarantee of showers. And what does this mean for me? I finally get to spend a day inside! Bubba went to summer school this morning and will be gone until noon. Birdie is taking golf lessons until noon and that means that the house will be empty. Oh wait, I forgot about Bear. Damnit, just when you think you've got em all farmed out one sneaks up on you. I think it's time she went out and got a summertime job. Like lawn mowing or power washing houses. They could pay her in goldfish crackers and fruit snacks.

While it was a busy weekend, we did get a lot done. We set up the trampoline and pool and did some more work on the playscape. I don't know if I posted this or not but some friends of ours gave us a playscape that they weren't using. They don't have kids and don't want kids for a while so they told us to take it. I told them that they were tempting fate because getting rid of something that big would insure that she would be pregnant in the next 5 minutes. Like that time I gave away our baby tub, swing and bouncy chair. I dropped them off at a friends house, went home and threw up and realized that I was pregnant. That Murphy's Law sure does know how to take a dump on me. But our friends like to live life on the wild side and gave it to us anyway. It was a dingy gray color so I power washed it, sanded it and painted it. I didn't want to paint it the traditional red or stain color. No, I wanted something a little more dramatic so I colored it red, yellow, blue and green. It looks like a freakin circus in our backyard. We're not quite done but when we are, I will post a pic!

Aside from the yard work I managed to get a full week worth of cleaning done in the house in just 2 days. I don't even know how it all got done because I put my brain on auto pilot and let my body do the work. I had to snap out of it when Bear locked herself in our guest bathroom. We have a drawer that opens parallel to the door and she went in, closed the door and then opened the drawer. She was locked in and completely melted down. She was banging on the other side of the door while letting out blood curdling screams. I had no clue how to get her out but I knew that I needed to do it quick or else she would shove laundry down the toilet or start shaving her arm pits. I could only get the door open about a quarter of an inch and tried to use a toothbrush and a pencil to push the drawer shut. That didn't work so I finally used a knife. I jammed it into the side of the drawer and got it shut thereby released the prisoner from her solitary confinement. She was white and her eye balls had popped out of their sockets. She ran to me and clinged to my shoulder for nearly an hour. And now she's going to be afraid of confined spaces and when I put her in her crib at night she will be all the bars....they're closing in on me. She'll start drinking 90 proof applejuice in the afternoons and wearing nothing but black. Then she'll write rage filled poetry on her etch a sketch and start ignoring her imaginary friend. She's ruined!

Well, I should get to stepping. The older kids are gone and I finally have some silence and peace in the house. Well, unless you count Minor who at this very second is chewing on my feet. I know I can have him de-clawed but can I have his teeth removed too? That way when he tries to take a bite out of my ear at 2 in the morning I would only feel the slight massage of his toothless gums. I'd just have to teach him how to drink out of a straw.

Memo to Kids: June 2008

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Memo To Kids: June 2008

To: The Little People of the House
From: Mom
Re: I Brought You Into This World And I Can Take You Out

Birdie: You graduated from Kindergarten this month. We went to your graduation where you guys spelled words that your dad couldn't even spell. At one point you all discussed the types of "oviparous" animals and I seriously had no clue what you were talking about. It took me nearly 10 minutes of serious thinking and my brain was working so hard that it started to squeak and let out sparks from my ears. I finally figured out that "oviparous" animals are animals that lay eggs. It wasn't until the entire Kindergarten class sang and danced "the chicken dance" that it finally clicked. I felt like I should stand up right there in the auditorium and declare, "My name is Alicia Steeler and I am NOT smarter than a Kindergartener". You also sang "First Grade, First Grade" to the music of the infamous Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York". I nearly cried when you took your top hat off and sang "It's up to me, first grade.....first graaaaaaaade." I have no idea how I'm going to answer first grade questions when I'm still trying to figure out the answer to "how do our bodies make teeth?" You've been at camp most of the month and you're gone from 8 to 3 and it's giving me a preview of what it will be like without you next year. I'd like to say that I miss you so much that it hurts but really the house is so quiet and the silence is intoxicating. I do miss you though. It's funny that you drive me completely crazy yet being without you makes me sad. You'd think I'd be happy to send you packin'! Especially after those times when you completely embarrass me. Like the day you watched Disney's "Lilo and Stitch" and decided to repeat the dialogue from the movie to one of our guests. "I get disciplined a lot, sometimes five times a day. With a pillow case." Our guests don't have children. They don't understand the nuances of having crazy children. Nor have they ever seen that movie and I had to explain. But they still looked at me like I was trying to cover up all of the abuse I was heaping upon you. Just for the record I would never beat you with bricks but I might seriously wash your mouth out with clorox! While you are much better than last month you still keep me on my toes and I feel like I'm constantly yelling at you. The other day I said "Damnit Birdie, every time I turn around you are doing something bad". To which you replied, "So stop turning around already!" It's clear that you think logically so why do you insist on wearing sweaters in 90 degree weather and then yelling at me that "you're so hot and you can't breathe" but still refusing to put on a tank top!

Bubba: What a big month! I have to start with the biggest news: you were diagnosed with PDD (n.o.s) this month and I have to admit that in the beginning it freaked me out. This was mostly because your doctor focused on the diagnosing part but not a whole lot on the actual diagnosis and what it would mean for you and your family. I'm a paranoid person by nature. You know this being one of the three children that I frequently awaken in the middle of the night just to make sure that you are in fact alive and breathing. So having to deal with something like this was difficult for me. I knew all along you would be okay but I did the worst thing possible to get information: I went online. I spent hours scouring through terrifying posts from people dealing with serious PDD issues. This was before I understood that PDD is something that doctors diagnose when they really have no clue what's up with their patients. In your case you have some quirks, things that look like autism but you don't meet the criteria for autism so they say "yeah, we'll lump him into the PDD category since we can't diagnose anything else." The problem with that is that the range of symptoms is so huge that it's nearly impossible to compare you to anyone else. I read stories about kids having seizures and never making progress and I nearly lost it. Your dad had to hold me down, slap me across the face and yell at me to "get a grip". I was banned from any internet research so instead I focused on you. We worked on colors (you know all of them) and numbers (you can count to 20 in English and Spanish) and the alphabet (you can sing it wonderfully although you have pitch problems so a career on Broadway might be out of reach). We started potty training and I learned that you can hold 100 gallons of pee in your tiny bladder. How the hell do you pull that off? Most moms are worried about their kids peeing on the carpet or having an accident in the car but me? No, I'm worried that you will die from an exploding bladder! You have two things working against you. First, you have your my stubbornness which is world renound. Secondly, you have your father's ability to "hold it". Once, your dad went on a camping trip and held his poop and pee for a whole week because he didn't want to go in the woods! Why can't you just be like me and pee yourself anytime you sneeze, cough or laugh? We practiced riding the bike and guess what? You did it! You had some melt downs along the way but soon you were racing around the neighborhood like a mini Lance Armstrong. Live Strong my boy! I don't need research and clinical testing to tell me that you will be okay. All I have to do is look into your sparkling eyes to feel a sense of relief. All I have to do is wake up every morning and watch to see what you learn that day because it's're growing, you're learning, your defying the odds right in front of me and it fills me with hope. I can't tell you what the future will hold but I do know that for right now I will stand beside you and explain when you can't understand, hold you when you can't cope and help you when you just don't know what to do. We will love you through this all the way and while your father and I may be battered and bruised along the way, we know that you are worth it!

Bear: When you don't get your way, you let out a scream which is so high pitched and shrill that my ear drums simultaneously explode, my skull cracks open and all the birds in a 100 mile radius drop dead out of the sky! Before I put you to bed I stuff my ears with handfuls of cotton balls because I know if I didn't my eye balls would explode from the high decibel pitch that you reach. Plus, I need to focus my strength on wrangling your little body as you kick and squirm and go completely limp as I place you in your crib. You went into time-out 3 times this month because you lost it when Daddy wouldn't let you drink all of his iced tea or I wouldn't let you climb up a flight of stairs unattended. Because we are evil parents hell bent on ruining your life and making you as miserable as possible! That's always been on my bucket list of things to accomplish during my life: ruin my children's lives. This month your favorite phase was "waas dat?" Except you don't point to a dog or a cat or a car or a tree. You point to things like the stair banister, a tractor trailer or the cords coming out of the DVD player. Things that require much too much explanation. I seriously thought about telling you it's "stuff". Everything is "stuff" and "things". This way I don't have to think too hard when you ask me about the differences between a tractor, excavator and backhoe. Please for the love of GOD chew your food and swallow it before you stuff anything else into your mouth. You look like a psychotic chipmunk with your cheeks engorged on either side of your face. The other day you were trying to get a carrot into your mouth but it was so full of chicken and noodles that there just wasn't any more room for that little carrot and you were so frustrated because it JUST WOULDN'T FIT. You know I heard there is an ancient solution to your problem....SWALLOW YOUR FOOD! I've heard that in clinical studies, swallowing your food proves nearly 100% effective in eliminating the chances of choking to death on chicken nuggets. Just sayin.

Sorry this note is so late. I usually complete your memos by the end of the month but we've been so incredibly busy. We are usually dressed and out the door by 9 am and don't get back into the house until sometime around midnight at which point I want nothing more than to fall face first into my bed and pray for sweet, sweet death.

A Little Girl On Girl Action

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This summertime thing has got me beat! Don't get me wrong...I love it, it's just that I'm completely exhausted. Mostly because we spend like 99.9% of our time outdoors. I've chased the kids through the yard for miles, drawn WAY more chalk dinosaurs in the driveway than I would care to mention and picked so many weeds that I now walk hunched over like an old woman. And why is it that I can't get a nice lawn to grow after seeding and fertilizing and watering yet the weeds can grow out of the cracks in the giant rock in the backyard? It's a losing battle. Maybe I should give up trying for grass and just plant weeds in my front yard. You know what? I'd have the greenest yard in the neighborhood! In reality our yard isn't too far from being all weeds anyway. It's like 80% weeds with patches of grass growing here and there. And every night we turn on the in ground sprinkler system and water our weeds so that they can grow big and strong.

The yard has been my nemesis this year. I never realized what a pain in the ass it would be when I offered to help Howie care for it. He's been working extra hard and I felt bad for him having to come home from a long day at work only to turn around and mow and weed wack and what-not. I started mowing in the late spring and have done it every 3 days ever since. You would think that he'd be all, "'re an awesome wife for taking that off my to-do list, now I have more time to eat squeeze cheese and watch 'So You Think You Can Dance' ". But NOOOOOOO! He's been pissy about it from the get-go. And it's not just him who is rejecting my efforts. We have a huge riding mower with a large deck that will mow an acre in like 10 minutes. The only problem is that it's very temperamental. The first few times I went out to start it, it refused to turn over. It's not like it's rocket science. I figured I would sit on the thing, put my foot on the break and turn the key. Nothing. I filled it with gas. Then I charged the battery. I made sure the choke was out. Nothing. I asked Howie about it and he was like, "she likes it when you only pull the choke a little bit and then push it in gently after she gets turned on." And I stood there, mouth agape, realizing that he's totally having an affair with this lawn mower behind my back and that's why he's mad that I'm doing the lawn! He's jealous! He walked over to "her" and with the slightest touch got her to turn on. And you know what that little slut did? She flashed her headlights and let out a groan. THAT BITCH! She just didn't want to turn on for me!

I waited a few days and tried again. She refused. I guess she wasn't into the girl-on-girl action that I was offering. I followed ALL of the steps Howie gave me:

1. Turn down the lights and put on a little Barry White to set the mood
2. Stroke her back side gently
3. Mount her like you mean it
4. Pull on the choke a little bit
5. Turn her on
6. Push the choke in gently
7. Get her into position
8. Ride her till she runs out of gas

She resisted my advances. She teased me and rejected me but ultimately I had my way with her. She finally gave in to the sinful temptation of another and now she is ALL mine! The other day we had the landscaping equivalent of a threesome when I rode her in the front yard and Howie finished her off in the back.

But you know what? I think she's starting to like me more than him. :-)

What It Feels Like To Impregnate Jessica Alba

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We've been putting off Bubba's potty training ever since he was 3 and had a meltdown that required a straight jacket and suicide watch when we tried to put him on the toilet. I think he thought we were going to stuff him head-first into the toilet, flush it and then stand back and high five each other as he swirled around towards death.

I had also wondered due to his speech delay whether he even understood what I was saying to him and thought it cruel to expect him to do something out of his reach. But the other day he came up to me and said "pee pee, poop, change diaper" and I knew right then and there that he was ready.

We I started doing the training on Monday. I put a potty in his room and told him that he was going to go potty. He cried. A LOT. But I persevered and told him that his dinosaur was going to do it first. I sat it on the potty and watched it go and when Bubba wasn't looking I squirted some water into the potty with a booger sucker. Then I yelled and screamed and did a sexy monkey dance in my excitment. Bubba thought that was pretty cool so he tried it. It was a huge score for me because he used to roll his eyes into the back of his head and vomit pea soup at the mere mention of the word "potty".

I put him in his very cool Super Man underpants and put him on the potty or toilet every 15 minutes. ALL day.

He was on the potty every 15 minutes! He sat on the potty in the car while I was parked in the supermarket parking lot. He sat on the toilet in the car dealership as the van got it's oil changed. He sat on the toilet in the chiropractor's office. And at the park. And the library. He never went! The boy held it ALL day long despite my filling him with milk, water, juice, tequila...any liquid I could get my hands on. I kept waiting for him to explosively pee with such force that it would literally pick him up off the ground and shoot him across the room! But still nothing. That night I put him in a diaper for bed and expected that he would pee so much that it would be leaking from under his closed bedroom door! I went in cautiously to get him the next morning and guess what? Dry diaper!

Tuesday, he told me twice that he needed to go but ended up peeing on the floor. I didn't care because at least it was progress. He sat on the potty longer and even stood at the potty with Howie and imitated him by holding his junk. That night he pooped in his bedtime diaper and I breathed a sigh of relief that I wouldn't have to take him to the doctor to have his colon flushed!

Yesterday he held his pee and poop again. I have no idea how this tiny little boy can hold that much fluid and substance for a full 24 hours. I fully expected pee to start leaking from his ears and nose. It's not like he didn't have opportunity. I was still taking him to the potty every 15 minutes. And then I realized...oh yeah, this is MY child and he inherited MY stubborness!

But then a miracle happened. Today when we were eating lunch he stopped suddenly and said "pee-pee, poop". I picked him up and rushed him to the toilet where he....WENT PEE AND POOP! And the feeling of accomplishment was so intense that I thought, "so this is what it must feel like to impregnate Jessica Alba!" And then I did the monkey dance until I gave myself a headrush.

I know I am no-where near the end of potty duty. It's a battle won in the war of toilet training. But oh what a sweet, sweet victory!

If The Shoe Fits

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Bear wants to be just like Birdie. The proof is in the video where she is literally trying to put herself in Birdie's shoes. Notice that she's got the thong of the sandal between her pinkie toe and ring toe. You may not know this but that's all the rage in Europe!

If you listen closely at the beginning of the video you can hear Howie yelling at Spencer (the dog). Something about "spit it out or I'm gonna spank your butt." Spencer had stolen a hot dog from one of the kids. He talks to the dog like this because:

1. He forgets the old dog can't hear.
2. He forgets that even if the dog could hear he wouldn't understand human speak.

But that doesn't stop him from getting exasperated when Spencer tilts his head and looks at him like he's crazy.

And while Howie is yelling at him, Spencer is all "hmm, what did you say? Sorry, I couldn't hear you over all the chewing, slobbering and lip smacking. Damn this hot dog is good!" *licks lips*

Check out the video below!
If The Shoe Fits