Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Memo To Kids: December 2008

To: My three little bears
From: Mama Bear
Re:  How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You

December has been a long month for us.  Unlike most people whose month probably flew by, our December seemed to drag on, like a car sputtering on fumes trying desperately to get to the nearest gas station.

This month we finally took you to see a doctor to see if you have A.D.D.  We did this on the recommendation of your teacher, that poor young woman who has gone completely gray since the beginning of the school year.  She used to be beautiful.  Now she is haggard and skiddish.  The doctor thinks that while you probably do indeed have A.D.D., it's too early to diagnose.  You haven't had symptoms (in school) long enough and he thinks that your teacher has a little stick up her pooper and may be jumping to conclusions.  

We will have to keep an eye on it although I suspect that while you are intensely annoying, impulsive, loud and mind-numbingly's just your personality.  The reason I say this is because since we've been to the doctor you have not had one single incident at school.  In fact, you've been perfect, staying on green all day for over 3 weeks which means that the teacher didn't so much as grit her teeth in your direction. This shows self-restraint.  I think it also shows that the doctor scared you a little bit and you realized that what your doing is not going un-noticed.  You do have the power to make it better, you just need a lot of support and patience.  

That patience is sometimes impossible for me to muster.  There is only so much screaming and whining and crying and yelling and running and fighting that I can take.  There are days that I don't understand you and as much as I hate to admit it; I feel totally defeated.  And exhausted.  Other times, I feel completely inadequate to be your mother, like I just don't have the capacity to motivate you.  It frustrates me to no end.

I don't expect you to be perfect, I don't expect you to be anything.  But sometimes I look around at mothers who are happily reading with their daughters or pleasantly doing anything (cooking, crafting, shopping, sitting) with their little girls and I'm green with envy. Every time I try to engage you in this way it's a bust.  I might as well be beating my head against the concrete with blood dripping down my face for as pleasant as it is.

Don't misunderstand, I love you more than I could ever describe.  You are beautiful and smart and funny and the most tender-hearted little girl I know.  When Spencer died you were heart broken and I knew then that you've suffered more loss than many grown ups have faced.  You are strong and in some ways, mature beyond your years.  It's just that I want you to know that it isn't all lost on me.  I know that this is tough, for both of us and am trying to make it better.

When you grow up and are sitting on your therapist's couch and he tells you that it was all your mother's fault, I want you to at least know that while I screwed you up, I did it while I was trying to do my best.  That I turned over every leaf and exhausted every option.  That I cried at not being able to be more for you.

Like any mother, I want only the best for you.  I want you to be yourself and not squash the creativeness and spit-fire that is your essence.  I just don't want it to impede you.  I don't want your eccentricity to hinder your friendships or ruin your ability to learn.  I just want to find a balance.  Where you can do well in school and enjoy your work and teachers and friends.  Where you can come home and be a happy little girl who laughs and plays until the street lights come on.  And you can do it all while still being uniquely you. 

You turned four years old on December 15th and it seems like overnight you went from cuddly baby to big boy.  You look like a big boy, you act like a big boy, you even SMELL like a big boy.  When you were a baby I used to sniff your feet and nibble your toes.  Because they were scrumptious.  It always made you giggle and you still like me to do it to you.  

The other night when we were reading, you put your feet in my face and I swear that I saw God.  My vision got blurry, my head went dizzy and I passed out from the funkiness that is your feet.  Don't be expecting me to sniff and/or nibble on anything in the general direction of your toes ever again. Unless of course, you are trying to kill me and run away with the insurance money.  Just remember that I'm worth more if I'm accidentally dismembered.

You poop like a man too.  It wasn't but a month ago that we had to beg you to drop the kids off at the pool but once you got the hang of it you became a poop machine.  You went from pooping once every other day to pooping fourteen times a day.  It makes you happy and now you think that all of life's problems can be solved with a good BM.  The other day I was struggling to find something in the pantry and when I got exasperated you said in a helpful tone, "I think you need to poop, mom."  I think maybe you're on to something.  It really could make you feel better after every life crisis:

Got fired?  Take a poop.
House burned down? Take a poop.
Got sentenced to life in prison? Take a poop.

This month you did something that totally broke your father's heart.  After watching me polish mine, Birdie's and Bear's fingernails you insisted that I polish yours.  I told you that it was only for girls but you would not be dissuaded.  I tried to compromise by putting clear polish on your fingers but that wasn't enough.  "Purple fingers, purple fingers", you demanded.  So I did your nails in purple polish.  And you loved it even though it crushed your dad.  Could you please re-assure him by pulling his finger or something?

You have officially rounded into the terrible twos.  Terrible is your middle name.  It's a darn good thing that you are so stinking cute because otherwise I'd consider posting your naughty little ass on freecycle.

You get into EVERYTHING.  I can't take my eyes off of you for a second without you doing something like setting the microwave to "explode", crushing bananas into the playroom window screens or taking all of my tampons out of their applicators.  And when I catch you playing with something that you know is off limits you say, "here you go" as if you were only touching it to give it to me.

It reminds us of that one comedy show done by the legendary Bill Cosby where he talks about his little kid being caught with something and immediately saying, "I got it for you! Yes, I did drag the dining room chair across the kitchen, use it to climb up on the counters where I proceeded to slather myself in olive oil...but I did it for YOU!!! Because I knew that you were going to need the olive oil and I wanted to be helpful."

You got your hair cut for the first time ever this month and you went from looking like a hippie to a trendy little tot in your cropped bob.  You were an angel when the stylist cut your hair which surprised me.  

That's the reason why nobody (other than your immediate family) believes me when I tell them that you are hell on wheels.  Because when I say that you are a monster child they look down at you and as if on cue you look up and smile with a twinkle in your eye and give your best Pollyanna pose.  Then, as soon as they turn in the other direction you look at me and snarl with smoke coming out of your nose.  Because you are just mean and like to eat baby puppies for breakfast.

At least you're allowing me some free time during the day.  I finally got you to agree to stay at the YMCA child watch without going completely psycho on the poor babysitters.  You put on quite a little show when I leave you; however, screaming and turning all shades of purple in the face.  As soon as I round the corner where you can no longer see me, you stop instantly and are all, "lets play some poker, kids".

Your favorite book this month is "Green Eggs And Ham".  You have most of it memorized and you do this thing where you say the last word that I read.  You sound the same way that I do when I pretend to know the lyrics to a song on the radio, singing (with vibrato) the last word of the phrase and trying to act like I know the whole song.  Then, when your dad points out that the lyrics are actually "dude looks like a lady" and not "do the funky lady" I have to try and find a way to still think I'm cool.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Counting The Seconds

It's three o'clock in the afternoon. My temptation hour. You see, I do very well when it comes to eating breakfast. I'm pretty good at lunch too. I rarely snack in the morning and am in total control until this time of day.

As soon as the clock strikes 3, I turn into a hungry beast. I do hideous things like eat spoonfuls of left over frosting, raid the kid's school snacks, open up a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and gulp them by the handful!

It's shameful!

I'm trying VERY hard to be in control right now. I'm focusing and taking calming breaths. But even that doesn't keep me from hearing the taunting calls coming from the pantry. "Licha...come here, I neeeeeed you", say the left over rice crispy treats."

I know that if I can get to 5:00 I will be fine. It's these two stinking hours during the day that drive me batshit! It's during these two hours that I do the most damage, ruin my healthy eating plan and totally reverse all my work-out efforts. Damn it!

I need to distract myself. I could do the laundry. Meh. I could clean the bathroom. Ick. I could do a craft with the kids. *shoots self*

Maybe I should start drinking in the afternoons. You know, to take the edge off.

Man, this going back on my diet is going to suck dirty ass. But here's the bright side, trying to painfully suffer through days of eating right and exercising and drinking only water will be a sure fire way to make 2009 drag on forever.

Maybe that's what they mean when they say that eating right and exercising will give you a "long life." It's not literally longer, it just feels like an eternity when you live on asparagus and bland chicken.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Was Just Thinking...

Every time I fly somewhere, the flight attendant tells me something about my seat cushion and how it can be used as a flotation device.

If I were flying over a large ocean (or even a very large lake), I suppose that would make me feel better. If I were flying over the Atlantic Ocean and my flight were to somehow go awry, a flotation device might come in handy.

If I survive the crash and the burning inferno that ensues and the frigid waters and the sharks...a flotation device would suit me just fine.

But the problem is that I never fly over an ocean, sea or river. I always fly cross country. Would it not be more suitable then, to perhaps offer me something else - like a parachute. They could make those handy seat cushions into flotation/parachuting devices. And in the event of a change in cabin pressure a mask/ air goggles would plop down from the overhead compartment.

A flotation device isn't going to do me much good when we crash land in the heartland of America! A parachute would be more useful. Not that I like parachutes; I think skydiving is exceedingly stupid.

But if my choices were to die or use a parachute, I would strap that baby on and pray for the best. I just think they should give us that option!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why You Don't Want Me For A Friend


Because I will exploit your secret fetishes at inopportune times and then publish the evidence in my blog. For shits and giggles. Plus, I have a memory that spans to the deepest depths of the universe and I can recall what you told me that one Friday, two years ago when we spoke on the phone for 2 minutes. That memory makes me dangerous. Especially when I know all of your secrets.

When it came time to get a Christmas present for my friend Shari, I had a few things to consider:
1. She loves tank tops (More than normal people. You will never find her dressed without one.)
2. She loves Sportacus. I wrote a funny blog explaining the depths of that love/lust. If you haven't already, Go, read it here.
3. She's allergic to everything but tank tops and Sportacus.

I considered getting her something more befitting a friend - something like a friendship charm (lame) or bubble bath (would send her into anaphylactic shock) or a bag of plutonium (she already has one). Alas, there was nothing quite right for her so I stuck with the things that would make her happiest. I had a tank top custom made, with "I heart Sportacus" emblazoned across the front. I also bought her a tub of chocolate frosting. Because I knew that the combination of the two presents would send her into orgasmic convulsions that were guaranteed to last through 2009.

She liked them. A lot! And I'm glad because I was trying to repay her for giving me the best gift ever, her friendship. Someone I speak to twelve times a day. Someone who gets my sick and twisted sense of humor. Someone who is beyond hysterical. Someone who just "gets me". That isn't an easy thing to do considering that in real life I can often be hard to read. She's more like me than humanly possible which makes me shake my head in confusion.

I feel blessed to call you a friend, Shari. I adore you. Even if you often make me wary. Because you're very, very scary. And hairy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


So, do you remember when a few days ago I said that I was going to start reading the book "Twilight" and then give you a review of it?

Well, I finished it. I was hooked so I called a friend and begged her to loan me "New Moon", the next book in the saga. And then I gobbled it up like a starving dog in a kibble factory. When I finished that one, I swiftly started looking for the next book, "Eclipse". I nearly had a mental break-down in Target when I found that they were sold out.

Luckily, I found a copy at Stop-N-Shop. I literally started jumping up and down when I saw the book. I paused momentarily to look over each shoulder and judge whether there was any competition around me and then I catapulted through the aisle at break-neck speed and flung myself at the book, using my body as a shield. I wanted to divert anyone who might have the villainous idea of taking my book; my sweet, precious book. Then I banqueted on it, sucking on my fingers when I closed the finished hardcover. I finished off my glutenous feast by inhaling "Breaking Dawn." It was a Christmas present from Howie. It's a good thing that Christmas came when it did or else I might have started foaming at the mouth. I finished the last two books, all 1300 odd pages of them, in only 8 days. I'm still licking my lips although the button on my jeans just popped off and went shooting across the room, shattering our front window.

I'm already going through withdrawal and my eyes are starting to twitch although that could be easily explained. After all, I did read nearly a foot worth of pages by dim lamp light!

If you can't tell already, I loved it. I really didn't think I would, honestly. I thought that people were making it out to be much more than it possibly could be. Now, I'm not saying that it's a masterpiece of literature but I swear (cross my warm, sweet smelling, throbbing human heart) that I don't regret a second of those late nights and I won't even balk if my sight never completely recovers.

I don't want to ruin anything for you if you haven't read it but I would highly recommend all four books. My favorites were "New Moon" and "Breaking Dawn." In fact, when I was reading those books my family suffered great neglect. My kids didn't get a bath for THREE DAYS and when Howie tried to make a move I said, "so long as it's a position where I don't have to put down the book."

The books read very quickly. And easily. The stories are real yet laced with mythology and fairy tales. The descriptions are simple, yet vivid and it's nearly impossible to not be empathetic with the characters. They made me laugh and cry. They made me happy, frustrated, angry and exhilarated. They are full of action and while the first book was a little mushy, the rest of the series was geared perfectly for men and women alike. Even Howie was thrilled at the story as I updated him after each book.

So if you're hungry for a good book, set yourself a place at the table of this saga. Just be prepared to never get enough.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Great Experience

One of the best gifts my parents ever gave me was the gift of knowing how to give. It's not as easy as it sounds because giving doesn't often come as easily as we would all like to believe it does. Sometimes we have to look for opportunities to give and we don't often stop to take the time and really do it. We think about it, but don't always follow through.

My parents, while poor in funds, were rich when it came to giving. They volunteered at our church, they visited prisons, my mom volunteered to translate at our local courthouse. They also took in over 25 foster children in just under 4 years. My mom was also a top unprofessional naturalization agent in the state of Oklahoma, meaning that she helped over 500 families gain legal U.S. citizenship. And she didn't do it for pay. Many people never paid but those who offered reimbursement usually did so in bags full of tamales. They didn't have much to give but they gave what they could.

She didn't do it for the money. She did it for the opportunity to help people who had nowhere else to turn. People who desperately wanted to be contributing (and legal) members of society. It was my moms passion. A passion that took her away from our family countless hours. I remember people knocking at our door as late as 11:30 at night, frantic for her help.

At the time, I thought of it at a burden and it took me many years to appreciate the reason why she sacrificed so much for people who were imposing at best and at worst unappreciative. But I learned. I learned that it's better to give and I'm vehement in my desire to pass that lesson on to my kids. But how?

My kids are oblivious to life and to the hardships inherent with it. I struggle with enlightening them which means that they will no longer be innocent in a certain regard.

In an attempt to start teaching them and more importantly for us to give back as a family, I arranged for us to work at a congregate housing facility in downtown Hartford on Christmas day (today). Our job was to serve Christmas dinner to the residents and host a bingo game. Me, Howie and Birdie went and left the little ones at home with Mamaw.

We got there at around noon and worked for a few hours but it was such a good time. We got to visit with many of the residents, many of whom had no family or friends who ever visit them which is incomprehensible. Birdie was thrilled to be serving lunch. After all, waitressing is her all-time favorite thing to do. Here are a few pics of our great experience.

Birdie, the waitress. When I stopped her to take this picture, she was all, "stop bothering me, I have a JOB to do!"

Chatting with Sophia and Enrique. They are a Peruvian couple. He is 92 years old. She is merely a youthful 87. They have been married for 66 years and when I asked her "aren't you sick of him yet?" she responded "yeah, but I'm bound by law." I also noted that she still takes care of him which means that I (hopefully) have 59 more years of remembering where Howie lost his shoes, wallet, work badge, keys and head.

Birdie and Sophia. She was tiny, standing next to Birdie, only inches taller.

They were all so welcoming and thankful for us being there. They didn't have to be so thankful, it was our pleasure.

Me and Birdie calling Bingo. Those people were bingo animals. When I would pause to remember how to say the number seventy-three in Spanish they would all boo and hiss and throw their teeth at me. Apparently, I'm too slow. And Bingo is some serious business.

The woman in green is Marisa, the sweetest (most talkative) person you'd ever meet. She works there at the center and she made it a pleasure to be there. They are so lucky to have her!

All in all it was a great experience. Birdie was as good as gold and we had a nice time. I would do it again in a second! On the way home we decided that it wasn't enough to do it just once, that we should try to do something good (as a family) at least once a month.

Hopefully this will be the way to teach the kids how to give. To not be content to live their lives for themselves, but rather to go out of their way to do something for someone else. As small as that something may be.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Parent's Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
when all through the house
I searched for the tools
to hand to my spouse

Instructions were studied
and we were inspired,
in hopes we could manage
"Some Assembly Required."

The children were quiet
(not asleep) in their beds,
while Dad and I faced
the evening with dread:
a kitchen, two bikes, Barbie's townhouse to boot!
And now, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

We opened the boxes,
my heart skipped a beat -
let no parts be missing or
parts incomplete!

"Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
if we can't get it right,
it goes straight to the basement!
When what to my worrying eyes should appear
but 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
With each part numbered and every slot named,
so if we failed, only we could be blamed.

More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
all over the carpet they were scattered about.
"Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand."
"Honey," said hubby, "you just glued my hand."

And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
that all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
to keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
with "assembly required" till morning's first light
We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.
The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
before we attached the last rod and last pin.

Then laying the tools away in the chest,
we fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
But I said to my husband just before I passed out,
"This will be the best Christmas,
without any doubt.
Tomorrow we'll cheer,
let the holiday ring,
and not run to the store for one single thing!
We did it! We did it!
The toys are all set
for the perfect, most magical, Christmas, I bet!"

Then off to dreamland and sweet repose
I'm grateful went, though I suppose
there's something to say for those self-deluded-
I'd forgotten that BATTERIES are never included!

--Author Unknown

Why Santa Never Answered Your Letter

I have to confess that I've watched this video like 5 times in the last 10 minutes, pausing only to yell for Howie to come downstairs and watch it with me so that we could both giggle until we nearly peed our pants. This is because, on the outside we look like two perfectly reasonable and responsible adults in their mid-thirties. But on the inside, we are two thirteen year old boys begging for the opportunity to pull each other's fingers.

Thanks Kim!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pillow Talk

No comments:
*Howie laying with his head on my arm*

Me: "You know, your head is really heavy. You have a heavy ass head."
Howie: "Nuh huh."
Me: "Yes huh, it weighs like 40 pounds."
Howie: "The human head weighs 8 pounds."
Me: "Then maybe yours isn't human. Cause it weighs 40 POUNDS!"
Howie: "Are you trying to tell me that I have a FAT head?"
Me: "Nah, it's just, boned."
Howie: "Shut up."
Me: "It's pleasantly plump."
Howie: "Are you saying my head is dense?"
Me: "Well, if the helmet fits."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Fancy Ornament


When I came downstairs this morning I noticed a new ornament adorning our Christmas tree. It's big and black and when it thinks you aren't looking, it licks it's furry testicles.

It looks a lot like our cat, Minor. But I know it's not him because I gave him specific instructions to "stay away from this tree, Minor or else next time you climb into the dryer when I'm doing laundry, I will not take the time to fish you out!"

And he always does what I tell him to!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Delicious Little Drops Of Heaven


One of the many joys of parenthood (that nobody tells you about) is how often you will have to go to the supermarket. Let me go ahead and take the guess work out of it for ya if you don't already will go no less than FORTY TIMES A WEEK!

Seriously, if there are any soon to be parents out there reading this right now, do yourselves a favor and pull out your desk calendars and set aside a block of shopping time, about 20 hours a week. Call your friends, family and co-workers and tell them that you will be unavailable for those 20 hours a week, for the next...oh, EIGHTEEN YEARS! That time doesn't include the run you will make to a 24 hour pharmacy at 3 in the morning for things like Mylecon gas drops or Xanex.

And for someone like me, who enjoys shopping just about as much as a frontal lobe brain hemorrhage, the merciless food jaunts have me just about ready to blow a gasket.

I went to the store on Wednesday afternoon. And then again on Friday morning. And I just sent Howie to the supermarket again. It's Saturday. I sent him because 1)Mamaw had to go shopping too and the thought of her groping some unsuspecting man in the testicles doesn't thrill me (she's blind and tends to touch everything within an arm's length distance) and 2) Howie doesn't trust me to drive in the snow. That's fine with me. I could do without seeing the inside of a supermarket for the next year!

These kids are like a herd of termites, eating their way through their bodies weight in Dora yogurt, goldfish crackers and chicken nuggets. Not to mention apple juice...even if I water it down!

It also doesn't help that I'm in a cookie making frenzy. I've made sugar cookies topped with Hershey kisses, chocolate-oatmeal chewies, rice crispy treats and am working on ginger snaps, brownies, blue berry muffins and gingerbread cookies. I can't control myself - somebody stage an intervention and come over and pry the spatula out of my greasy hands!!

*Beep, beep, beep, beep*

That would be the call of the oven timer announcing the birth of yet another batch of sugar cookies; delicious little drops of heaven topped with chocolate.

Well, I guess I should finish up this baking so that I can run out of butter which will necessitate yet another trip to the supermarket. If we ever move I am stipulating that our new residence must be within a 2 minute walking distance of Stop-N-Shop.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Children Go Where I Send Thee

Yesterday we attended Birdie's school Christmas Concert where the kids sang a collection of songs from many different countries and cultures from around the world. It featured songs like "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" (Africa), "Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers" (United States), "Shepherd's Carol" (South America), "There Was A Pig Went Out To Dig" (England), "He Is Born" (France), "Oh Come Little Children", (Germany) and "All Night, All Day" (American, African, South American). Birdie's class sang "Dreidel Song" in both English and Israeli.

It was nothing short of amazing and heart-warming. Those kids were so smooth and sweet that you could drizzle them over pancakes!

It was standing room only and from what I was told, it was the same for the morning show. It's awesome to see so many parents supporting both the school and the kids but there's a cut off of two tickets per family which kills me because I know for a fact that Mamaw would be over the moon to attend such an event! We did manage to get the whole thing on video which was a miracle because we haven't exactly been Spielberg worthy when it comes to documenting our children's lives.

I shot a couple of crappy pictures. I would post them, dark as they are, but they all have other people's children in them and I don't think it would be cool to post them without having a consent form signed by the parents. I shouldn't be so thoughtful, many of those parents were wretched. One of them didn't even apologize when he flung himself over me and then proceeded to elbow me in the chest before he trampled my face. Okay, so it was not quite THAT bad but some of them seriously need to ask their doctors to prescribe them an extra strength dose of chill pills. I can't say that I didn't call a few of them dirty names under my breath (don't tell Santa).

We were in the nosebleed section despite the fact that we arrived 45 minutes early! Apparently, it's the hottest show in town and if we want to get anywhere near the front row next year, we will have to set up camp in front of the school the night before and bring our sleeping bags and pee cups.

So, since I can't post pictures or video without fear of law suit, I will post this instead, my favorite song from yesterday. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dear Howie

1 comment:
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life with three kids and jobs and carpools, I forget to stop and tell you how much I love you. Sure, you get on my nerves all the time sometimes but I love you unconditionally. Even if you often make me want to rip out your spinal cord with a salad fork. And yes, I do tell you that I love you everyday but I don't always tell you why.

The truth is that, plain and simple, I adore you; always have. And while we annoy each other, as most couples do, in the long run it means nothing because when I really stop and look at you, I see nothing but wonderful.

Now, I know that you read this blog, which is why I'm writing this directly to you. But I must warn you, this is going to get mushy so don't start crying. We don't want a replay of what happened that time you caught a scene from "The Notebook". And don't let your head get all inflated to the point where it interferes with your ability to think. Especially since you'll be home from work all next week, I don't want you thinking you can demand daily blowjobs saying, "didn't you say something about adoring me and seeing nothing but wonderful?"

So, here it goes. Not all, but some of the reasons why I love you. I love...

1. How you always miss a patch of hair when you shave.
2. How you watch me sleep.
3. How your giggle makes me giggle.
4. How no matter how much you don't want to, you'll do anything for your mom.
5. How you can never tell your blue socks from your black ones.
6. How you'll text me in the middle of the day to tell me that you love me.
7. How you smell.
8. How you do dishes (that's super sexy by the way and will definitely get you more blowjobs).
9. How your big fingers manage to twirl around tiny pink rubber bands when you do Bear's hair.
10. How you cried when my mom died.
11. How you look in your pin-striped suit.
12. How you think that fantasy football is really all about "skilz".
13. How you have a special way of drying off after a shower.
14. How you can remember your phone number from when you were 5 but not remember today's date.
15. How you ignore me when I'm clearly being unreasonable.
16. How you always make sure I have gas in my mini-van.
17. How you scream like a Nancy when I sneak up and scare you.
18. How me and the kids always come first in your book .
19. How you I.M. me from upstairs to ask for toilet paper.
20. How you love me (as cliche' as that may sound).
21. How you grope me when I'm loading the dishwasher.
22. How even though you claim to hate the cat you will stay up until midnight to make sure he comes in.
23. How you kiss me as soon as you come home from work.
24. How you tear up during "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".
25. How smart you are.
26. How you're always wearing shorts in snowy weather and wondering why you're cold.
27. How you will tell me to "have a great time" if I go out and you are faced with putting 3 crazy kids to bed.
28. How you'd rather get calluses from your wedding ring, than take it off.
29. How freaking hilarious you are.
30. How you love me (I know I said that twice, but that's because it's that important)

If I've learned anything over the past year, it's to slow down and appreciate the people who mean the most to me, to acknowledge their importance and let them know how much I love them. I do love you. In fact, I love you MORE. And if you challenge me to a game of paper, rock, scissors to prove it, I will KICK your ass (like I always do). I know I don't say it enough and you deserve to hear it more often because in the end, I know that when it comes to husbands, I struck gold. Alright, fine...maybe you do deserve a blowjob.

I.L.U.M 8x8

A False Alarm

Some jackass did me a huge disservice yesterday when they told Birdie that we were going to have a winter storm and school would be canceled this morning. She was positively giddy last night, anticipating mountains of snow that would require the jaws of life to dig us out of our ice encrusted house.

When I tiptoed into her room this morning she announced proudly that, "I don't have school this morning, remember." I was sad to break the bad news that there was only a dusting of snow on the ground. Oh, who am I kidding, I whipped her curtains open, pointed outside and starting dancing and singing, "you have school today, you have school today, neener, neener, neeeeener!"

She didn't appreciate my interpretative dance of mockery.

"No mom, someone told me that we don't have school today and I already have plans." "Yeah, well so do I and they involve lots and lots of adult debauchery like watching trashy, daytime television while eating a bowl of chocolate frosting."

We came downstairs and I clicked the TV on, just to verify. Me, Birdie and Howie stood glued to the television while it scrolled painfully slow through the list of school delays and cancellations. Our town was not listed *pumps fist*

Birdie collapsed into a pile of forced sobs. Within seconds she was on to her next strategy.
Her: *clutching her mid-section and doubling over* "Mom, my stomach hurts sooooooo bad, I can't go to school"
Me: "You're fine."
Her: *touching the back of her hand to her forehead* "I think I have a fever, I'm really hot."
Me: "You're fine."
Her: *trying hard to look pathetic* "My body hurts so much, I think I'm having a heart attack."
Me: "Well, be sure to tell Grandma I love her when you see her."

She moaned and groaned and grimaced for the next hour while I made breakfast and packed lunches. Truth be told, I worry that I didn't put enough stock into her complaints. The logical part of my brain tells me that she is full of shit but the mommy part of my brain worries that I sent her off to school being a ticking time bomb of avian flu, scarlet fever and congestive heart failure.

I'm sure she's fine and she and her brother are now out of the house which is a good thing because I have the Appalachian mountains worth of clothes piled up in my closet, dust bunnies eating dust bunny babies all over the house and floors so sticky that the cat is still trying to dis-attach himself. I don't have anything to do today but clean and cook and listen to Christmas carols which strange as it sounds, is comforting. Not having to go anywhere, rush around and pack is such a relief. It's sad really, when you look forward to toilet cleaning and laundry sorting. The fact that the kids (most of them anyway) won't be here to get in my way makes it even better. If I had to do it all while tripping over them I would have just wept. And then claimed to have my own heart attack.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friendship or Hateship

The other day, my friend Karen gave me a ziploc bag full of slop and a piece of paper with the title "Amish Friendship Bread". I'm supposed to leave this bag of stuff on my counter for the next ten days. The first five days have strict and technical instructions to "mush the bag." I'm on day 6 and today I get to add flour. And sugar and milk.

Call me crazy but am I not making a concoction of rancid milk and moldy wet flour? Is she trying to show me how much I mean to her or is she trying to poison me?

I keep having to remember to "mush" it. And then sometimes, without telling me, Howie will mush it too and I don't know if that's okay. Plus, I keep losing the instructions and am not sure I'm really on the right day. It's starting to ferment and the bag is full of air and when I let it out it didn't exactly smell, erm...appetizing.

If you ask me, it's a lot of mushing, and mixing, and adding and waiting and baking and separating and marking and not enough eating. Seriously Karen, is this supposed to be friendship bread or hateship bread because it's a lot of work. And pressure. And I'm getting stressed out!

What's with these Amish women anyway? The way they honor their friends is by making them work harder? How bout this, Karen. Instead of separating the batter into five different bags and distributing it, why don't I just call up five of my closest friends and tell them to come over and clean my house. Because I want to show how much I care.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't appreciate the gesture. And Karen loves me and if she reads this she will roll her eyes and give me the finger (yes I can see you). But really, in the future if any of you want to show how much you value my friendship, just bring me the things that I love the most. Lots and lots of tequila...and porn.

Love Stinks

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Howie: *sniff*
Me: "What are you sniffing? My feet? It's my feet isn't it? They stink, right? Do you think they stink?"
Howie: "uh, no...I was just breathing...but now that you mention it...*sniiiiiiiiiif*
Me: "Stop it! They're stinky from my gym shoes."
Howie: *sniffing and giggling*
Me: "Oh if you want to smell them that bad I will rub them all over your face but when you wake up from your coma don't say that I didn't warn you!"
Howie: *more sniffing*
Me: "STOP it! Stop breathing already! I'm self-conscious."
Howie: *breathing out of the side of his mouth and sounding a LOT like Darth Vader* "I HAVE to breathe!"
Me: "Okay, that's it. I need to soak these funky babies in something disinfectant. Like Pinesol!"

Monday, December 15, 2008


I first met Spencer in 1998. Howie took me to Mamaw's house for some reason or another and he was there. He was her seeing eye dog; a big, energetic, fluffy golden retriever who would, if given the opportunity, lick the skin right off of you.

He LOVED Howie because he would take him outside and wrestle with him until he was forced to put Howie in a head-lock and fart in his face.

His job was to lead Ellie (Mamaw) to and from work in the capital building of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she owned a concession stand. He was good at his job. Ellie said that he was one of the most reliable dogs she ever had. Except for that one time when he barreled down the steps of the capital and nearly landed Mamaw face-down on the sidewalk.

When Mamaw and Pappy retired and decided to travel the country, they didn't know what to do with Spence. Since Howie and I adored him and always wanted him for ourselves, we quickly offered to take him. He joined our family in early 2005 and has been a huge part of our family ever since.

I say huge because he was...a giant, hairy beast with droopy eyes and rank breath. But oh, how he could snuggle. He loved to be brushed or pet and quite enjoyed licking up fallen goldfish crackers. He was a connoisseur of apples, carrots and cat food.

He enjoyed taking walks through the neighborhood and really like stopping every ten feet to take a dump on everyone's yard. He didn't want anyone to feel left out! He was infinitely patient with the kids who tried to ride him bareback, stick their fingers in his butt hole, poke his eyes and bite his nose.

We often found him sprawled out on our couch in the wee hours of the morning with his head snuggled in a throw pillow. He was petrified of thunder storms, he rarely barked and made a terrible guard dog. If someone would have broke into the house in the middle of the night he would have been like, "dude, scratch me right here...just under my leg... oh,and you can help yourself to anything. Mi casa es tu casa!"

We were all shocked and heartbroken when we woke up on the morning of December 7th, 2008 and found that Spencer had passed away. He was twelve and a half years old. He gave us no indication that he was deathly ill. We had been petting him just hours before he passed and he seemed as normal as ever.

We miss him so much. The house seems painfully empty when we come home, there is nobody to greet us with an enthusiastically wagging tail. Nobody to lick spills from the kitchen floor. . I miss those giant eyes, those soft tufts of fur. We love him and miss him so much! There is such a huge void in the house. I keep expecting to look over and see him begging for a bite of my veggie burger. I keep expecting to step over him or see his sweet, familiar mug looking up at me.

Farewell, old man. Thanks for the snuggles, for the friendship and for the love. We'll miss you more than I could ever describe. Forever and always.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Green Is My Favorite Color

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In Birdie's classroom, there exists a highly sophisticated system of keeping the kids in check. A stoplight system where at the slightest nudge, the teacher moves the children from a green light to a yellow which means that they have been warned. Birdie takes to these warnings much like I take to yellow stop lights - as a provocation to gun the accelerator into break-neck speeds with our tires screeching and smoke billowing out from the melted rubber left in our rear-view. So, it's not exactly shocking when she often comes home on yellow...or red...or with her license completely revoked.

We've been working hard, both at school and at home, to work with Birdie to try to reinforce good behavior. It seems to be working. We give her small rewards. At school she gets to lead the lunch line or take slips to the office. At home she gets to polish her fingernails or pick dinner. We've seen great improvement! This week she came home with FIVE greens which means that she didn't require so much as a whisper of a warning for the entire week. I feel like doing the monkey dance!!

We promised her that she could go to the movies if she accomplished such a feat, so yesterday we prepared ourselves to sit through an hour of "Madagascar II" or "Bolt". She surprised us by saying that she wanted to go duck bowling instead. Since it was her special day, we agreed and off we went.

I swear, the people who have the misfortune of watching us in public must feel like they've stumbled on a long lost episode of "The Three Stooges". Although, we have more stooges.

We stumbled into the bowling alley with our ears still bleeding from the scream fest that ensued in our car when we tried to take Bear's Dora balloon away from her. It was dark which only added to our disorientation. We were bumping into each other and stepping on each other's feet. The kids were poking each other in the eyes and I gave Howie a wet willy for good measure.

We got our shoes and headed for the lane. It was super dark with disco strobe lights making shadows of stars on the walls and our clothes glowing under the black lights. Naturally, we couldn't figure out how to get our lane turned on - it's been ages since we've been bowling. When we finally got it started the kids raced for the balls, sized much like a grapefruit but weighing four times as much.

Birdie didn't quite grasp the concept of rolling the ball, preferring to toss it overhand like a curve ball headed toward a catcher's mit in the last inning of the world series. It landed on the wood floors with a thud that could be heard across half the state of Connecticut. Bubba wasn't much better although his tiny arms didn't afford him much of a pitch. Bear was content to fondle the balls ( oh that sounds dirty), I mean...grab the balls (that's no better), I mean pick up the hand-sized bowling equipment.

The kids ran around like a pack of discombobulated animals. Bubba threw his ball in somebody else's lane before we caught him. If it weren't for his shoes glowing green we would have never found him. Then they all huddled around the machine that brings the balls back, Bear picked up one of said balls and threw it right on Bubba's foot. He stood in shock and then melted down, shrieking cries that could only barely be heard over the thumping base blaring from the overhead speakers.

Needless to say, we didn't last the full alloted hour of bowling festivities, retreating instead to the arcade where Birdie dove head-first into the challenge of getting as many token tickets as possible. I have to hand it to her, she did pretty darned well. She came out with a yo-yo, a small peppermint patty, a piece of gum and a sour taffey.

It was worth it, albeit the hysterics and high blood pressure. They had a great time and although we're not quite ready to admit it- so did we.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Snack That Smiles Back


Birdie decided that since we won't buy her an actual goldfish (she has two betas) she was going to make her own! Then, she put them in a big glass bowl and swirled them around.

Nothing like the taste of permanent marker to go with the crunch of a goldfish! It gives it that nice industrial flavor.

This reminds me of that episode on "Friends" where Chandler's psycho roommate gets a "pet fish" and puts it in a giant fish tank. When Chandler goes to look at it he realizes it's a goldfish cracker.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's Christmas card time again, that time of year that I dread with serious revulsion. I LOVE getting Christmas cards. I just don't love sending them and that is mostly because I have kids. And what do people expect from people with kids? Pictures!

I am NOT a good photographer but even if I were a talented professional I would still have problems. Those problems being my three squirrely kids! Have you ever tried to get three kids to sit still at the same time, pose for a picture and smile. It's damn near impossible.

Let me put it this way, if you don't have three kids and you want to know what it's like, go out and get three hungry, squirmy little pigs. Smother them in K-Y jelly and try wrestling them in a tub of jello. And even then you would only come PARTIALLY close to what it takes to wrangle my spawn.

I was lucky because my friend Shari (who has a nice camera and a lot of pity for me) offered to take some pictures for us. She did a great job despite the screaming and crying and obscene hand gestures. What can I say, I got carried away. And the kids were horrible too! She did get a few good shots which I am posting for you to see. If you are on my Christmas card list please pretend to be surprised when you see them!!

The best picture of them looking at the camera. Bear isn't smiling but at least her head isn't spinning around and she's not vomiting pea soup like in the other pictures.

Notice my horrible fake tree in the background. It might look more natural if I actually spread the branches out instead of leaving them completely horizontal.

Another picture included on our Christmas card. I think it's the sweetest thing. It gives meaning to our "hugs and kisses" line on our card. I tried to convince Shari that a picture of me and Howie tongue wrestling would have the same effect but she seemed to disagree. You know how picky those artists can be about their "work".

She also said my kids don't kiss right in pictures. I haven't taught them how to give the money shots yet so we'll have to make due with this one.

The last picture on the card. I love Bubba's expression and I think Bear's smile is adorable. She looks so sweet and innocent. Don't let the picture fool you!

I want to say a special "thank you" to the unathletic anaphylactic mom who took these pictures whom without I would have spent over a benjamin buying stinking Christmas cards for people who will look at them for two seconds and then chuck them in the garbage. Instead I got my cards for the incredibly discounted price of $28.50! I love you Shari. Alot! And not in the "like a friend" sort of way. In the "taste of her cherry chapstick" kind of way. *wink*

Yum, Yum!

1 comment:
The other day in the supermarket, I spotted an intriguing looking spaghetti squash (it was wearing high heels and WAY too much make-up). I had heard something about them being a healthy alternative to pasta and was curious. I bought it even though I had no clue how to cook it or include it in a meal, nothing. I could have cut open the squash and scooped out tiny Christmas elves and it wouldn't have surprised me. I had no clue what to expect from the thing!

I did what every ignorant person does: I googled. I typed in "spaghetti squash and chicken" and an awesome little recipe popped up. I tried it out last night and let me just say, it was effing spectacular! Hold on for a second while I pause from typing and pat myself on the back.

The kids didn't do cartwheels over it but they aren't exactly food connoisseurs, unless of course you're talking about chicken nuggets. They know them some chicken nuggets!

Wanna try something new for dinner? Try this on for size, you won't be disappointed!

Spaghetti Squash and Chicken Skillet
3 Tb Butter or Margarine
1 c Sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 c Chopped leeks (I used asparagus. Because I love it and want to have it's babies.)
1/4 c Chopped celery
3 Tb Chopped sweet red pepper
3 Tb Finely chopped fresh parsley

2 c Cooked spaghetti squash (I cut mine in half, placed in a glass dish with a little water and microwaved for 10 minutes, then I used a fork to scoop the "noodles")
4 Boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into thin strips
1/4 c Crushed seasoned croutons
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Seasoned pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic powder

1/2 c Sour cream
2 oz Shredded Swiss cheese (1/2 cup)

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add spaghetti squash and next 6 ingredients, cook 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in sour cream, cook, stirring constantly, just until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 1 minute.

Quick. Easy. Healthy(mostly). Try it! Your bellies will thank you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Merry Friggin Chistmas

One of the hardest decisions I ever made was choosing a nursing care facility for my mom. I'm sure it would have been harder if I knew she would be in there indefinitely but I knew she was only going to stay long enough to recover from her amputation and be stable enough to travel to Connecticut. Irregardless, it sucked.

The place I chose was called The Belmont Lodge in Pueblo, Colorado. It was a nice place, came highly recommended by the hospital and my mom had been there before and liked it. It didn't smell of death or urine, which was a good sign. Still, it was depressing. It had a huge cafeteria with institutional tables, cold floors and hard furniture, and smelled like medicine and pine sol.

As I walked down the halls, I peeked into the rooms and saw people sitting in wheelchairs, staring into nothingness. Others writhed in their beds. A few times someone would look up and my eyes would meet theirs. I smiled but no one ever smiled back. Their faces were expressionless and they looked at me without a glimmer of happiness or recognition. Maybe they didn't know or understand that I was there. Or maybe they were so miserable that they couldn't muster a smile. Either way, it was disheartening. I could hear screaming coming from some rooms which scared me but not as much as the woman who kept following me around trying to feel my sweater.

My mom's room was small and had a tiny bed, a dresser and a bedside table. It was cold and bright and empty.

I couldn't believe that this is where my mom was going but I kept telling myself it was only temporary and deep down I knew that I had no other choice. She checked into the lodge on the 20th of November. It wasn't long until I started getting phone calls from her telling me how much she hated it. She was always cold so my aunt bought her some sweat outfits and warm socks. She had a roommate when she first moved in but the woman attacked her and was moved to another wing.

She didn't have a phone in her room so it was difficult to talk to her and when I did, we only had a few minutes before someone was screaming too loud for me to hear her or she fell asleep in her wheelchair and the phone fell to the floor. I don't know everything she endured while she was there but she did say she was lonely, cold, scared, hungry and depressed.

I tried to encourage her by reminding her it was temporary and talking about how life would be when she got out. Of course, she never did get out. She was only there for thirteen days when she died. I try to imagine what it was like for her in the end. I imagine that it was cold and dark in her room and she was under the covers asleep. In a good scenario she is dreaming peacefully, her heart stops and she suffers nothing. In a bad scenario she is alone in the room, scared out of her mind and unable to call out to anyone. She is surrounded by people yet completely alone in those final moments...abandoned...terrified.

I hate that she was there alone and I know there are many people who suffer that circumstance everyday. I arranged for our moms club to carol at a local rehab center for seniors in an effort to give back, to make someone's day brighter. We brought the kids out and one mom brought her guitar and we started singing. I was late, delayed by the rain and my sleepy daughter. I was excited to be there, knowing it was a great thing to do. I never expected what would happen next.

I started walking down the halls to meet the group, peeking into rooms as I walked. Rooms occupied by people sitting in wheelchairs and staring into space. Rooms with patients writhing in their beds. I joined the group and started singing. I made eye contact with a few people and felt a tsunami of grief roll in waves through my body. I tried so hard to stifle the tears, to distract myself. It didn't work and I started crying uncontrollably. Damn it! I know WHY this is happening but I didn't expect it to be so strong.

Every time I saw a wheelchair I saw my mom. Every time I saw someone's expressionless face I thought of her. There. Alone. I guess I just wasn't ready. My intentions were good but I just wasn't ready to face that. I feel bad. I made a blubbering idiot out of myself. I was supposed to be there to spread joy and cheer and laughter and instead I depressed the shit out of everyone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Have A Hot Ass

1 comment:
Brrrrrr. It's friggin' cold out there! Granted, it's warmer than yesterday but daaaamn. Oklahoma girls were simply not built to endure the New England winters! Tornadoes I can handle. Frigid winters...not so much.

And the cold seems to be affecting me more now that I am getting older *cracks neck*. I used to be able to throw on a coat and frolick in the cold weater until my fingers went numb and my nose fell off. Now, I necessitate a coat, gloves, scarf, warm pants, thick socks and boots. All of that, just to open the door to let the cat in. If I don't, I get a chill and my body's reaction is not as simple as some stiff nipples and a shiver. I literally feel pain down into my muscles and bones.

Mamaw says this is what happens when you get old *pops a tums*. I used to think that old people retired to Florida because of it's sandy beaches and clear ocean waters. Now I know it's because their frail old bodies can't withstand the temperature to drop below 80 degrees without their joints locking.

In the meantime I will bundle up. Well, until tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be back up in the 60's. I swear the weather is bi-polar. One day the sun in shining and you're wearing a t-shirt and capris and the next day you have to wear your snow suits and cover your face to make it from your car to your front door. I actually turned on my seat warmers in the mini-van today. Toasty! You know what that means, right? It means that I have a really hot ass. Literally!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

"Twilight" Update

Admittedly, I began reading this book with a high degree of skepticism. It couldn't possibly be as good as everyone is making it out to be.

I'm only half-way through the book and while I'm not ready to swoon and expose my throbbing jugular to the next vampire I see, I can concede that this book definitely draws you in.

It's hard not to become invested in these characters. I hate that I can't just sit and read the whole thing. I think that, if given the opportunity, I would drink it up in one large gulp without breathing!

I hope to finish the book by tomorrow which might take a bit of a miracle. Or a sleep-less night. Something tells me that it would be entirely worth it!

Super Sperm


Ugh. I don't know what the heck is wrong with me, my stomach is so sick! Maybe I'm coming down with some kind of super virus or maybe I'm having some weird reaction to something I ate. Who knows.

I went to the Y yesterday with every intention of getting my work out on but didn't make it through my intended 2 hour pain fest. I usually do an hour of sculpting followed by an hour of spinning which inevitably leaves me ravenous to the point where I consider eating my fellow gym mates. Seriously, I could gnaw through their calves, just for the protein.

Knowing this, I decided to switch things up and eat a bowl of oatmeal before I left for the gym. Big mistake. I was so nauseous. Half-way through my squats I had to stop and breathe so that I wouldn't blow chunks all over everybody. It took everything I had to get through that class but stubborn as I am, I refused to punk out before it was over.

When I got home and told Howie about my sick stomach he said the same thing he does every time I get a goofy belly or my period is 2 nanoseconds late: "Maybe you're pregnant!"

And he says this with a hint of mockery in his tone and a smirk on his face. He thinks it's funny despite the fact that he was snipped nearly 2 years ago and if I did happen to turn up pregnant it would mean that I finally gave into Justin Timberlake's advances ( I know he wants me) and cheated.

But he's not even considering that. His first thought would be that he must have such super sonic action hero sperm who (donned in spandex and capes) actually teleported from one snipped tube to the next, battling obstacles in their way by projecting lightning bolts and using their gamma rays. It would mean the ultimate validation of his manliness. His sperm can actually defy nature...they are THAT potent!

It's the same reason that he walked around on cloud nine for weeks after my announcement of each of my pregnancies. You would think that he was excited to become a daddy, to enjoy the wonders of parenthood or have someone to carry on his name. That wasn't it. He was just happy that his loaded weapon was shooting live rounds instead of blanks and there would be actual physical evidence to prove it!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dr. Oz? Is That You?


A couple of weeks ago, our kids had a play date over at my friend Bill's house. For the longest time I had been thinking that he reminded me of someone and couldn't figure it out but then BAM it hit me. Dr. Oz!

We were teasing him at the party and a few people were in consensus that yes indeed, he does look a little like Dr. Oz. He even sounds like him too! What do you think? Bill's response? "He's pretty good looking. And smart too!"

You Look Like A Monkey...And You Smell Like One Too!

The party was a huge success! We had pizza. We had cake. I forgot the ice cream. I had it in the freezer I just forgot it completely. I also forgot to distribute the beer (the kids drank vodka instead).

The house was packed with kids ages 7 to 1 and they all ran around like little tornadoes, with debris shooting out from them as they ran past. They had a blast. They also had a dance party where they jammed out to "Mickey". Birdie found one of my 80's cds and has been blaring that song in her room for the last two weeks. It's annoying because it's impossible to listen to that song without breaking out into song and dance. The urge to roll my jeans up, put on some leg warmers and crimp my hair is unbearable!

I think I missed my calling. I should have been a professional cake decorator! Bubba is totally into farm animals right now so the theme of his party was John Deere. He had all of the matching accessories plus I set up a big tractor around his table and had balloons (green and yellow) on the table as well.

He was "psyched" about his cake. Or so he said. The gravel road is made of brown sugar and the grass was coconut that I dyed with green food coloring. Add some play farm animals and viola! A happy birthday boy!

Bear's theme was Dora The Explorer. I'm sure she would have preferred a Diego theme but since that was kind of boyish I decided against it. Shari did get her a life-size plush Diego doll which she immediately turned to and was like, "yo sexy man, would you like me to show you my crib later?"

She also loved the balloons. Those balloons were a pain in the ass! Yes, they added to the ambiance of the party but every kid wanted one and because of the high ceilings in our house and the nature of small children, the balloons would go flying up, up, up until inevitably someone (mostly my kids) ended up in tears. I spent a good amount of the time chasing after those damn balloons. What the hell was I thinking?

The Dora mylar balloon is still clinging to our ceiling fan in the family room and it shall remain there until sometime around Easter.

I also made Bear's Dora cake. I can't even believe I'm posting this pic because it contains her real name and I don't usually do that. I did this design for lack of anything else to do. I had bought her those little Dora figurines and Bubba had the tree from his dinosaur box. I made the frosting flowers with the frosting in the can that comes with an assortment of attachements right on the topper. Easy shmeasy.

They got tons of toys including a huge Elmo and Diego doll, books, flash cards, sippie cups, dolls, a Hess truck, tools and much, much more. And despite my threats to poison with strychnine anyone who bought my kids noisy toys, Bear's godmother bought her a noisy little bug. It's the cutest thing and in her defense she didn't know it was noisy when she bought it but DAMN! Bubba immediately started rolling it through the house and our eardrums exploded and I turned to her and said, "what the hell did I ever do to you!" She is SO going to get her cummupance some day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Miss Her

Today makes a full year since my mom died. And you know what? What they say is absolutely true, the first year really is the shits! The first few months were excruciating and then it did get a little better but this morning when 7:00 rolled around and I realized that a year ago today I got that phone call and my world came crashing down, I broke down in gurgling sobs.

In all honesty, the pain isn't as raw as it was then. It's about 80% and from what I hear it continues to get better. I have come to a place of acceptance and that has brought me a great deal of peace. I miss her SO much. I want her here. The feeling of wanting to hear her voice and ask her a simple question is overwhelming. It's just that such a huge part of me is missing and when I go to lean on it, I falter. I would never want her to be here in the condition she was in, she was miserable. But oh how I wish she had taken better care of herself so that she could be here, sharing this (which I believe is the best) part of my life. It aches to know how much she is missing.

Yeah, yeah...she's watching down on me and she's proud of me and yadda yadda. Yes, I know that's true and people say that to make me feel better but in all honesty, she's gone and nothing can change that. She isn't here to drizzle kisses all over my kids. She won't be here to celebrate a birthday or a holiday or a graduation.

I've decided to try to make today a joyous day. Really, it's a way to distract myself so that my head doesn't get all boggled down. It hurts but there is no sense in dwelling on it. I'm having Bubba and Bear's tandem birthday parties tonight. We will let them eat pizza and cake and play with their friends. I will smile and be happy for them because they are growing up and I'm proud of them and love them so much. But when we sing them "happy birthday" I will surely have to hold back my tears because more than anything I would wish that my mom was here to share it all with us.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jumping On The Bandwagon

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For the past few weeks I've been hearing my girlfriends "ooh" and "aah" about some book called "Twilight". And now there is a movie and they are all swooning. I say that because at the very mention of the book they all slap the back of their hands against their foreheads and faint from the overwhelming awesomeness that supposedly is this book.

It's everywhere: internet, tv, facebook and even the moms club. The club is having a "Twilight" scream fest next week where they plan on stripping down naked and rubbing the book all over each other.

I just don't get it but I haven't read the book either and to be honest, I'm a little curious. Hey, what could it hurt, right? An engaging, romantic book to keep me company on the cold days? Sounds good to me. Besides, I need something like this to take the smut out of my head from the last book I read. Don't get me wrong, I love me some smut and "My Prerogative" definitely delivered. But a little romance never did anyone any harm although my friend Kris warned me that while I will be swept up in the romance of it all, my floors will not be swept up until I finish it because it's THAT addictive. My floors never get swept anyway so I have nothing to lose!

My friend Alisa has been so kind as to loan me the book today. Twilight fever starts in 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-0. I'll keep you posted :-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Someday A Local Orthodontist Will Become Very Wealthy

Me: "Okay Birdie, time to brush your teeth."
Birdie: "No, I can't brush my teeth tonight."
Me: "Whaddaya mean you can't brush your teeth?"
Birdie: "I can't brush my teeth when my poop is hard!"
Me: *Rolling eyes and sighing*

And she wonders why half of the teeth in her mouth are covered with caps! By the way, she lost this battle. I told to bring her hard poopy butt to the bathroom because Santa was watching at that very second and she didn't want him to see her being uncooperative! Then he'd have to move her to the naughty list and bring her a big fat lump of coal for Christmas. Man, I love Santa. He's the best leverage a parent can buy. Just tonight the kids cleaned up their messes and played nicely and only gouged one of each other's eyes out instead of the normal two. I bet if I played my cards right I'd be able to get one to hand feed me tiny marshmallows while the other one massages my feet and the third fans me with a giant feather!