Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Hinky Heater

Last night when we put Bubba to bed we noticed that his room was freezing. Not just a little, cold...I mean meat locker, stand your nipples at attention cold.

We immediately shot each other dirty looks because it wasn't but a month ago that we had a heating guy out here who fixed, inspected and gave our heating system a seal of approval through the next winter! Somofabitch!

Howie went downstairs to investigate and stared at the hot water heater for about 20 minutes before proclaiming it "jacked up". Luckily, he was able to fumble with it long enough to fix the problem.

Thank goodness for him. And his tinkering skills.

If it weren't for Howie, I would be lost when it comes to things like the breaker box or the water heater or the lawn tractor. I'm useless if you need to connect a router to your computer or connect your TV to a DVD player.

I'm not totally certain whether I'm incompetent with such things because I'm stupid or because I'm lazy. Both sound like perfectly reasonable explanations if you ask me.

I'd like to say that we are equal opportunity chore do-ers in this house but really Howie has the light-bulb changing, gutter cleaning and spider killing all to himself!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adoption Update

We've completed two more weeks of the adoption classes. Last week's was really tough. We had to see things that I was not prepared to see and face issues that I had not anticipated.

How do we bond with a child who has never bonded with anyone in their lives? How do we muster the patience to care for a baby who has been exposed to drugs? How do we love a child who rejects love?

We've learned all about bonding and grief and special needs and development and discipline.

Yesterday's class was much easier and I'm realizing that these classes are really terrific for not only prospective foster and adoptive parents but also parents in general. I've learned A LOT about my own children. We've identified so many things that we do right. We also do a couple of things wrong and now we can make adjustments.

I have always felt like I was a good mom but there was always a voice in the back of my head that wondered if I was a great mom. Then, I would look at other mothers and make comparisons. Well, this mother does crafts or bakes with her child everyday. And this other mother doesn't let her kids watch TV. And so-and-so has perfectly behaved kids. And this other woman's kids are always dressed in such cute outfits!

It's hard not to see those things and wonder if by not doing them, you are a bad mom. Or even worse...everyone is better than you! I questioned myself a lot. Why would anyone in their right mind want to give me an adoptive child if I don't even know if I'm good enough for my OWN kids!?!

These classes have taught me that I'm a really great mom for one reason: my kids are happy and safe. Being a good mom does not mean that your kids are dressed in perfectly pressed GAP clothes everyday or that you give them every opportunity and luxury known to man. When it boils down to it, parenting is very simple. All you have to do is love and everything else comes follows naturally.

I also think it's ironic that I've been questioning my parenting when other people have been thinking the opposite. My son's teacher, for example, who has seen me at my worst, offered this sentiment :"it is by God's grace alone that a child innocently born into tragedy, will end up one of the luckiest children in the world by having you as parents." She made me cry.

We also met the social worker who will certify us and make placement. His name is Doug. He's a very nice fellow who smiled an evil grin when we told him we wanted to adopt a child. His smile bent wickedly as he explained how he would be certifying us for non one, but FOUR children. Because he clearly hates me and knew that those words would send me into a full blown panic attack.

Howie must be coming around because right after that he said, "well...we'd be willing to consider two." And then I peed myself.

Chances are, that won't happen. One is my limit (I think). And seeing as how this process is going so fast, that's about all I'm prepared to handle. As it stands, our last class will be the 25th of April and we have until then to complete our paperwork. Doug wants to come over the last week of April or the first week of May and said that he would most likely be offering us a child while the ink was drying on our certification paperwork. There are no guarantees but the smirks and snickers that come out of the social workers when we mention that there might not be a baby available make me believe otherwise.

This means we will have a baby by as early as May. God help us, for we are not prepared for the bomb that is getting ready to be set off in our lives.

All this time I've been focusing on the paperwork and classes and what-not. Now, the reality is setting in that I need to be preparing for a baby. NOW! I need to get Bear moved into a big girl bed because the crib will be otherwise occupied. I need to get baby gear and clothes and diapers and all that stuff that comes along with a new baby. I need to get as much sleep as humanly possible.

I also feel this intense need to nest. I want to get my spring cleaning done including cleaning my carpets and curtains. And on and on and on.

The clock is ticking and I better get my badunkadunk in gear!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

DJ Jazzy Mom And The Fresh Princess


Remember when I told you that I bought a Sportacus tank top for Shari? Well, apparently she is getting very good use out of it. She's trying really hard to channel her inner gansta. And I'm sure she chose the black and white color because the whiteness of her skin would cause the photograph to over-expose.

I think it's funny that she's trying to hide her face in this picture too. Especially since she exposed her naked rack to me today!

Did You Miss Me?

I'm sure you've noticed that I've been MIA for that last few days. Or maybe you haven't noticed because your life is sure to be complete without logging on to read the crap that I churn out.

In fact, you're probably like, "whew, thank GOD she took a day off because otherwise I might have felt compelled to read more of her mindless bullshit and now my brain has time enough to recover until she writes something else that causes me to lose more brain cells."

There's no particular reason for my absence except for that I've been in a bit of a funk. And the beauty of such a funk is that there is no particular reason for it. I'm not really sick, I don't have a stomach ache or a headache. I have plenty of energy. I'm not sad or tired or in a bad mood.

I'm actually in no kind of mood at all. I'm mood-less which for me is a big deal because I'm usually dialed up pretty good.

But this is just a warning of things to come because I feel a bit of build up of thoughts starting to come to the surface which means that I could sit down and write like twelve blogs at one time. Consider yourselves warned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It's one of my all time favorite scenes from a movie. The one in "Pretty Woman" where Julia Roberts is talking to her hooker friend about whether fairy tales really can come true. When she asks, "who has it really worked out for" her friend answers, "Cinderfuckingrella."

As much as I wrestle with the archaic idea of waiting to be rescued by a man, I love the themes of never giving up hope and believing in your dreams. And Birdie, well...Birdie loves the princesses because of one thing: they have amazing dresses. And sparkly crowns.

This last weekend, I took her to the Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptation of "Cinderella" performed by our local high school. It was what every high school musical is...mind-numbingly terrible. The acting was atrocious, the singing was horrible and thhe music was off, just enough to be irritating. Like when you have an itch on your back and you ask someone to scratch it and they do so just slightly left of your itch so that you feel like you want to crawl out of your skin.
But what can you expect from a high school musical? It's not like it's Broadway for crying out loud! But the best part? Well, that was watching Birdie's face light up every time the stage lights came on. It was watching her mouth the lyrics to "In My Own Little Corner" and seeing her beam when Prince Charming placed Cinderella's shoe on her foot. "I wish that was me, mom", she said with a dreamy look in her eyes.

We had a great time, a nice day out for the girls. The good news is that we didn't have to watch the naked cowboy sing "Eat Naked Beef" like that time we went to watch "The Little Mermaid" in NYC. Eek, I'm still having wet dreams nightmares about that!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Repost Tuesday

I was digging through some of my archives today and found myself really enjoying some of those old posts. These were some blogs that I drug over here from myspace. Have I ever told you that story? About how I used to blog on myspace but stopped because every time I logged out of that place I felt like I needed to scrub myself with antibacterial soap?

I was never one of those popular bloggers but I did have about 200 people who read me consistently. Sadly, I had to leave but some of them did follow me and I love you for it. *WAVES TO FANS*

Anyway, I've met a lot of new people here on Blogger and I find it to be a much more conducive (and healthy) place to blog in my style. I have a lot more creative freedoms and none of the crazies (I'm not talking about you, Shari...you ARE crazy.)

I thought I would share some of my old stuff which I personally think is some of my best stuff. For the next few weeks, Tuesdays will be REPOST TUESDAYS here at ANTM. I'll sift through some of the junky posts and share some of the best and funniest.

Here is the kick-off. I believe this is the second blog I ever wrote. It still makes my uterus want to fall out and run away.

One Of Those Days

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cleaning House

Last night I made the mistake of going though my mom's things while I was cleaning the basement. She had sent over about twenty boxes before she passed away because she was planning on moving here. I never had the courage to go through them.

I don't know what made me think I had the courage yesterday. Really, I don't think I was thinking at all. I opened the first box and found some plates and baking dishes. The second was full of her sewing stuff; thread, needles, pin cushions.

The third box was packed with pictures. I sifted through them, keeping the ones with people that I knew and tossing the ones with people I didn't recognize. I paused to wonder if I was throwing away a vital part of my past. Were these people I should know? Are they now lost to me forever?

I opened the fourth box. It was packed with clothes; my dad's socks, his handkerchiefs, his Virgin De Guadalupe belt buckle he had for as long as I could remember. I found my mom's pajamas and a few t-shirts.

They had all been stored safely in this box for the last seventeen months, wrapped tightly in the box and secured with about a pound of industrial strength tape. The minute I opened it I was hit with the smell. That smell. Their smell.

I know I shouldn't have but my first reaction was to pick up my dad's handkerchiefs and cover my face with it. I took a long, deep breath and instantly burst into tears. It was difficult but I don't regret doing it because it had been that long since I had smelled my mom, that familiar scent that overwhelmed my senses anytime I would give her a hug. That familiar scent that I would recognize with a smile when she would unpack her bags during a visit. That same smell that would blow across my face when I would go home to visit.

So it hit me. Like a Mack truck,which is how this process has gone for me thus far. I do terrific, I cope and heal but then all of a sudden it seems like I move the wrong way and my wound gets torn open to the point where my flesh is exposed and the pain in nearly unbearable.

I wonder if that's how it goes. Is that the way to healing or am I prolonging my pain? Am I healing superficially or from the inside out?

It struck me that it was ironic the way I never opened my mom's packed boxes. I stored them neatly on the storage shelf in our basement. Someplace dark and not often visited. I did the same with her funeral stuff. I bagged it all up and stuffed it in the back of my closet. I wonder sometimes if I haven't done that with the grief, just boxed it up and stored it away someplace that I don't have to face it everyday.

Maybe I'm not all wrong. Maybe it's just a matter of opening one box at a time, taking it step by step. Either way, the boxes have been removed from the shelves and shuffled through. The tears have dried up and there is now a giant open space on our storage shelves downstairs where I can put my Halloween decorations and dusty wine racks.

There is now space to grow, to stretch out. It's not as cluttered or dirty. There is organization and order. At least for a while.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Other People's Children

Every Thursday, I volunteer at my children's school. Sometimes I work in the library and other times I work in the computer lab, helping the kids with a program called "Reading Counts."

I had good intentions when I signed up for the program and really enjoyed it in the beginning but now it's a life sucking, time consuming pain in the hind quarters.

Yeah, yeah...I'm helping children develop a love for reading. Meh. I have my hands full teaching my own children the joys of reading. Trust me, it's not easy being the only role model in our family. I read books, Howie "reads" Playboy.

But I'm there. Every week. Because I committed to this at the beginning of the year and refuse to quit. There's only a few or eleven weeks of school left. That's eleven days, 13 hours, 30 minutes and a few seconds...give or take. I'm pretty sure I can hold my wad for that long.

Here's what I've learned about other people's children during my stint.

#1) Some people have much smarter, better behaved, cuter children than I do.
#2)Some people have much dumber, worse behaved, much uglier children than I do.
#3)Elementary school children smell. BAD!

I never noticed this with my own children, perhaps because I have grown accustomed to their stench but whewwwwww. Sometimes it takes all of my will power not to vomit while I'm leaned over those funky little people! The girls smell like fried cafeteria food and dirty hair. The boys smell like puppy breath. Hot and sweaty puppy breath. And dirty feet. Gag!

After my time is up, I wander the halls waiting for Bubba to be let out of his classroom. Sometimes I peek into his class and observe from a distance. Because I'm certain that he is much more charming to other people than he is to us. At least I'm hoping so.

Today, I took my time reading all of the bulletin boards posted on the hallway walls. One in particular caught my attention. The children had written essays about spring "time" for a telling time lesson. This is what some of them had written:

"At 6:00 in the morning time, I wake up and pee in my bed." I smell serial killer!

"At 3:00 in the day time, I come home and play my wii for ten hours." Wow, I've got to get me one of those wii babysitters!

"I like 4:00 in the morning time, I like to watch South Park." And I felt guilty letting Birdie stay up until 9:00 to watch Hannah Montana!

"When I wake up at 7:00 in the night I sometimes get to eat dinner. I'm having milk today." I jotted his name down and am calling child protective services tomorrow.

It's funny how my children drive me completely crazy and I think they must be the worst children on the face of the earth. That is until I'm around other people's children. Then I turn and look at mine who are jabbing play screwdrivers up their noses and I think, "wow...I got the good ones!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Fast Track


Last Saturday, we completed our first week of adoption classes that will run through the end of April.

We drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of donuts. Oh, and we learned a lot of stuff too.

Like the fact that we are on the fast track. We were supposed to have 120 days from the end of class in which to prepare all of our paperwork. But instead, we will be combining the two steps and completing the class AND paperwork by the beginning of May. Yay!

Let me just tell you how much I enjoy paperwork. *clears throat*

I like it as much as an un-anesthetized hysterectomy performed with a rusty chainsaw.
I enjoy it as much as being drizzled in honey and tied over an ant pile swarming with fire ants.
I love it as much as I would love having lemon juice poured over my freshly mangled lips.

Yes, I like it THAT much!

But it's a necessary evil. I suppose they really do need to know how many people I have slept with and which positions I enjoyed the most.

If the adoption process were a pregnancy, the paperwork would be that part when you wake up to find that you now have a giant cluster of hemorrhoids hanging out of your ass and you look at yourself in the mirror and say, "mother effing son-of-a whore...what did I ever do to deserve this!?!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Asshole's Asshole


I'm convinced that Minor's sole purpose in life is to drive me batshit.

He wakes me in the middle of the night. He constantly jumps on my clean counter tops, he torments our beta fish, he swats at the kids, he can't stand to be within eye shot of an open container of fluid without knocking it over and he's even taken a shit in our bathroom sink!

He rips at our carpets, chews on the toys, bites my plants and stares at me when I'm trying to poop.

I'm usually very good at making sure that the kids drinks have a topper. Or I make sure to give them only enough that they can drink in a single gulp. I always clear the table quickly and don't let the kids take drinks into any other rooms except the kitchen. But this morning I was in a hurry, trying to make the 9:30 circuit training class, so I was multitasking. Bear left her cup of milk on the table and walked across the room so that I could put her shoes on her.

I looked up at the very moment Minor jumped up on the table and we both paused momentarily to stare each other dead in the eyes. It was a showdown and we were both sizing each other up to see who would make the first move. It was like a scene out of a black and white western flick.

*Whistling music sets the mood*

The camera zooms in on his eyes and pans down to show his unflinching paws as they stroke the trigger. Then the camera zooms on my face and zeros in on the toothpick that I'm chewing out of the corner of my mouth and in the distance you can see a tumbleweed blowing across the frame.

I took a step towards him and he slowly raised his paw to gently touch the milk cup and I swear he winked at me as if to say, "you'll never make it over here in time to stop me, lady. I've got you by the short and curlies."

I barely spoke the "don't even" when he arrogantly swung around and kicked the cup so that milk spewed all over the table and splashed on the floor. I lunged at him but he was too quick. Damn that little asshole!

I'm so glad that Spring is finally arriving. His furry little butt will be spending ALL DAY outside, whether he likes it or not! He better not give me any lip... if he wants to live to see the summer!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Suggestions Welcome

To all those mommies out there, I pose this question: What do you do when one of your children is in one of those moods where all they do is cry?

I'm not talking about babies here, more like toddlers (ages 2-4) where it has nothing to do with needing a diaper changed or being hungry. I'm taking about when toddlers are in just such a mood where they cry at the drop of a hat and the crying continues until you feel like you would rather jab a screwdriver through your eardrums than listen to another second of the crying.

Nothing you can do helps. They don't want to be picked up. They don't want a drink or a snack or their lovey toy. They don't want to read a book or watch a movie. They scream through their bath and kick you when you try to cuddle them.

I ended up putting Bear in her crib. She had asked for a drink so I gave her some but I apparently put it in the wrong cup. Then, I didn't give her enough. I gave her more but that wasn't acceptable either so she slammed it down on the floor. This was after a good three hours of pretty constant screaming. I lost it. I took her right upstairs where she proceeded to scream. Non-stop. For an hour. I considered going in but knew that if I picked her up she would scream straight into my face and I'm sorry- I just won't listen to that. She eventually fell asleep and woke up in a much more pleasant mood. I hadn't considered she was sleepy because she had just woken up from 12 hours of sleep when the screaming started.

I want to take care of her and make her feel better but I can only take about 20 minutes of screaming before I need to put her in a safe place and walk away.

All of my usual tactics of cuddling and distracting didn't work this time so I wondered if anyone had any other suggestions to add?

For those of you who don't have children and want to brush up on your parenting skills try this: get someone to come over and scream in your face at the top of their lungs for a full five hours. Have them poop and rub it in your white carpet. Then let them throw spaghetti sauce on your walls and ceilings. Let them rip the pages out of all your books and hide your remote control so that you won't find it for a week. Make sure they vomit at least daily and wake you every few hours at night until you pray for sweet, sweet death. Do this for a week straight and you can breathe easy knowing that you have bit off an ice cube size chunk of the 400 million ton iceberg that is parenting!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Hate It When...

I sneeze with such intensity that I pee my pants and fart at the same time.

Workout Diary

This is dedicated to anyone who attempted to get into a regular work-out routine. I got this in an email, jazzed it up and am passing it along for you all to enjoy, if you haven't already.

Dear Diary,
For my birthday this year, my husband (the dear) purchased a year of personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I'm still in great shape from being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made reservation with a personal trainer named Heather, who identified herself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to keep track of my progress.

Started at 6:00 am. Tough to get out of bed but found it well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Heather waiting for me. She is someone who is not only beautiful on the outside, she is very sweet as well. I have made a new friend, Yay!!!

Heather gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!!!

Heather was encouraged as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the entire time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!

I drank a whole pot of coffee but I finally made it out the door. Heather made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar in the air. Then she put weights on it. My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel great! It's a whole new life for me!!

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was okay as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.

Heather was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered the other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when she scolds she gets this nasaly whine that is VERY annoying.

My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill so Heather put me on the stair monster. Why the hell anyone would invent a machine that simulates an activity that has been rendered obsolete by elevators? Heather told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other shit too.

Asshole was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed, her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help but be a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes.

She took me to workout with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent some skinny bitch to find me.

As punishment she put me on the rowing machine- which I sank!!

I hate that bitch Heather more than anyone has ever hated another human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anorexic little aerobics instructor. If there was a part of my body that I could move without unbearable pain, I would hit her with it.

Heather wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want holes in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.

The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

Satan left a message on my answer machine in her grating, shrilling voice, wondering why I didn't show up today. Just hearing her voice made me want to smash the machine with my day planner; however I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up watching eleven consecutive hours of the weather channel.

I'm having the church van pick me up for services today so I can go in and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say that if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

I leave you with this. I found it on photobucket while I was searching for work out pics and it made me aspirate some of my orange juice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Computer Wiz

Birdie: "Hey mom, did you know that worms look for security holes in computer networks?"
Me: "Um, yeah. I guess so."
Birdie: "And a trojan horse is malware that looks like it does one thing but does something else."
Me: "Now that I didn't know."
Birdie: "And a virus can copy itself and infect a computer and then hers and hers and his and others and more."
Me: "Are you sure?" *turning to confirm this data with Howie*
Howie: "Damn, she's right."

I'm hoping with all hope that she's learning this for security purposes only and that she is not currently in the midst of creating a super virus that can simultaneously shut down the stock markets and launder millions of dollars into her offshore bank account.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adoption Update

We start our adoption classes this weekend. We'll attend every Saturday for a couple of hours, for seven weeks.

I'm nervous. *bites fingernails*

Since the home study, the idea of adoption has had plenty of time to percolate through my brain and to be honest, some of those ideas stuck as chunks which caused some hemorrhaging and resulted in temporal damage. Like I need any more drain bamage.

There were actually a couple of weeks when it took the jaws of life to pry the phone from my hands when I tried to ring the social worker and call the whole thing off! Howie had to talk me down from the ledge and convince me that we were on the right path. Yes, Howie. The same guy who I had to drag kicking and screaming to our first open house!

I just couldn't wrap my mind around having another BABY! Child yes- baby, eh...not so much. I don't have a great desire to catapult myself and our family into the mind-numbing exhaustion associated with the first year of life.

Right now, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I can see and almost taste freedom. I'm very close to having the house to myself for a couple of hours a day. Both Birdie and Bubba are in school all day and Bear starts pre-school next year. I could actually shop alone, cook alone, poop alone for the first time in SIX YEARS! Being set back another three years doesn't exactly thrill the heck out of me.

But I'm willing to compromise.

I would gladly take a child ages 18 months and up. Because while it would set us back, it wouldn't be too bad. I can handle a year and a half. Anything more is pushing it. Plus, I just love that age! They are still small and adorable yet easy to handle. They're almost always walking and while they do get into things, they are easily re-directed.

I know for a fact that I would be overwhelmed with a newborn and that equates to me being, to put it lightly, a miserable, bitchy, evil, ugly, name-calling, yell-all-the-time, kick you in the teeth kind of person to live with. That wouldn't be a good situation for any of us! It would be better for me and our family if we stuck with an older child. Plus, I think they would fit in better since there wouldn't be as big a gap between them and our trio.

The classes should answer all of our questions. And we'll have the opportunity to meet with other foster/adoptive parents and pick their brains. A lot.

While the process can be long and tedious, I'm so glad that it works this way. We need the time to sift through the mountain of what-ifs. To process and plan and come to terms with our decision and adjust to the idea of having eight feet trailing behind us.

My sarcasm, while partially justified, does cloud what lies deep in my heart. Pure and utter excitement!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dora The Exposed


Have you guys heard about the new Dora? She's all grown up and in middle school! She doesn't have a new show but a new doll is coming out sometime in October.

The company is trying to appeal to girls much like my Birdie, who adored Dora since they were still dripping in amniotic fluid. Now these girls are growing up and Dora is not as appealing to them. Because it seems like they move out of the Dora phase and right into the Barbie/Brat world.

The new doll will be able to be plugged into a computer. There, the girls can do online adventures with Dora and her group of friends. The girls can also change Dora's outfit, hair and jewelry and when the changes are made online, the physical doll will change as well.

There is MAJOR backlash in regards to the new and improved Dora, spurred on by the release of a silhouette . Parents and child psychologists accuse the company of turning an innocent young role model into a "fashion-focused generic stereotype."

Representatives from Mattel say that the new doll will wear a flowery tunic with leggings and sandals, saying, "she looks like a tweenager. She dresses very modestly" and adds that the silhouette is not an accurate representation of the new doll.

I think some of these people have been wearing their talking backpacks a little too tightly and it's starting to cut off the blood circulation to their brains!

First, lets look at the obvious...the silhouette. Yes, it's different than the short, cropped-haired girl we're used to. And yes, she does seem to be wearing a very short skirt but it's not like she's got heaving breasts, a belly shirt and tight pants that emphasize her camel toe and bandunkadunk. And don't forget, Dora is Hispanic! Hispanic girls are raised to be good girls, but sexy girls! I'm joking...a little. All I'm saying is that culturally, Mexican girls grow up seeing their mothers wear low cut shirts, tight pants and high heeled shoes. To the laundromat. And church.

Secondly, it's a little early to be strapping Dora to the stake and burning her alive. The doll hasn't even been released yet so this could all be a mute point if she ends up wearing an adorable little outfit. What would be so wrong about Dora growing up and wearing appropriate clothing while she does charity work and works on community service projects in her online adventures?

Thirdly, as far as the "fashioned-focused" online activities. I don't think that Mattel had the intention of creating a doll that was into high fashion or obsessed with clothes. I think they had a doll in mind that was able to do what their target audience likes: to change clothes. Period. And if you have a daughter that age you know that that is what every girl ages 5-8 likes to do. Birdie can spend hours dressing up her dolls (and herself) and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is fashion conscious but more to do with the fact that she likes having choices. She likes to express herself and having the power to pick her own outfits, as humiliating for her mother as they may be.

I'm going to take the wait and see approach. If the doll is wearing appropriate clothing- and see this is where I get all flustered because Birdie has like a GAZILLION Barbies and all of them have perky breasts and tight dresses and high heels and I never once considered that inappropriate. Because it's pretend and ultimately WE-WE as parents are responsible for what our girls wear and how they feel about themselves.

Girls learn what they live and if they have a mother who is constantly obsessed with what they wear and how they look and how fat they are or how skinny they are or how their hair looks, well THAT is going to mold them into the looks obsessed, self-conscious monsters we are trying to avoid much more than a Dora doll with a short skirt. I'm so tired of people trying to pawn off their parental responsibilities to everyone but themselves.

Yes, we are overloaded with media and our children are exposed to much more than we were as kids but that doesn't make our responsibility any less. I still control what my children watch, what they play with and what they do on the computer. I talk to them about what is acceptable and what is not and most of all, I try to set an example. To love myself and see myself as beautiful. Because if Birdie sees me looking at myself in mirror saying, "wow, I think I look terrific", she will do the same for herself, no matter what she's wearing!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stinky Feet

You know how I've been telling you about how we have a thing in our house about stinky feet? That we all think it's hysterical to smell one another's feet and then tell each other how disgusting we think they are. It's tradition.

The other day I heard hysterical giggling coming from the family room and when I peeked in to check, I found Bear and Bubba laying on the floor sniffing each other's feet. Here they are sniffing their own:


Friday, March 6, 2009

To Snuggle Or Not To Snuggle?

That is the question. Are you a snuggler? The kind of person who can climb into bed with your spouse and cuddle close all night long?

I'm not.

I like cuddling...for a while. I enjoy some hugs and kisses and spooning but at a certain point, I need my space. Kiss me, squeeze me, hold me...then go to your side of the bed and let me sleep in peace. I like to roll on my belly, spread out and stuff my arms under a cold pillow. Howie is the exact opposite. He's like an octopus who wraps his tentacles around me. And when I finally push him off you can hear the "pop" of all the little suction cups as they dislodge from my flesh.

Sometimes he likes to sleep face to face with me. That's okay until he takes long deep breaths and sucks the oxygen from the air. Then he breathes out a toxic cloud of skoal laced carbon dioxide and I start to suffocate.

So I sit there, gasping for breath and wondering how long is long enough to be this close to him. I don't want to hurt his feelings or seem unappreciative of his affection. But I also don't want to asphyxiate to death. Call me selfish. At that point I roll over and take control of 85% of our bed.

Howie is a snuggler. I'm a bed hog.

Bubba is apparently both. Last night around 3am, I heard him knocking. He needed to pee and since we were both up, I decided to give him a dose of his cough medicine. He didn't want to go back to bed so I went up and laid with him. He has a hand-me-down king size bed so hypothetically, there should have been enough room for both of us.

I was just getting comfy when he came over and snuggled me face to face. That was fine. Better than fine, actually, it was wonderful. Bubba gives the best hugs in the history of hugs. He should be recognized by Guinness for the supremacy of his hugs. So I sat there, reveling in his preciousness when he started SNORING! And not just snoring, he was letting out noxious early morning breath.
Bad Breath Pictures, Images and Photos
I turned over but he followed me, laying not beside me, not close to me but ON TOP OF ME! Digging his skinny little Bubba elbows into my back. I scooched over. He rolled off of me but kept rolling until he was pressed against me yet again. That was okay, until the kicking started.

At this point I should have gone back to my own bed but I was drunk with exhaustion. I rolled over again, now clinging dangerously to the edge of the bed. He followed and much like his father, began his own octopus impersonation. His hands and feet were all over me...over my face, around my hips, around my neck.

I don't think I will ever be sleeping with the boy again. Unless I have a desperate need to be tortured all night long.

So here's my question to you. Do you sleep snuggled up to someone or do you prefer your own space? What side of the bed do you sleep on? Do you have any quirky sleeping habits?

I'm all ears. Or eyes. Or whatever...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stay At Home My ASS!

Whomever coined the term "Stay At Home Mom" must have been a practical joker, a stand-up comedian, a ridiculously unenlightened ignoramus.

I say this because while I don't work OUTSIDE of the home and I do indeed stay with my children, I very rarely "stay at home". Case in point, a typical Thursday schedule:

6:00: Wake up, pray that the ceiling fan will crash down on top of me so that I can enter into eternal rest.

6:05: Pray some more and finally curse the damn ceiling fan for being so fucking reliably bolted.

6:06: Get up and head to the loo.

6:10: Go downstairs. Proceed with the morning torture session routine.

8:15: Kids out the door to the bus stop but not before one of them realizes they have forgotten once again to put on their shoes. Cross my fingers that the bus isn't early.

9:15: After a whole lotta sweeping, tidying, packing and morning phone calls, out the door I go with Bear in tow. We are headed to the Y so that I can work up a sweat. Drop Bear at childwatch and tell her to leave her clothes on (otherwise she will strip to her birthday suit). Go workout. Strange that even though I'm huffing and puffing, it's the most relaxing part of my day.

11:00: On the way home after a long work-out. Feel dizzy from lack of fluids since I forgot my drinking bottle...yet again. Am pumped. For about an hour until I crash like a four story house of cards.

11:20: Stop at Rite Aid and use my dollar off coupon for a bottle of Cascade. Buy hair color because my gray is starting to show. Consider buying chocolate but am thwarted when I turn and feel my arm fat flap.

11:40: Eat lunch with Bear and finish washing clothes, change the litter box, wipe down the counters, vacuum the family room. DRINK COFFEE!

1:00: Try very hard to convince Bear that she doesn't need a nap. Out the door and headed to the school where I volunteer in the library. Start to complain to the librarian about how my day is going and then feel like a shmuck when I remember she's a single mom. OF FOUR!

3:00: Pick up Bubba and Birdie from school while trying to diffuse Bear's tantrum #14.

3:20: At home. Feed snacks, go through backpacks, feed the cats, get dinner prepped and Birdie changed into her dance clothes. Make sure Birdie does some homework, call Mamaw and find out she's sick.

4:30: Load up all three kids in the car and wonder how I'm going to fit three more into the mini-van. Is it illegal to strap one to the roof?

5:00: All kids picked up, incessant giggling going on in the back. I head to dance class.

5:30: Girls are dropped off so I take Bubba and Bear to the supermarket and Dollar Store. Bear drags herself on the floor. Bubba kicks her while she's down.

6:00: Keep Bubba and Bear from killing each other over the Nintendo DS while I wait for the girls to get out of class. Try not to make contact with any other parents so that I won't see the "what the hell is wrong with your children" look.

6:15: Load up the car and drop off other people's children (seriously think about dropping off my own on the side of the road).

6:30: Back home, it's dinner time. Bear is verging on full blown psycho and falls asleep in her chicken soup. After eating a wholesome dinner, Birdie asks me if she can have a snack. Sigh.

7:00: Bath time, books and bed for everyone. But there is no rest for mama.

8:00 Talk to Howie while I wash the dishes, pick up the toy room and check my email and facebook.

8:30: Go to Walgreens and hit the jackpot with a double coupon, paying only .49 cents for a bottle of Dawn dish washing liquid. Score! Buy Bubba some cough medicine and Mamaw some gingerale.

9:15: Go to Mamaw's and drop off her stuff. Talk to her for a while and stay much longer when she asks me to fill out her bills and read some mail. Am dragging ass.

10:00: Head home, hoping that I make it there without falling asleep at the wheel.

10:20: Crawl into bed and am saying "Good ni...." when I pass out cold.

I once read another blogger who said that SAHM stands for Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker, rather than Stay At Home Mom. I'm starting to think she's totally right. And I'm considering taking that title in lieu of the latter because I clearly do more Shit Ass Ho'ing than Staying At Home.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

You Can't Fix Stupid

I had the news playing in the background this morning while I was simultaneously packing school lunches and washing dishes when I heard a news story about a woman who claimed her identity had been stolen on Facebook.

*record scratch*

My antennae perked up and I began to listen. Because I am on Facebook everyday and definitely don't want my identity stolen. I barely know who I am as it is!

The woman said that she had received an email from somebody asking her for personal information. At this point, a few red flags should have been flying high. But apparently, this woman has a lack of common sense so she gave it to them. It did not specify what kind of information but since this person already had her full name, they most likely asked for a password and a few more intimate tidbits. If someone asked me for my password I would laugh in their faces. Then I'd pat them on the head and say, "you're so cute when you're stupid." Even Howie doesn't have my passwords! But she gave them her information.

They took over her account and using her identity, started emailing her friends, asking them to wire some money because "she" was supposedly stuck in London and all of "her" money had been stolen.

Is it just me or does that not SCREAM scam to you?

She lost my sympathy at "I gave them some personal information". I mean seriously, how can she sit here and bitch and moan that someone stole her Facebook account when she pretty much handed it over to them wrapped in a pretty red bow?

That would be like me leaving my car in the middle of the ghetto with the keys in the ignition and a sign that says, "please take my car" hanging in the dashboard. And then, having the audacity to be all, "they STOLE my car, I can't believe they STOLE my car, I've been violated!"

Well, yeaaah!

u cant fix stupid Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Like A Lion

We got pummeled with yet another storm yesterday although it was nowhere near the blizzard conditions predicted by our weather-casters. According to them the storm should have started at 6 pm on Sunday but that didn't happen. Then they said that the sky was going to open up and mountains of the white stuff would be dumped all over us for a full 24 hour period. That didn't happen either. It was supposed to be the "biggest storm we've had all year" but it fizzled. Is it sad that it snowed like 10 inches and I consider that a fizzle? I think that because of the constant kick in the teeth that winter has delivered this year, I am slightly jaded.

Not that I'm complaining because less snow means less mess. Well, I AM complaining about the apocalyptic weather people with their erroneous predictions. Because it causes mass hysteria and people to do paranoid things like running to the supermarket and buying up twelve gallons of milk and 20 loaves of bread.

I went to the supermarket but only because it was our normal supermarket day. And as terrifying as the storm sounded, I was pretty confident that we could survive on one gallon of milk and one loaf of bread until the jaws of life made it to our house to pry us out of our winter prison.

On the plus side, Howie didn't go to work and because the YMCA was closed, I didn't have to work at the child watch. And of course, the children didn't have school. Theoretically, because of all the school the kids have missed thus far, they will be making up snow days through sometime in August. Between the snow days and the regularly scheduled vacations, my kids seem to only go to school like one week out of the month.

Today, the kids have a two hour school delay. Howie is still home but he's planning on going in after he works on the drive-way which should prove much more difficult after yesterday's fiasco. The guy who normally does our drive-way (Luis) came over and snow blowed and shoveled. Then he borrowed the snow blower, shovel and gloves so that he could go make some money. He came back two hours later with a broken snow blower, the handle ripped off the shovel and holes burned through Howie's gloves. Howie was like, "dude, the only way this would be okay is if someone tried to set you on fire so in self defense you hit them over the head with the shovel and accidentally got it stuck in the snow blower blades. " He won't be borrowing anything again. Because even though they are in dire financial straights and we'd like to help out, it's clear that he doesn't have much respect for other people's property.

Howie definitely got punished for that good deed. He's now outside shoveling the drive-way with holey gloves and a broken shovel. And if you know us or have seen pictures of our drive-way, you understand that he's in for a rough morning!

Lets hope that since March came in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. Because spring cannot get here soon enough!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

And The Award Goes To...

Recently, I've gotten a few awards on some fellow bloggers blogs. An award for being irresistibly gorgeous and intelligent and having silky hair that stays out of my face. Okay, maybe not.

I can't say that I completely understand this award business but they each took the time to say nice things about me and post a link to my blog on their pages. I'm flattered, really. If you could see me right now you would notice that my face is blushed and I'm fluttering my eye lashes.

I believe the main goal of this award is in the little mission statement included on their blogs:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

I am more than happy to play along. And I'll even match their eight and raise them three bloggers. There are a few writers to whom I am unwaveringly loyal. Plus, I have recently been dipping my toe into the ocean of blogs out there and have come across a few terrific ones and I'll tell you why. So, without further ado, here is my list of hotties for you:

Hottie Award Pictures, Images and Photos

Serendipitous Life: Written by Sandra Hamlett, an author and mother of four. She's clever and interesting and inspired me to participate in project 365 (a daily photo blog). So if you're tired of seeing blurry pictures of my house plants, BLAME HER!

A Fabulously Good Life: Written by my friend Maven whom I met two years ago and was one of the first bloggers I ever read. I'm fiercely loyal to her because not only are we soul sistas, she is one of the best writers I know. She has such a unique way of writing that makes you think and laugh and sometimes even cry. Due to work and family, she hasn't blogged this week but please check out some of her oldies because trust me, you won't regret it!

The Lost Fart Of Blogging: Written by Bob. I am a very new enthusiast to the fart of blogging but I can say without a doubt that the reason I read Bob is because he is a smart ass. And there's nothing I love more than a fierce smart ass. And the cherry on top of the farting sundae is that Bob is so smart and not afraid of voicing an opinion.

Searching For My Inner Skinny: Written by Dorsey. When I first read her blog I could have sworn that she had stolen my identity. Blogger, mother, insanely gorgeous, searching for her inner skinny? Who is this woman and why is she advertising herself as me!?! I was considering calling the cops until I read her IQ blog and found out she's an Aquarius so she might not be impersonating me after all.

Is It Just Me?: Written by Missy. Love this girl for two reasons. She blogs frequently and they are short and sweet and always make me giggle. Plus, she has EXCELLENT taste in bloggers and I can spend hours digging through her blogroll. I can't tell you how many people I now follow because of her!

Inside Aleigh's Heart: Written by Aleigh. One word: sweet. Aleigh is plain and simple a very nice person. The kind of woman you ask God to send you as a best friend. And even though I don't know her exceedingly well, I can tell you this...her family and friends are lucky to have her because she has a huge heart.

A Year In The Life: Written by Stephanie. She is a history major at the University of Georgia who is also and avid photographer. She chronicles her life as a college student and also takes daily pictures ala project 365 and I love this because it gives a sneak peek into people's lives. And it makes me feel like I am seeing something I shouldn't be which appeals to the nosy pants in me :-)

...and Now I'm A Grownup: Written by Heather. I know that I'm a 30 something mom who has three kids and a house and a carpool and all that jazz. And I know that I typically read mom blogs because lets face it, it's what I can mostly relate to. I don't have too much in common with a young woman in her 20's but Heather is different. She writes well, she's funny and sarcastic and best of all, she posts lots of pictures of Toby...her dog who is so adorable that she better not ever disclose to me where she lives because I will come over and abduct him!

Maniacal Mommy: Written by Nic. One of the best writers I know. She is honest and raw and funny. She has a knack for writing things that all mothers can relate to. Nic is someone who I would read even if I had to pay for it!

It's Time For The Burkulater: Written by Burkulater. I just started reading her. Her blog doesn't have flashy toys, isn't covered with advertisers or do anything that screams for attention. And you know what? She doesn't need it because even though I can't put my finger exactly on why, I keep coming back to read her blog.

That's What She Said: Written by Melissa. Another person I started reading thanks to Missy! She is funny and sarcastic and interesting. I love her attitude on life!

I'm starting to realize that there is a theme in regards to who I read. I like people who are smart, funny, great writers, take great pictures, are honest, clever and sarcastic. I want to point out that there are SOOOO many people that I read that I have not included in this list. There are a host of daddy bloggers, friends, and people who I read on a regular basis that are not included here. It's not that I don't love them or that I read them less, it's just that it's taken me nearly 2 hours to compile this list and my children are starting to rip each other's eyes out. Please check out my blogroll for other people I love and I promise that next Sunday on my weekly update, I will update my blogroll. Cross my heart!

So there you go, there is my list. If you were listed here (or even if you weren't), please go forth and do your own lists. Also, I'm always looking for great reading so if you'd like me to drop by your blog, please leave a comment with a link!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monthly Memo To Kids: January and February 2009

To: The Trifecta of Trouble
From: Mom
Re: "My mother tried to kill me when I was a baby. She denied it. She said she thought the plastic bag would keep me fresh. " -Bob Monkhouse

As you know, I decided back in January to change my strategy in regards to how I deal with you. I decided that I would not yell at you when you walk out the door and go to school with naked feet because I only asked you forty times to put your socks and shoes when clearly you needed to hear it forty FIVE times in order for it to get through. And you don't realize your feet are naked until you get into the car even though it's negative 30 degrees outside. But I'm restraining myself and guess what? It's working. It still blows my mind how I can get through to you when I speak so quietly.

I recently got an email from your teacher and unlike her previous emails which stated that she was considering checking into a mental institution if it meant that she would not have to come to school on Monday and deal with you, this message was chock full of nothing but compliments. You are listening well and following directions and being helpful and respectful of others. The stark contrast of this compared to your behavior just a few months ago is nothing short of mind boggling. But what stuck out the most is how she described your writing. She said that she's beyond impressed with you. Not because you know tons of words or because you always spell correctly but how you write, the sophisticated way you create a story. You have a knack for making a story intriguing and hysterical! I'd be lying if I said I don't want to take credit for this because I do. All of those years of fertilizing your brain by telling you ridiculous stories has totally paid off. You have an incredible imagination and I hope that stays with you for the rest of your life because imagination is the key to going above and beyond what others think you can achieve.

You went to spend some time with your Mamaw during February vacation. You actually stayed there about three days and you guys watched a lot of tv, played cards, and ate lots of junk food. Of course, we missed you. And even though you aren't overwhelmingly demanding or take up THAT much space, the void that you left was akin to the grand canyon. The silence in the house was deafening and even though we still had two kids with us, your daddy and I felt like we were on a tropical vacation. I remember before your brother and sister were born, Daddy and I thought that having one child was incredibly difficult. Then we had your brother and we realized that having one is a vacation compared to the demands of having two. Then we had your sister and realized that two was cake compared to the excruciating laborious efforts required to care for three. So, by this theory, what we need to do is get all of our friends to loan us all of their children for a week so that we have to take care of fourteen. Then having the three of you will seem like a restful holiday complete with thousand count bed sheets, full body massages and chocolate covered strawberries.

I believe that in every family there is an informer. A person who observes and judges if a situation has risen to an inappropriate level and then promptly runs to tell anyone in authority that an injustice is in progress. You sir, are that person. You spend have of your time tattle tailing on everyone and because I am usually the one home, I have to hear your complaints. It's like you are an over zealous beat cop who apprehends anyone who so much as thinks about jay walking. Then you hand them a ticket because it's the letter of the law for you to do so! Birdie doesn't want to play with you, Bear took your stuffed iguana, Daddy hurt your feelings, Minor scratched your leg, Nala jumped on the table, Mamaw accidentally knocked over a cup on the counter, and a guest tracks mud through the house. You demand that any wrongdoing be corrected...immediately! You aren't satisfied until Birdie has been sent to her room and Bear is nearly drowning in a puddle of her own tears and Daddy apologizes and Minor is banished to the basement and Nala is sprayed with water and Mamaw cleans her messes and the neighbor takes off their shoes. Nothing gets by you!

You are especially good at details which makes you perfect at being my Mario Brothers tutor. You are an expert at nearly every level and when I'm lost and just can't seem to not get killed by the spiny worms or the cloud turtles who throw the thorny bombs, you always seem to know just the trick to get me through alive. It's sad really, that I would need assistance from a four year old in order to get past level one. I know I exasperate you because you give me the same look that I give Mamaw when she doesn't believe that you can send an email without a postage stamp. You must get your tech savvy from your father because I still can't figure out how to use the call waiting button on our home phones! So don't think you are the only one exasperated with me, your father has threatened to kill me in my sleep with the phone if I don't stop asking him how to flip over to the other caller.
There is this new Denny's commercial that seems like it's been playing non-stop since the Superbowl. Anyway, it's a singing banana and he says, "you can call me Nanerpuss, Nanerpuss. Guess what, I'm a pancake". He sings as his peel is flailing around and he knocks off one of his eyeballs. You think this is the most hysterical thing every created by the hands of man. You make us rewind and watch it over and over and over and over again. And even after the commercial is long done, you will crack up in fits of giggles. So much so that your giggles make us giggle and then we're all giggling at a stupid half-peeled banana sitting atop a stack of gooey pancakes. Good times.

The most dominant development that has taken place during the last couple of months is your speech. You went from saying a handful of words to learning 10-15 words A DAY! And while we still can't understand everything you say, being able to communicate with you is so luxurious that it may as well be dipped in platinum and studded with diamonds. Most of the conversations I have with you go like this:

You: "Mommy,abusi ssseios, boiuslis, ssliuotow owieils,uepqpqp,peowieo,washiusi a snack?"
Me: "You want a snack?"
You: "Auieekos sssshhheieie, oneie wappwowp quetip thinos a yes."

It takes fifteen minutes to get anything out of you! I keep meaning to record your monologues because they are sweet enough to send a diabetic into a coma! I love to listen to you, watch you, figure out what you are going to say next. It's insanely adorable!

What's not adorable is how stubborn you've become. You are very certain of which pajamas you want to wear with which socks on which nights. And if I have to deviate from you plan because, oh I don't' know, you peed through your pajamas and now they smell like dry piss, you lose your mind. You also lose it if I attempt to comb your hair or feed you something you weren't in the mood for or make you wear your pink shoes vs your white ones. But you see, my friend...this is not my first trip to Crazy town. There have been two before you and they made me quite efficient in navigating my way through the crazy. I have learned the tricks and you are in sooooo over your head here. It's not even a fair fight and let me let you in on a little secret: you will not win. I can do this blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back locked in a concrete safe while being thrown into a shark infested tank of water. So don't even try it because all attempts will prove futile.