Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wildlife

The other day something crazy happened: I turned my computer off...ALL DAY LONG. I've been spending most of my time working outside. We have a lot of clean-up to do.

We got a terrible grass fungus which killed most of our yard so I had to rake everything up and clean up the yard. We've had four landscapers give us estimates and finally found a good deal on hydro seeding. It will be done within the next week.

I also had to clean up and mulch the postal planting area, rake up left-over leaves, plant some petunias and mulch the trees and plants in front of the house. I filled in the cracks in the driveway with sealant and sprayed weed killer on our brick walkway.

I mowed the dirt grass and bought some wood caulk to seal the trim around the garage doors. I have to paint it too.

Howie cleaned the gutters and some of the yard. We still have to trim down some shrubbery and finish our seed planting for flowers as well as dig out some trees and put down some patch repair for the back yard.

WILL IT NEVER END???

I'm doing some box gardening this year too. Plus, I'm digging out the area around our lamp post and adding perennials. Man, I'm tired just thinking about it all. That's because I'm not even half way done telling you what all needs accomplished.

I still need to clean the windows and window screens. We need to replace the light fixtures on the front of the house, paint the front door and replace the door handle. We also have to power wash, set up a compost pile, attach a clothes hanger, re-stain the outdoor furniture and clean our garage. I'm also considering tackling a large gardening project on the side of our house. It's all weeds and rock and moss right now but I'm thinking of digging it out, leveling it a bit and adding plants and mulch. This way we don't have to bother mowing it (it's a bitch).

As much as I complain I thoroughly enjoy being outside. It's only April and I've already turned two shades darker! I have dirt under my fingernails and I'm always thirsty but it's a great time! It's fun to be outside and watch it all come together. I'm thinking that May will be a rough month because of all we have to get done but come summer we will be lounging on the decks with a drink in hand!

Speaking of enjoying the outdoors, I want to share a few pictures I've snapped of our front yard wild life. The first picture is of a fox that lives under our neighbor's shed. She's a mama fox with five little baby foxes and they often frolic in our front yard. I had just snapped her picture when a cardinal (pictured last) popped in. And then a wood pecker (I think)!!!! It's like a zoo!







Saturday, April 25, 2009

Two Of A Kind

Quite frequently I find that my friend Shari and I have a great deal in common. Things that are not normally common. For example, we both love to have our arms tickled, preferably with long finger nails. We also both hate it...wait...hate is not nearly a strong enough word. How can I put this so that it accurately describes our disdain for food smacking? We would be less nauseated if we had to eat our own vomit than if we had to listen to someone smack their food. Food smacking is such a pet peeve for us. If food smacking were a criminal, it would be #2 on my ten most wanted list, a very close second to pokey people.

But anyway, it's not just those two things. We think alike, our moods are alike (watch out), our goals are alike. I will call her and tell her how I didn't sleep at all the night before and she will gasp and say, "oh my god, me too!" Or she'll tell me how she threw out her back and I'll be all, "whoa, so did I". And it's not like we're making these things up, we really do have THAT much in common.

Well, aside from the fact that I'm short and fat and she's tall and skinny. Or that when people hear me on the phone they thing I'm 10 years old and when people hear her on the phone they think she's a man. Or that I have boobs and she has nubs. Or that she can eat a can of frosting everyday and lose weight and I can eat a carrot stick and gain ten pounds!

We've only known each other since July and we had a lot in common from the beginning but the weird thing is that we're getting MORE alike as the months go by. First our cycles coordinated. But that is more hormonal than paranormal. Then I started getting allergies. I was never allergic to much more than pollen at this time last year and I'm now suddenly allergic to everything which is weird because she has world class allergies from hell. It's like they're rubbing off, like they're contagious!

She said that the next thing I know, my boobs are going to start shrinking! Actually, I think it would be pretty cool if we could help each other out. If you added our stuff together and divided it up equally we would both have size B bras, be a healthy weight and sound like a 25 year old over the phone. Perfect! And perhaps our allergies would counteract each other in such a way that we could cover ourselves in latex paint and jump into a vat of shrimp and bananas without the fear of imminent death.

In the meantime, I will just be thankful that I have someone who gets me in all my moody, itchy, achy, sarcastic glory. As long as she doesn't continue to Single White Female me. Or in my case...Married Hispanic Female me. :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Type D

Howie: "Do you think I'm a type A personality?"
Me: "Psssh. No way. You're like...a type D."
Howie: "Well, I think I'm a type A at work."
Me: "And then you come home and put on your panties."
Howie: "When I'm there I'm tough, I'm demanding, I'm a hard ass."
Me: "Well it's a good thing that you get to be type D at home because if you were type A in both places then you'd end up like one of those professional men who are power houses at work and home but then secretly need to hire a dominatrix to whip them into submission by clamping their nipples to a car battery or making them lick her high heeled leather boots . So you see, I'm doing you a favor by being the boss at home."
Howie: *handing me a spatula and bending over* "Thank you ma'am, may I have another?"
Me: "That's madame ma'am to you."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Two Steps Back

I cried today. Because the pain in my head reached such epic proportions that I didn't know what else to do. It started off mildly so I went to the gym for a while. By the time I got home my head was pounding.

I had things to do so there was no time to worry about it. I had to volunteer at the school today and because Mamaw was busy, I had to take Bear with me. She was into everything. She pounded on the school computers, rummaged through some prize boxes and wrote all over the tables. Between her and my head I had had enough.

I took some Motrin which didn't help. The pounding got worse. It crossed over from headache into migraine. Every sound, every movement, every shade of light caused more pain. I got dizzy and wanted to crawl up into a little ball.

I couldn't. I had to wait for the kids to get out of school and come home and get Birdie ready for dance class. About that point, the pain reached a fever pitch and I thought I was going to pass out but I threw up instead. I'm still nauseous.

Here's the greatest part...I have NO CLUE what set off this round of allergies. I know that's what it is because I got congested, a swollen throat and itchy eyes. Could it be that I didn't put my pillows in the freezer for half a day? Was it that perfume that a teacher on the other side of the building was wearing? What was so different between yesterday and today?

I feel like I'm being punished. How can I plan anything, go anywhere, get anything accomplished? And as I'm slowed down, trying not to make any sudden movements, I keep getting further and further behind as things keep piling up. That makes me want to weep even more.

Tom Tom

Yesterday I took a little jaunt to some outlet stores. Shari had been telling me about them for a long time but I kept thinking it was too far of a drive. You see, that's what happens when you move to a state the size of Connecticut; suddenly any car ride that takes over 15 minutes is considered a "long drive".

When I lived in Oklahoma it wasn't uncommon to drive 4 hours just to go shopping. Everywhere I went took forever and a day! But now? Well, if I can't be there in under 15 minutes I don't bother! Not to mention that I am directionally incompetent. I can barely find my way home from the supermarket! In my world, sending me on an excursion to a store I've never been to is akin to dropping me on planet Mars and telling me to find water. It's gonna be ugly. And I'm going to die of thirst before I get there.

Turns out, it's only a 35 minute drive to these outlets and while that still seemed like quite a hike, I was willing to put in the time in the efforts of saving money. You see, The Children's Place outlet has these incredible discounts for kids clothes and the temptation was just too great.

Plus, Howie got me this nifty little gadget for Christmas: a GPS system. I didn't use it for the first few months because I tried it once and the guy, "Tom", gave me the wrong directions and I ended up somewhere in bum fuck, Connecticut. I didn't trust "Tom" after that. He didn't make a good first impression and anyway, I like to play hard to get.

But he's been growing on me lately and so I decided to ask Tom for his help in finding the outlets. He did a great job. So much so that I think I now have a crush on him. He kind of has a sexy voice when he says things like, "in 400 yards, turn right" or "you have reached your destination."

Actually, I think he's kind of flirting with me because at one point I swore he said, "Licha, what are you wearing?". But when I gasped and looked in his direction he changed his tune, cleared his throat and said, "keep left."

I think Howie may regret getting me involved with Tom because now I can't see needing Howie's help at all when I'm behind the wheel. Not now that I have "Tom." And seeing as how it's always been Howie's job to tell me where I'm going, I can't see how there won't be any jealousy on his part.

He probably won't care. Because he knows I still need him to help me turn on my cell phone and use the remote control!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To The Mattresses

I finally decided to go to the mattresses with my allergies. Literally. I stripped my bed and vacuumed the hell out of it using a hepa filter. Then I took our mattress cover and the comforter to the laundromat and washed it in boiling hot water in one of those industrial sized washers. I washed my sheets in hypoallergenic detergent and then put my pillows in our freezer for 12 hours. Apparently, that is a sure fire way to make sure they are dust mite free. I also shampooed our carpets. Again. I did all of this because I suspect that I am allergic to dust and I wanted to make my bed an allergy free (as much as possible) zone so that I don't wake up so congested every morning.

And guess what? It worked! Which means that I must be allergic to sleeping in filth. It's not like my bed linens were disgusting, I changed them every week and I vacuumed my mattress, just not religiously. And I never put my pillows in the freezer which by the way serves two purposes. Not only does it kill the dust mites, it also leaves your pillow nice and chilled and if you're like me (constantly flipping your pillow to the cold side) having the entire pillow freezing cold is nothing short of heavenly!

I also got a mouth guard. I molded it to my mouth so perfectly that it feels like it completes me. Last night was the first time I slept with it and it made a HUGE difference.

A HUGE difference!!!

I didn't have a headache today and thanks to my clean surroundings and lack of food, I am nearly allergy free which means that for the first time in nearly five months, I feel pretty good. Someone pointed out to me that teeth grinding is typically associated with stress. They also made the connection that I began grinding my teeth in November with is not coincidentally the same month my dad died. Ever since then I've had terrible sinus trouble exacerbated by the grinding.

Isn't it weird how stress manifests itself? When my mom died I suffered terrible panic attacks which took me a long time to get under control. Now it's the teeth grinding. Next thing I know, my hair will be falling out. Oh wait, it already is!

Anyway, the mouth guard made all the difference. I woke up with energy, I went to the gym, went shopping and still have enough energy to get some stuff done this afternoon (I have to shampoo my steps, pay some bills, finish some laundry and drag out the sewing machine so that I can re-fit some of Bubba's pants).

I also had the motivation to do something I haven't done in nearly two weeks: comb my hair! I even put on mascara and I look semi-human!

I have an ENT appointment next week and will soon see an allergist so that I can eat food without the fear of going into anaphylactic shock! I've also been seeing my chiropractor who has been trying some extra techniques as well as acupuncture. Howie can call him a witch doctor all he wants because all I know is that within minutes of my adjustment, the fluid in my ears started to drain.

Anyway, the point is that I'm finally starting to see light at the end of this tunnel of misery and I can't wait for recovery because this has been a T to the ER to the RIBLE.



Monday, April 20, 2009

I Was Just Thinking...

Why is soda called a "soft drink"? I looked it up and it seems that a "soft drink" is any beverage that does not contain alcohol. But I wouldn't roll into a restaurant with a hankering for a lemonade and ask for a "soft drink". Is it just me or does that term not denote some type of carbonated beverage? When I think "soft drink", I think Coke or Pepsi, maybe Sprite but Wikipedia says that a "soft drink" includes things like fruit punch, iced tea and sparkling water. Incidentally what I call a "soft drink", Wikipedia says I should be calling soda, pop or soda pop.

And while we're on the subject of "soft", we may as well tackle some "hard", as in "hard liquor". Apparently, "hard liquor" is an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented. Now, there is no difference between "liquor" and "hard liquor" as far as Wikipedia is concerned. It's only distinguished apart from beer and wine. So what makes it so hard?

If the difference is only alcohol, than by rights everything that doesn't have alcohol should be called "soft" and everything with alcohol should be called "hard". You know, as in "soft milk" and "soft apple juice". And on the hard side, we know that liquor is apart from beer and wine but technically they all contain alcohol, so should they all be "hard liquor, "hard beer" and "hard wine". After all, they all contain alcohol! Do we not put "hard" in front of beer and wine because we assume they contain alcohol? If that's the case, did someone, somewhere question that liquor contains alcohol? As in, "dude...I came in here for some liquor and you served me alcohol, I didn't know it contained the devil's juice, take it away and from now on you better start calling that stuff "hard liquor" so people like me can tell a difference!"

From now on I am going to start asking for specifications. When the school sends out their next menu, I'm going to call the cafeteria, demand to talk to someone in charge and verify that they are indeed serving "soft chocolate milk" and not that "hard core Godiva liquor". Because you can never be too safe!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time Flies

It's been kind of a busy week for us. I love how I say that, like it's so out of the ordinary for us to be busy around these parts. Yes, most days it's all bon bons and soap operas around here but this week? Well, this week was different. Psh.

The kids were home on vacation and lucky for us, we did get some nice weather. Birdie had her first sleep over ever and I have to say, they were really terrific despite their writing all over our basement with permanent markers. I could say that I care but I really don't. They were quiet and out of my hair and there are worse things they could have done. The worst part was getting them to sleep. I think I accidentally crossed over that line of letting them stay up later than usual and hitting that point where they got their second wind. Note to self: 9:00 is definitely the limit!

We had a visit with our social worker, Doug. He came out to check the house and interview the family as he is now in the throws of finishing our home study. Let me just tell you how brave I am. I invited him over at 6:00 pm which we all know as parents is that moment in the day when sweet angelic children morph into flesh eating demons straight out of the pits of hell. And to add to that, they hadn't eaten. So they were hungry flesh eating demons. That's about as honest as Doug is going to get out of us. Birdie complained about a stomach ache, Bubba was his un-cheery self and Bear was bouncing up and down so hard that she bit through her lip and spewed blood everywhere and during the midst of this, Doug turned to me and said, "so would you be willing to consider adopting two rather than one?" "Yes Doug, because I clearly have all my shit together, can't you tell?"

He was here for nearly three hours but left just in time for both Birdie and Bubba to come down with a stomach bug (or food poisoning, I haven't yet determined which). They threw up all night. It was a festival of vomit which is why I spent most of this morning shampooing my upstairs carpets fourteen times. I did so just in time for Bear to diarrhea through her clothes and soak through her changing table. One more bodily fluid to stain clean. But that's not all, Bubba got a bad case of allergies and snotted all over so at a certain point, I considered stopping my cleaning and calling in one of those people who clean up after the crime scenes. You know, the ones armed with the heavy deep cleaning equipment? Because this week we crossed over from dirty to bio-hazard!

It's now 5:00 on Friday night and I still have a lot to do. It's pay day which means that I need to hit about five stores (Sams, Walgreens, Stop-n-Shop, Aldi's and Target) in order to stay within our bi-weekly budget. It's do-able, just a really swift pain in the ass to run around to all of those places.

I didn't get much of anything accomplished this week. I had fantasies of sitting the kids down and going over their math problems and letters and sending them back to school much smarter than when they left. Go ahead, laugh at me. Yeah, I was lucky I got Bubba's hair cut! I buzz cut it and he looks cute as can be. I'm considering doing the same to my own hair as it's driving me crazy. It's getting long but strange as it sounds, the longer it gets, the thinner it looks because it gets some weight and starts showing all of my bald spots! It might just be time for some Rogaine. Or maybe a wig. I always wanted to be blonde!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bubba's Woody

Bubba: "Mommy, have you seen my Woody?"
Me: "Hmm, what?"
Bubba: "I have a Woody. A big Woody."
Me: "Um. Okaaaaaay."
Bubba: "Do you want to see it?"
Me: "I think so." *nervous laughter*
Bubba "Look!"

Whew! That was a close one. One that would have damaged us for the rest of our lives.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Marked Woman

I went for a cat scan last Friday because I've been having continuous, significant pain in my sinuses. And just in case you were wondering, by significant I mean that it felt like someone poked a blow torch up my nostrils and let her rip. Not to mention the head, ear, throat, shoulder and tooth pain. This is the residual stuff from November. Yes, you read that right, NOVEMBER!

In all honesty, it comes and goes. The pain ranges from so mild I barely notice it to me seriously considering suicide as an alternative treatment. It goes in phases and it seems like the volcano in my head is temporarily quiet. The problem is that it just sits there burning quietly and slowly, waiting patiently for something to spark it, something like a minor cold which in my head is the equivalent of someone shooting a gallon of gasoline into a low burning fire. Inferno!

My GP said my condition has been upgraded to "chronic" and not in a Dr. Dre kind of way. She sent me for a cat scan, believing that I perhaps have a deviated septum or polyps or jaw disease. Lucky for me, my test came back normal. The default diagnosis is allergies.

That was no surprise to me. In the last 6 months, the number of things that I have a reaction to has tripled! I used to be allergic to nothing, zilch, nada, niet but recently I've had reactions to bananas, pineapple, melon, make-up, lotion, latex, perfume, hyacinth, lilies, gold, pasta sauce and oranges. Plus, while it's not confirmed, I can almost bet that I'm allergic to dust, various types of pollens and maybe even sugar!

My next step is to see an ENT and also an allergist. I'm currently on Claratin and Nasonex and am doing the netti pot twice a day. That barely contains my misery. I'm functional but not happy.

At this point, I would be willing to give up anything in exchange for a day where I felt half normal. And everywhere I go is riddled with potential attackers. The other day in the supermarket I crossed paths with a woman who must have marinated herself in a perfume from hell. Not only did I react to it but so did half the store. I immediately felt like I couldn't breathe! Even though my cart was full and I could have checked out, I had to leave the store. I knew I wouldn't make it for as long as I'd have to stand at the check-out. The same thing happened when I went into the pharmacy and they had a cart-full of Easter flowers on display.

I'm hoping that the allergist will be able to tell me what is setting me off. I know to stay away from certain foods and plants but there has got to be something that is affecting me that I don't know about. Something that is secretly trying to do me in!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Like Mine Super Slutty

I never realized that there was such a range in levels of purity when it comes to olive oil. I can't say I ever paid much attention to it.

Seemingly, it ranges from olive oil all the way to extra virgin. For those of you who don't know, here is how it breaks down:

Olive Oil - Has a little bit of virgin olive oil mixed in with refined production oil. This means that it plays hard to get but really likes taking it in the ass.

Pure Olive Oil- Has a little bit of virgin olive oil mixed in with refined production oil. Is it just me or isn't that the same definition of olive oil? This means that pure olive oil is equally as slutty as regular old trampy olive oil but it just likes to play hard to get and likes people to think it's a good girl.

Virgin Olive Oil- Comes from virgin olive oil and is judged to have good taste. This means it will only let you get to second base but might give you a blow job.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Comes from virgin olive oil and is judged to have superior taste. This means that the extra virgin variety is very picky and will only put out if you have a lot of money.

Does anybody know if olive oil is the only thing that's ever been referred to as "extra virgin"? As in, it's so pure, so un-violated, so chaste that it's extra virgin. I thought that virgin was as pure as you could get!

I never knew that olive oil had such a range of wholesomeness, from extra virgin all the way up to super whore.

We buy extra virgin, you know, the kind that has never been touched or defiled, but I can't say that I can tell a difference between that and the extra slutty kind. In fact, the really raunchy stuff is pretty smooth.

I don't know, maybe there is something to be said for olive oil with a little experience! I mean, nobody wants an olive oil that can be a tease!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sixty

Mamaw turned sixty on April 5th and I planned a party for her big six- oh. I thought about giving her a surprise party but I didn't Because first of all, it's not much of a challenge to sneak up on a blind old woman and second of all, I didn't want to risk giving her a heart attack when everyone yelled "SURPRISE".

Nothing kills a party buzz like a coronary and a trip to the emergency room.

Instead, I thought it would be nice to include her. It worked out great because she requested what she wanted: lasagna (one with meat, one vegetarian), salad, home-made bread, home-made chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and butter pecan ice cream.

I invited her friends, shopped for supplies and did some research on some old age poems that she wanted to read at her party. Then all I had to do was listen to her talk about it relentlessly. I swear she was giddy for two weeks straight and every time I would confirm that someone was coming or that I bought her favorite kind of ice cream, she would squeal like a pig.

The big day finally arrived and I had planned to go to her place around 3 to cook and set-up for a 6:00 party. She called me every hour on the hour beginning at 9am. "Are you coming yet? When are you coming? Is it time yet? Do you have everything? Are you sure you didn't forget anything? When are you coming again?"

I ended up going over early and making some beer bread with garlic-garlic dip and two pans of lasagna which at the risk of sounding full of myself, were Spectacular (notice it's starts with a capital "S").

The toughest part was serving 14 people at once while trying to keep my kids from under my feet. Howie was useless as he had lost his phone and apparently when the man loses his phone, part of his brain goes with it. He sat and pouted for the whole time, stopping only to complain when I asked him to hold Bear while he ate. Sometimes I just don't understand him. I had the kids all day and even took them to Mamaw's with me while I was cooking. All he had to do was stay home, watch tv, take a shower and come over for dinner. Okay, you know what...I'm just gonna go ahead and stop talking about that because I can feel my temperature rising!

The party was really great. Everyone enjoyed the food, they laughed at the funny poems and we all had a nice time together. Best of all, Mamaw was happy as a clam. She got lots of cards and presents and celebrated her big birthday surrounded by people who love her. I'm really glad I did her party because I don't think she could have been any happier at the end of the night!


Mamaw with the clan.

Everyone sitting down to dinner (not pictured: a whole other table of people's grandchildren, children and children's friends who got hopped up on orange crush and drove me batshit)


If you don't believe that he was a sourpuss, just look at his face!

Opening her presents. She got soap, cards, a Roethlisberger jersey, a talking temperature gauge and money!

Individual numbers. Because we didn't want to burn her apartment down!

From left: Helen, Mamaw, Bill, Maeve and Betty.

Make a wish, Mamaw!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mind Ya Business, Maxine.

I went to Birdie's school today because I forgot to pack her snack (I know, mother of the year over here) and I was dropping one off.

I had Bear in tow and when I unbuckled her from her car seat she decided that she didn't want to go into the school. She had made up her mind and she was not to be persuaded. She started crying and stomping her feet even though I assured her we would only be there for a nano-second, only long enough to drop off the snack and wave at the school secretary.

She didn't believe me. Either that or she didn't care WHAT I was doing or HOW long it was going to take me to do it because she has her own life and she has places to be and people to see.

I took her by the hand and started walking but that set her off and she threw herself down on her tooshie right there in the school parking lot. And then the screaming reached a fever pitch which caused all of the windows in a 100 mile radius to reverberate and made every overhead airborne creature fall to their deaths right out of the sky.

I picked her up and started walking to the school where I was met with an old woman who was at the front doors standing both in body and in judgment. She looked at my blubblering Bear and was like, "aww you poor sweetie, what did your mean old mommy do to you?" And then she shot me a dirty look. A look that said, "you're a crappy mom." I said, "first I told her that Santa Claus isn't real but that didn't make her cry at all so then I gave her an Indian burn but that didn't make her cry loud enough so then I threw her into the parking lot and ran over her a few times with my minivan. That's why she's screaming, sheesh...kids these days are such pussies!"

Okay, I didn't actually SAY that but I wanted to. UGH, I hate old women who do that. They give you dirty looks and tell you that you shouldn't have your baby outside without socks or that your toddler should be wearing a winter hat in 60 degree weather or that you shouldn't be breastfeeding because it's "inappropriate".

These women, who haven't endured a temper tantrum in like a hundred years. They haven't been puked on or peed on or snotted on in half a century and they're gonna watch me in the midst of one of the most intensely stressful times of motherhood and make me feel like shit!?! This is where things are all wrong. Wouldn't it be nice if once, just once, one of those old women would say to us, "honey, you are doing a good job. I know it's hard but it will get better!"

Shouldn't they be advising us and supporting us rather than judging? After all, they are mothers and they should understand.

I think that older women don't recognize the difficulties that we face being mothers these days. There are pressures and worries and issues we face today that older mothers couldn't even begin to imagine. Yes, motherhood has changed. The road is longer, the hills are steeper and the challenges more riddled with land mines but the fundamentals remain. We love our kids and are doing the best we can to be good moms and they should at least support that.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chernobyl

After we returned from our classes on Saturday, we came home and chilled. I was exhausted from having gotten up early to hit the gym. It's the swimming that gets me, I swear! I can do an hour on the elliptical machine and feel fantastic but if I let my little toe dip in the pool for more than a minute, I get exhausted and need a nap.

Do you remember that movie "Cocoon" where all the old people take a swim and regain their youthfulness? Well apparently the YMCA pool does the opposite for me. It sucks the life out of me until I feel like I want to shrivel up and die!

But anyway, I was tired and not exactly feeling in the best mood to cook dinner so I took a minute to pray to God that my children would be happy with Aldi's brand Lucky Charms for dinner when he answered my prayers in the form of a phone call from a friend asking us to come over and have dinner. *makes sign of the cross* It was a miracle!

We went over and the kids had some chicken soup with popsicles and us adults had chili with home-made beer. Delish! I knew that it was a dangerous combination as I watched Howie wolf down his second bowl. This is the conversation that I had with myself in my head:

"Mmm, this chili is so good. I hope I don't get too much gas. Oh shit, gas...how much has Howie eaten. Gulp, he's on his second bowl, a big bowl. But maybe he'll stay away from the...aaaaand there he goes putting a cup full of cheese on his chili. Maybe it won't be too bad. Oh, who am I kidding, this is going to be ugly. What's he drinking? Beer? Oh sweet Jesus, protect me! He just drank my beer too. How am I going to sleep with him tonight? He's going to kill me, I'm not going to make it!"

That's about the time that I hugged my kids and my friend because I knew it might be the last time I saw them, for there was surely no way that I would live through the night if I had to sleep next to this flatulent man.

I was right. Right about an hour after we got home and put the kids to bed, the rumbling began. It was like thunder, foreshadowing an ominous storm, the kind that rips the roof right off of your house and catapults you half a mile from your bed where you wake up half-naked, wrapped around a telephone pole.

Then it happened...Chernobyl! I couldn't breathe, I suddenly got very dizzy and felt faint.

Sweet Lord of all that is holy, I beg your forgiveness for whatever evil deeds I have done during my life that made you think I must be punished by dying such a torturous death.

I don't remember much of what happened after the first blast, what with all of the smoke and debris. Plus, I think I passed out because I vaguely remember my life flashing before my eyes and momentarily worrying about where I had put my life insurance plan.

But I have lived to tell the tale although I think I do have a rather debilitating case of post traumatic stress disorder. Every time I think about or try to say the word ch, ch, chil, ch, chil...you know what I mean, I start to twitch and then I fall over to the floor where I land in the fetal position and start to suck my thumb.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Well, That Settles It

Birdie: "OH. MY. GOODNESS! What is wrong? Something is wrong with my legs.! I don't know what happened. It's so terrible. What am I going to do? Why do I keep having to scratch my legs!?!"
Howie: "Um, because they're itchy."
Birdie: "Oh. Okay."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Monthly Memo To Kids: March 2009

To: Larry, Curly and Moe
From: The boss lady
Re: No, pudding does not constitute a healthy dinner.

Birdie:
You are pretty much the only one of you kids that can sort of understand the process of adoption. And we've chosen to be very upfront and honest about the whole thing but we've kept it very basic. There are kids out there whose parents can't take care of them and we can so one of those kids will be coming to live with us and we hope they can stay forever. When I asked you what you thought about that you said, " so a new kid is going to live here with us? Can it be my friend Ben from down the street?" I had to explain that it can't just be any kid. We can't just go walking down the street as if furniture window shopping and say, "hmmm, that one looks good...I bet it would give a nice contrast to my family room throw pillows." I was struck by the level of acceptance you exhibited. There were no questions, no concerns, no worries. If anything you were a little excited because you viewed it not as a burden but a blessing. Sometimes you are wise beyond your years. You also have a way of cutting through the red tape and asking simple questions like, "can we named him?" Hmm, I never thought about that. I don't' know, but if we can, maybe we should call him Ben!

Most of the kids in your class have been losing many of their teeth. There are so many gummy mouths in your class that it looks less like first grade and more like bingo night at an old folks home. This infuriates you because your teeth are stubborn as hell. The other day when I looked in your mouth I noticed that all of your baby teeth were holding up picket signs that read, "hell NO, we won't GO!" The only two teeth you've lost have been surgically ripped from your mouth by your dentist and I have this nauseous feeling that the rest of them might have to be pulled as well. It makes you feel terribly left out because all the girls in class sit around and compare notes about how they lost their teeth. I know it's hard being the one left out but I do have some good news for you. If genetics is any indicator, you will be one of the first girls in your class to get your boobs! Sweet, right?
This month, we signed you up for t-ball and to my surprise, your daddy decided to be your coach. I don't want to sound like I think your father is incompetent. In his day (1988) he was quite the athlete. He ran track, biked, played football, skied and could do some totally rad ollie's with his skateboard but dude, that was like...twenty years ago. The other day your dad slept wrong on his shoulder and he complained about it for a week. In all honesty, if he turns in any direction that is out of the ordinary, he hurts himself, so I have to wonder what he was thinking when he signed up to coach. But he's excited which means that you are excited and I'm excited for both of you. It's something you can do together. I know you'll have a great time. You just both need to remember to keep your eyes on your balls at all times.
Bubba:
The other day I sent all of you kids outside to play and you had a great time discovering dinosaurs and playing zoo and whatnot. When it was time for dinner I called you all in and as soon as you walked in the door you said, "I smell spaGHETTI, did you make spaGHETTI?" "Why yes son, I did and it's yummilicious." You giggled and started singing..."On top of spagheeeeetiiiiiii all covered with cheeeeeeeeese." I continued, "I lost my poor meeeeeeatbaaaaal when somebody sneeeeeezed." When your dad heard this he piped in with the deepest, loudest voice ever heard by man, "It rolled of the taaaaaable and onto the floooooooor." And of course Birdie followed, "and then my poor meeeeeeatbaaaaal rolled out the front doooor." We were all giggling by the time we sat down and we had the best time around the dinner table that night. You have the ability to do that with almost every situation. You make it light and fun and silly. I find it ironic that at the peak of your symptoms, you couldn't stand music. It made you uncomfortable and anxious but now...well now, it defines almost everything you do. You turn nearly everything into a sing along and it's the best fun in the world!
The other day I decided to switch things around on you guys and put a new movie in the mini-van DVD. This was mostly for selfish reasons because if I had to listen to ONE MORE STINKING SECOND of "Barnyard", I was prepared to blow my brains out. So I put in "The Blue Elephant" and was really surprised that you all liked it because the first time you saw it you all declared that it was going straight to video and gave it a thumbs down. But not the second time around, now you all love it and it has sparked an ever-increasing obsession with everything elephant. You and Bear found two sets of play stethoscopes and pretend they are your "tucks". And no matter how many times I try to explain that the word is "TUSKS" and not "TUCKS" you just don't get it. And you don't care to get it because you laugh in my face and say "tucks, tucks, tucks." I should let it go but it just grates on me, something that has not been lost on you because you follow me around with a rubbery elephant pointing out his giant "tucks" and when I purse my lips at you, you crack up into fits of giggles and run away.

We're working very hard to show you how to write your name and address. You try hard but you inevitably get the letters mixed up so instead of writing "Carter" you write "Caret". And when we told you that our house number was 57, you insisted that it was 75 which means that if you are ever lost and the cops try to take you home, they will be ringing those pour people over at #75 and asking them if they lost a "Caret".

Bear:
The fact that your speech has exploded is completely old news by now. You are speaking in full sentences, reciting the Gettysburg Address even...in two languages. There is only one thing that I've been waiting impatiently for you to say: "I love you." I try to prompt you every night by giving the customary hugs and kisses and telling you that I love you, to which you respond, "thanks". Like, "yeah lady, thanks so much for the love but I'm really not that into you." But then the other day YOU SAID IT. It wasn't to me, the woman who bore you in her body for 9 months and suffered hours and hours of un-anesthetized natural labor to bring you into this world. Nope, not me, not the one woke up every two hours to feed and burp you. The one who bathed you and fed you and played with you and kissed your boo boos. Nope. Who was bestowed with this, your highest honor? Bubba. Yes Bubba, the boy who takes your toys and refuses to share with you and makes you cry on an hourly basis. The boy who eats your snacks when you're not looking and tattle tales on you every chance he gets. Well then, whatever. I won't lie...it hurt. But then the next day you said it to ME! And when your daddy heard all the hubbub that I was making about it he came in and said, "and I love you too, Bear" to which you replied, "okay." *snort*

Living with you is kind of like living in the middle of a battle field riddled with land mines. We never know when and where we are going to set one off. It's something different everyday. It could be that you want yogurt for breakfast and we have none. Or that you want to wear a nightgown covered in pee to the YMCA and I won't let you (I'm such a bitch). Or maybe it's because your shoes won't go on the way you want them too or you can't get your jacket on by yourself. Maybe the DVD won't load fast enough or the chicken nuggets are too hot. Or too cold. Yep, we pretty much never know when you are going to explode right in our faces but one thing is certain: there will be a lot of carnage. A lot of bloody, mangled carnage.

Your favorite book this month was "A Little White Duck". I read it at least five times a day for almost a month straight. I'd like to say that it was annoying or bothersome but really, there is nothing I enjoy more than having you on my lap while I read/sing a book to you. It's delightful. You memorized the lyrics almost immediately and would break out into song when I (or the people in the drugstore) least expected it.
You've become a whiz at stalling your bed time. We go through the regular routine of bath, jammies, teeth brushed, hair combed, books read and bed time. I give you a hug and a kiss and tell you that I love you and say "goodnight". You are quiet and still. But just when I'm about to close the door you say, "mommy?" "Yes, honey", "A dark and books and sing a song, look dress so beautiful, kiss bear, a books, a books, a drink?" So I get you a drink, tell you that you have on a beautiful dress, kiss your teddy bear and give you some books. "Goodnight." Again I move quietly (yet swiftly) to the door and just when I'm through the frame I hear, "mommy!" "Yes, love". "A socks on, gimme, gimme, gimme, a more drink?" And there I go putting on your socks and refilling the drink you slurped down in 2 nano-seconds. "It's time for bed now, goodnight." That's when you drag out the monologue. It's a long winded, barely intelligible string of words that you say so closely together that I have to wonder if you are turning red in the face from lack of oxygen. Because you refuse to take a breath. Oh no! That would mean that you would have to pause momentarily and you already know that I would take that opportunity to sneak in an "alright then, night-night" and close the door. So no, you don't take that chance so I sit there in the doorway, clutching the door knob and listening to you ramble on and on and on about politics and global warming or whatever, until you finally have to gasp for air. That's my cue. "Goodnight, love you" said in .02 seconds as I close the door in a flash and make my escape.
Today I spent some time browsing through some pics that someone had posted on Facebook. There were pictures of a tropical vacation filled with sun bathing and mixed drinks and adventures. It looked like a terrific time and for a second, I was jealous. Because this person doesn't have children and all of the exhaustion and anxiety and messiness that comes with it. Their lives may not be easy but they are simple...uncomplicated. Me, well...lets just say that there is not ONE day that goes by that there is not a complication, a monkey wrench in my plans. It can be a struggle and I sometimes long for what I used to be: careless, rested, free. It was then that I started browing through my own pics and realized that they depicted my own adventures:dance recitals and fresh baked cookies sprinkled with the sweetness that only small fingers can add. I'm still knee deep in it so I can't always see through the fog of fatigue but every once in a while, it's nice to stop for long enough to peek my head out and realize that I'm smack dab in the middle of paradise.

Garbage Disposal

There is this battle that I have with myself after every meal that I feed my children. It goes like this...oh look, I just fed my son five chicken nuggets and a bowl of applesauce and it looks like he ate exactly 1/8th of ONE of those chicken nuggets. And since that filled him up so much, he only dipped (not scooped) his spoon into his applesauce and licked off whatever would stick to the metal. He must be stuffed, it's a miracle that the boy can even move after such an overindulgent meal!

So what exactly do I do with all of this leftover food? Toss it out? Are you crazy, I spent my husband's hard earned money to buy those nuggets. Do you know how many emails he had to read to make that money? Lots. Enough to kill his left eye and make his fingers spasm, that's how many.

He got up every morning and put on an itchy tie and thin soled shoes and sat 20 minutes in traffic so that he could get to work on time and bring home the money to pay for those stinkin' chicken nuggets. How could I just toss them away, it's like throwing away money!!

But I should toss them out. They'll go bad by the time the kids agree to eat them again and it's a shame to waste them.

Or...

I could eat them.

Yeah, lets do that. Gulp. Oh look, Bear left a scoop of yogurt. Gulp. Oh, and Birdie didn't drink her juice. Gulp.

Basically, I've reduced myself to a human garbage disposal.

Tonight I decided to resist the urge. I would either store the left overs or toss them out and since the nuggets were all soggy from having laid in half a gallon of ketchup, I decided to toss. But oh how I longed to take a bite. It pains me that all of that perfectly good food is sitting in my garbage bags.

But I have to think of it this way...at least it's not sitting on my saddle bags!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sorry About That

I totally forgot that yesterday was supposed to be flashback Tuesday, where I post an oldie but goodie blog. Oops. My bad.

Go ahead...spank me. But I have to warn you...I might like it :-)

Here's a pillow talk blog from a while back :-) Enjoy!