Friday, December 26, 2008

Sweet baby girl

My baby turns one today.
Last year at this time, I was recovering from my c-section and suffering a spinal headache which made it impossible for me to open my eyes and see my newborn daughter.
I had brief glimpes of her--red faced and angry, tiny at 7lb 8 ounces. But soon enough the nausea took over and I had to return to the darkness.
One year later, I have an active, happy little girl, who, while still tiny, is a spitfire and a clown. Unlike one year ago, my daughter demands my attention and doesn't settle for eyes closed in respite.
My daughter has claimed me as her own more effectively than her brotehrs ever did. Punk will not take no for an answer, and leaves myself, her father, and her brothers standing in her wake watching a 20 pound baby drawl all over us.
She is a joy and a pain, a bully and a snuggler, a brat and an angel. She is perfect in her own way.
So today, she turns one year old, a momentous occassion in every person's life. it is thE beginning of yearly celebrations and aging, of milestones and growth.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

I never really understood the holidays BH. (Before heathens)
Before, you got presents, you bought presents, and you ate and slept.
A pretty good system. Nice and simple.
Now, as a parent, I have entered Holiday Hell.
You know what I'm talking about.
Think parents biting and clawing at each other for the last Tickle Me Stupid Elmo in a fifty mile radius.
Think obsessive baking of cookies.
Think matching Christmas clothes that the heathens will never wear again.
I seriously thought I might cold cock an old lady looking at the last remote controlled dinosaur in the store.
Caught myself before it actually connected.
Scared her into letting go of the dinosaur.
(Damn that old lady could run fast.)
Seriously, I'm sick.
The Man is no better. He had to buy the oldest heathen a bicycle. Bug is four and falls over everything. Lint on the floor? You can bet he'll fall over it. The child wears size eleven shoes--he's all legs and feet. And the feet never go the same direction.
So I look at the bike and picture the injuries and trips to the emergency room.
The Man makes it worse with a few choice words, "We can pass it down to Boo!"
So not only will my oldest baby be bloody and battered, but now he's tossing my blue eyed baby boy under the wheels of a blood thirsty Huffy bent on world domination and child scarifice.
The Man is half crocked and all crazy.
I have held baby dolls and checked for cuddle factor.
I have scoured the shelves for remote control cars that were suitable for young boys.
I have weighed the pros and cons of different icings and whether glitter or glaze is better. Sprinkles or sugar crystals?
I have entered a Martha Stewart Christmas variety of hell.
All so my heathens have one of those holidays.
The ones they remember with fondness. The ones that make it look effortless and magical. the ones that, when I am ashes and dust, they will have to look back on and know their mama loved them as she killed herself trying for that perfect gift.
Love hurts.
Love kills around the holidays.
My heathens better appreciate this! They better put me in a nice home when I'm old and senile. One where a handsome young man wipes my chin and my butt with warmed, soft wipes.
I'll have earned it after all of this.
Happy holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008


My husband saw a little girl become and angel today.
Icy roads, a truck, and no car seat are all the explanation anyone needs.
She was the same age as our boys.
The Man stopped to help. And was both blessed and cursed to forever be a part of that child's angel day.
As a person, the death of a child is horrifying.
As a parent, it is devastating. Not only because it could have been your own child, but also because you know that, but for the grace of the Divine, you might be in their shoes.
Our children are gifts.
Hold your wee ones close today.
And think about that poor mother whose arms will forever reach for that lost child.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time flies

Time flies by on gilded wings of a thousand doves.
That promptly shit on me, my car, and the damned dog.
The silver lining? Silver plated.
The cup half full? Of congealed Pepsi that won't let go to slip to the bottom of the cup.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Got there too late.
I'm feeling a bit surly for multiple reasons.

1. Three sick kids.
2. One teething baby.
3. A four year old who refuses to put on his shoes before walking outside.
4. The Man's work comp thing dragging on again.
5. Holidays.
6. My baby girl walked without me there today.

I won't go into great detail because, well, it would turn into a gritch fest of monumental proportions and not make me feel one bit better. And it won't fix anything.
My kids will have to get better on their own. if not,the Giant pain in my ass Schnauzer has dug a couple of good sized holes that I can use. (I'm joking! Harvey would have to dig the holes a bit deeper to suit my needs)
The baby girl's teeth will come in on their own or we'll invest in baby dentures.
The four year old will learn his lesson walking barefoot in the snow while I trudge along, waiting for a neighbor to call DHS on me for child abuse.
I didn't expect the WC case to speed along. I wasn't born yesterday, and my wrinkles and gray hairs (growing from my chin) attest to that. But still, it's been six months and we're still plodding along and getting nowhere fast.
The holidays are just a pain in my ass. Three kids. Limited funds. Blah.
And my baby walked today and I wasn't there to see it. She saved that milestone for her daddy, not me, and I missed the entire freaking deal.
So I'm little grumpy, testy, bitchy, and volatile. And did I mention hostile?
I'm looking for that damned leprechaun. He'll give me the sticking gold once I'm done with him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tis the season

This Christmas will be the first time in years I won't be pregnant or have a newborn.
It seems strange to realize my childbearing days are done, and with the approach of the 33rd (*gasp*) birthday, bittersweet.
Last year at this time, we were without electricity in our house due to the mother of all ice storms. For 5 days, we kept warm using our gas stove and layering the boys up in have a dozen items of clothing.
I was a mammoth of pregnancy discomforts, sending The Man and I to the hospital at least once with nasty Braxton hicks contractions. We went for other baby related fun and games--Punk was a bit of an attention whore even in the womb. She loved to go see the nurses at the hospital and by the time we were there for the real deal, it was old news.
Last year was our first season of sorrow, brought on by the loss of Daddy the year before at Thanksgiving. The first Christmas we were both numb and fearful, trying to overcompensate for the loss and the absence of a loved one.
And my birthday is approaching, which is a dark day. I loathe my birthday. Growing older is not something I want to celebrate. On that auspicious day, all I want is a large Pepsi, a good book, and silence. Not so much to ask. But the concept evades The Man and the wee little heathens. They look for any excuse to celebrate and have cake. Seriously! They would celebrate the fourth Tuesday after Cousin Vinny played on TBS for the 80th time if they could.
So, although I want nothing more than to crawl into my bed and not move until next year, I will continue to pull on my big girl panties (granny style) and put one foot in front of the other. I will continue to smile at my children and snarl at my husband (why change a good thing now).
I, like Gloria Gaynor, will survive.
And next year will be better.
Next year, my family will keep all their body parts.
Next year, my season of sorrow will come and I will face it once more.
Next year, I will finally schedule my trip to some deserted mecca on my boirthday and not tell my family where I am going.
Next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Be thankful

It's that time of year again.
The winds have turned cold. We're waiting for the first snow of the year. Frozen turkey bowling balls have appeared in the stores once more. We're inundated with sale ads and Black Friday ads and commercials for hugely impractical toys.
We also see those images of perfect Thanksgivings.
You know the ones.
The TV shows a four year old dressed in a sweater and tie, sitting perfectly at the table and using his knife and fork with a prowess Emily Post would praise. Beside him, in an antique wooden high chair is his sister, dressed in spotless taffeta and lace and not a speck of food has missed her mouth.
Grandma and Grandpa, aunts and uncles, all sit around the table as mom brings in a perfectly brown, perfectly garnished turkey. After the perfunctory peck on the cheek from her husband and the adoring gaze she casts at him, he prepares to carve.
That's what the TV shows.
My life looks more like this.
Punk is sitting a high chair, her hands, face, hair, and surrounding covered in a film of stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and drool.
Boo is sitting at the table, clad only in a pull up (saves on laundry) shovelling in devilled eggs like they are the last layings of the last chicken on earth.
Bug is sitting in a chair, probably in his underwear, picking out one piece of food and studying it like a specimen under a microscope before declaring it's "Yucky."
The Man is trying to inhale food between talking sports with my brother, whose walking by sneaking additional bites.
My nephew will be on his third plate before we've each filled our first plate.
I'll be repeatedly asking, in a more high pitched and shrill voice, for the kids to eat their dinner with their forks and to "Act like they have some manners and belong to the human race!" There will be no adoring glances, just reminders that "These are your children, too, you know!"
My sister in law will be picking the skin off the turkey or the oysters from the stuffing while plotting a post holiday shopping trip, complete with diagrams.
And my mom will sit there with a bemused smile on ehr face, watching the chaos and enjoying it.
And somewhere, probably near the ham, the memory of my Daddy will sit, laughing at us, urging the boys to be louder and messier and sneaking Punk little bits of food.
While I'm celebrating my not so Walton's Thanksgiving, I hope you have a day blessed with joy and love and plenty of good food.
Just remember, it's not about the perfection of the day and the Polaroid moments, its about the smiles, the laughter, and the love. Perfection is highly over rated and the leading cause of ulcers in mothers around the holidays.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Game Show Snobbery

Now, I love me some game shows.
But I am a bit of a snob.
I don't like Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, or any game I consider pedestrian and pedantic (words learned from game shows, BTW!).
Nope, I like the brain teasing, make ya think shows like Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Alex Trebeck giving the answer makes me happy, and truthfully, a little hot under the collar. Who doesn't get a little bothered and sweaty by a man holding all the right answers in life?
And I would so do Millionaire. Meredith and I? We would be legendary! History making.
Let me just say I am a trivia junkie.
No, not a trivia junkie. The trivia junkie.
How many times did Dorothy's hair change lengths in the Wizard of Oz? Four!
Ask another!
I'm ready!
Do you hear the Jeopardy theme music, or is it just me?
My family won't play trivia games against me anymore. They fear the all powerful, all knowing brainiac I am. (Or is it because of the insufferable chit I become when winning? Hmmm.)
Seriously, I love the challenge of trying to pull some piece of obscure information I may or may not know out of my wazoo and presenting it as fact.
It's a rush like no other.
Better than sex, drugs, rock and roll, and anything else you might name.
Except chocolate and Pepsi.
That's my line. Drawing it in the sand.
Other people share my obsession, including the bloggers at and
What's your game show get off? Come on! Share! We're friends, aren't we?
And I won't tell!
Oh! Jeopardy's on!
I'm coming, Alex!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I am fortunate.
I will never forget what my dear, departed loved ones look like.
My children look like them, more so every day.
My kids all look like me, with little bits of their dad thrown in, but they are a genetic blueprint for their ancestry.
For example, when Bug smiles, he has that same cat in the cream grin my Daddy had. The one where I knew he was up to something and just waited for the police to come knocking at the door. In a few years (hopefully thirty) it may be an irate father pounding on my door because some girl fell victim to that smile.
Boo has his great grandpa's eyes and the cleft in his chin. In fact, Boo looks so much like my sweet grandpa it's startling. I've never seen any picture of Grandpa as a child, but I now know exactly what he would have looked like.
Punk looks like me mostly, but she has soft brown eyes like my grandma. And her smile is that same cat in the cream smile of her grandpa, only feminine and pretty instead of handsome and rakish.
My babies look like their Daddy's side of the family--at least the one's that I like and I'll admit to.
Bug and Boo both run like my husband's grandpa, kicking out their feet like Charlie Chaplin on crack and with their heads down, ready to run into something.
There are other similarities, mostly in the dietary considerations of my youngest son, who will eat almost anything. That definitely came from his Daddy's side!
In this, the season of my family's loss--and birth, with the arrival of our baby Punk-- I take comfort in looking at my children and knowing that people don't really leave us. They stay behind in tactile reminders imprinted upon our children, ourselves, and the world around us.
It's a pretty nice legacy for them to leave us.
I think I'll go stare at my kids a while.

Time marches on

This Saturday will be two years since my dear Daddy passed away.
The world has moved on, and, so, in many ways, have my family and I.
I have had a baby girl, my boys have grown by leaps and bounds, and my husband has lost portion of two fingers, creating a whole new bevy of sick humor.
My mom has a boyfriend, which is not something I ever thought I would hear myself say.
The home I grew up in was sold and my mom moved into town and into a new home.
My brother became human, although he's still ac capitalist pig.
My nephew is driving.
That is just some scary shit.
I know that time marches on, despite our efforts to hold it motionless.
The pain is no longer crippling, just wrenching.
I can still smell him, that mixture of sweat and after shave that was unique to him.
I can still hear him calling me Punk and laughing at my boys.
I know what his face would look like staring at my baby Punk girl. That mixture of awe and amusement that my boys instilled with a healthy dose of protectiveness.
Some days, I can almost feel his holding me, like when I was little, curled up in his lap while he rocked me.
Like I do with my own children.
I miss him. I love him. I would love to see him one more time.
It seems, no matter how much time has passed, no matter how old you are, some days, all you want is your Daddy to hold you and tell you everything's all right.
Or to sit around the table with you and your brother and embarrass your mother. Either way, you miss him. You want him around.
No matter what, a girl always needs her Daddy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ten hut!

Today is Veteran's Day.
Despite what you may think, it is not a day just to get off work.
It is a day that recognizes the sacrifices of our military men and women, who should be honored 365 days a year.
Yup, I'm married to a veteran of two wars, daughter and granddaughter of veterans. My husband is proud of his service, as were my daddy and grandpa.
And I am proud of them.
Today is a day you should look that veteran selling paper flowers outside of a donut shop straight in the eye and say, "Thank you." And then you should buy one of those flowers and display it proudly.
You should teach your children to understand the sacrifices made by these men and women. And to understand that not every one came home.
You should look at the man with no legs, wearing a American flag, and understand that his sacrifice was so you could elect a President, go to school, and live freely.
You should do this every day or every year, but I understand that we are human and we get too busy to think about our veterans.
So, just for today, remember why you are and American. It was not just a fluke of being born in this country. It was because someone, somewhere, stood tall and proud, laying down their live so we would not have to.
Our freedom was bought with the blood of men and women, with the tears of grieving wives and mothers, with pain, sorrow, and sweat. And to forget that is to forget what it means to be an American.
Even though the men in my life are Navy men, I think they'll understand when I say, "Hoorah, baby!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock the Vote!

Or do like me and close your eyes, mark someone, and hope for the best.
Is it my imagination, or are our political choices becoming increasingly unsavory?
I am terrified of either person, Obama or McCain, in office, because they are simply politicians playing the game.
They will promise us everything they think we want to hear until they are elected, then the promises will fly out the window faster than a helium balloon in a hurricane.
Candidates make more promises than a sex starved man trying to get the last woman on earth to put out. And once they have what they want, just like that man, the promises will suddenly be forgotten.
Politics is a business and these officials are in the business to make money. Somewhere, underneath their slicked up veneer and political rhetoric, they might care a small amount about my family trying to make ends meet, but only until it affects their own pocket books.
They will not get us out of Iraq neatly. They will not stop the recession, improve health care, save social security, cuts taxes, or anything else. They will become slaves to the system and either learn to go with it or get run over.
The United States needs to revamp their election promise. We need real people, not politicians in office and leading this country. Only then will you find middle America, main street represented. Only then will our country crawl out of the cess pool it is wallowing in, wipe the shit off our faces, and stand proud.
I will vote today because it is both a right and a duty. But I won't like the outcome, no matter who wins.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The magic is gone

After 13 years of marriage, four pregnancies, three kids, twenty pets, two mortgages, and more bills than I care to contemplate, I've realized the magic is gone from my marriage.
Yup. Poof. Gone. Dissapated. Vanished. Hit the road. Hasta la vista, baby.
Get the idea?
Why, you ask?
Last night was my husband's first night at home in three days. The kids were asleep. I was bathed, fluffed, plucked, and primped.
You figured he'd get some sort of amorous ideas, wouldn't you?
Nope. Not him. He stayed up to watch Bride of Frankenstein.
Yes, you read right. He would rather watch a horror movie, blood and guts, screaming and mayhem, than come to bed and play doctor with me.
Now, I knew when I married The Man that Halloween was his favorite time of year. I have sat through more horror movies than I care to admit, including every Halloween known to man. I have even checked the basement afterwards to assure his that not only is Michael Meyers a fictional character but there is absolutely no way he had gotten into our basement, should hell freeze over and Michael jump off the film strip.
And I only snickered a few times.
But last night was just too much.
The Man preferred to watch a movie (which could have been recorded) rather than come be with me.
Hell, I would have screamed if that was all he wanted.
So I now have to face reality. The magic is gone, leaving me trapped in a noukieless marriage with a man who will toss me over for a psychotic killer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

That time of year

The weather is getting colder. The trees are losing their leaves. And my kids are stir crazy because it's too cold and dark too early to run outside, screaming like raving lunatics.
Plus their dad went back to work and doesn't have as much time to play.
This is The Man's favorite time of the year. He loves Halloween, dressing up, and especially, trick or treating. Scary movies are his first love, even though my yearly prank of setting up the computer with the theme music to Halloween sends him through the roof. Especially funny when he hears it in the middle of the night. Snicker.
For me, although i enjoy the cooler weather and the family activities, it's bittersweet. This is the time of year I remember everyone I have lost. On Halloween, I reminisce about them, knowing that that night they are close and I can almost touch them.
If I can just get the kids to stop devouring candy and bouncing off the walls in a sugar induce, candy corn high.
If I were a ghost, i would stay far away from my house for the next few weeks.
Seriously, many communities honor their dead during this time of year. They decorate graves, lay out favored meals, and set up shrines. The veil between the living and death is at its thinnest, and ghosts walk with the living.
To some, spooky stuff.
To me, my kids are scarier than any ghost.
So I open my house and my heart on Halloween to my lost loved ones and urge you to do the same.
Just make sure you're house is clean in case Granny shows up with the white glove inspection.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You know you're a mom when

You spend an hour destroying your house looking for your son's ratty pooh bear that he carries everywhere.
When you find yourself eBaying it, hoping to find replacement.
When you lift the couch to peer under it.
When you've dumped out the contents of three toys chests looking for it.
And when you are almost in tears when you see a worn white leg sticking out from under your bed and you go in to the child's room, triumphant, excited, relieved, expecting to find your child waiting anxiously, expecting to hear a gleeful, "BEAR!" cried out upon his arrival, to deliver the beloved friend and recieve a sloppy kiss.
Only to find your child has fallen asleep.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Playing favorites

I love all of my kids.
I really do.
Most days.
But I find myself looking at these three unique individuals and wondering if I'm playing favorites.
Okay, the baby is still nursing and she loves me holding her. In fact she demands my attention when I'm at home.
I love to dress her in pretty clothes and to make her bows. I love our time together and am thrilled she's so happy to be with me. (Guilty pleasure that she prefers me over her daddy!)
So is she my favorite?
Or is Boo, who has beautiful blue eyes and the conversation skills of a trained lawyer. I love that he sucks his thumb and carries around his ratty Pooh bear.
I love the monster noises he makes, the fact that he loves to help, and that he calls snuggle a "nuggle."
Would that make him my favorite?
Could it be Bug, the oldest heathen in my crew? Is he my favorite?
Do I show my favoritism by scouring the Internet for a lost woobie replacement that has to be ordered from Sweden--which I've now done twice in two years.
Or is because he gets to do everything first? Is it because he tells me fantastic stories about his day that keep me riveted, or because I never know what he will say or do next?
Do you have to have a favorite child? Or is it a favorite child at that precise moment?
I would like to think, as a favored child myself, that I am unbiased and equal with my kids.
Some days, I know I'm not.
Do we have to have a favorite child? Or is it just the child whose easiest at that moment who is labelled the favorite?

The Plague

It has descended upon our house.
It started off innocently enough. Punk had a runny nose and cough. She'd just had vaccines, so I didn't worry.
Then it moved to my oldest child, who'd also just had vaccines. Still, only slightly worried.
Then it hit Boo.
I began to realize I had an epidemic on my hands.
It floored my husband, but he's a bit of a wimp and hypochondriac. I told him to take his meds and hush.
It went back after the kids.
Meanwhile, I'm standing with a bottle of Lysol in one hand, a snot covered tissue in another, the proverbial finger in the dike (no jokes!) trying to hold back the flood.
It got me today. I give up. I'm hoping to be washed away in dreams of Calgon and Nyquil.
I'm hoping I won't have to come back from a land filled with dreamless sleep and hot baths, of steaming mugs of tea and throat lozenges.
Hell, no, I don't like being sick. But, if I'm sick, I might get a few moments of peace.
After I lock the door, put in ear plugs, and yell that The Man is on his own.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This week

This week it will be six long years since I lost my first baby.
It will be six long years since I stared hopefully at an ultrasound and waited for a heartbeat.
It will be six years since I knew my baby had died.
Six years since I had my D&C.
Time has certainly passed and I have been blessed with three happy, healthy children.
But I know this week, when I look around the dinner table, there will be that one face missing. There always is.
Sitting right next to Boo is my ghost child, telling me all about her day at school and arguing with her brothers while her baby sister watching her big eyed and admiringly.
This week, at bedtime, I will tuck in my memory of that fleeting child, pressing a kiss to her forehead and telling her "Mama loves you whole bunches, you know."
Because I still do.
Octoebr 15th is National Miscarriage Awareness Day. Strangely enough, it's also the day I lost my baby.
Please take a moment to check on those women you know how have loved and lost.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Introducing my Toddler Terrorist

I would like you to meet my pint sized terrorist, Boo.
Boo has recently moved from sweet and happy baby to crying, scream, no spewing, feet stomping, crying hostage taker.
I am one of the two hostages.
I would like to have someone please negotiate my release. (The Man, the other hostage, can negotiate his own release. Love only goes so far, baby!)
Boo is not following any variation of the Geneva Convention or any other standards for POW treatment.
I definitely have not gotten my package from the American Red Cross. BTW, I don't want a cookie--I want hard liquor and Valiums.
Allow me to tell you about my day under my hostage taker's wee little thumb--and he pressing me down into a smooshed mama patty as we speak.
Boo rises in the morning and demands milk/juice/money while holding his grubby beloved bear. When you ask him how he slept, he puffs out the lower lip, howls "No!" and the tears begin flowing.
During breakfast, you offer cereal. No, he wants pop turds. Then when you provide a pop turd he wants cereal.
Boo walks up in your face while you are resting and growls/roars in your face.
Boo is ALWAYS hurt and ALWAYS wants a bandage.
The drink he request five seconds ago is no longer desired. You took too long. Now he wants something strange called "yellow" and nothing but yellow will do.
If Bear gets dirty, he must immediately be washed. And you must drop everything to insure eteh washing/drying cycle takes no more than five minutes or you will be tortured with "Is Bear done yet?" for however long it takes for you to hand him a wet Bear.
If you have popcorn before bedtime, prepare to share. Amend that--prepare to hand over the entire blasted bowl to your pint sized prison guard. If you get one kernel, count yourself lucky.
Brushing teeth requires screaming, coughing, tears, and trials. Maybe two teeth got clean.
I am requesting that I be freed. I am requesting that my consul do everything in their power to free my from my Baby Bin Laden.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Mans Response

Well what can I write after reading that. I guess all I can do is Thank You for being you and not changing. You have stood by my side through thick and thin (no fat jokes)and never judged me even though you knew my faults. Thank You for being a wonderful mother that always puts her kids interest first --even if it means no sleep.But more than anything Thank You for being my wife and giving me the best 13 years of my life. I love you and cant wait to see what the rest of our lives together will bring. Happy Anniversary Baby Love The Man

Where has the time gone?

Tomorrow will be my thirteenth wedding anniversary.
Okay, our thirteenth wedding anniversary. (But aren't anniversaries, just like weddings, all about the bride/wife? I thought so!)
Thirteen years ago, I was busy trying to not run to Mexico as the pre wedding jitters took hold. I mean, I was nineteen years old, in college, and getting married? What was I thinking? I remember thinking I was going to puke all over my wedding gown, that much I remember distinctly.
Luckily, I wasn't thinking too hard.
I didn't run. I didn't blow chunks on myself or The Soon To Be Husband.
I stood there, in front of God and our selected family and friends, swearing to love and honor him--not obey. If I'd promised to obey, I'd have broken that vow within the first five minutes.
I don't remember the ceremony. I went into shock, and all I remember is taking a few steps and then being hugged in congratulations. (The ceremony was videotaped, so I know I didn't promise to obey. Covered my bases there.)
Thirteen years, four pregnancies, three kids later, I have to say I'm not sure what I would do without The Man. Some days, I think I'd like to try for five minutes, an hour tops, but when the kids started fussing, I know I'd want him back super fast.
And I might just miss himself myself.
Might being the formative word.
The Man has seen me at my best and worst--and he thinks I'm beautiful and hot.
And he likes to buy me things. When I let him.
And he cooks and cleans and cares for kids.
Admittedly, he does do things that drive me to distraction and thoughts of homicide, like leaving his socks laying around and not putting the cap on the toothpaste.
He waits until I'm soaking a bubble bath to have to use the restroom.
He occasionally rolls over in the middle of the night and breathes on me.
He eats Chex cereal with vinegar. Hell, he eats anything with vinegar.
He loves sports. Which means he's a sick puppy. Really sick. And he plays fantasy football. He needs therapy. Serious therapy.
But The Man is a great daddy, which is very sexy to the little wifey. Especially when he takes thE heathens outside for hours on end and I can relax and read without ear plugs.
My mom thinks he's a wonderful son in law (He has her fooled!).
He works hard to provide for his growing brood. (No fat jokes there!)
And he makes me laugh.
You know what I mean. Whether its a fun laugh in bed, a bust a gut laugh at something else, or a smile because of something he's said that didn't come out quite right, he makes me laugh.
He and my kids are one of the few things that can bring a laugh to my lips.
And that is worth all the dirty socks, flatulence, morning breath in the world.
It is not worth the sports. That is still too much for any sane woman to bear.
I'm working on that.
A girl's gotta have a project.
Smooches baby!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Musical Mayhem

With my first child, I scoured the web for appropriate lullabies and burn countless mix CD's to make sure he not only had a love of music, but that his brain developed too.
Bug does have a love of music. He also has a tin ear. Just like his Daddy.
his favorite lullaby? Loggins and Messina's "House on Pooh Corner."
We sing it obsessively. Even now, it's playing. Bug just ran over, "Yelled it's my song," and is trying to get him brother to sing it.
For Boo, I was tired. I admit it. I went for musical theater. Specifically Rogers and Hammerstein. "South Pacific."
I told you I was tired.
My middle child has the song "Blood Mary' s his very own. Only it's changed to "Stinky (insert his name) is the boy I love."
Poor child hates it. Probably gonna have a large therapy bill later on, but he's the middle child, so I expected that anyway.
Punk sent me straight for pop culture. Great White T's "Delilah."
I put Punk's first name in place of Delilah, can't remember half of the words, and sing "woo wooo" more often than the song calls for, but the baby is happy.
The Man sings to the kids as well, off key and without remembering the words, but he sings. From their father, my children have learned to sing "Rise up! Gather round! Rock this place to the ground. Give it up! Go for broke! Watch the night go up in smoke!"
Yup, he's raising baby head bangers in platform shoes and wearing make up. He's hoping for the next Gene Simmons (minus the freaky tongue) or AC/DC.
Needless o say, my husband's taste in music leaves a lot to be desired.
A lot.
So what do you sing to your kids?
Or what song was sung to you that is burned forever in your memory?
Wanna share? Post it here or on and
This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as an entry for a contest sponsored by Bush’s Beans.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pimpin' Pretty

When you walk into a clothing store, make a pit stop by the girls section. Specifically, stop in front of the section of underthings for little girls.
And marvel at the sequined, sparkly push up bras and thongs designed for girls who have nothing to push and who should still be wearing Disney princess panties.
I don't know about you, but my first foray into the world of over the shoulder boulder holders involved little triangles of a soft fabric basically designed to keep the teeny nips from standing out when it got a little nipply or cold.
As an eight year old, I didn't have anything to push up, and certainly didn't need a piece of floss between the cheeks of my childish bottom.
Doctors have found an increase in infections in women who wear thong underwear, so the brilliant idea of manufacturers? To place young, maturing girls in in clothes that can cause grown women infections? Brilliant!
Not to mention the apparent increase in child related sexual attacks, no doubt exacerbated by an increasingly promiscuous manufacturing industry and a consumer culture that appears determined that every child should dress like Brittany Spears. In other words, like a mini prostitute.
Why should our daughters be forced to grow up in a society so sexualized that they are forced to be women before they ever have a chance to be little girls?
Why should our daughters have the breast buds pushed into constricting, physically inappropriate bras designed to titillate when the should be playing with dolls and having slumber parties?
Why can't our little girls just be little girls instead of being forced into an ideal that makes them mimic grown women?
I personally think it is because the manufacturers of these undergarments are men who either have secret pedophillic leanings or have never had daughters of their own.
Our daughters are here for us to cherish, to protect, and to raise into responsible adults. They are not here to shake anything, to push up anything, or to have their cheeks separated by a piece of string.
My daughter will have appropriate undergarments, and she will understand that, while Pimpin' Pretty Paula down the street has glitter, rhinestones, floss, and support, her mama loves her enough to realize that she will be grown up all too soon. Her mama loves her enough to make her stay a little girl a while longer, because all too soon, she'll be missing her childhood and wishing for a chance to wear Disney princess panties once more.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Four years ago today

  1. I was only a wife and woman, not a mama
  2. I never understood how far baby poop could shoot across a room.
  3. I didn't know how many tears I would cry any hurt inflicted upon another person.
  4. I didn't have any idea that a crying baby would make milk shoot three feet across a room.
  5. I didn't know how much fun it would be to shoot my husband with my front loaded bazooka boobs.
  6. I didn't know that I could walk five miles in a circle around our living room, half asleep, holding a small, whimpering person and still rise for work the next day.
  7. I didn't know that peeing a stick would become an obsession.
  8. I didn't know that watching my husband with our child would be the sexiest thing I had ever seen.
  9. I didn't realize that I would see my lost loved ones in the eyes of my baby.
  10. I didn't realize my heart would swell and break so many times, no that I would gladly pick up the pieces and prepare for the next time a chubby little hand grabbed my heart and shattered it with just a word.
  11. I didn't know that I would sneak into the baby's bedroom at night just because I was afraid he wasn't breathing.
  12. And I didn't know I would stay in there just to watch him sleep.
  13. I didn't know that my mind would photograph and memorize every mark on my child's body, refusing to let loose of the memory of even the smallest scrape.
  14. I didn't know I would search frantically online, worldwide, for a lost beloved toy, and then pay an exorbitant amount to get it.
  15. I didn't know that I could love someone so selfish, independent, and sarcastic more than life itself. I didn't know how my heart would warm to hear myself called "mommy" and I didn't know I would look so forward to everything my child does.

Happy fourth birthday, Bug. I love you whole bunches.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Eye of the Beholder

What defines beauty? Who decides who is attractive and who was hit with every branch of the ugly tree before smacking into the ground--HARD!
This has been on my mind since my youngest child was born.
Punk has a birthmark. It is in no way disfiguring or grotesque. She has a vascular birthmark on her nose and upper lip that, when she was born, was angry and red, but in the past nine months has faded to a sunburn like quality.
I took her to the plastic surgeon yesterday to discuss options and treatments. He advised to wait and thinks its will fade naturally without help.
After our appointment, we ran a few errands.
Now I admit, I think I have pretty good looking kids. I'm proud of how they look (how they act is a different story entirely!) and enjoy making sure they look nice when we go out.
I enjoy having people comment on Boo's brilliant blue eyes and Bug's winning smile.
But after the appointment, I was mulling over the doctors words, and was more aware of people and their response to her.
I can't tell you how many people stopped to tell me how pretty she is. None of them commented on her birthmark, even though its not hidden in any way shape or form.
They just seemed to see a happy, pretty baby in a shopping cart with a frazzled, muttering mama.
I admit, when I see some adults and their children, I think to myself, "How could they even think of having kids?" or "What an unattractive child!" I'm guilty. We all are. I personally know of a toddler who looks like a Muppet. (Kid freaks me out every time I see her.)
But who defines beauty? Is it society, the media, who decides how we weigh beauty and who is found wanting?
I'm shallow enough to admit I like to hear people say my babies and beautiful.
Hell, their mama's one hot mama, so why wouldn't they be?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where has my baby gone?

Bug will be four in less than a week.
I'm having a tough time with it.
I keep looking at this tall, quick boy and expecting to see the crying, squishy baby I held not so long ago.
I listen to him announce his intentions, his likes and dislikes, and tell me about his day, and remember when I was so ready for him to talk. Now I can't get him to not talk. About everything.
I look at those size ten feet and remember the feel of his mutant monkey toes lodged in my ribcage as he performed prenatal acrobatics in my womb.
When he reaches for my hand, I remember the feel of those wrinkled baby soft fingers curling around my finger for the first time.
Four years is an eternity to Bug. It's been a time of growth, development, and discovery. He's gone from a newborn to a boy in a heartbeat, or so it seems to me.
I always hated being told that I was growing up too fast, that I should slow down.
Now, as a parent, I find myself thinking these same thoughts.
Four years is a second to me looking back.
Four years is a blink of an eye in the life of a child.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Saving Grace

"Who are you and what have you done with my children?"
I found myself daintily and in a very ladylike way screeching that at all three of my children yesterday.
Haven't you heard that a threatened aneurysm does wonders for the complexion.
My children were not just bad yesterday. They were not just horrible. They were epic.
Add to that a bad day for The Man and I (you know the days. He breathed, I snapped. I blinked, he griped.) and it was the stuff of disaster films.
The saving points which kept my home from becoming an Okie Chernobyl?
A kiss from Bug.
A "nuggle" from Boo.
And my baby girl stood up.
Even though I was seconds away from putting them all --The Man included--on a corner with a sign saying "Free to a Good Home (hell! I would have PAID someone to take them at that point), I had one of those small thing moments laying in bed after the heathens were asleep.
Every night, I lay in bed and try to remember one good thing that happened. It doesn't have to be big (but hey! I'm open to winning the lottery, ya know!). It can be as simple as the fact that i didn't flip the bird to the crazy old lady driving in front of me with one blinker on (sorry, mom, but you know it's true!).
Yesterday, the good things were little rays of sunshine coming right out of my derriere. It was better than chocolate, sex, and an insatiable Latin lover combined (joking honey--even Pedro has his limits!).
Of course, I was half asleep, heavily medicated, and totally alone in a king sized bed, so it may have been a hallucination.
And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Even in high heels

It never ceases to amaze me how strong people really are.
Take my mom for example.
My Daddy was ill most of my life, in and out of hospitals for surgeries and tests and procedures. I remember the first trip when I was eight and the last almost two years ago.
My mother stood as solid as a rock with scared children clutching her for support, with my father looking to her to handle it, with the world weighing heavy on her shoulders.
She did it with style, with grace, and with a smile.
Not to imply she did it perfectly. My brother and I still have the residual after effects of growing up with a seriously ill parent, but she protected us as best she could, and, for the most part, we're normal, well adjusted people.
Well, I am. My brother's a chauvinistic capitalist pig. But he was that way to start, so I can't really blame her for how he turned out.
I find myself looking to her example right now, faced with my husband's impending surgery, three children that are still babies, and know that I will never compare to her in handling it. But I learned a lot watching her juggle the impossible and make it look doable.
Not easy, but feasible.
A friend of mine has a seriously ill husband. And three small children herself, and she's at the point of wondering if she can put one foot in front of the other just one more time. And I find myself thinking of my mama, and her two children clutching her skirts, silently begging her to make it all right.
And somehow, she did.
Somehow, I will.
And so will my friend.
A lot of things are left out of that mother's instruction booklet that we are handed along with a slimy, screaming newborn.
But one thing is in there that a mama should never forget.
When push comes to shove, we can move mountains.
Even in high heels.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The meaning of respect

According to not quite four year old Bug (I've cleaned it up and clarified a few points, but this is how my oldest son's mind works!)

1. Respect means don't bite your brother. Even if he bites you first and even if he just happens to fall on your teeth, don't bite down.

2. Respect means don't take your brothers toys, even though throwing his best friend bear and watching him cry is so much fun!

4. Respect means shutting my mouth. (Even when I eat cause my mommy is tired of seeing the half chewed food rolling around in my mouth while I vividly describe my day's activities)

5. Respect means saying excuse me for everything. When I toot, I say excuse me. When daddy toots, I say excuse me. When anyone makes any strange noise, I say excuse me.

6. Respect means politely telling mommy she's wrong, that there are monster in my room and they come out and play with snakes and drive cars all night so I can't sleep and feel compelled to crawl into mommy and daddy's bed.

7. Respect means that I do not spin my captive baby sister round and round in her activity center, even after I'm told to stop that, because if she blows chunks, I'm going to be cleaning it up.

8. Respect means standing at the front door yelling at the dog to shut it, 'cause the neighbors are sleeping and no one wants to hear that loud of noise while they are sleeping.

9. Respect means convincing my brother to try new things, including furniture diving. If they don't work out for him, mommy and daddy will still have me to love, right?

10. And finally, respect means that although mommy occasionally slips and calls me and my brother and sister baby cockroaches, I should not repeat that to anyone, ever, for fear that DHS will come talk to my mommy. And if they talk to her, she'll be talking to me and my mommy loves to talk for a very long, long time!

Monday, September 8, 2008


My kids sometimes just amaze me.
The Man is having another surgery this week on his hand. The ring finger is not healing correctly and is causing considerable pain.
Last night, we talked with the boys about it, trying to make them understand that the doctors are going to fix Daddy's hand and that it will be okay, just different.
My egocentric, normally self centered little heathen stepped outside of themselves, crawling into The Man's lap and asking about his hand. They asked if it hurt. They asked if they could touch it. They even held up their chubby little hands and asked if the doctors would fixed their fingers too.
Throughout this ordeal, I have refused to lie to my children about what is occurring. I don't tell them everything and I make the information provided age appropriate, but I am honest about what is happening.
And last night, as I surreptitiously wiped the tears from my eyes, my boys made their mama proud.
I realized they are turning into amazing little people and felt a surge of pride in them.
And then Bug belched and Boo farted, and the Hallmark moment died in a blast of boy gases.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Banshee Baby

My daughters super power involves a phenomenal temper and an ear piercing scream.
Last night, moments after I walked through the door, my supposedly happy all day baby girl morphed into a crying, screaming, child made purely of undirected rage and Velcro.
She didn't want to nurse, but she wanted my breasts out an available, just in case.
She wanted to be held, but only in the most awkward and painful of positions imaginable, guaranteeing that my arm would break and my back would be permanently bent.
She did not want her father, her brothers, the neighbor, or the band of traveling gypsies I offered to sell her to.
She didn't want food.
She didn't want a bottle.
She wanted me, focused completely and totally on her, preferably singing her song ("Hey There Delilah" , but I substitute her first name) over and over until my lips bled and my throat was as dry as a nervous virgin.
Punk held me hostage as surely as if she had pressed a gun to my head. So I walked around last night, bare chested, carrying a sobbing, hiccuping child and closely resembling a National Geographic pictorial. You know the ones--all I can say is orangutan titties.
I want my baby back. I want her back now. I'm offering a reward. If you find a sweet, happy, chubby cheeked baby girl who answers to Punk, send her to me. If not, give me an address to send this child to.
With sugar on top?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Impending doom

Bug will be four years old the end of this month.
For some reason, I now feel old.
I don't have any gray hairs--the five that I have had since his birth have been duly plucked and sacrificed to the appropriate deity.
But my oldest turning four is very bittersweet for me.
I find myself looking at his chubby cherub baby picturesd and comparing that sweet face to the devil may care grin I see every day as he's running amok in my house and tormenting his baby brother.
It's hard to believe that child ever resided in my body, digging his mutant monkey toes into my sides and making me run for the bathroom to pee and/or vomit.
It's bittersweet, watching my baby on his journey to becoming a man.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's get ready to rumble!!!!!!!

I almost pity The Man's job.
They really made our attorney mad.
Very mad.
Spitting, swearing, "Oh my God I'm an attorney and I love this part of my job mad!"
And I'm just going to sit here and eat my popcorn and watch the show.

Monday, August 25, 2008

From the bowels of . . . my babies

My children love bodily functions. (Okay, so do their dad and I, but my kids are raising it to an art form!)
Bug is a champion burper. Give him a drink, he'll belch it for you. Repeatedly and with increasing fervor. And he'll say excuse me every time. Every time he does it in your face.
Boo is my stanky child. His poops will not only clear the room but burn your nose hairs off.
It's one of those moments where I yell, "What has your mother been feeding you?" and then I realize I am his mother, I know what he's been eating, and somewhere, in the depths of that small body, it has become toxic goo.
Oh Punk! My sweet baby girl is gas machine. She'll toot when she rolls, hiccups, sleeps, or grins. She lives her leg to let the aroma flow. She even freaked her poor dad out by tooting on his finger when he applied diaper cream.
My children are well versed in their bodily functions.
Bug has to announce every bathroom trip, and, if he does number 2, he yells loudly for us to come see what he's done.
And he describes the size and number of floating nuggets with obvious love and joy.
And if they are really big, he brags.
Boo is currently starting the road to potty trained success. Which means we're in love with an Elmo potty seat and he giggles with glee at the mention of *gasp* underwear!
Punk is hopeless. She laughs at all manner or noises emitted by her body and everyone else's. She thinks the bubble sin the bathtub are cause for celebration and squeals of joy. She doesn't seem to mind the stench her brothers regularly emit.
She thinks it funny.
She's a sick, sick child.
It's times like this where I shake my head and very devoutly place the blame squarely on their father's shoulders.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sleep. . .the final frontier

I haven't had a good night sleep in over a week.
No, scratch that. I haven't had a good night sleep since I got married thirteen years ago.
And its partially my husband's fault.
The Man snores. Loudly.
He has a rather prominent nose--okay, we'll be kind and called in Romanesque-- and the amount of air needed to pass through it passages is staggering.
That amount of suction creates a lot of noise.
Think about sleeping next to a wind tunnel and you're a fraction of the way there.
I don't blame him. Much. Not everyone can be blessed with cute button noses that don't require their own zip code.
But, with so little sleep, I'm fussy, and looking for someplace to place the blame.
Tha Man's nose can handle it. Believe me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Whay oh why do they want to go there so badly?

Have you ever noticed your children seem to want to visit the emergency room?
I don't remember it being much fun myself, but my kids all seem determined to go there.
They furniture dive, run amok and into furniture, fall off of beds, hit their heads, you name it, I think they've tried it.
This weekend, Boo decided it would be fun to spin in my office chair.
Until he fell over in it, hitting his head on a metal floor furnace grate and splitting it open.
Out comes Dr. Mom. Looking at it, it may have needed one suture.
So I weigh the options of taking him in, shelling out the copay for them to shave his head, lidocaine him (which burns) and put one suture in his head.
After much deliberation and debate (with myself--The Man left it up to me, feigning faint heartedness at the sight of blood) I opted not to take him in. Then had a sleepless night checking on him.
Why are kids so rough and tumble? Why does common sense kick in so late in life, if at all?
What in God's name is so much fun at the emergency room that my kids all want to go there quickly, not passing go and not collecting the $200 bucks, which would certainly help with the bill?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The mother/daughter dynamite . . er, dynamic?

I've always been on the receiving end of the mother/daughter relationship. You know, the good side--the daughter side.

But I find myself standing on the wrong side of the winners circle staring at my female heathen in awe and horror.

Awe: She's really cute, a great snuggler, and is a genuinely happy baby.

Horror: She's playing me like an old, well tuned violin.

Punk has recently learned to crawl. Or so I've been told by my husband, who has actually seen her crawl. But when I'm around, she lays there, flapping her arms and legs and shrieking until I finally (twenty minutes later) break down and pick her up.

She'll have eaten just a few minutes before I get home, but when I walk in the door, the boobs better be out and in the nursing position or the child is frantic and inconsolable.

When Punk sees me, she must have me. She will lunge out of her daddy's arms, grab handfuls of my hair, and then shimmy over and up any obstacle to reach me, where she will plan full, open mouthed, tongued kissed on my face until she finally finds my mouth. (I hoped we'd be close, but not that close!)

If I'm eating it, she wants it. If I have it, it must be interesting, so she wants it. If I'm doing it, I must stop it because nothing is as important and devoting my entire undivided attention my my own Baby Bin Laden.

I'm not exactly a mama novice. My boys weren't like this. They were happy to see me, but not obsessive, clingy, "oh my God child let me breathe" kind of babies.

I'm being held hostage by a twenty pound chunk of baby flesh that will brook no arguments, will not barter for my release, and refuses all offers of ransom.

If this is the mother/daughter dynamic, I'm in big trouble.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just when you think life can't drop another steamy pile on your shoulders, it surprises you with more nuggets of joy. (Sense the sarcasm in that statement?)
The Man's injuries are getting better, but more complications are arising that need to be dealt with. Possibly six more weeks of complications.
Due to the response from his work, we hired an attorney. This was not something we wanted to do, but when its a choice between a crippled, not just maimed, husband and potentially getting a good portion of usage back, we do what we have to.
Now his job wants to play hard ball.
Now I'm mad. The Man is mad. Our kids are even mad, and our attorney's mad. (He's an attorney and he loves his job)
They haven't seen hard balls yet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Future exotic dancer

My daughter, albeit a bit young for it, has decided to become a stripper.
At only 7 1/2 months.
Twice today, she has confounded and bewildered her father (which, admittedly, isn't hard to do) by stripping out of her diaper and lounging around naked as the day she was born. (Although distinctly less slimey and much less bloody.)
She has an accomplice in Bug, who carries away the offending diaper each time.
When The Man sees her, she just lays back and grins at him. She knows he won't do anything except fuss and bluster a bit--then call me for help.
I think there is a pole and four inch heels in her future.
I guess a girl's gotta make a living somehow.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Gift of Gab

My middle child has turned into a talker overnight.
Boo went from have garbled strings of nonsensical words that might make sense to full on sentences and phrases that not only demand recognition but an answer--and fast!
And it happened in just an instant.
He went to bed one night talking like a toddler and woke up the Speaker of the House.
Last night, exhausted, foot sore, and ready to collapse, i was greeted by my middle child, who launched into a full soliloquy about his day, my day, the computer, his bear, the printer, the bathroom, his brother, his sister, and anything else that caught his fancy.
I tried to escape the torrent of words by retreating into the inner sanctuary (i.e the bathroom), but he stood outside the door and asked about my well being.
I went to my bedroom and crawled into the closet, surreptitiously looking for silence while claiming I was looking for some lost treasure.
He followed me. And when The Man tried to shoo him from the room, The Man--and here's the irony--shut Boo's middle finger in the door not once, but twice.
So then I was compelled by parental guilt to come out of the closet to handle my maimed, crying son, while laughing at the irony of The Man shutting his son's middle finger in the door when the middle finger is one that he lost 10 weeks ago.
Once recovered, I realized there was no escape. I was treated to a dissertation on popcorn and milk until bedtime.
I simple sat there, nodding encouragingly while trying to focus anywhere else.
Boo certainly has the gift of gab.
In spades.
Oh boy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to school

It's that time again. Back to school.
Fortunately, I'm still a BTS (back to school) virgin. My kids aren't quite old enough. But this is the last year I won't be thrown into the fray of binders, school supplies, and new clothes.
Bug will be four the end of September, so his birthday is too late for him to start school this year. (Although he's big enough he looks like he could whoop a second graders tail!)
But next year, our lives will begin revolving around school days, activities, field trips, etc.
Luckily, The Man will make a great homeroom dad.
(Me? I barely tolerate my own kids most days, let alone anyone elses. You think I'm willingly walking into a class of 20+ 4 years olds?)
Seriously, it's hard to believe that baby I once held in my arms now looks like a school age child.
I found myself holding him this weekend, sniffing his hair.
Which, although freshly shampooed, was most definitely not scented with Ode de Baby. It was just Boy Stank.
As I tried to curl my arms around his long, bony frame, I remembered feeling his soft, squishy weight after he was born.
Looking at those ski's we call feet, I could remember when they were small enough to cup in my hand.
I can also remember when that child didn't look quite so much like his father and looked more like his stunningly hot mama.
Those were the days.
Then i looked at my middle child, my Boo, realizing I only have two years before he starts the same vicious cycle. In the past two weeks, he has ceased to look like a chubby toddler, shooting up and slimming down just like his big brother.
For the first time, I can see the man my boys will one day be.
Let me just say now, they will be hotties.
And the female sex--and the male sex-- better stay away until they have their PHd's and even then, should only sniff around if they want their noses rearranged.
Not kidding.
I'm teaching Punk to hit first and ask questions later.
It's sad to realize that they are growing up so quickly.
It's sad to realize that my body remembers every time I hold them how small they once were.
It's sad to realize that by the time they are in fourth grade, they'll most likely be taller than I am at this rate.
My babies are growing up far to fast.
But not fast enough to pay for some of the groceries they are scarfing down.
Life just isn't fair.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Theological foreplay

It is no mystery that my husband and I have different religious/spiritual beliefs.
Really? You're surprised?
Just to clear the air . . . I'm married to one of those people.
You know the ones. Christians.
(Okay, I'm joking. Not about being married a Christian but with the "those" people comments. Some of my best friends, The Man excluded 'cause he's on the list, are Christians.)
He and I have very different religious views. He's Christian, and, for lack of a better term, I'm pagan.
Before you get your knickers in a twist, that does not involve worshipping Satan. Really, horned guys don't do a thing for me. Now horny guys . . . well, that's a different matter entirely.
While my husband believes the doctrine and creed of Christianity, I hold to a view that doesn't disbelieve in any religion. Instead, I believe they are all parts of a greater whole. I believe that we all take the portion that makes sense to us, because our fragile human minds could not grasp or fathom the entirety of the Divine.
Nope, no disbelief here.
But I am curious why Christians feel the need to do some things.
Tithing? Completely in the dark there. Your God doesn't want your money--He/She could make their own very easily. Nope, the church wants it. Hmmmmm. I wonder why?
Baptizing is another. You want to be dunked in tap water to wash away your sins? In treated tap water, not even purified bottled water. Just straight from teh tap with all the chemicals and stuff? Not exactly what I would call holy water.
And what's with the proselytizing? Can't you be happy in your own spirituality without chasing down innocent people to share the Word of Christ? If we want the word, we'll find you. I promise. Scout's honor.
Truthfully, some Christians remind me of pushy Amway people--always there when you don't want them and they just won't leave you alone.
If someone is happy in themselves, is at peace with themselves, has their own belief system, why do you feel the need to intrude?
We're happy. We're healthy. We have a relationship--or not--with the Divine. Our choice, not yours.
Are you so insecure in your own choice that you have to force it upon others? Or are you so blinded by your own beliefs that you cannot see that, though we are all moving towards the same end point, we're all just walking different paths?
My path runs parallel to The Man's. Hopefully, (be proud honey 'cause this is killing me to type this) I'll meet him in the end zone. He'll be the one strutting like a drunk chicken about to drop dead.
"Yep, that's my man there. Ain't he swell?"
Just leave me to my path and I'll leave you to yours.

Bedroom Wrestling

And not the fun kind.
After The Man's bone- headed (*giggle* bone headed) move two night ago, bedroom wrestling and fun have probably ceased for a good, long time.
Bug woke up in the middle of the night. He decided he wasn't going to sleep in his own bed.
So The Man (insert expletives) brought him to ours.
Instead of realizing that the child would have fallen back to sleep in his own bed if given time, he brought Bug to ours.
Instead of realizing there was a huge size difference, he brought him to ours.
Instead of being the parent in charge, he brought him to ours.
Admittedly, he didn't want the other kids --who would have fallen back to sleep--woken up.
So he brought Bug to our bed.
And the wrestling match ensued.
Bug is not only a bed hog, he's a pillow hog and a snuggler.
I had six inches of the bed and two of my pillow, and I had to kick, scream, and claw for that!
In the middle of the night, Bug rose up from where he was stuck to my side, flopped over on me, and tried to go to sleep. When I reached out to lay him down, he went berserk, flaying, grabbing, and fighting, until I had to wake The Man up for backup.
While he got Bug settled back into bed, I huddled in the corner, pulling out my hair one strand at a time.
If having our oldest sleeping in our bed doesn't give me PTSD, nothing will.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Exhaustion--thy name is mother

Have you ever noticed that before you had kids, you were probably tired, but not exhausted?
The difference?

Tired--you can take a nap to catch up.
Exhausted--you're kids can take a nap while you clean squash off of the ceiling fan.

Tired--you still have the energy to fool around.
Exhausted--if your husband so much as looks at you, you burst into tears, threaten to smother him with a pillow, and point at the children in accusation.

Tired-- a Venti Caramel Frappacino is the perfect pick me up.
Exhausted--you don't want to be picked up. the floor, although hardwood and cold, is so comfortable. And the dust bunnies peering out from under the couch don't mind the company.

I was tired before I had children.
Now I'm perpetually exhausted. I find myself fantasizing about sleep, daydreaming about sleep. I crave it. I need it. I want it more powerfully than I have ever wanted anything.
And it is an elusive dream, just outside of my grasp.
Held hostage in the chubby, grubby hands of my three small heathen children.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The power of boys

Did you know boys have power?
It's kind of like the girl power stuff that was all the rage a few years ago.
What power, you ask?
Well, for one, they appear to be indestructible--in their own minds.
My boys have discovered the oh so fun world of furniture diving. Right onto a not terribly full, not so secure bean bag chair positioned in the middle of the living room floor--the hardwood floor.
Bug is smart enough to test drive it on Boo. I guess he figures if Boo breaks his neck, it wasn't a good idea. Boo, being the happy, amiable child he is, goes along--flying through the air and landing with a thump that makes my body hurt just to hear it.
Another power? Superhuman appetites.
When motivated, they can out eat an adult. Bug inhaled four corn dogs and an order of fries--Boo followed with two corn dogs and fries--then begged for desert.
I don't know where they put in on their skinny boy frames. If I ate like that . . . . I'd look like I do right now.
Third power? Glass shattering screams--both of abject terror (aka Mom's Mad and everyone run!) or joy (normally elicited by their foolish father who thinks its funny to hear them screaming as he sits on them and passes gas). Or maybe I had the emotions in those examples backwards, because the second would make me scream in terror.
My children, my boys especially, are amazing in the things they concoct to do, say, think, enact, or even breath upon. Every day is an adventure for which I am poorly prepared.
As a girl, albeit an old one, I never would have considered half the stuff they have already tried.
And the best is yet to come.
Admittedly, I kind of like my boys. When they are freshly bathed, sweet smelling, and asleep. Unfortunately, I most often get them covered in sweat and other substances, yelling, running, belching, and farting.
Sneaking in after they've gone to sleep to watch them is a joy.
Surviving their alert hours is an experience.
The best part of the whole deal?
I still have a daughter to bring up the rear and a whole new set of adventures elicited by another gendered child.

Four going on Fourteen

Before I became a mother, I had visions of pretty, perfect babies who slept through the night and breastfed like champs
I saw early, crawlers, walkers, and talkers.
I dreamed of please, thanks you, yes ma'am and no sir.
And then I woke up to a child taking poop out of his diaper, smearing it around, and advising me that "Mmmmm, Mommy. Tastes good."
I'm made of pretty stern stuff (as evidence by the above anecdote which resulted in a few gags and a ton of disinfectant, coupled with some mutterings about Th Man's hillbilly DNA).
But I m nowhere near prepared for adolescence.
Which my four year old, Bug, has glibly skipped over childhood and landed right in the middle of that steamy, fragrant pile.
He tells everyone no, followed by what he will do. Which normally results in my head spinning around and my inner demon coming out.
The child eyes me suspiciously, but isn't smart enough to whip out the cross and Holy water before things get ugly.
No, he thinks diving beneath the furniture is the solution.
You know those stories about moms who can lift cars off of their children?
Not me.
I move furniture to get to my children.
Often one handed.
Leaving one hand free to grope until it comes in contact with a body part--any body part--while I hear myself snarling and snapping, saliva dripping from the corners of my mouth.
Then, while explaining that his brain has evidently stopped functioning for him to think that he could ever get away with whatever infraction he enacted, we sit in time out.
Yes, we.
It's my cooling off period.
Or at least it would be if he would shut his mouth and do the time for his crime.
Nope. He's his mama's boy. He just keeps talking.
Digging a nice deep hole and making my left eye twitch dangerously.
I've taken to meditating on why killing my offspring is frowned upon.
The list is really getting short,
Main selling points? The clean up and the fact that I look awful in prison orange.
So far, those thoughts are keeping the demon contained.
I don't know how long that will last.
But if this is my precursor to having a teen-ager, I'm submitting my letter of resignation effective four years ago.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

For Chell

For those who don't know already, I am a miscarriage survivor.
I say survivor for a very specific reason.
I survived.
I don't have a badge or a ribbon or a medal, but any mother who lives through the loss of a child, is a survivor in the truest sense of the word.
Any mother whose arms are empty due to a loss is a survivor.
Any mother who still rises in the morning and goes through her day, however dazed, rather than laying down and not moving is a survivor.
Even six years later, it is as though a part of myself is missing, as though there is an injury unhealed.
I went from the highs of joy to staggering out of a cloud of confusion and blinking at the light of day.
I was decimated by pieces of shrapnel declaring that I had lost my baby at 8 weeks 3 days gestation.
Having an early miscarriage seems to invite people to make the following comments:
"You'll have other babies."
"It was for the best. Obviously something wasn't right."
"Thank goodness this happened sooner rather than later."
And other in sundry statements that make my hackles rise and make me bare my teeth.
And I do bite, just so you know.
If you have never suffered a miscarriage, count your blessings.
I cannot speak for my husband, but for me it was the most devastating experience of my life.
From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I loved that baby as passionately as I love my children now. That baby was my child, my life, and my joy.
That baby existed, even in an immature form.
For me, it was everything.
I went through all of the emotions. The sorrow, the anger, the confusion, the guilt. I raged at how my body failed my child. The one place that baby should have been safe it wasn't, for whatever reason.
Even after all these years, when I look at my children at the dinner table, there is one face missing. I know now that there always be one empty place at our table.
Just like there will always be an empty place in my heart.
The pain does get better. Slowly, it stops being all encompassing. One day, you do laugh unexpectedly. After a while you think about it less, although most likely you will still think about that baby ever day.
But eventually, it is bearable, like an old wound that has healed over badly.
After enough time, you are tender to the touch, but no longer crippled by the blow.
After a time, I knew I was blessed to have that child with me for even the briefest of times. I will hold the memory of that small flicker of life close to my heart, understanding that when I get to wherever I go when I finally drop over, there will be a little voice asking,
"What took you so long? Where's my dinner? What did you get me?"
And maybe it will add, "I've missed you, Mom."
I've missed you, too, baby.
This post is dedicated to an amazing woman I've never met in real life but who touched my heart over a cable modem.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The tea in China

With the price of tea in China, and here, and everywhere else, how am I, an enterprising young mother with a smokin'' hot bod (okay, a little fantasy, because in real life I'm an exhausted older mom with a so-so bod!) supposed to afford to bring home the bacon?
The price of groceries is ridiculous.
The only food that is affordable is the food you don't want to eat. It's the food you shouldn't eat. It's the food that you don't want your kids to eat.
I love fresh fruits, veggies, pastas, etc. My kids love them as well. (The Man is a meat and potatoes man, but I'm slowly but surely bringing him around.)
But with the fact that the dollar is stretched as far as it can, knowing I'm squeezing the penny for everything its worth, how are we, middle income Americans, supposed to survive?
Obviously, we're not rich. (I have three kids and a husband--do you really think I have any money left?)
But we're not poor either.
We're in the unfortunate middle. We make too much money to qualify for any aid, but too little to be comfortable.
We're squooshed from all sides.
So how is the middle class supposed to survive when the economic future is so bleak?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The ways of the world

I've heard it all my life-- the world works in mysterious ways.
It buck at the system, but even I know it's true.
For example, a family friend I haven't heard from in years just happens to reappear right at the time I need services she can provide?
A lump sum of money just happens to appear right as we need it for a bill?
Your child tells you he loves you bestest of all and gives you a hug right as you wonder why you ever thought you could be a parent?
The world works on its own timetable, it's own schedule, it's own path. And even though I fight it, occasionally throwing myself on the floor, kicking, screaming, and making a general fuss, I occasionally stop long enough to realize that whoever the person upstairs is, they might just know what they are doing.
I just wish they'd let me know.
Hey, I'm OCD, what can I say?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The formula equation

Obviously, I've not raised any formula fed kids.
I'm not opposed to formula for everyone else's kids. Just not mine.
My boys both had exactly two days worth of formula when they were newborns, since my milk takes over five days to come in.
But, aside from those little blips, my kids have had only breast milk until they reached one year of age, and then they went to cow's milk.
But, even as devoted as I am to breastfeeding, those coupons and free samples are very tempting.
In the middle of the night, when your baby won't eat and won't sleep, they look like salvation in a bottle.
And I think formula companies plan it that way.
It's a slippery slope that, once started, can snowball into a formula only child.
I personally find it strange that hospitals give out a breastfeeding only bag with formula samples.
9just an FYI, the formula only stays in my house until my milk comes in and then I either donate it or ship it off. I do the same with the coupons I get in the mail.)
these samples are taking advantage of the weakest point in any parents life, making it an easy alternative, even though its not what they may want to do.
Formula feed for breastfeed--it's a personal choice and, even though I am pro breast for myself and mine, I'm not pretending to know what's best for anyone else.
But I do think it's a rather sly way for formula companies to enter a home and, perhaps, stay for the duration of that babies early life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A pox on our family

More specifically, chicken pox.
My baby is covered in spots that are rapidly breeding, making more baby spots, who then grow into adolescence and becomes breeders. Boo is broken out in rash all over, and Bug is thus far unscathed.
The boys were vaccinated, so, hopefully, if they have it, it will be mild.
Punk was not, and she looks it.
We are awash in a sea of calamine lotion.
I'm waiting for the plague of locusts to arrive.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Look

I thought I had officially mastered The Look.
You know the one I'm talking about.
It's the look you give your kids when they have scaled the furniture, strapped on a set of tissue paper wings, and prepared to fly.
It's the look you give when you catch your son feeding his broccoli to the dog.
It's the look you give The Man when he's said something so amazingly stupid that words have failed you.
It's like the expression Cruella De Ville gives while chasing down those puppies in her big old coupe de ville (get the pun?) in 101 Dalmations (or Damn nations, as I say it!)
I can make my children stop mid air and rethink their actions--it's too blasted late, but that fraction of a second when reality sets in and they realize that wasn't too smart is priceless.
I can make my husband back slowly from the room, hand cupped protectively over the boys (and not my kids. They, he so magnanimously decided, are on their own!)
But my daughter is immue.
Give her The Look (yes, it needs to be capitalized) and she laughs.
Increase the intensity? She crows!
Get down on her level and give her The Look? She pats my face and smiles.
It must be a girl thing.
It must have to do with female hormones.
It must be a test from the universe.
I'm so throughly and totally outgunnned by my pint sized Mini Me that even The Look has failed me.
Oiy Vie!

Things to think on

"Move over, bubby! I'll show you! This is how you drain the lizard right!"

PMS times 30!

Okay, I have been waiting on a certain vistor since before July 4th--Aunt Flow has decided to visit everyone else on the planet but me.
I have 30 days of pent up PMS to unleash on someone, somewhere, and The Man says he doesn't want it. (In fact, he's cowering under the furniture and thrusting the kids into the line of fire, figuring I won't maim the fruit of my loins. Stupid man. Two of those are MALE!)
I don't know who I have to speak with. I don't know who I have to bribe. I'm willing to hunt down a virgin to sacrifice (which might take a while these days!).
All I want is what is rightly mine as a member of the female sex.
I want my period. Period.
After a month of cramps, bloating, and irritability (way more than normal, which, if you know me, is very bad!), I think it's time Aunt Flo stops by. Whoever has her, tell her to pack her bags and catch the next Greyhound. I will be waiting on the porch for her arrival.
And hurry. The Man's back is killing him from crouching under the table for so long.

Big juicy cosmic raspberry

That's what you get when you have three children, one of which is sick.
The universe thumbs her nose at you and suddenly the other two fall ill.
All three of my heathens are running unexplained fevers of at least 102.
As if one sick, fussy child wasn't enough, now I have three. Two of those can't tell me what hurts, the third is a hypochondriac.
Yup, big juicy cosmic raspberry.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The invisible cord

When your baby is sick, be he 2 or twenty, a mother should be able to be with him.
Boo's sick. Running a nice temperature, and I'm at work, turning over the parenting duties to Nurse Cratchett (the Man's nickname for the day).
Punk's also running a low grade fever.
I should be there.
I should be the one pushing fluids, taking temps, giving Tylenol. I know they are in good hands, but those hands are not my own, so its not the same. It's not all right.
If I was there, I would know with every fiber of my being they were all right.
The umbilical cord, although invisible, allows me that knowledge, that if I am there, no matter what, they will be fine.
I will breathe for them if needed. I will push the blood through their veins with just the strength of my will. I will fight the infection with ever thing I am.
It might just be a small viral infection, but to me, its unfathomable that I am not with my children right now.
Because if I am there, just like when I carried them in my body, I know they are safe, whole, and fine.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Me and the Kitten--Hanging in there!

Have you ever noticed that when the world goes wonky, it's the world's fault and not your own.

Meaning, I'm not the crazy one. The other how ever many billion people there are in the world are crazy.

I'm sane. And I tell myself that at least a dozen or so times a day.

The reason for this?

My children. My husband. My mother.

First, the children.

Punk is happy until I walk into the house, at which point she wants me and my attention and will accept not substitutes.

Boo has been whiny for almost a week now. And I don't mean just whiny as in a little annoying. I mean the variety that has you wondering if you should take the child to the doctor and have him checked sort of whining. About everything.

And then there is the amazingly helpful only when he wants to be, Bug. My OCD baby. He's part of the reason Boo is whiny, and he's a force to be reckoned with on his own. I think I've posted enough of his antics that you get the idea.

As for my husband, who still doesn't have a nickname, let's just say it's been lovely having him at home, but it's time for him to go back to work.

Spending all day with three small children has made him eager for adult conversation.

I spend all day talking to people. I don't want to talk when I get home. Do you see the problem?

I now know how Ward must have felt about June, Wally, and the Beave.

And then there's my mother. She has a boyfriend, although she won't say he's a boyfriend--she and he are the only ones who don't think there's a little something extra there. The boyfriend calls her every night, takes her out when he runs errands, goes out to dinner with her, but he's not a boyfriend. I lay awake wondering if I'm going to have to have the Bird and Bee's talk with her, because, you know, it's been a while and things have changed.

So the rest of the world, especially my own little familial portion of it, is crazy.

And even though I'm still sane, its only by the barest fingertips.

Like that stupid kitten on the poster, I'm just trying to hang in there!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Losing the pounds

I'm not a fan of the scale.

After three babies, I tend to cringe at even the merest sight of any device designed to declare me an inadequate and overweight specimen of womanhood.

Besides, mots days I feel like I either need to be weighed on a big fish scale (think Shamus) or on one designed for large semi trucks.

Do you see my problem here?

My husband and kids don't help. The Man (still no new printable nickname) has a belly pudge, but is still fit and trim. (Loathe him!) And my kids are cute and chubby, because, well, they are still babies and baby fat only looks good on a baby.

So here I sit (around the house--sorry, couldn't help myself) abstaining from the deliciousness of chocolate and sweets, ice creams and cakes to try and lose weight.

This is wholly and utterly unfair. I carried all three of our children, survived one labor and three c-sections, breastfed the boys for a year and am both breastfeeding and donating milk this time. I should be given a Get Out of Fat For the Rest of My Life Card.

Do not pass go. Eat all the ooey gooey deliciousness you want. Enjoy life to its calorific fullest, not some pale by comparison Slim Fast shadow of an existence.

Mine must have gotten lost in the mail.