Sunday, December 26, 2010

Three years old and ready to rule the world!

Punk is three today.
It's hard to believe it.
It's hard to believe its been three years since I first held her in my arms.
Now she is as familiar to me as my own skin, as essential to me as breathing.
It astounds me that the child I hadn't wanted right at that moment (I wanted her, but just on my schedule--not hers. I should have known better) is the child who completes our family and my soul so thoroughly.
She is a mini me in almost every way. It seems as though she sprung from my body ready to take over the world and determined to hold me hostage.
Punk has my temper, only worse. She has my stubborness, only worse.
And she has her father's need for affection and touch, only better.
She curls up so sweetly against me to go to sleep, throwing one arm around my neck, pressing kisses to my face, running chubby fingers through my hair until she falls asleep, baby breath blowing softly in my face.
She follows me from room to room, screaming out her rage unitl presented a choice and she decides is in her best interest to stop.
She stands a closed door and yells "I need you, Mommy!" Even when we both know she doesn't.
She is both a gentle wind and raging hurricane in our house.
She is a love song in The Man's heart.
She is the completion of mine.
And I wonder how we ever lived without our little Punkin.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Third child syndrome

I have three children.
It's a bit of surprise to me every time I say it that I do have three, not because they're not under my feet every minute of every day, but because it seems impossible I'm old enough.
But I've done the mama thing for over six years now and I'm noticing something.
With Bug, I was on top of eveyrthing. Pictures especially. We have pictures of every part of his life fron in utero on.
With Boo, still doing good, but a lot of pictures shared with Bug.
But they were still on our walls in a strong showing of mini testosterone pride.
And then there's Punk.
Whose in two pictures.
Both before she was one.
I suck.
I suck ho ho's.
My boys are now being documented in school photos on my walls.
Punk still has two.
Not because we don't take pictures. We do. With great enthusiasm.
But we don't do anything with them.
They live on our computer.
Until today.
I ordered pictures.
Of Punk.
And several of them have brother bookends, but there are a few solo ones.
I think the child will be pleased that I've finally acknowledged her existence in our family.
But I still suck.
Because I know I've done better. I can do better.
Maybe with my grandchildren?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Old Man Winter

The Man has officially become Old Man Winter.
He complains about it. He bemoans the lack on 100 degree days and the need for sunscreen.
He belly aches about how cold it is when Oklahoma hasn't seen anything yet.
And I keep reminding him that he's lived here steaidly for fifteen plus years, and sporadically off and on before that. I tell him that, as a 42 years old man, he should know that it gets cold in OK in the winter.
I tell him to get over it.
But he continues.
And now my oldest heathen is following suit, so I have the Old Man and the Mini Me version in my house.
I like the cold. I like to turn on the heat, sip hot tea, and snuggle under blankets. I love warmy fuzzy socks and jammies. I like to watch snow fall and feel the quiet it brings with it.
I'll admit, I do not like power outages and icy roads, but I'm a give and take kind of gal, so I take the good and the bad.
I do not like stepping out of my house and immediately breaking into a sweat. I do not like air so thick you can't draw a good breath no matter how hard you try.
I don't like worrying about sunburns and heatstroke and fleas and ticks and all those other problems we have in OK in the summer.
I'm a winter woman married to a summer soldier.
We've agreed we need to move somplace where its always in the 70's.
But even then it still wouldn't be hot enough for him and cold enough for me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy birthday to me!

I hate my birthday.
I truly do.
No, I don't care about the reminder that I'm getting older and closer to the grave.
That doesn't bother me a bit.
Keeling over when I've tortured my family as much as I possibly can will probably be the only vacation I ever get at this rate.
I don't like getting gifts.
I loathe surprises.
And I just don't want people wasting their money on me.
Call and wish me a happy birthday and then leave me alone with a good drink and a good book and I'm a happy camper.
I have sat through birthday parties, gnawing on my cheeks until they bled and I couldn't take any more.
You wanna celebrate that day? Give something to the woman who gave me life and who, so far, hasn't ended it eiether.
The Man and I fight about it every year. My mom and I, who don't fight, intead we have "discussions", discuss it every year.
I'm a grown woman and if I want to stomp my feet and say no to my birthday, I have that right.
I'm sure it's somewhere in the Constitution.
Or some religious tome, buried deep ina desert somewhere.
End result is simple.
"Nana, nana, boo, boo! I don't wanna and you can't make me."
So there.
I think this has been a very adult and mature discourse on the subject and should end all future discusses to wit.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Time and tide

Having lost all of my grandparents and one parent myself, yesterday, I watched my husband as he lost his last grandparent.
I watched as he cursed himself for not making it from our home in Oklahoma to Kansas to see her in the last few years.
You know those years? The ones filled with babies, work, amputations, and other losses, both emotional and financial?
Yeah. Those.
And while I understand his grief and his sadness at never having the chance to say goodbye, I also know, from experience, no amount of goodbyes or I love you's is ever enough.
If I had one more hour with my loved ones, would I be able to say all that I wanted to say as the clock ticks away those precious moments?
Would I be able to put into words my feelings, my gratitude, my everything?
Or would they already know?
I don't say I love you very often. At least not to anyone who hasn't had a time share in my uterus. My kids hear it countless times a day and for no reason other than the words bubble up in my mouth and I am compelled to speak.
The words mean little to me except for those times.
I am quite simply an "actions speak louder than words" kid of gal.
You love me? Show it?
Show it by driving through a snowstorm in March to deliver my child's 3rd birthday cake.
Show it by converging on the hospital and holding my coat while I kick The Man's doctors ass.
Show it by remembering my favorite drink and bringing me one for no apparent reason.
Show it in so many ways that seem inconsequential but are the things I remember years later.
Just show it by being you.
And so I wonder if The Man realizes that his grandma knew, both because grandma's are psychic and know everything and because he showed it in the best way he could.
When he was with her, he showed love.
As an outsider, a spectator, a unknown wife married to a beloved grandson, I was privileged to see that his grandma showed it, too.
May we all be so lucky.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I've been lax lately.
I know it.
I've been told it.
I haven't had the time nor inclination to write anything because this time of year is harder for me than any other.
October was not only my fifteenth wedding anniversary, but the anniversary of my beloved grandpa's death and my miscarriage.
Congrats to me.
November is the anniversary of my daddy's passing, Thanksgiving, and his birthday, all within one rotten week that I endeavor to survive without running down some annoying pedestrian who can't grasp the concept of a Don't Walk sign.
December is my birthday (no biggee there--I ignore it), my husband's birthday (Gods He's getting old!), the holidays, and my daughter's birthday.
From October on, I am at a run and I don't stop dodging shrapnel and well wishes until the new year.
Add to that trying to close on a house, finishing work on the kids rooms, recovery from m wisdom teeth debaucle, a cold that just won't die no matter how many times I try to smother it in Lysol and Nyquil, shopping for my kids, trips to Santa, and field trips, holiday parties, etc. and I'm lucky I haven't collapsed into a whimpering heap.
I realize this is my life now, complete with childhood illnesses, sad reminders of lost loved ones, and an empty pocketbook, but I find myself wishing for the simplicity of childhood. The time when someone would bring me hot tea or soda to sip instead of waiting on me to bring it to them.
I never knew how good I had it until the heathens gave me some not so subtle reminders.
Such as:
My four year old crawling in bed with me and snoring so loudly I can't sleep because he's congested.
My hands smelling of Vick's because I am constantly slathering my kids chest with it.
Trips to see Santa and shelling out a month's mortgage for one 5x7 and four wallets pictures.
Racing to buy a bumble bee pillow pet because that is the only thing Boo wanted only to have him decide he wants a panda instead after I've purchased the stupid thing.
Arguing with The Man, who thinks any toys that don't explode, electrocute, leak, whistle, or honk are boring.
When I was a child, things just happened. Now I'm the one who makes them happen.
So I've been lax. I've been resisting the urge to slip into a coma and have people take care of me.
But knowing my family, I wouldn't get rest, even then.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am tired.
More to the point, my joy is exhausted, depleted, empty and pinging annoyingly at me as I push myself just one step farther.
It's the time of year, when missing my Daddy becomes a deep ache and my eyes fill with tears at the very thought.
It's the bone deep mama tired from juggling birthdays and holidays, field trips and homework without reprieve.
Just so my babies joy stays full.
It's every worry about selling a house, paying a bill, squeezing in one last chore before the day ends.
My glee is gone.
And I'm sort of okay with that.
I'm the person that is content with content.
I don't expect every day to be full of giggles and good wishes.
If it was, I'd probably run screaming from the room.
I have moments of pure bliss, mostly when the heathens are being sweet, that slide through my bones like sweet lightning, charging me for the next foray into the wild world.
But I know I'm lacking in the joy department.
But as long as my kids have sucked the very marrow from life's happiness, I'm okay with it.

Out of the mouths of heathens

Said by my duaghter to my dog.
"Move over, Harvey. Princess coming through."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It seems like for some things, time races by without a care to how much you wish it would slow down.
For instance, keeping my babies, well, babies for just a few minutes more.
And there are other times when and hour feels like a year.
Monday, November 22nd will be four years since my Daddy died.
That feels like a lifetime.
Especially when I think of all he's missed.
Bug is no longer a toddler, but a bright, happy boy with a few interesting quirks. And he still loves his PeePaw.
Boo was a chubby baby when Daddy left us. Now he's a clownish, handsome boy with a mind of his own.
Punk wasn't even a thought then. And I know how much he would love my little fiesty mini me.
My babies find comfort in talking to PeePaw's start, the brightest star in the night sky. They look for it every night and are so excited to see it.
I wish I could find the same comfort is something so simple.
I am selfish. Always have been. Always will be.
I wasn't ready to let go. Still aren't. But I wasn't given any choice, so I survive.
It's the natural cycle for children to bury their parents. Doesn't make it any easier. Doesn't make it feel less like a gaping hole.
It just is.
And so am I.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Five days and a lot of pain meds later, I've realized my mouth will never be the same.
Not only do I have stitches in my gums that resemble strange black worms, my front teeth and everything in between hurts.
How can teeth not touched hurt worse than the holes in my jaw?
It makes no sense.
Add to that the fact that I still can't eat comfortably, not even soup goes down easy, and it's a problem.
Its a problem that I have two huge bags of Halloween candy in my house and I can't even take a little nibble.
It's a problem that every time I drink something, I wince.
It's a problem that I'm upright and back at work, when all I want is to crawl into bed and pop another pain med.
This whole thing is one big, freaking problem.
And now I'm done whining.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ever heard of the Geneva Convention?

I have an appointment with the oral surgeon to get all four of my growth challenged wisdom teeth removed today.
Saying this sucks isn't vehement enough.
I'm working on the correct expression of my deep and abiding loathing, mixed with a healthy dose of terror and a need to strap myself to a chair so I don't drive to Mexico.
Maybe I should go to Mexico.
And have a few tequila shots as I consider returning to the man whose going to torture me and get paid for it.
I'm sure he's a very nice man when he's not in the office and garbed like Dr. Giggles.
Well. Maybe I'm sure. Right now, I'm fairly certain he tortures small animals in his spare time because why else would anyone do this for a living?
I don't like dentists, and dentists with a specialty behind their names? Even worse.
Instead of power hungry men with little penises who just want to play in my mouth, (kinky, huh?) I now have power hungry men with little penises who get to play in my mouth and get paid more for it.
The system is screwed.
The Man can't understand how I could have three children cut out of my body and be up the next day like it was nothing.
Hello! I got three kids out of it and you couldn't compare my uterus to anything on your body. So the sympathy factor was mine to manipulate.
You've had this done--twice--and you're busy telling me how bad it isn't.
How I should just bounce right back.
How I can't milk this for everything its worth.
Damn you.
Just watch me and see how I get my way, buddy.
So I will be lying in my bed, with cheeks like chipmunks and ice packed cheeks, moaning for pain killers and trying not to throw up (since that's what anesthetic and pain killers make me do--fun, huh?) while controlling the TV remote and watching Netflix on our computer. All the while I'm reading one of the new ten books I've ordered for my prolonged convalescence.
And since our room is completed, I an even lock the door and keep my husband and the heathens out.
There is a method to my madness.
Dr. Giggles, here I come.
May the Gods have mercy on my soul.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"You're not the fun parent"

One night, while The Man snored and I was on Heathen Patrol, Bug told me, "You're not the fun parent. Daddy is. You always make us do chores."
This was said because I'd asked him to pick up the 4000 Legos in my living room floor, his dirty clothes, and his various other toys before bed.
I know--bad mommy.
But as I stood my ground, my heart broke a little.
Nights that The Man doesn't work are fun. He takes them outside and gives them candy and plays with them. He's an overgrown child himself, so its party time at our house.
By the time I get home, its bath and homework and get ready for bed. We have a few hours in there while I try to organize our lives for the next day.
But hearing those words, I realized how different The Man and I are as aprents.
The Man is fun. He disciplines the kids, yes, but when he hears about a carnival, a movie, a parade, anything that sounds like fun, he immediately wants to go.
Whereas I immediately consider if its a school night and how the kids have been behaving and what the repercussions will be for the next day.
The Man lets our children climb trees while I get ready for a trip to the ER with broken bones.
He lets the kids have candy right before bed, or wrestles them while I'm trying to settle them into sleep.
He doesn't think about doctors appointments, dental exams, or parent teacher conferences because he knows I will. And I'll let him know when he has to show up and where.
He doesn't fill out permission slips or send money for field trips and pictures. He just schedules his day so he can hang out at the pumpkin patch and watch his boys run amock.
I'm the foundation on which our family functions. But he's the part that makes it warm. I hold us up, and he makes sure the kids have those extra scant inches needed to touch the sky.
Its an uneven parental partnership, I know. I would love to be the fun parent, but I just don't have it in me. What they find fun makes my skin crawl. While I love my kids laughter, I don't love dirty, snotty kisses and hand prints on my clothes.
So I guess Bug is right. I'm not the fun parent.
And I'm accepting that.
And with no few tears.
I admit.
I'm a fuddy duddy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I find it amazing that, as a mother, I don't worry about my kids the same way.
I don't worry about Bug the same was as I do Boo or Punk.
I will never have to worry about eiether of my boys getting pregnant, for example.
But, thanks to Boo's way with the girls and Bug's telling me "I'm cute and all the ladies like me" I do worry about them getting some woman pregnant before they are through with medical school.
I never worry about Boo making friends, but its a daily concern with Bug.
I never worry about Bug's academics.
I never worry about Boo's social skills.
I never worry about Punk failing to take over the world.
I do worry about Bug's adaptive skills and about him being lonely.
I do worry Boo will lose his temper and go Hulk on someone.
And I do worry that Punk will turn her considerable charm and determination to trhe dark side and we all will suffer under her baby Ugg boots.
I never knew, when pregnant and miserable and ready for my babies to just be born already, that I could worry so much about three little people who take up so much room in my life.
I worry about the sniffles, a cough, "is that a wheeze I hear?", about teeth and toes and tongues and torsos and everything that makes my heathens what they are.
I worry about their bright little minds being challenged enough.
I worry if I'm putting too much pressure on them to succeed early in life.
Or if I'm putting too little.
I worry about their little souls feeling enriched and empowered by something bigger than they are.
I worry when they talk to PeePaw's star that they don't really remember who PeePaw is.
In short, I worry.
I go through my day with only a fraction of my mind on my job and myself, and even smaller fraction on The Man (because after today's practical joke, he doesn't want me thinking about him too much). My mind is always on my kids.
It's no wonder I feeling like I'm losing it most days.
It's in three different bodies, in three different schools, worrying about three little people each day.
Just call me Sybil.

Monday, October 11, 2010


This month is about endings for us. And, yes, The Man is still alive. So are the heathens.
We are close to finishing our house addition with minimal bloodshed and I haven't burst into tears. Yet.
My marriage has survived.
Sort of.
I've threatened The Man with death and bodily harm--until he gave in and gave me something I wanted in the room.
No, not that, ye pervs!
I would get upset and he would gvie me the shower I wanted, the closet organizer or ceiling fan I liked. Something little to remind me that there was progress, however slow it might seem.
Ten years ago, we bought our fist home. We only lived in it for two, and its been a rental since, but this month we are selling it and saying goodbye to the last remnant of our PH (pre-heathen) days.
It's bittersweet. While I glad not to have to worry about it, I remember how excited we were to have it. I had my first positive pregnancy test there and lost my baby there. I graduated from college there.
It's a piece of our past, a slice of our marital pie, and saying goodbye is both a relief and a sadness.
That is, until I get to move into the addition and I take the sale check to the bank.
Then I'm doing Lionel Ritchie "Dancing in the Streets," baby!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Fifteen years ago today, I stood before the Universe and our fmaily and friends and pledged myself to one man for the rest of my life.
I was nineteen, in luuuuvvvv (notice the difference?), and remarkably stupid.
I had no idea what roads we would travel or how hard it is to be married to one person, to wake up to them to have to stay in the same room when you're so mad spitting nails is easy.
I didn't think about the fact that, as a shy, retiring, naive girl of nineteen, that I still had a lot of growing up to do.
I just wanted.
And I had to have.
Now, a decade and a half later, I am more methodical in my decisions. Looking back on my choice then, I wonder if I would have made the same one. Would I have still become The Man's Mrs?
Yes, I know I would.
Marriage is a choice made based upon emotional longing and hormones, with a good dose of lust mixed in.
Staying married in a choice made upon affection, shared experiences, and emotion that defies all words and logic.
He infuriates me. He enrages me. He confuses me. And he grounds me.
As a Type A personality married to a procrastinator extraordinaire, we are a match made in some bizarre mad scientists nightmare.
But we fit. In some strange way, we make sense even when the rest of the world doesn't see it.
There is a spark there, a magic that is uniquely ours, and when that magic is strong, we are able to move mountains.
If we hadn't married, I wouldn't have known what it felt like to laugh so hard that I almost wet my pants, because that's what he does. He makes me laugh like no other.
I wouldn't have had someone to grieve with me when we miscarried our first child, someone who knew a part of the bone deep sorrow I felt at that loss.
I wouldn't have my baby heathens, precious and terrible, beautiful and awe inspiring. And I would not have seen that expression on my husband's face when he held each one for the first time.
Who would have held me when my dear daddy passed away and my world turned sideways and mourned the loss of that wonderful man with me?
Does The Man annoy me? Oh, gods yes! Do I plot his demise on almost a daily basis? Yeppers.
But after fifteen years, if I haven't killed him yet for one of his boneheaded mistakes, then odds are he'll live to be a forgetful old man whose main job is to drive me batty in our Geritol years.
And I'm okay with that.
Most days.
Because we still fit.
And after fifteen years, that says a lot.

(While I will not say I love you because that's just too mushy and sweet for my taste--damn it! It burns! -- I will say my life would be boring and empty without you in it. And I have never liked to be bored. Happy anniversary, babe!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My oldest has lost his first tooth.
And his second one is quickly following.
And I'm not ready.
Bug was so cavalier about it. He was simply eating breakfast and smiled at me and I started screaming.
"Where is your tooth?"
Yes, I am a quiet rocket scientist first thing in the morning. Duh!
"It fell out."
"Last night."
"WHERE IS IT?" Cats in heat are quieter than I was as my voice became increasingly shrill.
"I dunno. On the floor. Daddy probably swept it up."
Knowing my husband had been asleep and hadn't OCD cleaned since early the pervious day, I yelled, "HE HASN'T SWEPT! FIND IT!"
And about 30 seconds later he dropped a baby tooth in my hand.
A tooth I had watched him grown only five and a hald years before. A tooth that was in every smiling picture I have of my son.
I was holding the Holy Grail.
And now I was going to have to be the blasted Tooth Fairy.
So we talked about Tooth Fairy protocol and how excited daddy would be. And I sent him off to school still grinning stupidly because my son's tooth had fallen out.
Not because he'd done anything stellar.
He'd lost a tooth.
My son, who freaks about germs and dirt, had failed to respond to losing a body part.
It seems like only yesterday I was so excited about that tooth popping through his baby gums, and now I can hold it in my hand and see the adult tooth shining through.
My baby is growing up, and he's got a gorgous toothless grin to show for it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Someone pass me the lube?

Because I feel like I've been screwed.
I try to live a life that involves helping people.
Not all people, because, let's face it, some of you just aren't worth helping.
But some people are. And I try to help them.
And I continually get screwed without a 'thank you'.
Today was no different.
Someone I have helped for five long years. Someone I have given charity to, listened to, worried about, and tried to help out when we didn't have a pot to piss in.
I didn't expect a thank you.
I mean, one would have been nice and a show of good upbringing and manners, but still, wasn't necessary.
But instead she turned on me like a rabid skunk, biting me and smelling up the place as she walked away.
Cackling like a bleached blonde Brune Hilde. Not a pretty sight on a woman approaching the Geritol years.
I normally have no problem with verbal take downs, but I had all three heathens with me, so I bit my tongue almost completely off.
And I resisted the urge to follow her home and run her ass over.
I'm feeling remarkably mature right now.
Just me and my voodoo doll.
But I seriously don't understand why, when you've tried to help people out, they turn on you. Is it shame? Guilt? Hillbilly inbreeding?
I have decided, when I am Queen of the Universe (the election is next week--vote for me!) people with good hearts who get screwed over by demented cackling trolls who should step away from the Clairol before all their brain cells rot out will be visited by a special ops group simply called COSMIC BITCH SLAP. Their mission, which they will always choose to accept, is to slap the person into reality five, ten fifty times. How ever many times it takes for the synopses to start firing again and for them to realize where exactly they went wrong.
I have a few candidates already in mind.
Don't you?

These are the days

Of our lives. (Thank you MacDonald Carey!)
The construction is almost finished. We're in the home stretch. Which means I'm hoping to be done by Christmas.
The men folk who have been telling me they couldn't be rushed, things had to go at their own pace, have now begun rushing me to pick paint and wall texture and carpet.
Now they are waiting on me, and I kind of like it.
It's very Southern Belle of me to expect them to bow and serve me in my slightest whims.
Just call me Katie Scarlet, thank you very much.
The heathens have settled into school nicely. Bug is doing well. He has people there who know his game ahead of time and aren't taking any crap!
Seriously, they understand that his brilliant little brain sees the world in only black and white and those two colors don't make grey.
We have had no meltdowns. No fits, and only a few smaller incidents that go along with being six as well as having AS.
We'll take it.
Boo got into trouble at school for the first time last week. I almost fell over that my easy child, my pleaser, got into trouble.
The Man made him apoligize, but still, it's the principal of the thing. I can't have all three heathens be troublemakers. What kind of screwed up karmic biddy slap would that be?
I blame it all on their father's DNA.
I was a good child.
No matter what my mother says.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Abject terror

I greet the new school year with relief that my two youngest will be returning to the halls of academia and terror that my oldest will be going. . . back . . . to . . . school.
Da da dum!
It's a lovely quandary designed to twist me tighter than a pretzel or tighter that panties shoved up my crack due to a well done wedgie. (we had a certain little girl who was very mad because she received her first wedgie tonight. But I digress.)
I'm excited because the heathens love school (my far superior DNA) and because Bug has meltdowns at school that remind me of Godzilla trying to level Tokyo (his dad's defective DNA.)
I'm terrified because we have left the relative safety of his old school, which knew him, knew how to handle him, knew when to call us and when to ride it out, to a new school, a new teacher, and a new system that Bug doesn't know.
Chances are it's gonna be ugly.
Damned ugly.
Get drunk, turn out the lights and still close your eyes ugly.
So I am girding my loins (as soon as I find them after birthing three monsters) and preparing to enter the fray. I will be standing in the line of fire while The Man takes the kids and runs. He's smart enough after fifteen years to know when to duck and cover.
And he knows to cover his ass in case I decide to take a bite out of it for something I am utterly sure is his fault. (How can it not be after years on a nuclear boat? His genetic material, his swimmers, were doomed before they ever met my superior eggs. No wonder Bug has a few quirks.)
I"m gearing up for a fight I hope never happens, for meetings I know will, and for a year that will be so full of ups and downs I'm taking stock in barf bags.
And, as a spew chunks, I will still love my son with a ferocity that makers me takes the slings and arrows directed at him, that makes me weep for the ones I miss, and that makes me get up to do it all over again the next day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh what a night!

After falling asleep at 10:30 last night, several hours after what I consider my allotted bedtime due to my night owl little girl child, I proceeded to endure one of those nights.
My outside dog barked. At what? a felonious leaf blowing cross the yard that looked like it might slam up against our door, come in, and take the heathens and I hostage? The realization that some cracked vet cut off his tail and his wing nuts and he had no say in the matter? Or just because he could.
And lets not forget the howling noise he emits when a fire engine roared down a nearby street at about one this morning. Harvey Wallbanger, Giant Schnauzer extraordinarily stupid, outdid the siren with his own moose like mating call. I think they are meeting for drinks from the toilet later on.
About the time my eyes closed and I resumed my dream of me and Hugh Jackman (he was rubbing my feet in a very nice way!) my children began talking in their sleep. It always starts with a cry for me, which I normally ignore, choosing sleep over their nocturnal needs of my offspring, and then escalates into a full fledged argument at the top of their lungs. Last night, Bug was trying to convince me that his birthday was this weekend and that I'd better have his bloody Toy Story birthday party ready to go.
To which I oh so sweetly replied that if he wanted to live to see six he should shut his trap and let me get some sleep.
Again, when my eyes closed and I went in search of Hugh to rub me again--my feet that is--I heard the slurp slurp noise that could only be one thing.
A flank sucking pu. .er . .cat named Drambuie Sky.
Who proceeded to greet my tossing him across the room with great indignity and came right back to wash his crotch in my face.
And last, but certainly not least, the inside dog who can't hold his liquid. Bojangles. who bounced from my bed to my middle child's bed, his nails clicking on the floor as he went around and around our house, walking on me, the cat, the kids (which I would have been okay with except they started talking again), back to me, to stare into my face while I'm trying to ignore him. Then he passed gas, a noxious cloud of odor right after he turned around to leave the bed for another sojourn into the house.
In other words, his butt was in my face, necessitating me gagging, coughing, and giving up on sleep at about three this morning.
As I write this, facing a full day of work followed by the evening shift as a single parent while the Man sleeps, I am considering dropping my children off at some hospital to find new parents to torture, the dog may end of at the pound, and the flank sucking pu . . .er. . . cat may become a side show attraction.
Oh what a fan-freaking-tastic night!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Using my children

Yes, I am a user.
I am using my children.
I am using my children to allow me to rewatch the cartoons of my youth.
My kids are now being forced to watch "Thundercats" (HO!) and will soon be watching "My Little Pony". This upcoming year, "Voltron" and "Thundercats" will be starting new shows and I'll have an excuse to watch them.
Besides the one about me being a anime and cartoon geek and just wanting to watch them.
Now I can claim I'm screening them for my kids to make sure the content is appropriate.
Sometimes, being a parent is a slam dunk!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

When you you fee like a good parent?

Every day, as I struggle to rise and face the rigors of the day, I wonder, "Is today the day I will feel like a good parent?"
And most days I end it knowing I fell short of my mark.
I'm not asking to be a great parent, to be the parent who does everything their child could ever dream of.
It's impossible. I'm too selfish, and a think a little dream hunger, a little dream want, is a good thing. It makes the heathens work harder to get that elusive goal.
I'm not the cookie baking, trunk full of play clothes, tea party kind of mom.
The Man is.
I'm the mom who plans for all contingencies, who always has hand sanitizer, wet wipes, spare clothes, a plan.
While I wrestle with my kids and play with my kids, I don't go prancing through the sprinklers in the front yard or eat popsicles on the front porch at nine at night.
Again, The Man does.
(And, yes, it is a competition.)
So I wonder each day if I'm a good parent. If my kids will look back on me with fondness when I finally kick the bucket, or if they will burst into a rendition of "Ding! Dong! The witch is dead!"
I hope my babies remember hugs and kisses and smiles and laughter amidst my organizational frenzy. I hope they see below the compulsion to be prepared to the desire for them to not to have to be incumbered by those things, to be free to run and know I've planned for their safety and their needs.
Because, if I'm weighed against the rolls on the floor parent or the play out in the swimming pool parent, The Man has kicked my ass.
Royally. Thoroughly. And without compare.
He's the fun parent.
But let his need a wet wipe, an intervention, ot hand sanitizer, and I'm all there, baby.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Giggles and girl child

Punk has recently turned into quite a comedian.
One, she has started refusing to answer to her name, instead preferring top be called pumpkin Girl in all situations.
She has also become a fearsome ghost with a towel over her head, scaring her father into purely unmanly squeals of fright.
And she's been a zombie, wandering by with her arms out straight and announcing in a very creepy voice, "I'm a zombie!"
She is finding her power, finding her inner laughter and sharing it with us.
As I write this, she is sitting on her daddy, giggling and throwing her head back, punctuated by occasional indelicate snorts.
All because he's pretending to be a hungry shark.
And then she collapses on him to rest, panting softly, trying to recover from a hearty bout of laughter.
I"m used to boy laughter, loud and raucous and full of boy, but hearing my daughter's giggles and snorts and gasps and chuckles adds a note to the music that I didn't know I was missing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quiet vignettes

As a mother, there are small, soft vignettes I treasure.
These are the moments when the outside world fades and I see my life through a soft filter. It is lit by moonlight or candlelight, soft and dreamy and perfect and still.
These are moments that stick with me, lingering in my mind before sleep claims me each night.
Brushing my daughters hair. After I have gotten all the knots out. When she's sitting in her chair in front of me, her hands and body still as the brush sweeps through her hair. The only sound is her soft breath and the sound of the brush.
Watching my Boo sleep. When I walk into the room to find he's fallen asleep mid action, hanging half on and half off of his bed, some toy clasped in one hand. As I feel the breath on my face when I move him. As I watch his little body settle into the blankets with a soft sigh.
In the still moments with Bug. When he's stopped moving, stopped talking, content to just be, one foot dangling off the side of a chair, book held limply in one hand, his attention caught by something and he just is. When the pressures of his mind quiet, when the malestrom stills, and he simply is that moment of pure contentment.
During the long days, the parenting battles, the feedings, baths, homework, and headaches that come with motherhood, these are the moments I cling to with ferocity. These are the moments I remember before I sleep and in the pristine moments before I wake, before I'm assaulted by a warm solid body demanding breakfast, before the first battle of the day errupts.
These quiet vignettes are priceless.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sob! Slobber! Weep! Sob! (Another one of those mushy posts)

Asa mother, there are times I look at my children and marval at the wonder that is them.
Those times are few and far between, normally buried under the fighting, screaming, and bizarre antics of my offsrping, but the moments are there.
And occassionally, they shine brighter than the sun.
Boo will leave his academic home of the last year and enter the public school system after Friday. He is so excited to be a pee-skooler (his term) that he can hardly see anthing else.
I, meanwhile, can see nothing but my chubby cheeked baby morphing into a lean, no rear ended little boy hell bent on world domination and checking out women's butts. (Walk him past Victoria's Secret and watch his face to see what I mean. I have a Little Lech!)
Bug will be in kindergarten, which is enough of a stretch of my imagination that I can't picture it. All I can see if the squishy baby I brought home from the hospital and didn't know what to do with. (He's no longer squishy and I still don't know what to do with him.)
Punk is getting ready to have her own room, her own big girl bed, her own little portion of the world. And I'm watching my baby diva morph into a little girl with enough attitude to fell a small country.
Some days, they pile on me in a chair like a bunch of wriggly, tooting puppies, each trying to talk over the others, each vying for their favorite spot. As I cringe from misplaced elbows, knees, and heads, I remember what it felt like when I was their entire world, when they swam within my womb and knew nothing but me. (And I thank the gods I was never pregnant with triplets!)
But I am not longer the sun they orbit around. They are setting off into their own worlds, baby steps, yes, but steps that will eventually lead them away from me and into a life of their own making. Each step takes them closer to who they will and farther from the babies I once held.
Each step takes them farther from my arms but deeper into my heart.
And, while I fight the urge to call them back, to hold them back for another second, to feel my arms wrap around them, I know that motherhood also means letting go, one fingernail at a time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How old is old enough?

The Man and I are at an impasse.
We are on opposite sides of our children's ages.
He thinks they are older, more mature, more responsible than I do.
I see small children who have no fear, no understanding, and no concept of anything being unsafe for them.
They are Super Heathens.
Capable of bringing mom to her knees with a high pitched shriek.
Able to bound from couch to couch for indeterminate lengths of time before someone catches them.
But still infinitely breakable and fragile, even as they hang from mutant monkey toes off the ceiling fan.
They are my babies.
And I still see them as such.
So when I feel my mommy sense started tingling, I gather my babies to my breast and start snarling.
At the world. At the universe. At my husband.
My snarling doesn't discriminate.
The Man wants to take our boys camping.
Near water. And woods. And maniacs and bears and rabid skunks and bugs and oh my!
My boys do not know how to swim. It is on my agenda. But construction pushed my agenda back this year. So I start hyperventilating when my kids approach water not contained within a bathtub or a wading pool.
And with Bug's recent foray into AS, I am concerned about his ability to listen and follow directions and not wander off to be raised by wolves.
The Man Doesn't see it. He has no womb, and the man parts just don't clench at the thought of "Danger, heathen children! Danger!"
So we argue. And we debate. And I lay out my reasons in a calm, confident manner that involves clutching my children and backing into a corner where I snarl and foam at the mouth.
Because that's the kind of mom I am.
That's me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ode to Toy Story

Or how I finally gave it up to keep my children happy.
And, no, not that! Ya perv!
I had a bear that was given to me by my parents as a wee hellion. His name is Bobie. Don't ask me. I don't remember how he got that name. I loved him, mauled him, cried on him, and slept with him until I got married. And even then, I still tried.
The Man frowned upon stuffed animal bed partners.
So Bobie was relegated to a shelf to sit.
Last week, seeing my youngest heathen lugging around various stuffed animals, I decided the time had come to pass the torch.
I took him from the shelf, hugged him, whispered that I loved him enough to give him a really great new person, and handed him over to my very excited 2 1/2 year old daughter.
Who hugged him, danced him, slept with him, and renamed him . . . Poopie.
The indignity.
But I know, in true Toy Story fashion, that I saw a little half smile on his worn mouth, heard a sigh as he settled down for a nights rest in my daughter's oh-so-loving strangle hold. There is a bounce in his bear step as she dances him around or tells him baby stories.
My Bobie is happy in his new life as Poopie.
And I've passed a small portion of my old childhood off to my daughter to treasure.
But now I'm stuck with just The Man in my bed, and he smells worse than a ratty, 1970's era stuffed toy ever could.
Bobie never passed gas the entire time I slept with him.
The Man passes it every night I have slept with him.
Oh the things we do in the name of love.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yes, my son has Aspergers and you can kiss my butt

That's going to be my new bumper sticker.
I have a diagnosis.
Aspergers Syndrome.
My son has it.
I am researching and reading and gearing up to be the best mama bear I can be.
I am forbidding friends and family from uttering the words "I'm sorry" because I can't be.
To be sorry, I would have to be sorry that my Bug is the child he is. I would have to want to change this part of what makes him who he is.
And I won't apologize for my wacky, affectionate, brilliant baby boy.
And I won't have anyone else's issues making him think he's anything less than the perfect Bug.
Does that mean I won't be riding his butt to improve just like I do his siblings?
Hellz no!
If I ever let hi get away with something just because of a diagnosis, someone slap me into the middle of next week because I will have lost my ever loving mind.
I will push him, shove him, nudge him, cajole him, and drag him where he needs to go. But I'll do it in a way that he can do.
And I won't take any lip from him or anyone else about it being a disability.
The only disability is the one you let it turn in to.
Bug will be the best Bug he can be, with As, despite AS, because of AS.
And anyone who thinks otherwise can just bite me.
In the AS.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The dangling pigs

I recently realized my babies are growing up.
Okay, the passage of time, the purchase of bigger clothes and shoes clued me in.
The fact that Bug now stands tall enough his head provides a nice support for my sagging orangutan titties was another.
But my final clue was a stab to the heart.
I held my baby on my lap and realized she didn't fit perfectly anymore.
I"m getting used to it with the boys, the big feet and knobby knees and suffocating weight of sweaty boy. I know there will be legs over the sides of chairs and elbows in my ribs and a freshly shampooed head on my breast.
But my baby girl fit, so I was okay.
This weekend, she wouldn't sleep. So I bundled her onto my lap in the recliner, assuming a position we had assumed many times during her 14 month breastfeeding tenure. One chubby hand rested right on my breast, kneading slightly as she had always done. Her little mouth pursed and frowned and smiled, just like it had when she was teeny weenie.
But her legs dangled over my side, her feet hanging in the air.
And I found myself staring at hr little chubby pigs and realizing she is no longer a baby.
She is a toddler, racing on increasing steady steps towards becoming a three year old and then a preschooler, a college graduate, a bride, a mother.
And although I will always have room for her on my lap--for all of my kids even though I know, in time, my boys will shun that simple comfort--I stared at those dangling feet and knew my baby was truly gone.
And that my lap would never know the feel of my own baby, nestled there and content with the world, again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home stretch

We are in the home stretch of our construction adventure.
Now, for me, the home stretch is the installation of my french doors and some sheet rock hitting my walls.
We still have to run the electrical, the plumbing, the insulation, the remaining sheet rock, flooring, and buy a new heating and air unit.
And then we still have to sign the divorce papers, but that's another story altogether.
Amazingly, we are still married--thus far!--and I haven't shoved him off the roof in a fit of rage.
Mostly because I will not climb up the scaffolding to get on the roof and shuffle over the parts of my roof I'm instructed not to step ion to shove him.
So I've stood on eh ground, looking up and fantasizing.
Saturday, I got in my car with the intent of draining our bank accounts and heading to Mexico. I was resolved to be the elusive hermit who sits on the beach drinking margaritas all day.
But I forgot the book I was reading and had to turn back.
So I decided to play smart, not hard.
I opted to let him finish the addition, then kick hi out, not divorcing him in the process. I will not turn The man lose to find joy with some other woman. I still want him at my beck and booty call.
But the allure of a brand new bedroom, bathroom, and closet with no man funk is too much to resist.
It's virgin territory and I intend to pop that cherry myself.
So we trudge along, The Man with his dreams of a room away from the kids, a bathroom sink of his own, and an unchristened toilet. And me with my dreams of a stinky male free zone.

The Call

Yesterday, I made the call.
I called our pediatrician and scheduled Bug for a behavior/developmental evaluation to find out why my oldest views the world so differently than the rest of us.
I have gathered his school testing and girded my loins and laid pen to paper to list our many concerns.
I have explained to The Man why it is imperative we have a diagnosis, a platform to stand on, to fight from for Bug.
And he asked me a question I hadn't considered.
He said it sounded like I wanted something to be wrong with our son.
After a moment's thought, I replied, yes, I did.
No, I don't want Bug to struggle to make friends and behave in a fashion normal for a six year old.
No, I don't want him to struggle every day to fit in, a round peg trying to wedge himself in a square hole.
No, I don't want to have this knot of fear in my stomach every day we send him to school that he's going to go berserk and I'll get the call.
I want him to have an easy time of it, to make friends, to go through the day without worrying about him every second.
And while nothing is wrong with my Bug a boo, Bug marches to his own, slightly off beat drummer in a world where most other people are in step.
I just want the name and rythm to his song so that I can march along.
I feel a diagnosis would give me that.
I understand, as a parent, that Bug will require more of my effort, more of my time, more of my protection than my other two children. And when marching into battle, I want to know what banner to raise and what tactics to employ to keep Bug as unscathed as possible.
A diagnosis won't fix anything, but it will give me firmer ground to stand on instead of the quicksand I've been mired down in for almost six years.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An update on the chaos that is my life

The construction project is still staggering along like a half dead opossum on an Oklahoma road--slowly, painfully, and very smelly.
We are at the point where we are trying to roof the original house. To tie into the addition. So it will stop flooding my house when it rains.
And The Man has just realized that our home, built over seventy years ago, was constructed by a one eyed builder suffering from vertigo.
Nothing is straight or plumb or flush or level or logical.
Which makes perfect sense to me, but seems to confuse him.
Last night, standing on a scaffold that bricklayers love but which makes my sheet rockers daughter's heart go thump and "damn, that's a long ways down to be standing on two boards not attached to a blasted thing," he was giving me a lecture on what he couldn't do.
Once again.
While I am certainly not a Pollyanna, I don't believe it does anyone any good to run up against a problem and belly up. The purpose of a roof on a house is prevent water from getting into the house when it rains.
Do I expect the roof to be the next masterpiece, rivaling the works of Monet and Picasso? Nope. I expect it to keep my ass and my assets dry when Oklahoma weather turns to hail, rain, and flying cows an chickens.
Never once will I contemplate my roof and declare it ugly.
Roofs are pretty ugly without me saying so.
So my response of slap the sucker up there and give me a damned nail to hammer met with lectures and a call to my BIL, who declared himself flummoxed as well.
I've decided it must be a man thing.
I have never seen so much time spent using a tape measure, a chalk line, and a level in my life.
Let's do like our forefathers did.
Close one eye, spin around in a circle ten times, and lean a bit to the left and it will all make sense.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I feel . . .like a six year old

Last week, I got tonsillitis.
Nasty, pus filled, swollen golfballs of broken glass lodged in my throat, robbing me of speech and turning me into a drool monkey.
Seriously. I do not spit. I find it disgusting, even in the dentists chair, to spit. (Now take your minds OUT of the gutter please.)
Last week, I spit.
I spit in the front yard, the trash can, the toilet, the cup in my car. I spit because it hurt too much to swallow.
And for all you Deep Throat pervs out there, I repeat, TAKE YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER.
I was smacked upside the tonsils with an illness that belongs to children.
And I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.
Add to that the fact that day two involved eightteen long hours of dry heaving on a fiendishly sore throat and it was just peaches for me!
While I knew I was sick and I knew it was the pus or the meds or just the gods smiting me down, I still had that moment.
Even knowing that Aunt Flo was visting, I still had that moment.
Because, in my world, vomitting = pregnancy.
I resisted the urge to give The Man a heart attack and send him out for a pee on a stick test, but just barely.
And I'm glad I did.
Because evidently the puking pustules have passed to the patriarch in our family.
And I know he's not preggers.
At least, not by me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh the joys of building! (Also known as the 2m wet t-shirt contest)

We are about at the halfway mark on the addition to our home.
So let me give you a status update.
Walls? Up.
Floor? Down.
Roof? In progress.
Kids? At their heathen finest.
My sanity? Gone.
My marriage? In the crapper.
Homicidal urges? I'm just waiting on the roof to be done and then my sniper rifle and I have a date planned.
For the past week, my dining room wall has been missing. It has been replaced by various construction materials, including tarp, wood, and . . . well, nothing.
It's 90 degrees out and I have and open air floor plan. from my dining room, you see open air.
Hot, saw dust filled air.
And last night was just the cherry on top.
Last night, it rained.
In my house.
At midnight.
The Man went out to scale the roof and throw boards and tarps and saran wrap and children's birthday table cloths over the edge of the old roof and the new addition to try to stop the flood I was out there, turning our night into a debacle that included a wet t-shirt contest.
The neighbors voted. The Man's ta-ta's are perkier in the wet and cold.
Thirty towels and two hours later, we had stemmed the main flow and given up on the rest.
And I was mad because I had just finished all of the laundry and now every towel in our house had to be washed. Again.
All because Mother Nature decided to take a whizz on our house.
The day before we were putting up roofing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mommy and her little leach

I love my daughter.
Most of the time.
But since we put a kabash on sucking the thumb, she's found a new obsession to cling to.
She wont' sleep unless she snuggles me until she finally gives in.
Put her in bed without me, and you hear what I'm listening to right now.
"I'm not sleepy!"
"I want you!"
"Ima mad atch you!"
Followed by blood curdling shrieks.
Since she had an ear infection last week, I was weak.
I succumbed. I snuggled her and kissed her and rubbed her back until she fell asleep.
Now I'm slapping myself for being such a dumb shmuck.
I didn't do this with my boys. No, they like my husband, got my foot up their little butts to get them out of my bed.
I gave no quarter. If the menfolk wanted a snuggle, they could do it someplace else and let me sleep.
But, with Punk, it's different.
Not right. Definitely not sane. But different.
And I'm reaping my rewards. Through earplugs. And a radio blaring. In the car as I drive away from my screaming toddler.
Is it because she's my last? Because she smells sweet and still like a baby while her brothers smell like dirt, and gas, and boy?
Is it because her laugh reminds me of my daddy, or because she is a mini me before I lost the innocence of childhood?
Is it because I see the way The Man and our boys dote on her, like a princess, and I enjoy watching my guys make fools of themselves at her chubby, piggy toes?
I've always believed my first baby, the baby I lost, was a girl. My heart will brook no argument. And a part of me feels like Punk is my chance to love that baby like I love my others. Like maybe I wasn't ready then, and, when I was given Punk, it was the heavens opening up to tell me it was finally my time.
Or, in the universe of the real and sane, it was the heavens opening up to snicker at me and whisper that I was getting paybacks for all I put my own mama through.
So I let my baby get away with more than I should, more than my boys, more than I thought I would. all the while O know that I'm going to have a battle of epic proportions on my hands in, oh, about five seconds when she realizes I am trying to stand firm and not go in for a quick snuggle.
Just until she falls asleep.
As I peer around the doorway and watch her talking to her doll and waiting for me.
Because she knows.
She knows I'm there.
She knows I'm weak.
She knows I'll be scooting her over right . . . .about . . . now.
Hell, I held out longer than I did last night!
Vive la resistance!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rites of passage

Next Thursday, my boy, my Bug, will be a preschool graduate.
It is a pebble in his academic career, but I find myself feeling both saddened and joyful by this rite of passage.
Not even a year ago, I never imagined the road we would traveling just to get Bug through a school day.
I never dreamed we would be working so closely with teachers, special educators, and principals just to teach him to get through a normal day.
I never thought my child would physically fight his teachers over obeying classroom rules and sharing of toys.
And, now, today, while far from perfect, is a far cry from the dark days before.
I find myself looking back to days of hope, hugs, and heartaches as my son struggled to understand what was expected from him in a world that just doesn't make sense.
I wept tears of frustration and sorrow as I watched him struggle to make friends each day.
And those tears filled with elation when I saw him sitting in a group of children, simply playing like any other child would.
My stomach clenches remembering every days we have gone to the school, studying his teachers face for signs of a good day, hoping for signs it was a good day with every fiber in our being. And being crushed when she shakes her head and tells us Bug got a sad bear.
Is this year an indicator of Bug's entire life? No, but they are wounds that, as a mother, will turn into scars I will carry with me for life.
Because, while I joke through tears about my son being "that kid", the knowledge that he struggles every day for things that come so easily to his peers makes me cheer all the louder for his little successes.
Bug's school does not host a graduation ceremony for them, but the day Bug completes preschool will be a banner day for our family.
And, as he stands proud, I will stand beside him, one hand held out to catch him when he stumbles, because I know he will.
And, just like I tried to do this year, I will not let my boy fall alone.
When he falls, because, assuredly, he will, I will cushion him, wrapping him in my love as securely as I would a blanket.
And I will look forward to each year to come, as he finds his own feet and his own way, through kindergarten and elementary school, high school and college, knowing what we've done here is give him a foundation for his future.
Which will surely be so bright, my boy will have to wear shades.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day Gifts

My children are gifts.
And some days, I want to return them.
Yesterday was one of those days.
They fought. They coughed and hacked and snotted over me. They kicked and hit and bit each other. They whined and cried and screamed.
The Man was at work so I was on my own with the chaos.
There was no breakfast in bed, no long, luxurious baths, no nothing but the heathens and I in a death match.
But they redeemed themselves and stopped me from putting them in a box on the corner labeled "FREE TO A GOOD HOME."
They made me Mother's Day gifts, and greeted me with them with excitement and giggles and much pride.
And, as I admired their gifts, I realized, that somewhere, in their demented pea brains, they loved me. Sort of. Maybe. Or they were bribing me in order to insure their survival.
Whatever works.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Firsts and lasts

When I was handed my first child, I knew I was responsible for feeding, clothing, and caring for that wriggly, pink bundle.
And, every day, I have tried to do so.
But I'm noticing now that my children are beginning to not need me as much.
And, while thrilling, it is also sad.
They have begun asserting themselves over little things.
And each milestone I celebrate with a smile and tears.
The first my son buckled his own booster seat.
The first time he made his bed.
The first time Punk put herself to bed without me.
The first time I started to sing "House on Pooh Corner" and Bug stopped me, stating he didn't need me to sing it. He could do it himself.
The first time Boo brushed his own teeth without being told.
The first time I trusted my sons, while watching from the doorway, as my sons opened the driveway gate for me.
The first time my son saw me carrying in groceries and quickly went to help out.
And the only time Bug has said to me, "When I all grown up and a doctor, you can come live with me in my big house. And if my wife doesn't like it, she can just leave!"
And so, I look at my babies and realize one day, one time, it will be the last time for so many things I take for granted now.
Snuggles in my lap.
Running, sloppy kisses.
Kisses to make it better.
And sweaty little hands to hold.
One day, I will reach for them and they will be grown, independent,. and I will know I have done well.
And I will smile through my tears.
Because that first will be my last.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Those days

Last week, my five and a half year old Bug, being the honest child he is, told me I'm fat.
I didn't say he was the brightest bulb in the pack, just honest.
After I picked myself up off the floor and dusted off my hurt feelings, I realized I don't look like I did as a newlywed more than a century ago.
Okay, only fifteen years, but it feels like more than a century. In dog years. So like, 700 years.
Most days, I know I'm a little fluffier than I used to be. I wish I was that skinny chick I was before four pregnancies and life jumped smack on my ass.
But I'm okay with myself.
Sort of.
I walk miles at lunch, try to eat healthy (Oreo Double Stuff Cakesters are healthy, right?) and do some of the right things.
The Man still pants after me. Or maybe that's his bad heart that making him pant . . .hmmm.
I can still run, sort of, if you don't count my thighs slapping together and the ground screaming for mercy with each footfall.
I still have perky boobs. . . with the right push up bra. (Hey, you try having three sharks attached to your nipple for a year and see how perky your knockers are!)
I have a nice road map for my life to study . . .on my stomach.
But I'm not fat. I am well cushioned, have a good center of gravity, and am nice to snuggle up with on a cold winters night.
There's a skinny chick in me dying to get out.
She's suffocating.

Friday, April 16, 2010


As a mama, I know how to lay on the guilt.
I am an expert at guilting my kids into submission. And I won't even tell you how easy The Man is guilted.
And, sadly enough, I am also very familiar with another form of mama guilt.
Let me clarify.
You start out your career as a mother staring at a peed on stick and waiting for two lines or a plus or a sign from the gods that your man did his job right and got you knocked up.
From the moment you know, you eat healthy, pop vitamins the size of horse suppositories, and kick on the classical music. You read all the books, take all the classes, and make plans for the perfect birth, the perfect child, the perfect life.
And then your baby is handed to you, and it all goes sideways.
You love your child. You adore your child. You don't understand your child, but you slog through the trenches of poopy diapers, spit up, tantrums, and coos.
And then you face the day when your pediatrician tells you that your darling angel, your mini Einstein, is developmentally delayed.
This isn't the firts time you feel like a failure as a parent, but it is the one that nearly crushes you.
You stare at you child and wonder what went wrong. Not that anything is wrong with your child, but where in the baking process did your little honey bun turn into a blueberry muffin? You love the muffin just the same, but its not quite as easy to digest.
So you go through the testing and the help, and then after a few months, your child begins to catch up and you can return to your normal, white picket fence, Daddy on the lawn mower life.
Until your child starts school. And he's spitting on teachers, hitting other children, screaming, throwing fits, and is labelled "that" kid.
And, with tears in your eyes, you begin to meet with professionals, begin planning, working, adjusting your life and the schools to fit your child's needs.
And the testing shows he is developmentally delayed. Your world slows down a crawl as you curl around your child to protect them from the barbed sting of those words.
The words don't matter to you. They hurt, but that doesn't matter. You will fight tooth and nail (even with a new manicure) for your child to succeed.
The label doesn't matter. This is still the baby you fought to bring into this world healthy and whole.
All you hear is the mama guilt.
"What did I do wrong?"
"How did I make him this way?"
"How could I have screwed up this badly in only 5 years?" (I mean, I know I'm good, but damn! That isn't very long to really mess up a child, is it? I must have set a record there.)
"What if he turns to me one day and realized its all my fault?"
Its hard as a parent not to compare your children. I try, but looking at Heathen 2 and Heathen 3 and knowing they have such an easy time obeying rules, making friends, and socializing. Why is it so much easier for them than it is for their big brother?
You start second guessing yourself. Every decision you made since conception comes into question. Because maybe those Taco Bueno bean burritos warped his little developing mind in utero, or maybe all the meds you had to take to stop from puking up your insides affected him. Or maybe . . . It doesn't matter.
You are smack in the center of a big bowl of mama guilt.
And you are treading water, just trying to stay afloat, knowing that you still have to face your child, knowing apologies won't make any sense because there is nothing wrong with your child.
It's all your fault.
That's where I am. Awash in a sea of guilt, I am mired down by the "what if's". And I love my child with a passion that defies all convention, so, for him, I continue to put one foot in front of the other when all I want to do is cry.
The label doesn't matter.
The work involved doesn't matter.
He is all that matters.
And so I will shove my guilt into a compartment in the back of my mind and, as needed, upgrade from a carry on bag of guilt to a suitcase to a steamer trunk, all the while becoming more and mroe bowed under the weight of the guilt.
And just continue to put one foot in front of the other until I finally succumb to the weight of my failure.
And it still won't matter.
Because that's what mama's do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


There are many ways to discipline a child, raging from time outs to swats to losing privileges.
My new fave?
This last week, two of my sons put three items down the toilet, resulting in much stress and labor on the parts of The Man and I.
As a result, they did chores for two nights straight.
They picked up dog poop, pulled weeds, scrubbed bathrooms (bathtubs and toilets and i didn't even let them use a toilet brush!), and then thy finished it by hauling limbs.
My children were tired and sore.
And they could tell you exactly why they were in a work camp at that moment.
They worked until I was over my mad.
Believe me. It took a while.
So now our new punishment will result in a clean house and a well groomed lawn.
Even if my boys don't learn, our place will look fab-u-lous!

Monday, April 12, 2010


My oldest son learned today that there are consequences for his actions.
He stole something from school yesterday.
And today, he had to tell his teachers and apologize.
He didn't steal much. That wasn't the point. He stole five plastic games pieces.
It was the lesson he learned form it that mattered most to us.
The Man and I remember quite clearly when we've had to swallow our pride and embarrass ourselves to fix a wrong.
I don't think Bug will forget this lesson any time soon.
At least, I hope not.
I hope teh shame The Man saw on our child's face when he confessed will stick with him for life.
I hope the next time he gets the urge to five finger discount, he thinks twice and remembers.
I hope this lesson sticks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Out of the mouths of heathens

Two days ago, our toilet starts acting up. Being the suspicious mother I am, I immediately start eyeballing the two year old.
Today, The Man finally showed his true plumbers crack and snaked the hell out of it, only to discover . . .
A child's toothbrush.
The Man: Who put this in there?
Boo: Not me, but his name starts with 'B'.
The Man: Bug, did you do this? (after the whimpered affirmative) Why?
Bug: Because the trash can was getting too full, Daddy. (At this point, my husband shut up because he was having flashbacks to him telling his parents the same reason when he flushed a tube of toothpaste down the toilet.)
A few minutes later, The Man overhears the following:
Bug (whispering to Boo): How do you think any army man would go down the potty. Would he spin round and round really fast?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The word is full of labels.
Christian. Jew. Witch.
Man. Woman.
Mom. Dad.
We all wear dozens of different labels each day.
My oldest son just gained a new label I never wished him to have.
Developmentally delayed.
The school just called to tell us last week, that per testing, bug is behaviorally delayed.
Okay, so the kid has a few attitude and control issues. So do I. but I'm not sporting s nifty new label.
Surprisingly, I'm not mad about the new label. I'm a bit jazzed. Because it puts a word to what we've been battling for 5 1/2 years.
And that word is going to get Bug the help he needs in school.
That word gives me a phrase to advocate for, a battle to fight, and everyone knows how I love a good fight.
That word gives me a goal to work towards. The day when he will retest and that label will be replaced by . . . nothing.
I normally loathe labels. Aside from mom, and maybe wife (on good days) I don't adhere to any labels about myself.
But this label I will embrace as firmly as I would a lover.
And when it is time, I, and my son, will kick it to the curb.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Holiday goodness

Holidays are the time I just want to eat my kids up with spoons.
This is after I stop gritching about the cost, the effort, the time, and the secrecy involved in pulling off a great holiday for my kids.
Those moments, those infinitesimal instants in time when I see the true joy and wonder on my babies face are worth all the headache it causes me.
It's worth all the conversations about what holidays The Man and I will celebrate since we don't have the same beliefs.
It's worth the cost ties three to make sure my children have that early morning surprise.
I promise myself every holiday that it will be worth it.
This morning, it was.
Bug was first, crawling into our bed and weeping because we forgot to leave carrots out for the Easter Bunny and the Bunny was sure to be hungry.
Fast forward to his discovery of his basket and the yelled declaration, "He did come!" followed by excitement over four new books, two new movies, chocolate, and Curious George socks. (The socks were the biggest hit. My sock has a patterned sock fetish, courtesy of his Aunt Chell)
Next was Boo, woken with permission by Bug, who came running as fast as his little sick feet would carry him to immediately fixate on stickers in his basket to the exclusion of all else. The sound of those feet will be with me until the day I die, a auditory reminder of sweet babies who grow up far too fast, a reminder when my children walk when excited, not run, to me.
Then on to Punk, woken by me (because The Man was late for work and had to see his girl open her stuff) who dove straight for the chocolate and wouldn't let go for anything.
Since then, Bug has read all thirteen new books and my children have Siskell and Ebbert'd the movies they received. They are dressed and patiently waiting the ride over to grandma's house, here this afternoon they will eat as much as illness recovering bellies can hold, hunt eggs until they are worn out, and fall down to watch a movie.
And, while I bemoan it all, because hey, that's what I do, I will secretly tucking away moments to treasure when they are too old for plastic eggs and chocolate bunnies and mornings with their mothers snuggles in bed.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


My Buddha baby turns four today.
It hardly seems possible that we have survived four years of this parenting relationship with as few scars as we have.
In the last year, I have watched as my Boo baby has grown from toddler to preschooler. He has started school, made friends, and grown by leaps and bounds. It is amazing to watch how he has changed in just one short year. Gone are the chubby baby cheeks and fat little hands, replaced by slim cheeks and sure hands.
Boo now is the family clown, dancing and looking for attention for his wild antics. And he is Punk's protector, a knight in footie jammies ready to defend his sister against all foes.
And the evil little imp has thrown me over for The Man.
"I like sharks. Do you like sharks, Daddy?"
"I love mustard, just like you, right, Daddy?"
"I have green eyes like daddy."
"Daddy, I love you whole bunch."
"Mommy, I love you a little bit."

I ask for a hug and he runs.
And forget about any kisses.
He comes to sit on my lap, just to pass gas and giggle.
And he's only really interested in me when there is food involved.
The Man loves it. A child who prefers him! Finally!
But I am plotting this birthday to reclaim my child.
Boo wants a shark party for his birthday (damn The Man!) so we have having a shark party to end all shark parties.
For which, knowing my son, he will thank his father and ignore me.
My little boy is growing up. And, even though he loves his father best of all, I am honored to share this journey with him.
Happy birthday, Boo baby. I love you like crazycakes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oh whiner, where art thou?

Oh yeah! Right there in my almost four year old son.
Boo has become a consummate whiner.
He can't speak normally any longer. Everything is said in whines.
"He's touching me."
"She took my toy."
"I'm hungry." (Said thirty seconds after his feet hit the floor in the morning and always said before he thinks of good morning.)
"I don't like ice cream."
"You are the best mommy in the world for not strangling me as a whine about eight hundred inconsequential things just to drive you batty."

Okay, so he hasn't whined the last one. Yet.
Boo is whiney weiner.
And I'm tired of it.
He used to be a wonderful communicator. sweet, articulate, and non whiney.
Listening to him used to not make my ears bleed and my eyes glaze over.
Now I run from room to room to avoid him.
I do extra laundry to avoid listening to him.
I wait until he's asleep to initiate conversations.
Right now, I can't stand to listen to my whiney, temper tantrum throwing himself down on the floor/ground/road middle child.
And it's sad, because I love my child.
Most days.
When he's not talking to me in that voice.
On those days, all bets are off, and I've placed him at the corner with a sign saying, "Free to a good, deaf home."
So far the deaf are smarter than I am. Even without being able to hear him, they know a whiney weiner when they see one.
Whyyyyyyyyy meeeeeeeeeeeee?

Friday, March 19, 2010


The Man caused my hear to stop this weak.
And not in the good "oh my Gods great sex" kind of way.
Instead, he made my heart stop in the "my husband is in an ambulance on the way to the hospital because he's having chest pains" kind of way.
After five days of terror and close proximity to my mate (whom I haven't spent that much time with in years and hope never to do again.) we learned its just his body's screwed up way of not handling stress.
Never let it be said The Man does anything the easy way.
But as I drove to the hospital, I had one of those moments.
I couldn't move beyond the fear that he was going to leave me.
And he was leaving me alone with our heathens.
Who I would have to tell that their daddy had bailed on us and high tailed it to the stars.
And whom I would raise alone.
Because no one would ever look twice at a widow with three children and jiggly thighs and stretch marks longer than the Nile River.
I looked at him and all I saw was my babies faces.
I looked at him and saw fifteen damned years of hell, happiness, hell, and hope all slipping from my grasp no matter how tightly I tried to hold on.
I looked at him and saw myself trying to teach my boys how to be men, having to buy them jock straps and having "the talk" with them. *shudder*
I saw my daughter as a young woman.
And I point blank told him he couldn't have a heart attack until I bought Punk her first bra and he realized that boys would soon come to knocking. Or until he was home alone with her and her period starts, a right of passage every daddy should endure.
I forbade him to leave me alone to muddle through raising our children. He impregnated me and signed the dotted line to see it through. I wasn't letting him break our contract.
And, although this time was blessedly a false alarm, I think it has given us both new perspective on our lives.
Neither of us wants to be the lone parent standing between our children and the world.
Because whichever sucker is left won't stand a chance in hell.
But together? I can throw him to the wolves that sprang from my loins while I jiggle my chubby butt to safety.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The bowels of hell and laughing all the way

When Dante envisioned his levels of hell, he didn't picture sports moms.
I'm not talking about the crazy loving it ones.
I'm talking about those of us who sit there because our kids are playing, but who couldn't care less about anything sports related.
I am that mom.
And I'm okay with that.
If the entire sports universe imploded upon itself tomorrow, I'd be okay with that.
Hell, I would be dancing in the streets with joy.
But I have now sat through one wee ball practice, one soccer practice, and one soccer scrimmage like a good and dutiful mother.
And there's not enough Jack and coke in the world to make me enjoy anything remotely associated with the sport.
But I love seeing the smile on my sons faces.
That is why I sat there, freezing, watching my other two heathens, and trying to cheer at the appropriate moments.
That is why I will do it again this week and for countless, endless weeks from now on.
I will hover in my own circle of hell, happy for my heathens, and praying they become band nerds.
Please, let them be band geeks.
Or drama queens.
Even in high heels.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We survived

We survived what has become known in our family and Potty Training Baby Booty Camp 2010.
It has taken me almost two weeks to recover and to feel confident in saying, yes, my daughter is potty trained.
Does that mean there are no accidents? Nope. Getting through the night dry is still iffy. It does mean she understands that she is to pee and poop in the potty and she hasn't worn a diaper in two weeks.
It was--is--one of the hardest things physically I have ever done. By end of day one, I was hobbling like a pregnant lady in her last trimester from grabbing Punk and running to the restroom a thousand times that day. She had fourteen accidents on day one. I doubted my sanity and my wisdom. Daily occurances, but especially disheartening at that time.
Day two was better--four accidents--and I saw a bit of hope.
Day three was exactly as I was told. One accident and she seemed to udnerstand.
Sent her to school on day four, no accidents.
Day five and day six, she pooped her pants at school.
So the following weekend, we had a mini booty camp.
And no accidents since.
But I'm spending a lot more time in bathrooms. Punk loves to check out the facilities everywhere we go, multiple times.
We went to the circus and I took her no less than forty times (at least that is how it felt to me). By the end, she was struggling to force out the droplets required to keep me from going postal.
So it was certainly a successful endeavour. I have no diapers left. The pull ups are being doled out to friends. And I am infinitely grateful that she is my last.
Because I wouldn't survive another go round.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Littl man growing up way too fast!

Boo turned to me and told me he liked the naked lady I had. I asked him to clarify, and he said the naked lady on my book. This book:

And how much he liked her. The conversation went on to me explaining he was too young in a panicked voice. To which Boo replied:

When I'm a big man, I'll get a big book too.

Thank GODS! I'm going to pretend he actually was after the book, not the cover art. This really cannot be happening with my not quite four year old, can it?

Monday, February 22, 2010

How Gator Aid is made (at least according to my five year old)

Squeeze a gator for juice.
Take it to the factory.
Bottle it.
Label it.
Drink it.
And then drain your own lizard.

Friday, February 19, 2010


My children's hands never cease to amaze me.
I have been fascinated by them since they were in utero.
(I also have a thing for their feet, but since the boys have begun to grow more smelly, my love affair is waning fast.)
I have held their hands when they are grasping, unsure newborn looking for comfort.
I have felt their fingers clutch my own as they took their first steps.
I have watched as baby thumbs slipped out of pursed baby mouths searching for comfort.
I have seen them grasp bike handles, thrown balls, and beloved bears.
And I am amazed.
And the best is yet to come.
If I brainwash my children right, I will see those hands hold diplomas and medical degrees.
I will watch as they place rings on their wives hands, or as they are given a ring by their husband.
I will watch as my sons mop their wives brows as she labors to bring their children into the world. I will watch as their hands tremble with a mixture of terror and excitement that I remember so clearly in their father.
I will see my daughter grip the sheets, straining to bring forth her child.
I will see them hold their own babies hands through all of the firsts that a child brings.
And, hopefully, when I am ready to depart, their hands will be the last thing I feel, holding my own, strong and sure in the knowlegde that I always was there, arms outstretched, hands ready to catch them if they fell.
It is no wonder I have a lvoe affair with my children's hands.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things we forgot from our childhood

I don't remember learning to write.
I remember doing it, per se, but not really.
To me, it seemed as though the teacher showed me and I was off and running.
Logically, I know it took more time than that. But that is how the fog of age recalls it.
My oldest boy is having a tough time writing. His name is illegible. I discovered this when we were addressing Valentine's for his classmates.
I mean, I knew it wasn't pretty before, but I couldn't read one blessed letter.
So I sat for an hour tonight and worked with Bug to improve his handwriting.
Only to realize I couldn't figure out how to teach a child to hold a pencil.
I stared at my hand, amazed. How hard could it be? I write every day. I know how to hold a pen. Why wouldn't that information magically jump for me into my child?
I became frustrated, with myself and a bit with him. I'm human. I admit it.
And so, after an hour with minimal success, I went looking online.
And came across a strange goldmine.
A wadded up tissue.
Hopefully unused.
I had Bug hold the wadded tissue with his pinky and ring finger, then the pen with the other three and it made a huge difference.
I don't know why. I don't know how.
But a snot rag in the hand is worth two confused parents any day.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What did I do to deserve this?

My middle child, my sweet, happy boy punched a girl in the nose at school today.
The reason?
She told him he wasn't the boss of her.
He punched her and then yelled, "Yes I am! My mommy told me I'm the boss!"
I think it's time for a reality check on child number two.
It will not be pretty.
He is not the boss. He has never been the boss. He never will be the boss. My son's will undoubtedly marry a woman just like me, and, like their father, will not even be the boss in their dreams.
Unlike Tony and Angela's topsy turvy chaos in "Who's the Boss", I will brook no question.
I am the supreme, all powerful, all knowing, kicking ass mama san boss in our home.
And my son will be learning that lesson tonight.
All hail me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

D-day (or the day the diapers died)

Bye, bye, Miss Poopy Diaper!
Wiped my last hiney for my little toddler!
And sweet baby is full of juice and water!
And singing today's the day the diapers die!

Today's the day the diapers die!

Or I do, which might very well be the end result of my latest experiment.
Three day potty training booty camp.
From first thing Saturday morning until last thing Monday night, Punk and I are Siamese twins with one goal in mind.
Ditch the diapers.
A lofty goal, but one I have been deluded into believing in thanks to a guru who pro-ports three day potty training.
It worked for a friend, and a friend of a friend, so it has to work for us, right?
I have bought the supplies--panties, salty snacks, juice, rewards.
I have enlisted help with the boys.
And I have told The Man we are doing this and he'd better hop on the potty training throne with us.
I oh so sweetly told him the plan, his job, the boys job, my job, and then reminded him what would happen if he let me down.
If he fails me, I'll flush him like the floater he is.
Starting first thing Saturday, before Punk wakes, I will be up and showered and watching her little butt like a hawk for signs of stirring.
We have to kick off this adventure together.
And then for the next three days, I will stalk her better than any obsessed fan. I will ask her with every other breath to tell me if she has to go. I will celebrate successes and deal with failures.
I will spend more time contemplating her pees and poops than any sane person should ever have to.
Because, after five plus years and over $5000 worth of money, I want to be free.
I want my life to be free from demon diapers.
And may the gods have mercy on my soul.
I'm gonna need it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chinese Water Torture, Mommy Style

Let me make one thing clear from the start.
I hate sports.
I hate some more than others. Soccer, meh. Baseball, blech. Football, hurling on the floor.
The Superbowl sends me into a full on fit, complete with foaming and seizures because people act like absolute morons about a game.
My brother, nephew, and husband will talk about nothing else. Get them together and the football talk starts within five minutes. And it continues long past the point of logic, sense, or their continued survival.
One day I will go Michael Myers on their asses. (Minus the clown costume which would make my butt look big.)
Having boys, I realized I would eventually have to slither into the world of sports.
I prayed for band nerds, or drama dorks, or even nonconformists kids.
I got my boys, who at four and five are entering the world of wee sports.
Boo is playing Wee Ball and Bug will be playing soccer.
All starting in LESS THAN ONE MONTH.
I find my stomach turning at the knowledge that I will be on the sidelines cheering for my kids and pretending to like the game because it's important to them.
I am having moments where it's like being pregnant again. I think I'll be riding the porcelain throne if I have to hear another word about any of it.
For me, this is parental torture.
And I haven't even seriously contemplated how bad they will smell afterward. Riding in my car. In an enclosed vehicle. With me.
But I will swallow my bile, plaster a clenched teeth smile on my face, and try my best to be encouraging, while, slowly, on the inside, I am dying a painful, agonizing death.
Because, I know, from here, it is a small step into them joining into those damned conversations about sports and plays and stats and all the other things that almost make me wish I had three girls.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Battle of the boys

My boys are only eighteen months apart.
What does that mean to anyone not cursed blessed with boys so close in age?
This means they fight.
All the time.
Over everything.
From the color of the sky, to which one of the identical booster seats is theirs, to who is one fraction of a second away from touching whom.
They fight.
I used to get involved when they fought. I used to try and find a just, fair compromise that would have made King Solomon proud.
That was before child number three made an appearance and I gave up.
Now, unless there is bloodshed or breaking of my housewares, I just don't' care.
As long as I don't have to hear any noise, such as indignant cries or screams for mercy, I turn a blind eye.
And when hear those things? I make the Man handle it.
Being the boss is very good.
Anyway, I used to interfere back in the day.
But that was back when there was a huge size difference between the two.
Now, I just let them have at it.
Bug fights like the tall boys he is, all arms and legs. He reminds me of Olive Oyl, truth be told, all swinging fists that rarely connect with anything.
Boo fights dirty. He'll tackle you when you aren't looking just because you may have glanced at him wrong when you passed him by.
Today, they fought because Bug looked like he was thinking about spitting on Boo. Boo's words. Not mine. I can't even follow the logic of this one. What does a child look like who is thinking about spitting? And what prior experience made my youngest son recognize that expression today?
Yesterday, they fought because Boo had the letter of the alphabet Bug wanted. Bug couldn't tell me which one out of the 25 others it was, but Boo had it.
Day before, they fought over who belched better. At least that one made some sense.
And I ended the fight by outdoing them both.
I don't know where it will end. Or even if it will end.
But I'm sure that last big knock down drag out fight will be at my bedside while i am gasping my last, and someone will breathe wrong.
I will spend my last moments on earth trying to separate my battling offspring while gasping, "Boys! Stop this right now! Are you trying to kill me?"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This week

The Man and I will say goodbye to another furry companion.
Our beagle, Kahlua, will join Peepaw, Tequila, Saki, and our zoo's polar bear in the stars. (That's according to my children.)
We have been blessed by Kahlua's sweet nature and easy love for almost fourteen years. But she is in pain and tired, and I have always vowed I will let them go before I will let them suffer unnecessarily.
I will thank her for her love and companionship, for her devotion. I will thank her and apologize for all that my children have put her through. And I will hold her as her soul leaves her body.
I will cry, sorry for myself at the loss of a friend, and in happiness for her as she finds peace.
She is a joy and a love and will be sorely missed.
Blessed be, Kahlua. And thank you.


Today my baby will walk into the halls of academia, letting go of my hand, crushing my heart, and waving goodbye as I fight back tears.
Today, someone else will enjoy my daughter's witty games, her easy laugh, and her blood curdling shrieks.
The shrieks I won't miss.
What can I say, I'm feeling a bit melancholy and twisted.
It is hard to believe only 26 months ago, she was inside me. I knew everything about her without ever seeing her face.
Today, I see her face, know every curve of it, every expression on it, as well as I know my own.
Better maybe, because mine is growing old at a remarkably fast rate.
I know every story there is to know.
And after today, I won't. I will no longer be the one to see all the stories as they happen. (along with the Man, who is a secondary player in my relationship with Punk.) I will be the one told the stories by a third party.
So today, I will cry for the baby Punk no longer is, for the first steps she's taken that I celebrate, and for the changes this will make in our mother/daughter dynamic.
I will spend my day worrying about her. Does she miss me? Is she happy? Is she having fun?
And when I pick her up, I will frantically scan her face for any changes I missed.
because a day in the life of my child is an eternity to this worried mom.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Potty Princess

We're in the starts and stops stage of potty training Princess Punk.
She starts off great, then stalls out.
I like to think its the Kegaling method of potty training.
But with punk startign school in just two days (gasp!), I feel the need to run amok and experiment on my youngest offspring.
She doesn't deal well with pull ups.
So I put her in Little Mermaid panties.
And enlisted her two big brothers to remind her to pee pee in the potty and not in her panties.
(Nice use of alliteration, huh?)
So far, so good.
But I won't let her sit on any furniture that cannot be wiped off, which is crimping her play style big time.
I thought it best to do this now, before we installed her carpet in the house.
I've survived potty training my boys--barely--but for some reason, potty training a wee little midget of a girl seems much, much harder.
Maybe because she is my last?
Maybe I am clinging to the last vestiges of her babyhood to make myself feel better?
That only works if I don't think about the sheer amount of money we have spent on diapers and pull ups in the last five plus years.
When I do the math, averaging 16 cents a diaper, times 20 changes a day (again average between three kids) for 5 years, which is 1821 days, you get something like this:
.16x20=3.2x1821=$5827 spent on diapers.
And that's just a rough estimate.
Okay, back to the potty she goes!
And extra almost 6k would have gone very far in the past five years.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The Man and I are insane.
Certifiably so.
Starting when the weather warms, we will be building onto our house.
We will not be hiring people to build on.
We will be doing it ourselves in true Tim Taylor fashion.
Grunt, grunt.
Now, my husband and I are not exactly novices. He was a brick/stone/whatever mason for years, and I'm a construction brat.
Meaning, I know how to hang sheetrock and which end of a hammer to hold up when I throw it at my husband. Which I'm sure I will do at least once with great gusto.
Basically, in laymans terms, we will have a nice new addition a to our home to increase property value while we're divying it up in the divorce brought on by this particular project.
My neighbors will be treated to the sight of me reaming my husband for some boneheaded move out in our yard as he concentrates on ignoring me with all his might.
They already know to expect a show. Twice, about eight months pregnant, I have lost my temper with our Giant Schnauzer and they have been greeted with the sight of me sitting on my dog, holding his head, and yelling curses at him.
They just laugh about it now.
So I figure we might as well make it good entertainment as we build a new bedroom and our marriage deconstructs.
And I figure they'll come out to talk to our kids as they are hanging from a beam, either nailed there by their father in an attempt to keep them out of trouble or dangling off of it because the days not complete without a parental caridac arrest.
I'm think about selling tickets to my circus freak of a life.
It should be worth a few bucks to watch a family deconstruct in a fashion Roseanne only dared dream of.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slipping through my fingers

YEsterday reminded me of a song from "Mamma Mia" where Donna is lamenting how fast her daughter grew up and how the precious moments slipped through her finger.
While my baby girl isn't running off to get married this week, I know it won't be long, and yesterday was a bittersweet reminder.
Punk will be starting school next week.
Yes, she is two years old. Yes, she is young. She'll be entering a program designed for munchkins like her.
And, yes, my heart is breaking.
While I am thrilled for her, I am saddened that the baby I held for the first time only two short years ago is finding her independence and leaving me behind, holding onto a memory of baby smells.
While I know she will do well and learn, I know I will have to pry my fingers from her chubby hand to allow her to walk freely.
I know I will have to loosen my apron strings a little bit for her first real foray into the real world.
And I'm so sad.
And so proud.
And so close to tears just thinking about it, typing is a trick today.
Punk is my baby. The last. The child who is still attached to me via our umbilical bond.
So I will cry and smile and laugh and weep as I help her ready for her first day of big girl school.
And when I walk away, I will be blinded by tears and memories of my sweet baby girl.
And I will start gearing myself up for her wedding.
Because I now understand how fast time moves when you simply want to to freeze.
Slipping through my fingers all the time.