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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yes, That Would Be The Perfect Career For Me

"Mom, did you go to cooking school?" my 5 year old son asked last night.

"Uh, nooooo. Why?" I was finally able to get out once I stopped the hysterical laughing.

"Because you are such a good cooker. You make the best things. Like this! How did you know how to make this so good? Mmmmmmmm. I know... you should be a cookbook writer. Mmmmmmm."

"First I cooked the elbow shaped macaroni. Then, I open the package of powdered cheese. Added milk and butter. I prefer not to measure exactly. I'm daring and crazy like that. I like to embrace the recipe and make it my own. Stir it up and viola, culinary delight!"


I like to think of it as setting the bar low for my future daughter-in-laws.

Things You Would Have To Step Over On Your Way Into My House After Walking In My Front Door

(assuming, of course, you were able to make it up to the front porch over the pile of bikes, skateboards, scooters, and pieces of chalk strategically placed to cause maximum slips and falls)

  • glove belonging to son #3
  • pair of dirty socks
  • snow hat belonging to son #4
  • crumpled paper airplane
  • shopping bag with pants to be returned to Filene's, but by the time I get around to it will no longer be too big for son #5, so I should just put them away
  • pasta colander
  • pair of sneakers that don't belong to anyone, having been removed from the Goodwill bag by that horrible child named Not Me
  • string cheese, half eaten still partially in it's wrapper
  • heart shaped princess melamine bowl
  • tupperware and lids, none of which are pairs
  • stuffed bear
  • washcloth, wet
  • discarded granola bar wrappers
  • sippy cup, leaking
  • ripped up bits of construction paper
  • crumbled up crackers that have the appearance of having been stomped on
  • broken pencil
  • piece of crown molding
  • one Land's End slip on shoe
  • several plastic Walmart bags that I like to keep in a basket under the kitchen sink, but the baby likes to keep anywhere BUT there
  • empty medicine measuring cups
  • several construction paper fans
  • baby gate laying on it's side in the doorway, obviously knocked down and stepped upon
  • couch cushions, unzipped with stuffing coming out
  • pin cushion, complete with pins sticking out
  • area rug that belongs in front of the sink is instead crumpled up into a ball and cast aside
  • an empty box of baby wipes
  • an entire box worth of baby wipes on every flat surface
  • one pink sock
  • a banana peel
  • a 10lb weight, which subsequently was dropped on a pile of slate tile that had been sealed and was waiting installation, breaking 3 of them
  • an upside down laundry basket pushed up to the counter like a stool
  • a toy cell phone
  • spy goggles
  • wood pellets that missed being vacuumed up after a pellet fight last night, no it was not allowed
  • a rock
  • several sticks
  • and last but not least, dried mud... everywhere, giving the appearance that we live in a dirt floored dwelling

It's seven against one here. I fear they are winning.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Stellar Day

Today I went to the dentist and had gum surgery.

I hate going to the dentist. I have given birth to seven children, three of them with no drugs at all. The other four I had a huge ole needle shoved into my spine, and yet the prospect of getting dental work and having a novacaine shot makes me woozy. I hate the sound and feeling of the needle going into my gums and cheek. It always feels like it is going to come right through the outside of my face.

And even though it usually doesn't hurt, there is always the uneasy fear and apprehension that there will be pain.

I hate the sound of the drill vibrating in my head. I hate that burning smell of teeth being grinded away. I hate the water shooting into my mouth that never fails to gag me. I hate that little suction tube. And I hate how my tongue can't behave and instead darts all over my mouth.

After the birth of my first child I had to be sewn back up like a Thanksgiving turkey, yet I don't think I complained near as much as I am about a couple of stitches in my mouth.

I also went to visit my mother, ending the seven year estrangement and showing my masochistic tendencies by enduring both these things in one afternoon.

She was released from the psych hospital last week. She was diagnosed as bipolar and put on some appropriate medications.

It was a strange, almost like talking to a completely different person. At first I didn't recognize this happy, laughing person as my mother.

Even more so she apologized. Not just for the other night when she said I was dead to her and disinherited, but for everything. For a life time of treating me horribly. She said that over the past week coming to the realization that she was such an awful and mean mother was almost too much for her to bear.

Hearing her feel that way was almost too much for me to bear. As much as I have told myself that I have steeled myself against anymore heartache, there it was as raw as could be. Never in my life, not once, has she apologized for anything. And as much as I hate to say it, forgiveness is not one of my strong points.

As she gave me a tour of her house, one that I have never been to, I saw evidence of her last downward spiral and noticed things that have always been, but never struck me as all that odd. Like the fact that she literally has about 100 bath towels. All white. All folded the exact same way. All stacked neatly in her linen closet.

The sheets for beds that are still wrapped in their plastic packages. So many that she could never use them all during the rest of her lifetime. And it's the same with bottles of perfume, car wax, shampoo, aspirin, etc. If the bird flu ever comes here me and all my kids could go live with them in their tiny condo and live off of their supplies for the rest of our natural lives. And it is all so anally organized.

Then there were the notes she wrote to herself and left all over the house. Notes saying that she was going to die soon and to whom the item should go. My step sister's son was going to get an unfinished floral painting that she wrote 'I love you, I am dead' all over. Now that's a family keepsake if ever there were one.

There wasn't anything with my name on it, perhaps I am getting 50 bottles of Jean Nate body spray and a gross of Alpha Keri hand lotion that were in the back of the linen closet.

Overall, the visit was pleasant. I practiced biting my tongue. And it was a good thing that it was still numb when the topics of homeschooling, breastfeeding, politics, and novels written by Danielle Steele came up.

As I sat at her kitchen table, the same one I sat at years ago, I realized that relationships are a two way street. I am responsible for my side of the relationship and I need to just let go of the past. Let go of my anger. Let go of my pain. Let go of any expectations. Let go and just be.

And realize that even though it doesn't hurt right now, there will always be the uneasy fear and apprehension of pain.

All of Us

All of Us
Originally uploaded by the big yellow house.

Okay, sheesh, here is a picture of me wearing the black dress. I know you can't really see it, but you can see the double chin I apparently have quite clearly.

And look how tall my eleven year old is... and I am wearing heels.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Screaming Uncle

There are times when I think I must be mentally impaired.

Today is one of them.

All day, yes ALL DAY, I have been trying to turn this mov file 90 degrees so that you don't have to cock your head to the side in order to watch it. And here it is 7:24 at night and I still have not figure it out. Why is it so difficult? Why? Isn't youtube supposed to be idiot proof?

It looks right side up on my computer. But apparently that is just an illusion, a mind trick, a way to mess with my already overly taxed brain.

So, um, just lay your head down on your computer table to watch it. And if anyone knows how to fix it I would be eternally grateful and happily offer up my first born son* as payment.

*please note that the son pictured in the video is NOT the one I am offering as payment. The eleven year old would be off sulking in the corner, bemoaning his lot in life, and angry that I do not remember which song he said he liked a week ago and right-now-at-this-very-minute wants downloaded on to his Ipod. And, for future reference to all those other parents out there, saying, "Well, if you really liked it that much you should have remembered it." only makes the sulking, bitching and moaning worse.

Turning Seven Years Old

Ring Bearer

Tuxedo rental for being ring bearer: $90

New shiny black shoes purchased on the way to the wedding after we discover the rental shoes were too small: $20

Number of people singing Happy Birthday to you: 150

Number of Shirley Temple's "on the rocks, heavy on the red stuff, with two maraschino cherries and a straw" consumed by you:12

Slow dancing and kissing the cute little flower girl on your birthday: priceless

Witnessing the retina burning cuteness and catching it all on tape: makes the 17 hour labor and subsequent pushing you out of my vagina all worth it

*You can't hear it in the third video, but right before he runs away there is an announcement for the cake cutting. Yes, he ditched the cute girl for cake.

**youtube wouldn't accept my spliced video for some unknown to me reason so I had to put it up as three separate short videos.

Friday, March 24, 2006

No, He Can't Win

Rob got dressed this morning and came downstairs.

"How do you like this outfit?" he asked.

"I think you look hot. I really like that belt, too." I answered, looking up from my computer.

"Why? What's wrong with the belt?"

"Nothing. I like it."

"But, why did you mention the belt? Does it make me look fat?" he asked.

"Uh, no. I said I like it."

"But you mentioned my belt specifically. Is there something wrong with it?"

"What the hell is your problem?"

"Nothing. I'm just trying to show you what you do when I give you a compliment and you pick it apart." he answered, all proud of himself, like he had pointed out something insightful of which I was not aware.

"Hmmm, I like how your shirt is puffing out like that. Is it blousing out over your belt, or is that your stomach?" I asked.

"Huh?" he asked, looking down at his shirt.

"Do you mean for it to look like that? Not that there is anything wrong with that..." I said to him.

"What?" he asked, growing increasingly alarmed and confused.

"Nothing. I'm just trying to show you what it is like to be the receiver of one of your compliments. And I use the word compliment very loosely."

"I have so much to learn."


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Barely Coherent

I had a serious post I was going to put up about throwing away my scale, because it hates me and MAKES ME FEEL BAD. And yet I still torture myself with it daily. It's a sickness.

It's one of those old style scales with the dial. If I stand toward the front of the scale I can weigh about two pounds less than if I stand on the back of the scale.

Don't think I don't do that. I do. Along with exhaling all that heavy oxygen in my lungs. And worse yet, I convince myself that I weigh less when I do it. I play this little game in my head and as long as I don't stand on the back of the scale first and see the higher number then I can believe I weigh less.

Also, I am allowed to deduct a pound for the uneven tile floor. Another pound for my underwear. And up to two pounds depending on how long it has been since I pooped. Too much information? Probably, huh?

I don't know why I am surprised when I go to my obgyn and find out I weigh ten pounds more than I have convinced myself that my scale at home weighs me. But my doctor's scale is off. Lalalalala... I can't hear you.

So where am I going with this post that reads as if I am all jacked up on caffeine and haven't slept properly in over eleven years?

Ah yes, if you happen to be in your obgyn office or maybe your pediatrician's office pick up their copy of Babytalk magazine. Oh not getting a pap smear or strep test anytime soon? Then go read here. I'll wait.


Yeah, I am trying to act all cool and like it is not big deal, like my blog is always mentioned in magazines. But that's because Daring Young Mom and I already held hands and jumped up and down, squealing like giddy school girls.

Oh and any new readers stopping by. Welcome. If you are wearing white socks, you'll probably want to keep your shoes on. Kick a path through the legos, toys, and random clothing items my children drop through the house like Hansel and Gretel.

If I'd have known you were stopping by today I would have cleaned up a bit and maybe baked something. At least that is what I always say the first time someone comes over. By the second visit all pretenses are gone and I'll feel completely comfortable serving you a store bought pastry on a melamine winnie-the-pooh bear plate.

* the author of the article, Meagan Francis lost her old blog in an unfortunate blogging accident. You can find her new one here:

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

To "Talk" or not to "Talk"

I have a new post up over at dot-moms,

Striking fear into the hearts of parents everywhere

All about The Talk. Yes, that one.
Who ever said infants and toddlers were difficult, didn't have pre teens.

Hump Day Thoughts

1) Those post verification random letters that you must type in on some people's blogs have caused me to think that I am dyslexic because I can never get it right on the first try. Even when I concentrate REALLY hard. Or maybe I need glasses.

2) My five year old is sicker. But he isn't sick enough to just lay on the couch and watch television. He is sick enough to whine and complain and make us all feel his pain. Alternating with periods of running around playing, screaming temper tantrums, and demanding ginger ale.

And while I do feel bad for him, there is a limit to the number of times I can lovingly stroke his head, murmuring comforting words, while he coughs in my face. I am only human.

I wish that someone would invent an at home strep test, like a home pregnancy test. Because this running to the doctors with everyone, including healthy children, is going to kill me. because, allow me to say it again, I am only human.

3) We finally joined netflix. Yes, I know. I'm always late to the party. The keg has gotten warm and there are no more plastic cups left. But hey, at least I finally made it.

4) How many women watching American Idol last night (yes, I admit that we watch this show, how many family friendly tv shows are there out there?) fell in love with Chris Daugherty when he sang Walk The Line for his wife.

5) Miles bit me while nursing the other day and my boob still hurts. I think I have a clogged milk duct. I will resist dealing with it like I did the last time. I know I need to stop talking about my boobs. But my life is just that exciting that there is little else to talk about, unless you'd like to hear about how I am going to call the library today and renew our books. Yeah, I didn't think so.

6) Do I need some sort of conclusion to tie this post all up? Because I have none. The End.

Updated to add:
Thanks to k in kc, from the comments, I googled at home strep tests and lo and behold there is an at home strep test kit. here
Much, much, much cheaper than a visit to the doctor. Not to mention the germ free environment of my own home (::snort::) and the saving of my precious little sanity.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Join Us Here Each Week My Friends

Sit right back and you'll hear the tale
the tale of a fateful trip
of going to the doctor's
for kids that felt like shit.

The father person had the strep
The mom she knocked on wood,
brought her sick brood to the doctor like
a good mother should
(a good mother should)

We sat in the tiny waiting room
a festering petri dish
For two long hours we did wait
before we had our turn

The kids they touched every single toy
every handle, every knob
they used the bathroom, licked the chairs
my head began to throb
(I'm glaring now at Rob)

Finally they all went in
had their throats swabbed one by one
It was by this point we were having
so much goddamn fun
(so much goddamn fun)

Fifteen dollars for each kid
A hefty check I wrote
And sat back down in the petri dish
while waiting for results

No strep! No Strep!
the doctor said, "Not a single strepy germ"
and so the seven circus clowns
went a tumbling out the door

We said good bye, but do not fear
I'm sure we'll soon be back
to give our dying bank account
another good ole whack.

And now I wonder what they'll get
from the germy waiting room.
Can I dunk the kids in a vat of bleach
to disinfect them good?
(like a good mother should)

Monday, March 20, 2006

In Which All My Male Readers Will Feel My Husband's Pain And Rejoice That They Are Not Married To Me

Last night I finally tried on my dress for the wedding we are attending this weekend with the new expensive bra that I bought. A bra that ended up costing way more than the dress.

I went with one of those convertible bras, which judging by the name and the price, should really do much more than it does. Like melt twenty pounds off of me and lengthen my legs 6 inches. And give me a tan. I could use some color on my pasty white skin.

I tried it on in the halter strap position and it won't work with the dress, unless I want to look like a two bit street walker with the straps all hanging out. I never thought I would ever say this, but my boobs are almost too big for the dress. I'm busting out of it, pun intended.

It's not like I have halved cantaloupes on my chest, nor would anyone confuse me with a centerfold for BIGGG JUGGGS magazine, but these nursing boobs are such a novelty to me I have to resist the urge to touch them and talk about them. But I have spent my life with much much smaller produce on my chest, think kiwis, or possibly grapes. So what if I have to strap them down in a specially engineered harness to be able to run.

Honestly, I don't think I am ever going to stop nursing. I haven't had a period since July 2002 and I have these great boobs. Really, what is the incentive? Menstrual cramps and shriveled raisins for breasts?

I tried the dress on and came downstairs. Rob like the dress. He thought it was especially fetching with my socks and Birkenstock clogs.

As I was standing there he reached out and touched my stomach. Touched my stomach, people. My stomach which has expanded to the very limits that my skin can stretch seven times and has never quite recovered. He almost pulled back a bloody stump.

Then he said, "Are you sucking your stomach in?"

He said he didn't mean the way that it sounded, that he was astounded by my slimness. But I know that he was just trying to save himself from a slow and torturous death. Just to be on the safe side I went up to him, blew on his bald spot, and shined it up with my forearm. So astounded I was of his forehead.

"I can tell you have been working out. You look... strong."

"Strong?" I questioned.

"Yeah, strong."

"Well, thanks, I guess. I was feeling rather like uncooked dough."

"No, you look big and strong." And with that he struck a pose reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk.

"You know this is sounding less like a compliment and more like I should be pushing a plow in a potato field somewhere."

Rob sighed heavily. He realized that yet again his compliment has fallen short of his expectations.

My daughter came over to me. "Mommy, you look like a Princess. You look like Cinderella."

"Oh, thank you sweetie. At least someone can give Mommy a nice compliment."

"Well, she didn't say if you looked like Cinderella before or during the Ball." piped up my eleven year old.

Is there a charm school somewhere to send him to? Maybe we can get a father/son discount.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Riddle For You

What is stronger than the will of a two year old?

More powerful than the jaws of a one year old near a medicine dropper?

Able to wipe out your bank account in a single day?

Cry over your empty wallet!
It's not a cough! It's not the flu!


If You Never Hear From Me Again, You'll Know Why

I got this in the mail yesterday:

Why I Love My Internet Friends

Prompting the following conversation with my husband.

"Who sent you this package? How do you know you can trust her?"

"Oh, I am sure she has been pretending to be my friend for years, just plotting for a time when she could bake batches of poisonous cookies and mail them to me. Her blog, her family, her entire online personality has all been a rouse which she hid behind so that one day she could kill us all."

"It could happen."

"You didn't feel that way about the huge stack of books I got two weeks ago from Miss Peach. There could be anthrax or something similar lurking between the pages slowly poisoning us all."

"Well, that seems unlikely..."

"Just to be safe you had better not eat any of the cookies or read any of the books."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

They Can Polish It Up and Screw A Little Gold Chain Onto It

Living in an old house we have more than our fair share of mice, especially this time of year.

Do you know how fast mice reproduce? I don't know exactly either, but I remember reading that it is really quickly. And they are not bothered by incestuous relationships. So basically one day you have two mice and three weeks later there a million. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Last week we set four traps, and caught three mice. Or so I was told since I refuse to look at them. The fourth trap, which was still set but had not caught anything, Rob decided to hide behind the freezer. That way none of the little children would be able to reach it, but should one of the little mice be brave enough to come out during the day the trap would be ready for it.

I felt a bit queasy at the prospect of hearing the trap go off during the day since I like to convince myself that they are purely nocturnal creatures, that they can not climb stairs, and can not ever enter a bedroom. Yes, those are the lies I tell myself so that I survive in an old house.

At some point during the day we caught a mouse. One of the kids noticed it and then had to call everyone into the room to peek behind the freezer and have a look.

My two year old daughter, who has been badgering us for a cat, or dog, or penguin, pushed everyone aside to have a look.

"He's so cute. I keep him?" she asked.

"He's dead." I informed her.

"When he wakes up, I keep him?"

"He isn't waking up. He's dead." I said, a bit more emphatically.

"When he not dead anymore I keep him?"

I didn't know how to fully explain it to her. I wanted to say, "Look at his head, it is all squashed and flattened. And his body is all stiff and hard. There's no coming back from that."

Instead I said, "We'll see," which is parent-speak for, "It's never going to happen but I can not deal with the tantrum right this moment so let's save it for later."

I'm not a complete monster. We have had pets before.

We had Sea Monkeys for a while and I thought they were the perfect pet. Ranking right up there with a pet rock.

Until one day my husband saw the container sitting on the counter and thinking it was just a container of cloudy water poured the contents down the drain. I quickly filled the "aquarium" back up with tap water before any of the children noticed and pretended the sea monkeys were still in there.

I did feel slightly bad when they would peer inside day after day wondering why they couldn't see anything. And when they broke out magnifying glasses for a better look, well if I had a soul and could have stopped giggling behind my hand, I would have felt really bad.

Eventually they got bored of the sea monkeys, because who wants an invisible pet, and I was able to put the "aquarium" away. Poor children, they are so deprived.

Now we have a cat that keeps visiting our yard. The kids love him (her? I'll admit I haven't looked closely) It is obviously pet of someone in our neighborhood and not a feral cat because it is fat, well groomed, and picky about it's snacks.

So the kids have been whining about getting our own cat, which is not going to happen since I have cat allergies as well as a general dislike for cats in general. I told the kids they should just pretend the cat is their own. It's like having a pet, but only the fun part. You get to play with him, feed him snacks, pet him, but you never have to clean out a litter box or clean cat vomit off of the floor. They even named him. Really, what else is there?

And if that doesn't make them happy, we have lots of rocks in our yard for them to chose from.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Help Me

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a mother of an ADHHHHHHHD (no, not exaggerating that is what the doctor said, really) child as hearing him loudly say, as he opens his bottle of pills, "Hey, I don't have any more medicine left!" and knowing that you just ordered his three month refill from the mail order pharmacy and it will be several days before it arrives at your house.

And if you are wondering why he didn't mention this before the bottle was completely empty, I don't know you'll have to grab him off the couch he is jumping on and doing back flips off to ask him.

Why didn't I notice, you ask. Well, I just recently started ordering all our prescriptions from our mail order pharmacy (doesn't that make us sound like a bunch of druggies? We're not, I swear.) I have two weeks left of my thyroid medication and assumed that he had two weeks left as well. So certain I was of this that I didn't even pay the $9 expedited shipping fee.

But I failed to take into account that I had more medication left than he did when we began doing mail order. It's only 9:30am and if it were possible I would drive 5 states away to try and intercept the mail from the pharmacy.

If anyone wants to debate the issue of giving stimulant medication to children I invite you to have my son come stay with you a few days. Please. Anyone?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Master of the Manipulators

My daughter has turned into the master manipulator. It all began innocently enough with potty training. I did the same thing with all five of her older brothers. Use the potty, get a candy. Eventually no candy was necessary. It was never the big of a deal. In retrospect, I guess they didn't really think that much about it.

My daughter, on the other hand, negotiated the kind of candy and how many she should get. Chocolate (Shlock-late) is for when you make poopies (ummm, okay and ewwwww) and skittles, starburst, or gummy worms are for peeps. She will sit on the potty and loudly announce through the door for all to hear, "That's a M&M!"

I should have known better than to try and bribe her to do anything. I should have known that she would see through it and turn it around to use it to her advantage.

Lately she has been VERY into princesses. She even has pictures of some godforsaken princesses hanging up in her bedroom. I tried to get her to hang them up behind her bedroom door, but she didn't like that idea. She wanted to be able to see them.

I have found myself saying things like, "Princesses like skin on their apples" or "Princesses eat the crust of their sandwiches" or "Princesses like to take naps"

The last example caused her to respond, "I not a princess. I just a little girl... with no penis." I am not sure why the penis part is important, but it is.

Today I found my daughter painting her body with her paint set, instead of painting on the paper. Before I could say anything she looked up at me and said, "Princesses like to be colorful"

Indeed they do.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fifteen Months Old

Today you got your first haircut, given by yours truly. No, I am not a hair dresser nor do I have any particular skill in this area.

I am thinking of becoming a Hassidic Jew just so I don't have to cut the hair in front of your ears. Putting you in a headlock while wielding sharp scissors near your face was not one of the most fun things I have ever done.

Now you look like you had your hair cut around a bowl on your head. If the bowl were handmade by a kindergartener.

You have learned some important and useful skills this month, like how to take apart an Oreo cookie and scrape the filing out with your two front teeth. No one ever showed you how to do this. You figured it out all on your own. You then throw the chocolate cookies on the ground and stomp on them. Sometimes you like to eat the crumbs, going so far as to try and wrestle the dustpan away from me.

You climb onto everything. Every chair, couch, and bench has been scaled and scaled again. So far you haven't figured out that you can push them around the room to have the ability to climb on them and reach things that you want. Once that happens we will be sporting the oh-so-attractive look of chairs up on top of all the tables, like we are an elementary classroom gone home for the night.

Trying to feed you will invoke your fury. You want to feed yourself, at all times. You want to feed yourself my food and will try and crawl across the table to get to my plate. You must have your own fork, though you only use it for flinging food out of your bowl and on to the floor for later. I rarely serve soup.


You still don't say Mama. C'mon, I carried you around inside my body for nine months and pushed you out of my vagina. Surely you can say mama. When I tell you to say Mama, you giggle. Why must you torment me? Why?

Your vocabulary consists of many words, almost all of which begin with the letter "B" and therefore sound the same.

water bottle: bah-bah
milk bottle: bah-bah
ball: bah
banana: bah
bath: bah
bye-bye: bah-bah
bagel: bah
bread: bah
cracker: bah
cookie: bah
eat: EEEEEat

Clearly we do not need to contact MENSA yet. We are hoping that the Oreo opening ability is significant of some higher reasoning skills going on and not indicative of a future career spent sitting on a couch, smoking a joint, and having the munchies.

You love to spin around and then walk across the room like a crazy drunk, tripping and banging into things.

Here you are doing a shot. It's a shot of Tylenol for you teething pain, or whatever pain it is that is causing you to wake up every hour on the hour all night long to nurse. The boobies, they are getting tired and might have to be retired soon.
Doing a shot... of tylenol

You get excited when I take the little shot glass out, perhaps a little too excited.

It would seem you are well suited for the life of a frat boy.

Using the sling

Albeit a sensitive one. You and your sister seem to be practicing for life in a nudist colony. keeping clothing on the two of you is an exercise in futility.

You have temper tantrums with a fury that seems me, way too furious. you will march in place, screaming before flinging yourself onto the floor. You have banged your head a few times on the floor to express your extreme displeasure,but after doing it a few times you seemed to make the connection that it hurt and didn't gain you anything except for parents who laughed.

When you get very angry you will turn and run away from us, your arms outstretched and your face turned up toward the sky. You scream much louder than someone your size should be able to scream. I imagine you are looking to Heaven, crying out, "Lord, why did you stick me here with these idiots who can't appreciate the sound of a metal carving knife banging a glass bowl."

Weapon of Choice

You still love the toilet brush and the garbage. To include putting non garbage things into the garbage can, and taking actual garbage out. Many things have disappeared from our house in the past month and I fear that they are now in the landfill.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Because I Can't Leave Those Posts Up At The Top

It was one of those days when I hoped I wouldn't get into a car accident while we were out. Not because of the obvious who wants to be in a car crash ever reason, but because shortly before we had to leave the house my daughter got her hands on the paints yet again and painted all over her legs, arms, stomach,and face, as well as the baby's arms , legs, stomach, and face.

Since we were pressed for time I just put their clothes on on top of the body decoration. I looked like I was lugging around two demented midget clowns. Prompting me to sing in a morose voice, "Send in the clowns... don't bother they're here" over and over again.

And then I put my son in pink socks. But really why should pink scalloped edged socks just be for girls? He likes the little flowers embroidered on the ankles.

As for me, I was wearing a pair of low waisted pants and realized after we had left the house that when I sat down the back of my underwear rose above the waistline of my pants, exposing about two inches of underwear between my pants and shirt. Me so sexy.

My overwhelming thought as I drove away was that I hope I don't have a car accident today. I could only imagine I'd end up with a bed neighboring my mother's.

Another Day, Another Cuckoo Nest

I am overwhelmed by all the supportive comments and nice emails. Honestly, overwhelmed by how nice people are. I do read every single comment and every single email and I appreciate each and every one of them. I couldn't possibly respond to each one, but I thank you all.

This experience has been surreal. Thankfully I have my dark sense of humor to get me through.

Mother: "When I die (name of cousin) is getting my cat."

Me: "That's nice. He likes cats."

Mother: "You can not have my cat."

Me: "Fine."

Mother: "You can't have my cat. I already decided that (name of cousin) is getting him."

Me: "I do. not. want. your. cat."

Mother: "Why? Why don't you want my cat? He is a beautiful cat."

Me: "Do you want me to want your cat? Is that what you want?"

Mother: "You can't have him. Are you crying? I can hear you crying. You can't have him. He won't like you."

Me: "No, I was laughing, because I really do not want your cat."


Yesterday morning my mother was admitted to the psych ward at her local hospital.

I found out yesterday from my step sister that my mother also has an intestinal blockage. She was hospitalized for it at the end of December where she was told she needed surgery. She refused the surgery and left the hospital against medical advice. Her surgeon told her that without the surgery she will die.

Since that point in time she has basically stopped eating and drinking and has lost 50 pounds. In the past week she has resigned herself to die.

Wednesday when she wanted to talk to me it was because she felt like she would be dying soon. She wanted to make sure that I knew I was disinherited before she died.

The wedding thing throws me a bit, though I think now she was using the word wedding to mean funeral. She wanted to control how things would be after her death. One last stab at being controlling by trying to control how we all act after she is gone. Or was it just her last chance to make me feel bad and let me know what a disappointment I have been.

And I do feel bad. I feel bad for the life she chose for herself. I feel bad that she could never find true happiness. I feel bad that even during her darkest times she feels the need to drag me down. I just feel bad.


Last night I was sitting on the couch with my ten year old watching American Idol (yes we watch it, our dirty little secret) when a commercial came on for one of those wife swap shows.

"I would never want to be on that tv show." he had said.

"Yeah, me neither." I laughed, thinking of all the things my kids could be coaxed into saying about me. And also about all the emails I get from the producers of the show. Enough already, people! I will never ever agree to go on your show. My dignity has a much higher price tag than you can afford.

"There could never be a mom as nice as you." he said.

I looked at him and for a minute wondered if he was joking or being sarcastic.

"Do you really think that? Do you think I am a nice mom."

"Of course I do. I think you are the best." he answered looking at me, "Don't you think you are a good mom?"

I try, baby. God knows I try.


Things might still turn out different for my mother. I asked my step sister if we could get my mother declared incompetent and force her to have the surgery without her explicit consent. But that raises all sorts of ethical dilemmas that I am not sure I want to wrestle with.

Regardless, I know how it will play out now. She will never be the mother I wanted or needed. It is time for me to let go of that. She is what she is. We will never have a relationship other than the one we have right now. I'm okay with that, I think.

It's time to let go.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

If You Are Looking For Funny, Move Along

Yesterday I got a phone call from a long lost friend of the family. His mother had talked to my mother on the phone and was very concerned about her behavior. She seemed overly emotional crying about nothing and talking about her wedding next wedding. Which is all well and good except that she is already married.

She was crying to them and everyone else that she called that she needed me, she needed to talk to me, that if I would just call her she would be okay again. They thought she might have had a stroke. Though oddly enough going to the doctor or emergency room never entered anyone's mind.

I haven't spoken to my mother in seven years.

There are so many reasons, but it comes down to the fact that she is mentally ill and mean. And while I have moved on from all the things she inflicted upon me growing up, I am an adult now and there is no reason for me to allow her to have that hold over my emotional well being.

Even though I really didn't want to, I called her last night. I had been told all day long she was waiting for my call and was so frail and sad. I couldn't not call. The thought of doing that seemed cruel. Perhaps she had changed in the past few years.

I picked up the phone and dialed the phone number, the same number I have had for my entire childhood.


"Hi, It's Christine."


"Christine... your daughter."

"You are not my daughter. If you were my daughter you would be here. I only have one daughter. That is (name of step sister) and she is getting everything when I die. I want that to be clear. My daughter Christine is dead."

Then she hung up.

If I were smart I would have left it there. But somehow when parents are involved I think we all resort to playing the role of child. And as much as I steeled myself against getting hurt by her words, they still cut. A good reminder of how powerful and lasting the words of a parent can be, not one I will soon forget. Physical abuse heals, emotional abuse stays raw a lifetime. My husband often says that I am so thin skinned and my feelings get hurt way too easily. I think it is because there isn't much left intact on the inside. I'm just a raw bloody mess, things that other people would just brush off hurt me terribly.

My step sister, who was at the house, called me back. A party to the craziness. For two hours I listened to my mother. Listened to her instructing people to repeat her words verbatim. Things like "You are a jealous brat who ruined my life." "You will get nothing when I die." "You are dead to me." Alternating with her pleading for me to bring the grandbabies over for her wedding. A wedding that is going to be held at her house and will feature peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, as well a legal document for me to sign saying that I get nothing when she dies. How's that for a party favor? A wedding AND a disinheritance party, multi tasking craziness at it's finest.

I know I should feel more empathy. But when I found out she brought this dementia on herself by suddenly stopping all her medications, it was difficult to muster. It was the same old Ann, manipulating those around her, playing the role of victim, being abusive to me once again while people look on.

I want to tell her that I don't want any of her material possessions when she dies. A piece of jewelry or furniture does not make up for a lifetime. It's too late. Everything I wanted from her in the past she was unable, or unwilling, to give. And yet, at the same time, I find I can't say anything. I listen and take it all, acting like the ungrateful bitch I have been painted to be. And my saying that she needed to be brought to the emergency room and admitted to a psych ward did nothing to endear anyone to me.

Today I will be looking at my own children anew. Silently promising them that I will never inflict this sort of crap onto them. Every ounce of love I have to give, I will, with no strings attached. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I say things I regret. But as an adult I take ownership of those things. As an adult I can apologize for any hurt I ever cause my children.

I am drained.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's Wednesday Again! **

Friday night I took the children to a restaurant for dinner. We had to wait for quite a bit of time for a table large enough to accommodate us. There were several other families waiting in the lobby area as well, when the inevitable happened.

Woman, "Oh my gosh. Look at all those kids."

Daughter, "That's a lot of kids."

Woman, pointing while she counts, "One, two, three..."

Daughter, "Four, Five, Six..."

Woman, "There are six kids!"

Daughter, "Seven, Eight..."

Woman, "You got eight?"

Daughter, pointing, "I think you forgot to count that one over there"

Woman and daughter, "One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven..."

Woman, "I think we got them all that time. Seven!"

Daughter, "Wow!"

Woman, "Holy cow! Seven children!"

While all of this is going on I am standing, holding my youngest child, less than two feet away from her. I am looking at her the entire time while she loudly counts and recounts, yet she never acknowledges me.

This happens frequently and I never understand how people don't think this is rude. It's almost as if I am invisible. Or deaf and blind.


Top Ten Fourteen Rudest and/or Strangest Questions/Comments That I Am Routinely Subjected To In Front Of My Children By Complete Strangers:

14) You couldn't possibly give your children enough time/ attention/ stuff. We're only having (insert small number, like one) because we want to give our child(ren) everything.

13) Do you want this big bag of hand-me-downs? I was going to throw it all away because the clothing is worn, stained, torn and otherwise not fit for my children to wear any longer, but I thought you might be able to use it.

12) You must have to shop at consignment stores, buy generic food, beg for hand me downs, grow and can all your own food, sew all your own clothing.

11) Do they all have the same father?

10) You're not going to have any more kids, are you?

9) How can you afford all those kids? ( or the variations :Do you get public assistance?, How big is your house?, What does your husband do? usually while they try to discreetly check out my wedding rings)

8) Do you work? What do you do? (asked with the implication that I am on welfare)

7) You must be crazy. (or a saint, or Catholic, or Mormon)

6) Better you than me.

5) Don't you know what causes that? They have things to prevent that, you know. Ever hear of birth control?

4) How do you feed all those kids? How much do you spend on groceries every month? How many gallons of milk do you go through a week?

3) Do you drive a bus? Does it beep when you back up?

2) Don't you have a television?

1) I feel sorry for your kids.

As much as I would like to say I use rude and snarky comebacks, I don't. I usually nod and smile. If someone is being particularly rude I'll ask, "Why? Why are you asking me this?" Most often I will walk away and verbally fillet the person inside my head. It might be my upbringing, but it takes a lot for me to be rude to someone.

Then there are the people, usually cashiers that I can not get away from, who, after asking if they are all mine, proceed to tell me a story about their friend's neighbor's second cousin twice removed who had lots of kids and went crazy. And one day they found her completely naked, except for her shoes and socks with little balls on the back of the ankles, tap dancing on her roof.

I'm left standing there with my mouth hanging open, having no idea how to respond, except to say, "I don't have tap shoes."


Friday night when the woman standing next to me turned and looked at me I fully expected to hear one of the above comments or a variation thereof.

Woman, "Wow, you are so brave to go to a restaurant with your kids and all their friends."

I laughed.

*Carmen should have her version of this topic up today also.

** I resurrected portions of this post from my a post in my archives.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Max For The Minimum

Today I went to TJMaxx to return some things I bought a few weeks ago and to look for a new pair of black shoes to wear to the upcoming wedding. As I waited at the costumer service counter the older boys were looking at the jewelry display case. Ooohing and Aaaahing over all the sparkling jewelry while leaving every possible surface covered with their fingerprints and noseprints.

They spotted a ring that they thought looked like my engagement ring and screamed my name repeatedly waited patiently until I came over. It did look similar to my ring, you know if you were blind or a child under 10 years old, But it is TJ Maxx, not a jewelry store and it was priced at $299, so I don't think the quality of the jewelry should come as any surprise.

I said to the kids, "It does look like it, but this jewelry isn't real."

As we turned to walk away the man who was standing behind the counter says, "Yes, this jewelry is real."

"Pardon me?" I said, thinking I must have heard him wrong.

"This here jewelry is real," he repeated, tapping his finger on the glass display case.

"Well, in the sense that it isn't imaginary, yes I suppose it is real."

I'm just thankful that my husband didn't buy me that kind of "real" jewelry when we got married, or there would have been an imaginary bride at the altar.

But they do have real shoes. And I bought a pair that were $3. I know. That's practically disposable.

Also, I bought I big ceramic Valentine's Day platter for $2. Uh-huh... Way. It cancels out the $50 pair of shoes I bought. It sounds like such a better bargain to say two pair of shoes and a platter for $55. Doesn't it?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Things I Thought Were Obvious, But Apparently Were Not Based On The Following Evidence

alternate title:
Another post which will have people telling me how bratty my children are and that I should slap them

Exhibit A:

"What's that all over the wall?" I ask.

"Glue. We ran out of tape and I wanted to hang my pictures up." answers my 5 year old son.

Exhibit B:

When it is cold out we still have to bring the garbage all the way out to the trashcan. Opening the front door and tossing it all on the front porch is not acceptable. No, it isn't acceptable even when it is -20 with the windchill. No, not even when there is snow whipping around outside. No, even if there is a tornado I want the trash in the garbage can. Alien space ship landing? Well, in that case grab all of the trash and bring it onto their mothership with you. I think the aliens will like it and it will save me a trip to the dump.

Exhibit C:

Under no circumstances should you try to open up a bottle with you front teeth. Your grown up second teeth. Yes, even if you think they look like they are like huge beaver teeth.

Exhibit D:

Porcelain tooth veneers are expensive. There are not many paying jobs for ten year olds.

Exhibit E:

When filling out the little wedding reception RSVP card I was unable to find a pen that worked and had to resort to using a purple crayon. I like to think that it gives the card a little something extra.

Exhibit F:

If you are going to write a "bad" word on the bathroom wall, you know to give our house that little extra special crack house appeal, you should make sure that you spell the word correctly. Because it will make it very easy to deduce who wrote it. The youngest four can easily be eliminated because they can't write. The oldest two know how to spell. That leaves you, oh 8 year old who hasn't mastered that silent "t" yet.

Friday, March 03, 2006

In Which I Ponder The Merits Of Buying A Rascal*

Limp, limp limp. I am still limping around with my bum knee.

It was sore before last Saturday, when I fell off of my boots, from running. It was sore, but not particularly painful, for about a week.

I know that proper footwear is important. And one would think that since I was going to be running/walking/gasping for breath for 2 miles that I would not be so lazy as to not walk upstairs and get my running sneakers. But I am that lazy. That additional 100ft or so really might kill me.

But now I have learned my lesson. Walking fast in Birkenstock clogs is not a good idea. Neither is kicking them off to run barefoot. I am in the market for a new good pair of sneakers. Cross trainers? Is that what I would want for walking and running?

Anyway, today I did what anyone with a computer does and consulted with Dr Google** about my knee.

I have diagnosed myself with chondromalcia. Also known as runner's knee. That pleases me (the name not the injury) as it makes me sound way more athletic than I actually am. Look at me I am a runner, I have runner's knee to prove it!

It's also has the nickname of "housemaid's knee" which I don't like at all, though it is probably a much more accurate description of my life.

And "secretary's knee" which is just odd. It makes me think of this movie . If that is what causes secretary's knee then I can understand, but otherwise how does a secretary injure her knee by sitting at a desk all day.

So, no more running for me for awhile. Walking is quite enough. I hope it heals up in time for the wedding next month because I don't want to wear my new dress with a pair of easy spirit orthopedic shoes. That would just be wrong.

* This is a Rascal. I could be so playfully mischievous riding around on that thing, hitting people in the back of their ankles. I wonder if I could get a child seat attached onto it like people do on bicycles.

**if it still is hurting next week I'll go to a real in the flesh living doctor

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago I left the world of parents outnumbering their children and became a mother of two. Looking over the photographs and deciding what to write about for my son on his birthday has made me realize what an injustice photographs do for the experience.

We all look so happy and clean. You can't tell in the photographs that I hadn't slept for days or showered for weeks, or was it the other way around. Probably because there are very few photographs of me from that time since I was constantly in sweats with my hair tied back into a ponytail, and who wants to be remembered looking like that. So very unlike now.


But I came across this photograph and in the interest of keeping it real, THIS is what it was like most days to have two babies 15 months apart. The crying in unison, the spitting up, the pacifier that Baby #1 kept pulling out of the mouth of Baby #2


It's a wonder I had any more kids.

The New Snake-oil Peddlers

I get a lot of spam mail to my yahoo account.

The spam seems to come in cycles. It used to be lots of v*I*a*g*r*A, or ViiiiaGRRRRRA, V!AaaGr*A, or some variation there of consisting of errant capitalization and punctuation. They offer to sell it to me cheap and without a prescription, which I am not sure is what should be the deciding factor in buying a prescriptive drug of that nature. Personally, I prefer my medications not be made in someone's garage. Also, there is that pesky issue of me not having erect!le dy$function.

Then it moved on to mortgage refinancing offers. Amazingly, without even applying I have been approved for numerous mortgaagE offers at Lo%w rr@*tes. Sometimes I am not even sure what I am being sold and feel like I need a secret decoder ring to make out all of the asteriks, stars, explanation points. The lack of spelling skillz and grasp of the english language do not inspire any sort of confidence that I would like to have in a mortgage broker. I know my standards are high.

Yesterday's batch of emails, with a sent date of May 2005, promised that I had been approved for a mortgage of $420,000 with payments of $400 a month. But I had to act quickly as the raaatEs were going to increase. The only thing I can imagine is that you pay $400 for the first six months at which point a balloon payment of $720,000, once all the fees are factored in, is due immediately. Failure to pay immediately will bring over a bunch of goodfellas who will break the legs of your family and cut off the little finger of your spouse.

Today I got one promising me an erection of $teel guaranteed to make my partner happy.

Color me crazy, but somehow I don't think Rob would be happy if I had an erection of $teel.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If He Gets A College Scholarship One Day I Will Consider All The Aggravation Worth It, Maybe

"I swear you will argue with me about anything, just for the sake of being contrary. It doesn't matter what it is. If I said the sky was blue, you would tell me it wasn't"

"Well, Mom. Sunlight is made up of all different colors of light, but the color blue is scattered much more efficiently in our atmosphere than the other colors. The sky is actually not blue, it only appears that way."

"That was just an example."

"Yes it was. And who was wrong? Uh-huh, I thought so."