Friday, January 30, 2009

An Open Letter to Mother Nature

Dearest Mother Nature (Can I call you Mom?),

I realize this is the time of year when you have the most fun. It must be amusing to watch us mere mortals desperately attempt to predict your next move, and then completely change your course of action.

Today was an excellent case in point. We had a Very Important Doctor's Appointment today. You see, the boy has asthma and allergies. He has a wonderful doctor who attends to these things. But because he is such a wonderful doctor and pretty much the head of everything that has anything to do with asthma and allergies in Pittsburgh, and has degrees in such things coming out the wazoo (that is medical terminology coming straight from Harvard School of Medicine, I swear. I looked it up), it takes approximately three years to get an appointment to see the man. Really. We put Jamie on the waiting list before he was born. Just in case.

The weatherman, who obviously hasn't been calling you often enough like a good son should, assured me that you would be sending us less than an inch of snow today. Just in case your ruler was broken, here is a handy visual for you of what less than 1 inch of snow DOESN'T look like:That, by the way, is my van sitting exactly where I had to leave it in NOT less than 1 inch of snow after we attempted to visit the Very Important Doctor who was completely understanding of my need to cancel today's appointment and was kind enough to reschedule me for next year.

May I also point out that toddlers, after being cooped up in the house for over a week, are NOT amused by aborted missions out of the house. Again, I provide you with a helpful visual.
That amount of snot indicates a serious level of displeasure. Being a Mom and all, I'm sure you can understand that an irritable disposition in a toddler can make for a less than enjoyable day for anyone within a 5 mile radius.

By the way, I completely realize you are not responsible for this development, but just wanted to let you know that my television stopped working this morning, so your timing really sucks.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Guess This Makes Me The Goose That Laid That Egg

Anyone who has a child knows what a loooooong drawn out process bedtime can be. There's always one more drink of water, one more story, one more kiss, one more hug. Wait, I don't like these pajamas I think I'll put on the Princess/Batman/Kitty-Cat/Dinosaur/Fuzzy/Silky/Footed/Not footed ones. Hold on I need to pee. I was wrong I need to poop. Mama I'm not wearing a pull-up tonight - I can sleep with big boy undies.

Actually I'm grateful when he tells me this. Usually he tries to sneak it with disastrous consequences later. I am not the kindest person when roused from sleep to change an entire bed that's been doused with 3 gallons of pee.

But if you take the above process and times it by three, well, it can easily take until next Friday to put my kids to bed on a Monday.

To facilitate the bedtime routine and light a fire under their asses we try to make games of the different steps in the process. There is no prize for the winner, but so far we have them hoodwinked into thinking just being declared the winner is good enough.

One of their favorites is "Whoever gets into their pajamas first is the Golden Egg." They race into their pajamas to achieve the coveted "Golden Egg" title. Because if you're not the Golden Egg, you're the Rotten Egg. Don't tell me about damaging their psyches. I've got internet surfing to do and need to get them into bed before I can do it.

Yesterday around 3:30 p.m. Jamie disappeared upstairs. I don't question the disappearance of the boy until I hear crashing noises or flushing accompanied by the dreaded "Uh-oh."

He reappeared 5 minutes later in his pajamas. When I asked him why he was in his pajamas already (not that I had a problem with this, I'm pretty sure I hadn't yet gotten out of my pajamas) he replied, "I'm the first one to get my pajamas on so I'm the Golden Egg. Pretty smart huh?"

Yes my little man. Very smart indeed.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I'm "It"

I've been "tagged" by my friend Angela at "Thatch" the Journey...Now in Progress. I "met" Angela online while we were pregnant with our soon to be two year old babies (again with the "babies" thing - I'm pretty sure it's going to annoy Meredith when she's 32 and I still insist on calling her the baby). She's a Texas gal, but I don't hold that against her. We have a good time ribbing each other. For example I almost peed (almost? who am I kidding? Bring on the Depends) myself laughing when she saw a photo of a snow blower and had no clue what it was. And upon seeing a photo of one of her very young relatives successfully hunting an armadillo I asked if you could eat them. She found that an equally hilarious question from a Yankee.

Anyway, on to the tag. I'm to go into my Pictures folder and find the fourth picture in my fourth file.This was taken on April 1st, 2005, which means Jamie had just had his first birthday 5 days earlier and Sabrina was still only three. This was Jamie's first experience on a swing and surprisingly he did not like it. This surprised me because things like climbing shelves and swinging from ceiling fans were all on his list of amusing activities at the time.

Moments after this photo was taken Sabrina would get a large splinter in her finger from the mulch on the ground in the other area of the playground. Removing that splinter proved to be one of the most challenging things I've ever done. She screamed as though I were planning on performing brain surgery without benefit of anesthetic.

Eventually she did allow me to remove it. And by "allow" I mean she only kicked me twice while Dave pinned her down and I pulled the splinter out.

I tag Hot Belly Mama, Laura at With Love From Pittsburgh, Eileen at Anger Management, and most especially my friend Kelly at A Goddess Rising because she loves photos.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Next Time I'll Just Flush Her Clean

When you've already given the cat a bath by 8:30 a.m. it doesn't bode well for the day.

Especially when said bath is occurring at the same time you are trying to get your 7 year old, who likes to miss the bus, on the school bus.

Most especially when aforementioned bath is absolutely necessary because the brainless cat has fallen in the toilet full of pee and poop because no matter how you beg and plead, your housebroken children cannot seem to remember to flush.

As a side note, cats don't like baths.

I look like an attempted suicide with Parkinson's.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

For Moi? Why Thank You!

My cousin Colleen from Welcome to the Snug has given me the Honest Scrap Award. My cousin Colleen is a few years younger than me. We were always around each other growing up as her Dad is my Dad's brother and we lived about 15 minutes away from each other. My favorite memory of my cousin Colleen - even though it wasn't necessarily a happy time - was when I lived at her house for a week while my sister was in the hospital.

The first full day I stayed there I came down with an AWFUL virus which meant I had to stay home from school. And because I like to share, I promptly gave the virus to Colleen, so we hung out together all week in her Family Room watching cartoons, reading Highlights Magazines that my Uncle brought home for us and eating fried bologna sandwiches. My other two cousins; her brother and sister, somehow escaped the virus, so it was just Coll and I all week long.

I'm really glad we've recently re-connected via email and blogdom! I sincerely thank you for the award.

Here are the rules for this award:
a) List 10 honest things about yourself - and make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep! and
b) Pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you feel embody the spirit of the Honest Scrap.

  1. During the winter I sometimes don't shave my legs for a month (or more). But I have to shave my armpits. Drives me crazy to have stubble under my arms.
  2. I have a sister who is severely handicapped. She used to function on the level of a 2-3 year old child, but has declined to where we're not sure how much she can see or hear and can't communicate much. She lives in a group home now and I only see her once a year or so and I feel really guilty about it.
  3. When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would respond in all seriousness, "A Princess." I was really disappointed to find out this wasn't a career option.
  4. I won 3 spelling bees. Really. My Mom still has the trophies.
  5. I fell in love when I was 15. You think that doesn't really happen at that age, but it does sometimes. I'll try to remember that before I tell my daughters (or son) "there are lots of fish in the sea," when someone breaks their teenaged hearts.
  6. I secretly like to watch Hannah Montana with my daughter. And not just because I think Billy Ray Cyrus is HOT (can't say the same for his music though).
  7. I was married once before. I was only 20 when we got engaged and by the time I realized marrying him was a bad idea, I was too scared to call it off. Married at 22 and divorced by 24.
  8. I wanted to have 6 children when I grew up. But when you start at 31 and your kids are all two and a half to three years apart, you run out of time (not to mention money!).
  9. I am addicted to Doritos. They are like heroin to me. I try to keep them out of the house.
  10. I am pathologically frightened of spiders and centipedes. I stayed awake one night until 3 a.m. watching a centipede on the wall because I was too scared to kill it, no way in hell was I going to sleep with it in the room, and my parents didn't get home until 3:00. I literally did not take my eyes off of it for close to 4 hours.

And now I pass on the awards to:
Boo at Discover Boo
Kate at Does This Newborn Come With a Manual?
Kelly at The Secret Life of Ducks
Martha at
Dani at We Are Outnumbered!
Etta at The Chronicles of Blackheart Lola
Michelle at Life's A Journey...Not a Destination

I was limited to seven so I apologize to anyone I left out. You can see my blogroll to the right and at the bottom of my blog. They're ALL worth checking out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Skeletons Out Of The Closet

Sabrina had a terrible earache yesterday that caused her at least some discomfort, but she pulled out her best drama queen skills anyway to be sure I knew it hurt. Once I told her she was in the clear, I was letting her stay home from school, she resumed her normal programming.

But this required a trip to the pediatrician, which meant I had to drag the entire troop with me since CYS frowns on the crate training method for children.

When we arrived and the doctor came in, he made small talk with all the children. Jamie, being the boy that begins talking in the morning even before his eyes open, was sure to inform the good Doctor of all Sabrina's complaints relating to her ear and even some that weren't.

And then he suddenly, inexplicably adopted a tone of voice usually reserved for sad orphans, or boys who have just lost their puppy, and said, "We ALL had to come with Mama because Daddy isn't at home."

The Doctor, hearing this tone of voice, turned toward me with a concerned look in his eyes and asked, "Is everything okay at home?"

When I informed him that, yes, Daddy was just at work today like he is every day, he chuckled and said, "No secrets in your house with that one around eh?"

I have no idea where the boy gets it. Nobody else in our family puts all our secrets out there for the whole world to hear.

Or read.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Closes Eyes, Holds Nose, And Jumps Back In Head First

It feels like it's been at least a month since I made any sort of meaningful post here, but I see that it's only been 15 days. Not that the contents of my daughter's diaper are exceptionally meaningful in any sort of deep or existential way, but hey, we all fill our diapers one way or another if you know what I mean.

So the interview questions. As promised, I have a set of interview questions from Jim at Irregularly Periodic Ruminations (I'm going to borrow a trick from Petra AKA The Wise (*Young*) Mommy and just call it "IPR". BTW Petra also has an awesome blog so go check hers out too). I don't remember exactly which blog I was on when I stumbled onto IPR, but I found IPR way more entertaining than the one I had been on, and now I am happily stalking reading it as fast as he can update it.

Alright, shutting up already and Q&A arriving forthwith.

What is the bravest thing that you feel you've ever done? Physically, emotionally, or whatever.

This is a tough one, because the first thing that jumps to my head is childbirth on all counts. But it's something that almost every female does, or we'd be woefully short on humans right now. So it doesn't feel like such a uniquely brave act, although it made me feel very empowered on all levels at the time. Possibly because previously the most impressive physical act I'd achieved was falling rapidly down hills.

So, barring childbirth, I would say attending the death of my maternal Grandma. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but on the other hand it was a spiritually life-changing moment to be there holding her hand at the exact moment her soul left her body. She moved on with all of our family seeing her on her way to a much deserved rest. And I can honestly say that I could actually feel her life leave her body on some primal physical level that I could never explain. It was terrifying and agonizing to face someone else's mortality with them, realizing that one day I too will be in her shoes, but I would not trade the experience for anything.

What one talent do you wish you had that you don't?

This one's easy. I wish I was more physically able. I am not technically "disabled" and mean no disrespect to anyone who actually suffers from any true physical disability. But I am beyond clumsy. There is some basic disconnect in the wiring from my brain to my limbs. I have always envied the power of a gymnast, the grace of a ballerina, the confidence of other girls playing softball that simply knew that when they stretched out their arm to catch a ball, it would of course land there.

I, on the other hand, was always the one everyone fought over in Gym class.

"You take her."

"No YOU take her. I had her on my team last time."

We all have our reasons for blogging but what would be your ultimate goal for your blog or as a blogger?

My pipe dream is to have some fabulous wealthy publisher or editor stumble upon my blog and exclaim that I am the next Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry and throw piles of money at me to write a weekly piece on whatever the heck I want.

The reality is, my blog allows me to write, which is something I've always loved to do. It is a release of sorts; a private activity that no one can intrude upon, unlike using the toilet. If I can make people laugh or smile or cry while I do it, that would really be my ultimate realistic goal.

You can trade lives with any one person for a month. Who would it be and why?

I'm going to cheat and give two answers here. I can do that. Jim didn't send me the rules. Besides I'm not good at rules.

I've got an altruistic pick and a purely selfish one. On the selfish front, I would say someone fabulously wealthy, yet still relatively happy. Maybe Oprah? Or Melinda Gates? I've always had a soft spot for geeks, so Bill would suit me just fine.

My other pick would be Mother Teresa, although since she is not actually alive this could be inconvenient for me and a little bit of a one-sided trade. I don't choose her because I am a particularly religious person, but because I envy anyone that has that much certainty in their faith and a willingness to spend their lives helping everyone and anyone that needs it. And all while retaining a sense of humility and humor. One of my favorite quotes can be attributed to her. "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."

There's a fire and your family is safe but you have the chance to save any one item from your house. What would it be and why?

Without a doubt, my computer. I have so many irreplaceable photographs stored here it's ridiculous. Which reminds me I need to buy that external hard drive I've been meaning to get to back them up. It's a heck of a lot easier to lug THAT out of a fire.

You have the chance to go back in time and warn yourself before making a bad choice. What choice would it be and what would you tell yourself?

Ah, so many bad choices and so little opportunity to go back and change them!

Dear Self,

I know Slippery Rock University has just been named the Number Five Party School for 1987, but it is not your sole responsibility to maintain or improve that ranking. Please reconsider your assertion that the weekend actually begins on Thursday. And 8:00 a.m. classes are not optional. Just because a professor does not have a written attendance policy does not mean it wouldn't behoove you to attend once in a while. Dropping out is one of the stupidest things you will ever do. Believe it or not, someday you will deeply regret not enjoying the actual SCHOOL part of school. And whether or not he realizes it, you will always be grateful to your Dad for continuing to support your education and feel extremely guilty and sorry that you didn't hold up your end of the bargain.

Now get your ass out of bed, take some Tylenol and go to Biology class.

Your Self

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I swear I'm still here. Just a little brain dead and burnt out from the holidays I suppose.

But I know there's nothing like writing to get me writing again, so I will just be plunging in and getting back to it soon, I promise.

Jim (AKA Heinous) at Irregularly Periodic Ruminations (Holy shit Jim - could you have picked a bigger pain in the ass title to type for your blog? I say that with the utmost respect of course) has kindly sent me a list of interview questions that I will be answering shortly.

This allows me something to write about without having to actually come up with the idea myself.

Couldn't have come at a better time considering the hamster in my brain seems to have quit his job. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 5, 2009

If Only ALL The Diaper Contents Came Wrapped In Plastic

Continuing the trend of a preference for junk food as opposed to actual FOOD, Meredith chose not to eat her lunch today.

Her lunch today was one of those Kid Cuisine meals. Heck they barely even qualify as real food. It's about as close as you can get to McDonald's in the comfort of your own home. If you have children already, you know that you may as well just go ahead and surrender to the ubiquitous chicken nugget. If you have no children, continue on swearing you will NEVER feed your child that crap. I promise to never say "I told you so" later.

Today, not even the chicken nuggets were acceptable. Instead she went straight for the low drawer where her Daddy keeps his stash of Hostess cupcakes. Why he insists on keeping them there I cannot explain. Unless he secretly wants to recruit a new addict.

I flatly refused to open it for her. Chicken nuggets may not be health food, but they definitely provide at least marginally more nutrition than a cupcake. This caused much weeping and wailing and screeching words at me, some of which were intelligible. I'd provide the translation but I think she used a lot of vulgar language, and I try to keep it clean here folks.

At 1:00 p.m. when neither of us had given up butting heads and proved that we were each equally as stubborn-willed, I ended the game by demonstrating that sometimes might does make right. I won the battle by simply scooping her up bodily and announcing it was time for a nap.

I noticed it was also time for a diaper change. Her diaper had reached that squishy consistency and was drooping somewhere around the vicinity of her knees.

However I didn't remember it ever being quite so......crackly.

Perhaps she was stashing the plastic wrapped cupcake in her pants to sustain herself during the long hard nap ahead.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Babel Fish

I was making Meredith a grilled cheese sandwich today. As I grilled I popped a mini Reese's Cup in my mouth (Ahem. The diet starts again on MONDAY.) and was totally busted.


I'm pretty sure that translates to "I saw that, you evil serving wench! Now hand over the candy. And if you think I'm eating that sandwich you've lost your mind."

Just a loose translation mind you.