Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random Rambling

I'm hot. And not in the Cindy Crawford, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Playboy Bunny sort of way.


The good news is I'm obviously compensating for the 30 pounds of lost sweat with plenty of food and drink because I've not lost one single ounce in the past two weeks. This is some sort of twisted Murphy's Law of diets.

"When one purchases an expensive dress in a slightly smaller size for an upcoming event, one can be certain they will either maintain or gain weight."

Murphy needs to kiss my ass. I'm tired of him sitting on my roof all the time.


As I mentioned, it's hot. Unseasonably hot. We've reached the high 80's for the past 4 days. This is unusual for April in Pittsburgh, but certainly not unheard of. But Pittsburghers, even ones like me that have lived here all their life, have a limitless capacity for complaining about the heat, the cold, the snow, the sun, the rain, the clouds, the wind, and every other normal climate change that occurs with frequency and regularity in this region.

We also seem to have a need to comment on and discuss said weather ad nauseum.



One of my favorite stupid weather comments (I promise after I write this I'm done telling you about weather - assuming I haven't bored you into a coma by then) occurred in 2001. We had a Spring very similar to this one (which of course every Pittsburgher has forgotten about since we also have a limitless capacity for weather amnesia and marvel at the weird weather every year). The reason I remember this particular Spring is because I was pregnant with my first child and pregnancy has a tendency to make me......shall we say, "temperamental" when the mercury rises?

I had just lumbered up the stairs to my office, dragging all 500 pounds of bloated baby belly with me, looking as if I had just left the shower when in fact it was just the sweat that had sprung from my pores the very second I left the serenity of my air-conditioned car. I was greeted by a cheerfully chipper, dry and smiling co-worker, weighing in at approximately 98 pounds, commenting on the heat wave.

Then she said to me with a completely straight face, "You're lucky you won't have to be pregnant through the summer when it's hot."

HELLO? It's hot now, and I AM STILL PREGNANT.


Sabrina makes her First Holy Communion this Sunday. We purchased the requisite sparkly white dress, but on the night we tried on 500 different dresses I was too tired to go through yet another 2 hours of choosing an appropriate veil with Her Royal Pickiness. So I, ahem, "suggested" we come back another time to choose one.

Except I waited until yesterday and the stores have cleared away all their First Holy Communion Merchandise, no doubt so they can get a jump on putting out all the Winter Coats.

When I "suggested" we go with a simple white head band or a sparkly barrette, Sabrina calmly and politely informed me that this would ruin her life forever and cause her to be the laughingstock of the class, and spend several expensive years in therapy. Or something along those lines. It was hard to understand through the weeping and melting to the floor.

Did you know that for more than the cost of the actual veil you can have one overnighted right to your door?

Now you know. I'm nothing if not helpful.


As soon as it cools off, I'll wring the sweat out of my brain and resume writing about something that is hopefully interesting and entertaining. Otherwise,


Friday, April 24, 2009

Just Call Me An Ancient "Mummy"

Overheard last night as my Mom put Jamie to bed (my kids call my Mom "Gee." Not as in "gee whiz", but a hard "G" sound as in the horse command) :

Gee, It's okay if I kiss you goodnight really. Because I'm not too old for goodnight kisses. Cause really Gee, Mama still kisses you goodnight and she's REALLY old.

Like, Twenty One Hundred years old or something!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who Is This "Perry" Guy Anyway?

I've tried to find him in the White Pages. He's not listed in any Directory Assistance.

So why does this Perry Menopause dude keep bothering me?

Up until recently I had never even heard of perimenopause. Everyone's heard of the "Change of Life." "The CHANGE." "Men-o-pause." But this "perimenopause" seems like the cruel joke before you get to the punch line. Nobody told me the fun started approximately 10 years before actual cessation of menstruation.

At 39 I thought I had a long way to go before I worried about this stuff. But it turns out that menopause is a process. A loooooooong process. And all the fun side effects of menopause that people typically think of, such as hot flashes, night sweats, loss of, um, lubrication - all start during perimenopause.

One of the first symptoms I experienced was yet another symptom I'd never heard of. Apparently in preparation for menopause, your ovaries will start firing off like an AK-47. I can almost hear the little chants of "LEFT. LEFT. LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT," coming from my nether regions. I can only imagine this is like a general housecleaning before they close up shop for good.

What this translates to is that I get a period roughly every 20 days now instead of the traditional 28. Which also translates to two periods a month.

Do we not put up with enough shit what with the whole boobs feeling like they will spontaneously explode while they "bud"? What about the cramps and the headaches once a month that make you feel like someone stuck their fist in your uterus and twisted? And that's just puberty.

Then you move on to childbirth and, well, let's just say every time my husband told me his vasectomy actually did hurt, I informed him that after he produces a watermelon size object either from his butt or his vasectomy incision, then we'll chat about "hurt". At least I can honestly say the pain of pregnancy and childbirth is worth it because it actually produces a baby.

But all this other female crap? What does it produce other than mess and sweaty sheets that have nothing to do with an orgasm?

Boys on the other hand! When they reach puberty just have to put up with a little voice cracking and hair in new places. Which actually makes them MORE interesting to the opposite sex. We in turn have to SHAVE OFF all that new hair we get. And we all know that their contribution to childbirth involves 15 minutes of actual FUN (well, if we're being honest, it's probably closer to 5 minutes around here).

So much for equality of the sexes.

Another side effect of perimenopause is obviously a desire to bitch and moan about it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Some of you may or may not have noticed the link I have posted at the right, that looks like this.

Prayers for Stellan

You can hardly be a Mom Blogger without hearing of MckMama. She's sort of a Mom Blogger celebrity as it were. Up until recently I didn't really "follow" her blog. Not because I didn't like it or didn't think she had anything to say to me, but mostly because, as my one reader Kim pointed out, I have a real life, after all, with real kids, and a real husband. And much as I try to stretch out those hours in a day, they remain firmly fixed at 24. So I only have so much time in a day to keep up with my blog and my friends' blogs and the laundry and the kids and the homework and the laundry and the doctor's appointments and the laundry and the dog wanting out again and the laundry and the dog wants back in again and hey just for a change let's go do some laundry.

But I found a link somewhere to her blog a few weeks ago because her youngest MckMuffin has been having some health issues. This poor little guy had health issues before he was even born and nobody was certain he'd make it back then.

But he did.

But now he's fighting a battle for his life again.

Right now even as we speak, beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST, he is undergoing a serious and delicate heart surgery to attempt to wipe out electrical pathways in his teeny tiny (but MIGHTY) heart that are causing his heart to stay in an extremely rapid and abnormal rhythm most of the time.

Every time I think about this, my own heart accelerates in response and leaps into my throat. Because once you have your own child, you can empathize all too well.

So if you are a praying sort of person, offer up a thought or prayer to your God, Goddess, Higher Power or the Universe that this little boy will pull through this operation. And peace for his family.

They are definitely in need of it.

Thinking of you and praying for you right now Stellan.

Stellan came through the surgery well. If you click the link you can get all the medical details. The procedure was what the doctor called 65% successful as there were some other issues, necessitating further surgery at another time. But for now, Stellan is alive and resting.

I will keep praying.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Replacement

Sabrina got a stuffed bean bag dog for her first birthday from her Uncle Gary. Since Uncle Gary owned a Beagle at the time named Peanut, and this stuffed doggie was decidedly "beagle-ish" he was christened Peanut.

And that was pretty much the last time Sabrina ever thought about Peanut.

She owned the requisite 9 million stuffed animals. I'll admit, as annoying as they can be (they take up so much ROOM!), I was guilty of buying at least half of them. Though Sabrina always seemed to like each and every stuffed animal when it arrived, she rarely played with them or cuddled them, or even cared if they were there.

Jamie on the other hand, adored stuffed animals and would insist on having them ALL in his crib (a trait I'm sorry to say his little sister also has) so that some mornings we were unsure where JAMIE was for all the surrounding plush and fluff.

As a toddler, he filched Peanut from Sabrina's bed one day and in a rare act of sibling generosity, Sabrina graciously said Jamie could keep him.

It was true love. They rarely spent a moment out of each other's company. Jamie, much like Linus and his blanket, took Peanut everywhere. Every now and then Peanut got too grubby for my taste and he took a bath, causing Jamie to fret and worry and ask for 10 billionth time in 2 hours, "Where Peanut?", up until the very second they were reunited.

True happiness is one boy still slightly grubby, and one doggie, freshly washed and fluffy warm from the dryer.

I read a story once about a little girl who had lost her lovey. Her lovey was a cheap stuffed animal made by Carter's. This animal probably cost $5.00 originally. But when the little girl lost her lovey and was heartbroken and spent many sleepless nights, her beleaguered (and exhausted) Dad went in search of a replacement.

Except this lovey had been discontinued by Carter's. He did locate it on eBay for the bargain price of $100. Because it was now considered a "Collectible".

This story was enough to give me nightmares. Not so much the $100 replacement cost, but more so the thought of those sleepless nights listening to that child cry for her lost lovey. We all know how I value my sleep. Any parent can understand why that Dad actually went ahead and paid $100 for that replacement lovey. You just cannot put a price on sleep.

Besides, I know for certain, had someone told me sometime during Sabrina's first two (sleep-free) years, "If you give me $100, I can guarantee she will sleep through the night from now on," I would have simply said "Cash or check?"

So when I saw a doggie identical to Peanut, in a Motherhood Maternity store of all places, I snapped him up. Twin Peanut has been residing in a green plastic Motherhood Maternity bag on the top shelf of my closet for the past three years.

Jamie's five now. He still loves his stuffed animals and there is a rotation that goes on in his bed. Favorites come and go. But a few weeks ago, Peanut inexplicably disappeared. We're not sure where. Jamie no longer absolutely needs Peanut to go to sleep, but he sure did miss him. And last night, most likely because he was a bit overtired, he decided he was NO WAY, NO HOW going to sleep until SOMEONE found Peanut.

Out came Peanut's twin from the closet. I wish I could have seen the look on his face when he grabbed him and squeezed him and said, "He's all soft and he smells so GOOD!" Dave had the pleasure, as I was busy putting Meredith to bed at the time.

But I had the privilege of checking on him before I went to bed and finding him happily snuggled with Peanut Jr., sleeping deeply and contentedly, knowing all was right with his world.

Undoubtedly the best $10 I've ever spent.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I Promise I'm Not Seeing That Skanky Blog Down The Street

My poor little Blog. I've neglected you. Really it's not you, it's me.

Yeah, yeah, we've all heard THAT line before.

But I swear I'm ready to kiss and make up.

If you'll have me back.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Biggie Size That Wine Please

I may have mentioned that I don't like needles. I would be a very very bad heroin addict. I have no tattoos, not because I don't approve or dislike them, but because they involve needles. Hell I passed out getting my ears pierced. All two and a half times. Including the one I did myself. Which is why it's two and HALF times pierced. It's hard to pierce the other side when you're semi-conscious.

And it's not even a pain thing. I'm pretty tough. I gave birth three times, only one of which had a successful epidural (But I sure as heck didn't want to see that needle they put in my spine). Something in my brain cannot tolerate the thought of an object penetrating or slicing skin. Once you're through the skin I'm cool. I can watch operations on television. Blood doesn't faze me. In college Biology I cut a deal with my lab partners. When it came time to do a Nephrectomy or Hepatectomy on our lab rats, I handled all the surgical details. As long as someone else made the incision.

When I was a child, my Pediatrician (Dr. Milton G. Tall, may he rest in peace) called me "Tiger Mary." Only half affectionately. The other half was genuine fear for his life and limbs. When he would walk in the examining room, he would immediately put his hands up in the classic "I surrender" gesture and say "No shot today." Of course this backfired when he walked in and didn't say it and I commenced to shriek and hide under the table necessitating a nurse to come in and assist my mother in pinning me down to the table.

I have passed on the gene.

Yesterday was Jamie's yearly check-up. I won't give my kids too much information ahead of time. No sense having them anticipate longer than necessary. But when asked the direct question, "Am I getting a shot?" I will not lie. I didn't appreciate being lied to as a child and won't do it to mine.

So he knew it was coming. And he held it together pretty well for most of the appointment, even loosening up enough to tell the Pediatrician about his recent pirate themed birthday party. But as soon as the good doctor left and sent the nurse back in, all bets were off. And as if one crying, shrieking child wasn't enough, Meredith decided to get hysterical in sympathy.

When the nurse instructed me to hold him on my lap with his legs tucked and locked between mine, and a bear hug around his arms holding his left arm as still as possible, I had sudden flashbacks to being on the receiving end of this situation. The nurse offered to get someone to hold Meredith, but I knew that in her current state, a perfect stranger picking her up would only increase the decibels coming from her mouth, so I made the decision to let her cry while I attended to the child with the more immediate needs.

Of course everyone survived, with a bright blue Band-Aid, small dents to my sanity and one minor bruise to my shin.

Happy Meals will wash away a multitude of perceived wrongs. And an Iced Mocha for Mom doesn't hurt either.

If only we could get McDonald's to serve alcohol, the world would be complete.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

There's Always Another Poop Story

I will admit this story was inspired - or rather I should say the memory was triggered - by my friend Jackie at The Other Side of the Fence. She's got a toddler and an infant right now so she's knee deep in it right now. So to speak.

We used to have "Poop Day". Sabrina has always had problems with pooping regularly even though she was a completely breastfed baby. For those of you that find that remark puzzling, breast milk has a natural laxative effect. Breastfed babies usually poop often. VERY often. As in after every feeding. Considering a breastfed newborn will generally eat approximately twelve times a day, that's a lotta poop.

But Sabrina's usual schedule was to poop every third day.

As in, "Is today Poop Day?"

"No, she's not due until tomorrow."

Every now and then she would stretch it to four, and once it was five days. Talk about your mudslide! Once she literally had poop from her neck to her toes. The sheer volume of poop was astounding for a roughly 7 to 8 pound baby. I was seriously beginning to wonder if she didn't store that stuff down a hollow leg.

She also liked to do it in her car seat for some unknown reason. So "poop day" inevitably also meant "disassemble car seat and excavate poop from molded plastic crevices day" as well. Since the cloth cover to her car seat was listed as hand wash (which I promptly ignored) and line dry (which I didn't since I once shrunk a sweater literally down to doll size) that also meant we were grounded for one day in between while we waited for her seat to dry.

I hereby declare it mandatory that all baby accessories should be machine wash and tumble dry. Up to and possibly including the baby.

Another myth those baby books imprinted on my brain was that breastfed baby poop didn't stink. While it is true that breastfed baby poop does not smell like formula fed baby poop (that stuff can clear a room faster than a Tarantula at an Arachnophobe Convention) it is not the rose petal scented stuff I must have been imagining. In fact it was one of the many things I had on my "Mama List" to discuss with the pediatrician at an early appointment. When I worriedly told him that her poop smells bad, he looked at me perplexedly, blinked a few times, and probably thinking this was the punch line to the other 35 odd questions I had just asked him, he chuckled and said, "Well that's because it's POOP."

Enjoy your Cocoa Puffs for breakfast.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Not Suitable For Moms

Nyquil how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Thou takest away my snot, if only temporarily. Thou maketh me to, if not stop coughing, at least sleep through it. (This annoyeth the spouse, but he'll get over it - we'll calleth it "P-A-Y-B-A-C-K" for all the snoring) Thou art a magical elixir that can guarantee my sleep even on the worst nights of cold and flu season.

But underneath those warnings about high blood pressure and MAOI's and prostates of the large variety, they really need to offer a warning that you will become completely incapable of giving a shit about your sick children as well.

I was woken by Meredith at 12:00 a.m. when she threw up a little in her crib. But instead of my usual routine of changing her, stripping her bed and putting clean sheets on - I found it completely acceptable to wipe off her hands and face, strip the pillowcase that was the repository of the offending vomit, and turn the pillow over so the dry side faced up, and tell her to go back to sleep.

Oh yes I did.

And somewhere in my Nyquil induced fog, I recall my other daughter visiting in the wee hours to tell me her brand of stomach flu was producing rear emissions and she hadn't quite made it to the toilet. I told her to change her pants and go back to bed.

I'm telling you, I was aware these things were happening, I just couldn't be bothered to actually get up and do anything about it.

In other words, the label should read, "Warning, the consumption of this medication may temporarily turn you into a DAD."