A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Blogger Challenge:What's In Your Bag?


Iris Seale at Shopping Cart Disco Issued the "What's In Your Bag Challenge" so I had to play.

What is in my purse?
  • Door card for work
  • Empty bottle of Tums
  • Wash Away Your Sins Coin Purse
  • Nail File
  • Paperclip
  • Gum
  • Inhaler
  • Receipt from Publix
  • 2 Random Christmas Cards
  • Make-Up Bag with 10 lipsticks and glosses or more
  • 2 maxi pads for my never ending period
  • 2 pens
  • tape measure
  • starbucks card with 1.04 on it
  • paycheck stub
  • hair-band thingy for emergencies - like when I can't stand my hair in my face one more second
  • cell phone
  • key chain thing for children's healthcare of Atlanta - I just thought of this, why do they have these? Do I get coupons for health emergencies from them
  • Blank deposit tickets
  • My kids pics - obscured by the deposit ticket

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You Knew I Loved Disney Parks

But did you know it was like all this?

thanks to Mrs Memmer for makig it happen!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marshmallows for Toasting

At a certain point you stop noticing your kid's firsts. Their first step (I was at work), their first words, the first time they clapped (Baby Birdman, on the MEXICO boat ride at EPCOT) and on and on.....these things sort of slip away as they age.

They've done this, they've done that - and unless you're taking them mountain climbing or something you've pretty much knocked out most things.


Or, you kinda stop logging them in your brain - just a little.


So I'd like to put my good, observant mommy hat on for a moment and share with you - our FIRST ever marshmallow roasting - at the big outdoors Christmas Lights extravaganza near our home.


A couple of big fire pits and marshmallows on sticks were our first foray into burning confection on a stick. You know how we love foods on sticks. Burned foods on sticks? Even better.



There was marshmallow roasting all around but it was kinda hard to get everyone's faces because of the big old crowd. But Daddy helped the little guys get their own marshmallows roasted - just like they were big boys.


The light display was really impressive. It went on and on and on. I've been to some light displays but this one was fairly extraordinary, as far as drive through one's go. No it wasn't the OSBOURNE lights but it was really nice.



It was a beautiful night with free hot chocolate served by fine Christian Women, and a real live nativity where they rocked some modern Christian music as part of the show. Can I get some "Angels We Have Heard on High?" or what about "Adeste Fidelis?"


I don't need new "modern" Christmas music or Christian music for that matter. Stop writing it.


I'll give a pass to 4 new songs a year but those will have to be approved BY me from now before we subject people to them at Live Nativity events.


But I digress.


So here on 12/23 we're getting into Christmas spirit by building a Gingerbread House - as a warning to all children not to go wandering in the forest or you'll get eaten by a witch.......or something. Why do we build these at Christmas?


I have no idea. But I do know this. When you spend a good long time decorating and building your Christmas gingerbread house, do you know what is annoying? It's annoying when your little brothers sneak into the kitchen and eat the sugared jellies off of the house. At least, that is the impression I was given.











Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Ummm, Can You Come Back Here?"

*Let me start off with a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUCKA! to Sarah one of my favoritest people in the world.
This post is dedicated to her, in response to her post about not having to wipe people's butts when she didn't work from home. True story, enjoy.

I used to have this job where I was required to be in to work really really early - due to the fact that I was the one who churned out the daily reports for all the hoohas about the previous day's performance. I'd roll in to work some days as early as 6am. My staff were pretty cool, and usually wise enough to have a hot pot of coffee going as they all knew what a surly bitch I am without my caffeine.

On the day in question, I rolled in a little late- 7:15am, threw some coffee in a cup and started importing data. At this time of day, other than a team lead, I was the only "leadership" in the building. Even though I didn't manage "a team" - I was a manager so if there was a problem, it was mine.

Shortly after I started keying my phone rang.
"Ummm, can you come back here? There's a turd on the floor."
To which I responded,"Oh there is not - it's mud off of someone's shoe - it's been raining."

Rep:"No- it's a turd. We need you to come back here."

So I get up and walk through the largely desolate call center, back to the only row where there are people sitting, 7 of them to be exact. And yes, in the middle of the aisle - is a large turd.

"Was this here when you got here?" I ask.
"No."
"Okay, who has been through here this morning?"
"No one, just us."
"Okay, you guys - one of you had to SEE this - they don't magically appear.......seriously who came through?"
"No one, we all came in together, and it wasn't here, and then when we just looked over here, there it was."

Sigh. Yes, they indeed were trying to tell me that a turd had materialized in their aisle.

I grunted and told them not to touch it and marched back to my office to call the facilities mgmt group to come clean it up asap, left a message on their voice mail and then relocated the entire team to another aisle - one that was turdless.

The best part of this story, is that my HR team told me that I should have saved it for the police, WHOM they called. And I had to be interviewed by. Because apparently, unbeknown to me, FECAL GRAFFITI (it was not graffiti it was just a turd but they wouldn't listen) is some GANG thing. I kept saying "It wasn't used for ink. It was just a turd, like someone squatted, dropped it and walked on." But they wanted to know if there was writing on it, or if it was SHAPED like anything.

It was shaped like a turd.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Lump Of Coal For Martha Stewart...Or Maybe A Handful of Molten Lava




One day, during the world's longest miscarriage, I took my biggest boy onto my lap, and had him pick out the things in the Holiday Martha Stewart magazine that he thought would be yummy to make and tops on his list were her Peppermint Icicles.


Now, I'm a fan of making candy but I've never REALLY made hard candy before - but I figure if you follow the logic of baking - just FOLLOW the recipe and you can't go wrong.


Wrong.


Candy making is it's own weird thing.


First off, let me condemn Martha to the hell of molten lava because her instructions say that you should be able to start pulling this confection just a few minutes after pouring it into a pan to cool.




See that blistered and bloody mess? That's my finger. The finger I lightly touched to to surface to test it - as it seemed WAY too hot to put my hands into - as her instructions indicated would be safe to do. I swear, it said "mixture will be very hot." Should've said "Mixture will be flesh melting hot." So I screamed for the husband and he came running and put HIS hands into the molten lava..... And yes, it MELTED the rubber gloves. I went to work making the blue section, pulling and twisting it. And then we started putting them together. What a mess. Yes that is a giant rope of candy cane (peppermint icicles). And now, a home movie - as shot by a six year old - with direction and narration by Lil Satchmo

video


Eventually though, we had some semblance of Peppermint Icicles. You can see the carnage of the candy that didn't make it off the pan for the pulling process - it's still brown. They taste pretty good, they're fairly subtle - as far as the flavor goes. I'd put in more mint next time.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Candy Anniversary

It's Our Candy Anniversary.

That's 6 years. Our other option was IRON but not owning a forge that seemed impractical.

I made him chocolate cremes and chocolate cherries, and (failed) toffee (a subject for another post I assure you).

He had custom M&Ms made with our picture on them, and several wonderful sayings.

I'm going to take them to work tomorrow, show everyone and share nothing.

I love being married. I love him despite all his faults and my complaints. (Name that movie).

I would not change one minute. Because if I did, I wouldn't have a jar full of custom M&Ms downstairs from my one true love.

Happy Anniversary Baby.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas


At least.......on my cats butt.
Enjoy that.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wintery Goodness

So it's winter. For real. This is only the kids second REAL winter, with blistering cold winds whipping down from the mountains and grey skies hanging over head. The Husband and I, being Hoosiers, barely even register the grey and gloom - we're just glad there isn't grey slushy snow everywhere as well.


Last night we bundled up for some winter time fun.....and despite the requisite six year old bitching about the cold, I think we all survived. A town nearby has a very Mayberry-esque town square and they had the whole she-bang for Christmas, complete with christmas carols and ladies handing out ornaments and wishing you Merry Christmas.


So we took the kids for their first carriage ride ever.....and then we toured the historic courthouse which was wildly decorated inside for lots of kid friendly awe and wonder.



And inside the parks department had set up a crafts table where the kids could make crafts and color which was actually really nice. It was only a $1 and the kids could make as many crafts as they wanted (the tolerance seemed to be about 3 - and then the kids were done). Lil Satchmo made two things and thought it was great fun.

Did I mention they gave them elf hats?

It was a beautiful, flipping freezing cold night.

The whole time we were there, all I could think was - this is what you are supposed to do with your family. THINGS. Make memories together. Whenever I see families out and half the kids have hand held video games ignoring the rest of the family.....all I can think is that they aren't making memories- they are going for high score.
People say to us "Wow, you guys really do a lot with your kids."

You are supposed to. Especially at this time of year. We only get one chance at the magic and wonder of their childhood Christmas - don't we?

Speaking of.....if you look closely, you will see two very small boys at the bottom left.

Magic and Wonder.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What Exactly Is WEATHER Forecast For PETS?

I made some random mistake at work, loading up weather.com . My screen loads slow - the result of an average video card and we don't really rock the bandwith for users.......so somehow, one day, when looking up the weather......
I set my default to "PET WEATHER."

Now, it tells me how the weather is going to be for my pets.

It tells me how to keep them warm (ummm they are animals they grow fur). And what the weather conditions mean to them.

Ummm, they are animals, if they go outside and it's raining, they get WET.

I also saw something for humans, today. "How to stay warm while you sleep."

WAIT A MINUTE! Did I somehow switch from PETS to RETARDS?

Weather.com Please do yourself a favor.

Stick to the WEATHER! Is it going to rain? Is it going to snow? Show me some radar and SHUT UP.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Really Not Dead



I've just been distracted by the fun of the holiday, writing cards, decorating the tree......making cookies! Yeah, that's my green bra you see - rockin eh?




Those cookies are from Cookie Play Dough which is far cooler than I thought it would be.....


You will hear more about this marvelous cookie dough over on my other gig


Props an Pans where they're giving away two YES TWO $100 gift cards plus some Kohls cards!


YEAAAAH Man!

Other than that.......I'm here, I'm just a little tired.....I halfway suspect I was feeling too good and doing too much there for a bit, and now I'm a bit the other way!


And now, twins eating ice cream at my company Christmas party....sometimes using your hands is just faster!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Don't Call Me Mom

Unless I gave birth to you.
Seriously. I mean, unless you are my child, physically, spiritually or legally - don't call me mom. It's freaky.
The school nurse, calls me MOM. But she says it condescendingly like I'm a retard. Or as though I'm some lesser member of royalty that she's slighting with a "Your Grace" vs a "Your Highness"......
I mean lord.
What's wrong with Mrs X? Or my first name.........the one my parents picked out. I mean, I know you've got records. You know my first and last name. Hell I'm not a big fan of Ms. but I do realize that if you aren't sure of marital status it's easier to use, so we could go for that.

When I was in labor the nurses called me Mom. I thought that was weird as well. I realize it was meant to be encouraging.......but -it was annoying.

Now that I think about it, sometimes the nurses at the pediatrician's office call me Mom.

WTF!?!?!

NURSES! Hear me NOW! Mrs, Ms. or just my NAME will get it.

I'm not your Mom. I don't just call you NURSE!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

There Are Time When I Want To Kill Martha Stewart

Tonight, was not one of them.

I've resolved to be a better Mom this year about making those special holiday treats, and so one rainy cold freaking afternoon while I was laid up, Lil Satchmo and I went through the December Martha Stewart magazine picking out which fantastic treats we wanted to make this year.

I chose to make the Penuche Fudge first, mostly because the ingredients were wildly simple - brown sugar, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk. I wavered a little - because fudge recipes usually call for ye old Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk.........but I figured that since Martha didn't ask me to climb a mountain and milk a yak ......that I should use the one she said.

It was amazingly easy to make. And overwhelmingly sweet and delicious to eat.

But you know what else?

Penuche my ass.

I know PRALINE when I taste it. I'm dropping some fine Georgia pecans in it next time.....because this, ladies and gentlemen, was PRALINE candy. Right down to the consistency.

Delicious. But clearly some fancy name for pralines that don't have the pecans in it......

Tomato, Tomahto........It's delicious.

Totally recommend checking it out - in this month's Martha Stewart Living - amazingly easy.
Thanks Martha- that was a FIRST you whack job.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Signs Your New Boyfriend Belongs to a Cult


I'm Just Saying.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful

So after all this......after I'm all suited up and I've signed the forms and talked to the anesthesiologist and gotten IVs hooked up and given blood........and even received my complimentary socks with nubbies on the bottom.......

After all that.....

They decide I have succesfully FINALLY miscarried on my own, the day before. All my tests came back clean.

No surgery.

So I went home.

But I kept the socks. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Surgery It Is!

Ok who's bored with the miscarriage? I know I am.

I'm also worried, nervous, bleeding like crazy, over emotional, in pain, exhausted, a little irrational......uncomfortable.....let's see what else......throw in SMELLY, generally unhappy.

Since November 13 I've been seeking conclusion and looks like tomorrow I'm finally surrendering to the fact that mother nature will NOT just take care of this for me. I spent most of the day yesterday laying down, and basically all day today. When I got up to eat (a delicious late breakfast made by my Hunny)......it was all back on again.

I'll spare you the details, as sometimes guys read this, but let's just say - this isn't going away.The baby cells, and placenta cells are all gone, according to the ultrasound. But my body just isn't capable of healing itself this time. So I called my doctor, then I called my boss (who by the way seemed to know that I wouldn't be in and this wasn't going well....thank god)......

And then I told the husband that I have to be at pre-op tomorrow morning at 10:30 am. So, off we go tomorrow hopefully to drive an end to this process. They're gonna do a D & C and whatever else they gotta do while they are in there to stop the bleeding and clean out the mess. Good times, eh?

Now I'm trying to decide if I should shave my legs and paint my toes. I don't know why...I just seems like I should.

Thoughts?

I'm just so tired. Of the pain, of being tired, of the bleeding.

I need this all to stop. I want to be myself again.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Get Immediate Attention in the ER - Bleed All Over Them

*I'm only sitting up right now, because my back is screaming from so much laying down. I promise not to sit up long. But It's killing me.

Okay........the miscarriage update.......

Well, I have several posts I was about to write - one went something like blah blah blah I'm so stressed I can't take it anymore I need for this to be over. Another one went Oh Yay heavy bleeding and cramping I'm doing great, even though this feels like labor and I want to kill someone this means we're moving along. There was going to be another one about a fist sized clot.....just to gross out the boys.

But then I had to go to the ER.

The short version of the story is that I was soaking 3 pads an hour. And I thought that this was heavy bleeding. So off we rushed to the ER where the lady who checked us in was casual about my massive bleeding and gave us forms to fill out. Seriously - I was clearly boring her with my tales of completely soaking 3 pads an hour. 3 BIG pads, just for a point of reference.

The Triage nurse was actually super sweet (I almost always love triage nurses, they are usually such kind people) - taking lots of time to listen to me as I explained ALL the steps of this process, of the drugs I had taken.....when suddenly I said "Oh my god I just soaked your chair with blood."

I stood up and blood just starts shooting out of me - soaking my jeans - and not to be too grotesque - leaving an actual puddle on the chair. It occurs to me that I am hemorrhaging and I feel panic. This part I remember VERY clearly. I remember lots of really sweet nurses, and a lot of "honey" and "sweetheart" talk....people getting towels, but I must've blacked out because then next I'm in a little curtained off room and they were suiting me up in hospital gear.

The weird thing was - there was no pain. The whole time I was there, probably from the blood loss - I was just sort of floating, zombie, sleeping. They came in and hooked me up for IVs, drew blood, did the WORST PELVIC IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, and then whisked me off for the longest ultrasound ever.

A teenager came in to draw my blood. This was probably the only time I got cranky - believe it or not. She about KILLED Me with the tourniquet, spent minutes trying to figure out how/where to draw me......and then mumbles, as she takes the tourniquet off and on for the third or 4th time, "I always have a hard time with the tourniquet." At which point I called to my nurse "I'm going to need an RN to draw my blood please!" Luce, my nurse, bustled, in took the needle from the girl and dismissed her. And smiled at me and said "Yeah I prefer an RN to draw my blood to."

Apparently hours and hours passed, but the nurses were really sweet - one in particular came back to tell me she met my family, and had given the boys juice and some graham crackers. She sat in on my various procedures/tests so she could tell them I was OK.

The staff were all sweating to death with the heat on in the ER but hurried to get me blankets because I was cold and after I was appropriately hooked to every machine conceivable......turned off the light in my little area so I could sleep a little.

I slept, listened to people around me tell the doctors about the car accident they had been in, the fire they had been in, about the last time they got shot and how it was worse than this time. It occurs to me, at one point, that they've taken me back with the more seriously injured - no folks with colds or stomach flu in this crew. I heard, at one point, them call to reserve an operating room - and tell whomever that it was for me. I listened to them talk to my doctor. They came in and explained the D&C - and that they would put me in twilight sleep for it but that they were waiting on the results of my ultrasound.

Then I slept some more until they came back. Apparently the great Uterine explosion of '08 cleared the rest of the tissue from inside me. They decided, with my OB, that I didn't need the D&C and I could leave.

My pants and underwear were destroyed (I am considering just tossing them, they are still in a bag) so they gave me a diaper (which at that point I thought was hilarious) and some paper pants to wear home.

The sweet nurse who had been keeping track of my family gave me a sack lunch with a sandwich, chips and juice, on my way out - because she knew I was starving.

I came home and slept like the dead. Today I've had some cramping and heavy bleeding but nothing like yesterday. The Husband took the kids to a train show so that I could rest in peace without little boys jumping all over me. So I napped for a while, watched a little football but then needed to get up for a while.

How do I feel?

Drained.

I'm not sure I can go to work tomorrow, because I still have some pretty heavy outpours, if you follow........and I don't know if I can handle that kind of thing in the office. At least I don't have to be afraid I'll get into trouble.

Virtual hugs, positive thoughts and prayers are now officially welcome. I can use them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Can't Even Miscarry Properly

I swear, it's DAYS and DAYS later and I'm not done with this process. I've barely made any progress - like some sick labor that just takes it's time without result.
I went to the obstetrician's office and they took blood to make sure my "levels" are coming down.

What if they aren't?

I'm now on a new drug, designed to "help my Uterus progress" with this process.

The annoying thing is I still feel some of the pregnancy things, the nausea, the swollen boobs. I just want them to go away. I just want it out of me. I don't want to feel like this - these things I was cherishing despite their ickiness are now just ugly reminders of what went wrong.

At this point I'd welcome the cramps from hell if they would just BRING the process on. And let me be done. I don't think it's asking too much for my body to cooperate here. But it seems like in this process, as in all others, it's not working as efficiently as it used to.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Latest Fashions for Cult Members!


She's even got some cult looking hair-do. I mean what the hell?
My very sad confession is that my first thought upon seeing this was "ooo man that looks warm"......lame.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fog Lifting.

I am about to tell you a secret. It doesn't have a happy ending. Or maybe it does - you'll have to decide.



I am now coming out of a fog, induced by several weeks of drug induced lethargy and exhaustion. It was prescribed to me by my new OBGYN.


I like my new OBGYN.

He's very honest and forthright about things, and so when I went in with one of these....

he did an ultrasound straight away. And wouldn't you know, I was unbelievably hardly even pregnant at all - only about 5 weeks - so small you could BARELY SEE anything on the ultrasound. I saw a round circle, which he called the egg sack. I asked him if anyone was home in said egg sack and he said he couldn't tell - but not to worry, at this stage it's normal not to see.


But given my age and spotting which was occurring he put me on said drug - PROMETRIUM which has been kicking my ass for weeks. The lethargy, the overwhelming tiredness has truly not been conducive to starting a new job - let me tell you. Plus the moody, hormone overload my husband has had to endure. Prometrium reminds me of Nyqil - don't make any plans.

You take progesterone every 6 hours and tell me it doesn't make you half crazy. I could barely function some days but still slogged through the minimum. Get up, get the kid up, get him to the bus stop - get me to work.

Work, work, lunch, work work, go home, collapse. Cry a lot. Be unable to eat properly, go to bed early. Feel sick and like you're going to just barf 24/7.


Then I went back for my 8 week visit - and another ultrasound.


I am told, that the positive side of this situation is truly medical science. He could take a quick look inside and see that what we had was not in fact a baby, but a clump of fertilized cells that never actually grew properly, and that our growth rate was basically zero from where it was three weeks prior.
He tells me, in his office after the ultrasound, that back in the pre-ultrasound days, they had to wait and wait for the heartbeat. And if there was no heart beat - some time after month 4, only THEN could they call it.
So I'm glad, that science was there for me, at week 8 with a heads up that all was not well.

I quit taking the Prometrium on Thursday. On Saturday morning I woke up and fired off an email to my friend Cajsa, to tell her that I FELT BETTER. I felt normal.

The fog was lifting.

Was I sad? Yes, we were both very sad. I think we were "pregnant" long enough to settle into the idea. But, I'm also so thankful that it wasn't three months later - and suddenly gee we're sorry this isn't a baby.

Without the hormones mother nature is taking her course. I had the option of a d&c but didn't really see the point, of course I'll go if something seems awry.

But I feel better, truly, while feeling bad. Maybe I felt bad because my body didn't want me to be forcing it to keep my little cluster of human cells, and that contributed to my lack of well being. All I know is, that despite feeling terrible, I still sort of feel better.

Heartbroken, but better.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SO WHAT? I'm Still a ROCK STAR!

Okay, so I'm reading this book. And I'm trying to dig it. My kids have finally gotten out of the phase where they resent me reading so I can do a bit of it again......but I'm so out of the loop - that I dunno what I ever want to read.
Which is what lead me to my latest book. It just looked sort of funny to me, light, meaningless drivel but it was aimed to the 40 something crowd. Sort of a "we can be cool too" theme.....and having turned the corner.....well.....I picked it up.

Sigh.

First of all I never cease to be amazed at HOW some people get published. Second of all, well....I hardly know how to express my disdain.......seriously I'm only about 10 pages in and I've had Jimmy Choos, Miu Miu, Prada and someone else tossed about at me like I'm a slag for not wearing all of them.

It is the literary equivalent of Vogue. (yeah I'm slamming Vogue for it's lack of literary quality who cares?)

But, reading the words in this book feels the same as looking at pictures in VOGUE. It's that same "you are not this cool but if you acquired X you WOULD be" sort of feeling. I don't know any 40 year olds like this - and frankly I've known some really successful people in my life.

This isn't real. I don't mind a little escapism (HELL A LOT OF ESCAPISM)but you can't dress up the girls from Sex in the City on a book cover as being "those funny girls next door". They aren't. And when you present fashion, plastic surgery and drop hip NYC references in lieu of actual plot development.......well.......

I'm not impressed. I'm bored.

Frankly I'd rather read some of that new crap Anne Rice has been churning out and I think we can all agree that she's been writing absolute shite for about 10 years.

Drivel, in it's literary form, should be fun. It should be Jackie Collins - all sex and booze, or Anne Rice's newer stuff - all Vampires and forlorn creatures of the night. There should be something interesting and mindless but a giggle.

I'd give you the name, but well, I don't even want you to go looking for this book out of curiosity. It's that bad.

And all I can think, after reading many of these pages and having this book try to impose it's superiority on me.......is that while I don't know any 40 year olds like this.......man I know some REALLY interesting ones. I know people with fascinating jobs, fascinating hobbies......personalities.....people who are brilliant, people who are creative........

While we might not be NYC cool for not owning a pair of Jimmy Choos.......all I can say is that Pink is right.

SO WHAT? I'M STILL A ROCK STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

That anthem works for lots of situations.

OH - and if you are interested, the WORST book ever written is called HOUSE OF LEAVES . Try to read it. I dare you.
It is the only book, in the history of the world, that I purposefully did not finish. I'll even finish the crap I'm reading right now. But House of Leaves? NEVER.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There, But For The Grace Of God, Go I



*When we used to go to Disney World, I'd look at the parents of children with severe disabilities, children in wheel chairs - hooked up to portable machines of various ilk.....and my heart would just ache for them - and their parents. And these words would tumble through my mind.......There, but for the grace of God, go I. I would thank every power that my own children were NORMAL. My own children were OK.


Today my husband and I took the hands our our twins and walked into this building.



And our hearts were in our throats. And we smiled, and pretended like everything was going to be alright.

You see, years ago, a witch stood over my children and cursed them - comparing them to an autistic child they knew. I felt the curse sweep over them when the words were uttered.....and denied it then.

Or maybe it wasn't a witch, but a friend - just recognizing a behavior. And in truth - it wasn't even said in relevance to autism, but a behavior of babies. But when your child is "normal" and their child is "not".....you balk at comparisons, even if only in your heart.



Maybe it was the flu shots - which may or may not have contained thimerasol we now find out. We don't know if they did, or did not. Some did.

When they were three, we took them to the pediatrician and expressed concern. "They don't talk WITH us - not back and forth." we told him. He told us we were wrong, that nothing was the matter. He gave us a list of things you HAD to have to have "autism" and basically told us to piss off and that we were yuppie parents looking for an excuse for why they were behind.


I took them when they were four and he looked at me and said "Well we're looking at autism."


And I wanted to gouge out his eyes.

With a spoon.

Then he gave me referrals for places that don't take insurance, and that charge $700 per child per assessment. Or hundreds of dollars per hour, but they GUARANTEE results.

And I wanted to gouge out his eyes.

With a spoon.


And then we took my oldest son to register for school, and the special ed teachers clocked us and basically bum rushed us.

At the time were were horrified and scared. No one wants the special ed teachers to recognize their children as "off". But do you know what they did?

They helped us get to this building.



And we took them inside, and some wonderful people evaluated them.


We learned that our county isn't fucking around when it comes to developmental delay. They have resources and facilities and I may never have been this impressed with a school system in my life. (and I come from a family of educators - so I do have a little bit of experience with what schools offer).


They told us good things. And they told us the next steps. They didn't write them off - and they felt like although we have delay they have some great skills and they acknowledged everything that they do well.


They also talked to us about the pieces they are missing - and defined our next steps.


We left happy - because now there is a plan.


And the witch's curse was lifted, because now however we define their challenges - that there are solutions.


Not being afraid any more seems like half the battle won.



Sunday, November 09, 2008

MAN What Did He DO?


post script
I only wish I could've snapped for you a pic of the "I got me a L'Oreal Chunking highlights kit from 1994 in both red and blonde and I look hot now that the bastard is gone" female that this vehicle attached to.
Dear God - I suspect he fled in terror.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The One Where I Get All The Ailments I Ever Mocked

Seriously, Carpal Tunnel is one of the most bullshit conditions. Everyone I ever met who had it was a scammer - someone trying to rack up workers comp time, screw around not working etc. And they were people who were scammers in OTHER aspects of their lives, so it was always normal that I'd find their sudden inability to work yet still get paid suspect.
Case in point - the girl who was not allowed to do any motion which brought her thumb and forefinger together.
This rules out pick up paper, filing, holding a pen........I mean, WHAT the hell are you supposed to do for 8 hours in this condition? Funny, she'd sit and write letters until we caught her each time and made her put the pen down.
So after almost two decades in the call center biz where I manage those prone to this repetitive motion condition - GUESS WHAT?

Yeah , I've got it.

I took my brace off to write this although my wrist is howling a bit.

It's annoying - it first started happening in small doses a couple of years ago and with the configuration of my new office (twasn't ergonomic - now IS) my wrists just went bonko.

Once again, I'm visited with a condition I previously thought was stupid.

Now Cancer.......CANCER Is BRILLIANT. (see my strategy?)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Donuts



Election Day Donuts - Given Away at Krispy Kreme to everyone who voted.

Mmmmmmmmmm.

Funny, they taste like VICTORY.

But that just might be the sprinkles.

Monday, November 03, 2008

What is the Difference Between a Soccer Mom and a Pitbull?

I get to vote tomorrow.
Sucka.


Adventures in Backwoods Babysitting

Back during the recent times of unemployment, we rocked the freecycle pretty hard for household items we were in need of. We obtained some good stuff, and some fun stuff. Such as, we got a lawnmower - that WORKS. We got a set of Encyclopedias.

One offering was a Christmas tree.

Might seem strange, but we actually NEED a green Christmas tree as ours is white which rocks in FLA but really probably will seem odd here in GA. So someone had a tree, and we responded that we'd come fetch it.

We drove out a little more rural than ourselves, not a lot more, just a little more, to pick up the tree. The owners of said tree lived in a really cool looking log cabin - obviously made from a kit - but it looked like the kind that would be sort of fun for vacations or weekends. (The Husband went inside to fetch the goods and told me it was a hideous shack and that they were obviously baked to the gills but that is a different story).

Mrs Tree Owner came out to say hi while the husband lugged the tree + assorted other junk she had decided to give us. She made small talk, told me she had twins too (oh my let's be best friends) blah blah blah. OK fine, she was nice enough.

Then she noticed a pamphlet for a nanny service sitting on my lap. Now don't get me wrong, we're not HIRING a nanny. We were just looking at it. This however - was just the opening she was looking for.

"I watch kids during the day." she tells me.

I smile, and nod, unsure of what to say. "Oh, really?" I manage.

"Oh yeah, it's great - see that gully down there? Well, mine are older than yours, they're about 6, so I just let all them kids out and send'em down to the gully to play. They just come when I call."

I wish I had a picture - both of me struggling for words to continue this conversation, and of the GULLY in question. It was a wooded slope leading down to a water runoff - the woods so thick that the children in question MIGHT have been down there but who would know. It would also, in my mind, be the sort of place that hobo child molesters and other ne'er do wells would set up camp using shopping carts as grills.

"Oh, well kids like the outdoors." I mumble.

"Are you lookin' for a sitter?" she inquires.

I smile, say no, we're not in the market at this time.

Or ever.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

How Does Halloween Look at Your House

It was a big Halloween weekend around here. We didn't do nearly the number of snacks and treats PRE-Halloween because Mom's been a sickee-poo. But we did have the traditional pumpking carving and painting.





video


I had to do the pumpkin killing as always.



This one is Lil Satchmo's. We told him that if he wanted a jack o'lantern he had to gut it himself after I opened it up. Apparently this was just "too gross" so Mom and Dad did it for him.

Everybody had fun pumpkins, one for everyone in the family.



We had to spread the carving over two nights as I had really big pumpkins to cut up and there is only so much pumpkin killing I can stomach in one evening.






So the two clowns and the Power Ranger were very happy on Halloween - raking in tons of candy and goodies and being extremely cute in the process.









And all was right with the world!



Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaBloPoMo?

Oh Hell is it HERE AGAIN?

Are you serious?

I just spent ten minutes trying to figure out how to add the button. Adding buttons usually takes me about 30 seconds.

If adding buttons is this hard, I might not be meant to do NaBloPoMo.

Seriously.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jumping Jacks - Who Knew?

I nearly pee my pants every time I get to watch the 4-6 year old set do jumping jacks at soccer.

So I thought I'd share.

Mine is the one with the AMAZING lack of coordination!

Can you find him?

video

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Here Is Something I Bet You Didn't Know!

So, did you know, that if you have a really runny,snotty nose, and you are a small child, and you rub that snot onto your hand and then rub your eye - that you in fact just gave yourself conjunctivitis and now you have pink eye?


Did you know that kids with pink eye can create more snot in their eyes than some adults I've seen blow out of their noses?


These are the lessons learned over this fine weekend.


Class dismissed.
(oh and I was asked for evidence of the demise of the Papasan......so here you go!)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Best Phone Call Ever - Well, Almost

Want to know what feels REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD?



Sitting in your new bosses office and your cell rings, and you glance at the number - don't recognize it and of course don't answer it. (Obviously you don't answer it - you're in your NEW BOSSES OFFICE!). But then later, when you have a moment you check your voice mail and it's a head hunter.



They say they have a great opportunity for you in the Atlanta area and to please call back if you are interested.



And you just DELETE THE MESSAGE.



Seriously, I just had such a good day that I'm considering taking my resume off of Monster.



For the first time since 1998.



I said it on twitter and I'll say it again. I am sick as a dog - but happy as a clam.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fireplace Situation

I bought this house on an acre of land, including woods with requisite woodland animals. Also included, according to the details of the bill of sale - is a wood burning fireplace.
I love a wood burning fireplace.
I'm my father's daughter in this respect. My dad is a big fire maker from way back and I totally got the gene. My dad will build such raucous fires that my Grandpa Drake used to say that if you wanted to test your fireplace, have his son in law over to build a fire.
A good firebox will take a lot. :)
So all this aside, I've been building fires on my own since I was about ten. I've got technique. I like to build up a roaring blaze and then have it calm down to a nice even burn that lasts.
My Aunt Suz and Debbie are in GA and it's gotten chilly here. The other morning before they stopped over for brunch, I thought it'd be nice to build a little fire (just a little one!) for ambiance and to knock the chill off the living room.

So I ambled over to the firebox to just check the flue and other assorted things one does before building a fire. The previous owners had left some charred wood, ash etc in the box which I thought was kind of dick headed but whatever no big whoop I was gonna build on top of it.

I pushed back the screen, and encountered THIS.....

Now you can see ash, and soot.....and evidence of a REAL fire.....but do you see that on the RIGHT? See it?


Here, take a better look......


Yes boys and girls. THAT is a GAS LINE.

A MUTHERFUCKING GAS LINE. IN MY WOOD BURNING FIREPLACE.

Now I don't wanna say that I'm totally fucking so pissed off at this that I can barely speak. Because, that was days ago. But I'm still miffed. Because now I'm in this situation. I don't know if this pipe is hooked up to anything - like the MAIN GAS LINE - I've got no basement so I can't run downstairs and follow the pipe. Did this pipe COME with the fireplace and they just never hooked it to the gas main? Is it hooked to the gas main and the previous owners were so stupid that they burned wood fires in this fireplace and got LUCKY that they didn't burn down the house?

My questions are myriad but my anger is legion.

So, we've emailed our real estate agent trying to get her to get in touch with George and Martha (ever since I met them they've become the characters in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? - but they're the Georgia edition).

And I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. I should have a chimney sweep out to clean the chimney and inspect it.

Ideas? Call the gas company? We hate the gas company, so that's a problem? Maybe our home inspector?

I am so pissed off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Turn, Turn, Turn

Okay so, I got a new job.

Yes, I got ANOTHER new job. This one is immensely better and will allow me to call this one OVERLORD. I don't think that they will actually require I call him that, but I'm gonna think it every day when I report to work.


For sensitive reasons, I can't divulge which division of his empire I'll be working for but I start tomorrow and life is good.

40 is working out really really really well.

(and yes I'll tell you all about the job and which division etc.....soon. Very soon.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Date-A-Versary 11.0

11 Years ago today, I met a boy in a Greek restaurant for lunch. He met me before he went to work, wearing jeans and sneakers with holes in them.
He kept me waiting 45 minutes while he tried to get the new contact lenses in - that he'd bought just for our date.
I had spent forever getting ready, doing my hair - doing my face.....not too much make up it was broad daylight I couldn't count on bar lighting to hide any over doing it.

11 years ago today he told me I was beautiful over plates of hummus and gyros.

And then after our date he walked me to the curb where I was parked, kissed me five times and walked down the street to go to work.

This morning, I woke up next to him.

Our children running around like monkeys, our house cold because for some reason it's COLD out now (isn't this the south, isn't it supposed to be warm here)......and as I snuggled into his arms I couldn't help but think....

I'm so glad a cook once asked me out.

He changed my whole life. And mostly, I feel something like this.....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surrogate Sisterhood

When I was little there were two little girls I wanted to play with so bad it hurt. They were each significantly older than me - 6 or 8 years or so. There was a point, when I was REALLY little that apparently I was cute enough to play with sometimes and that was enough addiction to make me desperate to play with them ALL THE TIME by the time I was about 4.
But by then, they were pre-teens......and didn't want to PLAY with me anymore. Such was my desire though, that I'd do anything to play with them.
They tried strategy to get me to WANT to go away. Such as, they'd pick hard games that they thought I couldn't learn, such as Stratego or Monopoly or Life. This failed because I earnestly learned how to play to such a degree that I could WOMP their butts by the time I was six. They'd make up rules that if I couldn't memorize the words to all of a new song, then I couldn't play with them.
So I learned to memorize.
We were playmates of a sort for years and years. Most days, I'd end up running home crying because eventually they'd get bored of trying to make me GO away and would just tell me to, or would say something to hurt my feelings and I'd run sobbing home.
The worst thing they would do, when summer came, was they would walk to Standard Grocery to buy candy. This was bad for two reasons. I wasn't allowed to go out past the gardens, and you had to go beyond the gardens and across a field to reach the Standard Grocery. So this in itself was a great way to get rid of me. But the other thing they'd do is buy a bunch of candy, and stand JUST far enough away that I could SEE what they got - but that I couldn't come to them because it was beyond my limit. And they would stand there and eat their candy, smirking in that crappy way only little girls can.

What is odd though, is that when I think back about Sherrill and Martha Leigh, I don't think of those times as bad. And I remember other things that were so good. I remember going nightcrawler hunting with flashlights at night, pulling the huge worms out of the gardens after a fresh rain for fishing the next day. I remember how we were only allowed to burn those little black pellet snakes on a specific part of the sidewalk that had been destroyed years before by the selfsame 4th of July firework. (Dude I love those snakes.)
We used to lay on the ground (in the forbidden field but with adults this time) and sing WHERE OH WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT? at the top of our lungs, until the fireworks started.
We would sneak back to the school playground after a rain and play in the mud around the merri-go-round and then sneak back home and use the hose by the garden to wash our feet so we didn't get caught.
We went barefoot all summer, as a point of pride we felt we didn't need shoes. We listened to Wings, and Barry Manilow, and KISS and read Tiger Beat magazine and cut out the pictures. We made shrinky dinks and creepie crawlies.

And I sometimes think now, that none of us had sisters, but that this must be what it would be like, to have a sister. To fight and bicker and be mean, but then to hold a dog wedding one afternoon because you realize one of you has a boy dog and one of you has a girl dog - and if you have a dog wedding you can have puppies and then I COULD HAVE A PUPPY.

I mean, how could my parents refuse?

I miss those guys. Last time I saw them, one or the other was having a wedding, and we sat at a table eating cake and howling and giggling at other people's expense. I hadn't seen them forever, but the spiritus was still there. They were teasing me asking me if I still at brown sugar by the spoon (hello I was 4 when I did that) and then we turned the conversation to other doofuses we used to know.

Sherrill's dad caught wind of our wicked conversation and giggling and snarked at us "Can I get you cats a bowl of cream?" and we again howled with laughter.

And that was when it hit me, I was finally big enough.

I wonder where they are now? And if they'd like a spoonful of brown sugar.......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Death Knell for the PapaSan

Ah, PapaSan Love Seat. You've given us weeks of slightly less discomfort than the floor. I generally gauge you at about 20% comfortable on a good day. You might have given us sweet scenes like this......

but the writing was on the wall the day your hideous self showed up in our home. After all, it's not 1978 nor do I have a tiki themed living room. You simply cannot stay.

GONG

GONG

GONG

Three days PapaSan. And then you're PapaToast.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Boot To The Head for Hollis Gillespie

Sigh. You know, I don't follow many columnists. Or any. Except for one or two.

One being Hollis Gillespie. She makes me laugh, I'm amused and intrigued by her adventures and anecdotes and frankly I just like her.

Don't get me wrong, now that I'm an ATL resident we don't hang out but STILL.........I'd check the yes box that I like her in a girl-crush-non-gay way.

I've been here in the ATL for just over a year and I've struggled to FIND a place to regularly pick up a copy of Creative Loafing to read her column. The last place I worked was so anemic and ridiculous that 90% of the employees had never HEARD of Creative Loafing much less READ anything like that. I contented myself with reading her books (sorry I read them from the library because I'm broke) to get my fix of insanity spun out by my favorite essayist.

The real problem has been, for the past year, not that there aren't enough places in ATLANTA to get the Creative Loafing, but that I was simply in some bizarro world version of a suburb that borders on hell - and apparently Creative Loafing was smart enough not to bother to drop off papers in that area. They'd probably just be used to sop up blood anyway.
Additionally, no longer being bar whores (all these kids just suck the bar whore right outta ya), we weren't in clubs that might have ye old Creative Loafing at the exit.

So here I am, new job, new life, new world and I stroll across the street to get something to eat a Chinese restaurant and the clouds parted and the sun shone rays of goodness down .....the restaurant carries Creative Loafing. HOOHOOHOO! I'm in! I've scored a new source for my addiction! I tucked it under my arm, smug in my happiness and excited to be able to catch up with all those zany kids from Creative Loafing. Truly, Jughead and Betty were never as captivating at Hollis and Andisheh.

I crack it open when I get home for the day (hey I'm a busy professional I've got no TIME to be reading Creative Loafing while I WORK! )

AND HOLLIS GILLESPIE IS LEAVING! She's going to write for someone else. NOW THAT I CAN GET CREATIVE LOAFING REGULARLY SHE WON'T BE IN IT.

Ugh. I clearly sinned in a past life and this is my payback.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bunny!!!


Hi all, no Gidge today, it's Frank AKA The Husband.

40,huh? Wow, what should I say? What could I say? That you look more beautiful today than yesterday? Too true. That you are the most vibrant person that I know? Too obvious. That you are a wonderful mother and wife? Everybody knows that. That I want you so much that I can't bear when you leave the room? Too personal. That you drive me wild every minute of every day? TMI. This is hard.

How about this: At 40, you are more sexy than any two 20 year olds? Or that everyone who knows you loves you so much that when you hurt, they hurt? Or that you make beautiful children? That you are great at any job you do? That you sing like an angel? That you bake with the best Grandmas around? Or that any day with you is a better day for anyone that hears your voice or sees those stunning eyes of yours?

Nope. I guess there's not much that I could say that the world doesn't already know. Oh, well. I guess you're just a better version of Gidge at 40 than 39. Gidge 4.0.

Happy Birthday, Bunny. I love you more than life itself. Have a most wonderful day.

P.S. I can't wait to see what Gidge version 4.1 is like!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How's The New Job?



It's kinda like this.

Now add in a corner office, executive parking, pool tables, foosball and pingpong in the break room.

Yea, I'm tired. But it rocks.

:)

Sorry if you emailed and I haven't emailed back.......I promise your note isn't lost......I'm just wiped out. I've been on summer vacation you see.......

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Guess Who's Back? Back Again....

Sorry, I've been listening to Eminem and Shady's Back is stuck in my brain - but in a good way.
If you didn't hear the news......

I might not be online as much starting tomorrow.

Because I'll be at WORK!

WOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!

Thank you again to everyone who helped and supported my family through this amazing trial. We couldn't have made it without all of you!

Motivation

"How do you motivate people?"
I've been asked this multitudes of times recently. Standard interview fare I suppose. I always say the same thing - I learn why they are here, why they are doing what they are doing.
It seems like such a simple answer but people are always surprised.
I'm not surprised, though. Not knowing why people are doing what they are doing can be damaging.
Take Wilbur for example. Wilbur was a girl I knew in middle school. She was fat, frumpy, wore thrift store clothes despite living in a nice condo community. Her mother gave her an unfortunate home-haircut that made her look like a boy trying to wear a Dorothy Hamill cut. Plus, obviously Wilbur wasn't her name. Her name was Stephanie and the kids all called her Wilbur - as in Wilbur the pig.
Which is unbelievably unkind - and worse, she was so desperate to be included she answered to it.
She was so desperate for attention - and to be part of the group that played together after school, condo kids all of us, that she'd do anything.
Eventually we learned - she'd even steal.
Now, we didn't KNOW she was stealing. She'd just say she was going up to the drug store and did we want anything. I even remember the first time it happened - some of the kids just joking said a bunch of stuff. Candy, hair bobs, etc.
She came back with them.
It happened a few times - she'd come back with Lip Smackers tubes, and give everyone one of them.....or other things. It wildly increased her social standing - but it always made me a little nervous.
Don't get me wrong, I ACCEPTED her lip smacker or coke or box of candy or whatever it was. I wasn't SUCH a little angel that I was "ABOVE IT" but, it was the first time I'd ever watched anyone behave this way.

Then she got caught.

And the drug store pressed charges.

She got into big trouble.

That was my first experience at understanding what motivates someone.

She wanted to us to be nice to her, and let her play TAG with us for christ-sake. And she was willing to risk getting expelled, risk time in juvie to do so. Because we were such little jerks that we made her feel that she wasn't good enough.

Making her feel like that made us feel superior - better than someone - that was our motivation.

After she got back from "being in trouble", we didn't call her Wilbur anymore. She wasn't allowed to hang around with us - her parents felt it was all our fault. They probably didn't understand WHY it was our fault though.

We didn't send her, but we also didn't stop her.

I'd watch some of the other condo kids wave, call her Stephanie and try to engage her - and I could see the need in their eyes. They'd lost their someone who made them feel good about themselves. But she wasnt biting - and I was always proud of her for that.

So yeah, when I manage people.....I like to know why they are doing what they are doing. Because not knowing can ruin lives.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

All That Spartacus Crap Was Just Peer Pressure





So I'm at the school doing a kids and parents learning thing. One of those "we're going to show you that we are actually teaching your kids" events. It was actually quite nice, in fact. It happened to fall on the day that everyone on the Earth was reading the book CORDUROY apparently.

I wasn't AWARE it was International Read A Book I Don't Know day......but apparently it was. Okay fine, that's all good - books are good, I've go no beef with books.

But this was also a "bring your teddy bear" sort of night event, so there I sit with my Teddy Bear, and the big boy took Dog (little red dog he's loved since he was 18 months old or so). Toward the end of the night, the teacher asked us the names of our animals. We tell the truth - my bear is Teddy (not original so what SHUT UP!) his dog's name is DOG (SHUT UP HE NAMED IT WHEN HE WAS A BABY!) and the little boy next to us told us his teddy's name is Jeff Gordon.


Then however, the rebellion started.

Apparently every OTHER bear was named Spartacus Corduroy. Yes that's right. EVERY other bear was named Corduroy. Some seemed to be named "Also Corduroy" but that might have just been five year old miscommunication.

Quite frankly.......they were making me a little nervous with their herd mentality.

Nice to see peer pressure alive and well and running the show in Kindergaten. Hey kids, it's cool to dress like this. ----------->
Tell your folks all the other kids are doing it too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sofa Situation

When the husband and I moved into our first house together, we had the luxury of moving into a cottage that my cousin had completely renovated. She even let us pick out some of the interior decor. My mom works for a local furniture company, so again, we were lucky - we got to pick out custom furniture.
Have you ever done this? It's such a luxury. You go and pick out specifics, patterns, pillows......and then a couple of months later your custom made furniture arrives.
We picked out a lovely purple couch. It was just beautiful. And a matching lounge chair. Huge, overstuffed, big cushions, and a sleeper hidden in the sofa. It was delicious and I loved it.
11 years and three kids later........it was just trashed. Holes in the upholstery, stains from barf and who knows what else....so we made a decision.
We abandoned it......au revoir old sofa......you can't come to the new house.

We just thought, we'd round up another sofa at some point. The chair didn't make it to GA, it died in FLA. But the sofa stayed behind while we moved here to our new house. What we didn't figure on, was how long it was going to be that we had to sit on the unbearable berber carpet (I hate berber carpet like I hate Hitler).

So, the husband has been surfing free-cycle, and got us a lawn-mower out of the deal.......and now, a sofa.

Well, sort of.

We had to put some of the old sofa pillows on it to make it useable.......and, it's a little rickety.

Lord, we've got a Papa-san. And not just ANY Papa-san - a LOVE SEAT Papa-san. My mother has suggested we get one of their chairs and do a 70s Bamboo theme. Remind me to thunk her in the head when I see her.
Try not to be jealous, haters!