A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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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!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heartfelt Thanks........


To everyone who was able to help us out financially. And to everyone who couldn't help - but dropped me a line to tell me that they love us. Your love and friendship means the world to us - and has kept this family functional.
Thanks to you, the big boy gets to have a semblance of a normal birthday....and our lives continue to move forward.
We love you all so much and thank you so much for helping out our family in this time of many challenges.

I Don't Know What Happened........

Because last week he was this.

And now suddenly, when I wasn't looking he became this.



Happy 6th Birthday, to my first baby.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The New Sign Language

"I am done with breakfast."


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stairwell of My Discontent


I hate my stairwell. I hate my STAIRS. I don't even understand the ANGLE of them or the size of them.
What I DO know, is that I've fallen down them about 4 times, once quite seriously. The other times, being a PRO by then, I caught myself and didn't make the GRAND fall. The steps themselves don't seem to be wide enough. At least not when I'm coming down. Going up they are ok by they overhang the step below them by an inch or so and my foot is longer than that so it's hard to get down them.
My kids each find their own way.
Baby Birth of Cool, who put his HEAD through the wall falling down the stairs, just rolls right down them with ease. Hell he carries Po, Lala and Elmo up in his arms using no rail and just barrels up or down the stairs at will.
Baby Birdman holds onto the rail and lets gravity bring him down - legs flailing (it scares the crap out of me) and seems to crawl up them.
Lil Satchmo is cautious but adept.
And me, well I can't figure out how to go down them. I have to LOOK at them as I step on each stair or I'll MISS. I've lost my confidence on my own staircase.
I'd like to check them damn ANGLE of them. I can't believe they're code they're so steep.
And no, that isn't actually my stairwell. But it MIGHT AS WELL BE!

Rock The Vote - Or Not

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Grandpa's Leaf

When I was a child, my family went to Minnesota to visit cousins and we all came home with round wooden dining tables. These tables went to every member of the family. They were large, heavy, and from the Sears and Roebuck catalog from around the turn of the century. They had been used in Fishing Camp Cabins up in Minnesota owned by my cousins, and were very sturdy pieces. My Grandmother replaced her cherry dining set with this big round table.
The table wasn't quite big enough for the entire family to gather around for Sunday Dinner though, when we were back home.
This wasn't an obstacle, as my Grandfather was a carpenter and made a leaf for it- and then expanded to it's new oblong shape we all fit nicely. It's a smooth piece of wood, with three knots in it. He picked a nice level piece - smoothed and finished it. The ends aren't perfect but it didn't have to be perfect, it just had to fit into the notches the table came with for a leaf. And it does.

My grandmother had a fitted pad made for the table, which would unfold and cover it so that the top was seamless before laying her table cloth.

I don't have a table cloth, or can't find the one I took when I took the table - it might be packed away. So I've got the leaf inserted and the wood exposed across the table. The leaf is a lighter color than the table, although it was stained to be close.

I wipe that leaf off every morning, after a little blonde boy spills his yogurt or drops his honey covered toast on the wood. I think about my Grandfather every morning, about his hands which were disfigured with arthritis - even after surgery - worked so hard even on such a simple project. I think about the warm smell of sawdust in his workshop, and the scent of pipe smoke and cigars. I remember the coffee cans full of nails and drill bits.

His leaf is with me, and all the things I ever knew about him live in it. I tell my oldest son, and someday I'll tell the smaller ones.

History is sometimes found in the strangest places. A trip to Minnesota, a table that all we all have ONE of, a leaf which reminds me of my Grandpa who never knew my sons. The things he did, the things he said, come to life, and he stops just being some random person they never knew. He made this leaf, that we use every day. He made it with his own hands and with love. And he is now immortal because of what he made with his crippled hands.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Foreshadowing

Many of you may not be away that I lost my job back in July. Despite the house, and the gay goings on I usually post in this spot, things have been tight - and that's on a good day. It's difficult to go from gainfully employed to ZERO dollars coming in but we're managing.
But life events creep up - and there are expectations.
Such as...........BIRTHDAYS.
I have a soon to be six year old, who in my opinion hung the moon. He, on the other hand, would remind me that the moon was created when a planetoid collided with the Earth a bajillion years ago and the moon is part of the Earth that blew off at impact.
He's smart like that.
But his birthday is coming. And this child, our first child, has traditionally gotten the red carpet rolled out for his birthday. Even last year, when we were LESS financially secure because of my layoff in '07 and we offered him the FAIR he was ecstatic. We spent the day eating our way through the fair, riding rides and at the end of the day - he looked at us and said,"This was the best birthday I ever had."
Gulp.
Maybe we didn't need to spend all that money at Disney World in the past - eh?
So this year, we've been prepping him - we don't have any money, we don't have any money. It's a mantra. No money. Bills are coming in, we don't have any money.
There will be no "party" etc.
And he's born it with such grace, for a soon to be six year old.
We figured we could take snacks, and be VERY frugal and attend the county fair this past weekend as the kids were all still free. We cautioned him that we had to make choices about RIDES - we can't RIDE every damn thing in the place. We reminded him this was an EARLY birthday outing - as the fair would be gone on his birthday weekend. So - birthday NOT HERE YET - this was just a pre-cursor, an early celebration.


And we can look at the animals, but we can't RIDE the animal rides etc. We can just LOOK.



And despite all that, and the sharing of ONE deep fried food on a stick vs. 10 (Deep fried Milky Way rocks by the way, if you have to choose just ONE).......it was a joyous time.

And as we sat eating our treat, I told him the story of how his FIRST fair was actually the time we went to the Kentucky State Fair - when I was about 8 months pregnant. And he laughed when I told him how many incredibly delicious deep fried foods I ate, and that I was so big, I had to sit down every few feet.
He laughed, and kissed me a powdered sugar kiss and asked,"Well if that was my first fair - I wonder what my last fair will be?"

My eyes grew hot and I hugged him and said,"I hope I never know."


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Carnies Are Bad Spellurz - '08 Edition

Oh man, I was in for a treat this year....


What frightens me is that they HAD THIS SIGN MADE! It's a professionally made sign - and they had FOUR OF THEM. Sign makers - help the Carnies out - please.


What the hell is "cappachino FLAVORED coffee" ?

This one TOO. They went in and had this MADE for their trailer. Dear God.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Red Red Bird What Do You See?

I see a lady with a camera looking at me.
Shot from my dining room window.

A Return to The Fold

I always thought that with the scads of alcoholic, pill popper and various other drug abuse DNA coursing through my veins that I got off rather LIGHTLY with only an outrageous coffee addiction monkey on my back. I've always rather worried, that if I GAVE UP that particular devil, that this DNA might start then searching for it's new addiction in order to fulfill it's role on the old Watson Crick Helix.
But, it seems, at least so far, no such demon has arisen. I've moved from the Barbie Doll style coffee of General Foods International Coffees to Maxwell House Half Calf, adding 1/3 of a the cup as creamer and I seem straight.
I've apparently found exactly the right way to cut my own personal cocaine.

And, it's sort of OK actually. I'm rocking enough creamer to really invalidate it as a "serious coffee drinkers coffee" but still, the caffeine headaches and irritability stay at bay - plus I don't feel like I'm stroking out after the first cup.
These SEEMS like a viable compromise. Plus, the GFIC is really too expensive for a long term solution. Good grief. I can't imagine the 30 bucks a week or whatever I've be blowing on that stuff. Do you know what GOOD coffee I could've bought with such funds? It boggles the mind.

So, I'm back on the horse, got a smaller monkey, or maybe it's only a lemur this time - on my back.

I have to admit, I feel a bit more NORMAL now. Phew - that was close!

Restaurant Idea Clearly Stolen From DIE HARD!!

Who can forget, as John McClain beat some terrorist ASS, when he proclaimed "First I'm gonna F*CK YA! Then I'm gonna KILL YA! Then I'm Gonna EAT YA!" ??

These Japanese people are SOOO unoriginal. Check out #1.....if you can get that far on the list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One Step Forward.....Two Steps Back

Well looks like the twits at Heelarious are really not into making sure that forward progress re: women's sense of beauty is made. In fact, they have decided to go the other way.
These jacks are making HIGH HEELS for babies.
Yeah you heard me. Babies. It's completely offensive. Granted the heels are soft, they're not meant to be walked on but - just as it's inappropriate to put THONGS on 6 year olds this too is really just beyond the pale.
What am I saying to a crawling baby? "You better work that ass girl! Here, wear some heels, make the boys notice you!" How ridiculous.
First of all, WHAT are we supposed to put on the feet of babies who are not walking? WHAT do the doctors recommend?
They recommend you put nothing but SOCKS on these days or very soft shoes.
I do not think that they would recommend putting faux heels on them, even if they do fall under the category of SOFT as that heel is a big cumbersome bit on the back.
This product is essentially sexualizing babies - high heels are designed to accent the curve of your calf and - let's face it - your ass. We walk differently, we stand differently in heels.

The creators of this product seem to think that it's cute and funny.

I wonder how cute and funny it'll seem when these things show up in videos made by perverts?

I'm disgusted, thoroughly. Children should be children. Whoring up your little girls is wrong and you aren't paying attention if you don't even know you're doing it. Wake up Heelarious - your product is catering to a clientele I'm not sure you even know exist.

But they are out there. And those sick fucks are probably delighted to see this product on the market.

I quote the Queen of Soul when I say ....."You Bettah THINK."

Ellen Degeneres Just Rocked The Fashion World

Sure it's only COVER GIRL and their makeup is shite. But still, it's a major fashion flip - they took someone mature, with a real brain, with real unique style and beauty and made her a COVER GIRL?

I'm thrilled- I'm delighted.

I seriously almost CRIED I was so touched.

What does it really mean when they choose someone not 19 years old, not beach blonde Hottie McHot to represent? It means that Cover Girl got a clue that the world is changing. That we no longer buy into the Abercrombie and Fitch stereotype of beauty (don't get me started on those jacks). It means so many things about the world - it's bigger than them choosing Queen Latifah because let's face it, using "larger" women to model this or that has become a bit of a fashion. They chose Ellen, who can be as plain and down to earth as anyone......yet she's just as lovely as can be.

I think it's ironic and fascinating that, in my opinion, Ellen Degeneres just married one of the most beautiful women in the world, and now SHE is going to be the new CoverGirl

The world is changing in a good way. Small things like this can be the beginning of tidal waves that shift the entire way cultures think.

Good For You Ellen.

Now don't wear their foundation - It'll Give You Zits.

Infidelity

In my quest to replace my morning coffee, which now makes me feel like I'm gonna die when I drink it, with SOMETHING.....I purchased the anti-coffee.
General Foods International Coffee.
Really, let's face it, it's coffee for people who don't LIKE coffee. Sweet, creamy, with "flavor" of this or that it - barely TASTES like coffee at all.
But, it didn't make me ill, and it satisfied my need for a hot coffee-like beverage in the morning. Plus Baby Birth of Cool, who has turned into a full fledged coffee junkie from taking sips of Mommy's, thinks that the GFIC is like the coffee version of Crack.
I picked up Cafe Francais because it's sort of a pseudo cafe au lait and not toooo sweet. I might try another one next time.
But here is the worst part, today I'm out, so I'm simply drinking hot apple cider. I'm not exactly sure but it might be actually doing as much good as any other thing I've been drinking in the morning. It's soothing, feels good, and has a comforting warmth.
Maybe my addiction all these years wasn't to the caffeine but to the warm drink.

No that's wrong because I became a psycho when I gave up coffee during my pregnancies....the caffeine withdrawal was ferocious.

I'm gonna try one of those half caff coffees and see if that helps. I suspect my illness when I drink coffee now is directly caffeine related - sweats, racing heart, nervousness, nausea, disorientation etc. I feel a bit like I'm having a heart attack AND a stroke at the same time. Thus, I'm not that keen on returning to the fold of the coffee drinker.

Man, in my day, I've had some of the best coffee in the world. I have consumed massive quantities on a daily basis. I'm beginning to wonder if the human body can only consume X amount of coffee during one lifetime - and I drank it all before I was 40.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You Googled What? Part 10

Okay I'm guessing at how many times I've done this.......but I do love the searches that land you here.
Here are the most recent hits.....
  • Gyno Chair - yeah I get this one a lot and I'm not sure why. I have never sat in a GYNO chair. Why do I get the feeling this is used for dates and not medical appts?
  • Big Penis in HBO ROME - Yeah....that was a big penis.
  • Dr Zaritsky Tampa - OMG I love this man best endodontist on the planet
  • Paramount Pizza Palace - It's kinda nice to know I wasn't the only dorky kid who loved this place.
  • Man's Birthday - Do they mean as in MY FELLOW MAN or as in, I know a man, he's having a birthday? I dunno - get him some cologne.
  • Feeding Bananas to roses - worked for my grandma.
  • Nipple Fetish - I was talking about Coco the Ape people!
  • Christian Rock Album Cover - I think this searcher probably doesn't know or appreciate Cartman's rules.....
  • Ben Manning Photos - WHAT? What the hell are you talking about?
  • Family traditions in America - Okay yes we have some of those.

And my all time favorite of the new hot searches that landed you here....

  • GIRL THAT'S TOO GHETTO FOR ME! - I think that one speaks for itself. Not sure why you landed here......but, yeah, she's probably too ghetto for you.

    I'll leave you with a pic of my loves playing at the water table....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Heh-heh, You Said HARD CRACK

We've been promising Lil Satchmo caramel apples for a while, and since it's September and really getting to be time for fall treats to get underway, we decided to go ahead and make some.
Now you've made those easy caramel apples kits from the store - right? I mean, they are easy. You wrap the apple with a sheet of caramel, warm it up, pop in a stick and VOILA caramel apple! It's a rather nice treat!
But the husband, while shopping, discovered that our grocer was OUT of caramel apple kits - but there in produce they had a candy apple kit! So he picked it up.
I glanced at the box, but it didn't register - even when he mentioned that we needed to pick up a candy thermometer as I no longer have one.....it didn't register WHAT I was getting myself into.
Three words should've warned me - HARD CRACK STAGE.
That's real candy making, even if it comes outta a box, friends.
I am blessed. I have a Home Ec teacher for a mom, so I know soft roll from hard crack stages when it comes to making candy. Lil Satchmo was a little disappointed at how little he got to be involved, but I tried to lovingly explain that this process was going to involve hot molten lava and 5 year olds are not safe around such things.

So I let him stir when the temp was under 100 degrees, and then he contented himself stabbing the apples. Baby Birth of Cool helped out a bit.



And then when they were done, I proceeded with the hot molten lava candy of death.



Here is why candy making is a "lost art". It isn't because it is hard - it is not (if you understand basic principles of baking, in my mind candy falls into the baking category of cooking because of the strict adherence to instruction that is required). It is a lost art because it is a tremendous pain the ass. Do you know how LONG it takes to bring a big ass pot of goo up to hard crack stage? Good lord I could've done my nails and they would've DRIED! And I still would've had time to spare. It's because we are an impatient generation, and making candy is nerve wracking - you wait, and test and wait and test.....when it would just be easier to BUY it now wouldn't it?

But if you just go out and buy it, you don't get THIS.......

Delicious warm candy apples.


And here is a note - this box said it made 10 apples. I had 5 apples. NOT following instructions, I dipped each apple twice. Guess what - there was like a 1/4 inch of candy on each apple making them nearly inedible.

NEARLY inedible I say, not completely.


We had to have an emergency bath even though it was a late night, as all three boys were head to toe sticky red delicious candy mess.



Lil Satchmo was also the Candy Apple Statue of Liberty at one point in the evening.


And, for some unknown reason, I got the apple with a worm. A cooked worm who apparently met his demise in the pot of candy lava. It was fairly revolting. But the candy was still good.






















Friday, September 12, 2008

My Dark Mistress

Okay I know I wasn't around while I was sick. And I neglected you.
I didn't spend time with you, I know. There was no contact for days, and then, I just felt weird when I did try to spend time with you.
My heart would race, I felt nervous and queasy. Something was wrong.
This relationship is old. And I like our time together, no I LOVE our time together. Heck even The Husband tried to bring us together while I was recovering, but I just wasn't in the mood.
So what now? My love for you is two decades old. What will I replace you with?
The spark is gone, my lust and need has waned after my illness.

Coffee, what has changed between us? And how can I learn to love you again?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The One Where The Whole Family Gets It

So two days of sweating, shivering, curling up in the fetal position, fainting and vomitting later I remember that we filled a prescription of levaquin - which the husband promptly fetches in the afternoon and delivers to me. My tonsils are the size of beer cans and my lymph nodes are bigger than that - I'm certain.
I wake up at midnight......and this is how you know you've been too sick.
I can't figure out what is wrong, until it occurs to me that I can swallow. And my throat doesn't hurt.
We troop downstairs and I eat much food and watch an I Love Lucy the husband recorded for me.
The next morning........I am reborn. I don't feel good but I feel so much better you wouldn't know it.
Except now......everyone else is sick.

One trip to the ER later, it's STREP. And amoxicillin all around.

So now I'm up and around, big boy missed one day of school but everyone seems better. We had THE BEST doctor in the ER, he had 4 kids himself so we didn't even phase him with our crew.


As a parting gift......a pic from days ago, before we all got sick. As you can see, we're working on another Christian Rock Album using Eric Cartman's Rules.

Thank you to my husband who was absolutely an angel - and my knight in shining armour the last week. He literally picked me up and took care of me - over and over and over.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lemme Tell Bout Sick - Part Two

So about midway through that first day, it occurs to me......I'm actually quite sick.

This is indicated by the immense sweating and shivering and uncontrollable balling up of my body into the fetal position. I get a couple of times to try to eat, to try to function - vomit and go back to bed.

The next morning, I think I'm feeling a little better, then I pass out while changing one of the twins. It was that creeping around from the back of the head sort of passing out. I felt the grey and black coming around the corners of my vision - and sat down on my knees.......said "Honey I'm gonna pass out" and laid down.

He put me into bed.....and there I stayed. For two more days.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lemme Tell Bout Sick - Part 1

So lemme tell ya......you kids think you know about sick?
How about this one? The big boy wants to ride in the car to school one day last week, for no particular reason just for fun so I acquiesce and we make our plans accordingly. When my alarm goes off at the obscene hour which is required for elementary education, I realize my left ear really hurts. It really really hurts. As in shit, "I must immediately consume to Advil to alleviate this skull crushing pain" hurts.
So I stumble downstairs with the boy, realizing I also have an obscene amount of sinus drainage. Ok, take care of that too while I'm at the medicine cabinet, we've got the drugs.......we've got the technology, we can build her better than before.........(sorry having a bionic woman moment).
As I'm driving the boy to school.......I realize I'm a little tummy rumbly. Not WORRISOME just worrisome.
Then I try dropping him off to school. Seen Mr Mom? When all the Mom's are screaming "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG?!?"
It was like that.
During the part where the lady who is in charge of telling Mommy's who are doing it wrong is telling ME that I'm doing it wrong, it occurs to me that I was incorrect, my tummy rumbly is indeed WORRISOME.
I make it home. Barely.
Here is what I am going to say about that part.

It was unpleasant. And I thought I was going to faint.

So I crawl back into bed. And out of bed. And into bed. And out of bed. And into bed. And out of bed.

Then I get up and feed the twins breakfast.

Shortly after breakfast it occurs to me that I'm going to vomit, and I rush to the downstairs restroom to do so. While hunched over the toilet, praying for the vile act to end, Baby Birdman runs into the bathroom, pulls down my pants from behind and slaps my butt. Then runs away laughing hysterically.

Shortly after that I put both the twins in their room and tell the husband I have stomach flu. Or something.

Or something indeed.....

Monday, September 01, 2008

We'll Overwhelm You

I think that if you haven't seen me for a while, you might not realize you don't know me anymore.
After all, you catch glimpses of me via email, on the blog, maybe in SL - and you think I'm still me. If we talk on the phone, I probably sound the same unless you hear me. Really hear me.
I had company this weekend, someone I haven't seen since before I had kids and I was so happy to see her.
But I was a little sorry too - because I think the enormity of the chaos of our world was just overwhelming.
I have a five year old who never stops talking and 4 year old twins who never stop crying about something. There are diapers. There is backtalk. There is discipline. There is yelling, there are more diapers. There are tantrums. There is more discipline. There are kids shows. There are more kids shows. There are more diapers. There are more kids shows. There is noise. There is more noise. And there are more diapers.

What isn't there?

  • Casual beers while watching TV.
  • Adult television shows of any sort. (except American Idol once a year and even that takes place amongst the chaos and with a lot of rewinding).
  • Network TV. The News.
  • Quiet.
  • Time out doing anything with another adult without three children hanging off of us.
  • Time out alone with each other ever for any reason.
  • Help with the children that isn't me or the husband. That's right. No help.

This is an alien concept for most people, but we have never had help with our children. We have never lived within 300 miles of family SINCE we've had kids and we've never had sitters (okay we flew my mother in to Tampa twice so we could go see Wicked). If our kids can't go, we don't go. Period.

I think that the chaos that we take for granted is like shock therapy for visitors to our house.

People think I'm still the same Gidge who drinks expensive beers, hangs out at bars and clubs seeing bands and being generally fabulous even if it's in my own mind. And I gotta tell you, as I sit here in my Walmart grandma-lookin shorts and tshirt.

She is dead.

So like I said, you don't know me anymore. I'm sorry I changed. I didn't mean to. It just kind of snuck up one me.