Thursday, October 29, 2009

S is for Stupid, duh.

Last night my family sat around the dinner table gobbling some kick-ass chicken n' dumplins I made from scratch-ish. Yes, my g key does work, but my grandma called it dumplins- so I's gonna call it dumplins.

Anyway. We nosh and gnash and glug some milks and then Ladybug starts in about her day and all the crazy boys she is in class with. Seriously. One eats his napkin at lunch time and another one called somebody a turd-nugget. I hope these kids get smarter...turd nugget? Really? Weak. I hope when Ladybug slips up she says something like horseshit.

Then she sticks up her middle finger and says that she knows it means something bad, but she isn't sure why. This is when JG and I really get a chance to flex our awesome parenting skills. So we tell her that it is just a finger. NOT A LIE. And it only means something if the person you're showing it to thinks so. Or if you intend for it to mean something more than what it is. (It's a totally acceptable digit to use when pointing. Ask my seventh grade algebra teacher.)

We're playing it cool, but we remind her that the people at school aren't as cool as we are, so she can't stick that finger up while she's at school because they will assume she means something bad and she will get in big trouble. Like, maybe even have a "crayon" taken out of her behavior box. *dun dun dunnnnnnnn

With a few more examples of how people interpret finger and hand gestures she gets it and we agree that she can use the finger at home as long as she's not doing it in the spirit of Johnny Cash.

Then the conversation moves on to bad words. And she tells us that some kid told her she couldn't say her newest favorite phrase, "what the...". No hell. Not even heck. Just a what and a the punctuated with a funny face and some cute-infused inflection. I say that kid must be the one eating the napkins because all that bleached paper fiber has obliterated some brain cells. She says the one eating napkins was Joey and he's totally her bff.

Egads. Not ready to go there.

I know a bad word that starts with S.
Shit is just another word for poop, baby.

Mom, I was going to say STUPID!
Oh. Yeah. That one is totally way worse.
*blink blink*
Don't say shit.

Sometimes I wonder exactly what benefits I am tossing into the gene pool. Besides striking good looks, of course.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

my big backyard

Okay, so it's not technically ALL mine, but this is what is directly outside the sliding glass door of my kitchen/living/breakfast room. 

I waited a bit after I woke up to take the photo because it was sooo foggy and whimsical and I wanted to save that all to myself.  So you get this.  A slightly less whimsical morning outside my window.

Can't you just imagine a cozy English cottage fashioned out of stone with ivy crawling up the sides?  And a couple of sheep chewin on grasses?
Really, there's just a playground out there. A stately, magical sort of  playground. (okay. it's just some mulch and a jungle gym. don't ruin my fantasy.)

If you peeped in at me from out here (which only a TRUE blog-stalker would do) you'd see me drinking coffee from my big purple mug at the kitchen island.  And maybe I'd be wearing pj pants.  But probably not. 

Nobody is awake here yet, anyway. I can go pantsless if I want.

This is a good morning. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nit Picking

Sometimes baby things are cute.  Babies are often, but not always cute.  Mine of course is the spitting image of his dad aka Ashton Kutcher (lucky me) and has already been frenched by the three year old hussy down the street. Twice.  Note to self: buy stock in Durex and Trojan before Sam's sixteenth birthday. And yes, I'm refusing to believe little boys have relations before that (still very young) age. 

I digress.

Baby stuff.  My daughter adores anything smaller than normal size.  I don't know where she got this affinity for tiny things.  It's not like I've ever swiped the tiny ketchup bottle from a hotel room service tray or eaten an entire six pack of mini muffins. Ever. So it was not a surprise to me that she said, "awww cute" after I plucked the first tiny nit out of her hair last Thursday and defined it as a baby louse.  Babies are cute. Even skin devouring bugs that induce severe gag-attacks in normal people make cute children. It's revolting and touching all at once. Sigh.

I raced to school shortly after getting the call from the somber sounding nurse about Ladybug's new "friends".  I pictured her bawling her eyes out in the corner of the nurse's station with a plastic bag tied around her head, children walking by the door laughing and throwing glue-sticks at her.  I mean. That's how I remember it going for me way back when.  Except it was rubber cement jars and the kids chanted grody girl grody girl to the beat of Sussudio .  Much. More. Brutal.

Not the case.  The crying didn't start until treatment of the little critters.  Stinky shampoo, hours of combing and hunting for dust speck sized thingies that are practically the same color as her hair.  She scoffed at both of my husband's solutions. 1. Shave head (as if) and 2. let loose a spider in her wonky-do to take care of the problem overnight.  He's so helpful in times of desperation.

A few posts ago I revealed this photo of my daughter simply for my own giggles...

Turns out, her hair wasn't actually "possessed" and through no fault of her own (more likely the fault of Crazy Hat day during the previous week at Kindergarten) she was unknowingly providing food and shelter to a small army of Lice.


Thursday afternoon was spent washing, combing, picking.  Friday I furiously messaged her father to help with the pest relief project and he came to drag her and "the gang" back to his house for further infestation treatment. Saturday went by and I heard nothing from them, so I figured either all was well, or they were both eaten alive in their sleep.  Thankfully....thankfully? Yes. Thankfully, she returned home with only half an army's worth of bugs on her head and I reluctantly continued to battle. Because I can't help myself, this weekend left me quite crabby. Crabby. Ha. That was funnier in my head.

I'll spare you the details and just post some pics that I couldn't help snapping.

Smiling.  She doesn't know she has hairy leg and un-pierced ear humiliation ahead of her.
Dun da dun dun dunnnnnnn.

"Look! TWO combs." woo. hoo. don't wake up the baby.

This was right after she read the box and asked me what pubic lice meant.  I'm all about honesty (and alliteration) these days, so I said "bajingo bugs, babe" and she made this face.

Today was the big test.  Her first ever field trip was today.  I drove her to school and we both kept our fingers crossed as the nurse meticulously combed through her shiny coif and hmmed a lot.  If she saw any bugs or nits we would have to eat the sack lunch at home and re-comb, re-pick, etc all night again. 

............And I'm proud to say that she is right this minute at Green Meadows petting farm feeding goats and pigs with her classmates. 

Farms are pretty bug-free, right?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

go mama go

Florida finally got it's fall.  Yesterday. It's pretty much over and we're looking back at the eighties again this week.  I certainly took every chance I could to enjoy the breeze.  Sam is finally seeing the upside of being pushed around in his stroller.  I figured out he just really wants to sit all the way up whenever possible.  He really loved having the wind in his fuzz yesterday and the sun on his little legs as we cruised the neighborhood on THREE walks.  My dogs each got their own personalized walk, since I am not even going to pretend like I can handle both of those dolts at the same time while pushing a stroller and trying not to step on cracks...
It was so nice and breezy when Ladybug arrived home from school that I decided to kick her butt in a stroller vs. big wheel race.  She "fell off" the big wheel (which I had no idea was even possible) when she realized I wasn't going to let her beat me like your typical alpha-mom would.  I was on the home stretch when the scream and moaning threw me off my stride and I had to look back to make sure I was still a safe distance ahead she was not critically injured.  Which, she never is.  I guess I should be glad about that, but she takes every scrape and bump as seriously as if she was just diagnosed with Brokenarm-n-leg syndrome.  Blood? Forgettit.  Fun's over if there's even a drop of bodily fluid lost. She was positive the wound was fatal. 

me: You're okay, Ladybug.
her: NOOOOOOO I'm nottttttt.
me: It's not even dripping, it's just a little scrape. It will feel better soon.
her: Noooooo. It will neh-ver fee-ee-ee-eel bet-terrrrrr.
me: You're just upset because I was winning the race.
her: Ughhhahhahahhhhhggggu-hic-hic-hic. You're making me not breathheeee.
me: I am so good at racing.
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Even butterball turkey baby was faster than you.
bbt: durrrr. gahhhh. *drool
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Say cheese. Let's remember this race forever! *chk
her: wahhhhhhh. You're being mean.
me: Aww c'mon, I'll carry your big-wheel the rest of the way.
her: wahhhhhh.
me: Ready-set-GO!
her: *limp limp limp

before the race

after my big win

Fall was such a blast, I can't wait till we get our winter week. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

to baby


Today you are four months old and your ears stick out a little. And it's adorable because you're my baby and not someone else's. You absolutely love the Johnny Jumper we got as a hand-me-down from Miss Annabelle. You especially enjoy it now that I have taped up some magazine pictures of babies all over the door frame.
You only do that baby goat noise when you're really scared or really mad. Which is a total improvement from a month ago when you did it pretty much all the time. Now if I can just find some new ways to keep you from getting mad, at every other thing we do, that will be super.
You love having your face washed and getting your diaper changed. I think you prefer when daddy does it because he makes up ridiculous songs about poop and pee to sing and that always makes you (and me) laugh.
I'm a little sad to see your hair grow in all over your head because I was really getting to like the bald-patchy rat tail thing you had going on for a while. I guess the fuzzy look will grow on me just in time for you to get regular old hair.
This morning I stuffed your arms and head into a tee shirt that claims to be made for a one year old person, but after the normal squirming and face making, your little baby body fit just perfectly in it.
I realize I'm going to have to mop the floor pretty soon since you're rolling over and "air swimming" on the play mat every chance you get. I guess it's about time. I'll see if I can find a mop somewhere in the garage, since my usual routine of wiping only the dirty tiles probably won't cut it any more.
Baby-proofing is something I'll be leaving up to your dad. He will certainly take it seriously (not that I wouldn't) and will probably enjoy the research involved. Perhaps he will come up with some inventive techniques for keeping you from finding the light bulbs like your sister did the second she took her first step.
I made you a shirt today. Well. I should say, I made one of your shirts awesome today. I'll take a picture of you wearing it and show you when you're a grown up. Since I'm pretty sure you're going to start protesting all things mama-made eventually. I'm thinking that starts around sixteen, but we'll see. Maybe you'll let me bedazzle your graduation gown?
You're taking a nap right now and that's a miracle since you mostly want to be sleeping in my arms when the sun is up. If I thought I could hold you like that for the rest of your life, I'd go on with that routine, but I'm afraid you'll need to sleep alone at some point and the separation might be harder on me than on you, so I've been putting you down in your bed lately. You rub your blanket all over your face while you're falling asleep and it makes my heart melt. It means I have to keep the door open in your room and check on you every five minutes, though. Since I keep having to go in and pull it away from your little nose.

*sigh I love you

Anyway. I can hear you talking to your hands in your bedroom. Your hands are your two best friends these days, and you tell them all your sweet baby secrets and then try to devour them the next minute. Everything you do is worth writing down and remembering, but I'll have to save some details for myself.

Did I say I love you?

I do. Now it's time for you to rub your wet baby fingers all over my face and pull my hair.

Because children were made for humiliating...

I am really glad I get up thirty minutes earlier than everyone in my family.  It gives me the opportunity to have my "wakeup juice" and cereal in peace.  It also gives me the chance to come up with super ideas like taking photos of my daughter while she crawls out of her cave bed with awesome wonky-hair.

Enjoy a laugh at my daughter's expense.  She doesn't read this blog, so you can do so without reproach.

 in their natural habitat, the wonky-haired lulus shouldn't be disturbed during their wakeup routine

observe quietly, and use a zoom-lens to avoid wonky-breath

if you suspect you've been made, run like hell. but snap a photo for prom night on your way out.

Happy Monday. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

here's to hoping she doesn't pick today to start reading my blog

I automatically think something's wrong when I see her number show up on the screen of my telephone. She doesn't call much. I call her. It's how things go. So when I see it's her, my heart stops for a second while I make the decision whether or not to answer.
Deep breath. Hi, Mom.
It's only occasionally something like, Grandma's in the hospital, but she's okay. She faints sometimes. Like me. It's an odd comfort sharing genes with someone who knows what it's like to lose minutes on the floor of the shower and then go on with the day. Only when you're ninety-six, you sometimes need help getting up.
So I worry about Grandma. The thought that any one of those calls could be the one telling me she didn't get up this time. Old ladies do that. The fact doesn't make it easier to say.
But what jars my heart into my throat is when it's her smart little voice on the end of the line when I answer. Because that means there's something wrong with my mother.
And it's morbid to think it, but I expect my mother will be the one I lose first next. Even at ninety-six, Grandma Fern is healthy and happy. Two things my mother hasn't been for much of my life. If you've been reading a while, you know that my father lost a long and hard battle with alcoholism the year of the terrorist attacks. That's not right. From what I know, he didn't battle at all. Let's say he just lost a whole lot because he couldn't stop drinking. Including his family and then his life.
Although we were somewhat estranged, his absence and passing is woven into the story of my life coloring who I am and who I will be. These days I pick up the phone fearful that news of my mother is sounding much like the beginning of my father's end.
On the first visit to meet her grandson, she sneaked away to the patio and smoked a cigarette just out of my grandmother's sight*. Her boyfriend watched her from the kitchen and told me quietly that she quit drinking because the doctor said she might be able to walk better if she did. I stirred a pot of spaghetti sauce and put on my best optimistic face.

oh? when?

last night.

I love my mother, but my hopes of her overcoming addiction were crushed during my childhood. Cigarettes, booze, Tylenol pm. I've watched her fall down over and over. Scraping her knees and bruising my heart. Every shot at her sobriety ended with me feeling as though I had just finished a marathon dead last. Why is it that the things people do to hurt themselves wind up torturing the ones they love even more?
We sat at a Chili's one afternoon when Ladybug was still an infant and I asked her to stick around long enough to see her grand-daughter grow up. It was the first and only time I asked her to quit drinking. She answered with a sip of her rum and diet, I don't want to live as long as grandma. A fist in my chest. And to keep myself from crying, I made a jab at her ridiculous rationale and the conversation was over as suddenly as I had begun it. I became a real-live grownup that day during lunch. I felt it happen.
I am her only child and I feel I have failed to make her happy. It's not my fault she doesn't love life. It sure feels like it is. By giving up on her own happiness my mother has shown me how to make my own. Jeez.
I didn't mean to get so serious today. Sam is growing so fast and it reminds me that time is going by even when I feel like today is the same as yesterday. My kids remind me to be here, now. We all need these reminders. So today I will indulge and get drunk on the smell of my baby's neck. I will get high on details like dimpled hands and finger paintings folded and unfolded on the bus ride home from kindergarten. I will call to share my happiness. And while the phone rings, I will keep my fingers crossed that it's my mother who answers.

*Smoking is a habit my mother thinks my grandmother thinks she gave up last year. My grandmother, sharp as a tack just plays along. Sometimes I think she's just as weary from running that "marathon" as I am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Waking Up is Hard to Do

Congratulations, it's a PIXIE?

I found this little gem on the internet last night while I was feeding my weird yet completely innocent obsession for pinup portraits.

Okay. There are so many things about this particular find I want to address. Where. to. start. How bout the text? KOTEX says "sorry". Sorry for what? Is it their fault I had to dust off that box of tampons last week and ruin a perfectly good pair of thong underpants that I just decided was okay to start wearing again now that my butt is back to it's usual large-but-not-hugenormous self again? Did KOTEX invent menstruation? Why, KOTEX?
The lady in the drawing is hanging out naked. And smiling. Two things I don't do a whole hell of a lot when I'm menstruating. The artist was undoubtedly male. A fact that doesn't discredit his talent as a pinup artist, but maybe stains his rep as a good judge of character where the female population is concerned. Just sayin'.
And then there is the red scarf. Red, I get. We ladies are quite familiar the gimmicks used by product advertisers. A grumpy woman takes a pill and turns that frown upside-down. The young cheerleader shines at the big game, confident wearing a little white poly-blend skirt because her tampon was specially designed with her athletic spirit in mind. Even this

has been used as a cute play on punctuation. Period. . . Get it? Aww. Cute. Iwannabuyit.

But tomatoes? Really? Are we supposed to be hungry when we read this ad? Should I be making a marinara or buying phone book sized feminine products for my varying flow days? What were the advertisers thinking?

So the deadline for the Kotex account is today and we got nuthin.
Yeah, I just want to get this thing over and done with, so we can work on the ESPN billboard. SPORTS, YEAH!
Sporrrrttts! Seriously, what do we do about this period thing?
Let's put a hot chick in the ad.
I know a guy who draws hot naked chicks.
Call him up.
Okay. I'm hungry. Wanna try that new italian place up the street? I hear they make a mean bolognese.
Mmm. Tomato sauce.

It's a mystery to me, but it doesn't hold a candle to the one I found when I searched KOTEX SAYS SORRY to do a little more digging.

I really don't have time for this mind-blow. I have to handwash some delicates.

Monday, October 12, 2009

let me just say that I love being married to my husband...

Tonight my friend and I had an instant messenger conversation about the new living situation with her boyfriend. The situation is they live together now. The conversation started when I told her I made the world's best chocolate chip cookies and she and said boyfriend should come for dinner soon and sample some for dessert. (I have stooped to bribing my friends with food because I live far away in a town without high-rises or night-clubs. How dare I.)

me: you should bring boyfriend over for dinner and we'll have cookies for dessert
her: he'll eat all the cookies
her: he buys me cookies
her: and then eats them
her: and then buys me more to replace the ones he eats
her: and eats them
her: it's like we're married

This is when I laughed out loud. Because my friend is so stupid and naive in her presumptions about being married that it thrills me to the point of peeing pants. Sorry MyDearFriend, but you have things all mixed up.

Where cookies are concerned, there are no courtesies in the married household. Nobody buys replacement cookies. Nobody bakes replacement cookies. There is only eating of the replaced cookies that are replaced by the cookie purchaser/creator in order for more cookies to appear. Like a game. How many cookies will Mommy make?
It's like the little red hen. But with cookies.

My unmarried friends are always saying "it's like we're married" and I really think they should walk a mile in a married woman's shoes before they assume anything such. If you're not married and you kind of get the feeling like you are, I can put your single ego at ease. You're only truly married when he starts flicking boogers or scratching his balls while you're sitting next to him watching television. Or if he leaves skid marks in the toilet or "crunchy" boxers under the bed. If he's eating all the cookies and then buying you more cookies consider yourself lucky, not married.


It's practically mid-October and that means a few things:

Sam is almost four months old. Which is good because he's almost sitting up by himself, but rotten because he is teething. And growing. He's wearing a twelve-month size tee shirt today. Wah.

Ladybug must finally settle on a Halloween costume (for serious) because if she wants to avoid looking like a wonky-ass unicorn/zombie-ninja/princess/mermaid, she needs to bite the bullet and just pick one already.

I should be breaking out my scarves and sweaters and tights. Unfortunately, Florida hasn't received the memo about fall actually arriving down south this year and leaving the house in anything more than a tank top, skirt and flip-flops is practically a death-wish.

The handmade Christmas gifts I am making for family and friends needs to begin the the move from phase one to phase two. Phase one being an idea scribbled down on a post-it. Phase two is an actual item resembling some sort of something someone might actually like to receive.

I can stop apologizing to the dead or dying plants around the yard and house. It's fall, supposedly. Brown is the new green.

Also, Target has it's Christmas decorations out right next to the Halloween stuffs. Ladybug is less than thrilled at this fact because she's terrified of the usual life-sized skeletons and hanging grim reaper cloaks, but is absolutely dying to look at the ornaments and garlands.

Phooey for her. Maybe this will be a good year to make our own garlands? Since we can't go in the holiday corner. Hmm. I need to get Shirley fixed and prepped for the holidays. Too much to do. I can't wait.

Friday, October 9, 2009

the delusionaire

I think maybe I never had any friends. Real friends. The kind you tell your secrets to and feel confident you won't be betrayed. There are people out there who won't judge you for for leaving your husband. Or for getting so drunk you cry some nights listening to Bob Dylan records. There are people who will come back to you over and over after leaving you or will just never leave you at all. People you never wonder about. Does she say I'm boring when I'm not around?
I don't know any of those people. I think I never have.
My friendships are like dandelion fluff. They hold solid to a stem and then with the gust of a wind scatter. Some cling to each other in their path and others just drift on their own. But they're mostly gone now and I feel like a patchy-bald weed miles away from anyone who knows or cares enough to make an effort.
Phone calls reveal that what we once had in common is gone and we're just going through the motions trying to find something else to talk about. And then someone stops answering. Stops returning messages. And I'm the one reaching out for something that only seemed like it happened. Brokenhearted in a way. And it makes me feel stupid.
I care too much about this. I only started thinking about it because I'm going back to work Saturday and I realized that practically my entire group of friends will be there. And maybe I'll have to keep in mind how far away I feel when I start falling in love with all of them again.
Just to be safe.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm up. Where's my worm?

Guilt-free coffee beside me. Lemon muffins in the oven. Blogger dashboard open. And it's all before five o'clock.

With a little help from the starving birdie in bedroom number three, I am awake and giving my all toward this first attempt at creating time for so-so-me. Who knows? If it's a stellar success I may have to rename the blog something less mediocre and more inspiring. Don't hold your breath, though.
I don't have my hopes set too high for this experiment. Especially since kidface just came out and asked me if Jed was going to watch tv before going to bed tonight. ( If you're confused: she is convinced that cable tv has the power to ward off evil spirits and battle bad dreams. So we have to watch it after she is tucked in. It's for her own good, you see. We are the selfless-est parents.)

Me: (stirring muffin batter and pondering a post)
Her: (wonky-haired and sleepy-eyed) Mama? Is daddy going to watch some tv before you go to bed?
Me: (bushy tailed and bushy haired) Baby, it's very....uh....late. Too late for tv. Try to go back to sleep. Don't worry. I'll be out here.
Her: Okay, but I have one question.
Me: What is it, Ladyhead?
Her: Why are you baking me a cake so late?

After a little more conversation with my presumptuous little person, we reached an agreement wherein she reads books in her room until her usual wake-up time and I get to sit out here at the table with my coffee and pretend like I'm getting that alone time I crave. Maybe there was some muffin incentive in there somewhere, too.

So far, it's working out fine.

Atop the list of stuff to do before this precious quiet morphs into morning battles about hairstyles and unavoidable spats with the dogs about probing my calves for a morning walk, I'd like to finish my coffee before it turns into coff"eew" and get a jump on my $3 chair project. I know. Exciting stuff.

Well. One hour left before my time turns into plain old time. What are YOU doing this morning?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So my promise to make more stuff and do more stuff has led me a short distance from my computer. I have deliberate gumption to spend more time on the things that make myself and my family reek of gladness. Hard work, but there's a balance to it and I'm slowly finding the repose I was hoping for.
Since my last post about drinking coffee I have played umpteen-hundred games of charades with Ladybug and Jed, washed my feet before getting into bed every night, lost my little dog, found my little dog, and dismantled a $3 chair with a severe intent on making it spectacular. Of course the less whimsical stuff happens, too. Ladybug's cough is just a cough according to the pediatrician. Sam's head is less patchy and more "fuzzy" now and my husband and I are getting used to sleeping in a bed that fits the entire family (pets and all).
I've focused a ballpoint pen down on paper to write things down that are a little less real. My blog is in a funk right now and I feel like I'm cheating by toting my notebook around. Secret creativity love.

Thanks to Sam, I also read The Great Gatsby again last week. During two separate naps. Paperbacks are for needy-babies' mamas. I have a stack next to the rocker handy for his next snooze marathon. It's hard to put down that darling boy when he's being so....quiet. I'm savoring every second because I know the movin-n-shakin days are creeping up on me ninja-style.

In other news,
I would be thrilled to see Fall actually come this year. Maybe asking for a real winter is too much. Dear Mother Nature, Florida here and we're still really hot. Any possible chill coming soon? We like to wear tights and scarves down here, too y'know.

I'm still on a passive search for a new/old lens for my vintage Minolta. It's on the wanna have list, so maybe like the rest of the stuff I secretly wish for it will make its way into my hands at some point when I least expect it.

Well. This is turning out to be one of those boring catch-up posts. Just like I was hoping to avoid. Maybe next time, I'll be bold enough to slap some of my fiction-in-progress on the page and offer a taste of the other stuff. If you're in the area, you can pick up a copy of Drink magazine in November and see a little nugget my bar tending alter-ego wrote about getting served in crowded bars. Or if you can't wait, stop by the Bar BQ Bar on Saturday and probe me for my secrets in person. I'll be making guest appearances there now and then to remind my friends how they ever lived without me these past ten months.

The. End.