Thursday, December 21, 2006

Still Here.....

Yes, I know. Awful of me to simply disappear. Sorry about that. House guests, sick, tired, and so forth with the excuses.
And I feel doubly sorry because I had a picture to share but am now too lazy to walk back upstairs and scan it in. It was a picture of the kids on Santa's lap. Only mildly interesting because David is screaming his head off, sliding off a rather drunk-looking Santa's lap while Bre smiled, safe in the knowledge that the presents are all hers this year.
If it's any consolation to know, I will be greatly suffering in the morning as I have to get up at 2 am for our flight back east. I do not do well with mornings. I do not do well with flying. Honestly, I hate flying. Would very much like to be knocked out on Valium while in air but that just never seems to happen. Something about having kids that need attention. And of course now being pregnant. I am even less thrilled with the flight this year as I will be dealing with morning sickness, air sickness and a nasty little cold. Boo-hoo.

I'm sorry, posting will be most likely be even less frequent (if at all) while we are away.
Until I return, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and new year!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Review: Insignia Video MP3 player

After I posted about Best Buy's gift finder, I got an e-mail from Melanie asking if I'd be interested in occasionally reviewing topics and products. And who doesn't like telling everyone what they think?
On Thursday I received an Insignia video MP3 player.
Having never owned one, I naturally thought that I would need my more computer adept husband to load my music and possibly turn the thing on.
So, I was really surprised at how easy it was to add music, and how fast it worked. The sound is clear, the video is clear and I can't wait to take it on our trip.
It came with a free download from (and the only trouble I'm having there is figuring out which book I want).
It also came with a free 2 month subscription to rhapsody's to-go plan and 5 free downloads. And that was where my trouble started. Because no matter how many times, and how many different ways I tried, I could not get signed up to use it. An hour later and I gave up because I was started to twitch. Even now my eye is starting to get a little buggy.
Aside from that, even my daughter could download to this player.
I would highly recommend this MP3 player, especially for the technically challenged!
Now pardon me, but I have books to browse and music to load!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The One Where I Am Just Too Tired To Care

I am fairly certain that this is an exercise in futility as the winds are still blowing and I am tempting the fates to simply blow a bit harder and once again knock out our power. Most likely right before I can hit publish. But since it is 1 am here and I cannot sleep, what else am I going to do to amuse myself?
Perhaps turn the tv back off and listen to the trees crack, bend and crash?
Wait. Back up a moment. The point of this was to prove that my husband, dear and smart though he is, is wrong. Because a falling tree can in fact fall through the top floor to the bottom floor of a house. He is of the belief that the tree will fall through our roof and rest comfortable on our kitchen table (which creaks when we put a plate on it so I don't see how it would hold up bearing a rather large dogwood but whatever). To this I said "Ha!"
Right. So, we're having a wind storm. A rather nasty one this year (it's actually a normal occurrence this time of year it's just a bad one this time) and we've lost power several times now.
The first time my head exploded. I had just finished sprinkling carpet cleaner and was ready to vacuum. My sister (the one married to Joe's brother) and BIL will be here tomorrow night and as she's a little crazy in the cleaning arena (You know how my MIL is um.... not really into the whole 'clean is a good thing' scene? My sister is on the opposite extreme of the spectrum in that she cannot sleep at night if there is a single unwashed dish in the house. At her last visit I kept leaving plates and cups out and in half-hidden places. It drove her nuts and provided me with hours of amusement for I am evil). So, power out, kids freakin', husband mad about missing his football game, me holding dead vacuum and no one has yet eaten dinner.
So we went out.
By the time we returned, power was back and it was bedtime for all creatures under 10. I quickly ran vacuum and tucked kids into bed. In Bre's room. Together. (ooh. lights flickering. not good. whimper).
Joe had seen a tree next to our house (we are next to a greenbelt) leaning in such a way that we was certain it was going to fall on our house once the winds picked up. He determined that the direct trajectory of said tree would be in David's room. Which to me means that we should all be sleeping in a hotel where there are no trees nearby but to him meant the kids and I should sleep downstairs (and I am ever more thankful that I said Bre should have a queen size bed so that when my parents came to visit there would be a comfy spot for them to snore) and he would remain upstairs in our bed alone because apparently he is immune to falling trees. I guess he's been vaccinated or something.
So off he was to bed and the kids were giggling but soon asleep and I sat down to play with my new MP3 player (which I will tell you about later as I need more time to play with it but people? So. Freakin. Cool.) and no sooner did I have the stuff downloaded then the power went out.
1 minute later, power back on.
I turn on the computer, load my settings, begin to type and........
power gone.
So off to bed with MP3 player (yay for already loaded music and radio feature!) and book.
*Side story (because I never do that!) I am re-reading A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt (which if you've never read it you should, but start with Frank McCourt and Angela's ashes. They are honest and witty and so funny, I have never felt such empathy for someone who, at the time, was such a fool. But it's really a beautiful book and worth the read.) which once caused a fight between my sister and I. She insisted his name was pronounced Muh-lack-key, which to my ears sounds like something my cat would hack up. I said (as it's pronounced anytime I've ever heard it) Mal-uh-keye (long i). Anyway, I have this habit that when I really get into a book, I start reading it in their voice, or at least the voice I imagine them to have which in this case is deep, a bit sandy and with an Irish accent (duh). And I've done this my entire life, but sometimes those accents slip out. So when I'm talking to someone that Irish brogue slips in there and they ask my if I'm having a seizure because I don't do accents any sort of justice. Am I the only one who does that? **
So, off to bed am I with my book and MP3 player until I can't read anymore because my eyes are too heavy. Bre has her tiny corner of the bed and I have my tiny corner and between us David has sprawled out in such a way as to take up the space of 2 adults. Bugger. He proceeds to snore and fart as if we have no right to complain. He very much takes after his father in the snoring and farting department and I began to wonder just when the hell that boy had eaten tacos.
I turned the other way and pretended to not hear the bending and cracking and crashing of trees outside Bre's window.
Unfortunately, Bre had decided some weeks ago that curtains were just the thing to use while performing her swinging monkey routine and they had been ripped nearly all the way off so I could see the trees swinging and swaying.
I shut my eyes and pretended my leg didn't itch, my back didn't ache, the wind was not going to knock over a tree that would soon trap us under layers of rough bark, David was not attempting to further deplete the ozone with his farting and Bre was not bouncing and tossing.
You would think that someone who could not get through the day without a nap would have no trouble sleeping. I guess anxiety over-rides sleep requirements.
I was finally being lulled into sleep with Justin Timberlake bringing sexy back when the power popped back on and now here I am.
Damn wind.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As If I Haven't Had This Argument Before

I've been arguing with myself for 2 days now about whether I'm a giant moron or just crazy.
I'm still not sure who won but I know I have a headache and I remember, clearly, what I hate about pregnancy.

It's the worry.

Because while I've had spotting in the first and second trimester and it's worked out just fine (hello Hurricane), I've also had it work out not so fine. And quite frankly I'm pretty much sick of telling myself to calm down. If this is not going to work out, I wish it would just end so that I could stop making myself nuts.
That said, the thought of miscarrying, again, makes me physically ill. Or that could be morning sickness. Anyway, it's not good and I really wish I could just tell myself to shut up, but I never shut up. I just keep beating myself up.
During my Black Year, I blamed myself. I believed that all my bad deeds had caught up with me and that was my punishment. When David was born, I thought we were even. At last, we were even.
What if I was wrong? That's what I keep asking myself. What if I was wrong and it's not over? What price will I have to pay? And am I ever just going to forgive myself?

Aside from that ever-present thought........
I have never been so tired. With David and Breanna and even the pregnancies that didn't last, I had plenty of energy. This time I can't get through the day without a nap.
Mildly nauseous, and achy joints.
If I can just hold onto my sanity for a few more weeks maybe I'll be ok.

Monday, December 11, 2006

On Gift Finders And Re-Wrapping

A few weeks ago I mentioned a little... glitch?... in Overstock's gift finder.
And then I forgot all about it until I got an e-mail from Melanie Seasons about a gift finder.

But at least it wasn't from Overstock.

She mentioned Best Buy's new gift finder (and really? what the hell is up with all the gift finder's this year? I don't remember this from previous holidays so have we all just gotten really lazy or has someone else received a gift from my MIL?). I was skeptical. Not that it wasn't a good gift finder program thingy, but that it was actually real and not some scam just waiting for me to click and then it could eat my computer and all my preshus, preshus pictures of the widdums! (I think I just threw up a little. Pardon me.)
Anyway, I wouldn't click on it. Instead I sent it to Best Buy. And apparently they have people working there who have no idea what's going on in their own company because lady had no idea what I was talking about. So she clicked on it for me.
And it's legit.

Not only that, but it won't offer up a thighmaster for a 2 year old boy, like some lame ass gift finders.
I don't think I'd use it for my toddler, but it did have some pretty cool ideas for Bre. Like a kid friendly MP3 player. (Actually, I may get that for my parents because if it's good for the tween set, my parents might actually be able to use it without calling me for help). And it was fairly specific. So, if you're thinking of getting some techy gadget but not sure what........
Best Buy's gift finder. Go on, click it.
(And sorry Melanie for my lack of faith in strange e-mails. Hope this makes up for it.)
Did you know that you cannot take wrapped presents on the plane?

Why the hell didn't you tell me?

Seriously. I thought we were friends Internet. I thought we had finally gotten past that time I promised to post certain things and then.... didn't.
Because now I have to unwrap a bunch of presents before I can pack for our trip next week. Presents it took my hours to carefully, neatly wrap. Presents I am now going to have to unwrap and re-wrap later. While I'm on vacation.
Just for that, I'm keeping all my Oreo balls to myself.

Oh! Ok. Don't whimper. I can't stand it when you cry and pout.

Oreo balls- the perfectly disgusting things my husband can't keep his hands off of (and yes he often tells me that he can't keep his hands off my balls which we both find funny because we are 12 year old boys. I think I have said this before).
One bag of Oreos
One 8 oz pkg cream cheese
almond bark

Crush oreos (I use my handy dandy mini chopper or if I'm in a bad mood, a hammer)
Mix (by hand. Ew!) cream cheese until it's one blended mess.
Roll into small (bite size) balls and refrigerate for one hour.
I like using chocolate almond bark and then drizzling in white almond bark but some people like it the other way. Whatever.
Melt almond bark and dunk each ball. Place on wax paper to dry. Hide bag of finished Oreo balls in salad drawer under bag of lettuce that no one else will touch but you.

There. All better?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Why We Don't Go Caroling

"....3 french maids, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree."

"It's 3 french hens you perv."

"Not when I sing it."

"Which partridge do you think it is?"


"Because if it's Danny, that would be pretty damn scary."

"A partridge is a bird."

"Look, when I sing it? It's maids and Susan Dey. Get used to it."

Friday, December 08, 2006

For The Good Cause of Naughty Nurses

So, Jenny over at Mama Drama had a post today about hunger. Specifically, how we can help.
The Hunger Site has a special little yellow button you can click and they will donate food (at no cost to you). You can read more about that in Jenny's post, so go on and read that and then come back because I'm sure you want to know about this Naughty Nurse thing. Right? Right.

Back? Did you click? Good.

So, if we can get 200 people to post and say that they clicked, Jenny is prepared to don her Naughty Nurse costume just for the internet. (Boy there went my stats because you know how many hits I'm going to end up getting for typing Naughty Nurse? I would guess as least as many as I get for 'she had worms in her').
Even better, Jenny has agreed to accept comments here on my blog that say they clicked. But hurry up because it only counts if you comment by tomorrow night!
So go on, get clicking and commenting and spread the word!

Weirdest Of The Weird

I know this may be sort of cheating, but I'm lazy. So.... meh.
Anyway, my MIL is notorious for the strange and occasionally inappropriate things she gives as presents. I thought there was no better way to really get into the holiday spirit then sharing them with you.

1) First up is the shoe holder she gave David for Christmas last year when he was 1. In the box there was a baby's 1st Christmas bib (it was his 2nd) and this scary ass clown that I couldn't give away for free at our yard sale.
The most frightening aspect to me is the real hair used for eyebrows.

2) The much mentioned bedazzled bird barrette. I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of it. If I could remember which grave belongs to the sparkly little sparrow, I would dig it up and show it to you. I'm still not entirely sure that that bird hadn't at one point been alive.

3) The pants-less and used Spongebob Squarepants pillow given to Breanna. It was stained. And smelled funny.

4) The Christmas card she filled out after we gave her our annual gift of cash.
*side story*- We once bought her a digital camera (which she broke less than a month later) for Christmas. We were out of town visiting family and she came into our room (without knocking) at 3 am to ask for batteries for her camera. Not that this is a strange request but what really disturbed me was the thought of just what she was trying to photograph at 3 am.

5) A used floral print photo album. Empty, with the exception of the photo of Henry. I don't know who Henry is but based on the powder blue suit and stooped posture, I'd say Henry had a hard life.

6) The lighted moving picture of Baby Jesus given to Bre.
There is simply nothing more to say about that.
You can just see it towards the bottom left of the picture. Baby Jesus with the angel watching over him.

*side story*- My MIL actually has several lighted moving religious pictures in her house. This same baby Jesus one, Jesus on the cross, Mary, etc. She also has several statues and crosses adorning the walls, mantle and floor in her front room. None of this would be to terribly strange except that in the center of this plethora of religious items, is a ceramic statue of Porky Pig. A pants-less Porky Pig with a beanie hat. And the statues on either side are praying to it.
There are some things that are simply beyond my understanding.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


"I wan some mowney."

"You want money? Why?"

"I wan some mowney for a bunny."

"Where in the world did you get that from?"

"I wan some mowney for a bunny!"

"We are not getting a bunny."

He leaves the room, head down, shoulders sagging and fairly disappointed.

5 minutes later...........

"I wan some mowney for a coowww."

"No farm animals."

Heavy sigh.

"I wan some mowney for some bubbles."


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There Are Times I Think I'm The One Who Is Crazy

So far this week my MIL has:

1) Told me to 'stay black'.
- Completely incomprehensible. Joe thinks maybe she was talking to someone else (we were on the phone. See why I never answer my phone? This is what happens when I do) but that still blows me away. Because really? Who would she be saying this too?

2) Asked me what size David wears, asked me if I was sure about that and then got him a size larger. Really not a big deal until she got upset with me for not telling her that I really did mean what I said.

3) Spent the night of David's birthday party telling and re-telling the tale of her 3-seconds of fame on Deal or No Deal. And with each re-telling the tale became grander and grander. Suddenly, she can't go anywhere without being recognized and she and Howie are tight like family.

4) Called the day after crying, left a message on our machine (Joe had assumed she'd just ask that we go to Vietnamese mass with her because she does that every other Sunday) about how his aunt was in Intensive Care.
Joe calls back all freaked out only to find out she's waiting for the doctor because she has an ear infection.
She starts wailing about certain things I cannot discuss but it ends when she says that only G-d could help her and my husband (I'm totally evil because I still giggle at this) asked her why she was calling him then. She hung up.

Most of the time I can laugh off the things she does and the mean things she regularly says to me. Not because it's ok, but because she's ill. I have to care about what happens to her because she is my husband's mother and it matters to him. And as sad as that is, that's how I view her. As someone I simply have to put up with. If I'm to be perfectly honest, I don't really like her.
I think it would be hard for anyone to like someone who has told you that she wishes you had never married her son, that you're fat and she was never that big when she was pregnant, that you're sloppy seconds and she doesn't consider your first born a part of her family even if her son did adopt her.
But what I'm finding harder and harder to justify is my tolerance of her. She has said mean and hurtful things to her son, my husband. Things that have cut him and they linger. Things she has never apologized for. And while I'd never expect an apology for myself, I will never be able to forgive her for not giving one to him. No matter how sick she is because quite frankly, even that is her choice.
Whenever I am near her I can feel my shoulders tense and I get a headache. She is a petulant child and my ability to manage my feelings towards her is lowering with each visit. And she knows it.
I know that I am angry with her. I hate the way that she has treated her kids, ranking them by order of favorite to black sheep. She has her number one son and the one she is forever upset by, my husband.
I hate that my kids see this. We have tried to show them that this is not the way adults behave, this is not the way good parents treat their children, this is not the way one person treats another.
I know my daughter is especially effected by it because she is at an age where she can easily blend in to the walls. People forget that she's there because she's so quiet and they start talking. So while I know she loves her grandmother, I know too that she understands something isn't right with her.
David is still simply afraid of her. Naturally this is my fault as I'm often told. But I would imagine he'd be afraid of anyone who came running up to him yelling and waving their arms like some scary-ass leprechaun.
You know, this started out to be pretty light-hearted. I guess it's been bothering more than I wanted to admit. Even to myself.
I'm glad we're going away for Christmas this year. I'm glad that I won't wake up Christmas morning knowing that will have already called 20 times to ask if we've been to church yet. I'm glad that she won't be there to take over and break things and tell the grandkids which ones matter more to her this year. I'm glad that Bre won't have to see her cousins opening these great toys she picked out for them while she gets a lighted moving picture of baby Jesus to make up for her non-Catholic mother's heathen nature. I'm glad she's someone else's problem this year.
And if I thought for a minute that I could get away with it? I'd never tell her that I'm pregnant. One day she'd come over for dinner and ask about this strange baby and I'd tell her we stole him from the neighbors. Then at least one of my kids would be free from her.

Monday, December 04, 2006

3 Dead Rabbits, All In A Row

What time is it? My eyes are so gritty. This is ridiculous, really I could wait for a more civilized hour. One where I could maybe see clearly. Because I know I am NOT seeing what I think I'm seeing. Screw it, I'm going back to bed.

*A few hours later......*

Even later this is still stupid. Why am I doing this? I just don't...... wait. Holy shit. I can't believe what I'm seeing! No. Let's try this again because I am so not seeing what I think I'm seeing.
One dead rabbit on the nightstand.
One dead rabbit on my banister.
One dead rabbit on my counter top.
Back and forth walking to look at each of them over and over again as if after seeing each one for the 50th time, I'll see something different. Maybe if I leave them alone for several hours they will go away and I won't have to deal with it and I can pretend to still be my normal neurotic self and not that crazy lady again.
Maybe if I carry them around in my back pocket it will somehow change the truth and then I won't have to accept it.
Except that now I'm the crazy lady with three dead rabbits in her back pocket.
One on my nightstand.
One on my table.
One on my computer desk.
Maybe it's the light?
No, they look just as dead when I'm inside or outside.
Wave high to the neighbors. Sorry about the dead rabbits, no, I'm not terribly frightening or crazy. It's just that........
Three dead rabbits lined up in a row.

Not changing.

I kicked them and they're still dead.

I blinked but they're still there.

I shook them but they stayed dead.

Three dead rabbits lined up in a row.

Holy Shit.

And Then There Was You.....

You. My much longed for baby. You came at a time when I had begun to believe we would never have you. Though you were planned for, you were very much a surprise.
You were insistent on having your way of things before you were even born. You detested my doctor appointments so much that there were times where they could not get your heartbeat because you refused to sit still. And when you were too big to move around, you would kick furiously at anything that dared to touch my belly. At least, until your father would try to feel your kicks. Then you stubbornly gave him the butt and went to sleep.
You decided when it was too boring to stay in there a moment longer. It was pretty much a shock to me to have my water break all over my bedroom floor at 1 am, 3 weeks before you were due. Sometimes I think you did it because you knew how it would make me laugh to see your father run around the house, and nearly outside, in his underwear completely flustered about what to do next.

And then you were here. This tiny little boy, all thin wailing arms and full lips that took up half your face. 6 lbs 7 oz. A peanut. I have never seen your father so afraid. He was certain that he would somehow end up breaking you if he breathed to hard in your direction. When they put you in my arms, you looked at me and I knew that our whole world was right there. In your eyes.
You didn't cry very much which at first was a concern. Soon the nurses were assuring me that this was simply the honeymoon period. That as soon as we got home, the crying would begin.
But it didn't.
You fussed a bit when you were hungry, or that one time I tried to give you a bath in our room, but mostly you were just content.
Your sister was in awe of you. After bugging us for years to have a brother, she finally had her wish. I had expected her to be jealous or to change her mind. But she didn't.
The nicest thing she ever said was when she stated that she know longer could remember when you weren't a part of our lives. I hope you remain close because I can see, even now, just how much the two of you love each other and that makes everything worth it.

You play with your hands which, I think, is a trait you get from me. You still have those perfectly full lips and those bright blue eyes.

We nicknamed you Hurricane. It has fit you well. You are certainly a force in this house, and we wouldn't have it any other way. May you always be so strong as you are now.

Sometimes, to be sure that you have my full attention, you grab my face. Your eyes widen and you use your 'serious' voice. I'm not sure what it is you are trying to tell me, but I love it when you do that. I am The Mamas. You make sure to remind me of this every hour as you point to me and say my name.

We celebrated your birthday this weekend by throwing you a party which you enjoyed so thoroughly I found myself wishing we could do it every day if it meant we could hear you laugh that way.
At one point, I asked you to kiss your uncle because he had to leave. You did, then you began pointing around the room at people you wanted me to carry you to as you wanted to kiss them as well. "Dat one. An dat one." Over and over again you pointed and kissed.
You have a strange obsession with sticking things in my mouth. In this case a little party horn, but usually your fingers, your toes, a block or goldfish. But never your M&M's. They are not for sharing.
We played Blue's Clues at your party which was very exciting for you. But the best part of the day as far as you were concerned, was the cake and peanut butter ice cream.

You had your piece and some of your father's and most likely would've continued if we hadn't brought out the presents.

I love your insistence on doing things for yourself. Even if it means a lot more clean up or taking longer before we can leave the house on an errand, it's worth it just to see the pride in your eyes.

Tonight we were playing with your new blocks which consisted of me building a tower and you pointing until I nodded my head. At that, you would pretend to be a dinosaur and knock the tower down. Your play is so different from the way your sister played, but I am enjoying every moment of it. It's amazing to get this insight.
After you were done with the towers you knocked me over, lifted my shirt to see my belly and gave me raspberries. It was such a surprise I couldn't contain my laughter. This seemed to encourage you to continue until you were laughing to hard to be very effective.
Those are the moments that are so good, so pure, it nearly hurts from being so happy.

Happy 2nd birthday David. May every year be as good and pure and wondrous as your first 2.
The Mamas.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day 30

And I thought it would never end! But here we are. Day 30 and my last NaBloPoMo entry.
So, what did I learn?
Well, it's become obvious to me that I write better when I don't feel obligated to write every day. When I feel like I have more time to put into something, the result is much more interesting than I think most of the things I've written this month are.
I guess writing every day is not for me. Or maybe it's just feeling obligated to write every day that doesn't work for me.
Whatever the case, I will be really happy to return to normal after this. And I will be really happy to not have to post anything this weekend if I don't want to.
Still, on the positive side, I'm kind of proud of myself for sticking it out even when I really wanted to just ignore this for awhile.
Thanks for sticking it out with me. I promise it will get better!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Quest For A Decent Christmas Picture

Since the kids were fairly happy (read: destroying the house) I thought that tonight would be a good night to take a picture for our Christmas cards. I got Hurricane dressed while Bre changed and everyone was all happy and ready to go.
Until it was actually time to take the pictures.
That was the moment that Hurricane decided he didn't like pictures, he didn't like clothes and who the hell invented shoes because he'd very much like to beat them with his shoes. And pictures? Really? He stuck his butt in the air, his head to the ground and screamed.
And then he screamed some more.

So I did the only rational thing.
I bribed him with M&M's.

I felt bad for Bre since she had to sit there and just smile no matter what Hurricane did.
And of course, it wasn't long before he had chocolate on his sweater (melt in his mouth not in his hands my ass).

In the end, we went with the first picture I took. It was the only one where he didn't have chocolate on his sweater and they were both smiling. Next year? Photoshop.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Best Gift Finder Ever!

A friend pointed out a little glitch in's gift finder and I've been playing with it ever since.
Because what 9 year old girl wouldn't want their very own BBQ set?
Actually, many of the things suggested seemed geared to someone else. Like tents and flares (although, now that I think about it, I would've loved getting flares for Christmas at 9. But then, I was evil).
When I entered Hurricane's information, it became clear that there was most definitely something wrong.

Because I am fairly certain that my son is not a dog. Yet.......



They did come up with this useful toy.........

The lacrosse stick, for when your sister is not in Weeble-braining range.

And finally, the hot gift item for toddlers this year........

A thighmaster. It's never too early to get rid of those chubby little thighs!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Power Outages Suck

No, I'm not cheating. Really. And if my post below can't count so be it but I'm sticking this NaBloPoMo out. Of course I make it to the final week only to have it ruined by that stupid snow. Naturally.
We lost power last night just in the middle of my trying to publish. 5 minutes later the poltergeists started getting mad and our lights and tv started flickering and the volume went up and down and the kids started crying and I yelled "Caroline! Stay away from the light!" until Joe told me to cut it out because now I was freaking him out a little. Then it went black.
2 houses down the street they had power.
We did not.
We did not have power until about an hour ago.
It was very cold this morning in my house.




All we had that worked was the gas fireplace and it's simply not enough to heat up the whole house.
There was talk (from Joe) of staying at my MIL's house tonight (for his nuts) which was quickly vetoed (by my gagging, sputtering and choking which he took to mean "hell to the no!". And it did mean that, thank you very much).
I took the kids to lunch and then we were going to go to the library but Hurricane fell asleep and by then the power was back, thank you PUD!!

Anyway, really, I love electricity. I spent a good 20 minutes turning on every light in the house and running the vacuum for the sheer joy of being able to. And it was probably a good idea as even though we had only been without power for 19 hours, it looks as though our home is residence to squatters. Toys, blankets, pillows, socks everywhere.
We are so very good at the panic thing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Any Takers?

Pardon me? Does this belong to you?

It's not that I don't love snow, I do. Really. I've missed it since moving here. It's just... well... harumph.
See, residents here are not really used to it. Snow, I mean. Not used to driving in it especially. It's a bit like that part in the Nightmare Before Christmas where Jack sees snow for the first time. You know, the part where he starts singing "What is this?" Yeah. That's us and snow.
I grew up with blizzards so 4 inches of snow is really not such a very big deal to me. But here? 1 inch of snow is enough to get an hour or 2 off of school. 4? Bre is very much enjoying her 5 day weekend.
I, on the other hand, am very much ready to drive her to school and just tell her to wait for them to open.
But I won't.
I'll just make some more hot chocolate and sit in front of my fireplace and pretend that it won't all melt away by tomorrow evening.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


(I'm sorry if this is sloppy or short but I'm typing with socks on my hands because my hands are frozen and I can't find my gloves. But they aren't just any socks. they are pink and silver and sparkly striped knee highs belonging to Bre. She is slightly amused and just a little bit embarrassed that I am her mother.)
Hurricane calls Bre 'Banna'. Not just 'Banna' but he says it so that it comes out as a question. "Bah-nuh? Hold still while I hit you with my Weeble." or "Bah-nuh? Quick, slip me some M&M's. Dad isn't looking!"
In fact, most of his names come out as a question.
He says daddy, of course. Paw-paw for grandpa in this long drawn out way.
For grandma it's Bamma with what can only be described as a very southern accent. It's a wonder to me how a child who has never been to Texas, can mimic that slow drawl.
But my very favorite, and most inexplicable, is what he calls me.
I am not mama. No mommy, mother, ma, hey lady.

I am The Mamas.

No matter where we are or what we are doing, he calls me The Mamas. Occasionally, simply Mamas, but always plural, as though there are so very many of me and that is the only way he can explain all of the things that he sees me do during the day.
"The Mamas? Tickle?"

"The Mamas? We go bye-bye?"

"The Mamas? M&M's?"

I know that eventually, like his sister, I will simply become 'Mom'. Usually accompanied by an eye-roll and sigh. For now, it feels so good to be so many things to this little man.

Friday, November 24, 2006


I think about it and my eye starts twitching. There is this pulsating light behind my eye that just makes my head throb. My hands ache from clenching them as does my jaw.
Thanksgiving with my in-laws? It blows. People?
6 years and for some reason I still think it's going to be different. Because I am stupid. So very, very stupid. Because it is never different.
Everyone was supposed to bring something. And they did. My youngest BIL made mashed potatoes (something he has never done before so he needed a lot of instruction).
We were supposed to sit down and eat at 5.
One SIL didn't show up until about 5 minutes before, then handed me a few dishes and said 'these need to bake'. I'm still amazed that I didn't dump them on her head. My oven was full, my kitchen was full, my hands were full. She turned around and complained about having to make all this food.
Can I tell you? The only thing that was requested of her was her green bean casserole and I think, maybe, her artichoke dip. No one asked her for goat cheese enchiladas and butternut squash lasagna and broccoli salad and whatever!
I bit the inside of my cheek.
We sat down to eat. My FIL was sick so he didn't come. My MIL. She showed up at 6:15 surprised that we hadn't waited for her. This was after she played "I'm not coming, nobody loves me" on the phone. Now, my MIL's normal tone of voice is what any sane person would consider yelling, so her whisper is easily heard from 2 houses down. So I don't know who she thought she was kidding when she leaned into Wife's side and whispered about how messy my house was (are you kidding me? Have you simply not seen your house in the past oh, ever?). Then she says that we have nice 'motherly' figures while her daughter is so skinny. I believe this is her nice way of saying that we are fat. Though, I'm not terribly surprised considering she also called my sister fat when she was pregnant. This from a woman who claims to weigh 95 lbs. Right.
Dinner is over and everyone but Wife gets up and leaves the table. To sit on my couch. And watch me clean. And ask for leftovers to take home.
Wife, who at that point had vertigo and was really not feeling good, helped me clean up as much as she could. We may not always like each other, we may not get along well, but I have more respect for her than I did. The others couldn't even be bothered to pick up their own plates. MIL made a few more loud comments and demands, scared the crap out of Hurricane and left. The ingrates never said thank you. Never a "can we help clean up?" Nothing.
And you know what?
I think I've had it. I'm tired of being treated like I don't exist. They consider this house to be their brother's so it's alright to break my things (yes they did) and make a mess because I don't count.
So this was the last Thanksgiving I am going to be doing for as long as I possibly can. Next year, we're going to Wife's house (yes. She already invited everyone) and the year after, I'm going to Disneyland.
Yep. That's right. Screw you ingrates, I'm spending the holidays with a mouse.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Random Weird Things Around My House

So I finally got around to taking pictures for Jenny and I realized that maybe the weirdness is subjective. Yes? Because while I may find the fact that we have a roll of John Wayne toilet paper on display in our living room perfectly normal, others may.... not... so much. Yes.
So, I had already sent her a picture of John Wayne. Those who have been with me from the beginning or whoever it is that keeps poking around in my archives (hey, let me know if you can find my mustard vs ketchup post OK? Thanks.) may remember that this painting has cost me much angst.

Felt. Angst. Woe. I hate looking at this picture because I know I promised to burn him and put him out of his misery but instead he is sitting in his closet facing the wall.

I did, however, end up getting a better idea of who Jenny is when she asked if this was from a pirate cowboy movie because that would be... you know.... like. Good. That and the zombie thongs pretty much seals her fate. She's a perv. And I love her for it!

Anyway. Donald Duck, the Packers bobblehead thing that my husband refuses to let me take out of the package and mess with. Bobbleheads freak me out. As in, I cannot pass one when it is moving. It gives me the creeps. So maybe the bobblehead isn't so much weird as I am.

This. G-d. I don't even know how to explain this. Or why we still have it. It's an incense burner my sister got me in Germany. But I don't burn incense. I haven't used incense since I was in high school and I didn't want my parents to know what I was really up too. And you can't really see it but there is this perfectly round little hole in his mouth where the smoke is supposed to come out.
What is a backpacking clock-maker with a pepper mill smoking these days?

Petrified incense. Which is funny since we never used this thing.
I think the strangest thing in this house is us.
My MIL's house on the other hand........
There's the box of pictures from dinners she's eaten. There's the box of pictures of people she's seen at church (no she does not know them). There's the box of pictures she's picked up here and there at flea markets and Good Will (no she doesn't know them either). There's the box of pictures of pictures of her in front of flowers. There's the live tree she has planted (not in a planter) in the living room. Headless barbies, 4 sequined dresses that are identical, different sizes (none of them hers) and hanging in the closet with other random bits of clothing.
I could seriously be at this all night.
Instead I've decided to start Thanksgiving early and am very much enjoying this strawberry Bacardi Silver. Am possibly going to enjoy another. Am possibly slightly tipsy since starting this post. Have had to hit backspace far more often then is normal. Am going to now go watch some bad movies on late night TV!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Mommy Gets Bored........

Look! I love duckies! Quack Quack, Ducky!
Where'd he go? Mamas? Did you see my Ducky?

Aw Dangit woman! Whywhywhywhy?

You're so mean!! You evil wretched woman! I want my Ducky!!

Get it out!


You're just not right in the head, you know? What kind of crazy gets her kicks out of torturing a poor sweet boy like me?

There. Happy? Are you amused now? Was it fun to watch me spin in circles trying to get my Ducky?

Just so you know, I'll be waking you up every 2 hours for no apparent reason. Something about ducks, I think.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Dread.

I know I know... I'm supposed to be talking about Bre's birthday party and all but really? How much do you need to know?

Doesn't this kind of tell you it was over the top?
Kid's throwing sticky frogs at my wall (they were totally supposed to, I just failed to anticipate the amount of goo that could be left on the wall afterwards), cake, presents, games, crazy.
I already told you I got my hair stuck in the vacuum (owowowowow... genius!). And that I burned my hand on that stupid hot glue damncraftprojecthell! (Stupid!) And ruining Bre's leftover cake. (More stupid!)
Whatever. It's over. She's 9. She's killing me with her Hannah Montana.
No, the dread I'm thinking of it what's coming on Thursday.
See, Thanksgiving and I do not get along. This Thanksgiving will mark 7 years since my mother died. 7 years since that Thanksgiving gravy train ended. Actually, since she died in the morning, we didn't even have Thanksgiving that year. But let's not get back into that mire again OK?
Let's talk about Thanksgiving since then.
Because they have all been spent here. With my in-laws. Last year we celebrated by discussing Neuticals and how they may or may not benefit one of my BIL's who was not there for this burn. We also celebrated by my MIL calling me sloppy seconds and she doesn't understand why anyone would want sloppy seconds. Cheers!

This is all pretty typical for the holidays now.

Except that this year I won't have to cook it all myself. (yay!). I wonder if I'll have to clean it all up by myself though...... hmmm.

No, this year will be extra special because my BIL and his wife (they hate us. the feeling is mutual) have decided to come over too. Too fully understand just how wonderful this will be, allow me to elaborate.

BIL and his wife hate each other. They have 2 kids and just bought a new house to 'fix' their marriage. They will go out of their way to not touch each other. There will be much yelling (mostly she at him) and much glaring (them at everyone and possibly Joe at them).

And my MIL? She loves the wife.

She loves her because Wife is Catholic and therefore perfect and everything I am not.

Wife is not sloppy seconds. Wife had a good Catholic wedding (we went to Vegas which means I am the devil). Wife can do no wrong even when she is verbally abusing MIL's son in front of his family.

Wife is a miserable person. I don't think she knows how to be happy. Nothing is ever right enough for her. She hates me, has since the first time we met.

I do not regret the fact that we live so far apart as our visits are rare and brief. I know she feels the same. But to make things just that much better, Joe is, and has been, furious with this brother for some time. He didn't want him here for Thanksgiving but I could not think of one plausible reason that they couldn't come given that the rest of his family will be here. Which means that in between the cooking and tending to the kids and fielding insults on my inadequacy from my MIL and avoiding Wife, I will be playing referee/interceptor to my husband and his brother.

I have this knot, see? Right there. Yes, that's it. There in between my shoulder blades, which yes thank you they are very sore. What's that? Tension? Stress? Me? Why no, I mean.... no. Couldn't be! We do this all the time. See? I'm smiling. Yes, I know my MIL is calling me names but really, it's alright. She kids! Really! OK, so maybe I don't need her to like me. Yes. That's it exactly. I don't. Need.


Oh, terribly sorry. I didn't mean to ruin the nice press of your pants by clinging to them, really. It's just that.... well.....

Can I pretty please come to your house for Thanksgiving this year?

Monday, November 20, 2006

52 Hours

That's how long it takes before you completely lose your mind after listening to Hannah Montana. Specifically, listening to Hannah Montana's Best of Both Worlds over and over again because someone armed your daughter wtih her CD and the means to play it but forgot the headphones for the love of frogs!
I could maybe handle listening to the cd occasionally, but she keeps hitting that back button on the cd player and it has me dreaming of the days when my worst musical nightmare was Elmo's number 5 rap. I never thought I'd be longing for those days.
I guess being 9 means that it isn't cool to listen to all those kiddie music tapes that her dad has been stockpiling for the past 5 years. I have 5 different versions of John Jacob Jingleheimer Shmidt (or however you spell that), one of them sung by what can only be described as a squirrel on crack.
Now it's High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and.... I feel a little sick, sorry...... Hillary Duff.
I draw the line at ParisLohanBritSkanks. Thanks, but I finally got her to stop saying everything was 'hott'. Let's not go back.

All that said, she was disappointed this afternoon when I told her the cd player was broken.

So that's one more mommy lie on my list. She can tell her therapist about it in 20 years.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I have to admit, this posting every day business is exhausting. Which is why I'm sitting here in the middle of Desperate Housewives trying to decide whether or not I could make a whole post about Mike the plumber and how hot he is. Hot. Very. Yes. Thank you.
Yeah. Not able to do a whole post there. Hmmm.

I think maybe one free pass for this posting every day thing would have been nice. That's what you can get me for Christmas. A free pass for a day.
We'll all thank you.

Not happening? Oh fine. Then I suppose you'll just have to be satisfied with this. For tonight. Because I would really like nothing more than to go to bed and not think about cake and frog slime and wrapping paper for a few hours.

Would also not like to think about the fact that I left Bre's cake in the oven so that the dog couldn't get to it and then sort of forgot about it and ruined it when I was making dinner tonight. Really hoping that she forgets that I did that. Eek!

**Because you asked, fondant is this really not so pleasant tasting thing that some bakers use when decorating cakes. It's moldable, like play-do. Sort of tastes the same to me as well. But it gives a really smooth and pretty appearance to cakes. Or it can be used to get really crazy and do what I did.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Summing it up.

Party over. Cake good. MIL crazy. Daughter happy. Mom sleepy. Kids. Lots of kids. My hair +vacuum= baaaaddd. Also? ow. Also? Hot glue +finger= ow. Also? Possibly going for the record on how many times I can injure myself in one day.
MIL kept wishing Bre a happy 'beerday'.

Lots of pictures to follow when I'm more coherent. Need mas tequila.

This totally counts as a post.

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Fingers May Be Permanently Green. And Blue. And Red.

But her birthday cake is done. And it was fun. (Crap! Rhyming again. Sorry.)
Fondant is..... interesting? to work with. I wonder if there is a way to make it a little stiffer because the elephant keeps sinking.

Those little balls? There at the base of the tree? Coconuts.
What? I had extra fondant.

Which is why the frog (yes, that's a frog) is eating the fly and the snake wraps around the cake.

Also, why there are fish in the pond.
I ran out of room so I had to write her name in the back. I just hope it tastes good!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday

It seems rather silly that every year, your birthday takes me by surprise. I've said it before, but how did another year go by so quickly?

How did you go from this tiny, almost 7 lb wonder? This dependent, perfectly delicate pink bundle..............
to this beautiful, thoughtful, independent young lady?
I've often stated the many ways we are alike, and the many ways we are so very different. One of the best ways you are different from me is your confidence. I love how sure you are of who you are. I was always too aware of every little thing I did and it was always wrong. From the way I walked to the way I spoke. You walk as though you own the ground your feet are touching.
Don't ever lose that.
I love the way you are with your brother. I wonder if you know just how much he adores you. You aren't here to see him calling for you after you leave for school. He will stand by the window in the afternoon waiting for your bus to show up. I know he bothers you when you are trying to do your homework but it isn't what you think. He's just so excited to have his sister home because you always come up with something fun to do. You were the first person to make him laugh.
I hope you will always be close because that is what I've always wanted for myself. Close siblings.
There are times where I see my mother in you. When you are trying your very best to be a lady, sitting properly and speaking softly.
And then you do something so crazy, just to assure me that you are, in fact, my daughter.
There are many things that I want for you, many things I want you to understand. Mostly I want you to know that I am here. Even when you think you're in trouble. I am here. And nothing will ever make you not be my daughter. Nothing will make me stop loving and caring for you.
You are turning 9. The last year before you get double digits as you so kindly pointed out to me. And still, as before, I look at you and see that little pink squinty face with those big, wise green eyes staring back at me from our hospital bed.
Your father sees that little girl who wanted nothing more than to sit next to her father and be a princess. And you were.
For him, you always will be.
I love to see you get so excited about even the little things. I love to see your mind kick into overdrive as you come up with the next great scheme. Even if it means that I have to clean blue oatmeal out of my towel drawer.
You and your brother give me hope. Because through you, I can see all that is right with this world.

Happy 9th birthday Breanna Caitlyn.