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.