31 December 2009
28 December 2009
15 December 2009
30 November 2009
05 November 2009
Cute, ain't she? No, her hair isn't really that dark, she just needs a shampoo. And lest you think I've been ignoring her hygiene, her hair looks like that about six hours after washing it. It oils up FAST. And to add to that joy, she has dandruff like crazy. And it's not just a little flake here and there, her entire fricking head is peeling. You lift up any section of hair and you see the entire top layer of skin in sections waiting to peel off. It's down-right creepy I tells ya. Other than that, she's adorable. Honest.
02 November 2009
29 October 2009
28 October 2009
15 October 2009
07 October 2009
The following is yet another article I wrote for the neighborhood parenting newsletter here. It's a tad dated since it mentions my having only the two kids, but I'm fairly confident you can pretend.
A lot of people accost me on the street and demand to know how I’ve managed to raise two children, ages five and one, not to be serial killers and/or international terrorists. I’ll tell you what I tell all of them: being the mother of 2.5 children makes me an instant parenting expert. It’s as if all of the right answers just flow into my brain like whispers from heaven. This is why I rush up to you and shout parenting advice at you in front of your children. You’re welcome!
Now, word limits prevent me from telling you absolutely everything you need to know to be as great a mother as I am, but I would be remiss (and I am also completely incapable of not doing this) if I didn’t share at least one parenting tip with you: the most important thing you need to teach your children is independence. If you don’t teach them they can live without you, they’ll be living with you until they’re 47 and they’ll wind up on the evening news being hauled away by federal officers with you crying and running behind, insisting that his or her anti-government club had no part in that international incident CNN’s been talking about for the past month. It’s embarrassing, believe you me, particularly when I make fun of you publicly for it.
So how do you teach small children independence? First off, these little freeloaders need to learn to earn their keep. Unfortunately, U.S. Child Labor Laws prevent you from making your kids get a proper job. The people who made these laws don’t have 47-year-old children in a federal prison, either, so what do they know? Fortunately for your kids though, those laws are very loosely enforced. Feel free to send your kids out knocking on doors, selling their various craft projects they’ve stayed up until 2a.m. making for unreasonably high sale prices, all for your retirement fund. And their ultimate well being of course. Naturally. Mind you, make sure to make your kids throw out their really crappy efforts, ‘cause those lousy things will never sell. It’s important they learn when they’re just plain not good enough for the rest of the world. Also make sure the little worker bees are home before dark or the cops will start to catch on. Lastly, teach ‘em to keep their traps shut or we’re all going to prison. And heaven knows that would be counterproductive.
Besides mental and physical independence, your kids need to learn emotional independence. If there’s one thing your kids do, it’s whine and cry, am I right? I know I am. I’ve seen them do it in Safeway. And I know if it’s even half as annoying to you as it is to me, then you’ve got to nip that problem in the bud. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that terrifying surprise will be your biggest asset here. As soon as you see one of your children look like they’re about to cry, quickly rush up to them and shout, “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!” in their faces. Only two things will happen at this point: they’ll instantly stop (success!) or they’ll cry harder. Don’t you give up, mom! You just keep screaming for as long as they’re crying and guaranteed, either they’ll eventually give in and stop or one of you will pass out. Either way, you’ve won this battle! Repeat as necessary. Sure, my five-year-old walks in a circle for hours at a time and stutters a bit, and the one-year-old sits in the corner all day twitching and chewing on his arms, but at least they’re quiet. And independent. Now, you see there? Prime parenting at its finest. This one’s on the house, folks.
Mad props to my lovely and funny friend, Lisa, who read rough draft after rough draft of this piece without complaining. She also made wonderful contributions in the form of pointing out when things were really funny, things weren't funny at all, what could make sections funnier (which I added), and what parts were just downright creepy (I removed those, trust me). Many thanks, Lisa!
And finally, I used to have a bit in there about Machiavelli but too many people didn't get the joke so I took it out. But I still maintain that confusing The Prince with a self-help parenting guide is pure comedic genius. So there.
01 October 2009
What I'm doing is simple: waiting for Peanut's laundry to dry (that kid has soaked his sheets for the LAST TIME, and by LAST TIME I mean NOWHERE NEAR THE LAST TIME), writing on my blog, and eating Cookie Crisp cereal.
I'd like to point out some things with that last one. First, I grew up eating Cheerios and that's it. If I was good (read: rarely) I could get a box of Apple Jacks. But Cheerios was usually all because that's what was healthy and darn it, that's what my mother wanted for us. And I swore I would do the same with my beautiful healthy children. Right up until last week when I took a gander at not just Cookie Crisp cereal in the cereal isle, but Cookie Crisp Sprinkles cereal! Oh yes. They make it. And it tastes like sugar cookies. I've never had the regular kind of Cookie Crisp, but I can't possibly comprehend how it can be any better than the Sprinkles variety.
Second, I had just finished eating an actual sugar cookie (thanks Holly!), contemplated its awesome power of sugarness, and thought I would care for another. However, not wishing to dizzy myself jiggling when I walk, I decided against it. Until I remembered that I had just fed PW her first bowl of Sprinkles Cookie Crisp that very morning and that I wouldn't mind "tasting" it in a very large cereal bowl with lots of milk.
Third, let me summarize this for you: I ate a sugar cookie at 10 in the morning. And then I chased it with a bowl of miniature sugar cookies drowning in milk.
Well, is your curiousity satisfied? I HOPE SO. You made me eat Sprinkles Cookie Crisp cereal to do it! Now apologize!!
30 September 2009
Speaking of life and death, guess what Peawhistle did to me last week? SCARED THE POPSICLES OUT OF ME, THAT'S WHAT. So we're in the parking lot of the grocery store and I'm unloading my many, many children to go shopping. I have Peanut in the cart seat and PW is standing next to him while I get SweetPea in the sling. My back was turned to the older two while I was extracting SP and I hear a sick-sounding thwack. I turn around to see PW on the asphalt, flat on her back, head in a puddle of water. My first thought was that she was screwing around as usual and I told her to get up. She lifted her head and let it fall back on the ground in the puddle and she stopped moving. I went to help pull her up and she was completely limp and her eyes went cross-eyed and then started to move in circles. She didn't say a word or make a sound as I started screaming her name to wake up, all while trying to pick her up unsuccessfully. After a while she came around enough so that she wasn't steady, but she wasn't limp anymore, and as I asked her if she was OK she started to freak out and demanded to know why I sounded "weird"(-er than normal). That's when I threw everyone back in the car and sped over to the pediatrician's office. The triage nurse came out and sat with PW while the receptionist called the ambulance. My dear friend Ethel willingly dropped everything (she was in the middle of making dinner by the way) to race over and take Peanut and SweetPea to my house along with her own daughter, Pippy Longstocking. Fortunately, Pippy and Peanut are very close in age and get along very well, or as well as two nearly 2-year-olds can get along. Pippy is Peanut's only friend, which made his evening a little more fun anyway, even if Ethel's (and Fred's by association) evening was all shot to heck as a result of the events. She graciously stayed and entertained my children until The Husband could get home from work and take her and Pippy back home to a very, very late dinner. I will forever be in debt to Ethel and the entire Mertz family for that.
The ambulance strapped PW all up, loaded her in, and we shot off out of there with lights and sirens blazing. They had called around to various ERs and the Children's Center at the main Hopkins hospital had said they were intensely interested in seeing her (and you recall my thoughts on medical professionals being intensely interested in my children). So we flew down to Baltimore in rushhour traffic. The sirens made the stop-and-go traffic not so bad as most people are still good about getting out of the way for an ambulance, even when there seems to be no place for them to really go. However, one or two motorists blew my mind a bit. Here's the ambulance, flying down the highway at 75 mph with lights and sirens and the whole deal, and there were still people who thought it was going too slow and actually cut us off. I'm no cop as we all know, but isn't that illegal or something? And extremely unethical? And supremely jerky? Yeah, well I'll see you in HELL you jerks. Man alive.
So we get to the ER and they rush her off to the trauma unit as a "Bravo," whatever that means (sounds important though!), but they wouldn't let me follow her. Why, because I'm going to start accidentally doing surgery on her or something? I wasn't screaming and freaking out, but I would sure like to see where the crap they're taking my child. Eventually a social worker came and escorted me around the long way to her room, which looked more like an operating room to me (comforting!), and let me stand by the doorway while several people hovered over her. I also had to sign release forms because they were video taping the whole thing, presumably for teaching purposes, or just kicks and giggles later on. Either one.
She had a CT scan on her head and neck to look for internal bleeding or cracks, none of which were found fortunately. And then came the question of why the kid fell in the first place. She kept telling everyone she just closed her eyes, fell asleep, and that's the last thing she remembered. I didn't see anything seizure-like when I saw her on the ground, and nothing else in her recent history would explain why she would just pass out like that. So that is still a mystery to some extent. We're all hoping and assuming she was just playing on the cart, slipped off, hit her head and then passed out, but we can't be positive as I wasn't watching. But they did an EKG on her heart just to rule out any heart defects or issues that would have caused her to lose consciousness.
They considered keeping her overnight until the final results of the CT scan came back, but given that the preliminary results looked fine and she was back to her old self, PeaWhistle-esque Personality in tact, they released her with Hannah Montana stickers and sent her home. I tell you, I fell in love with PW all over again. And not just because I thought I was going to lose her, but I realized just how much I take the little thing for granted. Within 10 minutes of her being admitted to the ER she had the entire trauma staff in her room cracking up laughing at everything she said. She is an absolute riot, no doubt. Combine that with her adorable little singsong voice and you have quite the crowd-pleaser (who knows when she's captured an audience's attention and hams it up to the Nth degree). They asked me if she's like this all the time, and that's when I realized how lucky I am to have such a fantastic kid. I'm used to her funny conversations and cute little voice, and really, really bad jokes that make you laugh anyway, so I don't always think of her as something special. She's just Peawhistle, you know? But she is unique and special and I'm so glad that she came out of this with just a concussion and nothing worse. And I'm so glad she's mine. I love you Peawhistle!
AND SO HELP ME IF YOU EVER SCARE ME LIKE THAT AGAIN I WILL TOTALLY KILL YOU. Love you, Sweetheart!
Rudolph the Poop-torsoed Reindeer has staged a return more historic than MacArthur storming the Philippines! Unfortunately, my kitchen linoleum is not book-famous as they cut it out of the photo for printing, which means only my money is famous now, in that it was my money that bought the stupid cake in the first place. Not even my colon, which graciously digested the cake, is famous as no one cares that I sacrificed my health to ingest such a wreckacular wonder. I really should be getting awards for this kinda selfless stuff, you know? Something big made of gold with the words "Humble Genius" somewhere on there. Yeah, that should do it.
14 September 2009
So I had the baby. And by "the baby," I mean adorable SweetPea. As it turns out, the name fits her to a T. She is not only very sweet, but was the smallest at birth, too. Not the size of a pea, but you get the gist.
So here's what happened. The blood pressures went up and up and up, they tested my urine, it had craploads of protein in it making me officially pre-eclemptic (3-for-3 ladies and gentlemen!), and it was decided on that Monday to immediately expel the infant from my hefty womb. So she was scheduled for eviction on that Thursday evening. I had a headache Monday and into Tuesday, but it was manageable. By Wednesday afternoon it was a screaming migraine and I knew that as soon as I called Labor and Delivery, they'd induce me right away (as bad migraine is a sign of worsening pre-eclempsia and all that). So I waited for Peawhistle to get home from her very first day of kindergarten and I limped to a phone and called and sure enough they told me to come and in and bring all my hospital crap with me. [Fun sidestory: on PW's first day of preschool I went to the hospital for a high risk appointment and they wound up keeping me there and inducing Peanut; PW's first day of kindergarten I would up going to the hospital and being induced with SweetPea--totally not even planned, but way for her siblings to completely overshadow PW's personal milestones, eh?)
And it is here and now that I will openly whine and complain about one of the greatest gift God has ever given me. WORST LABOR EVER. FOR ME ANYWAY. Well, technically the worst delivery ever would have resulted in no baby and/or my demise, so not really the worst delivery ever, BUT certainly very painful. There was nothing the staff could do to assist in my dialation as I was just barely at 3cm when I went in Wednesday afternoon and 3cm is all they can get you to with their magic pills and balloons and whatever else they can think to shove up there, so all they could do was stick me on pitocin to start contractions. And 12 hours later I had progressed to a whopping 4 cm! Hooray for all that fricking excruciating pain for nothing! I've always wondered what going into labor naturally would feel like since I've heard forcing it with pitocin is a million times worse, and I had high hopes for this one, but oh well. And it is usually because of this unnecessarily accelerated pain that most folks on pitocin with no signs of natural labor starting any day soon choose to go with an epidural, as I did. And wouldn't you know it, it was medical student day there in L&D and I had a student try it three different times in three different places in my spine, all without result, before her mentor stepped in and supposedly did it right, also without pain relief in any form. But at least my back still hurts from it nearly three weeks later, so that's good anyway! And the best part? Dr. SourPuss who looked like she was in labor every second I saw her and yet, not being pregnant, I'm fairly sure she wasn't and thus had absolutely no excuse for her major attitude problem. This is the same woman who thought my hoo-hoo was her personal mitten. Remember the OJ trial where OJ kept trying to fit that glove over his too-big hand? That was her and me. And the woman would NOT STOP. She'd get in there and twist and turn and poke and prod and scrape and puncture and rip and whatnot, all while I'm screaming at her to get the hell out and away from me, which only made her do it all the more purely out of spite. I hate that woman. The rest of the crew, including the 3,582 medical students and nurses who were learning on the job and constantly taking my BPs, listening to my heart and lungs, testing my reflexes, poking my legs and feet, taking my temperature, and all every 5-10 minutes or so, were all very nice to me. The real nurses assigned to me were brilliant about delivering every combination of pain killer they possibly could for my migraine and bringing bags of ice from the ice machine for my head every half hour. I am forever in their debt. After a couple of days the migraine finally went away, but that was after the delivery of course, which didn't make it any better naturally. So after the 18 hour delivery (aren't they supposed to get shorter with each kid, not longer?), we had our sweet baby girl. And immediately after expelling her I turned to the Husband and said, "We are NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN." He agreed.
And SP had a hole in her head. It's called cutis aplasia and can be associated with horrific birth defects, but sometimes just shows up without reason and eventually heals over and whatnot. Basically, the skin didn't completely form over a very small spot on top of her head so it looked like someone dug a spoon into her scalp and scooped the skin out of it (they didn't though). Two weeks later it's completely healed over and the worst to be expected is no hair will ever grow from the scar. Meh, big deal. Coulda been much worse. Speaking of which, remember when they tested me three months into this pregnancy and announced that based upon my blood results I had a higher risk of having a baby with something awful like Trisomy 13 or 18? Her hole in her head is what gave them the false positive for that test. The presence of such a skin problem was evident even that early on, and since it can also be seen with 13/18 kids, it came up as positive on the test. Honestly, the medical world never ceases to amaze me.
But what makes this story even more entertaining was the head of Neonatology at the hospital who magically appeared the second it was reported that our kid had a hole in her head. She was an odd duck, this doctor, and she wandered the hospital with her own entourage of little medical students furiously scribbling notes whenever she spoke. I swear, you have never seen a doctor so excited to see a birth defect like this. I mean, she was just BARELY containing her smile as she spoke to us about it. She ran and retrieved her medical books about this with pictures of what SP had, which happened to be next to the photos of the worst versions of what kids with 13/18 could expect to be seen with, and with her reassurance that that didn't apply to us and we shouldn't look at those. All while she was showing them to us. Nice. So after she gleefully told us about the baby's problem and the phone calls she'd already made over to the main Hopkins Hospital to everyone who would be interested, who also definitely were, she yelled at her students to take photos of our kid's head in every position possible, at every angle, with and without flash, etc. "Well did you try the macro setting?? Well then get a camera that HAS it! Run!" And then she'd turn to us and, again, just barely keeping her feet on the ground, excitedly inform us that, "I only see this sort of thing about once a year. But don't worry, she's totally fine!" All while we could see she hoped and prayed she wasn't.
The next day she informed me that I was asleep when they came to tell me they were hauling the baby off for an ultrasound of her head by order of the main Hopkins hospital, so she, with her crew, told me after the fact, and that they were anxiously awaiting the results. I noted with much amusement that when she did finally come back with the results, her line of medical students was missing. She popped her head into my room, tossed the results on my bed and said, "Um, yeah, she's totally fine. Perfectly normal. Bye." and she scampered away. Well, more like dragged her feet out of there with a sad look on her face, but whatever. If this has reinforced one thing for me, it's that it's never a good thing when doctors are intensely interested in your child. Unfortunately, doctors are still intensely interested in Peanut. I don't need two kids like that.
Oh, oh, oh, and then there was The Nurse. When they switched me over to the recovery room where I stayed for a day or two after the delivery, I was assigned nurses in the morning and at night. At night I had the same nurse both times, but during the first day I had The Nurse. The second we met she seemed incredibly nervous. I have no clue why. I mean, I hadn't even threatened that one so what did she have against me? So all day she was walking on egg shells around me like some headcase. Because of my ever-persistant migraine, the nursery was very good about taking SP so I could get some sleep. Or rather, my night nurse was very good about insisting the nursery take her so I could get some sleep. I loved my night nurse. Greatest person in that hospital. Anyway, all day The Nurse kept asking me if I needed my baby or whathaveyou. If I knew she was sleeping peacefully in the nursery, mostly because I used to sneak across the hall and peek in the window to look at her and note that she was, I'd tell her no and that she and I were both just fine. Why pester the kid, am I right? Never bug a sleeping baby, folks. If they're happy, just let 'em be. This worried The Nurse to no end. The next morning nurse was awesome. I asked what else I had to wait for before being discharged and she said I still needed my Rhogam shot, and then she paused and said, "Your nurse from yesterday recommended that we call a social worker because she didn't think you were properly bonding with your baby. But the rest of the nurses said they didn't see that and I've been with you all of five minutes and I can see that's not the case at all, you're bonding with her just fine. So I'm not going to do that." THANK YOU AWESOME NURSE. What the hell?? I have CPS called on me and I'm not even out of the damn hospital yet?!? Holy crap alive! I will say here and now that The Nurse is an idiot. Has she honestly never seen a woman not hold her baby obsessively every fricking second of the day? What you're seeing here, dear lady, is not a lack of bonding but an overabundance of experience. Third kid, lady. I know what it's going to be like when I bring her home. I know I will have numerous hours upon hours with this child to look forward to. I also know how to accept help when it's offered, especially when it's being offered by professionals who are being PAID to watch her. And on top of that, I had a bloody migraine that would not have gone away otherwise. On top of this, I am the sort of mother who holds the baby constantly. Honestly, I am. I know you would never believe me unless you saw it, but unless she happens to be sleeping somewhere else for a couple of minutes (like her car seat or something) then I am holding her. I sleep next to her. I put her down to pee and shower and that's it. I know this about me: that I'm paranoid to not be with my babies constantly for fear they'll stop breathing. Part of that is just natural paranoia and part of it is Peanut's history. Everyone asks if that doesn't put more stress on me, but honestly it reduces the stress for me overall. If I can't see the baby and know that he/she's breathing, I freak out. So I simply don't put them down. So to have someone who is more adept at caring for newborns than I offer to take her for a few hours so I can get some sleep to dull my head pain is very kind and I'll take it, dammit. I wonder how many other women who have gladly take the nursery up on their offer have been called on by social services for it? Nice. Very nice.
SweetPea is doing well, despite my horrific parenting in the hospital. She is easier to figure out than the other two were: all she asks is to be fed, burbed, rested, and changed, in that order. Otherwise, she merely looks around very curiously, wondering why she was forced outside two weeks too early and why she was sent to us and not better parents. And oh my, the hair. The other two were hairless wonders, but this one. Oh my the hair!! I figure God put it there to distract us from the hole in her head and to cover it up a bit, which it certainly does. And honestly, she is so sweet. The Husband has never been too up on newborns as he's a little nervous around them, but this baby already has him wound around her little finger. PW adores her and Peanut is actually very gentle with her (now), occasionally giving her loving pats on the head and gently poking her eyes and nose (he's learning the names of facial features now, see). For someone who was created slightly unexpectedly, she's become the favorite of everyone around her. What a sweet doll.
Thanks again to everyone who helped make her entry into this world a healthy one, including everyone who prayed for her/us and helped reduce my BPs for as long as possible (it definitely prolonged her gestation). You're wonderful people. Also, thanks for never calling CPS. Really.
17 August 2009
In other news, I have nothing more to say. So I'll post one of the articles I wrote for our neighborhood parenting newsletter. It's not as good as the next one that's coming, but it has to do with summer and stuff so I figured I should post it now and get it out of the way. Who's gonna stop me? YOU? Yeah, I didn't think so.
It’s summer! Time for the outdoor excursions and fun to begin, specifically at the pool! Or, as it’s known in my house, waterboarding! Allow me to introduce the detainees to you:
*My son, 1.5, whose nickname is “Peanut.” He is allergic to everything he touches. Thanks Nature!
For some reason, my children view water as the worst thing ever created. Now, Peawhistle has never been a huge fan of the pool, but before last year she still went with me and at least moved around the shallow end largely unassisted. That’s fine. Last year I thought, idiotically it would later appear, that she was ready for beginner swimming lessons. Two weeks and eight lessons later, it was obvious that this was not to be the case. Most of the first week involved an overly dramatic and hysterical Peawhistle, dressed in a life vest no less, clinging to the swimming teacher like a spider monkey, and screaming, “HELP ME, I’M DROWNING, I’M DROWNING!!!!” while no fewer than one on-duty lifeguard and two other off-duty lifeguards all stared are her most intently, and every visitor at the pool looked on in amazement. The second week proceeded with her having nothing to do with the pool whatsoever, merely looking on at the other three students, while comfortably sitting in a chair in the shade with me and Peanut. Even the baby pool earned her utter distain after that.
Well that was a healthy $120 down the drain! It’s coming out of your allowance, kid!
Fortunately, I had the foresight to videotape much of this disaster in personal preparedness so at least it wasn’t a total waste. I’m sure she’ll thank me when we screen it at her wedding reception.
And then there is Peanut. Ah, Peanut, there are no words. This is the adorable boy who refuses to sit in an inch of water in the bathtub, resulting in every bathing session being conducted with a standing toddler enforcing a death-like grip on his mother, all the while screaming like he’s being beaten. I’ll assure you now, as I assure him every single time, that is not the case. I am comfortable in predicting that the odds of him enjoying a pool-time experience are less than optimal at this point.
This year Peawhistle has assured me that she will be braver at the pool. And true to her word, with a set of bright pink water wings in place (that never once got wet), she managed to survive her first experience in depths up to two feet of water without heart failure or screaming on either of our parts. She also confided very loudly that she is going to be a life guard one day. I pointed out that life guards typically need to know how to swim, nay, love to swim. She brushed aside my concerns as petty and assured me yet again that such trivial matters would not deter her from her newly discovered career path. We shall certainly see. (To be on the safe side, however, I would caution against swimming in any pool that advertises her as being in charge of your family’s welfare.)
This summer I encourage everyone to pull out the sunblock, don your swimgear, and have loads of fun at the pool! I can’t say we’ll see you there!
I realize that much of this is familiar to many of you, probably because I just simply plagarized my own blog for it. But see, I moved some words around so it's totally OK now. See that?
Also, some of you who know the circumstances will also realize that shortly after this was written (not even published, just written mind you) both of these adorable children turned me into a filthy rotten liar. PW turned into a brave little fish for some inexplicable reason, and Peanut now loves the bathtub. Well, he likes it OK anyway. The trick there, though, was to have PW put on her very best and hammiest performance for Peanut whilst in the tub, going on and on about how great bathing is and how much more fun she's having in the tub than outside of it. After we convinced him to try a bath with her, he warmed up to it just fine and now can even bathe on his own without complaint. A hearty thanks to the consummate actress, Peawhistle, for convincing her dear brother within two week's time that taking baths is the most marvelous time one can possibly have on this earth. Heaven knows I tried for a year and a half to convince him of the same thing, all without any hint of success. Turns out big sisters are good for something after all.
10 August 2009
Actually, I just told my mother last night that it would be nice (and relaxing) to be able to sit with my email once in a while without Peawhistle constantly asking me questions about every keystroke I make. So she's entertaining PW while I read and write. See, so she's good so far.
I've been meaning to plug a certain website for some time. Actually, I plugged it half-heartedly a long time ago, but I don't think I did it the proper justice it required then. Have you all heard of The Onion? The online satirical, swear-heavy humorous newspaper? It's not for everyone, due mostly to the afore-mentioned swearing and other subject matter sometimes contained therein. It's run by a large staff of very funny and talented people.
Anyway, there is a delightfully hilarious woman out there who writes her own satirical, non-swear-heavy humorous newspaper-like website ALL BY HERSELF. She is that fricking funny. I love her dearly, in every way possible that blog-stalking and the law can allow. Yes, Kristi Harrison is the genius behind one of my very favorite websites, Here In Idaho (also linked on the sidebar there if you care to look). I first discovered her humor through her Very Famous Post about running (for exercise? Crazy, I know) around her neighborhood and what her neighbors must think of her efforts. This post (which has apparently disappeared forever unfortunately) was featured on the well-known blog, Navel Gazing At Its Finest, and I've been a loyal follower of Kristi's ever since. Her humor is everything I wish mine was, but clearly isn't.
As I said, I meant to plug this website much, much sooner but I kept forgetting or putting it off. But I cannot put it off any longer. No, ladies and gentleman (there's just one of you, right?), her latest contribution is an article post entitled: "Twilight Makes More Sense if Bella is Disabled (Mentally and Physically)." Oh yes. OH. YES.
Oh my holy yes. Check it out. Become a Google Reader Follower. You will never regret it. She doesn't post often, but when she does she more than makes up for it. Genius takes time you know.
06 August 2009
My blood pressure, as I've exlained to a few of you over the past two days, has reached the end of its healthy limits. It is assumed it will pass into unhealthy territory very soon, and thus they have strongly suggested without argument from me that I begin fetal assessment testing twice a week until the birth. This put the Husband and I in a bind childcare-wise, which left us our only option left: call the Beloved Mother for help. And help she will give. In copious amounts no doubt. This "help" also means that the activities that I see as relaxing (such as writing like this) are not activities that she would see as relaxing, despite the fact that it keeps me sane and alone and quiet and all those wonderful things. No, my mother will likely insist I sleep 19 hours a day if at all possible, and if not, I'll simply be padlocked in my room until she's determined I'm relaxed enough to come out, i.e., never. So I can't imagine I'll be writing a whole heck of a lot in the month to come. I'll try to sneak in here on occasion--if nothing else, I feel an overwhelming need to check my email at least once a day--perhaps when I've been able to successfully overwhelm her and tie her up and/or completely knock her out (in a totally legal I-know-her-so-it's-totally-OK kinda way).
Anyway. That's that. Thanks again to my dear friends for all your help and please allow me to bring you a dinner and/or dessert of your choosing. Otherwise I'm going to make a fabulous meal that will get thrown through your front glass window, and trust me, no one wants that. Least of all you, because I'll be damned if I'm cleaning that mess up.
Wish us all luck in the coming month and pray no one dies in the process of us all loving each other too much and crap.
29 July 2009
OK, so as I said in the comments of the last one, Peanut's hearing is just fine according to the hearing chick, or at least he's hearing well enough that nothing should be barring him from hearing well enough to speak. Fine. We kinda figured that since he responds to us and all. We also know from three different evalutations that he's not autistic--not even close. This kid is about as socially engaging as you can possibly get. And given that I keep him locked in our basement with no contact with the outside world, that's pretty incredible. Conclusion: I'm an awesome parent, even when I'm trying to be the opposite. See there CPS investigators? No need for intervention!
However, there is still a distinct problem. He was evaluated by a pediatric speech therapist yesterday as I threatened you all that he would be. First, the good news. He excels in several areas of development. One or two he's completely maxed out on progress-wise, as in no child can do any better than that. In the area of gesturing to get what he wants, he's on par with a 2 1/2 year old child. And in the area of playing (how well he interacts with other children, his level of play, etc.) he's up there with kids who are nearly three years old. But there's a downside and that is this: the reason he's so advanced in all these areas is because he has to compensate for his lack of communication in the verbal region. The worst news is he's on par, verbally, with a child who is about nine months old. As a kid who is actually 21 months old, that's considerably behind the curve. He makes different sounds, but his favorite is a strange buzzing sound (like "thzzzzzthzzzz") he makes when he points at things. The therapist told him he sounds like a little bumble bee, which made me laugh out loud because she hit it right on the head. The Husband laughed too, and now that's what we tell everyone. Cracks us up. Anyway. So we accepted that he definitely needs intervention and they said he qualifies for the infants and toddlers program in our county, blah blah blah. Fantastic.
And then I talked to his assigned allergy specialist today. We went over the foods he's passed and those he's failed and what he has permission to try for next and all that. As we were about to hang up I asked her why all the speech people keep asking me how he's eating/chewing and if there's a correlation between the two. She said absolutely there's a correlation and if he can't chew/swallow well, he's that much more likely to have a speech delay. Well what do you know about that? Apparently the same way your mouth moves to properly chew food is the same way your mouth moves to properly form words. And the fact that Peanut is in the 6-9 month age range for speaking should have come to no surprise since he is at that level for food progression as well. I hope your mind just exploded. Because mine sure did!
See, when he was 15 months old he went to see the Uber Allergist Specialist which he sees once a year. He's the Big Cheese of Pediatric Allergy there at Johns Hopkins. We love him with the intensity of a billion suns. He's the fellow that you're not allowed to speak to on the phone but you're allowed to speak to many of his underling doctors who are assigned to you at any given time who is your intercessory with Big Cheese--much like the purpose of Catholic patron saints. Anyway, at the time he said that about half of the kids in Peanut's boat suddently click with the chewing thing between 18 and 24 months and half of them don't. Of the half that don't, they require occupational therapy to teach them how to chew and swallow properly. Seems strange that kids would need that at all, but as we've learned very young children with food allergies are terrified of food on several levels and resist any progress with eating and exploring with new foods, textures, consistencies, flavors, and anything else you can invent food-wise. So they need to be taught by specialists how to overcome their paranoias and do it correctly so they can move on to normal foods and beyond formulas and jarred baby food, which is all that Peanut trusts at this point.
I was resisting this therapy idea for some time, thinking that if he could just get enough different solid "snack" types of foods to try that it would click for him and we wouldn't need the hassle. That's apparently not to be. So we will try to get him into a very good program here that teaches kids his age to eat and, surprise surprise, these same people also teach them to speak at the same time. Seriously, who would have ever thought of this?? I am absolutely amazed that his speaking was related to his issues with allergies all this time.
And YOU thought I was just a bad mother. Stick it, jerks!!
P.S. Happy Birthday BStephanie! You're old!
27 July 2009
Regrets. I've got 'em. The first regret I have is that I've apparently been lacking in my entertain-the-masses duties, according to all of two people. I haven't posted much of anything this month, and not because I've been having an amazing, exciting summer, but exactly the opposite. Every day is much like the others, so there's nothing new to report other than I'm alive. And you can just go ahead and assume that anyway, barring any large news stories contrary to that assumption. (Reminds me of what my dad always says when we wish him a safe flight home: "If I don't, you'll hear about it on the news!") So really, you haven't been missing much. But apparently I have. Hence the lack of writing.
Regret #2: that I'm not in the hospital at this point. I was telling Lovely Lisa the other day that I feel genuinely awful that I'm not at least on bed rest by now, and hospitalized at the most. I've been threatening/been threatened with horrible news this entire pregnancy, only to have it pan out that I'm still merrily chugging along at nearly 34 weeks. This is not to say there are no more concerns, but so far none of them have forced me into desperate circumstances. Or at least none beyond guilting my loving friends into helping me out when apparently there was no need to help me at all. I can only blame one set of people for this paradox: My Loving Friends. Yes YOU all are to blame for this and let me tell you why. You have all admitted to sending good thoughts and prayers in my direction for months. How many times have you been warned to be careful what you pray for, huh?!? God is listening! What, do you think this is some kind of joke or something?? My goodness folks, if you expect me to wind up medically incapacited at some point it would really help if you didn't pray for the opposite effect. And on top of that, you actually volunteered to take my irritating child when I asked you to, which has significantly lowered my blood pressures all around! So on top of praying to the one person who can actually perform miracles in this department, you also did all you could to help me physically. I just don't know what to say to that except that my still being in tact and running on full steam here is all your doing. I just hope you're all sufficiently happy now.
And finally, regret #3: not speaking to my son directly since the day he was born. Supposedly speaking to him results in his speaking back to me or some such voodoo like that. But since I don't talk to anyone on earth if I don't have to, let alone my adorably annoying children, my kids don't hear "words and phrases" or "communication in any form." This has led to Peanut's inability to speak on command. At 21 months he should be saying at the very least six words, and by two years should be speaking in two-word phrases. Pfffttttppppphahahahahaha! Oh my, but he is no where close to that. Now, PW wasn't a quick, early talker herself (again with the not talking to her either), but extended family came through and talked to her instead and now you couldn't pay her to shut up (I know this for a fact from sorry experience). Peanut has not had the travelling advantages that PW had early in her life and he is paying for it now. So today he has a hearing test to make sure he's hearing us correctly, which I'm assuming he is, and tomorrow he's being evaluated by speech therapists to make sure he doesn't require professional intervention (which I'm guessing they'll say he does, regardless of whether or not he actually does require it because that's simply what they do). His pediatrician, Dr. Smart-alec, isn't overly concerned as he himself didn't say a word until he was three and he seems to speak OK now and all, but ever since the incident he and his overwhelming guilt will never allow him to take things in stride with Peanut ever again. Hey, whatever does the trick.
And FINALLY finally, Regret the Fourth is admitting to you jerks on facebook that I have occasional bouts of stupidity in my head that I typically keep to myself as a form of natural deception in an attempt to convince you I'm a genius. I regret this because according to two of you bastards, I'm not good at keeping those thoughts to myself at all. In fact, according to one of you, that's exactly what my blog is for. My blog (this one right here) is full of nothing but idiotic ramblings having no purpose here on earth except to expose my vast lack of intelligence on any scale. Did I mention I hold grudges? And that I gave you ample opportunities to take back what you suggested, which neither of you cared to do? I just thought I should remind you two of that. Every single time I speak to you from now on. You know, because we're friends and all.
15 July 2009
However, one thing she's always excelled at was drawing. This kid can draw some pretty amazing things. She can draw the hell out of any character on SpongeBob, as well she should given the number of episodes she sees in a week (Me: "Oh look, it must be another SpongeBob marithon." Husband: "Isn't every day a SpongeBob marathon?"). But this kid also has creativity coming out of every orafice. No kidding. She has actually come to the point in her artistic progression where she is equal to me (not that that's saying much, but I AM in my 30s remember) in artistic talent. The first picture she ever drew that actually looked exactly like it was supposed to look was of a bunch of balloons. She was two. I was thrilled. And she's excelled at an impressive rate since that time.
She can usually draw more complicated characters than this so that in and of itself was not impressive so much here, but what shocked the Husband and I about the following drawing on her favorite medium, the ProDoodle, was how obvious the intent of her expression was. I mean, it's as plain as day to us. Tell me if it's as obvious to you what this is a picture of:
It's a damn fencing match. A fencing match! It even has a sign. And check out the masks and foils, let alone the stances. Where on earth does she get this stuff anyway?
08 July 2009
A few friends and I were talking the other day. I wondered aloud how some people managed to get married in this world, what with them being complete freaks and all. Then I continued by noting that I'm positive many, if not all, of the people I've met have wondered the very same about myself, calling my husband's selection criteria into serious question.
It should come as quite a shock then to learn that no fewer than five men/boys/weirdoes have sought my hand, some with more aggressiveness than others. I think the most aggressive of the group had to be Crazy Italian Boyfriend. I will call him Guido. I met Guido at work and my-oh-my was he crazy. However, I didn't know this until later. On our first date his incomprehensible ranting was endearing--after all, I assumed he was showing his Crazy because he was perhaps a bit nervous on our first date together. And our second date. And our third date. It was on that third date that I came to the conclusion that his insanity was not a nervous mental tick, but rather his normal state of mind. It hit me right about the time we finished watching a movie and he turned to me and announced that he was going to marry me but we had to do it right away so we should go ring shopping as soon as possible. Overwhelmed by his romantic gesture, I swooned, "Excuse me?" To which he insisted this was the prescribed course of action, after which he gave me a rundown of his savings account and how much of a ring he could afford. "Must...escape...Nutty...McStraightjacket...." I whispered to my terrified myself.
It's here that I would like to abandon my Christian principles and pick the man apart. First of all, I dated him for his sexy uniform. He was a cop, complete with badge and gun and everything (more on that later). I will also admit that I found him more than attractive even in civilian clothing, let alone in the uniform (the rippling pectorals didn't hurt, either). He was genuinely kind to me--at first--and I found his Brooklyn accent amusing as well. A few conversations at work with him (he stopped me in the hall each time to talk to me, which was intensely flattering) and I was taken. Sure, he talked about odd things, but who doesn't have strange thoughts, right? So I decided to date him. And kissing him was fun, too (yes, I was a kissing slut. Shut up.).
When the real Crazy started to come out I learned that he was not the funny or entertaining kind of crazy, but rather the fricking scary kind of crazy. He would drop off photos to be developed at the drug store and use an alias. He never put down his address or his real phone number. When we decided to meet at a Metro subway stop to go into D.C. on a date, he pretended to be talking on a pay phone until I arrived so no one would know he was waiting for someone. He never sat with his back to the door. You know, stuff like that. Then he'd brag about the neighbors he'd spied on as a strange sort of father-son bonding activity he and his dad used to do when he was young. He suddenly decided he desperately wanted to work for the CIA, and he filled out their application in a second-grader's scrawl in pencil (he surely could have done no worse if he'd filled it out in crayon). I imagine his being thrown out of the Navy after only a few months in (for what he claimed was a problem with authority, but which later came out to be for psychological issues, like...wait for it...delusions of grandeur--the real kind) probably did not help his chances either (thankfully, they never called).
Guido used to regale me with his brilliant thoughts, all of which he repeatedly insisted were completely original, despite my having learned some of the very same concepts in my college Freshman entry-level classes (which he never believed). And he proudly invented inventions, brushing away my comments that they already existed. When I told my father about the insanity I had immersed myself in, he exclaimed, "You know, one day you're going to be watching the news and you'll see this guy on the steps of city hall, ranting and raving, wrapped in a Nazi flag, and you'll say, 'Hey! I used to date that guy!'" Indeed.
Why didn't I drop him sooner? The gun that he carried everywhere whether he was in uniform or not. Angering/surprising an armed, insane police officer is not my idea of bright. And frankly, I loved living at that time and did not wish to stop. So I kept dating him, putting off his matrimonial advances, and trying to gradually distance myself until perhaps he tired of me. I intentionally made comments that I knew he strenuously disagreed with. My favorite response came after I suggested that if a wife made more money than her husband she should go to work and he should stay home and raise the children. He FLIPPED OUT. Did I mention he disapproved of the fact that I had a job at all, saying that I was the cause of the decline of society? I asked sarcastically if I should be still sitting in my parents' house, waiting for a banker to knock on my door and propose marriage to me. He said yes. And he was very, very serious. Again, with the Crazy. So suggesting that a wife should be the breadwinner I think finally did the lad in and he never pushed the marriage issue after that. However, he still wouldn't leave me.
I had been looking for a good enough excuse to dump him--an excuse so obvious that even he would see the value in it--and I found it at Thanksgiving. A kind couple in his church congregation had invited him to their Thanksgiving feast and he invited me to go with him. He lived a good 45 minutes from me and traffic was terrible. I arrived at his place 15 minutes late. He had already left. No note. No directions to the couple's home. No nothing. I was angry, to say the least. I called his cell phone from a payphone nearby and he was already having dinner. He said I was late so why should he wait for me? I gave him my one good fricking reason, which he had apparently not thought about prior to my pointing it out to him. I hung up on him and drove home. I spent Thanksgiving in my apartment, alone. I was thrilled and relieved.
The following Monday after work I knew I would run into him on my way out the door. I asked my boss to walk with me, which he didn't mind at all. My boss was somewhat wide, and I figured if shots rang out I could use his body as a shield. I saw Guido standing near the exit, waiting for me. He asked if he could talk to me and I told him no. He asked again as I walked past, again telling him he could not, nor could he at any point in the future. I kept walking and lived to tell the tale. He emailed me a few times afterwards, which only set my blood pressure spiking, and he eventually stopped after my many angry responses pointing out his raving lunacy to him. He married some poor, young, unsuspecting thing, despite her mother's pleas to reconsider. And then he got fired for spying on his coworkers--something he found perplexing since he was positive that they were terrorists. "Stupid laws!" he complained. So. Very. Comforting.
Is there a moral to this story? But one: clearly, I am entirely and completely irresistible. And you can take that to the bank/asylum.
30 June 2009
Is it bad that of the 14,351 celebrities to die within the last two weeks the one that devastated me the most was that of Billy Mays? And not just because I was in the planning process of making fun of him on my blog, either (THANKS FOR THAT). I genuinely liked seeing his huge face screaming at me through my TV. I watched a program on TV pitchmen not too long ago and they interviewed Billy. I was absolutely dumbfounded. He was...normal. He spoke in a quiet, calm voice, and he sat there like a regular person and not, you know, racing around the room at a fevered pace with the interviewer throwing one word at a time at him with every lap past him. I don't know what I expected him to sound like in reality, either, but it sure wasn't that. I guess I was imagining him at home, sitting at the dinner table with his family, screaming, "SO IT TURNS OUT THAT LUMP ON MY LEFT TESTICLE WAS JUST BENIGN THANK GOODNESS BECAUSE I WAS GETTING WORRIED. WHERE'S THE BUTTER? JOHNNY, GO GET IT FROM THE FRIDGE WILL YOU? AND WILL SOMEONE PASS THE SALT PLEASE?" Turns out he was normal all those years and we just never knew it. Surprising, really.
Anyway, I'm sad that he's gone. My New York City Slider Station and I will miss him severely. I'll also miss my opportunity to tell him personally that the damn thing doesn't work!! Stupid slider station.
And yeah, Michael Jackson's gone too, but he wasn't putting out any new music anyway. Meh.
Hey, speaking of things not working, did you know there are companies and agencies out there that actually test TV products to ensure they actually do what they claim to do? And that they can halt sale of the product and impose heavy fines if found otherwise? Whodathunk?! I just assumed buying things off TV was akin to buying magic elixers from 19th century travelling salesmen (which I do infrequently); you buy at your own risk and if you get a dud, hey, you're stupid! Not so! And did you know that these companies also guiltlessly admit to raising the shipping and processing fees to make an extra buck? I knew they did, but I didn't expect them to fess up to it. Amazing what having a lack of conscience will do for you these days.
FYI: one company tested the ShamWow absorbant cloths on the show and concluded that they do indeed do everything they claim to be able to do. So I ran out and bought some. No, I haven't tested them yet. Why would I? That's what those companies are for, remember?
27 June 2009
Looking for something to write about on my blog today and not actually wanting to write it, allow me to reproduce that month's article here, won't you? Yes, I am that lazy. Take it or leave it.
Q: Dear Abby,
I’m 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. My husband has shown less and less interest in me physically over this pregnancy as my girth has gradually increased and I worry that he won’t ever be attracted to me again, even after the baby’s born. Do you think he’ll ever think I’m attractive?
A: Dear Heartsick,
Well, that kinda depends on if you were attractive before. If you weren’t, then there’s probably not a lot of hope for you now. Good luck, Gigantor!
Hey, that totally reminds me of a story! I was six months along with my first pregnancy when my husband and I flew out to spend Christmas with my family. None of them had seen me pregnant so I was a bit nervous. I’m the baby of the family and the only girl to boot, so I didn’t know how my family, particularly my parents who still treat me like I’m five, would take to seeing me very pregnant and, you know, adult-ish. When I got a moment alone with my folks I decided to satisfy my curiosity and simply ask if they thought it was strange to see me pregnant. And my ever-helpful mother immediately replied, “Oh honey, you’re supposed to look puffy.”
OK, 1.) Thanks a lot, Mom,
and 2.) NOT WHAT I MEANT.
I’m working on my third pregnancy right now and am recently into my second trimester. You would have thought that my mother would be used to seeing just how huge I can get during a pregnancy, despite my never gaining more than 23 pounds total per ordeal thankyouverymuch. And yet, last week I caught my mother telling complete strangers (to her AND me I might add) over the phone that I am most likely having twins. Mind you, I’m not. When I corrected her she said,
“Are you sure? They have sonograms now that can tell you these things.”
“YES Mom, I’m sure. I’ve had three sonograms so far and they’ve each said there’s just one baby in there.”
“Perhaps you should check again. Sometimes those things can be wrong.”
SIGH. I’m getting to the point in my pregnancy when I’m becoming quite insane, belligerent (more than usual I mean) and rude (actually, that’s about the same). I swear that the next time someone asks if I’m overdue or just expecting multiples, I’m going to take that person’s fist and shove it down their throat. So, you know, don’t ask that. ‘Cause I don’t want to have to give birth in prison.
FYI, Melissa's husband (who had read this article previously) asked me recently if I was having twins. Because he's that VERY FUNNY KIND OF PERSON. I'M WATCHING YOU, PAL. AND YOUR CAR.
23 June 2009
Apparently the voice talents behind SpongeBob and his friends wanted to prove they were capable of more than just cartoons (or so goes the story they tell anyway). Heh heh. The "Singin' in the Rain" bit still makes me laugh.
18 June 2009
16 June 2009
Tic, you irritating cat! Run away! Do something! You're boring! Stupid thing.
Peanut, pre-haircut. He's wondering why I'm abusing him so (with the apron and the girly hairstyle)
By far, the most cooperative of my models.
A tad too cooperative.
And the youngest, SweetPea. She was asleep at the time. Wake up! You're as boring as the cat!
Thank you, Loralee! It's gorgeous! I will make sure not to wear it around any foodstuffs so as to not soil it. 'Cause we sure wouldn't want that to happen. You know, more than it has been already being dragged around the house by my various models. Hooray for family! And free crap!
11 June 2009
Fine. So when I got that email reminder telling me I was ignoring valuable friends on facebook RIGHT NOW, I finally gave in and signed up. And oh my, the glory I beheld before me! Why, the stalking possibilities are up there in the thousands of dollars!
Now, I'm still new to this facebook thing by nearly a week (nearly a week of reading about people's thoughts, mocking others, and taking online quizzes and ignoring all else in my life, if I may be specific). If I understand this correctly, the concept behind this game is to con/guilt/confuse as many friends/brief acquaintences/total strangers as possible into admitting they know you and adding you as one of their "friends," thus pushing your overall numbers high enough until someone wins. Is that about the long and short of it? What do we get at the end? A prize of some construction? I sure hope it's candy. Because candy is totally worth exposing my personal information to a gaggle of people I barely know.
And is it just me, or is this publicizing of one's thoughts in brief sentences for all the world to see exactly like Twitter? I hate Twitter! I don’t even care about what I think about every second of the day, let alone anyone else on earth. And I'm the most interesting person I know! You could be the most fascinating person on the planet and I wouldn’t care what you’re thinking every blasted second of the day. So stop asking me to. 'Cause it ain't gonna happen. Now let us never speak of this again.
If you are already on The Facebook and I haven't yet added you to my group of facebook friends it's because I don't have your email address, I don't know your full name, or I hate you. If I have your email and I know your name, well, I guess you know where that leaves us. Take the hint already.
And Nancy? Thanks. THANKS A LOT.