27 April 2009

A Reminder Never Hurts

I don't deserve such marvelous friends. I'll take 'em, but I don't deserve 'em. My lovely friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz, were browsing in a craft store and found a desk plaque that they thought I would love. So they bought it for me.

As I said at the time, should I ever lack for writing inspiration, I have but one place to look for a reminder. Thank you Fred and Ethel!

Get Yer Handbaskets Here

Being a terribly Sunday-appropriate topic I mean to post this yesterday, but yesterday wasn't computer-friendly for me. So you're getting it now. The following, by the way, was related by Peawhistle's Sunday School teacher to Peter's mother, Jenny, and to Greta, both of whom told me; I then received personal confirmation by PW's teacher herself this past Sunday.

Last week in Peawhistle's Sunday School class for the 4 and 5-year-old kids they were learning about baptism. Actually, they've been learning about it for quite some time if PW's church art projects have been any indication, but those lessons continued through to last Sunday as well. One of her classmates (who also happens to go to preschool with her) apparently wasn't terribly excited about being baptised when he was older because, like most kids, they think the adult folks in charge of this momentous event are nimrods and are going to drop them in the drink and just let them drown. So this boy told his class that he didn't want to be baptised. And Peawhistle said, "Well, then you'll go to hell."

Let us rank this response using World Olympic Game scoring, shall we?

Accuracy: 10.0

Tactfulness: 0.0

Concern for Her Fellow Man: 2.5

Timing: 10.0

Delivery: 11.15

Overall Score: AWESOME

As both her teacher and Jenny pointed out, they were surprised that PW could come up with such a response. I mean, never mind it's the funniest thing anyone has heard in at least a month's time, her response was actually correct according to our religion. And the most amazing part of this is I didn't teach her that, her father certainly didn't teach her that, and her teacher swears she didn't teach ANY of them that. The only teacher left would be SpongeBob himself, but I honestly don't recall any episodes featuring the link between less baptism = more hell. And believe you me, I've seen every episode ever made as any person who has watched at least a week's worth of Nickelodeon reruns can also claim. Sure, she's heard the word "hell" before (she lives with me if you recall), but to know what it means? And what it'll take to get you there? My goodness, my child is a gospel child prodigy.

Lesson learned: don't screw with Peawhistle. Not only will you get a tongue-lashing, but you'll also likely be told where to go and how to get there. That's my girl.

24 April 2009

For Those In Authority

For those who were looking for the videos in the old Celtic Man post through the link in the last post, I've replaced the broken video links with different (not necessarily better) videos from Youtube. Also, I've added new commentary.

So I went in for my ultrasound on Tuesday to see what's what. They found no signs of any abnormalities associated with Trisomy 13 or 18, so that's good news. They did find an enlarged stomach (the baby's, not mine, although I'm certain they noticed that as well) though, which can be associated with Downs Syndrome. However, given that when I had my Downs Syndrome screening I came out with a lower chance of it than when I went into the screening, they're basically ruling that out as a possibility. Worst case scenario is the baby has a blockage in the intestines which would be fixed with surgery as soon after birth as possible. But more likely than that, there's just a bunch of amniotic fluid in there that hasn't passed out of the stomach and into the bladder yet. So I go back in five weeks to be looked at again to see if it's any smaller. Hey, could be worse.

Good news folks! My blood pressure went down slightly, but the OB wasn't nearly as thrilled about this as I was since it's supposed to go down in the second trimester anyway. But I was in the second trimester when it was going up, so I still claim it as a good sign that all of you stealing my child is working. Thank you so much! And even though she keeps asking me why I keep taking her to her friends' houses (can you guess how often she saw her friends before?), she's still thrilled either way. Thanks to all of you givers out there. And for all of you non-givers, I totally don't blame you. Honest.

Speaking of Peawhistle, she had a bit of a run-in with her instructors at gymnastics a week ago. Because these people serve peanuts directly out of their vending machines, I can't keep Peanut in the waiting room while we wait for PW's class to get over. So I drop off PW and Peanut and I drive around or go to the grocery store or whathaveyou until her class is nearly done and then we go hang out in the doorway for five minutes until she comes out. Every week. Yes, it's just as fun as you're imagining. Anyway, when I went to greet her at the door as she was coming out her instructor (20-ish; surly) informed me that PW had been "nasty" to her teachers that day on the beam. Now, I've seen PW be a little jerk before, but it's almost always completely unintentional. I've never seen her do anything I would label as outright nasty behavior. She's a good kid who has absolutely no tact and very strong opinions (more on that below). But nasty? Hm. So I asked her what she did and apparently PW had been trying to walk across the beam as instructed, but when the teachers went to take her hand to help her across, PW insisted most strenuously and none-too-kindly that she wanted to do it by herself and she didn't need their help. And when they grabbed for her hand anyway, she tried to slap it away. Now, the slapping is inexcusable. I don't tolerate that crap. I've seen her do it many, many times mind you, usually to me, but that doesn't mean it's OK. So I made her apologize to her teachers for being mean, I chastized her all the way home, her father lectured her when he got home, and I reminded her throughout the week that she has to be nice to her teachers because they're there to help her and keep her safe, not hinder her independence as she suspects, and they know what's safe and she doesn't. I told her about her older cousin who was doing something across the beam and wasn't being spotted when she fell and broke...some limb, I can't recall. Not important. Anyway, I think I got the point across. So all week I reminded her that she was to be nice to the teachers and that if she was mean even one more time she would be pulled out of gymnastics permanently.

So this week I asked a kind lady at church to babysit Peanut at home so I could sit and watch PW to make sure she wouldn't wield havoc on the entire gymnasium. And as I watched her walk across the beam all by herself (something she used to refuse to do out of fear) with her teachers merely watching her, I realized why she got upset: she actually CAN do it alone and she knew it. And I was reminded of something Peter's mother, Jenny, said a long time ago. Jenny, Greta, and I were sitting around talking about our kids behind their backs and Jenny said that PW is a very good, sweet kid who plays well on her own and is very nice to others, etc. But she does NOT like being told what to do. And it hit me that that is PW's biggest problem in general when it comes to why she gets in trouble at home or anywhere else. She's a great kid right up until you tell her to do something. And then her head spins around and fire shoots from her eyes and we wind up having to call in the exorcist. AGAIN. And then I realized with a mixture of horror and pride that I am exactly the same way. I mean, exactly. For example:

Poor, unsuspecting individual: "Peawhistle, would you please help me clean up the toys?"
Peawhistle: "Why, sure!" (actually, she says "shee-you-er;" she has the weirdest accent)
PUI: "Peawhistle, clean up the toys."

PUI: "Hey Abby, would you volunteer to help out with so-and-so some time?"
Me: "Yeah, I'll look at my calendar and see what I can do."
PUI: "Abby, I need you to do this."
Me: "Yeah, well I need you to go to hell."

You see what I'm getting at. Essentially, we both have a major problem with authority, and I in particular have a problem with those who believe erroniously they hold some authority over me but have yet to prove how this is possible in any way or fashion. And I will gladly tell them this. Peawhistle hasn't yet developed a sense for who actually has authority over her and who does not, but she is sure as hell certain that it doesn't include everyone who's telling her they do. That's my girl.

So my point in telling you all this is to serve as my private warning, particularly to those very kind individuals who have volunteered to take her for an afternoon and have yet to discover for themselves what it's like to order her to do something. Because that sweet smiling face that you all can't believe could turn hideously deformed in a second? Believe you me, it's there. Waiting. Waiting for you to screw up your courage enough to test her limits.

For the record, PW behaved wonderfully in gymnastics this week, doing everything she was told to do, including taking her instructors' hands while on the beam when they dared stretch it forward to her. It took convincing her they were there for her safety and not just because they were jerks who like to boss her around. Safety: cool; bossing: screw you, lady. So don't say I didn't warn you.

Oh, I almost forgot.

I am now taking name suggestions for the newest Pea-? in our blogpod. I liked Kristi's "SweetPea" suggestion from ages ago, but I'm also open to other ideas. Anything?

15 April 2009

Owing Taxes on Your Three Wishes

Well folks, it's tax day! And you all know what that means, don't you? Long-forgotten St. Patrick's Day Memories! Now settle down, settle down. I know I promised this weeks ago, but if there's one thing I'm not too particular about, it's your happiness. So here we are.

When you think of St. Patrick's Day, what do you think about? Leprechauns? Pots of gold? Random green crap? Drunken Irishmen? Drunken non-Irishmen? Correct responses, all. But the Husband and I decided that the best way of celebrating this holiest of holy inebriation holidays would be to pay to see hopefully mostly-sober Irish folks singing on stage. Celtic Thunder/Man you hope? I'm afraid not, although the Husband did at one time suggest that we might see them in concert, to which I laughed and laughed and laughed. And then I laughed some more. "Wait, I assumed you would like them?" he asked. And then I snorted and laughed again. No, gentle readers, we went to see the better of the two groups, Celtic Woman, who was performing on the 17th in Baltimore (aren't we special here in Maryland?). I was surprised that the Husband had suggested we go several months ago, but he lamented that he'd been too tight with money lately and we never get to go out and do fun stuff like that anymore (darn our little ball-and-chain children) and he knew I really liked them. And later I got it out of him that he thinks they're all hot. Fair enough. So my mother flew in extra early to babysit so we could go and we headed off for Baltimore. After parking, we knew we were walking in the right direction given the flow of white-haired PBS-viewing old fogeys headed for the same location.

After finding our seats inside we were awed by the realization that we were, in fact, the youngest people in the entire audience. Being considerably younger than the Husband, I was the youngest in the crowd BY FAR. I think only a few of the performers themselves approached my age range. I sat there thinking how strange it would be to be a young person, have an amazing talent, go on the road with your talent, and find that the only people it attracted were escapees from the old folk's home. Nice.

I won't bore you with all the details from the show, but suffice it to say it was highly entertaining. As always, Chloë Agnew was amazing, although it took me half the show to realize that she was not wearing a short-sleeved shrug over her sleeveless gown, but rather just had a very noticable farmer tan. Despite this revelation, she still managed to wow me/us all. That chick really can sing something fierce.

I was also pleased that they not only decided to sing the very appropriate "Danny Boy" for us that evening, but that they chose not to torture us by having Méav Ní Mhaolchatha attempt to sing it a cappella. You know, seeing as how she sucks at it. As it turns out, she's no longer with the group anymore anyway, saving us all a great deal of nausea that evening. Instead, the four singers sung it in four-part harmony, also a cappella, and a more beautiful rendition I have never heard. The audience didn't even make a sound after it finished they were so stunned (which then turned to a standing ovation). So good call on dumping the crappy chick! It completely made up for the fact that they failed to do justice to one of my favorite songs, "Shenandoah." But they're Irish so I'll give them a break. YOU GET ONE, CELTIC WOMAN.

But the most unexpectedly entertaining part of the evening was dealt to us by the group's fiddler, Máiréad Nesbitt. She is talented, no doubt. And also quite insane. Now, in an interview she claims that what she does she does not consider "dancing," but rather just really getting into her music. Personally, I'd consider it "flinging her body across the stage in a most awkward and delightful fashion that under any other circumstances would conclude with a fractured pelvis and a trip to the emergency room." The fact that she never once landed on any body part other than her feet was jaw-droppingly awing, and it was exciting to see what she would do next and if she would kill herself trying it or not. Her fiddling and flinging was accompanied by near-constant commentary coming from almost directly behind us by a group of likely not-too sober old people who had no clue they were in a live audience and not at home yelling at their television sets. Every single time that crazy woman leapt onto the stage one of the old women, without fail, would say, "Oh, there she is! There's your girl!" To which the other woman whose girl Nesbitt apparently was, would reply, "Oh my goodness I just LOVE her!" Every time. The Husband and I were polite throughout this annoying habit of theirs (swearing at old people is not a hobby of mine, although I'll do it if necessary), only turning to look at each other every time they did this to simply roll our eyes. The second half of the show they tired of commenting on "her girl" and began critiquing the stage decor. "I just love those curtains! Don't you just love those curtains? What great curtains!" For your enlightenment, their favorite curtains consisted of a cloth loosely draped over a metal rod.

Now, I understand that you old people are senile and don't get out much and blah blah blah, but I do not get dressed up and leave my home to listen to you scream about curtains. I didn't pay wads of cash to listen to you people squak about whose girl you're successfully seeing in front of you, I paid money to watch a crazy woman in Princess Leia garb orgasmicly flail about the stage while I hope she trips and lands on her fiddle! Got it??

With the unpleasantness out of the way, a hearty congratulations to Celtic Woman for a performance well executed. The songs about turn-of-the-century Irish immigrants coming to America, their land of hope, were also very moving and it's always nice to hear at least one group say that they love America (to be fair, things probably would have ended poorly if they'd said otherwise). So good on ya, Irish chicks! Come back again if you can, but not before medicating that poor fiddling woman before she breaks something important.

09 April 2009


Two things. First off I meant to tell you this last night but I forgot. Two nights ago I had a dream where I was looking at the display buttons on my oven and noticed for the first time that one of them said "End Of The World" and another said "End Of The World LIVE!" So it turns out that once the end of the world came about, I could watch it happen, live even, on my oven display screen, which is approximately 1.5" across. I don't know about you, but when the world comes to an end the last place I want to be is staring at my stovetop. Because that probably means I'm cooking, which happens to be one of my least favorite necessary activites ever. But then, Heidi helpfully pointed out that I could instead watch the end of the world on the 5" screen on the side of my fridge (that magically appeared just then), which naturally would afford a much better view of the Four Horsemen. I agreed that that was a far better option. Of all of my appliances, the fridge is by far my favorite as it holds all of my precious, precious goodies. If I have to die during an apocalypse, I can think of no other overly large object I'd rather spend my last moments here on earth with. I love you, Sweet Refrigerator! I will send you a Hallmark card to make this clear.

And the second thing. *Sigh* I HATE asking for help. HATE IT. Because I don't ever feel I need it and then your friends help you anyway because they feel guilty/scared of hell if they don't. But apparently I do actually need help according to my OB (the good one, not the one I hate; or at least "good one" so far). I am not known for having healthy pregnancies in the least. They turn into high-risk pregnancies for various reasons, some imagined by doctors, some genuine. The most serious genuine problem I have had with both pregnancies is pre-eclempsia. It can be very, very serious if it's not controlled properly, as in seizures, organ failure, and death of mother and/or infant. Not pleasant. Given my poor history with this (bed rest for two months with PW and doctors constantly debating about how early to force PN out versus our collective health) I knew I would wind up with it with this one, too. However, I kinda figured I could dodge it for a while, especially given the fact that they didn't suspect me of having it with Peanut until I was three weeks from my due date. Well, apparently that wasn't meant to be. I am already leaking protein and my blood pressures are slowly going up and I'm only 18 weeks along. The OB thought it best to properly warn me that given how early this could be starting I could be looking at hospitalization if it's not controlled well enough with medication and resting as much as I can. She recommended I stay off my feet while I can now to hopefully stave off rising BPs, but I think I made a case that with an 18-month-old Holy Terrorist Mamma's Boy in the house, that's not too bloody likely. She asked if I could put the kids in daycare every day, but I can't do that with Peanut because of his allergies. I can stick PW in, but she's the one who keeps Peanut out of my hair most days, or at least more than when she's not around. She asked if I had relatives who could come and help out, but my in-laws are so old that they're exhausted if they simply stare at my children for an hour (and avoid doing even that as much as possible), and my mother drives my BP up more than any other situation on earth. The Husband absolutely has to work, but he is shifting his schedule to drive in at O-dark-thirty so he can be home in time to help feed PW and put the kids to bed so I can rest then. She asked if I had friends who could come watch my kids, but every person I know has trillions of small kids themselves and I really don't want THEM developing high blood pressure as a result of my kids.

So here is my pathetic plea: are there any friends close by who are currently Peawhistleless who would be willing to watch a Peawhistle play with their similarly-aged child while Peanut takes a nap in the afternoon, maybe just one day a week or something? She's good at playing on her own and she's usually good at not starting fights and stuff. Sometimes she's polite and she won't pee on your carpet. She has preschool for one more month that goes in the afternoons until 1:30 and that's when I've been able to put Peanut down for a nap. I just need some quiet time to lie down and more importantly calm down, because if there's one thing I'm not exactly known for, it's being calm, particularly around small children, especially my own. They stress me out like none else, particularly when elevated hormones are at play and I just want to cry and/or run away. So would anyone please help me with Peawhistle once in a while? Not every day or you'll wind up hating her, and worse yet, hating me. And we certainly don't want that because we all know you can barely stand the sight of me as it is. I feel really bad asking because now I feel like a complete failure both in the parenting department and especially the pregnancy department. But I really do need help. If this gets worse I won't be able to watch my kids at all, or worse yet, not even see them because I'll be in the hospital and we all know what that means: my mother will be here for months. I love her and I especially love knowing that she would do whatever she had to do for me and my kids. But she really, really stresses me the crap out. And the poor Husband said, "I really, really, really, really don't want to have to have your mom come out here for months. Really. Really. Really." Really. Anyone? Please? Help....

08 April 2009

And I Didn't Even Have To Give Them My Address

As I was turning onto my street this afternoon I noticed a county police cruiser parked in front of my house. The very first thought in my mind was, "I asked permission for that, I swear!" Turns out he was just eating his lunch, i.e., not there to question and/or give me a beat-down after all. Police brutality averted!

07 April 2009

I'm Too Busy Thinking For Title-Making

All right, enough is enough. For all of you folks out there who are finding my blog by googling "how to get away with murder" and particularly to the brainy fellow who googled "how to murder your girlfriend and get away with it," I'd just like to ask you all, just how stupid does one have to be to attempt to try to get away with committing murder in the first place, and THEN lack the brains to figure it out without the assistance of Google as your nearest accomplice? JUST STOP IT. YOU'RE EMBARRASSING YOURSELVES.

I know you're all tired of hearing just how huge I am right now and I truly care about your feelings. That's why I'm going to continue beating this dead horse until I have no friends left. Yesterday I was at the grocery store and got talking to another woman my age who was also waiting for her turn at the deli counter (it should come to no surprise to you all that it was she who struck up the conversation, not me; hormones don't make me social). She asked how old Peanut was and then added, "And I see you're expecting another one as well!" I confirmed this for her but assured her I wasn't that far along. She shared that she was also expecting another baby, but she in turn assured me she wasn't nearly as far along as I was. "You'd be surprised," I told her. She scoffed and asked when I was due. I told her September, and her face froze in a lack of comprehension. Then it shifted to a rather surprised look, but she kept her cool and said, "O...oh. OK." And she forced a smile. I hoped to beat her to the next line of questioning and said, "And now is when most folks would ask me if I'm having twins (no) or assume I'm going to have a huge baby (again, no)." And she sorta smiled and said, "Well, you know, people make comments" and turned away without another word. Do you see now people? DO YOU SEE?? Yes, strange tactful lady, people DO make comments, and I thank you for keeping yours to yourself. Keep it up.

I would like to share two major accomplishments for our little family here over the past week. First off, the Husband and I went on a date while my mother was here and wound up looking for bunk beds to cram our millions of children into. We found a great set for cheap at a going-out-of-business sale and bought it. Last Friday he collected the boxed set and began putting it together. He began later in the afternoon because "it'll take two hours, tops. I mean, this is totally easy." Nine hours and several previously undiscovered swearing combinations later, the bunk beds were as completed as necessary for one child to sleep in them without it killing her in her sleep. Hooray for the Husband and his various tools and terribly useful curse words!

As for my own accomplishment, let me take you back in time to last week. I was famished. Now, this is a recent development as I had previously been puking everything in site on a near-constant basis as I believe I alluded to in my last post. I am on anti-puking medication now so I can eat and keep it down. And it's working! So I was famished. I really, really wanted a Pizza Hut pizza. And so after driving Peawhistle to preschool, Peanut and I stopped in and ordered a medium deep-dish cheese pizza to-go. On the way home I ate the whole thing. Well, I restrained myself and saved the two smallest pieces for PW's dinner, but the whole time I never once thought, "Wow, I'm getting full." No, in fact with each piece I ate my stomach continued to grumble with hunger. No, I'm most certainly NOT pulling your leg. After I ate most of the pizza I had to drink an Orange Crush followed by several glasses of water before the hunger pangs subsided. The frick you say?

I have never been able to consume more than half a medium pizza in my entire life up until last week. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided today to try to duplicate the event to see if it was just a fluke or if I had indeed discovered a newfound superpower. This time I upped the ante and ordered a medium pepperoni pizza to see if that would make a difference. I finished the second-to-last piece before I couldn't eat anymore. Apparently the pepperonis do indeed offset the results of this experiment. Anyhoo, I don't think I'll be replicating it again soon as I'm sure a heart attack is merely biding its time, but pretty amazing, huh? Yeah, I was proud of me, too. Feel free to high-five me the next time you see me.

01 April 2009

Go Ahead, Call me Ishmael

In case you were curious, I don't do April Fool's crap. Mostly because I'm not 12. Take a lesson, adults.

Geez, all right already! Here are the fat pregnancy photos, as promised. (Actually, I haven't had any complaints that they weren't being posted, but I like to act like my public is constantly clamoring for every stupid detail about my life. They aren't, by the way. Probably because my clamoring public cares less than I do.) I know you think I was trying to get out of it, and honestly I was, but I keep my promises I assure you. That'll learn you to assume the worst about me, even if you totally should.

I took the following photo for you ingrates when I was almost 15 weeks (that being two weeks ago). Note, this is what I looked like after not having gained any weight yet, either. In fact, I had lost weight to the point of concern. Behold:

Now tell me, does that look like 3+ months pregnant to you? I didn't think so.

Oh, have no fear, it gets much, much worse. Stephanie was kind enough to forward the photo she took of me on my last day of being pregnant with Peanut. Sidestory: I went to her house that morning and asked her to take a photo of me pregnant since I didn't have any pregnancy photos for Peanut at all. Turns out it was a good thing I asked her since I left her house to immediately go to a regular OB appointment at the hospital where they insisted on freaking the crap out for various reasons and moving my induction date up to, well, that very second. So I didn't get to leave the hospital for a few days and by then I wasn't pregnant anymore. Anyway.

Here's me at 38+ weeks the last time:

Yeah. Alarming, ain't it? I didn't even stretch the photo to make me look that scary; it's all natural, baby. By the way, that was after having gained less than 20 pounds the whole pregnancy. Oh yes, I'm a modern mircale all right. So this is what I, and many of the rest of you who are forced to look upon me on a regular basis, have to look forward to in the next five months. Huzzah!

OK folks, per the comments that have been coming in I have two things to say. First of all, I know I look pregnant. I never said I looked anything but. The problem is everyone assumes I look further along in this pregnancy than I actually am. So the fact that I look pregnant is not up for debate here. Personally, I don't think I look AWFUL right now, but I think I look a little large for 17 weeks. But I've been through a couple of pregnancies before this, too. So whatever.

And secondly, everyone keeps asking who is accusing me of being so huge as if I'm going to name names or something. I usually don't even know these people's names but I do know they're all RAT BASTARDS. End commentary.