29 April 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green

So while we're blabbing about Peawhistle, I figured I'd talk about her views on the supernatural. Now, I'm not a big fan of terrifying my children unnecessarily. Other people's kid, yeah, but not my own. I have to live with them after all. I still recall the many weeks when PW started getting out of bed at night because she was scared giants were going to come crashing through her window. It took many explanations to get her to believe that giants (as those in her imagination) do not exist outside storybooks. This is also why I've very strenuously asserted that things like ghosts, witches, vampires, etc. do not exist. I'm not prepared to get into a discussion about Wicca or modern-day vampire wanna-bes with a six-year-old, so I've just decided to make things simple by telling her they're all make-believe. She's on board with this and often remarks about how none of these things exist, hence why she thinks they're funny.

Not long after St. Patrick's Day, PW informed me that she thinks St. Patrick's Day is a stupid holiday. I asked why (before it was because she wanted a holiday named after her instead) and she said it's because she thinks St. Patrick was a leprechaun and she doesn't believe in leprechauns. This, coming from the kid who is all about living the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy lie. I explained who St. Patrick was, that he did indeed exist, and why the Irish/Catholics felt it necessary to give him a holiday. She was only vaguely satisfied with this, but she still clearly resents the whole affair.

PW just recently told me that she does not believe in elves. Not the wood-sprite kinda elves, but Santa's elves. Remember, she is an ardent supporter of Santa himself, but his elves? Screw them. They're not real. I asked her where the toys come from and she said they came from a factory, with a "Duh!" look on her face. You know, Santa's Factory, where Canadian minimum-wage workers crank out her favorite toys in between smoke breaks and quittin' time.

So let's review:

Santa Claus: real
elves: fake
Easter Bunny: real
Tooth Fairy: real
ghosts: fake
witches: fake
vampires: fake
leprechauns: fake
giants: ?
Saint Patrick: fake

So...anybody who willingly forks over toys, candy, or cash has to be the real thing. Everybody else can just go to hell. Fair enough.

21 April 2010

"Hey, Donkey...."

OK, here's my conundrum. Greta and I went to the movies the other night because we're awesome like that. Also, we're awesome for collapsing into bed the second we got to our respective homes at 11 p.m. (sucks getting old). Anyway, we went to see the new Steve Carrell/Tina Fey comedy "Date Night." I'll let Greta do the official movie review since it's her shtick; suffice it to say it was funny. It wasn't the most hilarious thing I've ever seen, but it was pretty darn funny. I'd watch it again, but I wouldn't own it--that funny.

So now to the conundrum. The best part of that whole fricking movie was Mark Wahlberg. And not only just Mark Wahlberg, but a shirtless, funny Mark Wahlberg. Now, I'm not normally ga-ga over movie stars. I'm not the fangirl type, you know? I appreciate actors for how well they do their jobs, period. If they happen to be easy on the eyes (most of them are), even better. But I'm not plastering posters of Matt Damon on the wall above my bed, you know (the Husband would likely object anyway)?

Oh, but Mark Wahlberg. This man puts me in a difficult situation. This is Marky Mark we're talking about here. That lousy rapper from the 90s who by all accounts should still be in jail right now. And please note that I said "still" because he was in jail. To use the term "punk" is playing it lightly with this guy. One website got it right when they called him "the biggest douche on MTV (no small feat)." He really was a piece of work. And no number of Calvin Klein underoos ads could have ever changed my mind.

Remember that idiot? Sure, we all do.

And this is what happy thoughts and a little pixie dust turned him into:

Smokin'-hot Oscar-nominated Mark Wahlberg, that's what. Now, I've seen Scorsese's "The Departed" (for which he was nominated), which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2007. It's a fantastic movie. Not one for the kiddies though, what with all the people getting violently whacked and such (it is about the mob after all). Again, Mark-minus-his-Funky-Bunch had the best character in that film. Not just because he stole every scene he was in as a hardcore Boston cop, but because his whole job was to verbally abuse Leonardo DiCaprio, and who here hasn't fantasized about that at least once? Don't deny it. If you have the opportunity to watch the movie edited on TV, I highly recommend it.

So the problem is, I fully admit to having a crush on an actor. He's good at what he does too, which is part of the draw. But on the other hand HE'S MARKY MARK. How can I ever forgive myself? I can hardly face myself in the mirror these days, which fully explains my hair failure situation.

Anyway, lest we all think Mark is all seriousness and can't poke fun of himself, here's a favorite SNL sketch* about him:

Followed by his response:

Honestly, how can you dislike someone like that? Congrats to him for turning his crappy, worthless life around into something awesome and...awesome. Plus, he goes to church now. So maybe that'll keep him out of prison for a while.

And hey, say hi to your mother for me.

*These SNL videos won't play in Google Reader, only on the blog. So if you want to see them, you'll have to quit being lazy and actually click on my blog link.

14 April 2010

Dear God....

So there are several posts I've been meaning to write for, oh, months and months, but I've been putting them off because I forget about them when I sit in front of a computer. Or I don't care. One of those. Anyway, I thought I'd finally do one of them now. Hooray for you!

So Peawhistle. She says awesome prayers. Greta keeps reminding me of this and has suggested that I blog about it for a while, so here we are. I would like to mention at this time that Dear Sweet Greta willingly left her own family on Christmas Eve with no notice to come and babysit my kids (the Husband was nowhere to be found) so I could race SweetPea to the emergency room that night. SweetPea is better, but I can never repay Greta for her kindness and selflessness. Five cheers for Greta and her amazing wonderfulness!

Anyway, before Peawhistle started eating her dinner that night, she said grace. Or rather her version of such. See, long ago when PW was learning how to pray and such, I told her it was OK if she told God how her day went because I was sure He was interested in her life, etc. Since then, her prayers have never been boring as a result. It should also be noted that regardless how much I've tried to direct her prayers since then, I've failed. I've tried for months to get her to ask for a blessing on the food; she refuses and will only announce in her prayer that she approves of it. Whatever. For a while in school they were learning the Chicken Soup With Rice poems for the months of the year (which she only occasionally got right), and she would treat Heavenly Father to a recitation each evening at dinner and before bed (two-for-one!). Here's how her prayer went the night Greta heard it:

"Dear Henry Father, thank you for the day, I had a great day today. I love the food. Now I'm going to tell you a December poem. In December I will beeeeeeeee, a baubled babble Christmas treeeeeeee. With soup bowls draped all over meeeeeee. Merry once, Merry twiiiiiiiiiice...Merry chick'n soup with rice! In the Jesus Christ Amen!" (She will continue to scream AMEN until everyone in the house has said it also. It's annoying.)

Now, usually the rhyming words were accompanied by claps, or on days she felt like it, scary faces. That lasted up through December (I guess they stopped teaching the poems in school or something) and now she just uses prayer time to relive the highlights of her day, followed by an airing of grievances with me, her mother. I guess if you're going to complain about how you're being parented by your mom, the guy to go to is God himself. But this is still better than praying for Spider-man's safety, which she used to do when she was little (I guess he could use some prayers), or thanking God for SpongeBob, which I'm sure she still secretly does. And honestly, don't we all? Bless you, SpongeBob.

*I would like to add on PW's behalf that when I have a migraine she always prays that I'll feel better, and all without prompting in any way. She's a sweet kid.

08 April 2010

Stages of Pregnancy

Hey, remember when I used to write a humor column for the local parenting newsletter here? Yeah, well I stopped that. They stopped mailing it out to parents and started emailing it instead, so I called it quits. Writing the darn thing was too much effort to have it immediately sent to everyone's email trash. Take that, stupid environment-loving Technology!

So anyway, here's the last column I wrote for that, or at least the last one that I haven't posted here yet. I'll explain some things at the end, too, but obviously this is quite dated since it's about being pregnant. And I'm not anymore. Are we all on the same page now?


We are taught in school that there are three stages of pregnancy. My husband and I have survived all three stages, three times now. We will not be enduring them again after this time as our minds and bodies can’t live through it again. Let’s review these stages, shall we? It’s fun!

Stage 1: the Age of Puking.

Ah, nausea. My, my how you manage to take over and deaden the soul! I hadn’t had many problems with nausea with my first two pregnancies, but this last one was determined to be different. The worst instigator of my puking habits happened to be my toothbrush. The first time it happened I was merrily brushing my teeth when out of nowhere I puked in the sink. Now, how lucky was that, right? I mean, the sink was right there. And what is this? A toothbrush with toothpaste already on it?? Why, that’s exactly what I need after puking! Perfect! And I proceeded to brush my teeth again, only to throw up in the sink again. After the fifth or sixth time of this happening in a row, I began to notice a pattern (I do have a college degree after all!). And that’s when I begged, with nasty breath, that I be medicated to the best of my OB’s ability.

Stage 2: the Age of Prosperity.

Finally, your energy has returned, the puking medication is working on all fronts, people recognize you as pregnant rather than grotesquely obese, and your OBs are doing their best to inflict a heart attack as soon as possible. “You look great, Abby! Keep it up so you WON’T KILL THE BABY. Sure, yeah, you’re doing well just as long as you stay calm enough to NOT KILL THE BABY WITH YOUR RISING BLOOD PRESSURE. Why are you suddenly so upset? All you have to do is make sure you DON’T KILL YOUR BABY. Have a safe and NON-LETHAL DAY.”

This is also right around the time when your kids start to question you about where babies come from and why you and your partner would feel the need to introduce competition to them. I recall my five-year-old asking me one day who will take the baby out of my stomach once I got to the hospital. “The doctors will take her out.” “How will they take her out?” “With their hands.” “IN YOUR MOUTH?!?” and she laughed that hysterical, maniacal laugh she reserves just for me. While I was listening to her evil little laugh, it occurred to me that a baby coming out that end probably couldn’t hurt any more than the standard way we shove them out now.

Stage 3: the Age of Perpetual Senility.

I’ve come to look at this stage as being a window into the future of what I’ll be like 50 years from now. I’m but 33 at this moment, and yet I’ve already turned into a senile old woman who is suffering from complete and utter memory loss. The other day I got a phone call from a friend and she started out by saying, “So your mom’s coming to stay with you soon, huh?”

I gasped in amazement. “HOW did you know that??”

“Because you JUST sent me an email telling me that, like, two minutes ago, you dork.”

Sure enough, my email history did not lie to me, nor did my friend. “Oh, um, yeah, I vaguely recall that now (which is to say not at all).” Again, this happens frequently.

On several occasions I’ve gotten up in the morning, gone to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and declared with some shock and horror, “My GOSH I have really let myself go! When did I get so darn fat?!”, only to realize two seconds later that I’m in fact pregnant. I’m fairly certain I could be arrested for committing a multi-state armed bank robbery scheme and summarily convicted based upon numerous eyewitness accounts, plentiful DNA evidence, clear-as-day security video footage, and I wouldn’t have remembered a single second of it.

I’ve heard it said that our memories can only hold so much before non-essential information is expelled to make room for new data. This leads me to conclude that my baby is actually growing inside my skull, preventing any information from attaching itself to my brain at all. That huge lump on the front of my gut must therefore be the stores of fat that will see me through the long winter months ahead or something. Or at least that’s what the baby inside my head is telling me.


Many thanks to Stephanie for proof-reading this piece. Apparently I went on and on and on and on in one section and she very kindly told me it was getting boring. The end result was far better due to her very wise warning.

About the puking. It was bad enough that when I'd throw up all the capillaries in my face and neck would burst (called "petechia" I've just discovered), leaving my face and neck completely purple. No, I am NOT exaggerating. It would eventually fade after about four days, but it was so embarrassing I never left the house unless I was going to the hospital to be put on fluids (yeah--like I was going to leave the house looking like a giant hickey? No thanks). So it was bad, hence the medication.

There is one more piece I started to write for the newsletter before I decided to quit. The columns had to be short and this one just plain didn't work as a short piece, so I buried it. If I ever resurrect it I'll let you know.