Thursday, October 23, 2008


I really feel crappy that I'm not updating my blog regularly. I have things happening all the time that I KNOW would be great blogging material, but it seems I am so terrified of getting sucked into my blog and spending an hour typing, when what I can really spare is fifteen minutes. Could it be that I continue to do WAY TOO MANY THINGS???? And I can't stop doing more?? Sigh.

But this happened yesterday and I just had to share it. After a panicked call to Benny at 4 pm begging him to come home a half hour early so I wouldn't kill Helen, who had spent the previous 2 hours screaming at the top of her lungs in the bathroom (long story), things calmed down, so that by the time Benny walked in the door, the situation at home was fairly normal. Oops. Sorry to make you use up your personal time. But really. Her life was in danger. Anyway, so there Benny is in the kitchen; little Ruthie is sitting at the table coloring. And without looking up, without missing a stroke of the crayon, she pipes up "Hey, Daddy, you're an a**hole." After righting myself from nearly falling off the chair I was sitting in, and recovering from the choking that ensued after I nearly swallowed my own tongue, I called her over to whisper in her ear that Mommy sometimes says bad words and Ruthie shouldn't use those words. Then Benny says "Where did you hear that?" and sweet little Ruthie turns around to face me, points her finger, undeniably, right at me, and grins from ear to ear.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Must See TV

I'm coming out of hiding. Okay, I haven't really been hiding. Just busy. And preoccupied. But I felt the need to blog about how much I am anticipating Thursday night TV tonight. Typically, I'd be pretty pissed that The Office and ER, both of which JUST RETURNED LAST WEEK are being pre-empted. And last week, I nearly blew a gasket when what was supposed to be the beginning of the season premiere of Criminal Minds turned into an episode of Diminutive Minds with the appearance of our president, Alfred E. Neumann. But folks, tonight's TV could prove to be even more entertaining than Michael Scott and Dwight Shrute. Maybe more dramatic than last week's killing off of Pratt. Tonight, I will be curling up on the couch with Benny, a big bowl of popcorn, and a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate, and I'll be watching the Vice Presidential Debate. If any of you have been watching recent footage of CBS interviews of Sarah Palin by Katie Couric, you will know exactly what I'm getting at. I'm all for women advancing, but let's try to find one who actually knows a little something about....anything. Actually, I'd be more likely to support Katie Couric on a VP ticket than Sarah Palin. And I'll be eagerly anticipating SNL this week. There isn't much that will keep me up til 11:30, but Tina Fey probably will. And if not, there's my trusty TiVo.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The ballerina and the monochrome one

Lately, I have been allowing my children much more freedom in terms of their daily attire. Actually, it isn't so much that they haven't had any freedom, just that they really didn't care all that much. And I ran with that one, baby. I know my days of dressing them in sickeningly adorable matching outfits are not going to last forever. And if they're cool with that, why not?
Recently, however, they have been exerting more independence in the "dress yourself" category. I still stand my ground when we are going somewhere nice, or when I am being particularly queer and making them do things like wear their matching strawberry capri pants and shirts to the strawberry patch. Because if I didn't, how would we ever laugh at their photos in another 15 years? Well, judging from the outfits I've seen lately, we'll have plenty to laugh at.
Ruthie is in the midst of a hard core ballerina/fairy stage. Today was the first day this week that she has not worn a tutu over her shorts/skirt/pants/whatever else it is she has chosen to wear that day. In the house, she wears ballet slippers constantly, and only removes them to leave the house, at which point she is instructed to put on real shoes. This tutu ensemble is frequently accompanied by fairy wings, which she has in both pink and purple, depending, I suppose, on her mood. Also this week, she added a paper tiara, which she made at a Fancy Nancy party at the library on Monday. The tiara is a little big and is frequently resting on the top of her glasses. It's a fabulous look and elicits all sorts of comments from the cashiers at the grocery store, the post office clerk, and anyone we encounter in a parking lot. And I am impressed with her ability to engage in such unladylike tasks as helping Daddy cut down tree limbs, while wearing said tutu.
Helen has been trying to dress herself for a while now, but we hadn't gotten past the ability to recognize that three shirts and no pants do not an outfit make. Lately, she's gotten better. While she declares that pink is her favorite color, and her dresser drawers are filled with all manner of cute girly clothing, she would likely wear her green M & M t-shirt, or her NY Giants SuperBowl shirt, every day if I allowed it. (Though today she was crying desperately to wear her down parka outdoors in the billion percent humidity...strange child indeed.) Last week, when I instructed her to get herself a shirt (she is quite independent and I do try to encourage that) she went upstairs and proceeded to take each and every shirt out of her dresser drawer and pile them up on the floor. She rifled through the pile, throwing them around and declaring "Not this one! Not this one!" Yesterday, she finally got that she needs to have both a top and a bottom to complete an outfit that can be worn out of the house, and she proceeded to find both on her own. Helen proudly emerged from her room with a pair of tan shorts and a brown shirt. No amount of prodding could convince her that a bright shirt might be fun to wear, or those cute madras shorts. It had to be the brown one and the tan one. So all day yesterday, I carted around a four year old who looked like a Tinkerbell understudy, and a two year old who looked as if she existed in sepia, or perhaps was waiting to have her picture taken at one of those "old tyme" photo places. Other than that, it was a perfectly normal day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Take a bow, brother

I'd like to thank my brother, for providing me yet another way to waste my time and neglect my children. Now, in addition to the message boards I frequent, the blog I post, the endless true crime shows stored in my TiVo, the six books I am simultaneously reading, and my newfound, painfully slow knitting hobby (Ruthie, that tiny blanket for your Barbie will be done real soon...I promise), I have now been introduced to the virtual crack cocaine that is Facebook. Oh elder sibling, shall I have DCFS call you directly when they remove my gaunt, filthy, crying daughters from my ramshackle home?

Monday, July 28, 2008

That's me screaming... probably can't hear me though. Why? Well, I am currently being treated for strep throat and it kinda hurts to yell. "Oh, how unfortunate," you might be thinking.
This is not is outrageous!! Because 7 short weeks ago, I was recovering from a TONSILLECTOMY!!! Yes, a tonsillectomy. As my brother said, that should have come with some kind of guarantee. I was perplexed when I woke up with a mildly sore throat on Friday, which evolved into raging pain reminiscent of recent tonsillectomy, accompanied by a fever approaching 103 degrees. This fevered state sufficed to mimic the codeine haze I was under for five days post-surgery. It was all a bit of deja-vu. (Hey, Kitty, that's a fancy word for been there, done that!!) Now, to be sure, the test has not come back yet, but the halitosis affected on-call doctor was confident enough to put me on a regimen of antibiotics. And since I've been in that on-call place before with a horrid sore throat and left with no drugs at all because it was clear I did not have strep throat, I am considering asking for a refund for my tonsillectomy copay. Maybe I should have requested a tonsil transplant. My ob/gyn once remarked, after my bizarrely evolving, seemingly endless miscarriage, two oddly presented cases of preeclampsia resulting in premature births, and an unheard of reaction to these fabo new birth control pills, "Your body just doesn't do anything by the book, does it?" Nope, doc, it doesn't. Can you give me anything for that?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Knit wit

I decided recently that I wanted to learn to knit. I think my friend Kitty (no that isn't your real name, but your real name sounds like that, and I don't use real names on my blog, so you're Kitty) is disturbed by this decision, since it came on the heels of me reading this book. It's a horribly sad book about a woman who loses her 5 year old daughter to a rare form of strep. It's a true story. It's gut-wrenching and heartbreaking and I found myself audibly sobbing during the single afternoon it took me to read it. I could not put it down. My heart skipped a beat at her description of her daughter. She had beautiful blue eyes, blond hair with bangs, and glasses. Which is exactly what Ruthie looks like. At one point the author described how they had to decide whether or not to put her glasses in the casket. And they did, so she could see her dreams. I'll wait for you to dab your eyes so you can read further.
Okay, so this woman turned to knitting in her grief. It brought her tremendous comfort. And I was interested in her descriptions of learning to knit and what she made, etc. Now I can see why Kitty is slightly concerned that I am trying to mimic the life of this woman who lost her daughter who looks almost exactly like mine. But really, I was interested in it before. I just never had enough motivation to start learning. But after reading this book, and another fiction work by the same author, which also leans heavily on knitting as a theme, I asked a few friends who knit what they recommended to get me started. They recommended this book. After checking the online catalog, I found it at one of the local libraries, and while checking it out, noticed a flier for a "Learn to Knit" class at another branch. Fate, I tell you. Fate. So I signed up. And last night was the class. I figured, since knitting has become much more popular among younger people, that this class would be chock full of younger women ready to learn. Nope. Not even close. I was easily the youngest there by 2o years, not counting the librarian who was helping run the class. But it was fun, and I learned how to fix a mistake I have continually made during the few weeks I have been trying to teach myself.
The class was in the evening, which left Benny with a free evening with his daughters. How, you might ask, did he spend his time with his two PRESCHOOL AGED children? Why, he took them to a bar, of course!Apparently, the NY Giants SuperBowl trophy was on display at a local bar/pub (restaurant if you are the father of the children and trying to defend yourself to your wife). He wanted to dress them up in their Super Bowl shirts and take their picture, since taking your picture with the trophy was the big draw. Fine. Take them TO A BAR. Hopefully I will be so entranced by my knitting that I'll forget where you've gone. He waited in line in the bar with my little girls (who, if you don't remember, are the offspring of an alcoholic mother...albeit a recovering alcoholic). He made it a memorable experience for them. Ruthie got to sit at the bar on a stool, and Helen got to sit ON the bar. And Daddy almost got into a bar fight (while holding our two year old) over someone cutting the line. And when I returned home at 10:30 (from a post-knitting trip to hell (Wal-Mart) with my neighbor, I went upstairs to find Ruthie fast asleep in a puddle of urine. She never wets her bed. And Helen was in her crib, sleeping with her Taggie over her head, like she had the spins and the night light was causing her head to split open. It was all way too reminiscent of my first attempt at college. My children were hazed before they even got to Kindergarten.
This morning they continued the trend by behaving horribly and being altogether too cranky. Hangovers, no doubt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long, long time

So sorry I have been MIA. No legitimate reason. A tonsillectomy rendered June a wash of a month for me, but otherwise, I'm just busy. I'm learning how to knit, we went on vacation, I've been reading a lot, and my days are spent exhausting my children which usually exhausts me as well. And I've slacked off on a lot of things, like weeding my garden and blogging.
It's hard to pick up where I left off, or whatever, so when I saw this meme on Busted Babymaker, I thought it would be a fine way to make my return. Never done a meme before and usually don't even read them. But this one was interesting.

Here's how it works:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read. In an ideal world, I'd read most of them, but I just highlighted the ones I intend to read in the next few years. Catch up with me in retirement and maybe I'll have finished the list.
3) Underline (or mark in a different color) the books you LOVE - mine are in red
4) Reprint this list in your blog.

The basis of this meme is that the National Endowment for the Arts is under the impression that the average American has only read 6 of the books listed below. Um, I've never heard of a few of them. And why are they encouraging people to waste their time reading things like The Lovely Bones? Honestly, there are a few on there I've tried repeatedly to read and they have put me to sleep again, repeatedly.

I took a fiction writing class in college and was warned by my professor that the class and its exercises would ruin reading forever for those of us in attendance. I was inclined not to believe her, but, sadly, it was true. I read with a much more critical eye (or ear) than I did before. But I guess the flip side of that is that I can appreciate fine writing in a way I could not before. So some of these books seem to me to be strange inclusions. But whatever. It is what it is.

Anyway, here is the list:

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - technically I have about 100 pages left of book 4 (I started with book 5, but I'll be done with this set by the weekend probably).
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens -
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien – tried to read it. Can’t get into it.
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger – sitting next to mynightstand…next book up.
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - okay, maybe that's a retirement book.
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden – I loved this book..
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown –
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - not if I can help it.
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan -
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel -
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - see # 51
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold – didn’t like it. Kept my attention probably because it’s so disturbing, but I tought the writing was a bit amateurish and predictable.
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - I think I've read this about 5 times.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce -
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath – I have read this book at least 3 times and did a term paper on Sylvia Plath in high school. Probably says a lot about my dark side.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery- I have had a copy of this since I was a child and have intended to read it for the past 30 years. I tried when I as little. Maybe I’ll try again.
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams –
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Musings

Let me start by saying that I continue to put my very dry foot in my very accommodating mouth on a regular basis.
We have made it a Mother's Day tradition to go to a local homemade ice cream stand on Mother's Day because if you have a coupon, and a child who will admit to being yours (my two year old denied me and will henceforth be referred to as Simon Peter...thank you sweet four year old, for the ice cream and the acknowledgment) you may get a free hot fudge sundae. So that's where we went around 6:30 this evening. We knew one set of neighbors would be there, and recognized another shortly after we got there. Both of these families are expecting babies this month, so I approach the gestators and cheerily call out "So you're both still hanging in there." And out of the corner of my eye I see a baby carriage, and in slow motion, my brain says "Oh idiot," while one says to me, laughing "No, E had her baby." And I peer into the carriage , congratulating her on her new son, hoping that the "Oh f*uck" that keeps repeating in my head isn't oozing out, so that instead I'm saying, "F*uck, another boy...f*ck he is beautiful," because that's not what I meant to say. But seriously, in my defense, she's a less than a week post-partum. We all know what that can look least I do now. She was standing next to the one who is still pregnant, but barely looks it. She looks less pregnant now, two weeks from her due date, than I did just prior to delivering Simon Peter at 30 weeks. So really, they looked sort of the sme to me. I forgot that when I saw E three weeks ago, she was looking very. obviously. close. to delivering, and much more pregnant than L. Not so much anymore. And the other thing clouding my judgment is my lack of weight gain when pregnant myself. I gained a grand total of one pound while pregnant with Ruthie. And maybe 8 when pregnant with Helen. I'm not small to begin with, so I probably looked pretty close to the same after I delivered as I did before I got pregnant. So, really, I'm just sorry I'm such an ass. Really.

Today, aside from that, was a great day. My fifth Mother's day, and probably my best so far. We didn't do much. I didn't cook once. I only changed one diaper. I made someone at church really happy with a small gesture. I took a nap. It was blissfully simple. Today was my Mother's birthday. It did occurr to me today that the last time my mother's birthday and Mother's Day fell on the same day was the worst Mother's Day I have ever had. It was five years ago. You might do the math and wonder, knowing my oldest just turned four, why I would care how Mother's Day was when I wasn't a mother yet myself. Exactly. I wasn't a mother yet myself. But I should have been. Or damn near close. Five years ago, the day after Mother's Day was the date our first baby was due. I hesitate to even use the term "first baby", as that is usually reserved for Ruthie these days. But what else would I call him? or her? In the eyes of many, he (or she) wasn't even a baby yet. Ten weeks gestation. Only really the size of a five week baby, according to ultrasound. But a beating heart. For a little while. And I understand that to someone else, there maybe wasn't a baby. But you could never, ever tell me that my baby wasn't a baby. It doesn't exactly feel right to me to talk about my embryo that was died. So just humor me and call it my baby. I think I reluctantly went to see my own mother that weekend. My reluctance had nothing to do with not wanting to see her. It had everything to do with the chasm that had formed from my own grief. It felt like the rest of th world was carrying on with their laughter and gleefulness and celebratory things, while I was in a glass box, watching. And while I wanted to be free of my pain, I didn't. Because that would mean forgetting. And forgetting my pain would mean forgetting my baby, I thought. I still wanted nothing but to stay safe inside the cocoon of my own home, with my husband. Earlier that week I had mustered the strength to visit my neighbor across the street, who had just delivered her second daughter. She and I were due two days apart. To say that visit hurt, that visit was hard, would be a gross understatement. I'm pretty sure I ran across the street crying when I had visited for a sufficiently polite period of time. Ran to my cocoon. And I was facing the baby shower of a good friend just a few weeks later. I wanted nothing more than to go to sleep, wake up months later, and be told I was pregnant, and past the point of danger. (Of course, my idea of a danger point has drastically changed since then. No longer do I think that once you are out of trimester one, you are home free. I know better.) But that was not to happen. And it would be months, about four, before we would once again learn we were expecting, and it would be six months of worry, and legitimate scares, before our tiny daughter entered the world three months early. And it would be seven weeks before we could bring her home. And then three or four more before Mother's Day again. And this time we would spend it crying, both my daughter and me, because she had decided she was partial to drinking breast milk from a bottle, and I decided that was not going to be how it would go. Because I knew that as she continued to grow, the amount I would pump would not be enough. And with the blessing of our pediatrician, I would take all her bottles away that weekend, and it would take her three days to figure out that all the crying in the world would not get her that bottle back. And she would finally surrender, likely an act of survival as opposed to conceding to my good judgment. But one of those days in between would be Mother's Day. But all the crying and torment and worry couldn't make it as bad as the one before. Two years after we were in the midst of trying to figure out why little baby Helen was regularly bleeding from her tiny bum. (She's fine...turned out to be a milk allergy.) So I doubt I need to explain any further why today's uneventful day was blissful. And I'm grateful that I can remember of our first baby and recall the agony of it all, but no longer be consumed by my grief. I know the loss of that baby made Ruthie possible for us. If that's what I had to go through to get her, then that's okay. Really.
To all my friends and family who are moms, and especially my own mother, Happy Mother's Day. I hope it was great. And Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Twilight Zone

WHO is Doogie Archuletta sleeping with? Seriously. He is 17 and sings songs that a 60 year old crooner in an Atlantic City dive would sing. He says "Love Me Tender" is a fun song? Sappy, sure. Sentimental, sure. Fun, um, no. If that is your idea of fun at 17, it's gonna be along life for ya buddy. And he does the same take on every song...sappy, heartbrachey, with the hand on his stomach like he is dying or out in front of him like he is just begging for mercy. At one point last night he was all bent over and I was sure he was desperately trying not to wet himself. He has gotten so boring and predictable and yet, every week, ALL THREE judges tell him he is the best...the one to beat...blah, blah, blah. I want to VOMIT!! He must be sleeping with one or all of them and they're blinded by love and his sexual prowess.
My brother's take on Doogie yesterday (pre-show) had me doubled over in fits of hysteria while my two small children ran fleeing to another room. I quote:

I just don’t get it. I want to dress him up in lederhosen and put him in the Bierhaus at Busch gardens. Also, his father looks like a Paul Simon stunt double in a fat suit and weird berets and chapeaus. All of it annoys me.

I feel really sorry for him (Doogie, not my brother)...he looks miserable.
At this point, Jason is a nightmare. David Cook is still really good, though whe he announced he wsa singing "Hungry Like the Wolf" I was pretty sure he was just too young to know who Duran Duran is. I was a huge Duran Duran fan back when I was a tween (and tweens didn't even exist yet in the form of tweens) and I am a huge David Cook fan, but the two didn't really jive for me. Kinda like a peanut butter and horseradish sandwich. Doogie has completely plateaued, and Syesha, who I though should have been eliminated weeks ago, now gets Most Improved. I actually voted for her last night, and I have NEVER voted before.

Just my take.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lookey...over there >>>>>

In case you haven't noticed, there is a recent addition to my blog page. It's a banner...over to the right...for my March for Babies page. You can click on it to see my walk page and sponsor us or join us on the walk if you're local.

Also, here is a little picture montage for you...if you saw last year's it's kinda the same, kinda on the thumbnail or the title...enjoy. It makes me cry, but I'm their mom.

View this montage created at One True Media

Idol conversation

An email exchange between myself and undisclosed recipients (UR):

UR: where do you find out what type of music/who the celeb pimp is this week?

Me: It's Mariah Carey. Got that from our DirectTV info.

UR: Oh my god! Do they have to sing a Mariah Carey song or just put up
with her being their teacher? I can't think of how David Cook would do a
Mariah Carey song. That would be frightening.

Me: According to DirectTV:
"The seven finalists compete, performing songs by Mariah Carey."
I think maybe it was supposed to say "The finalists will compete,
singing all seven of Mariah Carey's songs." Or did she even have that
Agreed, David Cook as Mariah Carey will be frightening.
God I wish Amanda Overmyer was still on. This would so be her thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Can someone please tell me how Michael Johns got voted off American Idol, and f'ing Kristi Lee Cook is still sitting her bad singing, leg thrusting, hand sticking out, sorry ass on that couch? How?? Is that what this country has come to? This is my first season watching, and I realize I must not really understand this, cuz there's a couple of people left there that should been long gone. Long, long gone. I have never voted for an Idol...never really thought it was necessary. And I will regret it for the rest of my days. Or at least this week. Because I'm totally sure my one vote would have kept him on. Or is it five you're allowed?
And if I ever see Kristi Lee Cook, I'm gong to kick that leg out from underneath her. And hope she lands right on that sticking out hand.

My Aussie hottie is gone. What a sad, sad, night. Maybe he'll go make an album of Queen cover songs. That would make this all better.

I love you Michael Johns. I will miss you more than you know.
And to my darling Benny, who grabbed my hand when they announced the results, and said, with total sincerity, "I'm sorry,"... I love you more.

I think I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

God Help Me

Not for the weak stomached.

So I'm preparing to pour myself a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Ruthie has been in the bathroom refusing to poop for some time. I go in and make some threats (no more Life cereal...not enough fiber), I leave, she cries. It's a rather pathetic cry as she has lost her voice due to the cold or whatever it is that Benny kindly brought home from work (really dear, just your paycheck would do) The pathetic cry forces me back into the bathroom where I find Ruthie perched on the potty is that ass-hanging-almost-all-the-way- into-the-bowl kind of way that little kids have, and on the verge of spewing phlegmy vomit from her mouth. At first I think it's merely phlegm. As I turn back from reaching for a tissue, I realize it's not. It's the whole shebang. I attempt to lift Ruthie off the potty, pants at her ankles and turn her so she can release this spew into the toilet. But she's done for th moment. I have caught a fair amount in toilet paper and tissues, but a visual sweep indicates that it is on the toilet seat, the lid, the floor, Ruthie's pajamas, top and bottom, and she is stepping in some. Sigh. When will this end? We have spent over $100 this past week on copays for doctor visits. We have spent $30 on prescriptions (thank you insurance) and the pharmacy lady knows me by name. Where am I going with this? I am about to make a desperate plea.
Please kind people of the world, if you are sick, stay home. If your kids are sick, keep them home. Not just from school. From everywhere. I know it sucks staying home. I hate it. I hate being cooped up with small children. I do. But if we all just stayed home when we were sick and didn't lug ourselves and our germs all over, we'd all be less sick. So we wouldn't have to stay home that much. We wouldn't have to waste so much time being sick, because the people with the germs would be considerate enough to keep them to themselves. I know this isn't a fool-proof theory, but it would help. And even one less illness would make me happier. I don't know exactly that Benny brought this home from work. It's my assumption since he got it first. He could have truly picked it up anywhere. So that is why I am making this plea to everyone...everywhere...all the time. Unless you would like to volunteer to care for my sick children, pay their copays, blah bah blah, please stay away if you are sick. From anyone. Stay home. It's the best place for you...and me...and my kids. Please pass this on to all the sick people everywhere.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My blessed morning alone

Yes, this morning I had about 2 hours to myself. Two blissful, precious hours. And what did I do? Did I have a nice hot cup of coffee while I read a book? Did I soak in a tub full of fragrant bubbles? Did I nap? Give myself a pedicure? Have an early lunch with a friend? Take a leisurely shopping trip? Nope. I had a mole check at the dermatologist. Why was it so great? How could I possibly enjoy sitting in a gown in a doctor's office while they perused my body for suspicious moles and commented on the mild acne on my back? Well, for starters, I got to watch my husband rush out of the house on the way to the pediatrician, accompanied by a sick 4 year old and a screaming toddler in the midst of a full-blown tantrum. I got to picture him checking my note to be sure all of the doctor's questions were answered, while children whined and hung from his leg. I got to visualize him prying the children off the doctor's rolling stool before they slammed it into a wall with their little fingers sandwiched in between. And I got to know it wasn't me. I got to arrive at my doctor's office a couple of minutes early and only have one puffy winter coat to drag around. I got to bring in just my wallet and diaper sippy bribery coloring books. I got to read a magazine in her waiting room. And I got to ride there and back in total silence. Heaven.

Tune in tomorrow for 10 reasons why you should not have a geriatric do your taxes, no matter how cheap he is.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Golden Ticket

It's been a while. Really, truly, to all three of you, I am sorry. Sometimes, I can;t find it in me to write about the minutiae of my life and nothing all that exciting is going on. We've had two birthdays, and about six illnesses, in the last month. Not what I had imagined you'd all want to read about. And anything else exciting usually happened in the midst of one of those illnesses when a limp whining, feverish child was occupying all of my personal space and preventing me from typing. On top of that, I had to get the girls' outgrown clothing and toys and prepare them for the local consignment sale. A task both frustrating, as I pin yet another diaper cover to yet another tiny dress, and melancholy, as my eyes well up over the same tiny dress that both Ruthie and Helen wore, once upon a time.
But today is a momentous occasion, folks. I have finally learned to do something I have been wanting to learn for years. And years. And years. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday...Sunday before Easter...loooong mass due to reading of the passion, palms are handed out to each attendee at Palm Sunday Mass. Ruthie and I each took a palm when we arrived at church. Ruthie went to the children's liturgy (a.k.a. church school) I told her to listen hard to her church scho teacher to fund out why we get palms. This was completely self-serving becasue I can't ever remember. (Carly...why do we get palms...don't they teach you that in choir?) Anyway, Ruthie came back with three more palms. And a little book about Easter and Jesus rising from the dead. No stories of why we have palms. But she came back with something better. So much better. Something I never dreamed they'd give her, because I thought it was illegal according to church rules. She came back with directions for turning her palms into a palm cross. Indeed folks, for years ands years, since I was a small child, I have seen people's palms miraculously turn into crosses. I never knew hoe they did this. I wold bring my palm home and try, but without the help of duct tape and staples, mine would unravel, and the duct tape really did add an element of modern crudeness to the whole thing. I gave up. I convinced myself that the church didn't want us decimating our palms. They were supposed to be treated with a certain respect. They were to be left on the kitchen table until they disappeared or turned into a pile of dust. Then they were to be swept into Daddy's ash tray. But here we were, being given the instructions. So it must be okay to make a cross form your palms. It must! I scanned the directions, and, realizing my husband's engineering degree might come in handy, packed them into out bag before we left for home. The consignment sale and some of the aforementioned illness kept me from attempting the crosses until this morning. But as I cleaned off the table, I realized U must do this before the directions, the palms, or both, got lost. So I sat down with all five palms, perhaps a bit drier than is ideal for palm making, and I began meticulously bending, folding and tucking. And I now have five beautiful palm crosses on the kitchen table. Don't ask me what I'm going to do with them. I don't know. Perhaps later I will take a picture, but I can't find my camera's USB cable, so even if I did I cannot currently post a picture. So just imagine how beautiful my crosses are. They are. So beautiful.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Australiacan Idol

To all three of my faithful readers, I apologize for my recent neglect of my blog. We have been plagued with sick child #1, sick child #2, sick child#2's birthday, sick child #2's birthday party, followed by sick mommy. But I know, that is no excuse. It has, after all, been nearly a month.
It is Season 7 of American Idol and I have pledged to watch the full run this time. I completely ignored the mania of the first few seasons. The Clay Aiken season I watched sporadically (by which I mean, the auditions and then the finale, and probably nothing in between. ) I've watched the auditions only, for the last couple of seasons. But this season I am in for the long haul baby. (Perhaps a development akin to my recent interest in the whole political thing...see previous post). I made the decision to commit to this when I was under the impression that Benny would be out every Wednesday night, taking a class to review for a test which he took and thought he failed. Two weeks into the class, he found out he passed. so now he is home on Wednesday nights. While I love his company, this poses a problem in our one TV home. Benny will watch the auditions with me, cause admit it, they are humorous and oh so entertaining. But I think he's out of the game now that they're over. However, I have a new friend to watch with in my little daughter. Ruthie, though she will only watch the girls sing for the time being, will keep me company and watch the TiVo-ed American Idols while Helen naps. She has an AI microphone she got in a Happy Meal ages ago that is getting some legitimate use. She actually interviewed me this morning about who I liked. She also at one point packed a bag and said she was leaving to go to American Idol.
We just finished watching last night's episode. I have some clear faves early on, and some I could get rid of, and others who are just forgettable. Some notes from the cluttered corners of my brain:
  • I really like David Archuleta and I think the boy can sing.
  • I laughed out loud when Colton Berry said he's been told he looked like Ellen DeGeneres because that is EXACTLY what I said to Benny when we watched the Hollywood auditions last week. Or maybe what I actually said was "Who is he? Ellen DeGeneres' long lost little brother?" Close enough.
  • Danny Noriega may have some talent but if he doesn't tone down the cracked-out fairy act, he'll be on the next train out. NO FLAMES...I'm not a homophobe. I wouldn't like that same behavior in a girl. Perhaps after tonight I'll be offering the same advice to a girl. He is just too over the top and a bit overconfident.
  • (Leif) Garrett Haley is likable but too quiet. Amp it up dude!
  • Jason first glance I didn't think I'd like him, but I was impressed. He can sing, he has a personality. I like him.
  • EZ Cheese - Wasn't impressed.
  • Cruise ship guy...I don't even know his name, but I'm not gonna look it up because I'm pretty sure he's going tomorrow night.
  • Robbie Carrico - I'm kinda liking Mr. Rocker dude.

but my clear fave of the top twelve guys is Michael Johns. If you haven't yet heard or seen him, watch this: (the good stuff starts about thirty seconds in)

Not only is that one of my all time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite groups, but that man rocked it. He is amazing, and he is kinda hot.
My only concern is, he wants to be American Idol, but he ain't American. I am all for the Aussie dude wining, but I don't know how it goes. Seriously. I claim utter ignorance here. Have a lot of foreigners been as serious a contender as this guy? Has a non-native ever won? Does American Idol translate to "an American who kicks butt and gets a recording contract" or "someone who kicks butt that Americans love, who gets a recording contract." Or would he be the first "Australiacan Idol". And I realize that if I want to vote for my beloved Michael Johns, I can't be watching this the next day...and Ruthie cannot stay up that late. And Benny the non-watcher is now home on Wednesday nights. I have some serious decisions to make. And if Michael doesn't win, then he will just have to be my Australiacan Idol.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Tribe has Spoken

I've always been what I considered to be politically ignorant. This wasn't so much a choice as it was a function of my brain. I was a preschool teacher, a kindergarten teacher and a first grade teacher. I have the attention span of a child of approximately those ages. Though I'm apt to believe childbirth has killed a moderate share of my brain cells and I am now leaning more towards the attention span of a toddler. Those of you who now have a toddler, or have had one in the past, know theri average attention span is nil, except when they have stumbled upon an unattended box of Kleenex, and then they are able to spend a minimum of three hours slowly pulling each individual Kleenex out of the box of 470 tissues, and then meticulously tearing each of them into pieces the size of sesame seeds. But I digress. Kleenex aside, children are not known for their abilities to pay attention to things. So, for obvious reasons related to such, it has been difficult for me to maintain the focus needed to follow what is the LONGEST FREAKING ELECTION PROCESS IN THE FREE WORLD!!! Every major election year, I would vow to learn, vow to listen to the candidates and their issues, vow to read the paper and news magazines, vow to go into the polling place on Election Day and make a truly educated choice. It never happened. It would go more like this: When the Iowa caucus approaches, I would attempt to familiarize myself with the names of the candidates in the running. I would search my brain for information on caucuses from my high school poly sci class, and I would fail. I would read an article in Time magazine on one or another political candidate or issue, and I would fall asleep. I would attempt to watch a debate if it didn't interfere without necessary television like ER or reruns of Benny Hill, and I would fall asleep. I would shamefully abandon all hope of figuring any of it out on my own and I would call my friend Andie, who was a poly sci major in college and actually worked for a time in the government (don't ask me what branch, I was much, much more impressed when she did the radio news during the Imus show for several years) and I would ask Andie who to vote for. And she'd tell me. And I would. I was just proud of my self for voting.
This time, I made a similar vow. Except this time it's working. At a time when I've typically already fallen sleep (yes, I relaixe it's onl been a matter of weeks), I'm interested to see who is winning the primaries in which states. I've actually visited candidate websites (though I can't get too far because I refuse to give them my email address). And I actually watched almost all of the new Hampshire debate a couple of weeks ago. This was helped by the fact that we have TiVo, so the pressure to watch it all live, and all at once, was off. And I would have watched it all, but I realized the Republicans were interested in nothing much more than making sure the US was still a superpower. So after an hour an 45 minutes of them, I gave up. But I watched the whole Democratic debate. And I have anxiously awaited results for the primaries thus far. And I was gleefully happy with myself. I thought maybe I was maturing. Maybe I had finally become socially and politically conscious enough to make my own decisions. But I realized that no, this wasn't it. You see, this whole primary business, the whole debates and voters and stuff, is really just like a very long and debatably more important, though less entertaining, reality show. So here I must thank Jeff Probst, Simon Cowell, Phil whatever his name is from the Amazing Race, and more recently, the people with forgettable names (Carson being the exception) from Crowned. After years of watching reality shows, and hanging on for months to see who will be the winner in the end, I can apply these same principles of dogged persistence to the presidential race. I do realize, because we have
LONGEST FREAKING ELECTION PROCESS IN THE FREE WORLD, that my attention will need to be held slightly longfer. And for this, I respectfully request a few immunity challenges, road blocks, and even Simon telling one or two of the hopefuls "You're dreadful, get out of here," before November rolls around and I can enter the polling place with confidence...and likely a toddler at my feet, before casting my vote and mumbling under my breath "The tribe has spoken."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm so proud

Helen's second birthday is less than a month away. I am becoming increasingly sad about this as she is our last baby, but that is another post. Today, as we were walking through Target, Ruthie and I were discussing Helen's birthday. (And taking advantage of the limited time we have left to discuss such matters in her presence without her knowing what we're talking about.) As I've mentioned before, I like to let Ruthie pick out gifts for people, and her sister is no exception. I asked if she knew what she'd like to give her sister for her birthday, and she said she'd like to get her a toy. Knowing that Target has a lot of toys on post-Christmas clearance, I suggested the three of us take a stroll over there.
As we were making our way over there, I asked if she knew what kind of toy she'd like to get for Helen. She replied that she knew just what she wanted to get her. She wanted to give her the big brown teddy bear she had at home that she didn't really need anymore. I was glowing with pride. Yes, I'm proud that she is thinking of her sister, and that she would give up something of her own...but mostly I'm proud because, at the ripe old age of three, she is already regifting.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rhyme time

People say the dumbest things. I mean, really, the dumbest things. And they're so often unnecessary. And unprovoked.
The girls and I were at the gym today, trying to get some energy burned off on a frigid, below zero wind-chill day by donning swimsuits and splashing around. Thank God the pool is indoors. There were quite a few other kids and their moms there. One woman had a little girl who, it turned out, is just a week older than Helen. They didn't exactly play together, but they acknowledged each other's presence in a "that's-my-mommy-keep-a-reasonable-distance-or-I-may- bite-you" kind of way. The mom and I exchanged pleasantries and the usual "Oh, how old is she?" exchange took place, which prompted the realization that our girls were only a week apart. We retreated to the locker room to change...always an ordeal when Helen is around. Once everyone was dressed, I proceeded to wrangle up the girls to dry their hair somewhat. I called their names, which I will reveal ONLY for the purpose of this post. Do not attempt to refer to them by name in any other capacity, unless you know them in real life. I mean it. Anyway, Ruthie, whose name is really Amelia, and Helen, whose name is really Anya, were in need of a corralling, so I called out "Amelia and Anya, come let me dry your hair." To which this other mom, who is now in the locker room as well, immediately (like as if she had diarrhea of the mouth), responds "Oh, why did you do that yourself?" My stunned silence must have egged her on. "Amelia and Anya? Is that what you said?" "Yes," I replied. "Wow, I get Stacey and Emma mixed up. That must be tough." I responded with one of those half-assed grunty laughs that is more of a "Who the hell asked your opinion?" or better yet "Who the hell gets Stacey and Emma mixed up, you moron." I know my girls' names don't sound dissimilar, but they're not that alike that a complete stranger should feel the need to comment. I didn't name them Shelly and Kelly. Or Casey and Tracey. She must have realized at that point that she had made a comment for which I did not care because then she said "They're beautiful names, though." I thanked her and turned the hair dryer on, drowning out anymore of her senseless, unsolicited commentary. Next time I see her I think I'll call the girls Annie and Fannie.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Here I Am

I''m posting because it's been two weeks since I posted last and I'm feeling guilty. I don't have anything witty or interesting to tell you. We survived our Christmas party, and actually had fun. For real. Christmas was low-key, which was great. New Year's Eve was even lower key. Tomorrow Benny resumes school. This means Wednesdays will be very, very long for me. He will leave home around 7:30 a.m. and return around 10:30 p.m. This makes for an interminable long time when Ruthie is in one of her whining, uncooperative moods and Ruthie is n a temper tantrum streak. Benny had this schedule last year. Except that it come on the heels of my Tuesday night volunteering at the NICU (which usually has me tired the following day) and just before his Thursday night basketball. This year, the NICU will be on Mondays, which will give me night to recover, and Benny has agreed to be more flexible about basketball. (i.e., if one or three of us has pneumonia, or say, I have just been hospitalized with a kidney stone, he will skip basketball.) This may help. As will the fact that Helen is no longer nursing. We'll see. My knuckles are white. If anyone has been thinking of having us over for dinner, Wednesdays are good. Better yet, if anyone was thinking of having just my children over for dinner, Wednesdays are excellent.