Friday, December 30, 2005

Numbers Trivia ( And Nonny is caught in a LIE!)

3.5: Hours of sleep I got last night after Ribh's excessive wailing and waking. I swear, everytime she twitched anywhere NEAR the top of her sleep cycle, her head immediately spun around three times and she started SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS. And while I was willing to let her sleep with my boob in her mouth, even THAT was not appeasing her last night. Plus, after all the nursing she did do, what with the smorgasbord of milky treats I left out for her all freakin' night long, there wasn't an ample supply of milk available anymore after about three in the morning and this Mama was getting sore and crabby. Not to mention that I am STILL fighting the Healing Crisis of Epic Proportions which left me feverish throughout the entire holidays and coughing every three to five minutes.

3: Hours of sleep I got after Ribh and my family got up this morning and Hubby (my savior) let me collapse back into my bed alone! Whee!

55: Number of minutes it took to disassemble the Christmas Tree this morning. After the three days it took put the dratted thing up, I'm pretty pleased. I still need to organize and wrap up all the ornaments and what not. But I do not need to clean up a million embedded needles.

18: The number of children I will complain have been "hanging from my body" when I am feeling overwhelmed by the collective force and chaos of my children. I come from a long line of gross exaggerators. This one is minimal. And feels quite accurate at times.

987: My favorite number* to use when establishing that there was really really A LOT of something. As in: It only took me 987 hours to put up that damn Christmas Tree From Hades. Sometimes I say 897, just to mix things up.

*I believe the birth of my use of this number began in childhood. I was recently watching the movie Annie (You know, the one with Albert Finney) and when the orphans escape from Miss Hannigan and run around New York trying to find Annie to warn her that her "parents" are really Hannigan's evil brother Rooster and Bernadette Peters (and who wouldn't be terrified of THAT) the orphans finally find Fifth Avenue and they realize they are at Number One Fifth Avenue, but they need to 987 Fifth Avenue, which apparently is Daddy Warbuck's address.

The utterance of this line of dialogue struck such a chord with me, a familiar twang of recognition spread through my body and I was reunited with the dialogue which begat my favorite exaggerative number. Aww, how sweet! And so, in celebration, I will bestow one more life changing line of dialogue from the movie Annie: "Buddha says, A Child Without Courage is like a Night Without Stars, Come!"

2: The number of times I have been the "Shalvaysta" in my entire life. This may be meaningless to you, but apparently it is even more meaningless than I ever suspected.

"Shalvaysta Day" is a family tradition of my childhood based on a Finnish tradition in which the last person to get up on December 31st is declared the "shalvaysta" or the Laziest Person in the house for the entire year! Cute huh? My mom was raised in a Finnish community in Northern Wisconsin and she taught us this little bit of folklore and I have handed it down to my family. But wait, it gets trickier! (Hang on family members who read this blog! Here comes the part when you will find out it is all A LIE!!!)

I look up the proper spelling of the word "Shalvaysta" on the trusty internet in order to appear intelligent and ya know, FACTUAL, and here the whole story falls apart. There is NO "Shalvaysta day" on December 31st! There is no mention of any word resembling Shalvaysta, which probably just means "sucker".

Actually, July 27th is "Sleepyhead Day" or Unikeon Paiva in Finland, and the last one up, the "Laziest Person", is actually called the "unikeko". And furthermore, this person is roused by throwing water on him or best yet, wrapping him up mummy style in his bedsheets and dumping him in a nearby lake! So, Big Brother Matt, you got off cheap all these years with just a little good natured ribbing. There could have been water play and cutting a hole in the ice so we could dump you in the lake. Well, not in July. But you get the picture.

I don't know if my mom's little backwater community somehow bastardized their cultural observances and brought "Laziest Person" days to the wrong solstice (the Fins are known to drink quite a lot) or if my mom just got creative on her own and somehow transported the holiday into New Years Eve Day in order to get her slacker children out of bed over winter break, but just to set the record straight: Tomorrow IS NOT "Shalvaysta Day" and you can all sleep in as late as you want without fear of recrimination. (I know many of you are enjoying such huge sighs of relief as you read this.)

But watch out on July 27th! I may even have to locate a nearby lake.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Meet Bubbles Kitty

Ribh enjoyed her first Christmas.

She crawled through drifts of discarded wrapping paper and toy packaging and made friends with all her new toys, one by one. But her new Bestest Friend is Bubbles.

Now I know Bubbles may not seem like much to crow about for crafty folks like Loobylu (who could whip up a creature that would put Bubbles to shame using only items she carries in her purse and the grunge that accumulates under the sofa cushions.)

But I don't possess such crafting skills and am so impressed by Bubbles adorable little freakin' knit self (hand knit in Peru by the folks at blabla) that she has already become The Mama's favorite and will therefore likely become Ribh's favorite as well.

And here the little shy darling is modeling some new leggings by trying to pull them over her head. How droll is the little cheesecake pose?

And finally, she contemplates other ways to showcase her many burgeoning talents for her mother's blog readers.

Beware folks! This one is going to be clamouring for this kind of acclaim all the time in the near future. I can just feel it.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ransom Note

Hostage: One wee silky My First Hello Kitty, abandoned in our minivan by visitors from Milwaukee.

(*note the way we have bound her wee arms behind her back to prevent escape)

Ransom demanded: One case of squirt and a bottle of vodka.

But you'd better send the vodka and squirt soon or else poor Hello Kitty will be abandoned yet again, but this time to the whims of my multiple offspring. Bwa Ha Ha Ha!

( A few of you didn't know what a freak I can be yet, didcha? Now you know.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005



Okay. So the big news for all of you who have been living under a Mar's World News Blackout: WE MOVED TO GEORGIA. As in The Southland. The Land of Plenty. The Land of Nefarious Accents and Unseemly Language Usage. The Land of Roads which go hither and yon with ne'er a bit of logic behind their direction nor naming procedures. The Land of the World's Coolest Aquarium. We are officially Southerners.

In other news this year, we added the third (and final) installment to our family with the arrival of Ribh (Yes! Yes! It's pronounced "Reeve" people. Got that already? Let's move on.) Wallis Flannery in January. She was born in front of the kitchen sink with her Mama cursing and her Papa catching with minimal hoopla, as it should be, to our way of thinking. She is growing (and growing and growing, especially those thighs!) and will likely be walking by New Year. She is much beloved by her sibbies and already showing the dramatic bent which is so often characteristic of "The Baby" of the Family. Especially my family. Wheee! She's dern cute tho'.

Quinlan is almost three, going on 16, with her obsessions with clothing, makeup and "being a princess". She is into everything. Really. She is almost magical in her ability to scale great heights and hidden depths to find all things that have been forbidden to her. She has adapted her vocal chords to the point where her Pterydactyl Shrieks have escalated to noises only dogs can hear at times, but overall she is adapting well to longer being the "baby" and becoming a Southern Belle (egads!) all in the same year.

Gabriel has graduated from hanging out at home with us slackers and bon bon eaters to showering and shaving daily before going off on the big yellow bus to kindergarten. Under the southern accented tutelage he has mastered concepts such as phonics and AB patterns and monetary exchanges with alacrity. He also enjoys hanging out with the neighborhood children and emulating Scooby Doo and Shaggy whenever possible. Especially if cookie dough is involved.

Brian (Hubby) is missing his former students and patients but loving life and Life (His new employer) in the Southland. He especially enjoys golfing in winter (when he can get away) and never having to chip ice off his car. He is enjoying being a "City Boy" and loves the company we have finally attracted now that we are no longer residing in Iowa.

I am also missing both students and patients from Iowa but I am content that we are (once again) where we are supposed to be. I have had several major life lessons this year in surrendering control and finding my creative spark once again. It has been good for me to release myself to my creative inclinations and I've managed to refine and teach my Innate Birthing classes and birth my latest offspring, this blog. (Two offspring in one year! It's like Irish Twins or something equally freaky, huh?)

And now's the part where I get all sappy: We have so much to be thankful for this year. I am so grateful for all my friend and family who helped pull us (me) through some really difficult moments this year with kind words, hugs, copious babysitting hours, drives to Iowa, and loving ears who listened to me bitch and kvetch. I want you all to know how much your love (And comments! Yaay for those who post comments!) has meant to me. My faith in the universe was tested this year, but it was the support each of you gave to me and my family that allowed me to see how truly rich and blessed I am.

And so, Tra La La! And Ho HO HO! Merry Christmas to all!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

The World's Longest Delay

Yesterday we drove to the airport twice. Once to drop off our visitors and once to pick up our visitors. Because far far away, in the land of snow and sleet, an airport called O'Hare lost its everlovin' mind.

But don't feel sorry for me. Consider my guests (which include a six months pregnant woman and a toddler) who spent six hours in limbo at the airport. And then they came back to my house and we drank vodka and Squirt (except the pregnant woman). And then, this morning, as I was loading the van to drive them back at the airport, they got another call informing them that their "new" flight was cancelled.

But wait. Just now, as we were putting shoes and jackets on all the kids so I could bring them to the airport for their "new new" flight, my guests received a call informing them that their flight was, once again, cancelled. Until tomorrow afternoon. Vodka and Squirt for everyone! Cheers!

(This means there will be no new blogging, unless there is drunken blogging.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Southern Comfort

Ooops, I did it again. I went awol all week. This week's excuse: COMPANY! Wheeee!

Thursday and Friday were spent preparing for said company. Which means I actually vacuumed all the rooms in my house AT THE SAME TIME. (By which I mean on the same day, not that I somehow overrode the laws of physics and managed to simultaneously exist in more than one place. Jeesh people, don't be so literal!) All the toilets in my home were excrement free momentarily and I made a major shopping trip to Harry's, the mecca of all kick-ass gourmet foods. (I probably shouldn't mention the excrement and food in the same sentence, but that's just how it turned out.)

The company, my college roommate and her husband, my college boyfriend's roommate (confused yet?) arrived with their delightful offspring, Lily (17 months), on Saturday. Since then, we've been busy eating the delightful snacks from Harry's, hanging out, drinking a smidge (ha!), and watching our children roam about snatching each other's toys and sippy cups.

We did make the pilgrimage to Gladys Knight's (and Ron Wynan's) Chicken and Waffles for, you guessed it, Chicken and Waffles. Well, we had the super crispy chicken and delicious malted waffles, Chris and Tracy and Lily had Waffles and Waffles, because they are vegetarians. We had planned to take the children to the Children's museum, but naptime interceded and the meltdowns appeared to be in earnest, so we aborted that plan and opted for some serious napping, and not just of the child variety. We also went to an outlet mall and went out for dinner sans children last night. Clearly, it has been a spectacularly thrilling visit for my company so far.

Today we are planning a trip to the new Georgia Aquarium, which truly is lauded to be spectacularly thrilling. Then we (I) have delusion of a quick trip to IKEA to spend a bit of my Christmas money while we are downtown. This will likely be interrupted by nap needs, but, hey, its 6:30 in the morning, so anything still seems possible.

I am also planning to make cheese fondue for the first time ever for dinner and have MORE COMPANY (with children) over to see if we can maximize our household capacity for sippy cup battles and shrieking. Don't worry, I bought plenty of wine.

Photos to come, I promise.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Woe is Tree!

Where have I been for the past week (well, almost)? I've been putting up my freakin' Christmas Tree. Really! It's been so so fun! (Are you catching all the heavily dripping sarcasm?) Do you want to hear all about it?

On Saturday, we braved the drizzling rain and set off for the cute little local Christmas tree farm I had seen featured in the local county newspaper. The fact that the establishment was featured in the Paulding County Reporter, which arrives free in my driveway every Thursday morning should have been my first tip that this was not a great idea. But alas, I was striving to achieve Super Mama Nirvana with an adorable family trip to cut down our Christmas tree, so we went anyway.

Actually, I am making the process seem much easier than it actually was. Just before leaving the house to set out on this excellent adventure I had a complete meltdown of some type (Over nothing really. Never underestimate the power of female hormones) and spent a half an hour crying in the closet and then mopily apologizing to Hubby and Dr. P for being so insane. The girls were crying and Ribh pooped everywhere just before we left and Gabe was mad because I wouldn't let him bring along some toy and Hubby was getting aggravated by all the hoopla and we hadn't even left our house yet!

We arrived at the tree farm ( I only cried two more times on the way there) and discovered that they had none of the usual varieties we like to get (Douglas Fir) but instead had wild and shaggy "southern varieties" that frankly, sucked. I swear, each and every tree on this rinky-dink tree farm was either a contender for The Most Lopsided Christmas Ever, or sadder than Charlie Brown's worst Christmas nightmare, or a combination of both. Whoever trimmed and shaped these trees was doing it while wasted and blindfolded!

To top it all off, Quin was in total nap-needing meltdown and demanded (by wailing incessantly) that she be held at all times. Since I was slinging Ribh, the lot fell to Hubby to lug Quinny's snotty whining self and the saw as we trudged around it search of a tree that only mostly sucked. Gabe was in charge of the camera, so all photos are courtesy of a five year old and the only member of our party who wasn't whining and crying.

So we picked a tree that only generally sucked and cut it down and paid our $24 for it (Thank God! The only good part of the whole debacle) and drove home, stopping about 15 times along the way to re-tie and ascertain that the tree was still affixed to the roof. Good times!

We brought the tree inside and wrangled it into our tree stand and fought to find a "straight" position considering its hopelessly subluxated (not straight) spine and finally poured some water into the stand and watched in run out like a mini river. I then sent Hubby to the store to buy a new stand to replace the old one which had apparently cracked in the move to Georgia. We got the tree into the new stand, mopped up all the water and began to string lights.

Okay, first of all, how is it that lights which are only one year old and were perfectly functional when they are packed away become completely non-functional after sitting in a cushy box and eating bon bons all day for 345 days? Why do I have to buy five or six new sets of lights every freakin' year??!! Why, I ask you, why??

Also, why does my husband NOT GET that lighting the tree is not a FUN THING that I do JUST FOR FUN!?! Every year I have to beg and plead for him to help me and every year he says the same lame thing: "But Honey, you like to do this". Note to Hubby: I like Christmas. I like Christmas trees. I like presents and carols and ornaments. I do NOT like doing all the decorating myself. I would like it to be a family activity in which people stop watching the football game for like a half hour and smile at each other and light a fire and have a glass of wine or hot chocolate and maybe create some holiday memories. I know I have to give up this dream, but DAMN! It seems so simple and reasonable when I start out each holiday. Sigh. Okay, THAT rant is over now.

But wait, there's more. I paused in the tree decorating extravaganza to nurse Ribh to sleep and was interrupted by a loud crash accompanied by a pitiable screech. Hubby and I convened in the living room where we discovered Quin UNDERNEATH the tree, which had toppled onto the floor, again. Hubby began cursing and picking the dratted thing up and poor Quinny scooted into my arms. We mopped up the water all over our floors again. Dr. P came upstairs and informed us that some of the water had seeped through the floor and was running down the casement window in his bedroom. We also now realized that the tree would doubtlessly need addition tethering to keep if from toppling again. We aborted the operation for the night and went to bed (in tears again on my part.)

The next morning we discovered The World's First Horizontal Christmas Tree. Luckily, I had been too overwrought to remember to refill the water the night before, so we didn't have to deal with the flooding again. We determined that the tree is so unstable (because of its crooked trunk and unbalanced shape) that it was a lost cause. We began searching on the internet for artificial trees.

I will try to streamline this post (too late) by simply saying that I searched the internet, many stores in person and a few tree lots and finally settled on a non-pre-lit tree that I got from some guy on Craig's List for only $60 bucks. I drove 45 minutes each way to pick it up and of course, when I got it home I discovered that it had no tree stand. It only took about three to four hours to assemble properly, and then I had to light it and "help the kids" decorate but three days later I finally have the whole thing up with light and ornaments and the works. I think it may become a permanent part of my living room decor because it was so much damn work to get it there!

Without further ado: Behold! The Holiday Tree!

Friday, December 02, 2005

You Never Know Where the Conversation Will Go

Gabe and I discovered a large-ish spider crawling on his towel as he got out of the bath. He was (understandably) creeped out by this and asked that I "get it" for him. I proposed wrapping it in toilet paper and throwing it in the toilet, which he was all for.

But then, as I flushed the toilet, the questions began.

Gabe: Mom, where did the spider go?

Me: I flushed it. It went in our septic system.

Gabe: What else could we have done with it?

Me: Well, we could have put it outside, but it would freeze at night and it would die. We could leave it to crawl around our house but I don't want it to crawl around on me when I am sleeping so I would rather not keep it in our house.

Gabe: Me neither!

Me: Actually, I kinda squished it a bit when I picked it up with the toilet paper.

Gabe: So, it's dead. Spiders can die?

Me: Yup. It's dead. Everything dies eventually.

Gabe: Even you and me?

Me: Yes, but we probably won't die for a long long time and we will be very old.

Gabe: Old, like Papa (Hubby)?

Me: NO, much much older. Like a Grandpa.

Gabe: (Aghast and a bit emotional) But I don't want to be old.

Me: Why not? (starting to feel bad for all my frank talk)

Gabe: I don't want to have hair grow out of my nose.

Me: (Chortling) It's okay Gabe. You don't have to let hair grow out of your nose, even when you are very old.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

When Babies Find Markers

The budding artist's first masterpiece. Her own face. It's like one of those tribal tattoos.

I couldn't pick just one photo 'cuz she's just that cute! And brilliant.

And yes, the marker was washable! Hooray!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Signs That I AM My Mother

1. Quin cannot find one of her favorite high heeled dress up shoes. After she asks me six times where it is and I tell her each time that I do not know, I finally tell her that I have eaten her shoe and she will have to wait until I poop it out before she can play with it again. (Now she keeps asking me to go to the bathroom and get her shoe out of the toilet. Ruh Roh!)

2. Peevers loves to nurse when we take a bath together. I subversively try to keep my breasts under water and laugh at her when she repeatedly dips her head into the water while trying to get ahold of my nipple. Good times. Good times.

3. Gabe became insanely emotional when I told him he could not have a piece of fudge after school. He told me that he was very very sad. I told him that being sad about fudge is good for his heart and will make it grow big and strong. Then we had a contest to see who could make the saddest face. I won.

4. Both of my older children know that making up new words to a song is a sure fire way to make new friends and gain influence. Even Quin, not even three yet, can sing a great alternate to Twinkle, Twinkle involving her potty chair and her brother's favorite toy that is clever enough to win her an audience at the White House.

5. The kids were fighting over which seat they sat at the kitchen counter. Without even pausing, I implement a system in which their assigned seat is determined by even and odd days on the calendar. Gabe gets the pole position on odd days and Quin does on even. (What they hell am I gonna do when all three are fighting over something?) I tell Gabe that he gets the odd days because he is so odd.

6. You have probably heard half these stories from me already because, like my mom, I think every good story bears repeating. And repeating. And repeating.

* I should say that neither my mom nor I are half as evil as this post may seem to indicate. All of these examples should be seen in a light of the good natured ribbing the kids knew they were all along. If you still don't think it's funny then..I wouldn't joke that way with you. Gosh!

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Best Thanksgiving Snake

It was a quiet Thanksgiving. The after dinner entertainment was provided by Otto.

He's "The Best Snake Ever" according to Quin and now even according to Cynthia, who was initially a bit nonplussed by the after dinner program.

We ate. We drank. We played with a snake.

Who wants to come next year?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mermaids Don't Wear Underwear

Quin has recently discovered the joy that is Walt Disney's Princesses. I have tried to channel this interest into more alternative ass-kicking Princess types but alas, the marketing geniuses at Disney have Quin's number. She pretty much embodies their demographic for girly girls.

So I relented and dragged out my favorite Disney Princess classic, The Little Mermaid. Quinlan's immediate rapt response to the under-the-sea sugarfest: "She's a mermaid mama! She's so pretty!"

Hubby has always enjoyed this film as well. In fact, we watched it together on one of our first dates. The movie prompted a long standing feud between us in which I insist that the Little Mermaid was washed ashore stark naked after her transformation by the Sea Witch. Hubby insists that the Little Mermaid must be wearing underwear at least, since she has a sea shell bra thingy. This makes no sense because in her normal mermaid form, she has no damn legs and therefore, no CROTCH. I'll admit there is some confusion as to where merpeople hide their most private nether-regions. Obviously, they must have some naughty tingly bits somewhere or there would be no little merpeople, but I still contend that you need a crotch in order to wear underwear. I mean, what's a little mermaid to do as she dresses; scrape off her scales, slide legless underwear over her flippers and then reapply scales? I think not! The girl/fish has no underwear. Period. Hubby is dead wrong on this one.

Hubby seemed to have a generally different take on the film now that he is a parent to three and a father to two girls. Gabe remarked that Ariel father was being mean and Hubby staunchly defended Triton and told Gabe that Ariel should be in BIG TROUBLE for disobeying her father and chasing after boys and what not. I'll bet he'll insist all the more blindly that Ariel is wearing underwear because he cannot stomach the image of his innocent little girls running around after "princes" sans drawers. It's always tough being confronted with your daughters' inevitable sexuality. Poor Hubby.

But Quinny loves the Little Mermaid now and wants me to sing the "Mermaid Song" to her daily, if not hourly. She also has latched onto the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music, so we watched part of that yesterday too. Gabe just likes the Goatherd song but Quin calls all the girls and Maria "princesses" and asks to watch Leisel dance around the gazebo with the telegram boy over and over.

Hubby is so screwed when her hormones kick in.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Why I'm A Humongous Slacker (At Blogging That Is)

They say that most bloggers just bonk out/blog out/poop out within the first year. I am ashamed to say I can see how that happens. I think of myself as too good of a writer with too much to say to let that happen, but just look at my thread count for the month; pitiful!

I've been feeling plenty guilty for blogging so infrequently lately (and not just because some of you have been nagging me with pleas for new entries). Here is the list of reasons (excuses) I've been compiling in my mind:

1. I assume ya'll are tired of hearing about poop and vomit. It is a recurrent theme in my life but it seems so frequent and redundant lately that writing about it seems a bit boring and would be like rubbing my own face in it (figuratively). So, I haven't been writing about the many poop and vomit related escapades in my life recently (and always). It has nothing to do with squeemishness over poop and vomit, just its ubiquity.

2. I'm not totally freaking out for once. This may seem backwards, but freaking out feeds me or something. The more I freak, the more I write. So, now I just stay home and clean up poop and vomit and I have nothing to rant on about. Go ahead and call me Drama Queen. I will smear some poop on you.

3. I now have a TiVo in my bedroom and I can chill out and watch Starting Over or some other silly guilty pleasure to numb my brain. Okay. That's totally pitiful. But honest.

4. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THE DAY GOES! I swear, I have a list of projects and books to read and my birth initiative to get off the ground here in Georgia and yet every day flies by with my being proud if I just managed to feed the kids a healthy dinner, read to them before bed, or empty the freakin' dishwasher, much less paint the bathroom (also on The List) or blog.

5. You've heard all my standard rants already. I've been known to repeat myself. To excessive lengths. Just ask Hubby. So, I'm trying to actually have something to say before I sully the internet with my ramblings. Maybe I'm setting the standard too high.

6. Since only like three of you comment with any frequency, I don't really feel like I know what you guys want me to blog about. I mean, I don't blog to please anyone, BUT it is gratifying to write things that you know others are enjoying. So gimme some love, people!

7. I have been a lot of trouble with my internet connection and frequently get booted off mid post, so I am anxious about writing some huge and definitive essay on, say, The Quality of Poop Expressed by a Potty Training Two Year Old, only to find it lost to the ether forever. Heartbreaking, I tell you.

8. The worst thing is: THE CONSTANT INTERRUPTIONS! Seriously, since I started this post, two and a half hours ago, I have been delayed by the neighborhood children arriving (damn school holiday breaks), the phone ringing, the dog barking to be let in, the neighborhood children ravaging my house, changing a poopy diaper, kicking the children out of my house, the dog barking to go out with the kids, an adult neighbor arriving to chat, making lunch for my children, kicking the neighborhood children out of my garage, putting Quin (already asleep on the sofa, naked, amidst the bedlam) in bed for her nap, the dog barking to come back in, nursing Peevers to sleep, and trying to get Gabe occupied working on some school work. So, I need to REALLY REALLY have something to say in order to break through the chaos and interruptions and write a nice juicy blog entry.

So, inspire me, hire me a doorman, or comment already, and maybe you'll get some sugar from me in the form of more frequent posting. And quit sending me harrassing emails. I have access to copious quantities of poop and vomit.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cutest Photo Montage Ever!

The kids and I went to Ellen's house, which is more "in the country" than my subdivision in order to take the kids tromping around in the woods behind her house. It was raining all morning but we decided a little water wouldn't hurt them (our kids are tough, I tell you) so we put them in galoshes and headed into the woods.

All the way to the creek, we wove a tale about the "Root Children" who live in the forest and kept a look out for signs of their presence. We entered their territory through a secret arbor and saw other signs that they had been there in the placement of fallen trees and little nests.

The kids were loving the story and kept looking for "Root Children" as they played.

They splashed in the creek. They fell in the creek. They filled their galoshes with water. They picked up trash (Ugh, yes, even in the deep woods there was trash). The babies watched them contentedly. The big kids got drenched up to their waists (up to the neck in Quin's case) and still continued to giggle and play. My kids acquitted themselves well as the backwoods rednecks we secretly are and I was proud. There is nothing sweeter than filthy clean-living munchkins in my book.

We finally dragged their sodden bodies out of the creek and up the hill to the house, dumped the water out of their boots and threw them in the bathtub.

Gabe has been telling me that he wants to go back to "Noah's Secret Woods" to look for the "Little Guys" again soon. Maybe tomorrow. Sigh. This makes me so happy.

You may also have noticed I (and the kids) have made new friends. Isn't life grand?

For more photos of the Secret Woods Adventure, click here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Things That Go Bleargh in the Night

Last night, dark stillness was interrupted by the cry of a child.

Here's the cool part: Hubby got out of bed to go investigate.

Prior to moving to Georgia, we ALL slept in "the family bed," which was really two beds pushed together on the floor of our bedroom. But now, the big kids sleep in their own bunkbeds and seldom get up for anything. We, in turn, sleep in our own humongous bed with only Peevers to contend with (and she is way easy)! And, our bed is not even on the floor!

And the coolest thing about all these changes: When big children cry in the night, Hubby gets up to contend with them since he is closest to the door and I am attached to Peevers.

But the REALLY REALLY cool part: Hubby got up and figured out what was wrong (Gabe had puked in his bed) and then went ahead and got Gabe settled on the sofa and STRIPPED THE BED AND PUT THE SOILED BEDDING IN THE WASH AND BEGAN TO WASH IT!

What a great morning! Even though I have a puny child home from school today, I am just so thrilled that the Mommy Default Button wasn't depressed during the night, I am celebrating anyway.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Let's Have a Little Debate, Shall We?

1. Why do nerds in teen movies think they have ANY chance of getting the hot and popular boy/girl?

Remember the 1986 film, Lucas? Corey Haim was the adorable (think: puppy) nerd with hugely oversized glasses to match his hugely oversized crush on blandly lovable Kerri Green (who you will remember as the "it" girl from Goonies, NOT Martha Plimpton, who I actually adore.) Lucas was your classic undersized weakling academic misfit who hung out with his fellow outcast, Winona Ryder (!) with whom he may actually have had a slight possibility of hooking up. And yet, he foolishly goes out for the football team in order to impress the popular girl.

There are so many things wrong about this premise.

I have hung out with many a nerd/outcast/non-jock type in my teen years and we (I mean, they) hated the freakin' jockish and popular crowd. Because, as a whole, the popular sect are all a bunch of entitled jerkwads, who even if they deign to act civilly on occasion, are worthless when it comes to actually having a rewarding conversation. No self-respecting outcast actually wants to hang out with a bunch of popular assholes. I mean, give me a bunch of goth skaters and art geeks over the vapid loveliness of the richies any day. Plus, nerds are smart enough to calculate that they have no real chance to fit in with this group.

Even when they all give Lucas the big slow clap (you know, that gradually increasing, emphatic jock clap) in the end of the movie, it was more like: Man, dude, We can't believe you were stupid enough to take off your helmet right before you caught the big Hail Mary pass and then allowed the other team to tromp on your skinny neck like that just to get a stupid football jacket. We admire your admiration of our superiority and your sacrifice to us. Now please give us the space our superiority demands already. And try to stay away from our wimmin folk. That is what a slow clap means, people.

As an adult and a parent, I think I will be totally concerned if my children begin to run a bit too mainstream. Thus runs the path to Madness and Sheeple-dom. This is not something to which you should aspire, people! (Remember Mr. Pine and his purple house? Anarchy! That's the ticket.)

2. And this leads me to another point. Why are movie nerds so transparently not really very nerdy/unattractive? And why do they become "attractive" once they dress up conventionally and fit it with the ridiculous jock group? Glasses can be wicked cool people!

I am thinking of She's All That, with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachel Leigh Cook. She was this totally cool and brilliant art nerd who for some reason didn't realize that she just needed to get contact lenses and some Abercrombie clothes to fit in with the glam crowd. Of course, her makeover is delivered, My Fair Lady style, by Freddie Prinze Jr. himself, who naturally falls in love with his Eliza now that he has fixed her up. Why the hell can't he fall in love with her in her original interesting modern goth get up? For that matter, why did Eliza Doolittle have to "be a lady" before Henry Higgins found her acceptable? It's class warfare being taught to teenagers on the big screen with the main-est of the mainstreamers cast in the roles of royalty. I call bullshit! NO more elite status for Sheeple! Let's give credit and elevated status to those who are willing to be different!

And how about Can't Buy Me Love (1987) with the coolest nerd in history, Patrick Dempsey. He pays to get Pygmalioned by his beautiful and shallow neighborhood hottie, and she actually learns to love him, blah blah blah. I guess this one has a little twist, because they both learn to reject the "go with the crowd" idiocy of their crowd and "be themselves" and so on, but they both still end up as attractively styled blandly mainstream version of "themselves".

Pretty In Pink is the only movie I can think of where the outcast doesn't have to change into a Sheeple Girl to get the guy. BUT, they originally had her NOT get the cool guy and had to change the ending to make it happy enough to please audiences and furthermore, I still cannot see Molly pining after this dopey Rich Boy in the first place. Just because she hangs around with Duckie (which, hubba hubba, who wouldn't want a little Jon Cryer action anyway!?) doesn't mean she can't attract any interesting guys. She is a strong, interesting, attractive girl. She wouldn't be sitting home crying every day in the real world. She'd be like, "These high school guys are dorks. Let's go get coffee by the college and pick up some cool art students." I know this. Really. This is what we did in high school when the guy pool seemed to be drying up.

3. I must stop watching VH1's I Love the 80's 3D or you will be subjected to many more posts like this one.

4. Oh yeah, and why do I LOVE to watch these movies, even though they push all my buttons? Gah!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mr. Pine's Purple House

Welcome to Suburbia! (Hell, that is.)

This is where I live. Scarier than the last week of Halloween photos, no?

This setting and home are so terrifyingly unlike my usual taste that it is taking me a while to really settle into that "homey" feeling.

I had a British book when I was kid, called "Mr. Pine's Purple House" which featured a row of identical houses much like this. The protagonist, the aforementioned Mr. Pine, could never find his house in the eerie conformity of his neighborhood and retaliated by painted his house bright purple. Of course, this inspired others near him, and soon the row of houses looked like something from the San Francisco hills. It was my early introduction to anarchy. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Sadly, I am bound by community covenances as well as strapped by a lack of cash, so my house will never be purple. I'd never go for that option anyway. I'd love to do some kickass landscaping and add a bunch of trees and shrubs (A Shrubbery!) and such out front, but that will have to wait for a bit. But in its defense, it has a nice large lot, tons of trees out back, and a great school district. So, there you have it.

The inside of the house is much more personalized. I have plans for more creativity inside eventually as well. I have prepared a flickr slideshow for those of you who want a peep inside for now. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005



I've got a whole freakin' bag of freakin' Tootsie Pops because it's the classic give away for cheap-os. All the public give-aways feature bags full of Tootsie Pops and freakin' nasty ass Dots! NO MORE POPS! NO MORE DOTS! I WANT MINI CANDY BARS!

Okay. I think. I've had. Enough candy. Today.

Ummm.....I knew it was an urban myth all along.

My life is pretty pedestrian these days, so I gotta take my thrills where I can.

I'm gonna post pictures of my new house tomorrow.

Oh yeah, and I went to IKEA for the first time today and that was pretty damn cool. Be grateful I didn't bring my camera and you aren't treated to photo after photo of gleaming rows of merchandise. Because it was lovely. And I am broke, so it seemed extra lovely. Sigh.

Perhaps I'll go sifts through the Dots and Pops for more chocolate now.

I'm a Wiener!

I was just eating some of the kid's Halloween candy and I was opening a Tootsie Pop. Without even thinking about it, I opened the wrapper all the way up to search for The Indian Shooting a Star on it. Weren't you supposed to win something if you got a Tootsie Pop wrapper that had The Indian Shooting a Star on it? It seemed like such a big deal when I was kid. The action is so deeply ingrained that I am still searching for The Indian in my 30's!

AND HE WAS THERE! What do I win? Tell me! Tell me!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Self Portrait

I have been experimenting a little with self portraits. I am considering participating in Self Portrait Tuesday. In the meanwhile, I am having some difficulty because my camera lens is too big and fancy for me to just hold out my camera at arms length to capture myself. I have been getting around this by playing with the mirror.

This early attempt is blurry, but seemly.

Here, I am training (in vain) to get the angle right in the mirror and am looking at my own reflection rather than the camera.

And now I'm like, "Screw it!" and I'm being silly.

So, that's me. I told you that you couldn't see my boobs! That's my other web site.*

*Holy cows! I was gonna put in a fake URL for as a joke and then I checked and there totally is one and you totally DO NOT want to go there. Well maybe you do, but my mom and many of my more conservative readers do not. Really.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

You Wanna See Something REALLY Spooky?

This is exactly what Gabe will look like if he becomes a Goth Teen. Eeeek! (Just like his Mom, back in the day. Awww!)

We went to "Spooky Science Night" at his school and he copped a typical cool kid attitute and didn't want to wear his costume. He perked up at my idea of scary black eye makeup.

As I was applying the makeup, he squeezed his eyes shut and squirmed and whined and protested that I was TOUCHING HIS EYES! I tried to explain that you can only make "black eyes" by touching the eyes with makeup and had to fight with him to finish the second eye.

After he viewed these digital images outside his school he said, "Black eyes, yuck!" and I said, "Tough, suffer."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gila Monsters

More photos from the Zoo.

Peevers checks out the Gila Monster.

Gabe and Quin cavort on the Gila Monster.

Are you all bored of photo week yet?

Any requests?

No, you cannot see my boobs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Don't Be Scared

Gabe insists on being a ghost for Halloween. He has a whole box full of dress up clothes including Batman. For a while he was asking to be a "toilet paper mummy". When we moved, I saved an old sheet to make him a kick-ass mummy ensemble. But now he is set on being a simple ghost. It's an easy costume, but it almost feels like I'm cheating by simply cutting a few holes in the sheet and throwing it over his head. I tried to bribe him with promises of "spooky makeup around his scary eyes" if he dressed as a mummy, but he wasn't interested.

So, here he is, at the zoo, in costume. He was kind of a big hit in the sea of store-bought superheroes and princesses. People would point and giggle and say "Oooh! What a scary ghost" and he would respond "It's just me!!" with a five year old's scorn and derision. He was also stumbling around knocking into people because he wasn't keeping the eye-holes in place.

It did occur to Hubby and me that he was only lacking a pointy cap to make a much less acceptable Halloween costume which would have the potential to get us driven from the zoo and perhaps the entire state altogether.

Quin wasn't into dressing up that day either. They have four separate opportunities to dress up in their costumes, so we'll see what the rest of the week brings. They are pretty cute though, no?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Pumpkin Baby

Peevers at the Zoo in her "Trick or Treat" outfit. She is looking just like Gabe at this age.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Photo Week Entry 2: Fat Lip

Quin fell down so many times yesterday I think she may be brain damaged. Seriously. She was wandering around crying "I bonked my head" at least 20 times yesterday.

At one point Hubby was mowing the lawn and I was going to the bathroom and my neighbor came into my house carrying Quin because she was crying and BLEEDING all over my driveway. She had split her lip pretty good. This is how it looked a few hours later. It looks about the same today. Poor little pitiful chicken baby.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's Photo Week at I-C-B!

In celebration of my finally finding my CF card reader and getting my camera up and operating again, I will post a new photo (or more) every day this week. Don't miss out on the fun people!

Here is Dr. P and Otto. He is a Red Tailed Boa. (Otto that is.)

And here is Gabe petting Otto. Proof that snakes are NOT, in fact, slimey.

And here is Quin's filthy little face expressing her glee in petting Otto, who is, in her words, "The best snake ever!"

Ya'll come back now, ya hear!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Saturday Night Drama

Quin has enough temporal amnesia that when she untied her balloon and it drifted up to the ceiling of Kid's Land, she fussed and then forgot that she had ever had a balloon within three minutes.

Gabe held on to his balloon all afternoon. He left it in the car when we went grocery shopping "to keep it safe." When we got home with the groceries and he got out of the car he suddenly let out a small cry of dismay. I looked up just in time to see his balloon floating above the van, free and taking off fast.

Instantly, I started putting positive spin on the situation.

"Wow! Look where your balloon is going! It's going on an adventure up into the sky!"

His eyes began to fill with tears.

"Look honey! Your balloon is going to float up high into the sky by the airplanes! Maybe somebody on an airplane will see your balloon!"

His lips continued to quiver and his cheeks got blotchy as he protested. "But, I don't want an airplane to get my balloon! I forgot that my balloon would float away!"

I swear, his heart was totally breaking over this balloon. I tried to distract him with helping me bring in the groceries but he kept returning to the subject of the balloon. He was trying so hard to process his loss.

"I miss my balloon, Mama! Maybe my balloon will fly up by an airplane and a boy in the airplane who is sad will open his window and get it. That's a great idea I think."

And now, fifteen minutes after being being tucked in bed, Quin is fast asleep, but Gabe came out with tears streaming down his face.

"Mama, I need to say goodbye to my balloon."

After I assured him that he could draw a picture of his balloon tomorrow and many other assurances of how he will not have to spend the rest of his life balloon-less, I convinced him to stop crying and go to sleep.

Such a tender heart, that boy. And such a penchant for drama. My Good God Gertie! A balloon! A simple yellow latex balloon! What will happen when his first girlfriend breaks up with him?

Friday, October 21, 2005

More Adventures in Bureaucracy Land

Idiotic Woman at County Health Services Office: Okay! We have your child scheduled for his mandatory vision and hearing test next week. Is there anything else I can do for you?

Me: Yes, I need to know where I can pick up a vaccination exemption form while I am there.

IW@CHSO: I'm sorry ma'am. We don't do that.

Me: I believe you do. I need the form or card which allows me to provide an exemption from vaccinations.

IW@CHSO: Oh! We don't do exemptions, but we do provide vaccination services and forms.

Me: Yes, I know that. That is why you will also have the exemption allowance form as well.

IW@CHSO: I'm sorry ma'am, we DON'T do that here.

Me: Georgia law allows for a medical and a religious exemption. I need the form which your office should provide for the school. Just like the eye/ear/dental exam I just scheduled with you.

IW@CHSO: You'll have to ask the school about that then.

Me: And they told me to ask YOU.

IW@CHSO: But ma'am, we don't do that.

Me: I understand that you personally are not aware of such a thing, but I need you to find out because I have been referred to you as the source of the form I need. You may need to ask around your office.

IW@CHSO: (pretty pissed at this point) Ma'am, we DON"T DO THAT!

Me: Well then, can you tell me who does?


Me: But you are the Department of Health who administers the state-wide vaccination program?

IW@CHSO: (defiantly) Yes, Ma'am.

Me: But you don't have the state mandated vaccination exemption form or any information on where I can get that?

IW@CHSO: No, Ma'am!

Me: Fine. I'll call around some more.

IW@CHSO: (click. No "have a nice day", "sorry I couldn't help you", "good luck", nothin!)

Can you imagine if I didn't know my state rights or have lots of information backing my decision not to vaccinate? How quickly would I just give in and get the freakin' poison injected into my son just because all other avenues were closed to me and the state is united in trying to make me look like some jerk off for not following all the other sheeple? Arggghhh!

* Edited to add: I did make some more calls to people who actually HAVE sent a child to school in Georgia without vaccinating and I found out that THERE IS NO FORM. So, the IW@CHSO was somewhat right, because, true true, her office doesn't DO that. But you'd at least think she could tell me: There is no form. You just write down on a piece of paper that you are not vaccinating due to X reason. That's it. Finito.

I'm not sure this lackadaisical approach is a good thing, because you can clearly see where it can lead to further confusion over the issue. You see, most states have a designated procedure which a parent can follow, rather than just be bounced from one under-informed bureaucrat to the next until they give up, prove they know what said bureaucrat does not, or set the office on fire. Georgia appears to operate under the "Stun Them With Our Stupidity" principle.

I'll tell you how it goes when I bring my little "manifesto" to Gabe's school. Bwah-hahahaha! Can you tell I'm just itchin' for a fight?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Status: Ubercool

My boy, my sweet little bear, is getting so big suddenly. He walks differently and talks differently and swaggers around independently, like a...male. It's kinda freakin' me out.

Today, when he got home from school and burst in the front door he saw that I had company (a girlfriend visiting). He quickly and smoothly shifted gears from his usual excited report on his school day, coolly slung his backpack on the floor and said, "Hey. What's up?"

It was like he morphed into a swaggering teenager in front of my very eyes. What will he have left to communicate his cool when he is fifteen? Will he just stroll past me and grab a beer out of the fridge while scratching his nuts?

However, an hour later he ran naked into the kitchen and demanded, in front of the same company, that I wipe his butt. Guess who's ubercool now? Mom...the buttwiper.

Wait, maybe he is the cool one. He can get chicks to wipe his poopy behind on demand! Damn, I've been played!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Horror! The Horror!

Gah! Grumble! Snorf!

I have spent over five hours in the past two weeks waiting in senseless lines in Government offices trying to "be a good citizen" and comply with all the rigamarole of moving and other bullshit.

It began with a trip to the DMV. I scoped it all our beforehand on the internet so that I would arrive when they were less busy and I made sure I had all the proper documentation with me. Hubby and I needed to get Georgia licenses and register our vehicles. I gathered together the birth certificates and a bill in each of our names to prove we really live in Georgia and we left the house at 8:00 am in order to be first in line. We even dragged Dr. P out with us so he could get his Georgia license, even though he normally never gets up before 10:00.

We purposely drove to a smaller office in a small town north of us and away from the city so that it would be less busy. I guess I forgot what I learned in the three years we lived in Hicksville WI; small town government office = the land that tax dollars forgot. This office was smaller than my bedroom and was stuffed to the gills with people who had the same brilliant plan to escape "busyness" that I had. Damn!

There were a number of small problems (we needed cash to pay, they didn't DO tags there, I accidentally grabbed our marriage license instead of Hubby's birth certificate, a bunch of guys kept looking down my shirt every time I leaned over and so on) but the biggest problem was the way people who came in HOURS after we did kept getting their numbers called before ours.

I know the DMV uses some magical system to determine how they categorize and rank the speed and efficiency with which they address their myriad supplicants, but DAMMIT, I got here hours ago and I have two small children going crazy in your shoebox sized "waiting room", so call my freakin' number already!!!

Once I was finally admitted to the inner sanctum of the counter space and I was waiting to get my new photo taken I discovered that people were totally wandering in and cutting in line and were getting served first and the very fact that I was patiently following directions was my greatest detriment in getting the help I needed. Great system, folks! I'll remember next time.

Hubby's number was right after mine but he wasn't called for a full 45 minutes after me. Sigh. Oh, and Dr. P didn't have all the right stuff with him, so he got to help wrangle children (and look down my shirt occasionally) for 3 hours and didn't even walk away with the coveted license with peaches on it.

A week later I went to the local Social Security office. I needed a new social security card issued for me, but more importantly, I needed a social security number and card issued for Ribh. In Wisconsin, following my other homebirths, when I sent for the birth certificate, they automatically sent the pertinent info on to the feds and a few weeks later I got a social security card in the mail for each child. In Iowa, they sent me a notice with the birth certificate saying essentially, Get your own damn social security card because we are not going to hold your freakin' hand anymore. Ooookaaay.

Well, I know the feds want each child numbered and accounted for within the first year and I will need her number for my taxes. I am finally trying to get this matter taken care of, because they require it! And here's the problem: the paperwork asks for proof of identification for the child, but they will not accept a birth certificate (huh???). They want a medical record or a school record to prove your child is who you say they are. This makes no freakin' sense to me (I know medical records, Not hard to fake. At all. Or school records for that matter.) Plus, I don't HAVE any medical records and will not be taking my perfectly healthy child to a freakin' doctor so that the social security freakin' administration lackawits can check the appropriate box in their bullshit checklist.

So, I decided to go to the office in person to talk to an actual human being to figure out how we can remedy the matter. It seemed reasonable at the time.

I arrived in their big semi-shiny office (stuffed to the gills with people and only three of 12 windows open) and took a number. And I waited. And waited. Again with the magical system of people with certain kinds of numbers (the "A's") being called about every two minutes and the kind of number I had (an "F") being called about every 15 minutes, at best. In fact, the only window calling "F's" completely closed down and locked up for 20 minutes, presumably while the window woman went for a smoking break or some such errand. I took the opportunity to nurse Peevers in public and just waited for someone to challenge that! ( Luckily, no one did. I was so riled up by then it could have been quite the show down. With milk squirting everywhere while I raged about not losing my place in line and Peever's rights and so on.)

When it was my turn (two hours later) I explained the situation to the charming (note my dripping sarcasm now) window woman. The follow account of our conversation is not literal but is a fair and true representation of both the text and the subtext of the encounter.

She was like: You just need to show me ID for your baby, lady.

And I was like: Yes, I know. Here she is. Here is her birth certificate. Here is my ID.

And she was all: But, people can FAKE birth certificates.

And I'm like: Yes and people can fake medical records and school records too!

And she was all: How do we know you didn't get this baby from someone else!

And I was all: Would you like to see my freakin' stretch marks? Shall I nurse the child for you right now? I have already sworn to the state people that this child is mine, what the hell else do you need?

And she was all: Well, girly, just ask your doctor for the records.

And I was all: But she was born at home, like I said, and has never been to a medical doctor.

And she was all: Gasp. (Horrified shock and disgust.)'s things like this that...(trailing off)...How can you NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO A DOCTOR!

And I was all: I AM a freakin' doctor! My child is healthy! Why would I bring my child to medical doctor for no earthly reason? There has to be some other option. I have done this twice before with no hassles.

And she was all: No. There are rules. I am an inflexible bureaucrat beeootch. I will not even consider your request because I personally think you are crazy and dangerous and I plan to make you suffer for it.

And I was all: Fine. I will take her to a chiropractor. Will that be record-y enough for you? What type of record are you looking for specifically?

And she was all: Oh, they'll know.

And I was all: Um, how? This is not something they normally provide for the social security administration.

And she was all: Oh, yes, they will. It is so simple if you just follow my non-sensical directions.

And I was all: Remember how I told you I am a chiropractor? This is how I know they do NOT normally provide proof of a child belonging to a mother and being born on a certain date paperwork. This is not routine. I don't want to go to all this trouble just to jump through this hoop for you and have you tell me it's not the right kind of record.

And she was all: Well, Missy, you will just have to wait in our crazyland two hour bullshit line again to find out, won't you?

And that was that. If I had more money I would consider getting an attorney involved because I know that this is complete bullshit. But, since I don't have the money to fight them, I will just jump through their freaking invisible hoops. And that's why they get away with it.

Bah! Grump!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Now I'm Gonna Piss Some People Off

I am getting so confused about this whole TomKat debacle. I mean, Tom Cruise is creepy and toothy and strangely manic. I find his paternalistic grabbing of Katie Holmes and his aggressive patter and inarticulate mannerisms off-putting, to say the least.

But on the flip side, I do find portions of Tom's meanderings to be dead-on-balls-accurate, in my experience. Scary, huh?

Let me break it down:

I do think we are vastly overmedicating children (ADD/ADHD) and women with Post Partum Depression. I do agree that psychiatry is a pseudo-science (as is most of medicine, contrary to the almost universally accepted delusion that medical researchers are end-all-be-all scientific geniuses. Puh-leez.) and I think that there are alternatives that could and should be exhausted before we just slap a load of antidepressants on post partum women. I know (from actual scientific evidence) that nutrition (like DHA/EPA) and other alternative health approaches (which don't include copious experimental medications) can have a considerable positive impact on many "psychiatric" situations, like PPD.

And then I freak out that I have just agreed with bumbling, meandering, scientology lovin', aliens will take over our planet someday, Tom Freakin' Cruise!

Are you with me so far? Let me explain better.

I get it that PDD is a very serious, very debilitating condition. I have some first hand knowledge of mood disorder and how the uninitiated can say incredibly frustrating things like "just snap out of it already" and "I feel sad sometimes too, and what I think you should do is get out of your bed and get on with life now" when you are feeling as though a few months of unconsciousness would be the best solution to your inability to get dressed or even get out of bed because you are so goddamn freaked out. Been there, done that. It sucked. A lot. And I didn't have any kids yet, so I only had to try to take care of myself. Mood disorders are scary, freaky, and vastly underestimated by those who haven't ever lived through it. I do not debate that.

What I do debate is that the first thing you should do is slap a buttload of toxic chemicals into the body and see how that works. Because, you know what? The drugs don't work all the time, or for everyone, or even consistently for any one person. And furthermore, the drugs don't fix the problem, they MASK THE SYMPTOMS. Not to mention toxify the body and cause a plethora of "side effects" which would frighten any well informed individual.

But we (as a society) agree that the side effects and toxins (which frequently preclude an ongoing nursing relationship with the infant in question) are worth it if the mother is able to function again. And I gotta say, I agree wholeheartedly when it is put that way. But putting it that way leaves out all the other things that were never evaluated or considered before the big (and permanent) drug solution is leaped upon.

What about subluxation? What is the mother's history of nerve system interference? How about nutrition? DHA? EPA? Adequate amounts? How many children has she had in a row without allowing her body time to recover? What kind of fertility treatments did she undergo prior to becoming pregnant? Has anyone addressed their effects? Cranial sacral work? Emotional release technique? Other body balancing work? I mean, these approaches are every bit as scientific and proven as the psychiatric model. They actually have just as good (if not better in some cases) track record in actually addressing and resolving the problem. The actual cause of the problem. But they are not "mainstream" enough, so they are easily dismissed as kooky and "unscientific".

And then Tom Cruise rants inarticulately about them and stirs up the pot further until I feel that if I even mention this subject I will get painted with the same brush of craziness that Tom carries around every day. I mean, damn it, he knows just enough to raise questions, and then fails to answer them meaningfully and coherently, so it is easy for every blogger and media group to just sit back and laugh and laugh at his meanderings.

And now they (the bloggers) are all talking about how Scientologist don't allow women to make any noise in labor. Which, I understand, is actually a guideline or "ideal" of scientology birth rather than a hard and fast rule. And I can see this guideline making the birth setting calm and peaceful and non-screamy. Which is a nice goal. For some people. It is no nuttier than asking women to lie in a semi-reclining position with their legs pulled back while being directed when and how to push their child up hill and into the hands of a doctor with a mask and a scalpel. I personally am not big on ANY birth community who says "This is the way to do it" because I think there is no single ideal. Every woman births uniquely and births best when she is allowed to listen to her own body and her own child, rather than some expert who is hell bent on directing the show and protecting her from herself.

But we must all make fun of Tom and Katie and any choice they make because they do not match our cookie cutter cultural experience of birth and because Tom dared to challenge the mainstream idea and say that drugs should not be the first line of defense for every psychiatric diagnosis peddled about today.

I understand why women become defensive of their choices when faced with the very real and very scary issue of Post Partum Depression. Unfortunately, a challenge to the SYSTEM that perpetrates a dangerous and often times unnecessary system of drug treatment is perceived by many as a personal attack on their personal choices and their personal decisions.

I doubt that Brooke Shields, or Dooce or any other mom suffering with PDD was thinking, "I don't want to get to the bottom of this problem. I just want some sweet drugs." But because the doctor said, "this is all we can do for you", and the rest of our culture supports this notion, they go along with it. Because ultimately, they are trapped and desperate and just want to be good moms and functioning human beings. It is a pretty reasonable decision.

Which is why we need to change the system and quit making fun of Tom just because he is a toothy freak (which he is) saying unusual things and consider that underneath all his inarticulate cultish blathering is a kernel of truth that has shaken our culture to its core.

Could he be right? Does this mean that so many women didn't do the only thing they could have done? Could we have been wrong when we did what the doctor said was our only option and suffered needlessly for it?

For many, it is too horrifying to contemplate, so they lash out defensively. I just ask that you consider the challenge of drugs for PDD to not be a personal critique and that maybe, possibly, another valid options exist and should be researched (some of which has already been done) and championed, rather than taunted and scorned.

And although I will probably garner criticism and piss some readers off, I must speak up. Because failing to do so perpetuates the misconception and supports the problem. Sometimes it is important to say "I disagree," even if you must align yourself momentarily with a nut job like Tom Cruise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Dark Knight

Did you ever wonder what Batman does when he is not fighting crime or standing in a dark and sexy cave full of bats? He gets another tattoo, drinks a few beers, has some Doritos, and hangs out at my house watching football with Hubby.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dr. Evil Babysits

On Sunday I went on a date. With myself.

I left the house and drove to a movie theater and saw a movie of my own choosing without regard for the wishes of any other. I did not have to pause the movie to change a poopy diaper or shush a child or nurse a child or answer the phone or interrupt my movie enjoyment in any way. I even drove there and back in perfect silence. It was bliss.

Hubby stayed home with the kids. As I drove out of the driveway he was perched on the top stair to our house with our three children and every other child who lives in our cul de sac surrounding him. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

When he finally couldn't stand it anymore Hubby took our kids inside. The neighborhood children remained playing in our driveway with our kids' toys. He told them to go home. Within minutes the Peripatetic Neighbor Boy (he's four) returned and let himself into our house. Hubby told him to leave.

PNB: Uh. Mr. Hubby?

Hubby: I didn't go to Frickin' Evil Chiropractic School to be called Mister. That's Doctor Hubby to you!

PNB told him a meandering story about how he was running (with Gabe's toy which he took out of our garage and broke) and fell and hurt his arm and how he needed medicine on it. Hubby told him in no uncertain terms that we don't do medicine here. Hubby told him to go home, again.

PNB: But I don't have to go home.

Hubby: (Hair raising on the back of his neck) I told you to go home, and you will go home.

A half hour later PNB let himself in again.

Hubby: PNB, why are you here? Go home. And don't just barge into my house. It's polite to knock first.

PNB: I am looking for my shoes.

Hubby: I gave them to you when you left three times ago.

PNB: But I think they are here.

Hubby: You sit right here (indicating foyer steps) and wait while I look.

Exit Hubby.

Enter Gabe with a coveted "Juice Bar" (a popsicle like snack).

Enter Hubby.

Hubby: PNB, your shoes are not here.

PNB: I think you should invite me to have a juice bar now because I did just what you told me to and waited right here.

Hubby: No. Go home now.

Poor Hubby. He spent two and a half hours with the children (plus PNB) and aged four years. And the house is a mess again. Sigh.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

38 Things


They are a creamy yellow color with an embossed rosette thingy in the center. I bought them at a grocery store for dirt cheap when I was pregnant with Gabe. They have been acceptable but they are getting pretty chipped up and dingy looking over time. I have been recently dreaming of new plates. Perhaps I'll ask Santa for new daily dishes. I have no formal china.


I recently got a library card here in the boonies (of Atlanta) and the selection was abysmal. I will need to order books inter-library loan in order to get anything decent. But I did score a Lloyd Alexander book I had never read (The Arkadians) in the Young Adult section. So, that's what I'm reading for now. Although I really only get a chance to read while nursing Peevers to sleep, so it takes a while these days to get through anything.


I'm using a laptop these days. No mouse pad, just a touch pad. Which makes me completely nuts most of the time.


Hmmm. I get really crazy playing most "board games" because I am too competitive and I take it personally. I recently played a card game with my family and I really enjoyed it, once I started winning. (I can’t remember what it was called.) I don't have to win the whole game, but if I am losing overall, I can't handle it. I'm pathetic.


EW (Entertainment Weekly for the uninformed). I have subscribed to this mag for over six years, but recently had to let my subscription lapse because I am broke! I was looking up movie times today and I hadn't even heard of half the movies and I felt so out of touch with entertainment news and such, it was pitiful. EW was my guilty pleasure. Now I just read whatever trashy rag I find while waiting in the checkout line to try to get my fix.


Fall. Smells like leaves and dirt and wet and sweet decay. I'm a freak.



When I was pregnant with Quin, I had this natural bug-repellant that spilled in the back of my car and it was the most repulsive thing ever!


My internal dialogue: What time is it? Are the kids up? Does Gabe need to catch the bus? Is Hubby up? What was that noise? I need to make some calls. I should try to sleep some more? I hope Peevers doesn't wake up. I need to take care of X, Y, and Z this morning before Hubby goes to work. I better get started. No sleep. Oh, forget it already. I'm freakin' up now!


My family. My friends. Not losing my mind.


I am not bigoted about colors. They all have their time and place.


Depends on how many children are hanging off of me.


There will be no future children. We really really wanted to name a boy Seamus and never got a chance. Maybe a dog?


The wind in the trees. More lulling than the ocean for me.


Does Peevers count? She is usually stuffed with breastmilk. She is an animal. Hubby is there too (yes, we sleep in the same bed again) but there is seldom any physical contact. He needs his space.


Thunderstorms: I love them at night, in the summer. I'm ambivalent about daytime storms. I think they are fun when it has been really hot and then I run around outside with the kids even during the thunder and lightening so they won't be afraid of storms either.

My dog, on the other hand, is a total storm freak. She will wake me up shivering before the storm is even audible to mere humans because she is such a spaz about thunderstorms.

Although I live in the South now, I am not in the reach of hurricanes and the like, so I'm not afraid of that stuff. I grew up in the midwest, so tornados intrigue me rather than frighten me.


When I was sixteen, I bought Camille, The Wild Blue Nova for 50 bucks. She was a character. She was a 1970 Chevy Nova with a seriously rusted exterior and non-existent floorboards in the rear seats. But she ran great and started no matter how cold the winters were. My friends and I spray-painted her just 'cuz we could one day and she was easy to find in any parking lot. In fact, people always knew if I was anywhere around town because my car was so instantly recognizable. No sneaking around for me.

I once ran off the road and hit a highway marker post, which flew into the air and down the embankment, but I couldn't even find a mark on Camille. She was the best. Sadly, within a year, I T-boned another car and she was towed on a flatbed. The towing company charged me $300 to get her back, so I just let them keep her. Sigh. Her engine was still running after the crash. She would have been fine. Poor Camille, consigned to the junkyard unfairly and prematurely.


I hate this question. I can never think of somebody specific. Should I be Inspirational? (Ghandi) Hip? (Quentin Tarantino) Funny? (The Bastards who decided that Dora should scream all the time) Political? (Hilary Clinton) Esoteric? (Einstein) Philosophical? (Ayn Rand) Sentimental/Maudlin? (My dead relatives) Professional? (BJ Palmer)

About half these people would probably have a stick up their bum, so I'm gonna go with Quentin. You know you'd have fun at least. (I bet BJ Palmer would like to have cocktail and say something totally insane as well.)


I'm 33. Like Jesus. That's enough personal info already, jeez!


No. I am a spoiled princess.


Anything where I get to ramble on about things I am passionate about and people actually like (and pay) to listen.


Red. And I do, usually. At least when my dye job is fresh.

I always wanted hair like Nicole Kidman's before she started looking like the bleached out botoxed corpse she is today.


Um, hello! Duh. Have you met Hubby? Plus the three Rugrats my life revolves around. Gotta whole lotta love.


Half full. I'm an eternal optimist.


So many. I love Stupid Funny (Dumb and Dumber, Old School), Darkly Funny (Donnie Darko), Cheesy (Dirty Dancing, Grease), Period/Historical (Room with a View, Pride and Prejudice [BBC Version]), Hip (Kill Bill, Vols 1 and 2) and more that I cannot think of right now.


I mostly just use my index and pointer fingers. Its pitiful, but I still type reasonably quickly.


Our mattress has a pillow top so we just put the mattress and box springs directly on the floor to minimize the distance Peevers will crash to the floor. As it is, Quin can barely climb up on the bed.


967 or 87


Something bad happening to my kids.


She is always willing to try something new, no matter how scary or painful.


Puhleez. Next you'll ask me which one of my kids is my favorite.


Um. I'll admit it. I'm a TV whore. I especially love reality TV. The best of the best would have to be The Amazing Race.




Whatever Hubby is drinking. I never get a soft drink for myself.


Best? Best what? Without more description I will go with a sentimental favorite: Isla Mujeres, Mexico


A picture of Quin dancing in our old backyard in a purple dress-up costume.


They both have thier pros and cons, but, if pressed: dogs.


White. Lots.


To mute or better yet, freeze my children. Ahhh. How cool would that be?