Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Santa Don't GO!

As a child, I was completely in love with all things Christmas.  I lived for the excitement and quite literally quivered in anticipation of Santa's yearly visit.  Santa never let me down, but I never really had many expectations.  I loved every present, no matter what it was, with the exception, perhaps, of the heinous granny panties my parents think are amusing to include in my stocking.  They heehaw over it every, single, stinking year.  Apparently, it's a competition to see which one of them can find the ugliest pair.   If you're a granny in need of some cotton gusset, neon green, leopard print, high enough to touch your boob undies - inbox me.  They're new in package and completely free.  I'll even throw in last year's red velvet and with white fur trim, naughty Mrs. Claus thong as a bonus. (Whoever thought fur hanging off the edge of a thong was sexy may want to rethink that idea.)  Hey, I may not be hip and with it, but I do have standards, People.  Standards.


With the highs come the lows.  After every wonderful, glorious, memory making Christmas, I would bawl my eyes out the next day, when the tree came down, because I didn't want the magic to be over.  

And Miss Chatterbox is exactly like me.  

Christmas morning (aka the 23rd, since The Firefighter had to work both the 24th and 25th), Miss Chatterbox couldn't have been cuter.  She just stood in front of the tree saying, "For Me?  Presents, for me?  Thank you, Santa, so much!  I wuv it!"  It is so completely gratifying to give her gifts because she is so joyful and excited about everything.  I adore that girl!  She made Christmas so much fun!

But, yesterday, we took down the tree and decorations and I thought Miss Chatterbox was going to come unglued!  She just cried and cried and begged us to let her decorate the tree again.  I sat her down and explained that the tree would come out again next year, but it had to come down because her birthday is next week and we need to decorate for that.  While The Firefighter, quickly hustled the decoration boxes out of the house, I asked her what she would like on her birthday cake.  

Her first answer?  "Santa."  Sigh.  She is nothing if not single minded and determined.  

I try again.

"What about Barney?"
"No, Mommy, want big girl panties."
 Slightly pregnant pause
"On your cake?"
"Yeah!" she says, giggling maniacally.

I momentarily panic as I realize that public exhibition is exactly two steps and 15 years away from 6 inch lucite heels, velvet thongs and stripper poles.  Ugh.  Not my daughter.

In desperation, I suggest my most hated, would rather poke my eye out then watch, arch nemesis and public enemy #1.

"What about Dora?"
"Dora?!  Okay, Mommy!  Can it have fireworks and blow up?"

Sigh.  The things we do for our kids.  

I hope each and everyone one of you had as wonderful and magical  a Christmas as we did.  And that didn't include granny panties or strippers.  Unless, you wanted granny panties and strippers.  In that case, I hope you got them.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

The 12 Bills of Christmas

I love cell phone cameras! They help me capture moments like this. 

Look at that precious face.  It's full of pure, unadulterated joy watching the town parade!  Yet, it almost didn't happen because of a little ditty I like to call, The 12 Bills of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas, my Hubby said to me
Whoops!  Looks like we need a new tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
I can't find our stockings, and it looks like we need a new tree

On the third day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
3 days until rent is due,
I can't find our stockings and looks like we need a new tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Did you pay the light bill?
In 2 days rent is due.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Did you pay the light bill?
Rent is due today.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Your daughter wants a scooter.
 Why are we in the dark?
 Rent was due yesterday.
 I can't find our stockings, and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Work is doing secret santas.
Your daughter wants a scooter.
Why are we in the dark?
Rent is gonna kill us.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Baby needs more diapers.
Work is doing secret santas.
Your daughter wants a scooter.
Where are the candles?
Rent, at least, is paid.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Christmas dinner at our house?
Baby needs more diapers.
Work is doing secret santas.
Your daughter wants a scooter.
It's getting kinda cold in here.
The rent, at least, is paid.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
College is expensive.
I'd really prefer a ham.
Baby needs more diapers.
Work is doing secret santas.
Your daughter wants a scooter.
Where are all the blankets?
Rent is finally paid.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Screw it, snuggies for everyone!
These classes are expensive.
I really want a ham.
Baby needs more diapers.
We're doing secret santas.
Your daughter wants a scooter.
Yay, the lights are back on.
The rent is fully paid.
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my hubby said to me
Did you get wrapping paper?
Screw it, snuggies for everyone!
These classes are expensive.
I really want a ham.
Baby needs more diapers.
We're doing secret santas
Your daughter wants a scooter.
The heat feels good.
The rent is fully paid
I can't find our stockings and it looks like we need a new tree.

Gotta love what I call, "the butt pucker effect" Christmas has on your finances.  Happy Monday, Y'all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So, I Hear Your Mom is Dying

As much as I wish it could be hijinks and hilarity around here 24/7, that's just not the reality.  So I'm gonna be real wit ya peeps, and talk about an uncomfortable subject.


My mom is dying.  She is in 4th stage congestive heart failure.  I'll spare you the gory details and medical mumbo jumbo about her extremely complicated case and give you the cliff notes.  Basically, everything that can be done, has been done and the only option left is a heart transplant.  So we wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.

It's not fair.  She's only 51 years old and should have lots more life ahead of her.  Instead, she spends her days bouncing around doctors' offices and hospital beds, just trying to survive long enough for a heart to become available.

Have I made you uncomfortable yet?  Wait, I'm not done.

Our society, as a whole, hates the inconvenient truth that we all die.  We love to pretend that dying and grief don't exist because it makes us uneasy.  It makes us consider our own mortality.  It makes us examine our own lives and question our actions.   It makes us wonder what kind of legacy are we leaving behind.  Did we fulfill our purpose?  Did we do the right thing?  Were we important enough to be remembered?  What is there beyond death?

So why do we hate death so much, if it's an immutable fact of life?  

Because it makes us feel helpless.  I never offer help, unless I genuinely mean it.  I'm a fixer by nature, (and a frequent offerer of unsolicited advice) but you can't fix death.  It's permanent and that's scary. How people deal with that fear is as varied as the people themselves.  

So, we come to my most hated question.  How are you dealing with it? 

While I don't mind answering, I never actually know how to answer that question.  What kind of answer is the questioner looking for.   I mean, I'm not the one sick and dying.  I'm dealing with it because I have to.  Do I want to?  No.  Does it suck?  Yes.  Am I scared?  Of course.  My mom and I are tight.  She's my homie.  My rock.  My most trusted advisor and confidant.  She "gets" me, the way nobody else can.  Am I scared for my own health?  Damn right, I am.  But I have the advantage of a 20 year warning that I intend to heed.  Am I going to break down and cry?  At some point, yes.  But mom ain't dead yet, and while I acknowledge all the terminal seriousness of her condition, I refuse to fall into a blackhole of grief or to live with a storm cloud hanging over my head.  She still needs me.  My babies still need me.  Being angry and depressed would serve neither and is a terrible way to live.   

So, we come to my point.  Death, with all it's suckitude, is a part of life.  We should treat it with respect, not avoidance, but not let it become all consuming, either.  We should have an open dialogue about death since, let's face it, everyone of us is going to experience it.  

*UPDATE:  Mom is still here and doing well.  :)  Thanks for checking in. 

Finding My Mommy Voice

Every mom has it.  That look or tone of voice that means business.  The one that makes children (and husbands) run for cover and hide.  For some moms, it comes as naturally as breathing, others of us have to work on it.  Much to my chagrin, I fall in the second category.

I had such romantic notions of parenting before I became one.  I would never yell, I would always use "gentle" parenting techniques, processed, non-organic food would never cross my children's lips, and life would basically be filled with barfing sunshine and farting rainbows.

Yeah.  I'm nothing, if not optimistic.

You see, Miss Chatterbox is what they call a "spirited" child.  That would be a polite euphemism (and us southerners love our euphemisms) for -hold onto you panties, Momma, you're in for a wild ride.  She is my stubborn, determined, independent, exuberant, little fighter who is filled with lollipops and unicorns one minute, piss and vinegar, the next.  Some call her difficult, but I disagree.  She has a strong, healthy sense of self that will protect her from being easily swayed by the crowd and fighting spirit that will help her achieve her dreams.

But, I struggle to parent her within the ideals I believe in.

And, a hyper, tantrum throwing, two going on 20 year old is not a pretty sight.  After a particularly rough morning in which she fought everything from, which (identical) spoon to eat breakfast with to which pair of (identical) white socks to wear and basically screamed for 3 HOURS straight, I was ready to surrender and admit defeat.

In that moment of complete exasperation, I called my mom.

Me: (Whiny voice) Momma, I can't make her listen to me! I've tried everything - time outs, rewards, and bribing.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

Mom: (Laughing) Oh Kidsie, you just haven't found your Mommy voice.

Me: Huh?

Mom:  30 years ago, I was in the EXACT same boat.  You think you were a little angel?  Harrumph, guess again!  I figured out that you needed three things. 1 - a strict routine. 2 - Lots of physical activities. 3 - The mom voice.  You have two of the 3.  Just work on the mom voice.

Me:  I have a mom voice!  It isn't working.

Mom: (Laughing) I've heard your mom voice, honey.  It wouldn't keep a mouse out of the cheese.  It needs work.

I hung up the phone resolving to try to hone my mommy voice, but dubious that it would yield any results.  Since it was naptime, I had a few moments to practice my new mommy voice.  So, I stood in front of the mirror making faces and trying out different tones of voice.  Dorky, huh?  The Firefighter definitely got a good guffaw out of it.  He also may or may not have secretly taped it to use for blackmailing purposes.  Bastard.  Remember, Boo, I don't get mad...I get even.

It certainly didn't take long to get an opportunity to try out my new mommy voice.  It was firm, but gentle - perfect- or so I thought.  Miss Chatterbox, however, didn't even stop to glance at me.

"You may want to up your volume and toughen your tone," said The Firefighter.

"Thanks, Coach.  Why don't you get off your ass and try?" I fired back.

"I prefer to be a spectator and my money is on the kid."


So I tried again.  This time much louder and more forceful.  Oh, it stopped Miss Chatterbox, alright.  Also made her cry those big, heartbreaking, crocodile tears with a "why doesn't mommy love me" look in her eyes.

"Hmm, a little to much volume, Dear."  said The Firefighter.

If my eyeballs were laser beams, he would have been vaporized.  "Thanks, Captain Obvious.  Don't you have a wall to paint?"

After a considerable amount of reassurance and cuddling, I sent Miss Chatterbox on her way.  A very short time later, another opportunity for practice arose.  I reverted to the first calmer, gentler voice, but added oomph to it.  I didn't just use the voice.  She got sat in time out every single time I used "the voice".  If she tried to get out early, the timer was reset and she was put back.  It was an exhausting 4 DAYS of tears and tantrums because Miss Chatterbox is nothing, if not stubborn.  But, I did emerge the victor!  She now heeds the mommy voice (must of the time), and spends alot less time screaming.   But it's still a work in progress.  They don't call it the terrible twos for nothing!

I look so innocent!

Tell me I'm not alone in this!  Or lie, to make me feel better.  I'm not picky.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

15 Life Lessons Learned Behind the Bar

2012 will mark 10 years I've been slinging drinks and wrangling drunks.  It might surprise you to know just how much booze can teach you about humanity.  Or maybe I just view life through rose colored cosmopolitans and green apple martinis glasses.  Either way, here's my 15 cents - because 2 just wouldn't cut it.

15.  People show their true colors when they are drunk.  I've found there are 5 types of drunks.
       The Happy drunk - loves everything and everybody and usually laughs the loudest.
       The Storyteller - "You think that's bad... I once jumped off a train going 500 miles an hour."
       The Pessimist - usually mean, rude and the most likely to fight.
       The Sloppy drunk wild child -  The most likely to end up shirtless, on top of a table.
               The Sleeper - any of the above after their 10th Jager bomb.

14.  Hold the judgement.   Just because a dude is wearing a $500 suit doesn't mean he will tip you well.  Just because a dude is wearing grease covered overalls doesn't mean he's broke.  Treat every one equally and with kindness.  It will serve you better.

13.  Have compassion for that grumpy old man complaining about your wine and snarling insults.   He may just have lost his wife of 50 years and is terribly lonely.  You never know what cross another person is carrying.

12.  Trust your instincts.  If that dude is creepin' you out, don't walk to your car alone.  Sketchy Dave, anyone?  He still gives me the heebie jeebies.  Finding sketches of you and your fellow bartenders, naked, will do that to you.

11.  Don't be squeamish.  At some point, you will be cleaning up puke and, no, it won't be your own.

10.  Be tolerant. Even of the lady who says she can see your aura, read your future in the wind, and believes in sextrology.  Resist the temptation to duct tape her mouth shut when she goes on about how your dad must be into bondage because he's a Pisces.  

9.  Be observant.  Catch that spat before it becomes a fight.  Yodeling or otherwise acting stupid is a great way to defuse tension.  Flashing your boobs works too, but I would recommend trying yodelling first.

8.  Be patient and keep a smile on your face with the ones who can't make up their mind what to drink or who tell you the same story over and over and over.  Or when you have to explain for the 100th time why you have to close at 2 and, yes, it applies to everyone.  Think of it as basic training for parenthood.

7.  Be prepared.  Nothing is worse than being 5 people deep and having to fill the Jager machine or change a keg.  And it's a fact that people are terribly impatient.

6.  Multitasking is what separates the good bartender from the rest of humanity.  Yes, I did remember all 7 of your special orders and no I don't need to write it down.  I also remember that the last time you were here, you ended up pole dancing and left with someone other than your husband.   Be nice to me.

5.  You'll be invited to tons of parties... and put to work as soon as you get there.  Everyone loves a bartender.  They also think sleeping with a bartender will get them free booze.  My favorite crappy pick up line, of all time, is, "you're like a loaded baked potato just waiting for a thick, juicy steak - like me." Really?

4.  You learn to keep a straight face while saying things like: how many - pink pussies, muff divers, leg spreaders, buttery nipples, naked girl scouts, purple hooters, liquid cocaine, screaming orgasms, or crackhouses - do you want. You learn to laugh when people order things like:  The 4 horseman, b-52's, cement mixers, and mexican whores, because someone will be puking later.

3.  Keeping business and pleasure separate is difficult when alcohol is involved, but it is a worthwhile skill to cultivate.  Trust me.

2.  You get a really, really, really thick skin.  No, it's not from that dish sanitizer whose dust particles could kill Chuck Norris from ten feet away.  It's from being called every name in the book.  In fact, the last time someone called me a bitch for cutting them off, I actually laughed and said, "Is that the best you got?"

1.  Have fun.  Laugh.  Don't be afraid to talk to people.  You never know who your going to meet.  I've met famous musicians, athletes, actors, politicians and my husband.  You never know how who you meet may change your life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why Santa Is Important

There seems to be a raging debate in mommy blog world over whether to let the jolly fat bastard, we all know as Santa, into our children's lives.  The reasons vary and the discussion boards are surprisingly heated.  Who knew ol' St. Nick could inspire such strong feelings?  Some people choose not to have Santa visit for religious reasons.  Some people don't like the "lying" or materialism involved.  And some people are just too lazy.   Scrooges.

Me - I sit loud and proud in the pro Santa camp.  Let me tell you why.


Santa gives children a reason to believe that good things happen to good people.  How many examples of that are there in today's world?   Santa is a tangible representation of a moral (and religious) ideal.   When teaching a new concept in school, a (good) teacher first gives a physical representation of the topic, then once understanding is attained, the visual cues are slowly removed, yet the lesson remains.  I see Santa in the same way.  I can't expect my 2 year old to understand that Jesus died for our sins to give us the gift of eternal life.  (Of course that is complicated by my negative feelings about religion, organized or otherwise,  but that's a topic for another post.) She can't understand that yet, but she can understand if she is nice to her sister, Santa will give her a present.  That simple lesson can later be extrapolated into a more complex abstract idea.  You have to start somewhere.


The holidays bring families together.  They give everyone a reason to go out of their way to spend time with each other.   Gift giving gives me an opportunity to teach my children to REALLY think about their loved ones.  I teach my children that gifts aren't just a "thing".  They are a physical representation of our love for each other.  How do they want to show their love?


The holidays give us ample opportunities to think outside ourselves and to teach our children to do the same.  To teach them to have sympathy and love for ALL our fellow homo sapien sapiens.  How will they show their understanding of another's feelings?  Can they be kind, helpful and loving to someone they don't know?  How will they show it?


When we give someone a gift, they feel important.  They feel loved, acknowledged and remembered.  And that feeling can make all the difference in the world in someone's life.  Everyone carries a cross....we just can't always see it.  It's an opportunity to teach my children that the gift itself isn't important, but what the gift represents is.


Some of my fondest memories were made around the Christmas tree.  I don't remember the gifts, I remember the emotions - anticipation, excitement, surprise and unbridled joy.  I remember practically quivering with giddiness on Christmas eve.  I want that same feeling for my children.   Which  if it means embracing my inner fat man and donning the red suit by myself this year, so be it!

See.  I'm really not a crappy parent.  I just play one on this blog.   CPS - please take notes.

So or you for or aganist Santa?

P.S.- Just bought this shirt for Miss Chatterbox.  Appropriate, don't ya think?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hell on Wheels

My child is a force to be reckoned with. Today's destruction tally is impressive, even for Miss Chatterbox.

First thing this morning, The Bun treated me to a poosplotion. While I was preoccupied with cleaning her up, Miss Chatterbox decided to be helpful and "make pancakes." By being helpful, I mean she dumped a whole bag of flour on my floor... the carpeted living room floor. She also told me, "No use it, Mommy. It's got tiny, ugly germs." Thanks, Yo GABA GABA, for making her helpful like that.

After that cleanup, I needed to take a shower. A part time single mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do, right. So I locked both kids in the bathroom with me. Miss Chatterbox, of course, has to get in too (Privacy? What's that?) and makes it her first order of business to piss on my foot. Sigh. At least we were in the shower. So, I get her cleaned up and wrapped in a towel and tell her to wait, I'll be done in just a minute. 90 seconds later, I open the curtain, and find her covering everything with The Firefighter's deodorant....including her sister. I'll let the following texts tell you the rest.

Me: Your child just covered herself in your deodorant. Apparently, she covered the toilet paper too, because when I went to wipe my ass, it smelled like you.

Him: So what's your saying is your ass smells good?

Me: Where the sympathy? Next time she dips your toothbrush in the toilet, I'm not gonna tell you.

Him: When did she do that?

Me: I didn't tell you? Oops, my bad.

We're such a loving couple. Anyway.

Miss Chatterbox got invited to participate in the lighting of the Christmas tree downtown, this evening. It was exhausting, but completely adorable. Especially, when she didn't want say hi to Santa, but felt compelled to shout, "I want a scooter" at him from ten feet away. That's my girl- screw the chit chat, Santa, let's get down to bizness.

After we make the two mile trek back to car, I give the exhausted Miss Chatterbox a juice box. Now, I'm married to The Firefighter, so that means I drive a base model, POS, Kia Rio. Why is that important, you ask? Because it reminds you I don't have extras, like child locking automatic windows. And Miss Chatterbox LOVES to roll down the window. We've lost many things out said window before, like shoes, toys, scarves (I flyin' a kite, Mommy!) and flashlights. So, I wasn't especially surprised to find out that the reason I got pulled over was that she chucked her juice box out the window and it splattered all over the cop's windshield. Damit. I was surprised to find out just how serious SC takes their littering. It's an an offense you can be arrested for. Insert really dirty expletive here. So I did was any sane person would do. I played the firefighter's wife card.

"Oh officer, I'm soooo sorry, my husband's is a firefighter and he's on duty tonight. Im so sorry, I don't know what got into my daughter. I don't know how to lock a manual window so she can't do that. We can't afford a nicer car." If that hadn't have worked, I was totally prepared to flash a boob or two. What? Don't judge, yo. There was no way I was gonna go to jail tonight. Luckily, the cop was sympathetic and actually laughed about it. Phew!

And that my friends, is how my toddler almost got me arrested.

Damn. I can't wait to see what her teen years bring.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Just Can't Replace MOM

The Firefighter is SO OVER being the Mostly Stay at Home parent.  He announced last night, "Putting out a fire without water is easier than dealing with these two terrorists.  I'm done."

He then proceeded to outline his grievances.  Miss Chatterbox doesn't listen, she isn't quiet, she won't potty, she complains about his food, The Bun just whines and cries all day, he can't get anything done, it's impossible to leave the house, he never gets any sleep, etc.  Outwardly, I was nodding and clucking sympathetically, but I can't deny, inwardly, I was getting great satisfaction out of snickering and thinking, "I TOLD YOU SO!" and  "Oh, NOW, you believe me, you big, stinky turd."  But, when he concluded his rant with, "And I look ridiculous in that baby wrap thing,"  I completely lost it.  I laughed like I was at a Chris Rock show.  I may have snorted a few times.  I'm cool like that.

However, the harder I laughed, the more offended The Firefighter became.  We ended up in a little bit of a spat over parenting techniques after I tried to give him some helpful advice.  By advice, I mean I gloated like a know-it-all who just won jeopardy.  "Suck it up, soldier, you're the grown up."  and "That's why they call it the terrible twos" wasn't really appreciated.  My bad. Who knew a dude who runs into burning building could be such a sensitive sally?


Although, we ended up laughing again when he said, "I'm pretty sure The Bun doesn't like me because I don't have big knockers, like you. "

"Maybe you ought to get a boob job."

"Or maybe, we ought to figure something out before I get that desperate."

Hopefully, we can.  I'm a pretty lax parent, but The Firefighter takes it to a new level.  He feels that things like getting the kids dressed, or brushing their hair and teeth are optional.  Balanced meals?  What's that? I've caught him giving Miss Chatterbox popcorn and calling it lunch!

The last one I can understand, after all, no one fights food the way Miss Chatterbox does.  Although, it probably IS a statement about his cooking.  He seems to have forgotten how he used to be banned from cooking at the firehouse because it took him 5 hours to cook (and ruin) a Stouffer's frozen lasagna.  Or how about the "salsa soup" experiment?  Eww, on second thought, let's not repeat that story.   My stomach churns at the very thought of it.

The Firefighter was also convinced the baby was sick.  Turns out she just had gas.   Apparently, you need big cha chas to burp a baby effectively too.  Who knew?

I guess you just can't replace MOM.

How do you divide up the parenting chores?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Hysteria

Last week was a doozie.    A combination of sleep deprivation, baby brain, and bad eyesight led to this colossal blunder.

Guess which one I brought to work.  I'll give you a hint.  It wasn't the Dr. Pepper.  To say "whoops" would be an understatement.  I slammed my lunchbox shut and hustled it out to the car quicker than you can say, "Una cerveza por favor."  I would have preferred to have popped the top and said, "Cheers, Homies" but that whole responsibility thing got in the way.  Maturity blows.  

I also originally planned to have all 7 days off last week .   That didn't work out either.  I worked 6 of the 7 days.  You can see, I'm batting 1000 here.

I managed to cook Thanksgiving dinner for both the fire station and my family.  I was hoping for some appreciation from The Firefighter - after all that was a TON of work and not easy with a 2 small children underfoot.  What I got was, "I'm thankful you didn't set the kitchen on fire this year." 

To which I responded, "Thanks, Shithead.  The dishes are waiting for you at the house. Your welcome."  

Boom!  Amber - 1  The Firefighter - 0   (You know I love you, Boo!)

Miss Chatterbox is at that age were they start to "get it" about the holidays.  Except, she couldn't give a rat's patootie about Thanksgiving.  As she clearly stated when she said, "I no like food, mommy.  I want mac and cheese."  Yep, that's right.  She turned up her nose at the holiday spread, screamed like a banshee and even took a bite out of her playdoh in protest.  She's a little terrorist in training.  I bet she could've made Bin Laden holler "uncle."  

We did get the tree up and decorated - sorta.  We let Miss Chatterbox decorate the tree, so all the ornaments were hanging on the bottom third of the tree and subject to constant rearrangement.  I would put up a picture but sometime last night, she slipped out of bed, took all the ornaments off and hid them.  5 hours after I discovered this, they are still MIA.  Personally, I think she's holding them hostage.  I'm expecting a ransom note, any time now, reading, "Give me the cookies, and your precious little ornaments will be returned.  Ignore this message and I will pull off the arms of all the Frostys, and beards off the Santas.  You have one hour."  

It's Monday again, Y'all.  Have a good one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

He Tries So Hard...

I got so excited, yesterday, when The Firefighter told me he was going to go paint at naptime.  I laid down with The Bun, happily imagining that my kitchen, after 6 MONTHS 1/2 painted, would finally be finished.

I should have known better but y'all know I'm a glass half full kinda gal.

I had fallen asleep trying to get The Bun to do the same  (I think the people who say, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" don't have young children) and I woke up a short time later to a really strong smell of paint.  Waaayyyy too strong to be the special low VOC paint we spent a fortune on for the kitchen.  I mean that paint cost about the same as this pair of Betsey Johnson pumps.  Personally, I'd rather have had the shoes.  At least the heels would have made me feel sexy.  Or maybe they would have made me feel like a stripper.  Whatever.  Details.  


I come out of our room, into the kitchen, and find The Firefighter using my FAVORITE Limited Edition, $10 a bottle, can't get anymore - 'cuz it's discontinued,  OPI nail polish to PAINT STRIPES on his U.S.A.R. carabiners.  CARABINERS.  I ask The Firefighter, what the hell does he think he's doing.  He tells me that he's marking his carabiners.  I then ask him why he couldn't use a SHARPIE and his initials - LIKE A NORMAL PERSON.  His response?  Oh, he didn't think of that.

MEN.  Grrr.

Can't live with them....can't kill 'em.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Ramblings (TMI)

Pregnancy sucked.  I did not glow - I sweated, swelled, and swore like a sailor.   Delivery sucked more.  P.A.I.N. - need I say more?  But postpartum?  That takes the sucktacular cake.  Why?  Because it's f'ing permanent.  Well, it's permanent for those of us who don't have a team of professionals to make it look like it never happened.  I mean, I'm alright with the expected stretch marks, but don't get me started on the size of my hips.  Running into something when you thought you had more clearance is not good for self esteem!

Did you know pregnancy can give you cavities?  I got dental work done yesterday, can you tell?  I may or may not be a little doped up.  There may also be some happy juice in my diet coke.  Shhhhhh, you can keep a secret Mr. Internet, right?  But really, I did not mind - at all - because my dentist is a total HOTTIE.  Three cavities mean I get three extra dates with Dr. Joe this year.   I could stare into his ocean blue eyes forever and imagine (deleted so The Firefighter doesn't get jealous)! Sigh.

Speaking of unspeakables, The Firefighter is getting more and more impatient with my reluctance to get vertical.  And I'm running out of excuses.  Not really sure why I'm scared to get back in the game, but probably because things aren't quite back to normal yet.  Having your gut cut open, piled on your stomach, then stuffed back in like a turkey, can do that to a girl.  And The Firefighter tapping me on the shoulder saying, "hey, baby, you wanna?" isn't helping fan any flames of desire.  Nope, that doesn't even stir the embers.  In fact, I think The Firefighter might want to up his game 'cuz that ain't gonna get him laid.  Ever.  Unless he's planning on getting a blow up doll.  She won't complain.

Speaking of getting laid, I think Michelle Duggar is either a people hoarder or a sex addict.  Seriously.  No woman can like being pregnant that much.    I think it must be the latter, because people don't stay put.  It's really hard to pile them up in your hallway or spare room, since they can move independently and all.  How on earth does she get her uterus to be so cooperative?  I decided, when I was pregnant with The Bun, that three or four kids would be ideal, however, my uterus seems to have other ideas.  Those plans seems to include a nice, quiet retirement, in Hawaii, maybe without me.  Is it wrong to be somewhat disgruntled by this?

In other news, Miss Chatterbox actually pooped on the potty!  This is a monumental moment, People.  It means one less ass for me to wipe around here.   It only took bribing her with an ENTIRE chocolate bar and promising more in the future.  I gave her said chocolate bar...then left her with her daddy all day - hehehehe!

So, this post doesn't really have a point, my bad.  

What are you randomly rambling about?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perfectly Average and Proud of it!

You know who annoys me?


You know the ones I'm talking about.  They are the current incarnation of June Cleaver.  In the grocery store, they push around 3 perfectly behaved, well dressed and patient children in a cart, while looking like they not only stepped out of a J.Crew magazine, but could have modeled in it too.  The ones who look down their noses at my yoga pants, stained college sweatshirt and sneakers. Come on!  It's the freakin' grocery store - not church! They pass judgement on my tantrum throwing, mismatched, messy, but precocious Miss Chatterbox and usually feel compelled to pass on sage advice such as, "Rocks are not an appropriate toy for a girl"  or  "You just need to take control of the situation."

To which I usually respond, "PPhhhwwwwwwwtttt!"  Yeah, I'll admit it - sometimes Miss Chatterbox is more mature than I am.  And I'm cool with that.

Seriously though, while the sancti-mommies annoy me, I also pity them.  To care so much about what other people think, that you feel the need to keep up that level of perfection, must be exhausting!  Hell, I call it a good day if everyone gets dressed.  Matching clothes are just a bonus.  If The Firefighter is on daddy duty, well, I'll even lower my standards a bit.  I mean, really, how hard is it to put up a ponytail - sheesh.

*disclaimer: I feel the need to clarify - my low standards do not include hygiene.  We are fastidious about bathing, tooth brushing, hand washing, etc.  I'm talking about things like matching socks, clothes right side out, etc. 

Most of all, I feel for the kids of those sancti-mommies.  That's some intense pressure to be perfect.  Shoot, I'm hard enough on myself, I'd hate to have my parents pushing for perfection too!  In fact, I used to beat myself up because I felt I wasn't living up to my potential in life.  After all, I had classmates that became doctors, engineers, CEO's, lawyers, even one who is a wild life vet in Africa. What did I become?  Ordinary, completely and totally.

But I'm not one to stay down long.  I decided that I'm not just ordinary, I am Extraordinarily Ordinary.  What does that mean you ask (and what does that have to do with sancti-mommies - don't worry, I'm getting there)?  It means, that I live my life to the best of my ability and find happiness in the simple things.  I don't need lots of shiny things, big titles, pretty outfits, or public approval to be happy.  The sancti-mommies need all those things to feel complete, and their children learn to feel that way, thus perpetuating the cycle.

I want my children to feel loved and accepted by me...and by themselves.  I want them to fully embrace their inner - whatever.   If they want to take up professional snorkeling as a career, I'm cool with that.  If they wanna get covered in tats and run off with a biker gang - eh, I might have a problem with that, unless it's Jax from SOA - he's a total hottie!  Basically, I just want them to be okay with whoever they are.  I want them to know that matching clothes and magazine perfect homes...those are just extras not the substance of life.

So Ladies, have you ever had a run-in with a sancti-mommy?

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Don't Need Fire Safety...

"You need to clean out the lint trap, Babe.  It can cause a fire if you don't"

"I don't need fire safety.  That's what I married you for!"


I don't know how many times over the years, The Firefighter and I have had this, and similar, conversations.  I'm sure it's just ingrained in him from all the bad stuff he's seen over the years, but Lordy, it gets on my nerves!  And if I'm honest, it shouldn't, since I've been known to set a nice kitchen blaze or two or three, myself (unintentionally, I swear).   But hey, it's all good, after all I've been trained to use any of the 5 fire extinguishers The Firefighter feels is necessary to keep in the house.

Of course, he has good reason to want to keep them.

There was that time we had a Molotov cocktail thrown in our front yard.  Little punks, of course I thought it was a great idea to chase them down with the extinguisher after I put out the fire....

Then there was the kitchen towel fire...Not one of my brighter moments.  Wait whoops, sorry Boo, you may not have known about that one.

How about the time I managed to set tin foil on fire in the oven... Come on, you gotta be impressed, that takes talent!

Then the dryer fire... I really hate it when The Firefighter is right (if your reading this Honey - better take a picture 'cuz I won't be saying that again).


The Firefighter wasn't home for a SINGLE ONE of these incidents.  We've also never lived in district...until recently.  Since we've moved, I've noticed an increase in the number of "fire safety" conversations.  Apparently, as a firefighter, it's embarrassing to have a call to your house for something minor.  Or maybe just embarrassing to have a fire safety dropout for a wife.  Either way, I have to say that this new development is so AWESOME!  My completely unflappable hubby has a weakness!  I'm so gonna get him called out to our house for something stupid... or at least threaten too.

Why is it so fun to embarrass (good naturedly, of course - I don't do mean) the ones we love?

Happy  Monday!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I only closed my eyes for a second.....

I had a really long, tiring weekend (making that money, honey - holla!) and try as I might, I struggled to stay awake Sunday morning with Miss Chatterbox.  After 20 + hours awake and less than two hours of sleep, it was definitely a Nick Jr. and dry cereal kind of morning.  Except Miss Chatterbox didn't want cereal, she wanted pretzels and nacho cheese dip....and I let her have it.  I know, I know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah, blah, blah....don't judge, at least it wasn't french fries.

So, I get her settled in with Barney and her pretzels and sit in the rocker to feed The Bun, while waiting for my coffee to brew (which I intended to drink the entire pot) and promptly fall asleep - parenting fail number 1.  I wake up only a few moments later to The Bun sucking air out of her bottle and know the second I sit her upright, I'm gettin' yakked on.  Outfit change number one.

Fast forward 30 minutes.  I get everyone settled in again.  Miss Chatterbox is now happily drawing pictures and The Bun is cooing away in her bouncy seat.  I sit down on the couch (mistake number dos!) and quickly nod off.  Again.  What?  I was tired, yo!  After more time than I will admit to passed, I open my eyes and see this directly in front of my face:

Oh yes, and you know it's only gonna get worse.....

I look down at The Bun, and see that her sister decided to give her preschool prison tats.  All over her head, like she belonged to some badass crib gang.  She looked exactly like the doll...only a little bit bigger and, well, you know, alive.  

So, I gently call Miss Chatterbox's name.  By gently, I mean holler out all three names in my biggest, baddest mommy voice.  She very sheepishly comes around the corner.

"Yes, Mommy."
"Did you color your sister's face?"
"Yes, Mommy, I color sissy's face."
"Why did you do that?"
"I no more paper, Mommy."
"Why didn't you ask me for more instead of coloring sissy's face?"
"'Cuz you ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (makes snoring noise)."

Well, she had me there.  

Then she said, "Mommy, you pretty" and started giggling.  I told her compliments weren't going to get her out of time out then headed to the bathroom to clean up The Bun.  When I got there and looked in the mirror, I found she had painted my face too - a la Michael Jackson! Complete with lipstick, eyebrows, eye shadow, even gave me with a red "glove"- and I had slept through the whole thing!!!!  NO, I will not grace the internet with photos of that humiliation....so don't ask. 

Damn.  I'm hiring a sitter next weekend.  

What are your epic parenting fails?

Friday, October 28, 2011

5 Minutes is an Eternity When You're 2

Every wonder what goes on in your 2 year old's head?  This is what I think 5 minutes looks like in Miss Chatterbox's.

Oh look - a marker, this wall looks like a good place to draw.
My monkey is funny - like hysterically funny.
I want to watch Thomas the Choo Choo Train.
Forget watching it, I want to ride it.
I need to peepee.
No, I won't sit on the potty...I WON'T!
I don't care if I get a candy.
I don't want a sticker.
I want a sticker.
Where is Mommy?  I want to show Mommy.
I can't find Mommy?
Mommy must be gone forever! WAAAAAA!!!
Oh, there's Mommy.
Look at my picture, Mommy.  Isn't it awesome?!
What?  You don't like it?  The wall is a perfect spot.
I don't want to sit in TIME OUT!
Where's Dadu?  I want DADU!!!
I want to ride a Choo Choo train.
What's this?  A cracker on the floor - I'm gonna eat it.
Why shouldn't I eat it?  I'm hungry.
I don't want mac and cheese!
I want mac and cheese!
I don't want to eat. NOOOOOO!!!! You can't make me.  I don't like food.
I want to play with the big kids.
I want to play with friends.
Look at the monkey, he always makes me laugh!
No, I don't have to pee pee.
Really, I don't want to pee pee.  YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!
I'm hungry.
I NO pee peed, Mommy!  I want candy.  I'm hungry
No, I don't want mac and cheese or apples.  I'm not hungry.
I want candy.  I'm hungry.
No, don't hug me.  Leave me alone.  I NO WANT HUG!
Oh look there's my dolly.  I'm gonna play dolly.
No, Mommy, don't pick up sissy.  I want hug!   HUG ME!  HUG ME NOW!
What do you mean it's naptime?  NOOOO!!
I just wake up, I no tired.  I NO TIRED!
Put sissy down, sing me a song.
NO I DON'T have to go PEE PEE!
Oh wait, yes I do.
I pee peed, Mommy.  Where's my sticker?

Anyone else count down the nano seconds until bedtime?  Calgon, take me away!

Ain't I a stinker?

* This picture took 12 tries because she wouldn't stand still.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

How To Keep Your Kids From Acting Like Your Husband.

There are many things I love about The Firefighter.  He is loyal, honest, brave, trustworthy, and dedicated to his family.  Traits I would be proud to have my daughters inherit.  I used to imagine sweet father daughter moments with them bonding over things like fishing, or soccer, or even car repair.  Miss Chatterbox shows a predilection towards being a tomboy - so it's possible.

Yeah.  Then I woke up.

They bond over farts.  Yep, you heard me.  Nothing seems to make them laugh harder then lettin' one rip.  I have since learned that the worse it smells, the harder they laugh.  They will seek each other out, just to have someone to share the humor with.  Bleck - Not what I could have ever imagined they would bond over.  However, I can't deny that it is amusing to hear Miss Chatterbox's little voice squeal, "BAHAHAHAHA!  Dadu toot tooted!"

(The Firefighter reluctantly agreed to say "toot toot" rather than fart.  I just hate the word fart.  It just sounds so ugly. Weird, I know.)

Miss Chatterbox has also begun doing other undesirable things, like picking her nose, wandering around naked or half dressed, refusing to eat and screaming over us - ANY time we try to talk to each other.  So, I recently launched a campaign to end all these behaviors.  My solution?  To put Boo in "time out" every time I catch him doing one of these things.  I based my plan on the whole monkey see, monkey do principle.  I figure if Miss Chatterbox sees The Firefighter getting into trouble for doing these things, she would stop.   You should have seen the look on his face the first time I said, "Go to your room, Dadu."  Suppose I should have, you know, warned him.  I may or may not have enjoyed this a little too much...  Nah, on second thought, it was priceless and it has also conveniently reestablished my Alpha status in the family pack.

Disclaimer:  Though somewhat effective in this case,  in general, I wouldn't advocate watching Animal Planet for parenting advice - even if you feel like you live in a zoo.  CPS also frowns on shock collars as well as letting your kids play train with beer boxes - even if you didn't drink the beer.

And that, my friends, is how you train your husband...I mean correct your child.

Happy Monday, Y'all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I, A Formerly Conservative Republican, Support the Occupy Movement.

I am not a socialist, Marxist, proponent of big government or looking for a handout.  I'm not even a democrat.

I support the movement because my generation has been sold a lie.

We are taught, from our earliest moments, to trust and obey authority.  We are taught to trust that our parents, teachers, bosses, and government have our best interests at heart.  We are taught NOT to question.  Which leads directly to the financial distress that I, and many across this nation, find themselves in.

And we are sick of it.

Like many of my generations, college was expectation my parents had for me.  Discussion about college focused on "where" I would go, not "if" I would go.  Discussions about how I would afford it weren't even entertained.  College was a new frontier for me.  I had to trust that the authority around me would lead me in the right direction.  When I expressed any concern about the amount in loans I was racking up, I was told, by a financial aid advisor, that college is an "investment" in my future.  How many of you heard that exact phrase? Or how about, "Without a college degree, you would never be able to support yourself or your future family."  I was also told, by an academic advisor, that I would be "guaranteed" a 40 - 50k a year job in my field with a degree from their school, thereby justifying the expense.

I'm not a sheep and I didn't blindly follow where they led.  I researched many things on my own and brought questions to the table that were always satisfactorily answered by people I was supposed to be able to trust.   I later found out that the financial aid advisor got kickbacks from private loan companies for selling their products, and the academic advisor was paid, by the college, to lie to keep students enrolled.  It's been a real eye opener to learn just how many people we are taught to trust, that are corrupt.

So here I sit, with a 40k dollar piece of paper, that doesn't qualify me for a job that can even earn enough to pay back the loans I took out to get it.  Yet, that degree is necessary to even apply for many jobs.  There is no such thing as "working up the chain" anymore.  If you don't have the exact credentials they are looking for, most companies won't even give your resume a glance.

So what's my generation to do?  I work 60+ hours a week at the two jobs I was able to get and that's still not enough to cover all the necessities and pay back my student loans.  

That's why so many college grads are protesting.  And no, most are not unemployed hippies, they are underemployed and struggling.

Many protest corporate greed - and I completely understand that.

While I was still in college, my husband and I bought an extremely modest condo for 150k.  Prices in our area were skyrocketing and we were afraid if we didn't buy, we would be priced out by the time I finished college.  It might be tight for a year or so, but remember I was promised that I would be able to get a great job right after college.   I was assured by my realtor and mortgage broker, both trusted family friends, that this was smart "investment".   I was assured I would be able to afford it and houses "never" lose their value.  How many of you were sold this same song and dance?  For 4 years that was true.  We had no problems making our payments and we gained plenty of equity.

Then, right about the time I graduated college, and learned the truth about the uselessness of my degree, the market crashed.  We had a decent saving built up and didn't live beyond our means, but let's face it, you can't prepare for every eventuality.  An injury and a new baby, in the same 6 month span depleted every penny of saving we had.  I tried to refinance, then modify the mortgage and like many thousand others, was denied.  Still, we held on.  My husband got a third job and we managed to just barely eke out another 2 years.  Then our home insurance company decided to double (almost triple) our rate only to drop us 6 months later.  That change alone raised our monthly due by $600 dollars a month.  Then came public sector budget cuts, which meant furloughs and pay cuts for us.  Add the increase in cost of everything and that's the pile of bricks that broke the camels back.

We still didn't give up.  We hired a lawyer to try to force the modification/refinance/short sale issue, but to no avail.   We were already paired down to the minimum and to come up with that extra money a month, just wasn't possible.  We lost our house to foreclosure.

That's not all.  The mortgage company played dirty, and reneged on an agreement, forcing us into bankruptcy as well.

And I'm pissed off about it.

I want to hold the insurance companies that doubled rates held accountable.  I want to hold CEO of the mortgage company who got federal taxpayer fund to HELP people like me, but who chose not to, held accountable.  I would love to get in a room alone with the woman who actually told me that they wouldn't modify because, "Your house is worth more to us - without you in it."

I want the wall street financiers that caused the housing collapse -which lead to the destruction of my credit and loss of my HOME - held accountable.  I want them to see the damage they caused and feel bad about it.

I want the corrupt politicians, whose financial sponsorships blind them to their sworn duty of being the voice of their constituents, removed from office.  Because so many of them say one thing to get elected, then do whatever they want once they get there - forgetting who put them their in the first place and instead working in cahoots with those who caused the recession.

That's not all I'm angry about.

I want my doctor, not my health insurance agent, to decide what treatments are appropriate.

I want my children's education to be a priority in this country.  Hell, I want CHILDREN to be a priority, in all things.

Taxes are necessary for the infrastructure of our country.  I know and understand that, but I want what I pay for to be worth it, and for everyone to pay their fair share.  I think the whole system needs a complete overhaul.  I don't know what the answer should be, but I would love to hear more ideas on it then what we are currently being offered.

In the media, they keep saying the Occupy Movement isn't cohesive - it doesn't have a definitive message, and it may not,  but I think that's the beauty of it.  It's democracy in it's truest form.  Everyone has a voice, everyone gets heard and everyone votes.  Our government gives lip service to that ideal, but the Occupy Movement lives it.  I think it will continue to grow because there are thousands, like myself, who don't feel like they are being heard.  They are sick of blindly trusting the authority that has continually led them down the wrong path and they want it to change

I want change too.  So protest on, Occupy - I'm with you.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Gandhi

Friday, October 14, 2011

Put Your Listening Ears On Already!

My Nanny is awesomeness, personified.  Miss Chatterbox loves her, she's always on time, never cancels, even finds baby farts as funny as I do and he keeps my house cleaner than me.  She's also uber creative and crafty and Miss Chatterbox LOVES crafts.  The Nanny can all out Macgyver a perfect keepsake out of pocket lint and glitter glue.  Pretty awesome, right?  And it's a good thing, since my crafting budget is nonexistent.

I could go on about how it's wonderful because that's what I pay her for, but I won't because, dammit, I'm jealous.  Not because she's crafty, and I've been known to screw up a paint-by-numbers, but because my kid LISTENS to her.  Miss Chatterbox will shut up, for more than 30 seconds, to listen to, follow, and execute step by step instructions.  I have a paper mache jack o' lantern, that Martha Stewart would be proud of, on my dining room table right now as proof!

I, however, cannot get Miss Chatterbox to shut her trap long enough to hear anything I have to say - let alone follow complicated directions!  It's like talking to the TV.  I've contemplated using that pink plaid duct tape I was given as a gag gift....but visions of that scary movie, whose name I can't remember, runs through my mind (as well as the possible jail time) and I just can't do it!  You know, that movie where that dude kidnaps that chick and draws red lips on the duct tape over her mouth... whatever, y'all know which one I'm talking about.

So, when her non stop chattering gets to be too much, I do what every sane parent does - I stick my fingers in my ears and holler, "I can't hear you! Lalalalalalalala!"  Yeah, I'm mature like that.

I don't get it.  I make kids listen to me all day, everyday, and I can't get my own to do the same.  Oh well, at the end of the day, I'm still Mommy, and I would bet my life savings, that my voice will be the one she hears in her head when she has to make tough decisions and the crafts will be a distant memory.   In the meantime, I'm investing in ear plugs and hiding some vodka in my sippy cup.

Cheers, Y'all!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beer Goggles and Baby Weight (TMI)

I was standing in front of the mirror, recently, lamenting the collateral damage of The Bun's arrival, thinking that Lean Cuisines and a day at the spa are not going to be enough to fix this mess.  Yeah, I'll admit it.   I was totally throwing myself a pity party when The Firefighter comes up behind me and asks, "What's wrong, Mama?"

I look at him like he's stupid....can he not see what I'm seeing in the mirror?  "This!" I say, as I gesture to the deflated, swollen, stretch mark covered mess I call my body.  

What I see in the mirror.

"Oh, I see it, alright, " he says as he kisses my neck.  "I see one hot mama!"

What he saw in the mirror.

Yes, he can occasionally say the right thing at the right time.  And yes, he was sober.   Good job, Boo. I should give you a sticker.  Still, I think something is wrong with his eyes...and after some consideration, I think I know what it is.

Two words for y'all.  Beer Goggles.   The beer and crappy pick up lines are optional.  In fact, I know from ten years of bartending, that every man owns at least one pair and that the longer a man has been married, the more likely he is to to employ them - if he wants to stay married.  I think The Firefighter has them permanently attached to his head...must be my sense of humor, 'cuz I ain't no Adrianna Lima.

Though, beer goggles or not, The Firefighter is good for my self esteem...when he emails me something like this:

I may not be Fred Flinstone, baby, but I can make your bedrock.

He questions my sanity when I email him something like this:

Well, what do you expect, Boo, when you send me crappy pick up lines?

If the barn's a rockin', don't come knockin'.  

Peace out, y'all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have You Ever Been So Tired....

That you find EVERYTHING hilarious?  Yep, me too.

Today, I was so tired, it took 3 tries to get dressed in clothes that, you know, were clean, matched and right side out.  I STILL managed to forget to brush my hair (thank goodness messy buns are totally right now) and put on my husband's flip flops without noticing and left for work.

Of course, my student had to point all this out first thing.  I told him it was a new trend and he should try it....(The speed with which I can lie to kids is frightening - but it's all for their own good, right?)

Constipated baby = fussy baby = awake baby = tired mommy and daddy = slap happy teacher

You get the picture.  I was okay until the following texts from The Firefighter.

Him:  We have lift off - from the rear!
Me: Yay! Constipation marathon is over!
Him: Yeah, I think she levitated about a foot.  But now it's like soft serve machine that won't stop.  It's a total poopsplotion.

About ten minutes later...

Him: I would just like you to know I have changed 5 diapers in a row with fecal matter in them.
Me:  What?  You want an award?
Him:  No, I want the immunity idol and the million dollars.

Now, I am not typically the type that laughs at poop humor.  However, I literally laughed out loud when I was trying to hide the fact, from my student, that I was looking at my cell phone!  Not only that, I couldn't STOP laughing.   Poor kid, he totally thought his teacher lost her mind.

When I finally calm down, my student does the strangest thing....he starts sniffing his socks! WTH!  Boys are so weird!  That totally did me in.  I'm still laughing, while I write this.

Apparently, uncontrolled laughter is my body's way of saying...."we tired, yo - GO TO BED!"

So watch out, Boo!  We will be flipping a coin for it tonight!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For Heaven's Sake Don't Ask Her to Say....

Fork, firetruck, basket, or even her full name in front of great grandma.  I'm terrified the size of Miss Chatterbox's "four" letter word vocabulary might give great grandma a stroke....or prompt her to call CPS.

You see, Miss Chatterbox, in addition to being a non stop motor mouth (I know it will cause problems later in school, sorry kid, but detention is character building - I would know), has a slight speech impediment and the standard toddler lisp, that turns ordinary words into a more interesting interpretation.

Today, threw even me, a seasoned toddler parent, into shock.  By seasoned, I mean flying by the seat of pants.  Just trying not to cause her to spend years in therapy.

With safety in mind, I attempted to teach, Miss Chatterbox, her full name as well as mommy and daddy's names.  A seemingly mundane task, right?  WRONG.

Now, I don't want to give out to much "real" info, but I'll lose the humor if I don't give some.  Our last name rhymes with corn and her middle name rhymes with pin.  So I say her full name, and ask her to repeat it.

Me:  Say your name.
Her: Aubin Love Porn
Me: Umm, no Sweet Pea, try again.
Her: Aubin Love Porn  - More animatedly, complete with booty shaking.
Her: Aubin Love Porn, Aubin Love Porn.

Sweet baby Jebus, what am I gonna do with this one?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guess Who Said...

"Why are you packing that blanket?"
"They will charge us for it even if we don't take it. They expect us to. "
"This is a hospital not a Holiday Inn, you clepto!"

"Dear Lord, Please let this kid poop soon, and let me not be the one to find it.  Thanks. Amen"

"No, her Dad owns a farm.  She learned early how to work the hoes."
"Think about what you just said."
Blank Look
"So, you're saying your boss used to be a pimp...on a farm.  So that makes you a....."

After a doc asked a whole bunch of complicated questions from someone who couldn't talk.
"Even us dumb firefighters know to ask yes or no questions of a barely responsive person.  Guess they don't teach common sense in med school."

"I'm sorry, but we are not nicknaming our kid, Rehab."
"How about Detox?"
"What, just trying to give them realistic expectations."
"How about if you call the girls anything like that I call you, Bobbit....how's that for a realistic expectation?"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Letter to my Daughters

Dear Girls,

Right now, I'm sitting on the couch next to you both, watching, you, Bun, laugh in your sleep, and, you, Miss Chatterbox, dance naked to The Jungle Book.  I feel nothing, but love and peace sitting here with y'all.  If I could capture a moment and put it in a bottle, this would be one, I'd love to have forever.

But soon enough, y'all will start to grow up and other voices will get louder than Mommy's.  Before that happens, I want you to know a few things.

1.  I love you, just as you are.  You are perfect, just as you are.  You are beautiful, just as you are.  You are awesome, just as you are.  If someone doesn't like you, JUST AS YOU ARE, then they aren't worth your time.  Don't change who you are.

2.  Laugh, my loves, alot and loudly.  Find the joy in every day.  It's easy to laugh now, but there will come a day when it gets harder to find the reasons to.  Your momma once let the world steal her laughter - it took your arrival to bring it back.  Please don't make the same mistake.

3.  Always be honest - with yourself and with others. You will save yourself so much trouble.  Trust is easy to lose, hard to regain.  Honesty is not always the easy route, but trust me, my loves, it is the best way.

4.  Dream big.  They may not all come true - and that's okay - but it is the hope that they MIGHT, that keeps us moving forward.

5.  Find a way to be happy, where you are, with what you already have.  It's okay to want "stuff," but if you are basing your happiness on things - you will never truly be happy.  Mommy and Dadu want nothing more than for you girls to live a happy, fulfilled, and contented life.

6.  When it comes to boys - wait.  When you find the one, he will be worth waiting for.  NEVER SETTLE.    Wait until you find the yin to your yang, the one who is half of your whole, the one who completes what you never knew was missing.  Trust me, darlings, you will know them when you meet them.

Lastly, sweethearts, know that your Mommy and Dadu, love you more than anything.  We loved you, before we knew there was a you to love and we always will love you - No matter what.

Love you always and forever,

Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage...

"Hey Doc, I think my contraction maker is broken."


Yeah, my OB didn't much care for my sense of humor that early in the morning either.  Well, it's not like I planned on my water breaking at 3 am.  Or on 2 hours of hall pacing and still no significant action.

Apparently, my uterus is such a comfy place it takes an eviction, swat team style, to get the babies out of there.

But still, I was unconcerned.  After all, my reputation proceeded me and the whole floor was prepared for my arrival.   I suppose that's the closest I'll ever get to feeling like a celebrity.  They totally rolled out the red carpet.....or were just afraid of the liability - whatever, I totally felt like Angelina Jolie.  

"I got this," I thought.  Surely, it couldn't be worse than 22 hours of hard labor and 3.5 of pushing - with a couple of "codes" thrown in for fun.    Besides, we had A PLAN.

I should have known better.  Especially, since I'm a Wing It Wendy*, when it comes to anything other than work (with work, I'm totally type A).   So, since the clock was ticking, it went something like this:

No contractions = lots of pitocin = epidural = problems for Amber = emergency C-Section

I heard The Firefighter start to protest because he knew I didn't want a c -section, but they made it short and to the point.  "We can't help her until the baby's out."  He didn't make another peep - poor guy, I truly wouldn't have wanted to be in his shoes.

Next, the OB attempted to ask me about a tubal - like I was in a condition to answer....but the anesthesiologist answered for me.  "No time," then looking at The Firefighter he said, "Do you love your wife?  Then get a vasectomy.  It's no big deal for you, I promise - I've had one, but another baby could be very bad for her."   Guess, I won't be giving Michelle Duggar a run for her money.  Damn you, uterus, I wanted a reality show too - NOT!

Honestly though, that pissed me off.  I sure as hell wasn't planning on dying right then and there, and how dare they worry my Boo like that.  It was also frustrating, because I couldn't say anything to comfort him.

However, this entire transaction took less than 5 minutes.  Then, I was excitedly whisked down the hall to the OR.  By excited, I mean scared shitless - 'cuz this was gonna hurt like a  _____ (Fill in with your favorite expletive) without anesthesia.   The anesthesiologist was hurriedly trying to get a glorified Novocaine to work in time.   I wasn't the only scared party in that OR either.  By the Doctors' faces, I could tell this was so far out of the ordinary, that they didn't know what to do or expect....not exactly comforting, if ya know what I mean.  

As it turns out, The Bun's head was too big to engage into the birth canal, and she was shoved up so far under my ribs, transverse, that she never would have made it out any other way.  Like I said, my uterus must be the bomb diggity, 'cuz The Bun wasn't leaving.

Recovery room memories are somewhat more interesting.  After copious amounts of Valium (the only thing they had yet decided I could be given), I began to slide in and out of consciousness and have the craziest dreams.  Like ones where The Bun chews her way out of the womb, has sparkly skin and speaks to me in a perfect British accent ( Hullo, Mum!).  I guess rereading Breaking Dawn, wasn't the best pre-labor idea.

Other times, the ceiling tiles talked to me....yeah, it was too weird for me, even doped up.  I kept trying to ignore them, but they were persistent little buggers.  It was all good until I started talking back.  LOL - my poor Boo, what he must have thought.

I have to give props to The Firefighter.  He handled it all like a pro.  He was everything I needed him to be and more.  Thank you!  I love you more than life itself, Boo!

So, here we are, two weeks later, and everyone is healthy, healing, happy and heading in the right direction.   But as a friend once said, "It wouldn't be you, if you didn't have a story."  So there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen, the story of The Bun's arrival.


* no offense to the Wendys of the world.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"You May Walk Into Burning Buildings..."

"But I had a surgery WITHOUT anesthesia.  That totally out badasses your piddly little fire walking."

"Yeah, but did you have 50 lbs strapped to your back and no visibility?"

"NO, but I had 30 lbs attached to my waist, and I GROW PEOPLE.  What's your superpower?"

Booyah! Amber -1   The Firefighter - 0

So, as you may have gathered from my conversation this morning with The Firefighter, The Bun has finally made her much anticipated, but fashionably late, debut.

World, meet The Bun.   Bun, meet The World.

9.3 lbs
22 inches long

Yeah, I like to birth 'em fully grown and ready for college.  Saves money.  I'm all about frugality.

Welcome, baby girl!  Mommy and Dadu love you very much and we are glad you are here!

Who rule the world? - GIRLS!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How The Firefighter Proposed.....Redneck Romance at It's Finest

"Will you marry me?"

The question every girl wants to be asked.  For most women, it brings to mind images of fancy dinners, ball game Jumbotrons, or elaborate surprises with romantic music gently playing in the background.

Not me.  I picture a crapper.

Yep, as I've mentioned before, The Firefighter proposed to me in the bathroom of a cruise ship.  Because nothing says "I love you" like the scent of cheap knock off Pine Sol and chorus of automatic flushing toilets blasting romantically in the background.

While it was memorable, I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't exactly the special moment I had been dreaming about.  To his credit, even the romantically challenged Firefighter didn't "plan" to pop the question on his knees next to a Swisher 1000.  As it turns out, my klutzy, nonathletic self had foiled his two earlier attempts to ask me.

Earlier in the week, we had signed up for an exciting shore excursion, in Belize, to a resort that had spelunking and an awesome tree top zip line tour.  The Firefighter had planned to propose on the zip line tour, on the middle platform, 50 ft in the air, surrounded by tropical rainforest.  Sounds like a great plan, right? He went first and was "preparing" on the platform, as I began to zip down the line.  It didn't take me long to figure out my handbrake wasn't working and to begin to holler and frantically motion for him to move.  Coming in as fast as I was, I was afraid I would knock his skinny ass off the other side of the 10 ft. platform.   The Firefighter quickly assessed what was happening, slid the ring back in his pocket and jumped out of the way.

He wasn't to be deterred though, he just decided he would be waiting to do it at the end of the tour when I repelled down to the ground from the last platform.  The Firefighter seriously underestimated my lack of athletic prowess.  I had never repelled before, so when the instructor told me to squeeze the handbrake to move down the rope, I did..... only I didn't catch the subtle nuance that you squeeze as hard as the speed you want to go down the rope.   So, I squeezed it, hard, opening the handbrake completely and basically propelling myself into a 20ft free fall.  I landed unceremoniously on my hinny, spewing all kinds of unladylike profanity, while The Firefighter laughed so hard tears ran down his face.  Well, my ego was bruised a little more than my backside, so I didn't take kindly to his laughing and promptly yanked him to the ground and tackled him when he tried to help me up.   Yeah, I'm classy like that.   Needless to say, that wasn't going to be the moment either.

So, The Firefighter started searching for other times to pop the question.  The closer we got to the end of the trip, the more desperate The Firefighter became.  It was this desperation, to just have it done with, that prompted him to follow me into the shitter and drop to his knees.  He accomplished one goal, it did take me by complete surprise.  When it dawned on me what he was doing, I began to laugh, hysterically - kinda like a hyena, complete with snorting.   The Firefighter had to ask me twice, I was laughing so hard.  Obviously, y'all know what my answer was though I believe it came out something like - head nod, laugh, "yes", snort, laugh.  Sexy, huh?  That's why he loves me.

So now, six years later, every time I hear an automatic flush, I picture his face shyly and nervously asking me to be in his life forever and yes, I laugh a little too.

Happy Anniversary, Honey!  May we have a long life together, and never run out of toilet paper!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Green Revolution

I spent a portion of my teenage and early adult years in Colorado, near Boulder - the heart of the granola movement - but I'm not a hippie or even a nature lover.  Yet...

I make almost all my own cleaners and disinfectants.  What I can't make, or should say - failed - at making (as my half my wardrobe can attest to the laundry detergent debacle) I shell out the cash to buy organic and free and clear.  Except for Clorox Wipes, the scientist in me just can't completely trust the sanitizing power of all natural cleaners.

I use very little plastic in my home.

I cook as much from scratch as I can possibly find the time to do, and I limit the amount of preservatives and food coloring ingested by my family.

I clean, fanatically, ceiling fans to baseboards, bed linens to curtains, twice a week.

No, I'm not trying to save the planet.

And no, I'm not OCD or trying to win any super mom awards.  In fact, I would rather poke my own eye out rather than dust or do laundry and I would sell a kidney to never have to touch a dirty dish again.

However...I do it for one, very dear reason.

I do it because I love my child.

As I've previously mentioned, Miss Chatterbox has allergies.  How innocuous that sounds.  For 98% of the population, that means the sniffles and some watery eyes.  Not for my child.  For her, to come into contact with a "trigger" means an immediate, life-threatening, asthma attack.  For her, there is no such thing as a little bit sick or case of the sniffles - they all end with her landing in the ER.

It quickly became clear that animals were Miss Chatterbox's most dangerous trigger.  To some pet lovers, it may seem cold how quickly our two beloved dogs were given away, but to me, it was a no brainer.  I didn't hesitate. How could I even consider subjecting my precious newborn to this danger just for a furry head to pet?  The Firefighter wanted to consider alternatives, but it only took a 3 month old Miss Chatterbox having one "attack" for him to change his mind.

Before Miss Chatterbox was two, she couldn't be medicated with any long acting medications for either asthma or allergies.  Our only option was to do our best to avoid triggers and to try keep her from getting any kind of upper respiratory infection.  Yeah, it was just as hard as it sounds, considering we only knew of one trigger for certain and infants put EVERYTHING in their mouths.  When The Firefighter was home, he and I took turns sleeping in her room if she was well, and staying awake if she was sick.  If it was just me...well, I drank ALOT of Redbull and coffee and tried not leave the house with my clothes on inside out (yep, I've done that - more than once).   We refused to go anywhere that had pets, which I know upset many people, and we minimized time spent at public places or around large groups.  We didn't even start to vaccinate her until after she was two, for fear that a chemical in the serum could set her off.  It took me a full year of experimenting like a mad scientist with different combinations of cleaners to determine that I simply had to go old fashioned and make them myself.  

It took 14 hospitalizations, over the course of two years, for breathing difficulties, to finally convince someone there was a problem.  It was disheartening and frustrating to have so many doctors, and people close to us, treating us as if we were overreacting.  I don't think I can describe just how much of a relief it was when we finally found a doctor who believed us and prescribed the proper medications.  Of course, nothing is perfect, and it took a bit of trial and error, but now Miss Chatterbox is the most controlled she's ever been.  I don't believe, for one second, it was a coincidence that Miss Phoebe started disappearing about the same time Miss Chatterbox got medicated.

The last few months have been fun.  We've been able to go to public places, go on play dates, and even brave places with pets for short periods of time.  We've been able to go to large family events, without fear, and let her extended family get to know her.  She even got a summer cold, and for the first time ever, didn't end up in the ER.  It has been liberating to rejoin the human race!

Though, the sight and sound of your child struggling to breathe isn't something you quickly forget, nor can you ever ignore the fact that the possibility will always exist that she may STILL have a reaction to some unknown, even medicated.  So until the day comes when all allergies and asthma are eradicated, I will continue to channel my inner June Cleaver, though I refuse to vaccuum in a skirt and heels.

OH the things we do for our kids!